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THE LAW OF HUMAN LIFE IS GROWTH: THE DESIRE AND AIM OF LIFE is Truth:
THE DOOM OF HUMANITY IS ASCENSION TOWARD GOD.
For us 'politics' is the science of life here below. Its problem is the organization of the State, of human association,-looking toward the ideal which man is pursuing, and which by every epoch is revealed to us more beautiful, more grand, more divine. Its starting point is the indefinite educability of the human race, - its road a continuous progress toward God, toward the discovery and application of his law,—with Belief, Faith, for its stay and sanction.
We would found Republics in order that the republican virtues, which a monarchical education could not produce, may germinate and beeome rooted in the hearts of the citizens.-Mazzini.
He who wisely would restrain the reasonable Soul of Man within due bounds must first himself know perfectly how far the territory and dominion extends of just and honest Liberty. As little must he offer to bind that which God hath loosened, as to loosen that which God hath bound. The ignorance and mistake of this high point bath heaped up one huge half of all the misery that hath been since Adam.-- Milion.
Liberty is a religion : which should ennoble its followers; and, like Christianity in its earlier days, make of the slave a free man, of the free man a saint or a martyr.-George Sand.
THE SWORD OF THE LORD AND OF GIDEON !
ENGLISII REPUBLIC. .
THE ENGLISH REPUBLIC!--A sound that once had made great hearts throb audibly, a name at which the swords of heroes had leaped from their scabbards. But now
Some will grow pale with rage and ill-dissembled fear, that a countryman of them who judged a king and who condemned royalty should dare eren with 'bated breath’ to whisper of a Republic. Some will wonder at the folly of snch a dream. Some will babble of “felony. The utilitarian liberal, seeing that there is put forth no feasible scheme for disposing of the Guelph family, that he is offered no prospect of a percentage on the tarnished gilding of royalty, will sneer at quixotism' and 'impracticability'; and the utopian, who expects 'figs from thistles,' forgeting their very flavour, who hopes by some providential sleight of hand to find republican results under monarchical institutions,--he too will murmur in his dreams—how immoderate! extremely impracticable!
I write, careless of the hate of fanaticism, fearless of either ridicule or ' prosecution.' I will be earnest enough to command the respect of the bigot, serious enough to outface the insolence of the scoffer, and bold as faith in God may make me to meet, if need be, the last. Impracticable as it may seem, I will not even lose hope of teaching some utilitarian to believe in principle, of convincing some utopian of the idleness of his endeavours. But I do not write for these. I write because, -notwithstanding 'free-trade,' non-intervention, 'ccnstitutional ' compromise (erery one for himself,' 'let alone,' 'get what you can'),—and other prevalent atheisms, -I believe that there are yet some men in England, besides Thomas Carlyle, who respect the worth of Cromwell; some men who honour the memory of Milton (I say it reverently) for something more than that one of his Poems called "Paradise Lost;' some few who hold sacred the grave of Pym and Eliot and Hampden, and who, it may be, spite of the baseness now crawling over England, can remember that the name of Russell was once honourable, and that neither Sydney nor Russell perished ‘feloniously' to procure the advent of a Dutch king or to establish the miserable finality of Whiggisin.
I write because I believe that among the many earnest men at work for special and partial reforms there must be some who can spare time and thought toward forming a national party: because I believe that there are some few earnest men wise enough to be desirous of substituting for our present anarchy and neglectfulness a real government, a power capable of ruling the nation.
I write, not in a fit of mere boyish enthusiasm, eager to be called a Republican because men I love and reverence—Mazzini at their head-are Republicans; but because I believe in their principles, because to believe necessitates an attempt to realize belief through action, because I think tható every divorce between thought and action is fatal’ to the integrity of a man's nature, because I understand the life of a true man to be an apostleship,—and therefore I dare not do otherwise than write and endeavour in all honest ways, that, even if my purpose fail, my life may ever be worthy of my faith.
The purpose with which I commence this work is, by expounding republican principles (such as I have learned them, chiefly from him who is the Apostle of Republicanism), by making my countrymen acquainted with the views of Republicans abroad, and giving them correct versions of the current events of the great European struggle for Republicanism (of which 1848 and 1819 have been but the first campaign), and not omitting to remind them of their own old republican wisdom when England taught the nations how to live, to revive among them the smouldering fire of English heroism, that faith in God and Man which led their fathers to victory. Desirous, not of renewing the form of Puritanism, but of revivifying the soul of earnestness which marked the brief day of our Commonwealth as the grandest period of English history, I shall essay
to show wherein we Republicans of the nineteenth century may imitate the worthiest of our race, in what we ought to advance beyond them; and so I would in some way help to establish a Republican Party, really a Young England, to be the heralds and leaders of the Republic, the beginning of the future Nation.
For now there is no English nationality. There was a nation when an Alfred ruled the people; a nation when an Elizabeth scattered the Invincible Armada ; a nation when our royalest Protector could strike down tyranny at home and throw his shield over the oppressed of distant lands. But there is no English nation now. A horde of traders, every man's hand against his neighbours, where combination is almost unknown except for purposes of plunder,-is that a nation? A nation,--and trampled on by creatures too ashamed of their imbecility to confess it even to each other! A nation, whose rulers are daily convicted of incapacity, of falsehood, of every conceivable meanness! A nation,—whose poor die by thousands! A nation,—without education! A nation, in whose life is no harmony or order, whose heart is torn with ceaseless contention of class against class, whose “prosperity' means ruin to the majority, whose “ peace ' is successful trickery, or infamous cowardice, whose 'honour' is a bye word to the world !-Is it not so? Ask our millions of workmen what combination means in England. Ask any of our • rulers’ what any others of them are. Ask the betrayers of the Bandieras, the accomplices of Szela and Odillon-Barrot, or the presenters of “bis portrait' to Palmerston; ask any of our statesmen’ or diplomatists, to disclose the villanies, the lies, to which they have listened and complacently replied. Question the mere men of figures concerning Irish famine and the means by which the English labour-market is supplied. Ask the State-reporters of mines and factories, ask the private strivers for education, what the Government' does there. Ask any one at home what 'prosperity' means; but dare not ask a foreigner the signification of English 'peace' and honour.'
If there was no God but a Devil, if patriotism was a meaningless word and beastliest selfishness the height of virtue, what change need take place in England? The Nation is not. There is only a gloomy den of abominable hypocrisies, a wretched chaos, called England; and it is time for all brave true men who find themselves involved in it, and who believe that God sent them into it, not that they should join the evil-doers, nor yet that they should run away from the fear of evil, but that they should do manful work in endeavouring to remedy it,—it is time for all such brave true men to take counsel together and ascertain at least what is their first duty in the emergency.
And let no man impute to me a vainglorious part in thus coming forward to intreat my countrymen (many, I hope, far abler and nobler than myself) to rally around a banner of my uplifting. What matters, so long as he be true to the Cause, who unfurl the banner? God knows I have waited long enough, patiently enough, sadly enough, not solicitous to have this burthen laid upon metoward which I know not my strength or weakness, and praying that some one, fitted to lead the heirs of them who won what of freedom we yet have, might arise to stir the stagnant spirits of the slaves asleep upon our martyrs’ tomb. I hear eloquent voices recommending this or that treatment for the 6skin-affection of the universal cancer; I hear Wisdom crying in the streets, asking of the 'funds'; I hear loud enough, and often but too dissonant, chauntings of the theorists who have each his stereotyped prophecy of a particular millennium; and I hear the earnest wailing of some who should be our prophets, over the agonies of the present time: but of the Future,—what it shall be, and how it shall be, I hear no English voice; nor see one English arm uplifted to point the way for me and others to follow. Fit for the task, or not (let time and opportunity condemn me
ne-nevertheless I will not falter), I fling aloft the Banner of the Future, and ask—Who will stand by me for the restoration of the Commonwealth, for the foundation of the English Republic ? There only can I see a hope for the redemption and rejuvenescence of England.
It is toward that end that I commence this journal: wishing to make it an useful exponent of republican principles, a faithful record of republican progress throughout the world, an organ of propagandism and a medium of communication for the active Republicans of England. In fulfilment of the first object, in addition to a systematic republication of the official documents and expositions of the Central EUROPEAN DEMOCRATIC COMMITTEE, I shall include the writings of Mazzini, and others of the leaders of foreign democracy, and also our own authors from the time of the Commonwealth to now. The second purpose may be insured through my friends in the European republican party. The third must depend upon my readers. If the journal may stand, at least there will be a known centre and a voice for the party: it will be for themselves to determine how far they can use it. Such counsel and service as from time to time I may be able to offer shall not be wanting
W. J. Linton. December, 1850.