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duced, for the first time, its representation in Alfieri, - once ranked in Italy above all ancient or modern writers, but now unjustly neglected; for he not only rendered to Italian letters the great service of tempering them with a certain severity, but, to the Piedmontese in particular, that of making them enter into the grandeur of the national literature.
But even Alfieri fled from the sombre provincialism of Turin, to hear people talk Italian in Florence: for Turin had no history worth remembering, no memory of a brilliant court like that of the Medici or the Este; it counted no Boccaccio among its romancers, no Tasso among its poets; its court was a cloister, and its streets were dark with Jesuits. “The last mass," exclaimed Voltaire, “will be said in Piedmontese: " yet it was this very historical inferiority which has enabled Piedmont to enter unembarrassed upon the modern movement of Italian reform, and therefore, apart from the character of its people, has best fitted it to take the lead in the re-organization of Italian life. Its soldiers have been the first to battle for Italian unity; and while its alpine amphitheatre has echoed all the tumult of the peninsula, its thinkers have been the first to give a clear and precise expression to the aspirations for Italian freedom. Balbo and D'Azeglio and Gioberti, who were the centre of the new movement have laid the foundation of the kingdom of Italy; for they did more, D'Azeglio especially, to make the Piedmontese school of politics, as it was called, popular throughout the peninsula, than all other agencies combined.
D'Azeglio indeed, while he never lost the love of the people, seems always to have commanded the respect of the rulers of Italy. In the worst times, he travelled freely from Milan to Florence, and from Rome to Naples, seldom molested, never actually proscribed; conspiring, as Gallenga says, with an upraised voice; organizing and directing public opinion even up to his death, at Turin, in January, 1866; teaching the Italians everywhere, and at all times, to have courage in their own convictions. Yet he stood aloof from Mazzini, as Gioberti stood aloof from the Jesuits, joining hands only, both of them, with Balbo, who, with a zeal worthy of the fifty heroes of his family that fell at Legnano, fighting for the liberty of their country against Barbarossa, devoted himself to forwarding that intellectual enlightenment and that moral reform which must be the basis of all true freedom. So that, whether it is appointed to Italy to find the consummation of its present struggle for unity in the republic of Mazzini, or in a powerful kingdom under the successors of Humbert the White-handed, founder of the House of Savoy, it may at least be said of D'Azeglio and the moderate party, as Milton so touchingly said of himself, —
“Those also serve who only stand and wait.”
Art. V.- THE SUNDAY QUESTION AND ITS
WHETHER we consider it from an historical, ethical, or practical point of view, the Sunday question is full of interest, and challenges the attention of every Biblical scholar, moralist and reformer. If we are disposed to ignore it, on account of the difficulties attending it, - the strength of existing preju. dices, or the fear of a popular perversion of our views, - it faces us continually, in some of its many points of application, in such a persistent and peremptory manner, that there is no escape from fresh investigation, and the announcement of our well-considered conclusions. It must be determined whether steam and horse cars shall be permitted to run, as on other days; whether excursion boats, and parties seeking country air and recreation on that day, shall be allowed; whether houses of refreshment may be opened; and whether public libraries and reading-rooms may receive visitors on Sunday.
Within the last decade especially, many of our principal cities have been deeply agitated upon one or more of these practical issues. In each case, the discussion has taken & wide range, and involved questions of Biblical interpretation, the views of the Christian Fathers, Protestant reformers, eminent divines, champions of freedom, and the guaranties of our Federal and State constitutions, respecting religious liberty.
In these conflicts, the liberal denominations, and especially the Unitarian, have taken not only a deep interest, but an active part. Rev. Dr. Farley, in Brooklyn; Drs. Furness and Williamson, in Philadelphia; Rev. Messrs. Parker, Hale, and Hepworth, in Boston; M. D. Conway and Thomas Vickers, in Cincinnati; Horatio Stebbins, in Portland and San Francisco; J. F. W. Ware, in Baltimore; and others in other places, -have "fought a good fight” against sabbatarian superstition and restriction. Conserving and emphasizing the needed physical rest, reverent public worship, and sweet home influences of the day, they have strenuously contended against the common errors of confounding the Christian Sunday with the Jewish sabbath, claiming for its observance a special divine command, and burdening it with those Puritanic or Pharisaic restraints which are so foreign to the free and joyous spirit of Christianity.
In opposition to them, strong and determined, has been almost the entire body of the clergy called "evangelical :" and yet, such is the power of truth, and such the general intelligence and freedom of the age, that the liberal side has, in almost every instance, carried the day; and, where it has not as yet, influences are at work which must, ere long, give it a complete triumph.
Our clergy in England have taken the same stand on this question with John Stuart Mill, Sir John Bowring, and other noble champions of popular reform and religious liberty. And a few distinguished names among the “evangelical" clergy, in that country as well as this, have, at no small cost to themselves, taken ground substantially with the liberal clergy, in opposing sabbatarian views and Sunday-law enactments, — Archbishop Whately, Bishop Colenso, Dr. Hessey, Professor Powell, F. W. Robertson, and Dr. McLeod; and, in this country, Dr. Scott, of New York; Dr. Greenleaf, of Cin.
VOL. LXXXIII. - NEW SERIES, vol. IV. NO. 11.
cinnati; H. W. Beecher; and, it may be, a few others. As a general rule, however, the advocates of a more rational and Christian view and use of Sunday have little to expect but the most strenuous opposition from the clergy of the prevailing sects. They are, probably, for the most part, in the dark themselves on the subject; baving never examined it upon its merits, but accepted as unquestionably true the views of the Westminster Catechism, Edwards's “Sabbath Manual," and the publications of the American Tract Society, in which even social visiting and calling on Sunday is declared to be not only sinful, but “criminal”! Those who have given the question candid consideration, and have come to reject the common," orthodox” view, are aware that it is perilous for them to make known their change of mind; for it is not many years since an example was made of a young clergyman of Brooklyn, N.Y., who had publicly expressed anti-sabbatarian views, and was " disfellowsbipped" therefor by his brethren in the ministry, and excommunicated from Dr. Cheever's church, of which he was a member.
"Ignorance is the mother of superstition," all the world over; and in nothing is this more clearly evidenced than with respect to Sunday observance. Selden, and others of the most intelligent members of the Westminster Assembly, opposed, even to the point of ridicule, what Whately justly terms the “unintelligible dogmas" adopted by that body upon this subject; and John Milton, Secretary of the Puritan Commonwealth, has left on record, in his “ Treatise on Christian Doctrine," * a most complete and irrefutable argument against them. But the ignorant and prejudiced carried their point by force of numbers; and the absurd views which one of the most rigid divines of that century, Nicholas Bound, had promulgated, were adopted, indorsed by the “Rump Parliament,” and, soon after, by the “ Cambridge Synod” of Divines in New England, and enforced by the General Court of Massachusetts Colony. Thus a doctrine in direct opposition to the teachings of the New Testament and the practice of the
* Book ü. chap. 7.
primitive Church, - which, according to Eusebius, “regarded not the observance of the sabbath,”* — was imposed, not only upon church members, but, through the interference of the state, upon all its citizens. The earnest protest of Roger Williams against this enforcement of Sunday observance by law, was the very head and front of his offending, for which he was driven out of the colony; and their vigorous resistance to the Sunday-sabbath superstition was the chief count in the indictment of the five Quakers who were hanged on Boston Common.
The Sunday-sabbatarian doctrine, however, did not originate with the Puritans, though they are popularly supposed to have been its authors. It grew up among the other corruptions of the Middle Age and of the Roman Church. Any one who will take pains to search out the canons and decrees of the Catholic councils, from the fourth century to the fourteenth, will see how the rigidness of Sunday observance was gradually increased, until it was declared, at the Council of Perth, Scotland, - held, in the beginning of the thirteenth century, by Cardinal Salerno, legate of Pope Innocent III., that Sunday should be strictly observed, as the sabbath, from noon on Saturday to sunrise on Monday; and, at the Council of Paris, held in that city, ten years after, by Cardinal Courçon, that," though all work is sinful on Sunday, recreation is more sinful”!+ Thomas Aquinas and the Catholic schoolmen of this thirteenth century were the original inventors of that ingenious quibble adopted by Bound and the Puritans, that the fourth commandment is only abrogated for Christians so far as the particular day of the week is concerned; but, as to the observance of one day in seven as a sabbath, it is of perpetual obligation. I The great reformers of the sixteenth century repudiated this, with other Popish corruptions of Christianity; and no one of them more expressly than Calvin, who characterizes the Roman priests as “ false prophets, who, in past ages, have infected the people with a Jew
† Binius's Councils.
* Eccl. Hist., lib. i. cap. 4.