Графични страници
PDF файл

with angels, the fpirits of the saints and their departed friends. That they speak with divers kind of tongues in their public assemblies. That it is lawful to practise vocal music with dancing in the Christian churches, if it be praaised in praising the Lord. That their church is come out of the order of natural generation, to be as Christ was; and that those who have wives are 'as though they had none. That by these means heaven begins upon earth, and they thereby lose their earthly and sensual relation to Adam the first, and come to be transparent in their ideas, in the bright and heavenly visions of God. That some of their people are of the number of the hundred and forty-four thousand, who were redecmed from the earth, and were not defiled with women. That the word everlasting, when applied to the punishment of the wicked, means only a limited period, except in the case of those robo fall from their church; and that for such there is no forgiveness, neither in this world nor that which is to come.

That it is unlawful to swear, game, or use compli. ments--and that water baptism and the Lord's Supper are abolished. That Adam's fin is not imputed to his pofterity—and that the doctrines of election and reprobation are to be rejected."

The discipline of this denomination is founded on the supposed perfection of their leaders. The Mother, or the Elect Lady, it is said, obeys God through Christ. European elders obey her. American labourers;

. and common people obey them: while confession is made of every secret thing, from the oldest to the youngest. The people are made to believe that they are seen through and through in the gospel glass of perfection, by their teachers, who behold the state of the dead, and innumerable worlds of spirits good and bad.

These people are generally instructed to be very induftrious, and to bring in according to their ability, to keep up the meeting. They vary in their exercises. Their heavy dancing, as it is called, is performed by a perpetual springing from the house floor, about four inches up and down, both in the mens and womens apartment, moving about with extraordinary transport, singing fometimes one at a time, sometimes


This elevation affects the nerves, so that they have intervals of puddering, as if they were in a strong fit of the ague, they sometimes clap hands and leap so as to strike the joifts above their heads. They throw off their outside garments in these exercises, and spend their strength Very cheerfully this way. Their chief speaker often calls for attention ; when they all stop and hear fome harangue, and then fall to dancing again. They assert that their dancing is the token of the great joy and happiness of the new Jerusalem ftate, and denotes the victory over VOLI 3 E

fins * H. Adams's “ View of Religions." Article Shakers,

fin. One of the postures which increases among them, is turning round very swift for an hour or two. This, they say, is to show the great power of God,

They sometimes fall on their knees and make a sound like the roaring of many waters, in groans and cries to God, as they fay, for the wicked world who persecute them. *


JEW9. The Jews are not numerous in the United States. They have, however, synagogues at Savannah, Charleston, South Carolina) Philadelphia, New York, and Newport. Besides those who reside at these places, there are others scattered in different towns in the United States.

The Jews in Charlefion, among other peculiarities in burying their dead, have these : After the funeral dirge is fung, and just before the corpse is deposited in the grave, the coffin is opened, and a small bag of earth, taken from the grave, is carefully put under the head of the deceased; then some powder, said to be earth brought from Jerusalem, and carefully kept for this purpose, is taken and put upon the eyes of the corpse, in token of their remembrance of the holy land, and of their expectations of returning thither in God's appointed time.

The articles of their faith are well known, and therefore need no defcription. They generally expect a glorious return to the Hely Land, when they shall be exalted above all the nations of the earth. And they flatter themselves that the period of their return will speedily arrive, though they do not venture to fix the precise time.

The whole number of persons who profess the Jewish religion, in all parts of the world, is supposed to be about three millions, who, as their phrase is, are witnesses of the unity of God in all the nations in the world.

Besides the religious sects here enumerated, there are a few of the Gero man inhabitants in Pennsylvania, who are styled SwINSEILDIANS, and, in Maryland, a small number called Nicolises or New QUAKERS; but the distinguishing sentiments of these fects are not material, conhiting chiefly of a few peculiarities.


[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]


N addition to what we have already written of the discovery and

settlement of North America, we shall give a brief history of the kate war with Great Britain, with a sketch of the events which preceded and prepared the way for the revolution. This general view of the history of the United States will serve as a suitable introduction to the particular histories of the several states, which will be given in their proper places.

America was originally peopled by uncivilized nations, which lived mostly by hunting and fishing. The Europeans, who first visited these fhores, treating the natives as wild beasts of the forest, which have no property in the woods where they roam, planted the standard of their respective masters where they first landed, and in their names claimed the country by right of discovery.

Henry the Seventh of England granted to John Cabot and his three fons a commission, “ to navigate all parts of the ocean for the purpose of discovering iflands, countries, regions, or provinces, either of Gentiles or Infidels, which have been hitherto unknown to all Christian people, with

up his standard, and to take possession of the fame as vaffals of the crown of England." By virtue of this commillion, in 1498,


power to set

3 E 2

Sebastian Cabot explored and took poffeffion of a great part of the North American continent, in the name and on behalf of the king of England.

The country thus discovered by Cabot, was possessed by numerous tribes or nations of people. As these had been till then unknown to all other princes or states, they could not possibly have owed their allegiance or subjection to any foreign power on earth; they must have therefore been independent communities, and as such, capable of acquiring territorial property, in the same manner as other nations. Of the various principles on which a right to foil has been founded, there is none superior to immemorial occupancy. From what time the Aborigines of America had resided therein, or from what place they migrated thither, were questions of doubtful solution, but it was certain that they had long been sole occupants of the country. In this state no European prince could derive a title to the soil from discovery, because that can give a right only to lands and things which either have never been owned or possessed, or which, after being owned or poffefredy have been voluntarily deserted. The right of the Indian nations to the soil in their possession was founded in nature. It was the free and liberal gift of heaven to them, and such as no foreigner could rightfully annul. The blinded fuperftition of the times regarded the Deity as the partial God of Christians, and not as the common father of saints and favages. The pervading influence of philosophy, reason, and truth, has,fince that period, given us better notions of the rights of mankind, and of the obligations of morality. These unquestionably are not confined to particular modes of faith, but extend universally to Jews and Gen. tiles, to Christians and Infidels.

Unfounded, however, as the claims of European Sovereigns to American territories were, they severally proceeded to act upon them. By tacit consent they adopted as a new law of nations, that the countries which each explored Mould be the absolute property of the discoverere While they thus sported with the rights of unofferding nations, they could not agree in their respective shares of the common spoil. The Portuguese and Spaniards, inflamed by the same spirit of national aggrandizement, contended for the exclusive sovereignty of what Columbus had explored. Animated by the rancour of commercial jealoufy, the Dutch and Portuguese fought for the Brazils. Contrary to her genuine interefts, England commenced a war in order that her contraband traders on the Mexican coast, claimed by the king of Spain, night no longer be searched. No farther back than the middle of the



present century, a contest concerning boundaries of American territory belonging to neither, occasioned a long and bloody war between France and England.

Though Queen Elizabeth and James the First denied the authority of the Pope of Rome to give away the country of infidels, yet they so far adopted the fanciful distinction between the rights of Heathens and the rights of Christians, as to make it the foundation of their respective grants. They freely gave away what did not belong to them with no other proviso, than that's the territories and districts so granted, be not previously occupied and possessed by the subjects of any other Christian prince or state.” The first English patent which was given for the purpose of colonizing the country discovered by the Cabots, was granted by Queen Elizabeth to Sir Humphry Gilbert, in 1578, but this proved abortive. In 1584, she licenced Walter Raleigh, “ to search for Heathen lands not inhabited by Christian people," and granted to him in fee all the soil “ within two hundred leagues of the places where his people should make their dwellings and abidings.” Under his auspices an inconfiderable colony took possession of a part of the American coaft, which now forms North-Carolina. In honour of the Virgin Queen his sovereign, he gave to the whole country the name of Virginia. These first settlers, and several others who followed them, were either de. troyed by the natives, removed by fucceeding navigators, or died without leaving any behind to tell their melancholy story, for they were never more heard of. No permanent settlement was effected till the reign of James the First.

In the course of little more than a century, was the English NorthAmerican continent peopled and parcelled out into distinct governments. Little did the wisdom of the two preceding centuries foresee the consequences both good and evil, that were to result to the old world from discovering and colonizing the new. When we consider the im menfe foods of gold and silver which have flowed from it into Europe, the subsequent increase of industry and population, the prodigious extenfion of commerce, 'manufactures, and navigation, and the influence of the whole on manners and arts, we see such an accumulation of good, as leads us to rank Columbus among the greatest benefactors of the human race : but when we view the injustice done the natives, the extirpation of many of their numerous nations, whose names are no more heard ;– The havoc made among the first settlers ; – The slavery of the Africans, to which America has furnished the temptation ; and the many long and bloody wars which it has occafioned, we behold such a crowd


« ПредишнаНапред »