through their efforts and sacrifices was accomplished a revolution by which four million human beings (but for the Abolitionists the number to-day in bondage would be eight millions) were lifted from the condition in which American slaves existed but a few years ago, to freedom and political equality with their former masters; and, at the same time when it is considered what qualities of heart and brain were needed for such a task, he does not believe that history, from its earliest chapters, furnishes examples of gods or men, except in very rare and isolated cases, who have shown themselves to be their equals.
In the matter of physical courage they were unsurpassed, unsurpassable.
A good many of them were Quakers and non-resistants, and a good many of them were women, but they never shrank from danger to life and limb, when employed in their humanitarian work.
Some of them achieved the martyr's crown.
In the matter of conscience they were indomitable.
Life to them was worth less than principle.
In the matter of money they were absolutely unselfish.
Those of them who were poor, as the most of them were, toiled on without the hope of financial recompense.
They did their work not only without the promise or prospect of material reward of any kind, but with the certainty of pains and penalties that included the ostracism and contempt of their fellows, and even serious risks to property and life.
All these sacrifices were in the cause of human liberty; but of liberty for whom?
That is the crucial point.
In all ages there have been plenty of