« 이전계속 »
look up to that serene sky, must not look up to those far-off stars; their life must be submission and despondency, not aspiration.
What wonder then that every white-winged vessel which leaves the Old World bears its band of emigrants and exiles, looking forward toward the promises of the West; toward the hopes and promises of that beautiful clime which they dream of far away beneath the vanishing glory of the sunset-looking forward to a new home to a freer land—to a brighter sky. And when the long voyage ends at eventide,—when at sunset, the stately ship furls its white sails in our fair harbor, they see before them in the western sky the golden gates of their new world, the golden gates of the new El Dorado—not the fabulous clime of rivers flowing over golden sands which tempted avarice in earlier days, but the true El Dorado of men -a land where the soil is free-where the laws are equalwhere the sunshine of liberty and of learning glows for all, blesses all. The emigrants of to-day, do not come as conquerors like the adventurers of an earlier time. They do not come the soldiers of a foreign prince, to extend his dominion, or plant his standard on our free shores. They come as friends, as guests; they come as freemen. The emigrants of to-day do not bear the banners of Castile and Aragon. The Oriflamme of France does not float above their heads, nor does the meteor flag of England lead them onward now, but in the western sky float the banners of the Almighty, blazoned there in the purple and gold of sunset, and inscribed thereon, in letters of living light, is the sacred word of liberty.
But there is a voice of warning as well as a voice of welcome for the emigrant and the exile who leaves the Old World, with its wrongs and its memories behind him. As he is borne along over the wild wide ocean he can bury there all memories of the tyranny and oppression which made life a burden. He has left behind the heavy yoke of poverty, the despair of ignorance, the degrading distinctions of birth, the unequal laws which with every rising and every setting sun made him feel the bitter truth of the curse, “in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life.”
A new life opens before himn on our wave-worn shores. Here is a new home where the laws are equal for the poor and for the
rich. Here he can win wealth and honor. Here he can be one of the citizens, one of the rulers; here education and honor and power and wealth are open to all; and in the free air, the new life, the loftier aims, the higher aspirations of the New World, all the wrongs and sorrows of the past can be forgotten. But as he buries beneath the dark waves the sad memories of the Old World, let him find a little room there for his chains also.
There is ample room beneath our wide free sky for all races, for all sects, for all churches. The stately towers of the Roman cathedral, and the plain white spires of our New England meeting-houses, pointing from the quiet graves of our fathers heavenward, need never encroach one upon the other. There is room for all beneath our wide blue sky.
We give the widest toleration to all nations, to all creeds, all opinions; but there is one power, one tyranny which cannot cross the ocean, and that is the tyranny of one man, whether his head is encircled with the monarch's crown, or the bishop's mitre. Bury those heavy chains, then, beneath the dark waves, and as the waters close over them, forget the bondage as well as the sorrows of the past.
Ours is a government of the people—a government of men, but of free men—and that dark and dangerous power, which, under the guise of religion, would grasp the sceptre of the State, can never, never be tolerated here. That plant is not native to our clime—it can never flourish in our free soil-its breath is poisonous to our laws, and death to our liberties—the dream must never for one moment be indulged, that one man, whether he speaks from the Vatican or from the altar, is to rule the destinies of our free people, or to dictate their laws.
We received that warning long ago, in the farewell address of him, whom we love to name as the father of our country. It was Washington who said to us : “ Against the insidious wiles of foreign influence (I conjure you to believe me, fellow citizens) the jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake, since history and experience prove that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of republican government." Our liberties are our inheritance, and neither foreign power or foreign influence can lay sacrilegious hands upon them-sacred alike from the warrior's sword and from the priest's influence. Aliens and exiles are welcome to our shores; we will share our birthright with them, and inscribe their names on the great roll of free citizens; but they must come as men, and as free men, not at priest's men, and it is no empty form, no meaningless oath which compels them, before they can become citizens, to renounce all allegiance to any foreign power whatever, to all power but the laws. There is a voice of warning, too, which the priests must submit to hear, a voice which is already rising in low mutterings, far and wide over the land—a warning which, unless they hold back their audacious hands, will gather and swell until it breaks in thunder above their heads. It is now only the little cloud seen afar off over the sea no bigger than a man's hand, but it will widen and roll on until it becomes a storm and a whirlwind, which no power can control or withstand.
I speak, then, to the emigrant and the foreigner, whom we welcome to our shores. I desire to show to them and to all who hear me that the use of the Bible in our schools—the teaching of the Commandments—the recital of the Lord's Prayer from it, are consistent with the true principles of religious liberty and toleration. I do not speak of casuistry, or of scruples more intolerant than intolerance itself, or of subtle and specious doubts. I speak of religious liberty in a land of law, and liberty of conscience in a government of freemen.
Let us go back for a moment to first principles ; let us endeavor to get clear ideas, and examine briefly what is the meaning of these noble words—a government of freemenfreedom of conscience--liberty under the laws. The truth is that our people are so wholly free that we hardly realize or appreciate what is meant by government and law. Our consciences are so untrammelled that we are unaccustomed to reason or reflect upon what freedom of conscience is, and in what it consists. We forget that the very essence and foundation of all government is religion, and yet the truth exists as
old as the primal stars, that a government without religion · is as impossible as a universe without a God. We must remem
ber that we are not dealing now with questions of fleeting opinion, nor with transitory laws, which change and vary as society changes, suiting themselves to the necessities and wants of social progress and social change. We are reasoning upon those elder and fundamental truths which lie at the very basis of all society, all governments. We are studying the deep bases of the everlasting hills. We are questioning those primeval rocks, more enduring than the mountains which soar above them ; which time, nor seasons, nor changes, nor decays, can alter or wear away.
The first great truth, then, which we must reflect upon and appreciate, is this : that religion is the essential foundation of all government, the source and sanction of all power. This is the united voice of all true philosophy, of all true statesmanship—it is the lesson and warning of history, and the universal experience of the civilized world. Need I remind you, sir, of the latest, the darkest lesson of the eternal truth-that a government without religion is a hopeless impossibility ? Need I remind you of that government without religion, founded only upon pure reason, based upon the laws of man—that government inaugurated with more than bridal pomp and festivity, with songs, and feasts, and dances, when the Goddess of Reason was the symbol and the representative of a new era, and in triumph led on the choral dance, which ended in the red dance of death-in the fearful night and darkness of the “ Reign of Terror.”
May it please your Honor, our government is based upon religion, upon the Christian religion, and it is a vital and essential part of the law of the land.
Not the Christianity of any particular sect or creed, but the broad, pure, living Christianity of the Bible ;-we cannot open our statutes without meeting with the proof of it. The Bill of Rights, to which the prosecution appeal, commences with a solemn appeal to the Christian's God—the observance of the Christian Sabbath is enjoined, and profanation of it is forbidden by numerous statutes. Blasphemy against God and our Saviour are crimes punished by law. The oaths which are the protection of property, recognize it, and all our laws flow from it, and are consistent with it. I might quote from our law books; I might read Blackstone and Story. I might show that all great jurists recognize this grand truth; I might show that all writers upon municipal law acknowledge it; but I have a higher authority to which I wish to refer. Let me ask you, Sir, to hear a voice from the dead, the fittest Oracle of this great living truth. I desire to read the profound and eloquent words of that great statesman, who sleeps well after his long labors, with the solemn voice of the ocean he loved, as his requiem on the lonely shores of Marshfield :
There is nothing that we look for with more certainty than this general principle, that Christianity is part of the law of the land. This was the case among the Puritans of New England, the Episcopalians of the Southern States, the Pennsylvania Quakers, the Baptists, the mass of the followers of Whitfield and Wesley, and the Presbyterians; all brought and all adopted this great truth, and all have sustained it. And where there there is any religious sentiment amongst men at all, this sentiment incorporates itself with the law. Every thing declares it. The massive Cathedral of the Catholic; the Episcopalian Church, with its lofty spire pointing heavenward; the plain Temple of the Quaker; the log Church of the hardy pioneer of the wilderness; the mementos and memorials around and about us ; the consecrated graveyards, their tombstones and epitaphs, their silent vaults, their mouldering contents—all attest it. The dead prove it as well as the living.
The generations that are gone before speak to it, and pronounce it from the tomb. We feel it. All, all proclaim that Christianity, general, tolerant Christianity, Christianity independent of sects and parties, that Christianity to which the sword and the fagot are unknown, general, tolerant Christianity, is the law of the land.
And now, with this lamp to guide our feet, let us inquire what is the meaning of liberty of conscience under the law ? Our Constitution declares that “ It is the right as well as the duty of all men in society, publicly, and at stated seasons, to worship the Supreme Being, the great creator and preserver of the universe. And no subject shall be hurt, molested, or restrained, in his person, liberty, or estate, for worshipping God in the manner and season most agreeable to the dictates of his own conscience, or for his religious profession or sentiments, provided he doth not disturb the public peace, or obstruct others in their religious worship.”
What is the meaning of those noble words, in a land of liberty, in a country where Christianity is a part of the law of the land ? Does it mean that nothing shall be tolerated by law, nothing shall be sanctioned by the law, nothing shall be