Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors][ocr errors]

youthful preacher to attain those varied excellences which are called for by the various wants of the community. They show that in the esteem of a christian scholar there is no human composition so important or so dignified as a sermon, if it be a true sermon and not in the words of Bishop Andrews “called so by a charitable construction;" that the pulpit is not only the

preacher's throne" but is raised far above any other station on earth, and that all attainments in ancient or modern literature may be properly subordinated to the work of “persuading men in Christ's stead to become reconciled to God.” They show the influence of a minister's private character upon bis public performances, that an orator must be a good man, and that virtue is profitable unto all things in this life.

It was with great reluctance that the editor of the present volume undertook to prepare it for the press. He well knew that Mr. Homer did not write for the public eye, that he dreaded the criticisms of the multitude and would have shrunk back from the remotest suggestion of printing his posthumous remains. “When I am gone,” he once remarked, “I wish that nothing more than my name and my age may be told to those who survive me.” Many of his compositions were written in haste, and but few of them had received the finish that he might have given. The editor was also aware that the volume ought to be issued sooner than he could hope for sufficient health even to commence the preparing of it, and he therefore endeavored to devolve the labor upon other hands, but in vain. Denied almost entirely the use of his eyes, he has been obliged to omit some correcting processes which he would gladly have performed; and fearing to mar the individuality of Mr. Homer's writings, he has left unmodified some of the statements that seem to him not entirely accurate. No alterations have been made but such as leave unimpaired the identity of Mr. Homer's character and style, and such as when once suggested to him would probably have received his sanction. In delineating the character of Mr. Homer the editor has been much assisted by several friends

of the deceased, and is happy to express his gratitude for their valuable communications. He is also largely indebted to a few individuals who have revised much of the copy for the press, and have corrected all the proof sheets. That the volume is not free from imperfections the editor is fully aware. It does not contain several of Mr. Homer's discourses and critiques which his friends have desired to see in press, nor his highly commended oration on the Harmony of the Professions, wbich he delivered at Amherst College when he took his degree of Master of Arts. In preparing the Memoir, also, the editor has fallen below the standard which he had set up, and has failed in delineating the character which he understood for himself better than he could describe for others. He dismisses the work, not with the "frigid tranquillity” which Dr. Johnson speaks of, but with the reflection that under many disadvantages he has done what he could for the memory of one who deserves a better memorial.

Thea.Semi Andover,}

1*

« AnteriorContinuar »