« 上一頁繼續 »
this time, he was busily engaged upon the third volume of his history, which was published in 1842. In 1844, he was the “Democratic” candidate for Governor of Massachusetts, but was unsuccessful. At the close of that year, Mr. Polk was elected President, who, early the next year, appointed him Secretary of the Navy. In 1846, he was appointed Minister-Plenipotentiary to Great Britain, and there represented the United States until succeeded by Mr. Abbott Lawrence, in 1849. On his return, this year, to his country, he made New York his place of residence, and resumed more actively the prosecution of his historical labors. The fourth volume of his history appeared in 1852, and comprises a period of fifteen years, from 1748 to 1763. The next year the fifth volume was published, comprising the years 1763, 1764, and 1765. The sixth volume brings us down to 1774,-the verge of the Revolution; and the seventh, published in 1858, enters upon the stirring scenes of the Revolution itself."
Chara CTER OF ROGER WILLIAMS.
While the state was thus connecting by the closest bonds the energy of its faith with its form of government, there appeared in its midst one of those clear minds which sometimes bless the world by their power of receiving moral truth in its purest light, and of reducing the just conclusions of their principles to a happy and consistent practice. In February of the first year of the colony, but a few months after the arrival of Winthrop, and before either Cotton or Hooker had embarked for New England, there arrived at Nantasket, after a stormy passage of sixty-six days, “a young minister, godly and zealous, having precious” gifts. It was Roger Williams. He was then but a little more than thirty years of age; but his mind had already matured a doctrine which secures him an immortality of fame, as its application has given religious peace to the American world. He was a Puritan, and a fugitive from English persecution; but his wrongs had not clouded his accurate understanding; in the capacious recesses of his mind he had revolved the nature of intolerance, and he, and he alone, had arrived at the great principle which is its sole effectual remedy. He announced his discovery under the simple proposition of the sanctity of conscience. The civil magistrate should restrain crime, but never control opinion; should punish guilt, but never violate the freedom of the soul. The doctrine contained within
1 The “London Monthly Review” thus speaks of Mr. Baneroft:-" He possesses the best qualities of an historian. His diligent research, his earnest yet tolerant spirit, and the sustained accuracy and dignity of his style, have been nobly brought to bear upon one of the grandest subjects that ever engaged the study of the philosopher, the legislator, or the historian.”
itself an entire reformation of theological jurisprudence; it would blot from the statute-book the felony of non-conformity; would quench the fires that persecution had so long kept burning; would repeal every law compelling attendance on public worship; would abolish tithes and all forced contributions to the maintenance of religion; would give an equal protection to every form of religious faith; and never suffer the authority of the civil government to be enlisted against the mosque of the Mussulman or the altar of the fire-worshipper, against the Jewish synagogue or the Roman cathedral. It is wonderful with what distinctness Roger Williams deduced these inferences from his great principle; the consistency with which, like Pascal and Edwards,those bold and profound reasoners on other subjects, he accepted every fair inference from his doctrines; and the circumspection with which he repelled every unjust imputation. In the unwavering assertion of his views he never changed his position; the sanctity of conscience was the great tenet which, with all its consequences, he defended, as he first trod the shores of New England; and in his extreme old age it was the last pulsation of his heart. But it placed the young emigrant in direct opposition to the whole system on which Massachusetts was founded; and, gentle and forgiving as was his temper, prompt as he was to concede every thing which honesty permitted, he always asserted his belief with temperate firmness and unbending benevolence.
DESTRUCTION OF THE TEA IN Boston HARBOR."
The morning of Thursday, the 16th of December, 1773, dawned upon Boston, a day by far the most momentous in its annals. Beware, little town; count the cost, and know well if you dare defy the wrath of Great Britain, and if you love exile, and poverty, and death, rather than submission. At ten o'clock, the people of Boston, with at least two thousand men from the country, assembled in the Old South. A report was made that
1 On the 28th day of November, 1773, the ship Dartmouth appeared in Boston Harbor, with one hundred and fourteen chests of tea. The ship was owned by Mr. Rotch, a Quaker merchant. In a few days after, two more tea-ships arrived. They were all put under strict guard by the citizens, acting under the lead of a committee of correspondence, of which Samuel Adams was the controlling spirit. The people of the neighboring towns were organized in a similar manner, and sustained the spirit of Boston. The purpose of the citizens was to have the tea sent back without being landed; but the collector and comptroller refused to give the ships a clearance unless the teas were landed, and Governor Hutchinson also refused his permit, without which they could not pass the “Castle,” as the fort at the entrance of Boston Harbor was called. The ships were also liable to seizure if the teas were not landed on the twentieth day after their arrival, and the 16th day of December was the eighteenth day after.
Rotch had been refused a clearance from the collector. “Then," said they to him, “protest immediately against the custom-house, and j, to the governor for his pass, so that your vessel may this very day proceed on her voyage to London.” The governor had stolen away to his country-house at Milton. Bidding Rotch make all haste, the meeting adjourned to three in the afternoon. At that hour Rotch had not returned. It was incidentally voted, as other towns had done, to abstain wholly from the use of tea; and every town was advised to appoint its committee of inspection, to prevent the detested tea from coming within any of them. Then, since the governor might refuse his pass, the momentous question recurred, whether it be the sense and determination of this body to abide by their former resolutions with respect to not suffering the tea to be landed. On this question, Samuel Adams and Young' addressed the meeting, which was become far the most numerous ever held in Boston, embracing seven thousand men. There was among then a patriot of fervent feeling; passionately devoted to the liberty of his country; still young, his eye bright, his cheek glowing with hectic fever. He knew that his strength was ebbing. The work of vindicating American freedom must be done soon, or he will be no party to the great achievement. He rises, but it is to restrain; and, being truly brave and truly resolved, he speaks the language of moderation. “Shouts and hosannas will not terminate the trials of this day, nor popular resolves, harangues, and acclamations vanquish our foes. We must be grossly ignorant of the value of the prize for which we contend, of the power combined against us, of the inveterate malice and insatiable revenge which actuate our enemies, public and private, abroad and in our bosom, if we hope that we shall end this controversy without the sharpest conflicts. Let us consider the issue before we advance to those measures which must bring on the most trying and terrible struggle this country ever saw.” Thus spoke the younger Quincy. “Now that the hand is to the plough,” said others, “there must be no looking back;” and the whole assembly of seven thousand voted unanimously that the tea should not be landed. It had been dark for more than an hour. The church in which they met was dimly lighted; when, at a quarter before six, Rotch appeared, and satisfied the people by relating that the governor had refused him a pass, because his ship was not properly cleared. As soon as he had finished his report, Samuel Adams rose and gave the word, “This meeting can do nothing more to save the
'Dr. Thomas Young, a physician, and afterwards an army-surgeon, was a zealous patriot, and a leading speaker and writer of the time.
country.” On the instant, a shout was heard at the porch; the war-whoop resounded; a body of men, forty or fifty in number, disguised as Indians, passed by the door, and, encouraged by Samuel Adams, Hancock, and others, repaired to Griffin's Wharf, posted guards to prevent the intrusion of spies, took possession of the three tea-ships, and in about three hours, three hundred and forty chests of tea—being the whole quantity that had been inported—were emptied into the bay, without the least injury to other property. “All things were conducted with great order, decency, and perfect submission to government.” The people around, as they looked on, were so still that the noise of breaking open the tea-chests was distinctly heard. A delay of a few hours would have placed the tea under the protection of the admiral at the Castle. After the work was done, the town became as still and calm as if it had been holy time. The men from the country that very night carried back the great news to their villages.
Cli IVALRY AND PURITANISM.
Historians have loved to eulogize the manners and virtues, the glory and the benefits, of chivalry. Puritanism accomplished for mankind far more. If it had the sectarian crime of intolerance, chivalry had the vices of dissoluteness. The knights were brave from gallantry of spirit; the Puritans, from the fear of God. The knights were proud of loyalty; the Puritans, of liberty. The knights did homage to monarchs, in whose smile they beheld honor, whose rebuke was the wound of disgrace; the Puritans, disdaining ceremony, would not bow at the name of Jesus, nor bend the knee to the King of kings. Chivalry delighted in outward show, favored pleasure, multiplied amusement, and degraded the human race by an exclusive respect for the privileged classes; Puritanism bridled the passions, commanded the virtues of selfdenial, and rescued the name of man from dishonor. The former valued courtesy; the latter, justice. The former adorned society by graceful refinements; the latter founded national grandeur on universal education. The institutions of chivalry were subverted by the gradually increasing weight, and knowledge, and opulence of the industrious classes; the Puritans, rallying upon those classes, planted in their hearts the undying principles of democratic liberty.
THE POSITION OF THE PURITANS.
To the colonists the maintenance of their religious unity seemed essential to their cordial resistance to English attempts at oppression. And why, said they, should we not insist upon this union ? We have come to the outside of the world for the privilege of living by ourselves: why should we open our asylum to those in whom we can repose no confidence Z The world cannot call this persecution. We have been banished to the wilderness: is it an injustice to exclude our oppressors, and those whom we dread as their allies, from the place which is to shelter us from their intolerance 2 Is it a great cruelty to expel from our abode the enemies of our peace, or even the doubtful friend ? Will any man complain at being driven from among banished men, with whom he has no fellowship 7 of being refused admittance to a gloomy place of exile? The wide continent of America invited colonization; they claimed their own narrow domains for “the brethren.” Their religion was their life: they welcomed none but its adherents; they could not tolerate the scoffer, the infidel, or the dissenter; and the presence of the whole people was required in their congregation. Such was the system inflexibly established and regarded as the only adequate guarantee of the rising liberties of Massachusetts.
JAMEs Gordon Brooks, the son of an officer in the Revolutionary army, was born at Red Hook, near New York, on the 3d of September, 1801. He was graduated at Union College, Schenectady, in 1819, and studied law, though he never entered upon its practice. In 1823, he removed to New York, and was for several years editor of the “Morning Courier,”—an able and influential paper. In 1828, he was married to Miss Mary Elizabeth Aiken, of Poughkeepsie, who had for many years been a writer of verse for periodicals, under the signature of “Norma;” and the next year a collection of his and his wife's poetry was published, entitled The Rivals of Este, and other Poems, by James G. and Mary E. Brooks. In 1831, he went to Winchester, Virginia, where he edited a newspaper for a few years. In 1838, he removed to Rochester, and then to Albany, New York, where he died in 1841.
Mr. Brooks was quite popular as a poet in his day, and he deserves to be remembered as the author of the following spirited ode on
Land of the brave where lie inurn’d
In whom the fire of valor burn’d,
Land, where the gallant Spartan few