of freedom, why is it not met as a necessity, incurable and inevitable, and formally and distinctly recognized as a settled part of our social system?
State necessity, that imperial tyrant, seeks no disguise.
In the language of Sheridan
, ‘What he does, he dares avow, and avowing, scorns any other justification than the great motives which placed the iron sceptre in his grasp.’
Can it be possible that our fathers felt this state necessity strong upon them?
No; for they left open the door for emancipation, they left us the light of their pure principles of liberty, they framed the great charter of American rights, without employing a term in its structure to which in aftertimes of universal freedom the enemies of our country could point with accusation or reproach.
What, then, is our duty
To give effect to the spirit of our Constitution, to plant ourselves upon the great declaration and declare in the face of all the world that political, religious, and legal hypocrisy shall no longer cover as with loathsome leprosy the features of American freedom; to loose at once the bands of wickedness; to undo the heavy burdens, and let the oppressed go free.
We have indeed been authoritatively told in Congress and elsewhere that our brethren of the South and West will brook no further agitation of the subject of slavery.
shall we heed the unrighteous prohibition?
No; by our duty as Christians, as politicians, by our duty to ourselves, to our neighbor, and to God, we are called upon to agitate this subject; to give slavery no resting-place