From an address at Music Hall before the Twenty-Eighth Congregational Society, Sunday, April 24, 1859.
is a record of the religious history of the Jews.
It is a record of the struggle, as all history seems to be, between the conservative and the progressive elements in society; between the element which believes, and the element which distrusts; between the element which reaches forward, and the element which is contented with the present; between the element which eats its bread in selfishness, and the element which seeks to raise itself and its fellows by sounding on and on in the great ocean of living thought.
It has two sides,--the priesthood and the prophets; and although the word “people” is sometimes used in a general sense, yet both Testaments taken together represent the struggle betwixt the established and progressing,--between the priesthood and the prophets.
I want to read you this morning, the description which God gives of both, partly in words, partly in action.
then read one or two passages from the Old Testament, and said:--]
If you have heard of a church where a man could say, after a quarter of a century of experience, “I lived a life of worldliness and trickery; I stood in the market-place and let out my gift of persuasion to shield the guilty, and throw dust in the eyes of the judge, to turn the murderer out into society, and make black crime look like white justice; and I went into the church, and heard nothing of it, and the next day I went out into the world to do the same deeds in the week to come, and remembered ”