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The Pilgrims of Plymouth

From a letter on the celebration of the 250th anniversary of the landing of the Pilgrims at Plymouth, December 22, 1870.

No one can appreciate more highly than myself the noble qualities of the men and women of the Mayflower. It is not of them that I, a descendant of the ‘sect called Quakers,’ have reason to complain in the matter of persecution. A generation which came after them, with less piety and more bigotry, is especially responsible for the little unpleasantness referred to; and the sufferers from it scarcely need any present championship. They certainly did not wait altogether for the revenges of posterity. If they lost their ears, it is satisfactory to remember that they made those of their mutilators tingle with a rhetoric more sharp than polite.

A worthy New England deacon once described a brother in the church as a very good man Godward, but rather hard man-ward. It cannot be denied that some very satisfactory steps have been taken in the latter direction, at least, since the days of the Pilgrims. Our age is tolerant of creed and dogma, broader in its sympathies, more keenly sensitive to temporal need, and, practically recognizing the brotherhood of the race, wherever a cry of suffering is heard its response is quick and generous. It has abolished slavery, and is lifting woman from world-old degradation to equality

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