snow, where nothing grows but men, and even wheat freezes: “I can go South, and show the world that he has a right to rise and can rise.”
He went, girded about by his household, carrying his sons with him. Proof of a life devoted to an idea!
Not a single spasmodic act of greatness, coming out with no back-ground, but the flowering of sixty years. The proof of it, that everything around him grouped itself harmoniously, like the planets around the central sun. He went down to Virginia
, took possession of a town, and held it. He says: “You thought this was strength; I demonstrate it is weakness.
You thought this was civil society; I show you it is a den of pirates.”
Then he turned around in his sublimity, with his Puritan
devotional heart, and said to the millions, “Learn!”
And God lifted a million hearts to his gibbet, as the Roman
cross lifted a million of hearts to it in that divine sacrifice of two thousand years ago. To-day, more than a statesman could have taught in seventy years, one act of a week has taught these eighteen millions of people.
That is the Puritan
What shall it teach us?
“Go thou and do likewise.”
Do it by a resolute life; do it by a fearless rebuke; do it by preaching the sermon of which this act is the text; do it by standing by the great example which God has given us; do it by tearing asunder the veil of respectability which covers brutality calling itself law. We had a “Union meeting” in this city a while ago. For the first time for a quarter of a century, political brutality dared to enter the sacredness of the sick chamber, and visit with ridicule the broken intellect, sheltered from criticism under the cover of sickness.
Never, since I knew Boston
, has any lip, however excited, dared to open the door which God's hand had closed, making the inmate sacred, as he rested under broken health.