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THE REV. H. W. BEECHER AT EXETER HALL. On Tuesday evening a lecture was delivered at Exeter-hall, under the auspices of the Emancipation Society, by the Rev. H. W. Beecher. The meeting was one of the most enthusiastic perhaps ever held in London. The admission was by tickets, the lowest charge for which was Is., and for the reserved seats, of which there were 400, the charge was 2s. 6d. More than an hour before the time for the proceedings to commence the main entrance in the Strand was be- sieged by crowds of persons anxious to obtain admis- sion, and soon after the doors were opened the room was filled to suffocation, and thousands were outside, seeking, but unable to obtain admission, and, in conse- quence, a meeting was held in Exeter-street, which was addressed by several speakers, and the shouts of the people were heard from time to time in the hall. On the platform were the Rev. Newman Hall, Rev. Dr. Halley, Rev. Hugh Allen, Rev. W. Brock, Rev. J. Hinton, Rev. Dr. Bunting, Professor Newmarch, Pro- fessor Neath, Mr. George Thompson, Mr. J. Cassell, Mr. W. Wilks, &c. &c. Mr. Benjamin Scott, the City Chamberlain, in the chair. The Rev. H. W. Beecher, on coming forward, was received with loud and reiterated cheering. The fol- lowing are extracts from his speech of some hours' duration :—Ladies and gentlemen, the kind reception I have received in this country requires but a single word from me. I should be glad. if I could take all the credit which has been generously ascribed to me, but I am not old enough to have been the pioneer of the anti-slavery cause in the United States of America; and when I think of such men as Wild, Garritt, Levitt, Godfrey, W. Lloyd Garrison, and Wendell Phillips; when I think of the multitude of that peculiar class of Christians called "Friends;" when I remember that I came in afterwards to build on their foundations, I cannot permit, in this free country, the honours to be put upon me and wrested from those who deserve them far more than I do (hear, hear). When I began my public life I fell into the ranks under appropriate captains,, and fought as well as I knew how in the ranks under their command. I have endeavoured to rekindle the feeling of the British public against this system. There can be no doubt that slavery is the only and sole cause of that gigantic and cruel war which is now desolatingthe American continent. Let me ask you to look at this struggle in its moral aspects. I do not ask you take our case and bolt it bones, and flesh, but to put yourselves in our tracks for an hour, and look at these subjects as we look upon them, and then form your judgment (hear, hear). And first, as to the earliest form in which the conflict took place between the North and the South: you will bear in mind that it was purely moral (hear, hear). It was a conflict of opinion and of truths, in which, by argu- ment and appeal to moral means, it was sought to persuade the slave-holders to adopt some gradual mode of emancipating their slaves. Well, this was thought by the South insulting to them, and as the South apolo- gised for slavery instead of defending it, the North were induced to keep silence. That was the earliest form of the fallacy. The next stage of the conflict was political, and it arose from the attempt of the South, to extend their system far into the North, to fill all the offices of the State, at home and abroad, with men loyal to slavery, to shut up the road (which they did effectually) to political preferment to all men who desired to be influential for freedom, and to corrupt the young and ambitious, by obliging them to swear fealty to slaverv. as the main condition of political success. A direct attempt on the part of the North to abolish slavery would have been revolutionary. It would have destroyed the constitution by a violation of a funda- mental principle of State independence. This peculiar structure of our Government is not so unintelligible to Englishmen as you may think. It is only taking an English idea on a larger scale. We borrowed it from you. A great many do not understand that there should be a State independence under a national Government. Now, I am not well posted in your affairs, but the Chamberlain is, and can tell you if I am wrong when I say that there belongs to the city of London certain rights which Parliament cannot meddle with, and yet there are other elements in which the Parliament-that is, the will'of the nation-is just as supreme as over any other town or city in the realm. Now, if you understand that the city of London can maintain its own rights even against Parliament, then you understand the principle of the American Government, by which certain matters are exclusively for local jurisdiction, and do not belong to the national Government (hear, hear). I will give you another illustration, which will come home to your bed and bosom. There is not a street ia London where, if an Englishman gets sight of his house, but he can say that house is my castle;" and there is no law which can tell that man how many members shall compose his family, how he shall dress his children, or what their meals shall consist of. The interior economy of the house belongs to the members of the family, and the Government cannot interfere in it. But yet the house is part of a street, and the street part of the city. The States come together with this doctrine—that each State, in respect of its interests and institutions that were local and peculiar to it, was to have undivided sovereignty over its own affairs; but that all such questions as commerce with other nations, and treaties of peace, should be under the general Government. The general Government had no more power than was delegated to it, and the J matters which pertain to the domestic economy of the States were never given to it. We were bound by the fundamental law. The great conflict between the North and the South when we began this war was, which should control the government of the territories slave institutions or free institutions. That was the conflict. It was not emancipation or no emancipation. But it was asked why not let the South go (hear. hear) ? It was asked, Since they won't live at peace with you, why not let them separate (hear, hear)? The answer is because they would be less peaceful separate than they are together. If the South would only go it might be all very well; but thev are determined to stay, and that is the' trouble. We are ready to promise free passage to every mother s son of them if they will only go—but we say, "the territory is ours—it belongs to the nation" (hear, hear, and laughter). Let them go and leave the nation its territory, and they will have our unanimous assent. I will ask you to-night to stand for a moment in our place, see the question as we see it, and then make up your judgment. This was begun by the act of the South firing upon the old flag that had covered both sections, North and South, with glory and protection. I expected to be hoarse, and am willing to be so if I can bring again mother and daughter hand to hand and heart to heart (a burst of applause). If I could succeed in so good a work I would willingly be silent for twelve months after- wards. Well this war began under circumstances that obliged the North to join issue in order to prevent actual annihilation and subjugation. The key of the country was in Southern hands, they had robbed our arsenals and taken our treasures. They had possession of all the most important offices in both the army and the navy—they had, too, the advantage of having long an- ticipated and prepared for the conflict. We knew not who to trust. One man failed and another failed. Men pensioned by the Government, and men lived upon the Government to betray it. There was not one Judas, but 1,000 in our country, and to have given up our territory and oar principles without a struggle and without a blow would have been craven and mean (hear). The honour and safety of the grand experiment of self-government by free institutions demanded that so flagitious a violation of the principles of free voting as that which said if our party is outvoted we will make war with our opponents if they don't give us our own way, should not be suffered (cheers). Would you Englishmen to permit a minority dictate to you or to proclaim themselves independent, if you did not accept their will (no, no; never) ? "This doctrine of secession is the huge revolutionary millstone that grinds national life into powder-it is anarchv on velvet (che^s); We know it, for we have fought with this demon, slavery, and understand him better than you do. We had to deal with a people in the South who never kept faith. They have disturbed the land as Ahab, of cursed memory, did Israel (cheers, and some expressions of dissent). And we find this Ahab in the way, saying, "Art thou he that troubleth Israel" (cheers) ? But now we know the nature of these people. We know that a truce will be a cloud breathing thunder and lightning, and that the object of the South is time and opportunity to give them the means of taking possession of the whole continent in the name of the devil and slavery (cheers). One more reason why we will not let the contest end and then begin again, and that is that we do not want to become a military people (hear, and laughter). There are many people who say America is becoming too strong (no, no). She is dangerous to the peace of the world, but if you permit or favour this division the South of necessity becomes a military nation, and the North will be compelled to be a military nation likewise. She must have forts along the frontier of 1,500 miles, and she must have men to man them. She would require to keep up a standing army of 250,000 men, and when a nation has a large standing army she is in constant danger of being involved in wars. Previous to the war the legal force of our army was 25,000 men-that was all-and the actual number was only 18,000. That was all that was required, and the Tribune and other papers occupied themselves in writing down this army as a mob and a nuisance. But let this division take place and instead of 18,000 you will have a standing army of 200,000, and there will be an army of 150,000 or 200,000 in the South; and when America is forced to keep up such enormous armies depend upon it she will be like a boy with a knife in his hand, she will always be wanting to whittle with it (cheers, and laughter). It is the interest, then, of the whole civilised world that our nation should be united, that its Government should be under the control of that part of America which has always been for peace, and 'that it should be wrested from the control of that portion of the nation that has always been going for more territory—that has always been the supporter of filibustering, and always shown itself foremost in attacking foreign nations (hear, hear). Independent of questions of pounds, shillings, and pence—independent of questions of national honour—independent of all secular considerations, there is the far more important one—our duty to God in removing a continent from the blast and blight of slavery (cheers). How many are those whose voices are sounding all over England, saying let slavery go ? It is recorded in the biography of one of the most noble of your sons, Sir Fowell Buxton, that on one occasion when a large and favourite aog of his was seized with hydrophobia, with wonderful presence of mind and energy, he seized the animal by the neck, and rushing with him down the street, held him till help came to slay the brute, and he was slain and all mischief averted. What if there had been then men saying, Let him go (hear, hear) ? Is there a person here who does not feel the moral influence of that man, who, rather than allow the dog to go on biting man, woman, and child, puts his own life in jeopardy to prevent him (hear, hear). And shall we let slavery, which is mad, mad, go biting millions of people ? We will part with life and limb, and all that we have first (cheers). Now, these considerations are not exaggerated. No man can understand how great they are till he stands in our midst in America,. No man can understand how firm the national feeling is in the North on this sub- ject. It is deeper than the sea; it, is firmer than the hills; it is as serene as the sky over our heads (cheers). But it is said, what a terrible business this war of extermination is, and I have seen it stated that a pes- tilent fellow from America, purporting to be a minister of the gospel, had come over to England, and had said that he was in favour of a war of extirmHiatipn. Well, if he said so he will stiddo it (hisses, drowned by cheers). Listen to me a moment. If I am to take the respon- sibility of my words it is only fair that I should state them in my own way. We believe that this war is the test of our institutions we believe that it is a life and death struggle with two principles of liberty and slavery. We believe that it is the cause of the com- mon people the world over against their oppressors. We believe that every struggling nationality on the globe will be stronger if we conquer this odious oligarchy of slavery (cheers), and that every oppressed people in the world will be weaker if we are shoved to the wall. We regard it as an awful, and yet glorious part of the struggle which has been going on for hundreds of years in every nation between right and wrong, between virtue and vice, between liberty and despotism, between freedom and bondage. It carries with it all the future condition of our vast continent, and seeing all this, we have consecrated all that we have—our children, our wealth, our national stores- and we lay them on the altar and say it is better that all the North has should perish than-that it should betray this hope of the oppressed, and should not uphold the cause of civilisation (cheers). And if we say this for ourselves shall we say less for the slaves ? Shall we enable them to oppress four millions of people with impunity, or shall we do for them what we want for ourselves ? Standing on our hearthstones, standing on the altars of the church, we will sacrifice all but principle. But I hear a loud protest against war. I regard this British horror of the American war as something wonderful. On what shore has not the prows of your ships touched-what land is there with a name and a people where your banner has not carried your soldiers and your sailors ? When the great resurrec- tion reveille shall sound it will muster British soldiers and sailors from every country under heaven. It is said, "But this is a war against your own blood." Why, how long is it since you poured soldiers into Canada and let all your yards work night and day to avenge the taking of two men out of the Trent, and was not this against your own blood ? And yet you tell us, the North, who have inherited your blood and your pluck, that we must not fight. The parent has got so old that he begins to chide the child for what he himself formerly did, and then the child says, Father and mother are getting so old that they must be taken away from their present home and come and live with us (hisses and cheers). Perhaps you think that the old island will do a little longer; perhaps you think that there is coal enough, and that the stock is not quite run out yet; but whenever England comes to that state, and she durst not go to war for a principle of national life, she had better emigrate to America (cheers). A gentleman asks me to say a word about the Russians (hear, hear). Well, what about the Russians in New York harbour (cheers) ? The fact is that it is a little piece of coquetry. Don't you know that when a woman thinks that her suitor is not at- tentive enough she picks out another and flirts with him in her lover's face? Well, New York is in the same way flirting with Russia at this moment, but she has her eye on Russia you may depend (hear). When I hear men say this is a piece of national folly which is not becoming in a people reputed wise and under the solemn circumstances in which America is now placed; when I hear it said, while Russia is actually engaged in treading down the liberties of Poland (hear, hear) it is not even decent of a free country like the Northern States of America to make believe to flirt with her (hear, hear, and "That is true"). Well, I think so too, and now you know how we felt when you flirtad with Mason at your Lord Mayor's banquet (cheers, and hear, hear). It don't hurt us for you Englishmen to tell us our faults—I hope it does not hurt you Britishers for us to tell you some of yours (hear, hear). All I ever said against England I would say quite as readily, and more so, before her face as behind her back, and when we feared that England was about to lend her military influence to the main- tenance of a system of oppression, I denounced her as I should under the same circumstances denounce her again (hear, hear). But when I look not to the senti- ments of popular assemblies but to such significant acts as the detention of those rams at Liverpool (cheers)—when I look to such weighty words as those spoken by Earl Eussell at Glasgow and by the At- torney-General at Richmond-when I look at the acts and declarations of your Government, accompanied by what I have seen and felt of the enthusiasm of the English people—declarations and an enthusiasm which come home most to the American heart-I feel that the two nations are still one in the cause of civilisa- tion, of religion, and I trust we shall continue to be one in international policy, and one in every enterprise having for its object the furtherance qf the Gospel and the happiness of mankind (cheers). After some further remarks the rev. gentleman resumed his seat amid loud and protracted cheering. Professor Newman moved a vote of thanks to the- speaker, which was unanimously carried. The usual vote of thanks to the chairman closed the meeting.

,Outside the Hall.

John Singleton Copley, Lord…

Shells of Explosion.

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