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deaf; between ourselves), may not the word signify something more than to “expel, to drive out?” We both know, you a good and I a poor Latin scholar, that exterminate is composed of the two Latin words, ex, from, and terminus, limit. We also know that words, like the seasons, change. Their meaning to-day may not be their meaning to-morrow. So gradual is that change that the transition may not be noted; yet, when it comes in its fullness, all must recognize it. Take the word prevent as an example. It is derived from or conpounded of pre, before, and venio, to go, meaning, literally, to “go before;” and such was the sense in which it was originally used.
What, in popular acceptance, does it now mean? Not to go before, but to obstruct, to hinder. Take, as an instance, the passage of Scripture, i Thessalonians iv., part of verses 15, 16, 17: "We which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord, shall not prevent them which are asleep .... the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we, which are alive and remain, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air." According to the present meaning of the word "prevent" Scripture would declare that at the resurrection of the dead there will be an ignoble strife between the righteous living and the righteous dead; that the former will try to hinder the latter from joining the redeemed throng in its ascension to meet their cominon Lord.
But read the word according to its original meaning and as understood when King James' translation was made, and all is light. “Those who are alive shall not go before those who are dead, but shall be caught up together with them in the air,” etc. So of exterminate. Its most general meaning now is, to extirpate, to literally destroy. But in the clear light of history, what little need have we for lexicons! Moses should have understood the commands of him with whom he was in constant communication. (Numbers xxi. 3.) “And the Lord hearkened unto the voice of Israel and delivered up the Canaanites; and they utterly destroyed them and their cities.” (Numbers xxxi. 17.) “Now, therefore, kill every male among
, the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him." (Deut. ii. 34.) “And we took all his cities at that time, and utterly destroyed the men, and the women, and the little ones of every city: we left none to remain.”
In the light of these passages—in the bright lexicon of Jewish mercy, what does extermination mean?
Much more of kindred import could be quoted, but my soul sickens and I turn away.
The Indians, cruel as they are, have been maltreated by us, and our treatment of them is no excuse for Jewish atrocities. The laws of dynamics will prevail, but should not countervail the laws of morality. William Penn, the noble old Quaker, bartered with the Indians, not in deception but in honesty; not by deceiving them as to the difference between ter square miles and ten miles square, as was done with the Cornplanter tribe, but by fair, open dealing, which has made his name the synonym of honesty.
The bloody tomahawk and scalping-knife were raised against the colonies he planted on territory honestly bought and faithfully paid for. “Lo! the poor Indian," in his untutored, savage state, knows justice from wrong, knows contract from robbery. Would that the Lord's anointed realized so fully those eternal laws which make every man a brother and every woman a sister.
REPLY TO CHAPTER XV.
Argument and Assumption-Slavery—Polygamy–Legislation of the Roman
Catholic Church Against Slavery-Father Lambert to Make a “Point” Splits a Sentence in Two and Changes Punctuation-Misquotations by the FatherSlavery in itself, is it Sinful ?—Blanchard and Rice's Debate on SlaveryMiracles.
A war of words is a sham battle. As is said by boys at marble play, “Let us knuckle down tight.” Idea should combat idea in generous emulation of candor as well as of logical force. If honest in our opinion, let us not fear the cohorts of error, though their name be legion. “I will go to Worms,” said Luther, " though the devils be thicker than the tiles on the houses.” It was Fred Douglass, I think, who said: "God and one always make a majority.” Let not the lovers of truth be troubled. Hell yawns not for honest souls. Why do I write that which will displease the many, and be, in part, unsavory to the few ? Do I not know that, if fallacious in my reasoning, some able pen will poise my argument on its point, and pile it as rubbish before my eyes ? And how complacently, gratefully, would I survey the wreck! for, in the triumph of truth, we may well glory in our own defeat.
Ingersoll.—“In this age of fact and demonstration it is refreshing to find a man who believes so thoroughly in the monstrous, the miraculous, the impossible and immoral.”
Lambert.—“Here you assume to determine what is monstrous, miraculous, impossible and immoral. It is refreshing
in this age of general education, to see an infidel offering his crude notions as ultimate principles or axioms.”
And we say, it is refreshing to hear a priest, who himself bases the greater part of his argument on assumption, reprove an infidel for resorting to priestly tactics. But of what was Mr. Ingersoll speaking, when he referred to the monstrous ? To the story of the loquacious serpent, to the alleged universal flood, to the story of a woman transformed into a pillar of salt, and to the Tower of Babel“ stopped by the jargon of a thousand tongues.” And what was referred to as immoral ? Slavery, polygamy, wars of extermination, and persecution even unto death, for opinion's sake. All this is found in the paragraph from which the Father makes the above meagre quotation, which leaves the reader to infer that Mr. Ingersoll assumed his own judg nent as the sole standard of morals.
In this age does the Father require a writer to prove that slavery is an evil or polygamy a sin ? that it is wrong to punish dissent from religious dogma with torture and death, or to carry on aggressive wars to exterminate a whole people -men, women and children? And yet in the article so severely criticised the writer has eloquently pointed out the injustice of slavery, the “slimy filth of polygamy,” and the atrocious barbarity of persecution and of wars of extermination. All this the reader may verify. Why, then, is the Father so reckless, so egregiously unfair in both his quotations and comments ? The very next quotation and comment he makes is obnoxious to similar criticism.
Ingersoll.—(As quoted in the “Notes.") "Mr. Black comes to the conclusion that the Hebrew Bible is in exact harmony with the New Testament."
Lainbert.-“ Mr. Black comes to no such conclusion. It is no doubt true that the Old and New Testaments' are so connected together that if one is true the other cannot be false.'
This is your opponent's statement, and is very different from what you represented him as saying."
How has the Father succeeded in making his point, small at best? By splitting a sentence in two, leaving out an extract quoted from Mr. Black's article, and by substituting a period for a comma. This was necessary to show up the infidel! And the air of triumph: “This is your opponent's statement !.” As if Mr. Ingersoll had not given, in the same sentence carved in twain by the Father, almost word for word, and without the slightest change of meaning, the language used by Judge Black, and which, with a flourish, the Father quotes. Here is the whole sentence as it appeared in the North American Reviczu, November, 1881, page 490: “Mr. Black comes to the conclusion that the Hebrew Bible is in exact harmony with the New Testament, and that the two are 'connected together;' and that if one is true the other cannot be false.'” Thus we see the Father garbled and mutilated a sentence; for what purpose we will leave our readers to judge. Give me the same liberty with Shakespeare as the Father takes with Ingersoll, and I will convert the grandest sentiments of the noble bard into drivel and nonsense. Such discrepancies abound in the "Notes," but it is an unpleasant task to note them.
We now approach a subject worthy the moralist-the status of slavery in itself as related to morality. It seems to be agreed that there are immutable principles, the violation of which no exigency will justify. The doing of an injury from a motive of pure revenge, for example, is an act in and of itself wrong; and no circumstances can make it right. So of adultery and some other crimes. There are other acts which, under ordinary conditions, are wrong, yet which the exigencies of circumstance may justify. Generally speaking, the
, right of going from place to place as one's will may dictate is