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THE AMERICAN SUBSTRATUMS OF MORAL AND RELIGIOUS PRINCIPLE EXAMINED.
TO THE EDITORS OF THE LIVERPOOL MERCURY.
GENTLEMEN,—No nation any more than an individual can depart from the laws of God without being subject to His retributive justice. This is fearfully illustrated in the cataract outpourings of blood, and wide-spread scenes of suffering and woe which we now behold in the present unhappy condition of America. No country recorded in the annals of history has evermore persistently departed from first principles, or wickedly violated the just and righteous laws of God—a fact which no “mysterious cypher” or “hieroglyph” can cover up or hide from the view of men, who are acquainted with our condition or history as a people. If, therefore, the punishment bears any proportion to our crimes or guilt, God's thunderbolts must flame with uncommon wrath to blast our country's greatness, and make desolate our land.
These great and terrible judgments had long been predicted by distinguished citizens and statesmen, who pointed to the coming whirlwind of Divine vengeance and raised the warning voice as if they had been almost inspired; but our nation rushed madly on in its career of guilt and shame, until God shook duwn
upon it the "bolted fires ” of His wrath as a just penalty for its sins. Long, long ago Jefferson exclaimed, “I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just. One day of American slavery is worse than a thousand years of that which we rose in arms to oppose. The Almighty has no attribute which can take sides with us in such a contest. And His justice will not sleep for ever.” What words could have been more prophetic or appropriate ?
Scarcely any, however, expected that the destruction of our “grand Republic," so called, was so near at hand or would be so suddenly affected ; and fewer still anticipated that our Northern people would be the blind Samsun in connexion with the terrible scenes now being enacted in the great drama of God's retributive providences in America, to pull down the pillars of our American commonwealth on themselves, and bury themselves in one common ruin with the Southern Lords or Philistines. Such, however, was the prediction of Longfellow when he dedicated his poem to the Senate of the United States, which contained the following stanza :
There is a poor blind Samson in the land,
Shorn of his strength, and bound in bonds of steel,
And strike the pillars of the commonwealth,
When, however, the Unionists or pro-Federals. cannot cover up the plague-spots of our country which
the crashing thunders and forked lightnings in the terrific displays of God's justice are now finding out, and disclosing to the view of men in their shifting policy, they acknowledge their severity, and recognise their appropriateness so far as the South is concerned, but claim exemption for the North, as if it had had no share in the bonds of wickedness to be unloosed, but had dwelt in the paradise of abiding peace established on the foundation of righteousness, than which nothing can be more fallacious or delusive.
Ah, but, says Dr. Guthrie, one of the vice-presidents of the Manchester Union Emancipation Society, “There is no country in the world, our own excepted, where there is such a deep substratum of moral and religious principle as is to be found in those portions of the American republic which have not been cursed with slavery, and considering so much scum from the old world has been poured into it by the tides of emigration, we have cause to wonder that the good bears such a proportion to the evil !"
Lincoln, Seward, and Co. are ever and anon introduced to our favourable notice by the pro-Federals as bright ornaments to the cause of humanity, liberty, morality and religion. These men have a more exalted opinion of the worth of European emigrants at the present time than Dr. Guthrie, or they would not have appropriated three millions of dollars to open the floodgates of emigration, that a flood of the above-mentioned “scum ” might flow into our so
” called “Poor Man's Paradise !” In an address which
that great and good man Dr. Guthrie gave in the Philharmonic Hall of this town, he truly remarked that “the genius of Christianity was love, and that her highest worship lay in such works as sprang from loving God with all the heart, and loving their neighbours as themselves ;" but does Dr. Guthrie or his pro-Federal coadjutors admire the love or appreciate the work of the above Christian statesmen, so called, who are now turning so lovingly, and beckoning so kindly to the able-bodied men of this country through their consuls and crimps, whilst they repeat the old ditty of the nursery rhyme
“Come into my parlour,”
Said the spider to the fly,
That ever you did spy." Now, if, to use the language of Guthrie, “faith without works is a lie, a monstrous lie, a devil's lie, and one of the blackest that ever came out of hell," what must faith with the works of those Christian menspiders be, in connection with the black and bloody work of enticing men away from home, friends, and country, to be dumped by Northern Christian scavengers into the “grand army of the North” to fili up the gaps of the dead and dying on the battle fields of the South, or amidst its pestilential swamps ?
? What kind Christian solicitude! How deep or broad is the substratum of moral or religious principle that underlies such a work as that!
Moral and religious principle is a thing of great value, and is everywhere very much required, but nowhere in God's creation is it more wanted than in our Free States, so called, in America. The scarcity of the thing there enhances the value of it very much. If we look to the science of political economy for it, we discover no trace of it in that department; for however minute or diligent we may be in our researches, we can find nothing but compromise, corruption, and fraud. In taking a survey of the whole field of political science in America and its different strata, we can confidently affirm that there is not a wicked or cruel act of the Federal Government on behalf of slavery, which has not been subscribed to, ratified, and endorsed by Northern senators and people, and for which they are alone responsible, as they could not have been enacted or put in force without their votes and consent. If we turn our attention to our religious theories and practises, as popularly taught and illustrated, we are again doomed to be disappointed in our researches for this deep, broad substratum of moral and religious principle, for there is no department in America that has been more perverted or corrupted than the science of religion, in theory or practice. Not only have the blasphemous doctrines that man may hold property in man, and that one man is inferior to the other, been chiefly taught and inculcated by our Northern professors and divines, but acted upon by our Northern people in their brokerage system with the Southern people, and, what is worse still, shown in their contempt of the negro race, and