where others are refused a hearing; as, for instance, on his way through Philadelphia, the ‘Congregational Chapel’ (Rev. H. D. Moore's church) was thrown open for an address from him,1 and so pleased were the people with the discourse that he was2 urged to come again and deliver another. The next day, a3 meeting was held for him at Franklin Hall, which was attended4 by a crowded and delighted auditory. People of every variety of class and shade of opinion were there—Presbyterians and Quakers, orthodox and heterodox, Whigs and Democrats; and, judging from the attentiveness of their manner and the character of the discourse, I doubt whether there was a single person who did not go away favorably impressed both towards the speaker and the cause he advocated. I never hear Garrison without being struck with the absurdity5 of the charge that is sometimes brought against him—although we don't hear it so much lately as we used to—of being an Infidel. If there is any man in all my acquaintance who is more emphatically than any other not an Infidel, that man is Mr. Garrison. He is eminently a religious man. This is the secret of his power, both as a speaker and in his private relations. He places the cause on the broad basis of Christianity, and his appeals are always made to the conscience and through the religious sentiment. His discourses are in this respect like sermons of the best model; and it is a quite common remark, that ‘there is something apostolic in his manner.’ In one respect he always reminds me of the Hebrew writers of the Old Testament: he speaks of everything in its relation to God. The name of the Deity occurs sometimes in almost every other sentence-so frequently, indeed, that with almost any one else it would be in bad taste and savor of cant. ‘God is in all his thoughts,’ and this manifests itself in every speech he makes, whether in church or on the platform, and in all his conversation. To call such a man an Infidel is preposterous. With just as much propriety might he be called pro-slavery. . . . But I am dwelling quite too long on this subject. My reason for alluding to it was what you said in your last letter about the efforts which an individual in England is making to neutralize Mr. Garrison's influence by appealing to the religious prejudices of the people against him. This is shameful, especially in one who makes such profession of devotedness to the anti-slavery cause as does that individual.6
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
Chapter 1 : re-formation and Reanimation.— 1841 .
Chapter 2 : the Irish address.— 1842 .
Chapter 3 : the covenant with death. — 1843 .
Chapter 4 : no union with slaveholders! — 1844 .
Chapter 5 : Texas .— 1845 .
Chapter 6 : third mission to England .— 1846 .
Chapter 7 : first Western tour.— 1847 .
Chapter 8 : the Anti-Sabbath Convention .— 1848 .
Chapter 9 : Father Mathew .— 1849 .
Chapter 10 : the Rynders Mob .— 1850 .
Chapter 11 : George Thompson , M. P.— 1851 .
Chapter 12 : Kossuth .— 1852 .
Chapter 13 : the Bible Convention.— 1853 .
Chapter 14 : the Nebraska Bill .— 1854 .
Chapter 15 : the Personal Liberty Law .— 1855 .
Chapter 16 : Fremont .— 1856 .
Chapter 17 : the disunion Convention.— 1857 .
Chapter 18 : the irrepressible Conflict.— 1858 .
Chapter 19 : John Brown .— 1859 .
5 Cf. Lib. 23.158.
6 Probably the Rev. John Scoble, who had been busy for more than a twelvemonth in defaming Mr. Garrison; but perhaps the Rev. Dr. John Campbell, who had, since the beginning of the year 1852, continued the work in his British Banner, carefully excluding vindications of his victim. ‘Never, perhaps,’ wrote John Bishop Estlin of Bristol, to S. May, Jr., in the spring of 1852, ‘was W. L. G.'s name, more than now, odious in the eyes of most of the professing abolitionists of England. . . . A large number of people only know of him as a violent, immoral, infidel leader of a fanatical Abolition party’ (quoted in Ms. June 7, 1852, S. May, Jr., to W. L. G.). See the vindicatory pamphlet, “Statements respecting the American Abolitionists, by their Opponents and their Friends,” published by the Bristol and Clifton Ladies' A. S. Society (Dublin: Webb & Chapman, 1852).
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