The Greatest Writer of the 19th Century » Brownson's Writings » Come-outerism


Brownson's Quarterly Review, July, 1844

AKT. V. — Come-outcrism,: or the  Radical Tendency of the Day.

THAT all our social arrangements are very imperfect, and that there is ample room for the freest, fullest, and most energetic reforming spirit, no man in his senses can doubt.    Even here, in this country, where we boast of our political enlightenment and our advanced social state, we are far from having realized the highest moral, political, or social  ideal.    There  are causes at work among us, which, though in some respects securing a temporary and local prosperity, must ultimately, if not arrested, deprive us of all our boasted advantages.  
Our industrial system is working gradually, but surely, the subjection of the great mass of the operative classes; and when our new lands shall have been exhausted, and the price of land become so high that the laboring man can no longer hope to become a proprietor, as is already, to no inconsiderable extent, the case in the older States, we shall  find established all over the country an industrial feudalism, of which the military feudalism of the Middle Ages was but a faint prelude.   All is settling down into this new feudalism, and the whole legislation of the country, in relation to banks, tariffs, and corporations generally, is rapidly hastening it.    The tendency this way is so strong that there is, at present, no power in the country able to resist it.    We take up a YV"hig newspaper and run the eye over the programme of Whig principles and measures, and we marvel to see how admirably all is devised to secure this result; and these principles and measures will prevail, substantially, let which party will succeed in the election. The business interests of each of the great parties are the same; and no party, except it enlist its duo proportion of business men for its leaders and managers, can be of sufficient importance to exert any influence on legislation, and the general policy of the government. Your Wrights and Buchanans, when the Whigs need help to fasten an iniquitous tariff on the country, stand always ready to assist them ; and a Democratic party, pledged against it, will, with a majority in Congress of nearly two to one, be unable to repeal or even essentially to modify it.

Under a political point of view, we have little to hope. Our institutions have resulted from our condition, from the general equality which originally obtained amongst us; they have not created that equality, and they are impotent to preserve it. Our government does less to aid or secure our general social prosperity and well-being, than does the Prussian government for the Prussians, or the Russian for the Russians. Prussia and Russia started in the race of nations but a little prior to ourselves, — for we must not date our national existence from the Declaration of Independence, — and the comparison between them and us would be far from flattering to our national vanity.

In regard to religion, the case stands still worse. Religion, in any high and significant sense of the word, hardly exists among us. We have no Church, no faith ; we have only miserable sectarianism, indifference, hypocrisy, or fanaticism. We have no memories that go back to the founding of the Christian Church. Our religious establishments date from 1517. All before that we virtually disown. Our sects are mainly preoccupied each with the struggle for the ascendency. They generate very little piety, command very little religious zeal, and sustain themselves, for the most part, either by leaguing with mammon, or by the application of artificial stimulants, and cunningly devised revival machinery, which produces now and then a sort of galvanic motion, but no genuine religious life.

Such being the real state of the case with us, it is not astonishing that our land should be overspread with pretended reformers of all sorts, with men and women uttering one long and loud, deep and indignant protest against the whole existing industrial, political, and religious order, or rather, disorder. The existing order is really only a wild disorder; and it is perfectly natural that men and women, who see this fact, and feel it, should lift up the voice, and exclaim, " Come ye out, come ye out from the midst of Babylon, and be ye no longer partakers in her iniquity; drink ye no longer of the wine of her abominations ! " Here is the origin, and here the good side, of what has received, we know not from whom, the uncouth name of Come-outerism. Viewed solely in this light, as a protest against the existing disorder, and an earnest demand for efforts to realize a higher and truer ideal, we confess that Come-outerism is worthy of sympathy and support.

But this is not the only aspect under which we are to consider Come-outerism. This is its ideal side, not its real; what we may term it in our closet speculations, but not what we shall find it, when we go forth to meet it in actual life. Men may have a zeal for God which is not according to knowledge, and fancy, nay, verily believe, that they are serving God, when they are in reality only following the devil disguised as an angel of light. And such we believe to be actually the case with our Come-outers. We believe them wholly deceived, and, so far as capable of exerting any influence at all, capable only of retarding the very end they are professedly seeking.

In speaking of Come-outerism, we use the word with considerable latitude, to characterize a wide and deep tendency of our times. As it presents itself to our minds, it is simply a continuation of the revolutionary spirit of the last century, — and why may we not say, of the Protestant spirit of the sixteenth century, of which the French Revolution  was  only one of the necessary expressions ? The Come-outers seem to us to be the Jacobins of the eighteenth century, the Independents and Fifth Monarchy men of the seventeenth, and the Protestants of the sixteenth.

All Christian men and women are and must needs be reformers, for, if they were not, they would not be Christians. There have always been reformers in the Church and in the State, and always will be till Christianity fails. But there are two principles of reform, or rather two different methods of seeking reform. One method is, to accept the existing order, and through it, by such modes of action as it tolerates or authorizes, to seek the correction of abuses, and a more perfect development. The other method is, to resist the existing order, to abjure its laws, and to attempt to introduce an entirely new order. The first we may term the CONSERVATIVE method of reform; the second, the REVOLUTIONARY method. Gregory the Seventh is a notable instance of the conservative reformer; Luther of the revolutionary reformer.
Which of these methods is the true one ? Which is the one we have a right to adopt ? Which is the most likely to be effectual ? If a dozen years ago we had been asked these questions, we should have decided in favor of the revolutionary method, both on the ground of right and of expediency. Most young men, of more benevolent feeling than actual experience, and more enthusiastic zeal than practical wisdom, we believe, are prone to decide in the same way; while, on the other hand, men, as they grow older, as they take a wider survey of things, and feel more deeply the necessity of moral obligation, of stability in institutions, and regular and determinate modes of action, are, for the most part, disposed to decide in favor of the conservative method. Hence, we frequently find the man, who in his youth was a flaming radical, a stanch conservative in his maturer years. And this is usually, in our times, urged as an accusation, and such a man is pointed at as a renegade, as having in his age forgotten the dreams of his youth, and deserted the cause of human improvement. The crude notions of youth are, therefore, supposed to be more worthy of our respect than the sober and chastened convictions of age ! But, when we see the young radical, the youthful revolutionist, converted into the staid and stanch conservative, and for " Liberty" substituting the cry of "Order," we are not necessarily to infer that he has forgotten the dreams of his youth, that his heart has grown insensible to the wrongs and outrages of which man is the cause or the victim, or that he is less able, less willing, or less determined to sacrifice himself for the progress of his race. All that we are at liberty to infer is, that he has satisfied himself that the revolutionary method is not the true one, and that he can do more good, and more effectually realize the end contemplated in his young dreams, by adopting the conservative method.
There may be times when the old order has become corrupt, and must give place to a new order; but no man has the right, on his own individual authority, to attempt its destruction. Jesus does not even authorize his Apostles to make direct war on either Judaism or Paganism, though both were to give way to the Gospel. He authorizes them to do only what they may do, as quiet, orderly, and peaceable citizens. So the Apostles authorize no resistance to the Roman government, but command their followers to be " in subjection to the powers that be." They were to trust to the silent^ but effectual, workings of the truth in the minds and hearts of men to bring about in a regular and peaceful manner all needed political and social reforms. They were never to resist authority actively; but, if they must resist it at all, it must be by passively suffering its unjust penalties. If the existing authorities required of them that which they cauld not yield without proving false to God, they were indeed to withhold obedience, but at the same time meekly submit to the penalty these authorities might choose to inflict,
The revolutionary spirit is essentially at war with the religious spirit. The religious spirit does not oppose reform, does not oppose progress, for it is itself a perpetual aspiration of the soul to God, that is to say, a continual hungering and thirsting of the soul after righteousness, after higher and yet higher degrees of sanctity ; but it does oppose the spirit of rebellion and revolution. The meek, quiet, orderly, peaceable spirit, that would overcome the world, not by slaying, but by being slain, is the true religious spirit; the bold, daring, rebellious spirit, that recognizes no established order, and will submit to no fixed rule, is what the Scriptures everywhere teach us to regard as the Satanic spirit. One feels this at almost every page of the Old Testament. The rebels, the revolutionists, the innovators, the Come-onters, are everywhere condemned ; but never are reformers condemned. Young King Josiah is held up to us as a pattern prince, and he is a most zealous and indefatigable reformer.

The Church has also taken, always, the same view. She has, from the first, enjoined submission to the constituted authorities, as if no good could come from the disobedient and rebellious;'—obedience of children to their parents, obedience of servants to their masters, of subjects to the magistrate, of citizens to the State, of the faithful to their pastors. She held out always that all were under law, and that the great virtue, the parent of all the virtues, was obedience. Enforcing this lesson of obedience with maternal authority and maternal affection, she tamed the savage, she softened the barbarian heart, she spread the Gospel through heathen lands, and covered the earth over with monuments of religions zeal and benevolent affection. So long as her sons obeyed her, so long as they submitted to her discipline, and meekly received the law at her hand, she was able to carry on her glorious work of regeneration, — and the progress of the race, in all that truly adorns and enriches humanity, was steadily and rapidly onward.

But the Anakim remained in the land. The giants, that is, the earth-bovn, and mighty men of old, forgot that the first of Christian graces is humility, and the first of Christian virtues, obedience; they felt that submission was a degradation, even a debasement, and resolved that they would rule, and no longer serve. Like Lucifer and his rebel hosts, they set themselves up against authority. They challenged supremacy with the Almighty. Then broke forth the revolutionary spirit, and, with a large portion of the professedly Christian world, Christian virtue was assumed to consist, not in obedience, but in defiance. Submission to superiors was anti-Christian. There were no superiors. This showed itself, in the sixteenth century, in ecclesiastical rebellion. Luther defied the Pope, and he and his followers, together with Zwingle and Calvin, shook off the authority of the Church and set up for themselves. The ecclesiastical rebellion was followed by civil rebellion, in the insurrection of the peasants; after an interval, in the revolt of the Netherlands; then in the English rebellion. The revolutionary spirit, checked for a moment, increased in intensity, and soon, in the eighteenth century, broke out all over Europe, and finally culminated in the French Revolution. Voltaire, it.has been gravely argued, by a popular writer, in a religions periodical, continued the work of Luther. Luther overthrew the infallibility of the Pope ; Voltaire, the infallibility of the written word, and finally emancipated the mind from its thraldom, and proclaimed, henceforth and for ever, absolute freedom of mind.
That our modern Come-outerism is the offspring of this very Satanic spirit, there can be no doubt. This spirit has taken full possession of modern literature. All our popular literature is Titanic, and makes war on the Divinity. It is profoundly revolutionary. What else is the dominant spirit of the more applauded portions of German literature ? Kant, Schiller, even Goethe, the Privy Councillor, with his calm, conservative exterior, are of the old Titanic or Anakim race, the children of Cain, not of Seth. What else shall we say of Byron, Shelley, Bulwer, and even Carlyle ? or of the nightmare school of France, with its Victor Hugo, De Balzac, and George Sand ? And of what other parentage are your Owens, Fouriers, and Saint-Simons ?

The watchword of the whole party affected by this spirit, whatever its Protean shapes, is LIBERTY. This is the angel of light, whose disguise the devil has chosen and in which he walks abroad, to and fro in the earth, seeking whom he may devour. Liberty is a sacred name ; the name of all that is dear, precious, and thrilling to the human heart; the name of that to which all that is generous, noble, and praiseworthy in our nature aspires; the name of the very end for which we were made, — for our highest end, as our highest good, is, to become (ree} to become able to " look into the perfect law of liberty. " Once make it appear that yours is the cause of liberty, and you rightfully enlist all our sympathies on your side, and prove, that, in fighting against you, we are fighting against God. Whoso blasphemes liberty blasphemes his Maker. All, therefore, that Satan has to do is, to persuade men that his cause is the cause of freedom ; and then he can make even their consciences work for him, and all that is noblest and most energetic in their nature urge them on in his service.

The specific form of what among ourselves is called Come-outerism has been determined by the Abolition movement. The providential mission of this country is liberty ; the realization of liberty, not of classes, castes, or estates, but the liberty of man as a moral, intellectual, social, and religious being. Here Christianity was to do her perfect work, in freeing man from every species of bondage, and of ushering him into the glorious liberty of the sons of God. This is the end Providence has appointed us. But this is precisely the end the devil would defeat. Liberty is precisely the thing he hates. He must defeat liberty, or have no foothold on this continent. How shall he defeat it ? By making direct war upon it, that is, by direct and open opposition to our deepest and holiest instincts ? The devil is too cunning for that; for he knows perfectly well, that, were he to do so, the whole land would perceive his real character; would detect him, and know him to be the arch enemy of mankind, and therefore be prepared to withstand him. He can ruin liberty only in the name of liberty, accomplish his purposes only by appealing to our purest and holiest instincts, and making us believe and feel, that, while we are serving him with our whole hearts, we are really not serving him, but God. He must contrive to usurp the place of the Almighty, and to make himself believed to be God, and worshipped as God. He must then chime in with our sentiments, our instincts, even stimulate our devotion to liberty, and defeat liberty by compelling us to seek it in the wrong place, at the wrong time, or by improper means.

The error of the Abolitionists is not, that they love liberty, or that with heart and soul they seek to realize it, and for the black man as well as the white man. The religion of Jesus knows no distinctions of caste or of color. All are children of one common Father, have one common Saviour, and one and the same moral destiny. The end they seek — we mean the sincere and honest among them — is praiseworthy, is a strictly lawful end; but they forget that they are never to seek even a lawful end by unlawful means. Here is their error. In seeking to abolish slavery at the South, they have found both the Church and the State in their way ; that is, they have found both the Chuch and the State in the way of their doing it in the time and manner they propose. But is man made for the State and the Church ? or are the Church and the State made for man ? Is not liberty the very end for which man was made ? Has not every man a right to be free ? Can any State, or any Church, which opposes freedom, which prohibits me from rushing to the rescue of the captive, from breaking the fetters of the bound, of bidding the slave go free, be of God, or in any sense worthy of my support ? No. Then down with the Church ! Down with a corrupt ministry ! Down with the State ! Down, as we heard an Abolition leader exclaim in a public meeting, Down with the star-spangled banner! Down with the army and navy ! Down with the Executive ! Down with the Judiciary ! Down with the Legislature ! Down with all your governmental and ecclesiastical establishments !    And up with the Rights of Man !

Now, we are perfectly willing to admit that the State and the Church exist for man, and that the true freedom of man is paramount to either. We are perfectly willing to admit, that, in case either should become really hostile to human freedom, it would cease to be worthy of our support. But who has the right to decide the question ? Here is manifest the Satanic spirit of Come-outerism. It assumes that the individual is his own judge; that, when I have decided for myself that a certain end is, in itself considered, good and holy, I have a right to seek it against all established authority. The Constitution is in my way, and I get up, as actually did, some time since, a leading Abolition orator, in Faneuil Hall, and exclaim, " My curse on the Constitution ! " Here, I set up my own individual conviction, or my own individual crotchet, and assume that I have a right to follow it, let it lead where it will. I recognize no authority but that of my own conviction, and claim the right to do whatever I please. I am wiser than Church and State; I am above Church and State ; and there is no law to which I owe obedience, but the law which I am to myself. This is the Satanic element of Come-outerism. The Come-outer can justify himself only by making good his claims to a divine commission, and to immediate and plenary inspiration. No authority but that of God can absolve a man from his obligation to obey the existing order; and he must show that he has that authority, or be convicted of the Satanic spirit. Have our modern Abolitionists a warrant from the Almighty to set aside Church and State ?

But this is not all. Suppose the Come-outers, for instance, could get rid of the State, could trample the star-spangled banner in the dust, abolish the Constitution, abolish all forms of law, wipe out all traces of outward government, and proclaim universally the rights of man, what would.they gain? What protection would they have for the rights of man ? What would prevent the strong from oppressing the weak, the cunning from overreaching the simple ? Even the Come-outers themselves cannot in their own affairs get on without organization, and must have their committees, and their moderators. But is there nothing in the way of freedom but human government ? Is it government that causes all the slavery there is ? And, if the restraints of government were taken off, and all men left to their individual passions, instincts, convictions, and crotchets, would each man stand up a true freeman, in the glorious image of his Maker ? Would no one seek to gain any advantage over another ? Who will pretend it ? It is government and law that protect these very men themselves, even while reviling government and law, — and us also from Come-outer vengeance, while defending law and order.
Suppose, again, the Oorne-outers could succeed in destroying the Christian ministry, in demolishing the Church, and resolving all into a perfect moral and religious chaos, what would they gain ? Is there no sin in the human heart but is caused by the Church and the clergy ? Do the Church and the clergy plant all these vindictive passions in our breasts, cause all our selfishness, our woiidly-mindedness, our wrongs and outrages one upon another ? It were madness to pretend so. Abolish, then, the Church and the clergy, and the cause of the evil would remain untouched. We should have all the indwelling sin, the inbred corruption, all the lusts, which now cause all the evils of which man complains, or to which he is subject. So, even, if the individual had a right to set aside the State and the Church on his own responsibility, he would gain nothing, and would, to say the least, find himself in no better condition than he was before.

It is always lawful to seek to redress wrong, to labor to remove evil, whatever or wherever it is, but only by lawful means ; and what are lawful means, the individual is not his own judge. We all of us, from the highest to the lowest, owe obedience to authority, to the State in civil matters, and to the Church, authorized to speak in the name of Christ, in spiritual matters; and I have no right to use any methods or means of redressing wrongs, to labor for any ameliorations, but in submission to these.

From this conclusion, however, many, who are by no means reckoned among Come-outers, will dissent. The truth is, and there is no use in seeking to disguise it, Oome-outerism is only the common faith of the country pushed to its last consequences. Thousands and thousands of those who condemn, in no measured terms, Garrison, Rogers, Foster, Abby Folsom, and their immediate friends and associates, adopt and defend premises, of which the wild notions of these are but the logical conclusions. In politics, the great majority of our countrymen assert the sacred right of revolution, and hold that government derives its just powers from the assent of the governed ; in religion, nearly all of us hold to the right of private judgment, that the individual is morally as well as politically free to choose his own religion. Doubtless, in practice we deny these principles, doubtless we resist their practical application, but they are the deliberately, the solemnly proclaimed faith of the country, and no man can maintain his standing in our community who calls in question their theoretic soundness. Assuming individualism in religion, and no government without the assent of the governed, and the right of revolution in politics, we defy any man, who can reason logically, to escape the conclusions of our Come-outers. We may say there is no occasion for the extremes to which they carry matters, we may dispute about, this or that practical point, but we cannot object to their doctrines. They are consistent ; we who oppose them are inconsistent. They have the courage to be true to their principles. We cowardly shrink from the legitimate consequences of our own faith.
Here is the danger. If there was nothing in the national faith to serve as the basis, the logical data, of Come-outerism, we should have no fears. But every people, in its collective life, tends to carry out, in their logical order, the great, fundamental principles on which that life is founded; and though practical good sense may for a time arrest the tendency, it can never prevent it from ultimately reaching its end. We are the children of revolution in the State, and of dissent in religion. We see nothing sacred in government, we feel nothing binding in ecclesiastical establishments. Our youth are early imbued with a sense of the supremacy of the individual ; and all of us, who think seriously at all, grow up with the conviction, that our own judgment is in all cases to be our rule of action. When we step forth, in the glow and enthusiasm of youth, to write or speak to our countrymen, it is with this conviction burning in our souls. We would stand on our own two feet. What is antiquity to us ? What is it to us what others have believed, or do believe ? What to us the voice of the Church, — a mere association of individuals, and of individuals no wiser or better than ourselves ? What to us the State, also a mere association of individuals ? and what the laws, made by our servants, and in nine cases out of ten by men who know not half so much as we ? Here is the tone, the feeling, with which we enter upon life; and this tone, this feeling, is in perfect consonance with the settled faith of the country. What wonder, then, that men engaged in what they believe a good cause should, on finding themselves resisted or not aided by Church or State, assume the right to set Church or State aside, and to proclaim the absolute freedom of the individual in regard to either ?
Our countrymen, if they would but stop a moment and consider, would read their own condemnation in this very horror or contempt of Come-outerism, which they feel when disclosing itself in its real character, and standing forth before them in its nakedness. Doubtless, there are sounder elements in our national faith than these which we have pointed out; doubtless, there are sound religious principles, and the foundations for a deep and genuine respect for law and order; but still, Come-outerism, in its principle, is — seek to disguise or to palliate the matter as we will — the active, dominant faith of the country. Is it not time, then, to ask ourselves, and very seriously too, if, with this faith active and dominant, it is possible, in the nature of things, to maintain a fixed and permanent order in either Church or State ? Have we seen the worst ? Have we reached the lowest deep? Are not, in point of fact, matters growing worse each year ? Is not law losing its hold on our affections? Are not principles boldly avowed, and bravely defended, in high places as well as in low places, which make no distinction, intelligible or possible, between the acts of the mob and the acts of the State ? Who will question, that, in the recent disturbances in Philadelphia, the majority of the citizens sympathized with the rioters ? On what principle, then, can an advocate of the doctrine set up by Mr. Dorr and his friends condemn them ? On what principle can our no-government men, our Come-outers, either those who hold to the absolute supremacy of the majority, or those who hold, to the supremacy of the individual, justify the authorities in calling out the military to suppress them ?   And where is this matter to end ?
There are two great doctrines which in their nature are opposed one to the other, and one or other of these we must take. A compromise between them may be attempted, often is attempted, with serious and praiseworthy motives, but never with success. One or the other must predominate, and we must have the courage to accept one or the other, and to accept it with all its legitimate consequences. Either we must accept the conservative doctrine, and give to authority the sole right to take the initiative in all reforms, and suffer the individual to work only under and through law ; or else we must accept pure and absolute individualism, proclaim the absolute freedom and independence of individual reason, individual conscience, individual whim or caprice, and individual action, leaving each individual to answer to his God for his entire life, as best he may, — which is simple, unadulterated Come-outerism.

Now, here is our difficulty. We will as a people adopt, simply and entirely, neither the one nor the other. Some of us will be strict conservatives in politics, but absolute Come-outers in religion and morals; others, strict conservatives in religion and morals, but absolute Come-outers in politics. We affirm a principle, follow it to a certain extent, in regard to certain things, and condemn all who, believing in the soundness of the principle, would carry it out in all its legitimate consequences. Now, this is miserable folly and poltroonery. Either your principle is sound, or it is not. If it is sound, you have no right to stop short of its legitimate consequences; you have no right to say to us, " Thus far, but no farther." If it is unsound, you have no right to act on it at all. But be it one or the other, you need not flatter yourselves that you can restrain the mass who adopt it within your prescribed limits. Logic is invincible; and, in spite of all your wise saws about extremes, all your preaching of moderation, and the imprudence of pushing matters too far, they will carry out the principle, and go to the very extreme it demands. There is no such thing as pushing a sound principle too far. If your principle will not bear pushing to its extreme, you may know that it is false, and that the error is, not in pushing it too far, but in adopting it at all.

But, in our folly and timidity, we deny this. The good people of the country, the practical people, the worshippers of common sense, the via-media folks, who believe the panacea for all ills is compounded of equal doses of truth and falsehood, courage and cowardice, wisdom and folly, consistency and inconsistency, will admit nothing of all this. They will permit us to condemn results, when we must not touch causes ; the consequences, when we must respect the principle. When the principle goes a little farther than the mass are prepared to go, but still in the direction they are going, we may condemn the extreme, but not it. We may declaim against Come-outerism, we may denounce or ridicule the Come-outers, show up their follies and extravagances, and the great multitude will applaud ; but let us trace Come-outerism to its principle, let us condemn that principle, and set forth and defend, in opposition to it, the only principle on which we can logically or consistently combat Come-outerism, and forthwith we ourselves are condemned. The very multitude, who applauded us to the echo, turn upon us and say, " Why, friend, we did not mean that. This is car-: rying the matter to extremes, and all extremes are dangerous, and your extreme seems to us no less so than the one you are opposing."
Nor is this all. It is impossible to make up the true issue before the public. If you take the conservative side of the question, and resolutely resist the radical tendency of the day, you are instantly declared to be an enemy of the people, an enemy of reform, the enemy of progress, the advocate of the stand-still policy, the friend of old and superannuated institutions, of crying abuses, of iniquitous privileges,—one, in fact, who would war against the laws of God, resist the whole tendency of the universe, and stay the mighty tide of improvement. You are overwhelmed with obloquy; you are driven from the field by the hoots and hisses of a whole army of popular declaimers. He who speaks for law and order, he who demands submission to authority, and forbids impatient zeal, impatient benevolence, to move, till it has received a commission from authority, can bring no echo to his words. The heart of the multitude does not thrill at the sound of his voice, or respond to his eloquence. In consequence of this, through fear of being misapprehended, of being placed in a false position, of being accused of opposing that for which their hearts are burning, and, through a natural diffidence, a distrust of their own judgments which is produced by their very principles, many, who see the evil, keep silent, shrink from the task of interposing themselves before the multitude, and of doing their best to arrest what they see and feel to be a ruinous tendency.

On the other hand; he who takes the radical tendency, — provided he does not leap too far at a single bound, — who calls out for liberty, for reform, for progress ; who speaks out for man, for humanity ; declaims against tyrants and oppressors; paints in the glowing
tints of a fervid eloquence the wrongs and outrages of which man is both the cause and the victim ; denounces the State, defies authority, sneers at the Church and its pretensions, at fat and lazy monks and priests, with their doctrines of submission, and mulish lessons of patience and  resignation, touches a chord that vibrates through the universal heart.    He has at his command all the materials of the most effective eloquence.    The young, the ingenuous, the ardent, the enthusiastic are kindled.   Mass after mass ignites, and the whole nation flames out in a universal conflagration.    In a country like ours, he can enlist all passions, good as well as bad, and render himself irresistible.    All the  inducements are, therefore, on the side of radicalism ; whoever would cooperate with his countrymen, whoever would lead the multitude or use them for good purposes or evil, must espouse it, and support it with all his energy.   We have but to proclaim the supremacy of man, to call out for freedom, and demand the institution of the worship of humanity, and thousands hang breathless on our words and respond to our tones.   Change our ground, take the conservative side, and he, who yesterday was the master spirit of his age and country, speaks only to listless ears ; his power is gone ; there is no eloquence in his voice, no magic in his words.    The few who may applaud, who may hope to use him for their own purposes, half do-spise him, and he sinks into insignificance.    Hence, all conspires to push on radicalism to its legitimate results. Christianity   gives place  to   Socialism, and the ever-blessed Son of God, to your Owens, Fouriers, or Saint-Simons.

Now, here we are ; the great mass of us, unwilling to accept, to accept fully and unconditionally, the conservative method, countenancing the radical method in its principle, and opposing it only in its results ; while all the active and energetic tendencies of the country conspire to swell its force and consolidate its dominion. What is to be done ? What is our resource ? Where is our safety ? One or the other of the two principles must predominate, must become supreme; and the advantage is now all on the side of the radical tendency, however much it may be decried in colleges and saloons; and not only with us, but throughout Christendom. The great active causes in Europe are working in harmony with it, and even the conservative press of England is beginning to be affected by the socialist tendency, and the young Catholics of France and Germany are, in but too many instances, carried away by it. Is it not time to pause, and make up our minds to accept bravely one tendency or the other ? Peace between the two is out of the question. The human race aspires to unity, and society cannot, and will not, consent to be torn for ever by this destructive dualism.

For ourselves, we have made our choice. We began our career with the radical tendency. We accepted it in good faith, and followed it till we saw where it must necessarily lead. We recoiled from its consequences, and sought, by an impotent eclecticism, to reconcile the two principles, to harmonize authority and the independence of the subject, till we found our speech confounded, and saw the attempt was as idle as that of the builders in the Plain of Shinar, who would build a tower that should connect earth with heaven. Nothing remained but to take our stand on the conservative side, and submit ourselves to authority, and take the ground that reforms are never to be attempted in opposition to established authorities ; that is, on individual responsibility alone. We abandon no love of progress, we give up no hope of improvement, but hold that improvement is to come from high to low, not from low to high. It is God that descends to man, the Word that becomes flesh; not man that ascends to God, not humanity that becomes Divinity.

The question is, no doubt, a grave one ; it has, no doubt, two sides, and men may honestly differ in their decisions. But to one decision or the other they must come, and that right early, or it may be too late. We have wished to state the question, and show that this Come-outerism, which so many condemn, and, in our judgment, so justly condemn, is in reality only the legitimate logical result of the great political doctrine, that government derives its just powers from the assent of the governed, and the kindred doctrine of the supremacy of the individual reason in matters of faith. The right of private interpretation and government by consent of the governed once granted, no logical mind can stop short of Come-outerism; and if you add the Gluaker doctrine of individual inspiration, of the " light within," you not only legitimate Come-outerism, but establish it on a divine foundation, and clothe it with divine authority.

But, after all, we will not suffer ourselves to despair either of the country or of humanity. We do, in the profound darkness which envelopes the land and the age, behold a gleam of light. One ray, at least, breaks through the gloom, and reveals to us the glorious truth, that there lies a bright heaven beyond, in which rides in his majesty the Sun of Righteousness. The reaction, we have elsewhere pointed out, in favor of religion and the Church, the deep and absorbing interest which many are beginning to feel on the great question of the Church, unsteady and uncertain as all may be as yet, is a favorable indication that we may possibly have reached the lowest deep, and that the upward tendency is commencing ; that Providence has not wholly abandoned us, nor given us up to a reprobate mind; and that the great and conservative spirit of the Gospel is still powerful, and will ultimately overcome the world, and subdue all things to the Lord and his Christ. We call upon the religious-minded, the lovers of the Lord, and the true friends of humanity, to hope and work, to pray without ceasing, and continue in well-doing. Let our trust be not in man, nor on an arm of flesh, but in God; let us submit ourselves to him, lay aside human vanity and human pride, and walk in the way he has ordained, and the evil will be arrested, and the good retained.