Brooklyn: 20 April 1853

Uncle Tom's Cabin and its Key.

  The Key to Uncle Tom's Cabin, presenting the facts and documents on which the story is founded, and confirming it as a truthful picture of Slavery, has just been published. This second book of Mrs. Stowe's will likely cover the same field of circulation with the first. And what, does it appear, is the real mission of these books? There is certainly remarkable evidence of a divine purpose of some kind in their character and history. We took the liberty to interpret Kossuth's mission as inspired of heaven, not for the benefit of Hungary, as he supposed; but for the benefit of this country. In reading Uncle Tom's Cabin and the Key, we have a similar persuasion that the eloquence of these writings, surpassing even that of Kossuth, was inspired for another purpose than that which at first appears.—It is evident that a writer may have one end in view and God another, in the production of his pen.

  The apparent object of Mrs. Stowe's book is to benefit the slaves; but we think the real object of these miracles of literature is to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ, and benefit the white population of Christendom. The old Puritan views of experimental religion are freely introduced; and love of the Bible and honor to Jesus Christ, is breathed on every page. The spirit which these books distil, is a very perfect antidote to the infidelity which has been generated in other ranks of the Anti-slavery reform; and they are more likely to be the death of the anti-Bible philosophy of these times, than of slavery. They will disseminate a taste for a spiritual gospel. They favor a higher kind of spiritualism even than the Orthodox standard. Mrs. Stowe has more faith in the supernatural, in visions, providences, and spiritual communications, than is common to Gentile wisdom, and such as her own church must consider fanatical. As a scheme for propagating Bible-religion, Uncle Tom, with its popularity, is worth more than a board of missions; and the Key uses its great advantages to build up the same cause. We believe then that the mission of these books is, not to the South, but to all the world, and that God gives them wings, not to plead the cause of the slave, but to plead the cause of Jesus Christ, in which indeed is included every good cause.