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To clear up difficulties; not to make them. He has no right to make arbitrary rules and forms of practice, and then to use those rules and forms to defeat the object for which he was nominated. We do not want a judge who, like an Indian medicine-man, thinks his manipulations and incantations necessary to the success of his simples. An unjust or foolish statute is a disease he cannot cure; but the milder attacks of common law or common practice absurdity, admit of remedies which a judicious magistrate could easily administer, had he the suitable skill and freedom from preju
dice. Such men are wanted, and such men the people will be sure to elect.
The present state of things cannot last forever. There is a convention, and the talk is of reform. We may hope, if not for a code, at least for a thorough sifting and weeding out of common-law follies; and may Special Term distinctions perish with the rest. And when the Law and not the Letter prevails, there may come a day when the officers and ministers of justice shall stand forth as respectable members of a noble and practical profession, and be no longer the despised of Cicero and of Bolingbroke - Leguleius quidam cautus et acutus præco actionum, cautor formularum, auceps syllabarum.
IN the opinion of those who have made the most industrious researches into the traditions and records of antiquity, the mythology of the Pagans ascended no higher than the deluge. The Hindoos had an indistinct notion of of a remote and golden age, when man had no cause to labor-when the earth yielded its fruits spontaneously-the air was filled with the fragrance of flowers-the sight was refreshed with the brightest and softest hues-the warbling of birds, and the music of the spheres charmed his hearing-ease and contentment, health, happiness, and long life were his portion in one perennial spring. This delightful romance originated, without doubt, in some of the lingering recollections of Noah, or his sons, transmitted to their descendants before the confession of tongues, which dispersed them from the plains
ORIGIN OF IDOLATROUS WORSHIP.*
Swarm populous, unnumber'd as the sands
names of old renown, Osiris, Isis, Orus, and their train."
*This account of the origin of idolatrous worship was drawn up with no design of publication. It was derived from data reaching to the remotest periods, and none of its statements are made lightly, or on dubious evidence. The writer regrets that the authenticity of the article, (which was written some time since,) cannot be verified by citing the authorities, but they were not preserved at the time, and are not now conveniently accessible.
scure his mortal lineaments, they ascribed to him the power and attributes of a God. If he ever gave them any instruction regarding the pure worship of the Creator, they lost sight of it when he was no longer present, and transferred their gratitude and reverence to sensible images representing him as rising from the sea, possessed of univers sal dominion, producing and controlling all things by his power. They viewed the Ark as a goddess, the common mother of all things, the companion of Noah, and both-the common parents of gods and men.
Immediately after the separation at Babel, one branch of the descendants of Ham migrated to Egypt, and worshipped him as Osiris, and the Ark as Isis. Enshrining Osiris became ceremony of great pomp and splendor. Twice a year, a personification of Noah or Ham-or Oannes or Thoth - for he had many appellations, was placed in a magnificent ark, and conveyed through the streets, "amidst the shouts of adoring multitudes." The Egyptians also instituted religious rites in commemoration of his rescue from the flood. They carried an ark in triumphal procession, in token of "the debarkation of the patriarch," after which they descended into the sea, and the keepers of the robes, aided by the priests, took from a consecrated chest a little ark of gold, into which they poured clean water, and proclaimed, with loud acclamations, that "Osiris was safe."
The form of the ark was also a fruitful source of objects for idolatrous worship. A circular crescent-shape invested objects with a peculiar sanctity; hence the worship of the moon, and of the serpent, for his circular writhings. The curved horns of the cow and bull, rendered those animals sacred to Isis, and objects of universal homage. In the progress of time, accidents operating upon the imaginations of men, enlarged their catalogue of deities; and from deeming a curve or an image a symbol of their primary objects, they considered them distinct divinities, and established for their service appropriate rites. They denominated the serpent, Oub; and after his deification, Ob-El-the Serpent God. The temples erected to his worship were cylindrical, and were called Ob-El-Es-Ca, or Obelisk-"A
temple for the radiant serpent God." The serpent was admired for his keen eye and curious colors; and was also reverenced as a symbol of defence, because anything encircled by his terrible folds was secure from external assault.
Another branch of the idolatrous family of Ham may be traced in India, where his descendants deified him in common with their progenitor, Noah. They saw no sensible object his equal in glory; but the sun approaching nearest to his grandeur, they called that luminary "Ham, or the Sun," in honor of their father, and soon transferred their adorations to him, as the source of all honor and happiness. Jupiter Ammon, the word Jupiter being an addition to "Ham-On," or "Ham the Sun," was the most renowned deity of antiquity.
From this followed the worship of fire, as an emanation from the sun, and the temples dedicated to the sun or fire, were denominated Pi-Ur-Am-Ait-literally, Pyramid; the form of which is deduced from the figure of an ascending flame.
The element which sustained the ark was another object of adoration; and the wanderers from Shinar carried the worship of water to Egypt and India, and celebrated divine rites to the Nile and the Ganges.-The Hindoos worsipped, also, many objects as types of the ark; such, for example, as the Ibis, an aquatic bird, because it sat like a boat upon the water. In tracing the analogy of languages, it appears undoubted that Boodha, the great God of the Hindoos, is derived from Boodh, a boat, the ark itself: and that the Woden of the Goths, the Maheena of the friendly Islands in the Pacific Ocean-the Siamese Gautma, and the Chinese Foe, all came from the same Chaldaic original.
The Arkite idolatry, including Osiris, Isis, Apis, Ibis, and everything appertaining to the deluge-the Oophite, or Serpent-worship, and the Solar, or Fireworship, are believed to be the three radical fountains from whence all systems of mythology had their origin.
As the human race spread gradually over the coasts of Asia Minor and the north and west of Europe, divine rites were celebrated for the patriarch, under the appellations of Xuth, Thor, Mercurius, and Thuisco. In succeeding
ages different nations enlarged or modified the theories which had been handed down, adapting them to their own superstitions, or the peculiar temperament of individuals. The ferocious and austere, the depraved and abandoned of every country, suited their gods to their perverse, or their polluted imaginations. The latter practised scandalous and revolting rites, while the former wrought up their horrid mysteries with cruel ingenuity, immolating human victims upon their altars.
The mythology of the Greeks partook of their genius and politeness. In place of the dark and gloomy mysteries of the Druids, or the bloody and frightful rites of the Asiatics, or the brutalizing ceremonies of Egypt and Ethiopia, they poured out libations to the gods-invoked their clemency and protection with music, poetry, and eloquence, consecrating the choicest gifts, and the most costly productions of the arts to Apollo, at Delphi, and Jupiter Olympias, at Elis.
But in the idol-worship of every age and country, while some touches of gratitude are apparent towards that supernatural power which the worshippers contemplate; whether under the Arkite stupidity of Boodha; the hideous Oophite, Ob-El-Ha; the more elevated form of Osiris; the elegant and sublime images of Jupiter and Apollo, or the beautiful representations of Venus and Ceres, all felt a dread and terror of the unknown deity which they ignorantly worshipped, and varied their rites according to their impulses of hope or fear.
Through all tradition and history, families and countries retain traces to the latest posterity, of the tempers, habits, and language of their founders; hence the polished, poetical, and philosophical race of Hellenes, among the Greeks, while the contemporary Pelasgii, another tribe of those people, inherit the gloomy, ferocious, and brutal traits of their father, Pelasgus.
The history of Rome testifies, through all its changes, (until the subversion of the empire) to the haughty and warlike character of Romulus, and the arbitrary selfishness, and disregard of justice, which marked his robber followers. Scarcely a country of antiquity, or of modern times, can be named, but some of the peculiarities of its earliest progenitors may be perceived in its character, to ts latest period. So, in paying divine honors, the sanctions of tradition preserved the outlines of the original deity; yet religious rites became cruel and sanguinary, where the votaries deprecated the judgments of gods, whom they deemed barbarous, like themselves: while with more amiable and polished people, a naiad in every rill was an object of adoration-the trees concealed dryads and wood-nymphs, emanations from the deity-the stars, and the hosts of heaven were invoked to overrule the condition of men and prosper their concerns.
The endless catalogue of idols, and the confused and mingled rites discovered in distant countries, and in successive ages, partake, in different degrees, of all the original objects and modes of Pagan worship. The ceremonies which primarily appertained to distinct deities, are blended in the wildest disorder; and to them are superadded unnatural and shocking observances, the offspring of the most perverse and horrible imaginations. These prove the worthlessness of heathen worship, and attest the verity of that revelation, which declares the being of one, holy, omniscient God, whose immutable character and attributes are power, wisdom, justice, truth, benevolence, and mercy, which having brought "life and immortality to light," dispels the darkness which shrouded the heathen, and points to the glorious and joyful elevation of immortalityEternity and Heaven.
REASONS WHY THE ASPECT OF SOCIETY IN ENGLAND AND THE UNITED STATES MUST BE RADICALLY AND PERMANENTLY DIFFERENT.
We must unavoidably form an incorrect judgment upon the general aspect of English and American society, unless we know the reasons which cause a difference in their respective customs, habits, and manners. A transient observer, no matter how great his genius, how classic his pen, how brilliant his imagination, hastening through a foreign country, with no standard on his mind but that of his own nation, lays hold of things at random, as they are presented to his view, and without any clear conception of their fitness, and without tracing the effect to the cause, is apt to condemn and ridicule what he does not comprehend. I shall endeavor to place the subject in such a clear point of view, that every Englishman may feel that he is right in believing, that there is no government in the world so wisely adapted to promote his interests and secure his happiness as his own; and every American that there is no government so well calculated to guard his liberty, secure his rights, and consolidate his happiness as the one of his choice; and that consequently the manners, habits, and customs of each are just such as naturally flow from the respective systems of government, and although diverging in contrary directions from a common centre, show, nevertheless, an equal justness and fitness. There is no solid ground for condemnation, still less for ridicule; and, therefore, he who sets himself up as judge and arbiter, and shapes his decrees by the exclusive standard of his own country, places himself in a false position, and deserves the humiliation of seeing his judgment overruled. These two fundamental principles being settled, all the differences of national character will be recognized as exactly appropriate to the system to which they belong, and cannot be removed or taken down without destroying the frame-work of society and dissolving its elementary principles. If we consider, in the first place, the
general state of society in England, and then advert to that of our own country, perhaps we shall best compass the end at which we aim, illustrate our views by facts and the light of contrast, and bring out the characteristic features of both.
In England the feudal system, that tremendous military power, which, with a rod of iron, reduced the British nation to a vast army, and held the population in the most inexorable bondage, is abolished. But the spirit of that system in all its most essential proportions as they bear upon modern society, still remains in full vigor. Indeed, the various classes of the community are more distinctly marked off, and each assigned to its specific rank, now, than they were under the feudal system itself.
In those remote ages the mass of the people of England were absolute slaves captured in war, sold as bondsmen, incapable of holding any property, subject to the entire control of the barons in peace or war, and transferable with the soil, precisely in the same manner that Africans, or any other slaves, are at the present day. But interesting as this subject is, and bearing directly upon the point in hand, it is not my intention to trace it through its successive meliorations, from its introduction into England by William the Conqueror to its final abrogation at Runnymede. A reference to it only, as constituting the basis on which the whole structure of English society rests, and as affording a clue for the development of many traits of character and habits of life which would otherwise appear to an American singularly absurd and incongruous, will be sufficient. But our attention may well be directed to the consideration of the spirit of the feudal system, entwining itself around every branch of society, and holding in one compact body the component parts of a mighty nation.
The hereditary claims of birth, the
deference paid by every subject to his superior in rank, and the promptitude with which he takes and occupies his appropriate station in the general system, all flow from the spirit of feudalism, and are perfectly agreeable to the mind, and congenial with the feelings of an Englishman. It will be perceived that rank is not confined to the nobility. Every individual in the empire holds rank-is a peer in his own circle-and just as tenacious to maintain it as if he sat upon the throne.
The crown, as head of the monarchy, and conservator of the Church, the centre of power, the source of emolument, and the arbiter of honorable distinction, necessarily claims the first and only rank without a peer.To be alienated from the crown is to be an outlaw. In the eyes of an Englishman, everything that is great and glorious, and venerable, clusters around the name of majesty.
The hereditary nobility of the country, the great landed proprietors of the kingdom, sharing in the administration of government, and consequently the most prominent defenders of the throne, stand next in rank.
daily intercourse, and are more fully and more mechanically organized than they were when the feudal system bore its intolerably oppressive hand upon the population of the country. Those accustomed to this aristocratical state of society feel it neither grievous nor degrading to yield submission to those above, seeing they receive the same homage from all below them.
Having pointed out this general classification as nearly as practicable without pretending to perfect accuracy, but sufficiently near for our purpose, we may direct our attention to its consequences.
It is true, no class is confined to its appropriate orbit by any physical force, but there is a moral influence, ten thousand times stronger, that never ceases to act, which binds the system in one compact indissoluble union.
Born, educated, and marshalled under such an influence, Americans cannot be surprised that Britons regard king, lords, and commons as the perfection of government, and that they proudly sustain it, individually and collectively, as the only form worthy of their support. Of course they must look upon every other form as weak and defective, incapable of upholding and defending the rights and privileges of the subject, and the legitimate object of their ridicule and contempt.
These are the general divisions of English society, with shades of difference and occasional intermingling of contiguous classes, as they exist at the present time in Great Britain, and, with some local distinctions, over the face of Europe.
All these distinctive grades of society, walled off, the one from the other, by common consent, are recognized in
Under the active influence of such a system, without the practical means of judging of the effects of the supreme power of the state lodged in the hands of the people, and incapable of appreciating the advantages of a delegated authority, is it not just and reasonable to conclude that the government of England is better adapted to the taste, humor, and affections of Englishmen than any other? A free representative government, like our own, cannot exist in England, and never did exist, nor in any part of Europe to any considerable extent. The middle and subordinate classes of society have precisely the same feelings of attachment to their government and to the respective ranks in which they move, as their superiors. The face of society, under the rule of such a system, must, in the nature of things, take its general features from the higher ranks of the community, and not at all from the humbler walks of life. The compari