STANFORD AND SWORDS, 139, BROADWAY.
THE following Sermon is rather an appeal to unquestionable but slighted truths, than a formal argument in support of a debatable proposition. The considerations which prompted the writer to utter such words from the pulpit now induce him to send them to the press. It is easy to anticipate the objections, which will be likely to be urged to the observations here presented; and, as the writer thinks, it is equally easy to answer them. But it seemed preferable, in a simple practical discourse of this kind, to put forth the truth in the way of direct statement, and then to leave the subject, without any consideration of difficulties or exceptions, precisely where the Holy Scriptures have left it. The child will do well to fill and occupy his mind with the thought that his duty is obedience, without raising curious questions beforehand, as to whether a case is likely to arise, which will necessitate or justify disobedience. And this, the writer ventures to think, is the only just and healthy state of mind, for the Christian citizen. No doubt those same views of Divine Truth, which lead to such an exposition of the duty of obedience as is here presented, require also, that Rulers, on their part, should look upon the Powel with which they are entrusted, as something very awful; as something which must not be received or approached, but with humility and disinterestedness, nor exercised but in a spirit of earnest reverence and love. But these considerations belonged to another subject, and to another occasion.
THERE are some truths, which have obtained so general an acceptance in the world, and are so grateful to the natural sentiments of the human heart, that we can refer to them, without feeling the need of vindicating and protecting ourselves in the assertion of them, by any formal appeal to argument or authority. They may be derived originally from the word of God: they may find in that word, the only sure evidence, by which they can be fully authenticated, when seriously called in question; nevertheless they have gained so wide a recognition as welcome truths among all classes of men: they have become so incorporated with the common sentiments of mankind, that they have come to be regarded, less as a part of the teaching of revelation, than as the obvious dictate of natural reason and conscience. We often assume them to be true, therefore, and weave them into our practical instructions, with but a slight feeling of our dependence for support upon the mere authoritative declarations of Holy Writ. Such are many of the precepts contained in the Decalogue, and in the Sermon on the Mount. Whether fully obedient to them ourselves, or not, there are many of them, which we never think of calling in question.
 But there are other doctrines, in the inculcation of which, we feel at once, and very deeply, our absolute dependence upon the authority of the Divine Word, the need we have to plant ourselves, in the very outset, even before we have fully developed our ideas, or employed any reasoning, upon that Rock of Adamant, that immoveable foundation of all moral truth, the Bible, the unchangeable Word of the all-holy and eternal God! It is consolatory that there is one thing in the wide world which does not change. In a day of trouble and rebuke, when thrones and dominions are shaken, when governments and laws are changed in an hour, at the bidding of the vehement and inconstant million, are made the sport and spoil, or the weapons of contending factions--when opinions are growing unsettled, and when no truth is so venerable, or so well established, as to pass unquestioned; at such a time it is consoling to reflect, that there is one thing on the earth which is stable, one authority which cannot be dethroned, one code of law which cannot be revised by human hands, one infallible standard of truth which, however much its meaning may be perverted, or despised, or forgotten, in times of excitement and delusion, will be sure to make its voice heard in the pauses of the tempest, and to become the central rallying point of all the wise and good that are left on the earth.
It is by the side of this infallible and immutable standard of truth, it is upon the rock of this immoveable and supreme authority, that we feel it necessary to place ourselves, whenever we inculcate reverence for Civil Government, submission to Civil Rulers, as powers that are ordained of God for the well-being of human society; and which, therefore, men cannot resist and fight against, without resisting and fighting against the ordinance of God. Such is the odium which is now attached to any plea for authority, such is the almost universal hatred of subjection and obedience, as if it implied some kind of injustice and [6/7] dishonor; such is the impatience of restraint, and the Babel-like cry for liberty in the world, that the Minister of Truth would lack the courage to lift up his voice to preach submission and obedience, to speak of the sacredness of the Civil Power, as a power ordained of God, were it not, that in the volume of inspiration, he can point to numberless emphatic declarations, which not only warrant him in thus speaking, but make it his imperative duty so to speak.
What a contrast, my brethren, between the spirit of the world, and the spirit of the Bible! In the world, I see rebellion eulogised as patriotism and public virtue. In the Bible, I every where see the honoring of rulers, and the patient obedience of the civil authority, enjoined in the most solemn manner, as an essential part of the duty which we owe to God. In the world, I see the governed struggling to abridge the authority of the governor, making pretended or real abuses, an excuse for striking at the Power that is set over them, and winning applause from the multitude, just in proportion as they are forward to make opposition to the government, under which they live. To assail established authority, to contend for the removal of restrictions, for the transfer of power from the ruler to the subject, is to be a patriot, and a benefactor. I look into the Bible, and there I see that to be meek and lowly, to take it patiently when we do well and suffer for it; to be obedient, not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward; to deny our own passions, and wills, and interests; to be clothed with humility, to be subject, all of us, one to another, and to every ordinance of man, for the Lord's sake; to be living on the earth as strangers and pilgrims, thinking ever more of our duties, than of our rights, ever more of our heavenly hopes, than of our earthly losses and trials; that this is to be a follower of Christ, and to be acceptable with God.
It is the Providence of God, and not my own choice, which [7/8] has thrown this subject before me this morning, by causing, that, in the order of the Church, those pointed words of the holy Apostle St. Peter, should be read as an important part of the will of God, in the Epistle for this day. "Dearly beloved, I beseech you, as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;" i. e. from inordinate and sinful affections, from the passionate and turbulent pursuit of the objects of this world, the objects of pride, of ambition, of sensual desire; abstain from these, "having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that whereas they speak against you, as evil-doers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation;" i. e. have their minds so conciliated to Christianity by the meek and blameless lives of its professors, that when the grace of God shall open the door for their conversion they may be predisposed to receive the truth, and to glorify God by their sudden transformation from darkness to light, from unrighteousness to holiness. "Submit yourselves," continues the Apostle, "to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake; whether it be to the King as supreme; or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him, for the punishment of evil-doers and for the praise of them that do well. For so is the will of God, that with well-doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: as free, and not using your liberty for a cloak of maliciousness; but as the servants of God. Honor all men: lave the brotherhood: fear God: honor the king."
These words, as they were spoken from the altar in reading the Epistle for the day, would have sounded strangely in the ears of this generation, had they been the words of man, instead of being, as they are, the words of God. It would have been considered, by not a few, that the Preacher was reviving obsolete notions, and setting himself, somewhat presumptuously and offensively, against the popular cause of human freedom. [8/9] But forasmuch as they are not the cogitations of his own mind that he is uttering, but only the words of Holy Scripture, which the minister is reading as a part of the appointed service of the Church, the case is widely different. People have a way of listening to the gravest teachings of Holy Scripture, when thus presented, as if they were something unreal, or something, which, however beautiful and true, when uttered, refer to a different state of society, and have little application to them. They say it is the minister reading the Lesson or the Epistle for the day: and so never consider deeply what it is that is read; or how far their duty, or their interests are concerned in the things delivered. They are not very far removed from the case of those gross minded persons to whom God sent His prophets, and the teachings of His written word; and who, having eyes to see, saw not; and having ears to hear, understood not the things which belonged to their peace.
But it seems to me, my brethren, that when the holy Apostle enjoined it so emphatically upon Christians, to be "subject to every ordinance of man, for the Lord's sake," he spake, not for one country, or for one age, but for all countries, and all ages; it seems to me, that when he addressed these, and many other similar words, to Christians living under an usurped authority, under Kings and Governors, who reigned only as conquerors and governed with a peculiarly despotic power; (for all Judea and Asia Minor, was at that time subjugated to the Roman obedience, and the Proconsular Rule, was not famed for its justice or moderation,) I say, when the Apostle enjoined upon Christians, in such circumstances, scrupulous submission to every ordinance of man, for the Lord's sake, to Kings, and to the Governors sent by them, saying not one word about the duty of struggling for supposed rights, but a great many words about the blessedness and the glory of persevering in obedience, meekly and patiently, even when maligned and oppressed; it [9/10] seems to me, he meant to lay down that line of conduct, which, under all changes, would be most meet for the elect of God, and the heirs of Heaven. Their kingdom is not of this world. If they are not to take overmuch thought or care, "what they shall eat," or "wherewithal they shall be clothed," so neither are they to be forever distracted with jealousy and strife, about the kind of government under which they spend their few earthly days, about the amount of temporal honor or advantage which shall accrue to them from the constitution of the civil state, through which they pass like the flitting of a shadow. If it may sometimes be their duty to bear weighty charges connected with the state, they are to do it meekly and faithfully, in the fear of God; if it may sometimes be permitted to them, to cast their influence on the side of good government, in preference to that which is bad, when the means of doing so legitimately are providentially placed in their hands, yet they are not to give up their lives to political agitation and strife; they are not to meddle with those turbulent spirits who are given to change, they are not to be forward to bring railing accusations against those who are in authority but rather to incline to the opposite extreme; to honor the Civil Magistrate, to uphold his hands where it is possible to do so conscientiously; to go far in the way of uncomplaining obedience; to be unearthly in their tempers, holy and harmless in their demeanor, remembering ever that they are to be here but for a little while; that the fashion of this world passeth away; that, as sinners, subjection and obedience, are what they need, as a chastening discipline, rather than unbridled liberty; that the example which a sinful world needs, is an example of patient submission to authority, rather than of self-will and strife for power and license.
This seems to me to be the general tenor of the teaching of Holy Scripture, in regard to the duty of the Christian Citizen and believing it to be so, I venture to presume, that while the [10/11] million are crying out against the various forms of civil power, and exulting at the overthrow of established governments, it will. be permitted to one humble minister of God's Church to set forth, according to His Word, the duty of submitting to every ordinance of man, for the Lord's sake. And in doing so, I confess that I speak for the most part, to those who are in humble circumstances. I could wish, that on the present occasion at least, my whole congregation were of that class. I have little hope that my words will make much impression on those who are accustomed to the excitement of political agitation; but I have persuaded myself, that perhaps here and there, a humble individual might be taught to see how very wrong it is to be indulging in jealousies and suspicions, against those who happen to be in authority, to be sympathising with those who are rejoicing at the overthrow of well settled governments; how very wrong and how very unwise it is, to allow themselves to be drawn into the distractions of political strife, when they can scarcely possess the means of forming a clear judgment of the questions at issue, and when they are almost certain to be at once deceived and despised. It is not by being dragged, into the midst of a tumultuous crowd, to deposite a vote, he knows not for whom, or for what, that the poor man is to maintain his dignity, to discharge his duty, or to promote his temporal well-being. He may be flattered with the assurance that he is master of the science of government, and fully entitled to pronounce upon the most difficult question that can be involved in an election. But he will scarcely command the respect, even of those who so address him, by giving credence to their words. For myself, I am not ashamed to confess, that in regard to very many of the questions upon which the popular elections are made to turn, I find myself, after considerable reading and thinking, incompetent to form a decided opinion--incompetent to form such an opinion, as would justify me in giving my voice, and [11/12] my efforts, for the one line of policy, rather than the other. They are questions, concerning which, some of the ablest practical statesmen are divided in sentiment. While thus incompetent to judge, would it be fitting, would it be honest in me, to cast the weight of my vote at random, or as caprice or passion may dictate, into the one scale, or into the other? Would it become me to make a boast of my right of suffrage, to insist upon it, as under all circumstances, an inherent and inalienable right, when often I must be conscious to myself, that if I exercise it at all, I must exercise it in the dark, utterly incapable of knowing certainly whether I am doing good, or doing evil? And is the poor man likely to be better informed, or more clear sighted? And if not, is it fitting that he should claim the right of acting, that he should be ambitious, or proud of the privilege of acting, when he possesses neither the knowledge, nor the judgment requisite to enable him to act justly? i. e. with honor to himself, or with advantage to his country? There may be many occasions, when it will be very proper for him, since the opportunity is granted to him, to give his voice against disorder, and against manifest efforts to sway the public will, for private and selfish ends. But even here there will be need of much caution, lest he be drawn on to act oftener, or farther than is necessary, or in the wrong direction; much caution, lest he should deceive himself, or be deceived by others. To suppose that he is charged with the duty of supervising and controlling the administration of the government, through the ballot box--that it is fitting for him to be continually occupying his thoughts and his time, with questions and efforts pertaining to controverted policies and rival pretensions, to be continually rushing into exciting associations, where he stands little chance of being any thing better than an instrument in the hands of others, to run into the habit of speaking evil of dignities, of railing at public men and measures; surely this is not the way to make [12/13] himself either respectable or useful; least of all is it the way for him to preserve serenity and peace of mind, or to be growing in holiness.
I have spoken generally of the duty of submitting to every ordinance of man, for the Lord's sake. Indeed subjection and obedience to a law and an authority external to himself, the submission of his will to a will higher than his own, is of the very essence of Christian Holiness. The very first dawnings of Christian virtue, appear in the form of reverential and loving submission to parental authority, involving the sacrifice of present gratification, the abnegation of self, the renunciation of liberty, and a generous trust and confidence, even where reasons are unintelligible and appearances startling. And all through this mortal life Christian virtue is the same thing: it is obedience in the family. obedience in the state, obedience in things spiritual; it is the very reverse of unbridled liberty and self-will; it is the abnegation of self; it is reverence for something which is above us; it is a readiness to forego our own preferences, and our own gratification, for the gratification or good or others. It is the being subject, all of us, one to another; neither envy, nor variance, nor hatred, nor strife, nor discontent, nor pride, nor insubordination is any part of Christian holiness. To obey them that have the rule over us, and to submit ourselves, to do this in spite of hardship and injustice, so long as the authority remains; to honor all men, to love the brotherhood, to fear God, to honor the King, or the Civil Magistrate, whoever he may be, to abstain, as strangers and pilgrims, from all those turbulent and covetous passions, which war against the soul; this is virtue in God's sight, this is to walk as Christian men and heirs of heaven.
It is worthy of remark, that while the word of God enjoins obedience, submission to every ordinance of man, for the Lord's sake, in the most emphatic terms, as if in it were included all [13/14] excellence and all safety; not one word is said concerning limitations and exceptions. That which self-willed men are so eagerly inquiring after, and disputing about--in what cases obedience may be withheld, and authority resisted--how far it is permitted to abridge the power of the ruler, and to enlarge the freedom of the subject--these are questions, which the Holy Scriptures will not so much as mention. They lay down obedience as the rule; they inculcate obedience as the only reality; they insist upon submission, even were authority had been usurped, even where there was hardship and wrong: they tell us that an inoffensive temper, a faithful and patient spirit, when we do well and suffer for it; that this, and not anger or turbulence, is acceptable with God. But whether cases can arise, in which we shall be justified in resisting the power, or how much wrong will justify resistance, or who is to judge whether the supposed wrong be real or imaginary, these are questions with which the Divine Word will have nothing to do. It will not so much as recognize the notion that there need be, or ought to be, any exception to the rule of obedience. And what are we to infer from this? Why, that the danger of sinful man is all on the side of pride, and rebellion, and self-will, and not at all on the side of too much reverence for authority. The inference is, that if we mean to be holy as God is holy, we must not only honor our father and our mother, but we must, in like manner, for the language of Scripture is the same, honor the Civil Magistrate, and all, who in the order of providence, have the rule over us, making respect for their authority a principle of conscience, regarding obedience as our great duty and our chief security, forgetting almost that such a thing as resistance can ever be proper for us, or if such a necessity should ever seem to be imposed on us, meeting it as the direst of evils, and the heavest of responsibilities.
I am not here to inquire how governments are to be [14/15] improved, or what are the just limitations of power on the one side, or of personal liberty and privilege on the other. For an answer to these questions Christians must be referred to the constitutions, and usages, and laws of their respective states. That which the law of holiness, the word of Almighty God enjoins upon them, is, not excessive anxiety, or jealousy, or strife, about their rights, but very scrupulous care about their duties, and especially the duty, under all ordinary, and under many extraordinary circumstances of rendering obedience to all in authority. No doubt there are conceivable cases in which the withholding of obedience may become an imperative duty. Were a child commanded by his parent to commit a crime he would of course be bound to disobey. Similar cases may occur in the relations between the magistrate and the citizen; yet the fact that these exceptions are never anticipated in the Scriptures, the duty of obedience being laid down in the most absolute form, without limitation or exception, as "children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right;" this fact, I say, may serve to show us, that for us, sinners as we are, living in a sinful world, subjection and obedience are the great necessity, that all our thoughts and efforts need to be drawn that way, and that all else, the love of independence, the questionings of pride and self-will, are but vanity and folly.
Surely we need not ask, why obedience and subjection should be so very necessary. If man in a state of innocence was subject to law, if even the angels are not free, but obedient to the will of the All-Merciful, finding in obedience all their joy, then we may be sure, that for those who have corrupted themselves and fallen through disobedience, there can be no hope of being purified, and disciplined, and raised up, and restored to holiness, but through the same way of subjection and obedience; subjection and obedience in the family, subjection and obedience in the state, subjection and obedience in things spiritual. Obedience [15/16] mortifies the corrupt inclinations and passions, subdues unholy pride and self-will, represses and destroys what is evil in man, and causes to spring up in the heart, peace and self-devotion, and the joy of a good conscience, and whatsoever things are pure, and amiable, and lovely, and of good report. And on the other hand, it is but too certain, that self-will never triumphs over authority, in the family, or in the state, without awakening pride and selfishness, and unfettering all the evil passions of the human heart. The child which has begun by successfully defying the mild authority of the parent, quickly learns to tyrannise over the younger inmates of the same nursery; having ceased to be a loyal and contented subject himself, he speedily swells into a heartless and capricious despot, whose domineering over brothers, and sisters, and nurses is as much worse than the gentle rule of the rightful head, as the sway of the Dantons, and Robespierres, and Bonapartes, men of the people, was more ruthless and unprincipled than the reign of the monarch, whom they had deposed, and murdered, in pretended devotion to the happiness of the people.
So long as the legitimate government in the state, whatever it be, remains in its place, maintaining its authority, the evil passions of men are kept down, are kept inactive and invisible, from the lack of stimulas, and the lack of opportunity to display themselves: the lust of power and preeminence, so natural to man, slumbers in the soul, or contents itself with inferior triumphs, with legitimate rewards, when it sees that order is established in the state, and that no place or power can be won, save by orderly means. But when once the supreme power, whatever it be, has been deposed, when once the high places have been made vacant, and the way of filling them thrown open to popular caprice, or individual enterprise, then is the time for ambition to swell into a monster passion; then is the time for crafty and selfish men to play upon the passions of the people, to flatter [16/17] their pride, to work upon their envies and jealousies, to win their confidence by feeding them with professions and promises, and at last, while pretending to establish universal liberty, to sweep all the precious things of the state into the grasp of their own power. The end of obedience and order in the state, is the signal for the rising up of all base passions, to scheme and plot for selfish ends, to cajole the people, in order that they may be the more effectually plundered and devoured. Then the visionary enthusiast prospers; his wild and fatal counsels are preferred to the experience and wisdom of ages, are hailed as new revelations in political science, and he is called to occupy places, which were sufficiently delicate and difficult for the profoundest practical statesman. And so it usually happens, that the people, who began by insubordination and rebellion, for the sake of enlarging their freedom and improving their social condition, end by being whelmed in ruin, by the folly and presumption of the theorists whom they have been persuaded to elevate, or by being made the sport of demagogues, or the slaves of some bold and cunning usurper. The great law of obedience then, of obedience even where hardships exist, is necessary for the conservation of human society; is necessary as a safeguard against the outbreak of wicked and destructive passions; is necessary as the only means of supplying that condition of restraint and discipline, by which alone sinful men can be prevented from growing worse, can be in a state to be chastened, and inured to self-control, and purified for a better world. There is surely reason enough visible to us, why in Holy Scripture, submission to the civil power, as to a power ordained of God, should be so solemnly enjoined upon us, and why rebellion should be treated as the greatest of evils, and the greatest of crimes.
But I have said, that on this occasion, I am addressing myself to the humbler portion of my charge, to that class of the [17/18] people, who, in all times of commotion are apt to be appealed to, and excited to discontent and insubordination, under the pretence that they are treated with peculiar injustice, and that they especially are to be benefitted by change, if need be by revolution. That such appeals, even when entirely groundless, should often prove successful, is no ways strange. When people are told that they are not well governed, in plausible language, by one who professes to be their friend, they must be possessed of more than ordinary intelligence, and moderation, and principle, not to be carried away with passion, not to be moved to discontent. [The reader of Hooker will recall to mind the pregnant words of that great thinker. They will bear a repetition here:--"He that goeth about to persuade a multitude that they are not so well-governed as they ought to be, shall never want attentive and favourable hearers; because they know the manifold defects whereunto every kind of regiment is subject, but the secret lets and difficulties, which in public proceedings are innumerable and inevitable, they have not ordinarily the judgment to consider. And because such as openly reprove supposed disorders of state are taken for principal friends to the common benefit of all, and for men that carry singular freedom of mind; under this fair and plausible colour whatsoever they utter passeth for good and current. That which wanteth in the weight of their speech, is supplied by the aptness of men's minds to accept and believe it. Whereas on the other side, if we maintain things that are established, we have not only to strive with a number of heavy prejudices deeply rooted in the hearts of men, who think that herein we serve the time, and speak in favor of the present state, because thereby we either hold or seek preferment; but also to bear such exceptions as minds so averted beforehand usually take against that which they are loth, should be poured into them."] Then come tumults, and rebellions, and revolutions. Then the tranquil fields of industry are forsaken, and peaceable men learn violence, and cunning men rise into power; and blood, and crime, and poverty, cover the land, which, but lately, was smiling with innocence and plenty. Permit the to tell you, my brethren, that in all such convulsions, the poor man, the laborer, the very persons who are flattered with the promise of great advantages, are the first to suffer, and that in such cases they usually suffer evils, compared with which, every [18/19] thing of which they had been excited to complain, was the fulness of plenty and prosperity, the very perfection of good government. The old French Revolution was a notable example to the world; but it was only a true developement of human nature. The people were excited by artful men, to rise up against their chief ruler they dethroned him; they broke up the very foundations of the government, and of society. All order and all security perished. And what was the consequence? They fell into the hands of bloody and remorseless demagogues, men, who, with the cry of liberty and love for the people forever on their lips, were forever trampling on the necks of the people, and in their blood; men, who spent their days and nights in plotting against-each other for power, and in sending to the scaffold, whatever in the kingdom was most heroic and virtuous. The, people were flattered and promised; their splendid capitol was converted into a great slaughter house: the gentle and virtuous monarch was murdered with every aggravation of cruelty, between contending factions; the nations were involved in war. But it began to be perceived, by and by, that virtue and plenty were not inevitable fruits of convulsions, which sent men from quiet industry to scenes of agitation and rapine. When the nation was sick of blood, and weary of being cheated and cajoled by its five hundred Despots, then it fell an easy prey to that Arch Deceiver and Tyrant, who, with liberty and the people still on his lips, rolled up an unexampled power, and ruled with an iron sceptre, and bound the people to his chariot wheels, and sacrificed them by hundreds of thousands to his pride and ambition. Their property went to provide munitions of war for his millions; their young men to suffer and to perish on the plains of Italy, or amid the snows of Russia. After being for twenty years cheated, and oppressed, and devoured, they were glad to take refuge, once more, under the self-same dynasty, which they had been excited to overthrow, [19/20] by the promise of a blessed political millennium. Through all these changes they who were to have gained, were ever the very ones to be thrust forward into the front ranks of poverty, and suffering, and death.
And what is it that is passing in France now? Again, and for the third time, a government has been overthrown; and all for liberty, and for the pretended benefit of the people. Yet here again, liberty is seen perishing under the despotism of mobs, and the caprice of a self-constituted and an irresponsible government; [Perhaps no year in the reign of Bonaparte witnessed a more unmitigated despotism over opinion and over property than. has existed in France for three months under the sway of the great Apostles of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity The public Press seems to be completely overawed; all dissent is silenced, not by the people, but by the mob, while the banks, and railways, and men of property generally appear to submit to spoliation, (for the acts of the government amount to nothing less,) without an audible murmur!] the people are starving and frantic, under the loss of employment and of bread; [It is estimated, that nearly 100,000 laborers in Paris alone, have been thrown out of employment, who, with their families, amounting in all to more than 200,000 persons, are dependent upon the Government for support. These things would be less significant, (though deplorable enough,) were it not, that there is a direct tendency in the measures of the Government to produce such results.] and visionary and presumptuous men, by their wild and fatal schemes, are exciting the astonishment if not the contempt, of the sober part of the world. [The Edinburgh Review, (no great authority with the present writer on many subjects,) may be considered, he supposes, as a not very unfriendly observer of events on the Continent. In the April Number, the following passage has been read since the Sermon was written: "The Republicans have decided, that every workman shall have constant employment, fair wages, and reasonable recreation; and we shall now see how far these conditions of labor are in the command of a government. The Republicans of an earlier day decreed that every citizen should be furnished with so much bread for so many sous; but the people were starved notwithstanding. The government have ordained that the master shall pay the workmen so much money for so much work, and the workmen have further ordained that no master shall reduce the number of his men. It only remains, and this seems obviously necessary, that the master shall also be secured in the ability to carry on the business. When the experiment shall be thus completed, we shall most gladly accept it, as eminently worthy of imitation. But as yet the sole suggestion offered towards this end by the provisional minister of labor is, the 'substitution of the principle association for that of competition,'--a suggestion on which we will say more when it has been more intelligibly expounded. Competition appeals to hope, and expectation; association, to indolence, improvidence, and suspicion."] If these [20/21] schemes do not bring confusion, and ruin upon that kingdom, far beyond what it is now experiencing, then all history and all political science have spoken to us in vain. When all this shall be past, a whole generation will be required to bring back the mass of the people to the rational views, and the simple virtuous sentiments, which have been corrupted and destroyed in this revolution. [The writer wishes he could say, that a perusal of M. Lamartine's History of the Girondists, had raised that brilliant genius in his estimation, as a man of judgment tad principle.] The poor have been excited to jealousy against the rich; the laborer has been filled with extravagant expectations: their best friends have been represented to them as their worst enemies; and nothing but years of bitter experience will convince them how much they have been deceived and betrayed. No greater cruelty, I say it to you emphatically, can ever be practiced upon the laboring classes, than to excite their animosity against those who employ them. To embarrass or to ruin the employer, is to snatch the bread out of the mouth of those who are dependent upon their daily labor. The poor man should look upon all those who promote such agitations and jealousies, as his worst enemies. The poor man, the humble citizen, will not find a remedy for his hardships, real or fancied, in tumult, and disorder, and violence; he will not find it by forsaking the place of toil, in which providence has cast his lot, for idle and perilous agitations: but he will find it in patient, cheerful trust in God, in manly fidelity and perseverance, in remembering that poverty and suffering have been shared by the Adorable One, [21/22] and have been blessed of God; and that the poor have been chosen of God, above all other classes, to be rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom, which He hath promised to them that love Him.