of the problem as if with letters of light on the blue vault of heaven; to thank them, too, for the fidelity with which they have rebuked the apathy, and denounced the guilt of the American Church, in standing aloof from this great struggle for freedom in modern times.
The appeals and exhortations which have from time to time gone out from among you may seem to have fallen to the ground in vain; but, far from it, they have awakened, in some degree at least, a slumbering Church to a great national sin, and they have strengthened greatly hands that were almost ready to faint in the struggle with a giant evil.
We need them still; spare us not a moment from your Christian rebukes; give us line upon line and precept upon precept.
Our enterprise is eminently a religious one, dependent for success entirely on the religious sentiment of the people.
It is on hearts that wait not for the results of West India
experiments, that look to duty and not to consequences, that disdain to make the fears of one class of men the measure of the rights of another, that fear no evil in the doing of God's commands,--it is on such that the weight of our cause mainly rests, and on the conversion of those whose characters will make them such that its future progress must depend.
It is upon just such minds that your appeals have most effect.
I hardly exaggerate when I say that the sympathy and brotherly appeals of British Christians are the sheet-anchor of our cause.
Did they realize that slavery is now most frequently defended in America
from the Bible
,--that when Abolitionists rebuke the Church
for upholding it, they are charged with hostility to Christianity itself, they would feel this.
If we construe a text in favor of liberty, it is set down to partiality and prejudice.
A European construction is decisive.
Our rebukes lose much of their force when they are represented, though falsely,