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gew.gaw of British manufacture, designed expressly for him on the theory that he is either a child or an ass.
Has it crossed Gen. Garfield's fancy that if the American people should vote unanimously to resume, Resumption would still be as far off, and no farther, than if they should vote unanimously not to? He informs us that Secretary Chase declared that no man could foresee what mischief the greenbacks would do. Very likely, since no man can foresee anything. Also that the statesmen of 1862 were agreed that the only safe instrument of exchange known among men
“standard coin, or paper convertible into coin at the will of the holder." Gen. Garfield knows, with Albert Gallatin, that, “ of course the implied condition on which alone a paper currency can be redeemed is that it shall not be presented in any considerable quantities for redemption." We never had a paper currency in the United States on which redemption could be maintained if more than a fifth of it were presented at a time. Hence the currency which he defines as the only safe one known among men is a pure figure of speech, an ideal abstraction. No such thing was ever known among men. No one doubts that a paper money, at par with gold, has some advantages, so long as it continues redeemable, over one that is not. But it has this disadvantage compared with ours, that when its undue expansion produces depreciation, it is not detected at first, but keeps going on until the disastrous exposure and collapse. Then money which is to-day at par is to-morrow worthless, while the exact degree of depreciation in our present currency is always apparent. But no paper currency has ever been issued whose redemption did not rest on contingencies. Even $70,000,000 of the notes of the Bank of England rest on the contingency of the government being able to repay to the bank the loan on which, in part, it was founded. The opinions of Fessenden, Sumner, Lovejoy and Stevens in 1862, are quoted, all going to show that they then thought the legal tender note would ruin the country and that they voted for it only on grounds of overwhelming necessity. What necessity there was of ruining the country in 1862 we fail to see; but admitting that these gentlemen thought the country needed ruining at that juncture and that the legal tender note was necessary for that pur. pose the result proves they were mistaken, and that the greenback note kept nearer par and did more good than their prophecies. The opinions of Jefferson, Burke, Webster, Macaulay, Bastiat, Calhoun, Alison, Doubleday, John Law and others are quoted in brief sentences, as a child would quote texts of Scripture, upon a point of science, to prove that they thought a medley of queer things, some of which Gen. Garfield holds to be “hard money” and some “soft money" doctrines. He then defines “hard money,” not as a currency consisting of specie, but as paper money or “credit currency" convertible into coin at the will of the holder. Does he forget that it was this very paper money, pretending to be convertible into coin, etc., which Mr. Webster thought had such a fertilizing effect upon the rich man's field, by copiously irrigating it with the deep currents of perspiration which the fatal genius of Gen. Garfield's “hard money” caused to pour forth in never exhausted and illimitable cataracts from the poor man's brow?
Webster was not thinking of greenbacks at eighty-seven, but of bank notes purporting to be at par-of just the hard money" which Gen. Garfield proposes to bring us to—when he cursed them with his sophomorical exuberence of rhetoric and deficiency of economical knowledge.
In usurping the old Bentonian, Jacksonian name “ hard money for the Garfield notion of a
paper money redeemable in coin," Gen. Garfield is borrowing the livery of an exploded school of Indian-fighting political economists of the Daniel Boone and Kit Carson order, under which to serve a modern constituency who have at least got rid of some of their old stupidity, but have not lost all their admiration for the names under which it went. Under pretence of giving us “hard money,” Jackson aided in giving us in 1837, a kind of.money which had $19 of inflation in it for one of specie reserve. If this be the political economy of Indian-fighting militia generals like Jackson and Benton, let us have no more of it. In addition to a general belief that a paper currency at par with specie is better than one below par, we need intelligent plans, efforts, labors and vast results before the change can be effected. It cannot be done by voting in Congress or at the polls. It implies and requires as essential prerequisites a considerable natural inflow of gold into the country, not as a forced measure but in payment for the excess of our exports over our imports--also a considerable excess of government revenue in gold over expenditures—also an improved, hopeful, buoyant condition of industry-toward none of which are we now tending. It requires that the debtor class shall be permitted to pay
their debts in the existing greenback currency, or if they pay them in gold or in a paper currency at par with gold, then that the nominal sum be so reduced as to make the actual payment in gold, the same as if it were paid in greenbacks, otherwise resumption itself will “ water the rich man's field with the sweat of the poor man's brow.” It requires that either the government or the banks shall put forth a new paper currency at par with gold, and the redemption of which at par with coin shall be assured. No step has yet been taken toward putting forth such a gold note currency either by the banks or the government. It requires that such new currency shall be voluntarily substituted for the old at their actual relative values without substantial loss to any class. And when the government has furnished, or induced the banks to furnish, a paper medium in which business can be done on a basis at par with gold, that then, and not before, the legal tender law be repealed as to future contracts. It may yet be found that it requires that the National Banking System shall be welded into greater unity by establishing one great Central Fiscal Agency, equalling in security and in capital and rivalling in dignity and importance the Bank of England, which shall be the central clearing house of the entire banking system, using the strongest banks in our leading cities as its branches, and affording such a basis of financial credit as shall attract to its vaults the gold which is now exported to countries where gold attains the highest utility it can ever attain, in being the basis on which the bank-note is issued and the reserve fund by which it is held at par. It may, on the other hand, be found that the mutually skeptical, withering, consciously stupid and utterly paralytic tendencies which have characterized the inaction of Congress during ten years past, will crown the proofs beyond further argument that democratic institutions are a failure as concerns financial problems, since they admit of no wiser legislation at the capital than has previously been understood and ordered at the polls, which is equivalent to a veto on any wise legislation whatever. For however we may respect the will of the forty millions on questions of justite, of impulse, or of character, to suppose that the average view of the forty millions is financial sagacity, is to say that the American citizen is by birth a political economist and a financier. The American citizen himself would be the first to disclaim these attributes, if not on his own behalf at least on behalf of all the others of his class. Whatever else may be found, it will not be discovered that the country can grow rich while its politicians are making war on the currency we have, without developing the sagacity to first substitute a better one in its place-like the philanthropic incendiary who should expect to clothe the people in velvets and silks by simply burning up such rags as they are now able to wear.
DR. HORACE BUSHNELL.
UR country is the poorer by the loss of a great, good man, of
a bold thinker and a powerful writer, in the death of Dr. Bushnell of Hartford. In all the American churches, in literary and theological circles beyond the Atlantic, his loss will be felt and mourned; while the elect few, who called him master, mourn for him as David mourned for Jonathan. The painful, suffering years of his later life were those in which his literary activity was greatest; we knew not what new surprise to expect from his unwearied pen; but now that death has closed the record we are already invited to form some estimate of the man's whole work, and to measure his contributions to the intellectual and theological wealth of our literature. In that literature he holds a marked and peculiar place, as one of the few generative thinkers in the highest of the sciences, that America has to present, the others being Jonathan Edwards, Thomas C. Upham and John W. Nevin.
He was the son of a farmer, and a native of Connecticut, born there in the second year of the century, and a Puritan of the Puritans. What his native State was to him may be seen in his “ Historical Estimate of Connecticut” (1851), which closes with that fine description of her record as “a history of practical greatness and true honor, illustrious in its beginning, serious and faithful in its progress, dispensing intelligence without the reward of fame, heroic for the right, instigated by no hope of applause ; independent, as not knowing how to be otherwise ; adorned with names of wisdom and greatness, fit to be revered as long as true excellence may have a place in the reverence of mankind.”'
It is superfluous to say that he studied at Yale, where he became a tutor in 1829, after two experiments at editing a newspaper (The Journal of Commerce), and at teaching school (Norwich Academy). He was still undecided between the pulpit and the bar, and while he at last-and we think most wisely-fixed his choice upon theology, fondness for the study of jurisprudence seems never to have left him, but has left its traces upon all his theological works, even in those in which he is engaged in combatting theories borrowed by the gentlemen of one long robe from those of the other. After circulating for some time among the churches as a licensed preacher, he was called to the pastorate of the North Church of Hartford, which shows that he at once made his mark as a preacher—that being one of the most important churches in the State. He remained its pastor for twenty-six years, only resigning in 1859 because of ill health. An oration on “ The True Wealth or Weal of Nations” (1837) gave him celebrity outside the circle of his own and the neighboring parishes, and some articles in periodicals showed such as had eyes to see that Bushnell was a man far above the average of his profession in incisiveness of thought and power of expression.
But it was not till ten years after that oration that he came promịnently before the theological public, as a setter-forth of strange doctrines. He had been led, both by his own thinking and by his study of the Puritan theologians of both sides of the ocean, doubt the soundness of the theory of conversion current in the New England churches, and indeed in pretty much all of the bodies called Evangelical. That theory he saw had come into New England with the Methodist movement, which Whitfield originated and Jonathan Edwards patronized. It had met with some timid protest at the time, but had made head because espoused by the most ardent and living preachers of the day. It set up the conscious conversion of adults as the one door of admission to the church, and taught that up to a certain point in his life every human being does and must continue in a state of enmity to God, all his best acts being not merely tainted with sin and imperfection, but themselves sins in God's sight. Out of this state the sinner must pass by a conviction that he is lost and undone, followed by a conversion from absolute spiritual darkness into the light of God's grace. And this change is wrought in the man only in years of discretion and conscious responsibility. In an article in The New Englaniler, Dr. Bushnell had the audacity to express some doubt of this. He