CHRISTIANITY AS A POLITICAL FORCE by Senator John A. Dix 1798-1879

FlagsBibleThe influence of Christianity upon the political condition of mankind, though silent and almost imperceptible, has been one of the most powerful instruments of its amelioration. The principles and rules of practical conduct which it prescribes; the doctrine of the natural equality of men, with a common origin, a common responsibility, and a common fate; the lessons of humility, gentleness, and forbearance which it teaches, — are as much at war with political as they are with all moral injustice, oppression, and wrong.

During century after century, excepting for brief intervals, the world too often saw the system marred by the fiercest intolerance and the grossest deprivation. It has been made the confederate of monarchs in carrying out schemes of oppression and fraud. Under its banner armed multitudes have been banded together, and led on by martial prelate to wars of desolation and revenge. Perpetrators of the blackest crimes have purchased immunity from punishment.

But nearly two thousand years have passed away, and no trace is left of the millions who, under the influence of bad passions, have dishonored its holy precepts, or of the far smaller number who, in seasons of general deprivation, have drunk its current of living water on the solitary mountain, or in the living rock. Its simple maxims, outliving them all, are silently working out a greater revolution than any which the world has yet seen; and long as the period may seem since its doctrines were first announced, it is almost imperceptible when regarded as one of the divisions of that time which is of endless duration.

To use the language of an eloquent and philosophical writer, “The movements of Providence are not restricted to narrow bounds. It is not anxious, to-day, to deduce the consequences of the premises it laid down yesterday. It may defer this for ages, till the fulness of time has come. Its logic will not be less conclusive for reasoning slowly. Providence moves through time, as the gods of Rome moved through space. It makes a step, and years have rolled away. How long a time, how many circumstances intervened before the regeneration of the moral powers of man by Christianity exercised its great, its legitimate function upon his social condition! Yet who can doubt or mistake its power?

John A. Dix.

REVERENCE FOR LAW by Joseph Hopkinson 1770-1842 (Author of ” Hail Columbia “)

By efforts of patriotism alone can this great and growing Republic be preserved. Happy is that country, and only that country, where the laws are not only just and equal, but supreme and irresistible; where selfish interests and disorderly passions are curbed by an arm to which they must submit.

We look back with horror and affright to the dark and troubled ages, when a gloomy and cruel superstition tyrannized over the peoples of Europe; dreaded alike by kings and people, by governments and individuals; before which the law had no force, justice no respect, and mercy no influence.

The sublime principles of morality, the kind and endearing charities, the true and rational reverence for a bountiful Creator, which are the elements and life of our religion, were trampled down, in the reckless career of ambition, pride, and lust of power. Nor was it much better when the arm of the warrior and the sharpness of his sword determined every question of right, and held the weak in bondage to the strong; when the revengeful feuds of the great involved in one common ruin themselves and their humblest vassals.

But those disastrous days are gone, never to return. There is no power but law, which is the power of all; and those who administer it are the masters, the ministers of all.

Joseph Hopkinson

One thought on “CHRISTIANITY AS A POLITICAL FORCE by Senator John A. Dix 1798-1879

  1. Pingback: INDIVIDUAL PURITY THE HOPE OF FREEDOM’S BLESSINGS by Charles Sprague 1791-1875 | Captain James Davis

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