denouncing the domestic slave trade? And is it indeed true that I am hazarding neither my safety nor my life in my advocacy of freedom in Boston? Has no endurance, no unusual courage, been required to oppose all classes of society, and to sustain the odium, derision and hatred of a slaveholding nation? Is it nothing to have large rewards offered by a Southern legislature, and by private combinations, for my seizure and destruction? Sir, slaveholders and their apologists may call me a fanatic—they may call me a madman, or an incendiary, or an agitator, and believe me to be such; but to call me a coward—that is an epithet which they have too much good sense to believe is applicable to me, although they have so small a modicum of conscience as to resort to it. The Southern oppressors themselves regard me in any other light than that of a craven: all the trembling, and shrinking, and alarm is felt and manifested on their part—not on mine. I may be rash—I may be obstinate—but I fear no man or body of men. In this vindication of myself, I am simply vindicating every other abolitionist who is publicly engaged in this cause.Why don't you go to the South?Why, sir, when we denounce the tyranny exercised over the miserable Poles, do we not go into the dominions of the Russian autocrat, and beard him to his face? Why not go to Constantinople, and protest against the oppression of the Greeks? Why assail the despotic governments of Europe here in the United States?—Why, then, should we go into the slaveholding States, to assail their towering wickedness, at a time when we are sure that we should be gagged, or imprisoned, or put to death, if we went thither? Why rashly throw ourselves into the ocean, or commit ourselves to the flames, or cast ourselves into the jaws of the lion? Understand me, sir, I do not mean to say that even the certainty of destruction is, in itself, a valid reason for our refusing to go to the South;— for we are bound to take up any cross, or incur any peril, in the discharge of our duty to God and our suffering brother. Prove to me that it is imperatively my duty, in view of all the circumstances of the case, to locate myself among slaveholders, and I will not hesitate to do so, even (to borrow the strong language of Martin Luther) though every tile upon their houses were a devil. Moral courage—duty—self-consecration —all have their proper limits. When He who knew no fear— the immaculate Redeemer—saw that his enemies intended to cast him down from the brow of a hill, he prudently withdrew
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