« AnteriorContinuar »
• Man-slaughter, has been held the highest pitch
Of human glory!” “ Whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members ? ye lust and have not, ye kill and desire to have and cannot obtain!” And in gratifying these lusts of ambition, conquest, revenge,glory, what myriads of men have been led to mutual butchery, who might have lived and loved as brethren!
“ Lands intersected by a narrow frith
Like kindred drops, been mingled into one !" What multitudes of our brothers and sisters writhe daily beneath the goading thong of the demon slave-driver, the helpless victims of his cruelty, avarice and lust! Who, reflecting on the miseries which man entails on man, is not ready to exclaim
“My ear is pain’d, My soul is sick, with every day's report Of wrong and outrage with which earth is filled !”
We enter what was once a well-cultivated garden, where the choicest flowers exhaled
their sweetness, and the most luxuriant foliage cast its broad shadows along the smooth turf, but its hedges are broken down, swine trample on its borders, and its fragrant arbours are demolished. Many a majestic, though mutilated trunk still remains, telling us eloquently of the past, and “many a garden flower still grows wild,” but how deteriorated, and what rank weeds overspread the whole! Has no effort been ever made to restore its former beauty ? Many, but while the cattle have been driven out in one direction, they have re-entered in another, while the fences have been repaired here, they have been torn down yonder, and the weeds have spread under the very hands of the labourers, and in spite of the most vigorous efforts to root them up. Alas ! alas ! must this garden ever lie waste ?
We stand amidst the ruins of some majestic temple. Its massive walls gape with many a big rent, its noble columns are prostrate on the ground, and its marble sculptures lie shattered and defiled. How glorious once it was with swelling arch, and
stately tower, and sky pointing pinnacle, when the voice of praise never ceased to echo through its vaulted nave! Can it never be rebuilt ? Men have tried, but though they have filled up those rents, the wall has not been strengthened, and those columns, though upreared, have again fallen prostrate. Philosophers have propounded their various theories for the regeneration of society, and learned men and moralists have mused and taught and toiled, but how little power have the most beautiful of their inventions possessed! Abstract principles of right have been enforced, but how impotent have they proved against lust and selfishness! Various forms of government have been devised—Monarchy, to repress the lawlessness of the many; Democracy, to resist the tyranny of the few; Constitutions, Representation of the People, Chartism, Socialism, Communism, Liberty, Equality, Fraternity, Universal Brotherhood, yet what disappointment has attended every scheme. The stones of the ruin have been placed side by side but there has been no cement to
bind them together. Many labourers have toiled to restore that garden to its former beauty, but the shrubs they planted would seldom take root, the branches which reappeared on the trees, instead of growing out from within, were only tied on from without, and the flowers and fruit for a time fair to look upon, were too often found to be but artificial imitations. Has there been then no good whatever in those various schemes to benefit mankind ? Is there no truth in Philosophy, and abstract principles, and just laws, and equal rights, and constitutional governments ? Far otherwise! But they possess no inward life. We must look to a higher source than earth. The ruin cannot raise itself. He who first planted the garden must restore it. He who first reared the temple must rebuild it. The attempts of Philosophers, Politicians, Philanthropists, have always ended in disappointment. But God has instituted a plan of reformation, and this, in proportion as men have believed it and developed it, has never failed. This and
this alone when fully carried out, will bind up that which is broken, will gather together the sundered sections of the great human family, and bring about a divine Socialism, that golden age, that promised Millenium, when love and happiness shall reign through the wide world! The founder of this Divine Socialism, the framer and first link in this bond of universal brotherhood, is the “MAN CHRIST JESUS !”
The object of this book is to direct attention to Jesus as the only effectual regenerator of society, who, in order to purify, gladden, and save mankind, to soothe our sorrows and sanctify our trials, and effect a true socialism which in time shall make earth resemble heaven, laid aside his heavenly glory, assumed our nature, encountered our foes, and endured our trials,—who, in order thoroughly to identify himself with us, became “partaker of our flesh and blood," was “in all points tried like as we are," and “ was not ashamed to call us brethren.”
Man’s remedies have failed in consequence