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THE TIP OF THE LAST JOINT; OR, GENTLE
MANLY HONOUR AND STANDING.
TO THE EDITORS OF THE LIVERPOOL MERCURY.
GENTLEMEN,-Thus far our expositions of monstrous falsehoods have referred to others; in our present communication we propose to examine the delusion into which you have fallen in the use which you have made of the words " Gentlemen of Honour and Standing" in your Editorial of June 26, 1863, where you say, "But we must consider it amongst the worst evils of the present civil war that it compels gentlemen of honour and standing, like Mr. Adams and Mr. Dudley, to keep such very indifferent company, as that of some of the persons with whom they have recently been associating!"
Some there are who write and speak as if they were influenced by the belief that gentlemanly honour and standing in society, or the world, was only to be found. in connection with prelacies and popedoms-deaconships and bishopricks-mitres and crowns! Will such worldly rank and title operate with greater force on the imagination and affections than the charms of moral goodness? And since the former are not always associated with the latter, there are many lowly
cottagers who dwell in the shades of their greatness, endowed with noble qualities of intellect and heart which make them happy and useful, invest them with a dignity, and shed around them a halo of glory which will hand down their names to posterity although their virtues and deeds may be passed over in silence by the nobles and grandees of this world, find no place on historic page, or in the niche of the temple of fame! Such have a moral superiority which no mere worldly rank or title can secure or confer on their possessors! Theirs also is a happiness which is associated with the perennial spring of contentment, the overflowing consolations of peace, the enheartening visitations of hope, and the joyous prospects of a blessed immortality, where faith ends in sight, and hope terminates in the fulness of fruition! But whose pen shall describe, or heart conceive, those magnificently glorious results which have flowed from their meek and quiet spirits-the uniform consistency of their lives-their acts of self-denial and unrequited toil—and the triumphs of their faith! How sublime is such a spectacle! what a point of communication such a scene opens up to the view of men between heaven and earth! And how attractive, since here is to be witnessed "the actions of the just, which smell sweet and blossom in the dust!"
Others still speak to us of a "gentlemanly honour and standing" that is exclusively worldly. This is based on integrity, civility, and generosity. But for the highest style of "gentlemanly honour and stand
ing" we must look to the Christian, since piety is the crowning link which is essential to form a genuine specimen of "gentlemanly honour and standing."
There are some worldly good men who set a noble example to many who profess to be truly Christian men. But where there is true piety, associated with intelligence, economy, punctuality, civility, integrity, and generosity, there must be the highest order of " gentlemanly honour and standing." The ties of consanguinity, the caprices of fortune, and the genius and skill of men in connection with plodding perseverance, may secure to men, in a worldly sense, “gentlemanly honour and standing." It, however, requires three things to make men of true honour, and the highest order of standing. These are a right principle, a right rule, and a right end. The right principle is the love of God. The right rule is the word of God. And the right end is the glory of God. These alone secure the honour which comes from God-invest men with the order of a rank which throws all others into the shade, and makes dim their lustre ; and also confers on them an heirship, and prepares them to enjoy the blissful inheritance of heaven.
Let us, then, unfurl the roll of American history in search of this "gentlemanly honour and standing," and see if we can find this precious commodity, whether in the worldly or christian sense, amongst the Fathers and Founders of our country and government. And here are the men, the deed, and the day,
on which great stress is laid. The men, Washington, Jefferson, and Madison. The deed, which was said to have made them immortal, the adoption of a basis of constitutional freedom, and the declaration of independence. And the day, which was to be celebrated by bonfires, and fireworks, triumphal arches, the peal of merry bells, and the roar of cannon-processions and music-orations, and huzzas, henceforth and for ever. If we examine the nature and character of those documents subscribed to, endorsed, and ratified by the men already referred to-documents which embodied the deed which they performed-to the execution of which they pledged their lives, fortunes, and sacred honour; and if we consider that these documents guarantee and secure to all men unrestricted freedom, irrespective of colour, sex, or age, we may triumphantly ask where is the "tip of the last joint" of that thing which is called "gentlemanly honour and standing?" When they signed those instruments did they free their slaves? Or, did they put the negro on an equality with the white man?
What does impartial history say? With a voice like thunder it says, No! Many, therefore, plead that, as they did not do these things, they did not understand these instruments as including the negro, or, as conscientious men, they would have freed their slaves, and restored the negro to an equality with the white man; be this as it may, these documents place it beyond a doubt or a peradventure that all were included, without restriction as to race, or dis
tinction as to colour; and therefore it is a monstrous fraud to cover up their delinquencies in the avowal that they proceeded on the basis of making the white people the governing race, and others their inferiors.
If we cast our eyes on the successive pages of our history in connection with our government from the days of Washington to Lincoln, we find the same betrayal of trust, forfeiture of all claim to respect in the abominable fraud which has been perpetrated on the black man; and in no one has this been more manifested than in the person of "Honest Abe Lincoln," so called, who disputed the "exclusive right" and "monopoly" of the late Judge Douglas of being on all sides of all questions in a speech which he delivered at Alton, Illinois, Oct. 15, 1858. And that he shared in the supposed blessings of what he called this "High Privilege" is abundantly made manifest in his published speeches, of which we have already given some remarkable specimens, and could give many more, but we will make one or two suffice. In a speech which Lincoln made at Galesburgh, Illinois, Oct. 7, 1858, he said, "I believe that the right of property in a slave is not distinctly affirmed in the Constitution." In another which he delivered at Cincinnati, Ohio, September, 1859, he said, addressing himself to slaveholders, "When we do, as we say, beat you, you perhaps want to know what we will do with you. I will tell you," said he, " we mean to treat you as near as we possibly can as Washington,