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this expression and action of sympathy, this great union and effort for the advancement of those interests, which should be at once the highest and the paramount interests of childhood, and youth, and old age, of those of all grades of intellect, and of all conditions in society, - these seem to me to constitute the excellence and glory of our Sunday schools. In ten of the Sunday schools in our connexion in the city, we bave 291 teachers, and 1632 pupils; and not a few of these children are from some of the poorest families among us, in which, without this institution, they would have received no religious instruction.
What a means,
therefore, have we here for carrying out the Christian doctrine of human brotherhood; the great, the morally sublime inculcation of Jesus, He that would be greatest among you all, let him be the least of all, and the servant of all! Here is the great lesson which should for ever be before the eyes and heart of the Sunday School Teacher, who would most effectually accomplish the great objects of his office. And let this lesson be learned, and faithfully practised, and new modes will be discovered of acting upon the minds and hearts of childhood, in the dispensation of religious instruction. Let this lesson be well learned and practised, and with it we shall acquire new power
and means of giving an interest and an attraction to religious instruction. And let connexion with children, in this employment, lead teachers, wherever they have reason to believe it may be useful, to connexion with the parents of the children they instruct, for mutual knowledge and aid in regard to religious instruction, and the hopes of teachers and parents, to a greatly increased extent, will become realities. The ministry at large has, in our Sunday Schools, great facilities for its operations; and it has been among its objects to build up these schools, and to increase their efficiency as nurseries of religion and virtue. They are means of our own closer religious connexion with those whom we serve in our office ; and may be means to any, who may be disposed to avail themselves of them, for a similar connexion.
The sentiment hardly requires illustration, that the constitution of society, and its tendencies, even under our free institutions, and with all the lights and aids we have obtained from Christianity, are of a character which calls for the strictest vigilance, even if it does not justify strong and most painful apprehensions. It is indeed most apparent, and it would be very absurd to close our eyes or thoughts against the fact, that, within the freest institutions of the world, may be concealed the principles of the wildest anarchy, and of the most uncompromising despotism. The freest institutions of the world may become the nurseries, the hot-beds, of the most selfish and unprincipled ambition, of the most eager cupidity of wealth, and of every narrow interest and lawless passion, by which individual character may be degraded, and the very foundations of society unsettled and broken up. What, I ask, are the bonds of our civil union; or what are those of our religious connexions ? What principles are generally discarded by us as unjust, either in our political plans or ends, or in looking at interests in one and another of the great departments of industrial enterprise, because they are inconsistent with a prevailing sense of acknowledged equal moral rights, and because Christianity therefore frowns upon, and condemns them ? And how many are the connexions of the classes of society among us, and the intercommunications between them, which would not continue to be what they are, without a reference to any bigher than immediate, and personal, or political objects? I have no ambition for the office of a censor of principles and manners. But if it be true, as I believe it is, that our government, and all our free institutions, are yet but experiments, and not settled results ; — if it be true that our government is now in open conflict with itself and with the people, and that the people are in equally open conflict with themselves and with the government; if, instead of advancing in an identity of sympathies and interests in our various great circles of enterprise, and throughout the increasing subdivisions of employment among us, we are dividing and separating upon the principle, that our interests are not to be harmonized, and ihat each is therefore to be maintained by conflict, and to prosper only by victory; — and, moreover, if the rights of property, and of personal security, and of religious freedom, may be violated by mobs either in broad day, or at midnight, and decided by conflagration, or by other forms of outrage and violence; - then, I ask, what is the ground of our confidence, either of the long continuance of the union of the States, or of the permanence of those free institutions of which we boast as the greatest of our national blessings ? There is no wilder delusion under which a community ever
existed, than that of the belief that a vicious, a corrupt, and a divided society, can very long continue to be free. The idea of freedom as necessarily comprebends virtue as one of its elements, — nay, it as necessarily comprehends virtue as the element of its very vitality, as it comprehends the idea of exemption from manacles and fetters of iron. This is a great truth ; and it should be one of the first lessons inculcated and impressed upon the young, and one of the last to be lost sight of even in the last stage in the journey of life. Virtue, in its very essence, implies freedom; freedom of thought, of choice, and of will ; and there can be no virtue without this freedom. It is, however, equally to be remembered, — for mistake on this subject may be fatal, and not only to individuals, but to communities, - that ihe action of thought, and of choice, and of the will, wbich is independent of virtue, and which disregards the lights and aids, the rules and ends of virtue, is, not freedom, but its greatest abuse and perversion. It not only is not freedom, but its necessary tendency is to anarchy, licentiousness, and every possible crime and misery. - The extreme of a thing,” says the profound Bishop Butler, “not only
not only is not that thing, but it is the very opposite of it.” And what or where is the virtue, which will give so high a character, and so effectual a security to freedom, as that of Christianity ? Let those who call themselves Christians be what their religion would make them, and freedom will be found among them, and security, and general prosperity and happiness, such as yet have never been found in any community. Who will not say, that this is indeed true? I reply, then, if it be true, and if other means of the greatest personal and social good have been found ineffectual and inadequate, why should we not set ourselves to the work at once of becoming betier Christians, - more true to our religion, as the means of securing these greater blessings ?
There is no form of infidelity which has done, or is doing, any thing to check the progress of Christianity, compared with what has been done, and is doing, first, by the contradiction which is so manifest between the professions and lives of Christians ; and, secondly, by the prevailing skepticism among Christians, first, of ihe possibility of any bigher attainments than have yet been made in Christian practice, and, secondly, of any nearer approximation than has
yet been made to the objects of the Gospel. Nothing, indeed, can be more obvious, than is the fact, tbat, glorious as are the individual characters which our religion has formed, and great as bave been the improvements wbich it has extended to society, it bas yet done little in comparison with what it proposes to do; and little in comparison with what its believers think that it would do, if it exerted a greater influence upon those who receive it. Why, then, is not this greater infuence exerted ? And where, or how, shall we look for a better exertion of it ?
Here is a very wide field, not only for speculation, but for the most important practical lessons which can be learned by us.
I cannot here discuss the topics which are thus suggested. But will you
allow me to say, ihat, should the union which has been formed in our churches, for the support of a ministry at large in our city, be followed out, in these churches, as it should be, by making this ministry a medium of connexion and intercourse, and of higher Christian sentiments and sympathies, between the more and less favored classes in our community, I believe, and doubi not, that this union may be the means of a very great advancement of the Christian character among us, and thus of obtaining some of the highest objects of our religion. Nay, I believe that the moral good of this connexion, and the happiness consequent upon it, will be quite as great to those who serve, as to those who shall be served in it. — Let the principles be our starting points in this enterprise, - for with any other we may soon be discouraged, and shall at best do but liitle, — that their is po good to ourselves within human attainment, to be compared with that of our own daily advancement to a higher and
purer virtue; and that we can in no way minister to so gr«at a good to others, as through the influence, in ourselves, of a character, the simple and true virtue of which shall be felt by those with whom we may have intercourse. You have recognised the demand of the Gospel for an extended administration of our religion in our city. You have recognised the principle, that one of your responsibilities for your own Christian privileges, is, the widest extension which can be given of these privileges to those about yoll, who have them not. The measure by which you have expressed these recognitions, seems to me to be very far the most important which has for a long while been
taken by our churches. It is important, because it may lead, and, if on both sides we shall be faithful, it can scarcely fail to lead, to widely extended and most beneficial consequences to ourselves and to all about us. But your duty will be very partially done by a mere provision for the ministry. A very far greater work remains for you. I can say for my colleagues, as well as for myself, that either and each of us will be ready, at any time, and in any way, either to aid you, or to act for you, in any department of the service.
JOSEPH TUCKERMAN. Boston, September, 1834.
Art. VII. - Phrenology, or the Doctrine of the Mental ART
Phenomena. By G. SPURZHEIM, M. D. of the Universities of Vienna and Paris, and Licentiate of the Royal College of Physicians, London. In 2 vols. First American Edition. Greatly improved by the Author, from the Third London Edition. Boston. Marsh, Capen, and Lyon. 1832. 8vo.
“All our philosophy," said the sprightly Fontenelle, “is the result of excessive curiosity and imperfect vision." If this account be true of philosophy in general, it is éminently true of those speculations concerning matter and spirit, their relation to each other and their connexion in man, which, at almost every period in the history of thought, have occupied the transcendental inquirer. For, while subjects of this sort are peculiarly adapted to excite curiosity and to interest the imagination, they are of all subjects the most perplexing, and have hitherto baffled alike all the powers of sense and all the resources of conjecture.
Yet it is precisely such subjects as these, that philosophy has ever loved to entangle herself withal. Ever since the time of Thales, and how much earlier, — in the twilight of Indian, Egyptian, or Persian antiquity, — we cannot say, the relation of matter and spirit has been a vexed topic, and a cardinal question in metaphysics. Whether, indeed, there be any two such distinct agencies as these terms imply, or
N. S. VOL. XII. NO. II.