journals treated it with indifference; but those of a religious or anti-slavery type spoke of it with respect, and sometimes with warm approval.
The ‘New York Tribune,’ Aug. 16, introduced liberal extracts from it with these words: ‘The avowal and vindication of such lofty, vital, and long-neglected truths from such a position, on such an occasion, is really a cheering, an encouraging sign of the times.’
The Christian Register said, Aug. 23:—
It is a noble performance.
Seldom has a subject been more exhaustingly treated in a single discourse or in volumes. . . . It is sustained and illustrated by a vast variety of references and allusions from every department of literature.
All ages are gleaned to contribute to its enrichment, and the mind of its author is so highly charged with his subject as to draw up, with elective attraction, from a field of reading and study of a width which few have traversed, whatever is apposite to it. So interesting is the manner in which he treats his great theme, that no one who begins this oration can fail to read it to the end. The mind is at once exhilarated by the splendor of the style, the boldness of the sentiments, and the variety of the illustrations, and oppressed by the load of arguments and evidences by which he maintains his positions.
Of the magazines, the ‘Christian Review’ (Baptist
and the Christian Examiner (Unitarian
praised without stint the oration,—its eloquence, noble morality, vigor of argument, and richness of illustration, and warmly commended it to public attention.
The ‘North American’3
was friendly in purpose, but more critical.
Its notice, written by Professor Torrey
, withheld assent from the sweeping propositions of the oration, suggesting the limitations which they seemed to require; but reserved its chief criticism for the license the orator had taken in matters of style.
It bestowed, however, a generous measure of praise, of which this grave magazine was usually chary.
After assigning it a high place among the new class of addresses—those more earnest and treating of civic duties—which had distinguished our patriotic festival in later years, it said:—
It is full of honest, manly, and Christian sentiment, uttered with a frank disdain of concealment or compromise.
Even where our judgment halts a little, it takes our sympathies captive. . . . There is abundant evidence of