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THE REV. HENRY WARD BEECHER.
To the Editors of the Liverpool Mercury. GENTLEMEN, -In a sermon preached by Mr. Beecher, October 30, 1859, and published in the “ Echoes of Harper's Ferry," when speaking of brute force, he says—“ It would be the most cruel, hopeless, and desperate of all conceivable follies to seek emancipation by the sword and by blood.”—(P. 268.) Again, he says, “So far as
“ So far as human instrumentation is concerned, with all the conscience of a man, with all the faith of a Christian, and with all the zeal and warmth of a philanthropist, I protest against any counsels that lead to insurrection, servile war, and bloodshed—it is bad for the master- bad for the slave - bad for all that are neighbours to them—bad for the whole land—bad from beginning to end ! An evil so unminded and malignant that its origin can scarcely be doubted.” (P. 269.)
Referring to the sovereign rights of the people, he says—“I believe in the right of a people to assert and achieve their liberty. The right of a race or nation to seize their freedom is not to be disputed. It belongs to all men on the face of the globe, without regard to complexion. A people have a right to change their rulers, their government, their whole political condition. This right is not either granted or limited in the New Testament. It is left as is air, water, and existence itself, as things not requiring command or legislation." (P. 269.)
Regarding the treatment of coloured people, Mr. Beecher says—“ No one can fail to see the inconsistency between our treatment of those amongst us who are in the lower walks of life and our professions of sympathy for the Southern slaves. How are the free coloured people treated at the North? They are almost without education, with but little sympathy for ignorance. They are refused the common rights of citizenship which the whites enjoy. They cannot even ride in the cars of our city railroads. They are snuffed at in the house of God, or tolerated with ill-disguised disgust. Can the black man be a mason in New York? Let him be employed as a journeyman, and every Irish lover of liberty that carries the hod or trowel would leave at once, or cause him to leave ! Can the black man be a carpenter? There is scarcely a carpenter's shop in New York in which a journeyman would continue to work if a black man was employed in it. Can the black man engage in the common industries of life? There is scarcely one in which he can engage. He is crowded down, down, down through the most menial callings to the bottom of society. We tax them, and then refuse to allow their children to go to our public schools. We tax them, and then refuse to sit by them in God's house. We heap upon them moral obloquy more atrocious than that which the master heaps upon the slave. And, notwithstanding all this, we lift ourselves up to talk about the rights and liberties of the human soul, and especially the African soul! It is true that slavery is cruel, but it is not at all certain that there is not more love to the race in the South than in the North. They love their property. We do not own them, so we do not love them at all. The prejudice of the whites against colour is so strong, that they cannot endure to ride or sit with a black man, so long as they do not own him.
As a neighbour they are not to be tolerated; but as property they are most tolerated in the house, the church, the carriage, the couch. The African owned may dwell in America; but unowned he must be expatriated-emancipation must be jackal to colonisation. The choice given to the African is plantation or colonisation. Our Christian public sentiment is a pendulum, swinging between owning or exporting the poor in our midst.” (Pp. 271, 272.)
And when speaking of the impotency of the public sentiment of the North for good, he inquires—“What can the North do for the South unless her own heart is purified and ennobled ! Wnen the love of liberty is at so low an ebb that churches dread the sound, ministers shrink from the topic; when book-publishers dare not publish or republish a word on the subject of slavery, cut out every living word from school books, expurgate life passages from Humbolt, Spurgeon, and all foreign authors or teachers; and when great reli
gious publication societies, endowed for the very purpose of fearlessly speaking the truths which interest would let perish, pervert their trust and are dumb— first and chiefly—and articulate only in things that thousands of others could publish as well as they, what chance is there that public sentiment in such a community will have any power with the South ?” (P. 274.) Can any one harmonise these utterances of Beecher with his orations in England, or Beecher himself?
To unite the above would cause a tremendous explosion, and all that would be left of him would be a magnificent hoax played off on the credulity of the British people; with fragmentary photographs, and pieces of embellished vellum in the ruins, which would serve as a deposit in the British Museum, as proof positive that we have entered upon the age of shams. -Yours, for truth as well as liberty.
J. R BALME, 56, Islington, Oct. 29, 1863.
THE REV. HENRY WARD BEECHER
To the Editor of the Examiner and Times. SIR,— Will you oblige me by the insertion of the following remarks, contained in a letter to me, written by the Rev. Henry Ward Beecher, relative to several letters which have appeared on certain sayings of Mr. Beecher ? The observations are as follows :“ As to the reported expressions of mine I need not deny them to any right-minded man; and to any other it would be useless to do it. But if anybody wants to know either my opinions or my feelings respecting England, he has only to ask me and he shall be answered plainly. Let it be done in open meeting. I I am not going to be led into an irrelevant quarrel about distorted reports of remarks of mine years ago, taken out of their connective and qualifying circumstances. Here I am in England to give every honest man that wishes to know my honest opinions a chance to learn them. When I have made my speech, if any one desires to ask me any questions I shall receive his requests courteously, and answer them frankly."
I trust that the preceding remarks will be sufficient to guide the conduct of any inquirer after information. and also correctly indicate the time for, and the manner of, making the inquiry.-Yours respectfully,
JOHN H. ESTCOURT. Manchester, October 7, 1863.