Posted by: Democratic Thinker | July 21, 2014

Menasseh Ben Israel—The Humble Address

Background of the American Revolution

 
No one can understand the foundations of the American nation without understanding the English Civil War from a century earlier. In September 1655, Manesseh ben Israel—with Cromwell’s support—publishes a petition requesting the Jews be allowed to return to England.

Wherefore I humbly entreat your Highnesse, that you would with a gracious eye have regard unto us, and our Petition, and grant unto us, as you have done unto others, free exercise of our Religion, that we may have our Synagogues, and keep our own publick worship, …

TO
His Highnesse the Lord PROTECTOR
OF THE
Common-wealth of ENGLAND,
SCOTLAND, and IRELAND.

—————

The Humble Address of Menasseh Ben Israel, a Divine and Doctor of Physick, in Behalf of the Jewish Nation.

GIVE me leave, at such a juncture of time, to speak to your Highnesse, in a style and manner fitting to us Jewes and our condition. It is a thing most certaine, that the great God of Israel, Creator of Heaven and Earth, doth give and take away Dominions and Empires, according to his owne pleasure; exalting some, and overthrowing others: who, seeing he hath the hearts of Kings in his hand, he easily moves them whithersoever himselfe pleaseth, to put in execution his Divine Commands. This, my Lord, appeares most evidently out of those words of Daniel, where he, rendring thanks unto God, for revealing unto him that prodigious Dreame of Nebuchadnezar, doth say: Thou that removest Kings, and sets up Kings. And else-where, To the end the living might know, that the Highest hath dominion in Mans Kingdome, and giveth the fame to whom he please. Of the very same minde are the Thalmudists likewise, affirming that a good Government, or Governor, is a Heavenly Gift, and that there is no Governor, but is first called by God unto that dignity: and this they prove from that passage of Exodus: Behold I have called Bazalèl by name, &c. all things being governed by Divine Providence, God dispensing rewards unto Vertues, and punishment unto Vices, according to his owne good Will. Read More…

Posted by: Democratic Thinker | July 19, 2014

The Ancient Sage

 

 

The Ancient Sage.

The whole poem is very personal. The passages about ‘Faith’ and the ‘Passion of the Past’ were more especially my own personal feelings. The ‘Passion of the Past’ I used to feel when a boy.—Tennyson, A Memoir.

—————

A THOUSAND summers ere the time of Christ
From out his ancient city came a Seer
Whom one that loved, and honour’d him, and yet
Was no disciple, richly garb’d, but worn
From wasteful living, follow’d—in his hand
A scroll of verse—till that old man before
A cavern whence an affluent fountain pour’d
From darkness into daylight, turn’d and spoke:

Read More…

Posted by: Democratic Thinker | July 18, 2014

Weekly Story: Torches of Another Kind

Weekly Story

 
On the evening the Stamp Act passed, Dr. Franklin, then in London, writes to Charles Thompson, as follows:—“The sun of liberty is set: the Americans must light the lamps of industry and economy.” Thompson answers, “Be assured we shall light torches of quite another kind.”


They then marched up Fort Hill, still following the two figures, jack-boot, horns and all. Here they kindled a bonfire with them, returned to Oliver’s house with clubs and staves, and destroyed every part of his gardens, fences and out-houses, in less time than the old gentleman would have taken to count them.


 

 

Torches of Another Kind

—————

 

IN Boston, early in the morning of August 14th [1765], two images of men, called effigies, were found hanging on the branch of an old elm, near the southern entrance of the city. One represented a stamp-officer. There was a great jack-boot also, out of which rose a horned head, which seemed to look around. The people collected in crowds from the city and country. About, dusk, the images were taken down, placed on a bier, and carried about in solemn procession. The people followed, stamping and shouting, “Liberty and property for ever—no stamps.”

They passed through the town-house, down King street, into Kilby street, halted at the house of one Oliver, which they supposed to be meant for a stamp office, and demolished it from top to bottom; they carried off the wood, marched through, the streets, with a tremendous noise, to the dwelling of Oliver himself; and there, having gone through the ceremony of chopping off that gentleman’s head, in effigy, broke in his windows in an instant.

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Posted by: Democratic Thinker | July 17, 2014

The Valley of Dry Bones

Considerations by the Way

 
 
An ancient philosopher receives a call to action.


We shall not presume to anticipate the judgment of our fellow-citizens throughout the Union on these important letters, by interposing any comments of our own.—Four Letters on the Important Subject of Government, 1802.


 

Prophesy Upon These Bones.

 

The Valley of Dry Bones.

—————

THE hand of the LORD was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the LORD, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones,

And caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, there were very many in the open valley; and, lo, they were very dry.

Read More…

Posted by: Democratic Thinker | July 16, 2014

Baron De Berenger: How to Protect Life—XI

Natural Rights

 
In 1835 Charles Random de Berenger—owner of the Stadium Rifle Club outside of London—publishes the first self-protection book. Written in the manner of a series of letters from Lt. Col. Baron De Berenger to his son Augustus, letters III, VI, IX & XI treat the subject of crime.

Avoid scrapes generally …


 

 

Helps and Hints
How To
Protect Life and Property:
With Instructions
in
Rifle and Pistol Shooting, &c.

—————

LETTER XI.

 

CONTINUATION OF LETTER IX.—SHOWING THE BEST MODES OF SELF-DEFENCE WHEN ATTACKED.

 

HOW TO CARRY AND USE PISTOLS may certainly be taught, but, after all, much must be left to your judgment as to adopting either of the modes that may be so suggested, or as to altering any, just as peculiar circumstances may make a change advisable. Let me, however, recommend the following as GENERAL PRECAUTIONS.

Load your pistols YOURSELF! and examine, as carefully as frequently, the state they are in, and that of your priming, be it of whatever kind.

NEVER allow others to handle your pistols, but keep them either in your own possession, or in a case with a good patent lock; be particular in the observance of this at inns, and on the road especially. Whilst changing horses, either remain with your pistols in the carriage, or take them with you if you enter an inn.

Draw the charge and re-load about two or three times per month; their getting wet, however, will make their immediate discharge, cleaning, and reloading, necessary. In a COACH, CHARIOT, or POST-CHAISE, when arriving at any dangerous or suspicious part, or during twilight, or when approached by persons to be mistrusted, remove your pistols from the case into those pockets of the carriage which are most within your reach, not forgetting to unbolt their locks, and seeing that the caps are on, and properly.

Read More…

Posted by: Democratic Thinker | July 16, 2014

Baron De Berenger: How to Protect Life—IX

Natural Rights

 
In 1835 Charles Random de Berenger—owner of the Stadium Rifle Club outside of London—publishes the first self-protection book. Written in the manner of a series of letters from Lt. Col. Baron De Berenger to his son Augustus, letters III, VI, IX & XI treat the subject of crime.

On failing to use arms, and which robbers most likely will discover about you, additional ill-treatment may fall to your lot, on grounds of your hostile intentions, and your want of nerve to carry them into effect. On using them ineffectually, they may, although illegally, claim your life as a stake won, by having received your fire; or they may return the latter, either from revenge, or from the fear of your firing again, and more successfully.


 

 

Helps and Hints
How To
Protect Life and Property:
With Instructions
in
Rifle and Pistol Shooting, &c.

—————

LETTER IX.

 

CONTINUATION OF LETTER VI.: SHOWING THE BEST MODES OF SELF-DEFENCE AGAINST ATTACKS, WHETHER IN THE STREETS OR ON THE HIGHWAYS OR ROADS.

 

HAVING given you in two former Letters the Rules and Cautions to which you ought to attend, whilst moving about the streets, and along the highways and roads, I will now instruct you as to the best modes of Self-defence in either of those places.

Your “tools,” or rather weapons, I shall first draw your attention to:

THE STICK is an excellent weapon, and in the hands of a good spadroon swordsman especially, wherefore I have frequently urged you to extend your fencing lessons at the Stadium to the spadroon. You are aware, I believe, that, by that name, I mean a straight sword, lighter than the Highland broadsword, and made to cut and thrust; as the mode of fencing with a spadroon is a combination of Highland broadsword practice with that of the small sword, so its application to the defence with the stick is particularly suitable.

Read More…

Posted by: Democratic Thinker | July 15, 2014

Baron De Berenger: How to Protect Life—VI

Natural Rights

 
In 1835 Charles Random de Berenger—owner of the Stadium Rifle Club outside of London—publishes the first self-protection book. Written in the manner of a series of letters from Lt. Col. Baron De Berenger to his son Augustus, letters III, VI, IX & XI treat the subject of crime.

Recollect that, to be prepared is a victory half gained! whilst to startle the unthinking, at least the unsuspecting, passenger, is the great engine employed by robbers, for they mostly have plundered such a person before he can have recovered his presence of mind sufficiently to make an effectual resistance.


 

 

Helps and Hints
How To
Protect Life and Property:
With Instructions
in
Rifle and Pistol Shooting, &c.

—————

LETTER VI.

 

CONTINUATION OF LETTER III; WITH GENERAL RULES AND CAUTIONS TO BE OBSERVED ON THE HIGHWAYS AND ROADS.

 

IF you walk along the highway, or near the outskirts of London, do not allow others, who are either behind or before, to come in close contact with you,—easily avoided as it is by your either passing them quickly, and at what distance you like, or, by your causing them to do so, by your loitering, or turning to one side or other. If a person following gains ground upon you, in any lonely part, do not in any way give him an idea of your being alarmed,—you may walk on more briskly, but refrain from running,—and also from turning frequently, as if looking for him; instead of the latter, listen to his steps, thus to ascertain whether he increases his speed, and if so, whether that increased speed is proportionate to your own, always making a proper allowance for the difference (if any) between his length of step and yours: if at night, and you cannot hear his step, every lamp, soon after you have passed it, will show you his long shadow, either before you or at your side, provided he has approached you near enough to be between the same two lamps with you.

Read More…

Posted by: Democratic Thinker | July 15, 2014

Baron De Berenger: How to Protect Life—III

Natural Rights

 
In 1835 Charles Random de Berenger—owner of the Stadium Rifle Club outside of London—publishes the first self-protection book. Written in the manner of a series of letters from Lt. Col. Baron De Berenger to his son Augustus, letters III, VI, IX & XI treat the subject of crime.

Since alert precaution is no more a confirmation of fear, than foolhardiness is a proof of courage, you ought not to disregard the advice of sound sense, for it will not fail to tell you, that it is less difficult, and therefore more rational, to avert an attack, than it is to repair the errors of carelessness, be it even by bravely, nay, dashingly subduing a robber, whom you have thus and so foolishly attracted.


 

 

Helps and Hints
How To
Protect Life and Property:
With Instructions
in
Rifle and Pistol Shooting, &c.

—————

LETTER III.

 

PRECAUTIONS WHICH OUGHT TO BE ATTENDED TO IN WALKING THE STREETS OF GREAT CITIES.

 

YOUR last letter, my dear son, can only be answered properly by conveying, in several letters, the advice therein requested; accordingly, I intend to divide my instructions,

1st, into General Precautions, applicable to Walking the Streets of any great City, &c.

2dly, those to be observed when Travelling on the Highways and Roads; and,

3dly, the best Modes of Defending yourself against the Attacks which may be made on you in either of these Situations.

Bear in mind that thieves, of whatever class, always prefer to make their attacks, or even their preparations for such, when they can make sure of some advantage: to lessen such advantages, by every precaution on your part, ought therefore to be your first care.

Read More…

Posted by: Democratic Thinker | July 8, 2014

Weekly Story: Parents, Keep a Steady Hand

Weekly Story

 
Charles Miner, a pioneer Pennslvania editor, observes his neighbors.



Parents, Keep a Steady Hand.

Essay from the Desk of Poor Robert the Scribe.

—————

If your children you’d command
Parents, keep a steady hand.

OUR parson used to say, “Just as the twig is bent the tree’s inclined,” and therefore every little fellow of us—rag-tag and bobtail—used to be obliged to say our chatechism every Saturday afternoon. And methinks I can trace the influence of the serious lessons in the conduct and opinions of every man who was brought up under the venerable pastor.

The government as well as education of children is a matter of the most momentuous concern.

Mrs. Hasty is as good a dispositioned woman as you will find in an hundred, but she “dont keep a steady hand” with her children. Tommy, said she, let that clock case alone. Tommy turned round, whistled for half a minute, and went to work at the clock again. Tommy, said she angrily, if you dont let that clock alone I certainly will whip you. I never did see such a boy, said the mother, he dont mind a word I say. She continued her knitting while Tom continued at the clock case till over it tumbled and dashed the clock and case to pieces. The mother up with the tongs and knocked poor Tomb sprawling among the ruins. Tom roared like Bedlam, and the kind woman took him up in her lap—was sorry she had hurt him, but then he should learn to mind his mother, and giving him a piece of cake to stop his crying picked up the ruins of the clock. What was the consequence? Why, Tom, who with “a steady hand” to govern him, would have became a man of worth, turned out a hasty, ill-natured villain.

Read More…

Posted by: Democratic Thinker | July 7, 2014

Isaac Watts: Logic

Western Thought

 
 
In 1724 Isaac Watts publishes the standard treatise on the study of Logic. In the introduction he defines the purpose and organization of his study.

Reason as to the Power and Principle of it, is the common Gift of God to all Men; tho’ all are not favoured with it by Nature in an equal Degree.

LOGICK:
OR,
The Right Use of REASON.
IN THE
ENQUIRY after TRUTH.

—————

The INTRODUCTION and general SCHEME.

 

LOGICK is the Art of using Reason* well in our Enquiries after Truths and the Communication of it to others.

Reason* is the Glory of human Nature, and one of the chief Eminencies whereby we are raised above our Fellow-creatures the Brutes in this lower World.

* The Word Reason in this Place is not confined to the mere Faculty of reasoning or inferring one thing from another, but includes all the intellectual Powers of Man.

Reason as to the Power and Principle of it, is the common Gift of God to all Men; tho’ all are not favoured with it by Nature in an equal Degree: But the acquired Improvement of it in different Men, make a much greater Distinction between them than Nature had made. I could even venture to say, that the Improvement of Reason hath raised the Learned and the Prudent in the European World, almost as much above the Hottentots, and other Savages of Africa, as those Savages are by Nature superior to the Birds, the Beasts, and the Fishes.

Read More…

Posted by: Democratic Thinker | July 5, 2014

The Lord’s Blessing

Considerations by the Way

 
 
An ancient instructor is instructed.


We shall not presume to anticipate the judgment of our fellow-citizens throughout the Union on these important letters, by interposing any comments of our own.—Four Letters on the Important Subject of Government, 1802.


 

Aaron, Say Unto Them …

 

The Lord’s Blessing.

—————

AND the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,

Speak unto Aaron and unto his sons, saying, On this wise ye shall bless the children of Israel, saying unto them,

Read More…

Posted by: Democratic Thinker | July 1, 2014

Weekly Story: Washington’s Farewell to his Mother

Weekly Story

 
 
George Washington’s adopted son recalls President-elect Washington’s visit with his mother.


“But go, George, fulfil the high destinies which Heaven appears to have intended you; go, my son, and may that Heaven’s and your mother’s blessing be with you always.”


 

 

Washington’s Farewell to His Mother.

—————

 

IMMEDIATELY after the organization of the present government [spring of 1789], the Chief Magistrate repaired to Fredericksburg, to pay his humble duty to his mother, preparatory to his departure for New York. An affecting scene ensued. The son feelingly remarked the ravages which a torturing disease had made upon the aged frame of the mother, and addressed her thus:

“The people, madam, have been pleased, with the most flattering unanimity, to elect me to the chief magistracy of these United States, but before I can assume the functions of my office, I have come to bid you an affectionate farewell. So soon as the weight of public business, which must necessarily attend the outset of a new government, can be disposed of, I shall hasten to Virginia, and—”

Here the matron interrupted with—“and you will see me no more; my great age, and the disease which is fast approaching my vitals, warn me that I shall not be long in this world; I trust in God that I may be somewhat prepared for a better. But go, George, fulfil the high destinies which Heaven appears to have intended you; go, my son, and may that Heaven’s and your mother’s blessing be with you always.”

Read More…

Posted by: Democratic Thinker | June 30, 2014

Clay—To Richard Pindell (February 17, 1849)

American Correspondence

 
 
Henry Clay—a strong Unionist—documents his plan for ridding Kentucky of slavery.


I am aware that there are respectable persons who believe that slavery is a blessing, that the institution ought to exist in every well organized society, and that it is even favorable to the preservation of liberty. Happily, the number who entertain these extravagant opinions is not very great, and the time would be uselessly occupied in an elaborate refutation of them.


 

TO RICHARD PINDELL, ESQ.

—————

NEW ORLEANS, February 17th, 1849.

DEAR SIR

PRIOR to my departure from home in December last, in behalf of yourself and other friends, you obtained from me a promise to make a public exposition of my views and opinions upon a grave and important question which, it was then anticipated, would be much debated and considered by the people of Kentucky, during this year, in consequence of the approaching Convention, summoned to amend their present Constitution. I was not entirely well when I left home, and owing to that cause, and my confinement several weeks, during my sojourn in this city, from the effects of an accident which befell me, I have been delayed in the fulfillment of my promise, which I now proceed to execute.

The question, to which I allude, is whether African slavery, as it now exists in Kentucky, shall be left to a perpetual or indefinite continuance, or some provision shall be made in the new Constitution, for its gradual and ultimate extinction?

Read More…

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