« ZurückWeiter »
among these young groves, that are inundated to half their height. Nature is carrying on her most vigorous efforts of vegetation below. If there be wind or storm, the descending flat and keel boats immediately make for these groves, and plunge fearlessly, with all the headway they can command, among the trees. Should they be of half the size of the human body, struck fifteen feet from the ground, they readily bend before even a frail boat. You descend the whole distaneeof a thousand miles to New-Orleans, landing at night in fifteen feet water among the trees; but, probably, in no instance, within twenty miles of the real shore, which is a bluff. The whole spectacle is that of a vast and magnificent forest, emerging from a lake, with its waters, indeed, in a thousand places, in descending motion. The experienced savage, or solitary voyager, paddles his canoe through the deep forests, from one bluff to the other. He finds bayous, by which one river communicates with the other. He moves, perhaps, along the Mississippi forest into the mouth of White river. He ascends that river a few miles, and by the Grand Cut-off moves down the forest into the Arkansas. From that river he finds many bayous, which communicate readily with Washita and Red river; and from that river, by some one of its hundred bayous, he finds his way into the Atchafalaya and the Teche; and by that stream to the Gulf of Mexico, reaching it more than twenty leagues west of the Mississippi. At that time, this is a river from thirty to an hundred yards wide, all overshadowed with forests, except an interior strip of little more than a mile in width, where the eye reposes on the open expanse of waters, visible between the trees.
None, but one who has seen, can imagine the interest, excited in a district of country, perhaps, fifty miles in extent, by the awaited approach of the time for a camp meeting; and none, but one who has seen, can imagine how profoundly the preachers have understood what produces effect, and how well they have practised upon it. Suppose the scene to be where the most extensive excitements and the most frequent camp meetings have been, during the two past years, in one of the beautiful and fertile valleys among the mountains of Tennessee. The notice has been circulated two or three months. On the appointed day, coaches, chaises, wagons, carts, people on horseback, and multitudes traveling from a distance on foot, wagons with provisions, mattresses, tents, and arrangements for the stay of a week, are seen hurrying from every point towards the central spot. It is in the midst of a grove of those beautiful and lofty trees, natural to the valleys of Tennessee, in its deepest verdure, and beside a spring branch, for the requisite supply of water.
The ambitious and wealthy are there, because in this region opinion is all-powerful; and they are there, either to extend their influence, or, that their absence may not be noted, to diminish it. Aspirants for office are there, to electioneer, and gain popularity. Vast numbers are there from simple curiosity, and merely to enjoy a spectacle. The young and the beautiful are there, with mixed motives, which it were best not severely to scrutinize. Children are there, their young eyes glistening with the intense interest of eager curiosity. The middleaged fathers and mothers of families are there, with the sober views of people, whose plans in life are fixed, and waiting calmly to hear. Men and women of hoary hairs are there, with such thoughts, it may be hoped, as their years invite. Such is the congregation, consisting of thousands.
A host of preachers of different denominations are there, some in the earnest vigor and aspiring
desires of youth, waiting an opportunity for display; others, who have proclaimed the gospel, as pilgrims of the cross, from the remotest north of our vast country to the shores of the Mexican gulf, and ready to utter the words, the feelings and the experience, which they have treasured up in a travelling ministry of fifty years, and whose accents, trembling with age, still more impressively than their words, announce, that they will soon travel, and preach no more on the earth, are there. Such are the preachers.
The line of tents is pitched; and the religious city grows up in a few hours under the trees beside the stream. Lamps are hung in lines among the branches; and the effect of their glare upon the surrounding forest is as of magic. The scenery of the most brilliant theatre in the world is a painting only for children, compared with it. Meantime the multitudes, with the highest excitement of social feeling added to the general enthusiasm of expectation, pass from tent to tent, and interchange apostolic greetings and embraces, and talk of the coming solemnities. Their coffee and tea are prepared, and their supper is finished. By this time the moon, (for they take thought, to appoint the meeting at the proper time of the the moon,) begins to show its disk above the dark summits of the mountains; and a few stars are seen glimmering through the intervals of the branches. The whole constitutes a temple worthy of the grandeur of a God. An old man, in a dress of the quaintest simplicity, ascends a platform, wipes the dust from his spectacles, and in a voice of suppressed emotion, gives out a hymn, of which the whole assembled multitude can recite the words, and an air, in which every voice can join. We should deem poorly of the heart, that would not thrill as the song is heard, like the sound of many waters, echoing among the hills and mountains. Such are the scenes, the associations, and such the influence of external things upon a nature so 'fearfully and wonderfully' constituted as ours, that little effort is necessary on such a theme as religion, urged at such a place, under such circumstances, to fill the heart and the eyes. hoary orator talks of God, of eternity, a judgement to come, and all that is impressive beyond. He speaks of his 'experience,' his toils and his travels, his persecutions and welcomes, and how many he has seen in hope, in peace and triumph, gathered to their fathers; and when he speaks of the short space that remains to him, his only regret is, that he can no more proclaim, in the silence of death, the mercies of his crucified Redeemer.
There is no need of the studied trick of oratory, to produce in such a place the deepest movements of the heart. No wonder, as the speaker pauses to dash the gathering moisture from his own eye, that his audience are dissolved in tears, or uttering the exclamations of penitence. Nor is it cause for admiration, that many, who poised themselves on an estimation of higher intellect, and a nobler insensibility, than the crowd, catch the infectious feeling, and become women and children in their turn; and though they came to mock, remain to pray.'
The Soul of Man. A Sermon, preached at the Tabernacle Church, Salem, Mass. April 22, 1832 By Leonard Withington, Pastor of the First Church in Newbury.
This discourse was delivered a few months since, at the Salem Tabernacle Church, and has been published at their request. The text is from Genesis ii. 7." And man became a living soul." The reverend author has approached his sub
ject with a manifestly deep sense both of its intricacy and its importance; but he has not, for that reason, any the less deliberately or laboriously entered into the examination. He thinks it not only a legitimate subject of philosophical as well as religious inquiry, but not altogether an unpromising, and far less a forbidden one. 'The soul,' he says, 'is commonly regarded as something very hard to be understood. What is the soul? was a question once put to Marivaux. "I know nothing of it," he answered, "but it is spiritual and immortal." "Well," said his friend, "let us ask Fontenelle, and he will tell us what it is." 66 No," cried Marivaux, “ask any body but Fontenelle, for he has 400 much good sense to know any more about it than we do."' Still, mysterious beings as we are, he supposes this subject to be just as much an object of successful investigation, as any thing else. We observe its operations, and we observe its effects, and the more attention a man chooses to give to any of these things, the farther and better he may comprehend them all. This is especially true of mental philosophy—or, indeed, spiritual philosophy, as Mr. Withington would, perhaps, say; inasmuch as it is one of the advantages to a knowledge of our souls, that we always have them in possession; they are always, if I may so speak, near us. Every man has one soul, which he may make the subject of self-examination. The traveler is obliged to cross seas and explore deserts before he can measure the pyramids or see the waters of the Nile. The astronomer must prepare his glasses, and lift his telescope to the stars, before he can catch the objects of his science. Even the most familiar operations of the material world are objects external to us. We must look abroad to see them; and there are mysteries in the most common process which no man can explain. But the mind is within us-it is ourselves; and we are conscious of all its efforts and movements; and we have only to register in a faithful recollection what we have thought and felt, and our knowledge is complete, as far as human science can go.'
He then goes on to describe what the soul is not, and what it is. The following passage, in this connection, may be taken as a specimen of the writer's style both of argument and composition.
Matter must be moved as matter, and the soul must be moved as a soul. If you wish to elevate a rock you apply a lever, but if you wish to move a soul, you apply a motive. If you wish to have a ship removed from the stocks, you knock away the blocks; and if you
wish to have a mind move to any object, you take away prejudices and objections. It is true, the mind is sometimes destroyed, as to its mental operations, by physical causes, as in cases of sickness, insanity, drunkenness, or a blow. But this is destroying action, rather than moving the mind. The mind itself yields, in its healthful operations, to no powers but such as originate in mind. Even in cases of melancholy and insanity, it is curious to see how the impulse originating in the nerves or the brain, must assume a moral aspect before it can act on the mind. The causes in such case are physical, but they are always transformed into intellectual images by the mind, and in this way they obtain their tyrannic power. Insanity is transformed sensation; sensation transformed into delusory motives. Thus, a painful pressure on the brain, leads a madman to think that pain to be caused by a dungeon; by a chain; by a treason, and by an approaching trial. Now if you could strip the pang of all its moral appendages, i. e. take away all the moral, and leave the physical alone, he would not suffer half so much. There is a double process here; the pain first causes the mental amplification of intellectual images, and these reflects back and increase the pain. So a melancholy mind always finds a whole host of sufficient causes. It is a kingdom admitting no laws but its own. It deals with error and with truth; with guilt and obedience; with happiness and misery; with conscience and with
We can promise those who like the blending of metaphysics with morals a very rational treat in the perusal of this valuable discourse. The metaphysics are close enough for a doctor of the 'middle ages, but as clear as a clear head could make it, while the moral follows after like a shadow. A curious fact is furnished in one of the notes.
Several old people have told me of a man (in the county of Essex,) very intemperate, who, about thirty years of age, made a resolution that he would not drink a drop of spirit for forty years; he kept it, and the very hour the forty years were out, he returned to his cups, and died a drunkard. I have no doubt of the fact. But what an instance, to show that the will is mistress of her own election, &c.
The Alhambra. By the Author
of the Sketch Book.
Two volumes of the Chronicles of Grenada, including sketches of "Moor and Spaniard," might be supposed to have exhausted the author's materials, or observation. In some degree it has; and there are parts of the present work below the standard of Irving; though there are many excellent works that may well rank beneath that high grade. The Alhambra, then, has not the freshness and polish of the Sketch Book, nor the humor of "the Dutch Herodotus." We are aware, that this has been called, in the London Literary Gazette, the best of Irving's works; but we have several to forget, before we can so believe.
One of the longest and best of the
tales is that of "Prince Ahmed al Kamel, or the Pilgrim of Love," which affords the author an opportunity of displaying his best power-that is, a quiet, collateral satire and humor, that is not necessarily a part of the tale, but for which the tale seems, in part, to be a vehicle; so that it is hard to say which one was made for the other. Prince Ahmed, it was predicted by the astrologers, who spoke upon safe grounds, without asking the stars, was threatened with much danger from love, and his father shut him up in a tower, with the sage Bonabbon, from whom he could learn as little as from Cato the Censor. The sage,to render the imprisonment less tedious to the Prince, instructed him in the language of birds, but found, too late, that the birds conversed upon little but the fatal and interdicted subjects. Every thing, in fact, conspired to remind the Prince of it, and to urge him to increase his knowledge of the mystery. Every thing to the captive breathed of love.
"Methought the billows spoke and told me of it; The winds did sing it to me, and the thunder, That deep and dreadful organ-pipe, pronounced The name."
The nightingale and the dove were, however, the chief instructers of the Prince; and the dove brought him a letter from a Princess, similarly imprisoned, for her tendency to similar abstruse studies. He escaped from his prison, and under the guidance of an owl, began his travels to discover the Princess. A parrot became the emissary to the lady; and by the advice of his companions with a little aid from magic, Prince Ahmed accomplished the liberation of the Princess, and passed, according to the established form, a happy life. Some of the colloquies with the owl are very comic. This wise bird became prime minister, and the parrot, master of ceremonies. "It is needless to say," writes the author, "that never was a realm more sagely administered, or a court conducted with more exact punctilios."
The Faith of the Pilgrims; a Ser
mon, delivered at Plymouth, on the TwentySecond of December, 1831. By John Codman, D. D.
After a brief sketch of the circumstances under which the Forefathers of New-England commenced their pilgrimage which has resulted in the erection of a new empire in the world, Dr. Codman institutes a comparison between those pilgrim fathers and the ancestors of the Jewish nation, and traces out
affecting and wonderful resemblances. We were somewhat surprised, that a man of his religious opinions, should have given utterance to sentiments like the following. The frankness and candor of the writer is certainly to be commended; and we apprehend that few sectarian preachers of the present day, would be independent enough to tell so much truth, unasked for. The contrast presented in the extract is striking.
In these days of refinement,-when there is more luxury and extravagance on that very soil, which was at the time of the landing of our fathers a dreary wilderness, and the abode of savage man, than existed in the long settled country of their nativity at the time of their embarkation, it is difficult to conceive of the sacrifices, which they must have made, and the hardships, which they must have endured, in leaving their homes and firesides, and in effecting a settlement in a savage wilderness. We are accustomed, in these times, to speak of the sacrifices, made by the missionaries of the cross, and of the trials to which they are exposed, in leaving their native country to preach the gospel in foreign lands. But what are they, when compared with the sacrifices and hardships endured by our pilgrim fathers! The servant of the cross, bound to distant India, is as intimately acquainted with Calcutta, Bombay, and Ceylon, as if he had himself been a resident in those pagan cities,and the little missionary band, who have recently left our shores for the islands of the Pacific, are already familiar with the natural history of the places of their intended residence,the former and the present improved character of the inhabitants,-the present state and prospects of the mission, and even with the names, if not with the persons of the individuals, who are expecting to greet their arrival on those distant shores. Not so, with our pilgrim fathers; they knew little or nothing of the place where they intended to settle. They had no knowledge of the manners, customs, and language of the savage tribes, that inhabited the country where they expected to reside. All that they knew, and all that they cared to know, was, that it was far away from ecclesiastical domination, that there was no hierarchy, to control their faith and mode of worship,-no star chamber to test their conformity with fire and faggot, -no royal prerogative of lordship over the conscience. Of almost every thing else, respecting the state and condition of the new world, they were ignorant.
Considered as part of an exclusively religious celebration, the sermon is exceedingly well adapted to the occasion. Its tone is catholic and liberal.
A Discourse, delivered before the
Massachusetts Society for the Suppression of Intemperance, May 23, 1832. By William Sullivan.
The occasion and the object of this publication we need not take the trouble to explain, it being already, we presume, in extensive and useful circulation. The author has treated his subject,-common-place and almost offensive as it is,-in such a manner as to make it really entertaining as well as instructive. Waiving statistics and mi
nute descriptions, in a great measure, he has looked into history and philosophy, and brought them both to bear, equally and effectively, in unison with the decision of common sense, which every man's own experience will confirm.
As introductory to his address, Mr. Sullivan has given a few facts and dates, connected with the origin and progress of the society he was addressing, from which we learn that it originated in 1805; that the Rev. Dr. Worcester, of Salem, was the earliest mover, with a view to social measures of reform -but what mind first conceived of the abolition of intemperance, cannot now be known. Mr. Sullivan says
In Dec. 1813, a circular letter was issued, which is signed Samuel Dexter, and which contains conclusive internal evidence, that it came from the gifted mind of this eminent citizen. At the next anniversary meeting an address was delivered by the reverend Dr. Kirkland, late president of Harvard University. The first officers of this society were chosen in 1813, and were as follows: The Hon. Samuel Dexter, President; Gen. Jolin Brooks, Dr. John Warren, Hon. Benjamin Pickman, Jr. Vice Presidents; Rev. Abiel Abbott, Corresponding Secretary; Rev. Joshua Huntington, Recording Secretary; Samuel H. Walley, Esq. Treasurer; Rev. John T. Kirkland, Rev. John Lathrop, Rev. Samuel Worcester, Hon. Nathan Dane, Hon. Timothy Bigelow, Rev. John Pierce, Richard Sullivan, Esq. Jeremiah Evarts, Esq. Counsellors.
Notwithstanding the eminent names which appear in these earliest efforts, and the faithful labors bestowed, the plan received little encouragement. It was held, by many sensible men, to be visionary. The use of ardent spirits was then so common; it had been so long approved; it was so interwoven with the customs of social life, that it was honestly believed to be irremediable by individual exertions, systematic combinations, or penal laws. Yet the original founders persevered; many of them lived to rejoice in their labors; to behold radical changes in private opinion; the establishment of numerous societies; and to die in the belief, that the day would come, in which the use of ardent spirits, as drink, would be entirely abolished.
This effort at reform may be likened to the enterprize of our pilgrim fathers. The question which these adventurers must have put to themselves, and must have answered affirmatively, was-Can the natives of the forest, who hold by a right transmitted through ages, be induced to retire, the wilderness be annihilated, the beams of the sun admitted, and the earth adapted to civilization? So the reformers of intemperance must have asked, and must have answered, the questions: Can we assail and subdue a practice pervading all classes, to which no reproach is attached, and which is connected with manly and generous virtues? Can we pour in upon the benighted and deluded world, the beams of truth, emanating from Him, who founded the law of self-respect, and self-interest? They answered as the pilgrims answered -This can be done; and, with the blessings of the ALMIGHTY, it shall be done.
Already, these laborers have advanced so far, and so many have joined in the enterprize, that the border of this dark wilderness is cleared, and is widening and penetrating; and the
echoes of the axe resound in the forest, which is next to fall and disappear.
There are several very forcible passages in the address, which we would extract, but that, as above hinted, it is presumed, that the pamphlet is in the hands of the greater portion of the New-England population. Some of the writer's arguments in reference to the trade in ardent spirits, will not be admitted, at present, as legitimate; and many, no doubt, will reproach him as a meddler with other men's affairs. In the extract which follows, the Legislature will find an ample apology for the caution it has observed, in reference to propositions, which, however well-intended, would, if adopted, have excited an evil, worse than that for which it is so desirable to provide a remedy.
Legislative and executive authority are sometimes reproached among us, for the facilities which they afford for the sale of ardent spirits. It is not to be supposed that the moral condition of society depends on statute laws. Such laws provide remedies for private wrongs, for the regulation of public rights and duties, and for the punishment of misdemeanors, and great crimes. They do not reach practices, which are right, according to the existing state of public sentiment.
As all legislative bodies, and all executive officers, who depend on popular elections, legislate, and act pursuant to their perception of the public will; if we would have legislation consistent with the calls of humanity, and have executive discretion applied to reform, it must first be established, that the public voice demands such legislation and reform. In every nation, where no military subjection is established, as good laws, and as good rules are found, as the majority desire, or, certainly, as good as that majority are suited to have. In the case before us, the labors of reformers are not addressed only to those who make laws and those who grant licenses to sell spirits, but to all reasonable beings throughout the community. When these, or a powerful majority of them, feel, that it is disgraceful to license the sale, or permit the sale of ardent spirits, the laws will become, just what the majority would have them to be; and executive officers will know, that such laws must be enforced, or that their powers will soon come to an end. The day is, probably, not very distant, when our laws will prohibit, under sufficient penalties, the sale of an article, which is admitted by all who pretend to know right from wrong, to be not only unnecessary, but the principal cause of disqualification to perform any civic or social duty; and the promotive cause of nearly all the crimes which disgrace the age. Unless we entirely misunderstand the history of mankind, the design of man's creation, and his power over himself to promote his own welfare, the use of ardent spirits will, eventually, be abolished, and society will fence out its presence with as much zeal and sincerity, as though it were a fatal and unsparing pestilence.
Ladies' Family Library. By Mrs.
Child. Vol. I.
The publishers propose to continue this work to several volumes. In the present volume are biographies of Mad
ame de Stael, and Madame Roland, the two most extraordinary women of their time. The materials for a life of the former are not very full, and they were much scattered in various works; Madame Roland, however, left a most minute and interesting account of herself. The Ladies' Family Library forms a neat and instructive volume.
of its distinguished author. It is a work much needed, both theoretically and practically, for the man of business, for the lawyer, and, of course, for the student.
No principles are of more common application than those relating to the Law of Bailments. Judge Story makes that term equivalent to "a delivery of a thing in trust for some special object or pur
Correspondence between the First pose, and upon a contract, express or
Church and the Tabernacle Church in Salem. In which the Duties of Churches are discussed, and the Rights of Conscience vindicated. This is a pamphlet of nearly two hundred pages, mostly occupied with controversial-religious matter, upon the merits of which we shall not here undertake to decide. The occasion of it was the application of a lady who had left one of these Churches, for admittance to the other. The views of the former, in relation to the propriety of granting the request, are given succinctly in a Report appended, among other documents, to the Correspondence. Most of the pamphlet is understood, we believe, to be from the pen of the Junior Pastor of the First Church.
Biography of Stephen Girard. By
The subject of this biography has been long known to the public as a most opulent banker. Something, also, of his peculiarities of temper, or, as his biographer would call them, of genius, were known; but Mr. Simpson has supplied much more. His means for gaining information were great, and his facts are probably indisputable. But upon these facts he builds a strange theory, namely, that Girard was, during his whole life, incited by the high ambition of posthumous fame; or, in other words, that while he lived, he was sordid, avaricious and unfeeling, that his benevolence and philanthropy might be the more apparent to posterity. The book contains so many traits of Girard, that it will be acceptable to all who delight in strange and anomalous characters. A correspondent has furnished some notice of it in another part of the Magazine.
implied, to conform to the object or purpose of the trust." This definition includes Deposites, Mandates, (bailments without fee,) Loans for use, Pawns, and Hirings the latter department alone comprising four sub-divisions. Under one of them is discussed the law of the right and responsibility of WAREHOUSEMEN, of WHARFINGERS, of FACTORS and BAILIFFS. Separate treatises are also appropriated to POST-MASTERS, INNKEEPERS, COMMON-CARRIERS, and CARRIERS of PASSENGERS. It must be obvious to any man, who trades or travels, in any line of business, or in any section of the country, that principles relating to these subjects cannot but be continually coming up for his own decision. The saving of time, trouble, vexation, delay and expense, which might be effected by a tolerable familiarity with them, on the part of every citizen, is really beyond calculation.
In regard to the profession, whose substantive business it is to be familiar with these matters, they need not be reminded of the deficiencies heretofore existing in this branch of the law. Blackstone devotes less than two pages to the whole subject of Bailments. Sir William Jones's Essay is indeed a mastation. But that, like Blackstone's more ter-piece of elegant and learned disserlimited treatise, is by no means without inaccuracies and deficiences, so far as it purports to go. Nor does it go far enough. The most valuable part of the Law of Bailments has been, not formed oughly established, and minutely illus indeed, but precisely ascertained, thortrated, since the publication of the 'Essay.' The illustrations which Judge Story has all along borrowed from the Civil and Continental Law of Europe, are also an addition of great value and
Commentaries on the Law of Bail- great interest. The extraordinary res
ments. By J. Story, LL. D. 1832.
This work will be welcomed by the legal profession, in this country certainly, and, we doubt not, in England also, with even more than the deference, which is usually paid to the productions
earch devoted to this volume is really a matter of admiration; the labor must have been prodigious. The style is characteristically luminous, elegant and exact. It is the materiel of a practical man, in the manner of an accomplished scholar.