Our Washington Correspondent
Christian Recorder: November 1, 1862
Mr. Editor: - The world is still moving onward, not only performing his elliptic revolution and making one of the sun’s grand retinue, which he swings to his side by the power of attraction, while he struts in majestic order the trackless path of boundless space, or whirls by the force of under-laws a thousand things, subjectively menial, but activities are rife in the moral and social world equally proportionate; every observable object bears the insignia of an eternal go on. This necessarily arises from the fact that no law is suspended, nor its claims of obedience neglected; for that homogeneous attraction exhibited in the atomical ingredients of a feather, is as significantly stamped with the force of immutability as that instantaneously transmitted gravitation, which binds everything, from the lowest geological stratum to the minutest particle that floats upon the boundaries of the aerial region, to the centre of its action.
So, when we contemplate the circle of human action, man, by virtue of his own constitutionality, lives in its ever-telling manifestation, despite the efforts to still him; he talks and thinks, he walks and runs, he contends and baffles, he lives and dies, - onward he moves regardless of his repugnance to it.
But leaving the sphere of his extraneous mobilities, we come to consider his motive relations. We behold him moving in the confines of will and choice, treading the path of his own selection, or rejecting it with the sternness of defiance, or gliding along its defunct track with grim countenance of aversion. Oh, what a heaven-granted legacy! But how wretchedly disposed of! Man’s inadaptedness to so great a favor is evidenced by thousands of his daily follies. And likely it could not be better depicted than in the slow, tardy move of the American people to come to the place where God would have them. In short, war they have got to fight, blood they have got to shed, the firebrands of devastation they must by force of irresistible circumstances scatter, till they lay waste and desolate every unjustly erected fabrication.
These are the uncontrollable agencies which they neither can thwart, arrest, or subvert; they must, they will, they shall go on.
But, sentimentally, how indisposed they are to look the bull in the eye! Motively, how tardily they creep around the cylinder grooved spiral of God’s incompressible plans! for, notwithstanding all their indefatigable resistance, they shall become “willing in the day of his power.” The institution of slavery must go into an eternal nonentity and that by the choice of the American people. Southern sympathizers, under the garb of Northern Democrats, may exultingly elect and send their candidates to Congress, to stay the progress of freedom, but it will prove as vain as did the attempt of Xerxes to stay the waves of the Mediterranean. Gen. McClellan may feed the worms of the Peninsula with the bodies of his stagnant army, or rot them upon the suburbs of Harper’s Ferry rather than move upon the enemy – Gen. Buell may hold his great command in the plains of Kentucky as lifeless as death, or permit them to wager for sport, rather than become an element in the great freedom revolution, but, as Galileo said, “it moves, nevertheless.”
The weather here is again very dry and dusty. A few mornings ago the wind rose very high for a few moments, and the clouds of dust were so dense that I imagined it resembled the judgment day.
Prof. A. M. Green lectured on the 22nd inst., in Zion Wesley Church, to a large audience of white and colored. I am informed he gave Central America fire and brimstone.
The Sabbath School Association gave an exhibition on Monday last, in Israel Church, to one of the most densely crowded houses I ever saw. The children acquitted themselves admirably, and their selections reflected great credit upon the teachers.
A venerable sister, namely, Milly Bell, died on the 22nd inst. She was about 60 years of age, and had been a member of the church for 45 years. Her Christian character was unsullied to her death. Her remains were rested in Israel Church, where her funeral sermon was preached by Rev. H. M. Turner. Her high character brought together a very large concourse of people.
Yesterday some 360 new contrabands came into Washington, and went to the quarters provided for them. They are of all sizes, shapes, and colors, and many are in great need. The people of our city are making great efforts to relieve their wants.
Rev. John H. W. Burley, from the New England Conference, is here and preaching very acceptably to our people. Rev. Mr. Burley is a great friend to literature, and is destined to be one of the great defenders of the Christian faith.
I am informed that Mr. Joseph E. Williams, of Central American notoriety, was serenaded a few nights ago, prospectively to becoming the Governor of Lincolnia. I am also informed that some parties who were very recently much opposed to the Central American project, have become its converts, and are going out in the first ship. All I have to say, is, ecce homo.
On last Thursday morning a terrible accident occurred at the Alexandria wharf, caused by the explosion of a steamboat boiler. The report was extremely terrific, but providentially the disasters were not so great as was at first supposed. A few colored people, whose names we have not just in mind, were among the killed and wounded.
H. M. T.
Washington, D.C. Oct. 24th, 1862