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Conflict of Northern and Southern Theories of Man and Society
Great Speech, Delivered in New York City

written by "Beecher, Henry Ward, 1813-1887"
...e, as it would be to estimate by an eagle's egg, what the old eagle is worth, with wings outspread far above the very thunder, or coming down upon its quarry as the thunder comes! It is the Future that gives value to the Present. It is Immortality only that reaches down a measure wherewith to gauge a man. If a heathen measures, the strong are strong, and the weak are weak: the rich, the favored, must rule, and their shadow must dwarf all others. If a Christian measures, he hears a voice saying: "There is neither Jew nor Greek; there is neither bond nor free; there is neither male nor female; for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. Whosoever shall do the will of my Father, which is in heaven, the same is my mother, and sister, and brother." These are the things that give value to man. It is not to be said that there is no difference between men; that one is not more powerful than another; that one is not richer in genius than another; that one is not more valuable to society than another; that education, refinement, skill, experience, give no precedence over their negatives. But God takes up the least of all human creatures, and, declares, "inasmuch as ye have done it unto the least of these, ye have done it unto me." In a household, a babe is vastly less than the grown-up children. But who dare touch it, as if it were as worthless as it is weak? So God pleads his own relationship to the meanest human creation, as his protection from [pg 7]wrong; as the evidence of his rights, as the reason of his dignity! There is something of God in the meanest creature. He is sacred from injury! In these truths we find the reason why Christianity always takes hold so low down in human life. Things that have got their root need little from the gardener; but the seeds, and tender sprouts, and difficult plants, require and get nurture. A Christianity that takes care of the rich, the strong, the governing class, and neglects the poor, and ignorant, and...

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