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THE PIOUS EDITOR'S CREED.
[Ar the special instance of Mr. Biglow, I preface the following satire with an extract from a sermon preached during the past summer, from Ezekiel xxxiv. 2:4" Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel.” Since _the Sabbath on which this discourse was delivered, the editor of the “Jaalam Independent Blunderbuss” has unaccountably absented himself from our house of worship.
“I know of no so responsible position as that of the public journalist. The editor of our day bears the same relation to his time that the clerk bore to the age before the invention of printing. Indeed, the position which he holds is that which the clergyman should hold even now. But the clergyman chooses to walk off to the extreme edge of the world, and to throw such seed as he has clear over into that darkness which he calls the Next Life. As if next did not mean nearest, and as if any life were nearer than that immediately present one which boils and eddies all around him at the caucus, the ratification meeting, and the polls! Who taught him to exhort, men to prepare for eternity, as for some future era of which the present forms no integral part? The furrow which Time
is even now turning runs through the Everlasting, and in that must he plant, or nowhere. Yet he would fain believe and teach that we are going to have more of eternity than we have now. This going of his is like that of the auctioneer, on which gone follows before we have made up our minds to bid, -in which manner, not three months back, I lost an excellent copy of Chappelow on Job. So it has come to pass that the preacher, instead of being a living force, has faded into an emblematic figure at christenings, weddings, and funerals. Or, if he exercise any other function, it is as keeper and feeder of certain theologic dogmas, which, when occasion offers, he unkennels with a staboy ! "to bark and bite as 'tis their nature to," whence that reproach of odium theologicum has arisen.
Meanwhile, see what a pulpit the editor mounts daily, sometimes with a congregation of fifty thousand within reach of his voice, and never so much as a nodder, even, among them! And from what a Bible can he choose his text,-a Bible which needs no translation, and which no priestcraft can shut and clasp from the laity,—the open volume of the world, upon which, with a pen of sunshine or destroying fire, the inspired Present is even now writing the annals of God! Methinks the editor who should understand his calling, and be equal thereto, would truly deserve that title of toyuğu hañv, which Homer bestows upon princes. He would be the Moses of our nineteenth century; and whereas the old Sinai, silent now, is but a common mountain stared at by the elegant tourist and crawled over by the hammering geologist, he must find his tables of the new law here among factories and cities in this Wilderness of Sin (Numbers xxxiii. 12) called Progress of Civilization, and be the captain of our Exodus into the Canaan of a truer social order.
“Nevertheless, our editor will not come so far within even the shadow of Sinai as Mahomet did, but chooses rather to construe Moses by Joe Smith. He takes up the crook, not that the sheep may be fed, but that he may never want a warm woollen suit and a joint of mutton.
Immemor, O, fidei, pecorumque oblite tuorum !
For which reason I would derive the name editor not so much from edo, to publish, as from edo, to eat, that being the peculiar profession to which he esteems himself called. He blows up the flames of political discord for no other occasion than that he may thereby handily boil his own pot. I believe there are two thousand of these muttonloving shepherds in the United States, and of these, how many have even the dimmest perception of their immense power, and the duties consequent thereon? Here and there, haply, one. Nine hundred and ninety-nine labor to impress upon the people the great principles of Tweedledum, and other nine hundred and ninety-nine preachi with equal earnestness the gospel according to Tweedledee.”-H. W.]
I du believe in Freedom's cause,
Ez fur away ez Payris is ;
In them infarnal Phayrisees ;
To dror resolves an' triggers,-
Thet don't agree with niggers.
I du believe the people want
A tax on teas an' coffees,
Purvidin' I'm in office;
My eye-teeth filled their sockets,
An' Uncle Sam I reverence,
Partic'larly his pockets.
O' levyin' the taxes,
I git jest wut I axes:
Because it kind o'rouses
Our quiet custom-houses.
To sen' out furrin missions,
An' orthydox conditions ;I mean nine thousan' dolls. per ann.,
Nine thousan' more fer outfit, An' me to recommend a man
The place 'ould jest about fit. I du believe in special ways
O'prayin' an'convartin’; The bread comes back in many days,
An' buttered, tu, fer sartin ; I mean in preyin' till one busts
On wut the party chooses, An’in con vartin' public trusts
To very privit uses.
I du believe hard coin the stuff
Fer 'lectioneers to spout on; The people's ollers soft enough
To make hard money out on; Dear Uncle Sam pervides fer his,
gives a good-sized junk to all,I don't care how hard money is,
Ez long ez mine's paid punctooal.
I du believe with all my soul
In the gret Press's freedom,
An' in the traces lead 'em;
At my fat contracts squintin',
Inter the gov’ment printin?!
Wut's his'n unto Cæsar,
Frum him my bread an' cheese air;
Doth bear his superscription, -
An' things o'thet description.
To him that hez the grantin’
This lays all thought o'sin to rest,-
But 0, I du in interest.
I du believe in bein' this
Or thet, ez it may happen
To ketch the people nappin';
My' preudunt course is steadied,