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transmitted ad not, however, suffering countri
among them, without the pain of moving and the perils of the journey !' pp. 90–91.
Mr. Birkbeck's 'plan of colonising extensively, with a special I view to the relief of bis suffering countrymen of the lower * orders,' had not, however, proved as yet successful. He had transmitted to Congress, a memorial, soliciting the grant (by purchase) of some unsurveyed land twenty miles north of his own settlement, to which he might be able to invite any number of his countrymen, with the view of forming a distinct colony; but there was reason to fear that, together with several similar petitions, it had proved abortive on the ground of general objections, certainly of po great weight, or at least not iu application to the present case. All that Mr. B. had in view, was, as he himself states it, to open 'an asylum, in which English
emigrants with capital, might provide for English emigrants
voithout it;' the title of the lands to remain in the United States until the purchase should be completed by actual settlers. A considerable number of emigrants may still, he conceives, be benefited by the arrangements pow in train for their reception on a contracted scale.
Our Author was waiting, with some impatience, for the season of commencing farming operations. He was to begin work in March, and hoped to be settled early in May, in a convenient temporary dwelling, formed of a range of cabins of ten rooms, which his family would occupy until he could accomplish his purpose of building a more substantial house. Materials were in forwardness for constructing a wind-inill, which was expected to be in order in time to grind the fruits of the ensuing harvest. Steam-boats had already begun to ply on the Wabash, and a naval establishment occupied the attention of our Colorists themselves. "We Americans,' says Mr. B. facetiously, must
bave a Davy.'
• We are forming two pirogues out of large poplars, with which we propose to navigate the Wabash: by lashing them together, and laying planks across both, we shall have a roomy deck, besides good covered stowage in both, and take a bulky as well as a heavy cargo. And we hope to have a shipping port at the mouth of Bonpas, a considerable stream which falls into the Wabash at the point where the latter makes a bold bend to the West, and approaches within a few miles of our prairie.'
Thus established in this land of liberty and hope,' our Author speaks of life as appearing to him there only too valuable, from
the wonderful efficiency of every well-directed effort.'
• Such is the field of delightful action lying before me, that I am ready to regret the years wasted in the support of taxes and pauperism, and to grieve that I am growing old now that a really useful career seems just beginning. I am happier, much happier in my prospects :
I feel that I am doing well for my family; and the privations L an. ticipated seem to vanish before us. Yet England was never so dear to me as it is now in the recollection : being no longer under the base dominion of her oligarchy, I can think of my native country, and her noble institutions, apart from her politics. pp. 9, 22.
Thus far the picture is certainly highly pleasing, nor do we roubt the truth of the colouring. Cordially do we wish that Mr. Birkbeck may see his most sanguine anticipations exceeded in the growing prosperity of his infant colony. But he hiinself invites our attention to bis plan in a point of view which cannot fail to excite some painful regrets. He asks— What think you • of a community not only without an established religion, but 6 of whom a larger proportion profess no particular religion, s and think as little about the machinery of it, as you know was • the case with myself ?' If by an established religion, Mr. B. meant simply, a religious establishment, and by the machinery of religion, a State apparatus, and a pompous ritual, we should, of course, have little fault to find with his policy: but the indications which these Letters, as well as Mr. B.'s former publications, afford, of his decided irreligion, are too unequivocal to be mistaken. The following is the only account he gives of the state of the community in his neighbourhood in respect to religion.
• What in some places is esteemed a decent conformity with practices which we despise, is here altogether unnecessary. There are, however, some sectaries even here, with more of enthusiasm than good temper; but their zeal finds sufficient vent in loud preaching and praying. The Court-house is used by all persuasions, iodifferently, as a place of worship; any acknowledged preacher who announces himself for a Sunday or other day, may always collect an audience, and rave or reason as he sces meet. When the weather is favourable, few Sundays pass without something of the sort. reinarkable that they generally deliver themselves with that chaunting cadence you have heard among the quakers, This is Christmas day, and seems to be kept as a pure holiday-merely a day of relaxation and amusement : those that choose, observe it religiously; but the public opinion does not lean that way, and the law is silent on the subject. After this deplorable account, you will not wonder when you hear of earthquakes and tornados amongst us.' pp. 23—24.
• Now, having this “ upward road” thus clear before us, when we shall have settled ourselves in our cabins, and fixed ourselves to our minds as to this world, what sort of a garb, think you, shall we assume as candidates for the next ?--To my very soul I wish that we might assume none, but the character of men who desire to keep their conscience void of offence towards God and towards man :“Nil conscire sibi, nulla pallescere culpa.” Another foolish wish! you will say. We shall have people among us, I dare say, who will undertake to teach religion ; the most arrogant of all pretensions, I should be apt to call it, had not frequent observation convinced me
that it has no necessary connection with arrogance of character. But however that may be, teachers, no doubt, will arise among us. This most sensitive nerve has been touched, and already I have had the pleasure of two communications on the subject of religious instruction ; both from strangers.
• One of them, who dates from New Jersey, writes as follows. 6 I have read your notes on a journey from the coast of Virginia to “ the Illinois territory; and I sincerely wish you success in every “ laudable undertaking. The religion of Jesus Christ, disentangled « from the embarrassments of every sect and party, I hope you will « encourage to the utmost of your power and abilities. In the “ genuine, uncorrupted, native, and pure spring of the Gospel, you « view the world as your country, and every man as your brother. * In that you will find the best security and guarantee of virtue and
good morals, and the main spring of civil and religious liberty,” “ &c. &c.—As this gentleman's good counsel was not coupled with any tangible proposition, his letter did not call for a reply ; in fact, the writer did not favour me with his address.
• My other zealous, though unknown friend, who dates still more to the north than New Jersey, informs me that many are coming west, and that he wants to come himself if he can “ pave the way." “ We must,” he says, “ have an Unitarian church in your settle " ment, wherever it may be, and I will, if I live, come and open it. “ I am using every means in my power to promote the principles in 6...... and ultimately to raise a congregation, and give, if
possible, a mortal stab to infidelity and bigotry.” To this gentleman I replied as foll jws:-“ As to your idea of coming out in the " character of a minister, I have not a word to say, dissuasive or “ encouraging. For myself I am of no sect, and generally in my “ view those points by which sects are distinguished are quite unim« portant, and might be discarded without affecting the essence of « true religion. I am, as yourself, a foe to bigotry; but it is a « disease for which I think no remedy is so effectual as letting it “ alone, especially in this happy country, where it appears under its “ mildest character, without the excitements of avarice and ambition." -So endeth the first chapter, of the first book, of our ecclesiastical history. pp. 91–94.
It is not within our province to call Mr. Birkbeck to account for his private sentiments in religious matters. We cannot but wish that be bad abstained from the profane jest on bis titlepage, and, for his own sake, we wish that a different tone of sentiment pervaded his “ Letters." We are, however, well persuaded that he will act wisely to · let bigotry, and Socipianism, and religion too,' alone.' The time will come when these busy worldlings will be instructed by their own wants, into the necessity of what now they imagine they can dispense with; when, in a very different respect, life,' as its last moments are fast ebbing away,' will appear only too valuable.' "Teachers,' no doubt, will arise,' and in the hour of pain or of sorrow, and in the crisis of nature, they will be listened to. And let not our Colonists dream that the Bible will then appear to be a useless article among the stores of a Back-wood settlement. That land of liberty and of bope! it must belp to colonize the Grave; and those who seem there to have their goods laid up so safely for many years, may have, in a night, their souls required of them.
Art VII. The Consolations of Gospel Truth. Exhibited in Various
Interesting Anecdotes respecting the dying hours of different persons who gloried in the Cross of Christ ; to which are added, some affecting Narratives describing the horrors of unpardoned Sim, when Death and Eternity approach. By John Pike, Minister of the Gospel, Derby. 12mo. pp. 192. Price 3s. 6d. Derby, 1817. THE title-page sufficiently describes the nature and design of T this little compilation. The Editor quotes, in bis Preface, a remark from The Spectator, that there is nothing in history • which is so improving to the reader, as those accounts which < we meet with of the deaths of eminent persons, and of their « behaviour at that dreadful season. The narratives comprised in the present selection, are principally adapted to * display the consolations of the Gospel in a dying hour. The names of Risdon Darracott, James Hervey, Harriet Newell, Toplady, La Flècbière, Janeway, Mrs. Housman, M. Homel, &c. which appear in the Contents, will indicate the sources from whence these specimens of the power of religion are derived. • The authenticity of many of the facts,' Mr. Pike remarks, .6 is well known and undisputed.' It would have been as well, however, if he had in every instance referred to the authority on which they rest, or the work from which they have been taken. Notwithstanding the respectable attestations of the authenticity of the case of William Pope, we are inclined to doubt the propriety of its publication. The extreme difficulty of distinguishing between the operations of a wounded conscience, and the morbid horrors of a distempered mind, which they may at length induce, renders it next to impossible to draw any certain conclusions respecting the actual case of the wretched individual. Thus much only it is necessary, or perhaps safe, to urge as the lesson which such scenes supply; the treinendous folly and danger of deferring repentance to a period wben it may become physically impossible,wben the mind, unable to endure the stings of remorse, becomes the easy prey of the horrors of phrensy. Scarcely less terrible, however, is the stupid apathy with which numbers pass into eternity, whose guilt may not have been less aggravated than that of an Altamont. • The general character of the selection is highly respectable, and we hope that its usefulness will answer to the design of the pious Editor,
Art. VIII. Iceland; or the Journal of a Residence in that Island, during the Years 1814 and 1815.
(Continued from our lust Number page 30 ) THE journey north-eastward from Holum, was over tracts
1 of inconceivable wildness and desolation ; vast fields of lava and volcanic sand, with grand mountains on the distant horizon, and sometimes nearer at hand ; torrents to be forded, and ravines and chasms to be avoided. In one of the most extensive views, the Author says, 'to whatever side we turned, s nothing was visible but the devastations of ancient fires, or ' regions of perpetual frost. We were not only far from the « habitations of men, but deserted even by the beasts of the field (and the birds of the air. Here “no voice of cattle is ever “ heard : both the fowl of the heavens and the beast are fled; they “ are gone."' Volcanos that have never been explored, nor even obtained names, rose in the distance, in beautiful pyramidal forms, most of them partially covered with snow, and with cones appearing quite red, from the scoriæ which form their external substance. The track was found or made with difficulty for many miles, and for twenty hours, along the side of the Arnarfell Yokul, a prodigious ice mountain.' In one stage, a sufficient bint of danger was given by some heaps of bones, which were considered as proof that the horses of some former travelling party had perished under the severities of the progress.
The travellers came at length to the rough and rapid descent from this dreary but majestic scenery, into the green and iobabited valley of Eyafiord, which by contrast appeared to them enchantingly beautiful. For Iceland, there is a considerable population in the tract round this inlet, assembled in little companies at a number of farm-establishments well stocked with sheep and cattle, the principal riches of the Iceland peasant. A short sojourn among them gave opportunity to observe their domestic economy, their amiable character, and especially the state of their necessities and wishes with respect to the possession of the Bible. Our Author may well be believed when be says, that had his preceding exertions and fatigues been greater than they were, they would have been much more than compensated by the pleasure of witnessing the animated interest which was universally manifested in the object of his visit. He describes with much feeling the earnestness to obtain the sacred treasure, and the grateful and exulting emotion of the individuals to wbom his yet very scanty store could afford the privilege of purchasing a copy of the New Testament, or the gift of one in a case of extreme poverty, or in the instance of some friendly service received, of which repayment, except in this form, would not be accepted.
In the house of the Sysselmand, or chief magistrate of the