justice and oppression in the legislation of those states, second
only to the greater crime of the maintenance of African
RELIGIOUS ASPECT OF THE QUESTION OF SLAVERY.
A further and most controlling reason why slavery should
be surrendered to secure a safe and# permanent peace, is
the religious aspect of the question.
How can we look for peace, and a blessing upon it, if we
fail to regard the eternal principles of right and justice ? The
Almighty seems to have designed this continent to be the
scene of a new dispensation in government, which should form
a marked improvement as compared with the despotic and
feudalistic governments of the. Old World.
For this reason this country lay long hid from the rest of
the world, until the great leading events in the history of man
had opened hopes of better progress—until the advent of the
benign dispensation of the Saviour, the discovery of the mar¬
iner's compass, the invention of printing, and the commence¬
ment of the long roll of march of the Reformation through the
ages. At such an era our fathers sought a new clime, as a
refuge from the persecutions of the Old World, where they
might found institutions after their, own model, and enjoy
" Freedom to worship God."
Their great destiny subjected them, as a necessary pre¬
requisite, to great trials, a struggle with the gloom and de¬
privations of the wilderness ; wars with a savage foe, with
the French Canadian provinces, and, ultimately, with England,
for the preservation of those great principles of liberty they
had come hither to gain. But a still greater trial awaited
them. Bound up with the neAv institutions they had estab¬
lished was the bane of slavery, for which there was but one
antidote—early and systematic efforts for its entire removal.
Our fathers knew the evil. They had proclaimed it in re¬
monstrances to the throne of England against the refusal of
the colonial governors to approve of laws prohibiting the slave-
trade. They protested against the introduction of slaves, as
an evil of " most alarming nature, and which might, in time,