despise the African, was his neighbor, are we prompted in like manner to ask, ‘Who are the lambs of Christ?’ Who are His lambs? Behold that great multitude, more than three millions of men and feeble women and children, wandering on our soil; no not wandering, but chained down, not allowed to stir a step at their own free will, crushed and hunted with all the power of one of the mightiest nations that the world has yet seen, wielded to keep them down in the depths of the deepest degradation into which human beings can be plunged. These, then that we despise, are our neighbors, the poor, stricken lambs of Christ.
To cast one thought towards them, may well cause us to bow down our heads in the very dust with shame. No wonder that professing to love Christ and his religion, we do not like to hear them spoken of; for so far from feeding the lambs of Christ, we are exciting the whole associated power of this land, to keep them from being fed. ‘Feed my lambs,’ We might feed them with fraternal sympathy, with hope, with freedom, the imperishable bread of Heaven. We might lead them into green pastures and still waters, into the glorious liberty wherewith Christ died to make all men free, the liberty of the children of God. We might secure to them the exercise of every sacred affection and faculty, wherewith the Creator has endowed them. But we do none of those things. We suffer this great flock of the Lord Jesus to be treated as chattels, bought and sold, like beasts of burden, hunted and lacerated by dogs and wolves. I say we, we of these Free Northern communities, because it is by our allowance, signified as effectually by silence, as by active co-operation, that such things are. They could continue so, scarcely an hour, were not the whole moral, religious and physical power of the North pledged to their support. Are we not in closest league and union with those who claim and use the right to buy and sell human beings, God’s poor, the lambs of Christ, a union, which we imagine brings us in as much silver and gold as compensates for the sacrifice of our humanity and manhood? Nay, are we not under a law to do the base work of bloodhounds, hunting the panting fugitives for freedom? I utter no word of denunciation. There is no need. For facts that have occurred only within the last week, transcend all denunciation. Only a few hours ago, there was a man with his two sons, hurried back into the inhuman bondage, from which they had just escaped, and that man, the brother, and those two sons, the nephews of a colored clergyman of New York, of such eminence in the New School Presbyterian Church, that he has received the honors of a European University, and has acted as Moderator in one of the Presbyteries of the same Church, when held in the city where he resides. Almost at the very moment the poor fugitive with his children, were dragged through our city, the General Assembly of that very branch of the Presbyterian Church,