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without God, and their God is only the world and its process. While with the cultivated and learned this religion of unbelief carries a certain show of spirit, it stands forth in its full coarseness among the lower class; and into this circle unfortunately it has already found its way on all sides. Here its ground tone becomes at once the old song: “ Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die!” And how insecurely do thrones and dignities stand, when bayonets and cannons form their strength, and not the firm conviction of the people themselves that they are divinely sanctioned institutions! Though all seem solid and quiet thus externally, all within is in fact worm-eaten and ready to fall. Did not force and power hold things in order for the present, however, what resulis should we not be doomed to behold! Germany, in its political relations, in its ecclesiastical dissolution, in its theoretical speculations, well represents the modern centrifugalism with all its abnormities. Make it the present of republicanism, let it go into popular organization—the world will soon see the building of a Babel, and strife without end; the parties will contend with one another, in seeking to set their abstract principles on the throne; but no great centre will they ever find. For liberty also is an abstraction, for which men may be enthusiastic for a time, and its strength lies in opposition, but it is in jiself no central force, no cementing power; it is in itself no fountain of peace and life. To become so, it needs other conditions. What is true thus of Germany however, holds here also of France, Italy, and other lands.
And now—the surplus population of this old Europe supplies the mass of our immigration. The Irishman, who there learned to know and bate Protestantism as the great cause of his country's misery, comes here, and sees Romanism and Protestantism peacefully and with fully equal rights dwelling side by side. The French Socialist, on the wide field of the United States, inay reduce his theory to practice, and so long as he is not against the law, the law is not against him, but on his side. The German Rationalist, whose heart resented in Germany the necessity of bringing his child to baptism, can here turn his back on Christianity, and the Church will look upon his open honest withdrawal as her real gain. But is not all this along with our circumstances generally a proof, that we have pushed the centrifugalism of our time to its farthest extreme, have clothed the individual with the rights of the absolute? We will not forget however, that this land of liberty has not had within it heretofore in full force the antagonisms, which are now making themselses more and more felt. The Roman Catholic Church is
assuming every year a more commanding form; the state of Protestantism grows confused and helpless; the land of liberty is in a fair way to become the asylum and home of the Jesuits, expelled from despotic countries; here, where pious sentiment and the fear of God should sanctify law and usage and so uphold our freedom, infidelity rears its altars; here, where nothing should pass for right but actual righteousness, the Red Republican finds a retreat, whose bloodthirsty mind seeks to advance right by wrong, and peace with the wild spirit of revenge; under the protection of our laws, the Socialist and Communist, who proclaims property to be theft and possession crime, may spread his doctrine in peace. Wonderful land, which for every poison offers an antidote, where every stone, under superior command, turns itself into bread and every curse into a blessing! Yet-perhaps we say too much, and believe too soon what we should first only hope and wish. May faith among us, and freedom and peace, never be endangered by foreign influence! We are lost however, when reverence for righteousness and law shall no longer form the centre that binds together all tendencies; and lost must be also our influence abroad, and gone at the same time our crown in the history of humanity, when we only preach, Let there be liberty, but show not by fruitful and happy example how it is to be guarded and preserved!
With this brief notice of the possible bearings of such vast immigration on our country, and ihe course of its history, showing that it brings with it certain dangers to be feared along with all its advantages, let us now take note on the other side of the manifold seductions and snares, which the free new world offers to the bewildered strangers thus brought into its bosom. If the immigration in their case often works badly for the individual at least, though of vast benefit for the whole, the reason lies to a great extent in this, that the new comers are thrown immediately into relations whose questionable operation it is not hard to understand.— With all of us custom does much, that must otherwise be enforced by law and punishment. If we do much that is bad through custom, we do much that is good also out of custom, for which of course we deserve no thanks. The place where we have lived, surrounds us with countless securities for our moral personality. Not only has the law there become usage, but usage has also grown into law. We cannot so renounce our fealiy to the traditional and the common, as no longer to show it any outward respect. No one is willing to incur punishment; and the mere reproach of not regarding what is established as good custom, is for most punishment enough, and such
as they will take pains to avoid. The control which one citizen in this way exercises over another, is of more account than any written law. With this goes the work of every man's calling, the blessing of which is mainly just that it calls him to diligence and work. Add the love of family, the dearest regard of the heart, and we have named the most powerful factors, that go in regular civil life to hold the individual to the track of a true moral co-operation for the general good. But now take away at once all these restraints, iear the man completely out of this complex chain of motives—and into what danger is he not hurled! If he be without inward morality, he must fall a prey wholly to his passions; the last bands that held him are rent asunder; the last restraining considerations are gone; and then the depih into which he plunges will be in proportion as his new connections may prove to be without salutary force. Another, better grounded in morality, will yet also be brought into danger by such change, the more serious the less may be his knowledge of the world, the less power he has to help himself in the midst of foreign associations, the more he must trust the good disposition of those to whom he is led in his new course.
And truly, if this be all that is left, he is then desolate indeed. The man of true education is least compelled, in the midst of such outward change, to undergo also inward change; but the educated 100 are just those that are least moved to emigrate. For unless particular reasons prompt the extraordinary step, they have the least prospect of finding it better abroad than at home.
For by far the greatest number of emigrants, the sudden breaking up of their past relations of itself involves serious danger. It may be with them a deliverance from many oppressive restraints, but along with this goes the rupture of many a wholesome living moral check. Now begins however, from the point of quitting home, a still more dangerous period. This is the time strictly of migration. It comprehends with the most of our German emigrants a term of from three to six months. In itself considered, a small loss indeed ; but in very many cases, by its consequences, of the most far reaching significance. It would seem, that God has not designed man in general for a vagrant life. It is the curse of the Jew, to be everywhere unsettled and transient. Men also who are carried continually by business and quest of money from place to place, and whose home is the highway, are not usually of the best character. They become talkative and empty, cunning but not noble, and altogether their morality gains but little. Still so long as work and calling accompany the wanderer, the danger is not half so great. Quite otherwise, when he is consigned during travel to doing nothing. That this is the beginning of many vices, is especially verified among emigrants. Many of them lose in a few months the moral gain of many previous years. Lying for days and weeks in taverns, without all earnest employment, they are but too frequently brought 10 yield, through the distracting play of ever new impressions and fresh solicitations continually to enjoyment, to such a spirit of levity as in a short time turns them into different, and unfortunately also into worse men. As in paradise there, their eyes are opened, but only to miserable delusion.
And this has no mystery. Let it only be considered, with what sort of people these emigrants have ordinarily to deal. More deplorable subjects than those into whose hands they generally fall at the stations and ports they pass through, are scarce: ly to be found in common prisons. In Germany itself indeed religious care has provided, in the large cities, at least some check on vice and temptation, and police regulations are put in force. But let any one go to a sea-port like Havre in France. There is to be found continually a set of men, who have been forced to quit Germany, and with the purpose of going to America or who can say by what other chance have got to this place, where they now seek to keep up their life by making themselves busy with the emigrants. In all our travels in different countries, we have never met with more miserable men, a class more destitute of morality, than these land sharks, who lie in wait for those that thus come by thousands from Germany, thrust themselves upon them as countrymen and friends, are ready to serve them with word and deed, with ungodly frivolous talk undermine their moral principles, provide them with occasions for every sort of vileness, detain their victims, plunder them, and abuse their inexperience in the most shameful way. If any wish for more particular information, and examples in loathesome detail, let them consult only the German and French col. porteurs that labor among the emigrants in Havre. The same dangers and temptations, however, repeat themselves to a great extent in the American sea-ports; and here also it is mainly again German idlers and drunkards, that suck out of the enigrant both his money and his morals, and turn his head especially by their godless talk before him of liberty and independence, deceiving him and filling him with the most false conceptions of the new land of promise, its customs and its rights. There is no doubt but that the subsequent course of life for very many einigrants, has been determined in a great measure by the companions into whose hands they fell during the first three weeks of their life in the new world. Nay, a few days have often been enough in fact to decide a life, to settle the course of whole families. Many a family, received on its arrival with the open arms of pretended love by the Rationalists, has been initiated forthwith in our large cities into their spirit and way, and drawn into their meetings, where public haranguers on Sundays shamelessly make sport of all that is sacred, turning the Bible and its narrations into ridicule; where of course nothing is heard of sin and its consequences, of subduing the evil propensities of the naturally corrupt heart, of the observance of solemn duties to which every one is bound, of the blessing true religion brings on land, house and heart, of everlasting reward and righteous judgment; but the people are flattered, the spirit of the age is magnified, pleasure extolled, and above all liberty, (alas, what liberty,) trumpeted to the skies. Often in this way the new comers are imbued in a short time with a view of the world, which exerts the most baleful influence on their whole subsequent character. A dangerous present in truth for many is liberty and independence, which it needs strong limbs rightly to bear! It is the ruin of many, to be raised by liberty to the shining right of helping themselves. Many a German man who had his trade in the old world, has come here, and not knowing at once how to continue it has thankfully hearkened to the advice of his officious friends, and set up forth with a beer-shop or drinking grocery ; by which he has neither become a useful citizen, nor led his family in a way of safety-nay, has been himself perhaps the first victim. How many hundred such beer houses, kept mostly by Germans, there are at this time in our cities in Philadelphia especially they have within two or three years increased frightfully-partly no doubt the result of our Pennsylvania laws, which however otherwise good they may be in this respect at least are heartily bad, and fitted only to undermine the public morals which they should guard and uphold. We Gerinans however have nothing to expect from it, but that our once good name will more and more sink, the old credit of good and orderly citizenship fall to the ground, and other most questionable notoriety be fastened upon us in its room. But for the immigrant all this is in every view doubly bad. It exposes him to special snares. Every orderly German at the same time must suffer from it, in more than the reputation simply of his nation. Let any one only pass on Sundays by our German beer-shops : there they sit, to use old Homer's harmless simile, like flies round a milk-pan; yet not with their gentle buzz; but with noise rathVOL. II.-NO. VI.