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olic, which can hardly be possible, the grand total would be as follows:
Institutions of learning owned and controlled by religious denominations.. 1,200 Number of students in attendance annually....
192,000 Value of buildings, grounds, and endowments
$120,000,000 Number of churches..
300,000 Value of church property.
$600,000,000 Number of ministers...
180,000 Amount paid annually for support of pastors
$50,000,000 6 missions....
$6,000,000 “ other religious and charitable..
$20,000,000 “ improvement in church property..
$30,000,000 Number of Sunday-schools....
150,000 " “ scholars and teachers..
The International Sunday-school Lesson Committee recently met at Saratoga for its nineteenth Annual Session, and reports that the estimated number of persons pursuing the course of study is 18,500,000. B. F. Jacobs, Esq., of Chicago, one of the originators of that enterprise, is my anthority for saying that between 9,000,000 and 10,000,000 of these are in tlre United States. Surely any nation that has one half of its entire population identified in some way with the Church, as inembers or occasional attendants, and two thirds of its yonth of school age in Sunday-schools; that holds and administers in the interest of religious institutions one thousand millions of dollars worth of property; that expends annually for improvements, charity, and current expenses one hundred millions, cannot be other than Christian.
We believe, if correct statistics could be obtained to date, that the above estimates would be under the real figures. We have made no estimate of the millions invested and the amounts annually contributed for hospitals, homes, asylums, and all manner of outside charitable work, nearly all of which originated in Christian sentiment, and are supported by voluntary contributions, exclusive of State and municipal institutions and public charity.
We must not overlook the fact that there is a very large temperance sentiment among foreigners, and that there are many Protestant German and Scandinavian churches and Sunday-schools of nearly all denominations. These nationalities are by no means backward in religious enterprise; indeed, they contribute annually for all religions purposes in proportion to their means, and in many cases per capita, more than the English-speaking people. They love liberty and education, and will unanimously resist any tampering with our public schools, or division of school funds for sectarian purposes. They hate anarchy and infidelity, and are mostly sober, industrious, law-abiding citizens, who appreciate the blessings of Christian civilization, and contribute in all possible ways to its advancement. They sustain periodical literature in their own languages, and bave several colleges and theological schools. The controlling religious sentiment of this republic is Protestant Christianity. The fundamental political idea of this country is, as tersely expressed by the immortal Lincoln, a government“ of the people, for the people, and by the people.”
The institutions founded by our fathers or called forth by the exigency of the times, and which are ever to be maintained at any cost as the bulwark of our civil and religious liberties, are free church, free schools, free press, and free speech, manhood suffrage, an untrammeled ballot and an honest count. With these all encroachments can be resisted, and all proper reforms accomplished. Any man who opposes or violates any one of these is a common enemy, and dangerous to the peace
of the State and the Christian religion. Every one who honestly accepts and faithfully conforms to these is entitled to respect and protection as a citizen and a brother. Only those who stand by these are worthy to be accepted as citizens of a free republic.
Protestant Christianity stands for these, and the American Republic guarantees these to every citizen. May both continue to increase and extend their influence and power as long as there are men on the earth who love truth and liberty and hate error and oppression. “What God hath joined together let not man put asunder.”
THE MISSION OF THE REPUBLIC.
Nations as well as individuals have a divinely appointed mission. Israel was called to preserve and transmit the worship of God, and prepare for the coming of Christ. Greece had a mission in art, science, and philosophy. To Rome was assigned governmental solidarity and the development of law. Modern civilization is pervaded by elements derived from these nations. Others never realized their mission, or, having proved false to it, lapsed into barbarism. Of modern nations the mission of the British empire seems to illustrate the progress of a people to greater freedom and a better life through Christianity and commerce. The spread of these through colonial enlargement and various evangelistic agencies seems a part of its work.
The fathers of this Republic believed it had a special mission. Events since their day tend to confirm this idea. Whether its territory remains within present limits, or extends from Fundy's Bay to Behring's Straits, and from Nicaragua to the North Pole, the diversity of national life within its bounds, the favorable structure of the government, our genial climate, fertile soil, and varied products, the marvelous development of our resources, the increase of our manufactures and inland commerce—all taken in connection with the deliverances already accomplished for us and our increasing weight in the councils of the nations-indicate a mission unsurpassed.
The idea of government, both in Church and State, which it is the mission of such a country to teach and illustrate, is important. While ideas of government of the people, by the people, and for the people are winning their way among oldworld nations, we, ourselves, have not in practice reached perfection. The Constitution of the nation and those of different States have been amended, and the end is not yet. The same may be, in substance, said of the constitution and outward government of the Church. The fathers of our Methodism, wise in their day, and divinely led, adopted a polity suited, in view of their surronndings, to wide and effective work. They brought back to the Church much of the outward organization, and better still, the spirit and consequent triumph, of apostolic Christianity. But, more than is realized by many, Church
polity in our own and other denominations has already changed in some of its details. Neither Christ nor his apostles enjoined any exclusive form of government. Attachment to the old, without regard to present highest efficiency and surroundings, is as foolish as is needless change. Most Protestant Churches have in good part risen above the popish notion that ecclesiastics have sole right to govern the Church. We recognize that the laity are privileged to be as holy, and to labor with as much judgment for the glory of God, as preachers, and women as much as men. And yet mediæval distinctions in these respects between mernbers and ministers, and between men and women, linger among us. The governmental mission of the Republic to those within its pale is to realize more fully the sacred sovereignty, the essential equality and responsibility of the people, and their right to participate in all that relates to the management of affairs both in Church and State.
The outward inission of the Republic is to liberalize the govo ernments of other nations. To do this we need not enter on an armed crusade. The indirect influence of our example, institutions, and prosperity is already a mighty force in other lands. Every-where men are now disposed to inquire, and think, and trace effect to cause. It is true of the Republic, as of the Church, "a city set on a hill cannot be hid.” More than one nation has caught the spirit of our people, and more or less perfectly incorporated it into their laws. Others are feebly groping in the same direction; while still others tremble with throes which presage an effort to throw off the yoke of tyranny. In this direction our mission is to illustrate to the world the value of freedom and free institutions, and, as a beacon, guide the nations to realize the same for themselves.
More especially is this true of the evangelistic work of the Church. On its religious life rests all the good there is in the nation. To successfully maintain it among ourselves we must labor to diffuse it among others. Not by indirection alone, but by immediate personal effort, and by systematic and vigorous organization, should this be done. It is not enough that relig. ious sentiment should pervade our constitution and laws, and our Church and life-work. Our mission is to make this efficient in the instruction, elevation, and salvation of mankind. Of nations, as of individuals, God says, “Them that honor me will
I honor.” As righteousness alone exalts a nation, our people should recognize that their true glory is to be found established in this, and their highest mission to diffuse its blessings to the ends of the earth. Regarding every man as a brother, created in the divine image and redeemed by Christ, it should be our pleasant task, in the spirit of the good Samaritan, to minister to the need of our farthest off as well as our nearest neighbor. When the American mind becomes bathed in this atmosphere we shall realize a political and religious power that will speedily make all things new.
Space allows only brief reference to the mission of our land in literature, science, and art. In these respects we may yet rival the palmiest days of the past, and possibly surpass them. Recognizing the rights and real dignity of the individual, and the majesty and sacredness of law, we have already somewhat shown what the untrammeled mind can do in these directions. Discoveries in science, inventions in art, and advance in the higher walks of literature have never, and nowhere else, been so rapid. Our scenery, history, and institutions; the struggles, hopes, and fears of our people represented in form and color, in beauty and in glory, as the original and vigorous American mind can present them, and made subservient to moral and spiritual culture and elevation; this, it is to be hoped, will be no small part of our mission.
Yes, moral culture and spiritual elevation. Not theoretically perfect constitutions nor forms of government, not intelligence nor wealth, not extent of territory nor increase of population, not military prowess nor exhaustless resources--not any one or all of these can be regarded as comprising and securing a mission worthy of this Republic. Others, great in these respects, have gone before and have been wrecked. It is only as we aid in molding for good the destiny of humanity, as we exert our mighty energies in ameliorating the condition of mankind, in redeeming the world from ignorance and sin and renewing it in knowledge and in holiness, that we can conceive or realize a inission worthy of the great American Republic.
It is unwise to ignore the hinderances against such a mission. A powerful and unscrupulous hierarchy, losiny ground in the old world, has fastened its eyes, and is largely concentrating effort, on this Republic. It would destroy our systems of edu