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are, broken family altars, broken wedding-rings, broken vows, broken anticipations, broken hearts." And, as I looked off, the dance became wilder and more unrestrained, until it seemed as if the floor broke through and the revelers were plunged into a depth from which they may never rise, and all these broken families came around the brink and seemed to cry out: “Come back, father! Come back, mother! Come back, my son! Come back, my daughter! Come back, my sister!" But no voices returned, and the sound of the feet of the dancers grew fainter and fainter, and stopped, and there was thick darkness. And I said, “What does all this mean?" And there came up a great hiss of whispering voices, saying, “ This is the second death!”
But seated there that night, looking off upon that scene of death, I bethought myself also, “This is only a miserable copy of European dissipations.” In London they have what they call the Argyle, the Cremorne, the Strand, the beer-gardens, and a thousand places of infamy, and it seems to be the ambition of bad people in this country to copy those foreign dissipations. Toadyism when it bows to foreign pretense and to foreign equipage and to foreign title is despicable; but toadyism is more despicable wlien it bows to foreign vice. Why, you might as well steal the pillow-case of a small-pox hospital, or the shovels of a scavenger's cart, or the coffin of a leper, as to make theft of these foreign plagues. If you want to destroy the people, have some originality of destruction; have an American trap to catch the bodies and souls of men, instead of infringing on the patented inventions of European iniquity.
Seated there that night, I also felt that if the good people of our cities knew what was going on in these haunts of iniquity, they would endure it no longer. The foundations of city life are rotten with iniquity, and if the foundations give way the whole structure must crumble. If iniquity progresses in the next one hundred years in the same ratio that it has progressed in the century now closed, there will not be a vestige of moral or religious influence left. It is only a question of subtraction and addition. If the people knew how the virus is spreading they would stop it. I think the time has come for action. I wish that the next Mayor of New York whether he be Augustus Schell or Edward Cooper, may rise up to the height of this position. Revolution is what we want, and that revolution would begin to-inorrow if the moral and Christian people of our cities knew of the fires that slumber beneath them. Once in a while it glorious city missionary or reformer like Mr. Brace or Mr. Van Meter tells to a well-dressed audience in church the troubles that lie under our roaring metropolis, and the conventional church-goer gives his five dollars for bread, or gives his fifty doilars to help support il raygel school, and then goes liome feeling that the work is done. Oh! my friends, the work will not be accomplished until by the force of public opinion the officers of the law shall be compelled to execute the law. We are told that the twenty-five bundred police of New York cannot put down the five or six hundred dens of infamy, to say nothing of the gambling-houses and the unlicensed grogshops. I reply, swear ine in as a special police and give me two hundred police for two nights, and I would break up all the leading launts of iniquity in these two cities, and arrest all their leaders and send such consternation in the smaller places that they would shut up of themselves! I do not think I should be afraid of lawsuits for damages for false imprisonment. What we
want in these cities is a Stonewall Jackson's raid through all the places of iniquity. I was persuaded by what I saw on that night of my exploration that the keepers of all these haunts of iniquity are as afraid as they are of death of the police star, and the police club, and the police revolver. Hence, I declare that the existence of these abominations are to be charged either to police cowardice or to police complicity.
At the close of our journey that night, we got in the carriage, and we came out on Broadway, and as we came down the street everything seemed silent save the clattering hoofs and the wheels of our own conveyance. Looking down the long line of gaslights, the pavement seemed very solitary. The great sea of metropolitan life had ebbed, leaving a dry beach! New York asleep! No! no! Burglary wide awake. Libertinism wide awake. Murder wide awake. Ten thousand city iniqnities wide awake. The click of the decanters in the worst hours of the debauch. The harvest of death full. Eternal woe
What is that? Trinity clock striking, one--two. “Good night,” said the officers of the law, and I responded “good night,” for they had been very kind, and very generous and very helpful to 11s.
“Good night. And yet, was there ever an adjective more misapplied ? Good night! Why, there was no expletive enough scarred and blasted to describe that night. Black night. Forsaken night. Night of man's wickedness and woman's overthrow. Night of awful neglect on the part of those who might help but do not. For many of those whom we had been watching, everlasting night. No hope. No rescue. No God. Black night of darkness forever. As far off as hell is from heaven was that night distant from being a good night. Oh, my friends, what are you going to do in this matter ? Punish the people ? That is not my theory. Prevent the people, warn the people, hinder the people before they go down. The first philanthropist this country ever knew was Edward Living ston, and he wrote these remarkable words in 1833:
“As prevention in the diseases of the body is less painful, less expensive, and more efficacious than the most skillful cure, so in the moral maladies of society, to arrest the vicious before the profligacy assumes the shape of crime, to take away from the poor the cause or pretense of relieving themselves by fraud or theft, to reform thein by education, and make their own industry contribute to their support, although difficult and expensive, will be fou::d more effectual inthe suppression of offenses, and more economical, than the best organized system of punishment.”
Next Sabbath morning I shall tell you of my second night of exploration. I have only opened the door of this great subject with which I hope to stir the cities. I have begun, and, God helping me, I will go through. Whoever else may be crowded or kept standing, or kept outside the doors, I charge the trustees and the ushers of this church that they give full elbow-room to all these journalists, since each one is another church five times, or ten times, or twenty times larger than this angust assemblage, and it is by the printing-press that the Gospel of the Son of God is to be yet preached to all the world. May the blessing of the Lord God come down upon all the editors, and all the reporters, and all the compositors, and all the proof-readers, and all the typesetters!
But, my friends, before the iniquities of our cities are closed, my tongue may be silent in death, and many who are here this morning may have gone so far in sin they cannot get back. You have sometimes been walking on the banks of a river, and you have seen a man struggling in the water, and you have thrown off your coat and leaped in for the rescue.
So this morning I throw off the robe of pulpit conventionality, and i plunge in for your drowning soul. I have no cross words for you. I have only cross words for those who would destroy you. I am glad God has not put in my haud any one of the thunderbolts of His power, lest I might be tempted to hurl it at those who are plotting your ruin. I do not give you the tip end of the long fingers of the left hand, but I take your hand, hot with the fever of indulgences and trembling with last night's debauch, into both my hands, and give the heartiest grip of invitation and welcome. “Oh,” you say, “you would not shake hands with me if you met me." I would. Try me at the foot of this platform and see if I will not. I have sometimes said that I would like to die with my hand in the hand of my family and my kindred; but I revoke that wish this morning and say I would like to die with my hand in the hand of a returning sinner, when, with God's help, I am trying to pull him up into the glorious liberty of the Gospel. I would like that to be my last work on earth. Oh! mny brother, come back! Do you know that God made Richard Baxters and John Bunyans and Robert Newtons out of such as you are? Come back! and wash in the deep fountain of a Savior's mercy. I do not give you a cup, or a chalice, or a pitcher with a limited supply to effect your ablutions. I point you to the five oceans of God's mercy. Oh! that the Atlantic and Pacific surges of divine forgiveness might roll over your soul. I do not say to you, as we said to the officers of the law when we left them on Broadway, “Good night." Oh, no. But, as the glorious sun of God's forgiveness rides on toward the mid heavens, ready to submerge you in warmth and light and love, I bid you good morning! Morning of