Twilight Tidbit Two
For our second Twilight Tidbit, we bring you a sermon delivered by Alexander Lucius Twilight on July 10, 1853 in Brownington and then again February 5, 1854 in Orleans (then known as Barton Landing). This excerpt expands on Twilight’s feelings about racism from which we excerpted in our Statement by the Board of Trustees of the Old Stone House Museum on Black Lives Matter. Stay tuned next week for our next Tidbit from the life and times of Mr. Twilight.
All things are progressive, but the origin is of God. How long ago creation began we know not, but that the Earth had some form of existence before the account given in Genesis, is quite certain but no human being can tell what that form was; but at that the priest constituted almost the whole of the literati of the world, Wars, and subjugation was the grand movements of the day. The Medopersian overthrew the Babylonian empire, the Greek the Persian and finally Rome trampled them all down under her feet, which were part iron and part clay. Though blood and carnage was the order of the day, yet knowledge increased until finally universal peace was induced under the influence [of] a powerful Roman empire.
Wars are always attended by disastrous consequences, but sometimes with all their evils, good is mingled in their results. The late war of Britain with China though attended with the bad results of war, had also a favorable influence on China which can never be erased. It introduced European improvements taught the self conceited nation that those nations whom they despised, were far ahead of them in knowledge, and opened a wide door for the introduction of the Christian Religion. A knowledge of civilized life and many of its advantages are so associated with the liberal doctrines of the Christian Religion that they must be introduced with it.
But subjugation by war and superiority of physical or intellectual strength never gave man the right to reduce his fellow man to his service without his own consent. This however was the custom in antiquity and seemed to be quietly submitted to, till a recent date. This practice built the mighty pyramids of Egypt, and has handed down to us the errors of those times, when a hundred thousand men could be continued to work upon on pyramid for twenty years. It was a motto, that the right of valiant men lay in their temples, pyramids, triumphal arcs, and monuments to perpetuate the glory and distinguished bravery and renown of the mighty conqueror, the butcher of mankind.
From these practices of barbarism, ignorance and cruelty, arose our American slavery, so much detested now by enlightened nations, as knowledge has so much increased. That such remains of the past should be found at the present day, rests upon this fact that men do not advance alike or upon the same subjects at the same time, owing more to circumstances than any other cause.
In the progress of time from the Creation of the prophesy, from which our text is taken was delivered to Daniel, about the year three thousand five hundredth year and more than two thousand three hundred years ago. Previous to its delivery there were constant changes physically, morally, and intellectually; and since that time similar changes have been the course of events, until the physical, moral and intellectual world is almost entirely another thing. Then the greatest speed was that of the most fleet animals which was no greater than what we now see by the same animals, but now we go with the speed of the wind and communications are made with the velocity of lightning. This great change is effected by the increase of knowledge for many have gone to and fro and knowledge is increased and converted to the use of men.