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[241] seldom found in any land. He was, moreover, a doctor of divinity—by title, one of the class so correctly described by the intrepid reprover, Isaiah (lvi. 10). But, though a D. D., he was not a “dumb dog.” Probably no one cared for titles less than himself. Compare him, in moral intrepidity, in popular1 usefulness, in reformatory labors, with the Rev. Dr. Codman,2 Rev. Dr. Woods, Rev. Dr. Humphrey, and a host of others, and what pigmies they are by his side! His preeminence was not intellectual—for he had not an extraordinary intellect— but moral, religious, humane, in the largest and best use of those terms. He was utterly divorced from bigotry and sectarism. He believed in eternal progress, and therefore never stood still, but went onward—if not rapidly, without faltering. He changed his views and positions from time to time, but only to advance—never to retreat. Theologically, he is to be regarded as a prodigy on the score of independent investigation and free utterance. In this field, his labors cannot be overestimated.

Again—he moved in a wealthy and an aristocratic circle, or rather was surrounded by those who are the last to sympathize with outcast humanity, or to believe that any good thing can come out of Nazareth. To write and speak on the subject of slavery as he did—unsatisfactory as it was to the abolitionists, who yearned to have him take still higher ground —was, in his position, an act of true heroism and of positive self-sacrifice; and, for a time—extending almost to the hour of his death—cost him the friendship of many whose good opinions nothing but a sense of duty could induce him to forfeit. The Unitarian denomination, as such, was deeply afflicted3 and mortified at his abolition tendencies; and, in spite of its almost idolatrous attachment to him, it could scarcely be at peace with him. Now that he is dead and the times have greatly changed, there is nothing to which that denomination (especially when charged with being still pro-slavery) more complacently points, in the illustrious career of Dr. Channing, than to his efforts to extirpate slavery in the land.

Much to my regret, I had no personal acquaintance with this remarkable man, though I longed for at least a single interview. But the Liberator was not to his taste, and my manner of conducting the anti-slavery enterprise seemed to him harsh, repulsive, and positively injurious. As he never4 expressed a wish to converse with me, I did not feel free to intrude myself upon his notice. For twelve years, he saw me

1 Ante, 2.106.

2 John Codman. Leonard Woods. Heman Humphrey.

3 Ante, p. 24.

4 Ante, 1.466; 2.97, 98.

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