« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »
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 ?"
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 Carthago—the 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."
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,
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 idleness; for he can neither control the conduct nor expenditure of his beneficiaries. He is too good, and too proud, to spend his income in pomp and luxury. Too good thus to waste the proceeds of labor, (as all public or private luxury does,) and thus increase the burdens of the working class. Too proud to derive reflected importance and standing from extraneous glitter and costly show and equipage. He has (no doubt, in vain,) attempted to ameliorate the condition of a great many slaves, by purchasing them and emancipating them. Could he retain them as slaves, he might see that his charity was not misapplied, by educating them and controlling their conduct. To us, it occurs that a large capital can only be safely invested in slaves and lands, if the owner wishes to be sure that it shall not be used as an engine of oppression, or as a persuasive to idleness and dissipation.
We should do injustice to Mr. Smith were we not to add, that he is quite as busy in abducting negroes as in buying them. The underground railroad is one of his favorite pets and beneficiaries. His restless energy is not satisfied with the slow proceedings of this road, and hence he buys negroes, as well as aids the abducting of them. He has been severely censured for buying them, by those whom he supplies with the means to steal them, or whom he rescues from the fangs of the