From time to time, nevertheless, his vision embraced a larger view—partly philosophic, partly revolutionary, but not unpatriotic.
In his second1
issue he notices with pleasure the failure to call a secession convention in South Carolina
, but points out the fatal result, to any or all of the slave States, of separation, and adds: ‘In process of time, one thing is certain: they must either give up their slaves or the Union
. . . . The people of the free States . . . are weary of the load of guilt which is imposed upon them by the compact.’
Months afterwards, as it appeared to him:2
‘The bond of our Union is becoming more and more brittle, not by any attempts to enfranchise the slaves, but by the rapid, deadly, unobstructed growth of slavery.
It may be safely affirmed that unless there be a speedy abolition of the system, a separation between the free and slave States will be unavoidable.
He who would see our country united, must use his utmost efforts to hasten the progress of emancipation.’
And finally: ‘If the3
bodies and souls of millions of rational beings must be sacrificed as the price of the Union
, better, far better, that a separation should take place.’
Upon the religious sentiment of the country and the sacred books which inspired it, Mr. Garrison
hopefully relied for the most powerful assistance in his crusade against slavery.
‘Religious professors, of all 4
denominations,’ he declared, ‘must bear unqualified testimony against slavery. . . . Consequently, no slaveholder ought to be embraced within the pale of a Christian church.’
Yet he was well aware that ‘to doubt the5
religious vitality of a church which is composed of slaveholders, is the worst species of infidelity,’ and that he must begin by censuring those whose support he should ultimately win. ‘Considering their influence and the force of their example, undoubtedly the worst enemies of the people of color are professors of religion.’
Let them be slave-owners, and ‘undoubtedly the most6
abominable and surprising spectacle which the wickedness ’