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England to be a Scythian, Cimme- must win for it no inconsiderable rian region, far to the north, whence credit and authority, especially barbarians sometimes come to dis. where it finds individuals or circles turb the quiet of the Presbyterian predisposed to look with favor on realm. It honors Edwards indeed, the opinions of which it is the orabut not as a New Englander, for his cle. Its position in regard to moral sun went down at Princeton, and his questions, disconnected from relisepulcher is with them to this day. gious views, is not more exception. Bellamy, Hopkins, and Smalley, are able than that of some journals with names for which it has no reverence. higher pretensions to orthodoxy. In all its Auctuations of opinion re- Since the developments which have specting elective affinity synods, and divided the Unitarian party, it has act-and-testimony movements, and often argued for the supernatural the policy of the Presbyterian character of Christ and his authorChurch, it has remained unchanged ity as a teacher, for the reality and in its prejudices against New Eng, the necessity of the miracles of the land. In its theory of geography, New Testament, and in some inNew England, with all its seats of stances for the inspiration of the education and all its illustrious Scriptures. Most of its writers names, is provincial, and Princeton seem to feel that it is time to stop is somewhere near the center. Em in the career of “not believing." mons's Sermons and Webster's Dic. The transcendentalism, the rationaltionary are alike the objects of its ism--or to call things by their right profound displeasure. It has learn- names, the downright German paned indeed, from New England, to theism of some men about Boston spell honor without the u, and logic who pretend to be Christian preachwithout the k; but it still repels with ers, has alarmed the more serious horror such neological ideas as that and conservative sort of Unitarians; sin consists in sinning, that the pre- and the Examiner accordingly cepts and sanctions of God's law stands for the evidences of Chris. have respect only to the acts or ex. tianity against what we in our liberercises of the responsible soul, and ality and simplicity, might have that guilt is the demerit of a personal called the latest form of Unitarian. agent, incurred by his personal sin. isin, had not
not Professor Norton fulness. Surely the fact that there is taught us to call it “ the latest form such a work as the Biblical Reper. of infidelity.” Yet in regard to tory already in the field, is no suffi- Christianity itself, the position of cient reason why New England men the Examiner remains unchanged.' may not utter their opinions through Its theology, as of old, is made up an organ of their own.
of negations. So far as its influ. The Christian EXAMINER is the ence reaches—and who can speak representative of Massachusetts Uni- lightly of such an influence ?-it is tarianism, in the Old School or con continually tending to unsettle the servative modification of that sys. minds of the unstable and to make tem. The reputation which it ac- men skeptical in regard to all those quired in the intellectual world, doctrines without which Christianity when Dr. Channing made it the ve- is nothing else than natural religion, hicle of some of his beautifully and the miracles which constitute its wrought productions, gives it, prob- external evidences are felt by inde. ably, a greater influence than it pendent minds to be a grand imper. could now acquire. Yet, indepen. tinence. Take away from Chris. dent of that former reputation, its tianity the doctrines which relate to elegant scholarship, its gracefulness the apostasy and condemnation of of manner, and its habitual dignity, all men; those which relate to the incarnation, death and mediation of struck as to assist in editing the the Son of God, and to the expiation Dial. Many there are who having which he has made for sin ; and common sense enough to attend to those which relate to the process of ordinary business, are the conducthe soul's renovation and actual re- tors through which this influence is conciliation to God by the work of diffusing itself among the uninitiathe Holy Spirit-take away that re- ted. The infidelity of the last age vealed way of salvation for sinners, was, for the most part, the infidelity that “new and living way,” that of materialism, which knew nothing manifestation of God as 'just and and believed nothing but what is reyet justifying the sinner that believ- ported by the outward senses. The eth, which makes Christianity a infidelity with which the coming age Gospel ; and the intellectual instinct is threatened, is the infidelity of a that demands congruity, will feel, self-styled spiritualism, which besooner or later, that to contend for lieves nothing that is true and subthe miracles by which Christianity stantial, for the reason that, under is supposed to be authenticated, is the pretense of seeing through this like contending for the shell when outward show of things, it believes the kernel is gone, or like keeping every thing that is unsubstantial, un. up a smoke and roar of artillery true, and absurd. That this mystiover the outworks, after the citadel cal infidelity is likely to be in any has been surrendered. The fact way less fanatical or mischievous then that such a work as the Chris. than that which in France adored tian Examiner, with so many claims the goddess of Reason, no man, acto attention, is published at the me- quainted with history or with human tropolis of New England, is in every nature, will easily admit. point of view a reason, why the A few years ago, the Christian evangelical faith of New England Spectator, published at New Haven, should find for itself fit organs of the Literary and Theological Recommunication with the reading and view, published at New York, but inquiring public.
designed chiefly for New England, Shall we say any thing here of the and the American Quarterly ObserDial?-the Dial, with the mystic ver, published at Boston, were in the symbols on its face, looking up not field at once, each with its peculiar to the sun, but to the everlasting fog aim and merits, and each offering in which it has its being ? Who itself as an organ through which reads the Dial for any other purpose New England men of the evangelithan to laugh at its baby poetry or cal faith were uttering their opinat the solemn fooleries of its misty ions. The Quarterly Observer, afprose? Yet the Dial is worth ad. ter the issue of a short series of volverting to in this connection, not be- umes, was merged in the Biblical cause of any influence which it is Repository, the editorship of that actually exerting, or which it is elder and more widely circulated likely to exert, but because it is work having been transferred to the itself one of the symptoms or man. editor of the Observer. The conifestations of a morbid influence ductors of the Christian Spectator, widely diffused, which may by and judging that the discussions with by manifest itself with greater pow. which that work was identified had er and with disastrous results. Who been pursued far enough to answer does not see in the literature of the their purpose, advised the proprietor day many traces of such an influ- to accept the proposals which the ence? Not all the worshippers of proprietor of the Repository had Goethe-not all those who bow made for the purchase of the estabdown before Carlyle, are so moon. lishment.
lishment. The Literary and Theological Review, which during the he can do good by purchasing anoadministration of its first editor at ther copy for some home missionary tained a high reputation, underwent in the West, or for some poor minisa change after it passed into other ter or schoolmaster or student, let hands; and in the end its subscri- him do it, and we will do likewise bers were served with the Biblical so far as we are able ; but let him Repertory. Thus, where there not therefore suppose that he is our were three quarterly magazines for Mecenas, or a “life director" of our religious and general literature, we enterprise. now find none. Admitting that The conductors of the New Engthere was not room enough for lander, we have said, will express three-admitting even that they their own opinions at their own discrowded each other from the field cretion. They do not propose to be -it does not follow that in the ab- at the expense of publishing for othsence of them all, there is not room er people who may have a disposifor our undertaking. The New tion, however laudable, to contradict Englander does not offer itself as them and dispute with them. Of the successor of all the periodicals course it is not to be expected that which have been named, or of any among so many individuals, there one of them. It cannot expect to will be in every thing a perfect idenplease all of all parties. It does tity of opinion. On questions of not pledge itself to please any party. taste, of political science, of historiIts conductors will utter their own cal inquiry, of philosophy, not eveopinions at their own discretion. ry writer of our company is to be And if the circulation of the work, held responsible for the opinions of conducted on such principles, does every other writer. One of us may not show that there is a demand for say to another, “I am not so san. it on the part of the public, the un- guine a democrat as you are,'—or, dertaking will of course be aban- 'you are more zealous for Congredoned. Neither our pride of au- gationalism than I can be,'-or, ‘I thorship, nor our estimation of the have less faith in the doctrines of value of our lucubrations to the political economy than you have.' community, will induce us to make One may hold in philosophy with pecuniary sacrifices for the support Locke, another with Brown, and anof a work which cannot support other may have a philosophy of his itself. And to speak plain truth, own. If therefore some diversity we have no money to expend in that of opinion as well as of style shall kind of charity. What we are able appear on our pages, let it be underto give for public uses, we will give stood that to the extent of that diin some other way, rather than in sup- versity we have among ourselves porting a periodical which the pub- agreed to differ. Still the influence lic will not buy. Nor have we any
of the New Englander will be found party resources on which to fall steadily setting in one direction. It back when our own resources fail. will be found on the side of order, The work must be supported by of freedom, of progress, of simple finding a sufficient number of pur and spiritual Christianity, and of th chasers, or it will not be supported Bible as the infallible, sufficient and at all. If any individual after pur- only authority in religion, chasing a copy for himself, thinks
1843.] The Post-Office System, as an Element of Modern Civilization.
THE POST-OFFICE SYSTEM, AS AN ELEMENT OF
The power of holding communis paper and seal it, and nobody can cation with those at a distance with see what is in it. My messenger carwhom we are connected in relations ries the paper, and if he knows not of business or friendship, and of what message he carries, no matter. making such communications as ex. My friend opens the paper, and act, infallible, and direct, as the na. there my words are, just as I wrote ture of human language will admit, them." is, to a savage, one of the most But the mere power of writing wonderful of all the mysterious letters is of course worth little, unpowers of civilized man. When less there be given the power of Captain John Smith, the founder of sending what is written to the perVirginia, a prisoner for the time son for whom it is designed. In among the Indians, sent by the an uncivilized or partially civilized hands of one of his captors, a writ. country-in all countries save those ten message to Jamestown, and the which partake in the civilization message, without a word from the of modern Christendom—the only messenger that bore it, was accu. means of epistolary communication rately complied with, the exactness are special messengers and acciof that silent communication seemed dental opportunities. No ancient to the wild men of the woods the government, even of the most cul. operation of some supernatural tivated or powerful nations, had any power. “The paper," they said, such thing as what we call a post
could talk.” In our own time, a office department. Neither Egypt Sandwich Island chief who had when her Pharaohs built the pyralearned from American missionaries mids, or when her Ptolemies made the art of writing, expressed himself Alexandria the emporium of the to this effect—"Formerly, when I world—nor Greece when her artwanted to send words to a chief on ists adorned her hills with strucanother island, I told my words to tures and statues which to this day a messenger. One half, perhaps, all kindred genius only seeks to imi- . he would forget. The other half tate, or faintly hopes to rival-nor perhaps he would misunderstand. Rome when her arch of empire Now, I put my words on a paper- overshadowed every nation-had just what I mean. I shut up the any such thing as a mail for the ac
commodation of the public. The * Third Report from the Select Com.
era of the first propagation of Chris. mittee on Postage. Ordered by the tianity—the era of the New TestaHouse of Commons to be printed, Au- ment Scriptures—was that of "the gust 18, 1838.
(Reprinted in Supple. most high and palmy state” of Roment to the London Spectator, March 9, 1839.]
man civilization ; yet the Apostles Message of the President of the United and primitive missionaries, in their States to the two houses of Congress, at communications with each other and the commencement of the Second Session with their converts, never enjoyed of the twenty-sixth Congress. With the the convenience of a post-office-a accompanying documents.) Washington, 1840.
convenience which is only next to Message of the President of the United the printing-office among the essenStates to the two houses of Congress, at the commencement of the Second Session
tial things of modern civilization. of the twenty-seventh Congress. [With Thus, in almost every one of the the documents.] Washington, 1841. Apostolic epistles, we find some Vol. I.
very natural reference, more or less a draft on Rome, or a certificate of explicit, to the messenger by whom deposite in a bank, to the amount of the epistle was to be conveyed to the contribution, and enclosing it in its destination. In the epistle to a letter, send it by mail more safely the Romans, for example, Paul for- and expeditiously than it could posmally introduces to his Roman sibly be sent by any single messenfriends (xvi: 1) Phebe, a servant of ġer? The answer is that all these the church at Cenchrea, whom we conveniences-post-offices, mails, may therefore presume to have been bank-deposites, and bills of exthe bearer of the document. The change, were as unknown to Rofirst epistle to the Corinthians ap- man civilization, as newspapers, pears to have been forwarded by steamboats, and railroads. Stephanus, Fortunatus, and Achai. The earliest germ of a post-office cus, (xvi: 17, 18,) who had come system, which finds a place in writfrom Corinth to Paul as the bearers ten history, is the arrangement of a communication to him from the which was made by Darius I, king Corinthian church. The second to of Persia. That wise and energetic the Corinthians appears to have been monarch established a system of sent by the hands of Titus and ano- royal couriers, stationed at regular ther person not named, but described distances with horses always ready as “the brother whose praise is in for a start, to convey reports by exall the churches,” (viii : 6, 18.) In press from the provinces to the seat the epistle to the Ephesians, Tychi- of government, and of course to cus is named as the messenger, (vi: convey despatches in return from 21, 22.) The epistle to the Philip the seat of government to the prov. pians was forwarded from Rome by inces. So under Augustus, a simi, Epaphroditus, (ii: 25,) a messenger lar arrangement was established in whom Paul's friends at Philippi had the Roman empire. So when the sent to him for the purpose of bring. Spaniards discovered Peru, they ing their kind contributions for his found messengers stationed at short relief in his imprisonment, (iv: 18.) intervals upon the road from Cusco And Paul says (ii : 25–28) that he to Quito, for the purpose of consends him the earlier, because they veying with speed the orders of the had heard of his having been sick. sovereign.
Indeed something of The illustration here is a copious this kind, more or less definitely one. Epaphroditus had been sick arranged, is essential to the action at Rome ; and to relieve the anxiety of a strong government over an ex: of his friends at Philippi, who by tended territory. Every centralized some accident had heard of his ill. government must have some means ness, Paul finds it necessary to send of conveying its will to distant funchim back sooner than he would oth. tionaries, and of receiving reports erwise have chosen to do. Why from them in return. This, howdid not Paul during the illness of ever, is a mere government arrangeEpaphroditus, drop a letter daily ment, maintained only for governinto the post-office at Rome, inform- ment purposes. ing the disciples at Philippi of the Another rudiment of what we unstate of their friend's health? Why derstand by a post-office system, did not Epaphroditus do this for began to exist a little more than six himself when he had recovered ? hundred years ago. When como Nay, why did the Philippian church merce had begun to revive in Eu. send Epaphroditus at all? When rope, after the universal wreck in they had made up their contribution which the ancient civilization perfor the imprisoned Apostle, why did ished, the larger commercial cities, they not procure a bill of exchange, particularly in Germany, began to