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gains over every other foreign race have gone on rapidly ever since, and it may be said that the immigrant re-enforcement of our population is now generally Teutonic. In 1850 the Irish were 43.5 per cent. of our total foreign population ; in 1860 they had fallen to 38.9 per cent.; in 1870 to 33.3 per cent. The census for 1880 has not yet reported their present per cent. age, but Mr. Walker has announced that they do not now “constitute more than 27 per cent, of the foreign population of the country;" that is to say, hardly more than one fourth. The fall from 43 per cent. to 27 per cent. is not a little significant.
It is hardly possible to overrate the importance of the race element in the founding of the nation. Our colonial fathers, in both New England and Virginia, were not only TeutonicAnglo-Saxons—but they were a select class of Anglo-Saxons. As Houghton, a New England divine, said, in 1688, “God sifted a whole nation that he might send choice grain into the wilderness.” The leading families of the Virginia colonists are well known to have been of a high English type, but they were not more so than those of New England; and the mass of the colonists of the latter were much superior to the same class in Virginia. Professor John Fisk has shown that the leaders in the East were fully equal to those of the South in their English standing and their character generally; "they were highly educated and wealthy men ;” “in point of fact, the English ancestors of the Washingtons, Randolphs, Fairfaxes, and Talbots were no higher in social position than the families of the Winthrops, Dudleys, the Eatons and. Saltonstalls. On the other hand, if we compare the mass of the settlers in Massachusetts and Connecticut with the mass of the settlers of Virginia, the advantage is altogether on the side of the Northern colonies; their people were drawn from the very sturdiest part of the English stock. In all history there has been no other instance of a colony so exclusively peopled by picked and chosen men.'
These Atlantic colonists have made the stamina of the nation. To say nothing of the millions of their descendants, who have gone westward from the Middle and Southern settlements, those of New England alone have spread out every-where and stamped the national type of character. The 21,000 Puritans who arrived in the East before the Long Parliament have become about 13,000,000; that is to say, more than one-fourth of
our present population. They have not only peopled all the Eastern States, but most of the interior of New York, and have swept thence to the Mississippi, founding the whole tier of great States along the lakes; and, at the breaking up of the somewhat regular movement of population by the gold discoveries of California, they have dispersed over all the far West, bearing with them the salutary traditions and institutions of their original home. Almost every-where they are the principal leaders of the commerce, the learned professions, the education, and the religious faith of the people.
With such a population, continually re-enforced by immigrants of the same Teutonic blood, we may hope that the future of the nation will be, as its past, safe and prosperous, though it may have struggles as in the past-struggles which, with nations as with individuals, invigorate. The native population has been the most effective force in all our national struggles. The American traveler in Europe is often amused by finding there quite a contrary impression. In Ireland he is saluted as the representative of a superlatively “illigant kentry,” which the Irish saved, in the Civil War, by their numbers and valor in battle. In Germany he is assured that his country is next in greatness to the “ Vater-land,” and is particularly dear to the latter, because immigrant Germans saved it in the conflict with the Rebellion. He accepts gratefully the indirect compliment, but takes a sly satisfaction in stating the real statistics of the war. We know an American traveler who finds it convenient to bear about with him a brief printed copy of the official statistics, and to quietly present it for perusal in such cases. It shows: American volunteers.. 1,523,267 | English.......
176,817 | Other foreign volunteers... 58,410 Irish ..... 144,221 | Drafted.
521,068 British American.....
55,332 Doubtless many of these “ American volunteers” were descendants of foreigners; but are we not all such? We may add that the official medical statistics, which are highly prized by European statisticians, show the superiority of the native American troops in height, breadth of shoulders, strength, power of endurance, and recovery in the hospitals.
There is one problem of our population which has not apparently arrested public attention, and which may seriously
affect our future. In the extinction of slavery was extinguished the most formidable peril of the Republic; but we have been too much disposed to rest satisfied with that result, and have hardly thought of another evil which it entails upon us. We have suffered severe retribution for the great sin, but are not yet through with its penalty ? Law is as vigorous in its penalties as in its precepts, otherwise it would cease to be law; and law prevails invincibly in the social and political as well as in the physical world. The sins of nations, it has been said, have their retribution in the present world, though the individual accountability for them extends into the next. If sin is the “transgression” of the law, the endurance and right use of its penalties may, in a certain sense, be its “fulfillment,” and may be salutary, especially to nations. The problem to which we now allude may give us occasion for the development of high national virtues. Optimism is the only rational philosophy here; the existence of law must be good; its invincibility must in a general sense be ultimately good, as there could be no reliable law without it; pessimism is absurd in the august presence of beneficent law; and Americans should never be pessimists.
The present problem is this: What must be the future of our African population and its results to the nation? The last census shows that it increases at a rate greater than that of the general population. It was then, in round numbers, 6,500,000, and equal to all our foreign-born population. The Paris “Bulletin” is surprised by this fact. The “ Africans, it says, “were in 1870 only 4,880,000; but in 1880 they were 6,577,151. Their rate of increase is greater than that of the whites. This is a phenomenon curious and truly new-it is the first tiine, we believe, that a fact of the kind has been witnessed in statistical geography.” An eminent historian, Professor Freeman, who has lately traveled in the United States, has. pointed to this fact as one of the gravest reasons for national anxiety. Our colored population is already much larger than the whole population at the beginning of the nation-hard on to double the latter. We must bear in mind that its superior rate of increase is without the aid of immigration, upon which the growth of the whites so much depends. If it should double, not at its own present rate of increase, but at that of the general population, say in about
every 27 years, it will be greater, within the life-time of our children, in about 70 years, than the present population of some of the important states of Europe ; greater by millions than that of France, and advancing hard up toward the present figure of our whole population, white and black. In about 81 years it will be some two millions more than our aggregate population at the last census.—but three years ago.
Here assuredly is matter for serious reflection. What are we to do with this people, who have hitherto deserved so well of the Republic? If we have made them politically our equals, still, by our conventional opinions they are socially proscribed; and, unfortunately for the problem, the chief cause of that proscription, though it be but "skin deep,” confronts us on their very brows. According to almost universal opinion the repugnance which it produces, and which prevents their blending, like all other races among us, with the common population, is founded, it is affirmed, in instinctive feeling; for, say what we please on the subject, a black rose could never be as acceptable to natural taste as a white or red one. It is an old maxim that “there is no accounting for taste;” were it true, it would not lessen the difficulty of the present problem; but the American people deny the maxim in this case; they repel“ amalgamation,” and insist that their distaste for it is founded in nature, and, therefore, can be accounted for. But are we to go on indefinitely, with (numerically) a nation, and a mighty nation, within the nation ? Can we successfully so go on? Whatever may be the political condition of this people, its social proscription cannot fail to degrade it and embarrass and degrade us. In spite of all its struggles upward, and its political and moral claims to equality, it will be kept down by such a proscription; it will become an immense caste. Can a democratic nation like ours subsist prosperously with a perpetual and ever-growing caste? Can we safely incorporate in our republican and Christian civilization the Pariah barbarism of the Hindus ?
We have our answers to these questions, but cannot present them here for lack of room. The problems we have been considering, are suggestive of not a few other urgent questions. Indisputably this nation stands before the world to-day in an attitude never heretofore seen in the history of nations. Both
our friends and our enemies abroad admonish us of that fact. We have reached a point where we must, in the interests of our children and of the human race, face some further and most momentous problems, and we should do so frankly and courageously. In a future paper we may discuss some of them.
ART. III.--RESULTS OF THE FIRST METHODIST
In this paper
I purpose to give some of the more important results of the Methodist Ecumenical Conference in City Road Chapel. And as I intend to contine myself to them, I begin by stating broadly that the Conference has already resulted in great good to universal Methodism, to the Church of Christ, and to the world, warranting the sure promise of much greater good for years to come.
to come. I ain persuaded that the gathering of Methodists in City Road Chapel was providential, as providential
fact in Methodist history, a history marked all along by special providences, ever since what Mr. Wesley called Methodism's “first rise,” in 1729, in Oxford; or its “second rise," in 1736, at Savannah, Ga.; or its “third rise,” in 1739, in London, when he organized the first Methodist societies.
The place, too, where the Conference was held was the most appropriate, and the time when the most opportune. The place was City Road Chapel, a spot as sacred to the followers of the great Methodist revivalist as Jerusalem to the followers of the Hebrew lawgiver, or Mecca to the followers of the Mohammedan prophet. It is true that the place was not in Aldersgate Street, where Wesley is said to have been converted; nor was it at the Old Foundry, Methodism's earli. est chapel. For no Methodist chapel has ever been builded on the spot where, on that memorable night in Aldersgate Street, May, 1738, Wesley's heart was so “strangely warmed,” and the Old Foundry was soon exchanged for Mr. Wesley's new chapel in City Road. City Road Chapel early became the nucleus of Wesley's labors, whence radiated those spiritual and revival influences which swept over the Three Kingdoms.
Opposite the chapel, and on the other side of the street