Strange but True.
It is becoming a common thing to hear men, and sometimes ministers, say that the country is growing corrupt and that religion is on the decline. – How fearfully true is this remark, and yet more wonderful still, that professed ministers of the Gospel of Peace, can see all this and close their eyes to the causes that have brought it about. Ten or twelve years ago the ministers and church members thought more of their God and their duty to Him, than they did of the political parties of the day. Then the churches increased and the word of God was respected. Now too many ministers devote the greater part of their time to politics. During a campaign they can hardly content themselves to stay in the house of God one short hour; they must be on the street, or on some business house talking politics with those who blaspheme the name of God every time they open their mouths, and there is no rebuke administered to them. And the members follow suit; if you visit a “brother” even on “the Sabbath of the Lord thy God” the first thing he mentions, nine times out of ten, is politics. They enter into the discussion of this question, and neglect to talk of the goodness of God in sending His beloved Son into the world to die for lost and ruined sinners. And they have let the negro carry them so far from their duty that they look upon those who differ from them with distrust. There is no cordial feeling; no brotherly affection existing between them even when they sit around the Lord’s table. Under these circumstances is it any wonder that religion has become a scorn and a byword with the unconverted and that the young will not attend where the gospel ought to be preached?
A correspondent of the Charleston Mercury (probably Mr. Rhett), writing from Montgomery, complains bitterly of a scheme in the Confederated Congress, which is asserted to be nothing “else than the policy of re-constructing the Union.” And if that project is carried out, the correspondent dolefully adds:
“After all, we will have run round a circle, and end where we started. The Union will be restored, with a few guarantees about negroes, such as the frontier States want, but which are of no consequence whatever to the cotton States; and we will again enter upon the broad road of consolidation and ruin. If the Mississippi policy is carried out the Convention need not sit a week.”
Will it not be a good joke if South Carolina shall “secesh” from the southern States?
On Management in Farming.
One defect in some of the younger farmers of this day, is want of good management. They begin their errors, perhaps by buying too much land, and running in debt for it. And this misstep they follow up by other misjudgments in buying tools, cattle, seeds, manure, &c. No sooner do they begin their year’s work, than the interest of their borrowed money begins to accumulate; it rolls up, day after day, in rain and sunshine, summer and winter, and it eats up no small part of their earnings. They get discouraged, and, as a consequence, work less hopefully, less energetically, and with less success.
Somebody has remarked, that in England, where taxes are laid upon everything, it costs about as much to rent a farm as it does in this country to buy one. The compels the farmer to be very economical, industrious, and careful in his management of all the details of his year’s work. Not a particle of manure is suffered to lie out in the sun and rain, or to leach off into the brooks. Not a square foot of ground is allowed to lie idle, certainly not to grow noxious weeds.
Not a hired hand or member of the family, who does not keep at work, contributing something, directly or indirectly, to the general stock of income. These things our brethren in the old country are compelled to do, to live at all by farming. Now, why should not we do something like it from choice, and in order to prosper? Doubtless, it is sometimes wise and necessary to farm with borrowed money, but it is often a hazardous business. Better work on at the smaller scale, and use more management, than attempt a great deal at considerable risk. That spectre of debt will haunt the farmer day and night, and rob him of much of his peace. Unwise it certainly is, for the farmer to buy more land than he needs, to pay more for it than it is worth, and manage it with no skill at all. First, let him sit down and compute how many acres he actually needs, how he will work them, and how much they are sure to return in profits; then, let him think seriously of purchasing! Nor let him forget that he will want money also for implements, stock, seeds, hired help, etc., and some laid up against “a rainy day.” If these things are all taken into the account, he will be somewhat cautious in his investments in land.
By all means, let nothing be done in a hasty and thoughtless manner, taking it for granted that, somehow or other, all will turn out well in the end. Success will not come [illegible].