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being able to calculate upon the probable consequences of his own system, and that if Paul had not espoused the cause of the infant sect, the religion of Jesus would never have been extended beyond the walls of Jerusalem, and would soon have gone out of itself, like the snuff of a candle.--I quote from memory, not having M. Vil ler's book at hand, and, therefore, I do not pretend to give the very words of the French philosophe, but the sentiment is correctly stated.
To be serious—if serious a man can be, while he surveys the awkward form, and witnesses the unwieldy gambols of self-sufficient ignorance and broad absurdity—it is necessary that the Gleaner should recollect, or, if she has never known, that she should now learn, that Solomon, when he recommended the use of the rod, merely alluded to a particular mode of punishment to designate the necessity of imposing a restraint upon the will of children, when they err through obstinacy and a spirit of mischief. It argues a complete ignorance of the heart, and of all human character, not to know that iniquity is bound up in the soul of every child, that is born into the world ; that every child is shapen in iniquity, and conceived in sin.
Suppose that a child refuses to obey the command of its parent or instructor, although every attempt has been made to convince its reason, and to win upon its heart by mild and gentle treatment ; -in such a case, a case which all parents know must be of frequent occurrence, is no recourse to be had to bodily punishment ?-In such a case the question comes to this issue, whether the child or the parent shall be master ?-A question easily answered; for the child must be always directed and governed till it acquires sufficient strength of mind to govern and direct itself, or the whole human race will be inevitably involved in misery and in desolation.
Stubborn audacity, then, must be overcome; if it cannot be done by soothing, it must be done by force; but the force should always be administered with coolness and with temper, or it is no longer dictated by the love of justice, but is the offspring of fury and of passion, which only serves to corrupt and harden the child's heart, by compelling it to attribute its chastisement to the brutality of cruelty, and of superior bodily strength, and not to uprightness, punishing a fault, in order to prevent its future recurrence, and to promote both the temporal and the eternal welfare of the being, who momentarily suffers.
But there is yet a stronger objection to this flippant impertinence against Solomon ; namely, that the Proverbs not only contain the
best and the most extensively useful code of moral wisdom, that is to be found among any of the writers who have adorned either ancient or modern times; but, also, that the son of David was under the influence of the Holy Spirit when he penned these sage precepts. If this be not allowed, the whole basis on which Christianity rests, is taken away; for if it be denied that the scriptures contain the revealed will of God, what is to induce our faith in Christ? and if you deny the influence of the Spirit of God to one part of the scriptures, why not to another, and why not to all the parts; where are you to stop; who shall say unto you, thus far shalt thou go, and no farther?
The Proverbs of Solomon, then, may be still entitled to the praise of all wise and good men, notwithstanding he recommends a mode of training children, which is altogether conformable to the nature and structure of the human heart, and notwithstanding the Gleaner is of a contrary opinion, and says that—"Solomon had lost that balance of equanimity, which is so proper to the philosopher."
We have, however, a still more unequivocal proof of the mode in which the Gleaner upholds the cause of morality and religion ; for the Gleaner has favoured us with a plain avowal of her religious sentiments in page 182, of the first volume, part of which I shall quote for the benefit of the reader.
“ He (alias she, the Gleaner) is free to own, notwithstanding the despotism of tradition, the prejudices of education, and the predominating sway of revered opinions, that he (alias she) cannot help regarding that plan as the most eligible, which represents the Father of Eternity as benificently planning, before all worlds, the career of a race of beings, who, however they were immersed in ills, and, from the various vicissitudes of time, plunged into a series of misfortunes, were destined, nevertheless, to progress on to a state of never-ending felicity. Jehovah, while thus employed,”_&c. &c. &c.
Now, what is all this, but to confound all the distinctions between right and wrong; to break down all the barriers, which separate virtue from vice; to lift up the flood-gates of iniquity, and let out the waters of bitterness to overflow the land ?-A God all mercy is a God unjust.-Does the Gleaner believe in the scriptures ?-If she does, pray what does she understand by these words "The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God?"-or these-“ And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever?"_and many other passages, both in the Old VOL, I,
and in the New Testament, particularly where our Saviour himself says—" It is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched; where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched ?"
Or does the Gleaner consider the scriptures as not entitled to any credence; does she despise them, and put them under the ban of her censure, as belonging—“to the despotism of tradition, and the prejudices of education ?"- If she rejects the authority of the scriptures, how will she uphold the cause of morality ; since all moral obligation must, for ever, rest upon the will of God, which will we can only know by consulting that book, wherein he has revealed it unto men ?-If the Gleaner doubts this, let her endeavour to find another basis, upon which to rear the super-structure of moral obligation :- let her go and ask the sages and the philosophers of ancient and of modern days; let her go and explore the depths of Plato's illumined page, and fathom Tully's mighty mind; let her peruse with all diligence the lucubrations of Aristotle, and Xenophon, and Plutarch, and Epictetus, and Seneca, and Hume, and Beattie, and Paley, and a thousand other celebrated writers upon morals, and they will tell her that moral obligation is founded upon the beauty of virtue-upon utility—upon expediencyupon the fitness of things, &c. &c.—But what do all these phrases mean ?-Search again, and you will find that they all amount exactly to—nothing.—I have, more than once, after having been for a while dazzled and bewildered by the parade of words, and the specious reasoning displayed in the works of these ingenious and subtle disputants, and having, in vain, sought, by their aid, to find a firm and a durable foundation, on which moral obligation might rest, been tempted to apply to all their perplexities and to all their sophisms, an unlucky anecdote, which I heard, while yet a child; -An itinerant mountebank was perambulating the southern district of Britain, and regaling the rustic inhabitants of the villages, through which he passed, with an account of the moon and its inhabitants, its trees, and lakes, and seas, and running streams, its. beasts, and feathered fowls; all of which he declared roundly, that he saw. by peeping through a telescope, which he held in his hand, and which, ever and
This exhibi tion had continued some time, and the wandering philosopher astounding the credulous multitude, and beguiling them of their pence, when a countryman unfortunately happened to say-Why, neighbours, I don't see, but what I am as near the moon as that.
there fellow, with all his glasses.—This observation dispelled the charm ; the mob seized the quack, broke his telescope, and ducked him in the kennel, so plentifully, that he never after saw either fish, fowl, or beast in the moon.
It would appear but little better than trifling, to waste much time or many words in remarking upon the language of a book, whose contents are of so very reprehensible a nature; I shall, therefore, merely observe, that the style is, in general, stiff, forced, inelegant, coarse, affected, and feeble, and, oftentimes, incorrect; the use of the word “approbated” for approved, "ingenuity” for ingenuousness; and much more of the same sort, sufficiently proves, that the Gleaner must not be considered altogether as a model of accurate writing ; neither are these deficiencies, which occur in almost every page, to be attributed to the haste and carelessness wherewith the essays were written, for the fair author tells us in the preface that—“With such sentiments I shall not be suspected of writing hastily, or carelessly. The truth is, I have penned every essay as cautiously as if I had been assured my reputation rested solely upon that single effort."-Since this is the case, it is necessary for us to inform the Gleaner, that the words6 them” (anglicè those) “ blessed drops,” -cannot be considered as English.
But a truce to this; I am wearied with stooping down to rake in the kennel for impurities. To the Gleaner, religion and morality may well say
“ Non tali auxilio, nec defensoribus istis
AN INQUIRY into the Effects of our Foreign Carrying Trade, upon
the agriculture, population, and morals of the country.-By Columella. A Pamphlet. New-York, Printed by D. & G. Bruce, for E. Sargeant, 1806. OLUMELLA devotes the pages, now, under review, to the
very laudable purpose of endeavouring to open the eyes of his countrymen to their own truest and best interests. In order to ascertain the effects produced by our foreign carrying trade, he lays down these data for his reasonings, namely, that every nation should pursue the three following objects, Ist. The possession of domestic independent funds capable of supplying all the means of enjoyment, which contribute to the happiness of man.
2dly. A population, so numerous, and extended, as to employ these internal resources to the greatest advantage, and to render them secure against all foreign aggressors.-3dly. Virtue in the utmost extent of the term.
The means of obtaining these desirable ends, Columella tells us, are,—1st. Agriculture.—2dly. Manufactures, (the natural commerce, which gives vent to the surplus produce of these two employments of labour being supposed always to attend them).--3dly. A foreign carrying trade.
Columella, then, proceeds to show, that agriculture is the best and the most productive employment, which a people can follow; that manufactures rank next in the scale of utility; and that the foreign carrying trade is the most injudicious mode of using national industry.
To a certain extent, the inferrences drawn by Columella, are just; there can be no doubt that agriculture has a tendency to produce a more abundant, and a more healthy population, than that which springs from manufactures : but agriculture and manufactures act and re-act upon each other for their mutual benefit. For the greatest and the most important branch of the commerce of every nation, is that which is carried on by the inhabitants of the towns with those of the country. The townsmen draw from the people of the country the rude produce, for which they pay, by sending back into the country a part of this rude produce manufactured, and prepared for immediate use. Or, in other words, this trade between town and country consists in a given quantity of rude produce being exchanged for a given quantity of manufactured produce. Whatever, therefore, has a tendency to diminish, in any country, the progress of manufactures, has also a tendency to diminish the home market, the most important of all markets for the rude produce of the land, and, consequently, to cripple the efforts of agriculture.
In young, and lately established countries, however, where the population is not, as yet, sufficient to answer the demand for labour, it is, perhaps, more adviseable to confine their attention, chiefly, to the raising of rude produce ; because they can import manufactured goods from an old country at a cheaper rate than they can rear them in their own; and they will more rapidly increase the strength and wealth of their people by so doing, than by consuming a larger quantity of capital in raising manufactured goods of a worse quality, and at a higher price, than that for which they can bring them from abroad. Besides, as the wages of labour are so