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Toppan Presb. herr, 1-4-1933
OPENING FOR THE DEFENSE.
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 1875. the defendant from his representative char
acter. 37TH DAY.
Not that I would endorse the remarkable
statement of the plaintiff's counsel in his openMr. TRACY-MAY IT PLEASE THE COURT, ing, that“ upon the result of your verdict, to GENTLEMEN OF THE JURY: The time having a very large extent, will depend the integrity arrived when the defendant is permitted to be of the Christian religion. God forbid that heard in his own behalf, my associates have the integrity of the Christian religion should assigned to me the duty of stating his case to depend upon the character or the fortunes of this Honorable Court and to you. I am sure, any man, however learned, eloquent or degentlemen, when you consider for whom and vout. The Christian religion is founded upon in whose presence I speak, you will believe the eternal rock of God's nature and God's dethat it is for me an occasion of great personal cree. It is from everlasting to everlasting ; embarrassment. When I think of the inter- and will abide when the remotest records of ests involved in this trial and the effects which future history shall have faded from the anmay follow it, when I contemplate the deep nals of time, and the heavens 6 shall have and painful anxiety which it everywhere ex- been rolled together as a scroll.” My client cites, I am oppressed by the burden of re expects no other support from the Christian sponsibility which the over-kindness of my as- religion than such as may be found in its sociates has laid upon me, and would gladly promises. He takes his stand here alone surrender it to other and abler hands. Noth- upon his own integrity, sustained only by ing, indeed, prevents me from sinking be- God and the justice of his cause.
HENRY WARD BEECHER.
The son of one of the most eminent clergy. The magnitude and importance of the ques- men of the last generation, a member of a tions here involved, cannot be over-estimated; large family of which all the men are clergyfor they go down to the very foundations of men and all the women authors of repute-a our social, moral, and religious life. If the family, let me say, gentlemen, on whose fair effect of your decision in this case could be fame the shadow of reproach has never rested limited to determining whether the plaintiff hitherto—the defendant early devoted himhas suffered a wrong at the hands of the de- self to the self-denying pursuit of a minister fendant, for which he is entitled to be com- of the Gospel. For it was no bed of roses in pensated in money, this trial would not excite a luxurious abode that he spread for himself; the wide-spread interest which has attached he made no use of a dominant family influto it from the beginning, and which must fol-ence to secure the refinements and privileges low it to the end. But, gentlemen, I need of a wealthy city parish. He struck boldly not remind you how utterly impossible it is out into the wilds and hardships of the far to circumscribe the effect of this trial within | West. He rode the rough circuit of a homesuch narrow limits. Either this defendant is missionary life. With his own hands be to go forth from this court-room vindicated made the fires, swept the floors and rang the by your verdict, or you and I and all who bell in his forest church ; with his own hands, take part in this day's work are actors in one assisted only by the faithful wife who stood of the greatest moral tragedies which has by him then, and who--to the honor of ever occupied the stage of human life. Look womanhood-stands by him to-day, he min. at it as we may, it is impossible to separate istered to the necessities of his forest home. When the thunders of his manly eloquence abled him to summon the race to a higher, had reached even this distant coast, and the nobler, and purer life. Though a Protestant, imperative demand of the church had sum- he has ever been able to discern the common. moned him to a wider sphere of action, he Christian faith in all churches bearing the left neither his simplicity nor his indepen- Christian name. Moral integrity, sincere dedence behind. He has been the same genu- votion, and an earnest consecration to the ine, true-hearted, unaffected man here that common Lord, have always been recognized he was in the West. In the midst of all the by him, without reference to the question of refinements and luxuries of city life, his his own recognition by those to whom his motto has been that of the great apostle he charity has extended. Every honest soul so much resembles, “I know how to be that labored for the salvation and elevation abased, and I know how to abound." To of mankind, whether minister, priest or some who, in the early days, when he was monk, or only self-sacriticing layman, has less known than now, undertook to control been to him a Christian brother, a minister his utterances by threatening loss of place, he of God. It is then no wonder that, besides made this memorable reply : " You may un
the power of his personal teaching, the deseat me, but you cannot control me.
I came mand for his printed sermons should be befrom the woods, and I can go back to the yond all precedent. Their weekly issue is woods again.'
read in every town and hamlet throughout This man, so introduced to us, has wrought this broad land; they are met with in the and taught for near thirty years in our midst. cabin of the backwoodsman, in the hut of the He is no longer a stranger, and no longer a miner, in the forecastle at sea. Not only new acquaintance. Genial and unassuming this, but they have been translated into every in his buanners; inspiring in his speech as new European language. In England alone, as I wine; accessible to all, from the gravest citi- am informed, their circulation is thrice as zen to the humblest child,—the life he has large as that in all this country. lived before us has been as warm and fruitful Thus has he-alone-almost fulfilled the as God's summer, as open and beneficent as divine command, “Go ye into all the world His day.
and preach the Gospel to every creature. I No truth struggling with error has ever estimate the full force of my words when I failed to find in him a champion ; no phase affirm that no man ever exerted in his own of human sorrow has sought him in vain for lifetime so wide-spread and beneficent an insympathy and relief. Nay, as we have too fluence. The far-reacbing and abiding powmuch reason to know, the very excess of his er of this Christian minister, has long been a sensibility has at times become to him an ele- marvel to the people of two continents, and ment of weakness, and left him for the mo- theories both friendly and hostile have been ment at the mercy of colder and harder men. advanced to explain it. Gentlemen, shall I
And, if this is a fair picture of his private solve the problem for you? The reason of and domestic life, what shall be said of his the power of this man's preaching is, that life and influence as a preacher of the Gos- behind his sermons there is a life-and bepel ? Let the immense assemblies that for hind the life, a MAN. It is because they have nearly thirty years—without abatement, come from the heart, that they have gone to without fluctuation-have thronged his chap- the heart. It is because his preaching is known el, more numerous and enthusiastic to-day by those who know him best to be illustrated than ever before, bear testimony. To this by his daily living, that he is, in this sugreat congregation, presenting an unusual preme emergency of his life, girded by milproportion of able and thoughtful men, he lions of faithful hearts and walled to heaven has ministered all these years untiringly. by the unfaltering love and confidence of That his ministrations have been marked by his people. a rare spirituality, and a wonderful mastery But if there are those who are not interested over the various motives of human character in the minister of the Gospel, I invite them and moods of buman experience, is universal- to contemplate the patriut and philanthropist. ly acknowledged. He has been empathically Espousing the cause of the oppressed, he labora preacher of the people. Living himself ined for the emancipation of a race. When the constant communion with the unseen, he has agitation resulted in a conflict of arms, iminterpreted the mysteries of the soul and periling the Union of the States, his clarion given voice to those dim intuitions—those im- voice was heard everywhere arousing the namortal yearnings—which spring up in every tion to the holy strife. When danger threatened human breast, but which so few can ever ut- from abroad, he was prompt to plead the cause ter. A clergyman of the Congregational of “ American union on the basis of American Church, he has labored for the aggrandize. liberty'' in the face of infuriated thousands ment of no sect, for the building up of no de- set on by a foreign aristocracy to revile him noinination. His creed is as broad as human- and to strike him down. Mr. Beecher's handity itself; and his deep, warm heart, instinct-to-hand fight with the English masses on ively responding to the feeling of all, has en English soil, is a thrilling page in history,