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moment he becomes disaffected, the system, like a strong fountain, casts him out, and frees itself from his corrupting influence.

The same thing may be seen in reference to property. Rome was mighty whilst poor, but weak when rich. Riches, especially when unequally distributed, bring a train of corruption, effeminacy, and insubordination, tending to national ruin. The single fact, that multitudes are dependent upon a few of overgrown wealth, tends to this ruinous direction, either by making those multitudes the passive tools of designing men, or kindling popular vengeance as exhibited in frenzied mobs or universal revolutions. The expulsive power of the Theocracy is here observable. Every fiftieth year, at least, the yeomanry of the nation were reduced to an equality in respect to landed property. The edict was peremptory. He who refused obedience, be he ever so lordly, was cast out of the nation, and the lowliest Israelite was reinstated in his patrimonial inheritance. The tendency here is plainly to free the system from that which might injure. Like the human body in vigorous health, it flings every injurious and deadly element away from the seat of life, and guards it sacredly from death.

We might illustrate this beautiful and wonderful principle, by reference to every species of crime and punishment recognized in Jewish law, but indulgence must be curbed. Indeed, so mighty was this expulsive energy, that the very land seemed to sympathize with its King in the administration of his government, at times, as though nauseated by the abominations of the people, and casting them out.

The principle referred to as fundamental in this government, retained a greater control during the period of Joshua, than in any other. And who has not given way to his exclamations of delight, at the wonderful power it exerted over more than three millions of people? Their Mount Ebal utters its deep amen to the dreadful imprecations invoked on transgressors. Their Mount Gerizim, clad in the bright garments of fertility, stood a monumental pledge of blessings on the obedient.

"And Israel served the Lord all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that overlived Joshua, and which had known all the works of the Lord that he had done for Israel." But it is a fact of the utmost importance, that the principle was not deep-seated in the nation's heart, throwing out its vitalizing energies into every part. At times it seemed to become the nation's life-current, and then its expulsive power was wonderful, throwing away from the citadel of existence every noxious influence, and revealing the whole system in surpassing beauty. It remained in health long enough to test the principle on which it was based; and then, because infatuated men sought to dethrone this child of heaven, the nation fell headlong from its lofty eminence. They madly burst asunder the restraints of their Sovereign, they bathed the earth in the blood of his servants, and consummated all by crucifying perfected humanity. Then came the close, sublimely terrible, in the unmitigated desolation which stripped the Holy City of her children, and drove the pitiless ploughshare through streets sanctified by the footsteps of legislators and prophets and the Son of God. Then, indeed, did the city "sit solitary," her "gates became desolate," and "she was in bitterness." And the Jew, as he saw the Temple wrapped in flame, and the sacred"vail rent in twain," may well be represented as shouting out his frantic imprecation and defiance,

"We are then of Thee

Abandoned-not abandoned of ourselves.
Heap woes upon us, scatter us abroad,
Earth's scorn and hissing; to the race of men
A loathsome proverb; spurned by every foot,
And cursed by every tongue; our heritage
And birthright, bondage; and our very brows
Beaming, like Cain's, the outcast mark of hate:
Israel will still be Israel, still will boast
Her fallen Temple, her departed glory;

And, wrapt in conscious righteousness, defy

Earth's utmost hate, and answer scorn with scorn."

In this nation was evolved the principle of national immortality, and its power is yet to be seen in the living miracle of a nation deprived of sovereignty for ages, and yet a distinct peo

ple. They have been stripped, and scorned, and persecuted ; kings have sought to exterminate them; the powers of earth have been in league for their ruin; for centuries the Mussulman and Christian struck hands for this end; and yet the Jews live, a nation as truly as in the days of David. Greece and Rome perished, and their numerous millions perished with them; Jerusalem has been in ruins, or in the power of the Moslem, for eighteen hundred years, and yet Israel is Israel still. They remain a living demonstration of the imperishable nature of that principle which God breathed into their government, preserving the nationality of a numerous people, even whilst passing through the furnace of vengeance. Like the son of Thetis cast into the fire to test his immortal nature, Israel has passed through a "furnace heated seven times," but does not perish! A thousand vultures have torn his quivering flesh, and driven their relentless beaks at the seat of life, but the immortal principle fills out the flesh fast as devoured, and guards the heart, throbbing with a deathless pulsation! A burning robe of wrath has been bound about Israel, yet, less fortunate than the fabled ancient, he cannot die! This is national immortality, when the very current of life tortures but cannot consume. What would Israel now be, had he not forsaken his Sovereign? Still immortal, but in joy; robed in the beauteous vestments of heaven, the favored son of one Great King on high!

We have dwelt so long upon the history of this remarkable nation, for a number of reasons. In this we plainly trace the work of God; its history has been written under the same guidance, and may therefore be relied upon with confidence: and by this history was demonstrated the only principle of national immortality, that of perfect and loving obedience to God and hearty affection to men, by every individual in a nation. This glorious truth has been discovered and tested, and now is deposited in the treasure-house of nations, offering to become the germ of immortality to all.

We now proceed to notice briefly some details as discovered by other nations and experiments. The ambitious Constan

tine thought to found his throne on this adamantine rock; but secured only its shadow, and his throne soon perished. Then succeeded the long and terrible reign of spiritual despotism, and not in vain. It disclosed the fearful effects of a system which absorbed and controlled the consciences and hearts of individuals, which in fact struck individuals out of existence, and concentrated all in the "little old man at Rome." Whilst it professed to hold sacred the principle beaming so brightly on the page of Jewish history, it really had passed around to the opposite extreme, and sought only unity and power without regard to individuals. But this could not always continue. Mind stripped of individuality began to move. The spiritual yoke became too heavy, and the arousing spirit of man chafed under the burden. A mighty array of causes were marshalling themselves for conflict. Then came the shout of onset, the rush of armies, the peal of victory. The vindication of a noble principle was in part achieved. Jehovah was abroad in the earth, consuming and destroying this monster, "with the spirit of his mouth and the brightness of his coming." Of course this part of the experiment was negative, demonstrating that it was not a part of a perfect government to arrogate the sacred prerogatives which belong to individuals.

But in tracing out the different governmental evolutions belonging to the third great experiment, we may not pass one bright link in the chain, especially as it has exerted a controlling power on events, in which our own nation is concerned. How pleasantly does the reign of Alfred the Great greet the eye, wearied and disgusted with the abominations of contemporary nations! Among them it seems like a lake of beauty embosomed in sterile mountains. To the mind contemplating the history of mankind, during those ages of rapine and blood, of crime and cruelty, of oppression unrebuked and fiendishness incarnated, this reign beams out like a jewelled star in its deep setting of blue, the signal of heaven to man, in all his sorrows, that

"Bright joy stands waiting for the morning light."

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Alfred was a great king. In an age of deep darkness he kindled intellectual and moral lights. In a barbarous nation, oppressed by fiercer barbarians, he swayed such an authoritative sceptre as to control perfectly his own subjects and subdue his enemies. Driven from his throne, fleeing for his life, the inmate of a herdsman's cottage, a disguised minstrel in his enemy's camp, firing the flagging zeal of defeated subjects, with fell rapidity visiting vengeance on his enemies, and in planting a firm foot upon a tottering throne-in all these, Alfred manifested greatness, and for these history will ever reverence him. Yet these are only the prefatory steps to that which constitutes his real greatness, and points him out as the man destined to live forever in national character. To Alfred belongs the glory of incorporating into government the sacred principle, that the accused, be he high or mean, may not be condemned, except by the judgment of his peers. And here the assertion of Blackstone is not forgotten, that this principle was known and practised among the northern nations of Europe. But even allowing this, it does not in the least detract from Alfred's glory, since most assuredly he first introduced it into the polity of a nation, the influence of which is felt throughout the earth. The right of trial by jury became the cherished birthright of every Saxon, and whilst Alfred lived, it was preserved inviolate. In an age of tyranny and brute force, this king stood like a mountain of strength, the assertion of heaven-born principles, the common boon of God to every human being. The sentiment which Alfred lived out and then inserted in his last will, is an index to the nobleness of his character: "It is just that the English should ever remain free as their own thoughts."

Such was the man who formed a nucleus around which, during passing ages, were to collect the constituent parts of a perfect government. Perhaps he recognized feebly the magnificent principle evolved in Jewish history, yet he performed his own part of the experiment nobly, leaving more enlightened ages to complete the work he commenced.

For a time the Norman Conquest exerted a disastrous

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