The Cruelty of fanaticism
It is as idle to reason with a fanatic as with a madman, or to expect mercy from a fanatic as from a wild beast.
There is no wickedness which fanaticism has not perpetrated, none which it is not capable of. There is some hope of an ordinary robber and murderer, for he is conscious that he is a criminal, but fanaticism assumes that its worst passions are the inspirations of Deity, and that crimes cease to be crimes when committed for an object which it believes to be good.
It is under the influence of this most diabolical of all deliriums that Lincoln
and his Abolitionists are wading up to their necks in human gore, and perpetrating and designing atrocities which it makes the blood run cold to contemplate.
None but men whose reason had suffered a total obscuration, and who had lost all sense of the distinctions between right and wrong, could persevere as they are persevering in the enormous sacrifices of human life and happiness which they are causing in every year of this war.
Amidst the widespread sea of horrors which surrounds them on every side, they are as unmoved and callous as adamantine rocks.
They exhibit no relenting; they feel no remorse; on the contrary, their cry is more havoc, more agony, more blood.--They dream they are doing God service in this, and they will never waken from that dream in this world.
But unless God be himself a dream, unless Providence
be a delusion, and the Bible
a fable, the flames of fierce retribution, either in earth or hell, will one day open the blind eyes even of fanaticism, and bring back to its own bosom every fury they have let loose and every curse they have visited upon an innocent and unoffending people.