the subject of slavery.’
They were privately addressed by the writer to his brother, and are full of fraternal concern and tenderness, while unsparing in their exhibition of the essentially sinful, unchristian and cruel nature of slavery.
Long residence in Tennessee
had made him familiar with the system against which his heart revolted.
No more forcible argument resting upon common morality, the Scriptures, and political economy, could have been framed for the time, or perhaps for all time, while some of the well-authenticated instances of slaveholding atrocity could be surpassed only in the dreams of a Nero.2
The ‘Letters’ became at once a powerful addition to the weapons of the abolitionists, and never ceased to be cited.
's knowledge of Mr. Rankin
appears to have begun at the time of their republication in the Liberator
. It was also the beginning of personal acquaintance and friendship, as witnessed by the following inscription in a copy of his works presented by the former to Mr. Rankin
in 1853—‘With the profound regards and loving veneration of his anti-slavery disciple and humble co-worker in the cause of emancipation.’3
The ‘Letters’ had that ‘Scriptural pungency’ which4 Mr. Garrison
found lacking in Evan Lewis
prize tract on “The Duties of Ministers and Churches of all Denominations to avoid the Stain of Slavery,” etc., but which so abounded in the Rev. George Bourne
's “The book and slavery Irreconcilable” (1815), to which, next after the Bible
itself, Mr. Garrison
confessed his indebtedness for his views of the institution.6