And thus it is a matter of surpassing interest to determine whether the present stupendous insurrectionary convulsion has brought about a state of things under which, in strict accordance with the Constitution as it is, we may emancipate all negroes throughout the Union who are now held in involuntary servitude. This question I propose to discuss.
* * * * *
Every one is familiar with the words in which the Constitution, while not naming Slavery, recognizes, under a certain phase, its existence, and aids it, under certain circumstances, to maintain the rights to involuntary labor which, under State laws, it claims; thus:—
"No person held to service or labor in one State, under the laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in consequence of any law or regulation therein, be discharged from such service or labor, but shall be delivered up on claim of the party to whom such service or labor may be due."
The claims to service or labor here referred to may be for years or for life: both are included in the above provision. In point of fact, there were existing, at the time that provision was adopted, (as there still exist,) both classes: the first class, for a term of years, then consisting, in part, of claims against foreign adults who had bound themselves to service for a limited time to repay the expenses of their emigration,—but chiefly, as now, of claims to the service or labor of what were called apprentices, usually white minors; the second, for life, were claims to the service or labor of men, women, and children of all ages, exclusively of African descent, who were called slaves.
The first class of claims were found chiefly in Northern States; the second chiefly in Southern. There was a great disparity between the numbers of the two classes. While the claims to service or labor for years numbered but a few thousands, there were then held to service or labor for life upwards of six hundred thousand persons: and the number has since increased to about four millions.
The constitutional provision is, that persons from whom under State laws service or labor is due shall not be exonerated from the performance of the same by escaping to another State. The apprentice, or the slave, shall, in that case, on demand of the proper claimant, be delivered up.
Such a provision clearly involves the recognition of certain rights of property; but of what kind?
Is the ownership of one human being by another here involved? Is the apprentice, or the slave, recognized in this clause as an article of merchandise?
State laws regulating apprenticeship and slavery may give to the master of the apprentice, or of the slave, the custody of the person and the right of corporal punishment, in order the better to insure the performance of the labor due. These laws may declare that an apprentice, or a slave, who strikes his master, shall suffer death. They may provide that the testimony of an apprentice, or of a slave, shall not be received in any court of justice as evidence against his master. They may make the claims to service or labor, whether for years or for life, transferable by ordinary sale. They may declare such claims to be, under certain circumstances, of the nature of real estate. They may enact that these claims shall be hereditary, both as regards the claimant and the person held to service, so that heirs shall inherit them,—and also so that the children of apprentices, or of slaves, shall, in virtue of their birth, be apprentices or slaves. But State laws or State constitutions, whatever their provisions, cannot modify the Constitution of the United States. The Supreme Court has decided that "the Government of the Union, though limited in its power, is supreme within its sphere of action"; and again, that "the laws of the United States, when made in pursuance of the Constitution, form the supreme law of the land, anything in the constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding."
[Footnote 7: "McCulloch against the State of Maryland." 4 Wheaton, Rep., p. 316.]
Therefore State laws or constitutions can neither determine the interpretation of the Federal Constitution nor explain its intent. It is to be interpreted by the words, fairly and candidly construed, of its framers.
In the provision under consideration the phraseology is remarkable. The word slave, though then in common use, to designate a negro held to service or labor for life, is not employed. It is impossible to believe that this peculiarity was accidental, or to overlook the inevitable inference from it. This provision does not recognize slavery except as it recognizes apprenticeship. African slavery, according to the expressly selected words, and therefore according to the manifest intent, of the framers of the Constitution, is here recognized as a claim to the service or labor of a negro: nothing more, nothing else.
It avails nothing to allege, even if it were true, that in 1787, when these words were written, a negro was commonly considered property. Chief-Justice Taney, delivering the decision of the Supreme Court in the Dred Scott case, asserts that in the thirteen colonies which formed the Constitution "a negro of the African race was regarded as an article of property." This may or it may not have been true of a majority in those days. True or not, it refers only to the opinions of individual colonists; and these cannot be received as a basis of construction for the words, nor can they rebut the plain intent, of a constitutional provision. It is not what individual colonists believed, but what the framers of the Constitution incorporated in that instrument, that we have to deal with.
They avoided the use of the word slave. They incorporated the words "person held to service or labor." They admitted the claim to service or labor: none other: a claim (regarded in its constitutional aspect) in the nature of what the law calls a chose in action,—or, in other words, a thing to which, though it cannot be strictly said to be in actual possession, one has a right.
In common parlance we employ words, in connection with Slavery, which imply much more than such a claim. We say slave-holder and slave-owner; we speak of the institution of Slavery: but we do not say apprentice-holder or apprentice-owner; nor do we speak of the institution of Apprenticeship. The reason, whether valid or invalid, for such variance of phraseology in speaking of the two classes of claims, is not to be found in any admission, express or implied, in the provision of the Constitution now under consideration. In it the framers of that instrument employed one and the same phrase to designate the master of the apprentice and the master of the slave. Both are termed "the party to whom service or labor may be due."
Is there any other clause in the Constitution in which a distinction is made between the apprentice and the slave? There is one, and only one. In determining the number of inhabitants in each State as a basis of representation and taxation, it is provided that the whole number of apprentices shall be included, while three-fifths only of the slaves are to be taken into account. But the wording of this clause is especially noteworthy. It reads thus:—
"Representatives and direct taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union according to their respective numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole number of free persons, including those bound to service for a term of years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three-fifths of all other persons."
To avoid mistakes, it was deemed necessary to include apprentices by express specification. Why this? Every one would have felt it to be absurd, if the words had been, "the whole number of free persons, including farm-laborers." But why absurd? Because persons engaged in free labor are, beyond question, free persons. Not so those "bound to service." While so bound, apprentices may be considered not free; when the "term of years," and with it the bondage to service, expires, they become free, or, as the common phrase is, "their own masters." It was necessary and proper, therefore, to specify whether, in the enumeration of inhabitants, they were to be estimated as free persons or as persons not free.
But would there be any fairness in construing this clause into an admission, by inference or otherwise, that an apprentice, while "bound to service," is a slave? Clearly not. He is a person not free for the time, because another has a legal claim to his service or labor. The Constitution admits this: nothing more.
And so of slaves. "Other persons" they are called, in contradistinction to "free persons"; therefore persons not free: and properly so called, seeing that, like the apprentice before his term expires, they are "bound to service," and that, unlike him, they remain thus bound for life.
But unless we admit that the apprentice, bound to service for a season, is a slave during that season, we cannot justly allege, that, by this provision of the Constitution, the negro, held to service or labor for life, is recognized as a slave.
A mere technical view of a great political question is usually a contracted one, of little practical value, and unbecoming a statesman. "The letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life." Yet we must not mistake for technicality a careful interpretation, distinctly warranted by the terms employed, of a public instrument. Every public instrument, by which the governed delegate powers to those who govern, should be strictly construed.
I am not arguing, that the men who framed the Constitution did not regard negroes held to service or labor as slaves. I am not arguing that temporary claims, to the number (let us suppose) of forty or fifty thousand, may, for a moment, compare in importance with life-long claims, to the number of four millions; or that it is safe or proper to legislate in regard to the latter, involving as they do vast industrial interests, with as light consideration as might suffice in enacting regulations for the former. I am not arguing that a political element, which has gradually assumed proportions so gigantic as has American Slavery, can, with any safety or propriety, be dealt with, except after the gravest deliberation and the most sedulous examination, in advance, of every step we propose to take. I allege nothing of all this.
What I assert is, that neither the number of slaves nor the magnitude of the interests involved can properly influence the judgment in determining the just construction of a clause in the Constitution, or properly set aside a fair deduction from the wording of that clause as to its true spirit and intent. What I assert is, that the framers of the Constitution, in studiously avoiding the employment of the word slave, undeniably abstained from admitting into that instrument anything which the use of that word might have implied. Therefore the Constitution does not recognize the ownership of one human being by another. In it we seek in vain any foundation for the doctrine declared by Chief-Justice Taney, that persons held to service or labor for life are articles of property or merchandise.
In one restricted sense, and only in one, is slavery recognized by the Constitution of the United States: as a system under which one man may have a legal claim to the involuntary labor of another.
Therefore the question, whether Congress has the constitutional right to emancipate slaves, resolves itself into this:—Can Congress constitutionally take private property for public use and destroy it, making just compensation therefor? And is there anything in the nature of the claim which a master has to the service or labor of an apprentice, or of a slave, which legally exempts that species of property from the general rule, if important considerations of public utility demand that such claims should be appropriated and cancelled by the Government?
This is the sole issue. Let us not complicate it by mixing it up with others. When we are discussing the expediency of emancipation and of measures proposed to effect it, it is proper to take into account not only State constitutions and State legislation, but also the popular conception of slavery under the loose phraseology of the day, and public sentiment, South as well as North, in connection with it. But when we are examining the purely legal question, whether, under the Constitution as it is and under the state of public affairs now existing, Congress has the power to enact emancipation, we must dismiss popular fallacies and prejudices, and confine ourselves to one task: namely, to decide, without reference to subordinate constitutions or legislative action, what the supreme law of the land—the Constitution of the United States—permits or forbids in the premises.
It will be admitted that Congress has the right (Amendments to Constitution, Article 5) to take private property, with just compensation made, for public use. And it will not be argued that a claim of one inhabitant of the United States to the service of another, whether for a term of years or for life, is property which has been constitutionally exempted from such appropriation. It is evident, that, if a claim to the service of a slave cannot constitutionally be so taken and cancelled, neither can the claim to the service of an apprentice.
On the other hand, it is to be conceded, as a feature of the utmost importance in this case, that, when property of any kind to a vast amount is thus appropriated, the considerations which influence its appropriation should correspond in magnitude to the extent of the interests at stake. When the taking and cancelling of certain claims practically involves the social condition of four millions of the inhabitants of the United States and the industrial and financial interests of six millions more, it is desirable that the considerations to justify so radical and far-reaching a change should be in the nature of imperative official duty rather than of speculative opinion or philosophical choice.
Let us proceed a step farther, and inquire if there be circumstances, and if so, what circumstances, under which it becomes the right and the duty of Congress to take and cancel the claims in question.
The controlling circumstances which bear upon this case may be thus briefly stated.
1. The Constitution (section 8) confers on Congress certain essential powers: as, to collect taxes, without which no government can be supported.
2. The Constitution (same section) authorizes Congress to "make all laws that shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution" these powers.
3. If Congress fail to carry into execution these powers, the Government is set at nought, and anarchy ensues.
4. An insurrection, extending over eleven of the States comprising the Union, now prevails.
5. Because of that insurrection, the essential powers granted to Congress by the Constitution cannot be carried into execution in these eleven States.
6. Because of the resistance offered by these insurrectionary States to constitutional powers, it becomes the duty of Congress to pass all laws that are necessary and proper to enforce these powers.
All this will be conceded; but a question remains. Who is to judge what laws are necessary and proper to carry into execution the powers, expressly granted by the Constitution, which are thus obstructed and defeated?
This question has been determined by the highest legal tribunal of the United States, speaking by the mouth of one who will be acknowledged to have been her most distinguished presiding officer.
In the well-known case of McCulloch against the State of Maryland, Chief-Justice Marshall delivered the decision of the Supreme Court; and by that decision the following principles were established:—
[Footnote 8: February term, 1819. 4 "Wheaton's Rep., 316. Unwilling here to multiply words, I pray reference to the decision itself.]
1. The construction of the words "necessary and proper" in the above connection. The Chief-Justice says,—
"The term 'necessary' does not import an absolute physical necessity, so strong that one thing to which another may be termed necessary cannot exist without that other."
2. As to the degree of the necessity which renders constitutional a law framed to carry a constitutional power into execution, the rule by this decision is,—
"If a certain means to carry into effect any of the powers expressly given by the Constitution to the Government of the Union be an appropriate measure, not prohibited by the Constitution, the degree of its necessity is a question of legislative discretion, not of judicial cognizance."
3. But still more explicitly is the question answered, who is to be the judge of the appropriateness and necessity of the means to be employed, thus:—
"The Government which has a right to do an act, and has imposed upon it the duty of performing that act, must, according to the dictates of reason, be allowed to select the means."
Thus, then, the matter stands. The powers to lay and collect taxes, to exercise authority over forts and arsenals of the United States, to suppress insurrection, and various others equally essential, are expressly given by the Constitution to Congress. It is the right and duty of Congress to carry these powers into effect. In case of obstruction or defeat of existing laws framed to that intent, it is the right and duty of Congress to select such means and pass such additional laws as may be necessary and proper to overcome such obstruction and enforce obedience to such laws. In the selection of the means to effect this constitutional object, Congress is the sole judge of their propriety or necessity. These means must not be prohibited by the Constitution; but whether they are the most prudent or the most effectual means, or in what degree they are necessary, are matters over which the Supreme Court has no jurisdiction. As Chief-Justice Marshall has elsewhere in this decision expressed it, for the Supreme Court to undertake to inquire into the degree of their necessity "would be to pass the line which circumscribes the judicial department and to tread on legislative ground."
There must, of course, be congruity or relevancy between the power to be enforced and the means proposed to enforce it. While Congress is to judge the degree of necessity or propriety of these means, they must not be such as to be devoid of obvious connection with the object to be attained.
In this case, the object to be attained is the enforcement, in the insurrectionary States, of laws without which no government can exist, and the suppression in these States of an insurrection of which the object is the dismemberment of the Union.
But these laws are resisted, and this insurrection prevails, in those States, and in those States only, in which the life-long claims to the service or labor of persons of African descent are held under State laws. In States where slaves are comparatively few, as in Delaware, Maryland, Missouri, disaffection only prevails; while in States where the number of slaves approaches or exceeds that of whites, as in South Carolina, Alabama, Georgia, insurrection against lawful authority is flagrant and outspoken: the insurrectionary acts of these States being avowedly based on the allegation that Slavery is not safe under the present constitutionally elected President, and that its permanent preservation can be insured by the disruption of the national unity alone.
[Footnote 9: The Secession Ordinance passed the Convention of South Carolina December 20, 1860. The next day, December 21, the Convention adopted the "Declaration of Causes" which led to that Secession. This document declares, as to the non-slaveholding States, that they have "denounced as sinful the institution of Slavery"; that they have "united in the election of a man to the high office of President of the United States whose opinions and purposes are hostile to Slavery," and who declares that "the public mind must rest in the belief that Slavery is in the course of ultimate extinction." And it winds up with this assertion:—"All hope of remedy is rendered vain by the fact that the public opinion of the North has invested a great political error with the sanctions of a more erroneous religious belief."
These, first put forth by South Carolina, afterwards indorsed by each seceding State, are the causes officially declared to have produced, and which are held to justify, the present insurrection.]
All this is matter of history. And there would be as much propriety in denying the connection between the sun and the light of day, as that between Slavery and the Rebellion.
There is a question upon which men differ: namely, whether emancipation is the most prudent or the most effectual means to enforce violated law and suppress the insurrectionary movement.
It is my opinion that a majority of the people of the loyal States believe, at this moment, that emancipation is the necessary and proper means to effect the above objects. But whether this opinion be well founded or not is immaterial to the present question. According to Chief-Justice Marshall's decision, when it is the right and duty of the Government to perform an act, (as here to enforce law and suppress insurrection,) it "must, according to the dictates of reason, be allowed to select the means." If Congress believes, that, in order to enforce law and suppress insurrection, it is necessary and proper to take and cancel all claims to life-long service or labor held in the Slave States, and if claims to service or labor, whether for years or for life, held by one inhabitant of the United States against another, be a species of property not specially exempted by the Constitution from seizure for public use, then an Act of Emancipation is strictly constitutional.
Congress is to be allowed to select the means; Congress is to be the judge of the necessity and propriety of these means: Congress, not the Supreme Court; not even the People in their primary meetings; but the People constitutionally represented in their National Legislature; the People, speaking by the voice of those whom their votes have elected to that Legislature, there to act for them.
If Congress believes that Emancipation is no longer a question of sectional interference, but of national preservation, it has the right to judge, and the constitutional right to act upon that judgment. And if Congress can properly allege, as motive for taking and cancelling a multitude of life-long claims to service, the preservation of the national existence, can a consideration of greater magnitude be imagined for any legislative act?
In proceeding, however, to consummate such a measure, it is evidently most fitting and proper, that, in the preamble to an Act of Emancipation, there should be set forth, lucidly and succinctly, the causes and considerations which impelled to so solemn and momentous an act.
As to the just compensation provided by the Constitution to be paid, when private property is taken for public use, it is here to be remarked,—
1. If, when a minor is drafted, a father or an apprentice-master has no claim against the Government for service lost, it may be argued with some plausibility, that, under similar circumstances of public exigency, a slave-owner has no claim when his slave is freed. But the argument fairly applies only in cases in which a slave is drafted for military service, and returned to slavery when that service terminates. In case of wholesale taking and cancelling of life-long claims to service, a fair construction of the Constitution may be held to require, as a general rule, that just compensation should be made to the claimants.
2. But to Congress, by the Constitution, is expressly given the power to declare the punishment of treason, without any limitation as to the confiscation of personal property, including, of course, claims in the nature of choses in action. Congress may, therefore, take and cancel claims to service owned by Rebel slave-owners without any compensation whatever. Under the feudal law, a serf, owing service to a noble guilty of treason, became, because of his master's guilt, released from such service.
3. If, because of the present insurrection, set on foot by claimants of service or labor, such claims, from precariousness of tenure or otherwise, have diminished in market-value, that diminution may be properly taken into account in estimating just compensation.
These various considerations converge to this,—that a Preamble and Act of Emancipation, somewhat in the terms following, may be constitutionally enacted.
A Bill to emancipate Persons of African Descent held to Service or Labor in certain of the United States.
Whereas there is now flagrant, in certain of the United States, an insurrection of proportions so gigantic that there has been required, to hold it in check, an increase of the army and navy of the United States to an extent seldom paralleled in the history of the world;
And whereas, because of the said insurrection, the execution of the laws for collecting taxes, and of various other laws of the United States, heretofore enacted by the Congress in the just exercise of their constitutional powers, has been, for more than two years past, and still is, obstructed and defeated throughout the insurrectionary States;
And whereas it is the right and duty of the Congress to make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the said constitutional powers;
And whereas the said insurrectionary portions of the Union consist exclusively of States wherein persons of African descent are held in large numbers to involuntary service or labor,—the white inhabitants thereof basing their insurrectionary acts upon the assumption that the security and perpetuation of such involuntary servitude require the disruption of the national unity, and the establishment, on a portion of the domain of the United States, of a separate and independent government;
And whereas a large portion of the said persons of African descent, so held in servitude, contribute greatly, so long as such involuntary services are thus exacted from them, to the aid and comfort of the said insurrectionists, laboring for their behoof on their fortifications, and for the supply of their commissariat, and otherwise giving strength and support to various insurrectionary acts;
And whereas, in an emergency so urgent as that which is now patent to the world, it is the duty of the Congress to place at the disposal of the Executive branch of the Government, for the common defence, the utmost power, civil and military, of the country, and to employ every means not forbidden by the usages of civilized warfare, and not in violation of the Constitution, that is placed within their reach, in order to repress and to bring to a speedy termination the present protracted and desolating insurrection;
And whereas it appears from the above recitals, that the existence, throughout certain of the United States, of a labor-system which recognizes the claims of one race of men to the involuntary services of another race (always a moral wrong) has now shown itself to be destructive of the supremacy of the laws, and a constant menace to the Government, and that the continuance of such labor-system imminently jeopardizes the integrity of the Union, and has become incompatible with the domestic tranquillity of the country;
And whereas it has thus become evident that claims to the involuntary service or labor of persons of African descent ought not to be possessed by any inhabitant of the United States, but should, in the just exercise of the power which inheres in every independent government to protect itself from destruction by seizing and destroying any private property of its citizens or subjects which imperils its own existence, be taken, as for public use, from their present possessors, and abrogated and annulled,—just compensation being made to so many of the said possessors of such claims as may demand it, and as may by their loyalty be entitled thereto, for the claims so abrogated and annulled; therefore,
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in Congress assembled, that from and after the —— day of —— next all claims to the services or labor of persons of African descent, who shall then be held to involuntary service or labor in any of the States of the Union under the laws thereof, be and the same are hereby taken by the Government of the United States. And the said claims are hereby abrogated and annulled. And all persons of African descent within the United States, who shall, on the said —— day of —— next, be held to involuntary service or labor, except for crime of which the party shall have been legally convicted, shall be released and emancipated from such claims in as full and complete a manner as if the same had never existed; the said release and emancipation to take effect from and after the said —— day of ——, thenceforth and forevermore.
And be it further enacted, that the faith of the United States be and the same is hereby pledged for the payment of just compensation to all persons who shall, on the said —— day of ——, hold such claims to service or labor; provided, that such persons shall make application for such compensation in the form and manner hereinafter prescribed, and provided further, that said persons shall have been, throughout the present insurrection, and shall continue to the close of the same, true and loyal to the Government of the United States, and shall not, directly or indirectly, have incited to insurrectionary acts, or given aid or comfort to any persons engaged in the insurrection aforesaid.
[Here should follow provisions in regard to the manner of application, the mode and rate of compensation, etc.]
It will probably be found that the number of slaves for the remuneration of whose lost services applications will be made by loyal claimants, under such an act, will scarcely reach the number emancipated in 1834 by Great Britain, which was about seven hundred and seventy thousand; and that the sum paid by England to colonial slave-owners, namely about a hundred millions of dollars, (the probable cost of eight weeks war,) will suffice as just compensation for all the services due to loyal claimants thus taken and cancelled.
[Footnote 10: The exact number of slaves emancipated in the British colonies was 770,390; and the total amount of indemnity was L19,950,066 sterling.]
An act couched in the terms here proposed could not be declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, without a shameless encroachment on legislative ground, nor without a reckless reversal of principles as well established, and of as high authority, as any which form the basis of constitutional law.
Those who demur to the passage of an act which meets the great difficulty before us broadly, effectually, honestly, and in accordance with the dictates of Christianity and civilization, would do well to consider whether, in the progress of this insurrectionary upheaval, we have not reached a point at which there is no prudent alternative left. By the President's Proclamation some three millions of slaves have been already declared free. Sundry laws of Congress have emancipated several hundred thousands more. There remain legally enslaved probably less than three quarters of a million,—chiefly scattered along a narrow border-strip that is coterminous, North and South, with Freedom or Emancipation,—partly dotted in isolated parishes or counties, surrounded by enfranchised slaves. Can we maintain in perpetuity so anomalous a condition of things? Clearly not. At every step embarrassments innumerable obstruct our progress. No industry, no human sagacity, would suffice to determine the ten thousand conflicting questions that must arise out of such a chaos. Must the history of each negro be followed back, so as to determine his status, whether slave or free? If negroes emancipated in insurrectionary States are sold as slaves into Border States, or into excepted parishes or counties, can we expect to trace the transaction? If slaves owned in Border States, or in excepted parishes or counties, are sold to loyal men in insurrectionary States, are they still slaves? or do they become free? Are we to admit, or to deny, the constitutionality of Border-State laws, which arrest, and imprison as vagrants, and sell into slavery to pay expenses of arrest and imprisonment, free negro emigrants from insurrectionary States? But why multiply instances? The longer this twilight of groping transition lasts, it will be only confusion the worse confounded.
[Footnote 11: If, hereafter, Attorney-General Bates's decision, that a free negro is a citizen, be sustained by the Supreme Court, then, should the question come up before it, the State laws above referred to will be declared unconstitutional. But meanwhile they have not been so declared, and are in force.
The negro-excluding laws of Indiana and Illinois are in the same category.]
We cannot stand still. Shall we recede? We break faith solemnly plighted; we submit, before the world, to base humiliation; we bow down to a system which the voice of all Christendom condemns; we abandon the struggle for nationality, and consent, for ages, perhaps, to a dismembered country. Shall we advance? There is but one path—the plain, truth-lighted, onward path—to victory and to peace.
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REVIEWS AND LITERARY NOTICES.
Substance and Shadow: or, Morality and Religion in their Relation to Life. An Essay on the Physics of Creation. By HENRY JAMES. Boston: Ticknor & Fields.
Any one tolerably conversant with either the religion or the philosophy of the last twenty-five years, as displayed in the current literature, must have been convinced that both had left their ancient moorings, never again to find them, and were floating about perilously in quest of a new anchorage. We read the "Essays and Reviews" and "The Pentateuch and the Book of Joshua critically Examined," and the replications long-drawn-out from High Church and Low, with a decided impression that the combatants are skirmishing on an immense ice-field, which is drifting them all together into other and unknown seas. What cares any man profoundly conscious of the wants both of the intellect and the heart whether Moses wrote the Pentateuch or not, and if so, whether he was as accomplished a geologist as Professors Buckland and Lyell? Admit that the whole letter of Scripture comes from God, even to the vowel-points, by what laws and methods shall we expound it so as to put an end to the internecine war between Faith and Reason, between Religion and Philosophy?
We say without reserve, that this book of Mr. James's, if we except a small and unpretending treatise by the same author, published a few years since, on the "Nature of Evil," is the first we have met with, in the range of modern religious controversy, which goes to the heart and marrow of the subject.
To see into what straits we had been brought, call to mind the essentials of the Kantian and Scotch philosophies, which have dominated the German and English mind, and partially the French mind, for the last quarter of a century. Kant resolves all our knowledge into the science of phenomena. Our faculties give us nothing but the phenomena of consciousness; and the phenomena of consciousness are not noumenal existence, or existence in se. Nor have we any right to reason from phenomena to noumena, or to say that the former authenticate the latter. We know only the Ego. The Non-Ego lies on the other side of a yawning chasm,—if, indeed, there is anything on the other side, which is doubtful. The Ego becomes the centre of the Universe, and God, who comes under the Non-Ego, lies somewhere on the circumference, and is only yielded to us as the product of our moral instinct. Sir William Hamilton, following Reid, asserts a natural Realism, or noumenal existence within the phenomenal; but he utterly denies that either of these authenticates the Infinite and Absolute. He and his disciple, Dr. Mansel, labor immensely to prove that there can be no such thing as a philosophy of the Infinite, and that to attempt such a philosophy leads us into inextricable confusion and self-contradiction.
In thus degrading Philosophy, unchurching her ignominiously, as fit only to deal with the Finite,—in other words, making her the lackey of mere Science,—they fancy they are doing famous service to Revelation. Very well,—we are ready to say,—having scourged Philosophy out of the temple, will you please, Gentlemen, to conduct us yourselves towards its hallowed shrine? If Philosophy cannot yield us a knowledge of the Infinite, we take it that Revelation, as you apprehend it, can. We, poor prodigals, have been feeding long enough upon husks that the swine do eat, and crave a little nourishing food.—The answer we get is, that Revelation does not propose to give us any such fare. Not any more than Philosophy does Revelation disclose to us the Infinite. It only gives us finite conceptions and formulas about the Infinite. The gulf between us and God yawns wide as ever, and is eternal. We must worship still an unknown God, as the heathen did. But we have this consolation,—that we have creed-articles which we can get by heart, though ignorant of what they mean, and under what these philosophers call a "regulative" religion repeat our paternosters to the end of time.
"These be thy gods, O Philosophy!" exclaims Dr. Mansel to the German Pantheists, pointing to the bloodless spectres which they have evoked in place of Christianity. "These be thy gods, O Scotch Metaphysics!" the Pantheists might reply, when called upon to worship the wooden images in which avowedly no pulse of the Infinite and Absolute ever beats or ever can beat.
Mr. James's whole argument, as he deals with the German and Scotch philosophies, is profound and masterly. He uses two sets of weapons, both of them with admirable skill. One set is awfully destructive. He clears off the rubbish of the pseudo-metaphysics with a logic so remorseless that we are tempted sometimes to cry for mercy. But, on the whole, Mr. James is right here. If men pretending to add to the stock of human knowledge treacherously knock away its foundations, and bring down the whole structure into a heap of rubbish, leaving us, if not killed outright, unhoused in a limbo of Atheism,—or if men pretending to hold the keys of knowledge will not go in themselves, and shut the doors in our faces when we seek to enter, no matter how sharply their treachery and charlatanry are exposed, however famous are the names they bear.
But Mr. James is quite as much constructive as destructive. He shows not only that there must be a philosophy of the Infinite, but that herein is its high office and glory. Sense deals only with facts,—science deals with relations, or groups phenomena; and when these usurp the place of philosophy, they turn things exactly upside down, or mistake the centre for the circumference. This is the glaring fault both of the German and the Scotch metaphysicians, that they swamp philosophy in mere science; and hence they grovel in the Finite, and muddle everything they touch even there. Revelation, on the other hand, does unfold to us a true philosophy of the Infinite. It shows how the Infinite is contained in the Finite, the Absolute in the Relative, not spatially or by continuation, but by exact correspondency, as the soul is contained in the body. Mr. James demonstrates the supreme absurdity of the notion of noumenal existence, or of any created existence which has life in se. God alone has life in Himself. All things else are only forms and receptacles of life, sheerly phenomenal, except so far forth as He is their substance. The notion of Creation as something made out of nothing, having life afterwards in se, and so holding an external relation to Deity, falsifies all the theologies, and degrades them into mere natural religions." It is the mother-fallacy," says Mr. James, "which breeds all these petty fallacies in the popular understanding." Those familiar with Dr. Mansel's argument will see that he has not the remotest conception of Creation, except as an exploit of God in time and space, or of the Infinite, except as an unbounded aggregation of finites. That God reposed alone through all the past eternities, but roused some day and sent forth a shout, or six successive shouts, and spoke things out of nothing into "noumenal" existence, were absurd enough, to use Mr. James's nervous English, "to nourish a standing army of Tom Paines into annual fatness." The utter childishness of the theological quarrels over the first chapter of Genesis is obvious enough, so long as both parties swamp the spirit in the letter, or deny that the Finite can reveal the Infinite.
Following out his favorite postulate, that God alone has life in Himself, and all things else are only phenomena of life, Mr. James evolves the doctrine of Creation, of Man and Nature, and of Redemption, steering clear alike of the shoals of Atheism and the devouring jaws of Pantheism. In his constructive argument he draws upon the vast wealth of Swedenborg, and herein, as we conceive, he has done a rare service to our literature. Both the popular and ecclesiastical conception of Swedenborg would be ludicrously, if they were not shamefully inadequate. He has been known but little, except as a ghost-seer, or as a Samson grinding painfully in sectarian mills. Mr. James has done something like justice to his broad humanity, and his incomparably profound and exhaustive philosophy. It was Kant who first called him a ghost-seer; but while Kant was doing his best to turn all realities into the ghastliest of spectres, and remove all the underpinning of faith, till the heavens themselves should tumble through, Swedenborg was laying the foundation of all knowledge on the solid floors of Nature, subordinating sense to science, science to philosophy, philosophy to revelation, each serving as the impregnable support of its superior, and all filled and quickened with the life of God, and lighted up with those divine illuminations in whose illustrious morning the first and faintest cock-crowing would scare the ghosts of the Kantian philosophy out of the universe.
We have regarded Mr. James for some time as among the first of American essayists. There are few writers whose thought is more worthy to be spoken, or whose grand and nervous English displays it in finer shades and nobler proportions. The present volume is his crowning work, and he has coined his life-blood into it. But as honest critics we have some grounds of quarrel with him. A man has no right to be obscure who can make words so flexible and luminous as he can. In the present volume, his readers who here make his first acquaintance will inevitably misconstrue him, simply because he alters the fundamental nomenclature of religion and chiefly Ritualism, and we find only by the most wide-awake searching that he means anything else. Morality means the Selfhood, not social justice, not that which binds the individual in his relations to society and to humanity. Very true, religion has operated mainly with precatory rites for the purpose of deflecting God's wrath, or, as Mr. James would say, with some sneaking design upon His bounty. And morality has been the starched buckram in which men walk and strut for distinguished consideration. But religion in its true and native meaning is that which binds man to God in loving unison, and morality covers all the relations which bind a man to his neighbor, not assumed as decorations of the selfhood, but with all divine charities flowing through them. So Swedenborg uses the word morality. See his noble chapter on Charity in the "True Christian Religion." And for ourselves, we have not the least idea of abandoning these honored words either to superstitious formalists or handsome scoundrels.
We have no such respect for the Devil as Mr. James has expressed for him, even when transformed into the gentleman and utilized for beneficent purposes. Nor do we see how the gap in Mr. James's argument is to be closed up, while he avows his belief in the eternity of the hells, and yet holds that we are ab intra the unqualified creations of God. Again, we should take exception to his favorite position, or, rather, the batteries he opens from it, that saints and scoundrels are not different in the sight of God, allowing the sense which alone, of course, he intends, different in se.
But the merits of the book, as one of the noblest and profoundest contributions to philosophy which have been produced, are undeniable. Mr. James possesses two qualities in very rare combination, the power of subtile metaphysical analysis and the power of picturesque representation, so that, while he tasks the thinking faculty of his readers to the utmost, he chains their attention by the fascination of his rhetoric. His sturdy honesty is everywhere apparent, and his success the most complete which we have yet witnessed in rescuing Philosophy from her degrading bondage to Sense, and restoring her to the divine service of Revelation.
The Geological Evidences of the Antiquity of Man, with Remarks on Theories of the Origin of Species by Variation. By SIR CHARLES LYELL, F.R.S., Author of "The Principles of Geology," "Elements of Geology," etc., etc. Illustrated by Wood-Cuts. 8vo. Philadelphia: George W. Childs.
Human bones from time to time have been discovered associated with those of extinct hyenas and cavern-bears, and specimens of them were in the Museum of the Garden of Plants in Paris as long ago as 1829; but there was then a doubt among geologists as to the human bones being coeval with the bones with which they were associated, it being supposed that they might have been washed into crevices of the rocks in which the bone-breccias are found, and there, being incrusted with carbonate of lime, had the false appearance of being as ancient as the fossil bones of extinct animals.
The indefatigable labors of Prestwich, in the basin of the Somme and among the gravel-beds of Picardy, first called the attention of geologists to the fact that works of men's hands were also found in undisturbed alluvial deposits of high antiquity, and he had the honor of bringing to light proofs of the existence of man in Europe in more remote times than had been previously admitted, and of demonstrating the stone age of France. Goss, Hebert, and Lartet followed in the same track, and added many valuable facts, and a host of other laborers in the same field have since appeared. So extensive have been the discoveries of the works of man buried with the bones of the Elephas primigenius and of cavern-bears and extinct hyenas, that we are forced to recognize the fact of the coexistence of man with those ancient animals, for the occurrence of deposits containing the bones of the two cannot any longer be regarded as doubtful; and certainly stone tools fashioned by man have been found so widely spread in the ancient alluviums and deposits of the post-Pliocene age, as to remove all doubt of the fact, and to destroy the objection that they might be local accidents of an equivocal character.
More recently,—namely, within four or five years,—the discovery of the habitations of lost races of men on the borders of the Swiss lakes, and of remains of various articles which those people once used,—tools, weapons, ornaments, bones of animals they fed upon, seeds of plants they cultivated and consumed,—has given a new impetus to these researches into the antiquity of the human race. Borings into the alluvial deposits of the Nile have proved the existence of man in that valley more than thirty thousand years ago, as estimated by the known rate of deposit of the alluvium of the Nile. Considerations as to the origin and spread of languages also seem to require a much greater antiquity for the human race than has been popularly allowed; and geologists have always claimed myriads of years as required for the sedimentary formations of the globe. Sir Charles Lyell, ever an active collector of geological facts, and an excellent writer on the science of Geology, has engaged with his usual zeal in verifying the researches of the French, Swiss, and German geologists, and has written a very readable book on these new revelations concerning the ancient history of the human race. It is the best English presentation of the subject, and is written in a style that every one can read and understand.
We regret, however, that he has abandoned his former views as to the persistency of species, and has adopted Darwin's theory of transmutation and development by variation and natural relation, and must say, after carefully reading his book, that he has not given any geological proofs of the correctness of Darwin's opinions, but, like that distinguished writer, he is obliged to take refuge behind the deficiency of the geological record, and to suppose facts and proofs may hereafter be discovered, when few are now known to favor the new hypothesis. We can see no more reason why a giraffe should have had a long neck, because he wished to crop the leaves of tall trees, than that mankind should have become winged, because in all times both children and men have wished to fly. Nor do we think Mr. Wallace's opinion any better founded, that, owing to a dearth of leaves on the lower branches of trees, all the short-necked giraffes died out, and left the long-necked ones to continue the species. This theory reminds us of the "astronomical expirimint" proposed by Father Tom to his "Howliness" the Pope, of the goose and the turkey-cock picking the stars from the sky. As to the ape-like skull of Engis Cave, and the human skeleton found near Dusseldorf in a cavern, we think it would not be difficult to find full as bad skulls on living shoulders, and equally bad forms in skeletons now walking about. To us they are no evidence that the first man was a gorilla or a chimpanzee, nor does his or Darwin's argument convince us that all vertebrates were once fishes. This question, however, is still mooted; and we have no objections that people should amuse themselves in thus tracing back their ancestry.
To this class of inquirers Sir Charles Lyell's book will furnish food for reflection; and they will see that even so enthusiastic a writer as this new convert to the Darwinian doctrine can furnish but very slender support to it from his geologic lore.
There is much interesting matter in the book besides the generalizations we object to, and enough to render it welcome to the library of any one interested in the study of Geology and of the antiquity of the animal creation.
Spurgeon's Sermons. Preached and revised by the Rev. C.H. SPURGEON. Seventh Series. New York: Sheldon and Co.
Spurgeon is emphatically of the earth, earthy. This we say, not as anything against him intellectually or spiritually, but simply as indicating the material ballast, which in this man is grosser and heavier than in most men, pulling forever against his sails, and absolutely forbidding that freer movement of the imagination which usually belongs to minds of a power equal in degree to his. Not that this freedom flows necessarily out of a great degree of mental power, or by any organic law is associated with what we term genius. Every one would admit that Luther was a man of genius; yet Luther was in this respect no better off than Spurgeon,—he was as totally destitute of wings, of the possibility of aerial flight. His power we consider to be far higher than that of Spurgeon; but this we argue from the fact, that, although equally with Spurgeon he was excluded from the sovereignty of the air, although he was equally denied both the faculty to create and the capacity to receive subtile speculation, he had what Spurgeon has not, an almighty, irresistible impetus in his movements,—movements which, though centripetal, forever seeking the earth, and forever trailing their mountain-weight of glory along the line of and through the midst of flesh-and-blood realities, yet never found any impediment in all their course, but swept the ground like a whirlwind. This distinction between Spurgeon and Luther in the matter of strength is an important one; and it is, moreover, a distinction which may easily be derived—even if no other source lay open to us—from a palpable difference between their faces. But the resemblance between these two men as to tendencies and modes of operation is still more important, and especially as helping us to draw the line between two distinct orders of human genius. Upon this resemblance we desire to dwell at some length.
Luther and Spurgeon are both grossly realistic. They are both groundlings. In their art, they build after the simple, but grand style of the Cyclops; they have no upward reach; with no delicate steppings do they haunt the clouds; because they will not soar, they draw the sky down low about them, and, wrapping themselves about with its thunders and its sunlights, play with these mysteries as with magnificent toys. In them there is no subtilizing of human affections, of human fears, or of human faith. All these maintain their alliance magnetically, by channels seen or unseen, but forever felt, with the earth, and, Antaeus-like, from the earth they derive all their peculiar strength as sentiments of the human heart.
How widely different are these men from Bacon, Kant, or Fichte,—or, to compare them more directly with the artists of literature, by what chasms of space are they removed from Milton, Shakspeare, and even from Homer, who, although he was a realist, yet had eagles' wings, and was at home on the earth and in the clouds, amongst heroes, amongst the light-footed nymphs, and amongst the Olympian gods! In these latter the movement of imagination is centrifugal, it sustains itself in the loftiest altitudes, and in the most evanescent and fleecy shapes of thought it finds the materials from which it wreathes its climbing, "cloud-capped" citadels. The opposite order of genius is, as we have previously called it, centripetal, gravitating earthward.
Both orders are to be found among those celebrated as pulpit orators,—all, indeed, who have ranked as powers in this department of human effort belonging eminently, nay, we may almost say exclusively, to one or the other. If we take Spurgeon, Whitefield, Bunyan, and Luther as representatives of one order, we shall have also representatives of the other in such orators as Jeremy Taylor,—the Shakspeare of the pulpit,—and, though in a very different sort, Henry Ward Beecher. That in which these two classes of orators differ is mainly the plane of their movements,—the one hardly lifted above the earth's surface or above the level of sensibility, while the other rises into the sphere of the ideal and impalpable. In the latter class there are vast differences, but uniformly intellect is prominent above sensibility; human faith and love are exhalant, aspirant, and rendered of a vapory subtilty by the interpenetration with them of the Olympian sunlight of thought and imagination. In Beecher this ideality is of a philosophic sort. Thought in him is forever dividing and illustrating truth; and that which is his great peculiarity is that he is at the same time so strictly philosophical, even to a metaphysical nicety, and so very popular. We have heard him, in a single discourse, give utterance to so much philosophic truth relating to theology, as, if it were spread out over a dozen sermons by doctors in divinity whom we have also heard, would be capital sufficient to secure a professor's chair in any theological seminary in the country. Yet he is never abundant in analytic statements of truth: these in any one of his sermons are "few"—as they should be—"and far between": the greater portion of his time and the most mighty efforts of his dramatic power being devoted to the irradiation and illustration of these truths. This is the fertility of his genius, that, out of the roots which philosophy furnishes, it can, through its mysterious broodings, bring forth into the breathing warmth of life organisms so delicate and perfect. Here is the secret of his popularity. Jeremy Taylor, without being at all metaphysical, without ever diving down to examine the beginnings of things in Nature or in men's hearts, had an infinitely more fertile imagination, and the result was therefore more various and multiplex; it reached a higher point in the graduated scale of ideality, it was the afflatus of a diviner inspiration, and was more akin to the effects of the most exalted poetry: yet it was of far less value as something which was to operate on men's minds than the result of Beecher's more pointed, more scintillating discourse of reason. The fact is, that both Henry Ward Beecher and Jeremy Taylor must of necessity depend, for any beneficial effects which they may seek to bring about in the lives of their hearers, upon certain intellectual qualities already existing in their audience. Even in order to be appreciated, they must have at least partially educated audiences. Give either of them Whitefield's auditory, and these effects become impossible. Here we come upon the inert masses, which cannot by any possibility be induced to ascend one single stair in any upward movement, but must be swayed this way or that way upon a thoroughly dead level.
It is just here that the realistic preaching of the Spurgeon school is available, and nothing else is. Here things must be taken just as they are found,—must be taken and presented in their natural coloring, in their roughest shape. Polish the thought here, or let it be anything save the strictest rescript from Nature, and you make it useless for your purposes. Here it is not the crystal that is wanted, but the unshapely boulder. And provided you wield your weapons after a masterly fashion, it matters very little what your manner or style may be as regards the graces of composition; if only a giant, you may be the most unseemly and awkward one of all Joetunheim.
Now these elements of success Spurgeon has in an eminent degree. He deals not simply with realities of the grossest sort, but with those which are forever present to common humanity; he seeks to move men to religious feelings through precisely the same means that they are daily moved by, the same things which daily excite whatever of thought is transacted in their cramped-up world of mind. This is particularly evident in the material structure upon which his sermons proceed.
Preaching from the text, "But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered awhile, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you," he causes the whole matter to be indelibly impressed on their minds by the very mechanical comparison of Perfection, Establishment, Strengthening, and Settling to four sparkling jewels set in the jet-black foil of past suffering. This is just that kind of illustration which his audience craves. It matters not whether he meets this audience through a vague or a transparent medium, provided the vagueness or the transparency be common both to the speaker and his hearers. Nothing, for instance, could have better accomplished the end designed, yet nothing could be more vague, than such an appeal as the following:—"Have ye never on your bed dreamed a dream, when your thoughts roamed at large and a bit was taken from your imagination, when, stretching all your wings, your soul floated through the Infinite, grouping strange and marvellous things together, so that the dream rolled on in something like supernatural splendor? But, on a sudden, you were awakened, and you have regretted hours afterwards that the dream was never concluded. And what is a Christian, if he does not arrive at perfection, but an unfinished dream?" Now there is nothing more universal among the most unintellectual of the children of earth than just this sort of mystical reverie, thus grand and thus inconclusive, where the mind, moved, perhaps, to this enthusiastic rapture by that infusion of animal force which comes from a hearty dinner, remaining always just in the same place, seems to wheel away, it knows not whither, but seemingly, and as it flatters itself, into the regions of the Infinite. Really there is no mental movement at all,—nothing but an outgoing through the myriad channels of animal sensibility; yet there is always associated, in such minds, with reveries like these a spiritual elevation approaching to inspiration. "Oh," think they, "if the dream might only be completed, that would be the consummation of a divinely spiritual being!" On this association Spurgeon founds a comparison, which, though utterly false when analyzed, is yet no less effective as illustrating the particular idea which he wishes to convey. Such associations, where he cannot correct them, it is the business of the popular preacher to inherit as if they were his own, and to build upon as if they were gospel truths.
Spurgeon, again, is continually indulging in the most startling suppositions, and just those which are most commonly entertained by vulgar minds,—as, for instance, the supposition of some one, himself or some unfortunate hearer, dropping down dead in his chamber. And, in general, he makes abundant use of that apprehension of death, which is far stronger in the uneducated than in the more refined, as a source from which he may gather thunderbolt after thunderbolt with which to startle the indifferent and hardened heart. What matter though the sentiment to which he appeals be a perverted sentiment? what matter how severely wrenched out of its normal channel? if through this tortuous channel something of the divine truth reaches the awakened conscience, then is there hope, that, through divine grace entering with the truth, all these perversions and anomalies of sinful nature may be set right, and the soul again arrive at celestial harmony with the universe.
The method of such preaching is as organic, considering the circumstances, as that of Beecher's preaching. The only difference is, that the latter finds an audience that through intellectual facility is able to follow him in any path; while Spurgeon, on the other hand, finds his audience destitute of any such facilities, yet finds them facile in every direction where he can bring into alliance with his power their emotions or their peculiar modes of mental action.
Nor do the grosser realities of the world, as present ever with the hearer, and as present ever with the preacher, at all disturb the efficiency of human faith: indeed, they form the most beautiful relief upon which faith is ever to be discovered, for thus is that which in its supernatural alliance is entirely heavenly seen shining through the lowest bases of our nature, which in their alliance are everlastingly associated with earth.
A Treatise on the American Law of Easements and Servitudes. By EMORY WASHBURN, LL.D. Philadelphia: George W. Childs. pp. 640.
"Easements" is no easy subject for a law-writer. In its development he will be thrown, to a great extent, upon his own resources in collating and unfolding the topics, for the literature upon the subject existing in our own language is so meagre that the form of its presentation has not been cast in any conventional mould. We have heretofore had no American treatise whatever upon the general subject, and the English bar has furnished us only with that of Gale and Whately, which almost wholly ignores the American cases. It is evident, therefore, that it required an original and fresh intellectual effort to gather together the hundreds of adjudications scattered through our various State reports, classify them, compare them, study them, and construct a homogeneous and extensive analysis of their doctrine. This sort of distillation, if we may so speak, from the crude mass, has been most thoroughly performed by the author of the work before us; and the result is, that, instead of merely making a book, he has indeed written one. In reading it, we recall the great authoritative treatises of the profession, such as Abbott on Shipping, or Sugden on Vendors, and we are also the more disgusted with the hotchpots of the "United States Digest," called law-books.
Professor Washburn is fairly before the public as the author of the "Treatise on the American Law of Real Property," and his merits as a writer have thus become so well known as to render any new commendation superfluous. His style is plain, clear, and compact. He addresses himself directly to the subject of which he is treating, spinning no curious refinements, and admitting no irrelevant digressions. Nor does he keep the reader oscillating between text and notes, in a state of dizzying, unstable equilibrium which would task an acrobate. There be books we have seen printed, and heard others praise, and that highly, not to speak it profanely, in which the text was so shingled over with layers of notes, or the notes were so underpinned by a slight propping of text, that it was difficult to say, in the language of Easements, which was the servient and which the dominant tenement. Our author's volume, we are happy to say, is not thus bifurcated. His law is in his text, and his sources are in his notes.
There is another feature which we dare not overlook, and that is, the hearty conscientiousness with which the writer does his work. He takes nothing at secondhand, but goes straightway to the authorities. It begets confidence in a writer, when he is enabled to say for himself, as the Professor apologetically does in his Preface, "It has been my aim to examine for myself every reported case which bore sufficiently upon the topic under consideration to warrant a reference to it as an authority"; and when we are further told that "the cases thus examined considerably exceed a thousand in number," we may form some conception of the great industry as well as the rare literary honesty of the writer.
The arrangement of the book is admirable. At the commencement of each chapter we have the titles of the various sections, and each successive section is introduced by a statement of the contents of each clause. This facilitates search, though it necessitates the cumbrous mode of reference adopted in the foot-notes to chapter, section, and placitum.
It would be easy for us to prolong this notice, but we must content ourselves with an earnest commendation of the work to the profession. It is literally indispensable to the general practitioner, not merely because it is the only book which contains the collected law on the subject as administered in this country, but also because, if it had a dozen competitors, its intrinsic value would be all the more fully developed by the comparison.
The Astronomy of the Bible. By O.M. MITCHELL, LL.D. 12mo. New York Blakeman & Mason.
This work contains seven Lectures, in which the distinguished and lamented author has undertaken to prove not only that the science of Astronomy does not discredit the inspiration of the Sacred Scriptures, but that it affords many clear evidences that they are a Divine Revelation. The first demonstrates, against the Atheist, the being of God. The second adduces evidence that the God of the universe is the Jehovah of the Bible. The third considers the cosmogony revealed by the present state of astronomy; and the fourth compares the Mosaic account of creation with the theory advanced in the preceding lecture. The fifth is devoted to the ancient and venerable Book of Job with reference to the astronomical allusions it contains. The sixth is on the astronomical miracles of the Bible; and the seventh is on the language of the Bible with reference to astronomy.
This brief statement of the subjects discussed is sufficient to show that the work is one of no ordinary character. The interest the publication of these lectures will awaken will be intensified by the considerations, that they contain the matured views of one of the first astronomers of the age, on a subject of transcendent importance,—and that they are the last contributions to the cause of science and religion from his gifted pen. They were delivered within the last few years, in our principal cities, to very large and deeply interested audiences; and their appearance in print just now is most timely. The question respecting the relations of Christianity and Science to each other is now exciting a very general and intense interest. The Bible was written during a period in the history of the world when true science was almost unknown. The writers of the several books which compose the sacred volume, with scarcely an exception, made no pretensions to scientific investigation; and they did not so much reason out as announce great truths and principles intimately related to almost every department of human knowledge. These venerable writings have been and now are subjected to a test which no other professed revelation has been able to bear. If, then, it shall be found that their direct teachings and their numerous references to the works of Nature harmonize with the averments of science in this age of its greatest achievements—still more, if it shall appear that the different sciences, unknown when they were written, strongly corroborate their teachings, direct and indirect,—it will be difficult for candid minds to resist the conviction that their origin is Divine.
No one of the sciences was less understood, in those remote ages, than Astronomy; and yet to no part of the works of Nature does the Bible make more frequent references than to the heavenly bodies. In this department, therefore, if anywhere, we might expect to find discrepancy between the teachings of science and revelation. But the impartial reader will rise from the perusal of this volume, not only with his faith in the inspiration of the Scriptures confirmed, but with the conviction that the sublime science of Astronomy affords a far more just conception of the pregnant meaning of the eloquent language of Job, David, and Isaiah, than without it we could attain.
These lectures will be regarded as the more valuable, because they are the voluntary contribution of a Christian layman, as well as of a man of eminent scientific attainments, to the great argument on which depends the religious faith of mankind. Possessing a mind of extraordinary powers, trained under the promptings of an intense thirst for knowledge to patient and thorough investigation, he made for himself a reputation which secures the strongest confidence in his ability to treat the momentous and difficult questions he undertook to discuss in these lectures; whilst the remarkable clearness of his views, his brilliant imagination, and an extraordinary affluence of language and felicity of expression, both enlighten the understanding and gratify the most cultivated taste. Professor Mitchell did more than any other man to popularize the science of Astronomy; and the use he has made of it in defence of Christianity seems a fitting termination of his noble labors.
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A History of the Law, the Courts, and the Lawyers of Maine, from its Colonization to the Early Part of the Present Century. By William Willis. Portland. Bailey & Noyes. 8vo. pp. 712. $3.00.
Lectures on the History of the Jewish Church. Part I. Abraham to Samuel. By Arthur Penrhyn Stanley, D.D., Regius Professor of Ecclesiastical History in the University of Oxford, and Canon of Christ Church. With Maps and Plans. New York. C. Scribner. 8vo. pp. xi., 572. $3.00.
Tenth Annual Report of the Secretary of the Massachusetts Board of Agriculture, together with Reports of Committees appointed to visit the County Societies. With an Appendix, containing an Abstract of the Finances of the County Societies for 1862. Boston. Wright & Potter, State Printers. 8vo. pp. 424.
Abstract of Returns of the Agricultural Societies of Massachusetts, 1862. Edited by Charles L. Flint, Secretary of the State Board of Agriculture. Boston. Wright & Potter, State Printers. 8vo. pp. 260.
Man's Cry, and God's Gracious Answer. A Contribution toward the Defence of the Faith. By the Rev. B. Franklin. New York. D. Appleton & Co. 18mo. pp. 94. 25 cts.
The Trapper's Daughter. A Story of the Rocky Mountains. By Gustavo Aimard. Philadelphia. T.B. Peterson & Brothers. 50 cts.
The New American Cyclopaedia: A Popular Dictionary of General Knowledge. Edited by George Ripley and Charles Dana. Volume XVI. V-Zwirner. With a Supplement. New York. D. Appleton & Co. 8vo. pp. 850, x., 8. $3.00.
Wanderings of a Beauty. A Tale of the Real and the Ideal. By Mrs. Edwin James. New York. G.W. Carleton. 12mo. paper. pp. 243. 75 cts.
Observations on China and the Chinese. By W.L.G. Smith, late U.S. Consul at Shanghai. New York. G.W. Carleton. 12mo. pp. 216. $1.00.
The New and Complete Tax-Payer's Manual: containing the Direct and Excise Taxes; with the Recent Amendments by Congress, and the Decisions of the Commissioner; also Complete Marginal References, and an Analytical Index, showing all the Items of Taxation, the Mode of Proceeding, and the Duties of the Officers. With an Explanatory Preface. New York. D. Appleton & Co. 8vo. paper, pp. 148, 36. 75 cts.
The National Tax-Law, as amended; embodying all the Official Decisions, Official List of Assessors and Collectors, Alphabetical Schedule of Taxable Articles, Copious Indexes, etc., with a Complete Compendium of Stamp-Duties, and an Explanatory Preface. Compiled and Arranged by Edward H. Hall, Washington, D.C. New York. G.W. Carleton. 12mo. paper. pp. 136. 50 cts.
Pre-Adamite Man: The Story of the Human Race, from Thirty-Five Thousand to One Hundred Thousand Years ago. By Griffin Lee, of Texas. New York. Sinclair Tousey. 12mo. pp. 408. $1.25.
On the Origin of Species: or, The Causes of the Phenomena of Organic Nature. A Course of Six Lectures to Working-Men. By Thomas H. Huxley, F.R.S., F.L.S., Professor of Natural History in the Jermyn-Street School of Mines. New York. D. Appleton & Co. 12mo. pp. 150. 75 cts.
The Results of Slavery. By Augustus Cochin, Ex-Maire and Municipal Councillor of Paris. Translated by Mary L. Booth. Boston. Walker, Wise, & Co. 12mo. pp. x., 413. $1.50.
A Text-Book on Penmanship; containing all the Established Rules and Principles of the Art, with Rules for Punctuation, Directions and Forms for Letter-Writing, to which are added a Brief History of Writing, and Hints on Writing-Materials, etc., etc. For Teachers and Pupils. Adapted for Use in Schools, Academies, and Commercial Colleges, in Connection with any Well-Arranged Series of Copy-Books. By H.W. Ellsworth, Teacher of Penmanship in the Public Schools of New York City, etc. New York. D. Appleton & Co. 12mo. pp. xviii., 232. $1.50.
The Gentle Skeptic; or, Essays and Conversations of a Country Justice on the Authenticity and Truth of the Old Testament Records. Edited by the Rev. C. Walworth. New York. D. Appleton & Co. 12mo. pp. 368. $1.50.
The Pentateuch and Book of Joshua critically Examined. By the Right Rev. John William Colenso, D.D., Bishop of Natal. Part II. New York. D. Appleton & Co. 12mo. pp. 303. $1.25.
Annette; or, The Lady of the Pearls. By Alexander Dumas the Younger. Translated by Mrs. W.R.A. Johnson. Philadelphia. T.B. Peterson & Brothers. 8vo. paper, pp. 173. 50 cts.
My Southern Friends. By Edmund Kirke, Author of "Among the Pines." New York. G.W. Carleton. 16mo. paper, pp. 308. 50 cts.
Letters on the Ministry of the Gospel. By Francis Wayland. Boston. Gould & Lincoln. 16mo. pp. 210. 60 cts.
Cavalry; its History, Management, and Uses in War. By J. Roemer, LL.D., late an Officer in the Service of the Netherlands. With Illustrations. New York. D. Van Nostrand. 8vo. pp. 515, $5.00.
Mysteries of Life, Death, and Futurity. Illustrated from the Best and Latest Authorities. By Horace Welby, Author of "Signs before Death," etc. New York. J.G. Gregory. 12mo. pp. 356. $1.50.
Annual of Scientific Discovery: or, Year-Book of Facts in Science and Art for 1863. Exhibiting the most Important Discoveries and Improvements in Mechanics, Useful Arts, Natural Philosophy, Chemistry, Astronomy, Geology, Zooelogy, Botany, Mineralogy, Meteorology, Geography, Antiquities, etc. Together with Notes on the Progress of Science during the Year 1862; a List of Recent Scientific Publications; Obituaries of Eminent Scientific Men, etc. Edited by David A. Wells, A.M., M.D. Boston. Gould & Lincoln. 12mo. pp. 343. $1.50.
The United States Bank Law. An Act to provide a National Currency, secured by a Pledge of United States Stocks, and to provide for the Circulation and Redemption thereof. Approved February 25, 1863. New York. D. Appleton & Co. 8vo. paper, pp. xii., 28. 25 cts.
Harper's Pictorial History of the Great Rebellion in the United States. New York. Harper & Brothers. 4to. paper. Nos. 1-4. pp. 24, each. 25 cts.
Around the Pyramids: being a Tour In the Holy Land, and, incidentally, through Several European Countries, and Portions of Africa, during the Years 1859-60. By Aaron Ward. New York. G.W. Carleton. 12mo. pp. 309. $1.00.
Marked for Life. Edited by Marlay. New York. G.W. Carleton. 12mo. pp. 216. $1.00.
A Book of Nonsense. By Edward Lear. From the Tenth London Edition. With Many New Pictures and Verses. Philadelphia. Willis P. Hazard, long 8vo. pp. 112. $1.00.
German Lyric Poetry. A Collection of Songs and Ballads. Translated from the Best German Lyric Poets. With Notes. By Charles T. Brooks. Philadelphia. Willis P. Hazard. 16mo. pp. xx., 400. $1.25.
The Roman Catholic Principle: A "Price Lecture," delivered in Trinity Church, Boston. By F.D. Huntington, D.D., Rector of Emmanuel Church, Boston. E.P. Dutton & Co 16mo. paper, pp. 40. 10 cts.
Incidents in My Life. By D.D. Howe. With an Introduction by Judge Edmonds. New York. G.W. Carleton. 16mo. pp. 315. $1.25.
Chaplain Fuller: being a Life-Sketch of a New-England Clergyman and Army Chaplain. By Richard F. Fuller. Boston. Walker, Wise, &Co. 12mo. pp. vi., 342. $1.50.
The Conscript. A Tale of War. By Alexander Dumas. Philadelphia. T.B. Peterson & Brothers. 12mo. pp. 400. $1.50.
Moses Right, and Bishop Colenso Wrong; being Popular Lectures on the Pentateuch. By the Rev. John Cumming, D.D., F.R.S.E. New York. John Bradburn. 12mo. pp. 271. $1.00.
Instruction for Heavy Artillery; prepared by a Board of Officers, for the Use of the Army of the United States. With Service of a Gun mounted on an Iron Carriage. Illustrated by Thirty-Nine Plates. New York. D. Van Nostrand. 12mo. pp. xvi., 254. $2.00.
The Works of Charles Dickens. Household Edition. Illustrated from Drawings by F.O.C. Darley and John Gilbert, A Tale of Two Cities. In Two Volumes. New York. Sheldon & Co. 16mo. pp. 259, 256. $2.00.
Two Pictures; or, What We Think of Ourselves, and What the World Thinks of Us. By M.J. McIntosh. New York. D. Appleton & Co. 12mo. pp. 476. $1.50.
Union Fourth Reader: embracing a Full Exposition of the Principles of Rhetorical Reading; with Numerous Exercises for Practice, both in Prose and Poetry, Various in Style, and carefully adapted to the Purposes of Teaching in Schools of Every Grade. By Charles W. Sanders, A.M. New York. Ivison, Phinney, & Co. 12mo. pp. 408. $1.00.
"Drifting About"; or, What "Jeems Pipes Of Pipesville" Saw and Did. An Autobiography. By Stephen C. Massett. With Many Comic Illustrations by Mullen. New York. G.W. Carleton. 12mo. pp. 371. $1.25.
Marian Grey; or, The Heiress of Redstone Hall. By Mrs. Mary J. Holmes, Author of "Lena Rivers," etc. New York. G.W. Carleton. 12mo. pp. 400. $1.25.
The Races of the Old World: A Manual of Ethnology. By Charles L. Brace, Author of "Hungary in '51," "Norse-Folk," etc. New York. C. Scribner. small 8vo. pp. xvi., 540. $2.00.
Paris in America. By Dr. Rene Lefebvre (Edouard Laboulaye). Translated by Mary L. Booth. New York. C. Scribner. 12mo. pp. 373. $1.25.