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metaphyical constitution, not faith in some creed about his nature, but faith in that which is the glory and crown of his nature, faith in his moral excellencies, faith that he was the image and appointed manifestation of the Father, faith in his truth, faith in his character as the perfect standard of heavenly excellence.

Therefore they require faith in Christ crucified, because on the cross, from amidst its scorn and agony, from amidst the tumult of men below and the darkened beavens above, shone forth over the world that character with brightest beams.

Therefore would they ever carry us, not to his words alone, but to himself, they would have us see him, follow him, as our benefactor, leader, Savior; as that star in the East, which moves on ever with steady light to guide us to salvation.


It is an object of great interest and importance to inquire what is the duty of a religious man in regard to political subjects.

The quiet citizen, who pursues his own occupation without interfering in public matters, will find himself secure under any form of government. Whether an absolute prince governs his country, or whether its rulers are subject to the control of a majority of the people, he can still retain his rights, practise his profession, and reap its profits; merely yielding an obedience to the laws of the country which habit renders easy. He does his duty as an individual, and performs his part with as much faithfulness, whether he lives under a democracy or an autocracy. He is as happy as government can make him, as long as the laws preserve his property from violation. It is principally the restless and ambitious men who are, or wish to be, in public life, that are injured or troubled by oppressive forms of government.

A man, who thus pursues his own quiet path, is certainly far happier than he whose interest in public affairs keeps him constantly uneasy, because those who have the administration act in opposition to what he believes to be right. Few, we believe very few, could be found who have derived any real happiness from political life. We are afraid there are few public men who are influenced by a pure love of their country. However honorable may have been their original motives, these motives are gradually lost sight of. The politician even when he thinks his motives are pure, is seeking his own aggrandizement, and, without his being aware of it, ambition and self-interest are gradually taking a stronger possession of him. He believes that in endeavoring to acquire popularity, or in forwarding the interest of his party, his only object is the welfare of his country. He soon finds, however, that those around him are seeking their own elevation under cover of public spirit, and he begins to doubt the existence of pure motives. There are others of a disposition naturally more selfish, who have so often expressed the disinterestedness of their views, that they have succeeded in imposing upon themselves. This is no theoretical or imaginary view,- it is fact.

In times of danger, men become excited by higher motives. Men of integrity desert their customary vocations, one mind kindles another, the contagion spreads, and the nobler and more disinterested feelings are aroused in every heart.. Thus war, insurrection, revolutions, great evils as they are, afford the means of developing the best feelings of mankind; so true is it, that in this world there is no unmixed good or evil.

It must be conceded, then, that a man may be happier who minds his own concerns, and does not trouble himself about . public affairs. But does he discharge his duties to his fellow beings in so doing? Next to the duty he owes his Maker, it is his duty to promote the happiness of his neighbor as far as lies in his power. Next to his own family, his own countrymen and those immediately around him, his own townsmen come within this designation. The true Christian, however, is a citizen of the world. Every human being is his brother. He will not aim at the advantage of his family at the expense of his neighbor; neither can he aim at that of his own country, to the injury of another. The whole human race are his brethren. He is bound to do nothing that can injure any portion of it. Still, as it is natural and just that he should love his own family better than strangers, it is natural and just that he should love his own country better than a foreign one. This love of country will never justify him in abetting injustice to


wards a foreign state. Herein is the difference between Christianity and patriotism. Patriotism existed in its fullest force in a state of barbarism. It is among the most barbarous nations of antiquity, that we find the most remarkable instances of this

In the mind of the true Christian, therefore, philanthropy will take the place of patriotism. This is a truly Christian virtue, the other is a barbarous one.

Philanthropy will naturally be best exerted upon those most within its reach, — those nearest home. Our religion therefore does not require us to love our country less than the heathen patriot; it only demands that we should love other countries also, even those which may be at war with us. A man can never be justified in taking part in any war except a defensive

He cannot throw the guilt upon his rulers. If they have involved the country in a war, theirs is the greater guilt, but each individual is a moral agent, and responsible for his own conduct.

But to bring the question more nearly home to us. What is the duty of the private citizen in this country, in regard to public affairs ? Can he conscientiously avoid taking any part in them?

Every citizen has the privilege of voting at elections, and if well disposed and upright citizens think they may neglect this privilege, the danger is, that evil-minded and ill-disposed persons will obtain power, and that power will be perverted to answer their own ends, and strengthen themselves in office by rewarding their partisans. The property of the nation will thus become the plunder of party. One of the greatest dangers of a government, like ours, arises from the fact, that in the very nature of things, the most disinterested will be and are inclined to neglect this privilege or duty, and the most active are those who have most to hope for from the success of their efforts. It is therefore the indispensable duty of the Christian citizen never to neglect this right.

But is this sufficient ? May he follow the party in which accident has placed him, put into the ballot box the vote placed in his hands, and retire to his office or his counting room, without further consideration of the subject ?

Nowhere, we believe, is the spirit of party more powerful, more tyrannical, than in this land of boasted freedom. The man who dares on any occasion to act in opposition to his party, is branded with the most disgraceful epithets. Faithfulness to party is considered as synonymous with patriotism. It is sufficient to supply the place of other virtues, and to cover a multitude of sins. But is this as it should be? Ought not the statesman to have perfect liberty to do what he conscientiously believes to be for the good of his country, without regard to the opinion of his party? It is impossible that men can take the same views upon all subjects, and therefore every man ought to be allowed freely to express and freely to act upon those sentiments which he believes right, even if they be in accordance with those of the party to which he is in general opposed. He may, it is true, resign his opinion when he clearly sees that it is more for the ultimate advantage of his country that he should do so, upon any particular question, in order to promote union upon other subjects, or to avoid useless opposition ; provided, however, that in so doing he does not countenance what is morally wrong. What we contend for, is, that an individual should not be subjected to obloquy, because he dares to support an opinion opposed to that of his party, or his party's leader. We are much mistaken if cases have not occurred of the most sincere and independent men being loaded with execrations, merely because they dared to think and act for themselves.

It is not sufficient that the citizen should put his vote into the ballot box. He must go further. He must know for whom he votes, and why he votes for him. Unless he has attended to the subject, and is convinced upon sufficient examination, that the candidate for whom he votes is the one best qualified for the office, he has not done his duty, — he had better have staid at home. And in this examination he must be careful that he is not carried away by party feeling, and that he does not give credit to the falsehoods to which currency has been given for party purposes. It deserves to be recollected, as an illustration of the extent to which party abuse is carried, that a writer in a German paper, some years since, remarked that it appeared from the American newspapers that the two greatest scoundrels in the United States were candidates for the presidency.

It may, however, be the duty of the citizen to give his vote for that candidate, whom he believes to be the best of those likely to be chosen ; because otherwise his vote is thrown away, or may even go toward a majority against this candidate, preventing an election, and perhaps favoring the ultimate choice of the most objectionable.

There is one thing, however, we would most earnestly enforce, and we want language to enforce it with sufficient energy. This is, that every honest and upright man, every sincere Christian, shall labor to promote the elevation to office of those, who have not only the requisite talents for the station, but who are likewise men of pure and unexceptionable characters in private life.

We are well aware that this is not in accordance with the received political doctrine. We know that a political and a religious man are considered almost as opposite characters; that political management has come to be considered another name for fraud and artifice.

It is the received opinion, too, the opinion acted upon, though not perhaps expressly avowed, that strict moral integrity is an obstacle in public life, and disqualifies a man for acting as the interest of his country or his party requires. It is a solemn fact that moral, and, above all, religious men, are unpopular as candidates for office. Those of somewhat latitudinarian views are preferred.

As long us such ideas prevail, we may well exclaim, “There is no hope for nations."

As long as the maxims of Machiavel and of Chesterfield are regarded with any respect, — as long as the pensieri stretti and volto occulto, in plain English, consummate hypocrisy, is considered as the necessary attribute of the statesman, there is no hope for nations. The only preservative of the liberty of a republic, most particularly, must be found in the moral and religious character of the people. The rulers must be men of pure and unexceptionable moral characters, and those who elect them must be pure. Can we firmly believe in the sincerity and public spirit of those who are faulty in private life? Can we look for disinterested devotion to their country in those who are governed by ambition or love of wealth ? Will those men be careful to avoid injustice toward a foreign nation, or toward a rival in their own, who are not irreproachable in their conduct to their neighbors ? What is still more to the purpose, can we be sure of the honesty of the motives of any man, unless we know that he holds himself responsible to the Being who reads the secrets of all hearts, and that he makes the approbation of that Being the ultimate object of all his exertions?

Let it be known that moral and religious worth are the essential qualifications for high public station, and the subordinates in office will be encouraged in the practice of integrity.

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