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lege just now we know not; but as citizens of Ohio, we feel not a little ashamed to have one of our literary institutions present the unclean, tasteless, careless, ruinous condition which the College and yard at Oxford presented last August. There was the same tumble-down air about every thing, library and all, which one sees about a lazy, whiskey-drinking farmer's house in the Miami valley; while at Athens is the solid, comfortable, flourishing look that marks the sober Yankee or industrious Pennsylvanian.
We should have feared the young men would become contaminated, but their " Halls” showed they had resisted evil example. They were neat, tasteful, and well stored with books. Indeed, the Literary Societies of both Colleges are very useful aids to the Professors, and in all respects show their value. The Libraries both at Athens and Oxford are small.
In respect to studies and discipline, Oxford cannot be said. to have a character at this moment, as the Faculty is not yet reorganized. When it is we trust every thing will start anew, the whole appearance of things be changed, and the Miami University progress” as her sister among the Knobs has. P.
POLITICAL CONVENTIONS. Though politics are out of our sphere, we cannot but refer to the various Conventions which have been held in Ohio during the past month, closing with one in our own city upon the day on which this number of our magazine should have been published. They shew, to say the least, a most remarkable excitement; such as the younger of us have never before seen.With the causes and probable results of this excitement in a political point of view, we shall not meddle; but the moral consequences are not forbidden us. We feel it proper then to say, in the hope that one or two may be led to think on the subject, that such excitement as we have lately witnessed, must, almost necessarily, be demoralising. No matter how praiseworthy the cause of such a movement, it unfits men for sober and calm action; it leads to constant resort to grog-shops; and leaves the whole community in a state of feeling which it needs great care to counteract. Let our citizens then think of the need of vigorous steps to prevent the evils we may rightly apprehend: we mean, in their families, and with those young men, particularly over whom they have authority or influence.
We also feel bound to express our fears that the course of the Whigs in some points, has tended to unfit our people for self-government. The great aim of the true Conservative party, from the time of Washington, has been to withstand demagoguism in all its forms. For one, we have no hesitation in saying, we think the Whigs, in the present canvass, have increased very greatly the spirit of popular flattery; the most dangerous enemy we have. One form of this has been, (as it appears tớ us, though we may be in error,) in the use which has been made of Mr. Van Buren's expenditures. To reprehend all needless luxury and expense, is well and wise, and still better is it to expose foolish imitation of foreign manners; but the spirit of too much of the abuse lavished on the President, has been, not a true spirit of democratic simplicity, but rather the spirit which would call forth the prejudice and hatred of the poorer classes against all luxury and taste.- With the ends which it is hoped to gain we have now no conceri). The means used we fear have been, too, isany of them, demoralizing, and no end will justisy such means. If our people are so low as to make a resort to slang and nicknames, necessary in order to reforma alledged evile, they are not fit for self-government, and will soon cease to govern themselves. We do not believe they are so low, but they soon will be if the Conservative party in our land aim no higher than to find available candidates and popular slang-phrases,
FOR OCTOBER, 1840.
with Scott's James in Nigel,
Charles in Woodstock, Louis, We not only believe that and Charles of Burgundy, in novels were meant to be read Quinten Durward, or with any on steamboats, but almost be other of his historical portraits. lieve that steamboats were in- James, like a common portrait vented that we might fully painter, gives the features, coenjoy novels: at any rate, one lor and posture,—but it is all of the great advantages of a copy, not a creation; correct steam navigation is that it en- but lifeless. Scott conceives ables us to read books which his subject so vividly as to we never could get through create it anew, and paints a at home. During a late trip living man, whose original is up the river, we were thus in his own brain, and not a enabled to master two of dead copy, the original of James', one of Marryatt's, and which is in the writings of one of Ward's books, upon Hume or Sismondi, nor even which, with some others, of Clarendon or Froissart. worth reading on shore, we Mr. James, however, though now offer a word or two. far inferior as an artist, and
Mr. James' novels, The therefore less valuable as an Duke of Guise, and the King's historical illustrator, is in this Highway, are, like most of his last character a very valuable stories, full of interest, but des as well as most voluminous void of that power which writer. Scarce a month passes marks Scott, the power of cre- without a new novel from his ating living men and women. desk, and yet none of them His characters have little that are worthless; many are exis individual, unless they are cellent, and full of true reflechistorical, and then they are tion. The King's Highway commonly exaggerated. Com- is valuable as an historical pare his Henry of France, Hen- sketch, not of individuals, but ry of Guise, and Henry of Na- of society; and from its varre, three grand characters, suggestions many trains of thought may spring, well Walter's, and all of Shakworth dwelling upon. In speare's, a woman, full of truth, as Macauley says, we strange, inconsistent, and unmay find our civil history in intelligible feelings, but femione writer, our religious an- nine in all. Her changes renals in another, our constitu- specting religion, her treattional and literary records in ment of the Catholic priest, a third,—or all united, it may her last acts,—are all more be, in the Pictorial History, like real life than novel-writnow in progress; but in our ing. novels only, can we hope to Mr. Ward's "Fielding” we see the actors of History erect, were disappointed in also, but clothed and moving.
the other way. We could The work by Capt. Marry- never get through De Vere or att, to which we gave some Tremaine, but we presume hours, was The Phantom Ship, they have merit. Fielding we and we were pleasantly dis made an end of, but for ourappointed in it. We think it selves, found no merit in it. one of the best tales of a su The writer appears to be a pernatural kind that we ever man who has lived among the remember to have seen. The aristocracy of England, in as supernatural is not so much great ignorance of the mass pasted upon the natural, as in as his hero. He tells us of confused into it. In various char- tent in lower circles, of happy acters, at all times, and in con- batchers, and worthy squires, nection with the most matter as if he were a discoverer. of-fact details, the wonderful His men and women are posts comes in and tinges the whole, with labels on them, his senwithout destroying its proba- timents superficial, his philosbility. The character of the ophy shallow, and his social heroine, Amine, we think a and political views Tory in new one in fiction; and a most the narrowest sense. He does interesting one. Her bold, not seem to dream of progress warm, high-minded, strong- at all; the German peasants, minded, and yet wholly wo- happy and stationary, appear manly character, is, we think, to him the perfection of man. very well sketched. She is Slavery, or the state of the perfectly individual; is alive, Hindoos, Mr. Ward would and excites the interest of a think the best possible condiliving being. Lady Laura, in tion for human beings, proviJames' Highway, his heroines ded the masters were merciful. in general, together with all He has no faith in the Chrisof Cooper's, and many of tian view of man and his powScott's, are painted dolls: ers, and that want of faith is Amine is, with a few of Sir a key to his whole system; as indeed it is to the whole Tory expressed, and deserving caresystem.
ful consideration, in any equal Another book of a novel number of periodical pages, as character, though no novel, there is in the pages of Brownwhich we read, was Brown- son's Review, beginning with son's new views on religion its establishment, and coming and society. Mr. B. is held down to this time. The very in such horror just now, be- article on the Laboring Classcause of some late heterodox es, which has shaken our political views, that it is as nerves so, we think worthy much as one's life is worth to of careful study. We believe mention him without execra- with Mr. B., that the cause of tion. The Dial, of Boston, is Property against Birth being pronounced "ibertine" and decided, that of Man against Slicentious" for no greater Property must come on and crime than praising Mr. B.'s be tried; and all this howling 6philosophical analysis," and and shrieking of Conservative “fearless energy.” (See Cin. men and women seems to us Chron., Aug. 5th.) However, like the uproar by which the though we believe our Whig Peruvians tried to stop the friends have deceived them- moon's eclipse. As respects selves into thinking Mr. B. an the spirit of Mr. B.'s article, enemy of all goodness, because and the mode of action he prohe looks upon Priests and Or- poses, we are in the strongest dinances as William Penn and opposition to him: we think his band of Friends did and his spirit unchristian, and his do; and though we fear their plan of action unwise; but we eyes are blind to his true pow. believe him as honest as Luer and worth, because they ther, as fearless as Knox, and differ from him on some points, as capable, either for good or yet we feel obliged to say that evil, as any writer of our day. we think few writers of equal Of his ability, we think his clearness, vigor and boldness “New Views” good proof; we have appeared in these United deem them conclusive as to States.
his “philosophical analysis," Right or wrong, he has a and “fearless energy." mind of his own, and does not Of the Dial itself we had follow any leader, as most of intended to speak this month, us do, like blind mice holding but as a few days will bring by the tails of a few open-eyed us a new No., we defer it; as ones. We do not believe also a notice of Mr. Macauthere is as much thought, well ley's Miscellanies.
WHAT IT IS, AND WHAT IT IS NOT.
BY REV. JAMES MARTINEAU.)
(CONCLUDED FROM THE SIXTH NUMBER, PAGE 247.) But I must proceed to my last argument, which is a plain one, founded upon facts, open to every one who can read his Bible. I state it in the words of Mr. Thirlwall: “the discrepancies found in the Gospels, compel us to admit that the superintending control of the Spirit was not exerted to exempt the sacred writings altogether from errors and inadvertencies;'* nay, he speaks of the more rigid theory of inspiration' having been so long abandoned by the learned on account of the insuperable difficulties these opposed to it," that it would now be a waste of time to attack it.”+
I have very frequently heard it affirmed that, in the sacred writings, no case can possibly occur of self-contradiction or erroneous statement; that the very idea of inspiration, is utterly opposed to all supposition of the presence of error; that the occurrence of such a blemish would prove, that the writer was not so under the immediate teaching and superintendence of Almighty God as to be preserved from error; or, in other words, that he was not inspired; that the erroneous passage must indeed be rejected, but, with it, the whole work
*Schleiermacher's Critical Essay on the Gospel of St. Luke. Introduction by the Translator, p. xv. +Pp. xv. and xi.