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to “the blind Icading the blind," was never more strikingly realised. In process of time, Mr. Paine died, and 80 did his unfortunate blind preacher. The consequence of these losses was, that the club, for a long time, made but little if any public parade of their principles. At length, however, Mr. Houston, a Scotchman of considerable talent, became their editorial champion, and from his labors the cause received a new impulse, through the medium of the paper which he conducted, entitled " The Correspondent." But their pioneer editor was destined to be cast into the shade by the superior abilities of the celebrated Frances Wright, and her no less celebrated companion, the talented, but eccentric, Robert Owen. These two luminaries, had hrought with them from England a new system of deistical if not atheistical tactics. They came forward not only as the enemies of the gospel ; but the better to carry on their war against it, they affected great regard for the interests of the working men. They sought to make this worthy and indispensable class of citizens believe that they were oppressed, not only in a civil, but in an ecclesiastical sense ; that Priestcraft, as well as Statecraft, was unjustly rioting on the fruits of their labor. In this way they succeeded in deluding a considerable number of industrious and worthy mechanics to believe, that not only the priest at the altar, but the Christian Religion itself, was hostile to their rights and liberties. Hence arose the party called the Working Man's Party, in the city of New-York. But the time speedily came, when Miss Wright and Mr. Owen found it convenient or necessary to recross the Atlantic, and leave their young nursery of the babes and sucklings of Infidelity, to be managed by other hands. I do not mean to assert, that all the members of the working man's party imbibed the deistical, disorganising and ruinous creed of Frances Wright and Robert Owen, though it is certain that their influence and example, and their delusive schemes, added many to the number of the former disciples of Paine, Palmer and Houston. · It appears, Mr. Herttell, from certain sources, that a portion at least of this new party look up to you as one of their champions; and on the other hand, if I do not labor under a mistake, you encourage them to consider you as
their friend. But how, my dear sir, can you consistently profess friendship for the working man; and yet be willing, be laboring, indeed, to deprive him of that heaven born Religion, which, so far as society embraces it, becomes his best safe-guard not only against his own frailty and wickedness, but against the frailty and wickedness, the encroachments and oppressions of the rich. Where, I ask you, sir, and I challenge you to the proof, is there any code of morality, equity or law, which better defends and protects the rights of working men, than they are defended and protected by the Divine Law-the Law of Revelation. I challenge all the codes that ever were known, for a more precise or careful regard to the welfare and happiness of the laboring poor, than that code which bears the stamp of divinity, and commands the respect and confidence of every sound philosopher and statesman on earth ; a code which none will cavil at who understand it, and all will embrace who value their own temporal or eternal happiness The poor man cannot look into that Divine Record, without finding some passage which pleads eloquently for his rights, and denounces the authors of his wrongs, whoever they may be, in terms of just and glowing indignation.
In the very front of the Sacred Volume, we read these laws:
66 If thou lend money to any of my people, that is poor by thee, thou shall not be to him as an usurer ; neither shalt thou lay upon him usury,” &c. Exod. 22, 25.
« When ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not wholly reap the corners of thy field, neither shalt thou gather the gleanings of thy harvest. And thou shalt not glean thy vineyard, &c. Thou shalt leave them for the poor and the stranger: I am the Lord your God.” Lev. 19. 9, 10., 25. 1, 2, 3, &c.
“ If thy brother be waxen poor, &c. then thou shalt relieve him, &c. that he may live." Lev. 25. 35.
" If there be among you a poor man of one of thy brethren, within any of thy gates, &c., thou shalt not harden thy heart, nor shut thine hand from thy poor brother; but thou shalt open thine hand wide unto him, and shalt surely lend him sufficient for his need, in that which he wanteth,' &c. Deut. 15. 7-11.
“Thou shalt not oppress an hired servant that is poor
and needy, whether he be of thy brethren, or of thy strangers that are in the land within thy gates; at his day thou shalt give him his hire, neither shalt the sun go down upon it; for he is poor and needy, and setteth his heart upon it, Jest he cry unto the Lord against thee, and it be sin unto thee.” Deut. 24. 14, 15.
These you will perceive, sir, are positive laws. I will not say, that you will perceive them to be positive laws of God, though I both perceive and believe them to be so. But think what you will of their origin, you cannot deny that they speak volumes as to the rights of the laboring poor, or working men. They comprise indeed the pith and marrow of all the elaborate essays which have lately been written and published in behalf of the working man's party, 80 called ; for we must recollect, that servant in the text, implies nothing more than any one rendering manual or mental service as a bireling or laborer, for a stipulated or implied fee or reward: And again, if we turn to the moral maxims, or the spiritual denunciations and judgments of holy writ, we shall find the same divine solicitude for the welfare of the poor working man, and the same protecting care of his rights. '
“He that oppresseth the poor to increase his riches, shall surely come to want.” Prov. 22. 15.
“The Lord will enter into judgment with the ancients of his people, and the princes thereof: for ye have eaten up the vineyard, the spoil of the poor is in your houses. What mean ye that ye beat my people to pieces, und grind the faces of the poor, saith the Lord God of hosts." Isa. 3. 1–15.
“Wo unto them that decree unrighteous decrees, and that write grievousness which they have prescribed ; to turn aside the needy from judgment, and to take away the right from the poor of my people," &c. Isa. 10. 1-3.
" Wo to him that buildeth his house by unrighteousness, and his chambers by wrong: that useth his neighbor's service without wages, and gives him not for his work,” &c. “ Did not thy father,” &c., “ do judgment and justice," &c. “He judged the cause of the poor and needy," &c. “ Was not this to know me saith the Lord ? ' But thine eyes and thine heart are not but for thy covetousness, and
for to shed innocent blood, and for oppression." "Jer. 22. 13-17.
“Behold, therefore, I have smitten mine hand at thy dishonest gain,” &c. “ The people of the land have used oppression,” &c., “and have vexed the poor and needy," &c. Ezek. 22. 13–26.
Independent of these passages, and many others which might be quoted from the Old Testament, let the honest working man, whose motives are pure, turn to that Sacred Volume, and learn from its historical department, how severely, in a practical sense, the Tyrant Pharoah, and his host of slaves and myrmidons were punished, for their repeated cruelties and oppressions, heaped upon the poor working men, the Israelites, who were compelled to make brick without straw, and suffered every other indignity that could be offered them, till Jehovah stretched forth his mighty arm, to punish their task-masters, and redeem them from the yoke of bondage. It is, of all others, the most signal instance of Divine Justice or vengeance, inflicted upon the tyrant and the oppressor ; and holds out to the laboring poor, of all sects and nations, the most glorious and well-founded hope, that if faithful to him, their Heavenly Father will not forsake them ; that he will have them constantly in his holy and safe keeping; will cause justice to be done them here, and crown them with eternal felicity hereafter.
Now, Mr. Herttell, if we connect these laws and equities of the Old Testament, with similar ones exhibited in the New Covenant, or Christian Dispensation; where shall we find better laws, or better principles of moral justice and equity, established in behalf of the poor man, or severer judgments denounced against his oppressors ? I will cite a few proofs from the New Testament.
“Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee, turn not thou away.”—Mat. 5, 42.
“He listed up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed be ye pour, for yours is the kingdom of God.”-Mat. 6, 20—26.
“I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat; I was thirsa ty, and ye gave me drink; I was a stranger, and ye took me in: naked, and ye clothed me," &c. When saw we thee ạn hungered,” &c. "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these, my brethren, ye have done it unto me," &c.—Mat. 25, 35-40, &c. .
" If there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel; and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment, and ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, stand thou there, or sit here un der my footstool, are ye not then partial in yourselves, &c. Hath not God chosen the poor of this world, rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him? But ye have despised the poor," &c. James 2, 2–6, &c.
"Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you,” &c. “Behold, the hire of the laborers which have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth : and the voice of them which have reaped are entered into the ear of the Lord of Sabaoth,” &c. ----James 5, 1-4, &c.
This, sir, is the just and pure spirit of Christ, and of his gospel : and to this spirit did all his acts conform, whilst he sojourned upon earth. Follow him wherever you please, find him wherever you may, from the time that his juvenile wisdom and conversation astonished the sages of the land, till the fatal day on which he closed his earthly career of miraculous and glorious achievements, as well as unparalleled sorrows and sufferings; and you will find him dispensing the gifts and graces of the gospel, or ministering to the necessities of humanity, in the habitations of the poor and miserable ; or surrounded on the highways by the same description of persons, to whom he imparted" the wisdom that cometh from above," on the one hand, or relieved them from sickness, pain and sorrow on the other. The only time that he ever wept, it was sympathy for the poor man that made his tears to flow!
And is it possible, my dear sir, that whilst you profess to be the friend of the poor, and to vindicate the rights of the working man, you are, at the same time, forgetful of that God who was and is so decidedly the poor man's friend ; that with frienưship for the poor on your lips, you are still for obliterating from the codes of men and of nations, that Divine Law, which so fully recognizes their rights, and so