meiidous cliffs, you are carried as easily as if you were riding in a pleasure carriage along a smooth, level turnpike. The ascent is so gradual that it nowhere exceeds two inches and a half in six feet, and carriages can descend without locking the wheels at any place. I am speaking now of the Italian side of the Alps, which to me was much more striking in scenery than that of Switzerland. The road sometimes is terminated in one direction by a perpendicular precipice, towering from unfathomed depths below, absolutely precluding farther progress, except by making a tunnel through the solid rock. Of these galleries, the largest, if I do not mistake, is six hundred feet long, twenty-seven wide, and tliirty liigh, with three wide openings through its side to admit light. On tlie lower side of the road there is a wall laid with stone and mortar, whose solid masonry resembles the sublime works described in ancient story as the creation of giants. The road passes over nearly three hundred bridges. At certain intervals, stone houses are built across the mountains, the occupants of which are bound to keep their stoves heated night and day, in cold weather, and a room ready for travellers. The Catholics have small oratories on the route, where the faithful may pause and perform their devotions. Near the summit is a hospice, in which strangers may find good entertainment.

No work of art ever made so strong an impression on my mind as this road. Its features are in keeping with the sublime and awful scenery through which it passes. As the traveller makes his way to

the top of the Alps, panoramas of mountains are presented to his view one after another, each of which has a type of wildness and grandeur peculiar to itself. No two are precisely alike. Some are snowy peaks; others rise in the shape of a cone formed of bare, naked rocks, utterly devoid of every kind of vegetation. One summit, whose altitude is perhaps thousands of feet, is clothed with dark fir groves. Another, separated from this only by a deep gorge, and to the eye not much more lofty, has on its sides the mingled phenomena of summer and winter. In point of fact they may be miles apart, ])ut to the eye of the traveller they appear to be neighbors. Here is every form of majestic scenery, witliin the circumference of fifty miles, which our globe exhibits. Travelling through the Alps, you may see masses of snow descend to a certain point on the sides of the mountains ; and at that very point vegetation commences; the cattle feed ; and even up to the very fields of snow, within twenty feet thereof, are grass, shrubbery, trees, gardens, herbage, and cottages. But there is no space, had I the power to describe these things. No words can picture the cliarming valley of the Rhone, the beautiful Lake of Geneva, Mont Blanc, as seen from the surrounding mountains, Chamouni, Mer de Glace, or the Glacier de Boisson, with their stupendous masses of ice, crowding down into the verdant valleys, or shooting up in the figures of pyramids and pinnacles, stupendous, unequalled, and ineffably sublime.

Northern Italy, about Lakes Como and Maggiore, has made indelible impressions on my memory.

That and Switzerland awakened in my sonl liiglicr ideas of natural beanty and sublimity than I had ever before entertained. There is nothing in the United States comparable to them as it regards interesting scenery. I was struck witli the singular blending and contrasts which they present of all that is most magnificent and lovely in nature. There is hardly a spot in those regions where the traveller's horizon does not at the same moment embrace in its sweep mountain tops, ragged cliffs, fertile valleys, rich plains, verdant meadows, vineyards, gardens, embowered cottages, hills moulded into exquisite forms of elegance, crystal streams sparkling in their purity, and clqar, placid lakes, — so clear that, like a mirror, they reflect the blue depths of azure above, — the surrounding shores, with their terraces rising one above another, and lessening towards the top, the clouds and mountains, and the variegated hues and tints of the sky. These objects, innumerable and indescribable, set up in the galleries of my soul pictures of loveliness and grandeur which can never fade away — which enable me to commune with God, to feel the inspirations of his Spirit, and to catch partial glimpses and revelations of the wonders and glories of that higher world, destined for our immortal inheritance. Yes, the seeing of Italy and Switzerland filled my soul with treasures, — perceptions, feelings, glorious images, worth more than all the material wealth of Europe,— treasures that will last long as the throne of heaven, which are the dispensers of all the true happiness that lies witliin the sweep of time, or the boundless walks of futurity.

For myself, I am accustomed to see God in every thing which awakens my love and admiration. Whenever I behold any object, new, fair, orderly, proportioned, grand, or harmonious, in the pliysical world ; whenever I witness a high display of moral excellence, honor, faithfulness, and truth ; whenever heaven from its majestic heights, or earth from its lowly vales, sends one sweet, delightful, or elevating thought into my mind, — that thought is to me but a revelation of the ever-present, ever-beautiful, ever-blessed Creator. The outward universe of majesty and beauty, as much as the Bible, is an unfolding of our Father's infinite perfections. And if we could think thus habitually and constantly, we should soar upward above these dark vales of time, their sorrows and gloom, and realize that no joy, no rapture on earth, can be likened to the ecstasies of a soul whose supreme affections centre on God. The holiest prayer which I am capable of offering is the thoughts and feelings which seize upon me when thinking of the character of Jesus, and the wonders of Calvary. Scarcely less profound and absorbing are my emotions when I hold deep communion with nature — nature, that possesses not an item of glory but what radiates far more brightly from the person, truth, and history of the Son of God.

I cannot but repeat it, I thank God that I have been enabled to see Switzerland, — its endlessly-diversified mountains, cragged pinnacles, deep defiles, wild and romantic scenery, the varieties of hue and shade, the images of purity and repose, the flitting Miadows and changing colors, which at the ris-

ing and setting of the sun pass in rapid succession, like fairy forms, across tlie gently rippled, tremulous waters of her lakes. When gloomy or melancholy thoughts come over me, I recall to memory some of these charming scenes, and sadness flees away. The clouds are dispersed. All around is like a bright, balmy, fragrant morn of spring. I listen to a sweet concord of melodious sounds. I look through " golden vistas, into a serener, happier world," and exclaim, —

" Thou art, 0 God, the life and light

Of all this wondrous world we see; Its glow by day, its smile by night.

Are but reflections caught from thee; Where'er we turn thy glories shine, And all things fair and bright are thin«."

CHAPTER XV.

INTERIOR OF FRANCE. — THE MONOTONOUS ASPECT OF ITS SCENERY. — MANNER OP KEEPING THE SABBATH ON THE CONTINENT OF EUROPE, ETC.

After sojourning in Paris a few days, I engaged a seat in the coupe, or front apartment of a diligence, for Chalons, a town situated on the Saone. When I ascended to my place, I found that my companions for the tour were two gentlemen, one on my right hand and one on my left, with an air, mien, and expression completely French. Not a word was uttered by either of us while the carriage was rattling along the paved streets of the city. When we entered the country, the road became as level and smooth as a parlor floor. Then I ventured to break the disagreeable silence by addressing some questions in French, (which I supposed was their vernacular,) first to one and then to the other of my fellow-travellers. They pretended not to understand my patois, shook their heads, and continued dumb. I then tried the English, but was equally unsuccessful. Tlie man on my left had the looks of one belonging to some learned profession. I ventured to speak to him in Latin, a language with which all scholars on the continent of Europe are familiar; but even this attempt elicited no response. They were as still as marble statues. I was about giving up the case as utterly hopeless, when the thought occurred that 32

perhaps they mistook me for an Englishman; for my friends in London had remarked that I looked much more like John Bull than Brother Jonathan. Immediately I remarked that I was a stranger from the United States, and this was my first visit to Europe. At this announcement their faces no longer wore a forbidding frown, but were lightened up with joy and kind expression. They apologized for the incivility with which I had been treated, by confirming what I had before suspected. One was a merchant of Paris, who spoke the English with ease, and had visited Boston, New York, and Philadelphia. The other resided in Lyons, and was a lawyer of the largest information and the most agreeable powers of conversation. He knew every rod of ground we travelled over, and pointed out the localities of some of the most interesting scenes recorded in the history of France.

From Belgium to Marseilles almost every acre of land is under the highest state of cultivation. Immense open fields, separated by no hedges or enclosures of any kind, stretch along in almost unbroken succession for hundreds of miles. Through unknown centuries past, they have poured forth their annual crops of fruits and vegetables. The stock in the pastures are kept from wandering, not by fences, but by shepherds, with tlie aid of dogs, which manifest a degree of intelligence almost equal to that of man. I scarcely saw a piece of woodland or swamp ; but through my entire route I remarked long avenues of trees, — elm, poplar, beech, — all trimmed lip so as to be very lofty, without any under branches.

For many miles together the road is lined on both sides with them ; and ranges of trees, forming squares, triangles, and groves of parallel rows, are seen every where. But the scenery was so monotonous that I soon grew tired of looking at it. In travelling more than five hundred miles by land, from the north of France to the Mediterranean, we did not meet a single pleasure carriage, or any other vehicle, except mail coaches and the carts of the peasantry going to or returning from their daily labors. All whom I saw had a melancholy air, were poorly clad, and apparently broken down with excessive toil.

When I passed through these regions it was the season of harvesting. A great majority of the laborers in the fields were women, and they performed the hardest kind of w^ork, for the men mixed with them seemed in general to be aged, infirm, and feeble. All over England, Scotland, and Wales, I beheld the same spectacle — women in companies of ten, twenty, &c., digging, drudging, and delving in the fields, doing precisely tliat kind of work which slaves perform with us in the Southern States. By the help of my intelligent companions I learned much of the statistics that regard the peasantry of France. Millions in that country do not live as well as our slaves, work harder, are a great deal poorer, and incomparably less happy and less free.

Yet, in conversation with enlightened Frenchmen, I was often reminded that the glory of our republic was impaired by the shocking evil of slavery. In reply, my invariable practice was to ask for a clear and precise idea of the term slavery. A talented,

disingenuous man may conceal truth, and build up error by the use of equivocal and uncertain combinations of speech. Vague and indefinite terms and statements have filled the moral world with doubts, misapprehension, and falsehood. All whom I met on this subject were willing to subscribe to these words, found in the treatise of Dr. Paley on Moral Philosophy : " Slavery is an obligation to labor for a master without one's own consent." " But our peasants and operatives," said one of my fellow-travellers, " are free ; no master can compel them to work."

In answer to this assertion, I remarked, " You have just told me that the multitudes whom we see (most of whom are women) going to the fields with hoe and shovel in hand, or to the markets with heavily-laden baskets on their heads, are so poor that they cannot obtain the most scanty fare without this .wearing toil and exposure, which deprives them of all the charms and advantages of civilized life. According to your own statement, these women would starve if they did not regularly hire themselves out to work in the field, at the price of eighteen sous (less than eighteen cents) per day. At the same time, they, in part, support themselves, take their breakfast, which consists of nothing but a plate of thin, mean, sometimes rancid soup, at home ; their employer providing some bread and a pint of sour wine for their dinner, and not a particle of meat of any description.

" They have no holidays but the Sabbath and the festivals of the church. They have never had, at one time, money enough to travel twenty miles from

the spot where they were born. And as to their not being compelled to toil, they can no more help it, — they can no more emancipate themselves from the fetters and manacles which bind them down with an adamantine necessity, — than they could create the vegetables and fruits that they grow and carry to market. More, this hopeless indigence and depression, which have been handed down from time immemorial, are the result of your laws. It has been ordained by your civil constitution in the same sense that the government of America has legalized African bondage. It is one of the sad remains of ancient feudalism. Besides, your slaves are ' bone of your bone, and flesh of your flesh.' They are as noble and capable by nature as their masters. But with us the slaves are black, belong to an inferior race, and are just as incapable of enjoying equal rights and freedom with their masters, as the horse, the ox, or the mule. It is an empty boast that you have no slaves in France. Within your territories are millions enslaved by the hand of law, and beyond all comparison more destitute, helpless, and wretched, than African bondmen in our republic."

I noticed the prevalence of the same delusion in England. The morning on which I reached Manchester, the newspapers stated that fifty thousand persons in that city were suffering from starvation, and eloquent appeals were made to the community on their behalf. In a few moments after reading this notice, I called on a distinguished scholar and philanthropist, with whom I had held some correspondence, through the introduction of a brother who 32*

resided in New Orleans. I was scarcely seated before lie introduced the subject of American slavery, remarking that he was president of the Abolition Society in Manchester, and that the day before a handsome collection was taken up to further their objects. " Though far off," said he, " our hearts bleed for and sympathize with those among you, whom, in defiance of the sacred principles of the Declaration of American Independence, you are subjecting to a cruel and most merciless bondage. We learned from a speech delivered here a few days ago by one of your own countrymen, that the poor slaves in the south are habitually scourged and tortured by inhuman masters, to make them work harder ; that they have insufficient clothing and inadequate food. He showed us pictures exhibiting the dreadful form of punishment practised, as he alleged, on the cotton and sugar plantations in general." In my reply, it was attempted to prove that the impressions which this gentleman had imbibed in regard to American slavery were entirely erroneous. He listened to the statistics which were given him with the greatest joy. He used no invec-tiv^es, no harsh, unchristian language, such as constantly fall from the lips of anti-slavery apostles in this country, who generally meet the mildest arguments of their opponents by foaming out their anger, malevolence, and shame. Indeed, he went so far as to say that if my statements were true, (and he fully believed in their correctness,) the condition of our slaves, all things considered, would not be bettered by emancipation, were the experiment actually tried, and that the funds raised by British philanthropists

for their relief should be expended in feeding the starving millions at their own doors. " 'Tis distance lends encliantraent to the view." Constantly, when conversing with the wise and good of the old world about the American republic, I was asked how it was possible that a people so enlightened and generous could deliberately unite in disfranchising a large class of their fellow-beings, and withholding from them all the blessings which freemen most highly prize. But I found no difficulty in convincing them that we were not guilty of conduct so immoral and inconsistent with our political principles ; that we allowed the negroes among us as much liberty as they were capable of, and that they had a much larger share of temporal means and happiness than any class of operatives that I had met on the continent of Europe.

Paris and the other cities of France far surpassed my expectations. But I was sadly disappointed with the country, though it is so old, so rich, and so highly cultivated. About forty years ago, I took a journey, with two friends, through the State of Illinois. It was in the summer, and in several instances we travelled for a whole day without meeting a human habitation, directing our course entirely by a pocket compass. Although the widely-extended prairies, of which the eye could find no limits, covered with grass and wild flowers of every form and hue, filled with deer, grouse, and other game unterrified by the approach and presence of man, presented a rare combination of sublime and beautiful scenery, yet the journeying across them inspired me with strange feel-

ings of desolateness and melancholy. No loveliness of natural scenery can render an immense solitude agreeable, so strong and predominant are the social propensities wliich God has given us. In travelling tln-ough the interior of France, amid all its rich fields and vine-clad hills, I saw no beautiful country seats, no cottages embowered with trees, no fine houses, no bright and happy faces, no children going to school with book in hand, no equipages, no persons apparently walking or riding for pleasure ; but a dreadful solitariness and seclusion seemed to reign every where. There may be people in those rural districts who possess the advantages of wealth, learning, leisure, and taste. None of this description are seen along the roads. Almost the entire population that meets the eye of the traveller belongs to the toiling multitude — miserable-looking people, tramping about in wooden shoes, heavy in their movements, their faces weather-beaten and unintelligent, living in low, filthy stone houses, destitute of comfortable furniture, whose large, projecting roofs embrace not only domicile, but also barn, stable, wood house, sty, etc., where the accommodations for man and beast are almost equally mean, dirty, and disagreeable.

But on the Sabbath, the country differs very much in appearance from the aspect which it wears on the other days of the week. One Sunday I chanced to be in a lovely district on the banks of the Saone. The people, dressed in their best apparel, through the morning repaired in crowds to the churches. The Sabbath, all over the continent of Europe, in the afternoon is kept as a holiday. I saw small parties.

families, kindred, and friends, when their religious services were over, engaged in conversation and appropriate amusements. Tliey seem cheerful, refreshed, elastic, and happy. I could hardly realize that they were the same beings whom I had gazed on the evening before with sad emotions, as, exhausted, haggard, and care-worn in their looks, they were lifting off from their necks the iron yoke of toil. I was struck with the quietness and decorum which marked these laborers during the hours devoted to relaxation. Though tlie population was all abroad after the season of divine service, in the streets, gardens, and public places, there was an entire, remarkable abstinence among the multitudes from all boisterous mirth, loud talking, and laughter, frolicking, profaneness, intemperance, and excesses of every kind. Indeed, they were as quiet, orderly, and restrained as the collections around our church doors, when assembled for public worship. I noticed the same peculiarity all over France, Italy, and Switzerland. May not this extraordinary decorum be ascribed to the fact that the whole Sabbath is not, as with us, devoted to religious services, but a part of it is employed in innocent and useful recreations ?

At any rate, I could not help feeling, with respect to these poor people, that the Sabbath was the most glorious portion of their earthly allotments; that it far outweighed in value all their other temporal blessings and jDOssessions. No words can describe the importance to the humbler classes of that regular return of hallowed rest, which secures to them a weekly day of release from injustice and servility, from ignoble toil and wearing drudgeries. By this

divine appointment, the poorest peasant has one day in seven for the ennobling pursuits of knowledge and virtue, for the enjoyment of freedom and independence, and for the concentration of his thoughts upon God, Jesus, and immortality. The Sabbath tells the meanest slave that, however sad and forsaken on earth, he has an ever-present, almighty Father in heaven, who will one day admit him to " the glorious liberty of the children of God." To a poor family, the Christian Sabbath is more important than all the external wealth and magnificence of an evanescent world. The observance of this sacred day is not to be traced to the selfish, arbitrary enactment of a cunning, interested priesthood, but is enforced upon us by a law as eternal, omnipotent, and unvaried, as that which causes our globe to revolve in its annual circuit around the sun. If death were an eternal sleep, the Sabbath would still be indispensably necessary to secure the highest enjoyment of health, bodily vigor, temporal peace, and prosperity. To destroy the sabbatical institution, then, you must take human nature to pieces, and reconstruct it upon another far different and sublimer economy — an economy assimilating us to the inhabitants of that celestial world where toil, pain, fatigue, sleep, and mortality are never known.

A distinguished American divine, writing home from France, says, " There is no Sabbath here ; for the Catholic custom prevails of spending the afternoon of the first day of the week abroad in the gardens, promenades, streets, &c. The most pious parents may be seen desecrating holy time by walking or riding out with their households for

amusement. Nor is the practice regarded by the most scrupulous as inconsistent with the Christian character." I should like to ask this eminent man if any law of God contained in the New Testament forbids the walking or riding out with children and friends on the Sabbath. On the contrary, the law of reason, of common sense, and Jesus Christ, proclaims that both practices are highly becoming and salutary. I can scarcely imagine a more improving exercise of the head and the heart, than that of taking one's children, and leading them abroad, in a sweet afternoon, to inhale the balmy air, to gaze on the flowers and herbage of the fields, to look on Nature, and " through Nature up to Nature's God," till, rapt above this sublunary sphere, they break forth, perhaps, in the glorious words of Thomson, —

" These, as they change, Almighty Father, these Are but the varied God; the rolling year Is full of thee.*'

From the bottom of my heart I commiserate the narrow soul who can look upon such forms of relaxation as tending to dishonor God or his ordinances; who conceives the Creator as capable of frowning a parent down to hell, and following his children from one generation to another with his wrath and curse, for the crime of an hour's innocent recreation on a Sabbath afternoon. Such absurd views have invested the Christian Sunday with forbidding gloom and melancholy, darkness and mourning, made it revolting to the glad spirit of childhood, and surrounded it with associations to young minds inexpressibly odious and terrific.

At Marseilles, I went on board a steamer which plies as a regular packet between that city and Naples, touching on its way at Genoa, Leghorn, and Civita Vecchia. I visited the principal objects of interest around the Bay of Naples, the delightful environs of Naples itself, Vesuvius, Herculaneum, Pompeii, the tomb of Virgil, the grotto of Pausilippo, Capri Baise, and the mouldering remains of villas, gardens, palaces, baths, and museums, which were the ornament and boast of the civilized world two thousand years ago. From this interesting spot I went to the Eternal City, crossed the Apennines to Milan, thence over the mountains to the Rhine, to Holland and Belgium. Soon as I entered London on my return from the continent, I ceased to feel as if I was in a foreign country. The accents of my native language, and all the objects which greeted my senses, bore such a striking resemblance to those of an American city, as to render it impossible to realize that the broad expanse of the Atlantic intervened between me and the land of my fathers. I could not help fancying that I was already on the banks of the Mississippi, in the presence of wife, children, and friends.

When I commenced this writing, it was a part of my plan to include in it a more extended account of my experiences in journeying through the regions above named. Such a narrative would present many curious and interesting details, but there is no room for their admission into these pages, which have been already multiplied beyond my original intention.

CHAPTER XVI.

CONCLUSION.

Born on the 29th of March, 1792, I am now well advanbed in my sixty-fifth year. I contemplate the end of my earthly existence full of gratitude and delightful hope. I thank Heaven that my lot has been cast in this wonderful age, and in this glorious land. This age has advantages which were not possessed by any of its predecessors. The beautiful thouglits and brilliant deeds of the antecedent generations of time constitute a portion of our inheritance. The earliest period of which history gives an account has contributed its quota to the resources of wisdom and happiness enjoyed by those who are now actors on thQ stage of human life. To us belong the poems of Homer, the writings of Plato and Virgil, the eloquence of Demosthenes, and other luminaries which irradiated former days. To us belong the lofty examples of heroism given by all the great and good whose names are inscribed on the annals of time. Tiie reformation commenced by Luther, is now lavishing its benefits on every part of the civilized world. " For us the sailor at the mast head, on the evening of the 11th of October, 1492, cried out. Land ! land ahead! and Columbus with his followers kissed the dust of a new continent." For us the Puritan Fathers, amid the horrors of winter and a rock-bound, savage, inhospitable coast, reared their altars 33

and sang tlieir hymns to the God of civil and religious freedom, imploring his blessing upon their ctforts to found " a church witliout a bisliop, and a state without a king." From those who have gone before us have been derived most of the arts, science, learning, institutes, comforts, and blessings of the present civilization.

But the good, true, and iiseful accumulate as time rolls on, and this age is richer in the beautiful than any which has preceded it. Does the correctness of this position appear doubtful to any one, I would say to him, let us look back only as far as our own memory reaches. During that time, what progress has been made in the means of personal, domestic, and social peace! What advances have we ourselves witnessed, running through the whole circles of education, art, government, and literature ! Improvement has taken wings and visited the remotest lands, every where asserting her claims, and emancij^ating millions from the dominion of ignorance, injustice, and oppression. And this spirit of improvement, which has done so much in our time, is instinct with the principle of self-preservation and everlasting growth. Education, freedom, and the sublime, ennobling principles of Christianity are the recuperative means which must one day overspread the earth, and roll the mighty burden of man's bondage and sorrow into the gulf of annihilation. The human mind can never stand still. Its faculties continually grow more vigorous and expansive — become fitted for wider excursions and higher views of truth and duty. The world never stands still, nor takes a step

backward. To do the one or the other is not within the limits of possibility. It cannot be donbted but that in time to come civilization will increase more rapidly than it has done during the last half century. No mortal can foresee its progress. But judging its future triumphs from the past, we may conclude that the day will certainly come when all mankind will be completely delivered from evil, and the kingdoms of this world become the triumphant kingdoms of the Prince of Peace.

We are intimately and forever allied to all who have lived in former ages. " We should consider ourselves as links in that vast chain of being which commences with our race, and runs onward through its successive generations, binding together the past, the present, and the future, and terminating with the consummation of all things earthly at the throne of God."* The revelation of Jesus Christ enables us to look back through the dim and misty shadows of by-gone times, with all their vicissitudes of honor and shame, tears and rejoicings, crimes and virtues, and discern the divine, mysterious web of that sublime destiny by which God is weaving for each and all of Adam's race the issues of everlasting life, brightness, and beatitude. The Creator has never been disappointed. He sees the end from the beginning. Mankind, in each of the antecedent epochs and eras of earth's history, have been in exact accordance with that plan of creation which has existed eternally in the imsearchable counsels of the Father. The question is often asked, Why did not

* Webster.

tlic advent of our Saviour take place at an earlier date ? The true answer is suggested by the apostle — " The fulness of time had not yet come." The world was not ready to receive him sooner.

Mankind have always been rising in the scale of perfection, and as soon as they were sufficiently elevated to justify the dispensation, Jesus Chris^ appeared among them. Far be it from me to utter any sophistries calculated to lower the ideas which Christians generally entertain concerning the enormity of sin. But I have long thought, that as water cannot run up stream, so the moral characters of individuals and nations cannot range in general above the level of their allotments. By allotments I mean place of birth, parentage, succeeding years, with all their surroundings. Reflect on the almost inevitable fate of one born in China; on the banks of the Ganges, Missouri, or Niger; in Constantinople, Boston, New Haven, or Mexico. The most dark, disgraceful pages of civil or ecclesiastical history do not prove that former generations were more corrupt in the sight of God than we are, but simply that their means of exaltation and happiness were inferior to those which we enjoy. All things considered, they did as well as they could. Their capabilities and aspirations could not have been more elevated than the plane of their allotments. .

I have said that this age is more glorious than any of its predecessors. Why ? First, because the humbler, poorer, dependent, and industrial .classes possess a much larger share of physical comforts than they ever did in former times. When Egypt was in

the zenith of prosperity, serfs, poor, broken, and crushed to the dust, built cities, pyramids, and tombs, tilled the ground, and gathered harvests, not for themselves and children, but for others — a proud aristocracy, who looked upon the condition of a laborer as base and dishonorable. What a change has taken place since ! I am satisfied from the best data, that the wealthiest person living in Great Britain six hundred years ago did not enjoy more extended means of physical happiness, than the poorest man in possession of good health and good character now has throughout the United States. Nor is it improbable that in the year 2500 of the Christian era, the humblest operative will be better off in a temporal point of view than the wealtliiest inhabitant of London, New York, or Boston at the present day. The prediction of Dr. Franklin is not absurd, that the time will arrive when the burden of immoderate and oppressive labor will be taken off from all classes, and the most impoverished will have leisure enough, every day, to cultivate their minds, acquire mental wealth, enjoy society, and prepare themselves for the destinies of a higher existence.

Again, I thank God that I have been permitted to live under the best civil government which the world has ever seen. I rejoice that my birth was in the land wliich Washington, Franklin, Adams, Jefferson, and their illustrious compatriots, rescued from tlie severest of all the curses which have afflicted our race — the curse of tyranny and superstition combined. Above all other parts of the world, I love the soil where repose the ashes of those noble and 33*

magnanimous fathers, who, in the spirit of the blessed Jesus, gave up their all — wealth, ease, sacred honor, and life itself, for the benefit of after ages, for the political and moral regeneration of a world. I love the soil in which my mortal remains must shortly be laid, but not without the transporting hope that it will be trodden, to the last verge of time, by innumerable millions, free, enlightened, and happy.

That God, who was a Friend, Benefactor, and Saviour in the eventful and perilous exigencies Avhich marked our progress during the protracted war of the revolution, till we had attained a place and name among the nations of the earth, has been our shield and protection ever since, and is this day enriching the inhabitants of the United States with a greater variety and amount of the means of happiness than were ever bestowed upon any other people, either of ancient or modern times. Within a little more than two centuries, large tracts of the vast continent on which we are placed have been changed from an unbroken, unsightly wilderness, into a succession of rich plains, fertile valleys, green meadows, waving wlieat fields, gardens, orchards, peaceful hamlets, smiling villages, splendid cities, with all the diversified laws, institutes, manufactures, charities, and public works that are requisite to raise a community to the highest enjoyment of art, science, social refinement, and the countless blessings of Christianity. Our territory reaches from the regions of eternal ice to the unfading verdure and flowers of the troj)-ics. On the one hand it touches the shores of the Atlantic, on the other those of the Pacific. We

have every variety of climate and soil, and inexhaustible resources of mineral wealth. If all our natural riches were developed, we could cai>ily feed and clothe the present population of the globe. Our commerce spreads its white pinions to the winds of every zone, ploughs the bosom of every sea, and brings home the fruits and treasures of all latitudes. Our schools and seminaries pour forth the light of knowledge upon the humblest persons, however unadorned by wealth or unknown to fame. Our churches, from the unpretending chapel made of logs to the costly sanctuary of granite or marble, stand open for all, without distinction, where they may enter to worship God according to the dictates of their own consciences. Our young artists are attracting notice, praise, and admiration in London, Paris, Florence, and even the Eternal City, Rome. I heard the celebrated Carlyle say that the eloquence of our Congress, pulpit, and press was unsurpassed by that of any nation in Europe.

Where ou earth is the country that can, at this moment, be pronounced in so prosperous a condition as ours ? Traverse the whole globe, and where can you find a land in possession of so many blessings, contrasted with so few disadvantages, as this in which Providence has assigned us a home ? God be praised tliat, contrary to the predictions of its enemies, both foreign and domestic, the American republic stands forth to-day, in the sight of heaven and before an admiring world, beaming with all the freshness and bloom of a young existence ; perfecting her establishments by the collected wisdom of all former

ages, and the fruits of its own rich experiences ; a lighthouse to the whole earth, an example to all who would be free, the common benefactress of humanity, the destined redeemer of all the enslaved, oppressed, and injured millions that tread our globe. The

words RATIONAL, EQUAL, WELL-DEFINED, CONSTITUTIONAL LIBERTY for all, is tlie motto inscribed upon our banner, our device, our polar star, the secret of all our glory. This diffuses the lustre of heaven over every part of our land ; this is the crowning beauty of our mountains, plains, valleys, rivers, lakes, seas, homes, schools, churches, tribunals of justice, and halls of legislation; this is an essential ingredient of the atmosphere we breathe, and is embedded in our soil firmly as the granite of the ever-enduring hills.

" The American government rests upon the great principles that God is the Father of all; that all men are equally precious in his sight — equally important in the counsels of the Infinite One ; and that we are under sacred, most imperative obligations to respect the rights, welfare, and happiness of all, whatever may be their origin or color. Instead of traducing, depreciating, and wishing to dissolve this government, those who enjoy its blessings should strive to maintain it inviolate, as a legacy of inestimable value, dearer than life itself, and be willing to pour out their hearts' blood, if necessary, to transmit it unimpaired to succeeding generations. May the universal Father, in his infinite mercy, grant that, as age after age shall pass away, adding to our population and multiplying our resources, the people of this great republic may become more and

more wise, thankful, and self-governed, more devoted in their attachment to private and to public virtue, be actuated hy more generous affections for each other and for mankind, and be ennobled by a pro-founder consciousness of their responsibility to the God of nations.

Every point relative to the perpetuity of our Union is of general, transcendent, and ineffable moment; for the experiment which we are now making is to determine the problem whether the whole human family will hereafter be free, intelligent, and happy, or ignorant, enslaved, and miserable. Were I not permitted to believe that the unfavorable predictions relative to the stability of our precious institutions, uttered by so many, were the mere effusions of disappointed, murmuring, splenetic ambition, in despair I should bid adieu even to the hopes of the universal triumph of civil and religious freedom, and the exaltation of man to millennial glory.

Once more, I thank God that my lot has been cast in an age rendered illustrious by the rapid increase and more extended diffusion of useful knowledge. When Lord Bacon wrote the Novum Organum, when Newton composed his Principia, and Locke wrote his Essays, when Milton and Shakspeare sang the never-dying strains of poetry divine, the idea of a common school education had not been seriously entertained by any of the wise men living in Great Britain. It was thought that the mass of the people wore destined to grope their way forever in a thick night of ignorance and mental bondage. What a revolution has passed over that country since !

As to our own happy land, I may almost say, without qualification, that tlie humblest operatives understand reading, writing, and numbers. They have their newspapers, journals, books, and literary associations. After the labors of the day are over, instead of going to pass the evening in some haunt of dissipation, they repair to a lyceum or club room, where the lecturer spreads out before them the glittering phenomena of the heavens, or the recently-developed wonders of geology. In these calm, peaceful retreats, they listen to able discussions on the weightiest matters of history, law, political science, and religion. On the Sabbath, they can go to the church, and, with perfect freedom and safety, criticise the sermon they have heard. If it so please, they boldly proclaim that the preacher is in error, and that his discourse was a miserable failure. When Calvin lived, and preached in Geneva, no person could openly condemn his creed or homilies, without being exposed to imprisonment, exile, or some other form of martyrdom.

But in our day, the pulpit is less gloomy, appalling, and repulsive. It is no longer chiefly employed in sending forth what have been called the tlnniders, lightning, and anathemas of divine wrath, but, clothed with beauty and love, it speaks the language of a fond mother to her dear children. It has come down from the cold, misty, mountainous regions of dogma and denunciation, to describe, in terms which the dullest intellect can understand, and in tones sufficient to soften the hardest heart, the boundless wonders of a Saviour's love. Most encouraging

fact, the pulpit is ceasing to philosophize, and delights rather to point the poor sinner to that cross which is the memento of infinite mercy — the memento of that light with which Heaven is pleased to irradiate this dark valley of graves, and make sorrow, bereavement, and mortality rounds in that spiritual ladder on which we may ascend to everlasting mansions in the skies.

Furthermore, I rejoice to have lived in a day when the Bible has passed through the severest ordeal to which it has ever been subjected, and has come forth from the trial, shining not only with undimmed, but with increasing brightness. Strauss and his coadjutors have employed all the resources of their learning and fascinating style to throw discredit upon the miracles of the New Testament. Let Christianity be assailed by every weapon that can be found in the armory of sound discussion and legitimate reasoning. It is ill defended by refusing audience or toleration to tlie objections of honest inquirers. We pay but a poor compliment to the sacred volume by supposing it liable to be injured or destroyed by tlie pens of philosophers. Could the ablest scholars, by putting forth their profound and charming productions, overthrow men's confidence in arithmetic, Euclid's geometry, Cicero, Yirgil, New.ton, or Laplace ? Could their pens demolish the loom, the plough, the press, the chronometerj the compass, the railway, the telegraph, or the steamer? No more' can their words destroy Moses and the prophets, Jesus and his apostles, whose writings have withstood the assaults of infidelity for so many cen-

turies. A book that is adapted to man's highest and eternal wants, and to liis noblest aspirations, can never die. This is the secret of that indestructible life wliich the Holy Scriptures possess.

Mr. David Hume was at the head of a literary club in Edinburgh, composed of the greatest scholars in Scotland. These gentlemen openly avowed the opinion, that at the expiration of one hundred years, the Bible, in the minds of enlightened men, would stand upon the same level with all the uninspired poets and philosophers of superior genius that have come down to us from by-gone ages. A century has passed, and what has become of the prophecy ? The Bible is more loved and rightly appreciated now than it was then. The tornado of infidelity, all these long years, has been sweeping over the sturdy trunk of revealed religion. " It has not even been bent by the fury of the storm; none of its leaves, flowers, fruits, nor branches, have been shaken down, nor so much as the dependent parasites clinging to their tops." There is hardly a family in the United States, that can read, where the Bible is not found and cherished. As the clouds which interpose between us and the rising sun often reflect the riclicst hues, so the works written to obscure the word of God have only served to unfold and recommend its divine, ineffaceable glories. And now an open, deep, genuine reverence for the gospel characterizes the freest, profoundest, and most successful inquiries in science, philosophy, and literature.

The divines of my native state — Massachusetts — have been foremost in their endeavors to restore the

Scriptures to their original simplicity, power, and glory. In no part of the world has the spirit of improvement achieved greater wonders, since the commencement of the present century, than in New England. All over the variegated surface of that romantic land, new villages, towns, and even large cities, have suddenly sprung into existence, as if indeed raised by the magician's wand. But more memorable than any outward creations or triumphs, that reflect so much glory on the north, are the valuable researches and discoveries which her accomplished scholars have lately made in the departments of biblical criticism and theological science. In the spirit of a humble, but thorough, fearless, and independent inquiry, the New England clergy have ventured to scrape off the moss from the rock of " eternal truth," not, as enemies insinuate, with the presumptuous, wicked intention of erasing the words engraved thereon " by the diamond pen of inspiration," but rather to ascertain whether the autographs — the original letters inscribed upon these unwasting pillars — have not been slurred, glossed, changed, or corrupted, during a long course of dark and superstitious ages, by the dexterous management of uninspired, unauthorized hands. In other words, they have simply taken tlie liberty to discriminate between what is human and divine in their formulas, creeds, catechisms, religious books, and sacred institutions in general.

To me it is a subject of thanksgiving, that within the last few years, a new and more efficient system of religious literature has been brought into exist-34

ence. The Roman Catholics, the Episcopalians, and the various Protestant denominations, arc enlightening the American people with vade mccwns, prayer books, spiritual guides, sermons, pamphlets, reviews, newspapers, and tracts, on innumerable subjects, adapted to all classes of minds. Who can describe the extent, variety, and riches of our Sunday school and juvenile libraries ? When I was a boy, there was only one bo.ok in our Union, besides the Scriptures, especially intended for the use of children— the New England Primer. Now, religious truth is served up in every shape most likely to arrest, beguile, and please the youthful mind — in a fable, a romance, a poem, a story, even in books of travels, of natural history, and natural philosophy. Some clergymen object to these modes of conveying spiritual instruction, but, as it seems to me, without good reason. The great Mr. Wesley introduced some tunes into church music, which for a long time had been appropriated exclusively to plays, theatres, and convivial entertainments. In reply to those who censured him for doing so, he said he had no idea that sin and Satan should have all the best music to themselves. So I would say of fine literature, — let it not be entirely devoted to the cause of irre-ligion. It is an engine of inconceivable poAver, and is just beginning to be wielded with effect for the promotion of Christianity. In our religious reading, there arc, to be sure, for the present, some crudities and imperfections; but these will soon be removed, when a stream of pure, beautiful erudition will flow forth, spreading a divine light and life over every part of our beloved republic.

Within the last year, I have heard many worthy and enhghtened persons remark, that to their eyes, Christianity has of late been rapidly declining in the United States, and that if it go on much longer to fall in the same ratio, it will soon be obliterated from the map and hearts of the American people. Now, such a gloomy prediction is alike opposite to my judgment, faith, and strongest aspirations; I cannot bear to entertain it; I cannot believe that it has the slightest foundation in truth. To me the very reverse is the case. Christianity, I think, has been more flourishing among us the last thirty years than at any former period.

The basis of this opinion is the universally acknowledged fact, that within this time there has been a great and unprecedented multiplication of churches and kindred organizations among us, and that of every name and denomination. I rejoice in the rapid increase of all those various societies called churches, as furnishing conclusive evidence of the growth of genuine Christianity; for they all recognize the Bible as their standard of faith and practice. I look with unqualified delight upon the founding and building up of a temple for the use of any sect. When I behold such a sight, I do not pause to ask what it is called, nor what its particular creed and forms are to be; nor do I cherisli any otlier wish concerning them, than that they may be congenial to the taste and advancement of the congregation for whose benefit the new edifice is erected. Every church seems to me a most beautiful spot, like an oasis in a surrounding desert. I regard it as adding

important strength to that holy bond, which I trust ■will cement in unbroken, everlasting union the confederated states which compose our great republic. It is like gazing upon a lovely landscape, to see a building whore my fellow-beings meet to forget for an hour the vanities and vexations of earth ; to offer their united orisons to a common Father; to trust in that Redeemer avIio died for them, who is the con-^ necting link between earth and heaven, the mortal and deathless, time and eternity ; to obtain a partial respite from the ennui and burdens of life, by catching glimpses of that higher and better world revealed in the gospel, towering in all the glories of immortality beyond these shadowy and evanescent scenes.

There is another proof that evangelical religion is on the increase in this land. I allude to the rapid decline of the spirit of sectarianism. The fact is not denied. As explanatory of this phenomenon, I will state a curious circumstance. For hundreds of years, the different denominations of Christians were alienated and kept asunder by the sincerest conviction that erroneous opinions, honestly held, Avere a sufficient cause for refusing to fraternize with each other, though they might all agree in accepting the Scriptures as a divinely-inspired standard of faith and diity. In tlie present day, this ground is almost entirely abandoned. Now, a reception of the Bible, without any particular creed, is nearly the universal bond of Christian union. It is a mcnioral)le fact, that the only heresy condemned in the New Testament, is not an error of the understanding, honestly

entertained, but a sin of the heart. St. Paul teaches that the only Antichrist is an evil intention, a bad state of the affections—"hatred, variance, emulation, wrath, strife, envyings, ill-will, and murder;" but that all who are actuated by the pure sentiments of "joy, peace, meekness, gentleness, goodness, forbearance, love, and charity, are acceptable to God, and entitled to the respect and approbation of man." Here is a broad scriptural platform, on which all the clergy and laity of Christendom may meet, to maintain a heartfelt, an harmonious, and a heavenly intercourse.

It is laid down by "Washington, in his Farewell Address, that a belief in the principles of revelation is requisite to make a man a good member of political society. He expresses the opinion that, without the aid of the Bible, no form of free government can have a lengthened existence. Thank Heaven, the humble Christian pastor can now greet as his co-laborers, in commending and upholding the word of God, presidents, senators, governors, and representatives, judges, members of the bar, all the learned professions, and every one of superior grade in intellect and influence throughout the land. So long as all feel that the glorious superstructure of our freedom is based upon the sacred volume, must they not cling to it as our ark, our palladium, the sheet anchor of our nation's prosperity and glory ?

It is not enough that reform, secular improvement

in every department, arts, education, schools, and

learning should be carried on among us with all

possible skill and energy. They, indeed, are all

34 *

wanted, and are divinely appointed instruments of usefulness and refinement. But something more is requisite to perpetuate our civil institutions, which is forever beyond their reach, too mighty for mere human agents and instrumentalities to accomplish. This is the suVjlime ideas of God, virtue, and immortality, derivable only from the sacred Scriptures. This is the subordination of the hearts of the American people, with their dark, wild, wayward, ungov-erned passions, to the spirit and laws of the Christian religion. A nation may possess a boundless physical prosperity, yet, without the guiding and guardian genius of the gospel, it will be only a more shining mark for the shafts of destruction ; like some gallant ship, the owner's pride and glory, richly freighted, but launched upon the boisterous main without star, rudder, or compass, to enable her to find a haven of safety. If the majority of this republic repudiate Christian principles, our existence will indeed be short and troubled, and we shall speedily go down, to be mingled with the ashes of our predecessors in the vast cemetery of departed states and empires.

In consequence of early training and associations, I left my native state (Massachusetts) carrying with me the prejudices which the people of New England are very generally accustomed to cherish towards tlicir neighbors at the south. Among the wise men who directed my education, it was an undisputed principle, that instances of sui)erior intellect, cultivated taste, and high moral worth, were seldom found in the slaveholding states. They seemed to

be unconscious of the fact that philosophic culture, creative art, and the inspirations of immortal genius, rose the highest in the civilized nations of antiquity, when three fourths, at least, of their inhabitants were disfranchised, and doomed through life to endure the evils of a slavery vastly more aggravated than that which now exists in any part of the world.

The Bible furnishes incontrovertible evidence that slaveholders may be saints, sages, apostles, and patriots ; that it is quite possible for them to exercise towards their dependants (and that in the greatest perfection) all those strong and tender sensibilities comprehended in the precept, " Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and thy neighbor as thyself." For the wise and holy men whose names are mentioned in Genesis and other portions of the Old Testament, and whose characters are declared to be models of benevolence, justice, and patriotism, in accordance with the express permission of Heaven, sustained precisely the same relation to that part of their families denominated servants in Scripture, as southern masters, at the present day, do to their slaves. Yes, in every age and clime, as far back as history runs, the greatest, wisest, and best men on earth, both in theory and practice, liave sanctioned the principle of slavery. How absurd, then, the idea that it is of necessity only corrupting and deleterious in its effects on the character of masters and the most precious interests of civilization !

For forty years pp-st, it has been my lot to reside

sontli of Mason and Dixon's line. I went there fresh from the Theological Seminary at Andover, Massachusetts, a firm believer in the superiority of the north, in every respect, over all the rest of the Union. Though a youth " to fortune and to fame unknown," I was cordially welcomed, and treated with a more noble hospitality, a more .marked and uniform kindness, than I had ever experienced in the land of the Puritans. I found the slaveholders in general possessed of a wider range of knowledge, much more refined, gentle, and condescending in manners, far superior in the graces and amenities of social intercourse, to tliose regarded as well-bred and respectable people throughout the cities, towns, and villages of New England. I was sorry that the prejudices of education and northern society had led me, even in tliought, to undervalue and disparage a large class of fellow-citizens entitled to my sincerest respect and admiration. In a worldly point of view, I had nothing calculated to recommend me to their civilities and attention. Yet I was admitted into the most distinguished circles as a friend, equal, and intimate companion. Nowhere, in any part of the world, have I observed less of aristocratic pretensions, of pharisaic, cold-hearted, unsympathizing conduct towards the poor, humble, and unfortunate. By an acclimating process suffered in Louisville, Kentucky, my life was brought near unto death. After convalescence commenced, when still in a very weak and precarious condition, an opulent planter in the neighborhood, with whom I was personally unacquainted, but who had once listened to my words

from the pulpit, heard of my ilhiess, and, unsolicited, paid me a visit. Immediately, he employed the requisite means to have me removed from the heated, enervating atmosphere of the city to his own delightful villa, which was fanned by cool, refreshing breezes, and replenished witli rural charms in the greatest variety and abundance. His wife and daughters nursed me with as much assiduity and attention as the most affectionate mother could bestow on a beloved child. Such unexpected kindness from the liands of total strangers revived my shiking spirits, enlarged my views of human nature, and taught me the sublime lesson, that the noblest forms of Christian excellence arc not confined to any particular class, creed, sect, or condition of humanity.

This gentleman, who under God was instrumental in preserving me from an early grave, had always lived in tlie State of Kentucky, and never journeyed beyond its boundaries, except in a single instance. Yet he was a person of varied and extensive information, a great reader, and a profound logician. I have met but few clergymen in any land whose conversation was more edifying, even in relation to those topics of inquiry peculiar to the clerical profession. In defiance of the narrowness of early teaching, and the prevailing forms of faitli around him, he had unconsciously imbibed, from a careful and systematic perusal of the Holy Scriptures, Unitarian views of Christianity. At that time, my own creed respecting the Trinity was Calvinistic. Touching this theme, I had listened to the i^sonings of the greatest theologians at Yale College and Andover, and fancied my-

self in possession of all that could be said on the subject.

One day, this gentleman proposed to me tlie following question: " Does the Bible teach that "there is but one uncreated, undivided, indivisible Being in the universe, possessing the attributes of infinite, independent life, power, wisdom, truth, rectitude, and love ?" This question was answered in the affirmative — "There is only owe God.'''' He then added, " You cannot, therefore, with propriety, use the term Trinity to denote the idea that there are three separate persons or beings in the Godhead — three individuals, each of whom is absolutely infinite, in the divine nature ; for you have already said that there is but one boundless individual, or person, in existence. What, then, do you mean, when you say that there are ^/iree persons in the Godhead?" I was compelled to acknowledge, after a lengthened discussion, that it was impossible to give any definite, rational, or scriptural signification of the word Trin-itij, except upon the plan of exegesis adopted by the Unitarians. Prom that day to the present, I have uniformly repudiated the distinguishing views of the Athanasian creed. I am under everlasting obligations to this gentleman, denounced by the fanatics as a godless slaveholder, for opening to me trains of thought, by the pursuit of which I was so happy as to obtain an answer to my doubts, and rest to my inquiries, in regard to one of the most difficult and sublime themes of Christian theology. And if I had passed my life in the Orthodox atmosphere of my native state, I should probably have died in darkness

and unbelief as to the real character of my heavenly-Father, and the true teachings of his Son Jesus Clu'ist, our Lord and Saviour.

The instructive conversations which I enjoyed, when entertained by the hospitalities of this benefactor, led me to change and modify my ideas on many important topics relating to morals, society, political science, and religion. To him might be applied the following lines : —

" Unbiased or by favor or by spite; Not dully prepossessed, nor blindly right; Though learned, well-bred ; and though well-bred, sincere ; Blessed with a taste exact, yet unconfined, A knowledge both of books and humankind, Generous converse, a soul exempt from pride, Who loved to praise with reason on his side."

When I became strong enough to travel, this noble-hearted man sent me off, in his own private carriage, and at his own expense, to seek the recuperation of my health at a celebrated watering place. If I had been a son, he could not have done more for me. When memory retraces the past, I cannot cq}\ to mind a more beautiful character. He was- adorned with every species of moral excellence — wisdom, humility, unsullied honor, unswerving truth ; all the gentle, soft, social, and refined virtues — mildness, compassion, generosity ; and the most conscientious regard to the rights and welfare of the bondmen whom God had committed to his hands. Yet he was a self-made man. His genius had been developed entirely by private study and application, without the fostering aid of any public institution of learning.

Having been graduated at Yale College, under the presidency of Dr. Dwight, as a general student, in the regular progress of a university education, I was of course made acquainted with the outlines of the principal branches of human knowledge. Notwithstanding, during my stay with this gentleman, no topic of conversation engaged our attention which did not appear familiar to him. Indeed, the combined resources of science and literature seemed to shed their lustre over his intellect and words, with the exception of what are called the ancient classics, or a knowledge of Latin and Greek authors in their vernacular tongues. The best translations of these works he had diligently perused.

Now, although, in my forty years' sojourn at the south, I have not met numerous instances, in rural districts, of persons equally enlightened and exalted with the one just named, yet I can testify that, thronghout the entire range of the slaveholding communities, the owners and cultivators of the soil arc quite as intelligent as in any section of the free states. And although the. children of poor parents too often grow up with little or no schooling, yet from other sources they obtain a degree of knowledge vastly superior to what they are generally reputed to possess by their northern brethren. In almost every family, however humble, the newspaper, teeming with the thoughts of the best scholars, statesmen, and thinkers of the land sheds a cheering light. Even the cabin or cottage, whose inmates arc devoid of the rudiments of learning, usually has within its reach some neighbor who reads and writes for his unlet-

tcred acquaintances. There is hardly a hamlet or house in the Southern States which is not embraced in the circuit of some itinerant Methodist or Bai> tist clergyman. By preaching, Sunday schools, class meetings, and other instrumentalities, the noble and self-sacrificing pioneers of the gospel spread abroad much valuable information on secular matters among the ignorant, besides initiating them into the fundamental principles of the Christian faith. Moreover, the universal practice of listening to popular orations from aspirants for political offices, which prevails at the south, is a great means of diffusing knowledge and wisdom throughout all the humbler classes of society, so that most of those who have not enjoyed the advantages of even a rudimental education have the intelligence requisite to fill their stations in life with honor to themselves and usefulness to others. Often have I formed the acquaintance of persons that could not write nor read, who moved with reputation and success in the sphere of duty which had been assigned them by Providence. Among such I have seen many pure-minded, conscientious, and lovely characters.

I have been struck with the marked and peculiar character of southerners, in their hospitality to those wdio come to reside among them, either from the old world, or from the free states of the Union. In almost every parish of Louisiana are persons living born in New England, whom the generous encouragement of their Creole neighbors has raised from indigence and obscurity to the possession of Avealth, honor, and usefulness. Among the Catholic Creoles 35

there are persons not unfrequently to lie met, whose lives reflect the highest charms of moral excellence — integrity, truth, honor, disinterestedness, and Christian v\'orth. When I call to mind the pure, high-minded, liberal friends, who were my stay and support throughout the trying scenes which constituted my allotments in the Crescent City, I can say, in the language of Scripture, " If I forget them, let my right hand forget her cunning. If I do not remember them, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth, if I prefer not them above my chief joy."

I remember that the purchase of Louisiana, during Jefferson's administration, was considered by my venerable father, and the majority of wise and good men in Massachusetts, as a measure imperilling the perpetuity of our Union, as fraught with the most destructive corisequences to the peace and prosperity of the American people. The clergy condemned it in terms of coarse and bitter denunciation, pronounced from the pulpit, amid the holy services of the sanctuary. Mr. Jefferson, in a printed ser-m.on, was called a " traitor," " infidel," " profligate," " an npostafe from the political principles of Washington and his illustrious compeers." What has been the result ?

Fifty years have passed since the dreadful deed was done which annexed Louisiana to these confederated states. And our population has grown from five to nearly thirty millions of inhabitants. An area larger than that of the old thirteen states has ceased to be a wilderness, and is to-day filled with plantations, towns, cities, churches, schools,

manufactories, iiiextinguisliablo enterprise, learning, equitable laws, and all the unnumbered blessings of tlie liigiiest civilization. No part of tlie country has been more benefited by tbiis extension of our territory than the New England people themselves, who once allowed their groundless fears to cheat them into the delusive idea that it wonld ultimately prove the ruin of our glorious republic. Now they all exclaim, " What a wise, just, far-seeing, and provident statesman was Jefferson !" He is ranked in the same class with Washington, Franklin, Adams, Hamilton, and other American patriots of world-wide and everlasting renown. And I doubt not but after the lapse of a few years, the intelligent, patriotic men of the north will look back upon the policy and measures of our national government at the present day with approbation and joy, and pronounce them to have been, all things considered, as wise, just, and beneficent as those of any. preceding administration with which it has pleased Heaven to bless and build up this confederacy of states.

Humble as I am in every particular, few persons have lived to my age who could call to mind a liap-pier retrospect than tliat which memory presents to my grateful, contented, and rejoicing heart. I have always had troops of friends, who delighted to do their utmost to promote my honor and prosperity. There is not a person living whom I regard as an enemy. Even among those who reprobate my religious teachings as erroneous, and calculated to sow moral contagion, I liave many warm and affectionate friends, who, if it were necessary, would be will-

ing to lay down their lives to secure my everlasting salvation. In the allotments of a lowly life, Providence has invited me to taste freely of every kind of temporal happiness which earth can afford. For though without wealth, I have had access to all the selfish pleasures which the largest wealth is able to bestow.

To my eye the future, whether relating to myself or to the entire race of man, — the future both of time and eternity, — is inexpressibly bright and glorious. The world is just beginning to see the power and sublimities of the principle expressed in the following words of inspiration : " Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you," &c. Throughout civilized lands it is now the prevailing conviction of the wisest and best of patriots, Christians, and philanthropists, that the resources of that love of which Jesus Christ was a living, spotless embodiment, as set forth in the New Testament, may be so wielded as to overcome all the moral evil on earth.

The worst person is not totally depraved, nor wholly and forever cast off, and shut out from the vivifying beams of infinite, inexhaustible, unchanging Love. The elements of undying virtue lie dormant in the most corrupt heart, waiting for the auspicious moment, when, quickened by the Holy Spirit, they will arouse from the trance of sin to run the race of everlasting progression in refinement and glory. No sinner ever was, no sinner ever will be, no sinner ever can be, placed beyond the reach of final redemption. Let the truth that God is love pen-

etrate the mists of error and ignorance which becloud the most abandoned mind ; let the veriest wretch feel that the Creator has showered upon him tlie richest blessings, by ordaining his existence in tliis world of death and depravity, and that He is infmitely more devoted to the welfare of the poorest sinner than the fondest mother to that of an only and beloved infant,— then the scales would immediately fall from his eyes, allowing him to gaze with nnol)structed vision upon the perfections of the Supreme Divinity, and the .transporting prospects of a spiritual state rising in all the glories of immortality beyond the dark ruins of earth and time.

The Bible authorizes us to anticipate a millennial era, when every individual will enjoy the knowledge of God — the only source of man's highest good; when all the impoverished, prostrate, broken and contaminated millions of our race will rise to intellectual culture, freedom, faith, penitence, sanctity, and that everlasting life which Infinitude, Omnipotence, Boundless Mercy has provided for man's present and everlasting inheritance.

Moreover, it is an item of revealed truth that all the events, errors, and calamities of time are overruled by Infinite wisdom, so as to secure the highest happiness of each member of the human family. God cannot be disappointed. He has his own way. His whole pleasure is accomplished in defiance of the sins and follies of his ^children. All things are contained in the Eternal Cause, as the oak is contained in the acorn ; and without the will, the ap-35*

pointmeiit of that Cause could never have come into existence, whether good or bad.

" One adequate support 'Midst the calamities of mortal life Exists, one only — an assured belief That the procession of our fate, however Sad, or disturbed, is ordered by a Being Of infinite benevolence and power, Whose everlasting purposes embrace Whatever happens, converting it to good."

The criminal, the drunkard, the libertine, and the gambler — the most atrocious transgressors of every grade — are unconsciously and every moment under the government of laws which cannot fail to work out, ultimately, the great and beneficent results for which they were created — the enjoyment of a perfectly holy and happy existence.

This divine faith has been my panoply against the assaults of foes without and within. It has constantly opened to my view a boundless prospect of beauty, a prospect all brightness and beatitude, un-dimmed by the clouds of gloom, despondency,-and secret scepticism, which must, of course, darken and chill the souls of those who cannot see Infinite Love enthroned and reigning over the destinies of every human being throughout time and eternity. When I look upon the most forbidding forms of sin and suffering around me, I am encouraged by the teaching of Scripture, that they are the necessary means, to us inscrutable, of spreading before an admiring universe the subliniest dispensations and counsels of Heaven's higliest wisdom and benevolence. I am happy because Jesus Christ has enabled me to see the hand

of God directing all the events and ordinances, fates and fortunes, trials and vicissitudes which make up the allotments of man's mysterious life on earth, causing even disease, disappointment, error, depravity, infatuation, the excesses and frivolities of pleasure, avarice, and pride, sadness and sorrow, oppression and injustice, sickness, mortality, and the grave, to work out issues, like himself, good and glorious only, and whose consequences will be commensurate with the unfoldings of eternity.

When I commenced these sketches, it was a part of my programme to dwell with a good deal of particularity on the remarkably noble and generous deportment towards me invariably practised, not by my parishioners alone, but also by all classes of inhabitants in New Orleans, both Protestant and Catholic. In most cases the opposition which I encountered while residing there was started and kept up by strangers and non-residents. My own congregation stood firmly by me when I was maligned, denounced, and excommunicated by the general voice of ministers and churches beyond the limits of New Orleans. There, in the darkest hours, when storms of vituperation beat upon me, I always found a refuge, a complete asylum, in the smiles and encouragement, the protection and sympathy, of enlightened, disinterested, and munificent friends. I look back upon tliose instances of kindness as th^most beautiful spots in the retrospect of the past, as the happiest scenes of my earthly allotments, and with the liveliest emotions of joy and gratitxule to my heavenly Father.

Thongli receiving a salary of five thousand dollars a year, yet I laid up nothing, in consequence of incessant disbursements for the relief of the distress and destitution which parochial visits or direct applications brought me acquainted with, nearly every day of my life. Who can refuse to administer to the wants of the sick and dying within his reach ? But though always poor, I was never embarrassed or straitened, with respect to either the necessaries or comforts of life. Tlie bounty of my personal friends, when the church treasury happened to be empty, was a rich and inexhaustible bank, and my drafts thereon, however exorbitant, were never dishonored. My parishioners did not care to ask what my poor services were worth, upon the quid pro quo principle of commercial transactions, but simply what was necessary to supply my reasonable wants. No minister ever lived in the United States more blessed with the sunshine of warm, liberal, and unwavering friends, than I have been. They threw over me the regis of their protection in the dark hour when the storm of popular prejudice and persecuting clamor was imperilling, not simply my standing in the church, my Christian character, but also my reputation as a man of honor and fair dealing. My congregation enriched me with unfailing stores of sympathy and love, more precious, in the estimation of a right-minded pastor, than all the gold of California. Tlie attachment which ahvays characterizca my relation to the church in New Orleans is dimly shadowed forth in the following communication : —

To the Members of tJie Fust Congregational Unitarian Church, New Orleans, Louisiana.

Dearly Beloved Brethren : Compelled by ill health to relinquish a pastoral connection of thirty-five years' standing, — a connection endeared to me by all that is sacred, precious, and affecting in memory, by those absorbing and unspeakable hopes, which, crossing the theatre of time and the gulf of death, open to our view the ever-expanding scenes, wonders, and glories of an immortal being, — the mournful duty devolves upon me of bidding you each and all a most affectionate farewell! Farewell! I have written the word weeping — with a heart overflowing with those deep and tender emotions which no language has power to express.

For a long time, it has been one of my strongest desires that I might bo permitted to breathe my last in your presence, surrounded by those who arc as dear to me as my own soul. Yes, it was ever to me a most cherished, favorite hope, that the hands of kind parishioners would at last close my eyes, and consign my frail body to its final resting place, to the long, peaceful sleep of the tomb — that gate of a nobler life, that portal through which, after the trials, distresses, and bereavements of time are over, we shall pass to enter upon joys unimaginable, unalloyed, and unceasing, in the presence of God, and Jesus, and all the loved and lost ones of our earthly pilgrimage.

But a wise and merciful Father has been pleased to disappoint me ; and this disappointment is the se-

verest trial which I have ever been called on to endure-. There are hours wlien it comes down u})Ou me like a crusliing, insupportable burden. I solicit an interest in your daily prayers, tliat the grace of God may be sufficient for me. New Orleans is rendered to my soul the sweetest spot on earth, by innumerable associations of the most interesting character, by those heartfelt attachments, by tliose joyous and sorrowful experiences, and by tliose elevated, sanctifying contemplations and labors with respect to the great themes of religion, which the oblivious waters of time, change, or death itself can never erase, but will only stamp thereon the seal of an endless perpetuity. »

The happiest portions of my past life were the calm, sacred hours of heavenly peace and satisfaction enjoyed when I met you from Sabbath to Sabbath, to be baptized in the life-giving truths and hopes of Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith — a peace and satisfaction never marred by a single instance of serious alienation, harshness, or discordance of feeling, during the thirty-five years' continuance of that most exalted and affecting relationship by which we were united. The spiritual peace of which I have been so long a partaker in your communion is worth more, in my most deliberate estimation, than all the perishable treasures of earth. Most tenderly, sacredly, and thankfully shall I remember it, until memory has lost its seat in my soul.

I wish it were in my power to find words to convey to you my grateful sense of your uninterrupted fi-iendship and kindness from the beginning of our-

acquaintance to the present hour. More especially do I thank you for the considerate and forbearing spirit which you have in^-ariably manifested, in throwing the mantle of chai-ity and oblivion over the numerous peculiarities of my constitutional temperament, and the many short-comings and imperfections that marked my professional career whilst with you. I rejoice to hear of the safe arrival of my successor in New Orleans. He comes to you in all the freshness of youth, animated with the fire of a snperior genius, ardent piety, noble sensibilities, a copious fund of knowledge, and powers of oratory, by which, united to habits of systematic, persevering exertion, and the blessing of Heaven, he may become a most useful, honored, and brilliant minister of the gospel, and build up a church that will be a light and ornament to the city in which it has pleased Providence to cast your lot.

And now, dear brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified. However sei)aratcd in space, may we be cemented by. tender and hallowed memories on earth, and beyond the grave meet again, to unite in the ineffable worship of that temple not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God our Father, and the communion of their Holy Spirit, be with you all, now and foreVermore. Amen.

T. Clapp.

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