1861 C. A. BARTOL. The Duty of the Time. Sermon Preached Two Weeks After the Civil War Began!
1861 C. A. BARTOL. The Duty of the Time. Sermon Preached Two Weeks After the Civil War Began!

1861 C. A. BARTOL. The Duty of the Time. Sermon Preached Two Weeks After the Civil War Began!

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One of the most famous and blistering sermons preached at the beginning of the Civil War! A rousing military, patriotic sermon seamlessly blending American exceptionalism, the evil of slavery, the moral imperative to suppress tyranny, etc., in perhaps one of the clearest displays of the National Christian Identity from the pulpit since the American Revolution.


". . . you say it is a time of trouble, disunion, division, and horrid civil war? Yes; but not only so. It is a time of patriotism too, of heroism, of faith in God, and in one another. . . it is a time to pruchase with blood, if at no lower price, the application of endangered but immortal principles of justice, humanity, and truth."

"We were in jeopardy of becoming politically dissolute, - worse than being disunited. God has interposed for our rescue. The trumpet, blown from Heaven, summons to a struggle against our own sins. The fog of doubt and corruption, that hung close, foul, and suffocating around us, clears up as with a peal of thunder. The bad time was three months ago [when all was peace]. The bayonets bristling through a thousand miles, awful as is the sight of their glittering sharpness, are a better omen than anarchy. The rage of battle is preferable to public degradation, to falsifying of freedom in her name, and a general decline of conscience through the land. The country is going all to pieces, said one. No; the country is being mended!"

"A special divine ordination, and no chance, fixed the date of the now forever doubly illustrious nineteenth of April, for blood, from the very same locality of the first engagement of the revolution, to be shed at the beginning of a far greater struggle. That blood made of Massachusetts one man."

"It is a time, too, for personal self-sacrifice. Our income is to be halved, our expenditure for our country doubled. Our kith and kin are, when called for, to be allowed to go into the hazards of the fight. Bear witness, those already gone from these very seats! Behold a token before your eyes in the troops, whom we welcome to our worship, officered from our church! In the flames at Norfolk of our burning stores and ships; millions melting into smoke rather than they should fall into the enemy's hands; in tha tby no means totla loss, spiritually considered, see a signal sacrifice. In the munitions of war at the Charlestown Navy-Yard, that make one ship as costly as many a whole town of buildings, as she goes before the breeze, the most wondrous engine and accumulated masses of inventions from the hand of man, see what human nature must pay to right its own wrong!"

"In whatever way we can be userful, let us throw ourselves in! Jesus Christ threw Himself in. We have preached self-culture. Our Master's principle was not self-culture, but self-sacrifice. Self-sacrifice let us preach! Not what a fine thing we can make of ourselves from earth or heaven, for time or eternity, . . . but how we can bless others."

"A shot at our country, holding up her colors in her hand at Fort Sumter, echoes in our ears, and we are born again; Pharisees no more, but lowly publicans in the kingdom. This religion alone can gain the battle, while the terrible North, as the fate and finger of God, moves to meet the tropical South."

"God help us all to uphold the standard, which has in its folds no meaning of the venomous serpent raised by some, but whose stars of benignant order and light the stars in the sky shall not outlive! God help us to stand by America, our own mother, all the more for her present sorrows, as we would by the parent that bore us! God help us to heal the wounds of liberty, whose old wrestling with the storm did something to inspire the human struggle for independence! Let us say, with the officer returning from abroad, 'our country shall have us and the last drop in our veins.' . . . Let us wage war to keep off evils worse than itself. May the thunder-storm of battle pass, and carry our corruption with it, leaving the air pure. God give the triumph to the right!"

Referenced in important works on the period, including Gospel of Disunion: Religion and Separation in the Antebellum South, and Abraham Lincoln himself owned a copy.

Bartol, C. A. The Duty of the Time. A Discourse Preached in the West Church. Sunday Morning, April 28, 1861. Preached Before the Volunteer Co under the Command of Captain Dodd. Boston. Walker, Wise, & Co. 1861. 16pp.

Later plain wraps, a bit brittle. Interior very good and clean with early signature of J. W. Pettingill on title.