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alarming texts which it contains. What is even a nation's slavery to the eternal loss of an undying soul? And if it were possible to compare things temporal with things eternal, how iin proper would it be, to divest a text of all its solemnity and sacredness by the mere conceit of accommodation.
These strictures will stand but little chance of ever meeting the eyes of the nineteen authors now before us, or any considerable number of them ; but our labor will not be lost, if any of our readers should feel themselves reproved for trilling and irreverent allusions to scripture, and should conscientiously guard against such improprie
We shall now invite the attention of our readers to some of the more vital principles of this splendid and popular volume. It is too late, we think, for anybody to question, that in the common acceptation of the term, Adams and Jefferson were great men. They were endowed by nature with uncommon intellectual strength, forecast, and penetration. They enjoyed the best advantages of education, which the country sixty years ago could afford; and they appear to have done themselves great justice, in the early improvement of their talents and opportunities. Mr. Adams was a deep thinker, an earnest, business-like speaker, and a nervous, philosophic writer. Mr. Jefferson was not only a philosopher, but a polite scholar; and they both came forward into public life, at a crisis most favorable to the developement and exercise of their uncommon powers.' Of the merits, or demerits, the policy or impolicy, of their respective administrations we have nothing to say. Neither was absolutely perfect ; under both the country prospered. But of their patriotism and revolutionary services, we have no
hesitation in speaking freely, though our limits will compel us to speak briefly. It admits not of a doubt with us, that they were both ardent lovers of their country ;and unwavering and incorruptible friends of her republican institutions.
Stronger proofs of a high and almost chivalrous patriotism cannot be demanded, than they uniformly exhibited, as members of the old Congress, and in all their foreign diplomatic agencies, during the revolutionary struggle. To them, greatly, though not perhaps more than to some of their illustrious compeers, are these United States indebted, under Providence, for the undisputed enjoyment of the richest civil and political blessings.
That Adams and Jefferson were both entitled to a high rank as statesmen, might easily be proved by a reference to their revolutionary services, in the councils of the confederation, at home, and in the cabinets of foreign powers, without looking at the measures of either when subsequently placed at the head of the Federal Government. Both their official and less public writings abundantly prove, that they had studied the rights of man, and the principles of civil government deeply; and the experience of more than half a century has added its sanction to most of their early political speculations. In the shades of retirement, particularly during the last ten years of their lives, they were regarded with increasing veneration by the American people; and though the forests of almost a century had whitened their locks, and chilled the current of life within them, it would seem that nothing could abate the ardor of their patriotism, or diminish the interest whieh they had so long cherished in the freedom and prosperity of their country.
When such men die, an enlightened and grateful peo
ple will speak of their services; and it would, we confess, exceedingly alarm us, to see them go down unheeded with the common multitude to the grave. For should such an apathy ever pervade the public mind, it would be ominous of extreme danger to our republican institutions. Let those then, who have ably and faithfully served their country, receive their reward in the gratitude of many generations. Let their virtues and public usefulness be recorded, and even conmemorated, to keep alive the spirit of independence, and transmit its invaluable blessings to posterity. But let every memorial and every celebration, be characterized by republican simplicity and Christian moderation. Let things be called by their right names; and let not principles and actions be confounded, which are widely different, both in their nature and tendencies.
When a man dies, who has been distinguished for any valuable trait of character, or extraordinary course of public usefulness, let his friends and admirers be satisfied with the, meed of commendation which he has fairly earned, without boasting of services which he never rendered, or claiming for him virtues which there is no satisfactory evidence that he ever possessed. To identify piety with love of country, or to iufer that any departed public benefactor was a good Christian, because he possessed great talents, or because he was an eminent statesman, or a warm and incorruptible patriot, is as unscriptural, and as contrary to experience, as it would be to argue, that a great statesman must necessarily abound in all the tender. charities of private life, or that a distinguished mathematician must of course be a great general, or an ardent friend of republican institutions. These are points not to be assumed, but to be proved by the proper
evidence. We have to say the most, no better right to infer the coexistence of piety with extraordinary intellectual endowments, in the chair of state, than with common talents, in a private station. The able advocate of his country's rights in a foreign court, or the brave defender of them in the tented field,' may be at the same time, either the friend or the enemy of God, may be seeking for glory and honor and immortality'above, or be grovelling among the beggarly elements of this world—may be fighting the good fight of "faith, or marching onward to perdition. In regard to meetness for heaven, worldly estimation and applause prove nothing. That noble daring which breaks its fetters and hurls them in defiance at the oppressor, proves nothing. Even the longest life spent in the public service proves nothing : because there are so many worldly and selfish motives which are known to be sufficient of themselves to secure official integrity, especially in high and honorable stations, to the very last hour.
We feel it to be our duty to insist the more earnestly on this point, because, if we mistake not, it is becoming more and more fashionable in certain quarters, entirely to overlook all the scriptural qualifications for a happy immortality, and send our distinguished revolutionary patriots one after another to heaven, almost as a matter of course. The recollection of our readers will doubtless furnish them with many examples, in fourth-of-July orations, which they have heard, and the obituary notices which have fallen under their observation. to these effusions on several accounts. In the first place, most of them are entirely gratuitous. Not a syllable of proof is even offered to justify them, aside from what military, civil, and political services can furnish. How
inadequate these are, we have briefly shown. In the second place, no human persuasion, however confidently expressed, that all is well with departed patriots and sages, can inake the least difference in their eternal condition, If they are in heaven it will not make them more happy, and if they are not in heaven, it will never place them there.
In the third place, while that unmeasured eulogy which never rests till it has glorified its favorites, can do no possible good to the dead, it is calculated to do much harm to the living : and it is on this account, chiefly, that we enter our solemn protest against it. So long as it is tolerated and applauded by listening thousands, our young men who are hereafter to sustain the most important offices in the gift of a free people, will be apt to overlook, if they do not despise, those moral qualifications which alone are of any avail in the sight of God; and to expect a double immortality, as the reward of their political integrity and public services. If their predecessors have, on these grounds, been taken up to their high and eternal reward, why should they not confidently look for the same beavenly distinction, without giving themselves the trouble of passing through the valley of humiliation ? Thus many will reason, and thus will they fatally mistake the way to future happiness, so long as the learned, the honorable, and the eloquent, conspire to perpetuate the fond and sweet delusion.
But while, in a Christian land, it has become so fashionable for orators and journalists to send their favorites to heaven, especially from the high places of society, on the same grounds, exactly, as the Romans were wont to place their heroes and conscript fathers in the Elysian fields, or to exalt them still higher; and while there is