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    03 POLITICAL AND RELIGIOUS INFLUENCE OF THE NATION

    THE great instrument which our forefathers set forth as their bill of rights — the Declaration of Independence — contains these words:—MANA 71.1

    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” And in Art.IV., Sec. 4, of the Constitution of the United States, we find these words: “The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a republican form of government.” A republican form of government is one in which the power rests with the people, and the whole machinery of government is worked by representatives elected by them.MANA 71.2

    This is a sufficient guarantee of civil liberty. What is said respecting religious freedom? In Art. VI. of the Constitution, we read: “No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office of public trust under the United States.” In Art. I. of Amendments of the Constitution, we read: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”MANA 71.3

    In reply to questions as to the design of the Constitution, from a committee of a Baptist society in Virginia, George Washington wrote, Aug. 4, 1789, as follows:—MANA 71.4

    “If I had the least idea of any difficulty resulting from the Constitution adopted by the Convention of which I had the honor to be the President when it was formed, so as to endanger the rights of any religious denomination, then I never should have attached my name to that instrument. If I had any idea that the general government was so administered that the liberty of conscience was endangered, I pray you be assured that no man would be more willing than myself to revise and alter that part of it, so as to avoid all religious persecutions. You can, without doubt, remember that I have often expressed my opinion, that every man who conducts himself as a good citizen is accountable to God alone for his religious faith, and should be protected in worshiping God according to the dictates of has own conscience.”MANA 72.1

    In 1830, certain memorials for prohibiting the transportation of the mails and the opening of post-offices on Sunday were referred to the Congressional Committee on Post-offices and Post-roads. The committee reported unfavorably to the prayer of the memorialists. Their report was adopted, and printed by order of the Senate of the United States, and the committee discharged from the further consideration of the subject. Of the Constitution they say:—MANA 72.2

    “We look in vain to that instrument for authority to say whether the first day, or seventh day, or whether any day, has been made holy by the Almighty.MANA 72.3

    “The Constitution regards the conscience of the Jew as sacred as that of the Christian, and gives no more authority to adopt a measure affecting the conscience of a solitary individual than of a whole community. That representative who would violate this principle would lose his delegated character, and forfeit the confidence of his constituents. If Congress should declare the first day of the week holy, it would not convince the Jew nor the Sabbatarian. It would dissatisfy both, and consequently convert neither.... If a solemn act of legislation shall in one point define the law of God, or point out to the citizen one religious duty, it may with equal propriety define every part of revelation, and enforce every religious obligation, even to the forms and ceremonies of worship, the endowments of the church, and the support of the clergy.MANA 72.4

    “The framers of the Constitution recognized the eternal principle that man’s relation to his God is above human legislation, and his right of conscience inalienable. Reasoning was not necessary to establish this truth; we are conscious of it in our own bosoms. It is this consciousness, which, in defiance of human laws, has sustained so many martyrs in tortures and flames. They felt that their duty to God was superior to human enactments, and that man could exercise no authority over their consciences. It is an inborn principle which nothing can eradicate.MANA 73.1

    “It is also a fact that counter memorials, equally respectable, oppose the interference of Congress, on the ground that it would be legislating upon a religious subject, and therefore unconstitutional.”MANA 73.2

    Hon. A.H. Cragin, of New Hampshire, in a speech in the House of Representatives, said:—MANA 73.3

    “When our forefathers reared the magnificent structure of a free republic in this Western land, the laid its foundations broad and deep in the eternal principles of right. Its materials were all quarried from the mountain of truth; and as it rose majestically before an astonished world, it rejoiced the hearts and hopes of mankind. Tyrants only cursed the workmen and their workmanship. Its architecture was new. It had no model in Grecian or Roman history. It seemed a paragon let down from Heaven to inspire the hopes of men, and to demonstrate God’s favor to the people of the New World. The builders recognized the rights of human nature as universal. Liberty, the great first right of man, they claimed for ‘all men’, and claimed it from ‘God himself.’ Upon this foundation they erected the temple, and dedicated it to Liberty, Humanity, Justice, and Equality. Washington was crowned its patron saint. Liberty was then the national goddess, worshiped by all the people. They sang of liberty, they harangued for liberty, they prayed for liberty. Slavery was then hateful. It was denounced by all. The British king was condemned for foisting it upon the colonies. Southern men were foremost in entering their protest against it. It was then everywhere regarded as an evil, and a crime against humanity.”MANA 73.4

    Again, the Bible, and the Bible alone, is the Protestant rule of faith; and liberty to worship God according to the dictates of one’s own conscience is the standard of religious freedom in this land; and from the quotations herewith presented, it is evident that while the government pledges to all its citizens the largest amount of civil freedom, outside of license, it has determined to lay upon the people no religious restrictions, but to guarantee to all liberty to worship God according to the Protestant principle.MANA 74.1

    It is these heaven-born principles, — civil and religious liberty, — so clearly recognized, so openly acknowledged, and so amply guaranteed, that have made this nation the attraction it has been to the people of other lands, and which have drawn them in such multitude to our shores.MANA 74.2

    Townsend (“Old World and New,” p. 341) says:—MANA 74.3

    “And what attached these people to us? In part, undoubtedly, our zone, and the natural endowments of this portion of the globe. In part, and of late years, our vindicated national character, and the safety of our institutions. But the magnet in America is that we are a republic — a republican people! Cursed with artificial government, however glittering, the people of Europe, like the sick, pine for nature with protection, for open vistas and blue sky, for independence without ceremony, for adventure in their own interest; and here they find it!”MANA 74.4

    Thompson (United States as a Nation,” p. 29) gives this view of the religious element that entered into this organization:—MANA 74.5

    “In the movements in the colonies that prepared the way for the Revolution, the religious spirit was a vital and earnest element. Some of the colonies were the direct offspring of religious persecution in the old country, or of the desire for a larger freedom of faith and worship; and so jealous were they of any interference with the rights of conscience, that their religion was fitly described [by Burke in his Speech of Conciliation] as ‘a refinement on the principle of resistance, the dissidence of dissent, and the Protestantism of the Protestant religion.’ And the colonies that were founded in that spirit of commercial adventure, or for extending the realm of Great Britain, became also as asylum for religious refugees from all nations, and by the prospect of a larger and freer religious life, attracted to themselves the men of different races and beliefs who had learned to do and to suffer for their faith.”MANA 74.6

    On page 31, he further says:—MANA 75.1

    “Thus it came to pass that the religious wars and persecutions of Europe in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, were a training school for the political independence of the United States of America in the eighteenth century. Diverse and seemingly incongruous as were the nationalities represented in the colonies, — Dutch French, German, Swedish, Scotch, Irish, English, — they had all imbibed, either by experience or by inheritance, something of the spirit of personal independence, and especially of religious liberty. Gustavus Adolphus designed his colony of Swedes for the benefit of ‘all oppressed Christendom.’ Penn, the Quaker, established Pennsylvania as ‘a free colony for all mankind,’ where the settlers ‘should be governed by laws of their own making.’ The first charter of the Jerseys — which were largely peopled by Quakers and Scotch and Irish Presbyterians — declared that ‘No person shall at any time, in any way, or on any pretense, be called in question, or in the least punished or hurt, for opinion in religion.’ And Oglethorpe’s Colony of Georgia was founded to be a refuge for ‘the distressed people of Britain, and the persecuted Protestants of Europe;’ then the German Moravian settled side by side with the French Huguenot and the Scotch Presbyterian under the motto, ‘We toil not for ourselves, but for others. ’MANA 75.2

    “Pere Hyacinthe, after a tour in New England, said he had remarked in every town three institutions that epitomized American society, — the bank, the school, and the church. A true picture. And you see the intellectual and the spiritual are two to one against the material, — the bank, the store-house of gains and savings, the school and the church, the distributing reservoirs of what is freely taken from the bank and given to those educating and spiritualizing forces of society.”MANA 75.3

    “The Americans,’ says De Tocqueville, ‘show by their practice that they feel the high necessity of imparting morality to democratic communities by means of religion.... In the United States, on the first day of every week, the trading and working life of the nation seems suspended; all noises cease; a deep tranquillity, say rather the solemn calm of meditation, succeeds the turmoil of the week, and the soul resumes possession and contemplation of itself. Upon this day the marts of traffic are deserted; every member of the community, accompanied by his children, goes to church, where he listens to strange language, which would seem unsuited to his ear.’ This last expression shows that even the philosophical acumen of De Tocqueville had failed to penetrate to the secret of religious life in America. That is no ‘strange language to which the American banker, merchant, farmer, mechanic, listens when he goes to church on Sunday; it is the language he was accustomed in childhood to hear from his parents; the language that perhaps he himself has used in his own family every day of the week at morning prayer; the lessons that he inculcates to his children, — ‘of the finer pleasures which belong to virtue alone, and of the true happiness which attends it.’ It is not on Sunday alone, as De Tocqueville imagined, that the American steals an hour from himself, and laying aside for a while the petty passions which agitate his life and the ephemeral interests which engross it, strays at once into an ideal world, where all is great, eternal and pure.’ Thousands upon thousands of the busiest men in America do this every day with undeviating regularity. This is their life, — in that ideal world; and they bring from this springs and motives to action in the world of affairs,”—Id., pp. 219,220.MANA 76.1

    The success of the United States in erecting at once a permanent and stable form of government has been an astonishment to other nations. Edouard Laboulaye, one of the foremost patriots and publicists of France, just after the revolution of 1848 said:—MANA 76.2

    “In the last sixty years we have changed eight or ten times our government and our constitution; have passed from anarchy to despotism; tried two or three forms of the republic and of monarchy; exhausted proscription, the scaffold, civil and foreign war; and after so many attempts, and attempts paid with the fortune and the blood of France, we are hardly more advanced than at the outset; The constitution of 1848 took for its model the constitution of 1791, which had no life; and to-day we are agitating the same questions that in 1789 we flattered ourselves we had resolved. How is it that the Americans have organized liberty upon a durable basis, while we, who surely are not inferior to them in civilization — we who have their example before our eyes — have always miscarried?”MANA 76.3

    Thompson (“United States as Nation,” p. 107) quotes the foregoing from “Etudes Morales et Politiques,” p. 285, and spends a few moments considering a proper answer to this question which the Frenchman in so much astonishment asks. He makes the answer to consists principally in the fact that the Americans conceived and adopted a superior constitution — a constitution which has sprung from the noble principles which have given this nation its political and religious influence, as noticed in this chapter. He says”_MANA 77.1

    “But in this point of constitution-making, it will also be seen that the Americans, with a rare felicity, succeeded in incorporating the constitution of the nation, which is its life principle, with the national constitution, which gives to the national life its definitive form and expression. They not only achieved independence, but, in the happy phrase of the French critic, they ‘organized liberty.’ This success was due to training, to methods, and to men, or rather to that mysterious conjunction of men and events that make the genius of an epoch akin to inspiration.”MANA 77.2

    The value and influence of this constitution is shown in the fact that “to-day a leading organ of opinion in England pronounces the Constitution of the United States ‘the most sacred political document in the world.’ ” — Id. p. 160.MANA 77.3

    The growing influence of American opinions and ideas is still further shown in the recognition of American literature abroad. Says Thompson (p. 231), “Many of us can remember the sneer of the Edinburgh Review, ‘Who reads an American book?’ The laugh is turned, now that everywhere in England one sees the railway book-stalls, and the shelves of circulating libraries, crowded with American Books in ready demand; that one can count up scores of American authors reprinted in England (in the catalogue of a single London publisher, I lately saw twelve American names); that in ‘The International Scientific Series,’ published at London and Leipzig, the names of Cooke, Dana, Draper, Flint, Whitney, appear side by side with Bain, Carpenter, Huxley, Lubbock, Spencer, Tyndall, Bernstein, Lisbreich, Lenckart, Steinthal, Virchow; that every leading English review now has its department of American literature. The Athenaeum finds much to praise, and even the hypercritical Saturday Review, now and then throws us such tidbits as these: ‘Hawthorne is one of the most fascinating of novelists. Whittier’s “Mabel Martin” in enough to make the reputation of any poet,’ True we have given birth to no Shakespeare nor Byron; but with the list of contemporary English poets, from Tennyson down to Swinburne, we need not hesitate to compare our list from Bryant down to Whitman, each after his kind.”MANA 77.4

    The stability of our government through the changes and vicissitudes which have revolutionized if not overthrown other governments, is a further evidence of the solid political and religious basis on which its foundations are laid. On this point we quote again from the same volume from which the last few extracts are given, p. 148:—MANA 78.1

    “Frederic the Great died; and twenty years after, the Prussia that he had created lay dismantled, dismembered, disgraced, at the dictation of Napoleon. Napoleon abdicated; and France has wandered through all forms of government, seeking rest and finding none. Washington twice voluntarily retired from the highest posts of influence and power, — the head of the army, the head of the State; but the freedom he had won by the sword, the institutions he had organized as president of the Federal Convention, the government he had administered as President of the Union, remained unchanged and have grown in strength and majesty through all the growing years.”MANA 79.1

    American missionaries have gone to all the world, and in numbers and activity hold an equal place with those of any other nation; while the American Bible Society, in the extent of its operations, sending out millions of copies of the Scriptures in all the leading languages of the world, stands next to the original society of the mother country.MANA 79.2

    This country has now come to be looked upon as the model, after which other governments may profitably pattern. Under the title of “The Model Republic,” Cyrus D. Foss, pastor of St. Paul’s Methodist Episcopal Church, New York, preached a sermon, which appeared in the Methodist, in December 1867, from which the reader will be please to read the following extracts, which may fitly close the present chapter:—MANA 79.3

    “Let every thoughtful American bless God that he lives in this age of the world, and in this country on the globe; not in the dark past, where greatness and even goodness could accomplish so little; not in the oriental world, where everything is stiffened and is hard as cast-iron; but now where such mighty forces are at work for the uplifting of humanity, and just here at this focal point of power.MANA 79.4

    “In no vainglorious spirit, but with a sincere desire to awaken your gratitude to Almighty God for his astonishing mercies to us as a people, I propose this inquiry: What is the place of America in history? God gives each nation a work to do. For that work he bestows adequate and appropriate endowments, and to it he summons the nation by a thousand trumpet calls of providence. If those calls are unheeded, if the nation is hopelessly recreant, he dashes it in pieces like a potter’s vessel. Witness Assyria; witness the Jewish people; nation after nation — a long procession — has faded away at the blast of the breath of his nostrils.MANA 80.1

    “I maintain to-day that God has signalized this great American nation, this democratic republican nation, this Protestant Christian nation, above all the nations that are or ever have been upon the face of the globe, by the place and the work he has assigned it. Look at its place on the globe, and its place among the centuries. What a magnificent arena for a young nation to step forth upon and begin its march to a destiny inconceivably glorious: Suppose an angel flying over all the earth two hundred years ago, looking down upon the crowded populations of Europe and Asia, and the weak and wretched tribes of Africa, perceiving that humanity never rises to its noblest development, save in the north temperate zone — turning his flight westward across the Atlantic, there dawns upon him the vision of a new world — a world unpopulated save by a few scattered and wandering tribes of aboriginal savages, and by thirteen sparse colonies of the hardiest and best of immigrants along the Atlantic coast. He beholds a continent marvelously beautiful with unlimited resources to be developed; its rivers open all parts of the country, and bring all into communication with two great oceans and with the tropic gulf. He sees a soil inexhaustibly fertile; he sees the mountains (for an angel’s eye can search their treasures) full of gold, silver, copper,iron, and coal. He sees a country insulated by three thousand miles of ocean from all the nations, needing contiguity with none — a Cosmos in itself. Would not this angel-gazer say, ‘My God has assuredly made and endowed this peerless continent for some glorious end. The rest of the world is occupied, and the most of it cursed by occupation. Here is virgin soil; here is an arena for a new nation, which, perchance, profiting by the mistakes of the long, dark past, may, by the blessing of God, work out for itself and for humanity a better destiny?MANA 80.2

    “Note again the place of America in the scale of the centuries. Why was this continent hid from the eye of Europe so long? And why, after its discovery, was it kept unsettled for a century and a quarter longer, the thought of it all that time being only a disturbing leaven in the mind of Europe? Ah! God would not suffer it that tyrannical ideas of government or religion should take root here. He veiled the New World from the vision of the Old, until the Old had cultivated a seed worthy to plant the New. No crowned despots, no hooded monks, were to flourish here. No hoary superstitions, no ancient usurpations, were to take root here. Why was the era of this nation’s birth coeval with that of the development of inventive genius? Why was it that this land was comparatively unsettled until the iron horse was ready to career across its plains, leap its rivers, dive through its mountains, and bring its most distant cities into vicinage? — until Leviathan stood waiting to plough the ocean and bring the nations into brotherhood? — until the fiery steeds of heaven were being harnessed to fly with tidings in a single instant across the continent or under the ocean? Why was the beginning of our national history delayed until the doctrines of civil and religious liberty — a thousand times strenuously asserted and bravely defended — had emerged into prominence and power, so that the American freeman of to-day stands upon the shoulders of thirty generations of heroic battles for the right? Why — most remarkable coincidence of all — why does it occur that just at the time of the vigorous infancy of this favored nation, the church of God should awake from the slumber of ages, acknowledge the universal bond of brotherhood, and begin in this age, within the lifetime of men here present, those sublime evangelizing agencies which are the chief glory of the century, and which are to bring this world to the feet of Jesus? 1We should be glad if we could sympathize with the speaker in this view. But we are not able to find in the Scriptures any evidence that the world is all to be brought into obedience to Christianity before the second coming of Christ. No candid man can ponder these thoughts without wondering what God designs for this young giant which he has so located on the surface of this globe, and on the scale of the centuries.MANA 81.1

    “This thesis I shall defend is this: God designated the United States of America as the Model Republic and the great evangelizer of the world. The question I have just propounded suggest a line of argument which will prove this proposition, and by proving it, devolve upon us here in this country a responsibility, the like of which has never been laid upon any nation. Let me premise two things essential to the argument. America is certainly the observed of all observers. The eyes of all nations are upon her. This free government, this ‘experiment at free government,’ as European absolutists have sneeringly termed it, fixes the gaze of the whole world. There is no nation, no tribes, civilized or semi-civilized, on the whole earth, that does not look this way, and feel that humanity has a stake in this land. This Hercules, who, when in his cradle, bearded and defeated the British Lion; who, in his callow youth, repeated that feat on those watery plains, where, till then, the foe had ranged acknowledged lord, and who has just now, in his vigorous manhood, throttled and slain the many-headed hydra of rebellion — secession, treason, and slavery — this Hercules, somehow, has come to be gazed upon by all lands, and, somehow, the oppressed of every nation on the face of the earth have reached the conviction that he is their champion.MANA 81.2

    “The other preliminary thought is this: In stating the mission of America, I have mentioned two things — that God meant it to be a model Republic, and the great evangelizer, and these two are one. We cannot consider them separately, and draw out entirely distinct lines of proof. It is idle for any nation at this age to expect greatness without acknowledging God, and falling into the ranks as an obedient subject of his kingdom. In ancient times, the case was different; but now Christian nations control the world, and depend upon it, brethren, the hands will never go backward on the dial. France tried to get on without a God in the time of her first revolution, but Napoleon, for reasons of State, restored the Catholic religion. His most appreciative historian, M. Thiers, gives us a deeply interesting account of this singular passage in his history. Napoleon said: “For my part, I never hear the sound of the church bell in the neighboring village without emotion.” He knew that the hearts of the people were stirred by the same deep yearning after God which filled his own, and so he proposed to restore the worship of God to infidel France. The savans of Paris ridiculed the proposal, laughed it to scorn, declared it was weakness in him to yield to a superstition that had forever passed, and that he needed no such aid to government, and that he could do what he pleased. ‘Yes,’ said he, ‘but I act only with regard to the real and sensibly-felt wants of France.’ Negotiations were opened with the Pope, and the Romish worship was set up, amid the enthusiasm of the nation. The historian utter this reflection: ‘Whether true or false, sublime or ridiculous, men must have a religion.’ Later, and with deeper meaning, Perrier, successor to Lafayette as prime minister to Louis Philippe, said, on his death-bed: ‘France must have religion.’ So I say to-day concerning that better faith, which overthrows what Romanism sets up; which breaks the shackles Romanism binds on; which is the only security of national permanence — America must have religion. In order to be the model Republic, she must be the great evangelizer.MANA 82.1

    “The two evangels of civil and religious liberty are ours. There are two great methods by which God indicates his will concerning a nation — by the providential training he bestows upon it, and by the resources he puts within its reach. Now, in the light of these two criteria, let us look at this country and see if God does not proclaim his will as plainly as though he had written it in letters of fire on the sky over every American sunset, or deeply graven it in rocky characters on the crest of every American mountain. ‘My will is, that on this new continent, the nation I plant here shall be the model Republic and the great evangelizer of the world.’ I have already indicated in general outline this train of argument; but let us now look first behind us at our history, and then around us at our resources, and see what are their teachings. While we do not believe in ‘manifest destiny,’ in the sense of blind fate, or of results absolutely certain without regard to national character and endeavor, we do believe that the breath of God has inspired the heart of America with a sublime idea, and that the hand of God has marvelously led her along toward its realization, and has gifted her with munificent resources for the completion of this great work.MANA 83.1

    “Glance backward at our history, and keep in mind the question what it all meant. This country was discovered by a religious navigator, sent out by a religious queen, and the ruling motive in the minds of both of them was a religious one. Isabella and Columbus both intended to give the gospel to the natives of any lands that might be discovered. America was discovered just after the art of printing had begun its marvelous quickening of the human mind. Now who shall settle it? Papists? They found it. Spaniards? Frenchmen? Both wanted it. No; God’s plan will be imperiled unless colonists of a certain language, and of a certain religious faith, shall be the first settlers of the land. The settlers must have the truest religious faith there is on the earth, and must speak only that language which, more than any other language, is full of the inspirations of liberty. They come — and for what? With the noblest motives that ever inspired the bosom of an emigrant, see them land from the Mayflower upon the frozen beach, amid the storms of winter, dropping tears which freeze as the fall and yet tears of gratitude.MANA 83.2

    “ ‘What sought they thus afar?
    Bright jewels of the mine?
    The wealth of seas? the spoils of war?
    They sought a faith’s pure shrine.
    Aye, call it holy ground,
    The spot where first they trod;
    They left unstained what there they found—
    Freedom to worship God.’
    MANA 84.1

    “They had trouble enough from the aborigines to drive them together, and to drive them to God. They had the utmost simplicity of manners, the utmost reverence for the Bible, and the utmost detestation of tyranny, whether in the Church or State. They had not for the love of freedom left their homes in the Old World to become slaves in the New. The God who instituted the colonies moulded their history. He kept them connected with the mother country until they were strong enough to stand alone among the nations, and then he overruled the manner of their breaking away so as to inspire them with a perpetual hatred of all oppression. Why the British Parliament should have passed the Stamp Act, and why, repealing it, it should have re-asserted the false principles underlying it; it should have so long persisted in treating Englishmen here as Englishmen there would never have submitted to be treated at all, no man can explain on any other hypothesis than this: the England was judicially blinded, in order that America might to free.MANA 84.2

    “And this is not merely the opinion of Americans spoken a century after. It was the opinion of British statesmen at the time. The halls of Parliament, the whole realm, rang with notes of warning at the hour. Lord Chatham said: ‘The gentleman tells us that America is obstinate, America is almost in open rebellion. I rejoice that America has resisted. Three millions of people so dead to all the feelings of liberty as voluntarily to submit to be slaves would have been fit instruments to make slaves of the rest.’ This was said in Parliament ten years before the Declaration of Independence. Wesley, who is usually represented as having been the foe of our independence, and to whom history has at length done tardy justice, on the very first day after the reception of the news of Lexington and Concord, sat down and wrote to Lord North and the Earl of Dartmouth, each an emphatic letter: ‘I am a High-churchman, the son of a High-churchman, brought up from my childhood in the highest notions of passive obedience and non-resistance, and yet, in spite of all my long-rooted prejudices, I cannot avoid thinking these, an oppressed people, asked for nothing more than their legal rights, and that in the most modest and inoffensive manner that the nature of the thing would allow.’ ‘And if arms were to be resorted to, how could it happen that Great Britain should fail in the contest? How could it be that she should not be able, after overpowering the fleets and armies of the first nations of Europe [and this is an Englishman’s question], immediately to discomfit the farmers and merchants of America?’ There is but one explanation; ‘We got not the land in possession by our own sword, neither did our own arms save us; but thy right hand and thine arm, and the light of thy countenance, because thou hadst a favor unto us.’ God released the young giant from the swaddling-bands of colonial dependence. And why should it not be so? Why should a country like this, the most magnificent of any country on the earth, a country in whose lakes England might have been thrown and buried, whose descending seas make her greatest rivers appear, in comparison, like brooks and rivulets, whose cataracts might have drowned out her cities — why should this magnificent country be shackled by the chains put on it by the selfishness of its parent? It was not according to the will of God. He chose that here, in an independent career of unparalleled freedom to man, this country should go forth on its path of progress, and hold its place among the nations unsurpassed by any until human happiness and grandeur this side the grave should be no more.MANA 84.3

    “The ideal of government is popular government. The divine right of kings is an exploded fancy. The best ends of government can never be realized by the rule of one or of a few. God gave to Israel a king in his wrath. The rights of man, the dignity of man, the direct relation and responsibility of man to God — these ideas stand forth most clearly where there is no king, no noble nor ignoble pedigree, no bar between the poorest boy in the land and the highest post of honor. Many an experiment of republican government had failed for the lack of general intelligence and of a pure religion.MANA 86.1

    “Absolutists pointed to Rome, to Sparta, to France, and sneered at the democratic idea. For the grandest and final experiment of self-government, God reserved this peerless continent. Such a new work, politically, can be best accomplished on virgin soil, where no old castles, no effete conservatism should bind men subserviently to a blundering past — where all things summon them to hold communion, not with dead men’s bones, but with nature, with freedom, and with God.MANA 86.2

    “A rapid glance at the resources of this country will deepen our conviction of the grandeur of its mission. We shall see that it has ample resources, material and moral, for the great work to which it is summoned. We have the heart of the continent, the north temperate zone. If you will study history, you will find that no great nation has ever existed on the earth except in that zone. There must be the hardening of the muscles and the fiber, and the quickening of the mind, which can be only where summer’s heat gives place to winter’s frost.MANA 86.3

    “We have also a coast-line greater than that of any other nation. The relation of this fact to the theme will quickly appear. Arnot counsels fearful Englishmen to turn for comfort from the newspaper to the map. He bids them notice that the coast-line of Great Britain is three times greater than that of France, and thence argues that the commercial and naval supremacy of Great Britain is forever assured. The argument is sound. Now, our coast-line is several times greater than that of any other nation. We have two oceans, the Gulf of Mexico, and the great lakes; and rivers piercing the land bring all the country right down to the sea. The commercial and the naval greatness of America can easily be all that they need it to be for the accomplishment of those things which we believe God has assigned for this nation to accomplish in the world. Our agricultural and mineral resources and the rapidly increasing population which is developing them, must have a few words.MANA 86.4

    “Sir Morton Peto, the great railroad manager, whose travels in our own country excited so much attention in financial circles, went back to his own country amazed at our resources, and wrote a book which you ought to read. It would astound you by its revelations of the greatness of our country, which we ourselves do not begin to understand. Let me give you two or three facts concerning our resources. In 1850 the ten Western States produced 46,000,000, bushels of wheat; in 1860, 102,000,000. The mines of gold and silver are nearly all on public lands, andMANA 87.1

    Governor Walker says: ‘They are the property of the Federal Government, and their intrinsic value exceeds our public debts.’ It wants only the Pacific railroad to make them yield $150,000,000 annually. In Missouri there is an iron mountain 228 feet high, covering an area of 500 acres, and containing 230,000,000 tons of pure ore, and every foot of descent below the surface will give 3,000,000 tons. The upper seam of the coal-field about Pittsburgh contains over 53,5 thousand millions tons of coal — that is 2,000 tons for every dollar of our national debt; and the Keystone State, which in other ways contributed so nobly to the national cause, came forward in the hour of our sorest need, and poured into our finances an element of marvelous quickening and strength — oil, which lubricated the machinery of the government, and helped to illuminate the night of our trial. In 1862, 42,000,000 gallons of petroleum were exported, and its benefits extended far beyond its cash value. It employed labor and rewarded capital; it stimulated internal industry and external commerce. But all our people are employed; how, then, can these immense resources ever be developed? — By the rapidly multiplying millions. In 1800, there were in Indiana 4,875 inhabitants; in 1860, 1,350,428. In 1849, in Minnesota, 4,000 inhabitants; in 1864, 350,000. In 1850, there were 1,900 acres of land ploughed in Minnesota; in 1860, 433,276 acres.MANA 87.2

    “Now, what is the bearing of these startling facts upon our argument? A great nation must be materially great. It must have room to stand on, and a field to work in, for only work can make a man or nation great. These amazing resources are to furnish us the machinery for a splendid career of civil, moral and religious progress.”MANA 88.1

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