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In despite of the prevailing tendencies of New England to believe neither in God nor man, there still remains considerable disposition to patronise those books of Revelation known as the Old Testament. There is a traditional reverence for the Old Dispensation, handed down from the founders of New England, which still lingers in the bosom of the present generation. But for the heretical views of Slavery expressed in the book, it would now be second to no other work in popular estimation, except the philosophical productions of Ralph Waldo Emerson, which, being devoid of all mystery, and comprehensible by every understanding, must always have precedence of the Pentateuch and the Prophets. With all its drawbacks, however, the Old Testament is still the textbook of New England theology, and the sole source which the religion of that land claims as its fountain head. The New Testament is a book never much in vogue with Puritans or Pharisees. It has in it too much mercy, forbearance and charity. It is intolerant to nothing but sin. It permits and hallows all enjoyment not inconsistent with purity of heart. It especially requires forgiveness of enemies. Hence its unpopularity with the Puritan race. --Hence it is that the people of New England are mostly Unitarians, not recognizing the Divinity of the Founder of Christianity. Hewing Agag to pieces and exterminating nations are congenial to their tastes. It is true that these races had provoked the vengeance of Heaven by abominable crimes, and that the children of Israel were hurled upon these criminals as the God of Nature sometimes overwhelms even innocent nations with earthquakes, tornadoes and floods. But all enemies of the Puritan are abominable criminals; he and his are the elect, the peculiar people, and Christianity interferes with their recognized patent of vengeance and annihilation. Hence the preference of the Old Testament to the New, and the universal custom of naming all children after the principal characters of the Old Dispensation. Those patriarchs and prophets had many cruel trials and persecutions to endure, but, among them all, none more galling than the wholesale appropriation of their names by the Sons of the Pilgrims. What had they done that they should not only be persecuted in life, but caricatured in death? Instead of entering upon their rest, they must all be in purgatory if they know what is going on earth. Should the Yankees succeed in overrunning the South, we may expect to see the patriarchs and prophets, the warriors and sages, of the Old Dispensation still further complimented. The heathen names of our States, counties, hills and rivers, would be made to correspond to the Old Dispensation. Richmond would be a new Jerusalem, and the James, which has proved such a hard road to travel, the Jordan. Jonathan, Ebenezer, Ephraim, Joshua, &c., might furnish designations for other rivers. The Blue Ridge, whose color remains loyal, would be the only object of inanimate nature that would preserve its ancient name. The New England theologians have discovered a resemblance between the Constitution of the American Union and that of the twelve tribes of Israel. We are unable to perceive the analogy. It is true that, in some respects, the sons of New England are the genuine children of Israel. The envy which led ten of them to conspire the death of the most virtuous of their number is a feature common to both and the general characteristics of the family, as described by Jacob, their father, on his death bed, are not unlike the Sons of the Pilgrims. The worship of the Golden Calf, the martyrdom of the best and wisest men, the whiteness of the sepulchres, and the corruption within, are the same in both. But the twelve tribes were independent of each other, God being their only governor; and when, on one occasion, they proposed to make war upon a refractory tribe, they were forbidden. Even under a king when a large number of the tribes rebelled, and the king assembled an army of 180,000 men to reduce the rebels to subjection, "The word of God came unto Shemaiah, the man of God, saying, Speak unto Rehoboam, the son of Solomon, king of Judah, and unto all the house of Judah and Benjamin, and to the remnant of the people, saying, Thus saith the Lord, ye shall not go up, nor fight against your brethren, the children of Israel."--We are, therefore, unable to see anything in the Hebrew Constitution, or the administration thereof, which entitles the Sons of the Pilgrims to consider themselves the chosen people. There is nothing in common between the two except those peculiar sins of the children of Israel which induced the Almighty to cut them off, at last, from among the nations.
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