« AnteriorContinuar »
ed labour and expence of cultivation. will be gradually and spontaneously There is undoubtedly a certain pro- assumed; but nothing can be more portion between the amount of la- preposterous than the attempt to bour and the extent of surface over force them prematurely upon us.* which it is diffused, which will ren While our author is confident that der the net profit a maximum. the farmers of New England cultivate Whether our practical cultivators too much land, he speaks in strong have or have not attained this pro- terms of the importance of draining portion, is a question which can nev our bogs and dyking our salt marshes. er be decided by such arguments as We are perfectly willing that the phithose employed by Mr. T. We are losophical agriculturalist, whose propinclined to think that it is substantial. erty in the soil has been hitherto ly attaineil. The farmer who im- confined to the contents of a dozen proves a given number of acres, has flower pots, should take possession of it in his power to give them a higher our sunken grounds, and expend his or lower tillage, by employing a superfluous capital on draining and greater or less number of labourers. dyking. He may employ his money Šoine years he hires more than he in this way with as much advantage fiods on trial to pay the way:" at to the public, as on splendid equipothers he hires fewer. Now it is ages, and expensive country seats. impossible for any reasonings à But to recommend this course, (unpriori to convince us that aftei the less in a few cases which unite every oscillations of a few years experi- favourable circumstance, to those ence, he will not at last settle down who have just been told that they at about the point where the profit is have much more land already drained greatest. If hiring more men and to their hands by nature than they raising his style of cultivation will ought to till, is offering advice, the increase his net returns, he will nev. consistency of which we fear they will er need the suggestions of one who be too dull to comprehend. has acquired all his agricultural skill The other great obstacle to the imin his study, to prompt him to the provement of our agriculture Mr. T. change. Or if, with a given amount finds in “the irregularities of our cliof labour, he finds that he has been mates.” The want of more uniformi. tilling too many acres, he will sponta- ty in our successive seasons is doubtneously allow a part of his farm to less one of the natural disadvantages become bush pasture or grow up to under which we labour; but it scarceforest.--The truth is, the style of ly deserved to be introduced in this cultivation which produces a maxi- connexion, more than the want of a mum profit varies, in different coun richer soil, or a lower latitude. We tries, with the price of land and la- had never before heard that the great bour, and the density of the popula- danger which the cultivator of Indian tion. The peculiar condition of this corn has to encounter is from "a frost country renders an imperfect tillage in June”; and we suspect that his desirable, to all except the mere scheme for remedying it,—that of traveller and man of taste. The Chi- rearing the plants in hotbeds, and nese and the Dutch do not "overrun" then transplanting them,—will be relaod, because they cannot afford it. We can afford it; and have grown
* It will be obvious that in these re.
marks there is no intention to undervalue rich as a nation many times faster
those improvements in agriculture (of than we should have done, if the la- which there are doubtless many yet to be bours of our population had been em- introduced) which render a given amount ployed in rendering any one corner of labour more productive. It is only of the country a garden. As our ter maintained, that in the present state of ritory fills up with inhabitants, the en amount of labour to a smaller number agricultural habits of foreign nations of acres is not one of these improvements.
ceived with a smile by most of his all grace, into a being of mysterious vencountry readers. Such advice as this, geance and cruelty, when they found and the hint given a few pages after themselves
, though living in the strictest wards, that our farmers have all been upon to endure the greatest sofferings, os. under a mistake in driving their oxen posed to an untried climate and bowling with whips, while “the goad is the wilderness, the coil of the rattlesnake al true instrument,” should have been their heels, and the tomahawk of the sav.
age at their heads. spared, unless our author was willing It was not a sudden impulse, but a long to draw from those to whom they are course of preparation, that drove them to addressed, the bint in reply-ne sutor cross tbe Atlantic; the process was grad.
val that bardened their feelings to every ultra crepidam.
thing but their religious attachments, and These remarks were not beguu made them prefer those to every other with any intention of following Mr. consideration. They were as ready to T. over the whole, or more than a suffer martyrdom as to inflict it ; the time very small part of the ground which indeed had gone by when the refractory
were condemned io tbe flames in this his Letters embrace. We shall omit world. But martyrdom, according to the several topics which it was our ori- fashion of the day--proscription, imprisginal intention to notice, and reserve
onment and exile--they first suffered them.
selves, and then inflicted on others; they the remainder of our limits for the one
were the victims of intolerance and eccle. in which, as Christian spectators, we siastical tyranny; and the moment it was must necessarily feel the deepest in- in their power exercised both. Stimula. terest. The longest letter in the se- ted as they believed by the love of God in ries, with the exception of one, is de others endure from the closest convic
both cases, they endured, and they made voted to the past and present state of tions of conscience; having sacrificed for religion in New England. It begins tune, friends and country, in support of with the religious character of the their principles, any permission to differ first settlers, -as those from whom levity and inconsistency. Persecution
would bave been considered a criminal all the succeeding generations have was to them a lesson, not of charity, but of taken their form and colouring. The perseverance, and the system they adopfollowing delineation of their charac. ted was as rigid and exclusive, as that from
which they had fled.-pp. 76, 78. ter is commenced with the same breath in which the author assures his It will be sufficiently evident by readers that he is unbiassed by any this time, that however unbiassed our sectarian prejudice.
author may be by sectarian prejudice
against Unitarians, “ against whose The consideration of the state of relie theory it is difficult to feel any prejuest, since the first colonists, driven by per. dice” while their practice embraces secution to seek a shelter for their princi- every virtue," or against “ the mild ples, crossed the ocean to maintain them, and benevolent Friends of our times," and laid the foundations of this state, as a religious commonwealth. They acted in
or against the Roman Catholic rethe spirit, and considered tbemselves as ligion, which, if it could get rid of living under the sway, of a theocracy; some of its incumbrances, “ many and this was accompanied with the high- protestants would approach without est degree of zeal and intolerance in con disgust,”—there is one sect which pline, and the severest tenets of faith. even his expansive charity cannot enThey were rigid Calvinists in belief ; po- circle. Of Calvinism, he is clearly ritans in regard to all the amusements of a “most devout abhorrer” : 'tis "obthe world; obstinate dissenters from all ject of his implacable disgust." Not dents of all eclesiastical government, and only is the system one“ of cruel charmost devout abborrers of every pther sect. acter and appalling serocity," " which The cruel character and appalling ferocity transforms the Deity into a being of of this religious creed, never were better mysterious vengeance and cruelty,” ves. Men might naturally believe in à but it is asserted of those who“ pracsystem, which transformed that Deity, tically” embrace it, that their rancorwho is ibe fountain of mercy and God of ous ambition makes them the tyranis
of society," that "they illustrate their joy their freedom ; that they had purchasfaith by treating all mankind as thoughed the soil, and established a community they were a herd of villains and con- in simplicity and iruth; that they enticed
for the express purpose of worshipping God vicis," and " are voluntary public no one to join them, nor wished for any accusers,-constituting a tribunal an but those wbo could unite with them in imated by the spirit of the inquisi- circumstances, when they had sought &
their faith and practice. That under these tion, but fortunately without its pow new world to establish their own forms of er.” (p. 97.) It would be a waste worship, and to renew the faith and purity of time, and a renunciation of self re of the primitive church, it was unjust that spect, formally to vindicate the prac. sion of other sects, who voluntarily came
they should be interrupted by the intrurical Calvinists of New England, among them to create jealousy and disun(who we trust form the predominant ion; that they had a right, according to body rather than those “theoretical” the laws they had made, to punish and ones in whose favour a saving clause drive away these intruders, and all those
of their own faith who became apostates, is thrown in, p. 96,) from represen- or fell off from the ordinances of their lations which fall even below the or church. They wanted none to join them, dinary level of news-paper scurrility. except they were of the same communWe have introduced then merely by ihe principles they professed, and all to furnish our Calvinistic readers
the sacrifices they had made for them, to with a more flagrant proof than has preserve their community from the conprobably often fallen under their no iamination of false teachers, and the dantice, that the devout abhorrence of ger of religious dissension. pp. 78, 79. opposing sects, and treating others as if they were a herd of villains and
In the prosecution of the historical convicts, are not characteristics alto- sketch thus begun, Mr. T. glances together peculiar to themselves, or successively at the introduction of the even incompatible with the perfection Methodists, and Roman Catholics
Quakers, Episcopalians, Baptists, of liberality. But to return to the point from
and at length comes to the period which these remarks have diverg
when more enlightened and rational ed :—we cannot avoid suspecting that views began to dawn on the descenour author, in the sketch he has giv
dants of the puritans. The account en of the character of the pilgrims,
of the progress of Unitarianism which was rather actuated by a desire of dis
we are about to quote will not be unplaying the bold strokes of which his acceptable to our readers, coming
as it does from one who lives in the pencil was capable, than of giving a faithful copy of his real views. centre of the defection", and who, Whether the introduction of the fol if not yet arrived at the full growth lowing apology for a part of their and stature of rational christianity, conduct was prompted by any relent- appears to be “ on the best possible ings which the sight of the picture he
terms with” those who have. We had drawn might have produced, we
should be pleased to give the account are unable to say; but with some
entire ; but a gentle word of cautiou amplification it would certainly go
administered to the biblical critics, far towards softening down the hide which his nominal relation to Episous features of his first outline.
copalianism might require, and an
outrageous philippic against the metStern and zealous as they were, thog aphysical divines, which, whether could not be wholly insensible to the re- just or unjust, is entirely out of place, dections that were cast upon them, for and which nothing at all could retbus following a system of oppression in matters of religion,
against which iu oth quire, must be passed over. ers they complained so justly. It was answered in excuse, that ihe case was mate A preparation for a gradual dereliction rially different ; ibat they had been driv. of the dogmas of orthodoxy had been sieo from their home for want of conformi. lently, and almost imperceptibly, making ty, and bad iled to this wilderness to en. in the congregational churches for a long
period. The austere and bigoted charac. is correctly described. We have ter of religious opinions and habits, during the first generations of the colony, togetbi ed" were peculiarly anxious to make
never supposed that the “ enlightener with the great leading principle of all fanatics and ultra christians, that faith is “ points of faith subjects of discusevery thing and works nothing, became sion”; or to be drawn into a dilemrepugnant to the people, when greater
ma which would oblige them to invariety of pursuits, and more enlightened views, were laid open to them. The dis
form the public precisely how much cipline of earlier times was not relaxed they do believe, and how much they without a struggle, and occasional at: do not believe. But that they are so tempts that were made to enforce it in all its vigour, more surely prepared its future nearly indifferent whether others abandonment. The semblance was kept around them should be brought into up after ihe reality was extinct. Such a their own state, whether of believing state of things had a pernicious tendency or not believing, as the following parto disgust men with what they ought to agraph implies, we had not been acreverence; and aided by the sarcastic love of infidelity, which pervaded many
customed to suppose. fashionable writings of the last generation, was constantly increasing that class of per.
u It ought to be mentioned, to the honsons who were rigid in their observances, our of our Unitarians, that they have not because it aided their worldly designs,
much of the proselyting spirit, and the litand were therefore fully convinced that tle they have exhibited was perhaps in religion was an excellent thing for others.
self-defence. Zeal in this way would Those who bad parer views, found it ne
be extremely incopzruous in them; it cessary to renounce what was tyrannical
would be like ealing [dealing out?) ao and intolerant in former practice, to keep ice-cream with a hot spoon.-p. 99. up witb the progress of intelligence, and to narrow the sphere of bypocrisy:-pp.
If there be, in the whole compass 91, 92.
of ecclesiastical history, an example
of the spirit of proselytism, exhibited This desertion of the ancient platform in perfection and voluntarily claimed about, until a few years since, when the as in the highest degree meritorious, churches of the congregational order bad it is in the history of the earlier stages all their pulpits filled with young men ; of American Unitarianism* as given some of these, gifted with the brightest talents and the purest feelings, have been
a few years since by the leader of the since, alas ! too untimely removed. Their sect in Great Britain. Nor is there immediate predecessors differed but little any evidence that the spirit which from them; yei the great change of ten- prompted the exertions of Priestley, when all the fatbers were removed, and Oxnard, Thatcher and Freeman, thir. the talents of these young men excited ty years ago, has become entirely exthe admiration of their friends and the en- tinct in their successors. They do vy of others. Still no controversy exist- not indeed “go in pursuit of their ed, escept some indirect skirmisbing in neighbour to the confines of the earth, periodical works. The taste for polemical divinity was almost extinct among en
overlooking with sour contumely the lightened people. Points of faitb were wretch who is pining before them," rarely subjects of discussion; charity in (p. 97.); they have not compassed its widest sense, the practice of moral vir. tues, and attendaoce on public worship, sea and land to make proselytes of bad been the principal subjects inculcated, harmless pagans, or Mahometans and were generally beld in the most esti- who already believe in the Divine mation ; devotion to particular dogmas had been converted into affection for their they consider a more extended footing
unity; but is there no evidence that pastor in the breasts of his parishioners; and clergymen, not creeds, were the sub
desirable at home? The pumber of jects of conversation.-pp. 94, 95. labourers for the harvest which they
annually furnish, if we are righuy inThe state of calm, represented in the latter part of this extract as hav * Appendix to Belsham's Life of Lind. ing existed till a few years ago, when
say. All will recollect the re-publication “it was broken by an attack from the
of this appendix, as having given a new
character to the Unitarian controversy in Calvinists,” we are willing to believe New England.
formed, is somewhat more than suffi- they followed; not only on account of the cient to meet the demand ; and who
virtues and talents which they possessed,
but because it was felt that their cause incan doubt that they would be pleased volved the general possession of religious, to see a few more situations becom- and, in some respecis, of civil liberty. The ing vacant from time to time,-espe- rancorops spirit that was opposed to them, cially of the goodlier sort, of wbich aimed at universal infuence. Public feel there are numbers on and near the ing, however, is now very enlightened
and impartial on these points ; and if it coast between Portland and Charles- would not endure the burning of Serveton ? Even in a country place, where tus in an auto da fe, neither would it allow a pastor of the church is not wanted, of a bull Unigenitus, to excommunicate
the Jansenists. they appear perfectly ready to ac
A political domination, by any religious commodate the congregation with “ a sect, can never happen again in our fortuprotestant teacher of Christianity." nate country. Some attempts that were Nor are there wanting instances in
made bere, such as giving the Andover
Theological College a right of forcing a which the cry of a feeble church in a
creed upon their students, and the plan of great city, to come over and help, has disfranchising the citizens on the holiest been heard through a diameter of day of the week, and filling the country five hundred miles; and has drawn
with spies and petty tyrants under the
name of tythingmen, failed in a manner away from their own pulpits to its re
that will preclude a repetition. The Sab. lief numbers of master builders from batists rely upon the fourth commandment the remotest borders of this wide cir- to support their Jewish observance of the cuit. Mr. T. admits that “it is very cite the authority of the second, for des
Sabbath, yet the Iconoclasts might as well natural that a good man who is sin- troying evey statue in the houses of our cere in his convictions should desire dillelanti
, or the signs of our inns: a literto see others adopt the same senti al application of either of these commandments;" but although he considers it as ments to the present state of society,
would be equally absurd andimpracticable; an “error to attempt to induce them and the christian dispensation has clearly to join with him," and the disposi- restricted the rigid minuteness of those tion as one “wbich ought to be cau
two commandments, which were so retiously guarded against,” the thing under peculiar circumstances, and for a
markably designed for a particular people, itself is so very natural, that he will period' wbich has been accomplished. probably have as little success in dis- Connecticut was the last state where any suading Unitarians from it as the Or- power was exercised in this way, and this thodox. If the error of " desiring to
has been lately subverted, and its agents
covered with signal confusion.-pp. 99, 100. see others adopt the same sentiments" which they themselves are " sincere" To speak of the cause of the Uniin embracing, were the only one with tarians as involving the general puswhich Uuitarians are chargeable, we session of religious liberty, and of the should never think of judging them rancorous spirit opposed to them as barshly; for it is an error in which aiming at universal influence, (univerLuther and Calvin, nay Paul himself
, sal domination was the language of the would be much more deeply invol. first edition,) is to advance a charge ved.
of quite too grave a nature not to be It will be seen from the subjoined accompanied by some facts. Are the extract, that the Unitarians in this particulars alluded to in the succeedsection of the country are no less ing paragraph the facts on which this willing to have their cause identifi- charge is intended to be rested ? If the ed with that of toleration, and to court author, in looking over the whole prothe character of a persecuted peo- ceedings of the orthodox for what has ple, than many less liberal and en a semblance of intolerance, has been lightened secis have been before able to collect only these miserable them.
gleanings, he might as well have sparHitberto the sympathy of liberal minds ed the attempt to gain for the liberal has been in favour of the Unitarians, even
the sympathies due to a persecuted among those who regretted the course sect. That the Upitarians of the vi.