"Divine Providence often makes the furnace of persecution the place of cleansing for individual saints. Why may it not be so for a Christian people? Why may not a race of men come forth from their trials, like the gold seven times refined in the fire, with their pride chastened, and yet their virtues purified? This can be from the only cause which sanctifies the sufferings of the Christian, the inworkings of the grace of God. Nothing is more true than that the natural effect of mere pain is not to purify, but to harden the sinful heart of man, exasperating at once its evils and its miseries. The cleansing Word and Spirit of God alone interpret its sufferings to it and convert them into healthful medicines of its faults. So it is the power of true Christianity, and that alone, which can minister to us as a people the wholesome uses of adversity. The salvation of the life of the Southern society must be found by taking the Word of God as our constant guide. But it may be asked: To what course of action should this spirit of unyielding integrity prompt us? The answer from those infallible oracles is easy. While you refrain from the suggestion of revenge and despair, and give place as of necessity to inexorable force, resolve to abate nothing, to concede nothing of righteous conviction. Truckle to no falsehood and conceal no true principle; but ever assert the right with such means of endurance, self-sacrifice and passive fortitude as the dispensation of Providence has left you. If wholesale wrongs must be perpetrated, if wholesale rights must be trampled on, let our assailants do the whole work and incur the whole guilt. Resolve that no losses, nor threats, nor penalties, shall ever make you yield one jot or tittle of the true or just in principle, or submit to personal dishonor."
Dog Days with a Cat
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