« PreviousContinue »
and commotion, bers. Who'
said my uncle
full and milky ears only to try a better seed ? Should I shave this beard, in hope that a comelier one might sprout? Should I take out a bill against my wife, that I might win perchance a better one ? My beard is well enough, my wife is well enough, my wheat is well enough. Ah what shall come of change my, wheat ... wewe ndugu w and commotion but losses ? Who suffer ? None but rogues and mischief-makers. Who'
6. I will not reason with thee,' said my uncle with impatience. It is well for Judea that some souls are made of other stuff.
666 In my belief, continued Jael, the Jews of Cæsarea were dealt with after their deserts. A man now-a-days can live scarce a day in peace for these sons of Belial. But the blood let in Cæsarea may keep it cool in Jerusalem, so shall good come of it. Hast thou heard the news here on the Jordan, Onias? If we now bestir ourselves we may do greater things than they in Cæsarea.
6. What mean you ?' said my uncle.
“I speak,' said Jael, of John of Hebron, who hath taken pains to travel beyond the Jordan, and up and down in that region, some say, stirring up the people, but others only preaching. But who can stir the people more than he who preaches ? The ears of the council I trust will be open to take note of him.'
“. But what mean you ? ' said Onias, and of whom do you speak? Jest not after thy fashion.' C«I speak truly but what I hear,' replied Jael, and jest not. I have not seen this wanderer myself ; but have heard somewhat from every one who hath come from beyond Jordan. Some even hold him a prophet; but it were nearer a truth, I doubt not, to hold him possessed of a demon. Prophets do not grow on every bush.'
6. How is he followed ? ' asked my uncle.
66. From far and near,' answered Jael, “ have people resorted to him, some even from Jerusalem. But that makes for nothing, seeing that they of Jerusalem are ever running after some new thing.'
«What, continued Onias, is the manner of his life and appearance?'
Jael could not say. He had heard a thousand varying accounts from travellers, but knew not which were true or which were false. His belief was that he was one in part be
side himself, and who was therefore just the kind of adventurer to amaze and seduce the people. With the help of a few magic arts, he would soon make himself great. — The vociferations of new comers, now calling loudly upon Jael, put an end to our discourse ; our host descended with reluctance to perform some of the duties of his office, and soon after, closing the folds of our tent, we fell asleep.”
perform som discourse; ees, now calor himself the help of
Art. VII. — Rosanna ; or Scenes in Boston. A Story;
by the Author of “ Three Experiments of Living, &c." Cambridge. John Owen. 1839.
THERE are some writers who soon inspire confidence, and lead us to welcome whatever comes forth in their name. With this feeling we sat down to read Rosanna ; and the feeling is strengthened. It is not a remarkable book in any respect, but it is a very interesting, and will prove, we cannot doubt, a very useful book. This is its purpose, to be useful. It was a written and sold for the benefit of the Infant School in Broad Street, Boston.” With the character or condition of that school we have no acquaintance. We have not been led to place entire confidence in the establishments generally that pass under that name. We take it to be a fact, that most infant schools have failed to accomplish that which was once expected, and that the public have been satisfied to return to the common schools. Every one, however, has probably felt, that an exception might be made in favor of certain communities and places. There are circumstances in which we can conceive an infant school to be of the greatest benefit. And they are just the circumstances which will be conveyed to minds familiar with the place, by the terms “ Broad Street, Boston.” If there are any to whom the place or its character is not familiar, we can only ask them to read this little story, where they will learn something both of the place and the operation of the school.
But this is not the direct object of the story, nor by any means its chief use. We regard it, whatever may have been the design of the writer, as an instrument for the promotion
of a work of reform, which holds no mean place among the characteristics of our age — the temperance reform. Would that all instruments used for that noble end were as judicious as this, — not many, we believe, will prove more effectual, than those of this class, humble as they are. Yet we feel little disposed to imply censure against any who are attempting to help the work in question. It is a work that engages our heartiest sympathy. Its warmest advocates, its very zealots, . have our sympathy, - more at least than its opposers. We cannot conceive it to be in 'man, to weigh fairly the evils of intemperance, especially to see and feel them as they affect any of his own kindred, and not be filled with a zeal that may seem to many fanaticism, and may sometimes run into it. No ardor of this kind amazes us so much, or grieves us so much, as to find wise and good men, even those in the highest seats of justice and religion, setting themselves in direct opposition to measures of reform, and allowing all the influence that they throw into the scale at all to work against reform. We know the answer to this. They do not oppose reform, but only particular modes and instruments, — and these for the single reason, that they believe them not favorable, but prejudicial. Must they not do this if they are true friends to temperance? Is it not as clear and Christian a duty; to oppose that which injures as to encourage that which helps a good work ?
We wish to reply to this argument. We admit its force. It is not merely plausible, but real. Our reply is not designed to show its falsity, but to consider its application. We are not able to assent to all the use that is made of it. It has its place and its obligation. It is not to be scouted. Its advocates are not to be set down as the advocates of sophistry, and the enemies of truth and good. This is the greatest mistake that the temperance zealots have made, in our opinion. They have a good cause. They have reason for their zeal. But they have no right to condemn, censure, or distrust those, who see not the wisdom of all their measures, and feel it a sacred duty to frown upon such of the measures as in their opinion will do injury instead of good. It is the worst form of intolerance as well as weakness, which we sometimes see now in the temperance and abolition ranks, — the intolerance of denying right motive and true interest to those, who like not the badge or bondage of party, and who cannot, either as a matter of taste or principle, adopt the language, or wield the weapons, that are pronounced by the leaders indispensable.
whose ither of the action upo such as ... There and with wciples
· We know individually, whose hand has never been seen, whose voice may never have been heard publicly, as connected with either of the causes in question, yet in whose fervent interest and beneficial action upon them, we have more faith, than in some who withhold from such as these all the credit, which they take so liberally to themselves. There is an assumption and arrogance, which we cannot understand; and with which, viewed by the lights of history, and judged by the principles of reason, human fallibility, common truth, and Christian charity, it requires a good measure of the last to have patience always.
But to what does this admission amount? What does it prove, if anything, for either side of the argument ? On the one side, and of itself, it proves, or rather it constitutes, the simple vindication of freedom of opinion and diversity of action. If any one denies these at the present day, or thinks them inconsistent with purity of motive and the best character, he is the last man in the world that we should stop to reason with. On the other hand, this admission yields nothing to the opposers of temperance men and measures, except this same liberty of thought and action, which they derive from God, and for the use of which they are accountable to God and to man. It is liberty, but not license; the liberty of law and principle, guarded by religious sanctions, and attended at every step by the most solemn responsibilities.
These responsibilities pertain to the manner of opposing error, as well as the manner of advocating truth. And this is one objection that we have to make to the common application of the principle, whose justice we have admitted. Allowing that the advocates of temperance are extravagant and injadicious, that some of them are intemperate and intolerant, it is still a question, whether they are to be opposed, or in what way opposed. Because you believe many are injuring a good cause by their fanaticism, it does not follow that you may abandon that cause, and be blameless. What good cause has not suffered from fanaticism ? And what would have been the fate of the best, of the Christian religion itself, if true friends had forsaken and stood aloof, the moment it was injured by false or foolish friends ? Still less is any one at liberty, not only to forsake, but to oppose, because of extravagance and folly. None are at liberty — to make our meaning plain and give it a bearing on the actual case -- to forsake in such a way, to withdraw in
VOL. XXVIII. — 3D s. VOL. X. NO. 1. 15
such a way, that it will amount to opposition, be so construed by the enemy, and so felt by the friend and the cause. For example, a man, who has been active for temperance, becomes all at once passive; from warmth passes to coldness; from the expression of interest and devotion to no expression at all. Nay, he does not stop in the passive and negative. He is virtually opposed now. He is not silent but talks, and talks always in a doubtful, distrustsul, perhaps reproachful tone, as to the whole matter. Name the subject of temperance, and it is sure to set him on a run of objections ! Speak of any new. measures, and before they are explained or known, he is talking about fanaticism! Ask him if such an address or story is not a good one, he admits it, “ but —.” Ask him if he does not think temperance is a good cause and intemperance a great evil, he exclaims emphatically, as if offended by the question, “ Yes, certainly, but —.”
of this kind of opposition, we soberly think there is a great deal too much. There is a great deal for which the friends of virtue, society, and law are responsible. We see many reasons for believing, that at least as great injury has resulted to the promotion of temperance, from the distance at which its former friends have kept themselves, their coldness, objections, and reproaches, as from the heat of partisans, and the impolicy of measures. You may say, it is all to be traced to the over-zealous and the foolish. Grant it, and grant that they have no excuse for their folly, that there is no doubt of the injury they are doing, and that moreover it is extremely disagreeable and sometimes disgusting to come in contact with their coarseness and their violence. All this we may admit. We have felt it. But we see not that it alters the matter of principle or duty. It cannot destroy obligation. It may be a sufficient reason for not acting in a particular way or with certain men. But it is not a sufficient reason for not acting at all. Even if it authorizes us to keep silence, it does not authorize us to speak in opposition, or in such a way as will be sure to be construed into opposition, and can have no good effect. If he that is not for us is against us, much more they, who speak against us when they speak at all, vote against us when they vote at all, and allow all their silence and their speech, their looks, jokes, doubts, their fears and arguments, their very manner of expressing hopes and offering prayers, to tend to the discouragement of those engaged in the work, and the emboldening