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The advance. (Ogdensburgh, N.Y.) 1861-1864, December 20, 1861, Image 2

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THE ADVANCE, DECEMBEE 20, 1861. A THAHKBGIVIFG 8EKM0N. H\ HK\i I. Ml'.llllll.l. Mil I.Kll. cd Hi I In- Klr-t l»n-li>ii-rJ*ii Church. OK tU'it^'MiriMi. N. V ,'I'lmrfdiiy mornim:. NmvmWr SiM. iSJUt. M I'MriCCT TIIIMU itll SCKfKIUNUv.\ Ml'K H. H>. Ought we to keep our accustomed t*«s- tivnl of Thnn&tfiving this year? Some of our singers under the pressure *»i* the time*, refine to chant \Hail foluin»*in! Happy Land.\ ll H<'i<»iring in Tribula- tion \ in, to be mire, an Apostolic injune tion, ami lia« solid gospel argumentation to support it. Hut wan not that written lor Christian- considered only in tin if it ligiou* character and when personally chastened before (Un\! How sliiill we, osnti/cimofji commonweHlth. Oiled with the alarms of war ami all the perils oi civil strife, regard such a call to joy and thanksgiving ? What key-note shall we strike on our harp-string?, and what shall bo the melody? \A dirge!\ perhaps more than one is ready to reply. Thoughts and ^mentions like these presented them- IJOIVOH, doubtless to most persons when the public, press announced the proc- amation of our Governor, calling us to renew this time-honored annual visit to the House of the Lord, and bring offer- ings of adoration and praise to His name, M Iweause •* His merciful kindness i» great toward us.\ . Hut surely these were mdy first impres- sions. Komovcd as we are—in the Pro- vence of God—-HO far from the scenes and immediate result* of strife and surround- ed by RO large a degree with the fruits of the fleld and the blessings of health and iMcial life—exempted from internal disor- der—favored with liberty of conscience and the uninterrupted pursuits of ordi- nary life—with our national rights re- spected—partisan animosities fast burn- ing out, and the spirit of fraternal kind- noM more largely developed all around us, certainly wo have the most earnest and substantial reasons for gratitude and praise. These are signal mercies which could not have been anticipated in the midst of a sovereign State whose highest interests ire linked with the destinies of our glorious flrinn. and whose rights are represented by a hundred thousand of her brave sons upon the tented field. With scrupulous sincerity ami gladness, therefore, should we celebrate the day, 1st. For the actual enjoyment it brings, and lid, lor the lessons of true satisfaction suggested in connection with the. text for our country in the future. 1. We have actual blessings for which we should he truly thankful. They are admirably summed up in the Proclamation of our Governor. This day, designed at first as an expression of gratitude to God for the abundant harvests of the year, has especial demands upon our notice at the present time. We offer to the world an astonishing spectacle. We arc not only able to feed our armies'and the people at large, but have stores in abundance al»ove these demand* to supply, to a great ex- tent, the wants of other nations. For these supplies they are willing and anxious to l>e at {mace with us. During the last week in Octo1>cr, no less than 1,477,340 bushels of grain and 83,524 barrels of flour were exported to Europe, bringing back two and a quarter millions of d«#l- lars. For one week in 8eptcml>er, the amount exported reached the sum of three millions of dollars in value. It is suscep- tible of definite proof that wo must re- ceive for our cereals alone within the present fiscal year, more money from Eu- rope than we have heretofore received for both food and cotton, and that supposing we shall not this year sell one pound of cotton to the foreign market, we shall yet have a largo balance in our favor, which will be payable in specie. It is there- fore impossible for us to estimate the /*>- litictl wine of the produce of our fertile fields in the present hour of national danger. Aside from the justice of our cause, these potential reasons appeal to the interests <»f England and France to l>e at peace with us. If theae nations did not stand at our doors to ask for bread, little can we tell of the combinations that might have entangled our political rela- tions. God be praised for our overflow- ing granaries for exemption from hunger at home and the fear of enemies abroad I Again: Bitch has l>een the nature of this unholy rebellion, that its bitterest fruits and heaviest calamities have been confined to the soil that gave birth to traitors and that now cherishes thttn.— The people of the Northern States ought not to overlook thin kind i Ood toward them to dav. of N^t a single st.il. We hostile soldier tread* upon their futir of all the ravages and njiiseries of \\\\\\ but they have not come u»gh unto us. Fearful mid ness, and dismay, and distress brood over ravaged hamlets— ruined towns fields where havests have been snatched otV by hungry soldiers, and even cities where life is stagnant and the waiting masses are wistfully casting about for deliverance and for bread. Here quiet citizens arc not on the watch lest inva- sion or the uprising of suspected slaves should imperil their homes ami their safety. No mother with anguished heart ehispH her little one to her anus and runs for their lives. Those painful sights and sad experiences are removed far away from us. For His great and undeserved goodness to us we should give Him most humble ami hearty thanks. II. We also find cauw for Thanksgiv- ing from considerations growing out of the text, for our country in the future. - To be made perfect through suffering in a doctrine of Christianity which is as surprising as any of the wonderful results embraced in its mysteries; and yet it is ono made quite familiar to those who are acquainted with the Scriptures. The Apostle says: \ It became liim, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the Captain of their salvatipn perfect through sufferingfi.\ This Captain is the Lord Jesus Christ, ne was made fully qualified for his works by his remarkablo sufferings. As applied U> the Baviour, it does not mean that he was made holy, or was fitted by them to l>c a better man- but he was by this sorrowful experience made a Saviour just adapted to redeem man. Hy his sorrows he was completely endowed for the mission he came to ac- complish. He thus l)ccame a pcrJWt mo- del of (waring affliction to all who, as his disciples, shall be called to suffer. He be- came, also, by his experience, able per- fectly to sympathize with his people anrl adequately to succor them. lie also, in his sufferings, completed his great atone- ment tor transgressions, and hence, as he hung upon the cross, in all the agonies of death, he could triumphantly say of all the work given him to do, \It is finished.\ It is perfect and entire, wanting nothing. Thus was the Saviour the highest, holiest and best of all that ever lived. \ Made perfect through suffering.\ We now have such an assurance as we could not otherwise have had that he was a perfect Saviour—not only in moral char- acter, but in his work and in his adapt- ed UCKH to the wants and circumstances of man. The principle of the text finds a differ- ent but striking illustration in the expe- rieuce of men disciplined by suffering. When afflictions accomplish their intend- ed work, men are made better by them, and through them arc qualified for greater and more extended usefulness. Seasons of trial arc 4 times of preparation. Hence we constantly meet with passages of God's Word which teach us that God will dis- cipline men for their profit—will perfect them through suffering. He often chooses his especial servants in the furnace of af- fliction. He prepared Joseph for his great work in Egypt by his trying expe- rience, and Moses for his lofty position as the leader of Israel by his long and se- vere training away from home and in the solitudes of Sinai. Peter and Paul were directed to important duties, for which their trials eminently qualified them. Lu- ther was eminently fitted for his great mission as the leader of the Reformation, by the peculiar sufferings and experience in which he was tried, himself, passing through the different phases of his great public work in his own private life. The severe labors of Washington is his early days, as a surveyor aud as a soldier in the Iwmler strife, as well as his home edu- cation, were eminently times of prepara- tion for his subsequent brilliant career as the leader of the federal arms and as the Father of his Country. Many a man has been tutored into sobriety, and honesty, and economy, and thrift, and earnest, holy endeavor, aud wide-spread useful- ness, in the school of Adversity. By his fall, and mortification, and self-induced wants, he has been sharpened into self- dependence, and honest determination, and patient endurance, toiling up the hill and onward to competency, and honor, and peace. God often usce these instrumentalities for the highest good of his \H t»pl''. So he says to \i\< alUK'ted ones, \I um the Lord thy <.«od, which Uachcth thee to proiit.\ \' IH<*.-.-ed U the man whom thou cha^tcnuM.\ The faith of Abraham, the nicekne.-sof MOMS. the patience, of Job. the submission of David, and the constancy of Daniel, were the happy fruits of their great and singu- lar suilerings. And men whose praise has f-om tin* beginning been prominent for goodness and usefulness, have been peculiarly lifted above the world by the heavy pressure of affliction;*. As gold is cast into the furnnce to increase its puri- ty, so (iod retines his t-hosen ones in the tiery orileals through which they often paw. Hence \m way song runs— \Trials ni:i>| mi d will bofiil' : Mm wiil i luiiuli!«« fait h to c»-(j I-ovi' :ii>.( rili'il !ii»oij tluit i «!I. Thif in hupjtim r'f tti IM.' However dull may be his pupil*, Oml has ways to lead each one of them to the best knowledge and most desirable vndti. But he more frequently teaches them ef- fectually through sorrows and trials than in any other way. He makes them per- fect through mfferimjt for His will and We proceed a step farther, and observe that God also instructs nations, and leads them to perfect their destiny through suf- ferings. The pcrioda of their greatest prosperity have been their times of great- est danger. The iron age of Rome was the era of her true glory. Then she ex- hibited her courage manhood and virtue in the highest degree. Hue was not then tainted or enervated as after- wards by the excess of her subsequent prosperity and wide-spread luxury and indulgence, but compelled to economize at home and struggle abroad; forced to maintain integrity and honor as the basis of her treatment of her citizens nnd sol- diers, and enemies as well as conquered subjects; she inculcated and practised a surrender of self to the public good : and by love of country and adoration of the household Penatez, and praise of the manly virtues, encouraged the spirit and formed the legions that subdued the world. In those days were found heroes who could come from captivity on parole, advise their countrymen against peace, and then go back to torture and certain death ; or heroes like the Decii, who could devote themselves to solemn self-sacri- fice, ami could bid sublime defiance to pain, and count dishonor the only evil. It was then that the fire called eternal burned at the capital, and wm tended constantly by the vestal virgins, as a type and symbol of the duration of the Repub- lic. It implied that the duration of Rome was co-extensive with the preser- vation of her purity v>f morals, bo long as the dignity of her matrons and her virgins remained unsullied, so long she would last—no longer. Female chastity guarded the eternal city. Her progress wa« onward to conquest and greatness until the presence of luxury and indul- gence undermined her virtue and integ- rity, and she gradually lost her courage, and enterprise, and empire. Consider our past prosperity as a na- tion. Call to mind the evils which ex- cess and indulgence were rapidly induc- ing among us. How long, think you, l>efore such a life of wealth, and luxury, and indulgence, would sweep us all into the vortex of one common imbecility and ruin? The rise of England, from the days of the conquest of Julius Agricola, when the Roman arts and improvements were .first introduced into Brittany, and the Druidical superstition received its death-blow at the Isle of Man, has been marked by severe revolutions and ware of invasion. The arbitrarj and des- potic powers of the crown were wrested away, and the liberties of the people en- larged by popular disturbances or ap- peals to arms and changes of thrones and dynasties. The trial by jury, and the important concessions of Magna Charts, were wrested from John at the cannon's mouth. In the same manner, Charles the First was compelled to sign the Peti- tion of Rights and Charles the Second the Act of Habeas Corpus, which gave the utmost possible security to personal liberty. While, therefore, revolution and war are to be deprecated as great evils aud heavy judgments, by our proper «>'*- duct under them and God's blessing, they may be sources of great advantage and increased usefulness and happiness. This agrees with the teaching of God's word, *• When thy judgments are in the earth, : the inhabitants of the world will learn I righteousness.\ This was the effect of j divine chasUiimcut on the Jewish n:i- 1 tion in the wilderness \ When he !*le\v | them then they sought him.\ This was the experience of Manasseh and his peo- ple, \Ami the Lord spake to Manasseh and to his people, but they would not hearken. Wherefore the Lord brought upon the captains of the host of the king of Assyria, which took Manasseh among the thorns, and bound him with fetters, and carried hint to Babylon. And when he was in a»ni«-ii«>i>. he besought the Lord his «iod, and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers, and prayed unto hint; and he wan entreated of him, and heard his supplication, aud brought him again to Jerusalem, into his king- coin. Then Manasseh knew that the Lord he was God.\ And since God of- tener instructs men in a time of adversity thau in the midst of ease, and luxury and enjoyment, they have really more reason to fear prosperity than adversity. Be- cause we have no fear of enjoying case, health and affection, we forget that there are evils which flow naturally and gen- erally from prosperity, corrupting the very basis of all society and affecting the entire machinery of the commonwealth, and at the same time overlook the checks, anil balances, and benefits which flow from social disappointments and public chastisement. While we ought to be more concerned in prosperity to l>e thank- ful than to enjoy it, so in adversity we should be more anxious about conducting ourselves aright under its pressure than even to avoid its heavy inflictions. The principle of the text, viewed in this light, has been verified in our past history, and we believe will be more fully in our present trials and deliverance. Suffering in a common and noble cause banded our forefathers together when on British soil and in the friendly keeping of Holland. Suffering for conscience sake made them a peculiar class of men, and while it led'them to God with in- tense devotion, and solemn awe, and un- questioning trust, it cast out ull fear of man ami superstitious regard tor the as- sumtioua of crowned heads and titled dignities. It led them to protest against ull encroachments upon human rights, and to maintain firm resistance to tyran- ny. At length, despairing of justice at home, in the spirit of holy devotion and lofty self-consecration, they bade adieu to all the endearments of fatherland, braved the perils of the deep, and gave themselves to the task of establishing, in this fur distant, inhospitable land, an asylum for the oppressed and a home for the free. Glad and hopeful in their sufferings for such an object— \ AmMet Die e tonn they tan^: And the Mnrt* heard, and tlio pea* And the Honnding al*lcH of the dim woods rang To the anthem of the fr<*!! Ay<>. rail It holy groaud. The poll where first they trod I They hive left unstained what there they found— Freedom to worthip Ood!\ Another lesson through suffering await- ed them, even Ijeyond the struggles for subsistence and against the cruelties of Indian warfare. It was the long en- dured bitterness of oppression and resist- ance of the dearest rights of representa- tion that at length united the infant col- onies in one common protest and declara- tion of grievances. Failing here, they were compelled to form a confederacy for the mutual defence, and appeal to arms. Providence had great designs for them, and led them along, step by step, until they were compelled to go farther than their first intentions, and to declare their Independence. After the long struggle of the Revolutionary War, 8t. George's Cross drooped to the Stars and Stripes, and the thirteen original States took their places as a new nation among the nations of the earth. We had, however, hardly started on our career as the United States, before the breaking of the bunds which held these States together was manifest The States claimed rights which nullified the General Government, and shipwreck was threatened in the outset. Soon, however, impelled by the necessities of the case, a convention came together for the purpose of forming a more perfect union among the States and consolidating the General Government for all the purposes of self-preservation and efficiency. That convention formed the Constitution under which, amj by the blessing of God, we have so largely pros- pered and magically increased in power, and wealth, and happiness, until the in- troduction of the doctrine of secession and this great rebellion to aid and enforce-it. The first statesmen of the land have echoed the voice of the noble defender of the Constitution, \The Union must and shall be preserved,\ \ Liberty and Union now and forever, one and inseparable.\ Cue statesman and his ever-restless con- stituents cried out. u Nultifwdimi^ but the entire voice of the other States and their strong arm uplifted by the hero of New Orleans, speedily warned them back to duty and to silence. Since that time, until quite recently, declarations of at- tachment and devotion to the Union have been earnest, emphatic, and constantly re- peated. With one voice we have said in those eloquent words, u Our path of duty is straight onward; and it is as clearly defined to the view as the milky girdle of the heavens iu a cloudless night. We must stand by the Constitution of our country. We must stand by the laws of our country, indignantly frowning upon all sentiments or utterances of revolution- ary violence. We must stand by the rulers of our country, honoring them as the ministers of God to us for good. We must stand by the union of our country, regarding it as the spring of our bless- ings, the palladium ot oar freedom, the sheet anchor of our felicity, and the star of hope to the oppressed and downtrod- den nations. Let us transmit these prin- ciples to our children as we received them from our fathers, entire and untainted, to be by them in like manner, under the shield of the national banner, handed down to theirs as a precious and perpetual inheritance.*' The war of 1812 was also made the source of blessing and gain to the nation. We gained increased respect and defer- ence for our name abroad, and secured honorable advantages for our limited but growing commerce. And yet again shall we emerge from the sufferings of this war, made more per- fect for the blessings and parposes of our existence as a nation. This will appear, if \ye call to mind the first effect of this war. It is a development of our charac- ter. We arc now sure of a nationality. We have been regarded hitherto more for what we might become—more as a doubt- ful experiment, than as a true and suc- cessful nation. The suspense of the memo- rable week in last April was fearful. But since the shameful attack on Fort Sum- ter, we have arisen to new discoveries and importance. The protesting voice of twenty-three millions of people, and the hastening of thousands of volunteers to arms and to Washington, proclaimed us a nation in fact, with the mighty sinews of aggression and defence. Pure patriot- ism, one of the noblest springs of national life and honor, flourishes under our lie- publican institutions. And the spectacle of more than half a million of volunteers rushing into the field in eight months, without a single conscript, is an unpnr alleled wonder in the history of all na- tions. The offer of money, and sympa- thy, and life, in behalf of this government, shows its grand hold of the hearts and affections of this great people, and that they value above all earthly considerations ite Constitution, and laws, and free insti- tutions, which have l>ecn, under God, the iEgis of our protection and the spring «f prosperity and our future hope. We ought not to forget, in our thanksgivings to-day, that God has taught us that we have a noble land, and that patriotism keeps march with its greatness and pros- perity. Another advantage of this war is in the fact that we discover the feelings of other nations. We are taught their dis- position toward us; what we have to expect from them, and how we are to deal with them. It has been a source of surprise and mortification to us to wit- ness the apparent attitude of England, and the mode in which she speaks of our faults and weakness. It has been equally a surprise and pleasure to grasp the out- stretched hand of Russia. In misfortune we learn the position in which we stand and the means by which we must perish or arise to greater honor and power. The false friends arc exposed, and those upon whom we may truly lean are clearly de- clared. This war becomes a great bless- ing, so far as it points out definitely our relations to other nations, and teaches how we must deal with them in adverse circumstances. Our national sufferings have developed an unexpected degree of variety and wealth in our resources. Notwithstand- ing eight mouths 1 most costly prepara- tions and expenditures in war, the Fed- eral Government and the loyal States find thenfselves to-day in a far better financial position than at the beginning of the year. We have more specie on hand by one hundred millions of dollars than we had at this time last year. An arrangement has just been com- pleted by the Associated Banks of New- York to take the third fifty million in- stalment for the Government by the 1st of January next, the previous one hun- dred mi 11 ions having already [been ta- ken. The traffic on Northern Railroads has incalculably increased. The amount of Canal Tolls is nearly one million of dol- lars more than lost year. Our expendi- tures for foreign manufactured goods has decreased and domestic manufactures en- larged. While the imports since the first of January lust arc one hundred millions ess than for the same period last year at New-York alone, the export* are thirty millions more. These figures are for ten months. so that, adding to these items the one above respecting the specie, we may, in round numbers, call the whole gain for the year two hundred millions of dollars. This is a problem for those to solve who deluded themselves with the idea that the stoppage of cotton exportation* would precipitate the North into bank- ruptcy and overturn our entire commer- cial interests. The scheme which was to prove our financial ruin has betn made an element of prosperity to us. We shall, too, learn more distinctly jutl what we need, as a people, to consolidate and make us a greater and better nation. God has been lifting us up to higher and Ixjttcr views than mere accumulation or selfish indulgence, lie U calling us back to the simple principles upon which we were founded as a religious.nation, and by which our prosperity has been hither- to augmented and made a blessing. We see clearly that righteousness alone can exalt a nation, and that we can place no dependence upon demagogues, or mere political creeds or administrations, but must rely, under God, upon the intelli- gence and virtue of the masses, whose elevation and real good must be sought in the body politic. Offence* must needs come, but God can, and, we telicve, is making these great evils of war a bless- ing to us in teaching us these important lessons. He is correcting our ostentatious extravagance, our selfishness and effemi- nacy. He is leading us to see that God is just, as well as merciful, and that he is a judge, as well ara Father, will punish the wickedness of a people, and will avenge the cries of the poor and needy. And as God has given us peculiar reasons in all our past history to believe that we are his people, so we must expect from his love, and his gracious designs to us, and for us, in the future he will chastise us for our sins, open our ears to instruc- tion, and prepare us for greater useful- ness and knowledge. A war can never again be inaugurated on secession grounds, and, we believe, never again, either for or against slavery. It would seem as one of the blessings of this war that God was about to cut the Gordian knot that has so long bound us to difficulties and danger, and solve the problem of slavery, a fruitful source of the bitterness and crimes that have vexed the body politic. Our forefathers began the War of the Revolution because they were compelled to it in self defence. At its close God crowned them with inde- pendence, a far greater blessing than they at first sought This war was imposed upon us. We did not seek it We were driven to it for our very existence as a na- tion. Our existence 1 This was the only rallying cry that roused our thousands and hundreds of thousands, and mar- ahalled them for battle. That existence, under God, we shall preserve, and exalt, and purify, for a higher and holier des- tiny among the hundreds of the earth. And new light seems faintly streaming upon the vexed question of slavery. God grant that his own light may lead us in the way of duty in regard to it, and that in his own time, not far distant, the Stare and Stripes may float over this entire na- tion, black and white, rejoicing in the light, and singing the anthems of the free. ' In view of such facts and thoughts as [CONCLUDED ON 7th PA<3E!J

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