there has just closed a week of “Anniversary Meetings” in Boston
, under novel, not to say awful circumstances.
While the struggle for Emancipation was going on in Congress; while the fate of General Banks
's little army was yet in suspense; while five thousand volunteers were pouring into tie city, the Men of the Platform also gathered for the yearly talk and tea; and the motley “delegates” wended their way to this church or that “temple” to the music of unusual fifes and drums.
We all know what these anniversary meetings have heretofore been.
In many of them there was an established routine.
Somebody read a financial.
report; somebody then abused the “Abolitionists,” and deprecated agitation; and then everybody went into the vestry for ham-sandwiches, coffee, and cut-and-dried jokes.
But the drums and fifes, with the proclamations of Gov.
's proclamation, have cheerfully averted the prescriptive monotony.
The Bible Society was told by Dr. Harris
that “God created all men free and equal, and that we should use no man as a tool,
or an inferior being to ourselves.”
The American Peace Society was told by Dr. Malcolm
that the Rebel States
should be permitted “to come in as Territories.”
The Young Men's Christian Association was entertained by “many merited compliments to the virtues of New England
soldiers, and condoled with in the repulse of Gen. Banks
The Address to the American Unitarian Association
was by the Rev. William Henry Channing
, and urged “the unification of the various State institutions, by which we should be known as the Model Republic
Mr. Robert C. Winthrop
, before the American Tract Society, managed to speak well of “that brave and gallant son of Massachusetts
, Gen. Banks
,” which we consider to have been the most extraordinary utterance of the whole week.
At the Morning Prayer Meetings
“thanks were offered for the almost uniform success of our arms.”
Anti-Slavery Society emphatically, in a series of eloquent resolutions, endorsed Gen. Hunter
's Army Order, No. 11.
The Home Missionary Society was cheered by the Rev. Mr. Jenkins
, who, undaunted by the fact that Dr.
was in the chair, asserted that “the war will colonize the South
with men who will encourage the labors of this Society.”
Upon the whole, we think this must have been an uncommonly trying week for Dr. Adams
It is curious to think what a sweep of cobweb sophistry, laboriously spun out of the very bowels of scholastic theology, this civil war has made.
It is wonderful to note how remorselessly facts are
treading down theories, and how some gentlemen, who blanched at the voice of a single agitator, are growing patriotically strong, and do not wince at the reverberations of a cannonade.
The traitors now in arms against the Constitution
have done it an inestimable service by silencing, we thankfully believe forever, that apologetic drivel which assumed, under every vicissitude, that Slaveholders were standing faithfully by Constitutional provisions, and honestly yielding obedience to their minutest requirements, while Anti-Slavery men, no matter what form their opinions might take, were, by the intrinsic vice of these opinions, hostile to sound politics and religious orthodoxy.
These weary years of recrimination, of slander, and of dishonorable imputations, have gone by at last; and though we are environed by a thousand difficulties, and by perils innumerable, we all breathe a purer atmosphere, and are forced to listen to fewer falsehoods.
We bid our readers be of good cheer — we feel, we know, that there is health and strength in this storm, that there is union in this disunion, and a long peace awaiting the end of this sharp conflict.
The platforms have been swept and garnished.
when one remembers the rubbish which once cumbered them — limping exegesis and dusty diagnosis, split texts, ethnological puzzles, and sugarcoated pills — schemes of saving the Union
by prayer, and other schemes of saving it by pugilism — reams of resolutions, rosy at once and wrathful — heaps of exenterated tracts, sleek and spliced for the Southern
market — subscription papers for sending regiments of missionaries to South Carolina
--when one recalls all these, how enrapturing the reflection that no more hairs are to be painfully divided, that there is to be no more mumbling and devising, no more presentment of the worse for the better reason, no more reliance upon shabby succedaneums, and that even in these awful alcoves of graduated political and moral regeneration, a spade is hereafter to be plumply called a spade, though calling it so should put the whole solar system out of joint, and make chaos come again!
After such a change, going down into the very depths of our social life, who, we may ask, of all those who drank the anniversary coffee, and ate the yearly cake in Boston
, did not feel a refreshing sense of reviving manhood or womanhood?
If any person fondly thinks that the Northern
people are ready to go back to the deadly-lively acquiescences which created the Compromise Bill
, the Kansas Bill
, and the Fugitive Slave Bill
, we advise him to read the proceedings of the anniversary week.
They will prove to him, we think, as they have certainly proved to us, that hereafter, whatever may happen, the Slaveholders must look to some less respectable quarter than that of the Northern Churches
for sympathy and succor.
When this war closes, it will close upon the Northern
people as thoroughly united upon the basis of a general moral principle as ever were the Slaveholders upon the lower ground of an abased self-interest.
The future holds in itself good hap and evil, but whether it shall
bring the sweet or the bitter, there are certain questions which will be no longer vexed in the Northern States
Very long we have been in coming to this point, and very tardy in our recognition of the simplest verities; but now there can be no footsteps backward.
The Rebels have called for the previous question.
Henceforth serious debate upon fundamentals is impossible, for Freedom has been vindicated by her bitterest enemies.
June 4, 1862.