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gratified, and that we might have increased opportunity to lord it over our brother man.
We do not yet believe the American people have so far descended in the scale of degradation that they will sanction the proceeding of those at the South who yet hold slaves, or those at the North who encourage them in it. But, rather, that they will come out and assert the purity of their motives, and in all their tribunals they will speak a voice on the side of freedom that shall not be misunderstood.
EXTRACTS FROM MR. WIRT'S LIFE OF PATRICK HENRY.
In making these, and perhaps in some of our other extracts, we have not strictly followed the precise language, though we have, in all cases, we believe, kept strictly to the idea. We have advanced no thought that was not in the mind of the writer or speaker. We should have had to copy so much from this work, had we used in all cases the language of Mr. Wirt or Mr. Henry, - though the language of both is extremely interesting, and is well worth perusing by every one, -it would have swelled our own volume beyond what might be desirable. As we have, however, made our references when the language is the most closely followed, we hope those who are sensitive on this point will excuse us for any departure we have allowed ourselves in this particular.
In making the following extracts, we are aware it may involve us in some repetition ; but, as they help to elucidate our subject, and to show the thoughts and feelings of one of the most distinguished men of the age in which he lived, the anxiety he felt for the liberties of the country, and the jealousy with which he received the adoption of the present Constitution of the United States,
in the bearing it might have on those liberties, we have concluded to make them.
As we are now entering upon an era either for good or for ill, as the question of slavery may be decided in this country, and upon that decision the happiness of millions, perhaps for many generations, may be involved, all the light that can be thrown upon this discussion, and the thoughts of those who have taken an interest in this subject, and particularly of those who have taken an active part in bringing about a state of society such as that in which we are at present living, should be fairly laid before the community, that they may be able to decide and to judge how far that light should be followed, and wherein the judgment of our predecessors was governed by truth and right reason.
There can be no doubt we should at times follow an ignis fatuus, if we should attempt blindly to follow any one individual in all his imaginings; but yet perhaps we may be able to learn something even from the incoherent wanderings of a dreamer. There is beauty in the flower, though we sometimes crush it beneath our feet; and we, perhaps, should be surprised at the delicacy of its tints and outlines, were we to take more particular notice of its parts, the order and perfection of its arrangements. Nothing is to be looked upon with indifference. A single thought has produced revolutions, and may yet produce many more.
The United States may be considered as advancing to a state of manhood. In their child
hood and their youth, they may have suffered much, or they may have wandered, through ignorance, or otherwise, from the path which leads to that liberty for which they all appeared to be anxiously striving. They may have made many mistakes and many blunders; but the object which they meant to obtain was kept constantly in view: and now the question is fairly placed before us, will we pursue that object, and secure now, in our greater strength and our advancing light, that liberty which each is anxious to obtain for himself, and which our fathers have given us for our inheritance? or shall we turn around and say we will no longer follow the instructions of our fathers, but, on the contrary, pursue a course that will reduce a good portion of our people to a state of bondage, and, instead of that equality which they introduced in all their public proceedings, have orders and classes in society where a part, whether they will or no, shall do the bidding of the other? These, we think, are the questions now before the American people ; and on that decision our future destiny hangs. Not only our political and civil relations will be affected by it, but Christianity is involved. It will be idle for us to pretend to carry out the command to "Do unto others as we would have them do unto us," when slavery shall be the established law of the land, when we shall have determined to make brutes of all persons we can get within our power. We may say, even, we give up our hopes of immortality, and deny our responsibility to our God,
when such shall be our settled determinations. For what must be the thoughts and satisfaction of that man, when, in a future state, he meets with those he has abused and shamefully entreated while on earth, if he believes his God has commanded him to do otherwise ? Will he continue to act in opposition to those commands ? We think not; and, if we are correct, the conclusion must be, that the settled determination to continue slavery involves not only the destruction of our liberties, both civil and religious, but our Christianity, and our hopes of an immortality. We are infidels; we are reduced to the level with the brute; we are superior to them only as we have greater reasoning powers; our hopes and expectations of a future life are laid prostrate in the dust; slaveholding is atheism carried into practice.
These thoughts may be considered somewhat out of place, as an introduction to the quotations that follow; and yet we do not think them wholly
The reader, however, will be able to judge. But, without keeping him in further suspense, we will make the following extracts from the resolutions of the Virginia assembly in 1765, concerning the stamp act, a copy of which was found among the
papers of Patrick Henry, sealed, to be opened, after his death, by his executor:
" That, by two royal charters, granted by king James the First, the colonies aforesaid are declared entitled to all the privileges, and liberties, and immunities of denizens and natural born subjects, to all intents and pur