Press enter after choosing selection

Conditions Of Peace

Conditions Of Peace image
Parent Issue
Public Domain
OCR Text

OPINIÓN OF REV. ALBERT BARNES. The Rev. Albert Barnes, of Phfiadelphia, is well known to the whole coun try and ttie world as an extreme antislavery man : having gone so far as to avovv the principie thai " if the Bible (iefonds slavery, it eanuot be received as a Divine revelation." We raake this statement in presenting the conclusions to which in the maturity of his life, and in the of this war, he has novv come, and which have been put iortb by hirn in a discourse delivered on Thunksgiving Lay, and published by H. B. Ashmoad, Philadelphia. Mi. Barnes expresses his opinions with great modesty, but he says, " I have roached a period ot life, when I have little to hope or to fear frorn my fellow men;" and wilh a rnournful allusion to receut atteirpts to stifle the voice of the brave and the good men, he says, " I belive Üiat when freedom of speech shall bo taken away, the last hope of the nation - the last rernnant of liberty will be gone." It is impossible for us, io our limited space, to give a full outline of Mr. Barnes' views on the subject he discusse3 : the conditwns on which peace shouhl be made. But we may say that he insista on the immediate suppression o] the rebellion. Hear him : The duty now, th-o immediate duty, the sole duty, is to suppress this rebellion, and to estabHsh the aulliority of law; to maintain the Union. That, and that only is the purpose of the war. That, and that ouly, raakes the war right. That, and that only, will make its issues safe. Anything-else; even any scheme of benevolence ; any mensure hased on the intin sic wrong of daver y ; any act of jus tice to tte oppressed and wronged as such; any redressing of old grievance-s, or any rendering of tardy justice long deayecl ; any proposed amendnients of he Constitution as a basis or a prom sed pledge, raluable ae they might be n theinselves, and incidental as ,hey may be in the proseeution of he war, would be a violation of the Constitution ; would properly subject an Executivo to irnpeachment. He demands (2) the restoration of of the Union, and (3) the suppreasion of the slave-trade, and thcn ; A fourth thing, now shown, by tho errible war into which we plungëd, to 5e essfntial to permanent peaco, and Jemandod alike by the best interests )f the North and the South, and by every principie of just govertunent, is he entire separación of the General Government from slavery. This, I regard, as the great principie necessary n the restoration of peace; tlie great principie on which, if ever nmended, s to be amended, and ou which, ifover, he liberties of our country are to be preserved. Except in the matter just eferred to, of probibiüng the &lave;rade, the principie should be made mi versal that the General Government hould have no relation to slavery ; hould in no wise prolcct it ; should in no manner interfere with it to abolish it, ; hould derive no benefit from it ; should n all respect?, and at all times, stand wholly aïoof from it. The South denands thia in worda, at least ; the North should yield it ; the nation - tho world - humanity - justioe - national lonor - religión - should insist on it brever. Mr. Barnes is very olear and very trouw in detnanding that the South hall havo a full re'presentation of all ïer population, instead of being resricted, as now, to three-h'fths. He ays : - In the meantimc, tlie South has been ufleriag this wrong - that, as now contituteii, two-fifths of the population, hat is of what are now four millions of its population, have been without any representation : in other words, under the ratio of representation, there las been a loss to thern of ten, fifteen, or twenty mornbers of Congrtes. The irue principie of representation would be, undoubtedly, that no human jeings should be represented as propery; that the apportionmont should be n accordance to tho entire population as reported by the eensus tables ; that vhatever may bo the domestic relations of such persons, or whatevor their coniition, as sick or wo'l, old or young, gnorant or learned, male or feniafe, lond or free, white, copper-eolored, lack or semi-black, their existence as uman beings - as a part of the nation - as having rights and interests as hu man beings to be protected- should be ecognized in the government under vhich they lve. In the carrying out f this principie, it is, of course, not ecessary that all should bo eligible to ffice, nor that all should vote ; nor hat children, or slaves, or Indians, I should be admitted as law makers of the land. At the North, the peoplt, regulate this in their own way : leí thern do so at the South. As at the North we do not choose that ail persons senil bo voters ; and as we rnake distinotions - some of them arbritary and unjust - yet all withtn our power - so let them do at tho South. Mr. Barnes would have the fugitivo slave law repeaicd or rnoclified;he would have Congress restrained from any legislation on the subject of eltiverv in the Territnries, and thus by conceding to the South all its claims, and removing the vexed question out of the sphere of politica] igitation, ho would hope to preserve as well as make peace Ho would, in the next placo, remove slavery frorn the land, by a plan ol gradual eorr.pensated Émanoipation. He says the removal " cannot bo secured by a mere exertion oí power ; by an act from any quarier declaring all the slaves at once freo," and hs adds : - Besides, if this power wero possessed by the General Government, and should be exercised by it, no pen could doscribe the evils whiuh would iollow from the immediate emaooipatiqn oí four millions of people uaused to freedom ; most of whorn aro unable to read; a people unaccustomed to próvido for themselves; having none of that economy which springs from the eifort at seli-support and the support of families; restrained now and habitually mainly by terror and authority, and not by conscience ; and with all the remembered wronps committed against them and their fathers. tíuoh an act of immedi ate emancipation would, in all human probabiliiy. delude the land in hlood, and wrap it in flames. On the other hand, no tongue could describe the blessings which might flow from a wise system of gradual emancipation: wbere the end was distinctly contemplated, at no remóte period, and where a system of training preparatory to it should be at once entered on, fitting those tnillions for freedom. Snch an iet would stand forth to the world as among the noblest of' human achievements - greater than the deliverance of the children of Israel from Egvptian bondage ; greater than the achievemeüt of the Independence ot our country - for the nnmbers are largerthan in either of these cases, and the wisdom and the power needful would uot bo lees tban n either. And Mr. Barnes condenses into one sentence his views, when he solemnly declares : A slxth principie, foiinded on such views as have oow been presented, and claimed, it seems to me, with exact justice by the South, is that slavery os to its OONTKOL, and as to all the laws rogulating it, ia to be left to the States as such, in all respeots, absolutely and exclusivoly. We note these views of Mr. Barnes as the most remarknble index of the great Northern reaction now going on. Mr. Barnes is a represen a ti ve man. - He leads the advance school of abotitionists in the chiirch. And his views lead us to ask if it is not possible to find some common ground between the extreme Northern and extreit.e Southern view of the sliiFery question, on which all good mon North and South muy unite and save this country from the ruin into which it srapidly ruwbing. Union can be had only on the basis of mutual concession ïf Mr. Barnes, a leading and distinguished unti-slavei-y man, is willing to concede almost everything;, may we not beüeve tbat there is in the country euffioient patriotism, Christian forbearance, and good sense, to make even less concessions, on both sides, for the sake of bringing back the halcyon days of fraternal unión and permanent peace ?


Old News
Michigan Argus