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A Tribute from England to America.
"IN OTHER LANDS, ANOTHER BRITAIN SEE:
QUOTED BY DANIEL WEBSTER,
AT BOSTON, 1849.
-By an English poet of Colonial Times.
An American Tribute to England.
THICKER THAN WATER IN ONE RILL,
THROUGH CENTURIES OF STORY,
OUR SAXON BLOOD HAS FLOWED, AND STILL
THE SHADOW AND THE GLORY.
AMESBURY, 22, 9m, 1874."
-John G. Whittier.
By C. PIAZZI SMYTH, F.R.S.E., F.R.A.S., F.R.SS.A.; F.R.SS.L. & E., HON. M. INST. ENGIN. SC., P.S.ED., R.A.A.S. MUNICH AND PALERMO; LATE PROFESSOR OF PRACTICAL ASTRONOMY IN THE UNVERSITY
OF EDINBURGH, AND ASTRONOMER-ROYAL FOR SCOTLAND;
ETC., AND OF THE EDINBURGH STAR
HAVING been favored by my friend Lieutenant and Professor C. A. L. Totten, U. S. Army, from across the Atlantic with an early reading of both the Preface and a Digest of all the Chapters of his forthcoming important book on the solution of a grandiose problem of ancient and modern humanity, affecting equally both the United States' great nation, and Great Britain with her many Colonies arranged around the world,-actually accounting for much of their past, and indicating not a little of their future; I find myself further invited by him, in terms I cannot ignore, to inform his co-citizen readers in the West, what mine, who have studied the subject
* I am constrained most naturally to assign to this superlatively handsome, and certainly far too generous, introductory monograph of Professor Smyth's its really logical and proper place as Prologue to the entire Series of Studies,—the which sufficiently accounts for its apparently illogical precedence (in so far, however, only as its merely nominal designation is concerned) over the Preface to which he refers. This latter more particularly concerns the Study with which the Series commences, to which it is therefore intentionally relegated. C. A. L. T.
here in the East, may be likely to think of this his latest and fullest publication on so absorbing a theme.
Permit me, if you please, to confine my answer, as above, to those who have "studied " the subject. For the result of such study, whenever pursued far enough, is invariably to find that it is a Scriptural one ;—and every successive antagonistic dictum uttered against it by even the most worldly-learned of University Doctors, without taking the Bible for their guide and sure illuminator, does but land them in such absurdity of errors, as to strengthen instead of overthrow the findings of those who have, like Lieutenant Totten for this particular case, re-read their Bible pure and simple, without needless reliance on the hitherto so often prejudiced commentaries, and rather far-fetched spiritualizations of very good men in the past, but by no means, as men, necessarily acquainted with all the ineffable intentions of the Almighty, the Covenant-Keeping God of Israel, to bring about in their future, but our present, time-with responsibilities on all who read, and condemnation on those who neglect or despise.
With such restriction, then, as to those to be reported exemplarily upon, I venture to affirm that all who have in this British nook and corner of the world been earnestly exercising themselves upon this same question through many years past, and are daily increasing their numbers, and strengthening their faith in the general character of its methods and eventual results, will be delighted to hear that one who is already so favorably known to them in other lines of literary research as Lieutenant Totten, and considered in those lines one
of the ablest, as well as most hard-working, men of the day, signal for mathematical investigation, for extensive reading, for judicial soundness in weighing conflicting evidence, and finally for undaunted allegiance to whatever truth shall be ultimately developed, has, after years of examination from his more professional points of approach, obtained such clear and convincing views, as to have become inevitably impressed that the time has now arrived when he is bound to publish, and to let others partake of his magnificent findings.
No less imperial an epithet can be given to them by me; for, on one side and as regards the material world with the thousand-and-one facts of daily life which go towards constituting any one people the leading nation of mankind in the present age, his prime result there of solution has the recommendation almost sublime which attaches to Newtonian Gravity in the celestial spaces; viz., that from a single, all but à priori, assumption it explains all known facts of motion yet observed. While on the other, or the spiritual and religious side, Lieutenant Totten's equally necessary solution there has the same importance among its compeers; for it explains in their first, direct, and simplest meanings of the written words, and on one and the same line of development, so many passages of Scripture very variously interpreted and most obscurely applied, hitherto.
And what is the effect of so unexpected a discovery on the Bible itself?
It is twofold. First, it causes us to behold and acknowledge therein the accomplishment of a true miracle, and of the mightiest kind through the ages, consummated
in our own days. And, Second, it causes the Bible to become for the Neo-Israelitic Anglo-Saxons of America and Great Britain with her Colonies, as it was for the tribes of Israel of old, an infallible book for their national guidance in politics, -as well as a collection of Inspired instructions for each individual soul in religion.
"Is this overpowering thesis really, securely, and worthily set forth," does any doubter demand anew, "in the moderately sized work which I am attempting, however feebly, to delineate from my retirement among the descendants of Ephraim Joseph and the Tribes his fellows, here in the East, to his brethren of Manasseh Joseph in the West ?"
I know of no abler, better prepared, and more original-minded a writer on the subject than that same little book's most worthy author.
Wherefore I can only say to others, as I have already to myself, and with profit: Read, reflect on, and revolve every page of it in your souls, while yet there is time; for God's purposes will not always wait for man's reluctances.
A miracle of the Bible, affecting God's Covenant people, is undoubtedly being wrought out in our midst; and may divine Grace to perceive it be extended to all who do their best to understand the foundations on which it is laid.
At CLOVA, RIPON, ENGLAND:
In the wane of Christmastide, 1889.
C. P. S.