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[57] will gravely affirm of an essential principle of government that it is wrong! We repeat, then, it is really time that certain politicians, as well as ecclesiastics, had learned to chasten their language on this subject. They have already accomplished incalculable mischief. They have conceded that to the folly of fanaticism which, if it were true, would render domestic slavery, with every other form of civil government, wholly indefensible, and their supporters the objects of the pity and scorn of the civilized world.

There are many among ourselves who, though they are not sufficient metaphysicians to detect and expose the error of a conclusion, are sufficiently candid to admit that if the conceded dogma of Jefferson be true, domestic slavery can never be justified in practice by any circumstances whatever; and they have pious feeling enough to prompt them to great hesitation in supporting the institution in view of this admission, although they are pressed to do so by circumstances of urgent duty to the slaves themselves. In this state of things there arises in many sensitive minds a most painful state of feeling. Pressed on the one hand by what is assumed to be correct principle, and on the other by the claims of a high moral necessity,--the necessity of governing and providing for their slaves, which they erroneously suppose to

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Thomas Jefferson (1)
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