— Julia Ward Howe American abolitionist, social activist, and poet 1819 - 1910
Context: Have we lost our God? Never for one moment. Unspeakable, He is; the beneficent parent, the terrible, incorruptible judge, the champion of the innocent, the accuser of the guilty, refuge, hope, redeemer, friend; neither palace walls nor prison cells can keep Him out. Every step of our way from the birth hour He has gone with us. Were we at the gallows' foot, and deservedly, He would leave a sweet drop in the cup of death. He would measure suffering to us, but would forbid despair. The victory of goodness must be complete. The lost sheep must be found — ay, and the lost soul must turn to the way in which the peace of God prevails. We learn the dreadful danger of those who wander from the right path, but we may also learn the redeeming power which recalls and reclaims them.
So fade our heavens and hells. Christ, if he knew their secrets, did not betray them. On the boundless sea of conjecture we are still afloat, with such mental tools as we possess to guide us, with the skies, the stars, the seasons, seeking a harbor from which no voyager has ever returned.<!--
So much, the later schemes of thought have taken from us. Shall we ask what they have given us in exchange for what we have lost?