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´╗┐Title: Conflict of Northern and Southern Theories of Man and Society - Great Speech, Delivered in New York City
Author: Beecher, Henry Ward, 1813-1887
Language: English
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GREAT SPEECH,

DELIVERED IN NEW YORK CITY,

BY

HENRY WARD BEECHER,

ON THE

Conflict of Northern and Southern Theories

OF MAN AND SOCIETY,

January 14, 1855.



ROCHESTER:

STEAM PRESS OF A. STRONG & CO., COR. OF STATE AND BUFFALO STREETS.

1855.



 Conflict of Northern and Southern Theories
 OF MAN AND SOCIETY.


The Eighth Lecture of the Course before the Anti-Slavery Society, was
delivered, January 14, 1855, at the Tabernacle, New York, by the Rev.
HENRY WARD BEECHER. The subject, at the present time, is one of
peculiar interest, as touching the questions of Slavery and
Know-Nothingism, and, together with the popularity of the lecturer,
drew together a house-full of auditors.

There were a number of gentlemen of distinction, occupying seats on
the rostrum--among whom were the Hon. Joshua R. Giddings, James Mott,
of Philadelphia, and Mr. Dudley, of Buffalo.

Mr. Beecher was introduced to the audience by Mr. OLIVER JOHNSON, who
said:

_Ladies and Gentlemen_: The speaker who occupied this platform on
Tuesday evening last, in the course of his remarks upon the wide
degeneracy of the American Clergy on the Slavery Question, reminded us
that there was in a Brooklyn pulpit, A MAN. We thought you would be
glad to see and hear such a _rara avis_, and therefore have besought
him to come hither to-night to instruct us by his wisdom and move us
by his eloquence. I trust that, whatever you may think of some other
parts of the lecture of WENDELL PHILLIPS, you will, when this
evening's performance is over, be ready at least to confess that in
what he said of the Brooklyn preacher he was not more eulogistic than
truthful.

MR. BEECHER, on presenting himself, was received with loud and hearty
applause. He spoke as follows:

The questions which have provoked discussion among us for fifty years
past have not been questions of fundamental principles, but of the
_application_ of principles already ascertained. Our debates have been
between one way of doing a thing and another way of doing it--between
living well and living better; and so through, it has been a question
between good and better. We have discussed policies, not principles.
In Europe, on the other hand, life-questions have agitated men. The
questions of human rights, of the nature and true foundations of
Government, are to-day, in Europe, where they were with our fathers in
1630.

In this respect, there is a moral dignity, and even grandeur, in the
struggles, secretly or openly going on in Italy, Austria, Germany, and
France, which never can belong to the mere questions of mode and
manner which occupy us--boundary questions, banks, tariffs, internal
improvements, currency; all very necessary but secondary topics. They
touch nothing deeper than the pocket. In this respect, there would be
a marked contrast between the subjects which occupy us, and the
grander life-themes that dignify European thought, were it not for one
subject--_Slavery_. THAT is the ONLY _question, in our day and in our
community, full of vital struggles turning upon fundamental
principles_.

If Slavery were a plantation-question, concerning only the master and
the slave, disconnected from us, and isolated--then, though we should
regret it, and apply moral forces for its ultimate remedy, yet, it
would be, (as are questions of the same kind in India or South
America,) remote, constituting a single element in that globe of
darkness of which this world is the core, and which Christianity is
yet to shine through and change to light. But it is _not_ a
plantation-question. It is a national question. The disputes implied
by the violent relations between the owner and the chattel may only
_morally_ touch us.--But the disputes between the masters and the
Government, and between the Government, impregnated with Slavery, and
the Northern citizen, these touch us sharply, and if not wisely met,
will yet scourge us with thorns! Indeed, I cannot say that I believe
that New England and the near North will be affected _locally_, and
immediately by an adverse issue of the great national struggle now
going on. But the North will be an utterly dead force in the American
nation. She will be rolled up in a corner, like a cocoon waiting for
its transmigration. The whole North will become provincial; it will be
but a fringe to a nation whose heart will beat in the South.

But New-England was not raised up by Divine Providence to play a mean
part in the world's affairs.

Remember, that New-England brought to America those principles which
every State in the Union has more or less thoroughly adopted.

New-England first formed those institutions which liberty requires for
beneficient activity; and from her, both before and since the
Revolution, they have been copied throughout the Land. Having given to
America its ideas and its institutions, I think the North is bound to
stand by them.

Until 1800, the North had distinctive national influence, and gave
shape, in due measure, to national _policy_, as she had before to
national institutions.

Then she began to recede before the rising of another power. For the
last fifty years, upon the national platform have stood arrayed two
champions in mortal antagonism--New-England and the near
North--representing personal freedom, civil liberty, universal
education, and a religious spirit which always sympathises with men
more than with Governments.

The New-England theory of Government has always been in its
element--first, independent men; then democratic townships; next
republican States, and, in the end, a Federated Union of Republican
States. All her economies, her schools, her policy, her industry, her
wealth, her intelligence, have been at agreement with her theory and
policy of Government. Yet, New-England, strong at home, compact,
educated, right-minded; has gradually lost influence, and the whole
North with her.

The Southern League of States, have been held together by the cohesive
power of Common Wrong. Their industry, their policy, their whole
interior, vital economy, have been at variance with the apparent
principles of their own State Governments, and with the National
Institutions under which they exist. They have stood upon a narrow
basis, always shaking under them, without general education, without
general wealth, without diversified industry. And yet since the year
1800, they have steadily prevailed against Representative New-England
and the North. The South, the truest representation of Absolutism
under republican forms, is mightier in our National Councils and
Policy to-day than New-England, the mother and representative of true
republicanism and the whole free North.

And now it has come to pass that, in the good providence of God,
another opportunity has been presented to the whole North to reassert
her place and her influence, and to fill the institutions of our
country with their original and proper blood. I do not desire that she
should arise and put on her beautiful garments, because she is my
mother, and your mother; not because her hills were the first which my
childhood saw, that has never since beheld any half so dear; nor from
any sordid ambition, that she should be great in this world's
greatness; nor from any profane wish to abstract from the rightful
place and influence of any State, or any section of our whole country.
But I think that God sent New-England to these shores as his own
messenger of mercy to days and ages, that have yet far to come ere
they are born! She has not yet told this Continent all that is in her
heart. She has sat down like Bunyan's Pilgrim, and slept in the bower
by the way, and where she slept she has left her roll--God grant that
she hath not lost it there while she slumbered!

By all the love that I bear to the cause of God, and the glory of his
Church, by the yearnings which I have for the welfare of the human
kind, by all the prophetic expectations which I have of the destiny of
this land, God's Almoner of Liberty to the World, I desire to see Old
Representative New-England, and the affiliated North, rouse up and do
their first works.

Is it my excited ear that hears an airy phantasm whispering? or do I
hear a solemn voice crying out, "_Arise? Shine? thy light is come, and
the glory of the Lord is arisen upon thee!_"

I am quite aware that the subject of Slavery has been regarded, by
many, as sectional; and the agitation of it in the North needless, and
injurious to our peace and the country's welfare. Whatever may have
been the evils, the agitation has only come _through_ men, not _from_
them. It is of God. It is the underheaving of Providence. Mariners
might as well blame _you_ for the swing and toss of their craft when
tides troop in or march out of your harbor, as us, for heaving to that
tide which God swells under us. Tides in the ocean and in human
affairs are from celestial bodies and celestial beings. The conflict
which is going on springs from causes as deep as the foundations of
our institutions. It will go on to a crisis; its settlement will be an
era in the world's history, either of advance or of decline.

I wish to call your patient attention to the real nature of this
contest. It is,

_The conflict between Northern theories and Southern theories of man
and of Society._

There have been, from the earliest period of the world, two different,
and oppugnant, doctrines of man--_his place, rights, duties and
relations_. And the theory of man is always the starting point of all
other theories, systems, and Governments which divide the world.

Outside of a Divine and Authoritative Revelation, men have had but one
way of estimating the value of man. He was to them simply a creature
of time, and to be judged in the scientific method, by his
_phenomena_. The Greeks and the Romans had no better way. They did not
know enough of his origin, his nature, or his destiny, to bring these
into account, in estimating man. Accordingly they could do no better
than to study him in his developments and rank him by the POWER which
he manifested. Now if a botanist should describe a biennial plant,
whose root and stem belong to one season, whose blossom and fruit
belong to another, as if that were the whole of it which the first
year produced, he would commit the same mistake which the heathen idea
of man commits in measuring and estimating a being whose true life
comes hereafter, by the developments which he makes in only this
world.

From this earthly side of man springs the most important practical
results. For the doctrine of man, simply as he _is in this life,
logically deduces Absolutism and Aristocracy_.

If the _power of producing effects_ is the criterion of value, the few
will always be the _most_ valuable, and the mass relatively,
subordinate, and the weak and lowest will be left helplessly
worthless.

And the mass of all the myriads that do live, are of no more account
than working animals; and there is, no such a theory, no reason, _a
priori_; why they should not be controlled by superior men, and made
to do that for which they seem the best fitted--Work and Drudgery!
Only long experiment could teach a doctrine contrary to the logical
presumption arising from weakness. There could be no doctrine of human
_rights_. It would be simply a doctrine of human _forces_. _Right_
would be a word as much out of place as among birds and beasts.
Authority would go with productive greatness, as gravity goes with
mass in matter. The whole chance of Right, and the whole theory of
Liberty, springs from that part of man that lies beyond this life.

As a material creature, man ranks among physical forces. Rights come
from his spiritual nature. The body is of the earth, and returns to
earth, and is judged by earthly measures. The soul is of God, and
returns to God, and is judged by Divine estimates. And this is the
reason why a free, unobstructed Bible always works toward human
rights. It is the only basis on which the poor, the ignorant, the
weak, the laboring masses can entrench against oppression.

What, then, is that theory of man which Christianity gives forth?

It regards man not as a perfect thing, put into life to blossom and
die, as a perfect flower doth. Man is a _seed_, and birth is
_planting_. He is in life for cultivation, not exhibition; he is here
chiefly to be _acted on_, not to be characteristically an agent. For,
though man is also an actor, he is yet more a recipient. Though he
produces effects, he receives a thousand fold more than he produces.
And he is to be estimated by his capacity of receiving, not of doing.
_He has his least value in what he can DO; it all lies in what he is
capable of having done TO him._ The eye, the ear, the tongue, the
nerve of touch, are all simple receivers. The understanding, the
affections, the moral sentiments, all, are primarily and
characteristically, recipients of influence; and only secondarily
agents. Now, how different is the value of ore, dead in its silent
waiting-places, from the wrought blade, the all but living engine, and
the carved and curious utensil!

Of how little value is a ship standing helpless on the stocks--but
half-built, and yet building--to one who has no knowledge of the
ocean, or of what that helpless hulk will become the moment she slides
into her element, and rises and falls upon the flood with joyous
greeting!

The value of an acorn is not what it is, but what it shall be when
nature has brooded it, and brought it up, and a hundred years have
sung through its branches and left their strength there!

He, then, that judges man by what he can do, judges him in the seed.
We must see him through some lenses--we must prefigure his
_immortality_. While, then, his _industrial_ value in life must depend
on what he can do, we have here the beginning of a _moral_ value which
bears no relation to his _power_, but to his future destiny.

This view assumes distinctness and intensity, when we add to it the
relationship which subsists between man and his Maker.

This relationship begins in the fact that we are created in the divine
image; that we are connected with God, therefore, not by Government
alone, but by nature.

This initial truth is made radiant with meaning, by the teaching of
Christianity that every human being is dear to God: a teaching which
stands upon that platform, built high above all human deeds and
histories, the advent, incarnation, passion, and death of Christ, as a
Savior of men.

The race is a brotherhood; God is the Father, Love is the law of this
great human commonwealth, and Love knows no servitude. It is that
which gilds with liberty whatever it touches.

One more element to human liberty is contributed by Christianity, in
the solemn development of man's accountability to God, by which
condition hereafter springs from pure character here.

However heavy that saying is, every one of us shall _give an account
of himself_ before God--in it is the life of the race.

You cannot present man as a subject of Divine government, held
responsible for results, compared with which the most momentous
earthly deeds are insignificant, plied with influences accumulating
from eternity, and by powers which though they begin on earth in the
cradle, gentle as a mother's voice singing lullaby, go on upward,
taking every thing as they go, till they reach the whole power of God;
and working out results that outlast time and the sun, and revolve
forever in flaming circuits of disaster, or in sacred circles of
celestial bliss; you cannot present man as the center and subject of
such an august and eternal drama, without giving him something of the
grandeur which resides in God himself, and in the spheres of
immortality!

Who shall trifle with such a creature, full bound upon such an errand
through life, and swelling forth to such a destiny? Clear the place
where he stands?--give him room and help, but no hinderance, as he
equips for eternity!--loosen the bonds of man, for God girds
him!--take off all impediments, for it is his life and death and
struggle for immortality!

That this effect of accountability to God was felt by the inspired
writers, cannot be doubtful to any who weigh such language as this:

"So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God. Let us
not, therefore judge one another any more, but _judge this rather,
that no man put a stumbling block, or an occasion to fall in his
brother's way_."

By making man important in the sight of God, he becomes sacred to his
fellow. The more grand and far-reaching are the divine claims, the
greater is our conception of the scope and worth of being. Human
rights become respected in the ratio in which human responsibility is
felt. Whatever objections men may hold to Puritanism--their theory
since the days of St. Augustine has constantly produced tendencies to
liberty and a prevalent belief in the natural _rights of man_--and on
account of that very feature which to many, has been so offensive--its
rigorous doctrine of human accountability. Here, then, is the idea of
man which Christianity gives in contrast with the inferior and
degrading heathen notions of man. He is a being but _begun_ on
earth--a seed only planted here for its first growth. He is connected
with God, not as all matter is by proceeding from creative power, but
by partaking the divine nature, by the declared personal affection of
God, witnessed and sealed by the presence and sufferings of the
world's Redeemer. He is a being upon whom is rolled the responsibility
of character and eternal destiny! Of such a creature it were as
foolish to take an estimate, by what he _is_ and what he can _do_ in
this life, as it would be to estimate by an eagle's egg, what the old
eagle is worth, with wings outspread far above the very thunder, or
coming down upon its quarry as the thunder comes! It is the Future
that gives value to the Present. It is Immortality only that reaches
down a measure wherewith to gauge a man. If a heathen measures, the
strong are strong, and the weak are weak: the rich, the favored, must
rule, and their shadow must dwarf all others. If a Christian measures,
he hears a voice saying: "_There is neither Jew nor Greek; there is
neither bond nor free; there is neither male nor female; for ye are
all one in Christ Jesus._ Whosoever shall do the will of my Father,
which is in heaven, the same is my mother, and sister, and brother."

These are the things that give value to man.

It is not to be said that there is no difference between men; that one
is not more powerful than another; that one is not richer in genius
than another; that one is not more valuable to _society_ than another;
that education, refinement, skill, experience, give no precedence over
their negatives. But God takes up the _least_ of all human creatures,
and, declares, "inasmuch as ye have done it unto the _least of these_,
ye have done it unto me." In a household, a babe is vastly less than
the grown-up children. But who dare touch it, as if it were as
worthless as it is weak?

So God pleads his own relationship to the meanest human creation, as
his protection from wrong; as the evidence of his rights, as the
reason of his dignity! There is something of God in the meanest
creature. He is sacred from injury! In these truths we find the reason
why Christianity always takes _hold so low down_ in human life. Things
that have got their root need little from the gardener; but the seeds,
and tender sprouts, and difficult plants, require and get nurture.

A Christianity that takes care of the rich, the strong, the governing
class, and neglects the poor, and ignorant, and the unrefined, as the
antitype of Christ.

It is in this direction only, that the declaration of man's equality
is true. No heathen nation could say that "all men are born free and
equal"--for in more earthly respects it is false. But it is a truth
that stands only and firmly in those grand relations which man
sustains _to God, to Eternity, and to future dignity_--all are equally
subjects of these. Man is ungrown. All his fruit is green. If he must
stand by what _he is_, how surely must he be given over to weakness,
to abuse, to oppressions. The weak are the natural prey to the strong,
and superiority is a charter for tyranny.

But if he be an heir, waiting for an inheritance of God, eternal in
the heavens, woe be to him that dare lay a finger on him because he is
a minor!

I dwell the longer upon this view because it carries the world's heart
in it. We must deepen our thinkings of man, and bore for the springs
of liberty far below the drainings of surface strata, down deep,
Artesian, till we strike something that shall be beyond winter or
summer, frost or drouth.

I do not believe that there is a doctrine of individual rights nor of
civil liberty that can stand outside of Christianity. They are to be
seen revealed in nature, but there is none to interrupt them with
authority. Christ is the World's Emancipator, for he hath declared
that men belong to _Him_; and an oppressor thus becomes a felon, a
robber, and a wronger of God, in the person of every poor and wretched
victim!

A Christianity that tells man what his origin is--of God; his destiny,
to God again; his errand on earth, to grow toward goodness, and make
the most of himself--this Christianity is rank rebellion in
despotisms, and insurrection on plantations. It cannot be preached
there.

These two radical theories of man--man, a physical creature to be
judged by effects produced in Time; or man, a spiritual creature, to
be judged by the development to which he is destined, are at the root
of all the antagonisms between the spirit of northern and southern
institutions: northern policy and southern policy. In the North, it is
the public sentiment of the people, that all men are born free and
equal; that every man has an inalienable right to life, liberty and
the pursuit of happiness, forfeited only by _crime_. The North believe
that personal and political liberty are not only _rights_ of man, but
their _necessity_, that man cannot thrive nor develop, with the true
proportions of manhood, without liberty. It is the northern sentiment
that a man must be prepared for liberty, and that the act of _birth_
is that preparation; that no creature lives which is the better for
oppression, and who will not be the better for freedom, which is the
natural air appointed for the soul's breathing. The North disdains
every pretense that men are injured by sudden liberty. A famished man
may injure himself by over-feeding; but that is an argument not
against food, but against famine. It is the northern sentiment, and
justly deduced from the Christian theory of man, that society should
redeem all its own children from ignorance, should secure their
growth, equip them for citizenship, make all the influences of society
enure to the benefit of the mass of men. The southern sentiment is the
reverse of this. It holds that all men are not born free and equal;
that men have not an inalienable right to life, liberty and the
pursuit of happiness; and that men are not in their very constitution
fitted for liberty, and benefited by it. They hold that liberty is an
attribute of power; that it is a blossom which belongs to _races_, and
not to mankind; that a part were born to rule, and a part were
ordained to serve; that liberty is dangerous to the many; that
servitude, the most rigorous, is a blessing; that it accords with the
creative intent of God, and with his revealed institutions; that a
nation cannot be homogeneous, and should not aim at it; that there is
a law and scale of gradation, on which the top is privilege and
authority, the bottom labor and obedience. _These are the radical
theories of the respective sections of the land._ Men often are
profoundly ignorant of the principles which control their policy, as a
ship is unconscious of the rudder that steers her. Many are found,
both North and South, whose conduct over-rules their theory, and who
are better or worse than their belief. There are southern men who are
more generous than their theory, and there are northern men who are
grossly untrue to the northern theory, which, with their lips, they
profess. There are southern men with northern consciences, and there
are northern men with southern consciences. But, in the main, these
respective theories reign and regulate public procedure. There is not
a man so poor in the North, or so ignorant, or souseless, as not to be
regarded as a Man, by religion, by civil law, and by public opinion.
Selfishness and pride, avarice and cunning, anger or lust, may prey
upon the heedlessness or helplessness of many. Society may be full of
evils. But all these things are not sequences of northern doctrines,
but violations of them. If sharks in great cities consume the too
credulous emigrant; if usurers, like moths, cut the fabric of life
with invisible teeth; if landlords sack their tenements and pinch the
tenant--all these results are against the spirit of our law, against
public feeling, and they that do such things must slink and burrow.
They are vermin that run in the walls, and peep from hiding-holes, and
we set traps for them as we do for rats or weazels. But, in the South,
the subordination of man, to man, in his earnings, his skill, his time
and labor--in his person, his affections, his very children--is a part
of the theory of society, drawn out into explicit statutory law,
coincident with public opinion, and executed without secrecy. A net
spread for those guilty of such wrongs against man, would catch
States, and Legislatures, Citizens, Courts, and Constitutions.

In the North the most useless pauper that burdens the Alms-House--the
most uncombed foreigner that delves in a ditch--the most abject
creature that begs a morsel from door to door, _is yet a man_; and
there is, not in theory only, but in the public sentiment, a
sacredness of rights, which no man, except by stealth, can violate
with impunity. There is no other law for the Governor of New-York or
of Massachusetts, than for the beggar in your streets. That which
protects the dwelling and the property of the rich man, belongs just
as much to the hovel of the beggar. God sends but one sun, and it is
the same light that kindles against the roof of a mansion, that dawns
upon the thatch of a hut. The same air comes to each, the same
showers, the same seasons, summer and winter. And as is Nature, so in
the North, is law, and the distributive benefits of society. They
bathe society from top to bottom! The rich, the learned, the refined,
the strong, may know how to make a better use of the air, but they
have no more air of privilege to breathe, than the poorest wretch.

In the South, exactly the reverse is true, not by stealth, not by
neglect of a recognized principle, but as the result of men's ideas,
and by organized arrangements. Touch a hireling's wages, in the North,
and the Law stands to defend him and beat you down! Take the laborer's
wages in the South, and the law stands to defend you, and beat him
down.

Beat a man, in the North, for a private wrong done, and the law will
strike you. But in the South, it is the right of the white,
unquestioned and unquestionable to beat every third person in the
community.

Let the proudest mill-owner break but the skin of the poorest
operative in Lowell or Lawrence, and both law and public sentiment,
alike, would grasp and punish him!

But in the South the law refuses to look at any degree of cruelty in
chastisements upon the universal laborer, short of maiming or death,
and public sentiment is but little better than the law.

The laborer in the North answers to a tribunal; in the South, to a
master, incensed, passionate, vindictive in justice executed upon all
symptoms of resisting manhood!

In the North, nothing is more sacred than a man's family and his
children. It would not be possible for a man to do public violence to
a family circle without vindictive penalty. Let him separate a mother
from her daughters, let him employ a hireling ruffian to carry off the
boys into the country and parcel them out there--let him scatter the
flock, and leave the children motherless, and the parents childless,
and what do you think would become of _him_?

In the South it is a part of the civil rights of men to do these
things whenever they please. And though public sentiment is better
than law, yet as no public sentiment on earth is a match for legalized
lust, or avarice, or the grip of misfortune, these things are
continually done, and remorselessly. Cruelty, chastity, virtue, do not
mean the same things in the South as in the North. A man is not
blemished by deeds and indulgencies, upon a plantation, among slaves,
which in the North, would strike him through with infamy and house him
in the penitentiary.

In the South, there are many roads leading from the top of society to
the bottom, but not _one_, not ONE from the bottom to the top.

In the North, if the citizen chooses to walk in it, _there is a road
from every man's door_ up to the Governor's chair or the Presidential
seat!

It needs no words, now, to convince you, that out of such different
theories of men, there will exist in the North and in the South,
extremely different ideas of Society, Government, and Public Policy.

In the North, first in order of consideration is man, the individual
man; next the family, made of those of common blood, and by far the
strongest, as it is the most sacred of all institutions. Then comes
the township, which presents the only spectacle of an absolute
political democracy. For, here only, do citizens assemble in mass and
vote, directly and not by representation. Next comes Society at large,
or the mass of citizens grouped into States. And in Society, in the
North, there are no classes except such as rise out of spontaneous
forces. Wealth, experience, ability set men above their fellows. There
they stand as long as there is a _real_ superiority. But they stand
there, not by legal force, nor to exercise any legal power, or to have
one single privilege or prerogative, which does not belong just as
much to every citizen clear down to the bottom. All that a class
_means_ in the North is, that when men have shown themselves strong
and wise men give them honor for it. Death levels it all down again.
Their children inherit nothing. They must earn for themselves. There
is no division of society into orders, by which some have privilege
and some have not, some have opportunity and advantages which others
have not.

In the South, society is divided into two great and prominent
classes--the ruling and the obeying--the thinking and the working. The
labor of the South is performed by three million creatures who
represent the heathen idea of man.

All the benefits that have accrued to man from Christianity, are
appropriated and monopolized by the white population.

Here is a seam that no sophistry can sew up. Here is a society
organized, not on an idea of equal rights, and of inequalities only as
they spring from difference of worth, but on an idea of permanent,
political, organized inequality among men. They carry it so far that
the theory of Slave law regards the slave not as an inferior man,
governed, for his own good as well as for the benefit of the society
at large, but it pronounces him, in reiterated forms, not a man at
all, but a chattel.

When a community of States, by the most potential voice of Law, says
to the whole body of its laboring population, Ye are not _men_ and
shall not be; ye are chattels--it is absurd to speak about kind
treatment--about happiness. It is about cattle that they are talking!
Our vast body of laboring men do not yet feel the force of such a
theory of human society. But, if that political system, which has
openly been making such prodigious strides for the last fifty years,
and effecting, secretly, a yet greater change in men's ideas of
society and government, shall gain complete ascendancy, they, in their
turn, and in due time will know and see the difference between a
Republican Democracy and a Republican Aristocracy?

Out of such original and radical differences, there must flow a
perpetual contrast and opposition of policies and procedures, in the
operation of society and of business. We will select but a few, of
many, subjects of contrast, Work, Education, Freedom of Speech and of
the Press, and Religion.


I. WORK. Among us, and from the beginning, Work has been honorable. It
has been honorable to dig, to hew, to build, to reap, to wield the
hammer at the forge, and the saw at the bench. It has been honorable
because our people have been taught that each man is set to make the
most of himself. The crown for every victory gained in a struggle of
skill or industry over matter is placed upon the soul; and thus among
a free people industry becomes education.

It is the peculiarity of Northern labor, that it _thinks_. It is
intelligence working out through the hands. There is more real thought
in a Yankee's hand than in a Southerner's head. This is not true of a
class, or of single individuals, or of single States. It pervades the
air. It is Northern public sentiment. It springs from our ideas of
manhood. These influences, acting through generations, have been
wrought into the very blood. It is in the stock. Go where you will a
Yankee is a working creature. He is the honeybee of mankind. Only Work
is royal among us. It carries the sceptre, and changes all nations by
its touch, opening its treasures and disclosing its secrets.

But with all this industry, you shall find nowhere on earth so little
_drudging_ work as in the North. It is not the servitude of the hands
to material nature. It is the glorious exercise of mind upon nature.
They vex nature with incessant importunities. They are always prying,
and thinking, and trying.

In California, gold is found in quartz formations. But in New England,
and the free inventive North, in the geology of industry, gold is
found everywhere--in rye straw and bonnets, in leather and stone, in
wool, felts and cloths; in wood, in stone, and in very ice. It is
wrapped up in the beggar's raiment, which unroll in our mills into
paper--yesterday, a beggar's feculent rags; to-day, a newspaper,
conveying the world's daily life into twenty thousand families. And so
great are the achievements of labor that everybody honors it. It
stands among us as an invisible dignity. Four spirits there are that
rule in New England--religion, social virtue, intelligence, and
_work_; and this last takes something from them all, and is their
physical exponent. So that not only is work honored and honorable, but
the want of it is an implied discredit. The presumption is always
against a man who does not labor.

In the South, the very reverse is true, as a general proposition.

It is true, because labor is the peculiar badge of Slavery. It does
not stand, as with us, a symbol of intelligence, but a symbol of
stupid servitude. It is the business of those whom the law puts out of
the pale of society and accounts chattels, and who, by the opinion of
society, are at the bottom, and under the feet of respectable men. To
work is, therefore, _prima facie_ evidence of degradation. It is
ranking oneself with a slave by doing a slave's tasks; as eating a
beggar's crust with him would be a beggar's fellowship.

But this is not the whole reason, nor the chiefest and more potent
reason of the difference between public feeling about WORK, North and
South.

The ideas of men in the South do not inspire any such tendency. Men
are judged there not by what they are and are to be, but by what they
_can now do_. Only such things as have an echo in them, that
reverberate in the ear of public opinion, that produce an effect of
notice, honor, advancement _in the_ OPINIONS of men, are relished. In
the North, men are educated to _be_ something--in the South to _seem_
something. The North tends to _doing_--the South to _appearing_. And
both tendencies spring from the root of opposite theories of men and
notions of society.

And it is this innate, hereditary indisposition to work that, after
all, is the greatest obstacle to emancipation. Laziness in the South
and money in the North, are the bulwarks of Slavery! To take away a
planter's slaves is to cut off his hands. There is where he keeps his
work. There is none of it in himself. And it is this, too, which leads
to the contempt which southern people feel for northern men. They are
working men, and work is flavored to the Southerner with ideas of
ignominy, of meanness, of vulgar lowness. Neither can they understand
how a man who works all his life long can be high-minded and generous,
intelligent and refined.

Not only is there this contrast in dignity of work, but even more--_in
rights of industry_. Work, in the North, has responsibilities that are
prodigious educators. We ordain that a man shall have the fullest
chance, and then he shall have the results of his activity. He shall
take all he can make, or he shall take the whole result of
_indolence_. It is a double education. It inspires labor by hope of
fruition, and intensifies it by the fear of non-fruition. The South
have their whole body of laborers at work without either
responsibility. They cut it off at both ends. They virtually say to
the slave, in reality, "_Be lazy_, for all that you earn shall do you
no good; be lazy, for when you are old and helpless we are bound to
take care of you."

It is this apparent care for the helplessness of slaves, that has won
the favor of many northern men, and of some who ought to have known
better the effect of taking off from men the responsibility of labor,
in both ways, its fruition and its penalty. Once declare in New York
that Government would take care of poverty and old age, so as to make
it honorable, and it would be a premium upon improvidence. With us, it
is expected that every man will work, will earn, will lay up, will
deliver his family from public charity. There is, to be sure, an Alms
House to catch all who, by misfortune or improvidence, fall through.
But such is the public opinion in favor of personal independence
springing from industry, that a native-born American citizen had
rather die than go to an Alms-House. Foreigners are our staple
paupers. Our charity feeds the poor wretches whom foreign slavery has
crippled and cast upon us. But the whole South is a vast work-house
for the slave while young, and a vast alms-house for him when old, and
neither young or old, is he permitted to feel the responsibility for
labor. And this, too, explains the _apparent_ advantage which the
South has over the North in the matter of pauperism and distress. The
northern system intends to punish those who will not work. It it not a
system calculated for slaves nor for lazy men. If indolence comes
under it, it will take the penalty of not working. And nowhere else in
the world is the penalty of indolence, and even of shiftlessness, so
terrible as in the North, as nowhere else is the remuneration of a
virtuous industry so ample and so widely diffused.


II. There is just as marked a contrast upon the subject of education,
and especially of Common Schools. In the North we have COMMON Schools.
This is more than a School. It is more than a public school. It is a
_Common_ School, in distinction from a _select_, or class school. It
is a public provision for bringing together, upon a perfect equality,
the children of the rich and the poor, the noble and ignoble, the high
and the low. It is a provision of our institutions, by which every
generation is led to a line and made to start equal and together.
There will be inequality enough as soon as men get into life. Some
shoot ahead; some, like dull sailors in a fleet, are dropped behind,
and men are scattered all along the ocean. But the _Common_ School
gathers up their children and brings them all back again to take a new
start together. Thus our schools are not mere whetstones to the
intellect; they are institutions for evening up society; they resist
the tendency to separation into classes, which grows with the
prosperity of a community; they bind together, in cordial sympathy,
all classes of citizens. For nothing is more tenacious than schoolday
remembrances, and the last things that we forget are playmates and
schoolmates.

The South may have schools. But never _Common_ Schools. The South has
no _common_ people. There can be States, there, but never
_Commonwealths_. There is no _common_ ground, where the theory of
society grades men upon a perpendicular scale. It is a society of
_classes_, and a society of _classes_ can never be a _community_. When
the whole labor of a State is performed by a degraded class, that are
not included in the State as citizens or social beings, it is
impossible but that the class next above them should feel the force of
those theories and ideas which have produced such a state of things.
It is so. The poor white population of the South is degraded. They are
ignorant--they are not fertile in thought or labor. They are not so
low as the slaves, nor so high as those who own slaves. There are
three classes--the top, the middle, and the bottom; and two of these,
the top and bottom, being fixed and legal, the middle is modified by
them both.

In such a Society, there cannot be a _Common School_, in any such
sense as we mean it. Indeed, there cannot be _general education_ in
any State where ignorance is the legal condition of one-half the
population, as is the case in many Southern States. Ignorance is an
institution in the South. It is a political necessity. It is as much
provided for by legislation and by public sentiment, and guarded by
enactments, as intelligence is in the North. It must be. The
restrictions which keep it from the slave will keep it from the
whites, excepting, always, the few who live at the top. There cannot
be an atmosphere of intelligence. Slaves would be in danger of
breathing that. There cannot be a common public sentiment, a common
school, nor common education. Knowledge is power, not only, but
powder, putting the South in the risk of being blown up, by careless
handling and too great abundance.


III. Closely connected with this, and springing from the same causes,
is a contrast between the North and the South, in respect to free
speech and open discussion by lip and by type.

The theory of the North is, that every man has the right, on every
subject, to the freest expression of his opinions, and the fullest
right to urge them upon the convictions of others. It is not a
permission of law; it is the inherent right of the individual. Law is
only to protect the citizen in the use of that right.

It is the theory of the North that society is as much a gainer by this
freedom of discussion as is the individual.

It is a perpetual education of the people, and a safeguard to the
State. There is the utmost latitude of speech and discussion among our
citizens. The attempt to abridge it would be so infatuated that the
most dignified Court that ever sat in Boston would become an object of
universal merriment and ridicule, that should presume to arrest and
cause to be indicted any man for free speaking in old Faneuil Hall.
Merriment, I say, for who would not laugh at a philosopher who would
set snares for the stars, and fix his net to catch the sun, and
regulate their indiscreet shining. Darkness and silence are excellent
for knaves and tyrants; but the attempt to command the one or the
other in the North, changes the knave to an imbecile and the tyrant to
a fool.

But should any power, against the precedents of the past, the spirit
of our people, the theory of our civil polity and the rights of
individual man succeed, and make headway against free speech, and put
it in jeopardy, it would convulse the very frame-work of society.
There would be no time for a revolution--there would be an _eruption_,
and fragmentary Judges, Courts and their minions would fly upward
athwart the sky, like stones and balls of flame driven from the
vomiting crater of a furious volcano! No. This is a right like the
right of breathing. This is a liberty that broods upon us like the
atmosphere. The grand American doctrine that men may speak what they
think, and may print what they speak--that all public measures shall
have free public discussion--cannot be shaken; and any party must be
intensely American that can afford to destroy the very foundation of
American principle that public questions shall be publicly discussed,
and public procedure be publicly agreed upon. Right always gains in
the light, and Wrong in the dark. An owl can whip an eagle in the
night!

The South, holding a heathen theory of man--an aristocratic theory of
society,--is bound to hold, and does hold, a radically opposite
practice in respect to rights of speech and freedom of the press.

There is not freedom of opinion in the South and there cannot be.

Men may there talk of a thousand things--of all religious doctrines,
of literature, of art, of public political measures--but no man has
liberty to talk as he pleases about the structure of southern society,
and apply to the real facts of southern life and southern internal
questions that searching investigation and public exposure which, in
the North, brings every possible question to the bar of public
opinion, and makes society boil like a pot!

Yes, you may speak of Slavery, if you will defend it; you may preach
about it, if you shingle its roof with Scripture texts; but you may
not talk, nor preach, nor print abolition doctrines, though you
believe them with the intensity of inspiration!

The reason given is, that it will stir up insurrection. And so it
will. It is said that free speech is inflammatory. So it is. That it
would bring every man's life in the South into jeopardy; that, in
self-defence, they most limit and regulate the expression of opinion.
But what is that theory of Government, and what is the state of
society under it, in which free speech and free discussion are
dangerous? It is the boast of the North, not alone that speech and
discussion are free, but that we have a society constructed in every
part so rarely, wisely, and justly, that they can _endure_ free
speech; no file can part, but only polish. We turn out any law, and
say, _Discuss_ it! that it may be the stronger! We challenge scrutiny
for our industry, for our commerce, for our social customs, for our
municipal affairs, for our State questions, for all that we believe,
and all that we do, and everything that we build. We are not in haste
to be born in respect to any feature of life. We say--probe it,
question it, put fire to it. We ask the _experience of the past_ to
sit and try it. We ask the ripest _wisdom of the present_ to test and
analyze it. We ask enemies to plead all they know against it. We
challenge the whole world of ideas, and the great deep of human
interests to come up upon anything that belongs, or is _to_ belong, to
public affairs. And then, when a truth, a policy, or a procedure comes
to birth, from out of the womb of such discussion, we know that it
will stand. And when our whole public interests are rounded out and
built up, we are glad to see men going around and about, marking well
our towers, and counting our bulwarks. May it do them good to see such
architecture and engineering! And it is just this difference that
distinguishes the North and the South. We have institutions that will
stand public and private discussion--they have not. We will not _have_
a law, or custom, or economy, which cannot be defended against the
freest inquiry. Such a rule would cut them level as a mowed meadow!
They live in a crater, forever dreading the signs of activity. They
live in a powder magazine. No wonder they fear light and fire. It is
the plea of Wrong since the world began. Discussion would unseat the
Czar; a free press would dethrone the ignoble Napoleon; free speech
would revolutionize Rome. Freedom of thought and freedom of
expression! they are mighty champions, that go with unsheathed swords
the world over, to redress the weak, to right the wronged, to pull
down evil and build up good. And a State that will be damaged by free
speech ought to be damaged. A King that cannot keep his seat before
free speech ought to be unseated. An order or an institution that
dreads freedom of the press has _reason_ to dread it. If the South
would be revolutionized by free discussion, how intensely does that
fact show her dying need of revolution! She is a dungeon, full of
damps and death-air. She needs light and ventilation. And the only
objection is, that if there were light and air let in, it would no
longer be a dungeon.


IV. There is a noticeable contrast between Northern and Southern ideas
of Religion.

We believe God's revealed word to contain the influence appointed for
the regeneration and full development of every human being, and that
it is to be employed as God's universal stimulant to the human soul,
as air and light are the universal stimulants of vegetation.

We preach it to arouse the whole soul; we preach it to fire the
intellect, and give it wings by which to compass knowledge; we preach
it to touch every feeling with refinement, to soften rudeness and
enrich affections; we build the family with it; we sanctify love, and
purge out lust; we polish every relation of life; we inspire a
cheerful industry and whet the edge of enterprise, and then limit them
by the bonds of justice and by the moderation of a faith which looks
into the future and the eternal. We teach each man that he is a child
of God; that he is personally one for whom the Savior died; we teach
him that he is known and spoken of in heaven, his name called; that
angels are sent out upon his path to guard and to educate him; we
swell within him to the uttermost every aspiration, catching the first
flame of youth and feeding it, until the whole heart glows like an
altar, and the soul is a temple bright within, and sweet, by the
incense-smoke and aspiring flame of perpetual offerings and divine
sacrifices. We have never done with him. We lead him from the cradle
to boyhood; we take him then into manhood, and guide him through all
its passes; we console him in age, and then stand, as he dies, to
prophesy the coming heaven, until the fading eye flashes again, and
the unhearing ear is full again; for from the other side ministers of
grace are coming, and he beholds them, and sounds on earth and sights
are not so much lost as swallowed up in the glory and the melody of
the heavenly joy!

Now tell me whether there is any preaching of the Gospel to the slave,
or whether there can be, and he yet remain a slave? We preach the
Gospel to arouse men, they to subdue them; we to awaken, they to
soothe; we to inspire self-reliance, they submission; we to drive them
forward in growth, they to repress and prune down growth; we to
convert them into men, they to make them content to be beasts of
burden!

Is this _all_ that the Gospel has? When credulous ministers assure us
that slaves have the means of grace, do they mean that they have such
teaching as _we_ have? Or that there is any such _ideal_ in preaching?
The power of religion with us is employed to set men on their feet; to
make them fertile, self-sustaining, noble, virtuous, strong, and to
build up society of men, each one of whom is large, strong, capacious
of room, and filled with versatile powers.

Religion with them does no such thing. It doth the reverse.

With them it is Herod casting men into prison. With us it is the
angel, appearing to lead them out of prison and set them free! In
short religion with us is emancipation and liberty; with them it is
bondage and contentment.

It is very plain that while nominally republican institutions exist in
both the North and South, they are animated by a very different
spirit, and used for a different purpose. In the North, they aim at
the welfare of the whole people; in the South they are the instruments
by which a few control the many. In the North, they tend toward
Democracy; in the South, toward Oligarchy.

It is equally plain that while there may be a union between Northern
and Southern States, it is external, or commercial, and not internal
and vital, springing from common ideas, common ends, and common
sympathies. It is a union of merchants and politicians and not of the
people.

Had these opposite and discordant systems been left separate to work
out each its own results, there would have been but little danger of
collision or contest.

But they are politically united. They come together into one Congress.
There these antagonistic principles, which creep with subtle influence
through the very veins of their respective States, break out into open
collision upon every question of national policy. And, since the world
began, a republican spirit is unfit to secure power. It degenerates it
in the many. But an aristocratic spirit always has aptitude and
impulse toward power. It seeks and grasps it as naturally as a hungry
lion prowls and grasps its prey.

For fifty years the imperious spirit of the South has sought and
gained power. It would have been of but little consequence were that
power still republican. The seat of empire may be indifferently on the
Massachusetts Bay or the Ohio, on the Lakes or on the Gulf; if it be
the same empire, acting in good faith for the same democratic ends.

But in the South the growth of power has been accompanied by a marked
revolution in political faith, until now the theory of Mr. Calhoun,
once scouted, is becoming the popular belief. And that theory differs
in nothing from outright European Aristocracy, save in the forms and
instruments by which it works.

The struggle, then, between the North and the South is not one of
sections, and of parties, but of _Principles_--of principles lying at
the foundations of governments--of principles that cannot coalesce,
nor compromise; that must hate each other, and contend, until the one
shall drive out the other.

Oh! how little do men dream of the things that are transpiring about
them! In Luther's days, how little they knew the magnitude of the
results pending that controversy of fractious monk and haughty pope!
How little did the frivolous courtier know the vastness of that
struggle in which Hampden, Milton and Cromwell acted! We are in just
such another era. Dates will begin from the period in which we live!

Do not think that all the danger lies in that bolted cloud which
flashes in the Southern horizon. There is decay, and change, here in
the North. Old New-England, that suckled American liberty, is now
suckling wolves to devour it.

What shall we think when a President of old Dartmouth College goes
over to Slavery, and publishes to the world his religious conviction
of the rightfulness of it, as a part of God's disciplinary government
of the world--wholesome to man, as a punishment of sins which he never
committed, and to liquidate the long arrearages of Ham's everlasting
debt! and avowing that, under favorable circumstances, he would buy
and own slaves! A Southern volcano in New-Hampshire, pouring forth the
lava of despotism in that incorrupt, and noble old fortress of
liberty! What a College to educate our future legislators!

What are we to think, when old Massachusetts, the mother of the
Revolution, every league of whose soil swells with the tomb of some
heroic patriot, shall make pilgrimages through the South, and, after
surveying the lot of slaves under a system that turns them out of
manhood, pronounces them chattles, denies them marriage, makes their
education a penal and penitentiary offence, makes no provision for
their religious culture, leaving it to the stealth of good men, or the
interest of those who regard religion as a currycomb, useful in making
sleek and nimble beasts--a system which strikes through the
fundamental instincts of humanity, and wounds nature in the core of
the human heart, by taking from parents all right in their children,
and leaving the family, like a bale of goods, to be unpacked, and
parceled out and sold in pieces, without any other protection than the
general good nature of easy citizens; what shall be thought of the
condition of the public mind in Boston, when one of her most revered,
and personally, deservedly beloved pastors, has come up so profoundly
ignorant of what we thought every child knew, that he comes home from
this pilgrimage, to teach old New-England to check her repugnance to
Slavery, to dry up her tears of sympathy, and to take comfort in the
assurance that Slavery, on the whole, is as good or better for three
millions of laboring men as liberty. He has instituted a formal
comparison between the state of society and the condition of a
laboring population in a slave system and those in a free State, and
left the impression on every page that Liberty works no better results
than servitude, and that it has mischiefs and inconveniences which
Slavery altogether avoids.

Read that book in Faneuil Hall, and a thousand aroused and indignant
ghosts would come flocking there, as if they heard the old roll-call
of Bunker Hill. Yea, read those doctrines on Bunker Hill--and would it
flame or quake? No. It would stand in silent majesty, pointing its
granite finger up to Heaven and to God--an everlasting witness against
all Slavery, and all its abettors or defenders.

At this moment, the former parties that have stood in counterpoise
have fallen to pieces. And we are on the eve, and in the very act, of
reconstructing our parties. One movement there is that calls itself
American. Oh, that it were or or would be! Never was an opening so
auspicious for a true American party that, embracing the _principles_
of American institutions, should enter our Temple of Liberty and
drive out thence not merely the interloping Gentiles, but the
money-changers, and those, also, who sell oxen, and cattle and slaves
therein.

It is not the question whether a Northern party should be a party of
philanthropy, or of propagandism, or of abolition. It is simply a
question whether, for fear of these things, they will ignore and rub
out of their creed every principle of human rights!

I am not afraid of foreigners among us. Nevertheless, our politicians
have so abused us through them, that I am glad that a movement is on
foot to regulate the conduct of new-comers among us, and oblige them
to pass through a longer probation before they become citizens. In so
far as I understand the practical measures proposed and set forth in
the Message of the Governor of Massachusetts, I approve them.

But I ask you, fellow-citizens, whether the simple accident of birth
is a basis broad enough for a permanent National party? Is it a
_principle_, even? It is a mere fact.

Ought we not to look a little at what a man is _after_ he is born, as
well as at the place where? Especially, when we remember that Arnold
was born in Connecticut and La Fayette in France.

If then, a party is American, ought it not to be because it represents
those principles which are fundamental to American Institutions and
to American policy? principles which stand in contrast with European
Institutions and policy!

Which of these two theories is the American? The North has one theory,
the South another; which of them is to be called _the American_ idea?
Which is American--Northern ideas or Southern ideas? That which
declares all men free &c., or that which declares the superior races
free, and the inferior, Slaves?

That which declares the right of every man to life, liberty, and the
pursuit of happiness--or that which declares the right of strength and
intelligence to subordinate weakness and ignorance?

That which ordains popular education, freedom of speech, freedom of
the press, public discussion--or that which makes these a prerogative,
yielded to a class but denied to masses?

That which organizes Society as a Democracy and Government, and
Republic--or that which organizes Society as an Aristocracy, and
Government as an Oligarchy?

Which shall it be--that of organized New England townships, schools,
and churches--that resisted taxation without representation--that
covered Boston harbor with tea, as if all China had shook down her
leaves there--which spake from Faneuil Hall, and echoed from Bunker
Hill; or that policy which landed slaves on the Chesapeake--that has
changed Old Virginia from a land of heroes into a breeding-ground of
slaves--that has broken down boundaries, and carried war over our
lines, not for liberty, but for more territory for slaves to work,
that the owners might multiply, and the Aristocracy of America stand
on the shores of two oceans, an unbroken bound all between?

If _a National_ American party is ever formed, by leaving out the
whole question of Human Rights, it will be what a man would be--his
soul left out!

An American National party--Liberty left out!

An American party--Human Rights left out!

Gentlemen, such a party will stink with dissolution before you can get
it finished. No Masonry can make it solid--no art can secure it. No
anchor that was ever forged in infernal stythy can go deep enough into
political mud to hold it!

If you rear up an empty name; if you take that revered name American,
all the world over radiant and revered, as the symbol of human rights
and human happiness--if you sequester and stuff that name with the
effete doctrines of despotism, do you believe you can supplicate from
any gods the boon of immortality for such an unbaptized monster? No.
It may live to ravage our heritage for a few days, but there _is_ a
spirit of liberty that lives among us, and that shall live. And
aroused by that spirit, there shall spring up the yet unaroused hosts
of men that have not bowed the knee to Baal--and we will war it to the
knife, and knife to the hilt.

For, IT SHALL be; America _shall be free_!

We will take that for our life's enterprise. Dying, we will leave it a
legacy to our children, and they shall will it to theirs, until the
work is done, our fathers' prayers are answered, and this whole land
stands clothed and in its right mind--a symbol of what the earthly
fruits of the Gospel are!

If a National party is now to be formed, what shall it be, and what
shall its office be?

It shall be a peacemaker, say sly politicians. Yes, peace by war. But
an American party, seeking peace with the imperious Aristocracy by
yielding everything down to the root--one would think no party need be
formed to do that. Judas did as much without company. Arnold did that
without companions.

An American National party must either be a piebald and patched-up
party, carrying in its entrails the mortal poison of two belligerent
schemes, former legendary disputes, and agitation, and furious
conflict; or, to be a real national party, it must first be a
_Northern_ party and _become_ national. We must walk again over the
course of history. Here in the North Liberty began. Its roots are with
us yet. All its associations and all its potent institutions are with
us. Having once given forth this spirit of liberty, now fading out of
our Southern States, the North should again come forth and refill the
poisoned veins that have been drinking the hemlock of Despotism with
the new blood of Liberty! Let us give sap to the tree of Liberty, that
it may not wither and die!

When Hercules was born, but yet a child, the jealous Juno sent two
serpents to his cradle to destroy him. Hercules or the serpents must
die. Both could not lie in the same bed. He seized them and suffocated
them by his grip, while his poor brother, Iphiclus, filled the house
with his shrieks. An infernal Juno, envious of the destined greatness
of this country, hath sent this serpent upon it! What shall we do?
Shall we imitate Hercules or Iphiclus? Shall we choke it; or shall we
form a timid _National_ party and _shriek_?

Gentlemen, you will never have rest from this subject until there is a
victory of principles. Northern ideas must become American, or
Southern ideas must become _American_, before there will be peace. If
the North gives to the Nation her radical principles of human rights
and democratic Governments, there will be the peace of an immeasurable
prosperity. If the South shall give to the country a policy derived
from her heathen notions of men, there will be such a peace as men
have overdrugged with opium, that deep lethargy just before the mortal
convulsions and death! All attempts at evasion, at adjourning, at
concealing and compromising are in vain. The reason of our long
agitation is, not that restless Abolitionists are abroad, that
ministers will meddle with improper themes, that parties are
disregardful of the country's interest. These are symptoms only, not
the disease; the effects, not the causes.

Two great powers that will not live together are in our midst, and
tugging at each other's throats. They will search each other out,
though you separate them a hundred times. And if by an insane
blindness you shall contrive to put off the issue, and send this
unsettled dispute down to your children, it will go down, gathering
volume and strength at every step, to waste and desolate their
heritage. Let it be settled now. Clear the place. Bring in the
champions. Let them put their lances in rest for the charge. Sound the
trumpet, and _God save the right_!

       *       *       *       *       *

The latter portion of the lecture was frequently interrupted by
boisterous applause.

       *       *       *       *       *

After Mr. Beecher had taken his seat, there were loud calls for Mr.
GIDDINGS, whereupon that gentleman came forward and said that he had
not come to make a speech, but, like a good Methodist brother, he
would add his exhortation to the excellent sermon of his clerical
friend. In conclusion, Mr. Giddings besought all to enter heartily
into the contest for Freedom--to trust in God and keep their powder
dry! [Loud applause.]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Transcriber's Notes:

Every effort has been made to replicate this text as faithfully as
possible, including obsolete and variant spellings and other
inconsistencies.

The transcriber noted the following issues and made changes as
indicated to the text to correct obvious errors:

   1. p.  4, "lees" changed to "less"
   2. p.  4, "themother" changed to "the mother"
   3. p.  5, "Revleation" changed to "Revelation"
   4. p.  5, "oppugnent" changed to "oppugnant"
   5. p.  5, "prodncing" changed to "producing"
   6. p.  5, "weekness" changed to "weakness"
   7. p.  6, "Cristianity" changed to "Christianity"
   8. p.  6, "Chris'," changed to "Christ,"
   9. p.  6, "unto the "least" changed to "unto the least"
  10. p.  7, "sprours" changed to "sprouts"
  11. p.  7, "Cristianity" changed to "Christianity"
  12. p.  7, "southren" changed to "southern"
  13. p.  7, "aud" changed to "and"
  14. p.  7, "fouud" changed to "found"
  15. p.  8, "breath" changed to "breathe"
  16. p.  8, "choses" changed to "chooses"
  17. p.  8, "Govenor's" changed to "Governor's"
  18. p.  9, "agaih" changed to "again"
  19. p. 10, "achievments" changed to "achievements"
  20. p. 10, "feculant" changed to "feculent"
  21. p. 10, "inate" changed to "innate"
  22. p. 13, "grapsits" changed to "graps its"
  23. p. 14, "llke" changed to "like"
  24. p. 15, "Junot" changed to "Juno"

End of Transcriber's Notes]





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