He that will consecrate himself to christian principle and moral right, and against expediency and selfishness, must set aside all idea of obtaining a good name among worldly and selfish men, and expect to be shorn of what reputation he may have already gained.
“Do unto others, as ye would that they should do to you.” is a general precept, given to us by our great Teacher, as a rule and guide of action, towards all mankind. The Savior gave this for practice; he well knew what course of conduct would insure the greatest amount of happiness to his creatures. And why has the world so long neglected to accept of this great lesson fraught with so many blessings if practice. Where do we find a nation acting from this principle, toward other nations? Where do we find any political body, sect, or community that have for their aim the accomplishment of this maxim? They not only neglect to make it the “chief corner stone,” the foundation of all their proceedings; but it is left out of sight altogether; and hence arise all the evils in society: yes! misery, in all her forms. What but the neglect of this great principle, has brought into the world all this confusion, this disorder, this isolated state of interest, between man and man; all this monopoly and competition in business? And think you if all had “done unto others, as they would that they should do to them,” if every man had “loved his neighbor as himself,” that slavery would ever have existed, or oppression in any form. It could not have been. And when will the world learn that humanity and Christianity are twin sisters? you! more than this – that they are inseparable.
This is the title of a long and interesting account in last Thursday’s Traveller of the worsted spinning establishment of Messes, Wood & Walker, in Bradford, England. The firm has reduced the hours of labor, provided for the comfort of their operatives, established a school on the premises, &c. &c. Though they do not seem to have made more than an approach to the improvements introduced by Robert Owen, at New Lanark many years ago. We welcome with pleasure any such evidence of conscience on the part of factory owners. How is it in this country? Are the Factories at Lowell conducted on christian principles?
Yes, friend Chronotype, if the working of operatives from six o’clock in the morning until half-past seven at night, and only half an hour allowed to them to swallow their food, each meal; and four months in the year, not coming out of the mills but once from the time they gain at early dawn, until work is finished at night - if being confined this length of time in a close room, inhaling bad air and cotton dust into their lungs - four and six individuals being obliged to sleep in an illy ventilated room - doing necessary work on the Sabbath, and on refusing so to do, discharged from employment - preventing them from getting work at other places, in consequence of not working a certain length of time, and thereby gaining (what is called) regular discharge - if digging teaming, blasting rocks, pulling down and building up on the seventh day, without regard to the physical, social, moral or intellectual well-being of either man or woman, and a continued round of work, until outraged nature, cries, “hold enough,” is christian, then are the factories at Lowell, conducted on the most approved christian principles.
But if on the contrary the reverse of this be christian, we must confess there is a large field in which the good benevolent and christian philanthropist can labor; and if successful “great will be there reward.” But come up and examine for yourself, and we have not the least doubt but you will come to the conclusion that the factory system as practiced in Lowell is not right.
Christmas, with its decorations, its festivities and its time-hallowed associations, is with us again. There is feasting and music and dancing in the mansions of the rich. There are merry gatherings in the brilliantly lighted and superbly decorated saloons of Beacon Street. Wealth, liberal culture, high social position, are the lot of those who make up these brilliant circles.
In the miserable garrets and cellars – the miscalled homes of the degraded and poverty stricken, there is actual suffering for the want of food and fuel. There are children crying in vain for bread, and mothers shivering over cold hearth stones in this opulent city. There are hundreds and thousands in this boasted metropolis of learning and refinement, without intellectual culture and without social advantages.
When the Christ comes again and finds embodiment in a true Society, the nations will celebrate a better Christmas, and these frightful contrasts of light and shade will not meet our eyes, but pleasant homes, wealth, education, refinement, shall be the lot of all.
Many professing to be governed by a spirit of toleration and Christianity, improve every suitable occasion in trying to make out that those who advocate social reform by brining about equitable relations between man and man - the individual and society - capital and labor - are infidels. They profess to belief in the Bible, and have been sanctified by its truth, and spirit, and to pray daily that the “kingdom of God may come, and God’s will be done on earth as it is done in heaven,” - yet stigmatize those who believe in the practicability of this heaven-taught prayer as infidels. They seem to think religion consists more in going to meeting on the Sabbath and giving in their adherence to established creeds and forms of worship, than in obeying the “weightier matters of the law, faith, justice and mercy.” It seems to be part of their religious belief, that if they take good care of themselves and families, they need have but very little concern for the welfare of others - they are not their “brother’s keeper.” -
Of all the departments of knowledge to which the human mind can be directed there is none of greater importance than that which exhibits the real character and condition of man as a moral agent; his relation to the Deity; his eternal destiny; the way in which he may be delivered from the effects of evil and the worship and service he owes to this Almighty Creator. On these and kindred topics the word of God (which we call bible) affords the most clear and satisfactory information and the details which it furnishes on these subjects are of the highest moment and deeply interesting to every inhabitant on the globe. It teaches us that man is a being destined for eternal progression. That the present world, through which he is travelling, is only a transitory scene, introductory to a future and immortal state of existence. That the Bible is a revelation from God to man, and that its truths are to be believed and its precepts practiced by all to whom they are addressed, is beyond a doubt to any rational individual. Yet there are some of our race who claim to be intelligent and sound minded, who even venture to take the heaven-daring position of comparing the word of God to an idle tale of cunningly devised fable.
This fact is painfully evident by the remarks we too often hear. The man of “hosry head” is sometimes left to totter on the brink of the grave with a mind darkened by unbelief.
If we doubt the authority of the Bible, where shall we turn for truth? Where on life’s ocean shall be the weary mariner anchor his fail bark? Take away from us the “lamp of life” and this world would be dreary waste. To the hallowed influence of this blessed book we owe all that is delightful or pleasant. Let us prize the Bible then as the best of books. It will light our pathway through life, and when we shall have done with the things of time and sense, it will strengthen us as we pass through “the valley and shadow of death.”
If some pestilence were now raging on our South Western border, moving down a hundred or two human beings per day, and threatening to overspread the land, what profession of players, and fastings, and deprecations of God’s wrathful justice, would be heard from all our ten thousand churches! If news had but arrived that the inhabitants of the valley of the Rio Grande, no matter on which bank residing, were pinning and dying for food what thrilling appears would be made to Christian benevolence through all our newspapers! what meetings would be held to raise supplies of corn and cattle for our suffering, dying fellow men!
Yet now, when we hear of hundreds after hundreds recklessly slaughtered there – dying in agony and scorching thirst, their life blood oozing gradually away into the burning sands, and their bodies tumbling hurriedly into holes like carrion, mobs assemble to shout and dance over the glorious’ tidings; and every ear is strained for more bulletins of butchery. We hear that the Mexican Army is starving, after being subsisted for days on barley corn and salt, in a region where fresh water is often a rarity, and we think not or care not that when an army begins to starve the People must have starved already, and our patriots hurrah ‘That’s right! Give it to ‘em! Block up the mouth of the Rio Grande! Let them have nothing to eat! Humble them! Chastise them! Cut them down!’
Such is War – such the devilish spirit which creates and is cherished by it. And what is our Christianity; what is the Church (in which term we include all organized societies of Christians) doing to arrest this complication of crimes and horrors?
—New York Tribune
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