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communities, and, in the end, perhaps, make the slave be fit for that freedom which it would then be unjust to deprive him of, but this holier than thou Christianity of our modern Pharisees is a curse to the country, the slave, the master, and to all society. The remarks of the pastor of the Plymouth Church show how the current of abolitionism is setting in a better way.”
The Irish News observed : « Our best and strongest minds won't go the whole abolition hog. In quiet times they will be light and loose-tongued ; but, in the crisis, they come out like bricks for the Union and the welfare of this wonderful family of republics. They stop shrieking and sing Yankee Doodle. Pulpits or journals, it is all the same : good sensible men take their place on the right side and austerely bid their fanatical neighbours shut up. As for Mr. Beecher, we are glad the sight of that deadly weapon gave him remorse, referring to a Sharp's rifle exhibited by Mr. Tilton. The feeling was a salutary one. But we think well of him and hope good things of him-good things, indeed, of all kinds. We are sorry Mr. Mitchel is not here. He would rejoice exceedingly to see his old adversary coming round. He would extend the warın hand of reconciliation, representing his emotion. It would, in fact, be Dorax and Sebastian over again.
“They call Beecher a trimmer. Well, perhaps he is. Let him accept the term. Saville Lord Halifax, once upon a time, did the same, and, with a wit as brilliant and happy as Beecher's own, showed that it was a
name suitable to a man of the finest sense and judgment, as well in the management of state affairs as in the general conduct of sublunary matters. In sailing over the ocean of life, in fact, the best man trims his ship best. The man who cannot trim, blunders on rocks, falls to pieces, bursts up, goes to Davy Jones's locker. We hope Mr. Beecher's runagates will take heart and grace and come back. If they don't, he may take Dogberry's consolation and be thankful he has got rid of them.”
The Anti-slavery Standard commented as follows :
« PLYMOUTH CHURCH AND ITS PASTOR
“ Henry Ward Beecher has generally been regarded, by friends and foes alike, as a thorough-going antislavery minister, and the Church of which he is pastor has been generally supposed to be a thoroughgoing anti-slavery Church. Both indeed have been accounted by slaveholders and their apologists as quite “fanatical” upon the question of the negro's rights, while many honest friends of the slave have supposed that their reputation in this respect was well deserved. Many of Mr. Beecher’s sayings and doings, bearing the stamp of noble impulses and “good intentions,” have been calculated to create and foster this impression; but Abolitionists, who have closely watched his course and that of his Church, and understood the relations of both to proslavery men and pro-slavery ecclesiastical and mis
sionary institutions, have long been painfully cognizant of short-comings on their part, which tended to nullify their influence against slavery. Their antislavery has been exhibited more in words than in deeds. Often denouncing slavery from the pulpit as a sin, Mr. Beecher has always been, as he is now, in ecclesiastical fellowship with pro slavery men, and he does not appear to have been even aware that he was required, either on the score of principle or consistency, to keep himself and his Church free from complicity with the champions and apologists of chattelism. Every year, since its organization, the Church, with the approbation of its pastor, has made a contribution to the American Board, never once protesting against its pro-slavery course: and until a recent period it did the same thing for the American Tract Society. But for no organization representing the great anti-slavery movement of the country has it ever made a collection ! On several occasions it has indeed assisted in purchasing the freedom of slaves—an act so far from being distinctively anti-slavery, that it is often performed by many of the bitterest pro-slavery men; and once or twice, perhaps oftener, it has assisted in some educational movement for the benefit of coloured people. But the anti-slavery cause, as such, has never, like the Bible, the Missionary and the Tract causes, been deemed worthy of its benefactions. He talks of
. the American Board as if he were utterly oblivious of its history for the last thirty years--as if he were unconscious that it has exerted its whole influence to “crush out” the anti-slavery movement, and to prevent discussion of the subject in its meetings, and as if igno. rant of its jesuitism in putting forth anti-slavery sentiments only as a means of gaining immunity for proslavery action. In behalf of the Board, in spite of its shameless disregard of the claims of the slaves, and its efforts to smother their cries for relief, his mouth is full of excuses, his heart overflowing with charity; and he is ready to overlook all differences between it and himself, and fold it in one long and loving embrace. But toward the Abolitionists, who have stood by the cause of the slave through sorest trials, and in opposition to a corrupt State and an apostate Church, his feelings are of quite another sort. Instead of wishing to draw nearer to them, and to overlook differences of sentiment in the love of a common cause, he averts his face, and vents his feelings in unfriendly criticism.
Mr. Beecher complains of the “ doctrinal spirit” among Abolitionists, which he says is “as high, as exclusive and as foolish as ever there was in the religious world;" and he tells us that, as he has always contended against this fanaticism of doctrine in religious matters,” so he “ consistently abhors the bigotry of it in great questions of philanthropy.” This sounds courageous, but what is the evidence of a “high doctrinal spirit” among Abolitionists? The only points he mentions are, the doctrines first, that slavery is a malum in se, and secondly, that the slaves ought to be immediately emancipated. The American Baptist condemned in Beecher what
its editors have often practised themselves. Its editors said :-“To many it is a source of surprise and mortification that Henry Ward Beecher, who has often been so loud in his denunciation of slavery, should now be found endeavouring to hold back his church from becoming a real, active, anti - slavery body, by sending their missionary funds through a Society which makes slaveholding a bar to fellowship. But the case is one which ought not to excite surprise. Henry Ward Beecher, eloquent for freedom as he sometimes is, has never committed himself to the doctrine of practical separation from the wrong-doer. We know Dr. Cheever has been severely censured for intimating that among the New York ministers of his own order he stood alone, when in point of fact Mr. Beecher and Dr. Thompson were as thoroughly anti-slavery as he. But the statement of Dr. Cheever was strictly true ; in his mode of opposing slavery, he stands alone ; his abolitionism is totally different from that of Mr. Beecher, as the event has now shewn. We become more and more persuaded that the only true test by which to judge the soundness of any man's anti-slavery position is to meet him with the question : Do you believe slavery to be, in itself, a sin? And, as such, a bar to admission to the Lord's table? Any Chirch or Society which evades this issue ought not to be reckoned among the anti-slavery ranks ; any minister or church-member who professes opposition to slavery as an evil, but does not regard it as a sin worthy of church discipline, is not to be depended