Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

or Ohio, who leaves the city without hearing Henry Ward Beecher preach.

Socially, Mr. Beecher is one of the most interesting men we ever met. He is brim full of anecdote and humour. No man can tell a story better than he—no man can set a circle into a roar quicker than he, nor is he surpassed in all that is affectionate and lovely. He has a big heart, which takes in all his friends. He is half worshipped in his family, and no one wonders at it who knows him.

In his person Mr. Beecher is not very remarkable. He is of medium height, has a firm, independent air, look, and gait, has dark hair, an intelligent eye, and a hearty voice. He dresses well—not finely. He is the exact opposite of a modern fop in dress and manners, for in everything he is manly.

Mr. Fowler, the phrenologist, speaking of the main points in his character says:

“ The first is the soundness and vigor of his physical constitution. Every bodily organ is strong, and exceedingly active; his vital organs are large, and peculiarly healthy. Only his stomach is in the least degree affected, and that only partially and occasionally. His lungs are very large and very fine; he measures under the arms more than one in thousands, and his muscles are uncommonly dense, sprightly and vigorous. All his motions are quick and elastic, yet peculiarly firm and strong, tossing his body about as if it were as light as a foot-ball-a condition always characteristic of distinguished men; for no man can be talented without a first-rate muscular system. He fosters this condition by taking a great amount of physical exercise, and also of rest and recreation. When he does work, he works with his whole might, until his energies are nearly expended, and then gives up to sleep, relaxation, and cheerful conversation, perhaps for days together, until having again filled up the reservoir of life-power, he becomes capable of putting forth another vigorous effort.

[blocks in formation]

“The second cardinal point in his character, is the unwonted size of his benevolence. In all my examinations of heads, I have rarely, if ever, found it surpassed, or even equaled. It towers above

every
other
organ

in his head, and is the great phrenological center of his brain. While most heads rise higher at firmness than at benevolence, his rises higher at benevolence. It is really enormous, and forms altogether the dominant motive of his life ; and this constitutes the second grand instrumentality of his success.

[blocks in formation]

« His social affections are also large, and working in conjunction with his supreme benevolence, mutually aid and strengthen it. Adhesiveness is very large. I rarely find it as large in men. Hence he makes friends of all, even those who oppose him in doctrine, and is personally attached to them; and this explains one of the instrumentalities by which he so powerfully wins all within range of his influence. They love the man, and therefore receive his doctrines. His philoprogenitiveness is also large; and hence his strong and almost paternal interest in the success of young men just starting in life; for this faculty, rightly directed, especially in public men, extends a helping hand not to physical children merely, but to those who are just starting in life, whatever may be their occupation; and he also preaches most effectually upon the education of children.

"His amativeness is fully developed, yet conjoined with his fine-grained temperament and exalted moral affections, it values woman mainly for her moral purity, and her maternal and other virtues, and seeks the elevation of the sex. Probably few men living place the family relations of parents and children, husbands and wives, upon higher grounds, either practically in his family, or in his public capacity, than Henry Ward Beecher. He is perfectly happy in his family, and his family in him; and this is one cause of his peculiarly bland, persuasive, and winning address.

“ His third point of character is his force. This is consequent on his large combativeness and firmness, and his enthusiastic temperament. What he does, he does with all his might. He takes hold of great things as though they could and must be done. Every sentence is uttered with an energy which carries it home to the innermost souls of all who hear; yet his combativeness is never expended in personal defense, or in opposing his enemies, but simply in pushing forward his benevolent operations.

“ His destructiveness is fair, but always subordinate.

“ Acquisitiveness is almost entirely wanting. I rarely find it as small, and, unlike too many reverends, he never thinks

whether this or that sermon or doctrine will increase or diminish his salary, but simply asks whether

is TRUE. “ His firmness is extraordinary, but, acting under his higher faculties, he never evinces obstinacy, but only determination and perseverance in doing good. Though cautiousness renders him careful in taking grounds, yet he is one of the most straightforward men we meet with.”

LYMAN BEECHER, D. D.

We believe it was Theodore Parker who said that Dr. Beecher was “the father of more brains than

any other man in America.” The saying is a just one; and not only is Lyman Beecher the father of brains, but he is the possessor. If he were simply the father of such an illustrious set of children, it would not be out of place for us to sketch him here; but inasmuch as he is one of the pioneers of reform in this country, it would be improper not to say a few words about him.

Dr. Beecher is a thoroughly original character. He is unlike any one else,-unless it be his own children, upon whom he has impressed his own character. He is one of the most popular public men in the country, though he is one of the boldest thinkers and most earnest actors. His energy of character is greater than that of any other living American. He was born just as the fires of the revolution were kindling, and it would seem as if the energy, patriotism, and ardor of those days were stamped at an early age upon his character. The date of his birth is October 12, 1775; the place, a house still standing

« AnteriorContinuar »