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ing that certainly has appeared to us to dethrone prudence and reason, and worship an indefinable spontaneity. Both religion and morality are represented as based upon feelings, which can have nothing to do with reason or understanding. Act out yourself, — the word is, — act out yourself; and we are not favored with any criterion of our true self, — any absolute law, which shall show us, which self we ought to act out, the self of passion, or worldly prudence, or of reason. In the disgust of some of our brethren at dogmas and systems, they seem to have attacked every rational idea of duty. Impatient of being confined to the letter, they have so glorified the spirit, as to forget that the letter and spirit agree, and ought not to be so vehemently arrayed against each other. Perhaps a remark of a great German sentimentalist may give a pretty good idea of one of the tendencies of the age, and by no means an utterly blameworthy one. « Yes,” says Jacobi, “I would lie like the dying Desdemona; I would deceive like Orestes, when he wished to die in the stead of Pylades; I would assassinate like. Timoleon ; I would be a perjurer like Epaminondas and John de Witt; I would give myself to suicide like Cato; I would be sacrilegious like David; for I have an assurance in myself, that in pardoning these faults, which are so only according to the letter, man exercises the sovereign right, which the majesty of his being confers on him; he sets the seal of his divine nature to the grace, which he grants.”
There are also representatives of an imperfect rational school among us ; some looking for the law of obligation into the cold and critical understanding, and others in their ideal flights, soaring above all earthly sympathies into regions of perpetual cold, and teaching a morality, that is cold as ice, though it may be as clear. Kantians are of this latter class.
There is a great need of a full and lucid exposition of true morality, and at the same time a full appreciation of the elements of truth in all predominant systems and opinions. There is hardly a discussion in a philanthropic society, or debating club, or knot of street disputants, that does not concern the first principles of morals. The theological controversies of the age hinge almost entirely upon cardinal points of ethics. Common conscience, indeed, keeps all well disposed men from going far astray. Yet, many well disposed men are drawn into many practical and speculative absurdities. Moreover, even if the common moral feeling were healthy, we should need a moral
VOL. XXVIII. ~ 3D . VOL. X. NO. 11.
and critabove all earn morality, this latter clasid ex
lity, and great neecare of this is cold a regions of perflights,
science, and the age demands, that scientific inquiry should be carried into every subject of human interest.
Speaking of the connexion of moral science with theological subjects, we are led to our last remark. Ethical questions have their chief practical interest, and to the multitude their speculative interest, as being connected with the dogmas of religion. How much more interest men take in the theological view of necessity, for instance, than in the abstract philosophical view. Calvin's doctrine of decrees, and the same doctrine carried out into ultra Universalism, have far more interest for the people, than the speculations of Leibnitz or Priestley.
Since Ethics have so much charm and influence in connexion with religion, we need a system, that shall show morality in its relations to religion. It is no work of coercion to bring them together. They both spring from the same great source, and both point to the same great end. He, who will show morality and religion in their true union, will also decide the much contested question of the reconciliation of faith and works.
We need a true system of Christian Ethics. A truth-seeking spirit, indeed, will not wander far from duty, by keeping near Jesus and feeding upon his word. But we need a scientific exhibition of the truths of that word, and of their relation to that word of God, of old written upon the human soul, and by no means utterly erased as yet.
Something has been done towards such a work in England, something in Germany. Yet the English does not contain what may be truly called a scientific system of Christian Ethics. It is but recently, that the Germans have undertaken to apply their genius for generalizing to ethical subjects. The English have moralized too much without philosophizing, and the Germans have philosophized too much without moralizing. Kant did something for Ethics, but his system is cold and unchristian, — far less edifying than that of his less scientific opponent, Reinhard. Fichte and Schelling have been occupied with problems too sublime to deal with such an every-day thing, as morality. Schleiermacher has sought to exhibit moral science in all its vastness and unity, and apply to it the principles of Schelling's philosophy of nature. We wish that Jouffroy had added to his chapters upon Spinoza's Ethics one on Schleiermacher's system, for we have many a time of late puzzled our brains with it, and seen just enough of meaning to
exposithe German Lies, that is far werman philosophy, and to
vex us that we cannot see the whole. Doubtless, the lucid expositor of the Jewish Pantheist would find far less difficulty with the German Plato. De Wette, in several works, has given a system of ethics, that is far more congenial to our English sense, than that of any other German philosopher. His system seems to us to be not unlike that of Jouffroy, and to do justice to every element of human nature, whether passion, will, self-interest, or reason. It has, in addition, themerit of applying ethical science to Christianity, and giving a philosophical statement of the ethics of the Gospel.
There are no subjects more interesting than the influence of science upon religion, and no part of that subject is more important than the history of modern philosophy in its connexion with practical religion or Christian Ethics. The progress of Ethics since the Reformation well illustrates that connexion. An article on the history of Christian Ethics in the Protestant world may at some future time be presented to the readers of this journal.
so Theree upon the historycion of mation
ART. II. — THE SAMARITAN PENTATEUCH.
Almost within our own day, the Christian world have come into possession of a new copy of the Pentateuch, little known out of a small circle of scholars. It is written in the Samaritan language, and appears to be wholly independent of the Hebrew, which we are accustomed to read in the Common Version of the Scriptures. They have come down to us through different channels; the Hebrew copy through the Jews, the descendants of the people who inhabited the ancient kingdom of Judah, and the Samaritan, through the Samaritans, the descendants of the people who inhabited the ancient kingdom of Israel. It is well known that, about five centuries after Moses' death, in the year 975 B. C., and in the reign of Rehoboam, son of Solomon, the powerful empire of the Hebrews was dismembered, and separated into two kingdoms, the kingdom of Judah, and the kingdom of Israel; the former, including the tribes of Judah and Benjamin, who adhered to the party of
Rehoboam, and appear in the history of later times under the name of Jews; the latter, the remaining ten tribes, who revolted under Jeroboam, and retained the ancient name of Israelites. The kingdom of Israel lasted, with some intervals of anarchy, through a period of two hundred and fifty-three years. The country was then conquered by Shalmaneser, king of Assyria ; the inhabitants were carried captive into Assyria and different parts of Media, and the Ten Tribes are never heard of more. In their place were substituted colonists from Babylon, Cutha, and other cities, who soon became incorporated with the common Israelites that were left in the land — for it appears they were not all carried into captivity. The whole of this mixed population of Israelites, Babylonians, and Cuthæans was now comprehended under the general name of Samaritans, from Samaria, the capital city of the ancient kingdom; and it is by this name that they are afterwards known in history. .
In the lapse of ages this once numerous and powerful people have gradually dwindled down to a few poor families, who still linger about the holy mountain, where their fathers worshipped. As a nation and as a peculiar religious sect, they are at the present day all but extinct. In their existing circumstances, there is nothing left to remind us of their former prosperity and power. Their very name is well nigh blotted out from the memory of the living. In a few short years, and they will utterly disappear from the face of the earth, and be numbered among the nations that have passed away. Gibbon, speaking of them in the reign of Justinian, says they were “a motley race, an ambiguous sect, rejected as Jews by the Pagans, by the Jews as schismatics, and by the Christians as idolaters." After this period we meet with few traces in history of their separate national existence. Under the bloody persecutions of Justinian, twenty thousand of their number were slain, twenty thousand sold into captivity, and the handful that remained was soon scattered abroad among the nations. Rabbi Benjamin, in an Itinerary written seven hundred years ago, says that he found about four hundred at Damascus, three hundred at Ashkalon, two hundred at Cæsarea in Palestine, and one hundred at Shechem. Scaliger says, that in his time they had Synagogues at Shechem, Jerusalem, Gaza, Cairo, and Damascus. Most of them lived then at Damascus. In 1697, Maundrell
visited the Samaritans at Naplosa, or Naplous — the Shechem e or Sychem of the Old Testament, and the Sychar of the New.
been fileurope in Pelty has of late the venebeing the sea
It stands in a narrow valley between Mount Gerizim on the south, and Mount Ebal on the north, upon the former of which was built the ancient Samaritan temple. Maundrell describes this place as being then in a very mean condition compared with what it is represented to have been anciently. The chief priest of the Samaritans showed him a copy of their Pentateuch, but could not be persuaded to part with it upon any consideration. They still had a small temple on Mount Gerizim, whither they repaired at certain seasons to celebrate the rites of their religion ; but what those rites were, he could not certainly learn. Naplosa appears to have become their chief place of residence in modern times, as being the seat of their ancient worship consecrated by the veneration of ages.
As much curiosity has of late years existed among the learned in Europe in regard to this extraordinary people, they have been frequently visited by more recent travellers. The latest and most satisfactory information we have seen as to their present state and their religious views and customs, is from our countryman, Mr. Stephens, in his “Incidents of Travel” in the Holy Land. According to him, there are now only about sixty Samaritan families left in the town of Naplosa. He stoped, while there, at the house of a Samaritan, where he tells us that, with one exception, he “was received, fed, and lodged better than in any other place in the Holy Land.” He visited the Samaritan Synagogue, “a small room about fifteen' feet square, with nothing striking or interesting about it, except what the Samaritans say is the oldest manuscript in the world, a copy of the Pentateuch," preserved in a tin case and described as “ tattered and worn, and bearing the marks of extreme age” -a copy, about which they have a tradition, that it was written by Abishua, the grandson of Aaron, three years after the death of Moses. He entered freely into conversation with some of their number, particularly with an old man, the brother of his host. « This old man,” says Mr. Stephens, “ asked me many questions about the Samaritans in England, (of America he had no. knowledge,) and seemed determined to believe that there were many in that country, and told me that I might say to them, wherever I found them, that there they believed in one omnipotent and eternal God, the five Books of Moses, and a future Messiah, and the day of the Messiah's coming to be near at hand ; that they practised circumcision, went three times a year up to Mount Gerizim, “the everlasting mountain,' to worship