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Title: American Dangers and Duties - Tracts for the Times, Vol. 2, Whole No. 24, No. 12
Author: Mayo, A. D.
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.

*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "American Dangers and Duties - Tracts for the Times, Vol. 2, Whole No. 24, No. 12" ***

                    _Vol. 2._      _Whole No. 24._

                                No. 12.
                         TRACTS FOR THE TIMES.

                          DANGERS AND DUTIES.

                            Rev. A. D. MAYO

                 Periodical: Postage, 3 cents a Year.

        Published by the Ladies’ Religious Publication Society.

                  WEED, PARSONS & COMPANY, PRINTERS.

                       CIRCULAR TO OUR FRIENDS.

The experiment of publishing a series of tracts upon Liberal
Christianity entered upon in the month of October, 1858, has been
eminently successful, with only a moderate outlay of effort and
expense. The publications of our Society, under the following titles,
are before the public:

                              Volume One.

     I. Liberal Christianity, by Rev. A. D. Mayo.
    II. The Gospel of the Day, by Rev. O. B. Frothingham.
   III. Liberal Christianity a Practical Religion, by Rev. A. D. Mayo.
    IV. The Father the only and the sufficient God, by Rev. S.
     V. The Natural History of the Devil, by Rev. M. D. Conway.
    VI. What is Infidelity, by Rev. A. D. Mayo.
   VII. Thy Holy Child Jesus, by Rev. Wm. H. Furness, D. D.
  VIII. The Relation of this Life to the Next, by Rev. T. Starr King.
    IX. A Church and its Methods, by Rev. James Freeman Clarke.
     X. The Bottomless Pit, by Rev. Samuel Osgood, D. D.
    XI. The Reformation of the Nineteenth Century, by Rev. A. D. Mayo.
   XII. A Case of Evangelical Church Discipline, by Emerson W. Keyes.

                              Volume Two.

     I. Cornering Religion, by Rev. C. A. Bartol.
    II. On the Alleged Decay of Faith, by Rev. Orville Dewey, D. D.
   III. A Religious Experience, by Rev. A. D. Mayo.
    IV. What do Unitarians Believe? by Rev. Samuel J. May.
     V. Believing Much and Believing Little, by Rev. O. B. Frothingham.
    VI. The Simplicity of Liberal Christianity, by Rev. John Pierpont.
   VII. Theodore Parker, by Rev. A. D. Mayo.
  VIII. Why not Acknowledge the Faith which you Believe, by Rev. E.
    IX. Relation of the Unitarian Faith to the Current Creeds of
          Christendom, by Rev. H. W. Bellows, D. D.
     X. The Use and Abuse of Religious Creeds, by Rev. A. D. Mayo.
    XI. Some Essentials of a True Church, by Rev. Robert Collyer.
   XII. American Dangers and Duties, by Rev. A. D. Mayo.

We believe there is no way in which our cause can be so surely
and steadily advanced as by the thorough dissemination of tracts,
calculated to awaken interest in the great religious questions of the
age. And we confidently appeal to our friends for aid and co-operation
in this work. The publications of the coming year we intend shall
equal in interest and ability those of the past, and at a very small
cost any person will be able to enjoy the best thoughts of the ablest
writers upon Liberal Christianity. Subscribers of one dollar a year
will be furnished with the whole series for 1860 (twelve in number),
at the rate of two copies a month sent by mail, at periodical rates
of postage; and to purchasers who desire tracts for more extended
circulation, they will be supplied at the rate of $2.00 a hundred. The
objects of the society being solely to publish and disseminate the
ideas of Liberal Christianity, the entire receipts in their treasury
will be devoted to those ends with no profits accruing to any one.

We require a sufficient amount of funds to publish our new series, in
much larger editions than our limited means have hitherto allowed;
and our ability to do so will be greatly augmented by an early
contribution. As only one dollar a year is required from each person,
who cordially believes that a more liberal faith is necessary to the
healthful growth of a Christian character, we earnestly invite all
such, not only to contribute personally, but so to interest their
friends in our behalf, that we may go on with confidence in our
pecuniary success, as well as in the persistent advance of the cause to
which we are so heartily devoted.

Bound copies of the first series of Tracts for the Times, can be
obtained at fifty cents per volume.

Prices of New Series $1 a year, for two copies a month. $2 per hundred

All subscriptions and applications for tracts, addressed by mail, with
money, enclosed, to Mrs. Lucy C. Mayo, 32 Lodge street, or Miss Nancie
Burton, 70 Chapel street, Albany, N. Y.

                     AMERICAN DANGERS AND DUTIES.

The President of the United States has appointed a day of fasting,
humiliation and prayer, in view of the perilous condition of the
country. We rejoice at this symptom of returning sanity in national
affairs. We have never doubted that the wanton repudiation of God’s
eternal laws of justice, honesty and humanity in high places would
finally bring the Republic into the condition so impressively stated in
this proclamation. It is too evident that “_God’s Omnipotent arm only
can save us from the awful effects of our own crimes and follies――our
own ingratitude and guilt towards our Heavenly Father_.”

Let us now approach the Almighty with no vain attempt to conceal our
hearts from Him, or to delude ourselves and our fellow men. Let us
earnestly look at our public dangers, that we may learn their source;
and pray for light upon our path of duty. God helps only those who try
to help themselves. He governs humanity by immutable laws which the
prayers of a world cannot change. Let this call from the chief citizen
of the Republic to national consecration persuade us all to study the
divine law of American civilization; the extent of our departure from
it; the obligation to obey it more faithfully in the days to come.

The present state of our country is not the result of any accidental or
temporary cause. No radical statesmen or victorious party or company
of professional agitators, has power to involve the Republic in such
disturbance. These causes, so passionately and plausibly assigned, are
themselves unimportant effects of the one chief cause. The Republic is
now in a tumult because the progressive civilization of the nineteenth
century has finally vanquished the combined forces resisting its
advent; deprived its chief opponent, the slave power, of the command
in national affairs; and prepared to administer the government of the
United States forever in the interest of Christian society. The past
always dies hard, its struggles for a lease of life are the present
agitation in American affairs. Let us briefly overlook the progress of
this mighty conflict; the present state of the battle; the obligation
of freemen in the crisis now upon us.

Eighty-four years ago, thirteen American colonies revolted from the
British Empire. All acknowledged the right of property in one race of
men. But only in six colonies was this idea inwrought into the texture
of society; in seven northern provinces it was already a condemned
barbarism. These seven northern colonies were inclined to believe in
the natural right of every man to freedom sufficient to develop his own
nature without hindrance to other men; a right to be forever asserted
and secured by a government of the whole people. The masses of the six
southern colonies believed heartily in the enslavement of the negro
laborer, such enslavement to be ensured by an aristocratic form of
society and organization of the State. The colony of Massachusetts
was the foremost representative of the northern idea, which not only
commanded majorities in seven provinces, but largely influenced the
ablest patriot leaders of Virginia. The southern column was led by
the Carolinas and Georgia. These states, with a white population of
480,000, contained 230,000 slaves. Throughout the Revolution they
were the focus of indifference and opposition to the common cause;
being practically a British province during most of the war. Their
idea of society held the majority of the people in Virginia and
Maryland, and governed an aristocratic party in the middle states,
whose descendants abide with us to-day. The northern idea prevailed;
wrote the Declaration of Independence; carried Washington through the
war, and organized the government radically on the basis of civil and
religious liberty for all races of men. The Carolinas and Georgia, at
the last hour, forced into the Constitution a recognition of slavery,
alien to its spirit, and supposed, by the wisest patriots, to be of
temporary necessity. Thus did freedom triumph in 1787; though robbed of
the complete fruits of victory by the obstinancy of a hostile idea.

Thus armed, free society girded itself up to the majestic toil of
subduing and civilizing a new continent. It entrenched itself on the
rocky shores and snowy hills of New England, and made those six states
the foremost representative of the true Democratic idea.

Under the auspices of Jay, King, Livingston and a band of like-minded
statesmen, the idea was organized in the State of New York; the great
constructive centre of American civilization.

It gradually forced negro slavery from three middle states, and then
began to march its armies of emigration towards the Pacific. It
compelled the national government to consecrate to liberty the area of
five great states in the northwest. It created a new power in central
and western New York, which confirmed the policy of the Empire State.
It formed the civilization of the five northwestern states east of
the Mississippi. When a new empire was brought in by the Louisiana
purchase, it rallied its forces and secured the territory north of the
Missouri Compromise Line, from which it already has fashioned three
great states. It scaled the Rocky Mountains and covered Oregon and
Washington with the proviso of freedom. And when the second vast empire
was annexed to the national domain, it swept along its border and
consecrated the whole Pacific coast to liberty.

The idea of society founded on civil and religious liberty for all
men has laid the foundation of eighteen American states, containing,
in 1860, 18,000,000 of people; the best commonwealths that were ever
created in a time so brief. It has also, in less degree, influenced the
rising confederacy of the Canadas, and is slowly preparing that vast
region for self-government. It has diverted a large emigration from the
Southern States, of men attracted by the hopes and opportunities of
free society. Its possessions stretch from the northeastern coast of
the Atlantic with southwesterly inclination to the southern shores of
the Pacific, nearing the lower extremity of North America.

Although by no means of equal development, society in these eighteen
free states is founded on the immutable principles of the natural
rights of man. The laborer is a free man and a citizen. Social life is
a democracy in which service to the community is the chief claim to
preeminence. Education is the boon of every child, and the press and
speech are free. The ballot in several Northern States is absolutely
free to all men, and the current is setting in that direction in the
remainder. In all these states the free worship of God is secured by
fundamental law. The radical tendency among these 18,000,000 of people
is towards the complete establishment of a Christian democracy. Already
the superiority of this portion of the Republic in all the elements of
civilization is undisputed. Its commercial and industrial enterprise
is the controlling force of the country’s material prosperity. Its
agriculture leads in the majority of crops that can be tilled on
northern soil; and it has three crops, either of which can buy up
the whole special productions of the southern states. It is the seat
of popular education. Its literature and art, and general refinement
of life, represent the Union to the world. The present census brings
it into its great inheritance of overwhelming political power. Its
religion is nearer the Sermon on the Mount than ever was reached by
18,000,000 of people before. It is headed towards the kingdom of God
more decisively than any nation of ancient or modern times.

But the north is by no means yet in the kingdom. Each of its radical
ideas of free society is violated and perverted by a considerable
portion of every commonwealth; some of its principles by entire
states. Out of the competitions of free labor has sprung a fierce
and selfish love of money which scorns honesty and tramples down man
in its accursed lust for gold. Whole classes of men are cursed by
this venal insanity which, culminating in the marble streets of the
commercial metropolis, distills its venom to the remotest log cabin in
the wilderness. Out of the opportunities of free social life has sprung
a mushroom growth of vulgar social ambition, luxury and sensuality;
which struggles to become the fashion on the pavement of the Atlantic
city and in the “percussion” village of the west. The sacred freedom
of printing and speech has been perverted to a satanic press and the
open advocacy of every vagary of despotism and sin. Political freedom
has been demoralized to the freedom of unlimited office seeking, the
betrayal of human rights for individual success and fearful corruption
in public affairs. And out of the noblest feature of our church,
its liberty of worship, comes that pernicious strife for sectarian
supremacy and worldly success which endangers the most liberal
religious organizations.

These abuses of northern society marshal a host in New England. They
rage through the great cities of the Middle States. They demoralize
multitudes on the prairies, and on the Pacific struggle with fearful
intensity for the possession of society. The point to which this
tendency gravitates is _popular servility_. So we have, in the
North, a great crowd of men and women debauched by the abuse of
the opportunities of free society, to the point of yielding to the
blandishments and menaces of any despotism that promises to pay its way.

Let us distinctly understand that in this direction lies the sin
and peril of northern civilization. It is not our free institutions
and their faithful disciples which are endangering the peace of the
country, as is slanderously asserted by every tyrant and tyrant’s
jackall in America; but the chief peril of the Union is from _this
margin of servility_ in northern civilization, which is always in the
market, ready to tamper with any abomination from abroad, within or
without its own borders, as its wretched selfishness may be stimulated
thereby. Perhaps its present direction is least dangerous to the
national welfare. It now succumbs to the slave power of our Southern
States, as the nearest, most powerful, and remunerative purchaser of
its influence. Were there no slave power, it would be in league with
foreign civil and religious despotism, or fasten upon some Northern
institution as the representative of the aristocratic idea. But now it
has turned its shameless face away from Northern civilization, which
is growing up behind its back into an adamantine wall overtopping its
base hopes and impotent threats. While its preachers, and politicians,
and journals and saloons are facing towards despotism, and calling free
society anarchy, the majority of the North is calmly marching onward to
the victory for the right which is only a question of a few decades,
unswayed by the promises, undaunted by the croakings of its _margin
of servility_. The idea of free society, of which New England is the
foremost representative, is gradually subduing every region of these
eighteen states to itself.

And just as the New England idea, organized in the great Middle States
and the Northwest, is approaching its day of conquest in the North,
is the idea of South Carolina subduing the fifteen Southern States.
South Carolina is now the most completely aristocratic State in the
Confederacy. Fifty-eight per cent of her entire population are slaves.
Her basis of representation in her Legislature is equally slave
property and white population; one sixty-second of white people and one
sixty-second of property having the same political weight. Her 25,000
slaveholders rule the little State with a rod of iron, and this phalanx
is wheeled about by a smaller number of men than governs any State of
the Union. In the Revolution the great men of Maryland and Virginia
clasped the hands of the North, and thus governed the Carolinas,
wrested them from utter subjugation, and organized the Constitution
over their heads. But South Carolina, Georgia and their children along
the Gulf of Mexico have been gaining in power every day in the last
half century.

South Carolina is now captain of eight States, with a white population
of more than 2,000,000, owning a slave population of 1,800,000; 42 per
cent of the whole people; with a monopoly of the cotton, rice and sugar
crops; and a rapidly consolidating unanimity of sentiment. The seven
more northern Slave States have a white population of 5,000,000, with
27 per cent of slavery. But they have no peculiar staple of production,
excepting young negroes, and are wavering in social ideas and political
policy. Freedom has planted a line of batteries along their borders
in the form of nine growing cities containing a million and a half of
people, in all of which free discussion is practically vindicated;
several being already in the hands of the Northern idea. Thus wavering
between extremes, these seven States are now being fought over as the
body of Moses was by the angel and the Dragon. South Carolina, foremost
of the host of despotism, has them by the throat, haling them towards
the precipice of disunion. She has conquered them in every battle since
they shrank from Northern fellowship; she brought in three slave States
from the Louisiana Purchase; she drove the country into the Mexican
war and secured Texas; she repealed the Missouri Compromise; she has
procured the Dred Scott decision; and now, on the refusal of the North
to ratify it, threatens to dissolve the Union, and commands the Central
Slave States to come on.

Washington, Jefferson, Clay, Jackson, Benton; the great men of this
region who withstood her claims are all dead, and who are their
successors? All things look fearfully like a surrender of the seven
northern Slave States to the idea of South Carolina and her seven
confederates, just as the entire North has been wheeled into line by
New England and her children of the North.

There is nothing strange in this. There was always plenty of railing
against New England and her ideas in the Middle and Western States,
which has ended in their conversion. Every great Preacher, Statesman,
Thinker, in twelve States beyond the Hudson, has his heel on Plymouth
Rock. New England and her children believe wholly in the natural
rights of man; therefore she conquers twelve States that do not exactly
know whether man has or has not natural rights. South Carolina and her
children disbelieve wholly in the natural rights of man. Therefore they
subdue seven great States of wavering faith. The man, the State that
believes with its whole heart, always in the end subdues the man or
State that only half believes.

In every great national collision between the two civilizations,
freedom has been nominally beaten, but actually victorious. The
Revolution made nine States free. If the North was compelled to
hide away slavery in the Constitution; she saved the Declaration
of Independence; kept the word “slave” out of the charter of our
liberties; abolished the slave trade; and secured the Northwest
territory, five States, for liberty. The South cut up her remaining
territories into four additional slave states; obtained Florida, from
Spain; Louisiana and Arkansas from France, and then gave battle for
Missouri. She gained the nominal victory of forcing 80,000 slaves into
this State, and lost the remaining territory north of 36 deg. and 30
min., sufficient for half a dozen free commonwealths, which secured
two States in the future beyond the Rocky Mountains. Thus, out of the
Louisiana Purchase, slavery has gained but two States, and kept back
Missouri fifty years from her natural condition of freedom; while the
North has gained already three free States; and has, beside Kansas,
half a dozen territories in reserve, ready to come in.

The next great battle was in 1844, when slavery grasped Texas, and
plunged the country into a war to extend her territory. The end of that
was a nominal defeat of liberty, but the real defeat of slavery. For
the South has only gained thereby an additional slave population of
60,000 in Texas; a vast, region whose western border is already in the
hands of free men; a fugitive slave law, whose imperfect enforcement
has greatly served to alienate the Northern mind, and reduce the escape
of slaves to a science; and a barren promise of several new States in
Texas, New Mexico, and Utah, if she can get them. The North secured
the State of California, which has shut off the Pacific from slavery,
and planted a mighty free State like a circular battery, covering
all the newly acquired Mexican Territory. The regions west of Texas
will finally be peopled from free California. They are now sparsely
populated, because unfit for settlement. But if gold or silver mines
or profitable agricultural districts should be discovered in this vast
wilderness, there would be a hegira that way which would “re-enact the
will of God” beyond hope of repeal.

Then came the battle of 1854, when the South abolished the Missouri
Compromise, to steal Kansas, and lost this territory and wounded
slavery to death in Missouri, thus planting two great States over
against Western Texas and the Indian Possessions, which must be settled

Then, in desperation, the slave power sentenced all the territories of
the United States to slavery; and the North has declared, unanimously,
by a popular vote of 3,250,000 against 200,000, that she will not
permit this subversion of the Constitution.

Thus stand the forces on the field. Slavery has fifteen states; three
of which are turning one ear to freedom. Freedom has eighteen states,
with double their white population, and holds the two strategical
points, California and Kansas, which cover every territory, and make
it almost impossible that new slave states should be permanently
sustained therein. And now the North has united to confine the peculiar
institution within its present limits. _In the Union, the battle
is fought and won._ Slavery, nominally the victor, has been really
defeated in every contest since the Revolution. She has violated
every compromise, and thus morally put it out of her power to demand
concession from liberty. The slave power to-day stands beaten,
surrounded, and dependent for its very existence on the will of the
Free States.

Is it strange that South Carolina raises the Palmetto flag, and sends
the order down the whole line to march out of the Union? She has fewer
entangling alliances with freedom than any of her followers; and, with
an eye sharpened by long observation of the conditions of aristocratic
society, sees that its doom is sealed. She knows, as Virginia and
Maryland do not, that there can be no more reliable extension of the
slave power in the Union, as now constituted, and as it will inevitably
be administered in the future. She is sick at heart, and understands
that all her physicians are quacks, who propose only palliatives,
in helpless inability to cure her disease. What cares she for a new
fugitive slave law when the old one cannot be enforced, and every Negro
carried back to bondage leaves a town full of new-made abolitionists
behind? Will it help her to declare that all the territories shall
choose freedom or slavery for themselves, when Yankee Jonathan, German
Hans and Irish Patrick are swarming on the borders of every territory
where a civilized man can live? The offer of new slave states in the
southwestern deserts does not console her, for she remembers that of
the four slave states admitted into the Union within the last thirty
years, two are insignificant, and Texas and Missouri are already in
a state of siege by freedom, while free states stand, rank behind
rank, awaiting an open door. Do her comforters offer protection in the
territories? New Mexico has 62,000 square miles, and has about one
slave to 1,000 square miles, and this is her most hopeful scion at
present; very like protecting a dead horse against a general muster
of crows. What of the abstract right to carry slaves through states
that daily hate slavery more bitterly? Are compromises offered in any
of these directions? The spectre of one great compromise, murdered
in the Capitol, rises like Banquo’s ghost, and shrieks, “thou sent
compromise to the grave; who calls up my unquiet shadow to haunt the
day?” A compromise is henceforth only a law; so has slavery willed;
freedom responds: “so let it be forevermore.” Lay upon freedom whatever
compromises you will, she henceforth walks through and beyond them like
a living man through a churchyard full of wavering shadows. What can
the Supreme Court do for her case? She has shown us that court can be
made to yield to the reigning spirit of the day, and gained all she
asked for slavery. Another day will dawn, and the court will look to
that rising sun. Will she change the Constitution? But no act of to-day
can bind posterity. A perpetual provision for slavery there is setting
up a king over the Constitution. The North to-day will set up no king;
if it does the North of to-morrow will dethrone him.

The slave power, as represented by South Carolina, wants primarily
but one thing――_a complete reversal of Northern moral convictions and
social ideas. That change of civilization would permit her to open
the slave trade and acquire new territory for slave States. All these
things are impossible in the Union as headed now._ Therefore, South
Carolina turns her back on it, and gives the command: forward, the
whole line towards――_we’ll see when we get out_. We must confess there
is no link wanting in this logic of the slave power. If it stays in the
Union, it must be girdled, year by year, more irresistibly by freedom;
as a great snow bank feels the April sun, day by day, enclosing it in
glittering lines, and already dissolves in thought of June mornings
ahead. With the most determined effort to keep its hands off the
slave power, the spirit of American liberty will be compelled to deal
with it more vitally every year. The age is forcing it towards this
policy. Every school house and meeting house, free home, free journal,
and country lyceum in the United States is a protest against this
barbarism. It may be as well said at once _that what the slave power
calls abolitionism, is simply the spirit of the nineteenth century
applied to American Society. Every man who lives in that spirit is to
it an abolitionist, with his own will, or spite of his will, must help
abolish human slavery._ I doubt not the political fidelity of the North
to all constitutional obligations; but if the fifteen slave states
remain in the Union they must finally become free states. Freedom is
aggressive. Virtue, truth, humanity, God are aggressive. The fathers
intended that slavery should die a peaceful death in the Union, and
the sons will not forget the tradition. The slave power now hears her
sentence read and sees the executioner on the way. South Carolina
counsels it to prolong its life by flying beyond jurisdiction of the
court. But if the slave power flies from the Union, it is only rushing
from the house of a regenerating friend into an open country peopled by
its foes. The civilization of the age is against it. The South must,
first or last, regenerate her false order of society, or walk towards
final destruction.

What is the duty of the North in this perilous condition of affairs?

First. The paramount duty of the eighteen Northern States is to
preserve and perpetuate the Christian civilization already inaugurated
within their borders, and permit the sacred cause of liberty to suffer
no eclipse.

Second. The North has now become the natural protector of the Southern
people against the tyranny of the slave power, and must do its
uttermost to prevent the conquest of fifteen states by this remorseless

The North has one obligation more sacred than all others; to preserve
the sacred rights of man and carry forward the work of a Christian
civilization on this continent. These eighteen states now occupy the
foremost position in the world, and cannot abandon it without such
danger and disgrace as no good man can calmly contemplate. Whatever
they do, Humanity, Christianity, God command them to surrender nothing
of that which they hold in trust as the agent for mankind and posterity.

This is a sufficient answer to the demands of that margin of servility
in the North which asks us to surrender anything and everything to
the cause of the Union. This wretched school of advisers counsel
nothing less than unconditional submission to the extreme demands
of an insolent oligarchy, whose turbulent and dishonest despotism
has already brought the country to the brink of ruin. To satisfy Mr.
Charles O’Conor, the Rev. Mr. Van Dyke, and their disciples, we must
change our whole type of society; forswear all that gives us power at
home and fame abroad; place ourselves under a general espionage more
hateful than the rule of an emperor; and conspire to crush a whole
race of men in the dust forever. _This cannot be done._ Northern
civilization is looking towards the golden rule of Christ. Its social,
civil, industrial, educational, religious associations are all slowly
adjusting themselves to the Christian idea of the equal rights of all
men. Should our people now be persuaded or forced to repudiate these
ideas; turn their backs on the spirit of the age; hold every principle
on sale; make their pavements and fields too servile for the tread of
freemen, it would be a calamity in comparison with which the sinking of
every despotic state in the depths of the sea would be a blessing. Our
great commercial cities are full of adventurers from every part of the
world, who, caring nothing for republican institutions, only look to
their own aggrandizement in wealth and personal position. Every county
holds a politician base enough to flatter this class of men to gain an
office. The pulpits of the North are not yet rid of the servants of
this Sadducism. It is not strange that this whole margin of servility
is stirred to its nauseous depth in favor of unlimited concession to
the slave power. It would be monstrous if this great North cast down
her noblest and wisest advisers and followed the lead of this motley
crew. It may or may not be necessary that certain men should be rich,
famous, or in office; but that eighteen states who represent the
loftiest civilization on the earth should commit social suicide to
further such trivial objects is too much to contemplate.

But there is a better class of advisers who counsel the North to
compromise and conciliation, with the hope of weathering the present
gale, and ultimately keeping the ship on the track of a Christian
democracy. They sincerely believe the American Union is the best hope
of freedom on this continent; that united, these States must finally
reach the promised land; dissevered, they will drift into hopeless
anarchy. We appreciate the motives and understand the apprehensions of
this large body of the Northern people. We wish they took less counsel
of their fears, and saw more clearly the danger of experimenting on
a thing so sensitive as human rights. We think they are too much
concerned to learn what will appease our despotism, forgetting that
it is unappeasable; while they also forget that there is a sentiment
of freedom that will not submit beyond a fixed point, and that point
of endurance is already near. We know that successful statesmanship
must be a series of approaches to abstract right, and no great idea
of liberty can be organized at once. We do not presume to explain the
details of our public policy in a region where the political landscape
changes every morning; and it is absurd to ask our advanced statesmen
to sacrifice the permanent interest of liberty to a verbal consistency.
No party can always be guided by its own platform; especially can no
great national policy be run upon the straight track of a fore-ordained

Therefore, _we believe in all methods of conciliation and forbearance
that do not vitiate the spirit of liberty in the people or imperil the
final triumph of freedom in the country_. Let us keep the conscience
of the North sound, its spirit high, its determination unchangeable
for a true civilization. We must abate none of our great agencies of
freedom. The free school, the free press, free speech, free society,
a free ballot, a free church must be sustained at all hazards, and
purified of grossness and license by the gradual education and refining
of the people. Our political state policy must be maintained, and only
changed in the direction of purging the cause of freedom from all base
alloy, and opening into wider vistas of Christian liberty. Then we must
choose men for our servants in national offices whose fidelity to God
and man are undoubted; instruct them to see that the cause of humanity
receives no harm, and trust much to their wisdom in the details of
public policy. It is daily becoming a more difficult task to guide our
national affairs. Only the highest order of ability, experience and
unflinching principle can suffice for the mighty toil. The Northern
people will sacrifice every man, however lofty, who turns his back
against the present age. They will resent any measure whose effect is
to undermine Northern ideas, however imperceptibly. But they will give
a generous margin for that policy of wise conciliation, which will
preserve the Union to freedom forever.

Let our servants remember we forgive all things to devotion to our
common humanity; we pardon any policy, that finally keeps us in the
current of the nineteenth century; but we forgive no man who, through
fear, or flattery, or ignorance, or any motive, puts in peril the cause
of human rights. For such there is everlasting political punishment.
Our rulers must not open the African slave trade; or make our northern
cities the depots of the infamous traffic in men; or permit further
acquisition of territory for slavery; or change the Republic into a
machine to assist and protect property in man wherever our flag is
planted. The national policy must aim at a final limitation of slavery
in the nation, and a transferal of the whole controversy to the slave
states. Whoever can best accomplish this shall be approved.

Only by this zealous upholding of freedom in eighteen states can the
North educate herself to her secondary obligation to preserve the
Union by defending the people of the South against the slave power.
Whatever may be the capacity of liberty in the free states to sustain a
disruption of the Union; it is morally certain that the only rational
hope of liberty in fifteen southern states is in their continuance of
the partnership in a national government administered in the interests
of human rights. Were these fifteen states to-day severed from our
connection and united in a slave empire, they would be ever haunted
by three specters, either more formidable than any present danger.
Their intestine conflicts would compare with our present agitation
like the spouting of a volcano to the sputtering of a coal fire. A
thousand ambitious and unscrupulous characters stand waiting that event
to run the wild race for power whose goal is anarchy. There could be
no permanent union between South Carolina and Maryland; Mississippi
and Kentucky; for revolutions do not go backward, and the forces that
would sweep fifteen states out of the Union would fatally drift any new
government they should create towards a military despotism. They would
be in constant danger from servile insurrection; and the rapid increase
of slave population would necessitate a reign of terror through all
their borders. They would perpetually be urged into wars with every
civilized power; for nobody supposes the nations of the world will
permit a black empire to open the slave trade and steal unlimited
territory. On whatever side we look, the only hope of free institutions
in the south is adherence to a Union working towards the freedom of man.

This preservation of the Union for liberty can only be accomplished
by a co-operation of the moderate men and class of the South with the
party of freedom in the North. This class has too long made the fatal
mistake of choosing its Northern allies from those who misrepresented
the Northern conscience and society. They have read the journals
that live by maligning our civilization, and kept in power a set of
politicians who could not be chosen to preside over a town meeting at
home. If any man has made himself specially obnoxious to the people of
New England, New York or the Great West, by treason to their higher
convictions, we have seen him lifted into some exalted position by the
voice of those whose only hope of salvation is the confidence of the
Northern heart. The moderate men of the South have counseled too often
with this irresponsible section of the free states, and, of course, are
now left to drift.

If this Union is to be saved, the border slave states must change their
policy. Their wisest and most patriotic men must, like Washington,
and Jefferson, and Clay and Benton, clasp the hands of the _real
North_; the North that is faced towards liberty; and demand of it all
consideration and support consistent with true civilization. Let them
no longer parley with the political, social and commercial traitors who
promise what they never can perform――a reversal of Northern ideas of
society. Let them convince us that they have at heart the freedom of
the Republic, and their counsels for moderation and fraternal action
will have the weight they deserve. The real danger now is that the
freemen of the North have come to distrust this better class of the
South. When they see venerable statesmen like Bell yielding to the
uttermost demands of the slave power in his adoption of the heresy of
universal protection for slavery by the General Government, and uniting
in the vulgar slander that the majority of our people has embarked in
an unconstitutional and fanatical crusade against Southern rights; or
a man like Crittenden proposing to surrender to the secessionists the
privilege of making a dozen Alabamas below the parallel of 36 degrees
30 minutes; to convert the metropolis of the Union into the great slave
market of the world; and put into the Constitution a perpetual guaranty
for slavery, when every provision for liberty is subject to amendment;
or when Mr. Stephens tells us our only hope is in complete surrender
to the platform of the extreme South, what are we to think? Are the
entire slave states so debauched by their institutions that what their
representative men call “compromise,” is only the yielding every point
in issue between the two civilizations? Are the New York Herald and
Caleb Cushing to be perpetual representatives of northern society: and
is the Union to be sacrificed because the whole people of the South
believe their infamous slanders about us? Then, indeed, is hope for
Southern freedom lost; unless freedom, in fire-eating parlance, means
liberty to enslave mankind till the end of time.

We behold in the firm attitude of a few Southern patriots of the
Washington and Jefferson school, the only hope for the salvation of
the country. They know that the majority of the North never did and
will not propose to abolish slavery in the Slave States by the General
Government against their own desire. They know that any administration
inaugurated by this majority will protect the Southern people against
all danger of war, intestine conflict, invasion or insurrection. They
know that we propose to limit slavery to its present possessions only
for the safety of the Union, and the defence of the Southern people
from the most insolent oligarchy that ever ruled on earth. If they can
unite with us to keep the Union as it is; to defeat the extreme demands
of Davis and Yancy, and O’Conor; to gradually localize the slavery
controversy in fifteen States, which, under the paternal protection of
the nation, may work out this painful problem by the increasing lights
of our age, we can be their friends, and finally deliver them all from
harm. We will do and suffer everything for ourselves to this glorious
result; but we have no right to sacrifice the cause of human rights on
a whole continent to please 350,000 slaveholders. We know that, in any
event, the united North must protect the Southern people against the
slave power. If they tear away from us now, we shall be called before
twenty years to defend them against foreign invasions, servile war, and
intestine anarchy. If they stay with us, we can protect them with less
peril to human life, and more security in the issue.

For, come what will, the North will never desert the people of the
South. It will desert the slave power that now rages against our
Union and Humanity, tie it up, and leave it to be dealt with by those
who know it best. But the millions of white people, our friends and
neighbors, our brothers, fathers, lovers and children, inhabiting
these vast areas, cannot be torn out of our hearts, or spirited by
any demoniac influence beyond our guardian care. The millions of
bondmen, who now till those fields, cannot be sacrificed forever to
please any clique of tyrants or make the corner stone to any temple
of eternal Pagan barbarism. We shall care for both, and shall do our
utmost to save the whole Southern people from the dreadful perils of
the present and the more fearful danger of the future. No wall of
separation can be raised so high that the growing civilization of the
North will not overlook it, and, like the sun in mid-heaven, shine
down with beneficent rays on the just and unjust, protecting the good,
succoring the fallen, regenerating the evil. O! that God would give our
brothers of the South the clearness and calmness to see that Northern
civilization contemplates harm to no man; is beneficent like God’s
love; in truth is, in its ideal, the Love of God applied to the life of
a new world.

The future is not clear, and he is a bold man who can prophecy a month
ahead. It may be that we are at the end; that the slave power has
conquered fifteen states and is about to lead them out into the desert
of a barbaric experiment in despotic society. If so, let us not deluge
our land with fraternal blood, but let them all go in peace; clinging
together at home and girding ourselves up to the mighty task of finally
saving them from the anarchy that surely lies across their path.
Perhaps the margin of servility in the North will gain a temporary
victory, and in concert with a united slave power, enact some infamous
concession over our heads. Then we must only close up and move on, as
in the past; for freedom repudiates all surrender to tyranny now and
forever, and there must be a final victory for the right.

Perchance the nobler civilization of the South will arise in its might,
and, in concert with the real North, adopt some wise and conciliatory
policy for the whole country which will sacrifice no right of the
people and impair no hope of the Republic; and then hold in the few
revolting states from secession. If so, the hour of freedom has indeed
struck, and the knell of despotism in this Union is tolled. Let us pray
for the wisdom, justice, love that shall regenerate us from our sins,
and overrule our transgressions in the past, to the advancement of the
kingdom of God on earth, and the uplifting of His best creature――man.

       *       *       *       *       *

 Transcriber’s Notes:

 ――Text in italics is enclosed by underscores (_italics_).

 ――Punctuation and spelling inaccuracies were silently corrected.

 ――Archaic and variable spelling has been preserved.

*** End of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "American Dangers and Duties - Tracts for the Times, Vol. 2, Whole No. 24, No. 12" ***

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