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[465] justice and humanity. I then told the American slaveholders that they should hear me, of me, and from me, in a tone and with a frequency that should make them tremble—not that I was the enemy of their happiness or safety, but that I detested their crimes. How faithful I have been in the performance of my pledge, a quickened, an astonished, and a repenting nation may testify. Ridiculed, reviled, threatened, persecuted and imprisoned, still God has wonderfully blessed my humble labors. I give him all the glory—I sink myself into nothingness.

In a cause like this, there are two things to be remembered— 1st, that a tremendous responsibility rests upon him who perverts his influence; and 2nd, that an equally fearful responsibility rests upon him who withholds his influence. Why should a Christian, however distinguished, wait for the movements of a concurrent populace before he espouse the side of the outraged and guiltless slaves? That which claims the sympathy and attention of Jehovah of hosts, is not beneath the dignity of his creatures. That which has elicited the best efforts of a Wilberforce, a Clarkson, a Pitt, a Fox, a Brougham, and a Buxton, is neither trivial nor despicable.

I thought of beseeching you, in this letter, to exert your victorious influence for the deliverance of this country from impending ruin. But if the slaughter of two millions of victims who have gone down to their graves with their chains around them; if the cries of more than that number of tortured slaves now living; if a soil red with innocent blood; if a desecrated Sabbath; if a vast system of adultery, and pollution, and robbery; if perpetuated ignorance and legalized barbarity; if the invasion of the dearest rights of man, and a disruption of the holiest ties of life; and, above all, if the clear and imperious injunctions of the most high God, fail to stimulate you to plead for the suffering and the dumb, it is scarcely possible that any appeal can succeed from

Yours, most affectionately and respectfully,

It is not known that any answer was ever returned to this letter by its recipient. Professor Ware, in the letter to Mr. May already cited, remarks: ‘Dr. 1 Channing is said to have given on Sunday [October 12, 1834] a most powerful sermon on the late public commotions ’

1 Ante, p. 462.

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