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Let me here say that I hold judges, and especially the Supreme Court of the country, in much respect; but I am too familiar with the history of judicial proceedings to regard them with any superstitious reverence. Judges are but men, and in all ages have shown a full share of human frailty. Alas! alas ! the worst crimes of history have been perpetrated under their sanction. The blood of martyrs and of patriots, crying from the ground, summons them to judgment. It was a judicial tribunal which condemned Socrates to drink the fatal hemlock, and which pushed the Saviour barefoot over the pavements of Jei usalem, bending beneath his cross. It was a judicial tribunal which, against the testimony and entreaties of her father, surrendered the fair Virginia as a slave; which arrested the teachings of the great Apostle to the Gentiles, and sent him in bonds from Judea to Rome; which, in the name of the Old Religion, adjudged the saints and fathers of the Christian church to death, in all its most dreadful forms; and which afterwards, in the name of the New Religion, enforced the tortures of the Inquisition, amidst the shrieks and agonies of its victims, while it compelled Galileo to declare, in solemn denial of the great truth he had disclosed, that the earth did not move round the sun. It was a judicial tribunal which, in France, during the long reign of her monarchs, lent itself to be the instrument of every tyranny, as during the brief reign of terror it did not hesitate to stand forth the unpitying accessary of the unpitying guillotine. Ay, sir, it was a judicial tribunal in England, surrounded by all the forms of law, which sanctioned every despotic caprice of Henry the Eighth, from the unjust divorce of his queen, to the beheading of Sir Thomas More ; which lighted the fires of persecution that glowed at Oxford and Smithfield, over the cinders of Latimer, Ridley, and John Rogers; which, after elaborate argument, upheld the fatal tyranny of shipmoney against the patriot resistance of Hampden;
which, in defiance of justice and humanity, sent Sidney and Russell to the block; which persistently enforced the laws of Conformity that our Puritan Fathers persistently refused to obey; and which afterwards, with Jeffries on the bench, crimsoned the pages of English history with massacre and murder—even with the blood of innocent woman. Ay, sir, and it was a judicial tribunal in our country, surrounded by all the forms of law, which hung witches at Salem,—which affirmed the constitutionality of the Stamp Act, while it admonished "jurors and the people" to obey,—and which now, in our day, has lent its sanction to the unutterable atrocity of the Fugitive Slave Bili.
Speech at Worcester, September, 1854.
ANDREW P. PEABODY.
REV. ANDREW P. PEABODY, D.D., was born in Beverly, Massachusetts, in 1811, and was graduated at Harvard College in 1826. He studied theology at Cambridge divinity-school, and after completing his studies was elected Tutor of Mathematics in the college. In 1833, he became the pastor of the South Congregational Church in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, in which position he still remains. In January, 1854, the editorship of the “North American Review” was tendered to bim, which he accepted, and the duties of which he has ever since discharged with singular tact, judgment, and scholarship, fully sustaining the high reputation of that time-honored journal.
Mr. Peabody's published volumes are, Lectures on Christian Doctrine, which appeared in 1844, and bas passed through numerous editions; and Sermors ojo Consolation, which appeared in 1847. Besides these, he has edited many volumes to which he has contributed a memoir or other prefix; and bas published, or rather permitted to be published, a large number of occasional sermons, addresses, and lectures. His contributions to the “ Christian Examiner" and the “North American Review” have been very numerous for the last twenty-five years; and he has occasionally written for other periodicals.
THE MIRACLES AND WORK OF JESUS.
I have spoken of the gladness sent to so many homes and hearts by the miracles of Jesus. Has he ceased to exert this benign agency? Or have outward miracles, having discharged their ministry, yielded place to still " greater works”? Would you answer this question, go with me to the dwelling of as happy a family as you may find among a thousand. On the lips of the parents is the law of love; tendernes sand reverence are blended in every look and tone of the children. An unkind word is never heard, a morose countenance never seen there. The father daily stands as priest at his own household altar, and his overflowing gratitude hardly leaves room for supplication. On the Lord's day they go up to the sanctuary together, and not one of them retires when the table of redeeming love is spread. Their whole lives adorn the doctrine of their Saviour; and their home is a radiating place for pious example and holy influence.
But go back a few years, and what was that family? The father a self-made maniac,—the slave of brutal appetite. His chief haunt was where they dig graves for men's souls; and when he came to his own house, it was but to curse his family, and to make his home a hell. The children were growing up in ignorance, waywardness, and squalidness, promising only to add to the mass of pauperism and crime. The mother alone trusted in God; and her heart would long ago have broken, had she not looked for a rest where the wicked cease from troubling. But the Divine Redeemer visited that family. The mother's prayers were at length heard. The father's heart was touched. The Lord looked upon him, and he wept. His tears flowed from a repentance not to be repented of. His Saviour's face shone in
his darkened and perverted soul, and left its image there. And then father and mother together bore their children to the Redeemer for his blessing, and, in united prayer and effort, consecrated them to his altar and his kingdom. He has accepted the offering, and set his seal on all their hearts. Nor is this a scene by itself. Such are the blessings which Jesus has shed and is shedding abroad in thousands of families all over Christendom. Such are the fountains of compassion that still flow from Him whose love we this morning commemorate. There this day meet in his temple and surround his altar multitudes whom he has ransomed from the lowest degradation and the foulest guilt, cleansed from the most loathsome leprosy, and brought from the most Goddefying madness, to sit at his feet, clothed and in their right mind.
With what portion of our well-being and happiness is not the image of Jesus blended? What is there that renders our life here blessed, or that lights up the future with promise, which he has not either bestowed, or made more precious and availing? And the more I meditate on all of blessing and of hope that is given us upon earth, the more do I feel that human life is but an extended commentary on our Saviour's words,—“I and the Father are one;" that the Father and the Son work together in all that gladdens this life, and in all that fits us for a higher and better home; so that he who, by his own negligence or guilt, “ hath not the Son, hath not the Father.” I feel that no departinent of the Father's goodness is complete till rays from Tabor and from Calvary have rested upon it; that no cup which the Father designs for us is mingled as he would have it, till Jesus has poured into it those waters of wbich he that drinketh shall thirst no more.
Sermons of Consolation.
Cuvier has performed for the kingdoms of animated nature the work which Newton wrought for the mechanism of the heavens. His generalizations now seem final and complete. They bind together all tribes of being in one vast and beautiful system, pervaded by analogies and equivalent provisions; and reveal, in the structure and adaptations of the animal economy, numberless mysteries of divine wisdom which had been hidden from the
foundation of the world. He reached these sublime results because his religious nature prompted him to look for unity and harmony in the works of God, -to search everywhere for traces of the all-pervading and all-perfect mind, -to seek in the humblest zoophyte the expression of an idea of God,—the not unworthy type of the Infinite Archetype. He wrought in glowing faith. He served at the altar of science as a priest of the Most High. Infidelity went from his presence rebuked and humbled. His soul was kindled, his lips were touched ever more and more with the fire of heaven, as, with waning strength and under the burden of bereavement, he still drew bolder, fuller harmonies, unheard before, from the lyre of universal nature. Says one who was present at the lecture from which he went home to die, “In the whole of this lecture there was an omnipresence of the Omnipotent and Supreme Cause. The examination of the visible world seemed to touch upon the invisible. The search into creation invoked the presence of the Creator. It seemed as if the veil were to be torn from before us, and science was about to reveal eternal wisdom.”
Phi Beta Kappa Oration, 1845.
THE HIGHER LAW.
In the whole political history of our own country, there has been no sin so atrocious as the repudiation of a higher than humam law. It is stark atheism; for, with the law, this position virtually denies also the providence, of God, and makes men and nations sole arbiters of their own fortunes. But “ the Heavens do rule.” If there be institutions or measures inconsistent with immutable rectitude, they are fostered only under the ban of a righteous God; they inwrap the germs of their own harvest of shame, disorder, vice, and wretchedness; nay, their very prosperity is but the verdure and blossoming which shall mature the apples of Sodom. Oh, how often have our legislators had reason to recall those pregnant words of Jefferson,-sad indeed is it that they should have become almost too trite for repetition, without having worked their way into the national conscience,—“ I tremble for my country, when I consider that God is just”! The nations that have passed away, the decaying nations, the convulsed thrones, the smouldering rebellion-fires, of the Old World, reveal the elements of national decline and ruin, and hold out baleful signals over the career on which our republic is hurrying; assuring us, by the experience of all climes and ages, that slavery, the unprincipled lust of power and territory, othcial corruption and venality, aggressive war, partisan legislation, are but "sowing the wind to reap the whirlwind.”
Our statesmen of the “ manifest-destiny" type seem to imagine our country necessary to the designs of Providence. So thought the Hebrews, and on far more plausible grounds, of their commonwealth; but, rather than fulfil to such degenerate descendants the promise made to their great ancestor, “ God is able,” said the divine Teacher, “of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.” Our destiny must be evolved, not from the blending of the world's noblest races in our ancestral stock; not from a position in which we hold the keys of the world's commerce, and can say to the North, “Give up," and to the South, “ Keep not back;” not from our capacity to absorb and assimilate immigrant millions. Destiny is but the concrete of character. God needs no man or nation. He will bring in the reign of everlasting righteousness; and, as a people, we must stand or fall as we accept or spurn that reign. Brethren, scholars, patriots also, I trust, you whose generous nurture gives you large and enduring influence,--seek for the country of your pride and love, above all things else, her establishment on the eternal right as on the Rock of Ages. Thus shall there be no spot on her fame, no limit to her growth, no waning to her glory.
Oration at Brown University, August, 1858.
ALFRED B. STREET
Is the son of the late General R. S. Street, and was born in Poughkeepsie, Dutchess County, New York, on the 18th of December, 1811. When he was quite young, his father removed with his family to Monticello, Sullivan County, then called “the wild country,” but very fertile. Its magnificent scenery, deep forests, clear streams, gorges of piled rocks and black shade, its mountains, and its valleys, all tended to call out the faculties of the young poet; and hence his description of forest life and scenery are so true to nature. Ho studied law in the office of his father, and, on his admission to the bar, removed to the city of Albany, where he now resides. For a series of years he has held the office of State Librarian, at which post he still continues. In 1817, a volume of his fugitive poetry, of over three hundred pages, was published by Clark & Austin, and it has passed through several editions. In the following year, his Metrical Romance entitled Frontenac was published by Bentley, of Londou, and re. published the next season by Scribner & Co., Now York.' of late yaars Mr. S. has written but very little.
1 of this poem the “ Britannia," a London periodical, says, “Mr. Street is one of the writers of whom his country has reason to be proud. His originality is no less striking than big talent. In dealing with the Romance of North Ame