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The Eastern and Western States of America. By J. S. Buckingham,
Esq. London: Fisher, Son and Co. 3 vols. 8vo. 1842. The volumes before us form one of three series on America, which the ever-working pen of Mr. Buckingham has produced as the result of his prolonged visit to the United States of that interesting continent. We imagine we hear some "little crooked thing that asks questions," “ wanting to know” (vol. i. p. 177) whether the pen was the only instrument by the aid of which the author carried on his work. Were there no scissors ? To avoid all disputation, for we do not like it, we will grant the querist his scissors. What then? Have they been too freely used ? have they been employed by any other than the “ well-instructed hand ?” are there any extracts from newspapers, statistic tables, published books and unpublished MSS., which it is not desirable that such a work should possess ? To such interrogations we give our deliberate, final, emphatic, editorial No. Mr. Buckingham has travelled in the beautiful land of the West," as he travelled in India, in Palestine, in Egypt, and along the coasts of the Mediterranean, as man who knew well “what” and “how to observe.” Yes, and he knew what to preserve. We shall always think that, in these volumes, we have a store-house of “ facts and figures” on numerous subjects of great importance to us as men and as Christians.
But what are we to do as reviewers? We cannot—space and time will not let us-follow our intelligent traveller in all his interesting peregrinations through the Eastern and Western States ; we cannot hint at all the varied scenes of beauty and grandeur—the works of art -the manufactories of industry—the institutions of literature and science—the plans of government—the codes of law—the works of benevolence, of which we have before us such abundant details. The writer, as he evidently possesses a mind by which no subject of interest and importance has been left unnoticed, so he has provided something to suit ladies and gentlemen of every variety of taste and pursuitsomething, we say significantly, because the author is too sensible a man to profess to say all that might be said or asked for on the numerous subjects he had to notice; we say it, also, because a person interested in some particular pursuit, respecting which he may desire information, may occasionally wish that the writer had been somewhat more communicative ; such a case may happen, but it will be rare. Let any man, with a desire for instruction respecting any object of interest in the Eastern States of Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Connecticut, or the Western States of Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Jowa, Wisconsin, and Michigan, apply to these volumes, and he will obtain as much information as any reasonable reader ought to expect.
For our parts we have, in our easy chair, had most delightful travels, in company with our agreeable and instructive guide, through these varied and charming lands. We have paid “repeated visits to Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and Baltimore.” We have journeyed “into the interior of Pennsylvania, across the Alleghany Mountains to Pittsburgh ; voyaged down the beautiful river Ohio, to its junction with the Mississippi ; ascended that noble stream, most appropriately called 'the Father of the Waters,' up to the highest navigable point of the Rapids ;” besides, we have made a journey across the flower-clad prairies of Illinois ; a voyage on the great lakes, Huron and Erie ; and of course a visit to the Falls of Niagara ; and all this without any fatigue, without any “moving accidents by field and flood.”
We have, as Congregationalists, been much gratified by the perusal of these volumes. They afford interesting information respecting our dear brethren in America—they illustrate the efficiency of the voluntary principle for the support of religion and education-and they give many valuable notices of the early proceedings of the Pilgrim Fathers.
When Mr. Buckingham was in Boston, he was much interested in the case of Mr. Pierpoint, which is highly instructive as showing the excited state of the religious world on the Temperance question ; and at the same time furnishing a satisfactory proof, that the minister who is supported only by the voluntary offerings of his people, is not prevented giving utterance to his honest convictions. For the narration we must refer to vol. i. pp. 29–35.
Mr. Buckingham, who always manifests a deep sympathy in the story of the Pilgrim Fathers, gives the following valuable sketch of their history at Newhaven :
" It was not until eight years after the planting of Boston, and eighteen years after the landing of the Pilgrims on the Rock of Plymouth, that the first settlers from England anchored in the bay of Newhaven, then called by the Indians Quinni. piack. On the 15th of April, 1638, the Rev. John Davenport, B.D., a native of Coventry, in England, educated at Brazennose College, in Oxford, and ordained as a minister of the Established church at the early age of 19, landed at Newhaven, in company with Mr. Eaton, afterwards governor, Mr. Hopkins, and their companions in exile, landed on the beach at Newhaven, seeking, like the Pilgrims at Plymouth, an asylum in the New World, where they might worship the God of their fathers, free from the corruptions and oppressions, the restraints and the punishments, from which they had filed in the Old. Their first Sabbath was celebrated under an old oaken tree, for a long time preserved in the middle of the town as a relic of the olden time. The picture of this first Sabbath day is thus beautifully drawn, by the eloquent author of the “ Historical Discourses” on the progress of the church for 200 years in Newhaven, the Rev. Leonard Bacon, now pastor of the first church ever established here, whose annals were thus begun
" • In 1638, on the fifteenth of April, (old style,) that being the Lord's day, there was heard upon this spot, the voice of one crying in the wilderness, ' Prepare ye the way of the Lord ;' and under the open sky, bright with the promise of a new era of
light and liberty, a Christian congregation, led by a devoted, learned, and eloquent minister of Christ, raised their hearts to God in prayer, and mingled their voices in praise.
“• How easily may the imagination, acquainted with these localities, and with the characters and circumstances of the men who were present on that occasion, run back over the two centuries that have passed, and bring up the picture of that first Sabbath! Look out upon the smooth harbour of Quinnipiack; it lies embosomed in a wilderness ; two or three small vessels, (having in their appearance nothing of the characteristic grace, lightness, and life of the well-known American vessels, which are in these days found shooting over the sea,) lie anchored in the distance. Here, along the margin of a creek, are a few tents, and some two or three rude huts, with the boxes and luggage that were landed yesterday piled up around them, and here and there a little column of smoke going up in the still morning air, shows that the inmates are in motion. Yet all is quiet; though the sun is up, there is no appearance of labour or business, for it is the Sabbath. By and by the stillness is broken by the beating of a drum; and from the tents, and from the vessels, a congregation comes gathering round a spreading oak. The aged and the honoured are seated near the ministers; the younger, and those of inferior condition, find their places farther back; for the defence of all, there are men in armour, each with his heavy unwieldy gun, and one and another with a smoking matchlock. What a cono gregation is this to be gathered in the wilds of New England! Here are men and women who have been accustomed to the luxuries of wealth in a metropolis, and to the refinements of a court. Here are ministers who have disputed in the universities, and preached under Gothic arches in London. These men and women have come into a wilderness to face new dangers, and to encounter new temptations. They look to God, and words of solemn prayer go up, responding to the murmurs of the woods and waves. They look to God, whose mercy and faithfulness have brought them to their land of promise, and for the first time since the creation, the echoes of these hills and waters are wakened by the voice of praise.'
“ Such was the beginning of the settlement of Newhaven, and what beginning could be more auspicious ?”.
We said that the extracts, of which these volumes contain so many, are of a valuable and important character, and we must justify ourselves by giving a specimen, which we select for its eloquence and for the instructive picture it gives of the progress of improvement in America, though, alas! that improvement, especially if “repudiation” should not be repudiated, has cost the Rev. Sidney Smith, and many others of our countrymen, somewhat too dear. With this extract, for we cannot give more, we must conclude, only adding, that these volumes are enriched by several most spirited and beautiful views— “ Views in America,” from the pencil of Mr. Bartlett.
“One of the last great works of public improvement in which the people of Boston have been engaged, is the opening of a railroad from this city to the Hudson river, so as to connect the line of communication with Albany, and there link the Atlantic to the great Western Lakes, with a prospect of extending the line from thence to the Rocky Mountains, and beyond these again to the Pacific. The completion of this line, as far as Springfield, was celebrated on the 3d of October, at that town; and some extracts from the speech of Mr. Everett, the governor of the State of Massachusetts, who attended that celebration, will sufficiently explain the importance
of the undertaking, and compensate, in their intrinsic beauty, all who may peruse them. The following are portions only of his beautiful speech:
“* And now, sir, that the first great section of it is completed, I would emphati. cally re-affirm the proposition, that next to the days which gave us a charter of national independence, and constitutions of republican government, that day will be the most auspicious in the annals of Massachusetts, when the western hills and the eastern waves shall be brought together and a bond of connexion stronger than the bars of iron that produce it-a bond of connexion, commercial, political, and social, shall bind the extremities of the commonwealth in union never to be dissolved.
“* As I passed over the noble embankments, and through the grand corridors of solid rock, this morning, my soul swelled with emotions which no language of my own can express. In considering a railroad, most persons perhaps dwell upon its upper portion, and the action of its locomotive appendages. But I own the first operations of the engineer fill me with amazement. The rapt prophet, in describing the approaching glories of the millennial age, can select no higher imagery than this, * Let every valley be exalted, and every mountain and hill be brought low;' and what other process have our eyes this day beheld, from the ocean to this first restingplace on the pathway to the West? Nor has this been effected by those insane efforts of despotic power of which we read in ancient story, such as those by which the walls of Babylon or the pyramids of Egypt were piled to the clouds. No, it has been by such judicious obedience to the guiding hand of nature, following the sparkling footsteps of the river through the highlands, and tracing the sidelong slope of the hills, as to bring the work within reasonable limits, both as to time and expense. Then to look at the exterior ; let us contemplate the entire railroad, with its cars and engines, as one vast machine! What a portent of art! its fixed portion a bundred miles long; its moveable portion flying across the state like a weaver's shuttle; by the sea-side in the morning—here at noon-and back in the compass of an autum. nal day! And the power which puts all in movement, most wondrous ! A few buckets of water, which, while I speak, is trickling from yonder homely fountain.
"• But, sir, I should greatly weaken the cause I wish to recommend, did I speak of it merely as calculated to bind together the remote parts of individual states. This same principle of connexion with the West is as much a law of the prosperity of the whole union as a family of states, as it is of the welfare of the individual nembers; and in that connexion our western railroad becomes of truly incalculable interest. We stand here in Massachusetts, on the verge of the most stupendous network of intercommunication ever woven by the hand of man, exerting all the resources of his art to carry out the beneficent designs of nature. Without speaking particularly of lateral works, which could not be described in detail while yon sun is above the horizon, let us reflect only, that from Albany to Buffalo there is, in addition to the Erie canal, which we were accustomed to regard as the wonder of the age, till these great wonders eclipsed it,--I say, besides the Erie canal, and the branches and feel. ers, which, like the great marine polypus, it sends out right and left, grasping and drawing in the commerce of every part of the state, I learn, from a memorandum handed me half an hour ago, by the intelligent gentleman near me on the right, that there is already a railroad communication with Buffalo for about two-thirds of the way, with the prospect of completing the residue at no distant period.
«« « Arrived at Buffalo, numerous steam-boats are ready to convey you up the lakes. You step on board one, which stops at Erie, a Pennsylvanian settlement on the lake of that name: here you are introduced to the vast system of transportation, and travel by canal and railroad, constructed in the Key-stone State, at an expense of twenty. three or twenty-four millions of dollars. But you hold on your way to the west. Proceeding on your voyage, you reach Chicago, and think yourself for a moment at your journey's end. At its end, Mr. President ! rather at its beginning!! Here at last you are brought into direct contact with the most extensive internal communication in the world. You are now on the dividing ridge of the waters which severally seek the ocean through the St. Lawrence and the Mississippi. Here commences a system of travel and transportation by canal, railroad, and river, and the latter mainly navigated by steam, unparalleled hy anything on the surface of the globe. Did we live in a poetic age, we have now reached the region where we should think the genius of steam-communication would be personified and embodied. Here we should behold him a Titanic colossus of iron and of brass, instinct with elemental life and power ; with a glowing furnace for his lungs, and streams of fire and smoke for the breath of his nostrils. With one hand he collects the furs of the Arctic circle, with the other he smites the forests of Western Pennsylvania. He plants his right foot at the source of the Missouri—his left on the shores of the gulf of Mexico; and gathers into his bosom the overflowing abundance of the fairest and richest valley on which the circling sun looks down.'”
The Inquirer directed to an Experimental and Practical View of the
Work of the Holy Spirit. By Octavius Winslow.
Second Edition. London : J. F. Shaw. MR. Winslow is well known as the author of several small treatises on experimental and practical theology, and we are glad that he has seen it to be his duty in this way to “contend for the faith which was once delivered to the saints.” In his statements there are point and power, argument and illustration; while the simplicity of his style, and the orthodoxy of his sentiments, must commend what he has written to all right-minded Christians. His professions are modest ; his attempts are not great ; and the efforts of his pen will, we have no doubt, through the Divine blessing, realise the intentions of his heart. He seeks to enlighten and to guide the human mind in its search after scriptural knowledge, personal holiness, and spiritual peace. His counsels are wise, and they are pressed with an earnestness which indicates a burning and a well-regulated zeal for the glory of God, for the honour of truth, and for the salvation and health of souls. May our brother enjoy a large measure of the grace he is desirous of being the means of imparting to others.
The small volume now before us, may be taken as a specimen of the author's views of the leading doctrines of the gospel ; and we can and do recommend it to the prayerful attention of that class of persons for whose benefit it was written. It is adapted to the end it contemplates. It breathes a spirit of enlightened, of enlarged piety. There is a warmth, a pathos about it, which cannot fail to enkindle happy emotions in the Christian reader's heart, and to satisfy while it creates some of his holiest desires. It treats on the Personality, Godhead, Offices, and Work, of the Holy Spirit; and on some cognate truths, as they relate to the obedience and joy of the believer in Jesus. The work itself is designed for “Inquirers ;" it is, therefore, elemental in
N. 8. VOL. VII.