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Chapter 7: Garrison the prophet

Rejoice, and be exceeding glad, . . . for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you. St. Matthew, v:12.

The career of Garrison is in many ways typical of that class of men who in the days of the ancient Hebrews were called prophets. Brought up in a strictly conventional and orthodox manner, he was in his youth a Puritan of the Puritans, a firm believer in the infallibility of the Bible and the divine character of the church. Educated in a society which still remembered the days of the Revolution, he was taught to look upon that war as one ordained by heaven, and upon American institutions as the embodiment of absolute justice. Gradually, however, doubts crept into his mind. He felt instinctively physical combat was beneath the dignity of man. How then could wars be right? And how could governments which depend upon military power be righteous? Slavery was an evident fruit of coercion, the very reductio ad absurdum of it; and yet it was supported by the government, and by its

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William Lloyd Garrison (2)
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