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fore, deserve to be reckoned upon the
side of seeming or obvious success. .
But on the other hand, let us comider,
for a moment, the other alternative—
that of apparent disaster, incurred firom
the war, not so much in the light of
overwhelming military defeats, which
need hardly now to be seriously appre-
hended, as &om financial exhaustion
and otiier secondary causes introduced
into the working of our national and
social life through the operation and
influence of the war. Mr. Cobden, un-
doubtedly a Mend of our nation, and a
shrewd observer of the world's afiairs
on the basis of experience, or a knowl-
edge of the past, warns us to look for-
ward to a period of almost utter pros-
tration after the war shall have termi-
nated, and to a train of serious conse-
quences firom the terrific strain put by
it upon our energies and resources.
Forebodings of a similar kind haunt
the imaginations of many of our own
citizens. The history of past wars and
their results justify the anticipation.
Perchance all thb may prove an unne-
cessary fear. It may happen that the
almost boundless recuperative energies
of this young American civilization of
ours may be destined to astonish our
enemies, our friends, and ourselves, as
much as the extent of our resources for
action have already done — that' the
strain put upon us, instead of enfee-
bling us in the least, has been merely a
healthy exercise for the growing muscles
and thews of a young giant just now
ripening into a first manhood, and
never heretofore called upon for any
adequate exertion to display his
strength. We once heard an enthusi-
astic and progressive orator, referring
to the marvels of modem development,
utter, with a sublime and audacious elo-
quence, the startling assertion that ^B^
p&rience is a fool? There is a sense, no
doubt, in which the sentiment is true.
Keither the growth, nor the inherent
power, nor the elasticity of the rebound
firom seeming exhaustion, nor the im-
mense acceleration' of the rapidity of



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the fhture career of the American peo-
ple, is to be safely measured by a refer-
ence to what has occurred with former
nationalities, in other and different
times. Our experience of the ftttnre,
whatever it may be, will be, no doubt,
essentially different from any of the
past

But assume, on the contrary, fhat the
prediction is essentially well founded ;
that we have before us, in the imme-
diate future, a period of extreme ex-
haustion, depression, and eyen of tem-
porary discouragement in the public
ndnd. All this need not, to the philo-
sophic mind, cause the slightest appre-
hension of permanent evil results— of
any serious check even, to our inevita-
ble destiny, as the heirs of unbounded
prosperity and the leaders of the van-
guard of the progress of the world. A
halt, in this sense, in the rapidity of our
career, would be only the necessary
price of our immense and invaluable
adiievement, the elimination of chattel
slavery from the constitution of our
social and political life. We have still
oth^ and great social evils remaining
behind. The scientific and hamonious
adjustment of the relations of capital
to labor, of the employers to the em-
ployed, in the constitution of our free
competitive society as it will still re-
main after Slavery is dead, is the next
great practical question which will
force itself upon our attention, and in-
sist upon being definitively settled, be-
fore we can enter upon that ulterior tri-
umphant national development which
is reserved, in the decrees of destiny,
for us as a people. This problem, seem-
ingly so diisiicult, will be found unex-
pectedly easy of solution, so soon as the
thinking and practical mind of the
people is seriously called to its consid-
eration. It is worthy of observation,
that periods of great pecuniary depres-
sion are &vorable to the progress of
ideas. It is written in the Providence
of Gk)d that the American people must,
within the few years to come, solve the
whole problem of jdstice to the labor-



ing man ; must, indeed, sce^t Ha oAm
as the Champion a&d the Dlustrator,
in a practical way, of Universal Justice,
in all the relations of life. Are we pre-
pctfed to enter on this career, int^-
gently, lovingly, and with voluntary
alacrity, from affection to the True
and the Gk>od; or must we be again
scourged into the consideration of great
questions lying immediately in our
way, by the providential inflictions of
disaster and distress?

We can now see easily enough, that
had we been ready and desirous, as a
X>eople, to do justice to the black man,
we should have escaped the horrors of
a great war. We may predict, with
the assurance of a religious faith, back-
ed, we might almost affirm, by the oer^
tainty of a scientific demonstration,
that if we are already sufiiciently pre-
pared to be simply just, we shall be
saved from the serious infliction of more
national suffering ; and that if, on the
contrary, this preparation of the heart
and the head has not been wrought in
us by what we have already endured,
we shall be called directly an4 contin-
uously to the suffering of more and per-
haps greater inflictions. ' Whom the
Lord loveth he chasteneth,' but not
blindly nor uselessly, and not, there-
fore, alter the right frame of mind has
been wrought in the subject of the
punishment. The law is precisely the
same, whether we speak theologically
or from the profoundest philosophic^
principles ; and it may almost be said
that the American people have only to
choose whether they will immediately
enter, with the close of the war, upon
a higher career of prosperity, or wheth-
er they will endure an additional term
of tuition in the school of adversity.
These words may seem mystical, unac-
companied with Airther illustration and
elaboration of the ideas, but it is not
the place here to pursue them.
• Let us proceed with the suppositioo
that we have before us, at the condu-
sion of this war, a period of great na-
tional suffering. Such periods, we



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hne akoftdy aaid, aie &TOimble to the
de?elopil^t of thought We may add,
they are alike &yorable to the growth
of earnest purpose. Through Buffering
we are perfected. Thought and high
imrpoee are secure bases of noMe
aehieyement. If we are not yet pre-
pared to be inducted into our national
mission throng providential &Tor,
then let us come to it through the in-
Terse method : through UUerior and Be-
acUonary Cknuequenee,

It may be that we are to endure still
more grierouB afflictions than pecuniary
and commercial revulsion and depree-
non. Our political constitution still
bears in its bosom, even after Slavery is
removed, dangerous seeds of anarchy
and proq>ective revolution. Within the
two years past, grave mutterings, to
whidi American ears have been hereto-
fore altogether unused, have been heard
in various quarters, touching the su-
perior advantages of * strong govern-
ment,' the speakers, mostly of the high-
er or wealthier order of life, meaning
thereby, the old and retrograde forms
of monarchy, or something of that sort
Periods of disaster trad to reveal a la-
tent lack of confidence in the perma-
nency of existing things. Investiga-
tions in Sociology impeach the wisdom
of our institutions, in common with
that of aU others that have been tried in
the past, from another point of view.
Periods of distress and privation stin^
ulato the turbulence of the * dangerous
oiaases.' All national experience re-
veak, in fine, the existence, in ihe very
nature of human society, of great an-
tagonistic principles siruggling with
each other in mighty conflict, and with
which no political or governmental ar-
rangements heretofore extant have been
adequate rightly to cope.

The great and bloody contest with
Slavery, now going on, is an instance
of such a conflict ; and the feurt that we,
in the midst of this nineteenth century,
had arrived at the knowledge of no
better solutbn of it than an appeal to
the old, barbarous, uncertain, and ter-



rible ordeal of battle, is an Dlustra*
tion of Ihe incompetency in question.
Slavery, bad as it is, is the repre-
sentative of a great social principle,
which, separated fix>m the special mods
of its manifestatiou, has iu it that
which is good and right Mr. Cobden
justly characterizes the great American
war as an insurrection of aristocracy
against the principle of democracy.
But aristocracy is not wholly wrong,
nor is democracy wholly right, in the
nature and constitution of thin^
These are two great antagonistic prin-
ciples, when sifted to the bottom ; one
the principle of Order, through Subor-
dination, the soul of Conservatism ; and
the other the principle of Freedom,
through Individuality, the soul of Pro-
gression. Neither will ever expunge or
expel the other from the constitution
of man, individually or collectively;
and it pertains to Science, the Science
of Pontics, based on the Unity of the
Sciences below that level, to be arrived
at by humanity in the ftitore, to dis-
covw and lead in the complete har-
mcMiy and reconciliation between the
two. The writer of these papers has in
manuscript a labored document upon
the Slavery question firom this more
radical and philosophical point of view,
which was prepared just previous to
the outbreak of the existing war, in
the hope of attracting the leading
minds. North and South, to the peace-
able and scientific solution of the whole
Slavery question. But the antagonism
was too hx advanced, passions too
much aroused, the popular ig n o r ance
of the existence of higher methods of
solution too dense, and the crisis too
imminent for the existence of any de-
mand for such considerations then;
and the publication of the document
was withheld. In it were shown the
significance of Slavery as a Fact in His-
tory and a Principle in Nature ; its Com-
pensations and Advantages; its posi-
tive value, in &ct, in the larger tense,
in the development of human sodety
on the planet ; then its destiny to give



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S16



The Oreat American Crisis.



way in our adyandng ciyilization to
the higher doctrine of abstract rights
and individual culture through intel-
lectual means ; and again, the insuffi-
ciency of the latter doctrine,* when
taken for the whole truth ; and finally,
to show how, by the interyention of
the science of the subject, the yaloe
of both the Principles in conflict could
be extracted and made coGperatiye,
and their eyils completely neutralized.
The world not being ripe for the adop-
tion of the superior and rational meth-
ods here intimated for the adjustment
of our difficulties — the readiness of one
party eyen, without the equal readiness
of the other, being inadequate — ^the
crisis and the conflict could not be
ayerted ; fmd that again being the case,
it is of the utmost importance l^at the
second in order of the two adverse
principles, the principle of democracy,
be completely triumphant ; not because
it is more true, but because it is a more
advanced truth, and one step nearer,
therefore, to the final solution, which
wU then lap lack, and mlmtme and ai-
nnnlate and reconcile the whole family
of fundamental principles vpon whi^
the existence of human society is inex-
pugnMy based. It is upon this lower
ground of adaptation to the exigency
of the age and the occasion, and as a
means to the development of still high-
er truths, that we urge the inestimable
importance of the effectual conquest
over the South by the North.

But the two Principles, thus brought
&ce to &oe with each other, in deadly
array, under the present guise of chattel
slavery and republican fi-eedom, are not
extinguished in the world, nor in
America even, nor are they to be per-
manently reconciled with each other by
any outcoming whatsoever of the pres-
taat war. These principles are the
Aristocratic and the Democratic; the
principle of conservative order and
progressive freedom. Both are vital
and essential forces, erer living, ever
active; always antagonistic ; never rec-
onciled in the past; never to be rec-



onciled in the ftrture, till it be done
finally, effectually, and foreve^throvgh
the BOiEiTCB of the subject. By the
contingencies of this war still ftiture,
by the lingering and disastrous segudm
of the war, or by other and possible
eventualities not yet sufficiently devel-
oped to be distinctly cognizable, tiie
inherent and unconquerable antagonism
(until reconciled through science) of
the great opposing forces in human
society is liable to be burst upon us
with a conflagration in comparison
with which even the devastations of the
present war will seem trifling. The
writer of these papers anticipated and
predicted for a long time, and has not
yet fully ceased to anticipate, that the
present conflict may gradually shape
itself into a desperate and universal
struggle. North and South, between
these two principles, in tiieir bald, tm-
disguised, and unmitigated hostility;
that, in other words, as a party of free-
dom should be developed at the South,
there would be developed pari paesu
at the North a great reactionaiy party ;
assimilating the elements of a bogus
democracy and all those who by or-
ganization or position are inherent-
ly and overweeningly aristocratic; a
party bold, powerfdl, and desperate
enough to bring home the civil war to
our own doors ; in other words, that
the war would become a war wholly of
Ideas ; and those deflned down to their
diaipest and most ultimate differences
of logical signiflcance. In that case,
the events of the French Revolution
would have been,'Or will be, repeated
in America, on a more gigantic scale.
Warning symptoms have already ap-
peared among us of the possibilities of
all thia If it be in the good provi-
dence of God that we are to escape this
terrible ordeal — ^if it be permitted that
this cup of national evils pass from us —
it can only be that we are a step frirther
on in the completion of our education,
as a nation, than was obviously re-
vealed to the investigation of the ob-
server ; that, as a people, we are nearer



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I%6 Oreat American Orms.



817



to a genial and willing acceptance of
tnith anfl obedience to the dictates of
justice than appeared.

Still the conflict of prindplee endures
in the world at large — the Aristocratic
Principle, represented by autocracy,
absolutism, prelacy, and slayeholding
authority, on the one hand, and the
Democratic Principle, represented by
republicanism. Protestantism, dead-
levelism, with free and destructiye
competition, on the other. As Slaveiy
and Freedom have been preparing for
their local conflict in America during
the thirty years past ; so, for the whole
century gone by, the threatening cloud
of the flnal conflict between the two
great governing ideas in the world has
been gathering. Occasional sharp and
some terriflc encounters have been had.
Is this conflict of opinion to become more
and more consolidated and deflned,
and flnally embodied in two great hos-
tile camps, coTcring the whole earth
with an actual war, replete with deso-
lation and carnage — not a war of dis-
tinct nationalities, but of the partisans
of the two great antagonistic drifts of
human deyelopment? Is there to be
literally the great battle of Armaged-
don in the world before the incoming
of a better age ? or has the ignorant
wrath of man sufficiently prevailed,
and are we in truth prepared to in-
vestigate with sobriety, accept with
simple honesty, and faithfully to prac-
tise the lessons of wisdom which the
experience of the past or the new dis-
coveries of the present or the ftiture
may bring? The religious world is
becoming deeply penetrated with the
conviction that we are, in the world
at large, upon the verge of great



events — ^that we are nearing the ter-
mination of an Old Dispensation and
the commencement of a New; with-
out, perhaps, defining very clearly, or
attempting even to define distinctiy
to the imagination the nature of the
change. The deepest philosophy of
the age forecasts similar eventualities
for an early day and for the whole
earth. Thus it is that the investiga-
tion of The Great American Crisis, ac-
tual and urgent, might properly lead
us up to the consideration of a Great
•World Crisis, impending and probable.
On some other occasion it may be
thought proper to give to this latter
subject a distinct and more elaborate
treatment. The object which we have
proposed in the present series is now
sufficiently accomplished, and the wri-
ter takes leave of the reader, with a
profound conviction that to the anxious
cry. What of the night t the answer,
All is well, can be conscientiously re-
turned. Even should the seemingly dis-
astrous features sketched above in tiie
alternative programme of our national
future yet providentially reveal them-
selves in the scroll of our nation's his-
tory, let not the patriot or the lover of
nuinkind for a moment despair. It will
be but the intensified darkness preced-
ing the light— the crisis of a deep-
seated disease prognosticating health.
The destiny of America is the destiny
of man; and that is, that we come soon
into the inheritance of new glories — an
unlimited development and prosperity,
founded on Religion married to Science,
eventuating in the reconciliiiition of Or-
der and Progression, in Universal Jus-
tice, and in the elevation, protection,
mutual cooperation and happiness of all.



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818 ThMtU-Ihum.



THISTLE-DOWN.

Pale and fleecy, ghosty and white,
Onward borne in iheir unknown flight —
Flimsy and fragile, pure and fair-
Mystic things the thistles are.

Drifting about on a windy day —
Ghosty children at their play —
Revelling up above the trees,
Hither and thither on the breeze.

Slow and sadly, how they fly,
Chasing shadows in the sky I
Never resting, never still.
Through the valley, o^er the hill.

Walking round o'er the churchyard mould,
Up above the bosoms cold ;
Flitting past each marble door.
Badly breathing : ^ Gone before I '

Spectres mid with their viewless steeds.
Biding on where nothing leads ;
Up to the sky when the earth gets brown —
E9er Tidlen thistle-down.

Through the forest cool and dark,
Never hitting the destined mark ;
Over the earth and throuf^ the air,
Downy thistles eterytohare.

Darting in at the open door,
Telling of joys that come no more ;
Robed in grave clothes fine and thin —
Shades of phantoms, ever dim.

Up the church-aisles Sabbath-days,
Where the dusky twilight plays ;
Round the altar, o^er the bier.
Preaching fiwre than prie$U do here.

Solemn are the words they say —
Silent iermoM free of pat ;
And the leeeone they impart,
NeuT vani$h from the heart.



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fn^cc-^t^






icn^i-yi ^







l^



The Jjyve Luctfer. , J






THE



, - i-t^i- <rt>h /> */



^6



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^ /



LOVE LUCIFER.



O^i^t'



A



[The author of ' The Lore Lucifer ' says in re-
ganl to it: ' I enclose a narration of fact*, NoC
noted for assurance, I yet feel well assured that
its publication in Tea Coxtinbntal 'will do
uses.' ' Should there be any among our readers
who hare inquired into our modern necroman-
cy, they will not foil to recogniae in the ex-
cited, wild, inooherent, and uncuHursd jargon
of the spirits of * The Love Lucifer,' the same
style and character evinced by those to whom
they may have been introduced by the * me-
jums.' The two Bulwers, the Howitts, Eliza-
beth Barrett Browning, the Halls, the De Mor-
gans, ^., have taken a deep interest in these
half-comic, half-serious, and always incoherent
demonstrations.

Perhaps the matter-of-fact experience of our
author may shield some of our readers from
* obsessions, delusions, magnetic streams of
Od,' be they angelic, human, demoniac, or
Koboldic in their origin.— JSIi. Oon.]

CHAFTEB I.

Thb things herein might well remain
in soak for one decade, at least. The
writer certainly did well to let a dozen
sane, practical years pass between these
experiences and their narration.

I was a yoath after the own heart of
my Presbyterian preceptors — proposed
to become a Presbyterian preceptor.
The son of a New York merchant, I was
schooled in the schooling of such ; and
was stead&stly minded to know no life-
purpose bat the salvation of sinners.
Bat I was a little restive— felt that
the limits of the Shorter Catechism
wa« too short and strait for me. The
shadow of Schleiermacher's readjust-
ment of Christianity was upon me. I
felt that some old things were passing
away. In common with so many others
who inclined toward the sacerdotal
office, I was onconscioasly turning my
back upon it, on account of the crudi-
ties contained in the only existing
creeds for which I had any respect.
American Protestant youth have not
been alone in this regard. Says the
London Time$^ * The number of men of
education and social position who en-






y,



ter into orders is becoming less and
less every year.* Let then ancient,
true, everlasting Christianity be speedi-
ly adjusted to modem facts, lest it fur-
ther lapse.

Free thoughted, earnestly disposed
toward the acquirement and dissemi-
nation of absolute spiritual truth, as
was not unnatural, I thoroughly inves-
tigated the * Supematuralism ' of the
day. I soon assented to the general * • i

proposition that sociability with the O^hh^'J
invisibles is practicable, if not profit- * / f^

able ; but ever held at a cheap rate the ^^^^ ' ^ *^'
philosophies and religions, harmonious f4 /
<md other, which the full-blooded ghost- ^ * - *- ^ ' .'.!
mongers so zealously promulgated. I « f^
still maintain that great good will re- tiA. i • ^ ^'
suit from these chaotic developments ; p^ f4
for instance, that the impartial mind 'n-W'^*''^-^
will find in them that scientific founda-
tion for belief in much of the supemat-
uralism (to repeat the absurd expres-
sion) of the Bible, of which the age
stands in such woful need. That this
generation does experience such a lack
is made sufficiently apparent in the
^Essays and Reviews.* On no other
point are the noble freemen who there-
in and thereby grope after the * read-
justment,' so utterly deaf, dumb, halt^
and blind, as they are in respect to
Scripture miracles. In fact, these wri-
ters cast the most wondrous of the
acta sanctarum to the winds. Me-
thinks the more thoughtful and earnest
men of Christendom must, then, assent
to the proposition that we have press-
ing need of a new flood of such practi-
cal phenomena as sturdy old Baxter
gave to the Sadducees of his day, in
his * Certainty of the World of Spirits.'
Whethier these strange doings gradually
cease, or take on new and more strik-
ing aspects, I doubt not they will help
to give a healthy vigor to our emaciated
fidth in the existence of an unseen and
spiritual world. Let us not, then, ut-



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I
I



t«rly scorn the strange rabble who have
rushed headlong after this curiousest
cariosity of modem times — except the
rebellion — even though they may re-
mind us of ^ the Queen^s ragged regiment
of literature.' It should be taken for
granted that so startling a novelty
would attract the floating scum of so-
ciety, whether the solid folk heeded or
derided it.

Though the following narrative may
bring upon me an infinite derision, I
have long felt that it should be pub-
lished, on account of the light it throws
upon some of the most mysterious facts
of existence. Others may have had
similar experiences; but, if so, pride
keeps them from confessing how utterly
they have been hoodwinked and en-
slaved by those invisible loafers who.
form so large a portion of the new-
comers, and who are permitted — ^not to
put on too fine a point — to do the dirty
work of cleansing the modem mind of
its gross Augean Sadduceeism. The
only theory promotive of self-compla-
cency that I could ever concoct, as to
why I was put through such an ordeal,
is, that I was suffered for my own and
the general benefit to see the dangers
of necromancy, and especially the aw-
ftd psychodynamical methods used by
spirits to obsess and gradually craze
human brains. I, at least, received a
scare that made me careiHil, ever after,
how I called spirits firom the vasty



Online LibraryMaking of America ProjectThe Continental monthly → online text (page 50 of 112)