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AN ADDRESS ON TEMPERANCE. By William E. CHANNING. With a copious Ap
pendix. pp. 119. Boston: WERKS, JORDAN AND COMPANY. New-York: WILEY AND Putnam, and A. UEL COLMAN.
We confess, that so much has been written upon the subject of temperance - 50 much that is itself either intemperate, or over-colored with the hues of a distorted or extravagant imagination — that we have come at last to take up a pamphlet or volume upon this theme, with a feeling of strong disrelish - expecting full surely to meet hackneyed pictures of pecuniary distress and brutal treatment, or exagerated sta. tistics, setting forth to a gill the amount of spirituous liquors drank in the United States – to a man the sufferers from such consumption - and the exact number of miles of dollars, in a straight line, which might be laid, of the money expended in habitual and vicious indulgence in inebriating fluids. There has been no topic upon which literary or clerical mediocres have more frequently enlarged, than that of temperance exhibiting, in that capacity wherein most easily they expand and burgeon,' but one solitary merit — namely, that of not intruding upon their readers or bearers a single original idea, save, it may be, an orignal exaggeration.
But the address before us is quite a different affair, from the ordinary temperance efforts of the day. Dr. Channing has not dwelt, at tedious length, upon the secondary evils of intemperance, but has searched the depths of its causes, and set forth the remedies which it demands. In considering the voluntary extinction of reason as the great essential evil of this vice, the writer has the following passages :
“It is to be desired, when a man lifts a suicidal arm against his highest life, when he quenches reason and conscience, that he and all others should receive solemn, stariling warning of the greatness of his guilt; that terrible outward calamities should bear witness to the inward ruin which he is working; that the hand writing of judg. ment and wo on his countenance, form, and whole condition, should declare what a fearful thing it is for a man, God's rational offspring, to renounce his reason and become a brute. It is common for those who argue against intemperance, to describe the bloated countenance of the drunkard, now flushed and now deadly pale. They describe his trembling, palsied limbs. They describe his waning prosperity, his poverty, his despair. They describe his desolate, cheerless home, his cold hearth, his scanty board, bis heart-broken wife, the squalidness of his children; and we groan in spirit over the sad recital. But it is right, that all this should be. It is right, that he, who, forewarned, puts out the lights of understanding and conscience within him, who abandons his rank among God's rational creatures, and takes his place among brutes, should stand a monument of wrath among his fellows; should be a teacher wherever he is seen, a teacher, in every look and motion, of the awful guilt of des. troying reason. Were we so constituted, that reason could be extinguished, and the countenance retain its freshness, the form its grace, the body its vigor, the outward condition its prosperity, and no striking change be seen in one's home, so far from being gainers, we should lose some testimonies of God's parental care. His care and goodness, as well as his justice, are manifested in the fearful mark he has set on the drunkard, in the blight which falls on all the drunkard's joys. These outward evils, dreadful as they seem, are but faint types of the ruin within. We should see in them God's respect to his own image in the soul, his parental warnings against the crime of quenching the intellectual and moral life.”
“ Among the evils of intemperance, much importance is given to the poverty of which it is the cause. But this evil, great as it is, is yet light in comparison with the essential evil of intemperance, which I am so anxious to place distinctly before you. What matters it that a man be poor, if he carry into his poverty the spirit, energy, reason, and virtues of a Man? What matters it that a man must, for a few years live on bread and water? How many of the richest are reduced by disease to a worse condition than this ? Honest, virtuous, noble-minded poverty is a comparatively light evil. The ancient philosopher chose it as the condition of virtue. It has been the lot of many a Christian. The poverty of the intemperate man owes its great misery to its cause. He who makes himself a beggar, by having made himself a brute, is miserable indeed. He who has no solace, who has only agonizing recollections and
harrowing remorse, as he looks on his cold hearth, his scanty table, his ragged children, has indeed to bear a crushing weight of wo. That he suffers, is a light thing. That he has brought on himself this suffering by the voluntary extinction of his reason, this is the terrible thought, the intolerable curse."
After showing the extent of temptations to intemperance — that the young, the idle, the over-worked laborer, the man of genius and sensibility, and even woman, with her delicate physical organization and sensitive frame, are peculiarly exposed—the writer observes :
“Do not say, that I exaggerate your exposure to intemperance. Let no man say, when he thinks of the drunkard, broken in health and spoiled of intellect, 'I can never so fall.' He thought as little of falling in his earlier years. The promise of his youth was as bright as yours; and even after he began his downward course, he was as unsuspicious as the firmest around him, and would have repelled as indignantly the admonition to beware of intemperance. The danger of this vice lies in its almost imperceptible approach. Few who perish by it know its first accesses. Youth does not see or suspect drunkenness in the sparkling beverage, which quickens all its susceptibilities of joy. The invalid does not see it in the cordial, which his physician prescribes, and which gives new tone to his debilitated organs. The man of thought and genius detects no palsying poison in the draught, which seems a spring of inspiration to intellect and imagination. The lover of social pleasure little dreams, that the glass which animates conversation will ever be drunk in solitude, and will sink him too low for the intercourse in which he now delights. Intemperance comes with noiseless step and binds its first cords with a touch too light to be felt. This truth of mournful experience should be treasured up by us all, and should influence the habits and arrangements of domestic and social life in every class of the community."
The force of pernicious example, in the undue iudulgence in sensual luxury by those who occupy the higher places of society, is well illustrated, and the want of self-respect induced among the laboring poor, by making mere wealth the object of worship, and the measure of a man's worth, happily exemplified in the succeeding paragraphs.
In discussing the measures most likely to arrest the causes of intemperance, the most important are considered to be, the putting in action among the poor the means of intellectual, moral, and religious improvement — the cultivation of a more fraternal intercourse than now exists between the more and less improved portions of the community — the spreading of a higher education among the lower classes, and a general system of ministry to the poor. The evils of too much labor, and the absence of means of innocent pleasure, are well enforced and pointed out. In relation to the latter, Dr. Channing justly remarks:
"I have said, a people should be guarded against temptation to unlawful pleasures by furnishing the means of innocent ones. By innocent pleasures I mean such as excite moderately; such as produce a cheerful frame of enind, not boisterous mirth; such as refresh, instead of exhausting the system; such as recur frequently, rather than continue long; such as send us back to our daily duties invigorated in body and in spirit; such as we can partake in the presence and society of respectable friends: such as consist with and are favorable to a grateful piety; such as are chastened by self-respect, and are accompanied with the consciousness, that life has a higher end than to be amused. In every community there must be pleasures, relaxations, and means of agreeable excitement; and if innocent ones are not furnished, resort will be had to criminal. Man was made to enjoy, as well as to labor; and the state of society should be adapted to this principle of human nature. France, especially before the revolution, has been represented as a singularly temperate country; a fact to be explained, at least in part by the constitutional cheerfulness of that people, and by the prevalence of simple and innocent gratifications, especially among the peasantry. Men drink to excess very often to shake of depression, or to satisfy the restless thirst for agreeable excitement, and these motives are excluded in a cheerful commuVOL. IX.
nity. A gloomy state of society, in which there are few innocent recreations, may be expected to abound in drunkenness, if opportunities are afforded. The savage drinks to excess, because his hours of sobriety are dull and unvaried, because, in losing the consciousness of his condition and his existence, he loses little which he wishes to retain. The laboring classes are most exposed to intemperance, because they have at present few other pleasurable excitements. A man, who, after toil has resources of blameless recreation, is less tempted than other men to seek self-oblivion. He has too many of the pleasures of a man, to take up with those of a brute. Thus the encouragement of simple, innocent enjoyments is an important means of temperance.”
Among these enjoyments, the writer classes the accomplishments and amusements of music, dancing, not at balls but in the private circle, recitations from works of genius and taste, etc.
We commend this Address to our readers, as every way worthy the literary and moral reputation of its accomplished author – and higher praise we could not yield it.
New-York REVIEW AND Church QuarterLY JOURNAL. Number One. Pp. 230.
New-York: GEORGE W. HOLLEY.
New-York will have good reason to be proud of this Quarterly, should the succeeding numbers fulfil the promise of the one before us. The editorial supervision of the work is confided to the Rev. C. S. HENRI, late of Bristol College, Penn.,a ripe scholar, possessing a mind of much fertility and force, and replete with various erudition. For reasons elsewhere stated, our notice of the work must be rather indical than full, or analytic.
The first article is upon Professor Tucker's Life of Jefferson. It is decidedly of the tomalawk and scalping-knife school; yet the weapons wear a beautiful polish, the hand of the operator is untremulous, and his course is due on. The author of the volumes under review will find the subject of his labors represented as an enemy to religion, “compassing sea and land to make proselytes' to his political and religious faith; as childishly sensitive to public opinion, however indifferently evinced; as possessed of an ardent self-love, and a vain-glorious spirit of boasting; as one insincere and unfaithful in his friendships, and actuated by sinister purposes ; with a personal courage something this side of the heroic; and a mind visionary, deficient in originality, and remarkable rather for its activity than its accuracy - lacking mental discipline, logical precision, and the power of nice discrimination. His claim to the authorship of the Declaration of Independence is disputed — his labors in that worldrenowned production being alleged to have been plagiarised from the Mecklenburgh (N. C.) Declaration of Independence, and the Virginia Declaration of Rights. The end of this article is not yet. It will create a wide sensation — possibly crimination and recrimination.
Utilitarianism is the subject of the next article, in which the systems of Bentham and Paley are discussed with appropriate earnestness and force of deprecation. The review of Cox's life of Fletcher of Madeley we have not found leisure to peruse; not so, however, with that of Crabbe's Poetical Works, which is characterized by a true sense of the worth and beauty of that -- in some respects — second Goldsmith. A synopsis of the poet's early history is given, to illustrate the spirit of nature which pervades his works, the religious tendency of which is also made manifest, and the author defended from the charge sometimes brought against him of being an imitator of Pope. The
description of poetry with which this article concludes, is truly beautiful. •Affiliation of Languages' is from the hand of an accomplished scholar, and evinces much labor and patient research. Chalmer's Natural Theology affords the basis of the succeeding article, which is both polemical and analytical. A losty and liberal tone pervades the article grounded upon Goddard's Address to the Phi Beta Kappa Society of Rhode Island, which inculcates the value of a profound study of works of creative art, in reference to religious cultivation. “Pastoral Visiting’ is a review of three religious works, germane to the title, breathing the spirit of active, practical christianity, and good will toward men.' The notice of the · Memorials of Mrs. Hemans' proceeds from the pen of one who appreciates the beauties, and has a heart to feel the depth and tenderness of the poetry of that departed daughter of genius, now an angel of light. Too much importance is, we think, given to · Discoveries in Light and Vision,' by a review, if it be, in reality, a work of "bare assertions and inadequate investigations, proceeding from a pseudo philosopher of the second sex.' Combe's Moral Philosophy is the text for a satirical and hot attack upon phrenology. The writer admits, however, that Combe deserves praise for having pointed out to young ladies and gentlemen a new method of courtship, which is warranted to prevent all incongruous and discordant matches, and for recommending houses of refuge, in which children with bad heads can be placed, and treated on phrenological principles! He shows, also, says the reviewer, that 'phrenology is the only science which can account adequately for the origin of society or of civil government — for the variety of occupations among mankind, and for gradations in rank !
Several brief but discriminating and judicious analytical and critical notices close the number. To these will be hereafter added a quarterly record of ecclesiastical and literary intelligence.
INCIDENTS OF TRAVEL IN EGYPT, ARABIA PETRÆA, AND THE HOLY LAND. By
an American. With a Map and Engravings. Two volumes 12mo. Pp. 615. New York: HarPER AND BROTHERS.
We have perused these volumes with unmixed gratification. The novelty, for the most part, of scene and incident, and the vivid and evidently faithful descriptions, united to a style equally clear from exaggeration and affectation, are qualities which will cause every reader of the work greatly to fructify by its contents. The route pursued by the author is comparatively new to the American reader - that through the land of Edom, especially, being, as we learn from the preface, even at this day, entirely new. The writer observes, in his introduction, that his pages have been compiled from brief notes and recollections; that he has presented things as they struck his mind, without any deep speculations upon the rise and fall of empires, or much detail in regard to ruins — his object having been, as the title of the book imports, ‘to give a narrative of every day incidents that occur to a traveller in the East, and to present to his countrymen, in the midst of the hurry, and bustle, and life, and energy, and daily-developing strength and resources of the New, a picture of the widely-different scenes that are now passing in the faded and worn-out kingdoms of the Old World. In this object he has eminently succeeded; and we proceed at once to select from numerous marked passages, abundant proofs of our author's
ability, commencing with a better description of the external appearance of the Egyptian pyramids than we have elsewhere seen:
“Standing alone on an elevated mountainous range on the edge of the desert, without any object with which to compare them, the immense size of the pyramids did not strike me with full force. Arrived at the banks of a stream, twenty Arabs, more than half naked, and most of them blind of an eye, came running towards me, dashed through the stream, and pulling, hanling, and scuffling at each other, all laid hold of me to carry me over. All seemed bent upon having something to do with me, even if they carried me over piece meal; but I selected two of the strongest, with little more than one eye between them, and keeping the rest off as well as I could, was borne over dryshod. Approaching, the three great pyramids and one small one are in view, towering higher and higher above the plain. I thought I was just upon them, and that I could almost touch them; yet I was more than a mile distant; the nearer I approached, the more their gigantic dimensions grew upon me, until, when I actually reached thein, rode up to the first layer of stones, and saw how very small I was, and looked up their sloping sides to the lofty summits, they seemed to have grown to the size of mountains.
“The base of the great pyramid is abont eight hundred feet square, covering a surface of about eleven acres, according to the best measurement, and four hundred and sixty-one feet high; or, to give a clearer idea, starting from a base as large as Washington Parade ground, it rises to a tapering point nearly three times as high as Trinity Church steeple Even as I walked around it, and looked up at it from the base, I did not feel its immensity until I commenced ascending; then having climbed some distance up, when I stopped to breathe and looked down upon my friend below, who was dwindled to insect size, and then up at the great distance between me and the summit, then I realized in all their force the huge dimensions of this giant work. It took me twenty minntes to inount to the summit; about the same time that it had required to mount the cones of Etna and Vesuvius. The ascent is not particularly difficult
, at least with the assistance of the Arabs. There are two hundred and six tiers of stone, from one to four feet in height, each two or three feet smaller than the one below, making what are called the steps. Very often the steps were so high that I could not reach them with my feet. Indeed, for the most pari, I was obliged to climb with my knees, deriving great assistance from the step which one Arab made for me with his knee, and the helping hand of another above.
It is not what it once was to go to the pyramids. They have become regular lions for the multitude of travellers; but still, common as the journey has become, no man can stand on the top of the great pyramid of Cheops, and look out upon the dark mountains of Mokattam bordering upon the Arabian desert, upon the ancient city of the Pharaohs, its domes, its mosques and minarets, glittering in the light of a vertical sun— upon the rich valley of the Nile, and the “river of Egypt” rolling at his feetthe long range of pyramids and tombs extending along the edge of the desert to the ruined city of Memphis, and the boundless and eternal sands of Africa, without considering that moment an epoch not to be forgotten. Thousands of years roll through his mind, and thought recalls the men who built them, their mysterious uses, the poets, historians, philosophers, and warriors who have gazed upon them with wonder like his own."
In a very interesting account of Thebes, its ruined temples, tombs, etc., we find the annexed passage, which will afford pleasing intelligence to the proprietors of museums in this country. The mummy trade has been brisk of late years; and a patriotic American, at the West, in view of the increasing demand, lately announced, that he could furnish a domestic article, little inferior to the best Egyptian product:
“The rambler among the ruins of Thebes will often ask himself, 'Where are the palaces of the kings, and princes, and people who worshipped in these mighty temples?'. With the devout though degraded spirit of religion that possessed the Egyptians, they seem to have paid but litle regard to their earthly babitations; their temples and their tombs were the principal objects that engrossed the thoughts of this extraordinary people. It has been well said of them that they regarded the habitations of the living merely as temporary resting-places, while the tombs are regarded as permanent and eternal mansions; and while not a vestige of a habitation is to be seen, the tombs remain, monuments of splendor and magnificence, perhaps even more wonderful than the ruins of their temples. Clinging to the cherished doctrine of the metempsychosis, the immortal part, on quitting its earthly tenement, was supposed to become a wandering, migratory spirit, giving life and vitality to some