« 上一頁繼續 »
only. But it will be said, He desires a happiness produced by ourselves. But this will never be. Universal happiness, produced by man, is a chimera. Besides, to attain this end, it was not necessary for God to endow us with conscience, and impose the mor al law. Self-love alone might attain it. Give greater strength to self-love, or heighten my natural sympathies, and I shall impart as much or more of good to others than by the single sentiments of duty.
It is of high importance, to have the following maxims always in mind.
1. The consequences of an action, whatever they may be, render it neither morally good or bad, the intention only does this. Strictly speaking, there is no such thing as a moral action. Intentions alone are moral.
2. That an intention should be morally good, it must be disinterested.
3. All intentions are interested, which involve a return upon ourselves. Thus, to do an act for the sake of honor or pleasure, whether sensual or intellectual, for the sake of recompense on earth, or even in heaven, this precludes the moral.
4. The actions which result from the impulse of organization, are indifferent. Thus, the man who, impelled by an iriesistible feeling of pity and sympathy, lavishes his own life to save his fellow, is not in this act, a moral being.
5. He only is a moral being who, after having weighed an action, and found it right, perforins it,-only because he believes he ought to perform it, and for this reason only, that it is just.
1. The Hopefulness of Efforts for the Promotion of Peace : A Discourse pronounced in the Centre Church in Hartford, at the Celebration of the sinni. Tersary of the Hartford County Peace Society. By LEONARD Bacon, Pastor of the first Church in New Haren. Hartford : Philemon Canfield. 1832.
The great obstacle against which Peace Societies have to struggle, is, not opposition, but indifference and neglect. They are not persecuted; they are not resisted; they are not denounced as conspiring against state or church, or the liberties of the people ; but they are neglected-neglected by the good, as well as the bad; neglected by the churches, and by ministers of the Gospel; neglected by those who befriend every other Christian enterprize, and wish well to this.”—These Societies seem to be neglected, under the im
pression that the object of them, however desirable and important, is unattainable, and that effort in such a cause is wasted. “ An indefinite but powerful feeling prevails every where, that though war is an evil of immeasurable magnitude, and though the object of Peace Societies is therefore an object worthy of the highest effort, still, there is something Quixotic in the enterprize, inasmuch as war must continue to be the only adjustment of difficul. ties among nations, and the only hope of the oppressed, till, by some miraculous change, a new order of things shall be introduced, and a new sort of human beings inhabit the earth.” Accordingly, it is a principal object of the eloquent Discourse before us, to combat this error, and show “ the hopefulness of efforts for the promotion of Peace.” This is done, by remarking, first, on “the progress of popular influence over governments"- -an influence which, for various reasons, must ever operate as a check upon the spirit of war ; and, secondly, on “the extension of Christianity, and the contemporaneous and corresponding developement of the Christian spirit.” Mr. Bacon also adverts to the more sure word of prophecy.' 6. The word of God holds up its prophetic light, like a broad column of celestial fire, to illuminate our path, and to show us, in the future, the beautiful and blessed vision of a renovated world, in which the trappings of the warrior, and the garments which he has rolled in blood, shall have been consumed and forgotten, and violence and wasting shall be heard no more.”
Having occasion to speak of the spirit manifested by the Cherokee Indians, under the indignities and depredations of their haughty aggressors, Mr. B., in a note, pays the following merited tribute to the imprisoned Missionary, Worcester.
“ Samuel A. Worcester, one of the missionaries now confined in the penitentiary of the state of Georgia, is a man with whom it is my privilege to have had an intimate acquaintance. Considering the ignominy and the revilings, as well as the physical hardships which he suflers in the cause of righteousness and freedom, I feel myself bound, on every fit occasion, to offer my solemn testimony to the public in his behalf. He is not, what many who join in the anti-missionary clamor suppose him to be, an ignorant, rude, and Haming fanatic, but a man of superior native talent, delicate and honorable sensibilities, finished liberal and professional education, and cool, deliberate intelligeni, yet devoted piety. I have had the happiness of seeing many ad. mirable examples of Christian character; but a inan more invariably and minutely conscientious than this man, less capable of any undue influence from the example and opinions of others, or in a higher degree exempt from every bias of selfishness and passion, I have never known. It was not an erratic genius which carried him to his work among the Indians; few men have more of the plain, practical common sense of New England. It was not any inability to find einployment in some more lucrative, and, according to this world's judgement, more honorable station ; the great respectability of his connections, as well as the vigor of his own talents, precludes such a supposition ; hau he given bimself to science or to learning, he might have adorned a university. It was the humble and self-denying desire of doing good, which made him a missionary. When the government of Georgia commanded him to abandon his peaceful work, or to take the oath of allegiance as their subject, he looked to see by what authority they spake ; and, convinced that they had no just jurisdiction over his person, or over the territory on which he resided, he calmly and clearly informed them of the views on which he should act. The correspondence between him and Gov. Gilmer, on that occasion, (see Missionary Herald for 1831, pp. 248–251,) will sufficiently show which of the two is the most of a man; and—without designing to disparage the knightly breeding of His Excellency, I venture to add, it will show which of the two is the most truly a gentleman. Having fully stated what he should do, he quietly pursued his course in the spirit of one whom neither threats nor violence could intimidate. Like the great Apostle who asserted his priv. ileges as a Roman citizen, he meekly insisted on his rights as an American. Like the Apostle appealing to Cesar, he put himself under the protection of the laws and courts of the nation. Whether he was right in regarding the jurisdiction attempted to be set up over the Cherokee territory as an usurpation, and therefore refusing to take the prescribed oath of allegiance, we have now no occasion to inquire; the most august tribunal of the nation, from which there is no appeal in this world but to violence, has decided that question.
“Such is one of the men whom the proud chivalry of Georgia is not ashamed to shut up with the vilest criminals in a noisome prison, and to bold there in open defiance of the constitution of the United States. But he has carried with him what all the gold which his oppressors hope for cannot purchase, a cheerful and happy mind. And as the lions in their den crouched before the prophet of God; so in the prison where this man and his companion in tribulation are permitted, like Paul and Silas, to pray and sing praises to their Lord, men more degraded than the untamed beasts, have bowed before the majesty of virtue, and at the presence of injured, yet uncomplaining Godliness, the lion has put on the nature of the lamb.'s,
2. Religious Liberty: A Discourse delivered in the Cougregational Church at Hanson, on the fourth of July, 1832. By F. FREEMAN, Pastor of the third Church in Plymouth. Plymouth: Benjamin Drew. pp. 32.
Mr. Freeman describes Religious Liberty as “ the unmolested right of a spirit of free inquiry;" “ the freedom of choice in our religious views;" “ the free and candid erpression of our views;" “the freedom of following the dictates of conscience, and choosing one's own mode and place of worship, and Teligious teacher;" and " the right of defending our views of truth by argument, and extending them by moral suasion.” Such is the liberty which our Orthodox brethren in New England generally inculcate, and for which they are obliged, in some places, to contend. For, as Mr. F. remarks, there are many among us, who are bitterly opposed to Orthodoxy, who yet know not, and will not inquire, what it is; and many talk flippantly of liberal views,' and have learned to pronounce the words free inquiry,' who notwithstanding shut out every ray of light that might possibly enter their minde; and many, who do in some degree investigate, have not the moral courage to follow the dictates of their consciences, but sell their religious liberty, or rather offer it in sacrifice, to propitiate the smiles of religious intolerance; and many more, not only refuse to come to the light themselves, but forcibly prevent those under their authority' from coming,—so that their wives and daughters have little more freedom on that great subject, which, of all others, lies nearest to their hearts, than though they were the inmates of a Turkish harem.
We are happy to receive from our brethren discourses like the one before us. The public will learn, ere long, who are, and who are not, the true and consistent friends and advocates of religious freedom.
3. The History of the State of Maine from its first discovery, A. D. 1602, to the Separation, A. D. 1820, inclusive. By William D. Williamson. Two yols. Smo. Hallowell: Glazier, Masters & Co. 1832.
Mr. Williamson has performed a work which, in his own words, " has been long and much desired," and for which he merits the thanks of every citizen of Maine. Indeed, this history makes an importaut addition to the general history of our country. The early events in the settlement of Maine have heretofore been involved in much obscurity. Facts were on record in abundance, but they were scattered, and beyond the reach of most of the inhabitants. The author is known to have had this subject before him for fifteen or twenty years, during which time he has been dilligent and faithful in the collection of facts—" from the libraries of the capitol at Washington, the Boston Athenæum, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences," from public documents, and "from letters of a hundred and fifty correspondents.” To take such a mass of materials, and from them to select and arrange a convenient history, containing neither too much nor too little, required industry, discernment, and a well directed taste. These attributes, we are happy to say, the work before us in general exhibits. There are passages-stories and legends of the Indian tribes and the intercommunion of the whites with them -of thrilling interest ; too much, alas ! like all true representations of the transactions of the early settlers with the natives-confidence, hospitality, and generous forbearance on the one part, and cupidity and treachery on the other, and lastly, mutual retaliations and savage and exterminating wars. Our limits forbid an extended notice of this work, but we can cheerfully recommend it to our readers and fellow citizens. We will add a short extract from the author's last page, showing what Maine may be.
“The Divine pencil has drawn for us the outlines of an extensive Commonwealth. A vast domain of nature still remains uncultivated; and attainments in literary and moral refinement are yet in the outer court of perfectability. In the march of intellect, therefore, let science and practical skill put to experiment what may serve to develope the resources of matter, mind, and nature, and the effects must produce models-a thousand for one. Let the temple, founded in our father's virtues and cemented by their blood, be finished, furnished, and fortified in a style not less superior than the superstructure itself-and so we and ours may fulfil the destiny appointed us, of making strong and solid the pillars of our country's greatness.'
4. The Lay Missionary, or the lay to do Good. Boston: Peirce & Parker, New York :-H. C. Sleight. 1832. pp. 81.
This book is rather peculiar in its character. Its general object seems to be to promote spirituality of heart and life, with fidelity in the discharge of duty, in Christians. In order to this, therefore, it follows the Christian through a number of the various relations of life, and endeavors, by presenting before him a character such as he should be, to excite him to greater watchfulness, diligence and exertion.-- The particular characters under which the Christian is brought to view, are those of the Sufferer—the Child -the Wife and Mother-the Farmer-the Merchant-the Traveller-the Sailor—the Lawyer—the Physician-the Teacher and the Pastor.
Of course, the book is adapted to all classes in society. We can say also, if we may judge others by ourselves, that few, as we believe, can read it without feeling at once reproved and admonished, and thereby excited to greater conscientiousness and simplicity of regard to God and the salvation of souls in the discharge of duty,
As a specimen of the manner in which the different topics are treated, take the following under the head of the “ Christian Traveller."
“ In the mean time the stage rolls on, over hill and dale. A rut in the road, which they have just jostled over, has awoke a sleeper in the corner, who now begins to rouse from bis nap, and look about him to see where we are. He is a medical gentleman, wearied with his late watchings; but having seized at last upon a refreshing sleep, he wakes up bright and active, and ready to use his powers for good. An animated conversation soon rises again. Every passenger is an eager listener. The information imparted by the medical gentleman is useful to all. Topics. Sleep-its nature-in whut quantities necessary-in what injurious. Food—what kind best adapted to our nature. The intemperance of the day in euting as well as drinking. Pleasant anecdote, illustrative of temperance and a long life. Temperance societiestheir wonderful progress-the sad miseries they are intended to arrest and reliete.- To all of which, the good physician frankly gives his warm approbation. He speaks of the intemperate man, not with abhorrence, but with heartfelt pity. " He is a complete and willing slure," says he, “ to his sad passion. He is a willing slave, for he might break away—but it is a dreadful struggle, and I pity him from my very soul; for it must be done; or I fully believe that he will perish." Yon red faced man, the opposite corner, hears all this, and, as it is accompanied by an inward prayer from the speaker, we hope he does not hear in vain.”
5. Memoir of Florence Kidder, who died in Medford, Mass., April, 1832, aged eleren years. Boston: Peirce and Parker. New York :-H. C. Sleight. 1032. pp. 71.
This little book contains the history of an interesting child, daughter of Mr. Thompson and Mrs. Mary A. Kidder. It is made up of several Chapters and Letters, detailing in brief the character of Florence, and exhibiting in an interesting manner, as it advances, the power of religion. It is adapted especially, we think, to benefit the young, while it can hardly be read with. out advantage by any serious person. None can read it without perceiving how religion, even in a child, can sweeten the temper, control the heart, and govern the life. It belongs to the same general class of religious juvenile biographies with Mary Lothrop and Nathan W. Dickerman, and every parent who has yet a rising family around him, will find it worthy of his attention, and of a place in the children's library.
6. Letters to a Brother on Practical Subjects. By a Clergyman. Lowell: Brooks Shattuck & Co. Boston :-Peirce and Parker. pp. 106.
From the introduction to these Letters, it would seem as though the author designed them specially for children and youth, or that his brother was quite young when he wrote them. However this may be, and though we agree that they are adapted to the young; we think them no less adapted to those of mature age. Or, if there be any class in particular to whose circumstances they would seem to be more particularly appropriate, it is that class of young men, from 16 or 18 years of age up to 25 or 30, who, though not prepared to cast off religion, are yet not prepared to embrace it. Indeed, they have been the persons most before our minds in looking over the pages of this little book. Not excluding others, or any, to them, therefore, we would earnestly recommend it.