Resolved, That Liberty and Slavery are in their nature2 antagonisms, which no power in the universe can reconcile; and that any effort to make peace, or to effect a compromise, between them is an insult to God, a crime against nature, and an outrage upon man. Resolved, That a Church or Government which accords the same rights and privileges to Slavery as to Liberty, is a house divided against itself, which cannot stand—is an attempt to pay equal honor to Belial and to Christ—is inherently corrupt and tyrannical, and deserving of universal execration.These resolutions were originally drafted for an3 antislavery convention at Dover, N. H., on April 25. The sentiment they contain is anything but new from Mr.4 Garrison's lips, but the phraseology arrests attention. The expression, ‘a house divided against itself,’ may be said to have made the fortune of Lincoln as a statesman when uttered three years later.5 Now, it fell on deaf ears. Worthy of mention is the speech which accompanied the6 above resolutions—logical and orderly, and fortified at every step with documentary evidence. On August 1, near Jamaica, Long Island, Mr. Garrison spoke again, at the celebration of the day by the New York City 7 AntiSlavery Society. A most competent judge shall testify to the weight of his remarks on this occasion, in the following letter (a translation by the hand of the recipient):
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1 May 9.
4 Ante, 2.338.
5 ‘We are now far into the fifth year since a policy was initiated with the avowed object, and confident promise, of putting an end to slavery agitation. Under the operation of that policy, that agitation has not only not ceased, but has constantly augmented. In my opinion, it will not cease until a crisis shall have been reached and passed. “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” I believe this government cannot endure permanently half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved—I do not expect the house to fall—but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing or all the other’ (Speech of Abraham Lincoln at Springfield, Ill., June 17, 1858, upon being made Republican candidate for the Senate of the United States. Arnold's “Lincoln and slavery,” p. 114).
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