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respecting the course adopted towards the aborigines of the coun try, and towards the slaves ;—the measures taken to induce the removal of the former, and the want of measures for the re moval or liberation of the latter. The case of both classes i environed with peculiar difficulties, on account of the conceder rights of each separate State ; though, in regard to the Indians we have no inclination to apologize for any injustice with which they may bave been treated, in a certain quarter, from State legislation. In respect to the slaves, whatever public sentiment may do in time to come, the national compact has forbidden all action in time past, and still forbids it. In speaking of this nation as viewed by foreigners, it is not forgotten at the same time, that their favorable opinion might be somewhat qualified, in consequence of the existence of many evils among us, deplored by philanthropists and christians ;-many among our native population, but more among the emigrants that pour upon our shores, bringing the vices of the old world with them. It is too apparent, amidst the general good effects of primitive discipline, and correct elementary principles, that multitudes act merely from the consideration of their own private ends, or of sectional interests, regardless of the welfare of their country. No one doubts that there has been a great falling off from the principles of the fathers. We seem, however, to see a check to this degeneracy, in the many exertions and influences that are now put forth, in favor of virtue and religion ; and we may all acknowledge with gratitude, that the early lessons of wisdom and piety have been so far remembered, as to give us a degree of credit not enjoyed by every people.

With a name, then, comparatively pure, and with the good will of mankind generally in our favor, the world is opened to our benevolent and religious enterprises, with fair prospects of success. By this means we can gain access to every nation, where access is practicable. Our reputation gives us incomparable advantages, in spreading abroad the bible, and religion, and knowledge. Preserved with care, as it should be, it is impossible to tell the effect which, by means of it, we might not produce on the destinies of all nations.

2. The free and un fettered nature of our government, is, no doubt, favorable to the exertion of a wide moral influence, on the part of the people. Divine Providence, through wonderful interpositions in times past, has thrown us into such a condition of civil society as we now enjoy, and has thus placed a means of signal benevolent influence within our power. As it is the government of the people, it is a form in which the people, if they are so disposed, can do good with the characteristic enthusiasm of immense numbers excited by a common impulse. The govern

tion of that energy

ment being so constructed, as to express fully the popular will, is properly a concentration of the popular energy; it is a manifesta

All the qualities inherent in the nation are brought directly out. It is impossible that they should be concealed or lie dormant, so long as the springs of government contipue in motion; and if those qualities are good and desirable, they are of necessity highly efficient and operative. History shows the peculiarly vigorous and persevering action of republics, in all those enterprises that require self-denial and the sacrifice of private interests; in all efforts for the attainment of valuable objects, such as liberty, education, or moral reform. Other governments, upon the spur of honor, pride, or necessity, may make sudden and great exertions; but these exertions cannot be long sustained, upon the basis, merely, of influences operating against the wishes of their subjects. For the most prolonged and efficient operation, they demand, in the end, even that more imperfect cooperation of the people, which such governments allow. It is true, also, that the evil qualities which exist among our people, are liable to be brought out; and should this be the case, they would be marked by a lamentable efficiency: but it is the happiDess of our condition, that so long as the form of our civil administration exists, as at present, it must be controlled more or less by virtue. We are led to infer, that the mass of the people, though they may not be strictly and experimentally religious, yet possess common integrity; since it is universally conceded by political writers, with Montesquieu at their head, that virtue is the only conservative principle of governments like ours. While, therefore, the government really exists, as the majority must rule, it is a government, in a degree at least, of virtuous energy. Any Essential change in the manners of the people taking place, corruption pervading the great body of the people, the form of administration is necessarily changed. It becomes less free, for force only can control a profligate people. Our government, therefore, as it now exists, places in our hands the power of high moral achievernent. It is that power itself. It gives us eminently the means of doing good. It is that means itself. In its genuine and simple dispensation, it is but an expression of the virtue and spirit which prevail among our citizens. Our rulers may occasionally adopt improper measures, and we may thus be brought into jeopardy; but so long as the people retain their integrity, the

will be eventually redressed. We cannot, for a great length of time together, be afflicted with a vicious and unprincipled administration ; nor can our plans for the benefit of mankind be permanently obstructed, by any influences that are hostile to the will of the nation at large. On the efforts of such a people, in the cause of God and man , great dependence, therefore, may be placed. Those

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VOL. VI.

efforts will not be apt to be viewed as the contrivances of state policy, or of designing, ambitious rulers. They will be felt to be the dictates of the people, in their magnanimity, and in their beneficence. The acts of such a nation carry the conviction of good intention, and of virtue, for they are the people's acts.

This probably, is one strong reason why our example has been so often followed, or attempted, in so many instances, by other nations. There is also the same proportionate influence among the individuals of such a nation, as in the nation or government itself.

Individuals, in their attempts to do good abroad, share in the facilities which the government commands, and of course have peculiar prospects of success. We speak with the like certainty of being heard through our missionaries, and other benevolent men and women in foreign lands, as we do through our public agents and diplomatists. Our measures for the benefit of others, whether of a more national or individual character, and our example also shaped for this end, strike the popular mind of other communities; they respond to the popular will, and consequently are more likely to do good. Hence, though it cannot be expected that they should affect, directly and at once, the agents of the long established despotisms of the old world, they are producing silent changes among the people. They are secretly weakening the foundations of tyranny, aristocratic pride, and priestcraft, and preparing the way for the better influences of constitutional governments, equality of rank, and the genuine ministrations of religion. So that, if all the governments of the world are not, in time, to be reduced to one form, which is by no means sought, the same, or nearly the same principles may lie at their basis, and the rule of administration may be similar in all. The influence of those more imperfect republics of early times, Greece, and Rome, has been felt down to the present age. It has contributed to inspire in the minds of successive generations of men, under different forms of government, that inferior virtue which exists separately from the true religion. How great then might not our influence be, in possession of that religion, and with a far better balanced liberty!' It is not hazardous to say, that our influence from this source, is already considerable. May we not believe that it is destined to be much greater? Devoutly is it to be wished, that the people of this land might all understand the purpose, for which God, no doubt, ordained their happy form of government, and hence feel their obligations to achieve something worthy in the cause of the human

3. The enlightened character of our people, and the general prevalence of education among all classes, furnish a source of beneficial moral influence, which we enjoy as a nation. This is a means of influence in the great designs of benevolence, which can

race.

not be too highly estimated. It fits us, in a distinguished degree, for doing good, as a people, giving us a just comprehension of those more valuable interests, which it becomes all nations to secure. The often repeated maxim, that knowledge is power, need not be insisted on here. It is perfectly well understood. Every one has met with practical demonstrations of it, whether for good or for evil. It is more important to say, that knowledge, rightly directed, is an eminent means of usefulness. That, in general, we possess this source of moral influence, to an uncommon extent, as compared with other nations, is, under God, owing to the wisdom and foresight of our ancestors. Never was the importance, the necessity of knowledge, and of the universal prevalence of education, whether as a means of self-preservation, happiness and virtue to ourselves, or as an instrument of doing good to others, more correctly appreciated, than by the founders of this nation. The origin of the system of education now prevalent in this country, especially in New-England, is to be traced, as a late writer has happily shown, to the personal character, and civil and religious polity of its first settlers.' Their first and most cherished object, in emigrating to these shores, was their religion, the enjoyment of it in peace, and the propagation of it, as they had opportunity. The next object, and as subsidiary to it, was the education of their children. One reason which determined the puritan pilgrims upon a removal from Leyden in Holland, where they had first sought refuge from tyranny, was, in their own language, that “ the place being of great licentiousness and liberty to children, they could not educate them, nor could they give them due correction without reproof or reproach from their neighbors.” If we, their descendants, who are so much indebted to their provident care, for all that is valuable in our institutions, have departed, in any degree, from their notions of parental discipline, and may not correct our children without offense, it is possibly owing, not to greater humanity, but to the greater insubordination of the age.

It may show, that we are approaching that licentiousness from which our fathers

, in their purer feelings, fled, as frorn an intolerable evil. The relaxation of discipline is seen, in the very liberty which is taken to censure a practice, which both scripture and reason urge as indispensable in the government of children. But the degeneracy should proceed no further. It will be arrested at this spot, if We are duly mindful of the advantages which we have derived, from the early puritan notions of family subordination. The late researches into the subject of prison discipline, show, in a manner not to be doubted or controverted, the intimate connection between crime, and the neglect of the rod in childhood. In the concern merely of instructing our children in suitable branches of learning, there is much less danger of a retrograde march. It is both our

duty and interest, however, to see that the course of education, whatever it may be in other respects, is separated, as far as possible, from moral contamination. This purity, in respect to the literary training of the young, should be felt to be important, as much by the present generation, as by our fathers. By no generation can it be too highly appreciated. Among the leading reasons for the plantation of New-England, Cotton Mather mentions, and we will introduce the remark in his own phraseology, to show how the pilgrims felt on this point, previous to their emigration, that the schools of learning and religion are so corrupted as (besides the unsupportable charge of education,) most children, even the best and the wittiest, and of the fairest hopes, are perverted, corrupted, and utterly overthrown by the multitude of evil examples, and licentious behaviors in those seminaries.” But not the higher degrees, only, of intellectual culture did they seek for their children, and that as distant as possible from a moral taint; their object was universal education ; and on the general illumination of the public mind, consequent on such a system, they depended as a means, for the preservation of their liberty and religion.

On such a basis was American intelligence formed ; and it will continue as long as we carry out the principles of the fathers, in a moderately near imitation of their spirit

. In agreement with our plans of education, and the objects hitherto contemplated by it, we boast not of the most splendid individual instances of intellectual power; we have not made the necessary preparation for them; but we claim what perhaps is better, general knowledge. A competent degree of information pervades all classes of the people. This state of things will not be questioned, as presenting a peculiar means and medium of achieving much in the cause of benevolence. The influence it must give us over those whom we design to benefit, cannot be small. Preparing us as a nation, or as individuals, to be useful wherever our labors may be needed, or in whatever department of benevolent enterprise our influence may be exerted, it is likely also to impart the disposition to conser substantial benefits on the hu

Knowledge is a diffusive principle,- it loves to propagate itself. Its blessings are never hoarded, like the miser's gold ; but the more abundantly they are enjoyed, the more freely are they poured forth to bless the world. The illumination of the public mind in this country, especially in New-England, has not been an inert principle. Wherever a genuine son of the pilgrims goes, he carries his love of knowledge with him, he regularly erects the school-house by the side of the altar. In this way, the wilderness of the west, as fast as it has been cl

red by the hand of the cultivator, has presented successively those sunny spots, where science is taught, as well as where God is adored.

This enlightened state of the public mind, we trust, never can be

man race.

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