are conducted by a justice of the peace and the freeholders, without the benefit of a jury! A recent law imposes a tax of 100 dollars on any free person of colour coming to Savannah in Georgia, however urgent his business.

'Can there be,' exclaims Mr. Stuart, ' a more atrocious violation of the principles of liberty, than is contained in such a regulation as this, which may render it impossible for a free man even to visit his father or mother at the point of death? But the prohibition is positive iu Louisiana and South Carolina?' Vol. II. p. 155.

These are the States, our readers will recollect, which, according to Mr. Achilles Murat, are so advantageously distinguished from the Northern, by the 'frankness, generosity, hospitality,' 'liberality of opinion,' 'unequalled combination of talents,' and 'finish and elegance of manners,' which characterize the white inhabitants. And ' the leading State' of the South is the one which at the present moment is setting at defiance the Federal Government.' Of this State, it is remarked in the Number of the North American Review now before us, that 'however distinguished, 'in other times, for intelligence, patriotism, and generosity, it is 'physically and politically one of the least effective in the Union. 'With a white population of less than 250,000 souls, of whom at 'least a third are opposed to the project; with a dangerous in'ternal enemy in her bosom ;—unsupported by the co-operation 'of any other State *, her nearest neighbours being among the 'most determined opponents of her views;—it is apparent that 'Carolina takes the field against the Union under every dis'advantage.' The result of a civil war to such a State, it is not difficult to anticipate. Fearful would be the punishment which it would entail on the haughty oppressor, without, it is to be feared, benefiting the slave. The Carolinians are, however, living on the very crust of a volcano, and the day of vengeance must' come.

With regard to the impending conflict, we will not venture to offer either prediction or speculation of our own; but shall conclude with extracting from an eloquent article on Nullification, in the Number of the North American Review which now lies before us, the following reflections upon the present crisis of the Federal Union; reserving all comment for another opportunity.

* This remains to be seen. 'The duration and results of this 'conflict,' it is subsequently remarked, 'will depend upon the degree of 'countenance which Carolina may receive from other States, par'ticularly at the South. We look with some apprehension to the pro'ceedings of Virginia, where the first movements are less satisfactory 'than we could have wished.'

Vol. ix.—N.s. i i

'Still, the crisis,—though as little dangerous as any one of the same description that could well be imagined,—is yet one of fearful importance, and the friends of the country cannot but look forward with deep and painful anxiety to its termination. The question of the continuance of our present form of Government,—of the existence on this account of republican institutions of any description,—is now to be decided. The precise problem, as we understand it, is not whether the Union shall be preserved, but whether the Union shall be preserved under our present mild and beneficent system of polity, or whether, after a temporary dissolution of the bonds that now unite us,—we shall be brought together again into a new body politic, consolidated by the iron bands of military power. That the States composing this Union can ever remain for any length of time politically separate from each other, is in the nature of things impossible. The experiment was tried in the short interval between the Declaration of Independence and the adoption of the Constitution, and was found impracticable. If repeated, under whatever circumstances, the result would be the same. We have shown in a preceding part of this article that, by the present Constitution, the States formed themselves into one body politic under a common Government, and that they are now, in form, one people. If the Constitution were in this respect a false representation of their actual and substantial political condition ;—if they were really separated from each other by important substantial differences, whether of geographical position, origin, language, physical conformation, or any others, there would then be a constant tendency to a dissolution of the Union; and separation, being the natural state of the parties, would probably, when it had once taken effect, become the permanent one. Thus the attempt of the British Government to combine their European possessions and the colonies now composing the United States under one system of civil polity, was obviously at variance with the law of nature, and could only terminate sooner or later in the way in which it did. The same may be said of their present attempt to combine under the same political system with their European possessions, the northern part of this continent,—the vast peninsula of Hindustan with its hundred million inhabitants,—the southern termination of Africa, and half the islands on the face of the globe,—including the Australian Continent, with its dependencies, which, of themselves, may be said to constitute another new world. All these scattered limbs,—membrn disjecta,—of the mighty Queen of the Ocean,—are destined to fall off successively from the parent body, and form themselves into independent States. With the members of this Union, the case is different. Descended from the same original stock; united by community of language, literature, manners, laws, religion, and government; enclosed, notwithstanding the vast extent of their territory, by a border of unbroken geographical continuity ;—brought up from their first plantation, through the long period of colonial infancy, to their present flourishing and glorious maturity, as sisters of one family :—bound together by the million various indissoluble ties of personal relationship, that have been created by a constant intercourse of more than two centuries,—the States composing this Union not only are, according to the form of the Constitution, but they are, in fact and

in feeling, one people. They were united, before they framed the Constitution, by the high and paramount decree of the great Lawgiver of the universe: and whom God hath joined, man cannot put asunder. It is not enough to say, that the Union ought not to be dissolved,— that the States have no right to dissolve it,—that it is better that it should not be dissolved :—the truth is, that it cannot permanently be dissolved. Its members cannot exist for any length of time in a state of separation from each other. The present form of Union may,— should Providence intend to visit us with his severest judgements,— be temporarily broken up. What would be the consequence? The very act of its destruction would in all probability be attended by a development of military power and a series of military movements, which would end in the recombination of the States into another Union, under a military Government. Should we even suppose,—what is next to impossible,—a peaceful temporary separation, what would still be the consequence? The continual relations between twenty-four neighbouring States of kindred origin and civilization, would necessarily lead to collisions, which would grow into wars, and these would continue until conquest had again consolidated the whole country into a new Union, not as at present, under the quiet reign of constitutional liberty, but under the sway, in some of its various forms, of a lawless and sanguinary despotism.

'The necessity of these results is apparent on the slightest reflection, and is confirmed by the examples of all the nations of which we know the history. To look only to the mother country :—a thousand years ago, the British islands were occupied by hundreds of independent communities, essentially different in their origin, languages, manners, laws, every thing that constitutes civilization. Continued wars gradually brought them under common Governments, until, at the close of the last century, the union of Great Britain and Ireland finally completed the consolidation of the whole into one political bodySo it has been in France, in Holland, in Spain, in Germany, in Italy, in Russia. So it has been in ancient times and other regions;—in Egypt, China, Greece, Home. So it has always been and always must be every where. The European nations have all arrived, through centuries of carnage and confusion, at their present condition; they are still tending violently to a more complete union, which, aficr other centuries of carnage and confusion, they will ultimately reach. It has been our blessed fortune to begin where they have ended, or are likelv to end; to grow up from the hour of our political birth, in those happy bonds of fraternal kindness, which have been forced upon all other great nations by a long experience of the sorest evils. If, in an hour of wild delusion,—of mad insensibility to the causes of our present prosperity,—of criminal ingratitude to the Giver of all good,—we should burst these flowery fetters, the only possible result would be, that after a period, more or less protracted, of that confusion aud carnage which we have thus far escaped, we should exchange them for the chains, that are now clanking round the limbs of every other people on the globe, and from which the enlightened and civilized nations of Europe are at this moment straining in agony to set themselves free.'

pp. 268—271.

Art. VI. Elijah. By the Author of "Balaam" and " Modern Fanaticism unveiled." 12mo. pp. xii. 235. Price 5s. London, 1833.

~\j\ R- IRVING, the tongues, and the miracles, are no longer the common topics of conversation. The popular belief in them, being unsupported either by fact or by principle, or indeed by any thing but the enthusiasm of ihe moment, was not likely to be of long duration; and there seems no longer reason to apprehend much from that quarter, unless the same spirit of wild speculation should adopt a more fascinating and a more dangerous form. Perhaps the chief ground for fear is, that those who have found themselves deceived and misled, will be apt to fall into the other extreme, and that enthusiasm will give place to scepticism. The followers of Mr. Irving have been too decidedly a class by themselves, to have brought much scandal upon the religious world generally. Their numbers do not appear to be on the increase. Some we believe have returned to the good old paths; others we know to be so holy, so devoted, so prayerful, so anxious to know and do the will of their Heavenly Father, that we cannot think that they will be suffered to continue under so gross delusion. We could wish that their case excited more sympathy among their fellow Christians,— that our dissenting friends would remember them in their intercessory supplications, and that our friends in the Establishment would think of them when they repeat the petition, ' That it may please thce to bring into the way 'of truth all such as have erred or are deceived; to comfort and 'help the weak hearted; to raise up them that fall; and, finally, 'to beat down Satan under our feet."'

We have said thus much, because it is to such individuals that the Author of the work before us principally alludes, though they are not specifically named. The object of the volume is excellent, and not less so the plan by which the Writer proposes to attain it. The delineation of a Scripture character can be uninteresting to no reader of the Scriptures: it can rouse no angry feelings, and with many may have more force than a thousand arguments. This work is less interwoven with the controversial topics of the day than the two preceding ones by the same pen, and is therefore likely, perhaps, to be more permanently and more generally useful.

Yet, it is not without faults. The first part, in particular, is rather spun out, and seems to partake in some measure of the sin of book-making. This gives, here and there, a weakness to the style, which is peculiarly unsuitable to the forcible character of which it treats. For instance, before we are told so simple a thing, as that Ahab informed Jezebel of the transactions of Mount Carmel, we have a long preface, beginning, ' Mankind arc natu'rally communicative. The imparting of intelligence and the 'interchange of ideas, rank among the sweetest and highest en'joyments of our social nature,' &c. &c. The Author has made various little additions to the Scripture account, which are certainly not improvements; nor does he ever say, ' We may ima'gine so and so,' but positively asserts that so it was. Thus, in describing the meeting between Elijah and the widow of Zarephath, he says:

'On being thus accosted, the poor woman turned aside, for a moment, the coarse and sable veil which half concealed her care-worn face and figure; and perceiving from the physiognomy of the person who addressed her, and from his dust-covered sandals, that he was a Hebrew and on a journey, the kindness of her heart prompted an immediate attention to his request. With haste, therefore, she let fall from her sun-burnt arms the scanty supply of fuel which she had just gathered, and seizing her water jug, was on the point of repairing to a neighbouring well, for a draught of water to slake the stranger's thirst.'

This is more fanciful than pleasing.

Again: is it likely that Elijah entered into a long dissertation on the doctrine of forgiveness of sins through the promised Saviour, while the son of the widow lay dead in her arms, and she was distractedly reproaching the prophet, or that he waited all this time before he carried the child to his chamber. Yet this is implied, if not actually asserted, in the account before us.

Then, at page 101, we have Obadiah recognizing 'the wcll'known countenance, manly air and negligent costume of 'Elijah;' at p. 112, Elijah speaking to Ahab 'with all the 'energy and power he could command, and looking steadily at 'the king with an expression of piercing significance;' at p. 119, Elijah placing 'himself on a stone, or nodular elevation;' and at p. 138, seating ' himself on the flowery turf;' &c. &c. &c. Such artifices of expression as these fail of effect, because obviously intended for effect; while they offend us as liberties, scarcely comporting with the dignity of Elijah's character, and of the sacredness of Scripture history.

The account of the assembly on Mount Carmel is rather tame. The critical remarks are interesting, and the topographical descriptions are so vivid that one can scarcely help fancying that the Writer must have seen the places to which he refers. But the majesty of the Scripture record resents all embellishment: nothing can improve it. As a pleasing specimen of the Writer's talent for illustration, we shall select the following extract. After speaking of the prophet's feelings of disappointment and exhaustion, when fleeing from the rage of Jezebel, the Writer continues:

'In this framp of mind, Elijah requested for himself, that he might

« ForrigeFortsett »