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All this also, taken in connexion with the direction at the commencement of the service, forbidding its being said over any who has not received the Prayer-book regeneration, seems to take it for granted, that the person buried is among those who rest from their labors. Inasmuch, however, as there is no direct declaration of this kind, and unlike the English Prayer-book, no confidence is expressed which definitely applies to the case of the deceased, we are not disposed to condemn this service. If read well, there may be a solemn and useful influence upon those who hear it. It is decidedly the best part of the Prayer-book, and the only part to which, as a whole, we should not take strong exceptions.

We had not intended to remark upon the marriage ceremony, lest we should appear to some stanch friends of the liturgy as rather cap tious; for the faults of this book are so numerous that we may expose ourselves to this charge. But we can not forbear to notice the illjudged particularity and bad taste in which the marriage ceremony is drawn up, especially when we consider that it is not in its original place among the cumbrous formalities of the British government, but under the plain institutions of republicanism. It is no small lesson which the bride and bridegroom must learn before they are qualified to be married. Since, however, it is a mere matter of taste and not of conscience which we have now in view, we are not disposed to dwell upon it, or to show the correctness of our opinion by an examination of particulars. If any choose to subject themselves to all this bondage of forms, we certainly have no objection. But there is one thing which appears to us to come under a different principle.


allude to the ceremony of the ring. This, in the circumstances of this country, is an unmeaning ceremony,

wholly unworthy of the dignity and solemnity with which an attempt is made to invest it by invoking the glorious name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. The man is required to say to the woman, "With this ring I thee wed, and with all my worldly goods I thee endow in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen." We call this unmeaning, because the marriage is a legal ceremony. Marriage is an institution of God, but the manner of celebrating it is entirely of human device. It may be British law, that a man is married by a ring; but surely it is not American law. And the endowment of the bride with the wordly goods of the bridegroom by means of the ring is an absolute falsehood. The inheritance of property is not regulated by the kingdom of Christ, which in this country is separate from the state, but by the laws of the land. If the law says that by virtue of marriage a woman is entitled to all the "wordly goods" of her hus band, then she has them. But if the law says that she shall have a third; or if the law recognizes a jointure which may have been agreed upon between the parties; then a man does not endow his wife with all his worldly goods. Now we consider this unmeaning ceremony, performed in the name of the holy Trinity, as approaching to profaneness. It looks too much like uttering a falsehood in the name of God. The authors of this ceremony have not only overstepped the bounds of good taste, but have rather trespassed upon the dominions of conscience.

It is painful that in so solemn and interesting a transaction as marriage-on which every thing in the welfare of the parties depends, so much account should be made of ceremony and so little of prayer. The Lord's prayer, which is introduced on all occasions in the lit

urgy, as though nothing could be done without it, and one short, very short and general, prayer, is all that we find of invoking the divine blessing in God's own appointed way! No opportunity is afforded to allude to particular circumstances of interest, and no solemn appeal is made to heaven in behalf of the newly married couple, as subject to the trials, temptations, and vicissi tudes of life; but a mere formal petition of the most general and unimpressive kind imaginable!

Such is the liturgy of the Protestant Episcopal church. It is radically defective in regard to Protestantism, being committed to many of the saints' days, and other feasts and fasts of the Romish heresy; wearing distinctly a Popish garment throughout; and showing that its origin was in a dark age, unfit to dictate the devotions of this day of light. It is radically defective in its prescriptions for the ordinary worship of God on the Sabbath. It is likewise defective in its provision for the communion and for baptism. It endorses errors which have long ago been exploded. It obscures truths which it is the happiness and the duty of every one to see with the clearest eye. And it occupies such a space on the Sabbath, as to throw into the background the great ordinance of preaching the gospel, which, accompanied by the Holy Spirit, is the power of God unto salvation. With these great defects before us, we can not agree with its admirers, in calling it," The excellent liturgy." Whatever may be the feelings of others, we could not conform to this liturgy without an entire sacrifice of conscience. Accustomed as we are to a simpler

and more evangelical mode of approaching our Maker, we could not submit to be bound to a set form, and to a tacit endorsement of so many dangerous errors. The national church of England, whose influence every where appears in the Prayer-book, we do not admire, though we acknowledge it has embosomed, and still embosoms, many great and good men. The shadow of the British establishment, extending to our own shores, we can not sit under with delight. We had rather identify ourselves with our Puritan ancestors, of whom the world was not worthy, being members of those churches which they founded in the primitive order and simplicity of apostolical example, unincumbered with the trappings of England and Rome. Such is the universal abhorrence of Popery among these churches, that the suspension of pictures of Christ on the cross, such as are now seen in many Episcopal churches, would not be tolerated. The Oxford movement has no affinity with them. No semi-papistical influence has been exerted upon them in the use of a defective liturgy, by which the way is prepared for such a system. No disposition to exhume old errors and bring them into the reformed church of God, has been cherished among them. The Bible is in their hands. And this is the record of their faith. They care not what the liturgy, or the creed, or any other paper teaches: the Bible, the Bible only, is their standard of faith and practice. The churches of our Pilgrim fathers-the blessing of the Lord be on them! For our brethren and companions' sake we will now say, peace be within them!


DR. FRANKLIN Once expressed the wish, that his earthly life might be divided into two periods, one of which should occur something like two hundred years after the other. This sin gular wish was prompted, if we remember right, by his strong desire to witness the future condition of his country. He, in common with those great men who, with him, established, first its independence, and then its form of government, had his fears as well as his hopes touching the issue of their doings. In order to rouse their countrymen to resist the tyranny of England, they had excited feelings and appealed to principles which in some minds produced hostility to all government. In fostering a hatred in the nation against foreign rulers, they had unintentionally created to some extent a jealousy amounting to dislike of all rulers. They had raised a spirit which they could not lay-a demon which they could not exorcise, as they found to their sorrow, when they came to establish a government of their own. "We are," said he, in 1778, when the present constitution was before the people for adoption, " a nation of politicians. And though there is a general dread of giving too much POWER to our governors, I think we are more in danger from the little obedience in the governed."

Could Franklin, resuscitated from the sleep of death, come forth now among us, or could some one in the spirit and power of Franklin, take the post of observation, with his inquiring eye, with his philosophic mind, with his candid temper, with his patriotic heart, it is difficult to

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say, whether in comparison with the past and in view of the probable future, he would find more to please than to pain him-more to inspire his hopes than to alarm his fears. And if such an one, speaking the language of truth, should proclaim to the people their political sins and dangers, is there not reason to believe that there are many who would turn from him with disgust, to listen to the flatteries of demagogues, as the Israelites turned away from the holy seer to listen to false prophets? They have so long been accustomed to hear the American people spoken of as the happiest people on the globe, the American government as the best government, American institutions as suitable for every other nation, that they look with suspicion upon every foreigner as an enemy, and upon every nation as a doubtful friend, who dares tell them the whole truth on these subjects.

But we rejoice to know that there are others, increasing in number it is believed, who, neither deceived themselves nor wishing to deceive others by the voice of adulation, can, without feeling their national pride wounded, bear to hear and to state things on this subject as they are. One of this number was the author of the letter before us: Dr. Webster, always distinguished as he was for his love of truth, had abundant opportunities for informing himself on the subjects discussed in this letter. He was not only a diligent student of history, but a close observer of persons and events in his own times. He was personally acquainted with this country while in the colonial state, shared in the hopes and fears which alternately animated and chilled the patriot's heart during the period of the Revolution, to accomplish which, in the ardor of his youthful feelings, he volunteered his services,

helped by his pen to establish the constitution under which we live, as he was one of the first, if not the very first to make a proposition for its formation, which he did in 1785, in his "Sketches of American Policy;" knew what were the purposes and sentiments of those distinguish ed men who shaped its details; lived through two generations of men far into the third, sixty-seven years from the declaration of independence, and fifty-five from the adoption of the constitution; was brought closely in contact with the mind of the nation, "millions of whom he had taught to read, but not one to sin." Such a man has a right to speak. He ought to speak, and men should gather round him to listen, as he throws the collected light of the past on the events of the present. And now, though he sleeps in his grave with the blessings of his countrymen rest ing upon him, he still, being dead, yet speaketh, to instruct us in the lessons of wisdom hallowed by the sepulcher.

The letter above mentioned, published first in 1837, and recently in his COLLECTION OF PAPERS, is an analytical examination of certain political principles, avowed by many of our countrymen in their writings, their speeches, or their conduct, as a sound basis of theory or of action. Though in their opinion these principles may be as evident as the mathematical axiom, the whole is greater than a part; or as profitable as the "scoundrel maxim, a penny saved is a penny got," the author, with philological accuracy, either proves them to be false, or shows in what sense only they can be true. Having lived through more than one quarter of the period mentioned above, during which his friend Dr. Franklin was willing to slumber in unconsciousness, waiting the developments of time, he was able, from seeing the practical operation of these principles, as well as their elementary relations, to judge of their


"To the Honorable Daniel Webster: SIR-In your public addresses or speeches, and in those of other gentlemen of high political distinction, I have often seen an opinion expressed like this-That intelligence and virtue are the basis of a republican government, or that intelligence and virtue in the people are necessary to the preservation and support of a republican government. These words, intelligence and virtue, are very comprehensive in their uses or application, and perhaps too indefinite to furnish the premises for the inference deduced from them. Men may be very intelligent in some departments of literature, arts and science; but very ignorant of branches of learning in other departments. By intelligence, as applicable to political affairs, it may be presumed that those who use the term, intend it to imply a correct knowledge of the constitution and laws of the country, and of the several rights and duties of the citizens.

"But, sir, the opinion that intelligence in the people of a country will preserve a republican government, must depend, for its accuracy, on the fact of an intimate or necessary connection between knowledge and principle. It must suppose that men who know what is right, will do what is right: for if this is not the general fact, then intelligence will not preserve a just administration, nor maintain the constitution and laws. But from what evidence can we infer that men who know what

is right will do what is right? In what history of mankind, political or ecclesiastical, are the facts recorded, which authorize the presumption, much less the belief, that correct action will proceed from correct knowledge? Such an effect would imply the absence of all depravity in the hearts of men; a supposition which not only revelation, but all history forbids us to admit.

"Let me ask, sir, whether the Greeks, and particularly the Athe

nians, were not an intelligent people? Were they not intelligent when they banished the ablest statesmen and generals, and the purest patriots of their state? Was their intelligence sufficient to insure, at all times, a just administration of the laws? In short, if intelligence could preserve a republic, why were not the Grecian republics preserved ?

"Then let us turn our attention to the Roman state. Were not Sylla and Marius intelligent men, when they rent the commonwealth with faction, and deluged Rome with blood? Were not Cæsar and Anthony and Lepidus, and Crassus and Brutus and Octavianus, intelligent men? Did not the Roman commonwealth fall into ruins in the most enlightened period of its existence ? And were not the immediate instruments of its overthrow some of the most intelligent men that the pagan world has produced?

"Then look at France during the revolution, when there was no settled government to control reason. Were not the leading men of the parties intelligent men?-men who cut off the heads of their opponents, with as little ceremony as they would tread a worm under their feet, and for the sake of liberty. When one party was crushed, the others cried out, the republic or liberty is safe. When another party fell under the guillotin, then the triumphant party shouted, liberty is safe. But after all, the republic was not saved; and all parties at last were glad to find peace and security under a throne. "Intelligence alone then has not yet saved any republic. But intelligence, it is said, must be accompanied with virtue, and these united are to give duration to a republic.

"Now, sir, what is this virtue ? what does it mean in the sentiment or opinion above cited? What did Montesquieu intend by virtue, when he wrote about its influence in preserving a republic?-(Spirit of Laws, passim.)

"The virtue of a Roman citizen consisted in personal bravery, and in devotion to the defense and extent of the commonwealth. In particular men there existed a strong sense of right or political duty, which may take rank as a moral virtue. But such instances were rare, and most rare in the decline of the common. wealth, when the citizens were most intelligent. But in general, the vir tue of the Romans was a passionate attachment to the commonwealth, for the grandeur of which they fought and conquered, till they had brought the civilized world to the feet of the republic. This virtue extended the dominion, but did not secure the existence of the republic.

"If by virtue is intended the observance of the common social duties, this may proceed from a respect for custom, and a regard to reputation; and either, with or without better principles, is a useful practice.

"But such virtue as this will not save a republic, unless based on bet ter principles than a regard to custom or to reputation. The reason is obvious; such morality will often, not to say generally, yield to selfishness; that is, to the ambition of obtaining power and wealth. When strongly tempted by private interest, men often find the means of enlisting reason in its service; and invent excuses for disregarding the public good, which ought to be, and for the preservation of republican govern ment must be, the ruling motive of citizens.

"The virtue which is necessary to preserve a just administration and render a government stable, is Chris tian virtue, which consists in the uniform practice of moral and reli gious duties, in conformity with the laws both of God and man. This virtue must be based on a reverence for the authority of God, which shall counteract and control ambition and selfish views, and subject them to the precepts of divine authority. The effect of such a virtue would be, to

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