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[481]

I am fully aware that a fallacy will be alleged against this argument, —that a demurrer will be entered against each and every count in the general indictment. It will be said,—

1st. That through slavery and the slave-trade alone have any portion of the African race been introduced to the light and blessings of civilization. This is a mean and blasphemous subterfuge. Just as though any such idea ever mixed itself up with the thoughts of the slave-vampires of the African coast! Just as though the century-protracted efforts of the Saracens to overthrow the religion of Christ were worthy of praise because they brought Christendom to its feet, in the vindication of Christianity! As soon should the sight of the fair-haired Angli boys brought to Rome and sold as slaves, and thus become the occasion of the introduction of the gospel into Britain, have justified the kidnappers who did the nefarious work! As soon plead pardon for the traitor of all the ages for selling the Man of sorrows, because ‘when he bowed his head on the cross he dragged the pillars of Satan's kingdom to the dust.’

2d. They have risen far higher here in the scale of physical comfort. This I deny. They have not, as a community, enjoyed as much physical comfort as the wild beast in his lair, or the cattle on a thousand hills. By no means has their animal condition approached that of the native African tribes.

I fully believe—yea, I certainly know, and I believe and know it more profoundly than any slaughterer of men—that the wrath of man shall be made to praise God, while the remainder thereof he will restrain. But let no man, who has ever been a willing party to the awful crime we are speaking of, come forward now, while daylight is breaking over Africa, and claim any participation in the glory which is coming. For this dawn such men never longed; they never contemplated that rising sun with any exultation.

And yet how nobly has Africa earned the boon of civilized life! She has from the earliest ages been the slave of the nations. All men who had ships went to her coasts and sailed up her great rivers to steal her children. The Egyptians lashed them to their toil, in the valley of the Nile. The Phoenicians, the Carthaginians, and the Arabs stole them from the Mediterranean coast. The Portuguese, the Spanish, the Dutch, the English, kidnapped them by the hundred thousand on the coast of the Atlantic; and, last of all,—as late as within the memory of men now living,—the African slave-trade constituted the most profitable branch of the commerce of New England.


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