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except ye eat the flesh of the son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.” How easy to take either of these assertions, and to spin out a series of deductions as logical in their sound as are the dogmas of Emmons. The Roman Catholic writers do this, but we do not therefore applaud them for conforming their teaching to the Bible. Most unperverted readers of Scripture feel a difficulty when they come to these passages concerning Pharaoh, which are seized upon by Emmons, and it is because the whole impression made by the Bible—the entire drift and spirit of the sacred volume—is so diverse from their seeming import. Hence they look for an explanation. In these cases it is the business of an interpreter to proceed as he would in dealing with the passages which affirm the necessity of eating the body and drinking the blood of Christ. He must account for the phraseology which, if taken literally, subverts the ordinary teaching of the divine Word, and our primary convictions of truth or of right. Otherwise his mechanical fidelity to the Bible will grossly mislead his hearers.
There is one marked characteristic of the writings of Emmons which is obvious on every page. We mean his dogmatism. We like to have a public teacher speak as one having authority. To make the impression that the principles of religion are litigated points and the obligations of religion open to question, is of mischievous tendency. Firm convictions are necessary to the preacher who would reach the consciences of men. Still, everything is not settled. Some things are certain; others, more or less probable, while others, yet, are only possible. The light of revelation does not remove mysteries. They are found in connection with every doctrine of the Gospel. They meet us on every side. Now, Emmons is a preacher who appears to understand everything; to have misgivings nowhere. He speaks in the tone, though not with the ambiguity, of an oracle. We had noted passages illustrating our remark—as, for example, the information he gives, in various places, in regard to the number of the angels and their employments, in the manner of one who had recently taken a census of the celestial world and was quite conversant with its inhabitants. We once heard a lawyer who was led to study Emmons out of admiration for the simplicity of his style and the strength of his logic, somewhat irreverently observe that the Doctor always uttered himself as if he were a Cabinet Counselor of the Almighty. His positiveness, while it commanded the deference of the most, excites the distrust, and, perhaps, aversion, of a less numerous, but not less intelligent, class of minds.
In the foregoing observations we have touched upon various points among the many which are suggested by the perusal of this Memoir. Theological topics have drawn us away from
. other portions of the work, which are better fitted to engage the attention of most readers. Yet we have not touched upon several characteristic opinions of Emmons, including his idea that Christians are rewarded in heaven for the degree of holiness they possess, or according to their works, their sins being first remitted through the Atonement. Details of his domestic relations, and manners in the household, illustrations of his caustic wit, and other matters not less attractive, are fully presented in this complete biography. Its pages deserve the attention of Europeans who are curious to understand our peculiar religious life and the influences to which American power and progress are largely due. New Englanders, and all who care to trace the historical course of New England theology, will examine for themselves the volume which we have imperfectly sketched, but which the Author's name, with no aid from us, will sufficiently commend to the public notice. Upon the whole, Emmons merits the respect which he has generally gained even from those who strongly dissent from the supposed peculiarities of his system. For his vigorous understanding, his independent spirit of inquiry, his transparent honesty, his sincere devotion to his calling, the steadfast purity of his life, which was prolonged for near a century, and for the good he has done, he is entitled to his place among the masters of New England theology, whom, if we cannot follow implicitly, we ought at least to be able to appreciate.
ARTICLE VIII.—THE SOUTHERN APOLOGY FOR
Two Lectures on the Constitution of the United States. By
FRANCIS LIEBER, LL. D. New York. 1861. 8vo. pp. 48. The Union to be Preserved. A Discourse delivered at Lex
ington, Ky., on the day of the National Fast, January 4th,
1861. By ROBERT J. BRECKINRIDGE, D. D. A Vindication of Secession and the South : being a Review,
in the Southern Presbyterian for April, 1861, of Dr. Breckinridge's Sermon, and of an Article written by him, in the Danville Quarterly Review, for March, 1861. By B. M. PALMER, D.D., of New Orleans.
MR. JEFFERSON, writing from Paris, towards the close of 1787, and just after a copy of the new Constitution had reached him, uses the following language in reference to the insurrection of Shays: “God forbid we should ever be twenty years without such a rebellion." 66 We have had thirteen States independent for eleven years. There has been one rebellion. That comes to one rebellion in a century and a half, for each State. What country before ever existed a century and a half without a rebellion ? And what country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not warned, from time to time, that this people preserve the spirit of resistance ? Let them take arms. The remedy is, to set them right as to facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? [Should he not have said, “lost every twenty years ?"] The tree of Liberty must be refreshed, from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure."
These pious wishes for rebellion have not been fulfilled. The benign operation of that Constitution which Jefferson disliked, and which protects the States against this very evil, has secured peace within the States, unbroken save by the whisky rebellion of 1794, and the bloodless buzzing of the Dorr beetles, in 1842. But a new, and, as now appears, much graver danger arose from another quarter, from a conflict between the States and the government formed to protect them. A theory of the relations between the two, of which Jefferson was, in a sense, the originator, has been perfected since his time, and forming a partnership with a state of society and an institution peculiar to one section of the country, las ripened into the act of secession. There is no rebellion in this, it is contended; there can be none; no State can rebel against the United States. And this theory, which, in its germ, has been repudiated more than once, is now the living faith of the apparent majority in a large number of States united by common fears, passions, and interests. It is the source from which the leaders draw their arguments, whenever the controversy turns on political ethics. It has been extensively the doctrine which the young men of the South have learned at college, and into which unfledged politicians have been initiated, as the means of unsettling the country, should a necessity for such a step ever arrive. It has been, it would appear, the doctrine which clergymen have embraced, or to which they have been gradually coming, including even those who hold most rigidly that Adam made a covenant which his posterity could not nullify. “The Constitution,” they say, “was a league made between States as sovereign bodies, and thus has the nature of a treaty, rather than of an instrument of government. Infractions of the league place any of the individual members at entire liberty to withdraw from the confederacy. And the interpreting power, the settling of the question when sufficient reason exists for such an extreme step, pertains to each of the members which made the compact.” If, in the exercise of the right of sovereignty, any one or more of the members choose to leave the federal league, there can be no wrong in such an act, which is a mere resumption of delegated authority, and of course, therefore, the attempt at coercion, on the part of the other members to the compact, is highly criminal.
The sad events which are going on in our COUNTRY—a word which even secessionists have to use-(witness Dr. Thornwell's Article in the Southern Presbyterian Review, entitled “The State of the Country;" and the very first sentence of Dr. Palmer's Review of Dr. Breckinridge)--are the reductio ad absurdum to this theory, and have converted thousands, who had been half ensnared by it, to the old and sound doctrine. It is natural that much of the discussion in apology for the attitude of the unloyal States, and in condemnation of them, should turn on this point. The point has been fully discussed before, and, we may say, set at rest more than once; but, as the divine origin of Christianity is subject to new debates in each generation, and the same arguments are presented in a new form, so is it with the nature of our government: each generation in our history needs to be taught what the Constitution is, and what the framers of it understood it to be, at its formation. It is not novelty, but sound views, which are to be aimed at. The only novelty now, is that experiment is likely to testify, to all time, that a Constitution which mad factionists declare to be a rope of sand, is avenging its majesty, and showing that it has a solidity which will make the trial to break it, should it be successful or not, a costly one.
Dr. Lieber, in the two Lectures on the Constitution, which we have placed at the head of this Article, asks whether “the Constitution is a pact, a contract, a political partnership of contracting parties,” or whether it is “a framework of government for a united country,-a political organism of a people, with its own vitality and self-sufficing energy.” The answer is what might be expected from the sound sense, historical knowledge, and thorough comprehension of political subjects, which have given to the author so high a name, not only in our own country, but throughout Europe. To the two lectures is appended a speech delivered in South Carolina, before a Convention of Union men, in 1851, which treats, in a popular way, of the right and the policy of secession. From the discussion of the first of these points, we make a