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other. And it alone inculcates the spirit that makes that conception attainable, the mastery of passion, selfdenial, regard for human welfare. Its golden rule is the one eternal motto of democracy's banner.
Christian principle, moveover, alone effectually impresses the doctrine of human duties, to balance that of human rights. What is the cry that is borne to our ears from every quarter of Europe and from every class in our own country at the present hour? It is the loud call: “Give us our rights!” Theoretically right, for the most part practically wrong.
For it actually becomes but the bitter struggle of class against class — reckless, ruinous, selfish, and malignant. There can be scarcely a greater pest in social or in civil life than the man who is brooding only on the one idea of his own claims and forgetting the claims of others. There are obligations too. Right is greater than rights; our duty is higher than our dues. Lieber has profoundly remarked : “Where men of whatsoever condition, rulers or ruled, those that toil or those that enjoy, individually, by classes, or as nations, claim, maintain, or establish rights without acknowledging corresponding and parallel obligations, there is oppression, lawlessness, and disorder, and the very ground on which the idea of all right must rest, that of mutuality, of reciprocity, must sink from under it." This is not only a clear maxim of common life; it is one of the greatest and gravest morals of history, as was seen when but a quarter of a century ago the cry of “southern rights” became the signal for fratricidal war, and in those terrific scenes of nearly a century ago when the air was loaded with the cry of “human rights” and the earth was reeking with human blood. And in the growing and spreading struggle between labor and capital throughout the land in every line of handcraft, we hear the muttering premonitions of what nothing but the mellowing influence of Christian principle on both sides, on all sides, will prevent from being a terrible convulsion.
For whatever may be the power of prudential motives with individuals, yet with the mass of men no influence has been found effectual to restrain the appetites and passions, and establish the spirit of duty and beneficence, in a word to antagonize human selfishness at every point, but the power of Christianity lodged in the community. Napoleon could see
Napoleon could see and say that “public morals are the natural complement of all laws"; but it was for a better than Napoleon in his farewell address to warn his countrymen " against the thought that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principles.” History will justify the assertion of Bayne“ that the real happiness of freedom was never yet attained by a nation morally weak, licentious, irreverent, feeling itself bound by no relations to an unseen world.” Show me a thoroughly irreligious nation and I will show you a people fickle, restless, unreasonable, refractory, and violent, a people that will not maintain or abide sound laws, that will not respect the rights of minorities, cursed with contentions, infested with factions, and misled by demagogues, headlong in revolutions, ripe and ready for a despot. I will show you France of the century past.
But show me a body of men where Christian principle predominates, and I will show you a people that will respect law, regard rights, abide restraints, and not abuse their liberties - quiet, orderly, united, trusty, and firm, not hasty to claim their rights, but not to be cajoled by demagogues or terrified by tyrants from securing them ; a people peaceful in character and habit and life, yet able and ready, when it must be so, to fight such battles as Sempach, Marston Moor, and Bunker Hill. I will show you the New England of 1776.
II. But religious principle not only qualifies the individual man to be free : it meets the outward condi. tions of political freedom. The problem involves many difficulties and seeming incompatibilities. Ultimate authority and civil subordination, equal rights and unequal possessions, the widest range and the completest control, protection of the poor and protection of the rich, every man's privileges and no man's immolation, personal connections and universal relationships, intensity of concentration and far-reaching helpfulness; the solution of such difficulties as these can be found only in the precepts and practice of the Christian religion.
This comes to blight the very bud of human despotism, not alone by its golden rule and royal law of life, but by its fundamental principle of human relations. Now, one of the constant recourses nd sometimes arguments of the oppressor, from the days of the Pharaohs to those of Calhoun, has been the claim of the inherent superiority of the man or the race.
This man is weaker and simpler than I: he shall be my victim. This race is inferior to ours : we will make them our slaves. But here comes Moses and says: “Sirs, ye are brethren." Christ enters and declares the Samaritan to be neighbor to the Jew, and the soul of Lazarus as valuable as the soul of Dives, and Paul follows, saying to the ancient Athenian and the modern Virginian, God “ hath made of one blood all nations.” The gospel places all men on the same level of instrinsic value and absolute responsibility to God. In the infinite distance from God, all earthly separations fail to form even a parallax. The only superiority he recognizes is not that of endowment, but of the moral excellence, which flows forth in all kindly offices and friendly functions.
In this unity of blood, this equality of original value, this assertion of human brotherhood, this supreme responsibility to God, and to God alone, have been found republican forces, able to upheave the institutions of ages and to solidify the fabric of a generation. "All the protests which in the course of human history have been uttered against oppression and in behalf of the native majesty of man sink into insignificance when compared with that uttered by and embodied in Christianity.”
And yet, while maintaining the equality of all, how it insists on the equal subjection of all to righteous authority! How lovingly it cherishes the family, that bulwark of the state ! How it abolishes all race divisions between Jew and Gentile, all caste distinctions between bond and free! How it protects property even from the coveting spirit and warns its possessor too against all covetousness! How it cherishes all the virtues that lead to wealth and yet makes wealth a stewardship for God! How it enjoins on the rich to consider the poor, and the strong to support the weak, and maintains the cause of the widow and the fatherless, declaring in trumpet tones that “their Redeemer is mighty"! How it enforces the duty of obedience to righteous law, exempts the reservations of conscience, and yet enjoins submission to the penalty incurred ! And how completely its precepts cover every possible aspect of our condition! Whoever reads thoughtfully through a single epistle of Peter or even one definite chapter in Paul's Epistle to the Romans will find that he has traversed every human duty and relation, domestic, social, civil, religious.
It tends, especially, to relieve the inevitable inequalities of human condition, by diffusing kindly and sympathetic feelings through them all. It would prevent tyrannic majorities and factious minorities. The Athenian majority banished Aristides, the Corcyrean majority reduced the minority to slavery. A pure Christianity must be the guaranty against the injustice of the many. Had the southern wings of the four great church organizations in this country, two generations ago, manfully proclaimed a whole gospel in the city