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in the great service of regenerating the world. The Governments of the two countries should keep this consideration constantly before them, and every opportunity should be improved to cherish the mutual kindness and respect which befit the high work they are called unitedly to fulfil. They should view it as their mission, not to kindle the torch of war, but to act as conservators of peace; and if they ever draw the sword, it should not be against each other, but to compel nations to sheathe it who have long bathed it in blood. A war between England and America would be the heaviest calamity in this eventful age, which the pride, or vanity, or ambition of wild politicians could inflict on the world.
There is also great danger lest in this rapid course of prosperity and development, we should fall into forgetfulness of God. “Beware that thou forget not the Lord thy God, but when thou hast eaten and art full, and hast built goodly houses and dwelt therein; and when thy herds and thy flocks multiply, and thy silver and thy gold is multiplied, and all that thou hast is multiplied; then thy heart be lifted up, and thou forget the Lord thy God, and say in thine heart, My power and the might of my
hand has gotten me this wealth.” To no nation, not even to Israel, prosperous as they were, could this admonition be more applicable than to ourselves
as a people. Our prosperity has outstripped the predictions of the most sanguine; but forgetfulness of the Giver in his gifts, is already but too manifest among us; and I dread the prevalence of it. Whenever prosperity and success, especially in objects of public interest, crown the efforts of man, his proud heart seems inclined to ask, "Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honor of my majesty." True, it is a haughty monarch, glorying in his uncontrolled and unlimited sovereignty, who stands as the recorded example of such guilt and of its consequences. But in a land where every one feels that the sovereignty belongs to the people, and that he is one of the people; and that whatever national greatness may be achieved, belongs to him as a part of the nation; there is peculiar danger that this boastful spirit may become a national and easily besetting sin. And if our pride is pictured in the example of the King of Babylon, ought we not to fear lest our doom should also be found written in the tragical end of his kingdom? Pride intoxicates while it also corrupts, making those an easy prey who might otherwise be invincible. It ruled the throne of Babylon when Nebuchadnezzar no longer reigned. It taught his son to “ lift up himself against the Lord of heaven;" and to abandon himself to scenes of revelry and profanity, leaving the gates of the city unguarded, until they were entered by the victorious Medes and Persians. “The fingers of a man's hand,” which wrote his doom" on the plaster of the wall," have repeated the warning ever since; and from the day when that once proud and powerful empire, “the beauty of the Chaldees' excellency,“ hardened her mind in pride," and said, “I shall be a Lady for ever-I, and none else besides me,” the world has been filled with examples, both in princes and people, that “a haughty spirit goeth before a fall.” May God save our nation from the sin, and then we shall be safe from its penalty.
In the opening Lecture of this series, we advanced the proposition that not only is Civil Government the ordinance of God, but that the essential principles of civil freedom carry the seal of his authority; and that when nations "began to multiply on the earth,” he made a revelation of his will, showing how the relation between rulers and ruled should be formed and regulated. This revelation was given when the Hebrews were brought out of Egypt. While God instructed them as his church in the great doctrines of redeeming grace, he did not overlook their welfare as a nation; but distinguished and elevated them above the kingdoms of that day, by forming them into a commonwealth under civil enactments, which embraced all the essential features of public freedom, or of a well-ordered Republic
Before entering on the argument, we replied to the inquiry, whether civil liberty is such a blessing as to render it a fit subject for the express revelation which we assigned to it. We showed that it is in the fullest sense worthy of a revelation direct
from God, because of its importance not only to the physical and social welfare of man, but to the development of his intellectual and moral faculties; and, because without it, Christianity itself is enfeebled and fettered. Indeed Christendom, far and near, seems to be waking up to this great truth. That honored class of men, the apostles of our day, the missionaries now laboring in heathen lands, are constantly sending to the churches at home, entreaties that we would pray for the spread of civil liberty, as indispensable to the “free course” of the Gospel.
We now come to the direct proof of our proposition. We may begin by an argument taken from
The nature of the case. It has passed into a maxim in the science of public morals, that men do not so much make institutions, as that institutions make men. This is one of the results which philosophy has drawn from universal history. Nations do not rise from degradation and barbarity of their own accord, unaided by some external agency above and beyond themselves. And what, let me ask, was the condition of the whole world when Moses arose as the inspired teacher and liberator of the Hebrews? Ignorance and bondage covered the human race as with the pall of death. The dominion of rulers was either acquired by the sword, or transmitted by inheritance from father to son; the people having no