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says, “ He has brought together a most rich collection of unpublished materials to illustrate the Aztec, and, in a wider sense, American antiquities; and, by this munificent undertaking, which no government probably would have, and few individuals could have, executed, he has entitled himself to the lasting gratitude of every friend of science.” As Mr. Prescott states, “the drift of Lord Kingsborough's speculations is to establish the colonization of Mexico by the Israelites.” We believe it would be found that Spanish writers, of the period of the conquest, without exception, recognized numerous analogies between the aborigines and the Israelites. Some of them, such as Las Casas, Sahagun, Boturini, Garcia, Gumilla, Benaventa, and Peter Martyr, were convinced of the Hebrew origin of the former ; others, like Torquemada, Herrera, Gomara, Acosta, Cortés, and Bernal Diaz, took the ground that Satan had counterfeited, or rather travestied, among the savage races of America, the history, manners, customs, rites, traditions, and expectations of the Jews. The reports of the first explorers filled the Spanish government and the heads of the Church with astonishment and alarm. The strictest scrutiny was imposed upon the correspondence of officers, and others ; a system of censorship and inquisition of documents was organized ; the publication of journals and memoirs was prohibited; and heretics, especially Jews, were forbidden or prevented from travelling in the Spanish colonies. The time bas now come, it is probable, when the truth will be allowed to transpire. If Mr. Prescott, or any other person of the bighest credit, should seek to explore original manuscripts, still in existence, with the view of investigating this question, the policy of refusing access to them would not, we may bope, be persisted in.
Besides the contemporary Spanish writers, others, like Baron Humboldt, who have at any time treated the subject, would of course be examined. In addition to the points we have mentioned, the remarkable methods of reckoning time among the Indians would be scrutinized; as also the resemblance of many ceremonies and rites, such as baptism, circumcision, and the use of consecrated water; the names given to observances; the traditions with respect to a deluge, to migrations, and to sacred books; the use of sacrifices; the forms of sacred architecture ; the sacerdotal offices, costume, and character ; the similarity of laws and moral precepts and senti
Rev. William B. 0. Peabody.
ments ; the melancholy forebodings of a near approaching day of destruction, of the demolition of the power, and glory, and very name of their people, which filled the minds of many of the princes and wise men, and which in some instances assumed such particularity of shape and minuteness of delineation, that Mr. Prescott speaks of them as “random prophecies"; and, more interesting than all, the surprising analogy between their ideas associated with a great deliverer who should come, under the name of Quetzalcoatl, and those attached in the Jewish mind to their expected Messiah.
We should not have dwelt so long on this subject, nor have touched it, perhaps, at all, did we not think that a spirit of skepticism has succeeded to one of credulity respecting it. The sources from which the vast continent of America was originally supplied with the extraordinary race which, in different tribes, with a wonderful similarity of character and aspect, covered it from one extreme to another, present a problem which Philosophy and Religion will for ever call upon History to resolve. No field of inquiry or research ought to be regarded with inert despair. A persevering industry, stimulated by that enthusiasm of faith without which no difficult enterprise can succeed, and guided by that calm and careful discrimination without which neither labor nor zeal is effectual, will at last solve the great question, and pour a stream of light along the track which humanity pursued in passing from hemisphere to hemisphere, and in spreading its successive waves from Bhering's Strait to Cape Horn.
C. W. U.
Art. IX. - REV. WILLIAM B. 0. PEABODY.*
The deep and universal mourning caused by Dr. Peabody's death in the place where he had resided for twentyseven years, and the number and character of the obituary notices which have appeared in different parts of the country,
A Discourse, delivered at the Funeral of Rev. William B. 0. Peabody, D. D., in Springfield, June 1, 1847. By Ezra S. GANNETT, Minister of the Federal Street Congregation, Boston. Springfield. 1847. 8vo. pp. 34. VOL. XLIII. . 4TH S. VOL. VIII. NO. II.
show that this event is regarded as a public loss, – a loss not merely to religion, but to letters and humanity. Dr. Gannett's discourse at the funeral, mentioned below, is what it should be, — solemn, impressive, consolatory, discriminating, and thoroughly Christian in all its topics, making it almost unnecessary that any thing further should be said at this time. We are glad to learn that a selection from Dr. Peabody's published and unpublished writings will soon be given to the press, together with a more extended memoir of the author ; these will afford the materials of a more complete estimate of his character and genius. Still, we are unwilling not to avail ourselves of the earliest occasion to express some sense, however inadequate, of the rare merits and accomplishments of one who has contributed so essentially to the interest and value of the pages of this journal.
He was born in Exeter, N. H., July 9, 1799. Having completed his preparatory studies at Phillips Academy, in his native town, he entered Harvard College, where he graduated in 1816. At college, though every way respectable as a scholar, he seems to have been less remarkable for study than for the eagerness with which he accumulated the materials of future study. It is a striking proof of the extent to which his memory could be trusted, that in after life, with scarcely a handful of books of his own, and without access to others, he was able to write on such a variety of subjects, and often with an affluence of illustration which surprised as much as it gratified the reader. He often said that it was almost wholly the fruit of a diligent and somewhat miscellaneous use of the college library, while resident at Cambridge. From college he passed into the Divinity School, and, after having completed his theological studies there, was almost immediately called to preach in the beautiful region where he spent the remainder of his days. His impressions at this time we give in his own words.*
" It was at this season of the year 1820, that I first came to Springfield; it was in those days when it required two days' travel. ling to reach this town from Boston. Winter though it was, I well remember the delight with which I first looked upon this queen of valleys from the brow of the neighbouring hill; even
We take this and subsequent extracts from a “Familiar Address, de. livered at the Social Meeting of the Members of the Liberal Society, on the Evening of March 16th, 1843,” which was printed for the use of the members of the Society.
Rev. William B. 0. Peabody.
pp. 3, 4.
then, in its snowy vesture, it seemed to me the most beautiful that I ever saw. Many circumstances combined to produce in me some desolate feelings. I was very young, wanting some months of the age of twenty-one; I was without experience in my own profession, having preached but a few Sabbaths ; I was wholly unacquainted with the inhabitants of the village, not having seen more than one or two of them before ; I knew also that this was a frontier station, which would require a degree of judgment and power which I was far from possessing. But I was met with a friendly welcome which at once removed those feelings, and I soon found that it was the place where I was to live, and possibly to die.”
Under these circumstances, too far removed from churches of his own denomination to allow of frequent exchanges, by which something is done to abridge ministerial labor, it was to be expected that he would be content with the work which his profession imposed. But not so. Always a lover of nature, he became almost by necessity a student of nature, attaining to such proficiency as to be appointed on the Scientific Survey of the State. His “ Report on the Ornithology of Massachusetts,” filling one hundred and fifty closely printed octavo pages, abounds with original and curious observations, and is also marked, more frequently than one would suppose such a paper could be, with the peculiar amenities of his style. He has likewise been for many years a large, perhaps in all the largest, contributor to the North American Review, as well as to the Christian Examiner, and wrote occasionally for other publications. For some months past the amount of his contributions to the periodicals just mentioned has been absolutely incredible ; especially when we consider that it was the work of a wasted and wasting frame, and that there was no apparent decay of vigor or vivacity. His reviews of Carlyle's Cromwell, and Aikin's Life of Addison, both quite recent, will be generally accounted, we suppose, among his best. But all his communications bear the stamp of a chaste, beautiful, and well furnished mind; from their subjects, as well as the execution, they are among those which have been most generally read; sometimes reminding one of the graceful and polished wit of Addison, at others of the plaintive and almost unwilling humor of Cowper, and placing him beyond question, as regards style at least, among the best prose-writers which this country, or any other country, has produced. He also found time to write verses ; and though his modesty would not accept the praises many were inclined to bestow on these efforts, his “ Hymn of Nature,” “ Monadnock,” the lines “ To William, written by a bereaved Father," and the beautiful hymn beginning, “ Behold the western evening light ! ” will long hold their places in the best collections of American poetry:
Let it not be imagined that, in order to meet these extraordinary demands on his industry, the pastor forgot or neglected his flock. On the contrary, it would be difficult, if not impossible, to find another clergy man who in the same time has preached an equal number of discourses in his own pulpit, or an equal number of original discourses. Knowing this, and knowing also that he was seldom to be found in his study, many have been disposed to overrate the facility with which he wrote. Here, therefore, it may be well to recur to his own statements.
“Since I am speaking of matters relating to myself, let me take this opportunity to say something in relation to my habits of writing, which ought to be understood. I do not believe that any thing worth reading or hearing can be produced without labor; and the labor of writing wears upon the nerves and exhausts the spirits more, perhaps, than any other. Let any man sit down to prepare an address for some public occasion, and he will have an idea of this labor. Doubtless it becomes easier by habit; but the effect of routine, and the perpetual recurrence of the demand, once, if not twice, in every week, create a difficulty on the other side. My own habit has been never to sit down to consider what I shall write, as many do. I find that my mind, such as it is, acts most freely away from the study and in the presence of nature. I therefore construct in my own mind an exact image of every thing which I intend to write; and this, when completed, can either be spoken or written, as the case requires. My sermons are thus written in my mind during my walks in the fields, the Cemetery, or the garden, and, when matured, are committed to paper in very little time. This has given the impression that I write easily and rapidly, when in truth I have no ad. vantage in this respect, except perhaps that of a better system, which, after the experience of years, I would recommend to every writer, whatever his profession may be." - pp. 11, 12.
Dr. Peabody's preaching, especially for the last ten years, was preëminently spiritual and Scriptural. He had no confidence in any morality which was not founded in a sense of