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Delivered on Sunday Morning, April 16, and Wednesday
Morning, April 19, 1865,
CHURCH OF THE REDEEMER,
By A. D. MAYO, Pastor.
“Without shedding of blood is no remission.”—Heb. ix, 22. When God is speaking, who shall open his mouth! He speaks to us to-day, and his word is the old voice of inspiration : "Without shedding of blood is no remission,
All shedding of blood is by God's permission. Not one act of violence, not one destruction of life, not one drop of human blood shed, without his knowledge and consent. For God is infinite love, and in His perfect providence all things work together for good. Even the things that seem so terrible that men tremble as if there were a Prince of Darkness, and he were master of the universe, are compelled to do His sovereign will, He maketh the wrath of man to praise him, and the remainder of wrath shall He restrain.
Ever since the beginning of the world the friends of falsehood and sin have believed that the right could be put down by shedding the blood of the righteous. Cain believed he could destroy the true worship of God by slaying Abel, the servant of God. And since his day every wicked and foolish man, every great despot, every God-defying class, every desperate member of every party of unrighteousness the world has seen has been crazed by this stupendous delusion that the Truth and Justice and Holiness of God Almighty could be driven away from the earth by killing the friends of God and man.
So the world, for four thousand years, has been full of blood. None of it rests upon the hands of the consistent friends of God and man, for all they have shed has been in defense of everlasting righteousness. It all rests on the souls of the enemies of Truth and Goodness; for they never have overcome the hideous delusion that they could slay the Truth by slaughtering its de
fenders. Oh! what an Aceldema have they made of this fair earth by their insanity! How many of the wisest, best, loveliest—the glory of all ages and all lands-have they sent to their God, through blood-stained paths! How many of the wicked, the worst of the earth, have they also sent to judgment in blood ! How many, in all conditions of spiritual life, have they drowned in this bloody sea of wrath! But yet, the wrath of man shall praise Him.
One would have thought that when the concentrated falsehood and injustice of the ancient time, wielding the power of the Roman Empire, nailed Jesus, Son of God and man, to the bloody cross, that the wrath of man had done its worst, And when, out of the shedding of Christ's blood came Salvation for even his own murderers, when the Roman power that slew him at last bent before his gentle sway, so that the very names of Rome and the cross are fixed together till the end of time—one might have hoped that wicked men would have learned the impotence of shedding blood to help the wrong. But wicked men do not learn such things. And every year since the sacrifice of Christ, the violent on earth have been peopling Heaven with martyrs and filling all lands with tears and blood.
And we have lived to behold what our eyes have seen during the last four years, reaching its climax of horrors in that strange deed which we can hardly yet believe has happened. We supposed, a few years ago, that the vast majority of mankind in civilized lands had finally learned that no great wrong could be upheld one hour by shedding of blood. But God has called us, in this new world, to behold what the peoples of the old world, the other side of the great waters, have witnessed so often—the auful delusion and wrath of that despotism which is the sum of all wrong against earth and Heaven. We did not believe what history had told us on her every bloody page, that a tyrant, or a class of tyranical men would commit all crimes of which human nature is capable, under the vain fanatical belief that they could put man down and keep him down. So God has raised up, right among us, of our very hearts' kin, our friends, countrymen, associates, participators with us in all the blessed privileges of American life, a class of despots, who, within the last half century, have committed more crimes, and worse crimes, than any great aristocracy that yet has dominated in ancient or modern days. For I verily believe that when History comes to make
out her awful record against the slave aristocracy of these United States of America, it will be seen that since it appeared as a consolidated social and civil power, half a century ago, it has done evil to a greater number of human beings, sinned against greater light, caused the death of more innocent men, affrighted this world with more ghastly and singular shapes of horror and wrath, and meanness, and cold cruelty, than any one set of wicked men has ever yet been able to achieve.
Oh, how blind we were, not to see that a class of men who deliberately began by the blasphemy of God in the systematic degradation of his image, man, to a brute, would do any vile or bloody thing which human nature could devise. Yet we did not see it for so many years. We said: no, these gentlemen and gentlewomen are our brothers and sisters, our associates in Church, in State, in society; they are dreadfully mistaken, and are now doing wrong to their bondmen, but they will hear the voice of our reason, our science, our religion; they will repent, and be reconciled, and at last do justice to their own enslaved, to us, to themselves, and to their country. And so we went on in our sin and blindness, strengthening their hands, arming them with new weapons of power, forgiving them faster than they could harm us. We might have known then they were inflicting the worst outrages ever conceived on three millions of their unhappy snbjects; but we said they are of another race, they are not quite men; and went on making them stronger and stronger to slay us.
And soon enough they began to shed the blood of our own proud race, and to do to us all the dreadful things they had done to our weaker brother. They began to insult and abuse, and murder our people who, among themselves, lifted up their voices against this great wrong of despotism. We loved the liberty of speech, and they began to kill men for speaking the truth about their sin; we loved the freedom of the press, and they destroyed the types, and assassinated the editors; we were more gentle and reverent in our treatment of woman than any people ever was, and they imprisoned women for teaching children to read the Bible; we were proud of our free labor, and they killed and drove away the emigrants to every Territory and State they had doomed to be their own; we favored free suffrage, but they tried to murder every man that voted for the freedom of all men ; we supposed the pulpit would be a place of safety, but they hung