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and therefore not Christian preaching. We hope and trust that the pulpit, any more than the press, will never be silent, while political life is as corrupt as the conduct of party men and the language of newspapers show it to be at the present day. But setting aside the duty of fidelity to his religion as a sufficient reason why the preacher should“ preach politics,” his patriotism, his love of country, of her institutions of government, should

urge
him to the same course.

Can institutions like ours be preserved while they who vote and they who are voted for,

that is, they who administer the government, as political action is concerned, to set at defiance the common rules of morals and religion, -rules whose authority they are ready to acknowledge in all the other relations and transactions of life?

There are no more crying sins in our land, at this day, than political sins; and we do not forget intemperance or slavery ; or, if an exception must be made, it can only be in favor of cheating in the smaller transactions of trade. Falsehood in political action, and falsehood in trade are vices so common, and so destructive of all that is noble and elevated in character, pure and permanent in legislation, that that minister should be honored above others as the true minister and the genuine patriot, who now and then of a Sunday is willing to forget and forego some of the abstractions of a new philosophy or an old theology, that he may assail them and lay bare their abominations. Yet these two vices, which do more than intemperance to injure and degrade the general character of our people, soil its honor, and dim its beauty, are rarely named in the pulpit.

These are subjects, we are aware, not easy to treat with effect. They are among the most difficult, and call for great power in the preacher. While he deals with safe truisms, while he treats of sin in the general, or handles the great doctrines of faith, he will be listened to, and tolerated, though he should manifest but little of the ability and skill of a master workman. But when, leaving this more common ground, he attacks the usages (vices) in which particular classes of men are interested, he must show his knowledge of his subject to be most thorough and exact, his arguments clear and logical, and his grasp that of a giant, if he would escape the ridicule or abuse of those who stand ready to assail, with either weapon, the man who wanders too far from the beaten track.

Mr. Pierpont has done well, we think, to preach and then print this vigorous and closely reasoned discourse. We take this Sermon and the noble discourse of Mr. Dewey in his last volume upon political morality, as signs that our clergy are beginning to think it their duty to carry religion into politics, as well as into other departments of life.

We subjoin two extracts to show the spirit and high moral standard of the discourse :

“ The same principle and the same reasoning are applicable to the two — nay, the three, more recent parties; the Peace, the Temperance, and the Abolition parties, - which respectively claim morality as their basis, and purport to have, as their object, respectively, the abolition of war, intoxication, and domestic slavery. If, upon careful examination, I find either or all of these claims sustained, that is, find that the parties are what they purport to be; and if I, with my lights or opportunities for forming a judgment upon the subject, am verily convinced that war, drunkenness, and involuntary servitude are moral evils, and therefore adverse to the highest interests of the individual and of the state ; and if I believe, moreover, that moral action, by means of political machinery, will tend to remove or diminish these evils, I must, and if I am more a moral than a political man, I shall cast my vote for those who, in my opinion, will most efficiently legislate for the moral well-being of the state ; and if those who are of the same political party with myself will not do this, I must abandon them in favor of such as will. If, for this, I am called to account by my fellow-partisans, my answer is short; it is -- When my party run away from morality, they run away from me. Nor is there hazard, in this, to the commercial, manufacturing, or other pecuniary or temporal interests of the state. Your money cannot guard your morals, but morals will your money. They, who will protect the former, will not prove recreant to the latter. Protect the morals of a community, and they will protect its industry and all its results. “Seek first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you." — pp. 18, 19, 20.

Again :

“One word more : In all the cases here supposed, it is not merely my right — it is my duty, as a true and faithful servant of God, to obey him in using my political influence, my elective franchise, in his service, by placing those in political office, who, I believe, will be faithful to his cause ;- in other words, I am bound to act in behalf of morality through political instrumen

talities. With every

talent intrusted, there comes to me the command, “Occupy, till I come.” He is most truly the moral man who most faithfully employs all his talents - that is, all his means and faculties for the advancement and establishment of the moral kingdom of God in his own heart and in the world. He, then, who acts, in this behalf, only by means of his own animal organization, but refuses to act by means of the political organizations of which he is himself a member, exercises but a part of his powers in the service of morality. Some of the moral evils, under which states suffer, and groan, and languish till they fall, are the creatures of political agency; and, as only the power that creates can destroy, they can be removed from the state, and the state itself thus redeemed from dissolution, by moral action through political organization. To refuse moral action in such cases, by such means, is to wrap a talent up in a napkin and bury it for safe keeping; to prove false to our allegiance to morality and to God. To act in such cases, for such an end, though all mankind forbid it, is to be faithful in the few things given to our trust ; is to obey God rather than men.

pp. 21, 22.

!

ART. VI. — ON THE NATURE, AND PROPER EVIDENCES OF

A REVELATION.

What is a revelation ? and how is it to be authenticated ? In other words, what do we mean when we say of any mission, any book, any religion, that it is a special divine communication ? And what is the proper evidence of that fact?

These are questions of the highest importance in the philosophy of our religion. They embrace its whole peculiarity,

all that distinguishes it from a system of purely natural religion. I say, distinctly, the philosophy of our religion ; because I do not mean to confound the philosophy with the feeling of it.

And I do not intend to deny this feeling to any one, on the ground that he differs with me in regard to the philosophy.

This distinction, I think, is wide and palpable ; and it is essential, too, to the maintenance of individual rights and Christian concord. On any other ground, we must have as

many Christianities as there are sects. For the philosophy of the doctrines of Christianity has as much to do with our virtue, as the philosophy of its origin.

This distinction exists, too, in the nature of things. A man's virtue is founded on the natural influence of truth, and not upon the consideration that it is supernaturally communicated. Let the humblest reader open the New Testament, penetrate into its meaning, and breathe its spirit, and he is a good man. It is noways important to this result, that he should ever have defined a miracle, or ever have heard of the question about naturalism and supernaturalism.

It is the more important to make this distinction, because questions of this nature are coming in among us, and indeed seem naturally to belong to the progress of Christian investigation. German inquiry has fully developed them, and English and American inquiry is approaching them. Christianity fought its first battle on the ground of the evidences; and miracles, we say, helped the argument. It fought its second battle on the arena of doctrines; and logic brought its theses and syllogisms. It is now subjected to a severer question. And this is the question. What precisely is a revelation ? This question is approached with various views. Christianity, some think, is in danger of perishing amidst cold technicalities and dry moralities, that lack all the freshness of inward and instant inspiration; or it is in danger of sinking, like a worn-out giant, under the armor of its historical form; - and sentiment, spontaneity, intuition, transcendentalism, I know not what, — has come to the

In Germany, the assailant of the old, established foundations of Christianity is Rationalism, or Naturalism. It will admit nothing supernatural; it explains away all the miracles ; it respects Jesus as simply the wisest and purest of teachers.

Now, if I be asked, what place I assign to these discussions, I still answer that they belong, purely and entirely, in my judgment, to the philosophy of Christianity. I cannot consider them as involving any man's virtue or piety. Let a man receive the spiritual teachings of Jesus Christ, imbibe his temper, and imitate his example, and no pale of a creed shall bar me from the acknowledgment of him as a good man. the image of Christ in a man, and it is enough. And that image may be, and is, reflected through a thousand different atmospheres and shadings of opinion. I am weary of the pal

rescue.

Show me To err upon

try sectarian discussion that is ever going on upon this point. I cannot help recording my impatient and indignant protest against any criterion of a man's goodness and acceptance with God, but his actual conduct and his inward and living affections. Has he got them from the right source, do you ask? I answer, has he not got them ? Gold is gold, whether it comes coined from the mint, or is brought from the virgin ore of the hidden mine.

How much must a man believe, in order to be a Christian, do you ask? He must believe everything, I am tempted to say, and he must believe nothing. He must believe everything concerning the beauty, the grandeur, and the joy of the life and spirit of Christ; and he need believe nothing concerning his metaphysical nature, or the time of his creation, or the manner in which the divine inspiration entered into his soul, or the philosophical explanation of his miracles. points like these is human, and therefore pardonable. To err about essential goodness, — about that goodness which was embodied in the life of Jesus, - is not human, but devilish and damnable. That is to say, it is intrinsic, essential, and abiding misery ! -- for why should we blind ourselves about a matter so unspeakably plain and momentous ?

There lies, then, the bright, illuminated page of the Gospel; there it is, come whence it may. There are written, the sayings of him who spake as never man spake. And many a truth there written, were but ill bartered for a world in exchange. In the joy and comfort of this possession, I can willingly throw the question about the mode of its creation and transmission into the darkness of antiquity. I can, without fear, take one side or other of the question ; or dismiss it altogether, as a question not to be solved. I can refer it to that unsearchable counsel through which all things exist. The world exists; Christian truth exists; and they came from God. Let me only so receive the truth, and use the world, as to attain to essential, immortal virtue and happiness; and the questions how the world was created, or how Christian truth was originated, I can leave to schoolmen and philosophers. Wheat grows; bread nourishes me, whether I understand the philosophy of the matter or not.

But still it may be asked, will he, who believes in the Bible as a mere book of truths, a book of spiritual intuitions, and not a supernatural revelation, ever attain to the required virtue and

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