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member of the community. Mr. W. argues from the success which has attended the operations of various societies, some of them having a bad, and some a good, end in view. Contining our attention to the latter, we hold that a large and a long experience of such pledges and such associations in this country has demonstrated their futility in the contest with vice. And the reason why they must fail always of any real or permanent victory over vice, is because the thing vice which they contend against, is only the issuing stream from an inward principle of corruption, which they do not pretend to influence. Eleven years ago, at Boston, and around Boston, there were occurring repeated instances of barns being set on fire by boys-by New England boys—just out of sheer wickedness and love of deviltry. A shrewd observer of men and things gave to us, amazed as we were at these occurrences, the following explanation : The temperance reformation, and others like it, bave dammed up the streams of vice which used to flow in those directions, more than the influence of the gospel has really operated on the heart of the community, and because the inward fountaip must have vent, it has just now burst out in this new place, and assumed this new form. Now, we do not say that there has been no diminution of intemperance by all the efforts good men have made, but we do avow as our belief, that the good is not without some evil accompanying it, in so far as a better morality than the Bibles bas been preached by many of these apostles of temperance or rather of abstinence, and in so far as a higher law than Christ gave to his church, has been thus set up by many both in and out of the Church of Christ. And moreover we hesitate not to affirm that all the good really accomplished, could have been better done, if the zeal and strength of all the Christian ministers and Christian men who have combined to operate through these associations, had been employed by them in their own proper place and sphere as ministers and members of the Church of Christ. And we will add further, while upon this topic (although this remark does not apply to the kind of association Mr. W. is recommending), that in addition to these objections of inexpediency, we have a growing conviction that there is also an objection of principle which all Protestants ought to feel as against some of these associations for moral and religious purposes. The objection is that they seem to usurp the office of the Church of Christ. We hold that there is but one true religion, the religion God revealed by Christ, and by prophets, and apostles. That religion He committed to His Church as its guardian and its teacher, its propagator and its defender. It is not the right of any man to intrude into the Christian ministry unless called of God, and it is not the right of any other association of men besides the Church of God, to set itself up
for a moral or religious teacher or reformer among men. Mr. W. speaks of “that new element in society which modern ages have developed either for good or for evil, the element of combination.” There can be no good objection to combination of men for good ends, if they do not intrude upon the domain of moral or religious teaching. Let us have combinations for scientific, agricultural, commercial, and political purposes. If Mr. W. can make it out to be necessary and expedient (both which we think impossible for him to shew) that we should have also associations to inform against duellists, and to prosecute them, well then let us have such associations as these. But surely we want no combinations of men as moral and religious teachers, except that one which Christ has set up. There is no power to be wielded by any such combination men shall form, except the power of those great ideas entrusted to the Church as Christ's representative upon the earth. Not a particle of that power should be dissevered from her. Whatever association of men except the Church of Christ undertakes to wield that power of teaching the truth revealed by Christ (and there is no other moral or religious truth worth the name in all this world) sets itself up as a Church made by man, becomes a counterfeit church, and robs the church of her trust and her rights. The result of any and of all such steps will be infidelity, unless God in mercy overrule the evil with good. The logical if not the actual termination of them all is infidelity, because they set up human wisdom against the wisdom of God.
But while for the reasons above stated, viz. : that anti-duelling associations are neither necessary nor expedient, we cannot join Mr. Wigfall in recommending the formation of such associations ; we very cordially agree with bim in expressing "a horror of blood.” “The smell of it is indeed coming up into our very chambers. The spectre of murdered citizens does indeed already drive sleep from the eyes of brave inen.” Blood has indeed a voice that cries to heaven against that community where it is shed illegally. The ceremonies and the public acts by which God instructed bis ancient people to put away from them as a nation the guilt of innocent blood, shed they knew not by whom, and which they therefore could not punish, are very significant of God Almighty's mind upon this subject, and they must have been very affecting and impressive, and efficient in Israel. The reader will find them described in Deuteronomy xxi. 1-9. We believe that blood still “ defileth a land" in God's sight, and that he will punish the people who do not put a stop to it. We believe Charleston to be forever disgraced before men, and to be also guilty before God, not only because such crimes are committed with impunity within her bounds, but also especially because in the recent case, at least fifty respectable citizens must have known beforehand that the duel was coming on, and yet not one caused the parties to be arrested. We love our mother city, and do not like to publish
her shame. But we fear God's wrath, and we speak in order that the shame and the sin may not go on to increase. What a righteous God may inflict for her past neglect to enforce his law we shall have to bear our share of, but we would, with Mr. Wigfall, lift our feeble voice in tones of expostulation and of warning that at least the future be not suffered to add to our guilt and our retribution.
What is Free Masonry ? An Address delivered before Richland Lodge, at Columbia, S. C., on St. John the Evangelist's Day. By THEODORE S. Gourdin, Past Master, &c., &c. Columbia : I. C. Morgan. 1857.
From the various answers collected by the author out of Masonic writers to the question, “What is Masonry ?" we select several for the edification of our readers. One says, “the foundation of Masonry is religion.” Another says, “ the object of it is to better the dispositions of men by enforcing the precepts of religion and morality.” Another says, “it is the school of all the virtues.” Another says, “it is a system, whether morally or religiously considered, more excellent than any, because partaking of the excellences of all others ; more practicable, more productive of effects on its professors, because, free from the austerity yet comprising the best precepts of religion, it removes the thorns in the road to happiness, and substitutes a flowery path to the same goal.” All these definitions the author criticises as good, but deficient. "Probably the best definition (he tells us) of Free Masonry as it now exists, is that of Reghellini, who terms it the fortunate result of the Egyptian, Jewish, and Christian religions.”
In giving bis own views of the origin of Free Masonry, the author proceeds “ to raise the veil of antiquity and revert to the period when the world was young.” And the first announcement he makes to us respecting this remote period, is that " Fetichism is supposed to have been the religion of the earliest inhabitants of the earth.” We are likewise informed that, "in these early ages of the world the mind of man was enveloped by the clouds of ignorance and superstition.” And that the mysteries were instituted by philosophers “to preserve the knowledge of the true God, which they had obtainedby years of thought."
We need make no further extracts from this address. Those we have presented exhibit the Free Masons (whether correctly or not we cannot say), as claiming for their society the character of a moral and religious teacher of men; and in fact the character of the best, most excellent, and most successful teacher of men, in these important departments! It is set forth as having its doctrines and its mysteries, its officers and its members. We see not what is wanting to constitute their society a church in the eyes of its members, except the idea of its having God for its founder. This we do not understand Mr. Gourdin to claim for Free Masonry. It was the work of Philosophers. It was a product of human reason after years of thought and study. First being Fetich-worshippers, men developed gradually out of their own minds the knowledge of something better, and so rose to an acquaintance with God, and then established the Mysteries of Free Masonry to preserve amongst men the knowledge they had acquired! But so far as we can see, this is the only particular in which Free Masonry is less than a church. But as this is something which does not strike the popular mind, it may be fairly said, that Free Masonry is set forth in this pamphlet by Mr. G., and these other writers, as a kind of church, made and established by men—by philosophers !
Now we accord to every man the fullest religious freedom. The Free Masons have a right to their own views. But we also bave a right to our opinion of these views. We regard Free Masonry, therefore, under the aspect it assumes in Mr. Gourdin's hand, as an intruder which has invaded the domain of Christ's Church, which was by Him constituted the only depositary of God's truth—the only authorized teacher of it to men. Whether Mr. G. does justice or injustice to the society, it is of course not for us to say, but if he bave indeed fairly represented her, she is not simply an intruder into the teaching work of the Christian Church, but her teaching is also anti-Christian. Mr. G., we suspect, has been reading the works of some of the numerous disciples of Comte's Positive Philosophy in England, whose productions are undergoing rapid reprint and circulation in this country; a philosophy which it has been well said, is atheism avowed and undisguised. Pantheism makes everything in the universe to be God; the Positive Philosophy is the very opposite of Pantheism, and “ ungods the universe." Comte makes “ Fetichism the basis of theological philosophy—the source of theology itself.” He denies the fall of man from an original condition of perfection and holiness. He teaches man's progress by the development of his own inherent powers from cannibalism to civilization, refinement, and the final perfection of his nature.
It is a source of real and heartfelt grief to us, that a descendant of the old Huguenots should be found occupying such a theological position as Mr. Gourdin has assumed. Geologists formerly held to the theory of development, according to which the creatures of God's hand on this earth were at first of the lowest order, and have been constantly rising ever since. But Hugh Miller upset the development theory, and established in its stead the theory of degradation, according to which the first creatures were the mightiest and their successors smaller, and feebler, and more degraded. Now Mr. G. believes, it would seem, the theory of development as respects man, while the Scriptures teach, and Mr. Gourdin's glorious forefathers received the opposite doctrine of a religious degradation in man. Surely that is not a religious development which out of the Huguenot produces the disciple of Comte.
History and Repository of Pulpit Eloquence, (Deceased Divines) : containing the Masterpieces of Bossuet, Bourdaloue, Massillon, Flechier, Abbadie, Taylor, Barrow, Hall, Watson, Maclaurin, Chalmers, Evans, Edwards, Davies, John M. Mason, &c., &c., with Discourses from Chrysostom, Basil, Gregory Nazianzen, Augustine, Athanasius, and others among the Fathers, and from Wickliffe, Luther, Calvin, Melancthon, Knox, Latimer, &c., of the Reformers. Also sixty other celebrated Sermons from as many eminent Divines, in the Greek and Latin, English, German, Irish, French, Scottish, American and Welsh Churches; a large number of which have now, for the first time, been translated. The whole arranged in their proper order, and accompanied with Historical Sketches of Preaching in the different countries represented, and Biographical and Critical Notices of the several Preachers and their Discourses. By HENRY C. Fish, author of Premium Essay, “ Primitive Piety Revived." In two vol imes. New York: published by M. W. Dodd, Brick Church Chapel, City Hall Square. 1856.
The design of the work, whose enormous title-page we have copied above, is thus briefly stated in the introduction. “It is, first, to render available, to the lovers of sacred things, the great masterpieces of pulpit eloquence, and the best discourses of all countries and times, hitherto either locked up
in foreign languages, or procured with much difficulty and expense. Secondly, to furnish a history of preaching in all parts of the world where the Christian religion has prevailed, from its introduction into each respective country down to the present time, with a view of the pulpit as it now stands. Thirdly