of his peculiar views to the conduct of life, there was nothing utopian or extravagant.
He sympathized with1
every honest motive and effort for the regeneration of mankind, and could make allowance for aberration either of judgment or of intellect.
He saw the abolition cause (like other fervid moral movements) unavoidably draw to2
itself the insane, the unbalanced, the blindly enthusiastic.
He remained calm, collected, steadfast; hewing to the line of principle, but tolerant to the last degree of3
temperament, expression, measures, not his own.
This contrast may be pursued, in the anti-slavery ranks, between their leader and some of his coadjutors who lacked either his breadth, his tact, his humor, his persuasiveness, or his felicitous command of phraseology— qualities which make it doubtful if Mr. Garrison
was ever mobbed for words actually spoken in public.
Certain strongly marked individualities among the New England
field agents of the era succeeding the schism fall under the description just given negatively.
As New Organization and the Liberty Party
had furnished a cover to parsons and congregations to quit the anti-slavery field, and emboldened them to shut out and to persecute the lecturers of the old organization, the iniquity of the American
churches became the chief theme of those whose meetings were disturbed or suppressed, and persons assailed, in consequence.
The logic of the picturesque group we have in mind was severe and relentless, their discourse ‘harsh’ and not seldom grim, their invective sweeping; and, in one instance in particular, a deliberate policy of church intrusion brought upon itself physical4
and legal penalties but little softened by passive resistance.
It would be rash if not censorious to deny that these moral ploughshares were fitted for the rough work allotted to them.
The self-denying and almost outcast lives they led for the slave's sake compel admiration and gratitude.
Their anti-slavery character was tried by all manner of tests short of martyrdom without embittering them, and in private their disposition was singularly