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that we may
the things which are Cæsar's,” and “to fear God and honor the king." It therefore behooves us as a Christian people, to meet with the view of asking Divine protection in this hour of public calamity-when men have been found sufficiently regardless of such teachings, without the fear of God, to strike down the supreme representative of Law. It behooves us
be delivered from the snares of the wicked, and from the perils that the Devil is throwing around us. Out of the depths our cries must go up to the Lord, that he would prove to us our refuge and strength, even a very present help in trouble.
Abraham Lincoln-the President of the United States—endeared to those who knew him by an honesty that defied all attempts to overthrow it, an earnestness of purpose that received respect even from his enemies, a kindness of heart that refused to harbor malice against those who most opposed his plans, a clearness of judgment and far-sighted statesmanship scarcely suspected at first by his own friends, and a magnanimous soul that
sdained to triumph over a conquered enemy; whose true character was but becomiag known in the fiery times which have tried the metal whereof each man's character is formed, -Abraham Lincoln has fallen a victim weapon
of the assassin. The words that communicated this intelligence are few, but, as I have said, they will send a thrill of horror over the globe, because such an act implies the existence of premeditated crime, which may continue to strike—where, we know not; implies that vice and wickedness stand in no awe of men of high estate, but even cherish the fiendish ambition to destroy those on whom the nation's hopes depend.
Without any exaggeration it may be said that more of humanity's hopes and fears were bound up in the fate of him, who departed his life this morning, than in that of any other human being on the face of the globe. Restless spirits, anxious for war when diplomacy will meet the desired object, are to be found in every land. To restrain such, to obtain proper reparation for national insults, and to cultivate such relations as would make peace solid and substantial,—these seem to have been the objects of Mr. Lincoln's ambition. Our difficulties at home were being removed; the coming future looked bright and happy, and our relations with foreign countries were so satisfactory that there was no fear in that regard.
God grant that whatever of fitness may have been possessed by the late President, shall be multiplied in those who succeed him; that a bereaved wife and children may find consolation where it alone can be found; that a mourning nation may
“Touch God's right hand in its darkness
And be lifted up and strengthened ;"
that the other victims of the assassin's hand may be spared to their families and the nation; and that we may all so live as in His sight, and as being accountable to Him for all our deeds!
While the prayers of a sorrowing people are directed heavenwards, and while we mourn with the mourners, shedding tears of grief at the grave of the departed, let us all feel that God still lives, and his right hand can help us in our day of trouble, and deliver us from our distress!
This is not the place for eulogy. We meet in grief and sorrow. Our cries must ascend from this place of worship to His throne, who alone can bring comfort, consolation, and strength. On earth once a sufferer, He can sympathize with all who suffer: in heaven a merciful Father, He can grant protection from danger; and living in the souls of His followers, He can fit them for His courts above.
MAWKISH SYMPATHY WITH CRİME.
BY THE EDITOR.
It is said that when Jackson was on his death-bed he was asked by his pastor whether there was any act of his life which he specially condemned, and which he regarded as furnishing special ground for regret and peni
Jackson promptly, and with decided feeling, answered: “Yes ; that I did not hang John C. Calhoun for his treason !”.
A superficial judgment would condemn this declaration, as exhibiting a wrong spirit at such a solemn time.
But a deeper and truer Christian spirit will not fail to see in it the very strongest evidence of the old hero's true Christian earnestness. As the solemn light of eternity dawned upon his departing spirit, and his own public life and the life of the Republic which he had served lay behind him, he seems clearly to have seen what his false sympathy with the awful crime of treason would, one day, cost the Republic. He saw how the just punishment of that one man, the father of treason in this country, would have been to shield the Republic from future treasonable attempts, by nipping the beginning of them in the bud. How true have the events of the last four
of blood demonstrated, that the light which the dying hour shed upon the great spirit of the dying hero and statesman was a true prophecy of those “coming events” which, even at that time, began to
“ Cast their shadows before;"
and that in his case was fulfilled that allied saying of the poet:
6. 'Tis the sunset of life gives us mystical lore.”
The solemn lesson contained in this incident is one that the country, at present, needs earnestly to lay to heart. As the power of that fearful treason, which, for more than four long years, has been engaged in pouring out the nation's best blood like water, is about being finally subdued under the majesty of law, an enemy is rising, which, though it essays to speak in pious tone, is no less dangerous to the true and permanent peace of the Republic. It shows itself in the form of morbid and sickly sympathy toward the crime of treason.
Our age and our country is not, at present, exposed to a greater danger than just this sickly sympathy with crime. It is a sure evidence, so far as it prevails, of a false and feeble Christianity, of a degenerating civilization, and of an impolitic and imbecile statesmanship. This same miserable sentimentalism has manifested itself, for some years, in various attempts, in part and for a time successful, to abolish the death penalty for capital offences against society. Though it has been proved by actual experiment that the effect of such legislation has always been to increase the number of capital offences, yet this pseudo spirit does not cease its presumptuous attempts to be wiser than God and the well-tried wisdom of all ages.
These attempts are always associated with some weak and washy phase of religion. They have their source in the minds of those who seek to dilute, popularize and humanize the principles of Christianity, with a view of making them palatable to those who would rather reconcile God to human nature, than reconcile human nature with God. It has its origin with that class, who find the God of revelation less tender and merciful than themselves; who regard the tried wisdom of all past ages as behind the age, and who look upon the Scriptures as needing, for their proper illumination and correction, the socialism, universalism, and the individualism of the nineteenth century.
Beecher, who has lately shown his ability to enlighten the Christian world, by informing it, that Good Friday celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, (hear!) and Greely, who has attested his claims to be a leader of the Christian mind by the blasphemous remark reported of him, that he has never been baptized, but that he thinks he has been vaccinated (!!!)—these two oracles have already commenced their attempts to create a public opinion that shall accord with their gospel of socialism and sensationalism. They have already undertaken to annul for the nation its solemn laws against the awful crime of treason. That they have an abundance of susceptible material to work upon, in the form of the floating and nature-formed opinions of the age, is most sure. It is also certain, that public opinion, thus formed, has a tendency to affect, more or less, the minds of statesmen; especially such as have never sounded the solemn depths on which law and government rest, but are mere echoes of unmoored public opinion; and of this class there are a goodly number in power.
If ever there, was a time in the history of the Republic when the Christian reviews, magazines and papers of the land have been called upon to bring to light the deeper principles of divine and human government, and, with calm and anointed wisdom, to stem the tide of sickly and morbid sentimentalism, that time is now. So far as the influence of our magazine goes, we wish here to discharge ourselves of a high and solemn duty. In the name of God, in the name of the holiness and dignity of Christianity, in the name of all the well-tried wisdom of the past, in the name of the Constitution and laws of the Republic, and in the name of our posterity, whose peace, safety and lives, at some future hour of the nation, hang upon the decision, we plead that the majesty of the law may be honored in the condign punishment of the leaders of this dark and terrible treason.
What is the fashion the times? In some ral district, some idle and worthless vagrants enter the home of a quiet and worthy family, and, for the purpose of robbery, murder the family! For a short time the · neighborhood is horrified; the papers make an item of the awful news, and express the hope that the murderers may be brought to justice. High
rewards are offered for their arrest. Finally they are apprehended and lodged in prison. After some weeks they are tried, and condemned to be hung. What now? That moment public sympathy is all with the murderers! The dark and terrible scene of murder and blood in the lonely house, the shrieks of the innocent just roused from sleep to feel the murderous ball or knife in their hearts, these are all forgotten. But plenty of morbid sighs and tears are offered for the poor, “unfortunate” criminals. “ What an awful thing it is to hang a man! How barbarous is the death penalty! The Governor ought to pardon the poor man! It is awful to send him so suddenly into eternity!" This is the language of the "merciful and tender-hearted” sentimentalists, who have no tears for the innocent, murdered family, but plenty of tears for the guilty murderers themselves. The “barbarity” of the crime, and the fact that the unprotected family was sent with equal suddenness into eternity, this is all forgotten by the demoralized abettors of this new, sickly, morbid and devilish gospel of criminal mercy.
719 Is not this the same gospel of mercy which Beeche, Greely, id genus omne, are preaching in favor of the awful crime of treason? The blood of three or four hundred thousand men, for which the instigators of treason are responsible before God and man, crieth from the ground. But by this morbid sentimentalism the grave-yards of a hundred battle-fields are all forgotten; the thousands of brave men who are mangled and maimed for life count nothing; the hundreds of thousands of widows and orphans, made such by treason, are to have no consideration, in their silent and life-long sorrow. And this sickly spirit is baptized with the sacred name of “charity” and “magnanimity!” The brave soldier, who tore himself away from a young family, that he might sustain the laws of his country, but who, in an hour of tenderness and home-sickness for his family, is tempted to desert, is returned and tried, condemned and shot! But the arch-traitors, whose rebellion against the nation made it necessary for him to go into the service, are to be regarded as guilty of no crime! These have not merely deserted the flag, but have turned their swords against the life of the nation. “Shall not such,” it is properly asked by one of our wisest statesmen—"shall not such suffer the same penalty which the Government and the laws have enforced upon so many of our soldiers for the same crime ?”
It has been frequently remarked, that had Jackson hung Calhoun, this rebellion would hardly have occurred. When the law limps lamely, transgression has an open field. Should the counsels of these morbid reformers prevail, and the penalty for high treason which hangs over the leaders of this rebellion be averted, why may not a few decades witness the inauguration of similar plots against the life of the Republic? It will be then seen from precedent, that all treason deserves is “magnanimous” and 66 charitable” treatment. We tremble for the future of our country, if it shall appear in this case that “the minister of God beareth the sword in vain.”
This miserable spirit, against which our remarks are directed, knows well how to touch the prejudices of unthinking men. They call the advocacy of the majesty of law a call for vengeance and revenge! This is a shallow pretence; nothing more. There is neither vengeance nor revenge in it. The law knows nothing of either vengeance or revenge. It knows
only the will of God which underlies it, its own dignity which is insulted, and the safety of society for which it is executed. The judge who pronounces the death penalty with tears is twice great; once because he has the magnanimity to be a true organ of divine and human law, and again because he shows by his tears that his heart is filled, not with vengeance, but with pity toward him whom the law binds him to sentence.
Who has revenge to seek ? The best sense of the nation will hurl back the charge with indignation. But all earnest men, who fear God and love the Republic, will ask, that the majesty of the law be left to its own free course. They will protest against this premature attempt to convert the mind of the nation to this new gospel of washy sentimentalism, which is an insult to God's revealed will, and which the nations have never known.
We are glad to find many of our wiser statesmen and most respectable public journals awake to this threatening danger. In answer to this attempt to create a false public opinion and a plea for "charity" towards even the arch-traitor and head of the dark plot of treason, the judicious New York Times forcibly and truly says: “ To endeavor to save him from retributive justice is to outrage every enlightened sentiment, every unperverted instinct. It is to undermine every sanctity of human law, to sap every conservative principle of human government. There is no one thing which threatens such evils to our liberties as this substitution of mawkish sympathy for the virtuous indignation which foul guilt ought to excite. A shallow philanthropy has been growing rife, which has already cankered the moral sense of the nation not a little. The old Achillean wrath against untrue men, the grim old Puritanic intolerance of the workers of iniquity, has been giving place to a sentimentality as impotent as it is passionless. It was this laxity that did more than all things else to encourage the southern plotters of the rebellion. There has been, year after year, such a deal of sickly stuff vented against the wickedness of shedding human blood, and such a letting down of the old reverence for law and justice, that it was easily inferred that the very life of the nation might be taken with impunity.”
The Constitution of the United States, Art. iii., Sect. 3, says: " Treason against the United States shall consist only in levying war against them, or adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort.” In addition to this, it was enacted in the Congress of the United States, in 1790, “that if any person or. persons owing allegiance to the United States of America shall levy war against them, or shall adhere to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere, and shall be thereof convicted, on confession in open court, or on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act of the treason whereof he or they shall stand indicted, such person or persons shall stand adjudged guilty of treason against the United States, and shall suffer death."
This is the supreme law of the land. It rests on divine authority. (Rom. xiii. 1-4.) This is an infinitely better law than that mawkish, frothing and vaporing of washy and watery sentimentalism, which has its fountain in the shallow pools of Gotham. It is by honoring, not amending or annulling the divine law, that a nation may hope to prosper. If our nation will show respect to the law of God, preserve the dignity which belongs to a nation, and show itself as faithful and just in punishing crime as it is ever ready to reward with its honors those who do well, we may