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shall never wave on the Pacific coast. It shall wave there, was the reply that came back from the South, it shall wave there, though we bear it thither amid surrounding bayonets, and in the face of marshalled hosts!
How was such a dispute to be adjusted without either a violent sundering of the Union, the voluntary relinquishment of claimed rights, on the one hand, or the giving up of cherished principles on the other ? Just at this crisis the hand of God uncovered the gold-mines; and thenceforth it was settled that California at least must be free. In her golden dust there was a motive power which was sure to bring northern enterprise to her shores, and speedily to fill her valleys and cover her hills with men who would be true to the principles of their fathers, and would honor their early homes by refusing to have fellowship with oppression. But why might not the sons of the South be attracted thither, in as great or greater punibers than those of the North ? Sure enough, why? Not because they were less the lovers of wealth, but because when there is a demand for enterprise, skill and labor, they are never found volunteering first and in greatest numbers. It required the energy which only the soil of freedom nourishes, to furnish the means and the men that during the last few months have gone from the prairies and forests of the West, and the harbors of the East. The men who composed the recent State Convention in California only expressed their own spontaneous sentiment and that of the thousands of new comers, when they incorporated into their Constitution the provision by which slavery is excluded. California is free! Free, independently of the determination of the North that she should be so; and in spite of the determination of the South that she should not. The question of her freedom is settled, not by the parties between whom it has been in dispute, but by a third party, suddenly called into being by the discovery of her golden placers-a power whose jurisdiction in the case is undeniable. It is settled without the threatened disruption of the Union, without a voluntary relinquishment of claimed rights on the part of the South, and withont the giving up of cherished principles on the part of the North. The most earnest advocate of slavery and slave extension, can not refuse with a good grace now to consent that her soil shall be free: for the slaves of the South are not kept ont by Congressional legislation, but by the free choice of their own citizens. As well might the right to prohibit slavery within her own boundaries be denied to the territory of Minnesota, when she shall propose to become a state, as to California. And yet, we have been forewarned of a plan by which it is still hoped that a portion of her soil may be devoted to the interests of the peculiar institution.” " Her territory is too exteusive for a single State,” is the suggestion which comes from the South ; let it be divided, and let the northeru portion be now set off as a state, and received into the Union, and the southern be reserved for another state to be admitted at some future period." 'Too extensive, is it? Why was not the territory of Texas too extensive? With her admission to the Union as a precedent, we do not believe that this stratagem, devised by southern ingenuity, has any chance of success. Moreover, if it should succeed, we do not believe anything would be gained to slavery. Bounded on the north by a free state, every way fitted to be her model, and receiving thence her first forming and guiding influences, the chances are ten to oue that by her own choice the second Californian state would be as free as the first. We think therefore, that the conclusion is warranted, that whatever of danger to our institutions seemed to be involved in the settlement of the slavery question, as it is related to our new territories, has been averted.
We do not forget that so far as New Mexico is concerned, the same difficulty still remains to be settled ; but it is confessed on all hands that, be the action of Congress what it may, slavery can not live there, because there, slave labor can never be made productive. There will doubtless be a warm contest for and against the right to carry slaves there. The representatives of the south, with accustomed chivalric demonstrations will contend for its recognition, while those of the north will, and for the sake of the possible bearing of the decision on future congressional action, ought to contend against it. Failing to accomplish their purpose by other means, the representatives of the South, as their custom is, will undoubtedly resort to scheming, and endeavor to open a door for slavery by admitting the claim of Texas to the territory in question; while we hope and believe that the representatives of the North will resist that claim to the uttermost, and secure, as they can by their united strength, its defeat. But since in no case can slavery be made to flourish there, there is little occasion to apprehend that serious consequences will grow out of the dispute.
In deciding against the extension of human bondage, the providence of God has, it seems to us, inflicted a fatal blow upon the institution within its present limits. It has long been understood that to confine slavery, is in the end to destroy it; and hence the anxiety of the slaveholder to give it latitude. The profits of slaveholding in the older slave states, would not now sustain the system, were it not for their practice--a practice so odious that the thought of it fills every right-hearted man with loathing—of breeding human beings like cattle for market in the south and south west : a traffic hardly second in atrocity to the African slave traffic, universally branded as piracy. Thanks to the discovery of the gold mines, the limits of slavery are now practically fixed; and all the slave states must ultimately become old with no market farther south or farther west for the slaves, or their offspring, whose labor on an exhausted soil has ceased to be profitable. Thus the doom of slavery is written. Thus the element, which, more than any other, has threatened us with national shipwreck seems destined to be wholly eradicated from our system. Surely, then, it is not in vain that an overruling Providenice has so long withheld the treasures of the extreme West from human grasp, and just at this crisis has revealed them in all their extent and attractiveness.
Nor is it in vain for the interests of freedom throughout the world; for whatever threatens freedom here, threatens freedom everywhere, and whatever delivers it from danger here, delivers it from a universal dauger. Our government is a sun in the firmament of political freedom which is destined to be the center of an extended and glorious system. Whatever threatens to make that sun go out in darkness, threatens the myriads that are to live in its light, with the gloom of a night whose succeeding morning no man can foretell. Whatever iends to make it hold on its way securely, tends to confer on those myriads the advantages of a bright and ceaseless day. In blessing us politically therefore, the finding of a land of gold in like manner blesses the world.
But the finding of such a land has religious as well as political bearings. He who in future years shall tell the process by which this vast country has been kept for Christ, will give no obscure place to the gold discoveries and gold excitement of the present period.
It has often been said that what the West is, the whole country will be; and it may be said with an emphasis, now that the West is beginning to be understood as embracing all the territory between the Alleghanies and the Pacific Ocean. Much has been done for the laying of true religious foundations, in the older West; but the discovery of the gold region has secured the planting of the gospel on the Pacific slope earlier, and hence in more hopeful circumstances than elsewhere.
İn our new settlements generally, growth is gradual. Though each census makes it appear rapid, it is still gradual. Commonly years pass after the depths of the forest first resound with the echo of the woodman's axe, ere there is strength of numbers and means adequate to establish to the full, and maintain, the institutions of religion, Before God is worshiped in a Protestant sanctuary, it is more than likely that in fidelity has begun to strike deep its roots, and perhaps, by the aid of foreign means, false religion has reared her temple and begun to direct the current of religious thought. Thus error gains a vantage ground on which to stand in her conflict with truth, ere the conflict begins. Thus the gospel is compelled to wield its weapons against an enemy to whom a long period has been granted for self-entrenchment. Not so is it at San Francisco, and the other towns which have so
suddenly sprung into existence on the Pacific shore. Attracted by the prospect of gold, men have gone thither in crowds; and going in such numbers, they have been able to introduce the infuence of a preached gospel, while laying the very foundation of society. With every returning Sabbath, the voices of many Christian ambassadors, speaking in the name of their divine Lord, and in his stead beseeching men to be reconciled to God, are already heard amid the mighty mass, which every incoming tide of the Pacific is increasing. Truth is on the ground as soon as error; and we speak not inadvisedly when we add that her advocates are earnest and able. There, infidelity can not have it all her own way during a period of years. There, the Romish cathedral will not rear its towers to the sky, ere the simple spire of the Protestant sanctuary is seen pointing the thoughts of every beholder heavenward. The various evangelical branches of the Christian church have taken possession of the field in the Master's name, and for the Master's glory. And we believe they will hold it.
The delay of evangelical influences in cases of ordinary emigration, often causes in the emigrant a loss of his early attachment to religious institutions. Be he an experimental Christian or not, when he first leaves an eastern home and finds himself in some western wilderness miles from a sanctuary, he feels that to lack the institutions of the gospel is to lack what is essential almost to the very existence of society. But if during a succession of years, he lives without them, he will gradually learn to feel their absence less, until perhaps when the time for their establishment comes, he will be well nigh indifferent in respect to the matter. No such difficulty is encountered in California. There the emigrants are almost all fresh from a land of sanctuaries. The most thoughtless of all New England's sons there, would scarcely feel that he could afford to dispense with what is so closely connected with the scenes and experiences of his childhood, as are the house of God and the preaching of the everlasting gospel. Though he should never enter that house, he would at least behold its comely form; and though he should never hear the preacher's voice, he would know that he stands in his place, and utters his inessage. The period for the establishment of the gospel arrives simultaneously with the landing of the emigrant, and he has no time in which to lose his interest in the institutions with which he has been familiar from childhood.
When emigration takes place in conformity with its natural laws, educational interests suffer; and where these suffer the cause of religion suffers. The welfare of the Redeemer's kingdom requires that with the very beginnings of a community these interests be cared for, and by those who will establish them on an evangelical basis. In some of the newer portions of our coun
try, they have been either neglected, or controlled by the representatives and teachers of a false religion. But in that newest portion which is so soon to be added to the number of our states, we believe it will be otherwise. Whoever will read the ninth article of the constitution of California, will find evidence enough that its framers have seen and know the value of school houses and colleges. Several schools, under the direction of well educated and devoted teachers, are already in successful operation there, and measures have been taken and are still in
progress, for the establishment of a college on gospel principles. With these indications of the disposition of the people, we can not doubt that the thousands who have gone there from a land of schools, will see to it that in the home of their adoption the means of general education are provided.
Lest we be charged with giving only the bright side of a picture that has also a dark one, we will allude here very briefly io one or two facts whose hearing may be thought to be in an opposite direction from that of those we have just stated. It is said that the greater portion of those who have forsaken all and gone to the land of gold have no thought of making a permanent home there, and will therefore have little inclination to make sacrifices in behalf of religion. To this our answer is, that were one half and many more than one half of all who now tread Californian soil to return within less than a single year to the homes and frieuds they have left, the number of ihose who would still remain as actual settlers would be such as to warrant the positions we have taken.
It is said that the object for which they have gone there is so all-absorbing and all-controlling that it is a matter of exceeding difficulty to obtain for the truth, and the claims of Christian enterprise, a thoughtful hearing. Admitting the truth of this declaration, we still believe there are among them many truly earnest Christian men; and we set off the peculiar energy of character which has borne them to that distant field agaiust the peculiar difficulties with which they have to contend in promoting there the kingdom of Christ. Moreover, we believe ihat when the excitement consequent upon recent discovery shall have passed away, the business of working the mines will come to be regarded in much the same light as any other branch of productive industry; and that the minds of those engaged in it, will not be more engrossed with the acquisition of wealth, than are the minds of others. On the whole then, we are persuaded that the standard of the cross has been set up on the Pacific coast under auspices peculiarly favorable.
Since California has commenced her career (thanks again to the discovery of the gold mines) in circumstances so singularly adapted to the right establishment and efficient influence of the means