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It was about the middle of September, 1841, that Mr. Kendall was made prisoner by the Mexicans. His journey to the capital did not terminate until the 9th of the following February, when he was comniitted to close confinement in the hospital of San Lazaro. Strong efforts were in the mean time made by his friends in the United States, and efforts, which he appears to think might well enough have been stronger, by our minister in Mexico, to procure his release. Both he and Mr. Gregg entertain the opinion, that the intervention of our diplomatic agents in cases of this kind is far less effectual than that of the representative of Great Britain ; probably the Mexican authorities are apprized, that the attention of our government at home is too much occupied with the great concerns appertaining to the welfare of party, to permit them to take much interest in other matters. General Thompson, however, the late minister, took a warm and active interest in procuring his liberation ; but just at the moment when this seemed to have been effected, he was transferred to Santiago, where a body of the Texans were imprisoned, and was there put in fetters. The reason of this change he does not know. It is probable, however, that the Mexican government could not be induced to believe that any man should have joined the Texan expedition with any other purpose than that of subverting their republic ; and doubtless his tour will be the last which will be made for some time in that direction merely for the sake of recreation. By the 21st of April, he was at length released, after an imprisonment of more than seven months, and, with as little delay as possible, travelled to Vera Cruz, where he embarked for this country, and arrived after an absence of about a year ; a term filled up with more adventure and vicissitude than commonly fall to the lot of travellers in these piping times of peace.
After his liberation, the author continued his observations to good purpose, and with a spirit that does not seem to have been at all clouded by the trials he had undergone. Some traits in the Mexican character, which he describes, might well enough find imitators here. Among them, he says,
“ Poverty is certainly no crime,- is never insulted. The unfortunate mendigo, or beggar, is seldom or never spurned from the door of the rich ; but, on the contrary, his misfortunes entitle him at least to respect, if not to alms, and invariably both are
bestowed. No concealment of poverty is attempted ; - the poor Mexican family, unlike that of the American or English in sim. ilar circumstances, never impoverishes itself still farther by forced endeavours to conceal its real necessities. Of such hos. pitality as the Mexican dwelling affords the stranger is always invited to partake ; and, while the master frankly admits his pov. erty, he at the same time uses it as an excuse for the scantiness of the repast to which he invites his guest. The stranger is not told that his presence is unexpected ; that the butcher has neglected to furnish meat, with a threat to patronize him no more ; that the bread has just given out, and that there is no time to bake or send for a supply, or any of the thousand and one excuses a false and foolish pride invents in other lands, to conceal ils indigence;- nothing of the kind is resorted to. • Somos pobres,' we are poor people, — is the honest admission made by the Mexican to cover any deficiency in his entertainment." Vol. 11., pp. 339, 340.
We are reluctant to lose this opportunity of reading a lecture upon the great question of « annexation,” and our relations with Mexico, which circumstances have invested with no small importance ; but we have no doubt, that our readers will think it quite as well, that we have limited ourselves to an account of the narratives before us. In taking leave of Mr. Kendall, we feel bound to say, that his humor is not always such as could be wished; but he is a liberal and keen observer, and an animated writer, and his volumes will be sure to give both entertainment and instruction.
ART. VIII. - The History of the Puritans, or Protestant
Non-conformists, from the Reformation in 1517, to the Revolution in 1688 ; comprising an Account of their Principles ; their Attempts for a farther Reformation in the Church ; their Sufferings ; and the Lives and Characters of their most considerable Divines. By DANIEL NEAL, M. A. Revised, corrected, and enlarged, with Additional Notes. By John O. CHOULES, M. A. New York: Harper & Brothers. 1844. 2 vols. 8vo.
We are pleased to see an American edition of this valuable work on political and ecclesiastical history, edited with a care which insures the correctness of its statements, and placed at a price which brings it within the reach of the most humble book-collector. It is reprinted from the text of Dr. Toulmin's edition, containing his notes, illustrations, and corrections, and thoroughly revised by Mr. Choules, the American editor. It now forms, probably, the most complete, and, in the main, the most correct account of one of the most remarkable bodies of men that ever appeared in the world.
Mr. Choules has executed his task with marked ability. His notes give evidence of the care with which he has scrutinized the text of his author, and the extent of his researches into the literature and history of the periods he illustrates. He has consulted the most approved works on the subject, especially some which have been published since Dr. Toulmin's edition appeared ; and has rescued from oblivion many a choice sentence and pregnant fact, interred in old and rare pamphlets and tomes eaten by time. The editing of the book has evidently been a labor of love ; and much has been added to make us more familiar with the habits, manners, modes of thought, and principles of action, current among
the Puritans, and to enable us to appreciate the position they occupied with respect to their contemporaries. Both of the editors are characterized by a love of religious liberty, and do not hesitate to give their author a little gentle correction when he slips from the principles of toleration. Both are Baptists ; Dr. Toulmin an Arian Baptist, Mr. Choules a Calvinistic one. In the notes of the former, some curious information is given respecting the Unitarians who were mingled among the persecuted non-conformists, and of the hot disputes which sometimes occurred between men confined in one prison, for one offence.
Mr. Choules occasionally allows a little acerbity to steal into his style, in referring to the pretensions of Episcopacy and Catholicism ; but not more than could be expected from a man who has devoted years to a tract of history, blasted by the fire of theological batred, and red with the blood of the saints. It is almost imposible for any person, whose pulse leaps at the thought of senseless and brutal wrong, done to men whose only sin consisted in being purer and more honest than their contemporaries, to travel through circumstantial details of rapine and murder, without occasionally letting loose his tongue, both at the perpetrators and at the systems under which such crimes were sanctified. Such little: deviations from the bland and opinionless impartiality, with which such enormities should be contemplated, must be forgiven to those who edit narratives of religious feuds and persecutions.
The Rev. Daniel Neal, the author of the work, lived at a period when the ardor of theological dispute and recrimination had become allayed, and when the history of the Puritans could be written with the calmness requisite for truth and fairness. He was born in 1678, and died in 1743. The first volume of his bistory appeared in 1732. He was a clergyman of the old school of laborers, once so common in New England, writing two sermons a week for thirty years, devoting eight or twelve afternoons in the month to visiting his congregation, and after wearing out brain and body in the service of his people, dying at last with the pen literally trembling in his hand. Though, in his doctrinal sentiments, a Calvinist, and a sturdy defender of his creed, he appears to have been temperate and just to others, disliking warfare on points of faith, and especially opposed to that mode of argument which addresses the reason through penal laws and machines of torture. He was what the world, almost universally, would call a good man, — performing all the relations of life with exemplary fidelity, and presenting a character which infidelity could not but honor, and even licentiousness respect. We believe that he aimed conscientiously at truth in his history, and was incapable of a deliberate perversion of fact. The general fairness of his statements, though doubted at times, has never been successfully impugned. All the errors which criticism has discovered in his work arose either from the imperfection of bis materials, or that unconscious bias towards his own party, from which the most candid minds are not always free. His character in every respect shines well, as contrasted with that of his opponents, Grey and Warburton, who brought in question his historical honesty.
The candor of such a critic as Dr. Grey may be estimated by his edition of Hudibras, in which he seems to have taken great delight in prowling amidst the literary filth of Charles the Second's time, to rake up morsels of ribaldry, originally directed by sensualists and renegades against the Puritans, and which by the mercy
of the world, would otherwise have been allowed to rot out of existence. The fierce, unjust, domineering spirit of Warburton, whose vast learning was held in bondage to paradox and bigotry, and who passed to preferment and power through the gate of sycophancy, was not peculiarly fitted to criticise, or even consistently to abuse, such a man as Neal. At any rate, all the light which has been shed on the times since the original work was written has flowed freely into the minds of its editors, and any mistakes into which the author may have fallen have been rigorously corrected. As it now stands, it can be taken as a reliable history, in which matters of fact and matters of opinion are cautiously discriminated.
The style of Neal's work, if it does not evince a large command of expression, is still not deficient in many excellences. It contains numerous passages of that homely eloquence, which springs from simple earnestness of feeling, and finds its way directly to the heart. There is occasionally much felicity in the selection of words embodying homely fancies, and which convey the sense by suggesting an image. This characterizes, indeed, almost all the school of writers to which Neal belonged, and gives to many of the forgotten pamphlets of the last half of the seventeenth century a raciness of style more expressive than elegant. There is, at times, considerable picturesque quaintness in Neal, and not unfrequently a kind of half-suppressed irony, which relieve the business-like character of the general composition of his history. We have not found the book dull. By occasionally skipping or condensing an account of some Non-conformist preacher, in whose biography the author's pen is a little too liberal of ink, and disregarding a few abstracts of voluminous documents, we think it would please the general reader. The honesty and simplicity of the writer's nature shine clearly through his style, and give it an originality and freshness which it could not derive from a more scrupulous rhetoric and a less natural arrangement. In the narration of facts, the disposition of arguments, the compression of evidence, the review of disputed questions, and often in the keen criticism of motives, and clear insight into matters overladen with passion and verbiage, the style and the mind of Neal are displayed to great advantage. It is difficult to resist the conclusion, that the intention of the author in writing his work was not to serve any party or VOL. LX. — NO. 126.