Page images
PDF
EPUB

nification of the Jewish Passover, he became warm and animated, and soon commanded the attention of his whole audience, and awakened a universal and intense interest. During the discourse of that morning, which many will recollect as long as memory lasts, several incidents occur

urred, which showed the power of true Christian eloquence.

As he passed from the description of the Jewish Passover, to the sacrifice of Christ, he said, bending forward and looking intently on the Communion table spread before him, where the bread and wine were covered neatly : " but where is our lamb?" At these words, so impressively uttered, and accompanied by a gesture so significant, an old French dancing master, who scarcely ever entered the church, rose from his seat near the pulpit, and gazed intently, to see if there was not something on the Communion table, which he had not yet seen. An intelligent little girl too, who sat before him, after she returned home, said : “ Aunt H. did you ever hear such a man? When he said, “where is our lamb," he seemed as if he was looking for a lamb on the Communion table."

As he proceeded in describing the progressive scenes of our Saviour's sufferings, his hearers became deeply and almost universally affected. Feelings which could scarcely be suppressed were manifest in every part of the house; and tears were seen rolling down the cheeks of many but little accustomed to weep. When he depicted the last scene of our Saviour's sufferings on the cross, that power of " descriptive painting,” for which he was remarkable in his pulpit efforts, was displayed in a manner rarely surpassed by the most accomplished orators. Amidst the un

. utterable agonies which Jesus suffered while hanging on the cross, he introduced Mary his mother among the spectators, beholding the cruel sufferings of her beloved son, and quoted the prediction of Simeon as there fulfilled: “Yea, a sword shall pierce through thine own soul.” Such was his gesture, his voice, his whole manner, that had Mary actually stood before the audience, with flowing tears, and every token of deepest sorrow, the impression could hardly have been increased.

Dr. A. never aimed to excite mere animal feelings. The effects produced, were the result of bible facts and truths, clearly presented by one who believed them, and felt their power. During the delivery of that discourse, it would have been easy, repeatedly, to have produced an amount of feeling that could not be controlled. Such, however, was his command over himself and his audience, that besides the speaker's voice, nothing was heard but, here and there, a half suppressed sob, and nothing seen to disturb the solemnity of divine worship.

Many heard Dr. A. on that occasion, for the first and last time; but it is believed that the revelations of the final judgment, will prove that his labors then were blessed to the good of many souls.

S. B. W. Union Theological Seminary, Dec. 25, 1851.

DESULTORY APPLICATION.

If life be dissipated in alternations of desultory application, and nervous indolence, if-scheme be added to scheme, and plan to plan, all to be deserted, when the labour of execution begins, the greatest talents will soon become enervated, and unequal to tasks of comparative facility.

[ Quar. Rev.

VIRGINIANS IN GEORGIA.

[We copy the following lively and graphic sketches of two Virginians who emigrated from our State to Georgia, shortly after our revolutionary war, from an

“ Address delivered in the College Chapel, at Athens, before the Society of Alumni, on Thursday, August 7th, 1851, being the SemiCentennial Anniversary of Franklin College;" by the Hon. Geo. R. Gilmer: which we have read with much interest—the whole of it-but more particularly, of course, (from the present bent of our taste,) that part of it which has furnished us with these extracts for our work.]

BENJAMIN TALIAFERRO.

Benjamin Taliaferro, descended from an Italian family, whose fighting capacity in the times when sir names were acquired by remarkable qualities, created for its members the descriptive name Taliaferro, literally like iron.

Zach Taliaferro, the father of Benjamin Taliaferro, lived in Amherst, a mountain county of Virginia. Just before he became Sheriff by right as the oldest Justice of the County Court, he met one day, a famous outlaw, who, supposing him already Sheriff

, took to his heels to escape arrest. Old Zach pursued. It was cold winter weather. The outlaw went into a mill-pond, supposing that the freezing water would secure his safety. He reckoned without his host. Old Zach followed, and coming up, took the outlaw by his collar; led him out of the pond, and then turned him loose, telling him, that he was not yet sworn in Sheriff, and that he had only captured him, to let him know what he would do, when he was.

Formerly, in Virginia, the highest reputation for valor, was acquired by the strength and skill exhibited in whipping neighbors, in a contest at fisticuffs. Benjamin Taliaferro was publicly bantered, when a young man, for a fight of this sort. He declined the combat, and was in danger of being disinherited by his father, for his supposed want of courage. That he was not afraid to fight, when it was right, he proved in many a battle in the Revolutionary war. He was with Gen. Washington in the Jerseys, during the winter campaign of 1777. At the battle of Princeton, he captured, with his company, a British Captain and his command. When the British officer stepped forward in his dashing regimentals, to deliver up his sword, the proud, barefooted, ragged Virginian Captain, ashamed of his appearance, ordered his Lieutenant to receive the sword of his prisoner.

When Gen. Washington called upon his officers to volunteer their services in aid of Gen. Lincoln, then hard pressed by British superiority, in the Southern States, Capt. Taliaferro offered his. He was among the prisoners made by the British at the capture of Charleston. He was •permitted to return home on parole.

When Capt. Taliaferro returned to Amherst, he found Martha Meriwether, whom he had left a romping girl, a charming young woman. His brother Zach, a young lawyer, was paying his addresses to her. The brothers' contended for the prize; the ancient maxim, “arma cedant toga," proved not to be true, when the gown was man's distinction and woman ruled; the officer defeated the lawyer. The brothers lived to be old men, but never met afterwards in friendship.

Capt. Taliaferro moved to Georgia in 1784. He became one of the leading men of the State ; was President of the Senate, member of Congress, and filled many other high offices. He was a member of the Legislature which passed the Yazoo Act, and resisted all the efforts of the speculators, to induce him to vote for it.

When the people of Georgia rescinded that Act, and discarded from office those concerned in its passage, Col. Taliaferro was made Judge of the Superior Court, though he was no lawyer. The members of the bar, who had the law learning necessary for the office, and were willing to accept it, had been concerned, in some way or other, with that disgraceful contract. It became very important to the fraudulent land jobbers, who were interested in the land causes depending in the Courts of the Circuit in which Col. Taliaferro presided, to drive him from the bench. By agreement among them, he was challenged by Col. Willis, upon some frivolous pretence, to fight a duel, upon the supposition that his army opinions would compel him to fight, and therefore, to resign his Judgeship. They were mistaken, he accepted the challenge without resigning. The speculators tried a novel expedient to effect their purpose. Judge Taliaferro's attachment to his wife was well

ers.

known. Col. Willis and his friends, to overcome tho Judge's determination to fight, made their preparations for the duel, by practising within sight and hearing of Mrs. Taliaferro-intending thereby so to frighten her, as to make it impossible for her husband to meet the challenge

They were again mistaken. Whilst they were practising, Mrs. Taliaferro was aiding the Judge to put in order the horseman's pistols which he had used when he belonged to Lee's Legion. The Judge and his opponent met. The horseman's pistol which had been oiled by the wife, sent its ball so near the speculator's vitals, that he declined a second shot. If the gentlemen Alumni will examine the College record, they will find that this Judge Taliaferro was one of the first trustees of Franklin College, and well worthy of being remembered on this day of jubilee.

MERIWETHER LEWIS.

From 1790 to 1795, the Cherokee Indians were very troublesome to the frontier people of upper Georgia ; stealing their negroes and horses; occasionally killing defenceless women and children, and exciting alarm lest more extensive massacres might be perpetrated. During this restless, uneasy state of the people, created by this constant apprehension of attack, a report reached the settlement twenty miles from here, on Broad river, that the Cherokees were on the war path for Georgia. Men, women and chil. dren collected together. It was agreed that the house where they were could not be defended, and might easily be burnt. They, therefore, sought safety in a deep, secluded forest. Whilst they were assembled round a fire at night, preparing something to eat, the report of a gun was heard. Indians! Indians I was heard from every tongue. Mothers clasped their infants in their arms, whilst the older children hung around them. The men seized their arms all were in commotion and dismay. There belonged to the company a boy, who alone retained any self-possession. When every one was hesitating what to do, the light of the fire was suddenly extinguished by his throwing a vessel of water upon it. When all was dark, the sense of safety came upon all. That boy was Meriwether Lewis, who was afterwards selected by Mr. Jefferson, on account of his courage and admirable talents for command, to head the

« PreviousContinue »