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demagogues, and allay the heat of party spirit. In religious matters, let the Bible be the standard, and let us set our watches to it by actual inspection, and not depend upon another to give us the time; much less, upon those who go by a dial, governed by the moon, instead of the Sun of Righteousness. Although our time may then agree with the big clock, it will be for the reason that it is correctly set to the same standard. It is very agreeable to go with the multitude if rightbetter be alone than wrong, or to wrangle with those who differ in opinion, and believe they are right. Let every one be persuaded in his own mind, is the injunction. By these remarks, I mean not, that one man shall treat those with contempt or indifference, who differ with him in opinion—but the reverse—they should be respected because they have an independence of mind, without which man is a mere automaton. Nor do I undervalue the opinions of others. This would be to repress, not encourage investigation, and would be an assumption of infallibility, which belongs only to God. Let opinion be free as mountain air, and not be confined by demagogues or priests, by metaphysicians or dogmatists, by kings or popes, but based on Reason and Revelation. Nor do I mean any disrespect to those who are worthy and competent to lead-for leaders there must be. I only wish to prompt men to use the noble powers of their immortal minds for themselves, that they may better benefit others; and neither let them rust out, or be worn out, to forward the selfish designs of intriguing and ambitious aspirants. Discussion in the mental, like a thunder storm in the natural world, purifies the atmosphere, and when the clouds are cleared away by the action that produced the commo
tion, the sunbeams of truth in the former, as the fountain of light in the latter, shine upon all around.
Be not over anxious to know the opinions of others concerning yourself. If they are favorable, it may increase that rank weed, pride—if the reverse, it may sour your temper and destroy your happiness. To be cursed with this kind of curiosity, is worse than corns on the toes—or gout in the head. Cultivate an independence of mind, deserve the good opinion of others—then run your boat in the middle channel—be neither too anxious, nor yet indifferent of what others think of you. Keep a conscience void of offence, act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly before God and man.
For years, my voice and pen have been arrayed against this foul spirit, nor shall my humble efforts relax, until the purple current ceases to flow from my heart, or the enemy is subdued. Its history is red with blood
-its career has been marked with desolation and ruin, often riding on the whirlwind of faction, and the tornado of fanaticism. It has blotted kingdoms and empires from the map of the world—its burning lava has consumed nations, blighted the fairest portions of creation, and sacrificed millions upon its sanguinary altar. Its motive power is wild ambition—its fuel, too often, fell revenge-its object, illegitimate power. I refer to its past history, from which we are to draw lessons for the present and future. Human nature is the same-like circumstances will produce the same results. Although this Bohon Upas has not attained a towering height in our own country, it is taking deep root in our communityits poison already contaminates our political and religious atmosphere—it has already had its victims of blood, and blighted the fair reputation of many an individual. Its miasma has reached our ballot boxes, violated the peaceful fireside, traduced private character, invaded patriotism, induced perjury, countenanced forgery, corrupted our elective franchise, arrested the liberty of free discussion, and produced mobocracy, in its most fearful aspect, marked with sanguinary scenes and direful consequences.
If these sad effects have been realized in the springtime of its growth, how awful will be the consequences of its summer foliage, and autumnal maturity? The solution of this problem is found in crimson, and fully demonstrated in the history of nations that once were, but now are not-nations who enjoyed the sunshine of prosperity, until this demon sealed their ruin.
It is contended by many, that it is the safety of a Republic to have two political parties, that one may watch and detect the corrupt designs of the other. If this argument is sound, our country is highly favored, for we have four distinct parties, besides guerilla leaders, who plunder from each of the others. The argument would be sound, if either party would banish all demagogues from its ranks—become purely patriotic-be guided entirely by love of country, charity towards others, the fear of God, prudence, sound discretion, and rigid justice to all. As they are now constituted, for one to correct the faults of the other, would be like Satan rebuking sin. There are good traits and good men in each party, but good men are not apt to become party leaders, and bad riders will
spoil the best of horses. Many of the prominent leaders of the present day, are much like the Kilkenny cats.
We have swarms of demagogues who are destitute of patriotism—who are regardless of the good of our country; men of seven principles—" five loaves and two
fishes”—men who put on the livery of heaven to accomplish base party purposes—who unite an oily tongue with a scorpion heart—an evil brain with an active body—often sacrificing honor, integrity, and even their friends; to carry out plans, based entirely upon PARTY SPIRIT; pressing towards the end, with the force of a locomotive, regardless of the means brought in requisition.
The influence of this foul spirit has often manifested itself in our legislative halls, in the cabinet, and in the distribution of executive patronage. It is no longer an inquiry, what, but who recommends a man to office. The first and highest qualification is, to belong to the party in power—"Is he honest ? is he worthy ? is he competent ?” are old fashioned Jeffersonian questions, of secondary importance. It is with reluctance, that a man of real worth and modest merit, enters the political arena, or consents to encounter the pestiferous atmosphere of PARTY SPIRIT, now hanging, like an incubus, over our beloved country. Nor is merit a necessary qualification with the demagogue. Available—is the omnipotent word—the grand counter-sign—the magic passport to a nomination—and when nominated—the candidate must be voted for, although destitute of capacity, moral virtue, and the requisites of a statesman. As a natural consequence, dignity, decorum, and common courtesy; are often banished from our legislative halls-scenes of confusion occur-crimination and re
crimation usurp the place of sound logic and courteous debate--reason is dethroned—common decency out'raged—the business of our country neglected, or badly performed-party laws passed at one session, and repealed at the next-all the result of being enslaved by PARTY SPIRIT.
Let those who love LIBERTY and our common country, burst the fetters of party—think and act for themselves-spurn the fawning demagogue, and become FREEMEN indeed. On this course depends our safetyour final national destiny.
Party spirit is not confined to the political arena. It has raised Alpine barriers in the way of the religion of the cross-sectarian walls, behind which the skeptic, the infidel, and unbelievers, hide with impunity. All Christian creeds are professedly drawn from the same pure fountain-yet, by a kind of chemical process, each sect gives its own supply a hue to suit its own fancy, and each forms a distinct party. How awful the persecutions of party spirit, by one set of professing Christians against another - let past history tell, and the angry clouds that are gathering in our own country, confirm.
Unless intelligence, wisdom, and prudence, check the onward career of PARTY SPIRIT, daily accumulating force in our midst, our country is doomed-our union dissolved our LIBERTY lost—our FREEDOM gone.