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and professors of religion ; with but one exception, if indeed there be one, our colleges are entirely under the influence of the Christian churches, and under the management of ministers of the gospel. Now how does this come about? Do the half-infidel population of our coun. try prefer Christian teachers for their sons ? Cannot that half who are atheists start one college, when their opponents sustain five and twenty? Or is not that explanation the most plausible, which suggests, that atheism is so lightly esteemed here, that_no institution for the dissemination of its tenets, can be tolerated ? Fanny Wright tried her luck here, but people continued to marry and give in marriage, in spite of all she could say. Owen spent a fortune in trying to plant infidelity in our soil, — but failed. It is almost the only thing that will not grow under our genial climate.
6 We have a few more facts. The editor of a religious newspaper in this city. who rece ves nearly all the other papers of
West in exchange for his own, assured us lately, that he had seen but one in which religion was treated with open disrespect. The editors as a body give their influence decidedly to the support of Christianity. We would be willing to rest the cause on this one fact; for the press reflects public sentiment, and if one half the people were atheists, there would be editors enough found to represent their opinions. The circumstance that the editors are all on the other side, shows plainly enough which way the wind blows.
“ Ministers of the gospel, of different denominations, circulate through this whole valley, - and are received with uniform kindness, respect, and hospitality. Wherever they travel, the houses of the people are thrown open to them freely; they are entertained gratuitously, and cheerfully, not only by their own respective adherents, but by any and every man indiscriminately, at whose door they choose to stop. 'The clergy will corroborate this evidence, as to their reception at the firesides of our farmers. It is true they are not gazed at with the wonder and reverence which attaches to the ministerial character in some other places; the children do not hide behind the fences, nor peep round the corners of the house, to catch a glimpse of the minister, nor does the good wife imagine him gifted with the spirit of prophecy. Most of our population have travelled ; they have seen something of the world, and are not astounded by the presence of an educated man. They are in the habit of hearing public speeches, more than any other people, are good judges of eloquence, and are not struck with sudden admiration towards a stranger, who can converse or harangue with fluency. A young missionary, therefore, who is new and raw, or who has the organ of self-esteem largely developed, may very naturally imagine at first, that he does not receive the deference which is due to his clerical character ; but he soon finds that he is among a people who respect religion, who appreciate the labors of the minister, and who receive him with sincere kindness.
“ These are stubborn facts; and we venture to say that no intelligent man can attentively and candidly examine them, without being struck with surprise at the frequency and pertinacity with which the atheism, heathenism, and irreligion of our population has been eiterated. We are not disposed, when treating so grave a subject, to deal in comparisons; but a proper regard for truth, and a just pride in the character of
the country in which we live, induce us to remark, that if the statements of the Methodist preachers who traversc our whole frontier, and visit the cabins in our new settlements, be compared with the observations of the ininisters of the same denomination, who circulate
anjong the dwellings of the illiterate in the Atlantic states, it will be found that the difference of character, as regards respect for religion, is greatly in our favor. And there is a reason why this should be the
We have no sea-ports, and few large towns. The proportion of ignorant and debased foreigners is infinitely less here, than in the Allantic states. The proportion which the farmers bear to other classes is greater in the new, than in the old states. Ours is almost wholly an agricultural community; and there is no question, that the farming population, as a class, is that in which there is the most sobriety, sedateness, and sound morals. The farmer connot carry on his business without a home and a wife. They marry early, and become sur. rounded by the hallowing influence of the family, — by all the cares and responsibilities which appeal to the best affections of the heart. They necessarily own live stock and other property, which requires their care, and are usually freeholders, interested in the prosperity of the country, the stability of its laws, and the purity of its institutions. We have few of that class described by the writer of the article on · Atheism in New England' as 'men of idle habits and loose morals, who have no chance and no wish for success in any fixed and honest calling, and who are ever ready for the introduction of any thing by which they may gain distinction and profit.' That writer asserts that there are more than three hundred infidels to be found among the inhabitants of Lowell;'we have no town of which such a statement would be true.” — pp. 108 -110.
Minor Morals for Young People. Illustrated in Tales and Travels. By John Bowring. With Engravings, by George CRUIKSHANK and WILLIAM HEATH. London. 1834. 16mo.
This little volume owes its existence, as the author tells us in the Preface, to a suggestion, which naturally occurred to him while preparing Mr. Bentham's posthumous work on “Deontology” for the press, that Mr. Bentham's“ greatest happiness principle” might be still further elucidated and applied, by the blending of amusement and instruction, for the service of the young. Ă series of narratives is here given, borrowed for the most part, as we are informed, from the writer's own observation and experience, with a view to illustrate and enforce the practical rules which it is his object to inculcate on children. It is not, we suppose, a work of much labor ; but, even if the name of its accomplished author were not given, every reader would pronounce it to be the work of a man of genius. It must interest young minds, we are sure; and it also contains many passages of considerable poetic beauty, and is pervaded throughout by a noble and pure spirit of philanthropy. We may add, that the soundness and value of our author's instructions will not be much impaired, even in the eyes of those who
differ from him most widely in regard to utilitarianism, by the importance which he attaches to that theory; partly because his good sense and good taste keep him, in general, from offensive statements of the doctrines of his school, and partly, because, however it may be with adults, children are not in much danger of carrying to an extreme the principle of determining the morality of human conduct by a calculation of the consequences. The subjects illustrated by narratives and familiar conversations are the following : Anger, Courage, Generosity, Intolerance, Advice-Giving, Presence of Mind, Humanity to Animals, Veracity, Praise and Blame, Employment of Time, Love of Flowers, Perseverance, Good Nature, Patience under Censure, Mercy, Nobility of Skin, Order, Justice, and Ancient Times. As the book is at present but little known in this country, we shall copy a specimen of the writer's manner from his illustrations of Anger.
6. Oh! see how that cruel fellow is beating his poor beast !' said Arthur Howard to his father and brother George, as they were going out for an early country walk. Arthur's attention had been excited by a shabbily-dressed man who was belalıoring a rough-coated, feeble, and blind old horse, that was dragging, or rather attempting to drag, a cart with a heavy load of vegetables to market. The poor creature tried and tried, but could not get the wheels out of the rut in which they had stuck; and the driver, whose anger increased with the increased vain attempts of the horse to move onward, was dealing out his blows must unmercifully about the animal's legs and head, and swearing more londly, and laying on more violently, at every stroke. •What an abominable rascal! exclaimed Arthur again. "I'll, - I'll,"
and away he scampered, almost as much in a passion as the man whom he was going to reprimand and to punish.
"Now see, said his father to George, 'in what an unfit state Arthur is for doing a humane thing. He intends to act kindly and gencrously, but he will niost likely make matters worse. He will only exasperate the rr.an the more; and the poor beast will be the sufferer for his imprudence.'
" What do you mean, you worthless vagabond !' cried Arthur when, out of breath and hardly able to find words for his rage, he came up to the carter. What, what do you mean by treating the poor horse so wickedly ??-•What do I mean, Mr. Impertinent! There,
- that's what I mean:' upon which he turned upon the silent and suffering creature with far greater violence than before, and smote him so ferociously that every blow made Arthur's heart shudder within him.
. And now, young gentleman ! if you don't move off,' said the man, mayhap I may try how you like the stick upon your own shoulders, by way of teaching you how to meddle with other people's concerns.'
“ Arthur was a boy of humane and generous dispositions, and he could not immediately see that he had done any thing wrong by giving way to what he had perhaps thought, as many others would have thought, a natural and proper sentiment of indignation; yet he felt he
must have made some mistake, for he had failed in his purpose ; and, with a spirit somewhat broken and subdued, he ran back to his father and his brother.
• Well, my boy!' were the first words he heard from his father, and what have you got by throwing yourself into such a towering passion ?' · How could I help it, papa! when I saw that man's fright. ful cruelty?'-.' But has your passion been of any service to you, Arthur? Did it help you to persuade the cruel man, or to rescue the suffering beast? You intended to do what was humane, I know ; but you set about it rashly. Your anger was more violent than your reason. You were more bent upon punishing than preventing an offence ; and, though you proposed to do good, you have only done evil.?
“But tell us, papa!' said George, whose temper was more sedate, and whose judgment more cool than his brother's, 'is anger never justifiable, never commendable ? Must one see all sorts of wicked and improper conduct, and not be angry with it? I have often heard indignation called generous, and anger virtuous. Are they never so ?'
“ • Never, my son! for what is anger? It is pain, — pain inflicted on yourself; by which you are excited to inflict pain on another. It may be necessary to inflict pain on another for that other's good, and for the good of society; but your being angry is just the way to prevent you from properly judging what pain, and how much pain it is right to inflict in order to produce that good. Now, if Arthur, instead of breaking out into a storm of passion, had first considered what he really meant to do, which was to induce that ignorant man to refrain from misusing that unfortunate beast, he would have prevented three mischiefs, the mischief of being in a passion, with all its pains, annoyances, and disappointments; the mischief to the animal, which has only suffered the more from his interference; and the mischief to the carter, whom he has but exasperated the more, and, perhaps, strengthened in his vicious propensities.'” — pp. 1-6.
They continue their morning walk, Mr. Howard finding in almost every object which struck their attention, new arguments by which to impress on his boys "the great purpose of Providence, the general lesson of creation happiness!" We give the sequel. “ And the thought again came over Arthur's mind, that
anger never made any body the happier.
“ They returned homeward. Their walk had been long; longer than usual. Whom should they meet, but the cartman who had excited so much of Arthur's indignation a few hours before! He had delivered his cart-load to the market gardener, and was walking sulkily by the side of his cart, every now and then giving the poor horse a heavy stroke with his stick. The horse, however, being now relieved of his burthen, moved on with something like activity. The man no sooner saw Arthur approaching, than, as if in pure spite and contradiction, he struck his beast a vehement blow upon his nose. But Arthur had learnt wisdom; and his father was charmed to see that he was struggling to check the outbreak of his anger. He, however, went to the carter, who began to scowl at him as he approached, expecting,
no doubt, another violent scolding. But Arthur had found out his mistake. The man perceived the difference, and his own looks changed as Arthur said to him, in a quiet and gentle tone, “I spoke to you improperly this morning ; I am sorry for it. The man did not give the horse another blow; and once or twice, as George and Arthur turned round to watch what was going on, which they did very cautiously indeed, they saw the carter kindly patting his poor beast upon the back, and heard him singing, in the distance, a good-humored song."
Under the head of Generosity we find the following judicious remarks on indiscriminate alms-giving, illustrated as usual with a short story or anecdote.
6 The want of prudence and of providence among the poor cannot be provided against, unless they suffer something for their neglect. It is often for their own interest that they should suffer. If I punish you for a fault, it is not because I have any pleasure in punishing you, and seeing you suffer, but because I know, unless you are made to suffer, you will not try to correct the fault. If a poor person were as well, or better off, by his laziness or his drunkenness, than he would be by his industry and his temperance, he would have a stronger motive to do wrong than to do right. You must always try to give to people reasons or motives for doing right. Suppose one boy works hard, very lard, in the fields, and at the end of the weary day gets sixpence for his labor, and there is another idle beggar-boy who gets a shilling without work, by merely asking alms of travellers, the bad boy will be twice as well recompensed as the good boy, and every penny you have given the bad boy is an encouragement to his idleness and his beggary. I have seen a little girl who hunted for mushrooms all the day long. She was then a pattern of neatness and industry; she went into the fields and was as diligent and busy as she could be; and, in the evening, if she had earned two or three pence by the sale of her mushrooms, she was as pleased as possible. But, one evening, when she was coming home from her walks, and very tired indeed she was, she saw a girl of about her own age who asked charity from a lady in a fine carriage ; and the lady threw her a shilling, and said to her in a very kind tone:
. There, poor child!' Upon which the little girl who had been used to gather up pennies, and two-pences, and three-pences, by her own industry, said to herself:- Why do I lead this weary life? Why do I go trudging away through field and field, and after all can only get a few halfpence for all my toils and travels? I will turn beggar too. And so she did ; and she lost her good habits, and took to bad ones. The clean and diligent child was no longer to be seen hunting for mushrooms in the fields. She became a practised beggar, and at last an insolent one, and then grew careless about right and wrong, - and invented stories about her sufferings that were untrue, and ended by committing crimes, for which she was transported to a distant land; and sorrowful indeed it was, to recall the time of her childhood, when she gathered mushrooms in the green fields. Now you must not think that the lady who gave the shilling to the beggar-girl intended to act amiss. She thought she did a generous thing, and it was generous to give a shilling to a poor child, but it was very mischievous; and VOL. XVIII. — N. S. VOL. XIII. NO. I.