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62, Sept. 2.
Yon, Charity Sumner, U. S. 2.
66 PLEDGED, BUT TO TRUTH, TO LIBERTY AND LAW."
VOL. I.-JULY, 1861.-NO. I.
IMMORTALITY is an intuitive truth, which the normal consciousness of man naturally sanctions as a self-evident proposition. It is one of those first truths which the mind naturally comprehends at once, without any other evidence than the sanctions of consciousness. This intuitive conviction of the immortality of the soul naturally leads us to contemplate duration in its several phases, in the natural, moral, and political worlds; wherever we can trace it in the mineral, vegetable, animal, and human kingdoms. We naturally appreciate things and value them according to their durability. Upon this principle is founded the superior value of gold, silver, and jewels of the mine. The durability of things forms an essential element of commerce. The same principles which control us in our personal interests govern us in our social relations. It has ever been the highest ambition of nations to render their institutions as durable and immortal as possible; and hence our American Fathers availed themselves of all the means in their power, to form a Republic that would continue as durable as the lakes that bound it on the north;
DURABILITY OF THE AMERICAN UNION.
and as immortal as the oceans that surround it on the east, south, and west.
Every national government is more or less stable, durable, and immortal, as it conforms to the laws of nature and nature's God. Civil laws and institutions are more or less durable, as they conform to natural law. The wise statesman always frames his statutes in harmony with natural law. He learns from history that laws and institutions, in conflict with the laws of nature, must ultimately fail, notwithstanding all the efforts of tyrants to sustain them. The elements of durability can be clearly traced in the mineral, vegetable, animal, and moral kingdoms; and these were carefully consulted by the American Fathers in framing our national institutions.
The statesman traces the elements of physical durability in the original molecules of matter; which Sir Isaac Newton supposes have remained the same, in their nature, properties, and form, ever since they were created by God; notwithstanding their numerous aggregations and compounds throughout the mineral, vegetable, and animal worlds. The simple substances, which
may be regarded as the mineral species, and as aggregations of the same original molecules of matter, never change their original nature and properties; but always remain the same, however numerous and various may be their amalgamations and compounds. The geological history of the earth, through its numerous rocky formations, reveals the elements of durability. The heavenly bodies, in all their revolutions, never vary from their immutable laws. In the vegetable and animal kingdoms, we meet with similar elements of durability, in the immutable laws of the vegetable and animal species.
The elements of durability are equally necessary and manifest in the natural and moral worlds. The moral world, in all its various institutions, is governed by well-known laws of immortality. The fall of the American Union has long been the favorite theme of European critics, statesmen, poets, and historians; among whom, Alison, for nearly half a century, has been most conspicuous and prophetic. They seem to suppose that America has no other or better principles of stability than "the safety valve of the back settlements." But, it will be found, on fair and full examination, that instead of the American government being founded on principles similar to Poland, and other fallen nations, it contains more and better elements of durability than all the nations of the earth, ancient or modern. The history of the American Republic shows a government continually growing stronger, wiser, and better, both in prosperity and adversity. Like the oak on the lofty mountain top, while the genial rays of the sun, the balmy dews of heaven, the violence of the tempest, and the dashing thunderbolt, all unitedly conspire in increasing its strength, and in causing it to strike its
roots deeper and firmer in its native soil, so the American Union will become more united, more pure, and more durable by the present servile rebellion, caused by the treason of a few slaveholders.
All creation sparkles with immortality. Every page in the book of nature reveals it, the poetry of nature sings it, and the musical spheres join the chorus. Infinite space is filled with evidence, that the soul of man does not die with the mortal casket that contains it; and, even if the least doubt of man's immortality remained after a full survey of creation, the Divine Record relieves us from all embarrassment, and reveals the precious truth in language clear as the sun. But the soul is not the only immortality in the universe of God. There are certain elementary principles, of moral excellence, certain fundamental laws of existence, by which intelligent beings. will always be governed; whose perpetuity will ever run parallel with the immortality of man. These eternal principles of moral excellence-embracing supreme love to God, and subordinate love to man; together with equal justice, pure benevolence, personal liberty, and other kindred laws, which are reflections from the Deityare the elements of all the moral wealth found in this world. And, although this globe seems destined to undergo great changes before it reaches that more perfect state of existence, when it may 66 become a new heaven and a new earth," according to the intimations of the Sacred Volume; yet all earthly things contain certain elements of stability, which control their duration, in proportion as the laws of their existence are obeyed or violated.
Wherever we turn our eyes, or direct our thoughts, we find all beings and things governed by fixed laws, under
the control of the Deity,-the Great First Cause, and Governor of all worlds. And, upon the same eternal principles, the prosperity or adversity of all civil institutions, is ever in proportion to their conformity to the true laws of their nature. Though the history of this world is filled with change and mutability, alternately exciting our smiles and tears; yet, amidst all its mutations, vicissitudes, and sequences, we have the consolation to find certain elements of stability stamped more or less conspicuously on all creation.
In the mineral kingdom, the law of stability can be clearly traced from the origin of creation. The elements and laws of matter, so far as human research extends, are the same now as they were in the incipient stages of creation; when the earth was in a chaotic, or nebulous state; and after all the successive changes, through which, worlds, and their millions of vegetable and animal inhabitants have passed, for more than six thousand years, not the least evidence is found, that a single particle of matter has ever been lost or destroyed. Geology reveals to us the interesting fact, that all the successive formations of the globe, which have occupied more than sixty centuries in reaching their present development, remain substantially the same, as when the Great Architect first deposited them in their beds, during the successive ages of His mighty works. The bold granite mountains, whose towering peaks have pierced the clouds for centuries, are composed of the same materials as existed in their kindred rocks, in the first formation of the earth; and wherever they have been pulverized by the hand of time, we find the particles which originally composed them, scientifically mingled with the fertile plains below.
The same law of stability prevails
thoughout all the countless bodies of space; and binds them all together in one harmonious system. Astronomers have watched in vain for centuries, to find some discord in the harmony of the spheres, some seeds of approaching dissolution in the system of worlds, which are bound together by the indissoluble ties of nature. So perfect and uniform are all the revolutions of the heavenly bodies, that modern science has demonstrated, that they are all constructed and governed in harmony with regular laws. Mathematical science now discovers a planet long before the telescope receives a single ray of its light. The same uniform stability appears in the law of gravitation, the colors of the rainbow, the flash of lightning, and the music of thunder.
And as we rise in the scale of creation, from the mineral to the vegetable kingdom, we there meet with elements of stability. Vegetation is now gov erned by the same laws of growth, maturity, decay, and reproduction, as existed during the first formation of the earth; which contains the fossil remains of the primeval plants; deposited there, perhaps, centuries before the creation of man. The lady in Europe or America, as she now promenades her garden, inhales the same fragrance from her flowers,— adorns her beautiful ringlets with roses, violets, and lilies; possessing the same rich variety of colors, the same crimson tints and carnation hues,-as wreathed the brow and delighted the senses of their mother Eve, in the days of Eden's bloom.
In the animal creation, we meet with elements of stability, as developed in the habits and instincts of their numerous species;---always preserving the same laws of embryology, the same laws of sustenance, growth,
and decay from age to age, since the remotest antiquity of their fossil existence.
Ascending still higher in the walks of creation, we pass the narrow confines of earthly stability, and rise to the immortality of man. He commences life the most feeble and helpless creature in the world; and requires nearly half a century to develope his powers, and attain the perfection of manhood,--he matures at the age of three score years and ten; when death kindly relieves him from the cares of life, and introduces him to a glorious immortality beyond the grave; where he receives the rewards of his righteous life and gospel faith; in a world which knows no change, no end, no imperfection.
Nor is the principle of stability confined to the works of creation alone; but we have divine assurances, that it is an elementary law by which the Creator governs himself;-who is the same yesterday, to-day, and forever; from whom all creation borrows their stability, immortality, and every excellence.
tuity, have been the most prosperous and durable. In the middle of the nineteenth century, the philosopher can reason from cause to effect, and from effect to cause, as accurately and successfully in the moral, as in the natural sciences. True it is, in the natural sciences, involving the various departments of physics, the experiments and facts are apparently more simple, connected, and satisfactory, than in the moral sciences. But it is equally true, that in the moral sciences, including the science of government, the facts and experiments, which have been repeated for nearly six thousand years, by all classes of the human family; and by millions of experimenters, are vastly more numerous and certain, when properly analyzed and understood; and furnish the statesman with more ample and satisfactory data for his political calculations concerning the future stability of his government, than can be found in the annals of physical science.
In examining the history of civil society, imperfect and mutable as it is, we find the same general law of stability, more or less developed, in all nations and ages; leading us to the irresistible conclusion, that national stability depends upon well settled principles,--which, when obeyed,-invariably lead to the same durable and prosperous results, as are found in the mineral, vegetable, and animal kingdoms. National stability, as well as the stability of the mineral, vegetable, and animal kingdoms, depend upon laws peculiar to each; and, hence, we find in all countries and ages, those nations, which have incorporated into their political systems the most of these fundamental principles of perpe
These elements of national perpetuity first made their appearance in Egypt, where they were for centuries better understood than in any other nation of that day. From Egypt they passed over to Greece; from Greece they emigrated to Rome; from Rome they went to Great Britain, France, and Germany; where they appeared successively in new and improved editions; and finally were imported to America in the Mayflower, by the Pilgrim Fathers; where a new, improved, and complete edition was issued; embracing all the fundamental principles of national stability; as found in the constitution, the laws, and the institutions of the American government.
The first element of national stability in the American Union, which strikes us with agreeable surprise, is the remark
able history of the nation. The history of the United States is most naturally divided into four general periods. First, the period of colonization,— which embraces the early immigration and colonization of the primeval Anglo-American inhabitants of the nation. Second, the formation period,-when the colonies were organized into a regular government. Third, the confirmation period,-when the government became so firmly established as to be in no danger of dissolution. Fourthly, the perfecting period,-during which the nation and its institutions are progressively advancing in civilization, science, wealth, laws, and moral excellence, to its summit of national glory. The American Union commenced the first period of its national existence, with the emigration, and colonization of the Pilgrim Fathers. Its second, or formation period, dates with the adoption of the declaration of independence on the fourth of July, 1776. The third, or confirmation period, was reached on the declaration of peace, which closed the last war with Great Britain. And since the termination of that war, the Republic has been rapidly perfecting, developing, and progressing in its fourth great national period; until she now stands in the front ranks of civilized nations, in national glory,-having no superiors and but few equals.
The historical reader, in perusing the rise and fall of nations, will not fail to notice, that but few of the tho sands of governments, which have lived and died,--and still survive, were ever organized; still fewer have been confirmed,—and not more than twenty of those, which have survived, have ever entered their perfecting period. But the American Union, with unfaltering steps, has marched successfully, in little more than half a century,
through the three first periods; and for nearly half a century, has been making more rapid advances in the fourth, than any nation known in ancient or modern history. While Italy, Spain, and other nations have remained stationary, or retrograding for centuries, America has never lost a step, nor remained stationary for a moment.
The origin of the American Union is peculiar to itself; and stands alone in the history of nations. Among the thousands of nations, which have been known in history, not one of them can boast of an origin like America. All the others commenced their național life in a savage, or barbarous state; ignorant, degraded pagans, without civilization, without education,without literature,-destitute of morals and Christianity; deprived of liberty, and those salutary laws and principles of government, which secure to man the enjoyment of his natural rights. But, the American government commenced its existence in the cabin of the Mayflower; free from all those national embarrassments which crippled the early growth of other nations. Our Pilgrim Fathers and Mothers embraced in their characters all those physical, mental, moral, and religious powers, which adorned the purest and best classes of society in their day; and, what is more than all this,— they were, at least, a century in advance of all other nations, in their republican principles, and the science of government. Had it pleased the Almighty to have created a new race of human beings; and placed them on Plymouth Rock, as the progenitors of the American Republic, for the purpose of founding the American Union, it is difficult to conceive how they could have been improved from the Pilgrim Fathers. Weil might a distinguished senator proudly exclaim,