Miscellaneous Writings by George W. Burnap . . .

MISCELLANEOUS WRITINGS, By GEORGE W. BURNAP, Author of Lectures to Young Men, Lectures on the Sphere and Duties of Women, &c. &c. collected and revised by the author. Printed and published by John Murphy, 178 Market-st. Baltimore, and sold by all the principle Booksellers throughout the United States. 1845.

  The writings of Mr. Burnap have been much read and exercised a very considerable influence, but it has not happened to ourselves to peruse one of his volumes before this. In it we find reasons for that influence—a great deal of that ‘sense that all men have,’ with force and directness in expressing it; a great respect for high culture in literature or science, and for strength in character; conservatism at the bottom of all his thoughts, but with freedom and liberal notions as to the means of maintaining it.—

  As a specimen of the latter we insert the following extract from his preface:

  It may seem to some a violation of good taste, to mingle, in the same volume, things sacred and secular, thus apparently putting them upon the same level.

  The author has been disposed to take a different view. Truth and duty he considers the highest objects of the present life. It is impossible to know what is duty, until we know what is truth. The things about which there is the greatest ignorance, are the commonest affairs of daily life, the relations of capital to labor, the relations of trade to production, of property to money, of government to society. Without a knowledge of these things, with the best intentions, a man is liable to commit the grossest mistakes. To the man who is anxious to do right, a knowledge of these things is second in importance only to those higher relations which the soul sustains to God. Indeed, our allegiance to our Maker is best displayed by a conscientious discharge of the most common obligations, those of the citizen and man of business, as well as those of the husband, son, father and friend.

  All duties centre in religion as the point from which they radiate, and to which they converge. And no part of human duty can be foreign to the calling of a religious teacher.

  It is for these reasons that the author has ever been ready to lend his aid to enterprises of literary and scientific culture, and it is for the same reasons that he now submits to the public a work of a character like the present, made up, for the most part, of public addresses, delivered on occasions both sacred and secular.

Baltimore, August, 1845.

  In the Oratioun o the Professions and that on the rise and principles of the Society of Friends will be found good statements from the author’s point of view. Our own is so different that to speak in detail of what he says would be to utter often a radical protest, generally a thorough revision as to the subject matter. But we are glad to have his way of thinking well and clearly stated, that all minds may have fair means of judging just how much it is worth, and whether we may not hope, by deeper plowing, to produce a nobler harvest.*

“Miscellaneous Writings, by George W. Burnap . . .” New-York Daily Tribune, 21 November 1845, p. 1.