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Counterfeits imply an original. There is such a virtue as patriotism, acknowledged and inculcated by both natural and revealed religion; and it is but a development of that benevolence which springs from moral goodness. To do good unto all men as we have opportunity, is an injunction invested with divine authority. Generally, our ability to do good is confined to our families, neighbors, and countrymen; and the natural promptings of our hearts lead us to select these, in preference to more distant objects, for the subjects of our kind offices. Our benevolence, when directed to our countrymen at large, constitutes PATRIOTIsM; and its exercise is as much controlled by the laws of morality as when confined to our neighbors or our families. A voice from heaven has forbidden us “to do evil that good may come.” The sentiment, “Our country, right or wrong,” is as profligate and impious as would be the sentiment, “Our church, or our party, right or wrong.” If it be rebellion against God to violate his laws for the benefit of one individual, however dear to us, not less sinful must it be to commit a similar act for the benefit of any number of individuals. If we may not, in kindness to the highwayman, assist him in robbing and murdering the traveller, what divine law permits us to aid any number of our own countrymen in robbing and murdering other people? He who engages in a defensive war, with a full conviction of its necessity and justice, may be impelled by patriotism, by a benevolent desire to save the lives, and property, and rights of his countrymen. But, if he believes the war to be one of invasion and conquest, and utterly unjust, by taking part in it he assumes its guilt, and becomes responsible for its crimes.
Joh N QUINCY ADAMS.
The American people have by acclamation adjudged John Quincy Adams a PATRIOT, a judgment from which not one politician of any name has dared to appeal. This judgment sets aside, condemns, and repudiates almost every test of patriotism prescribed by the demagogues of the day. It has now been decided, by a tribunal which these men admit to be infallible, that a man may be a patriot, nay, an “illustrious patriot,” according to the official gazette, who openly repudiates the sentiment, “Our country, right or wrong;” who, on a question of international law,
In some verses written by Mr. Adams shortly before his death, and eutitled “Congress, Slavery, and an Unjust War,” are these lines:– “And say not thou, ‘My country, right or wrong.'
sides with a foreign government against his own; who gives “aid and comfort” to the enemy by denouncing as unjust the war waged against him, and by striving to withhold supplies from the army sent to fight him; who mourns over the degeneracy of his country and doubts whether she is to be numbered “among the first liberators or the last oppressors of the race of immortal man;” who, notwithstanding all “the compromises of the Constitution,” denounces human bondage as a crime against God, and proposes so to change the Constitution as to effect the immediate abolition of hereditary slavery throughout the American Confederacy, and, pouring contempt upon the lying Democracy of the day, claims for the black man the same rights of suffrage that are accorded to his white fellow-citizen. Such is the character of a PATRIOT, as established by the latest decision of the American public. Surely there must have been some potent principle of action which impelled him to pursue a path so divergent from those usually selected by political aspirants, —one, to all appearance, leading him far from popular applause, and yet in the end conducting him to the very pinnacle of fame. There was such a principle, and it is shadowed forth in the moral with which Mr. McDowell “adorned his tale.” “His life,” said the Virginia eulogist, “has been a continuous and beautiful illustration of the great truth that, while the fear of man is the consummation of all folly, the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom.” Unhappy it is for our country, that the reverse of this truth forms the maxim by which so many of our public men apparently govern their conduct. But what was the secret of the great strength of this moral Samson? Since his death, certain letters to his son have been given to the press, and in these we find an answer to the inquiry. It appears that, while at the court of St. Petersburg, in 1811, he commenced a series of letters to his absent child, on the study of the Bible, “the divine revelation,” as he called it. In these he remarks, “I have myself, for many years, made it a practice to read through the Bible once every year. I have always endeavored to read it with the same spirit and temper of mind which I now recommend to you; that is, with the intention and desire that it may contribute to my advancement in wisdom and virtue. My custom is, to read four or five chapters every morning, immediately after rising from my bed. It employs about half an hour of my time, and seems to me the most suitable manner of beginning the day.” The following advice to his son seems both indicative of his own future course, and prophetic of its glorious termination :-" Never give way to
'From the Eulogy pronounced in the House of Representatives, by Hon. William McDowell, of Virginia.
the pushes of impudence, wrong-headedness, or intractability, which would lead or draw you aside from the dictates of your own conscience and your own sense of right. Till you die, let not your integrity depart from you. Build your house upon the rock, and then let the rains descend, and the flood come, and the winds blow, and beat upon that house, it shall not fall. So promises your blessed Lord and Master.” In a most wonderful manner was this promise fulfilled in his own case, even in the present world. But there is a day approaching when the secrets of all hearts shall be laid open, and when every man shall come to judgment. Then will those who have in this life pursued expediency in preference to duty, learn, when too late, that “the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God.”
THE HIGHER LAw."
Human government is indispensable to the happiness and progress of human society. Hence God, in his wisdom and benevolence, wills its existence; and in this sense, and this alone, the powers that be are ordained by him. But civil government cannot exist if each individual may, at his pleasure, forcibly resist its injunctions. Therefore, Christians are required to submit to the powers that be, whether a Nero or a slave-catching Congress. But obedience to the civil ruler often necessarily involves rebellion to God. Hence we are warned by Christ and his apostles, and by the example of saints in all ages, in such cases, not to obey, but to submit and suffer. We are to hold fast our allegiance to Jehovah, but at the same time not to take up arms to defend ourselves against the penalties imposed by the magistrate for our disobedience. Thus the divine sovereignty and the authority of human government are both maintained. Revolution is not the abolition of human government, but a change in its form, and its lawfulness depends on circumstances. What was the “den” in which John Bunyan had his glorious vision of the “Pilgrim's Progress”? A prison to which he was confined for years for refusing obedience to human laws. And what excuse did this holy man make for conduct now denounced as wicked and rebellious? “I cannot obey, but I can suffer.” The Quakers have from the first refused to obey the law requiring them to bear arms; yet have they never been vilified by our politicians and “cotton clergymen” as rebels against the powers that be, nor sneered at for their acknowledgment of a “higher” than human law. The
From “A Letter to the Hon. Samuel A. Elliot, Representative in Congress from the City of Boston, in Reply to his Apology for Voting for the Fugitive Slave Bill.”
Lord Jesus Christ, after requiring us to love God and our neighbor, added, “There is none other commandment greater than these;” no, not even a slave-catching act of Congress, which requires us to hunt our neighbor, that he may be reduced to the condition of a beast of burden. Rarely has i. religious faith of the community received so rude a shock as that which has been given it by your horrible law, and the principles advanced by its political and clerical supporters. Cruelty, oppression, and injustice are elevated into virtues; while justice, mercy, and compassion are ridiculed and vilified.
JAREd SpARRs, whose name will ever be inseparably associated with American history, and who has done so much to hand down to posterity the great names and important events of our Revolutionary annals, was born in Willington, Connecticut, in 1789. His father was a poor farmer, and he was apprenticed to a carpenter. But his innate love of books was so strong that he would devote all his leisure time to reading and study; and, finding a number of kind friends ready to aid him in his pursuit of knowledge, he went, in 1809, to Phillips Academy, Exeter, New Hampshire. He graduated at Harvard in 1815; was preceptor of Lancaster Academy for one year, and then returned to Cambridge to pursue his theological studies, at the same time discharging the duties of tutor in the college, in Mathematics and Natural Philosophy.
On the 5th of May, 1819, he was ordained over the First Unitarian Church in Baltimore, and for a number of years he wrote extensively upon subjects of theological controversy, publishing, in 1820, Letters on the Ministry, Ritual, and Doctrines of the Protestant Episcopal Church, in reply to a sermon by Rev. William E. Wyatt, of St. Paul's Church. About this time he edited a monthly periodical, entitled The Unitarian Miscellany and Christian Monitor. While in Baltimore, he commenced the publication of a Collection of Essays and Tracts in Theology, from Various Authors, with Biographical and Critical Notices; completed in Boston, in 1826, in six volumes. In 1823 appeared An Inquiry into the Comparative Moral Tendency of Trinitarian and Unitarian Doctrines, in a series of Letters to Samuel Miller, D.D., of Princeton. The latter part of that year he removed to Boston, and purchased the “North American Review,” of which he became the sole editor, and continued such till 1830. In 1828, “he commenced that noble series of volumes illustrative of American History, to which he has ever since devoted himself, and which have forever associated his own name with the names of the most illustrious of our countrymen.”
The first of his historical works was the Life of John Ledyard, the American Navigator and Traveller, one volume, octavo, published in 1828; the second, The Diplomatic Correspondence of the American Revolution, in 12 volumes, 1829 to 1831; the third, The Life of Gouverneur Morris, in three volumes, 1832; the fourth, The Life and Writings of Washington, twelve volumes, 1833 to 1840; the fifth, The Works of Benjamin Franklin, with Notes and a Life of the Author, ten volumes, 1840; the sixth, Correspondence of the American Revolution; being Letters of Emiment Men to George Washington, from the time of his taking the command of the army to the end of his Presidency, four volumes, 1853. In 1835, Mr. Sparks commenced the Library of American Biography, and the first series, in ten volumes, was completed in 1839. The “Second Series,” consisting of fifteen volumes, was begun in 1843, and finished in 1846. Of the sixty lives in these twenty-five volumes, Mr. Sparks wrote the biographies of Ethan Allen, Benedict Arnold, Father Marquette, Robert Cavelier de la Salle, Count Pulaski, John Ribault, Charles Lee, and John Ledyard. It is to Mr. Sparks, also, that we are indebted for one of the most valuable periodical publieations, “The American Almanac and Repository of Useful Knowledge,” the first volume of which was edited by him in 1830. This is a work of such value as a book of reference that no one who has ever taken it feels that he can do without it. In 1839, Mr. Sparks was appointed to the M'Lean Professorship of Ancient and Modern History in Harvard University, which chair he held till 1849, when he was elected President of that institution. This high post of honor and responsibility he held till 1852, when he felt obliged to resign it on account of ill health. Such is a brief outline of the literary labors of this distinguished scholar, who now resides in Cambridge, engaged, it is said, on a History of the Foreign Relations of the United States during the American Revolution.
ANECDOTE OF JOHN LEDYARD.
On the margin of the Connecticut River, which runs near the college,' stood many majestic forest trees, nourished by a rich soil. One of these Ledyard contrived to cut down. He then set himself at work to fashion its trunk into a canoe, and in this labor he was assisted by some of his fellow-students. As the canoe was fifty feet long, and three wide, and was to be dug out and constructed by these unskilful workmen, the task was not a trifling one, nor such as could be speedily executed. Operations were carried on with spirit, however, till Ledyard wounded himself with an axe, and was disabled for several days. When he recovered, he applied himself anew to his work; the canoe was finished, launched into the stream, and, by the further aid of his companions, equipped and prepared for a voyage. His wishes were now at their consummation, and, bidding adieu to these haunts of the muses, where he had gained a dubious fame, he set off alone, with a light heart, to explore a river with the navigation of which he had not the slightest acquaintance. The dis
'Dartmouth College, New Hampshire.