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MORAL CHARACTERISTICS OF THE ENGLISH.

[LEc. IX.

infancy. And such was the case as to the ancestors of the English, of whom it is written, that “ their laws were severe,

and vices not laughed at; and good customs were of greater authority with them, than elsewhere were good laws; no temporizing for favour, nor usury for gain." It need not be remarked, with regard to their descendants, that their probity is remarked, and depended upon, all over the world. It may not, of course, have, in every instance, been so complete as is desirable; but still it is distinguished, and has greatly conduced to procure them influence both as individuals and as a nation. It is true, the Jews are represented as not being so strict in thei observance of truth, as might he expected from the training they enjoyed. Supposing the accusation to be correct, something must be allowed for the deteriorating circumstances in which, as an oppressed people, they have long been placed : whilst their brethren of the house of Israel, have been rather enjoying a kind of supremacy over other people. But even at an early period, the two houses were distinguished by different names, correspondent to their different character; the one being called treacherous Judah, and the other backsliding Israel. --(See Jer. chap, iii.)

A wayward independent spirit ; a stiff-neckedness of disposition ; abuse of the tendency to exercise rule; is very much complained of in Scripture, as belonging to Israel; and the same self-esteem and firmness are no less remarkable among many of their English descendants. The independent spirit of the latter, in respect to government, has been such as to procure them, from Defoe, more than a century ago, the following character: "No government could ever please them

long, Could tie their hands, or rectify their tongue; In this to ancient Israel well compared, Eternal murmurs are among them heard."

This murmuring, however, seems in a great measure, to have risen, not merely from their self-will, but also

from that prospectiveness so cultivated in ancient Israel, by the prophets, and by the whole tendency of their institutions. These looked forward, at least, as much as backward ; not merely as serving as a chronicle or record of the Lord's past kindness to them ; but as indicators of the far greater goodness he would yet bestow. Accustomed to occupy their minds upon future national events, and to form an opinion of what ought to be, they have been the more ready to find fault with the measures of government,—these, of course, not always corresponding to then- individual anticipations. They may have been the more induced to take habitually an interest in national concerns, from the fact of its having been continually impressed upon them, that they were dealt with by Providence, not merely as individuals, but as a nation :

:-that the people were responsible for the conduct of the rulers, as well as the rulers for the conduct of the people. – Their interests were one, and the oversight mutual.

Israel, we have said, were ever taught to look forward : they were ever in a course of instruction, and a spirit of change was produced in them which has continued down, throughout all their wanderings, to these their remote posterity; in whom a restless spirit of improvement is most remarkable ; and, of itself, distinguishes these, the Anglo-Saxon descendants, and their European brethren and American children generally, from all other people. The history of their constitution, their religion, their sciences, their arts, their literature,—of all connected with them, is, almost without exception, an exemplification of this most important law of their nature. Every thing is, with them, progressive, and, at the same time, wonderfully continuous. All which is most consistent both with their origin, and the training which, in their fathers, they received ; and also, with God's expressed design of making them the instructors of the world.

Benevolence,—a hearty interest in

an

LEC. ix.]

THEIR INTELLECTUAL CHARACTERISTICS.

101

the welfare of others, of strangers as well as of kindred, was especially needful for them to possess, as occupying this important relation to the other branches of the human family: and this important gift was bestowed. They were taught to look to each other's good : to contribute systematically to the relief of the poor. When in devotion they looked up to the Most High, they were taught to look compassionately down upon the meanest around them; and, by liberality to the poor and needy, to express their thankfulness to God, the Giver of all good. They were given to see the claims their kindred had upon them ; and they were also made to know the heart of a stranger: and so, with regard to the Anglo-Saxons, it is said, that they even received all comers into their houses, and entertained them in the best manner their circumstances would allow. This hospitality was, doubtless abused, when they became intermingled with strangers; and restrictions were necessarily adopted. The modern English, although not so extravagant, are still remarkable for their good will. They are, perhaps, the most genuinely benevolent people on the face of the globe. Their own poor they support systematically ; and the poor of other countries they have frequently assisted in the most liberal manner. Not seldom have they a good deal embroiled themselves in the quarrels of their neighbours; as taking a hearty interest in their welfare, and as desirous of putting them to rights. Their benevolence has latterly been most delightfully exercised, in earnest endeavours to benefit the whole human race with the riches of divine truth, which have been so entrusted to their distribution. They have, at the same time, been endeavouring to break every bond, as in the case of the previously enslaved negroes ; and they have done much to confer upon the nations the blessings of an enlightened education and a free constitution. Speaking thus, we do not speak of every individual of the English nation ; but benevolence, a generous interest in the welfare of

others, is undoubtedly a national characteristic, no less than the tendencies that dispose, and, in some measure, qualify, for rule.

This is the race who have shown that cultivation of the Reasoning Power which was so carefully bestowed upon Israel; that tendency to look to causes and effects, which is so useful, either as enquiring into the natural laws for the furtherance of Science, or as applying knowledge thus acquired, to the producing useful inventions, for the improvement of the Arts; for the lessening the evils, increasing the comforts, or gratifying the intellectual taste of man; and in no branch of the human family may we find the pleasing and the useful, so agreeably combined. They are well qualified to be the grand producers of good to man, as well as its most liberal distributors. It need scarcely be observed, that the other intellectual qualities that were more particularly cultivated in Israel;—such as the power of measuring distances, or judging of proportions; and also that of drawing analogies and contrasts, of readily judging, and clearly illustrating ;—qualities of mind so necessary to a people who were to bear an important relation to man universally,—that of instructors, administrators of the manifold wisdom of God : these were, and still are, equally the characteristics of the Anglo-Saxon race, with those we have already pointed out. And, as yet, their natural taste for symmetry, their extreme regard to order, their capacity for enjoying the Double (Job xi. 6.Is. lxi. 7.—Zech. ix. 12,) will receive abundant gratification from that word of God, that bread of life, which they have now, in truth, begun to deal out to others.

The words which the mouth of the Lord hath spoken, are not to be dealt with as if they were mere words. We are earnestly to seek to enjoy them for ourselves ; and to deal them out, in all their richness of meaning, unto others. “ The liberal soul shall be made fat, and he that watereth others, shall be watered also himself."

LECTURE X.

THE IDENTIFICATION:—SOCIAL AND POLITICAL RELATIONS.

Is. lviii. 9—12.

“ If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke,
The putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity.

And thou draw out thy soul to the hungry,
And satisfy the afflicted soul.
Then shall thy light rise in ohscurity ;
And thy darkness be as the noon-day.
And the Lord shall guide thee continually,
And satisfy thy soul in drought,
And make fat thy bones;

And thou shalt be like a watered garden;
And like a spring of water whose waters fail not.
And of thee shall build the old waste places ;
Thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations ;
And thou shalt be called the Repairer of the breach-
The Restorer of paths to dwell in."

Supposed Ferocity of the ancient Saxons and Danes accounted for.—Analogous Case of the Cossacks, inhabiting the same Country from which the Saxons came, and apparently of the same Race.—Saxons' Respect for Woman.--Their Marriage Ceremonies derived from Israel.—Relation of Parent and Child.—Avenging of Blood.

Voluntary Associations.Institution, by Moses, of Elective Government.—Correspondent arrangement among

the Anglo-Saxons.—Israelitish Character of their Constitution, by two old Authors.—Plainly of Israelitish Origin; and otherwise unaccounted for.—Common Law.—National Chronicles. -Conclusion :--Their Social Institutions, equally with their Personal Character, witness to the truth of their Israelitish Origin.

To the representations made in the last Lecture, with regard to the natural benevolence of the Anglo-Saxon race, it may perhaps be objected, that in the early history of both the Saxons and the Danes, there seems to have been manifested considerable ferocity of disposition. This, however, can be accounted for without supposing them to possess a predominant propensity to cruelty. Their very best feelings were, before their coming into Britain, so turned to evil, as mainly to conduce to such description of conduct. Their admission into the hall of Odin, the

father of slaughter, and god of fire and desolation; and all their future happiness,—depended, they were taught to believe, upon the violence of their own death, and the number of their enemies they had slain in battle. This belief inspired them with a contempt of life,

,-a fondness for a violent death, and a thirst for blood, which happily are unknown in the present times. Thus that association of the warlike propensities with the higher religious sentiments,—which was produced in them when their nation was young, when, under the leading of the Lord

LEC. x.]

SUPPOSED FEROCITY OF THE SAXONS.

103

of hosts, they went forth to execute the sentence of extermination upon the wicked nations of Canaan; and which was also afterwards manifested in the wars of David,—that connection of valour and veneration, still existed, but in a depraved state, and with unhappy results, correspondent to the change in their object of worship. We have also before hinted, that then- very sense of justice may, in many instances, have had much to do with their deeds of violence.

They had been robbed of their country by the Romans, and obliged to take refuge in the inhospitable north, where they were crowded together without the possibility of maintaining their existence, except as turning back upon the Roman provinces, and serving themselves therefrom, as best they could. And, in such cases, the pusillanimous people who supported the proud oppressor, might expect to suffer, as well as that oppressor himself: and, the habit of committing violence being acquired, it was easily transferred to other cases, in which there was not the same excuse.

That their courage was more that of principle, than of mere animal ferocity, is evident from the fact of their so soon settling down into a state of peace, after their conversion to Christianity. They then poured the energies of their minds into the more tranquil exercises of religion, with an enthusiasm equal to that with which they had devoted themselves to war. They then attempted conquests of another kind; and became, many of them, the most active and efficient missionaries among other nations, and especially in the north of Europe. It seems also to have been at the instigation of one of them, Alcuinus, that Charlemagne established so many facilities for learning and science on the Continent, and especially in Germany, -which have produced such a powerful influence upon the human mind ever since.

The case of the Anglo-Saxons, at this period of their history, seems to be considerably illustrated by that of

the Cossacks,—who inhabit the same country as that in which we have supposed Israel to have dwelt, in the early part of their sojourn in the north country, and from which the Saxons came ;—that is, near the mouth of the Don, and along the back of the Black Sea. These people have got the credit of being wild and savage:—and they certainly are dangerous enemies, and they do not well brook oppression: so much is this their character, that, even under the despotism of Russia, they form among themselves a kind of republic, and have much the same free and liberal institutions as the English have, and which seem to be natural to the Saxon race generally, and most important of which, we shall see they possess in common with ancient Israel.

"Nothing has contributed more to aug. ment the colony of Don Cossacks, than the freedom they enjoy. Surrounded by systems of slavery, they offer the singular spectacle of an increasing republic ; like a nucleus, putting forth its roots and ramifications to all parts of an immense despotic empire, which considers it a wise policy to promote their increase, and to guarantee their privileges."

"Some of the public edifices in Tscherchaskoy, (their capital,) are as follow :--

“ The Chancery, in which the administration of justice, and all other public business, is carried on. One room in it is appropriated to their assembly for public debates, which much resembles our House of Commons. When a general assembly is convened, it consists of a president, with all the generals, colonels, and staff-officers, who hold councils, not merely of war, but of all affairs relating to the public welfare.

"Another court of justice, called Selvesnesut, which signifies justice by word. The assemblies here, answer to our quartersessions. Parties who have any disagreement meet, with their witnesses, and state their grievances. Each receives a hearing, and afterwards justice is decided.

“ The Public Academy, in which their youth receive instruction in geometry, mechanics, physic, geography, history, arithmetic, &c.

“ The Apothecaries' Hall.

“ The Town Hall, of the eleven stanitzas into which the town is divided." Clarke's Travels.

LECTURE X.

THE IDENTIFICATION:-SOCIAL AND POLITICAL RELATIONS.

Is. LVIII. 9-12.

“ If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke,
The putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity.

And thou draw out thy soul to the hungry,
And satisfy the afflicted soul.
Then shall thy light rise in obscurity ;
And thy darkness be as the noon-day.
And the Lord shall guide thee continually,
And satisfy thy soul in drought,
And make fat thy bones;

And thou shalt be like a watered garden ;
And like a spring of water whose waters fail not.
And of thee shall build the old waste places ;
Thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations ;
And thou shalt be called the Repairer of the breach-
The Restorer of paths to dwell in."

Supposed Ferocity of the ancient Saxons and Danes accounted for.Analogous Case of the Cossacks, inhabiting the same Country from which the Saxons came, and apparently of the same Race.-Saxons' Respect for Woman.-Their Marriage Ceremonies derived from Israel.–Relation of Parent and Child.--Avenging of Blood. — Voluntary Associations.Institution, by Moses, of Elective Government.--Correspondent arrangement among the Anglo-Saxons.—Israelitish Character of their Constitution, by two old Authors.—Plainly of Israelitish Origin ; and otherwise unaccounted for. Common Law.-National Chronicles. -Conclusion :--Their Social Institutions, equally with their Personal Character, witness to the truth of their Israelitish Origin.

To the representations made in the last Lecture, with regard to the natural benevolence of the Anglo-Saxon race, it may perhaps be objected, that in the early history of both the Saxons and the Danes, there seems to have been manifested considerable ferocity of disposition. This, however, can be accounted for without supposing them to possess a predominant propensity to cruelty. Their very best feelings were, before their coming into Britain, so turned to evil, as mainly to conduce to such description of conduct. Their admission into the hall of Odin, the

father of slaughter, and god of fire and desolation; and all their future happiness,—depended, they were taught to believe, upon the violence of their own death, and the number of their enemies they had slain in battle. This belief inspired them with a contempt of life,-a fondness for a violent death, and a thirst for blood, which happily are unknown in the present times, Thus that association of the warlike propensities with the higher religious sentiments,—which was produced in them when their nation was young, when, under the leading of the Lord

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