In proof of these statements, we refer any candid mind to the “spiritual rappers,” “women’s rights,” “Mormonism,” “gold hunting, and other manias,” which, within the last few years, have sprung from the sectarian systems and their teaching, and from no other source.
We are horrified at the morals and tenets of the Gnostic sects, the Manicheans, the Albigenses, and other defunct heresies of old; but we doubt if any thing more impious, immoral, or absurd happened under the auspices of these by-gone sects than the blasphemies, delusions, and corruptions carried on under the cloak of your “camp meetings,” “revivals,” “mediums,” “spiritual wife system,” and other modern reproductions of the Protestant Christian churches, falsely so called.
IN WHICH THE SCENE OF OUR TALE IS CHANGED.
The events recorded in the foregoing chapters, as you are aware, good reader, happened principally among the poor and humble of life; and this was in accordance with the scope of our narrative, having no higher ambition than to chronicle the lowly annals of that numerous class of the community. Nunc paulo majora. Now we must introduce you into high life. We turn our eyes to one of those grand mansions of the rich,—one of those palaces of the “upper ten,”—where few of the humble are privileged to enter, much less to be introduced or admitted on terms of familiarity. It is our privilege to introduce you, friend of the blistered hand and dusty coat, but of the honest heart, into that palace of the merchant prince of the second city in the Union, in order that you may see and judge for yourselves whether or not more happiness dwells there than in your homely residence. See the imposing structure, with the neatly-mowed lawn in front. Observe the taste and artistic skill with which the walks, the little hedges, and the shrubberies are laid out. You can yet get but an imperfect view of the proud edifice itself, which seems as if a monarch, that looks down with dignity and authority on the countless array of ordinary buildings that extend as far as the eye can reach on every side. The gates, as you enter the enclosure, are of massive iron, painted green, and, by the help of machinery, yield to the gentlest pressure of the hand, as if some spirit of the ancient fabled Olympus kept guard at their hinges. It is a complete “rus in urbi,” inside the outer wall. Here the luxuriant grape vine creeps along in graceful festoons, groaning under the pressure of her full paps; there the lofty and beauteous palm spreads his cooling and protecting branches.