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in the dark and stormy scenes, where freedom sprung, and patriotism glowed, and every energy of nature was called forth, and all the noblest passions of the human bosom were awakened; and where, in the midst of hardship and of suffering, a deeper happiness was enjoyed, than ever yet fell to the lot of ease and of security. It is thus that evil is only the minister of good ;—it is thus that, even in its darkest aspect, the chastisements of Heaven are only the chastisements of a father; and that, amid the tears and the sufferings of his children, they are hardened only to the vigour and to the majesty of manhood.
Look, my brethren of little faith, at the material world around you, and say, has its order, and the beneficence of its order failed ;have storms or tempests quenched the light of day ;-have seed-time and harvest forgot to return;-and has the sun of Heaven become wearied in his path, and ceased to pour life and light upon a grateful world? Look to the history of the moral world, from its first feeble and barbarous cradle, to the hour in which it now resounds with the tread of hostile men, and say, has evil alone had the dominion there?—has nothing but the guilt of the tyrant and the conqueror been successful?-has no progress been made in this long period, in knowledge, in arts, or in arms?-has the cause of truth, of virtue, and of freedom never been victorious?—and has the historian of the human race only to record the progressive decay of its powers, its knowledge, and its welfare?-No, my brethren; in the whole of this review, you see, on the contrary, that there is a power in nature, by which evil of every kind is controlled; and that, under its Almighty guidance, amid all the apparent calamities of time, the march of the human mind has been steady and progressive, to "wisdom and knowledge and joy." You see the occasional visitations of war and of calamity operating upon the moral world, like the occasional visitations of the storm and the tempest upon the material world; and ending in purifying the moral atmosphere, and invigorating the powers of moral vegetation. From amid all the temporary depressions of the human race, you see them permanently emerging into firmer power, and more enlightened splendour;-the harvest of the husbandman waving over the field which conquest had wet with the blood of his fathers; the hand of the freeman pointing with exultation to the mouldering tomb where the race of his ty rants and his oppressors repose ;-and the voice of the Gospel carrying glad tidings to many a people who had "long sat in darkness, and beneath the shadow of death. "' p. 397-402.
We shall conclude our extracts with some passages from the Thanksgiving Sermon of the present year;-a nobler song of triumph-a more beautiful and thrilling strain of patriotic exultation, and christian gratitude, than verse or prose has yet consecrated to the memory of those great events which have stamped this year as an era for the future history of the world. 1. The great conflict of the social world is over :-The mighty are
fallen; and the weapons of war have perished.-The cry of freedom bursts from the unfettered earth; and the banners of victory wave in all the winds of heaven. Again, in every corner of our own land, the voice of joy and of gladness is heard. The cheerful sounds of labour rise again from our streets, and the dark ocean begins again to brighten with our sails. Over this busy scene of human joy, the genial influences of Heaven have descended. The unclouded sun of summer has ripened for us all the riches of the harvest. The God of nature hath crowned the year with his goodness, and all things living are filled with plenteousness. Who is there that has not felt the blessings of the year? Even the infant, while he partakes, unconsciously, of the general joy, lifts his innocent hands to that Heaven from which he sees come all the hopes of man; and the aged man, when he remembers the sufferings of former years, is apt to say with the good old Simeon in the gospel," Lord, now let thy "servant depart in peace, for mine eyes have seen thy salvation. " But there are other, and more general subjects of thankfulness, my brethren, which ought now to occupy our minds. In this solemn hour we seem to be conducted by the hand of Heaven, like the disciples of old, unto an high mountain, from which we may look down upon the darkened world we have left, and upwards to those scenes where Heaven is displaying its glory. The images of the past, and of the future, are thronging around us; and, wherever we turn, there are new subjects of gratitude that arise before us.
Our first subject of thankfulness on this day, is for our Country; that she has survived all the dangers which threatened her;-that she has fulfilled the lofty duty to which the will of the Almighty has called her. Dear even to the savage heart is the land of his fathers ;— dear to the citizen of civilized ages are the institutions of national wisdom, and the monuments of national glory;—but upon no human heart did the claims of his country ever fall so deep and so irresistible, as they now do upon the citizen of this country. Other nations have preceded her in the road of arts and arms;-other nations have wreathed around their brows the laurels of science, and the palms of victory: But the high destiny to which she has of late been called, no other nation has ever shared with her; and all the glories of former times fade before the moral splendour which now encircles her. She has been called to guard the fortunes of the human race; to preserve, amid her waves, the sacred flame that was to relume the world; and, like the cherubim that watched the gates of paradise, to turn every way her flaming sword against the foes of God and man. These were her duties, and nobly has she fulfilled them. Through every dark, and every disastrous year ;-while nation after nation sunk around her ;-while monarchs bent their imperial heads beneath the yoke, and the pulse of moral nature seemed to stand still in ignominious terror. She alone hath stood, insensible to fear, and incapable of submission. It is her hand, that, amid the darkness of the storm, hath still steadfastly pointed the road to liberty; it is her
treasures which have clothed every trembling people with armour for the combat-it is her sons, (her gallant sons!) who have rushed into the van of battle, and first broke the spell that paralyzed the world; and, in these recent days, it is her commanding voice that has wakened the slumbering nations of mankind, and sent them on their glorious march, conquering and to conquer. And now, my brethren, in the hour of her triumph,-now, when all that is brave or generous in the human race bow before her, where is she to be found? And what is the attitude in which she presents herself to her children?-Oh,-not in the attitude of human pride, or human arrogance ;-not with the laurels of victory upon her brow, or with troops of captives following her chariot wheels:-It is in the attitude of pious thankfulness; with hands uplifted in praise, and eyes downcast in gratitude;-it is before the Eternal Throne that she bows her victorious head, and casts her crown of glory upon the ground, and calls her children to kneel along with her, and to praise the Father of Nature that he hath selected her to be the instrument of his mercy to mankind. These are triumphs to which the history of the world has no parallel. In the long line of her splendour, what hour is to be compared with this? Which of us does not feel somewhat of her glory to be reflected upon our own heads? And what British heart is there which does not pray that such may be ever her name, and her character among mankind? p. 449–455.
We shall venture but upon one other extract. After noticing the peculiar character of the oppression from which the world had at length been delivered, he proceeds
Before the gigantic march of violence and of ambition, the human head seemed everywhere to bow, and the human heart to lose its energy. Kings sunk from their thrones, and nations surrendered their liberties. The occupations of industry ceased;-the intercourse of nations was arrested; and men seemed quietly to resign themselves to poverty and to suffering, that one arrogant nation might rule, and one impious mind triumph. It seemed, to our desponding eye, as if the old age of the human race had come,-as if the Sun of Righteousness was about to set amid the shadows of evening, and one long night overspread the moral world. These days, and these terrors, are past. The spirit of God hath again moved upon the face of the deep, and the order and the harmony of creation is again beginning to appear. The dread career of guilt and of ambition hath been run; their temporary triumphs fade; and the Eternal hand hath marked the line whither they shall come, and no farther, and where their proud waves shall be staid. From every corner of the baptized world; from the east and from the "west; from the south and from the north," the warriors of justice and of freedom come. Their sovereigns even lead the way, and place the helmet upon their imperial brows, and march with their people into glorious battle... Beneath their victorious banners kings re-ascend their thrones, and nations recover their liberties, VOL. XXIII. NO. 46.
The fetters fall from the hands of industry; the ocean echoes anew to the song of the mariner; liberty and joy re-enter the poor man's dwelling; and the voice of the mother is no longer weeping for the children, that have been torn from her arms to swell the hosts of a tyrant. Who is there among us, my brethren, that is admitted to witness this moral Transfiguration, who doth not hear also the voice of God? and where is the country from which, in these blest days, the song of triumph does not rise," The hosts of the guilty are "scattered, and the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth?"
Deep as hath been the gloom which so long has settled upon the societies of men, its most appalling feature hath been its impiety; and when you trace the late miseries of mankind to their source, you will find them all to originate in that cold and cheerless spirit of Infidelity, which arose in the centre of European civilization ;-which dried up, as it spread, all the fountains of greatness, or of generosity in the human soul;-and which, dissolving all the obligations, and all the charities of life, ceased not till it had extinguished both the majesty of the throne and the sanctity of the altar. It was from this dense and pestilential vapour that that terrific form arose, upon which, like the vision which appeared unto the prophet, the world for so many years has gazed with astonishment and with alarm. It was from hence that those impious hosts have issued, whose crimes and whose impieties have still more appalled mankind than their arms; who warred not with the common guilt of men, against the wealth or the liberties of nations, but against all that man holds dear, or nations think holy;-who struck the dagger of their enmity, not into the bosoms but into the souls of the conquered ;-and who thought their infernal triumph incomplete, until they had overthrown every altar at which human misery wept, and was comforted.
'These days, too, are over. "He hath blown with his wind, and "they are scattered. " The cross is again triumphant in the sky, and in its sign the faithful have conquered. The might of the Gospel hath infused itself into the soldier's arm; and, while the foe is prostrate upon the ground, the mild, but thrilling voice, seems again to be heard from Heaven, "I am Jesus whom thou persecutest. p. 455–460.
It is a fine thing, we make no doubt, to compose a learned commentary on the prophet Hosea, or a profound dissertation on the intermediate state of the soul;-but we would prefer doing what Mr Alison has done in the volume before us: And can hardly help envying the talents by which he has clothed so much wisdom in so much beauty-and made us find, in the same work, the highest gratifications of taste, and the noblest lessons of virtue.
ART. X. Some Inquiry into the Constitutional Character of the Queen Consort of England. pp. 51. 8vo. London. Ridg way. 1814.
HE subject of this tract is one of considerable curiosity, in a speculative point of view, to the constitutional antiquary In its legal bearings, it is of prominent importance; but it rises to a very exalted rank among questions of practical influence upon the wellbeing of the community, when contemplated in its relations to the peaceable and undisputed succession of the monarchy. Devoutly as all good men must desire never to see any occasion for discussing these high matters, otherwise than in a general and theoretical view, it is mere childishness to abstain from inquiries which, if successfully conducted, may so far fix the limits of the question as to prevent all necessity, happen what will, of entering hereafter into any other kind of disquisition. They are the worst enemies of good order, the true patrons of discord and confusion, who, from affected delicacy and squeamishness, or from a base submission to the caprices of present power, avoid looking such important discussions boldly in the face; and, where material doubts exist upon questions of constitutional right, seek to humour the follies of the existing Court, by putting off the inquiry which alone can settle such doubts, un til it becomes no longer speculation, but rushes upon us accompanied by the actual emergency that makes every thing like calm, or even peaceful discussion, hopeless. Impressed with these sentiments, we have thankfully received the little work now before us,-apparently the production of a lawyer, but certainly of one who has well studied the constitution of his country in its best school, and who combines a practical apprehension of legal questions with an enlarged and accurate knowledge of the history of our free government, and the common interests of prince and people. Although he seems to have been directed towards the inquiry by some recent events, and to keep the possibility (a remote one we trust) of its becoming practically interesting pretty constantly in his eye, yet he very laudably abstains from all personal or party topics. Indeed, the argument is purely one of constitutional law, and can in no respect be charged with a factious tendency. Accordingly, it is managed with perfect calmness and propriety; frequently learned, almost always close, and sometimes exceedingly ingenious. For a production apparently compiled without any great research, and quite simple and unpretending, we have not often met with any thing more. satisfactory. Its merits, as well as the importance of the sub