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you, is it to be deemed a heresy to hold these opinions and to preach this doctrine ? Is it not rather to follow up the labours of our fathers and to complete their work ? Am I to be charged with setting class against class, when I wish to break down the wall of partition by which classes are created, and to make all Englishmen brethren before the law, and in the eye of the Constitution of their country? What have been the objects of my political life-twenty years of political life? You, my townsmen, know them perfectly well. I call you as witnesses on my behalf. I have laboured with an earnest and successful band
—with Villiers, and Cobden, and Gibson, and George Wilson, and many others whom I cannot mention, but who live, and who ever will live, in my remembrance. I laboured with them to give the people their daily bread, and now twenty millions' worth of food finds it way every year to your shores, which but fourteen years ago you were not allowed to speak of, without being charged with treason to your master class. I laboured with earnest men to strike the stamp from newspapers, and to establish a free press; and I am told that since the abolition of, that stamp three hundred cheap newspapers have sprung into life, conveying information on every topic, every day, to almost every house in the kingdom. I have striven, but I grieve to say with less success, that the precious earnings of the people, and their still more precious blood, might not be squandered by guilty statesmen in guilty wars; and, now, consistently, as I believe, with all the past, I ask for my countrymen that which is the promise of their Constitution, that they shall have a fair and full representation in the House of Commons. It is a just demand. I ask you, I ask all my countrymen, to speak for it with no faltering, with no uncertain voice. Speak, and you will be listened to. Ask in tones that cannot be misunderstood, and that which you ask will certainly be granted. If you come of great ancestry, as your historians say you do, do not disgrace it now; and if you are, as you boast yourselves, the heirs of freedom, rise, I beseech you, and take possession of the heritage that is yours.
THE BIBLE RECOGNISES PROGRESS.
GOLDWIN SMITH. It is true that the Old Testament distinctly recognises Slavery as a Hebrew institution. It is also true that the New Testament speaks of Slavery in several passages, and does not condemn it.
But before we draw the conclusion that Slavery is a divine institution, established by God for all time, we must consider what was the object of God's dealings with man, recorded in the Bible.
If it was to put human society at once in a state of perfection, without further effort, political, social, or intellectual, on the part of man, the inference is irresistible, that every institution enjoined in the Bible is part of a perfect scheme, and that every institution mentioned in the Bible without condemnation, will be lawful to the end of time.
But if the object was to implant in man's heart a principle, viz., the love of God and man, which should move him to work (God also working in him) for the improvement of his own state and that of his fellows, and for the transforming of his and their life into the image of their Maker ; in this case, it will by no means follow that any social institution recognised in Scripture for the time being, or mentioned by it without condemnation, is for ever good or lawful in the sight of God.
And that this, not the other, was the real object, is matter of hourly experience ; for man labours till now to improve his state and that of his fellows; and his conscience, which is the voice of God, tells him that he does well.
To say that the Bible has nothing to do with politics or science, is a bad way of escaping from a difficulty of our own creating. The Bible has much to do with politics and science, and with everything that enters, as all parts of our social and intellectual state do enter, into the moral life of man. But it does not suddenly reveal political and scientific truth, without calling for any effort on the part of man himself to attain them; because such a revelation, instead of promoting, would have defeated the end for which, as the voice of our free moral nature assures us, the world was made. It implants in man the principle which leads him to good action of every kind. The love of God and man, moving to disinterested efforts for the good of the community, is the source
of all political improvement, at least of all that is real and lasting. And the same affection moves the high and self-devoted labours which have led to the discovery of scientific and philosophic truth. And thus, in its onward progress, human nature is, by the very condition of that progress, changed into the likeness of its Maker.
Why God should choose gradual improvement rather than immediate perfection, this is not the place to inquire. That he does so appears from the history not only of the moral but of the physical world.
The Bible recognises progress. The New Testament says of the Old Testament, that Moses gave the Jews certain things for the hardness of their hearts ; not, of course, for their wickedness, to which God would not bend His law, but for their rude and uncivilized state. And not merely for their rudeness and want of civilization, but for the primitive narrowness of the circle of their affections : for it is only in the course of history, and with the increasing range of man's social vision, that his affection extends from the primæval family to the tribe, from the tribe to the nation, and from the nation to mankind. And as to the New Testament itself, it breathes in every page boundless hope for the future, together with the charity which is the source of social effort, and with the faith which carries each man beyond the sensual objects of his own short life. And it closes with that splendid vision of the consummation of all Christian effort,-in the perfect reign of God on earth, from which folly attempts to cast, like an astrologer, the horoscope of nations; but which is, in truth, the last voice of Christianity, as it passes from the hands of the Apostles and commits itself to the dark and dangerous tide of human affairs, breaking forth in the assurance of final victory.
Does the Bible Sanction American Slavery?
VOYAGE ACROSS THE ATLANTIC.
WASHINGTON IRVING. To an American visiting Europe, the long voyage he has to make is an excellent preparative. The temporary absence of worldly scenes and employments, produces a state of mind peculiarly fitted to receive new and vivid impressions. The vast space of waters that separates the hemispheres, is like a blank page in existence. There is no gradual transition by which, as in Europe, the features and population of one country blend almost imperceptibly with those of another. From the moment you lose sight of the land you have left; all is vacancy until you step on the opposite shore, and are launched at once into the bustle and novelties of another world.
In travelling by land there is a continuity of scene, and a connected succession of persons and incidents, that carry on the story of life, and lessen the effect of absence and separation. We drag, it is true, “ a lengthening chain," at each remove of our pilgrimage ; but the chain is unbroken : we can trace it back link by link; and we feel that the last of them still grapples us to home. But a wide sea voyage severs us at once. It makes us conscious of being cast loose from the secure anchorage of settled life, and sent adrift upon a doubtful world. It interposes a gulf, not merely imaginary, but real, between us and our homes—a gulf subject to tempest, and fear, and uncertainty, that makes distance palpable, and return precarious.
Such, at least, was the case with myself. As I saw the last blue line of my native land fade away like a cloud in the horizon, it seemed as if I had closed one volume of the world and its concerns, and had time for meditation before I opened another. That land, too, now vanishing from my view, which contained all that was most dear to me in life ; what vicissitude might occur in it !what changes might take place in me, before I should visit it again ! Who can tell, when he sets forth to wander, whither he may be driven by the uncertain currents of existence; or when he may return; or whether it may ever be his lot to revisit the scenes of his childhood.
I said that at sea all was vacancy ; I should correct the expression. To one given to day-dreaming, and fond of losing himself in reveries, a sea voyage is full of subjects for meditation ; but then they are the wonders of the deep, and of the air, and rather tend to abstract the mind from worldly themes. I delighted to loll over the quarter-railing, or climb to the main-top, of a calm day, and muse for hours together on the tranquil bosom of a summer's sea ; to gaze upon the piles of golden clouds just peering above the horizon, fancy them some fairy realms, and people them with a creation of my own ;—to watch the gentle undulating billows,
rolling their silver volumes, as if to die away on those happy shores.
There was a delicious sensation of mingled security and awe with which I looked down from my giddy height, on the monsters of the deep at their uncouth gambols. Shoals of porpoises tumbling about the bow of the ship; the grampus slowly heaving his huge form above the surface : or the ravenous shark, darting, like a spectre, through the blue waters. My imagination would conjure up all that I had heard or read of the watery world beneath me ; of the finny herds that roam its fathomless valleys ; of the shapeless monsters that lurk among the very foundations of the earth ; and of those wild phantasms that swell the tales of fishermen and sailors.
Sometimes a distant sail, gliding along the edge of the ocean, would be another theme of idle speculation. How interesting this fragment of a world, hastening to rejoin the great mass of existence. What a glorious monument of human invention; that has triumphed over wind and wave; has brought the ends of the world into communion ; has established an interchange of blessings, pouring into the sterile regions of the north all the luxuries of the south ; has diffused the lights of knowledge and the charities of cultivated life; and has thus bound together those scattered portions of the human race, between which nature seemed to have thrown an insurmountable barrier.
We one day descried some shapeless object drifting at a distance. At sea, everything that breaks the monotony of the surrounding expanse attracts attention. It proved to be the mast of a ship that must have been completely wrecked ; for there were the remains of handkerchiefs, by which some of the crew had fastened themselves to this spar, to prevent their being washed off by the waves. There was no trace by which the name of the ship could be ascertained. The wreck had evidently drifted about for many months ; clusters of shell-fish had fastened about it, and long sea weeds flaunted at its sides. But where, thought I, is the crew ?
Their struggles have long been over—they have gone down amidst the roar of the tempest — their bones lie whitening among the caverns of the deep. Silence, oblivion, like the waves, have closed over them, and no one can tell the story of their end. What sighs have been wafted after that ship ; what prayers offered up at the deserted fireside of home! How often has the mistress,