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made; though their manners, language, and avaricious, and by their management and religion, remained the same. Their the provisional government became an ofindependence, however, was short-lived. fice of bargain and sale secured to the One of their vaivodes, or first commanders, highest bidder. Any governor was dismade an unprovoked attack upon a Turk- placed by a larger sum of money ; conseish colony, which had established itself quently, the only aim of this officer was to upon the opposite shore of the Danube. secure his fortune and those of his satelIt resulted in the complete defeat of the lites who were the necessary attendants Wallachians, who were obliged to pay of his suite, in the shortest possible time. tribute to their conquerors. During the With the constant fear of removal before fifteenth century many attempts were made them, they exhausted invention in their to free themselves from the galling yoke endeavors to repay the enormous debts of their oppressors, but it fell more heavily frequently contracted for the purchase of upon them.
the office, and also to amass sufficient Toward the end of the sixteenth cen- | treasure for the inevitable displacement tury, a man of obscure birth was raised to which awaited them. The most unheardthe dignity of vaivode. His name was of extortions were practiced upon the Michael, and he was surnamed the Brave; people to pay the bribes of the subordia title which history has confirmed. He nates, or buy off the strife of competitors. bound himself by an oath to free his coun- These, perhaps, were the most favorable try from the Turkish oppression ; by an aspects of this monstrous system ; human alliance with the chiefs of Transylvania life and family ties were often sacrificed and Moldavia he was successful; and to this avarice for riches and power. after five years of successive defeats, the Many a father bought the eagerly-craved conquered sultan was compelled to renounce office with the head of his son ; and many his dominion ; but the brave Michael was a son paid for his brief enjoyment of assassinated by an Austrian general, and power with the head of his father. with him the stately edifice of national The immediate suffering produced by independence which he had constructed the shameless and cruel extortion of these crumbled to dust. Before the people miserable rulers was one of the least evils had recovered from the consternation into resulting to them. The sentiments of which this calamity had thrown them, the morality were utterly destroyed ; they Turks resumed their sway; and the two were taught, and soon learned the lesson Principalities again becoming tributary well, that perfidy was another name for provinces, sunk into a state of lethargyfor ability, cowardice for prudence, dishonmore than a century, during which the esty for foresight; that success was the unhappy population were oppressed by a only test of right. It was easy to persystem of government more fatal than the suade them that integrity and uprightness rapine and devastation of the barbarian were the conventional garbs of wickedinvasions. The conquered provinces were ness, adopted only that it might circulate divided into pashaliks ; and either through with decency in the world. As sometimes contempt of the office, or a remembrance happens, the evil had the antidote within itof their own unfortunate experiences, they self; it was destroyed by its own excesses. chose as the instruments of their govern- When vice, grown bold by the impunity ment the Fanariotes, or descendants of the with which it ventured everywhere, stalked Greeks who remained in Constantinople abroad without the protecting robes which after it was taken by the Turks in 1453. had hitherto concealed its deformity, the The quarter of the city where they re- people were horrified with its aspect. An sided was called the Fanac; and its resi- army was forbidden, and the two Principaldents were afterward known as Fanaciates. ities, which had formerly maintained sixty Many of them devoted themselves to the thousand foot soldiers, were left utterly destudy of languages, and by this accom- fenseless. Turkish brigands pillaged and plishment became indispensable as inter- murdered unnoticed ; entire cities were preters and private secretaries. They evacuated at the approach of their organsoon proved that knowledge is power, and ized bands, the inhabitants flying to the acquired great influence. With it, how- mountains or to Austria to escape death. ever, came the sordid passions which too The police, (if the word is not too absurd,) often accompany it; they were ambitious the very refuse of all countries, came forth
from the prisons and mines to be the satel- nation, the last-born of civilization, profitlites of the reigning powers; they were ing by the experience of its elders, and its without uniform, order, or discipline ; they own bitter vicissitudes, may come forth were the accomplices of the thieves and purified by its sufferings. The thorough brigands whom they sometimes pretended education of the youthful nobility promises to pursue ; but, as the inhabitants knew well for the future; but at this very day only too well, always without success. the privileged classes are marked with that
During the century of the Fanariote do- fatal carelessness for the future, which has minion, more than forty of its hospodars resulted from the oriental regime to which were displaced or beheaded. But one died it has so long been subjected. No fault peacefully upon the throne which he had can be found with the elegant and somebought several times over. The sway what theatrical personal decorations of the of this dastardly rule was several times upper classes ; but a glance from the lord interrupted by Russian invasion ; but the of the mansion to the crowd of dirty idlers changes which took place in the fated who surround him—the numerous, but inprovinces seemed always only a change elegant equipages upon which he prides of oppressors. A ray of hope illumined himself — the vast, but dilapidated resitheir dark fate in 1792, when a stipulation dences, reveals the real poverty which was made that the term of a governor or pierces through all the display of luxury. hospodar should be fixed for seven years. You are charmed with the elegant manners In 1821, after a bloody insurrection, the of the master of the house—with the talent Porte declared that the Fanariotes were and gracefulness of his wife—the taste and infidels, upon whom the sultan could rely brilliancy of conversation—the ease and no longer; seven native candidates were purity with which European languages are chosen, and from them his highness se- spoken by the family, and you are ready lected Gregoire Ghika for Wallachia, and to assert that more elegance and refineJean Stourza for Moldavia. It was the ment cannot exist in any other country. first breath of independence enjoyed by the But behind the doors of the saloon are a Principalities for more than a century—the crowd of filthy dependents, the halls are first princes of their own nation who had strewn with repulsive and sluggish Bohesat on the throne since the days of Michael mians, who sleep upon the very stairthe Brave. The hopes which sprang up cases ; and as you make your way through in this new state of things were destined them, you are forcibly reminded that the to almost immediate extinction ; for, in civilization which has so much delighted 1828, war was again declared between you, like the precious metal of the counTurkey and Russia ; the two provinces try, has not been cleansed from the earthy were occupied by the armies of the czar; incrustation that obscures its brilliancy. a famine was produced by the immense These brief glances at the transitions to exactions made for its support ; a frightful which the Principalities have been subpestilence was brought into the country jected, will alone afford solutions of their by the soldiers, producing dreadful mor- present state. Their past history gives tality; and a winter of almost unparalleled a sufficient explanation of the disproportion severity added its rigors to the already of the population to the extent of the suffering inhabitants.
country, the barrenness existing in the At the close of this war a new era ap- midst of such natural fertility, the want parently dawned upon them. The ancient in the midst of such outward abundance, limits were restored; the governors were the failure of capital still more than of to be chosen for life from their own nation ; men, and the foreign importations which the ancient standard again waved over are made notwithstanding its own wealthy native troops, who were organized for the defense of the country; the navigation and Having thus entered this most interestfisheries of the Danube were guarantied; ing region of Europe, I have at once introand a constitution was drawn up, by the duced you to it by its history and some genprovisions of which the government is in eral observations--an introduction which, the hands of the nobility, and its support however brief, may serve you in not only is entirely from the people. Time may my further letters, but in the most intermodify and improve them, especially if esting newspaper history of the next year pending events issue favorably ; and this or two.
INFIDELITY IN THE UNITED STATES. perance reform, and organizes hostility to
the “ Maine Law" movement, even more ITS CHARACTER-ITS REMEDIES.
than the Irish, who bring with them someNE of our correspondents—a clergy- thing of the prestige of the Irish temperance
us, in very strong language, not to forget are familiar with the technical sophistries the “infidelity of the day” in our edito- of German rationalism, and its ignorant rial essays on “ The Christianity for the masses know too well their practical, if
Times.” We have mislaid the letter, and not their theoretical applications. In many cannot recall the place of its date ; but it respects the most valuable portion of our was from the far south-west. We were foreign population, the Germans, are neversurprised, as we recollect, at its statement, theless the most dangerous in their rethat skepticism, especially in the form of ligious tendencies. Our chief hope for * Rationalism," is invading generally that them is connected with the efforts for their large section of the country—that it is evangelical recovery, which are now made prevalent as the only religion, or rather by some of their noblest countrymen among the irreligion, of most of the thousands There are ten thousand of them at of German Protestant immigrants, and, least organized under the banner of Methunder the influence of Parkerism, Emer- odism in this country; there are also many sonism, Campbellism, &c., is infecting German Churches rising up within the extensively the more intelligent native pale of other denominations. Self-reform mind of that region. Our correspondent among any class is always more effectual wrote as if not a little despondent at the than reform from extraneous causes ; let prospect of its results to religion and us then hope for our Germans—in so many good morals in the yet forming commu respects a noble and congenial peoplenities of the south-west. Had he read from these new tendencies which they are our earlier articles on “ The Christianity showing in this their new home. required by the Times,” he would have Now that our pen is in the ink, we feel seen that we have amply discussed this disposed, notwithstanding our frequent very subject—that, in fact, it was the oc reference to the subject heretofore, to say casion of those articles, and that their something further and more emphatic, if chief aim has been to show how Chris- possible, on the characteristics and remetianity could effectually confront and van dies of the infidelity of the times. We quish the growing evil.
must understand its characteristics-its The growing evil, we say; for not only genius—if we would apply to it the right by indigenous causes does it spread and remedies. prevail, but it comes upon us like an inun
“ the people,” infidelity is dation from abroad with the hordes of Eu- always the same—for “the people” are ropean and degraded immigration, which, frank, honest we were going to say, even in wave over-topping wave, pours in upon their corruptions. They have few motives the land. From Ireland we have hereto- to hypocrisy, and not usually the requisite fore been invaded with Popery—bad enough skill for dissimulation. Hence infidelity, and dangerous enough in its scarcely semi- when once it prevails among them, is barbarous morals and sentiments ; but now thoroughly practical: it does not evade or we are threatened more especially with disguise its own consequences. The peothe popular corruptions of continental Eu- ple act as they think. When, in the form rope: the Custom House reports of the of a mob, they controlled public affairs, as in last two or three years show that the Ger- the first French revolution, they carried out man immigration is becoming more formi- their new infidel ideas, terrifically to be dable than the Irish.
sure, but the more honestly for that. And It is not more demoralized than the when they have not such power, you find Irish ; still it brings with it more settled them equally straightforward, as individsentiments of hostility to our religious uals, in pursuing opinions to their practical opinions and usages. It opposes our na- results. We know how to meet the peotional observance of the Sabbath, and ple, then, when thus fallen. They plunge seeks to repeal our Sabbath laws. It unceremoniously, and therefore honestly, avows loose ideas of the domestic rela- (if we may use the expression,) into the tions. It scorns our great national tem- i perdition of error, and we ave a direct
work to do for their recovery; we must day. But if he qualified his theoretical unceremoniously plunge after them, and teachings of infidelity, he taught it in the pluck them as brands from the burning ; | intensest sentimentality, and practically —not so much by logic as by moral influ- libeled all morality. ences and direct labors.
Paine became the representative of this With higher minds, however, infidelity degenerate school in our own country. has its varied and somewhat contrasted | Jefferson was not much behind him. epochs ; and never did it present more re- Franklin, with his philosophic temper and markable features than at present. New-England training, lingered yet in the
The earliest aspect of skepticism, as we diminishing ranks of the preceding philosee it in Spinoza and Lord Herbert, was sophical school. metaphysical doubt, acute, cool, but some The fact that this form of infidelity had what respectful. It had no power to reach the opportunity of a practical exemplificathe common mind. Its next aspect was tion in the French revolution, was its dethat of intellectual hostility and deliber- feat-it showed its legitimate tendencies, ate contempt of at least the historical and the world was shocked, was stunned. and dogmatic claims of Christianity. A reaction was inevitable. Skeptics, Hobbes, Bolingbroke, Gibbon, and Hume, whether honestly or otherwise such, have represent this period of its history. It since seen that a new route must be taken, subsequently appears under a still more —that the old one cannot possibly be right, decided phase. It becomes practically however logically legitimate, and our modhostile ; it uses another class of weapons, ern unbelief is, with sone marked exsatire, ribaldry, blasphemy—it would de- ceptions, as remarkable for its pretensions bauch the public mind, and thereby alien- in favor of moral progress as the precedate it from the practical restraints of Chris- ing school was for its audacious demoraltianity. Voltaire and the Encyclopædists ization. The difference is a notable one, are examples. Rousseau, if more respect and it is all-important that we should ful to the practical code of the gospel in recognize it; for precisely here are we to his writings, was, in his life and spirit, as find the successful mode of treating the hostile to it as any of them. Like the evil. It has its theory, to be sure,—its great hierarch of German literature and learning and speculative pretensions, led German infidelity, Goethe, he knew the on, commandingly, in Germany by Rationhigher experimental theology of Chris- alism, and headed by the extreme school tianity,* and seemed always troubled in of the Tubingen theologians; in France by conscience when he trenched, with profane the literati generally, headed by the extreme speculations, on that sacred ground, or Positivists; in England by Newman, Carsuggested anything against the practical | Jyle, Miss Martineau, and the Westminster requirements of the system ; but his life Reviewers; and in this country by Parker, was a continued outrage of Christian mor- Emerson, and their wide-spread disciples, als. The skepticism of his Emilius is —but its main force lies in what may be beautified by the most eloquent eulogies called its moral sentimentalism, rather on Christ and his teachings, ever recorded ; than in its logic. It is the most extraorand the burning pages of his “ Nouvelle dinary simulation of the spirit and pracHeloise" present the ablest dissertations tical ideas of Christianity that could be yet given to the world on some points of attempted. We would speak respectfully, Christian morals; as, for example, the and of the system rather than its inditwo letters against dueling, and against vidual representatives. We cannot withthe domestic infidelities, which may be hold the avowal, that we believe many said not only to have been fashionable but of them to be sincere and good men, so common, if not universal, in France at that far as the latter word includes not the
divine virtue of a divine religion. Many Goethe, in Wilhelm Meister, introduces, of them have shown a profound, an agoby a Moravian character, the most "evangelical" views of personal religion, (he was edu- nizing earnestness ; and amid the horrors cated, in childhood among Moravians ;) and of doubt have called for help or hope from Rousseau represents the heroine of his great any source. Alas! that they have not romance as experiencing in the chapel, at the time of her dreaded wedding, a change which
more effectually looked unto Him from the warmest-hearted Methodist would approve
whom alone cometh our help. Who have as a genuine “conversion."
claimed more of our sympathy than John
Sterling and Margaret Fuller? It will Watts mourned that “religion seemed to not do for us to deal out to such minds be dying out in the world.” Doddridge, epithets of contempt or crimination. We in his rural retirement, labored incessantly should forfeit, in doing so, our own self- with his pen, for the restoration of a purer respect and our claims to the charity of faith in the Churches ; but joined also in the faith which they so sorrowfully ques- the common expression of almost hopeless tioned. By that charity, more than by any despondence. Some of the leading minds other means, are we to reclaim such ear of the Anglican Establishment declared nest, though erring spirits.
the prospects of religion to be nearly desThe sentimentalism of modern infidelity perate. The light seemed to be dying sympathizes eagerly with the cause of hu- out on the altar of British Christianity. man liberty. It speaks out for the op- A more striking indication of the deprespressed, both here and in Europe. It de sion, not of religion only but of morals, vises schemes of popular amelioration. It could hardly be given, than the fact that devotes itself to the problem of pauperism; Sterne and Swift, men who competed and has produced socialism. It claims as rivals of Rabelais, were clergymen and new protections for woman. It seeks distinguished characters of the times. mitigations of the criminal codes of nations, Bolingbroke and Shaftesbury (the latter and the abolition of the gallows. It eulo-" the first great advocate of modern seculargizes Christ, while it undermines Chris- ism") were the authorities of opinion tianity ;* it insists upon the spirit of the in polite life, and Hume and Gibbon soon gospel in distinction, if not in contra- followed with still more commanding distinction from its dogma ; it exalts the sway in the intellectual world. practical charity and morality of Chris Meanwhile, this “extremity was God's tianity, while it denounces its ecclesias- opportunity.” Butler's great argument ticism.
dispelled not the clouds—it had no apThis is its character, and this is its preciable effect that we can ascertain. danger too ; for its concessions to Chris- But amid the infidelity and corruptions of tianity, in some respects, form the vantage
the Universities moved a few obscure, yet ground from which it attacks it in other earnest minds, inquiring, “Who will show respects. Here is the very strategy of us any good ?" A young man, whose the evil. It has changed itself into an eloquent voice was soon to ring like a angel of light. It preaches to the world clarion through England and America, lay a perverted "evangel;" but it preaches it whole nights prostrate on the ground, in from within the portal, if not from within agony, praying for the true light; another, the altar of Christianity.
whose name was to rank only second to Such being the evil, how now are we to Luther's, paced to and fro through the regard it—how to address ourselves to it? corridors and groves of Oxford, panting
Not with despondent fears of the ulti- for Christian perfection " over the pages mate result-none whatever. The his of John Law, and repeating with tears the tory of religious opinions, as well as our penitential meditations of a Kempis; while Christian faith, forbid any such anxiety. another, whose kindling melodies were to Had we lived in the beginning of the last express the restored religious life of milcentury we should have found tenfold more lions, and to be repeated more from the lips reasons for despair ; but what followed the of the dying than any other hymns in the infidelity of those times ? An evangelical language,"'* bowed in his cloister, smiting revolution, the most prolific in good con his breast and crying, "God be merciful sequences of any since the second century. to me, a sinner.” A few years elapse, and Theoretical infidelity and popular demora all England is astir with religious excitelization were rife through all England. ment. Whitefield, the two Wesleys, Butler wrote his “Analogy" to counter- Rowland Hill, Beveridge, the great Welch act the scepticism of the times, and de- evangelists, Wilberforce, Lady Huntingclares, in the preface, that Christianity don, Hannah Moore, and a constellation come to be taken for a fable." of other notable names, come forth amid
the darkness which covered the moral
• Professor Newman has at last become an ex. ception; and he only anticipates the result which Robert Southey, on Charles Wesley:-Life of must sooner or later be reached by his disciples. / Wesley.