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as the Saints allege, that the morality of their community is better than that of the average of Christian cities, that there is scarcely any gross vice, and that their women are contented and happy. The strongest vindications of polygamy, indeed, have been from the pens of female writers. Yet it is evident to even superficial observation, that the decency and good order of the Mormon state is not attributable to this abominable custom, but rather to circumstances of position and government. The Mormons were as pure, as upright, and as industrious before the promulgation of polygamy as they have been since. And their best history is in that period when there was a single wife to each husband. The doctrine may be kept in the Church on a religious pretext, and doubtless some who marry second and third wives do this now from religious motives, and not of free desire. But in the beginning it came into the Church through lust and sensualism, and the Divine sanction claimed for it was the excuse for low passion. We shall not waste words upon what is so hateful when joined to the idea of a Christian society, - upon the most pernicious of all the hallucinations of this century. The hallucination seems to be gaining ground even in a more respectable branch of the Christian Church, if we may trust the recent letter of the English Bishop of Natal and Colenso as a sign of the times. The Mormon sacred days are not very numerous.
The Saints keep Sunday after the manner of the Christian sects, by going to the regular place of worship, where the songs of Zion are sung, prayers are offered, one or more sermons are preached, and the sacraments are administered. Both the prayers and the sermons in Salt Lake City are reported in short-hand to be printed. In each town there is but a single place of worship, since it is not becoming to have any rivalry or division of the congregation. Those who cannot find seats must stand, and those who cannot get in and hear must stand without and wait. Sometimes text is taken for the sermons, but usually they are harangues upon the topic uppermost in the speaker's mind. There are two services on Sunday, the second like the first. We cannot find that the Saints have yet been vexed by the passion for a liturgy, or have tried the experiment of “ vespers.” The spirit of the discourses keeps
the attention fixed, and neither M. Remy nor Captain Burton mentions any instance of sleeping in the sacred place.
Twice in the year solemn conferences are held in the capital to transact the business of the Church. These are on the 6th of April and the 6th of October, and they last four days. At these conferences the officers of the Church are re-elected, every man having a vote. As the voters are told whom to vote for, the process is an easy one, and there is no need of that electioneering machinery which must precede the meetings of the Gentiles. The conferences are usually thronged by brethren from all the settlements, are opened with prayer and music, and are accompanied by statements of the history and prospects of the Church. The martyrs are called to mind, the promises are repeated, and any new visions which may have been vouchsafed in the past season are produced for the joy of the assembly.
For the day of National Independence the Saints have substituted the 24th of July, the day on which, after long journeying across the waste, in the year 1847, Brother Brigham and his company entered the sacred precincts, and established there the seat of their Church. This day of deliverance is kept more soberly than the national holiday of the States, nor are unrestrained potations and a lavish consumption of powder regarded as fit signs of gratitude and joy. In all things, Mormon customs keep a sort of subdued decorum. Nothing excessive is encouraged or permitted. The shoutings must not be too loud, nor the dancings too long. The life of the Saints must be even, and work must be interfered with as little as possible. Indeed, the cardinal virtue of the Mormon system is industry. Without this, an amiable temper, a decent behavior, respect for superiors, and ardent piety are all imperfect. The beehive is the sign of the people, and the law is that all shall work, and each shall do as much as he can. bol is defective, inasmuch as in the Mormon hive there are to be no drones and no queen-bee. Men and women, high and low, are all to be workers to the extent of their force.
A word should be said upon the music of the Mormons. According to M. Remy, this is of a superior kind, arranged in part from selections from the best masters, and executed in a
style not much below that of Westminster Abbey and the Sistine Chapel. The singing is congregational, and the women join in it with great spirit. In the Salt Lake City there is a “ Musical Society," which gives concerts from time to time. The Saints are fond of lively metres, and utterly avoid all doleful and dispiriting music. Even when the terrors of the law are presented, a cheerful strain accompanies the threatening, and the parting hymn always disperses any gloom and fear that may have been cast upon the assembly. The exhilaration of song rather than of strong drink is that in which the Saints delight. The prophet frequently describes his spiritual condition as prompting him to dance and sing. A propos of this tendency, M. Remy has appended to his work a treatise upon the Shakers, whom he calls the “antipodes of the Mormons.”
The details of the condition of the Latter-Day Saints which we have here gathered, are but a small portion of what might be collected from the abundant sources within our reach. But we must forego further gleanings. Upon the future of the Mormon people it is not desirable to speculate, — whether the newly-elected Representative and Senators will be allowed to sit in the American Congress, or whether this alien community will be again driven out from the land which they have occupied. Some predict a short life for so mean a fanaticism, and believe that it will die out within this century. Others see it growing to become a great and powerful religious body. To some, the falsehood of polygamy which it has adopted seems certain to be its destruction, while to others this singularity seems to insure its increase. Whatever its future may be, it is a most curious phenomenon of the present time, and offers material for study and reflection which is new in religious history. After the hundred embodied vagaries of religious imposture, Mormonism gives something original in its theology, its methods, its customs, and its developments. Its eclecticism is a novel combination; and while it is the union of many genera, it is the only species of its own genus. What philosopher will show us the true place of that aggregation of ideas which, in spite of its elements of good, remains in its whole only a monstrous and ridiculous excrescence ?
Art. IX. — Considerations on Representative Government.
BY JOHN STUART MILL, Author of "A System of Logic, Ratiocinative and Inductive." New York: Harper and Brothers. 1862. 12mo.
12mo. pp. 365.
POLITICAL institutions are not created out of nothing; they grow from the antecedents and surroundings of the nation that is subject to them. They are effectively modified only by the progress or the essential change of the people in the elements of material, mental, or moral well-being. Modifications put in force by exterior power, as in the case of conquest or of the overmastering influence of a greater nation, endure only while the outward pressure lasts, or remain in form and letter while their substance and intent become obsolete. Revolutions from within are always slow, though they may seem sudden. Disruption barely marks the advanced stage of a process that may have been going on for centuries, and when it occurs it is a token, not of the entireness of the revolution, but of the unelastic rigidness of the displaced institutions. A state may be so organized that fundamental changes can be effected without the slightest shock; or it may be so constituted as to admit of no new principle or idea without convulsion. If this view be correct, it might seem at first thought that forms of government are determined by fate, and in no wise by choice or volition on the part of the governed. But so far is this from being the case, that such choice or volition is the most potent of all political causes, - not indeed infallibly efficacious, (for in all
human affairs an inexorable past may tie the hands of the present,) but strong enough to overcome almost every force short of immemorial prescription or ingrained national tendencies.
Here, then, is the scope of political philosophy, especially when, as in numerous cases from Plato's Republic down to the treatise now under review, it assumes a concrete form, not only establishing principles, but defining organisms as yet untried and unfamiliar. The process is slow and stepwise ; but
. an idea that has once commended itself to an influential mind is already in a fair way to find ultimate realization in a consti
tution or government. This book propounds principles and modes of organism and administration which no nation upon earth is prepared to embody, yet the ability with which they are stated and defended renders their adoption in the distant future highly probable. The author's ideas will gradually diffuse themselves among philosophers who occupy his own intellectual plane; by their agency they will work their way into the common mind as reasonable, but impracticable ; then they will be esteemed as desideranda in governmental institutions; and, when they are once objects of desire, they will in due time become objects of the popular will and choice.
We do not propose to follow Mr. Mill over the entire ground occupied by his treatise. Ours will be the easier task of selecting some few of its salient points, and discussing them in our own way, borrowing much of our material from him, but freely adding to, or digressing from, his course of illustration and argument.
Because a representative government is ideally the best form, it does not follow that it is always practicable, or always expedient when practicable. It is not practicable unless the people desire it, – unless they are able and willing to do what is necessary for its preservation, - unless they are able and willing to perform intelligently and honestly the functions which it imposes on them. It is not to be desired for a people that has not learned the lesson of obedience. This lesson is best learned under an absolute government, and especially under military rule. On the other hand, extreme passiveness disqualifies a nation for profiting by a representative government, which in that case would be virtually nominated by the supreme executive, and would be a mere court of registration for the dicta of irresponsible power. Imperfect union and centralization would equally render a representative government inexpedient; for in this case local interests would predominate to the prejudice of the general good, and the unifying power of the central administration would be weakened and thwarted by the pestilent activity of sectional rivalries and animosities. There is yet another partial disqualification, which we prefer to quote in Mr. Mill's own words.
“ Among the tendencies which, without absolutely rendering a peoVOL. XCV. - NO. 198.