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OUR BEST WITNESSES AND MASTERS IN THE ART
I think few worth damnation, save their kings;
VISION OF JUDGMENT.
We intend this chapter as our trump card, and have kept it in reserve, because it is rash to “ lead trumps.” We could produce a cloud of witnesses, but should only protract the trial thereby. We call into court Horace Greely, Wm. Goodell, Gerrit Smith, Wm. Lloyd Garrison, and Stephen Pearle Andrews, and propose to prove by them (the actual leaders and faithful exponents of abolition,) that their object, and that of their entire party, is not only to abolish Southern slavery, but to abolish also, or greatly to modify, the relations of husband and wife, parent and child, the institution of private property of all kinds, but especially separate ownership of lands, and the institution of Christian churches as now existing in America. We further charge, that whilst actively engaged in attempts to abolish Southern slavery, they are busy, with equal activity and more promise of success, in attempts to upset and re-organize society at the North.
In convening these gentlemen as witnesses, and also arraigning them on trial, we are actuated by no feelings of personal ill will or disrespect. We admire them all, and have had kindly intercourse and correspondence with some of them. They are historical characters, who would seek notoriety in order to further their schemes of setting the world to rights. We have no doubt of their sincere philanthropy, and as little doubt, that they are only “paving hell with good intentions." We speak figuratively. We shall try their cause in the most calm and judicial temper. We would address each of them in language borrowed from Lord Byron:
Indeed, we should be ungrateful and discourteous in the extreme, if we did not entertain kindly remembrance and make gentlemanly return for the generous reception and treatment we received, especially from leading abolitionists, when we went north to personate Satan by defending Slavery.
Though none agreed with us, none were made converts by us :
Yet still between his darkness and his brightness,
We will first call Mr. Wm. Goodell to the stand. His position as one of the most active leaders of the Gerrit Smith or Syracuse wing of abolition, would entitle his admissions and assertions of the failure of his own society to the greatest credence, since such admissions and assertions weaken his assaults on the South, and must be reluctantly drawn from him; but, independent of his peculiar position, his high character as a man, and his distinction as an author, should enlist attention and command respect for what he says. In his Democracy of Christianity, vol. 2d, page 197, he thus writes :
"And what is this pride of wealth, after all, growing up into the aristocracy of wealth, the usurpations of wealth, the oppressions of wealth, grinding the masses of humanity into the dust to-day, throughout our modern Christendom, in the middle of our nineteenth century civilization and progress, with a hoof more flinty, more swinish, and MORE MURDEROUS (capitals ours) than that of semi-barbarous feudalism in its bloodiest days.”
He understands the intolerable exploitation of capital better than we do, for he lives in a country where slavery has not stepped in to shield the laborer. He, the laborer, is a "slave without a master," and his oppressors, “cannibals all."
Mr. G's. book appears to us to carry the doctrine of human equality to a length utterly inconsistent with the power and control which ordinary Christian marriage gives to the husband over the wife; yet he assures us he is the unflinching friend of Christian marriage. The purity of his sentiments revolt at the conclusions to which his abstract doctrines inevitably lead. Yet his idea of Christian
. marriage may differ, so far as the power of the husband is concerned, widely from ours. We are sure he would do nothing, designedly, to impair the purity and sacredness of the relation.
Mr. G. is a Christian socialist, and looks to a proximate millenium to rectify the false relations of men and property, in his own society, and to the arm of the Federal Government to set things right in the South. Why not leave all to Providence, especially since the right of the Government to abolish Southern slavery is denied by all respectable authority outside of abolition; and also by the Garrisonians, who are the most thorough-going of all abolitionists, and of all disorganizers. Mr. Goodell’s plan of “rectifying human relations” at the North, by a millennium, is quite as common as that of Mr. Greely, Andrews and Owen, each of whom has discovered a new social science that they are sure will fit the world, because it wont fit a village.
We really think that a man of Mr. Goodell’s nice sense of justice and propriety, should have hesitated long ere he invoked a God to do that which he would be ashamed to do himself. If it be wrong to strip the rich of their possessions, why hope or expect that God will perpetrate a wrong at which human conscience revolts, when it is proposed to be done by human agency.
After an elaborate argument, to prove the advent of a millennial state of society, through the instrumentality of Christianity, Mr. Goodell, on page 510, vol. II, of his Democracy of Christianity, thus sums up and concludes:
“Glance over, again, the items included in these predictions The general and permanent prevalence of peace,-the result of justice, equity, SECURITY, and the actual possession, [italics his] by each and every one of "his vine and fig tree'—that is, of soil sufficient to produce the needful fruits of the earth, or, in some way, a supply for his physical wants.
“Add to this, the general diffusion and great increase of knowledge, especially moral and religious knowledge, which includes the knowledge of social relations, duties and rights,—the knowledge that implies wisdom,' and that wisdom which begins with “the fear of the Lord.' Next the application of all this knowledge, wisdom and fear of the Lord, to the concerns of civil government, insomuch that the kingdoms of this world shall become the kingdoms of Christ, and the dominion be given to THE