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state that inflicts the punishment-took a deep hold on thinking and serious minds. Years before the Declaration of Independence, the injustice of slavery and the inhumanity of the slave trade had been proclaimed in sermons from pulpit and published in pamphlets from the press. Perhaps the majority of the New England pastors, like Hopkins and Stiles, were or had been owners of slaves, but in the progress of the discnssion concerning human rights-a discussion that was felt to be ethical and religious as well as political—they did not shrink from making the obvious application of their principles to the question of negro slavery. We have seen no evidence that at any time there was anything like a controversy among the pastors or in the churches, on that question. Hopkins, indeed, says, in a letter to Granville Sharp, that when he first preached on the subject, “he was, so far as he then knew, almost alone in his opposition to the slave trade and the slavery of the Africans.” But he was always prone to think himself almost alone, like the prophet in the desert who said, “I only am left;" and yet he is constrained to acknowledge that he had better success than he expected,” and that “most of his hearers were convinced that it was a very wrong and wicked practice.” He says that the course which he took made him enemies in the town, but he says nothing of any opposition in his own parish, and Prof. Park makes out only that “one wealthy family left his congregation in disgust” at his preaching on that subject. What pastor was there in New England five and twenty years ago, who did not lose more than that by preaching for the Temperance Reformation ?
Dr. Hopkins's first publication against slavery, the “Dialogue” printed at Norwich, early in 1776, had been preceded by the publication of a sermon which his intimate friend Dr. Hart of Preston, (now Griswold,) in Connecticut, had preached “ to the corporation of freemen in Farmington,” his native town, at their autumnal town meeting in 1774. But Hart's doctrine could not be considered altogether new or unpopular among patriotic Americans, for at the time when he preached it and published it, the Continental Congress in Philadelphia was taking the first step towards in
dependence by framing the Articles which were to be the basis of an "American Association ” pledged to a commercial non-intercourse with Great Britain ; and in one of those articles the slave trade was denounced, and an entire abstinence from it and from all trade with those who were concerned in it was provided for. To this Hopkins refers, when he says to the same Congress, eighteen months afterwards, in the dedication of his Dialogue on slavery, “You have had the honor and the happiness of leading these colonies to resolve to stop the slave trade.” The sentiment of Rhode Island at that time is inanifest in the fact, mentioned in the same pamphlet, that the legislature of that colony had already prohibited the importation of slaves. What the popular feeling was in all the colonies from New Hampshire to North Carolina, is evident from those memorable words which Jefferson incorporated in the original draught of the Declaration of Independence, and which, as Jefferson himself testifies, were struck out by the Congress "in complaisance to South Carolina and Georgia, who had never attempted to restrain the importation of slaves."* At the date of the Declaration of Independence, or within ten years afterwards, tbe importation of slaves was strictly prohibited in all the states save Georgia and the Carolinas, and even in North Carolina it was discouraged by a heavy duty laid expressly for that purpose. Yet, notwithstanding these historic facts, which have great ethical as well as political importance, the Minister's Wooing is teaching tens of thousands to believe that so lately as the year 1795, cargoes of slaves, direct from Africa, were imported into Rhode Island. *
* In these days of wide apostasy from the principles held and professed by the great men of our revolution, those words, written by Jefferson and reported to the Congress by Franklin, Sherman, John Adams, and Robert R. Livingstone, cannot be too often repeated.
“He (the King of Great Britain) has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating its most sacred rights of life and liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating and carrying them into captivity in another hemisphere, or to incur miserable death in their transportation thither. This piratical warfare, the opprobrium of infidel powers, is the warfare of the CHRISTIAN King of Great Britain. Determined to keep open a market where MEN should be bought and sold, he has prostituted his negative for suppressing every legislative attempt to prohibit or restrain this execrable commerce. And that this assemblage of horrors might want no fact of distinguished dye, he is now exciting those very people to rise in arms among us, and to purchase that liberty of which he has deprived them by murdering the people on whom he bas obtruded them: thus paying off former crimes against the liberties of one people with crimes which he urges them to commit against the lives of another."
But the greatness of the anachronism and the injustice which it does to the state of Rhode Island and to New England, are not fairly represented till we remember that long before the date of the story, not only had the importation of slaves been prohibited, but the abolition of slavery itself had been ordained by legislative power, or incorporated into the fundamental law, in all the New England States, Rhode Island not excepted. Nay, in Rhode Island, especially, the popular sentiment of opposition to slavery was, from the earliest agitation of the subject, clear and strong. Laws providing for the abolition of slavery were enacted by Connecticut and Rhode Island almost simultaneously, in 1784. But from the first national census, taken in 1790, it appears that while the black and colored persons in Rhode Island were at that time more than 6 per cent. of the entire population, and the same class in Connecticut were less than 3 per cent., more than threefourths of the former were already free, while of the latter almost one half were still counted as slaves. The strength of Quaker influence in Rhode Island, together with the original
After the peace of 1783, and especially after the establishment of the Federal Constitution, the importation of slaves into South Carolina and Georgia became a great and lucrative business, and so continued until the year 1808, when the power of Congress over that importation became complete. During all that period, the slave trade was carried on by Northern men and in vessels that sailed from Northern ports. Newburyport in Massachusetts, and Bristol and Newport in Rhode Island, shared in the infamy, but Newport most of all. All that while the slave trade and slavery were under the ban of public opinion, but the states which had abolished slavery could not, by any state legislation, effectually restrain their own citizens from participation in the carrying trade between the coast of Guinea and the ports of South Carolina and Georgia. Even when the power of Congress over the slave trade had come to maturity and had been exercised in stringent prohibition, some of the same men, it is believed, continued to pursue the nefarious business, as merchants in New York now do in evasion of laws which cannot be openly defied.
genius of the colony, (inspired, from the first, more than any other New England community, with a passion for abstract and absolute liberty,) had coöperated with the early efforts of Hopkins to bring about this result.
We impute to the gifted author of the work before is no intentional injustice. Nor will we venture to say that the liberties she has taken both with the facts and with the personages of history may not be vindicated by the example of other illustrious writers in the department of historic fiction. But we cannot refrain from expressing our regret that the charmed readers of the Minister's Wooing, unless they happen to be fresh in their recollection of our civil and religious history, are so sure to receive erroneous impressions not only in regard to the personal character of such men as Hopkins and Stiles, but also in regard to a more important matter. The reader who assumes that Mrs. Stowe has not changed the facts of history into fable, but has only taken them as the firm material which she was to illustrate and adorn from the resources of her creatire mind,- will of course believe that the same atrocious heresies about slavery, which are now current in every part of the country, and which utter themselves so insolently in high places of influence, were equally current and equally insolent seventy years ago. Such a belief is not only false but unjust and mischievous. Such a belief, whosoever may entertain it, and from whatsoever source it may be derived, strengthens the hands of those who, with base and wicked purposes, are continually representing that-not the modern patronage of slavery in the dishonored names of democracy and the Union, and in the profaned name of “evangelical Christianity”—but the modern opposition to slavery on political, moral, and religious principles—is a novelty. Had the author of this book attempted only to illustrate history, incorporating facts and dates into her fiction without change-as a naturalist from a few bones reconstructs the entire skeleton of an extinct animal—or as an artist from a half buried ruin and a half intelligible description, produces a “restoration” of some temple or palace that perished long ago—she might have imposed upon herself a far more arduous task, but the work, accomplished, wonld have been a far higher achievement.
ARTICLE VII.—SIR WILLIAM HAMILTON'S LECTURES ON
Lectures on Metaphysics and Logic. By Sir William Hamil
TON, Bart. Edited by the Rev. HENRY L. MANSEL, B. D., Oxford, and John VETTCH, M. A., Edinburgh. In two Volumes. Vol. I, Metaphysics. Boston: Gould & Lincoln. 1859. pp. 718.
THE Metaphysics of Hamilton is the crowning glory of Scotch philosophy. It fills up much that was wanting, and corrects much that was wrong; adorning it, moreover, with the refinements of scholarship. Nor do we regard this latter cir. cumstance of small moment. Intimate acquaintance with the great masters of the world of thonght, in case it does not overpower, polishes the mind, and imparts a certain grace of manner to all that it does. The precise influence of a university education upon the tone of thinking cannot be completely expressed, because language has not words to describe all the minute and insensible effects which come from the daily contact of many minds engaged in liberal studies; yet it exists, and its presence is everywhere felt. So it is in that larger university of scholars where the great original thinkers and polishers of thought meet together. There is an inexpressible charm in the writings of such men. Hamilton was one of them; and he was both scholar and teacher. He had mastered Aristotle and Plato without being mastered; he had stood beside the great schoolmen as their peers; he was at home with Descartes and Leibnitz, with Kant and Schelling and Hegel, with the whole family of the great continental thinkers, and that as one of the household. It is this kind of scholarship which gives the peculiar charm and polish to the writings before ns. They abound in the best thoughts of the great masters of thought through the successive ages of mentranslated, indeed, but in the footnotes often appearing in the