Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

we should wring her maternal heart with anguish by our unfraternal conduct toward each other. We shall not do it, - either at the North or at the South. We are true patriots, and in our very differences, love of country come in as an important element to shape and modify our opinions; and while we may be adopting different theories, we are conscientiously seeking the same end, namely, the greatest good of our beloved country.

The second is piety. We love our country well, but we love our Saviour more, and for his sake we will love and treat each other as brethren, and not fall out by the way

because we may not see through the same optic-glasses. We will cheerfully hear what each has to say on whatever pertains to Christian morals and practice. There are thousands of sincere, warm-hearted Christians, whose love to Christ raises them immeasurably above sectionalism and prejudice, and who daily inquire, “ what is truth?” and “ what is duty ?” and they entertain that " charity” which “suffereth long and is kind ; is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things ;” and “never faileth.” When this love is in exercise, Christian brethren may

[ocr errors]

open their hearts freely to each other on any subject, whether it be “for doctrine, or reproof, or for instruction in righteousness."

Whatever may be true of others, I hope that you and I will be able to demonstrate to the world, that, although one of us lives at the North and the other at the South, yet we can communicate with each other unreservedly on an almost interdicted topic, with mutual kind feelings, if not to edification. Respectfully and fraternally,

Yours, &c.

LETTER II.

A DIFFICULT AND DELICATE SUBJECT PROPOSED.— AGITATION OF IT UNAVOIDABLE. CHRISTIANS NORTH AND SOUTH SHOULD

GIVE THE DISCUSSION OF IT A RIGHT DIRECTION. WE ARE ALL

INTERESTED IN THE ISSUE. - NORTHERN DISCLAIMERS.

MY DEAR CHRISTIAN BROTHER, — In my last I intimated that I hoped you and I, by our correspondence, would be able to furnish the world a practical illustration of good-nature and kind feeling in the discussion of a subject that has been a fruitful source of trouble and unchristian invective. You have already anticipated my theme it is DOMESTIC SLAVERY. It must be confessed that this is the most difficult and delicate of all topics to be agitated by a Northerner and a Southerner, and yet I have the fullest confidence that neither of us will give or take offence. I need offer you no apology for calling your attention to this subject at the present time. Not only is it a theme of vast importance in itself, involving, either directly or indirectly, in

terests most dear to

you

and to me, and to every one who has at heart the welfare of his country and his race, but it is a subject that must be discussed, — there is no avoiding it, however much you or I or other individuals may desire it. It has come before the public mind in such a manner as peremptorily to demand the attention of every Christian and every patriot. Whether we approve or deprecate the peculiar causes that have made this topic so prominent in our country, both North and South, we have to take things as they are, and turn them to the best possible account. Politicians and demagogues are all discussing American slavery, and will continue to do so for the purpose of forwarding their own favorite schemes; and any attempt to silence them would be as futile as an effort to arrest the gulf-stream in its course. It remains only for brethren, both at the South and North, to take up the subject as we find it brought to our hands in the inscrutable providence of God, and, under the guidance of his Spirit, given in answer to our prayers, take a truly Christian view of some of its leading features, and then inquire, What is duty ? I think you will not claim, with some of your southern friends, that slavery is a subject with which we at the North" have nothing to do." As patriots, we

[ocr errors]

have something to do with every thing that affects the interests of our common country; and as Christians, we sustain responsibilities which we cannot shake off toward all our brethren of the human family, whether it be at the North or South - whether they be bond or free. 6. Have we not all one Father? Hath not one God created us?" 6 We are many members, but one body, and whether one member suffer all the members suffer with it; or one member be honored, all the members rejoice with it.”

Your candor will not impute to me any unkind or improper motive in entering upon this discussion; and you will permit me, in the outset, to enter a few disclaimers, in order that you may be the better able to appreciate what I have to say.

In the first place, it is not my design to throw down the glove for the purpose of enlisting you, or any of your friends, in a controversy; this would be an unpleasant and profitless undertaking

Nor is it to advocate the doctrine, that sustaining the legal relation of master to a slave for a longer or shorter time is in all possible cases sin. I will admit that there may be circumstances in which the relation may subsist without any moral delinquency whatever; as, for instance,

« ZurückWeiter »