« PreviousContinue »
they can get drunk, were not of the Ten-hour Men. These loafers, who are maintained occasionally at the public expense, are genuine aristocrats, and have as honorable an aversion to honest labor as any gentleman in the land.
Mr. Grund goes very fully into the question of slavery, and proves clearly that he is no Abolitionist. From many of his views on this subject we wholly dissent. We did intend to remark on this part of his book at some length, but we have not the space to do it. The slave question has become quite an absorbing one. Its discussion cannot be and ought not to be prevented. Slavery in any form is an evil, and should be removed as soon as it can be. The right of citizens of the North to form associations for the removal of slavery in the South, is a distinct question from that of the good or evil of slavery, and should never be confounded with it. We doubt both the right and the expediency of these associations, and therefore are not Abolitionists; but we are decidedly opposed to slavery, in any and every possible shape. All that we of the North have a right to do with Southern slavery is, to throw what light we can on the wrong it does to man, the danger with which it menaces the country, and the means by which it may be safely and expeditiously removed with benefit to the slave. We have no right to use any but moral and rational means, arguments addressed to the reason and consciences of our Southern brethren. The argument of numbers, which is the only argument gained by associations, is an argument which every man, who is conscious of the dignity of manhood, will scorn to listen to. So far as the Abolitionists are merely addressing arguments to the reason and consciences of the community against slavery, we are with them ; so far as they are merely organizing associations to concentrate public opinion, and bring it to bear on the Southern planter, we are not with them. We dislike to urge a man to do this or that because public opinion demands it. We consult the voice of God within, not the voice of the multitude without, to learn our duty and to find our motive for acting.
Art. IV. - Thoughts on Unity, Progress, and Govern
All truth, whether in science, philosophy, religion, or politics, is one. The one truth is God's idea, the Right, the Expedient, the Indispensable.
The soul is also a unity. It has no dualism, either in its powers or its requisites. Humanity has but one law, as the Deity has but one mind.
All errors in theology, politics, life, have originated in dualism, complexity, ignorance of, or disloyalty to, unity. Mankind have sought good, not in the resolution of all things into one, but in division. Hence idolatry, despotism, anarchy. The mission of the present, our hope, our safety, is the centering of the fractions in the great One, the return of all men into the One Man, the atonement of the Creature with the Creator.
All nature is republican. Minerals, vegetables, animals, men, angels, the Deity, sway themselves. Each blade of grass, each constellation, is an independency. The harmony of the whole universe is but the union of distinct sovereignties. As by polarization, spirits in all worlds act and react upon each other. The thoughts of a child move the cherubim, as a drop influences the ocean. So one soul heaves the whole tide of spiritual life that flows from eternity to eternity.
Truth thus communicates itself, as by electricity, from prophet to prophet, as one by one the several minds, through which it passes, conduct, and straightway become surcharged again.
This union of all in one, being offended and lost sight of through selfishness, was the origin of sin, war, slavery. The oracle therefore ceased; want and fear became the insurgent foes of peace, and hatred in all its forms usurped the throne of universal love.
The elements of a Millennial kingdom have spread through the Past as in chaotic parcels; the Present is fast centring all these fragments; the Future will give them sphericity and an orbit. Heaven will be the space of their revolution, God their everlasting sun, centre, and system, and eternity their cycle.
The present age is prophetic. T'he seers are on the watch towers, gazing with serene eye upon the moral firmament, reading the aspect of the lights and shadows which alternate in the moral heavens, solving the problems, interpreting the prophecies, and opening the parables which are written in the history of man, which are uttered by the experience of society.
The inspiration of nature is the music in all our hearts. Brotherhood, the warm tide that, flowing through the arteries of the universal frame, connects the unit to the whole, and the whole to the parts by a life-current of quick loves. Individual minds are the best interpreters of the Divinity. The original thinkers, the single-eyed, the holy-hearted, are the purest conductors of infinite truth, the Christs of God. The word is incarnate in every God-child. The oracles of the Father-mind issue warm from the bosoms of his Well-beloved, in all generations. Revelation is confined to no age. No man can invent truth; all men may discover it. God reveals himself to all orders of spirits equally, as the sun illumines all alike, even the blind. It is our opaqueness that hinders the Deity from shining through us. Were we only transparent and true, we should shine also.
Fear has frozen up the well-springs of truth in the past. The voice in us, which is in unison with the same voice in every man, must utter itself, or the prophet in us dies. The teacher is taught by his own lesson; as he scatters light, his own orbs are brimmed
VOL. I. NO. II.
with light; and thus the blind see, and the dumb find tongues, and through sympathy with truth, a heavenly speech is breathed through the lips of death. The rustic is thus touched with an Isaiah's coal from the inward altar, and Chrysostoms are multiplied in the back-woods, on the hill sides, and in the market place. Thus has the world ever been taught; Moses from his sheepfold, the carpenter's son from his manger.
Thus truth is constantly surprising us by its spontaneous outbreakings; and while men say, “Lo here, and lo there," the kingdom of God is within us. The mysteries in which truth has been shrouded by the initiated, theology by the priest, nature by the professor, have frightened young and credulous minds from researching the more profound religion of Humanity, the more glorious science of the Soul. Corporations have monopolized literature and the arts, colleges patented for themselves the sole right to inoculate truth, and the pale of the church has shut out man and shut in Christianity, so that all aliens, from these self-constituted commonwealths, are either idiots, or infidels; and notwithstanding all this, are there mines still unwrought, systems unmeasured. The Omniscient, the Infinite, is still to be approached, to be known. The Allholy may yet be seen, worshipped, loved, and imitated.
One of the most striking characteristics of the present age, the spirit of association, is fast giving place to the more powerful engine of progress, individuality. The moral power, hitherto divided, subdivided, and weakened through multiplied associations, is beginning to be centred and sublimated in the strong focus of single minds. The great idea, that the whole is best served by the perfection of the parts, is becoming more and more the ruling sentiment of our times. Men are daily made to feel and to revere the “might that slumbers in a peasant's arm,” the value, the responsibility, the God-like capabilities of individuals. This is a progress of public opinion, far in advance of all the past. It is a great central truth which shall one day become as universal as it is omnipotent. It is a truth which speaks to the souls of all who perceive and appreciate it in the voice of Divine inspiration, commanding a self-respect far removed from all egotism, prompting a steady and sincere obedience to the inward original law, - the elder Scripture, which in its result will unite the Human with the Divine, the whole spiritual universe with the Father. Men have been classed heretofore in masses; they have been weighed collectively. The standard of any age or nation has been that of the general average. The view now taken of mankind is a personal one. We look at man in the abstract.
The standard of the age is one man, the purest specimen, the most perfect character. As a prism separates the rays of light, so does the highest idea of this age count, and single out, and give independency to individual minds. This characteristic is the bright harbinger of new power to the approaching era; rightly seen, and duly appreciated, it is the chief element of that revolution on whose eve we are standing.
To this feature of the age, 100, we are in no small degree indebted for those numerous biographies, lately presented us by the press, of the great and good, who have been signalized in the world's annals; and to this we owe some of the best poetry and philosophy of our times, the best and most original papers of our periodical literature. Heretofore there has been too much mental and moral plagiarism manifested in all departments of science, literature, life.
Few men have dared to utter the sincere, profound, and lone reflections and convictions of their own spirits. Every religious, philosophical, or political idea, which courted the public eye, or popular ear, has been clad in popular guise, moulded into fashionable shape, and tricked out in the cant of party, sect, or school. The press, the lyceum, the pulpit have been all held in servile bondage to the taste of the past. Every post in the government, every legislative assembly, has been crowded with the delegates of a departed day,