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affirmative and now advancing, contains it. I think that only is real, which men love and rejoice in ; not what they tolerate, but what they choose; what they embrace and avow, and not the things which chill, benumb, and terrify them.

And so why not draw for these times a portrait-gallery? Let us paint the painters. Whilst the Daguerreotypist, with cameraobscura and silver plate, begins now to traverse the land, let us set up our Camera also, and let the sun paint the people. Let us paint the agitator, and the man of the old school, and the member of Congress, and the college professor, the formidable editor, the priest and reformer, the contemplative girl, and the fair aspirant for fashion and opportunities, the woman of the world who has tried and knows ;-let us examine how well she knows. Could we indicate the indicators, indicate those who most accurately represent every good and evil tendency of the general mind, in the just order which they take on this canvas of Time, so that all witnesses should recognize a spiritual law, as each well-known form flitted for a moment across the wall, we should have a series of sketches which would report to the next ages the colour and quality of


Certainly, I think, if this were done, there would be much to admire as well as to condemn; souls of as lofty a port as any in Greek or Roman fame, might appear; men of great heart, of strong hand, and of persuasive speech ; subtle thinkers, and men of wide sympathy, and an apprehension which looks over all history, and everywhere recognizes its own. To be sure, there will be fragments and hints of men, more than enough: bloated promises, which end in nothing, or little. And then truly great men, but with some defect in their composition which neutralizes their whole force. Here is a Damascus blade, such as you may search through nature in vain to parallel, laid up on the shelf in some village to rust and ruin. And how many seem not quite available for that idea which they represent! Now and then comes a bolder spirit, --I should rather say, a more surrendered soul, more informed and led by God, which is much in advance of the rest, quite beyond their sympathy, but predicts what shall soon be the general fulness; as when we stand by the sea-shore, whilst the tide is coming in, a wave comes up the beach far higher than any foregoing one, and recedes; and for a long while none comes up to that mark; but after some time the whole sea is there and beyond it.

But we are not permitted to stand as spectators of the pageant which the times exhibit: we are parties also, and have a responsibility which is not to be declined. A little while this interval of wonder and comparison is permitted us, but to the end that we shall play a manly part. As the solar system moves forward in the heavens, certain stars open before us, and certain stars close up behind us; so is man's life. The reputations that were great and inaccessible change and tarnish. How great were once Lord Bacon's dimensions! He is now reduced almost to the middle height; and many another star has turned out to be a planet or an asteroid : only a few are the fixed stars which have no parallax, or none for us. The change and decline of old reputations are the gracious marks of our own growth. Slowly, like light of morning, it steals on us,

the new fact, that we, who were pupils or aspirants, are now society: do compose a portion of that head and heart we are wont to think worthy of all reverence and heed. We are the representatives of religion and intellect, and stand in the light of Ideas, whose rays stream through us to those younger and more in the dark. What further relations we sustain, what new lodges we are entering, is now unknown. To-day is a king in disguise. Today always looks mean to the thoughtless, in the face of a uniform experience, that all good and great and happy actions are made up precisely of these blanks——to-day. Let us not be so deceived. Let us unmask the king as he passes. Let us not inhabit times of wonderful and various promise without divining their tendency. Let us not see the foundations of nations, and of a new and better order of things laid, with roving eyes, and an attention pre-occupied with trifles.

The two omnipresent parties of History--the party of the Past and the party of the Future-divide society to-day as of old. Here is the innumerable multitude of those who accept the State and the Church from the last generation, and stand on no argument but possession. They have reason, also, and, as I think, better reason than is commonly stated. No Burke, no Metternich, has yet done full justice to the side of Conservatism. But this class, however large, relying, not on the intellect, but on instinct, blends itself with the brute forces of nature, is respectable only as nature is, but the individuals have no attraction for us. It is the dissenter, the theorist, the aspirant, who is quitting this ancient domain to embark on seas of adventure, who engages our interest. Omitting, then, for the present all notice of the stationary class, we

shall find that the Movement party divides itself into two classes, the actors and the students.

The actors constitute that great army of martyrs who, at least in America, by their conscience and philanthropy occupy the ground which Calvinism occupied in the last age,


the visible church of the existing generation. The present age will be marked by its harvest of projects, for the reform of domestic, civil, literary, and ecclesiastical institutions. The leaders of the crusades against War, Negro slavery, Intemperance, Government based on force, Usages of trade, Court and Custom-house Oaths, and so on to the agitators on the system of Education, and the laws of Property, are the right successors of Luther, Knox, Robinson, Fox, Penn, Wesley, and Whitfield. They have the same virtues and vices; the same noble impulse, and the same bigotry. These movements are on all accounts important; they not only check the special abuses to which they address themselves, but they educate the conscience and the intellect of the people. How can such a question as the Slave trade be agitated for forty years, by all the Christian nations, without throwing great light on ethics into the general mind? The fury with which the Slave-trader defends

every inch of his bloody deck, and his howling auctionplatform, is a trumpet to alarm the ear of mankind, to wake the dull, and drive all neutrals to take sides, and to listen to the argument and the verdict. The Temperance-question, which rides the conversation of ten thousand circles, and is tacitly recalled at every public and at every private table, drawing with it all the curious ethics of the Pledge, of the Wine-question, of the equity of the manufacture and the trade, is a gymnastic training to the casuistry and conscience of the time. Anti-masonry had a deep right and wrong, which gradually emerged to sight out of the turbid controversy. The political questions touching the Banks ; the Tariff; the Limits of the executive power: the Right of the constituent to instruct the representative; the treatment of the Indians; the Boundary wars; the Congress of nations; are all pregnant with ethical conclusions; and it is well if government and our social order can extricate themselves from these alembics, and find themselves still government and social order. The student of history will hereafter compute the singular value of our endless discussion of questions to the mind of the period.

Whilst each of these aspirations and attempts of the people for the better, is magnified by the natural exaggeration of its

advocates, until it excludes the others from sight, and repels discreet persons by the unfairness of the plea, the movements are in reality all parts of one movement. There is a perfect chain,--see it, or see it not,--of reforms emerging from the surrounding darkness, each cherishing some part of the general idea, and all must be seen, in order to do justice to any one. Seen in this their natural connexion, they are sublime. The conscience of the Age demonstrates itself in this effort to raise the life of man by putting it in harmony with his idea of the Beautiful and the Just. The history of reform is always identical; it is the comparison of the idea with the fact. Our modes of living are not agreeable to our imagination. We suspect they are unworthy. We arraign our daily employments. They appear to us unfit, unworthy of the faculties we spend on them. In conversation with a wise man, we find ourselves apologizing for our employments; we speak of them with shame. Nature, literature, science, childhood, appear to us beautiful; but not our own daily work, not the ripe fruit and considered labours of man. This beauty, which the fancy finds in everything else, certainly accuses that manner of life we lead. Why should it be hateful? Why should it contrast thus with all natural beauty? Why should it not be poetic, and invite and raise us? Is there a necessity that the works of man should be sordid? Perhaps not. Out of this fair Idea in the mind springs the effort at the perfect. It is the interior testimony to a fairer possibility of life and manners, which agitates society every day with the offer of some new amendment. If we make more strict inquiry concerning its origin, we find ourselves rapidly approaching the inner boundaries of thought, that term where speech becomes silence, and science conscience. For the origin of all reform is in that mysterious fountain of the moral sentiment in man, which, amidst the natural, ever contains the supernatural for

That is new and creative. That is alive. That alone can make a man other than he is. Here or nowhere resides unbounded energy, unbounded

power. The new voices in the wilderness crying “Repent," have revived a hope, which had well nigh perished out of the world, that the thoughts of the mind may yet, in some distant age, in some happy hour, be executed by the hands. That is the hope, of which all other hopes are parts. For some ages, these ideas have been consigned to the poet and musical composer, to the prayers and the sermons of churches ; but the thought, that they can ever


have any footing in real life, seems long since to have been exploded by all judicious persons. Milton, in his best tract, describes a relation between religion and the daily occupations, which is true until this time.

“A wealthy man, addicted to his pleasure and to his profits, finds religion to be a traffic so entangled, and of so many piddling accounts, that of all mysteries he cannot skill to keep a stock going upon that trade. What should he do ? Fain he would have the name to be religious ; fain he would bear up with his neighbours in that. What does he, therefore, but resolve to give over toiling, and to find himself out some factor, to whose care and credit he may commit the whole managing of his religious affairs; some divine of note and estimation that must be. To him he adheres, resigns the whole warehouse of his religion, with all the locks and keys, into his custody; and indeed makes the very person of that man his religion ; esteems his associating with him a sufficient evidence and commendatory of his own piety. So that a man may say, his religion is now no more within himself, but is become a dividual movable, and goes and comes near him, according as that good man frequents the house. He entertains him, gives him gifts, feasts him, lodges him; his religion comes home at night, prays, is liberally supped, and sumptuously laid to sleep, rises, is saluted, and after the malmsey, or some well-spiced beverage, and better breakfasted than he whose morning appetite would have gladly fed on green figs between Bethany and Jerusalem, his religion walks abroad at eight, and leaves his kind entertainer in the shop, trading all day without his religion.”

This picture would serve for our times. Religion was not invited to eat, or drink, or sleep with us, or to make or divide an estate, but was a holiday guest. Such omissions judge the Church; as the compromise made with the slaveholder, not much noticed at first, every day appears more flagrant mischief to the American constitution. But now the purists are looking into all these matters. The more intelligent are growing uneasy on the subject of Marriage. They wish to see the character represented also in that covenant. There shall be nothing brutal in it, but it shall honour the man and the woman, as much as the most diffusive and universal action. Grimly the same spirit looks into the law of Property, and accuses men of driving a trade in the great boundless providence which had given the air, the water, and the land to men, to use, and not to fence in and monopolize. It casts its

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