and obedience to the Golden Rule
of Christianity has just been declared treason.
He was not ignorant of this state of things.
individuals and public societies in England
had placed in his hands ample evidence of the real character of American institutions, and the critical state of public opinion on the momentous question of enslaving every sixth man, woman, and child in the land.
Some besought him to pause ere he set foot on a land cursed with such a monstrous system of oppression, and all bade him beware of the temptation to which his position subjected him, of strengthening by his silence or approbation the hands of the oppressor.
At such a time, and in the midst of such a people, we have a right to claim that he should walk carefully.
He knew that he must throw the weight of his mighty name in the scale of one party or another that was waging war for principle on this side of the Atlantic
spoke truly when he said, from his seat in the Senate chamber
, “There is a great struggle going on through the world.
It is between despotism and liberty.
There is no neutrality in this struggle.
No man can fail to be on one side or the other.
He that is not with us is against us.”
To which John P. Hale
replied with such readiness, “Exactly.”
We have now that condition of affairs which George Canning
prophesied when he said, “The next war that passes over Europe
is to be a war of ideas.”
Now, wherever there is the war of ideas, every tongue takes a side.
There is no neutrality.
Even silence is not neutrality; but he who speaks a word of sympathy to his brother-man is on the side of humanity and progress.
Now I have brought three facts before you. A man whose simple name is an argument, whose opinion is a fact potent throughout the world in sustaining institutions