and prayers of a Christian community. There the paths to honor, independence and popularity, were before me, and by many I was besought to stay and tread them. I preferred to visit your shores. I came, as you and all who know me can bear testimony, not to seek the silver and gold so largely obtained by other foreigners,' but to spend and be spent in the cause of freedom and humanity, asking only a hearing on behalf of the captive pining and sighing within the borders of your free and fertile land. I have been accused of abusing the hospitality' I have received. I believe this charge will never be preferred by any who have cherished the stranger, against whom this accusation is so often hurled; it shall not be, if a gratitude, which neither time nor distance can efface or weaken, and a fervent love and active zeal to the true welfare of their country, will commend me to their continued regard. The charge, however, has invariably originated, I believe, with those from whom, if any friend of the slave were to ask bread, he would receive a stone ; or if a fish, he would receive a serpent ; or if an egg, he would receive a scorpion.

While I thus repel certain charges which have been unjustly brought against me, let it not be understood that I desire to claim infallibility, or to vindicate, excuse, or palliate, any act of my past life which is justly reprehensible; God forbid ! I trust I have too sacred a regard for the principles of truth and integrity to attempt to weaken their force upon my own or other minds by extenuating any conduct involving a violation of those principles. Wherein I have erred, I have no hesitation in speaking in terms of the bitterest self-reproach. Before Heaven and the world, I am ready frankly and sorrowfully to acknowledge my faults. Could any labor, any sacrifice, could my tears or my blood, expiate to society, or to individuals, the errors of my past life, I would freely do and suffer all within my power. What more can I say? What more need I say? What more is required, in reference to my fellowmen, by Him who is the righteous Judge of all mankind ? What more is demanded of any Christian in Americain the world? To the enemies of the sacred cause I advocate, nothing I could say would be satisfactory. In their eyes, the crime of an individual consists, not in apologising for sin, or continuing in sin, but in repentance and


reformation; in turning from sin, and in bringing forth fruits meet for repentance.

Then is he brought up for judgment, and condemned and punished for the sins of the past, on account of the rectitude and unblamableness of his present conduct. No fact is more obvious than this. The men who most severely scrutinize the character and conduct of abolitionists, and compass sea and land' to frame a charge against them, are the open, shameless, and systematic defenders of a system of piracy, lust, heathenism, and soul-murder. To such I make no appeal. They lack every principle of sound and righteous judgment. To those in the Christian world, who, forgetting the 'charity which rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth, which · hopeth all things, and believeth all things,' are prone gladly to receive, and eagerly to propagate, reports injurious to the reputation and usefulness of those who are laboring in the cause of humanity and freedom, I would say, Study the character of Him whose disciples you profess to be-remember his awful words, “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged; and with what measure ye mete, it shall be meas, ured unto you again, he that is without sin among you, first cast a stone.'

I thank God, I cherish no feelings of bitterness or revenge towards

any individual in America—my most inveterate enemy not excepted. Should the sea, on which I am about to embark, receive me ere I gain my native shore -should this be the last letter ever address to you, and through you, to the people of America, Heaven bears me witness, I with truth and sincerity affirm, that, as I look to be freely forgiven, so freely do I forgive my persecutors and slanderers, and pray- Lord, lay not this sin to their charge.'

Should a kind Providence place me again upon the soil of my birth, and when there, should any American (and I hope many will) visit that soil, to plead the cause of virtue and philanthropy, and strive, in love, to provoke us to good works, let him know that there will be one man who will uphold his right to liberty of speech—one man, who will publickly and privately assert and maintaih the divinity of his commission to attack sin, and alleviate misery in every form, in every latitude, and by what.

[ocr errors]

ever name, and under whatever sanctions and authorities it may be cloaked and guarded. And coming on such an errand, I think I may pledge myself, on behalf of my country, that he shall not be driven, with a wife and little ones, from the door of a hotel, in less than thirty-six hours after he first breathes our air—that he shall not be denounced as an incendiary,' a 'fanatic,' an 'emissary, an ' enemy'—that he shall not be assailed with oaths and missiles, while proclaiming from the pulpit, in the house of God, on the evening of a Christian Sabbath, the doctrines of judgment, justice, and mercy '--that he shall not be threatened, wherever he goes, with tar and feathersthat he shall not be repudiated and abused, in miscalled religious newspapers, and by men calling themselves Christian ministers—that he shall not have a price set upon his head, and his house surrounded with ruffians, hired to effect his abduction that his wife and children shall not be forced to flee from the hearth of a friend, lest they should besnaked out by men in civic authority, and their paid myrmidons--that the mother and her little ones, shall not find, at midnight, the house surrounded by an infuriated multitude, calling, with horrible execration, for the husband and the father—that his lady shall not be doomed, while in a strange land to see her babes clinging to her with affright, exclaiming, the mob shan't get papa'

papa is good, is he not ? the naughty mob shan't get him, shall they ?'—that he shall not, finally, be forced to quit the most enlightened and Christian city of our nation, to escape the assassin's knife, and return to tell his country that, in Britain, the friend of virtue, humanity, and freedom, was put beyond the protection of the laws, and the pale of civilized sympathy, and given over, by professor and profane, to the tender mercies of a blood-thirsty rabble.

If spared, I shall send you, from time to time, an account (as minute and regular as my time and strength will permit) of my journeyings, labors, trials, disappointments, encouragements, and successes, with the progress of the cause generally, on the other side of the Atlantic. My beloved American friends must not think unkindly of me, if I do not write to them individually. Through the pages of your journal, I will keep them acquainted with my sayings and doings.


Let it never be forgotten that our object is, the abolition of slavery throughout the worldthat ours is not a sectional or a national question—and the energies, now concentrating for the immediate emancipation of the American slave, are to be continued in full and growing operation, while a captive sighs into the ear of awakened philanthropy, or the heavens are pierced by the unutterable groan of one immortal being into whose soul the iron of an unjust bondage enters. Brazil, with her two millions of slaves, awaits the well-directed, moral influence of Great Britain and America united. A part only of the Antilles is free. A voice from Cuba and Porto Rico, from Guadaloupe and Martinique, 'is heard, Come over and help us.' Yes, and by God's assistance we will. Our vision shall comprehend the whole field. Our energies shall be directed to the annihilation of slavery wherever it exists on the face of the globe. We will remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them. In whatever country, in whichever hemisphere they dwell. The voice of remonstrance shall be heard from isle to isle, from shore to shore, and from continent to continent, until Christendom is purged from the stain of blood, and Africa delivered from the spoiler of her children.

. Muse ! take the harp of prophecy. Behold
The glories of a brighter age unfold !
Friends of the outcast, view the accomplished plan,
The negro towering to the height of man.





Is greatness bound to color, shape, or air ?
No! God created all his children fair.
Tyrants and slaves no more their tribes shall see,
For God created all his children free.

Now Justice leauged with Mercy from above,
Shall reign in all the liberty of love;
And the sweet shores, beneath the balmy west,

Again shall be the islands of the blest.' I shall endeavor to get the societies in Great Britain to observe the last Monday evening of the month as a season of prayer, for the abolition of slavery throughout the world. It will be delightful on that occasion to blend our spirits in prayer and intercession before a throne of grace.

Thus, waiting upon the Lord, we shall renew our strength. We shall mount on the wings of eagles. We shall run and not be weary.

We shall walk and not faint. It was inexpressibly painful to leave, without the opportunity of saying farewell to the endeared companions of my struggles and dangers in your city. Perhaps, however, it was better that it shonld be so.

• Ye, who have known what it is to dote upon

A few dear objects, will in sadness feel
Such partings break the heart they fondly hope to heal.'

Let me now take an affectionate leave of my friends throughout America. Though my scene of labor, for the present, will be distant from yours, I shall be contending for the same high principles—I shall be seeking to advance the same holy object. Let me have your prayers, that the blessing of the Most High may rest upon my efforts to arouse the sympathies and enlist the co-operation of the wise and virtuous in Europe. You may confide in my devotion to the cause. I will not cease to commend you' to the care and benediction of our Father who is in heaven;' and I will look forward to the day when (if never again on earth) we shall meet where all is joy, and calm, and liberty, and love.

In parting with you, my beloved brother, words fail me, and I must be indebted to the language of your own eloquent, animating, and Christian-minded letter to me. "With a full heart and weeping eyes, I bid you farewell. Our feelings, purposes, hopes, souls, are one.

Nor time, nor distance, shall separate our spirits. I know you too well to believe that you will ever prove recreant to the cause of God. Together let us antagonize with a world lying in wickedness. Amen, with all my heart! We have grappled with the monster-let us never relinquish our hold, until he falls in a grave of infamy, from which there is no resurrection, or we are summoned from the conAlict here

And cease at once to work and live.'

In bonds of closest affection,
Your friend and fellow-laborer,


« ForrigeFortsett »