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Right Voting

Right Voting image
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We; as abolitionists, intend to employ the elective franchise as our great moral, legal and constitutional lever to pry open the infernal door of slavery. And we must not undervalue this greatest of all powers for the redemption of the slave, by placing it in a sort of secondary and discredited position. We hold a man is as much bound to vote for those men who by their legislation as our agents, will add to the temporal and eternal happiness of the greatest number of human beings, as we are bound to worship our Maker. For voting that the oppressed go free from their chains, and be delivered from all the the ignorance, cruelty, brutality, lust, averice and complicated misery with which the slave is borne down, is the most precious evidence that we try to love our neighbor as ourselves, which is worshipping God, for worshipping God, is obedience to his commands. Voting is an act of indirect legislation, affecting the destiny of a greater number of human beings - our neighbors, our countrymen - than all the other acts of our lives. Should not, therefore, this act be one of eminent religious obedience to the Most High? All the praying, preaching, and fasting in the world are schools of preparation for an immortal mind. And what an alarming thought to suppose that, when an individual so trained, so educated in the school of Christ, when he comes to the ballot box, and when two and a half millions of slaves, born in the same land, heirs of the same everlasting destiny, shut out from liberty of body or mind, deprived of the Bible, stripped of the marriage right, the filial right, which that Bible commands, driven about as unpaid beasts of burden by cruel masters; those wretched neighbors of the voter, when he casts his vote for President or members of Congress, cry aloud in his ears, "Oh! remember us; burst our bonds; give us our wives, our children, ourselves; deliver us from chains and the coffle, the whip and the club, from rapine and lust, from murder and from death! Oh ye voting law-makers, we are your prisoners, you bound us by your laws - unbind us, uh, unbind; repeal the cursed laws which makes us, who are immortals, into mere chattels, and place us by the side of the ox and the horse" A man who Iives to the common age of man will not vote more than 12 times for President, and 24 times for a member of Congress - in which he has power to vote for emancipation: are not these votings the great moral and religious acts, or immoral and wicked acts of the voters life, affecting the liberty of two and a half millions? Is this a neutral act, half-way between right,and wrong, or an act in which a man may vote for the redemption of God's suffering poor without merit, or continuing their shackles without crime? No, the act, if done right, is eminently pious before God; if against the oppressed, is awfully wicked before the Almighty. A man is bound, as a highest of religious duties, to caucus, and meet in conclave, and electioneer, by all lawful means, by night or by day, by his talents, by his money, by all righteous plans, to place in office men who will repeal the slave laws. Without looking at this matter of antislavery political action, as one of the highest moral and religious duties we can perform, we shall never accomplish any thing. What! shall I be told that I must have and carry on A. S. political action, but I must, not electioneer for my ticket, I must not caucus,I must not publish handbills, and disclose all the villainies of slaveholding deacons, who murder their slaves for not bringing up the carriage in time to get to meeting, lest people should say I are electioneering for our candidates? Voting is a high religious duty, and it is as much our duty as far as in our power, all lawful means to electioneer and get others to do right, as it is to do right ourselves. We have tongues to plead for the slave, minds to frame arguments, and are bound to urge them on our neighbor and enlighten him, and get him to do right, if possible, as much as to do so ourselves. Therefore I infer the duty of political action is a high religious duty, binding on us in our organized or unorganized capacities. A friend in Massachusetts who has not, the sin of proslavery voting to repent of, in giving an invitation to a Convention, says: Old fashioned politics are at a low ebb here; little better than U. S. Bank stock. Honest men begin to doubt whether this 'glorious union' does indeed confer any thing but glory, if that even. The vetoes the Cabinet explosion, and the athletic exercises in the great national bearspen, have opened the eyes of some and led them to suspect that the South are exerting an undue influence in the national councils." We certainly think these voters have some ground for the aforesaid suspicion.