First Sermons at Washington--Letter from my Father--Settlement at Washington--Preaching at Richmond, Va.--Expelled from Falmouth for Abolitionism--Preaching at Charlottesville, Va.-- Letters from Rev. Dr. Burnap--Installation at Washington-- Polemic about a Fast Day--Antecedents of the Washington Church--Its Eminent Members--Chief Justice Cranch--Helen Hunt--PresidentPierce.
THERE was but one cloud on my horizon. Slavery existed in the District of Columbia; I would have to deal with that subject; and as I was a Virginian connected with families well known in Washington, the church would have to be informed of my anti- slavery sentiments.
My anxiety for the situation induced me to speak about slavery in my very first sermon at Washington ( September 10, 1854):--
And as now we look forth on the world of humanity, and, remembering the burdens of old prophets who sang of the latter-day glory, and the saying concerning Christ, that "he saw of the travail of his soul, and was satisfied," so fair and perfect even to that perfect soul was the vision of the advancing world--see it now frozen by a dread winter of evil; see man's hand lifted against man in war; see trade polluted by dishonesty, so that what we eat and wear is poisoned and stained with crime; see man enslaved by man, until we scarce know in their degradation those brothers of Christ, to whom we are anything but brothers--save for the well-known human cry which they ever send up appealing to heaven--Oh, as we remember this, see this, your worldly doctrine of calmness changes us to marble!
On September 17 (text, "Am I my brother's keeper?") I again introduced the subject.
I was then about to visit my parents at Falmouth, but in answer to my note on the subject I received from my father the subjoined letter, dated at Falmouth, September 18, 1854:--
I cannot refrain from saying I was truly glad you did not find it convenient to come down to-day. . . . I have reason to know