« PreviousContinue »
I was nearly sixteen. Our friends in Scotland were pressing in their invitations. I asked and obtained permission to pay the visit. How happy the thought of striking out into life made me ! My heart seemed fresh again!
DiscotRSE ON THE RESTORATION OF THE JEWS. Delivered at the Tabernacle, New-York, by M.
Noah. pp. 56. New-York: HARPER AND BROTHERS.
This discourse attracted large and attentive audiences, on two occasions, in one of the largest of our public halls ; and its publication will extend the interest which was felt in its arguments and hypotheses. However these may be regarded, the reader will do the writer the justice to admit, that his performance is characterized by force and elegance of language, and in portions, by fervent and natural eloquence. Some of the passages of Holy Writ, upon which our friend animadverts, we cannot but regard as somewhat tortured from their original meaning, to enforce the orator's peculiar views. We must be permitted, for example, respectfully to doubt whether Isaiah referred especially to the United States, in his exclamation, ‘Ho! (not' wo') to the land shadowing with wings, which is beyond the rivers of Ethiopia ! A friend at our elbow suggests that it would be easier to prove that the prophet referred to Teras ; for that when, in process of time, that country shall be covered with slaves, the term “shadowing' will need little explanation. We are struck with the feeling and fervor of the following passage, touching the history and character of God's' covenant people:'
"They are worthy of your love, your confidence, and respect. Is it nothing to have had such fathers and founders of their faith as ABRAHAM, Isaac, and JACOB ; such mothers as SARAH and REBECCA, LEAH and RACHEL ; such illustrious women as Miriam and DEBORAH, RUTH and ESTHEK? Is it nothing to have been deemed worthy by the Almighty to have had a path made for them through the waste of waters; to have been led to Sinai, and there received the precious and Divine gift of that law which we all revere and hold sacred at this day? Is it nothing to have erected the Temple of Jerusalem, where the priesthood and Levites presented their votive and expiatory offerings to the Most High? Is it nothing, my friends, to have outlived all the nations of the earth, and to have sur. vived all who sought to ruin and destroy us? Where are those who fought at Marathon, Salamis and Platea? Where are the generals of ALEXANDER, the mighty myriads of XERXES? Where are the bones of those which once whitened the plains of Troy? We only hear of them in the pages of bistory. But if you ask, Where are the descendants of the million of brave souls who fell under the triple walls of Jerusalem ? where are the subjects of David, and SOLOMON, and the brethren of JESUS? I answer, Here! Here we are — miraculously preserved - the pure and unmixed blood of the Hebrews, baving the Law for our light, and God for our REDEEMER. ::. If you have wronged ISRAEL, it has arisen only from the prejudices of early education. Dismiss such feelings; be better acquainted with the Jew, and learn to estimate his virtues. See him in the bosom of his family, the best of fathers, and the truest of friends. See children dutiful, affectionate, and devotedly attached, supportiøg their parents with pride and exultation. See wives the most faithful, mothers the most devoted. Go with me into the haunts of misery, where the daughters of misfortune walk the streets of this great city, and see if among them all you find one Jewess. Come with me to the prisons, where crime riots and vice abounds, and examine whether a Jew is the tenant of a dungeon. Go into your alms-houses, and ascertain how many Jews are recipients of your bounty. Call to mind, therefore, whenever a feeling of prejudice is found lurking about your hearts, against the chosen people, how much the world is indebted to the When you read the sublime Mosaic records, and see in them the wisdom and providence, the power and forgiving kindness, the confidence and affection of the ALMIGHTY, call to mind that Moses was a Jew. Whenever you pour out your hearts in devotion with the inspired Psalmist, and your whole soul is rapt in delight and devotion in dwelling upon his divine muse, remember alsothat David was a Jew. Whenever that mighty prophet, whose poetic soul was warmed by an ethereal fire, and who bears you on the wings of hope and exultation, of joy and rapture, remember that Isaiah was a Jew. But do not confine yourselves to the great army
of kings and prophets of the Bible. Go to your own New Testament, and ask whether the Gentiles have ever had such evangelists as Judah furnished: and yet Paul, the mighty man of mind, of faith, and fervor, was a Jew, ‘a Hebrew of Hebrews.''
We commend this discourse to the attention of our readers; being well assured that they will find in it ample reward for a heedful perusal. It is exceedingly well printed, and illustrated by an excellent map of the Land of ISRAEL.
AN ADDRESS DELIVERED BEFORE THE NEW-YORK HISTORICAL SOCIETY, at its Fortieth Anniver
sary, 20th November, 1844: By JOHN ROMEYN BRODHEAD, Esq., Historical Agent of the State of New-York, to Holland, England, and France: With an account of the subsequent Proceedings at the Dinner given in the Evening. pp. 107. New-York: VAN NORDEN : Press of the HistoriCAL SOCIETY.
We have perused many a pamphlet of much greater bulk, which had not a moiëty of the value of the slender one before us. The New-York Historical Society has been long known as one of the most important of the institutions which do bonor to this city; and its activity, even from its first organization, is among the commendable circumstances deserv ing of notice in its behalf. Its large, curious, and rare collections of books, tracts, and manuscripts on American affairs; its printed volumes, and its general proceedings, have served to bring to light many remarkable historical facts, which without its agency must have been wholly lost; and the devotion of its members to the direct purposes for which it was established has enhanced the general desire that legislative provision might be still farther extended toward it, the better to secure the great objects contemplated by its original founders. To the pamphlet before us we would right gladly devote many of our pages. The discourse of the intelligent agent, Mr. BRODHEAD, deserves to be widely diffused; inasmuch as the example which it presents of the advantages which might accrue to the States generally, and particularly the original ‘Old Thirteen,' would not fail to incite the people, in their legislative capacity, to the adoption of measures to secure, while yet within their power, the original documents on our colonial condition, (still accesible, we believe, to proper application,) in order that the true story of our country's rights and wrongs might be thoroughly understood. We trust that none of the Old Thirteen, after they shall have read Mr. BRODHEAD's Address, will fail to urge the like service in behalf of true knowledge. Indeed, we believe that even before the embassy of the New-York agent, something of the sort had been accomplished by one or two other members of the confederacy; but Mr. Brodhead's labors awaken in us new desires that an undertaking for the same laudable ends may be adopted by all.
The festival-proceedings of the extra-meeting of the Society, which followed the delivery of the Historical Agent's discourse, embrace many matters which have a tendency, more or less direct, to illustrate historical truths. The delegates who convened by invitation on the occasion, came mostly from the eastern section of the Union; although Pennsylvania was ably represented by W. B. REED, Esq., whose speech is among the very best we find recorded. Vice-President LAWRENCE, who has long taken an interest in the affairs of the Society, favored the association with appropriate introductory remarks; and the brief observations of Mr. Bradish called forth the venerable John QUINCY Adams in reply; who, on this as on every other occasion in which he is summoned to appear, discharged his duty with equal force and felicity. The laudatory strains of Mr. B. F. BUTLER found, as we have remarked, an able respondent in Mr. Reed. Our estimable fellow-citizen, Mr. HONE, SO well known for his zealous efforts in behalf of the Clinton Hall Association, paid a becoming tribute to the memory of the antiquarian, Isaiah Thomas, which was acknowledged by Mr. BURNSIDE, a delegate of the American Antiquarian Society. Chief Justice JONES paid due homage to Connecticut, to which her historical representative, Hon. Thomas Day, briefly responded. A few words from Joseph BLUNT, Esq., called forth the Hon. LEVERETT SALTONSTALL, of Massachusetts, touching several historical events con
nected with that patriotic State. The Georgia Historical Society found an able represontative in John Jay, Esq., who was brought forward by the few pertinent remarks of Hon. W.W. CAMPBELL. The several addresses of Mr. GERARD, Mr. OGDEN, and Mr. HoffMAN were in excellent taste, and most approvingly received. We were well pleased to remark that Prof. Mason, of the New-York University, arrested the 'speechifying’in season to prevent the celebration passing off, to use his expression, as a real down-east affair;' every topic that had been started seeming to wake up a New England spirit, and to draw its illustrations from that quarter. "We cannot deny,' said Mr. Mason, that most of us are descended from the Yankees, or are somewhat allied to them, or dependent on them; but then we must remember what our own veracious and eloquent historian has recorded concerning us ; namely, that when our Father JONATHAN came to settle in New-York, and found the Yankee name unpopular, he turned Dutchman, that is, he married a burgher's daughter. For the honor of our mothers, then, we must begin to draw a line, and claim for New-York the labors and the honors of all our converted and adopted Dutchmen. Therefore, in behalf of the committee, I now call on that Dutch-looking gentleman, on the opposite side of the hall, though a native of this metropolis, to lay down his pipe, close his meditations, and speak something for the honor of the New-York Historical Society.'
The Dutch-looking gentleman' thus called upon was our (and the public's) old friend, Dr. John W. FRANCIS, whose faithful counterfeit presentment is herewith placed before the reader:
Considering the date, extent, and variety of his experiences, the Doctor was precisely the person to give his beloved metropolis, and her distinguished citizens of the olden time, their proper position among the honored names brought forward on the occasion. The DOCTOR's remarks, which for the honor of the KNICKERBOCKER City, and its ancient men of mark,' we copy entire, will show how felicitously he performed his ' labor of love :'
'I have been so recently Polked, that I feel hardly able to say any thing, however memorable the occasion for which the Society is convened. But my case confirms the illustrious Baron HALLER'S view of life: his theory was, that there was within it a combination of two forces: the nervous power, and a vis insita. My nervous power is completely exhausted ; I have a little of the vis insita left. The elaborate discourse which I have heard this afternoon from the State Delegate Mr. BRODHEAD, has, however, proved so agreeable to my feelings, that aided by its influence I
am enabled to say a few words. I am satisfied that no individual could have performed the arduous and responsible duties assigned him better, if so well. The mission was intrusted to a gentleman who has discharged the trust in a way no less honorable to himself than confirmatory of the sound judgment of the distinguished Governor of the State by whom he was chosen.
. From long association with the Historical Society of New York, I might at this time be justified in dwelling at some length on its early history; but in so doing, I fear I should trespass too long on your indulgence. I however may remark, that the Society took its rise and was incorporated at s period in our political history of great excitement through the whole country. The administration of JEFFERSON is recognized by all as an important era in our nation's annals. New measures and new men; personal prejudices, old attachments, povel theories ; these, and a thousand other circumstances, exercised the judgment and the political asperities of the people of that day, to an inconceivable extent. Now it was, that the sacred expositor of the pulpit adverted with unbecoming latitude to the crisis in the times: here we had one who craved attention to the direful calamity which threatened us, when, the better to secure ourselves from the poison of infidelity and Tom PAINE, it behooved the believer to secure his Bible somewhat after the manner of old Dr. FRANKLIN's mother, lest the Book of Life should be blotted out: there, on the opposite side, was another, who told us that a republican population were not to be admonished by the precepts of a volume which had been ordered to be read in churches by His Majesty's special command: while a third in stentorian accents would close his clerical service with the fervent hope that the Goddess of Liberty, seated on Alpine heights, might ever watch over the destinies of the land favored by such a ruler as JEFFERSON, whose administration was emphatically declared the genuine essence of rational freedom, and whose excellence, both of head and heart, as the preacher most vehemently averred, was far superior to that of cither of his predecessors.
* Most unquestionably these several views of the policy of a republican government, sustained by different individuals in different walks of life, awakened new desires, among all, the better 10 understand the story of our country's wrongs and the war of the revolution : added to which the State of New-York had noble facts in her trials for freedom, in her Indian warfares, in the incidents connected with the occurrences of the Stamp Act, and the Sons of Liberty; and in the elaborato discussions on the adoption of the Constitution. Beside all this, our city boasted as residents among us, of the venerable Chancellor Livingston, the inflexible GEORGE CLINTON, RUFUS KING, GOUVERNEUR MORRIS, C. D. COLDEN, her HAMILTON and Jay.
'Surrounded by materials of this nature; observing how liable the most important public occurrences were to misrepresentation, and that our posterity would look in vain for a true record unless the preservative power of an Historical Confederacy should be summoned in its behalf, like unto that which had for years signalized glorious Massachusetts, New-York determined to adopt like measures for the same great end ; and a body of the distinguished men of forty years ago convened together in the Hall of that edifice where WASHINGTON was installed President of the United States, and TRUMBULL's great National Portraits ornamented its walls, and laid the foundation of this admirablo Institution. Its incorporation by the legislature soon followed, and the bounty of the State to some extent was secured for its perpetuity.
"The history of our library is a curious one. Donations were at first our principal means of accumulation, and not a few of the most valuable works which it now possesses were of the number at that time. In 1812, when the war was declared, the entire collection of books and manuscripts was so inconsiderable, that one or two cart-loads were all that we had to transfer from one place of safety to another, apprehensive that by invasion the enemy might possess the city. Shortly after this period we purchased the rare and valuable treasures of the late Rev. TIMOTHY ALDEN, which embraced no small portion of the rarest productions of the press, the Plymouth Rock disquisitions and contiguous geography, Boston News Letter, AMES' Almanacs, the Magnalia, and other works of like interest to the American antiquary. We thought we were doing service to the mental progress of the country in bringing together as in a focus the offspring of its authors, however widely scattered, or on whaiever topic the intellectual acumen of our countrymen might be expended. Hence the library was then swelled, in amount at least, by the Spelliog-Books, and Arithmetics, and Monitors, and Schoolmaster's Assistants; and the catalogue of all things pronounced literary purposely designed to teach the young idea how to shoot. The religious literature thus grouped together for the same purpose abounded in sermons, tracts on baptism, and church government, polemical disquisitions, on divers topics, and in narratives of Indian conversions, and the progress of the missionaries. We justly boasted of the discourse of the Elder GOOKIN. Hymn-Books for the better devotion of the various sects of theology were not overlooked; it was argued that they threw light on the advancement of religious belief; and while Low, Searson, and HONEYWOOD, (for at that time we had no BRYANT, nor HALLECK, nor HoFFMAN, nor Willis, nor WeTMORE, nor Morris,) found a place among American bards, the improved translation of David's Psalms, by Joel BARLow of Connecticut, could not be rejected. This sturdy democrat, who had long ago chaunted, in no mean accents, the Conspiracy of Kings,' was found hardy enough to attempt a republican version of the divine emanation of the Royal Psalmist, the better to rear up the fabric of his country's greatness. How well he excelled in his patriotic efforts, may be judged by a stanza:
*Bow glorious is our President
Who rules above the sky!
* At this early day of the Library many works of high importance, and now extremely rare, were obtained, on the history of the American revolution. We are quite ample on that prolific subject. of the vast number of travellers through the country, from its earliest period down to the time of JANSEN, and BULOW, PARKINSON and Priest, a very great collection was made; and if we abound in the productions of such libellous itinerauts, it may be permitted to add, that we have also within our cases the sterling productions of the Jesuits and other old observers; PURCHAS' Pilgrim, the Baron HUMBOLDT, and numerous other precious works of a like nature.
In works of American science and in the happier productions of American literature we gatbered