« PreviousContinue »
But brighter tidings still !
A ransom for your guilt, -
Sages of Greece! come near —
Mysteries before untold !
Searchers for some first cause !
And faint to think upon;
Ye followers of him
To this reality.
Greece! though thy sculptured walls
Immortal poets sung,
Confessions of an Inquiring Spirit. By S. T. COLERIDGE. Edited from the Author's Manuscript. By Henry Nelson COLERIDGE. Boston: J. Munroe & Co. 1841. 12mo. pp. 129. — This is a somewhat interesting little work, by a man who thought much, talked well, and wrote too little. It consists of seven letters to a friend, never before published, “ concerning the bounds between the right and the superstitious view and estimation of the Sacred Canon, in which the writer submissively discloses his own private judgment on the following questions.
“I. Is it necessary or expedient to insist on the belief of the divine origin and authority of all, and every part of the canonical books as the condition, or first principle of Christian faith?”
“II. Or may not the due appreciation of the Scriptures collectively be more safely relied on as the result and consequence of the belief in Christ; the gradual increase, in respect of particular passages, of our spiritual discernment of their truth and authority, supplying a test and measure of our own growth and progress as individual believers, with. out the servile fear that prevents or overclouds the free honor which cometh from love
To the first question Mr. Coleridge answers in the negative, and therefore denies the doctrine of plenary inspiration; to the second he answers in the affirmative, and therefore makes the Christian's experience the test and measure of the truth and authority of the Scriptures. / His doctrine on the Bible is virtually the doctrine which we ourselves have long entertained, and frequently set forth. It is therefore with pleasure that we welcome the publication of these “ Confessions.” To the numerous admirers of Coleridge in this country, they will need no commendation. To those among us, - and they are many,— who worship the mere letter, it will be useful present.
Airs of Palestine, and other Poems. By John PIERPONT. Boston: James Munroe & Co. 1840. 12mo. pp. 334. — We are hardly pardonable for not having noticed these poems sooner, and we regret that we can only notice their publication now. We can merely add that this volume presents quite a variety, both as to the kind and the quality of its contents. Many of the Devotional pieces will be found suitable for the expression of pious feeling, and worthy to rank beside the productions of Watts and Doddridge. The Airs of Palestine, the longest poein in the collection, is generally smooth and musical in its versification, and some portions of it are in a high degree poetical. Of the Occasional pieces, those in praise of cold water, and in vindication of the right of petition, are the best. Mr. Pierpont is no sentimentalist, no transcendentalist, but he has a free, bold mind, strong and generous impulses, much genuine feeling, and an eye for the picturesque and the beautiful in nature, many of the characteristic qualities of a true poet, and the volume before us is highly creditable to his industry, his genius, and above all to his moral and religious principles.
Essay on the Character and Influence of Washington in the Revolution of the United States of America. By M. Guizor. Translated from the French. Boston: James Munroe & Co. 1840. 16mo.
This, like every thing from the pen of M. Guizot, at present the able Minister of Foreign Affairs in the French Cabinet, possesses no ordinary value. It is in general a very fair and a very just estinate of the character of Washington. It errs, however, we think, by overrating Washington's influence in our Revolution. No man was, or could be, under the circumstances, better fitted to conduct the armies of the Republic, and no manever proved himself more faithful to his trust. Still, he did not make the Revolution, nor was he the Deliverer or Saviour of his country. The American Revolution was the work of no one man, but of the American people. The American people declared and achieved their independence, and to them, not to any chief, not even to Washington, belongs, under God, the glory. In no country in the world are mere individuals, howerer great, of so little importance as in ours. We have a great people, and therefore are never at the mercy of great chiefs.
BOSTON QUARTERLY REVIEW.
ART. I. - Conversations with a Radical. By a Con
R. That was an ingenious argument with which you closed our conversation yesterday.
C. It must have shaken your theory a little.
R. Perhaps so. And yet it was not quite satisfactory. Every man, of course, should draw according to his investment; but since all men are born equal, will you be so good as to inform me how it happens, that one man, on commencing in life, is able to make a larger investment than another?
C. All men may perhaps be born with equal rights, but they are born with very unequal capacities.
R. And one's superior natural capacity consists in his having houses and lands, shops and tools, sheep and cattle, ships and merchandise to invest, while another has only his bodily activity ?
C. I do not comprehend you.
R. You claimed in our conversation yesterday, the right to a larger proportion of the income of the copartnership existing between you and your hired man,
, on the ground that your investment was greater than
his. I ask, how you were able to make this greater investment, and you virtually answer, that it is owing to the fact, that you were born with a capacity superior to his. Does this superior capacity of yours consist in the possession of more capital than he has ?
C. My capacity is purely personal, and has no relation to my external possessions. But having this superior natural capacity, I have been able to accumulate more than he, and am therefore able now to make larger investments than he can.
R. You assume then, that the differences one sees in wealth
among men, are all owing to the differences the Creator establishes in their natural capacities?
R. And since the Deity must have willed these different capacities, or he would not have suffered them, and since inequality in wealth follows as a necessary consequence of inequality of capacity, you infer that it is the will of Providence that some should be rich, and others poor?
C. Precisely. And therefore I contend that in seeking to bring about equality as to men's possessions, you are warring against God.
R. Some men I believe inherit wealth. These inherit, I suppose, because they are born with a superior natural capacity. The son of a rich man, then, has always a larger natural capacity than the son of a poor man ?
C. I do not say that. Most of our rich men were poor men's sons.
R. And yet you tell me that all the differences, which exist among men in regard to wealth, are the necessary result of their different capacities. If you are right in this, it follows as a matter of course, that the children of the rich, who become rich by inheritance, inherit not because they are the children of the rich, but because they are born with superior natural capacities.
C. I claim no natural superiority of capacity for the children of the rich over the children of the poor.
R. Then I suppose you will modify your statement a little, and admit that those differences, which are introduced by the principle of inheritance, are exceptions to your general rule, and are not in fact the result of unequal capacities?
C. Very well.
R. I am aware that the differences introduced by the principle of inheritance are not all the differences or inequalities which do exist in regard to wealth ; but still they form directly or indirectly no small portion of them. Now will you tell me on what principle you legitimate the right of inheritance ?
C. What! would you deprive me of my right to leave what little I may have saved from my hard earnings to my children? What! would you rob my children of their right to inherit the estate of their father?
R. Nobody, my dear Sir, has any wish to deprive you or your children of any right which nature or nature's God may have given you or them. I am not among those who would do evil that good may come, or who would seek good at the sacrifice of right. Be just though the heavens fall, is my motto. Prove that what you call your right. is your right, and I certainly will respect it.
C. Have I not a right to do as I will with mine own?
R. No, Sir; you have no right to use your property to injure your neighbor, your country, or your fellowmen anywhere; you have no right to use it for the production of a smaller good, when it is in your power to use it for the production of a larger. You are bound to be good, and to do good, and not only to be good a little, but in the highest degree possible ; not only to do a little good, but the greatest amount of good possible. You see, Sir, that what you call yours, is by no means yours. You are in relation to all
yours, but God's steward, and are bound in morals and in religion to use it as he commands, that is to say, in obedience to the commands of justice and love; and