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the social sense and language is the social bond. In like manner, as the Christian's conversation is in heaven, as it is his duty, with Enoch and other saints, to walk with God, so his voice is in heaven, his heart " inditing of a good matter," of prayers and praises. Prayers and praises are the mode of his intercourse with the next world, as the converse of business or recreation is the mode in which this world is carried on in all its separate courses. He who does not pray, does not claim his citizenship with heaven, but lives, though an heir of the kingdom, as if he were a child of earth.
Now, it is not surprising if that duty or privilege, which is the characteristic token of our heavenly inheritance, should also have an especial influence upon our fitness for claiming it. He who does not use a gift, loses it; the man who does not use his voice or limbs, loses power over them, and becomes disqualified for the state of life to which he is called. In like manner, he who neglects to pray not only suspends the enjoyment, but is in a way to lose the possession of his divine citizenship. We are members of another world; we have been severed from the companionship of devils and brought into that invisible kingdom of Christ which faith alone discerns,— that mysterious presence of God which encompasses us, which is in us, and around us, which is in our heart, which enfolds us as though with a robe of light, hiding our scarred and discolored souls from the sight of divine purity, and making them shining as the angels; and which flows in upon us too by means of all forms of beauty and grace which this visible world contains, in a starry host or (if I may so say) a milky way of divine companions, the inhabitants of Mount Zion, where we dwell. Faith, I say, alone apprehends all this; but yet there is something which is not left to faith, our own tastes, likings, motives, and habits. Of these we are conscious in our degree, and we can make ourselves more and more conscious; and as consciousness tells us what they are, reason tells us whether they are such as become, as correspond with, that heavenly world into which we have been translated.
SECOND CLASS THE DEMONSTRATIVE
ON CAPITAL PUNISHMENT
Victor Marie Hugo, a great French poet, dramatist, novelist, man of letters, and senator, was born in Besançon, France, February 26, 1802, and died at Paris, May 22, 1885. This extract is taken from a speech delivered by Victor Hugo on June 11, 1851, in defence of his son, Charles Hugo, who was indicted before the Court of Assizes under the charge of having failed in respect due the law, by publishing in his paper a full and vivid account of a recent execution.
ENTLEMEN of the jury, this right to criti
cise the law, to criticise it even with severity, particularly penal law, that can so easily take on the impress of barbarism, this right of criticism that stands side by side with the duty of amelioration, as a torch to guide a workman, this right of author not less sacred than the right of legislator, this imperative right, this inalienable right, you will recognize in your verdict,- you will acquit the accused. But the counsel for the prosecution, and this is his second argument, asserts that the criticism of the “ Evenement” went too far, was too scathing. Ah, gentlemen of the jury, let us bring near the event which was the cause of the pretended crime with which one has had the hardihood to charge the editor of the “ Evenement,” let us regard it at short range. Here is a man, condemned, wretched, who is dragged on a certain morning into one of our squares —
- there he finds a scaffold. He rebels, he pleads, he will not die; he is still young, hardly twenty-nine years old great heavens! I know what you will say —“ He is an assassin!” but listen! Two executioners seize him; his hands are bound, his feet fettered,
still he pushes them back. A horrible struggle
He twists his feet in the ladder, and uses the scaffold against the scaffold. The struggle is prolonged, horror takes possession of the crowd. The executioners, the sweat of shame on their brows, pale, breathless, terrified, desperate with I know not what terrible despair - borne down by
the weight of public reprobation that must confine itself to condemnation of the death penalty, but that would do wrong in harming its passive instrument the headsman - the executioners make savage efforts. Force must remain with the law, that is the maxim! The man clings to the scaffold and demands mercy; his clothing is torn away, his bare shoulders are bloody, he resists all the while. At last, after three-quarters of an hour of this awful contest, of this spectacle without a name, of this agony, agony for every one, — do you realize it? — agony for those present as well as for the condemned; after this age of anguish, gentlemen of the jury, the poor wretch is carried back to prison. The people breathe again; the people who have the humane feelings of earlier times, and who are merciful, knowing themselves to be sovereign — the people believe him to be saved. Not at all. The guillotine is vanquished, but still rears itself; it remains standing through
out the day in the midst of a population filled with consternation. At night the executioners, reinforced in number, bind the man in such fashion that he is no longer anything save an inert mass, and again transport him to the square, weeping, screaming, haggard, bleeding, begging for life, calling upon God, calling upon his father and his mother, because in the face of death this man is again a child. He is hoisted upon the scaffold
and his head falls ! And then a murmur of abhorrence is heard from the crowd; never has legal murder appeared more presumptuous or more accursed; every one feels, so to speak, jointly responsible for the tragic deed just done; everyone feels in his inmost soul as if he had seen in the very midst of France, in broad day, civilization insulted by barbarism! Then it is that a cry breaks forth from the breast of a young man, from his heart, from his soul, from the very depths of his being, a cry of pity, a cry of anguish, a cry of horror; and for this cry you will punish him! And, in presence of these frightful facts that I have brought under your notice, you will say to the guillotine, “ Thou art right !” and will say to compassion, to holy compassion, “Thou art wrong!” Monsieur the Attorney-General, I tell you with