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and modest man, of an unimpeachable and altogether harmoniously formed character; a communicant member of the Episcopal Church, an upright reverencer of the word and commands of God, and daily in his study in prayer upon his knees before his Bible held his family devotions. His successors upon the President's chair down to Pierce have been regular attendants upon the worship of God's house, which generally in the United States belongs to a healthy tone, and in a moral and religious aspect has nothing to fear in comparison with any European dynasty. The greatest American statesmen and orators have on different occasions thrown the weight of their voice in the scale of virtue and piety, and have repeatedly declared with emphasis, that Christianity forms the basis of their republic, and that the extinction of the Church would at the same time draw along with it the destruction of all freedom and the ruin of the country. Seldom is religion scoffed at in Congress, and then it is usually thrown back with indignation, but frequently an open acknowledgment of the fundamental truths of revelation is heard. Each session of the Senate and House of Representatives is opened with prayer, whilst a motion to this effect in the Frankfort Parliament would be thrown back with scorn. No wonder that there the word is verified: Where God does not build the house, they labor in vain that build it. The celebrated Henry Clay acknowledged upon his death-bed, that he had tasted of the glories of earth and found them only vanity, and sought salvation and peace alone in Christ crucified. His great rival, Daniel Webster, the American Demosthenes, died in prayer for the pardon of his sins, and ordered to be placed upon his grave-stone : “I believe, help Lord, my unbelief.” Such testimonies from such mouths have in America the weight of a powerful sermon, and become a holy legacy for the entire nation.
Herein there is also manifest the known fact, that the heroes of modern European freedom, or rather of licentiousness, the failure of whose revolution of 1848 has alas! swept so many over here, find themselves powerfully deceived in America, very soon in beer-houses and in godless newspapers, begin to scoff at and ridicule the intolerable tedium of the Sunday, the pharisaical church attendance and priestcraft, and whatever else they are pleased to term the pious customs of the Americans, feel theinselves quite uncomfortable, and would gladly return again to stir up a revolution here, which they find impossible there. The most of these radicals, who have kept up such a noise in France, Italy and Germany for the last few years, have there sunken down to mere ciphers, or at best have become mere citizens, who must acquire a livelihood and establish a character by the labor of their hands before they can lay claim to any influence or significance. The only celebrated revolutionist who actually attracted great attention, was Kossuth, who in his half year's stay in America as the “guest of the nation," made some hundred English and a few German speeches, and who, by the very remarkable power of his eloquence, and that in a strange language, and his rare gift of agitation, drew upon himself the admiration of thousands. But the history of his meteoric campaign of eloquence through the Union is told in few words: He rose like a rocket, and fell down like a stick. When he came to New York the second time, where a few months before he was received with unreasonable enthusiasm, no person concerned himself about him ; unnoticed, and even under the assumed name of Alexander Smith he went back to England, and sought the quiet of a private residence in one of the suburbs of London. The best proof of the entire failure of his mission lies just in this, that the American government as before, now holds fast to, and will continue to hold to the wise policy of neutrality and peace, which has hitherto been observed, and which was so earnestly enjoined by Washington and by the dying llenry Clay, over against interference with European powers, and which Kossuth, by the most brilliant extravagance of his persuasive rhetoric endeavored to turn away in favor of European revolutions, especially in favor of a general uprising of the Hungarian people against the house of Hapsburg, which was prophesied as near at hand; although just at this time in the RussoTurkish question, there is the best opportunity presented for such an alteration in the outward policy, so as to make American influence felt in the councils of the great powers of Europe. The lesson may justly be learned from Washington, to stand upon a friendly fonting with all European powers ; to offer a free asylum to her superfluous and persecuted population ; to work upon the old world, not by the rough power of weapons, and an uncalled for interference, but by the quiet, yet much deeper and worthier moral power of example.
There is to be found generally a difference in principle between the English American and the European radical conception of the condition of freedom. To the American, freedom is anything else than something purely negative and formal, an arbitrary pleasure and licentiousness of the flesh, where each one obeys his natural impulses, as the revolutionists wish, but a rational and moral self-control, inseparably connected with law, order and authority. True national freedom with him rests upon a moral basis, upon the self-possession and self-government of each citizen. Only he is fit for, and worthy of this distinguished good, who holds the reins of his own passions, who is master over his sensual nature, who, not from outward force, but from inward impulse, and therefore willingly and cheerfully obeys rational laws, whilst the liberalism of the vulgar reformation, or rather of radicalism, which undermines the authority of law, and sets itself in a hostile attitude to Christianity, necessarily sets aside every bond of social life, and ends in anarchy, and which then turns over very easily into the very worst and most dangerous form of despotism.
These healthy features of freedom, in connection with the earnest moral and religious character of the nation, constitute the basis of the North American republic, and can alone secure its permanence. True, there exist there, without question, very unhealthy and dangerous radical tendencies, and in the event of a political election all wild passions, lies, slanders and unrighteousness of all kinds are let loose, so that a large part of the best citizens with disgust and aversion for the movement of unprincipled demagogues, either draw back from
taking any active part in politics, or at most, exercise the right of citizenship by simply depositing their vote. Yet, in the main, there reigns undeniably among the people a healthy conservative spirit, which always makes itself felt again in favor of right and order, and it is an imposing spectacle, when, immediately after the election of a President or Governor, a general quietness and calm succeeds upon the raging storm of party strife, and the vanquished party patiently submits to the result, and never dreams of making its real or imagined rights felt in the way of force. The dissatisfaction, which indeed finds itself at home there as well as elsewhere, never charges upon the fundamental principles of the country, upon the constitution, but always directly upon the ruling party, and seeks only in constitutional and lawful ways to find relief from its complaints. In so far one may well judge, that the American confederacy, with all its wavering and the insecurity of its condition in details, such as is connected with the newness of the country, yet, upon the whole, rests upon a more firm basis, and is more secure from a powerful revolution than any other country on the European Continent.
A very characteristic proof for our judgment, that American freedom differs in principle from radicalism and licentiousness, and rests throughout upon the basis of self-control and self-restraint, and is evidently moral, lies certainly in the great temperance movement, especially in the so-called Maine liquor law, which entirely forbids, not directly the drinking, for that would be an encroachment upon personal freedom, but the buying and selling of all intoxicating drinks, including also wine and beer, except for medicinal, or sacrameutal purposes. This law a few years ago was at first introduced into one of the New England States, the predominantly puritanic State of Maine, and since by popular vote into several others, and even in the large States of New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio efforts are now being put forth with greal zeal in the way of public speaking, in the distribution of tracts, and by other means of agitation, to persuade the people to elect such delegates to the Legislature as are in favor of the temperance
cause, in order to remove the frightful evil from the roots, and to clear away even the temptation to the vice of drunkenness. I was myself, just before the election last fall, witness of the zeal and earnestness th which the agents of the temperance cause, both lay and clergy, canvassed the counties of Pennsylvania, spreading out their tents under the open heavens, commencing their meetings with the solemn service of singing and prayer, setting forth in a comprehensive manner the temporal and eternal consequences of intemperance, and with irresistible arguments showing to the people the duty of exercising their right of franchise openly and in an advantageous manner, in the consciousness of the high responsibility which they owe to God and man. It must be confessed, that this Maine liquor law, viewed in itself, manifestly goes too far, and transcends the limits of the Holy Scriptures, where it is a fact, that Christ himself turned water into wine; that wine was drunk according to a general custom, and in the Holy Supper has been consecrated as the symbolical bearer of his atoning blood. It must be remembered, however, that, with the exception of a few insignificant beginnings, the United States do not produce their own wine, and that by far the most that is bought under that name is more or less adulterated, and is as pernicious as whiskey itself. Whatever we may think of the Maine lawand we desire here neither to defend nor condemn it-we much admire the moral energy and self-denial of a free people, who would rather deny themselves an allowed pleasure in order to remove out of the way a temptation, which leads thousands of weak persons to the ruin of both body and soul. I will allow myself to address the modest question to those who see nothing in America but radicalism and the wildest extravagance: In what European State has the Government the heart to carry through such a prohibition of the buying and selling of all intoxicating drinks, and in what one would the people submit themselves to such a selfdenial ?
Time will, however, not allow me to enter into a closer analysis of the American Constitution; and to go into the circumstances of the Central Government at Washington, to di