is finished, because this is the work you have taken in hand, is the most pressing, and needs your whole energy. What if you do not live to communicate to the world your peculiar views of Peace, Human Government, Theology, etc.; will wisdom die with you? God is not so poverty-stricken in regard to the means of accomplishing any of his designs as to be frustrated for the want of any man. You say, ‘Truth is one, and not conflictive or multitudinous.’ True; but the people are conflictive, and moreover they cannot receive and unitedly act upon more than one great truth at once. Again, abolitionists do not agree on many points not embraced in their Declaration of Sentiments. Hence it is no more than right that those persons and papers that are ‘conspicuously identified’ with them as a body, and are understood to speak a language common to all, should confine themselves to subjects on which all agree, or rather on which they do not seriously differ. Here is no restriction of liberty more than is due to truth and righteousness. God, by the very nature of things, has forbidden us to attempt everything at once. But it does appear to me that your ‘truth,’ that human government has no rightful authority, does conflict with our truths, as expressed in our Declaration of Sentiments, as well as with the most important measures by which we seek to accomplish our object. In the Declaration we maintain that ‘the slaves ought instantly to be set free and brought under the protection of law,’ and that ‘Congress has the right, and is solemnly bound, to suppress the domestic slave trade,’ &c. What miserable falsehood if human government has no right to exist! You impeach my Christianity because I ‘cannot cease looking to man for protection and redress’; how can it consist with your Christianity to demand for others ‘the protection of law’? If you follow out your doctrine, surely you must cease having anything to do with Congress and the State legislatures. Our action upon them in the direction of humanity not only recognizes, but tends to confirm, their power, for human governments are never so strong as when the weakest enjoy their protection. Having this view of the bearing of your Peace doctrines upon the dear cause of the slave, could I do less than beg of you to suppress them till our contest is over? I have no fear of the prevalence of your opinions, provided they make their home in their own tub—and that stands distinctly on its own bottom. What I fear is, that they will suck you into a vortex of spiritual Quixotism, and thus absorb energies which might have shaken down the citadel of oppression.
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
Chapter 1 : the Boston mob ( second stage).��� 1835 .
Chapter 2 : Germs of contention among brethren.��� 1836 .
Chapter 3 : the Clerical appeal.��� 1837 .
Chapter 4 : Pennsylvania Hall .���the non-resistance society.��� 1838 .
Chapter 5 : shall the Liberator lead��� 1839 .
Chapter 6 : the schism.��� 1840 .
Chapter 7 : the World 's Convention.��� 1840 .
Chapter 8 : the Chardon-Street Convention.��� 1840 .
Index to volumes I. And II .
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