Posted by: Democratic Thinker | November 20, 2013

Wendell Phillips—On the John Brown Affair

Background of the American Civil War

Wendell Phillips, Harvard educated lawyer and dis-unionist, puts forward the abolitionist view on the John Brown affair.

But some men seem to think that our institutions are necessarily safe because we have free schools and cheap books and a public opinion that controls. But that is no evidence of safety. India and China have had schools, and a school system almost identical with that of Massachusetts, for fifteen hundred years. And books are as cheap in central and northern Asia as they are in New York. But they have not secured liberty, nor secured a controlling public opinion to either nation.

John Brown and The Spirt of Fifty-Nine.
Delivered in Plymouth Church, Brooklyn, New York.
(November 1859.)




I BELIEVE in moral suasion. I believe the age of bullets is over. I believe the age of ideas is come. I think that is the preaching of our country. The old Hindoo dreamed, you know, that he saw the human race led out to its varied fortune. First, he saw men bitted and curbed, and the reins went back to an iron hand. But his dream changed on and on, until at last he saw men led by reins that came from the brain, and went back into an unseen hand. It was the type of governments; the first a government of despotism, palpable iron; and the last our government—a government of brains, a government of ideas. I believe in it—in public opinion.

Yet, let me say, in passing, that I think you can make a better use of iron than forging it into chains. If you must have the metal, put it into Sharpe’s rifles. It is a great deal better used that way than in fetters—a great deal better used than in a clumsy statue of a mock great man, for hypocrites to kneel down and worship in a state-house yard. [Hisses.] I am so unused to hisses lately that I have forgotten what I had to say. I only know I meant what I did say.

My idea is, public opinion, literature, education, as governing elements.

But some men seem to think that our institutions are necessarily safe because we have free schools and cheap books and a public opinion that controls. But that is no evidence of safety. India and China have had schools, and a school system almost identical with that of Massachusetts, for fifteen hundred years. And books are as cheap in central and northern Asia as they are in New York. But they have not secured liberty, nor secured a controlling public opinion to either nation. Spain for three centuries had municipalities and town governments, as independent and self-supporting, and as representative of thought, as New England or New York has. But that did not save Spain. De Tocqueville says that fifty years before the great revolution, public opinion was as omnipotent in France as it is to-day, but it did not save France. You cannot save men by machinery. What India and France and Spain wanted was live men, and that is what we want to-day; men who are willing to look their own destiny and their own functions and their own responsibilities in the face. “Grant me to see, and Ajax wants no more,” was the prayer the great poet put into the lips of his hero in the darkness that overspread the Grecian camp. All we want of American citizens is the opening of their own eyes, and seeing things as they are. To the intelligent, thoughtful, and determined gaze of twenty millions of Christian people there is nothing—no institution wicked and powerful enough to be capable of standing against it. In Keats’s beautiful poem of “Lamia,” a young man had been led captive by a phantom girl, and was the slave of her beauty until the old teacher came in and fixed his thoughtful eye upon the figure, and it vanished, and the pupil started up himself again!

You see the great Commonwealth of Virginia fitly represented by a pyramid standing upon its apex. A Connecticut-born man entered at one corner of her dominions, and fixed his cold gray eye upon the government of Virginia, and it almost vanished in his very gaze. For it seems that Virginia asked leave “to be” of John Brown at Harper’s Ferry. Connecticut has sent out many a schoolmaster to the other thirty states; but never before so grand a teacher as that Litchfield-born schoolmaster at Harper’s Ferry, writing upon the Natural Bridge in the face of nations his simple copy: “Resistance to tyrants is obedience to God.”

I said that the lesson of the hour was insurrection. I ought not to apply that word to John Brown, of Ossawatomie, for there was no insurrection in his case. It is a great mistake to call him an insurgent. This principle that I have endeavored so briefly to open to you, of absolute right and wrong, states what? Just this: “Commonwealth of Virginia!” There is no such thing. No civil society, no government can exist, except on the basis of the willing submission of all its citizens, and by the performance of the duty of rendering equal justice between man and man.

Everything that calls itself a government, and refuses that duty, or has not that assent, is no government. It is only a pirate ship. Virginia—the Commonwealth of Virginia! She is only a chronic insurrection. I mean exactly what I say. I am weighing my words now. She is a pirate ship, and John Brown sails the sea a Lord High Admiral of the Almighty, with his commission to sink every pirate he meets on God’s ocean of the nineteenth century. I mean literally and exactly what I say. In God’s world there are no majorities, no minorities; one, on God’s side, is a majority. You have often heard that here, doubtless, and I need not tell you its ground in morals. The rights of that one man are as sacred as those of the miscalled Commonwealth of Virginia. Virginia is only another Algiers. The barbarous horde who gag one another, imprison women for teaching children to read, prohibit the Bible, sell men on the auction blocks, abolish marriage, condemn half their women to prostitution, and devote themselves to the breeding of human beings for sale, is only a larger and blacker Algiers. The only prayer of a true man for such is: “Gracious heaven! unless they repent, send soon their Exmouth and Decatur.” John Brown has twice as much right to hang Governor Wise as Governor Wise has to hang him. You see, I am talking of that absolute essence of things that lives in the sight of the Eternal and the Infinite; not as men judge it in the rotten morals of the nineteenth century, among a herd of states that calls itself an empire, because it weaves cotton and sells slaves. What I say is this: Harper’s Ferry was the only government in that vicinity. Respecting the trial, Virginia, true to herself, has shown exactly the same haste that the pirate does when he tries a man on deck, and runs him up to the yardarm. Unconsciously, she is consistent. Now, you do not think this to-day, some of you, perhaps. But I tell you what absolute history shall judge of these forms and phantoms of ours. John Brown began his life, his active life, in Kansas. The South planted that seed; it reaps the first fruit now.

Twelve years ago the great men in Washington, the Websters and the Clays, planted the Mexican War; and they reaped their appropriate fruit in General Taylor and General Pierce pushing them from their statesmen’s stools. The South planted the seeds of violence in Kansas, and taught peaceful Northern men familiarity with bowie knife and revolvers. They planted nine hundred and ninety-nine seeds, and this is the first one that has flowered; this is the first drop of the coming shower. People do me the honor to say, in some of the Western papers, that this is traceable to some teachings of mine. It is too much honor to such as I am. Gladly, if it were not fulsome vanity, would I clutch this laurel of having any share in the great resolute daring of that man who flung himself against an empire in behalf of justice and liberty. They were not the bravest men who fought at Saratoga and Yorktown in the war of 1776. Oh, no! It was rather those who flung themselves, at Lexington, few and feeble, against the embattled ranks of an empire, till then thought irresistible. Elderly men in powdered wigs and red velvet smoothed their ruffles, and cried: “Madmen!” Full-fed customhouse men said: “A pistol shot against Gibraltar!” But Captain Ingraham, under the Stars and Stripes, dictating terms to the fleet of the Caesars, was only the echo of that Lexington gun. Harper’s Ferry is the Lexington of to-day. Up to this moment Brown’s life has been one of unmixed success. Prudence, skill, courage, thrift, knowledge of his time, knowledge of his opponents, undaunted daring in the face of the nation—he had all these. He was the man who could leave Kansas and go into Missouri, and take eleven men and give them liberty, and bring them off on the horses which he carried with him—two of which he took as tribute from their masters, in order to facilitate escape. Then when he had passed his human proteges from the vulture of the United States to the safe shelter of the English lion, this is the brave, frank, and sublime truster in God’s right and absolute justice, that entered his name in the city of Cleveland, “John Brown, of Kansas,” and advertised there two horses for sale, and stood in front of the auctioneer’s stand, notifying all bidders of the defect in the title. But he added with nonchalance when he told the story: “They brought a very excellent price.” This is the man who, in the face of the nation, avowing his right, and endeavoring by what strength he had in behalf of the wronged, goes down to Harper’s Ferry to follow up his work. Well, men say he failed. Every man has his Moscow. Suppose he did fail—every man meets his Waterloo at last. There are two kinds of defeat. Whether in chains or in laurels, Liberty knows nothing but victories. Bunker Hill soldiers call a defeat! But Liberty dates from it, though Warren lay dead on the field. Men say the attempt did not succeed. No man can command success. Whether it was well planned, and deserved to succeed, we shall be able to decide when Brown is free to tells us all he knows. Suppose he did fail, he has done a great deal still. Why, this is a decent country to live in now. Actually, in this Sodom of ours, seventeen men have been found ready to die for an idea. God be thanked for John Brown, that he has discovered or created them. I should feel some pride if I were in Europe now in confessing that I was an American. We have redeemed the long infamy of twenty years of subservience. But look back a bit. Is there anything new about this? Nothing at all. It is the natural result of anti-slavery teaching. For one, I accept it; I expected it. I cannot say that I prayed for it; I cannot say that I hoped for it; but at the same time no sane man has looked upon this matter for twenty years and supposed that we could go through the great moral convulsion, the great classes of society clashing and jostling against one another like frigates in a storm, and that there would not be such scenes as these.

Why, in 1835 it was the other way. Then it was my bull that gored your ox. Their ideas came in conflict, and men of violence, and men who had not made up their minds to wait for the slow conversion of conscience, men who trusted in their own right hands, men who believed in bowie-knives—why, such sacked the city of Philadelphia, such made New York to be governed by a mob; Boston saw its mayor suppliant and kneeling to the chief of broadcloth in broad daylight. It was all on that side. The natural result, the first result of this starting of ideas, is like people who get half-awaked and use the first weapons that appear to them. The first developing and unfolding of national life were the mobs of 1835. People said it served us right; we had no right to the luxury of speaking our own minds; it was too expensive; these lavish, luxurious persons walking about here and actually saying what they think! Why, it was like speaking aloud in the midst of avalanches. To say “Liberty” in a loud tone, the Constitution of 1789 might come down—it would not do. But now things have changed. We have been talking thirty years. Twenty years we have talked everywhere, under all circumstances; we have been mobbed out of great cities and pelted out of little ones; we have been abused by great men and by little papers. What is the result? The tables have been turned; it is your bull that has gored my ox, now. And men that still believe in violence, the five points of whose faith are the fist, the bowie knife, fire, poison, and the pistol, are ranged on the side of Liberty, and, unwilling to wait for the slow but sure steps of thought, lay on God’s altar the best they have. You cannot expect to put a real Puritan Presbyterian, as John Brown is—a regular Cromwellian dug up from two centuries ago—in the midst of our New England civilization, that dares not say its soul is its own, nor proclaim that it is wrong to sell a man at auction, and not have him show himself as he is. Put a hound in the presence of a deer, and he springs at his throat if he is a true bloodhound. Put a Christian in the presence of sin, and he will spring at its throat, if he is a true Christian. And so into an acid we might throw white matter, but unless it is chalk it will not produce agitation. So if in a world of sinners you were to put American Christianity, it would be calm as oil; but put one Christian like John Brown of Ossawatomie, and he makes the whole crystallize into right and wrong, and marshal themselves on one side or the other, and God makes him the text, and all he asks of our comparatively cowardly lips is to preach the sermon and to say to the American people that, whether that old man succeeded in a worldly sense or not, he stood a representative of law, of government, of right, of justice, of religion, and they were pirates that gathered around him and sought to wreak vengeance by taking his life. The banks of the Potomac are doubly dear now to history and to man! The dust of Washington rests there; and history will see forever on that riverside the brave old man on his pallet, whose dust, when God calls him hence, the Father of his Country would be proud to make room for beside his own. But if Virginia tyrants dare hang him, after this mockery of a trial, it will take two more Washingtons at least to make the name of the state anything but abominable to ages that come after. Well, I say what I really think. George Washington was a great man. Yes, I say what I really think. And I know, ladies and gentlemen, that, educated as you have been by the experience of the last ten years here, you would have thought me the silliest as well as the most cowardly man in the world if I should have come, with my twenty years behind me, and talked about anything else to-night except that great example which one man has set us on the banks of the Potomac. You expected, of course, that I should tell you my opinion of it.

I value this element that Brown has introduced into American politics for another reason. The South is a great power. There are no cowards in Virginia. It was not cowardice. Now, I try to speak very plainly, but you will misunderstand me. There is no cowardice in Virginia. The people of the South are not cowards. The lunatics in the Gospel were not cowards when they said: “Art thou come to torment us before the time?” They were brave enough, but they saw afar off. They saw the tremendous power that was entering into that charmed circle; they knew its inevitable victory. Virginia did not tremble at an old gray-headed man at Harper’s Ferry; they trembled at a John Brown in every man’s own conscience. He had been there many years, and, like that terrific scene which Beckford has drawn for us in his Hall of Eblis, where all ran around, each man with an incurable wound in his bosom, and agreed not to speak of it, so the South has been running up and down its political and social life, and every man keeps his right hand pressed on the secret and incurable sore, with an understood agreement, in church and state, that it never shall be mentioned for fear the great ghastly fabric shall come to pieces at the talismanic word. Brown uttered it, and the whole machinery trembled to its very base.

I value that moment. Did you ever see a blacksmith shoe a restless horse? If you have, you have seen him take a small cord and tie the horse’s upper lip. If you ask him what he does it for, he will tell you he does it to give the beast something to think of. Now, the South has extensive schemes. She grasps with one hand at Mexico, and with the other dictates terms to the Church. She imposes conditions on the United States. She buys up Webster with a little, and Everett with nothing. John Brown has given her something else to think of. He has turned her attention inwardly. He has taught her that there has been created a new element in this Northern mind; that it is not merely the thinker, that it is not merely the editor, that it is not merely the moral reformer, but the idea has pervaded all classes of society. Call them madmen, if you will. It is hard to tell who’s mad. The world says one man is mad. John Brown said the same of the governor. You remember the madman in Edinburgh; a friend asked him what he was there for. “Well,” said he, “they said at home that I was mad, and I said I was not, but they had the majority.” Just so it is in regard to John Brown. The nation says he is mad. I appeal from Philip drunk to Philip sober; I appeal from the American people drunk with cotton and the utterances of the New York Observer to the American people fifty years hence, when the light of civilization has had more time to penetrate; when self-interest has been rebuked by the world rising and giving its verdict on these great questions; when it is not a small band of abolitionists, but the civilization of the nineteenth century, that undertakes to enter the arena and discuss its last great reform. When that day comes, what shall be thought of these first martyrs who teach us how to live and how to die?

Suppose John Brown had not stayed at Harper’s Ferry. Suppose on that momentous Monday night, when the excited imaginations of two thousand Charleston people had enlarged him and his little band into four hundred white men and two hundred blacks, he had vanished, and when the gallant troops arrived there, two thousand strong, they had found nobody! The mountains would have been peopled with enemies; the Alleghanies would have heaved with insurrection. You never would have convinced Virginia that all Pennsylvania was not armed and on the hills. Virginia has not slept soundly since Nat Turner had an insurrection in 1831, and she bids fair never to have a nap now. For this is not an insurrection; this is the penetration of a different element. Mark you, it is not the oppressed race rising. Recollect history. There never was a race held in chains that absolutely vindicated its own liberty, but one. There never was a serf nor a slave whose own sword cut off his own chain, but one. Blue-eyed, light-haired Anglo-Saxons, it was not our race. We were serfs for three centuries, and we waited till commerce and Christianity and a different law had melted our fetters. We were crowded down into a villenage which crushed out our manhood so thoroughly that we hadn’t vigor enough to redeem ourselves. Neither did France, neither did Spain, neither did the Northern nor the Southern races of Europe have that bright spot on their escutcheon—that they put an end to their slavery. Blue-eyed, haughty, contemptuous Anglo-Saxons, it was the black—the only race in the record of history that ever, after a century of oppression, retained the vigor to write the charter of its emancipation with its own hand in the blood of the dominant race. Despised, calumniated, slandered Santo Domingo is the only instance in history where a race, with indestructible love of justice, serving a hundred years of oppression, rose up under their own leader and with their own hands abolished slavery on their own soil. Wait, garrulous, vainglorious, boasting Saxon, till we have done as much before we talk of the cowardice of the black race.

The slaves of our country have not risen; but, as in all other cases, redemption will come from the interference of a wiser, higher, more advanced civilization on its exterior. It is the universal record of history, and ours is the repetition of the same scene in the drama. We have awakened at last the enthusiasm of both classes—those that act from impulse and those that act from calculation. It is a libel on the Yankee to assert that it includes the whole race, when you say that if you put a dollar on the other side of hell, the Yankee will spring for it at any risk; for there is an element even in Yankee blood that obeys ideas—there is an impulsive, enthusiastic aspiration—something left to us from the old Puritan stock—that which made England what she was two centuries ago—that which is fated to give the closest grapple with the slave power to-day This is an invasion by outside power. Civilization in 1600 crept along our shores, now planting her foot, then retreating—now gaining a foothold, and then receding before barbarism—till at last came Jamestown and Plymouth, then thirty states. Harper’s Ferry is, perhaps, one of Raleigh’s or Goswold’s colonies, vanishing and to be swept away. By-and-bye will come the immortal One Hundred and Plymouth Rock, with “Manifest Destiny” written by God’s hand on their banner, and the right of unlimited “Annexation” granted by heaven itself.

It is the lesson of the age. The first cropping out cf it is in such a man as John Brown. He did not measure his means; he was not thrifty as to his method; he did not calculate closely enough, and he was defeated. What is defeat? Nothing but education—nothing but the first step to something better. All that is wanted is that this public opinion shall not creep around like a servile coward, and unbought, but corrupt, disordered, insane public opinion proclaim that Governor Wise, because he says he is a governor, is a governor—that Virginia is a state because she says so.

Thank God! I am not a citizen. You will remember, all of you, citizens of the United States, that there was not a Virginia gun fired at John Brown. Hundreds of well-armed Maryland and Virginia troops that went there never dared to pull a trigger. You shot him! Sixteen marines, to whom you pay eight dollars a month—your own representatives! When the disturbed state could not stand on her own legs for trembling, you went there and strengthened the feeble knees and held up the palsied hand. Sixteen men with the vulture of the Union above them—your representatives! It was the covenant with death, and agreement with hell, which you call the Union of thirty states that took the old man by the throat with a pirate hand; and it will be the disgrace of our civilization if a gallows is ever erected in Virginia that bears his body. “The most resolute man I ever saw,” says Governor Wise, “the most daring, the coolest. I would trust his truth about any question.” The sincerest! Sincerity, courage, resolute daring! Virginia has nothing, nothing for those qualities but a scaffold! In her broad dominion she can only afford him six feet for a grave! God help the commonwealth that bids such welcome to the noblest qualities that can grace poor human nature! Yet that is the acknowledgment of Governor Wise himself.

They say it costs the officers and persons of responsible positions more effort to keep hundreds of startled soldiers from shooting the five prisoners sixteen marines had made than it cost those marines to take the armory itself. Soldiers and civilians—both alike—only a mob fancying itself a government! And mark you, I have said they were not a government. They not only are not a government, but they have not even the remotest idea of what a government is. They do not begin to have the faintest conception of what a civilized government is. Here is a man arraigned before a jury, or about to be. The state of Virginia, as she calls herself, is about to try him. The first step in that trial is a jury; the second is a judge; and at the head stands the chief executive of the state, who is to put his hand to the death warrant before it can be executed; and yet that very executive, who, according to the principles of the sublimest chapter in Algernon Sidney’s immortal book, is bound by the very responsibility that rests on him to keep his mind impartial as to the guilt of the person arraigned, hastens down to Richmond, hurries down to the platform, and proclaims to the assembled Commonwealth of Virginia: “The man is a murderer and ought to be hanged.” Almost every lip in the state might have said it, except that single lip of its governor; and the moment he had uttered these words, in the theory of the English law, it was not possible to impanel an impartial jury in the Commonwealth of Virginia; it was not possible to get the materials and the machinery to try him according to even the ugliest pattern of English jurisprudence. And yet the governor does not know that he has written himself down a non compos! And the commonwealth that he governs supposes that it is still a Christian polity! They have not the faintest conception of what goes to make up government. The worst Jeffries that ever, in his most drunken hour, climbed up a lamp-post in the streets of London would not have tried a man who could not stand on his feet. There is no such record in the blackest roll of tyranny. If Jeffries could speak, he would thank God that at last his name might be taken down from the gibbet of history, since the Virginia bench has made his worst act white, set against the blackness of this modern infamy. And yet the New York press daily prints the accounts of the trial. Trial? The inquisition used to break every other bone in a man’s body, and then lay him on a pallet, giving him neither counsel nor opportunity to consult one, and then wring from his tortured mouth something like a confession, and call it a trial! But it was heaven-robed innocence compared with the trial, or what the New York press call so, that has been going on in startled, frightened Charleston. I speak what I know, and I speak what is but the breath and whisper of the summer breezes compared with the tornado of rebuke that will come back from the press of Great Britain, when they hear that we affect to call that a jury trial, and blacken the names of judge and jury by baptizing these pirate orgies with such honorable appellations.

I wish I could say anything worthy of the great deed which has taken place in our day—the opening of the sixth seal, the pouring out of the last vial but one on a corrupt and giant institution. I know that many men will deem me a fanatic for uttering this wholesale vituperation, as it will be called, upon a state, and this endorsement of a madman. I can only say that I have spoken on this anti-slavery question before the American people twenty years; that I have seen the day when this same phase of popular opinion was on the other side. You remember the first time I was ever privileged to stand on this platform by the magnanimous generosity of your clergymen, when New York was about to bully and crush out the freedom of speech at the dictation of Captain Rynders. From that day to this, the same braving of public thought has been going on from here to Kansas, until it bloomed in the events of the last three years. It has changed the whole face of the sentiment in these Northern states. You meet with the evidence of it everywhere. When the first news of Harper’s Ferry came to Massachusetts, if you were riding in the cars, if you were walking in the streets, if you met a Democrat, or a Whig, or a Republican, no matter what his politics, it was a singular circumstance that he did not speak of the guilt of Brown, of the atrocity of the deed, as you might have expected. The first impulsive expression, the first outbreak of every man’s words was: “What a pity he did not succeed! What a fool he was for not going off Monday, when he had all he wanted! How strange he did not take his victory and march away with it!” It indicated the unconscious leavening of a sympathy with the attempt. Days followed on; they commenced what they called their trial; you met the same classes again—no man said he ought to be hanged; no man said he was guilty; no man predicted anything of his moral position—every man voluntarily and inevitably seemed to give vent to his indignation at the farce of a trial—indicative again of that unheeded, unconscious, potent, but widespread sympathy on the side of Brown.

Do you suppose that these things mean nothing? What the tender and poetic youth dreams to-day, and conjures up with inarticulate speech, is to-morrow the vociferated result of public opinion, and the day after is the charter of nations. The sentiments we raise to intellect, and from intellect to character, the American people have begun to feel. The mute eloquence of the fugitive slave has gone up and down the highways and byways of the country; it will annex itself to the great American heart of the North, even in the most fossil state of its “ hunkerism,” as a latent sympathy with its right side. This blow, like the first blow at Lexington, heard around the world—this blow at Harper’s Ferry reveals men. Watch those about you, and you will see more of the temper and unheeded purpose and real moral position of men than you would imagine. This is the way nations are to be judged. Be not in a hurry; it will come soon enough from this sentiment. We stereotype feeling into intellect, and then into statutes, and finally into national character. We have got the first stage of growth. Nature’s live growths crowd out and rive dead matter. Ideas strangle statutes. Pulse-beats wear down granite, whether piled in jails or cap- itols. The people’s hearts are the only title deeds, after all. Your barnburners said: “Patroon titles are unrighteous!” Judges replied: “ Such is the law.” Wealth shrieked: “ Vested rights!” Parties talked of constitutions—still the people said: “Sin!” They shot a sheriff—a parrot press cried: “Anarchy!” Lawyers growled : “ Murder!” Still, nobody was hanged, if I recollect aright. To-day the heart of the barnburner beats in the statute book of your state. John Brown’s movement against slavery is exactly the same. Wait awhile, and you’ll all agree with me. What is fanaticism today is the fashionable creed to-morrow, and trite as the multiplication table a week after.

John Brown has stirred omnipotent pulses—Lydia Maria Child’s is one. She says: “That dungeon is the place for me,” and writes a letter in magnanimous appeal to the better nature of Governor Wise. She says in it: “John Brown is a hero; he has done a noble deed. I think he was all right; but he is sick; he is wounded; he wants a woman’s nursing. I am an Abolitionist; I have been so thirty years. I think slavery is a sin, and John Brown a saint; but I want to come and nurse him; and I pledge my word that if you will open his prison door, I will use the privilege, under sacred honor, only to nurse him. I enclose you a message to Brown; be sure and deliver it.” And the message was: “Old man, God bless you! You have struck a noble blow; you have done a mighty work; God was with you; your heart was in the right place. I send you across five hundred miles the pulse of a woman’s gratitude.” And Governor Wise has opened the door, and announced to the world that she may go in. John Brown has conquered the pirate. Hope, there is hope everywhere. It is only the universal history:—

“Right forever on the scaffold, Wrong forever on the throne;
But that scaffold sways the future, and behind the dim unknown
Standeth God within the shadow, keeping watch above his own.”

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