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ly anticipates the day when the Republic will fly to this, as the only refuge from unbearable anarchy.

At the opposite pole of our political life, is a vast, unorganized body of citizens of foreign and native birth, who assert the almost complete right of the individual against all government, order and law. In the continued ravings of that class of suppressed rebels, North and South, who went to war to vindicate individual, plantation, and State rights, against governmental order itself; in the defiant attitude of large numbers of workmen, of several occupations, who assert rights utterly impossible in any peaceable community; in the scandalous prostitution of judicial power to shield the vilest criminals; in the wholesale and blatant corruption that threatens every region of municipal, State, and national government; in a general spirit of brutality that has more than once risen in appalling strife, to trample out civilized society itself, we behold the gathering together of this organization of anarchy.

Both these tendencies are in the field as national agitators; and, while they confine their operations to agitation, and violation of law and order, they assume fearful proportions, and overwhelm the patriot with apprehensions for the future. But whenever the whole people is aroused to some great expression of its convictions on one of the test questions of national life, both instantly subside into secondary and sometimes contemptible positions. Then comes up that wonderful, compact, and many-sided manhood, which has made the Germanic, British, and American people, the guardians of the most sacred interests of humanity and a progressive civilization. You never know a North German, Englishman, Scotchman, or an American sprung of these antecedents, as long as you judge him by his speech or opinions, or even conduct, under the ordinary circumstances of life. While they are going smoothly, even until the decisive hour in a revolution, he is a creature proverbially self-asserting, obstinate, disputatious, given to provoking controversy, and playing with startling theories on the most sacred themes. But when the mighty question fairly confronts him, this spiritual drapery falls, as the fantastic cloud-world above the Vale of Chamouni dissolves;

and he stands in his peerless, practical manhood, the Mont Blanc of all orders of men.

In the most disheartening years of our past struggle, the whole American people has always struck the keynote of faith in a republican order of society, and a civilization safely and surely advancing towards the emancipation and exaltation of man and society. The leaders of despotism and the leaders of anarchy learn, to their amazement, that when the people is brought to the ballot-box, or Congress brought to a national emergency, men do not act logically, or consistently with previous opinions or words. They elect Lincoln; they do not impeach Johnson; they rally upon Grant; they keep the peace with foreign nations defiant alike of the logic of Mill, or the rhetoric of Sumner. They do not confess that as men, acting in critical national emergencies, they are bound by previous speculations or speeches which only represent the intellectual faculties of their manhood. This great, overpowering majority of the American people can be intrusted with the cause of a progressive civilization towards the summit of the golden rule; for any organized party that proposes despotism or anarchy will be powerless to hold its own followers when this mighty standard is lifted up as the signal to the solid, realizing manhood of the American Republic.

It needs but moderate observation to behold the same tendencies to despotism, anarchy, and a progressive Christian faith, in the present religious mind of our land.

Never has the claim of a despotic, infallible priesthood to govern the religious affairs of the American people been more distinctly put forth and vigorously pushed than to-day. To a certain order of the clerical mind, this pretension of a divine calling and election to rule God's heritage comes with a fatal charm. So much is it a matter of spiritual constitution, that no liberality of creed can greatly modify it; while the most stringent dogmas and extravagant ceremonies are oftenest its offspring. It is the great aggressive power in the Catholic Church; and even American Episcopacy is more vitally touched by it than it cares to confess. It breeds constant war in the great Methodist, Presbyterian, and Congregational Ortho

dox bodies; and most of their bitter dissensions are the result of an untamable lust of spiritual dominion in a small but implacable division of their ministry. And no man has lived through the last twenty years of Liberal Christianity, radicalism, materialistic atheism, even the most extreme forms of religious or anti-religious agitation, without recognizing this old Devil of priestly assumption of infallibility, masquerading under every disguise of humanity, spirituality, scepticism, or outright mockery of religion itself. It is never an easy thing for a strong man to become the venerated spiritual adviser and guide of men, without falling into the insane fancy that to him has been given, in some peculiar way, the keys of heaven and hell; and whatever fine logical or sentimental names our divinity students inscribe on their new banners, as they issue upon the world, their hardest fight will always be against this terrible old roaring lion of priestly arrogance, and blasphemous assumption of power to bind and loose the souls of their fellow-men. Through all the denominations of American religion, we see this order of priestly men, drawing near to one another; and with no formal co-operation, nay, often unconscious of their own tendencies, they have become a formidable power in the country.

Equally well defined is the opposite tendency to that exclusive individuality in religion, whose last results are social and religious anarchy. Perhaps there was never so large a proportion of the American people as now, who honestly believe that religion is a strictly private affair, with which no outside influence should presume to intermeddle. Each man is a universe in himself, solely capable of recognizing or repudiating a Creator, a code of morals, a career in life. The very yearning for spiritual communion to such a mind is a temptation to be resisted. The claim of society for religious example or activity is scornfully repelled. All the ordinary modes of promoting religious fellowship or organizing Christian work are rejected, as an intrusion upon the sanctity of the individual realm, where alone divinity is enshrined.

This excessive tendency to individualism in religion is often found in connection with a traditional faith in Christianity;

or it may be loosely held as a mental theory, while the deep places of the nature are consecrated by a profound life in God and humanity. In transitional periods, we must not hold men severely to logical systems of belief. Many a sincere disciple of this habit of thought and life would feel shocked and insulted, on being held responsible for the inevitable results of his own darling speculative and personal preferences. We do not judge the religious or Christian character of men in this essay, or assume to hold the balance between conflicting tendencies in the same mind; but we believe the final outcome of this whole ideal of excessive individualism in religious thought and practice, in our own and other Christian denominations is self-deification; and out of this spring flows selfishness in morals, solitude in faith, and the severance of the lateral arteries through which courses that life-blood which makes all men "members of one body." Indeed, this form of religion is essential paganism; the opposite pole of the Christianity of Jesus, whose law is universal love and the union of all created beings in one family, bound up in Christ and God. In numberless forms does this new paganism confront us; in the materialistic atheist, making his own senses the god of his life; in the student who enthrones the logical intellect, and worships his own mental processes as the only deity; in the airy sentimentalist, who follows the flitting gleam of his own moods with a fidelity worthy of a nobler religion; in the artistic adorer of his own all-beautiful self as reflected in colossal proportions against the colored mist of his own imagination; in the philanthropist, who lifts himself to the awful summit where all earthly institutions and men pass in endless review before his final bar of judgment, — a self-organized court of appeals for the universe; in forms whose name is legion, does this American self-worship, the heathenism of the New Republic, prevail.

Every religious body holds a well-known party of its disciples, under the peculiar garb of its creed and ecclesiasticism, busily engaged in the work of disorganization. There is a destruction in religious affairs that comes from the irresistible might of a higher faith, whose end is the creation of "a new

heaven and a new earth." A freshet of love, surging out of the celestial realms, often carries off the works of generations of earthly policy, and strews an age with costly ruins; but only that the fair kingdom of God may appear in ampler boundaries on deeper soil. But this spirit of self-deification is essential disorganization; a dry-rot in the centre of the soul, that makes all human society impossible. Nothing can take root and grow on this blasted soil but pale and ghostly shadow-plants; mushroom theories that cover the ground in a night, and blacken when struck by the sun that wakes creation to life. The most brilliant man, once sequestered in this exhausted spiritual receiver, only spins round on his own axis, and finally goes off, through spiritual convulsions, into spiritual inanity. The most promising church, once seduced into this ethereal form, finds itself curtained off from our common humanity by a film too fine to be seen, too invincible to be rent, wherein it falls away into spiritual and moral languor, and dies so quietly that Christendom does not know when it breathes its last. This spirit is everywhere at work in American affairs, especially among the classes whose culture has just attained that perilous edge of magnificent self-consciousness, where it remains poised for evermore. But it rules in the densest realms of barbarism as well. Indeed, it is not a culture, but a diseased tendency of the manhood that underlies all culture and circumstances, in a Comte or a cobbler, reducing the universe to the scenery of one all-comprehending self.

If we look at these two tendencies only as agitating forces in the country, we may easily, according to our style of temperament, fall into a panic, and believe the religion of America is ebbing toward Rome, or is wasting itself amid the barren sands of atheism. In the city of New York, a fervent Protestant minister can hardly resist the conviction that we are coming to be enclosed in an iron dynasty of priestly government. In the great cities of the West, it needs a mighty faith to overcome the apprehension that religion itself is passing out of the recognition of the people. But theological estimates of such a people as ours are rarely correct, since they deal chiefly with creeds, theories, and words, and

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