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[454] struggle. In our day, we are passing through the same ordeal. We are engaged in a revolution more far-reaching, more sublime, more glorious than our fathers ever dreamed of. I know that there are honest men yet struggling with conscientious doubts, who sincerely ask, “Has the time for separation come? May we not be pardoned if we wait a little longer? Is there not some turn of the wheel whereby Freedom will come uppermost and Slavery go down?” Such men are to be respected, for they are not animated by a craven spirit. In due time they will assuredly be with us. But there are others who are not honest; who are actuated by the old Tory spirit which was so hostile to the struggle for colonial independence; and these are to be branded as the enemies of mankind. . . .

The air is filled with objections to a movement of this kind. I am neither surprised nor disquieted at this. One of these is of a very singular nature, and it is gravely urged as conclusive against Disunion. It is to this effect: We must remain in the Union because it would be inhuman in us to turn our backs upon the millions of slaves in the Southern States, and leave them to their fate! Men who have never been heard of in the anti-slavery ranks, or who are ever submitting to a compromise of principle, have their bowels wonderfully moved all at once with sympathy for the suffering slave! Even our esteemed friend, Theodore Parker (who deals in no cant), says, in his letter,1 that he cannot consent to cut himself off from the slave population. Now, we who are engaged in this movement claim to be equally concerned for the liberation of the slave. If we have not yet proved our willingness to suffer the loss of all things, rather than to turn and flee, God knows that we are prepared to bear any new cross that He, in his providence, may be disposed to lay upon us. For one, I make no parade of my anxiety for the deliverance of those in bondage; but I do say that it strikes me as remarkable that those who, for a quarter of a century, have borne the heat and burden of the day, should have the imputation cast upon them of intending to leave four millions of slaves in their chains, by seeking the overthrow of this Union! . . .

Now, all I have to say is, that this is a man of straw! I have no idea of forsaking the slave, under any circumstances. The slaveholder knows it, and the country knows it; and I am sure that those who are associated in this movement intend to continue the conflict till every yoke is broken. I declare that this talk of leaving the slave to his fate is not a true representation

1 Lib. 27.14.

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