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philosophy was obliged to borrow the garb of religion in order to make its principles current in a superstitious age.
But now theology is forced to borrow the garb of philosophy to make its dogmas pass current in a scientific age. Those who bring forward the most revolting doctrines of Calvinism are now very glad to support their views by analogies borrowed from other parts of God's providence and creation, instead of bidding the human mind bow in unquestioning faith at the dictation of the priest.
Whether religious enthusiasm will gain ardor by having its fond faith subject to a philosophical criticism, we are not at present aiming to show; however strongly convinced that Christianity will stand the test of all fair scientific investigation, we must own, there is something in all deliberate reasoning, that moderates the fire of passion, and that he is a rare character, who at the same time unites the qualities of a logician and enthusiast. We would even doubt with the sensible De Tocqueville, whether that conviction, which is deliberate and rational, and self-possessed, ever raised a man to the same degree of ardor and enthusiasm, which dogmatic, arbitrary creeds inspire. But whether reason and science chill ardor in religious matters or -the age demands reason and science in religion, and will have a rational religion or else none, that shall have the confidence of the people. Religion may be rational, and at the same time firm and heartfelt, but not impassioned
Protestantism began by ministering to the want of a rational faith. It rejected the Papal authority and vindicated the right of each man to judge of the meaning of scripture. But still, it took the truth of Scripture for granted without a proper historical examination. Another age threw off the former subserviency to the Church Canon of Scriptural books, and applied a bold and patient historical criticism to them. Still another age, and the end of it is not yet, went a step farther-examined the Christian records by the light of philosophy and sought to find a witness to the truths of religion in the facts of consciousness and in the soul's undeniable instincts. The Revelation of God in the Scriptures has been examined and approved by a comparison of his manifestations of himself in nature and the human soul.
Every step of this way of progress has been stoútly contested, and sore has been the opposition, which the movement party has met with. But a great advance has been made. A man may now in enlightened communities apply an impartial historical examination to the Scriptures as to other books, without
fear of a church anathema. He may without standing in fear of the stake, speak now of geology in connection with the account of the creation in the book of Genesis, and of astronomy in connection with Joshua and the story of the sun and Indeed the organ of Andoverian Orthodoxy
has quoted an article, without condemnation, from a German Evangelical magazine, which maintains the account of Joshua's miracle to be a poetic interpolation.
But the time has not yet come, when a man may safely apply the same principles of judgement to the criticism of God's truth in the Bible, which are universally applied in examining God's truth as revealed in nature and the human soul.
The Bible, it is well said by a distinguished Orthodox divine, holds the same relation to religious truth, that the natural world holds to physical science. Wise and rare is the theologian who comes to the study of the Bible with the same earnestness, that the natural philosopher brings to the study of the visible creation: and who is willing to seek the great elements of religious truth in the inspired volume, just as the latter seeks to find the great laws of the material elements in the natural world around him. To do this has been the great aim of theological studies among the enlightened minds in the Church for the last fifty years. And glorious have been the results. A religion has been proclaimed, which, while it is based on the Christian history, satisfies the demands of reason and ministers to the cravings of the heart for salvation and immortal life.
May 26. Left Louisville at six, P. M., in the steamer Naples. The late fearful destruction of life by the explosions on the Moselle and Oronoko do not seem to have diminished very much the amount of travelling on steamboats. Impressions made on our community are almost like those stamped on water. They pass away immediately and leave the surface of the popular mind as before. It appears as if nothing could prevent these disastrous accidents but the heaviest penalties of the law. If the owners and officers of boats were made responsible in heavy fines, or severe punishments for all accidents occurring
on their boats, the number of such casualities, as they are called, would soon diminish. In almost every instance they result from ignorance in the engineer, recklessness and insubordination in the pilot, or carelessness and disregard of life in the captain. They are called accidents, but they are just such kind of accidents as would never occur if they were heavily punished.
Saturday, May 27. Reached Owensboro at 9, A. M. It is about one hundred and sixty miles below Louisville, in Daviess county, Kentucky. The public buildings are a court house and academy. There is no church, because no sect is strong enough to build one for itself. All denominations are here represented. The Methodists are perhaps the most numerous, and there are several Unitarian families.
At their request I visited the place. The situation of Owensboro is very pleasant, the banks are high, and the green streets are here and there adorned with stately trees. I was received by my friend Mr. Scarborough, who has charge of the academy, and introduced by him to several of the families. It was thought best that I should make the most of my time, and I therefore preached twice on Saturday, twice on Sunday, and on Monday night. The audiences were large, and appeared interested. The subjects of my discourses were, The duty of inquiring for Truth, Regeneration, The Divinity of Christ, What shall I do to be saved ? and Christian Union. The audience the last night was larger than at the beginning. I suppose that those of our brethren who are opposed to three days meetings, would allow that here, where there are no regular meetings, I might be excused for holding one.
The effect was. I think, very good. All denominations attended, and few were dissatisfied. Å Cumberland Presbyterian and two Methodist preachers assisted me in the services. The Presbyterian, who had appointed to preach on Sunday, kindly gave way to me in the morning and night. On the whole an excellent feeling prevailed. Many were present who seldom attend any religious meetings, and there is reason to think that the services were blessed to the spiritual good of the hearers.
Besides the public services on the Sabbath, I baptised a lady and two children, and attended the Sabbath School, and made a short address to the children. This School is a very interesting one. It was commenced and has been carried forward by the exertions of Mr. Scarborough, and is in a very flourishing condition, containing sixty or seventy pupils. The teachers and scholars are of all denominations. Nothing sectarian is taught in the school, but the great truths of Christianity
which are common to all. An attempt was made to convince the people that Mr. Scarborough taught his own sectarian opinions, because Allen's Questions are used, and the library was bought in Boston. But this religious attempt to break down a Sunday school and destroy the reputation of its teacher, did harm to no one but its author. It is proper to add that he was a stranger, who thought the people of Owensboro unable to discern for themselves what was right and true, and therefore volunteered his assistance to direct them.
The Academy, under the care of Mr. S., is one of the best regulated and interesting I have ever seen. The government is almost wholly of the moral kind. Reason and kindness, and not threats and force are the successful means of conducting it. How successful, may be judged from the fact that the school governed itself a whole day in the absence of the teacher. Mr. Š. told the children that on Monday he could not be in sehool, but that if they thought they could keep the rules, he would place that confidence in them to allow them to come to school without him. They unanimously promised, and kept their promise. The school was so still the whole day that as the children said, you might hear at any time the ticking of the clock. At the regular hour they took their recess, and dismissed themselves. Next morning Mr. S. asked those who had not broken the rules by leaving their places, whispering, &c. to rise. All rose but three boys, and their offence, as I learned, was merely whispering. Such a fact as this speaks volumes for the Academy, and instructor. He told me that he derived much benefit from Mr. Alcott's Conversations with Children, and thought his method the true one.
On Monday I took a ride with Mr. S. and Mr. Robert Triplett, to some extensive coal banks a few miles below Owensboro, belonging to the latter gentleman. I was not aware that coal was found below Hawesville, but this is inexhaustible in quantity, and in quality seems to resemble the Hawesville coal, which is like the Cannel coal of England Mr. Triplett is making a rail road, by which the coal will be brought to a point on the river where there is a fine harbour. Here also stands an ice house and a dairy for supplying boats. There seems every probability that a manufacturing town will spring up at this point before many years. The hills which contain the coal are very beautifully wooded with the largest trees. Our ride over hills and along the valleys, under the shade of these majestic forests, was very pleasant. Some places reminded me of Spenser's description.
A gentle vale, which lowly lay
We saw no knight, with red cross shield, but other things we did see, which might carry the imagination back as far as the days of European chivalry. In the midst of the woods, and overgrown with large trees, were some Indian mounds, covered with graves. Each grave was surrounded by large slabs of stone, sunk perpendicularly in the ground, with the tops three or four inches above the surface. A single slab was used for each top and side, and some were therefore six feet long. They had evidently been wrought by some tools, the edges being smoothed off. I was told that formerly a broad slab lay on the top of each grave also, but these had been removed for hearth stones. I had heard of graves like these, in Tennessee and Illinois, but never had an opportunity of seeing them before myself.
On returning from our ride, we passed the farm formerly occupied and improved by the celebrated Joseph Hamilton Daviess, from whom this county is named. He was a man of great genius, though of some eccentricity. I have seldom been more interested that in listening to the anecdotes about him which are repeated by his friends.
I looked at his home and the orchard he had planted, as one always regards the scene which has been made illustrious by the
a great man.
The waters murmur of their name,
On Tuesday morning, I bade my friends farewell, and left the Yellow Banks in an ascending steamboat. I have seldom been listened to with more attention and with less of prejudice than by this people, and can bear testimony to their liberality of feeling and hospitality to strangers. It is proper however to say, that this is owing in a great measure to the influence exerted by the earnest labors, and the character of my friend