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Yet those seven are England's heirs,
England's children born, -
Growing golden corn.
What is that to Weaving Will ?
What to Tom or Jem ?
What's the land to them?
Overcrowd the town;
To pull our wages down.
Fourteen acres Will should own,
Yet he wanteth food :
Weaver-work is good.
Paying rent to Will ? c
The weaver eat his fill.
Why not? Ask of noble Greed;
Ask of them who hold
Is Famine-bought and sold.
Who bar you from the land;
And when you ask, command !
Starved Mechanic out on strike!
When thy breadless pine,
Murder thee and thine.
England's wronged heirs;
While barvest land was theirs.
+ I do not mean that the land should be divided and every man be landlord of so marry acres; but that every man should in some shape or other receive the value of his share in the inheritance of the earth.
d The whole land of England is monopolized by some thirty thousand persons, that of Scotland by three thousand, that of Ireland by six thousand.
THE SMALL SHOPKEEPER.
Rising from thy sleepless bed,
Now thy customers are dead !
Stir the dust upon thy shelves;
Let thy spoil'd wares sun themselves!
Wholesale Firm supplies the 'House,'
Serves his Lordship should he stay,
Having lost perchance at play.
We made up your modest gains :
With our struggles or our pains.
Shut thy shop, man!-Nay, but wait :
Some one cometh. What! a frown?
Is the shilling now a crown?
Though they rate thee to the full.
Duller even than the dull !
Life is a progress and an ascension. The vivifying flame breathed into us by God soars ever upward toward God. We believe in the immortality of the soul. This earthly life is but one stage of our existence.
Government is educational. The object of government is to assure the progress of all, to discover and to apply the laws of God, for the elevation of Humanity. The State is not merely a policeman or a purveyor of the kitchen.
Neither is the educational function of Government applicable only to the young. Life, from birth to death, is but a school-time, and the oldest have yet their lessons. Are they only to learn of the things which pass not beyond this 'grave-rounded’ life? Shall they not also inquire of their relation to Eternity ? Life is one, however many may be its stages.
The aspirations of maukind are heaven ward. The religious feeling,—the sentiment which makes God the beginning and the end of all, which looks upon past, present, and future, as links of one great chain of being,—is too universal and important to be left to chance. For is not this the basis of our whole scheme of Duty ? The organization of religious worship is, therefore, a part of the business of Government.
In the name of Religious Freedom the individual claims a right, not only to think, but to preach and proselytize. Shall the minority, even the unit, have this freedom; and the majority, the State, be restrained ? In the name of what ? of Anarchy ?
Shall the Prophet or Apostle have full liberty to prophesy and proclaim 'God's Truth'; and when the general consent of mankind has confirmed his as. sertion, shall 'Religious Freedom forbid the organized publication of the Gospel ? Shall every little sect possess its chapel; and the State, the Nation, have no Church, no place wherein to remind men even of truths the most generally acknowledged ?
Or shall the State be trusted with the education of our youth, the training of the rising generation in the principles of morality, and yet not be empowered to express its definition of those principles ? Shall it hold the right to apply a moral law to the young, and yet have no means of developing it, of publishing it, before the elders of the people? The doctrines inculcated in the State School, shall they not be the doctrines expounded in the State-Church ?
Truly a State-Church should not descend to the trivialities of creeds. These, peculiar to individual minds, and, if accurately examined, almost as various, must be left altogether to individuals. Let the sects, in their private chapels, or possibly meeting in turn within the national temples (taken out of monopolist hands, and restored to the Nation's use), adopt what divisional rituals may please them. The State-Church must be the Church of the Nation, the utterer and echo of its faith, the explainer of the general truths of the relation of Humanity toward God.
One would not now dare even attempt to draw up a form of faith, nor prescribe a form of national worship, nor indicate who should be its ministers or how the service should be arranged. Only when they who now usurp the throne and the altar shall give place to the whole People, when the People shall be both King and Priest, will it be possible to organize a national worship.
But will there be occasion for this when every man shall be his own priest, when his daily life will be a prayer, a thanksgiving, or a sermon, a continual service in the temple of Humanity ? Even then the ceremonial association of one with another will not be a mere idle form.
Now the new-born child (we note not the baptism into sectarianism, speaking here of national matters) is registered by the State; but registered as one might enter in an account-book the increase of stock. Then the presentation in the temple will be of one more servant to society, one more worker to the world; the public recognition by the State of the nation's duty toward a new member, in virtue of the equal right, all society standing sponsor for it: it will be the admission not merely formal and of one without will into some narrow congregation, but of one devoted as a priest in one of the national churches of Humanity.
For 'confirmation' there will be the vow of the boy and girl, as of the Greek of old, to make their country greater and more glorious '; and the public investiture of the young man or woman with the full rights and faculties of citizenship. In the temple also will the loving publicly fulfil their troth (no matter wbat added ceremony peculiar views may enjoin); and, as men learn a purer morality, no lighter or less holy connection will degrade the race. There too the patriot will receive the olive or the oaken garland; old age be crowned with silver honour; and when the course is run, there too the very unbeliever will approach, and listen, no longer shocked by formal anathemas, to the loving, hopeful words which the true may lay upon the grave of even the most estranged by the variance of speculation.
Nor need religious services be merely ceremonial. There shall likewise be the perpetual ministration of the priests of human life: the preaching and aspiring prayer of our poets, our prophets; why not also those sermons in stones,' the accuracies of Science, no longer sceptical, but wisely reverent,-tracking from the very vestiges of creation the harmony and wonderful growth of Life. All things above the actual business of the day will find their expression in our ritual; nor even the commonest avocations be divorced from the religious. Again mankind will assemble in their temples to frame their laws, to formulize God's Law in adaptation to human occasions, to take council together how best to magnify and exalt their Country, for the service of Humanity, for the glory of the Eternal.
That Englishmen should be jealous of any State-Church is natural enough: not only because our popular struggles hitherto have been solely for individual freedom, not yet generally understood as preparative of the organization of freemen,—and so any concentration of power seems repugnant to the habit of our thought (not always to be so); but also because our “State-Church,' at least since it was reformed, has been nothing but a greedy corporation, an unspiritual step-mother, growing fat upon our unremitted service, starving our minds and exacting from the sweat of our brows, utterly careless of our education, and altogether alien to the nature which has outgrown even the possibility of her directing it.
But when the Republic shall be established, when every man and woman shall be recognized as God's priest in virtue of the sanctity of human life, then it will be understood that individual freedom may be preserved intact even while men associate in common forms; the faith, the aspirations, of the majority will find a voice, a formulized expression, and progressing, age after age, will change the formula in accordance with the growth of life.
Even now, notwithstanding all the chances that divide us, and the innumerable difficulties in the way of understanding one another, thoughtful men are seeking for some common worship, anxious to discover some temple yet unmonopolized by sectarian intolerance, wherein they may at least associate in the expression of
a general hope, in the exercise of that faculty of adoration which distinguishes man from the beast; where too the millions, who have no church, nor creed, nor ritual, might assemble, and learn, from the higher-natured there kneeling beside them, the ennobling lessons of a faith in the future.
The first stone of that temple may be laid by our republican organization. We associating, no matter in what rude huts, may form the first congregation of believers. But the State-Church can only be when we have indeed a State, a National Power, a Republic.
Then men,—without fear of Power, for Power will be their own, themselves, will acknowledge that it is not enough to organize and rule the 'secular' concerns of life; but that the religious, that which links the generations to Eternity, needs also, and even more urgently and primarily, the most careful organization. And thereafter they may find that, as in the inner spirit, so likewise in even the outward regulations of life, there is no duality: that religious' and 'political' government are one and the same,—-politics' being only the practical application of religion, and religion' the theory upon which alone true polity can build.
The time may be far distant: nevertheless those for whom we hope, the Eterpity for which we work, shall surely behold and rejoice in its arrival.
HISTORY OF THE MONTH.
(From July 22nd to August 22nd.)
REPUBLICAN CIIRONICLE. The Press thinks it more prudent to ignore our endeavours. None of our opponents dare follow up the outspokenness of the John Bull. The very ‘Liberals' steal along the wake of a would be damning silence. Even our Celtic friends, generally warmer-hearted. The article on Republicanism in Ireland, which erewhile had called down vehement denunciation, is now dealt with on another tack. The Nation avoids it, the Vindicator is afraid of it; only the Dundalk Democrat has the courage to give us a passing notice. But letters from Irishmen respond to our appeal. The work begins in Ireland.
ENFRANCHISEMENT OF WOMEN. Note, as a sign of the times, an able article in the last number of the Westminster Recicu, in advocacy of the enfranchisement of women. Even the 'philosophical radicals' are beginning to acknowledge that universal male suffrage is but a whig ‘finality.' In America the much needed reformation in the dress of women is fast progressing. Which of our gentlewomen will dare commence it here?