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[404] South said to-day that if he had opportunity, he would dip his hand in his heart's blood.1 And, sir, there must be martyrs in this cause. We ought to feel this moment that we are liable to be sacrificed. But when I say this, I know that we are not belligerents. We would die in such a cause only as martyrs to the truth. In this, our blessed Saviour has set the example.

I did not contemplate delivering a eulogy on Mr. Garrison when I rose to speak to this resolution. I wish simply to express my heartfelt sympathy with an injured and persecuted man. Be it the honorable object of the members of this Convention to show to our countrymen that they have misunderstood the character, and misconceived the plans, of William Lloyd Garrison. He is said to be imprudent. What is prudence? Is it succumbing to a majority of our frail fellowmortals? Is it holding back a faithful expression of the whole truth, until the people are ready to say amen? Was that the prudence of the Apostle Paul, when he stood before the Roman Governor? Was that the prudence of William Penn, when he poured contempt on the regalia of kings by wearing before the King of England his broad beaver? Imprudence is moral timidity. That man is imprudent who is afraid to speak as God commands him to speak, when the hour of danger is near. If this reasoning be correct, Mr. Garrison is one of the most prudent men in the nation!

He is not perfect. He is frail, like the rest of human flesh. But if God had not endowed him as he has, and smiled propitiously on his imprudences, we should not now be engaged in the deliberations of this most interesting and important Convention. God has raised up just such a man as William Lloyd Garrison to be a pioneer in this cause. Let each member present feel solemnly bound to vindicate the character of Mr. Garrison. Let us not be afraid to go forward with him, even into the ‘imminent breach,’ although there may be professed friends who stand back because of him.

Robert Purvis,2 of Pennsylvania, said he was grateful to God for the day. He felt to pour out the speaking gratitude

1 A ‘demoniac son of a slaveholder, at the entrance of the Adelphi Hall, threatened to wash his hands’ in Garrison's blood. A bystander, of the abolitionists, said: ‘I will bare my breast to receive any indignity you may please to offer to William Lloyd Garrison’ (Lib. 5.7).

2 ‘A colored gentleman of Philadelphia, whose talents and gentlemanly deportment have won the esteem of all who know him. We wish that many who we know have unwittingly circulated colonization slanders against the free people of color, could become acquainted with Mr. P.’

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