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revelation. It comes to us from the voice of God, speaking to us in His works, by His spirit, and from our own hearts. The explanation, then, we give, is as simple, as it is historically true, and philosophically correct. When God created man, his knowledge of his Creator was perfect. The Creator's laws were written on his heart. The creature was then in communion with the Creator. There was perfect peace between them. Man was in barmony with all the laws of his Maker. When man sinned, then the Creator's laws were erased from his heart-only some traces of them remained. And as time rolled on, these traces grew more and more dim, and consequently, communications from God became more and more necessary, and more frequent. Man's traditions were partly from his consciousness of his primeval state in Eden, and his fall and expulsion, and partly from what God told him. Thus, the history of man towards his Maker proceeded, till wickedness filled the earth, and the flood put an end to the first dynasty of Adamic races. A new era began with Noah's emergency from the ark. He had a store of knowledge, consisting of what he knew of his own history, and of communications from God to himself, and the traditions of his fathers back to Adam. This store of knowledge he communicated to his sons, who are the tripal progenitors of the races of men now on the earth. The knowledge which Noah taught to his sons, comprised the belief in, and worship of, the Jehovah of the Bible, as the one, only, living, and true God. This knowledge prevailed among all his descendants, as we have shown, in the inost remote times, and around the very place where his sons' families began their pilgrimage. This knowledge soon began to decline, and, by degrees, became more and more corrupted, until God called Abrabam, and revealed himself anew to him. Enoch and Melchezidech, and even the Philistines, and the Egyptians of Abraham's day, bad some knowledge of the true God.
And in process of time, even to the descendants of Abraham, who were a people chosen to keep alive pure Theism in the world, and to prepare mankind for the manifestation of God in the flesh, it became necessary to communicate more and more fully, the Divine attributes, and to give a transcript of the Creator's character. This was done at Mount Sinai, and by the Hebrew prophets, till the fulness of time came, when God sent His own son into the world. God sent His Son into the world, born of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law. For since the world, by its wisdom, knew not God, God has revealed Himself unto us by His Son, who is made unto us, wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and complete redemption.
Sermon upon Duelling; by the Rev Arthur WIGFALL, Rector of
the Holy Trinity Church, Grahamville, South Carolina : published by request. Together with the Constitution of the Grahamville Association, for the suppression of Duelling. Charleston : Printed by A. E. MILLER, No. 3, State street. 1856.
A VERY lamentable and indeed dreadful occurrence last fall in the chief city of this commonwealth, has drawn forth from the ministry of various denominations there, solemn public rebukes of that relic of the barbarism of our forefathers—the Duel. This is as it should be. We by no means advocate the introduction into the pulpit of all the topics wbich agitate the public mind. Long distant be the day when the Southern pulpit shall become that mere “drum ecclesiastic” which in some denominations, at the North especially, it has been made. But duelling is sinful, and ministers of the gospel are set for the rebuke of all sin.
The preacher of but one of these numerous discourses has honoured us with a copy of his discourse. That one we should certainly hail with as much of commendation as we could justly bestow, even if it possessed no great excellence. We stand prepared to cheer on every man who strikes a blow against that bloody monster to whoin another bright and gifted son of Carolina has been sacrificed. We would encourage any minister with our notice and our praise, who speaks out against this old pagan custom, which violates both divine and human law, and yet goes unpunished of the magistrate. But Mr. Wigfall's sermon against duelling is excellent. It appears to us just what the case demands : not argument so much as earnest expostulation. It appears to us that the man bas no nature in him who could stop at such a time as that was in Charleston and its vicinity to argue calmly such a case; and even now, after months have elapsed since this horrible affair, we do not want to hear such a question as duelling argued. We think denunciation far more suitable. Not reasoning, but a rod of stripes is the thing required to be used. Let the stupid and absurd, as well as wicked duel be whipped back to the dark age from whence it descended.
Let us hear Mr. Wigfall's text, and the exordium of his simple, earnest, manly discourse :
And the Lord said unto Cain, What hast thou done? The voice of thy Brother's blood crieth unto me from the ground.-Genesis iv. 10.
“The Code of Honour" challenges for itself an antiquity which belongs to no other human institution. This claim we admit to its fullest extent ;
our cause warrants us in conceding every plea, to wbich our adversary has the shadow of right. True; no monuments of arcbitecture, law, or literature reach so far back into time as this institute; and if immunity always runs with antiquity, then let no profane band touch this time honoured pandect. Since the day in which it was instituted, men and nations have passed away; kingdoms have been planted— flourished and forgotten. Nay, this earth has been swept by a flood, seas have become dry land and mountains rooted from their firm foundations; but all the waters of that deluge were not sufficient to wash out the writing of this code, “it would the multitudinous seas incarnadine.” It found some lurking place in the Ark of the covenant, and rode out the deep waters of that day. It stands before us now clothed in a mantle ancient as time, and dignified with hoary locks whitened by the frosts of six thousand winters. But with the authority it unites none of the feebleness of age. Nay, it confronts us to-day in all the vigour of green old age; and manifests the same power and energy—the same venom and violence that marked it in the hour that Cain wrote it in Abel's blood. For the code of Cain is but the original draft of the Code of Honour; their moral identity cannot be mistaken.
Another, and yet another sacrifice has been offered upon the altar of our idolatry—the phantom Honour. We are busy spending our strength in arresting the car Juggernaut upon the Ganges, but I am persuaded we had better spare a band to stay the triumphal procession of our own Idol God, whose wheels are even now dripping with the warm blood of our husbands, SODs and brothers. The heathen, I tell you, are at your doors. Moloch is presiding upon our own hearth stones. Nay, our very temples are polluted with Idolatry.
How long, oh Lord, how long shall thy fierce anger thus afflict us? How long sball a besotted people continue to offer the fruit of their bodies" to dumb Idols ?
I challenge the ingenuity of human wit to point out the difference between offering human sacrifice to an imaginary Deity, which you clothe in scarlet and call Honour, or offering it, as our brother heathen upon the Hoogly do, to their god Vishnu. The deluded, helpless victim who offers himself a sacrifice in the Pagan temple of Honour, is moved by the same spirit which teaches the Hindoo to throw himself beneath the car of JuggerDaut. And unprejudiced reason must confess that one and the same great principle rules alike in both cases. The Hindoo widow, who will perish upon the funeral pile of her husband sooner than endure scorn and lose her cast, is no whit more benighted than the pagan man of Honour, who seeks death sooner than endure the scoffs of public opinion."
Mr. Wigfall undoubtedly points out in the last sentence, the real cause which perpetuates this unreasonable custom. It is cowards that keep up duelling; those weak, nerveless men that dare not refuse to do a wrong thing when their set or clique say they ought to do it.
Let us hear Mr. W. upon the unequal administration of justice amongst us, by which certain classes of men are allowed to trample with impunity upon the law:
“There is a view of this subject outside of the Church ; but upon which a Christian Minister may surely speak without impertinence; since Christian men must alike, with all others, be interested in the proper administration of the laws of the country. Now it is a startling but undeniable truth that duelling, as practiced under our government, has effected a practical subversion of the law of the land. Nay, the absolute overthrow and destruction of the criminal code, would be less offensive to our sense of justice than the partial and unjust administration of the law as it now exists. It is a disgraceful fact, a reproach to our country, that our criminal law, while it professes to know no man, is, in its practical administration, made for but one class of our citizens, and those, the weak, the ignorant, and the defenceless.
There exists in our country a privileged class, soi disant men of honour, who have established for themselves "a bigher law.” They put their foot upon the criminal code and trample it in the dust. They may and they do commit murder with impunity. This may sound like plain language, but we have set out to tell plain truths, and do not intend to be balked in the work. And when we assert that there is a privileged class in the country who commit murder with impunity, we have weighed our words, we speak advisedly, and challenge contradiction. And what renders the thing utterly revolting to every honest and right thinking man is the fact that, while a class of men in our midst are absolutely irresponsible to the law for their crimes we are guilty of the injustice and meanness of continuing to enforce the law against those who have not the daring or the power to resist. The first human lesson ever taught us, was to despise the leveller, to scorn the man who would array one class of society against another, and it is one we shall never forget. We have, then, no objection to a privileged class; whenever the country is ripe for it, we will submit without a murmur to an aristocracy, built upon virtue and intelligence. But we do protest, and shall with our dying breath protest against an aristocracy of crime. An aristocracy in whose ensigns armorial the gules typifies the hand of Cain. majesty of the law is so degraded that it must bend its supple knee before this brotherhood of blood—if public opinion is so besotted—the public mind so degraded that the administration of law has degenerated into the essence of cruelty and injustice, then let us have a general jail delivery, let the jail-birds go free, let us proclaim a year of jubilee for the murderers, and see if the very excess of crime will not work out its own remedy. But let us hear no more of hanging Jack Cade in his rags, while the law meanly quails under the frown of an aristocracy of crime.
Let us, here, enter a little into the details of this subject. When we have honesty enough to look it in the face, what is that thing we dignify with the name of duelling? If “ taking the life of a reasonable being under the King's peace, with malice aforethought, expressed or implied," constitutes murder, then homicide in the duel is murder; and if he who commits murder is a murderer, then that man who slays another, in a duel, is a murderer. I speak advisedly and soberly; I use the term not only in relation to the moral law, but in its proper and technical sense under the common law of the land. This is a simple statement of a self evident truth, and no man who regards his reputation for ordinary intelligence will presume to question it. And it is a suggestive thought that the utterance
of this truth may fall strangely, and perhaps harshly, upon the ears of a Christian congregation; if so only the greater the necessity for the uttering: And the pulpit surely is the place where it must begin to be uttered. If God's ministers will not speak out the truth, who, in God's name, will? The fact is that words are things. “ Death and life," says Solomon, in the power of the tongue.” Few men look beyond names. make the songs for a people, said a profound observer, and you shall make the laws. Now I maintain that the remedy for this evil, must begin by branding it with its true name. You may think that this is a very idle and impotent weapon of attack ; but, if so, it is only because you have not duly considered this subject. Suffer me to direct the language of every Christian family in the land upon this subject, and I have no fear for the result. With this simple weapon, wisely and fearlessly brought into this contest, the tyrant shall fall as did him of Gath—under a pebble from the hand of a shepherd's boy. I have said that homicide in duelling is murder, and the slayer is a murderer. Now if any man's heart revolts at this language, and his tongue refuses to utter it, let me tell such a one a great and solemn truth—that is, that his heart is not right in the sight of God; that unconsciously, perhaps, he is a sympathizer with this system of murder; and while the vail of Christianity may conceal him, he "joins hand in band” with those who move the secret springs of this “infernal machine;" and in that great day, when the secrets of all hearts shall be disclosed, his raiment shall be found stained with blood.
I insist, then, that the first step in warring against this evil is to strip it of the false, gilding of a flattering name.
Let Christians refuse any longer to be boodwinked by the delusive epithets of a wicked generation. Let Christian men come up manfully “ to the help of the Lord,” and fearlessly meet this issue between the Church and the world. And first let them bear upon their lips “the words of soberness and truth.” When the manslayer is at bis work, and the blood of our citizens is crying to heaven for vengeance, let us hear no more of duels and duellists. Let the Christian parent say to his son : this is the deed that God calls murder; this the man whom God denounces as a murderer—and declares shall never enter into the kingdom of heaven. Let such be the language which shall be spoken in the Christian man's parlour ; uttered in fearful solemuity-it may be in bitterness and tears. Let such be the language he shall teach bis children to speak, and they will never be able through life to separate the idea from the words—the crime from the name. What else is education, but associating in infancy, particular acts with suggestive names. And wben this language shall begin to be spoken by grave and respected lips when this language begins to be sounded in the ears of our young mendo you tell me that it is a weak and impotent weapon? Nay; the Church of Christ is not so degraded in this nineteenth century, but that it may still make itself felt; and Christian lips may yet awe iniquity into subjection. Does any man think that I speak lightly or unseemly upon this subject? Let bim pot mistake himself. Does any one suppose that I have pot considered the cost of such a measure; what a sacrifice it might inflict upon a Christian family?
Surely, I need not a teacher upon this subject. But a Christian man must rise above these scenes that are passing around him; these “ fashions