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William Henry Channing (search for this): chapter 14
rothingham, John Weiss, Colonel Higginson, Benjamin Peirce, William Henry Channing, C. C. Everett, and James Freeman Clarke. It was a glad suhe meetings of such men as James Freeman Clarke, Dr. Hedge, William Henry Channing, and Wendell Phillips was a sufficient earnest of the catholief, Limitations, Representation, and How to Secure it. William Henry Channing was one of the bright lights of the Radical Club, a man of of the value of the spoken as compared with the written word led Mr. Channing to speak always or mostly without a manuscript. It was much to till under the weight of this painful impression when I saw William Henry Channing coming towards me, and detained him for a moment's speech. thing ten miles away with a blunderbuss. I was always glad of Mr. Channing's presence on occasions on which matters of faith were likely toe ruled outside of the domain of Christendom. Had it not been for Channing, Freeman, Buckminster, and a few others in that early day, they wo
Sam Longfellow (search for this): chapter 14
d Everett Hale, who had attended, and possibly taken part in, the services. The poet Longfellow had written a lovely hymn for the occasion, beginning with this line:— Christ to the young man said, Give me thy heart. Mr. Hale spoke of Sam Longfellow as a valued friend, and remarked upon the modesty and sweetness of his disposition. I saw him the other day, said Mr. Hale. He showed me a box of colors which he had long desired to possess, and which he had just purchased. Sam said to me, I thought I might have this now. He was fond of sketching from nature. Years after this time, I heard Mr. Longfellow preach at the Hawes Church in South Boston. After the service I invited him to take a Sunday dinner with Dr. Howe and myself. He consented, and I remember that in the course of our conversation he said, Theodore Parker has made things easier for us young ministers. He has demolished so much which it was necessary to remove. The collection entitled Hymns of the Spirit, and
Samuel Johnson (search for this): chapter 14
nature. Years after this time, I heard Mr. Longfellow preach at the Hawes Church in South Boston. After the service I invited him to take a Sunday dinner with Dr. Howe and myself. He consented, and I remember that in the course of our conversation he said, Theodore Parker has made things easier for us young ministers. He has demolished so much which it was necessary to remove. The collection entitled Hymns of the Spirit, and published under the joint names of Samuel Longfellow and Samuel Johnson, is a valuable one, and the hymns which Mr. Longfellow himself contributed to the repertoire of the denomination are deeply religious in tone; and yet I must think that among Unitarians of thirty or more years ago he was held to be something of a skeptic. Thomas G. Appleton was speaking of him in my presence one day, and said, He asked me whether I could not get along without the idea of a personal God. I replied, No, you—— ——. Appleton shook his fist, and was very vehement in his
Buckminster (search for this): chapter 14
imit and bound of truth. The few Americans who had studied in real earnest in Germany brought back with them the wide sweeping besom of the Kantian method, and much besides. This showed the positive assumptions of the old school to have no such foundation of absolute truth as had been conceded to them. Under their guidance men had presumed to measure the infinite by their own petty standard, and to impose upon the Almighty the limits and necessities with which they had hedged the way of their fellow-men. God could not have mercy in any way other than that which they felt bound to prescribe. His wisdom must coincide with their conclusions. His charity must be as narrow as their own. Those who could not or would not acquiesce in these views were ruled outside of the domain of Christendom. Had it not been for Channing, Freeman, Buckminster, and a few others in that early day, they would have been as sheep without a shepherd. The history is well known. I need not repeat it here.
Emanuel Swedenborg (search for this): chapter 14
o recognize especially within these limits the superstition and intolerance which have been the bane of all religions—this disposition, which was frequently manifested both in the essays presented and in their discussion, offended not only my affections, but also my sense of justice. I had indeed been led to transcend the limits of the old tradition; I had also devoted much time to studies of philosophy, and had become conversant with the works of Auguste Comte, Hegel, Spinoza, Kant, and Swedenborg. Nothing of what I had heard or read had shaken my faith in the leadership of Christ in the religion which makes each man the brother of all, and God the beneficent father of each and all,—the religion of humanity. Neither did this my conviction suffer any disturbance through the views presented by speakers at the Radical Club. Setting this one point aside, I can but speak of the club as a high congress of souls, in which many noble thoughts were uttered. Nobler than any special view
Thomas Wentworth Higginson (search for this): chapter 14
the list of essayists, I find that it includes the most eminent thinkers of the day, in so far as Massachusetts is concerned. Among the speakers mentioned are Ralph Waldo Emerson, Dr. Hedge, David A. Wasson, O. B. Frothingham, John Weiss, Colonel Higginson, Benjamin Peirce, William Henry Channing, C. C. Everett, and James Freeman Clarke. It was a glad surprise to me when I was first invited to read a paper before this august assemblage. This honor I enjoyed more than once, but I appreciatedted true religion by a portrait figure of Savonarola. Holbein and Rembrandt were avowed Protestants. He considered the individuality fostered by Protestantism as most favorable to the development of originality in art. With these views Colonel Higginson did not agree. He held that Christianity had reached its highest point under the dispensation of the Catholic faith, and that the progress of Protestantism marked its decline. This assertion called forth an energetic denial from Dr. Hedge
Henry Thoreau (search for this): chapter 14
ead in very distant parts of the country. I rejoiced in this. It seemed to me that the uses of the club were thus greatly multiplied and extended. It became an agency in the great church universal. Mr. Emerson's principal objection to the reports was that they interfered with the freedom of the occasion. When this objection failed to prevail, he withdrew from the club almost entirely, and was never more heard among its speakers. I remember hearing Mr. Emerson, in his discourse on Henry Thoreau, relate that the latter had once determined to manufacture the best lead pencil that could possibly be made. Having attained this end, parties interested at once besought him to make this excellent article attainable in trade. He said, Why should I do this? I have shown that I am able to produce the best pencil that can be made. This was all that I cared to do. The selfishness and egotism of this point of view did not appear to have entered into Mr. Emerson's thoughts. Upon this p
Jonathan Edwards (search for this): chapter 14
d in danger of being set down as ignorant of much that our opponents assumed to know. In this connection I must mention a day on which, under the title of Jonathan Edwards, Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes favored the club with a very graphic exposition of old-time New England Calvinism. The brilliant doctor's treatment of this diffindly, though by no means acquiescent in the doctrines presented. He said, indeed, that the feeling which naturally arises in contemplating the character of Jonathan Edwards is that of deep reverence for a man who seems to have been anointed from his birth; who lived a life pure, laborious, self-denying, occupied with the highest themes, and busy in the highest kind of labor. Nevertheless, Wendell Phillips thought the paper, on the whole, unjust to Edwards, and felt that there must have been in his doctrine another side not fully brought forward by the essayist. These and other speakers were heard with great interest, and the meeting was one of the bes
Wendell Phillips (search for this): chapter 14
opinions. The presence at the meetings of such men as James Freeman Clarke, Dr. Hedge, William Henry Channing, and Wendell Phillips was a sufficient earnest of the catholicity of intention which prevailed in the government of the club. Only the in, laborious, self-denying, occupied with the highest themes, and busy in the highest kind of labor. Nevertheless, Wendell Phillips thought the paper, on the whole, unjust to Edwards, and felt that there must have been in his doctrine another side kers were heard with great interest, and the meeting was one of the best on our record. I have heard it said that Wendell Phillips's orthodoxy was greatly valued among the antislavery workers, especially as the orthodox pulpits of the time gave them little support or comfort. I was told that Edmund Quincy, one day, saw Parker and Phillips walking arm in arm, and cried out: Parker, don't dare to pervert that man. We want him as he is. I was thrice invited to read before the Radical Club.
James Freeman Clarke (search for this): chapter 14
Benjamin Peirce, William Henry Channing, C. C. Everett, and James Freeman Clarke. It was a glad surprise to me when I was first invited to retings, a rather sharp passage at arms between Mr. Weiss and James Freeman Clarke. Mr. Weiss had been declaiming against the insincerity whicwhen my own feeling did not sanction its use. On hearing this, Mr. Clarke broke in. Let Mr. Weiss answer for himself, he said with some This assertion called forth an energetic denial from Dr. Hedge, Mr. Clarke, and myself. M. Coquerel paid a second visit to the Radical Clidual opinions. The presence at the meetings of such men as James Freeman Clarke, Dr. Hedge, William Henry Channing, and Wendell Phillips wast ministers. Why do you say so? I rejoined. I belong to James Freeman Clarke's congregation, and I do care a great deal about some ministave been Margaret's sixtieth birthday, Dr. Hedge joined with James Freeman Clarke in loving and reverent testimony to her unusual talents and
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