For our own part, we deeply compassionate the miserable and degraded tools of the slave propagandists, who know not what they do, and (as Mr. Beecher correctly says) are “raked together from the purlieus of a frontier slave State, drugged with whiskey, and hounded on by broken-down and desperate politicians.” But they are far less blameworthy than their employers and endorsers. To a great extent, they are the victims of a horribly false state of society in Missouri, and no doubt fearfully depraved; yet they are not beasts, nor to be treated as beasts. Convince us that it is right to shoot anybody, and our perplexity would be to know where to begin— whom first to despatch, as opportunity might offer. We should have to make clean work of the President and his Cabinet— Douglas, Atchison, Stringfellow, Toombs, Wise, and their associates—Doctors Lord, Adams, Spring, Fuller, and others of the same cloth—Judges Loring, Kane, Grier, and Slave Commissioners generally—the conductors of such papers as the New York Journal of Commerce, Observer, Express, Herald, and the Satanic press universally. These are the intelligent, responsible, and colossal conspirators against the liberty, peace, happiness, and safety of the republic, whose guilt cannot easily be exaggerated. Against their treasonable course our moral indignation burns like fire, though we wish them no harm; only we are sure that they are utterly without excuse.Mr. Beecher says: “We know that there are those who will1 scoff at the idea of holding a sword or a rifle, in a Christian state of mind.” He will allow us to shrink from such an idea without scoffing. We know not where to look for Christianity if not to its founder; and, taking the record of his life and death, of his teaching and example, we can discover nothing which even remotely, under any conceivable circumstances, justifies the use of the sword or rifle on the part of his followers; on the contrary, we find nothing but self-sacrifice, willing martyrdom (if need be), peace and good-will, and the prohibition of all retaliatory feelings, enjoined upon all who would be his disciples. When he said: “Fear not those who kill the body,” he2 broke every deadly weapon. When he said: “My kingdom is3 not of this world, else would my servants fight that I should not be delivered to the Jews,” he plainly prohibited war in self-defence, and substituted martyrdom therefor. When he said: “Love your enemies,” he did not mean, “ Kill them if they go too4 far.” When he said, while expiring on the cross: “Father,5 forgive them; for they know not what they do,” he did not treat
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.