previous next
[258] same thing in their own case Alas! the moral injury to them of your bad example, in this particular, is beyond calculation. You have confirmed them in their pro-slavery views and feelings, and made them at least the passive, if not the active, subjects of the Slave Power. Thus your mission to them, in spite of the success that may crown your temperance labors, will prove a curse instead of a blessing. Three or four millions strong, if they were abolitionists, how long could the foul system of slavery remain unshaken on our soil? Now that they are strengthened in their pro-slavery position, what hope is left that that system will be overthrown by moral and peaceful instrumentalities?

Your anti-slavery defection will be known throughout Ireland. On the part of those who regard principles more than men, in your unfortunate country, it will excite grief and elicit condemnation; but the great mass of your countrymen, it is to be feared, will allow their reverence for you as a priest, and their regard for you as a temperance benefactor, to bias their judgment and blind their vision. In the nature of things, you cannot take a wrong step without leading them astray. In trying to defend your pro-slavery position in America, they will lessen their abhorrence of slavery, and injure their moral nature. Yours will be the guilt, theirs the degradation and suffering.

How your course is regarded by the cruel oppressors in the South, is plainly indicated by the exultation of the press in that1 quarter. They are eager to give you the right hand of fellowship, and are lavish of their praises in your behalf. Such prudence, forecast, and wisdom, as you are displaying, in being dumb on the slavery question, they have always admired and commended. Yet they heartily despise you, beyond all doubt; but the blow you have inflicted on the anti-slavery cause fills them with inexpressible delight.

It follows, “as the night the day,” that you have added to the anguish, horror, and despair of the poor miserable slaves, made their yokes heavier, and fastened their chains more securely! For, in a struggle like this, and at such a crisis, whatever gladdens the hearts of the slavemongers must proportionately agonize those of their victims.

The press and the abolitionists of Great Britain2 promptly made Father Mathew's course a prominent topic in that country. Dr. Oxley, the venerable head of the temperance

1 Lib. 19.149, 153.

2 Lib. 19.158, 171, 177, [182].

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Scotia (1)
England (United Kingdom) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
W. L. G. Lib (2)
Oxley (1)
Theobald Mathew (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: