페이지 이미지

are sometimes weak enough to accede. Why, this is all they ask-the headlong passions of men, or their treache rous friends, can always make the extreme case their own. Again, they cannot brook the contempt of the world-the man who refuses a challenge is despised! By whom is he despised? By those whose esteem ought almost to be spurned! Show us the man who has refused a challenge on religious principles-and we will show him one whose honour is exalted by the forbearance. But says the disputant "I am not a religious man, and therefore I could not avail myself of that apology." We shall not wait to tell him what he ought to be, but will argue with him on the measure he has meted out to himself. In our christian land no man chooses to be termed irreligious. Every man professes his respect for religion-of course he must be supposed to possess some degree of religious principle himself. Does it then require any extraordinary share of piety to enable a man to refuse to break a known command? But let us admit the worst-let the man who refuses to fight, encounter the contempt of the world—such a world as it is! He will be a martyr in a noble cause, and he will assuredly "have his reward."

Although we thus call upon women to use all the efforts in their power—we are very far from believing that they alone have the power to abolish duelling. Women are proverbially timid, their horror at the shedding of blood is therefore ascribed more generally to the tenderness of their natures, than to just principles.

Men are indeed awed by public opinion, but it must be the opinion of the whole community: it must be universal

before it will have strength sufficient to restrain the bad passions of violent spirits. While human nature continues to be what it now is, and what it ever has been, men will always be found ready to vindicate the relentless wretch who outrages the first principle of the civil compact, whilst he contemns the laws of the Supreme Ruler. The strong arm of power then, we repeat it, is the only barrier against the fell destroyer. If women do indeed possess any influence on the hearts of men-let them listen to our demand for that protection, which they vaunt as their high prerogative. We ask them to protect our domestic peace the dearest of our possessions! And, is it not time that those to whom we have committed that peace, should consider their responsibility? Affairs of honour are not now done in secret-they are proclaimed on the house-top! With unblushing audacity the intention is made the subject of public discussion-and this not only in the case of rash and headlong youth,- -our very senators do not disdain to run the gauntlet of all the newspapers of the day, and become the very scorn of the vulgar! Shame, shame! on the barbarism of our boasted land!

We professed it to be our intention alone, to expostulate with our own sex-but our earnest anxiety on this most important subject has betrayed us beyond our plan, into an appeal to our lords. Neither to the one, nor the other, is it necessary to repeat all the arguments against duelling. Both its folly and its wickedness, have been exposed till every school-boy is familiar with the subject. Very few, indeed, are hardy enough to deny either. Duelling has no advocate in the understandings of men-every heart is

appalled at its approach—it is supported alone in the turbulent passions of misguided men. These, it has been found necessary to restrain by force ever since the world began. Let them roam at large, and a paradise would soon become a desert!

America, with a very laudable ambition, is emulating the proud march of science in the country of our ancestors. We boast, too, of our superior virtue, and submit not to a comparison with any nation in Europe; yet it is asserted that in no nation is duelling so prevalent as in our land. We know, indeed, that it prevails elsewhere-but we know too, that it is sometimes punished, and that even in the higher classes of the community. We know that a nobleman was hung a few years ago in England, for killing his adversary in a duel. Can we produce one instance of a similar triumph of law and equity? Alas! no. The guilty miscreant walks undisturbed amongst us, and shares in all the honours and immunities we have to give! Let us hasten to efface the stain. "All the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten it." Stern justice alone can wash it out.


I have not time to give you my opinion fully on Mr. Mason's book-therefore will only state very briefly my objections to what he says on the subject of baptism—one of the great questions on which his society differ from other denomination of christians. Mr. Mason acknowledges the command of Christ to "baptize all nations," but denies that the use of water was enjoined. We think this an abundant proof that it was-that the apostles who were immediately taught by him did use water, and it is no objection that water was not expressly mentioned in this text by their teacher, because we are also told, that he continued with them forty days, instructing them--and who knows with what precision he might not have explained to them this very command in that time? besides, he assures them, that he would send his Spirit who would "guide them into all truth," and we find, that after the descent of the Holy Ghost on the day of Pentecost, they did constantly use water in baptising converts. After they had adhered to this practice eight years, Mr. M. thinks "they began to doubt of water baptism," because Peter says on the conversion of Cornelius and his company, "Can any man forbid water," &c. when he himself has just before given the reason why Peter asks this question. "The apostles who had hitherto thought salvation was confined to the Jews, were astonished because the spirit was con

ferred on the Gentiles also," he therefore exclaims, doubtingly, "Is there any reason why these Gentiles should not be baptised even as we?" Another text is quoted, 1 Peter iii. 23, in the following manner, by Mr. M., to show that the apostles doubted of the "efficacy" of water baptism— "In a more experienced state of their ministry," he says," "the like figure whereunto baptism doth also now save us" -mark, he professes being saved by baptism, not the putting away the filth of the flesh, (which is the utmost effect of water,) but the answer of a good conscience towards God-" by the resurrection of Jesus Christ." But let the context be attended to: Peter says, speaking of Noah's ark, "wherein few"-that is, eight souls-" were saved by water," then adds the like figure, (that is water,) &c. which in my mind may be rendered thus: as the family of Noah were saved by water, so, by the like figure, (water,) our salvation by the resurrection of Jesus Christ is represented, not the mere putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience towards God. So, that this text is rather an explanation of what we profess, that the washing with water is not of itself efficacious to salvation, but represents the purification of our consciences by the grace of Jesus Christ, in whose name, and in obedience to whose command we perform this rite.

Mr. M. then goes on to state, that Paul did not approve of water baptism; in proof of which he quotes the apostle's words: "I thank God that I did not baptise any of you, lest should any I had baptised in my own name.' say Mr. M. could not, surely, be ignorant of the occasion on which this written, for it is explained in the verses imme

[ocr errors]
« 이전계속 »