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motion that he can work through it for our good. It may then prove well that we went so fast, and broke down so soon, and so thoroughly. We now detect earlier and more deeply the fault of our system, and can make, if we will, the more thorough and valuable corrections.
In this view, the scene now before us, is full of light. Suppose now, the errors recently disclosed, should be corrected. We can expect, indeed, but a partial correction ; for an entire reform would require the pulling down of everything, and building up anew from the bottom. But suppose, hereafter, we observe a sound economy; every citizen being as prudent as he is active, no one going beyond his means, and his knowledge; all important transactions being open, and the course of business kept above the level of artifice and deceit; the relation of debtor and creditor being made, in all respects, equitable and honorable; all commercial proceedings being conducted with a studious regard, not to private and selfish policy, but to those great principles which form the only sure basis of the public weal. Suppose the business world pervaded, hereafter, by the enlightened and ingenuous desire to discover and establish the true laws of political economy; the surest methods for the production and distribution of the comforts of human life, thus raising up in the whole world of industry and traffic, a public sentiment, conscious, throughout, of the dignity and nobility of human reason, and intent on building the economy of life into the grand system of the sciences, now rising to the honor of God and man. That would be studying this part of the works of God as we study other parts; to learn their constitution, and the laws of their phenomena. Suppose selfishness and avarice, so dissolved in the higher sense of the intellectual, moral, and social being, that, while driving our machinery of business to produce what we may eat and drink, our higher desires shall be after what we may know, what we may use for improving the social system of the world, and what we may admire, as the work of our Maker and Redeemer. O, could it now be, that our people return to their work with the sentiment of true Christianity, consider the whole business world as a part of the kingdom of God, and themselves, in all transactions, as members of this kingdom, bound to promote its progress, -what a scene of prosperous and happy activity would our country present.
Would there be any abatement of enterprise ? Certainly not; for energetic and efficient action in the lawful pursuits of life, is the proper expression of the religious spirit, the condition of its health, and the means of its growth. What is victory and dominion over the world, but the direction of its changes, in obedience to our Christian faith; the development of all its latent powers for our use and benefit, as religious beings? Would our labour produce less real wealth ? Certainly not; for the most enlightened and religious pursuit of the business of the world must always be the most productive of substantial riches, insuring the greatest measure and variety of the goods which make our life & blessing. How can we hope for greater prosperity, than by the method which has promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come? Just here, indeed, was our failure. And now mark how much labour has been lost; how fearfully has the industry of years been deprived of its reward; what hopes have been disappointed; how many splendid fortunes have dissolved into air. The true foundations of all profitable labour, lie in the moral kingdom. What is blind physical force, without the sound and pure morality of the Bible ? . What is our mightiest intellectual motion, without due connection with the spiritual kingdom? Can we now repeat this rash experiment, organize anew on false principles, build again in the air, fill the land with inflammable vapours, and apply the match for another explosion ? Our dread of such a repetition is hopeful; it is worth all it has cost. Even a little improvement in the morals of business is a full recompense for great toil in experiments. We need not be over-sanguine. The profound abuses in which such calamities originate cannot be corrected by a touch. The vice of the system lies deep; the only perfect remedy is a fundamental alterative in the constitution. Let us not wonder if this should require time. The things we are now doing required six thousand years for men to learn to do at all. What wonder it should now take us a few generations to learn to do them well.
Now, for this improvement, we have the best of corrective suggestions in our present distress. Never before have we had a calamity so plainly resulting from wilful violence to the laws of worldly traffic. This is wholly peculiar to this affliction. It has come so obviously from a popular failing, a vice in all our people, requiring such an eruption for its detection and cure. Thanks to God that we can see where the blame lies. There is no shifting off of the charge. There is no palliation. No matter how people may differ as to the immediate occasion of the catastrophe, there is no misplacing the responsibility, as to the cause. Men may dispute whether the drunkard in the gutter fell by tripping with his foot, or striking a post; but nobody doubts he was drunk, and therefore fell. Banks, importations, railroads, western lands, stock gambling, and the like, may help to explain our present prostration; and some will assail one of these, and others, another; but where the real infirmity is, all see alike. Our posture now reveals it. We know whom to blame, and for this knowledge we may be grateful. Do not expect relief from merely modifying agencies, and reforming institutions, and diverting enterprise : this would be only improving our instruments of mischief, and exacting greater dexterity from wickedness; but aim chiefly, by means of these outward reforms, as well as by other and divinely appointed means, not only to check depravity, but to destroy it. Here is one great cause of thankfulness, for the bounties of Providence the past year. The Lord has given us so much to abuse, that we have proved ourselves thoroughly. So ample and impervious has been the shield of divine favour around us, that our great calamity could not assail us from without, but is seen to have risen directly out of ourselves, like paralysis, from infirmity of the brain. No famine bas darkened our fields, no pestilence our dwellings, no war our coasts, no interference of government, now, has disturbed the natural course of commerce; the field of traffic has been left to itself, and crowded with commodities; and with not a breath of unfavourable influence from abroad, the system has run itself aground. No doubt the children of this world are wiser in their generation, than the children of light; that is, they act more agreeably to many of their laws. But such revulsions are a poor compliment to our worldly wisdom, even in its own sphere;-proof enough of inherent radical infirmity. The system breaks down by its own fault. We are now awake to the fault. One sentiment and one voice prevails throughout the land, as to the cause of the evil, and this awakened sentiment gives promise of great good.
This theme is, therefore, as profitable for public discussion, as it is absorbing. We must view it in its proper light. Human progress on earth, is man's progressive attainment of dominion over the world ; subjecting all earthly things to his moral improvement, his spiritual perfection. We are to put in requisition, the productive powers of the earth, for the sustenance of the largest population, to be preserved in the soundest health, and longest life, and developed into the highest energy and purest virtue. We are to enlarge the field of commerce to the limits of the habitable world, as a school for the training of the social nature of man, preparing the race to be resolved into one great family, in the unity of a perfect love, and the joy of a perfect victory and prosperity. We are to extend our worldly enterprise as speedily over the world, as deep within it, and as high above it as we can; to multiply suggestions of the wisdom, power, and grace of God, we must work up heaven, earth, and sea into illustrated editions of the Bible; finding the plane where earth and heaven, science and revelation, providence and grace, reason and faith, body and soul, meet in unity, and where the universe becomes, to us, a form of the glory of God, in Jesus Christ. Behold here, what God has begun to do. And shall he not finish? This falling and rising again of our earthly humanity, has been its way from the creation; it is only repeating its blunders in every new stage of its development; and so will continue to do, till it reaches perfection; no sooner gaining settled possession of one province of nature, than attempting the conquest of another, and failing first, by inexperience and transgression, then, like Israel in the first approach to Canaan, it is turned back for its sin, to linger out its forty years, and then go up and conquer in a new generation. We have had a fall; a somewhat memorable fall. We see our fault; are now only held back from victory a while, to eat the fruits of our sin, to point the rising youth of our land to the better way, and encourage them to go up and take possession. The thing we attempted, is to be done in a corrected way, and for the glory of God; and from our calamity, the work is better understood, and nearer its accomplishment. Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory, through our Lord Jesus Christ.
II. Raising now our eyes from our own soil, and casting a glance on the world abroad, we have our attention arrested by the events in India, on the opposite side of the globe. There, we behold a raging of the human elements, altogether appalling. The most prominent hand in the movement is, indeed, that of a Christian nation; but a nation aiming, in its conquest and government there, only at worldly ends. It is thus far a scene of terror. The cause is to us yet mysterious. It is yet to be explained to our satisfaction, how men, in such circumstances, could be provoked to such deeds; how men so different in sentiment and interest could unite in so desperate and hazardous an undertaking. Some powerful principles of human nature have there been aroused beyond control.
The Government there has somehow failed to manage the elements it was dealing with ; and, in its failure, has encountered a terrible calamity ;-one of the most awful in the history of the world. Thousands of valuable lives have been destroyed. We have to lament the death of many missionaries who, with their wives and children, have been brutally murdered.
And large amounts of property have been destroyed ;-property devoted by liberal hands and hearts of faith and prayer to the work of spreading the blessings of Christianity among the millions of that empire.
The horrible scenes of massacre are, we trust, all past. We recoil from the thought of them. We would almost disclaim and repudiate that nature which can perpetrate such deeds. We are beginning to hear that the progress of the mutiny is arrested. The stronghold has been recovered; and the civilized world is now preparing to witness the re-establishment of the English dominion in Îndia with some important modifications in the future administration.
Of course, first of all, the military sedition must be suppressed. Then both the military and civil organization is to be reformed, to meet the new condition of things. The work there to be done is to put in requisition the highest powers of human intelligence and wisdom. A hundred and eighty millions of people, of different races and religions, and all different from the ruling race, are there to be held in settled and quiet subjection by a few thousand foreigners without danger of repeated outbreaks by the whole or any class. A permanent and tranquil relation is there to be established between a Christian nation of vast power, resources, and responsibility, and a nation of heathen who lie chiefly at her mercy. And so far as we have yet learned, it is the prevailing sentiment, that the only alternative is either for the British Government to withdraw from India, or change its position and policy there in relation to Christianity. To keep permanent possession of India by force alone is admitted to be out of the question. England may crush the military rebellion. She may break down the native power now arrayed against her. But if the millions of the people are against the Government, it cannot stand. They may not seem hostile now. But how soon they might become so, the recent events give some warning. Even the army itself, an army of natives, with light service and good pay, living quite at ease, and treated with dignity and respect, have become disaffected in a way not yet accounted for; and one event so astounding may be followed by another. The only alternative is that now stated: To give up India, or accept the aid of Christianity.
This conviction is becoming settled in the English mind. It is matter of deep interest to us, and growing deeper by every arrival, to watch the progress of British sentiment, under the solemn and profound excitement from this revolt. The public mind of that country is thoroughly awake. It has never before been so roused in relation to India, or hardly on any other subject. There is a lively concern as to some effective measures for promoting Christianity in India. A day was set apart for public humiliation and prayer. It was a solemn occasion. The pulpit enforced on the nation the Christian duty of England towards India. All feel and confess the wrong position of the Government hitherto in relation to Christianity among the natives, and especially in the army. The Christian public in this country have never known so well as now what that position was; how uniformly the Government opposed the Christianizing of the people. For a long time were Christian missionaries forbidden to reside there; and when at length they were admitted, it was under severe and embarrassing restrictions. Dr. Judson first thought of settling there, but was constrained to withdraw into Burmah. By slow degrees, however, a considerable number of missonaries, from the British Society, and from others, became settled there, and many of these, with their families, have now lost their lives by the savage hands of the mutineers.
The British public have received with great earnestness and solemnity, the information and impressions of Missionaries. All now insist on doing in India what their Christian principles require of them; and on being relieved from all governmental obstructions in their work. They ask, what they have a right to claim of the Indian Government, that the Government shall separate itself from all remaining practices implying acknowledgment and approbation of the false belief and false worship of the country, and then establish a perfect freedom and toleration of opinion. This, under the circumstances there, will be a great advance. And we cannot see how that Government, in its re-establishment, can stop short of it. “Perfect freedom and perfect toleration; an esta