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exert their pernicious influence in England, Dr. Buchanan, while in India, wrote thus to his friend in England: “The truth is, we have acted too long on the defensive; let us now act on the offensive. Infidelity cannot bear to be attacked. It can annoy by stratagem, and Parthian dexterity, but it cannot show a resolute front. Keep close to the Greek originals of the Socratic and apostolic school, and you may fight a host of these lank, sickly giants, forced by the compost of this vaporing age.” Perhaps no fact more strikingly evinces the expanded views of this apostolic man, than the importance which he attached to the principles of a community, and to the influence there exerted in their formation of its educated men. Would we rejoice in the influence of truth in our land,
-it becomes us to awake to a full and adequate conviction of the extent to which false principles in metaphysical science are exerting a deadly influence among us; and to call to mind, also, the fact, that true principles sit far too loosely in the hearts of those who hold them. With the convictions which an investigation into these facts would awaken, let us attempt to apply that remedy, which will alone be effectual. Together with the most zealous and untiring efforts to advance the christian faith, let an increased attention be bestowed on the principles of our educated men. Let moral science be elevated to its true rank among the sciences ; let discussions concerning its principles be frequent, scientific, and thorough; and the consequence will be, that our intellectual and moral character will rise together, and the progress of truth will be triumphant among us, even to the end of time.
ART. V.-THE SABBATH.
It is an undeniable fact, and deeply to be deplored, as endangering all our valuable institutions, that for years past, there has been manifested throughout the whole country, a growing disregard for the christian sabbath. Previous to the last war, there was a gradual tendency towards such a change, and various causes were conspiring to produce this result; but it was then, especially, that a decisive inroad was made upon the solemnity of the day, and that its violators were upheld and emboldened by the sanction of public authority. During that contest, the most fearful progress was made in destroying the reverence for the day of God, which had been before cherished. All the signal victories, by sea or land, all the national glory then acquired by our arms, can never outweigh, or even counterbalance, the disastrous effects sustained by our morals, through the example of violations of the sabbath. It is true, that in the war of the revolution, while an
nvading enemy had possession of the country, and no option was eft to those who were struggling for their liberties and dearest ights, but to be always active, it was sometimes felt necesary to encroach upon the sabbath ; but this was ever viewed as an evil, rather to be submitted to than desired : and our fathers justly realized, that to pour needless contempt upon the day to be kept holy to God, was not the way in which to look for his blessing upon our arms or councils.
With some exceptions, however, no such peculiar circumstances or exigencies could be pleaded during the last war. were recruited, drilled, and disciplined, and marched across the country ; stores and munitions of war were prepared, or procured and forwarded; fortifications constructed; battles fought; and the Lord's day was no more privileged with exemption from toil and occupation on such occasions, than other days.
The first decisive measure which led to a more general desecration of the sabbath, was doubtless that of authorizing the transportation and opening of the mail on that holy day, upon the alledged pretense, that such a change was demanded by the public good. This was in utter disregard of feelings cherished by a large portion of the citizens of this country, and in some instances, too, in direct contrariety to the spirit of our State laws. The inevitable consequence of such a measure was, to render those laws null and void, and to destroy the force of prevailing sentiment by an appeal to private interest. All who were of lax morals, in this respect, or who had felt the sabbath to be a burden, to which they unwillingly submitted, and who longed to be freed from the restraints which religion had thrown around them, eagerly availed themselves of the opportunity thus presented. On others, too, the temptation had its power; and the facilities for sabbath travel
ing being now furnished, soon became common. To stop or retard * the mail-coach, was not merely odious, but also subjected the
person who attempted it to prosecution. The cupidity of stage-owners was excited by the increase of profit, which might be expected
passengers, on this additional day. A spirit of competition arose, and the practice of running coaches on the sabbath was not Jong confined to the carriers of the mail. Travel on the sabbath, was thus legalized, and became common in public vehicles; private carriages, too, were soon seen passing over our roads on the Lord's day; and the evil, magnified by other causes, has thus gone on increasing in a still greater ratio, till, in some parts of the country, the sabbath is hardly to be distinguished, in this respect, from
The length of the post-roads, in 1833, according to the report of the Post Master General, was 119,916 miles, and the amount of the annual transportation of the mail, 26,625,021 miles; being
an increase within the last twenty years, in post-roads, of 79,916 miles, and of the annual transportation of the mail, of more than 21,000,000 of miles. What proportion of the post-offices are required to be open on the sabbath, we cannot say, as we have no means of accurately determining. But, by the law, a daily mail runs to and from all our great commercial cities, in various directions. Of course, the number of persons who are thus under the necessity of violating the sabbath, while in the employment of the public, must be great. The proportion of mail-carriage by stages, etc. to that by horseback and other modes of conveyance, has greatly increased. Mail-carriages do not often go empty; and the fact, that the mail is so largely transported in stages, steam-boats, etc., would seen to show, that such modes of conveyance are preferred by the contractors, on account of their profits from passengers, and by the government, also, for their greater security.
A second cause, operating in connection with the former, to increase the evils of sabbath violation, is, the multiplied facilities of all kinds, for business and pleasure, every where to be found. It is since the period mentioned, as the one in which the first inroads were made upon the sanctity of the sabbath, that steamboats, and canal navigation, and rail-road traveling, have come into use. Communications are thus opened between every part of our wide-spread country; and numerous canals and rail-roads intersect each other, affording unbounded, and before unknown, facilities for travel and business. We are unable to speak with any certainty, as to what is the precise amount of violations of the sabbath, in these various ways, but it is already immense, and continually increasing. Not a sabbath dawns upon us, bringing its blessings of holy rest and grateful worship, without seeing thousands traversing our land, intent upon their varied schemes of business or pleasure. Some idea may be formed of the vast number of passengers on our great thoroughfares, from the fact, that, according to the Report of the Baltimore and Ohio Rail-Road Company, in 1833, not less than 94,844 passengers passed over it in one season. Since then, the number is probably much greater. In addition to this, too, immense quantities of merchandise are transported on our numerous canals, filled with boats wbich make no stay for the sabbath. On the Erie canal alone, between three and four thousand boats are constantly employed in transporting goods and passengers. The carriage of goods, by land and water, in consequence of the increase of our manufactures of every kind, is very great. Seybert, in his statistical annals, computes the value of our various manufactures, at the time in which he wrote, (1818) at $198,000,000. In Niles' Register of 1833, we find an estimate of the same for that year, of not less than $350,000,000. In different parts of our country, business of almost every kind, is
carried on upon the sabbath ; and could we take the gauge of wickedness thus evinced by this prosperous and heaven-daring naLion, it would appal every friend of his country, and make us wonder, that long ere this, the arm of Jehovah had not been bared in wrath, and that the vials of heaven's indignation had not been poured out upon us to the utmost, for our disregard of its institutions and laws.
As a third cause, the operation of which is felt in producing the evil now under consideration, we may mention foreign emigration. From an official statement it appears, that from the year 1825 up to July 1834, 1,192,258 emigrants arrived at Quebec ; a large proportion of whom, doubtless, found their way into the United States. In two years, (1832 and 1833,) not less than 90,341 emigrants are said 10 have landed at the single port of New-York. Probably in the other parts of the United States, during the same period, there were as many more. So that for the last fifteen years, at the lowest calculation, there cannot have been less than 100,000 emigrants a year poured into our country, besides those which come by the Canadas; and thus by foreign emigration alone, there has been added to our population for the last twenty years, not less than one and a half or two millions of persons. It will be recollected, that such a period as is now taken will carry us back to the close of the great wars of Europe ; and that recently, also, the British government has adopted the plan of ridding themselves of their surplus population, even down to the lowest paupers, by transporting them to our shores. We are thus threatened with an influx of corruption and ignorance, which is truly alarming. While we readily admit, that a portion of those who come from other countries to take up their abode with us, are of respectable character, yet we are compelled to believe, that by far the larger part are exercising à most pernicious influence on our public morals. Most of these persons are from countries where the sabbath is much less observed than it is with us. a day of labor, it is at least a day of recreation and amusement. They have not been accustomed to acknowledge it at home, and they have no idea of doing so here. Here, then, is a most tremendous power in foreign emigration, setting against the institution of the sabbath. With habits already prepared for irreligious action,-every restraint cast aside, -thrown upon our shores unknown, and often unbefriended, they are too often abandoned to every vice ; whilst no sabbath is acknowledged, and no moral obligation is felt. Infidelity, sabbath-breaking, profaneness, and intemperance, go hand in hand. God is contemned, his day despised, his laws broken, bis solemn claims unheard and unheeded.
A fourth influence, which has combined with those above mentioned, in causing a deterioration of moral feeling with re
spect to the sabbath, is, the unfavorable circumstances produced by removals from the Atlantic to the western states. The early settlements at the west were sparse, and, to a great extent, unblessed with schools, and the various means of grace enjoyed in other portions of our country. The consequence was almost inevitable, that, where no religious worship was known, the sabbath gradually faded away from the minds of those who had been early accustomed to it. In many instances, gladly availing themselves of such a plea, they ceased to distinguish the Lord's day from any other; and their descendants have grown up without an acknowledgment of such an institution. The day is with them devoted to sport and recreation. On a large portion, therefore, the sabbath is felt to have no claims, and no compunctions of conscience attend upon its constant violation. We might mention here, too, the pernicious influence of slavery in this respect, and the almost universal ignorance of the sabbath, which prevails among that unhappy class of our fellow-men, who wear the galling yoke of bondage. The sabbath is to them, not as it was designed to be, a day of instruction and worship, but either a day of sport, or a day when they are permitted perhaps to work for themselves, in securing the little property which they are allowed to possess.
Without detaining our readers by the mention of still other influences, which have assisted in producing or bastening the present state of things, so manifestly unfavorable to the sanctification of the sabbath, we wish to turn their attention, lastly, to the direct hostility against this institution, which forms a part of that systematic and extensive effort now making, to corrupt and destroy the morals of this nation. It must be apparent to all, who have bestowed even the slightest observation upon the state of our country, that there is such an organized and deep-laid plan. There is a large class of persons among us, who are avowedly aiming at the destruction of the christian religion, and who will leave no means untried, to accomplish their purposes. Infidel tracts, and larger volumes,-licentious publications, pictures and devices of the grossest kind, haunts of sin and pollution,—the means of gratifying the most corrupt passions, are part of the dreadful machinery which is thus set in operation. A leading object of this class of persons, is the utter desecration of the christian sabbath. Hence a loud outery has been unceasingly heard from them against this institution; and they have hailed, with no equivocal delight, every indication of listlessness or decline of moral feeling on this subject. We repeat it, systematic and strenuous efforts have been and are still making, to bring the sabbath every where into disrepute ; and this is a part of that dreadful machinery of evil, which is set in operation to break down the safe-guards of virtue, and poison every source of public or private enjoyment,—to debauch our youth, and