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of federal institutions has been, for the first time, seriously impaired by the judgment declaring slavery to be of common right, and consequently lawful in the Territories while not yet constituted as States, even against the will of a majority of their inhabitants. The main pillar of the American Constitution is bardly strong enough to bear many more such shocks.” — p. 305.
Perhaps no passages could be chosen which would better illustrate the spirit, at once lofty and practical, in which all the writings of this great author are conceived. If it is a thought on which we may in England and America justly felicitate ourselves, that we have advanced to that condition of physical and mental freedom in which such writings are profitable and timely, we are not, in our self-gratulation, to forget the responsibility which we are under of not suffering our progress to stop. The foremost men in all the oppressed nations of Europe look to us as guides in the path which they hope one day to follow. It rests with us to show them that we do not stop when we have reached the comfortable point of physical and mental security, but that we have sufficient regard for the principles of liberty to follow them out, whithersoever they may lead us. This responsibility Mr. Mill, for one, has fully met. He has given his life to the support of liberal principles, with a devotion and an ability which have made him the acknowledged leader of the liberal thinkers and writers of the age. If it is a proud position, it has been nobly earned. That its influence is as nobly used, that his interest and his efforts are not restricted to the limits of the politics or institutions of his own country, he has proved, with a completeness which deserves our gratitude, in the paper which has been reprinted from Fraser's Magazine on “ The Contest in America,” — a paper which we would gladly believe has been so generally read among us as to make it needless for us to do more than simply to recognize the perfect consistency with which, in a time of great popular excitement in England on a topic well calculated to bias the opinions and judgments of the most candid of Englishmen, Mr. Mill could calmly recognize and assert other claims than those of his own government, other titles to respect than that of his own people. The extreme merit and value of this little
paper consist not only in the generous and friendly tone of its remarks on the Trent controversy, but also in such a full and warm recognition of the justice of the national cause in this great war, and of the utter meanness and atrocity of the rebellion, as is indeed sufficient to make us forget, as completely as we have hitherto despised, the spiteful criticisms of Blackwood and the Times.
We shall close this article with a single extract, which will serve to show how little sympathy Mr. Mill has with those English writers who justify the South in its revolt. The most audacious of the Northern defenders of slavery will hardly venture to charge the author with being either a sentimentalist or a fanatic; and yet we find in these manly words a strong resemblance to those of the men who are most hotly characterized as such to this day. After sweeping away, in a few terse and contemptuous sentences, the cobwebs of reasoning by which certain British writers have attempted to prove that the South rebelled, not in the interest of slavery, but in that of self-government, he proceeds thus:
“Let me in a few words remind the reader what sort of a thing this is which the white oligarchy of the South have banded themselves together to propagate and establish, if they could, universally. When it is wished to describe any portion of the human race as in the lowest state of debasement, and under the most cruel oppression in which it is possible for human beings to live, they are compared to slaves. When words are sought by which to stigmatize the most odious despotism exercised in the most odious manner, and all other comparisons are found to be inadequate, the despots are said to be like slave-masters or slave-drivers. What, by a rhetorical license, the worst oppressors of the human race, by way of stamping on them the most hateful character possible, are said to be, these men in very truth are. I do not mean that all of them are hateful, personally, any more than all the Inquisitors or all the Buccaneers. But the position which they occupy, and the abstract excellence of what they are in arms to vindicate, is that which the united voice of mankind habitually selects as the type of all hateful qualities. I will not bandy chicanery about the more or less of stripes or other torments which are daily requisite to keep the machine in working order, nor discuss whether the Legrees or the St. Clairs are the more numerous among the slave-owners of the Southern States. The broad facts of the case suffice. One fact is
enough. There are, Heaven knows, vicious and tyrannical institutions in ample abundance on the earth. But this institution is the only one of them all which requires, to keep it going, that human beings shall be burnt alive. The calm and dispassionate Mr. Olmsted affirms that there has not been a single year, for many years, in which this horror is not known to have been perpetrated in some part of the South. And not upon negroes only: the Edinburgh Review, in a recent number, gave the hideous details of the burning of an unfortunate Northern huckster by Lynch-law, on mere suspicion of having aided in the escape of a slave. What must American slavery be, if deeds like these are necessary under it? and if they are not necessary, and are yet done, is not the evidence against slavery still more damning? The South are in rebellion, not for simple slavery, — they are in rebellion for the right of burning human creatures alive...
“I am not frightened at the word rebellion. I do not 'scruple to say that I have sympathized more or less ardently with most of the rebellions, successful and unsuccessful, that have taken place in my time. But I certainly never conceived that there was a sufficient title to my sympathy in the mere fact of being a rebel; that the act of taking up arms against one's fellow-citizens was so meritorious in itself, was so completely its own justification, that no question need be asked concerning the motive. It seems to me a strange doctrine, that the most serious and responsible of all human acts imposes no obligation upon those who do it of showing that they have a real grievance; that those who rebel for the power of oppressing others, exercise as sacred a right as those who do the same to resist oppression practised on themselves. Neither rebellion nor any other act which affects the interests of others is sufficiently legitimated by the mere will to do it. Secession may be laudable, and so may any other kind of insurrection ; but it may also be an enormous crime. It is the one or the other, according to the object and the provocation. And if there ever was an object which, by its bare announcement, stamped rebels against a particular community as enemies of mankind, it is the one professed by the South. Their right to separate is the right which Cartouche or Turpin would have had to separate from their respective countries, because the law of those countries would not allow them to rob and murder on the highway. The only real difference is, that the present rebels are more powerful than Cartouche or Turpin, and may possibly be able to effect their iniquitous purpose."
ART. II. – THE PALESTINIAN WORD.
1. Des Doctrines Religieuses des Juifs pendant les Deux Siècles anté
rieurs à l'ère Chrétienne. Par M. Michel Nicolas. Paris :
Michel Lévy Frères. 1860. 2. De la Part des Peuples Sémitiques dans l'Histoire de la Civilisation.
Par M. Ernest RENAN. Paris : Michel Lévy Frères. 1862. 3. Das Jahrhundert des Heils. Durch A. Fr. GFRÖRER. Stuttgart :
E. Schwezerbart's Verlagshandlung. 1838.
We have placed the titles of these books at the head of this article that we may acknowledge our indebtedness to them, especially to the works of Nicolas and Renan, for many valuable suggestions and much incitement to thought on important themes kindred to those which are treated in the pages of these authors. And we wish also to mention, as a testimony to the faithfulness and ability of one of our American scholars, that a translation of the Book of Job published in 1862 by M. Renan, the incumbent of the chair of the Semitic Languages and Literature in the College of France, agrees in almost every particular with the translation of that philosophical religious poem by our Cambridge Professor of Hebrew, Rev. George R. Noyes, D. D., the second edition of which was issued in 1838, and a third in 1861.
The present pamphlet of M. Renan contains the Address which he delivered on taking the chair that he now occupies. A criticism of this Address does not come within the province of this article, and we will only say here, that, while we dissent from some of the learned author's positions, the force of the circumstantial evidence is such as to compel us to accept the general theory which he propounds. The Address contains the following famous passage, which nearly cost M. Renan his seat in the College, because of its supposed anti-Trinitarian tendency :
“ In the midst of the enormous fermentation into which the Jewish nation found itself plunged under the last of the Asmoneans, the most extraordinary moral event of which History has preserved the souvenir was passing in Galilee. A man incomparable — so great that, although here everything ought to be judged from the point of view of
positive science, I would not contradict those who, struck with the exceptional character of his work, call him God — effected a reform of Judaism, a reform so deep, so individual, that it was, to speak truly, a creation of all the parts anew. Reaching a higher religious stage than ever man before him had attained, coming to regard himself as sustaining with God the relations of a son with a father, devoted to his work with a total forgetfulness of all rest, and a self-abnegation which has never been so loftily practised, victim at last of his idea and deified by his death, Jesus founded the eternal religion of humanity, the religion of the spirit, disengaged from all sacerdotism, all cultus, all observance, accessible to all races, above all castes, — in a word, absolute: Woman, the time is come when men shall no longer worship upon this mountain, nor at Jerusalem, but the true worshippers shall worship in spirit and in truth.?”
The work of Nicolas we commend to our readers as treating, in a very thorough and interesting manner, the doctrines of the Jews during a little known but highly important period, the two centuries immediately preceding the advent of Jesus Christ. Nicolas goes deep into his subject, accepts and propounds only those theories which rest upon a basis of facts; and though he assaults some of the previously established positions of Jewish scholars, he never makes an attack without a battery of reasons whose fire it is difficult to withstand. He exhibits both dash and strategic ability. With the precision of French thought Nicolas unites a soundness and depth, a thoroughness of research, which render his work not only attractive, but trustworthy, and make it a model for the student of theology.
The monotheistic spirit of the Hebrew nation attained to full consciousness beneath the walls of Babylon. There it ceased to confound the Divine unity with human ideas of manifoldness. Upon whatever other points the theories and practices of the different Jewish schools may have varied, the idea of the One God, firmly fixed in the heart of the nation before Cyrus opened the way for its return to Jerusalem, has never been abandoned. In the earliest time of which we have any tradition this idea appears, in one or another form, among the ancestors of the Semitic races, — always a spontaneous product. But the struggle was long between the teaching of