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his time from with a deep from his de Jew Bedford, "
I nity had receivewriction that his
Mudge," as he was familiarly called by all classes. He left the city with the regrets and blessings of the whole community; and among many other demonstrations of respect which he received at this time from various sources, the Selectmen of New Bedford, “impressed with a deep sense of the advantages which the community had received from his devoted and judicious exertions, and with the conviction that his efforts had been highly effective in promoting the peace, quietness, and good order of the town," sent him a formal vote of thanks.
Recovering somewhat from the first severity of his attacks, after his removal to Lynn he preached occasionally to the children and grandchildren of those who were his first religious associates more than half a century before; and still inspired with an earnest desire to do good, he made himself useful in various ways. His last sermon was preached in July, 1848, from 1 Pet. i, 8:“Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.” The text was but a correct and beautiful expression of his own deep and rich religious experience.
In 1849 he was transferred from the Providence to the New England Annual Conference, that he might die in that same ecclesiastical body of which he was the first native New England member, though, since the death of the venerable Pickering, not one of the original members were now left. During the winter of 1850 his health was very precarious, and toward the close of his life his sufferings were very severe; but grace completely triumphed. The rich evangelical doctrines which he had so long preached to others with such effect were now his own consolation in his last extremity, and his soul was calm and joyous. To him death had no terrors, and the grave no gloom. He often spoke of the sweet rest which he should soon enjoy, and seemed anxious to engage all in praising the mercy of God in Jesus Christ. Finally, surrounded by his family and friends, he sweetly fell asleep in Jesus on the morning of Tuesday, April 2d, 1850, in the 74th year of his age and in the 57th of his ministry. The next day, as his brethren of the Providence Conference met for their annual session in the Chestnut-street Church in that city, of which he had for
merly been one of the pastors, it was announced to us that “Father Mudge” was no more.
Mr. Mudge wrote but little. His time was consumed in the more active duties of the ministry. But he possessed a wellselected library, and was not ignorant of its contents. His published works were: . “A Camp-Meeting Hymn Book, consisting of one hundred and thirty-two original hymns;" Boston, 1818.
“Notes on the Parables ;" Boston, 1828.
Also, numerous fugitive pieces of poetry, which appeared in various periodicals, and a few separate sermons which appeared in the Methodist Preacher, a monthly published in Boston, 1830–33.
Dr. Stevens, in his sketch of him, in his " Memorials of the Introduction of Methodism into the Eastern States," thus partially describes him as a man and a preacher :
“Mr. Mudge is below the usual height in stature, stoutly framed, with a full round face, healthfully colored, and expressive of the perfect benignity and amiability of his spirit. His undiminished, but silvered hairs crown him with a highly venerable aspect. In manners, he would have been a fitting companion for St. John. The spirit of Christian charity imbues him ; hopefulness, cheerfulness, entire reliance on God, confidence in friends, extreme care to give no offense, and a felicitous relish for the reliefs and comforts of a green old age, are among his marked characteristics. He has been distinguished by fine pulpit qualifications—fertility of thought, a warmth of feeling without extravagance, a peculiar richness of illustration, and a manner always self-possessed, and marked by the constitutional amenity of his temper. None ever wearied under his discourses.”
Also, his brethren of the New England Conference, in their obituary notice of him in the Minutes for 1850, say:
6. Of the character of this man of God much might be said; but a little must suffice. As a scholar, he was thorough and exact; as a preacher, he was sound and scriptural in doctrine, clear, without being diffuse in his style, and earnest and persuasive in his manner. As a pastor, he was characterized by fidelity, deep devotion, and earnest affectionateness. And as a friend and associate, he was distinguished for the depth of his attachment, and the meek cheerfulness that was ever beaming from his countenance and flowing from his lips. It has been well said of him, that his heart never grew old. He always retained that ardency of affection common to the young. As a Christian, his piety was deep, all pervading, and remarkably uniform. His most intimate associates never saw him when he seemed to have the least shadow of a cloud upon his mind. He was always happy, always cheerful, and ever had a word of cheer and of encouragement for all with whom he met. Thus lived and died the first Methodist preacher of New England. And may those who come after him follow him as he followed Christ.”
Finally, the eloquent eulogy which Dr. Johnson pronounces upon his friend, the Rev. Z. Mudge, prebendary of Exeter, and vicar of St. Andrews, Plymouth, Eng., who died in 1769, is so perfectly applicable to his later namesake, the subject of this sketch, that I cannot forbear to transcribe a portion of it, the justice of which I am sure will surprise those who were personally acquainted with him :
“He was a man equally eminent for his virtues and his abilities, and at once beloved as a companion, and venerated as a pastor. He had that general curiosity to which no kind of knowledge is indifferent or superfluous, and that general benevolence by which no order of men is despised or hated. His principles, both of thought and of action, were great and comprehensive. By a solicitous examination of objections, and judicious comparison of opposite arguments, he attained what inquiry never gives but to industry and perspicuity—a firm and unshaken settlement of conviction.
“But his firmness was without asperity; for, knowing with how much difficulty truth is sometimes found, he did not wonder that many missed it. The general course of his life was determined by his profession. His discharge of parochial duties was exemplary. How his sermons were composed, may be learned from the excel. lent volume which he has given to the public; but how they were delivered can be known only to those who heard them ; for as he appeared in the pulpit words will not easily describe him. His delivery, though unconstrained, was not negligent, and though forcible, was not turbulent. Disdaining anxious nicety of emphasis, and labored artifices of action, it captivated the hearer by its natural dignity; it roused and fixed the volatile, and detained the mind upon the subject without directing it to the speaker.
“The grandeur and solemnity of the preacher did not intrude upon his more general behavior; at the table of his friends he was a companion communicative and attentive; of unaffected manners, of manly cheerfulness, willing to please, and easy to be pleased. His acquaintance was universally solicited, and his presence obstructed no enjoyment which religion did not forbid. Though studious, he was popular; though inflexible, he was candid; and though metaphysical, he was orthodox.”
Mr. Mudge's funeral sermon was preached by his old friend and fellow-laborer, the Rev. E. T. Taylor, pastor of the Mariner's Bethel Church in Boston, from the words of Elisha to his master when he was translated, 2 Kings ii, 12: “My father, my father! the chariot of Israel and the horsemen thereof.” A more fitting preacher and a more fitting text could not be found. He was first deposited in the family tomb in the old burying ground opposite the South-street Methodist Church, where sleep the fathers and many of the most distinguished inhabitants of that ancient town; but two years after, his remains were removed to the new and beautiful cemetery which stands upon one of the wooded hills in the rear of the city, where a marble monument, erected by his family, now marks the last resting-place of this distinguished son of New England Methodism.
ART. VI.-SIR WILLIAM HAMILTON'S PHILOSOPHY.
Discussions on Philosophy and Literature, Education and University Reform. Chiefly from the Edinburgh Review. Corrected, vindicated, enlarged, in Notes and Appendices. By Sir WILLIAM HAMILTON, Bart. With an Introductory Essay by ROBERT
TURNBULL, D. D. New York: Harper & Brothers. 1858. Philosophy of Sir William Hamilton, Bart. Arranged and Edited by 0. W. WIGHT, for the use of Schools and Colleges. New York: D. Appleton & Co. 1853. Lectures on Metaphysics. By Sir WILLIAM HAMILTON, Bart. Edited by the Rev. HENRY L. MANSEL, B. D., Oxford, and JOHN VEITCH, M. A., Edinburgh. Boston: Gould & Lincoln.
1859. The problem of the nature and limitations of human knowledge is one that has occupied the minds of the profoundest thinkers from the days of Thales of Miletus to the present hour; and even yet it is the central point of controversy among metaphysicians, who seem to be scarcely more accordant now than they were in the days of Plato and Aristotle. But it were unjust to ignore the facts, that many grand and fruitful discoveries have meantime been made, and that the field of
controversy has been narrowed down to the one central problem: “Is man capable of taking cognizance of the Unconditioned, that is, of the Absolute and Infinite; or, is human knowledge limited to the Conditioned, that is, the Finite?" Our author distinguishes at the present day four prominent theories, which he classifies as follows:
1. The unconditioned is incognizable and inconceivable; its notion being only negative of the conditioned, which last can alone be positively known or conceived. 2. It is not an object of knowledge, but its notion, as a regulative principle of the mind itself, is more than a mere negation of the conditioned. 3. It is cognizable but not conceivable; it can be known by a sinking back into identity with the absolute, but is incomprehensible by consciousness and reflection, which are only of the relative and the different. 4. It is cognizable and conceivable by consciousness and reflection, under relation, difference, and plurality. The first of these opinions we [Hamilton] regard as true; the second is held by Kant, the third by Schelling, and the last by M. Victor Cousin.
His own theory, which is commonly called the Philosophy of the Conditioned, is perhaps fairly presented in the following extract from Wight's Philosophy of Sir William Hamilton, p. 454:
In our opinion the mind can conceive, and consequently can know, only the limited and the conditionally limited. The unconditionally unlimited, or the infinite, the unconditionally limited or the absolute, cannot positively be construed to the mind; they can be conceived only by a thinking away from, or abstraction of, those very conditions under which thought itself is realized, consequently the notion of the unconditioned is only negative, negative of the conceivable itself. For example, on the one hand we can positively conceive neither an absolute whole, that is, a whole so great that we cannot also conceive it as a relative part of a still greater whole, nor an absolute part; that is, a part so small that we cannot also conceive it as a relative whole, divisible into smaller parts. On the other hand, we cannot positively represent, or realize, or construe to the mind (as here understanding and imagination coincide) an infinite whole, for this could only be done by the infinite synthesis in thought of finite wholes, which would itself require an infinite time for its accomplishment; nor, for the same reason, can we follow out in thought an infinite divis. ibility of parts. The result is the same, whether we apply the process to limitation in space, in time, or in degree. The unconditional negation, and the unconditional affirmation of limitation, in other words, the infinite and the absolute, properly so called, are thus equally inconceivable to us. As the conditionally limited (which we may briefly call the conditioned) is thus the only pos