“--twisting and wresting and straining the Scriptures, and undermining the Bible
This Crosby Bible was flung in Garrison
's face for thirty years. But since his great hand wrote Righteousness
on the flag, and sent it down to the Gulf
, and since we boast that no slave treads our soil,--since then nine hundred and ninety-nine church-members out of every thousand will call you a libeller and suspect you of infidelity if you say the Bible
anywhere or in any degree upholds slavery; and I see your lecturer last week closed his eloquent and able address by triumphantly claiming that the Gospel abolished slavery,--which is true, only he should have stated that it was the Gospel of Jesus Christ
, and not the gospel of the Church
of that day.
Hence, I am not impatient nor distrustful.
I rest quiet in serene assurance that by and by, when our Temperance cause is a little stronger, men will blush to think they ever belittled and dishonored the Bible
by such claims and arguments as these.
At that time ninety-nine out of every hundred Christians will look askance upon you, and suspect your Orthodoxy, unless you believe Jesus never drank any fermented wine, and that the Bible
's precepts touching wine-drinking can only be reconciled with each other, or with its claim as a revealed religion, by recognizing the distinction between fermented and unfermented wines.
In my active life of fifty years I have seen more men made infidels by these attempts to prove the Bible
an upholder of slavery, than I ever saw misled by the followers of Paine
; and I think this sad exhibition of New York partisanship will have the same result.
The misled men to whom I refer, were not ignorant, careless-minded, or unprincipled, but men of conscientious earnestness of purpose, good culture, and blameless lives.
It is, indeed, mournful to look back and notice how