Past Voices – Full text of A memorial discourse; by Henry Highland Garnet, delivered to the US Congress,1865

henry highland garnetThe 38th Congress took action on one of America’s most enduring and vexatious issue on January 21, 1864 by passing the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution forever outlawing slavery in the United States. The Chaplain of the House of Representative William H. Channing recommended the occasion be commemorated by a sermon to be delivered by the eminently qualified Rev. Henry Highland Garnet. Garnet was then pastor of the 15th Street Presbyterian Church in the District of Columbia. Garnet was regarded as the most celebrated black abolitionist and equally the acclaimed public orator of his era. Not only had Garnet risen to one of the highest ranking minister, he was born but escaped from the house of bondage at age 8. His enslavement as a child was located less than a hundred miles from where he was asked to deliver commemorative utterances at the U.S. Capitol.

As he told members of the 38th Congress, his first “sounds that startled my ear and sent a shudder through my soul, were the cracking of the whip and clanking of the chains.” Delivered on February 12, 1865, Garnet was the first African American ever to speak before a joint session of Congress in the 19th century.

Russell W. Irvine, Associate Editor

DISCOURSE.

Matthew xxiii. 4 : ” For they bind heavy burdens, and grievous to
be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves will
not move them with one of their fingers.”

In this chapter, of which my text is a sentence,
the Lord Jesus addressed his disciples, and the mul-
titude that hung spell-bound upon the words that fell
from his lips. He admonished them to beware of
the religion of the Scribes and Pharisees, which was
distinguished for great professions, while it succeeded
in urging them to do but a little, or nothing that
accorded with the law of righteousness.

In theory they were right ; but their practices were
inconsistent and wrong. They were learned in the
law of Moses, and in the traditions of their fathers,
but the principles of righteousness failed to affect
their hearts. They knew their duty, but did it not.
The demands which they made upon others proved
that they themselves knew what things men ought
to do. In condemning others they pronounced them-
selves guilty. They demanded that others should
be just, merciful, pure, peaceable, and righteous.
But they were unjust, impure, unmerciful — they
hated and wronged a portion of their fellow-men,
and waged continual war against the government of
God.

On other men’s shoulders they bound heavy and
grievous burdens of duties and obligations. The
i:)eople groaned beneath the loads which were im-
posed upon them, and in bitterness of spirit cried
out, and tilled the land with lamentations. But,
with their eyes closed, and their hearts hardened,
they heeded not, neither did they care. They re-
garded it to be but little less than intolerable insult
to be asked to bear a small portion of the burdens
which they were swift to bind on the shoulders of
their fellow-men. With loud voice, and proud and
defiant mien, they said these burdens are for them,
and not for us. Behold how patiently they bear
them. Their shoulders are broad, and adapted to
the condition to which we have doomed them. But
as for us, it is irksome, even to adjust their burdens,
though we see them stagger beneath them.

Such was their conduct in the Church and in the
State. We have modern Scribes and Pharisees, who
are faithful to their prototypes of ancient times.

With sincere respect and reverence for the instruc-
tion, and the warning given by our Lord, and in
humble dependence upon him for his assistance, I
shall speak this morning of the Scribes and Phara-
sees of our times who rule the State. In discharg-
ing this duty, I shall keep my eyes upon the picture
which is anointed so faithfully and life-like by the
hand of the Saviour.

Allow me to describe them. They are intelligent
and well-informed, and can never say, either before
an earthly tribunal or at the bar of God, ” We knew
not of ourselves what was right.”” They are acquainted
with the principles of the law of nations. They are
proficient in the knowledge of Constitutional law.
They are teachers of common law, and frame and
execute statute law. They acknowledge that there
is a just and impartial God, and are not altogether
unacquainted with the law of Christian love and kind-
ness. They claim for themselves the broadest free-
dom. Boastfully they tell us that they have received
from the court of heaven the Magna Carta of
human rights that was handed down through the
clouds, and amid the lightning of Sinai, and given
again by the Son of God on the Mount of Beati-
tudes, while the glory of the Father shone around
him. They tell us that from the Declaration of In-
dependence and the Constitution they have obtained
a guaranty of their political freedom, and from the
Bible they derive their claim to all the blessings of
religious liberty. With just pride they tell us that
they are descended from the Pilgrims, who threw
themselves upon the bosom of the treacherous sea,
and braved storms and tempests, that they might
find in a strange land, and among savages, free
homes, where they might build their altars that
should blaze with acceptable sacrifice unto God.
Yes ! they boast that their fathers heroically turned
away from the precious light of Eastern civilization,
and taking their lamps with oil in their vessels,
joyfully went forth to illuminate this land, that then
dwelt in the darkness of the valley of the shadow of
death. Theri hearts strengthened by faith they
spread out their standard to the winds of heaven,
near Plymouth rock ; and whether it was stiffened in
the sleet and frosts of winter, or floated on the breeze
of summer, it ever bore the motto, ” Freedom to wor-
ship God.

But others, their fellow-men, equal before the Al-
mighty, and made by him of the same blood, and
glowing with immortality, they doom to life-long ser-
vitude and chains. Yes, they stand in the most
sacred places on earth, and beneath the gaze of the
piercing eye of Jehovah, the universal Father of all
men, and declare, that the best condition of
the negro is slave.

“Thus man devotes his brother and destroys ;
And more than all, and most to be deplored,
As hman nature’s broadest, foulest blot,
Chains him, and tasks him, and exacts his sweat
With stripes, that Mercy with bleeding heart,
Weeps to see inflicted on a beast. In the name of the True God I denounce the
sentiment as unrighteous beyond measure, and the
holy and the just of the whole earth say in regard to
it, that it is anathema.

What is slavery ? Too well do I know what it is.
I will present to you a bird’s-eye view of it ; and it
shall be no fancy picture, but one that is sketched by
painful experience. I was born among the cherished
institutions of slavery. My earliest recollections of
parents, friends, and the home of my childhood are
clouded with its wrongs. The first sight that met
my eyes was a Christian mother enslaved by pro-
fessed Christians, but, thank God, now a saint in
heaven. The first sounds that startled my ear, and
sent a shudder through my soul, were the cracking
of the whip, and the clanking of chains. These sad
memories mar the beauties of my native shores, and
darken all the slave-land, which, but for the reign of
despotism, had been a paradise. But those shores
are fairer now. The mists have left my native val-
leys, and the clouds have rolled away from the hills,
and Maryland, the unhonored grave of my fathers,
is now the free home of their liberated and happier
children.

Let us view this demon, which the people have
worshiped as a God. Come forth, thou grim mon-
ster, that thou mayest be critically examined ! There
he stands. Behold him, one and all. Its work is to
chattelize man ; to hold property in human beings.
Great God ! I would as soon attempt to enslave GA-
BRIEL or MiCHAEL  a man made in the
image of God, and for whom Christ died. Slavery
is snatching man from the high place to which he
was lifted by the hand of God, and dragging him
down to the level of the brute creation, where he is
made to be the companion of the horse and the fel-
low of the ox.

It tears the crown of glory from his head, and as
far as possible obliterates the image of God that is in
him. Slavery preys upon man, and man only, A
brute cannot be made a slave. Why? Because a
brute has not reason, faith, nor an undying spirit,
nor conscience. It does not look forward to the
future with joy or fear, nor reflect upon the past
with satisfaction or regret. But who in this vast
assembly, who in all this broad land, will say that the
poorest and most unhappy brother in chains and ser-
vitude has not every one of these high endowments ?
Who denies it? Is there one? If so, let him speak.
There is not one ; no, not one.

But slavery attempts to make a man a brute. It
treats him as a beast. Its terrible work is not
finished until the ruined victim of its lusts, and
pride, and avarice, and hatred, is reduced so low that
with tearful eyes and feeble voice he faintly cries,
“I am happy and contented — I love this condition.”

“Proud Nimrod first the bloody chase began,
A mighty hunter he ; his prey was man.”

The caged lion may cease to roar, and try no longer
the strength of the bars of his prison, and lie with
his head between his mighty paws and snuff the
polluted air as though he heeded not. But is he con-
tented? Does he not instinctively long: for the free-
dom of the forest and the plain ? Yes, he is a lion
still. Our poor and forlorn brother whom thou
hast labelled a slave is also a man. He may be un-
fortunate, weak, helpless, and despised, and hated,
nevertheless he is a man. His God and thine has
stamped on his forehead his title to his inalienable
rights in characters that can be read by every intelli-
gent being. Pitiless storms of outrage may have
beaten upon his defenseless head, and he may have
descended through ages of oppression, yet he is a
man. God made him such, and his brother cannot
unmake him. Woe, woe to him who attempts to
commit the accursed crime.

Slavery commenced its dreadful work in kidnap-
ping unoffending men in a foreign and distant land,
and in piracy on the seas. The plunderers were not
the followers of Mahomet, nor the devotees of Hin-
dooism, nor benighted pagans, nor idolaters, but peo-
ple called Christians, and thus the ruthless traders
in the souls and bodies of men fastened upon Chris-
tianity a crime and stain at the sight of which it
shudders and shrieks.

It is guilty of the most heinous iniquities ever per-
petrated upon helpless women and innocent children.
Go to the shores of the land of my forefathers, poor
bleeding Africa, which, although she has been be-
reaved, and robbed for centuries, is nevertheless be-
loved by all her worthy descendants wherever dis-
persed. Behold a single scene that there meets your
eyes. Turn not away neither from shame, pity, nor
indifference, but look and see the beginning of this
cherished and petted institution. Behold a hundred
youthful mothers seated on the ground, dropping
their tears upon the hot sands, and tilling the air
with their lamentations.

Why do they weep ? Ah, Lord God, thou know-
est ! Their babes have been torn from their bosoms
and cast upon the plains to die of hunger, or to be
devoured by hyenas or jackals. The little innocents
would die on the ” Middle Passage,” or suffocate be-
tween the decks of the floating slave-pen, freighted
and packed with unparalleled human woe, and the
slavers in mercy have cast them out to perish on
their native shores. Such is the beginning, and no
less wicked is the end of that system which the Scribes
and Pharisees in the Church and the State pronounce
to be just, humane, benevolent and Christian. If
such are the deeds of mercy wrought by angels, then
tell me what works of iniquity there remain for
devils to do?

This commerce in human beings has been carried
on until three hundred thousand have been dragged
from their native land in a single year. While this
foreign trade has been pursued, one can calculate
the enormities and extent of the domestic traffic which
has flourished in every slave State, while the whole
country has been open to the hunters of men. •

It is the highly concentrated essence of all con-
ceivable wickedness. Theft, robbery, pollution, un-
bridled passion, incest, cruelty, cold-blooded murder,
blasphemy, and defiance of the laws of God. It
teaches children to disregard parental authority. It
tears down the marriage altar, and tramples its sacred
ashes under its feet. It creates and nourishes poly-
gamy. It feeds and pampers its hateful handmaid,
prejudice.

It has divided our national councils. It has en-
gendered deadly strife between brethren. It has
wasted the treasure of the Commonwealth, and the
lives of thousands of brave men, and driven troops
of helpless women and children into yawning tombs.
It has caused the bloodiest civil war recorded in the
book of time. It has shorn this nation of its locks
of strength that was rising as a young lion in the
Western world. It has offered us as a sacrifice to the
jealousy and cupidity of tyrants, despots, and adven-
turers of foreign countries. It has opened a door
through which a usurper, a perjured, but a powerful
prince, might stealthily enter and build an empire
on the golden borders of our southwestern frontier,
and which is but a stepping-stone to further and un-
limited conquests on this continent. It has desolated
the fairest portions of our land, ” until the wolf long
since driven back by the march of civilization returns
after the lapse of a hundred years and howls amidst
its ruins.”

It seals up the Bible, and mutilates its sacred
truths, and flies into the face of the Almighty, and
impiously asks, ” Who art thou that I should obey thee.”
Such are the outlines of this fearful national sin;
and yet the condition to which it reduces man,
it is affirmed, is the best that can possibly be devised
for him.

When inconsistencies similar in character, and no
more glaring, passed beneath the eye of the Son of
God, no wonder he broke forth in language of vehe-
ment denunciation. Ye Scribes, Pharisees, and hypo-
crites ! Ye blind guides ! Ye compass sea and land
to make one proselyte, and when he is. made ye make
him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.
Ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed ap-
pear beautiful without, but within are full of dead
men’s bones, and all uncleanness !

Let us. here take up the golden rule, and adopt the
self-application mode of reasoning to those who hold
these erroneous views. Come, gird thy loins and
answer like a man, if thou canst. Is slavery, as it is
seen in its origin, continuance, and end the best pos-
sible condition for thee? Oh, no! Wilt thou bear
that burden on thy shoulders, which thou wouldest
lay upon thy fellow-man?  Wilt thou bear a
part of it, or remove a little of its weight with one of
thy fingers? The sharp and indignant answer is no,
no ! Then how, and when, and where, shall we ap-
ply to thee the golden rule, which says, ” Therefore
all tidings that ye would that others should do to you, do
ye even so unto them, for this is the law and the prophesies.

Let us have the testimony of the wise and great of
ancient and modern times : ‘ ‘ Sages who wrote and warriors who bled. ‘ ‘
Plato declared that ” Slavery is a system of com-
plete injustice.”
Socrates wrote that “Slavery is a system of out-
rage and robbery.”
Cyrus said. ” To fight in order not to be a slave
is noble.”

If Cyrus had lived in our land a few years ago he
would have been arrested for using incendiary lan-
guage, and for inciting servile insurrection, and the
royal fanatic would have been hanged on a gallows
higher than Haman. But every man is fanatical
when his soul is warmed by the generous fires of
liberty. Is it then truly noble to fight in order not
to be a slave? The Chief Magistrate of the nation,
and, our rulers, and all truly patriotic men think so ;
and so think legions of black men, who for a season
were scorned and rejected, but who came quickly
and cheerfully when they were at last invited, bear-
ing a heavy burden of proscriptions upon their
shoulders, and having faith in God, and in their
generous fellow-countrymen, they went forth to fight
a double battle. The foes of their country were be-
fore them, while the enemies of freedom and of their
race surrounded them.

Augustine, Constantine, Ignatius, Polycarp,
Maximus, and the most illustrious lights of the an-
cient church denounced the sin of slave-holding.

Thomas Jefferson said at a period of his life,
when his judgment was matured, and his experience
was ripe, ” There is preparing, I hope, under the
auspices of heaven, a way for a total emancipation.”

The sainted Washington said, near the close of
his mortal career, and when the light of eternity was
beaming upon him, “It is among my first wishes to
see some plan adopted by which slavery in this coun-
try shall be abolished by law. I know of but one
way by which this can be done, and that is by legis-
lative action, and so far as my vote can go, it shall
not be wanting.”

The other day, when the light of Liberty streamed
through this marble pile, and the hearts of the noble
band of patriotic statesmen leaped for joy, and this
our national capital shook from foundation to dome
with the shouts of a ransomed people, then methinks
the spirits of Washington, Jefferson, the Jays, the
Adamses, and Franklin, and Lafayette, and Gid-
dings, and Lovejoy, and those of all the mighty, and
glorious dead, remembered by history, because they
were faithful to truth, justice, and liberty, were hover-
ing over the august assembly. Though unseen by
mortal eyes, doubtless they joined the angelic choir,
and said, Amen.

Pope Leo X. testifies, ” That not only does the
Christian religion, but nature herself, cry out against
a state of slavery.”
Patrick Henry said, “We should transmit to
posterity our abhorrence of slavery.” So also thought
the Thirty- Eighth Congress.

Lafayette proclaimed these words: “Slavery
is a dark spot on the face of the nation.” God be
praised, that stain will soon be wiped out.

Jonathan Edwards declared ” that to hold a man
in slavery is to be every day guilty of robbery, or of
man stealing.”

Rev. Dr. William Ellery Chanxixg, in a Letter
on the Amiexation of Texas in 1837, writes as follows :
” The evil of slavery speaks for itself. To state is
to condemn the institution. The choice which every
freeman makes of death for his child and for every
thing he loves in preference to slavery, shows what
it is. The simple consideration that bv slavery one
human being is placed powerless and defenseless in
the hands of another to be driven to whatever labor
that other may impose, to suffer whatever punish-
ment he may inflict, to live as his tool, the instru-
ment of his pleasure, this is all that is needed to
satisfy such as know tlie human heart and its unfit-
ness for irresponsible power, that of all conditions
slavery is the most hostile to the dignity, self-re-
spect, improvement, rights, and happiness of human
beings. Every principle of our govern-
ment and religion condemns slavery. The spirit
of our age condemns it. ‘ ‘The decree of the civilized
world has gone out against it.  Is there an
age in which a free and Christian people shall deli-
berately resolve to extend and perpetuate the evil?
In so doing we cut ourselves off from the communion
of nations ; we sink below the civilization of our
age ; we invite the scorn, indignation, and abhor-
rence of the world.”

Moses, the greatest of all lawgivers and legisla-
tors, said, while his face was yet radiant with the
light of Sinai : ” Whoso stealeth a man, and selleth
him, or if he be found in his hand, he shall surely
be put to death.” The destroying angel has gone
forth through this land to execute the fearful penal-
ties of God’s broken law.

The Representatives of the nation have bowed
with reverence to the Divine edict, and laid the axe
at the root of the tree, and thus saved succeeding
generations from the guilt of oppression, and from
the wrath of God. Statesmen, Jurists, and Philosophers, most re-
nowned for learning, and most profound in every
department of science and literature, have testified
against slavery. While oratory has brought its
costliest, golden treasures, and laid them on the altar
of God and of freedom, it has aimed its fiercest light-
ning and loudest thunder at the strongholds of
tyranny, injustice, and despotism.

From the days of Balak to those of Isaiah and
Jeremiah, up to the times of Paul, and through
every age of the Christian Church, the sons of thun-
der have denounced the abominable thing. The
heroes who stood in the shining ranks of the hosts of
the friends of human progress, from Cicero to Chat-
ham, and Burke, Sharp, Wilberforce, and Thomas
Clarkson, and Curran, assaulted the citadel of des-
potism. The orators and statesmen of our own land,
whether they belong to the past, or to the present age,
will live and shine in the , annals of history, in pro-
portion as they have dedicated their genius and talents
to the defense of Justice and man’s God-given rights.

All the poets who live in sacred and profane his-
tory have charmed the world with their most en-
chanting strains, when they have tuned their lyres
to the praise of Liberty. When the Muses can no
longer decorate her altars with their garlands, then
they hang their harps upon the willows and weep.

From Moses to Terence and Homer, from thence
to Milton and Cowper, Thomson and Thomas Camp-
bell, and on to the days of our own bards, our Bry-
ants, Longfellows, Whittiers, Morrises, and Bokers,
all have presented their best gifts to the interests
and traits of man.

Every good principle, and every great and noble
power, have been made the subjects of the inspired
verse, and the songs of poets. But who of them has
attempted to immortalize slavery? You will search
in vain the annals of the world to find an instance.
Should any attempt the sacrilegious work, his genius
would fall to the earth as if smitten by the lightning
of heaven. Should he lift his hand to write a line
in its praise, or defense, the ink would freeze on the
point of his pen.

Could we array in one line, representatives of all
the families of men, beginning with those lowest in
the scale of being, and should we put to them the
question, Is it right and desirable that you should
be reduced to the condition of slaves, to be registered
with chattels, to have your persons, and your lives,
and the products of your labor, subjected to the will
and the interests of others? Is it right and just that
the persons of your wives and children should be at
the disposal of others, and be yielded to them for the
purpose of pampering their lusts and greed of gain ?
Is it right to lay heavy burdens on other men’s
shoulders which you would not remove with one of
your fingers ? From the rude savage and barbarian
the negative response would come, increasing in
power and significance as it rolled up the line. And
when those should reply, whose minds and hearts are
illuminated with the highest civilization and with
the spirit of Christianity, the answer deep-toned and
prolonged would thunder forth, no, no !

With all the moral attributes of God on our side,
cheered as we are by the voices of universal human
nature, — in view of the best interests of the present
and future generations — animated with the noble de-
sire to furnish the nations of the earth with a wor-
thy example, let the verdict of death which has been
brought in against slavery, by the Thirty- Eighth
Congress, be affirmed and executed by the people.
Let the gigantic monster perish. Yes, perish now,
and perish forever !

” Down let the shrine of Moloch sink,

And leave no traces where it stood ;
No longer let its idol drink,

His daily cup of human blood.
But rear another altar there,

To truth, and love, and mercy given.
And freedom’s gift and freedom’s prayer,

Shall call an answer down from heaven.”

It is often asked when and where will the demands
of the reformers of this and coming ages end ? It is
a fair question, and I will answer.

When all unjust and heavy burdens shall be re-
moved from every man in the land. When all invi-
dious and prescriptive distinctions shall be blotted
out from our laws, whether they be constitutional,
statute, or municipal laws. When emancipation
shall be followed by enfranchisement, and all men
holding allegiance to the government shall enjoy
every right of American citizenship. When our
brave and gallant soldiers shall have justice done
unto them. When the men who endure the sufer-
ings and perils of the battle-field in the defense of
their country, and in order to keep our rulers in
their places, shall enjoy the well-earned privilege of
anoiting for them. When in the army and navy, and
in every legitimate and honorable occupation, pro-
motion shall smile upon merit without the slightest
regard to the complexion of a man’s face. When
there shall be no more class-legislation, and no more
trouble concerning the black man and his rights,
than there is in regard to other American citizens.
When, in every respect, he shall be equal before the
law, and shall be left to make his own way in the
social walks of life.

We ask, and only ask, that when our poor frail
barks are launched on life’s ocean —

” Bound on a voyage of awful length
And dangers little known,” that, in common with others, we may be furnished
with rudder, helm, and sails, and charts, and com-
pass. Give us good pilots to conduct us to the open
seas ; lift no false lights along the dangerous coasts,
and if it shall please God to send us propitious
winds, or fearful gales, we shall survive or perish as
our energies or neglect shall determine. We ask no
special favors, but we plead for justice. While we
scorn unmanly dependence ; in the name of God, the
universal Father, we demand the right to live, and
labor, and to enjoy the fruits of our toil. The good
work which God has assigned for the ages to come,
will be finished, when our national literature shall
be so purified as to reflect a faithful and a just light
upon the character and social habits of our race, and
the brush, and pencil, and chisel, and Lyre of Art,
shall refuse to lend their aid to scoff at the afflictions
of the poor, or to caricature, or ridicule a long-suf-
fering people. When caste and prejudice in Chris-
tian churches shall be utterly destroyed, and shall
be regarded as totally unworthy of Christians, and
at variance with the principles of the gospel. When
the blessings of the Christian religion, and of sound,
religious education, shall be freely offered to all,
then, and not till then, shall the effectual labors of
God’s people and God’s instruments cease.

If slavery has been destroyed merely from necessity,

let every class be enfranchised at the dictation
of justice. Then we shall have a Constitution that
shall be reverenced by all : rulers who shall be
honored, and revered, and a Union that shall be sin-
cerely loved by a brave and patriotic people, and
which can never be severed.

Great sacrifices have been made by the people ;
yet, greater still are demanded ere atonement can be
made for our national sins. Eternal justice holds
heavy mortgages against us, and will require the
payment of the last farthing. We have involved
ourselves in the sin of unrighteous gain, stimulated
by luxury, and pride, and the love of power and
oppression; and prosperity and peace can he pur-
chased only by blood, and with tears of repentance.
“We have paid some of the fearful installments, but
there are other heavy obligations to be met.

The great day of the nation’s judgment has come,
and who shall be able to stand? Even we, whose
ancestors have suffered the afflictions which are in-
separable from a condition of slavery, for the period
of two centuries and a half, now pity our land and
weep with those who weep.

Upon the total and complete destruction of this
accursed sin depends the safety and perpetuity of
our Republic and its excellent institutions.

Let slavery die. It has had a long and fair trial.
God himself has pleaded against it. The enlightened
nations of the earth have condemned it. Its death
warrant is signed by God and man. Do not com-
mute its sentence. Give it no respite, but let it be
ignominiously executed.

Honorable Senators and Representatives ! illustri-
ous rulers of this great nation ! I cannot refrain this
day from invoking upon you, in God’s name, the
blessings of millions who were ready to perish, but
to whom a new and better life has been opened by
your humanity, justice, and patriotism. You have
said, ” Let the Constitution of the country be so
amended that slavery and involuntary servitude
shall no longer exist in this United States, except in
punishment for crime.” Surely, an act so sublime
could not escape Divine notice ; and doubtless the
deed has been recorded in the archives of heaven.
Volumes may be appropriated to your praise and
renown in the history of the world. Genius and
art may perpetuate the glorious act on canvass and in
marble, but certain and more lasting monuments in
commemoration of your decision are already erected
in the hearts and memories of a grateful people.

The nation has begun its exodus from worse than
Egyptian bondage ; and I beseech you that you say
to the people, ” that they go forward.”” With the
assurance of God’s favor in all things done in obe-
dience to his righteous will, and guided by day and
by night by the pillars of cloud and fire, let us not
pause until we have reached the other and safe side
of the stormy and crimson sea. Let freemen and
patriots mete out complete and equal justice to all
men, and thus prove to mankind the superiority of
our Democratic, Republican Government.

Favored men, and honored of God as his instru-
ments, speedily finish the work which he has given
you to do. Emancipate, Enfranchise, Educate, and
give the blessings of the gospel to every American citizen.

“Hear ye not how, from all high points of Time, —
From peak to peak adown the mighty chain
That links the ages — echoing sublime

A Voice Almighty — leaps one grand refrain,
Wakening the generations with a shout,
And trumpet-call of thunder — Come ye out !

“Out from old forms and dead idolatries ;

From fading myths and superstitious dreams :
From Pharisaic rituals and lies,

And all the bondage of the life that seems !
Out — on the pilgrim path, of heroes trod,
Over earth’s wastes, to reach forth after God !

The Lord hath bowed his heaven, and come down !

Now, in this latter century of time,
Once more his tent is pitched on Sinai’s crown !

Once more in clouds must Faith to meet him climb !
Once more his thunder crashes on our doubt
And fear and sin — ‘ My people ! come ye out !’

‘ ‘ From false ambitions and base luxuries ; •

From puny aims and indolent self-ends ;

From cant of faith, and shams of liberties,

And mist of ill that Truth’s pure day -beam bends:
Out, from all darkness of the Egypt-land,
Into my sun-blaze on the desert sand !

“Show us our Aaron, with his rod in flower !
Our Miriam, with her timbre-soul in tune !
And call some Joshua, in the Spirit’s power,
To poise our sun of strength at point of noon !
God of our fathers ! over sand and sea.
Still keep our struggling footsteps close to thee !”*

Then before us a path of prosperity will open, and
upon us will descend the mercies and favors of God.
Then shall the people of other countries, who are
standing tip-toe on the shores of every ocean, earn-
estly looking to see the end of this amazing conflict,
behold a Republic that is sufficiently strong to out-
live the ruin and desolations of civil war, having
the magnanimity to do justice to the poorest and
weakest of her citizens. Thus shall we give to the
world the form of a model Republic, founded on the
principles of justice, and humanity, and Christianity,
in which the burdens of war and the blessings of
peace are equally borne and enjoyed by all.

THE END.

THE EISENHOWER LIBRARY

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