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[303] 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 principle.

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.

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