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[480] humanity, which have overtaxed his brain and drawn exhaustingly upon his vital powers. . . . No matter who may seek to disparage or revile him; we know him as one who has proved his love to God by the love he bears for his fellow-men —and every other test is worthless. . . .

“By their fruits ye shall know them. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?” — “He that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?” — “Which, now, of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbor unto him that fell among thieves?”

It was quickly decided that Mr. Parker must seek a warmer climate for the bare chance of recovery, and on February 4 he sailed for the West Indies.1

W. L. Garrison to Theodore Parker.

Boston, January 15, 1859.
2 As an act of friendly consideration, I have forborne calling to see you, knowing you need to be kept very secluded, and rejoicing to hear that you are so well guarded in this respect; yet I hope it may be possible for me to give you the parting hand, and my benediction at the same time, without burdening you, before you leave the city. Of that you and Mrs. Parker must be the judge.

I shall try to look wholly on the bright side, and hope for the best results in regard to your voyage and a change of climate. Life with you, I am sure, is mainly desirable that you may continue your labors in the field of humanity, and for the good of all mankind. How much you have done for the freedom of the human mind, for the exposure of political corruption, for the removal of theological error, for the suppression of religious bigotry and superstition, for the overthrow of injustice, for the slave in his fetters, for the prisoner in his cell, for the ‘perishing classes’ of every description, it is not for you to know, it is not for me to compute. You have touched, quickened, inspired thousands of minds, which in their turn shall impregnate other minds with generous and noble sentiments, down through the centuries to come,—an ever-widening circle, on both sides of the Atlantic. ‘The past, at least, is secure.’ What the future has in store, only the Infinite Father knows. His will be done!

I thank you for the many kind words you have spoken in my behalf, and for various acts of kindness done to me and mine.


1 Lib. 29.23.

2 Ms.

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