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ter of your City Hall. If in any city there be a dishonest mayoralty, or an unprincipled Common Council, or a Court susceptible to bribes, in that city there will be unlimited license for all kinds of trickery and sin; while, on the other hand, if officials are faithful to their oath of office, if the laws are promptly executed, if there is vigilance in regard to the outbranchings of crime, there is the highest protection for all bargain making. A merchant may stand in his store and say: "Now I'll have nothing to do with city politics; I will not soil my hands with the slush ;"nevertheless the most insignificant trial in the police court will affect that merchant directly or indirectly. What style of clerk issues the writ; what style of constable makes the arrest; what style of attorney issues the plea; what style of judge charges the jury; what style of sheriff executes the sentence—these are questions that strike your counting-rooms to the centre. You may not throw it off. In the city of New York Christian merchants for a great while said: “We'll have nothing to do with the management of public affairs," and they allowed everything to go at loose ends until there rolled up in that city a debt of nearly 120,000,000 dollars. The municipal government became a hissing and a by-word in the whole earth, and then the Christian merchants saw their folly, and they went and took possession of the ballot boxes. I wish all commercial men to understand that they are not independent of the moral character of the men who rule over them, but must be thoroughly, mightily affected by them.
So, also, of the educational interests of a city. Do you know that there are in this country sixty-five thousand common schools, and that there are over seven millions of pupils, and that the majority of those schools and the majority of those pupils are in our cities? Now, this great multitude of children will be affected by the intel. ligence or ignorance, the virtue or the vice,of Boards of Education and Boards of Control. There are cities-I
. am glad ours is not one of them-but there are cities where educational affairs are settled in the low caucus in the abandoned parts of the cities, by men full of ignorance and rum. It ought not to be so; but in many cities it is so. I hear the tramp of the coming generations. What that great multitude of youth shall be for this world and the next will be affected very much by the character of your public schools. You had better multiply the moral and religious influences about the common schools rather than subtract from them. Instead of driving the Bible out, you had better drive the Bible further in. May God defend our glorious commonschool system, and send into rout and confusion all its sworn enemies !
I have also to say that the character of officials in a city affects the domestic circle. In a city where grogshops have their own way, and gambling hells are not interfered with, and for fear of losing political influence officials close their eyes to festering abominations-in all those cities, the home interest need to make imploration. The family circles of the city must inevitably be affected by the moral character or the immoral character of those who rule over them.
I will go further and say that the religious interests of a city are thus affected. The church to-day has to contend with evils that the civil law ought to smite; and while I would not have the civil government in any wise relax its energy in the arrest and punishment of crime, I would have a thousand-fold more energy put forth in the drying up of the fountains of iniquity. The Church of God asks no powiniary aid from political power; but
does ask that in addition to all the evils we must necessarily contend against we shall not have to fight also municipal negligence. O, that in all our cities Christian people would rise up, and that they would put their hand on the helm before piratical demagogues have swamped the ship. Instead of giving so much time to national politics, give some of your attention to municipal government.
I am glad to know that recently our city has been cleansed of a great deal of political vermin, and yet it is not all gone. I see them still crawling around your City Hall—the disgust of all good men. Somehow,in the grinding of the political machine, they come on the top of the wheel. They electioneer hard at the polls, and they must have some crumbs of office or they will change their politics. The Democratic party would have us believe that that kind of men belong to the Republican party, and the Republican party would have us believe that that kind of men belong to the Democratic party. They are both wrong. They belong to both. It was well illustrated at the last election in New York City, where the two political parties, rousing themselves up to the fact that they ought to have some great reformer, some large-hearted reformer, some unimpeachable reformer—the two political parties joined together and elected to the Senatorial chair-John Morrissey! O, I demand that the Christian people who have been standing aloof from public affairs come back, and in the might of God try to save our cities. If things are or have been bad, it is because you have let them be bad. That Christian man who merely goes to the polls and casts his vote does not do his duty. It is not the ballot box that decides the election, it is the political caucus; and if at the primary meetings of the two political parties unfit and bad men are nominated, then the ballot box has nothing to do save to take its choice between two thieves! In our churches, by reformatory organization, in every way let us try to tone up the moral sentiment in these cities. The rulers are those whom the people choose, and depend upon it that in all the cities, as long as pure-hearted men stand aloof from politics because they despise hot partisanship, just so long in many of our cities will rum make the nominations, and rum control the ballot box, and rum inaugurate the officials.
I take a step further this morning, and I ask that all those of you who believe in the omnipotence of prayer, day by day, and every day, present your city officials before God for a blessing. Pray for your mayor. The chief magistrate of five hundred thousand souls is in a position of great responsibility. Many of the kings, and queens, and emperors of other days had no such dominion. With the scratch of a pen he may advance a beneficent institution or baulk an elevated steam railway confiscation. By appointments he may bless or curse every hearthstone in the city. If in the Episcopal churches, by the authority of the Litany, and in our nonEpiscopate churches, we every Sabbath pray for the President of the United States, why not, then, be just as hearty in our supplications for the chief magistrate of our cities, for their guidance, for their health, for their present and everlasting morality?
But go further, and pray for your Common Council. They hold in their hands a power splendid for good or terrible for evil. They have many temptations. In many of the cities whole Boards of Common Councilmen have gone down in the maelstrom of political corruption, They could not stand the power of the bribe. Corruption came in and sat beside them, and sat behind them, and sat before them. They recklessly voted away the hard-earned moneys of the people. They were bought out, body, mind and soul, so that at the end of their term of office they had not enough of moral remains left to make a decent funeral. They went into office with the huzza of the multitude. They came out with the anathema of all decent people. There is not one man out of a hundred that can endure the temptations of the Common Councilmen in our great cities. And if a man in that position have the courage of a Cromwell, and the independence of an Andrew Jackson, and the public spiritedness of a John Frederick Oberlin, and the piety of an Edward Payson, he will have no surplus to throw away. Pray for these men. . Every man likes to be prayed for. Do you know how Dr. Norman McLeod became the Queen's chaplain? It was by a warm-hearted prayer
in the Scotch kirk, in behalf of the Royal Family, one Sabbath when the Queen and her son were present incognito.
Yes, go further, my friends, and pray for your police. Their perils, and temptations, best known to themselves. They hold the order and the peace of your city in their grasp. But for their intervention you would not be safe for an hour. They must face the storm. They must rush in where it seems to them almost instant death. They must put the hand of arrest on the armed maniac, and corner the murderer. They must refuse large rewards for withdrawing complaints. They must unravel intricate plots, and trace dark labyrinths of crime, and develop suspicions into certainties. They must be cool while others are frantic. They must be vigilant while others are somnolent, impersonating the very villainy they want to seize. In the police forces of our great cities are to-day men of as thorough character as that of the old detective of New York, addressed to whom there