Page images

own country, it is taking deep root in our communityits poison already contaminates our political and religious atmosphere—it has already had its victims of blood, and blighted the fair reputation of many an individual. Its miasma has reached our ballot boxes, violated the peaceful fireside, traduced private character, invaded patriotism, induced perjury, countenanced forgery, corrupted our elective franchise, arrested the liberty of free discussion, and produced mobocracy, in its most fearful aspect, marked with sanguinary scenes and direful consequences.

If these sad effects have been realized in the springtime of its growth, how awful will be the consequences of its summer foliage, and autumnal maturity? The solution of this problem is found in crimson, and fully demonstrated in the history of nations that once were, but now are not-nations who enjoyed the sunshine of prosperity, until this demon sealed their ruin.

It is contended by many, that it is the safety of a Republic to have two political parties, that one may watch and detect the corrupt designs of the other. If this argument is sound, our country is highly favored, for we have four distinct parties, besides guerilla leaders, who plunder from each of the others. The argument would be sound, if either party would banish all demagogues from its ranks—become purely patriotic-be guided entirely by love of country, charity towards others, the fear of God, prudence, sound discretion, and rigid justice to all. As they are now constituted, for one to correct the faults of the other, would be like Satan rebuking sin. There are good traits and good men in each party, but good men are not apt to b' come party leaders, and bad riders will spoil the best of horses. Many of the prominent leaders of the present day, are much like the Kilkenny cats.

We have swarms of demagogues who are destitute of patriotism-who are regardless of the good of our country; men of seven principles—" five loaves and two fishes-men who put on the livery of heaven to accomplish base party purposes—who unite an oily tongue with a scorpion heart—an evil brain with an active, body-often sacrificing honor, integrity, and even their friends; to carry out plans, based entirely upon PARTY SPIRIT; pressing towards the end, with the force of a locomotive, regardless of the means brought in requisition.

The influence of this foul spirit has often manifested itself in our legislative halls, in the cabinet, and in the distribution of executive patronage. It is no longer an inquiry, what, but who recommends a man to office. The first and highest qualification is, to belong to the party in power—"Is he honest ? is he worthy ? is he competent ?” are old fashioned Jeffersonian questions, of secondary importance. It is with reluctance, that a man of real worth and modest merit, enters the political arena, or consents to encounter the pestiferous atmosphere of PARTY SPIRIT, now hanging, like an incubus, over our beloved country. Nor is merit a necessary qualification with the demagogue. Availableis the omnipotent word—the grand counter-sign-the magic passport to a nomination

and when nominated the candidate must be voted for, although destitute of ca pacity, moral virtue, and the requisites of a statesman. As a natural consequence, dignity, decorum, and common courtesy; are often banished from our legislative halls-scenes of confusion occur-crimination and re

crimation usurp the place of sound logic and courteous debate-reason is dethroned-common decency outraged—the business of our country neglected, or badly performed-party laws passed at one session, and repealed at the next-all the result of being enslaved by PARTY SPIRIT.

Let those who love LIBERTY and our common country, burst the fetters of party—think and act for themselves-spurn the fawning demagogue, and become FREEMEN indeed. On this course depends our safetyour final national destiny.

Party spirit is not confined to the political arena. It has raised Alpine barriers in the way of the religion of the cross-sectarian walls, behind which the skeptic, the infidel, and unbelievers, hide with impunity. All Christian creeds are professedly drawn from the same pure fountain—yet, by a kind of chemical process, each sect gives its own supply a hue to suit its own fancy, and each forms a distinct party. How awful the persecutions of párty spirit, by one set of professing Christians against another - let past history tell, and the angry clouds that are gathering in our own country— confirm.

Unless intelligence, wisdom, and prudence, check the onward career of PARTY SPIRIT, daily accumulating force in our midst, our country is doomed-our union dissolved-our LIBERTY lost-our FREEDOM gone.



This growing evil of our country, like many others, nas so far pursued its bold and onward course, presenting a bold front, pressed on by an accumulating

RELIEF has been the watchword with the benevolent; CAUSES and REMEDY, have but recently been traced and proposed, and are now arresting the attention of the public mind in this city.

Prodigality is the great first cause—the others are secondary, and minor. By prodigality, I mean, a waste of INTELLECT, TIME, and MONEY, the three great secondary causes of Pauperism. Intellect is wasted by ignorance or perversion; time is wasted by idleness; and money, by an unnecessary and criminal expenditure. Darkened or perverted intellect, gives a wrong direction to the mind, poisons it with false principles, and often diverts the body from the path of rectitude and useful employment. Idleness is the teeming hotbed of vice, from grossness, up to refinement-every avenue of which, leads to Pauperism.

Useless and criminal expenditures of money lead to the same goal, from the unnecessary smoking of a cigar, drinking alcoholic poison, patronizing hells of blacklegs, or living and dressing beyond the income; up to the extravagant outlays of the rich, who pamper pride, by making a pompous show, to attract the admiring gaze of those of the multitude, who have more fancy than brains, and more vanity than common sense; retaining an infantile taste for glittering gewgaws, as long as they live; thinking every thing gold that shines.

In the abstract, idleness is the great producer o’ pauperism—the reservoir of vice and crime.

A minor secondary cause of Pauperism, is improvidence, or a want of judgment and experience in doing business, and using money. A system of education should be introduced, to remedy this evil.

Another minor cause may be found, in the liberal provision made by the benevolent, for paupers. In many persons, this has induced idleness, and an expenditure of money for articles not indispensably requisite, knowing, that some of the benevolent institutions would provide for their wants. If we had no almshouses, Dorcas Societies, or Soup Associations; there are many who would lay up a store for winter, that now depend upon them, and even speculate from them. I remember a case in point. A woman, a beneficiary of a Soup Society, called in the afternoon of a day, for four quarts of soup. She was reminded that she had been served in the morning—"True,” said she—“but sure, haven't I taken four boarders since ?"

Another cause of increasing Pauperism is, the large number imported from Europe. Congress should prevent this. I would not dispense with eleemosynary institutions, but I would recommend a more rigid discipline. We have long been devising and adopting plans of relief, but a remedy has but recently been suggested, that seemed to promise success—that remedy is the Bible, and the religion there inculcated. It is a fact worthy of notice, that more than ninety-nine out of a hundred of the paupers in this city, are not members of Bible churches. This fact has more force, than a volume of fine-spun arguments. Virtue and industry are the necessary results of pure Bible religion. St. Paul said,

« PreviousContinue »