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with you," he said, “and I will not foreslow my bodily coming at the first opportunity."
That opportunity never came. The pastor's post, especially after Brewster had gone, was with the remnant at Leyden. And two years afterwards, when he would have come to his friends this side of the ocean, there was another hindrance. The impoverishment of the exiles both in Holland and in New England, had proceeded to that extremity that they could not command the means of paying for his passage, especially as a dominant party among the capitalists in London, with whom they were associated, were determined to prevent his removal. While he was thus waiting, in want, and in weariness and sickness of heart, there came another summons than that for which he had prayed and waited; and on the first of March, 1625, the exile went to a better country, where the wicked cease from troubling, and the weary are at rest.
He was honored in his death, not only by the grief of the failing remnant of his flock; but members of the University, and pastors of the city churches, accompanied him to his grave with customary funeral honors. That grave-where is it? Mr. Sumner's researches have ascertained, that on the fourth of March, he was buried at the church of St. Peter, in a grave hired for "nine florins." The poverty of his family, and of his flock, could not even give him the fee-simple of a grave. Such was the interment of the humblest class in Leyden at that day; and the lease of a grave at that price expired in seven years, after which period the mouldering remains were carried away Under that old cathedral, he found a temporary resting place; and then "his ashes flew; no marble tells us whither.'
We have left ourselves no room to speak distinctly of Robinson as an author. These volumes will make him better known in that respect, than he has been for the last two centuries. As we examine them, we cease to marvel at the homage which they extorted from Baillie. That acrimonious Scotchman, and bitter Presbyterian, writing against the New England churches, was compelled to testify of Robinson, that he was “a man of excellent parts, and the most learned, polished, and modest spirit that ever separated from the church of England." The Just and Necessary Apology, is perhaps to this day the best defense of purely congregational principles, unmixed with those usurping "usages" which are so prone to turn aside towards Presbyterianism, and other forms of Hierarchy. The New Essays, or Observations, Divine and Moral, for their shrewdness in the analysis of human nature, for their depth and riches of thought, and for their antique beauty and force of expression, deserve a place among the classics of our language.
Woman's Record; or Sketches of all distinguished Women, from "The Beginning" till A. D. 1850, arranged in four Eras, with selections from female writers of every age. By SARAH JOSEPHA HALE, Editor of "The Lady's Book," Author of "Traits of American Life, &c." Illustrated by two hundred and thirty portraits engraved on wood, by LOSSING & BARRITT. New York: Harper & Brothers, 329 and 331 Pearl street, Franklin Square. 1853.
THE reader will find in this volume biographical sketches of the most distinguished females that have ever lived, or are now living. The number of these sketches amounts to nearly two thousand, of which somewhere about two hundred are accompanied by portraits engraved on wood by Lossing and Barritt. The work is divided into four eras: the first, extending from the creation to the birth of Christ; the second, to A. D. 1500; the third, to A. D. 1850; while the fourth comprehends living females. The names under each era are arranged in alphabetical order.
This volume, moreover, contains various speculations on some of the deep subjects of human thought, upon which Mrs. Hale deems herself to have attained conclusions that will settle several long-agitated questions. The advance to a higher civilization seems now as heretofore to be accompanied by a corresponding degradation of large masses of the people. While physical comforts are diffusing themselves more and more throughout society, no inconsiderable portion of human beings, with apparently the same capabilities of improvement and enjoyment, is not merely debarred from these, but is sunk lower by the very means which have elevated others. The progress and diffusion of knowledge even, are not always attended by an equal advancement in morality and religion. How to guard against the corruptions connected with that physical prosperity which necessarily exists in a highly civilized state of society; how to elevate the lowest classes at the same time and along with the classes above; how to make the combined blessings of physical enjoyments, intellectual acquisitions, and religious faith and morality, universal in extent, if not in degree; these are problems which the most profound philosophers have attempted thus far in vain. The ministers of the word in the various branches of the church, have studied them; good men out of the ministry have pondered them; enthusiastic men have long labored at a practical solution of them; but the question is unsettled, unless, indeed, Mrs. Hale has settled it. She states the question thus: "Every advance in material prosperity and intellectual power brings in its train, an increase of degradation and misery to a large class of society, and new devices of crime and sin to darken history and discourage hope." "Are these things always to continue?" "Not, if the word of God is true." *** "Now, I believe that I have found the true source of moral power in human nature, and also the way in which this power must be regulated and applied to ensure the absolute moral advancement of mankind." Certainly, if real, the greatest discovery of the age, and more than enough to immortalize any name. In comparison with a power which can actually accomplish this, what are steam-engines, or caloric engines? what, electric telegraphs or even the press? Nay, what, any and all the labor-saving machines in the world? But we detain our readers too long. "I believe, and trust I shall make it apparent, that WOMAN is God's appointed agent of morality, the teacher and inspirer of those feelings and sentiments which are termed the virtues of humanity; and that the progress of these virtues, and the permanent improvement of our race depend on the manner in which her mission is treated by man." As to the originality of this discovery, we are not informed, but we presume it will be with this as with other great discoveries; that there will be many claimants for the patent. We are sorry to observe, too, that the efficacy of
this mighty power does after all depend, as is the case in machines for perpetual motion, upon an external, independent force; and when we consider that in this case the force is man, or rather his acceptance of Mrs. Hale's panacea,-his treatment of this "mission" of woman-and take into view that man, in her opinion, is a mere tiller of the earth, and without any natural dispositions which can be made to grow up into any goodness, our hopes from this discovery are a good deal dashed.
We have now to mention another vexed question which Mrs. Hale has settled— the question of Original Sin. According to her, there are two great parties, each headed by learned, and equally learned theologians, carrying on an interminable war on this debatable ground;-the one contending that "the human heart is utterly corrupt by reason of the first transgression;" the other "affirming that there are good dispositions or qualities inhering in human nature which may be cultivated, and become noble virtues." Now, says Mrs. Hale, "my theory satisfies both." Both parties are right, both are wrong. Man's heart is totally depraved, woman's heart is only partially depraved. It is a drawn battle. The crabbed Calvinist may bear off for his share of the spoils the worthless portion of the race, while the courteous Arminian may gracefully lead away the fairer and better part of creation. We query a little, however, whether this arrangement will be quite so "satisfactory" to our Calvinistic brethren, as Mrs. Hale supposes. Will Princeton accept this arbitrament? or fear the Grecian gift? What says East Windsor? Our brethren there have stood long on their hill-top, watchful sentinels, to spy the first approach of danger. Will they compromise? We have a high respect for the virtue of youthful theologians, but really, we fear, if Mrs. Hale's apportionment of her own sex to the Arminian party should be agreed to, all the Calvinistic Schools of Theology in the land would be deserted of their youthful combatants, not to speak of the desertion of others from our ranks. The reader will now see that Mrs. Hale's view of "Woman's Mission," as the instrument of moral elevation to the race, has a meaning which is not apparent on the face of it. Woman alone has the moral power to elevate the race.
We will not venture upon the theological part of this subject. A philosophical doubt, however, has arisen in our minds. We are quite sure that that kindness which in woman survived the Fall, and which we are confident is as strong in Mrs. Hale as in her sex generally, will concede to us, wicked and depraved men, at least an infinitesimal portion of those dispositions and qualities, which are original and innate in woman. For instance, forgiveness of injuries, kindness, sympathy, affectionateness, parental feelings-have we not, miserable sinners that we are, some slight traces of these? We do not claim they are as strong as in woman, we acknowledge they are not, but are we by nature totally bereft of them? And, if we admit that they belong in some large measure to woman, must we not claim as a mere matter of fact, that in some small degree they also inhere in man? We might not stand around the altar, but might we not have a claim to the outer porch, and, though a melancholy group even there, and with very little to commend us, might we not have naturally good "dispositions and qualities," enough to exempt us from the party of the totally depraved? But if so much must be granted to man, what becomes of that "theory," which was to satisfy both parties, by leaving that portion of the human race which is totally depraved to the one, and securing the remaining portion which is not totally depraved to the other."
We of course argue on Mrs. Hale's own principles. For our own part, we believe that these constitutional qualities of the soul, which Mrs. Hale speaks of, have not moral quality; that they do not grow up by culture into virtues; but that man is morally good or bad according to the voluntary control which he exercises over them, and the chosen ends to which he directs them; and we suppose will and conscience to be common to both sexes.
Mrs. Hale has attempted a solution of other difficulties. We shall not follow her here in detail. Our readers may be interested to know, however, that Adam was present with Eve, while Satan was tempting her; that Satan began with Eve, because he knew she was the strongest in virtue, and if he carried that stronghold, the victory was secure; that Adam, if he had had superior wisdom, would have
warned his wife, instead of which he stood by like a poor earth-worm, and eat the fruit just because it was given to him; that Eve,-as Saint Paul teaches, "the woman being deceived was in the transgression"-"if she had understood what was to follow, would never have disobeyed." But we must give a little more prominence to another discovery of Mrs. Hale. In the sentence pronounced upon the serpent, "I will put enn.ity between thee and the woman," Mrs. Hale finds new proof of the survival of good qualities in woman after the Fall. For, she asks, how could there be enmity between her and the Spirit of Evil, if she were wholly corrupt? There can be no enmity, unless there be some moral goodness against which the enmity can be exercised. Mrs. Hale remarks that this "enmity has never been noticed by any writer on the Bible," and we presume she is correct in this; at least, we do not remember to have met with it in any commentator. Man, it would seem, is so thoroughly depraved that Satan is on quite good terms with him, so good as not even to take the trouble of assailing him, while all the Satanic temptations and Devilish wiles and buffetings in this world are wholly carried on within the heart of woman.-We would give our brethren in misery some little consolation, if we could. But we cannot. We had better yield at once. A little while ago, equality only was claimed. Mrs. Hale asks for still greater concessions, and, if we are not careful, we shall sink lower and fare worse.
Before leaving this part of the subject, we ought to say, that we most fully assent to much that Mrs. Hale says of her own sex. We readily acknowledge the superior moral purity of woman. We believe that hers has been the great Christianizing and civilizing power in the world. We doubt not there is much power in her still to be developed. We think Mrs. Hale has done a good service in writing this "Record of Woman," though the work is marred by many grave faults.
We proceed to the biographical sketches. In view of Mrs. Hale's theory, we acknowledge we had a curiosity to see how she would treat certain female characters of ancient history. We opened to the first portrait, and read the memoir of Agrippina IL The account which Mrs. Hale has given of this notorious woman is inexplicable; to speak plainly, it is a most palpable misrepresentation of history. This memoir is so totally at variance with the accounts in our most reliable histories, that we determined to look into the ancient writers and see if there were not some grounds for the representation which Mrs. Hale has given. We could find none. But our readers shall judge for themselves.
Agrippina was the sister of the Emperor Caligula, the niece and wife of the Emperor Claudius, and the mother of the Emperor Nero. Her character as represented by Dion Cassius, Tacitus, and Suetonius, was marked by cruelty, ambition, and lust, and her life stained by adultery, incest, and murder. Without going into detail, there are two or three transactions which we notice.
Agrippina, together with her sister Livia, was banished by Caligula from Rome to an island near the Italian Coast. Mrs. Hale calls this banishment persecution, from her brother, who "accused her before the Senate of a participation in a conspiracy, forced them to condemn her, and had her driven into exile, where she remained in constant fear of a violent death;" and elsewhere she speaks of the "injuries" inflicted on her. Dion Cassius gives the following account of this affair. Caligula was at Lyons. While there he indulged with insane fury his appetite for murder, causing multitudes to be slain. Among the victims mentioned by Dion, is Lepidus, the husband of Caligula's sister Drusilla. Of this Lepidus, Dion says, "he lived in adulterous intercourse with the sisters of his wife Agrippina and Livia, along with Caligula himself." Caligula also lived incestuously with Drusilla, Dion then adds, " Caligula banished these sisters, on account of their intercourse with Lepidus," and "wrote letters to the Senate, charging them with impiety and licentiousness."It is not necessary to investigate the motives of such a madman as Caligula. But it is a perversion of language to speak of persecution in this connexion. If Agrippina was the woman Mrs. Hale represents her, she rejoiced in the act which sent her to such a distance from such a brother. We need not add that the statement of "forcing the Senate to condemn her" is quite apocryphal.
A few years after, Caligula was murdered. Claudius succeeded him, and at once recalled Agrippina and her sister from exile. Some years later, Claudius slew his
infamous wife Messalina, and Pallas proposed Agrippina to him, according to Mrs. Hale, as the successor of Messalina, "and after a year, during which she had much to contend with from rivalry and intrigue, the obstacle opposed to this marriage by the ties of consanguinity was relieved by a special law, and the daughter of Germanicus ascended the throne of Augustus." Tacitus, and Dion agrees with him, gives a very different account of this transaction. Upon the murder of Messalina, a fierce contest arose for the hand of the widowed emperor. The freedmen of the palace took an active part in it, because Claudius was so much under the con. trol of his wives, that each wished to supply him with some one who was in his own interest; and the females, says Tacitus, flamed with no less zeal. The number of aspirants was finally reduced, so that the contest lay between Lollia Paulina, Agrippina, and Aelia Petina, a divorced wife of Claudius. The emperor, distracted by the intercessions of the friends of the several aspirants, at length summoned a council, and had the case argued before him. Tacitus gives the speeches of the several advocates, but Pallas, the advocate of Agrippina, succeeded; aided, says Tacitus, by the allurements of Agrippina, who had frequent access as his niece to the emperor-who was with him frequently, says Dion, and "behaved herself towards him more voluptuously than became a brother's daughter." But the marriage of an uncle with his niece had ever been abhorred at Rome as incestuous, and it was only through the artful management of the agents of Agrippina, that the Senate repealed the law, and they were at last formally married, though they had lived from the first as husband and wife. It seems to us this shameless transaction ought not to be set forth in the dainty language Mrs. Hale makes use of. Mrs. Hale dwells largely on the successful administration of Agrippina, who had now taken the reins of government into her own hands. Besides the public prosperity, "the reserve and dignity of her deportment produced a reform in the manners of the palace,"-unless, says Tacitus, some advantage was to be gained by impurity; and he declares elsewhere, that during her marriage, she indulged in every kind of wickedness.
We will briefly follow her career as empress. She first projects a marriage between her son by her first marriage, Domitius, afterwards named Nero, and Octavia, the daughter of Claudius by Messalina. But as Octavia was already betrothed, this could only be done by crime, and the crime was committed; the marriage consummated; thus relieving her, says Mrs. Hale, from maternal anxiety! She next managed to raise Nero to an equality with Brittanicus, the son of Člaudius, and heir to the throne. (We may mention parenthetically, she murdered, about this time, her former rival, Lollia, and the illustrious Calpurnia, out of the idlest jealousy.) Next, through Pallas,-who since advocating her claims to the hand of the emperor, had lived in adulterous intercourse with her-she persuaded Claudius to adopt Nero as his own son, Brittanicus, in the meanwhile, being treated with the most refined cruelty, and left to grow up without education, and without attention or notice from any one. At last Agrippina poisoned her husband, and raised
Nero to the throne.
Now how does the reader suppose Mrs. Hale represents this accumulation of crimes? We quote: "On the occasion of the adoption of her son to the exclusion of the emperor's own child by Messalina, the infant Brittanicus, she received the cognomen of Augusta; and to the prophetic augur who bade her 'beware lest the son she had so elevated might prove her ruin,' she replied, 'let me perish, but, let Nero reign. In this answer we have the secret of her great actions, and the motive for all her imputed (the italics are ours) crimes. Amidst all her lofty aspirations, her keen sense of injuries inflicted, her consciousness of power acquired, there was one deep and redeeming affection; this brilliant despot, the astute politician of her age, was still above all and in all-a mother " Was it a 'mother's heart that murdered Lollia Paulina? Was it a mother's heart that admitted the advocate Pallas to her embraces? Was it a mother's heart that degraded and crushed the young and unprotected Brittanicus, systematically laboring to prevent the culture of his mind, and gradually to accustom him to the lowest conditions of life, that he might neither aspire to be emperor, nor be fitted for the station? Was it a mother's heart that poisoned her husband?