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our present population. They have not only peopled all the Eastern States, but most of the interior of New York, and have swept thence to the Mississippi, founding the whole tier of great States along the lakes ; and, at the breaking up of the somewhat regular movement of population by the gold discoveries of California, they have dispersed over all the far West, bearing with them the salutary traditions and institutions of their original home. Almost every-where they are the principal leaders of the commerce, the learned professions, the education, and the religious faith of the people.

With such a population, continually re-enforced by immigrants of the same Teutonic blood, we may hope that the future of the nation will be, as its past, safe and prosperous, though it may have struggles as in the past—struggles which, with nations as with individuals, invigorate. The native population has been the most effective force in all our national struggles. The American traveler in Europe is often amused by finding there quite a contrary impression. In Ireland he is saluted as the representative of a superlatively “illigant kentry," which the Irish saved, in the Civil War, by their numbers and valor in battle. In Germany he is assured that his country is next in greatness to the “ Vater-land," and is particularly dear to the latter, because immigrant Germans saved it in the conflict with the Rebellion. He accepts gratefully the indirect compliment, but takes a sly satisfaction in stating the real statistics of the war. We know an American traveler who finds it convenient to bear about with him a brief printed copy of the official statistics, and to quietly present it for perusal in such cases. It shows:

American volunteers......
German.
Irish ...
British American...

1,523,267 | English......

176,817 Other foreign volunteers...
144,221 | Drafted...
55,332

45,508 58,410 521,068

Doubtless many of these “ American volunteers” were descendants of foreigners; but are we not all such? We may add that the official medical statistics, which are highly prized by European statisticians, show the superiority of the native American troops in height, breadth of shoulders, strength, power of endurance, and recovery in the hospitals.

There is one problem of our population which has not apparently arrested public attention, and which may seriously affect our future. In the extinction of slavery was extinguished the most formidable peril of the Republic; but we have been too much disposed to rest satisfied with that result, and have hardly thought of another evil which it entails upon us. We have suffered severe retribution for the great sin, but are not yet through with its penalty ? Law is as vigorous in its penalties as in its precepts, otherwise it would cease to be law; and law prevails invincibly in the social and political as well as in the physical world. The sins of nations, it has been said, have their retribution in the present world, though the individual accountability for them extends into the next. If sin is the “transgression ” of the law, the endurance and right use of its penalties may, in a certain sense, be its“ fulfillment,” and may be salutary, especially to nations. The problem to which we now allude may give us occasion for the development of high national virtues. Optimism is the only rational philosophy here; the existence of law must be good; its invincibility must in a general sense be ultimately good, as there could be no reliable law without it; pessimism is absurd in the august presence of beneficent law; and Americans should never be pessimists.

The present problem is this: What must be the future of our African population and its results to the nation? The last census shows that it increases at a rate greater than that of the general population. It was then, in round numbers, 6,500,000, and equal to all our foreign-born population. The Paris “Bulletin ” is surprised by this fact. The “ Africans, it says, “were in 1870 only 4,880,000; but in 1880 they were 6,577,151. Their rate of increase is greater than that of the whites. This is a phenomenon curious and truly new—it is the first tiine, we believe, that a fact of the kind has been witnessed in statistical geography.” An eminent historian, Professor Freeman, who has lately traveled in the United States, has pointed to this fact as one of the gravest reasons for national anxiety. Our colored population is already much larger than the whole population at the beginning of the nation-hard on to double the latter. We must bear in mind that its superior rate of increase is without the aid of immigration, upon which the growth of the whites so much depends. If it should double, not at its own present rate of increase, but at that of the general population, say in about

one.

every 27 years, it will be greater, within the life-time of our .children, in about 70 years, than the present population of some of the important states of Europe; greater by millions than that of France, and advancing hard up toward the present figure of our whole population, white and black. In about 81 years it will be some two millions more than our aggregate population at the last census—but three years ago.

Here assuredly is matter for serious reflection. What are we to do with this people, who have hitherto deserved so well of the Republic? If we have made them politically our equals, still, by our conventional opinions they are socially proscribed ; and, unfortunately for the problem, the chief cause of that proscription, though it be but “skin deep,” confronts us on their very brows. According to almost universal opinion the repugnance which it produces, and which prevents their blending, like all other races among us, with the common population, is founded, it is affirmed, in instinctive feeling; for, say what we please on the subject, a black rose could never be as acceptable to natural taste as a white or red

It is an old maxim that “there is no accounting for taste; were it true, it would not lessen the difficulty of the present problem; but the American people deny the maxim in this case; they repel“ amalgamation,” and insist that their distaste for it is founded in nature, and, therefore, can be accounted for. But are we to go on indefinitely, with (numerically) a nation, and a mighty nation, within the nation? Can we successfully so go on? Whatever may be the political condition of this people, its social proscription cannot fail to degrade it and embarrass and degrade us. In spite of all its struggles upward, and its political and moral claims to equality, it will be kept down by such a proscription; it will become an immense caste. Can a democratic nation like ours subsist prosperously with a perpetual and ever-growing caste? Can we safely incorporate in our republican and Christian civilization the Pariah barbarism of the Hindus ?

We have our answers to these questions, but cannot present them here for lack of room. The problems we have been considering, are suggestive of not a few other urgent questions. Indisputably this nation stands before the world to-day in an attitude never heretofore seen in the history of nations. Both our friends and our enemies abroad admonish us of that fact. We have reached a point where we must, in the interests of our children and of the human race, face some further and most momentous problems, and we should do so frankly and courageously. In a future paper we may discuss some of them.

ART. III.-RESULTS OF THE FIRST METHODIST

ECUMENICAL CONFERENCE

In this paper I purpose to give some of the more important results of the Methodist Ecumenical Conference in City Road Chapel. And as I intend to contine myself to them, I begin by stating broadly that the Conference has already resulted in great good to universal Methodism, to the Church of Christ, and to the world, warranting the sure promise of much greater good for years to come. I ain persuaded that the gathering of Methodists in City Road Chapel was providential, as providential as any fact in Methodist history, a history marked all along by special providences, ever since what Mr. Wesley called Methodism’s “ first rise,” in 1729, in Oxford; or its “second rise,” in 1736, at Savannah, Ga.; or its “third rise,” in 1739, in London, when he organized the first Methodist societies.

The place, too, where the Conference was held was the most appropriate, and the time when the most opportune. The place was City Road Chapel, a spot as sacred to the followers of the great Methodist revivalist as Jerusalem to the followers of the Hebrew lawgiver, or Mecca to the followers of the Mohammedan prophet. It is true that the place was not in Aldersgate Street, where Wesley is said to have been converted; nor was it at the Old Foundry, Methodism's earliest chapel. For no Methodist chapel has ever been builded on · the spot where, on that memorable night in Aldersgate Street, May, 1738, Wesley's heart was so “strangely warmed,” and the Old Foundry was soon exchanged for Mr. Wesley's new chapel in City Road. City Road Chapel early became the nucleus of Wesley's labors, whence radiated those spiritual and revival influences which swept over the Three Kingdoms.

Opposite the chapel, and on the other side of the street

called City Road, is the celebrated Bunhill Fields, where are deposited the bones of the Dissenters, who, against king and court and bishops, boldly asserted their right to liberty of conscience and to worship God as the Holy Scriptures and the Holy Spirit seemed to them to teach. There lies all that is mortal of the great dreamer who described the Christian pilgrim's journey from this world to the celestial city; and there lies the body of Isaac Watts, the sweetest singer in Israel till Charles Wesley came, since death silenced forever royal David's tuneful harp. There many others, whose names to the lovers of religious liberty in both hemispheres are like fragrant and precious ointment, quietly sleep, waiting the trump of the archangel to arouse them from their graves. And there, too, rests the body of that “elect lady," 80 dear to the people called Methodists, Susanna Wesley, wife of the saintly rector of Epworth, and the mother of John Wesley, Methodism's great founder, and of Charles Wesley, Methodism's great lyric poet. As one enters the open court which leads to City Road Chapel, there, on the right, is the house of John Wesley, in which he gave back his life to God, and where, with his almost latest breath, he uttered those words which have been as a talisman to so many thousands in the dying hour, “The best of all is, God is with us." On the left, and in the rear of the house used as a parsonage by the preacher in charge of City Road Chapel Circuit, and directly facing the open court, is the room where Joseph Benson wrote his great commentary. In the chapel itself is the pulpit from which Wesley preached to the multitudes that hung upon his lips; and there, along its walls, are the marble tablets of many of Methodism's sainted dead. And in the humble grave-yard behind the chapel is the monument which tells us that the body of John Wesley lies beneath it; there the one which reminds us that we stand by the grave of Adam Clarke ; and there are the tombs which hold the dust of many other illustrious Methodist worthies. There, in City Road Chapel, consecrated by so many precious memories of Methodism's earlier and later history, was most appropriately held the first Methodist Ecumenical Conference.

And the time for the Methodist hosts to gather in City Road Chapel was the most opportune. The fullness of time had

An earlier date would have been too soon; if it had

come.

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