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2 ‘What a most conscientious and devout “legalist” I was when I wrote it,’ he writes to Oliver Johnson, May 25, 1874. ‘In my blindness I adopted Dr. Beecher's preposterous figure of speech, as applied to the first day of the week, that “the Sabbath is the moral sun of the universe,” and so logically predicted that chaos would come again if it were blotted out—i.e., not observed in an orthodox fashion—a fashion, however, not according to Luther, Melanchthon, Calvin, or any of the great lights of the Reformation, of which fact I was then ignorant.’ Dr. Beecher's use of this figure, however, at Pittsburgh, in the summer of 1836, called forth a protest from Mr. Garrison against such ‘extravagant and preposterous language’ (Lib. 6.118).
5 To a multitude, indeed, both before and behind the scenes, who connected this deep excitement with the revolutionary upheavals of the Old World, the millennial day of judgment seemed very near. An extract from the Rev. Lyman Beecher's discourse on the preservation of the Sabbath, copied into the Liberator (1.172) for its characteristic ‘glowing eloquence and startling solemnity,’ reads like a fragment of Millerite oratory, and shows how the way was paved for the Second-Adventist delusion of the next decade. (Compare Goodell's “Slavery and Anti-slavery,” p.387, and the prospectus of the Liberator printed on the cover of the “Thoughts on Colonization,” June, 1832.)
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