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Free institutions are such as promote and secure self-government among the people. Man is free only as he cultivates the power of rational choice, as he regulates his will by the will or law of the great Creator in whose image and for whose glory he was created. Only vulgar and immoral people imagine that liberty censkts in doing as they please, regardless of the claims of law or the rights of their fellow-men. This is to Conlound liberty with license or the unregulated and unrestrained indulgence of natural appetites.
The planet can only be said to be free as it moves in its orbit in obedience to the law of gravitation, the fish is free as it moves in the water, and the bird is free as it cleaves the air. Each and every creature rushes to bondage and ruin just to the extent that it departs from the sphere or element for which it was originally created. But freedom in the proper sense can only be rightly predicated by self-conscious personality. Man is a person. Reason, will and conscience are elements of personality. Only as man uses these God-given faculties in harmony with the law of God, does he realize the true idea of freedom. Intelligence, morality and religion are essential factors of human nature, and without these in healthful operation, there can be no true freedom, either for individuals or nations. Whatever tends to bring the life and conduct of men into harmony with the law of God, must be regarded as beneficial to the cause of human freedom. As the Sabbath is both a civil and religious institution, based upon the explicit appointment of the Almighty, its observance must of necessity promote the liberty and happiness of mankind. In the very nature of things the Sabbath must be a bulwark of free institutions. It is based upon the law of God, founded upon the eternal fitness of things, and as a necessary consequence, mutt conduce to the liberty and prosperity of individuals and nations.
So much we must admit as a conclusion of reason, drawn from fundamental
principles and premises. But the history of the human race bears ample testimony to the fact that the cause of human freedom has been promoted and secured by the proper observance of the Lord's day. Free institutions depend for their vitality upon the virtue and intelligence of the people.
An ignorant and immoral coramut iiy can neither establish nor preserve free institutions. Whatever promotes virtue and knowledge of the right kind must be regarded as a handmaid of liberty and a bulwark of free institutions.
This the Christian Sabbath does in a pre-eminent degree. It cultivates thote activities and dispositions of mind and heart which form the very life-blood of Republics. Not all kinds of knowledge contribute necessarily to the growth and stability of free institutions. Knowledge may be a powerful evil as well as a powerful good. The golden age of Roman art and literature was in the reign of Augustus Caesar when the foundations of the Republic were being destroyed. Science, art and classic learning have often served as instruments or gilded ornaments of tyranny and despotism. Genius has often allowed itself to be tied to the chariotwheels of the oppressors of mankind.
But the knowledge of God's word, which the observance of the Sabbath invariably promotes, is a knowledge that tends to true freedom, both of body and soul. The Bible exalts our conceptions of the dignity and sanctity of human nature, even in its weakest forms.
It sets forth the universal Fatherhood of God and brotherhood of man. It humbles the lofty and exalts them of low degree. It places rich and poor on a common platform, and admonishes them that the Lord is the Maker and Judge of them all. It teaches us to love God and keep His commandments, to love our neighbour as we love ourselves, and to do good unto all men as we have opportunity. While it requires us to submit to "the powers that be," to obey civil rules in the lawful exercise of their official functions, it also insists that in matters of conscience " we ought to obey God rather than men."
The Bible teaches self-denial, chastity, honesty, industry, frugality, charity and universal philanthropy, the very kind of knowledge and conduct thai serves to build up generous-hearted and courageous freemen.
"What constitutes a state?
mound, * *
No:—men, high-minded men, * *
Because the Sabbath promotes the constant and systematic study of the Bible, which sets forth our duties to God and our fellow-men, do we regard it as a bulwark of free institutions. No Bible-reading or Sabbath-keeping community has ever been, or can ever be, permanently enslaved. The Sabbath is the poor man's friend. It shields him from the oppressions of the rich and tyrannical. It promotes meditation, selfrecollection, and all the graces that ex lit aud adorn human nature. Constitutional liberty has always found a welcome home in the hearts of the peo-' pie who remembered the Sabbath day to keep it holy, as a season for secular rest and religious worship.
Protestant nations and communities have always shown more regard for the sanctity of the Sabbath than Romanists, and hence have enjoyed in a corresponding degree the blessings of civil and religious liberty.
Protestant Great Britain with the forms of monarchy enjoys far greater freedom than the so-called Republics of South America, which are largely under papal influence, and make little account of the Sabbath. Scotland and the north of Ireland, where the Sabbath is haflowed by Protestant communities, are far in advance of the adjacent counties of Ireland, where Roman'sm prevails. 'J his is the case not only in matters of religion, but in point of intelligence, morality, enterprise, and every element of substantial prosperity. The Protestant Cantons of Switzerland show a similar contrast with the neighboring Cantons, who are still under the papal yoke, and where greater Sabbath desecration prevails.
There is no proper security for life or properly in any community where the
Lord's day is habitually profaned. When men recklessly trample under foot the civil and religious enactments which hedge about the Christian Sunday, they will not scruple to violate any law, human or divine. It takes ten times more soldiers and police officers to keep the peace in southern Ireland than in northern Ireland and Scotland. Where the Sabbath is profaned the people will not be a law unto themselves. Large military establishments must be maintained and a standing army is always injurious to the cause of civil and religious liberty.
The Puritans of New England, the Presbyterians from Scotland, the Reformed Christians from Holland, Germany, Switzerland and France, who fled from oppression in the old world and laid the foundations of this great Republic, were God-fearing, Sabbath-keeping people.
If we are to preserve and perpetuate the heritage of liberty, which our sires bequeathed us, we must imitate their virtues. Especially must we keep the Sabbaths and reverence the sanctuary of the Lord our God. "Ye shall keep my Sabbaths and reverence my sanctuary; I am the Lord." "They that honor Me I will honor." "The heathen shall be turned into hell and all the nations that forget God." "If ye continue in My words then are ye My disciples indeed, and ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free." The greatest blessings are liable to the greatest abuse. This fact makes it specially incumbent upon Christians to hallow the Sabbath day and guard against its profanation. Properly kept, the Sabbath is a joy and a beiiedictiou, yea, a bulwark of free institutions. But when it is profaned it becomes the prolific source of intemperance, debauchery, immorality, and every vice in its worst forms.
Communities that desecrate the Sabbath cannoi stop with the mere negative disregard of God's holy law; tbey rush to the lowest depths of human depravity and degrade body and soul in the service of the devil. New Orleans refuses to keep holy the Sabbath. As a consequence, it reaps a carnival of crime on the Lord's day. Gambling, horse-racing, drunkenness and lawlessness prevail on every side.
As patriotic citizens, no less than aa faithful Christians, does it behoove us to sanctity the Lord's day. The Sunday-school is an important and essen tial factor in bringing about this blessed result. "Train up a child in the way in which he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it." Teach the children to reverence" the name of Gjd, the house of God, the word of God, and the day of God. Thus will you foster the principles of truth and righteousness which exalt a nation, and thus shall you ward off the sins that are the reproach and ruin of all people that forsake the law of the Lord God.
While we lay special stress on moral suasion, and insist that in our preaching, teaching and writing, we must vindicate the claims of the Lord's day against all infidel and communistic assaults, we think that the Christian and patriotic people of this commonwealth should enforce the penalty of the civil law against all Sabbath-breakers as well as against other kinds of evil doers.
Laws are educational. People are apt to form their ideas of morality from the character of the laws which they are required to obey. A law which is not enforced is worse than no law at all. It becomes a snare to the conscience, and leads to demoralization in other respects.
Our civil laws for the protection of the Christian Sabbath are, as we have seen, founded upon the fitness of things, and help to promote the best interests of the human race. As American citizens, and as fellow citizens with the saints, we should see to it that all Sabbath-breakers shall be called to account for wilful violations of the law of the land. If constables, marshals, justices, mayors and judges fail to execute the law, they violate their official oaths and should not receive the support and suffrages of Christian freemen, who love liberty and law more than they love party or politicians. The attention of grand juries should be called to neglect of duty by constables, etc., who refuse to iuterfere with flagrant Sabbathbreakers.
A few earnest and upright men in each community "with malice toward none and charity for all" might secure the Sabbath against all public and fla
grant desecration. The better sentiments even of worldlings would back them up in all reasonable efforts to protect the Lord's day against evil-doers who glory in their shame. If necessary, a Sabbath League might be organized, as was done in New York City some years ago with the most flattering results. Sunday pic nics, parades, dances and theatrical displays could thus be prevented, and much be done to niase the Sabbath a delight and honorable, both as a civil and religious institution.
THE NINE WORTHIES.
BY .THE EDITOR.
A Young friend recently inquired, "Who were the Nine Worthies?'' He had laboriously committed to memory the Seven Wonders of the World and the Seven Wise Men of Greece, and now he wished to know the names of the Worthies who are so frequently mentioned in our early literature.
At first the question appeared, as one of our old preceptors used to say, " more curious than wise;" but we have concluded to answer it for the benefit of the inquirer and of our readers. It must, however, be remembered that the series is purely arbitrary, and dates from an uncritical age. On great occasions, during the Middle Ages, nine knights dressed in ancient costume sometimes appeared as a part of the pageant, and each one told the rate of his prowess in the character of one of the nine worthies. It was, however, but natural that every country should claim the privilege of thus commemorating its national hero, and thus, though the number was sacredly preserved, the names of the worthies were made to vary. In this respect even our early writers were not agreed, and Shakespeare differs from his cotemporaries by including Hercules and Pompey the Great among the number. In every instance the list includes some characters which belong rather to poetry and romance than to sober history.
According to the enumeration most generally accepted, the nine worthies included in their number, three Gentiles, three Jews, and three Christian*.
1. Hector, son of Priam. Homer repre<ents Hector as the noblest of the chiefs who fought against the Greeks during the Trojan war, and one of the finest passages in the Iliad is his farewell to his wife and child before going into battle. Hector was slain by Achilles, and with his death the fall of Troy became inevitable. He had a presentiment of the fate of his country, but persevered in his resistance, preferring death to slavery.
2. Alexander the Great. The reign of Alexander is one of the great turniugpoints in the history of the world. He is not only recognized as one of the greatest conquerors, but he also extended the Greek language over the orieot, and thus unconsciously prepared the way for preaching the Gospel. Though gifted with extraordinary military genius he never learned that "he that ruleth his spirit is better than he that taketh a city." Proverbs 16: 32. His death, which occurred B.C. 323, is believed to have been principally caused by dissipation.
3. Julius Ccesar. Shakspeare calls Csesar "the foremost man of all this world." If great men must be measured by genius and worldly success, we know of no one whose claim to the highest place in history would be more generally acknowledged. His conquests were astonishing, and, whatever may be thought of the means by which he gained his high position, his abilities as a statesman were unrivalled. Yet his career was brought to an end by assassination, (b. C. 44), and, immediately, there was 'none so poor to do him reverence.' Who cares for Julius CVsar now? The simple preaching of Paul in the city of Rome meant more than all his conquests. His name is remembered, but1 Antiochus Epiphanes. An account of
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in the earliest history of Israel, and his achievements were of the highest order. The nations whom he dispossessed were not, as is often supposed, mere nomadic tribes, but, among others, the Canaanites, or Phoenicians, who were one of the most intelligent nations of antiquity. According to Dr. Smith, "Joshua was a devout warrior, blameless and fearless, who had been taught by serving as a youth how to command as a man; who earned by manly vigor a quiet, honored old age; who combined strength with gentleness, ever looking up for and obeying the divine impulse with the simplicity of a child, while he wielded great power, and directed it calmly and without swerving, to the accomplishment of a high unselfish purpose."
5. David, King of Israel. It was for his military prowess that David was deemed worthy of being enrolled among the Nine Worthies, and he was certainly a very great warrior. Though the reign of his son Solomon was in some respects more brilliant, it was David who really established the empire, which, during its brief history, ranked among the great monarchies of the world. He was a man of strong passions, who lived in a barbarous age; but at the same time he possessed spiritual aspirations far in advance of those of his age and nation. It was his heartfelt repentance for sin that rendered him "a man after God's own heart."
"As long as Heaven and earth endure,
6. Judas Maccabeus. This prince was the most distinguished of a family of priestly warriors, who, in the second century before Christ, succeeded in delivering their country from the tyranny of
his career may be found in the Apocrypha and in the works of Josephus. The later Jews regarded his achievements with great pride, and his name
without »ffection, while the memory of
ery properly concludes the list of their
4. Joshua, Conqueror of Canaan. Joshua was the greatest military leader
7. Arthur, King of Britain. It is difficult to say whether Arthur was a historical character, or a mere creature of the imaginatiou. According to the
fenerally received account he reigned in Britain, about the time of the Saxon invasion, in the Bixtb century of our era. He lived in great splendor at Cserleon, in Wales, and was regarded as "the mirror of knightly courtesy." "From his court, knights went forth to all countries to protect women, chastise oppressors, liberate the oppressed, enchain giants and malicious dwarfs, and engage in other chivalrous adventures." If Arthur ever existed, his career has been so overlaid with fables that it is impossible to distinguish truth from falsehood. These romantic stories have, however, much poetic beauty, and Tennyson has greatly elaborated them in his " Idyls of the King."
8. Charlemagne. The faet that the darkest period in European history ended when Charlemagne, in A. D. 800, restored the Western Roman Empire, would of itself give him an exalted position. Though himself comparatively rude and unpolished, he appreciated the value of learning, and did much for its advancement.. As a warrior he had no equal during the Middle Ages, and in his own rough way he labored for the advancement of the Christian religion. Surely, Charlemague deserves a place among the Worthies.
9. Godfrey, of Bouillon. As Godfrey was the leader of the first and only successful crusade, it was but natural that his cotemporaries should regard him as the greatest man in the world. At present there are many persons who regard these struggles for the recovery of the Holy Land from the hands of the Saracens, as mere outbursts of wild enthusiasm, which have left no permanent effects. It must, however, not be forgotten that the crusades first stemmed the tide of Mohammedan conquest, and that it is to them that we owe many of the blessings which we now enjoy. Godfrey was chosen the first Chrisiian king of Jerusalem, A.d. 1099, but he refused to accept a crown, saying, " I will not wear a golden crown where my Saviour wore a crown of thorns." He reigned but a single year, dying in the Holy City.
'' His sword in rust,
We have tried to answer our friends' question concerning the Nine Worthies. A curious series, is it not? The names are chosen from history—sacred and profane—poetry, and romance; but all of them appear to have been selected for their zeal or supposed military achievements. There are, however, some names which in Heaven are greater than these, for it is of them that the Saviour says: "They have not defiled their garments, and they shall walk with me in white, fur they are worthy."
THE FATE OF LEADERS.
Those who try to go ahead of their age generally end in being the tail. Too richly freighted, too deeply laden for the depth, they sink before tbey reach the ocean, and what wealth, what sumless argosies are scattered to the p'under of the little unregarded privateers that float behind. What a futurity in the wreck of that overfreighted venture of uncalculatirig genius. How often does such ill-fated power rush madly through the universe—a comet, a meteor, dazzling, amazing, confounding, and then, shocked against some steadfast world, it breaks and scatters, starring spa^e with fragmentary gems. —Thomas Moore.
The following anecdote, eupplied by Mr. Blair, is an amusing illustration both of the funeral propensity, and of the working of a defective brain, in a half-witted carle who used to range the province of Galloway armed with a huge pike-stafF, and who one day met a funeral procession a few miles from Wigtown. A long train of carriages, and farmers riding on horseback, suggested the propriety of his bestriding his staff, and following after the funeral. The procession marched at a bri.-k rate, and on reaching the kirk-yard style, as each rider dismounted, "Daft Jock" descended from his wooden steed, besmeared with mire and perspiration, exclaiming, "Hech, sire, had it no been for the fashion of the thing, I might as well ha' been on my ain feet."— Ramsay's " Scottish Life and Character."