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the cavern behind echoed it, “Destroyed without remedy!” And the chasm before echoed it, “Destroyed without remedy!” There she perished, her cut and bleeding feet on the edge of one chasm, her long locks washed of the storm dripping over the other chasm.
But by this time our carriage had reached the curbstone of my dwelling, and I awoke, and behold it was a dream!
Policeman, what of the night ?”—Isaiah xxi: 11.
The original of the text may be translated either “watchman” or “ policeman.” I have chosen the latter word. The olden-time cities were all thus guarded. There were roughs, and thuys, and desperadoes in Jerusalem, as well as there are in New York and Brooklyn. The police headquarters of olden time was on top of the ity wall. King Solomon, walking incognito throngh the streets, reports in one of his songs that he met chese officials. King Solomon must have had a large posse of police to look after his royal grounds, for he had twelve thousand blooded horses in his stables, and he had millions of dollars in his palace, and he had six hundred wives, and, though the palace was large, no house was ever large enough to hold two woinen married to the saine man; much less could six hundred keep the
peace. Well, the night was divided into three watches, the first watch reaching from sundown to 10 o'clock; the second watch from 10 c'clock to two in the morning; the third watch from two in the morning to sunrise. An Idumean, anxious about the prosperity of the city, and in regard to any danger that inight threaten it, accosts an officer just as you might any night upon our streets, saying, “ Policeman, what of the night?" Policemen, more than any other people, understand a city. Upon them
are vast responsibilities for small pay. The police officer of your city gets $1,100 salary, but he may spend only one night of an entire month in his family. The detective of your city gets $1,500 salary, but from January to January there is not an hour that he may call his own. Amid cold and heat and tempest, and amid the perils of the bludgeon of the midnight assassin, he does his work. The moon looks down upon nine-tenths of the iniquity of our great cities. What wonder, then, that a few weeks ago, in the interest of morality and religion, I asked the question of the text, “ Policeman, what of the night?” In addition to this powerful escortage, I asked two elders of the church to accompany me; not because they were any better than the other elders of the church, but because they were more muscular, and I was resolved that in any case where anything more than spiritual defense was necessary, to refer the whole matter to their hands! I believe in muscular Christianity. I wish that our theological seminaries, instead of sending out so many men with dyspepsia and liver complaint and all out of breath by the time they have climbed to the top of the pulpit stairs, would, through gymnasiums and other means, send into the pulpit physical giants as well as spiritual athletes. I do wish I could consecrate to the Lord two hundred and fifty pounds avoirdupois weight? But, borrowing the strength of others, I started out on the midnight exploration. I was preceded in this work by Thomas Chalmers, who opened every door of iniquity in Edinburgh before he established systematic amelioration, and preceded by Thomas Guthrie, who explored all the squalor of the city before he established the ragged schools, and by every man who has done anything to balk crime, and help the tempted and the destroyed. Above all, I followed in the footsteps of Him who was derided by the hypocrites and the sanhedrims of his day, because he persisted in exploring the deepest moral slush of his time, going down among demoniacs and paupers and adulteresses, never so happy as when he had ten lepers to cure. Some of you may have been surprised that there was a great hue and cry raised before these sermons were begun, and sometimes the hue and cry was made by professors of religion. I was not surprised. The simple fact is that in all our churches there are lepers who do not want their scabs touched, and they foresaw that before I got through with this series of sermons I would show up some of the wickedness and rottenness of what is called the upper class. The devil howled because he knew I was going to hit him hard ! Now, I say to all such men, whether in the church or out of it, "Ye hypocrites, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell ?"
I noticed in my midnight exploration with these high officials that the haunts of sin are chiefly supported by men of means and men of wealth. The young men recently come from the country, of whom I spoke last Sabbath morning, are on small salary, and they have but little money to spend in sin, and if they go into luxuriant iniquity the employer finds it out by the inflamed eye and the marks of dissipation, and they are discharged. The luxuriant places of iniquity are supported by men, who come down from the fashionable avenues of New York, and cross over from some of the finest mansions of Brooklyn. Prominent business men from Boston, Philadelphia, and Chicago, and Cincinnati, patronize these places of crime. I could call the names of prominent men in our cluster of cities who patronize these places of iniquity, and I may call their names before I get through this course of sermons, though the fabric of New York and Brooklyn society tumble into wreck. Judges of courts, distinguished lawyers, officers of the church, political orators standing on Republican and Democratic and Greenback platforms talking about God and good morals until you might suppose them to be evangelists expecting a thousand converts in one night. Call the roll of dissipation in the haunts of iniquity any night, and if the inmates will answer, you will find there stockbrokers from Wall street, large importers from Broadway, iron merchants, leather merchants, cotton merchants, hardware merchants, wholesale grocers, representatives from all the commercial and wealthy classes. Talk about the heathenism below Canal street! There
worse heathenism above Canal street. I prefer that kind of heathenism which wallows in filth and disgusts the beholder rather than that heathenism which covers up its walking putrefaction with camel's-hair shawl and point lace, and rides in turnouts worth $3,000, liveried driver ahead and rosetted flunky behind. We have been talking so much about the gospel for the masses; now let us talk a little about the gospel for the lepers of society, for the inillionaire sots, for the portable lazzarettos of upper-tendom. It is the iniquity that comes down from the higher circles of society that supports the haunts of crime, and it is gradually turning our cities into Sodoms and Gomorrahs waiting for the fire and brimstone tempest of the Lord God who whelmed the cities of the plain. We want about five hundred Anthony Comstocks to go forth and explore and expose the abominations of high life. For eight or ten years there stood within sight of the most fashionable New York drive a Moloch temple, a brown-stone hell on earth, which neither the Mayor, nor the judges, nor the police dared touch, when Anthony Comstock, a Christian