And let no one put forward the shameful pretext: there are sceptics, rationalists, free thinkers in the ranks of Abolitionism! Why not? Questions of this sort, thanks to the Gospel, have entered in the domain of common morality; shall I desert these questions in order to avoid contact with men who reject the essential doctrines of Christianity? I confess that the orthodoxy which should draw such conclusions would appear suspicious to me. Voltaire pleading for the Calas will not make me turn my back on religious liberty; Channing writing pages against slavery, revealing a heart more Christian than his doctrine; Parker, blending his noble efforts in favor of the negroes with his assaults against the Bible, will not alienate me from a cause which was mine before it was theirs.
I say, besides, that the objections of these men against Christianity force me to ask whether our conduct as Christians be not one of the principal causes of their scepticism. Is it quite certain that Voltaire himself would have been the adversary that we know him, if he had not seen that thought was stifled, that liberty was crushed, that conscience was violated in the name of the Gospel? Would not this same Gospel have presented itself under a different aspect to Parker, Channing, and the other Unitarians of Boston, if they had seen it at its post, the post of honor, at the head of all generous ideas and true liberties? Yes; there are Abolitionists who reject the Bible because they have heard certain orthodox Christians maintain that the Bible is in favor of slavery. Whoever preaches this, is of a school of impiety.
THE GOSPEL AND SLAVERY.
How did they set to work to preach this? I will answer this question by two others: How did Bossuet set to work to write his Politique tiree de l’Ecriture, to proclaim in the name of the Bible obligatory monarchy, divine right, the absolute authority of kings, the duty of destroying false religion by force, the duty of officially sustaining the truth, the duty of having a budget of modes of worship, the duty of uniting