« AnteriorContinuar »
certained fact, that nine-tenths of all the crimes in the land are committed either directly or indirectly through the influence of intoxicating drink. The same cause which will prepare men for private aggression, will render them fit for public outrages. Men whose conduct is such as to call forth no moral courage, must depend upon some artificial stimulant in order to nerve themselves to their daring assaults on other's rights: let them be deprived of this they have no sufficient defense against the urgency of conscience; and so long as the grog-shop is suffered to go on with its work of death, so long as dram-drinking is legalized in any community, so long will there be a population ever at hand to join setting law and civil authority at defiance.
Mr. Barnes also censures severely the “tameness of the sentiments in the community” in regard to mobs. From this cause he traces the increase of these outrages. Respectable citizens have been content faintly to condemn, if not indeed even to approve of their occurrence. The ground has been extensively assumed and acted on, “ that there are offenses which deserve the interposition of a mob, and a strain of remark has been indulged in, just fitted to urge on a lawless multitude to scenes of disorder and blood.” To what other cause is it to be traced, that while the Pennsylvania Hall was in flames, and the engines were playing upon the adjoining buildings, the firemen either would not make or were not suffered to make the least attempt to save it from the devouring element. Why did an immense crowd of citizens stand by as idle spectators, nor make one bold effort to uphold the majesty of the laws ? Was it a greater evil to have their feelings of displeasure excited by incongruous associations, than to have the law placed beneath the feet of an incendiary mob? Had it been the United States Bank, or a theater, would no arm have been raised for its rescue? These are questions which deserve an answer, and the only answer which can be given is one which declares, that it was the nature of the building which called out their wrath, and which withheld the requisite aid to extinguish the flames. But this is to assume, that mobs are justifiable for some causes, and then who shall decide what are the legitimate objects of attack? Mr. Barnes' language on this subject expresses the true feeling : “Now what is needful—what must be-in this land, every where, is, that there should be the language of unqualified condemnation of such infractions of the laws. From the pulpit, the press, and from every place of influence, there must be heard but one voice. There must be no apology; no timeserving; no equivocal tone. All must be decided, consistent, firm-or our liberty is gone."
For the same reason, our author says, " There must be a magistracy that is unshrinking in the execution of the laws.”' Here he points out the evil of inactivity on the part of the law of following up the offenders, as well as the absolute necessity of a magistracy WHO WILL LAY DOWN THEIR LIVEs rather than see the property and rights of their fellow-citizens destroyed by a lawless mob.” If such protection be denied, where shall a citizen look for it or for redress when wronged? This naturally leads to the last position, “ The right of free discussion must be conceded." This, says Mr. Barnes, “is the right on which all our institutions depend," and we know not that we can do better than, in conclusion, to place his eloquent appeal, in part at least, upon our pages.
'It is the right on which all our iustitutions depend. The extraordinary doctrine which has been recently advanced, that there are some points which must never be subjected to free discussion; the little sensibility which has been felt in regard to the claim; and the measures which have been adopted to defend it, and the sympathy which those measures have met, has done more to alarm the true friends of liberty in this land than all that has ever happened from the efforts of foreigners, or all the dangers that have ever threatened us from abroad. We need not fear foreign armies. We have measured strength with them and our swords have met theirs in deadly strife ; and we have settled the point that our liberties are safe from any foreign invasion. We need not dread their fleets for we can build a navy like theirs, and can, if necessary, meet the mistress of the ocean on the mountain wave." But how shall we meet this subtle enemy? How if one half of the nation shall refuse to their brethren the right of the fullest inquiry into all that pertains to the national morals, liberty, character, welfare? The pulse of freedom beats languid when this right is denied; it sends vigorous tides of life and health only when it is conceded that every thing may be investigated freely. No matter to what subject the point relates. The moment the principle is conceded that there is one point that may not be examined, that moment our liberty ceases.
This right of free discussion is not to be denied. It is to be conceded that all things pertaining to the public welfare may be examined. There is to be no disturbance; no interruption; no intimidation ; there must be no stripes; no burning ; no murdering for the most free and full exercise of this right. Argument is to be met by argument and not by the fire-brand; principles are to be settled most freely by discussion, and not by a rifle or a dirk; thought is to be met with thought, and not by the cries of an infuriated and intoxicated multitude. What argument cannot put down must stand; and what can be met by no other weapons than the fire-brand or the rifle must endure as long as the everlasting hills.' pp. 127, 128.
Memoir of Mrs. Sarah Louisa Taylor, &c.
John S. Taylor.
The charm of this work is the spirit of humble, unaffected and fervent piety which it breathes. Mrs. Taylor was a woman of good sense, and led a life of devoted attachment to her Savior. In her early youth she was led to the choice of Him as her portion, and in all the duties she was called to discharge, she steadfastly remembered her trust in his promises. She was an object of the faithful assiduities of the late Harlan Page, and seems to have imbibed something of the same holy love for communion with God which ever actuated him. Her biographer has aimed at no embellishment, but in a simple, natural manner, has set forth the excellencies of her character, interspersed with extracts from her writings, and thus furnished a volume adapted to do good. Her life was short, but she lived to some purpose. As a daughter, sister, wife and mother, she appears to have felt the high claims of heaven, and her great aim was to meet the approbation of her heart-searching Judge. Her writings show, that she was accustomed to read and think for herself, and while they make no pretension to brilliancy of imagination, or splendor of diction, are characterized by an easy style and a graceful turn of thought, as well as a warm and affectionate heart. The volume is very handsomely printed, and embellished by a beautiful vignette title-page, besides a portrait
, and we learn has been very acceptable to the christian public. As such we commend it to our readers, and trust, that her example of piety and humility may find many imitators.
Hawaiian Spectator, Vol. I. No. I.
We have been much gratified in looking over this first number of a religious Quarterly, published in the Sandwich Islands. It is an interesting proof of the advancement of truth even in the remote parts of the earth. The articles are generally well prepared, and afford promise of yet better things. We are pleased also to observe, that for an outer dress its conductors have adopted our own, and we trust that they will find it an agreeable one. We shall have an eye to them now and then, so that they must scan their proofs carefully lest we catch them trip ping. As this work must mainly depend for its support on persons abroad, we hope that a christian public will not be slow in their patronage. We can assure our readers, that the perusal would afford them much interest, and those who can will do well to aid its circulation.
Letters of Isabella Graham. New York: John S. Taylor.
We recollect when the Memoirs of Mrs. Isabella Graham was one among the very few biographies of pious females which could be found on the shelves of the bookseller. With her name was associated the idea of a woman of no common excellence, whose works of charity were to be found in many a memorial of distress relieved and good imparted. The cause of the widow and orphan she espoused, and the children of sorrow ever had a claim on her heart. It was therefore with no ordinary interest we took up the present volume. It is a mirror in which is reflected the same image of high moral worth which was presented in her memoirs. Some of the events of her life were exceedingly touching, and the delineation of her feelings under her trials here given us, is a beautiful exemplification of a submissive yet anguished heart, beneath the strokes of a father's chastening rod. These letters, though evidently never intended for the public eye, let us into the secrets of her inmost soul, and no one can read them without the conviction, that they are the productions of a gifted woman; such is the tenderness and purity by which they are marked.
Maternal Love. By a Mother. New York. 1838.
The principle advocated in this little volume is, that children should in their earlier years be kept much at home, and during the first six or seven years at least, educated almost exclusively under the eye of the mother. Maternal love is the spring on which we are to rely for the proper performance of such duty. Infant schools, Sabbath schools and common schools, seem to find little favor in the estimation of the authoress. With regard to a class of persons, her arguments may have weight. But we are by no means convinced, that she has made out her case as to the majority of children. Infant schools, we suppose, are mainly designed for the children of those parents who cannot afford to be always at home. To such, to the poor, it must be a relief to supply, as far as may be, a home to their children during the hours of labor, where their little ones may be kept from harm and be taught good things. As to the effort to urge on the infant mind, whether at home or in the infant school, we consider it injurious both to the health and morals of the child. Sabbath schools have proved a great blessing. Many a child has been brought thus to the sanctuary, who but for them would have never known, that there was a Sabbath, the day of God.
The necessity of attendance by others, except the poor, does not so much arise from the inability to be instructed at home as for the sake of example and countenance to those who, in the pride of their hearts, might not be willing to appear there alone. Notwithstanding the evils
which may attend them, there is an advantage, too, in having children brought into contact with each other, and learning to sympathize with each others' wants. Were they destined to live secluded, it might be different, but they are to become members of society. The danger of indulgence and interruption while always at home is great, to say nothing of the increased expense and trouble. Though we cannot admit her theory, yet there are many valuable suggestions in this "mother's” volume. The writer, we understand, is a highly respected lady of this city. Her thoughts are expressed in a clear style, and evince a commendable desire to befriend parents and the guides of the infant mind and heart.
Treatise on French Poetry, Sc. By François TURNER. New
Haven: A. H. Maltby. 1838.
This work will prove a valuable auxiliary to those who wish to become acquainted with the nature and rules of French Poetry. Its author is a respected teacher of the French language in the University of Yale, and from his previous publications is known to considerable extent abroad. We must plead ignorance of French Poetry, as we never liked it well enough to devote to it much attention. Under such a guide, however, we do not despair of yet attaining the requisite taste and power to appreciate its best specimens; and we doubt not that the acquisition will reward the labor by ourselves or by others.
Professor Kingsley's Historical Discourse. New Haven:
B. & W. Noyes.
Since our last number, we have received a copy of Prof. Kingsley's Historical Discourse, commemorative of the settlement of New Kaven in 1638, and intended to have given a full notice of the same. This we must now reserve to the closing number of our present volume. It is enough to say at this time, that it is what it professes to be, a historical address—and is characterized by the author's usual accuracy, and his felicity of diction. In it will be found an ample refutation of the calumnies on New Haven and Connecticut colonies, which have been repeated from the notorious Samuel Peters, down to the present time as to the customs, blue laws and oppressive spirit of the forefathers of these colonies. Our author gives a fair estimate of the character of the first settlers, and shows, that it is was a desire of religious liberty, which led them to tempt the ocean, and plant themselves in the wilderness. The institutions which they reared, and the privileges they have handed down to their posterity, mark them out as no ordinary men.