« 上一頁繼續 »
malignantly rebellious against his grace, his mercy to mankind, than that of a people, professing their dependence upon God for all the blessings of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, daring, by their own laws, to put the children of the Commonwealth under attainder of proscription on account of color and race; depriving them of the right secured by God's command to the whole human family, in all its tribes and territories, — the right of being instructed in the gospel of Christ, as it is to be freely read and learned in their mother tongue.
The Responsibilities of Law.
The disregarded statutes, the violation of which wrought at length the earthquakes and volcanoes of Divine wrath in Judea and in Babylon, had enclosed in their bosom, on condition of faith and obedience, the assurance of a stupendous miracle, to be continued, with its appointed calendar of seasons, as sure as the journey of the sun, from generation to generation, in the sight and knowledge of the whole heathen world; - so that the pages of the annual, septennial, and semi-centennial anniversaries of the people of God's government and covenant would have been as those of his almanacs of day and night, seed-time and harvest, summer and winter, as visible and to be reckoned from for guidance, as the revolutions of the planets for the happiness of the world.
For these very laws, and the festival celebrations connected with them, were published and known, not only among the Jews, but through them among the idolatrous nations. And the retributive punishments inflicted by the Divine Lawgiver upon the kingdom and people of Israel for violating those statutes, and for teaching such violation to their children, were just as plainly foretold and foreknown, as the statutes themselves.
God refers to this fact as being an exasperation of the guilt of the Hebrews in setting such an example of wickedness to the surrounding nations. For this crime the retribution was predicted, and afterwards realized and described in the most terrific imagery and language, in Deuteronomy, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and the Minor Prophets.
“Wherefore I will yet plead with you, saith the Lord, and with your children's children will I plead. Hath any nation changed their gods, which yet are no gods? But my people have changed their glory for that which doth not profit. Be astonished, O ye heavens, at this, and be horribly afraid, be ye very desolate, saith the Lord. For pass over the Isles of Chittim, and see; and send unto Kedar, and
consider diligently, and see if there be such a thing. For all people will walk in the name of their God. But my people have sacrificed to devils, and not to God. They have moved me to jealousy with that which is not God, and a fire is kindled in mine anger that shall burn to the lowest hell. Their wine is the poison of dragons, and the cruel venom of asps.”
Just so far as the Hebrew rulers were faithful to it, their nation was prosperous. Just so far as their kings and the people disobeyed it, they were in captivity to the idolatries and crimes of the whole heathen world, till they became the offscouring of all nations, and a proverb of the retributive vengeance of the Almighty. Will not such judgments be visited upon all the nations of the modern age, that expel from the education of the rising generations the belief and knowledge of the Divine Law and Gospel?
We are the only nation, the only government and people under heaven, professing a debt of gratitude to God and a belief in a divine revelation that ever have been found bold enough to deny the supreme authority of God's Law over their own governments, and to banish the teaching of his Word, and of the Gospel of his Son our Saviour from the public education of their children.
The Mohammedans keep the Koran; the Chinese, the Africans, the Hindus, their sacred books and fetiches; the Old Ammonites and Philistines kept their Dagons; even the Thugs their saints, and the Greeks and Romans their thirty thousand deities and oracles and altars of sacrificial victims. But we, with the gospel of Christ in our possession, expel both the Word of our God and the knowledge of our Saviour from our public schools, and forbid its being preached in a language that can be understood from infancy. We forbid its use among the poor remnants of the Indian tribes, once so numerous, from whom we have stolen all their lands and rights by broken treaties; and now we are compelling them to receive all their knowledge of the true God and Redeemer from a foreign priest and legislator, who proclaims from his throne in Italy the divine attribute of infallibility, and the power of forgiving the sins of all mankind, on condition of a sum of money paid into the Pope's treasury; thus binding in an unbreakable despotism every man's conscience to the Papal Priesthood instead of God, under penalty, if disobedient, of excommunication from the Kingdom of Heaven. And this systematized blasphemy, which prevents the possibility of any man that believes in it being a Christian, we commit to the care of a Roman Catholic commissioner of our missionary Indian schools, forbidding the children from ever being taught in their own tongue the wonderful works of God and the saving knowledge of Christ in the gospel.
What may prove to be an unpardonable Sin against
the Gospel of the Grace of God. We have said, “No greater outrage against God's government." Yet, as it were, in preparation for this, we have been all the while poisoning and inflaming the poor remnants of the Indian tribes by the introduction and established use of ardent spirits, forced upon the very same persons from whom we have been with holding the Word of God! What is the licensing of crime by a State government for the sake of a national revenue? What else but a blasphemy against the authority of God, a defiance of his laws and kingdom?
These crimes must be looked into, and their consequences considered, now that the conscience of every human being is appealed to for a vote in favor of licensing perpetually the work of making drunkards for the whole community.
This is the Bill now demanding the sanction of our National Congress and our State legislatures. Whatever shape it may take, it is the result of a long-continued, wide, and minute examination of