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There are those, indeed, we dare say, who like a celebrated functionary, will not “ like the looks” of our theory, for ascribing any kind of influence, connected with religion in the remotest degree, to the mode and accompaniments of public worship. Such of them as doubt with concern and charity we would simply refer again to the limits, not only of degree but of kind also, within which we confine that influence; and then, though they may see our doctrine to be idle, they cannot find it heretical or dangerous. But others of that number, it is very likely, may turn according to their wont, when the "Jooks" of a theological argument do not please thein, to their polemic repository, and out of its ample store draw forth, withoui deliberation, the stereotyped label, lettered Popeky, and hang it upon our discussion, especially if, by taking a word or clause here or there, apart from its connexion and from the spirit of the whole, they can find a seeming book for their label. To that decisive argument there can be no answer. Such kind of men would judge of a diamond by the accidental grain of dust that clouded its surface. If we do not lay down our arms, we at least retire from the contest.
But the feeling with which many may meet our argument, is one which is far more discouraging, namely: All this we knew and believed before. This may be said by some indeed with perfect truth ; but not by all of those to whose lips it will rise. It is one thing to have been led, by some occasion, to see glimpses of a truth, and then to let the matter die, and another to detect in it the life and power of a principle. Yet when it has happened to some to bring forward such principle, those who had seen it before, as nothing but a tolerable notion or maxim, are always ready to protest it is nothing new to them. Truth cannot breathe such air. An ocean of mighty principles might set in upon such minds, but the moment the rushing waves touch its outmost limit, they turn into vapor, and only add new shades to a land of shadows. If the great principles of culture are indeed recognised as principles by all those who have “known them long ago," why, in all their dealings with the spirit of man, is mind treated like matter, and power made synonymous with tangible machinery? Why, instead of calling on high power to develop high power, is the dry sand of Useful Knowledge laid upon the dry sand of the Understanding - a fertilizing process truly! Why, in estimating the means of culture which we possess as a nation, is it boasted that we already have the “ useful,” and as to the “ornamental,” we can do without it. [O! let it
NO. VII.-VOL. IV.
be remembered that within that useless “ ornamental” are contained nearly every product of all that is divine in the spirit of man.) Why all this excessive and fanatical confidence in Reforming Associations, appealing chiefly to motives and principles that vulgarize and debase humanity? Why, to come nearer to our particular topic, is the doctrine of an educated clergy so often made to mean nothing? Why are “ Theological Students" invited to think “College education" useless for them, and promoted from the workshop to a seat in judgment over Calvin and Arminius, within a brief year or two - Greek and Hebrew [aud Theology?] being dispensed with? Why are the qualifications of " laborers for the West” so accurately measured by those of an athlete, as though a Backwoodsman were to be fought withal for bis soul's health -as though men on the Missouri were not men? And why, finally, are the peculiarities of the Church objected to and defended amongst ourselves, as though bits of Greek out of Gregory or bits of Latin out of Jerome were all the reason there could be in the matter — as though a dozen yards of linen displayed in a shop window, or worn by the minister in holy services, would be all the same thing in worth and significancy, but for such "authority ?" When these questions shall have been satisfactorily answered, we will believe that the principles of culture are familiar as household words to every man in our utilitarian generation.
But we shall be well satisfied, if those who really “knew all this before,” shall see, in our attempt to apply the principles of culture to a single subject, (of which the interest is, indeed, somewhat limited,) a disposition to co-operate with them according to our ability, in the noble work of casting corrective and enlivening truths into the disturbed and divided currents of our country's intellectual activity.
“So build we up the Being that we are ;
Thus deeply drinking-in the soul of Things,
Whate'er we see,
Art. IV. — Origin, Progress, and Prospects of Steam Naviga
tion across the Atlantic, ctc. New York: 1838. Wiley and Putnam.
The sensation produced in April last, by the arrival of two large steam ships in our harbor from British ports, has scarcely yet subsided ; and if it has not been actually increased, it has from time to time been renewed by the reappearance of the GREAT Western, with as much regularity in proportion to the distance, as the steam passage boats upon the Hudson river, or Long Island Sound. The day on wbich that magnificent vessel followed the Sirius into this port at the interval of a few hours, and after a shorter passage, was hailed as the commencement of a new era in steam navigation; and in the excitement of the moment, the merit of originality was claimed and seemed to have been tacitly allowed in favor of those who had conducted these successful enterprises.
The publication of which the title - or one of its many titles - stauds at the head of this article, was apparently put forth to refute this claim : with what success in our opinion our readers have already been enabled to judge, both from the notice" of this pamphlet, and from our article on Atlantic steam navigation, in a former number of our journal.
Although the voyage across the Atlantic had been performed, as detailed in this publication, by our countryman, Captain Rogers, in the steam ship The Savannah, many years before the appearance of the Sirius and the Great Western in our waters, and the establishment, prior to that event, of the Robert Fulton as a steam packet between this port and New Orleans, as well as of several other steamers, as packets, plying coastwise between New York and Charleston, South Carolina, it was nevertheless admitted by us, on the occasion referred to, and will not, we presume, be hereafter denied, that Great Britain has preceded us in demonstrating both the practicability and advantage of a reguJar communication between the two continents by means of steam navigation, and in the actual establishment of such a line of communication. In our former article we enumerated some of the causes which enabled her thus to anticipate the proverbially adventurous and sagacious enterprise of our navigators.
But, besides her superiority in capital, and those peculiar geographical and other physical differences which induce a correspondent difference in the application and use of steam navigaiion in the two countries -- another powerful cause operated, for a long time, to prevent even an experiment from being made here for ascertaining the benefit and safety of navigating the ocean with vessels propelled by steam, unless by those whose interest it was to prevent its success.
So long as the ingenuity, enterprise, and capital of Messrs. Livingston and Fulton, and their associates, were successfully and fully engaged in the internal navigation by means of steam, of those waters within our jurisdiction which communicate with the ocean, under the exclusive right vested in them by the state, they had no suficient inducement to incur the hazards of the Atlantic voyage — and no other persons, whether natives or foreigners, without their license, could enter into any harbor of this state, or venture to depart from it, in a steamer, without incurring severe penalties and subjecting their vessels to immediate seizure and eventual forfeiture.
Although this cause was local in its operation, and bas for some years ceased to exist, yet, as it furnishes an instructive chapter in the history of steam navigation, we shall devote the present article to an account of the origin and character of this exclusive privilege, and of the cause and mode of its extinction. And, we trust, we shall the more readily be excused for this attempt, as the retrospect we propose to take may revive the memory of a subject, too interesting to be forgotten, and throw additional light upon the respective and relative pretensions of several individuals, who have claimed the merit of original discoveries or important improvements in steam navigation.
Notwithstanding it has been incontestibly established that the first successful application of the power of steam engines to vessels for any practical or enduring purpose was made in America, it has been shown as conclusively, that nearly a century before the first experiment in this country, a patent was granted in England, to Jonathan Hull, " for a machine by him invented, for carrying vessels or ships out of any harbor, port, or river, against wind or tide, or in a calm.” This machine, as appears from the specifications and drawings published at the time, consisted of a boat with a water wheel on each quarter, moved by means of the atmospheric steain engine then in use -- and experiments were made with it in Plymouth harbor.* But to whatever extent
See Quarterly Review for December, 1818.
those experiments may have proved the practicability of applying steam to propel a vessel — the invention in question does not seem to have been ever brought into use. We hear, indeed, nothing further of this or any other similar invention in England, until the year 1796, when a patent was granted to Edward Thomason for a "fire ship," a model of which, with vertical wheels at the sides, operated upon by a steam engine, was exhibited to the British admiralty.* But whether any further steps were taken or attempted under this patent, does not appear. The inference, however, is irresistible, that if any vessel had been built after that model and put in actual operation, some evidence of it would have remained.
The existence of such proof is however of less importance in this inquiry, as several experiments in steam navigation had been previously made by Fitch, Rumsey, Stevens, Livingston, Morey, Burgess, Roosevelt, and others, in this country, and by the Marquis of Jouffroy, in France.f From these prior experiments, as well as from those subsequently made in France by Mr. Fulton in conjunction with Mr. Livingston, various controversies have arisen in regard to the originality of the steam boat; and the claims of Mr. Fulton to this merit, or to that of an improved application of the steam engine to a vessel, were materially involved in that series of litigation which ended in the overthrow of the exclusive privilege of steam navigation, that he had held for many years in conjunction with Mr. Livingston. This right was set up under successive acts of the legislature of New York, of which the first was passed in 1798, and bears upon its face evidence of the existence and adınission of an antecedent claim to that invention, of which it transfers the reward from the acknowledged inventor to Mr. Livingston. This act is entitled “ an act repealing an act for granting and securing to John Fitch the sole right and advantage of making and employing the stcam-boat, by him lately invented, and for other purposes.” The preamble recites that Robert R. Living" the possessor
of a mode of applying the steam engine to propel a boat on new and advantageous principles, but that he was deterred from putting the same into effect by the existence of the law in favor of Fitch, passed in 1787, as well as by the hazard and uncertainty of a very expensive experiment." It suggests, that Fitch was “either dead, or had with
* See Repertory of Arts, v. 10. p. 300.