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from the horizon to its zenith, growing larger and brighter, and melting the frozen earth beneath its powerful rays. The genial showers of repentance are softly falling upon the barren plain; the wilderness is budding like the rose; the voice of joy succeeds the notes of woe; and hope, like the lark, is soaring upwards and warbling hymns at the gate of heaven.
And this is but the outbursting of spring. What, think you, shall be the summer and autumn?
“ Then shall the trembling mourner come,
This is but “ the twilight, the dim dawn” of day. What, then, shall be the brightness of the day itself! These are but a few drops of mercy. What shall be the full shower, the rolling tide? These are but crumbs of comfort to prevent you wholly from perishing. What shall be the bountiful table?
Why should this not be an occasion of joy instead of sorrow? Listen to those trumpet tones which come swelling on the winds of the Atlantic, and which shall bring an echo from every harp in heaven! If there is joy in that blissful abode over one sinner that repenteth, how mighty and thrilling must it be over a repentant nation! And Great Britain is that nation. Her people are humbling themselves before God, and before those whom they have so long held in bondage. Their voices are breaking in peals of thunder upon the ear of Parliament, demanding the immediate and utter overthrow of slavery in all the colonies; and in obedience to their will the mandate is about being issued by Parliament which shall sever at a blow the chains of eight hundred thousand slaves.
What heart can conceive, what pen or tongue describe, the
happiness which must flow from the consummation of this act? That cruel lash which has torn so many tender bodies and is dripping with innocent blood; that lash which has driven so many human victims, like beasts, to their unrequited toil; that lash whose sounds are heard from the rising of the sun to its decline, mingled with the shrieks of bleeding sufferers; that lash is soon to be cast away, never again to wound the flesh or degrade those who are made in the image of God.
And those fetters of iron which have bound so many in ignominious servitude, and wasted their bodies, and borne them down to an untimely grave, shall be shivered in pieces, as the lightning rends the pine, and the victims of tyranny leap forth, “ redeemed, regenerated, and disenthralled by the irresistible genius of universal emancipation.' And that darkness, which has for so many generations shrouded the minds of the slaves—making them like the brutes that perish --shall give way to the light of freedom and religion. O, how transforming the change! In contemplating it, my imagination overpowers the serenity of my soul and makes language seem poor and despicable.
Cheers for Great Britain! cheers for her noble men and women! cheers for the bright example which they are setting to the world! cheers for their generous sympathy in the cause of the oppressed in our own country!
Why should we not rejoice this evening, brethren? Find we nothing at home to raise our drooping spirits, to invigorate our hopes, and to engage our efforts? Have we made no progress, either in self-improvement, or in the cause of bleeding humanity? Are there no cheering signs of the times, in our moral sky, upon which we may fix our joyful gaze?
Look, in the first place, at the abolition-standard-more
gorgeous and spirit-stirring than the star-spangled bannerfloating high in the air! Fresh is the breeze that meets it! bright are the sunny rays which adorn it! Around it thousands are gathering, with high and holy courage, to contend, not with carnal but spiritual weapons, against the powers of darkness. Oh, the loftiness of that spirit which animates them! It towers above the Alps; it pierces beyond the clouds.
Oh, the intensity of that flame of brotherly love which burns within their breasts! It never can burn out-nor can many waters extinguish it.
Oh, the stability of that faith which sustains then, under all their toils and trials! It is firmer than the foundations of the earth-it is strong as the throne of God.
Oh, the generous daring of that moral principle which inspires their hearts and governs their actions! Neither reproach nor persecution, neither wealth nor power, neither bolts nor bars, neither the gibbet nor the stake, shall be able to subdue it.
Yes, my colored countrymen, these are the men-ay, and the women, too, who have espoused your cause.
And they will stand by it until life be extinct. They will not fail in strength, or faith, or courage, or zeal, or action. Loud as the tempest of oppression may rage around them, above it shall their rallying cry be heard in the thunder-tone of heaven. Dark as their pathway may be, it shall blaze with the light of truth in their possession. Numberless as may be the enemies who surround them, they will not retreat from the field; for he who is mightier than legions of men and devils is the captain of their salvation and will give them the victory.
I know your advocates well—I know the spirit which actuates them. Whether they reside in the east or west or north,
they have but one object—their hearts are stirred with the same pulsation; their eye is single, their motives are pure. Tell me not of the bravery and devotedness of those whose life-blood reddened the plains of Marathon, poured out in defence of liberty. Tell me not of the Spartan band, with Leonidas at their head, who defended the pass of Thermopylæ against a Persian host. I award to them the meed of animal courage; but the heroism of blood and carnage is as much below the patient endurance of wrong and the cheerful forgiveness of injury as the earth is below the sky—it is as often displayed by brute animals as by men.
With infinitely higher satisfaction, with a warmer glow of emulation, with more intense admiration, do I contemplate the Abolition phalanx in the United States who are maintaining your cause unflinchingly through evil report—for the good report is yet to comem-and at the imminent peril of their lives; and, what is dearer than life, the sacrifice of their reputation.
If ever there was a cause which established the disinterestedness and integrity of its supporters yours is that cause. They who are contending for the immediate abolition of slavery, the destruction of its ally, the American Colonization Society, and the bestowal of equal rights and privileges upon the whole colored population, well knew what would be the consequences of their advocacy to themselves. They knew that slander would blacken their characters with infamy; that their pleadings would be received with ridicule and reproach; that persecution would assail them on the right hand and on the left; that the dungeon would yawn for their bodies; that the dagger of the assassin would gleam behind them; that the arm of power would be raised to crush them to the earth; that they would be branded as disturbers of the
peace, as fanatics, madmen, and incendiaries; that the heel of friendship would be lifted against them and love be turned into hatred and confidence into suspicion and respect into derision; that their worldly interests would be jeoparded and the honor and emoluments of office would be withheld from their enjoyment.
Knowing all this, still they dare all things in order to save their country by seeking its purification from blood. Will the base and the servile accuse them of being actuated by a hope of reward? Reward! It is the reward which calumny gives to virtue—the reward which selfishness bestows upon benevolence; but nothing of worldly applause or fame or promotion. Yet they have a reward—and who will blame them for coveting it? It is the gratitude of the suffering and the oppressed-the approbation of a good conscience the blessing of the Most High.
“ Tempt them with bribes, you tempt in vain;
Try them with fire, you'll find them true." To deter such souls from their purposes or vanquish them in combat is as impossible as to stop the rush of the ocean when the spirit of the storm rides upon its mountain billows. They are hourly increasing in number and strength and going on from conquering to conquer.
Convert after convert, press after press, pulpit after pulpit, is subdued and enlisted on the side of justice and freedom.
A grave charge is brought against me, that I am exciting your rage against the whites and filling your minds with revengeful feelings. Is this true? Have not all
addresses and appeals to you had just the contrary effect upon your minds? Have they not been calculated to make you bear all your trials and difficulties in the spirit of Christian resignation and to induce you to return good for evil? Where