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history, we shall first advert to a topic, of which we think the advocates of Christianity have made an injurious use; we mean, the alleged exclusion, as a matter of fact, of patriotism from the principles of christian conduct. This has been urged as a proof of the divinity of the christian system ; but the argument, if we do not mistake it, has been carried too far. It is admitted that our Saviour did not inculcate among the principles of action which he recommended, the love of country; but the inference from his silence does not go to the condemnation of this principle altogether, and in every form of it. The proper view of the argument, we suppose, to be this. Patriotism was the darling virtue of the age ; and in that age, it was a proud, selfish, narrow, false principle, at war with the generous philanthropy of the gospel. And the argument from our Saviour's neglect of it, is, that he who did not yield at all to the passions of the multitude, and the prejudices of his day, could not have been an impostor ; that he who rejected the popular and the splendid, for the humble, the useful, and the true, must have relied on something higher than the favor of the world. But we have no more right to infer from this, that all patriotism is wrong, than to infer from his silence upon the philosophy of the age, that all philosophy is wrong, or from his condemnation of the religion of the age, that all religion is wrong.
But we may now proceed to observe, that religion in this country, has peculiarly held patriotism in exclusion. This is perhaps more particularly true of the last fifty years. Religious speculation among us has been, if we do not misjudge it, singularly ungenerous to all those noble sentiments, which naturally and spontaneously spring up in the human breast. It has been necessary, in order to maintain certain tenets of the prevailing theology, to deny to kindness, to the love of parents and children, and so also to the more comprehensive affections of friendship and love of our country, every trait of real excellence and virtue. The public mind has naturally grown doubtful and suspicious about these qualities of character. The religious guide has not felt that he could freely urge them. Patriotism, in particular, is a banished and a proscribed theme in the sanctuary. We hear but few of those prayers and those sermons, which in old time were wont to tell 'of all that the Lord had done for his people, and of all the goodness in which he was passing before them. We are too seldom taught to find our duties marked out on the very soil and spot where
VOL. III.--NO. IV.
we live; to find our duties in our own dwellings, and in our daily walks; to see them modified by the institutions, the state of society, the trials, the exposures, we had almost said, the very climate, in which we live. We are too much directed to an abstract and metaphysical experience; and we are too little bound by religion to the country, the community, the public interests with which we are connected. We are too little bound by religion to the scenes around us. We are too seldom directed to build an altar in every green field, and by every peaceful shore, and amidst the sheaves of every plenteous harvest and to hallow the very soil on which we tread, with all the fervent and generous love of country
Not thus did the ancient saints limit their views of religion. Nothing more strougly marks the piety of David than its patriotism. It is perpetually bursting forth, in those divine songs which he prepared for the use of his people in their solemn assemblies. The monuments of the divine care for their fathers, the sea which overwhelmed their eneinies, the wilderness through which they wandered, the smitten rock, the healing serpent, the astonished waters of the Jordan that paused in their course ; all these images were continually rising before him.
Such, too, was very much the habit of feeling half a century ago, among good men in our own country. And we know not whether the frequency of their allusions to former, and as they thought, in a moral view, better times, whether the set phrases in which they made these allusions, and whether also the babit of drawing a parallel between our ancestors and the ancient Israelites, and the unfortunate inferences they sometimes deduced from it, have not helped, with other causes, to bring into discredit that patriotic and reverential feeling for our country, which is demanded at once by all our recollections, and all our privileges; by a nobler ancestry, and a more favored lot, and a more glorious prospect, than ever distinguished the annals, or the actual condition, or the hope, of any other people.
We speak not in the language of boasting, but of calm sobriety. That which the venerable Franklin desired, the wish he expressed to behold his country's prosperity, after the lapse of two hundred years, has been more than granted to his illustrious fellow laborers, who have lately departed from among us. They lived till more than their brightest imaginations were realized, till more than their fondest hopes were fulfilled. They saw the frame of government which they cautiously and anxiously reared, settling down upon its deep and lasting foundations. They saw that tree of liberty which they planted in storm and tempest, take root, and grow, and flourish. They saw its branches extending, and its roots shooting far and wide, penetrating distant mountains, taking hold of the strength of the everlasting hills, and spreading themselves through valleys remote and then unknown; and they saw nations looking to the leaves of that tree, for healing and life. They saw millions of the happy and the free, walking beneath its shadow. They heard the shouts of a nation's rejoicing, mingling their names with every sentiment of gratitude and patriotism. Surely, it was enough. Surely, mortal man could not ask for a more favored lot. It is glorious to die, for one's country,' was an ancient saying. But how much better is it, thus to live for one's country ; to live to behold its prosperity and goodliness; and to die, at last, amidst its altars and offerings of thanksgiving; to die a. death hallowed through all time, by the day of a nation's birth, and a nation's jubilee!
And, most assuredly, the country which numbers such men among its sons, and embraces such circumstances in its history, is worthy of religious affection and pious gratitude. If the providence of God should teach this lesson in its late dispensations, it would not have spoken to us in vain. If the multitudes who have gathered in every part of the land, to pay funeral honors to the illustrious dead, should have brought from these occasions a more true and holy feeling for their country's good, then would not these solemnities have been an idle pageant and ceremony.
But we proceed to show, as we proposed, that our political institutions expose us to make this separation between the feelings of patriotism and piety,-between the interests of religion and our country.
Not only is toleration to all religions, but favor to none, a fundamental, and without doubt, an excellent principle of our constitution. We think it happy for us, that there is no political connexion between church and state. The form of liberty which prevails here, is in this respect most widely distinguished from those ancient examples, with which it is often and negli
gently confounded. The machinery of political power in the early times of Greece, had its main spring in religion. It was this that held together her struggling multitude of states. The oracle of Delphi, was for a long period the bond of their union ; it was the centre of political influence, as it was in fact deemed by them to be the centre of the universe.
In those days, no political measure was taken without the sanction of religion; or at least without invoking its aid. And, indeed, all over the ancient world, the chieftain was either the priest of his tribe or nation, or else so closely associated with him, in his official character, that the ideas of magistracy and religion were never separated. Every country was thus brought under the peculiar protection of some tutelar deity ; and patriotism and piety, such as it was, were indissolubly connected.
In modern times, this connexion has been weakened, but by no means broken. The Altar, and the Throne have been regarded as different things; but it has been held as a fundamental doctrine in politics, that neither of them could stand independently, or alone. And though we deprecate the doctrine, though we rejoice that religion with us is placed on a different basis, and that the state stands in no need of superstition or intolerance to support it, yet we should do little credit to our boasted advantages, if we were to rejoice in our good fortune with such a childish joy as to forget all danger.
It is constantly said by the advocates of a religious establishment, that religion cannot exist without it. But although we do not fear that religion cannot exist without the aid of the state, yet we do fear that religion may not be seen, as it ought to be seen, to exist in the closest connexion with the welfare of the state. We do fear that religion, not being associated with political power and privileges in this country, may drop out of consideration, among the influences that are to sustain them.
There are respects in which ours is the weakest of all governments. It has the least of permanently delegated trust, of deposited influence; it has the least of ostensible and fixed power. Our readers need not be reminded of the old fable, that the mountains of Atlas were the pillars of heaven. But they cannot be 100 oft en reminded, that in the structure of our government, there are no such pillars. It has no mighty Atlas to bear up its system, its spheres and constellations, with all their nicely balanced influences, attractions, and movements.
No; it is a government that rests upon the shoulders of the people. It is a sovereignty of mind. It is a government of character. And with the character of the people, it will be strong, or it will be weak; it will stand, or it will fall. This is a first, a fixed, an eternal truth in relation to institutions like ours. We above all men, in our political capacity, have need to cherish the principles of religion and virtue ; to strengthen our patriotism with piety; to bear with us a religious veneration for the past, and a religious solicitude for the most momentous futurity that ever awaited any nation. We, above all men, have at once the most urgent occasion and the justest reason, to bind our hearts to the country of our birth, of our education, of our religion, of our father's battles, and of our childrens' heritage, with filial gratitude and piety. It should be settled before all other things, in a country like this, that the good patriot must be a good Christian ; that the lover of freedom must be the lover of God; that he who professes one patriotic desire for the good of bis nation, must lift his earnest prayers to that Being, in the keeping of whose commandments stands our national safety. And yet we, who above all men have cause to remember this, are liable, from the very freedom of our institutions, from the removal of all coercion, from the abundant toleration not only of all religions, but of no religion in the state, from the absence of every establishment and form, by which other governments are wont to dispense, or commend religion to the people ; from these causes, be it repeated, we above all men, are liable to forget what it behoves us most of all to feel, and to act upon, and to adopt, as the very principles of political order and social conduct. There is danger, we say again, that in separating church and state, we should separate the ideas of religion and the state. Now it is true, indeed, between the state and religion, considered as an establishment, there is no necessary connexion. Our own example has proved it. Our government needs no hierarchy to support it. But, at the same time, let us never forget, that between a state like ours, and religion considered as a principle, there is the most necessary, the most indissoluble connexion.
We have given so large a space to the first reflection, which the recent funeral ceremonies have suggested to us, that we