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But, we quarrelled once. You taxed us, and we would not be taxed: and now we will have nothing more to do with you.' Indeed ; and nay our artizans construct your machinery, and our Irishmev feed your furnaces, and dig your canals ; may our advocates come to your bar, and our ministers to your pulpits, and shall all, all be made welcome but the advocate of the Slave ? Should I be welcome to you all, if I had but: renounced the cause of humanity?
• But the newspapers abuse you—they are all against you ; and therefore you had better go back to where you came from. Yes: if I fear the newspapers. But supposing I care nothing about the newspapers, and am heartily willing that every shaft that can fly from all the presses of the land shall be launched against me, is it a good reason then ? Leave me, I pray you, to take care of the newspapers, and the newspapers to take care of me: I am entirely easy on that score.
But now as to the question before us. The gentleman from Kentucky, (Mr. Birney,] has gone very fully into its civil and politicat bearings: that aspect of it I shall not touch: I have nothing to do with it. I shall treat it on religious 'ground exclusively; on principles which cannot be impugned, and by arguments which cannot be refuted. I ask the abolition of slavery from anong you, not because it dooms its victims to hard labor, nor because it compels them to a crouching servility, and deprives them of the exercise of civil rights: though all these are true. No: I ask for the illumination of the minds of immortal beings of our species; I seek to deliver woman from the lash, and from all that pollutes and that degrades her; I plead for the ordinances of religion ; for the diffusion of knowledge ; for the sanctification of marriage; for the participation of the gospel. And If you ask my authority, I answer there it is (pointing to the Bible) and let him that refutes me, refute me from that volume.
The resolution I offer has respect to the moral and spiritual condition of your colored population, and I do say that while one sixth of your entire population are left to perish without the word of God, or the ministry. of the gospel, that your splendid missionary operations abroad, justly expose you before the whole world, to the charge of
inconsistency. Your boast is, that your missionaries have gone into all the world ; that you are consulting with the Olher christian nations for the illumination of the whole earth; and you have your missionary stations in all climes visited by the sun, from the frosts of Lapland to the sunny isles of Greece, and the scorching plains of Hindoostan ; amidst the Christless literature of Persia, and the revolting vices of Constantinople. God grant that they may multiply a thousand fold-and continue to spread, till not a spot shall be left on the surface of our ruined world, where the ensign of the cross shall not have been set up. But will you, at the same time, refuse this gospel to one sixth of your own home-born population ? And will hear me, when I ask that that word of life, which you are sending to the nations of New Holland and all the islands of the farthest sea, may be given to your slaves ? When I plead for two millions and a half of human beings in the midst of your own land, lest nearly, if not wholly, destitute of the blessings of God's truth? What spiritual wants have the heathen which the poor slaves have not ? And what obligation binds you to the one, which does not equally bind you to the other ? You own your responsibility to the heathen of other parts of the world, why not the heathen of this continent? And if to the heathen of one portion of the continent, why not to the no less heathen in another portion of it?
The resolution has reference to the diffusion of the Bible : and here I am invulnerable. You have offered to give, within twenty years, a copy of the Scriptures to every family of the world; you are now translating the sacred volume into all the languages of the earth, and scattering its healing leaves wherever men are found; and may I not say a word for the more than two millions at your door? Men whom you will not allow so much as to look into that book ? Whom you forbid to be taught to read it, under pain of death? Why shall not these have the lamp of life? Are these no portion of the families of the south, whom you are pledged to supply? Is it any wonder there should be dark ness in your land, that there should be spiritual leapness in your churches, that there should be Popery among you, when you thus debar men of the Bible? Is it not a fact, that while you have said you will give a
Bible to every family in the world, not one of the families of slaveholders in the Southern States is to be found in. cluded in the benefaction ? Of all the four hundred and sixty thousand families of your slaves, show me one that is included in your purpose or your plan.
There is not one. If it would be wicked to blot out the sun from the heavens; if it would be wicked to deprive the earth of its circumambient air, or to dry up its streams of water, is it less wicked to withhold the word of God from men ? to shut them out from the means of saving knowledge ? te annihilate the cross ? to take away the corner stone of human hope ? to legislate away from your fellow-beings the will of God as recorded in his own word.
In view of the retributions of the judgment, I plead for these men, disinherited of their birthright. And once for all, I say, that every enterprise to enlighten, convert, and bless the world, must be branded with the charge of base hypocrisy, while millions at home are formally and by law deprived of the gospel of life, of the very letter of the Bible. And what has been the result? Christianity has been dethroned; she is gone: there is no weeping mercy to bless the land of the slave; it is banished forever, as far as human laws can effect it. Brethren, I know not how you feel, nor can I tell you how I feel, when I behold you urging, by every powerful argument, the conversion of the world, while such a state of things is at your door ; when I see you all tenderness for men you never saw; and yet seeming destitute of all pity for those you see every day. Suppose, now, that in China the efforts of
mission aries should make one of the dark heathen a convert to the peaceful doctrine of the cross. What would be the duty of such a convert? Learning that there was a country where millions of his fellow sinners were yet destitute of the treasure that had enriched him for eternity, would he not leave the loved parents of his childhood, and the place of his father's sepulchres, and tracing his way across the waters, would he not come to bestow the boon upon men in America?
Would he not come here to enlighten our darkness? And would he not be acting reasonably ? according to the principles and commands of the very Bible you gave him ?
And now I ask, what is the christianity of the South?
Is it not a chain-forging christianity? a whip-platting christianity ? a marriage.denouncing, or, at best, a marriage discouraging christianity. Is it not, above all, a Bible withholding christianity ? You know that the evidence is incontestible. I anticipate the objection. We cannot do otherwise. It is true, there are in South Carolina not twelve slaveholders who instruct their slaves; but we can't help it; there is an inpassible wall; we can't throw. the Bible over it; and if we attempt to make our way through, there stands the gibbet on the other side. It is not to be helped.' Why? "SLAVERY is there.' Then away with slavery. Ay, but how? · Do you want the slave to cut his master's throat ?' By no means. God forbid. I would not have himn hurt one hair of his head, even if it would secure him freedom for life. How then are we to get rid of it ? By carrying them home?' Home? where? Where is their home? Where, but where they were born ? I say, let them live on the soil where they first saw the light and breathed the air. Here, here, in the unidst of you, let justice be done. • What ? release all our slaves ? turn them loose ? spread a lawless band of paupers, vagrants, and lawless depredators upon the country?' Not at all. We have no such thought. All we ask is, that the control of masters over their slaves may be subjected to supervision, and to legal responsibility. Cannot this be done ? Surely it can. There is even now enough of energy in the land to annihilate the whole evil; but all we ask is permission to publish truth, and to set forth the claims of the great and eternal principles of justice and equal rights; and then let them work out their own results. Let the social principle operate. Leave man to work upon man, and church upon church, and one body of people upon another, until the slave States themselves shall voluntarily loose the bonds and break every yoke. All this is legitimate and fair proceeding. It is common sense. It is sound philosophy. Against this course slavery cannot stand long. How was it abolished in England ? By the fiat of the legislature, you will say. True: but was there no preaching of the truth beforehand ? Was there no waking up of the public mind ? no appeals ? no investigations? no rousing of public feelings, and concentration of the public energy? Had there been nothing
of this, the glorious act would never have passed the Parliament; and the British dependencies would still have mourned under the shade of this moral Bohon Upas.
It was well said by one of the gentlemen who preceded me,
that there is a conscience at the South; and that there is the word of God at the South; and they have fears and hopes like our own: and in penning the appeals of reason and religion we cannot be laboring in vain. I will therefore say, that the hope of this cause is in the churches of God. There are church members enough of themselves to decide the destinies of slavery, and I charge upon the 17,000 ministers in this land, that they do keep this evil within our country; that they do not remember them that are in bonds as bound with them; that they fatten on the plunder of God's poor, and enrich themselves by the price of their souls. Were these all to do their duty, this monster, which has so long been brooding over our land, would soon take his flight to the nethermost hell, where he was begotten. How can these refuse to hear me? They are bound to hear; Unitarians, Presbyterians, Methodists, Baptists, Episcopalians, be their name or their sect's name what it may, are bound to hear --for a minister is the messenger of the Lord of Hosts : and if they shall withhold their aid when God calls for it, the Lord will make them contemptible in the eyes of all the people.
Finally : this Anti-Slavery Society is not opposing one evil only: it is setting its face against all the vices of the land. What friend of religion ought to revile it ? Surely the minister of Christ least of all; for it is opening his path before him; and that over a high wall that he dare not pass.
Can the friend of education be against us? A society that seeks to pour the light of science over minds long benighted : a society that aims to make the beast a man: and the man an angel ? Ought the friend of the Bible to oppose it ? Surely not. Nor can any of these various interests of benevolence thrive until slavery is first removed out of the way.
Mr. T. in closing, observed that he had risen to-day under peculiar feelings. Two of his countrymen had been deputed to visit this country, one of them a member of the Committee of the British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Soci