would not for a moment consent to pay that tax, if it were made a direct
tax, to be collected by the authority of an exciseman.
So, without observation, the domestic element of slavery is accomplishing its results, with equal safety.
Or, more in point, perhaps, it is like the “kingdom of heaven,” which “comes without observation.”
The “kingdom of heaven,” in the form of principles
, diffuses itself through the mass of society, and ultimately works, as a legitimate result, the boldest political revolutions.
But by diffusing itself quietly, or “without observation,” it prepares the public mind for its changes in the exact ratio in which it effects them; and thus accomplishes that, by the popular will, the attempt to do which in another way would have razed the foundations of civil society, and closed the history of civilization for ages to come.
So, this divine agent — for such I must consider it — is working constant changes.
It is daily modifying the features of the system, and so developing the moral character of the African, as to throw him up, by successive steps, higher and still higher on the scale of civilization.
But this it does so quietly, because naturally, that it actually works a specific result on the masters, and accomplishes its objects by the consent of their wills and their own active cooperation.