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It was my original intention not to publish the following Lectures until they should appear as a part of the entire work on the connection between Science and Religion, which I am engaged in preparing. But I have been induced to change my purpose. They were delivered at the city of Washington in the early part of 1848, when the news reached this country apprising us of the commotions in Europe which have since formed a topic of absorbing interest to all intelligent observers of the times. The views which I have endeavored to illustrate on the relations of Civil Government to the Holy Scriptures, are thought to have an important bearing on the political revolutions then and still in progress; and, out of deference to the request of many for whose judgment and wishes I feel a high respect, I have decided to publish them in a volume by themselves. The circumstance of their having been delivered in the Capitol, before an audience composed chiefly of those who occupied the high places of authority in the land, may serve to show why I have made so frequent a reference to the privileges and responsibilities of our own country.
The publication of these Lectures in a separate volume, has afforded the more space for the notes which I have appended to them, and which will be acceptable to readers who may not have at hand all the authorities from which they are selected. There is one class of works to which I have referred, not only with a frequency but with a confidence, which some readers may be inclined to disapprove. I refer to the leading Periodicals of the Press, as the American and Foreign Quarterlies. On many subjects, especially such as are of high interest to the public welfare at the present time, there is no better authority extant. A new era in authorship has arisen. The generations of folios have in a great measure passed away. These “sons of Anak” no longer weigh down the shelves of libraries, or burden the arms of
readers, as in former times. In their stead has arisen a generation of duodecimos and octavos, sometimes springing from the bowels of their unwieldy ancestors, and again coming into life and forming an entirely new race. Among these, our periodicals take a high stand. They are the channels through which the intellect of our day pours forth many of its best 'treasures. They are no longer mere finger posts, pointing us to the stores of knowledge. They contain the mine in themselves. The world is no loser by this change. There are many able men who are masters of some important questions whose knowledge would die with them, if they had not an article in some modern quarterly, or monthly, or weekly, as a means of communication with the public. The periodicals have thus become enriched with contributions to the stock of knowledge, till there is no subject in divinity or philosophy, ethics or politics, which they have not treated with great ability, and on which they do not form a valuable reference. The writers give us not only their own views, but the views of other men; and generally not diluted, but rather distilled and condensed.
Among the other authorities to which I have referred, either in the body of the Lectures or in the Notes, and to wnich I feel myself indebted, are, Selden De Synedriis et Præfecturis Juridicis Veterum EbræorumLowman on the Hebrew Government-Adams' Defence of the American Constitution-Paley's Moral Philosophy-Dwight's Theology-Michaelis' Commentaries on the Laws of MosesJahn's Archæology–Story on the Constitution of the United States—Kent's Commentaries -Chateaubriand's Beauties of ChristianityDe Tocqueville's Democracy in AmericaBrougham's Political Philosophy–Hallam’s Introduction to the Literature of the Middle Ages -Alison's History of Europe--and Macauley's History of England. To these I will add the name of Professor Wines. Although his lectures on the Hebrew Commonwealth have not yet been given from the press, they have been delivered in many of our principal cities, and have been received with an attention which was creditable to the public taste. I hope in due time to have the pleasure of reading what I have heard with profit and pleasure. The lectures of Professor Wines would form a