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tion and brotherhood, that used to circulate throughout our entire Zion. Nothing short of this, in a gospel sense, will meet the emergency. Every species of real or expedient evasion, under whatever pretexts it may be attempted to be introduced or practised, is inadmissible. Our holy Christianity requires “truth in the inward parts, *—the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth; and that from the heart. And it requires it from organiza. tions, whether political, social, or religious, as well as from individuals.
The rule is of nice discrimination and application,"searching the heart and trying the reins ;" and, in default thereof, there is no way to have a good conscience,--mark! a good conscience-one fully illuminated and regulated by the principles, spirit, and power of Christianity, either as individuals, or collective bodies, but by retracting our wrong, if possible ; and, if not practicable, by openly confessing that wrong. This, we acknowledge, in view of position, the pride of opinion, and surrounding circumstances, is a difficult task; especially among men of great reputed wisdom, whom everybody supposes to know everything. Nevertheless, if truth from the hidden secrets of the heart, and a good conscience, require it, we should lay our honour in the dust, magnanimously confessing and forsaking our error. It matters not how high we are; the greater the stoop, the greater the elevation. For a remark before made is true in this matter, in going down, we go up; and, in the language of Solomon, “Before honour is humility.”
But enough, and, some may think, by far too much of this homily, especially from one whom nobody knows, and nobody scarcely ever heard tell of, save a few of his friends, and neighbours, and acquaintances; and among whom, like other prophets, he is without honour; and who would feel it an honour, and a zest of enjoyment, to sit at the feet of many of these brethren, and learn from them the lessons of wisdom and salvation.
But in the event our Southern brethren cannot, on the questions herein involved, fairly silence the truthful roar of our small-arms, what will they do? Will they, like the prodigal of the gospel, come back, in the spirit and language of honest and hearty confession? We, for one, will promise them, that the mother, if not the father, (of which there is no doubt,) will meet them on that return, with all the tenderness of maternal affection.
But a voice from the General Conference at Pittsburg whispers in our ear, in behalf of the South, We did come! But how did you come ? Ah, there's the rub! Why, like the Pharisee of the gospel, in the language of justification, instead of humiliation. One thought more, and we have done. Heaven never struck terms with the most honourable sinner, or, may be more appropriately, with the most honourable backslider, on such conditions.
ON THE CONDITION OF AFRICA-AFRICAN SLAVERY AN ACT OF PROVIDEN
THE moral and providential government of God, although very much blended in the divine administration over the world, are separate and distinct acts of governing power; which is a discrimination of great importance in this investigation. For an act or measure that could not, on principles of simple, rigid law, be tolerated, without impeaching the character and government of God, may, in the Divine administration, as a principle of providential government, with great propriety be taken hold of and tolerated, for the sake of its practical utility; and the more especially so, when all the circumstances of the case clearly vindicate the Divine administration from hav. ing been accessory to the original act, or first introduction of such measure.
The case of Joseph and his brethren is apposite, and luminously illustrative of the subject now under consideration. Now, apart from the providential phases of this transaction, their conduct in their enmity to, and the sale of, Joseph, their brother, into Egypt, could not have been tolerated; for, as it appears to us, it would have been a great stain, not to say a great reproach, to the Divine administration, to have supposed that the moral Governor of the world should lend his toleration to such conduct; and yet we are distinctly informed in the Holy Scriptures that such is the fact: “And he said, I am Joseph your brother, whom ye sold into Egypt. Now therefore be not grieved nor angry with yourselves that
ye sold me hither; for God did send me before you to preserve life.” Gen. xlv, 4, 5. From which, with what follows in the succeeding verses, it is clear that the Divine toleration was extended to the transaction; not in the sense, however, that justified their conduct, and rendered them guiltless in the hatred and sale of their brother --which, understood in a strictly moral point of view, would have been an impeachment of the Divine administration,-but as a providential act of government, by which their evil designs and doings might be overruled for the accomplishment of great, visible, and lasting good, which was the design, and which was the result, as the sequel clearly and abundantly proves; for not only the Egyptians and the family of Jacob were preserved thereby, but other nations also, “ for the famine waxed sore in all lands."
Now when we look at the whole transaction in this light, whatever may be the demerit attaching to the conduct of the brethren of Joseph, as an act of providential government, the blended wisdom and goodness of Providence shine forth in such rays of exceeding glory, as to command our adoring homage, rather than to excite any dissatisfaction on account of the apparent diffiulties connected with it.
And another feature in the providential history of this case which claims our attention is, that although Joseph, and finally the family of Jacob, were in humbled circumstances while in Egypt, the land of their providential oppression, all things considered, it was the best for them, and the best for the world, that they did for a season sojourn in that land. The matter is so clear in the individual case of Joseph, whom “God made lord over all Egypt,” that there is no difficulty in regard to him; and to a moment's can
did reflection the case, if not exactly in the same sense, must, we think, be equally apparent in reference to the family of Jacob, which, as stated in the Scriptural narrative, was doubtless preserved in existence by this act of Providence. And so with regard to Egypt, and all other countries,-“for the famine waxed sore in all lands.”
Another beneficial result very obvious from this act of providential government, and doubtless of vast importance to the Egyptians, and through them to the world, was a diffusion of the knowledge of the true God,—the mighty God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob,—as being superior to all the gods of Egypt, and the gods of all other lands; which was made known and vindicated, not only in the history of Joseph, but in the signs and wonders wrought by the hand of Moses before the court of Pharaoh, and in the outstretched arm of Jehovah in the various outstanding miracles that marked their return to the land of Canaan. Who can look at all this sum of good to the race, as the result of this providential government, and feel in his heart any other emotion than that of the most profound gratitude and admiration at the depth and overflowing goodness of His counsels ?
Now, as above intimated, and as it appears to us, this act of providential government will apply to and illustrate, in some of its aspects, African slavery.
The teaching of the Holy Scriptures, and the history of the Divine administration, abundantly prove that individuals, churches, and nations may, by a course of obstinate and persevering neglect, or abandoned iniquity, forfeit- the privileges of their probationary existence. Frequent allusions are made to such a state of things in the sacred writings. In the