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Wendell Phillips, Theodore C. Pease, Speeches, Lectures and Letters of Wendell Phillips: Volume 2, Kossuth (1851). (search)
here, and gives the listening world his judgment of our institutions,--mingling himself thus, whether he will or no, with our great national struggle,--he owes it to truth, to liberty, and the slave, that such judgment should be a true, discriminating, and honest one. If the opinion he has pronounced be his honest judgment, what will men say of that heart whose halting sympathies allowed him to overlook a system of oppression which Wesley called the vilest the sun ever saw, and which made Jefferson tremble for his country, when he remembered that God was just ? If it be not his honest judgment, but only fawning words, uttered to gain an end, what will men say of the Jesuit who thought he owed it to Hungary to serve her, or, indeed, imagined that he could serve her, by lips that clung not to the truth? When Rome's ransom was weighing out, the insolent conqueror flung his sword into the scale against it. So at the moment when the fate of the slave hangs trembling in the balance, and a
Wendell Phillips, Theodore C. Pease, Speeches, Lectures and Letters of Wendell Phillips: Volume 2, Capital punishment (1855) (search)
they should say, Yes, certainly, those were the circumstances in March, but in November they have changed, and we are going to change the statute, the legislature would undoubtedly like to have it done, --what would you think of their reasoning? If this is a statute at all, it is a statute until God alters it. If one man has a right to say that circumstances have dispensed with one half of it, another individual has a right to say that circumstances have dispensed with it altogether. Mr. Jefferson, you know, cut out all the parts of the New Testament to which he objected, and said of the remainder, This is my New Testament. There was no objection to it, except that different people might take out different parts, and there would be no New Testament left. Just so with Dr. Cheever. Circumstances have not dispensed with the statute, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, Thou shalt love thy neighbor; none of the ten commandments are dispensed with,--how is it that circumstances have
Wendell Phillips, Theodore C. Pease, Speeches, Lectures and Letters of Wendell Phillips: Volume 2, The foundation of the labor movement (1871) (search)
on for the next fifty years. It's a very easy thing to discuss, for a gentleman in his study, with no anxiety about to-morrow. Why, the ladies and gentlemen of the reign of Louis XV. and Louis XVI., in France, seated in gilded saloons and on Persian carpets, surrounded with luxury, with the products of India, and the curious manufactures of ingenious Lyons and Rheims, discussed the rights of man, and balanced them in dainty phrases, and expressed them in such quaint generalizations that Jefferson borrowed the Declaration of Independence from their hands. There they sat, balancing and discussing sweetly, making out new theories, and daily erecting a splendid architecture of debate, till the angry crowd broke open the doors, and ended the discussion in blood. They waited too long, discussed about half a century too long. You see, discussion is very good when a man has bread to eat, and his children all portioned off, and his daughters married, and his house furnished and paid for,
Wendell Phillips, Theodore C. Pease, Speeches, Lectures and Letters of Wendell Phillips: Volume 2, The scholar in a republic (1881). (search)
oethe. If my counsel had weight in these halls, I should say, Young men, close your John Winthrop and Washington, your Jefferson and Webster, and open Sir Harry Vane. The generation that knew Vane gave to our Alma Mater for a seal the simple pledgapter in its breadth, its depth, its significance, or its bearing on future history. What Wycliffe did for religion, Jefferson and Sam Adams did for the State,--they trusted it to the people. He gave the masses the Bible, the right to think. JeJefferson and Sam Adams gave them the ballot, the right to rule. His intrepid advance contemplated theirs as its natural, inevitable result. Their serene faith completed the gift which the Anglo-Saxon race makes to humanity. We have not only estableath in the market-place, and who share the same fate if they presume to ask the reason why. It is unfortunate, says Jefferson, that the efforts of mankind to secure the freedom of which they have been deprived, should be accompanied with violenc
Wendell Phillips, Theodore C. Pease, Speeches, Lectures and Letters of Wendell Phillips: Volume 2, Daniel O'Connell (1875.) (search)
with its prey, Ireland sank back, plundered and helpless. O'Connell lifted her to a fixed and permanent place in English affairs,--no suppliant, but a conqueror dictating her terms. This is the proper standpoint from which to look at O'Connell's work. This is the consideration that ranks him, not with founders of States, like Alexander, Caesar, Bismarck, Napoleon, and William the Silent, but with men who, without arms, by force of reason, have revolutionized their times,--with Luther, Jefferson, Mazzini, Samuel Adams, Garrison, and Franklin. I know some men will sneer at this claim,--those who have never looked at him except through the spectacles of English critics, who despised him as an Irishman and a Catholic, until they came to hate him as a conqueror. As Grattan said of Kirwan, The curse of Swift was upon him, to have been born an Irishman and a man of genius, and to have used his gifts for his country's good. Mark what measure of success attended the able men who preced
Wendell Phillips, Theodore C. Pease, Speeches, Lectures and Letters of Wendell Phillips: Volume 2, Abraham Lincoln (1865). (search)
d which needed his actual sanction, if his sympathy had limits,recollect he was human, and that he welcomed light more than most men, was more honest than his fellows, and with a truth to his own convictions such as few politicians achieve. With all his shortcomings, we point proudly to him as the natural growth of democratic institutions. [Applause.] Coming time will put him in that galaxy of Americans which makes our history the day-star of the nations,--Washington, Hamilton, Franklin, Jefferson, and Jay. History will add his name to the bright list, with a more loving claim on our gratitude than either of them. No one of those was called to die for his cause. For him, when the nation needed to be raised to its last dread duty, we were prepared for it by the baptism of his blood. What shall we say as to the punishment of rebels? The air is thick with threats of vengeance. I admire the motive which prompts these; but let us remember no cause, however infamous, was ever crush