of Theodore Parker
's sermons on slavery, saying to Mr. Lincoln
substantially this: “I have always noticed that ill-gotten wealth does no man any good.
This is as true of nations as individuals.
I believe that all the ill-gotten gain wrenched by us from the negro through his enslavement will eventually be taken from us, and we will be set back where we began.”
thought my prophecy rather direful.
He doubted seriously if either of us would live to see the righting of so great a wrong; but years after, when writing his second Inaugural address, he endorsed the idea.
Clothing it in the most beautiful language, he says: “Yet if God wills that it [the war] continue till all the wealth piled by the bondsman's two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn by the lash shall be paid by another drawn by the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said, ‘The judgments of the Lord
are true and righteous altogether.’
The passage in May, 1854, of the Kansas
bill swept out of sight the Missouri Compromise
and the Compromise measures of 1850.
This bill, designed and carried through by Douglas
, was regarded by him as the masterpiece of all his varied achievements in legislation.
It served to prove more clearly than anything he had ever before done his flexibility and want of political conscience.
Although in years gone before he had invoked the vengeance of Heaven on the ruthless hand that should dare to disturb the sanctity of the compact of 1821, yet now he was the arrogant and audacious