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lecture of a western priest, inviting poor men to emigrate to the west, and showing them how it would be advantageous for them to do so, the "religious" newspapers do, in their current criticisms upon things they dislike?


In this country, where progress and development depend, under Providence, upon the moral and intellectual independence of the individual, such a tendency is worthy of all suspicion. If the clergy, who are generally an educated and morally-superior class, choose to bring their wisdom, and wit, and special learning, to bear upon the topics of the times in weekly newspapers, or to preach weekly sermons through the same medium, we say Godspeed! with all our hearts. But if the religious" press assume to be arbiters of morals, or to speak er cathedra upon points of profound religious conviction, or to utter anathema maranatha, with all the anonymous dignity of a "religious department," upon opinions which they do not like, or do not understand, or which they willfully misrepresent; then the odium is the greater in the degree of the peculiar respect with which the very name of religion is invested, and every patriotic, moral, and religious man, who sees that the sting of papacy lay in its annihilation of private judgment, and that a man may have all the spirit of a Borgian pope, although he calls himself a Protestant, and does not wear a tiara nor sing Latin through his nose, will hold that man to the strictest account of the assumption of any kind of authority bordering upon the papal. The Church of God is the guardian of human liberty which proceeds from him. Any man, claiming to be a priest of that Church, who in any way connives at meanness or the indulgence of personal spite, serving his little spleen under cover of serving his great Master, is a double traitor to God, to man, and to the Church.

to us from the earliest periods and the Observer might have added force to it, by crying, also " polygamist," ""socialist," or "Lollard." "Lollard" would indeed, have been newer, more obscure, and, therefore, more dreadful to many readers. 66 'Madam," said Dr. Johnson to the fishwoman, who had been spirting Billinsgate upon his companion, "you are a noun! an adverb!! an interjection!!!" And the appalled fish-wife shrank and grew silent before those portentous and unknown expletives.

But this calling of names, known among political newspapers as blackguarding, is not distressing. The word "infidel," as an argument, or term of reproach, means nothing. With the same perspicacity, the Observer would call Dr. Channing a deist, and Fenelon a pagan. But our good "religious" mentor prefaces its chastisement of us, which it inflicts with the rod of another, by a disregard of the "terewth" which would shock even the Reverend brother Chadband; and this part of the matter is, unluckily, the only part of any importance which is original with the Observer.

It says: "The publishers of this monthly (Putnam) ceased sending it to us a year or two ago, when we discovered the spirit that pervades its pages. We are glad to see that one of our religious contemporaries has the fearlessness to do its duty to the public by exposing the progressive infidelity of that work." It then quotes the remarks of the Watchman and Reflector upon that dangerous article in our February number-"A National Drama"-which, as our readers will remember, or will find upon reference, lays the axe at the roots of religion, morality, and human welfare in general. And, in a later number, the Observer returns to the charge, quoting another notice of the Watchman upon another article, entitled Broadway Bedeviled," in our March


Our present question, however, is number, which was a brief and solemn not of argument but of fact. record of the horrors of delirium tre

A late number of the New York Observer, a weekly "religious" newspaper of this city, declares with that reluctant sorrow, in which it always finds fault, when its position in the van of virtue compels it to cry out against offenders, that Putnam is infidel. This is not a new argument. It is, in fact, the old cry of mad-dog, which has come down


Now for a plain word with the gentle Observer, skulking behind the Watchman and Reflector, and freely flourishing this easy epithet of infidel. And that plain word will show the reader the occasion and significance of the application of that epithet to the Monthly by this charming specimen of

a Christian censor, and open the public eyes a little to the manner and spirit in which that veracious sheet is managed. Two years ago, in our number for June, 1855, we took occasion to notice several recent books of travel written by Americans, and, among them, one called Travels in Europe and the East, by Samuel Irenæus Prime. We remarked the amazing shallowness of the book; its silly style; its fault-not uncommon in the traveling journals of clergymen of beatifying little men, and treating sectarian and local heroes as if they were of interest to the world. We quoted several of the livelier absurdities of the book, as illustrating the pernicious literary error that slang is ease, and flippancy, spirit, and general carelessness, general superiority. Some of these we shall repeat here, in order that the reader may understand that the author, if by chance he has any vanity, would not, probably, delight in the exposure of his bad grammar and worse taste, and would not be reluctant to improve any opportunity of retaliation the shame of such ridiculous offenses being heightened by the fact, that the author was also a clergyman of respectable standing.

The specimens were culled at random through the volumes. Mr. Samuel Irenæus Prime dines at one of Mr. George Peabody's banquets at Richmond, and sits next "a venerable English lady, patched and proud," and he records his surprise that "an aristocratic and splendidly-genteel woman” should behave as she behaved. In the London fish-market, the Rev. Mr. Prime and his companions are insulted by one of the fish-wives. As they retreat, "she followed us with her compliments, and some of her neighbors heaped on a few more of the same sort." He hears some one "demand a question:" and the Reverend Mr. Prime informs us, with the delicate wit of a b'hoy in the Bowery, that Sir Joseph Paxton, "with a good wife, got a hundred thousand dollars, not bad to take." Again, he asks, or "demand," a question, "in as fair German as I could frame to pronounce." Venice is "unlike anything else, in the way of a city, that was ever seen before," and, in Florence, Madame A- "flourishes in the style of a princess," and "smokes and drinks, genteelly, of course," while Lord B

"is cutting a great dash in the city;"

and, reaching Egypt, this is the rhapsody of an American clergyman “on the Nile! on the Nile! and a broader, swifter, altogether a more respectable river than we had looked for."

Now, a book of whose ludicrous vacuity such extracts are fair specimens which dashed at all the most familiar objects on all the most familiar routes of European travel, with an ingenious imbecility that positively destroyed the interest of the most interesting sceneswas a stroke of pure farce, and would only have amused an idle moment, except that it also afforded a signal instance of that testy and truculent jealousy which often leads American travelers in Europe to defend bad things at home because there are bad things abroad.

The Reverend Samuel Irenæus Prime, for instance, going down to Oxford, sees women working in the fields, and calls them "the white slaves of England," and seriously argues with a fellow-traveler that, because they do not "love the employment," their condition is as bad as that of the American slave, and, therefore, the slave sympathy of England is gratuitous and impertinent. In the course of the conversation, the reverend author remarks that the English treat women as they are not treated in "any other Christian country of which I have heard." This is, at least, perceptive for a traveler upon the continent where women universally work in the fields; or for a citizen of New York, where women may be daily seen dragging little wagons, side by side, with dogs. But the whole thing has nothing to do with slavery. The woman works in the field, as a lawyer works at the bar, or the merchant in his shop, not because he loves it, but because he must earn his honest livelihood. Of course the observations of a man who so entirely confounds and confuses common sense, who consoles himself for his broken leg by observing that his neighbor is blind of an eye, are of the same consequence in themselves as Mr. Toots's observations; but we improved the occasion to speak to the general error.

The book of the Reverend Samuel Irenæus Prime was foolish and unimportant, and is now forgotten. It made assertions, indeed, that, especially as coming from a clergyman, shocked our moral sense quite as much as anything

we said in an essay upon "A National Drama" could have shocked the Observer and if we had stated, with an air of solicitous warning, what was true enough, that this Mr. Samuel Irenæus Prime, claiming to be a Christian clergyman, said things that were baldly atheistic, the Observer, careful of Christian charity when its own ox was gored, would, doubtless, have admonished us of the impropriety of such language.

Now, let the reader mark. Immediately after the publication of our article upon the book of this reverend gentleman, the New York Observer stopped its exchange with Putnam's Monthly. In due course, failing to receive it, we sent for the copy due us, and were told that we might buy it if we wanted it. The Observer had a perfect right to stop the exchange, and we have endeavored to bear up under the loss; but our urbane ecclesiastical weekly allows its malice to overtop its veracity when it says: "The publishers of this monthly ceased sending it to us when we discovered the spirit that pervades its pages."

The Observer had a right to stop the exchange, but it had no right to misstate the circumstances of that stoppage, and make us appear to have been chafed by its criticisms of our character and career, which criticisms we always forgave with many smiles. And if the reflecting mind should demand what motive could the Observer have to stop the exchange at that time, or to make injurious representations afterwards, would it not be a curious and interesting coincidence if the substance of the Reverend Samuel Irenæus Prime's book should have been originally published in the columns of the vivacious Observer, signed Irenæus, and if, at the time it stopped the exchange and called Putnam infidel, it should have been generally understood that the name of one of the most active editors of the New York Observer was Samuel Irenæus Prime?

That is to say, in brief, that Mr. Prime, whose name does not appear upon the Observer, was yet understood to be one of its editors; that he went to Europe and wrote letters which were published in that paper; that he returned and printed them in a book; that Putnam reviewed the book and exposed its absurdity and sophistry; that, thereupon, the Observer stopped its exchange

with Putnam; that it untruly stated the exchange to have been stopped by Putnam because the Observer had discovered its spirit-when the truth was, that the boot was entirely on the other foot, for the exchange was stopped because Putnam had discovered the want of spirit in the book of the reverend editor of the Observer; and that, finally, with the Christian hope of doing the magazine all the harm it could in the religious" world, the Observer charges it, in general, with "progressive infidelity." Whether, so far as the Observer is concerned, this charge, iterated and reiterated, and coupled with a deliberate misstatement of fact, is made in good faith, or from bad feeling, every sensible reader will decide for himself.

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We suggest to the editorial direction of this "religious" newspaper, which appears under the heading as Sidney E. Morse & Co., Editors and Proprietors, to insert conspicuously for safe family reading in the "secular department" of their next issue, the familiar and pregnant proverb that "Certain chickens come home to roost." Let it learn not to call names spitefully, lest its spite return upon it with a sting. Let it understand that it is not to stand up in the land, and, while it insults and maligns the cause of humanity dear to that God who has made all the nations of the earth, think to cover its shame and pass for pious, by lustily bellowing "Lord! Lord!" We are glad to see that what the Observer would call the "secular press" exposes boldly the cunning pusillanimity of a paper, whose mendacity we have probably made apparent to the reader. A recent number of the Utica Herald says, with justice:

"If the Christian ministry is to be attacked -if the Northern churches are to be arraigned-if man-catching and man-stealing are to be defended on strictly 'religious' groundsif the Border-ruffian argument is to be pre sented with the ministerial twang superadded -The Observer is called into the field. It 'turns up' on every occasion when a triumph of Slavery is to be achieved, or has been accomplished. It' turned up' in defense of the Fugitive Slave Law; it 'turned up' in defense of the Nebraska scheme; it turns up' in behalf of the Dred Scott decision. Every time Slavery has made a new demand, The Ob. server has made haste to back it up. Every time a new rascality has been hatched in the National Capitol, The Observer has shrieked


The Observer may or may not be, in the true sense, a "religious newspaper;"

but it must understand that men and magazines may not have the Observer's morals, and yet be quite as Christian, and faithful to God and man.

And now a word with any one who may sincerely wish to understand the ostensible ground of this assault of the Observer and Watchman and Reflector, and learn a little of the capacity, as we have already shown the animus, of these two "religious" journals.

In our February number was a brief and thoughtful paper upon "A National Drama." The Watchman and Reflector does not like it; which is sad. But the Watchman and Reflector willfully garbles and distorts a passage in it, which is silly. It says: "The article is also saturated with a poorly disguised infidelity, audaciously stating, as the 'true Christian principle, that out of himself is to come every man's redemption.' Can it be that this writer ever read the New Testament, ever heard that saying of the Redeemer, Without me ye can do nothing'-or that of the greatest Christian apostle: When we were without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.""

The whole passage, conveniently deformed by the Watchman and Reflector to do all the harm it could, is as follows, and let the reader mark again the honesty of the "religious" newspaper:


"More than our European ancestors, we (Americans) mould, each one of us, our own destiny; we have a stronger inward sense of power to unfold and elevate ourselves; we are more ready and more capable to withstand the assaults of circumstance. Here is more thoroughly embodied the true Christian principle, that out of himself is to come every man's redemption; that the favor and help of God are only to be obtained through resolute self-help and honest, earnest struggle. Christendom we stand alone as having above us neither the objectivity of politics nor that of the church. The light of the past we have, without its darkness. We carry little weight from the exacting past. Hence, our unexampled freedom and ease of movement, which, wanting the old conventional ballast, to Europeans seems lawless and reckless. Even among ourselves, many tremble for our future, because they have little faith in humanity, and because they cannot grasp the new grand historic phenomenon of a people possessing all the principles, practices, and trophies of civilization without its paralyzing encum brances.

"But think not, because we are less passive to destiny, we are rebellious against Deity; be-, cause we are boldly self-reliant, we are, there. fore, irreligiously defiant. The freer a people is, the nearer it is to God. The more subjective it is, through acquired self-rule, the more will it

harmonize with the high objectivity of absolute truth and justice. For, having thrown off the capricious secondary rule of man, we shall not be the less, but the more, under the steadfast, primary rule of God; for, having broken the force of human fallible prescription, we shall the more feel and acknowledge the supremacy of flawless divine law; for, having rejected the tyranny of man's willful ness, we shall submit the more fully to the beneficent power of principle."

Our readers will probably agree with us that this is, in commercial phrase, a superior article " of "infidelity."


The next illustration of our infidelity is not less striking. In the same article which condemns the above cited extract, the Watchman and Reflector says: "Another unchristian sentiment is that on p. 114, hinting that it is natural for a clergyman to believe in Divine Providence, but that the philosophical historian' will attribute the result under notice to a well known philosophical fact. That may be the impulse of an epicurean or atheistic philosophy, but Jehovah reigneth, whether the philosophers own it or not."

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The passage alluded to-will the reader please observe it and compare with the above extract?-is a note to the article upon "Myles Standish," and is as follows:

"The Rev. Dr. Young, in a no te to one of Robinson's letters, given in the Chronicle of the Pilgrims' observes: 'It was certainly a remarkable providence that, out of the twenty-one men'-the others were women and children-'who died the first winter, 80 few were among the leaders of the expedition. With the exception of Carver'--the first Gov. ernor-' most of the prominent men were apared. How different might have been the fate of the colony, had Bradford, Winslow, Standish and Allerton been cut off.' It is natural for a clergyman to see here a special providence the philosophic historian will see in it only the well-established physiological fact, that the power of endurance depends quite as much on mental energy as on bodily strength, indeed, much more."

flector valorously supported by its faithAnd, finally, the Watchman and Reful Sancho Panza, the Observer, charges at another windmill with gratifying intrepidity. We copy from our favorite Observer:


"This was Delirium Tremens. All that I have related, of the pursuit and conflict, was conjured up that horrid warning. Since that but an accusing vision. My abused brain had day, the doctrine of universal salvation has had arguments as well as charms for me. So

much of hell as was compressed into that stagetrip from Madison Square to Barnum's Museum, has saved me from believing in an eternity of it.'

"So concludes an article in the March number of Putnam's Magazine. One is puzzled,' says the Watchman and Reflector, 'on reading it, to conjecture the writer's meaning--whether he is in serious earnest, or is satirizing Universalism. Certainly a severer thrust into any religious system could hardly be made than by presenting it as one that commends itself very especially to the likings and the experimental logic of a brain bedeviled with alcohol. As an argument in good faith it would be ridiculous, if the subject were not so serious. The dread. fulness of hell is a good reason for shunning it by repentance; but it is no reason at all for presuming that it cannot endure. But, whether, in jest or in earnest, whether meant to be for or against Universalism, it seems to us that every thoughtful person must regard such a treatment of that most awful subject as highly indecorous. Putnam's Magazine, the prospectus of the last volume announced, "has opinions and principles." There will be a good many people who will be interested to know whether it is to include theology in the range of its topics, whether Universalism is one of the "opinions and principles" it is to be understood to have, and whether the stuff we have quoted is a sample of the "liberal and intelligent discussion" it befriends. The proprietors may find that they are setting a price upon their work which the religious portion of society cannot consent to pay.''

The little sketch, "Broadway Bedeviled," was a solemn and touching plea for temperance, in the form of a thrilling description of the effects of delirium tremens, told by the sufferer himself. It was very brief and very vivid, recounting the promenade through Broadway of a victim of the rum-madness, followed and haunted, as he walked or rode, by the ghastly fiends that avenge the indulgence of this appetite. It was drawn with great skill and with the evident fidelity of fearful remembrance. The tone of the entire article was fearfully serious; only a ribald could see jesting in a thing so tragic, and the last sentence was simply the high-wrought climax of hyperbole to express in a word the dreadful horror of the suffering. Whether the author cleaves to the particular sect of the Watchman and Reflector, or of the Observer, or to some other, is beside the question. The sketch was a strong, manly, striking VOL. IX.-31

word against a prevalent sin. "Religi


newspapers, like the Observer, which perceive no conflict between the divine golden rule of loving your neighbor as yourself and human slavery, will naturally find fault with the theology of a metaphor, and, with equal naturalness, omit to sympathize with the exposure of a sinful indulgence.

In the name of heaven and Christianity why do not this precious pair of saints instead of excusing slavery, and bearing false witness against their neighbors, by misstatement of facts and misquotation of passages, attend a little to the beams in their own eyes? Their dishonesty defiles their whole class, and all the religious newspapers suffer by this shamelessness of two.

There are plenty of religious men in this country who feel, with some sadness, that the clergy, as a class, are not so conspicuous in the van of all moral and humane movements as their position as ministers of God, and not apologists for man, implies and demands. There are plenty of religious men, clergymen and others, who see with shame and alarm, that the technically "religious" newspapers follow with timid eagerness the lead of time-serving and weak political journals, in denouncing all clergymen who expose, as Christ exposed, special sins, and particular classes of sinners. In a country whose only political hope of the future is in the general moral heroism of the people, and where public moral sense has always been so powerful a political lever, every patriot and Christian is concerned to take care so far as lies in him, who moves that lever, and to see who corrupts that sense. Every Christian minister is peculiarly concerned that the newspapers, for which his profession is editorially responsible, shall at least tell the truth in secular affairs; shall not be mere conduits of sectarian spleen or the sour spite of wounded vanity, but with a hearty sympathy, and generous hope, and Christian faith, give their hands and their hearts to the work of saving men here as well as hereafter.

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