Free Religious Association, Beethoven Hall, Boston, May 28, 1875
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Free Religious Association, 1875 207 3. Financier Jay Cooke, LM’s neighbor, had closed his namesake firm in September, sparking an economic panic across the country (Palmer, 363). Pennsylvania Society for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery, Concert Hall, Philadelphia, April 14, 1875 I came here without the least expectation of saying a word, understanding the meeting to be at the call of the Society for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery, as organized long before the Anti-Slavery Society, headed by William Lloyd Garrison . In this, the first society, women were not expected to take part. I therefore, should feel very much out of place were there not a union at this time of both societies. Then again, owing to a severe cold, my hoarseness is such that I cannot be heard probably many feet from me; but my interest in this cause makes me willing, at the suggestion of your chairman, to occupy a few moments. The speaker [LM], after expressing the hope that what had been said would have the effect to stimulate her hearers to greater zeal in the support of schools for the education of people of color, and in the many similar directions in which they had been engaged, proceeded to correct an erroneous statement that Elizabeth Heyrick was a member of the Society of Friends.1 Referring to what had been said concerning the gratitude of the negro, she gave some instances from her personal experience, and remarked that much yet remained to be done in order to put a stop to outrages upon the colored people such as were still perpetrated in the South. She referred to the moral influence of the anti-slavery sentiments in bringing about the emancipation of the colored race. PD “Centennial Anniversary of the Pennsylvania Society for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery” (Philadelphia : Grant, Faires and Rodgers, 1875), 27 1. Though she was not born into the faith, Heyrick converted to the Society of Friends. Free Religious Association, Beethoven Hall, Boston, May 28, 1875 It seems to me very kind in an audience to be willing to stay and listen to the humble words of an old Quaker woman, after feeling how forcible are ripe words as we have heard them expressed this morning. When the beautiful bouquet was brought in, I thought perhaps it was meant to be a symbol of the words fitly spoken to which we have listened, which in the old Scripture were compared to apples of gold in pictures of silver. I have listened with the greatest interest to the essay that has been read, and to all your proceedings.1 Indeed, since my first attendance at this Free Religious meeting, I have been a constant reader of the productions of the pens of those interested in the promotion of its objects, and very often have entirely responded to what has there been presented. 208 Free Religious Association, 1875 After relating many interesting personal reminiscences, she continued, with reference to the power of superstition even in enlightened circles: — When in England, in 1840, I saw one of the Egyptian idols in the British Museum. Some one of our company said, “Well, they don’t admit that they worship such ugly images as this; they look through and beyond this to one great Supreme Power.” “They were scarcely more idolatrous,” I answered, “than our Quaker friends when they read their Bible with such reverence last evening.”2 They brought it out with great solemnity, and laid it on the lap of the one who was to read it, and he bowed before it, and then opened it and read it in what we Friends call the preaching tone. The passages read were those that had no particular bearing upon the lives and conduct of those then present, nor upon the special occasion which had brought us together; but it was “the Bible” and “Scripture,” and a chapter of it must be read in order, and in a solemn tone. I said to the friend who was pointing out this idol to me in the Museum, that the worship of that image was like the worship of the Bible as we had observed it the evening before. To me that was the worship of an idol. So, too, in regard to many of the prayers that have been offered in many of the meetings I have attended, since I dared go without the limited enclosure of the Friends to attend Reformatory meetings. They have been so...


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