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disappear. Behold then Turkish despotism, standing upon this triple basis of their dishonesty, sloth, and ignorance, riveting upon their necks its galling yoke. And finally, after a miserable lise, witness theni passing by multitudes into a cheerless, hopeless eternity.
In a word, accessible to the reach of our Christian benevolence there are millions of men, sunk in ignorance and sin to a degree that makes the present salvation of any hopeless. Though bearing the same holy name by which we are called, and inhabiting places consecrated by apostles' feet, they are still so degenerate that “the name of God is blasphemed among the gentiles through them," and Moslems confirmed in the errors of the false prophet. The Christianity they profess has lost the essential principles of the gospel ; its beneficial influence has ceased; it is despised and oppressed. Need we an array of argument, and power of eloquence, to make us listen to their call upon our Christian sensibilities?
There was a time when a call from thence was heard by awakened Christendom. News was brought that the Holy Land was trampled under the feet of infidels, its sacred places profaned, and their devotees abused ; and Europe poured forth hundreds of thousands of warriors, spent millions of money, and shed torrents of blood. In my ardent desire that the call I bring may be heard, I could almost wish myself Peter the Hermit, standing in some market place in France or Italy, and my readers one of the chivalrous assemblages that listened to him. Were we indeed enacting that scene of the dark ages, not an ear would fail to listen with absorbing attention, nor a heart to swell with the high wrought purpose of immediate action ; and our country would be soon pouring forth her feets and her armies to the conquests of Palestine. But I am not a pilgrirn monk, reporting the profanation of sacred places, nor are my readers à collection of feudal knights, inspired only by papal superstition. I am a Christian missionary, come to bring my countrymen word, that in the vale of Egypt, among the desolations of Palestine, on the plains of Greece, in the mountains of Armenia, and wherever my feet have carried me, the souls of men, our brethren by blood and by name, are perishing. We are believers in Christ, professing to partake of that benevolence to souls which brought him from a throne in glory to a cross on Calvary. And shall the message
vibrate in our hearts a less thrilling chord of sympathy, and wake up a less effective zeal, than was felt by bigotted crusaders? Is a mere handful of missionaries all that enlightened Christian benevolence can send forth, where the superstition of the dark ages sent forth armies ?
While urging my message, the image of the primitive ancestors of those for whom I plead, the converts of apostles and the founders of Christianity, comes up before me. I imagine their sainted spirits, with parental anxiety for their offspring increased by the knowledge and the holiness of heaven, to be hovering over us. They say to us, Brethren, once like you we gave our children precept upon precept, our daily prayers ascended to heaven for them, and we left with them that precious legacy, the word of God, anxiously hoping that their children's children, to the end of time, would follow us in unbroken succession to our mansions on high. Hereafter, upon the fair face of your beloved America, as now upon that glory of all lands which was once our country, a night of apostacy may settle down, and hordes of yet unnamed barbarian invaders fasten deep the blight of some new Mohammedanism. Would you then, yourselves, stoop from your abode in heaven to smile upon the inhabitants of some distant land, laboring to restore to your benighted and oppressed descendants, the lamp of eternal life? Hear, now, we pray you, the plea in behalf of ours. Restore to them the light so long since gone out among them, and receive the blessing of the whole assembly of prophets, apostles, and martyrs.
By E. C. Tracy.
John Milton : his Life and Times, Religious and Political
Opinions : with an Appendix, containing Animadversions upon Dr. Johnson's Life of Milton, &c. &c. By Joseph Ivimey, Author of the “ History of the English Baptists,” &c. &c.
This title promises a great deal. The author, too, informs us that he " has attempted to give a full length portrait of Milton, “as a Patriot, a Protestant, and a Nonconformist;" and for that
6 has made considerable extracts from his prose writings, by which, in a good degree, he appears as his own biographer.” There is something in the tenor and style of the Preface, that comes harshly across that feeling of regard for accomplished scholarship, with which one naturally takes up a work relating to Milton; but as the book has the recommendation of a respected name, is pioneered by warm and unqualified recommendations from many of the British Journals in the Dissenting and Whig interest, and hastened before the American public by one of our active booksellers, almost before the sheets from the London press were dryyou of course pass lightly over such faults, for the sake of what is promised in the body of the work.
But—we regret to say it-your dream is very soon broken up. Your sense of the befitting is outraged continually ; and errors, numberless and unaccountable, startle you on every page. You find, for instance, a paragraph beginning thus :
“Some minister, said by Milton to be a son of Bishop Hall, in writing against his [Milton's] Animadversions on Bishop Usher's book, had called it a scurrilous libel ;' and not content with this, had treated the author with the greatest contempt, using defaming language and personal reflections. In his reply, entitled * Modest Confutation of a Slanderous and Scandalous Libel, by John Milton, gent.' he proves himself,” &c.—p. 45.
Now, in the first place, the writer referred to is not " said by Milton to be a son of Bishop Hall.” 2. The Animadversions are on Hall's book, not on Usher's. 3. Usher was Archbishop, instead of Bishop. 4. The title given as that of Milton's tract, is in fact the title of the pamphlet to which his was a reply. 5. It is not however given accurately. It runs thus : “ A Modest Consutation against a Slanderous and Scurrilous (not scandalous) Libel.” 6. The title of Milton's reply, from which Mr. lvimey proceeds to quote several passages, is : “ An Apology against a Pamphlet, called “ A Modest Confutation,'” &c.; or, as in some copies, “An Apology for Smectymnuus,” &c.
After this specimen, the reader will excuse us from going farther into particulars. Errors of the same character-mistakes in names and dates—misquotations of Milton's language and misrepresentations of his meaning, and the like, occur on almost every page. Very often, passages from one tract are spoken of as if quoted from another. One would think that Mr. I., after collecting his quotations, had lost his references, and was obliged to assign them their places by guess.
But we have a yet weightier objection to the book. Milton bimself has told us that “it is of the greatest concernment in the church and commonwealth ”—and we are before the public as pledged sentinels, to watch on behalf of both—“to have a vigilant eye how books demean themselves as well as men," and has said something of the duty of sometimes “ doing sharpest justice on them as malefactors.” Notwithstanding, therefore, our respect for Mr. I., we are under the necessity of saying, that his account of Milton's prose works, and quotations from them, do no sort of justice to their tenor and spirit. The great principles of civil and religious liberty which glow with such varied and attractive beauty along Milton's galaxy of thought; his bursts of pure and noble sentiment; and his views of the great ends of all government-of what makes liberty of thought and action an imperious duty and an inalienable birthright, seem to have been almost forgotten ; while his harshest language against prelacy, tithes, religious establishments, &c., is made studiously proininent. The fact, we suppose, is, that Mr. I. wrote with some of the great questions that now agitate the British public, rising full-orbed before him. He would fain add something to the strength of those impulses, which are urging on public sentiment in England, to the overthrow of establishments and usages under the severe pressure of which Dissenters like himself have so long suffered. This, as an
immediate object, seems to have swelled into such magnitude, as to engross his whole attention and absorb all his feelings. In looking over the prose of Milton, therefore, those passages which bear most directly on this object stood out prominently to his eye. The truths that lay beneath such passages, and are their justification and support, he either was not inclined or had not time to search for or meditate upon. The rich depths of the mine were left unexplored, while the glittering indications on the surface, of what might be found below, were gathered up and displayed as if they were the real treasures.
Now this is unpardonable injustice to Milton and to truth. It was due to Milton's noble qualities, as “ a Patriot, a Protestant, and a Nonconformist,” to exhibit his PRINCIPLES— to select from his works passages—and they are abundantwhich show clearly the grounds of his faith and practice as a Christian citizen, called, as he believed, to take a prominent part in effecting an ecclesiastical reform, and in the establishment of a free commonwealth. And to the interests of truth it was due, to show on what principles Milton's views of duty were based. The want of this not merely diminishes the value of the book, but makes its tendency positively pernicious. With the enemies of Milton's principles, it discredits them and him, and goes to foster and perpetuate an unworthy prejudice. In others, it debases the sentiments to which those principles give birth, by tearing them from their root in the principles themselves, and leaving them to be nourished only by the pestilential atmosphere of prejudice, passion, and partyism. It deprives the former of the benefits of meeting a noble adversary, and the latter of those that result from well fixed admiration and love. It dishonors truth among her enemies, and debases her among her friends.
The exhibition of Milton's principles and character as a Christian patriot, in a volume for popular use, is a task that deserves the attention of some better scholar and more thinking man. There are few writers, ancient or modern, who will so abundantly reward the attention of the young student who hopes to be of service to his country in political life; and notwithstanding Johnson's abuse—“ most malicious," as Cowper calls it--fewer still are the examples of such elevated, consistent, and model-like patriotism. It is foreign to our design, to enter at any length upon the subject