One of the most prominent features of the present stage of human progress, is the tendency to associated action and co-operation. The old maxim – “union is strength” – is beginning to be felt and realized by the masses. The people are beginning to see that their true interests are one, and that conflict and antagonism are not the God-ordained and eternal laws of human society.
The following original communication, although not written for this paper, yet with permission of the author, we give an insertion with pleasure.
“Virtue is its own rewarder—But vice is swallowed up in the grave it digs for others.”
That man is a social being, the very nature and the circumstances necessary to the development of his natural capacities proclaim. – We see the infant before the dawn of intellect, cling to the matron bosom, with a fondness beyond account,. And as the mind beams forth its vivid brilliancies, ray by ray, - until its orb complete is seen – and gently soars up to its noon-day arch, imparting charms to soothe the cravings of, and embellish with beauty and magnificence its fellow mind. And mildly disappear beneath the darkening clouds of premature – or gilded horizon of ripened years – as the atmosphere in which it moves, dictates. And casting back its most impressive beams entreats us all to follow it, - in hope to arise again, to illume a sphere more truly glorious. Yes, though all the stages of man’s existence, we behold his social nature acquiring new and stronger attachments – constantly twining around his heart for his fellow man the cords of sympathy, and constantly seeking an enlarged circle of associates. Consequently families, villages, nations, become organized, and resolve into unity as it were.
Now sympathy is the only true principle of all attractions and cohesions. It is sympathy which rightly associates the human family – and binds individual to individual and association to association. But how often is this great principle misruled by the demands of want – or the schemes of vain or pecuniary policies.
And what are the consequences which must necessarily follow this digression of human invention? The beauties of gambling – or the evils of society!
Who can reflect for a moment upon the present practice of business transaction – pecuniary, social and moral throughout the world without exclaiming with myself, - ‘Tis all a game – and he that is the best adept, is sure to win the wager. For who can gain a comfortable livelihood or the intrinsic reward of his merit, without making the policies of the checker-board, or a hand at cards his constant study and practice?
Deplorable indeed but we have all participated in modeling the fabric, - consequently why should we complain of our tenements? some may suggest. But these whom nature made the strongest, and circumstances of the missmovement of others have made the most fortunate, have rudely precipitated the stones that just men laid into the dark abyss of bygone shadows, - and patterned the castle so often to favor their own changes, that the ones most prosperous to-day, cannot be certain as to their lot tomorrow. Hence arises that inhumanizing chill of distrust, which incites foe to friend – and man to jealousy, even toward his enviable Maker.
The subject of my criticism is beautifully – although lamentably pictured all around us, - in every occupation and profession.
Suppose two young men (brothers if you please, either by profession) commence business with equal amounts of capital, and with equal prospects of success.
One with the ambition of a Caesar, determined to hoard up more than all the rest, - and stand the first in fortune’s festive halls.
The other resolves that He will deal justly by all, and prove a benefactor to the world by producing daily, more by the sweat of his brow, than he consumes. And “do unto others as he would that they should do unto him.”
The men most worthy in our day, Are those who make the most display.
The first designs, - anticipates the necessities of his patrons – displays his goods – conceals their defects, and magnifies their value in eloquent entreaties. And when he purchases of others, he takes every vantage of their necessities that their circumstances will permit. He oppresses all whom he can gain ascendency over by intrigue. He prospers and is respected – rivals and is venerated – robs and is justified – lives a mere drone – dies reluctantly, - and his faults are buried beneath him. He is applauded by splendid epitaphs, and commemorated by towering monuments.
On the other hand, we see an honest, unassuming philanthropic benefactor, shunned by the populance – deceived by intrigue – robbed by the law – oppressed by policy – pinched by want – stoned to death by public opinion – wrap in the winding sheet of disgrace – and buried in the pit of neglect. But alas! is this the final reward of virtue? No, God forbid! – his inscription is indelible in the heavens, - and the life-giving sun is the monument of his worth.
How are our systems of government, domestic and political, effected? They are big with the tortures of error! wrongs are reproved by wrong, and crime feasts upon crime. – Thus, passion inkindles passion, - and stimulates it to more vigorous actions – and extinguishes all higher qualities of the mind: - reducing man to the lowest order of the animal creation. Less worthy of life than the meanest brute that only off ends occasionally.
We are hampered by a superstitious etiquette, which we are compelled to live and die by, to gain the privileges of social being, in the most scanty degree of respectability. – Dame nature will submit to no such arbitrary restrictions, and beautify the charms.
But every mind is endowed with sufficient moral sentiment; if it be rightly cultivated, to control and property guide all lower passions of the mind in the path of rectitude. And these powers are infinitely co-existent and co-equal in value. If the passions are crushed by rigor, or blighted by neglect, - the sentiments perish for want of stimulus, and the high capacities and faculties which a well balanced mind is capable of attaining too, arise but empty bubbles of nothingness.
For like the lute the human soul is strung – and turned into melodies the most harmonious, by nature’s fairy hand: and like the Aeolian harps, the elective cord which binds us heart to heart, vibrate most sweetly when affection’s placid zephyr breathed from congenial spirits plays gently over the brow – and in a seraph’s voice, speaks peace to all around. Wooed by these minstrel lips, man’s love does like the trump roll back its dulcet strains on all who press it thus, exact as they are breathed into his mirror soul. – When artifice, or jealousy’s huge paw, or self-esteem or malice grasp the harp – discordant notes in competitious strife – each one to rise one strain above the last and drown it with an eloquence most shrill, dart rudely forth, - like lightning flashing, blazing, pealing – from ‘cloud to cloud incessant – frightfully shot. All social charms are banished from the scene; and all around is wrap’t in horror’s gloom – until at length the tender strings are broke! and ruined worth, and ‘grief’ depicted there.
Where are we to commence this mighty reformation but in our systems of education. And what do we encounter there but a scheme of restrictions – the source of constant irritation to some passion or sentiment which is strictly antagonistic with the faculty or precept which we are striving to develop. A routine of ceremonies but ill adapted to more than one class of organizations. Now that nature or art never gave two productions exactly alike in every respect – or any one production which bore the same relation to surrounding objects at any two periods of time, is an axiom beyond a doubt. And man, the wonder of himself, is more changeable than all the rest. Yes, for like the quivering vane, the higher mind is elevated in the atmosphere of scientific investigation, the more unstable its logical tact.
Intellect in its present auxiliary condition, is but the instrument of circumstances – moved to action by effects witnessed, which are the most congenial to each individual physical temperament, and the faculties, sentiments and passions which have been the most fully developed. A perfect development of each naturally organized mind, we have reasons to believe would produce a self-educating self-regulating and self-supporting society. The members of which, like the tens of thousands of worlds that float in freedom through the void in perfect harmony – would strictly obey the laws of that great power which creates, supports and destroys life, light, actions and attraction.
Passion increases passion, and faculty develops faculty, - and faculty and passion are the parents of sentiment. Thus if we wish to increase any particular faculty, we apply for tuition to those who have more of that faculty than ourselves. And the same is equally true with all passions. And as our capacities receive, and our passions approve, so do our sentiments decide.
The adage of “what is meat for one, is poison for another,” embodies more truth than poetry. In this elementary principle we may trace all the ills which now degrade and oppress man. The faculties, passions and sentiments of an other organization, until the whole race of man has become poisoned. There diseases, moral mental and physical pervade the entire human family.
The feelings of a philanthropist upon investigating this horrible condition of his race, may be the most truly expressed in the words of “the mad poet,” for he is regarded more as such than any other order of beings, by a majority of people.
O, let me dwell in the regions of fancy,
Where nought but the clear sky is seen -
And the fairies that dance there so sweetly,
Like Aurora in evenings serene.
For there I can rear me a castle,
Like Solomons temple of old -
Its tower shall reach unite to Heaven,
And glitter with purer than gold.
And then I can muse with the spirits,
Of those who have gone to their rest, -
And listen to chants of the angels,
That dwell in the hand of the blest.
(Hush! Hush!! list thou that sweet lovely voice?
She smiles, as she sighs, from the dark lonely tomb!
“My loved one – my own dearest lover, oh, come to my arms,
Prepare for your eternal doom.”)
I will rush from the crowd of a city,
And flee from the tortures of wiles -
Where nature bestows all her smiles, -
To a far distance cell in the mountain,
A  feast on my spirit’s repast
Yes, there I will like a hermit,
Where the ivy and woodbine are twining,
And evergreen’s shadow is cast.
There envy nor malice will bliss me,
Nor friendship can e’er prove a curse;
I’ll fly to that, beautiful sphere, -
And love like the rhyming of verse.
How can we improve but by social intercourse. Where are the demands of nature to be learned than where they are proclaimed freely. How are we to restore sympathy to her imperial throne, but by discarding her opponents. How purify a corrupt system than by cultivating reform, - or how eradicate error than by ingrafting truth.
In order to produce these results, mind must cease to prey upon mind. Then will our noblest powers exult in virtue’s cause, and glow with life as perfect as their present sleep beneath their fallen towers. Then will the meagre conceptions which now limit man’s earthly sphere to a niggardly round of selfish desires, in darkness and bigotry – and shorten his days by successive transgressions of nature’s laws. Then will they be expanded to scan immensity – dissolve mystery – transcend egotism – and shun the approach of evil. – Then we shall recognise our neighbor as a part with ourselves, and ourselves as only a part of the human family.