LETTER from M. PASS-Y.
LETTER FROM M. PASSY.
Humanity is governed by laws which continually impel it
to extend, without ceasing, the sphere of its knowledge. There
is no discovery which does not conduct it to new discoveries;
each generation adds its own to the mass which it has received
from the past, and thus from age to age are the strength and
riches of civilization augmented.
Now it is one of the numerous proofs of the benevolent
purposes of the Creator, that every step of mental progress
strengthens the ideas of duty and justice, of which humanity
makes application in its acts. Human society, as it gains
light, does not merely learn thereby the better to profit by its
labors. It gains, at the same time, clearer and surer notions
of moral order. It discerns evil where it did not at first sus¬
pect its existence; and no sooner does it perceive the evil than
it seeks the means to suppress it.
This is what, in our day, has awakened so much opposition
to Slavery. Thanks to the flood of light already received,
society begins to comprehend, not only its iniquity in princi¬
ple, but all the degradation and suffering it scatters in the
lands where it exists. A cry of reprobation arises, and as¬
sociations are formed to hasten its abolition.
We may, without fear, assert that it will be with Slavery
as with all the other remnants of ignorance and original bar¬
barism. The day will come when it must disappear, with the
rest of the institutions which have been found inconsistant
with the moral feelings to which the development of human
reason gives the mastery.
Let those reflect who, at this day, constitute themselves the
defenders of Slavery. They have against them the most ir¬
resistible of all powers — that of moral truth becoming more
and more distinct — that of human conceptions necessarily
rising with the growth in knowledge of the divine will. Their
defeat is, sooner or later, inevitable.
How much wiser would they be, did they resign themselves
to the preparation for a reform, the necessity for which pre¬
sents itself with such inflexible urgency. It is, doubtless, a
work of difficulty. Freemen require other conditions than