So they stood, self-consecrated, enveloped by the love of God, permeated by the love of man,—twin Perfect Loves that cast out all dream of fear. And so they walked, calm as if a thousand stabs of personal insult never brought them one of personal pain, passing through all as if nothing but the serenest skies were above them. And, as I have said, right there is one explanation of the anomaly; there were the serenest skies above them—heaven’s love perpetually shining. Why should it not shine? all the powers of the men were dedicated to rescuing the image of God on this earth,—not man as he suffered physically, but the moral instinct threatened with annihilation. It was sacred to them, this soul so sacred to redeeming love, but too brutalized to find its way to it. Nor merely the slave. Their love embraced, with yet more pitying fervor, the master compelling his spiritual nature into death, and the northern apologist letting his die; and this overmastering love of saving spiritual integrity, was one power that made them and heart-ease hold unfailing friends through the obloquy of those days; the other must be found in the fact mentioned,—that neither resolve nor impulse was their spur, but personal character moving from its depths.
From such a motive-power as this can come no parade of results. The nature that works, proceeds from the necessary laws and forces of its being, and is as simple and unconscious as any other natural law or force. Hence there are no startling epochs to record in my father’s history, no supreme efforts; in filling the measure of daily opportunity lay his chief work. I cannot measure it by our ten fingers’ counting. I can only show a life unfolding, and, by the essential laws of its growth, embracing the noblest cause of its time. But if action means vivifying public sentiment decaying under insidious poison; if it includes the doing of this amid a storm of odium that would quickly have shattered any soul irresolute for an instant; if it