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[61]

Religious animosities do not die out in a moment. Many of us still feel a lambent and rising heat course through our veins in reading the history of the religious wars of three centuries ago. This is because those wars have come down in family life, and are thus a part of the intimate personal history of men. So of this just-buried cause, Abolition. Consider how the American of to-day reads the Constitutional History of the years before the war. Nullification, the Texas scheme, the Mexican War, the Repeal of the Missouri Compromise, the Kansas troubles-all these things and every subsidiary foreign or domestic issue in our annals, are interesting to us because we feel so intimately the hot place in each one of them. Part of this heat comes from prejudice and accident, part of it from the central focus of truth; and we cannot always be sure which kind it is that burns in us. But there is a species of glow that can be trusted. It comes to us when we read accounts of heroism. Tales of noble self-sacrifice never remain mere adjuncts to a creed, or portions of a partisan tradition. They contain in themselves the whole of salvation. Posterity will recur to the age of the Anti-slavery

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