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[52]

A month after the date of the above letter, Mr. Garrison addressed his readers on the subject of the approaching anniversary of the American Anti-Slavery Society at New York. It was time, he said, that milk should give place to meat; and, enumerating questions of policy not definitely settled, he placed first in importance “the duty of making the repeal of the Union between the North and the South the grand rallying-point until it be accomplished, or slavery cease to pollute our soil. We are for throwing all the means, energies, actions, purposes, and appliances of the genuine friends of liberty and republicanism into this one channel, and for measuring the humanity, patriotism, and piety of every man by this one standard. This question can no longer be avoided, and a right decision of it will settle the controversy between freedom and slavery.” Lib. 12.63.

The vital force of this programme was at once manifested by the eagerness with which the pro-slavery press1 of New York city copied the article, and used it to invoke mob violence against the abolition assembly. Mr. Garrison returned to the subject a fortnight later, disclaiming for the American Society any responsibility for his individual utterances, but attacking anew the national idolatry for the Union:

We affirm that the Union is not of heaven. It is founded2 in unrighteousness, and cemented with blood. It is the work of men's hands, and they worship the idol which they have made. It is a horrible mockery of freedom. In all its parts and proportions it is misshapen, incongruous, unnatural. The message of the prophet to the people in Jerusalem describes the exact character of our “republican” compact:

Hear the word of the Lord, ye scornful men that rule this people.3 14-18. Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass

1 Lib. 12.71.

2 Lib. 12.71.

3 Isa. 28.14-18.

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W. L. G. Lib (3)
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