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the sad penalties of ignorance. He fears nothing but wrong, and claims nothing but right.
Originating in millions of moral and intelligent beings, what a fearful aggregate of power to be delegated to rulers ! And with its privileges, what duties of fearful magnitude are imposed upon them! What trusts from the nation, from the world, and from God!
An independent child of one of the greatest powers upon earth, our nation is looked upon as the great beacon of liberty and self-government throughout the world. The cause of democracy is the universal cause of equal rights and freedom, and it is placed with us, more than with any other people, to be protected, preserved, and advanced. It is not the cause of a day, but of all coming time; not of a people, but of a world. *
* Our national charities, our educational and religious missions, our constant commercial intercourse with all countries, serve to conciliate differences which separate the people of different nations from our own, and to impose upon us those additional duties, which gratitude in others, and success in ourselves, are sure to originate, as the high reward for the privileges of doing good.
Nothing can be more desirable,” says a sensible writer, " than to raise the minds of the American people to a • level with their station,' and to call off their thoughts from the narrow pursuits of personal or national aggrandizement. A nobler object is set before them in the great moral enterprise to which this nation is called. Our field is the world. It is our influence on the whole human race that principally constitutes, it may be hoped, the peculiarity of American destiny.
“It was long ago said, respecting the leader of our revolution, the great and good Washington, that he had filled the world with his own and his country's glory-that the Arab and the Tartar conversed about him in their tents. This was rhetorically uttered, but with sufficiently neår approach to the truth to redeem the remark from mere declamation.
“Our opinions have been embraced, and our example has been followed, in too many instances, not to indicate the general estimation in which the country is held abroad. Wherever revolutions in gove
We can utter, with a cheerful heart and fearless spirit, 6 Our country, however bounded ; our country, right or wrong.” Not to be continued in error; but to be sustained when right, and be righted when wrong. We have an individuality, as a nation, as we have personal identity as citizens. There should be a national consciousness, a national identity. All that makes the man helps make the nation, and all that makes the nation helps make the world.
THE DESTINY OF OUR NATION
has been alluded to by some of our public men with an.eloquence befitting the cause of truth, and with a judgment indicative of rare attainments. Others, we regret to observe, have spoken of the subject as one of frivolous assumption, and as the forced conviction of party, and for party purposes.
We can understand and respect a man who honestly contends against our faith, for we are equally concerned in all the great objects of existence. Truth is our common friend ; but there is a withering levity in the spirit that would ponder lightly the solemn convictions of any one who believes in a destiny, whether concerning his own soul or his own country. It is an inspiration of high sentiment, if not of logical deduction ; and the faith, whether from instinct or knowledge, is entitled to be reverenced and honored. We are not beings of chance ; our country is not an accident in the providence of God. If we have evil, it is the legitimate fruit of sin, warning to men and nations doing wrong. If we are blessed
ernment have been attempted, or realized, in modern times, the model has evidently been America, the encouragement America's success. France, Greece, Belgium, Mexico, and the republics of South America, each strove to change their condition, in the expectation of securing somewhat of the freedom and happiness of these United States.”
Christian Spectator, March, 1834.
These remarks were published in 1834. What a chapter of national events, which have transpired since that time, might be made up, our readers have no occasion to be advised.
with goodness, the examples endure forever, as encouragements to those doing right. Every person and every nation has a destiny marked by an Almighty hand. What that has been to us and to our country in past time, is a matter of history, the beginning of its being ; but what it is to be, no human wisdom can predict, affirm, or deny. If we believe in a God of infinite power and love, our aspirations in sentiment should elevate us to that condition of confident hope unknown to the atheist, the anchor to the soul that is true to its divine integrity. (See Appendix.)
REVIEW OF THE LATE WAR
BETWEEN THE REPUBLICS OF THE UNITED STATES
In proceeding to execute our plan, in leaving general topics for specific, ones, in discussing measures of government which have been, or which are, the reader must not deem us officious if we ask him to accompany us in the investigations which are to follow, with a spirit of candor and divested of all prejudice.
The subjects which we propose to discuss are of great concern, though generations have passed away, each leaving its own mark of wisdom upon them. They are among the highest and holiest which can claim the attention of man, and the common interest, in which all are sharers, should be a defence against selfish views or disguised positions. Let us remember the injunction of Tacitus, “ Veritas visu et mora, falsa festinatione et incertis valescunt.” Let us bring to our aid those views and fundamental principles which have already received our attention, and endeavor to place ourselves in that relation of duty which shall be in harmony with their requisitions.
In considering the subject of this chapter, the late war between the United States and Mexico, we almost necessarily led first to the great and yet unsettled question of war itself
WHAT IS THE NATURE OF WAR? What is its design? What may it accomplish in the providence of God? Is it necessary, is it justifiable, under any cir. cumstances ? What have nations done to avert it? What can they do? What ought they to do? These are questions repeatedly asked, and with a sincerity of purpose which is ever entitled to consideration.
Men have courage boldly to make war, to sanction it, to provide means for its prosecution, to acknowledge its good results; but they do not seem to be persuaded that it admits of that unquestionable moral defence which challenges all controversy, as a settled provision of nature. All nations admit its necessity, by providing for it; and all nations are professedly in favor of peace. It is fostered by all nations as a defence, and dreaded by all as a calamity.' It is viewed by the same people as the protecting power of substantial blessings, and as a curse entailed upon the race by the wickedness of man.* If it be a curse, its failure should prove a blessing; and yet there can be no failure in war without disgrace, no success without glory. Hundreds of generations have been born to life, and have returned to dust ; nations have risen to splendor
* A recent writer, of ability and eloquence, alludes to the term “ laws of war" as an absurdity. “ Laws in that,” he says, “which is lawless ! order in disorder ! rules of wrong! He is inconsistent with himself. The acknowledgment of law in what has been lawless is a step towards conventional control. The absurdity appears only in the assumption and use of false premises. See an oration delivered by Charles Sumner, (Boston, 1845,) entitled The True Grandeur of Nations. We admire the spirit of this author; it is war against war ; but he is in advance of the age. He is not practical. He should study more the nature of man the nature of things. He has pictured to us the splendors of space without an acknowledgment of the forces that move the bodies which fill it. He has given the rainbow in its beauty, but has forgotten the cloud and its thunders which produced it. He has given us the grandeur of nations, but he has detached it from the conditions of mortality.