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Title: The Anti-Slavery Examiner, Part 1 of 4
Author: American Anti-Slavery Society
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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THE ANTI-SLAVERY EXAMINER PART 1 OF 4

BY The American Anti-Slavery Society

1836



    No. 1. To the People of the United States; or, To Such Americans
    As Value Their Rights, and Dare to Maintain Them.

    No. 2. Appeal to the Christian Women of the South.

    No. 2. Appeal to the Christian Women of the South. Revised and
    Corrected.

    No. 3. Letter of Gerrit Smith to Rev. James Smylie, of the State
    of Mississippi.

    No. 4. The Bible Against Slavery. An Inquiry Into the
    Patriarchal and Mosaic Systems on the Subject of Human Rights.

    No. 4. The Bible Against Slavery. An Inquiry Into the
    Patriarchal and Mosaic Systems on the Subject of Human Rights.
    Third Edition--Revised.

    No. 4. The Bible Against Slavery. An Inquiry Into the
    Patriarchal and Mosaic Systems on the Subject of Human Rights.
    Fourth Edition--Enlarged.

    No. 5. Power of Congress Over the District of Columbia.

    No. 5. Power of Congress Over the District of Columbia. With
    Additions by the Author.



THE ANTI-SLAVERY EXAMINER



VOL. I. AUGUST, 1836. NO. 1.



TO THE

PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES;

OR, TO SUCH AMERICANS AS VALUE THEIR RIGHTS, AND

DARE TO MAINTAIN THEM.


FELLOW COUNTRYMEN!

A crisis has arrived, in which rights the most important which civil
society can acknowledge, and which have been acknowledged by our
Constitution and laws, in terms the most explicit which language can
afford, are set at nought by men, whom your favor has invested with a
brief authority. By what standard is your liberty of conscience, of
speech, and of the press, now measured? Is it by those glorious charters
you have inherited from your fathers, and which your present rulers have
called Heaven to witness, they would preserve inviolate? Alas! another
standard has been devised, and if we would know what rights are conceded
to us by our own servants, we must consult the COMPACT by which the
South engages on certain conditions to give its trade and votes to
Northern men. All rights not allowed by this compact, we now hold by
sufferance, and our Governors and Legislatures avow their readiness to
deprive us of them, whenever in their opinion, legislation on the
subject shall be "necessary[A]." This compact is not indeed published to
the world, under the hands and seals of the contracting parties, but it
is set forth in official messages,--in resolutions of the State and
National Legislatures--in the proceedings of popular meetings, and in
acts of lawless violence. The temples of the Almighty have been sacked,
because the worshipers did not conform their consciences to the
compact[B]. Ministers of the gospel have been dragged as criminals from
the altar to the bar, because they taught the people from the Bible,
doctrines proscribed by the compact[C]. Hundreds of free citizens,
peaceably assembled to express their sentiments, have, because such an
expression was forbidden by the compact, been forcibly dispersed, and
the chief actor in this invasion on the freedom of speech, instead of
being punished for a breach of the peace, was rewarded for his fidelity
to the compact with an office of high trust and honor[D].

[Footnote A: See the Messages of the Governors of New-York and
Connecticut, the resolutions of the New-York Legislature, and the bill
introduced into the Legislature of Rhode Island.]


[Footnote B: Churches in New-York attacked by the mob in 1834.]


[Footnote C: See two cases within the last twelve months in New
Hampshire.]


[Footnote D: Samuel Beardsley, Esq. the leader of the Utica riot, was
shortly afterwards appointed Attorney General of the state of New-York.]


       *       *       *       *       *


POSTAGE--This Periodical contains one sheet, postage under 100 miles, is
1 1-2 cents over 100 miles, 2 1-2 cents.

"The freedom of the press--the palladium of liberty," was once a
household proverb. Now, a printing office[A] is entered by ruffians, and
its types scattered in the highway, because disobedient to the compact.
A Grand Jury, sworn to "present all things truly as they come to their
knowledge," refuse to indict the offenders; and a senator in Congress
rises in his place, and appeals to the outrage in the printing office,
and the conduct of the Grand Jury as evidence of the good faith with
which the people of the state of New York were resolved to observe the
compact[B].

[Footnote A: Office of the Utica Standard and Democrat newspaper.]


[Footnote B: See speech of the Hon. Silas Wright in the U.S. Senate of
Feb. 1836.]

The Executive Magistrate of the American Union, unmindful of his
obligation to execute the laws for the equal benefit of his fellow
citizens, has sanctioned a censorship of the press, by which papers
incompatible with the compact are excluded from the southern mails, and
he has officially advised Congress to do by law, although in violation
of the Constitution, what he had himself virtually done already in
despite of both. The invitation has indeed been rejected, but by the
Senate of the United States only, after a portentous struggle--a
struggle which distinctly exhibited the _political_ conditions of the
compact, as well as the fidelity with which those conditions are
observed by a northern candidate for the Presidency. While in compliance
with these conditions, a powerful minority in the Senate were forging
fetters for the PRESS, the House of Representatives were employed in
breaking down the right of PETITION. On the 26th May last, the following
resolution, reported by a committee was adopted by the House, viz.


    "Resolved, that all Petitions, Memorials, Resolutions and
    Propositions relating in any way, or to any extent whatever, to
    the subject of Slavery, shall without being either printed or
    referred, be laid on the table, and that no further action
    whatever shall be had thereon." Yeas, 117. Nays, 68.


Bear with us, fellow countrymen, while we call your attention to the
outrage on your rights, the contempt of personal obligations and the
hardened cruelty involved in this detestable resolution. Condemn us not
for the harshness of our language, before you hear our justification. We
shall speak only the truth, but we shall speak it as freemen.

The right of petition is founded in the very institution of civil
government, and has from time immemorial been acknowledged as among the
unquestionable privileges of our English ancestors. This right springs
from the great truth that government is established for the benefit of
the governed; and it forms the medium by which the people acquaint their
rulers with their wants and their grievances. So accustomed were the
Americans to the exercise of this right, even during their subjection to
the British crown, that, on the formation of the Federal Constitution,
the Convention not conceiving that it could be endangered, made no
provision for its security. But in the very first Congress that
assembled under the new Government, the omission was repaired. It was
thought some case might possibly occur, in which this right might prove
troublesome to a dominant faction, who would endeavor to stifle it. An
amendment was therefore proposed and adopted, by which Congress is
restrained from making any law abridging "the right of the People,
peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of
grievances." Had it not been for this prudent jealousy of our Fathers,
instead of the resolution I have transcribed, we should have had a LAW,
visiting with pains and penalties, all who dared to petition the Federal
Government, in behalf of the victims of oppression, held in bondage by
its authority. The present resolution cannot indeed consign such
petitioners to the prison or the scaffold, but it makes the right to
petition a congressional boon, to be granted or withheld at pleasure,
and in the present case effectually withholds it, by tendering it
nugatory.

Petitions are to inform the Government of the wishes of the people, and
by calling forth the action of the Legislature, to inform the
constituents how far their wishes are respected by their
representatives. The information thus mutually given and received is
essential to a faithful and enlightened exercise of the right of
legislation on the one hand, and of suffrage on the other. But the
resolution we are considering, provides that no petition in relation to
slavery, shall be printed for the information of the members, nor
referred to a committee to ascertain the truth of its statements; nor
shall any vote be taken, in regard to it, by which the People may learn
the sentiments of their representatives.

If Congress may thus dispose of petitions on one subject, they may make
the same disposition of petitions on any and every other subject. Our
representatives are bound by oath, not to pass any law abridging the
right of petition, but if this resolution is constitutional, they may
order every petition to be delivered to their door-keeper, and by him to
be committed to the flames; for why preserve petitions on which _no
action can be had_? Had the resolution been directed to petitions for an
object palpably unconstitutional, it would still have been without
excuse. The construction of the Constitution is a matter of opinion, and
every citizen has a right to express that opinion in a petition, or
otherwise.

But this usurpation is aggravated by the almost universal admission that
Congress does possess the constitutional power to legislate on the
subject of slavery in the District of Columbia and the Territories. No
wonder that a distinguished statesman refused to sanction the right of
the House to pass such a resolution by even voting against it[A]. The
men who perpetrated this outrage had sworn to support the Constitution,
and will they hereafter plead at the bar of their Maker, that they had
kept their oath, because they had abridged the right of petition _by a
resolution_, and not by law!

[Footnote A: Mr. J.Q. Adams, on his name being called, refused to vote,
saying, "the resolution is in direct violation of the Constitution of
the United States, and the privileges of the members of this House."]

This resolution not only violates the rights of the people, but it
nullifies the privileges and obligations of their representatives. It is
an undoubted right and duty of every member of Congress to propose any
measure within the limits of the Constitution, which he believes is
required by the interests of his constituents and the welfare of his
country. Now mark the base surrender of this right--the wicked
dereliction of this duty. All "resolutions and propositions" relating
"in _any way_ or to _any extent_ whatever to the subject of slavery,"
shall be laid on the table, and "no further action _whatever_ shall be
had thereon." What a spectacle has been presented to the American
people!--one hundred and seventeen members of Congress relinquishing
their own rights, cancelling their own solemn obligations, forcibly
depriving the other members of their legislative privileges, abolishing
the freedom of debate, condemning the right of petition, and prohibiting
present and future legislation on a most important and constitutional
subject, by a rule of order!

In 1820, the New-York Legislature instructed the representatives from
that state in Congress, to insist on making "the prohibition of slavery
an indispensable condition of admission" of certain territories into the
union. In 1828, the Legislature of Pennsylvania instructed the
Pennsylvania members of Congress, to vote for the abolition of slavery
in the district of Columbia. In vain hereafter shall a representative
present the instructions of his constituents, or the injunctions of a
sovereign state. No question shall be taken, or any motion he may offer,
in _any way_, or to _any extent_, relating to slavery!

Search the annals of legislation, and you will find no precedent for
such a profligate act of tyranny, exercised by a majority over their
fellow legislators, nor for such an impudent contempt of the rights of
the people.

But this resolution is no less barbarous than it is profligate and
impudent. Remember, fellow countrymen! that the decree has gone forth,
that there shall be no legislation by Congress, _in any way_, or to _any
extent whatever_, on the subject of slavery. Now call to mind, that
Congress is the local and only legislature of the District of Columbia,
which is placed by the Constitution under its "exclusive jurisdiction
_in all cases whatsoever_." In this District, there are thousands of
human beings divested of the rights of humanity, and subjected to a
negotiable despotism; and Congress is the only power that can extend the
shield of law to protect them from cruelty and abuse; and that shield,
it is now resolved, shall not be extended in any way, or to any extent!
But this is not all. The District has become the great slave-market of
North America, and the port of Alexandria is the Guinea of our proud
republic, whence "cargoes of despair" are continually departing[A].

[Footnote A: One dealer, John Armfield, advertises in the National
Intelligencer of the 10th of February last, that he has three vessels in
the trade, and they will leave the port of Alexandria on the first and
fifteenth of each month.]

In the city which bears the name of the Father of his country, dealers
in human flesh receive licenses for the vile traffic, at four hundred
dollars each per annum; and the gazettes of the Capital have their
columns polluted with the advertisements of these men, offering cash for
children and youth, who, torn from their parents and families, are to
wear out their existence on the plantations of the south.[A] For the
safe keeping of these children and youth, till they are shipped for the
Mississippi, private pens and prisons are provided, and the UNITED
STATES' JAIL used when required. The laws of the District in relation to
slaves and free negroes are of the most abominable and iniquitous
character. Any free citizen with a dark skin, may be arrested on
pretence of being a fugitive slave, and committed to the UNITED STATES'
PRISON, and unless within a certain number of days he proves his
freedom, while immured within its walls, he is, under authority of
Congress, sold as a slave for life. Do you ask why? Let the blood mantle
in your cheeks, while we give you the answer of the LAW--"to pay his
jail fees!!"

[Footnote A: Twelve hundred negroes are thus advertised for in the
National Intelligencer of the 28th of March last. The negroes wanted are
generally from the age of ten or twelve years to twenty-five, and of
both sexes.]

On the 11th of January, 1827, the Committee for the District of
Columbia, (themselves slaveholders) introduced a bill providing that the
jail fees should hereafter be a county charge. The bill did not pass;
and by the late resolution, a statute unparalleled for injustice and
atrocity by any mandate of European despotism, is to be like the law of
the Medes and Persians, that altereth not, since no proposition for its
repeal or modification can be entertained.

The Grand Jury of Alexandria presented the slave trade of that place, as
"disgraceful to our character as citizens of a free government," and as
"a grievance demanding legislative redress;" that is, the interposition
of Congress--but one hundred and seventeen men have decided that there
shall be "no action whatever" by Congress in relation to slavery.

In March, 1816, John Randolph submitted the following resolution to the
House of Representatives: "_Resolved_, That a Committee be appointed to
inquire into the existence of an _inhuman_ and illegal traffic of
slaves, carried on in and through the District of Columbia, and to
report whether any, and what measures are necessary for putting a stop
to the same." The COMPACT had not then been formed and the resolution
_was adopted_. Such a resolution would _now_ "be laid on the table," and
treated with silent contempt.

In 1828, eleven hundred inhabitants of the District presented a petition
to Congress, complaining of the "DOMESTIC SLAVE-TRADE" as a grievance
disgraceful in its character, and "even more demoralizing its influence"
than the foreign traffic. The petition concluded as follows: "The people
of this District have within themselves no means of legislative redress,
and we therefore appeal to your Honorable body as the _only one_ vested
by the American Constitution with power to relieve us." No more shall
such appeals be made to the national council. What matters it, that the
people of the District are annoyed by the human shambles opened among
them? What matters it, that Congress is "the only body vested by the
American Constitution with power to relieve" them? The compact requires
that no action shall be had on _any_ petition relating to slavery.

The horse or the ox may be protected in the District, by act of
Congress, from the cruelty of its owner; but MAN, created in the image
of God, shall, if his complexion be dark, be abandoned to every outrage.
The negro may be bound alive to the stake in front of the Capitol, as
well as in the streets of St. Louis--his shrieks may resound through the
representative hall--and the stench of his burning body may enter the
nostrils of the law-givers--but no vote may rebuke the abomination--no
law forbid its repetition.

The representatives of the nation may regulate the traffic in sheep and
swine, within the ten miles square; but the SLAVERS of the District may
be laden to suffocation with human cattle--the horrors of the middle
passage may be transcended at the wharves of Alexandria; but Congress
may not limit the size of the cargoes, or provide for the due feeding
and watering the animals composing them!--The District of Columbia is
henceforth to be the only spot on the face of the globe, subjected to a
civilized and Christian police, in which avarice and malice may with
legal impunity inflict on humanity whatever sufferings ingenuity can
devise, or depravity desire.

And this accumulation of wickedness, cruelty and baseness, is to render
the seat of the federal government the scoff of tyrants and the reproach
of freemen FOREVER! On the 9th of January 1829, the House of
Representatives passed the following vote. "_Resolved_, that the
committee of the District of Columbia be instructed to inquire into the
expediency of providing by law, for the gradual abolition of Slavery in
the District, in such manner that no individual shall be injured
thereby." Never again while the present rule of order is in force, can
similar instructions be given to a committee--never again shall even an
inquiry be made into the expediency of abolishing slavery and the
slave-trade in the District. What stronger evidence can we have, of the
growing and spreading corruption caused by slavery, than that one
hundred and seventeen republican legislators professed believers in
Christianity--many of them from the North, aye even from the land of the
Pilgrims, should strive to render such curses PERPETUAL!

The flagitiousness of this resolution is aggravated if possible by the
arbitrary means by which its adoption was secured. No representative of
the People was permitted to lift up his voice against it--to plead the
commands of the Constitution which is violated--his own privileges and
duties which it contemned--the rights of his constituents on which it
trampled--the chains of justice and humanity which it impiously
outraged. Its advocates were afraid and ashamed to discuss it, and
forbidding debate, they perpetrated in silence the most atrocious act
that has ever disgraced an American Legislature[A]. And was no reason
whatever, it may be asked, assigned for this bold invasion of our
rights, this insult to the sympathies of our common nature?
Yes--connected with the resolution was a preamble explaining its OBJECT.
Read it, fellow countrymen, and be equally astonished at the impudence
of your rulers in avowing such an object, and at their folly in adopting
such an expedient to effect it. The lips of a free people are to be
sealed by insult and injury!

[Footnote A:  A debate was allowed on a motion to re-commit the report,
for the purpose of preparing a resolution that Congress has no
constitutional power to interfere with slavery in the District of
Columbia; but when the sense of the House was to be taken on the
resolution reported by the committees, all debate was prevented by the
previous question.]

"Whereas, it is extremely important and desirable that the AGITATION on
this subject should be finally ARRESTED, for the purpose of restoring
_tranquillity_ to the public mind, your committee respectfully recommend
the following resolution."

ORDER REIGNS IN WARSAW, were the terms in which the triumph of Russia
over the liberties of Poland was announced to the world. When the right
of petition shall be broken down--when no whisper shalt be heard in
Congress in behalf of human rights--when the press shall be muzzled, and
the freedom of speech destroyed by gag-laws, then will the slaveholders
announce, that TRANQUILLITY IS RESTORED TO THE PUBLIC MIND!

Fellow countrymen! is such the tranquillity you desire--is such the
heritage you would leave to your children? Suffer not the present
outrage, by effecting its avowed object, to invite farther aggressions
on your rights. The chairman of the committee boasted that the number of
petitioners the present session, for the abolition of slavery in the
District, was _only_ thirty-four thousand! Let us resolve, we beseech
you, that at the next session the number shall be A MILLION. Perhaps our
one hundred and seventeen representatives will then abandon in despair
their present dangerous and unconstitutional expedient for tranquilizing
the public mind.

The purpose of this address, is not to urge upon you our own views of
the sinfulness of slavery, and the safety of its immediate abolition;
but to call your attention to the conduct of your rulers. Let no one
think for a moment, that because he is not an abolitionist, his
liberties are not and will not be invaded. _We_ have no rights, distinct
from the rights of the whole people. Calumny, falsehood, and popular
violence, have been employed in vain, to tranquilize abolitionists. It
is now proposed to soothe them, by despoiling them of their
Constitutional rights; but they cannot be despoiled _alone_. The right
of petition and the freedom of debate are as sacred and valuable to
those who dissent from our opinions, as they are to ourselves. Can the
Constitution at the same time secure liberty to you, and expose us to
oppression--give you freedom of speech, and lock our lips--respect your
right of petition, and treat ours with contempt? No, fellow
countrymen!--we must be all free, or all slaves together. We implore
you, then, by all the obligations of interest, of patriotism, and of
religion--by the remembrance of your Fathers--by your love for your
children, to unite with us in maintaining our common, and till lately,
our unquestioned political rights.

We ask you as men to insist that your servants acting as the local
legislators of the District of Columbia, shall respect the common rights
and decencies of humanity.--We ask you as freemen, not to permit your
constitutional privileges to be trifled with, by those who have sworn to
maintain them.--We ask you as Christian men, to remember that by
sanctioning the sinful acts of your agents, you yourselves assume their
guilt.

We have no candidates to recommend to your favor--we ask not your
support for any political party; but we do ask you to give your
suffrages hereafter only to such men as you have reason to believe will
not sacrifice your rights, and their own obligations, and the claims of
mercy and the commands of God, to an iniquitous and mercenary COMPACT.
If we cannot have northern Presidents and other officers of the general
government except in exchange for freedom of conscience, of speech, of
the press and of legislation, then let all the appointments at
Washington be given to the South. If slaveholders will not trade with
us, unless we consent to be slaves ourselves, then let us leave their
money, and their sugar, and their cotton, to perish with them.

Fellow countrymen! we wish, we recommend no action whatever,
inconsistent with the laws and constitutions of our country, or the
precepts of our common religion, but we beseech you to join with us in
resolving, that while we will respect the rights of others, we will at
every hazard maintain our own.

_In behalf of the American Anti-Slavery Society._


ARTHUR TAPPAN,      \

WM. JAY,             \

JNO. RANKIN,          \

LEWIS TAPPAN,          \

S.S. JOCELYN,           \

S.E. CORNISH,           |   _Executive Committee_.

JOSHUA LEAVITT,         /

ABRAHAM L. COX,        /

AMOS A. PHELPS,       /

LA ROY SUNDERLAND,   /

THEO. S. WRIGHT,    /

ELIZUR WRIGHT, JR. /



       *       *       *       *       *


Published by the American Anti-Slavery Society, corner of Spruce and
Nassau Streets.



THE ANTI-SLAVERY EXAMINER.



VOL. I.     SEPTEMBER 1836.     No. 2.



APPEAL

TO THE

CHRISTIAN WOMEN OF THE SOUTH,



BY A.E. GRIMKÉ.

    "Then Mordecai commanded to answer Esther, Think not within
    thyself that thou shalt escape in the king's house more than all
    the Jews. For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time,
    then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews
    from another place: but thou and thy father's house shall be
    destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom
    for such a time as this. And Esther bade them return Mordecai
    this answer:--and so will I go in unto the king, which is not
    according to law, and _if I perish, I perish._" Esther IV.
    13-16.


RESPECTED FRIENDS,

It is because I feel a deep and tender interest in your present and
eternal welfare that I am willing thus publicly to address you. Some of
you have loved me as a relative, and some have felt bound to me in
Christian sympathy, and Gospel fellowship; and even when compelled by a
strong sense of duty, to break those outward bonds of union which bound
us together as members of the same community, and members of the same
religious denomination, you were generous enough to give me credit, for
sincerity as a Christian, though you believed I had been most strangely
deceived. I thanked you then for your kindness, and I ask you _now_, for
the sake of former confidence, and former friendship, to read the
following pages in the spirit of calm investigation and fervent prayer.
It is because you have known me, that I write thus unto you.

But there are other Christian women scattered over the Southern States,
and of these, a very large number have never seen me, and never heard my
name, and feel _no_ personal interest whatever in _me_. But I feel an
interest in _you_, as branches of the same vine from whose root I daily
draw the principle of spiritual vitality--Yes! Sisters in Christ I feel
an interest in _you_, and often has the secret prayer arisen on your
behalf, Lord "open thou their eyes that they may see wondrous things out
of thy Law"--It is then, because I _do feel_ and _do pray_ for you, that
I thus address you upon a subject about which of all others, perhaps you
would rather not hear any thing; but, "would to God ye could bear with
me a little in my folly, and indeed bear with me, for I am jealous over
you with godly jealousy." Be not afraid then to read my appeal; it is
_not_ written in the heat of passion or prejudice, but in that solemn
calmness which is the result of conviction and duty. It is true, I am
going to tell you unwelcome truths, but I mean to speak those _truths in
love_, and remember Solomon says, "faithful are the _wounds_ of a
friend." I do not believe the time has yet come when _Christian women_
"will not endure sound doctrine," even on the subject of Slavery, if it
is spoken to them in tenderness and love, therefore I now address _you_.


       *       *       *       *       *


POSTAGE.--This periodical contains four and a half sheets. Postage under
100 miles, 6 3-4 cents; over 100 miles, 11 1-4 cents. Please read and
circulate.

To all of you then, known or unknown, relatives or strangers, (for you
are all _one_ to Christ,) I would speak. I have felt for you at this
time, when unwelcome light is pouring in upon the world on the subject
of slavery; light which even Christians would exclude, if they could,
from our country, or at any rate from the southern portion of it,
saying, as its rays strike the rock bound coasts of New England and
scatter their warmth and radiance over her hills and valleys, and from
thence travel onward over the Palisades of the Hudson, and down the soft
flowing waters of the Delaware and gild the waves of the Potomac,
"hitherto shalt thou come and no further;" I know that even professors
of His name who has been emphatically called the "Light of the world"
would, if they could, build a wall of adamant around the Southern States
whose top might reach unto heaven, in order to shut out the light which
is bounding from mountain to mountain and from the hills to the plains
and valleys beneath, through the vast extent of our Northern States. But
believe me, when I tell you, their attempts will be as utterly fruitless
as were the efforts of the builders of Babel; and why? Because moral,
like natural light, is so extremely subtle in its nature as to overleap
all human barriers, and laugh at the puny efforts of man to control it.
All the excuses and palliations of this system must inevitably be swept
away, just as other "refuges of lies" have been, by the irresistible
torrent of a rectified public opinion. "The _supporters_ of the slave
system," says Jonathan Dymond in his admirable work on the Principles of
Morality, "will _hereafter_ be regarded with the _same_ public feeling,
as he who was an advocate for the slave trade _now is_." It will be, and
that very soon, clearly perceived and fully acknowledged by all the
virtuous and the candid, that in _principle_ it is as sinful to hold a
human being in bondage who has been born in Carolina, as one who has
been born in Africa. All that sophistry of argument which has been
employed to prove, that although it is sinful to send to Africa to
procure men and women as slaves, who have never been in slavery, that
still, it is not sinful to keep those in bondage who have come down by
inheritance, will be utterly overthrown. We must come back to the good
old doctrine of our forefathers who declared to the world, "this self
evident truth that _all_ men are created equal, and that they have
certain _inalienable_ rights among which are life, _liberty_, and the
pursuit of happiness." It is even a greater absurdity to suppose a man
can be legally born a slave under _our free Republican_ Government, than
under the petty despotisms of barbarian Africa. If then, we have no
right to enslave an African, surely we can have none to enslave an
American; if it is a self evident truth that _all_ men, every where and
of every color are born equal, and have an _inalienable right to
liberty_, then it is equally true that _no_ man can be born a slave, and
no man can ever _rightfully_ be reduced to _involuntary_ bondage and
held as a slave, however fair may be the claim of his master or mistress
through wills and title-deeds.

But after all, it may be said, our fathers were certainly mistaken, for
the Bible sanctions Slavery, and that is the highest authority. Now the
Bible is my ultimate appeal in all matters of faith and practice, and it
is to _this test_ I am anxious to bring the subject at issue between us.
Let us then begin with Adam and examine the charter of privileges which
was given to him. "Have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the
fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the
earth." In the eighth Psalm we have a still fuller description of this
charter which through Adam was given to all mankind. "Thou madest him to
have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things
under his feet. All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field,
the fowl of the air, the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through
the paths of the seas." And after the flood when this charter of human
rights was renewed, we find _no additional_ power vested in man. "And
the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the
earth, and every fowl of the air, and upon all that moveth upon the
earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea, into your hand are they
delivered." In this charter, although the different kinds of
_irrational_ beings are so particularly enumerated, and supreme dominion
over _all of them_ is granted, yet _man_ is _never_ vested with this
dominion _over his fellow man;_ he was never told that any of the human
species were put _under his feet;_ it was only _all things_, and man,
who was created in the image of his Maker, _never_ can properly be
termed a _thing_, though the laws of Slave States do call him "a chattel
personal;" _Man_ then, I assert _never_ was put _under the feet of man_,
by that first charter of human rights which was given by God, to the
Fathers of the Antediluvian and Postdiluvian worlds, therefore this
doctrine of equality is based on the Bible.

But it may be argued, that in the very chapter of Genesis from which I
have last quoted, will be found the curse pronounced upon Canaan, by
which his posterity was consigned to servitude under his brothers Shem
and Japheth. I know this prophecy was uttered, and was most fearfully
and wonderfully fulfilled, through the immediate descendants of Canaan,
_i.e._ the Canaanites, and I do not know but it has been through all the
children of Ham, but I do know that prophecy does _not_ tell us what
_ought to be_, but what actually does take place, ages after it has been
delivered, and that if we justify America for enslaving the children of
Africa, we must also justify Egypt for reducing the children of Israel
to bondage, for the latter was foretold as explicitly as the former. I
am well aware that prophecy has often been urged as an excuse for
Slavery, but be not deceived, the fulfillment of prophecy will _not
cover one sin_ in the awful day of account. Hear what our Saviour says
on this subject; "it must needs be that offences come, but _woe unto
that man through whom they come_"--Witness some fulfillment of this
declaration in the tremendous destruction of Jerusalem, occasioned by
that most nefarious of all crimes the crucifixion of the Son of God. Did
the fact of that event having been foretold, exculpate the Jews from sin
in perpetrating it; No--for hear what the Apostle Peter says to them on
this subject, "Him being delivered by the determinate counsel and
foreknowledge of God, _ye_ have taken, and by _wicked_ hands have
crucified and slain." Other striking instances might be adduced, but
these will suffice.

But it has been urged that the patriarchs held slaves, and therefore,
slavery is right. Do you really believe that patriarchal servitude was
like American slavery? Can you believe it? If so, read the history of
these primitive fathers of the church and be undeceived. Look at
Abraham, though so great a man, going to the herd himself and fetching a
calf from thence and serving it up with his own hands, for the
entertainment of his guests. Look at Sarah, that princess as her name
signifies, baking cakes upon the hearth. If the servants they had were
like Southern slaves, would they have performed such comparatively
menial offices for themselves? Hear too the plaintive lamentation of
Abraham when he feared he should have no son to bear his name down to
posterity. "Behold thou hast given me no seed, &c., one born in my house
_is mine_ heir." From this it appears that one of his _servants_ was to
inherit his immense estate. Is this like Southern slavery? I leave it to
your own good sense and candor to decide. Besides, such was the footing
upon which Abraham was with _his_ servants, that he trusted them with
arms. Are slaveholders willing to put swords and pistols into the hands
of their slaves? He was as a father among his servants; what are
planters and masters generally among theirs? When the institution of
circumcision was established, Abraham was commanded thus; "He that is
eight days old shall be circumcised among you, _every_ man-child in your
generations; he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any
stranger which is not of thy seed." And to render this command with
regard to his _servants_ still more impressive it is repeated in the
very next verse; and herein we may perceive the great care which was
taken by God to guard the _rights of servants_ even under this "dark
dispensation." What too was the testimony given to the faithfulness of
this eminent patriarch. "For I know him that he will command his
children and his _household_ after him, and they shall keep the way of
the Lord to do justice and judgment." Now my dear friends many of you
believe that circumcision has been superseded by baptism in the Church;
_Are you_ careful to have _all_ that are born in your house or bought
with money of any stranger, baptized? Are _you_ as faithful as Abraham
to command _your household to keep the way of the Lord?_ I leave it to
your own consciences to decide. Was patriarchal servitude then like
American Slavery?

But I shall be told, God sanctioned Slavery, yea commanded Slavery under
the Jewish Dispensation. Let us examine this subject calmly and
prayerfully. I admit that a species of _servitude_ was permitted to the
Jews, but in studying the subject I have been struck with wonder and
admiration at perceiving how carefully the servant was guarded from
violence, injustice and wrong. I will first inform you how these
servants became servants, for I think this a very important part of our
subject. From consulting Horne, Calmet and the Bible, I find there were
six different ways by which the Hebrews became servants legally.

1. If reduced to extreme poverty, a Hebrew might sell himself, i.e. his
services, for six years, in which case _he_ received the purchase money
_himself_. Lev. xxv, 39.

2. A father might sell his children as servants, i.e. his _daughters_,
in which circumstance it was understood the daughter was to be the wife
or daughter-in-law of the man who bought her, and the _father_ received
the price. In other words, Jewish women were sold as _white women_ were
in the first settlement of Virginia--as _wives_, _not_ as slaves. Ex.
xxi, 7.

3. Insolvent debtors might be delivered to their creditors as servants.
2 Kings iv, 1.

4. Thieves not able to make restitution for their thefts, were sold for
the benefit of the injured person. Ex. xxii, 3.

5. They might be born in servitude. Ex. xxi, 4.

6. If a Hebrew had sold himself to a rich Gentile, he might be redeemed
by one of his brethren at any time the money was offered; and he who
redeemed him, was _not_ to take advantage of the favor thus conferred,
and rule over him with rigor. Lev. xxv, 47-55.

Before going into an examination of the laws by which these servants
were protected, I would just ask whether American slaves have become
slaves in any of the ways in which the Hebrews became servants. Did they
sell themselves into slavery and receive the purchase money into their
own hands? No! Did they become insolvent, and by their own imprudence
subject themselves to be sold as slaves? No! Did they steal the property
of another, and were they sold to make restitution for their crimes? No!
Did their present masters, as an act of kindness, redeem them from some
heathen tyrant to whom _they had sold themselves_ in the dark hour of
adversity? No! Were they born in slavery? No! No! not according to
_Jewish Law_, for the servants who were born in servitude among them,
were born of parents who had _sold themselves_ for six years: Ex. xxi,
4. Were the female slaves of the South sold by their fathers? How shall
I answer this question? Thousands and tens of thousands never were,
_their_ fathers _never_ have received the poor compensation of silver or
gold for the tears and toils, the suffering, and anguish, and hopeless
bondage of _their_ daughters. They labor day by day, and year by year,
side by side, in the same field, if haply their daughters are permitted
to remain on the same plantation with them, instead of being as they
often are, separated from their parents and sold into distant states,
never again to meet on earth. But do the _fathers of the South ever sell
their daughters?_ My heart beats, and my hand trembles, as I write the
awful affirmative, Yes! The fathers of this Christian land often sell
their daughters, _not_ as Jewish parents did, to be the wives and
daughters-in-law of the man who buys them, but to be the abject slaves
of petty tyrants and irresponsible masters. Is it not so, my friends? I
leave it to your own candor to corroborate my assertion. Southern slaves
then have _not_ become slaves in any of the six different ways in which
Hebrews became servants, and I hesitate not to say that American masters
_cannot_ according to _Jewish law_ substantiate their claim to the men,
women, or children they now hold in bondage.

But there was one way in which a Jew might illegally be reduced to
servitude; it was this, he might he _stolen_ and afterwards sold as a
slave, as was Joseph. To guard most effectually against this dreadful
crime of manstealing, God enacted this severe law. "He that stealeth a
man and selleth him, or if he be found in his hand, he shall surely be
put to death[A]." As I have tried American Slavery by _legal_ Hebrew
servitude, and found, (to your surprise, perhaps,) that Jewish law
cannot justify the slaveholder's claim, let us now try it by _illegal_
Hebrew bondage. Have the Southern slaves then been stolen? If they did
not sell themselves into bondage; if they were not sold as insolvent
debtors or as thieves; if they were not redeemed from a heathen master
to whom they had sold themselves; if they were not born in servitude
according to Hebrew law; and if the females were not sold by their
fathers as wives and daughters-in-law to those who purchased them; then
what shall we say of them? what can we say of them? but that according
_to Hebrew Law they have been stolen_.

[Footnote A: And again, "If a man be found stealing any of his brethren
of the children of Israel, and maketh merchandise of him, or selleth
him; then _that thief shall die_, and thou shalt put away evil from
among you." Deut. xxiv, 7.]

But I shall be told that the Jews had other servants who were absolute
slaves. Let us look a little into this also. They had other servants who
were procured in two different ways.

1. Captives taken in war were reduced to bondage instead of being
killed; but we are not told that their children were enslaved. Deut. xx,
14.

2. Bondmen and bondmaids might be bought from the heathen round about
them; these were left by fathers to their children after them, but it
does not appear that the _children_ of these servants ever were reduced
to servitude. Lev. xxv, 44.

I will now try the right of the southern planter by the claims of Hebrew
masters over their _heathen_ slaves. Were the southern slaves taken
captive in war? No! Were they bought from the heathen? No! for surely,
no one will _now_ vindicate the slave-trade so far as to assert that
slaves were bought from the heathen who were obtained by that system of
piracy. The only excuse for holding southern slaves is that they were
born in slavery, but we have seen that they were _not_ born in servitude
as Jewish servants were, and that the children of heathen slaves were
not legally subjected to bondage even under the Mosaic Law. How then
have the slaves of the South been obtained?

I will next proceed to an examination of those laws which were enacted
in order to protect the Hebrew and the Heathen servant; for I wish you
to understand that _both_ are protected by Him, of whom it is said "his
mercies are over all his works." I will first speak of those which
secured the rights of Hebrew servants. This code was headed thus:

1. Thou shalt not rule over him with rigor, but shalt fear thy God.

2. If thou buy a Hebrew servant, six years shall he serve, and in the
seventh year he shall go out free for nothing. Ex. xx, 2[A].

[Footnote A: And when thou sendest him out free from thee, thou shalt
not let him go away empty: Thou shalt furnish him _liberally_ out of thy
flock and out of thy floor, and out of thy wine-press: of that wherewith
the Lord thy God hath blessed thee, shalt thou give unto him. Deut. xv,
13, 14.]

3. If he come in by himself, he shall go out by himself; if he were
married, then his wife shall go out with him.

4. If his master have given him a wife and she have borne him sons and
daughters, the wife and her children shall be his master's, and he shall
go out by himself.

5. If the servant shall plainly say, I love my master, my wife, and my
children; I will not go out free; then his master shall bring him unto
the Judges, and he shall bring him to the door, or unto the door-post,
and his master shall bore his ear through with an awl, and he shall
serve him _forever_. Ex. xxi, 3-6.

6. If a man smite the eye of his servant, or the eye of his maid, that
it perish, he shall let him go _free_ for his eye's sake. And if he
smite out his man servant's tooth or his maid servant's tooth, he shall
let him go _free_ for his tooth's sake. Ex. xxi, 26, 27.

7. On the Sabbath rest was secured to servants by the fourth
commandment. Ex. xx, 10.

8. Servants were permitted to unite with their masters three times in
every year in celebrating the Passover, the feast of Pentecost, and the
feast of Tabernacles; every male throughout the land was to appear
before the Lord at Jerusalem with a gift; here the bond and the free
stood on common ground. Deut. xvi.

9. If a man smite his servant or his maid with a rod, and he die under
his hand, he shall be surely punished. Notwithstanding, if he continue a
day or two, he shall not be punished, for he is his money. Ex. xxi, 20,
21.

From these laws we learn that Hebrew men servants were bound to serve
their masters _only six_ years, unless their attachment to their
employers, their wives and children, should induce them to wish to
remain in servitude, in which case, in order to prevent the possibility
of deception on the part of the master, the servant was first taken
before the magistrate, where he openly declared his intention of
continuing in his master's service, (probably a public register was kept
of such) he was then conducted to the door of the house, (in warm
climates doors are thrown open,) and _there_ his ear was _publicly_
bored, and by submitting to this operation he testified his willingness
to serve him _forever_, i.e. during his life, for Jewish Rabbins who
must have understood Jewish _slavery_, (as it is called,) "affirm that
servants were set free at the death of their masters and did _not_
descend to their heirs:" or that he was to serve him until the year of
Jubilee, when _all_ servants were set at liberty. To protect servants
from violence, it was ordained that if a master struck out the tooth or
destroyed the eye of a servant, that servant immediately became _free_,
for such an act of violence evidently showed he was unfit to possess the
power of a master, and therefore that power was taken from him. All
servants enjoyed the rest of the Sabbath and partook of the privileges
and festivities of the three great Jewish Feasts; and if a servant died
under the infliction of chastisement, his master was surely to be
punished. As a tooth for a tooth and life for life was the Jewish law,
of course he was punished with death. I know that great stress has been
laid upon the following verse: "Notwithstanding, if he continue a day or
two, he shall not be punished, for he is his money."

Slaveholders, and the apologists of slavery, have eagerly seized upon
this little passage of scripture, and held it up as the masters' Magna
Charta, by which they were licensed by God himself to commit the
greatest outrages upon the defenceless victims of their oppression. But,
my friends, was it designed to be so? If our Heavenly Father would
protect by law the eye and the tooth of a Hebrew servant, can we for a
moment believe that he would abandon that same servant to the brutal
rape of a master who would destroy even life itself. Do we not rather
see in this, the _only_ law which protected masters, and was it not
right that in case of the death of a servant, one or two days after
chastisement was inflicted, to which other circumstances might have
contributed, that the master should be protected when, in all
probability, he never intended to produce so fatal a result? But the
phrase "he is his money" has been adduced to show that Hebrew servants
were regarded as mere _things_, "chattels personal;" if so, why were so
many laws made to _secure their rights as men_, and to ensure their
rising into equality and freedom? If they were mere _things_, why were
they regarded as responsible beings, and one law made for them as well
as for their masters? But I pass on now to the consideration of how the
_female_ Jewish servants were protected by _law_.

1. If she please not her master, who hath betrothed her to himself, then
shall he let her be redeemed: to sell her unto another nation he shall
have no power, seeing he hath dealt deceitfully with her.

2. If he have betrothed her unto his son, he shall deal with her after
the manner of daughters.

3. If he take him another wife, her food, her raiment, and her duty of
marriage, shall he not diminish.

4. If he do not these three unto her, then shall she go out _free_
without money.

On these laws I will give you Calmet's remarks; "A father could not sell
his daughter as a slave, according to the Rabbins, until she was at the
age of puberty, and unless he were reduced to the utmost indigence.
Besides, when a master bought an Israelitish girl, it was _always_ with
the presumption that he would take her to wife." Hence Moses adds, "if
she please not her master, and he does not think fit to marry her, he
shall set her at liberty," or according to the Hebrew, "he shall let her
be redeemed." "To sell her to another nation he shall have no power,
seeing he hath dealt deceitfully with her;" as to the engagement
implied, at least of taking her to wife. "If he have betrothed her unto
his son, he shall deal with her after the manner of daughters, i.e. he
shall take care that his son uses her as his wife, that he does not
despise or maltreat her. If he make his son marry another wife, he shall
give her her dowry, her clothes and compensation for her virginity; if
he does none of these three, she shall _go out free_ without money."
Thus were the _rights of female servants carefully secured by law_ under
the Jewish Dispensation; and now I would ask, are the rights of female
slaves at the South thus secured? Are _they_ sold only as wives and
daughters-in-law, and when not treated as such, are they allowed to _go
out free_? No! They have _all_ not only been illegally obtained as
servants according to Hebrew law, but they are also illegally _held_ in
bondage. Masters at the South and West have all forfeited their claims,
(_if they ever had any_,) to their female slaves.

We come now to examine the case of those servants who were "of the
heathen round about;" Were _they_ left entirely unprotected by law?
Horne in speaking of the law, "Thou shalt not rule over him with rigor,
but shalt fear thy God," remarks, "this law Lev. xxv, 43; it is true
speaks expressly of slaves who were of Hebrew descent; but as _alien
born_ slaves were ingrafted into the Hebrew Church by circumcision,
_there is no doubt_ but that it applied to _all_ slaves;" if so, then we
may reasonably suppose that the other protective laws extended to them
also; and that the only difference between Hebrew and Heathen servants
lay in this, that the former served but six years unless they chose to
remain longer; and were always freed at the death of their masters;
whereas the latter served until the year of Jubilee, though that might
include a period of forty-nine years,--and were left from father to son.

There are however two other laws which I have not yet noticed. The one
effectually prevented _all involuntary_ servitude, and the other
completely abolished Jewish servitude every fifty years. They were
equally operative upon the Heathen and the Hebrew.

1. "Thou shall _not_ deliver unto his master the servant that is escaped
from his master unto thee. He shall dwell with thee, even among you, in
that place which he shall choose, in one of thy gates where it liketh
him best: thou shall _not_ oppress him." Deut. xxxiii; 15, 16.

2. "And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim _Liberty_
throughout _all_ the land, unto _all_ the inhabitants thereof: it shall
be a jubilee unto you." Deut. xxv, 10.

Here, then, we see that by this first law, the _door of Freedom was
opened wide to every servant who_ had any cause whatever for complaint;
if he was unhappy with his master, all he had to do was to leave him,
and _no man_ had a right to deliver him back to him again, and not only
so, but the absconded servant was to _choose_ where he should live, and
no Jew was permitted to oppress him. He left his master just as our
Northern servants leave us; we have no power to compel them to remain
with us, and no man has any right to oppress them; they go and dwell in
that place where it chooseth them, and live just where they like. Is it
so at the South? Is the poor runaway slave protected _by law_ from the
violence of that master whose oppression and cruelty has driven him from
his plantation or his house? No! no! Even the free states of the North
are compelled to deliver unto his master the servant that is escaped
from his master into them. By _human_ law, under the _Christian
Dispensation_, in the _nineteenth century_ we are commanded to do, what
_God_ more than _three thousand_ years ago, under the _Mosaic
Dispensation_, _positively commanded_ the Jews _not_ to do. In the wide
domain even of our free states, there is not _one_ city of refuge for
the poor runaway fugitive; not one spot upon which he can stand and say,
I am a free man--I am protected in my rights as a _man_, by the strong
arm of the law; no! _not one_. How long the North will thus shake hands
with the South in sin, I know not. How long she will stand by like the
persecutor Saul, _consenting_ unto the death of Stephen, and keeping the
raiment of them that slew him, I know not; but one thing I do know, the
_guilt of the North_ is increasing in a tremendous ratio as light is
pouring in upon her on the subject and the sin of slavery. As the sun of
righteousness climbs higher and higher in the moral heavens, she will
stand still more and more abashed as the query is thundered down into
her ear, "_Who_ hath required _this_ at thy hand?" It will be found _no_
excuse then that the Constitution of our country required that _persons
bound to service_ escaping from their masters should be delivered up; no
more excuse than was the reason which Adam assigned for eating the
forbidden fruit. _He was condemned and punished because_ he hearkened to
the voice of _his wife_, rather than to the command of his Maker; and
_we_ will assuredly be condemned and punished for obeying _Man_ rather
than _God_, if we do not speedily repent and bring forth fruits meet for
repentance. Yea, are we not receiving chastisement even _now_?

But by the second of these laws a still more astonishing fact is
disclosed. If the first effectually prevented _all involuntary
servitude_, the last absolutely forbade even _voluntary servitude being
perpetual_. On the great day of atonement every fiftieth year the
Jubilee trumpet was sounded throughout the land of Judea, and _Liberty_
was proclaimed to _all_ the inhabitants thereof. I will not say that the
servants' _chains_ fell off and their _manacles_ were burst, for there
is no evidence that Jewish servants _ever_ felt the weight of iron
chains, and collars, and handcuffs; but I do say that even the man who
had voluntarily sold himself and the _heathen_ who had been sold to a
Hebrew master, were set free, the one as well as the other. This law was
evidently designed to prevent the oppression of the poor, and the
possibility of such a thing as _perpetual servitude_ existing among
them.

Where, then, I would ask, is the warrant, the justification, or the
palliation of American Slavery from Hebrew servitude? How many of the
southern slaves would now be in bondage according to the laws of Moses;
Not one. You may observe that I have carefully avoided using the term
_slavery_ when speaking of Jewish servitude; and simply for this reason,
that _no such thing_ existed among that people; the word translated
servant does _not_ mean _slave_, it is the same that is applied to
Abraham, to Moses, to Elisha and the prophets generally. _Slavery_ then
_never_ existed under the Jewish Dispensation at all, and I cannot but
regard it as an aspersion on the character of Him who is "glorious in
Holiness" for any one to assert that "_God sanctioned, yea commanded
slavery_ under the old dispensation." I would fain lift my feeble voice
to vindicate Jehovah's character from so foul a slander. If slaveholders
are determined to hold slaves as long as they can, let them not dare to
say that the God of mercy and of truth _ever_ sanctioned such a system
of cruelty and wrong. It is blasphemy against Him.

We have seen that the code of laws framed by Moses with regard to
servants was designed to _protect them_ as _men and women_, to secure to
them their _rights_ as _human beings_, to guard them from oppression and
defend them from violence of every kind. Let us now turn to the Slave
laws of the South and West and examine them too. I will give you the
substance only, because I fear I shall trespass too much on your time,
were I to quote them at length.

1. _Slavery_ is hereditary and perpetual, to the last moment of the
slave's earthly existence, and to all his descendants to the latest
posterity.

2. The labor of the slave is compulsory and uncompensated; while the
kind of labor, the amount of toil, the time allowed for rest, are
dictated solely by the master. No bargain is made, no wages given. A
pure despotism governs the human brute; and even his covering and
provender, both as to quantity and quality, depend entirely on the
master's discretion[A].

[Footnote A: There are laws in some of the slave states, limiting the
labor which the master may require of the slave to fourteen hours daily.
In some of the states there are laws requiring the masters to furnish a
certain amount of food and clothing, as for instance, _one quart_ of
corn per day, or _one peck_ per week, or _one bushel_ per month, and
"one linen shirt and pantaloons for the summer, and a linen shirt and
woolen great coat and pantaloons for the winter," &c. But "still," to
use the language of Judge Stroud "the slave is entirely under the
control of his master,--is unprovided with a protector,--and, especially
as he cannot be a witness or make complaint in any known mode against
his master, the apparent object of these laws may _always_ be defeated."
ED.]

3. The slave being considered a personal chattel may be sold or pledged,
or leased at the will of his master. He may be exchanged for marketable
commodities, or taken in execution for the debts or taxes either of a
living or dead master. Sold at auction, either individually, or in lots
to suit the purchaser, he may remain with his family, or be separated
from them for ever.

4. Slaves can make no contracts and have no _legal_ right to any
property, real or personal. Their own honest earnings and the legacies
of friends belong in point of law to their masters.

5. Neither a slave nor a free colored person can be a witness against
any _white_, or free person, in a court of justice, however atrocious
may have been the crimes they have seen him commit, if such testimony
would be for the benefit of a _slave_; but they may give testimony
_against a fellow slave_, or free colored man, even in cases affecting
life, if the _master_ is to reap the advantage of it.

6. The slave may be punished at his master's discretion--without
trial--without any means of legal redress; whether his offence be real
or imaginary; and the master can transfer the same despotic power to any
person or persons, he may choose to appoint.

7. The slave is not allowed to resist any free man under _any_
circumstances, _his_ only safety consists in the fact that his _owner_
may bring suit and recover the price of his body, in case his life is
taken, or his limbs rendered unfit for labor.

8. Slaves cannot redeem themselves, or obtain a change of masters,
though cruel treatment may have rendered such a change necessary for
their personal safety.

9. The slave is entirely unprotected in his domestic relations.

10. The laws greatly obstruct the manumission of slaves, even where the
master is willing to enfranchise them.

11. The operation of the laws tends to deprive slaves of religious
instruction and consolation.

12. The whole power of the laws is exerted to keep slaves in a state of
the lowest ignorance.

13. There is in this country a monstrous inequality of law and right.
What is a trifling fault in the _white_ man, is considered highly
criminal in the _slave_; the same offences which cost a white man a few
dollars only, are punished in the negro with death.

14. The laws operate most oppressively upon free people of color[A].

[Footnote A:  See Mrs. Child's Appeal, Chap. II.]

Shall I ask you now my friends, to draw the _parallel_ between Jewish
_servitude_ and American _slavery_? No! For there is _no likeness_ in
the two systems; I ask you rather to mark the contrast. The laws of
Moses _protected servants_ in their _rights as men and women_, guarded
them from oppression and defended them from wrong. The Code Noir of the
South _robs the slave of all his rights_ as a _man_, reduces him to a
chattel personal, and defends the _master_ in the exercise of the most
unnatural and unwarrantable power over his slave. They each bear the
impress of the hand which formed them. The attributes of justice and
mercy are shadowed out in the Hebrew code; those of injustice and
cruelty, in the Code Noir of America. Truly it was wise in the
slaveholders of the South to declare their slaves to be "chattels
personal;" for before they could be robbed of wages, wives, children,
and friends, it was absolutely necessary to deny they were human beings.
It is wise in them, to keep them in abject ignorance, for the strong man
armed must be bound before we can spoil his house--the powerful
intellect of man must be bound down with the iron chains of nescience
before we can rob him of his rights as a man; we must reduce him to a
_thing_; before we can claim the right to set our feet upon his neck,
because it was only _all things_ which were originally _put under the
feet of man_ by the Almighty and Beneficent Father of all, who has
declared himself to be _no respecter_ of persons, whether red, white, or
black.

But some have even said that Jesus Christ did not condemn slavery. To
this I reply, that our Holy Redeemer lived and preached among the Jews
only. The laws which Moses had enacted fifteen hundred years previous to
his appearance among them, had never been annulled, and these laws
_protected_ every servant in Palestine. That he saw nothing of
_perpetual_ servitude is certain from the simple declaration made by
himself in John, viii, 35. "The servant abideth _not_ in the house for
ever, the son abideth ever." If then He did not condemn Jewish
_temporary_ servitude, this does not prove that he would not have
condemned such a monstrous system as that of AMERICAN _slavery_, if that
had existed among them. But did not Jesus condemn slavery? Let us
examine some of his precepts. "_Whatsoever_ ye would that men should do
to you, do _ye even so to them_." Let every slaveholder apply these
queries to his own heart; Am _I_ willing to be a slave--Am _I_ willing
to see _my_ husband the slave of another--Am _I_ willing to see my
mother a slave, or my father, my _white_ sister, or my _white_ brother?
If _not_, then in holding others as slaves, I am doing what I would
_not_ wish to be done to me or any relative I have; and thus have I
broken this golden rule which was given _me_ to walk by.

But some slaveholders have said, "we were never in bondage to any man,"
and therefore the yoke of bondage would be insufferable to us, but
slaves are accustomed to it, their backs are fitted to the burden. Well,
I am willing to admit that you who have lived in freedom would find
slavery even more oppressive than the poor slave does, but then you may
try this question in another form--Am I willing to reduce _my little
child_ to slavery? You know that _if it is brought up a slave_, it will
never know any contrast between freedom and bondage; its back will
become fitted to the burden just as the negro child's does--_not by
nature_--but by daily, violent pressure, in the same way that the head
of the Indian child becomes flattened by the boards in which it is
bound. It has been justly remarked that "_God never made a slave_," he
made man upright; his back was _not_ made to carry burdens as the slave
of another, nor his neck to wear a yoke, and the _man_ must be crushed
within him, before _his_ back can be _fitted_ to the burden of perpetual
slavery; and that his back is _not_ fitted to it, is manifest by the
insurrections that so often disturb the peace and security of
slave-holding countries. Who ever heard of a rebellion of the beasts of
the field; and why not? simply because _they_ were all placed _under the
feet of man_, into whose hand they were delivered; it was originally
designed that they should serve him, therefore their necks have been
formed for the yoke, and their backs for the burden; but _not so with
man_, intellectual, immortal man! I appeal to you, my friends, as
mothers; Are you willing to enslave _your_ children? You start back with
horror and indignation at such a question. But why, if slavery is _no
wrong_ to those upon whom it is imposed? why, if, as has often been
said, slaves are happier than their masters, freer from the cares and
perplexities of providing for themselves and their families? why not
place _your children_ in the way of being supported without your having
the trouble to provide for them, or they for themselves? Do you not
perceive that as soon as this golden rule of action is applied to
_yourselves_, that you involuntarily shrink from the test; as soon as
_your_ actions are weighed in _this_ balance of the sanctuary, that _you
are found wanting?_ Try yourselves by another of the Divine precepts,
"Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." Can we love a man _as_ we
love _ourselves_ if we do, and continue to do unto him, what we would
not wish any one to do to us? Look too, at Christ's example, what does
he say of himself, "I came _not_ to be ministered unto, but to
minister." Can you for a moment imagine the meek, and lowly, and
compassionate Saviour, a _slaveholder_? do you not shudder at this
thought as much as at that of his being a _warrior_? But why, if slavery
is not sinful?

Again, it has been said, the Apostle Paul did not condemn Slavery, for
he sent Onesimus back to Philemon. I do not think it can be said he sent
him back, for no coercion was made use of. Onesimus was not thrown into
prison and then sent back in chains to his master, as your runaway
slaves often are--this could not possibly have been the case, because
you know Paul as a Jew, was _bound to protect_ the runaway, _he had no
right_ to send any fugitive back to his master. The state of the case
then seems to have been this. Onesimus had been an unprofitable servant
to Philemon and left him--he afterwards became converted under the
Apostle's preaching, and seeing that he had been to blame in his
conduct, and desiring by future fidelity to atone for past error, he
wished to return, and the Apostle gave him the letter we now have as a
recommendation to Philemon, informing him of the conversion of Onesimus,
and entreating him as "Paul the aged to receive him, _not_ now as a
_servant_, but _above_ a servant, a brother beloved, especially to me,
but how much more unto thee, both in the flesh and in the Lord. If thou
count _me_ therefore as a partner, _receive him as myself._" This then
surely cannot be forced into a justification of the practice of
returning runaway slaves back to their masters, to be punished with
cruel beatings and scourgings as they often are. Besides the word
[Greek: doulos] here translated servant, is the same that is made use of
in Matt. xviii, 27. Now it appears that this servant owed his lord ten
thousand talents; he possessed property to a vast amount. Onesimus could
not then have been a _slave_, for slaves do not own their wives, or
children; no, not even their own bodies, much less property. But again,
the servitude which the apostle was accustomed to, must have been very
different from American slavery, for he says, "the heir (or son), as
long as he is a child, differeth _nothing from a servant_, though he be
lord of all. But is under _tutors_ and governors until the time
appointed of the father." From this it appears, that the means of
_instruction_ were provided for _servants_ as well as children; and
indeed we know it must have been so among the Jews, because their
servants were not permitted to remain in perpetual bondage, and
therefore it was absolutely necessary they should be prepared to occupy
higher stations in society than those of servants. Is it so at the
South, my friends? Is the daily bread of instruction provided for _your
slaves_? are their minds enlightened, and they gradually prepared to
rise from the grade of menials into that of _free_, independent members
of the state? Let your own statute book, and your own daily experience,
answer these questions.

If this apostle sanctioned _slavery_, why did he exhort masters thus in
his epistle to the Ephesians, "and ye, masters, do the same things unto
them (i.e. perform your duties to your servants as unto Christ, not unto
me) _forbearing threatening_; knowing that your master also is in
heaven, neither is _there respect of persons with him_." And in
Colossians, "Masters give unto your servants that which is _just and
equal_, knowing that ye also have a master in heaven." Let slaveholders
only _obey_ these injunctions of Paul, and I am satisfied slavery would
soon be abolished. If he thought it sinful even to _threaten_ servants,
surely he must have thought it sinful to flog and to beat them with
sticks and paddles; indeed, when delineating the character of a bishop,
he expressly names this as one feature of it, "_no striker_." Let
masters give unto their servants that which is _just_ and _equal_, and
all that vast system of unrequited labor would crumble into ruin. Yes,
and if they once felt they had no right to the _labor_ of their servants
without pay, surely they could not think they had a right to their
wives, their children, and their own bodies. Again, how can it be said
Paul sanctioned slavery, when, as though to put this matter beyond all
doubt, in that black catalogue of sins enumerated in his first epistle
to Timothy, he mentions "_menstealers_," which word may be translated
"_slavedealers_." But you may say, we all despise slavedealers as much
as any one can; they are never admitted into genteel or respectable
society. And why not? Is it not because even you shrink back from the
idea of associating with those who make their fortunes by trading in the
bodies and souls of men, women, and children? whose daily work it is to
break human hearts, by tearing wives from their husbands, and children
from their parents? But why hold slavedealers as despicable, if their
trade is lawful and virtuous? and why despise them more than the
_gentlemen of fortune and standing_ who employ them as _their_ agents?
Why more than the _professors of religion_ who barter their
fellow-professors to them for gold and silver? We do not despise the
land agent, or the physician, or the merchant, and why? Simply because
their professions are virtuous and honorable; and if the trade of
men-jobbers was honorable, you would not despise them either. There is
no difference in _principle_, in _Christian ethics_, between the
despised slavedealer and the _Christian_ who buys slaves from, or sells
slaves to him; indeed, if slaves were not wanted by the respectable, the
wealthy, and the religious in a community, there would be no slaves in
that community, and of course no _slavedealers_. It is then the
_Christians_ and the _honorable men_ and _women_ of the South, who are
the _main pillars_ of this grand temple built to Mammon and to Moloch.
It is the _most enlightened_ in every country who are _most_ to blame
when any public sin is supported by public opinion, hence Isaiah says,
"_When_ the Lord hath performed his whole work upon mount _Zion_ and on
_Jerusalem_, (then) I will punish the fruit of the stout heart of the
king of Assyria, and the glory of his high looks." And was it not so?
Open the historical records of that age, was not Israel carried into
captivity B.C. 606, Judah B.C. 588, and the stout heart of the heathen
monarchy not punished until B.C. 536, fifty-two years _after_ Judah's,
and seventy years _after_ Israel's captivity, when it was overthrown by
Cyrus, king of Persia? Hence, too, the apostle Peter says, "judgment
must _begin at the house of God_." Surely this would not be the case, if
the _professors of religion_ were not _most worthy_ of blame.

But it may be asked, why are _they_ most culpable? I will tell you, my
friends. It is because sin is imputed to us just in proportion to the
spiritual light we receive. Thus the prophet Amos says, in the name of
Jehovah, "_You only_ have I known of all the families of the earth:
_therefore_ I will punish you for all your iniquities." Hear too the
doctrine of our Lord on this important subject; "The servant who _knew_
his Lord's will and _prepared not_ himself, neither did according to his
will, shall be beaten with _many_ stripes": and why? "For unto
whomsoever _much_ is given, _of him_ shall _much_ be required; and to
whom men have committed _much_, of _him_ they will ask the _more_." Oh!
then that the _Christians_ of the south would ponder these things in
their hearts, and awake to the vast responsibilities which rest _upon
them_ at this important crisis.

I have thus, I think, clearly proved to you seven propositions, viz.:
First, that slavery is contrary to the declaration of our independence.
Second, that it is contrary to the first charter of human rights given
to Adam, and renewed to Noah. Third, that the fact of slavery having
been the subject of prophecy, furnishes _no_ excuse whatever to
slavedealers. Fourth, that no such system existed under the patriarchal
dispensation. Fifth, that _slavery never_ existed under the Jewish
dispensation; but so far otherwise, that every servant was placed under
the _protection of law_, and care taken not only to prevent all
_involuntary_ servitude, but all _voluntary perpetual_ bondage. Sixth,
that slavery in America reduces a _man_ to a _thing_, a "chattel
personal," _robs him_ of _all_ his rights as a _human being_, fetters
both his mind and body, and protects the _master_ in the most unnatural
and unreasonable power, whilst it _throws him out_ of the protection of
law. Seventh, that slavery is contrary to the example and precepts of
our holy and merciful Redeemer, and of his apostles.

But perhaps you will be ready to query, why appeal to _women_ on this
subject? _We_ do not make the laws which perpetuate slavery. _No_
legislative power is vested in _us_; _we_ can do nothing to overthrow
the system, even if we wished to do so. To this I reply, I know you do
not make the laws, but I also know that _you are the wives and mothers,
the sisters and daughters of those who do_; and if you really suppose
_you_ can do nothing to overthrow slavery, you are greatly mistaken. You
can do much in every way: four things I will name. 1st. You can read on
this subject. 2d. You can pray over this subject. 3d. You can speak on
this subject. 4th. You can _act_ on this subject. I have not placed
reading before praying because I regard it more important, but because,
in order to pray aright, we must understand what we are praying for; it
is only then we can "pray with the understanding and the spirit also."

1. Read then on the subject of slavery. Search the Scriptures daily,
whether the things I have told you are true. Other books and papers
might be a great help to you to this investigation, but they are not
necessary, and it is hardly probable that your Committees of Vigilance
will allow you to have any other. The _Bible_ then is the book I want
you to read in the spirit of inquiry, and the spirit of prayer. Even the
enemies of Abolitionists, acknowledge that their doctrines are drawn
from it. In the great mob in Boston, last autumn, when the books and
papers of the Anti-Slavery Society, were thrown out of the windows of
their office, one individual laid hold of the Bible and was about
tossing it out to the ground, when another reminded him that it was the
Bible he had in his hand. "O! _'tis all one_," he replied, and out went
the sacred volume, along with the rest. We thank him for the
acknowledgment. Yes, "_it is all one_," for our books and papers are
mostly commentaries on the Bible, and the Declaration. Read the _Bible
_then, it contains the words of Jesus, and they are spirit and life.
Judge for yourselves whether _he sanctioned_ such a system of oppression
and crime.

2. Pray over this subject. When you have entered into your closets, and
shut to the doors, then pray to your father, who seeth in secret, that
he would open your eyes to see whether slavery is _sinful_, and if it
is, that he would enable you to bear a faithful, open and un-shrinking
testimony against it, and to do whatsoever your hands find to do,
leaving the consequences entirely to him, who still says to us whenever
we try to reason away duty from the fear of consequences, "_What is that
to thee, follow thou me_." Pray also for that poor slave, that he may be
kept patient and submissive under his hard lot, until God is pleased to
open the door of freedom to him without violence or bloodshed. Pray too
for the master that his heart may be softened, and he made willing to
acknowledge, as Joseph's brethren did, "Verily we are guilty concerning
our brother," before he will be compelled to add in consequence of
Divine judgment, "therefore is all this evil come upon us." Pray also
for all your brethren and sisters who are laboring in the righteous
cause of Emancipation in the Northern States, England and the world.
There is great encouragement for prayer in these words of our Lord.
"Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it to
you"--Pray then without ceasing, in the closet and the social circle.

3. Speak on this subject. It is through the tongue, the pen, and the
press, that truth is principally propagated. Speak then to your
relatives, your friends, your acquaintances on the subject of slavery;
be not afraid if you are conscientiously convinced it is _sinful_, to
say so openly, but calmly, and to let your sentiments be known. If you
are served by the slaves of others, try to ameliorate their condition as
much as possible; never aggravate their faults, and thus add fuel to the
fire of anger already kindled, in a master and mistress's bosom;
remember their extreme ignorance, and consider them as your Heavenly
Father does the _less_ culpable on this account, even when they do wrong
things. Discountenance _all_ cruelty to them, all starvation, all
corporal chastisement; these may brutalize and  _break_ their spirits,
but will never bend them to willing, cheerful obedience. If possible,
see that they are comfortably and _seasonably_ fed, whether in the house
or the field; it is unreasonable and cruel to expect slaves to wait for
their breakfast until eleven o'clock, when they rise at five or six. Do
all you can, to induce their owners to clothe them well, and to allow
them many little indulgences which would contribute to their comfort.
Above all, try to persuade your husband, father, brothers and sons, that
_slavery is a crime against God and man_, and that it is a great sin to
keep _human beings_ in such abject ignorance; to deny them the privilege
of learning to read and write. The Catholics are universally condemned,
for denying the Bible to the common people, but, _slaveholders must not_
blame them, for _they_ are doing the _very same thing_, and for the very
same reason, neither of these systems can bear the light which bursts
from the pages of that Holy Book. And lastly, endeavour to inculcate
submission on the part of the slaves, but whilst doing this be faithful
in pleading the cause of the oppressed.


  "Will _you_ behold unheeding,
  Life's holiest feelings crushed,
  Where _woman's_ heart is bleeding,
  Shall _woman's_ voice be hushed?"


4. Act on this subject. Some of you _own_ slaves yourselves. If you
believe slavery is _sinful_, set them at liberty, "undo the heavy
burdens and let the oppressed go free." If they wish to remain with you,
pay them wages, if not let them leave you. Should they remain teach
them, and have them taught the common branches of an English education;
they have minds and those minds, _ought to be improved_. So precious a
talent as intellect, never was given to be wrapt in a napkin and buried
in the earth. It is the _duty_ of all, as far as they can, to improve
their own mental faculties, because we are commanded to love God with
_all our minds_, as well as with all our hearts, and we commit a great
sin, if we _forbid or prevent_ that cultivation of the mind in others,
which would enable them to perform this duty. Teach your servants then
to read &c., and encourage them to believe it is their _duty_ to learn,
if it were only that they might read the Bible.

But some of you will say, we can neither free our slaves nor teach them
to read, for the laws of our state forbid it. Be not surprised when I
say such wicked laws _ought to be no barrier_ in the way of your duty,
and I appeal to the Bible to prove this position. What was the conduct
of Shiphrah and Puah, when the king of Egypt issued his cruel mandate,
with regard to the Hebrew children? "_They_ feared _God_, and did _not_
as the King of Egypt commanded them, but saved the men children alive."
Did these _women_ do right in disobeying that monarch? "_Therefore_
(says the sacred text,) _God dealt well_ with them, and made them
houses" Ex. i. What was the conduct of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego,
when Nebuchadnezzar set up a golden image in the plain of Dura, and
commanded all people, nations, and languages, to fall down and worship
it? "Be it known, unto thee, (said these faithful _Jews_) O king, that
_we will not_ serve thy gods, nor worship the image which thou hast set
up." Did these men _do right in disobeying the law_ of their sovereign?
Let their miraculous deliverance from the burning fiery furnace, answer;
Dan. iii. What was the conduct of Daniel, when Darius made a firm decree
that no one should ask a petition of any man or God for thirty days? Did
the prophet cease to pray? No! "When Daniel _knew that the writing was
signed_, he went into his house, and his windows being _open_ towards
Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed and
gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime." Did Daniel do right
thus to _break_ the law of his king? Let his wonderful deliverance out
of the mouths of the lions answer; Dan. vii. Look, too, at the Apostles
Peter and John. When the rulers of the Jews, "_commanded them not_ to
speak at all, nor teach in the name of Jesus," what did they say?
"Whether it be right in the sight of God, to hearken unto you more than
unto God, judge ye." And what did they do? "They spake the word of God
with boldness, and with great power gave the Apostles witness of the
_resurrection_ of the Lord Jesus;" although _this_ was the very
doctrine, for the preaching of which, they had just been cast into
prison, and further threatened. Did these men do right? I leave _you_ to
answer, who now enjoy the benefits of their labors and sufferings, in
that Gospel they dared to preach when positively commanded _not to teach
any more_ in the name of Jesus; Acts iv.

But some of you may say, if we do free our slaves, they will be taken up
and sold, therefore there will be no use in doing it. Peter and John
might just as well have said, we will not preach the gospel, for if we
do, we shall be taken up and put in prison, therefore there will be no
use in our preaching. _Consequences_, my friends, belong no more to
_you_, than they did to these apostles. Duty is ours and events are
God's. If you think slavery is sinful, all _you_ have to do is to set
your slaves at liberty, do all you can to protect them, and in humble
faith and fervent prayer, commend them to your common Father. He can
take care of them; but if for wise purposes he sees fit to allow them to
be sold, this will afford you an opportunity of testifying openly,
wherever you go, against the crime of _manstealing_. Such an act will be
_clear robbery_, and if exposed, might, under the Divine direction, do
the cause of Emancipation more good, than any thing that could happen,
for, "He makes even the wrath of man to praise him, and the remainder of
wrath he will restrain."

I know that this doctrine of obeying _God_, rather than man, will be
considered as dangerous, and heretical by many, but I am not afraid
openly to avow it, because it is the doctrine of the Bible; but I would
not be understood to advocate resistance to any law however oppressive,
if, in obeying it, I was not obliged to commit _sin_. If for instance,
there was a law, which imposed imprisonment or a fine upon me if I
manumitted a slave, I would on no account resist that law, I would set
the slave free, and then go to prison or pay the fine. If a law commands
me to _sin I will break it_; if it calls me to _suffer_, I will let it
take its course _unresistingly_. The doctrine of blind obedience and
unqualified submission to _any human_ power, whether civil or
ecclesiastical, is the doctrine of despotism, and ought to have no place
among Republicans and Christians.

But you will perhaps say, such a course of conduct would inevitably
expose us to great suffering. Yes! my christian friends, I believe it
would, but this will _not_ excuse you or any one else for the neglect of
_duty_. If Prophets and Apostles, Martyrs, and Reformers had not been
willing to suffer for the truth's sake, where would the world have been
now? If they had said, we cannot speak the truth, we cannot do what we
believe is right, because the _laws of our country or public opinion are
against us_, where would our holy religion have been now? The Prophets
were stoned, imprisoned, and killed by the Jews. And why? Because they
exposed and openly rebuked public sins; they opposed public opinion; had
they held their peace, they all might have lived in ease and died in
favor with a wicked generation. Why were the Apostles persecuted from
city to city, stoned, incarcerated, beaten, and crucified? Because they
dared to _speak the truth_; to tell the Jews, boldly and fearlessly,
that _they_ were the _murderers_ of the Lord of Glory, and that, however
great a stumbling-block the Cross might be to them, there was no other
name given under heaven by which men could be saved, but the name of
Jesus. Because they declared, even at Athens, the seat of learning and
refinement, the self-evident truth, that "they be no gods that are made
with men's hands," and exposed to the Grecians the foolishness of
worldly wisdom, and the impossibility of salvation but through Christ,
whom they despised on account of the ignominious death he died. Because
at Rome, the proud mistress of the world, they thundered out the terrors
of the law upon that idolatrous, war-making, and slave-holding
community. Why were the martyrs stretched upon the rack, gibbetted and
burnt, the scorn and diversion of a Nero, whilst their tarred and
burning bodies sent up a light which illuminated the Roman capital? Why
were the Waldenses hunted like wild beasts upon the mountains of
Piedmont, and slain with the sword of the Duke of Savoy and the proud
monarch of France? Why were the Presbyterians chased like the partridge
over the highlands of Scotland--the Methodists pumped, and stoned, and
pelted with rotten eggs--the Quakers incarcerated in filthy prisons,
beaten, whipped at the cart's tail, banished and hung? Because they
dared to _speak_ the _truth_, to _break_ the unrighteous _laws_ of their
country, and chose rather to suffer affliction with the people of God,
"not accepting deliverance," even under the gallows. Why were Luther and
Calvin persecuted and excommunicated, Cranmer, Ridley, and Latimer
burnt? Because they fearlessly proclaimed the truth, though that truth
was contrary to public opinion, and the authority of Ecclesiastical
councils and conventions. Now all this vast amount of human suffering
might have been saved. All these Prophets and Apostles, Martyrs, and
Reformers, might have lived and died in peace with all men, but
following the example of their great pattern, "they despised the shame,
endured the cross, and are now set down on the right hand of the throne
of God," having received the glorious welcome of "well _done_ good and
faithful servants, enter ye into the joy of your Lord."

But you may say we are _women_, how can _our_ hearts endure persecution?
And why not? Have not _women_ stood up in all the dignity and strength
of moral courage to be the leaders of the people, and to bear a faithful
testimony for the truth whenever the providence of God has called them
to do so? Are there no _women_ in that noble army of martyrs who are now
singing the song of Moses and the Lamb? Who led out the women of Israel
from the house of bondage, striking the timbrel, and singing the song of
deliverance on the banks of that sea whose waters stood up like walls of
crystal to open a passage for their escape? It was a _woman_; Miriam,
the prophetess, the sister of Moses and Aaron. Who went up with Barak to
Kadesh to fight against Jabin, King of Canaan, into whose hand Israel
had been sold because of their iniquities? It was a _woman!_ Deborah the
wife of Lapidoth, the judge, as well as the prophetess of that
backsliding people; Judges iv, 9. Into whose hands was Sisera, the
captain of Jabin's host delivered? Into the hand of a _woman_. Jael the
wife of Heber! Judges vi, 21. Who dared to _speak the truth_ concerning
those judgments which were coming upon Judea, when Josiah, alarmed at
finding that his people "had not kept the word of the Lord to do after
all that was written in the book of the Law," sent to enquire of the
Lord concerning these things? It was a _woman_. Huldah the prophetess,
the wife of Shallum; 2, Chron. xxxiv, 22. Who was chosen to deliver the
whole Jewish nation from that murderous decree of Persia's King, which
wicked Haman had obtained by calumny and fraud? It was a _woman_; Esther
the Queen; yes, weak and trembling _woman_ was the instrument appointed
by God, to reverse the bloody mandate of the eastern monarch, and save
the _whole visible church_ from destruction. What human voice first
proclaimed to Mary that she should be the mother of our Lord? It was a
_woman!_ Elizabeth, the wife of Zacharias; Luke i, 42, 43. Who united
with the good old Simeon in giving thanks publicly in the temple, when
the child, Jesus, was presented there by his parents, "and spake of him
to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem?" It was a _woman!_
Anna the prophetess. Who first proclaimed Christ as the true Messiah in
the streets of Samaria, once the capital of the ten tribes? It was a
_woman!_ Who ministered to the Son of God whilst on earth, a despised
and persecuted Reformer, in the humble garb of a carpenter? They were
_women!_ Who followed the rejected King of Israel, as his fainting
footsteps trod the road to Calvary? "A great company of people and of
_women_;" and it is remarkable that to _them alone_, he turned and
addressed the pathetic language, "Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for
me, but weep for yourselves and your children." Ah! who sent unto the
Roman Governor when he was set down on the judgment seat, saying unto
him, "Have thou nothing to do with that just man, for I have suffered
many things this day in a dream because of him?" It was a _woman_! the
wife of Pilate. Although "_he knew_ that for envy the Jews had delivered
Christ," yet _he_ consented to surrender the Son of God into the hands
of a brutal soldiery, after having himself scourged his naked body. Had
the _wife_ of Pilate sat upon that judgment seat, what would have been
the result of the trial of this "just person?"

And who last hung round the cross of Jesus on the mountain of Golgotha?
Who first visited the sepulchre early in the morning on the first day of
the week, carrying sweet spices to embalm his precious body, not knowing
that it was incorruptible and could not be holden by the bands of death?
These were _women_! To whom did he _first_ appear after his
resurrection? It was to a _woman_! Mary Magdalene; Mark xvi, 9. Who
gathered with the apostles to wait at Jerusalem, in prayer and
supplication, for "the promise of the Father;" the spiritual blessing of
the Great High Priest of his Church, who had entered, _not_ into the
splendid temple of Solomon, there to offer the blood of bulls, and of
goats, and the smoking censer upon the golden altar, but into Heaven
itself, there to present his intercessions, after having "given himself
for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savor?"
_Women_ were among that holy company; Acts i, 14. And did _women_ wait
in vain? Did those who had ministered to his necessities, followed in
his train, and wept at his crucifixion, wait in vain? No! No! Did the
cloven tongues of fire descend upon the heads of _women_ as well as men?
Yes, my friends, "it sat upon _each one of them_;" Acts ii, 3. _women_
as well as men were to be living stones in the temple of grace, and
therefore _their_ heads were consecrated by the descent of the Holy
Ghost as well as those of men. Were _women_ recognized as fellow
laborers in the gospel field? They were! Paul says in his epistle to the
Philippians, "help those _women_ who labored with me, in the gospel;"
Phil. iv, 3.

But this is not all. Roman _women_ were burnt at the stake, _their_
delicate limbs were torn joint from joint by the ferocious beasts of the
Amphitheatre, and tossed by the wild bull in his fury, for the diversion
of that idolatrous, warlike, and slaveholding people. Yes, _women_
suffered under the ten persecutions of heathen Rome, with the most
unshrinking constancy and fortitude; not all the entreaties of friends,
nor the claims of new born infancy, nor the cruel threats of enemies
could make _them_ sprinkle one grain of incense upon the altars of Roman
idols. Come now with me to the beautiful valleys of Piedmont. Whose
blood stains the green sward, and decks the wild flowers with colors not
their own, and smokes on the sword of persecuting France? It is
_woman's_, as well as man's? Yes, _women_ were accounted as sheep for
the slaughter, and were cut down as the tender saplings of the wood.

But time would fail me, to tell of all those hundreds and thousands of
_women_, who perished in the Low countries of Holland, when Alva's sword
of vengeance was unsheathed against the Protestants, when the Catholic
Inquisitions of Europe became the merciless executioners of vindictive
wrath, upon those who dared to worship God, instead of bowing down in
unholy adoration before "my Lord God the _Pope_," and when England, too,
burnt her Ann Ascoes at the stake of martyrdom. Suffice it to say, that
the Church, after having been driven from Judea to Rome, and from Rome
to Piedmont, and from Piedmont to England, and from England to Holland,
at last stretched her fainting wings over the dark bosom of the
Atlantic, and found on the shores of a great wilderness, a refuge from
tyranny and oppression--as she thought, but _even here_, (the warm blush
of shame mantles my cheek as I write it,) _even here, woman_ was beaten
and banished, imprisoned, and hung upon the gallows, a trophy to the
Cross.

And what, I would ask in conclusion, have _women_ done for the great and
glorious cause of Emancipation? Who wrote that pamphlet which moved the
heart of Wilberforce to pray over the wrongs, and his tongue to plead
the cause of the oppressed African? It was a _woman_, Elizabeth Heyrick.
Who labored assiduously to keep the sufferings of the slave continually
before the British public? They were _women_. And how did they do it? By
their needles, paint brushes and pens, by speaking the truth, and
petitioning Parliament for the abolition of slavery. And what was the
effect of their labors? Read it in the Emancipation bill of Great
Britain. Read it, in the present state of her West India Colonies. Read
it, in the impulse which has been given to the cause of freedom, in the
United States of America. Have English women then done so much for the
negro, and shall American women do nothing? Oh no! Already are there
sixty female Anti-Slavery Societies in operation. These are doing just
what the English women did, telling the story of the colored man's
wrongs, praying for his deliverance, and presenting his kneeling image
constantly before the public eye on bags and needle-books, card-racks,
pen-wipers, pin-cushions, &c. Even the children of the north are
inscribing on their handy work, "May the points of our needles prick the
slaveholder's conscience." Some of the reports of these Societies
exhibit not only considerable talent, but a deep sense of religious
duty, and a determination to persevere through evil as well as good
report, until every scourge, and every shackle, is buried under the feet
of the manumitted slave.

The Ladies' Anti-Slavery Society of Boston was called last fall, to a
severe trial of their faith and constancy. They were mobbed by "the
gentlemen of property and standing," in that city at their anniversary
meeting, and their lives were jeoparded by an infuriated crowd; but
their conduct on that occasion did credit to our sex, and affords a full
assurance that they will _never_ abandon the cause of the slave. The
pamphlet, Right and Wrong in Boston, issued by them in which a
particular account is given of that "mob of broad cloth in broad day,"
does equal credit to the head and the heart of her who wrote it. I wish
my Southern sisters could read it; they would then understand that the
women of the North have engaged in this work from a sense of _religious
duty_, and that nothing will ever induce them to take their hands from
it until it is fully accomplished. They feel no hostility to you, no
bitterness or wrath; they rather sympathize in your trials and
difficulties; but they well know that the first thing to be done to help
you, is to pour in the light of truth on your minds, to urge you to
reflect on, and pray over the subject. This is all _they_ can do for
you, _you_ must work out your own deliverance with fear and trembling,
and with the direction and blessing of God, _you can do it_. Northern
women may labor to produce a correct public opinion at the North, but if
Southern women sit down in listless indifference and criminal idleness,
public opinion cannot be rectified and purified at the South. It is
manifest to every reflecting mind, that slavery must be abolished; the
era in which we live, and the light which is overspreading the whole
world on this subject, clearly show that the time cannot be distant when
it will be done. Now there are only two ways in which it can be
effected, by moral power or physical force, and it is for _you_ to
choose which of these you prefer. Slavery always has, and always will
produce insurrections wherever it exists, because it is a violation of
the natural order of things, and no human power can much longer
perpetuate it. The opposers of abolitionists fully believe this; one of
them remarked to me not long since, there is no doubt there will be a
most terrible overturning at the South in a few years, such cruelty and
wrong, must be visited with Divine vengeance soon. Abolitionists
believe, too, that this must inevitably be the case, if you do not
repent, and they are not willing to leave you to perish without
entreating you, to save yourselves from destruction; well may they say
with the apostle, "am I then your enemy because I tell you the truth,"
and warn you to flee from impending judgments.

But why, my dear friends, have I thus been endeavoring to lead you
through the history of more than three thousand years, and to point you
to that great cloud of witnesses who have gone before, "from works to
rewards?" Have I been seeking to magnify the sufferings, and exalt the
character of woman, that she "might have praise of men?" No! no! my
object has been to arouse _you_, as the wives and mothers, the daughters
and sisters, of the South, to a sense of your duty as _women_, and as
Christian women, on that great subject, which has already shaken our
country, from the St. Lawrence and the lakes, to the Gulf of Mexico, and
from the Mississippi to the shores of the Atlantic; _and will continue
mightily to shake it_, until the polluted temple of slavery fall and
crumble into ruin. I would say unto each one of you, "what meanest thou,
O sleeper! arise and call upon thy God, if so be that God will think
upon us that we perish not." Perceive you not that dark cloud of
vengeance which hangs over our boasting Republic? Saw you not the
lightnings of Heaven's wrath, in the flame which leaped from the
Indian's torch to the roof of yonder dwelling, and lighted with its
horrid glare the darkness of midnight? Heard you not the thunders of
Divine anger, as the distant roar of the cannon came rolling onward,
from the Texian country, where Protestant American Rebels are fighting
with Mexican Republicans--for what? For the re-establishment of
_slavery_; yes! of American slavery in the bosom of a Catholic Republic,
where that system of robbery, violence, and wrong, had been legally
abolished for twelve years. Yes! citizens of the United States, after
plundering Mexico of her land, are now engaged in deadly conflict, for
the privilege of fastening chains, and collars, and manacles--upon whom?
upon the subjects of some foreign prince? No! upon native born American
Republican citizens, although the fathers of these very men declared to
the whole world, while struggling to free themselves from the three
penny taxes of an English king, that they believed it to be a
_self-evident_ truth that _all men_ were created equal, and had an
_unalienable right to liberty_.

Well may the poet exclaim in bitter sarcasm,


  "The fustian flag that proudly waves
  In solemn mockery _o'er a land of slaves_."


Can you not, my friends, understand the signs of the times; do you not
see the sword of retributive justice hanging over the South, or are you
still slumbering at your posts?--Are there no Shiphrahs, no Puahs among
you, who will dare in Christian firmness and Christian meekness, to
refuse to obey the _wicked laws_ which require _woman to enslave, to
degrade and to brutalize woman?_ Are there no Miriams, who would rejoice
to lead out the captive daughters of the Southern States to liberty and
light? Are there no Huldahs there who will dare to _speak the truth_
concerning the sins of the people and those judgments, which it requires
no prophet's eye to see, must follow if repentance is not speedily
sought? Is there no Esther among you who will plead for the poor devoted
slave? Read the history of this Persian queen, it is full of
instruction; she at first refused to plead for the Jews; but, hear the
words of Mordecai, "Think not within thyself, that _thou_ shalt escape
in the king's house more than all the Jews, for _if thou altogether
holdest thy peace at this time_, then shall there enlargement and
deliverance arise to the Jews from another place: but _thou and thy
father's house shall be destroyed._" Listen, too, to her magnanimous
reply to this powerful appeal; "_I will go_ in unto the king, which is
not according to law, and if I perish. I perish." Yes! if there were but
_one_ Esther at the South, she _might_ save her country from ruin; but
let the Christian women there arise, as the Christian women of Great
Britain did, in the majesty of moral power, and that salvation is
certain. Let them embody themselves in societies, and send petitions up
to their different legislatures, entreating their husbands, fathers,
brothers and sons, to abolish the institution of slavery; no longer to
subject _woman_ to the scourge and the chain, to mental darkness and
moral degradation; no longer to tear husbands from their wives, and
children from their parents; no longer to make men, women, and children,
work _without wages;_ no longer to make their lives bitter in hard
bondage; no longer to reduce _American citizens_ to the abject condition
of _slaves_, of "chattels personal;" no longer to barter the _image of
God_ in human shambles for corruptible things such as silver and gold.

The _women of the South can overthrow_ this horrible system of
oppression and cruelty, licentiousness and wrong. Such appeals to your
legislatures would be irresistible, for there is something in the heart
of man which _will bend under moral suasion_. There is a swift witness
for truth in his bosom, which _will respond to truth_ when it is uttered
with calmness and dignity. If you could obtain but six signatures to
such a petition in only one state, I would say, send up that petition,
and be not in the least discouraged by the scoffs and jeers of the
heartless, or the resolution of the house to lay it on the table. It
will be a great thing if the subject can be introduced into your
legislatures in any way, even by _women_, and _they_ will be the most
likely to introduce it there in the best possible manner, as a matter of
_morals_ and _religion_, not of expediency or politics. You may
petition, too, the different, ecclesiastical bodies of the slave states.
Slavery must be attacked with the whole power of truth and the sword of
the spirit. You must take it up on _Christian_ ground, and fight against
it with Christian weapons, whilst your feet are shod with the
preparation of the gospel of peace. And _you are now_ loudly called upon
by the cries of the widow and the orphan, to arise and gird yourselves
for this great moral conflict, with the whole armour of righteousness
upon the right hand and on the left.

There is every encouragement for you to labor and pray, my friends,
because the abolition of slavery as well as its existence, has been the
theme of prophecy. "Ethiopia (says the Psalmist) shall stretch forth her
hands unto God." And is she not now doing so? Are not the Christian
negroes of the south lifting their hands in prayer for deliverance, just
as the Israelites did when their redemption was drawing nigh? Are they
not sighing and crying by reason of the hard bondage? And think you,
that He, of whom it was said, "and God heard their groaning, and their
cry came up unto him by reason of the hard bondage," think you that his
ear is heavy that he cannot _now_ hear the cries of his suffering
children? Or that He who raised up a Moses, an Aaron, and a Miriam, to
bring them up out of the land of Egypt from the house of bondage, cannot
now, with a high hand and a stretched out arm, rid the poor negroes out
of the hands of their masters? Surely you believe that his arm is _not_
shortened that he cannot save. And would not such a work of mercy
redound to his glory? But another string of the harp of prophecy
vibrates to the song of deliverance: "But they shall sit every man under
his vine, and under his fig-tree, and _none shall make them afraid_; for
the mouth of the Lord of Hosts hath spoken it." The _slave_ never can do
this as long as he is a _slave_; whilst he is a "chattel personal" he
can own _no_ property; but the time _is to come_ when _every_ man is to
sit under _his own_ vine and _his own_ fig-tree, and no domineering
driver, or irresponsible master, or irascible mistress, shall make him
afraid of the chain or the whip. Hear, too, the sweet tones of another
string: "Many shall run to and fro, and _knowledge_ shall be increased."
Slavery is an insurmountable barrier to the increase of knowledge in
every community where it exists; _slavery, then, must be abolished
before_ this prediction can be fulfiled. The last chord I shall touch,
will be this, "They shall _not_ hurt nor destroy in all my holy
mountain."

_Slavery, then, must be overthrown before_ the prophecies can be
accomplished, but how are they to be fulfiled? Will the wheels of the
millennial car be rolled onward by miraculous power? No! God designs to
confer this holy privilege upon _man_; it is through _his_
instrumentality that the great and glorious work of reforming the world
is to be done. And see you not how the mighty engine of _moral power_ is
dragging in its rear the Bible and peace societies, anti-slavery and
temperance, sabbath schools, moral reform, and missions? or to adopt
another figure, do not these seven philanthropic associations compose
the beautiful tints in that bow of promise which spans the arch of our
moral heaven? Who does not believe, that if these societies were broken
up, their constitutions burnt, and the vast machinery with which they
are laboring to regenerate mankind was stopped, that the black clouds of
vengeance would soon burst over our world, and every city would witness
the fate of the devoted cities of the plain? Each one of these societies
is walking abroad through the earth scattering the seeds of truth over
the wide field of our world, not with the hundred hands of a Briareus,
but with a hundred thousand.

Another encouragement for you to labor, my friends, is, that you will
have the prayers and co-operation of English and Northern
philanthropists. You will never bend your knees in supplication at the
throne of grace for the overthrow of slavery, without meeting there the
spirits of other Christians, who will mingle their voices with yours, as
the morning or evening sacrifice ascends to God. Yes, the spirit of
prayer and of supplication has been poured out upon many, many hearts;
there are wrestling Jacobs who will not let go of the prophetic promises
of deliverance for the captive, and the opening of prison doors to them
that are bound. There are Pauls who are saying, in reference to this
subject, "Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?" There are Marys sitting
in the house now, who are ready to arise and go forth is this work as
soon as the message is brought, "the master is come and calleth for
thee." And there are Marthas, too, who have already gone out to meet
Jesus, as he bends his footsteps to their brother's grave, and weeps,
_not_ over the lifeless body of Lazarus bound hand and foot in
grave-clothes, but over the politically and intellectually lifeless
slave, bound hand and foot in the iron chains of oppression and
ignorance. Some may be ready to say, as Martha did, who seemed to expect
nothing but sympathy from Jesus, "Lord, by this time he stinketh, for he
hath been dead four days." She thought it useless to remove the stone
and expose the loathsome body of her brother; she could not believe that
so great a miracle could be wrought, as to raise _that putrefied body_
into life; but "Jesus said, take _ye_ away the stone;" and when _they_
had taken away the stone where the dead was laid, and uncovered the body
of Lazarus, then it was that "Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, Father,
I thank thee that thou hast heard me," &c. "And when he had thus spoken,
he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth." Yes, some may be ready
to say of the colored race, how can _they_ ever be raised politically
and intellectually, they have been dead four hundred years? But _we_
have _nothing_ to do with _how_ this is to be done; _our business_ is to
take away the stone which has covered up the dead body of our brother,
to expose the putrid carcass, to show _how_ that body has been bound
with the grave-clothes of heathen ignorance, and his face with the
napkin of prejudice, and having done all it was our duty to do, to stand
by the negro's grave, in humble faith and holy hope, waiting to hear the
life-giving command of "Lazarus, come forth." This is just what
Anti-Slavery Societies are doing; they are taking away the stone from
the mouth of the tomb of slavery, where lies the putrid carcass of our
brother. They want the pure light of heaven to shine into that dark and
gloomy cave; they want all men to see _how_ that dead body has been
bound, _how_ that face has been wrapped in the _napkin of prejudice_;
and shall they wait beside that grave in vain? Is not Jesus still the
resurrection and the life? Did He come to proclaim liberty to the
captive, and the opening of prison doors to them that are bound, in
vain? Did He promise to give beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for
mourning, and the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness unto
them that mourn in Zion, and will He refuse to beautify the mind, anoint
the head, and throw around the captive negro the mantle of praise for
that spirit of heaviness which has so long bound him down to the ground?
Or shall we not rather say with the prophet, "the zeal of the Lord of
Hosts _will_ perform this?" Yes, his promises are sure, and amen in
Christ Jesus, that he will assemble her that halteth, and gather her
that is driven out, and her that is afflicted.

But I will now say a few words on the subject of Abolitionism. Doubtless
you have all heard Anti-Slavery Societies denounced as insurrectionary
and mischievous, fanatical and dangerous. It has been said they publish
the most abominable untruths, and that they are endeavoring to excite
rebellions at the South. Have you believed these reports, my friends?
have _you_ also been deceived by these false assertions? Listen to me,
then, whilst I endeavor to wipe from the fair character of Abolitionism
such unfounded accusations. You know that _I_ am a Southerner; you know
that my dearest relatives are now in a slave State. Can you for a moment
believe I would prove so recreant to the feelings of a daughter and a
sister, as to join a society which was seeking to overthrow slavery by
falsehood, bloodshed, and murder? I appeal to you who have known and
loved me in days that are passed, can _you_ believe it? No! my friends.
As a Carolinian, I was peculiarly jealous of any movements on this
subject; and before I would join an Anti-Slavery Society, I took the
precaution of becoming acquainted with some of the leading
Abolitionists, of reading their publications and attending their
meetings, at which I heard addresses both from colored and white men;
and it was not until I was fully convinced that their principles were
_entirely pacific_, and their efforts _only moral_, that I gave my name
as a member to the Female Anti-Slavery Society of Philadelphia. Since
that time, I have regularly taken the Liberator, and read many
Anti-Slavery pamphlets and papers and books, and can assure you I
_never_ have seen a single insurrectionary paragraph, and never read any
account of cruelty which I could not believe. Southerners may deny the
truth of these accounts, but why do they not _prove_ them to be false.
Their violent expressions of horror at such accounts being believed,
_may_ deceive some, but they cannot deceive _me_, for I lived too long
in the midst of slavery, not to know what slavery is. When _I_ speak of
this system, "I speak that I do know," and I am not at all afraid to
assert, that Anti-Slavery publications have _not_ overdrawn the
monstrous features of slavery at all. And many a Southerner _knows_ this
as well as I do. A lady in North Carolina remarked to a friend of mine,
about eighteen months since, "Northerners know nothing at all about
slavery; they think it is perpetual bondage only; but of the _depth of
degradation_ that word involves, they have no conception; if they had,
_they would never cease_ their efforts until so _horrible_ a system was
overthrown." She did not know how faithfully some Northern men and
Northern women had studied this subject; how diligently they had
searched out the cause of "him who had none to help him," and how
fearlessly they had told the story of the negro's wrongs. Yes,
Northerners know _every_ thing about slavery now. This monster of
iniquity has been unveiled to the world, her frightful features
unmasked, and soon, very soon will she be regarded with no more
complacency by the American republic than is the idol of Juggernaut,
rolling its bloody wheels over the crushed bodies of its prostrate
Victims.

But you will probably ask, if Anti-Slavery societies are not
insurrectionary, why do Northerners tell us they are? Why, I would ask
you in return, did Northern senators and Northern representatives give
their votes, at the last sitting of congress, to the admission of
Arkansas Territory as a state? Take those men, one by one, and ask them
in their parlours, do you _approve of slavery?_ ask them on _Northern_
ground, where they will speak the truth, and I doubt not _every man_ of
them will tell you, _no!_ Why then, I ask, did _they_ give their votes
to enlarge the mouth of that grave which has already destroyed its tens
of thousands? All our enemies tell _us_ they are as much anti-slavery as
we are. Yes, my friends, thousands who are helping you to bind the
fetters of slavery on the negro, despise you in their hearts for doing
it; they rejoice that such an institution has not been entailed upon
them. Why then, I would ask, do _they_ lend you their help? I will tell
you, "they love _the praise of men more_ than the praise of God." The
Abolition cause has not yet become so popular as to induce them to
believe, that by advocating it in congress, they shall sit still more
securely in their seats there, and like the _chief rulers_ in the days
of our Saviour, though many believed on him, yet they did _not_ confess
him, lest they should _be put out of the synagogue_; John xii, 42, 43.
Or perhaps like Pilate, thinking they could prevail nothing, and fearing
a tumult, they determined to release Barabbas and surrender the just
man, the poor innocent slave to be stripped of his rights and scourged.
In vain will such men try to wash their hands, and say, with the Roman
governor, "I am innocent of the blood of this just person." Northern
American statesmen are no more innocent of the crime of slavery, than
Pilate was of the murder of Jesus, or Saul of that of Stephen. These are
high charges, but I appeal to _their hearts_; I appeal to public opinion
ten years from now. Slavery then is a national sin.

But you will say, a great many other Northerners tell us so, who can
have no political motives. The interests of the North, you must know, my
friends, are very closely combined with those of the South. The Northern
merchants and manufacturers are making _their_ fortunes out of the
_produce of slave labor_; the grocer is selling your rice and sugar; how
then can these men bear a testimony against slavery without condemning
themselves? But there is another reason, the North is most dreadfully
afraid of Amalgamation. She is alarmed at the very idea of a thing so
monstrous, as she thinks. And lest this consequence _might_ flow from
emancipation, she is determined to resist all efforts at emancipation
without expatriation. It is not because _she approves of slavery_, or
believes it to be "the corner stone of our republic," for she is as much
_anti-slavery_ as we are; but amalgamation is too horrible to think of.
Now I would ask _you_, is it right, is it generous, to refuse the
colored people in this country the advantages of education and the
privilege, or rather the _right_, to follow honest trades and callings
merely because they are colored? The same prejudice exists here against
our colored brethren that existed against the Gentiles in Judea. Great
numbers cannot bear the idea of equality, and fearing lest, if they had
the same advantages we enjoy, they would become as intelligent, as
moral, as religious, and as respectable and wealthy, they are determined
to keep them as low as they possibly can. Is this doing as they would be
done by? Is this loving their neighbor _as themselves_? Oh! that _such_
opposers of Abolitionism would put their souls in the stead of the free
colored man's and obey the apostolic injunction, to "remember them that
are in bonds _as bound with them_." I will leave you to judge whether
the fear of amalgamation ought to induce men to oppose anti-slavery
efforts, when _they_ believe _slavery_ to be _sinful_. Prejudice against
color, is the most powerful enemy we have to fight with at the North.

You need not be surprised, then, at all, at what is said _against_
Abolitionists by the North, for they are wielding a two-edged sword,
which even here, cuts through the _cords of caste_, on the one side, and
the _bonds of interest_ on the other. They are only sharing the fate of
other reformers, abused and reviled whilst they are in the minority; but
they are neither angry nor discouraged by the invective which has been
heaped upon them by slaveholders at the South and their apologists at
the North. They know that when George Fox and William Edmundson were
laboring in behalf of the negroes in the West Indies in 1671 that the
very _same_ slanders were propogated against them, which are _now_
circulated against Abolitionists. Although it was well known that Fox
was the founder of a religious sect which repudiated _all_ war, and
_all_ violence, yet _even he_ was accused of "endeavoring to excite the
slaves to insurrection and of teaching the negroes to cut their master's
throats." And these two men who had their feet shod with the preparation
of the Gospel of Peace, were actually compelled to draw up a formal
declaration that _they were not_ trying to raise a rebellion in
Barbadoes. It is also worthy of remark that these Reformers did not at
this time see the necessity of emancipation under seven years, and their
principal efforts were exerted to persuade the planters of the necessity
of instructing their slaves; but the slaveholder saw then, just what the
slaveholder sees now, that an _enlightened_ population _never_ can be a
_slave_ population, and therefore they passed a law, that negroes should
not even attend the meetings of Friends. Abolitionists know that the
life of Clarkson was sought by slavetraders; and that even Wilberforce
was denounced on the floor of Parliament as a fanatic and a hypocrite by
the present King of England, the very man who, in 1834, set his seal to
that instrument which burst the fetters of eight hundred thousand slaves
in his West India colonies. They know that the first Quaker who bore a
_faithful_ testimony against the sin of slavery was cut off from
religious fellowship with that society. That Quaker was a _woman_. On
her deathbed she sent for the committee who dealt with her--she told
them, the near approach of death had not altered her sentiments on the
subject of slavery and waving her hand towards a very fertile and
beautiful portion of country which lay stretched before her window, she
said with great solemnity, "Friends, the time will come when there will
not be friends enough in all this district to hold one meeting for
worship, and this garden will be turned into a wilderness."

The aged friend, who with tears in his eyes, related this interesting
circumstance to me, remarked, that at that time there were seven
meetings of friends in that part of Virginia, but that when he was there
ten years ago, not a single meeting was held, and the country was
literally a desolation. Soon after her decease, John Woolman began his
labors in our society, and instead of disowning a member for testifying
_against_ slavery, they have for fifty-two years positively forbidden
their members to hold slaves.

Abolitionists understand the slaveholding spirit too well to be
surprised at any thing that has yet happened at the South or the North;
they know that the greater the sin is, which is exposed, the more
violent will be the efforts to blacken the character and impugn the
motives of those who are engaged in bringing to light the hidden things
of darkness. They understand the work of Reform too well to be driven
back by the furious waves of opposition, which are only foaming out
their own shame. They have stood "the world's dread laugh," when only
twelve men formed the first Anti-Slavery Society in Boston in 1831. They
have faced and refuted the calumnies of their enemies, and proved
themselves to be emphatically _peace men_ by _never resisting_ the
violence of mobs, even when driven by them from the temple of God, and
dragged by an infuriated crowd through the streets of the emporium of
New-England, or subjected by _slaveholders_ to the pain of corporal
punishment. "None of these things move them;" and, by the grace of God,
they are determined to persevere in this work of faith and labor of
love: they mean to pray, and preach, and write, and print, until slavery
is completely overthrown, until Babylon is taken up and cast into the
sea, to "be found no more at all." They mean to petition Congress year
after year, until the seat of our government is cleansed from the sinful
traffic of "slaves and the souls of men." Although that august assembly
may be like the unjust judge who "feared not God neither regarded man,"
yet it must yield just as he did, from the power of importunity. Like
the unjust judge, Congress _must_ redress the wrongs of the widow, lest
by the continual coming up of petitions, it be wearied. This will be
striking the dagger into the very heart of the monster, and once 'tis
done, he must soon expire.

Abolitionists have been accused of abusing their Southern brethren. Did
the prophet Isaiah _abuse_ the Jews when he addressed to them the
cutting reproofs contained in the first chapter of his prophecies, and
ended by telling them, they would be _ashamed_ of the oaks they had
desired, and _confounded_ for the garden they had chosen? Did John the
Baptist _abuse_ the Jews when he called them "_a generation of vipers_,"
and warned them "to bring forth fruits meet for repentance?" Did Peter
abuse the Jews when he told them they were the _murderers_ of the Lord
of Glory? Did Paul abuse the Roman Governor when he reasoned before him
of righteousness, temperance, and judgment, so as to send conviction
home to his guilty heart, and cause him to tremble in view of the crimes
he was living in? Surely not. No man will now accuse the prophets and
apostles of _abuse_, but what have Abolitionists done more than they? No
doubt the Jews thought the prophets and apostles in their day, just as
harsh and uncharitable as slaveholders now, think Abolitionists; if they
did not, why did they beat, and stone, and kill them?

Great fault has been found with the prints which have been employed to
expose slavery at the North, but my friends, how could this be done so
effectually in any other way? Until the pictures of the slave's
sufferings were drawn and held up to public gaze, no Northerner had any
idea of the cruelty of the system, it never entered their minds that
such abominations could exist in Christian, Republican America; they
never suspected that many of the _gentlemen_ and _ladies_ who came from
the South to spend the summer months in travelling among them, were
petty tyrants at home. And those who had lived at the South, and came to
reside at the North, were too _ashamed of slavery_ even to speak of it;
the language of their hearts was, "tell it _not_ in Gath, publish it
_not_ in the streets of Askelon;" they saw no use in uncovering the
loathsome body to popular sight, and in hopeless despair, wept in secret
places over the sins of oppression. To such hidden mourners the
formation of Anti-Slavery Societies was as life from the dead, the first
beams of hope which gleamed through the dark clouds of despondency and
grief. Prints were made use of to effect the abolition of the
Inquisition in Spain, and Clarkson employed them when he was laboring to
break up the Slave trade, and English Abolitionists used them just as we
are now doing. They are powerful appeals and have invariably done the
work they were designed to do, and we cannot consent to abandon the use
of these until the _realities_ no longer exist.

With regard to those white men, who, it was said, did try to raise an
insurrection in Mississippi a year ago, and who were stated to be
Abolitionists, none of them were proved to be members of Anti-Slavery
Societies, and it must remain a matter of great doubt whether, even they
were guilty of the crimes alledged against them, because when any
community is thrown into such a panic as to inflict Lynch law upon
accused persons, they cannot be supposed to be capable of judging with
calmness and impartiality. _We know_ that the papers of which the
Charleston mail was robbed, were _not_ insurrectionary, and that they
were _not_ sent to the colored people as was reported. _We know_ that
Amos Dresser was _no insurrectionist_ though he was accused of being so,
and on this false accusation was publicly whipped in Nashville in the
midst of a crowd of infuriated _slaveholders_. Was that young man
disgraced by this infliction of corporal punishment? No more than was
the great apostle of the Gentiles who five times received forty stripes,
save one. Like him, he might have said, "henceforth I bear in my body
the marks of the Lord Jesus," for it was for the _truth's sake, he
suffered_, as much as did the Apostle Paul. Are Nelson, and Garrett, and
Williams, and other Abolitionists who have recently been banished from
Missouri, insurrectionists? _We know_ they are _not_, whatever
slaveholders may choose to call them. The spirit which now asperses the
character of the Abolitionists, is the _very same_ which dressed up the
Christians of Spain in the skins of wild beasts and pictures of devils
when they were led to execution as heretics. Before we condemn
individuals, it is necessary, even in a wicked community, to accuse them
of some crime; hence, when Jezebel wished to compass the death of
Naboth, men of Belial were suborned to bear _false_ witness against him,
and so it was with Stephen, and so it ever has been, and ever will be,
as long as there is any virtue to suffer on the rack, or the gallows.
_False_ witnesses must appear against Abolitionists before they can be
condemned.

I will now say a few words on George Thompson's mission to this country.
This Philanthropist was accused of being a foreign emissary. Were La
Fayette, and Steuben, and De Kalb, foreign emissaries when they came
over to America to fight against the tories, who preferred submitting to
what was termed, "the yoke of servitude," rather than bursting the
fetters which bound them to the mother country? _They_ came with _carnal
weapons_ to engage in _bloody_ conflict against American citizens, and
yet, where do their names stand on the page of History. Among the
honorable, or the low? Thompson came here to war against the giant sin
of slavery, _not_ with the sword and the pistol, but with the smooth
stones of oratory taken from the pure waters of the river of Truth. His
splendid talents and commanding eloquence rendered him a powerful
coadjutor in the Anti-Slavery cause, and in order to neutralize the
effects of these upon his auditors, and rob the poor slave of the
benefits of his labors, his character was defamed, his life was sought,
and he at last driven from our Republic, as a fugitive. But was
_Thompson_ disgraced by all this mean and contemptible and wicked
chicanery and malice? No more than was Paul, when in consequence of a
vision he had seen at Troas, he went over to Macedonia to help the
Christians there, and was beaten and imprisoned, because he cast out a
spirit of divination from a young damsel which had brought much gain to
her masters. Paul was as much a _foreign emissary_ in the Roman colony
of Philippi, as George Thompson was in America, and it was because he
was a _Jew_, and taught customs it was not lawful for them to receive or
observe, being Romans, that the Apostle was thus treated.

It was said, Thompson was a felon, who had fled to this country to
escape transportation to New Holland. Look at him now pouring the
thundering strains of his eloquence, upon crowded audiences in Great
Britain, and see in this a triumphant vindication of his character. And
have the slaveholder, and his obsequious apologist, gained any thing by
all their violence and falsehood? No! for the stone which struck Goliath
of Gath, had already been thrown from the sling. The giant of slavery
who had so proudly defied the armies of the living God, had received his
death-blow before he left our shores. But what is George Thompson doing
there? Is he not now laboring there, as effectually to abolish American
slavery as though he trod our own soil, and lectured to New York or
Boston assemblies? What is he doing there, but constructing a stupendous
dam, which will turn the overwhelming tide of public opinion over the
wheels of that machinery which Abolitionists are working here. He is now
lecturing to _Britons_ on _American Slavery_, to the _subjects_ of a
_King_, on the abject condition of the _slaves of a Republic_. He is
telling them of that mighty confederacy of petty tyrants which extends
ever thirteen States of our Union. He is telling them of the munificent
rewards offered by slaveholders, for the heads of the most distinguished
advocates for freedom in this country. He is moving the British Churches
to send out to the churches of America the most solemn appeals,
reproving, rebuking, and exhorting them with all long suffering and
patience to abandon the sin of slavery immediately. Where then I ask,
will the name of George Thompson stand on the page of History? Among the
honorable, or the base?

What can I say more, my friends, to induce _you_ to set your hands, and
heads, and hearts, to this great work of justice and mercy. Perhaps you
have feared the consequences of immediate Emancipation, and been
frightened by all those dreadful prophecies of rebellion, bloodshed and
murder, which have been uttered. "Let no man deceive you;" they are the
predictions of that same "lying spirit" which spoke through the four
thousand prophets of old, to Ahab king of Israel, urging him on to
destruction. _Slavery_ may produce these horrible scenes if it is
continued five years longer, but Emancipation _never will_.

I can prove the _safety_ of immediate Emancipation by history. In St.
Domingo in 1793 six hundred thousand slaves were set free in a white
population of forty-two thousand. That Island "marched as by enchantment
towards its ancient splendor", cultivation prospered, every day produced
perceptible proofs of its progress, and the negroes all continued
quietly to work on the different plantations, until in 1802, France
determined to reduce these liberated slaves again to bondage. It was at
_this time_ that all those dreadful scenes of cruelty occurred, which we
so often _unjustly_ hear spoken of, as the effects of Abolition. They
were occasioned _not_ by Emancipation, but by the base attempt to fasten
the chains of slavery on the limbs of liberated slaves.

In Guadaloupe eighty-five thousand slaves were freed in a white
population of thirteen thousand. The same prosperous effects followed
manumission here, that had attended it in Hayti, every thing was quiet
until Buonaparte sent out a fleet to reduce these negroes again to
slavery, and in 1802 this institution was re-established in that Island.
In 1834, when Great Britain determined to liberate the slaves in her
West India colonies, and proposed the apprenticeship system; the
planters of Bermuda and Antigua, after having joined the other planters
in their representations of the bloody consequences of Emancipation, in
order if possible to hold back the hand which was offering the boon of
freedom to the poor negro; as soon as they found such falsehoods were
utterly disregarded, and Abolition must take place, came forward
voluntarily, and asked for the compensation which was due to them,
saying, _they preferred immediate emancipation_, and were not afraid of
any insurrection. And how is it with these islands now? They are
decidedly more prosperous than any of those in which the apprenticeship
system was adopted, and England is now trying to abolish that system, so
fully convinced is she that immediate Emancipation is the _safest_ and
the best plan.

And why not try it in the Southern States, if it _never_ has occasioned
rebellion; if _not a drop of blood_ has ever been shed in consequence of
it, though it has been so often tried, why should we suppose it would
produce such disastrous consequences now? "Be not deceived then, God is
not mocked," by such false excuses for not doing justly and loving
mercy. There is nothing to fear from immediate Emancipation, but _every
thing_ from the continuance of slavery.

Sisters in Christ, I have done. As a Southerner, I have felt it was my
duty to address you. I have endeavoured to set before you the exceeding
sinfulness of slavery, and to point you to the example of those noble
women who have been raised up in the church to effect great revolutions,
and to suffer for the truth's sake. I have appealed to your sympathies
as women, to your sense of duty as _Christian women_>. I have attempted
to vindicate the Abolitionists, to prove the entire safety of immediate
Emancipation, and to plead the cause of the poor and oppressed. I have
done--I have sowed the seeds of truth, but I well know, that even if an
Apollos were to follow in my steps to water them, "_God only_ can give
the increase." To Him then who is able to prosper the work of his
servant's hand, I commend this Appeal in fervent prayer, that as he
"hath _chosen the weak things of the world_, to confound the things
which are mighty," so He may cause His blessing, to descend and carry
conviction to the hearts of many Lydias through these speaking pages.
Farewell.--Count me not your "enemy because I have told you the truth,"
but believe me in unfeigned affection,

Your sympathizing Friend,

ANGELINA E. GRIMKÉ.

Published by the American Anti-Slavery Society, corner of Spruce and
Nassau Streets.



THE ANTI-SLAVERY EXAMINER.


       *       *       *       *       *


VOL. I. SEPTEMBER, 1836.    No. 2.



       *       *       *       *       *



APPEAL

TO THE

CHRISTIAN WOMEN OF THE SOUTH,


BY A.E. GRIMKÉ REVISED AND CORRECTED.


    "Then Mordecai commanded to answer Esther, Think not within
    thyself that thou shalt escape in the king's house more than all
    the Jews. For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time,
    then shalt there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews
    from another place: but thou and thy father's house shall be
    destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom
    for such a time as this. And Esther bade them return Mordecai
    this answer:--and so will I go in unto the king, which is not
    according to law, and _if I perish, I perish_."

    Esther IV. 13-16.


RESPECTED FRIENDS,

It is because I feel a deep and tender interest in your present and
eternal welfare that I am willing thus publicly to address you. Some of
you have loved me as a relative, and some have felt bound to me in
Christian sympathy, and Gospel fellowship; and even when compelled by a
strong sense of duty, to break those outward bonds of union which bound
us together as members of the same community, and members of the same
religious denomination, you were generous enough to give me credit, for
sincerity as a Christian, though you believed I had been most strangely
deceived. I thanked you then for your kindness, and I ask you _now_, for
the sake of former confidence, and former friendship, to read the
following pages in the spirit of calm investigation and fervent prayer.
It is because you have known me, that I write thus unto you.

But there are other Christian women scattered over the Southern States,
of whom a very large number have never seen me, and never heard my name,
and feel _no_ personal interest whatever in _me_. But I feel an interest
in _you_, as branches of the same vine from whose root I daily draw the
principle of spiritual vitality--Yes! Sisters in Christ I feel an
interest in _you_, and often has the secret prayer arisen on your
behalf, Lord "open thou their eyes that they may see wondrous things out
of thy Law"--It is then, because I _do feel_ and _do pray_ for you, that
I thus address you upon a subject about which of all others, perhaps you
would rather not hear any thing; but, "would to God ye could bear with
me a little in my folly, and indeed bear with me, for I am jealous over
you with godly jealousy." Be not afraid then to read my appeal; it is
_not_ written in the heat of passion or prejudice, but in that solemn
calmness which is the result of conviction and duty. It is true, I am
going to tell you unwelcome truths, but I mean to speak these _truths in
love_, and remember Solomon says, "faithful are the _wounds_ of a
friend." I do not believe the time has yet come when _Christian women_
"will not endure sound doctrine," even on the subject of Slavery, if it
is spoken to them in tenderness and love, therefore I now address _you_.


       *       *       *       *       *


POSTAGE.--This periodical contains four and a half sheets. Postage under
100 miles, 6 3-4 cents; over 100 miles, 11 1-4 cents.

_PLEASE READ AND CIRCULATE._


       *       *       *       *       *


To all of you then, known or unknown, relatives or strangers, (for you
are all _one_ in Christ,) I would speak. I have felt for you at this
time, when unwelcome light is pouring in upon the world on the subject
of slavery; light which even Christians would exclude, if they could,
from our country, or at any rate from the southern portion of it,
saying, as its rays strike the rock bound coasts of New England and
scatter their warmth and radiance over her hills and valleys, and from
thence travel onward over the Palisades of the Hudson, and down the soft
flowing waters of the Delaware and gild the waves of the Potomac,
"hitherto shalt thou come and no further;" I know that even professors
of His name who has been emphatically called the "Light of the world"
would, if they could, build a wall of adamant around the Southern States
whose top might reach unto heaven, in order to shut out the light which
is bounding from mountain to mountain and from the hills to the plains
and valleys beneath, through the vast extent of our Northern States. But
believe me, when I tell you, their attempts will be as utterly fruitless
as were the efforts of the builders of Babel; and why? Because moral,
like natural light, is so extremely subtle in its nature as to overleap
all human barriers, and laugh at the puny efforts of man to control it.
All the excuses and palliations of this system must inevitably be swept
away, just as other "refuges of lies" have been, by the irresistible
torrent of a rectified public opinion. "The _supporters_ of the slave
system," says Jonathan Dymond in his admirable work on the Principles of
Morality, "will _hereafter_ be regarded with the _same_ public feeling,
as he who was an advocate for the slave trade _now_ is." It will be, and
that very soon, clearly perceived and fully acknowledged by all the
virtuous and the candid, that in _principle_ it is as sinful to hold a
human being in bondage who has been born in Carolina, as one who has
been born in Africa. All that sophistry of argument which has been
employed to prove, that although it is sinful to send to Africa to
procure men and women as slaves, who have never been in slavery, that
still, it is not sinful to keep those in bondage who have come down by
inheritance, will be utterly overthrown. We must come back to the good
old doctrine of our forefathers who declared to the world, "this self
evident truth that _all_ men are created equal, and that they have
certain _inalienable_ rights among which are life, _liberty_, and the
pursuit of happiness." It is even a greater absurdity to suppose a man
can be legally born a slave under _our free Republican_ Government, than
under the petty despotisms of barbarian Africa. If then, we have no
right to enslave an African, surely we can have none to enslave an
American; if it is a self evident truth that _all_ men, every where and
of every color are born equal, and have an _inalienable right to
liberty_, then it is equally true that _no_ man can be born a slave, and
no man can ever _rightfully_ be reduced to _involuntary_ bondage and
held as a slave, however fair may be the claim of his master or mistress
through wills and title-deeds.

But after all, it may be said, our fathers were certainly mistaken, for
the Bible sanctions Slavery, and that is the highest authority. Now the
Bible is my ultimate appeal in all matters of faith and practice, and it
is to _this test_ I am anxious to bring the subject at issue between us.
Let us then begin with Adam and examine the charter of privileges which
was given to him. "Have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the
fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the
earth." In the eighth Psalm we have a still fuller description of this
charter which through Adam was given to all mankind. "Thou madest him to
have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things
under his feet. All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field,
the fowl of the air, the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through
the paths of the seas." And after the flood when this charter of human
rights was renewed, we find _no additional_ power vested in man. "And
the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the
earth, and every fowl of the air, and upon all that moveth upon the
earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea, into your hand are they
delivered." In this charter, although the different kinds of
_irrational_ beings are so particularly enumerated, and supreme dominion
over _all of them_ is granted, yet _man_ is _never_ vested with this
dominion _over his fellow man_; he was never told that any of the human
species were put _under his feet_; it was only _all things_, and man,
who was created in the image of his Maker, _never_ can properly be
termed a _thing_, though the laws of Slave States do call him "a chattel
personal;" _Man_ then, I assert _never_ was put _under the feet of man_,
by that first charter of human right, which was given by God, to the
Fathers of the Antediluvian and Postdiluvian worlds, therefore this
doctrine of equality is based on the Bible.

But it may be argued, that in the very chapter of Genesis from which I
have last quoted, will be found the curse pronounced upon Canaan, by
which his posterity was consigned to servitude under his brothers Shem
and Japheth. I know this prophecy was uttered, and was most fearfully
and wonderfully fulfilled, through the immediate descendants of Canaan,
i.e. the Canaanites, and I do not know but it has been through all the
children of Ham, but I do know that prophecy does _not_ tell us what
_ought to be_, but what actually does take place, ages after it has been
delivered, and that if we justify America for enslaving the children of
Africa, we must also justify Egypt for reducing the children of Israel
to bondage, for the latter was foretold as explicitly as the former. I
am well aware that prophecy has often been urged as an excuse for
Slavery, but be not deceived, the fulfilment of prophecy will _not cover
one sin_ in the awful day of account. Hear what our Saviour says on this
subject; "it must needs be that offences come, but _woe unto that man
through whom they come_"--Witness some fulfilment of this declaration in
the tremendous destruction of Jerusalem, occasioned by that most
nefarious of all crimes the crucifixion of the Son of God. Did the fact
of that event having been foretold, exculpate the Jews from sin in
perpetrating it; No--for hear what the Apostle Peter says to them on
this subject, "Him being delivered by the determinate counsel and
foreknowledge of God, _ye_ have taken, and by _wicked_ hands have
crucified and slain." Other striking instances might be adduced, but
these will suffice.

But it has been urged that the patriarchs held slaves, and therefore,
slavery is right. Do you really believe that patriarchal servitude was
like American slavery? Can you believe it? If so, read the history of
these primitive fathers of the church and be undeceived. Look at
Abraham, though so great a man, going to the herd himself and fetching a
calf from thence and serving it up with his own hands, for the
entertainment of his guests. Look at Sarah, that princess as her name
signifies, baking cakes upon the hearth. If the servants they had were
like Southern slaves, would they have performed such comparatively
menial offices for themselves? Hear too the plaintive lamentation of
Abraham when he feared he should have no son to bear his name down to
posterity. "Behold thou hast given me no seed, &c., one born in my house
is _mine_ heir." From this it appears that one of his _servants_ was to
inherit his immense estate. Is this like Southern slavery? I leave it to
your own good sense and candor to decide. Besides, such was the footing
upon which Abraham was with _his_ servants, that he trusted them with
arms. Are slaveholders willing to put swords and pistols into the hands
of their slaves? He was as a father among his servants; what are
planters and masters generally among theirs? When the institution of
circumcision was established, Abraham was commanded thus; "He that is
eight days old shall be circumcised among you, _every_ man-child in your
generations; he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any
stranger which is not of thy seed." And to render this command with
regard to his _servants_ still more impressive it is repeated in the
very next verse; and herein we may perceive the great care which was
taken by God to guard the _rights of servants_ even under this "dark
dispensation." What too was the testimony given to the faithfulness of
this eminent patriarch. "For I know him that he will command his
children and his _household_ after him, and they shall keep the way of
the Lord to do justice and judgment." Now my dear friends many of you
believe that circumcision has been superseded by baptism in the Church;
_Are you_ careful to have _all_ that are born in your house or bought
with money of any stranger, baptized? Are _you_ as faithful as Abraham
to command _your household_ to _keep the way of the Lord?_ I leave it to
your own consciences to decide. Was patriarchal servitude then like
American Slavery?

But I shall be told, God sanctioned Slavery, yea commanded Slavery under
the Jewish Dispensation. Let us examine this subject calmly and
prayerfully. I admit that a species of _servitude_ was permitted to the
Jews, but in studying the subject I have been struck with wonder and
admiration at perceiving how carefully the servant was guarded from
violence, injustice, and wrong. I will first inform you how these
servants became servants, for I think this a very important part of our
subject. From consulting Horne, Calmet, and the Bible, I find there were
six different ways by which the Hebrews became servants legally.

1. A Hebrew, whose father was still alive, and who on that account had
not inherited his patrimonial estate, might sell himself, i.e., his
services, for six years, in which case _he_ received the purchase money
_himself_. Ex. xxi, 2.

2. A father might sell his children as servants, i.e., his _daughters_,
in which circumstance it was understood the daughter was to be the wife
or daughter-in-law of the man who bought her, and the _father_ received
the price. In other words, Jewish women were sold as _white women_ were
in the first settlement of Virginia--as _wives, not_ as slaves. Ex. xxi,
7-11.

3. Thieves not able to make restitution for their thefts, were sold for
the benefit of the injured person. Ex. xxii, 3.

4. They might be born in servitude. Ex. xxi, 4.

5. If reduced to extreme poverty, a Hebrew might sell himself; but in
such a case he was to serve, not as a bondsman, whose term of service
was only six years, nor was he to serve as a hired servant, who received
his wages every evening, nor yet as a sojourner or temporary resident in
the family, but he was to serve his master until the year of Jubilee[A].
Lev. xxv, 39, 40.

[Footnote A: If the reader will leave out the italicised words--But and
And, in the 40th verse--he will find that I am fully authorized in the
meaning I have attached to it. But and And are _not_ in the original
Hebrew; have been introduced by the translators, and entirely destroy
the true sense of the passage.]

6. If a Hebrew had sold himself to a rich Gentile, he might be redeemed
by one of his brethren at any time the money was offered; and he who
redeemed him, was _not_ to take advantage of the favor thus conferred,
and rule over him with rigor. Lev. xxv, 47-55.

Before going into an examination of the laws by which these servants
were protected, I would just ask whether American slaves have become
slaves in any of the ways in which the Hebrews became servants. Did they
sell themselves into slavery and receive the purchase money into their
own hands? No! No! Did they steal the property of another, and were they
sold to make restitution for their crimes? No! Did their present
masters, as an act of kindness, redeem them from some heathen tyrant to
whom _they had sold themselves_ in the dark hour of adversity? No! Were
they born in slavery? No! No! Not according to _Jewish Law_, for the
servants who were born in servitude among them, were born of parents who
had _sold themselves_: Ex. xxi, 4; Lev. xxv, 39, 40. Were the female
slaves of the South sold by their fathers? How shall I answer this
question? Thousands and tens of thousands never were, _their_ fathers
_never_ have received the poor compensation of silver or gold for the
tears and toils, the suffering, and anguish, and hopeless bondage of
_their_ daughters. They labor day by day, and year by year, side by
side, in the same field, if haply their daughters are permitted to
remain on the same plantation with them, instead of being, as they often
are, separated from their parents and sold into distant states, never
again to meet on earth. But do the _fathers of the South ever sell their
daughters?_ My heart beats, and my hand trembles, as I write the awful
affirmative, Yes! The fathers of this Christian land often sell their
daughters, _not_ as Jewish parents did, to be the wives and
daughters-in-law of the men who buy them, but to be the abject slaves of
petty tyrants and irresponsible masters. Is it not so, my friends? I
leave it to your own candor to corroborate my assertion. Southern slaves
then have _not_ become slaves in any of the six different ways in which
Hebrews became servants, and I hesitate not to say that American masters
_cannot_ according to _Jewish law_ substantiate their claim to the men,
women, or children they now hold in bondage.

But there was one way in which a Jew might illegally be reduced to
servitude; it was this, he might be _stolen_ and afterwards sold as a
slave, as was Joseph. To guard most effectually against this dreadful
crime of manstealing, God enacted this severe law. "He that stealeth a
man and selleth him, or if he be found in his hand, he shall surely be
put to death." And again, "If a man be found stealing any of his
brethren of the children of Israel, and maketh merchandise of him, or
selleth him; then _that thief shall die_; and thou shalt put away evil
from among you." Deut. xxiv, 7. As I have tried American Slavery by
_legal_ Hebrew servitude, and found, (to your surprise, perhaps,) that
Jewish law cannot justify the slaveholder's claim, let us now try it by
_illegal_ Hebrew bondage. Have the Southern slaves then been stolen? If
they did not sell themselves into bondage; if they were not sold as
thieves; if they were not redeemed from a heathen master to whom _they
had sold themselves;_ if they were not born in servitude according to
Hebrew law; and if the females were not sold by their fathers as wives
and daughters-in-law to those who purchased them; then what shall we say
of them? what can we say of them? but that according _to Hebrew Law they
have been stolen._

But I shall be told that the Jews had other servants who were absolute
slaves. Let us look a little into this also. They had other servants who
were procured from the heathen.

Bondmen and bondmaids might be bought of the heathen round about them.
Lev. xxv, 44.

I will now try the right of the southern planter by the claims of Hebrew
masters to their _heathen_ servants. Were the southern slaves bought
from the heathen? No! For surely, no one will _now_ vindicate the
slave-trade so far as to assert that slaves were bought from the heathen
who were obtained by that system of piracy. The only excuse for holding
southern slaves is that they were born in slavery, but we have seen that
they were _not_ born in servitude as Jewish servants were, and that the
children of heathen servants were not legally subjected to bondage, even
under the Mosaic Law. How then have the slaves of the South been
obtained?

I will next proceed to an examination of those laws which were enacted
in order to protect the Hebrew and the Heathen servant; for I wish you
to understand that _both_ were protected by Him, of whom it is said "his
mercies are over _all_ his works." I will first speak of those which
secured the rights of Hebrew servants. This code was headed thus:

1. Thou shalt _not_ rule over him with _rigor_, but shalt fear thy God.

2. If thou buy a Hebrew servant, six years shall he serve, and in the
seventh year he shall go out free for nothing. Ex. xxi, 2. And when thou
sendest him out free from thee, thou shalt not let him go away empty:
Thou shalt furnish him _liberally_ out of thy flock and out of thy
floor, and out of thy wine-press: of that wherewith the Lord thy God
hath blessed thee, shalt thou give unto him. Deut. xv, 13, 14.

3. If he come in by himself, he shall go out by himself; if he were
married, then his wife shall go out with him. Ex. xxi, 3.

4. If his master have given him a wife, and she have borne him sons and
daughters, the wife and her children shall be his master's, and he shall
go out by himself. Ex. xxi, 4.

5. If the servant shall plainly say, I love my master, my wife, and my
children; I will not go out free; then his master shall bring him unto
the Judges, and he shall bring him to the door, or unto the door-post,
and his master shall bore his ear through with an awl, and he shall
serve him _for ever_. Ex. xxi, 5, 6.

6. If a man smite the eye of his servant, or the eye of his maid, that
it perish, he shall let him go _free_ for his eye's sake. And if he
smite out his man servant's tooth or his maid servant's tooth, he shall
let him go _free_ for his tooth's sake. Ex. xxi, 26, 27.

7. On the Sabbath, rest was secured to servants by the fourth
commandment. Ex. xx, 10.

8. Servants were permitted to unite with their masters three times in
every year in celebrating the Passover, the feast of Weeks, and the
feast of Tabernacles; every male throughout the land was to appear
before the Lord at Jerusalem with a gift; here the bond and the free
stood on common ground. Deut. xvi.

9. If a man smite his servant or his maid with a rod, and he die under
his hand, he shall be surely punished. Notwithstanding, if he continue a
day or two, he shall not be punished, for he is his money. Ex. xxi, 20,
21.

From these laws we learn, that one class of Hebrew men servants were
bound to serve their masters _only six_ years, unless their attachment
to their employers, their wives and children, should induce them to wish
to remain in servitude, in which case, in order to prevent the
possibility of deception on the part of the master, the servant was
first taken before the magistrate, where he openly declared his
intention of continuing in his master's service, (probably a public
register was kept of such,) he was then conducted to the door of the
house, (in warm climates doors are thrown open.) and _there_ his ear was
_publicly_ bored, and by submitting to this operation, he testified his
willingness to serve him in subserviency to the law of God; for let it
be remembered, that the door-post was covered with the precepts of that
law. Deut. vi, 9. xi, 20: _for ever_, i.e., during his life, for Jewish
Rabbins, who must have understood Jewish _slavery_ (as it is called),
"affirm that servants were set free at the death of their masters, and
did _not_ descend to their heirs;" or that he was to serve him until the
year of Jubilee, when _all_ servants were set at liberty. The other
class, when they first sold themselves, agreed to remain until the year
of Jubilee. To protect servants from violence, it was ordained, that if
a master struck out the tooth or destroyed the eye of a servant, that
servant immediately became _free_, for such an act of violence evidently
showed he was unfit to possess the power of a master, and therefore that
power was taken from him. All servants enjoyed the rest of the Sabbath,
and partook of the privileges and festivities of the three great Jewish
Feasts; and if a servant died under the infliction of chastisement, his
master was surely to be punished. As a tooth for a tooth and life for
life was the Jewish law, of course he was punished with death. I know
that great stress has been laid upon the following verse:
"Notwithstanding, if he continue a day or two, he shall not be punished,
for he is his money."

Slaveholders, and the apologists of slavery, have eagerly seized upon
this little passage of Scripture, and held it up as the masters' Magna
Charta, by which they were licensed by God himself to commit the
greatest outrages upon the defenceless victims of their oppression. But,
my friends, was it designed to be so? If our Heavenly Father would
protect by law the _eye_ and the _tooth_ of a Hebrew servant, can we for
a moment believe that he would abandon that same servant to the brutal
rage of a master who would destroy even life itself? Let us then examine
this passage with the help of the context. In the 18th and 19th verses
we have a law which was made for _freemen_ who strove together. Here we
find, that if one man smote another, so that he died not, but only kept
his bed from being disabled, and he rose again and walked abroad upon
his staff, then _he_ was to be paid for the loss of his time, and all
the expenses of his sickness were to be borne by the man who smote him.
The freeman's time was _his own_, and therefore he was to be remunerated
for the loss of it. But _not_ so with the _servant_, whose time was, as
it were, _the money of his master_, because he had already paid for it:
If he continued a day or two after being struck, to keep his bed in
consequence of any wound received, then his lost time was _not_ to be
paid for, because it was _not his own_, but his master's, who had
already paid him for it. The loss of his time was the _master's loss_,
and _not_ the servant's. This explanation is confirmed by the fact, that
the Hebrew word translated continue, means "to stand still;" _i.e._, to
be unable to go out about his master's work.

Here then we find this stronghold of slavery completely demolished.
Instead of its being a license to inflict such chastisement upon a
servant as to cause even death itself, it is in fact a law merely to
provide that a man should not be required to pay his servant twice over
for his time. It is altogether an unfounded assumption on the part of
the slaveholder, that this servant _died_ after a day or two; the text
does not say so, and I contend that he _got well_ after a day or two,
just as the man mentioned in the 19th verse recovered from the effects
of the blows he received. The cases are completely parallel, and the
first law throws great light on the second. This explanation is far more
consonant with the character of God, and were it not that our vision has
been so completely darkened by the existence of slavery in our country,
we never could so far have dishonored Him as to have supposed that He
sanctioned the murder of a servant; although slaveholding legislators
might legalize the killing of a slave in _four_ different
ways.--(_Stroud's Sketch of Slave Laws_.)

But I pass on now to the consideration of how the _female_ Jewish
servants were protected by _law_.

1. If she please not her master, who hath betrothed her to himself, then
shall he let her be redeemed: to sell her unto another nation he shall
have no power, seeing he hath dealt deceitfully with her.

2. If he have betrothed her unto his son, he shall deal with her after
the manner of daughters.

3. If he take him another wife, her food, her raiment, and her duty of
marriage, shall he not diminish.

4. If he do not these three unto her, then shall she go out _free_
without money.

On these laws I will give you Calmet's remarks; "A father could not sell
his daughter as a slave, according to the Rabbins, until she was at the
age of puberty, and unless he were reduced to the utmost indigence.
Besides, when a master bought an Israelitish girl, it was _always_ with
the presumption that he would take her to wife. Hence Moses adds, 'if
she please not her master, and he does not think fit to marry her, he
shall set her at liberty,' or according to the Hebrew, 'he shall let her
be redeemed.' 'To sell her to another nation he shall have no power,
seeing he hath dealt deceitfully with her;' as to the engagement
implied, at least of taking her to wife. 'If he have betrothed her unto
his son, he shall deal with her after the manner of daughters;' i.e., he
shall take care that his son uses her as his wife, that he does not
despise or maltreat her. If he make his son marry another wife, he shall
give her her dowry, her clothes, and compensation for her virginity; if
he does none of these three, she shall _go out free_ without money."
Thus were the _rights of female servants carefully secured by law_ under
the Jewish Dispensation; and now I would ask, are the rights of female
slaves at the South thus secured? Are _they_ sold only as wives and
daughters-in-law, and when not treated as such, are they allowed to _go
out free?_ No! They have _all_ not only been illegally obtained as
servants according to Hebrew law, but they are also illegally _held_ in
bondage. Masters at the South and West have all forfeited their claims,
(_if they ever had any,_) to their female slaves.

We come now to examine the case of those servants who were "of the
heathen round about;" Were _they_ left entirely unprotected by law?
Horne, in speaking of the law, "Thou shalt not rule over him with rigor,
but shalt fear thy God," remarks, "this law, Lev. xxv, 43, it is true,
speaks expressly of slaves who were of Hebrew descent; but as _alien
born_ slaves were ingrafted into the Hebrew Church by circumcision,
_there is no doubt_ but that it applied to _all_ slaves:" if so, then we
may reasonably suppose that the other protective laws extended to them
also; and that the only difference between Hebrew and Heathen servants
lay in this, that the former served but six years, unless they chose to
remain longer, and were always freed at the death of their masters;
whereas, the latter served until the year of Jubilee, though that might
include a period of forty-nine years,--and were left from father to son.

There are, however, two other laws which I have not yet noticed. The one
effectually prevented _all involuntary_ servitude, and the other
completely abolished Jewish servitude every fifty years. They were
equally operative upon the Heathen and the Hebrew.

1. "Thou shalt _not_ deliver unto his master the servant that is escaped
from his master unto thee. He shall dwell with thee, even among you, in
that place which he shall choose, in one of thy gates where it liketh
him best: thou shalt _not_ oppress him." Deut. xxiii, 15, 16.

2. "And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim _Liberty_
throughout _all_ the land, unto _all_ the inhabitants thereof; it shall
be a jubilee unto you." Lev. xxv, 10.

Here, then, we see that by this first law, the _door of Freedom was
opened wide to every servant who_ had any cause whatever for complaint;
if he was unhappy with his master, all he had to do was to leave him,
and _no man_ had a right to deliver him back to him again, and not only
so, but the absconded servant was to _choose_ where he should live, and
no Jew was permitted to oppress him. He left his master just as our
Northern servants leave us; we have no power to compel them to remain
with us, and no man has any right to oppress them; they go and dwell in
that place where it chooseth them, and live just where they like. Is it
so at the South? Is the poor runaway slave protected _by law_ from the
violence of that master whose oppression and cruelty has driven him from
his plantation or his house? No! no! Even the free states of the North
are compelled to deliver unto his master the servant that is escaped
from his master into them. By _human_ law, under the _Christian
Dispensation_, in the _nineteenth century we_ are commanded to do, what
_God_ more than _three thousand_ years ago, under the _Mosaic
Dispensation_, _positively commanded_ the Jews _not_ to do. In the wide
domain even of our free states, there is not _one_ city of refuge for
the poor runaway fugitive; not one spot upon which he can stand and say,
I am a free man--I am protected in my rights as a _man_, by the strong
arm of the law; no! _not one_. How long the North will thus shake hands
with the South in sin, I know not. How long she will stand by like the
persecutor Saul, _consenting_ unto the death of Stephen, and keeping the
raiment of them that slew him. I know not; but one thing I do know, the
_guilt of the North_ is increasing in a tremendous ratio as light is
pouring in upon her on the subject and the sin of slavery. As the sun of
righteousness climbs higher and higher in the moral heavens, she will
stand still more and more abashed as the query is thundered down into
her ear, "_Who_ hath required _this_ at thy hand?" It will be found _no_
excuse then that the Constitution of our country required that _persons
bound to service_ escaping from their masters should be delivered up; no
more excuse than was the reason which Adam assigned for eating the
forbidden fruit. _He was condemned and punished because_ he hearkened to
the voice of _his wife_, rather than to the command of his Maker; and
_we_ shall assuredly be condemned and punished for obeying _Man_ rather
than _God_, if we do not speedily repent and bring forth fruits meet for
repentance. Yea, are we not receiving chastisement even _now_?

But by the second of these laws a still more astonishing fact is
disclosed. If the first effectually prevented _all involuntary
servitude_, the last absolutely forbade even _voluntary servitude being
perpetual_. On the great day of atonement every fiftieth year the
Jubilee trumpet was sounded throughout the land of Judea, and _Liberty_
was proclaimed to _all_ the inhabitants thereof. I will not say that the
servants' _chains_ fell off and their _manacles_ were burst, for there
is no evidence that Jewish servants _ever_ felt the weight of iron
chains, and collars, and handcuffs; but I do say that even the man who
had voluntarily sold himself and the _heathen_ who had been sold to a
Hebrew master, were set free, the one as well as the other. This law was
evidently designed to prevent the oppression of the poor, and the
possibility of such a thing as _perpetual servitude_ existing among
them.

Where, then, I would ask, is the warrant, the justification, or the
palliation of American Slavery from Hebrew servitude? How many of the
southern slaves would now be in bondage according to the laws of Moses;
Not one. You may observe that I have carefully avoided using the term
_slavery_ when speaking of Jewish servitude; and simply for this reason,
that _no such thing_ existed among that people; the word translated
servant does _not_ mean _slave_, it is the same that is applied to
Abraham, to Moses, to Elisha and the prophets generally. _Slavery_ then
_never_ existed under the Jewish Dispensation at all, and I cannot but
regard it as an aspersion on the character of Him who is "glorious in
Holiness" for any one to assert that "_God sanctioned, yea commanded
slavery_ under the old dispensation." I would fain lift my feeble voice
to vindicate Jehovah's character from so foul a slander. If slaveholders
are determined to hold slaves as long as they can, let them not dare to
say that the God of mercy and of truth _ever_ sanctioned such a system
of cruelty and wrong. It is blasphemy against Him.

We have seen that the code of laws framed by Moses with regard to
servants was designed to _protect them_ as _men and women_, to secure to
them their _rights_ as _human beings_, to guard them from oppression and
defend them from violence of every kind. Let us now turn to the Slave
laws of the South and West and examine them too. I will give you the
substance only, because I fear I shall trespass too much on your time,
were I to quote them at length.

1. _Slavery_ is hereditary and perpetual, to the last moment of the
slave's earthly existence, and to all his descendants to the latest
posterity.

2. The labor of the slave is compulsory and uncompensated; while the
kind of labor, the amount of toil, the time allowed for rest, are
dictated solely by the master. No bargain is made, no wages given. A
pure despotism governs the human brute; and even his covering and
provender, both as to quantity and quality, depend entirely on the
master's discretion[A].

[Footnote A: There are laws in some of the slave states, limiting the
labor which the master may require of the slave to fourteen hours daily.
In some of the states there are laws requiring the masters to furnish a
certain amount of food and clothing, as for instance, _one quart_ of
corn per day, or _one peck_ per week, or _one bushel_ per month, and
"_one_ linen shirt and pantaloons for the summer, and a linen shirt and
woolen great coat and pantaloons for the winter," &c. But "still," to
use the language of Judge Stroud "the slave is entirely under the
control of his master.--is unprovided with a protector,--and, especially
as he cannot be a witness or make complaint in any known mode against
his master, the _apparent_ object of these laws may _always_ be
defeated." ED.]

3. The slave being considered a personal chattel may be sold or pledged,
or leased at the will of his master. He may be exchanged for marketable
commodities, or taken in execution for the debts or taxes either of a
living or dead master. Sold at auction, either individually, or in lots
to suit the purchaser, he may remain with his family, or be separated
from them for ever.

4. Slaves can make no contracts and have no _legal_ right to any
property, real or personal. Their own honest earnings and the legacies
of friends belong in point of law to their masters.

5. Neither a slave nor a free colored person can be a witness against
any _white_, or free person, in a court of justice, however atrocious
may have been the crimes they have seen him commit, if such testimony
would be for the benefit of a _slave_; but they may give testimony
_against a fellow slave_, or free colored man, even in cases affecting
life, if the _master_ is to reap the advantage of it.

6. The slave may be punished at his master's discretion--without
trial--without any means of legal redress; whether his offence be real
or imaginary; and the master can transfer the same despotic power to any
person or persons, he may choose to appoint.

7. The slave is not allowed to resist any free man under _any_
circumstances, _his_ only safety consists in the fact that his _owner_
may bring suit and recover the price of his body, in case his life is
taken, or his limbs rendered unfit for labor.

8. Slaves cannot redeem themselves, or obtain a change of masters,
though cruel treatment may have rendered such a change necessary for
their personal safety.

9. The slave is entirely unprotected in his domestic relations.

10. The laws greatly obstruct the manumission of slaves, even where the
master is willing to enfranchise them.

11. The operation of the laws tends to deprive slaves of religious
instruction and consolation.

12. The whole power of the laws is exerted to keep slaves in a state of
the lowest ignorance.

13. There is in this country a monstrous inequality of law and right.
What is a trifling fault in the _white_ man, is considered highly
criminal in the _slave_; the same offences which cost a white man a few
dollars only, are punished in the negro with death.

14. The laws operate most oppressively upon free people of color[A].

[Footnote A: See Mrs. Child's Appeal, Chap. II.]

Shall I ask you now my friends, to draw the _parallel_ between Jewish
_servitude_ and American _slavery_? No! For there is _no likeness_ in
the two systems; I ask you rather to mark the contrast. The laws of
Moses _protected servants_ in their _rights_ as _men and women_, guarded
them from oppression and defended them from wrong. The Code Noir of the
South _robs the slave of all his rights_ as a _man_, reduces him to a
chattel personal, and defends the _master_ in the exercise of the most
unnatural and unwarrantable power over his slave. They each bear the
impress of the hand which formed them. The attributes of justice and
mercy are shadowed out in the Hebrew code; those of injustice and
cruelty, in the Code Noir of America. Truly it was wise in the
slaveholders of the South to declare their slaves to be "chattels
personal;" for before they could be robbed of wages, wives, children,
and friends, it was absolutely necessary to deny they were human beings.
It is wise in them, to keep them in abject ignorance, for the strong man
armed must be bound before we can spoil his house--the powerful
intellect of man must be bound down with the iron chains of nescience
before we can rob him of his rights as a man; we must reduce him to a
_thing_ before we can claim the right to set our feet upon his neck,
because it was only _all things_ which were originally _put under the
feet of man_ by the Almighty and Beneficent Father of all, who has
declared himself to be _no respecter_ of persons, whether red, white or
black.

But some have even said that Jesus Christ did not condemn slavery. To
this I reply that our Holy Redeemer lived and preached among the Jews
only. The laws which Moses had enacted fifteen hundred years previous to
his appearance among them, had never been annulled, and these laws
protected every servant in Palestine. If then He did not condemn Jewish
servitude this does not prove that he would not have condemned such a
monstrous system as that of American _slavery_, if that had existed
among them. But did not Jesus condemn slavery? Let us examine some of
his precepts. "_Whatsoever_ ye would that men should do to you, do _ye
even so to them_." Let every slaveholder apply these queries to his own
heart; Am _I_ willing to be a slave--Am _I_ willing to see my wife the
slave of another--Am _I_ willing to see my mother a slave, or my father,
my sister or my brother? If not, then in holding others as slaves, I am
doing what I would _not_ wish to be done to me or any relative I have;
and thus have I broken this golden rule which was given _me_ to walk by.

But some slaveholders have said, "we were never in bondage to any man,"
and therefore the yoke of bondage would be insufferable to us, but
slaves are accustomed to it, their backs are fitted to the burden. Well,
I am willing to admit that you who have lived in freedom would find
slavery even more oppressive than the poor slave does, but then you may
try this question in another form--Am I willing to reduce _my little
child_ to slavery? You know that _if it is brought up a slave_ it will
never know any contrast, between freedom and bondage, its back will
become fitted to the burden just as the negro child's does--_not by
nature_--but by daily, violent pressure, in the same way that the head
of the Indian child becomes flattened by the boards in which it is
bound. It has been justly remarked that "_God never made a slave_," he
made man upright; his back was _not_ made to carry burdens, nor his neck
to wear a yoke, and the _man_ must be crushed within him, before _his_
back can be _fitted_ to the burden of perpetual slavery; and that his
back is _not_ fitted to it, is manifest by the insurrections that so
often disturb the peace and security of slaveholding countries. Who ever
heard of a rebellion of the beasts of the field; and why not? simply
because _they_ were all placed _under the feet of man_, into whose hand
they were delivered; it was originally designed that they should serve
him, therefore their necks have been formed for the yoke, and their
backs for the burden; but _not so with man_, intellectual, immortal man!
I appeal to you, my friends, as mothers; Are you willing to enslave
_your_ children? You start back with horror and indignation at such a
question. But why, if slavery is _no wrong_ to those upon whom it is
imposed? why, if as has often been said, slaves are happier than their
masters, free from the cares and perplexities of providing for
themselves and their _wanting_? Try yourselves by another of the Divine
precepts, "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." Can we love a man
_as_ we love _ourselves if we do, and continue to do_ unto him, what we
would not wish any one to do to us? Look, too, at Christ's example, what
does he say of himself, "I came _not_ to be ministered unto, but to
minister." Can you for a moment imagine the meek and lowly, and
compassionate Saviour, _a slaveholder_? Do you not shudder at this
thought as much as at that of his being _a warrior_? But why, if slavery
is not sinful?

Again, it has been said, the Apostle Paul did not condemn slavery, for
he sent Onesimus back to Philemon. I do not think it can be said he sent
him back, for no coercion was made use of. Onesimus was not thrown into
prison and then sent back in chains to his master, as your runaway
slaves often are--this could not possibly have been the case, because
you know Paul as a Jew, was _bound to protect_ the runaway; _he had no
right_ to send _any_ fugitive back to his master. The state of the case
then seems to have been this. Onesimus had been an unprofitable servant
to Philemon and left him--he afterwards became converted under the
Apostle's preaching, and seeing that he had been to blame in his
conduct, and desiring by future fidelity to atone for past error, he
wished to return, and the Apostle gave him the letter we now have as a
recommendation to Philemon, informing him of the conversion of Onesimus,
and entreating him as "Paul the aged" "to receive him, _not_ now as a
_servant_, but _above_ a servant, a _brother beloved_, especially to me,
but how much more unto thee, both in the flesh and in the Lord. If thou
count _me_ therefore as a partner, _receive him as myself_." This, then,
surely cannot be forced into a justification of the practice of
returning runaway slaves back to their masters, to be punished with
cruel beatings and scourgings as they often are. Besides the word
_doulos_ here translated servant, is the same that is made use of in
Matt. xviii, 27. Now it appears that this servant _owed_ his lord ten
thousand talents; he possessed property to a vast amount. And what is
still more surprising, if he was a _slave_, is, that "forasmuch as he
had not to pay, his lord commanded _him_ to be sold, and his wife and
children, and all that he had, and payment to be made." Whoever heard of
a slaveholder selling a _slave_ and his family to pay himself a debt due
to him from a _slave_? What would he gain by it when the slave is
himself his _property_, and his wife and children also? Onesimus could
not, then, have been a _slave_, for slaves do not own their wives or
children; no, not even their own bodies, much less property. But again,
the servitude which the apostle was accustomed to, must have been very
different from American slavery, for he says, "the heir (or son), as
long as he is a child, differeth _nothing from a servant_, though he be
lord of all. But is under _tutors_ and governors until the time
appointed of the father." From this it appears, that the means of
_instruction_ were provided for _servants_ as well as children; and
indeed we know it must have been so among the Jews, because their
servants were not permitted to remain in perpetual bondage, and
therefore it was absolutely necessary they should be prepared to occupy
higher stations in society than those of servants. Is it so at the
South, my friends? Is the daily bread of instruction provided for _your
slaves_? are their minds enlightened, and they gradually prepared to
rise from the grade of menials into that of _free_, independent members
of the state? Let your own statute book, and your own daily experience,
answer these questions.

If this apostle sanctioned _slavery_, why did he exhort masters thus in
his epistle to the Ephesians, "and ye, masters, do the same things unto
them (i.e. perform your duties to your servants as unto Christ, not unto
men) _forbearing threatening_; knowing that your master also is in
heaven, neither is _there respect of persons with him_." And in
Colossians, "Masters give unto your servants that which is _just and
equal_, knowing that ye also have a master in heaven." Let slaveholders
only _obey_ these injunctions of Paul, and I am satisfied slavery would
soon be abolished. If he thought it sinful even to _threaten_ servants,
surely he must have thought it sinful to flog and to beat them with
sticks and paddles; indeed, when delineating the character of a bishop,
he expressly names this as one feature of it, "_no striker_." Let
masters give unto their servants that which is _just_ and _equal_, and
all that vast system of unrequited labor would crumble into ruin. Yes,
and if they once felt they had no right to the _labor_ of their servants
without pay, surely they could not think they had a right to their
wives, their children, and their own bodies. Again, how can it be said
Paul sanctioned slavery, when, as though to put this matter beyond all
doubt, in that black catalogue of sins enumerated in his first epistle
to Timothy, he mentions "_menstealers_," which word may be translated
"_slavedealers_." But you may say, we all despise slavedealers as much
as any one can; they are never admitted into genteel or respectable
society. And why not? Is it not because even you shrink back from the
idea of associating with those who make their fortunes by trading in the
bodies and souls of men, women, and children? whose daily work it is to
break human hearts, by tearing wives from their husbands, and children
from their parents? But why hold slavedealers as despicable, if their
trade is lawful and virtuous? and why despise them more than the
_gentlemen of fortune and standing_ who employ them as _their_ agents?
Why more than the _professors of religion_ who barter their
fellow-professors to them for gold and silver? We do not despise the
land agent, or the physician, or the merchant, and why? Simply because
their processions are virtuous and honorable; and if the trade of
men-jobbers was honorable, you would not despise them either. There is
no difference in _principle_, in _Christian ethics_, between the
despised slavedealer and the _Christian_ who buys slaves from, or sells
slaves to him; indeed, if slaves were not wanted by the respectable, the
wealthy, and the religious in a community, there would be no slaves in
that community, and of course no _slavedealers_. It is then the
_Christians_ and the _honorable men_ and _women_ of the South, who are
the _main pillars_ of this grand temple built to Mammon and to Moloch.
It is the _most enlightened_, in every country who are _most_ to blame
when any public sin is supported by public opinion, hence Isaiah says,
"_When_ the Lord hath performed his whole work upon mount _Zion_ and on
_Jerusalem_, (then) I will punish the fruit of the stout heart of the
king of Assyria, and the glory of his high looks." And was it not so?
Open the historical records of that age, was not Israel carried into
captivity B.C. 721, Judah B.C. 588, and the stout heart of the heathen
monarchy not punished until B.C. 536, fifty-two years _after_ Judah's,
and 185 years, _after_ Israel's captivity, when it was overthrown by
Cyrus, king of Persia? Hence, too, the apostle Peter says, "judgment
must _begin at the house of God_." Surely this would not be the case, if
the _professors of religion_ were not _most worthy_ of blame.

But it may be asked, why are _they_ most culpable? I will tell you, my
friends. It is because sin is imputed to us just in proportion to the
spiritual light we receive. Thus the prophet Amos says, in the name of
Jehovah, "_You only_ have I known of all the families of the earth:
_therefore_ I will punish _you_ for all your iniquities." Hear too the
doctrine of our Lord on this important subject: "The servant who _knew_
his Lord's will and _prepared not_ himself, neither did according to his
will, shall be beaten with _many stripes_:" and why? "For unto
whomsoever _much_ is given, _of him_ shall _much_ be required; and to
whom men have committed _much_, of _him_ they will ask the _more_." Oh!
then that the _Christians_ of the south would ponder these things in
their hearts, and awake to the vast responsibilities which rest _upon
them_ at this important crisis.

I have thus, I think, clearly proved to you seven propositions, viz.:
First, that slavery is contrary to the declaration of our independence.
Second, that it is contrary to the first charter of human rights given
to Adam, and renewed to Noah. Third, that the fact of slavery having
been the subject of prophecy, furnishes _no_ excuse whatever to
slaveholders. Fourth, that no such system existed under the patriarchal
dispensation. Fifth, that _slavery never_ existed under the Jewish
dispensation; but so far otherwise, that every servant was placed under
the _protection of law_, and care taken not only to prevent all
_involuntary_ servitude, but all _voluntary perpetual_ bondage. Sixth,
that slavery in America reduces a _man_ to a _thing_, a "chattel
personal," _robs him_ of _all_ his rights as a _human being_, fetters
both his mind and body, and protects the _master_ in the most unnatural
and unreasonable power, whilst it _throws him out_ of the protection of
law. Seventh, that slavery is contrary to the example and precepts of
our holy and merciful Redeemer, and of his apostles.

But perhaps you will be ready to query, why appeal to _women_ on this
subject? _We_ do not make the laws which perpetuate slavery. _No_
legislative power is vested in _us; we_ can do nothing to overthrow the
system, even if we wished to do so. To this I reply, I know you do not
make the laws, but I also know that _you are the wives and mothers, the
sisters and daughters of those who do_; and if you really suppose _you_
can do nothing to overthrow slavery, you are greatly mistaken. You can
do much in every way: four things I will name. 1st. You can read on this
subject. 2d. You can pray over this subject. 3d. You can speak on this
subject. 4th. You can act on this subject. I have not placed reading
before praying because I regard it more important, but because, in order
to pray right, we must understand what we are praying for; it is only
then we can "pray with the understanding and the spirit also."

1. Read then on the subject of slavery. Search the Scriptures daily,
whether the things I have told you are true. Other books and papers
might be a great help to you in this investigation, but they are not
necessary, and it is hardly probable that your Committees of Vigilance
will allow you to have any other. The _Bible_ then is the book I want
you to read in the spirit of inquiry, and the spirit of prayer. Even the
enemies of Abolitionists, acknowledge that their doctrines are drawn
from it. In the great mob in Boston, last autumn, when the books and
papers of the Anti-Slavery Society, were thrown out of the windows of
their office, one individual laid hold of the Bible and was about
tossing it out to the crowd, when another reminded him that it was the
Bible he had in his hand. _"Oh! 'tis all one,"_ he replied, and out went
the sacred volume, along with the rest. We thank him for the
acknowledgment. _Yes, "it is all one,"_ for our books and papers are
mostly commentaries on the Bible, and the Declaration. Read the _Bible_
then; it contains the words of Jesus, and they are spirit and life.
Judge for yourselves whether _he sanctioned_ such a system of oppression
and crime.

2. Pray over this subject. When you have entered into your closets, and
shut to the doors, then pray to your father, who seeth in secret, that
he would open your eyes to see whether slavery is _sinful_, and if it
is, that he would enable you to bear a faithful, open and unshrinking
testimony against it, and to do whatsoever your hands find to do,
leaving the consequences entirely to him, who still says to us whenever
we try to reason away duty from the fear of consequences, _"What is that
to thee, follow thou me."_ Pray also for the poor slave, that he may be
kept patient and submissive under his hard lot, until God is pleased to
open the door of freedom to him without violence or bloodshed. Pray too
for the master that his heart may be softened, and he made willing to
acknowledge, as Joseph's brethren did, "Verily we are guilty concerning
our brother," before he will be compelled to add in consequence of
Divine judgment, "therefore is all this evil come upon us." Pray also
for all your brethren and sisters who are laboring in the righteous
cause of Emancipation in the Northern States, England and the world.
There is great encouragement for prayer in these words of our Lord.
"Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in any name, he will give it to
you"--Pray then without ceasing, in the closet and the social circle.

3. Speak on this subject. It is through the tongue, the pen, and the
press, that truth is principally propagated. Speak then to your
relatives, your friends, your acquaintances on the subject of slavery;
be not afraid if you are conscientiously convinced it is _sinful_, to
say so openly, but calmly, and to let your sentiments be known. If you
are served by the slaves of others, try to ameliorate their condition as
much as possible; never aggravate their faults, and thus add fuel to the
fire of anger already kindled, in a master and mistress's bosom;
remember their extreme ignorance, and consider them as your Heavenly
Father does the _less_ culpable on this account, even when they do wrong
things. Discountenance _all_ cruelty to them, all starvation, all
corporal chastisement; these may brutalize and _break_ their spirits,
but will never bend them to willing, cheerful obedience. If possible,
see that they are comfortably and _seasonably_ fed, whether in the house
or the field; it is unreasonable and cruel to expect slaves to wait for
their breakfast until eleven o'clock, when they rise at five or six. Do
all you can, to induce their owners to clothe them well, and to allow
them many little indulgences which would contribute to their comfort.
Above all, try to persuade your husband, father, brothers and sons, that
_slavery is a crime against God and man_, and that it is a great sin to
keep _human beings_ in such abject ignorance; to deny them the privilege
of learning to read and write. The Catholics are universally condemned,
for denying the Bible to the common people, but, _slaveholders must not_
blame them, for _they_ are doing the _very same thing_, and for the very
same reason, neither of these systems can bear the light which bursts
from the pages of that Holy Book. And lastly, endeavour to inculcate
submission on the part of the slaves, but whilst doing this be faithful
in pleading the cause of the oppressed.


  "Will _you_ behold unheeding,
    Life's holiest feelings crushed,
  Where _woman's_ heart is bleeding,
    Shall _woman's_ voice be hushed?"


4. Act on this subject. Some of you _own_ slaves yourselves. If you
believe slavery is _sinful_, set them at liberty, "undo the heavy
burdens and let the oppressed go free." If they wish to remain with you,
pay them wages, if not, let them leave you. Should they remain, teach
them, and have them taught the common branches of an English education;
they have minds, and those minds _ought to be improved_. So precious a
talent as intellect, never was given to be wrapt in a napkin and buried
in the earth. It is the _duty_ of all, as far as they can, to improve
their own mental faculties, because we are commanded to love God with
_all our minds_, as well as with all our hearts, and we commit a great
sin, if we _forbid or prevent_ that cultivation of the mind in others,
which would enable them to perform this duty. Teach your servants, then,
to read, &c., and encourage them to believe it is their _duty_ to learn,
if it were only that they might read the Bible.

But some of you will say, we can neither free our slaves nor teach them
to read, for the laws of our state forbid it. Be not surprised when I
say such wicked laws _ought to be no barrier_ in the way of your duty,
and I appeal to the Bible to prove this position. What was the conduct
of Shiprah and Puah, when the king of Egypt issued his cruel mandate,
with regard to the Hebrew children? "_They_ feared _God_, and did _not_
as the King of Egypt commanded them, but saved the men children alive."
And be it remembered, that it was through _their_ faithfulness that
Moses was preserved. This great and immediate emancipator was indebted
to a _woman_ for his spared life, and he became a blessing to the whole
Jewish nation. Did these _women_ do right in disobeying that monarch?
"_Therefore_ (says the sacred text,) _God dealt well_ with them, and
made them houses" Ex. i. What was the conduct of Shadrach, Meshach, and
Abednego, when Nebuchadnezzar set up a golden image in the plain of
Dura, and commanded all people, nations, and languages, to fall down and
worship it? "Be it known, unto thee, (said these faithful _Jews_) O
king, that _we will not_ serve thy gods, nor worship the image which
thou hast set up." Did these men _do right in disobeying the law_ of
their sovereign? Let their miraculous deliverance from the burning fiery
furnace, answer; Dan. iii. What was the conduct of Daniel, when Darius
made a firm decree that no one should ask a petition of any man or God
for thirty days? Did the prophet cease to pray? No! "When Daniel _knew
that the writing was signed_, he went into his house, and his windows
being _open_ towards Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a
day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime."
Did Daniel do right thus to _break_ the law of his king? Let his
wonderful deliverance out of the mouths of the lions answer; Dan. vii.
Look, too, at the Apostles Peter and John. When the rulers of the Jews,
"_commanded them not_ to speak at all, nor teach in the name of Jesus,"
what did they say? "Whether it be right in the sight of God, to hearken
unto you more than unto God, judge ye." And what did they do? "They
spake the word of God with boldness, and with great power gave the
Apostles witness of the _resurrection_ of the Lord Jesus;" although
_this_ was the very doctrine, for the preaching of which, they had just
been cast into prison, and further threatened. Did these men do right? I
leave _you_ to answer, who now enjoy the benefits of their labors and
sufferings, in that Gospel they dared to preach when positively
commanded _not to teach any more_ in the name of Jesus; Acts iv.

But some of you may say, if we do free our slaves, they will be taken up
and sold, therefore there will be no use in doing it. Peter and John
might just as well have said, we will not preach the gospel, for if we
do, we shall be taken up and put in prison, therefore there will be no
use in our preaching. _Consequences_, my friends, belong no more to
_you_, than they did to these apostles. Duty is ours and events are
God's. If you think slavery is sinful, all _you_ have to do is to set
your slaves at liberty, do all you can to protect them, and in humble
faith and fervent prayer, commend them to your common Father. He can
take care of them; but if for wise purposes he sees fit to allow them to
be sold, this will afford you an opportunity of testifying openly,
wherever you go, against the crime of _manstealing_. Such an act will be
_clear robbery_, and if exposed, might, under the Divine direction, do
the cause of Emancipation more good, than any thing that could happen,
for, "He makes even the wrath of man to praise him, and the remainder of
wrath he will restrain."

I know that this doctrine of obeying _God_, rather than man, will be
considered as dangerous, and heretical by many, but I am not afraid
openly to avow it, because it is the doctrine of the Bible; but I would
not be understood to advocate resistance to any law however oppressive,
if, in obeying it, I was not obliged to commit _sin_. If for instance,
there was a law, which imposed imprisonment or a fine upon me if I
manumitted a slave, I would on no account resist that law, I would set
the slave free, and then go to prison or suffer the penalty. If a law
commands me to _sin I will break it_; if it calls me to _suffer_, I will
let it take its course _unresistingly_. The doctrine of blind obedience
and unqualified submission to _any human_ power, whether civil or
ecclesiastical, is the doctrine of despotism, and ought to have no place
among Republicans and Christians.

But you will perhaps say, such a course of conduct would inevitably
expose us to great suffering. Yes! my christian friends, I believe it
would, but this will _not_ excuse you or any one else for the neglect of
_duty_. If Prophets and Apostles, Martyrs, and Reformers had not been
willing to suffer for the truth's sake, where would the world have been
now? If they had said, we cannot speak the truth, we cannot do what we
believe is right, because the _laws of our country or public opinion are
against us_, where would our holy religion have been now? The Prophets
were stoned, imprisoned, and killed by the Jews. And why? Because they
exposed and openly rebuked public sins; they opposed public opinion; had
they held their peace, they all might have lived in ease and died in
favor with a wicked generation. Why were the Apostles persecuted from
city to city, stoned, incarcerated, beaten, and crucified? Because they
dared to _speak the truth_; to tell the Jews, boldly and fearlessly,
that _they_ were the _murderers_ of the Lord of Glory, and that, however
great a stumbling-block the Cross might be to them, there was no other
name given under heaven by which men could be saved, but the name of
Jesus. Because they declared, even at Athens, the seat of learning and
refinement, the self-evident truth, that "they be no gods that are made
with men's hands", and exposed to the Grecians the foolishness of
worldly wisdom, and the impossibility of salvation but through Christ,
whom they despised on account of the ignominious death he died. Because
at Rome, the proud mistress of the world, they thundered out the terrors
of the law upon that idolatrous, war-making, and slave-holding
community. Why were the martyrs stretched upon the rack, gibbetted and
burnt, the scorn and diversion of a Nero, whilst their tarred and
burning bodies sent up a light which illuminated the Roman capital? Why
were the Waldenses hunted like wild beasts upon the mountains of
Piedmont, and slain with the sword of the Duke of Savoy and the proud
monarch of France? Why were the Presbyterians chased like the partridge
over the highlands of Scotland--the Methodists pumped, and stoned, and
pelted with rotten eggs--the Quakers incarcerated in filthy prisons,
beaten, whipped at the cart's tail, banished and hung? Because they
dared to _speak_ the _truth_, to _break_ the unrighteous _laws_ of their
country, and chose rather to suffer affliction with the people of God,
"not accepting deliverance," even under the gallows. Why were Luther and
Calvin persecuted and excommunicated, Cranmer, Ridley, and Latimer
burnt? Because they fearlessly proclaimed the truth, though that truth
was contrary to public opinion, and the authority of Ecclesiastical
councils and conventions. Now all this vast amount of human suffering
might have been saved. All these Prophets and Apostles, Martyrs, and
Reformers, might have lived and died in peace with all men, but
following the example of their great pattern, "they despised the shame,
endured the cross, and are now set down on the right hand of the throne
of God," having received the glorious welcome of "well _done_ good and
faithful servants, enter ye into the joy of your Lord."

But you may say we are _women_, how can _our_ hearts endure persecution?
And why not? Have not _women_ arisen in all the dignity and strength of
moral courage to be the leaders of the people, and to bear a faithful
testimony for the truth whenever the providence of God has called them
to do so? Are there no _women_ in that noble army of martyrs who are now
singing the song of Moses and the Lamb? Who led out the women of Israel
from the house of bondage, striking the timbrel, and singing the song of
deliverance on the banks of that sea whose waters stood up like walls of
crystal to open a passage for their escape? It was a _woman_; Miriam,
the prophetess, the sister of Moses and Aaron. Who went up with Barak to
Kadesh to fight against Jabin, King of Canaan, into whose hand Israel
had been sold because of their iniquities? It was a _woman_! Deborah the
wife of Lapidoth, the judge, as well as the prophetess of that
backsliding people; Judges iv, 9. Into whose hands was Sisera, the
captain of Jabin's host delivered? Into the hand of a _woman_. Jael the
wife of Heber! Judges vi, 21. Who dared to _speak the truth_ concerning
those judgments which were coming upon Judea, when Josiah, alarmed at
finding that his people "had not kept the word of the Lord to do after
all that was written in the book of the Law," sent to enquire of the
Lord concerning these things? It was a _woman_. Huldah the prophetess,
the wife of Shallum; 2, Chron. xxxiv, 22. Who was chosen to deliver the
whole Jewish nation from that murderous decree of Persia's King, which
wicked Haman had obtained by calumny and fraud? It was a _woman_; Esther
the Queen; yes, weak and trembling _woman_ was the instrument appointed
by God, to reverse the bloody mandate of the eastern monarch, and save
the _whole visible church_ from destruction. What human voice first
proclaimed to Mary that she should be the mother of our Lord? It was a
_woman_! Elizabeth, the wife of Zacharias; Luke i, 42, 43. Who united
with the good old Simeon in giving thanks publicly in the temple, when
the child, Jesus, was presented there by his parents, "and spake of him
to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem?" It was a _woman_!
Anna the prophetess. Who first proclaimed Christ as the true Messiah in
the streets of Samaria, once the capital of the ten tribes? It was a
_woman_! Who ministered to the Son of God whilst on earth, a despised
and persecuted Reformer, in the humble garb of a carpenter? They were
_women_! Who followed the rejected King of Israel, as his fainting
footsteps trod the road to Calvary? "A great company of people and of
_women_;" and it is remarkable that to _them alone_, he turned and
addressed the pathetic language, "Daughters of Jerusalem weep not for
me, but weep for yourselves and your children." Ah! who sent unto the
Roman Governor when he was set down on the judgment seat, saying unto
him, "Have thou nothing to do with that just man, for I have suffered
many things this day in a dream because of him?" It was a _woman_! the
wife of Pilate. Although "_he knew_ that for envy the Jews had delivered
Christ," yet _he_ consented to surrender the Son of God into the hands
of a brutal soldiery, after having himself scourged his naked body. Had
the _wife_ of Pilate sat upon that judgment seat, what would have been
the result of the trial of this "just person?"

And who last hung round the cross of Jesus on the mountain of Golgotha?
Who first visited the sepulchre early in the morning on the first day of
the week, carrying sweet spices to embalm his precious body, not knowing
that it was incorruptible and could not be holden by the bands of death?
These were _women_! To whom did he _first_ appear after his
resurrection? It was to a _woman_! Mary Magdalene; Mark xvi, 9. Who
gathered with the apostles to wait at Jerusalem, in prayer and
supplication, for "the promise of the Father;" the spiritual blessing of
the Great High Priest of his Church, who had entered, _not_ into the
splendid temple of Solomon, there to offer the blood of bulls, and of
goats, and the smoking censer upon the golden altar, but into Heaven
itself, there to present his intercessions, after having "given himself
for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savor?"
_Women_ were among that holy company; Acts i, 14. And did _women_ wait
in vain? Did those who had ministered to his necessities, followed in
his train, and wept at his crucifixion, wait in vain? No! No! Did the
cloven tongues of fire descend upon the heads of _women_ as well as men?
Yes, my friends, "it sat upon _each one of them_;" Acts ii, 3. _Women_
as well as men were to be living stones in the temple of grace, and
therefore _their_ heads were consecrated by the descent of the Holy
Ghost as well as those of men. Were _women_ recognized as fellow
laborers in the gospel field? They were! Paul says in his epistle to the
Philippians, "help those _women_ who labored with me, in the gospel;"
Phil. iv, 3.

But this is not all. Roman _women_ were burnt at the stake, _their_
delicate limbs were torn joint from joint by the ferocious beasts of the
Ampitheatre, and tossed by the wild bull in his fury, for the diversion
of that idolatrous, warlike, and slaveholding people. Yes, _women_
suffered under the ten persecutions of heathen Rome, with the most
unshrinking constancy and fortitude; not all the entreaties of friends,
nor the claims of new born infancy, nor the cruel threats of enemies
could make _them_ sprinkle one grain of incense upon the altars of Roman
idols. Come now with me to the beautiful valleys of Piedmont. Whose
blood stains the green sward, and decks the wild flowers with colors not
their own, and smokes on the sword of persecuting France? It is
_woman's_, as well as man's? Yes, _women_ were accounted as sheep for
the slaughter, and were cut down as the tender saplings of the wood.

But time would fail me, to tell of all those hundreds and thousands of
_women_, who perished in the Low countries of Holland, when Alva's sword
of vengeance was unsheathed against the Protestants, when the Catholic
Inquisitions of Europe became the merciless executioners of vindictive
wrath, upon those who dared to worship God, instead of bowing down in
unholy adoration before "my Lord God the _Pope_," and when England, too,
burnt her Ann Ascoes at the stake of martyrdom. Suffice it to say, that
the Church, after having been driven from Judea to Rome, and from Rome
to Piedmont, and from Piedmont to England, and from England to Holland,
at last stretched her fainting wings over the dark bosom of the
Atlantic, and found on the shores of a great wilderness, a refuge from
tyranny and oppression--as she thought, but _even here_, (the warm blush
of shame mantles my cheek as I write it,) _even here, woman_ was beaten
and banished, imprisoned, and hung upon the gallows, a trophy to the
Cross. And what, I would ask in conclusion, have _women_ done for the
great and glorious cause of Emancipation? Who wrote that pamphlet which
moved the heart of Wilberforce to pray over the wrongs, and his tongue
to plead the cause of the oppressed African? It was a _woman_, Elizabeth
Heyrick. Who labored assiduously to keep the sufferings of the slave
continually before the British public? They were _women_. And how did
they do it? By their needles, paint brushes and pens, by speaking the
truth, and petitioning Parliament for the abolition of slavery. And what
was the effect of their labors? Read it in the Emancipation bill of
Great Britain. Read it, in the present state of her West India Colonies.
Read it, in the impulse which has been given to the cause of freedom, in
the United States of America. Have English women then done so much for
the negro, and shall American women do nothing? Oh no! Already are there
sixty female Anti-Slavery Societies in operation. These are doing just
what the English women did, telling the story of the colored man's
wrongs, praying for his deliverance, and presenting his kneeling image
constantly before the public eye on bags and needle-books, card-racks,
pen-wipers, pin-cushions, &c. Even the children of the north are
inscribing on their handy work, "May the points of our needles prick the
slaveholder's conscience." Some of the reports of these Societies
exhibit not only considerable talent, but a deep sense of religious
duty, and a determination to persevere through evil as well as good
report, until every scourge, and every shackle, is buried under the feet
of the manumitted slave.

The Ladies' Anti-Slavery Society of Boston was called last fall, to a
severe trial of their faith and constancy. They were mobbed by "the
gentlemen of property and standing," in that city at their anniversary
meeting, and their lives were jeoparded by an infuriated crowd; but
their conduct on that occasion did credit to our sex, and affords a full
assurance that they will _never_ abandon the cause of the slave. The
pamphlet, Right and Wrong in Boston, issued by them in which a
particular account is given of that "mob of broad cloth in broad day,"
does equal credit to the head and the heart of her who wrote it. I wish
my Southern sisters could read it; they would then understand that the
women of the North have engaged in this work from a sense of _religious
duty_, and that nothing will ever induce them to take their hands from
it until it is fully accomplished. They feel no hostility to you, no
bitterness or wrath; they rather sympathize in your trials and
difficulties; but they well know that the first thing to be done to help
you, is to pour in the light of truth on your minds, to urge you to
reflect on, and pray over the subject. This is all _they_ can do for
you, _you_ must work out your own deliverance with fear and trembling,
and with the direction and blessing of God, _you can do it_. Northern
women may labor to produce a correct public opinion at the North, but if
Southern women sit down in listless indifference and criminal idleness,
public opinion cannot be rectified and purified at the South. It is
manifest to every reflecting mind, that slavery must be abolished; the
era in which we live, and the light which is overspreading the whole
world on this subject, clearly show that the time cannot be distant when
it will be done. Now there are only two ways in which it can be
effected, by moral power or physical force, and it is for _you_ to
choose which of these you prefer. Slavery always has, and always will
produce insurrections wherever it exists, because it is a violation of
the natural order of things, and no human power can much longer
perpetuate it. The opposers of abolitionists fully believe this; one of
them remarked to me not long since, there is no doubt there will be a
most terrible overturning at the South in a few years, such cruelty and
wrong, must be visited with Divine vengeance soon. Abolitionists
believe, too, that this must inevitably be the case if you do not
repent, and they are not willing to leave you to perish without
entreating you, to save yourselves from destruction; well may they say
with the apostle, "am I then your enemy because I tell you the truth,"
and warn you to flee from impending judgments.

But why, my dear friends, have I thus been endeavoring to lead you
through the history of more than three thousand years, and to point you
to that great cloud of witnesses who have gone before, "from works to
rewards?" Have I been seeking to magnify the sufferings, and exalt the
character of woman, that she "might have praise of men?" No! no! my
object has been to arouse _you_, as the wives and mothers, the daughters
and sisters, of the South, to a sense of your duty as _women_, and as
Christian women, on that great subject, which has already shaken our
country, from the St. Lawrence and the lakes, to the Gulf of Mexico, and
from the Mississippi to the shores of the Atlantic; _and will continue
mightily to shake it_, until the polluted temple of slavery fall and
crumble into ruin. I would say unto each one of you, "what meanest thou,
O sleeper! arise and call upon thy God, if so be that God will think
upon us that we perish not." Perceive you not that dark cloud of
vengeance which hangs over our boasting Republic? Saw you not the
lightnings of Heaven's wrath, in the flame which leaped from the
Indian's torch to the roof of yonder dwelling, and lighted with its
horrid glare the darkness of midnight? Heard you not the thunders of
Divine anger, as the distant roar of the cannon came rolling onward,
from the Texian country, where Protestant American Rebels are fighting
with Mexican Republicans--for what? For the re-establishment of
_slavery_; yes! of American slavery in the bosom of a Catholic Republic,
where that system of robbery, violence, and wrong, had been legally
abolished for twelve years. Yes! citizens of the United States, after
plundering Mexico of her land, are now engaged in deadly conflict, for
the privilege of fastening chains, and collars, and manacles--upon whom?
upon the subjects of some foreign prince? No! upon native born American
Republican citizens, although the fathers of these very men declared to
the whole world, while struggling to free themselves from the three
penny taxes of an English king, that they believed it to be a
_self-evident_ truth that _all men_ were created equal, and had an
_unalienable right to liberty_.

Well may the poet exclaim in bitter sarcasm,


  "The fustian flag that proudly waves
  In solemn mockery o'er _a land of slaves_."


Can you not, my friends, understand the signs of the times; do you not
see the sword of retributive justice hanging over the South, or are you
still slumbering at your posts?--Are there no Shiphrahs, no Puahs among
you, who will dare in Christian firmness and Christian meekness, to
refuse to obey the _wicked laws_ which require _woman to enslave, to
degrade and to brutalize woman_? Are there no Miriams, who would rejoice
to lead out the captive daughters of the Southern States to liberty and
light? Are there no Huldahs there who will dare to _speak the truth_
concerning the sins of the people and those judgments, which it requires
no prophet's eye to see, must follow if repentance is not speedily
sought? Is there no Esther among you who will plead for the poor devoted
slave? Read the history of this Persian queen, it is full of
instruction; she at first refused to plead for the Jews; but, hear the
words of Mordecai, "Think not within thyself, that _thou_ shalt escape
in the king's house more than all the Jews, for _if thou altogether
holdest thy peace at this time_, then shall there enlargement and
deliverance arise to the Jews from another place: but _thou and thy
father's house shall be destroyed_." Listen, too, to her magnanimous
reply to this powerful appeal; "_I will_ go in unto the king, which is
_not_ according to law, and if I perish, I perish." Yes! if there were
but _one_ Esther at the South, she _might_ save her country from ruin;
but let the Christian women there arise, as the Christian women of Great
Britain did, in the majesty of moral power, and that salvation is
certain. Let them embody themselves in societies, and send petitions up
to their different legislatures, entreating their husbands, fathers,
brothers and sons, to abolish the institution of slavery; no longer to
subject _woman_ to the scourge and the chain, to mental darkness and
moral degradation; no longer to tear husbands from their wives, and
children from their parents; no longer to make men, women, and children,
work _without wages_; no longer to make their lives bitter in hard
bondage; no longer to reduce _American citizens_ to the abject condition
of _slaves_, of "chattels personal;" no longer to barter the _image of
God_ in human shambles for corruptible things such as silver and gold.

The _women of the South can overthrow_ this horrible system of
oppression and cruelty, licentiousness and wrong. Such appeals to your
legislatures would be irresistible, for there is something in the heart
of man which _will bend under moral suasion_. There is a swift witness
for truth in his bosom, which _will respond to truth_ when it is uttered
with calmness and dignity. If you could obtain but six signatures to
such a petition in only one state, I would say, send up that petition,
and be not in the least discouraged by the scoffs and jeers of the
heartless, or the resolution of the house to lay it on the table. It
will be a great thing if the subject can be introduced into your
legislatures in any way, even by _women_, and _they_ will be the most
likely to introduce it there in the best possible manner, as a matter of
_morals_ and _religion_, not of expediency or politics. You may
petition, too, the different ecclesiastical bodies of the slave states.
Slavery must be attacked with the whole power of truth and the sword of
the spirit. You must take it up on _Christian_ ground, and fight against
it with Christian weapons, whilst your feet are shod with the
preparation of the gospel of peace. And _you are now_ loudly called upon
by the cries of the widow and the orphan, to arise and gird yourselves
for this great moral conflict "with the whole armour of righteousness on
the right hand and on the left."

There is every encouragement for you to labor and pray, my friends,
because the abolition of slavery as well as its existence, has been the
theme of prophecy. "Ethiopia (says the Psalmist) shall stretch forth her
hands unto God." And is she not now doing so? Are not the Christian
negroes of the south lifting their hands in prayer for deliverance, just
as the Israelites did when their redemption was drawing nigh? Are they
not sighing and crying by reason of the hard bondage? And think you,
that He, of whom it was said, "and God heard their groaning, and their
cry came up unto him by reason of the hard bondage," think you that his
ear is heavy that he cannot _now_ hear the cries of his suffering
children? Or that He who raised up a Moses, an Aaron, and a Miriam, to
bring them up out of the land of Egypt from the house of bondage, cannot
now, with a high hand and a stretched out arm, rid the poor negroes out
of the hands of their masters? Surely you believe that his arm is _not_
shortened that he cannot save. And would not such a work of mercy
redound to his glory? But another string of the harp of prophecy
vibrates to the song of deliverance: "But they shall sit every man under
his vine, and under his fig-tree, and _none shall make them afraid_; for
the mouth of the Lord of Hosts hath spoken it." The _slave_ never can do
this as long as he is a _slave_; whilst he is a "chattel personal" he
can own _no_ property; but the time _is to come_ when _every_ man is to
sit under _his own_ vine and _his own_ fig-tree, and no domineering
driver, or irresponsible master, or irascible mistress, shall make him
afraid of the chain or the whip. Hear, too, the sweet tones of another
string: "Many shall run to and fro, and _knowledge_ shall be increased."
Slavery is an insurmountable barrier to the increase of knowledge in
every community where it exists; _slavery, then, must be abolished
before_ this prediction can be fulfilled. The last chord I shall touch,
will be this, "They shall _not_ hurt nor destroy in all my holy
mountain."

_Slavery, then, must be overthrown before_ the prophecies can be
accomplished, but how are they to be fulfilled? Will the wheels of the
millennial car be rolled onward by miraculous power? No! God designs to
confer this holy privilege upon _woman_; it is through _their_
instrumentality that the great and glorious work of reforming the world
is to be done. And see you not how the mighty engine of _moral power_ is
dragging in its rear the Bible and peace societies, anti-slavery and
temperance, sabbath schools, moral reform, and missions? or to adopt
another figure, do not these seven philanthropic associations compose
the beautiful tints in that bow of promise which spans the arch of our
moral heaven? Who does not believe, that if these societies were broken
up, their constitutions burnt, and the vast machinery with which they
are laboring to regenerate mankind was stopped, that the black clouds of
vengeance would soon, burst over our world, and every city would witness
the fate of the devoted cities of the plain? Each one of these societies
is walking abroad through the earth scattering the seeds of truth over
the wide field of our world, not with the hundred hands of a Briareus,
but with a hundred thousand.

Another encouragement for you to labor, my friends, is, that you will
have the prayers and co-operation of English and Northern
philanthropists. You will never bend your knees in supplication at the
throne of grace for the overthrow of slavery, without meeting there the
spirits of other Christians, who will mingle their voices with yours, as
the morning or evening sacrifice ascends to God. Yes, the spirit of
prayer and of supplication has been poured out upon many, many hearts;
there are wrestling Jacobs who will not let go of the prophetic promises
of deliverance for the captive, and the opening, of prison doors to them
that are bound. There are Pauls who are saying, in reference to this
subject, "Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?" There are Marys sitting
in the house now, who are ready to arise and go forth in this work as
soon as the message is brought, "the master is come and calleth for
thee." And there are Marthas, too, who have already gone out to meet
Jesus, as he bends his footsteps to their brother's grave, and weeps,
_not_ over the lifeless body of Lazarus bound hand and foot in
grave-clothes, but over the politically and intellectually lifeless
slave, bound hand and foot in the iron chains of oppression and
ignorance. Some may be ready to say, as Martha did, who seemed to expect
nothing but sympathy from Jesus, "Lord, by this time he stinketh, for he
hath been dead four days." She thought it useless to remove the stone
and expose the loathsome body of her brother; she could not believe that
so great a miracle could be wrought, as to raise _that putrified body_
into life; but "Jesus said, take _ye_ away the stone;" and when _they_
had taken away the stone where the dead was laid, and uncovered the body
of Lazarus, then it was that "Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, Father,
I thank thee that thou hast heard me," &c. "And when he had thus spoken,
he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth." Yes, some may be ready
to say of the colored race, how can _they_ ever be raised politically
and intellectually, they have been dead four hundred years? But _we_
have _nothing_ to do with _how_ this is to be done; _our business_ is to
take away the stone which has covered up the dead body of our brother,
to expose the putrid carcass, to show _how_ that body has been bound
with the grave-clothes of heathen ignorance, and his face with the
napkin of prejudice, and having done all it was our duty to do, to stand
by the negro's grave, in humble faith and holy hope, waiting to hear the
life-giving command of "Lazarus, come forth." This is just what
Anti-Slavery Societies are doing; they are taking away the stone from
the mouth of the tomb of slavery, where lies the putrid carcass of our
brother. They want the pure light of heaven to shine into that dark and
gloomy cave; they want all men to see _how_ that dead body has been
bound, _how_ that face has been wrapped in the _napkin of prejudice_;
and shall they wait beside that grave in vain? Is not Jesus still the
resurrection and the life? Did He come to proclaim liberty to the
captive, and the opening of prison doors to them that are bound, in
vain? Did He promise to give beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for
mourning, and the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness unto
them that mourn in Zion, and will He refuse to beautify the mind, anoint
the head, and throw around the captive negro the mantle of praise for
that spirit of heaviness which has so long bowed him down to the ground?
Or shall we not rather say with the prophet, "the zeal of the Lord of
Hosts _will_ perform this?" Yes, his promises are sure, and amen in
Christ Jesus, that he will assemble her that halteth, and gather her
that is driven out, and her that is afflicted.

But I will now say a few words on the subject of Abolitionism. Doubtless
you have all heard Anti-Slavery Societies denounced as insurrectionary
and mischievous, fanatical and dangerous. It has been said they publish
the most abominable untruths, and that they are endeavoring to excite
rebellions at the South. Have you believed these reports, my friends?
have _you_ also been deceived by these false assertions? Listen to me,
then, whilst I endeavor to wipe from the fair character of Abolitionism
such unfounded accusations. You know that _I_ am a Southerner: your know
that my dearest relatives are now in a slave State. Can you for a moment
believe I would prove so recreant to the feelings of a daughter and a
sister, as to join a society which seeking to overthrow slavery by
falsehood, bloodshed and murder? I appeal to you who have known and
loved me in days that are passed, can _you_ believe it? No! my friends.
As a Carolinian, I was peculiarly jealous of any movements on this
subject; and before I would join an Anti-Slavery Society, I took the
precaution of becoming acquainted with some of the leading
Abolitionists, of reading their publications and attending their
meetings, at which I heard addresses both from colored and white men;
and it was not until I was fully convinced that their principles were
_entirely pacific,_ and their efforts _only moral,_ that I gave my name
as a member to the Female Anti-Slavery Society of Philadelphia. Since
that time, I have regularly taken the Liberator, and read many
Anti-Slavery pamphlets and papers and books, and can assure you I
_never_ have seen a single insurrectionary paragraph, and never read any
account of cruelty which I could not believe. Southerners may deny the
truth of these accounts, but why do they not _prove_ them to be false.
Their violent expressions of horror at such accounts being believed,
_may_ deceive some, but they cannot deceive _me,_ for I lived too long
in the midst of slavery, not to know what slavery is. Such declarations
remind me of an assertion made by a Catholic priest, who said that his
Church had never persecuted Protestants for their religion, when it is
well known that the pages of history are black with the crimes of the
Inquisition. Oh! if the slaves of the South could only write a book, it
would vie, I have no doubt, with the horrible details of Catholic
cruelty. When _I_ speak of this system, "I speak that I do know," and I
am not afraid to assert, that Anti-Slavery publications have _not_
overdrawn the monstrous features of slavery at all. And many a
Southerner _knows_ this as well as I do. A lady in North Carolina
remarked to a friend of mine, about eighteen months since, "Northerners
know nothing at all about slavery; they think it is perpetual bondage
only; but of the _depth of degradation_ that word involves, they have no
conception; if they had, _they would never cease_ their efforts until so
_horrible_ a system was overthrown." She did not, know how faithfully
some Northern men and Northern women had studied this subject; how
diligently they had searched out the cause of "him who had none to help
him," and how fearlessly they had told the story of the negro's wrongs.
Yes, Northerners know _every_ thing about slavery now. This monster of
iniquity has been unveiled to the world, his frightful features
unmasked, and soon, very soon, will he be regarded with no more
complacency by the American republic than is the idol of Juggernaut,
rolling its bloody wheels over the crushed bodies of its prostrate
victims.

But you will probably ask, if Anti-Slavery societies are not
insurrectionary, why do Northerners tell us they are! Why, I would ask
you in return, did Northern senators and Northern representatives give
their votes, at the last sitting of congress, to the admission of
Arkansas Territory as a slave state? Take those men, one by one, and ask
them in their parlours, do you _approve of slavery?_ ask them on
_Northern_ ground, where they will speak the truth, and I doubt not
_every man_ of them will tell you, _no_! Why then, I ask, did _they_
give their votes to enlarge the mouth of that grave which has already
destroyed its tens of thousands! All our enemies tell _us_ they are as
much anti slavery as we are. Yes, my friends, thousands who are helping
you to bind the fetters of slavery on the negro, despise you in their
hearts for doing it; they rejoice that such an institution has not been
entailed upon them. Why then, I would ask, do _they_ lend you their
help? I will tell you, "they love _the praise of men more_ than the
praise of God." The Abolition cause has not yet become so popular as to
induce them to believe, that by advocating it in congress, they shall
sit still more securely in their seats there, and like the _chief
rulers_ in the days of our Saviour, though _many_ believed on him, yet
they did _not_ confess him, lest they should _be put out of the
synagogue_; John xii, 42, 43. Or perhaps like Pilate, thinking they
could prevail nothing, and fearing a tumult, they determined to release
Barabbas and surrender the just man, the poor innocent slave to be
stripped of his rights and scourged. In vain will such men try to wash
their hands, and say, with the Roman governor, "I am innocent of the
blood of this just person." Northern American statesmen are no more
innocent of the crime of slavery, than Pilate was of the murder of
Jesus, or Saul of that of Stephen. These are high charges, but I appeal
to _their hearts_; I appeal to public opinion ten years from now.
Slavery then is a national sin.

But you will say, a great many other Northerners tell us so, who can
have no political motives. The interests of the North, you must know, my
friends, are very closely combined with those of the South. The Northern
merchants and manufacturers are making _their_ fortunes out of the
_produce of slave labor_; the grocer is selling your rice and sugar; how
then can these men bear a testimony against slavery without condemning
themselves? But there is another reason, the North is most dreadfully
afraid of Amalgamation. She is alarmed at the very idea of a thing so
monstrous, as she thinks. And lest this consequence _might_ flow from
emancipation, she is determined to resist all efforts at emancipation
without expatriation. It is not because she _approves of slavery_, or
believes it to be "the corner stone of our republic," for she is as much
_anti-slavery_ as we are; but amalgamation is too horrible to think of.
Now I would ask _you_, is it right, is it generous, to refuse the
colored people in this country the advantages of education and the
privilege, or rather the _right_, to follow honest trades and callings
merely because they are colored? The same prejudice exists here against
our colored brethren that existed against the Gentiles in Judea. Great
numbers cannot bear the idea of equality, and fearing lest, if they had
the same advantages we enjoy, they would become as intelligent, as
moral, as religious, and as respectable and wealthy, they are determined
to keep them as low as they possibly can. Is this doing as they would be
done by? Is this loving their neighbor as _themselves_? Oh! that _such_
opposers of Abolitionism would put their souls in the stead of the free
colored man's and obey the apostolic injunction, to "remember them that
are in bonds _as bound with them_." I will leave you to judge whether
the fear of amalgamation ought to induce men to oppose anti-slavery
efforts, when _they_ believe _slavery_ to be _sinful_. Prejudice against
color, is the most powerful enemy we have to fight with at the North.

You need not be surprised, then, at all, at what is said _against_
Abolitionists by the North, for they are wielding a two-edged sword,
which even here, cuts through the _cords of caste_, on the one side, and
the _bonds of interest_ on the other. They are only sharing the fate of
other reformers, abused and reviled whilst they are in the minority; but
they are neither angry nor discouraged by the invective which has been
heaped upon them by slaveholders at the South and their apologists at
the North. They know that when George Fox and William Edmundson were
laboring in behalf of the negroes in the West Indies in 1671 that the
very _same_ slanders were propogated against them, which are _now_
circulated against Abolitionists. Although it was well known that Fox
was the founder of a religious sect which repudiated _all_ war, and
_all_ violence, yet _even he_ was accused of "endeavoring to excite the
slaves to insurrection and of teaching the negroes to cut their master's
throats." And these two men who had their feet shod with the preparation
of the Gospel of Peace, were actually compelled to draw up a formal
declaration that _they were not_ trying to raise a rebellion in
Barbadoes. It is also worthy of remark that these Reformers did not at
this time see the necessity of emancipation under seven years, and their
principal efforts were exerted to persuade the planters of the necessity
of instructing their slaves; but the slaveholder saw then, just what the
slaveholder sees now, that an _enlightened_ population _never_ can be a
_slave_ population, and therefore they passed a law that negroes should
not even attend the meetings of Friends. Abolitionists know that the
life of Clarkson was sought by slavetraders, and that even Wilberforce
was denounced on the floor of Parliament as a fanatic and a hypocrite by
the present King of England, the very man who, in 1834 set his seal to
that instrument which burst the fetters of eight hundred thousand slaves
in his West India colonies. They know that the first Quaker who bore a
_faithful_ testimony against the sin of slavery was cut off from
religious fellowship with that society. That Quaker was a _woman_. On
her deathbed she sent for the committee who dealt with her--she told
them, the near approach of death had not altered her sentiments on the
subject of slavery and waving her hand towards a very fertile and
beautiful portion of country which lay stretched before her window, she
said with great solemnity, "Friends, the time will come when there will
not be friends enough in all this district to hold one meeting for
worship, and this garden will be turned into a wilderness."

The aged friend, who with tears in his eyes, related this interesting
circumstance to me, remarked, that at that time there were seven
meetings of friends in that part of Virginia, but that when he was there
ten years ago, not a single meeting was held, and the country was
literally a desolation. Soon after her decease, John Woolman began his
labors in our society, and instead of disowning a member for testifying
_against_ slavery, they have for sixty-two years positively forbidden
their members to hold slaves.

Abolitionists understand the slaveholding spirit too well to be
surprised at any thing that has yet happened at the South or the North;
they know that the greater the sin is, which is exposed, the more
violent will be the efforts to blacken the character and impugn the
motives of those who are engaged in bringing to light the hidden things
of darkness. They understand the work of Reform too well to be driven
back by the furious waves of opposition, which are only foaming out
their own shame. They have stood "the world's dread laugh," when only
twelve men formed the first Anti-Slavery Society in Boston in 1831. They
have faced and refuted the calumnies of their enemies, and proved
themselves to be emphatically _peace men_ by _never resisting_ the
violence of mobs, even when driven by them from the temple of God, and
dragged by an infuriated crowd through the streets of the emporium of
New-England, or subjected by _slaveholders_ to the pain of corporal
punishment. "None of these things move them;" and, by the grace of God,
they are determined to persevere in this work of faith and labor of
love: they mean to pray, and preach, and write, and print, until slavery
is completely overthrown, until Babylon is taken up and cast into the
sea, to "be found no more at all." They mean to petition Congress year
after year, until the seat of our government is cleansed from the sinful
traffic of "slaves and the souls of men." Although that august assembly
may be like the unjust judge who "feared not God neither regarded man,"
yet it _must_ yield just as he did, from the power of importunity. Like
the unjust judge, Congress _must_ redress the wrongs of the widow, lest
by the continual coming up of petitions, it be wearied. This will be
striking the dagger into the very heart of the monster, and once this
done, he must soon expire.

Abolitionists have been accused of abusing their Southern brethren. Did
the prophet Isaiah _abuse_ the Jews when he addressed to them the
cutting reproof contained in the first chapter of his prophecies, and
ended by telling them, they would be _ashamed_ of the oaks they had
desired, and _confounded_ for the garden they had chosen? Did John the
Baptist _abuse_ the Jews when he called them "_a generation of vipers_,"
and warned them "to bring forth fruits meet for repentance!" Did Peter
abuse the Jews when he told them they were the murderers of the Lord of
Glory? Did Paul abuse the Roman Governor when he reasoned before him of
righteousness, temperance, and judgment, so as to send conviction home
to his guilty heart, and cause him to tremble in view of the crimes he
was living in? Surely not. No man will _now_ accuse the prophets and
apostles of _abuse_, but what have Abolitionists done more than they? No
doubt the Jews thought the prophets and apostles in their day, just as
harsh and uncharitable as slaveholders now, think Abolitionists; if they
did not, why did they beat, and stone, and kill them?

Great fault has been found with the prints which have been employed to
expose slavery at the North, but my friends, how could this be done so
effectively in any other way? Until the pictures of the slave's
sufferings were drawn and held up to public gaze, no Northerner had any
idea of the cruelty of the system, it never entered their minds that
such abominations could exist in Christian, Republican America; they
never suspected that many of the _gentlemen_ and _ladies_ who came from
the South to spend the summer months in traveling among them, were petty
tyrants at home. And those who had lived at the South, and came to
reside at the North, were too _ashamed of slavery_ even to speak of it;
the language of their hearts was, "tell it _not_ in Gath, publish it
_not_ in the streets of Askelon;" they saw no use in uncovering the
loathsome body to popular sight, and in hopeless despair, wept in secret
places over the sins of oppression. To such hidden mourners the
formation of Anti-Slavery Societies was as life from the dead, the first
beams of hope which gleamed through the dark clouds of despondency and
grief. Prints were made use of to effect the abolition of the
Inquisition in Spain, and Clarkson employed them when he was laboring to
break up the Slave trade, and English Abolitionists used them just as we
are now doing. They are powerful appeals and have invariably done the
work they were designed to do, and we cannot consent to abandon the use
of these until the _realities_ no longer exist.

With regard to those white men, who, it was said, did try to raise an
insurrection in Mississippi a year ago, and who were stated to be
Abolitionists, none of them were proved to be members of Anti-Slavery
Societies, and it must remain a matter of great doubt whether, even they
were guilty of the crimes alledged against them, because when any
community is thrown into such a panic as to inflict Lynch law upon
accused persons, they cannot be supposed to be capable of judging with
calmness and impartiality. _We know_ that the papers of which the
Charleston mail was robbed, were _not_ insurrectionary, and that they
were _not_ sent to the colored people as was reported. _We know_ that
Amos Dresser was _no insurrectionist_ though he was accused of being so,
and on this false accusation was publicly whipped in Nashville in the
midst of a crowd of infuriated _slaveholders_. Was that young man
disgraced by this infliction of corporal punishment? No more than was
the great apostle of the Gentile; who five times received forty stripes,
save one. Like him, he might have said, "henceforth I bear in my body
the marks of the Lord Jesus," for it was for the _truth's sake, he
suffered_, as much as did the Apostle Paul. Are Nelson, and Garrett, and
Williams, and other Abolitionists who have recently been banished from
Missouri, insurrectionists? _We know_ they are _not_, whatever
slaveholders may choose to call them. The spirit which now asperses the
character of the Abolitionists, is the _very same_ which dressed up the
Christians of Spain in the skins of wild beasts and pictures of devils
when they were led to execution as heretics. Before we condemn
individuals, it is necessary, even in a wicked community, to accuse them
of some crime; hence, when Jezebel wished to compass the death of
Naboth, men of Belial were suborned to bear false witness against him,
and so it was with Stephen, and so it ever has been, and ever will be,
as long as there is any virtue to suffer on the rack, or the gallows.
_False_ witnesses must appear against Abolitionists before they can be
condemned.

I will now say a few words on George Thompson's mission to this country.
This Philanthropist was accused of being a foreign emissary. Were
Lafayette, and Steuben, and De Kalb, and Pulawski, foreign emissaries
when they came over to America to fight against the tories, who
preferred submitting to what was termed, "the yoke of servitude," rather
than bursting the fetters which bound them to the mother country? _They_
came with _carnal weapons_ to engage in _bloody_ conflict against
American citizens, and yet, where do their names stand on the page of
History. Among the honorable, or the base? Thompson came here to war
against the giant sin of slavery, _not_ with the sword and the pistol,
but with the smooth stones of oratory taken from the pure waters of the
river of Truth. His splendid talents and commanding eloquence rendered
him a powerful coadjutor in the Anti-Slavery cause, and in order to
neutralize the effects of these upon his auditors, and rob the poor
slave of the benefits of his labors, his character was defamed, his life
was sought, and he at last driven from our Republic, as a fugitive. But
was _Thompson_ disgraced by all this mean and contemptible and wicked
chicanery and malice? No more than was Paul, when in consequence of a
vision he had seen at Treas, he went over the Macedonia to help the
Christians there, and was beaten and imprisoned, because he cast out a
spirit of divination from a young damsel which had brought much gain to
her masters. Paul was as much a _foreign emissary_ in the Roman colony
of Philippi, as George Thompson was in America, and it was because he
was a _Jew_, and taught customs it was not lawful for them to receive or
observe being Romans, that the Apostle was thus treated.

It was said, Thompson was a felon, who had fled to this country to
escape transportation to New Holland. Look at him now pouring the
thundering strains of his eloquence, upon crowded audiences in Great
Britain, and see in this a triumphant vindication of his character. And
have the slaveholder, and his obsequious apologist, gained anything by
all their violence and falsehood? No! for the stone which struck Goliath
of Gath, had already been thrown from the sling. The giant of slavery
who had so proudly defied the armies of the living God, had received his
death-blow before he left our shores. But what is George Thompson doing
there? Is he not now laboring there, as effectually to abolish American
slavery as though he trod our own soil, and lectured to New York or
Boston assemblies? What is he doing there, but constructing a stupendous
dam, which will turn the overwhelming tide of public opinion over the
wheels of that machinery which Abolitionists are working here. He is now
lecturing to _Britons_ on _American Slavery_, to the _subjects_ of a
_King_, on the abject condition of the _slaves of a Republic_. He is
telling them of that mighty Confederacy of petty tyrants which extends
over thirteen States of our Union. He is telling them of the munificent
rewards offered by slaveholders, for the heads of the most distinguished
advocates for freedom in this country. He is moving the British Churches
to send out to the churches of America the most solemn appeals,
reproving, rebuking, and exhorting, them with all long suffering and
patience to abandon the sin of slavery immediately. Where then I ask,
will the name of George Thompson stand on the page of History? Among the
honorable, or the base?

What can I say more, my friends, to induce you to set your hands, and
heads, and hearts, to the great work of justice and mercy. Perhaps you
have feared the consequences of immediate emancipation, and been
frightened by all those dreadful prophecies of rebellion, bloodshed and
murder, which have been uttered. "Let no man deceive you;" they are the
predictions of that same "lying spirit" which spoke through the four
hundred prophets of old, to Ahab king of Israel, urging him on to
destruction. _Slavery_ may produce these horrible scenes if it is
continued five years longer, but Emancipation _never will_.

I can prove the _safety_ of immediate Emancipation by history. In St.
Domingo in 1793 six hundred thousand slaves were set free in a white
population of forty-two thousand. That Island "marched as by enchantment
towards its ancient splendor", cultivation prospered, every day produced
perceptible proofs of its progress, and the negroes all continued
quietly to work on the different plantations, until in 1802, France
determined to reduce these liberated slaves again to bondage. It was at
_this time_ that all those dreadful scenes of cruelty occurred, which we
so often _unjustly_ hear spoken of, as the effects of Abolition. They
were occasioned _not_ by Emancipation, but by the base attempt to fasten
the chains of slavery on the limbs of liberated slaves.

In Guadaloupe eighty-five thousand slaves were freed in a white
population of thirteen thousand. The same prosperous effects followed
manumission here, that had attended it in Hayti, every thing was quiet
until Buonaparte sent out a fleet to reduce these negroes again to
slavery, and in 1802 this institution was re-established in that Island.
In 1834, when Great Britain determined to liberate the slaves in her
West India colonies, and proposed the apprenticeship system; the
planters of Bermuda and Antigua, after having joined the other planters
in their representations of the bloody consequences of Emancipation, in
order if possible to hold back the hand which was offering the boon of
freedom to the poor negro; as soon as they found such falsehoods were
utterly disregarded, and Abolition must take place, came forward
voluntarily, and asked for the compensation which was due to them,
saying, _they preferred immediate emancipation_, and were not afraid of
any insurrection. And how is it with these islands now? They are
decidedly more prosperous than any of those on which the apprenticeship
system was adopted, and England is now trying to abolish that system, so
fully convinced is she that immediate Emancipation is the _safest_ and
the best plan.

And why not try it in the Southern States, if it _never_ has occasioned
rebellion; if _not a drop of blood_ has ever been shed in consequence of
it, though it has been so often tried, why should we suppose it would
produce such disastrous consequences now? "Be not deceived then, God is
not mocked," by such false excuses for not doing justly and loving
mercy. There is nothing to fear from immediate Emancipation, but _every
thing_ from the continuance of slavery.

Sisters in Christ, I have done. As a Southerner, I have felt it was my
duty to address you. I have endeavoured to set before you the exceeding
sinfulness of slavery, and to point you to the example of those noble
women who have been raised up in the church to effect great revolutions,
and to suffer for the truth's sake. I have appealed to your sympathies
as women, to your sense of duty as _Christian women_. I have attempted
to vindicate the Abolitionists, to prove the entire safety of immediate
Emancipation, and to plead the cause of the poor and oppressed. I have
done--I have sowed the seeds of truth, but I well know, that even if an
Apollos were to follow in my steps to water them, "_God only_ can give
the increase." To Him then who is able to prosper the work of his
servant's hand, I commend this Appeal in fervent prayer, that as he
"hath _chosen the weak things of the world_, to confound the things
which are mighty," so He may guise His blessing, to descend and carry
conviction to the hearts of many Lydias through these speaking pages.
Farewell--Count me not your "enemy because I have told you the truth,"
but believe me in unfeigned affection,



Your sympathizing Friend,

ANGELINA E. GRIMKÉ.

Shrewsbury, N.J., 1836.



       *       *       *       *       *



THIRD EDITION.

Price 6 1-4 cents single, 62 1-2 cents per dozen, $4 per hundred.


No. 3.


THE ANTI-SLAVERY EXAMINER.


       *       *       *       *       *


LETTER OF GERRIT SMITH

TO

REV. JAMES SMYLIE,

OF THE

STATE OF MISSISSIPPI.


1837.

LETTER, ETC.

PETERBORO', October 28, 1836.


Rev. JAMES SMYLIE,

_Late Stated Clerk of the Presbytery of Mississippi:_

SIR,--Accept my thanks for your politeness in sending me a copy of your
book on slavery. This book proves, that the often repeated assertion,
that the whole South is opposed to the discussion of the question of
slavery, is not true:--and so far, I rejoice in its appearance. I
presume--I know, indeed, that you are not the only man in the South, who
is in favor of this discussion. There are, doubtless, many persons in
the South, who believe, that all attempts to suppress it, are vain, as
well as wicked. Besides, you virtually admit, that the South is
compelled to discuss the question of slavery; or, at least, to give her
own views of it, in order to prevent the conscience of Southern
Christians--that conscience, "which does make cowards of us all"--from
turning traitor to the cause of slavery. I rejoice, too, that you
accompanied the copy sent to me, with the request, that I should review
it, and make "candid remarks" upon it; and, that you have thus put it in
my power to send to the South some of my views on slavery, without
laying myself open to the charge of being discourteous and obtrusive.

You undertake to show that slavery existed, and, with the Divine
approbation, amongst the Old Testament Jews; and that it also existed,
whilst our Saviour and his Apostles were on the earth, and was approved
by them. You thence argue, that it is not only an innocent institution,
but one which it is a religious duty to maintain.

I admit, for the sake of argument, that there was a servitude in the
patriarchal families which was approved by God. But what does this avail
in your defence of slavery, unless you show, that that servitude and
slavery are essentially alike? The literal terms of the relation of
master and servant, under that servitude, are not made known to us; but
we can, nevertheless, confidently infer their spirit from facts, which
illustrate their practical character; and, if this character be found to
be opposite to that of slavery, then it is manifest, that what you say
of patriarchal servitude is impertinent, and tends to mislead, rather
than enlighten your readers. To a few of these facts and a few of the
considerations arising from them, I now call your attention.

1st. Read the first eight verses of the eighteenth chapter of Genesis,
and tell me, if you ever saw Gov. McDuffie or any other Southern
patriarch (for the governor desires to have all slaveholders looked upon
in the character of patriarchs) putting himself on a level with his
servants, and "working with his hands," after the manner of Abraham and
Sarah?

2d. There was such a community of interest--so much of mutual
confidence--between Abraham and his servants, that they fought his
battles. Indeed, the terms of this patriarchal servitude were such, that
in the event of the master's dying without issue, one of his servants
inherited his property (Gen. 15: 3). But, according to the code of
Southern slavery, the slave can no more own property, than he can own
himself. "All that a slave possesses belongs to his master"--"Slaves are
incapable of inheriting or transmitting property." These, and many
similar phrases, are found in that code. Severe as was the system of
Roman slavery, yet in this respect, it was far milder than yours; for
its subjects could acquire property (their peculium); and frequently did
they purchase their liberty with it. So far from Southern slaves being,
as Abraham's servants were, a dependence in war, it is historically
true, that they are accustomed to improve this occasion to effect their
escape, and strengthen the hands of the enemy. As a further proof that
Southern slavery begets none of that confidence between master and
slave, which characterized the mutual intercourse of Abraham and his
servants--the slave is prohibited, under severe penalties, from having
any weapons in his possession, even in time of peace; and the nightly
patrol, which the terror-stricken whites of Southern towns keep up, in
peace, as well as in war, argues any thing, rather than the existence of
such confidence. "For keeping or carrying a gun, or powder or shot, or a
club, or other weapon whatsoever, offensive or defensive, a slave
incurs, says Southern statute book, for each offence, thirty-nine
lashes."

3d. When I read your quotation from the twenty-fourth chapter of
Genesis, made for the purpose of showing that God allowed Abraham to
have slaves, I could not but wonder at your imprudence, in meddling with
this chapter, which is of itself, enough to convince any unbiased mind,
that Abraham's servants held a relation to their master and to society,
totally different from that held by Southern slaves. Have you ever known
a great man in your state send his slave into another to choose a wife
for his son?--And if so, did the lily white damsel he selected call the
sable servant "my lord?"--And did her family spare no pains to manifest
respect for their distinguished guest, and promote his comfort? But this
chapter, which you call to your aid, informs us, that Abraham's servant
was honored with such tokens of confidence and esteem. If a Southern
slave shall ever be employed in such a mission, he may count himself
highly favored, if he be not taken up by the way, imprisoned, and "sold
for his jail fees."

4th. Did you ever know Southern slaves contend for their rights with
their masters? When a Southern master reads the thirteenth verse of the
thirty-first chapter of Job, he must think that Job was in the habit of
letting down his dignity very low.

5th. Do Southern masters accord religious privileges and impart
religious instruction equally to their slaves and their children? Your
laws, which visit with stripes, imprisonment, and death, the attempt to
teach slaves to read the Bible, show but too certainly, that the
Southern master, who should undertake to place "his children and his
household" on the same level, in respect to their religious advantages,
as it is probable that Abraham did (Gen. 18:19), would soon find himself
in the midst of enemies, not to his reputation only, but to his life
also.

And now, sir, admitting that the phrase, on which you lay so much
stress--"bought with his money"--was used in connexion with a form of
servitude which God approved--I put it to your candor, whether this
phrase should be allowed to weigh at all against the facts I have
adduced and the reasonings I have employed to show the true nature of
that servitude, and how totally unlike it is to slavery? Are you not
bound by the principles of sound reasoning, to attach to it a meaning
far short of what, I grant, is its natural import in this age, and,
especially, amongst a people who, like ourselves, are accustomed to
associate such an expression with slavery? Can you deny, that you are
bound to adopt such a meaning of it, as shall harmonize with the facts,
which illustrate the nature of the servitude in question, and with the
laws and character of Him, whose sanction you claim for that servitude?
An opposite course would give a preference to words over things, which
common sense could not tolerate. Many instances might be cited to show
the absurdity of the assumption that whatever is spoken of in the
Scriptures as being "bought," is property. Boaz "purchased" his wife.
Hosea "bought her (his wife) for fifteen pieces of silver." Jacob, to
use a common expression, "took his wages" in wives. Joseph "bought" the
Egyptians, after they had said to him "buy us." But, so far from their
having become the property of Joseph or of his king, it was a part of
the bargain, that they were to have as much land as they wanted--seed to
sow it--and four-fifths of the crops. The possessors of such
independence and such means of wealth are not the property of their
fellow-men.

I need say no more, to prove that slavery is entirely unlike the
servitude in the patriarchal families. I pass on, now, to the period
between the promulgation of the Divine law by Moses, and the birth of
Christ.

You argue from the fifth and sixth verses of the twenty-first chapter of
Exodus, that God authorized the enslavement of the Jews: but, on the
same page, on which you do so, you also show the contrary. It may,
nevertheless, be well for me to request you to read and read again
Leviticus 25:39-42, until your remaining doubts, on this point, shall
all be put to flight. I am free to admit the probability, that under
some of the forms of servitude, in which Jews were held, the servant was
subjected to a control so extensive as to expose him to suffer great
cruelties. These forms corresponded with the spirit and usages of the
age, in which they existed; entirely unsuited, as they are, to a period
and portion of the world, blessed with the refining and softening
influences of civilization and the gospel. Numerous as were the
statutory regulations for the treatment of the servant, they could not
preclude the large discretion of the master. The apprentice, in our
country, is subjected to an authority, equaling a parent's authority,
but not always tempered in its exercise, with a parent's love. His
condition is, therefore, not unfrequently marked with severity and
suffering. Now, imagine what this condition would be, under the harsh
features of a more barbarous age, and you will have in it, as I
conjecture, no distant resemblance to that of some of the Jewish
servants. But how different is this condition from that of the slave!

I am reminded in this connexion, of the polished, but pernicious,
article on slavery in a late number of the Biblical Repertory. In that
article Professor Hodge says, that the claim of the slaveholder "is
found to be nothing more than a transferable claim of service either for
life, or for a term of years." Will he allow me to ask him, where he
discovered that the pretensions of the slaveholder are all resolvable
into this modest claim? He certainly did not discover it in any slave
code; nor in any practical slavery. Where then? No where, but in that
undisclosed system of servitude, which is the creation of his own fancy.
To this system I raise no objection whatever. On the contrary, I am
willing to admit its beauty and its worthiness of the mint in which it
was coined. But I protest against his right to bestow upon it the name
of another and totally different thing. He must not call it slavery.

Suppose a poor German to be so desirous of emigrating with his family to
America, as to agree to give his services for ten years, as a
compensation for the passage. Suppose further, that the services are to
be rendered to the captain of the ship in which they sail, or to any
other person, to whom he may assign his claim. Such a bargain is not
uncommon. Now, according to Professor Hodge, this German may as rightly
as any of your Southern servants, be called a slave. He may as rightly
be called _property_, as they may be, who, in the language of the South
Carolina laws, "shall be deemed, held, taken, reputed, and adjudged in
law, to be chattels personal, in the hands of their owners and
possessors, and their executors, administrators, and assigns, _to all
intents, constructions, and purposes whatsoever_."

We will glance at a few points of difference in their condition. 1st.
The German is capable of making a contract, and in the case supposed,
does make a contract; but your slave is incapable of making any
contract. 2d. The German receives wages; the price of carrying himself
and family being the stipulated price for his services, during the ten
years; but your slave receives no wages. 3d. The German, like any other
hireling, and, like any apprentice in our country, is under the
protection of law. But, there is no law to shield the slave from wrongs.
Being a mere chattel or thing, he has no rights; and, therefore, he can
have no wrongs to be redressed. Does Professor Hodge say, that there are
statutes limiting and regulating the power of the slaveholder? I grant
there are; though it must be remembered, that there is one way of even
murdering a slave, which some of the slave States do not only not
forbid, but impliedly and practically admit[A]. The Professor should
know, however, that all these statutes are, practically, a mere nullity.
Nevertheless, they show the absoluteness of the power which they
nominally qualify. This absoluteness is as distinctly implied by them,
as the like was by the law of the Emperor Claudius, which imposed
limitations upon the "jus vitae et necis" (the right of life and death)
which Roman slavery put into the hand of the master. But if the
Professor should be so imprudent as to cite us to the slave code for
evidence of its merciful provisions, he will, in so doing, authorize us
to cite him to that code for evidence of the _nature_ of slavery. This
authority, however, he would not like to give us; for he is unwilling to
have slavery judged of by its own code. He insists, that it shall be
judged of by that ideal system of slavery, which is lodged in his own
brain, and which he can bring forth by parcels, to suit present
occasions, as Mahomet produced the leaves of the Koran.

[Footnote A: The licensed murder referred to, is that where the slave
dies under "moderate correction." But is not the murder of a slave by a
white man, _in any way_, practically licensed in all the slave States?
Who ever heard of a white man's being put to death, under Southern laws,
for the murder of a slave? American slavery provides impunity for the
white murderer of the slave, by its allowing none but whites--none but
those who construct and uphold the system of abominations--to testify
against the murderer. But why particularize causes of this impunity? The
whole policy of the Southern slave system goes to provide it. How
unreasonable is it to suppose, that they, who have conspired against a
portion of their fellow-beings, and mutually pledged themselves to treat
them as _mere things_--how unreasonable, I say, is it to suppose, that
they would consent to put a _man_ to death, on account of his treatment,
in whatever way, of a _mere thing_? Not long ago, I was informed by a
highly respectable lawyer of the State of Georgia, that he had known a
number of attempts (attempts most probably but in form and name) to
effect the conviction of whites for their undoubted murder of slaves.
But in every instance, the jurors perjured themselves, rather than
consent that a _man_ should be put to death, for the liberty he had
taken in disposing of a _thing_. They had rather perjure themselves,
than by avenging the blood of a _slave_ with that of a _man_, make a
breach upon the policy of keeping the slave ignorant, that he has the
_nature_, and consequently the _rights_, of a man.]

Professor Hodge tells his readers, in substance, that the selling of
men, as they are sold under the system of slavery, is to be classed with
the cessions of territory, occasionally made by one sovereign to
another; and he would have the slave, who is sold from hand to hand, and
from State to State, at the expense to his bleeding heart, of the
disruption of its dearest ties, think his lot no harder than that of the
inhabitant of Louisiana, who was passed without his will, from the
jurisdiction of the French government to that of the United States.

When a good man lends himself to the advocacy of slavery, he must, at
least for a time, feel himself to be anywhere but at home, amongst his
new thoughts, doctrines, and modes of reasoning. This is very evident in
the case before us--especially, when now and then, old habits of thought
and feeling break out, in spite of every effort to repress them, and the
Professor is himself again, and discourses as manfully, as fearlessly,
and as eloquently, as he ever had done before the slaveholders got their
hands upon him. It is not a little amusing to notice, that, although the
burden of his article is to show that slavery is one of God's
institutions, (what an undertaking for a Professor of Theology in the
year 1836!) he so far forgets the interests of his new friends and their
expectations from him, as to admit on one page, that "the general
principles of the gospel have destroyed domestic slavery throughout the
greater part of Christendom;" and on another, that "the South has to
choose between emancipation, by the silent and holy influence of the
gospel, or to abide the issue of a long continued conflict against the
laws of God." Whoever heard, until these strange times on which we have
fallen, of any thing, which, to use the Professor's language about
slavery, "it is in vain, to contend is sin, and yet profess reverence
for the Scriptures," being at war with and destroyed by the principles
of the gospel. What sad confusion of thought the pro-slavery influences,
to which some great divines have yielded, have wrought in them!

I will proceed to argue, that the institution in the Southern States
called "slavery," is radically unlike any form of servitude under which
Jews were held, agreeably to the Divine will; and also radically unlike
any form of servitude approved of God in the patriarchal families.

1st. God does not contradict Himself. He is "without variableness or
shadow of turning." He loves his word and has "magnified it above all
his name." He commands his rational creatures to "search the
Scriptures." He cannot, therefore, approve of a system which forbids the
searching of them, and shuts out their light from the soul; and which,
by the confession of your own selves, turns men in this gospel land into
heathen. He has written his commandment against adultery, and He cannot,
therefore, approve of a system, which induces this crime, by forbidding
marriage. The following extract from an opinion of the Attorney General
of Maryland, shows some of the consequences of this "forbidding to
marry." "A slave has never maintained an action against the violator of
his bed. A slave is not admonished for incontinence, or punished for
fornication or adultery; never prosecuted for bigamy." Again, God has
written his commandment, that children should honor their parents. How,
then, can He approve of a system, which pours contempt on the relation
of parent and child? Which subjects them to be forcibly separated from
each other, and that too, beyond the hope of reunion?--under which
parents are exposed and sold in the market-place along with horses and
cattle?--under which they are stripped and lashed, and made to suffer
those innumerable, and some of them, nameless indignities, that tend to
generate in their children, who witness them, any feelings, rather than
those of respect and honor, for parents thus degraded? Some of these
nameless indignities are alluded to in a letter written to me from a
slave state, in March, 1833. "In this place," says the writer, "I find a
regular and a much frequented slave market, where thousands are yearly
sold like cattle to the highest bidder. It is the opinion of gentlemen
here, that not far from five hundred thousand dollars are yearly paid in
this place for negroes; and at this moment, I can look from the window
of my room and count six droves of from twenty to forty each, sitting in
the market place for sale. This morning I witnessed the sale of twelve
slaves, and I could but shudder at the language used and the liberties
taken with the females!"

2d. As a proof, that in the kinds of servitude referred to, God did not
invest Abraham, or any other person with that absolute ownership of his
fellow-men, which is claimed by Southern slaveholders--I would remark,
that He has made man accountable to Himself; but slavery makes him
accountable to, and a mere appendage to his fellow-man. Slavery
substitutes the will of a fallible fellow-man for that infallible rule
of action--the will of God. The slave, instead of being allowed to make
it the great end of his existence to glorify God and enjoy Him for ever,
is degraded from his exalted nature, which borders upon angelic dignity,
to be, to do, and to suffer what a mere man bids him be, do, and suffer.

The Southern slave would obey God in respect to marriage, and also to
the reading and studying of His word. But this, as we have seen, is
forbidden him. He may not marry; nor may he read the Bible. Again, he
would obey God in the duties of secret and social prayer. But he may not
attend the prayer-meeting--certainly not that of his choice; and
instances are known, where the master has intruded upon the slave's
secret audience with heaven, to teach him by the lash, or some other
instrument of torture, that he would allow "no other God before"
himself.

Said Joseph Mason, an intelligent colored man, who was born and bred
near Richmond, in Virginia, in reply to my question whether he and his
fellow-slaves cared about their souls--"We did not trouble ourselves
about our souls; we were our masters' property and not our own; under
their and not our own control; and we believed that our masters were
responsible for our souls." This unconcern for their spiritual interests
grew very naturally out of their relation to their masters; and were the
relation ordained of God, the unconcern would, surely, be both
philosophical and sinless.

God cannot approve of a system of servitude, in which the master is
guilty of assuming absolute power--of assuming God's place and relation
towards his fellow-men. Were the master, in every case, a wise and good
man--as wise and good as is consistent with this wicked and
heaven-daring assumption on his part--the condition of the slave would
it is true, be far more tolerable, than it now is. But even then, we
should protest as strongly as ever against slavery; for it would still
be guilty of its essential wickedness of robbing a man of his right to
himself, and of robbing God of His right to him, and of putting these
stolen rights into the hand of an erring mortal. Nay, if angels were
constituted slaveholders, our objection to the relation would remain
undiminished; since there would still be the same robbery of which we
now complain.

But you will say, that I have overlooked the servitude in which the Jews
held strangers and foreigners; and that it is on this, more than any
other, that you rely for your justification of slavery. I will say
nothing now of this servitude; but before I close this communication, I
will give my reasons for believing, that whatever was its nature, even
if it were compulsory, it cannot be fairly pleaded in justification of
slavery.

After you shall have allowed, as you will allow, that slavery, as it
exists, is at war with God, you will be likely to say, that the fault is
not in the theory of it; but in the practical departure from that
theory; that it is not the system, but the practice under it, which is
at war with God. Our concern, however, is with slavery as it is, and not
with any theory of it. But to indulge you, we will look at the system of
slavery, as it is presented to us, in the laws of the slave States; and
what do we find here? Why, that the system is as bad as the practice
under it. Here we find the most diabolical devices to keep millions of
human beings in a state of heathenism--in the deepest ignorance and most
loathsome pollution. But you will tell me, that I do not look far enough
to find the true theory of slavery; and that the cruelties and
abominations, which the laws of the slave States have ingrafted on this
theory, are not acknowledged by the good men in those States to be a
part of the theory. Well, you shall have the benefit of this plea; and I
admit, for the sake of argument, that this theory of slavery, which lies
far back, and out of sight of every thing visible and known about
slavery, is right. And what does this admission avail you? It is slavery
as it is--as it is seen and known, that the abolitionists are contending
against. But, say you, to induce our forbearance, "We good men at the
South are restoring slavery, as fast as we can, to what it should be;
and we will soon make its erring practice quadrate with its perfect and
sinless theory." Success to your endeavors! But let me ask these good
men, whether similar representations would avail to make them forbearing
towards any other class of offenders; and whether they would allow these
offenders to justify the wickedness of their hands, by pleading the
purity of their hearts. Suppose that I stand in court confessedly guilty
of the crime of passing counterfeit money; and that I ask for my
acquittal on the ground, that, notwithstanding I am practically wrong, I
am, nevertheless, theoretically right. "Believe me," I say, in tones of
deep and unfeigned pathos, and with a corresponding pressure of my hand
upon my heart, "that the principles within are those of the purest
morality; and that it is my faithful endeavor to bring my deportment,
which, as you this day witness, is occasionally devious, into perfect
conformity with my inward rectitude. My theory of honest and holy living
is all that you could wish it to be. Be but patient, and you shall
witness its beautiful exhibitions in my whole conduct." Now, you
certainly would not have this plea turn to my advantage;--why then
expect that your similar plea should be allowed?

We must continue to judge of slavery by what it is, and not by what you
tell us it will, or may be. Until its character be righteous, we shall
continue to condemn it; but when you shall have brought it back to your
sinless and beautiful theory of it, it will have nothing to fear from
the abolitionists. There are two prominent reasons, however, for
believing that you will never present Southern slavery to us in this
lovely character, the mere imagination of which is so dear to you. The
first is, that you are doing nothing to this end. It is an indisputable
fact that Southern slavery is continually getting wider and wider from
God, and from an innocent theory of servitude; and the "good men at the
South," of whom we have spoken, are not only doing nothing to arrest
this increasing divergency, but they are actually favoring it. The
writings of your Dews, and Baxters, and Plummers, and Postells, and
Andersons, and the proceedings of your ecclesiastical bodies, abundantly
show this. Never, and the assertion is borne out by your statute books,
as well as other evidences, has Southern slavery multiplied its
abominations so rapidly, as within the last ten years; and never before
had the Southern Church been so much engaged to defend and perpetuate
these abominations. The other of these reasons for believing that
Southern slavery will never be conformed to your _beau ideal_ of
slavery, in which it is presupposed there are none but principles of
righteousness, is, that on its first contact with these principles, it
would "vanish into thin air," leaving "not a wreck behind." In proof of
this, and I need not cite any other case, it would be immediate death to
Southern slavery to concede to its subjects, God's institution of
marriage; and hence it is, that its code forbids marriage. The rights of
the husband in the wife, and of the wife in the husband, and of parents
in their children, would stand directly in the way of that traffic in
human flesh, which is the very life-blood of slavery; and the
assumptions of the master would, at every turn and corner, be met and
nullified by these rights; since all his commands to the children of
those servants (for now they should no longer be called slaves) would be
in submission to the paramount authority of the parents[A]. And here,
sir, you and I might bring our discussion to a close, by my putting the
following questions to you, both of which your conscience would compel
you to answer in the affirmative.

[Footnote A: I am aware that Professor Hodge asserts, that "slavery may
exist without those laws which interfere with their (the slaves) marital
or parental right" Now, this is a point of immense importance in the
discussion of the question, whether slavery is sinful; and I, therefore,
respectfully ask him either to retract the assertion, or to prove its
correctness. Ten thousands of his fellow-citizens, to whom the assertion
is utterly incredible, unite with me in this request. If he can show,
that slavery does not "interfere with marital or parental rights," they
will cease to oppose it. Their confident belief is, that slavery and
marriage, whether considered in the light of a civil contract, or a
scriptural institution, are entirely incompatible with each other.]

1st. Is not Southern slavery guilty of a most heaven-daring crime, in
substituting concubinage for God's institution of marriage?

2d. Would not that slavery, and also every theory and modification of
slavery, for which you may contend, come speedily to nought, if their
subjects were allowed to marry? Slavery, being an abuse, is incapable of
reformation. It dies, not only when you aim a fatal blow at its life
principle--its foundation doctrine of man's right to property in
man[B]--but it dies as surely, when you prune it of its manifold
incidents of pollution and irreligion.

[Footnote B: I mean by this phrase, "right to property in man," a right
to hold man as property; and I do not see with what propriety certain
writers construe it to mean, a property in the mere services of a man.]

But it would be treating you indecorously to stop you at this stage of
the discussion, before we are a third of the way through your book, and
thus deny a hearing to the remainder of it. We will proceed to what you
say of the slavery which existed in the time of the New Testament
writers. Before we do so, however, let me call your attention to a few
of the specimens of very careless reasoning in that part of your book,
which we have now gone over. They may serve to inspire you with a modest
distrust of the soundness of other parts of your argument.

After concluding that Abraham was a slaveholder, you quote the following
language from the Bible; "Abraham obeyed my voice and kept my charge, my
commandments, my statutes, and my laws." You then inquire, "How could
this be true of Abraham, holding as he did, until he was an old man,
more slaves than any man in Mississippi or Louisiana?" To be consistent
with your design in quoting this passage, you must argue from it, that
Abraham was perfect. But this he was not; and, therefore, your quotation
is vain. Again, if the slaveholder would quiet his conscience with the
supposition, that "Abraham held more slaves than any man in Mississippi
or Louisiana," let him remember, that he had also more concubines (Gen.
25: 6), "than any man in Mississippi or Louisiana;" and, if Abraham's
authority be in the one case conclusive for slaveholding, equally so
must it be in the other, for concubinage.

Perhaps, in saying that "Abraham had more concubines than any man in
Mississippi or Louisiana," I have done injustice to the spirit of
propagation prevailing amongst the gentlemen of those States. It may be,
that some of your planters quite distance the old patriarch in obedience
to the command to "multiply and replenish the earth." I am correctly
informed, that a planter in Virginia, who counted, I know not how many
slaves upon his plantation, confessed on his death-bed, that his
licentiousness had extended to every adult female amongst them. This
planter was a near relative of the celebrated Patrick Henry. It may be,
that you have planters in Mississippi and Louisiana, who avail
themselves to the extent that he did, of the power which slaveholding
gives to pollute and destroy. The hundreds of thousands of mulattoes,
who constitute the Southern commentary on the charge, that the
abolitionists design amalgamation, bear witness that this planter was
not singular in his propensities. I do not know what you can do with
this species of your population. Besides, that it is a standing and deep
reproach on Southern chastity, it is not a little embarrassing and
puzzling to those who have received the doctrine, that the descendants
of Africa amongst us must be returned to the land of their ancestors.
How the poor mulatto shall be disposed of, under this doctrine, between
the call which Africa makes for him, on the one hand, and that which
some state of Europe sends out for him on the other, is a problem more
difficult of solution than that which the contending mothers brought
before the matchless wisdom of Solomon.

In the paragraph, which relates to the fourth and tenth commandments,
there is another specimen of your loose reasoning. You say, that the
language, "In it (the Sabbath) thou shalt do no work, thou, nor thy son,
nor thy daughter, nor thy man servant, nor thy maid servant,"
"recognises the authority of the master over the servant." I grant, that
it does: but does it at all show, that these servants were slaves? Does
it recognise any more authority than the master should exercise over his
voluntary servants? Should not the head of a family restrain all his
servants, as well the voluntary as the involuntary, from unnecessary
labor on the Sabbath? You also say, that the tenth commandment
"recognizes servants as the _property_ of their masters." But how does
it appear from the language of this commandment, that the man servant
and maid servant are property any more than the wife is? We will
proceed, however, to the third section of your book.

Your acquaintance with history has enabled you to show some of the
characteristics and fruits of Greek and Roman slavery. You state the
facts, that the subjects of this slavery were "absolutely the property
of their masters"--that they "were used like dogs"--that "they were
forbidden to learn any liberal art or perform any act worthy of their
masters"--that "once a day they received a certain number of stripes for
fear they should forget they were slaves"--that, at one time, "sixty
thousand of them in Sicily and Italy were chained and confined to work
in dungeons"--that "in Rome there was a continual market for slaves,"
and that "the slaves were commonly exposed for sale naked"--that, when
old, they were turned away," and that too by a master, highly esteemed
for his superior virtues, to starve to death"--that they were thrown
into ponds to be food for fish--that they were in the city of Athens
near twenty times as numerous as free persons--that there were in the
Roman Empire sixty millions of slaves to twenty millions of freemen mind
that many of the Romans had five thousand, some ten thousand, and others
twenty thousand.

And now, for what purpose is your recital of these facts?--not, for its
natural effect of awakening, in your readers, the utmost abhorrence of
slavery:--no--but for the strange purpose (the more strange for being in
the breast of a minister of the gospel) of showing your readers, that
even Greek and Roman slavery was innocent, and agreeable to God's will;
and that, horrid as are the fruits you describe, the tree, which bore
them, needed but to be dug about and pruned--not to be cut down. This
slavery is innocent, you insist, because the New Testament does not
show, that it was specifically condemned by the Apostles. By the same
logic, the races, the games, the dramatic entertainments, and the shows
of gladiators, which abounded in Greece and Rome, were, likewise,
innocent, because the New Testament does not show a specific
condemnation of them by the apostles[A]. But, although the New Testament
does not show such condemnation, does it necessarily follow, that they
were silent, in relation to these sins? Or, because the New Testament
does not specifically condemn Greek and Roman slavery, may we,
therefore, infer, that the Apostles did not specifically condemn it?
Look through the published writings of many of the eminent divines, who
have lived in modern times, and have written and published much for the
instruction of the churches, and you will not find a line in them
against gambling or theatres or the slave-trade;--in some of them, not a
line against the very common sin of drunkenness. Think you, therefore,
that they never spoke or wrote against these things? It would be
unreasonable to expect to find, in print, their sentiments against all,
even of the crying sins of their times. But how much more unreasonable
is it to expect to find in the few pages of the Apostles' published
letters, the whole of which can be read in a few hours, their sentiments
in relation to all the prominent sins of the age in which they lived!
And far greater still is the unreasonableness of setting them down, as
favorable to all practices which these letters do not specifically
condemn.

[Footnote A: Prof. Hodge says, if the apostles did abstain from
declaring slavery to be sinful, "it must have been, because they did not
consider it as, in itself, a crime. No other solution of their conduct
is consistent with their truth or fidelity." But he believes that they
did abstain from so doing; and he believes this, on the same evidence,
on which he believes, that they abstained from declaring the races,
games, &c., above enumerated, to be sinful. His own mode of reasoning,
therefore, brings him unavoidably to the conclusion, that these races,
games, &c., were not sinful.]

It may be, that the Saviour and the Apostles, in the course of their
teachings, both oral and written, did specify sins to a far greater
extent, than they are supposed to have done. It may be, that their
followers had much instruction, in respect to the great sin of slavery.
We must bear in mind, that but a very small part of that Divine
instruction, which, on the testimony of an Apostle, "the world itself
could not contain if written," has come down to us. Of the writings of
our Saviour we have nothing. Of those of his Apostles a very small part.
It is probable, that, during his protracted ministry, the learned
apostle to the Gentiles wrote many letters on religious subjects to
individuals and to churches. So also of the immense amount of
instruction, which fell from the lips of the Apostles, but very little
is preserved. It was Infinite Wisdom, however, which determined the size
of the New, as well as of the Old Testament, and of what kinds and
portions of the Saviour's and the Apostles' instructions it should
consist. For obvious considerations, it is made up, in a great measure,
of general truths and propositions. Its limited size, if no other
reason, accounts for this. But, these general truths and propositions
are as comprehensive as the necessity of the case requires; and, carried
out into all their suitable applications they leave no sin unforbidden.
Small as is the New Testament, it is as large as we need. It instructs
us in relation to all our duties. It is as full on the subject of
slavery, as is necessary; and, if we will but obey its directions, that
bear on this subject, and "love one another," and love our neighbors as
ourselves, and, as we would that men should do to us, do "also to them
likewise," and "remember them, that are in bonds as bound with them,"
and "give unto servants, that which is just and equal"--not a vestige of
this abomination will remain.

For the sake of the argument, I will admit, that the Apostles made no
specific attack on slavery[A]; and that they left it to be reached and
overthrown, provided it be sinful, by the general principles and
instructions which they had inculcated. But you will say, that it was
their practice, in addition to inculcating such principles and
instructions, to point out sins and reprove them:--and you will ask,
with great pertinence and force, why they did not also point out and
reprove slavery, which, in the judgment of abolitionists, is to be
classed with the most heinous sins. I admit, that there is no question
addressed to abolitionists, which, after the admission I have made for
them, it is less easy to answer; and I admit further, that they are
bound to answer it. I will proceed to assign what to me appear to be
some of the probable reasons, why the Apostles specified the sins of
lying, covetousness, stealing, &c., and, agreeably to the admission,
which lays me under great disadvantage, did not specify slavery.

[Footnote A: This is no small admission in the face of the passage, in
the first chapter of Timothy, which particularizes manstealing, as a
violation of the law of God. I believe all scholars will admit, that one
of the crimes referred to by the Apostle, is kidnapping. But is not
kidnapping an integral and most vital part of the system of slavery? And
is not the slaveholder guilty of this crime? Does he not, indeed, belong
to a class of kidnappers stamped with peculiar meanness? The pirate, on
the coast of Africa, has to cope with the strength and adroitness of
mature years. To get his victim into his clutches is a deed of daring
and of peril demanding no little praise, upon the principles of the
world's "code of honor." But the proud chivalry of the South is securely
employed in kidnapping newborn infants. The pirate, in the one case,
soothes his conscience with the thought, that the bloody savages merit
no better treatment, than they are receiving at his hands:--but the
pirate, in the other, can have no such plea--for they, whom he kidnaps,
are untainted with crime.

And what better does it make the case for you, if we adopt the
translation of "men stealers?" Far better, you will say, for, on the
authority of Othello himself,

  "He that is robb'd------
  Let him not know it, and he's not robbed at all."


But, your authority is not conclusive. The crime of the depredation is
none the less, because the subject is ignorant or unconscious of it. It
is true, the slave, who never possessed liberty--who was kidnapped at
his birth--may not grieve, under the absence of it, as he does, from
whose actual and conscious possession it had been violently taken: but
the robbery is alike plain, and is coupled with a meanness, in the one
case, which does not disgrace it in the other. ]

1st. The book of Acts sets forth the fundamental doctrines and
requirements of Christianity. It is to the letters of the Apostles we
are to look for extended specifications of right and wrong affections,
and right and wrong practices. Why do these letters omit to specify the
sin of slaveholding? Because they were addressed to professing
Christians exclusively; who, far more emphatically then than now, were
"the base things of the world," and were in circumstances to be slaves,
rather than slaveholders. Doubtless, there were many slaves amongst
them--but I cannot admit, that there were slaveholders. There is not the
least probability, that slaveholding was a prevalent sin amongst
primitive Christians[B]. Instructions to them on that sin might have
been almost as superfluous, as would be lectures on the sin of luxury,
addressed to the poor Greenland disciples, whose poverty compels them to
subsist on filthy oil. No one, acquainted with the history of their
lives, believes that the Apostles were slave-holders. They labored,
"working with (their) own hands." The supposition, that they were
slaveholders, is inconsistent with their practice, and with the tenor of
their instructions to others on the duty of manual labor. But if the
Apostles were not slaveholders, why may we suppose, that their disciples
were? At the South, it is, "like people, like priest," in this matter.
There, the minister of the gospel thinks, that he has as good right to
hold slaves, as has his parishioner: and your Methodists go so far, as
to say, that even a bishop has as good right, as any other person, to
have slaves

[Footnote B: How strongly does the following extract from the writings
of the great and good Augustine, who lived in the fourth century, argue,
that slaveholding was not a prevalent sin amongst primitive Christians!
"Non opurtet Christianum possidere servum quomodo equum aut argentum.
Quis dicere audeat ut vestimentum cum debere contemni? Hominem namque
homo tamquam seipsum diligere debet cui ab omnium Domino, ut inimicos
diligat, imperatur." _A Christian ought not to hold his servant as he
does his horse or his money. Who dares say that he should be thought as
lightly of as a garment? For man, whom the Lord of all has commanded to
love his enemies, should love his fellow-man as himself._]

  "------to fan him while he sleeps,
  And tremble when he wakes."


Indeed, they already threaten to separate from their Northern brethren,
unless this right be conceded. But have we not other and conclusive
evidence, that primitive Christians were not slaveholders? We will cite
a few passages from the Bible to show, that it was not the will of the
Apostles to have their disciples hold manual labor in disrepute, as it
is held, in all slaveholding communities. "Do your own business, and
work with your own hands, as we commanded you." "For this we commanded
you, that, if any would not work, neither should he eat." "Let him that
stole, steal no more; but rather let him labor, working with his hands
the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth."
In bringing the whole verse into this last quotation, I may have
displeased you. I am aware, that you slaveholders proudly and
indignantly reject the applicableness to yourselves of the first phrase
in this verse, and also of the maxim, that "the partaker of stolen goods
is as bad as the thief." I am aware, that you insist, that the
kidnapping of a man, or getting possession of him, after he has been
kidnapped, is not to be compared, if indeed it can be properly called
theft at all, with the crime of stealing a _thing_. It occurs to me,
that if a shrewd lawyer had you on trial for theft, he would say, that
you were _estopped_ from going into this distinction between a _man_ and
a _thing_, inasmuch as, by your own laws, the slave is expressly
declared to be a _chattel_--is expressly _elevated_ into a _thing_. He
would say, however competent it may be for others to justify themselves
on the ground, that it was but a _man_, and not a _thing_, they had
stolen; your own statutes, which, with magic celerity, convert stolen
men into things, make such a plea, on your part, utterly inadmissible.
He would have you as fast, as though the stolen goods, in your hands,
were a bushel of wheat, or some other important _thing_, instead of _a
mere man_.

But, if you are not yet convinced that primitive Christians were not
slaveholders, let me cite another passage to show you, how very
improbable it is, that they stood in this capacity:--"all, that
believed, had all things common, and sold their possessions and goods,
and parted them to all men, as every man had need." Now I do not say,
that all the primitive believers did so. But if a portion of them did,
and met with the Apostles' approbation in it, is it at all probable,
that a course, so diverse from it, as that of slaveholding in the
Church, met likewise with their approbation?

2d. I go on to account for the Apostles' omission to specify slavery.

Criminality is not always obvious, in proportion to its extent. The sin
of the traffic in intoxicating liquors, was, until the last few years,
almost universally unfelt and unperceived. But now, we meet with men,
who, though it was "in all good conscience," that they were once engaged
in it, would not resume it for worlds; and who see more criminality, in
taking money from a fellow man, in exchange for the liquor which
intoxicates him, than in simple theft. However it may be with others, in
this employment, they now see, that, for them to traffic in intoxicating
liquors, would be to stain themselves with the twofold crime of robbery
and murder. How is it, that good men ever get into this
employment?--and, under what influences and by what process of thought,
do they come to the determination to abandon it? The former is accounted
for, by the fact, that they grow up--have their education--their moral
and intellectual training--in the midst of a public opinion, and even of
laws also, which favor and sanction the employment. The latter is
accounted for, by the fact, that they are brought, in the merciful
providence of God, to observe and study and understand the consequences
of their employment--especially on those who drink their liquor--the
liquor which they sell or make, or, with no less criminality, furnish
the materials for making. These consequences they find to be "evil, only
evil, and that continually." They find, that this liquor imparts no
benefit to them who drink it, but tends to destroy, and, oftentimes,
does destroy, their healths and lives. To continue, therefore, in an
employment in which they receive their neighbor's money, without
returning him an equivalent, or any portion of an equivalent, and, in
which they expose both his body and soul to destruction, is to make
themselves, in their own judgments, virtually guilty of theft and
murder.

Thus it is in the case of a national war, waged for conquest. Christians
have taken part in it; and, because they were blinded by a wrong
education, and were acting in the name of their country and under the
impulses of patriotism, they never suspected that they were doing the
devil, instead of "God, service." But when, in the kind providence of
God, one of these butchers of their fellow beings is brought to pause
and consider his ways, and to resolve his enormous and compound sin into
its elements of wickedness,--into the lies, theft, covetousness,
adultery, murder, and what not of crime, which enter into it,--he is
amazed that he has been so "slow of heart to believe," and abandon the
iniquity of his deeds.

What I have said to show that Christians, even in enlightened and
gospelized lands, may be blind to the great wickedness of certain
customs and institutions, serves to introduce the remark; that there
were probably some customs and institutions, in the time of the
Apostles, on which it would have been even worse than lost labor for
them to make direct attacks. Take, for example, the kind of war of which
we have been speaking. If there are reasons why the modern Christian can
be insensible to the sin of it, there are far stronger reasons why the
primitive Christian could be. If the light and instruction which have
been accumulating for eighteen centuries, are scarcely sufficient to
convince Christians of its wickedness, is it reasonable to suppose that,
at the commencement of this long period, they could have been
successfully taught it? Consider, that at that time the literature and
sentiment of the world were wholly on the side of war; and especially,
consider how emphatically the authority of civil government and of human
law was in favor of its rightfulness. Now, to how great an extent such
authority covers over and sanctifies sin, may be inferred from the fact,
that there are many, who, notwithstanding they believe slavery to be a
most Heaven-daring sin, yet, because it is legalized and under the wing
of civil government, would not have it spoken against. Even Rev. Dr.
Miller, in certain resolutions which he submitted to the last General
Assembly, indicated his similar reverence for human laws; and the
lamented Dr. Rice distinctly recognises, in his letter to Mr. Maxwell,
the doctrine that the Church is bound to be quiet about every sin which
the civil government adopts and whitewashes. That the Christian
Spectator should indorse the Doctor's sentiments on this point is still
more worthy of remark than that he should utter them. Indeed, I judge
from what you say on the 68th and 69th pages of your book, that you are
yourself opposed to calling in question the morality of that which civil
government approves. But, to doubt the infallibility of civil
government,--to speak against Caesar,--was manifestly held to be quite
as presumptuous in the time of the Apostles as it is now.

Another reason why an Apostle would probably have deemed it hopeless to
attempt to persuade his disciples, immediately and directly, of the sin
of war, is to be found in the fact of their feeble and distorted
perception of truth and duty. We, whose advantage it is to have lived
all our days in the light of the gospel, and whose ancestors, from time
immemorial, had the like precious advantage, can hardly conceive how
very feeble and distorted was that perception. But, consider for a
moment who those disciples were. They had, most of them, but just been
taken out of the gross darkness and filth of heathenism. In reading
accounts which missionaries give of converted heathen--of such, even, as
have for ten, fifteen, or twenty years, been reputed to be pious--you
are, doubtless, often surprised to find how grossly erroneous are their
moral perceptions. Their false education still cleaves to them. They are
yet, to a great extent, in the mould of a corrupted public opinion; and,
as far from having a clear discernment of moral truth, as were the
partially unsealed eyes which saw "men, as trees, walking." The first
letter to the Church at Corinth, proves that the new principles
implanted in its members had not yet purged out the leaven of their old
wickedness; and that their conceptions of Christian purity and conduct
were sadly defective. As it was with the Corinthian Christians, so was
it to a great extent with the other Christians of that age. Now, if the
Apostles did not directly teach the primitive believers that wars, and
theatres, and games, and slavery, are sinful, it is because they thought
it more fit to exercise their ignorant pupils chiefly in the mere
alphabet and syllables of Christianity. (Acts xv, 28, 29.) The
construction of words and sentences would naturally follow. The
rudiments of the gospel, if once possessed by them, would be apt to lead
them on to greater attainments. Indeed, the love, peace, truth, and
other elements of holy living inculcated by the Apostles, would, if
turned to all proper account, be fatal to every, even the most gigantic,
system of wickedness. Having these elements in their minds and hearts,
they would not fail of condemning the great and compound sin of war
whenever they should be led to take it up, examine it, resolve it into
its constituent parts, and lay these parts for comparison, by the side
of those elements. But, such an advance was hardly to be expected from
many of these heathen converts during the brief period in which they
enjoyed Apostolic instruction; and it is but too probable, that most of
them died in great ignorance of the sin of national wars. Converts from
the heathen, in the present age, when conviction of the sinfulness of
war is spreading in different parts of Christendom, would be more likely
to imbibe correct views of it.

The Apostles "fed with milk" before they fed with meat, as did our
Saviour, who declared, "I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye
cannot bear them now." In every community, the foundation principles of
righteousness must be laid, before there can be fulcrums for the levers
to be employed in overthrowing the sins which prevail in it. You will
doubtless, then, agree with me, that it is not probable that the
Apostles taught their heathen converts, directly and specifically, the
sinfulness of war. But slaves, in that age, with the exception of the
comparative few who were reduced to slavery on account of the crimes of
which they had been judicially convicted, were the spoils of war. How
often in that age, as was most awfully the fact, on the final
destruction of Jerusalem, were the slave-markets of the world glutted by
the captives of war! Until, therefore, they should be brought to see the
sinfulness of war, how could they see the sinfulness of so direct and
legitimate a fruit of it as slavery?--and, if the Apostles thought their
heathen converts too weak to be instructed in the sinfulness of war, how
much more would they abstain from instructing them, directly and
specifically, in the sin of slavery!

3d. In proceeding with my reasons why the Apostles did not extend their
specification of sins to slavery, I remark, that it is apparent from the
views we have taken, and from others which might have been taken, that
nothing would have been gained by their making direct and specific
attacks on the institutions of the civil governments under which they
lived. Indeed, much might have been lost by their doing so. Weak
converts, with still many remains of heathenism about them, might in
this wise have been incurably prejudiced against truths, which, by other
modes of teaching,--by general and indirect instructions,--would
probably have been lodged in their minds. And there is another point of
view in which vastly more, even their lives, might have been lost, by
the Apostles making the direct and specific attacks referred to. I know
that you ridicule the idea of their consulting their personal safety.
But what right have you to do so? They did, on many occasions, consult
the security of their lives. They never perilled them needlessly, and
through a presumptuous reliance on God. It is the devil, who, in a
garbled quotation from the Scriptures, lays down, in unlimited terms,
the proposition, that God will keep his children. But, God promises them
protection only when they are in their own proper ways. The Saviour
himself consulted the safety of his life, until his "time" had "full
come;" and his command to his Apostles was, "when they persecute you in
this city, flee ye into another." If you suppose me to admit for a
moment, that regard for the safety of their lives ever kept them from
the way of their duty, you are entirely mistaken; and, if you continue
to assert, in the face of my reasoning to the contrary, that on the
supposition of the sinfulness of slavery, their omission to make direct
and specific attacks on it would have been a failure of their duty, then
I can only regret that this reasoning has had no more influence upon
you.

I observe that Professor Hodge agrees with you, that if slavery is sin,
it would have been specifically attacked by the Apostles at any hazard
to their lives. This is his conclusion, because they did not hesitate to
specify and rebuke idolatry. Here is another of the Professor's
sophisms. The fact, that the Apostles preached against idolatry, is no
reason at all why, if slavery is sin, they would have preached against
that also. On the one hand, it is not conceivable that the gospel can be
preached where there is idolatry, without attacking it: for, in setting
forth the true God to idolaters, the preacher must denounce their false
gods. On the other hand, gospel sermons can be preached without number,
and the true God presented, not only in a nation of idolaters, but
elsewhere, without one allusion being made to such crying sins as
slavery, lewdness, and intemperance.

In the same connexion, Professor Hodge makes the remark "We do not
expect them (our missionaries) to refrain from denouncing the
institutions of the heathen as sinful, because they are popular, or
intimately interwoven with society." If he means by this language, that
it is the duty of missionaries on going into a heathen nation, to array
themselves against the civil government, and to make direct and specific
attacks on its wicked nature and wicked administration, then is he at
issue, on this point, with the whole Christian public; and, if he does
not mean this, or what amounts to this, I do not see how his remark will
avail any thing, in his attempt to show that the Apostles made such
attacks on whatever sinful institutions came under their observation.

What I have said on a former page shows sufficiently how fit it is for
missionaries to the heathen, more especially in the first years of their
efforts among them, to labor to instruct their ignorant pupils in the
elementary principles of Christianity, rather than to call their
attention to the institutions of civil government, the sinfulness of
which they would not be able to perceive until they had been grounded in
those elementary principles; and the sinfulness of which, more than of
any thing else, their prejudices would forbid them to suspect. Another
reason why the missionary to the heathen should not directly, and
certainly not immediately, assail their civil governments, is that he
would thereby arouse their jealousies to a pitch fatal to his influence,
his usefulness, and most probably his life; and another reason is, that
this imprudence would effectually close the door, for a long time,
against all efforts, even the most judicious, to spread the gospel
amongst a people so needlessly and greatly prejudiced against it by an
unwise and abrupt application of its principles. For instance, what
folly and madness it would be for our missionaries to Burmah, to make a
direct assault on the political institutions of that country! How fatal
would it be to their lives, and how incalculably injurious to the cause
entrusted to their hands! And, if this can be said of them, after they
have spent ten, fifteen, and twenty years, in efforts to bring that
portion of the heathen world to a knowledge and love of the truth, how
much more emphatically could it be said if they had been in the field of
their labors but three or four years! And yet, even this short space of
time exceeds the average period of the Apostles' labor among those
different portions of the heathen world which they visited;--labor, too,
it must be remembered, not of the whole, nor even of half of "the
twelve."

That the Apostles could not have made direct attacks on the institutions
of the Roman government, but at the expense of their lives, is not to be
doubted. Our Saviour well knew how fatal was the jealousy of that
government to the man who was so unhappy as to have excited it; and he
accordingly avoided the excitement of it, as far as practicable and
consistent. His ingenious and beautiful disposition of the question, "Is
it lawful to give tribute to Caesar or not," is among the instances, in
which He studied to shun the displeasure of the civil government. Pilate
gave striking evidence of his unwillingness to excite the jealousy of
his government, when, every other expedient to induce him to consent to
the Saviour's death having failed, the bare charge, utterly unproven and
groundless, that, the Divine prisoner had put forth pretensions,
interfering with Caesar's rights, availed to procure His death-warrant
from the hands of that truth-convicted, but man-fearing governor. Had it
not availed, Pilate would have been exposed to the suspicion of
disloyalty to his government; and so perilous was this suspicion, that
he was ready, at any expense to his conscience and sense of justice, to
avoid incurring it.

A direct attack on Roman slavery, as it would have called in question
the rightfulness of war--the leading policy of the Roman
government--would, of course, have been peculiarly perilous to its
presumptuous author. No person could have made this attack, and lived;
or, if possibly he might have escaped the vengeance of the government,
do we not know too much of the deadly wrath of slaveholders, to believe
that he could have also escaped the summary process of Lynch law? If it
be at the peril of his life that a Northern man travels in the Southern
States,--and that, too, whether he do or do not say a word about
slavery, or even whether he be or be not an abolitionist;--if your
leading men publicly declare, that it is your religious duty to put to
an immediate death, whenever they come within your power, those who
presume to say that slavery is sin (and such a declaration did a South
Carolina gentleman make on the floor of congress, respecting the
inconsiderable person who is addressing you);--and, if your professing
Christians, not excepting ministers of the gospel, thirst for the blood
of abolitionists[A], as I will abundantly show, if you require
proof;--if, in a gospel land, all this be so, then I put it to your
candor, whether it can reasonably be supposed that the Apostles would
have been allowed to attack slavery in the midst of heathen
slaveholders. Why it is that slaveholders will not allow a word to be
breathed against slavery, I cannot, perhaps, correctly judge.
Abolitionists think that this unwillingness denotes that man is unfit
for absolute power over his fellow men. They think as unfavorably of the
influence of this power on the slaveholder, as your own Jefferson did.
They think that it tends to make him impatient of contradiction,
self-willed, supercilious, cruel, murderous, devilish; and they think
that they can establish this opinion, not by the soundest philosophy
only, but by the pages of many of your own writers, and by those daily
scenes of horrid brutality which make the Southern States, in the sight
both of God and man, one of the most frightful and loathsome portions of
the world--of the whole world--barbarous as well as civilized.

[Footnote A: I will relate an incident, to show what a fiend even woman,
gentle, lovely woman, may become, after she has fallen under the sway of
the demon of slavery. Said a lady of Savannah, on a visit in the city of
New York, "I wish he (Rev. Dr. Samuel H. Cox) would come to Savannah. I
should love to see him tarred and feathered, and his head cut off and
carried on a pole around Savannah." This lady is a professing Christian.
Her language stirs me up to retaliate upon her, and to express the wish
that she would come to the town, and even to the dwelling, in which Dr.
Cox resides. She would find that man of God--that man of sanctified
genius--as glad to get his enemies into his hands, as she would be to
get him into the hands of his enemies:--not, however, for the purpose of
disgracing and decapitating them, but, that he might pour out upon them
the forgiveness and love of his generous and _abolitionized_ heart. In
the city of New York there are thousands of whole-souled abolitionists.
What a striking testimony is it, in behalf of their meekness and
forbearance, when a southern fury is perfectly secure, in belching out
such words of wrath in the midst of them! We abolitionists never love
our principles better, than when we see the slaveholder feeling safe
amongst us. No man has been more abusive of us than Governor McDuffie;
and yet, were he to travel in the Northern States, he would meet with no
unkindness at the hands of any abolitionist. On the other hand, let it
be known to the governor, that he has within his jurisdiction a
prominent abolitionist--one, whose heart of burning love has made him
specially anxious to persuade the unfortunate slaveholder to be just to
himself, to his fellow men, and to his God,--and the governor, true to
the horrid sentiments of his famous message, would advise that he be
"put to death without benefit of clergy." Let slaveholders say what they
will about our blood-thirstiness, there is not one of them who fears to
put himself in our power. The many of them, who have been beneath my
roof, and the roofs of other abolitionists, have manifested their
confidence in our kindness. Were a stranger to the institution of
slavery to learn, in answer to his inquiries, that "an abolitionist" is
"an outlaw amongst slaveholders," and that "a slaveholder" is "the
kindly entertained guest of abolitionists,"--here would be a puzzle
indeed. But the solution of it would not fail to be as honorable to the
persecuted man of peace, as it would be disgraceful to the bloody
advocate and executioner of Lynch law.]

I need not render any more reasons why the Apostles did not specifically
attack slavery; but I will reply to a question, which I am sure will be
upon your lips all the time you are reading those I have rendered. This
question is, "If the Apostles did not make such an attack on slavery,
why may the American abolitionists?" I answer, that the difference
between the course of the abolitionists and of the Apostles, in this
matter, is justified by the difference in their circumstances. Professor
Hodge properly says, that our course should be like theirs, "unless it
can be shown that their circumstances were so different from ours, as to
make the rule of duty different in the two cases." And he as properly
adds, "the obligation to point out and establish this difference rests
upon the abolitionists."

The reasons I have given, why the Apostles did not directly attack
slavery, do not apply to the abolitionists. The arm of civil power does
not restrain us from attacking it. To open our lips against the policy
and institutions of civil government is not certain death. A despotic
government restricted the efforts of the Apostles to do good. But we
live under governments which afford the widest scope for exertions to
bless our fellow men and honor God. Now, if we may not avail ourselves
of this advantage, simply because the Apostles did not have it to avail
themselves of, then whatever other interests may prosper under a
republican government, certain it is, that the cause of truth and
righteousness is not to be benefited by it. Far better never to have had
our boasted form of government, if, whilst it extends the freedom and
multiplies the facilities of the wicked, it relieves the righteous of
none of the restrictions of a despotic government. Again, there is a
religious conscience all over this land, and an enlightened and gospel
sense of right and wrong; on which we can and do (as in your
Introduction you concede is the fact) bring our arguments against
slavery to bear with mighty power. But, on the other hand, the creating
of such a conscience and such a sense, in the heathen and semi-heathen
amongst whom they lived and labored, was the first, and appropriate, and
principal work of the Apostles. To employ, therefore, no other methods
for the moral and religious improvement of the people of the United
States, than were employed by the Apostles for that of the people of the
Roman empire, is as absurd as it would be to put the highest and lowest
classes in a school to the same lessons; or a raw apprentice to those
higher branches of his trade which demand the skill of an experienced
workman.

I am here reminded of what Professor Hodge says were the means relied on
by the Saviour and Apostles for abolishing slavery. "It was," says he,
"by teaching the true nature, dignity, equality, and destiny of men; by
inculcating the principles of justice and love; and by leaving these
principles to produce their legitimate effects in ameliorating the
condition of all classes of society." I would not speak disparagingly of
such a course of instruction; so far from it, I am ready to admit that
it is indispensable for the removal of evils, in every age and among
every people. When general instructions of this character shall have
ceased to be given, then will all wholesome reforms have ceased also.
But, I cannot approve of the Professor's object in this remark. This
object is to induce his readers to believe, that these abstract and
general instructions are all that is needed to effect the termination of
slavery. Now, I maintain that one thing more is wanting; and that is,
the application of these instructions--of the principles contained in
them--to the evil in hand. As well may it be supposed, that the mechanic
can accomplish his work without the application, and by the mere
possession, of his tools, as that a given reformation can be effected by
unapplied general principles. Of these principles, American
philanthropists have been possessed from time immemorial; and yet all
the while American slavery has been flourishing and growing strong. Of
late, however, these principles have been brought to bear upon the
system, and it manifestly is already giving way. The groans of the
monster prove that those rays of truth, which did not disturb him whilst
they continued to move in the parallel lines of abstractions and
generalities, make it quite too hot for him since they are converged to
a burning focus upon his devoted head. Why is it, for example, that the
influence of the Boston Recorder and New-York Observer--why is it, that
the influence of most of our titled divines--is decidedly hostile to the
abolition of slavery? It is not because they are deficient in just
general sentiments and principles respecting man's duties to God and his
fellow man. It is simply because they stand opposed to the application
of these sentiments and principles to the evil in question; or, in other
words, stand opposed to the Anti-Slavery Society, which is the chosen
lens of Divine Providence for turning these sentiments and principles,
with all the burning, irresistible power of their concentration, against
a giant wickedness. What is the work of the Temperance Societies, but to
make a specific application of general truths and principles to the vice
of intemperance? And the fact, that from the time of Noah's
intoxication, until the organization of the American Temperance Society,
the desolating tide of intemperance had been continually swelling,
proves that this reliance on unapplied principles, however sound--this
"faith without works"--is utterly vain. Nathan found that nothing, short
of a specific application of the principles of righteousness, would
answer in the case of the sin of adultery. He had to abandon all
generalities and circuitousness, and come plump upon the royal sinner
with his "Thou art the man." Those divines, whose policy it is to handle
slaveholders "with gloves," if they must handle them at all, doubtless
regard Nathan as an exceedingly impolite preacher.

But, not only is it far less difficult to instruct the people of the
United States than it was the people of the Roman Empire, in the sin of
slavery; it is also--for the reason that the sin is ours, to a far
greater extent, than it was theirs--much more important for us than for
them to be instructed in it. They had no share in the government which
upheld it. They could not abolish it by law. But, on the other hand, the
people of the United States are themselves the government of their
country. They are the co-sovereigns of their nation. They uphold slavery
by law, and they can put it down by law. In this point of view,
therefore, slavery is an incomparably greater sin in us, than it was in
them.

Only one other reason will be given why it is more needful to overthrow
American, than it was to overthrow Roman slavery. The Church was then
but a handful of "strangers scattered throughout" the heathen world. It
was made up of those who had little influence, and who were esteemed
"the filth of the world, and the offscouring of all things." It had,
probably, little, if any thing, to do with slavery, except to suffer its
rigors in the persons of many of its members. But here, the Church,
comprising no very small proportion of the whole population, and
exerting a mighty influence for good or ill on the residue, is tainted,
yes, rotten with slavery. In this contrast, we not only see another
reason why the destruction of American slavery is more important than
was that of Roman slavery; but we also see, that the Apostles could have
been little, if at all, actuated by that motive, which is more urgent
than any other in the breasts of the American abolitionists--the motive
of purging the Church of slavery.

To return to what you say of the abominations and horrors of Greek and
Roman slavery:--I should be doing you great injustice, were I to convey
the idea that you approve of them. It is admitted that you disapprove of
them; and, it is also admitted, that no responsibility for them rests on
the relation of slaveholder and slave, if that relation have, as you
labor to show, the stamp of Divine approbation. You say, that slavery,
like marriage, is an institution sanctioned by the New Testament; and
that, therefore, neither for the evils which attend it, nor for any
other cause, is it to be argued against. This is sound reasoning, on
your part; and, if your premises are correct, there is no resisting your
deduction. We are, in that case, not only not to complain of the
institution of slavery, but we are to be thankful for it. Considering,
however, that the whole fabric of your argument, in the principal or New
Testament division of your book, is based on the alleged fact that the
New Testament approves of slavery, it seems to me that you have
contented yourself, and sought to make your readers contented, with very
slender evidences of the truth of this proposition. These evidences are,
mainly--that the New Testament does not declare slavery to be a sin:
and, that the Apostles enjoin upon masters and servants their respective
duties; and this, too, in the same connexion in which they make similar
injunctions upon those who stand in the confessedly proper relations of
life--the husband and wife, the parent and child. Your other evidences,
that the New Testament approves of slavery, unimportant as they are,
will not be left unnoticed.

I have attempted to show, that the omission of the New Testament to
declare slavery to be a sin, is not proof that it is not a sin. I pass
on to show, that the Apostolic injunction of duties upon masters and
servants does not prove that slavery is sinless.

I have now reached another grand fallacy in your book. It is also found
in Professor Hodge's article. You, gentlemen, take the liberty to depart
from our standard English translation of the Bible, and to substitute
"slaveholder" for "master"--"slave" for "servant"--and, in substance,
"emperor" for "ruler"--and "subject of an imperial government" for
"subject of civil government generally." I know that this substitution
well suits your purposes: but, I know not by what right you make it.
Professor Hodge tells the abolitionists, certainly without much respect
for either their intelligence or piety, that "it will do no good (for
them) to attempt to tear the Bible to pieces." There is but too much
evidence, that he himself has not entirely refrained from the folly and
crime, which he is so ready to impute to others.

I will proceed to offer some reasons for the belief, that when the
Apostles enjoined on masters and servants their respective duties, they
had reference to servitude in general, and not to any modification of
it.

1st. You find passages in the New Testament, where you think _despotes_
refers to a person who is a slaveholder, and _doulos_ to a person who is
a slave. Admit that you are right: but this (which seems to be your only
ground for it) does not justify you in translating these words
"slaveholder" and "slave," whenever it may be advantageous to your side
of the question to have them thus translated. These words, have a great
variety of meanings. For instance, there are passages in the New
Testament where _despotes_ means "God"--Jesus Christ"--Head of a
family:" and where _doulos_ means "a minister or agent"--a subject of a
king"--a disciple or follower of Christ." _Despotes_ and _doulos_ are
the words used in the original of the expression: "Lord, now lettest
thou thy servant depart in peace:" _doulos_ in that of the expressions,
"servant of Christ," and "let him be servant of all." Profane writers
also use these words in various senses. My full belief is, that these
words were used in both a generic and special sense, as is the word
corn, which denotes bread-stuffs in general, and also a particular kind
of them; as is the word meat, the meaning of which is, sometimes,
confined to flesh that is eaten, and, at other times, as is frequently
the case in the Scriptures, extends to food in general; and, as is the
word servant, which is suitable, either in reference to a particular
form of servitude, or to servitude in general. There is a passage in the
second chapter of Acts, which is, of itself, perhaps, sufficient to
convince an unbiased mind, that the Apostles used the word _doulos_ in
a, generic, as well as in a special sense. _Doulos_ and _doule_ are the
words in the phrase: "And on my servants and on my handmaidens." A
reference to the prophecy as it stands; in Joel 2: 28, 29, makes it more
obvious, that persons in servitude are referred to under the words
_doulos_ and _doule_; and, that the predicted blessing was to be shed
upon persons of all ages, classes, and conditions--upon old men and
young men--upon sons and daughters--and upon man-servants and
maid-servants. But, under the interpretation of those, who, like
Professor Hodge and yourself, confine the meaning of _doulos_ and
_doule_ to a species of servants, the prophecy would have reference to
persons of all ages, classes, and conditions--_excepting certain
descriptions of servants_. Under this interpretation, we are brought to
the absurd conclusion, that the spirit is to be poured out upon the
master and his slaves--_but not upon his hired servants_.

I trust that enough has been said, under this my first head, to show
that the various senses in which the words _despotes_ and _doulos_ are
employed, justify me in taking the position, that whenever we meet with
them, we are to determine, from the nature of the case, and from the
connexion in which they are used, whether they refer to servitude in
general, or to a species of it.

2d. The confinement of the meaning of the words in question supposes,
what neither religion nor common sense allows us to suppose, that
slaveholders and slaves, despots and those in subjection to them, were
such especial favorites of the Apostles, as to obtain from them specific
instructions in respect to their relative duties, whilst all other
masters and servants, and all other rulers and subjects, throughout all
future time, were left unprovided with such instructions. According to
this supposition, when slavery and despotism shall, agreeably to
Professor Hodge's expectations, have entirely ceased, there will be not
one master nor servant, not one ruler nor subject in the whole earth, to
fall, as such, under the Apostolic injunctions.

3d. You admit that there were hirelings, in a community of primitive
believers; and I admit, for the moment, that there were slaves in it.
Now, under my interpretation of the Apostolic injunction, all husbands,
all wives, all parents, all children, and all servants, in this
community, are told their respective duties: but, under yours, these
duties are enjoined on all husbands, all wives, all parents, all
children, and a _part of the servants_. May we not reasonably complain
of your interpretation, that it violates analogy?

Imagine the scene, in which a father, in the Apostolic age, assembles
his family to listen to a letter from the glowing Peter, or "such an one
as Paul the aged." The letter contains instructions respecting the
relative duties of life. The venerable pair, who stand in the conjugal
and parental relations, receive, with calm thankfulness, what is
addressed to themselves;--the bright-eyed little ones are eager to know
what the Apostle says to children--a poor slave blesses God for his
portion of the Apostolic counsel;--and the scene would be one of
unmingled joy, if the writer had but addressed hired servants, as well
as slaves. One of the group goes away to weep, because the Apostle had
remembered the necessities of all other classes of men, and forgotten
those of the hireling. Sir, do you believe that the Apostle was guilty
of such an omission? I rejoice that my side of the question between us,
does not call for the belief of what is so improbable and
unnatural--and, withal, so dishonoring to the memory of the Apostle.

4th. Another reason for believing, that the Apostles intended no such
limitation as that which you impose upon their words, is, that their
injunctions are as applicable to the other classes of persons occupying
these relations, as they are to the particular class to which you
confine them. The hired servant, as well as the slave, needs to be
admonished of the sins of "eye service" and "purloining;" and the master
of voluntary, as well as involuntary servants, needs to be admonished to
"give that which is just and equal." The ruler in a republic, or, in a
limited monarchy, as well as the despot, requires to be reminded, that
he is to be "a minister of God for good." So the subject of one kind of
civil government, as well as that of another, needs to be told to be
"subject unto the higher powers."

I need not extend my remarks to prove, that _despotes_ and _doulos_ are,
in the case before us, to be taken in their comprehensive sense of
master and servant: and, clearly, therefore, the abolitionist is not
guilty of violating your rule, "not to interfere with a civil relation
(in another place, you say, 'any of the existing relations of life') for
which, and to regulate which, either Christ or his Apostles have
prescribed regulations." He believes, as fully as yourself, that the
relation of master and servant is approved of God. It is the slavery
modification of it--the slaveholder's abuse and perversion of the
relation, in reducing the servant to a chattel--which, he believes, is
not approved of God.

For the sake of the argument, I will admit, that the slave alone, of all
classes of servants, was favored with specific instructions from the
Apostles: and then, how should we account for the selection? In no other
way, can I conceive, than, on the ground, that his lot is so peculiarly
hard--so much harder than that of persons under other forms of
servitude--that he needs, whilst they do not, Apostolic counsel and
advice to keep him just, and patient, and submissive. Let me be spared
from the sin of reducing a brother man to such a lot. Your doctrine,
therefore, that the Apostles addressed slaves only, and not servants in
general, would not, were its correctness admitted, lift you out of all
the difficulties in your argument.

Again, does it necessarily follow from this admission, that the relation
of slaveholder and slave is sinless? Was the despotism of the Roman
government sinless? I do not ask whether the _abuses_ of civil
government, in that instance, were sinless. But, I ask, was a
government, despotic in its constitution, depriving all its subjects of
political power, and extending absolute control over their property and
persons--was such a government, independently of the consideration of
its _abuses_, (if indeed we may speak of the abuses of what is in itself
an _abuse_,) sinless? I am aware, that Prof. Hodge says, that it was so:
and, when he classes despotism and slavery with _adiaphora_, "things
indifferent;" and allows no more moral character to them than to a table
or a broomstick, I trust no good man envies his optics. May I not hope
that you, Mr. Smylie, perceive a difference between despotism and an
"indifferent thing." May I not hope, that you will, both as a Republican
and a Christian, take the ground, that despotism has a moral character,
and a bad one? When our fathers prayed, and toiled, and bled, to obtain
for themselves and their children the right of self-government, and to
effect their liberation from a power, which, in the extent and rigor of
its despotism, is no more to be compared to the Roman government, than
the "little finger" to the "loins," I doubt not, that they felt that
despotism had a moral, and a very bad moral character. And so would
Prof. Hodge have felt, had he stood by their side, instead of being one
of their ungrateful sons. I say ungrateful--for, who more so, than he
who publishes doctrines that disparage the holy cause in which they were
embarked, and exhibits them, as contending for straws, rather than for
principles? Tell me, how long will this Republic endure after our people
shall have imbibed the doctrine, that the _nature_ of civil government
is an indifferent thing: and that the poet was right when he said,

  "For forms of government let _fools_ contest?"


This, however, is but one of many doctrines of ruinous tendency to the
cause of civil liberty, advanced by pro-slavery writers to sustain their
system of oppression.

It would surely be superfluous to go into proofs, that the Roman
government was vicious and wicked in its constitution and nature.
Nevertheless, the Apostle enjoined submission to it, and taught its
subjects how to demean themselves under it. Here, then, we have an
instance, in which we cannot argue the sinlessness of a relation, from
the fact of Apostolic injunctions on those standing in it. Take another
instance. The Chaldeans went to a foreign land, and enslaved its
people--as members of your guilty partnership have done for some of the
slaves you now own, and for the ancestors of others. And God destroyed
the Chaldeans expressly "for all their evil that they had done in Zion."
But, wicked as they were, for having instituted this relation between
themselves and the Jews, God, nevertheless, tells the Jews to submit to
it. He tells them, "Serve the King of Babylon." He even says, "seek the
peace of the city, whither I have caused you to be carried away
captives, and pray unto the Lord for it; for, in the peace thereof,
shall ye have peace." Here then, we have another instance, in addition
to that of the Roman despot and his subjects, in which the Holy Spirit
prescribed regulations for wicked relations. You will, at least, allow,
that the relation established by the Chaldeans between themselves and
the captive Jews, was wicked. But, you will perhaps say, that this is
not a relation coming within the contemplation of your rule. Your rule
speaks of a civil relation, and also of the existing relations of life.
But, the relation in question, being substantially that of slaveholder
and slave, is, according to your own showing, a civil relation. Perhaps
you will say, it is not an "existing relation of life." But what do you
mean by "an existing relation of life?" Do you mean, that it is a
relation approved of God? If you do, and insist that the relation of
slaveholder and slave is "an existing relation of life," then you are
guilty of begging the great question between us. Your rule, therefore,
can mean nothing more than this--that any relation is rightful, for
which the Bible prescribes regulations. But the relation referred to
between the Chaldeans and Jews, proves the falsity of the rule. Again,
when a man compels me to go with him, is not the compelled relation
between him and me a sinful one? And the relation of robber and robbed,
which a man institutes between himself and me, is not this also sinful?
But, the Bible has prescribed regulations for the relations in both
these cases. In the one, it requires me to "go with him twain;" and, in
the other, to endure patiently even farther spoliation and, "let him
have (my) cloak also." In these cases, also, do we see the falsity of
your rule--and none the less clearly, because the relations in question
are of brief duration.

Before concluding my remarks on this topic, let me say, that your
doctrine, that God has prescribed no rules for the behaviour of persons
in any other than the just relations of life, reflects no honor on His
compassion. Why, even we "cut-throat" abolitionists are not so
hard-hearted as to overlook the subjects of a relation, because it is
wicked. Pitying, as we do, our poor colored brethren, who are forced
into a wicked relation, which, by its very nature and terms, and not by
its _abuses_, as you would say, has robbed them of their all--even we
would, nevertheless, tell them to "resist not evil"--to be obedient unto
their own masters"--not purloining, but showing all good fidelity." We
would tell them, as God told the captive Jews, to "seek the peace of
those, whither they are carried away captives, and to pray unto the
Lord" for them: and our hope of their emancipation is not, as it is most
slanderously and wickedly reported to be, in their deluging the South
with blood: but, it is, to use again those sweet words of inspiration,
that "in the peace thereof they shall have peace." We do not communicate
with the slave; but, if we did, we would teach him, that our hope of his
liberation is grounded largely in his patience, and that, if he would
have us drop his cause from our hands, he has but to take it into his
own, and attempt to accomplish by violence, that which we seek to effect
through the power of truth and love on the understanding and heart of
his master.

Having disposed of your reasons in favor of the rightfulness of the
relation of slaveholder and slave, I will offer a few reasons for
believing that it is not rightful.

1st. My strongest reason is, that the great and comprehensive
principles, and the whole genius and spirit of Christianity, are opposed
to slavery.

2d. In the case of Pharoah and his Jewish slaves, God manifested his
abhorrence of the relation of slavery. The fact that the slavery in this
case was political, instead of domestic, and, therefore, of a milder
type than that of Southern slavery, does not forbid my reasoning from
the one form to the other. Indeed, if I may receive your declaration on
this point, for the truth, I need not admit that the type of the slavery
in question is milder than that of Southern slavery;--for you say, that
"their (the Jews) condition was that of the most abject bondage or
slavery." But the supposition that it is milder, being allowed to be
correct, would only prove, that God's abhorrence of Southern bondage as
much exceeds that which he expressed of Egyptian bondage, as the one
system is more full than the other of oppression and cruelty.

We learn from the Bible, that it was not because of the _abuses_ of the
Egyptian system of bondage, but, because of its sinful nature, that God
required its abolition. He did not command Pharaoh to cease from the
_abuses_ of the system, and to correct his administration of it, but to
cease from the system itself. "I have heard," says God, "the groaning of
the children of Israel, whom the Egyptians keep in bondage;"--not whom
the Egyptians, availing themselves of their absolute power, compel to
make brick without straw, and seek to waste and exterminate by the
murder of their infant children;--but simply "whom the Egyptians keep in
bondage." These hardships and outrages were but the leaves and branches.
The root of the abomination was the bondage itself, the assertion of
absolute and slaveholding power by "a new king over Egypt, which knew
not Joseph." In the next verse God says: "I will rid you"--not only from
the burdens and abuses, as you would say, of bondage,--but "out of their
(the Egyptians) bondage" itself--out of the relation in which the
Egyptians oppressively and wickedly hold you.

God sends many messages to Pharaoh. In no one of them does He reprove
him for the abuses of the relation into which he had forced the Jews. In
no one of them is he called on to correct the evils which had grown out
of that relation. But, in every one, does God go to the root of the
evil, and command Pharaoh, "let my people go"--"let my people go, that
they may serve me." The abolitionist is reproachfully called an
"ultraist" and "an immediatist." It seems that God was both, when
dealing with this royal slaveholder:--for He commanded Pharaoh, not to
mitigate the bondage of the Israelites, but to deliver them from it--and
that, too, immediately. The system of slavery is wicked in God's sight,
and, therefore, did He require of Pharaoh its immediate abandonment. The
phrase, "let my people go, that they may serve me," shows most
strikingly one feature of resemblance between Egyptian and American
slavery. Egyptian slavery did not allow its subjects to serve God,
neither does American. The Egyptian master stood between his slave and
their God: and how strikingly and awfully true is it, that the American
master occupies the like position! Not only is the theory of slavery,
the world over, in the face of God's declaration; "all souls are mine:"
but American slaveholders have brought its practical character to
respond so fully to its theory--they have succeeded, so well, in
excluding the light and knowledge of God from the minds of their
slaves--that they laugh at His claim to "all souls."

3d. Paul, in one of his letters to the Corinthian Church, tells
servants--say slaves, to suit your views--if they may be free, to prefer
freedom to bondage. But if it be the duty of slaves to prefer freedom to
bondage, how clearly is it the correlative duty of the master to grant
it to him! You interpret the Apostle's language, in this case, as I do;
and it is not a little surprising, that, with your interpretation of it,
you can still advocate slavery. You admit, that Paul says--I use your
own words--"a state of freedom, on the whole, is the best." Now, it
seems to me, that this admission leaves you without excuse, for
defending slavery. You have virtually yielded the ground. And this
admission is especially fatal to your strenuous endeavors to class the
relation of master and slave with the confessedly proper relations of
life, and to show that, like these, it is approved of God. Would Paul
say to the child, "a state of freedom" from parental government "on the
whole is the best?" Would he say to the wife, "a state of freedom from
your conjugal bonds" on the whole is the best? Would he say to the child
and wife, in respect to this freedom, "use it rather?" Would he be thus
guilty of attempting to annihilate the family relation?

Does any one wonder, that the Apostle did not use stronger language, in
advising to a choice and enjoyment of freedom? It is similar to that
which a pious, intelligent, and prudent abolitionist would now use under
the like circumstances. Paul was endeavoring to make the slave contented
with his hard lot, and to show him how unimportant is personal liberty,
compared with liberation from spiritual bondage: and this explains why
it is, that he spoke so briefly and moderately of the advantages of
liberty. His advice to the slave to accept the boon of freedom, was a
purely incidental remark: and we cannot infer from it, how great stress
he would have laid on the evils of slavery, and on the blessings of
liberty, in a discourse treating directly and mainly of those subjects.
What I have previously said, however, shows that it would, probably,
have been in vain, and worse than in vain, for him to have come out, on
any occasion whatever, with an exposition of the evils of slavery.

On the thirty-second page of your book, you say, "Masters cannot,
according to the command of Christ, render to their slaves that which is
just and equal, if you abolish the relation; for, then they will cease
to be masters." Abolish any of the relations for which regulations are
provided "in the New Testament, and, in effect, you abolish some of the
laws of Christ." But, we have just seen that Paul was in favor of
abolishing the relation of master and slave; which, as you insist, is a
relation for which regulations are provided in the New Testament. It is,
therefore, irresistibly deduced from your own premises, that he was in
favor of abolishing "the laws of Christ." It would require but little,
if any, extension of your doctrine, to make it wrong to remove all the
graven images out of a nation. For, in that event, the law of God
against bowing down to them would have nothing left to act upon. It
would thenceforth be inoperative.

4th. Another reason for believing, that the Apostles did not approve of
the slavery modification of servitude, is found in Paul's injunction;
"Remember them that are in bonds as bound with them." I admit, that it
is probable that others as well as slaves, are referred to in this
injunction: but it certainly is not probable, that others, to the
exclusion of slaves, are referred to. But, even on the supposition that
slaves are not referred to, but those only who are tenants of prisons,
let me ask you which you would rather be--a slave or a prisoner, as Paul
probably was when he wrote this injunction?--and whether your own
description of the wretched condition of the Roman slave, does not
prepare you to agree with me, that if the Apostle could ask sympathy for
the prisoner, who, with all his deprivations, has still the protection
of law, it is not much more due to the poor slave, who has no protection
whatever against lawless tyranny and caprice!

But to proceed, if slaves are the only, or even a part of the persons
referred to in the injunction, then you will observe, that the Apostle
does not call for the exercise of sympathy towards those who are said to
be suffering what you call the _abuses_ of slavery; but towards those
who are so unhappy as to be but the subjects of it--towards those who
are "in bonds." The bare relation of a slave is itself so grievous, as
to call for compassion towards those who bear it. Now, if this relation
were to be classed with the approved relations of life, why should the
Apostle have undertaken to awaken compassion for persons, simply because
they were the subject, of it? He never asked for sympathy for persons,
simply because they were parties to the relations of husband and wife,
parent and child. It may be worthy of notice, that the injunction under
consideration is found in Paul's letter to the Jewish Christians. This
attempt to awaken pity in behalf of the slave, and to produce abhorrence
of slavery, was made upon these, and not upon the Gentile Christians;
because, perhaps, that they, who had always possessed the Oracles of
God, could bear it; and they who had just come up out of the mire of
heathenism, could not. If this explanation be just, it enforces my
argument for ascribing to causes, other than the alleged sinfulness of
the institution, the Apostle's omission to utter specific rebukes of
slavery.

5th. Another reason for believing that the slavery modification of
servitude should not be classed with the confessedly proper relations
with which you class it, is the conclusive one, that it interferes with,
and tends to subvert, and does actually subvert, these relations. The
Apostles prescribe duties, which are necessary to sustain these
relations, and make them fruitful sources of happiness to the parties to
them. Among these duties are the following: "Wives, submit yourselves to
your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord"--"Children, obey your
parents"--"Husbands, dwell with them" (your wives). But slavery, where
it does not make obedience to these commands utterly impossible,
conditions it on the permission of usurpers, who have presumed to step
between the laws of God and those on whom they are intended to bear.
Slavery, not the law of God, practically determines whether husbands
shall dwell with their wives: and an amount of anguish, which God alone
can compute, testifies that slavery has thus determined, times without
number, that husbands shall not dwell with their wives. A distinguished
gentleman, who has been much at the South, is spending a little time in
my family. He told me but this day, that he had frequently known the air
filled with shrieks of anguish for a whole mile around the spot, where,
under the hammer of the auctioneer, the members of a family were
undergoing an endless separation from each other. It was but last week,
that a poor fugitive reached a family, in which God's commands, "Hide
the outcasts, betray not him that wandereth"--"Hide not thyself from thy
own flesh"--are not a dead letter. The heaviest burden of his heart is,
that he has not seen his wife for five years, and does not expect to see
her again: his master, in Virginia, having sold him to a Georgian, and
his wife to an inhabitant of the District of Columbia. Whilst the law of
God requires wives to "submit themselves to their husbands, as it is fit
in the Lord;" the law of slavery commands them, under the most terrific
penalties, to submit to every conceivable form of violence, and the most
loathsome pollution, "as it is fit" in the eyes of slaveholders--no
small proportion of whom are, as a most natural fruit of slavery,
abandoned to brutality and lust. The laws of South Carolina and Georgia
make it an offence punishable with death, "if any slave shall presume to
strike a white person." By the laws of Maryland and Kentucky, it is
enacted "if any negro, mulatto, or Indian, bond or free, shall, at any
time, lift his or her hand in opposition to any person, not being a
negro or Indian, he or she shall, in the first-mentioned State, suffer
the penalty of cropped ears; and, in the other, thirty-nine lashes on
his or her bare back, well laid on, by order of the justice." In
Louisiana there is a law--for the enactment of which, slavery is, of
course, responsible--in these words: "Free people of color ought never
to insult or strike white people, nor presume to conceive themselves
equal to the whites: but, on the contrary, they ought _to yield to them
on every occasion_, and never speak or answer them but with respect,
under the penalty of imprisonment, according to the nature of the
offence." The following extract of a letter, written to me from the
South, by a gentleman who still resides there, serves to show how true
it is, that "on every occasion," the colored person must yield to the
white, and, especially, if the white be clothed with the authority of an
ambassador of Christ. "A negro was executed in Autauga Co., not long
since, for the murder of his master. The latter, it seems, attempted to
violate the wife of his slave in his presence, when the negro enraged,
smote the wretch to the ground. And this master--this brute--this
fiend--was a preacher of the gospel, in regular standing!" In a former
part of this communication, I said enough to show, that slavery prevents
children from complying with the command to obey their parents. But, in
reply to what I have said of these outrages on the rights of husbands
and wives, parents and children, you maintain, that they are no part of
the system of slavery. Slaveholders, however, being themselves judges,
they are a part of it, or, at least, are necessary to uphold it; else
they would not by deliberate, solemn legislation, authorize them. But,
be this as it may, it is abundantly proven, that slavery is, essentially
and inevitably, at war with the sacred rights of the family state. Let
me say, then, in conclusion under this head, that in whatever other
company you put slavery, place it not in that of the just relations of
husband and wife, parent and child. They can no more company with each
other, than can fire with water. Their natures are not only totally
opposite to, but destructive of, each other.

6th. The laws, to which you refer on the sixty-eighth page of your book,
tend to prove, and, so far as your admission of the necessity of them
goes, do prove, that the relation of slaveholder and slave does not
deserve a place, in the class of innocent and proper relations. You
there say, that the writings of "such great and good men as Wesley,
Edwards, Porteus, Paley, Horsley, Scott, Clark, Wilberforce, Sharp,
Clarkson, Fox, Johnson, and a host of as good if not equally great, men
of later date," have made it necessary for the safety of the institution
of slavery, to pass laws, forbidding millions of our countrymen to read.
You should have, also, mentioned the horrid sanctions of these
laws--stripes, imprisonment, and death. Now, these laws disable the
persons on whom they bear, from fulfilling God's commandments, and,
especially, His commandment to "search the Scriptures." They are,
therefore, wicked. What then, in its moral character, must be a
relation, which, to sustain it, requires the aid of wicked laws?--and,
how entirely out of place must it be, when you class it with those just
relations of life, that, certainly, require none of the support, which,
you admit, is indispensable to the preservation of the relation of
slaveholder and slave! It is true, that you attempt to justify the
enactment of the laws in question, by the occasions which you say led to
it. But, every law forbidding what God requires, is a wicked law--under
whatever pretexts, or for whatever purposes, it may have been enacted.
Let the occasions which lead to a wicked measure be what they may, the
wickedness of the measure is still sufficient to condemn it.

In the case before us, we see how differently different persons are
affected by the same fact. Whilst the stand taken against slavery by
Wesley, Edwards, and the other choice spirits you enumerate, serves but
to inspire you with concern for its safety, it would, of itself, and
without knowing their reasons for it, be well nigh enough to destroy my
confidence in the institution. Let me ask you, Sir, whether it would not
be more reasonable for those, who are so industriously engaged in
insulating the system of American slavery, and shrouding it with
darkness, to find less fault with the bright and burning light which the
writings of the wisest and best men pour upon it, and more with the
system which "hateth the light, neither cometh to the light."

You would have your readers believe, that the blessings of education are
to be withheld from your slaves--only "until the storm shall be
overblown," and that you hope that "Satan's being let loose will be but
for a little season." I say nothing more about the last expression, than
that I most sincerely desire you may penitently regret having attributed
the present holy excitement against slavery to the influences of Satan.
By "the storm" you, doubtless, mean the excitement produced by the
publications and efforts of the American Anti-Slavery Society. Now, I
will not suppose that you meant to deceive your readers on this point.
You are, nevertheless, inexcusable for using language so strikingly
calculated to lead them into error. It is not yet three years since that
Society was organized: but the statute books of some of the slave States
contain laws, forbidding the instruction of slaves in reading, which
were enacted long before you and I were born. As long ago as the year
1740, South Carolina passed a law, forbidding to teach slaves to write.
Georgia did so in 1770. In the year 1800, thirty-three years before "the
storm" of the Anti-Slavery Society began to blow, South Carolina passed
a law, forbidding "assemblies of slaves, free negroes, &c., for the
purpose of mental instruction." In the Revised Code of Virginia of 1819,
is a law similar to that last mentioned. In the year 1818, the city of
Savannah forbade by an ordinance, the instruction of all persons of
color, either free or bond, in reading and writing. I need not specify
any more of these man-crushing, soul-killing, God-defying laws;--nor
need I refer again to the shocking penalties annexed to the violation of
most of them. I conclude my remarks under this head, with the advice,
that, in the next edition of your book, you do not assign the
anti-slavery excitement, which is now spreading over our land, as the
occasion of the passage of the laws in question.

7th. The only other reason I will mention for believing, that the
slavery modification of servitude is not approved of God, is, that it
has never been known _to work well_--never been known to promote man's
happiness or God's glory. Wickedness and wretchedness are, so uniformly,
the product of slavery, that they must be looked upon, not as its
abuses, but as its legitimate fruits. Whilst all admit, that the
relations of the family state are, notwithstanding their frequent
perversions, full of blessings to the world; and that, but for them, the
world would be nothing better than one scene of pollution and wo;--to
what history of slavery will you refer me, for proof of its beneficent
operation? Will it be to the Bible history of Egyptian slavery? No--for
that informs us of the exceeding wickedness and wretchedness of Egyptian
slavery. Will it be to the history of Greek and Roman slavery? No--for
your own book acknowledges its unutterable horrors and abominations.
Will you refer me to the history of the West Indies for proofs of the
happy fruits of slavery? Not until the earth is no more, will its
polluted and bloody pages cease to testify against slavery. And, when we
have come down to American slavery, you will not even open the book
which records such facts, as that its subjects are forbidden to be
joined in wedlock, and to read the Bible. No--you will not presume to
look for a single evidence of the benign influences of a system, where,
by the admission of your own ecclesiastical bodies, it has turned
millions of men into heathen. I say nothing now of your beautiful and
harmless theories of slavery:--but this I say, that when you look upon
slavery as it has existed, or now exists, either amidst the darkness of
Mahommedanism or the light of Christianity, you dare not, as you hope
for the Divine favor, say that it is a Heaven-descended institution; and
that, notwithstanding it is like Ezekiel's roll, "written within and
without with lamentations and mourning and wo," it, nevertheless, bears
the mark of being a boon from God to man.

Having disposed of your "strong reasons" for the position, that the New
Testament authorizes slavery, I proceed to consider your remaining
reasons for it.

Because it does not appear, that our Saviour and the Apostle Peter told
certain centurions, who, for the sake of the argument, I will admit were
slaveholders, that slaveholding is sinful, you argue, and most
confidently too, that it is not sinful. But, it does not appear, that
the Saviour and the Apostle charged _any_ sinful practices upon them.
Then, by your logic, all their other practices, as well as their
slaveholding, were innocent, and these Roman soldiers were literally
perfect.--Again; how do you know that the Saviour and the Apostle did
not tell them, on the occasion you refer to, that they were sinners for
being slaveholders? The fact, that the Bible does not inform us that
they told them so, does not prove that they did not; much less does it
prove, that they did not tell them so subsequently to their first
interview with them. And again, the admission that they did not
specifically attack slavery, at any of their interviews with the
centurions, or on any other occasions whatever, would not justify the
inference, that it is sinless. I need not repeat the reasoning which
makes the truth of this remark apparent.

You refer to the Saviour's declaration of the unequaled faith of one of
these centurions, with the view of making it appear that a person of so
great faith could not be a great sinner. But, how long had he exercised
this, or, indeed, any Christian faith? That he was on good terms with
the Jews, and had built them a synagogue, is quite as strong evidence,
that he had not, as that he had, previously to that time, believed in
Jesus:--and, if he had not, then his faith, however strong, and his
conversion, however decided, are nothing towards proving that slavery is
sinless.

It is evident, that the Apostle was sent to Cornelius for the single
purpose of inculcating the doctrine of the remission of sin, through
faith in Christ.

I proceed to examine another of your arguments. From Paul's declaration
to the Elders at Miletus, "I have not shunned to declare unto you all
the counsel of God," taken in connexion with the fact, that the Bible
does not inform us that he spoke to them of slaveholding, you
confidently and exultingly infer that it is innocent. Here, again, you
prove too much, and therefore, prove nothing. It does not appear that he
specified a hundredth part of their duties. If he did not tell them to
abstain from slaveholding, neither did he tell them to abstain from
games and theatres. But, his silence about slaveholding proves to your
mind its sinlessness: equally then should his silence about games and
theatres satisfy you of their innocence. Two radical errors run through
a great part of your book. They are, that the Apostle gave specific
instructions concerning all duties, and that the Bible contains these
instructions. But, for these errors, your book would be far less
objectionable than it is. I might, perhaps, rather say, that but for
these, you could not have made up your book.

And now, since Paul's address to the Elders has been employed by you in
behalf of slavery, allow me to try its virtue against slavery: and, if
it should turn out that you are slain with your own weapon, it will not
be the first time that temerity has met with such a fate. I admit, that
the Apostle does not tell the Elders of any wrong thing which they had
done; but there are some wrong things from which he had himself
abstained, and some right things which he had himself done, of which he
does tell them. He tells them, for instance, that he had not been guilty
of coveting what was another's, and also, that with his own hands he had
ministered to his own necessities and those of others: and he further
tells them, that they ought to copy his example, and labor, as he had
done, "to support the weak." Think you, sir, from this language that
Paul was a slaveholder--and, that his example was such, as to keep lazy,
luxurious slaveholders in countenance? The slaveholder is guilty of
coveting, not only all a man has, but even the man himself. The
slaveholder will not only not labor with his hands to supply the wants
of others, and "to support the weak;" but he makes others labor to
supply his wants:--yes, makes them labor unpaid--night and day--in
storm, as well as in sunshine--under the
lash--bleeding--groaning--dying--and all this, not to minister to his
actual needs, but to his luxuriousness and sensuality.

You ridicule the idea of the abolition of slavery, because it would make
the slaveholder "so poor, as to oblige him to take hold of the maul and
wedge himself--he must catch, curry, and saddle his own horse--he must
black his own brogans (for he will not be able to buy boots)--his wife
must go herself to the wash-tub--take hold of the scrubbing broom, wash
the pots, and cook all that she and her rail-mauler will eat." If Paul
were, as you judge he was, opposed to the abolition of slavery, it is at
least certain, from what he says of the character of his life in his
address to the Elders, that his opposition did not spring from such
considerations as array you against it. In his estimation, manual labor
was honorable. In a slaveholding community, it is degrading. It is so in
your own judgment, or you would not hold up to ridicule those humble
employments, which reflect disgrace, only where the moral atmosphere is
tainted by slavery. That the pernicious influences of slavery in this
respect are felt more or less, in every part of this guilty nation, is
but too true. I put it to your candor, sir, whether the obvious fact,
that slavery makes the honest labor of the hands disreputable, is not a
weighty argument against the supposition that God approves it? I put it
to your candor, sir, whether the fact, which you, at least, cannot
gain-say, that slavery makes even ministers of the gospel despise the
employments of seven-eighths of the human family, and, consequently, the
humble classes, who labor in them--I put it to your candor, whether the
institution, which breeds such contempt of your fellow-men and fellow
Christians, must not be offensive to Him, who commands us to "Honor all
men, and love the brotherhood?"

In another argument, you attempt to show, that Paul's letter to Philemon
justifies slaveholding, and also the apprehension and return of fugitive
slaves. After having recited the Resolution of the Chilicothe
Presbytery--"that to apprehend a slave who is endeavoring to escape from
slavery, with a view to restore him to his master, is a direct violation
of the Divine law, and, when committed by a member of the church, ought
to subject him to censure"--you undertake to make your readers believe,
that Paul's sending Onesimus to Philemon, is a case coming fairly within
the purview of the resolution. Let us see if it does. A man by the name
of Onesimus was converted to Christianity, under Paul's ministry at
Rome. Paul learnt that he had formerly been a servant--say a slave--of
Philemon, who was a "dearly beloved" Christian: and believing that his
return to his old master would promote the cause of Christ, and
beautifully exemplify its power, he advised him to return to him. He
followed the Apostle's advice and returned. Now, from this example, you
attempt to derive a justification for "a member of a Church" to be
engaged in forcibly apprehending and restoring fugitive slaves. I say
forcibly--as the apprehension and return, referred to in the Resolution,
are clearly forcible. I cannot refrain, sir, from saying, that you
greatly wrong the memory of that blessed Apostle of the Lord Jesus, in
construing his writings to authorize such violence upon the persons and
rights of men. And greatly, also, do you wrong the Resolution in
question, by your endeavor to array the Bible against it. The Resolution
is right; it is noble--it denotes in the source whence it emanated, a
proper sense of the rights and dignity of man. It is all the better for
being marked with an honorable contempt of wicked and heaven-daring
laws. May I, having the suspicion, or even the certain knowledge, that
my fellow man was once held in slavery, and is still _legally_ a slave,
seize upon him and reduce him again to slavery? May I thus deal with a
guiltless and unaccused brother? Human laws may, it is true, bear me out
in this man-stealing, which is not less flagrant than that committed on
the coast of Africa:--but, says the Great Law-giver, "The word that I
have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day:"--and, it is a
part of this "word," that "he that stealeth a man shall surely be put to
death." In that last day, the mayors, recorders, sheriffs, and others,
who have been engaged, whether in their official or individual capacity,
in slave-catching and man-stealing, will find human laws but a flimsy
protection against the wrath of Him, who judges his creatures by his own
and not by human laws. In that "last day," all who have had a part, and
have not repented of it, in the sin of treating man as property; all, I
say, whether slaveholders or their official or unofficial assistants,
the drivers upon their plantations, or their drivers in the free
States--all, who have been guilty of throwing God's "image" into the
same class with the brutes of the field--will find, that He is the
avenger of his poorest, meanest ones--and that the crime of transmuting
His image into property, is but aggravated by the fact and the plea that
it was committed under the sanction of human laws.

But, to return--wherein does the letter of Paul to Philemon justify
slaveholding? What evidence does it contain, that Philemon was a
slaveholder at the time it was written? He, who had been his slave "in
time past," had, very probably, escaped before Philemon's conversion to
Christ. This "time past," may have been a _long_ "time past." The word
in the original, which is translated "in time past," does not forbid the
supposition. Indeed, it is the same word, which the Apostle uses in the
thirteenth verse of the first chapter of Galatians; and there it denotes
a _long_ "time past"--as much as from fifteen to eighteen years.
Besides, Onesimus' escape and return both favor the supposition, that it
was between the two events that Philemon's conversion took place. On the
one hand, he fled to escape from the cruelties of an unconverted master;
on the other, he was encouraged to follow the Apostle's advice, by the
consideration, that on his return to Philemon he should not have to
encounter again the unreasonableness and rage of a heathen, but that he
should meet with the justice and tenderness of a Christian--qualities,
with the existence and value of which, he had now come to an
experimental acquaintance. Again, to show that the letter in question
does not justify slaveholding--in what character was it, that Paul sent
Onesimus to Philemon? Was it in that of a slave? Far from it. It was, in
that of "a brother beloved," as is evident from his injunction to
Philemon to "receive him forever--not now as a _slave_, but above a
_slave_--a brother beloved."

It is worthy of remark, that Paul's message to Philemon, shows, not only
that he himself was not in favor of slaveholding, but, that he believed
the gospel had wrought such an entire change on this subject, in the
heart of Philemon, that Onesimus would find on his return to him, the
tyrant and the slaveholder sunk in the brother and the Christian.

Paul's course in relation to Onesimus was such, as an abolitionist would
deem it proper to adopt, under the like circumstances. If a fugitive
slave, who had become a dear child of God, were near me, and, if I knew
that his once cruel master had also become a "dearly beloved" Christian;
and if, therefore, I had reason to believe, as Paul had, in the case of
Philemon, that he would "receive him forever--not now as a _slave_, but
above a _slave_, a brother beloved," I would advise him to revisit his
old master, provided he could do so, without interference and violence
from others. Such interference and violence did not threaten Onesimus in
his return to Philemon. He was not in danger of being taken up,
imprisoned, and sold for his jail fees, as a returning Onesimus would be
in parts of this nation.

On the 72d page of your book, you utter sentiments, which, I trust, all
your readers will agree, are unworthy of a man, a republican, and a
Christian. You there endeavor again to make it appear, that it is not
the _relation_ of master and slave, but only the abuse of it, which is
to be objected to.--You say: "Independence is a charming idea,
especially to Americans: but what gives it the charm? Is it the thing in
itself? or is it because it is a release from the control of a bad
master? Had Great Britain been a kind master, our ancestors were willing
to remain her slaves." In reply to this I would say, that it must be a
base spirit which does not prize "independence" for its own sake,
whatever privation and suffering may attend it; and much more base must
be that spirit, which can exchange that "independence" for a state of
slavish subjection--even though that state abound in all sensual
gratifications. To talk of "a kind master" is to talk of a blessing for
a dog, but not for a man, who is made to "call no man master." Were the
people of this nation like yourself, they would soon exchange their
blood-bought liberties for subjection to any despot who would promise
them enough to eat, drink, and wear. But, I trust, that we at the North
are "made of sterner stuff." They, who make slaves of others, can more
easily become slaves themselves: for, in their aggressions upon others,
they have despised and trampled under foot those great, eternal
principles of right, which _not only_ constitute the bulwark of the
general freedom; but his respect for which is indispensable to every
man's valuation and protection of his individual liberties. This train
of thought associates with itself in my mind, the following passage in
an admirable speech delivered by the celebrated William Pinckney, in the
Maryland House of Delegates in 1789. Such a speech, made at the present
time in a slave State, would probably cost the life of him who should
make it; nor could it be delivered in a free States at any less
sacrifice, certainly, than that of the reputation of the orator. What a
retrograde movement has liberty made in this country in the last fifty
years!

"Whilst a majority of your citizens are accustomed to rule with the
authority of despots, within particular limits--while your youths are
reared in the habit of thinking that the great rights of human nature
are not so sacred, but they may with innocence be trampled on, can it be
expected, that the public mind should glow with that generous ardor in
the cause of freedom, which can alone save a government, like ours, from
the lurking demon of usurpation? Do you not dread the contamination of
principle? Have you no alarms for the continuance of that spirit, which
once conducted us to victory and independence, when the talons of power
were unclasped for our destruction? Have you no apprehension left, that
when the votaries of freedom sacrifice also at the gloomy altars of
slavery, they will, at length, become apostates from them for ever? For
my own part, I have no hope, that the stream of general liberty will
flow for ever, unpolluted, through the foul mire of partial bondage, or
that they, who have been habituated to lord it over others, will not be
base enough, in time, to let others lord it over them. If they resist,
it will be the struggle of _pride_ and _selfishness_, not of
_principle_."

Had Edmund Burke known slaveholders as well as Mr. Pinckney knew them,
he would not have pronounced his celebrated eulogium on their love of
liberty;--he would not have ascribed to them any love of liberty, but
the spurious kind which the other orator, impliedly, ascribes to
them--that which "pride and selfishness" beget and foster. Genuine love
of liberty, as Mr. Pinckney clearly saw, springs from "principle," and
is found no where but in the hearts of those who respect the liberties
and the rights of others.

I had reason, in a former part of this communication, to charge some of
the sentiments of Professor Hodge with being alike reproachful to the
memory of our fathers, and pernicious to the cause of civil liberty.
There are sentiments on the 72d page of your book, obnoxious to the like
charge. If political "independence"--if a free government--be the poor
thing--the illusive image of an American brain--which you sneeringly
represent it, we owe little thanks to those who purchased it for us,
even though they purchased it with their blood; and little pains need we
take in that case to preserve it. When will the people of the Northern
States see, that the doctrines now put forth so industriously to
maintain slavery, are rapidly undermining liberty?

On the 43d page of your book you also evince your low estimate of man's
rights and dues. You there say, "the fact that the planters of
Mississippi and Louisiana, even while they have to pay from twenty to
twenty-five dollars per barrel for pork the present season, afford to
their slaves from three to four and a half pounds per week, does not
show, that they are neglectful in rendering to their slaves that which
is just and equal." If men had only an animal, and not a spiritual and
immortal nature also, it might do for you to represent them as well
provided for, if but pork enough were flung to them. How preposterous to
tell us, that God approves a system which brings a man, as slavery seems
to have brought you, to regard his fellow man as a mere animal!

I am happy to find that you are not all wrong. You are no "gradualist."
You are not inconsistent, like those who admit that slavery is sinful,
and yet refuse to treat it as sinful. I hope our Northern "gradualists"
will profit by the following passage in your book: "If I were convinced
by that word (the Bible) that slavery is itself a sin, I trust that, let
it cost what it would, I should be an abolitionist, because there is no
truth, more clear to my mind, than that the gospel requires an
_immediate_ abandonment of sin."

You have no doubt of your right to hold your fellow men, as slaves. I
wish you had given your readers more fully your views of the origin of
this right. I judge from what you say, that you trace it back to the
curse pronounced by Noah upon Canaan. But was that curse to know no end?
Were Canaan's posterity to endure the entailment of its disabilities and
woes, until the end of time? Was Divine mercy never to stay the
desolating waves of this curse? Was their harsh and angry roar to reach,
even into the gospel dispensation, and to mingle discordantly with the
songs of "peace on earth and good will to men?" Was the captivity of
Canaan's race to be even stronger than He, who came "to bind up the
broken-hearted, and proclaim liberty to the captives?" But who were
Canaan and his descendants? You speak of them, and with singular
unfairness, I think, as "_the_ posterity of Ham, from whom, it is
supposed, sprang the Africans." They were, it is true, a part of Ham's
posterity; but to call them "_the_ posterity of Ham," is to speak as
though he had no other child than Canaan. The fifteenth to nineteenth
verses of the tenth chapter of Genesis teach us, beyond all question,
that Canaan's descendants inhabited the land of Canaan and adjacent
territory, and that this land is identical with the country afterwards
occupied by the Jews, and known, in modern times, by the name of
Palestine, or the Holy Land. Therefore, however true it may be, that a
portion of Ham's posterity settled in Africa, we not only have no
evidence that it was the portion cursed, but we have conclusive evidence
that it was not.

But, was it a state of slavery to which Canaanites were doomed? I will
suppose, for a moment, that it was: and, then, how does it appear right
to enslave them? The curse in question is prophecy. Now prophecy does
not say what ought to come to pass: nor does it say, that they who have
an agency in the production of the foretold event, will be innocent in
that agency. If the prediction of an event justifies those who are
instrumental in producing it, then was Judas innocent in betraying our
Saviour. "It must needs be that offences come, but wo to that man by
whom the offence cometh." Prophecy simply tells what will come to pass.
The question, whether it was proper to enslave Canaanites, depends for
its solution not on the curse or prophecy in question. If the measure
were in conformity with the general morality of the Bible, then it was
proper. Was it in conformity with it? It was not. The justice, equity
and mercy which were, agreeable to the Divine command, to characterize
the dealings of the Jews with each other, are in such conformity, and
these are all violated by slavery. If those dealings were all based on
the general morality of the Bible, as they certainly were, then slavery,
which, in its moral character, is completely opposite to them, cannot
rest on that morality. If that morality did not permit the Jews to
enslave Canaanites, how came they to enslave them? You will say, that
they had special authority from God to do so, in the words, "Both thy
bondmen and thy bondmaids, which thou shalt have, shall be of the
heathen that are around about you; of them shall ye buy bondmen and
bondmaids." Well, I will admit that God did in one instance, and that He
may have done so in others, give special authority to the Jews to do
that, which, without such authority, would have been palpably and
grossly immoral. He required them to exterminate some of the tribes of
the Canaanites. He may have required them to bring other Heathens under
a form of servitude violative of the general morality of his word.--Of
course, no blame attaches to the execution of such commands. When He
specially deputes us to kill for Him, we are as innocent in the agency,
notwithstanding the general law, "thou shalt not kill," as is the
earthquake or thunderbolt, when commissioned to destroy. Samuel was as
innocent in hewing "Agag in pieces," as is the tree that falls upon the
traveler. It may be remarked, in this connexion, that the fact that God
gave a special statute to destroy some of the tribes of the Canaanites,
argues the contrariety of the thing required to the morality of the
Bible. It argues, that this morality would not have secured the
accomplishment of what was required by the statute. Indeed, it is
probable that it was, sometimes, under the influence of the tenderness
and mercy inculcated by this morality, that the Jews were guilty of
going counter to the special statute in question, and sparing the
devoted Canaanites, as in the instance when they "spared Agag." We might
reason, similarly to show that a special statute, if indeed there were
such a one, authorizing the Jews to compel the Heathen to serve them,
argues that compulsory service is contrary to fundamental morality. We
will suppose that God did; in the special statute referred to, clothe
the Jews with power to enslave Heathens, and now let me ask you, whether
it is by this same statute to enslave, that you justify your neighbors
and yourself for enslaving your fellow men? But this is a special
statute, conferring a power on the Jews only--a power too, not to
enslave whomsoever they could; but only a specified portion of the human
family, and this portion, as we have seen, of a stock, other than that
from which you have obtained your slaves. If the special statutes, by
which God clothed the Jews with peculiar powers, may be construed to
clothe you with similar powers, then, inasmuch as they were authorized
and required to kill Canaanites, you may hunt up for destruction the
straggling descendants of such of the devoted ones, as escaped the sword
of the Jews. Or, to make a different interpretation of your rights,
under this supposition; since the statute in question authorized and
required the Jews to kill the heathen, within the borders of what was
properly the Jews' country, then you are also authorized and required to
kill the heathens within the limits of your country:--and these are not
wanting, if the testimony of your ecclesiastical bodies, before referred
to, can be relied on; and, if it be as they say, that the millions of
the poor colored brethren in the midst of you are made heathens by the
operation of the system, to which, with unparalleled wickedness, they
are subjected.

If then, neither Noah's curse, nor the special statute in question,
authorize you to enslave your fellow men, there is, probably, but one
ground on which you will contend for authority to do so--and this is the
ground of the general morality of the Christian religion--of the general
principles of right and duty, in the word of God. Do you find your
authority on this ground? If you do, then, manifestly, you have a right
to enslave me, and I a right to enslave you, and every man has a right
to enslave whomsoever he can;--a right as perfect, as is the right to do
good to one another. Indeed, the enslavement of each other would, under
this construction of duty, _be_ the doing of good to one another. Think
you, sir, that the universal exercise of this right would promote the
fulfilment of the "new commandment that ye love one another?" Think you,
it would be the harbinger of millenial peace and blessedness? Or, think
you not, rather, that it would fully and frightfully realize the
prophet's declaration: "They all lie in wait for blood: they hunt every
man his neighbor with a net."

If any people have a right to enslave their fellow men, it must be the
Jews, if they once had it. But if they ever had it, it ceased, when all
their peculiar rights ceased. In respect to rights from the Most High,
they are now on the same footing with other races of men. When "the vail
of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom," then that
distinction from the Gentile, in which the Jew had gloried, ceased, and
the partition wall between them was prostrate for ever. The Jew, as well
as the Gentile, was never more to depart from the general morality of
the Bible. He was never again to be under any special statutes, whose
requirements should bring him into collision with that morality: He was
no more to confine his sympathies and friendships within the narrow
range of the twelve tribes: but every son and daughter of Adam were
thenceforth entitled to claim from him the heart and hand of a brother.
"Under the glorious dispensation of the gospel," says the immortal
Granville Sharp, "we are absolutely bound to consider ourselves as
citizens of the world; every man whatever, without any partial
distinction of nation, distance, or complexion, must necessarily be
esteemed our neighbor and our brother; and we are absolutely bound, in
Christian duty, to entertain a disposition towards all mankind, as
charitable and benevolent, at least, as that which was required of the
Jews under the law towards their brethren; and, consequently, it is
absolutely unlawful for those who call themselves Christians, to exact
of their brethren (I mean their brethren of the universe) a more
burthensome service, than that to which the Jews were limited with
respect to their brethren of the house of Israel; and the slavery or
involuntary bondage of a brother Israelite was absolutely forbid."

It occurs to me, that after all which has been said to satisfy you, that
compulsory servitude, if such there were among the Jews, cannot properly
be pleaded in justification of yours; a question may still be floating
in your mind whether, if God directed his chosen people to enslave the
Heathen, slavery should not be regarded as a good system of servitude?
Just as pertinently may you ask, whether that is not a good system of
servitude, which is found in some of our state prisons. Punishment
probably--certainly not labor--is the leading object in the one case as
well as the other: and the labor of the bondman in the one, as well as
of the convict in the other, constitutes but a subordinate
consideration. To suppose that God would, with every consideration out
of view, but that of having the best relation of employer and laborer,
make choice of slavery--to suppose that He believes that this state of
servitude operates most beneficially, both for the master and the
servant--is a high impeachment of the Divine wisdom and goodness. But
thus guilty are you, if you are unwilling to believe, that, if He chose
the severe servitude in question, He chose it for the punishment of his
enemies, or from some consideration, other than its suitableness for the
ordinary purposes of the relation of master and servant.

But it has been for the sake of argument only, that I have admitted that
God authorized the Jews to enslave the heathen. I now totally deny that
He did so. You will, of course, consent that if He did so, it was in a
special statute, as was the case when He authorized them to exterminate
other heathen: and you will as readily consent that He enacted the
statutes, in both instances, with the view of punishing his enemies.
Now, in killing the Canaanites, the Jew was constituted, not the owner
of his devoted fellow man, but simply the executioner of God's
vengeance: and evidently, such and no other was his character when he
was reducing the Canaanite to involuntary servitude--that he did so
reduce him, and was commissioned by God to do so, is the supposition we
make for the sake of argument. Had the Jews been authorized by God to
shut up in dungeons for life those of the heathen, whom they were
directed to have for bondmen and bondmaids, you would not claim, that
they, any more than sheriffs and jailers in our day, are to be
considered in the light of owners of the persons in their charge. Much
less then, can the Jews be considered as the owners of any person whom
they held in servitude: for, however severe the type of that servitude,
the liberty of its subject was not restricted, as was that of the
prisoners in question:--most certainly, the power asserted over him is
not to be compared in extent with that asserted by the Jew over the
Canaanite, whom he slew;--a case in which he was, indisputably, but the
executioner of the Divine wrath. The Canaanite, whether devoted to a
violent death or to an involuntary servitude, still remained the
property of God: and God no more gave him up to be the property of the
executioner of his wrath, than the people of the State of New York give
up the offender against public justice to be the property of the
ministers of that justice. God never suspends the accountability of his
rational creatures to himself: and his rights to them, He never
transfers to others. He could not do so consistently with his
attributes, and his indissoluble relations to man. But slavery claims,
that its subjects are the property of man. It claims to turn them into
mere chattels, and to make them as void of responsibility to God, as
other chattels. Slavery, in a word, claims to push from his throne the
Supreme Being, who declares, "all souls are mine." That it does not
succeed in getting its victim out of God's hand, and in unmanning and
_chattelizing_ him--that God's hold upon him remains unbroken, and that
those upward tendencies of the soul, which distinguish man from the
brute, are not yet entirely crushed in him--is no evidence in favor of
its nature:--it simply proves, that its power is not equal to its
purposes. We see, then, that the Jews--if it be true that they reduced
their fellow men to involuntary servitude, and did so as the
Heaven-appointed ministers of God's justice,--are not to be charged with
slaveholding for it. There may be involuntary servitude where there is
no slavery. The essential and distinguishing feature of slavery is its
reduction of man to property--to a thing. A tenant of one of our state
prisons is under a sentence of "hard labor for life." But he is not a
slave. That is, he is not the _thing_ which slavery would mark its
subject. He is still a man. Offended justice has placed him in his
present circumstances, because he is a man: and, it is because he is a
_man_ and not a _thing_--a responsible, and not an irresponsible being,
that he must continue in his present trials and sufferings.

God's commandments to the Jews, respecting servants and strangers, show
that He not only did not authorize them to set up the claim of property
in their fellow men, but that He most carefully guarded against such
exercises of power, as might lead to the assumption of a claim so
wrongful to Himself. Some of these commandments I will bring to your
notice. They show that whatever was the form of servitude under which
God allowed the Jews to hold the heathen, it was not slavery. Indeed, if
all of the Word of God which bears on this point were cited and duly
explained, it would, perhaps, appear that He allowed no involuntary
servitude whatever amongst the Jews. I give no opinion whether he
allowed it or not. There are strong arguments which go to show, that He
did not allow it; and with these arguments the public will soon be made
more extensively acquainted. It is understood, that the next number of
the Anti-Slavery Examiner will be filled with them.

1st. So galling are the bonds of Southern slavery, that it could not
live a year under the operation of a law forbidding the restoration of
fugitive servants to their masters. How few of the discontented subjects
of this oppressive servitude would agree with Hamlet, that it is better
to

  --"bear those ills we have,
  Than fly to others that we know not of."


What a running there would be from the slave States to the free!--from
one slave State to another!--from one plantation to another! Now, such a
law--a solemn commandment of God--many writers on slavery are of the
opinion, perhaps too confident opinion, was in force in the Jewish
nation (Deut. xxiii, 15); and yet the system of servitude on which it
bore, and which you cite as the pattern and authority for your own,
lived in spite of it. How could it? Manifestly, because its genius was
wholly unlike that of Southern slavery; and because its rigors and
wrongs, if rigors and wrongs there were in it, bear no comparison to
those which characterize Southern slavery; and which would impel
nine-tenths of its adult subjects to fly from their homes, did they but
know that they would not be obliged to return to them. When Southern
slaveholders shall cease to scour the land for fugitive servants, and to
hunt them with guns and dogs, and to imprison, and scourge, and kill
them;--when, in a word, they shall subject to the bearing of such a law
as that referred to their system of servitude, then we shall begin to
think that they are sincere in likening it to the systems which existed
among the Jews. The law, enacted in Virginia in 1705, authorizing any
two justices of the peace "by proclamation to _outlaw_ runaways, who
might thereafter be killed and destroyed by any person whatsoever, by
such ways and means as he might think fit, without accusation or
impeachment of any crime for so doing," besides that it justifies what I
have just said about hunting fugitive servants, shows, 1st. That the
American Anti-Slavery Society is of too recent an origin to be the
occasion, as slaveholders and their apologists would have us believe, of
all the cruel laws enacted at the South. 2d. That Southern slaveholders
would be very unwilling to have their system come under the operation of
such a law as that which allowed the Jewish servant to change his
master. 3d. That they are monsters, indeed, into which men may be turned
by their possession of absolute power.

You, perhaps, suppose, (and I frankly admit to you, that there is some
room for the supposition,) that the servants referred to in the 15th and
16th verses of the 23d chapter of Deuteronomy, were such as had escaped
from foreign countries to the country of the Jews. But, would this view
of the matter help you? By taking it, would you not expose yourself to
be most pertinently and embarrassingly asked, for what purpose these
servants fled to a strange and most odious people?--and would not your
candid reply necessarily be, that it was to escape from the galling
chains of slavery, to a far-famed milder type of servitude?--from
Gentile oppression, to a land in which human rights were protected by
Divine laws? But, as I have previously intimated, I have not the
strongest confidence in the anti-slavery argument, so frequently drawn
from this passage of the Bible. I am not sure that a Jewish servant is
referred to: nor that on the supposition of his being a foreigner, the
servant came under any form of servitude when entering the land of the
Jews. Before leaving the topic, however, let me remark, that the
passage, under any construction of it, makes against Southern slavery.
Admit that the fugitive servant was a foreigner, and that he was not
reduced to servitude on coming among the Jews, let me ask you whether
the law in question, under this view of it, would be tolerated by the
spirit of Southern slavery?--and whether, before obedience would be
rendered to it, you would not need to have a different type of
servitude, in the place of slavery? You would--I know you would--for you
have been put to the trial. When, by a happy providence, a vessel was
driven, the last year, to a West India island, and the chains of the
poor slaves with which it was filled fell from around them, under
freedom's magic power, the exasperated South was ready to go to war with
Great Britain. _Then_, the law against delivering up foreign servants to
their masters was not relished by you. The given case comes most
strikingly within the supposed policy of this law. The Gentile was to be
permitted to remain in the land to which he had fled, and where he would
have advantages for becoming acquainted with the God of the Bible. Such
advantages are they enjoying who escaped from the confessed heathenism
of Southern slavery to the island in question. They are now taught to
read that "Book of life," which before, they were forbidden to read. But
again, suppose a slave were to escape from a West India island into the
Southern States--would you, with your "domestic institutions," of which
you are so jealous, render obedience to this Divine law? No; you would
subject him _for ever_ to a servitude more severe than that, from which
he had escaped. Indeed, if a _freeman_ come within a certain portion of
our Southern country, and be so unhappy as to bear a physical
resemblance to the slave, he will be punished for that resemblance, by
imprisonment, and even by a reduction to slavery.

2d. Southern slaveholders, who, by their laws, own men as absolutely as
they own cattle, would have it believed, that Jewish masters thus owned
their fellow-men. If they did, why was there so wide a difference
between the commandment respecting the stray man, and that respecting
the stray ox or ass? The man was not, but the beasts were, to be
returned; and that too, even though their owner was the enemy of him who
met them. (Ex. 23. 4.) I repeat the question;--why this difference? The
only answer is, because God made the brute to be the _property_ of man;
but He never gave us our noble nature for such degradation. Man's title
deed, in the eighth Psalm, extends his right of property to the
inanimate and brute creation only--not to the flesh and bones and spirit
of his fellow-man.

3d. The very different penalties annexed to the crime of stealing a man,
and to that of stealing a thing, shows the eternal and infinite
difference which God has established between a man and property. The
stealing of a man was _surely_ to be punished with death; whilst mere
property was allowed to atone for the offence of stealing property.

4th. Who, if not the slave, can be said to be vexed and oppressed! But
God's command to his people was, that they should neither "vex a
stranger, nor oppress him."

5th. Such is the nature of American slavery, that not even its warmest
friends would claim that it could recover itself after such a "year of
jubilee" as God appointed. One such general delivery of its victims
would be for ever fatal to it. I am aware that you deny that all the
servants of the Jews shared in the blessings of the "year of jubilee."
But let me ask you, whether if one third or one half of your servants
were discharged from servitude every fiftieth year--and still more,
whether if a considerable proportion of them were thus discharged every
sixth year--the remainder would not be fearfully discontented? Southern
masters believe, that their only safety consists in keeping down the
discontent of their servants. Hence their anxious care to withhold from
them the knowledge of human rights. Hence the abolitionist who is caught
in a slave state, must be whipped or put to death. If there were a class
of servants amongst the Jews, who could bear to see all their fellow
servants go free, whilst they themselves were retained in bondage, then
that bondage was of a kind very different from what you suppose it to
have been. Had its subjects worn the galling chains of American slavery,
they would have struggled with bloody desperation for the deliverance
which they saw accorded to others.

I scarcely need say, that the Hebrew words rendered "bondmen" and
"bondmaids," do not, in themselves considered, and independently of the
connexion in which they are used, any more than the Greek words _doulos_
and _doule_, denote a particular kind of servant. If the servant was a
slave, because he was called by the Hebrew word rendered "bondman," then
was Jacob a slave also:--and even still greater absurdities could be
deduced from the position.

I promised, in a former part of this communication, to give you my
reasons for denying that you are at liberty to plead in behalf of
slavery, the example of any compulsory servitude in which Jews may have
held foreigners. My promise is now fulfilled, and I trust that the
reasons are such as not to admit of an answer.

Driven, as you now are, from every other conceivable defence of
slaveholding it may be (though I must hope better things of you), that
you will fly to the ground taken by the wicked multitude--that there is
authority in the laws of man for being a slaveholder. But, not only is
the sin of your holding slaves undiminished by the consideration, that
they are held under human laws; but, your claiming to hold them under
such laws, makes you guilty of an additional sin, which, if measured by
its pernicious consequences to others, is by no means inconsiderable.
The truth of these two positions is apparent from the following
considerations.

1st. There is no valid excuse to be found, either in man's laws or any
where else, for transgressing God's laws. Whatever may be thought, or
said to the contrary, it still remains, and for ever will remain true,
that under all circumstances, "sin is the transgression of the (Divine)
law."

2d. In every instance in which a commandment of God is transgressed,
under the cover and plea of a human law, purporting to permit what that
commandment forbids, there is, in proportion to the authority and
influence of the transgressor, a fresh sanction imparted to that law;
and consequently, in the same proportion the public habit of setting up
a false standard of right and wrong is promoted. It is this habit--this
habit of graduating our morality by the laws of the land in which we
live--that makes the "mischief framed by a law" so much more pernicious
than that which has no law to countenance it, and to commend it to the
conscience. Who is unaware, that nothing tends so powerfully to keep the
traffic in strong drink from becoming universally odious, as the fact,
that this body and soul destroying business finds a sanction in human
laws? Who has not seen the man, authorized by these laws to distribute
the poison amongst his tippling neighbors, proof against all the shafts
of truth, under the self-pleasing and self-satisfying consideration,
that his is a lawful business.

This habit of setting up man's law, instead of God's law, as the
standard of conduct, is strikingly manifested in the fact, that on the
ground, that the Federal Constitution binds the citizens of the United
States to perpetuate slavery, or at least, not to meddle with it, we
are, both at the North and the South, called on to forbear from all
efforts to abolish it. The exertions made to discover in that
instrument, authority for slavery, and authority against endeavors to
abolish it, are as great, anxious, and unwearied, as if they who made
them, thought that the fortunate discovery would settle for ever the
great question which agitates our country--would nullify all the laws of
God against slavery--and make the oppression of our colored brethren, as
long as time shall last, justifiable and praiseworthy. But this
discovery will never be made; for the Constitution is not on the side of
the slaveholder. If it were, however, it would clothe him with no moral
right to act in opposition to the paramount law of God. It is not at all
necessary to the support of my views, in this communication, to show
that the Constitution was not designed to favor slavery; and yet, a few
words to this end may not be out of place.

A treaty between Great Britain and Turkey, by the terms of which the
latter should be prohibited from allowing slaves to be brought within
her dominions, after twenty years from its date, would, all will admit,
redound greatly to the credit of Great Britain. To be sure, she would
not have done as much for the cause of humanity, as if she had succeeded
in bringing the further indulgence of the sin within the limits of a
briefer period, and incomparably less than if she had succeeded in
reconciling the Sublime Porte to her glorious and emphatically English
doctrines of immediate emancipation. But still she would deserve some
praise--much more than if she had done nothing in this respect. Now, for
my present purpose, and many of our statesmen say, for nearly all
purposes, the Federal Constitution is to be regarded as a treaty between
sovereign States. But how much more does this treaty do for the
abolition of slavery, than that on which we were, a moment since,
bestowing our praise! It imposes a prohibition similar to that in the
supposed treaty between Great Britain and Turkey, so that no slaves have
been allowed to be introduced into the United States since the year
1808. It goes further, and makes ample provision for the abolition and
prevention of slavery in every part of the nation, save these States; so
that the District of Columbia and the national territories can be
cleared forever of slavery, whenever a majority of the parties, bound by
the treaty, shall desire it. And it goes still farther, and clothes this
majority with the power of regulating commerce between the States, and
consequently, of prohibiting their mutual traffic in "the bodies and
souls of men." Had this treaty gone but one step farther, and made an
exception, as it should have done, in behalf of slaves, in the clause
making necessary provision for the return of fugitives held to service
in the States from which they flee, none but those who think it is
fairly held responsible for the twenty years indulgence of the unholy
traffic, would have claimed any thing more from it in relation to
slavery. Now, this instrument, which contains nothing more, bearing on
the subject of slavery, than what I have referred to, and whose pages
are not once polluted with the words "slave" and "slavery," is
abundantly and triumphantly cited, as conclusive authority in favor of
slavery, and against endeavors to abolish it. Whilst we regret, that the
true-hearted sons of freedom in the Convention which formed it, could
obtain no more concessions from the advocates of slavery, let us honor
their sacred memory, and thank God for those they did obtain.

I have supposed it possible, that you might number yourself with those,
who defend slavery on the ground of its alleged conformity with human
laws. It occurs to me, that you may, also, take hope, that slavery is
defensible in the supposed fact, that a considerable share of the
professing Christians, in the free States, are in favor of it. "Let God
be true, but every man a liar." If all professing Christians were for
slavery, yet, if God is against it, that is reason enough why you also
should be against it. It is not true, however, that a considerable share
of our professing Christians are on the side of slavery. Indeed, until I
read Professor Hodge's article, I had not supposed that any of them
denied its sinfulness. It is true, that a large proportion of them
refuse to take a stand against it. Let them justify to their
consciences, and to their God, as they can, the equivocal silence and
still more equivocal action on this subject, by which they have left
their Southern brethren to infer, that Northern piety sanctions slavery.
It is the doctrine of expediency, so prevalent and corrupting in the
American Church, which has deceived you into the belief, that a large
share of the professing Christians in the free States, think slavery to
be sinless. This share, which you have in your eye, is, as well as the
remainder, convinced that slavery is sinful--_only they think it
inexpedient to say so_. In relation to other sins, they are satisfied
with God's way of immediate abandonment. But, in relation to slavery,
they flatter themselves that they have discovered "a more excellent
way"--that of leaving the sin untouched, and simply hoping for its
cessation, at some indefinite period in the distant future. I say
hoping, instead of praying, as prayer for an object is found to be
accompanied by corresponding efforts. But for this vile doctrine of
expediency, which gives to our ecclesiastical bodies, whenever the
subject of such a giant and popular sin as slavery is broached in them,
the complexion of a political caucus steeped in unprincipled policy,
rather than that of a company of the Saviour's disciples, inquiring "in
simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom," the way of the
Lord;--but for this doctrine, I say, you would, long ago, have heard the
testimony of Northern Christians against Southern slavery;--and not only
so, but you would long ago have seen this Dagon fall before the power of
that testimony. I trust, however, that this testimony will not long be
withheld; and that Northern Christians will soon perceive, that, in
relation to slavery, as well as every other sin, it is the safest and
wisest, as well as the holiest course, to drop all carnal policy--to
"trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own
understanding."

Not only are Northern Christians, with very rare exceptions, convinced
of the sin of slavery; but even your slaveholders were formerly
accustomed, with nearly as great unanimity, to admit, that they
themselves thought it to be sinful. It is only recently, and since they
have found that their system must be tested by the Bible, thoroughly and
in earnest--not merely for the purpose, as formerly, of determining
without any practical consequences of the determination, what is the
moral character of slavery--but, for the purpose of settling the point,
whether the institution shall stand or fall,--it is only, I say, since
the civilized world has been fast coming to claim that it shall be
decided by the Bible, and by no lower standard, whether slavery shall or
shall not exist--that your slaveholders have found it expedient to take
the ground, that slavery is not sin.

It probably has not occurred to you, how fairly and fully you might have
been stopped, upon the very threshold of your defence of slavery. The
only witness you have called to the stand to sustain your sinking cause,
is the Bible. But this is a witness, which slavery has itself impeached,
and of which, therefore, it is not entitled to avail itself. It is a
good rule in our civil courts, that a party is not permitted to impeach
his own witness; and it is but an inconsiderable variation of the letter
of this rule, and obviously no violation of its spirit and policy to
say, that no party is permitted to attempt to benefit his cause by a
witness whom he has himself impeached. Now, the slaveholder palpably
violates this rule, when he presumes to offer the Bible as a witness for
his cause:--for he has previously impeached it, by declaring, in his
slave system, that it is not to be believed--that its requirements are
not to be obeyed--that they are not even to be read (though the Bible
expressly directs that they shall be)--that concubinage shall be
substituted for the marriage it enjoins--and that its other provisions
for the happiness, and even the existence, of the social relations,
shall be trampled under foot. The scene, in which a lawyer should ask
the jury to believe what his witness is saying at one moment, and to
reject what he is saying at another, would be ludicrous enough. But what
more absurdity is there in it than that which the pro-slavery party are
guilty of, when they would have us deaf, whilst their witness is
testifying in favor of marriage and searching the Scriptures; and, all
ears, whilst that same witness is testifying, as they construe it, in
favor of slavery! No--before it will be competent for the American
slaveholder to appeal to the Bible for justification of his system, that
system must be so modified, as no longer to make open, shameless war
upon the Bible. I would recommend to slaveholders, that, rather than
make so unhallowed a use of the Bible as to attempt to bolster up their
hard beset cause with it, they should take the ground, which a very
distinguished slaveholding gentleman of the city of Washington took, in
a conversation with myself on the subject of slavery. Feeling himself
uncomfortably plied by quotations from the word of God, he said with
much emphasis, "Stop, Sir, with that, if you please--SLAVERY IS A
SUBJECT, WHICH HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE BIBLE."

This practice of attempting to put the boldest and most flagrant sins
under the wing and sanction of the Bible, is chargeable on others as
well as on the advocates of slavery. Not to speak of other instances of
it--it is sought to justify by this blessed book the most despotic forms
of civil government, and the drinking of intoxicating liquors. There are
two evils so great, which arise from this perversion of the word of God,
that I cannot forbear to notice them. One is, that the consciences of
men are quieted, when they imagine that they have found a justification
in the Bible for the sins of which they are guilty. The other is, that
infidels are multiplied by this perversion. A respectable gentleman, who
edits a newspaper in this neighborhood, and who, unhappily, is not
established in the Christian faith, was asked, a few months since, to
attend a meeting of a Bible Society. "I am not willing," said he, in
reply, "to favor the circulation of a volume, which many of its friends
claim to be on the side of slavery." Rely on it, Sir, that wherever your
book produces the conviction that the Bible justifies slavery, it there
weakens whatever of respect for that blessed volume previously existed.
Whoever is brought to associate slavery with the Bible, may, it is true,
think better of slavery; but he will surely think worse of the Bible. I
hope, therefore, in mercy to yourself and the world, that the success of
your undertaking will be small.

But oftentimes the same providence has a bright, as well as a gloomy,
aspect. It is so in the case before us. The common attempt, in our day,
to intrench great sins in the authority of the Bible, is a consoling and
cheering evidence, that this volume is recognised as the public standard
of right and wrong; and that, whatever may be their private opinions of
it who are guilty of these sins, they cannot hope to justify themselves
before the world, unless their lives are, apparently, at least,
conformed, in some good degree, to this standard. We may add, too, that,
as surely as the Bible is against slavery, every pro-slavery writer, who
like yourself appeals to it as the infallible and only admissible
standard of right and wrong, will contribute to the overthrow of the
iniquitous system. His writings may not, uniformly, tend to this happy
result. In some instances, he may strengthen confidence in the system of
slavery by producing conviction, that the Bible sanctions it;--and then
his success will be, as before remarked, at the expense of the claims
and authority of the Bible:--but these instances of the pernicious
effects of his writings will be very rare, quite too rare we may hope,
to counterbalance the more generally useful tendency of writings on the
subject of slavery, which recognise the paramount authority of God's
law.

Having completed the examination of your book, I wish to hold up to you,
in a single view, the substance of what you have done. You have come
forth, the unblushing advocate of American slavery;--a system which,
whether we study its nature in the deliberate and horrid enactments of
its code, or in the heathenism and pollution and sweat and tears and
blood, which prove, but too well, the agreement of its practical
character with its theory--is, beyond all doubt, more oppressive and
wicked than any other, which the avaricious, sensual, cruel heart of man
ever devised. You have come forth, the unblushing advocate of a system
under which parents are daily selling their children; brothers and
sisters, their brothers and sisters; members of the Church of Christ,
their fellow-members--under which, in a word, immortal man, made "in the
image of God," is more unfeelingly and cruelly dealt with, than the
brute. I know that you intimate that this system would work well, were
it in the hands of none but good men. But with equal propriety might you
say, that the gaming-house or the brothel would work well in such hands.
You have attempted to sustain this system by the testimony of the Bible.
The system, a part only of the crimes of which, most of the nations of
Christendom have declared to be piracy;--against which, the common
sense, the philosophy, the humanity, the conscience of the world, are
arrayed;--this system, so execrable and infamous, you have had the
presumption to attempt to vindicate by that blessed book, whose Author
"is of purer eyes than to behold evil, and (who) cannot look upon
iniquity"--and who "has magnified his word above all his name."

And now, Sir, let me solemnly inquire of you, whether it is right to do
what you have done?--whether it is befitting a man, a Christian, and a
minister of the gospel?--and let me, further, ask you, whether you have
any cheering testimony in your heart that it is God's work you have been
doing? That you and I may, in every future work of our hands, have the
happiness to know, that the approbation of our employer comes from the
upper, and not from the under world, is the sincere desire of



Your friend,

GERRIT SMITH.



No. 4



THE

ANTI-SLAVERY EXAMINER.



THE

BIBLE AGAINST SLAVERY.



AN INQUIRY

INTO THE

PATRIARCHAL AND MOSAIC SYSTEMS

ON THE SUBJECT OF HUMAN RIGHTS.


NEW-YORK:

PUBLISHED BY THE AMERICAN ANTI-SLAVERY SOCIETY,

NO. 143 NASSAU STREET.


1837.

POSTAGE--This periodical contains five and a half sheets. Postage under
100 miles, 8-1/2 cts over 100 miles, 14 cents.

_Please read and circulate._

PIERCY & REED. PRINTERS,

7 Theatre Alley.



CONTENTS.

    Definition of Slavery

    Man-stealing--Examination of Ex. xxi. 16

    Import of "Bought with money," etc.

    Rights and privileges of servants

    No involuntary servitude under the Mosaic system

    Servants were paid wages

    Masters, not owners

    Servants distinguished from property

    Social equality of servants with their masters

    Condition of the Gibeonites, as subjects of the Hebrew
    Commonwealth

    Egyptian bondage analyzed

    OBJECTIONS CONSIDERED.

    "Cursed be Canaan, a servant of servants shall he be," etc. Gen.
    ix. 25

    "For he is his money," Examination of, Ex. xxi. 20, 21

    "Bondmen and bondmaids" bought of the heathen. Lev. xxv. 44-46

    "They shall be your bondmen forever." Lev. xxv. 46

    "Ye shall take them as an inheritance," etc. Lev. xxv. 46

    The Israelite to serve as a hired servant. Lev. xxv. 39, 40

    Difference between bought and hired servants

    Bought servants the most privileged class

    Summary of the different classes of servants

    Disabilities of the servants from the heathen

    Examination of Exodus xxi. 2-6

    The Canaanites not sentenced to unconditional extermination



INQUIRY, &c.


       *       *       *       *       *


The spirit of slavery never takes refuge in the Bible _of its own
accord._ The horns of the altar are its last resort. It seizes them, if
at all, only in desperation--rushing from the terror of the avenger's
arm. Like other unclean spirits, it "hateth the light, neither cometh to
the light, lest its deeds should be reproved." Goaded to phrenzy in its
conflicts with conscience and common sense, denied all quarter, and
hunted from every covert, it breaks at last into the sacred enclosure,
and courses up and down the Bible, "seeking rest, and finding none." THE
LAW OF LOVE, streaming from every page, flashes around it an omnipresent
anguish and despair. It shrinks from the hated light, and howls under
the consuming touch, as demons recoiled from the Son of God, and
shrieked, "Torment us not." At last, it slinks away among the shadows of
the Mosaic system, and thinks to burrow out of sight among its types and
shadows. Vain hope! Its asylum is its sepulchre; its city of refuge, the
city of destruction. It rushes from light into the sun; from heat, into
devouring fire; and from the voice of God into the thickest of His
thunders.


DEFINITION OF SLAVERY.

If we would know whether the Bible is the charter of slavery, we must
first determine _just what slavery is_. The thing itself must be
separated from its appendages. A constituent element is one thing; a
relation another; an appendage another. Relations and appendages
presuppose _other_ things, of which there are relations and appendages.
To regard them as _the things_ to which they pertain, or as constituent
parts of them, leads to endless fallacies. A great variety of
conditions, relations, and tenures, indispensable to the social state,
are confounded with slavery; and thus slaveholding is deemed quite
harmless, if not virtuous. We will specify some of the things which are
often confounded with slavery.

1. _Privation of the right of suffrage_. Then _minors_ are slaves.

2. _Ineligibility to office_. Then _females_ are slaves.

3. _Taxation without representation_. Then three-fourths of the people
of Rhode Island are slaves, and _all_ in the District of Columbia.

4. _Privation of one's oath in law_. Then the _free_ colored people of
Ohio are slaves. So are disbelievers in a future retribution, generally.

5. _Privation of trial by jury_. Then all in France and Germany are
slaves.

6. _Being required to support a particular religion_. Then the people of
England are slaves. [To the preceding may be added all other
disabilities, merely political.]

7. _Cruelty and oppression_. Wives are often cruelly treated; hired
domestics are often oppressed; but these forms of oppression are not
slavery.

8. _Apprenticeship_. The rights and duties of master and apprentice are
correlative and reciprocal. The _claim_ of each upon the other results
from the _obligation_ of each to the other. Apprenticeship is based on
the principle of equivalent for value received. The rights of the
apprentice are secured, and his interests are promoted equally with
those of the master. Indeed, while the law of apprenticeship is _just_
to the master, it is _benevolent_ to the apprentice. Its main design is
rather to benefit the apprentice than the master. It _promotes_ the
interests of the former, while it guards from injury those of the latter
in doing it. It secures to the master a mere legal compensation, while
it secures to the apprentice both a legal compensation, and a virtual
gratuity in addition, the apprentice being of the two decidedly the
greatest gainer. The law not only recognizes the _right_ of the
apprentice to a reward for his labor, but appoints the wages, and
enforces the payment. The master's claim covers only the _services_ of
the apprentice. The apprentice's claim covers _equally_ the services of
the master. The master cannot hold the apprentice as property, nor the
apprentice the master; but each holds property in the services of the
other, and BOTH EQUALLY. Is this slavery?

9. _Filial subordination and parental claims_. Both are nature's
dictates, and indispensable to the existence of the social state; their
_design_ the promotion of mutual welfare; and the _means_, those natural
affections created by the relation of parent and child, and blending
them in one by irrepressible affinities; and thus, while exciting each
to discharge those offices incidental to the relation, they constitute a
shield for mutual protection. The parent's legal claim to the services
of his children, while minors, is a slight boon for the care and toil of
their rearing, to say nothing of outlays for support and education. This
provision for the good of the _whole_, is, with the greater part of
mankind, indispensable to the preservation of the family state. The
child, in helping his parents, helps himself--increases a common stock,
in which he has a share; while his most faithful services do but
acknowledge a debt that money cannot cancel.

10. _Bondage for crime, or governmental claims on criminals._ Must
innocence be punished because guilt suffers penalties? True, the
criminal works for the government without pay; and well he may. He owes
the government. A century's work would not pay its drafts on him. He is
a public defaulter, and will die so. Because laws make men pay their
debts, shall those be forced to pay who _owe nothing?_ Besides, the law
makes no criminal, PROPERTY. It restrains his liberty; it makes him pay
something, a mere penny in the pound, of his debt to the government; but
it does not make him a _chattel_. Test it. To own property is to own its
product. Are children born of convicts government property? Besides, can
_property_ be _guilty_? Are _chattels_ punished?

11. _Restrictions upon freedom._ Children are restrained by parents,
wards by guardians, pupils by teachers, patients by physicians and
nurses, corporations by charters, and legislators by constitutions.
Embargoes, tariffs, quarantine, and all other laws, keep men from doing
as they please. Restraints are the web of civilized society, warp and
woof. Are they slavery? then civilized society is a mammoth slave--a
government of LAW, _the climax of slavery_, and its executive a king
among slaveholders.

12. _Involuntary or compulsory service_. A juryman is empannelled
_against his will_, and sit he _must_. A sheriff orders his posse;
bystanders _must_ turn in. Men are _compelled_ to remove nuisances, pay
fines and taxes, support their families, and "turn to the right as the
law directs," however much _against their wills_. Are they therefore
slaves? To confound slavery with involuntary service is absurd. Slavery
is a _condition_. The slave's _feelings_ toward it, are one thing; the
condition itself, the object of these feelings, is _another_ thing; his
feelings cannot alter the nature of that condition. Whether he _desire_
or _detest_ it, the _condition_ remains the same. The slave's
_willingness_ to be a slave is no palliation of his master's guilt in
holding him. Suppose the slave verily thinks himself a chattel, and
consents that others may so regard him, does that _make_ him a chattel,
or make those guiltless who _hold_ him as such? I may be sick of life,
and I tell the assassin so that stabs me; is he any the less a murderer
because I _consent_ to be made a corpse? Does my partnership in his
guilt blot out his part of it? If the slave were willing to be a slave,
his _voluntariness_, so far from _lessening_ the guilt of the "owner,"
_aggravates_ it. If slavery has so palsied his mind and he looks upon
himself as a chattel, and consents to be one, actually _to hold him as
such_, falls in with his delusion, and confirms the impious falsehood.
_These very feelings and convictions of the slave_, (if such were
possible) increase a hundred fold the guilt of the master in holding him
as property, and call upon him in thunder, immediately to recognize him
as a MAN, and thus break the sorcery that binds his soul, cheating it of
its birth-right, and the consciousness of its worth and destiny.

Many of the foregoing conditions and relations are _appendages_ of
slavery, and some of them inseparable from it. But no one, nor all of
them together, constitute its _intrinsic unchanging element_.

We proceed to state affirmatively that,

ENSLAVING MEN IS REDUCING THEM TO ARTICLES OF PROPERTY, making free
agents chattels, converting _persons_ into _things_, sinking
intelligence, accountability, immortality, into _merchandise_. A _slave_
is one held in this condition. He is a mere tool for another's use and
benefit. In law "he owns nothing, and can acquire nothing." _His right
to himself is abrogated._ He is another's property. If he say _my_
hands, _my_ feet, _my_ body, _my_ mind, MY_self_; they are figures of
speech. To _use himself_ for his own good is a CRIME. To keep what he
_earns_ is stealing. To take his body into his own keeping is
_insurrection_. In a word, the> _profit_ of his master is the END of his
being, and he, a _mere means_ to that end, a _mere means_ to an end into
which his interests do not enter, of which they constitute no
portion[A]. MAN sunk to a _thing_! the intrinsic element, the
_principle_ of slavery; MEN sold, bartered, leased, mortgaged,
bequeathed, invoiced, shipped in cargoes, stored as goods, taken on
executions, and knocked off at public outcry! Their _rights_ another's
conveniences, their interests, wares on sale, their happiness, a
household utensil; their personal inalienable ownership, a serviceable
article, or plaything, as best suits the humor of the hour; their
deathless nature, conscience, social affections, sympathies, hopes,
marketable commodities! We repeat it, _the reduction of persons to
things_; not robbing a man of privileges, but of _himself_; not loading
with burdens, but making him a _beast of burden_; not _restraining_
liberty, but subverting it; not curtailing rights, but abolishing them;
not inflicting personal cruelty, but annihilating _personality_; not
exacting involuntary labor, but sinking him into an _implement_ of
labor; not abridging his human comforts, but abrogating his _human
nature_; not depriving an animal of immunities, but _despoiling a
rational being of attributes_, uncreating a MAN to make room for a
_thing_!

[Footnote A: Whatever system sinks man from an END to a _means_, or in
other words, whatever transforms him from an object of instrumentality
into a mere instrumentality _to_ an object, just so far makes him a
_slave_. Hence West India apprenticeship retains in _one_ particular the
cardinal principle of slavery. The apprentice, during three-fourths of
his time, is still forced to labor, and robbed of his earnings; just so
far forth he is a _mere means_, a _slave_. True, in all other respects
slavery is abolished in the British West Indies. Its bloodiest features
are blotted out--but the meanest and most despicable of all--forcing the
poor to work for the rich without pay three-fourths of their time, with
a legal officer to flog them if they demur at the outrage, is one of the
provisions of the "Emancipation Act!" For the glories of that luminary,
abolitionists thank God, while they mourn that it rose behind clouds,
and shines through an eclipse.]

That this is American slavery, is shown by the laws of slave states.
Judge Stroud, in his "Sketch of the Laws relating to Slavery," says,
"The cardinal principle of slavery, that the slave is not to be ranked
among sentient beings, but among _things_--is an article of property, a
chattel personal, obtains as undoubted law in all of these states," (the
slave states.) The law of South Carolina thus lays down the principle,
"Slaves shall be deemed, held, taken, reputed, and adjudged in law to be
_chattels personal_ in the hands of their owners and possessors, and
their executors, administrators, and assigns, to ALL INTENTS,
CONSTRUCTIONS, AND PURPOSES WHATSOEVER." Brevard's Digest, 229. In
Louisiana, "a slave is one who is in the power of a master to whom he
_belongs_; the master may sell him, dispose of his _person, his
industry, and his labor_; he can do nothing, possess nothing, nor
acquire any thing, but what must belong to his master." Civil Code of
Louisiana, Art. 35.

This is American slavery. The eternal distinction between a person and a
thing, trampled under foot--the crowning distinction of all
others--their centre and circumference--the source, the test, and the
measure of their value--the rational, immortal principle, embalmed by
God in everlasting remembrance, consecrated to universal homage in a
baptism of glory and honor, by the gift of His Son, His Spirit, His
Word, His presence, providence, and power; His protecting shield,
upholding staff, and sheltering wing; His opening heavens, and angels
ministering, and chariots of fire, and songs of morning stars, and a
great voice in heaven, proclaiming eternal sanctions, and confirming the
word with signs following.

Having stated the _principle_ of American slavery, we ask, DOES THE
BIBLE SANCTION SUCH A PRINCIPLE?[A][A]? To the _law_ and the
_testimony_. First, the moral law, or the ten commandments. Just after
the Israelites were emancipated from their bondage in Egypt, while they
stood before Sinai to receive the law, as the trumpet waxed louder, and
the mount quaked and blazed, God spake the ten commandments from the
midst of clouds and thunderings. _Two_ of those commandments deal death
to slavery. Look at the eighth, "_Thou shall not steal_," or, thou shalt
not take from another what belongs to him. All man's powers of body and
mind are God's gift to _him_. That they are _his own_, and that he has a
right to them, is proved from the fact that God has given them to _him
alone_, that each of them is a part of _himself_, and all of them
together _constitute_ himself. All _else_ that belongs to man is
acquired by the _use_ of these powers. The _interest_ belongs to him,
because the _principal_ does--the product is his, because he is the
_producer_. Ownership of any thing is ownership of its _use_. The right
to use according to will, is _itself_ ownership. The eighth commandment
_presupposes and assumes the right of every man to his powers, and their
product._ Slavery robs of both. A man's right to himself is the only
right absolutely original and intrinsic--his right to whatever else that
belongs to him is merely _relative_ to his right to himself--is derived
from it, and held only by virtue of it. SELF-RIGHT is the _foundation
right_--the _post in the middle_, to which all other rights are
fastened. Slaveholders, the world over, when talking about their RIGHT
to their slaves, always assume _their own right to themselves_. What
slaveholder ever undertook to prove his own right to himself? He knows
it to be a self-evident proposition, that _a man belongs to
himself_--that the right is intrinsic and absolute. The slaveholder, in
making out his own title to himself, makes out the title of every human
being to _himself_. As the fact of being _a man_ is itself the title,
the whole human family have one common title deed. If _one_ man's title
is valid, _all_ are valid. If one is worthless, all are. To deny the
validity of the _slave's_ title is to deny the validity of _his own_;
and yet in the act of making him a slave, the slaveholder _asserts_ the
validity of his own title, while he seizes _him_ as his property who has
the _same_ title. Further, in making him a slave, he does not merely
unhumanize _one_ individual, but UNIVERSAL MAN. He destroys the
foundations. He annihilates _all rights_. He attacks not only the human
race, but _universal being_, and rushes upon JEHOVAH.--For rights are
_rights_; God's are no more--man's are no less.

[Footnote A: The Bible record of actions is no comment on their moral
character. It vouches for them as _facts_, not as _virtues_. It records
without rebuke, Noah's drunkenness, Lot's incest, and the lies of Jacob
and his mother--not only single acts, but _usages_, such as polygamy and
concubinage, are entered on the record without censure. Is that _silent
entry_ God's _endorsement_? Because the Bible, in its catalogue of human
actions, does not stamp on every crime its name and number, and write
against it, _this is a crime_--does that wash out its guilt, and bleach
it into a virtue?]

The eighth commandment forbids the taking of _any_ part of that which
belongs to another. Slavery takes the _whole_. Does the same Bible which
forbids the taking of _any_ thing belonging to him, sanction the taking
of _every_ thing? Is it such a medley of absurdities as to thunder wrath
against him who robs his neighbor of a _cent_, while it bids God speed
to him who robs his neighbor of _himself_? Slavery is the highest
possible violation of the eighth commandment. To take from a man his
earnings, is theft. But to take the _earner_, is compound, superlative,
perpetual theft. It is to be a thief by profession. It is a trade, a
life of robbery, that vaults through all the gradations of the climax at
a leap--the dread, terrific, giant robbery, that towers among other
robberies, a solitary horror, monarch of the realm. The eighth
commandment forbids the taking away, and the _tenth_ adds, "_Thou shalt
not COVET any thing that is thy neighbor's_;" thus guarding every man's
right to himself and his property, by making not only the actual taking
away a sin, but even that state of mind which would _tempt_ to it. Who
ever made human beings slaves, or held them as slaves without _coveting_
them? Why do they take from them their time, their labor, their liberty,
their right of self-preservation and improvement, their right to acquire
property, to worship according to conscience, to search the Scriptures,
to live with their families, and their right to their own bodies? Why do
they _take_ them, if they do not _desire_ them? They COVET them for
purposes of gain, convenience, lust of dominion, of sensual
gratification, of pride and ostentation. _They break the tenth
commandment_, and pluck down upon their heads the plagues that are
written in the book. _Ten_ commandments constitute the brief compend of
human duty. _Two_ of these brand slavery as sin.



The giving of the law at Sinai, immediately preceded the promulgation of
that body of laws and institutions, called the "Mosaic system." Over the
gateway of that system, fearful words were written by the finger of
God--"HE THAT STEALETH A MAN AND SELLETH HIM, OR IF HE BE FOUND IN HIS
HAND, HE SHALL SURELY BE PUT TO DEATH." See Exodus, xxi. 16.

The oppression of the Israelites in Egypt, and the wonders wrought for
their deliverance, proclaim the reason for _such_ a law at _such_ a
time--when the body politic became a theocracy, and reverently waited
for the will of God. They had just been emancipated. The tragedies of
their house of bondage were the realities of yesterday, and peopled
their memories with thronging horrors. They had just witnessed God's
testimony against oppression in the plagues of Egypt--the burning blains
on man and beast--the dust quickened into loathsome life, and cleaving
in swarms to every living thing--the streets, the palaces, the temples,
and every house heaped up with the carcasses of things abhorred--even
the kneading troughs and ovens, the secret chambers and the couches,
reeking and dissolving with the putrid death--the pestilence walking in
darkness at noonday, the devouring locusts and hail mingled with fire,
the first-born death-struck, and the waters blood, and, last of all,
that dread high hand and stretched out arm, that whelmed the monarch and
his hosts, and strewed their corpses in the sea. All this their eyes had
looked upon,--earth's proudest city, wasted and thunder-scarred, lying
in desolation, and the doom of oppressors traced on her ruins in the
hand writing of God, glaring in letters of fire mingled with blood--a
blackened monument of wrath to the uttermost against the stealers of
men.

No wonder that God, in a code of laws prepared for such a people at such
a time, should light up on its threshold a blazing beacon to flash
terror on slaveholders. "_He that stealeth a man and selleth him, or if
he be found in his hand, he shall be surely put to death_." Ex. xxii.
16. God's cherubim and flaming sword guarding the entrance to the Mosaic
system! See also Deut. xxiv. 7[A].

[Footnote A: Jarchi, the most eminent of the Jewish writers, (if we
except perhaps the Egyptian Maimonides,) who wrote seven hundred years
ago, in his comment on this stealing and making merchandize of men,
gives the meaning thus:--"Using a man against his will, as a servant
lawfully purchased; yea though he should use his services ever so
little, only to the value of a farthing, or use but his arm to lean on
to support him, _if he be forced so to act as a servant_, the person
compelling him but once to do so shall die as a thief, whether he has
sold him or not."]

The Hebrew word, _Gaunab_, here rendered _stealeth_, means the taking
from another what _belongs_ to him, whether it be by violence or fraud;
the same word is used in the eighth commandment, and prohibits both
_robbery_ and theft.

The crime specified is that of _depriving_ SOMEBODY _of the ownership of
a man_. Is this somebody a master? and is the crime that of depriving a
_master_ of his _servant_? Then it would have been "he that stealeth" a
_servant, not_ "he that stealeth a _man_." If the crime had been the
taking of an individual from _another_, then the _term_ used would have
been _expressive of that relation_, and _most especially_ if it was the
relation of property and _proprietor_!

The crime, as stated in the passage, is three-fold--man _stealing_,
_selling_ and _holding_. All are put on a level, and whelmed under one
penalty--DEATH. This _somebody_ deprived of the ownership of man, is the
_man himself_, robbed of personal ownership. Joseph said to the servants
of Pharoah, "Indeed I was _stolen_ away out of the land of the Hebrews."
Gen. xl. 15. How _stolen_? His brethren took him and sold him as an
_article of merchandize_. Contrast this penalty for _man_-stealing with
that for _property_-stealing. Exod. xxii. If a man stole an _ox_ and
killed or sold it, he was to restore five oxen; if he had neither sold
nor killed it, the penalty was two oxen. The selling or the killing
being virtually a deliberate repetition of the crime, the penalty was
more than doubled.

But in the case of stealing a _man_, the first act drew down the utmost
power of punishment; however often repeated, or however aggravated the
crime, human penalty could do no more. The fact that the penalty for
_man_-stealing was death, and the penalty for _property_-stealing, the
mere _restoration of double_, shows that the two cases were adjudicated
on totally different principles. The man stolen might be past labor, and
his support a _burden_, yet death was the penalty, though not a cent's
worth of _property value_ was taken. The penalty for stealing _property_
was a mere _property penalty_. However large the amount stolen, the
payment of _double_ wiped out the score. It might have a greater _money_
value than a _thousand_ men, yet _death_ was never the penalty, nor
maiming, nor branding, nor even _stripes_. Whatever the kind, or the
amount stolen, the unvarying penalty was double of _the same kind_. Why
was not the rule uniform? When a _man_ was stolen why not require the
thief to restore _double of the same kind--two men_, or if he had sold
him, _five_ men? Do you say that the man-thief might not _have_ them? So
the _ox_-thief might not have two _oxen_, or if he had killed it,
_five_. But if God permitted men to hold _men_ as property, equally with
_oxen_, the _man_-thief could get _men_ with whom to pay the penalty, as
well as the _ox_-thief, _oxen_.

Further, when _property_ was stolen, the whole of the legal penalty was
a compensation to the person injured. But when a _man_ was stolen, no
property compensation was offered. To tender _money_ as an equivalent,
would have been to repeat the outrage with the intolerable aggravations
of supreme insult and impiety. Compute the value of a MAN in _money!_
Throw dust into the scale against immortality! The law recoiled from
such outrage and blasphemy. To have permitted the man-thief to expiate
his crime by restoring double, would have been making the repetition of
crime its atonement. But the infliction of death for _man-stealing_
exacted from the guilty wretch the utmost possibility of reparation. It
wrung from him, as he gave up the ghost, a testimony in blood, and death
groans, to the infinite dignity and worth of man,--a proclamation to the
universe, voiced in mortal agony, that MAN IS INVIOLABLE,--a confession
shrieked in phrenzy at the grave's mouth--"I die accursed, and God is
just."

If God permitted man to hold _man_ as property, why did He punish for
stealing _that_ kind of property infinitely more than for stealing any
_other_ kind of property? Why did he punish with _death_ for stealing a
very little, perhaps not a sixpence worth, of _that_ sort of property,
and make a mere _fine_, the penalty for stealing a thousand times as
much, of any other sort of property--especially if God did by his own
act annihilate the difference between man and _property_, by putting him
_on a level with it_?

The atrociousness of a crime, depends greatly upon the nature,
character, and condition of the victim. To steal is a crime, whoever the
thief, or whatever the plunder. To steal bread from a _full_ man, is
theft; to steal it from a _starving_ man, is both theft and murder. If I
steal my neighbor's _property_, the crime consists not in the _nature_
of the article, but in _shifting its external relation_ from _him to
me_. But when I take my neighbor _himself_, and first make him
_property_, and then _my_ property, the latter act, which was the sole
crime in the former case, dwindles to a mere appendage. The sin in
stealing a man does not consist in transferring, from its owner to
another, that which is _already property_, but in turning _personality_
into _property_. True, the _attributes_ of man still remain, but the
rights and immunities which grow out of them are _annihilated_. It is
the first law of reason and revelation to regard things and beings as
they are; and the sum of religion, to feel and act toward them according
to their nature and value. Knowingly to treat them otherwise, is _sin_;
and the degree of violence done to their nature, relations, and value,
measures its guilt. When things are sundered which God has indissolubly
joined, or confounded in one, which he has separated by infinite
extremes; when sacred and eternal distinctions, which he has garnished
with glory, are derided and set at nought, then, if ever, _sin_ reddens
in its "scarlet dye." The sin specified in the passage, is that of doing
violence to the _nature_ of a _man_--his _intrinsic value_ and relations
as a rational being, and blotting out the exalted distinction stamped
upon him by his Maker. In the verse preceding, and in that which
follows, the same principle is laid down. Verse 15, "_He then smiteth
his father or his mother shall surely be put to death._" Verse 17, "_He
that curseth his father or his mother, shall surely be put to death._"
If a Jew smote his neighbor, the law merely smote him in return. But if
that same blow were given to a _parent_, the law struck the smiter
_dead_. Why this difference in the punishment of the same act, inflicted
on different persons? Answer--God guards the parental relation with
peculiar care. It is the _centre_ of human relations. To violate that,
is to violate _all_. Whoever trampled on _that_, showed that no relation
had any sacredness in his eyes--that he was unfit to move among human
relations who had violated one so sacred and tender.--Therefore, the
Mosaic law uplifted his bleeding corpse, and brandished the ghastly
terror around the parental relation to guard it from impious inroads.

But why the difference in the penalty since the _act_ was the same? The
sin had divers aggravations.

1. The relation violated was obvious--the distinction between parents
and others, manifest, dictated by natural affection--a law of the
constitution.

2. The act was violence to nature--a suicide on constitutional
susceptibilities.

3. The parental relation then, as now, was the centre of the social
system, and required powerful safe-guards. "_Honor thy father and thy
mother_," stands at the head of those commands which prescribe the
duties of man to man; and, throughout the Bible, the parental relation
is God's favorite illustration, of his own relations to the whole family
of man. In this case, death is inflicted not at all for the act of
_smiting_, nor for smiting a _man_, but a _parent_--for violating a
vital and sacred relation--a _distinction_ cherished by God, and around
which, both in the moral and ceremonial law, He threw up a bulwark of
defence. In the next verse, "He that stealeth a man," &c., the SAME
PRINCIPLE is wrought out in still stronger relief. The crime here
punished with death, is not the mere act of taking property from its
owner, but the disregarding of _fundamental relations_, doing violence
to an _immortal nature_, making war on a _sacred distinction_ of
priceless worth. That distinction which is cast headlong by the
principle of American slavery; which makes MEN "_chattels_."

The incessant pains-taking throughout the old Testament, in the
separation of human beings from brutes and things, shows God's regard
for the sacredness of his own distinction.

"In the beginning" the Lord uttered it in heaven, and proclaimed it to
the universe as it rose into being. He arrayed creation at the instant
of its birth, to do it reverent homage. It paused in adoration while He
ushered forth its crowning work. Why that dread pause, and that creating
arm held back in mid career, and that high conference in the godhead?
"_Let us make man in_ OUR IMAGE, _after_ OUR LIKENESS, AND LET HIM HAVE
DOMINION _over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and
over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every living thing
that moveth upon the earth_."

_Then_ while every living thing, with land, and sea, and firmament, and
marshalled worlds, waited to catch and swell the shout of morning
stars--THEN "GOD CREATED MAN IN HIS OWN IMAGE. IN THE IMAGE OF GOD
CREATED HE HIM." This solves the problem, IN THE IMAGE OF GOD CREATED HE
HIM. Well might the sons of God cry all together, "Amen,
alleluia"--"_Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive blessing and
honor"--"For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast
crowned him with glory and honor. Thou madest him to have dominion over
the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet. O Lord,
our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth_." Psalms viii. 5,
6, 9. The frequent and solemn repetition of this distinction by God
proclaims his infinite regard. The 26th, 27th, and 28th verses of the
1st chapter of Genesis are little else than the repetition of it in
various forms. In the 5th chapter, 1st verse, we find it again--"In the
day that God created man, IN THE LIKENESS of GOD MADE HE MAN." In the
9th chapter, 6th verse, we find it again. After giving license to shed
the blood of "every moving thing that liveth," it is added, "_Whoso
sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed, for_ IN THE IMAGE
OF GOD MADE HE MAN." As though he had said, "All these other creatures
are your property, designed for your use--they have the likeness of
earth, they perish with the using, and their spirits go downward; but
this other being, MAN, has my own _likeness_; IN THE IMAGE OF GOD made I
man; an intelligent, moral, immortal agent, invited to all that I can
give and he can be." So in Levit. xxiv. 17, 18, "_He that killeth any_
MAN _shall surely be put to death; and he, that killeth a beast shall
make it good, beast for beast; and he that killeth a_ MAN _shall be put
to death_." So in the passage quoted above, Ps. viii. 5, 6. What an
enumeration of particulars, each separating infinitely, MEN from brutes
and things!

1. "_Thou hast made him a little lower than the angels_." Slavery drags
him down among _brutes_.

2. "_And hast crowned him with glory and honor_." Slavery tears off his
crown, and puts on a _yoke_.

3. "_Thou madest him to have dominion_ OVER _the works of thy hands_."
Slavery breaks his sceptre, and casts him down _among_ those works--yea,
_beneath them_.

4. "_Thou hast put all things under his feet_." Slavery puts HIM _under
the feet of an owner_, with beasts and creeping things. Who, but an
impious scorner, dare thus strive with his Maker, and mutilate HIS
IMAGE, and blaspheme the Holy One, who saith to those that grind his
poor, "_Inasmuch as ye did it unto one of the least of these, ye did it
unto me_."

But time would fail us to detail the instances in which this distinction
is most impressively marked in the Bible.

In further prosecuting this inquiry, the Patriarchal and Mosaic systems
will be considered together, as each reflects light upon the other, and
as many regulations of the latter are mere _legal_ forms of Divine
institutions previously existing. As a _system_, however, the latter
alone is of Divine authority. Whatever were the usages of the
_patriarchs_, God has not made them our examplars[A].

[Footnote A: Those who insist that the patriarchs held slaves, and sit
with such delight under their shadow, hymning the praises of "those good
old patriarchs and slaveholders," might at small cost greatly augment
their numbers. A single stanza celebrating patriarchal _concubinage_,
winding off with a chorus in honor of patriarchal _drunkenness_, would
be a trumpet call, summoning from bush and brake, highway and hedge, and
sheltering fence, a brotherhood of kindred affinities, each claiming
Abraham or Noah as his patron saint, and shouting, "My name is legion."
What a myriad choir, and thunderous song!]

Before entering upon an analysis of the condition of servants under
these two states of society, let us settle the import of certain terms
which describe the mode of procuring them.


IMPORT OF THE WORD "BUY," AND THE PHRASE "BOUGHT WITH MONEY."

From the direction to the Israelites to "buy" their servants, and from
the phrase "bought with money," applied to Abraham's servants, it is
argued that they were articles of _property_. The sole ground for this
belief is the _terms_ "buy" and "bought with money," and such an import
to these terms when applied to servants is assumed, not only in the
absence of all proof, but in the face of evidence to the contrary. How
much might be saved, if in discussion, the thing to be proved was always
_assumed_. To _beg_ the question in debate, what economy of midnight
oil! what a forestaller of premature wrinkles, and grey hairs! Instead
of protracted investigation into Scripture usage, and painful collating
of passages, and cautiously tracing minute relations, to find the
meaning of Scripture terms, let every man boldly resolve to interpret
the language of the oldest book in the world, by the usages of his own
time and place, and the work is done. And then what a march of mind!
Instead of _one_ revelation, they might be multiplied as the drops of
the morning! Every man might take orders as an inspired interpreter,
with an infallible clue to the mind of the Spirit, if he only understood
the dialect of his own neighborhood! We repeat it, the only ground of
proof that these terms are to be interpreted to mean, when applied to
servants in the Bible, the same that they mean when applied to our
_slaves, is the terms themselves._

What a Babel-jargon it would make of the Bible to take it for granted
that the sense in which words are _now_ used is the _inspired_ sense.

David says, "I prevented the dawning of the morning, and cried." What a
miracle-worker, to stop the earth in its revolution! Rather too fast.
Two hundred years ago, _prevent_ was used in the strict Latin sense to
_come before_, or _anticipate_. It is always used in this sense in the
Old and New Testaments. David's expression, in the English of the
nineteenth century, is, "Before the dawning of the morning I cried," or,
I began to cry before day-break. "So my prayer shall _prevent_ thee."
"Let us _prevent_ his face with thanksgiving." "Mine eyes _prevent_ the
night watches." "We shall not _prevent_ them that are asleep," &c. In
almost every chapter of the Bible, words are used in a sense now nearly
or quite obsolete, and sometimes in a sense totally _opposite_ to their
present meaning. A few examples follow: "Oftentimes I purposed to come
to you, but was _let_ (hindered) hitherto." "And the four _beasts_
(living ones) fell down and worshipped God,"--Whosoever shall _offend_
(cause to sin) one of these little ones,"--Go out into the high ways and
_compel_ (urge) them to come in,"--Only let your _conversation_
(habitual conduct or course of life) be as becometh the Gospel,"--They
that seek me _early_ (earnestly) shall find me,--Give me _by and by_
(now) in a charger, the head of John the Baptist,"--So when tribulation
or persecution ariseth _by-and-by_ (immediately) they are offended.
Nothing is more mutable than language. Words, like bodies, are
continually throwing off particles and absorbing others. So long as they
are mere _representatives,_ elected by the whims of universal suffrage,
their meaning will be a perfect volatile, and to cork it up for the next
century is an employment sufficiently silly, (to speak within bounds,)
for a modern Bible dictionary maker. There never was a shallower conceit
than that of establishing the sense attached to a word centuries ago, by
showing what it means _now_. Pity that hyper-fashionable mantuamakers
and milliners were not a little quicker at taking hints from some of our
Doctors of Divinity. How easily they could save their pious customers
all qualms of conscience about the weekly shiftings of fashion, by
demonstrating that the last importation of Parisian indecency, just now
flaunting here on promenade, was the identical style of dress in which
the pious Sarah kneaded cakes for the angels, the modest Rebecca drew
water for the camels of Abraham's servants. Since such fashions are rife
in Chestnut-street and Broadway _now_, they _must_ have been in Canaan
and Pandanaram four thousand years ago!

II. 1. The inference that the word buy, used to describe the procuring
of servants, means procuring them as _chattels_, seems based upon the
fallacy--that whatever _costs_ money _is_ money; that whatever or
whoever you pay money _for_, is an article of property, and the fact of
your paying for it _proves_ that it is property. The children of Israel
were required to _purchase_ their first-born out from under the
obligations of the priesthood, Numb. xviii. 15, 16; Exod. xxxiv. 20.
This custom is kept up to this day among the Jews, and the word _buy_ is
still used to describe the transaction. Does this prove that their
first-born were, or are, held as property? They were _bought_ as really
as were _servants_. So the Israelites were required to _pay money_ for
their own souls. This is called sometimes a ransom, sometimes an
atonement. Were their _souls_ therefore marketable commodities?

2. Bible saints _bought_ their wives. Boaz _bought_ Ruth. "So Ruth the
Moabitess, the wife of Mahlon, have I _purchased_ to be my wife." Ruth
iv. 10. Hosea bought his wife. "So I _bought_ her to me for fifteen
pieces of silver, and for an homer of barley, and an half homer of
barley." Hosea iii. 2. Jacob _bought_ his wives Rachel and Leah, and not
having money, paid for them in labor--seven years a piece. Gen. xxix.
15-29. Moses probably bought his wife in the same way, and paid for her
by his labor, as the servant of her father. Exod. ii. 21. Shechem, when
negotiating with Jacob and his sons for Dinah, says, "What ye shall say
unto me, I will _give_. Ask me never so much dowry and gift, and I will
give according as ye shall say unto me." Gen. xxxiv. 11, 12. David
purchased Michal, Saul's daughter, and Othniel, Achsab, the daughter of
Caleb, by performing perilous services for the benefit of their
fathers-in-law. 1 Sam. xviii. 25-27; Judges i. 12, 13. That the purchase
of wives, either with money or by service was the general practice, is
plain from such passages as Exod. xxii. 17, and 1 Sam. xviii. 25. Among
the Jews of the present day this usage exists, though it is now a mere
form, there being no _real_ purchase. Yet among their marriage
ceremonies, is one called "marrying by the penny." The coincidences, not
only in the methods of procuring wives and servants, and in the terms
employed in describing the transactions, but in the prices paid for
each, are worthy of notice. The highest price of wives (virgins) and
servants was the same. Compare Deut. xxii. 28, 29, and Exod. xxii. 17,
with Lev. xxvii. 2-8. The _medium_ price of wives and servants was the
same. Compare Hosea iii. 2, with Exod. xxi. 2. Hosea appears to have
paid one half in money and the other in grain. Further, the Israelitish
female bought-servants were _wives_, their husbands and their masters
being the same persons. Exod. xxi. 8, and Judges xix. 3, 27. If _buying_
servants among the Jews shows that they were property, then buying
_wives_ shows that _they_ were property. The words in the original used
to describe the one, describe the other. Why not contend that the wives
of the ancient fathers of the faithful were their chattels, and used as
ready change at a pinch? And thence deduce the rights of modern
husbands. How far gone is the Church from primitive purity! How slow to
emulate illustrious examples! Alas! Patriarchs and prophets are followed
afar off! When will pious husbands live up to their Bible privileges,
and become partakers with Old Testament worthies in the blessedness of a
husband's rightful immunities! Surely professors of religion now, are
_bound_ to buy and hold their wives as property! Refusing so to do, is
to question the morality of those "good old" wife-trading "patriarchs,
Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob," with the prophets, and a host of whom the
world was not worthy.

The use of the word buy, to describe the procuring of wives, is not
peculiar to the Hebrew. In the Syriac language, the common expression
for "the married," or "the espoused," is "the bought." Even so late as
the 16th century, the common record of _marriages_ in the old German
Chronicles was "A. BOUGHT B."

The Hebrew word translated _buy_, is, like other words, modified by the
nature of the subject to which it is applied. Eve says, "I have _gotten_
(bought) a man of the Lord." She named him Cain, that is, _bought_. "He
that heareth reproof, getteth (buyeth) understanding", Prov. xv. 32. So
in Isa. xi. 11. "The Lord shall set his hand again to recover (to _buy_)
the remnant of his people." So Ps. lxxviii. 54. He brought them to this
mountain which his right hand had _purchased_, i.e. gotten. Jer. xiii.
4. "Take the girdle that thou hast got" (bought.) Neh. v. 8. "We of our
ability have _redeemed_ (bought) our brethren that were sold to the
heathen." Here "_bought_" is not applied to persons who were made
slaves, but to those taken _out_ of slavery. Prov. 8. 22. "The Lord
possessed (bought) me in the beginning of his way before his works of
old." Prov. xix. 8. "He that _getteth_ (buyeth) wisdom loveth his own
soul." Prov. xvi. 16. "How much better is it to _get_ (buy) wisdom than
gold?" Finally, to _buy_ is a _secondary_ meaning of the Hebrew word
_Kana_.

4. Even at this day the word _buy_ is used to describe the procuring of
servants, where slavery is abolished. In the British West Indies, where
slaves became apprentices in 1834, they are still "bought." This is now
the current word in West India newspapers. So a few years since in
New-York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and even now in New-Jersey servants
are "_bought_" as really as in Virginia. And the different senses in
which the same word is used in the two states, puts no man in a
quandary, whose common sense amounts to a modicum.

So under the system of legal _indenture_ in Illinois, servants now are
"_bought_."[A] A short time since, hundreds of foreigners who came to
this country were "bought" annually. By voluntary contract they engaged
to work for their purchasers a given time to pay for their passage. This
class of persons called "redemptioners," consisted at one time of
thousands. Multitudes are _bought out_ of slavery by themselves or
others, and remove into free states. Under the same roof with the writer
is a "servant bought with money." A few weeks since, she was a slave. As
soon as "bought," she was a slave no longer. Alas! for our leading
politicians if "buying" men makes them "chattels." The Whigs say that
Benton and Rives were "bought" by the administration with the surplus
revenue; and the other party, that Clay and Webster were "bought" by the
Bank. The histories of the revolution tell us that Benedict Arnold was
"bought" by British gold. Did that make him an article of property? When
a northern clergyman marries a rich southern widow, country gossip hits
off the indecency with this current phrase, "The cotton bags _bought_
him." When Robert Walpole said, "Every man has his price, and whoever
will pay it can _buy_ him," and when John Randolph said, while the
Missouri question was pending, "The northern delegation is in the
market; give me money enough, and I can _buy_ them," they both meant
_just what they said_. When the temperance publications tell us that
candidates for office _buy_ men with whiskey; and the oracles of street
tattle, that the court, district attorney, and jury, in the late trial
of Robinson were _bought_, we have no floating visions of "chattels
personal," man auctions, or coffles.

[Footnote A: The following statute is now in force in the state of
Illinois--"No negro, mulatto, or Indian, shall at any time _purchase_
any servant other than of their own complexion: and if any of the
persons aforesaid shall presume to _purchase_ a white servant, such
servant shall immediately become free, and shall be so held, deemed, and
taken."]

The transaction between Joseph and the Egyptians gives a clue to the
meaning attached to "buy" and "bought with money." See Gen. xlvii.
18-26. The Egyptians proposed to Joseph to become servants, and that he
should _buy_ them. When the bargain was closed, Joseph said, "Behold I
have _bought you_ this day," and yet it is plain that neither of the
parties dreamed that the persons _bought_ were in any sense articles of
property, but merely that they became thereby obligated to labor for the
government on certain conditions, as a _compensation_ for the entire
support of themselves and families during the famine. And that the idea
attached to "buy us," and "behold I have bought you," was merely the
procuring of services voluntarily offered, and secured by contract, as a
return for _value received_, and not at all that the Egyptians were
bereft of their personal ownership, and made articles of property. And
this buying of _services_ (they were to give one-fifth part of their
crops to Pharaoh) is called in Scripture usage, _buying the persons_.
This case deserves special notice, as it is the only one where the whole
transaction of buying servants is detailed--the preliminaries, the
process, the mutual acquiescence, and the permanent relation resulting
therefrom. In all other instances, the _mere fact_ is stated without
entering into particulars. In this case, the whole process is laid open.

1. The persons "bought," _sold themselves_, and of their own accord.

2. Obtaining permanently the _services_ of persons, or even a portion of
them, is called "buying" those persons. The objector, at the outset,
assumes that servants were bought of _third_ persons; and thence infers
that they were articles of property. This is sheer _assumption_. Not a
single instance is recorded, of a servant being sold by any one but
himself; not a case, either under the patriarchal, or the Mosaic
systems, in which a _master sold his servant_. That the servants who
were "bought" _sold themselves_, is a fair inference from various
passages of Scripture.

In Leviticus xxv. 47, the case of the Israelite, who became the servant
of the stranger, the words are, "If he SELL HIMSELF unto the stranger."
The _same word_, and the same _form_ of the word, which, in the 47th
verse, is rendered _sell himself_, is in the 39th verse of the same
chapter, rendered _be sold_; in Deut. xxviii. 68, the same word is
rendered "_be sold_." Here it is the Hithpael conjugation, which is
reflexive in its force, and, like the middle voice in Greek, represents
what an individual does for himself; or in his own concerns; and should
manifestly have been rendered, ye shall _offer yourselves_ for sale. For
a clue to Scripture usage on this point, see 1 Kings xxi. 20, 25--"Thou
hast _sold thyself_ to work evil." "There was none like to Ahab that
_sold himself_ to work wickedness."--2 Kings xvii. 17. "They used
divination and enchantments, and _sold themselves_ to do evil."--Isa. l.
1. "For your iniquities have ye _sold yourselves_." Isa. lii. 3, "Ye
have _sold yourselves_ FOR NOUGHT, and ye shall be redeemed without
money." See also, Jeremiah xxxiv. 14--Romans vii. 14, and vi. 16--John
viii. 34, and the case of Joseph and the Egyptians, already quoted.

Again, if servants were _bought of third persons_, where are the
instances? In the purchase of wives, though spoken of rarely, it is
generally stated that they were bought of _third_ persons. Is it not a
fair inference, if servants were bought of third persons, that there
would _sometimes_ have been such an intimation?



II.-THE LEADING DESIGN OF THE MOSAIC LAWS RELATING TO MASTERS AND
SERVANTS, WITH AN ENUMERATION OF THE RIGHTS AND PRIVILEGES SECURED TO
SERVANTS.

The general object of those statutes, which prescribed the relations of
master and servant, was the good of both parties--but more especially
the good of the _servants_. While the interests of the master were
specially guarded from injury, those of the servants were _promoted_.

These laws were a merciful provision for the poorer classes, both of the
Israelites and Strangers. Not laying on burdens, but lightening
them--they were a grant of _privileges_--a bestowment of _favors_.

1. _No servant from the Strangers, could remain a servant in the family
of an Israelite, without becoming a proselyte_. Compliance with this
condition was the _price of the privilege_.--Genesis xvii. 9-14, 23, 27.

2. _Excommunication from the family was a_ PUNISHMENT.--Genesis xxi.
14-Luke xvi. 2-4.

3. _The fact that every Hebrew servant could_ COMPEL _his master to keep
him after the six years contract had, expired_, shows that the system
was framed to advance the interests and gratify the wishes of the
servant _quite as much_ as those of the master. If the servant
_demanded_ it, the law _obliged_ the master to retain him in his
household, however little he might need his services, or great his
dislike to the individual. Deut. xv. 12-17, and Exodus xxi. 2-6.

4. _The rights and privileges guaranteed by law to all servants._ (1.)
_They were admitted into covenant with God._ Deut. xxix. 10-13.

(2.) _They were invited guests at all the national and family festivals
of the household in which they resided._ Exodus xii. 43-44; Deut. xii.
12, 18, and xvi. 10-16.

(3.) _They were statedly instructed in morality and religion._ Deut.
xxxi. 10-13; Joshua viii. 33-35; 2 Chronicles xvii. 8-9.

(4.) _They were released from their regular labor nearly_ ONE HALF OF
THE WHOLE TIME. During which, the law secured to them their entire
support; and the same public and family instruction that was provided
for the other members of the Hebrew community.

(a.) The Law secured to them the _whole of every seventh year_; Lev.
xxv. 3-6; thus giving to those servants that remained such during the
entire period between the jubilees, _eight whole years_ (including the
Jubilee year) of unbroken rest.

(b.) _Every seventh day_. This in forty-two years, (the eight being
subtracted from the fifty) would amount to just _six years_.

(c.) _The three great annual festivals_. The _Passover_, which commenced
on the 15th of the 1st month, and lasted seven days, Deut. xvi. 3, 8.
The Pentecost, or Feast of Weeks, which began on the sixth day of the
third month, and lasted seven days. Lev. xxiii. 15-21. And the Feast of
Tabernacles, which commenced on the 15th of the seventh month, and
lasted eight days. Deut. xvi. 13, 15; Lev. xxiii. 34-39. As all met in
one place, much time would be spent on the journey. Their cumbered
caravans moved slowly. After their arrival at the place of sacrifice, a
day or two at least, would be requisite for divers preparations, before
entering upon the celebration of the festival, besides some time at the
close of it, in preparations for their return. If we assign three weeks
to each festival--including the time spent on the journey going and
returning, and the delays before and after the celebration, together
with the _festival week_; it will be a small allowance for the cessation
of their regular labor. As there were three festivals in the year, the
main body of the servants would be absent from their stated employments
at least _nine weeks annually_, which would amount in forty-two years,
subtracting the sabbaths, to six years and eighty-four days.

(e.) _The new moons_. The Jewish year had twelve; Josephus tells us that
the Jews always kept _two_ days for the new moon. See Calmet on the
Jewish Calender, and Horne's Introduction; also 1 Sam. xx, 18, 19, 27.
This would amount in forty-two years, to two years, two hundred and
eighty days, after the necessary subtractions.

(f.) _The feast of trumpets_. On the first day of the seventh month, and
of the civil year. Lev. xxiii. 24, 25.

(g.) _The day of atonement_. On the tenth of the seventh month. Lev.
xxiii. 27-32.

These two last feasts would consume not less than sixty-five days of
time not otherwise reckoned.

Thus it appears that those persons who continued servants during the
whole period between the jubilees, were by law released from their
labor, TWENTY-THREE YEARS AND SIXTY-FOUR DAYS, OUT OF FIFTY YEARS, and
those who remained a less time, in nearly the same proportion. In the
foregoing calculation, besides making a generous donation of all the
_fractions_ to the objector, we have left out of the account, those
numerous _local_ festivals to which frequent allusion is made, as in
Judges xxi. 19; 1 Sam. 9th chapter. And the various _family_ festivals,
such as at the weaning of children; at marriages; at sheep shearings; at
the making of covenants, &c., to which reference is often made, as in
1st Sam. xx. 28, 29. Neither have we included those memorable festivals
instituted at a later period of the Jewish history. The feast of Purim,
Esther, ix. 28, 29; and the feast of the Dedication, which lasted eight
days. John x. 22; 1 Mac. iv. 59.

Finally, the Mosaic system secured to servants, an amount of time,
which, if distributed, would on an average be almost ONE HALF OF THE
DAYS IN EACH YEAR. Meanwhile, they and their families were supported,
and furnished with opportunities of instruction. If this amount of time
were distributed over _every day_, the servants would have _to
themselves_, all but a _fraction of_ ONE HALF OF EACH DAY, and would
labor for their masters the remaining fraction and the other half of the
day.

THIS REGULATION IS A PART OF THAT MOSAIC SYSTEM WHICH IS CLAIMED BY
SLAVEHOLDERS AS THE GREAT PROTOTYPE OF AMERICAN SLAVERY.

5. _The servant was protected by law equally with the other members of
the community_.

Proof--"_Hear the causes between your brethren, and judge righteously
between every man and his neighbor, and_ THE STRANGER THAT IS WITH HIM."
"_Ye shall not_ RESPECT PERSONS _in judgment, but ye shall hear the_
SMALL _as well as the great_." Deut. i. 16, 17. Also in Lev. xxiv. 22.
"_Ye shall have one manner of law as well for the stranger, as for one
of your own country, for I am the Lord your God_." So Numbers xv. 29.
"_Ye shall have_ ONE LAW _for him that sinneth through ignorance, both
for him that is born among the children of Israel, and for the_ STRANGER
_that sojourneth among them_." Deut. xxvii. 19. "_Cursed be he that_
PERVERTETH THE JUDGMENT OF THE STRANGER, _the fatherless and the
widow_."

6. _The Mosaic system enjoined upon the Israelites the greatest
affection and kindness toward their servants, foreign as well as
Jewish_.

Lev. xix. 34. "_The stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as
one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself_." Also Deut. x.
17, 19. "_For the Lord your God is God of gods, and Lord of lords, a
great God, a mighty and a terrible, which_ REGARDETH NOT PERSONS, _nor
taketh reward. He doth execute the judgment of the fatherless and widow,
and_ LOVETH THE STRANGER, _in giving him food and raiment_, LOVE YE
THEREFORE THE STRANGER." So Exodus xxii. 21. "_Thou shalt neither vex a
stranger nor oppress him_." Exodus xxiii. 9. "_Thou shalt not oppress a
stranger, for ye know the heart of a stranger_." Lev. xxv. 35, 36. "_If
thy brother be waxen poor thou shalt relieve him, yea, though he be a_
STRANGER _or a sojourner, that he may live with thee, take thou no usury
of him or increase, but fear thy God_." [What an absurdity to suppose
that _this same stranger_ could be taken by one that _feared his God_,
held as a _slave_, and robbed of time, earnings, and all his rights!]

7. _Servants were placed upon a level with their masters in all civil
and religious rights_. See Numbers xv. 15, 16, 29. Numb. ix. 14. Deut,
i. 16, 17. Lev. xxiv. 22.



III.--DID PERSONS BECOME SERVANTS VOLUNTARILY, OR WERE THEY MADE
SERVANTS AGAINST THEIR WILLS?

We argue that they became servants _of their own accord_,

1. Because to become a servant in the family of an Israelite, was to
abjure idolatry, to enter into covenant with God[A], to be circumcised
in token of it, to be bound to the observance of the Sabbath, of the
Passover, the Pentecost, and the Feast of Tabernacles, and to receive
instruction in all the particulars of the moral and ceremonial law.

[Footnote A: Maimonides, who wrote in Egypt about seven hundred years
ago, a contemporary with Jarchi, and who stands with him at the head of
Jewish writers, gives the following testimony on this point: "Whether a
servant be born in the power of an Israelite, or whether he be purchased
from the heathen, the master is to bring them both into the covenant."
"But he that is in the _house_ is entered on the eighth day, and he that
is bought with money, on the day on which the master receives him,
unless the slave be _unwilling_. For if the master receive a grown
slave, and he be _unwilling_, his master is to bear with him, to seek to
win him over by instruction, and by love and kindness, for one year.
After which, should he _refuse_ so long, it is forbidden to keep him,
longer than a year. And the master must send him back to the strangers
from whence he came. For the God of Jacob will not accept any other than
the worship of a _willing_ heart."--Maimon, Hilcoth, Miloth, Chap. 1st,
Sec. 8th.

The ancient Jewish Doctors agree in the testimony, that the servant from
the strangers who at the close of his probationary year still refused to
adopt the religion of the Mosaic system, and was on that account cut off
from the family, and sent back to his own people, received a _full
compensation_ for his services, besides the payment of his expenses. But
that _postponement_ of the circumcision of the foreign servant for a
year (_or even at all_ after he had entered the family of an Israelite)
of which the Mishnic doctors speak, seems to have been _a mere usage_.
We find nothing of it in the regulations of the Mosaic system.
Circumcision was manifestly a rite strictly _initiatory_. Whether it was
a rite merely _national_ or _spiritual_, or _both_, comes not within the
scope of this inquiry. Nor does it at all affect the argument. ]

Were the servants _forced_ through all these processes? Was the
renunciation of idolatry _compulsory_? Were they _dragged_ into covenant
with God? Were they seized and circumcised by _main strength_? Were they
_compelled_ mechanically to chew, and swallow, the flesh of the Paschal
lamb, while they abhorred the institution, despised its ceremonies,
spurned the law which enjoined it, detested its author and executors,
and instead of rejoicing in the deliverance which it commemmorated,
bewailed it as a calamity, and cursed the day of its consummation? Were
they _driven_ from all parts of the land three times in the year up to
the annual festivals? Were they drugged with instruction which they
nauseated? Were they goaded through a round of ceremonies, to them
senseless and disgusting mummeries; and drilled into the tactics of a
creed rank with loathed abominations?

We repeat it, to become a _servant_, was to become a _proselyte_. And
how did God authorize his people to make proselytes? At the point of the
sword? By the terror of pains and penalties? By converting men into
_merchandise_? Were _proselyte_ and _chattel_ synonymes, in the Divine
vocabulary? Must a man be sunk to a _thing_ before taken into covenant
with God? Was this the stipulated condition of adoption, and the sole
passport to the communion of the saints?

2. We argue the voluntariness of servants from Deut. xxiii. 15, 16,
"_Thou shall not deliver unto his master the servant which is escaped
from his master unto thee. He shall dwell with thee, even among you, in
that place which he shall choose, in one of thy gates where it liketh
him best; thou shalt not oppress him_."

As though God had said, "To deliver him up would be to recognize the
_right_ of the master to hold him. His _fleeing_ "shows his
_choice_--proclaims his wrongs, his master's oppressive acts, and his
own claim to legal protection." You shall not force him back, and thus
recognize the _right_ of the master to hold him in such a condition as
induces him to flee to others for protection." It may be objected, that
this command had no reference to servants among the _Israelites_, but
only to those of _heathen_ masters in the surrounding nations. We
answer, The regulation has no restriction. Its terms are unlimited. But
the objection, even if valid, merely shifts the pressure of the
difficulty to another point. Does God array his infinite authority to
protect the _free choice_ of a _single_ servant from the heathen, and
yet _authorize_ the same persons, to crush the free choice of
_thousands_ of servants from the heathen! Suppose a case. A _foreign_
servant flees from his master to the Israelites; God speaks, "He shall
dwell with thee, in that place which _he shall choose_, in one of thy
gates where it _liketh_ him best." They were strictly charged not to put
him in a condition which he did not _choose_. Now, suppose this same
servant, instead of coming into Israel of his own accord, had been
_dragged_ in by some kidnapper who _bought_ him of his master, and
_forced_ him into a condition against his will. Would He who forbade
such treatment of the stranger, who _voluntarily_ came into the land,
sanction the _same_ treatment of the _same person_, provided in
_addition_ to this last outrage, the _previous_ one had been committed
of _forcing him into the nation against his will_?

To commit violence on the free choice of a _foreign_ servant is a
horrible enormity, forsooth, PROVIDED you _begin_ the violence _after_
he has come among you. But if you commit the _first act_, on the _other
side of the line_; if you _begin_ the outrage by buying him from a third
person _against his will_, and then tear him from home, and drag him
across the line into the land of Israel, and hold him as a slave--ah!
that alters the case, and you may perpetrate the violence now with
impunity! Would _greater_ favor have been shown to this new comer from
the heathen than to the old residents--those who had been servants in
Jewish families perhaps for a generation? Were the Israelites commanded
to exercise toward _him_, uncircumcised and _out_ of the covenant, a
justice and kindness denied to the multitude, who _were_ circumcised,
and _within_ the covenant?

Again: the objector finds small gain to his argument on the supposition
that the covenant respected merely the fugitives from the surrounding
nations, while it left the servants of the Israelites in a condition
against their wills--the objector finds small gain to his argument. In
that case, the surrounding nations would of course adopt retaliatory
measures, and resolve themselves into so many asylums for fugitive
Israelitish servants. As these nations were on every side of them such a
proclamation would have been an effectual lure to men held in a
condition which was a constant _counteraction of will_. Further, the
objector's assumption destroys itself; for the same command which
protected the foreign servant from the power of his _master_, protected
him equally from the power of an _Israelite_. It was not merely, "Thou
shalt not deliver him to his _master_," but "he (the servant) shall
dwell with thee, in that place which _he shall choose_, in one of thy
gates where it liketh him best." Every Israelite was commanded to
respect his free choice, and to put him in no condition _against his
will_. What was this but a proclamation, that all who _chose_ to live in
the land and obey the laws, were left to their own free will, to dispose
of their services at such a rate, to such persons, and in such places as
they pleased?

Besides, grant that this command prohibited the sending back of
_foreign_ servants merely, was the any law requiring the return of
servants who had escaped from the _Israelites_? There was a statute
requiring the return of _property_ lost, and _cattle_ escaped, but none
requiring the return of escaped _servants_.

Finally, these verses contain, _first_, a command, "Thou shalt not
deliver," &c. _Secondly_, a declaration of the fugitive's right of _free
choice_, and of God's will that he should exercise it at his own
discretion; and _thirdly_, a command guarding this right, namely, "Thou
shalt not oppress him," as though God had said, If you forbid him to
exercise his _own choice_, as to the place and condition of his
residence, it is _oppression_, and I will not tolerate it.

3. _We argue the voluntariness of servants from their peculiar
opportunities and facilities for escape_. Three times every year, all
the males over twelve years of age, were required to attend the public
festivals. The main body were thus absent from their homes not less than
three weeks each time, making nine weeks annually. As these caravans
moved over the country, were there military scouts lining the way, to
intercept deserters?--a corporal's guard stationed at each pass of the
mountains, sentinels pacing the hill-tops, and light horse scouring the
defiles? What safe contrivance had the Israelites for taking their
_"slaves"_ three times in a year to Jerusalem and back? When a body of
slaves is moved any distance in our free and equal _republic_, they are
handcuffed to keep them from running away, or beating their drivers'
brains out. Was this the _Mosaic_ plan, or an improvement left for the
wisdom of Solomon? The usage, doubtless, claims a paternity not less
venerable and biblical! Perhaps they were lashed upon camels, and
transported in bundles, or caged up, and trundled on wheels to and fro,
and while at the Holy City, "lodged in jail for safe keeping," religions
services _extra_ being appointed, and special "ORAL instruction" for
their benefit. But meanwhile, what became of the sturdy _handmaids_ left
at home? What hindered them from marching off in a body? Perhaps the
Israelitish matrons stood sentry in rotation round the kitchens, while
the young ladies scoured the country, as mounted rangers, to pick up
stragglers by day, and patrolled the streets as city guards, keeping a
sharp look-out at night.

4. _Their continuance in Jewish families depended upon the performance
of various rites and ceremonies necessarily_ VOLUNTARY.

Suppose a servant from the heathen should, upon entering a Jewish
family, refuse circumcision; the question whether he shall remain a
servant, is in his own hands. If a _slave_, how simple the process of
emancipation! His _refusal_ did the job. Or, suppose that, at any time,
he should refuse to attend the tri-yearly feasts, or should eat leavened
bread during the Passover, or compound the ingredients of the anointing
oil, he is "cut off from the people;" _excommunicated_.

5. _We infer the voluntariness of the servants of the Patriarchs from
the impossibility of their being held against their wills._ The servants
of Abraham are an illustration. At one time he had three hundred and
eighteen _young men_ "born in his house," and probably many more _not_
born in his house. The whole number of his servants of all ages, was
probably MANY THOUSANDS. Doubtless, Abraham was a man of a million, and
Sarah too, a right notable housekeeper; still, it is not easy to
conceive how they contrived to hold so many thousand servants against
their wills, unless the patriarch and his wife _took turns_ in
performing the Hibernian exploit of surrounding them! The neighboring
tribes, instead of constituting a picket guard to hem in his servants,
would have been far more likely to sweep them and him into captivity, as
they did Lot and his household. Besides, Abraham had neither
"Constitution," nor "compact," nor statutes, nor judicial officers to
send back his fugitives, nor a truckling police to pounce upon
panic-stricken women, nor gentleman-kidnappers, suing for patronage,
volunteering to howl on the track, boasting their blood-hound scent, and
pledging their "honor" to hunt down and "deliver up," _provided_ they
had a description of the "flesh marks," and were stimulated in their
chivalry by _pieces of silver_. Abraham seems also to have been sadly
deficient in all the auxiliaries of family government, such as stocks,
hand cuffs, foot-chains, yokes, gags, and thumb-screws. His destitution
of these patriarchal indispensables is the more afflicting, when we
consider his faithful discharge of responsibilities to his household,
though so deplorably destitute of the needful aids.

6. _We infer that servants were voluntary, from the fact that there is
no instance of an Israelitish master ever_ SELLING _a servant_. Abraham
had thousands of servants, but appears never to have sold one. Isaac
"grew until he became very great," and had "great store of servants."
Jacob's youth was spent in the family of Laban, where he lived a servant
twenty-one years. Afterward he had a large number of servants.

When Joseph sent for Jacob to come into Egypt, the words are, "thou and
thy children, and thy children's children, and thy flocks and thy herds,
and ALL THAT THOU HAST." Jacob took his flocks and herds but _no
servants_. Gen xlv. 10; xlvii. 6; xlvii. 1. His servants doubtless,
served under their _own contracts_, and when Jacob went into Egypt, they
_chose_ to stay in their own country.

The government might sell _thieves_, if they had no property, until
their services had made good the injury, and paid the legal fine. Ex.
xxii. 3. But _masters_ seem to have had no power to sell their
_servants_--the reason is obvious. To give the master a _right_ to sell
his servant, would annihilate the servant's right of choice in his own
disposal; but says the objector, To give the master a right to _buy_ a
servant, equally annihilates the servant's _right of choice_. Answer. It
is one thing to have a right to buy a man, and a very different thing to
have a right to buy him of _another_ man.

Though there is no instance of a servant being bought of his, or her
master, yet there are instances of young females being bought of their
_fathers_. But their purchase as _servants_ was their betrothal as
WIVES. Exodus xxi. 7, 8. "_If a man sell his daughter to be a
maid-servant, she shall not go out as the men-servants do. If she please
not her master_ WHO HATH BETROTHED HER TO HIMSELF, _he shall let her be
redeemed_[A]."

[Footnote A: The comment of Maimonides on this passage is as follows: "A
Hebrew handmaid might not be sold but to one who laid himself under
obligations, to espouse her to himself or to his son, when she was fit
to be betrothed."--_Maimonides--Hilcoth--Obedim_, Ch. IV. Sec. XI.

Jarchi, on the same passage, says, "He is bound to espouse her and take
her to be his wife for the _money of her purchase_ is the money of her
_espousals_." ]

7. _We infer that the Hebrew servant was voluntary in_ COMMENCING _his
service, because he was pre-eminently so_ IN CONTINUING _it_. If, at the
year of release, it was the servant's _choice_ to remain with his
master, so did the law guard his free will, that it required his ear to
be bored by the judges of the land, thus making it impossible for the
servant to be held in an involuntary condition. Yea, so far was his
_free choice_ protected, that his master was compelled to keep him,
however much he might wish to get rid of him.

8. _The method prescribed for procuring servants, recognized their
choice, and was an appeal to it_. The Israelites were commanded to offer
them a suitable _inducement_, and then leave them to decide. They might
neither seize by _force_, nor frighten them by _threats_, nor wheedle
them by false pretenses, nor _borrow_ them, nor _beg_ them; but they
were commanded to BUY them[A]; that is, they were to recognize the
_right_ of the individuals to their own services--their right to
_dispose_ of them, and their right to _refuse all offers_. They might,
if they pleased, refuse all applications, and thus oblige those who made
them, _to do their own work_. Suppose all, with one accord, _refused_ to
become servants, what provision did the Mosaic law make for such an
emergency? NONE.

[Footnote A: The case of thieves, whose services were sold until they
had earned enough to make restitution to the person wronged, and to pay
the legal penalty, _stands by itself_, and has no relation to the
condition of servants.]

9. _Various incidental expressions throughout the Bible, corroborate the
idea that servants became such by virtue of their own contract_. Job
xli. 4. is an illustration, "_Will he_ (Leviathan) _make a_ COVENANT
_with thee? wilt thou take him for a_ SERVANT _forever?_"

10. _The transaction which made the Egyptians the_ SERVANTS OF PHAROAH,
_shows entire voluntariness throughout_. It is detailed in Gen. xlvii.
18-26. Of their own accord, they came to Joseph and said, "We have not
aught left but our _bodies_ and our lands; _buy_ us;" then in the 25th
verse, _"Thou hast saved our lives: let us find grace in the sight of my
Lord, and we will be servants to Pharaoh._"

11. _We argue that the condition of servants was an_ OPTIONAL _one from
the fact that_ RICH _strangers did not become servants._ Indeed, so far
were they from becoming servants themselves, that _they bought and held
Jewish servants._ Lev. xxv. 47.

12. _The sacrifices and offerings which_ ALL _were required to present,
were to be made_ VOLUNTARILY. Lev. i. 2, 3.

13. _Mention is often made of persons becoming servants where they were
manifestly and pre-eminently_ VOLUNTARY. The case of the Prophet Elisha
is one. 1 Kings xix. 21; 2 Kings iii. 11. Elijah was his _master_. The
original word, translated master, is the same that is so rendered in
almost every instance where masters are spoken of throughout the Mosaic
and patriarchal systems. It is translated _master_ eighty-five times in
our English version. Moses was the servant of Jethro. Exodus iii. 1.
Joshua was the servant of Moses. Numbers xi. 28. Jacob was the servant
of Laban. Genesis xxix, 18-27.



IV. WERE THE SERVANTS FORCED TO WORK WITHOUT PAY?

Having already shown that the servants became and continued such _of
their own accord_, it would be no small marvel if they _chose_ to work
without pay. Their becoming servants, pre-supposes _compensation_ as a
motive.

That they _were paid_ for their labor, we argue,

1. _Because, while Israel was under the Mosaic system, God rebuked in
thunder, the sin of using the labor of others without wages. "Wo unto
him that buildeth his house by unrighteousness, and his chambers by
wrong; that useth his neighbor's service without wages, and giveth him
not for his work._" Jer. xxii. 13. Here God testifies that to use the
service of others without wages is "unrighteousness," and He commissions
his "wo" to burn upon the doer of the "wrong." This "wo" was a permanent
safeguard of the _Mosaic system_. The Hebrew word _Rea_, here translated
_neighbor_, does not mean one man, or class of men, in distinction from
others, but _any one with whom we have to do_--all descriptions of
persons, not merely servants and heathen, but even those who prosecute
us in lawsuits, and enemies while in the act of fighting us--"_As when a
man riseth against his_ NEIGHBOR _and slayeth him._" Deut. xxii. 26.
"_Go not forth hastily to strive, lest thou know not what to do in the
end thereof, when thy_ NEIGHBOR _hath put thee to shame._" Prov. xxv. 8.
"_Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy_ NEIGHBOR." Exod. xx.
16. "_If any man come presumptuously upon his NEIGHBOR to slay him with
guile_." Exod. xxi. 14. In these, and in scores of similar cases, _Rea_
is the original word.

2. _We have the testimony of God, that in our duty to our fellow men,_
ALL THE LAW AND THE PROPHETS _hang upon this command, "Thou shalt love
thy neighbor as thyself._" Our Saviour, in giving this command, quoted
_verbatim_ one of the laws of the Mosaic system. Lev. xix. 18. In the
34th verse of the same chapter, Moses commands obedience to this law in
all the treatment of strangers, "_The stranger that dwelleth with you
shall be unto you as one born among you, and_ THOU SHALT LOVE HIM AS
THYSELF." If it be loving others _as_ ourselves, to make them work for
us without pay; to rob them of food and clothing, as well as wages,
would be a stranger illustration still of the law of love!
Super-disinterested benevolence! And if it be doing to others as we
would have them do to us, to make them work for _our own_ good alone,
Paul should be called to order for his hard sayings against human
nature, especially for that libellous matter in Ephes. v. 29, "_No man
ever yet hated his own flesh, but nourisheth and cherisheth it_."

3. _As persons became servants_ FROM POVERTY, _we argue that they were
compensated, since they frequently owned property, and sometimes a large
amount_. Ziba, the servant of Mephibosheth, gave David a princely
present, "An hundred loaves of bread, and an hundred bunches of raisins,
and an hundred of summer fruits, and a bottle of wine." 2 Sam. xvi. 1.
The extent of his possessions can be inferred from the fact, that though
the father of fifteen sons, he still employed twenty servants, of whom
he was the master.

A case is stated in Leviticus xxv. 47-55, where a servant, reduced to
poverty, sells himself; and it is declared that afterward he may be
_redeemed_, either by his kindred, or by HIMSELF. As he was forced to
sell himself from sheer poverty he must not only have acquired property
_after_ he became a servant, but a considerable sum.

If it had not been common for servants to possess, and acquire property,
over which they had the exclusive control, Gehazi, the servant of
Elisha, would hardly have ventured to take a large sum of money, (nearly
$3000[A]) from Naaman, (2 Kings v. 22, 23.) As it was procured by
deceit, he was anxious to conceal the means used in getting it; but if
the Israelitish servants, like our slaves, could "own nothing, nor
acquire any thing," to embark in such an enterprise would have been
consummate stupidity. The fact of having in his possession two talents
of silver, would of itself convict him of theft[B]. But since the
possession and use of property by servants, was common under the Mosaic
system, he might have it, and invest or use it, without attracting
special attention. And that consideration alone would have been a strong
motive to the act. His master, while he rebukes him for using such means
to get the money, not only does not take it from him, but seems to
expect that he would invest it in real estate, and cattle, and would
procure servants with it. 2 Kings v. 26. In 1 Sam. ix. 8, we find the
servant of Saul having money, and relieving his master in an emergency.
Arza, the servant of Elah, was the _owner of a house_. That it was
spacious and somewhat magnificent, would be a natural inference from the
fact that it was a resort of the king. 1 Kings xvi. 9. The case of the
Gibeonites, who, after they became servants, still occupied their
cities, and remained, in many respects, a distinct people for centuries;
and that of the 150,000 Canaanites, the _servants_ of Solomon, who
worked out their tribute of bond-service in levies, periodically
relieving each other, while preparing the materials for the temple, are
additional illustrations of independence in the acquisition and
ownership of property.

[Footnote A: Though we have not sufficient data to decide with accuracy
upon the _relative_ value of that sum, _then_ and _now_, yet we have
enough to warrant us in saying that two talents of silver had far more
value _then_ than three thousand dollars have _now_.]


[Footnote B: Whoever heard of the slaves in our southern states stealing
a large amount of money? They "_know how to take care of themselves_"
quite too well for that. When they steal, they are careful to do it on
such a _small_ scale, or in the taking of _such things_ as will make
detection difficult. No doubt they steal now and then a little, and a
gaping marvel would it be if they did not. Why should they not follow in
the footsteps of their masters and mistresses? Dull scholars indeed! if,
after so many lessons from _proficients_ in the art, who drive the
business by _wholesale_, they should not occasionally copy their
betters, fall into the _fashion_, and try their hand in a small way, at
a practice which is the _only permanent and universal_ business carried
on around them! Ignoble truly! never to feel the stirrings of high
impulse, prompting them to imitate the eminent pattern set before them
in the daily vocation of "Honorables" and "Excellencies," and to emulate
the illustrious examples of Doctor of Divinity and _Right_ and _Very
Reverends_! Hear President Jefferson's testimony. In his notes of
Virginia, speaking of slaves, he says, "That disposition to theft with
which they (the slaves) have been branded, must be ascribed to their
_situation_, and not to any special depravity of the moral sense. It is
a problem which I give the master to solve, whether the religious
precepts against the violation of property were not framed for HIM as
well as for his slave--and whether the slave may not as justifiably take
a little from one who has taken ALL from him, as he may _slay_ one who
would slay him" See Jefferson's Notes on Virginia, pp. 207-8]

4. _Heirship_--Servants frequently inherited their master's property;
especially if he had no sons, or if they had dishonored the family. This
seems to have been a general usage.

The cases of Eliezer, the servant of Abraham; Ziba, the servant of
Mephibosheth, Jarha an Egyptian, the servant of Sheshan, and the husband
of his daughter; 1 Chron. ii. 34, 35, and of the _husbandmen_ who said
of their master's son, "_this is the_ HEIR, let us kill him, _and_ the
INHERITANCE WILL BE OURS." Mark xii. 7, are illustrations. Also the
declaration in Prov. xvii. 2--"_A wise servant shall have rule over a
son that causeth shame, and_ SHALL HAVE PART OF THE INHERITANCE AMONG
THE BRETHREN." This passage seems to give _servants_ precedence as
heirs, even over the _wives_ and _daughters_ of their masters. Did
masters hold by force, and _plunder of earnings_, a class of persons,
from which, in frequent contingencies, they selected both heirs for
their property, and husbands for their daughters?

5. ALL _were required to present offerings and sacrifices_. Deut. xvi.
15, 17. 2 Chron. xv. 9-11. Numb. ix. 13.

Servants must have had permanently, the means of _acquiring_ property to
meet these expenditures.

6. _Those Hebrew servants who went out at the seventh year, were
provided by law with a large stock of provisions and cattle_. Deut. xv.
11-14. "_Thou shalt furnish him liberally out of thy flock, and out of
thy floor, and out of thy wine press, of that wherewith the Lord thy God
hath blessed thee, thou shalt give him_[A]." If it be objected, that no
mention is made of the servants from the strangers, receiving a like
bountiful supply, we answer, neither did the most honorable class of the
_Israelitish_ servants, the free-holders; and for the same reason, _they
did not go out in the seventh year_, but continued until the jubilee. If
the fact that no mention is made of the Gentile servants receiving such
a _gratuity_ proves that they were robbed of their _earnings_; it proves
that the most valued class of _Hebrew_ servants were robbed of theirs
also, a conclusion too stubborn for even pro-slavery masticators,
however unscrupulous.

[Footnote A: The comment of Maimonides on this passage is as
follows--"'Thou shalt furnish him liberally,' &c. That is to say,
'_Loading ye shall load him._' likewise every one of his family, with as
much as he can take with him in abundant benefits. And if it be
avariciously asked, How much must I give him? I say unto _you, not less
than thirty shekels_, which is the valuation of a servant, as declared
in Exodus xxi. 32"--Maimonides, Hilcoth, Obedim, Chapter ii. Section 3.]

7. _The servants were_ BOUGHT. _In other words, they received
compensation for their services in advance_. Having shown, under a
previous head, that servants _sold themselves_, and of course received
the compensation for themselves, (except in cases where parents hired
out the time of their children until they became of age[B],) a mere
reference to the fact in this place is all that is required for the
purposes of this argument.

[Footnote B: Among the Israelites, girls became of age at twelve, and
boys at thirteen years.]

8. _We infer that servants were paid, because we find masters at one
time having a large number of servants, and afterwards none, without any
intimation that they were sold._ The wages of servants would enable them
to set up in business for themselves. Jacob, after being the servant of
Laban for twenty-one years, became thus an independent herdsman, and was
the master of many servants. Gen. xxx. 43, and xxxii. 15. But all these
servants had left him before he went down into Egypt, having doubtless
acquired enough to commence business for themselves. Gen. xlv. 10, 11,
and xlvi. 1-7, 32.

9. _God's testimony to the character of Abraham._ Genesis xviii. 19.
_"For I know him that he will command his children and his household
after him, and they shall keep_ THE WAY OF THE LORD TO DO JUSTICE AND
JUDGMENT." We have here God's testimony, that Abraham taught his
servants "the way of the Lord." What was the "way of the Lord"
respecting the payment of wages where service was rendered? "_Wo unto
him that useth his neighbor's service without wages_!" Jer. xxii. 13.
"_Masters, give unto your servants that which is just and equal_." Col.
iv. 1. _"Render unto all their_ DUES." ROM. xiii. 7. _"The laborer is
worthy of his hire."_ Luke x. 7. How did Abraham teach his servants to
_"do justice"_ to others? By doing _injustice to them?_ Did he exhort
them to "render to all their dues" by keeping back _their own_? Did he
teach them that "the laborer was worthy of his hire" by robbing them of
_theirs_? Did he beget in them a reverence for the eighth commandment by
pilfering all their time and labor? Did he teach them "not to defraud"
others "in any matter" by denying _them_ "what was just and equal?" If
each of Abraham's pupils under such a catechism did not become a very
_Aristides_ in justice, then an illustrious example, patriarchal
dignity, and _practical_ lessons, can make but slow headway against
human perverseness!

10. _Specific precepts of the Mosaic law enforcing general principles._
Out of many, we select the following:

(1.) _"Thou shall not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn,"_ or
literally, _while he thresheth._ Deut. xxv. 4. Here is a general
principle applied to a familiar case. The ox representing all domestic
animals. Isaiah xxx. 24. A _particular_ kind of service--_all_ kinds;
and a law requiring an abundant provision for the wants of an animal
ministering to man in a _certain_ way,--_a general principle of
treatment covering all times, modes, and instrumentalities of service._
The object of the law was, not merely to enjoin tenderness towards
brutes, but to inculcate the duty of _rewarding those who serve us_,
showing that they who labor for others, are entitled to what is just and
equal in return; and if such care is enjoined, by God, not merely for
the ample sustenance, but for the _present enjoyment of a brute_, what
would be a meet return for the services of _man_? MAN, with his varied
wants, exalted nature and immortal destiny! Paul tells us expressly,
that the principle which we have named, lies at the bottom of the
statute. See 1 Corinthians ix. 9, 10--_"For it is written in the law of
Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the
corn. Doth God take care for oxen? Or saith he it altogether for OUR
sakes? that he that ploweth should plow in_ HOPE, _and that he that
thresheth in hope should be_ PARTAKER OF HIS HOPE."

(2.) "_If thy brother be waxen poor, and fallen in decay with thee, then
thou shalt relieve him._ YEA, THOUGH HE BE A STRANGER OR a SOJOURNER,
_that he may live with thee. Take thou no usury of him, or increase, but
fear thy God. Thou shalt not give him thy money upon usury, nor lend him
thy victuals for increase._" Lev. xxv. 35-37. Or, in other words,
"relief at your hands is his right, and your duty--you shall not take
advantage of his necessities, but cheerfully supply them." Now, we ask,
by what process of pro-slavery legerdemain, this benevolent regulation
can be made to be in _keeping_ with the doctrine of WORK WITHOUT PAY?
Did God declare the poor stranger entitled to RELIEF, and in the same
breath, _authorize_ them to _"use his services without wages_;" force
him to work, and ROB HIM OF ALL HIS EARNINGS? Judge ye.



V.--WERE MASTERS THE PROPRIETORS OF SERVANTS AS THEIR LEGAL PROPERTY?

The discussion of this topic has been already somewhat anticipated under
the preceding heads; but a variety of considerations, not within the
range of our previous inquiries, remain to be noticed.



1. _Servants were not subjected to the uses, nor liable to the
contingencies of property._

(1.) _They were never taken in payment for their masters' debts_, though
children were sometimes taken (without legal authority) for the debts of
a father. 2 Kings iv. 1; Job xxiv. 9; Isaiah l. 1; Matt. xviii. 25.

Cases are recorded to which creditors took from debtors property of all
kinds, to satisfy their demands. In Job xxiv. 3, cattle are taken; in
Prov. xxii 27, household furniture; in Lev. xxv. 25-28, the productions
of the soil; in Lev. xxv. 27-30, houses; in Exodus xxii. 26-29, and
Deut. xxiv. 10-13, and Matt. v. 40, clothing; but _servants_ were taken
in _no instance_.

(2.) _Servants were never given as pledges_. _Property_ of all sorts was
given and held in pledge. We find in the Bible, household furniture,
clothing, cattle, money, signets, and personal ornaments, with divers
other articles of property, used as pledges for value received. But no
_servants_.

(3.) _All lost_ PROPERTY _was to be restored._ "Oxen, asses, sheep,
raiment, and whatsoever lost things," are specified--servant _not_.
Deut. xxii. 13. Besides, the Israelites were expressly forbidden to take
back the runaway servant to his master. Deut. xxiii. 15.

(4.) _The Israelites never gave away their servants as presents_. They
made princely presents of great variety. Lands, houses, all kinds of
animals, merchandize, family utensils, precious metals, and grain,
armor, &c. are among their recorded _gifts_. Giving presents to
superiors and persons of rank when visiting them, and at other times,
was a standing usage. 1 Sam. x. 27; 1 Sam. xvi. 20; 2 Chron. xvii. 5.
Abraham to Abimelech, Gen. xxi. 27; Jacob to the viceroy of Egypt. Gen.
xliii. 11; Joseph to his brethren and father, Gen. xlv. 22, 23; Benhadad
to Elisha, 2 Kings viii. 8, 9; Ahaz to Tiglath Pileser, 2 Kings xvi. 8;
Solomon to the Queen of Sheba, 1 Kings, x. 13; Jeroboam to Ahijah, 1
Kings xiv. 3; Asa to Benhadad, 1 Kings xv. 18, 19. But no servants were
given as presents--though that was a prevailing fashion in the
surrounding nations. Gen. xii. 16; Gen. xx. 14.

OBJECTION 1. _Laban_ GAVE _handmaids to his daughters, Jacob's wives_.
Without enlarging on the nature of the polygamy then prevalent, it is
enough to say that the handmaids of wives, at that time, were themselves
regarded as wives, though of inferior dignity and authority. That Jacob
so regarded his handmaids, is proved by his curse upon Reuben, (Gen.
xlix. 4, and Chron. v. 1) also by the equality of their children with
those of Rachel and Leah. But had it been otherwise--had Laban given
them _as articles of property_, then, indeed, the example of this "good
old patriarch and slaveholder," Saint Laban, would have been a
fore-closer to all argument.

Ah! We remember his jealousy for _religion_--his holy indignation when
he found that his "GODS" were stolen! How he mustered his clan, and
plunged over the desert in hot pursuit, seven days, by forced marches;
how he ransacked a whole caravan, sifting the contents of every tent,
little heeding such small matters as domestic privacy, or female
seclusion, for lo! the zeal of his "IMAGES" had eaten him up!

No wonder that slavery, in its Bible-navigation, drifting dismantled
before the free gusts, should scud under the lee of such a pious worthy
to haul up and refit; invoking his protection, and the benediction of
his "GODS!"

OBJECTION 2. _Servants were enumerated in inventories of property_. If
that proves _servants_ property, it proves _wives_ property. "_Thou
shalt not covet thy neighbor's house, thou shalt not covet thy
neighbor's_ WIFE, _nor his man servant, nor his maid-servant, nor his
ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbor's_" EXODUS xx. 17.
An examination of all the places in which servants are included among
beasts, chattels, &c., will show, that in inventories of _mere
property_, servants are not included, or if included, it is in such a
way, as to show that they are not regarded as _property_. Eccl. ii. 7,
8. But when the design is to show, not merely the wealth but the
_greatness_ of any personage, that he is a man of distinction, a ruler,
a prince, servants are spoken of, as well as property. In a word, if
_riches_ alone are spoken of, no mention is made of servants; if
_greatness_, servants and property. Gen. xiii. 2. _"And Abraham was very
rich in cattle, in silver and in gold."_ No mention of _servants_. So in
the fifth verse; Lot's riches are enumerated, "_And Lot also had flocks,
and herds, and tents_." In the seventh verse servants are mentioned,
"_And there was a strife between the_ HERDMEN _of Abraham's cattle and
the_ HERDMEN _of Lot's cattle_". See also Josh. xxii. 8; Gen. xxxiv. 23;
Job. xlii. 12; 2 Chron. xxi. 3; xxxii. 27-29; Job 1. 3-5; Deut. viii.
12-17; Gen. xxiv. 35, and xxvi. 13, and xxx. 43.

Divers facts dropped incidentally, show that when servants are mentioned
in connection with property, it is in such a way as to _distinguish_
them from it. When Jacob was about to leave Laban, his wives say, "All
the _riches_ which thou hast taken from our father, that is ours and our
children's." Then follows an inventory of property. "All his cattle,"
"all his goods," "the cattle of his getting," &c. He had a large number
of servants at the time, _but they are not included with his property_.
Compare Gen. xxx. 43, with Gen. xxxi. 16-18.

When he sent messengers to Esau, in order to secure his respect, and
impress him with an idea of his state and sway, he bade them tell him
not only of _his_ RICHES, but of his GREATNESS; that Jacob had "_oxen,
and asses, and flocks, and men servants, and maid servants_." Gen.
xxxii. 4, 5. Yet in the present which he sent, there were no servants;
though he seems to have aimed to give it as much variety as possible.
Gen. xxxii. 14, 15; see also Gen. xxxvi. 6, 7; Gen. xxxiv. 23. As flocks
and herds were the _staples_ of wealth, a large number of servants
_presupposed_ large possessions of cattle, which would require many
herdsmen. Further. When servants are spoken of in connection with _mere
property_, the terms used to express the latter do not include the
former.

The Hebrew word _Mickna_ is an illustration. It is a derivative of
_Kana_, to procure, to buy, and its meaning is, a _possession, wealth,
riches_. It occurs more than forty times in the Old Testament--and is
applied always to _mere property_--generally to domestic animals, but
_never_ to servants. In some instances, servants are mentioned in
_distinction_ from the _Mickna._ See Gen. xii. 5. _"And Abraham took
Sarah his wife, and Lot his brother's son. And all their_ SUBSTANCE
_that they had gathered, and the souls that they had gotten in Haran,
and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan_." _Substance
gathered_ and _souls gotten_! Many will have it, that these _souls_ were
a part of Abraham's _substance_ (notwithstanding the pains here taken to
separate them from it)--that they were _slaves_--probably captives in
war, and now, by right of conquest, taken with him in his migration as
part of his family effects. Who but slaveholders, either actually, or in
heart, would torture into the principle and practice of slavery, such a
harmless phrase as "_the souls that they had gotten_?" Until the slave
trade breathed its haze upon the vision of the church, and smote her
with palsy and decay, commentators saw no slavery in, "The souls that
they had gotten." In the Targum of Onkelos[A] it is thus rendered, "The
souls whom they had brought to obey the law in Haran." In the Targum of
Jonathan, thus: "The souls whom they had made proselytes in Haran." In
the Targum of Jerusalem, "The souls proselyted in Haran." Jarchi, placed
by Jewish Rabbis at the head of their commentators, thus renders it:
"The souls whom they had brought under the Divine wings." Jerome, one of
the most learned of the Christian fathers: "The persons whom they had
proselyted." The Persian version thus gives the whole verse, "And
Abraham took Sarah his wife, and Lot his brother's son, and all their
wealth which they had accumulated, and the souls which they had _made_."
The Vulgate version thus translates it, "Universam substantiam quam
possederant et animas quas fecerant in Haran." "The entire wealth which
they possessed, and the souls which they had made." The Syriac thus,
"All their possessions which they possessed, and the souls which they
had made in Haran." The Arabic, "All their property which they had
acquired, and the souls whom they had made in Haran." The Samarian, "All
the wealth which they had gathered, and the souls which they had made in
Haran." Menochius, a commentator who wrote before our present
translation of the English Bible, renders it as follows:--"Quas de
idolotraria converterunt[B]." "Those whom they have converted from
idolatry."--Paulus Fagius[C]. "Quas instituerant in religione."--"Those
whom they had instructed in religion."--Luke Franke, a German
commentator who lived two centuries ago. "Quas legi
subjicerant."--"Those whom they had brought to obey the law."

[Footnote A: The Targums are Chaldee paraphrases of parts of the Old
Testament. The Targum of Onkelos is for the most part, a very accurate
and faithful translation of the original, and was probably made at about
the commencement of the Christian era. The Targum of Jonathan Ben Uzziel
bears about the same date. The Targum of Jerusalem was probably about
five hundred years later. The Israelites, during their long captivity in
Babylon, lost as a body, their knowledge of their own language. These
translations of the Hebrew Scriptures into the Chaldee, the language
which they acquired in Babylon, were thus called for by the necessity of
the case. ]


[Footnote B: See his "Brevis explicatio sensus literalis totius
Scripture."]


[Footnote C: This eminent Hebrew scholar was invited to England by
Cranmer, then Archbishop of Canterbury, to superintend the translation
of the Bible into English, under the patronage of Henry the Eighth. He
had hardly commenced the work when he died. This was nearly a century
before the date of our present translation.]



2. _The condition of servants in their masters' families, the privileges
which they shared in common with the children, and their recognition as
equals by the highest officers of the government--make the doctrine that
they were mere_ COMMODITIES, _an absurdity._ The testimony of Paul, in
Gal. iv. 1, gives an insight into the condition of servants. _"Now I say
unto you, that the heir, so long as he is a child,_ DIFFERETH NOTHING
FROM A SERVANT, _though he be lord of all."_

That Abraham's servants were voluntary,--that their interests were
identified with those of their master's family--that they were regarded
with great affection by the household, and that the utmost confidence
was reposed in them, is shown in the arming of 318 of them for the
recovery of Lot and his family from captivity. See Gen. xiv. 14, 15.

When Abraham's servant went to Padanaram, the young Princess Rebekah did
not disdain to say to him, "Drink, MY Lord," as "she hasted and let down
her pitcher upon her hand, and gave him drink," and "she hasted and
emptied her pitcher, and ran again unto the well, and drew for all his
camels." Laban, the brother of Rebekah, prepared the house for his
reception, "_ungirded his camels, and brought him water to wash his
feet, and the men's feet that were with him!"_

In the 9th chapter of 1 Samuel, we have an account of a high festival in
the city of Zuph, at which Samuel, the chief judge and ruler in Israel,
presided. None sat down at the feast but those that were bidden. And
only "about _thirty_ persons" were invited. Quite a select party!--the
elite of the city of Zuph! Saul and his servant arrived at Zuph just as
the party was assembling; and _both_ of them, at Samuel's solicitation,
accompany him as invited guests. _"And Samuel took Saul and his_
SERVANT, _and brought_ THEM _into the_ PARLOR(!) _and made_ THEM _sit in
the_ CHIEFEST SEATS _among those that were bidden."_ A _servant_ invited
by the chief judge, ruler, and prophet in Israel, to dine publicly with
a select party, in company with his master, who was _at the same time
anointed King of Israel_; and this servant introduced by Samuel into the
PARLOR, and assigned, with his master, to the _chiefest seat_ at the
table! This was "_one_ of the servants" of _Kish_, Saul's father; not
the _steward_ or the _chief_ of them--not at all a _picked_ man, but
"_one_ of the servants;" _any_ one that could be most easily spared, as
no endowments specially rare would be likely to find scope in looking
after asses.

Again: we learn from 1 Kings xvi. 8, 9, that Elah, the King of Israel,
was slain by Zimri, one of his chief officers, at a festive
entertainment, in the house of Arza, his steward, or head servant, with
whom he seems to have been on terms of familiarity. Without detailing
other cases, we refer the reader to the intercourse between Gideon and
his servant.--Judges vii. 10, 11.--Jonathan and his servant.--1 Samuel
xiv. 1-14.--Elisha and his servant.



3. _The condition of the Gibeonites, as subjects of the Hebrew
commonwealth, shows that they were neither articles of property, nor
even_ INVOLUNTARY _servants_. The condition of the inhabitants of
Gibeon, Chephirah, Beeroth, and Kirjathjearim, under the Israelites, is
quoted in triumph by the advocates of slavery; and truly they are right
welcome to all the crumbs that can be gleaned from it. Milton's devils
made desperate snatches at fruit that turned to ashes on their lips. The
spirit of slavery raves under tormenting gnawings, and casts about in
blind phrenzy for something to ease, or even to _mock_ them. But for
this, it would never have clutched at the Gibeonites, for even the
incantations of the demon cauldron, could not extract from their case
enough to tantalize starvation's self. But to the question. What was the
condition of the Gibeonites under the Israelites?

(1.) _It was voluntary_. It was their own proposition to Joshua to
become servants. Joshua ix. 8, 11. Their proposition was accepted, but
the kind of service which they should perform, was not specified until
their gross imposition came to light; they were then assigned to menial
offices in the tabernacle.

(2.) _They were not domestic servants in the families of the
Israelites_. They still continued to reside in their own cities,
cultivating their own fields, tending their flocks and herds, and
exercising the functions of a _distinct_, though not independent
community. They were _subject_ to the Jewish nation as _tributaries_. So
far from being distributed among the Israelites, their family relations
broken up, and their internal organization as a distinct people
abolished, they seem to have remained a separate, and, in some respects,
an independent community for many centuries. When they were attacked by
the Amorites, they applied to the Israelites as confederates for aid--it
was promptly rendered, their enemies routed, and themselves left
unmolested in the occupation of their cities, while all Israel returned
to Gilgal. Joshua x. 6-18. Long afterwards, Saul slew some of them, and
God sent upon Israel a three years' famine for it. David said to the
Gibeonites, "What shall I do for you, and wherewith shall I make the
atonement, that ye may bless the inheritance of the Lord?" At their
demand, he delivered up to them, seven of the royal family, five of them
the sons of Michal, his own former wife. 2 Samuel xxi. 1-9. The whole
transaction was a formal recognition of the Gibeonites as a separate
people. There is no intimation that they served families, or individuals
of the Israelites, but only the "house of God," or the Tabernacle. This
was established first at Gilgal, a day's journey from the cities of the
Gibeonites; and then at Shiloh, nearly two days' journey from them;
where it continued about 350 years. During all this period, the
Gibeonites inhabited their ancient cities and territory. Only a few,
comparatively, could have been absent from their cities at any one time
in attendance on the tabernacle.

(1.) Whenever allusion is made to them in the history, the main body are
spoken of as _at home_.

(2.) It is preposterous to suppose that their tabernacle services could
have furnished employment for all the inhabitants of these four cities.
One of them "was a great city, as one of the royal cities;" so large,
that a confederacy of five kings, apparently the most powerful in the
land, was deemed necessary for its destruction. It is probable that the
men were divided into classes, and thus ministered at the tabernacle in
rotation--each class a few days or weeks at a time. This service was
their _national tribute_ to the Israelites, rendered for the privilege
of residence and protection under their government. No service seems to
have been required of the _females_. As these Gibeonites were
Canaanites, and as they had greatly exasperated the Israelites by
impudent imposition, hypocrisy, and lying, we might assuredly expect
that they would reduce _them_ to the condition of chattels and property,
if there was _any_ case in which God permitted them to do so.

7. _Because, throughout the Mosaic system, God warns them against
holding their servants in such a condition as they were held in by the
Egyptians_. How often are the Israelites pointed back to the grindings
of their prison-house! What motives to the exercise of justice and
kindness towards their servants, are held out to their fears in
threatened judgements; to their hopes in promised good; and to all
within them that could feel, by those oft repeated words of tenderness
and terror! "For ye were bondmen in the land of Egypt"--waking anew the
memory of tears and anguish, and of the wrath that avenged them.

That the argument derived from the condition of the Israelites in Egypt,
and God's condemnation of it, may be appreciated, it is important that
the Egyptian bondage should be analyzed. We shall then be able to
ascertain, of what rights the Israelites were plundered, and what they
retained.



EGYPTIAN BONDAGE ANALYZED. (1.) _The Israelites were not dispersed among
the families of Egypt, the property of individual owners_[A]. They
formed a _separate_ community. See Gen. xlvi. 35. Ex. viii. 22, 24, and
ix. 26, and x. 23, and xi. 7, and ii. 9, and xvi. 22, and xvii. 5.

[Footnote A: The Egyptians evidently had _domestic_ servants living in
their families; these may have been slaves; allusion is made to them in
Exodus ix. 14, 20, 21. But none of the Israelites were included in this
class.]

(2.) _They had the exclusive possession of the land of Goshen_[B], _one
of the richest and most productive parts of Egypt_. Gen. xlv. 18, and
xlvii. 6, 11, 27. Ex. xii. 4, 19, 22, 23, 27.

[Footnote B: The land of Goshen was a large tract of country, east of
the Pelusian arm of the Nile, and between it and the head of the Red
Sea, and the lower border of Palestine. The probable centre of that
portion, occupied by the Israelites, could hardly, have been less than
60 miles from the city. From the best authorities it would seem that the
extreme western boundary of Goshen must have been many miles distant
from Egypt. See "Exodus of the Israelites out of Egypt," an able article
by Professor Robinson, in the Biblical Repository for October, 1832.]

(3.) _They lived in permanent dwellings_. These were _houses_, not
_tents_. In Ex. xii. 6, the two side _posts_, and the upper door _posts_
of the houses are mentioned, and in the 22d, the two side posts and the
lintel. Each family seems to have occupied a house _by itself_--Acts
vii. 20, Ex. xii. 4--and from the regulation about the eating of the
Passover, they could hardly have been small ones--Ex. xii. 4--and
probably contained separate apartments, and places for seclusion. Ex.
ii. 2, 3; Acts vii. 20. They appear to have been well apparelled. Ex.
xii. 11. To have had their own burial grounds. Ex. xiii. 19, and xiv.
11.

(4.) _They owned "a mixed multitude of flocks and herds_," and "_very
much cattle_." Ex. xii. 32, 37, 38.

(5.) They had their own form of government, and preserved their tribe
and family divisions, and their internal organization throughout, though
still a province of Egypt, and _tributary_ to it. Ex. ii. 1, and xii.
19, 21, and vi. 14, 25, and v. 19, and iii. 16, 18.

(6.) _They seem to have had in a considerable measure, the disposal of
their own time_,--Ex. xxiii. 4, and iii. 16, 18, and xii. 6, and ii. 9,
and iv. 27, 29-31. Also to have practised the fine arts. Ex. xxxii. 4,
and xxxv. 32-35.

(7.) _They were all armed_. Ex. xxxii. 27.

(8.) _All the females seem to have known something of domestic
refinements; they were familiar with instruments of music, and skilled
in the working of fine fabrics_. Ex. xv. 20, and 35, 36.

(9.) _They held their possessions independently, and the Egyptians seem
to have regarded them as inviolable_. This we infer from the fact that
there is no intimation that the Egyptians dispossessed them of their
habitations, or took away their flocks, or herds, or crops, or
implements of agriculture, or any article of property.

(10.) _Service seems to have been exacted from none but adult males_.
Nothing is said from which the bond service of females could be
inferred; the hiding of Moses three months by his mother, and the
payment of wages to her by Pharaoh's daughter, go against such a
supposition. Ex. ii. 29.

(11.) So far from being fed upon a given allowance, their food was
abundant, and had great variety. "They sat by the flesh-pots," and "did
eat bread to the full." Ex. xvi. 3, and xxiv. 1, and xvii. 5, and iv.
29, and vi. 14. Also, "they did eat fish freely, and cucumbers, and
melons, and leeks, and onions, and garlic." Num. xi. 4, 5, and x. 18,
and xx. 5.

(12.) _That the great body of the people were not in the service of the
Egyptians, we infer_ (1) from the fact, that the extent and variety of
their own possessions, together with such a cultivation of their crops
as would provide them with bread, and such care of their immense flocks
and herds, as would secure their profitable increase, must have
furnished constant employment for the main body of the nation.

(2.) During the plague of darkness, God informs us that "ALL the
children of Israel had light in their dwellings." We infer that they
were _there_ to enjoy it.

(3.) It seems improbable that the making of brick, the only service
named during the latter part of their sojourn in Egypt, could have
furnished permanent employment for the bulk of the nation. See also Ex.
iv. 29-31.

Besides, when Eastern nations employed tributaries, it was, as now, in
the use of the levy, requiring them to furnish a given quota, drafted
off periodically, so that comparatively but a small portion of the
nation would be absent _at any one time_.

Probably there was the same requisition upon the Israelites for
one-fifth part of the proceeds of their labor, that was laid upon the
Egyptians. See Gen. xlvii. 24, 26. Instead of taking it out of their
_crops_, (Goshen being better for _pasturage_ than crops) they exacted
it of them in brick making; and it is quite probable that only the
_poorer_ Israelites were required to work for the Egyptians at all, the
wealthier being able to pay their tribute, in money. See Exod. iv.
27-31.

This was the bondage in Egypt. Contrast it with American slavery. Have
our slaves "very much cattle," and "a mixed multitude of flocks and
herds?" Do they live in commodious houses of their own? Do they "_sit by
the flesh-pots_," "_eat fish freely_," and "_eat bread to the full_?" Do
they live in a separate community, at a distance from their masters, in
their distinct tribes, under their own rulers and officers? Have they
the exclusive occupation of an extensive and fertile tract of country
for the culture of their own crops, and for rearing immense herds of
_their own_ cattle--and all these held independently of their masters,
and regarded by them as inviolable? Are our female slaves free from all
exactions of labor and liabilities of outrage?--and whenever employed,
are they paid wages, as was the Israelitish woman, when employed by the
king's daughter? Exod. ii. 9. Have the females entirely, and the males
to a considerable extent, the disposal of their own time? Have they the
means for cultivating social refinements, for practising the fine arts,
and for intellectual and moral improvement?

THE ISRAELITES, UNDER THE BONDAGE OF EGYPT, ENJOYED ALL THESE RIGHTS AND
PRIVILEGES. True, "_their lives were made bitter, and all the service
wherein they made them serve was with rigor_." But what was that, when
compared with the incessant toil of American slaves, the robbery of all
their time and earnings, and even the "power to own any thing, or
acquire any thing"--the "quart of corn a day," the legal allowance of
food[A]!--their _only_ clothing for one half the year, "_one_ shirt and
_one_ pair of pantaloons[B]!"--the _two hours and a half_ only for rest
and refreshment in the twenty-four[C]!--their dwellings, _hovels_, unfit
for human residence, commonly with but one apartment, where both sexes
and all ages herd promiscuously at night, like the beasts of the field.
Add to this, the mental ignorance, and moral degradation; the daily
separations of kindred, the revelries of lust, the lacerations and
baptisms of blood, sanctioned by the laws of the South, and patronized
by its pubic sentiment. What, we ask, was the bondage of Egypt when
compared with this? And yet for _her_ oppression of the poor, God smote
her with plagues, and trampled her as the mire, till she passed away in
his wrath, and the place that knew her in her pride, knew her no more.
Ah! "_I have seen the afflictions of my people, and I have heard their
groanings, and am come down to deliver them_." HE DID COME, and Egypt
sank, a ruinous heap, and her blood closed over her.

[Footnote A: The law of North Carolina. See Haywood's Manual, 524-5]


[Footnote B: The law of Louisiana. See Martin's Digest, 610.]


[Footnote C: The whole amount of time secured by the law of Louisiana.
See Act of July 7, 1806. Martin's Digest, 610-12]

If such was God's retribution for the oppression of heathen Egypt, of
how much sorer punishment shall a Christian people be thought worthy,
who cloak with religion, a system, in comparison with which the bondage
of Egypt dwindles to nothing?

Let those believe who can, that God gave his people permission to hold
human beings, robbed of _all_ their rights, while he threatened them
with wrath to the uttermost, if they practised the _far lighter_
oppression of Egypt--which robbed its victims of only the _least_ and
_cheapest_ of their rights, and left the _females_ unplundered even of
these. What! _Is God divided against himself_? When he had just turned
Egypt into a funeral pile; while his curse yet blazed upon her unburied
dead, and his bolts still hissed amidst her slaughter, and the smoke of
her torment went upwards because she had "ROBBED THE POOR," did He
license the VICTIMS of robbery to rob the poor of ALL? As _Lawgiver_,
did he _create_ a system tenfold more grinding than that, for which he
had just hurled Pharaoh headlong, and cloven down his princes, and
overwhelmed his hosts, and blasted them with His thunder, till "hell was
moved to meet them at their coming?"

Having touched upon the general topics which we design to include in
this inquiry, we proceed to examine various Scripture facts and
passages, which will doubtless be set in array against the foregoing
conclusions.



OBJECTIONS CONSIDERED.

The advocates of slavery are always at their wits end when they try to
press the Bible into their service. Every movement shows that they are
hard-pushed. Their odd conceits and ever varying shifts, their forced
constructions, lacking even plausibility, their bold assumptions, and
blind guesswork, not only proclaim their _cause_ desperate, but
themselves. Some of the Bible defences thrown around slavery by
ministers of the Gospel, do so torture common sense, Scripture, and
historical fact, that it were hard to tell whether absurdity, fatuity,
ignorance, or blasphemy, predominates, in compound. Each strives so
lustily for the mastery, it may be set down a drawn battle.

How often has it been set up in type, that the color of the negro is the
_Cain-mark_, propagated downward. Doubtless Cain's posterity started an
opposition to the ark, and rode out the flood with flying streamers! Why
should not a miracle be wrought to point such an argument, and fill out
for slaveholders a Divine title-deed, vindicating the ways of God to
men?



OBJECTION 1. "_Cursed be Canaan, a servant of servants shall he be unto
his brethren_." Gen. i. 25.

This prophecy of Noah is the _vade mecum_ of slaveholders, and they
never venture abroad without it. It is a pocket-piece for sudden
occasion--a keepsake to dote over--a charm to spell-bind opposition, and
a magnet to attract "whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie."
But closely as they cling to it, "cursed be Canaan" is a poor drug to
stupify a throbbing conscience--a mocking lullaby, vainly wooing slumber
to unquiet tossings, and crying "Peace, be still," where God wakes war,
and breaks his thunders.

Those who plead the curse on Canaan to justify negro slavery, _assume_
all the points in debate.

1. That the condition prophesied was _slavery_, rather than the mere
_rendering of service_ to others, and that it was the bondage of
_individuals_ rather than the condition of a _nation tributary_ to
another, and in _that_ sense its _servant_.

2. That the _prediction_ of crime _justifies_ it; that it grants
absolution to those whose crimes fulfil it, if it does not transform the
crimes into _virtues_. How piously the Pharaohs might have quoted God's
prophecy to Abraham, "_Thy seed shall be in bondage, and they shall
afflict them for four hundred years_." And then, what _saints_ were
those that crucified the Lord of glory!

3. That the Africans are descended from Canaan. Whereas Africa was
peopled from Egypt and Ethiopia, and Mizraim settled Egypt, and Cush,
Ethiopia. See Gen. x. 15-19, for the location and boundaries of Canaan's
posterity. So on the assumption that African slavery fulfils the
prophecy, a curse pronounced upon one people, is quoted to justify its
infliction upon another. Perhaps it may be argued that Canaan includes
all Ham's posterity. If so, the prophecy has not been fulfilled. The
other sons of Ham settled the Egyptian and Assyrian empires, and
conjointly with Shem the Persian, and afterward, to some extent, the
Grecian and Roman. The history of these nations gives no verification of
the prophecy. Whereas the history of Canaan's descendants, for more than
three thousand years, is a record of its fulfilment. First, they were
made tributaries by the Israelites. Then Canaan was the servant of Shem.
Afterward, by the Medes and Persians. Then Canaan was the servant of
Shem, and in part of the other sons of Ham. Afterward, by the
Macedonians, Grecians, and Romans, successively. Then Canaan was the
servant of Japhet, mainly, and secondarily of the other sons of Ham.
Finally, they were subjected by the Ottoman dynasty, where they yet
remain. Thus Canaan is _now_ the servant of Shem and Japhet and the
other sons of Ham.

But it may still be objected, that though Canaan is the only one _named_
in the curse, yet the 22d and 23d verses show that it was pronounced
upon the posterity of Ham in general. "_And Ham, the father of Canaan,
saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren
without_."--Verse 22. In verse 23, Shem and Japhet cover their father
with a garment. Verse 24, "_And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what
his YOUNGER son had done unto him, and said_," &c.

It is argued that this younger son cannot be _Canaan_, as he was not the
_son_, but the _grandson_ of Noah, and therefore it must be _Ham_. We
answer, whoever that "_younger son_" was, or whatever he did, _Canaan_
alone was named in the curse. Besides, the Hebrew word _Ben_, signifies
son, grandson, great-grandson, or _any one_ of the posterity of an
individual. Gen. xxix. 5, "_And he said unto them, Know ye Laban, the_
SON _of Nahor_?" Yet Laban was the _grandson_ of Nahor. Gen. xxiv. 15,
29. In 2 Sam. xix. 24, it is said, "_Mephibosheth, the_ SON _of Saul,
came down to meet the king_." But Mephibosheth was the son of Jonathan,
and the _grandson_ of Saul. 2 Sam. ix. 6. So Ruth iv. 17. "_There is a_
SON _born to Naomi_." This was the son of Ruth, the daughter-in-law of
Naomi. Ruth iv. 13, 15. So 2 Sam. xxi. 6. "_Let seven men of his
(Saul's)_ SONS _be delivered unto us_," &c. Seven of Saul's _grandsons_
were delivered up. 2 Sam. xxi. 8, 9. So Gen. xxi. 28, "_And hast not
suffered me to kiss my_ SONS _and my daughters_;" and in the 55th verse,
"_And early in the morning Laban rose up and kissed his_ SONS," &c.
These were his _grandsons_. So 2 Kings ix. 20, "_The driving of Jehu,
the_ SON _of Nimshi_." So 1 Kings xix. 16. But Jehu was the _grandson_
of Nimshi. 2 Kings ix. 2, 14. Who will forbid the inspired writer to use
the _same_ word when speaking of _Noah's_ grandson?

Further, if Ham were meant what propriety in calling him the _younger_
son? The order in which Noah's sons are always mentioned, makes Ham the
_second_, and not the _younger_ son. If it be said that Bible usage is
variable, and that the order of birth is not always preserved in
enumerations; the reply is, that, enumeration in the order of birth, is
the _rule_, in any other order the _exception_. Besides, if the younger
member of a family, takes precedence of older ones in the family record,
it is a mark of pre-eminence, either in original endowments, or
providential instrumentality. Abraham, though sixty years younger than
his eldest brother, and probably the youngest of Terah's sons, stands
first in the family genealogy. Nothing in Ham's history warrants the
idea of his pre-eminence; besides, the Hebrew word _Hakkaton_, rendered
_younger_, means the _little, small_. The same word is used in Isaiah
xl. 22. "A LITTLE ONE _shall become a thousand_." Also in Isaiah xxii.
24. "_All vessels of_ SMALL _quantity_." So Psalms cxv. 13. "_He will
bless them that fear the Lord, both_ SMALL _and great_." Also Exodus
xviii. 22. "_But every_ SMALL _matter they shall judge_." It would be a
perfectly literal rendering of Gen. ix. 24, if it were translated thus,
"when Noah knew what his little son[A], or grandson (_Beno hakkaton_)
had done unto him, he said, cursed be Canaan," &c.

[Footnote A: The French language in this respect follows the same
analogy. Our word _grandson_ being in French, _petit fils_, (little
son.)]

Even if the Africans were the descendants of Canaan, the assumption that
their enslavement is a fulfilment of this prophecy, lacks even
plausibility, for, only a mere _fraction_ of the inhabitants of Africa
have at any one time been the slaves of other nations. If the objector
say in reply, that a large majority of the Africans have always been
slaves at _home_, we answer, 1st. _It is false in point of fact_, though
zealously bruited often to serve a turn. 2d. _If it were true_, how does
it help the argument? The prophecy was, "Cursed be Canaan; a servant of
servants shall he be unto his brethren" not unto _himself_!



OBJECTION II.--"_If a man smite his servant or his maid with a rod, and
he die under his hand, he shall surely be punished. Notwithstanding, if
he continue a day or two, he shall not be punished, for he is his
money_." Exodus xxi. 20, 21.

Arguments drawn from the Mosaic system in support of slavery, originate
in a misconception both of its genius, _as a whole_, and of the design
and scope of its most simple provisions. The verses quoted above, afford
an illustration in point.

What was the design of this regulation? Was it to grant masters an
indulgence to beat servants with impunity? and an assurance, that if
they beat them to death, the offence would not be _capital_? This is
substantially what some modern Doctors tell us. What Deity do such men
worship? Some blood-gorged Moloch, enthroned on human hecatombs, and
snuffing carnage for incense? Did He who thundered out from Sinai's
flames, "THOU SHALT NOT KILL," offer a bounty on _murder_? Whoever
analyzes the Mosaic system--the condition of the people for whom it was
made--their inexperience in government--ignorance of judicial
proceedings--laws of evidence, &c., will find a moot court in session,
trying law points--setting definitions, or laying down rules of
evidence, in almost every chapter. Numbers xxxv. 10-22; Deuteronomy xi.
11, and xix. 4-6; Leviticus xxiv. 19-22; Exodus, xxi. 18, 19, are a few,
out of many cases stated, with tests furnished by which to detect _the
intent_, in actions brought before them. The detail gone into, in the
verses quoted, is manifestly to enable the judges to get at the _motive_
of the action, and find out whether the master _designed_ to kill.

1. "If a man smite his servant with a _rod_."--The instrument used,
gives a clue to the _intent_. See Numbers xxxv. 16, 18. It was a _rod_,
not an axe, nor a sword, nor a bludgeon, nor any other
death-weapon--hence, from the _kind_ of instrument, no design to _kill_
would be inferred; for _intent_ to kill would hardly have taken a _rod_
for its weapon. But if the servant dies _under his hand_, then the
unfitness of the instrument, instead of being evidence in his favor, is
point blank against him; for, to strike him with a _rod_ until he
_dies_, argues a _great many_ blows laid on with _great_ violence, and
this kept up to the death-gasp, establishes the point of _intent to
kill_. Hence the sentence, "He shall _surely_ be punished." The case is
plain and strong. But if he continued _a day or two_, the _length of
time that he lived_, together with the _kind_ of instrument used, and
the fact that the master had a pecuniary interest in his _life_, ("he is
his _money_,") all, made out a strong case of circumstantial evidence,
showing that the master did not _design_ to kill; and required a
corresponding decision and sentence. A single remark on the word
"punished:" in Exodus xxi. 20, 21, the Hebrew word here rendered
_punished_, (_Nakum_,) is _not so rendered in another instance_. Yet it
occurs thirty-five times in the Old Testament--in almost every instance,
it is translated _avenge_--in a few, "_to take vengeance_," or "_to
revenge_," and in this instance ALONE, "_punish_." As it stands in our
translation, the pronoun preceding it, refers to the _master_--the
_master_ in the 21st verse, is to be _punished_, and in the 22d _not_ to
be punished; whereas the preceding pronoun refers neither to the
_master_ nor to the _servant_, but to the _crime_, and the word rendered
_punished_, should have been rendered _avenged_. The meaning is this: If
a man smite his servant or his maid with a rod, and he die under his
hand, IT (the death) shall surely be avenged, or literally, _by avenging
it shall be avenged_; that is, the _death_ of the servant shall be
_avenged_ by the _death_ of the master. So in the next verse--"If he
continues a day or two," his death shall not be avenged by the _death_
of the _master_, for in that case the crime was to be adjudged
_manslaughter_, and not _murder_, as in the first instance. In the
following verse, another case of personal injury is stated, not
intentional, nor extending to life or limb, a mere accidental hurt, for
which the injurer is to pay _a sum of money_; and yet our translators
employ the same phraseology in both places. One, an instance of
deliberate, wanton, _killing by piecemeal_. The other and _accidental_,
and comparatively slight injury--of the inflicter, in both cases, they
say the same thing! "_He shall surely be punished_." Now, just the
difference which common sense would expect to find in such cases, where
GOD legislates, is strongly marked in the original. In the case of the
servant wilfully murdered, God says, "It (the death) shall surely be
_avenged_," (_Nakum_,) that is, _the life of the wrong doer shall
expiate the crime_. The same word is used in the Old Testament, when the
greatest wrongs are redressed, by devoting the perpetrators, whether
individuals or communities, to _destruction_. In the case of the
_unintentional_ injury, in the following verse, God says, "He shall
surely be" _fined_, (_Aunash_.) "He shall _pay_ as the judges
determine." The simple meaning of the word _Aunash_, is to lay a fine.
It is used in Deut. xxii. 19. They shall _amerce_ him in one hundred
shekels," and in 2 Chron. xxxvi. 3--"He condemned (_mulcted_) the land
in a hundred talents of gold.--This is the general use of the word, and
its primary signification. That _avenging_ the death of the servant, was
neither imprisonment, nor stripes, nor amercing the master in damages,
but that it was _taking the master's life_ we infer.

1. From the _Bible usage_ of the word Nakam. See Genesis iv. 24; Joshua
x. 13; Judges xv. 7-xvi. 28; 1 Samuel xiv. 24-xviii. 25-xxv. 31; 2
Samuel iv. 8; Judges v. 2; 1 Samuel xxv. 26-33, &c. &c.

2. From the express statute in such case provided. Leviticus xxiv. 17.
"_He that killeth_ ANY _man_ shall surely be put to death." Also Numbers
xxxv. 30, 31. "_Whoso killeth_ ANY _person_, the murderer shall be put
to death. _Moreover ye shall take_ NO SATISFACTION _for the life of a
murderer which is guilty of death, but he shall surely be put to
death_."

3. The Targum of Jonathan gives the verse thus, "Death by the sword
shall assuredly be adjudged." The Targum of Jerusalem thus, "Vengeance
shall be taken for him to the _uttermost_." Jarchi gives the same
rendering. The Samaritan version thus, "He shall die the death."

Again, the last clause in the 21st verse ("for he is his money") is
often quoted to prove that the servant is his master's _property_, and
_therefore_, if he died, the master was not _to be punished_. _Because_,
1st. A man may dispose of his _property_ as he pleases. 2d. If the
servant died of the injury, the master's _loss_ was a sufficient
punishment. A word about the premises, before we notice the inferences.
The assumption is, that the phrase, "HE IS HIS MONEY," proves not only
that the servant is _worth money_ to the master, but that he is an
_article of property_. If the advocates of slavery will take this
principle of interpretation into the Bible, and turn it loose, let them
either give bonds for its behavior, or else stand and draw in
self-defence, "lest it turn again and rend" them. If they endorse for it
at one point, they must stand sponsors all around the circle. It will be
too late to cry for quarter when they find its stroke clearing the whole
table, and tilting them among the sweepings beneath. The Bible abounds
with such expressions as the following: "This (bread) _is_ my body;"
"this (wine) _is_ my blood;" "all they (the Israelites) _are_ brass, and
tin, and iron, and lead;" "this _is_ life eternal, that they might know
thee;" "this (the water of the well of Bethlehem) _is_ the blood of the
men who went in jeopardy of their lives;" "I _am_ the lily of the
valleys;" "a garden enclosed _is_ my sister;" "my tears _have been_ my
meat;" "the Lord God _is_ a sun and a shield;" "God _is_ love;" "the
Lord _is_ my rock;" "the seven good ears _are_ seven years, and the
seven good kine _are_ seven years;" "the seven thin and ill-favored kine
_are_ seven years, and the seven empty ears blasted by the east wind
_shall be_ seven years of famine;" "he _shall be_ head, and thou _shall_
be tail;" "the Lord _will_ be a wall of fire;" "they _shall_ be one
flesh;" "the tree of the field _is_ man's life;" "God _is_ a consuming
fire;" "he _is_ his money," &c. A passion for the exact _literalities_
of Bible language is so amiable, it were hard not to gratify it in this
case. The words in the original are (_Kaspo-hu_,) "his _silver_ is he."
The objector's principle of interpretation is, a philosopher's stone!
Its miracle touch transmutes five feet eight inches of flesh and bones
into _solid silver_! Quite a _permanent_ servant, if not so nimble with
all--reasoning against "_forever_," is forestalled henceforth, and,
Deut. xxiii. 15, utterly outwitted.

Who in his senses believes that in the expression, "_He is his money_,"
the object was to inculcate the doctrine that the servant was a
_chattel_? The obvious meaning is, he is _worth money_ to his master,
and since, if the master killed him, it would take money out of his
pocket, the _pecuniary loss_, the _kind of instrument used_, and _the
fact of his living some time after the injury_, (as, if the master
_meant_ to kill, he would be likely to _do_ it while about it,) all
together make out a strong case of presumptive evidence clearing the
master of _intent to kill_. But let us look at the objector's
inferences. One is, that as the master might dispose of his _property_
as he pleased, he was not to be punished, if he destroyed it. Answer.
Whether the servant died under the master's hand, or continued a day or
two, he was _equally_ his master's property, and the objector admits
that in the _first_ case the master is to be "surely punished" for
destroying _his own property_! The other inference is, that since the
continuance of a day or two, cleared the master of _intent to kill_, the
loss of the slave would be a sufficient punishment for inflicting the
injury which caused his death. This inference makes the Mosaic law false
to its own principles. A _pecuniary loss_, constituted no part of the
claims of the law, where a person took the _life_ of another. In such
case, the law utterly spurned money, however large the sum. God would
not so cheapen human life, as to balance it with such a weight. "_Ye
shall take no satisfaction for the life of a murderer, but he shall
surely be put to death_." See Numb. xxxv. 31. Even in excusable
homicide, a case of death purely accidental, as where an axe slipped
from the helve and killed a man, no sum of money availed to release from
confinement in the city of refuge, until the death of the High Priest.
Numbers xxxv. 32. The doctrine that the loss of the servant would be a
penalty _adequate_ to the desert of the master, admits the master's
_guilt_--his desert of _some_ punishment, and it prescribes a _kind_ of
punishment, rejected by the law, in all cases where man took the life of
man, whether with or without _intent_ to kill. In short, the objector
annuls an integral part of the system--resolves himself into a
legislature, with power in the premises, makes a _new_ law, and coolly
metes out such penalty as he thinks fit, both in kind and quantity.
Mosaic statutes amended, and Divine legislation revised and improved!

The master who struck out the tooth of a servant, whether intentionally
or not, was required to set him free for his tooth's sake. The
_pecuniary loss_ to the master was the same as though the servant had
_died_. Look at the two cases. A master beats his servant so severely,
that after a day or two he dies of his wounds; another master
accidentally strikes out his servant's tooth, and his servant is
free--_the pecuniary loss of both masters is the same._ The objector
contends that the loss of the slave's services in the first case is
punishment sufficient for the crime of killing him; yet God commands the
_same_ punishment for even the _accidental_ knocking out of a _tooth_!
Indeed, unless the injury was done _inadvertently_, the loss of the
servant's services is only a _part_ of the punishment--mere reparation
to the _individual_ for injury done; the _main_ punishment, that
strictly _judicial_, was, reparation to the _community_ for injury to
one of its members. To set the servant _free_, and thus proclaim his
injury, his right to redress, and the measure of it--answered not the
ends of public justice. The law made an example of the offender, "those
that remain might hear and fear." _"If a man cause a blemish in his
neighbour, as he hath done, so shall it be done unto him. Breach for
breach, eye for eye, tooth for tooth; as he hath caused a blemish in a
man, so shall it be done to him again. You have one manner of law as
well for the_ STRANGER _as for one of your own country_." Lev. xxiv. 19,
20, 22. Finally, if a master smote out the tooth of a servant, the law
smote out _his_ tooth--thus redressing the _public_ wrong; and it
cancelled the servant's obligation to the master, thus giving some
compensation for the injury done, and exempting him from perilous
liabilities in future.



OBJECTION III. _Both the bondmen and bondmaids which thou shalt have,
shall be of the heathen that are round about you, of them shall ye buy
bondmen and bondmaids. Moreover of the children of the strangers that do
sojourn among you, of them shall ye buy, and of their families that are
with you, which they begat in your land, and they shall be your
possession. And ye shall take them as an inheritance for your children
after you, to inherit them for a possession; they shall be your bondmen
forever_. Lev. xxv. 44-46.

The _points_ in these verses, urged as proof, that the Mosaic system
sanctioned slavery, are 1. The word "BONDMEN." 2. "BUY." 3. "INHERITANCE
AND POSSESSION." 4. "FOREVER."

The _second_ point, the _buying_ of servants, has been already
discussed, see page 15. And a part of the _third_ (holding servants as a
"possession." See p. 36.) We will now ascertain what sanction to slavery
is derivable from the terms "bondmen," "inheritance," and "forever."

I. BONDMEN. The fact that servants, from the heathen are called
"_bondmen_," while others are called "servants," is quoted as proof that
the former were slaves. As the _caprices_ of King James' translators
were not divinely inspired, we need stand in no special awe of them. The
word rendered _bondmen_, in this passage, is the same word uniformly
rendered _servants_ elsewhere. To infer from this that the Gentile
servants were slaves, is absurd. Look at the use of the Hebrew word
"_Ebed_," the plural of which is here translated "_bondmen_." In Isaiah
xlii. 1, the _same word_ is applied to Christ. "Behold my _servant_
(bondman, slave?) whom I have chosen, mine elect in whom my soul
delighteth." So Isaiah lii. 13. "Behold my _servant_ (Christ) shall deal
prudently." In 1 Kings xii. 6, 7, it is applied to _King Rehoboam_. "And
they (the old men) spake unto him, saying if thou wilt be a _servant_
(_Ebed_) unto this people this day, and will serve them and answer them,
and wilt speak good words to them, then they will be thy _servants_
forever." In 2 Chron. xii. 7, 8, 9, 13, it is applied to the king and
all the nation. In fine, the word is applied to _all_ persons doing
service to others--to magistrates, to all governmental officers, to
tributaries, to all the subjects of governments, to younger
sons--defining their relation to the first born, who is called _Lord_
and _ruler_--to prophets, to kings, to the Messiah, and in respectful
addresses not less than _fifty_ times in the Old Testament.

If the Israelites not only held slaves, but multitudes of them, why had
their language _no word_ that _meant slave_? If Abraham had thousands,
and if they _abounded_ under the Mosaic system, why had they no such
_word_ as slave or slavery? That language must be wofully poverty
stricken, which has _no signs_ to represent the most _common_ and
_familiar_ objects and conditions. To represent by the same word, and
without figure, _property_, and the _owner_ of that property, is a
solecism. Ziba was an "_Ebed_," yet he _"owned_" (!) twenty _Ebeds_. In
_English_, we have both the words _servant_ and _slave_. Why? Because we
have both the _things_, and need _signs_ for them. If the tongue had a
sheath, as swords have scabbards, we should have some _name_ for it: but
our dictionaries give us none. Why? because there is no such _thing_.
But the objector asks, "Would not the Israelites use their word _Ebed_
if they spoke of the slave of a heathen?" Answer. The servants of
individuals among the heathen are scarcely ever alluded to. _National_
servants or _tributaries_, are spoken of frequently, but so rarely are
their _domestic_ servants alluded to, no necessity existed, even if they
were slaves, for coining a new word. Besides, the fact of their being
domestics, under _heathen laws and usages_, proclaimed their
_liabilities_; their locality told their condition; so that in applying
to them the word _Ebed_, there would be no danger of being
misunderstood. But if the Israelites had not only _servants_, but
besides these, a multitude of _slaves_, a _word meaning slave_, would
have been indispensable for purposes of every day convenience. Further,
the laws of the Mosaic system were so many sentinels on every side, to
warn off foreign practices. The border ground of Canaan, was quarantine
ground, enforcing the strictest non-intercourse between the _without_
and the _within_, not of _persons_, but of _usages_. The fact that the
Hebrew language had no words corresponding to _slave_ and _slavery_,
though not a conclusive argument, is no slight corroborative.



II. "FOREVER."--"They shall be your bondmen _forever_." This is quoted
to prove that servants were to serve during their life time, and their
posterity, from generation to generation.

No such idea is contained in the passage. The word _forever_, instead of
defining the length of _individual_ service, proclaims the _permanence_
of the regulation laid down in the two verses preceding, namely, that
their _permanent domestics_ should be of the _Strangers_, and not of the
Israelites; and it declares the duration of that general provision. As
if God had said, "You shall _always_ get your _permanent_ laborers from
the nations round about you--your _servants_ shall always be of _that_
class of persons." As it stands in the original, it is plain--"_Forever
of them shall ye serve yourselves_." This is the literal rendering of
the Hebrew words, which, in our version, are translated, "_They shall be
your bondmen forever_."

This construction is in keeping with the whole of the passage. "Both thy
bondmen and thy bondmaids, which thou shalt have, shall be of the
_heathen_ (the nations) that are round about you. OF THEM shall ye buy
bondmen and bondmaids. Moreover of the children of the strangers that do
sojourn among you, OF THEM shall ye buy," &c. The design of this passage
is manifest from its structure. It was to point out the _class_ of
persons from which they were to get their supply of servants, and the
_way_ in which they were to get them. That "_forever_" refers to the
permanent relations of a _community_, rather than to the services of
_individuals_, is a fair inference from the form of the expression,
"THEY shall be your possession. Ye shall take _them_ as an inheritance
for your children to inherit them for a possession." To say nothing of
the uncertainty of _these individuals_ surviving those _after_ whom they
are to live, the language used, applies more naturally to a _body_ of
people, than to _individual_ servants.

But suppose it otherwise; still _perpetual_ service could not be argued
from the term _forever_. The ninth and tenth verses of the same chapter,
limit it absolutely by the jubilee. "_Then shall thou cause the trumpet
of the jubilee to sound on the tenth day of the seventh month: in the
day of atonement shall ye make the trumpet sound throughout_ ALL _your
land." "And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty
throughout all the land unto_ ALL _the inhabitants thereof_."

It may be objected that "inhabitants" here means _Israelitish_
inhabitants alone. The command is, "Proclaim liberty throughout all the
land unto ALL _the inhabitants thereof_." Besides, in the sixth verse,
there is an enumeration of the different classes of the inhabitants, in
which servants and strangers are included. "_And the Sabbath of the land
shall be meet for_ YOU--[For whom? For you _Israelites_ only?]--_for
thee, and for thy_ SERVANT, _and for thy maid, and for thy hired
servant, and for thy_ STRANGER _that sojourneth with thee_."

Further, in all the regulations of the jubilee, and the sabbatical year,
the strangers are included in the precepts, prohibitions, and promised
blessings. Again: the year of jubilee was ushered in, by the day of
atonement. What was the design of these institutions? The day of
atonement prefigured the atonement of Christ, and the year of jubilee,
the gospel jubilee. And did they prefigure an atonement and a jubilee to
_Jews_ only? Were they the types of sins remitted, and of salvation,
proclaimed to the nation of _Israel_ alone? Is there no redemption for
us Gentiles in these ends of the earth, and is our hope presumption and
impiety? Did that old partition wall survive the shock, that made earth
quake, and hid the sun, burst graves and rocks, and rent the temple
vail? And did the Gospel only rear it higher to thunder direr perdition
from its frowning battlements on all without? No! The God of OUR
salvation lives. "Good tidings of great joy shall be to ALL people."
_One_ shout shall swell from _all_ the ransomed, "Thou hast redeemed us
unto God by thy blood out of EVERY kindred, and tongue, and people, and
nation." To deny that the blessings of the jubilee extended to the
servants from the _Gentiles_, makes Christianity _Judaism_. It not only
eclipses the glory of the Gospel, but strikes out the sun. The refusal
to release servants at the sound of the jubilee trumpet, falsified and
disannulled a grand leading type of the atonement, and thus libelled the
doctrine of Christ's redemption.

Finally, even if _forever_ did refer to the length of _individual_
service, we have ample precedents for limiting the term by the jubilee.
The same word is used to define the length of time for which those
_Jewish_ servants were held, who refused to go out in the _seventh_
year. And all admit that their term of service did not go beyond the
jubilee. Ex. xxi. 2-6; Deut. xv. 12-17.

The 23d verse of the same chapter is quoted to prove that "_forever_" in
the 46th verse, extends beyond the jubilee. "_The land shall not be
sold_ FOREVER, _for the land is mine_"--as it would hardly be used in
different senses in the same general connection. In reply, we repeat
that _forever_ respects the duration of the _general arrangement_, and
not that of _individual service_. Consequently, it is not affected by
the jubilee; so the objection does not touch the argument. But it may
not be amiss to show that it is equally harmless against any other
argument drawn from the use of forever in the 46th verse,--for the word
there used, is _Olam_, meaning _throughout the period_, whatever that
may be. Whereas in the 23d verse, it is _Tsemithuth_, meaning _cutting
off_, or _to be cut off_.



III. "INHERITANCE AND POSSESSION."--"_Ye shall take them as an_
INHERITANCE _for your children after you to inherit them for a
possession_." This refers to the _nations_, and not to the _individual_
servants, procured from these nations. We have already shown, that
servants could not be held as a _property_-possession, and inheritance;
that they became servants of their _own accord_, and were paid wages;
that they were released by law from their regular labor nearly _half the
days in each year_, and thoroughly _instructed_; that the servants were
_protected_ in all their personal, social, and religious rights, equally
with their masters, &c. Now, truly, all remaining, after these ample
reservations, would be small temptation, either to the lust of power or
of lucre. What a profitable "possession" and "inheritance!" What if our
American slaves were all placed in _just such a condition_! Alas, for
that soft, melodious circumlocution, "Our PECULIAR species of property!"
Truly, emphasis is cadence, and euphony and irony have met together!

What eager snatches at mere words, and bald technics, irrespective of
connection, principles of construction, Bible usages, or limitations of
meaning by other passages--and all to eke out such a sense as accords
with existing usages and sanctifies them, thus making God pander for
their lusts. Little matter whether the meaning of the word be primary or
secondary, literal or figurative, _provided_ it sustains their
practices.

But let us inquire whether the words rendered "inherit" and
"inheritance," when used in the Old Testament, necessarily point out the
things inherited and possessed as _articles of property_. _Nahal_ and
_Nahala_--_inherit_ and _inheritance_. See 2 Chronicles x. 16. "The
people answered the king and said, What portion have we in David, and we
have none _inheritance_ in the son of Jesse." Did they mean gravely to
disclaim the holding of their king as an article of _property?_ Psalms
cxxvii. 3--"Lo, children are an _heritage_ (inheritance) of the Lord."
Exodus xxxiv. 9--"Pardon our iniquity and our sin, and take us for thine
_inheritance_." When God pardons his enemies, and adopts them as his
children, does he make them _articles of property?_ Are forgiveness, and
chattel-making, synonymes? Psalms cxix. 111--"Thy testimonies have I
taken as a _heritage_ (inheritance) forever." Ezekiel xliv. 27, 28--"And
in the day that he goeth into the sanctuary, unto the inner court to
minister in the sanctuary, he shall offer his sin-offering, saith the
Lord God. And it shall be unto them for an _inheritance_; _I_ am their
_inheritance_." Psalms ii. 8--"Ask of me, and I will give thee the
heathen for thine _inheritance_." Psalms xciv. 14--"For the Lord will
not cast off his people, neither will he forsake his _inheritance_." See
also Deuteronomy iv. 20; Joshua xiii. 33; Chronicles x. 16; Psalms
lxxxii. 8, and lxxviii. 62, 71; Proverbs xiv. 8.

The question whether the servants were a PROPERTY--"_possession_," has
been already discussed--(See p. 36)--we need add in this place but a
word. _Ahusa_ rendered "_possession_." Genesis xlii. 11--"And Joseph
placed his father and his brethren, and gave them a _possession_ in the
land of Egypt, in the best of the land, in the land of Rameses, as
Pharaoh had commanded."

In what sense was the land of Goshen the _possession_ of the Israelites?
Answer, In the sense of, _having it to live in_. In what sense were the
Israelites to _possess_ these nations, and _take them_ as an
_inheritance for their children?_ We answer, They possessed them as _a
permanent source of supply for domestic or household servants. And this
relation to these nations was to go down to posterity as a standing
regulation--a national usage respecting them, having the certainty and
regularity of a descent by inheritance_. The sense of the whole
regulation may be given thus: "Thy permanent domestics, both male and
female, which thou shalt have, shall be of the nations that are round
about you, of _them_ shall ye get male and female domestics." "Moreover
of the children of the foreigners that do sojourn among you, of _them_
shall ye get, and of their families that are with you, which they begat
in your land, and _they_ shall be your permanent resource," (for
household servants.) "And ye shall take them as a _perpetual_ provision
for your children after you, to hold as a _constant source of supply_.
ALWAYS _of them_ shall ye serve yourselves."



OBJECTION IV. "_If thy brother that dwelleth by thee be waxen poor, and
be sold unto thee, thou shalt not compel him to serve as a_
BOND-SERVANT, _but as an_ HIRED-SERVANT, _and as a sojourner shall he be
with thee, and shall serve thee unto the year of jubilee_." Lev. xxv.
39, 40.

From the fact that only _one_ class of the servants is called _hired_,
it is sagely inferred that servants of the _other_ class were _not paid_
for their labor. That is, that while God thundered anathemas against
those who "used their neighbor's service _without wages_," he granted a
special indulgence to his chosen people to seize persons, force them to
work, and rob them of earnings, provided always, in selecting their
victims, they spared "the gentlemen of property and standing," and
pounced only upon the _strangers_ and the _common_ people. The inference
that "_hired_" is synonimous with _paid_, and that those servants not
_called_ "hired" were _not paid_ for their labor, is a _mere
assumption_.

The meaning of the English verb _to hire_, is, as every one knows, to
procure for a temporary use at a curtain price--to engage a person to
_temporary_ service for wages. That is also the meaning of the Hebrew
word "_Saukar_." _Temporary_ service, and generally for a _specific_
object, is inseparable from its meaning. It is never used when the
procurement of _permanent_ service, for a long period, is spoken of.
Now, we ask, would _permanent_ servants, those who constituted an
integral and stationary part of the family, have been designated by the
same term that marks _temporary_ servants? The every-day distinctions
made on this subject, are as familiar as table-talk. In many families,
the domestics perform only such labor, as every day brings along with
it--the _regular_ work. Whatever is _occasional_ merely, as the washing
of a family, is done by persons _hired expressly for the purpose_. In
such families, the familiar distinction between the two classes, is
"servants," or "domestics," and "hired help," (not _paid_ help.) _Both_
classes are _paid_. One is permanent, the other occasional and
temporary, and therefore in this case called "_hired_." To suppose a
servant robbed of his earnings, because when spoken of, he is not called
a _hired_ servant, is profound induction! If I employ a man at twelve
dollars a month to work my farm, he is my _"hired"_ man, but if, instead
of giving him so much a month, I _give him such a portion of the crop_,
or in other words, if he works my farm _"on shares,"_ he is no longer my
_hired_ man. Every farmer knows that _that_ designation is not applied
to him. Yet he works the same farm, in the same way, at the same times,
and with the same teams and tools; and does the same amount of work in
the year, and perhaps clears twenty dollars a month, instead of the
twelve, paid him while he was my _hired_ laborer. Now, as the technic
_"hired"_ is no longer used to designate him, and as he still labors on
my farm, suppose my neighbors gather in conclave, and from such ample
premises sagely infer, that since he is no longer my _"hired"_ laborer,
I _rob_ him of his earnings, and with all the gravity of owls, they
record their decision, and adjourn to hoot it abroad. My neighbors are
deep divers!--like some theological professors, they not only go to the
bottom, but come up covered with the tokens.



A variety of particulars are recorded in the Bible, distinguishing
_hired_ from _bought_ servants. (1.) Hired servants were paid daily at
the close of their work. Lev. xix 13; Deut. xxiv. 14, 15; Job. vii. 2;
Matt. xx. 8. _"Bought"_ servants were paid in advance, (a reason for
their being called, _bought_,) and those that went out at the seventh
year received a _gratuity_ at the close of their period of service.
Deut. xv. 12-13. (2.) The hired servant was paid _in money_, the bought
servant received his _gratuity_, at least, in grain, cattle, and the
product of the vintage. Deut. xiv. 17. (3.) The _hired_ servant _lived
by himself_, in his own family. The _bought_ servant was a part of his
master's family. (4.) The _hired_ servant supported his family out of
his wages; the _bought_ servant and his family, were supported by the
master _besides_ his wages.



A careful investigation of the condition of "_hired_" and of "_bought_"
servants, shows that the latter were, _as a class, superior to the
former_--were more trust-worthy, had greater privileges, and occupied in
every respect (_other_ things being equal) a higher station in society.
(1.) _They were intimately incorporated with the family of the master_.
They were guests at family festivals, and social solemnities, from which
hired servants were excluded. Lev. xxii. 10; Exod. xii. 43, 45. (2)
_Their interests were far more identified with the general interests of
their masters' family._ Bought servants were often actually, or
prospectively, heirs of their master's estate. Witness the case of
Eliezer, of Ziba, of the sons of Bilhah, and Zilpah, and others. When
there were no sons to inherit the estate, or when, by unworthiness, they
had forfeited their title, bought servants were made heirs. Proverbs
xvii. 2. We find traces of this usage in the New Testament. "But when
the husbandmen saw him, they reasoned among themselves, saying, this is
the _heir_, come let us kill him, _that the inheritance may be ours_."
Luke xx. 14; also Mark xii. 7. In no instance on Bible record, does a
_hired_ servant inherit his master's estate. (3.) _Marriages took place
between servants and their master's daughters_. "Now Sheshan had no
sons, but daughters: and Sheshan had a _servant_, an Egyptian, whose
name was Jarha. And Sheshan gave his daughter to Jarha his servant to
wife." 1 Chron. ii. 34, 35. There is no instance of a _hired_ servant
forming such an alliance.

(4.) _Bought servants and their descendants seem to have been regarded
with the same affection and respect as the other members of the
family[A]._ The treatment of Eliezer, and the other servants in the
family of Abraham, Gen. chap. 25--the intercourse between Gideon and his
servant Phurah, Judges vii. 10, 11. and Saul and his servant, in their
interview with Samuel, 1 Sam. ix. 5, 22; and Jonathan and his servant, 1
Sam. xiv. 1-14, and Elisha and his servant Gehazi, are illustrations. No
such tie seems to have existed between _hired_ servants and their
masters. Their untrustworthiness seems to have been proverbial. See John
ix. 12, 13.

None but the _lowest class_ seem to have engaged as hired servants. No
instance occurs in which they are assigned to business demanding much
knowledge or skill. Various passages show the low repute and trifling
character of the class from which they were hired. Judges ix. 4; 1 Sam.
ii. 5.

The superior condition and privileges of bought servants, are manifested
in the high trusts confided to them, and in the dignity and authority
with which they were clothed in their master's household. But in no
instance is a _hired_ servant thus distinguished. In some cases, the
_bought_ servant is manifestly the master's representative in the
family--with plenipotentiary powers over adult children, even
negotiating marriage for them. Abraham besought Eliezer his servant, to
take a solemn oath, that HE would not take a wife for Isaac of the
daughters of the Canaanites, but from Abraham's kindred. The servant
went accordingly, and _himself_ selected the individual. Servants also
exercised discretionary power in the management of their master's
estate, "And the servant took ten camels, of the camels of his master,
_for all the goods of his master were under his hand_." Gen. xxiv. 10.
The reason assigned for taking them, is not that such was Abraham's
direction, but that the servant had discretionary control. Servants had
also discretionary power in the _disposal of property_. See Gen. xxiv.
22, 23, 53. The condition of Ziba in the house of Mephiboseth, is a case
in point. So is Prov. xvii. 2. Distinct traces of this estimation are to
be found in the New Testament, Math. xxiv. 45; Luke xii. 42, 44. So in
the parable of the talents; the master seems to have set up each of his
servants in trade with considerable capital. One of them could not have
had less than eight thousand dollars. The parable of the unjust steward
is another illustration. Luke xvi. 4, 8. He evidently was entrusted with
large _discretionary_ power, was "accused of wasting his master's
goods." and manifestly regulated with his master's debtors, the _terms_
of settlement. Such trusts were never reposed in _hired_ servants.

The inferior condition of _hired_ servants, is illustrated in the
parable of the prodigal son. When the prodigal, perishing with hunger
among the swine and husks, came to himself, his proud heart broke; "I
will arise," he cried, "and go to my father." And then to assure his
father of the depth of his humility, resolved to add imploringly, "Make
me as one of thy _hired_ servants." It need not be remarked, that if
_hired_ servants were the _superior_ class; to apply for the situation,
and press the suit, savored little of that sense of unworthiness that
seeks the dust with hidden face, and cries "unclean." Unhumbled nature
_climbs_; or if it falls, clings fast, where first it may. Humility
sinks of its own weight, and in the lowest deep, digs lower. The design
of the parable was to illustrate on the one hand, the joy of God, as he
beholds afar off, the returning sinner "seeking an injured father's
face" who runs to clasp and bless him with an unchiding welcome; and on
the other, the contrition of the penitent, turning homeward with tears,
from his wanderings, his stricken spirit breaking with its ill-desert,
he sobs aloud, "The lowest place, _the lowest place_, I can abide no
other." Or in those inimitable words, "_Father, I have sinned against
Heaven, and in thy sight, and no more worthy to be called thy son; make
me as one of thy_ HIRED _servants_." The supposition that _hired_
servants were the _highest_ class, takes from the parable an element of
winning beauty and pathos. It is manifest to every careful student of
the Bible, that _one_ class of servants, was on terms of equality with
the children and other members of the family. (Hence the force of Paul's
declaration, Gal. iv. 1, _"Now I say unto you, that the heir, so long as
he is a child,_ DIFFERETH NOTHING FROM A SERVANT, _though he be lord of
all."_) If this were the _hired_ class, the prodigal was a sorry
specimen of humility. Would our Lord have put such language, into the
lips of one held up by himself, as a model of gospel humility, to
illustrate its lowliness, its conscious destitution of all merit, and
deep sense of all ill desert? If this is _humility_, put it on stilts,
and set it a strutting, while pride takes lessons, and blunders in
apeing it.

Here let it be observed, that both Israelites and Strangers, belonged
indiscriminately to _each_ class of the servants, the _bought_ and the
_hired_. That those in the former class, whether Jews or Strangers, were
in higher estimation, and rose to honors and authority in the family
circle, which were not conferred on _hired_ servants, has been already
shown. It should be added, however, that in the enjoyment of privileges,
merely _political_ and _national_, the hired servants from the
_Israelites_, were more favored than either the hired, or the bought
servants from the _Strangers_. No one from the Strangers, however
wealthy or highly endowed, was eligible to the highest office, nor could
he own the soil. This last disability seems to have been one reason for
the different periods of service required of the two classes of bought
servants--the Israelites and the Strangers. The Israelite was to serve
six years--the Stranger until the jubilee[A].

[Footnote A: Both classes may with propriety be called _permanent_
servants; even the bought Israelite, when his six-years' service is
contrasted with the brief term of the hired servant.]

As the Strangers could not own the soil, nor even houses, except within
walled towns, most of them would choose to attach themselves permanently
to Israelitish families. Those Strangers who were wealthy, or skilled in
manufactures, instead of becoming servants themselves, would need
servants for their own use, and as inducements for the Strangers to
become servants to the Israelites, were greater than persons of their
own nation could hold out to them, these wealthy Strangers would
naturally procure the poorer Israelites for servants. See Levit. xxv.
47. In a word, such was the political condition of the Strangers, the
Jewish polity furnished a strong motive to them, to become servants,
thus incorporating themselves with the nation, and procuring those
social and religious privileges already enumerated, and for their
children in the second generation, a permanent inheritance. (This last
was a regulation of later date. Ezekiel xlvii. 21-23.) Indeed, the
structure of the whole Mosaic polity, was a virtual bounty offered to
those who would become permanent servants, and merge in the Jewish
system their distinct nationality. None but the monied aristocracy among
them, would be likely to decline such offers.

For various reasons, this class, (the servants bought from the
Strangers,) would prefer a _long_ service. They would thus more
effectually become absorbed into the national circulation, and identify
their interests with those in whose gift were all things desirable for
themselves, and brighter prospects for their children. On the other
hand, the Israelites, owning all the soil, and an inheritance of land
being a sort of sacred possession, to hold it free of incumbrance, was,
with every Israelite, a delicate point, both of family honor and
personal character. 1 Kings xxi. 3. Hence, to forego the _possession_ of
one's inheritance, _after_ the division of the paternal domain, or to be
restrained from its _control_, after having acceded to it, was a burden
grievous to be borne. To mitigate, as much as possible, such a calamity,
the law, instead of requiring the Israelite to continue a servant until
the jubilee, released him at the end six years[A], as, during that
time--if, of the first class--the partition of the patrimonial land
might have taken place; or, if of the second, enough money might have
been earned to disencumber his estate, and thus he might assume his
station as a lord of the soil. If these contingencies had not occurred,
then, at the end of another six years, the opportunity was again
offered, and in the same manner until the jubilee. So while strong
motives urged the Israelite, to discontinue his service as soon as the
exigency had passed, which induced him to become a servant, every
consideration impelled the _Stranger_ to _prolong_ his term of service;
and the same kindness which dictated the law of six years' service for
the Israelite, assigned as the general rule, a much longer period to the
Gentile servant, who, instead of being tempted to a brief service, had
every inducement to protract the term.

[Footnote A: Another reason for protracting the service until the
seventh year, seems to have been, its coincidence with other
arrangements, and provisions, inseparable from the Jewish economy. That
period was a favorite one in the Mosaic system. Its pecuniary
responsibilities, social relations and general internal structure, if
not _graduated_ upon a septennial scale, were variously modified by the
lapse of the period. Another reason doubtless was, that as those
Israelites who became servants through poverty, would not sell
themselves, except as a last resort when other expedients to recruit
their finances had failed--(See Lev. xxv. 35)--their _becoming servants_
proclaimed such a state of their affairs, as demanded the labor of _a
course of years_ fully to reinstate them.]

It is important to a clear understanding of the whole subject, to keep
in mind that adult Jews ordinarily became servants, only as a temporary
expedient to relieve themselves from embarrassment, and ceased to be
such when that object was effected. The poverty that forced them to it
was a calamity, and their service was either a means of relief, or a
measure of prevention. It was not pursued as a _permanent business_, but
resorted to on emergencies--a sort of episode in the main scope of their
lives. Whereas with the Strangers, it was a _permanent employment_,
pursued not merely as a _means_ of bettering their own condition, and
prospectively that of their posterity, but also, as an _end_ for its own
sake, conferring on them privileges, and a social estimation not
otherwise attainable.

We see from the foregoing, why servants purchased from the heathen, are
called by way of distinction, _the_ servants, (not _bondmen_, as our
translators have it.) (1.) They followed it as a _permanent business_.
(2.) Their term of service was _much longer_ than that of the other
class. (3.) As a class, they doubtless greatly outnumbered the
Israelitish servants. (4.) All the Strangers that dwelt in the land,
were _tributaries_ to the Israelites--required to pay an annual tribute
to the government, either in money, or in public service, which was
called a "_tribute of bond-service_;" in other words, all the Strangers
were _national servants_, to the Israelites, and the same Hebrew word
which is used to designate _individual_ servants, equally designates
_national_ servants or tributaries. 2 Sam. viii. 2, 6, 14. 2 Chron.
viii. 7-9. Deut. xx. 11. 2 Sam. x. 19. 1 Kings ix. 21, 22. 1 Kings iv.
21. Gen. xxvii. 29. The same word is applied to the Israelites, when
they paid tribute to other nations. See 2 Kings xvii. 3. Judges iii. 8,
14. Gen. xlix. 15. Another distinction between the Jewish and Gentile
bought servants, claims notice. It was in the _kinds_ of service
assigned to each class. The servants from the Strangers, were properly
the _domestics_, or household servants, employed in all family work, in
offices of personal attendance, and in such mechanical labor, as was
constantly required in every family, by increasing wants, and needed
repairs. On the other hand, the Jewish bought servants seem to have been
almost exclusively _agricultural_. Besides being better fitted for this
by previous habits--agriculture, and the tending of cattle, were
regarded by the Israelites as the most honorable of all occupations;
kings engaged in them. After Saul was elected king, and escorted to
Gibeah, the next report of him is, "_And behold Saul came after the herd
out of the field_."--1 Sam. xi. 7.

Elisha "was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen" when Elijah threw his
mantle upon him. 1 Kings xix. 19. King Uzziah "loved husbandry." 2
Chron. xxvi. 10. Gideon, the deliverer of Israel, _was "threshing wheat_
by the wine press" when called to lead the host against the Midianites.
Judges vi. 11. The superior honorableness of agriculture, is shown by
the fact, that it was _protected and supported by the fundamental law_
of the theocracy--God thus indicating it as the chief prop of the
government, and putting upon it peculiar honor. An inheritance of land
seems to have filled out an Israelite's idea of worldly furnishment.
They were like permanent fixtures on their soil, so did they cling to
it. To be agriculturalists on their own inheritances, was, in their
notions, the basis of family consequence, and the grand claim to
honorable estimation. Agriculture being pre-eminently a _Jewish_
employment, to assign a native Israelite to _other_ employments as a
_business_, was to break up his habits, do violence to cherished
predilections, and put him to a kind of labor in which he had no skill,
and which he deemed degrading. In short, it was, in the earlier ages of
the Mosaic system, practically to _unjew_ him, a hardship and rigor
grievous to be borne, as it annihilated a visible distinction between
the descendants of Abraham and the Strangers--a distinction vital to the
system, and gloried in by every Jew.

_To guard this and another fundamental distinction_, God instituted the
regulation contained in Leviticus xxv. 39, which stands at the head of
this branch of our inquiry, "_If thy brother that dwelleth by thee be
waxen poor, and be sold unto thee, thou shalt not compel him to serve as
a bond-servant._" In other words, thou shalt not put him to _servants'
work_--to the _business_, and into the _condition_ of _domestics_.

In the Persian version it is translated thus, "Thou shalt not assign to
him the work of _servitude_," (or _menial_ labor.) In the Septuagint
thus, "He shall not serve thee with the service of a _domestic or
household servant_." In the Syriac thus, "Thou shalt not employ him
after the manner of servants." In the Samaritan thus, "Thou shalt not
require him to serve in the service of a servant." In the Targum of
Onkelos thus, "He shall not serve thee with the service of a household
servant." In the Targum of Jonathan thus, "Thou shalt not cause him to
serve according to the usages of the servitude of servants[A]." In fine,
"thou shalt not compel him to serve as a bond-servant," means, _thou
shalt not assign him to the same grade, nor put him to the same
services, with permanent domestics._

[Footnote A: Jarchi's comment on "Thou shalt not compel him to serve as
a bond-servant" is, "the Hebrew servant is not to be required to do any
thing which is accounted degrading--such as all offices of personal
attendance, as loosing his master's shoe latchet, bringing him water to
wash his feet and hands, waiting on him at table, dressing him, carrying
things to and from the bath. The Hebrew servant is to work with his
master as a son or brother, in the business of his farm, or other labor,
until his legal release."]

We pass to the remainder of the regulation in the 40th verse:--

"_But as an hired servant and as a sojourner shall he be with thee_."
Hired servants were not incorporated into the families of their masters;
they still retained their own family organization, without the surrender
of any domestic privilege, honor, or authority; and this, even though
they resided under the same roof with their master. While
bought-servants were associated with their master's families at meals,
at the Passover, and at other family festivals, hired servants and
sojourners were not. Exodus xii. 44, 45; Lev. xxii. 10, 11. Not being
merged in the family of his master, the hired servant was not subject to
his authority, (except in directions about his labor) in any such sense
as the master's wife, children, and bought servants. Hence the only form
of oppressing hired servants spoken of in the Scriptures as practicable
to masters, is that of _keeping back their wages_.

To have taken away these privileges in the case stated in the passage
under consideration, would have been preeminent _rigor_; for the case
described, is not that of a servant born in the house of a master, nor
that of a minor, whose unexpired minority had been sold by the father,
neither was it the case of an Israelite, who though of age, had not yet
acceded to his inheritance; nor, finally, was it that of one who had
received the _assignment_ of his inheritance, but was, as a servant,
working off from it an incumbrance, before entering upon its possession
and control[A]. But it was that of _the head of a family_, who had lived
independently on his own inheritance, and long known better days, now
reduced to poverty, forced to relinquish the loved inheritance of his
fathers, with the competence and respectful consideration its possession
secured to him, and to be indebted to a neighbor for shelter,
sustenance, and employment, both for himself and his family. Surely so
sad a reverse, might well claim sympathy; but there remaineth to him one
consolation, and it cheers him in the house of his pilgrimage. He is an
_Israelite--Abraham is his father_, and now in his calamity he clings
closer than ever, to the distinction conferred by the immunities of his
birthright. To rob him of this, were "the unkindest cut of all." To have
assigned him to a _grade_ of service filled only by those whose
permanent business was _serving_, would have been to _rule over him with
peculiar rigor_.

[Footnote A: These two latter classes are evidently referred to in Exod.
xxi. 1-6, and Deut. xv. 12]

Finally, the former part of the regulation, "Thou shalt not compel him
to serve as a bond-servant," or more literally, _thou shall not serve
thyself with him, with the service of a servant_, guaranties his
political privileges, and secures to him a kind and grade of service,
comporting with his character and relations as a son of Israel. And the
remainder of the verse, "But as a _hired_ servant, and as a sojourner
shall he be with thee," continues and secures to him his separate family
organization, the respect and authority due to his head, and the general
consideration in society resulting from such a station. Though this
individual was a Jewish _bought_ servant, the case is peculiar, and
forms an exception to the general class of Jewish bought servants. Being
already in possession of his inheritance, and the head of a household,
the law so arranged his relations, as a servant, as to _alleviate_ as
much as possible the calamity which had reduced him from independence
and authority, to penury and subjection.

Having gone so much into detail on this point, comment on the command
which concludes this topic in the forty-third verse, would be
superfluous. "_Thou shalt not rule over him with rigor, but shalt fear
thy God_." As if it had been said, "In your administration you shall not
disregard those differences in previous habits, station, authority, and
national and political privileges, upon which this regulation is based;
for to exercise authority over this class of servants, _irrespective_ of
these distinctions, and annihilating them, is _to__rule with rigor_."
The same command is repeated in the forty-sixth verse, and applied to
the distinction between the servants of Jewish, and those of Gentile
extraction, and forbids the overlooking of distinctive Jewish
peculiarities, so vital to an Israelite as to make the violation of
them, _rigorous_ in the extreme; while to the servants from the
Strangers, whose previous habits and associations differed so widely
from those of the Israelite, these same things would be deemed slight
disabilities.

It may be remarked here, that the political and other disabilities of
the Strangers, which were the distinctions growing out of a different
national descent, and important to the preservation of national
characteristics, and to the purity of national worship, do not seem to
have effected at all the _social_ estimation, in which this class of
servants was held. They were regarded according to their character and
worth as _persons_, irrespective of their foreign origin, employments,
and political condition.

The common construction put upon the expression, "_rule with rigor_,"
and an inference drawn from it, have an air so oracular, as quite to
overcharge risibles of ordinary calibre, if such an effect were not
forestalled by its impiety. It is interpreted to mean, "you shall not
make him an article of property, you shall not force him to work, and
rob him of his earnings, you shall not make him a chattel, and strip him
of legal protection." So much for the interpretation. The inference is
like unto it, viz. Since the command forbade such outrages upon the
_Israelites, it permitted and commissioned_ the infliction of them upon
the _Strangers_. Such impious and shallow smattering, captivates two
classes of minds, the one by its flippancy, the other by its blasphemy,
and both, by the strong scent of its unbridled license. What boots it to
reason against such rampant affinities!

In Exodus, chap. i. 13, 14, it is said that the Egyptians "made the
children of Israel to _serve_ with rigor," "and all their _service_
wherein they made them _serve_, was with rigor." The rigor here spoken
of, is affirmed of the _amount of labor_ extorted from them, and the
_mode_ of the exaction. This form of expression, "_serve with rigor_,"
is never applied to the service of servants either under the
Patriarchal, or the Mosaic systems. Nor is any other form of expression
ever used, either equivalent to it, or at all similar. The phrase, "thou
shalt not RULE over him with rigor," used in Leviticus xxv. 43, 46, does
not prohibit unreasonable exactions of labor, nor inflictions of
personal cruelty. _Such were provided against otherwise_. But it
forbids, confounding the distinctions between a Jew and a Stranger, by
assigning the former to the same grade of service, for the same term of
time, and under the same national and political disabilities as the
latter.



We are now prepared to survey at a glance, the general condition of the
different classes of servants, with the modifications peculiar to each
class. I. In the possession of _all fundamental rights, all classes of
servants were on an absolute equality_, all were _equally protected_ by
law in their persons, character, property and social relations. All were
_voluntary_, all were _compensated_ for their labor. All were released
from their regular labor nearly _one half of the days in each year_, all
were furnished with stated _instruction_; none in either class were in
any sense articles of _property_, all were regarded as _men_, with the
rights, interests, hopes, and destinies of _men_. In these respects the
circumstances of _all_ classes of servants among the Israelites, were
not only similar but _identical_, and so far forth, they formed but ONE
CLASS.

II. DIFFERENT CLASSES OF SERVANTS.

1. _Hired Servants_.--This class consisted both of Israelites and
Strangers. Their employments were different. The _Israelite_, was an
agricultural servant. The Stranger was a _domestic_ and _personal_
servant, and in some instances _mechanical_; both were _occasional_,
procured _temporally_ to serve an emergency. Both lived in their own
families, their wages were _money_, and they were paid when their work
was done. As a _class of servants_, the hired were less loved, trusted,
honored and promoted than any other.

2. _Bought Servants, (including those "born in the house.")_--This class
also, was composed both of Israelites and Strangers, the same general
difference obtaining in their kinds of employment as was noticed before.
Both were paid in advance[A], and neither was temporary.

[Footnote A: The payment _in advance_, doubtless lessened considerably
the price of the purchase; the servant thus having the use of the money
from the beginning, and the master assuming all the risks of life, and
health for labor; at the expiration of the six years' contract, the
master having experienced no loss from the risk incurred at the making
of it, was obliged by law to release the servant with a liberal
gratuity. The reason assigned for this is, "he hath been worth a double
hired servant unto thee in serving thee six years," as if it had been
said, he has now served out his time, and as you have experienced no
loss from the risks of life, and ability to labor which you incurred in
the purchase, and which lessened the price, and as, by being your
permanent servant for six years, he has saved you all the time and
trouble of looking up and hiring laborers on emergencies, therefore,
"thou shalt furnish him liberally," &c.]

The Israelitish servant, in most instances, was released after six
years. (The _freeholder_ continued until the jubilee.) The Stranger, was
a _permanent_ servant, continuing until the jubilee. Besides these
distinctions between Jewish and Gentile bought servants, a marked
distinction obtained between different classes of Jewish bought
servants. Ordinarily, during their term of service, they were merged in
their master's family, and, like the wife and children of the master,
subject to his authority; (and of course, like them, protected by law
from its abuse.) But _one_ class of the Jewish bought servants was a
marked exception. The _freeholder_, obliged by poverty to leave his
possession, and sell himself as a servant, did not thereby affect his
family relations, or authority, nor subject himself as an inferior to
the control of his master, though dependent upon him for employment. In
this respect, his condition differed from that of the main body of
Jewish bought servants, which seems to have consisted of those, who had
not yet come into possession of their inheritance, or of those who were
dislodging from it an incumbrance.

Having dwelt so much at length on this part of the subject, the reader's
patience may well be spared further details. We close it with a
suggestion or two, which may serve as a solvent of some minor
difficulties, if such remain.

I. It should be kept in mind, that _both_ classes of servants, the
Israelite and the Stranger, not only enjoyed _equal natural and
religious rights_, but _all the civil and political privileges_ enjoyed
by those of their own people, who were _not_ servants. If Israelites,
all rights belonging to Israelites were theirs. If from the Strangers,
the same political privileges enjoyed by those wealthy Strangers, who
bought and held _Israelitish_ servants, _were theirs_. They also shared
_in common with them_, the political disabilities which appertained to
_all_ Strangers, whether the servants of Jewish masters, or the masters
of Jewish servants.



II. The disabilities of the servants from the Strangers, were
exclusively _political_ and _national_.

1. They, in common with all Strangers, _could not own the soil_.

2. They were _ineligible to civil offices_.

3. They were assigned to _employments_ less honorable than those in
which Israelitish servants engaged; agriculture being regarded as
fundamental to the prosperity and even to the existence of the state,
other employments were in far less repute, and deemed _unjewish_.

Finally, the condition of the Strangers, whether servants or masters,
was, as it respected political privileges, much like that of
unnaturalized foreigners in the United States; no matter how great their
wealth or intelligence, or moral principle, or love for our
institutions, they can neither go to the ballot-box, nor own the soil,
nor be eligible to office. Let a native American, who has always enjoyed
these privileges, be suddenly bereft of them, and loaded with the
disabilities of an alien, and what to the foreigner would be a light
matter, to _him_, would be the severity of _rigor_.

The recent condition of the Jews and Catholics in England, is a still
better illustration of the political condition of the Strangers in
Israel. Rothschild, the late English banker, though the richest private
citizen in the world, and perhaps master of scores of English servants,
who sued for the smallest crumbs of his favor, was, as a subject of the
government, inferior to the veriest scavenger among them. Suppose an
Englishman, of the Established Church, were by law deprived of power to
own the soil, made ineligible to office, and deprived unconditionally of
the electoral franchise, would Englishmen think it a misapplication of
language, if it were said, "The government rules over that man with
rigor?" And yet his life, limbs, property, reputation, conscience, all
his social relations, the disposal of his time, the right of locomotion
at pleasure, and of natural liberty in all respects, are just as much
protected by law as the Lord Chancellor's. The same was true of all "the
strangers within the gates" among the Israelites: Whether these
Strangers were the servants of Israelitish masters, or the masters of
Israelitish servants, whether sojourners, or bought servants, or born in
the house, or hired, or neither--_all were protected equally with the
descendants of Abraham._



Finally--As the Mosaic system was a great compound type, made up of
innumerable fractional ones, each rife with meaning in doctrine and
duty; the practical power of the whole, depended upon the exact
observance of those distinctions and relations which constituted its
significancy. Hence, the care everywhere shown to preserve inviolate the
distinction between a _descendant of Abraham_ and a _Stranger_, even
when the Stranger was a proselyte, had gone through the initiatory
ordinances, entered the congregation, and become incorporated with the
Israelites by family alliance. The regulation laid down in Exodus xxi.
2-6, is an illustration, _"If thou buy an Hebrew servant, six years
shall he serve: and in the seventh he shall go out free for nothing. If
he came in by himself, he shall go out by himself: if he were married,
then, his wife shall go out with him. If his master have given him a
wife, and she have borne him sons or daughters; the wife and her
children shall be her master's, and he shall go out by himself. And if
the servant should plainly say, I love my master, my wife, and my
children, I will not go out free: then his master shall bring him unto
the judges; he shall also bring him to the door, or unto the door-post;
and his master shall bore his ear through with an awl, and he shall
serve him forever."_ In this case, the Israelitish servant, whose term
expired in six years, married one of his master's _permanent female
domestics_; but the fact of her marriage, did not release her master
from _his_ part of the contract for her whole term of service, nor
absolve him from his legal obligation to support and educate her
children. Nor could it do away that distinction, which marked her
national descent by a specific _grade_ and _term_ of service. Her
marriage did not impair her obligation to fulfil _her_ part of the
contract. Her relations as a permanent domestic grew out of a
distinction guarded with great care throughout the Mosaic system. To
permit this to be rendered void, would have been to divide the system
against itself. This God would not tolerate. Nor, on the other hand,
would he permit the master, to throw off the responsibility of
instructing her children, nor the care and expense of their helpless
infancy and rearing. He was bound to support and educate them, and all
her children born afterwards during her term of service. The whole
arrangement beautifully illustrates that wise and tender regard for the
interests of all the parties concerned, which arrays the Mosaic system
in robes of glory, and causes it to shine as the sun in the kingdom of
our Father. By this law, the children had secured to them a mother's
tender care. If the husband loved his wife and children, he could compel
his master to keep him, whether he had any occasion for his services or
not, and with such remuneration as was provided by the statute. If he
did not love them, to be rid of him was a blessing; and in that case,
the regulation would prove an act for the relief of an afflicted family.
It is not by any means to be inferred, that the release of the servant
from his service in the seventh year, either absolved him from the
obligations of marriage, or shut him out from the society of his family.
He could doubtless procure a service at no great distance from them, and
might often do it, to get higher wages, or a kind of employment better
suited to his taste and skill, or because his master might not have
sufficient work to occupy him. Whether he lived near his family, or at a
considerable distance, the great number of days on which the law
released servants from regular labor, would enable him to spend much
more time with them than can be spent by most of the agents of our
benevolent societies with _their_ families, or by many merchants,
editors, artists, &c., whose daily business is in New York, while their
families reside from ten to one hundred miles in the country.



We conclude this Inquiry by touching briefly upon an objection, which,
though not formally stated, has been already set aside by the whole
tenor of the foregoing argument. It is this,--

_"The slavery of the Canaanites by the Israelites, was appointed by God
as a commutation of the punishment of death denounced against them for
their sins."_--If the absurdity of a sentence consigning persons to
_death_, and at the same time to perpetual _slavery_, did not
sufficiently laugh in its own face, it would be small self-denial, in a
case so tempting, to make up the deficiency by a general contribution.
For, _be it remembered_, the Mosaic law was given, while Israel was _in
the wilderness_, and only _one_ statute was ever given respecting _the
disposition to be made of the inhabitants of the land._ If the sentence
of death was first pronounced against them, and afterwards _commuted_,
when? where? by whom? and in what terms was the commutation? And where
is it recorded? Grant, for argument's sake, that all the Canaanites were
sentenced to unconditional extermination; as there was no reversal of
the sentence, how can a right to _enslave_ them, be drawn from such
premises? The punishment of death is one of the highest recognitions of
man's moral nature possible. It proclaims him _man_--intelligent
accountable, guilty _man,_ deserving death for having done his utmost to
cheapen human life, and make it worthless, when the proof of its
priceless value, lives in his own nature. But to make him a _slave,_
cheapens to nothing _universal human nature,_ and instead of healing a
wound, gives a death stab. What! repair an injury done to rational being
in the robbery of _one_ of its rights, not merely by robbing it of
_all,_ but by annihilating the very _foundation_ of them--that
everlasting distinction between men and things? To make a man a chattel,
is not the _punishment,_ but the _annihilation_ of a _human_ being, and,
so far as it goes, of _all_ human beings. This commutation of the
punishment of death, into perpetual slavery, what a fortunate discovery!
Alas! for the honor of Deity, if commentators had not manned the forlorn
hope, and rushed to the rescue of the Divine character at the very
crisis of its fate, and, by a timely movement, covered its retreat from
the perilous position in which inspiration had carelessly left it! Here
a question arises of sufficient importance for a separate dissertation;
but must for the present be disposed of in a few paragraphs. WERE THE
CANAANITES SENTENCED BY GOD TO INDIVIDUAL AND UNCONDITIONAL
EXTERMINATION? That the views generally prevalent on this subject, are
wrong, we have no doubt; but as the limits of this Inquiry forbid our
going into the merits of the question, so as to give all the grounds of
dissent from the commonly received opinions, the suggestions made, will
be thrown out merely as QUERIES, and not as a formal laying down of
_doctrines_.

The leading directions as to the disposal of the Canaanites, are mainly
in the following passages, Exod. xxiii. 23-33, and 33-51, and 34,
11--Deut. vii. 16-25, and ix. 3, and xxxi. 3, 1, 2. In these verses, the
Israelites are commanded to "destroy the Canaanites"--to "drive
out,"--"consume,"--"utterly overthrow,"--"put out,"--"dispossess them,"
&c. Quest. Did these commands enjoin the unconditional and universal
destruction of the _individuals,_ or merely of the _body politic?_ Ans.
The Hebrew word _Haram,_ to destroy, signifies _national,_ as well as
individual destruction; _political_ existence, equally with _personal;_
the destruction of governmental organization, equally with the lives of
the subjects. Besides, if we interpret the words destroy, consume,
overthrow, &c., to mean _personal_ destruction, what meaning shall we
give to the expressions, "drive out before thee;" "cast out before
thee;" "expel," "put out," "dispossess," &c., which are used in the same
passages?

For a clue to the sense in which the word _"destroy"_ is used, see
Exodus xxiii. 27. "I will destroy all the people to whom thou shalt
come, and I will make all thine enemies _turn their backs unto thee_."
Here "_all their enemies_" were to _turn their backs_, and "_all the
people_" to be "_destroyed_". Does this mean that God would let all
their _enemies_ escape, but kill all their _friends_, or that he would
_first_ kill "all the people" and THEN make them turn their backs in
flight, an army of runaway corpses?

The word rendered _backs_, is in the original, _necks_, and the passage
_may_ mean, I will make all your enemies turn their necks unto you; that
is, be _subject to you as tributaries_, become _denationalized_, their
civil polity, state organization, political existence,
_destroyed_--their idolatrous temples, altars, images, groves, and all
heathen rites _destroyed_; in a word, their whole system, national,
political, civil, and religious, subverted, and the whole people _put
under tribute_. Again; if these commands required the unconditional
destruction of all the _individuals_ of the Canaanites, the Mosaic law
was at war with itself, for the directions relative to the treatment of
native residents and sojourners, form a large part of it. "The stranger
that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou
shalt love him as thyself." "If thy brother be waxen poor, thou shalt
relieve him, yea, though he be a _stranger or a sojourner_, that he may
live with thee." "Thou shalt not oppress a _stranger_." "Thou shalt not
vex a _stranger_." "Judge righteously between every, man and his
brother, and the _stranger_ that is with him." "Ye shall not respect
persons in judgement." "Ye shall have one manner of law as well for the
_stranger_, as for him of your own country." We find, also, that
provision was made for them in the cities of refuge. Num. xxxv. 15--the
gleanings of the harvest and vintage were assigned to them, Lev. xix. 9,
10, and xxiii. 22, and 25, 6;--the blessings of the Sabbath, theirs, Ex.
xx. 10;--the privilege of offering sacrifices secured, Lev. 22. 18; and
stated religious instruction provided for them. Deut. xxxi. 9, 12. Now,
does this _same law_ authorize and appoint the _individual
extermination_ of those very persons, whose lives and general interests
it so solicitously protects? These laws were given to the Israelites,
long _before_ they entered Canaan; and they must of necessity have
inferred from them, that a multitude of the inhabitants of the land
would _continue in it_, under their government.

3. _We argue that these commands did not require the_ INDIVIDUAL
_destruction of the Canaanites unconditionally, from the fact that the
most pious Israelites never seem to have so regarded them._ Joshua was
selected as the leader of Israel to execute God's threatenings upon
Canaan. He had no _discretionary_ power. God's commands were his
_official instructions._ Going _beyond_ them would have been usurpation;
refusing _to carry them out,_ rebellion and treason. For not obeying, in
_every particular,_ and in a _single_ instance, God's command respecting
the Amalekites, Saul was rejected from being king.

Now, if God commanded the individual destruction of all the Canaanitish
nations, Joshua _disobeyed him in every instance._ For at his death, the
Israelites still _"dwelt among them,"_ and each nation is mentioned by
name. See Judges i. 5, and yet we are told that "Joshua was full of the
spirit of the Lord and of WISDOM," Deut. xxxiv. 9. (of course, he could
not have been ignorant of the meaning of those commands,)--that "the
Lord was with him," Josh. vi. 27; and that he "left nothing undone of
all that the Lord commanded Moses;" and further, that he "took all that
land." Joshua xi, 15-23. Also, that "the Lord gave unto Israel all the
land which he swore to give unto their fathers, and they possessed it
and dwelt therein, and there _stood not a man_ of _all_ their enemies
before them." "The Lord delivered _all their_ enemies into their hand,"
&c.

How can this testimony be reconciled with itself, if we suppose that the
command to _destroy_ enjoined _individual_ extermination, and the
command to _drive out_, enjoined the unconditional expulsion of
individuals from the country, rather than their expulsion from the
_possession_ or _ownership_ of it, as the lords of the soil? It is true,
multitudes of the Canaanites were slain, but in every case it was in
consequence of their refusing to surrender their land to the possession
of the Israelites. Not a solitary case can be found in which a Canaanite
was either killed or driven out of the country, who acquiesced in the
transfer of the territory of Canaan, and its sovereignty, from the
inhabitants of the land to the Israelites. Witness the case of Rahab and
all her kindred, and the inhabitants of Gibeon, Chephirah, Beeroth, and
Kirjathjearim[A]. The Canaanites knew of the miracles in Egypt, at the
Red Sea, in the wilderness, and at the passage of Jordan. They knew that
their land had been transferred to the Israelites, as a judgment upon
them for their sins.--See Joshua ii. 9-11, and ix. 9, 10, 24. Many of
them were awed by these wonders, and made no resistance to the
confiscation of their territory. Others fiercely resisted, defied the
God of the armies of Israel, and came out to battle. These occupied the
_fortified cities_, were the most _inveterate_ heathen--the
_aristocracy_ of idolatry, the _kings_, the _nobility_ and _gentry_, the
_priests_, with their crowds of satellites, and retainers that aided in
the performance of idolatrous rites, the _military forces_, with the
chief profligates and lust-panders of both sexes. Every Bible student
will recall many facts corroborating this supposition. Such as the
multitudes of _tributaries_ in the midst of Israel, and that too, when
the Israelites had "waxed strong," and the uttermost nations quaked at
the terror of their name. The large numbers of the Canaanites, as well
as the Philistines and others, who became proselytes, and joined
themselves to the Hebrews--as the Nethenims, Uriah the Hittite, one of
David's memorable "thirty seven"--Rahab, who married one of the princes
of Judah--Ittai--The six hundred Gitites--David's bodyguard, "faithful
among the faithless."--2 Sam. xv. 18, 21. Obededom the Gittite, who was
adopted into the tribe of Levi.--Compare 2 Sam. vi. 10, 11, with 1
Chron. xv. 18, and 1 Chron xxvi. 45. The cases of Jaziz, and Obil,--1
Chron. xxvi. 30, 31, 33. Jephunneh, the father of Caleb--the Kenite,
registered in the genealogies of the tribe of Judah, and the one hundred
and fifty thousand Canaanites, employed by Solomon in the building of
the Temple[B]. Add to these, the fact that the most memorable miracle on
record, was wrought for the salvation of a portion of those very
Canaanites, and for the destruction of those who would exterminate
them.--Joshua x. 12-14. Further--the terms used in the directions of God
to the Israelites, regulating their disposal of the Canaanites, such as,
"drive out," "put out," "cast out," "expel," "dispossess," &c. seem used
interchangeably with "consume," "destroy," "overthrow," &c., and thus
indicate the sense in which the latter words are used. As an
illustration of the meaning generally attached to these and similar
terms, when applied to the Canaanites in Scripture, we refer the reader
to the history of the Amalekites. In Ex. xxvii. 14, God says, "I will
utterly put out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven,"--In Deut.
xxv. 19, "Thou shalt blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under
heaven; thou shalt not forget it."--In 1 Sam. xv. 2, 3. "Smite Amalek
and _utterly destroy_ all that they have, and spare them not, but slay
both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep." In the seventh
and eighth verses of the same chapter, we are told, "Saul smote the
Amalekites, and took Agag the king of the Amalekites, alive, and UTTERLY
DESTROYED ALL THE PEOPLE with the edge of the sword." In verse 20, Saul
says, "I have obeyed the voice of the Lord, and have brought Agag, the
king of Amalek, and have _utterly destroyed_ the Amalekites."

[Footnote A: Perhaps it will be objected, that the preservation of the
Gibeonites, and of Rahab and her kindred, was a violation of the command
of God. We answer, if it had been, we might expect some such intimation.
If God had straitly commanded them to _exterminate all the Canaanites,_
their pledge to save them alive, was neither a repeal of the statute,
nor absolution for the breach of it. If _unconditional destruction_ was
the import of the command, would God have permitted such an act to pass
without severe rebuke? Would he have established such a precedent when
Israel had hardly passed the threshhold of Canaan, and was then striking
the first blow of a half century war? What if they _had_ passed their
word to Rahab and the Gibeonites? Was that more binding upon them than
God's command? So Saul seems to have passed _his_ word to Agag; yet
Samuel hewed him in pieces, because in saving his life, Saul had
violated God's command. This same Saul appears to have put the same
construction on the command to destroy the inhabitants of Canaan, that
is generally put upon it now. We are told that he sought to slay the
Gibeonites "in his zeal for the children of Israel and Judah." God sent
upon Israel a three years' famine for it. In assigning the reason, he
says, "It is for Saul and his bloody house, because he slew the
Gibeonites." When David inquired of them what atonement he should make,
they say, "The man that consumed us, and that devised against us, that
we should the destroyed from _remaining in any of the coasts of Israel_
let seven of his sons be delivered," &c. 2 Samuel xxii. 1-6.]


[Footnote B: If the Canaanites were devoted by God to individual and
unconditional extermination, to have employed them in the erection of
the temple,--what was it but the climax of impiety? As well might they
pollute its altars with swine's flesh, or make their sons pass through
the fire to Moloch.]

In 1 Sam. 30th chapter, we find the Amalekites at war again, marching an
army into Israel, and sweeping every thing before them--and all this in
hardly more than twenty years after they had _all been_ UTTERLY
DESTROYED!

Deut. xx. 16, 17, will probably be quoted against the preceding view.
"_But of the cities of these people which the Lord thy God doth give
thee for an inheritance, thou shalt save alive nothing that breatheth:
but thou shalt utterly destroy them; namely, the Hittites, and the
Amorites, the Canaanites, and the Perrizites, the Hivites, and the
Jebusites, as the Lord thy God hath commanded thee_." We argue that this
command to exterminate, did not include all the individuals of the
Canaanitish nations, but only the inhabitants of the _cities_, (and even
those conditionally,) for the following reasons.

I. Only the inhabitants of _cities_ are specified,--"of the _cities_ of
these people thou shalt save alive nothing that breatheth." The reasons
for this wise discrimination were, no doubt, (1.) Cities then, as now,
were pest-houses of vice--they reeked with abominations little practiced
in the country. On this account, their influence would be far more
perilous to the Israelites than that of the country. (2.) These cities
were the centres of idolatry--the residences of the priests, with their
retinues of the baser sort. There were their temples and altars, and
idols, without number. Even their buildings, streets, and public walks
were so many visibilities of idolatry. The reason assigned in the 18th
verse for exterminating them, strengthens the idea,--"_that they teach
you not to do after all the abominations which they have done unto their
gods_." This would be a reason for exterminating _all_ the nations and
individuals _around_ them, as all were idolaters; but God permitted, and
even commanded them, in certain cases, to spare the inhabitants. Contact
with _any_ of them would be perilous--with the inhabitants of the
_cities_ peculiarly, and of the _Canaanitish_ cities preeminently so.

It will be seen from the 10th and 11th verses, that those cities which
accepted the offer of peace were to be spared. "_When thou comest nigh
unto a city to fight against it, then proclaim peace unto it. And it
shall be, if it make thee answer of peace and open unto thee, then it
shall be, that all the people that is found therein shall be_
TRIBUTARIES _unto thee, and they shall_ SERVE thee."--Deuteronomy xx.
10, 11. These verses contain the general rule prescribing the method in
which cities were to be summoned to surrender.

1. The offer of peace--if it was accepted, the inhabitants became
_tributaries_--if it was rejected, and they came out against Israel in
battle, the _men_ were to be killed, and the women and little ones saved
alive. See Deuteronomy xx. 12, 13, 14. The 15th verse restricts their
lenient treatment in saving the wives and little ones of those who
fought them, to the inhabitants of the cities _afar off_. The 16th verse
gives directions for the disposal of the inhabitants of Canaanitish
cities, after they had taken them. Instead of sparing the women and
children, they were to save alive nothing that breathed. The common
mistake has been, in taking it for granted, that the command in the 15th
verse, "Thus shalt thou do unto all the cities," &c. refers to the
_whole system of directions preceding_, commencing with the 10th verse,
whereas it manifestly refers only to the _inflictions_ specified in the
verses immediately preceding, viz. the 12th, 13th, and 14th, and thus
make a distinction between those _Canaanitish_ cities that _fought_, and
the cities _afar off_ that fought--in one case destroying the males and
females, and in the other, the _males_ only. The offer of peace, and the
_conditional preservation_, were as really guarantied to _Canaanitish_
cities as to others. Their inhabitants were not to be exterminated
_unless they came out against Israel in battle_. But let us settle this
question by the "_law and the testimony_." Joshua xix. 19, 20.--"_There
was not a city that made peace with the children of Israel save, the
Hivites, the inhabitants of Gibeon; all others they took in battle. For
it was of the Lord to harden their hearts, that they should_ COME OUT
AGAINST ISRAEL IN BATTLE, _that he might destroy them utterly, and that
they might have no favor, but that he might destroy them, as the Lord
commanded Moses_." That is, if they had _not_ come out against Israel in
battle, they would have had "favor" shown them, and would not have been
"_destroyed utterly_"

The great design of God seems to have been to _transfer the territory_
of the Canaanites to the Israelites, and along with it, _absolute
sovereignty in every respect_; to annihilate their political
organizations, civil polity, jurisprudence, and their system of
religion, with all its rights and appendages; and to substitute
therefor, a pure theocracy, administered by Jehovah, with the Israelites
as His representatives and agents. Those who resisted the execution of
Jehovah's purpose were to be killed, while those who quietly submitted
to it were to be spared. All had the choice of these alternatives,
either free egress out of the land[A]; or acquiescence in the decree,
with life and residence as tributaries, under the protection of the
government; or resistance to the execution of the decree, with death.
"_And it shall come to pass, if they will diligently learn the ways of
my people, to swear by my name, the Lord liveth, as they taught my
people to swear by Baal;_ THEN SHALL THEY BE BUILT IN THE MIDST OF MY
PEOPLE."

[Footnote A: Suppose all the Canaanitish nations had abandoned their
territory at the tidings of Israel's approach, did God's command require
the Israelites to chase them to the ends of the earth, and hunt them
down, until every Canaanite was destroyed? It is too preposterous for
belief, and yet it follows legitimately from that construction, which
interprets the terms "consume," "destroy," "destroy utterly," &c. to
mean unconditional individual extermination.]


       *       *       *       *       *


[The preceding Inquiry is merely an _outline_. Whoever _reads_ it, needs
no such information. Its original design embraced a much wider range of
general topics, and subordinate heads, besides an Inquiry into the
teachings of the New Testament on the same subject. To have filled up
the outline, in conformity with the plan upon which it was sketched,
would have swelled it to a volume. Much of the foregoing has therefore
been thrown into the form of a mere skeleton of heads, or rather a
series of _indices_, to trains of thought and classes of proof, which,
however limited or imperfect, may perhaps, afford some facilities to
those who have little leisure for minute and protracted investigation.]



No. 4.



THE


ANTI-SLAVERY EXAMINER.


THE


BIBLE AGAINST SLAVERY.



AN INQUIRY INTO THE



PATRIARCHAL AND MOSAIC SYSTEMS


ON THE SUBJECT OF

HUMAN RIGHTS.

Third Edition--Revised.


NEW YORK:

PUBLISHED BY THE AMERICAN ANTI-SLAVERY SOCIETY, NO. 143 NASSAU STREET.

1838.

This periodical contains 5 sheets.--Postage under 100 miles, 7 1-2 cts;
over 100 miles, 12 1-2 cts.

_Please read and circulate._



CONTENTS

    DEFINITION OF SLAVERY,


        Negative,

        Affirmative,

        Legal,


    THE MORAL LAW AGAINST SLAVERY


        "Thou shalt not steal,"

        "Thou shalt not covet,"


    MAN-STEALING--EXAMINATION OF EX. xxi. 16,


        Separation of man from brutes and things,


    IMPORT OF "BUY" AND "BOUGHT WITH MONEY,"


        Servants sold themselves,


    RIGHTS AND PRIVILEGES SECURED BY LAW TO SERVANTS,

    SERVANTS WERE VOLUNTARY,


        Runaway Servants not to be delivered to their Masters,


    SERVANTS WERE PAID WAGES,

    MASTERS NOT "OWNERS,"


        Servants not subjected to the uses of property,

        Servants expressly distinguished from property,

        Examination of Gen. xii. 5.--"The souls that they had
        gotten," &c.

        Social equality of Servants and Masters,

        Condition of the Gibeonites as subjects of the Hebrew
        Commonwealth,

        Egyptian Bondage analyzed,


    OBJECTIONS CONSIDERED.

    "CURSED BE CANAAN," &c.--EXAMINATION OF GEN. ix. 25,

    "FOR HE IS HIS MONEY," &c.--EXAMINATION OF EX. xxi. 20, 21,

    EXAMINATION OF LEV. xxv. 44-46,


        "Both thy BONDMEN, &c., shall be of the heathen,"

        "They shall be your bondmen FOREVER,"

        "Ye shall take them as an INHERITANCE," &c.


    EXAMINATION OF LEV. XXV. 39, 40.--THE FREEHOLDER NOT TO "SERVE
    AS A BOND SERVANT,"


        Difference between Hired and Bought Servants,

        Bought Servants the most favored and honored class,

        Israelites and Strangers belonged to both classes,

        Israelites servants to the Strangers,

        Reasons for the release of the Israelitish Servants in
        the seventh year,

        Reasons for assigning the Strangers to a longer service,

        Reasons for calling them _the_ Servants,

        Different kinds of service assigned to the Israelites
        and Strangers,


    REVIEW OF ALL THE CLASSES OF SERVANTS WITH THE MODIFICATIONS OF
    EACH,


        Political disabilities of the Strangers,


    EXAMINATION OF EX. xxi. 2-6.--"IF THOU BUY AN HEBREW SERVANT,"

    THE CANAANITES NOT SENTENCED TO UNCONDITIONAL EXTERMINATION,



THE BIBLE AGAINST SLAVERY.



The spirit of slavery never seeks shelter in the Bible, of its own
accord. It grasps the horns of the altar only in desperation--rushing
from the terror of the avenger's arm. Like other unclean spirits, it
"hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest its deeds should be
reproved." Goaded to phrenzy in its conflicts with conscience and common
sense, denied all quarter, and hunted from every covert, it vaults over
the sacred inclosure and courses up and down the Bible, "seeking rest,
and finding none." THE LAW OF LOVE, glowing on every page, flashes
around it an omnipresent anguish and despair. It shrinks from the hated
light, and howls under the consuming touch, as demons quailed before the
Son of God, and shrieked, "Torment us not." At last, it slinks away
under the types of the Mosaic system, and seeks to burrow out of sight
among their shadows. Vain hope! Its asylum is its sepulchre; its city of
refuge, the city of destruction. It flies from light into the sun; from
heat, into devouring fire; and from the voice of God into the thickest
of His thunders.



DEFINITION OF SLAVERY.

If we would know whether the Bible sanctions slavery, we must determine
_what slavery is_. A constituent element, is one thing; a relation,
another; an appendage, another. Relations and appendages presuppose
_other_ things to which they belong. To regard them as _the things
themselves_, or as constituent parts of them, leads to endless
fallacies. A great variety of conditions, relations, and tenures,
indispensable to the social state, are confounded with slavery; and thus
slaveholding becomes quite harmless, if not virtuous. We will specify
some of these.

1. _Privation of suffrage._ Then minors are slaves.

2. _Ineligibility to office._ Then females are slaves.

3. _Taxation without representation._ Then slaveholders in the District
of Columbia are slaves.

4. _Privation of one's oath in law._ Then disbelievers in a future
retribution are slaves.

5. _Privation of trial by jury._ Then all in France and Germany are
slaves.

6. _Being required to support a particular religion._ Then the people of
England are slaves. [To the preceding may be added all other
disabilities, merely _political_.]

7. _Cruelty and oppression._ Wives, children, and hired domestics are
often oppressed; but these forms of cruelty are not slavery.

8. _Apprenticeship._ The rights and duties of master and apprentice are
correlative and reciprocal. The claim of each upon the other results
from his _obligation_ to the other. Apprenticeship is based on the
principle of equivalent for value received. The rights of the apprentice
are secured, equally with those of the master. Indeed, while the law is
_just_ to the master, it is _benevolent_ to the apprentice. Its main
design is rather to benefit the apprentice than the master. It promotes
the interests of the former, while in doing it, it guards from injury
those of the latter. To the master it secures a mere legal
compensation--to the apprentice, both a legal compensation and a virtual
gratuity in addition, he being of the two the greatest gainer. The law
not only recognizes the _right_ of the apprentice to a reward for his
labor, but appoints the wages, and enforces the payment. The master's
claim covers only the services of the apprentice. The apprentice's claim
covers _equally_ the services of the master. Neither can hold the other
as property; but each holds property in the services of the other, and
BOTH EQUALLY. Is this slavery?

9. _Filial subordination and parental claims._ Both are nature's
dictates and intrinsic elements of the social state; the natural
affections which blend parent and child in one, excite each to discharge
those offices incidental to the relation, and constitute a shield for
mutual protection. The parent's legal claim to the child's services,
while a minor, is a slight return for the care and toil of his rearing,
to say nothing of outlays for support and education. This provision is,
with the mass of mankind, indispensable to the preservation of the
family state. The child, in helping his parents, helps
himself--increases a common stock, in which he has a share; while his
most faithful services do but acknowledge a debt that money cannot
cancel.

10. _Bondage for crime._ Must innocence be punished because guilt
suffers penalties? True, the criminal works for the government without
pay; and well he may. He owes the government. A century's work would not
pay its drafts on him. He is a public defaulter, and will die so.
Because laws make men pay their debts, shall those be forced to pay who
owe nothing? The law makes no criminal, PROPERTY. It restrains his
liberty, and makes him pay something, a mere penny in the pound, of his
debt to the government; but it does not make him a chattel. Test it. To
own property, is to own its product. Are children born of convicts,
government property? Besides, can _property_ be guilty? Are chattels
punished?

11. _Restraints upon freedom._ Children are restrained by
parents--pupils, by teachers--patients, by physicians--corporations, by
charters--and legislatures, by constitutions. Embargoes, tariffs,
quarantine, and all other laws, keep men from doing as they please.
Restraints are the web of society, warp and woof. Are they slavery? then
civilized society is a giant slave--a government of LAW, _the climax of
slavery,_ and its executive, a king among slaveholders.

12. _Compulsory service._ A juryman is empannelled against his will, and
sit he must. A sheriff orders his posse; bystanders _must_ turn in. Men
are _compelled_ to remove nuisances, pay fines and taxes, support their
families, and "turn to the right as the law directs," however much
against their wills. Are they therefore slaves? To confound slavery with
involuntary service is absurd. Slavery is a _condition_. The slave's
_feelings_ toward it, are one thing; the condition itself, is another
thing; his feelings cannot alter the nature of that condition. Whether
he desires or detests it, the condition remains the same. The slave's
willingness to be a slave is no palliation of the slaveholder's guilt.
Suppose the slave should think himself a chattel, and consent to be so
regarded by others, does that _make_ him a chattel, or make those
guiltless who _hold_ him as such? I may be sick of life, and I tell the
assassin so that stabs me; is he any the less a murderer? Does my
_consent_ to his crime, atone for it? my partnership in his guilt, blot
out his part of it? The slave's willingness to be a slave, so far from
lessening the guilt of the "owner," aggravates it. If slavery has so
palsied his mind that he looks upon himself as a chattel, and consents
to be one, actually to hold him as such, falls in with his delusion, and
confirms the impious falsehood. These very feelings and convictions of
the slave, (if such were possible) increase a hundred fold the guilt of
the master, and call upon him in thunder, immediately to recognize him
as a man and thus break the sorcery that cheats him out of his
birthright--the consciousness of his worth and destiny.

Many of the foregoing conditions are _appendages_ of slavery. But no
one, nor all of them together, constitute its intrinsic unchanging
element.

We proceed to state affirmatively that, ENSLAVING MEN IS REDUCING THEM
TO ARTICLES OF PROPERTY--making free agents, chattels--converting
_persons_ into _things_--sinking immortality, into _merchandize_. A
_slave_ is one held in this condition. In law, "he owns nothing, and can
acquire nothing." His right to himself is abrogated. If he say _my_
hands, _my_ feet, _my_ body, _my_ mind, MY _self_, they are figures of
speech. To use _himself_ for his own good, is a CRIME. To keep what he
_earns_, is stealing. To take his body into his own keeping, is
_insurrection_. In a word, the _profit_ of his master is made the END of
his being, and he, a _mere means_ to that end--a _mere means_ to an end
into which his interests do not enter, of which they constitute no
portion[A]. MAN, sunk to a _thing!_ the intrinsic element, the
_principle_ of slavery; MEN, bartered, leased, mortgaged, bequeathed,
invoiced, shipped in cargoes, stored as goods, taken on executions, and
knocked off at public outcry! Their _rights_, another's conveniences;
their interests, wares on sale; their happiness, a household utensil;
their personal inalienable ownership, a serviceable article, or a
plaything, as best suits the humor of the hour; their deathless nature,
conscience, social affections, sympathies, hopes--marketable
commodities! We repeat it, _the reduction of persons to things;_ not
robbing a man of privileges, but of _himself_; not loading with burdens,
but making him a _beast of burden_; not _restraining_ liberty, but
subverting it; not curtailing rights, but abolishing them; not
inflicting personal cruelty, but annihilating _personality_; not
exacting involuntary labor, but sinking him into an _implement_ of
labor; not abridging human comforts, but abrogating human nature; not
depriving an animal of immunities, but despoiling a rational being of
attributes--uncreating a MAN, to make room for a _thing_!

[Footnote A: Whatever system sinks men from an END to a mere _means_,
just so far makes him a _slave_. Hence West India apprenticeship retains
the cardinal principle of slavery. The apprentice, during three fourths
of his time, is still forced to labor, and robbed of his earnings; just
so far forth he is a _mere means_, a _slave_. True, in other respects
slavery is abolished in the British West Indies. Its bloodiest features
are blotted out--but the meanest and most despicable of all--forcing the
poor to work for the rich without pay three fourths of their time, with
a legal officer to flog them if they demur at the outrage, is one of the
provisions of the "Emancipation Act!" For the glories of that luminary,
abolitionists thank God, while they mourn that it rose behind clouds,
and shines through an eclipse.]

That this is American slavery, is shown by the laws of slave states.
Judge Stroud, in his "Sketch of the Laws relating to Slavery," says,
"The cardinal principle of slavery, that the slave is not to be ranked
among sentient beings, but among _things_--obtains as undoubted law in
all of these [the slave] states." The law of South Carolina thus lays
down the principle, "Slaves shall be deemed, held, taken, reputed, and
adjudged in law to be chattels personal in the hands of their owners and
possessors, and their executors, administrators, and assigns, to ALL
INTENTS, CONSTRUCTIONS, AND PURPOSES WHATSOEVER."--Brevard's Digest,
229. In Louisiana, "A slave is one who is in the power of a master to
whom he belongs; the master may sell him, dispose of his person, his
industry, and his labor; he can do nothing, possess nothing, nor acquire
any thing, but what must belong to his master."--Civ. Code of Louisiana,
Art. 35.

This is American slavery. The eternal distinction between a person and a
thing, trampled under foot--the crowning distinction of all
others--alike the source, the test, and the measure of their value--the
rational, immortal principle, consecrated by God to universal homage, in
a baptism of glory and honor by the gift of His Son, His Spirit, His
word, His presence, providence, and power; His shield, and staff, and
sheltering wing; His opening heavens, and angels ministering, and
chariots of fire, and songs of morning stars, and a great voice in
heaven, proclaiming eternal sanctions, and confirming the word with
signs following.



Having stated the _principle_ of American slavery, we ask, DOES THE
BIBLE SANCTION SUCH A PRINCIPLE?[A] "To the _law_ and the _testimony_?"
First, the moral law. Just after the Israelites were emancipated from
their bondage in Egypt, while they stood before Sinai to receive the
law, as the trumpet waxed louder, and the mount quaked and blazed, God
spake the ten commandments from the midst of clouds and thunderings.
_Two_ of those commandments deal death to slavery. "THOU SHALT NOT
STEAL," or, "thou shalt not take from another what belongs to him." All
man's powers are God's gift to _him_. That they are _his own_, is proved
from the fact that God has given them to _him alone_,--that each of them
is a part of himself, and all of them together constitute himself. All
else that belongs to man, is acquired by the _use_ of these powers. The
interest belongs to him, because the principal does; the product is his,
because he is the producer. Ownership of any thing, is ownership of its
_use_. The right to use according to will, is _itself_ ownership. The
eighth commandment presupposes and assumes the right of every man to his
powers, and their product. Slavery robs of both. A man's right to
himself, is the only right absolutely original and intrinsic--his right
to whatever else that belongs to him is merely _relative_ to this, is
derived from it, and held only by virtue of it. SELF-RIGHT is the
_foundation right_--the _post is the middle_, to which all other rights
are fastened. Slaveholders, when talking about their RIGHT to their
slaves, always assume their own right to themselves. What slaveholder
ever undertook to prove his right to himself? He knows it to be a
self-evident proposition, that _a man belongs to himself_--that the
right is intrinsic and absolute. In making out his own title, he makes
out the title of every human being. As the fact of being a _man_ is
itself the title, the whole human family have one common title deed. If
one man's title is valid, all are valid. If one is worthless, all are.
To deny the validity of the _slave's_ title is to deny the validity of
_his own_; and yet in the act of making a man a slave, the slaveholder
_asserts_ the validity of his own title, while he seizes him as his
property who has the _same_ title. Further, in making him a slave, he
does not merely disfranchise the humanity of _one_ individual, but of
UNIVERSAL MAN. He destroys the foundations. He annihilates _all rights_.
He attacks not only the human race, but _universal being_, and rushes
upon JEHOVAH. For rights are _rights_; God's are no more--man's are no
less.

[Footnote A: The Bible record of actions is no comment on their moral
character. It vouches for them as _facts_, not as _virtues_. It records
without rebuke, Noah's drunkenness, Lot's incest, and the lies of Jacob
and his mother--not only single acts, but _usages_, such as polygamy and
concubinage, are entered on the record without censure. Is that _silent
entry_ God's _endorsement_? Because the Bible in its catalogue of human
actions, does not stamp on every crime its name and number, and write
against it, _this is a crime_--does that wash out its guilt, and bleach
into a virtue?]

The eighth commandment forbids the taking of _any part_ of that which
belongs to another. Slavery takes the _whole_. Does the same Bible which
prohibits the taking of _any_ thing from him, sanction the taking of
_every_ thing? Does it thunder wrath against him who robs his neighbor
of a _cent_, yet bid God speed to him who robs his neighbor of
_himself_? Slaveholding is the highest possible violation of the eighth
commandment. To take from a man his earnings, is theft. But to take the
_earner_, is a compound, life-long theft--supreme robbery, that vaults
up the climax at a leap--the dread, terrific, giant robbery, that towers
among other robberies a solitary horror, monarch of the realm. The
eighth commandment forbids the taking away, and the _tenth_ adds, "THOU
SHALT NOT COVET ANY THING THAT IS THY NEIGHBOR'S;" thus guarding every
man's right to himself and his property, by making not only the actual
taking away a sin, but even that state of mind which would _tempt_ to
it. Who ever made human beings slaves, without _coveting_ them? Why take
from them their time, labor, liberty, right of self-preservation and
improvement, their right to acquire property, to worship according to
conscience; to search the Scriptures, to live with their families, and
their right to their own bodies, if they do not _desire_ them? They
covet them for purposes of gain, convenience, lust of dominion, of
sensual gratification of pride and ostentation. THEY BREAK THE TENTH
COMMANDMENT, and pluck down upon their heads the plagues that are
written in the book.--_Ten_ commandments constitute the brief compend of
human duty.--_Two_ of these brand slavery as sin.



The giving of the law at Sinai, immediately preceded the promulgation of
that body of laws called the "Mosaic system." Over the gateway of that
system, fearful words were written by the finger of God--"HE THAT
STEALETH A MAN AND SELLETH HIM, OR IF HE BE FOUND IN HIS HAND, HE SHALL
SURELY BE PUT TO DEATH." Ex. xxi. 16.

The oppression of the Israelites in Egypt, and the wonders wrought for
their deliverance, proclaim the reason for _such_ a law at _such_ a
time--when the body politic became a theocracy, and reverently waited
for the will of God. They had just been emancipated. The tragedies of
their house of bondage were the realities of yesterday, and peopled
their memories with thronging horrors. They had just witnessed God's
testimony against oppression in the plagues of Egypt--the burning blains
on man and beast--the dust quickened into loathsome life, and swarming
upon every living thing--the streets, the palaces, the temples, and
every house heaped up with the carcases of things abhorred--the kneading
troughs and ovens, the secret chambers and the couches; reeking and
dissolving with the putrid death--the pestilence walking in darkness at
noonday, the devouring locusts, and hail mingled with fire, the
first-born death-struck, and the waters blood, and last of all, that
dread high hand and stretched-out arm, that whelmed the monarch and his
hosts, and strewed their corpses on the sea. All this their eyes had
looked upon,--earth's proudest city, wasted and thunder-scarred, lying
in desolation, and the doom of oppressors traced on her ruins in the
hand writing of God, glaring in letters of fire mingled with blood--a
blackened monument of wrath to the uttermost against the stealers of
men. No wonder that God, in a code of laws prepared for such a people at
such a time, should light up on its threshold a blazing beacon to flash
terror on slaveholders. _"He that stealeth a man and selleth him, or if
he be found in his hand, he shall surely be put to death."_ Ex. xxi. 16.
Deut. xxiv. 7[A]. God's cherubim and flaming sword guarding the entrance
to the Mosaic system!

[Footnote A:  Jarchi, the most eminent of the Jewish Commentators, who
wrote seven hundred years ago, in his commentary on this stealing and
making merchandize of men, gives the meaning thus:--"Using a man against
his will, as a servant lawfully purchased; yea, though he should use his
services ever so little, only to the value of a farthing, or use but his
arm to lean on to support him, _if he be forced so to act as a servant_,
the person compelling him but once to do so shall die as a thief,
whether he has sold him or not."]

The word _Ganabh_ here rendered _stealeth_, means the taking what
_belongs_ to another, whether by violence or fraud; the same word is
used in the eighth commandment, and prohibits both _robbery_ and theft.

The crime specified is that of depriving SOMEBODY of the ownership of a
man. Is this somebody a master? and is the crime that of depriving a
master of his servant? Then it would have been "he that stealeth" a
_servant, not_ "he that stealeth a _man_." If the crime had been the
taking an individual from _another_, then the _term_ used would have
been expressive of that relation, and most especially if it was the
relation of property and _proprietor_!

The crime is stated in a three-fold form--man _stealing_, _selling_, and
_holding_. All are put on a level, and whelmed under one penalty--DEATH.
This _somebody_ deprived of the ownership of a man, is the _man
himself_, robbed of personal ownership. Joseph said, "Indeed I was
_stolen_ away out of the land of the Hebrews." Gen. xl. 15. How
_stolen?_ His brethren sold him as an article of merchandize. Contrast
this penalty for _man_-stealing with that for _property_-stealing, Ex.
xxii. If a man had stolen an _ox_ and killed or sold it, he was to
restore five oxen; if he had neither sold nor killed it, two oxen. But
in the case of stealing a _man_, the _first_ act drew down the utmost
power of punishment; however often repeated, or aggravated the crime,
human penalty could do no more. The fact that the penalty for
_man_-stealing was death, and the penalty for _property_-stealing, the
mere restoration of double, shows that the two cases were adjudicated on
totally different principles. The man stolen might be past labor, and
his support a burden, yet death was the penalty, though not a cent's
worth of _property value_ was taken. The penalty for stealing property
was a mere property penalty. However large the theft, the payment of
double wiped out the score. It might have a greater _money_ value than a
thousand men, yet death was not the penalty, nor maiming, nor branding,
nor even _stripes_, but double of _the same kind._ Why was not the rule
uniform? When a _man_ was stolen why was not the thief required to
restore double of the same kind--two men, or if he had sold him, five
men? Do you say that the man-thief might not _have_ them? So the
ox-thief might not have two oxen, or if he had killed it, five. But if
God permitted men to hold _men_ as property, equally with _oxen_, the
man-thief could get men with whom to pay the penalty, as well as the
ox-thief, oxen. Further, when _property_ was stolen, the legal penalty
was a compensation to the person injured. But when a _man_ was stolen,
no property compensation was offered. To tender money as an equivalent,
would have been to repeat the outrage with intolerable aggravations.
Compute the value of a MAN in _money!_ Throw dust into the scale against
immortality! The law recoiled from such supreme insult and impiety. To
have permitted the man-thief to expiate his crime by restoring double,
would have been making the repetition of crime its atonement. But the
infliction of death for _man-stealing_ exacted the utmost possibility of
reparation. It wrung from the guilty wretch as he gave up the ghost, a
testimony in blood, and death-groans, to the infinite dignity and worth
of man,--a proclamation to the universe, voiced in mortal agony, "MAN IS
INVIOLABLE"--a confession shrieked in phrenzy at the grave's mouth--"I
die accursed, and God is just."

If God permitted man to hold man as property, why did he punish for
stealing that kind of property infinitely more than for stealing any
other kind of property? Why did he punish with death for stealing a very
little of _that_ sort of property, and make a mere fine, the penalty for
stealing a thousand times as much, of any other sort of
property--especially if God did by his own act annihilate the difference
between man and _property,_ by putting him on a level with it?

The atrociousness of a crime, depends much upon the nature, character,
and condition of the victim. To steal is a crime, whoever the thief, or
whatever the plunder. To steal bread from a full man, is theft; to steal
from a starving man, is both theft and murder. If I steal my neighbor's
property, the crime consists not in altering the _nature_ of the article
but in shifting its relation from him to me. But when I take my neighbor
himself, and first make him _property_, and then _my_ property, the
latter act, which was the sole crime in the former case, dwindles to
nothing. The sin in stealing a man, is not the transfer from its owner
to another of that which is _already property,_ but the turning of
_personality_ into _property_. True, the attributes of man remain, but
the rights and immunities which grow out of them are attributed. It is
the first law both of reason and revelation to regard things and beings
as they are; and the sum of religion, to feel and act towards them
according to their value. Knowingly to treat them otherwise is sin; and
the degree of violence done to their nature, religions, and value,
measures its guilt. When things are sundered which God has indissolubly
joined, or confounded in one, which he has separated by infinite
extremes; when sacred and eternal distinctions, which he has garnished
with glory, are derided and set at nought, then, if ever, sin reddens to
its "scarlet dye." The sin specified in the passage, is that of doing
violence to the _nature_ of a man--to his intrinsic value as a rational
being, and blotting out the exalted distinction stamped upon him by his
Maker. In the verse preceding, and in that which follows, the same
principle is laid down. Verse 15, "He that smiteth his father or his
mother shall surely be put to death." V. 17, "He that curseth his father
or his mother, shall surely be put to death." If a Jew smote his
neighbor, the law merely smote him in return; but if the blow was given
to a _parent,_ it struck the smiter dead. The parental relation is the
_centre_ of human society. God guards it with peculiar care. To violate
that, is to violate all. Whoever trampled on that, showed that _no_
relation had any sacredness in his eyes--that he was unfit to move among
human relations who had violated one so sacred and tender. Therefore,
the Mosaic law uplifted his bleeding corpse, and brandished the ghastly
terror around the parental relation to guard it from impious inroads.

Why such a difference in penalties, for the same act? Answer. (1.) The
relation violated was obvious--the distinction between parents and
others manifest, dictated by natural affection--a law of the
constitution. (2.) The act was violence to nature--a suicide on
constitutional susceptibilities. (3.) The parental relation then, as
now, was the focal point of the social system, and required powerful
safeguards. "_Honor thy father and thy mother_," stands at the head of
those commands which prescribe the duties of man to man; and, throughout
the Bible, the parental state is God's favorite illustration of his own
relations to the whole human family. In this case death was to be
inflicted not for smiting a _man_, but a _parent_--a _distinction_
cherished by God, and around which, He threw up a bulwark of defence. In
the next verse, "He that stealeth a man," &c., the SAME PRINCIPLE is
wrought out in still stronger relief. The crime to be punished with
death was not the taking of property from its owner, but the doing
violence to an _immortal nature,_ blotting out a sacred _distinction_,
making MEN "chattels." The incessant pains taken in the Old Testament to
separate human beings from brutes and things, shows God's regard for his
own distinction.

"In the beginning" it was uttered in heaven, and proclaimed to the
universe as it rose into being. Creation was arrayed at the instant of
its birth, to do it homage. It paused in adoration while God ushered
forth its crowning work. Why that dread pause and that creating arm held
back in mid career and that high conference in the godhead? "Let us make
man in OUR IMAGE after OUR LIKENESS, AND LET HIM HAVE DOMINION over the
fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and
over all the earth." Then while every living thing, with land, and sea,
and firmament, and marshalled worlds, waited to swell the shout of
morning stars--then "GOD CREATED MAN IN HIS OWN IMAGE; IN THE IMAGE OF
GOD CREATED HE HIM." This solves the problem, IN THE IMAGE OF GOD,
CREATED HE HIM. Well might the sons of God shout, "Amen, alleluia"--For
thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him
with glory and honor. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of
thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet." Ps. viii. 5, 6. The
repetition of this distinction is frequent and solemn. In Gen. i. 26-28,
it is repeated in various forms. In Gen. v. 1, we find it again, "IN THE
LIKENESS OF GOD MADE HE MAN." In Gen. ix. 6, again. After giving license
to shed the blood of "every moving thing that liveth," it is added,
"_Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed, for_ IN
THE IMAGE OF GOD MADE HE MAN." As though it had been said, "All these
creatures are your property, designed for your use--they have the
likeness of earth, they perish with the using, and their spirits go
downward; but this other being, MAN, has my own likeness: "IN THE IMAGE
OF GOD made I man;" "an intelligent, moral, immortal agent, invited to
all that I can give and he can be." So in Lev. xxiv. 17, 18, 21, "He
that killeth any MAN shall surely be put to death; and he that killeth a
beast shall make it good, beast for beast; and he that killeth a man
shall be put to death." So in Ps. viii. 5, 6, what an enumeration of
particulars, each separating infinitely MEN from brutes and things! (1.)
"_Thou hast made him a little lower than the angels._" Slavery drags him
down among _brutes_. (2.) "_And hast crowned him with glory and honor._"
Slavery tears off his crown, and puts on a _yoke_. (3.) "_Thou madest
him to have dominion_ OVER _the works of thy hands._" Slavery breaks the
sceptre, and casts him down _among_ those works--yea _beneath them_.
(4.) "_Thou hast put all things under his feet._" Slavery puts HIM under
the feet of an "owner." Who, but an impious scorner, dares thus strive
with his Maker, and mutilate HIS IMAGE, and blaspheme the Holy One, who
saith, "_Inasmuch as ye did it unto one of the least of these, ye did it
unto_ ME."

In further presenting this inquiry, the Patriarchal and Mosaic systems
will be considered together, as each reflects light upon the other, and
as many regulations of the latter are mere _legal_ forms of Divine
institutions previously existing. As a _system_, the latter alone is of
Divine authority. Whatever were the usages of the patriarchs, God has
not made them our exemplars[A].

[Footnote A: Those who insist that the patriarchs held slaves, and sit
with such delight under their shadow, hymning the praises of "those good
old patriarchs and slaveholders," might at small cost greatly augment
their numbers. A single stanza celebrating patriarchal _concubinage_,
winding off with a chorus in honor of patriarchal _drunkenness_, would
be a trumpet call, summoning from bush and brake, highway and hedge, and
sheltering fence, a brotherhood of kindred affinities, each claiming
Abraham or Noah as his patron saint, and shouting, "My name is legion."
What a myriad choir and thunderous song.]

Before entering upon an analysis of the condition of servants under
these two states of society, we will consider the import of certain
terms which describe the mode of procuring them.



IMPORT OF "BUY," AND "BOUGHT WITH MONEY."

As the Israelites were commanded to "buy" their servants, and as Abraham
had servants "bought with money," it is argued that servants were
articles of _property_. The sole ground for this belief is the terms
themselves. How much might be saved, if in discussion, the thing to be
proved were always _assumed_. To beg the question in debate, would be
vast economy of midnight oil! and a great forestaller of wrinkles and
grey hairs! Instead of protracted investigation into Scripture usage,
with painful collating of passages, to find the meaning of terms, let
every man interpret the oldest book in the world by the usages of his
own time and place, and the work is done. And then instead of one
revelation, they might be multiplied as the drops of the morning, and
every man have an infallible clue to the mind of the Spirit, if he only
understood the dialect of his own neighborhood! What a Babel-jargon it
would make of the Bible to take it for granted that the sense in which
words are _now_ used is the _inspired_ sense, David says, "I prevented
the dawning of the morning, and cried." What, stop the earth in its
revolution! Two hundred years ago, _prevent_ was used in its strict
Latin sense to _come before_, or _anticipate_. It is always used in this
sense in the Old and New Testaments. David's expression, in the English
of the nineteenth century, would be "Before the dawning of the morning I
cried." In almost every chapter of the Bible, words are used in a sense
now nearly or quite obsolete, and sometimes in a sense totally
_opposite_ to their present meaning. A few examples follow: "I purposed
to come to you, but was _let_ (hindered) hitherto." "And the four
_beasts_ (living ones) fell down and worshipped God,"--"Whosoever shall
_offend_ (cause to sin) one of these little ones,"--"Go out into the
highways and _compel_ (urge) them to come in,"--"Only let your
_conversation_ (habitual conduct) be as becometh the Gospel,"--"They
that seek me _early_ (earnestly) shall find me,"--"So when tribulation
or persecution ariseth _by-and-by_ (immediately) they are offended."
Nothing is more mutable than language. Words, like bodies, are always
throwing off some particles and absorbing others. So long as they are
mere _representatives_, elected by the whims of universal suffrage,
their meaning will be a perfect volatile, and to cork it up for the next
century is an employment sufficiently silly (to speak within bounds) for
a modern Bible Dictionary maker. There never was a shallower conceit
than that of establishing the sense attached to a word centuries ago, by
showing what it means _now_. Pity that fashionable mantuamakers were not
a little quicker at taking hints from some Doctors of Divinity. How
easily they might save their pious customers all qualms of conscience
about the weekly shiftings of fashion, by proving that the last
importation of Parisian indecency now flaunting on promenade, was the
very style of dress in which the pious Sarah kneaded cakes for the
angels, and the modest Rebecca drew water for the camels of Abraham's
servants. Since such fashions are rife in Broadway _now_, they _must_
have been in Canaan and Padanaram four thousand years ago!

The inference that the word buy, used to describe the procuring of
servants, means procuring them as _chattels_, seems based upon the
fallacy, that whatever _costs_ money _is_ money; that whatever or
whoever you pay money _for_, is an article of property, and the fact of
your paying for it _proves_ it property. The children of Israel were
required to purchase their first-born from under the obligations of the
priesthood, Num. xviii. 15, 16; Ex. xiii. 13; xxxiv. 20. This custom
still exists among the Jews, and the word _buy_ is still used to
describe the transaction. Does this prove that their first-born were, or
are, held as property? They were _bought_ as really as were _servants_.
(2.) The Israelites were required to pay money for their own souls. This
is called sometimes a ransom, sometimes an atonement. Were their souls
therefore marketable commodities? (3.) Bible saints _bought_ their
wives. Boaz bought Ruth. "So Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of Mahlon,
have I _purchased_ to be my wife." Ruth iv. 10. Hosea bought his wife.
"So I _bought_ her to me for fifteen pieces of silver, and for an homer
of barley, and an half homer of barley." Hosea iii. 2. Jacob bought his
wives Rachael and Leah, and not having money, paid for them in
labor--seven years a piece. Gen. xxix. 15-29. Moses probably bought his
wife in the same way, and paid for her by his labor, as the servant of
her father. Exod. ii. 21. Shechem, when negotiating with Jacob and his
sons for Dinah, says, "Ask me never so much dowry and gift, and I will
give according as ye shall say unto me." Gen. xxxiv. 11, 12. David
purchased Michal, and Othniel, Achsah, by performing perilous services
for their fathers. 1 Sam. xviii. 25-27; Judg. i. 12, 13. That the
purchase of wives, either with money or by service, was the general
practice, is plain from such passages as Ex. xxii. 17, and 1 Sam. xviii.
25. Among the modern Jews this usage exists, though now a mere form,
there being no _real_ purchase. Yet among their marriage ceremonies, is
one called "marrying by the penny." The coincidences in the methods of
procuring wives and servants, in the terms employed in describing the
transactions, and in the prices paid for each, are worthy of notice. The
highest price of wives (virgins) and servants was the same. Comp. Deut.
xxii. 28, 29, and Ex. xxii. 17, with Lev. xxvii. 2-8. The _medium_ price
of wives and servants was the same. Comp. Hos. iii. 2, with Ex. xxi. 32.
Hosea seems to have paid one half in money and the other half in grain.
Further, the Israelitish female bought servants were _wives_, their
husbands and masters being the same persons. Ex. xxi. 8, Judg. xix. 3,
27. If _buying_ servants proves them property, buying wives proves them
property. Why not contend that the _wives_ of the ancient fathers of the
faithful were their "chattels," and used as ready change at a pinch; and
thence deduce the rights of modern husbands? Alas! Patriarchs and
prophets are followed afar off! When will pious husbands live up to
their Bible privileges, and become partakers with Old Testament worthies
in the blessedness of a husband's rightful immunities! Refusing so to
do, is questioning the morality of those "good old patriarchs and
slaveholders, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob."

This use of the word buy, is not peculiar to the Hebrew. In the Syriac,
the common expression for "the espoused," is "the bought." Even so late
as the 16th century, the common record of _marriages_ in the old German
Chronicles was, "A BOUGHT B."

The word translated _buy_, is, like other words, modified by the nature
of the subject to which it is applied. Eve said, "I have _gotten_
(bought) a man of the Lord." She named him Cain, that is _bought_. "He
that heareth reproof, getteth (buyeth) understanding," Prov. xv. 32. So
in Isa. xi. 11. "The Lord shall set his hand again to recover (to _buy_)
the remnant of his people." So Ps. lxxviii. 54. "He brought them to this
mountain which his right hand had _purchased_," (gotten.) Jer. xiii. 4.
"Take the girdle that thou hast got" (bought.) Neh. v. 8. "We of our
ability have _redeemed_ (bought) our brethren that were sold to the
heathen." Here "_bought_" is not applied to persons reduced to
servitude, but to those taken _out_ of it. Prov. 8. 22. "The Lord
possessed (bought) me in the beginning of his way." Prov. xix. 8. "He
that _getteth_ (buyeth) wisdom loveth his own soul." Finally, to _buy_
is a _secondary_ meaning of the Hebrew word _Kana_.

Even at this day the word _buy_ is used to describe the procuring of
servants, where slavery is abolished. In the British West Indies, where
slaves became apprentices in 1834, they are still "bought." This is the
current word in West India newspapers. Ten years since servants were
"_bought_" in New-York, as really as in Virginia, yet the different
senses in which the word was used in the two states, put no man in a
quandary. Under the system of legal _indenture_ in Illinois, servants
now are "_bought._"[A] Until recently immigrants to this country were
"bought" in great numbers. By voluntary contract they engaged to work a
given time to pay for their passage. This class of persons called
"redemptioners," consisted at one time of thousands. Multitudes are
"bought" _out_ of slavery by themselves or others. Under the same roof
with the writer is a "servant bought with money." A few weeks since, she
was a slave; when "bought" she was a slave no longer. Alas! for our
leading politicians if "buying" men makes them "chattels." The Whigs say
that Benton and Rives are "bought" by the administration; and the other
party, that Clay and Webster are "bought" by the Bank. The histories of
the revolution tell us that Benedict Arnold was "bought" by British
gold. When a northern clergyman marries a rich southern widow, country
gossip thus hits off the indecency, "The cotton bags _bought_ him." Sir
Robert Walpole said, "Every man has his price, and whoever will pay it,
can _buy_ him," and John Randolph said, "The northern delegation is in
the market, give me money enough, and I can _buy_ them;" both meant just
what they said. The temperance publications tell us that candidates for
office _buy_ men with whiskey; and the oracles of street tattle that the
court, district attorney, and jury, in the late trial of Robinson were
_bought_, yet we have no floating visions of "chattels personal," man
auctions, or coffles.

[Footnote A: The following statute is now in force in the free state of
Illinois--No negro, mulatto, or Indian shall at any time _purchase_ any
servant other than of their own complexion: and if any of the persons
aforesaid shall presume to _purchase_ a white servant, such servant
shall immediately become free, and shall be so held, deemed and taken.]

The transaction between Joseph and the Egyptians gives a clue to the use
of "buy" and "bought with money." Gen, xlvii. 18-26. The Egyptians
proposed to Joseph to become servants. When the bargain was closed,
Joseph said, "Behold I have _bought you_ this day," and yet it is plain
that neither party regarded the persons _bought_ as articles of
property, but merely as bound to labor on certain conditions, to pay for
their support during the famine. The idea attached by both parties to
"buy us," and "behold I have bought you," was merely that of service
voluntarily offered, and secured by contract, in return for _value
received_, and not at all that the Egyptians were bereft of their
personal ownership, and made articles of property. And this buying of
_services_ (in this case it was but one-fifth part) is called in
Scripture usage, _buying the persons_. This case claims special notice,
as it is the only one where the whole transaction of buying servants is
detailed--the preliminaries, the process, the mutual acquiescence, and
the permanent relation resulting therefrom. In all other instances, the
_mere fact_ is stated without particulars. In this case, the whole
process is laid open. (1.) The persons "bought," _sold themselves_, and
of their own accord. (2.) Obtaining permanently the _services_ of
persons, or even a portion of them, is called "buying" those persons.
The objector, at the outset, takes it for granted, that servants were
bought of _third_ persons; and thence infers that they were articles of
property. Both the alleged fact and the inference are sheer
_assumptions_. No instance is recorded, under the Mosaic system, in
which a _master sold his servant_. That servants who were "bought" _sold
themselves_ is a fair inference from various passages of Scripture.

In Leviticus xxv. 47, the case of the Israelite, who became the servant
of the stranger, the words are, "If he SELL HIMSELF unto the stranger."
The _same word_, and the same _form_ of the word, which, in verse 47, is
rendered _sell himself_, is in verse 39 of the same chapter, rendered
_be sold_; in Deut. xxviii. 68, the same word is rendered "be sold."
"And there ye shall BE SOLD unto your enemies for bond-men and
bond-women and NO MAN SHALL BUY YOU." How could they "_be sold_" without
_being bought_? Our translation makes it nonsense. The word _Makar_
rendered "be sold" is used here in the Hithpael conjugation, which is
generally reflexive in its force, and, like the middle voice in Greek,
represents what an individual does for himself, and should manifestly
have been rendered, "ye shall _offer yourselves_ for sale, and there
shall be no purchaser." For a clue to Scripture usage on this point, see
1 Kings xxi. 20, 25--"Thou hast _sold thyself_ to work evil." "There was
none like to Ahab that _sold himself_ to work wickedness."--2 Kings
xvii. 17. "They used divination and enchantments, and _sold themselves_
to do evil."--Isa. l. 1. "For your iniquities have ye _sold
yourselves_." Isa. lii. 3, "Ye have _sold yourselves_ FOR NOUGHT, and ye
shall be redeemed without money." See also, Jer. xxxiv. 14--Romans vii.
14, vi. 16--John viii. 34, and the case of Joseph and the Egyptians,
already quoted. In the purchase of wives, though spoken of rarely, it is
generally stated that they were bought of _third_ persons. If _servants_
were bought of third persons, it is strange that no _instance_ of it is
on record.



II.--THE LEADING DESIGN OF THE LAWS RELATING TO SERVANTS, WITH THE
RIGHTS AND PRIVILEGES SECURED TO THEM.

The general object of the laws defining the relations of master and
servant, was the good of both parties--more especially the good of the
_servants_. While the master's interests were guarded from injury, those
of the servants were _promoted_. These laws made a merciful provision
for the poorer classes, both of the Israelites and Strangers, not laying
on burdens, but lightening them--they were a grant of _privileges_ and
_favors_.

I. No servant from the Strangers, could remain in the family of an
Israelite without becoming a proselyte. Compliance with this condition
was the _price of the privilege_.--Gen. xvii. 9-14, 23, 27.

II. Excommunication from the family was a PUNISHMENT.--Gen. xxi. 14.
Luke xvi. 2-4.

III. Every Hebrew servant could COMPEL his master to keep him after the
six years contract had expired. This shows that the system was framed to
advance the interests and gratify the wishes of the servant quite as
much as those of the master. If the servant _demanded_ it, the law
_obliged_ the master to retain him, however little he might need his
services. Deut. xv. 12-17. Ex. xxi. 2-6.

IV. The rights and privileges guarantied by law to all servants.

1. _They were admitted into covenant with God._ Deut. xxix. 10-13.

2. _They were invited guests at all the national and family festivals._
Ex. xii. 43-44; Deut. xii. 12, 18, xvi. 10-16.

3. _They were statedly instructed in morality and religion._ Deut. xxxi.
10-13; Josh. viii. 33-35; 2 Chron. xvii. 8-9.

4. _They were released from their regular labor nearly_ ONE HALF OF THE
WHOLE TIME. During which they had their entire support, and the same
instruction that was provided for the other members of the Hebrew
community.

(a.) The Law secured to them the _whole of every seventh year;_ Lev.
xxv. 3-6; thus giving to those who were servants during the entire
period between the jubilees, _eight whole years,_ including the jubilee
year, of unbroken rest.

(b.) _Every seventh day._ This in forty-two years, the eight being
subtracted from the fifty, would amount to just _six years._

(c.) _The three annual festivals._ The _Passover_, which commenced on
the 15th of the 1st month, and lasted seven days, Deut. xvi. 3, 8. The
Pentecost, or Feast of Weeks, which began on the 6th day of the 3d
month, and lasted seven days. Lev. xvi. 10, 11. The Feast of
Tabernacles, which commenced on the 15th of the 7th month, and lasted
eight days. Deut. xvi. 13, 15; Lev. xxiii. 34-39. As all met in one
place, much time would be spent on the journey. Cumbered caravans move
slowly. After their arrival, a day or two would be requisite for divers
preparations before the celebration, besides some time at the close of
it, in preparations for return. If we assign three weeks to each
festival--including the time spent on the journeys, and the delays
before and after the celebration, together with the _festival week_, it
will be a small allowance for the cessation of their regular labor. As
there were three festivals in the year, the main body of the servants
would be absent from their stated employments at least _nine weeks
annually_, which would amount in forty-two years, subtracting the
Sabbaths, to six years and eighty-four days.

(d.) _The new moons._ The Jewish year had twelve; Josephus says that the
Jews always kept _two_ days for the new moon. See Calmet on the Jewish
Calendar, and Horne's Introduction; also 1 Sam. xx. 18, 19, 27. This in
forty-two years, would be two years 280 days.

(e.) _The feast of trumpets_. On the first day of the seventh month, and
of the civil year. Lev. xxiii. 24, 25.

(f.) _The atonement day_. On the tenth of the seventh month. Lev. xxiii.
27.

These two feasts would consume not less than sixty-five days not
reckoned above.

Thus it appears that those who continued servants during the period
between the jubilees, were by law released from their labor,
TWENTY-THREE YEARS AND SIXTY-FOUR DAYS, OUT OF FIFTY YEARS, and those
who remained a less time, in nearly the same proportion. In this
calculation, besides making a donation of all the _fractions_ to the
objector, we have left out those numerous _local_ festivals to which
frequent allusion is made, Judg. xxi. 19; I Sam. ix. etc., and the
various _family_ festivals, such as at the weaning of children; at
marriages; at sheep shearings; at circumcisions; at the making of
covenants, &c., to which reference is often made, as in 1 Sam. xx. 28,
29. Neither have we included the festivals instituted at a later period
of the Jewish history. The feast of Purim, Esth. ix. 28, 29; and of the
Dedication, which lasted eight days. John x. 22; 1 Mac. iv. 59.

Finally, the Mosaic system secured to servants, an amount of time which,
if distributed, would be almost ONE HALF OF THE DAYS IN EACH YEAR.
Meanwhile, they were supported, and furnished with opportunities of
instruction. If this time were distributed over _every day_, the
servants would have to themselves nearly _one half of each day_.

THIS IS A REGULATION OF THAT MOSAIC SYSTEM WHICH IS CLAIMED BY
SLAVEHOLDERS AS THE PROTOTYPE OF AMERICAN SLAVERY.

V. The servant was protected by law equally with the other members of
the community.

Proof.--"Judge righteously between every man and his neighbor, and THE
STRANGER THAT IS WITH HIM." "Ye shall not RESPECT PERSONS in judgement,
but ye shall hear the SMALL as well as the great." Deut. i. 16, 17. Also
Lev. xxiv. 22. "Ye shall have one manner of law as well for the
STRANGER, as for one of your own country." So Numb. xv. 29. "Ye shall
have ONE LAW for him that sinneth through ignorance, both for him that
is born among the children of Israel and for the STRANGER that
sojourneth among them." Deut. xxvii. 19. "Cursed be he that PERVERTETH
THE JUDGMENT OF THE STRANGER."

VI. The Mosaic system enjoined the greatest affection and kindness
toward servants, foreign as well as Jewish.

Lev. xix. 34. "The stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as
one born among you, and thou shall love him as thyself." Also Deut. x.
17, 19. "For the Lord your God * * REGARDETH NOT PERSONS. He doth
execute the judgment of the fatherless and widow, and LOVETH THE
STRANGER, in giving him food and raiment, LOVE YE THEREFORE THE
STRANGER." So Ex. xxii. 21. "Thou shalt neither vex a STRANGER nor
oppress him." Ex. xxiii. 9. "Thou shalt not oppress a STRANGER, for ye
know the heart of a stranger." Lev. xxv. 35, 36. "If thy brother be
waxen poor thou shalt relieve him, yea, though he be a STRANGER or a
sojourner, that he may live with thee, take thou no usury of him or
increase, but fear thy God." Could this same stranger be taken by one
that feared his God, and held as a slave, and robbed of time, earnings,
and all his rights?

VII. Servants were placed upon a level with their masters in all civil
and religious rights. Num. xv. 15, 16, 29; ix. 14. Deut. i. 16, 17. Lev.
xxiv. 22.



III.--DID PERSONS BECOME SERVANTS VOLUNTARILY, OR WERE THEY MADE
SERVANTS AGAINST THEIR WILLS?

We argue that they became servants _of their own accord_.

I. Because to become a servant in the family of an Israelite, was to
abjure idolatry, to enter into covenant with God[A], be circumcised in
token of it, bound to keep the Sabbath, the Passover, the Pentecost, and
the Feast of Tabernacles, and to receive instruction in the moral and
ceremonial law. Were the servants _forced_ through all these processes?
Was the renunciation of idolatry _compulsory_? Were they _dragged_ into
covenant with God? Were they seized and circumcised by _main strength_?
Were they _compelled_ mechanically to chew, and swallow the flesh of the
Paschal lamb, while they abhorred the institution, spurned the laws that
enjoined it, detested its author and its executors, and instead of
rejoicing in the deliverance which it commemorated, bewailed it as a
calamity, and cursed the day of its consummation? Were they _driven_
from all parts of the land three times in the year to the annual
festivals? Were they drugged with instruction which they nauseated?
Goaded through a round of ceremonies, to them senseless and disgusting
mummeries; and drilled into the tactics of a creed rank with loathed
abominations? We repeat it, to became a _servant_, was to become a
_proselyte_. And did God authorize his people to make proselytes, at the
point of the sword? by the terror of pains and penalties? by converting
men into _merchandise_? Were _proselyte and chattel_ synonymes, in the
Divine vocabulary? Must a man be sunk to a _thing_ before taken into
covenant with God? Was this the stipulated condition of adoption, and
the sole passport to the communion of the saints?

[Footnote A: Maimonides, who wrote in Egypt about seven hundred years
ago, a contemporary with Jarchi, and who stands with him at the head of
Jewish writers, gives the following testimony on this point: "Whether a
servant be born in the power of an Israelite, or whether he be purchased
from the heathen, the master is to bring them both into the covenant."

"But he that is in the _house_ is entered on the eighth day, and he that
is bought with money, on the day on which his master receives him,
unless the slave be _unwilling_. For if the master receive a grown
slave, and he be _unwilling_, his master is to bear with him, to seek to
win him over by instruction, and by love and kindness, for one year.
After which, should he _refuse_ so long, it is forbidden to keep him
longer than a year. And the master must send him back to the strangers
from whence he came. For the God of Jacob will not accept any other than
the worship of a willing heart"--Mamon, Hilcoth Mileth, Chap. 1st, Sec.
8th.

The ancient Jewish Doctors assert that the servant from the Strangers
who at the close of his probationary year, refused to adopt the Jewish
religion and was on that account sent back to his own people, received a
_full compensation_ for his services, besides the payment of his
expenses. But that _postponement_ of the circumcision of the foreign
servant for a year (_or even at all_ after he had entered the family of
an Israelite), of which the Mishnic doctors speak, seems to have been _a
mere usage_. We find nothing of it in the regulations of the Mosaic
system. Circumcision was manifestly a rite strictly _initiatory_.
Whether it was a rite merely _national_ or _spiritual_, or _both_, comes
not within the scope of this inquiry. ]

II. We argue the voluntariness of servants from Deut. xxiii. 15, 16,
"Thou shalt not deliver unto his master the servant which is escaped
from his master unto thee. He shall dwell with thee, even among you, in
that place which he shall choose, in one of thy gates where it liketh
him best; thou shalt not oppress him."

As though God had said, "To deliver him up would be to recognize the
_right_ of the master to hold him; his _fleeing_ shows his
_choice_--proclaims his wrongs and his title to protection; you shall
not force him back and thus recognize the _right_ of the master to hold
him in such a condition as induces him to flee to others for
protection." It may be said that this command referred only to the
servants of _heathen_ masters in the surrounding nations. We answer, the
terms of the command are unlimited. But the objection, if valid, would
merely shift the pressure of the difficulty to another point. Did God
require them to protect the _free choice_ of a _single_ servant from the
heathen, and yet _authorize_ the same persons, to crush the free choice
of _thousands_ of servants from the heathen? Suppose a case. A _foreign_
servant flees to the Israelites; God says, "He shall dwell with thee, in
that place which _he shall choose_, in one of thy gates where it _liketh
him_ best." Now, suppose this same servant, instead of coming into
Israel of his own accord, had been _dragged_ in by some kidnapper who
_bought_ him of his master, and _forced_ him into a condition against
his will; would He who forbade such treatment of the stranger, who
_voluntarily_ came into the land, sanction the _same_ treatment of the
_same person_, provided in _addition_ to this last outrage, the
_previous_ one had been committed of forcing him into the nation against
his will? To commit violence on the free choice of a _foreign_ servant
is forsooth a horrible enormity, PROVIDED you _begin_ the violence
_after_ he has come among you. But if you commit the _first act_ on the
_other side of the line_; if you begin the outrage by buying him from a
third person against his will, and then tear him from home, drag him
across the line into the land of Israel, and hold him as a slave--ah!
that alters the case, and you may perpetrate the violence now with
impunity! Would _greater_ favor have been shown to this new comer than
to the old residents--those who had been servants in Jewish families
perhaps for a generation? Were the Israelites commanded to exercise
toward _him_, uncircumcised and out of the covenant, a justice and
kindness denied to the multitudes who _were_ circumcised, and _within_
the covenant? But, the objector finds small gain to his argument on the
supposition that the covenant respected merely the fugitives from the
surrounding nations, while it left the servants of the Israelites in a
condition against their wills. In that case, the surrounding nations
would adopt retaliatory measures, and become so many asylums for Jewish
fugitives. As these nations were not only on every side of them, but in
their midst, such a proclamation would have been an effectual lure to
men whose condition was a constant counteraction of will. Besides the
same command which protected the servant from the power of his foreign
_master_, protected him equally from the power of an _Israelite_. It was
not, "Thou shalt not deliver him unto his _master_," but "he shall dwell
with thee, in that place which _he shall choose_ in one of thy gates
where it liketh _him_ best." Every Israelite was forbidden to put him in
any condition _against his will_. What was this but a proclamation, that
all who _chose_ to live in the land and obey the laws, were left to
their own free will, to dispose of their services at such a rate, to
such persons and in such places as they pleased? Besides, grant that
this command prohibited the sending back of _foreign_ servants merely,
there was no law requiring the return of servants who had escaped from
the _Israelites_. _Property_ lost, and _cattle_ escaped, they were
required to return, but not escaped servants. These verses contain 1st,
a command, "Thou shall not deliver," &c., 2d, a declaration of the
fugitive's right of _free choice_, and of God's will that he should
exercise it at his own discretion; and 3d, a command guarding this
right, namely, "Thou shalt not oppress him," as though God had said, "If
you restrain him from exercising his _own choice_, as to the place and
condition of his residence, it is _oppression_."

III. We argue the voluntariness of servants from their peculiar
opportunities and facilities for escape. Three times every year, all the
males over twelve years, were required to attend the national feasts.
They were thus absent from their homes not less than three weeks at each
time, making nine weeks annually. As these caravans moved over the
country, were there military scouts lining the way, to intercept
deserters?--a corporal's guard at each pass of the mountains, sentinels
pacing the hill-tops, and light horse scouring the defiles? The
Israelites must have had some safe contrivance for taking their
"_slaves_" three times in a year to Jerusalem and back. When a body of
slaves is moved any distance in our _republic_, they are hand-cuffed and
chained together, to keep them from running away, or beating their
drivers' brains out. Was this the _Mosaic_ plan, or an improvement
introduced by Samuel, or was it left for the wisdom of Solomon? The
usage, doubtless, claims a paternity not less venerable and biblical!
Perhaps they were lashed upon camels, and transported in bundles, or
caged up, and trundled on wheels to and fro, and while at the Holy City,
"lodged in jail for safe keeping," the Sanhedrim appointing special
religious services for their benefit, and their "drivers" officiating at
"ORAL instruction." Mean while, what became of the sturdy _handmaids_
left at home? What hindered them from marching off in a body? Perhaps
the Israelitish matrons stood sentry in rotation round the kitchens,
while the young ladies scoured the country, as mounted rangers, picking
up stragglers by day, and patrolled the streets, keeping a sharp
look-out at night.

IV. Their continuance in Jewish families depended upon the performance
of various rites necessarily VOLUNTARY.

Suppose the servants from the heathen had upon entering Jewish families,
refused circumcision; if _slaves_, how simple the process of
emancipation! Their _refusal_ did the job. Or, suppose they had refused
to attend the annual feasts, or had eaten unleavened bread during the
Passover, or compounded the ingredients of the anointing oil, they would
have been "cut off from the people;" _excommunicated_.

V. We infer the voluntariness of the servants of the Patriarchs from the
impossibility of their having been held against their wills. Abraham's
servants are an illustration. At one time he had three hundred and
eighteen _young men_ "born in his house," and many more _not_ born in
his house. His servants of all ages, were probably MANY THOUSANDS. How
Abraham and Sarah contrived to hold fast so many thousand servants
against their wills, we are left quite in the dark. The most natural
supposition is that the Patriarch and his wife _took turns_ in
surrounding them! The neighboring tribes, instead of constituting a
picket guard to hem in his servants, would have been far more likely to
sweep them and him into captivity, as they did Lot and his household.
Besides, there was neither "Constitution" nor "compact," to send back
Abraham's fugitives, nor a truckling police to pounce upon them, nor
gentleman-kidnappers, suing for his patronage, volunteering to howl on
their track, boasting their blood-hound scent, and pledging their
"honor" to hunt down and "deliver up," _provided_ they had a description
of the "flesh-marks," and were suitably stimulated by _pieces of
silver_. Abraham seems also to have been sadly deficient in all the
auxiliaries of family government, such as stocks, hand-cuffs,
foot-chains, yokes, gags, and thumb-screws. His destitution of these
patriarchal indispensables is the more afflicting, since he faithfully
trained "his household to do justice and judgment," though so deplorably
destitute of the needful aids.

VI. We infer that servants were voluntary, as there is no instance of an
Israelitish master SELLING a servant. Abraham had thousands of servants,
but seems never to have sold one. Isaac "grew until he became very
great," and had "great store of servants." Jacob's youth was spent in
the family of Laban, where he lived a servant twenty-one years.
Afterward he had a large number of servants. Joseph sent for Jacob to
come into Egypt, "thou and thy children, and thy children's children,
and thy flocks and thy herds, and ALL THAT THOU HAST." Jacob took his
flocks and herds but _no servants_. Gen xlv. 10; xlvii. 16. They
doubtless, served under their _own contracts_, and when Jacob went into
Egypt, they _chose_ to stay in their own country. The government might
sell _thieves_, if they had no property, until their services had made
good the injury, and paid the legal fine. Ex. xxii. 3. But _masters_
seem to have had no power to sell their _servants_. To give the master a
_right_ to sell his servant, would annihilate the servant's right of
choice in his own disposal; but says the objector, "to give the master a
right to _buy_ a servant, equally annihilates the servant's _right of
choice_." Answer. It is one thing to have a right to buy a man, and a
different thing to have a right to buy him of _another_ man[A].

[Footnote A: There is no evidence that masters had the power to dispose
even the _services_ of their servants, as men hire out their laborers
whom they employ by the year; but whether they had or not, affects not
the argument.]

Though servants were not bought of their masters, yet young females were
bought of their _fathers_. But their purchase as _servants_ was their
betrothal as wives. Ex. xxi. 7, 8. "If a man sell his daughter to be a
maid-servant, she shall not go out as the men-servants do. If she please
not her master WHO HATH BETROTHED HER TO HIMSELF, he shall let her be
redeemed."[B]

[Footnote B: The comment of Maimonides on this passage is as follows: "A
Hebrew handmaid might not be sold but to one who laid himself under
obligations, to espouse her to himself or to his son, when she was fit
to be betrothed."--_Maimonides--Hilcoth--Obedim_, Ch. IV. Sec. XI.
Jarchi, on the same passage, says, "He is bound to espouse her and take
her to be his wife, for the _money of her purchase_ is the money of her
espousal."]

VII. We infer that the Hebrew servant was voluntary in COMMENCING his
service, because he was pre-eminently so IN CONTINUING it. If, at the
year of release, it was the servant's _choice_ to remain with his
master, law required his ear to be bored by the judges of the land, thus
making it impossible for him to be held against his will. Yea more, his
master was _compelled_ to keep him, however much he might wish to get
rid of him.

VIII. The method prescribed for procuring servants, was an appeal to
their choice. The Israelites were commanded to offer them a suitable
inducement, and then leave them to decide. They might neither seize them
by _force_, nor frighten them by _threats_, nor wheedle them by false
pretences, nor _borrow_ them, nor _beg_ them; but they were commanded to
buy them[A]; that is, they were to recognize the _right_ of the
individuals to _dispose_ of their own services, and their right to
_refuse all offers_, and thus oblige those who made them, _to do their
own work_. Suppose all, with one accord, had _refused_ to become
servants, what provision did the Mosaic law make for such an emergency?
NONE.

[Footnote A: The case of thieves, whose services were sold until they
had earned enough to make restitution to the person wronged, and to pay
the legal penalty, _stands by itself,_ and has nothing to do with the
condition of servants.]

IX. Various incidental expressions corroborate the idea that servants
became such by their own contract. Job xli. 4, is an illustration, "Will
he (Leviathan) make a COVENANT with thee? wilt thou take him for a
SERVANT forever?"

X. The transaction which made the Egyptians the SERVANTS OF PHARAOH was
voluntary throughout. See Gen. xlvii. 18-26. Of their own accord they
came to Joseph and said, "We have not aught left but our _bodies_ and
our lands; _buy us_;" then in the 25th verse, "we will be servants to
Pharaoh."

XI. We infer the voluntariness of servants, from the fact that RICH
Strangers did not become servants. Indeed, so far were they from
becoming servants themselves, that they bought and held Jewish servants.
Lev. xxv. 47.

XII. The sacrifices and offerings which ALL were required to present,
were to be made VOLUNTARILY. Lev. i. 2, 3.

XIII. Mention is often made of persons becoming servants where they were
manifestly and pre-eminently VOLUNTARY. As the Prophet Elisha. 1 Kings
xix. 21; 2 Kings iii. 11. Elijah was his _master_. The word, translated
master, is the same that is so rendered in almost every instance where
masters are spoken of under the Mosaic and patriarchal systems. Moses
was the servant of Jethro. Ex. iii. 1. Joshua was the servant of Moses.
Num. xi. 28. Jacob was the servant of Laban. Gen. xxix. 18-27.



IV.--WERE THE SERVANTS FORCED TO WORK WITHOUT PAY?

As the servants became and continued such of _their own accord_, it
would be no small marvel if they _chose_ to work without pay. Their
becoming servants, pre-supposes _compensation_ as a motive. That they
_were paid_ for their labor, we argue,

I. Because God rebuked in thunder, the sin of using the labor of others
without wages. "Wo unto him that buildeth his house by unrighteousness,
and his chambers by wrong; THAT USETH HIS NEIGHBOR'S SERVICE WITHOUT
WAGES, and giveth him not for his work." Jer. xxii. 13. God here
testifies that to use the service of others without wages is
"unrighteousness" and pronounces his "wo" against the doer of the
"wrong." The Hebrew word _Rea_, translated _neighbor_, does not mean one
man, or class of men, in distinction from others, but any one with whom
we have to do--all descriptions of persons, even those who prosecute us
in lawsuits and enemies while in the act of fighting us--"As when a man
riseth against his NEIGHBOR and slayeth him." Deut. xxii. 26. "Go not
forth hastily to strive, lest thou know not what to do in the end
thereof, when thy NEIGHBOR hath put thee to shame." Prov. xxv. 8. "Thou
shalt not bear false witness against thy NEIGHBOR." Ex. xx. 16. "If any
man come presumptuously upon his NEIGHBOR to slay him with guile." Ex.
xxi. 14, &c.

II. God testifies that in our duty to our fellow men, ALL THE LAW AND
THE PROPHETS hang upon this command, "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as
thyself." Our Savior, in giving this command, quoted _verbatim_ one of
the laws of the Mosaic system. Lev. xix. 18. In the 34th verse of the
same chapter, Moses applies this law to the treatment of Strangers, "The
stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you,
and THOU SHALT LOVE HIM AS THYSELF." If it be loving others _as_
ourselves, to make them work for us without pay; to rob them of food and
clothing also, would be a stronger illustration still of the law of
love! _Super_-disinterested benevolence! And if it be doing unto others
as we would have them do to us, to make them work for _our own_ good
alone, Paul should be called to order for his hard saying against human
nature, especially for that libellous matter in Eph. v. 29, "No man ever
yet hated his own flesh, but nourisheth it and cherisheth it."

III. As persons became servants FROM POVERTY, we argue that they were
compensated, since they frequently owned property, and sometimes a large
amount. Ziba, the servant of Mephibosheth, gave David a princely
present, "An hundred loaves of bread, and an hundred bunches of raisins,
and an hundred of summer fruits, and a bottle of wine." 2 Sam. xvi. 1.
The extent of his possessions can be inferred from the fact, that though
the father of fifteen sons, he had twenty servants. In Lev. xxv. 57-59,
where a servant, reduced to poverty, sold himself, it is declared that
he may be _redeemed_, either by his kindred, or by HIMSELF. Having been
forced to sell himself from poverty, he must have acquired considerable
property _after_ he became a servant. If it had not been common for
servants to acquire property over which they had the control, the
servant of Elisha would hardly have ventured to take a large sum of
money, (nearly $3000[A]) from Naaman, 2 Kings v. 22, 23. As it was
procured by deceit, he wished to conceal the means used in getting it;
but if servants, could "own nothing, nor acquire any thing," to embark
in such an enterprise would have been consummate stupidity. The fact of
having in his possession two talents of silver, would of itself convict
him of theft[B]. But since it was common for servants to own property he
might have it, and invest or use it, without attracting special
attention, and that consideration alone would have been a strong motive
to the act. His master, while rebuking him for using such means to get
the money, not only does not take it from him; but seems to expect that
he would invest it in real estate, and cattle, and would procure
servants with it. 2 Kings v. 26. We find the servant of Saul having
money, and relieving his master in an emergency. 1 Sam. ix. 8. Arza, the
servant of Elah, was the _owner of a house_. That it was somewhat
magnificent, would be a natural inference from it's being a resort of
the king. 1 Kings xvi. 9. The case of the Gibeonites, who after becoming
servants, still occupied their cities, and remained in many respects, a
distinct people for centuries; and that of the 150,000 Canaanites, the
_servants_ of Solomon, who worked out their "tribute of bond-service" in
levies, periodically relieving each other, are additional illustrations
of independence in the acquisition and ownership of property.

[Footnote A: Though we have not sufficient data to decide upon the
_relative_ value of that sum, _then_ and _now_, yet we have enough to
warrant us in saying that two talents of silver, had far more value
_then_ than three thousand dollars have _now_.]


[Footnote B: Whoever heard of the slaves in our southern states stealing
a large amount of money? They "_know how to take care of themselves_"
quite too well for that. When they steal, they are careful to do it on
such a _small_ scale, or in the taking of _such things_ as will make
detection difficult. No doubt they steal now and then a little, and a
gaping marvel would it be if they did not. Why should they not follow in
the footsteps of their masters and mistresses? Dull scholars indeed! if,
after so many lessons from _proficients_ in the art, who drive the
business by _wholesale_, they should not occasionally copy their
betters, fall into the _fashion_, and try their hand in a small way, at
a practice which is the _only permanent and universal_ business carried
on around them! Ignoble truly! never to feel the stirrings of high
impulse, prompting to imitate the eminent pattern set before them in the
daily vocation of "Honorables" and "Excellences," and to emulate the
illustrious examples of Doctors of Divinity, and _Right_ and _Very
Reverends_! Hear President Jefferson's testimony. In his Notes on
Virginia, pp. 207-8, speaking of slaves, he says, "That disposition to
theft with which they have been branded, must be ascribed to their
_situation_, and not to any special depravity of the moral sense. It is
a problem which I give the master to solve, whether the religious
precepts against the violation of property were not framed for HIM as
well as for his slave--and whether the slave may not as justifiably take
a _little_ from one who has taken ALL from him, as he may _slay_ one who
would slay him?"]

IV. Heirship.--Servants frequently inherited their master's property;
especially if he had no sons, or if they had dishonored the family.
Eliezer, the servant of Abraham; Ziba, the servant of Mephibosheth,
Jarha the servant of Sheshan, and the _husbandmen_ who said of their
master's son, "this is the HEIR, let us kill him, and the INHERITANCE
WILL BE OURS," are illustrations; also Prov. xvii. 2--"A wise servant
shall have rule over a son that causeth shame, and SHALL HAVE PART OF
THE INHERITANCE AMONG THE BRETHREN." This passage gives servants
precedence as heirs, even over the wives and daughters of their masters.
Did masters hold by force, and plunder of earnings, a class of persons,
from which, in frequent contingencies, they selected both heirs for
their property, and husbands for their daughters?

V. ALL were required to present offerings and sacrifices. Deut. xvi. 15,
17, 2 Chron. xv. 9-11. Numb. ix. 13. Servants must have had permanently,
the means of _acquiring_ property to meet these expenditures.

VI. Those Hebrew servants who went out at the seventh year, were
provided by law with a large stock of provisions and cattle. Deut. xv.
11-14. "Thou shall furnish him liberally out of thy flock, and out of
thy flour, and out of thy wine press, of that wherewith the Lord thy God
hath blessed thee, thou shall give him[A]." If it be said that the
servants from the Strangers did not receive a like bountiful supply, we
answer, neither did the most honorable class of _Israelitish_ servants,
the free-holders; and for the same reason, _they did not go out in the
seventh year_, but continued until the jubilee. If the fact that the
Gentile servants did not receive such a _gratuity_ proves that they were
robbed of their _earnings_, it proves that the most valued class of
_Hebrew_ servants were robbed of theirs also; a conclusion too stubborn
for even pro-slavery masticators, however unscrupulous.

[Footnote A: The comment of Maimonides on this passage is as
follows--"Thou shalt furnish him liberally," &c. "That is to say,
'_Loading, ye shall load him_,' likewise every one of his family, with
as much as he can take with him--abundant benefits. And if it be
avariciously asked, "How much must I give him?" I say unto _you, not
less than thirty shekels_, which is the valuation of a servant, as
declared in Ex. xxi. 32."--Maimonides, Hilcoth Obedim, Chap. ii. Sec. 3]

VII. The servants were BOUGHT. In other words, they received
compensation in advance. Having shown, under a previous head, that
servants _sold themselves_, and of course received the compensation for
themselves, except in cases where parents hired out the time of their
children till they became of age[B], a mere reference to the fact is all
that is required for the purposes of this argument.

[Footnote B: Among the Israelites, girls became of age at twelve, and
boys at thirteen years.]

VIII. We find masters at one time having a large number of servants, and
afterwards none, without any intimation that they were sold. The wages
of servants would enable them to set up in business for themselves.
Jacob, after being Laban's servant for twenty-one years, became thus an
independent herdsman, and was the master of many servants. Gen. xxx. 43,
xxxii. 15. But all these servants had left him before he went down into
Egypt, having doubtless acquired enough to commence business for
themselves. Gen. xlv. 10, 11; xlvi. 1-7, 32.

IX. God's testimony to the character of Abraham. Gen. xviii. 19. "For I
know him that he will command his children and his household after him,
and they shall keep, THE WAY OF THE LORD TO DO JUSTICE AND JUDGEMENT."
God here testifies that Abraham taught his servants "the way of the
Lord." What was the "way of the Lord" respecting the payment of wages
where service was rendered? "Wo unto him that useth his neighbor's
service WITHOUT WAGES!" Jer. xxii. 13. "Masters, give unto your servants
that which is JUST AND EQUAL." Col. iv. 1. "Render unto all their DUES."
Rom. xiii. 7. "The laborer is WORTHY OF HIS HIRE." Luke x. 7. How did
Abraham teach his servants to "_do justice_" to others? By doing
injustice to them? Did he exhort them to "render to all their dues" by
keeping back _their own_? Did he teach them that "the laborer was worthy
of his hire" by robbing them of _theirs_? Did he beget in them a
reverence for honesty by pilfering all their time and labor? Did he
teach them "not to defraud" others "in any matter" by denying them "what
was just and equal?" If each of Abraham's pupils under such a catechism
did not become a very _Aristides_ in justice, then illustrious examples,
patriarchal dignity, and _practical_ lessons, can make but slow headway
against human perverseness!

X. _Specific precepts of the Mosaic law enforcing general principles_.
Out of many, we select the following: (1.) "Thou shalt not muzzle the ox
that treadeth out the corn," or literally, while he thresheth. Deut.
xxv. 4. Here is a general principle applied to a familiar case. The ox
representing all domestic animals. Isa. xxx. 24. A _particular_ kind of
service, _all_ kinds; and a law requiring an abundant provision for the
wants of an animal ministering to man in a _certain_ way,--a general
principle of treatment covering all times, modes, and instrumentalities
of service. The object of the law was; not merely to enjoin tenderness
towards brutes, but to inculcate the duty of rewarding those who serve
us; and if such care be enjoined, by God, both for the ample sustenance
and present enjoyment _of a brute_, what would be a meet return for the
services of _man_?--MAN with his varied wants, exalted nature and
immortal destiny! Paul says expressly, that this principle lies at the
bottom of the statute. 1 Cor. ix. 9, 10, "For it is written in the law
of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out
the corn. Doth God take care for oxen? Or saith he it altogether for OUR
SAKES? that he that ploweth should plow in HOPE, and that he that
thresheth in hope should be PARTAKER OF HIS HOPE," (2.) "If thy brother
be waxen poor, and fallen in decay with thee, then thou shalt relieve
him, YEA, THOUGH HE BE A STRANGER or a SOJOURNER that he may live with
thee. Take thou no usury of him, or increase, but fear thy God. Thou
shalt not give him thy money upon usury, nor lend him thy victuals for
increase." Lev. xxv. 35-37. Now, we ask, by what process of pro-slavery
legerdemain, this regulation can be made to harmonize with the doctrine
of WORK WITHOUT PAY? Did God declare the poor stranger entitled to
RELIEF, and in the same breath, authorize them to "use his services
without wages;" force him to work and ROB HIM OF HIS EARNINGS?


V.--WERE MASTERS THE PROPRIETORS OF SERVANTS AS LEGAL PROPERTY?

The discussion of this topic has already been somewhat anticipated, but
a variety of additional considerations remain to be noticed.

1. Servants were not subjected to the uses nor liable to the
contingencies of property. (1.) They were never taken in payment for
their masters' debts, though children were sometimes taken (without
legal authority) for the debts of a father. 2 Kings iv. 1; Job xxiv. 9;
Isa. l., 1; Matt. xviii. 25. Creditors took from debtors property of all
kinds, to satisfy their demands. Job xxiv. 3, cattle are taken; Prov.
xxii. 27, household furniture; Lev. xxv. 25-28, the productions of the
soil; Lev. xxv. 27-30, houses; Ex. xxii. 26-29, Deut. xxiv. 10-13, Matt,
v. 40, clothing; but _servants_ were taken in _no instance_. (2.)
Servants were never given as pledges. Property of all sorts was given in
pledge. We find household furniture, clothing, cattle, money, signets,
and personal ornaments, with divers other articles of property, used as
pledges for value received; but no servants. (3.) All lost PROPERTY was
to be restored. Oxen, asses, sheep, raiment, and "whatsoever lost
things," are specified--servants _not_. Deut. xxii. 13. Besides, the
Israelites were forbidden to return the runaway servant. Deut. xxiii.
15. (4.) The Israelites never gave away their servants as presents. They
made costly presents, of great variety. Lands, houses, all kinds of
animals, merchandise, family utensils, precious metals, grain, armor,
&c. are among their recorded _gifts_. Giving presents to superiors and
persons of rank, was a standing usage. 1 Sam. x. 27; 1 Sam. xvi. 20; 2
Chron. xvii. 5. Abraham to Abimelech, Gen. xxi. 27; Jacob to the viceroy
of Egypt, Gen. xliii. 11; Joseph to his brethren and father, Gen. xlv.
22, 23; Benhadad to Elisha, 2 Kings viii. 8, 9; Ahaz to Tiglath Pilezer,
2 Kings vi. 8; Solomon to the Queen of Sheba, 1 Kings x. 13; Jeroboam to
Ahijah, 1 Kings xiv. 3; Asa to Benhadad, 1 Kings xv. 18, 19. But no
servants were given as presents--though it was a prevailing fashion in
the surrounding nations. Gen. xii. 16; Gen. xx. 14. It may be objected
that Laban GAVE handmaids to his daughters, Jacob's wives. Without
enlarging on the nature of the polygamy then prevalent suffice it to say
that the handmaids of wives were regarded as wives, though of inferior
dignity and authority. That Jacob so regarded his handmaids, is proved
by his curse upon Reuben, Gen. xlix. 4, and Chron. v. 1; also by the
equality of their children with those of Rachel and Leah. But had it
been otherwise--had Laban given them as _articles of property_, then,
indeed, the example of this "good old patriarch and slaveholder," Saint
Laban, would have been a forecloser to all argument. Ah! we remember his
jealousy for _religion_--his holy indignation when he found that his
"GODS" were stolen! How he mustered his clan, and plunged over the
desert in hot pursuit, seven days, by forced marches; how he ransacked a
whole caravan, sifting the contents of every tent, little heeding such
small matters as domestic privacy, or female seclusion, for lo! the zeal
of his "IMAGES" had eaten him up! No wonder that slavery, in its
Bible-navigation, drifting dismantled before the free gusts, should scud
under the lee of such a pious worthy to haul up and refit: invoking his
protection, and the benediction of his "GODS!" "Again, it may be
objected that, servants were enumerated in inventories of property. If
that proves _servants_ property, it proves _wives_ property. "Thou shalt
not covet thy neighbor's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's
WIFE, nor his man-servant, nor his maid-servant, nor his ox, nor his
ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbor's." Ex. xx. 17. In inventories
of _mere property_ if servants are included, it is in such a way, as to
show that they are not regarded as _property_. See Eccl. ii. 7, 8. But
when the design is to show not merely the wealth, but the _greatness_ of
any personage, servants are spoken of, as well as property. In a word,
if _riches_ alone are spoken of, no mention is made of servants; if
_greatness_, servants and property. Gen. xiii. 2. "And Abraham was very
rich in cattle, in silver and in gold." So in the fifth verse, "And Lot
also had flocks, and herds, and tents." In the seventh verse servants
are mentioned, "And there was a strife between the HERDMEN of Abraham's
cattle and the HERDMEN of Lot's cattle." See also Josh. xxii. 8; Gen.
xxxiv. 23; Job xlii. 12; 2 Chron. xxi. 3; xxxii. 27-29; Job i. 3-5;
Deut. viii. 12-17; Gen. xxiv. 35, xxvi. 13, xxx. 43. Jacobs's wives say
to him, "All the _riches_ which thou hast taken from our father that is
ours and our children's." Then follows an inventory of property. "All
his cattle," "all his goods," "the cattle of his getting." He had a
large number of servants at the time but they are not included with his
property. Comp. Gen. xxx. 43, with Gen. xxxi. 16-18. When he sent
messengers to Esau, wishing to impress him with an idea of his state and
sway, he bade them tell him not only of his RICHES, but of his
GREATNESS; that Jacob had "oxen, and asses, and flocks, and
men-servants, and maid-servants." Gen. xxxii. 4, 5. Yet in the present
which he sent, there were no servants; though he seems to have sought as
much variety as possible. Gen. xxxii. 14, 15; see also Gen. xxxvi. 6, 7;
Gen. xxxiv. 23. As flocks and herds were the staples of wealth, a large
number of servants presupposed large possessions of cattle, which would
require many herdsmen. When servants are spoken of in connection with
_mere property_, the terms used to express the latter do not include the
former. The Hebrew word _Mikne_, is an illustration. It is derived from
_Kana_, to procure, to buy, and its meaning is, _a possession, wealth,
riches_. It occurs more than forty times in the Old Testament, and is
applied always to _mere property_, generally to domestic animals, but
never to servants. In some instances, servants are mentioned in
distinction from the _Mikne_.  And Abraham took Sarah his wife, and Lot
his brother's son, and all their SUBSTANCE that they had gathered; and
the souls that they had gotten in Haran, and they went forth to go into
the land of Canaan."--Gen. xii. 5. Many will have it, that these _souls_
were a part of Abraham's _substance_ (notwithstanding the pains here
taken to separate them from it)--that they were slaves taken with him in
his migration as a part of his family effects. Who but slaveholders,
either actually or in heart, would torture into the principle and
practice of slavery, such a harmless phrase as "_the souls that they had
gotten_?" Until the slave trade breathed its haze upon the vision of the
church, and smote her with palsy and decay, commentators saw no slavery
in, "The souls that they had gotten." In the Targum of Onkelos[A] it is
rendered, "The souls whom they had brought to obey the law in Haran." In
the Targum of Jonathan, "The souls whom they had made proselytes in
Haran." In the Targum of Jerusalem, "The souls proselyted in Haran."
Jarchi, the prince of Jewish commentators, "The souls whom they had
brought under the Divine wings." Jerome, one of the most learned of the
Christian fathers, "The persons whom they had proselyted." The Persian
version, the Vulgate, the Syriac, the Arabic, and the Samaritan all
render it, "All the wealth which they had gathered, and the souls which
they had made in Haran." Menochius, a commentator who wrote before our
present translation of the Bible, renders it, "Quas de idolatraria
converterant." "Those whom they had converted from idolatry."--Paulus
Fagius[B]. "Quas instituerant in religione." "Those whom they had
established in religion." Luke Francke, a German commentator who lived
two centuries ago. "Quas legi subjicerant"--"Those whom they had brought
to obey the law."

[Footnote A: The Targums are Chaldee paraphrases of parts of the Old
Testament. The Targum of Onkelas is, for the most part, a very accurate
and faithful translation of the original, and was probably made at about
the commencement of the Christian era. The Targum of Jonathan Ben
Uzziel, bears about the same date. The Targum of Jerusalem was probably
about five hundred years later. The Israelites, during their captivity
in Babylon, lost, as a body, their own language. These translations into
the Chaldee, the language which they acquired in Babylon, were thus
called for by the necessity of the case.]


[Footnote B: This eminent Hebrew scholar was invited to England to
superintend the translation of the Bible into English, under the
patronage of Henry the Eighth. He had hardly commenced the work when he
died. This was nearly a century before the date of our present
translation.]

II. The condition and treatment of servants make the doctrine that they
were mere COMMODITIES, an absurdity. St. Paul's testimony in Gal. iv. 1,
shows the condition of servants: "Now I say unto you, that the heir, so
long as he is a child, DIFFERETH NOTHING FROM A SERVANT, though he be
lord of all." That Abraham's servants were voluntary, that their
interests were identified with those of their master's family, and that
the utmost confidence was reposed in them, is shown in their being
armed.--Gen. xiv. 14, 15. When Abraham's servant went to Padanaram, the
young Princess Rebecca did not disdain to say to him, "Drink, MY LORD,"
as "she hasted and let down her pitcher upon her hand, and gave him
drink." Laban, the brother of Rebecca, "ungirded his camels, and brought
him water to wash his feet and the men's feet that were with him!" In 1
Sam. ix. is an account of a festival in the city of Zuph, at which
Samuel presided. None but those bidden, sat down at the feast, and only
"about thirty persons" were invited. Quite a select party!--the elite of
the city. Saul and his servant had just arrived at Zuph, and _both_ of
them, at Samuel's solicitation, accompany him as invited guests. "And
Samuel took Saul and his SERVANT, and brought THEM into the PARLOR(!)
and made THEM sit in the CHIEFEST SEATS among those that were bidden." A
_servant_ invited by the chief judge, ruler, and prophet in Israel, to
dine publicly with a select party, in company with his master, who was
at the same time anointed King of Israel! and this servant introduced by
Samuel into the PARLOR, and assigned, with his master, to the _chiefest
seat_ at the table! This was "_one_ of the servants" of Kish, Saul's
father; not the steward or the chief of them--not at all a _picked_ man,
but "_one_ of the servants;" _any_ one that could be most easily spared,
as no endowments specially rare would be likely to find scope in looking
after asses. Again: we find Elah, the King of Israel, at a festive
entertainment, in the house of Arza, his steward, or head servant, with
whom he seems to have been on terms of familiarity.--1 Kings xvi. 8, 9.
See also the intercourse between Gideon and his servant.--Judg. vii. 10,
11. Jonathan and his servant.--1 Sam. xiv. 1-14. Elisha and his
servant.--2 Kings iv. v. vi.

III. The case of the Gibeonites. The condition of the inhabitants of
Gibeon, Chephirah, Beeroth, and Kirjathjearim, under the Hebrew
commonwealth, is quoted in triumph by the advocates of slavery; and
truly they are right welcome to all the crumbs that can be gleaned from
it. Milton's devils made desperate snatches at fruit that turned to
ashes on their lips. The spirit of slavery raves under tormenting
gnawings, and casts about in blind phrenzy for something to ease, or
even to _mock_ them. But for this, it would never have clutched at the
Gibeonites, for even the incantations of the demon cauldron, could not
extract from their case enough to tantalize starvation's self. But to
the question. What was the condition of the Gibeonites under the
Israelites? (1.) _It was voluntary_. Their own proposition to Joshua was
to become servants. Josh. ix. 8, 11. It was accepted, but the kind of
service which they should perform, was not specified until their gross
imposition came to light; they were then assigned to menial offices in
the Tabernacle. (2.) _They were not domestic servants in the families of
the Israelites_. They still resided in their own cities, cultivated
their own fields, tended their flocks and herds, and exercised the
functions of a _distinct_, though not independent community. They were
subject to the Jewish nation as _tributaries_. So far from being
distributed among the Israelites, and their internal organization as a
distinct people abolished, they remained a separate, and, in some
respects, an independent community for many centuries. When attacked by
the Amorites, they applied to the Israelites as confederates for aid--it
was rendered, their enemies routed, and themselves left unmolested in
their cities. Josh. x. 6-18. Long afterwards, Saul slew some of them,
and God sent upon Israel a three years' famine for it. David inquired of
the Gibeonites, "What shall I do for you, and wherewith shall I make the
atonement?" At their demand, he delivered up to them, seven of Saul's
descendants. 2 Sam. xxi. 1-9. The whole transaction was a formal
recognition of the Gibeonites as a distinct people. There is no
intimation that they served families, or individuals of the Israelites,
but only the "house of God," or the Tabernacle. This was established
first at Gilgal, a day's journey from their cities; and then at Shiloh,
nearly two day's journey from them; where it continued about 350 years.
During this period, the Gibeonites inhabited their ancient cities and
territory. Only a few, comparatively, could have been absent at any one
time in attendance on the Tabernacle. Wherever allusion is made to them
in the history, the main body are spoken of as _at home_. It is
preposterous to suppose that all the inhabitants of these four cities
could find employment at the Tabernacle. One of them "was a great city,
as one of the royal cities;" so large, that a confederacy of five kings,
apparently the most powerful in the land, was deemed necessary for its
destruction. It is probable that the men were divided into classes,
ministering in rotation--each class a few days or weeks at a time. This
service was their _national tribute_ to the Israelites, for the
privilege of residence and protection under their government. No service
seems to have been required of the _females_. As these Gibeonites were
Canaanites, and as they had greatly exasperated the Israelites by
impudent imposition, and lying, we might assuredly expect that they
would reduce _them_ to the condition of chattels if there was _any_ case
in which God permitted them to do so.

IV. Throughout the Mosaic system, God warns the Israelites against
holding their servants in such a condition as they were held in by the
Egyptians. How often are they pointed back to the grindings of their
prison-house! What motives to the exercise of justice and kindness
towards their servants, are held out to their fears in threatened
judgments; to their hopes in promised good; and to all within them that
could feel; by those oft repeated words of tenderness and terror! "For
ye were bondmen in the land of Egypt"--waking anew the memory of tears
and anguish, and of the wrath that avenged them.

God's denunciations against the bondage of Egypt make it incumbent on us
to ascertain, of what rights the Israelites were plundered, and what
they retained.

EGYPTIAN BONDAGE ANALYZED. (1.) The Israelites were not dispersed among
the families of Egypt[A], but formed a separate community. Gen. xlvi.
35. Ex. viii. 22, 24; ix. 26; x. 23; xi. 7; ii. 9; xvi. 22; xvii. 5.
(2.) They had the exclusive possession of the land of Goshen[B]. Gen.
xlv. 18; xlvii. 6, 11, 27. Ex. xii. 4, 19, 22, 23, 27. (3.) They lived
in permanent dwellings. These were _houses_, not _tents_. In Ex. xii. 6,
22, the two side _posts_, and the upper door _posts_, and the lintel of
the houses are mentioned. Each family seems to have occupied a house _by
itself_,--Acts vii. 20. Ex. xii. 4--and judging from the regulation
about the eating of the Passover, they could hardly have been small
ones, Ex. xii. 4, probably contained separate apartments, and places for
concealment. Ex. ii. 2, 3; Acts vii. 20. They appear to have been well
apparelled. Ex. xii. 11. To have their own burial grounds. Ex. xiii. 19,
and xiv. 11. (4.) They owned "a mixed multitude of flocks and herds,"
and "very much cattle." Ex. xii. 32, 37, 38. (5.) They had their own
form of government, and preserved their tribe and family divisions, and
their internal organization throughout, though still a province of
Egypt, and _tributary_ to it. Ex. ii. 1; xii. 19, 21; vi. 14, 25; v. 19;
iii. 16, 18. (6.) They seem to have had in a considerable measure, the
disposal of their own time,--Ex. xxiii. 4; iii. 16, 18, xii. 6; ii. 9;
and iv. 27, 29-31. And to have practiced the fine arts. Ex. xxxii. 4;
xxxv. 22-35. (7.) They were all armed. Ex. xxxii. 27. (8.) They held
their possessions independently, and the Egyptians seem to have regarded
them as inviolable. No intimation is given that the Egyptians
dispossessed them of their habitations, or took away their flocks, or
herds, or crops, or implements of agriculture, or any article of
property. (9.) All the females seem to have known something of domestic
refinements; they were familiar with instruments of music, and skilled
in the working of fine fabrics. Ex. xv. 20; xxxv. 25, 26. (10.) Service
seems to have been exacted from none but adult males. Nothing is said
from which the bond service of females could he inferred; the hiding of
Moses three months by his mother, and the payment of wages to her by
Pharaoh's daughter, go against such a supposition. Ex. ii. 29. (11.) So
far from being fed upon a given allowance, their food was abundant, and
of great variety. "They sat by the flesh-pots," and "did eat bread to
the full." Ex. xvi. 3; xxiv. 1; xvii. 5; iv. 29; vi. 14; "they did eat
fish freely, and cucumbers, and melons, and leeks, and onions, and
garlic." Num. xi. 4, 5; x. 18; xx. 5. (12.) The great body of the people
were not in the service of the Egyptians. (a.) The extent and variety of
their own possessions, together with such a cultivation of their crops
as would provide them with bread, and such care of their immense flocks
and herds, as would secure their profitable increase, must have
furnished constant employment for the main body of the nation. (b.)
During the plague of darkness, God informs us that "ALL the children of
Israel had light in their dwellings." We infer that they were _there_ to
enjoy it. (c.) It seems improbable that the making of brick, the only
service named during the latter part of their sojourn in Egypt, could
have furnished permanent employment for the bulk of the nation. See also
Ex. iv. 29-31. Besides, when Eastern nations employed tributaries, it
was as now, in the use of the levy, requiring them to furnish a given
quota, drafted off periodically, so that comparatively but a small
portion of the nation would be absent _at any one time_. Probably
one-fifth part of the proceeds of their labor was required of the
Israelites in common with the Egyptians. Gen. xlvii. 24, 26. Instead of
taking it from their _crops_, (Goshen being better for _pasturage_) they
exacted it of them in brick making; and it is quite probable that labor
was exacted only from the _poorer_ Israelites, the wealthy being able to
pay their tribute in money. Ex. iv. 27-31. Contrast this bondage of
Egypt with American slavery. Have our slaves "very much cattle," and "a
mixed multitude of flocks and herds?" Do they live in commodious houses
of their own, "sit by the flesh-pots," "eat fish freely," and "eat bread
to the full?" Do they live in a separate community, in their distinct
tribes, under their own rulers, in the exclusive occupation of an
extensive tract of country for the culture of their crops, and for
rearing immense herds of their own cattle--and all these held inviolable
by their masters? Are our female slaves free from exactions of labor and
liabilities of outrage? or when employed, are they paid wages, as was
the Israelitish woman by the king's daughter? Have they the disposal of
their own time and the means for cultivating social refinements, for
practising the fine arts, and for personal improvement? THE ISRAELITES
UNDER THE BONDAGE OF EGYPT, ENJOYED ALL THESE RIGHTS AND PRIVILEGES.
True, "all the service wherein they made them serve was with rigor." But
what was this when compared with the incessant toil of American slaves,
the robbery of all their time and earnings, and even the power to "own
any thing, or acquire any thing?" a "quart of corn a-day," the legal
allowance of food[C]! their _only_ clothing for one half the year,
"_one_ shirt and _one_ pair of pantaloons[D]!" _two hours and a half
only_, for rest and refreshment in the twenty-four[E]!--their dwellings,
_hovels_, unfit for human residence, with but one apartment, where both
sexes and all ages herd promiscuously at night, like the beasts of the
field. Add to this, the ignorance, and degradation; the daily sundering
of kindred, the revelries of lust, the lacerations and baptisms of
blood, sanctioned by law, and patronized by public sentiment. What was
the bondage of Egypt when compared with this? And yet for her oppression
of the poor, God smote her with plagues, and trampled her as the mire,
till she passed away in his wrath, and the place that knew her in her
pride, knew her no more. Ah! "I have seen the afflictions of my people,
and I have heard their groanings, and am come down to deliver them." HE
DID COME, and Egypt sank a ruinous heap, and her blood closed over her.
If such was God's retribution for the oppression of heathen Egypt, of
how much sorer punishment shall a Christian people be thought worthy,
who cloak with religion a system, in comparison with which the bondage
of Egypt dwindles to nothing? Let those believe who can that God
commissioned his people to rob others of _all_ their rights, while he
denounced against them wrath to the uttermost, if they practised the
_far lighter_ oppression of Egypt--which robbed it's victims of only the
least and cheapest of their rights, and left the females unplundered
even of these. What! Is God divided against himself? When He had just
turned Egypt into a funeral pile; while his curse yet blazed upon her
unburied dead, and his bolts still hissed amidst her slaughter, and the
smoke of her torment went upwards because she had "ROBBED THE POOR," did
He license the victims of robbery to rob the poor of ALL? As _Lawgiver_
did he _create_ a system tenfold more grinding than that for which he
had just hurled Pharaoh headlong, and overwhelmed his princes, and his
hosts, till "hell was moved to meet them at their coming?"

[Footnote A: The Egyptians evidently had _domestic_ servants living in
their families; these may have been slaves; allusion is made to them in
Ex. ix. 14, 20, 21.]


[Footnote B: The land of Goshen was a large tract of country, east of
the Pelusian arm of the Nile, and between it and the head of the Red
Sea, and the lower border of Palestine. The probable centre of that
portion, occupied by the Israelites, could hardly have been less than
sixty miles from the city. The border of Goshen nearest to Egypt must
have been many miles distant. See "Exodus of the Israelites out of
Egypt," an able article by Professor Robinson, in the Biblical
Repository for October, 1832.]


[Footnote C: Law of N.C. Haywood's Manual 524-5.]


[Footnote D: Law of La. Martin's Digest, 610.]


[Footnote E: Law of La. Act of July 7, 1806. Martin's Digest, 610-12.]

We now proceed to examine various objections which will doubtless be set
in array against all the foregoing conclusions.


OBJECTIONS CONSIDERED.

The advocates of slavery find themselves at their wits end in pressing
the Bible into their service. Every movement shows them hard-pushed.
Their ever-varying shifts, their forced constructions, and blind
guesswork, proclaim both their _cause_ desperate, and themselves. The
Bible defences thrown around slavery by professed ministers of the
Gospel, do so torture common sense, Scripture, and historical facts it
were hard to tell whether absurdity, fatuity, ignorance, or blasphemy,
predominates in the compound; each strives so lustily for the mastery it
may be set down a drawn battle. How often has it been bruited that the
color of the negro is the _Cain-mark_, propagated downward. Cain's
posterity started an opposition to the ark, forsooth, and rode out the
flood with flying streamers! Why should not a miracle be wrought to
point such an argument, and fill out for slaveholders a Divine
title-deed, vindicating the ways of God to man?



OBJECTION 1. "Cursed be Canaan, a servant of servants shall he be unto
his brethren." Gen. ix. 25.

This prophecy of Noah is the _vade mecum_ of slaveholders, and they
never venture abroad without it; it is a pocket-piece for sudden
occasion, a keepsake to dote over, a charm to spell-bind opposition, and
a magnet to draw around their standard "whatsoever worketh abomination
or maketh a lie." But "cursed be Canaan" is a poor drug to ease a
throbbing conscience--a mocking lullaby, to unquiet tossings, and vainly
crying "Peace be still," where God wakes war, and breaks his thunders.
Those who justify negro slavery by the curse of Canaan, _assume_ all the
points in debate. (1.) That _slavery_ was prophesied rather than mere
_service_ to others, and _individual_ bondage rather than _national_
subjection and tribute. (2.) That the _prediction_ of crime _justifies_
it; at least absolving those whose crimes fulfill it, if not
transforming the crimes into _virtues_. How piously the Pharoahs might
have quoted the prophecy _"Thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that
is not theirs, and they shall afflict there four hundred years."_ And
then, what _saints_ were those that crucified the Lord of glory! (3.)
That the Africans are descended from Canaan. Whereas Africa was peopled
from Egypt and Ethiopia, and they were settled by Mizraim and Cush. For
the location and boundaries of Canaan's posterity, see Gen. x. 15-19. So
a prophecy of evil to one people, is quoted to justify its infliction
upon another. Perhaps it may be argued that Canaan includes all Ham's
posterity. If so, the prophecy is yet unfulfilled. The other sons of Ham
settled Egypt and Assyria, and, conjointly with Shem, Persia, and
afterward, to some extent, the Grecian and Roman empires. The history of
these nations gives no verification of the prophecy. Whereas, the
history of Canaan's descendants for more than three thousand years,
records its fulfilment. First, they were put to tribute by the
Israelites; then by the Medes and Persians; then by the Macedonians,
Grecians and Romans, successively; and finally, were subjected by the
Ottoman dynasty, where they yet remain. Thus Canaan has been for ages
the servant mainly of Shem and Japhet, and secondarily of the other sons
of Ham. It may still be objected, that though Canaan alone is _named_ in
the curse, yet the 23d and 24th verses show the posterity of Ham in
general to be meant. "And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness
of his father, and told his two brethren without." "And Noah awoke from
his wine, and knew what his YOUNGER son had done unto him, and said,"
&c. It is argued that this "_younger_ son" can not be _Canaan_, as he
was the _grandson_ of Noah, and therefore it must be _Ham._ We answer,
whoever that "_younger son_" was, _Canaan_ alone was named in the curse.
Besides, the Hebrew word _Ben_, signifies son, grandson, or _any_ of
_one_ the posterity of an individual. "_Know ye Laban the SON of
Nahor?_" Laban was the _grandson_ of Nahor. Gen. xxix. 5. "_Mephibosheth
the SON of Saul_." 2 Sam. xix. 24. Mephibosheth was the _grandson_ of
Saul. 2 Sam. ix. 6. "_There is a SON born to Naomi._" Ruth iv. 17. This
was the son of Ruth, the daughter-in-law of Naomi. "_Let seven men of
his (Saul's) SONS be delivered unto us._" 2 Sam. xxi. 6. Seven of Saul's
_grandsons_ were delivered up. "_Laban rose up and kissed his SONS._"
Gen. xxi. 55. These were his _grandsons_. "_The driving of Jehu the SON
of Nimshi._" 2 Kings ix. 20. Jehu was the _grandson_ of Nimshi. Shall we
forbid the inspired writer to use the _same_ word when speaking of
_Noah's_ grandson? Further; Ham was not the "_younger_" son. The order
of enumeration makes him the _second_ son. If it be said that Bible
usage varies, the order of birth not always being observed in
enumerations, the reply is, that, enumeration in that order is the
_rule_, in any other order the _exception_. Besides, if a younger member
of a family, takes precedence of older ones in the family record, it is
a mark of pre-eminence, either in endowments, or providential
instrumentality. Abraham, though sixty years younger than his eldest
brother, stands first in the family genealogy. Nothing in Ham's history
shows him pre-eminent; besides, the Hebrew word _Hakkatan_ rendered "the
_younger_," means the _little, small_. The same word is used in Isa. xl.
22. "_A LITTLE ONE shall become a thousand_." Isa. xxii. 24. "_All
vessels of SMALL quantity_." Ps. cxv. 13. "_He will bless them that fear
the Lord both SMALL and great_." Ex. xviii. 22. "_But every SMALL matter
they shall judge_." It would be a literal rendering of Gen. ix. 24, if
it were translated thus. "When Noah knew what his little son[A], or
grandson (_Beno Hakkatan_) had done unto him, he said cursed be Canaan,"
&c. Further, even if the Africans were the descendants of Canaan, the
assumption that their enslavement fulfils this prophecy, lacks even
plausibility, for, only a _fraction_ of the Africans have at any time
been the slaves of other nations. If the objector say in reply, that a
large majority of the Africans have always been slaves _at home_, we
answer: _It is false in point of fact_, though zealously bruited often
to serve a turn; and _if it were true_, how does it help the argument?
The prophecy was, "Cursed be Canaan, a servant of servants shall he be
_unto his_ BRETHREN," not unto _himself_!

[Footnote A: The French follows the same analogy; _grandson_ being
_petit fils_ (little son.)]



OBJECTION II.--"If a man smite his servant or his maid with a rod, and
he die under his hand, he shall surely be punished. Notwithstanding, if
he continue a day or two, he shall not be punished, for he is his
money." Ex. xxi. 20, 21. What was the design of this regulation? Was it
to grant masters an indulgence to beat servants with impunity, and an
assurance, that if they beat them to death, the offense shall not be
_capital_? This is substantially what commentators tell us. What Deity
do such men worship? Some blood-gorged Moloch, enthroned on human
hecatombs, and snuffing carnage for incense? Did He who thundered from
Sinai's flames, "THOU SHALT NOT KILL," offer a bounty on _murder_?
Whoever analyzes the Mosaic system, will find a moot court in session,
trying law points--settling definitions, or laying down rules of
evidence, in almost every chapter. Num. xxxv. 10-22; Deut. xi. 11, and
xix. 4-6; Lev. xxiv. 19-22; Ex. xxi. 18, 19, are a few, out of many
cases stated, with tests furnished the judges by which to detect _the
intent_, in actions brought before them. Their ignorance of judicial
proceedings, laws of evidence, &c., made such instructions necessary.
The detail gone into, in the verses quoted, is manifestly to enable them
to get at the _motive_ and find out whether the master _designed_ to
kill. (1.) "If a man smite his servant with a _rod_."--The instrument
used, gives a clue to the _intent_. See Num. xxxv. 16, 18. A _rod_, not
an axe, nor a sword, nor a bludgeon, nor any other death-weapon--hence,
from the _kind_ of instrument, no design to _kill_ would be inferred;
for _intent_ to kill would hardly have taken a _rod_ for its weapon. But
if the servant die _under his hand_, then the unfitness of the
instrument, is point blank against him; for, to strike him with a _rod_
until he _dies_, argues a great many blows and great violence, and this
kept up to the death-gasp, showed an _intent to kill_. Hence "He shall
_surely_ be punished." But if he continued _a day or two_, the _length
of time that he lived_, together with the _kind_ of instrument used, and
the master's pecuniary interest in his _life_, ("he is his _money_,")
all made a strong case of circumstantial evidence, showing that the
master did not design to kill. Further, the word _nakam_, here rendered
_punished_, is _not so rendered in another instance_. Yet it occurs
thirty-five times in the Old Testament, and in almost every place is
translated "_avenge_," in a few, "_to take vengeance_," or "_to
revenge_," and in this instance ALONE, "_punish_." As it stands in our
translation, the pronoun preceding it, refers to the _master_, whereas
it should refer to the _crime_, and the word rendered _punished_, should
have been rendered _avenged_. The meaning is this: If a man smite his
servant or his maid with a rod, and he die under his hand, IT (the
death) shall surely be avenged, or literally, _by avenging it shall be
avenged_; that is, the _death_ of the servant shall be _avenged_ by the
_death_ of the master. So in the next verse, "If he continue a day or
two," his death is not to be avenged by the _death_ of the _master_, as
in that case the crime was to be adjudged _manslaughter_, and not
_murder_. In the following verse, another case of personal injury is
stated, for which the injurer is to pay a _sum of money_; and yet our
translators employ the same phraseology in both places. One, an instance
of deliberate, wanton, killing by piecemeal. The other, an accidental,
and comparatively slight injury--of the inflicter, in both cases, they
say the same thing! "He shall surely be punished." Now, just the
discrimination to be looked for where God legislates, is marked in the
original. In the case of the servant wilfully murdered, He says, "It
(the death) shall surely be _avenged_," that is, the life of the wrong
doer shall expiate the crime. The same word is used in the Old
Testament, when the greatest wrongs are redressed, by devoting the
perpetrators to _destruction_. In the case of the unintentional injury,
in the following verse, God says, "He shall surely be _fined_,"
(_Aunash_.) "He shall _pay_ as the judges determine." The simple meaning
of the word _anash_, is to lay a fine. It is used in Deut. xxii. 19:
"They shall amerce him in one hundred shekels," and in 2 Chron. xxxvi.
3: "He condemned (_mulcted_) the land in a hundred talents of gold."
That _avenging_ the death of the servant, was neither imprisonment, nor
stripes, nor a fine, but that it was _taking the master's life_ we
infer, (1.) From the _use_ of the word _nakam_. See Gen. iv. 24; Josh.
x. 13; Judg. xiv. 7; xvi. 28; I Sam. xiv. 24; xviii. 25; xxv. 31; 2 Sam.
iv. 8; Judg. v. 2: I Sam. xxv. 26-33. (2.) From the express statute,
Lev. xxiv. 17; "He that killeth ANY man shall surely be put to death."
Also Num. xxxv. 30, 31: "Whoso killeth ANY person, the murderer shall be
put to death. Moreover, ye shall take NO SATISFACTION for the life of a
murderer which is guilty of death, but he shall surely be put to death."
(3.) The Targum of Jonathan gives the verse thus, "Death by the sword
shall surely be adjudged." The Targum of Jerusalem. "Vengeance shall be
taken for him to the _uttermost_." Jarchi, the same. The Samaritan
version: "He shall die the death," Again the clause "for he is his
money," is quoted to prove that the servant is his master's property,
and therefore, if he died, the master was not to be punished. The
assumption is, that the phrase, "HE IS HIS MONEY." proves not only that
the servant is _worth money_ to the master, but that he is an _article
of property_. If the advocates of slavery insist upon taking the
principle of interpretation into the Bible, and turning it loose, let
them stand and draw in self-defence. If they endorse for it at one
point, they must stand sponsors all around the circle. It will be too
late to cry for quarter when its stroke clears the table, and tilts them
among the sweepings beneath. The Bible abounds with such expressions as
the following: "This (bread) is my body;" "this (wine) _is_ my blood;"
"all they (the Israelites) _are_ brass and tin;" "this (water) _is_ the
blood of the men who went in jeopardy of their lives;" "the Lord God
_is_ a sun and a shield;" "God _is_ love;" "the seven good ears _are_
seven years, and the seven good kine _are_ seven years;" "the tree of
the field _is_ man's life;" "God _is_ a consuming fire;" "he _is_ his
money," &c. A passion for the exact _literalities_ of the Bible is so
amiable, it were hard not to gratify it in this case. The words in the
original are (_Kaspo-hu_,) "his _silver_ is he." The objector's
principle of interpretation is a philosopher's stone! Its miracle touch
transmutes five feet eight inches of flesh and bones into _solid
silver!_ Quite a _permanent_ servant, if not so nimble with
all--reasoning against "_forever_," is forestalled henceforth, and,
Deut. xxiii. 15, utterly outwitted. The obvious meaning of the phrase,
"_He is his money_," is, he is _worth money_ to his master, and since,
if the master had killed him, it would have taken money out of his
pocket, the _pecuniary loss_, the _kind of instrument used_, and _the
fact of his living some time after the injury_, (if the master _meant_
to kill, he would be likely to _do_ it while about it,) all together
make a strong case of presumptive evidence clearing the master of
_intent to kill_. But let us look at the objector's _inferences_. One
is, that as the master might dispose of his _property_ as he pleased, he
was not to be punished, if he destroyed it. Whether the servant died
under the master's hand, or after a day or two, he was _equally_ his
property, and the objector admits that in the _first_ case the master is
to be "surely punished" for destroying _his own property!_ The other
inference is, that since the continuance of a day or two, cleared the
master of _intent to kill_, the loss of the slave would be a sufficient
punishment for inflicting the injury which caused his death. This
inference makes the Mosaic law false to its own principles. A _pecuniary
loss_ was no part of the legal claim, where a person took the _life_ of
another. In such case, the law spurned money, whatever the sum. God
would not cheapen human life, by balancing it with such a weight. "Ye
shall take NO SATISFACTION for the life of a murderer, but he shall
surely be put to death." Num. xxxv. 31. Even in excusable homicide,
where an axe slipped from the helve and killed a man, no sum of money
availed to release from confinement in the city of refuge, until the
death of the High Priest. Numb. xxxv. 32. The doctrine that the loss of
the servant would be a penalty _adequate_ to the desert of the master,
admits his _guilt_ and his desert of _some_ punishment, and it
prescribes a kind of punishment, rejected by the law in all cases where
man took the life of man, whether with or without the intent to kill. In
short, the objector annuls an integral part of the system--makes a _new_
law, and coolly metes out such penalty as he thinks fit. Divine
legislation revised and improved! The master who struck out his
servant's tooth, whether intentionally or not, was required to set him
free. The _pecuniary loss_ to the master was the same as though he had
killed him. Look at the two cases. A master beats his servant so that he
dies of his wounds; another accidentally strikes out his servant's
tooth,--_the pecuniary loss of both cases is the same_. If the loss of
the slave's services is punishment sufficient for the crime of killing
him, would _God_ command the _same_ punishment for the _accidental_
knocking out of a _tooth?_ Indeed, unless the injury was done
_inadvertantly_, the loss of the servant's services was only a _part_ of
the punishment--mere reparation to the _individual_ for injury done; the
_main_ punishment, that strictly _judicial_, was reparation to the
_community_. To set the servant free, and thus proclaim his injury, his
right to redress, and the measure of it--answered not the ends of
_public_ justice. The law made an example of the offender. That "those
that remain might hear and fear." "If a man cause a blemish in his
neighbor, as he hath done, so shall it be done unto him. Breach for
breach, eye for eye, tooth for tooth. Ye shall have one manner of law as
well for the STRANGER as for one of your own country." Lev xxiv. 19, 20,
22. Finally, if a master smote out his servant's tooth the law smote out
_his_ tooth--thus redressing the _public_ wrong; and it cancelled the
servant's obligation to the master, thus giving some compensation for
the injury done, and exempting him form perilous liabilities in future.



OBJECTION III. "Both thy bondmen and bondmaids which thou shalt have
shall be of the heathen that are round about you, of them shall ye buy
bondmen and bondmaids. Moreover of the children of the stranger that do
sojourn among you, of them shall ye buy, and of their families that are
with you, which they begat in your land, and they shall be your
possessions. And ye shall take them as an inheritance of your children
from you, to inherit them for a possession; they shall be your bondmen
forever." Lev, xxv. 44-46.

The _points_ in these verses urged as proof, that the Mosaic system
sanctioned slavery, are 1. The word "BONDMEN." 2. "BUY." 3. "INHERITANCE
AND POSSESSION." and 4. "FOREVER."

The _buying_ of servants was discussed, pp. 17-22, and holding them as a
"possession." pp. 37-46. We will now ascertain what sanction to slavery
is derivable from the terms "bondmen," "inheritance," and "forever."

1. "BONDMEN." The fact that servants from the heathen are called
"_bondmen_," while others are called "_servants_," is quoted as proof
that the former were slaves. As the caprices of King James' translators
were not inspired, we need stand in no special awe of them. The word
here rendered bondmen is uniformly rendered servants elsewhere. The
Hebrew word "_ebedh_," the plural of which is here translated "bondmen,"
is in Isa. xlii. 1, applied to Christ. "Behold my _servant_ (bondman,
slave?) whom I have chosen." So Isa. lii. 13. "Behold my _servant_
(Christ) shall deal prudently." In 1 Kings xii. 6, 7, to _King
Rehoboam_. "And they spake unto him, saying if thou wilt be a _servant_
unto this people, then they will be thy _servants_ forever." In 2 Chron.
xii. 7, 8, 9, 13, to the king and all the nation. In fine, the word is
applied to _all_ persons doing service for others--to magistrates, to
all governmental officers, to tributaries, to all the subjects of
governments, to younger sons--defining their relation to the first born,
who is called _Lord_ and _ruler_--to prophets, to kings, to the Messiah,
and in respectful addresses not less than _fifty_ times in the Old
Testament.

If the Israelites not only held slaves, but multitudes of them, if
Abraham had thousands and if they _abounded_ under the Mosaic system,
why had their language _no word_ that _meant slave_? That language must
be wofully poverty-stricken, which has no signs to represent the most
common and familiar objects and conditions. To represent by the same
word, and without figure, property, and the owner of that property, is a
solecism. Ziba was an "_ebedh_," yet he "_owned_" (!) twenty _ebedhs_!
In our language, we have both _servant_ and _slave_. Why? Because we
have both the _things_ and need _signs_ for them. If the tongue had a
sheath, as swords have scabbards, we should have some _name_ for it: but
our dictionaries give us none. Why? Because there is no such _thing_.
But the objector asks, "Would not the Israelites use their word _ebedh_
if they spoke of the slave of a heathen?" Answer. Their _national_
servants or tributaries, are spoken of frequently, but domestic servants
so rarely that no necessity existed, even if they were slaves, for
coining a new word. Besides, the fact of their being domestics, under
_heathen laws and usages_ proclaimed their _liabilities_, their
_locality_ made a _specific_ term unnecessary. But if the Israelites had
not only _servants_, but a multitude of _slaves_, a _word meaning
slave_, would have been indispensable for every day convenience.
Further, the laws of the Mosaic system were so many sentinels on the
outposts to warn off foreign practices. The border ground of Canaan, was
quarantine ground, enforcing the strictest non-intercourse in usages
between the without and the within.

2. "FOREVER." This is quoted to prove that servants were to serve during
their life time, and their posterity from generation to generation. No
such idea is contained in the passage. The word "forever," instead of
defining the length of _individual_ service, proclaims the permanence of
the regulation laid down in the two verses preceding, namely, that their
_permanent domestics_ should be of the Strangers, and not of the
Israelites: it declares the duration of that general provision. As if
God had said, "You shall _always_ get your _permanent_ laborers from the
nations round about you--your servants shall always be of that class of
persons." As it stands in the original it is plain--"Forever of them
shall ye serve yourselves." This is the literal rendering.

That "_forever_" refers to the permanent relations of a _community_,
rather than to the services of _individuals_, is a fair inference from
the form of the expression, "Both thy bondmen, &c., shall be of the
_heathen_. Of THEM shall ye buy," &c. "THEY shall be your possession."
To say nothing of the uncertainty of _those individuals_ surviving those
_after_ whom they are to live, the language used, applies more naturally
to a _body_ of people, than to _individual_ servants. Besides
_perpetual_ service cannot be argued from the term _forever_. The ninth
and tenth verses of the same chapter, limit it absolutely by the
jubilee. "Then thou shalt cause the trumpet of the jubilee to sound * *
throughout ALL your land." "And ye shall proclaim liberty throughout all
the land unto ALL the inhabitants thereof." It may be objected that
"inhabitants" here means _Israelitish_ inhabitants alone. The command
is, "Proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto ALL _the inhabitants
thereof_." Besides, in the sixth verse, there is an enumeration of the
different classes of the inhabitants, in which servants and Strangers
are included; and in all the regulations of the jubilee, and the
sabbatical year, the Strangers are included in the precepts,
prohibitions, and promises. Again: the year of jubilee was ushered in,
by the day of atonement. What did these institutions show forth? The day
of atonement prefigured the atonement of Christ, and the year of
jubilee, the gospel jubilee. And did they prefigure an atonement and a
jubilee to Jews only? Were they types of sins remitted, and of salvation
proclaimed to the nation of Israel alone? Is there no redemption for us
Gentiles in these ends of the earth, and is our hope presumption and
impiety? Did that old partition wall survive the shock, that made earth
quake, and hid the sun, burst graves and rocks, and rent the temple
veil? and did the Gospel only rear it higher to thunder direr perdition
from its frowning battlements on all without? No! The God of our
salvation lives "Good tidings of great joy shall be to ALL people." One
shout shall swell from all the ransomed, "Thou hast redeemed us unto God
by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation."
To deny that the blessings of the jubilee extended to the servants from
the _Gentiles_, makes Christianity _Judaism_. It not only eclipses the
glory of the Gospel, but strikes out the sun. The refusal to release
servants at the jubilee falsified and disannulled a grand leading type
of the atonement, and was a libel on the doctrine of Christ's
redemption. Finally, even if _forever_ did refer to _individual_
service, we have ample precedents for limiting the term by the jubilee.
The same word defines the length of time which _Jewish_ servants served
who did not go out in the _seventh_ year. And all admit that they went
out at the jubilee. Ex. xxi. 2-6; Deut. xv. 12-17. The 23d verse of the
same chapter is quoted to prove that "_forever_" in the 46th verse,
extends beyond the jubilee. "The land shall not be sold FOREVER, for the
land is mine"--since it would hardly be used in different senses in the
same general connection. As _forever_, in the 46th verse, respects the
_general arrangement_, and not _individual service_ the objection does
not touch the argument. Besides in the 46th verse, the word used, is
_Olam_, meaning _throughout the period_, whatever that may be. Whereas
in the 23d verse, it is _Tsemithuth_, meaning, a _cutting off_.

3. "INHERITANCE AND POSSESSION," "Ye shall take them as an INHERITANCE
for your children after you to inherit them for a possession." This
refers to the _nations_, and not to the _individual_ servants, procured
from these nations. We have already shown, that servants could not be
held as a _property_-possession, and inheritance; that they became
servants of their _own accord_, and were paid wages; that they were
released by law from their regular labor nearly _half the days in each
year_, and thoroughly _instructed_; that the servants were _protected_
in all their personal, social and religious rights, equally with their
masters &c. All remaining, after these ample reservations, would be
small temptation, either to the lust of power or of lucre; a profitable
"possession" and "inheritance," truly! What if our American slaves were
all placed in _just such a condition_ Alas, for that soft, melodious
circumlocution, "Our PECULIAR species of property!" Verily, emphasis
would be cadence, and euphony and irony meet together!  What eager
snatches at mere words, and bald technics, irrespective of connection,
principles of construction, Bible usages, or limitations of meaning by
other passages--and all to eke out such a sense as sanctifies existing
usages, thus making God pander for lust. The words _nahal_ and _nahala_,
inherit and inheritance by no means necessarily signify _articles of
property_. "The people answered the king and said, we have none
_inheritance_ in the son of Jesse." 2 Chron. x. 16. Did they moan
gravely to disclaim the holding of their kin; as an article of
_property_? "Children are an _heritage_ (inheritance) of the Lord." Ps.
cxxvii. 3. "Pardon our iniquity, and take us for thine _inheritance_."
Ex. xxxiv. 9. When God pardons his enemies, and adopts them as children,
does he make them _articles of property_? Are forgiveness, and
chattel-making, synonymes? "Thy testimonies have I taken as a
_heritage_" (inheritance.) Ps. cxix. 111. "_I_ am their _inheritance_."
Ezek. xliv. 28. "I will give thee the heathen for thine _inheritance_."
Ps. ii. 8. "For the Lord will not cast off his people, neither will he
forsake his _inheritance_." Ps. xciv 14. see also Deut. iv. 20; Josh.
xiii. 33; Ps. lxxxii. 8; lxxviii. 62, 71; Prov. xiv. 8. The question
whether the servants were a PROPERTY-"_possession_," has been already
discussed--pp. 37-46--we need add in this place but a word, _ahuzza_
rendered "_possession_." "And Joseph placed his father and his brethren,
and gave them a _possession_ in the land of Egypt." Gen. xlii. 11. In
what sense was Goshen the _possession_ of the Israelites? Answer, in the
sense of _having it to live in_. In what sense were the Israelites to
_possess_ these nations, and _take them_ as an _inheritance for their
children_? Answer, they possessed them as a permanent source of supply
for domestic or household servants. And this relation to these nations
was to go down to posterity as a standing regulation, having the
certainty and regularity of a descent by inheritance. The sense of the
whole regulation may be given thus: "Thy permanent domestics, which thou
shalt have, shall be of the nations that are round about you, of _them_
shall ye get male and female domestics." "Moreover of the children of
the foreigners that do sojourn among you, of _them_ shall ye get, and of
their families that are with you, which they begat in your land, and
_they_ shall be your permanent resource." "And ye shall take them as a
_perpetual_ provision for your children after you, to hold as a
_constant source of supply_. Always _of them_ shall ye serve
yourselves." The design of the passage is manifest from its structure.
It was to point out the _class_ of persons from which they were to get
their supply of servants, and the _way_ in which they were to get them.



OBJECTION IV. "If thy brother that dwelleth by thee be waxen poor, and
be sold unto thee, thou shalt not compel him to serve as a BOND-SERVANT,
but as an HIRED-SERVANT, and as a sojourner shall he be with thee, and
shall serve thee unto the year of jubilee." Lev. xxv. 39, 40.

As only _one_ class is called "_hired_," it is inferred that servants of
the _other_ class were _not paid_ for their labor. That God, with
thundering anathemas against those who "used their neighbor's service
without wages," granted a special indulgence to his chosen people to
force others to work, and rob them of earnings, provided always, in
selecting their victims, they spared "the gentlemen of property and
standing," and pounced only upon the strangers and the common people.
The inference that "_hired_" is synonymous with _paid_, and that those
servants not _called_ "hired" were not _paid_ for their labor, is a mere
assumption. The meaning of the English verb _to hire_, is to procure for
a _temporary_ use at a certain price--to engage a person to temporary
service for wages. That is also the meaning of the Hebrew word
"_saukar_." It is not used when the procurement of _permanent_ service
is spoken of. Now, we ask, would _permanent_ servants, those who
constituted a stationary part of the family, have been designated by the
same term that marks _temporary_ servants? The every-day distinction on
this subject, are familiar as table-talk. In many families the domestics
perform only the _regular_ work. Whatever is occasional merely, as the
washing of a family, is done by persons hired expressly for the purpose.
The familiar distinction between the two classes, is "servants," and
"hired help," (not _paid_ help.) _Both classes are paid_. One is
permanent, the other occasional and temporary, and therefore in this
case called "_hired_[A]."

[Footnote A: To suppose a servant robbed of his earnings because he is
not called a _hired_ servant is profound induction! If I employ a man at
twelve dollars a month to work my farm, he is my "_hired_" man, but if
_I give him such a portion of the crop_, or in other words, if he works
my farm "_on shares_," every farmer knows that he is no longer called my
"_hired_" man. Yet he works the same farm, in the same way, at the same
time, and with the same teams and tools; and does the same amount of
work in the year, and perhaps earns twenty dollars a month, instead of
twelve. Now as he is no longer called "_hired_," and as he still works
my farm, suppose my neighbours sagely infer, that since he is not my
"_hired_" laborer, I _rob_ him of his earnings and with all the gravity
of owls, pronounce the oracular decision, and hoot it abroad. My
neighbors are deep divers!--like some theological professors, they not
only go to the bottom but come up covered with the tokens.]

A variety of particulars are recorded distinguishing _hired_ from
_bought_ servants. (1.) Hired servants were paid daily at the close of
their work. Lev. xix 13; Deut. xxiv. 14, 15; Job. vii. 2; Matt. xx. 8.
"_Bought_" servants were paid in advance, (a reason for their being
called _bought_,) and those that went out at the seventh year received a
_gratuity_. Deut. xv. 12, 13. (2.) The "hired" were paid _in money_, the
"bought" received their _gratuity_, at least, in grain, cattle, and the
product of the vintage. Deut. xiv. 17. (3.) The "hired" _lived_ in their
own families, the "bought" were part of their masters' families. (4.)
The "hired" supported their families out of their wages: the "bought"
and their families were supported by the master _besides_ their wages.
The "bought" servants were, _as a class, superior to the hired_--were
more trust-worthy, had greater privileges, and occupied a higher station
in society. (1.) They were intimately incorporated with the family of
the masters, were guests at family festivals, and social solemnities,
from which hired servants were excluded. Lev. xxii. 10; Ex. xii, 43, 45.
(2.) Their interests were far more identified with those of their
masters' family. They were often, actually or prospectively, heirs of
their masters' estates, as in the case of Eliezer, of Ziba, and the sons
of Bilhah and Zilpah. When there were no sons, or when they were
unworthy, bought servants were made heirs. Prov. xvii. 2. We find traces
of this usage in the New Testament. "But when the husbandmen saw him,
they reasoned among themselves, saying, this is the _heir_, come let us
kill him, _that the inheritance may be ours._" Luke xx. 14. In no
instance does a _hired_ servant inherit his master's estate. (3.)
Marriages took place between servants and their master's daughters.
Sheshan had a _servant_, an Egyptian, whose name was Jarha. And Sheshan
gave his daughter to Jarha his servant to wife. 1 Chron. ii. 34, 35.
There is no instance of a _hired_ servant forming such an alliance. (4.)
Bought servants and their descendants were treated with the same
affection and respect as the other members of the family.[A]. The
treatment of Abraham's servants, Gen. xxv.--the intercourse between
Gideon and his servant, Judg. vii. 10, 11; Saul and his servant, 1 Sam.
iv. 5, 22; Jonathan and his servant, 1 Sam. xiv. 1-14, and Elisha and
his servant, are illustrations. No such tie seems to have existed
between _hired_ servants and their masters. Their untrustworthiness was
proverbial. John ix. 12, 13. None but the _lowest class_ engaged as
hired servants, and the kinds of labor assigned to them required little
knowledge and skill. Various passages show the low repute and trifling
character of the class from which they were hired. Judg. ix. 4; 1 Sam.
ii. 5. The superior condition of bought servants is manifest in the high
trusts confided to them, and in their dignity and authority in the
household. In no instance is a _hired_ servant thus distinguished. The
_bought_ servant is manifestly the master's representative in the
family--with plenipotentiary powers over adult children, even
negotiating marriage for them. Abraham adjured his servant not to take a
wife for Isaac of the daughters of the Canaanites. The servant himself
selected the individual. Servants also exercised discretionary power in
the management of their masters' estates, "And the servant took ten
camels of the camels of his master, _for all the goods of his master
were under his hand_." Gen. xxiv. 10. The reason assigned for taking
them, is not that such was Abraham's direction, but that the servant had
discretionary control. Servants had also discretionary power in the
_disposal of property_. See Gen. xxiv. 22, 23, 53. The condition of Ziba
in the house of Mephibosheth, is a case in point. So in Prov. xvii. 2.
Distinct traces of this estimation are to be found in the New Testament,
Matt. xxiv. 45; Luke xii, 42, 44. So in the parable of the talents; the
master seems to have set up each of his servants in trade with a large
capital. The unjust steward had large _discretionary_ power, was
"accused of wasting his master's goods," and manifestly regulated with
his debtors, the _terms_ of settlement. Luke xvi. 4-8. Such trusts were
never reposed in _hired_ servants.

[Footnote A: "For the _purchased servant_ who is an Israelite, or
proselyte, shall fare as his master. The master shall not eat fine
bread, and his servant bread of bran. Nor yet drink old wine, and give
his servant new; nor sleep on soft pillows, and bedding, and his servant
on straw. I say unto you, that he that gets a _purchased_ servant does
well to make him as his friend, or he will prove to his employer as if
he got himself a master."--Maimonides, in Mishna Kiddushim. Chap. 1,
Sec. 2.]

The inferior condition of _hired_ servants, is illustrated in the
parable of the prodigal son. When the prodigal, perishing with hunger
among the swine and husks, came to himself, his proud heart broke; "I
will arise," he cried, "and go to my father." And then to assure his
father of the depth of his humility, resolved to add, "Make me as one of
thy _hired_ servants." If _hired_ servants were the _superior_ class--to
apply for the situation, savored little of that sense of unworthiness
that seeks the dust with hidden face, and cries "unclean." Unhumbled
nature _climbs_; or if it falls, clings fast, where first it may.
Humility sinks of its own weight, and in the lowest deep, digs lower.
The design of the parable was to illustrate on the one hand, the joy of
God, as he beholds afar off, the returning sinner "seeking an injured
father's face" who runs to clasp and bless him with unchiding welcome;
and on the other, the contrition of the penitent, turning homeward with
tears from his wanderings, his stricken spirit breaking with its
ill-desert he sobs aloud. "The lowest place, _the lowest place_, I can
abide no other." Or in those inimitable words, "Father I have sinned
against Heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy
son; make me as one of thy HIRED servants." The supposition that _hired_
servants were the _highest_ class, takes from the parable an element of
winning beauty and pathos. It is manifest to every careful student of
the Bible, that _one_ class of servants, was on terms of equality with
the children and other members of the family. (Hence the force of Paul's
declaration, Gal. iv. 1, "Now I say unto you, that the heir, so long as
he is a child, DIFFERETH NOTHING FROM A SERVANT, though he be lord of
all.") If this were the _hired_ class, the prodigal was a sorry specimen
of humility. Would our Lord have put such language upon the lips of one
held up by himself, as a model of gospel humility, to illustrate its
deep sense of an ill-desert? If this is _humility_, put it on stilts,
and set it a strutting, while pride takes lessons, and blunders in
apeing it.

Israelites and Strangers, belonged indiscriminately to _each_ class of
the servants, the _bought_ and the _hired_. That those in the former
class, whether Jews or Strangers, rose to honors and authority in the
family circle, which were not conferred on _hired_ servants, has been
shown. It should be added, however, that in the enjoyment of privileges,
merely _political_, the hired servants from the _Israelites_, were more
favored than even the bought servants from the _Strangers_. No one from
the Strangers, however wealthy or highly endowed, was eligible to the
highest office, nor could he own the soil. This last disability seems to
have been one reason for the different periods of service required of
the two classes of bought servants--the Israelites and the Strangers.
The Israelite was to serve six years--the Stranger until the jubilee. As
the Strangers could not own the soil, nor even houses, except within
walled towns, most would attach themselves to Israelitish families.
Those who were wealthy, or skilled in manufactures, instead of becoming
servants would need servants for their own use, and as inducements for
the Stranger's to become servants to the Israelites, were greater than
persons of their own nation could hold out to them, these wealthy
Strangers would naturally procure the poorer Israelites for servants.
Lev. xxv. 47. In a word, such was the political condition of the
Strangers, that the Jewish polity offered a virtual bounty, to such as
would become permanent servants, and thus secure those privileges
already enumerated, and for their children in the second generation a
permanent inheritance. Ezek. xlvii. 21-23. None but the monied
aristocracy would be likely to decline such offers. On the other hand,
the Israelites, owning all the soil, and an inheritance of land being a
sacred possession, to hold it free of incumbrance was with every
Israelite, a delicate point, both of family honor and personal
character. 1 Kings xxi. 3. Hence, to forego the control of one's
inheritance, after the division of the paternal domain, or to be kept
out of it after having acceded to it, was a burden grievous to be borne.
To mitigate as much as possible such a calamity, the law released the
Israelitish servant at the end of six years[A]; as, during that time--if
of the first class--the partition of the patrimonial land might have
taken place; or, if of the second, enough money might have been earned
to disencumber his estate, and thus he might assume his station as a
lord of the soil. If neither contingency had occurred, then after
another six years the opportunity was again offered, and so on, until
the jubilee. So while strong motives urged the Israelite to discontinue
his service as soon as the exigency had passed which made him a servant,
every consideration impelled the _Stranger_ to _prolong_ his term of
service; and the same kindness which dictated the law of six years'
service for the Israelite, assigned as a general rule, a much longer
period to the Gentile servant, who had every inducement to protract the
term. It should be borne in mind, that adult Jews ordinarily became
servants, only as a temporary expedient to relieve themselves from
embarrassment, and ceased to be such when that object was effected. The
poverty that forced them to it was a calamity, and their service was
either a means of relief, or a measure of prevention; not pursued as a
permanent business, but resorted to on emergencies--a sort of episode in
the main scope of their lives. Whereas with the Strangers, it was a
_permanent employment_, pursued both as a _means_ of bettering their own
condition, and that of their posterity, and as an _end_ for its own
sake, conferring on them privileges, and a social estimation not
otherwise attainable.

[Footnote A: Another reason for protracting the service until the
seventh year, seems to have been the coincidence of that period with
other arrangements, in the Jewish economy. Its pecuniary
responsibilities, social relations, and general internal structure, were
_graduated_ upon a septennial scale. Besides as those Israelites who
became servants through poverty, would not sell themselves, till other
expedients to recruit their finances had failed--(Lev. xxv. 35)--their
_becoming servants_ proclaimed such a state of their affairs, as
demanded the labor of a _course of years_ fully to reinstate them.]

We see from the foregoing, why servants purchased from the heathen, are
called by way of distinction, _the_ servants, (not _bondmen_,) (1.) They
followed it as a _permanent business_. (2.) Their term of service was
_much longer_ than that of the other class. (3.) As a class they
doubtless greatly outnumbered the Israelitish servants. (4.) All the
Strangers that dwelt in the land were _tributaries_, required to pay an
annual tax to the government, either in money, or in public service,
(called a "_tribute of land-service_;") in other words, all the
Strangers were _national servants_ to the Israelites, and the same
Hebrew word used to designate _individual_ servants, equally designates
_national_ servants or tributaries. 2 Sam. viii. 2, 6, 14. 2 Chron.
viii. 7-9. Deut xx. 11. 2 Sam. x. 19. 1 Kings ix. 21, 22. 1 Kings iv.
21. Gen. xxvii. 29. The same word is applied to the Israelites, when
they paid tribute to other nations. 2 Kings xvii. 3. Judg. iii. 8, 14.
Gen. xlix. 15. Another distinction between the Jewish and Gentile bought
servants, was in their _kinds_ of service. The servants from the
Strangers were properly the _domestics_, or household servants, employed
in all family work, in offices of personal attendance, and in such
mechanical labor, as was required by increasing wants, and needed
repairs. The Jewish bought servants seem almost exclusively
_agricultural_. Besides being better fitted for it by previous
habits--agriculture, and the tending of cattle, were regarded by the
Israelites as the most honorable of all occupations. After Saul was
elected king, and escorted to Gibeah, the next report of him is, "_And
behold Saul came after the herd out of the field_." 1 Sam. xi. 7. Elisha
"was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen." 1 Kings xix. 19. King Uzziah
"loved husbandry." 2 Chron. xxvi. 10. Gideon _was "threshing wheat_"
when called to lead the host against the Midianites. Judg. vi. 11. The
superior honorableness of agriculture, is shown, in that it was
protected and supported by the fundamental law of the theocracy--God
indicating it as the chief prop of the government. The Israelites were
like permanent fixtures on their soil, so did they cling to it. To be
agriculturalists on their own inheritances, was with them the grand
claim to honorable estimation. Agriculture being pre-eminently a
_Jewish_ employment, to assign a native Israelite to other employments
as a business, was to break up his habits, do violence to cherished
predilections, and put him to a kind of labor in which he had no skill,
and which he deemed degrading. In short, it was in the earlier ages of
the Mosaic system, practically to _unjew_ him, a hardship and rigor
grievous to be borne, as it annihilated a visible distinction between
the descendants of Abraham and the Strangers.--_To guard this and
another fundamental distinction_, God instituted the regulation which
stands at the head of this branch of our inquiry, "If thy brother that
dwelleth by thee be waxen poor, and be sold unto thee, thou shalt not
compel him to serve as a bond-servant." In other words, thou shalt not
put him to servant's work--to the business, and into the condition of
domestics. In the Persian version it is translated thus, "Thou shalt not
assign to him the work of _servitude_." In the Septuagint, "He shall not
serve thee with the service of a _domestic_." In the Syriac, "Thou shalt
not employ him after the manner of servants." In the Samaritan, "Thou
shalt not require him to serve in the service of a servant." In the
Targum of Onkelos, "He shall not serve thee with the service of a
household servant." In the Targum of Jonathan, "Thou shalt not cause him
to serve according to the usages of the servitude of servants."[A] The
meaning of the passage is, _thou shalt not assign him to the same grade,
nor put him to the same service, with permanent domestics._ The
remainder of the regulation is,--"_But as an hired servant and as a
sojourner shall he be with thee._" Hired servants were not incorporated
into the families of their masters: they still retained their own family
organization, without the surrender of any domestic privilege, honor, or
authority; and this even though they resided under the same roof with
their master. While bought servants were associated with their master's
families at meals, at the Passover, and at other family festivals, hired
servants and sojourners were not. Ex. xii. 44, 45; Lev. xxii. 10, 11.
Hired servants were not subject to the authority of their masters in any
such sense as the master's wife, children, and bought servants. Hence
the only form of oppressing hired servants spoken of in the Scriptures
as practicable to masters, is that _of keeping back their wages_. To
have taken away such privileges in the case under consideration, would
have been pre-eminent "_rigor_," for it was not a servant born in the
house of a master, not a minor, whose minority had been sold by the
father, neither was it one who had not yet acceded to his inheritance:
nor finally, one who had received the _assignment_ of his inheritance,
but was working off from it an incumbrance, before entering upon its
possession and control. But it was that of _the head of a family_, who
had known better days, now reduced to poverty, forced to relinquish the
loved inheritance of his fathers, with the competence and respectful
consideration its possession secured to him, and to be indebted to a
neighbor for shelter, sustenance, and employment. So sad a reverse,
might well claim sympathy; but one consolation cheers him in the house
of his pilgrimage; he is an _Israelite--Abraham is his father_, and now
in his calamity he clings closer than ever, to the distinction conferred
by his birth-right. To rob him of this, were "the unkindest cut of all."
To have assigned him to a grade of service filled only by those whose
permanent business was serving, would have been to "rule over him with"
peculiar "rigor." "Thou shalt not compel him to serve as a
bond-servant," or literally, _thou shalt not serve thyself with him,
with the service of a servant_, guaranties his political privileges, and
a kind and grade of service, comporting with his character and relations
as an Israelite. And "as a _hired_ servant, and as a sojourner shall he
be with thee," secures to him his family organization, the respect and
authority due to its head, and the general consideration resulting from
such a station. Being already in possession of his inheritance, and the
head of a household, the law so arranged the conditions of his service
as to _alleviate_ as much as possible the calamity, which had reduced
him from independence and authority, to penury and subjection. The
import of the command which concludes this topic in the forty-third
verse, ("Thou shalt not rule over him with rigor,") is manifestly this,
you shall not disregard those differences in previous associations,
station, authority, and political privileges, upon which this regulation
is based; for to hold this class of servants _irrespective_ of these
distinctions, and annihilating them, is to "rule with rigor." The same
command is repeated in the forty-sixth verse, and applied to the
distinction between servants of Jewish, and those of Gentile extraction,
and forbids the overlooking of distinctive Jewish peculiarities, the
disregard of which would be _rigorous_ in the extreme[B]. The
construction commonly put upon the phrase "rule with rigor," and the
inference drawn from it, have an air vastly oracular. It is interpreted
to mean, "you shall not make him a chattel, and strip him of legal
protection, nor force him to work without pay." The inference is like
unto it, viz., since the command forbade such outrages upon the
Israelites, it permitted and commissioned their infliction upon the
Strangers. Such impious and shallow smattering captivates scoffers and
libertines; its flippancy and blasphemy, and the strong scent of its
loose-reined license works like a charm upon them. What boots it to
reason against such rampant affinities! In Ex. i. 13, it is said that
the Egyptians "made the children of Israel to _serve_ with rigor." This
rigor is affirmed of the _amount of labor_ extorted and the _mode_ of
the exaction. The expression, "serve with rigor," is never applied to
the service of servants under the Mosaic system. The phrase, "thou shalt
not RULE over him with rigor," does not prohibit unreasonable exactions
of labor, nor inflictions of cruelty. Such were provided against
otherwise. But it forbids confounding the distinctions between a Jew and
a Stranger, by assigning the former to the same grade of service, for
the same term of time, and under the same political disabilities as the
latter.

[Footnote A:  Jarchi's comment on "Thou shall not compel him to serve as
a bond-servant" is, "The Hebrew servant is not to be required to do any
thing which is accounted degrading--such as all offices of personal
attendance, as loosing his master's shoe-latchet, bringing him water to
wash his feet and hands, waiting on him at table, dressing him, carrying
things to and from the bath. The Hebrew servant is to work with his
master as a son or brother, in the business of his farm, or other labor,
until his legal release."]


[Footnote B: The disabilities of the Strangers, which were distinctions,
based on a different national descent, and important to the preservation
of national characteristics, and a national worship, did not at all
affect their _social_ estimation. They were regarded according to their
character, and worth as _persons_, irrespective of their foreign origin,
employments, and political condition.]



We are now prepared to review at a glance, the condition of the
different classes of servants, with the modifications peculiar to each
class. In the possession of all fundamental rights, all classes of
servants were on an absolute equality, all were equally protected by law
in their persons, character, property and social relations; all were
voluntary, all were compensated for their labor, and released from it
nearly half of the days in each year; all were furnished with stated
instruction: none in either class were in any sense articles of
property, all were regarded as _men_, with the rights, interests, hopes
and destinies of _men_. In all these respects, _all_ classes of servants
among the Israelites, formed but ONE CLASS. The _different_ classes and
the differences in _each_ class, were, (1.) _Hired Servants._ This class
consisted both of Israelites and Strangers. Their employments were
different. The _Israelite_ was an agricultural servant. The Stranger was
a _domestic_ and _personal_ servant, and in some instances _mechanical_;
both were occasional and temporary. Both lived in their own families,
their wages were _money_, and they were paid when their work was done.
(2.) _Bought Servants_, (including those "born in the house.") This
class also, consisted of Israelites and Strangers, the same difference
in their kinds of employments noticed before. Both were paid in
advance[A], and neither was temporary. The Israelitish servant, with the
exception of the _freeholders_ was released after six years. The
stranger was a permanent servant, continuing until the jubilee. A marked
distinction obtained also between different classes of _Jewish_ bought
servants. Ordinarily, they were merged in their master's family, and,
like his wife and children, subject to his authority; (and, like them,
protected by law from its abuse.) But the _freeholder_ was a marked
exception: his family relations, and authority remained unaffected, nor
was he subjected as an inferior to the control of his master, though
dependent upon him for employment.

[Footnote A: The payment _in advance_, doubtless lessened the price of
the purchase; the servant thus having the use of the money, and the
master assuming all the risks of life and health for labor: at the
expiration of the six year's contract, the master having suffered no
loss from the risk incurred at the making of it, was obliged by law to
release the servant with a liberal gratuity. The reason assigned for
this is, "he hath been worth a double hired servant unto thee in serving
thee six years," as if it had been said, as you have experienced no loss
from the risks of life, and ability to labor, incurred in the purchase,
and which lessened the price, and as, by being your servant for six
years, he has saved you the time and trouble of looking up and hiring
laborers on emergencies, therefore, "thou shalt furnish him liberally,"
&c.]

It should be kept in mind, that _both_ classes of servants, the
Israelite and the Stranger, not only enjoyed _equal natural and
religious rights_, but _all the civil and political privileges_ enjoyed
by those of their own people who were _not_ servants. They also shared
in common with them the political disabilities which appertained to all
Strangers, whether the servants of Jewish masters, or the masters of
Jewish servants. Further, the disabilities of the servants from the
Strangers were exclusively _political_ and _national._ (1.) They, in
common with all Strangers, could not own the soil. (2.) They were
ineligible to civil offices. (3.) They were assigned to employments less
honorable than those in which Israelitish servants engaged; agriculture
being regarded as fundamental to the existence of the state, other
employments were in less repute, and deemed _unjewish._

Finally, the Strangers, whether servants or masters, were all protected
equally with the descendants of Abraham. In respect to political
privileges, their condition was much like that of naturalized foreigners
in the United States; whatever their wealth or intelligence, or moral
principle, or love for our institutions, they can neither go to the
ballot-box, nor own the soil, nor be eligible to office. Let a native
American, be suddenly bereft of these privilege, and loaded with the
disabilities of an alien, and what to the foreigner would be a light
matter, to _him_, would be the severity of _rigor_. The recent condition
of the Jews and Catholics in England, is another illustration.
Rothschild, the late banker, though the richest private citizen in the
world, and perhaps master of scores of English servants, who sued for
the smallest crumbs of his favor, was, as a subject of the government,
inferior to the lowest among them. Suppose an Englishman of the
Established Church, were by law deprived of power to own the soil, of
eligibility to office and of the electoral franchise, would Englishmen
think it a misapplication of language, if it were said, the government
"rules over him with rigor?" And yet his person, property, reputation,
conscience, all his social relations, the disposal of his time, the
right of locomotion at pleasure, and of natural liberty in all respects,
are just as much protected by law as the Lord Chancellor's.



FINALLY,--As the Mosaic system was a great compound type, rife with
meaning in doctrine and duty; the practical power of the whole, depended
upon the exact observance of those distinctions and relations which
constituted its significancy. Hence, the care to preserve serve
inviolate the distinction between a _descendant of Abraham_ and a
_Stranger_, even when the Stranger was a proselyte, had gone through the
initiatory ordinances, entered the congregation, and become incorporated
with the Israelites by family alliance. The regulation laid down in Ex.
xxi. 2-6, is an illustration. In this case, the Israelitish servant,
whose term expired in six years, married one of his master's _permanent
female domestics_; but her marriage, did not release her master from
_his_ part of the contract for her whole term of service, nor from his
legal obligation to support and educate her children. Neither did it do
away that distinction, which marked her national descent by a specific
_grade_ and _term_ of service, nor impair her obligation to fulfill
_her_ part of the contract. Her relations as a permanent domestic grew
out of a distinction guarded with great care throughout the Mosaic
system. To render it void, would have been to divide the system against
itself. This God would not tolerate. Nor, on the other hand, would he
permit the master, to throw off the responsibility of instructing her
children, nor the care and expense of their helpless infancy and
rearing. He was bound to support and educate them, and all her children
born afterwards during her term of service. The whole arrangement
beautifully illustrates that wise and tender regard for the interests of
all the parties concerned, which arrays the Mosaic system in robes of
glory, and causes it to shine as the sun in the kingdom of our Father.
By this law, the children had secured to them a mother's tender care. If
the husband loved his wife and children, he could compel his master to
keep him, whether he had any occasion for his services or not. If he did
not love them, to be rid of him was a blessing; and in that case, the
regulation would prove an act for the relief of an afflicted family. It
is not by any means to be inferred, that the release of the servant in
the seventh year, either absolved him from the obligations of marriage,
or shut him out from the society of his family. He could doubtless
procure a service at no great distance from them, and might often do it,
to get higher wages, or a kind of employment better suited to his taste
and skill. The great number of days on which the law released servants
from regular labor, would enable him to spend much more time with his
family, than can be spent by most of the agents of our benevolent
societies with _their_ families, or by many merchants, editors, artists
&c., whose daily business is in New York, while their families reside
from ten to one hundred miles in the country.



We conclude this Inquiry by touching briefly upon an objection, which,
though not formally stated, has been already set aside by the whole
tenor of the foregoing argument. It is this,--"The slavery of the
Canaanites by the Israelites, was appointed by God as a commutation of
the punishment of death denounced against them for their sins." If the
absurdity of a sentence consigning persons to _death_, and at the same
time to perpetual _slavery_, did not sufficiently laugh at itself, it
would be small self-denial, in a case so tempting, to make up the
deficiency by a general contribution. For, _be it remembered_, only
_one_ statute was ever given respecting the disposition to be made of
the inhabitants of Canaan. If the sentence of death was pronounced
against them, and afterwards _commuted_, when? where? by whom? and in
what terms was the commutation, and where is it recorded? Grant, for
argument's sake, that all the Canaanites were sentenced to unconditional
extermination; as there was no reversal of the sentence, how can a right
to _enslave_ them, be drawn from such premises? The punishment of death
is one of the highest recognitions of man's moral nature possible. It
proclaims him _man_--rational, accountable, guilty, deserving death for
having done his utmost to cheapen human life, when the proof of its
priceless worth lived in his own nature. But to make him a _slave_,
cheapens to nothing _universal human nature_, and instead of healing a
wound, gives a death-stab. What! repair an injury to rational being in
the robbery of _one_ of its rights, by robbing it of _all_, and
annihilating their _foundation_--the everlasting distinction between
persons and things? To make a man a chattel, is not the _punishment_,
but the _annihilation_ of a _human_ being, and, so far as it goes, of
_all_ human beings. This commutation of the punishment of death, into
perpetual slavery, what a fortunate discovery! Alas! for the honor of
Deity, if commentators had not manned the forlorn hope, and by a timely
movement rescued the Divine character, at the very crisis of its fate,
from the perilous position in which inspiration had carelessly left it!
Here a question arises of sufficient importance for a separate
dissertation; but must for the present be disposed of in a few
paragraphs. WERE THE CANAANITES SENTENCED BY GOD TO INDIVIDUAL AND
UNCONDITIONAL EXTERMINATION? As the limits of this inquiry forbid our
giving all the grounds of dissent from commonly received opinions, the
suggestions made, will be thrown out merely as QUERIES, rather than laid
down as _doctrines_. The directions as to the disposal of the
Canaanites, are mainly in the following passages: Ex. xxiii. 23-33;
xxxiv. 11; Deut. vii. 16-25; ix. 3; xxxi. 3-5. In these verses, the
Israelites are commanded to "destroy the Canaanites," "drive out,"
"consume," "utterly overthrow," "put out," "dispossess them," &c. Did
these commands enjoin the unconditional and universal destruction of the
_inhabitants_ or merely of the _body politic?_ The word _haram_, to
destroy, signifies _national_, as well as individual destruction, the
destruction of _political_ existence, equally with _personal_; of
governmental organization, equally with the lives of the subjects.
Besides, if we interpret the words destroy, consume, overthrow, &c., to
mean _personal_ destruction, what meaning shall we give to the
expressions, "throw out before thee;" "cast out before thee;" "expel,"
"put out," "dispossess," &c., which are used in the same passages? "I
will destroy all the people to whom thou shalt come, and I will make all
thine enemies _turn their backs unto thee_" Ex. xxiii. 27. Here "_all
thine enemies_" were to _turn their backs_ and "_all the people_" to be
"_destroyed_." Does this mean that God would let all their _enemies_
escape, but kill all their _friends_, or that he would _first_ kill "all
the people" and THEN make them "turn their backs," an army of runaway
corpses? If these commands required the destruction of all the
inhabitants, the Mosaic law was at war with itself, for directions as to
the treatment of native residents form a large part of it. See Lev. xix.
34; xxv. 35, 36; xx. 22. Ex. xxiii. 9; xxii. 21; Deut. i. 16, 17; x. 17,
19, xxvii. 19. We find, also that provision was made for them in the
cities of refuge. Num. xxxv. 15;--the gleanings of the harvest and
vintage were theirs, Lev. xix. 9, 10; xxiii. 22;--the blessings of the
Sabbath, Ex. xx. 10;--the privilege of offering sacrifices secured, Lev.
xxii. 18; and stated religious instruction provided for them, Deut.
xxxi. 9, 12. Now does this same law require the _individual
extermination_ of those whose lives and interests it thus protects?
These laws were given to the Israelites, long _before_ they entered
Canaan; and they must have inferred from them that a multitude of the
inhabitants of the land were to _continue_ in it, under their
government. Again Joshua was selected as the leader of Israel to execute
God's threatenings upon Canaan. He had no _discretionary_ power. God's
commands were his _official instructions_. Going beyond them would have
been usurpation; refusing to carry them out rebellion and treason. Saul
was rejected from being king for disobeying god's commands in a _single_
instance. Now, if God commanded the individual destruction of all the
Canaanites. Joshua _disobeyed him in every instance_. For at his death,
the Israelites still "_dwelt among them_," and each nation is mentioned
by name. Judg. i. 5, and yet we are told that Joshua "left nothing
undone of all that the Lord commanded Moses;" and that he "took all that
land." Josh. xi. 15-22. Also, that "there _stood not a man_ of _all_
their enemies before them." How can this be, if the command to _destroy_
enjoined _individual_ extermination, and the command to _drive out_,
unconditional expulsion from the country, rather than their expulsion
from the _possession_ or _ownership_ of it, as the lords of the soil?
True, multitudes of the Canaanites were slain, but not a case can be
found in which one was either killed or expelled who _acquiesced_ in the
transfer of the territory, and its sovereignty, from the inhabitants of
the land to the Israelites. Witness the case of Rahab and her kindred,
and the Gibeonites[A]. The Canaanites knew of the miracles wrought for
the Israelites; and that their land had been transferred to them as a
judgment for their sins. Josh. ii. 9-11; ix. 9, 10, 24. Many of them
were awed by these wonders, and made no resistance. Others defied God
and came out to battle. These occupied the fortified cities, were the
most inveterate heathen--the aristocracy of idolatry, the kings, the
nobility and gentry, the priests, with their crowds of satellite, and
retainers that aided in idolatrous rites, and the military forces, with
the chief profligates of both sexes. Many facts corroborate the general
position. Such as the multitude of _tributaries_ in the midst of Israel,
and that too, after they had "waxed strong," and the uttermost nations
quaked at the terror of their name--the Canaanites, Philistines, and
others, who became proselytes--as the Nethenims, Uriah the
Hittite--Rahab, who married one of the princes of Judah--Ittai--the six
hundred Gitites--David's body guard. 2 Sam. xv. 18, 21. Obededom the
Gittite, adopted into the tribe of Levi. Comp. 2 Sam. vi. 10, 11, with 1
Chron. xv. 18, and 1 Chron. xxvi. 45--Jaziz, and Obil. 1 Chron. xxvi.
30, 31, 33. Jephunneh the father of Caleb, the Kenite, registered in the
genealogies of the tribe of Judah, and the one hundred and fifty
thousand Canaanites, employed by Solomon in the building of the
Temple[B]. Besides, the greatest miracle on record, was wrought to save
a portion of those very Canaanites, and for the destruction of those who
would exterminate them. Josh. x. 12-14. Further--the terms employed in
the directions regulating the disposal of the Canaanites, such as "drive
out," "put out," "cast out," "expel," "dispossess," &c. seem used
interchangeably with "consume," "destroy," "overthrow," &c., and thus
indicate the sense in which the latter words are used. As an
illustration of the meaning generally attached to these and similar
terms, we refer to the history of the Amelekites. "I will utterly put
out the remembrance of Amelek from under heaven." Ex. xxvii. 14. "Thou
shalt blot out the remembrance of Amelek from under heaven; thou shalt
not forget it." Deut. xxv. 19. "Smite Amelek and _utterly destroy_ all
that they have, and spare them not, but slay both man and woman, infant
and suckling, ox and sheep." 1 Sam. xv. 2, 3. "Saul smote the
Amelekites, and took Agag the king of the Amelekites, alive and UTTERLY
DESTROYED ALL THE PEOPLE with the edge of the sword." Verses 7, 8. In
verse 20, Saul says, "I have brought Agag, the king of Amelek, and have
_utterly destroyed_ the Amelekites." In 1 Sam. xxx. we find the
Amelekites marching an army into Israel, and sweeping everything before
them--and this in about eighteen years after they had _all been_
"UTTERLY DESTROYED!" Deut. xx. 16, 17, will probably be quoted against
the preceding view. We argue that the command in these verses, did not
include all the individuals of the Canaanitish nations, but only the
inhabitants of the _cities_, (and even those conditionally,) because,
only the inhabitants of the _cities_ are specified,--"of the _cities_ of
these people thou shalt save alive nothing that breatheth." Cities then,
as now, were pest-houses of vice--they reeked with abominations little
practiced in the country. On this account their influence would be far
more perilous to the Israelites than that of the country. Besides, they
were the centres of idolatry--there were the temples and altars, and
idols, and priests, without number. Even their buildings, streets, and
public walks were so many visibilities of idolatry. The reason assigned
in the 18th verse for exterminating them, strengthens the idea,--"that
they teach you not to do after all the abominations which they have done
unto their gods." This would be a reason for exterminating _all_ the
nations and individuals _around_ them, as all were idolaters; but God
commanded them, in certain cases, to spare the inhabitants. Contact with
_any_ of them would be perilous--with the inhabitants of the _cities_
peculiarly, and of the _Canaanitish_ cities pre-eminently so. The 10th
and 11th verses contain the general rule prescribing the method in which
cities were to be summoned to surrender. They were first to receive the
offer of peace--if it was accepted, the inhabitants became
_tributaries_--but if they came out against Israel in battle, the _men_
were to be killed, and the women and little ones saved alive. The 15th
verse restricts this lenient treatment to the inhabitants of the cities
_afar off_. The 16th directs as to the disposal of the inhabitants of
Canaanitish cities. They were to save alive "nothing that breathed." The
common mistake has been, in supposing that the command in the 15th verse
refers to the _whole system of directions preceding_, commencing with
the 10th, whereas it manifestly refers only to the _inflictions_
specified in the 12th, 13th, and 14th, making a distinction between
those _Canaanitish_ cities that _fought_, and the cities _afar off_ that
fought--in one case destroying the males and females, and in the other,
the _males_ only. The offer of peace, and the _conditional
preservation_, were as really guarantied to _Canaanitish_ cities as to
others. Their inhabitants were not to be exterminated unless they came
out against Israel in battle. But let us settle this question by the
"law and the testimony." "There was not a city that made peace with the
children of Israel save the Hivites, the inhabitants of Gibeon; all
others they took in battle. For it was of the Lord to harden their
hearts, that they should COME OUT AGAINST ISRAEL IN BATTLE, that he
might destroy them utterly, and that they might have no favor, but that
he might destroy them, as the Lord commanded Moses." Josh. xix. 19, 20.
That is, if they had _not_ come out against Israel in battle, they would
have had "favor" shown them, and would not have been "_destroyed
utterly._" The great design was to _transfer the territory_ of the
Canaanites to the Israelites, and along with it, _absolute sovereignty
in every respect_; to annihilate their political organizations, civil
polity, and jurisprudence and their system of religion, with all its
rights and appendages; and to substitute therefor, a pure theocracy,
administered by Jehovah, with the Israelites as His representatives and
agents. In a word the people were to be _denationalized_, their
political existence annihilated, their idol temples, altars, images
groves and heathen rites destroyed, and themselves put under tribute.
Those who resisted the execution of Jehovah's purpose were to be killed,
while those who quietly submitted to it were to be spared. All had the
choice of these alternatives, either free egress out of the land[C]; or
acquiescence in the decree, with life and residence as tributaries,
under the protection of the government; or resistance to the execution
of the decree, with death. "_And it shall come to pass, if they will
diligently learn the ways of my people, to swear by my name, the Lord
liveth as they taught my people to swear by Baal_; THEN SHALL THEY BE
BUILT IN THE MIDST OF MY PEOPLE."

[Footnote A: Perhaps it will be objected, that the preservation of the
Gibeonites, and of Rahab and her kindred, was a violation of the command
of God. We answer, if it had been, we might expect some such intimation.
If God had strictly commanded them to _exterminate all the Canaanites_,
their pledge to save themselves was neither a repeal of the statute, nor
absolution for the breach of it. If _unconditional destruction_ was the
import of the command, would God have permitted such an act to pass
without rebuke? Would he have established such a precedent when Israel
had hardly passed the threshold of Canaan, and was then striking the
first blow of a half century war? What if they _had_ passed their word
to Rahab and the Gibeonites? Was that more binding than God's command?
So Saul seems to have passed _his_ word to Agag; yet Samuel hewed him in
pieces, because in saving his life, Saul had violated God's command.
When Saul sought to slay the Gibeonites in "his zeal for the children of
Israel and Judah," God sent upon Israel three years famine for it. When
David inquired of them what atonement he should make, they say, "The man
that devised against us, that we should be destroyed from _remaining in
any of the coasts of Israel_, let seven of his sons be delivered," &c. 2
Sam. xxii. 1-6.]


[Footnote B: If the Canaanites were devoted by God to unconditional
extermination, to have employed them in the erection of the
temple,--what was it but the climax of impiety? As well might they
pollute its altars with swine's flesh, or make their sons pass through
the fire to Moloch.]


[Footnote C: Suppose all the Canaanitish nations had abandoned their
territory at the tidings of Israel's approach, did God's command require
the Israelites to chase them to the ends of the earth and hunt them out,
until every Canaanite was destroyed? It is too preposterous for belief
and yet it follows legitimately from that construction, which interprets
the terms "consume," "destroy," "destroy utterly," &c. to mean
unconditional, individual extermination.]

[The original design of the preceding Inquiry embraced a much wider
range of topics. It was soon found, however, that to fill up the outline
would be to make a volume. Much of the foregoing has therefore been
thrown into a mere series of _indices_, to trains of thought and classes
of proof which, however limited or imperfect, may perhaps, afford some
facilities to those who have little leisure for protracted
investigation.]



THE


ANTI-SLAVERY EXAMINER  NO 4.


THE


BIBLE AGAINST SLAVERY.


AN INQUIRY INTO THE


PATRIARCHAL AND MOSAIC SYSTEMS


ON THE SUBJECT OF


HUMAN RIGHTS.


Fourth Edition--Enlarged.



NEW YORK:

PUBLISHED BY THE AMERICAN ANTI-SLAVERY SOCIETY,

NO. 143 NASSAU STREET.

1838.

This No. contains 7 sheets:--Postage, under 100 miles, 10 1/2 cents;
over 100 miles, 14 cents.

Please read and Circulate.



CONTENTS.

    DEFINITION OF SLAVERY,


        NEGATIVE,

        AFFIRMATIVE,

        LEGAL,


    THE MORAL LAW AGAINST SLAVERY


        "THOU SHALT NOT STEAL,"

        "THOU SHALT NOT COVET,"


    MAN-STEALING--EXAMINATION OF EX. xxi. 16,


        SEPARATION OF MAN FROM BRUTES AND THINGS,


    IMPORT OF "BUY" AND "BOUGHT WITH MONEY,"


        SERVANTS SOLD THEMSELVES,


    RIGHTS AND PRIVILEGES SECURED BY LAW TO SERVANTS,

    SERVANTS WERE VOLUNTARY,


        RUNAWAY SERVANTS NOT TO BE DELIVERED TO THEIR MASTERS,


    SERVANTS WERE PAID WAGES,

    MASTERS NOT "OWNERS,"


        SERVANTS NOT SUBJECTED TO THE USES OF PROPERTY,

        SERVANTS EXPRESSLY DISTINGUISHED FROM PROPERTY,

        EXAMINATION OF GEN. xii. 5.--"THE SOULS THAT THEY HAD
        GOTTEN," &c.

        SOCIAL EQUALITY OF SERVANTS AND MASTERS,

        CONDITION OF THE GIBEONITES AS SUBJECTS OF THE HEBREW
        COMMONWEALTH,

        EGYPTIAN BONDAGE CONTRASTED WITH AMERICAN SLAVERY,

        CONDITION OF AMERICAN SLAVES,

        ILL FED,

        ILL CLOTHED,

        OVER-WORKED,

        THEIR DWELLING UNFIT FOR HUMAN BEINGS,

        MORAL CONDITION--"HEATHENS,"


    OBJECTIONS CONSIDERED.

    "CURSED BE CANAAN," &c.--EXAMINATION OF GEN. ix. 25,

    "FOR HE IS HIS MONEY," &c.--EXAMINATION OF EX. xxi. 20, 21,

    EXAMINATION OF LEV. xxv. 44-46,


        "BOTH THY BONDMEN, &c., SHALL BE OF THE HEATHEN,"

        "OF THEM SHALL YE BUY,"

        "THEY SHALL BE YOUR BONDMEN FOREVER,"

        "YE SHALL TAKE THEM AS AN INHERITANCE," &c.


    EXAMINATION OF LEV. xxv. 39, 40.--THE FREEHOLDER NOT TO "SERVE
    AS A BOND SERVANT,"


        DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HIRED AND BOUGHT SERVANTS,

        BOUGHT SERVANTS THE MOST FAVORED AND HONORED CLASS,

        ISRAELITES AND STRANGERS BELONGED TO BOTH CLASSES,

        ISRAELITES SERVANTS TO THE STRANGERS,

        REASONS FOR THE RELEASE OF THE ISRAELITISH SERVANTS IN
        THE SEVENTH YEAR,

        REASONS FOR ASSIGNING THE STRANGERS TO A LONGER SERVICE,

        REASONS FOR CALLING THEM THE SERVANTS,

        DIFFERENT KINDS OF SERVICE ASSIGNED TO THE ISRAELITES
        AND STRANGERS,


    REVIEW OF ALL THE CLASSES OF SERVANTS WITH THE MODIFICATIONS OF
    EACH,


        POLITICAL DISABILITIES OF THE STRANGERS,


    EXAMINATION OF EX. xxi. 2-6.--"IF THOU BUY AN HEBREW SERVANT,"

    THE CANAANITES NOT SENTENCED TO UNCONDITIONAL EXTERMINATION,



THE BIBLE AGAINST SLAVERY.



The spirit of slavery never seeks refuge in the Bible of its own accord.
The horns of the altar are its last resort--seized only in desperation,
as it rushes from the terror of the avenger's arm. Like other unclean
spirits, it "hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest its
deeds should be reproved." Goaded to phrenzy in its conflicts with
conscience and common sense, denied all quarter, and hunted from every
covert, it vaults over the sacred inclosure and courses up and down the
Bible, "seeking rest, and finding none." THE LAW OF LOVE, glowing on
every page, flashes around it an omnipresent anguish and despair. It
shrinks from the hated light, and howls under the consuming touch, as
demons quailed before the Son of God, and shrieked, "Torment us not." At
last, it slinks away under the types of the Mosaic system, and seeks to
burrow out of sight among their shadows. Vain hope! Its asylum is its
sepulchre; its city of refuge, the city of destruction. It flies from
light into the sun; from heat, into devouring fire; and from the voice
of God into the thickest of His thunders.



DEFINITION OF SLAVERY.

If we would know whether the Bible sanctions slavery, we must determine
_what slavery is_. An element, is one thing; a relation, another; an
appendage, another. Relations and appendages presuppose other things to
which they belong. To regard them as the things themselves, or as
constituent parts of them, leads to endless fallacies. Mere political
disabilities are often confounded with slavery; so are many relations,
and tenures, indispensible to the social state. We will specify some of
these.

1. PRIVATION OF SUFFRAGE. Then minors are slaves.

2. INELIGIBILITY TO OFFICE. Then females are slaves.

3. TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION. Then slaveholders in the District of
Columbia are slaves.

4. PRIVATION OF ONE'S OATH IN LAW. Then atheists are slaves.

5. PRIVATION OF TRIAL BY JURY. Then all in France are slaves.

6. BEING REQUIRED TO SUPPORT A PARTICULAR RELIGION. Then the people of
England are slaves.

7. APPRENTICESHIP. The rights and duties of master and apprentice are
correlative. The _claim_ of each upon the other results from his
_obligation_ to the other. Apprenticeship is based on the principle of
equivalent for value received. The rights of the apprentice are secured,
equally with those of the master. Indeed while the law is _just_ to the
former it is _benevolent_ to the latter; its main design being rather to
benefit the apprentice than the master. To the master it secures a mere
compensation--to the apprentice, both a compensation and a virtual
gratuity in addition, he being of the two the greatest gainer. The law
not only recognizes the _right_ of the apprentice to a reward for his
labor, but appoints the wages, and enforces the payment. The master's
claim covers only the _services_ of the apprentice. The apprentice's
claim covers _equally_ the services of the master. Neither can hold the
other as property; but each holds property in the services of the other,
and BOTH EQUALLY. Is this slavery?

8. FILIAL SUBORDINATION AND PARENTAL CLAIMS. Both are nature's dictates,
and intrinsic elements of the social state; the natural affections which
blend parent and child in one, excite each to discharge those offices
incidental to the relation, and are a shield for mutual protection. The
parent's legal claim to the child's services, is a slight return for the
care and toil of his rearing, exclusively of outlays for support and
education. This provision is, with the mass of mankind, indispensable to
the preservation of the family state. The child, in helping his parents,
helps himself--increases a common stock, in which he has a share; while
his most faithful services do but acknowledge a debt that money cannot
cancel.

9. CLAIMS OF GOVERNMENT ON SUBJECTS. Governments owe their subjects
protection; subjects owe just governments allegiance and support. The
obligations of both are reciprocal, and the benefits received by both
are mutual, equal, and voluntarily rendered.

10. BONDAGE FOR CRIME. Must innocence be punished because guilt suffers
penalties? True, the criminal works for the government without pay; and
well he may. He owes the government. A century's work would not pay its
drafts on him. He will die a public defaulter. Because laws make men pay
their debts, shall those be forced to pay who owe nothing? The law makes
no criminal, PROPERTY. It restrains his liberty, and makes him pay
something, a mere penny in the pound, of his debt to the government; but
it does not make him a chattel. Test it. To own property, is to own its
product. Are children born of convicts, government property? Besides,
can _property_ be guilty? Can _chattels_ deserve punishment?

11. RESTRAINTS UPON FREEDOM. Children are restrained by parents, pupils,
by teachers, patients, by physicians, corporations, by charters, and
legislatures, by constitutions. Embargoes, tariffs, quarantine, and all
other laws, keep men from doing as they please. Restraints are the web
of civilized society, warp and woof. Are they slavery? then a government
of LAW, is the climax of slavery!

12. INVOLUNTARY OR COMPULSORY SERVICE. A juryman is empannelled against
his will, and sit he _must_. A sheriff orders his posse; bystanders
_must_ turn in. Men are _compelled_ to remove nuisances, pay fines and
taxes, support their families, and "turn to the right as the law
directs," however much against their wills. Are they therefore slaves?
To confound slavery with involuntary service is absurd. Slavery is a
_condition_. The slave's _feelings_ toward it cannot alter its nature.
Whether he desires or detests it, the condition remains the same. The
slave's willingness to be a slave is no palliation of the slaveholder's
guilt. Suppose he should really believe himself a chattel, and consent
to be so regarded by others, would that _make_ him a chattel, or make
those guiltless who _hold_ him as such? I may be sick of life, and I
tell the assassin so that stabs me; is he any the less a murderer? Does
my _consent_ to his crime, atone for it? my partnership in his guilt,
blot out his part of it? The slave's willingness to be a slave, so far
from lessening the guilt of his "owner," aggravates it. If slavery has
so palsied his mind that he looks upon himself as a chattel, and
consents to be one, actually to hold him as such, falls in with his
delusion, and confirms the impious falsehood. These very feelings and
convictions of the slave, (if such were possible) increase a hundred
fold the guilt of the master, and call upon him in thunder, immediately
to recognize him as a MAN, and thus break the sorcery that cheats him
out of his birthright--the consciousness of his worth and destiny.

Many of the foregoing conditions are _appendages_ of slavery, but no
one, nor all of them together, constitute its intrinsic unchanging
element.

ENSLAVING MEN IS REDUCING THEM TO ARTICLES OF PROPERTY--making free
agents, chattels--converting _persons_ into _things_--sinking
immortality into _merchandize_. A _slave_ is one held in this condition.
In law, "he owns nothing, and can acquire nothing." His right to himself
is abrogated. If he say _my_ hands, _my_ body, _my_ mind, MY_self_, they
are figures of speech. To _use himself_ for his own good, is a _crime_.
To keep what he earns, is _stealing_. To take his body into his own
keeping, is _insurrection_. In a word, the profit of his master is made
the END of his being, and he, a _mere means_ to that end--a mere means
to an end into which his interests do not enter, of which they
constitute no portion[A]. MAN, sunk to a _thing!_ the intrinsic element,
the _principle_ of slavery; MEN, bartered, leased, mortgaged,
bequeathed, invoiced, shipped in cargoes, stored as goods, taken on
executions, and knocked off at a public outcry! Their _rights_,
another's conveniences; their interests, wares on sale; their happiness,
a household utensil; their personal inalienable ownership, a serviceable
article or a plaything, as best suits the humour of the hour; their
deathless nature, conscience, social affections, sympathies,
hopes--marketable commodities! We repeat it, THE REDUCTION OF PERSONS TO
THINGS! Not robbing a man of privileges, but of _himself_; not loading
him with burdens, but making him a _beast of burden_; not restraining
liberty, but subverting it; not curtailing rights, but abolishing them;
not inflicting personal cruelty, but annihilating _personality_; not
exacting involuntary labor, but sinking man into an _implement_ of
labor; not abridging human comforts, but abrogating human _nature_; not
depriving an animal of immunities, but despoiling a rational being of
attributes--uncreating a MAN, to make room for a _thing_!

[Footnote A: To deprive human nature of _any_ of its rights is
_oppression_; to take away the _foundation_ of its rights is slavery. In
other words, whatever sinks man from an END to a mere _means_, just so
far makes him a slave. Hence West-India apprenticeship retained the
cardinal principle of slavery. The apprentice, during three-fourths of
his time, was forced to labor, and robbed of his earnings; just so far
forth he was a _mere means_, a slave. True in other respects slavery was
abolished in the British West Indies August, 1834. Its bloodiest
features were blotted _out_--but the meanest and most despicable of
all--forcing the poor to work for the rich without pay three fourths of
their time, with a legal officer to flog them if they demurred at the
outrage, was one of the provisions of the "Emancipation Act!" For the
glories of that luminary, abolitionists thanked God, while they mourned
that it rose behind clouds and shone through an eclipse. [West India
apprenticeship is now (August 1838) abolished. On the first of the
present month, every slave in every British island and colony stood up a
freeman!--Note to fourth edition.] ]

That this is American slavery, is shown by the laws of slave states.
Judge Stroud, in his "Sketch of the Laws relating to Slavery," says,
"The cardinal principle of slavery, that the slave is not to be ranked
among sentient beings, but among _things_--obtains as undoubted law in
all of these [the slave] states." The law of South Carolina says,
"Slaves shall be deemed, held, taken, reputed, and adjudged in law to be
chattels personal in the hands of their owners and possessors, and their
executors, administrators, and assigns, to ALL INTENTS, CONSTRUCTIONS,
AND PURPOSES WHATSOEVER." _Brev. Dig._, 229. In Louisiana, "A slave is
one who is in the power of a master to whom he belongs; the master may
sell him, dispose of his person, his industry, and his labor; he can do
nothing, possess nothing, nor acquire any thing, but what must belong to
his master."--_Civ. Code_, Art. 35.

This is American slavery. The eternal distinction between a person and a
thing, trampled under foot--the crowning distinction of all
others--alike the source, the test, and the measure of their value--the
rational, immortal principle, consecrated by God to universal homage in
a baptism of glory and honor, by the gift of his Son, his Spirit, his
word, his presence, providence, and power; his shield, and staff, and
sheltering wing; his opening heavens, and angels ministering, and
chariots of fire, and songs of morning stars, and a great voice in
heaven proclaiming eternal sanctions, and confirming the word with signs
following.

Having stated the _principle_ of American slavery, we ask, DOES THE
BIBLE SANCTION SUCH A PRINCIPLE?[A] "To the _law_ and the testimony?"

[Footnote A: The Bible record of actions is no comment on their moral
character. It vouches for them as _facts_, not as _virtues_. It records
without rebuke, Noah's drunkenness, Lot's incest, and the lies of Jacob
and his mother--not only single acts, but _usages_, such as polygamy and
concubinage, are entered on the record without censure. Is that _silent
entry_ God's _endorsement?_ Because the Bible in its catalogue of human
actions, does not stamp on every crime its name and number, and write
against it, _this is a crime_--does that wash out its guilt, and bleach
it into a virtue?]



THE MORAL LAW AGAINST SLAVERY.

Just after the Israelites were emancipated from their bondage in Egypt,
while they stood before Sinai to receive the law, as the trumpet waxed
louder, and the mount quaked and blazed, God spake the ten commandments
from the midst of clouds and thunderings. Two of those commandments deal
death to slavery. "THOU SHALT NOT STEAL," or, "thou shalt not take from
another what _belongs_ to him." All man's powers are God's gift to HIM.
Each of them is a part of himself, and all of them together constitute
himself. All else that belongs to man, is acquired by the _use_ of these
powers. The interest belongs to him, because the principal does; the
product is his, because he is the producer. Ownership of any thing, is
ownership of its _use_. The right to use according to will, is _itself_
ownership. The eighth commandment presupposes and assumes the right of
every man to his powers, and their product. Slavery robs of both. A
man's right to himself, is the only right absolutely original and
intrinsic--his right to anything else is merely _relative_ to this, is
derived from it, and held only by virtue of it. SELF-RIGHT is the
_foundation right_--the _post in the middle_, to which all other rights
are fastened. Slaveholders, when talking about their RIGHT to their
slaves, always assume their own right to themselves. What slave-holder
ever undertook to prove his right to himself? He knows it to be a
self-evident proposition, that _a man belongs to himself_--that the
right is intrinsic and absolute. In making out his own title, he makes
out the title of every human being. As the fact of being _a man_ is
itself the title, the whole human family have one common title deed. If
one man's title is valid, all are valid. If one is worthless, all are.
To deny the validity of the _slave's_ title is to deny the validity of
_his own_; and yet in the act of making a man a slave, the slaveholder
_asserts_ the validity of his own title, while he seizes him as his
property who has the _same_ title. Further, in making him a slave, he
does not merely disfranchise of humanity _one_ individual, but UNIVERSAL
MAN. He destroys the foundations. He annihilates _all rights_. He
attacks not only the human race, but _universal being_, and rushes upon
JEHOVAH. For rights are _rights_; God's are no more--man's are no less.

The eighth commandment forbids the taking of _any part_ of that which
belongs to another. Slavery takes the _whole_. Does the same Bible which
prohibits the taking of _any_ thing from him, sanction the taking of
_every_ thing! Does it thunder wrath against the man who robs his
neighbor of a _cent_, yet commission him to rob his neighbour of
_himself?_ Slaveholding is the highest possible violation of the eight
commandment. To take from a man his earnings, is theft. But to take the
_earner_, is a compound, life-long theft--supreme robbery that vaults up
the climax at a leap--the dread, terrific, giant robbery, that towers
among other robberies a solitary horror. The eight commandment forbids
the taking away, and the  tenth adds, "Thou shalt not _covet_ any thing
that is thy neighbor's;" thus guarding every man's right to himself and
property, by making not only the actual taking away a sin, but even that
state of mind which would _tempt_ to it. Who ever made human beings
slaves, without _coveting_ them? Why take from them their time, labor,
liberty, right of self-preservation and improvement, their right to
acquire property, to worship according to conscience, to search the
Scriptures, to live with their families, and their right to their own
bodies, if they do not _desire_ them? They COVET them for purposes of
gain, convenience, lust of dominion, of sensual gratification, of pride
and ostentation. THEY BREAK THE TENTH COMMANDMENT, and pluck down upon
their heads the plagues that are written in the book. _Ten_ commandments
constitute the brief compend of human duty. _Two_ of these brand slavery
as sin.



MANSTEALING--EXAMINATION OF EX. XXI. 16.

The giving of the law at Sinai, immediately preceded the promulgation of
that body of laws called the "Mosaic system." Over the gateway of that
system, fearful words were written by the finger of God--"HE THAT
STEALETH A MAN AND SELLETH HIM, OR IF HE BE FOUND IN HIS HAND, HE SHALL
SURELY BE PUT TO DEATH[A]." Ex. xxi. 16.

[Footnote A: A writer in the American Quarterly Review, commenting on
this passage, thus blasphemes. "On this passage an impression has gone
abroad that slave-owners are necessarily menstealers; how hastily, any
one will perceive who consults the passage in its connection. Being
found in the chapter which authorizes this species of property among the
Hebrews, it must of course relate to _its full protection from the
danger of being enticed away from its rightful owner."_--Am. Quart.
Review for June, 1833. Article "Negro slavery."]

The oppression of the Israelites in Egypt, and the wonders wrought for
their deliverance, proclaim the reason for such a law at such a time.
They had just been emancipated. The tragedies of their house of bondage
were the realities of yesterday, and peopled their memories with
thronging horrors. They had just witnessed God's testimony against
oppression in the plagues of Egypt--the burning blains on man and beast;
the dust quickened into loathsome life, and swarming upon every living
thing; the streets, the palaces, the temples, and every house heaped up
with the carcases of things abhorred; the kneading troughs and ovens,
the secret chambers and the couches, reeking and dissolving with the
putrid death; the pestilence walking in darkness at noonday, the
devouring locusts, and hail mingled with fire, the first-born
death-struck, and the waters blood; and last of all, that dread high
hand and stretched-out arm, that whelmed the monarch and his hosts, and
strewed their corpses on the sea. All this their eyes had looked upon;
earth's proudest city, wasted and thunder-scarred, lying in desolation,
and the doom of oppressors traced on her ruins in the hand-writing of
God, glaring in letters of fire mingled with blood--a blackened monument
of wrath to the uttermost against the stealers of men. No wonder that
God, in a code of laws prepared for such a people at such a time, should
uprear on its foreground a blazing beacon to flash terror on
slaveholders. "_He that stealeth a man and selleth him, or if he be
found in his hand, he shall surely be put to death."_ Ex. xxi. 16. Deut.
xxiv, 7[A]. God's cherubim and flaming sword guarding the entrance to
the Mosaic system!

[Footnote A: Jarchi, the most eminent of the Jewish Commentators, who
wrote seven hundred years ago, in his comment on this stealing and
making merchandize of men, gives the meaning thus:--"Using a man against
his will, as a servant lawfully purchased; yea, though he should use his
services ever so little, only to the value of a farthing, or use but his
arm to lean on to support him, _if he be forced so to act as a servant_,
the person compelling him but once to do so, shall die as a thief,
whether he has sold him or not."]

The word _Ganabh_ here rendered _stealeth,_ means, the taking of what
belongs to another, whether by violence or fraud; the same word is used
in the eight commandment, and prohibits both robbery and theft.

The crime specified, is that of depriving SOMEBODY of the ownership of a
man. Is this somebody a master? and is the crime that of depriving a
master of his servant? Then it would have been "he that stealeth" a
_servant_, not "he that stealeth a _man_." If the crime had been the
taking of an individual from _another_, then the _term_ used would have
been expressive of that relation, and most especially if it was the
relation of property and _proprietor!_

The crime is stated in a three-fold form--man _stealing_, _selling_, and
_holding_. All are put on a level, and whelmed under one
penalty--DEATH[A]. This _somebody_ deprived of the ownership of a man,
is the _man himself_, robbed of personal ownership. Joseph said, "Indeed
I was _stolen_ away out of the land of the Hebrews." Gen. xl. 15. How
_stolen?_ His brethren sold him as an article of merchandize. Contrast
this penalty for _man_-stealing with that for _property_-stealing, Ex.
xxii. 14. If a man had stolen an _ox_ and killed or sold it, he was to
restore five oxen; if he had neither sold nor killed it, two oxen. But
in the case of stealing a _man_, the _first_ act drew down the utmost
power of punishment; however often repeated or aggravated the crime,
human penalty could do no more. The fact that the penalty for
_man_-stealing was death, and the penalty for _property_-stealing, the
mere restoration of double, shows that the two cases were adjudicated on
totally different principles. The man stolen might be diseased or
totally past labor, consequently instead of being profitable to the
thief, he would be a tax upon him, yet death was still the penalty,
though not a cent's worth of _property-value_ was taken. The penalty for
stealing property was a mere property-penalty. However large the theft,
the payment of double wiped out the score. It might have a greater money
value than a thousand men, yet death was not the penalty, nor maiming,
nor braiding, nor even stripes, but double _of the same kind_. Why was
not the rule uniform? When a _man_ was stolen why was not the thief
required to restore double of the same kind--two men, or if he had sold
him, five men? Do you say that the man-thief might not _have_ them? So
the ox-thief might not have two oxen, or if he had killed it, five. But
if God permitted men to hold _men_ as property, equally with oxen, the
man-thief, could get men with whom to pay the penalty, as well as the
ox-thief, oxen. Further, when property was stolen, the legal penalty was
a compensation to the person injured. But when a _man_ was stolen, no
property compensation was offered. To tender money as an equivalent,
would have been to repeat the outrage with intolerable aggravations.
Compute the value of a MAN in _money!_ Throw dust into the scale against
immortality! The law recoiled from such supreme insult and impiety. To
have permitted the man-thief to expiate his crime by restoring double,
would have been making the repetition of crime its atonement. But the
infliction of death for man-stealing exacted the utmost possibility of
reparation. It wrung from the guilty wretch as he gave up the ghost, the
testimony of blood, and death-groans, to the infinite dignity and worth
of man,--a proclamation to the universe, voiced in mortal agony, "MAN IS
INVIOLABLE."--a confession shrieked in phrenzy at the grave's mouth--"I
die accursed, and God is just."

[Footnote A: "Those are _men-stealers_ who abduct, _keep_, sell, or buy
slaves or freemen." GROTIUS.]

If God permitted man to hold man as property, why did he punish for
stealing that kind of property infinitely more than for stealing any
other kind of property? Why punish with death for stealing a very little
of _that_ sort of property, and make a mere fine the penalty for
stealing a thousand times as much, of any other sort of
property--especially if by his own act, God had annihilated the
difference between man and _property_, by putting him on a level with
it?

The guilt of a crime, depends much upon the nature, character, and
condition of the victim. To steal is a crime, whoever the thief, or
whatever the plunder. To steal bread from a full man, is theft; to steal
it from a starving man, is both theft and murder. If I steal my
neighbor's property, the crime consists not in altering the _nature_ of
the article, but in taking as _mine_ what is _his_. But when I take my
neighbor himself, and first make him _property_, and then _my_ property,
the latter act, which was the sole crime in the former case, dwindles to
nothing. The sin in stealing a man, is not the transfer from its owner
to another of that which is already property, but the turning of
_personality_ into _property_. True, the attributes of man remain, but
the rights and immunities which grow out of them are annihilated. It is
the first law both of reason and revelation, to regard things and beings
as they are; and the sum of religion, to feel and act toward them
according to their value. Knowingly to treat them otherwise is sin; and
the degree of violence done to their nature, relations, and value,
measures its guilt. When things are sundered which God has indissolubly
joined, or confounded in one, which he has separated by infinite
extremes; when sacred and eternal distinctions, which he has garnished
with glory, are derided and set at nought, then, if ever, sin reddens to
its "scarlet dye." The sin specified in the passage, is that of doing
violence to the _nature_ of a _man_--to his intrinsic value as a
rational being. In the verse preceding the one under consideration, and
in that which follows, the same principle is laid down. Verse 15, "He
that smiteth his father or his mother shall surely be put to death."
Verse. 17, "He that curseth his father or his mother, shall surely be
put to death." If a Jew smote his neighbor, the law merely smote him in
return; but if the blow was given to a _parent_, it struck the smiter
dead. The parental relation is the _centre_ of human society. God guards
it with peculiar care. To violate that, is to violate all. Whoever
tramples on that, shows that _no_ relation has any sacredness in his
eyes--that he is unfit to move among human relations who violates one so
sacred and tender. Therefore, the Mosaic law uplifted his bleeding
corpse, and brandished the ghastly terror around the parental relation
to guard it from impious inroads.

Why such a difference in penalties, for the same act? Answer. 1. The
relation violated was obvious--the distinction between parents and
others self-evident, dictated by a law of nature. 2. The act was
violence to nature--a suicide on constitutional susceptibilities. 3. The
parental relation then, as now, was the focal point of the social
system, and required powerful safe-guards. "_Honor thy father and thy
mother_," stands at the head of those commands which prescribe the
duties of man to man; and throughout the Bible, the parental state is
God's favorite illustration of his own relations to the human family. In
this case, death was to be inflicted not for smiting a _man,_ but a
_parent_--_a distinction_ made sacred by God, and fortified by a bulwark
of defence. In the next verse, "He that stealeth a man," &c., the SAME
PRINCIPLE is wrought out in still stronger relief. The crime to be
punished with death was not the taking of property from its owner, but
violence to an _immortal nature_, the blotting out of a sacred
_distinction_--making MEN "chattels."

The incessant pains taken in the Old Testament to separate human beings
from brutes and things, shows God's regard for this, his own
distinction. "In the beginning" he proclaimed it to the universe as it
rose into being. Creation stood up at the instant of its birth, to do it
homage. It paused in adoration while God ushered forth its crowning
work. Why that dread pause and that creating arm held back in mid career
and that high conference in the godhead? "Let us make man in OUR IMAGE
after OUR LIKENESS, and let him have dominion over the fish of the sea,
and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle and over all the
earth." Then while every living thing, with land, and sea, and
firmament, and marshalled worlds, waited to swell the shout of morning
stars--then God created man IN HIS OWN IMAGE; IN THE IMAGE OF GOD
created he him." This solves the problem, IN THE IMAGE OF GOD, CREATED
HE HIM. This distinction is often repeated and always with great
solemnity. In Gen. i. 26-28, it is expressed in various forms. In Gen.
v. 1, we find it again, "IN THE LIKENESS OF GOD MADE HE HIM." In Gen.
ix. 6, again. After giving license to shed the blood of "every moving
thing that liveth," it is added, "_Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man
shall his blood be shed, for_ IN THE IMAGE OF GOD MADE HE MAN." As
though it had been said, "All these creatures are your property,
designed for your use--they have the likeness of earth, and their
spirits go downward; but this other being, MAN, has my own likeness: IN
THE IMAGE OF GOD made I man; an intelligent, moral, immortal agent,
invited to all that I can give and he can be. So in Lev. xxiv. 17, 18,
21, "He that killeth any MAN shall surely be put to death; and he that
killeth a beast shall make it good, beast for beast; and he that killeth
a MAN he shall be put to death." So in Ps. viii. 5, 6, we have an
enumeration of particulars, each separating infinitely MEN from brutes
and things! 1. "_Thou hast made him a little lower than the angels."_
Slavery drags him down among _brutes._ 2. _"And hast crowned him with
glory and honor."_ Slavery tears off his crown, and puts on a _yoke_. 3.
_"Thou madest him to have dominion_[A] OVER _the works of thy hands."_
Slavery breaks his sceptre, and cast him down _among_ those works--yea,
_beneath them_. 4. _"Thou hast put all things under his feet_." Slavery
puts HIM under the feet of an "owner." Who, but an impious scorner, dare
thus strive with his Maker, and mutilate HIS IMAGE, and blaspheme the
Holy One, who saith, _"Inasmuch as ye did it unto one of the least of
these, ye did it unto ME._"

[Footnote A: "Thou madest him to have dominion." In Gen. i. 28, God says
to man, _"Have dominion_ over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of
the air and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth," thus
vesting in _every_ human being the right of ownership over the earth,
its products and animal life, and in _each_ human being the _same_
right. By so doing God prohibited the exercise of ownership by man over
_man_; for the grant to _all_ men of _equal_ ownership, for ever _shut_
out the possibility of their exercising ownership over _each other_, as
whoever is the owner of a _man_, is the owner of his _right of
property_--in other words, when one man becomes the property of another
his rights become such too, his _right of property_ is transferred to
his "owner," and thus as far as _himself_ is concerned, is annihilated.
Finally, by originally vesting _all_ men with dominion or ownership over
property, God proclaimed the _right of all_ to exercise it, and
pronounced every man who takes it away a robber of the highest grade.
Such is every slaveholder.]

In further prosecuting this inquiry, the Patriarchal and Mosaic systems
will be considered together, as each reflects light upon the other, and
as many regulations of the latter are mere _legal_ forms of Divine
institutions previously existing. As a _system_, the latter alone is of
Divine authority. Whatever were the usages of the patriarchs God has not
made them our exemplars.[B] The question to be settled by us, is not
what were Jewish _customs_, but what were the rules that God gave for
the regulation of those customs.

[Footnote B: Those who insist that the patriarchs held slaves, and sit
with such delight under their shadow, hymning the praises of "those good
old slaveholders and patriarchs," might at small cost greatly augment
their numbers. A single stanza celebrating patriarchal _concubinage_,
winding off with a chorus in honor of patriarchal _drunkenness_, would
be a trumpet-call, summoning from brothels, bush and brake, highway and
hedge, and sheltering fence, a brotherhood of kindred affinities, each
claiming Abraham or Noah as his patron saint, and shouting, "My name is
legion." A myriad choir and thunderous song!]

Before entering upon an analysis of the condition of servants under
these two states of society, we will consider the import of certain
terms which describe the mode of procuring them.



IMPORT OF "BUY," AND "BOUGHT WITH MONEY."

As the Israelites were commanded to "buy" their servants, and as Abraham
had servants "bought with money," it is argued that servants were
articles of property! The sole ground for this belief is _the terms
themselves!_ How much might be saved, if in discussion, the thing to be
proved were always _assumed_! To beg the question in debate, is vast
economy of midnight oil, and a wholesale forestaller of wrinkles and
gray hairs. Instead of protracted investigation into Scripture usage,
painfully collating passages, to settle the meaning of terms, let every
man interpret the oldest book in the world by the usages of his own time
and place, and the work is done. And then instead of one revelation,
they might be multiplied as the drops of the morning, and every man have
an infallible clue to the mind of the Spirit, in the dialect of his own
neighborhood! What a Babel-jargon, to take it for granted that the sense
in which words are _now_ used, is the _inspired_ sense. David says, "I
prevented the dawning of the morning, and cried." What, stop the earth
in its revolution! Two hundred years ago, _prevent_ was used in its
strict Latin sense, to _come before_, or _anticipate_. It is always used
in this sense in the Old and New Testaments. David's expression, in the
English of the nineteenth century, would be "Before the dawning of the
morning I cried." In almost every chapter of the Bible, words are used
in a sense now nearly, or quite obsolete, and sometimes in a sense
totally _opposite_ to their present meaning. A few examples follow: "I
purposed to come to you, but was _let_ (hindered) hitherto." "And the
four _beasts_ (living ones) fell down and worshiped God,"--"Whosoever
shall _offend_ (cause to sin) one of these little ones,"--Go out into
the highways and _compel_ (urge) them to come in,"--Only let your
_conversation_ (habitual conduct) be as becometh the Gospel,"--"The Lord
Jesus Christ who shall judge the _quick_ (living) and the dead,"--They
that seek me _early_ (earnestly) shall find me," So when tribulation or
persecution ariseth _by-and-by_ (immediately) they are offended."
Nothing is more mutable than language. Words, like bodies, are always
throwing off some particles and absorbing others. So long as they are
mere representatives, elected by the whims of universal suffrage, their
meaning will be a perfect volatile, and to cork it up for the next
century is an employment sufficiently silly (to speak within bounds) for
a modern Bible-Dictionary maker. There never was a shallower conceit
than that of establishing the sense attached to a word centuries ago, by
showing what it means _now_. Pity that fashionable mantuamakers were not
a little quicker at taking hints from some Doctors of Divinity. How
easily they might save their pious customers all qualms of conscience
about the weekly shiftings of fashion, by proving that the last
importation of Parisian indecency now "showing off" on promenade, was
the very style of dress in which the modest and pious Sarah kneaded
cakes for the angels. Since such a fashion flaunts along Broadway _now_,
it _must_ have trailed over Canaan four thousand years ago!

The inference that the word buy, used to describe the procuring of
servants, means procuring them as _chattels_, seems based upon the
fallacy, that whatever _costs_ money _is_ money; that whatever or
whoever you pay money _for_, is an article of property, and the fact of
your paying for it, _proves_ it property. 1. The children of Israel were
required to purchase their firstborn from under the obligations of the
priesthood, Num. xviii. 15, 16; iii. 45-51; Ex. xiii. 13; xxxiv. 20.
This custom still exists among the Jews, and the word _buy_ is still
used to describe the transaction. Does this prove that their firstborn
were or are, held as property? They were _bought_ as really as were
_servants_. 2. The Israelites were required to pay money for their own
souls. This is called sometimes a ransom, sometimes an atonement. Were
their souls therefore marketable commodities? 3. When the Israelites set
apart themselves or their children to the Lord by vow, for the
performance of some service, an express statute provided that a _price_
should be set upon the "_persons_," and it prescribed the manner and
_terms_ of the "estimation" or valuation, by the payment of which, the
persons might be _bought off_ from the service vowed. The _price_ for
males from one month old to five years, was five shekels, for females,
three; from five years old to twenty, for males, twenty shekels, for
females, ten; from twenty years old to sixty, for males, fifty shekels,
for females, thirty; above sixty years old, for males, fifteen shekels,
for females, ten, Lev. xxvii. 2-8. What egregious folly to contend that
all these descriptions of persons were goods and chattels because they
were _bought_ and their _prices_ regulated by law! 4. Bible saints
_bought_ their wives. Boaz bought Ruth. "Moreover Ruth the Moabitess,
the wife of Mahlon, have I _purchased_ (bought) to be my wife." Ruth iv.
10.[A] Hosea bought his wife. "So I _bought_ her to me for fifteen
pieces of silver, and for an homer of Barley, and an half homer of
barley." Hosea iii. 2. Jacob bought his wives Rachael and Leah, and not
having money, paid for them in labor--seven years a piece. Gen. xxix.
15-23. Moses probably bought his wife in the same way, and paid for her
by his labor, as the servant of her father.[B] Exod. ii. 21. Shechem,
when negotiating with Jacob and his sons for Dinah, says, "Ask me never
so much dowry and gift, and I will give according as ye shall say unto
me." Gen. xxxiv. 11, 12. David purchased Michael, and Othniel, Achsah,
by performing perilous services for the fathers of the damsels. 1 Sam.
xviii. 25-27; Judg. i. 12, 13. That the purchase of wives, either with
money or by service, was the general practice, is plain from such
passages as Ex. xxii. 17, and 1 Sam. xviii. 25. Among the modern Jews
this usage exists, though now a mere form, there being no _real_
purchase. Yet among their marriage ceremonies, is one called "marrying
by the penny." The similarity in the methods of procuring wives and
servants, in the terms employed in describing the transactions, and in
the prices paid for each, are worthy of notice. The highest price of
wives (virgins) and servants was the same. Comp. Deut, xxii. 28, 29, and
Ex. xxii. 17, with Lev. xxvii. 2-8. The _medium_ price of wives and
servants was the same. Comp. Hos. iii. 2, with Ex. xxi. 32. Hosea seems
to have paid one half in money and the other half in grain. Further, the
Israelitish female bought-servants were _wives_, their husbands and
masters being the same persons. Ex. xxi. 8, Judg. xix. 3, 27. If
_buying_ servants proves them property, buying wives proves _them_
property. Why not contend that the _wives_ of the ancient fathers of the
faithful were their "chattels," and used as ready change at a pinch; and
thence deduce the rights of modern husbands? Alas! Patriarchs and
prophets are followed afar off! When will pious husbands live up to
their Bible privileges, and become partakers with Old Testament worthies
in the blessedness of a husband's rightful immunities! Refusing so to
do, is questioning the morality of those "good old slaveholders and
patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob."

[Footnote A: In the verse preceding, Boaz says, "I have _bought_ all
that was Elimelech's * * * of the hand of Naomi." In the original, the
same word (_kana_) is used in both verses. In the 9th, "a parcel of
land" is "bought," in the 10th a "wife" is "bought." If the Israelites
had been as profound at inferences as our modern Commentators, they
would have put such a fact as this to the rack till they had tortured
out of it a divine warrant for holding their wives as property and
speculating in the article whenever it happened to be scarce.]


[Footnote B: This custom still prevails in some eastern countries. The
Crim Tartars, who are poor, serve an apprenticeship for their wives,
during which they live under the same roof with them and at the close of
it are adopted into the family.]

This use of the word buy, is not peculiar to the Hebrew. In the Syriac,
the common expression for "the espoused," is "the bought." Even so late
as the 16th century, the common record of _marriages_ in the old German
Chronicles was, "A BOUGHT B."

The word translated _buy_, is, like other words, modified by the nature
of the subject to which it is applied. Eve said, "I have _gotten_
(bought) a man from the Lord." She named him Cain, that is _bought_. "He
that heareth reproof, getteth (buyeth) understanding," Prov. xv. 32. So
in Isa. xi. 11. "The Lord shall set his hand again to recover (to _buy_)
the remnant of his people." So Ps. lxxviii. 54. "He brought them to his
mountain which his right hand had _purchased_," (gotten.) Neh. v. 8. "We
of our ability have _redeemed_ (bought) our brethren the Jews, that were
sold unto the heathen." Here "_bought_" is not applied to persons
reduced to servitude, but to those taken _out_ of it. Prov. viii. 22.
"The Lord possessed (bought) me in the beginning of his way." Prov. xix.
8. "He that _getteth_ (buyeth) wisdom loveth his own soul." Finally, to
_buy_ is a _secondary_ meaning of the Hebrew word _kana_.

Even at this day the word _buy_ is used to describe the procuring of
servants, where slavery is abolished. In the British West Indies, where
slaves became apprentices in 1834, they are still, (1837,) "bought."
This is the current word in West India newspapers. Ten years since
servants were "_bought_" in New York, and still are in New Jersey, as
really as in Virginia, yet the different senses in which the word is
used in those states, puts no man in a quandary. Under the system of
legal _indenture_ in Illinois, servants now are "_bought_."[A] Until
recently immigrants to this country were "bought" in great numbers. By
voluntary contract they engaged to work a given time to pay for their
passage. This class of persons, called "redemptioners," consisted at one
time of thousands. Multitudes are "bought" _out_ of slavery by
themselves or others. Under the same roof with the writer is a "servant
bought with money." A few weeks since, she was a slave; when "bought,"
she was a slave no longer. Alas! for our leading politicians if "buying"
men makes them "chattels." The Whigs say, that Calhoun has been "bought"
by the administration; and the other party, that Clay and Webster have
been "bought" by the Bank. The histories of the revolution tell us that
Benedict Arnold was "bought" by British gold, and that Williams,
Paulding, and Van Wert, could not be "bought" by Major Andre. When a
northern clergyman marries a rich southern widow, country gossip thus
hits off the indecency, "The cotton bags _bought_ him." Sir Robert
Walpole said, "Every man has his price, and whoever will pay it, can
_buy_ him," and John Randolph said, "The northern delegation is in the
market; give me money enough, and I can _buy_ them." The temperance
publications tell us that candidates for office _buy_ men with whiskey;
and the oracles of street tattle, that the court, district attorney, and
jury, in the late trial of Robinson were _bought_, yet we have no
floating visions of "chattels personal," man-auctions, or coffles.

[Footnote A: The following statute is now in force in the free state of
Illinois--"No negro, mulatto, or Indian, shall at any time _purchase_
any servant other than of their own complexion: and if any of the
persons aforesaid shall presume to _purchase_ a white servant, such
servant shall immediately become free, and shall be so held, deemed and
taken."]

In Connecticut, town paupers are "bought" by individuals, who, for a
stipulated sum become responsible to the town for their comfortable
support for one year. If these "bought" persons perform any labor for
those who "buy" them, it is wholly _voluntary_. It is hardly necessary
to add that they are in no sense the "property" of their purchasers.[A]

[Footnote A: "The select-men" of each town annually give notice, that at
such a time and place, they will proceed to _sell_ the poor of said
town. The persons thus "sold" are "bought" by such persons, approved by
the "select-men," as engage to furnish them with sufficient wholesome
food, adequate clothing, shelter, medicine, &c., for such a sum as the
parties may agree upon. The Connecticut papers frequently contain
advertisements like the following: "NOTICE--The poor of the town of
Chatham will be SOLD on the first Monday in April, 1837, at the house of
F. Penfield, Esq., at 9 o'clock in the forenoon,"--[Middletown Sentinel,
Feb. 3, 1837.] ]

The transaction between Joseph and the Egyptians gives a clue to the use
of "buy" and "bought with money." Gen. xlvii. 18-26. The Egyptians
proposed to Joseph to become servants. When the bargain was closed,
Joseph said, "Behold I have _bought you_ this day," and yet it is plain
that neither party regarded the persons _bought_ as articles of
property, but merely as bound to labor on certain conditions, to pay for
their support during the famine. The idea attached by both parties to
"buy us," and "behold I have bought you," was merely that of service
voluntarily offered, and secured by contract, in return, for _value
received_, and not at all that the Egyptians were bereft of their
personal ownership, and made articles of property. And this buying of
_services_ (in this case it was but one-fifth part) is called in
Scripture usage, _buying the persons_. This case claims special notice,
as it is the only one where the whole transaction of buying servants is
detailed--the preliminaries, the process, the mutual acquiescence, and
the permanent relation resulting therefrom. In all other instances, the
mere fact is stated without particulars. In this case, the whole process
is laid open. 1. The persons "bought," _sold themselves_, and of their
own accord. 2. Paying for the permanent _service_ of persons, or even a
portion of it, is called "buying" those persons; just as paying for the
_use_ of land or houses for a number of years in succession is called in
Scripture usage _buying_ them. See Lev. xxv. 28, 33, and xxvii. 24. The
objector, at the outset, takes it for granted, that servants were bought
of _third_ persons; and thence infers that they were articles of
property. Both the alleged fact and the inference are _sheer
assumptions_. No instance is recorded, under the Mosaic system, in which
a _master sold his servant_.

That servants who were "bought," _sold themselves_, is a fair inference
from various passages of Scripture.[A] In Leviticus xxv. 47, the case of
the Israelite, who became the servant of the stranger, the words are,
"If he SELL HIMSELF unto the stranger." Yet the 51st verse informs us
that this servant was "BOUGHT" and that the price of his purchase was
paid to _himself_. The _same word_, and the same _form_ of the word,
which, in verse 47, is rendered _sell himself_, is in verse 39 of the
same chapter, rendered _be sold_; in Deut. xxviii. 68, the same word is
rendered "be sold." "And there ye shall BE SOLD unto your enemies for
bond-men and bond-women and NO MAN SHALL BUY YOU." How could they "_be
sold_" without _being bought_? Our translation makes it nonsense. The
word _Makar_ rendered "_be sold_" is used here in Hithpael conjugation,
which is generally reflexive in its force, and like the middle voice in
Greek, represents what an individual does for himself, and should
manifestly have been rendered "ye shall _offer yourselves_ for sale, and
there shall be no purchaser." For a clue to Scripture usage on this
point, see 1 Kings xxi. 20. 25.--"Thou hast _sold thyself_ to work
evil." "There was none like unto Ahab which did sell _himself_ to work
wickedness."--2 Kings xvii. 17. "They used divination and enchantments,
and _sold themselves_ to do evil."--Isa. l. 1. "For your iniquities have
ye _sold yourselves."_ Isa. lii. 3, "Ye have _sold yourselves_ FOR
NOUGHT, and ye shall be redeemed without money." See also, Jer. xxxiv.
14; Rom. vii. 14, vi. 16; John, viii. 34, and the case of Joseph and the
Egyptians, already quoted. In the purchase of wives, though spoken of
rarely, it is generally stated that they were bought of _third_ persons.
If _servants_ were bought of third persons, it is strange that no
_instance_ of it is on record.

[Footnote A: Those who insist that the servants which the Israelites
were commanded to buy of "the heathen which were round about" them, were
to be bought of _third persons_, virtually charge God with the
inconsistency of recognizing and affirming the right of those very
persons to freedom, upon whom, say they, he pronounced the doom of
slavery. For they tell us, that the sentence of death uttered against
those heathen was commuted into slavery, which punishment God denounced
against them. Now if "the heathen round about" were doomed to slavery,
the _sellers_ were doomed as well as the _sold_. Where, we ask, did the
sellers get their right to sell? God by commanding the Israelites to
BUY, affirmed the right of _somebody_ to _sell_, and that the
_ownership_ of what was sold existed _somewhere_; which _right_ and
ownership he commanded them to _recognize_ and _respect_. We repeat the
question, where did the heathen _sellers_ get their right to sell, since
_they_ were dispossessed of their right to _themselves_ and doomed to
slavery equally with those whom they sold. Did God's decree vest in them
a right to _others_ while it annulled their right to _themselves_? If,
as the objector's argument assumes, one part of "the heathen round
about" were _already_ held as slaves by the other part, _such_ of course
were not _doomed_ to slavery, for they were already slaves. So also, if
those heathen who held them as slaves had a _right_ to hold them, which
right God commanded the Israelites to _buy out_, thus requiring them to
recognize _it_ as a _right_, and on no account to procure its transfer
to themselves without paying to the holders an equivalent, surely, these
_slaveholders_ were not doomed by God to be slaves, for according to the
objector, God had himself affirmed their right _to hold others as
slaves_, and commanded his people to respect it.]

We now proceed to inquire into the _condition_ of servants under the
patriarchal and Mosaic systems.



I. THE RIGHTS AND PRIVILEGES OF SERVANTS.

The leading design of the laws defining the relations of master and
servant, was the good of both parties--more especially the good of the
_servants_. While the master's interests were guarded from injury, those
of the servants were _promoted_. These laws made a merciful provision
for the poorer classes, both of the Israelites and Strangers, not laying
on burdens, but lightening them--they were a grant of _privileges_ and
_favors_.

I. BUYING SERVANTS WAS REGARDED AS A KINDNESS TO THE PERSONS BOUGHT, and
as establishing between them and their purchasers a bond of affection
and confidence. This is plain from the frequent use of it to illustrate
the love and care of God for his chosen people. Deut. xxxii. 6; Ex. xv.
16; Ps. lxxiv. 2; Prov. viii. 22.

II. NO STRANGER COULD JOIN THE FAMILY OF AN ISRAELITE WITHOUT BECOMING A
PROSELYTE. Compliance with this condition was the _price of the
privilege_. Gen. xvii. 9-14, 23, 27. In other words, to become a servant
was virtually to become an Israelite.[A] In the light of this fact, look
at the relation sustained by a proselyted servant to his master. Was it
a sentence consigning to _punishment_, or a ticket of admission to
_privileges_?

[Footnote A: The rites by which a stranger became a proselyte
transformed him into a Jew. Compare 1 Chron. ii. 17, with 2 Sam. xvii.
25. In Esther viii. 17, it is said "Many of the people of the land
_became Jews_." In the Septuagint, the passage is thus rendered, "Many
of the heathen were circumcised and became Jews." The intimate union and
incorporation of the proselytes with the Hebrews is shown by such
passages as Isa. lvi. 6, 7, 8; Eph. ii. 11, 22; Num. x. 29-32. Calmet,
Art. Proselyte, says "They were admitted to all the prerogatives of the
people of the Lord." Mahommed doubtless borrowed from the laws and
usages of the Jews, his well known regulation for admitting to all civil
and religious privileges, all proselytes of whatever nation or
religion.]

III. EXPULSION FROM THE FAMILY WAS THE DEPRIVATION OF A PRIVILEGE IF NOT
A PUNISHMENT. When Sarah took umbrage at the conduct of Hagar and
Ishmael, her servants, "She said unto Abraham _cast out_ this bond-woman
and her son." * * And Abraham rose up early in the morning and took
bread and a bottle of water and gave it unto Hagar and the child, and
_sent her away_. Gen. xxi. 10, 14; in Luke xvi. 1-8, our Lord tells us
of the steward or head-servant of a rich man who defrauded his master,
and was, in consequence, excluded from his household. The servant
anticipating such a punishment, says, "I am resolved what to do, that
when I am _put out_ of the stewardship, they may receive me into their
houses." The case of Gehazi, the servant of Elisha, appears to be a
similar one. He was guilty of fraud in procuring a large sum of money
from Naaman, and of deliberate lying to his master, on account of which
Elisha seems to have discarded him. 2 Kings v. 20-27. In this connection
we may add that if a servant neglected the observance of any ceremonial
rite, and was on that account excommunicated from the congregation of
Israel, such excommunication excluded him also from the _family_ of an
Israelite. In other words he could be a _servant_ no longer than he was
an _Israelite_. To forfeit the latter _distinction_ involved the
forfeiture of the former _privilege_--which proves that it _was_ a
privilege.

IV. THE HEBREW SERVANT COULD COMPEL HIS MASTER TO KEEP HIM.

When the six years' contract had expired, if the servant _demanded_ it,
the law _obliged_ the master to retain him permanently, however little
he might need his services. Deut. xv. 12-17; Ex. xxi. 2-6. This shows
that the system was framed to advance the interest and gratify the
wishes of the servant quite as much as those of the master.

V. SERVANTS WERE ADMITTED INTO COVENANT WITH GOD. Deut. xxix. 10-13.

VI. THEY WERE GUESTS AT ALL NATIONAL AND FAMILY FESTIVALS Ex. xii.
43-44; Deut xii. 12, 18, xvi. 10-16.

VII. THEY WERE STATEDLY INSTRUCTED IN MORALITY AND RELIGION. Deut. xxxi.
10-13; Josh. viii. 33-35; 2 Chron. xvii. 8-9, xxxv. 3, and xxxiv. 30.
Neh. viii. 7, 8.

VIII. THEY WERE RELEASED FROM THEIR REGULAR LABOR NEARLY ONE HALF OF THE
WHOLE TIME. During which they had their entire support, and the same
instruction that was provided for the other members of the Hebrew
community. The Law secured to them,

1. _Every seventh year;_ Lev. xxv. 3-6; thus giving to those who were
servants during the entire period between the jubilees, _eight whole
years_, (including the jubilee year,) of unbroken rest.

2. _Every seventh day._ This in forty-two years, the eight being
subtracted from the fifty, would amount to just _six years_.

3. _The three annual festivals._ Ex. xxiii. 17, xxxiv. 23. The
_Passover_, which commenced on the 15th of the 1st month, and lasted
seven days, Deut. xvi. 3, 8. The Pentecost, or Feast of Weeks, which
began on the 6th day of the 3d month, and lasted seven days. Deut. xvi.
10, 11. The Feast of Tabernacles, which commenced on the 15th of the 7th
month, and lasted eight days. Deut. xvi. 13, 15; Lev. xxiii. 34-39. As
all met in one place, much time would be spent on the journey. Cumbered
caravans move slowly. After their arrival, a day or two would be
requisite for divers preparations before the celebration, besides some
time at the close of it, in preparations for return. If we assign three
weeks to each festival--including the time spent on the journeys, and
the delays before and after the celebration, together with the _festival
week_, it will be a small allowance for the cessation of their regular
labor. As there were three festivals in the year, the main body of the
servants would be absent from their stated employments at least _nine
weeks annually_, which would amount in forty-two years, subtracting the
sabbaths, to six years and eighty-four days.

4. _The new moons_. The Jewish year had twelve; Josephus says that the
Jews always kept _two_ days for the new moon. See Calmet on the Jewish
Calendar, and Horne's Introduction; also 1 Sam. xx, 18, 19, 27. This, in
forty-two years, would be two years 280 days.

5. _The feast of trumpets_. On the first day of the seventh month, and
of the civil year. Lev. xxiii. 24, 25.

6. _The atonement day_. On the tenth of the seventh month Lev. xxiii.
27.

These two feasts would consume not less than sixty-five days not
reckoned above.

Thus it appears that those who continued servants during the period
between the jubilees, were by law released from their labor,
TWENTY-THREE YEARS AND SIXTY-FOUR DAYS, OUT OF FIFTY YEARS, and those
who remained a less time, in nearly the same proportion. In this
calculation, besides making a donation of all the _fractions_ to the
objector, we have left out those numerous _local_ festivals to which
frequent allusion is made, Judg. xxi. 19; 1 Sam. ix. 12. 22. etc., and
the various _family_ festivals, such as at the weaning of children; at
marriages; at sheep shearings; at circumcisions; at the making of
covenants, &c., to which reference is often made, as in 1 Sam, xx. 6.
28, 29. Neither have we included the festivals instituted at a later
period of the Jewish history--the feast of Purim, Esth. ix. 28, 29; and
of the Dedication, which lasted eight days. John x. 22; 1 Mac. iv. 59.

Finally, the Mosaic system secured to servants, an amount of time which,
if distributed, would be almost ONE HALF OF THE DAYS IN EACH YEAR.
Meanwhile, they were supported, and furnished with opportunities of
instruction. If this time were distributed over _every day_, the
servants would have to themselves nearly _one half of each day_.

The service of those Strangers who were _national_ servants or
tributaries, was regulated upon the same benevolent principle, and
secured to them TWO-THIRDS of the whole year. "A month they were in
Lebanon, and two months they were at home." 1 Kings, v. 13-15. Compared
with 2 Chron. 11. 17-19, viii. 7-9; 1 Kings, ix 20. 22. The regulations
under which the inhabitants of Gibeon, Chephirah, Beeroth and
Kirjath-jearim, (afterwards called _Nethinims_) performed service for
the Israelites, must have secured to them nearly the whole of their
time. If, as is probable, they served in courses corresponding to those
of their priests whom they assisted, they were in actual service less
than one month annually.

IX. THE SERVANT WAS PROTECTED BY LAW EQUALLY WITH THE OTHER MEMBERS OF
THE COMMUNITY

Proof.--"Judge righteously between every man and his brother and THE
STRANGER THAT IS WITH HIM." "Ye shall not RESPECT PERSONS in judgment,
but ye shall hear the SMALL as well as the great." Deut. i. 16, 19. Also
Lev. xix. 15. xxiv. 22. "Ye shall have one manner of law as well for the
STRANGER, as for one of your own country." So Num. xv. 29. "Ye shall
have ONE LAW for him that sinneth through ignorance, both for him that
is born among the children of Israel and for the STRANGER that
sojourneth among them." Deut. xxvii. 19. "Cursed be he that PERVERTETH
THE JUDGMENT OF THE STRANGER."[A] Deut. xxvii. 19.

[Footnote A: In a work entitled, "Instruction in the Mosaic Religion" by
Professor Jholson, of the Jewish seminary at Frankfort-on-the-Main,
translated into English by Rabbi Leeser, we find the following.--Sec.
165. "Question. Does holy writ any where make a difference between the
Israelite and the other who is no Israelite, in those laws and
prohibitions which forbid us the _committal of any thing against our
fellow men?_"

"Answer. No where we do find a trace of such a difference. See Lev. xix.
33-36."

"God says thou shalt not murder, _steal_, cheat, &c. In every place the
action _itself_ is prohibited as being an abomination to God _without
respect to the PERSONS against whom it is committed_." ]

X. THE MOSAIC SYSTEM ENJOINED THE GREATEST AFFECTION AND KINDNESS
TOWARDS SERVANTS, FOREIGN AS WELL AS JEWISH.

"The stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among
you, and thou shalt love him as thyself." Lev. xix. 34. "For the Lord
your God * * REGARDETH NOT PERSONS. He doth execute the judgment of the
fatherless and widow, and LOVETH THE STRANGER, in giving him food and
raiment, LOVE YE THEREFORE THE STRANGER." Deut. x. 17, 19. "Thou shalt
neither vex a STRANGER nor oppress him." Ex. xxii. 21. "Thou shalt not
oppress a STRANGER, for ye know the heart of a stranger." Ex. xxiii. 9.
"If thy brother be waxen poor thou shalt relieve him, yea, though he be
a STRANGER or a sojourner, that he may live with thee, take thou no
usury of him or increase, but fear thy God." Lev. xxv. 35, 36. Could
this same stranger be taken by one that feared his God, and held as a
slave, and robbed of time, earnings, and all his rights?

XI. SERVANTS WERE PLACED UPON A LEVEL WITH THEIR MASTERS IN ALL CIVIL
AND RELIGIOUS RIGHTS. Num. xv. 15, 16, 29; ix. 14; Deut. i. 16, 17; Lev.
xxiv. 22. To these may be added that numerous class of passages which
represents God as regarding _alike_ the natural rights of _all_ men, and
making for all an _equal_ provision. Such as, 2 Chron. xix. 7; Prov.
xxiv. 23, xxviii. 21; Job. xxxiv. 19, 2 Sam. xiv. 14; Acts x. 35; Eph.
vi. 9.

Finally--With such watchful jealousy did the Mosaic Institutes guard the
_rights_ of servants, as to make the mere fact of a servant's escape
from his master presumptive evidence that his master had _oppressed_
him; and on that presumption, annulled his master's authority over him,
gave him license to go wherever he pleased, and commanded all to protect
him. Deut. xxiii. 15, 16. As this regulation will be examined under a
subsequent head, where its full discussion more appropriately belongs,
we notice it here merely to point out its bearings on the topic under
consideration.

THESE ARE REGULATIONS OF THAT MOSAIC SYSTEM WHICH IS CLAIMED BY
SLAVEHOLDERS AS THE PROTOTYPE OF AMERICAN SLAVERY.



II. WERE PERSONS MADE SERVANTS AGAINST THEIR WILLS?

We argue that they became servants of _their own accord,_ because,

I. TO BECOME A SERVANT WAS TO BECOME A PROSELYTE. Whoever of the
strangers became a servant, he was required to abjure idolatry, to enter
into covenant with God[A], be circumcised in token of it, be bound to
keep the Sabbath, the Passover, the Pentecost, and the Feast of
Tabernacles, and to receive instruction in the moral and ceremonial law.
Were the servants _forced_ through all these processes? Was the
renunciation of idolatry _compulsory_? Were they _dragged_ into covenant
with God? Were they seized and circumcised by _main strength_? Were they
_compelled_ mechanically to chew and swallow the flesh of the Paschal
lamb, while they abhorred the institution, spurned the laws that
enjoined it, detested its author and its executors, and instead of
rejoicing in the deliverance which it commemorated, bewailed it as a
calamity, and cursed the day of its consummation? Were they _driven_
from all parts of the land three times in the year to the annual
festivals? Were they drugged with instruction which they nauseated? Were
they goaded through a round of ceremonies, to them senseless and
disgusting mummeries; and drilled into the tactics of a creed rank with
loathed abominations? We repeat it, to become a _servant_, was to become
a _proselyte_. Did God authorize his people to make proselytes at the
point of the bayonet? by the terror of pains and penalties? by
converting men into _merchandise?_ Were _proselyte and chattel_
synonymes in the Divine vocabulary? Must a man be sunk to a _thing_
before taken into covenant with God? Was this the stipulated condition
of adoption? the sure and sacred passport to the communion of the
saints?

[Footnote A: Maimonides, a contemporary with Jarchi, and who stands with
him at the head of Jewish writers, gives the following testimony on this
point: "Whether a servant be born in the power of an Israelite, or
whether he be purchased from the heathen, the master is to bring them
both into the covenant.

"But he that is in the _house_ is entered on the eighth day, and he that
is bought with money, on the day on which his master receives him,
unless the slave be _unwilling_. For if the master receive a grown
slave, and he be _unwilling_, his master is to bear with him, to seek to
win him over by instruction, and by love and kindness, for one year.
After which, should he _refuse_ so long, it is forbidden to keep him
longer than a year. And the master must send him back to the strangers
from whence he came. For the God of Jacob will not accept any other than
the worship of a _willing_ heart."--Maimon, Hilcoth Miloth, Chap. 1,
Sec. 8.

The ancient Jewish Doctors assert that the servant from the Strangers
who at the close of his probationary year, refused to adopt the Jewish
religion and was on that account sent back to his own people, received a
_full compensation_ for his services, besides the payment of his
expenses. But that _postponement_ of the circumcision of the foreign
servant for a year (_or even at all_ after he had entered the family of
an Israelite) of which the Mishnic doctors speak, seems to have been _a
mere usage_. We find nothing of it in the regulations of the Mosaic
system. Circumcision was manifestly a rite strictly _initiatory_.
Whether it was a rite merely _national_ or _spiritual_, or _both_, comes
not within the scope of this inquiry. ]

II. THE SURRENDER OF FUGITIVE SERVANTS TO THEIR MASTERS WAS PROHIBITED.
"Thou shalt not deliver unto his master the servant which is escaped
from his master unto thee. He shall dwell with thee, even among you, in
that place which he shall choose, in one of thy gates where it liketh
him best; thou shalt not oppress him." Deut. xxiii. 15, 16.

As though God had said, "To deliver him up would be to recognize the
_right_ of the master to hold him; his _fleeing_ shows his _choice_,
proclaims his wrongs and his title to protection; you shall not force
him back and thus recognize the _right_ of the master to hold him in
such a condition as induces him to flee to others for protection." It
may be said that this command referred only to the servants of _heathen_
masters in the surrounding nations. We answer: the terms of the command
are unlimited. But the objection, if valid, would merely shift the
pressure of the difficulty to another point. Did God require them to
protect the _free choice_ of a _single_ servant from the heathen, and
yet _authorize_ the same persons, to crush the free choice of
_thousands_ of servants from the heathen? Suppose a case. A _foreign_
servant escapes to the Israelites; God says, "He shall dwell with thee,
in that place which _he shall choose_, in one of thy gates where it
_liketh him_ best." Now, suppose this same servant, instead of coming
into Israel of his own accord, had been _dragged_ in by some kidnapper,
who bought him of his master, and forced him into a condition against
his will; would He who forbade such treatment of the stranger, who
_voluntarily_ came into the land, sanction the same treatment of the
_same person_, provided in addition to this last outrage, the previous
one had been committed of forcing him into the nation against his will?
To commit violence on the free choice of a foreign servant is forsooth a
horrible enormity, provided you _begin_ the violence _after_ he has come
among you. But if you commit the first act on the _other side of the
line_; if you begin the outrage by buying him from a third person
against his will, and then tear him from home, drag him across the line
into the land of Israel, and hold him as a slave--ah! that alters the
case, and you may perpetrate the violence now with impunity! Would
_greater_ favor have been shown to this new comer than to the old
residents--those who had been servants in Jewish families perhaps for a
generation? Were the Israelites commanded to exercise towards _him_,
uncircumcised and out of the covenant, a justice and kindness denied to
the multitudes who _were_ circumcised, and _within_ the covenant? But,
the objector finds small gain to his argument on the supposition that
the covenant respected merely the fugitives from the surrounding
nations, while it left the servants of the Israelites in a condition
against their wills. In that case, the surrounding nations would adopt
retaliatory measures, and become so many asylums for Jewish fugitives.
As these nations were not only on every side of them, but in their
midst, such a proclamation would have been an effectual lure to men
whose condition was a constant counteraction of will. Besides the same
command which protected the servant from the power of his foreign
_master_, protected him equally from the power of an _Israelite_. It was
not, merely "Thou shalt not deliver him unto his _master_," but "he
shall dwell with thee, in that place which _he shall choose_ in one of
thy gates where it liketh _him_ best." Every Israelite was forbidden to
put him in any condition _against his will_. What was this but a
proclamation, that all who _chose_ to live in the land and obey the
laws, were left to their own free will, to dispose of their services at
such a rate, to such persons, and in such places as they pleased?
Besides, grant that this command prohibited the sending back of
_foreign_ servants only, there was no law requiring the return of
servants who had escaped from the _Israelites_. _Property_ lost, and
_cattle_ escaped, they were required to return, but not escaped
_servants_. These verses contain, 1st, a command, "Thou shalt not
deliver," &c., 2d. a declaration of the fugitive's right of _free
choice_, and of God's will that he should exercise it at his own
discretion; and 3d, a command guarding this right, namely, "Thou shalt
not oppress him," as though God had said, "If you restrain him from
exercising his _own choice_, as to the place and condition of his
residence, it is _oppression_, and shall not be tolerated."[A]

[Footnote A: Perhaps it may be objected that this view of Deut. xxiii.
15, 16, makes nonsense of Ex. xxi. 27, which provides that if a man
strikes out his servant's tooth he shall let him go free. Small favor
indeed if the servant might set himself free whenever he pleased!
Answer--The former passage might remove the servant from the master's
_authority_, without annulling the master's legal claims upon the
servant, if he had paid him in advance and had not received from him an
equivalent, and this equally, whether his master were a Jew or a
Gentile. The latter passage, "He shall let him go free _for his tooth's
sake,"_ not only freed the servant from the master's authority, but also
from any pecuniary claim which the master might have on account of
having paid his wages in advance; and this _as a compensation_, for the
loss of a tooth.]

III. THE SERVANTS HAD PECULIAR OPPORTUNITIES AND FACILITIES FOR ESCAPE.
Three times every year, all the males over twelve years, were required
to attend the national feasts. They were thus absent from their homes
not less than three weeks at each time, making nine weeks annually. As
these caravans moved over the country, were there military scouts lining
the way, to intercept deserters?--a corporal's guard at each pass of the
mountains, sentinels pacing the hilltops, and light-horse scouring the
defiles? The Israelites must have had some safe contrivance for taking
their "_slaves_" three times in a year to Jerusalem and back. When a
body of slaves is moved any distance in our _republic_, they are
handcuffed and chained together, to keep them from running away, or
beating their drivers' brains out. Was this the _Mosaic_ plan, or an
improvement introduced by Samuel, or was it left for the wisdom of
Solomon? The usage, doubtless, claims a paternity not less venerable and
biblical! Perhaps they were lashed upon camels, and transported in
bundles, or caged up and trundled on wheels to and fro, and while at the
Holy City, "lodged in jail for safe keeping," the Sanhedrim appointing
special religious services for their benefit, and their "drivers"
officiating at "ORAL instruction." Meanwhile, what became of the sturdy
_handmaids_ left at home? What hindered them from stalking off in a
body? Perhaps the Israelitish matrons stood sentry in rotation round the
kitchens, while the young ladies scoured the country, as mounted
rangers, picking up stragglers by day, and patrolled the streets,
keeping a sharp look-out at night!

IV. WILFUL NEGLECT OF CEREMONIAL RITES DISSOLVED THE RELATION.

Suppose the servants from the heathen had, upon entering Jewish
families, refused circumcision; if _slaves_, how simple the process of
emancipation! Their _refusal_ did the job. Or, suppose they had refused
to attend the annual feasts, or had eaten leavened bread during the
Passover, or compounded the ingredients of the anointing oil, or had
touched a dead body, a bone, or a grave, or in any way had contracted
ceremonial uncleanness, and refused to be cleansed with the "water of
separation," they would have been "cut off from the people;"
_excommunicated_. Ex. xii. 19; xxx. 33; Num. xix. 16.

V. SERVANTS OF THE PATRIARCHS NECESSARILY VOLUNTARY.

Abraham's servants are an illustration. At one time he had three hundred
and eighteen _young men_ "born in his house," and many more _not_ born
in his house. His servants of all ages were probably MANY THOUSANDS. How
did Abraham and Sarah contrive to hold fast so many thousand servants
against their wills? The most natural supposition is that the Patriarch
and his wife "took turns" in surrounding them! The neighboring tribes,
instead of constituting a picket guard to hem in his servants, would
have been far more likely to sweep them and him into captivity, as they
did Lot and his household. Besides, there was neither "constitution" nor
"compact," to send back Abraham's fugitives, nor a truckling police to
pounce upon them, nor gentlemen-kidnappers, suing for his patronage,
volunteering to howl on their track, boasting their blood-hound scent,
and pledging their honour to hunt down and deliver up, provided they had
a description of the "flesh-marks," and were suitably stimulated by
pieces of silver.[A] Abraham seems also to have been sadly deficient in
all the auxiliaries of family government, such as stocks, hand-cuffs,
foot-chains, yokes, gags, and thumb-screws. His destitution of these
patriarchal indispensables is the more afflicting, since he faithfully
trained "his household to do justice and judgment," though so deplorably
destitute of the needful aids.

[Footnote A: The following is a standing newspaper advertisement of one
of these professional man-catchers, a member of the New York bar, who
coolly plies his trade in the commercial emporium, sustained by the
complacent greetings and courtesies of "HONORABLE MEN!" "IMPORTANT TO
THE SOUTH.--F.H. Pettis, native of Orange County, Va., being located in
the city of New York, in the practice of law, announces to his friends
and the public in general, that he has been engaged as Counsel and
Adviser in General for a party whose business it is in the northern
cities to arrest and secure runaway slaves. He has been thus engaged for
several years, and as the act of Congress alone governs now in this
city, in business of this sort, which renders it easy for the recovery
of such property, he invites post paid communications to him, inclosing
a fee of $20 in each case, and a power of Attorney minutely descriptive
of the party absconded, and if in the northern region, he, or she will
soon be had.

"Mr. Pettis will attend promptly to all law business confided to him.

"N.B. New York City is estimated to contain 5,000 Runaway Slaves.

"PETTIS." ]

Probably Job had even more servants than Abraham. See Job. i. 3, 14-19,
and xlii. 12. That his thousands of servants staid with him entirely of
their own accord, is proved by the _fact_ of their staying with him.
Suppose they had wished to quit his service, and so the whole army had
filed off before him in full retreat, how could the patriarch have
brought them to halt? Doubtless with his wife, seven sons, and three
daughters for allies, he would have soon out-flanked the fugitive host
and dragged each of them back to his wonted chain and staple.

But the impossibility of Job's servants being held against their wills,
is not the only proof of their voluntary condition. We have his own
explicit testimony that he had not "withheld from the poor their
_desire_." Job. xxxi. 16. Of course he could hardly have made them live
with him, and forced them to work for him against _their desire_.

When Isaac sojourned in the country of the Philistines he "had _great
store_ of servants." And we have his testimony that the Philistines
hated him, added to that of inspiration that they "envied" him. Of
course they would hardly volunteer to organize patroles and committees
of vigilance to keep his servants from running away, and to drive back
all who were found beyond the limits of his plantation without a "pass!"
If the thousands of Isaac's servants were held against their wills, who
held them?

The servants of the Jews, during the building of the wall of Jerusalem,
under Nehemiah, may be included under this head. That they remained with
their masters of their own accord, we argue from the fact, that the
circumstances of the Jews made it impossible for them to _compel_ their
residence and service. They were few in number, without resources,
defensive fortifications, or munitions of war, and surrounded withal by
a host of foes, scoffing at their feebleness and inviting desertion from
their ranks. Yet so far from the Jews attempting in any way to restrain
their servants, or resorting to precautions to prevent escape, they put
arms into their hands, and enrolled them as a night-guard, for the
defence of the city. By cheerfully engaging in this service and in labor
by day, when with entire ease they might all have left their masters,
marched over to the enemy, and been received with shoutings, the
servants testified that their condition was one of _their own choice_,
and that they regarded their own interests as inseparably identified
with those of their masters. Neh. iv. 23.

VI. NO INSTANCES OF ISRAELITISH MASTERS SELLING SERVANTS. Neither
Abraham nor Isaac seem ever to have sold one, though they had "great
store of servants." Jacob was himself a servant in the family of Laban
twenty-one years. He had afterward a large number of servants. Joseph
invited him to come into Egypt, and to bring all that he had with
him--"thou and thy children, and thy children's children, and thy flocks
and thy herds, and ALL THAT THOU HAST." Gen. xlv. 10. Jacob took his
flocks and herds but _no servants_. Yet we are told that Jacob "took his
journey with _all that he had_." Gen. xlvi. 1. And after his arrival in
Egypt, Joseph said to Pharaoh "my father, and my brethren, and their
flocks, and their herds and _all that they have_, are come." Gen. xlvii.
1. The servants doubtless, served under their _own contracts_, and when
Jacob went into Egypt, they _chose_ to stay in their own country.

The government might sell _thieves_, if they had no property, until
their services had made good the injury, and paid the legal fine. Ex.
xxii. 3. But _masters_ seem to have had no power to sell their
_servants_. To give the master a _right_ to sell his servant, would
annihilate the servant's right of choice in his own disposal; but says
the objector, "to give the master a right to _buy_ a servant, equally
annihilates the servant's _right of choice_." Answer. It is one thing to
have a right to buy a man, and a quite another thing to have a right to
buy him of _another_ man.[A]

[Footnote A: There is no evidence that masters had the power to dispose
of even the _services_ of their servants, as men hire out their laborers
whom they employ by the year; but whether they had or not, affects not
the argument.]

Though servants were not bought of their masters, yet young females were
bought of their _fathers_. But their purchase as _servants_ was their
betrothal as WIVES. Ex. xxi. 7, 8. "If a man sell his daughter to be a
maid-servant, she shall not go out as the men-servants do. If she please
not her master WHO HATH BETROTHED HER TO HIMSELF, he shall let her be
redeemed."[B]

[Footnote B: The comment of Maimonides on this passage is as
follows:--"A Hebrew handmaid might not be sold but to one who laid
himself under obligations, to espouse her to himself or to his son, when
she was fit to be betrothed."--_Maimonides--Hilcoth--Obedim_, Ch. IV.
Sec. XI. Jarchi, on the same passage, says, "He is bound to espouse her
to be his wife, for the _money of her purchase_ is the money of her
_espousal_."]

VII. VOLUNTARY SERVANTS FROM THE STRANGERS.

We infer that _all_ the servants from the Strangers were voluntary in
becoming such, since we have direct testimony that some of them were so.
"Thou shalt not oppress an hired servant that is poor and needy, whether
he be of thy brethren, OR OF THY STRANGERS that are in thy land within
thy gates." Deut. xxiv. 14. We learn from this that some of the
servants, which the Israelites obtained from the strangers were procured
by presenting the inducement of _wages_ to their _free choice_, thus
recognizing their right to sell their services to others, or not, at
their own pleasure. Did the Israelites, when they went among the heathen
to procure servants, take money in one hand and ropes in the other? Did
they _ask_ one man to engage in their service, and _drag_ along with
them the next that they met, in spite of his struggles. Did they knock
for admission at one door and break down the next? Did they go through
one village with friendly salutations and respectful demeanor, and with
the air of those soliciting favors, offer wages to the inhabitants as an
inducement to engage in their service--while they sent on their agents
to prowl through the next, with a kidnapping posse at their heels, to
tear from their homes as many as they could get within their clutches?

VIII. HEBREW SERVANTS VOLUNTARY.

We infer that the Hebrew servant was voluntary in COMMENCING his
service, because he was preeminently so IN CONTINUING it. If, at the
year of release, it was the servant's _choice_ to remain with his
master, the law required his ear to be bored by the judges of the land,
thus making it impossible for him to be held against his will. Yea more,
his master was _compelled_ to keep him, however much he might wish to
get rid of him.

IX. THE MANNER OF PROCURING SERVANTS, AN APPEAL TO CHOICE.

The Israelites were commanded to offer them a suitable inducement, and
then leave them to decide. They might neither seize them by _force_, nor
frighten them by _threats_, nor wheedle them by false pretences, nor
_borrow_ them, nor _beg_ them; but they were commanded to BUY
them[A]--that is, they were to recognize the _right_ of the individuals
to _dispose_ of their own services, and their right to _refuse all
offers_, and thus oblige those who made them, _to do their own work_.
Suppose all, with one accord, had _refused_ to become servants, what
provision did the Mosaic law make for such an emergency? NONE.

[Footnote A: The case of thieves, whose services were sold until they
had earned enough to make restitution to the person wronged, and to pay
the legal penalty, _stands by itself_, and has nothing to do with the
condition of servants.]

X. INCIDENTAL CORROBORATIVES. Various incidental expressions corroborate
the idea that servants became such by their own contract. Job. xli. 4,
is an illustration, "Will he (Leviathan) make a COVENANT with thee? wilt
thou take him for a SERVANT forever?" Isa. xiv. 1, 2 is also an
illustration. "The strangers shall be joined with them (the Israelites)
and _they shall_ CLEAVE to the house of Jacob, and the house of Israel
shall possess them in the land of the Lord, for servants and handmaids."

The transaction which made the Egyptians the SERVANTS OF PHARAOH was
voluntary throughout. See Gen. xlvii. 18-26. Of their own accord they
came to Joseph and said, "There is not aught left but our _bodies_ and
our lands; _buy_ us;" then in the 25th verse, "We will be Pharaoh's
servants." To these it may be added, that the sacrifices and offerings
which ALL were required to present, were to be made VOLUNTARILY. Lev. i.
2. 3.

The pertinence and point of our Lord's declaration in Luke xvi. 13, is
destroyed on the supposition that servants did not become such by _their
own choice_. "No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate
the one and love the other, or else he will hold to the one and despise
the other." Let it be kept in mind, that our Lord was a _Jew_. The lost
sheep of the house of Israel were his flock. Wherever he went, they were
around him: whenever he spake, they were his auditors. His public
preaching and his private teaching and conversation, were full of
references to their own institutions, laws and usages, and of
illustrations drawn from them. In the verse quoted, he illustrates the
impossibility of their making choice of God as their portion, and
becoming his servants, while they chose the world, and were _its_
servants. To make this clear, he refers to one of their own
institutions, that of _domestic service_, with which, in all its
relations, incidents and usages, they were perfectly familiar. He
reminds them of the well-known impossibility of any person being the
servant of two masters, and declares the sole ground of that
impossibility to be, the fact that the servant _chooses_ the service of
the one, and _spurns_ that of the other. "He shall _hold to_ the one and
_despise_ (reject) the other." As though our Lord had said, "No one can
become the servant of another, when his will revolts from his service,
and when the conditions of it tend to make him hate the man." Since the
fact that the servant _spurns_ one of two masters, makes it impossible
for him to serve _that one_, if he spurned _both_ it would make it
impossible for him to serve _either_. So, also, if the fact that an
individual did not "hold to" or choose the service of another, proves
that he could not become his servant, then the question, whether or not
he should become the servant of another was suspended on _his own will_.
Further, the phraseology of the passage shows that the _choice_ of the
servant decided the question. "He will HOLD TO the one,"--hence there is
no difficulty in the way of his serving _him_; but "no servant can
serve" a master whom he does not "_hold to_," or _cleave_ to, whose
service he does not _choose_. This is the sole ground of the
impossibility asserted by our Lord.

The last clause of the verse furnishes an application of the principle
asserted in the former part, "Ye cannot serve God and mammon." Now in
what does the impossibility of serving both God and the world consist?
Solely in the fact that the will which chooses the one refuses the
other, and the affections which "hold to" the one, reject the other.
Thus the question, Which of the two is to be served, is suspended alone
upon the _choice_ of the individual.

XI. RICH STRANGERS DID NOT BECOME SERVANTS. Indeed, so far were they
from becoming servants themselves, that they bought and held Jewish
servants. Lev. xxv. 47. Since _rich_ strangers did not become servants
to the Israelites, we infer that those who _did_, became such not
because they were _strangers_, but because they were _poor_,--not
because, on account of their being heathen, they were _compelled by
force_ to become servants, but because, on account of their _poverty_,
they _chose_ to become servants to better their condition.

XII. INSTANCES OF VOLUNTARY SERVANTS. Mention is often made of persons
becoming servants who were manifestly VOLUNTARY. As the Prophet Elisha.
1 Kings xix. 21; 2 Kings iii. 11. Elijah was his _master_. 2 Kings ii.
5. The word translated master, is the same that is so rendered in almost
every instance where masters are spoken of under the Mosaic and
patriarchal systems. Moses was the servant of Jethro. Ex. iii. 1; iv.
10. Joshua was the servant of Moses. Ex. xxxiii. 11. Num. xi. 28. Jacob
was the servant of Laban. Gen. xxix. 18-27. See also the case of the
Gibeonites who _voluntarily_ became servants to the Israelites and
afterwards performed service for the "house of God" throughout the
subsequent Jewish history, were incorporate with the Israelites,
registered in the genealogies, and manifestly of their own accord
remained with them, and "_clave_" to them. Neh. x. 28, 29; xi. 3; Ez.
vii. 7.

Finally, in all the regulations respecting servants and their service,
no form of expression is employed from which it could be inferred, that
servants were made such, and held in that condition by force. Add to
this the entire absence of all the machinery, appurtenances and
incidents of _compulsion_.

Voluntary service on the part of servants would have been in keeping
with regulations which abounded in the Mosaic system and sustained by a
multitude of analogies. Compulsory service on the other hand, could have
harmonized with nothing, and would have been the solitary disturbing
force, marring its design, counteracting its tendencies, and confusing
and falsifying its types. The directions given to regulate the
performance of service for the _public_, lay great stress on the
_willingness_ of those employed to perform it. For the spirit and usages
that obtained under the Mosaic system in this respect, see 1 Chron.
xxviii. 21; Ex. xxxv. 5, 21, 22, 29; 1 Chron. xxix. 5, 6, 9, 14, 17; Ex.
xxv. 2; Judges v. 2; Lev. xxii. 29; 2 Chron. xxxv. 8; Ezra i. 6; Ex.
xxxv; Neh. xi. 2.[A]

[Footnote A: We should naturally infer that the directions which
regulated the rendering of service to individuals, would proceed upon
the same principle in this respect with those which regulated the
rendering of service to the _public_. Otherwise the Mosaic system,
instead of constituting in its different parts a harmonious _whole_,
would be divided against itself; its principles counteracting and
nullifying each other.]

Again, the voluntariness of servants is a natural inference from the
fact that the Hebrew word _ebedh,_ uniformly rendered _servant_, is
applied to a great variety of classes and descriptions of persons under
the patriarchal and Jewish dispensations, _all of whom_ were voluntary
and most of them eminently so. For instance, it is applied to persons
rendering acts of _worship_ about seventy times, whereas it is applied
to _servants_ not more than half that number of times.

To this we may add, that the illustrations drawn from the condition and
service of _servants_ and the ideas which the term servant is employed
to convey when applied figuratively to moral subjects would, in most
instances, lose all their force, and often become absurdities if the
will of the servant _resisted_ his service, and he performed it only by
_compulsion_. Many passages will at once occur to those who are familiar
with the Bible. We give a single example. "_To whom YE YIELD YOURSELVES
servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey._" Rom. vi. 16. It
would hardly be possible to assert the voluntariness of servants more
strongly in a direct proposition than it is here asserted by
implication.



III. WERE SERVANTS FORCED TO WORK WITHOUT PAY

As the servants became and continued such of _their own accord_, it
would be no small marvel if they _chose_ to work without pay. Their
becoming servants, pre-supposes _compensation_ as a motive. That they
_were paid_ for their labor, we argue.

1. BECAUSE GOD REBUKED THE USING OF SERVICE WITHOUT WAGES. "Wo unto him
that buildeth his house by unrighteousness, and his chambers by wrong;
THAT USETH HIS NEIGHBOR'S SERVICE WITHOUT WAGES, AND GIVETH HIM NOT FOR
HIS WORK." Jer. xxii. 13. The Hebrew word _rea_, translated _neighbor_,
means any one with whom we have to do--all descriptions of persons, even
those who prosecute us in lawsuits, and enemies while in the act of
fighting us--"As when a man riseth against his NEIGHBOR and slayeth
him." Deut. xxii. 26. "Go not forth hastily to strive, lest thou know
not what to do in the end thereof, when thy NEIGHBOR hath put thee to
shame." Prov. xxv. 8. "Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy
NEIGHBOR." Ex. xx. 16. "If a man come presumptuously upon his NEIGHBOR
to slay him with guile." Ex. xxi. 14, &c. The doctrine plainly
inculcated in this passage is, that every man's labor, or "service,"
being his own property, he is entitled to the profit of it, and that for
another to "use" it without paying him the value of it, is
"unrighteousness." The last clause of the verse "and giveth him not for
his work," reaffirms the same principle, that every man is to be _paid_
for "his work." In the context, the prophet contrasts the
unrighteousness of those who used the labor of others without pay, with
the justice and equity practiced by their patriarchal ancestor toward
the poor. "Did not thy father eat and drink and _do judgment and
justice_, and then it was well with him. He _judged the cause of the
poor and needy_; then it was well with him. But thine eyes and thine
heart are not but for thy _covetousness_, and for to shed innocent
blood, and for _oppression_, and for violence to do it." Jer. xxii. 15,
16. 17.[A]

[Footnote A: Paul lays down the same principle in the form of a precept
"Masters give unto your servants that which is JUST and EQUAL." Col. iv.
1. Thus not only asserting the _right_ of the servant to an equivalent
for his labor, and the duty of the master to render it, but condemning
all those relations between master and servant which were not founded
upon justice and equality of rights. The apostle James enforces the same
principle. "Behold, the hire of the laborers, who have reaped down your
fields, which is of you kept back _by fraud_, crieth." James v. 4. As
though he had said, "wages are the _right_ of laborers; those who work
for you have a just claim on you for _pay_; this you refuse to render,
and thus _defraud_ them by keeping from them what _belongs_ to them."
See also Mal. iii 5.]

II. GOD TESTIFIES THAT IN OUR DUTY TO OUR FELLOW MEN, ALL THE LAW AND
THE PROPHETS HANG UPON THIS COMMAND, "THOU SHALT LOVE THY NEIGHBOR AS
THYSELF." Our Savior, in giving this command, quoted _verbatim_ one of
the laws of the Mosaic system. Lev. xix. 18. In the 34th verse of the
same chapter, Moses applies this law to the treatment of strangers, "The
stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you,
and THOU SHALT LOVE HIM AS THYSELF." If it be loving others as
ourselves, to make them work for us without pay; to rob them of food and
clothing also, would be a stronger illustration still of the law of
love! _Super_-disinterested benevolence! And if it be doing unto others
as we would have them do to us, to make them work for _our own_ good
alone, Paul should be called to order for his hard sayings against human
nature, especially for that libellous matter in Eph. v. 29, "No man ever
yet hated his own flesh, but nourisheth it and cherisheth it."

III. SERVANTS WERE OFTEN WEALTHY. As persons became servants FROM
POVERTY, we argue that they were compensated, since they frequently
owned property, and sometimes a large amount. Ziba, the servant of
Mephibosheth, gave David "Two hundred loaves of bread, and a hundred
bunches of raisins, and a hundred of summer fruits, and a bottle of
wine." 2 Sam. xvi. 1. The extent of his possessions can be inferred from
the fact, that though the father of fifteen sons, he had twenty
servants. In Lev. xxv. 47-49, where a servant, reduced to poverty, sold
himself, it is declared that he may be _redeemed,_ either by his
kindred, or by HIMSELF. Having been forced to sell himself from poverty,
he must have acquired considerable property _after_ he became a servant.
If it had not been common for servants to acquire property over which
they had the control, the servant of Elisha would hardly have ventured
to take a large sum of money, (nearly $3000[A]) from Naaman, 2 Kings v.
22, 23. As it was procured by deceit, he wished to conceal the means
used in getting it; but if servants could "own nothing, nor acquire
anything," to embark in such an enterprise would have been consummate
stupidity. The fact of having in his possession two talents of silver,
would of itself convict him of theft.[B] But since it was common for
servants to own property, he might have it, and invest or use it,
without attracting special attention, and that consideration alone would
have been a strong motive to the act. His master, though he rebuked him
for using such means to get the money, not only does not take it from
him, but seems to expect that he would invest it in real estate, and
cattle, and would procure servants with it. 2 Kings v. 26. We find the
servant of Saul having money, and relieving his master in an emergency.
1 Sam. ix. 8. Arza, the servant of Elah, was the _owner of a house_.
That it was somewhat magnificent, would be a natural inference from its
being a resort of the king. 1 Kings xvi. 9. When Jacob became the
servant of Laban, it was evidently from poverty, yet Laban said to him,
Tell me "what shall thy _wages_ be?" After Jacob had been his servant
for ten years, he proposed to set up for himself, but Laban said
"Appoint me thy wages and I will give it," and he paid him his price.
During the twenty years that Jacob was a servant, he always worked for
wages and at his own price. Gen. xxix. 15, 18; xxx. 28-33. The case of
the Gibeonites, who, after becoming servants, still occupied their
cities, and remained in many respects, a distinct people for
centuries;[C] and that of the 150,000 Canaanites, the _servants_ of
Solomon, who worked out their "tribute of bond-service" in levies,
periodically relieving each other, are additional illustrations of
independence in the acquisition and ownership of property.

[Footnote A: Though we have not sufficient data to decide upon the
_relative_ value of that sum, _then_ and now, yet we have enough to
warrant us in saying that two talents of silver, had far more value
_then_ than three thousand dollars have _now_.]


[Footnote B: Whoever heard of the slaves in our southern states stealing
a large amount of money? They _"know how to take care of themselves"_
quite too well for that. When they steal, they are careful to do it on
such a small scale, or in the taking of _such things_ as will make
detection difficult. No doubt they steal now and then, and a gaping
marvel would it be if they did not. Why should they not follow in the
footsteps of their masters and mistresses? Dull scholars indeed! if,
after so many lessons from _proficients_ in the art, who drive the
business by _wholesale_, they should not occasionally copy their
betters, fall into the _fashion_, and try their hand in a small way, at
a practice which is the _only permanent and universal_ business carried
on around them! Ignoble truly! never to feel the stirrings of high
impulse, prompting to imitate the eminent pattern set before them in the
daily vocation of "Honorables" and "Excellencies," and to emulate the
illustrious examples of Doctors of Divinity, and _Right_ and _Very
Reverends!_ Hear President Jefferson's testimony. In his Notes on
Virginia, pp. 207-8, speaking of slaves, he says, "That disposition to
theft with which they have been branded, must be ascribed to their
_situation_, and not to any special depravity of the moral sense. It is
a problem which I give the master to solve, whether the religious
precepts against the violation of property were not framed for HIM as
well as for his slave--and whether the slave may not as justifiably take
a _little_ from one who has taken ALL from him, as he may _slay_ one who
would slay him?"]


[Footnote C: The Nethinims, which name was afterwards given to the
Gibeonites on account of their being _set apart_ for the service of the
tabernacle, had their own houses and cities and "dwelt every one in his
own possession." Neh. xi. 3. 21; Ezra ii. 70; 1 Chron. ix. 2.]

Again. The Israelites often _hired_ servants from the strangers. Deut.
xxiv. 17.

Since then it is certain that they gave wages to a part of their
Canaanitish servants, thus recognizing their _right_ to a reward for
their labor, we infer that they did not rob the rest of their earnings.

If God gave them a license to make the strangers work for them without
pay--if this was good and acceptable in His sight, and _right and just
in itself_, they must have been great fools to have wasted their money
by paying wages when they could have saved it, by making the strangers
do all their work for nothing! Besides, by refusing to avail themselves
of this "Divine license," they despised the blessing and cast contempt
on the giver! But far be it from us to do the Israelites injustice;
perhaps they seized all the Canaanites they could lay their hands on,
and forced them to work without pay, but not being able to catch enough
to do their work, were obliged to offer wages in order to eke out the
supply!

The parable of our Lord, contained in Mat. xviii. 23-34, not only
derives its significance from the fact, that servants can both _own_ and
_owe_ and _earn_ property, over which they had the control, but would be
made a medley of contradictions on any other supposition.--1. Their lord
at a set time proceeded to "take account" and "reckon" with his
servants; the phraseology itself showing that the relations between the
parties, were those of debt and credit. 2. As the reckoning went on, one
of his servants was found to _owe_ him ten thousand talents. From the
fact that the servant _owed_ this to his master, we naturally infer,
that he must have been at some time, and in some way, the responsible
_owner_ of that amount, or of its substantial equivalent. Not that he
had had that amount put into his hands to invest, or disburse, in his
master's name, merely as his _agent_, for in that case no claim of
_debt_ for value received would lie, but, that having sustained the
responsibilities of legal _proprietorship_, he was under the liabilities
resulting therefrom. 3. Not having on hand wherewith to pay, he says to
his master "have patience with me _and I will pay thee all_." If the
servant had been his master's _property_, his time and earnings belonged
to the master as a matter of course, hence the promise to earn and pay
over that amount, was virtually saying to his master, "I will take money
out of your pocket with which to pay my debt to you," thus adding insult
to injury. The promise of the servant to pay the debt on condition that
the time for payment should be postponed, not only proceeds upon the
fact that his time was his own, that he was constantly earning property
or in circumstances that enabled him to earn it, and that he was the
_proprietor_ of his earnings, but that his master had _full knowledge_
of that fact.--In a word, the supposition that the master was the
_owner_ of the servant, would annihilate all legal claim upon him for
value received, and that the servant was the _property_ of the master,
would absolve him from all obligations of debt, or rather would always
_forestall_ such obligations--for the relations of owner and creditor in
such case, would annihilate each other, as would those of _property_ and
_debtor_. The fact that the same servant was the creditor of one of his
fellow servants, who owed him a considerable sum, and that at last he
was imprisoned until he should pay all that was due to his master, are
additional corroborations of the same point.

IV. HEIRSHIP.--Servants frequently inherited their master's property;
especially if he had no sons, or if they had dishonored the family.
Eliezer, the servant of Abraham, Gen. xv. 23; Ziba, the servant of
Mephibosheth; Jarha, the servant of Sheshan, who married his daughter,
and thus became his heir, he having no sons, and the _husbandmen_ who
said of their master's son, "this is the HEIR, let us kill him, and the
INHERITANCE WILL BE OURS," are illustrations; also Prov. xxx. 23, an
_handmaid_ (or _maid-servant_,) that is _heir_ to her mistress; also
Prov. xvii. 2--"A wise servant shall have rule over a son that causeth
shame, and SHALL HAVE PART OF THE INHERITANCE AMONG THE BRETHREN." This
passage gives servants precedence as heirs, even over the wives and
daughters of their masters. Did masters hold by force, and plunder of
earnings, a class of persons, from which, in frequent contingencies,
they selected both heirs for their property, and husbands for their
daughters?

V. ALL WERE REQUIRED TO PRESENT OFFERINGS AND SACRIFICES. Deut. xvi. 16,
17; 2 Chron. xv. 9-11; Numb. ix. 13, 14. Beside this, "every man" from
twenty years old and above, was required to pay a tax of half a shekel
at the taking of the census; this is called "an offering unto the Lord
to make an atonement for their souls." Ex. xxx. 12-16. See also Ex.
xxxiv. 20. Servants must have had permanently the means of _acquiring_
property to meet these expenditures.

VI. SERVANTS WHO WENT OUT AT THE SEVENTH YEAR, WERE "FURNISHED
LIBERALLY." Deut. xv. 10-14. "Thou shalt furnish him liberally out of
thy flock, and out of thy floor, and out of thy wine press, of that
wherewith the Lord thy God hath blessed thee, thou shalt give him."[A]
If it be said that the servants from the Strangers did not receive a
like bountiful supply, we answer, neither did the most honorable class
of _Israelitish_ servants, the free-holders; and for the same reason,
_they did not go out in the seventh year,_ but continued until the
jubilee. If the fact that the Gentile servants did not receive such a
_gratuity_ proves that they were robbed of their _earnings_, it proves
that the most valued class of _Hebrew_ servants were robbed of theirs
also; a conclusion too stubborn for even pro-slavery masticators,
however unscrupulous.

[Footnote A: The comment of Maimonides on this passage is as
follows--"'Thou shalt furnish him liberally,' &c. That is to say,
_'Loading, ye shall load him,'_ likewise every one of his family with as
much as he can take with him--abundant benefits. And if it be
avariciously asked, 'How much must I give him?' I say unto _you, not
less than thirty shekels,_ which is the valuation of a servant, as
declared in Ex. xxi. 32."--Maimonides, Hilcoth Obedim, Chap. ii. Sec.
3.]

VII. SERVANTS WERE BOUGHT. In other words, they received compensation in
advance.[A] Having shown, under a previous head, that servants _sold
themselves_, and of course received the compensation for themselves,
except in cases where parents hired out the time of their children till
they became of age,[B] a mere reference to the fact is all that is
required for the purposes of this argument. As all the strangers in the
land were required to pay an annual tribute to the government, the
Israelites might often "buy" them as family servants, by stipulating
with them to pay their annual tribute. This assumption of their
obligations to the government might cover the whole of the servant's
time of service, or a part of it, at the pleasure of the parties.

[Footnote A: But, says the objector, if servants received their pay in
advance, and if the Israelites were forbidden to surrender the fugitive
to his master, it would operate practically as a bounty offered to all
servants who would leave their master's service encouraging them to make
contracts, get their pay in advance and then run away, thus cheating
their masters out of their money as well as their own services.--We
answer, the prohibition, Deut xxiii. 15. 16, "Thou shalt not deliver
unto his master," &c., sets the servant free from his _authority_ and of
course, from all those liabilities of injury, to which _as his servant_,
he was subjected, but not from the obligation of legal contracts. If the
servant had received pay in advance, and had not rendered an equivalent
for this "value received," he was not absolved from his obligation to do
so, but he was absolved from all obligations to pay his master in _that
particular way_, that is, _by working for him as his servant_.]


[Footnote B: Among the Israelites, girls became of age at twelve, and
boys at thirteen years.]

VIII. THE RIGHT OF SERVANTS TO COMPENSATION IS RECOGNISED IN Ex. xxi.
27. "And if he smite out his man-servant's, or his maid-servant's tooth,
he shall let him go free for his tooth's sake." This regulation is
manifestly based upon the _right_ of the servant to the _use_ of himself
and all this powers, faculties and personal conveniences, and
consequently his just claim for remuneration, upon him, who should
however _unintentionally_, deprive him of the use even of the least of
them. If the servant had a right to his _tooth_ and the use _of_ it,
upon the same principle, he had a right to the rest of his body and the
use of it. If he had a right to the _fraction_, and if it was his to
hold, to use, and to have pay for; he had a right to the _sum total_,
and it was his to hold, to use, and to have pay for.

IX. WE FIND MASTERS AT ONE TIME HAVING A LARGE NUMBER OF SERVANTS, AND
AFTERWARDS NONE, WITH NO INTIMATION IN ANY CASE THAT THEY WERE SOLD. The
wages of servants would enable them to set up in business for
themselves. Jacob, after being Laban's servant for twenty-one years,
became thus an independent herdsman, and had many servants. Gen. xxx.
43; xxxii. 16. But all these servants had left him before he went down
into Egypt, having doubtless acquired enough to commence business for
themselves. Gen. xlv. 10, 11; xlvi. 1-7, 32. The case of Ziba, the
servant of Mephibosheth, who had twenty servants, has been already
mentioned.

X. GOD'S TESTIMONY TO THE CHARACTER OF ABRAHAM. Gen. xviii. 19. "For I
know him that he will command his children and his household after him,
and they shall keep THE WAY OF THE LORD TO DO JUSTICE AND JUDGMENT." God
here testifies that Abraham taught his servants "the way of the Lord."
What was the "way of the Lord" respecting the payment of wages where
service was rendered? "Wo unto him that useth this neighbor's service
WITHOUT WAGES!" Jer. xxii. 13. "Masters, give unto your servants that
which is JUST AND EQUAL." Col. iv. 1. "Render unto all their DUES." Rom.
xiii. 7. "The laborer is WORTHY of HIS HIRE." Luke x. 7. How did Abraham
teach his servants to "_do justice_" to others? By doing injustice to
_them_? Did he exhort them to "render to all their dues" by keeping back
_their own_? Did he teach them that "the laborer was worthy of his hire"
by robbing them of _theirs_? Did he beget in them a reverence for
honesty by pilfering all their time and labor? Did he teach them "not to
defraud" others "in any matter" by denying _them_ "what was just and
equal?" If each of Abraham's pupils under such a catechism did not
become a very _Aristides_ in justice, then illustrious examples,
patriarchal dignity, and _practical_ lessons, can make but slow headway
against human perverseness!

XI. SPECIFIC PRECEPTS OF THE MOSAIC LAW ENFORCING GENERAL PRINCIPLES.
Out of many, we select the following: (1.) "Thou shalt not muzzle the ox
when he treadeth out the corn." Deut. xxv. 4. Here is a general
principle applied to a familiar case. The ox representing all domestic
animals. Isa. xxx. 24. A _particular_ kind of service, _all_ kinds; and
a law requiring an abundant provision for the wants of an animal
ministering to man in a _certain_ way,--a general principle of treatment
covering all times, modes, and instrumentalities of service. The object
of the law was; not merely to enjoin tenderness towards brutes, but to
inculcate the duty of rewarding those who serve us; and if such care be
enjoined, by God, both for the ample sustenance and present enjoyment of
_a brute_, what would be a meet return for the services of _man?_--MAN
with his varied wants, exalted nature and immortal destiny! Paul says
expressly, that this principle lies at the bottom of the statute. 1 Cor.
ix. 9, 10, "For it is written in the law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle
the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for
oxen? Or saith he it altogether for OUR sakes? that he that ploweth
should plow in HOPE, and that he that thresheth in hope should be
PARTAKER OF HIS HOPE." In the context, Paul innumerates the four grand
divisions of labor among the Jews in illustration of the principle that
the laborer, whatever may be the service he performs, is entitled to a
_reward_. The priests, Levites and all engaged in sacred things--the
military, those who tended flocks and herds, and those who cultivated
the soil. As the latter employment engaged the great body of the
Israelites, the Apostle amplifies his illustration under that head by
much detail--and enumerates the five great departments of agricultural
labor among the Jews--vine-dressing, plowing, sowing, reaping and
threshing, as the representatives of universal labor. In his epistle to
Timothy. 1 Tim. v. 18. Paul quotes again this precept of the Mosaic law,
and connects with it the declaration of our Lord. Luke x. 7. "The
laborer is worthy of his hire,"--as both inculcating the _same_
doctrine, that he who labors, whatever the employment, or whoever the
laborer, is entitled to a reward. The Apostle thus declares the
principle of right respecting the performance of service for others, and
the rule of duty towards those who perform it, to be the same under both
dispensations. (2.) "If thy brother be waxen poor, and fallen in decay
with thee, then thou shalt relieve him, YEA THOUGH HE BE A STRANGER or a
SOJOURNER that he may live with thee. Take thou no usury of him, or
increase, but fear thy God. Thou shalt not give him thy money upon
usury, nor lend him thy victuals for increase." Lev. xxv. 35-37. Now, we
ask, by what process of pro-slavery legerdemain, this regulation can be
made to harmonize with the doctrine of WORK WITHOUT PAY? Did God declare
the poor stranger entitled to RELIEF, and in the same breath, authorize
them to "use his service without wages;" force him to work and ROB HIM
OF HIS EARNINGS?



IV.--WERE MASTERS THE PROPRIETORS OF SERVANTS AS LEGAL PROPERTY?

This topic has been unavoidably somewhat anticipated, in the foregoing
discussion, but a variety of additional considerations remain to be
noticed.

I. SERVANTS WERE NOT SUBJECTED TO THE USES NOR LIABLE TO THE
CONTINGENCIES OF PROPERTY. 1 _They were never taken in payment for their
masters' debts_. Children were sometimes taken (without legal authority)
for the debts of a father. 2 Kings iv. 1; Job xxiv. 9; Isa. l. 1; Matt.
xviii. 25. Creditors took from debtors property of all kinds, to satisfy
their demands. Job xxiv. 3, cattle are taken; Prov. xxii. 27, household
furniture; Lev. xxv. 25-28, the productions of the soil; Lev. xxv.
27-30, houses; Ex. xxii. 26, 27; Deut. xxiv. 10-13; Matt. v. 40,
clothing; but _servants_ were taken in _no instance_. 2. _Servants were
never given as pledges_. _Property_ of all sorts was pledged for value
received; household furniture, clothing, cattle, money, signets,
personal ornaments, &c., but no servants. 3. _Servants were not put into
the hands of others, or consigned to their keeping_. The precept giving
directions how to proceed in a case where property that has life is
delivered to another "to keep," and "it die or be hurt or driven away,"
enumerates oxen, asses, sheep or "any _beast_," but not "_servants_."
Ex. xxii. 10. 4. _All lost property was to be restored_. Oxen, asses,
sheep, raiment, and "all lost things," are specified--servants _not_.
Deut. xxii 1-3. Besides, the Israelites were forbidden to return the
runaway servant. Deut. xxiii, 15. 5. _Servants were not sold_. When by
flagrant misconduct, unfaithfulness or from whatever cause, they had
justly forfeited their privilege of membership in an Israelitish family,
they were not sold, but _expelled_ from the household. Luke xvi. 2-4; 2
Kings v. 20, 27; Gen. xxi. 14. 6 _The Israelites never received servants
as tribute_. At different times all the nations round about them were
their tributaries and paid them annually large amounts. They received
property of all kinds in payment of tribute. Gold, silver, brass, iron,
precious stone, and vessels, armor, spices, raiment, harness, horses,
mules, sheep, goats, &c., are in various places enumerated, but
_servants_, never. 7. _The Israelites never gave away their servants as
presents_. They made costly presents, of great variety. Lands, houses,
all kinds of domestic animals, beds, merchandize, family utensils,
precious metals, grain, honey, butter, cheese, fruits, oil, wine,
raiment, armor, &c., are among their recorded _gifts_. Giving presents
to superiors and persons of rank, was a standing usage. 1 Sam. x. 27;
xvi. 20; 2 Chron. xvii. 5. Abraham to Abimelech, Gen. xxi. 27; Jacob to
the viceroy of Egypt, Gen. xliii. 11; Joseph to his brethren and father,
Gen. xlv. 22, 23; Benhadad to Elisha, 2 Kings viii. 8, 9; Ahaz to
Tiglath Pilezer, 2 Kings vi. 8; Solomon to the Queen of Sheba, 1 Kings
x. 13; Jeroboam to Ahijah, 1 Kings xiv. 3; Asa to Benhadad, 1 Kings xv.
18, 19. Abigail the wife of Nabal to David, 1 Sam. xxv. 18. David to the
elders of Judah, 1 Sam. xxx. 26. Jehoshaphat to his sons, 2. Chron. xxi.
3. The Israelites to David, 1. Chron. xii. 39, 40. Shobi Machir and
Barzillai to David, 2 Sam. xvii. 28, 29. But no servants were given as
presents, though it was a prevailing fashion in the surrounding nations.
Gen. xii. 16, xx. 14. In the last passage we are told that Abimelech
king of the Philistines "took sheep and oxen and men servants and women
servants and gave them unto Abraham." Not long after this Abraham made
Abimelech a present, the same kind with that which he had received from
him except that he gave him _no servants_. "And Abraham took sheep and
oxen and gave them unto Abimelech." Gen. xxi. 27. It may be objected
that Laban "GAVE" handmaids to his daughters, Jacob's wives. Without
enlarging on the nature of the polygamy then prevalent, suffice it to
say that the handmaids of wives were regarded as wives, though of
inferior dignity and authority. That Jacob so regarded his handmaids, is
proved by his curse upon Reuben, Gen. xlix. 4, and 1 Chron. v. 1; also
by the equality of their children with those of Rachel and Leah. But had
it been otherwise--had Laban given them as _articles of property_, then,
indeed, the example of this "good old slaveholder and patriarch," Saint
Laban, would have been a forecloser to all argument. Ah! we remember his
jealousy for _religion_--his holy indignation when he found that his
"GODS" were stolen! How he mustered his clan, and plunged over the
desert in hot pursuit seven days by forced marches; how he ransacked a
whole caravan, sifting the contents of every tent, little heeding such
small matters as domestic privacy, or female seclusion, for lo! the zeal
of his "IMAGES" had eaten him up! No wonder that slavery, in its
Bible-navigation, drifting dismantled before the free gusts, should scud
under the lee of such a pious worthy to haul up and refit; invoking his
protection, and the benediction, of his "GODS!" Again, it may be
objected that, servants were enumerated in inventories of property. If
that proves _servants_ property, it proves _wives_ property. "Thou shall
not covet thy neighbor's house, thou shall not covet thy neighbor's
WIFE, nor his man-servant, nor his maid-servant, nor his ox, nor his
ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbor's." Ex. xx. 17. In inventories
of mere property, if servants are included, it is in such a way as to
show that they are not regarded as property. Eccl. ii. 7, 8. But when
the design is to show, not merely the wealth, but the _greatness_ and
_power_ of any one, servants are spoken of, as well as property. In a
word, if _riches_ alone are spoken of, no mention is made of servants;
if _greatness_, servants and property. Gen. xiii. 2, 5. "And Abraham was
very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold." Yet we are told, in the
verse preceding, that he came up out of Egypt "with _all_ that he had."
"And Lot also had flocks, and herds, and tents." In the seventh verse
servants are mentioned, "And there was a strife between the HERDMEN of
Abraham's cattle and the HERDMEN of Lot's cattle." It is said of Isaac.
"And the man waxed _great_, and went forward, and grew until he became
_very great_. For he had possession of flocks, and possession of herds,
and _great store of servants_." In immediate connection with this we
find Abimelech the king of the Philistines saying to him. "Thou art much
_mightier_ than we." Shortly after this avowal, Isaac is waited upon by
a deputation consisting of Abimelech, Phicol the chief captain of his
army, and Ahuzzath, who says to him "Let there be now an oath betwixt us
and thee, and let us make a covenant with thee, that thou wilt _do us no
hurt_." Gen. xxvi. 13, 14, 16, 26, 28, 29.--A plain concession of the
_power_ which Isaac had both for aggression and defence in his "great
store of _servants_;" that is, of willing and affectionate adherents to
him as a just and benevolent prince. When Hamor and Shechem speak to the
Hivites of the _riches_ of Abraham and his sons, they say, "Shall not
their _cattle_ and their _substance_ and _every beast of theirs_ be
ours?" Gen. xxxiv. 23. See also Josh. xxii. 8; Gen. xxxiv. 23; Job.
xlii. 12; 2 Chron. xxi. 3; xxxii. 27-29; Job. i. 3-5; Deut. viii. 12-17;
Gen. xxiv. 35; xxvi. 13; xxx. 43. Jacob's wives say to him, "All the
_riches_ which God has taken from our father that is ours and our
children's." Then follows an inventory of property--"All his cattle,"
"all his goods," "the cattle of his getting." His numerous servants are
not included with his property. Comp. Gen. xxx. 43, with Gen. xxxi.
16-18. When Jacob sent messengers to Esau, wishing to impress him with
an idea of his state and sway, he bade them tell him not only of his
RICHES, but of his GREATNESS; that he had "oxen, and asses, and flocks,
and men-servants, and maid-servants." Gen. xxxii. 4, 5. Yet in the
present which he sent, there were no servants; though he manifestly
selected the _most valuable_ kinds of property. Gen. xxxii. 14, 15; see
also Gen. xxxvi. 6, 7; xxxiv. 23. As flocks and herds were the staples
of wealth, a large number of servants presupposed large possessions of
cattle, which would require many herdsmen. When Jacob and his sons went
down into Egypt it is repeatedly asserted that they took _all that they
had_. "Their cattle and their goods which they had gotten in the land of
Canaan," "Their flocks and their herds" are mentioned, but no
_servants_. And as we have besides a full catalogue of the _household_,
we know that he took with him no servants. That Jacob _had_ many
servants before his migration into Egypt, we learn from Gen, xxx. 43;
xxxii. 5, 16, 19. That he was not the _proprietor_ of these servants as
his property is a probable inference from the fact that he did not take
them with him, since we are expressly told that he did take all his
_property_. Gen. xlv. 10; xlvi. 1, 32; xlvii. 1. When servants are
spoken of in connection with _mere property_, the terms used to express
the latter do not include the former. The Hebrew word _mikne_, is an
illustration. It is derived from _kana_, to procure, to buy, and its
meaning is, a _possession, wealth, riches_. It occurs more than forty
times in the Old Testament, and is applied always to _mere property_,
generally to domestic animals, but never to servants. In some instances,
servants are mentioned in distinction from the _mikne_. "And Abraham
took Sarah his wife, and Lot his brother's son, and all their SUBSTANCE
that they had gathered; and the souls that they had gotten in Haran, and
they went forth to go into the land of Canaan." Gen. xii. 5. Many will
have it, that these _souls_ were a part of Abraham's _substance_
(notwithstanding the pains here taken to separate them from it)--that
they were slaves taken with him in his migration as a part of his family
effects. Who but slaveholders, either actually or in heart, would
torture into the principle and practice of slavery, such a harmless
phrase as "_the souls that they had gotten?_" Until the African slave
trade breathed its haze into the eyes of the church and smote her with
palsy and decay, commentators saw no slavery in, "The souls that they
had gotten." In the Targum of Onkelos[A] it is rendered, "The souls whom
they had brought to obey the law in Haran." In the Targum of Jonathan,
"The souls whom they had made proselytes in Haran." In the Targum of
Jerusalem, "The souls proselyted in Haran." Jarchi, the prince of Jewish
commentators, "The souls whom they had brought under the Divine wings."
Jerome, one of the most learned of the Christian fathers, "The persons
whom they had proselyted." The Persian version, the Vulgate, the Syriac,
the Arabic, and the Samaritan all render it, "All the wealth which they
had gathered, and the souls which they had made in Haran." Menochius, a
commentator who wrote before our present translation of the Bible,
renders it, "Quas de idolatraria converterant." "Those whom they had
converted from idolatry." Paulus Fagius,[B] "Quas instituerant in
religione." "Those whom they had established in religion." Luke Francke,
a German commentator who lived two centuries ago, "Quas legi
subjicerant."--"Those whom they had brought to obey the law." The same
distinction is made between _persons_ and property, in the enumeration
of Esau's household and the inventory of his effects. "And Esau took his
wives and his sons and his daughters, and all the _persons_ of his
house, and his cattle, and all his beasts, and all his _substance_ which
he had got in the land of Canaan, and went into the country from the
face of his brother Jacob. For their _riches_ were more than that they
might dwell together; and the land could not bear them because of their
_cattle_." Gen. xxxvi. 6, 7.

[Footnote A: The Targums are Chaldee paraphrases of parts of the Old
Testament. The Targum of Onkelos is, for the most part, a very accurate
and faithful translation of the original, and was probably made at about
the commencement of the Christian era. The Targum of Jonathan Ben
Uzziel, bears about the same date. The Targum of Jerusalem was probably
about five hundred years later. The Israelites, during their captivity
in Babylon, lost, as a body, their own language. These translations into
the Chaldee, the language which they acquired in Babylon, were thus
called for by the necessity of the case.]


[Footnote B: This eminent Hebrew scholar was invited to England to
superintend the translation of the Bible into English, under the
patronage of Henry the Eighth. He had hardly commenced the work when he
died. This was nearly a century before the date of our present
translation.]

II. THE CONDITION AND SOCIAL ESTIMATION OF SERVANTS MAKE THE DOCTRINE
THAT THEY WERE COMMODITIES, AN ABSURDITY. As the head of a Jewish family
possessed the same power over his wife, children, and grandchildren (if
they were in his family) as over his servants, if the latter were
articles of property, the former were equally such. If there were
nothing else in the Mosaic Institutes or history establishing the social
equality of the servants with their masters and their master's wives and
children, those precepts which required that they should be guests at
all the public feasts, and equal participants in the family and social
rejoicings, would be quite sufficient to settle the question. Deut. xii.
12, 18; xvi. 10, 11, 13, 14. Ex. xii. 43, 44. St. Paul's testimony in
Gal. iv. 1, shows the condition of servants: "Now I say unto you, that
the heir, so long as he is a child, DIFFERETH NOTHING FROM A SERVANT,
though he be lord of all." That the interests of Abraham's servants were
identified with those of their master's family, and that the utmost
confidence was reposed in them, is shown in their being armed. Gen. xiv.
14, 15. When Abraham's servant went to Padanaram, the young Princess
Rebecca did not disdain to say to him. "Drink, MY LORD," as "she hasted
and let down her pitcher upon her hand, and gave him drink." Laban, the
brother of Rebecca, "ungirded his camels, and brought him water to wash
his feet, and the men's feet that were with him!" In the arrangements of
Jacob's household on his journey from Padanaram to Canaan, we find his
two maid servants treated in the same manner and provided with the same
accommodations as Rachel and Leah. Each of them had a separate tent
appropriated to her use. Gen. xxxi. 33. The social equality of servants
with their masters and other members of their master's families, is an
obvious deduction from Ex. xxi. 7, 10, from which we learn that the sale
of a young Jewish female as a servant, was also _betrothed as a wife_,
either to her master, or to one of his sons. In 1 Sam. ix. is an account
of a festival in the city of Zuph, at which Samuel presided. None but
those bidden, sat down at the feast, and only "about thirty persons"
were invited. Quite a select party!--the elite of the city. Saul and his
servant had just arrived at Zuph, and _both_ of them, at Samuel's
solicitation, accompany him as invited guests. "And Samuel took Saul and
his SERVANT, and brought THEM into the PARLOR (!) and made THEM sit in
the CHIEFEST SEATS among those that were bidden." A _servant_ invited by
the chief judge, ruler, and prophet in Israel, to dine publicly with a
select party, in company with his master, who was at the same time
anointed King of Israel! and this servant introduced by Samuel into the
PARLOR, and assigned, with his master, to the _chiefest seat_ at the
table! This was "_one_ of the servants" of Kish, Saul's father; not the
steward or the chief of them--not at all a _picked_ man, but "_one_ of
the servants;" _any_ one that could be most easily spared, as no
endowments specially rare would be likely to find scope in looking after
asses. David seems to have been for a time in all respects a servant in
Saul's family. He "_stood before him_." "And Saul sent to Jesse, saying,
let David, I pray thee, _stand before me_." He was Saul's personal
servant, went on his errands, played on the harp for his amusement, bore
his armor for him, and when he wished to visit his parents, asked
permission of Jonathan, Saul's son. Saul also calls him "my servant." 1
Sam. xvi. 21-23; xviii. 5; xx. 5, 6; xxii. 8. Yet David sat with the
king at meat, married his daughter, and lived on terms of the closest
intimacy with the heir apparent of the throne. Abimelech, who was first
elected king of Shechem, and afterwards reigned over all Israel, _was
the son of a_ MAID-SERVANT. His mother's family seems to have been of
much note in the city of Shechem, where her brothers manifestly held
great sway. Judg. ix. 1-6, 18. Jarha, an Egyptian, the servant of
Sheshan, married his daughter. Tobiah, "the servant" and an Ammonite
married the daughter of Shecaniah one of the chief men among the Jews in
Jerusalem and was the intimate associate of Sanballat the governor of
the Samaritans. We find Elah, the King of Israel, at a festive
entertainment, in the house of Arza, his steward, or head servant, with
whom he seems to have been on terms of familiarity. 1 Kings xvi. 8, 9.
See also the intercourse between Gideon and his servants. Judg. vi. 27,
and vii. 10, 11. The Levite of Mount Ephraim and his servant. Judg. xx.
3, 9, 11, 13, 19, 21, 22. King Saul and his servant Doeg, one of his
herdmen. 1 Sam. xx. 1, 7; xxii. 9, 18, 22. King David and Ziba, the
servant of Mephibosheth. 2 Sam. xvi. 1-4. Jonathan and his servant. 1
Sam. xiv. 1-14. Elisha and his servant, Gehazi. 2 Kings iv. v. vi. Also
between Joram king of Israel and the servant of Elisha. 2 Kings viii. 4,
5, and between Naaman "the Captain of the host of the king of Syria" and
the same person. 2 Kings v. 21-23. The fact stated under a previous head
that servants were always invited guests at public and social festivals,
is in perfect keeping with the foregoing exemplifications of the
prevalent estimation in which servants were held by the Israelites.

Probably no one of the Old Testament patriarchs had more servants than
Job; "This man was the greatest man of all the men of the east." Job, i.
3. We are not left in the dark as to the condition of his servants.
After asserting his integrity, his strict justice, honesty, and equity,
in his dealings with his fellow men, and declaring "I delivered the
poor," "I was eyes to the blind and feet was I to the lame," "I was a
father to the poor, and the cause which I knew not I searched out," * *
* he says "If I did despise the cause of my man-servant or my
maid-servant when they CONTENDED with me * * * then let mine arm fall
from the shoulder blade, and mine arm be broken from the bone." Job.
xxix. 12, 15, 16; xxxi. 13, 22. The language employed in this passage is
the phraseology applied in judicial proceedings to those who implead one
another, and whether it be understood literally or figuratively, shows
that whatever difference existed between Job and his servants in other
respects, so far as _rights_ are concerned, they were on equal ground
with him, and that in the matter of daily intercourse, there was not the
least restraint on their _free speech_ in calling in question all his
transactions with them, and that the relations and claims of both
parties were adjudicated on the principles of equity and reciprocal
right. "If I _despised_ the cause of my man-servant," &c. In other
words, if I treated it lightly, as though servants were not men, had not
rights, and had not a claim for just dues and just estimation as human
beings. "When they _contended_ with me," that is, when they plead their
rights, claimed what was due to them, or questioned the justice of any
of my dealings with them.

In the context Job virtually affirms as the ground of his just and
equitable treatment of his servants, that they had the same rights as he
had, and were, as human beings, entitled to equal consideration with
himself. By what language could he more forcibly utter his conviction of
the oneness of their common origin and of the identity of their common
nature, necessities, attribute and rights? As soon as he has said, "If I
did despise the cause of my man-servant," &c., he follows it up with
"What then shall I do when God raiseth up? and when he visiteth, what
shall I answer him? Did not he that made me in the womb, make _him_? and
did not one fashion us in the womb." In the next verse Job glories in
the fact that he has not "_withheld from the poor their desire_." Is it
the "desire" of the poor to be _compelled_ by the rich to work for them,
and without _pay_?

III. THE CASE OF THE GIBEONITES. The condition of the inhabitants of
Gibeon, Chephirah, Beeroth, and Kirjathjearim, under the Hebrew
commonwealth, is quoted in triumph by the advocates of slavery; and
truly they are right welcome to all the crumbs that can be gleaned from
it. Milton's devils made desperate snatches at fruit that turned to
ashes on their lips. The spirit of slavery raves under tormenting
gnawings, and casts about in blind phrenzy for something to ease, or
even to mock them. But for this, it would never have clutched at the
Gibeonites, for even the incantations of the demon cauldron could not
extract from their case enough to tantalize starvation's self. But to
the question. What was the condition of the Gibeonites under the
Israelites? 1. _It was voluntary_. Their own proposition to Joshua was
to become servants. Josh. ix. 8, 11. It was accepted, but the kind of
service which they should perform, was not specified until their gross
imposition came to light; they were then assigned to menial offices in
the Tabernacle. 2. _They were not domestic servants in the families of
the Israelites_. They still resided in their own cities, cultivated
their own fields, tended their flocks and herds, and exercised the
functions of a _distinct_, though not independent community. They were
subject to the Jewish nation as _tributaries_. So far from being
distributed among the Israelites and their internal organization as a
distinct people abolished, they remained a separate, and, in some
respects, an independent community for many centuries. When attacked by
the Amorites, they applied to the Israelites as confederates for aid--it
was rendered, their enemies routed, and themselves left unmolested in
their cities. Josh. x. 6-18. Long afterwards, Saul slew some of them,
and God sent upon Israel a three years' famine for it. David inquired of
the Gibeonites, "What shall I do for you, and wherewith shall I make the
atonement?" At their demand, he delivered up to them seven of Saul's
descendants. 2 Sam. xxi. 1-9. The whole transaction was a formal
recognition of the Gibeonites as a distinct people. There is no
intimation that they served either families or individuals of the
Israelites, but only the "house of God," or the Tabernacle. This was
established first at Gilgal, a days' journey from their cities; and then
at Shiloh, nearly two days' journey from them; where it continued about
350 years. During this period the Gibeonites inhabited their ancient
cities and territory. Only a few, comparatively, could have been absent
at any one time in attendance on the Tabernacle. Wherever allusion is
made to them in the history, the main body are spoken of as _at home_.
It is preposterous to suppose that all the inhabitants of these four
cities could find employment at the Tabernacle. One of them "was a great
city, as one of the royal cities;" so large, that a confederacy of five
kings, apparently the most powerful in the land, was deemed necessary
for its destruction. It is probable that the men were divided into
classes, ministering in rotation--each class a few days or weeks at a
time. As the priests whose assistants they were, served by courses in
rotation a week at a time; it is not improbable that their periods of
service were so arranged as to correspond. This service was their
_national tribute_ to the Israelites, for the privilege of residence and
protection under their government. No service seems to have been
required of the _females_. As these Gibeonites were Canaanites, and as
they had greatly exasperated the Israelites by impudent imposition and
lying, we might assuredly expect that they would reduce _them_ to the
condition of chattels, if there was _any_ case in which God permitted
them to do so.

IV. EGYPTIAN BONDAGE ANALYZED. Throughout the Mosaic system, God warns
the Israelites against holding their servants in such a condition as
they were held in by the Egyptians. How often are they pointed back to
the grindings of their prison-house! What motives to the exercise of
justice and kindness towards their servants, are held out to their fears
in threatened judgments; to their hopes in promised good; and to all
within them that could feel, by those oft repeated words of tenderness
and terror! "For ye were bondmen in the land of Egypt"--waking anew the
memory of tears and anguish, and of the wrath that avenged them. But
what was the bondage of the Israelites in Egypt? Of what rights were
they plundered and what did they retain?

1. _They were not dispersed among the families of Egypt,[A] but formed a
separate community_. Gen. xlvi. 34. Ex. viii. 22, 24; ix. 26; x. 23; xi.
7; iv. 29; ii. 9; xvi. 22; xvii. 5; vi. 14. 2. _They had the exclusive
possession of the land of Goshen,[B] "the best part of the land" of
Egypt_. Gen. xlv. 18; xlvii. 6, 11, 27; Ex. viii. 22; ix. 26; xii. 4.
Goshen must have been at a considerable distance from those parts of
Egypt inhabited by the Egyptians; so far at least as to prevent their
contact with the Israelites, since the reason assigned for locating them
in Goshen was, that shepherds were "an abomination to the Egyptians;"
besides, their employments would naturally lead them out of the settled
parts of Egypt to find a free range of pasturage for their immense
flocks and herds. 3. _They lived in permanent dwellings_. These were
_houses_, not _tents_. In Ex. xii. 7, 22, the two side _posts_, and the
upper door _posts_, and the lintel of the houses are mentioned. Each
family seems to have occupied a house _by itself_. Acts vii. 20. Ex.
xii. 4--and judging from the regulation about the eating of the
Passover, they could hardly have been small ones, Ex. xii. 4; probably
contained separate apartments, as the entertainment of sojourners seems
to have been a common usage. Ex. iii. 23; and also places for
concealment. Ex. ii. 2, 3; Acts vii. 20. They appear to have been well
apparelled. Ex. xii. 11. 4. _They owned "flocks and herds," and "very
much cattle_." Ex. xii. 4, 6, 32, 37, 38. From the fact that "_every
man_" was commanded to kill either a lamb or a kid, one year old, for
the Passover, before the people left Egypt, we infer that even the
poorest of the Israelites owned a flock either of sheep or goats.
Further, the immense multitude of their flocks and herds may be judged
of from the expostulation of Moses with Jehovah. Num. xii. 21, 22. "The
people among whom I am are six hundred thousand footmen, and thou hast
said I will give them flesh that they may eat a whole month; shall the
flocks and the herds be slain for them to _suffice_ them." As these six
hundred thousand were only the _men_ "from twenty years old and upward,
that were able to go forth to war," Ex. i. 45, 46; the whole number of
the Israelites could not have been less than three millions and a half.
Flocks and herds to "suffice" all these for food, might surely be called
"very much cattle." 5. _They had their own form of government_, and
preserved their tribe and family divisions, and their internal
organization throughout, though still a province of Egypt, and
_tributary_ to it. Ex. ii. 1; xii. 19, 21; vi. 14, 25; v. 19; iii. 16,
18. 6. _They had in a considerable measure, the disposal of their own
time._ Ex. iii. 16, 18; xii. 6; ii. 9; and iv. 27, 29-31. _They seem to
have practised the fine arts_. Ex. xxxii. 4; xxxv. 22, 35. 7. _They were
all armed_. Ex. xxxii. 27. 8. _They held their possessions
independently, and the Egyptians seem to have regarded them as
inviolable_. No intimation is given that the Egyptians dispossessed them
of their habitations, or took away their flocks, or herds, or crops, or
implements of agriculture, or any article of property. 9. _All the
females seem to have known something of domestic refinements_. They were
familiar with instruments of music, and skilled in the working of fine
fabrics. Ex. xv. 20; xxxv. 25, 26; and both males and females were able
to read and write. Deut. xi. 18-20; xvii. 19; xxvii. 3. 10. _Service
seems to have been exacted from none but adult males_. Nothing is said
from which the bond service of females could be inferred; the hiding of
Moses three months by his mother, and the payment of wages to her by
Pharaoh's daughter, go against such a supposition. Ex. ii. 29. 11.
_Their food was abundant and of great variety_. So far from being fed
upon a fixed allowance of a single article, and hastily prepared, "they
sat by the flesh-pots," and "did eat bread to the full." Ex. xvi. 3; and
their bread was prepared with leaven. Ex. xii. 15, 39. They ate "the
fish freely, the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the
onions, and the garlic." Num. xi. 4, 5; xx. 5. Probably but a small
portion of the people were in the service of the Egyptians at any one
time. The extent and variety of their own possessions, together with
such a cultivation of their crops as would provide them with bread, and
such care of their immense flocks and herds, as would secure their
profitable increase, must have kept at home the main body of the nation.
During the plague of darkness, God informs us that "ALL the children of
Israel had light in their dwellings." We infer that they were _there_ to
enjoy it. See also Ex. ix. 26. It seems improbable that the making of
brick, the only service named during the latter part of their sojourn in
Egypt, could have furnished permanent employment for the bulk of the
nation. See also Ex. iv. 29-31. Besides, when Eastern nations employed
tributaries, it was as now, in the use of the levy, requiring them to
furnish a given quota, drafted off periodically, so that comparatively
but a small portion of the nation would be absent _at any one time_. The
adult males of the Israelites were probably divided into companies,
which relieved each other at stated intervals of weeks or months. It
might have been during one of these periodical furloughs from service
that Aaron performed the journey to Horeb. Ex. iv. 27. At the least
calculation this journey must have consumed _eight weeks_. Probably
one-fifth part of the proceeds of their labor was required of the
Israelites in common with the Egyptians. Gen. xlvii. 24, 26. Instead of
taking it from their _crops_, (Goshen being better for _pasturage_) they
exacted it of them in brick making; and labor might have been exacted
only from the _poorer_ Israelites, the wealthy being able to pay their
tribute in money. The fact that all the elders of Israel seem to have
controlled their own time, (See Ex. iv. 29; iii. 16; v. 20,) favors the
supposition. Ex. iv. 27, 31. Contrast this bondage of Egypt with
American slavery. Have our slaves "flocks and herds even very much
cattle?" Do they live in commodious houses of their own, "sit by the
flesh-pots," "eat fish freely," and "eat bread to the full"? Do they
live in a separate community, in their distinct tribes, under their own
rulers, in the exclusive occupation of an extensive tract of country for
the culture of their crops, and for rearing immense herds of their own
cattle--and all these held inviolable by their masters? Are our female
slaves free from exactions of labor and liabilities of outrage? or when
employed, are they paid wages, as was the Israelitish woman by the
king's daughter? Have they the disposal of their own time, and the means
for cultivating social refinements, for practising the fine arts, and
for personal improvement? THE ISRAELITES UNDER THE BONDAGE OF EGYPT,
ENJOYED ALL THESE RIGHTS AND PRIVILEGES. True, "all the service wherein
they made them serve was with rigor." But what was this when compared
with the incessant toil of American slaves; the robbery of all their
time and earnings, and even the "power to own any thing, or acquire any
thing?" a "quart of corn a-day," the legal allowance of food![C] their
_only_ clothing for one half the year, "_one_ shirt and _one_ pair of
pantaloons!"[D]_two hours and a half_ only, for rest and refreshment in
the twenty-four![E]--their dwellings, _hovels_, unfit for human
residence, with but one apartment, where both sexes and all ages herd
promiscuously at night, like the beasts of the field.[F] Add to this,
the ignorance, and degradation;[G] the daily sunderings of kindred, the
revelries of lust, the lacerations and baptisms of blood, sanctioned by
law, and patronized by public sentiment. What was the bondage of Egypt
when compared with this? And yet for her oppression of the poor, God
smote her with plagues, and trampled her as the mire, till she passed
away in his wrath, and the place that knew her in her pride, knew her no
more. Ah! "I have seen the afflictions of my people, and I have heard
their groanings, and am come down to deliver them." HE DID COME, and
Egypt sank a ruinous heap, and her blood closed over her. If such was
God's retribution for the oppression of heathen Egypt, of how much sorer
punishment shall a Christian people be thought worthy, who cloak with
religion a system, in comparison with which the bondage of Egypt
dwindles to nothing? Let those believe who can, that God commissioned
his people to rob others of _all_ their rights, while he denounced
against them wrath to the uttermost, if they practised the _far lighter_
oppression of Egypt--which robbed its victims of only the least and
cheapest of their rights, and left the females unplundered even of
these. What! Is God divided against himself? When He had just turned
Egypt into a funeral pile; while his curse yet blazed upon her unburied
dead, and his bolts still hissed amidst her slaughter, and the smoke of
her torment went upwards because she had "ROBBED THE POOR," did He
license the VICTIMS of robbery to rob the poor of ALL? As _Lawgiver_,
did he _create_ a system tenfold more grinding than that for which he
had just hurled Pharaoh headlong, and overwhelmed his princes and his
hosts, till "hell was moved to meet them at their coming?"

[Footnote C: See law of North Carolina, Haywood's Manual 524-5. To show
that slaveholders are not better than their laws. We give a few
testimonies. Rev. Thomas Clay, of Georgia, (a slaveholder,) in an
address before the Georgia presbytery, in 1834, speaking of the slave's
allowance of food, says:--"The quantity allowed by custom is a _peck of
corn a week._" The Maryland Journal and Baltimore Advertiser of May 30,
1788, says, "a _single peck of corn a week, or the like measure of
rice_, is the ordinary quantity of provision for a _hard-working_ slave;
to which a small quantity of meat is occasionally, though _rarely_,
added."

The Gradual Emancipation Society of North Carolina, in their Report for
1836, signed Moses Swaim, President, and William Swaim, Secretary, says,
in describing the condition of slaves in the Eastern part of that State,
"The master puts the unfortunate wretches upon short allowances,
scarcely sufficient for their sustenance, so that a _great part_ of them
go _half naked_ and _half starved_ much of the time." See Minutes of the
American Convention, convened in Baltimore, Oct. 25, 1826.

Rev. John Rankin, a native of Tennessee, and for many years a preacher
in slave states, says of the food of slaves, "It _often_ happens that
what will _barely keep them alive_, is all that a cruel avarice will
allow them. Hence, in some instances, their allowance has been reduced
to a _single pint of corn each_, during the day and night. And some have
no better allowance than a small portion of cotton seed; while perhaps
they are not permitted to taste meat so much as once in the course of
seven years. _Thousands of them are pressed with the gnawings of cruel
hunger during their whole lives._" Rankin's Letters on Slavery, pp. 57,
58.

Hon. Robert J. Turnbull, of Charleston, S.C., a slaveholder, says, "The
subsistence of the slaves consists, from March until August, of corn
ground into grits, or meal, made into what is called _hominy_, or baked
into corn bread. The other six months, they are fed upon the sweet
potatoe. Meat, when given, is only by way of _indulgence or favor_."
_See "Refutation of the Calumnies circulated against the Southern and
Western States," by a South Carolinian. Charleston_, 1822.

Asa A. Stone, a theological student, residing at Natchez, Mississippi,
wrote a letter to the editor of the New York Evangelist in 1835, in
which he says, "On almost every plantation, the hands suffer more or
less from hunger at some seasons of almost every year. There is always a
_good deal of suffering_ from hunger. On many plantations, and
particularly in Louisiana, the slaves are in a condition of _almost
utter famishment_ during a great portion of the year."

At the commencement of his letter, Mr. S. says, "Intending, as I do,
that my statements shall be relied on, and knowing that, should you
think fit to publish this communication, they will come to this country,
where their correctness may be tested by comparison with real life, I
make them with the utmost care and precaution."

President Edwards, the younger, in a sermon preached half a century ago,
at New Haven, Conn., says, speaking of the allowance of food given to
slaves--"They are supplied with barely enough to keep them from
starving."

In the debate on the Missouri question in the U.S. Congress, 1819-20,
the admission of Missouri to the Union, as a slave state, was urged,
among other grounds as a measure of humanity to the slaves of the south.
Mr. Smyth, a member of Congress, from Virginia, and a large slaveholder,
said, "The plan of our opponents seems to be to confine the slave
population to the southern states, to the countries where sugar, cotton,
and tobacco are cultivated. But, sir, by confining the slaves to a part
of the country where crops are raised for exportation, and the bread and
meat are purchased, _you doom them to scarcity and hunger_. Is it not
obvious that the way to render their situation more comfortable is to
allow them to be taken where there is not the same motive to force the
slave to INCESSANT TOIL that there is in the country where cotton,
sugar, and tobacco are raised for exportation. It is proposed to hem in
the blacks _where they are_ HARD WORKED and ILL FED, that they may be
rendered unproductive and the race be prevented from increasing.  *  *
*  The proposed measure would be EXTREME CRUELTY to the blacks.  *  *  *
You would  *  *  * doom them to SCARCITY and HARD LABOR."--[Speech of
Mr. Smyth, of Va., Jan. 28, 1820.]--See National Intelligencer. ]


[Footnote D: See law of Louisiana, Martin's Digest, 6, 10. Mr. Bouldin,
a Virginia slaveholder, in a speech in Congress, Feb. 16, 1835, (see
National Intelligencer of that date,) said "_he knew_ that many negroes
had died from exposure to weather." Mr. B. adds, "they are clad in a
flimsy fabric that will turn neither wind nor water." Rev. John Rankin
says, in his Letters on slavery, page 57, "In every slaveholding state,
_many slaves suffer extremely_, both while they labor and while they
sleep, _for want of clothing_ to keep them warm. Often they are driven
through frost and snow without either stocking or shoe, until the path
they tread is died with their blood. And when they return to their
miserable huts at night, they find not there the means of comfortable
rest; but _on the cold ground they must lie without covering, and shiver
while they slumber_." ]


[Footnote E: See law of Louisiana, act of July 7, 1806, Martin's Digest,
6, 10-12. The law of South Carolina permits the master to _compel_ his
slaves to work fifteen hours in the twenty-four, in summer, and fourteen
in the winter--which would be in winter, from daybreak in the morning
until _four hours_ after sunset!--See 2 Brevard's Digest, 243. The
preamble of this law commences thus: "Whereas, _many_ owners of slaves
_do confine them so closely to hard labor that they have not sufficient
time for natural rest:_ be it therefore enacted," &c. In a work entitled
"Travels in Louisiana in 1802," translated from the French, by John
Davis, is the following testimony under this head:--

"The labor of Slaves in Louisiana is _not_ severe, unless it be at the
rolling of sugars, an interval of from two to three months, then they
work _both night and day_. Abridged of their sleep, they scarce retire
to rest during the whole period." See page 81. On the 87th page of the
same work, the writer says, _"Both in summer and winter_ the slaves must
be _in the field_ by the _first dawn of day."_ And yet he says, "the
labor of the slave is _not severe_, except at the rolling of sugars!"
The work abounds in eulogies of slavery.

In the "History of South Carolina and Georgia," vol. 1, p. 120, is the
following: "_So laborious_ is the task of raising, beating, and cleaning
rice, that had it been possible to obtain European servants in
sufficient numbers, _thousands and tens of thousands_ MUST HAVE
PERISHED."

In an article on the agriculture of Louisiana, published in the second
number of the "Western Review" is the following:--"The work is admitted
to be severe for the hands, (slaves) requiring, when the process of
making sugar is commenced, TO BE PRESSED NIGHT AND DAY."

Mr. Philemon Bliss, of Ohio, in his letters from Florida, in 1835, says,
"The negroes commence labor by daylight in the morning, and excepting
the plowboys, who must feed and rest their horses, do not leave the
field till dark in the evening."

Mr. Stone, in his letter from Natchez, an extract of which was given
above, says, "It is a general rule on all regular plantations, that the
slaves rise in season in the morning, to _be in the field as soon as it
is light enough for them to see to work_, and remain there until it is
_so dark that they cannot see_. This is the case at all seasons of the
year."

President Edwards, in the sermon already extracted from, says, "The
slaves are kept at hard labor from _five o'clock in the morning till
nine at night_, excepting time to eat twice during the day."

Hon. R.J. Turnbull, a South Carolina slaveholder, already quoted,
speaking of the harvesting of cotton, says: _"All the pregnant women_
even, on the plantation, and weak and _sickly_ negroes incapable of
other labor, are then _in requisition_." * * * See "Refutation of the
Calumnies circulated against the Southern and Western States," by a
South Carolinian. ]


[Footnote F: A late number of the "Western Medical Reformer" contains a
dissertation by a Kentucky physician, on _Cachexia Africana_, or African
consumption, in which the writer says--

"This form of disease deserves more attention from the medical
profession than it has heretofore elicited. Among the causes may be
named the mode and manner in which the negroes live. They are _crowded_
together in a _small hut_, sometimes having an imperfect, and sometimes
no floor--and seldom raised from the ground, illy ventilated, and
surrounded with filth. Their diet and clothing, are also causes which
might be enumerated as exciting agents. They live on a coarse, crude and
unwholesome diet, and are imperfectly clothed, both summer and winter;
sleeping upon filthy and frequently damp beds."

Hon. R.J. Turnbull, of South Carolina, whose testimony on another point
has been given above, says of the slaves, that they live in "_clay
cabins_, with clay chimneys," &c. Mr. Clay, a Georgia slaveholder, from
whom an extract has been given already, says, speaking of the dwellings
of the slaves, "Too many individuals of both sexes are crowded into one
house, and the proper separation of apartments _cannot_ be observed.
That the slaves are insensible to the evils arising from it, does not in
the least lessen the unhappy consequences." Clay's Address before the
Presbytery of Georgia.--P. 13. ]


[Footnote G: Rev. C.C. Jones, late of Georgia, now Professor in the
Theological Seminary at Columbia, South Carolina, made a report before
the presbytery of Georgia, in 1833, on the moral condition of the slave
population, which report was published under the direction of the
presbytery. In that report Mr. Jones says, "They, the slaves, are shut
out from our sympathies and efforts as immortal beings, and are educated
and disciplined as creatures of profit, and of profit only, for this
world." In a sermon preached by Mr. Jones, before two associations of
planters, in Georgia, in 1831, speaking of the slaves he says, "They are
a nation of HEATHEN in our very midst." "What have we done for our poor
negroes? With shame we must confess that we have done NOTHING!" "How can
you pray for Christ's kingdom to come while you are neglecting a people
perishing for lack of vision around your very doors." "We withhold the
Bible from our servants and keep them in ignorance of it, while we
_will_ not use the means to have it read and explained to them." Jones'
Sermon, pp. 7, 9.

An official report of the Presbyterian Synod of South Carolina and
Georgia, adopted at its session in Columbia, S.C., and published in the
Charleston Observer of March 22, 1834, speaking of the slaves, says,
"There are over _two millions_ of _human beings_, in the condition of
HEATHEN, and, in some respects, _in a worse condition_!" * * * "From
long continued and close observation, we believe that their moral and
religious condition is such, as that they may justly be considered the
_heathen_ of this Christian country, and will _bear comparison with
heathen in any country in the world_." * * * "The negroes are destitute
of the privileges of the gospel, and _ever will be under the present
state of things."_ Report, &c., p. 4.

A writer in the Church Advocate, published in Lexington, Ky., says, "The
poor negroes are left in the ways of spiritual darkness, no efforts are
being made for their enlightenment, no seed is being sown, nothing but a
moral wilderness is seen, over which the soul sickens--the heart of
Christian sympathy bleeds. Here nothing is presented but a moral waste,
as _extensive as our influence_, as appalling as the valley of death."

The following is an extract of a letter from Bishop Andrew of the
Methodist Episcopal Church, to Messrs. Garrit and Maffit, editors of the
"Western Methodist," then published at Nashville, Tennessee.

"_Augusta, Jan. 29, 1835._

"The Christians of the South owe a heavy debt to slaves on their
plantations, and the ministers of Christ especially are debtors to the
whole slave population. I fear a cry goes up to heaven on this subject
against us; and how, I ask, shall the scores who have left the ministry
of the Word, that they may make corn and cotton, and buy and sell, and
get gain, meet this cry at the bar of God? and what shall the hundreds
of money-making and money-loving masters, who have grown rich by the
toil and sweat of their slaves, and _left their souls to perish_, say
when they go with them to the judgment of the great day?"

"The Kentucky Union for the moral and religious improvement of the
colored race,"--an association composed of some of the most influential
ministers and laymen of Kentucky, says in a general circular to the
religious public, "To the female character among the black population,
we cannot allude but with feelings of the bitterest shame. A similar
condition of moral pollution, and utter disregard of a pure and virtuous
reputation, is to be found only _without the pale of Christendom_. That
such a state of society should exist in a Christian nation, without
calling forth any particular attention to its existence, though ever
before our eyes and in our families, is a moral phenomenon at once
unaccountable and disgraceful."

Rev. James A. Thome, a native of Kentucky, and still residing there,
said in a speech in New York, May 1834, speaking of licentiousness among
the slaves, "I would not have you fail to understand that this is a
_general_ evil. Sir, what I now say, I say from deliberate conviction of
its truth; that the slave states are Sodoms, and almost every village
family is a brothel. (In this, I refer to the inmates of the kitchen,
and not to the whites.)"

A writer in the "Western Luminary," published in Lexington, Ky., made
the following declaration to the same point in the number of that paper
for May 7, 1835: "There is one topic to which I will allude, which will
serve to establish the heathenism of this population. I allude to the
UNIVERSAL LICENTIOUSNESS which prevails. _Chastity is no virtue among
them_--its violation neither injures female character in their own
estimation, or that of their master or mistress--no instruction is ever
given, _no censure pronounced_. I speak not of the world. I SPEAK OF
CHRISTIAN FAMILIES GENERALLY."

Rev. Mr. Converse, long a resident of Virginia, and agent of the
Colonization Society, said, in a sermon before the Vt. C.S.--"Almost
nothing is done to instruct the slaves in the principles and duties of
the Christian religion. * * * The majority are emphatically _heathens_.
* * Pious masters (with some honorable exceptions) are criminally
negligent of giving religious instruction to their slaves. *  *  *  They
can and do instruct their own children, and _perhaps_ their house
servants; while those called "field hands" live, and labor, and die,
without being told by their _pious_ masters (?) that Jesus Christ died
to save sinners."

The page is already so loaded with references that we forbear. For
testimony from the mouths of slaveholders to the terrible lacerations
and other nameless outrages inflicted on the slaves, the reader is
referred to the number of the Anti-Slavery Record for Jan. 1837. ]

We now proceed to examine the various objections which will doubtless be
set in array against all the foregoing conclusions.



OBJECTIONS CONSIDERED.

The advocates of slavery find themselves at their wit's end in pressing
the Bible into their service. Every movement shows them hard pushed.
Their ever-varying shifts, their forced constructions and blind
guesswork, proclaim both their _cause_ desperate, and themselves.
Meanwhile their invocations for help to "those good old slaveholders and
patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob,"[A] sent up without ceasing from
the midst of their convulsions, avail as little as did the screams and
lacerations of the prophets of Baal to bring an answer of fire. The
Bible defences thrown around slavery by the professed ministers of the
Gospel, do so torture common sense, Scripture, and historical facts it
were hard to tell whether absurdity, fatuity, ignorance, or blasphemy,
predominates, in the compound; each strives so lustily for the mastery,
it may be set down a drawn battle. How often has it been bruited that
the color of the negro is the _Cain-mark_, propagated downward. Cain's
posterity started an opposition to the ark, forsooth, and rode out the
flood with flying streamers! How could miracle be more worthily
employed, or better vindicate the ways of God to man than by pointing
such an argument, and filling out for slaveholders a Divine title-deed!

[Footnote A: The Presbytery of Harmony, South Carolina, at their meeting
in Wainsborough, S.C., Oct. 28, 1836, appointed a special committee to
report on slavery. The following resolution is a part of the report
adopted by the Presbytery. "Resolved, That slavery has existed from the
days of those GOOD OLD SLAVEHOLDERS AND PATRIARCHS, Abraham, Isaac and
Jacob, who are now in the kingdom of Heaven."

Abraham receives abundant honor at the hands of slave-holding divines.
Not because he was the "father of the faithful," forsook home and
country for the truth's sake, was the most eminent preacher and
practiser of righteousness in his day; nay, verily, for all this he gets
faint praise; but then he had "SERVANTS BOUGHT WITH MONEY!!!" This is
the finishing touch of his character, and its effect on slaveholders is
electrical. Prose fledges into poetry, cold compliments warm into
praise, eulogy rarifies into panegyric and goes off in rhapsody. In
their ecstasies over Abraham, Isaac's paramount claims to their homage
are lamentably lost sight of. It is quite unaccountable, that in their
manifold oglings over Abraham's "servants bought with money," no
slaveholder is ever caught casting loving side-glances at Gen. xxvii.
29, 37, where Isaac, addressing Jacob, says, "Be _lord_ over thy
brethren and let thy mother's sons _bow down_ to thee." And afterwards,
addressing Esau, he says, speaking of the birth-right immunities
confirmed to Jacob, "Behold I have made him thy _Lord_ and all his
brethren have I GIVEN TO HIM FOR SERVANTS!"

Here is a charter for slaveholding, under the sign manual of that "good
old slaveholder and patriarch, Isaac." Yea, more--a "Divine Warrant" for
a father holding his _children_ as slaves and bequeathing them as
property to his heirs! Better still, it proves that the favorite
practice amongst our slaveholders of bequeathing their _colored_
children to those of a different hue, was a "Divine institution," for
Isaac "_gave_" Esau, who was "_red_ all over," to Jacob, "_as a
servant_." Now gentlemen, "honor to whom honor." Let Isaac no longer be
stinted of the glory that is his due as the great prototype of that
"peculiar domestic institution," of which you are eminent patrons, that
nice discrimination, by which a father, in his will, makes part of his
children _property_, and the rest, their _proprietors_, whenever the
propriety of such a disposition is indicated, as in the case of Jacob
and Esau, by the decisive tokens of COLOR and HAIR, (for, to show that
Esau was Jacob's _rightful_ property after he was "given to him" by
Isaac "for a servant," the difference in _hair_ as well as color, is
expressly stated by inspiration!)

One prominent feature of patriarchal example has been quite overlooked
by slaveholders. We mean the special care of Isaac to inform Jacob that
those "given to him as servants" were "HIS BRETHREN," (twice repeated.)
The deep veneration of slaveholders for every thing patriarchal, clears
them from all suspicion of _designedly_ neglecting this authoritative
precedent, and their admirable zeal to perpetuate patriarchal fashions,
proves this seeming neglect, a mere _oversight_: and is an
all-sufficient guarantee that henceforward they will religiously
illustrate in their own practice, the beauty of this hitherto neglected
patriarchal usage. True, it would be an odd codicil to a will, for a
slaveholder, after bequeathing to _some_ of his children, all his
slaves, to add a supplement, informing them that such and such and such
of them were their _brothers and sisters_. Doubtless it would be at
first a sore trial also, but what _pious_ slaveholder would not be
sustained under it by the reflection that he was humbly following in the
footsteps of his illustrious patriarchal predecessors!

Great reformers must make great sacrifices, and if the world is to be
brought back to the purity of patriarchal times, upon whom will the ends
of the earth come, to whom will all trembling hearts and failing eyes
spontaneously turn as leaders to conduct the forlorn hope through the
wilderness to that promised land, if not to slaveholders, those
disinterested pioneers whose self-denying labors have founded far and
wide the "patriarchal institution" of _concubinage_, and through evil
report and good report, have faithfully stamped their own image and
superscription, in variegated hues, upon the faces of a swarming progeny
from generation to generation. ]

OBJECTION I. "_Cursed be Canaan, a servant of servants shall he be unto
his brethren._" Gen. ix. 25.

This prophecy of Noah is the _vade mecum_ of slaveholders, and they
never venture abroad without it; it is a pocket-piece for sudden
occasion, a keepsake to dote over, a charm to spell-bind opposition, and
a magnet to draw to their standard "whatsoever worketh abomination or
maketh a lie." But "cursed be Canaan" is a poor drug to ease a throbbing
conscience--a mocking lullaby to unquiet tossings. Those who justify
negro slavery by the curse on Canaan, _assume_ as usual all the points
in debate. 1. That _slavery_ was prophesied, rather than mere _service_
to others, and _individual_ bondage rather than _national_ subjection
and tribute. 2. That the _prediction_ of crime justifies it; or at least
absolves those whose crimes fulfil it. How piously the Pharaohs might
have quoted the prophecy, "_Thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that
is not theirs, and they shall afflict them four hundred years._" And
then, what saints were those that crucified the Lord of glory! 3. That
the Africans are descended from Canaan. Africa was peopled from Egypt
and Ethiopia, which countries were settled by Mizraim and Cush. For the
location and boundaries of Canaan's posterity, see Gen. x. 15-19. So a
prophecy of evil to one people, is quoted to justify its infliction upon
another. Perhaps it may be argued that Canaan includes all Ham's
posterity. If so, the prophecy is yet unfulfilled. The other sons of Ham
settled Egypt and Assyria, and, conjointly with Shem, Persia, and
afterward, to some extent, the Grecian and Roman empires. The history of
these nations gives no verification of the prophecy. Whereas, the
history of Canaan's descendants for more than three thousand years, is a
record of its fulfillment. First, they were put to tribute by the
Israelites; then by the Medes and Persians; then by the Macedonians,
Grecians and Romans, successively; and finally, were subjected by the
Ottoman dynasty, where they yet remain. Thus Canaan has been for ages
the servant mainly of Shem and Japhet, and secondarily of the other sons
of Ham. It may still be objected, that though Canaan alone is _named_,
yet the 22d and 24th verses show the posterity of Ham in general to be
meant. "And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father,
and told his two brethren without." "And Noah awoke from his wine, and
knew what his YOUNGER son had done unto him, and said," &c. It is argued
that this "_younger_ son" cannot be Canaan, as he was the _grandson_ of
Noah, and therefore it must be Ham. We answer, whoever that "_younger
son_" was, Canaan alone was named in the curse. Besides, the Hebrew word
_Ben_, signifies son, grandson, or _any one_ of the posterity of an
individual.[A] "_Know ye Laban, the_ SON (grandson) _of Nahor_?" Gen.
xxix. 5. "_Mephibosheth the_ SON (grandson) _of Saul_." 2 Sam. xix. 24;
2 Sam. ix. 6. "_The driving of Jehu the_ SON (grandson) _of Nimshi_." 2
Kings ix. 20. See also Ruth iv. 17; 2 Sam. xxi. 6; Gen. xxxi. 55. Shall
we forbid the inspired writer to use the same word when speaking of
Noah's grandson? Further, Ham was not the "_younger_ son." The order of
enumeration makes him the _second_ son. If it be said that Bible usage
varies, the order of birth not always being observed in enumerations;
the reply is, that, enumeration in that order, is the _rule_, in any
other order the _exception_. Besides, if a younger member of a family
takes precedence of older ones in the family record, it is a mark of
pre-eminence, either in endowments, or providential instrumentality.
Abraham, though sixty years younger than his eldest brother, stands
first in the family genealogy. Nothing in Ham's history shows him
pre-eminent; besides, the Hebrew word _Hakkatan_ rendered "the
_younger_," means the _little, small_. The same word is used in Isa. lx.
22. "A LITTLE ONE _shall become a thousand_." Isa. xxii. 24. "_All
vessels of_ SMALL _quantity_." Ps. cxv. 13. "_He will bless them that
fear the Lord both_ SMALL _and great_." Ex. xviii, 22. "_But every_
SMALL _matter they shall judge_." It would be a literal rendering of
Gen. ix. 24, if it were translated thus, "when Noah knew what his little
son,"[B] or grandson (_Beno Hakkatan_) "had done unto him, he said
cursed be Canaan," &c. Further, even if the Africans were the
descendants of Canaan, the assumption that their enslavement fulfils
this prophecy, lacks even plausibility, for, only a _fraction_ of the
inhabitants of Africa have at any time been the slaves of other nations.
If the objector say in reply, that a large majority of the Africans have
always been slaves _at home_, we answer: _It is false in point of fact_,
though zealously bruited often to serve a turn; and _if it were true_,
how does it help the argument? The prophecy was, "Cursed be Canaan, a
servant of servants shall he be _unto his_ BRETHREN.," not unto
_himself!_

[Footnote A: So _av_, the Hebrew word for father, signifies any
ancestor, however remote. 2 Chron. xvii. 3; xxviii. 1; xxxiv. 2; Dan. v.
2.]


[Footnote B: The French follows the same analogy; _grandson_ being
_petit fils_ (little son.)]

OBJECTION II.--"_If a man smite his servant or his maid with a rod, and
he die under his hand, he shall surely be punished. Notwithstanding, if
he continue a day or two, he shall not be punished, for he is his
money._" Ex. xxi. 20, 21. What was the design of this regulation? Was it
to grant masters an indulgence to beat servants with impunity, and an
assurance, that if they beat them to death, the offence should not be
_capital_? This is substantially what commentators tell us. What Deity
do such men worship? Some blood-gorged Moloch, enthroned on human
hecatombs, and snuffing carnage for incense? Did He who thundered from
Sinai's flames, "THOU SHALT NOT KILL," offer a bounty on _murder_?
Whoever analyzes the Mosaic system, will often find a moot court in
session, trying law points, settling definitions, or laying down rules
of evidence. Num. xxxv. 10-22; Deut. xix. 4-6; Lev. xxiv. 19-22; Ex.
xxi. 18, 19, are some of the cases stated, with tests furnished the
judges by which to detect _the intent_, in actions brought before them.
Their ignorance of judicial proceedings, laws of evidence, &c., made
such instructions necessary. The detail gone into, in the verses quoted,
is manifestly to enable them to get at the _motive_ and find out whether
the master _designed_ to kill. 1. "If a man smite his servant with a
_rod_."--The instrument used, gives a clue to the _intent_. See Num.
xxxv. 16-18. A _rod_, not an axe, nor a sword, nor a bludgeon, nor any
other death-weapon--hence, from the _kind_ of instrument, no design to
_kill_ would be inferred; for _intent_ to kill would hardly have taken a
_rod_ for its weapon. But if the servant "_die under his hand_," then
the unfitness of the instrument, is point blank against him; for,
striking with a _rod_ so as to cause death, presupposed very many blows
and great violence, and this kept up till the death-gasp, showed an
_intent to kill_. Hence "He shall _surely_ be punished." But if he
continued a day or two, the _length of time that he lived_, the _kind_
of instrument used, and the master's pecuniary interest in his _life_,
("he is his _money_,") all made a strong case of presumptive evidence,
showing that the master did not _design_ to kill. Further, the word
_nakam_, here rendered _punished_, occurs thirty-five times in the Old
Testament, and in almost every place is translated "_avenge_," in a few,
"_to take vengeance_," or "_to revenge_," and in this instance ALONE,
"_punish_." As it stands in our translation, the pronoun preceding it,
refers to the _master_, whereas it should refer to the _crime_, and the
word rendered _punished_, should have been rendered _avenged_. The
meaning is this: If a man smite his servant or his maid with a rod, and
he die under his hand, IT (the death) shall surely be avenged, or
literally, _by avenging it shall be avenged_; that is, the _death_ of
the servant shall be _avenged_ by the _death_ of the master. So in the
next verse, "If he continue a day or two," his death is not to be
avenged by the _death_ of the _master_, as in that case the crime was to
be adjudged _manslaughter_, and not _murder_. In the following verse,
another case of personal injury is stated, for which the injurer is to
pay _a sum of money_; and yet our translators employ the same
phraseology in both places! One, an instance of deliberate, wanton,
killing by piecemeal; the other, an accidental, and comparatively slight
injury--of the inflicter, in both cases, they say the same thing! Now,
just the discrimination to be looked for where GOD legislates, is marked
in the original. In the case of the servant wilfully murdered, He says,
"It (the death) shall surely be _avenged_," that is, the life of the
wrong doer shall expiate the crime. The same word is used in the Old
Testament, when the greatest wrongs are redressed, by devoting the
perpetrators to _destruction_. In the case of the unintentional injury,
in the following verse, God says, "He shall surely be _fined_,
(_anash_.) "He shall _pay_ as the judges determine." The simple meaning
of the word _anash_, is to lay a fine. It is used in Deut. xxii. 19:
"They shall _amerce_ him in one hundred shekels," and in 2 Chron. xxxvi.
3: "He condemned (_mulcted_) the land in a hundred talents of silver and
a talent of gold." That _avenging_ the death of the servant, was neither
imprisonment, nor stripes, nor a fine but that it was _taking the
master's life_ we infer, 1. From the _use_ of the word _nakam_. See Gen.
iv. 24; Josh. x. 13; Judg. xv. 7; xvi. 28; 1 Sam. xiv. 24; xviii. 25;
xxv. 31; 2 Sam. iv. 8; Judg. v. 2; 1 Sam. xxv. 26-33. 2. From the
express statute, Lev. xxiv. 17: "He that killeth ANY man shall surely be
put to death." Also, Num. xxxv. 30, 31: "Whoso killeth ANY person, the
murderer shall be put to death. Moreover, ye shall take NO SATISFACTION
for the life of a murderer which is guilty of death, but he shall surely
be put to death." 3. The Targum of Jonathan gives the verse thus, "Death
by the sword shall surely be adjudged." The Targum of Jerusalem,
"Vengeance shall be taken for him to the _uttermost_." Jarchi, the same.
The Samaritan version: "He shall die the death." Again, the clause "for
he is his money," is quoted to prove that the servant is his master's
property, and therefore, if he died, the master was not to be punished.
The assumption is, that the phrase, "HE IS HIS MONEY," proves not only
that the servant is _worth money_ to the master, but that he is an
_article of property_. If the advocates of slavery insist upon taking
this principle of interpretation into the Bible, and turning it loose,
let them stand and draw in self-defence. If they endorse for it at one
point, they must stand sponsors all around the circle. It will be too
late to cry for quarter when its stroke clears the table, and tilts them
among the sweepings beneath. The Bible abounds with such expressions as
the following: "This (bread) _is_ my body;" "all they (the Israelites)
_are_ brass and tin;" this (water) _is_ the blood of the men who went in
jeopardy of their lives;" "the Lord God _is_ a sun;" "the seven good
ears _are_ seven years;" "the tree of the field _is_ man's life;" "God
_is_ a consuming fire;" "he _is_ his money," &c. A passion for the exact
_literalities_ of the Bible is too amiable, not to be gratified in this
case. The words in the original are (_Káspo-hu_,) "his _silver_ is he."
The objector's principle of interpretation is a philosopher's stone! Its
miracle touch transmutes five feet eight inches of flesh and bones into
_solid silver_! Quite a _permanent_ servant, if not so nimble
withal--reasoning against _"forever_," is forestalled henceforth, and,
Deut. xxiii. 15, quite outwitted. The obvious meaning of the phrase,
"_He is his money_," is, he is _worth money_ to his master, and since,
if the master had killed him, it would have taken money out of his
pocket, the _pecuniary loss_, the _kind of instrument used_, and _the
fact of his living sometime after the injury_, (if the master _meant_ to
kill, he would be likely to _do_ it while about it.) all together make a
strong case of presumptive evidence clearing the master from _intent to
kill_. But let us look at the objector's _inferences_. One is, that as
the master might dispose of his _property_ as he pleased, he was not to
be punished, if he destroyed it. Whether the servant died under the
master's hand, or after a day or two, he was _equally_ his property, and
the objector admits that in the _first_ case the master is to be "surely
punished" for destroying _his own property_! The other inference is,
that since the continuance of a day or two, cleared the master of
_intent to kill_, the loss of the servant would be a sufficient
punishment for inflicting the injury which caused his death. This
inference makes the Mosaic law false to its own principles. A _pecuniary
loss_ was no part of the legal claim, where a person took the _life_ of
another. In such case, the law spurned money, whatever the sum. God
would not cheapen human life, by balancing it with such a weight. "Ye
shall take NO SATISFACTION for the life of a murderer, but he shall
surely be put to death." Num. xxxv. 31. Even in excusable homicide,
where an axe slipped from the helve and killed a man, no sum of money
availed to release from confinement in the city of refuge, until the
death of the High Priest. Num. xxxv. 32. The doctrine that the loss of
the servant would be a penalty _adequate_ to the desert of the master,
admits his _guilt_ and his desert of _some_ punishment, and it
prescribes a kind of punishment, rejected by the law, in all cases where
man took the life of man, whether with or without intent to kill. In
short, the objector annuls an integral part of the system--makes a _new_
law, and coolly metes out such penalty as he thinks fit. Divine
legislation revised and improved! The master who struck out his
servant's tooth, whether intentionally or not, was required to set him
free. The _pecuniary loss_ to the master was the same as though he had
killed him. Look at the two cases. A master beats his servant so that he
dies of his wounds; another accidentally strikes out his servant's
tooth,--_the pecuniary loss of both masters is the same_. If the loss of
the servant's services is punishment sufficient for the crime of killing
him, would God command the same punishment for the accidental knocking
out of a _tooth_? Indeed, unless the injury was done _inadvertently_,
the loss of the servant's services was only a part of the
punishment--mere reparation to the _individual_ for injury done; the
main punishment, that strictly _judicial_, was reparation to the
_community_. To set the servant _free_, and thus proclaim his injury,
his right to redress, and the measure of it--answered not the ends of
_public_ justice. The law made an example of the offender, that "those
that remain might hear and fear." "If a man cause a blemish in his
neighbor, as he hath done, so shall it be done unto him. Breach for
breach, eye for eye, tooth for tooth. Ye shall have one manner of law as
well for the STRANGER as for one of your own country." Lev. xxiv. 19,
20, 22. Finally, if a master smote out _his_ servant's tooth, the law
smote out his tooth--thus redressing the _public_ wrong; and it
cancelled the servant's obligation to the master, thus giving some
compensation for the injury done, and exempting him from perilous
liabilities in future.



OBJECTION III. "_Both thy bondmen and bondmaids which thou shalt have,
shall be of the heathen that are round about you, of them shall ye buy
bondmen and bondmaids. Moreover of the children of the strangers that do
sojourn among you, of them shall ye buy, and of their families that are
with you, which they begat in your land, and they shall be your
possession. And ye shall take them as an inheritance for your children
after you, to inherit them for a possession; they shall be your bondmen
forever._" Lev. xxv. 44-46.

The _points_ in these verses, urged as proof, that the Mosaic system
sanctioned slavery, are 1. The word "BONDMEN." 2. "BUY." 3. "INHERITANCE
AND POSSESSION." 4. "FOREVER."

We will now ascertain what sanction to slavery is derivable from these
terms.

1. "BONDMEN." The fact that servants from the heathen are called
"_bondmen_," while others are called "_servants_," is quoted as proof
that the former were slaves. As the caprices of King James' translators
were not inspired, we need stand in no special awe of them. The word
here rendered bondmen is uniformly rendered servants elsewhere. The
Hebrew word "_ebedh_," the plural of which is here translated
"_bondmen_," is often applied to Christ. "Behold my _servant_ (bondman,
slave?) whom I uphold." Isa. xlii. 1. "Behold my _servant_ (Christ)
shall deal prudently." Isa. lii. 13. "And he said it is a light thing
that thou (Christ) shouldst be my _servant_." Isa. xlix. 6. "To a
_servant_ of rulers." Isa. xlix. 7. "By his knowledge shall my righteous
_servant_ (Christ) justify many." Is. liii. 11. "Behold I will bring
forth my _servant_ the BRANCH." Zech. iii. 8. In 1 Kings xii. 6, 7, it
is applied to King Rehoboam. "And they spake unto him, saying if thou
wilt be a _servant_ unto this people, then they will be thy _servants_
forever." In 2 Chron. xii. 7, 8, 9, 13, to the king and all the nation.
The word is used to designate those who perform service for _individuals
or families_, about thirty-five times in the Old Testament. To designate
_tributaries_ about twenty-five times. To designate the _subjects of
government_, about thirty-three times. To designate the worshippers both
of the true God, and of false gods, about seventy times. It is also used
in salutations and courteous addresses nearly one hundred times. In
fine, the word is applied to all persons doing service for others, and
that _merely to designate them as the performers of such service_,
whatever it might be, or whatever the ground on which it might be
rendered. To argue from the fact, of this word being used to designate
domestic servants, that they were made servants by _force_, worked
without pay, and held as articles of property, is such a gross
assumption and absurdity as to make formal refutation ridiculous. We
repeat what has been shown above, that the word rendered bondmen in Lev.
xxv. 44, is used to point out persons rendering service for others,
totally irrespective of the principle on which that service was
rendered; as is manifest from the fact that it is applied
indiscriminately to tributaries, to domestics, to all the subjects of
governments, to magistrates, to all governmental officers, to younger
sons--defining their relation to the first born, who is called _lord_
and _ruler_--to prophets, to kings, and to the Messiah. To argue from
the meaning of the word _ebedh_ as used in the Old Testament, that those
to whom it was applied rendered service against their will, and without
pay, does violence to the scripture use of the term, sets at nought all
rules of interpretation, and outrages common sense. If _any_ inference
as to the meaning of the term is to be drawn from the condition and
relations of the various classes of persons, to whom it is applied, the
only legitimate one would seem to be, that the term designates a person
who renders service to another in return for something of value received
from him. The same remark applies to the Hebrew verb _abadh_, to serve,
answering to the noun _ebedh_ (servant). It is used in the Old Testament
to describe the _serving_ of tributaries, of worshippers, of domestics,
of Levites, of sons to a father, of younger brothers to the elder, of
subjects to a ruler, of hirelings, of soldiers, of public officers to
the government,