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gion, to love virtue in the abstract, - this will not do for beings constituted as we are. Feeling, so directed, would be almost certain to die away. It wants something visible and tangible ; something outward to excite it to action, or to remind it of its duty ; something to be a representative or a memento of that which is loved. Friendship, for instance, could not easily sustain itself through years, without the countenance of a friend ; or without messages or letters from him; or without those mournful relicts, through which, though dead, he yet speaketh. Our minds, in short, converse much with their objects through images, through symbols. The universe in which we are placed is one vast system of representation. All truth, though not originated in us, yet is mainly impressed upon us by emblems. The senses are thus indispensable helpers of the soul. Now, the chief signs of thought are words; and he who would have certain thoughts often suggested or revived to him, would do well often to resort to the words that teach them. Such, to the religious man, are the words of Scripture. Such, too, are other books of religious admonition and devotion. Now it cannot well be doubted that he who should daily spread before him those words of holy teaching and exhortation, would be more likely to be reminded of his duties; would be more likely to meditate, and to have all those great themes revived in his mind, which, as a religious being, he must so much desire to keep vigorous and vivid within him. The strongest sensibility about religion, without some culture of this sort, would be extremely apt to be dissipated into vagueness and vacancy.
vacancy. It would not be sufficiently brought to the point of distinct contemplation and direct action. How would it be with knowledge, we pray, if there were no reading ? What would become of the general intelligence of the community, whether it relates to the history, literature, geography, or general affairs of the world, if all newspapers and books were banished from our houses, or if they remained in them, only to lie unused upon the dusty shelf? The general intelligence would remain for a while, but how
vague would it soon become; how little would it tend to the improvement of the mind; how little would it prepare men to act on those great questions that concern the welfare of the world! All this, it is evident, applies still more strongly to religion. And he who habitually, and
upon a set plan, neglects all religious books, the Bible included, ought, in consistency, to say that his religious improvement, his moral happiness, his highest dignity is a matter of no consequence; or he ought, by the same rule, to neglect all reading, and to care no more for knowledge, than he does for religion.
Possibly, some neglecter of the Scriptures will say that we have not touched the point of his defence at all; that we have not struck a blow upon the citadel that guards him; that the simple truth of the matter is, 'that his conscience is sufficient for his guidance, that if he will only follow that, it will be doing well enough, that religion is not in a book ; that all religion, in fact, is within him.' Then shall we simply answer, that we desire to see some of this religion out of him. We are tired of hearing so much of this secret, this invisible religion, as an apology for the neglect of the outward means.
A A man might as well say that he has got life within him, and therefore will take no food. Is conscience, because it is an inward principle, therefore not to be cultivated, nor guided, nor strengthened ? So is reason, so is memory, so is imagination an inward principle. Take now the case of reason, and see what the neglecter of its cultivation, on the ground of our objector, might say for himself. Why, 'that his knowledge is sufficient for his guidance; that if he will only follow that, it will be doing well enough; that reason is not in a book ; that all reason, in fact, is within him !' What follows ? Why, destroy the schools ; destroy all books; destroy the press; and destroy, too, all the moral and intellectual hopes of the world.
But we must hasten to the other observation we intended to make; and that is, that a merely literary and critical attention to the Scriptures could not fail to have the happiest influence in refining, softening, and purifying the public taste, and the whole mind of a people. Some respectable writers have gone so far as to maintain that Hebrew literature ought to be introduced into our schools in place of the Greek and Roman classics. Without yielding to this opinion, we may at least say, that the literature of the Hebrews is, every way and eminently, deserving of attention. Such attention might be fairly excited by the fact, that a language so ancient, so meagre in its vocabulary, of a people so rude and uncultivated, and whose whole remaining literature is
bound up in a single volume of moderate size, -- that such a a language, under such circumstances, should have produced the most sublime and beautiful poetry, the most striking and touching descriptions of nature, the most moving strains of human joy and sorrow that are to be found in the world.
But there are marked peculiarities in the Hebrew writings which commend them, even as literary compositions, still farther to our regard. There is a loftiness of moral conception, a purity of thought in them; there is a perpetual recognition of man's relation to his Maker, making every song of victory a song of praise, and filling every strain of lamentation with the breathings of gentleness and submission; there is especially a tenderness pervading the compositions of the Hebrew poets, a desolate grandeur of sorrow for their suffering country, a pathetic mournfulness of pity for the woes which they denounced or described; a tone of affection too, a communion of heart with all the heroism and meekness of the highest and the humblest emotions; in short, there is throughout a character of moral sympathy, which must touch and kindle all the higher and purer feelings of him who partakes of it, and communes with it. Let us be told of any one, that he understands and feels the peculiar beauties of Isaiah, or of the Psalms, and we should set it down as one distinct pledge for his intellectual elevation and refinement.
It is full time, we are aware, that our remarks should be brought to a close. Our object has been one of humble pretensions ; not to dilate upon the beauties of Scripture, which would have been a more attractive and exciting theme, but patiently, and with a careful hand, to remove something from that mass of misconceptions and prejudices which hide from most persons more than half of the glory of those venerable and sacred writings. It is an occasion for the most unaffected grief, if not astonishment, that ideas should prevail concerning these writings, so low, tame, and dull, so childish in fact and in fine, and in every way so utterly unworthy of them. May the time soon come when
they shall read in the book, in the law of God distinctly, and give the sense, and cause the reading thereof to be understood.'
ART. II. - History of Scituate, Massachusetts, from its
First Settlement to 1831. By SAMUEL DEANE. Boston. James Loring. 1831. 8vo. pp. 408.
This is one of the fullest and most minute town histories that have come under our notice ; so full and minute, indeed, that some have objected to it on this account. They forget, however, that those who do not want such a history of Scituate, do not probably want any. It is a repository of facts and dates, and family sketches, and curious reminiscences, which will afford much pleasure and satisfaction to antiquaries, supply important materials to the future historian, and always be referred to as a book of authority on the subject, evincing extraordinary patience and diligence in its investigations, and a sound and unbiassed judgment in its conclusions. To the inhabitants of this ancient town, and to all who feel a personal interest in it, either from their vicinity, or because it was their birthplace, or that of their ancestors, such a work must be invaluable.
The following brief notices, collected from different parts of the volume, will help us to form some idea of the character, manners, and progress of the settlement.
'In 1667, “ The Town did enact, that if any person should entertayn any stranger, after being admonished by a committee chosen for such purpose, he should forfeit and pay 10s. for each week.” The preamble of this law runs thus: “Whereas some persons out of their owne sinister endes and by-respects, have too aptly been harborers or entertayners of strangers coming from other townes, by which meanes the Towne cometh to be burdened, &c.” At the same meeting the Town declared by their votes,
" that Mr. Black should depart the Towne presently." In what manner he had become burdensome or dangerous does not appear. We believe he was a preacher.
'In 1670, “ The Town did agree that the Selectmen should be moderators in the Town meetings the present year; and if any person shall speake after silence is commanded, without leave from any two of the moderators, he shall forfeit 6d. for each offence."
* In 1665, " Whereas the Court did require, that every Town should have two wolf Traps, and the Town did conceive that there were Traps in the Town that would answer the Court's order, therefore the Town did agree with Thomas
Woodworth to tende them, and Thomas Woodworth did agree to baite them and tende them according as the Order of the Court doth require, and the Town is to allow him 10s. for this year besides the pay for the wolves there killed.”
In 1668, “The Town did agree and conclude that if any man did cut any thatch on the North River flats, before the 15th day of August, he should forfeit 10s. per day or part of a day to the Town's use; also, “ The Town did agree and conclude that if any man did cut more thatch in one day than would load three canoes, he should forfeit 40s. to the Town's use.” It is probable that many buildings and perhaps some dwelling-houses were covered with the sedges of the flats at this date.
'In 1690, the Town chose Thomas Woodworth “ Clerk of the market,” and annually to the same office till 1711. In 1712, the same person was chosen “sealer of weights and measures,” which we therefore understand to be but another name for the same office. • In 1696,
“The Town did enact, that every householder should kill and bring in six black birds yearly, between the 12th and the last day of May, on the penalty of forfeiting for the Town's use 6d. for every bird short of that number.”
'In 1728, “The Town allowed as a bounty for each fullgrown wild cat killed within the Town, 30s., and for each young one 10s." John Dwelly and David Hatch received the bounty that year.
'In 1739, “The Town chose Capt. John Clap and Samuel Clap to prosecute the law relative to the preservation and increase of deer.” Capt. John Clap was chosen annually for the same purpose until 1775— and Constant Clap was chosen annually afterward until 1784.' — pp. 110, 111.
August 1709, we find the following vote: “ The Society impowered Mr Joseph Otis to finish the meeting house by pewing of it, and also to appoint two and two to a pew (where they do not agree to couple themselves) each couple paying the cost of building the pew." We believe this house was not plastered, for the following item appears in the parish accounts that year: “Allowed Joseph Bates 12s. for filling chinks in the meeting house." ' - p.31.
Slavery was practised to a considerable extent; but they had no occasion to import servants of this description, for they won them
with their sword and their bow." The wills of the first generation often make provision for Indian servants, but rarely mention an African slave. We have seen but one instance of this kind previous to 1690. Subsequently to 1700,