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fail to add exultation to it in the triumph which humanity, under his guidance, was finally to accomplish over all its degrading conditions. He "saw Satan as lightning fall from heaven," when the Greeks came to inquire into his gospel. How literally pierced with lightning is the enemy of souls, when DISTANCE, that scatters men abroad and makes them faint on the long way, transfixed on the darting thought of the lightning, dies in mid-heaven and falls headlong into the sea! How long is superstition to make it irreligious to recognize the fulfilment of any of our Lord's promises, the answers to any of his prayers? Is the world's progress never to be confessed; and is a mock humility to drape the very mid-day of hope, and cheer with curtains of despondency, lest it outshine the Christian dawn? The stones would cry out if we were silent, when the very key-stone has so evidently been put into the arch of Christ's triumph over the barbarism and want and dispersion of his scattered flock of humanity. Be it said, then, to his eternal honor and to God's everlasting glory, that the day has come when we can look upon the multitude with something better than compassion,even with confidence and joy. And this, if we mistake not, is the great distinction, as it is the glorious conquest of the times and the day, to which the recent triumph of enterprise and art, the Atlantic Cable, so naturally and properly sung, feted and illumined, is but a tongue and voice. That slender thread of fire explodes a mine of emotion, conviction, and experience that had been slowly but long accumulating in the bosom of our age. That delicate cord moors nations together that were drifting to each other in spite of seas and icebergs. That swift messenger, dark and silent as night, but keener and subtler than light, carries words of brotherhood, long waiting for their vehicle; that syphon, so slender and so patient, empties hearts into each other whose blood had for ages yearned to mingle. God in his providence, by making us the last-born of the great nations and powers of the earth, and giving us half the world for our home; by emptying the blood of all nations into our national veins; by diversifying us with all climates, without colonial
separation, and by the vastness of all the circumstances and conditions of our territory, our origin, our growth and history, as well as by the happy fortune of the splendid age of commerce, liberty, and inventive genius in which our lines have fallen has prepared us, as no people is prepared, to demand, to expect, to understand, and to enjoy universal ideas, -feelings that embrace the world, schemes that include the race, hopes that outrun place and time, destinies that are perfect and complete.
We look upon the multitude-blessed be God's providence and Christ's gospel for our power to do so!—no longer with fear, and not even characteristically, in this land, with compassion, but with sympathy and hope, and almost with reverence. For we see them no longer faint, and no longer scattered abroad; and every day we are, by economic science and motive art, eliminating the unknown or suspended elements in the great equation of human progress. That vast problem is no more a bottomless mystery and a baffling speculation. The obstacles which oppose the advance of the race, immense as they are, are measurable; dense as they are, are penetrable. There is nothing hopeless or desperate in human affairs. Progress is possible, is real, is certain, is inevitable. The relative forces of good and evil, of peace and war, of truth and error, of civilization and barbarity, of brotherly love and selfish antagonism, are weighed, and the balance is favorable for once, and therefore for ever, to the kingdom of God in the salvation of our race. The multitude is accordingly to be trusted and respected. We thank God that we are able, and are compelled by the highest convictions of the heart, to trust and respect them. Nay, in this country, we trust and respect them far more than we do those who make them objects of secret suspicion, and who would gladly reproduce the repressive systems of aristocratic governments. The cultivated and refined classes in America understand less of the true spirit of our institutions, and do far less to maintain them, we fear, than the body of the people at large. Sensitive to defects, fastidious in tastes, overborne by memories of the past, they overlook
the enormous advantages, the broad magnificence, the grand general effect of institutions where human nature, for the first time, is trusted with liberty, education, and plenty, and cultivate the poor satisfactions of a superiority based on criticism, doubt, and evil prophecies. A distinguished and most acute English visitor to this country told us, just before the war, that he had scarcely talked with an educated and thoughtful man in America who had not expressed doubts and fears of the success of our institutions. Thank God, the people have no doubts and no fears. Thank God, those who make and uphold our liberty, love it, trust it, and estimate it at its value, believe in its durableness. They have no misgivings of God's clear intention; no backward looks, no cautious apprehensions. And they are right; wiser, because simpler and more childlike, in their patriotism. They are animated by the fresh instincts, the original convictions, the startling realities, of a new era. And thus, while learned science, and thoughtful philosophy, and even grave experience, shake their heads and mutter, "Impossible," the mighty hope of the people, sure of God's willingness and help, attempts the impossible, and changes it into the accomplished. "I thank thee, O Father! that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes."
The great popular instincts of a new era in the life of man are the vast powers, the mighty discoveries, the wonderworkers, of the age. The multitude is doing for Christ the miracles he did for them. They, too, say "Peace" to the sea in his name; they, too, are in and out, where all doors are shut; they, too, repeat the Pentecostal marvel, and bring all tongues together, and make them alike intelligible to all. Like Joshua, they stop the sun, not to fight their battles, but to paint their pictures and perpetuate their friends. "Canst thou send lightnings that they may go and say unto thee, Here we are?" asked the scornful Job; and the multitude now first is able to answer, "We can." "Hast thou entered into the springs of the sea, or hast thou walked in the search of the depth?" and the multitude now first replies, "We have."—"Who hath laid the measures of the earth, or
who hath stretched the line upon it?" and the multitude again answers, "Glory be to God who has first given such power to men, in our own days."
The great and all-emboldening confidence of our time is, that the multitude-historically and naturally incapable of estimating human nature as it is, or suspecting their own latent powers, and therefore absolutely dependent on the delivering mercy and energy of the providentially awakened and inspired portion of the race- has now got beyond this syncope and self-oblivion, beyond its dependence on any powers but God's direct inspirations through that same human nature, aided by all recorded revelations, which, to this time, he has kept in pupilage to indirect human instrumentalities. The multitude now elects its own teachers, judges of its own wants, chooses its own creed, rejects and accepts, on its own judgment, the propositions of the learned, the philosophical, and the exalted. Of course, it makes great mistakes, does very rash and injurious things, and gives skepticism and aristocracy abundant superficial arguments for their despairing creed. But what are all the mistakes it makes, compared with the astounding fact of an attempted self-government, an attempted self-education, an attempted self-reliance, on the part of the people? When, in 1858, we heard that a single sign had flashed across the Atlantic, what cared we for the stuttering and stammering of the instruments? The great thing was done; the miracle was wrought: and, had the cable parted the next moment instead of a month later, the bemispheres would not have moved an inch from the close moorings effected by that single fact. And so no wretched local rulers, no inefficient police, no insecurity of life and limb, no mistaken outbreaks of self-protection, no exceptional blots and blotches in the fabric of our prosperous, safe, and successful life of freedom, shall introduce one ray of despondency or doubt into the patriotic conviction, that-measured by positive, not by negative standards; measured by the sum of intellectual, moral, and physical activity; by the amount of happiness, intelligence, and virtue; by openness to improvement, by tendencies to truth, by humane sympathies, by religious aspi
rations- the multitudes were never, in human history, so little an object of compassion, so much an object of hope, confidence, and joy, as here and now.
If our hearts swell with pride and gratitude at the contemplation of this truth, let us not conceal, let us not fail to blazon the fact, that it is God's power manifested in man that has brought about this result; let us not forget how entirely it is the Divine wisdom that has planned the great drama of human history, and which is now permitting us to see the beauty and benevolence of the plot, and the bliss of the consummation. Let us not forget that, because it is God who is working in us to will and to do of his good pleasure, it is all the more our bounden and grateful duty to work with him, to work indeed with a new kind of fear and trembling because of the greatness of the inspiration and the enormous importance of the task; to work, in short, as the high-hearted projector, the original supporters, the scientific operators, the officers and sailors, of the Atlantic Telegraph Company worked, when, after repeated failures and terrible difficulties, they at last laid in silence and amid prayers, but with herculean toil and almost deadly anxieties, God's bond between the nations, God's bow under the sea; not dissolving and inconstant like the first which was over it, but a steadfast sign from heaven to our generation, that no deluge of ignorance, barbarism, and despair shall ever again cover the hopes, the interests, and the destiny of a United Globe and an inseparable Human Family.
ART. VII. ALLEGED NARROWNESS OF CHRISTIAN
It is important to understand, and frankly meet, a modern frame of mind which makes the gospel of Christ, and all distinct profession of it, distasteful to some enlightened and religiously inclined persons. This frame of mind utters