Images de page
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors]

re

ments."

which was not finished in less barons or chief vassals of the than a course of 30 years-which crown." Hist. Eng. Vol 111. p. was signalized by 12 pitched 316—17. battles--which opened a scene of While speaking on the subject extraordinary fierceness and cru- of slavery Mr. Hume observes, élty-is computed to have cost “The latest laws which we find the lives of 80 princes of the in England for enforcing or blood, and alınost entirely anni- gulating this species of servihilated the ancient nobility of iude, were enacted in the reign England. The strong attaeb- of Henry VII. And though the ment which at that time men of ancient statutes on this subject the same kindred bore to each remain still unrepealed by parother, and the vindictive spirit liament, it appears that before which was considered a point of the end of Elizabeth, the distinc. honor, rendered the great faini. tion between villain (slave) and lies implacable in their resent- freeman was totally, though in

sensibly abolished, and that no When this writer had given person remained in the state to the history of our ancestors to the which the former laws could be close of the usurpation of Rich.. applied.". p. 318–19. ard III. be observes, “Thus have When the subject of the Afriwe pursued the history of Eng- can slave trade was before the land throngh a series of barba- British pariiament, Mr. Wilberrous ageş, till we have at last force, in a speech in favor of its reached the dawn of civility and abolition, stated as a fact, that science.”

"the people of Bristol, in the The reign of Henry VIL com- reign of Henry VII, had a regu. menced_1485, and continued to lar market for children, which 1509. In his time there were were sold to the Irish.

Hist. of several insurrections and many Abolition, Vol. II. p. 53. sanguinary scenes ; but the state The fact that a great portion of society was less perilous and of our ancestors were slaves, and distressing than in former years. that the custom of selling chilHe was a man of considerable dren as slaves existed so lately energy and vigor, and he hap- as the reign of Henry VII. may pened to be successful in quell. be regarded as full proof of a bar. ipg tumults and insurrections. barous and uncultiyated state of

Until this reign a great, and society. Perhaps there is not perhaps the greater portion of one to twenty of English descent our ancestors were slaves. In in the United States, whose anforiner ages, "every one that was cestors of the fifteenth century pot noble was a slave; the peas

were not slaves. ants were sold along with the It will not be denied, that in land; the few inhabitants of ci- the preceding ages there were ties were not in a better condi. some virtuous and enlightened tion: even the gentry themselves individuals; but it is evideut-that were subjected to a long train of the mass of population in Great subordination under the great Britain had but little claim to

the character of a civilized peo- centuries remain to be examined; ple. It is also evident, that a and in them, if any where, we great portion of the leading cha. must find those virtuous ances. racters in the nation were, from tors, in w bose praise so much has age to age, ferocious, vindiciive, been said in our day, and in comand bloody-minded men, possess. parison with whom the present ing little of Christianity except inhabitants of Great Britain and the name.

the United States are said to be The records of the three last a vegenerate race.

ON THE FORMATION OF JUDGMENT AND CON.

SCIENCE.

In every respect man is allied simple subject that is proposed to other animals in his earthly or to it. It involuntarily examines mortal nature, he has all his and decides upon this subject; senses in common with them, sup- and that decision, whether true ports his existence as theirs is or false, forms the beginning of supported, and resigns it or dies its judgment. When the same as they die. So that in this re. subject is again proposed, its lation we may say to the worm, judgment in the case is present; “Thou art my mother and my it is understood in like manner sister,” and ask the question with as before, but now without exathe wise man, “Wherein is a mination; and it never after. man better than a beast po

wards will examine. until the On the other side, man is al. foundation of the judgment is lied to celestial beings, he is in shaken, so as to excite an appreone sense immortal, since his soul hension, that its conclusion was will never cease to exist.

erroneous. Nothing can exceed the beau

Reason is this capacity to extiful simplicity of the account amine and to draw conclusions. that Moses has given of the cre

In the exercise of this faculty we ation of man-"And the Lord begin with something known or God formed map of the dust of admitted. A creature then, who the ground, and breathed into his cannot know or admit a princinostrils the breath of life, and ple, can never reason. But chilman became a living soul.” dren are early taught to know

Considered then as he came some things, and to admit many into the world, man is possessed principles to be correct. of a living soul, without judg. These instructions form the ment and without conscience, but basis of their reasonings, and is endowed with a capacity to have the effect to produce true or acquire them.

false conclusions. In other words, Judgment is first produced they effect the formation of the when the soul is capable to rea- judgment; and hence the great son upon and to understand a variety of judgments: they are

a

found contradictory to one an- thing is our duty, that decision other; and as they are held in becomes our judgment; and as it integrity by sincere men, who is of a moral nature, so it is the are thus opponents one to the beginning of the formation of other, so they are codelusions conscience in us. The recollecfairly and naturally drawn from tion of this conclusion is always their respective premises; and present with us, whenever the the cause of the disagreement is, subject is again proposed.

We that one or both have admitted, are satisfied with ourselves when (perhaps without examination) we act according to this judgsome premises that are not cor- ment (whether true or false) and rect. Reason, noble as it is, and always are sensible of conviccertain in natural things as the tion when we do the contrary. truth itself, draws its conclusions It is an index, or present view from the premises given; and of the state of our judgment in conclusions are true or false, not the case, and conscience and always according to the correct. judgment are thus inseparable ness of reasoning, but they also companions. In the same way, partake of the quality of the then, and from the same cause premises admitted, and on this that men's judgments are someaccount it can and does lead in- times correct, and sometimes erto error, as certainly as it can roneous, so conscience in some guide us in true judgment. men condemns them for doing,

Having considered the forma. what couscience in other men tion of judgment, and observed would condemn for not doing. the agency of reason in produc. And conscience is therefore no ing it; having seen too that test of truth or error, for the judgments are different and con

reason that men's judg. tradictory to one another, yet on ments are no test. both sides held by sincere men, The premises admitted by some let us extend the inquiry, and men, leads them, and necessarily examine what Conscience is. Jeads them to the conclusion, that

This too is acquired. Men it is right to defend themselves. are born without conscience as The inference is natural, and certainly as they are born with their reasoning is correct; but out judgment.

the conclusion is erroneovs, be. In the subjects upon which we cause the premises erroreason or that are examined by neous; and ihe doctrine is known the opening capacities of the to be anti-christian by those who mind, many are of a moral na

examine the foundation of the ture, and relate to our conduct, argument, see its fallacy, and our duties, &c.

That judgment draw their conclusions from the therefore that is formed from example, the precepts and the conclusions, drawn respecting doctrines of Jesus Christ. these duties, has relation to and One half of the evil prejudi. is inseparable from Consci. ces, much of the error, and all

In the first instance of our the bigotry in the world arise lives that we have decided any from our admitting to be true

same

are

ence,

what is not true. For we reason knowledge and wisdom is God, from what we have taken for If we were to begin our strucgranted, as though it were a self- ' tures on this foundation, they evident truth, and our conclusions would stand. “To know thee, are commonly erroneous when the only true God, and Jesus our premises are erroneous. To Christ whom thou hast sent, this examine ourselves is a profitable is life eternal;” and as "what is exercise; I believe-Why do I to be known of God is manifest believe? let me examine the rea- in man," and as in him are hid son or cause why I believe, and all the treasures of wisdom and if I find the cause is in some- knowledge," the exhortation is thing that I have admitted, tak- unspeakably interesting, "Acen for granted, or considered quaint thyself with God, and be self-evident from my childhood, at peace" Thus our judgments I will examine it the more close- would be correct, our consciences ly. But profitable as this exa- pure, and the same mind would mination of ourselves may be, it be in us that was in Christ Jesus.” is seldom done thoroughly; for The meekness, gentleness, and self-love shrinks when we are purity of our holy religion would thrown back upon first princi- be conspicuous; and all anger, ples. - "He that thinketh that he malice, revenge, all wars, fightknoweth any thing, knowerb no- ing, and bloodshed would cease thing yet as he ought to know;" among the professors of the and it is thus we can understand Christian name. Then we might that saying, " If any man will with boldness hold forth the be wise, let him first become a Apostolic doctrine, “If any man fool, that he may be wise.” have not the spirit of Christ, he

The foundation of all true is none of his."*

REVIEW OF AN EXTRACT FROM DR, BUCHANAN'S RESEARCHES.

In the late Dr. Buchanan's the doctrines of the Bible. There Asiatic Researches we have the are at this day, in Iudia and in following passage :

England, members of that com.“ “In every age of the church of munion, who deserve the affection Rome there have been individuals and respect of all good men; and of an enlightened prety, who de- whose cultivated minds will arrived their religion not from the raign the corruptions of their coinmandments of men,' but from own religion, which the author is

• We ought perhaps to state, that this communication is from the Friend, an extract of whose letter to the author of the Friend of Peace was inserted in the No. for February, and which was not intended by the writer for publication. This communication was designed to give a more full and perspicuous view of the subject; and we hope it will lead our readers" to some useful reflections.

REMARKS.

about to describe, more severely chureh, which they themselves than he will permit himself to do. neither profess vor believe. If He is indeed prepared to speak they will only intimate to their of Roman Catholics with as much Protestant friends that they reliberality as perhaps any Protes. nounce the exclusive principle, tant has ever attempted on Chris. and that they profess the relitian principles; for he is ac- gion of the Bible, no more seems quainted with individuals, whose requisite to form with such per. unaffected piety he considers a sons the sincerest friendship on reproach to a great body of Pro. Christian principles." p. 116– testants, even of the strictest 17. sort. It is indeed painful to say

. any thing which may seem to It is pleasing to see in a clerfeeling and noble minds ungene- gyman of the Episcopal church rous, but those enlightened per- such candor and charity towards sons whose good opinion it is de- some who are of the Roman Ca. sirable to preserve, will them- tholic communion. Although we selves be pleased to see, that dissent, both from the church of truth is not sacrificed to personal Rome and the church of Eng. respect, or to a spurious candor. land, we are willing to believe Their own church sets an exam. that there have been many exple of “plainness of speech'in the cellent men of both descriptions. assertion of those tenets which This may be admitted without it professes, some of which must the least approbation of what is be extremely painful to the feel. erroneous in either. ings of Protestants, in their s The popish principle, “That cial intercourse with Catholics; there is no salvation out of the such as, That there is no salva- pale of the Romish church," is tion out of the pale of the Romish unquestionably a great obstacle church.'

to fellowship and Christian inter6This exclusive character pre- course between the papists and vents concord and intimacy be- every sect of protestant christween Protestant and Catholic tians. Every discerning protesfamilies, On the principles of tant feels that the principle thus infidelity they can associate very assumed by the papists is both easily; but on the principles of arrogant and injurious. And it religion, the Protestant must is to be wished, that in view of ever be on the defersive; for the this papal principle, every proRomish church excommunicates testant should see the danger of him; and although he must hope equal arrogance on his own part. that some individuals do not When a protestant of any sect maintain the tenet, yet his un- whatever makes a belief in bis certainty as to the fact, prevents own peculiar tenets, essential to that cordiality which he desires. the Christian charaeter, or a term Many excellent Catholies suffer of Christian fellowship,-in what unjustly in their intercourse with respect is his conduct less arroProtestants, from the ancient and gant, or less injurious, than the exclusive articles of their own conduct of the members of the

80

6

« PrécédentContinuer »