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have thought, and they appear to all malice, our schools must go into fancy that when the Christian sects the language, one of another, asking are strung together thus, like bells what makes it true to the school without a tongue, they will ring the maintaining it, and thus we must world a concert by their external proceed till all our antagonisms are impact. Doubtless it is well, if they sifted, and every school has gotten only meet to pray together, and to itself the riches of all. Or, beiler blend their hearts in communion still, admitting each that our wisdom before God. It is in itself a beauti. is not perfect, that the truth we hold ful sight, and quite as beautiful in is only partial truth, we are to cher. what it indicates—the fact that now, ish the want of something more per. at last, a comprehensive brotherhood fect. And then, ceasing to insist in Christ has become a want. That that others shall receive and justify want is above all things 10 be nour. us, we are to ask what have they ished. And being nourished, how which is a want in us? What views shall it be guided 10 the atiainment of theirs, qualifying ours, would renof its object ? Not by selecting der them more valuable to us? what from the contents of our sects, and contribution, accepted of them, would building up a union in diminished make us more complete in the rich. quantities of conviction. Every bell es of the Gospel ? Thus let Calvin. must have a tongue and a voice of ism take in Arminianism, Armini. its own. What we need is enlarged anism Calvinism; let decrees take in quantities of conviction, fullness of contingency,. contingency decrees; truth, not a compact based on half faith take in works, and works faith ; the quantity possessed by us now. the old take in the new, the new the We must take up the conviction that old—not doubting that we shall be we do not all together contain more as much wiser as we are inore com. than the truih, and the endeavor prehensive, as much closer 10 unity must be to end our strises by such a as we have more of ihe truih. For kind of enlargement as will com. then, as all are seen embracing and prehend all our antagonisms, and comprehending all, we shall find bring us into the essential unity of that we are one, not by virtue of any truth itself. We must have it as a concert or agreement, but as the seliled conviction that in almost necessary consequence of our comevery form of Christian opinion pleteness in the truth. To be strung earnestly maintained, even those iogether in outward alliances will which are ofien regarded as pure now be a vain thing; for all Chris. error, there is yet some element of tian souls will ring in peals of har. truth, something which makes it true mony, as a chime that is voiced by 10 ils disciples. Then, laying aside the truth.
POST OFFICE REFORM.
Five years ago, be the sub- Two years later, the conviction ject of a reform in our post-office had become well nigh universal in syslem had excited public interest, the norihern states, that the postage we discussed the question at length system of this country was essenin the first Article of this work, and tially defective and needed reform. gave some account of the new sys. Even the officials in Congress and tem which has been so successful in the general post office, had become Great Britain.
convinced by the success of the ex. presses and the independent mails, When the bill came to the other that the old system could not be car. house, it was so violently opposed, ried on much longer, and that at that there was at one time hardly a least a considerable reduction of the hope of its being passed at all. One rate of letter postage had become of the chief objections to it, was indispensable. All the devices of that it would break up nearly every governmental oppression had been stage route at the South, because resoried to, with as much pertinacity stage.coaches there are only kept up as if ours were an arbitrary and not by the exorbitant sums ihey receive a popular government, to maintain for carrying small mails that might the postage monopoly in the hands better be carried on horseback. At of the general post-office, and to length, however, it was literally prevent the people from getting forced through the house, chiefly by iheir letters carried by private en- the bold and determined spirit of terprise at the rate which free com- George Rathbun, of New York ; petition would show it to be worth. but not until a tool named M'Dow. But power was baffled, and at length ell, of Ohio, had adroilly slipped in it became plain to all that conces- an amendment, imposing double sion must come. This concession, postage on all letters carried over however, of cheaper postage, was ihree hundred miles. This bill, thus made with the worst possible grace, damaged, reduced the average raie and with every possible shift and of postage from fifteen cents to sev. contrivance to diminish its value 10 en and a half, and established the the people, and to secure, if possi- capital principle of charging postage ble, the ill success of the reform. by weight, and not by the number
The new bill was first introduced of pieces of paper a letter may cominto the Senate, by the chairman of prise. This was, indeed, a great the committee on the post office, step towards simplification; although Mr. Merrick, of Maryland, and was the bill contained many provisions avowedly aimed chiefly to crush the that were vexatious and trouble. private mails—the relief of the peo- some both to the people and to ple being entirely a secondary mat- the department. All the complica. ter. There was one senator alone, tion of machinery was preserved, who seemed to enter into the true with additions involving both exspirit of the reform-Mr. Simmons, pense and perplexity. Probably of Rhode Island, unforlunately no few acts have ever been passed by longer a public man. Mr. Niles, of Congress, including so many inconConnecticut, was strongly in favor gruities and absurdities. Stillit was of it, and by his experience as a for- a relief. mer Postmaster General, was ena- But, as if to defeat if possible the bled to render essential service in hopes of the people, the new ad. effecting some valuable changes in ministration, then just coming in, the transportation of the mails; but consigned the management of the the state of his health disabled him post office to one of the most per. from taking the lead. After much tinacious opponents of the reducdebate, in which the chief display tion,-a man who had spared no was of the little pains our legislators pains to defeat it, and who had bold. take to make themselves acquainted ly predicted iis failure. And in his with facts and principles on a new first report to Congress, after a trial subject, the bill was carried in the of only one quarter of a year, he Senate, establishing a uniform rate did his best to restore several of the of letter postage, at five cents per worst features of the old system, half ounce, irrespective of dis- under the pretext that the new sys. tance.
tem had already failed. Fortunate. ly, the condition of Congress ren- system is not adapted to our use, has ders it almost as difficult to repeal a been taken up without a due examgood law, as it was to pass it; and ination of the subject. There are hence our reduced postage has re- very few persons who are aware of mained untouched, although it must the high scientific character of that be admitted that all the legislation system. It is founded on principles since has been to increase the bur. which were deduced by as patient den of postage. At length, howev. study and as scientific induction as er, the increase of correspondence the use of steam or the magnetic has been such, by the end of the telegraph. As a mere study, this second year, as almost to restore the system of postage may challenge former income of the department attention. As a means for the adfrom letter postage, and we are vancement of trade, of science, of surprised that the Postmaster Gen- morals, of civilization, of freedom, eral himself is not already a con- of social happiness in every condivert to cheap postage, and desi- tion of life, it may justly be regarded rous of securing to his administra- as one of the great wonders and tion the glory of a still farther re. great glories of the age. duction.
A single circumstance will show But do as he may, it is evident the cogency of the proofs by which that cheap postage has stood the test the new system must have been in this country, so far, under the sustained. The British government awkward experiment made, as to re. lies under a debt of more than eight move all apprehension of a return to hundred millions of pounds sterling, the old and barbarous system. And and is constantly put to shifts to atthere are many indications of a de- tain a sufficient revenue to keep sire among the people for further down the interest. improvement. Under these circum- 1837, the net revenue derived from stances, it is quite important 10 elu- postage was £1,646,554; and in cidate the principles on which such 1838 it was £1,656,993. The first a reform should be based, to learn year of the new system, it was only the rules by which it should be gov- £447,664 ; a loss to the government erned. And bere we have a mine of £1,209,329. Arguments of great of research opened to us in the inves. power must have been presented, tigations which preceded and the re- before the Government would aban. sults which have followed the British don a million and a quarter of revsystem of postage. We know that enue for the advancement of an oban impression has been taken up, ject hitherto so little thought of as that Rowland Hill's, or the British cheap postage. system, is not adapted to this coun- Mr. Rowland Hill, a gentleman try. But we shall show on an ex- destitute of all the advantages of soamination of the principles and re- cial position, literary fame, or offi. sults of that system, that it is even cial station, proposed his system 10 more appropriate to the circum- the public in an unpretending pamstances of our own country than of phlet, in the year 1837. At that Great Britain, and that its adoption time he says he had never been here could not fail of producing still within the walls of the post-office. more wonderful results.
The scheme rested solely on its mere The impression that the British its. Without any of the aids which,
In the year
* Although many of the facts relating office question in this country. Presented to the British post-office system, pow by a new writer, at a time of intense pubgiven, may be found in our first article, lic interest on the subject, it is to be hoped yet the repetition of them seems to be de. they will command more attention, and manded by the present state of the post- produce the desired effect. Vol. VI.
IS20 123 130 1833
273,477 362,631 418,598
in that country particularly, are This is without making any allowsupposed to be necessary to make ance for the increasing intelligence a thing “go,” his proofs and argu- and prosperity of the people, and ments excited so much attention shows that the revenue fell short that before the end of 1838, a Par. 2507,700 of what it ought to have liamentary Committee was raised to become by the mere increase of give the proposition a thorough ex. population. As a measure of the amination. The fruits of that ex. general prosperity, he then takes the amination fill three folio volumes of tax on stage.coaches, and shows by Parliamentary Documents, made up its continued increase, what ought of official statements, elaborate cal to have been the increase of postculations, and the recorded testimo- age, on the assumption, which is ny of a great number of witnesses. fully borne out hy other facts, that So complete was the proof in favor the demand for the conveyance of of the new scheme, that it was letters would naturally increase at adopted by the administration then least equally with the demand for in power, carried through Parlia. the conveyance of
persons. ment, and the necessary prepara. tions made for the new system to go
Net duty Net post. Doe rev. into operation at the beginning of
proportion 1840. So great a change of govern
1815 £217,671 £1,557 291 £1,557,291
1,940,000 £466,453 mental policy, effected by means so inadequate, and in the face of diffi.
498,4971 1,510,300 3,550,000 2,009,700 culties so formidable, can hardly be found in the annals of deliberative Thus, while the net revenue from legislation.
the stage-coaches had increased 128 Mr. Hill's attention was originally per cent. in 20 years, the postage drawn to the defects of the old sys. revenue, which ought naturally to tem of postage, by the remarkable keep pace with it, had not increased fact that for twenty years, com- at all. Hence the inference that mencing with 1815, there had been the post-office lost two millions per no increase of revenue from the annum, by its defective system as a post-office. It was deemed an im- source of revenue-hat is, from its portant branch of the revenue ; it excessive rates of taxation, opera. might reasonably be expected to in- ting as a prohibition of correspond. crease with the growth of the coun- ence, or driving that correspondence try in population, trade, wealth, io. into private or illicit channels. telligence, and general prosperity. Mr. Hill expressed his belief tha But instead of this, the revenue a reduction of the postage 40 or 50 had remained stationary. It was per cent. would more than keep up £1,557,291 in 1815; and it was but the revenue to its actual height. £1,540,300 in 1835. Mr. Hill con- He also stated as his opinion that structed the following table, com- " there is a reduced rate of postage paring the growth of population with which would give the greater reve. the post-office revenue, showing enue named above," that is, three what the latter would have been and a half millions-not that the had it kept pace with the former, revenue would rise at once on the and how much was lost by its fail. reduction of the postage, but after ure so to do.
some time it would advance to that
amount. Year) Popula. Net post- jdue rev. by
And he refers to many age rev. population
well known cases, where reduced 1815 19,552,000 £1,567,291 £1,557,291
1,677.000 £194,553 duties have produced an increase of
1,670,219 1,789,000 118,781 1830 23,961,004) 1,517,932 1,917,000 399,048
revenue. But it will be seen that 1836 25.605,000 1,540,300 2,048,000 507,700 eventually, this consideration of in.
182020,925.000 1825 22,362,000
creasing the revenue of the post-of- the post-office; there is hardly a fice, as a primary element to be re- carriage of any kind which runs garded, was laid entirely out of view, along any of the roads, that does not and the adoption of the plan, as well carry a great many ; every parcel as its details, were settled entirely almost has letters inclosed ; steam. on other considerations than that of boats carry them; the carriers who an increase of revenue, or even of go from one town to another, take keeping it up to its actual rate. This enormous numbers of letters ; in. point is deserving of special notice, deed, to evade postage, erery possias a key to the whole of the subse. ble expedient is resorted to." quent developments.
The evidence accumulated by the In pursuing investigations on the committee in support and illustration subject, a practical difficulty was of these positions is overwhelming, disclosed, which, if other considera- and brought all classes of statesmen tions had not prevailed, must inter to the full conviction that even the fere very seriously with any plans British government, with its compact for the increase of the postage rev. population, its parliamentary omenue. It is this—that the same nipotence, its omnipresent police, multiplication of conveyances and was utterly unable to suppress or facilities for travel, railroads, steam- control the contraband letter-carboats, &c., which would create an in- riage. The facilities were so enorcrease of correspondence, increases mous, the act itself so easy and natin a still greater degree the oppor. ural, so easily concealed, and so imtunities for evading any thing like a possible to be detected, except by revenue postage, by the facilities a scrutiny which the government both of practicing and concealing could not afford to maintain, and the transmission of letters by other which the people never would subchannels than the mail.
mit to, that it was idle to attempt The penalty for carrying letters coercing the subjection of the corotherwise than by mail was five respondence of ihe country to the pounds. And yet it was demon- control of the post-office. The evil strated to the Committee, that the would necessarily increase as corcontraband conveyance of letters in respondence increased, and as the many parts of the kingdom was six, utter impotence of the government ten, and even twenty fold greater in the matter became more palpable than the mail conveyance.
Mr. to all men. All these conclusions Hill says, in his evidence, that are fully applicable to the United " owing to the increase of popula- States. There is no remedy but in tion in the last twenty years, and to a radical change of system, which the increase of trade, and the gen- we fortunately have, tried to our eral prosperity of the country, and hand. still more perhaps to the extension The moral and commercial evils of education, the number of letters of a high rate of postage are admi. annually written must have increased rably summed up in the following very greatly ; but the number of let- resolution of the Parliamentary Comters passed through the post office mittee. There can be no question has not increased at all.” He in that all the same evils exist to an exformed the committee that " it is a tent nearly equal, in this country, notorious fact, that all classes of so- from the same cause. It was to reciery, from the highest to the lowest, move these evils that the govern. excepting those only who are ex. ment of Great Britain, in its pa. empted from postage by parliamen- rental care for the welfare of its tary or official privilege, frequently subjects, adopted the system of unisend letters otherwise than through form and cheap postage, and mag.