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ing with the white sails which glittered on its blue expanse, pierced, as if impelled by central heat, through the dark and barbarous regions of the Celtic race who peopled its shores.—What gave Rome the empire of the world, and brought the venerable ensigns, bearing the words, “Senatus populusque Romanus,” (the senate and the people of Rome,) to the wall of Antoninus, and the foot of the Atlas, the waters of the Euphrates and the Atlantic ocean !—Republican Rome colonized the world; republican Greece spread the light of civilization along the shores of the Mediterranean. But Imperial Rome could never maintain the number of its own provinces; and the Grecian Empire slumbered on with a declining population for eleven hundred years.”

Eloquent and glowing as these extracts may be regarded, they are not exaggerated or fanciful. They present a faithful picture of truth. There are but few green spots in our fallen world where man has ever made any great advancement in whatever most elevates his nature and improves his happiness. Among these, as we shall hereafter show, the land of the Hebrews stands first among ancient na

tions. But whether it be Palestine, Greece or Rome,

* Blackwood, January, 1836. The article from which the extracts are taken is entitled “The Future,” and will amply repay a careful perusal.

of former ages; whether it be Genoa, Venice, Holland or England, of later times, the germ, at least, of civil freedom, was found in them all; and though its growth may at times have been retarded, and its beauty marred by unnatural restraints and entanglements, yet just in proportion as these antagonist forces were removed or overcome, did the struggling spirit of freedom impart a healthful activity to the noblest powers and aspirations of man. What an impulse, for instance, was given to knowledge and refinement in the free States of Italy, when they were liberated from tyranny ? There, it may be said, learning and art first raised their heads, after their fearful overthrow by the invasion of the northern barbarians. What was Holland before she became freed from both ecclesiastical and civil domination ? With few exceptions, the minds of her people were as stagnant as the waters in her boundless marshes. There was no nerve in the national arm to bridle the waves of the ocean from overflowing her shores; there were no fleets issuing from her ports to come back enriching her with the wealth of the world; no seminaries of learning teeming with a growth of intellect that rendered the divines, the physicians, the lawyers, the statesmen, the philosophers of Holland, the oracles of their day throughout the civilized

world. But soon as she acquired her national independence and freedom, she raised herself to a first rank among nations in all these high attainments; and has enabled her descendants among us to look back upon her with high reverence for their “fatherland.” Or shall we look at another country to which, as a people, we can trace a more general ancestry' Mark the stages of progress made by England, as a birthplace of knowledge, refinement and high enterprise for public good; and you will see that just according as arbitrary power, whether in king or nobles, has been checked and over-ruled by the spirit of civil freedom in her people, her course has been onward. What was she before her Magna. Charta was granted and signed as her first great step of disenthralment from bondage? Her curfew bell was rung every night, as if to proclaim the darkness that covered the land, and to remind her of the iron sceptre that controlled her every hour and her best enjoyments. But what has she become since that day of her first release; and especially since the seeds of liberty took their deep root in her soil during the commonwealth, and have become developed and embodied in her far-famed Bill of Rights? There she sits like a star in the lap of the ocean. Her name and her power are known wher

ever the sun shines; and her achievements have 2%

placed her first among the nations of Europe in all that the wise most seek to know, or the good most desire to do. But let us turn at once to our own country, Here, as all admit, freedom has a dwelling which is “like a city set upon a hill, which cannot be hid.” Compare her as she is here, with what she was in Greece or Rome. There she was defaced by deformities inseparable from the darkness of Paganism. Here she has acquired the symmetry and beauty which could be derived only from the moulding power of Christianity. No such thing as genuine freedom can be enjoyed by a people who are divided from each other by those iron bands of caste which are interwoven with the structure of society in Pagan lands. Christianity alone has power to melt down such instruments of cruelty and injustice. It teaches the doctrine that “God hath made of one blood all nations that dwell on the face of the earth,” and lays its command on every man to “love his neighhor as himself.” From these two cardinal principles it enforces that safe equality which preserves the social fabric from dissolution, and at the same time renders the rights of the weakest and strongest equally secure. If it levels distinctions among men, it levels upward, not downward; it elevates the low,

elevates them in mind and in conduct; and so far as it brings down the high, it brings down nothing but those “vain imaginations which exalt themselves against God.” This is the equality which our free institutions, imbued with the spirit of the Bible, are designed to effect. The Roman patrician knew nothing of it, nor did he act upon it. Had you told him that he was sprung from the same dust as the humble plebeian, he would have laughed you to scorn. We might also compare freedom as she is here with what we find her in Christian nations of modern times, but who weaken her influence by unnatural alliance. Here she is not overshadowed and dwarfed in her growth by her proximity to towering royalty. She has the field to herself. She places sovereignty in the hands of the people, and sends them to the Bible, that they may learn how to wear the crown. And what has been the effect of her christianized and untrammeled sway during little more than half a century, on the condition of the nation? Where do you find intelligence, enterprise, industry, competency, and a respect for religion, if not acquaintance with its power, so general as you find them here? Where such a growth in whatsoever is most essential to public greatness? Every thing rests on the diffusion of sound intelligence through the mass of

the people, on the cultivation of a just standard of

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