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“Though thy slumbers may be deep,
Thyself to be thy proper hell.”
in another. If you have a right to adjudicate your own
quarrels, so have I. If men have, so have boys. And if you may kill your fellow-man for a word, why not for a deed? why not for a malicious prosecution, for disturbing your slumbers by a midnight riot, for bringing a contagious disease into your neighborhood and endangering the lives of your family? Oh, the long train of cause which follow in the train of this bloody god of honor! Every day our ears are made to tingle by tales of anarchy and violence, the brandishing of knives and pistols, the deeds of desperadoes and cut-throats, and all from what cause? Dueling is the cause of it.
Let us now briefly hear and answer some of the arguments of the duelist.
The duelist says that dueling, notwithstanding all that has been said against it, is necessary “as giving a man a passport among gentlemen." What a cheap way of making a gentleman! But are duelists more of gentlemen than their neighbors ? Are they more honorable in their dealings, more punctual in the payment of their debts, and more attentive to all the courtesies of life than other men ? Who generally fight duels ? The blustering and the boisterous, bankrupts, gamblers, and upstarts-men often stained with a thousand crimes.
The duelist contends that the practice “has a tendency to make men polite and cautious in their remarks." Oh, it is making us polite savages, accomplished barbarians; causing men, from fear of some swaggering bully, to go armed to the teeth. Dueling, then, is producing the politeness of bandits and pirates. We are told that there are certain offences for which the law of the land provides no remedy, and, therefore, the duelist must fight. And what are these offences ? Are they not generally the silliest trifles, fit only for children in the nursery? And where is the duelist's magnanimity, that he cannot pass over an insult? A gentleman will not insult you, a blackguard cannot.
We are told that it is the only way of avoiding the imputation of cowardice. You say, “How shall I avoid the imputation of cowardice unless I fight?” I would reply, if you do fight, how will you avoid the imputation of cruelty to your friends? of dishonesty to your creditors ? of guilt to your conscience and your God ? And if you fall, how will you avoid the damnation of hell? These are previous questions, which you are called upon to settle. Let your motto be, “I am not afraid to fight, but I am afraid to sin.” And if yon wish to show your courage, prosecute your challenger; defend your person, if he assails you; and help in voting out of office every officer who does not exert his authority in suppressing this vice, and in keeping the peace.
But the duelist says: “My character—my precious character has been assailed, and I must defend it." And what a frail thing your character must be, that a little breath of calumny can tarnish it. If your character is such a brittle thing as this, you had better get a better character-a firmer, stronger character. But the duelist says again: “I cannot bear up under the imputations cast upon my honor. I would rather die than bear it.” Where is the duelist's vaunted courage ? I thought duelists were all brave and heroic men. But it seems that a little charge breaks them down. They have not half the courage of many women.
Others have been called liars and cowards, and still have survived the charge. And why may not these brave and fearless souls, by a few years of perseverance in the path of rectitude, silence every slander, and live down every imputation ?
In conclusion, by all the solemn motives which can
operate upon a high-minded and generous community, I appeal to you—I call upon you as patriots, as heads of families, as lovers of peace, as friends of God-by all the sacredness of human life, by the law of your country, by the universal conscience of the civilized world; for the sake of our talented and chivalrous youth, on whom our country depends in war and in peace; by the silence of the dead; by the agony of surviving friends; by the anguish of widows, and the loneliness of orphans; by all the joys of heaven and hopeless misery of the lost, I adjure you to stay this foe to God and man. freeman, and every man of moral courage, raise his voice in honest indignation; let the press speak out, and record every duel as a murder; let the lodge expel every Mason who fights; let candidates for office be required to abjure the bloody code; let every association which has for its object the amelioration of society, or the protection of property, frown upon the duelist, and drive him forth, a second Cain, with the brand of guilt burning on his brow—the stigma of murder fixed upon his
Preached at the installation of Rev. J. J. Read, of Houston Church, Dec. 10, 1878.
I magnify mine office." —Romans 11:13. No man ever entertained a more exalted conception of the dignity of his office, than did the apostle Paul. With an intellect refined by all the culture of the age, with prospects of worldly eminence unsurpassed by any of his cotemporaries, he made of them a most willing sacrifice. Yea, doubtless he counted all things but loss that he might win Christ, and become a herald of his great salvation to the Gentile world. Acting on the principle suggested by sound philosophy, that no one can excel in any profession or pursuit in life, who does not entertain for it a most exalted conception, and engage in its duties with an ardor bordering on enthusiasm, he commenced a career of toil, of self-denial, and of suffering, of which the world cannot present a parallel. Hence, in every sacrifice he made, in every epistle he penned, in every church he founded, in every peril by land and sea which he endured-whether we view him standing before Felix, and reasoning with such overpowering majesty, as to cause that proud ruler to tremble, or as standing on Mars Hill, surrounded by the venerable court of the Areopagus, and there uttering terrible de