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dation of Mexico, selected, not his native State of South Carolina, but Massachusetts, settled, as he tells us, “ by the poor pilgrims of Plymouth, who carried with them nothing but their own hardy virtues and indomitable energy.” “Massachusetts, with a sterile soil and ungenial climate, and no single article for exportation but ice and rock," and yet,“ in productive industry, wide-spread diffusion of knowledge, public institutions of every kind, general happiness, and continually increasing prosperity ; in letters, arts, morals, religion ; in everything which makes a people great, there is not in the world, and there never was in the world, such a commonwealth as Massachusetts. There she is! look at her !” It will surely be a theme worthy even of your exalted talents, to show why a southern statesman, to find everything that makes a people great,” to find a commonwealth which he is willing to place at the head of the civilized world, should go to slavery-hating New England, and not to the sunny South, not even to the shores of Virginia, the mother of slavery.
It is the tendency of all truth to elevate the soul, and to produce a noble fearlessness of an overwhelming majority of opponents. The Puritans stood fearless against a world in arms. If, then, your views are true, why not act as if they were true? I admit that the world is against you, and the whole South is not with you. But what of that? Should truth fear numbers?
You have done much for slavery. But you have not yet reached the highest point of consistency. Adopt my proposal, enter upon it with zeal, and thoroughly carry it out, and then you will be fully consistent. For, if slavery is what you maintain, then the anniversary of its introduction ought thus to be commemorated. If New England has her Forefathers' Day, and is willing to glory in it before the world, then, if you and those who think with you, are not ashamed of your peculiar institutions, but glory in them, why not shew it forth, and assign your reasons before the world, on the banks of the river James, by orations, and prayers, and thanksgivings, and odes, and all the other arrangements of a solemn yearly festival ?
Consider, too, what an addition would thus be made to the literature of the world. Odes in praise of slavery, are as yet a thing unknown. Perhaps, by such an anniversary, some southern Pindar will be aroused to fill so vast a void, and a literature of slavery be produced, worthy of the great event commemorated.
You have clearly indicated your conviction, that the existing literature of the world is against your beloved system. But should such a man as you, flee? Do not the exigencies of the day call for a mighty struggle? Is it not time to summon eloquence, poetry, music, and all the kindred fine arts, to labor in a field hitherto so entirely neglected ?
It may be, after all that I have said, that you will consider such an anniversary as not appropriate, and see fit not to accept my proposal. If this should be the case, I have only one request to make, and that is, that you will state your reasons, and shew why it is appropriate to commemorate the landing of the Pilgrims on the rock of Plymouth, and not appropriate to commemorate, in a similar way, the landing on the shores of the James river, of the illustrious founders of those peculiar institutions of the South, to the defence of which your highest energies are devoted.
I am yours, respectfully,
A MASSACHUSETTS Man.
OBSERVATIONS ON MEN, BOOKS, AND THINGS.
The Birth or UNITARIANISM. — We have largely proved, in the former volumes of this work, that Unitarianism, in this country, had its origin in concealment. For proving this fact, by evidence derived from the Unitarians themselves, we have been soundly berated, though the charge cannot be confuted. But they are still presenting, of their own arcord, new proofs of our allegation. A recent writer in the Christian Register, whose signature, F. P., seems to point him out as same who wrote the famous letter to Rev. John Grundy, in 1812, has been giving some account of the dismission of Rev. John Rogers from the pastoral care of the church in Leominster. This event took place in 1757. Mr. Rogers was condemned on account of heresy. We are told by F. P. that several members of the dismissing council, who were just such heretics as Mr. Rogers, voted throughout, for his censure and expulsion. One of these was Rev. Mr. Mellen, of Sterling, of whom F. P. relates the following incident, on the authority of the late Rev. Dr. Bancroft, a Unitarian minister of Worcester: “ An intelligent and pious matron, a member of his church, thus addressed him :-—• Mr. Mellen, your religious opinions do not differ from those of Mr. Rogers. How, then, could you in conscience denounce him as an heretic, exhort him to retract his doctrines, and, in case of refusal, to advise the people of his charge to expel him from the Pastoral Office ?' “Why, dear madam,' answered he, · Mr. Rogers is a very
indiscreet man, and is at least fifty years too early in preaching such doctrines from the pulpit.'” Yes, it took just about half a century of just such “discretion ” to ripen the public mind for that open development of Unitarianism, which at last took place in due time, according to Mr. Mellen's reckoning. We venture to make this rich quotation from the Register, at the risk of being reviled as uncharitable and malignant, by those who have no other way to meet an unpleasant fact or an unwelcome truth.
Tue PEARL OF Days. — This is a right noticeable book, written by a laborer's daughter, on “ The advantages of the Sabbath to the working classes." The somewhat fanciful title reminds us of a passage in Philip IIenry, who calls the sacred feast-day of the resurrection of our Lord, “ The Queen of days, the Pearl of the Week,the institution, a sign of God's love to us; the sanctification, a sign of our love to him.” A friend of the Sabbath, in Great Britain, had proposed three premiums for the best treatises on this subject, which must be written by laboring men. The competitors reached the astonishing number of nine hundred and fifty; thus proving that there is “ mind among the spindles," and other implements of industry, in the Old England, as well as in the New. And what is better, it proves in what estimation the corporeal, intellectual, and spiritual benefits of the Sabbath are held by the operatives of a country, where “the religion of the Sabbath” is better understood and practised than in
any other country of Europe. The charming little book before us, was excluded from the competition by a strict construction, which held that a laborer's daughter, herself a hard-working woman, could not enter the lists which had been opened for “ laboring men.” Still it is published, with a dedication to the Queen of England, and with a sketch of the author's life, from her own pen. There could not be a happier argument for the influence of the Sabbath on the households of God's poor, and on the training of their children, than this little volume affords. We commend it for distribution in the next AntiSabbath Convention, if the next shall ever be called !
PROVERBS FOR THE PEOPLE. - This book was written to afford illustrations of Christian morals founded on the proverbs of Solomon. The author is Rev. E. L. Magoon, already known to the literary public. We can commend it “with a will,” having read it nearly through at a sitting. It is instinct with life. “ The spirit of the living creature is in the wheels.” The book is not one of those tamely correct things, which neither commit a fault nor mend one, which have neither faults nor anything else. It abounds in those lesser blemishes which would keep a minor critic busy for a month. Its style, though rather ambitious, is careless and free, like the high-spirited and dashing hunter of the West. And as deadly is its aim, when levelled at the gay plumes of folly, the serpent-coils of sin, and the shaggy mane of vice. The author's reading and memory are immense.
It is long since we have fallen in with such a “quotationipotent” book. It is a sort of cyclopedia of citations, from all authors, in prose and verse, relating to the subjects treated. Indeed, it herein runs to some excess; and the reader will often feel, that some of the passages taken from older writers, are only cheating him out of something better of the author's own. But he is not wanting here. He has given much of his own inditing, which will hereafter be quoted in its turn by others. We admire this book ; and yet we retain a long-cherished opinion, that the proper book on Christian morals is not yet written. The grand desideratum is a lively and pungent work on points of morality, composed in the highest fervors of evangelic feeling; and giving the same prominence to the work of Christ, and the work of the Spirit, in the discussion of moral duties, as in explaining experimental piety. What is wanted, is a detailed exhibition of Christian morality, penned in the likeness of those sketches which abound in the letters of the great apostle to the Gentiles.
DR. WAYLAND'S UNIVERSITY SERMONS. — This volume, like the preceding, is issued by the well-known enterprise of Gould, Kendall and Lincoln, of this city. It contains a selection from the sermons preached within four years, to the officers and students of Brown University; and it is interesting as a sample of the religious instruction imparted in the chapel of that celebrated seminary. It is pretty safe to commend Dr. Wayland without reading him; but this we are unwilling to do for our own sakes. We find his University Sermons to be soundly orthodox, according to the ideas of Thomas Hollis; and devoutly pious, according to the sentiments of all good men. His views of the positive institutions of the gospel are somewhat too “low church” for us, who, like our Puritan fathers, believe that Christ has not left his own redeemed kingdom without a divine constitution and laws. But we can easily forgive this fault, which is excessively rare among our excellent Baptist brethren. Dr. Wayland joins a generous zeal for the truth, with a noble catholicity of soul toward the brethren who do not “ toe the tracks” exactly like himself. Were his largeness and warmth of heart to become general among those of his own exclusive communion, it would prove to be the life of their sect, and the death of their sectarianism. Would that such a temper might more fully pervade our own denomination, and every other! - We cannot close this notice, however, without a regret, that the magnanimity of Dr. Wayland has not raised him above the repetition of the old sing-song about Roger Williams and the Puritans. Mr. Williams undoubtedly had his merits, and, as some think, his deserts ; but, as respects the comparison between him and the Puritans, we have proved to a demonstration, in the first volume of this work, that he had no real advantage over them. The descant which is so loudly rung to his superior praise, we have shewed to have more sound than sense, and to partake more of poetic license than of historic truth.
SCENES IN LUTHER's Life. - Wonderful Luther! His life is a precious metal, in which the ablest workmen bave delighted to shew their skill. This book is from the pastor of the Baptist Church in Malden, and evinces a Lutheran soul in its author, who is able to commune with the seraphic burnings of the fiery reformer. It is disfigured by too many defects, proving that its scenes, as the
author frankly confesses, " are not what they might have been, had a little more time been devoted to their preparation.” This is but a poor excuse for hasty publication, as there is no reason for thinking that the “republic of letters ” would not have patiently awaited his convenience. Still the book is full of spirit and glowing fervor, presenting, not a continuous biographical panorama, but a series of scenes like the views of the magic-lantern, where the outlines are dim and shadowy, and only the filling up is gorgeous and bright. Luther's mind was like a ponderous trip-hammer, working night and day, and forging a bolt at every blow. He once said familiarly among his friends at table : “ Had I not bitten him to the bone, the pope would have swallowed us whole. I am the pope's perch, that hath sharppointed fins, which he is not able to devour. The pope in me hath found a hedge-hog to chew on!” Three hours before his death, Luther called for pen and paper, and wrote the following Latin verse :
“Pestis eram vivens, moriens ero mors tua, Papa !” The hexameter may be “done into English ” in this fashion:
O Pope, I was thy pest to my last breath ;
in dying, I shall be thy death.
THE Boston ALMANAC FOR 1849.— This most useful of all books with unpretending titles, was placed in our hands on the day of its author's burial. This little annual, as full of condensed information as if it had been forced in by one of his own tremendous hydraulic presses, may serve at once as his monument, and as an image of his full mind. Mr. Dickinson, as appears by his “ last dying speech and confession,” here given, expired as a martyr to the passion for doing business. Few men have done so much, or so well. He seemed to feel, as Lord Bacon did, “ that every man is a debtor to his profession ;” and made unwearied exertion to improve the noble art of Printing. His efforts were highly successful, and will not die with him. His empire is divided into two great kingdoms. The “ Dickinson Printing House ” is gone into the hands of Damrell and Moore ; and the “ Dickinson Type Foundry” is removed to Andover by W. H. Wardwell. These establishments will lose none of their high reputation, under their present management, and will long perpetuate the memory of him who spent his life in bringing them to their present perfection.
The Independent. — This new Congregational paper has appeared at New York; and, like the Irish rebellion in the time of Charles I., “ it breaks out forty thousand strong." The only disadvantage under which it labors, is the highly raised expectation of the public, which will not be easily satisfied. And the editors do not wish to afford easy satisfaction. They are men, as the Rev. Sydney Smith used to say, "of forty-parson power!”.