Gambar halaman
PDF
ePub

We really think that a man of Mr. Goodell's nice sense of justice and propriety, should have hesitated long ere he invoked a God to do that which he would be ashamed to do himself. If it be wrong

to strip the rich of their possessions, why hope or expect that God will perpetrate a wrong at which human conscience revolts, when it is proposed to be done by human agency.

After an elaborate argument, to prove the advent of a millennial state of society, through the instrumentality of Christianity, Mr. Goodell, on page 510, vol. II, of his Democracy of Christianity, thus sums up and concludes:

“Glance over, again, the items included in these

predictions :—The general and permanent prevalence of peace,—the result of justice, equity, SECURITY, and the actual possession, [italics his] by each and every one of "his vine and fig tree'—that is, of soil sufficient to produce the needful fruits of the earth, or, in some way, a supply for his physical wants.

“Add to this, the general diffusion and great increase of knowledge, especially moral and religious knowledge, which includes the knowledge of social relations, duties and rights,—the knowledge that implies 'wisdom,' and that wisdom which begins with 'the fear of the Lord.' Next the application of all this knowledge, wisdom and fear of the Lord, to the concerns of civil government, insomuch that the kingdoms of this world shall become the kingdoms of Christ,' and the dominion be given to THE PEOPLE, who at that period, shall have become purified and instructed by him,—who shall all be righteous, who shall all know the Lord, from the least to the greatest, and even the feeble among them shall be as David.' To this, add general contentment and enjoyment, facilities of social and international intercourse, the general prevalence of the spirit of benevolence and brotherly love, and the absence of those maddening and satanic temptations, delusions and prejudices, that have so long deceived, enslaved and embroiled the nations;--all this cemented by the true spiritual worship, protection and love of the Common Father of all men.

“Is any thing wanting to complete the picture, and to ratify the assurance of a state of liberty, equality, common brotherhood, common interests, common sympathy, and common participancy in social rights, immunities, privileges and arrangements? Must we need be told in addition to all this, that 'the thrones of despotism shall be cast down,' that the beast' of civil and ecclesiastical tyranny and usurpation, the persecutor of the holy apostles and people,' shall be given to the burning flames,' that the yoke of domination shall be dashed into pieces as a potter's vessel,' that 'subversion' shall tread upon the heels of subversion, and one despotism overturn another, till He, whose right it is, shall rule.' That the masses shall be elevated, the exclusives brought low, that the , lofty shall be “humbled,' and the ‘haughty bowed down'-in such a period of general possession, general justice, equality and contentment as has been already and previously described ?"

[ocr errors]

Now, Mr. Goodell deplores that the condition of his society is so bad, that it becomes necessary to upset and reverse it by a millennium. Is not this, considering his high position and authority, strong evidence to prove “the failure of Free Society.” We should add, that his whole book teems with evidence of his uncompromising hostility to existing Church institutions, and the existing Priesthood, as abuses and interpolations that have been engrafted improperly on Christianity. He obviously belongs, in faith, to those early Christians, who resembled the Essenes in their social relations, and who daily expected the advent of the millennium. Their error in the last respect, shows that it is the Bible, and not their construction of it, that should be our rule of faith and guide of conduct.

The next witness we call up, is Gerrit Smith, a man who has a national reputation as an orator, a philanthropist and a gentleman; who writes better than he speaks, and whose active charity and benevolence are only exceeded in the greatness of their amount by the grossness of their misapplication. He is a zealous Christian, yet edits, or did edit, the Progressive Christian, which proposed to abolish Christianity as now understood. He builds churches to keep out the clergy, and heads Christian conventions to put down Christian institutions, and agrees with Wendell Phillips, that the pulpit of the North stands in the way of reform-et delenda est Carthagothe pulpit should be destroyed !

Like Mr. Goodell, he seems to look to an approaching millenium. But he is a man of restless activity and energy, and of incalculable daring, and would put his shoulder to the wheel, and inaugurate the millenium at once. He assumes the responsibility ; declares continually in speeches, lectures and essays, that land monopoly is an intolerable evil; that lands should be as common and as free for use to all, as air and water; and proposes to divide them at once. He is one of the largest owners of real estate at the North, and yet the most uncompromising agrarian in the world. His disinterestedness is only exceeded by his rashness and destructiveness :

"The mildest-manner'd man,
That ever cut a throat or scuttled ship.”

66

His amiableness of disposition and evenness of temper never desert him, because he has not to

screw his courage to the sticking-place." "Tis always there. The “red right arm of Thundering Jove” could not shake his tenacity of purpose; and, in a case of conscience, he would let the world or the Union slide with equal equanimity:

“Si fractus illabitur orbis,

Impavidnm ferient ruince !"

He gives a forty thousand or so to Kansas emigrants from the North, because, as a gentleman, he feels it his duty to stick to his country, right or wrong; and abolitionists are his country. His gross eccentricities and intellectual aberrations are but the natural out-growth of the social system which surrounds him, and which reminds him and every other ingenuous and candid mind,

“ That whatever is, is wrong!

He is only seemingly eccentric and erratic. He feels the difficulty of disposing of his immense wealth, without making it an engine of oppression and exaction. He understands the theory of capital and labor, as his speeches show;--knows that labor produces every thing, and that capital is the whip that forces it to work, and also the exploitator that robs it of most of the proceeds of its industry. “La proprieté c'est le vol!” he sees is true, save in the impurity of motive, which it seems to attribute to its owners. If he endows colleges, or gives his money in large sums to individuals, in the one case it is used to rear up exploitators, who rob labor by professional skill; and in the other, to those who use it at once as an engine of exaction and oppression. If he gives it in smaller sums to the poor,

he is generally giving to the idle the labor of the industrious, and offering a premium to continued idle

« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »