By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon

We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: Studies on Slavery, in Easy Lessons
Author: Fletcher, John
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
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.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Studies on Slavery, in Easy Lessons" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.

(This file was produced from images generously made

Transcriber’s Note:

Minor errors in punctuation and formatting have been silently corrected.
Please see the transcriber’s note at the end of this text for details
regarding the handling of any textual issues encountered during its

Please consult the end notes, as well, for the approach used in the
rendering of Arabic, Greek, Coptic, Hebrew and Syriac text.

This version of the text cannot represent certain typographical effects.
Italics are delimited with the ‘_’ character as _italic_. Bold font is
delimited by the ‘=’ character. Superscripted and subscripted characters
are shown as ‘^2’ and ‘_{2}’ respectively. The rendering of certain
characters in classical languages may not display correctly in your
reader. Alignment in tables may also be compromised.

                          STUDIES ON SLAVERY,
                            In Easy Lessons.

                              OF READERS.

                           BY JOHN FLETCHER,

                             OF LOUISIANA.


                            FIFTH THOUSAND.

                      PUBLISHED BY JACKSON WARNER.



       ENTERED according to Act of Congress, in the year 1851, by
                            JACKSON WARNER,
 sin the Clerk’s Office of the District Court of the Southern District
                            of Mississippi.

                       PRINTED BY SMITH & PETERS,
       Franklin Buildings, Sixth Street below Arch, Philadelphia.


                          PUBLISHER’S PREFACE.

This is a legitimate topic of general interest, and it assumes a
preponderating importance to the people of the Southern American States,
when the fact is taken into consideration that a general league against
the institution of African slavery has been entered into and consummated
between most of the civilized nations of the earth, and public opinion
in many of the sister States of our own National Union has taken the
same direction. The result is, to have arraigned the slaveholding States
before the mighty bar of public opinion, on the charge of holding, as
property, more than ten hundred millions of dollars’ worth of what does
not belong to them, which is and never can be the property of man; and
this charge embraces, within its scope, the crimes of theft, robbery,
rapine, and cruelty.

The time has come when the South must enter her plea of defence, not
because the accusers are foreign nations, of which it may justly be
said, before their charges are entertained, “Physician, heal thyself,”
but because our accusers are among our own brethren, bound to us by
freedom’s holiest associations and religion’s most sacred ties.

The author of the “Studies on Slavery” has the double advantage of a
full comprehension of the subject both in its Northern and Southern
aspect. Born and educated in the former, and qualified by a long
residence in the latter section of our Union, he is amply qualified to
weigh the prejudices, the teachings, and the arguments of the one,
against the facts, the justifications, the religious and political
sanctions of the other.

Mr. Fletcher has not only marshalled into his line of impregnable
defence the mandates and sanctions of the Sacred Writings concerning the
slave institutions, but he has drawn powerful auxiliaries from the
sources of ancient history. His exegesis of biblical passages, in the
original languages in which they were communicated by inspiration to the
world, shows his sound scholarship, as well as his reverence of the
literal sense and specific meaning of God’s holy and unimpeachable
standard and rule of life and action.

The author has also analyzed the fountain of Moral Philosophy, and
detected the bitter waters of error so industriously infused by the
eloquent and magical pens of such writers as Dr. Samuel Johnson, Dr.
Paley, Dr. Channing, Dr. Wayland, Mr. Barnes, and others. He has
confined himself to the moral and ethical bearings of the question,
scarcely touching upon its political aspects,—a course calculated to
render the book far more useful to the dispassionate seekers after
truth, who may belong to different political sects.

Neither time nor labour has been spared in the authorship of the work;
and it is believed that, while it is written with candour and calmness,
it will be received by the people of the North as well as of the South
as a sincere and enlightened endeavour to seek for truth, and thus allay
the tumultuous and disorganizing fanaticism of those who have not had
opportunity to study the subject, and are incapable of acting upon it
with understanding and true decision.


Philosophy knows no obligation that binds one man to another without an
equivalent. If one man could be subjected to another, who is not bound
to render any thing in return, it would be subversive to good morals and
political justice. Such a relation cannot exist, only so far as to reach
the immediate death of the subjected. But it has been the error of some
good men to suppose that slavery presented such a case. It has been
their misfortune also to receive the following succedaneums as axioms in
the search for truth:—

  “All men are born equal.”

  “The rights of men are inalienable.”

  “No man has power to alienate a natural right.”

  “No man can become property.”

  “No man can own property in another.”

  “The conscience is a distinct mental faculty.”

  “The conscience infallibly distinguishes between right and wrong.”

  “No man is under any obligation to obey any law when his conscience
  dictates it to be wrong.”

  “The conscience empowers any man to nullify any law; because the
  conscience is a part and parcel of the Divine mind.”

  “Slavery is wholly founded on force.”

  “Slavery originates in the power of the strong over the weak.”

  “Slavery disqualifies a man to fulfil the great object of his being.”

  “The doctrines of the Bible forbid slavery.”

  “There is no word, either in the Old or the New Testament, which
  expresses the idea of slave or slavery.”

  “Slavery places its subjects beyond moral and legal obligation:
  therefore, it can never be a legal or moral relation.”

  “Slavery is inconsistent with the moral nature of man.”

  “To hold in slavery is inconsistent with the present state of morals
  and religion.”

  “Slavery is contrary to the will of God.”

  “No man can hold a slave, and be a Christian.”

Averments of this order are quite numerous. Fanatics receive them; and
some others do not distinguish them from truths.

At any age, and in any country, where such errors are generally adopted,
and become the rules of political action, morals and religion are always
in commotion, and in danger of shipwreck: for, although, where man has
only approached so far towards civilization that even the enlightened
can merely perceive them as rudimental, yet the great principles that
influence human life, morality and religion, are, everywhere, and always
have been the same.


                           TABLE OF CONTENTS.

                                STUDY I.

LESSON I.—Wayland’s definition of moral law, page 7 to 8; sin the
    antecedent of slavery, 9; the abuse of slavery a sin, 10.

LESSON II.—Wayland on the elements of consciousness, 10 to 11; the
    degeneracy of races, and slavery as the scriptural means of
    reclamation, 12; object of punishment, 13.

LESSON III.—Wayland on conscience as a distinct faculty, 14, 15;
    Channing, Barnes, and abolitionists generally on the same, 16, 17,

LESSON IV.—Wayland on conscience as an independent faculty derived from
    Shaftesbury, Hutchinson, and Reid, 18; combated by Archbishop
    Seeker, 19; argument that conscience is neither a distinct faculty
    nor infallible, 20 to 23.

LESSON V.—Wayland’s doctrine, that slavery sacrifices the slave’s
    eternal happiness to the master’s temporal, refuted, 23 to 25; the
    master’s interest and the slave’s moral improvement identical, 26,

LESSON VI.—Wayland’s argument, that slavery is at variance with the laws
    of God, examined, 27; its connection with productive labour and
    national wealth considered, 28 to 32; Sismondi’s theory of labour
    and capital, 32; Wayland on slavery as impoverishing soil refuted,
    33, 34.

LESSON VII.—Wayland’s doctrine, that the moral principles of the Bible
    are opposed to slavery, refuted, 34, 35; Secker’s authority, 36;
    Wayland on slavery as a prohibition of gospel privileges and
    matrimony controverted, 37 to 40; Luther and Melancthon quoted, 39;
    African practice in regard to matrimony, 40; interest of masters to
    promote permanent marriages among their slaves, 40 to 42.

LESSON VIII.—Wayland, Paley, Channing, and Barnes on the opinion that
    the sacred writers abstained from condemning slavery on motives of
    policy, 43 to 47.

LESSON IX.—Wayland’s doubts, caused by Prof. Taylor, 47 to 50; Wayland’s
    assertion, that the inculcation of the duties of slaves is no
    sanction of slavery, combated, 51, 52.

LESSON X.—Wayland’s assertion, that Scripture is opposed to slavery,
    contrasted with the declarations of the Bible, 53; slavery a
    desirable and ardently sought condition under certain
    circumstances—historical proofs, 54 to 57.

LESSON XI.—Dr. Paley on slavery and the laws of nature, 57 to 61.

LESSON XII.—Paley on cruelty as an argument against slavery, 62;
    Lander’s testimony respecting native cruelty in Africa, 63; Paley’s
    slander on Jesus Christ and Paul and Peter repelled, 65 to 67.

LESSON XIII.—Slavery in ancient Britain, 67; Dr. Samuel Johnson’s
    argument against negro slavery analyzed, and overthrown by arguments
    drawn from the laws of nations and the laws of God, 68 to 82.

                               STUDY II.

LESSON I.—Relation of guardian and ward a Divine institution, 83 to 85.

LESSON II.—Slavery a Divine institution, and the reason why, 85 to 88.

LESSON III.—Slavery the school of adversity to reclaim wicked nations
    and individuals—Scripture proofs, 89 to 91.

LESSON IV.—Albert Barnes on the slavery of the Israelites in Egypt
    refuted, 92 to 96; his attempt by human reason to determine the will
    of God, 97 to 99.

LESSON V.—Barnes’s examination of the Scripture argument on slavery, and
    the scriptural account of slavery in the days of Abraham,
    contrasted, 99 to 109.

LESSON VI.—The smiles of God on the institution of slavery proved from
    the argument of Barnes against it, 110; ratio of slaves to whites,
    and the relative increase in the United States, 111, 112.

LESSON VII.—The interest of the master and the direct laws of God
    against the abuses of slavery coincident, 113, 114; Barnes’s cure
    for slavery, 115.

LESSON VIII.—Barnes’s denial that Christ ever came in contact with
    slavery compared with scriptural assertions, 116 to 119.

LESSON IX.—The admission of Barnes in regard to slaves escaping to the
    Hebrew country, 119; his assertion, that the Hebrews were not a
    nation of slaveholders, overthrown by Scripture testimony, 120, 121.

LESSON X.—Distribution by the Hebrews of captives taken in battle, 122,
    123; Greek custom in regard to captives made in war, 124;
    proof-texts from the Bible, 125.

LESSON XI.—The claim of Barnes to identity with the African race, 126;
    his views on Paul’s injunction to sympathize with those in bonds
    controverted, 127, 128.

LESSON XII.—Legend of Antioch, Margarita, and the Roman Præfect Olybius,
    128 to 133; song of the slaves, 131, 132; letter of Olybius to the
    Emperor Probus, manufactured from the language of Mr. Barnes, 133 to

LESSON #XIII.—Barnes’s admissions of the existence of Hebrew and Roman
    slavery, 136, 137.

LESSON XIV.—The denial of Barnes that slavery cannot be defended by
    Bible arguments, 138; its influence on agriculture, commerce, arts,
    and the African slave himself considered, _idem_; Sedgjo, the
    African slave in Louisiana, 139, 140; the Periplus of Hanno, 140,
    141; the testimony of the Landers on the depravity of native
    Africans, 142 to 144; the Landers made slaves, 145; various
    historical authorities on African and Moorish slavery, 145 to 155.

LESSON XV.—Authorities to prove African degradation continued, 155 to
    158; slavery subservient to the religious conversion of African
    slaves, 159, 160.

LESSON XVI.—Paul’s exhortations to slaves considered, 161, 162; God’s
    sentence of four hundred years of slavery upon the Hebrews, 163.

LESSON XVII.—The assertion of Barnes, that a slave bought with money had
    compensation commanded to be paid him by Scripture, controverted,
    163, 164; Barnes’s declaration of the cunning of the Apostles in not
    condemning slavery, 165, 166.

LESSON XVIII.—Argument that the injunctions of the Bible upon God’s
    ancient people are in force and equally binding upon Christians now,
    (Christians are the heirs of Abraham,) 160 to 169.

LESSON XIX.—Authorities quoted by Barnes, 169; numerous quotations from
    Barnes on slavery, 170 to 174.

LESSON XX.—Wayland’s assertion, that, if the New Testament authorized
    slavery, it would be the greatest of curses, adopted by Barnes, 174
    to 176.

                               STUDY III.

LESSON I.—Works of Rev. Dr. Channing—his opinion that the worst errors
    may arise from religious tendencies, 177, 178.

LESSON II.—Channing’s seven arguments, that a man cannot be held as
    property, examined, 178, 179; his doctrine of conscience and
    indestructible rights, 180 to 182.

LESSON III.—Examination of Channing’s seven arguments continued, 183 to

LESSON IV.—That slavery, disease, and death are necessary effects of sin
    proved by the chapter of curses, (Deut. xxviii.,) 188 to 193;
    Channing’s standard of feeling or sense of duty controverted, 194,

LESSON V.—Channing’s theory of man’s rights and his consciousness
    examined, 195, 196; argument that slavery is the best condition for
    the African race, 197 to 200; criticism on Channing’s use of the
    words nature, conscience, law of nature, &c., 200 to 204.

LESSON VI.—Channing’s position, that the debasement of African slavery
    arises from the enslavement of the race in America, controverted,
    204 to 206; its influence on the master race, 206, 207.

LESSON VII.—Channing’s views of slavery, as conducive to licentiousness
    and unrestrained cohabitation between masters and female slaves,
    examined, 207 to 211; his views of the quality and brotherhood of
    the races, 212 to 214.

LESSON VIII.—Channing on the relative productiveness of free and slave
    labour, 215; his opinion that the admission of slave territory was
    just cause for the dissolution of the Union, 217, 218; his deference
    to the opinion of Europe, 218; labour and capital, the political
    influence of slavery, 219 to 221.

LESSON IX.—Channing’s views of the scriptural argument in favour of
    slavery overthrown, by a parallel between slavery and polygamy, 222
    to 230.

LESSON X.—Channing adopting and endorsing Paley’s slander on the
    integrity of Paul, 230 to 232.

LESSON XI.—Channing’s plan of emancipation and inflammatory counsels to
    the free States, 232 to 235.

LESSON XII.—The zeal of abolitionism not according to knowledge, 235,
    236; Channing’s opinion that the negro is one of the best races of
    the human family, 237; Channing on West India emancipation and
    Southern character, 237 to 239.

LESSON XIII.—Sympathy for those suffering punishment from God, for sin,
    considered, 239 to 241; the deterioration of sin the inevitable
    cause of slavery, 241 to 243.

LESSON XIV.—God’s government of the universe, and his declaration of the
    right of man’s property in man, 243 to 246; God’s blessing on the
    slave-owners, 247, 248.

LESSON XV.—Ham’s intermarriage with the race of Cain the cause of his
    doom and that of his seed to perpetual servitude, 248 to 250; God
    never entails a curse without sufficient cause, 250, 251; the mark
    on Cain, 252 to 255.

                               STUDY IV.

LESSON I.—Extracts from Bower, 256; the Treuga Dei, 257, 258; Bishop
    England quoted on the action and records of the Church, 259, 260.

LESSON II.—Establishment of Christianity by law, by Constantine, and the
    rise of Mohammedanism, 261, 262; the schism of the Greek Church,
    263, 264.

LESSON III.—Nature swarming with life, and life merging in distress and
    death, 264, 265; sin the cause of slavery, and the latter as a
    protection, 266, 267; slavery in China, 269.

LESSON IV.—Liberty of less value than life, 270; the Divine grant to
    hold slaves, 271.

LESSON V.—Early church acts and documents approving and providing for
    slavery, 272; the canons and the constitutions of the apostles, 272
    to 274; constitution of Antoninus Pius respecting cruelty to slaves,
    275; canons of the Council of Nice and the first appearance of
    abolitionism in the world, 276, 277; St. Basil’s canonical writings,

LESSON VI.—The invasion of Attila and the Pontiff Leo’s successful
    intercession, 279, 280; Nero’s African slaves, and the white slaves
    of the Roman Empire, 281.

LESSON VII.—Church rescripts for the freedom of slaves, and St.
    Augustin’s mode of manumission in Africa, 282, 283; Pope Leo’s
    letters, forbidding slaves to enter the priesthood, and protecting
    the rights of masters, 284, 285; barbarian cruelty to slaves
    ameliorated by Christianity, 286, 287; canons of the Council of
    Agdle on slavery, 288; modes of becoming slaves, 289, 290.

LESSON VIII.—Muratori on the manumission of slaves in Rome, 291;
    colonial and conditional slaves, 292; arming of slaves in defence of
    Rome and the glutting of the slave-markets of the world, 293; canons
    of the Fourth Council of Orleans, 294, 295; ditto Fifth Council of
    Orleans, 296 to 299.

LESSON IX.—Bishop England’s account of slavery in England and Ireland in
    remote ages, 299, 300; Pope Pelagius and the canons of the Third
    Councils of Paris and Braga, 301, 302; articles of the Third Council
    of Toledo, 302, 303.

LESSON X.—The venerable Bede’s account of the slave-trade of England,
    A.D. 577, 304 to 306; Pope Gregory’s purchase of British youth, 306,
    307; Gregory’s pastoral admonitions and epistles, 308 to 311.

LESSON XI.—Constantine’s edict that none but Christians could hold
    slaves, 212, 213; Gregory’s letter to the Præfect of Sicily, 313 to
    315; canons of the Fourth Councils of Orleans and Macon, 315, 316;
    Gregory to the Bishop of Luna, and the laws of the empire on
    slavery, 317, 318.

LESSON XII.—Gregory to the Bishop of Naples, 319, 320; the same to the
    Bishop of Catania, 321.

LESSON XIII.—Justinian’s law to protect debtors against slavery, 323;
    Gregory’s letters about a Syrian deeply in debt, 322; his letter of
    emancipation to Montana and Thomas, 324, 325; Justinian’s law of
    marriage between slaves and persons on different estates, 327, 328;
    Gregory’s letter on the same subject, 329; his letter to the Bishop
    of Syracuse on the same, 330, 331.

LESSON XIV.—Gregory’s deed of gift conveying the slave boy Acorimus to
    Theodore the counsellor, 331, 332; his letter about a slave to the
    Proctor Bonitus, 333: his document to reclaim runaway slaves, 333,
    334; his various letters concerning slaves and the purchase of
    Barbary slaves, 334 to 336.

LESSON XV.—Canons of the Councils of Toledo and Saragossa, 336 to 339;
    laws of Ina, king of the West Saxons, and the judgments of Withred,
    340 to 343.

LESSON XVI.—The canons of Theodore, Archbishop of Canterbury, King
    Pepin, Council of Bavaria, Pope Adrian and Charlemagne, 343 to 349;
    canon of the Council of Frankfort, 349, 350.

LESSON XVII.—Laws of Charlemagne on slavery, 350 to 353; canons of the
    Council of Aix-la-Chapelle, 353; capitulary of the Emperor
    Lotharius, 353 to 355.

LESSON XVIII.—Unconnected facts bearing on ancient slavery; prostitutes
    made slaves; Sclavonian bondage; persecution of the Knights
    Templars, 355 to 360.

LESSON XIX.—Derivation of the word _war_; Divine authority for wars, 361
    to 365; the church claiming the right to declare offensive war under
    two circumstances, 365; bull of Pope Gregory XI. against the
    Florentines, 366, 367; Papal bulls against the Venitians and Henry
    VIII. of England, 367 to 369; the American colonies at New Haven
    decreeing the Indian tribes to slavery, 369, 370.

LESSON XX.—Ancient piracy and pirates, 370, 371; rise of the Vandals,
    Goths, Huns, and Tartars, 372; the Northmen, 373 to 379.

LESSON XXI.—Condition of slavery in Europe, 379 to 381.

LESSON XXII.—Origin of the Sclavonians, 381; the descent of the Arabs
    and Moors, 383, 384.

LESSON XXIII.—Africans generally slaves in their native country, 384;
    African slavery to the Shemitic races foretold by prophecy, 385,
    386; sketch of the life, doctrines, and conquests of Mohammed and
    his successors, 386 to 390.

LESSON XXIV.—Slavery introduced into the world as a mercy in favour of
    life, 390; duty and interest combine to incite the master to promote
    religion and good morals in the slave, 391; slavery commanded by
    reason and the laws of nature, 392.

                                STUDY V.

LESSON I.—Faith and observance of facts in the moral world the true
    modes of learning God’s will, 393.

LESSON II.—The works of creation proofs of the Creator, 394 to 398.

LESSON III.—The question of the admission of evil into the economy of
    God’s government on earth, and a denial that all men are born
    equals, 398, 399; the five races of the human family, and the moral
    necessity of command in some and subordination in others, 399 to

LESSON IV.—Intellect correspondent to organization, 403; inquiry into
    the nature of instinct by various philosophers, 403 to 405;
    inexorable inequality of human condition in this world and the next,
    406 to 408.

LESSON V.—The moral duty of loving our species defined, 409.

LESSON VI.—Men not equal physically, religiously, mentally, morally, or
    politically, 410.

LESSON VII.—Justice and the rules of Christianity identical and
    inseparable, 411, 412.

LESSON VIII.-The golden rule considered in relation to slavery, 413 to

LESSON IX.—The unchangeableness of God, and human misery caused by a
    general rebellion against his laws, 417 to 420.

LESSON X.—Christianity incompatible with savage life, 420, 421.

LESSON XI.—Gradation in intellect and condition no impediment to
    Christianity, 421.

LESSON XII.—Christianity and slavery not antagonistic, 422.

LESSON XIII.—Christian humility inculcated, 423.

LESSON XIV.—The radiance of Christian hope equalizes all variety of
    condition, 423, 424; sketch of the slave’s prospect of immortal
    happiness, 426 to 428.

LESSON XV.—The feebleness of finite conceptions of infinity, 428, 429;
    hope for the submissive, 430, 431; the requirement of God that the
    strong should protect the weak, 432.

                               STUDY VI.

LESSON I.—Nature of sin; the primal transgression, 433, 434.

LESSON II.—The occupation and doom of Cain, 435, 436.

LESSON III.—The mark upon Cain, Mohammedan traditions, 437, 438;
    proof-texts from Scripture, 439, 440.

LESSON IV.—The punishment of Cain did not lead him to reformation, 440;
    Asiatic hyperbole in description, 441, 442.

LESSON V.—The cause of Cain’s degradation renewed upon Canaan, and his
    masters named, 442, 443.

LESSON VI.—Proofs that the descendants of Ham inherited the curse of
    Cain, and were black, as also were the Canaanites whom God’s chosen
    people either exterminated or enslaved, 443 to 447.

LESSON VII.—The negro lineage of Ham established, 447 to 451.

LESSON VIII.—Signification of the name “Naamah” in Hebrew and Arabic,
    451 to 455.

LESSON IX.—Variations in different languages of the names of Cain and
    Naamah, also of other remarkable words, 456 to 458.

LESSON X.—The names and derivatives of the words Cain and Naamah found
    only among the descendants of Ham, 459 to 464.

LESSON XI.—Proofs scriptural and historical that the descendants of Ham
    were black, 464 to 470.

LESSON XII.—Biblical proofs that the Canaanites were black, 471 to 473.

LESSON XIII.—Scriptural testimony respecting the colour of the races of
    the human family, 473 to 477.

LESSON XIV.—Jewish wars against the Ethiopian race; the Philistines
    black, 478, 479; the origin of these wars the animosity between the
    Shemitic and Hamitic races, 480; difference in the structure of the
    bones and the hair between the antagonist races, 481; intermarriage
    with the Hamitic by the Shemitic race a cause of God’s anger, 482;
    the dispersion of the Canaanites by the Jewish conquest of
    Palestine, 482.

LESSON XV.—Derivation and train of thought connected with the word Ham
    in the Shemitic languages, 483 to 487; the Hebrew personal pronoun,
    488 to 491; origin of the word Ethiopian, 493 to 495.

LESSON XVI.—Hebrew, Syriac, Greek, and Coptic derivations of the word
    Ham, 495 to 502.

LESSON XVII.—Exegesis of the thirty-third chapter of Ecclesiasticus, 502
    to 503; the providence of God manifested in placing deteriorated
    races under the control of races less debased, 504, 505.

                               STUDY VII.

LESSON I.—Critical examination into the meaning of the Greek word
    δουλος, _doulos_, _slave_, as used both by the sacred and classical
    writers, 506.

LESSON II.—Abolition denunciation of the Bible, 507, 508; tendency to
    mystery in the human mind; the God of Abraham and Moses, who gave
    command how to treat slaves, to be trustingly worshipped, 508, 509.

LESSON III.—The meaning of δουλος as used by the Greek poets, 510;
    Valckenaerus on the phonetic relation of Greek words to their
    derivative, 511 to 514; the argument that δουλος could not have
    meant an unconditional slave, refuted, 515, 516.

LESSON IV.—Extracts from Grecian historians, philosophers, and poets,
    showing the classical sense in which they used the word δουλος and
    its derivatives, 516 to 536.

LESSON V.—The use of the word δουλος by Thucydides, Herodotus, and
    Xenophon, 536 to 546.

LESSON VI.—Extracts from Xenophon continued, 546 to 549.

LESSON VII.—Extracts from Xenophon’s Cyropædia, 549 to 554.

LESSON VIII.—Extracts from Herodotus of Halicarnassus, 554 to 558.

LESSON IX.—The Scriptural use of the word δουλος, 559 to 561.

LESSON X.—Scriptural extracts continued, 562 to 564.

LESSON XI.—The Greek word signifying _slave-stealers_ in 1 Tim. i. 5 to
    11, 564 to 566; quotation from Xenophon in proof, 566; the appeal of
    Mr. Barnes to the Dutch, 567; Greek words from _freeman_ and
    _slave_, 568.

LESSON XII.—Paul on slave stealing, 569 to 572.

LESSON XIII.—Reasons for Paul’s instructions to Timothy and to Christian
    slaves respecting slave-stealing and the duties of the servile
    condition, 572 to 575.

LESSON XIV.—The use of the word δουλος by Jesus Christ, 576, 577.

LESSON XV.—Use of the word δουλος by Paul, Peter, Matthew, Mark, Luke,
    and John, 578 to 581.

LESSON XVI.—Origin of the English word _servant_ and its derivatives,
    581; its use by the sacred writers and Grecian scholars, 582 to 585.

                              STUDY VIII.

LESSON I.—Hebrew orthography of the word by which we mean _slave_, 586
    to 588; the corresponding word in the Arabic, Chaldaic, and Syriac
    languages, 588 to 590.

LESSON II.—Tendency of the Shemitic languages to the rhetorical figure
    prosopopœia, 590 to 594.

LESSON III.—Examples of the Hebrew word meaning _slave_, both as a noun
    and a verb, 595 to 601.

LESSON IV.—Refutation of the assertion that the root of the Hebrew word
    meaning _slave_ is also used in a sense signifying _worship_, 602 to

LESSON V.—Further quotations from the sacred writers, showing the
    meaning attached to the Hebrew word signifying _slave_ in the Old
    Testament, 607 to 609.

LESSON VI.—Quotations from the sacred authors of the use of the Hebrew
    verb signifying _to slave_, or _to be slaves_ to, 610, 611; identity
    of welfare and interest between the slave and his master, 612, 613.

LESSON VII.—The two distinct eras in the Hebrew language; its
    approximation to the Chaldaic and Persian in the second era, 613 to

LESSON VIII.—Meaning attached to the Hebrew word signifying _slave_ by
    Ezra, Nehemiah, Jeremiah, and other prophets, 616 to 618.

LESSON IX.—The use of the Hebrew word meaning slave in the book of
    Genesis, and extract from the Rev. J.B. Stratton’s letter to the
    author on the same, 618 to 620; the word _Eden_ in the Arabic, 620,
    621; the Hebrew word meaning _tilleth_, 622.

LESSON X.—The laws of Moses in Deuteronomy respecting slavery, 623.

LESSON XI.—The Hebrew use of the word meaning _slaves_ in Samuel, and
    many other books of the Bible, 624 to 627.

LESSON XII.—Declension of the Hebrew noun meaning _slave_, and the
    conjugation and paradigms of the Hebrew verb signifying _to slave_,
    628 to 637.


                          STUDIES ON SLAVERY.


                                Study I.


                               LESSON I.

  “_The Elements of Moral Science: By_ FRANCIS WAYLAND, D.D., _President
    of Brown University, and Professor of Moral Philosophy. Fortieth
    Thousand. Boston, 1849._” Pp. 396.

THIS author informs us that he has been many years preparing the work,
with a view to furnish his pupils with a text-book free from the errors
of Paley. Like Paley, whom he evidently wishes to supersede, he has
devoted a portion of his strength to the abolition of slavery. We
propose to look into the book with an eye to that subject alone.
President Wayland says:

P. 24. “Moral Law is a form of expression denoting an order of sequence
established between the moral quality of actions and their results.”

Pp. 25, 26. “An order of sequence established, supposes, of necessity,
an Establisher. Hence Moral Philosophy, as well as every other science,
proceeds upon the supposition of the existence of a Universal Cause, the
Creator of all things, who has made every thing as it is, and who has
subjected all things to the relations which they sustain. And hence, as
all relations, whether moral or physical, are the result of his
enactment, an order of sequence once discovered in morals, is just as
inviolable as an order of sequence in physics.

“Such being the fact, it is evident that the moral laws of God can never
be varied by the institutions of man, any more than the physical laws.
The results which God has connected with actions will inevitably occur,
all the created power in the universe to the contrary notwithstanding.

“Yet men have always flattered themselves with the hope that they could
violate the moral law and escape the consequences which God has
established. The reason is obvious. In physics, the consequent follows
the antecedent, often immediately, and most commonly after a stated and
well-known interval. In morals, the result is frequently long delayed;
the time of its occurrence is always uncertain:—Hence, ‘because the
sentence against an evil work is not _speedily_ executed, therefore the
hearts of the sons of men are fully set in them to do evil.’ But time,
whether long or short, has neither _power_ nor _tendency_ to change the
order of an established sequence. The time required for vegetation, in
different orders of plants, may vary; but, yet, wheat will always
produce wheat, and an acorn will always produce an oak. That such is the
case in morals, a heathen poet has taught us. ‘_Raro, antecedentum
scelestum deseruit pede pœna claudo_.’ HOR. lib. iii. car. 2.

“A higher authority has admonished us, ‘Be not deceived; God is not
mocked; whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he reap.’ It is also to be
remembered, that, in morals as well as in physics, the harvest is always
more abundant than the seed from which it springs.”

To this doctrine we yield the highest approval.

The first obvious deduction from the lesson here advanced is, that the
laws of God, as once revealed to man, never lose their high moral
qualities nor their divine character, at any subsequent age of the
world. The law, which God delivered to Moses from Mount Sinai,
authorizing his chosen people to buy slaves, and hold them as an
inheritance for their children after them, is, therefore, the law of God
now. The action of the law may be suspended at a particular time or
place, from a change of contingencies,—yet the law stands unaffected.

We hope no one doubts the accuracy of the doctrine thus fairly stated in
these “Elements.” But we shall see how fatal it is to some portions of
the author’s positions concerning slavery. And we propose to show how
this doctrine, as connected with slavery, has been, and is elucidated in
scripture. The twenty-eighth chapter of Deuteronomy shows that the
fruits of wickedness are all manner of curses, finally terminating in
slavery or death.

Here, slavery, as a threatened punishment, distinctly looks back to a
course of wickedness for its antecedent. The same idea is spread through
the whole Scriptures: “Whosoever committeth sin, is the _servant_ of
sin.” _John_ viii. 34. “I am carnal, sold under sin.” _Rom._ vii. 14.
“Behold, for your iniquities have ye sold yourselves.” _Isa._ 1. 1. See,
also, _Jer._ xiii. 22.

The biblical scholar will recollect a multitude of instances where this
doctrine is clearly advanced, recognising sin as the antecedent of

Abraham was obedient to the voice of God. His conduct was the antecedent
and the consequent was, God heaped upon him many blessings and among
them, riches in various things,—“_male and female slaves_,” some of whom
were “_born in his house_,” and some “_bought with his money_;” and God
made a covenant with him, granting him, and his seed after him, the land
of Canaan for an everlasting possession.

But this gift, as is the continuance of all other blessings, was
accompanied with a condition, which is well explained in _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; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he
hath spoken of him.”

Scholars will concede the fact that “_his household_” is a term by which
his slaves are particularly included, over whom his government was
extended; and, without its proper maintenance, the covenant so far on
his part would be broken.

From the wording of the covenant it is evident that Abraham had slaves
before the covenant was made, since it embraced regulations concerning
slaves, but, in no instance, hints that the existence of slavery was
adverse to the law of God, or that the holding of slaves, as slaves, was
contrary to his will. The deduction is, that slavery exists in the world
by Divine appointment; and that the act of owning slaves is in
conformity with the moral law.

The doctrine, that sin is the antecedent of slavery, is further
elucidated and made still more manifest by the recognition of the
institution by the biblical writers, where they place sin and slavery in
opposition to holiness and freedom:—thus, figuratively, making
righteousness the antecedent of freedom. “Stand fast, therefore, in the
liberty wherewith Christ has made us free, and be not entangled again
with the yoke of bondage.” _Gal._ v. 1. “And ye shall know the truth,
and the truth shall make you free.” _John_ iii. 32.

The abuse of slavery, like the abuse of any thing else, is doubtless a
great sin. Of the blessings God bestows on man, there is perhaps no one
he does not abuse; and while we examine the laws of God, as presenting
to the mind the vast field of cause and effect,—of antecedent and
consequent,—we may be led to a reflection on the necessity of a
conformity thereto, lest a long continuance of such abuses shall become
the antecedent to future calamities and woes, either to ourselves or
posterity; woes and calamities prefigured by those nations and tribes
already under the infliction of slavery, as a just punishment of sin.

Thus far, we thank the Rev. Dr. Wayland for this fair _exposé_ of his
views of the moral law of God; and if he will apply them now to the
institution of slavery,—if he will unfetter his intellect from the
manacles imposed on it by a defective education on that subject, and cut
himself loose from the prejudices that his associations have gathered
around him, we may yet have occasion to rejoice over him as one once an
estray from the fold of truth, but now returned, “sitting in his right
mind and clothed.” And will not Mr. Fuller and Professor Taylor rejoice
with us!


                               LESSON II.

In those “Elements of Moral Science,” we find the following, p. 29:

“From what has been said, it may be seen that there exists, in the
actions of men, an element which does not exist in the actions of brutes
* * * * * * We can operate upon brutes only by fear of punishment, and
hope of reward. We can operate upon man, not only in this manner, but
also by an appeal to his consciousness of right and wrong; and by such
means as may improve his moral nature. Hence, all modes of punishment,
which treat men as we treat brutes, are as unphilosophical as they are
thoughtless, cruel, and vindictive. Such are those systems of criminal
jurisprudence which have in view nothing more than the infliction of
pain upon the offender.”

It was unnecessary to inform us that man possesses higher mental
endowments than the brute. But the main object of the author in the
foregoing paragraph is his deduction; that, because we can operate on
man by an appeal to his consciousness of right and wrong, therefore any
other mode of governing him is wrong. This _consequent_ we fail to
perceive. We also fail in the perception that his postulate is
universally true: which we think should have been proved before he can
claim assent to the deduction. If this our view be correct, we beg the
reverend author to reflect how far he may have made himself obnoxious to
the charge of sophistry!

If President Wayland intends, by the clause,—“and by such means as may
improve his moral nature,”—to include _corporeal punishment_, then his
mind was unprepared to grapple with the subject; for, in that case, the
whole paragraph is obscure, without object, and senseless. We most
readily agree that to govern man by appeals to his consciousness of
right and wrong is highly proper where the mind is so well cultivated
that no other government is required.

But, however unhappy may be the reflection, too large a proportion of
the human family will not fall within that class. How often do we see
among men, otherwise having some claim to be classed with the
intelligent, those of acknowledged bad habits; habits which directly
force the sufferer downward to poverty, disgrace, disease, imbecility,
and death,—on whom argument addressed to their “consciousness of right
and wrong,” “is water spilled on the ground.”

Children, whose ancestors have, for ages, ranked among the highly
cultivated of the earth,—each generation surpassing its predecessor in
knowledge, in science, and religion,—have been found to degenerate,
oftener than otherwise, when trained solely by arguments addressed to
their reason, and unaccompanied by physical compulsion.

What then are we to expect from man in a savage state, whose ancestors
have been degenerating from generation to generation, through untold
ages,—him, who has scarcely a feeling in common with civilized man,
except such as is common to the mere animal,—him, whom deteriorating
causes have reduced to the lowest grade above the brute?

Domberger spent twelve years in passing through the central parts of
Africa, from north to south. He found the negroes, in a large district
of country, in a state of total brutality. Their habits were those only
of the wild brutes. They had no fixed residences. They lay down wherever
they might be when disposed to sleep. They were not more gregarious than
the wild goats. So far as he could discover, they had not a language
even, by which to hold intercourse with each other. They possessed no
power by which they were enabled to exhibit moral degradation, any more
than the wild beasts.

Hanno, the Carthaginian navigator, in his Periplus, eight hundred years
before the birth of Christ, gives a similar account of a race he calls

It is possible that man, in these extreme cases, where there is very
little to unlearn, might sooner be regenerated, elevated to
civilization, physical and mental power, than in other cases where there
may be far more proof of mental capacity, but where the worst of
intellectual and physical habits have stained soul and body with,
perhaps, a more indelible degradation.

It would be a curious experiment, and add much to our knowledge of the
races of man, to ascertain how many generations, under the most
favourable treatment, it would require to produce an equal to Moses, or
a David, a Newton, or the learned Dr. Wayland himself, (if such be
possible,) from these specimens of man presented before us! And we now
inquire, what course of treatment will you propose, as the most
practical, to elevate such a race to civilization?

It appears to us God has decided that slavery is the most effectual.

“Therefore my people are gone into captivity, because they have no
knowledge.” _Isa._ v. 13. “And they forsook the Lord, and served Baal
and Ashteroth. And the anger of the Lord was hot against Israel, and he
delivered them into the hands of the spoilers that spoiled them, and he
_sold_ them into the hands of their enemies round about.” _Judg._ ii.
13, 14. See also, iii. 6–8. “If his children forsake my law and walk not
in my judgments: if they break my statutes, and keep not my
commandments: then will I visit their transgressions with the rod and
their iniquity with stripes.” _Ps._ lxxxviii. 30–32. “He that troubleth
his own house shall inherit the wind: and the fool shall be the servant
(עֶבֶד _ebed_, _slave_) to the wise of heart.” _Prov._ ii. 29. “And her
daughters shall go into captivity. Thus will I execute judgments in
Egypt: and they shall know that I _am_ the Lord.” _Ezek._ xxx. 18. _See
also the preceding part of the chapter._

It is highly probable that among savage tribes, punishment and the
infliction of pain are often applied with no higher view than to torture
the object of displeasure. But to us it seems remarkably unfortunate, in
a student of moral and civil jurisprudence, to suggest that legal
punishment, among civilized men, is ever awarded or ordered with any
such feeling. If our education has given us a correct view of the
subject, the man who inflicts pain even on the brute, solely on the
account of such a feeling, instantly, so far as it is known, sinks to
the grade of a savage; and much more explicitly when the object of
revenge is his fellow man. On the contrary, when “the offender” has
given unquestionable evidence of a depravity too deeply seated for any
hope of regeneration, and the law orders his death, it selects that mode
of execution which inflicts the least suffering, and which shall have
also the greatest probable influence to deter others who may be downward
bound in the road of moral deterioration. There never has been a code of
laws among civilized nations, where the object of punishment was to
inflict pain on the implicated; only so far as was thought necessary to
influence a change of action for the better. The object of punishment
invariably has been the improvement of society.

If the Rev. Dr. Wayland had been teaching legislation to savages, or,
perhaps, their immediate descendants, his remarks, to which we allude,
might have been in place. But may we inquire to what cause are _we_
indebted for them?

Permit us to inquire of the Doctor, where now are to be found the
“systems of criminal jurisprudence” to which he alludes? Does he imagine
that such system has some _likeness_ to the government of the civilized
man over his slave? Or, in their government, does he propose to abolish
corporeal punishment, because he may think that will destroy the
institution itself? For “a servant (עָ֑בֶד _abed_, _a slave_) though he
understand, he will not answer.” _Prov._ xxix. 19.

We cannot pass over the paragraph we have quoted, without expressing the
most bitter regret to learn from Dr. Wayland’s own words, that he
recognises the fact, without giving it reproval, that “we” punish
“brutes” with no other view than to inflict pain. To _us_, such an idea
is most repugnant and awful! And we hope—we pray Him who alone hath
power to drag up from the deep darkness of degradation, that the minds
of such men may be placed under the controlling influence of a rule that
will compel to a higher sense of what is proper, and to a more clear
perception of what is truth!


                              LESSON III.

The learned Doctor says:

P. 49. “By conscience, or moral sense, is meant that faculty by which we
discern the moral quality of actions, and by which we are capable of
certain affections in respect to this quality.

“By _faculty_ is meant _any particular part_ of our constitution, by
which we become affected by the various qualities and relations of
beings around us?” * * * “Now, that we do actually observe a moral
quality in the actions of men, must, I think, be admitted. Every human
being is conscious, that, from childhood, he has observed it.” * * * * *

P. 50. “The question would then seem reduced to this: Do we perceive
this quality of actions by a single faculty, or by a combination of
faculties? I think it must be evident from what has been already stated,
that this is, in its nature, simple and ultimate, and _distinct from
every other notion_.

“Now, if this be the case, it seems self-evident that we must have a
_distinct_ and _separate faculty_, to make us acquainted with the
existence of this _distinct_ and _separate quality_.”

And for proof, he adds: “This is the case in respect to all other
distinct qualities: it is, surely, reasonable to suppose, that it would
be the case in this.”

What! have we a distinct faculty by which we determine one thing to be
red, and another distinct faculty by which we discover a thing to be
black; another distinct faculty by which we judge a thing to be a cube,
and another distinct faculty by which we determine it to be a triangle?
Have we one distinct faculty by which we find a melon, and another by
which we find a gourd? What! one distinct faculty by which we determine
a professor of moral philosophy to be a correct teacher, and another by
which we discover him to be a visionary?

This faculty of _moral sense_ puts us in mind of Dr. Testy’s description
of the peculiar and distinct particles upon the tongue, which render a
man a liar, a lunatic, or a linguist; a treacher, a tattler, or a
teacher, and so on. His theory is that every mental and moral quality of
a man has its distinct particle, or little pimple, upon the tongue,
whereby the quality is developed; or, by the aid of which the man is
enabled to make the quality manifest. Long practice in examining the
tongues of sick people enabled him, he says, to make the discovery. We
should like to know what acuminated elevation of the cuticle of the
tongue represented “conscience or moral sense,” as a separate and
distinct faculty!

Why does he not at once borrow support from the extravagancies of
phrenology, and assert, according to the notions of its teachers, that,
since the brain is divided into distinct organs for the exercise of each
distinct faculty, therefore there must be a distinct faculty for the
conception of each idea? There is surely an evident relation between
this theory of the author and the doctrines of Gall; nor will the world
fail to associate it with the phantasies of Mesmer.

But we ask the author and his pupils to apply to this theory the truism
of Professor Dodd: “It is, at all times, a sufficient refutation of what
purports to be a statement of facts, to show that the only kind of
evidence by which the facts could possibly be sustained, does not

The theory by which the Doctor arrives at the conclusion that we possess
a separate and distinct faculty for the perception of each separate and
distinct quality, assimilates to that of a certain quack, who asserted
that the human stomach was _mapped_ off, like Gall’s cranium, into
distinct organs of digestion; one solely for beef-steak, one for
mutton-chops, and another for plum-pudding!

It is a great point with certain of the higher class of abolition
writers to establish the doctrine that man possesses a distinct mental
power, which they call _conscience_, or _moral sense_, by which he is
enabled to discover, of himself, and without the aid of study, teaching,
or even inspiration, what is right and what is wrong.

The practice is, the child is taught by them that slavery is very
wicked; that no slaveholder can be a good man; and much of such matter.
Books are put into the hands of the schoolboy and the youth, inculcating
similar lessons, fraught with lamentation and sympathy for the imaginary
woes of the slave, and hatred and disgust towards the master; and when
maturer years are his, he is asked if he does not feel that slavery is
very wicked; and the professors of moral philosophy then inform him that
he feels so because he possesses “a distinct mental faculty”—distinct
from the judgment—which teaches those who cultivate it, infallibly, all
that is right and wrong; that this conscience, or moral sense, is more
to be relied on than the Bible—than the ancient inspirations of God!

Hence, Channing says:

“That same inward principle, which teaches a man what he is bound to do
to others, teaches equally, and at the same instant, what others are
bound to do to him.” * * * “His _conscience_, in revealing the moral
law, does not reveal a law for himself only, but speaks as a universal
legislator.” * * * “There is no deeper principle in human nature than
the consciousness of right.” Vol. ii. p. 33.

And Barnes, on Slavery, says:

P. 381. “If the Bible could be shown to defend and countenance slavery
as a good institution, it would make thousands of infidels; for there
are multitudes of minds that will see more clearly that slavery is
against all the laws which God has written on the human soul, than they
would see, that a book, sanctioning such a system, had evidence of
Divine origin.”

And this same author makes Dr. Wayland say:

P. 310. “Well may we ask, in the words of Dr. Wayland, (pp. 83, 84,)
whether there was ever such a moral superstructure raised on such a
foundation? The doctrine of purgatory from a verse of Maccabees; the
doctrine of papacy from the saying of Christ to Peter; the establishment
of the Inquisition from the obligation to extend the knowledge of
religious truth, all seem nothing to it. If the religion of Christ
allows such a license from such precepts as these, the New Testament
would be the greatest curse that ever was inflicted on our race.”

This book, as quoted by Barnes, we have not seen.

Such is the doctrine of these theologians, growing out of the
possession, as they imagine, of this _distinct moral faculty_,
infallibly teaching them the truth touching the moral quality of the
actions of men. And what is its effect upon their scarcely more wicked
pupils? One of them, in a late speech in Congress, says:

“Sir, I must express the most energetic dissent from those who would
justify modern slavery from the Levitical law. My _reason_ and
_conscience_ revolt from those interpretations which

              Torture the hallowed pages of the Bible,
              To sanction crime, and robbery, and blood,
              And, in oppression’s hateful service, libel
              ‘Both man and God!’”

The ignorant fanaticism, so proudly buoyant even in repose upon its
ill-digested reason,—here so flippantly uttered,—to us bespeaks a
dangerous man, (as far as he may have capacity,) in whatever station he
may be found. The most hateful idolatry has never presented to the world
a stronger proof of a distorted imagination giving vent to the rankest
falsehood. It is to be deeply regretted that such intellects are ever
permitted to have any influence upon the minds of the young. We deem it
would be a fearful inquiry, to examine how far the strange
assassinations, lately so common at the North, have been the direct
result of that mental training of which we here see an example. We fear
too little is thought of the quick transition from this erroneous
theology to the darkened paths of man when enlightened alone by his own
depraved heart.

The saying is true, however awful: He who rejects or dispels the plain
meaning of the Bible, rejects our God, and is an idolater; and God alone
can give bound to his wicked conceptions.

The foregoing extracts show us a specimen of the arguments and
conclusions emanating from the doctrine that the conscience is a
distinct mental power, and that it infallibly teaches what is right
before God. We deem it quite objectionable—quite erroneous!

We present the proposition: The judgment is as singly employed in the
decision of what is right and wrong, as it is in the conclusion that all
the parts of a thing constitute the whole of it. True, the judgment,
when in the exercise of determining what is right and wrong in regard to
our own acts, has been named _conscience_. But it remains for that class
of philosophers, who argue that man possesses a faculty of
_clairvoyance_, to establish that man has also a sister faculty, which
they call _conscience_, or _moral sense_; and that it exists as an
independent mental power, distinct from judgment.

                  *       *       *       *       *

Most men live without reflection. They think of nothing but the objects
of sense, of pressing want, and the means of relief. The wonderful works
of nature create no wonder. A mine of sea-shells on the Andes excites no
surprise. Of the analogies or dissimilarities between things, or their
essential relations, the mind takes no notice. Even their intellectual
powers exist almost without their cognisance. Their mental faculties are
little improved or cultivated; and, as they are forced to the Gazetteer
for the description of some distant locality, so they would be to their
logic, before they could speak of their own mental functions.

The teaching of this doctrine, untrue as it is, may, therefore, be very
harmful; as ill-informed individuals often form a very erroneous
judgment about right and wrong, and, under the influence of its
teachings, may come to think and believe that their conclusion
concerning right and wrong is the product of their infallible guide, the
_conscience_, or _moral sense_, and therefore past all doubt and beyond
question; that their minds are under the influence and control of a
_new_ and _spiritually higher law_ than the law of the land, or even the
moral law as laid down in the Bible, when not in unison with their
feelings. And we venture to prophesy, in case this doctrine shall gain
general credence, that such will be the rocks on which multitudes will
founder; for simple and ill-informed people may thus be led, and
doubtless are, to do very wicked and mischievous acts, under the
influence of this belief—a belief of their possessing this power, which
no one ever did possess, unless inspired.

“There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are
the ways of death.” _Prov._ xvi. 25.

                  *       *       *       *       *

Thus we see there is a class of theologians, who, in hot pursuit of
abolitionism, seem ready to sacrifice their Bible and its religion to
the establishment of such principles as they deem wholly contradictory
to, and incompatible with, the existence of slavery; and it is hence
that they attempt to teach that man possesses an intuitive sense of its
wrong. But shall we not be forced, with regret, to acknowledge, that
there are quacks in divinity as well as in physic?


                               LESSON IV.

We do not charge Dr. Wayland with being the author of this new doctrine
that man possesses an independent and distinct power, faculty, or sense,
by the exercise of which he perceives right and wrong, or, in other
words, the moral quality of the actions of men, and upon which
perception he may rest with safety, as to its accuracy and truthfulness;
for the same doctrine has been suggested by greater men than Dr.
Wayland, long ago. Lord Shaftesbury, Dr. Hutchinson, and Dr. Reid have
laid the foundation; the latter of whom says, (p. 242,) “The testimony
of our moral faculty, like that of the external senses, is the testimony
of nature, and we have the same reason to rely upon it.“ Again: “As we
rely upon the clear and distinct testimony of our eyes, concerning the
figures and colours of bodies about us, we have the same reason, with
security, to rely upon the clear and unbiassed testimony of our
conscience with regard to what we ought or ought not to do.”

                  *       *       *       *       *

Such sentiments may seem to some to be deducible from an indistinct and
indefinite reference to our judgment after the understanding has been
improved by moral culture, when such judgment, by a mere looseness of
language, is sometimes described as if the writers confounded it with
the state of mind and moral perfectibility produced by the reception of
the Holy Ghost. Thus, Archbishop Secker, in his Fourth Lecture on the
Catechism, says:

“How shall all persons know what they are taught to believe is really

“_Answer._ The greater part of it, when it is once duly proposed to
them, they may perceive to be so by the light of their own reason and

Now it is evident that the bishop’s answer is predicated upon the
supposition that the understanding has been cultivated in conformity to
the principles of moral truth.

But, from such hasty, perhaps thoughtless, snatches of speculation,
occasionally found in some few of the older metaphysical writers, our
author and his co-associates in this belief have drawn their materials,
remodelled the parts, and reared, even as to heaven, a lofty structure
upon a doubtful, tottering base, bringing untold social and political
evils upon society, and spiritual death, in its fall, to all who shelter
under it. But for the good of the world, in opposition to such a
doctrine, truth has erected her column of solid masonry, against which
the fanaticism and sophistry of these builders can only, like successive
drops of water, carry down the walls some useless portions of the

We repeat, how tottering must be the argument founded upon analogy where
there is no relation! We all agree that the senses make truthful
representations: all see, smell, and taste alike; vinegar will be sour
to the savage, as well as the savant. But is their judgment the same
about the moral qualities of actions? What says this moral sense, this
conscience, in the savage, who is taught to steal from his friend and
torture his enemy? Does the reverend doctor think his moral sense will
dictate the same conclusion? What right has he, then, to say, it is the
voice of nature—of God? Does he fail to perceive that the moral quality
of actions is distinguished by man in conformity to his experience, his
training, his education?

We see that men often differ about the moral quality of an action. It
might be that no two men would have the same idea about the moral
quality of a particular action. Would the conscience, this moral sense,
or faculty, in such case, be right in each one? If not, who is to
determine which is right and which is wrong? And further, of what use to
man can be this distinct, independent, and unchangeably truthful power,
which, nevertheless, brings him no certainty? But has the mind of man
ever found out that God has overdone, or unnecessarily done, any thing?
Will these theorists reflect, that, in case God had seen fit to bestow
such a sense on man, inspiration would have been useless, and the Bible
not wanted? And the condition of man upon the earth would be wholly
stationary instead of progressive. And permit us to inquire, whether
this notion of theirs is the reason why some of these theorists speak so
rashly, we might say blasphemously, of that sacred volume, upon the
condition which they dictate?

The truth is, we have no such infallible guide. The idea of right and
wrong, either theologically or physically considered, is always fixed
through an exertion of the powers of the understanding. We have no
instinctive power reaching the case. Our judgment, our feelings are
often unstable, irregular, and sometimes antagonistic. In abstruse
cases, very often we cannot even satisfy ourselves what is right and
will it be said that we do not often fail to see the object, design, and
law of God touching a case?

On every decision on a question of right or wrong, a train of mental
action is called into operation, comparing the ideas already in the mind
with the facts of the case under review, and noting the similarity of
these facts to our idea of right, or whether the facts conform to our
idea of wrong. This decision we call judgment: but when the decision
reaches to the question of right or wrong, touching our own conduct
only, logicians have agreed to call it conscience; not a distinct action
from judgment—much less a distinct faculty; and by no means carrying
with it more proof of accuracy and correctness than is our judgment
about any other matter, where the ideas and facts are equally manifest
and accurately presented.

There is another consideration which to us gives proof that the
conscience or moral sense is not an independent faculty of the mind, nor
to be relied on at all as infallible. Many of us have noticed the
changes that imperceptibly come over our moral feelings, and judgment of
right and wrong, conscience or moral sense, through the influences of
association and habit. Our affluent neighbour, who manifests to others
many virtues and some follies, our mind, by association and habit,
regards as a perfect model of human greatness and perfection. Thus a
corrupt government soon surveys a corrupt people; and a somewhat
licentious, but talented and accomplished clergyman, soon finds his
hearers in fashion. Nor is it unfrequent, that which should stigmatize a
father is beheld with admiration by the son. Thus wealth, to most, is
desirable, but its desirability has been created by association; we
recollect the objects it enables us to command, often the objects of our
principal pursuit. The quality the mind associates with these
gratifications, it eventually associates with that which procures them.
Thus, we perceive, the mind is able to form a moral estimate upon
considerations wholly artificial, which could never happen in case the
moral sense was independent, and a distinct faculty teaching us
infallible truth.

But how are we to account for the fact that some of the finest
intellects, as well as the most learned men, have fallen into this most
dangerous error? It should be a subject of deep thought!

We discover, in some men of the highest order of intellects, the power
of arriving, as it were instantaneously, at a conclusion, giving it the
appearance of being intuitive, rather than the result of what would be,
when analyzed, a long chain of reasoning. Thus, the instant and happy
thought often springing to the mind when in some sudden or unforeseen
difficulty. The nice and instant perception, often displayed by medical
men, of the condition of the patient, is an example; and hence the
astonishing accuracy of judgment, sometimes noticed in the military
commander, from a mere glance of the eye.

In such cases the mind is often not conscious of any mental action; and
others, who observe these facts, are led, sometimes, to confound what,
in such cases, is a deductive judgment, with intuitiveness. The
judgment, thus formed without any perceptible succession of thought, is
merely the result of acquirement from long experience and habits of
active ratiocination. Some few instances of this unconscious and rapid
thought have been exemplified by mathematicians, when the calculator
could give no account how he arrived at the conclusion. Will any one
claim that they abstract their answers from the most abstruse
propositions intuitively, or by instinct, or by any new and distinct
faculty of the mind? This habit of mind is as applicable to morals as to
any thing else. But in mathematics the data are everywhere the same;
whereas in morals the data are as different among men as are their
conditions of life; because our ideas of right and wrong, existing in
the mind before the judgment is formed on the case to be considered,
were introduced by the aid of the senses, through the medium of
experience and education; and it is, therefore, quite obvious that the
idea of right in one man may be quite like the idea of wrong in another.

But it remains to show the fallacy of the argument by which Dr. Wayland
arrives at his conclusion. Let us examine the paragraph quoted, and sift
from verbiage the naked points of the argument:

“We do actually observe a moral quality in the actions of men.”

“Do we perceive this quality of actions by a single faculty, or a
combination of faculties? This notion” (the perception of the moral
quality of an action) “is, in its nature, simple and ultimate, and
distinct from every other notion.”

“We have a distinct faculty to make us acquainted with the existence of
all other distinct qualities.” “Therefore, it is self-evident that this
is a separate and distinct faculty.”

The syllogism is defective because the idea of right or wrong is not
simple nor ultimate, but complex, and ever subject to change from the
influence of any new light presented to the mind. Nor is it true that we
possess a distinct faculty to make us acquainted with each distinct
quality; for, if so, the mind would be merely a very large bundle of
faculties; and we should neither possess nor stand in need of any
reasoning powers whatever, because the naked truth about every thing
would always stand revealed before us by these faculties; which, we
think, is not the fact.

In syllogistic argument, the first principles must be something that
cannot be otherwise—unalterable—an eternal truth; “because these
qualities cannot belong to the conclusion unless they belong to the
premises, which are its causes.”

The syllogism will then stand thus:

It is not true our notion, or idea, of the moral quality of an action
“is simple and ultimate, and distinct from any other idea or notion:”

It is not true that we have a distinct faculty to make us acquainted
with the existence of all other distinct qualities:

Therefore, it is not true, nor self-evident, that we perceive the moral
qualities of an action, or that we have the idea or notion of it, by the
aid of a single distinct and separate faculty.

The “notion” advanced by Dr. Wayland, on this subject, appears to us so
strange, that it would be difficult to conceive it to have been issued
or promulgated by a schoolman, did we not know how often men, led by
passion, some by prejudice, argue from false premises to which they take
no heed, or, from a want of information, honestly mistake for truths.


                               LESSON V.

P. 206. “It” (slavery) “supposes that the Creator intended one human
being to govern the physical, intellectual, and moral actions of as many
other human beings as, by purchase, he can bring within his physical
power, and that one human being may thus acquire a right to sacrifice
the happiness of any number of other human beings, for the purpose of
promoting his own.”

This proposition is almost a total error. Slavery supposes the Creator
intended that the interest of the master in the slave who, by becoming
his slave, becomes his property, should secure to the slave that
protection and government which the slave is too degenerate to supply to
himself; and that such protection and government are necessary to the
happiness and well-being of the slave, without which he either remains
stationary or degenerates in his moral, mental, and physical condition.

P. 207. “It” (slavery) “renders the eternal happiness of the one party
subservient to the temporal happiness of the other.”

This is equally untrue. Slavery subjects one party to the command of
another who is expected to feel it a duty to so “command his household”
that “they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment.”

This is the voice of God on the subject, as heretofore quoted. The
learned Dr. Wayland is evidently wholly unacquainted with the spirit and
intention, and, we may add, origin of the institution of slavery; yet he
has, doubtless, been studying some of its abuses.

But suppose a man to study nothing of Christianity but its abuses, and
from these alone undertake to describe what he conceives to be its
results, its character, and suppositions; he doubtless would make what
Dr. Wayland would very justly call a distorted representation; and
perhaps, he might safely use a harsher phrase. But would such a
representation be productive of any good in the world? It might do much
mischief by spreading, broadcast, its errors and misrepresentations; a
most delicious food for the morbid appetite of the ignorant and fanatic
infidel! Yes, infidelity has its fanatics as well as abolitionism!

“Obey them that have rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they
watch for your souls as they that must give account, that they may do it
with joy and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.” _Heb._
xiii. 17.

                  *       *       *       *       *

P. 207. “If argument were necessary to show that such a system as this
must be at variance with the ordinance of God, it might easily be drawn
from the effects which it produces, both upon morals and national

The author, in this instance, as he has in many others, designs to
produce an effect on the mind of his reader from what he does not say,
as well as from what he does say. We acknowledge this mode to be quite
noncommittal, while, on the minds of some, it may be very skilfully used
to produce an impression. But we confess ourselves ignorant of any
logical rule by which it is entitled to produce any on us. The mode of
speech used is intended to produce the impression that the proposition
is someway self-evident, and therefore stands in no need of proof or
argument. But how the proposition, that slavery is “at variance with the
ordinances of God” is self-evident, and needs no proof nor argument, we
have not the “moral sense” or “faculty” to discover. But as Dr. Wayland
proposes, nevertheless, to prove its truth by its effects on morals and
wealth, let us listen to the evidence.

_Idem._ “Its effects must be disastrous upon the morals of both parties.
By presenting objects on whom passion may be satiated without resistance
and without redress, it tends to cultivate in the master, pride, anger,
cruelty, selfishness, and licentiousness. By accustoming the slave to
subject his moral principles to the will of another, it tends to abolish
in him all moral distinctions; and thus fosters in him lying, deceit,
hypocrisy, dishonesty, and a willingness to yield himself up to the
appetites of his master.”

This is his proof that slavery is “at variance with the ordinances of
God,” as he has drawn it from its effect on morals;—in which we think
him singularly unfortunate. He asks us to receive, as proof of the truth
of the proposition, a combination of propositions all requiring proof of
their truth, but of the truth of which he offers no proof.

This view of the state of the argument, we imagine, would be sufficient
to condemn it in all well-schooled minds; but, nevertheless, we propose
to show that which he offers as proof is not true; and even if true, is
no proof of the truth of the proposition he endeavours to sustain.

In regard to the master, the effect complained of may or may not exist,
as may be the fact whether the master is or is not capable of
administering the charge and government of slaves wisely for himself and
them. But these abuses, when found to exist, are no proof of the moral
impropriety of the institution; for, if so, the abuses of a thing are
proof that the thing itself is evil. There are many abuses of
government: is government, therefore, at variance with the ordinances of
God? The same of matrimony; and is it, therefore, to be set aside? Some
men make an abusive use of their education, and, in consequence, would
have been more valuable members of society in a state of comparative
ignorance: are our universities, therefore, to be abolished? Money has
been said to be “the root of all evil;” it, to some extent, is the
representative of wealth and power; the possession of either of which
may, in some individuals, sometimes apparently enable the possessor “to
cultivate pride, anger, cruelty, selfishness, and licentiousness.” The
same may be said of power of any kind. But has not Dr. Wayland learned
that there are cases where the effect would be and is entirely the
reverse?—where power, wealth, or even the possession of slaves, produces
in the possessor a greater degree of humility, placidity or mildness,
sympathy or charity for others, and orderly conduct in himself? Does the
reverend moral philosopher make so low an estimate of the value of
civilization—of the influence of Christianity—as not to admit the
capability of enjoying a blessing without abusing it?

If Dr. Wayland’s argument be founded on truth, it will be easy to show
that any system of things must be at variance with the ordinances of God
which permit the possession of either power or wealth: consequently, in
such case, we must and should all go back to the savage state. We ask
this learned standard author to read the history of Abraham and Isaac,
and inform us whether slavery produced the effect on them which he
supposes to be an entailment of the institution; for the effect must be
proved to be an unchangeable, a universal and unavoidable consequence,
before it can receive the character of evidence in the case to which he
applies it.

But Dr. Wayland thinks that slavery “tends to abolish all moral
distinctions in the slave”—“fosters in him lying, deceit, hypocrisy,
dishonesty, and a willingness to yield himself up to minister to the
appetites of his master;” and, therefore, “is at variance with the
ordinances of God.”

If the doctor had seen the native African and slave in the wild, frantic
joy of his savage worship, tendered to his chief idol-god, the
imbodiment of concupiscence; if he had seen all the power of the
Christian master centered to effect the eradication of this heathen
belief, and the habits it engendered; had he witnessed the anxiety of
the master for the substitution of the precepts of Christianity; if he
had seen the untiring efforts of the masters, sometimes for several
generations, before this great object could be accomplished, and the
absolute necessity of its accomplishment before the labour of the slave
could ordinarily become to him an article of full and desirable
profit,—he would probably never have written the paragraph we have

But since, in the honest, we may perhaps say the amiable, simplicity of
his mind, he has composed this lesson for his pupil, which, like the
early dew in imperceptible showers on the tender blade, becomes the
daily nutriment of his juvenile mind and the habitual aliment of its
maturity, we deem it necessary to make one further brief remark in proof
of its entire inadequacy to the task assigned it in his argument, as a
particular and special, and of its total untruthfulness as a general and
comprehensive, maxim in morals.

Our experience is, that the crimes here named, when detected in the
slave, are punished, and, if necessary, with severity, if for no other
reason, because they render the slave less valuable to his master. The
master wishes to find in his slave one on whom he can rely with
certainty; in whom there is no dissonance of interest from his own, and
whose honesty and obedience are past doubt. The qualities which are the
exact opposite of the crimes imputed are, therefore, sedulously
cultivated in the slave,—and truly, very often, with small success. But
we are surprised at the doctrine which proclaims a system of government
that ever punishes and looks with displeasure on “lying, deceit,
hypocrisy, and dishonesty,” to be the very thing to foster and nourish
those vices! When such is proved to be the fact, we shall regard it as a
new discovery in morals.

As to the last clause of what he has adduced as proof of his
proposition, we say that any one who is in the employ, or even the
company, of another, either as a friend, wife, child, or hireling, as
well as slave, may manifest a growing willingness to minister to the
appetites of such person; and such inclination, or willingness, will
operate to the benefit or injury of those so influenced, in proportion
as such appetite is good or bad, or tends to good or evil: but this
influence, whether tending to benefit or injury, is not an exclusive
incident of slavery, and, therefore, cannot with any propriety, be
quoted either for or against it: for, everywhere, “evil communications
corrupt good manners.”


                               LESSON VI.

Dr. Wayland informs us that slavery is at variance with the ordinances
of God, because it diminishes the amount of national wealth. If the
diminishing of national wealth be proof of the variance from the
ordinances of God, then it will follow that whatever will increase such
wealth must be in conformity to such ordinances,—a position which we
think no one will attempt to maintain. But let us notice the evidence he
adduces to prove that slavery diminishes national wealth. His first
proof is, that slavery does not “impose on all the necessity of labour;”
but that it “restricts the number of labourers—that is, of producers—by
rendering labour disgraceful.”

Now this is surely a proposition which requires to be proved itself
before it can be received as a proof of an antecedent proposition; and
President Wayland seems to have perceived that, under the general term,
“labourers,” it would be incapable of proof; and, therefore, he informs
us that by labourers he means producers. The logicians will agree that
there is a disjointedness in this proposition (very common in this
author) to which exception might be taken; but we suppose Dr. Wayland
means that slavery decreases the number of those whose labour is
employed in the production of the articles or products of agriculture;
for we do not presume he means that the labours of the law, physic,
divinity, the mechanic arts, commerce, politics or war, are rendered
disgraceful by slavery, but agriculture alone; and that, therefore, it
is at variance with the ordinances of God, because it thus diminishes
the amount of national wealth. If this is not his meaning, we confess
ourselves unable to find any meaning in it.

We know of no surer method to test its truth or falsehood than for the
Slave States to compare their number of agricultural producers with
those of the Free States, having relation to the entire population. The
result will be found wholly adverse to the reverend moralist’s position.
In fact, so great is the disproportion between the numbers of
agricultural labourers in the Slave States, compared to those in the
Free, that the articles of their produce often fall down to prices
ruinous to the agriculturist, which very seldom, or never, happens in
the Free States. Let Dr. Wayland study the statistics touching this
point, and he will find himself in error.

But the proposition of President Wayland includes this minor
proposition: That the increase of agricultural products, to the greatest
possible extent, increases national wealth. We are very far from
discovering the truth of this; because the increase of a production,
beyond utility and demand, can add nothing to the value of the
production, since value depends upon utility and demand. If this
position be true, which we think very few at this day will dispute, it
is quite obvious that President Wayland, and even Adam Smith, (from whom
we suppose the former has received this notion,) are quite mistaken when
they predicate the amount of labour to be the sole measure, or, in fact,
the amount of wealth; since that position must render the amount of
labour and the amount of wealth terms of convertible significance,
which, in fact, is seldom the case. Such, then, being the state of the
argument, Dr. Wayland’s proposition is, in effect: That the production
of the articles of agriculture, to an extent beyond any demand or value,
is in conformity to the ordinances of God; and, therefore, their
production, to any less extent, is at variance with those ordinances,
because the first increases and the latter decreases national wealth. We
shall leave these contradictions for the consideration of the professor
of moral philosophy and his pupils.

The second witness Dr. Wayland introduces to prove the truth of his
proposition, that slavery lessens the amount of national wealth, is that
slavery takes from the labourer the natural stimulus to labour,—the
desire of individual benefit,—and substitutes the fear of punishment:
And for the third and last, that slavery removes from both parties the
disposition and motive to frugality; by which means national wealth is

If national wealth be the desideratum, in order not to be at variance
with the ordinances of God, it matters not whether the contributors to
it did so contribute through the selfish view of personal aggrandizement
and a desire of elevation above their fellows, or whether they did so to
relieve themselves from some stigma or personal infliction that a
refusal might be expected to fasten upon them. The motive in both cases
is the same—a desire to benefit themselves. Thus Dr. Wayland, therefore,
makes a distinction where, in reality, there is no difference.

But again, if the amount of labour be the criterion of the amount of
national wealth, as he seems to suppose, it can make no difference, in a
national point of view, whether A and B squander the result of their
labours into the possession of C and D, or retain it themselves because
the change of possession in no way destroys the thing possessed. It
might be gathered, from this part of Dr. Wayland’s argument, that the
greatest misers would be the most efficient builders of national wealth,
and, therefore, most in accordance with the ordinances of God.

We are somewhat at loss to perceive the precise idea the author affixes
to the term “national wealth.” Whether this be his or our fault, we
leave for others to decide.

Has it ever occurred to the reverend author to estimate the wealth of a
nation by the moral, physical, and individual welfare of the population?

But we cannot attempt, or undertake, to expose, nor explain, all the
false reasoning, distorted views, and prejudiced conclusions found
heaped up, in heterogeneous confusion, by the abolition writers. The
dissection of mental putridity is as unwelcome a task as that of the
animal carcass in a state of decomposition.

If we cast our eyes over the surface of human life, we notice that
wealth and power usually travel hand in hand but that wealth is
distributed unequally, varied from the lofty possessions of royal power
down to the most scanty pittance of poverty and want;—yet leaving a vast
majority in possession of nothing save life, and their right to the use
of the elements of nature. It is with these lower classes we have the
most to do. The wants of these, most generally, are physical: indeed, we
sometimes find them only on a level with the brute. Thus, the African
mountaineer is prone and content to feed on the decaying remains of what
he may find, and wanders, like the hyena, upon the trail of what he
hopes to find his prey; while the savage islanders of the distant seas
are satisfied with what the ocean heaves on shore. We notice that these
wants are increased by climate; hence, the native of the extreme north,
content with his flitch of blubber, yet robs the bear of his hide for a
blanket. These wants we also find enlarged by the least contact with
civilization. Hence we see the African, on the western coast of his
continent, garnished out with the gewgaws of Europe, and the Indian of
our own clime with the trinkets of trade. And thus we may notice that,
as civilization and capital increase in any country, new objects of
desire, new individual wants increase in proportion. Hence, the
farm-house now exhibits its carpet, whereas Queen Elizabeth was content
with straw!

All these wants require some action, on the part of those who desire
their gratification, to continue their supply, or it must cease;
because, as a general rule, the product of individual labour must bound
the supply of individual wants, in all cases where the individual
possesses no capital which yields an additional revenue.

But a large portion of those in savage life produce nothing; so, also, a
portion from civilized society seem ever disposed to break through the
rules of civilization, to retrograde as to morals, and subsist by trick
or some dishonesty. They produce nothing, and are, therefore, a total
drawback on the welfare of others. We find, also, another portion, the
product of whose labour is inadequate to the supply of their individual
wants, and who are without capital to supply the deficiency. Such must
die, or resort to charity; or retrograde, and live by their wits. Good
men, in all ages, have striven to obviate these evils. The Levitical law
did so by permitting the unfortunate man to sell himself, as a slave,
for six years, or for life, as he might choose, under the state of the
case; or, in case he did not so choose to sell himself, but became
indebted beyond his means, the law forced his sale, and also that of his
whole family. Although, to some, this law may look harsh, yet its
spirit, intention, and effect were in favour of the general good, of
morals, and of life. Yet it was slavery; and we take liberty here to
say, although some may not be prepared to receive it, that such ever
was, is now, and ever will be the spirit, intention, and effect of
slavery, when not disfigured by its abuse.

We have in vain looked through these “Elements” for some proposal of the
author to meet such cases as those of savages, and of those degenerating
and deteriorating poor, in all countries, known to be so from the fact
that they ever strive to live by their wits. And here we may remark that
it is evident the system of alms-giving must terminate when the
capitalists shall find the amount of alms beyond their surplus revenue;
and no one will deny that the whole system has a direct tendency towards
a general bankruptcy. We therefore ask Dr. Wayland to make a proposal
that shall be a permanent and effectual remedy in the cases under

Now, very few will say, but that if society can find out some humane
plan by which beggars and thieves can be forced, if force be necessary,
to yield a product of labour equal to the supply of their necessary
wants, the ordinances of God will not sanction the act.

From imperfection, perhaps, in the organization of society, we not only
see individuals branching off, and taking a downward road, but also, in
all old countries, from the very stimulus of nature, a constant tendency
to such an increase of population as lessens the value of labour by
overstocking the demand, whereby its product becomes less than is
required for the supply of individual wants. The consequences resulting
from these facts, so ruinous to individual morals and happiness, often
become national evils and the causes of national deterioration. But,
under the Levitical law, and in all countries with similar provisions,
the effect has been, and ever will be, a division of such population
into a separate caste,—not national deterioration.

With a view to remedy the evils to which we have invited the attention
of the Rev. Dr. Wayland, Sismondi, book vii. chap. 9, has proposed, that
inasmuch, as he says, the low wages of the labouring poor redound wholly
to the pecuniary benefit of the capitalists who employ them, those
capitalists shall be charged by law with their support, when wages
become too low to supply the necessary wants of the labourer; at the
same time bestowing power on the capitalists to prevent all marriages
when the labourer can give no evidence of a prospect of increased means
of subsistence, satisfactory to the capitalist, that he will not be
burdened with the support of the offspring. We are, by no means, the
advocates of Sismondi’s proposed arrangement. But if the labourers,
since in some sense they may be considered freemen, give their consent
to it, we do not perceive that it would be “at variance with the
ordinances of God.”

The author of these “Elements” and Sismondi, we believe, differed
little, if any, on the subject of the abolition of slavery touching the
negro race. Will he say, the proposal of that philosopher to benefit the
condition of the labouring poor, if carried into effect as suggested,
would be “at variance with the ordinances of God?” Yet, all the world
perceive that it is a mere modification of slavery, containing
conditions more obnoxious to human nature than appertains to any
condition of slavery now known beyond the African shores.

Man has ever been found to advance in moral improvement civilization,
and a stable and healthy increase of population, only in proportion as
they have been taught to supply their necessary wants by the products of
individual labour. This is what first distinguishes civilized from
savage life. The savage relies wholly upon the elements, the casualties
that bring him advantage, and the spontaneous productions of nature. The
idea of supplying his wants through the products of labour never enters
the mind. And will it be denied that, even in civilized countries, they
who solely rely upon begging, trick, and dishonesty, for their support,
are always found to be deteriorating, both in morals and in their
physical ability, rapidly receding from all the characteristics of
civilization, in the direction towards savage life. Indeed, a tendency
to move in the same direction is often perceptible among those who only
partially supply the wants of civilized support by the product of
individual labour, and rely upon their wits for the remainder, thus, to
some extent, becoming the plunderers of society. We would have been
happy to have found the causes why these things are so, as well as to
have found the remedy, in “The Elements of Moral Science.”

But let us contemplate, for a moment, a certain class of freemen, the
lazaroni of Italy, who exist, merely, upon one small dish of macaroni,
daily issued to them from the Hospital of St. Lazarus. We are all
familiar with the condition of these people. Let us compare theirs with
what would be the condition of the beggars and thieves of some other
countries, were they placed under the control of some salutary power,
whereby their necessary wants would be supplied by the product of their
individual labour. We need not ask which condition is most “at variance
with the ordinances of God!”

Dr. Wayland has retained, for his last witness, the old trite charge
that slavery impoverishes the soil; that, therefore, it constantly
“migrates from the old to new regions,” “where alone the accumulated
manure of centuries” can “sustain a system at variance with the laws of
nature.” “Hence,” he says, “slavery in this country is acknowledged to
have impoverished many of our most valuable districts.”

We are not aware how far Dr. Wayland has founded this statement upon
facts drawn from his own observation. Has he done so at all; or has he,
carelessly and without reflection, adopted it from the assertions of
others notoriously destitute of ability to form an opinion with
accuracy, or else too deeply prejudiced to give their opinion any value?
Does he wish us to infer that the plough and the hoe, in the hands of a
slave, communicate some peculiar poison to the soil; and by reason of
which “the ground shall not henceforth yield her strength?” Will he
please explain how the effect of which he complains is produced? If he
finds it merely in the mode of cultivation, we then inquire whether the
same mode would not produce the same effect, even if the plough and hoe
were held by freemen? If so, then it is evident that “the impoverishment
of many of our most valuable districts” is not the result of slavery,
but of a bad mode of cultivation. Or, will the doctor contend that if
those valuable districts had been cultivated by free hired men, the
evils from negligence in the labourer would be remedied? “He that is a
hireling fleeth, because he is a hireling, and careth not for the
sheep.” _John_ x. 13.

Dr. Wayland will not deny that the “heathen round about,” of whom the
Jews were permitted to buy slaves, were a slave-holding people; but we
have no account that their country was impoverished thereby. The
Canaanites, whom the Israelites drove out from Palestine, were
slaveholders; yet the country was represented as very fertile, even to
“overflowing with milk and honey.” The Danites found “Laish very good,”
_Judg._ xviii. 9. And the children of Judah “found fat pasture and good”
about Gedar. 1 _Chron._ iv. 40. “_For they of Ham had dwelt there of

For many centuries, slavery extended over every part of Europe, yet
history gives us no account of the ruin of the soil. In Greece and Rome,
the numbers of slaves were extended to millions beyond any number these
States possess; but their historians failed to discover their
destructive influence on the fertility of those countries.

Before the impoverishment of the soil can, with any force, be adduced as
proof against slavery, it must be proved to be a necessary consequence;
which, we apprehend, will be a difficult labour, since the sluggishness
and the idleness of the Canaanites, and of the nations round about, left
their country overflowing with milk and honey, abounding in fat pastures
and good, notwithstanding their population were, to a large extent,
slaves,—since, also, the servile cultivation of the soil in Greece and
Rome did not impoverish it; and since slavery, which everywhere abounded
in Europe, never produced that effect.

If Dr. Wayland will discover the legitimate cause of this impoverishment
of the soil in the Slave States, and teach the planters a better mode of
cultivation, we doubt not he will receive their thanks, and deserve well
of his country, as a public benefactor.


                              LESSON VII.

Dr. Wayland says:

P. 209. “The moral precepts of the Bible are diametrically opposed to

P. 210. “The moral principles of the gospel are directly subversive of
the principles of slavery.” * * * “If the gospel be diametrically
opposed to the _principles_ of slavery, it must be opposed to the
_practice_ of slavery; and, therefore, were the principles of the gospel
fully adopted, slavery could not exist.”

Dr. Wayland having conceived himself to possess a distinct faculty,
which reveals to him, with unerring truthfulness, whatever is right and
all that is wrong, may be expected to consider himself fully able to
decide, in his own way, what instruction God intended to convey to us,
on the subject of slavery, through the books of Divine revelation; yet,
we cannot but imagine that St. Paul would be somewhat astonished, if
presented with the doctor’s decision for his approval, and that he would
cry out:

“Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? To his own master, he
standeth, or falleth: yea, he will be holden up; for God is able to make
him stand.”

But although we cannot boast of possessing this unerring moral guide,
which, of late years, seems to be so common a possession among that
class who ardently desire us to believe that they have monopolized all
the knowledge of God’s will on the subject of slavery, yet we may
venture a remark on the logical accuracy of Dr. Wayland’s argument.

It seems to be a postulate in his mind that the gospel is diametrically
opposed to, and subversive of, the principles of slavery. We do not
complain of this syllogistic mode; but we do complain, as we have done
before, that his postulate is not an axiom, a self-evident truth, or
made equal thereto by the open and clear declarations of Christ or his
apostles. This defect cannot be remedied by ever so many suppositions,
nor by deductions therefrom. Nor will those of a different faith from
Dr. Wayland, on the subject of “conscience,” or “moral sense,” be
satisfied to receive the declarations of this his “distinct faculty” as
the fixed decrees of eternal truth. His assertions and arguments may be
very convincing to those who think they possess this distinct faculty,
especially if their education and prejudices tend to the same

But if what President Wayland says about slavery be true, then to hold
slaves is a most heinous sin; and he who does so, and never repents, can
never visit Paul in heaven. He necessarily is placed on a parallel with
the thief and robber; and Dr. Channing has been bold enough to say so.

But has Paul ever hinted to us any such thing as that the holding of
slaves is a sin? Yet he gives us instruction on the subject and
relations of slavery. What excuse had St. Paul for not telling us what
the Rev. Dr. Wayland now tells us, if what he has told us be true? And
if it be true, what are we to think of Paul’s verity, when he asserts
that he has “not shunned to declare all the counsel of God?”

Did Jesus Christ ever hint such an idea as Dr. Wayland’s? What are we to
understand, when he addresses God, the Father, and says, “I have given
unto them the words thou gavest me, and they have received them?” What
are we to deduce from his remark on a slaveholder, and who notified him
of that fact, when he says to his disciples, “Verily I say unto you, I
have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel?” What impression was
this remark calculated to produce on the minds of the disciples? Does
Dr. Wayland found his assertion on _Luke_ xvii. 7–10? or does he agree
with Paley that Christ privately condemned slavery to the apostles, and
that they kept such condemnation secret to themselves, to prevent
opposition to the introduction of Christianity, and left the most wicked
sin of slave-holding to be found out by a mere innuendo? Or does Dr.
Wayland claim, through the aid of his distinct moral faculty infallibly
teaching him the truth, to have received some new light on the subject
of slavery, which the FATHER deemed not prudent to be intrusted to the
SON, and, therefore, now more lucid and authoritative than what was
revealed to the apostles?

The Archbishop Secker has made a remark which appears to us conclusive,
and also exactly to fit the case. In his Fifth Lecture on the Catechism,
he says:—

“Supposing the Scripture a true revelation, so far as it goes; how shall
we know, if it be a full and complete one too, in all things necessary?
I answer: Since our Saviour had the Spirit without measure, and the
writers of Scripture had as large a measure of it as their commission to
instruct the world required, it is impossible that, in so many
discourses concerning the terms of salvation as the New Testament
contains, they should all have omitted any _one thing_ necessary to the
great end which they had in view. And what was not necessary when the
Scripture was completed, cannot have become so since. For the faith was,
once for all, ‘delivered to the saints,’ _Jude_ 3; and ‘other foundation
can no man lay,’ 1 _Cor._ iii. 11, than what was laid then. The sacred
penmen themselves could teach no other doctrine than Christ appointed
them; and he hath appointed no one since to make addition to it.”

But it may be proper to take some further notice how the author of these
“Elements” attempts to prove the truth of the proposition that “the
moral precepts of the Bible are diametrically opposed to slavery.” He
says, “God can make known to us his will, either directly or

He may, in express terms, command or forbid a thing; this will be
directly;—or he may command certain duties, or impose certain
obligations, with which some certain course of conduct is inconsistent;
in which case the inconsistent course of conduct will be indirectly

We have not followed Dr. Wayland’s exact words, because we found them
somewhat confused, and rather ambiguous. We prefer to have the case
clearly stated, and we then accept the terms, and repeat the question,
“Has God imposed obligations on man which are inconsistent with the
existence of domestic slavery?”

In proof that he has, Dr. Wayland presents the Christian duty “to preach
the gospel to all nations and men, without respect to circumstances or
condition.” We agree that such is our duty, so far as we may have the
power; and it appears to us strange how that duty can interfere with the
existence of slavery, because the practical fact is, slavery brings
hundreds of thousands of negroes into a condition whereby the duty may
be performed, and many thereby do come to some knowledge of the gospel,
who would, otherwise, have none.

Every Christian slaveholder feels it to be his duty. Is it denied that
this duty is ever performed?

But if it is incompatible with the institution of slavery for the slave
to be taught Christianity, then Christianity and slavery can never
co-exist in the same person. Therefore, Dr. Wayland must prove that no
slave can be a Christian, before this argument can have weight.

The man who owns a slave has a trust; he who has a child has one also.
In both cases the trustee may do as he did who “dug in the earth and hid
his lord’s money.” We cheerfully deliver them up to the lash of Dr.

The author of the “Elements of Moral Science” next presents the marriage
contract, and seems desirous to have us suppose that its obligations are
incompatible with slavery. His words are—

“He has taught us that the conjugal relation is established by himself;
that husband and wife are joined together by God; and that man may not
put them asunder. The marriage contract is a contract for life, and is
dissoluble only for one cause, that of conjugal infidelity. Any system
that interferes with this contract, and claims to make it any thing else
than what God has made it, is in violation of his law.”

This proposition is bad; it is too verbose to be either definite or
correct. There are many things that will interfere with the provisions
of this proposition, and yet not be in violation of the laws of God.
Suppose one of President Wayland’s pupils has married a wife, and yet
commits a crime. He is arrested, and the president is his judge. When
about to pronounce sentence of imprisonment for life, the pupil reads to
his judge the foregoing paragraph, and argues that he cannot receive
such sentence, because it will interfere with the marriage contract,
and, therefore, be in violation of the laws of God.

We trust some will deem this a sufficient refutation of the proposition.

But if we take the proposition as its author has left it, we have yet to
learn that any slaveholder will object to it; although it may be he will
differ with them on the subject of what constitutes Christian marriage,
among pagan negroes or their pagan descendants.

Will the reverend moralist determine that a promiscuous intercourse is
the conjugal relation established by God himself; that such is the
marriage contract which no man may put asunder? Will he decide that an
attempt to regulate the conduct of men, bond or free, who manifest such
a state of morals, is in violation of the laws of God? Who are his
pupils, when he shall say that an attempt to enforce the laws of God, in
practice among men, is a violation of them?

So far as our experience goes, masters universally manifest a desire to
have their negroes marry, and to live with their wives and children, in
conformity to Christian rules. And one reason, if no other, is very
obvious. The master wishes to secure the peace and tranquillity of his
household. And we take this occasion to inform Dr. Wayland and his
coadjutors, that a very large proportion of the punishments that are
awarded slaves are for violations of what, perhaps, he may call the
marriage contract, so anxious is the master to inculcate the obligations
of marriage among them.

It is true, some slaves of a higher order of physical and moral
improvement, influenced by the habits and customs of their masters,
habituate themselves to a cohabitation with one companion for life; and,
in all such cases, the master invariably gives countenance to their
wishes; indeed, in some instances, masters have deemed them worthy of
having their wishes sanctioned and solemnized by the ceremonies of the
church ritual. And in all such cases, superior consideration and
advantages are always bestowed, not only in reward of their merit, but
as an encouragement for others.

The African negro has no idea of marriage as a sacred ordinance of God.
Many of the tribes worship a_Fetish_, which is a personification of
their gross notions of procreation; but it inculcates no idea like that
of marriage; and we have known the posterity of that people, four or
five generations removed from the African native, as firmly attached to
those strange habits as if they had been constitutional. Negroes, who
have only arrived to such a state of mental and moral development, would
find it somewhat difficult to comprehend what the Christian church
implied by the marriage covenant! Therefore, where there was no reason
to believe that its duties were understood, or that their habits and
conduct would be influenced by it any longer than until they should take
some new notion, a ceremony of any high order has been thought to do
injury. A rule, often broken, ceases to be venerated. And we feel quite
sure that some Christians would deem it quite improper to permit those
to join in any sacred ceremony which neither their physical nor mental
development would permit them to comprehend or obey, whether freemen or

In the articles drawn up at Ratisbon by Melancthon, we find, Article 16,
_De Sacram. Matrimo._:

“The sacrament of matrimony belongs only to Christians. It is a holy and
constant union of one single man with one single woman, confirmed by the
blessing and consecration of Jesus Christ.”

And St. Paul says, _Eph._ v. 32, of matrimony: “This is a great mystery:
but I speak concerning Christ and the Church.”

We know not whether the author of the “Elements” believes, with
Melancthon, that matrimony is a Christian sacrament or not. We believe
the majority of modern Protestants do not so consider it, although
Luther says, _De Matrimonio_:

“Matrimony is called a sacrament, because it is the type of a very noble
and very holy thing. Hence the married ought to consider and respect the
dignity of this sacrament.”

Question:—Would Melancthon, or Luther, or the author of these
“Elements,” consent to perform the marriage ceremony, joining, in the
holy bonds of matrimony, two negroes, who neither understood the
Christian duties it imposed, and of whom it was well known that they
would not regard the contract as binding any longer than their fancy or
passions might dictate. A Christian sacrament is not only a sign of
Christian grace, but the seal of its insurance to us, and the instrument
of the Holy Ghost, whereby faith is conferred, as a Divine gift, upon
the soul. We feel it a Christian duty to “not give that which is holy to
dogs,” nor “cast pearls before swine.” Is Dr. Wayland of the same

It may be well to advise our author of some facts in proof of what state
of connubial feelings exist among African negroes. We quote from Lander,
vol. i. p. 312:

“The manners of the Africans are hostile to the interests and
advancement of women.”

P. 328. “A man is at liberty to return his wife to her parents, at any
time, without adducing any reason for his dislike.” * * * “The children,
if any, the mother is by no means permitted to take along with her; but
they are left behind with the father, who delivers them over to the care
of other women.”

P. 158. “A man thinks as little of taking a wife as of cutting an ear of
corn; affection is altogether out of the question.”

Vol. ii. p. 208. “Africans, generally speaking, betray the most perfect
indifference on losing their liberty, or in being deprived of their
relations; while love of country is, seemingly, as great a stranger to
their breasts as social tenderness and domestic affection.”

We quote from the Christian Observer, vol. xix. p. 890: “Mr. Johnson was
appointed to the care of Regent’s Town, June, 1816. * * * Natives of
twenty-two different nations were there collected together: * * * none
of them had learned to live in a state of marriage.”

Proofs of this trait in the African character may be accumulated; and a
very determined disposition to live in a state of promiscuous
intercourse is often noticeable, in their descendants, for many
generations, notwithstanding the master endeavours to restrain it by
corporeal punishment. But yet, under this state of facts, our laws
forbid the separation of children from mothers, under ages stipulated by

It is the interest of the master to have his slaves orderly—to possess
them of some interest which will have a tendency to that result. Their
quiet settlement in families has been thought to be among the most
probable and influential inducements to insure the desired effect, and
to produce a moral influence on them. Besides this interest of the
master, his education on the subject of marriage must be allowed to have
a strong influence on his mind to favour and foster in his slaves a
connection which his own judgment teaches him must be important to their
happiness and his own tranquillity, to say nothing of his duty as a
Christian. Indeed, we never heard of a master who did not feel a strong
desire, a pride, to see his slaves in good condition, contented and
happy; and we venture to assert, that no man, who entertained a proper
regard for his own character, would consent to sell a family of slaves,
separately, to different individuals, when the slaves themselves
manifested good conduct, and a habit, or desire, to live together in
conformity to the rules of civilized life. Even a casual cohabitation is
often caught at by the master, and sanctioned, as permanent, if he can
do so in accordance with the conduct and feelings of the negroes

That the owners of slaves have sometimes abused the power they
possessed, and outraged the feelings of humanity in this behalf, is
doubtless a fact. Nor do we wish to excuse such conduct, by saying that
proud and wealthy parents sometimes outrage the feelings of common sense
and of their own children in a somewhat similar way. These are abuses
that can be, and should be corrected; and we are happy to inform Dr.
Wayland that we have lived to see many abuses corrected, and hope that
many more corrections may follow in their train. But we assure him that
the wholesale denunciations of men who, in fact, know but little about
the subjects of their distress, may produce great injury to the objects
of their sympathies, but no possible benefit. And let us now, with the
best feeling, inform Dr. Wayland, and his co-agitators, of one result of
his and their actions in this matter. We assert what we know.

Thirty years ago, we occasionally had schools for negro children; nor
was it uncommon for masters to send their favourite young slaves to
these schools; nor did such acts excite attention or alarm; and, at the
same time, any missionary had free access to that class of our
population. But when we found, with astonishment, that our country was
flooded with abolition prints, deeply laden with the most abusive
falsehoods, with the obvious design to excite rebellion among the
slaves, and to spread assassination and bloodshed through the land;—when
we found these transient missionaries, mentally too insignificant to
foresee the result of their conduct, or wholly careless of the
consequences, preaching the same doctrines;—these little schools and the
mouths of these missionaries were closed. And great was the cry. Dr.
Wayland knows whereabout lies the wickedness of these our acts! Let him
and his coadjutors well understand that these results, whether for the
benefit or injury of the slave, have been brought about by the work of
their hands.

If these transient missionaries were the only persons who had power to
teach the gospel to the slave, who has deprived the slaves of the

If these suggestions are true, will not Dr. Wayland look back upon his
labours with dissatisfaction? Does he behold their effects with joy? Has
he thrown one ray of light into the mental darkness of benighted Africa?
Has he removed one pain from the moral disease of her benighted
children? If so perfectly adverse have been his toils, will he expect us
to countenance his school, sanction his morality, or venerate his
theology? A very small portion of poison makes the feast fatal!

Does he complain because some freemen lower themselves down to this
promiscuous intercourse with the negro? We are dumb; we deliver them up
to his lash! Or does he complain because we do not marry them ourselves?
We surely have yet to learn, because we decline such marriages, and a
deteriorated posterity, that, therefore, we interfere with the
institution of marriage, or make it something which God did not. We had
thought that the laws of God all looked towards a state of physical,
intellectual, and moral improvement and that such an amalgamation as
would necessarily leave a more deteriorated race in our stead, would be
sin, and would be punished, if in no other way, yet still by the very
fact of such degradation. Or does Dr. Wayland deny that the negro is an
inferior race of man to the white? If the slave and master were of the
same race, as they once were in all parts of Europe, intermarriage
between them would blot out the institution, as it has done there. In
such case, his argument might have some force.

Under the Spanish law, a master might marry his female slave, or he
might suffer any freeman to marry her; but the marriage, in either case,
was emancipation to her. The wife was no longer a slave; and so by the
Levitical law. See _Deut._ xxi. 14.

The laws of the Slave States of our Union forbid amalgamation with the
negro race; consequently such a marriage would be a nullity, and the
offspring take the condition of the mother.

The object of this law is to prevent the deterioration of the white

Thus we have seen that all the practical facts relating to the influence
of the slavery of the Africans among us, touching the subject of
marriage, as to them, are in opposition to what Dr. Wayland seems to
suppose. In short, the slavery of the negroes in these States has a
constantly continued tendency to change—to enforce an improvement of the
morals of the African—to an approximation of the habits of Christian


                              LESSON VIII.

It is conceded by Dr. Wayland, that the Scriptures do not directly
forbid or condemn slavery. In search of a path over this morass of
difficulty, he says that the Scripture goes upon the “fair ground of
teaching moral principles” “directly subversive of the principles of
slavery;” and quotes the golden rule in proof; and thus comes to the
conclusion that, “if the gospel be diametrically opposed to the
_principle_ of slavery, it must be opposed to the _practice_ of
slavery.” In excuse for this mode being pursued by the Author of our
religion, he says—

P. 212. “In this manner alone could its object, a universal moral
revolution, have been accomplished. For, if it had forbidden the _evil_,
instead of subverting the _principle_,—if it had proclaimed the
unlawfulness of slavery and taught slaves to _resist_ the oppression of
their masters,—it would instantly have arrayed the two parties in deadly
hostility, through the civilized world; its announcement would have been
the signal of servile war; and the very name of the Christian religion
would have been forgotten amidst the agitations of universal bloodshed.”

We have heretofore attempted to show that this doctrine is extremely
gross error;—its very assertion goes to the extinction, the denial of
the divinity of Jesus Christ and his religion. And we deeply lament that
this was not one of the errors of Paley which Dr. Wayland has seen fit
to expunge from his book. (_See his Preface._)

Paley says, third book, part ii. chap. 3—“Slavery was a part of the
civil constitution of most countries, when Christianity first appeared;
yet no passage is to be found in the Christian Scriptures by which it is
condemned or prohibited. This is true, for Christianity, soliciting
admission into all nations of the world, abstained, as behooved it, from
intermeddling with the civil institutions of any. But does it follow,
from the silence of Scripture concerning them, that all the civil
institutions which then prevailed were right? Or that the bad should not
be exchanged for better?”

“Besides this, the discharging the slaves from all obligation to obey
their masters, which is the consequence of pronouncing slavery to be
unlawful, would have had no better effect than to let loose one half of
mankind upon the other. Slaves would have been tempted to embrace a
religion which asserted their right to freedom; masters would hardly
have been persuaded to consent to claims founded on such authority; the
most calamitous of all contests, a _bellum servile_, might probably have
ensued, to the reproach, if not the extinction, of the Christian name.”

In these thoughtless remarks of Paley, abolition writers seem to have
found a mine of argument, from which they have dug until they deemed
themselves wealthy.

Channing, vol. ii. p. 101, says—

“Slavery, in the age of the apostle, had so penetrated society, was so
intimately interwoven with it, and the materials of servile war were so
abundant, that a religion preaching freedom to the slave would have
shaken the social fabric to its foundation, and would have armed against
itself the whole power of the state. Paul did not then assail the
institution. He satisfied himself with spreading principles, which,
however slowly, could not but work its dissolution.”

This author, thus having satisfied himself with a display which the
greater portion of his readers deem original, commences, p. 103, and
quotes from “The Elements of Moral Science,” p. 212:

“This very course, which the gospel takes on this subject, seems to have
been the only one that could have been taken in order to effect the
universal abolition of slavery. The gospel was designed, not for one
race or for one time, but for all races and for all times. It looked,
not at the abolition of this form of evil for that age alone, but for
its universal abolition. Hence, the important object of its author was
to gain it a lodgment in every part of the known world:” and concludes
with our quotation from the author.

Dr. Barnes “fights more shy;” he sees “the trap.” The Biblical Repertory
has unveiled to his view the awful abyss to which this doctrine
necessarily leaps. Yet the abyss must be passed; the facts, the doctrine
of Paley, and the gulf, must be got over, in some way, or abolition
doctrines must be given up. For thirty pages, like a candle-fly, he
coquets around the light of this doctrine, until he gathers courage, and
finally falls into it under the plea of “expediency.” He quotes
Wayland’s Letters to Fuller, p. 73, which says—

“This form of expediency—the inculcating of a fundamental truth, rather
than of the duty which springs immediately out of it, seems to me
_innocent_. I go further: in some cases, it may be really demanded,” &c.

“And a certain ruler asked him, saying, Good Master, what shall I do to
inherit eternal life.” _Luke_ xviii. 18.

This man was rich—probably had slaves. Was it _inexpedient_ for the Son
of God to have plainly told him of its wickedness? Was not the occasion
quite appropriate, if such had been the Saviour’s view?

When the keeper of the prison said to Paul and Silas, “Sirs, what shall
I do to be saved?” was it _inexpedient_ in them to have mentioned _this

When the subject of slavery was mentioned in Corinthians, Ephesians,
Colossians, in Timothy, Titus, and Peter, was it still _inexpedient_?
And in the case of Philemon, “the dearly beloved and fellow-labourer,”
when Paul was pleading for the runaway slave, in what did the
_inexpediency_ consist? When the centurion applied to the Son of God,
and _boasted that he owned slaves_, can we bring forward this paltry

This doctrine of Paley has been so commonly quoted, let us be excused
for presenting a remark from the “Essays,” reprinted from the Princeton
Review, second series, p. 283:

“It is not by argument that the abolitionists have produced the present
unhappy excitement. Argument has not been the character of their
publications. Denunciations of slave-holding as man-stealing, robbery,
piracy, and worse than murder; consequently vituperation of slaveholders
as knowingly guilty of the worst of crimes; passionate appeals to the
feelings of the inhabitants of the Northern States; gross exaggerations
of the moral and physical condition of the slaves, have formed the
staple of their addresses to the public.”

P. 286. “Unmixed good or evil, however, in such a world as ours, is a
rare thing. Though the course pursued by the abolitionists has produced
a great preponderance of mischief, it may incidentally occasion no
little good. It has rendered it incumbent on every man to endeavour to
obtain, and, as far as he can, to communicate, definite opinions and
correct principles on the whole subject. * * * The subject of slavery is
no longer one on which men are allowed to be of no mind at all. * * *
The public mind is effectually aroused from a state of indifference and
it is the duty of all to seek the truth, _and to speak in kindness, but
with decision_. * * * We recognise no authoritative rule of truth and
duty but the word of God. * * * Men are too nearly upon a par as to
their powers of reasoning, and ability to discover truth, to make the
conclusions of one mind an authoritative rule for others.” * * *

The subject for consideration is: If the abolitionists are right in
insisting that slave-holding is one of the greatest of all sins,—that it
should be immediately and universally abandoned, as a condition of
church communion, or of admission into heaven,—how comes it that Christ
and his apostles did not pursue this sin _in plain and determined
opposition_? How comes it that the teachings of the abolitionists, on
the subject of slavery, are so extremely different from those of Jesus
Christ and his apostles? The mind is forced to the conclusion that, if
the abolitionists are right, Jesus Christ and his apostles are wrong! We
agree that, if slave-holding is a sin, it should at once be abandoned.
The whole subject is resolved to one single question: _Is slave-holding,
in itself, a crime before God?_

The abolitionists say that it is; we assert that it is not; and we look
to the conduct of Christ and his apostles to justify our position. Did
they shut their eyes to the enormities of a great offence against God
and man? Did they temporize with a heinous evil, because it was common
and popular? Did they abstain from even exhorting masters to emancipate
their slaves, though an imperative duty, from fear of consequences? Was
slavery more deeply rooted than idolatry? or more deeply interwoven with
the civil institutions? more thoroughly penetrated through every thing
human—their prejudices, literature, hopes, and happiness? Was its
denunciation, if a sin, attended with consequences more to be dreaded
than death by torture, wild beasts, the crucifix, the fagot, and the
flame? Did the apostles admit drunkards, liars, fornicators, adulterers,
thieves, robbers, murderers, and idolaters to the Christian communion,
and call them “dearly beloved and fellow-labourers?” Did the Son of God
ever intimate of any such unrepentant man, that he had “not found so
great faith, no, not in Israel?”

What are we then to think of the intellect of that man who shall affirm
that Jesus Christ and his apostles classed the slave-holder with the
worst of these characters? Yea, what can such a man think of himself?
Did the apostles counsel thieves and robbers how they should advisedly
conduct themselves in the practice of these crimes? Were those who had
been _robbed_ carefully gathered up and sent back to some known
_robber_, to be _robbed_ again? And, on such occasion, did any of the
apostles address such _robber_ in the language of affection, saying, “I
thank my God, making mention of thee always in my prayers, hearing of
thy love and faith, which thou hast towards the Lord Jesus and toward
all saints?”

No one in his senses will deny that the Scriptures condemn injustice,
cruelty, oppression, and violence, whether exhibited in the conduct of
the master towards his slave or any other person:—crime being the same,
whether committed in the relation of master and slave, husband and wife,
or the monarch and his subjects. It may so happen that great crimes are
committed by persons in these relations. But what is the argument worth
which asserts _it is very wicked to be a schoolmaster_, because some
schoolmaster whipped his pupil too much, or another not enough, or a
third, in an angry, wicked state of mind, has put one to death?

Who has ever asserted that marriage was not a Divine institution,
because some in that state live very unhappily together, and others have
conspired against the happiness or life of those whom the institution
made it their duty to protect?

Dr. Wayland’s proposition, when analyzed and freed from verbiage, is
this: the teaching of moral principles, subversive of the abuse of a
thing, is proof that the teacher is opposed to the thing itself! and, if
true, we say, is as applicable to every other institution among men, as
to slavery.


                               LESSON IX.

Dr. Wayland says, p. 213—

“It is important to remember that two grounds of moral obligation are
distinctly recognised in the gospel. The first is our duty to man as
man, that is, on the ground of the relation which men sustain to each
other; the second is our duty to man as a creature of God, that is, on
the ground of the relation which we all sustain to God. On this latter
ground, many things become our duty which would not be so on the former.
It is on this ground that we are commanded to return good for evil, to
pray for them that despitefully use us, and, when we are smitten on one
cheek, to turn also the other. To act thus is our duty, not because our
fellow-man has a right to claim this course of conduct from us, but
because such conduct in us will be well-pleasing to God. And when God
prescribes the course of conduct which will be well-pleasing to him, he
by no means acknowledges the right of abuse in the injurious person, but
expressly declares, ‘Vengeance is mine and I will repay it, saith the
Lord!’ Now, it is to be observed, that it is precisely upon this latter
ground that the slave is commanded to obey _his_ master. It is never
urged, like the duty of obedience to parents, _because it is right_; but
because the cultivation of meekness and forbearance under injury will be
well-pleasing unto God. Thus servants are commanded to be obedient to
their own masters, ‘in singleness of heart, as unto Christ; doing the
will of God from the heart, with good-will doing service, as to the
Lord, and not to man.’ _Eph._ v. 5–7.

“Servants are commanded to count their masters worthy of all honour,
that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed. 1 _Tim._ vi.1.
That they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things.
_Titus_ iii. 9.

“The manner in which the duty of servants or slaves is inculcated,
therefore, affords no ground for the assertion that the gospel
authorizes one man to hold another in bondage, any more than the command
to honour the king, when that king was Nero, authorized the tyranny of
the emperor; or the command to turn the other cheek when one was
smitten, justifies the infliction of violence by an injurious man.”

Added to the foregoing, we find the following note:

“I have retained the above paragraph, though I confess that the remarks
of Professor Taylor, of the Union Theological Seminary of Virginia, have
led me seriously to doubt whether the distinction, to which it alludes,
is sustained by the New Testament.”

Why then did he retain it?

In his preface to the fourth edition, which is inserted in the present,
after expressing his acknowledgments for the criticisms with which
gentlemen have favoured him, he says—

“Where I have been convinced of error, I have altered the text. Where I
have only _doubted_, I have suffered it to remain; as it seemed
profitless merely to exchange one _doubtful_ opinion for another.”

We beg to know what _doubtful opinion_ would have been introduced by the
deletion of this, which he acknowledges to be doubtful? Why did he not
go to the Bible, and inquire of Jesus Christ and the apostles for advice
in such a case? “And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and
caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst
thou doubt?” _Matt._ xiv. 31.

In _Matt._ xxi. 21, we find that the doubting mind is destitute of
Christian power; and the same in _Mark_ xi. 23. Jesus, speaking to his
disciples, says to them, _Luke_ xii. 29, “Neither be ye of a doubtful
mind.” Does any one imagine that Luke would have left any thing in his
book that he thought doubtful? But we find in _Rom._ xiv. 1, “Him that
is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations.” This
surely needs no comment. The poison of doubt is rejected in 1 _Tim._ ii.
8; and the apostle in _Rom._ xiv. 23, says, “And he that doubteth is
damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith, for whatsoever is not
of faith is sin.” How awful is the condition of him who shall attempt to
preach a doctrine, and that an important one too, as the doctrine of the
Bible, of which he doubts! A doctrine in which he can have no faith! Who
shall say it would not be a palpable attempt to change the meaning and
alter the sense of the Scripture from its true interpretation?

“Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye
diminish aught from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the Lord
your God, which I command you.” _Deut._ iv. 2.

“But there be some that trouble you, and pervert the gospel of Christ.
But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you
than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we
said before, so say we now again, if any man preach any other gospel
unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.” _Gal._ 1.

“I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the
churches. * * * For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of
the prophecy of this book, if any man shall add unto those things, God
shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book; and if any
man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God
shall take away his part out or the book of life.” _Rev._ xxii. 16–19.

“Every word of God is pure. * * * Add not unto his words, lest he
reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.” _Prov._ xxx. 5–6.

We have not seen the remarks of Professor Taylor; but we can easily
imagine that a professor of theology, free from the delirium of
abolitionism, would not have found it a difficult labour to prove that
the main point of the author’s argument was contradicted by Scripture,
and that even he himself attempted to sustain it only by assumption. We
regret that President Wayland has not given us Professor Taylor’s
remarks that made him “doubt.” We, however, will venture our “remark”
that the author’s assertion, “the inculcation of the duty of slaves
affords no evidence that the Scriptures countenance slavery, more than
the command to honour the king authorized the tyranny of Nero,” is a
comparison where there is no parallel. Dr. Wayland must first make it
appear that all kings, or chief magistrates, are, necessarily, wicked
tyrants, like Nero; and that the wicked tyranny is a part and parcel of
the thing to be honoured, before his parallel between slavery and
monarchy can be drawn; and since, then, the deduction will be useless,
we suppose he will not make the attempt.

The parallel that might have been sustained is this: The inculcation of
the duty of slaves to obey their masters does not authorize masters to
abuse their power over their slaves, any more than the command to honour
the king authorized the tyranny of Nero;—from which the deductions are,
that masters have a right to command their slaves as things in their
peculiar relation, and not as things having a different relation. The
master has no right to command a slave, as if the slave stood in the
relation of a horse; nor even a horse, as if the horse stood in the
relation of a piece of timber: so the king has no right to govern his
subjects as if they were idiots or brutes, but as enlightened free-men,
if such be their condition.

The object of the government is the happiness no more of the governor
than of the governed. This principle, so profusely illustrated in
Scripture, it would seem the abolitionists run to shipwreck, in every
approach they make towards it.

There are a class of abolition writers who never fail to compare St.
Paul’s instruction, to live in obedience to the civil authority, (making
no exception even when the worst of monarchs are in power,) with his
instruction to slaves to obey their masters; and then say that no
argument is to be drawn from the latter in favour of slavery, any more
than there is from the former in favour of the wickedness of the Emperor
Nero. To some, this position may look quite imposing; while others will
associate it with the false position of a wicked, unprincipled lawyer,
who is ambitious only to gain his case, and cares not by what falsehood,
or by what means. But it is truly mortifying to see such an argument
presented, and attempted to be sustained, by any one who pretends to be
an honest man, and a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ. And we cannot
but reflect that such an one must be in one of three predicaments;
either in that of the lawyer, or his understanding must be so obtuse he
cannot reason, or so crazed by fanaticism as to be equally stultified in
intellect. Yet these men present this argument, or position, with an air
which displays the utmost confidence of their having obtained a victory,
and of their having established for themselves a lofty intellectual

Jesus Christ and his apostles everywhere reprimanded and condemned
crime, outrage, and oppression, whether to superiors, equals, or
inferiors. Yet these qualities of action must take their character from
the facts of the case. The parent will feel it his duty to compel, by
force, his froward child to do right; yet the same action directed to
his neighbour, or equal, may be manifestly wrong, or even sinful. The
crimes of monarchs and the crimes of masters are everywhere condemned,
as well as the crimes of all other men. Yet to be a monarch or a master
is nowhere condemned, _per se_, as a sinful condition of itself.

All history agrees that Nero was a wicked, bad prince; he was wicked and
bad because his acts were wicked and bad; not because he was a prince or
an emperor. Slaves are ordered to be obedient to their masters. Is there
any one so crazy as therefore to suppose that the master has a right to
overwork, starve, murder, or otherwise misuse his slave? We are all
commanded to be obedient to the civil power. Does this give the chief
ruler the right to practise the wickedness of Nero?

Is there any proof that Philemon murdered, or was recklessly cruel to
his slaves? What justice is there in comparing his character as only on
an equality with that of Nero? Was Nero, with all his sins, admitted
into the church of Christ? Where is the parallel between him and the
“beloved” of the apostle?

We feel authorized to affirm that St. Paul would have rejected from the
church a slaveholder, who murdered, starved, or otherwise maltreated his
slaves, because these crimes would have been proof of his want of the
Christian character. The same evidence of wicked conduct would have
excluded any other man, even the emperor, from the church; yet, since
slaveholders, who had not been guilty of such enormities, were admitted
to the church, and distinguished as “beloved,” this fact becomes proof
that slaveholding is no evidence of a sinful character. So monarchs and
emperors, who gave proof of the possession of the Christian character,
were always admissible to the Christian church. This fact also becomes
demonstration, that being a monarch or an emperor gave no proofs of a
sinful character.

Will Dr. Wayland undertake to prove that the admission of Constantine to
the Christian church gave any license to the wicked murders and hateful
hypocrisy of the Emperor Phocas? Or will he venture to extend his
argument, and say that the command of marital and filial obedience
proves nothing in their favour; since we are commanded to yield a like
obedience to the king, although that king be the wicked Phocas? The fact
is, the mere character of chief-magistrate, of husband, of parent or
slaveholder, is quite distinct from the character which their acts may
severally heap upon them. It is, therefore, quite possible for us to
reverence and obey the king, yet hold in contempt the person who fills
the throne.

Civil government, the relations of parent and child, husband and wife,
and slavery itself, are all ordinances of Divine wisdom, instituted for
the benefit of man, under the condition of his fallen state. But because
these relations are in accordance with the ordinances of God, it by no
means follows that the abuses of them are so.

Suppose those who wish to abolish the institution of marriage should
present the same argument in their behalf which Dr. Wayland has in this
case, it will surely be just as legitimate in the one as the other. But
will not Dr. Wayland readily say that there is no parallel between the
particular relations compared? We doubt not, he would consider it too
stupid to even require refutation.


                               LESSON X.

Our author says, as before quoted—

P. 209. “That the precepts of the Bible are diametrically opposed to

In proof, he offers one precept:

“Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, and All things whatsoever ye
would that men should do unto you, do ye even so unto them.”

Upon which he says, for argument—

“1. The application of these precepts is universal. Our neighbour is
every one whom we may benefit. The obligation respects all things
whatsoever. The precept, then, manifestly extends to men as men, or men
in every condition; and if to all things whatsoever, certainly to a
thing so important as the right of personal liberty.

“2. Again, by this precept it is made our duty to cherish a tender and
delicate respect for the right the meanest individual possesses over the
means of happiness bestowed on him by God, as we cherish for our own
right over our own means of happiness, or as we desire any other
individual to cherish for it. Now, were this precept obeyed, it is
manifest that slavery could not in fact exist for a single instant. The
principle of the precept is absolutely subversive of the principle of
slavery. That of the one is the entire equality of right; that of the
other, the entire absorption of the rights of one in the rights of the

We propose to make no comment upon these arguments. We cannot do battle
against phantoms. But we shall take this golden rule, which we most
devoutly reverence, and show that it inculcates slavery, upon a
statement of facts.

The 28th chapter of Deuteronomy contains the revelations of blessings
and curses promised the Jews, and, we may add, all mankind, for
obedience to the laws of God, and for disobedience to the same. At the
68th verse, they were told that they should again be sent to Egypt; or
that they should be exposed for sale; or that they should expose
themselves for sale, as the passage may be read, and that no man should
buy them; or that there should not be buyers enough to give them the
benefit even of being slaves, whereby they could be assured of
protection and sustenance. This was most signally verified at the time
Jerusalem was sacked by Titus; and not only in Egypt, but in many other
places, thousands of the Hebrew captives were exposed for sale as
slaves. But thousands of them, thus exposed, died of starvation, because
purchasers could not be found for them. The Romans, considered them too
stubborn, too degraded, to be worthy of being slaves to them, refused to
buy them. Their numbers, compared to the numbers of their purchasers,
were so great that the price became merely nominal; and thousands were
suffered to die, because purchasers could not be had at any price. Their
death was the consequence.

Now let us apply the truly golden rule or precept, relied upon by Dr.
Wayland in support of abolitionism. Would it teach to buy these slaves,
or not?

The same incident happened once again to all the Jews, who were freemen
in Spain, during the reign of Ferdinand and Isabella, when 800,000 Jews
were driven from that kingdom in one day; vast multitudes of whom
famished to death because, although anxious to do so, they could not
find for themselves even a master! Let us ask, what would the precept
teach in this case?

Nor has such a peculiar relation of facts been confined to the Jews
alone. In 1376, the Florentines, then a travelling, trading, or
commercial people, but in many instances quite forgetful of the rules of
Christian honesty, became exceedingly obnoxious to their neighbours,
especially to the subjects of the church of Rome. To many of them,
murder and robbery became a mere pastime. From individuals the moral
poison was communicated to their government. The church was despoiled of
her patrimony, her subjects of their homes. The church remonstrated
until patience was exhausted, when Gregory XI. issued his papal bull,
delivering each individual of that nation, in all parts of the earth,
who did not instantly make reparation, up to pillage, slavery, or death.

Let us notice how Walsingham witnessed this matter in England, where a
large portion of the traders were of that people, all liable, if
freemen, to be put to death by any one who might choose to inflict the
punishment; and their effects were legally escheated to whomsoever might
seize them. Slavery was their only remedy. The Anglo-Saxon Normans, the
natives of the realm, had not yet, as a people, sufficiently emerged
from the poverty and darkness of the times to give them protection.
This, to us so strange a relation between the church and civil
government, in regard to the Florentines, produced an action on the part
of the king by which he became their personal master. Thus they became
slaves, not of the crown, but of the individual who sat upon the throne.
Did he act in conformity to this precept or not?

John and Richard Lander were sent by the “London African Association” to
explore some parts of Africa. On the 24th of March, 1830, they were only
one half day’s travel from the seacoast, at which point they say, vol.
i. p. 58:

“Meantime the rainy season is fast approaching, as is sufficiently
announced by repeated showers and occasional tornadoes; and, what makes
us still more desirous to leave this abominable place, is the fact, as
we have been told, that a sacrifice of no less than three hundred human
beings, of both sexes and all ages, is about to take place. We often
hear the cries of these poor creatures; and the heart sickens with
horror at the bare contemplation of such a scene as awaits us, should we
remain here much longer.”

It is to be regretted that since the abolition of the slave-trade in
Africa, slaves have become of little value in that country. That the
Africans in many places have returned to sacrifice and cannibalism, is
also true, and a cause of deep sorrow to the philanthropist; but,
considering the state and condition of these savages, there is no
alternative;—the slave there, if he cannot be sold, is at all times
liable to be put to death.

Suppose you buy, and then turn them loose there; they will again and
instantly be the subjects of slavery; and even there, slavery is some
protection, for, so long as the savage master chooses or is able to keep
his slave alive, he is more sure of the usual means of living. But, let
us present this state of facts to the Christian, and ask him to apply
the golden rule; and, in case the slave-trade with Africa had not now
been abolished, what would he deem it his duty to do for the practical
and lasting benefit of these poor victims, whom the sympathy of the
world has thus consigned to sacrifice and death?

The people of the Slave States have determined not to countenance
amalgamation with the slave race; they have determined not to set the
slaves free, because they have previously resolved that they will not,
cannot live under the government of the negro. In full view of these
evils, they have resolved that they will not suffer the presence of that
race in their community, on terms of political or social equality. They
have, therefore, further resolved, in furtherance of its prevention, to
oppose it while life shall last.

Now, Dr. Wayland says—

P. 215. “The slaves were brought here without their own consent; they
have been continued in their present state of degradation without their
own consent, and they are not responsible for the consequences. If a man
have done injustice to his neighbour, and have also placed impediments
in the way of remedying that injustice, he is as much under obligations
to remove the impediments in the way of justice as he is to do justice.”

The ancestors of our slaves were brought from beyond sea by the people
of Old England, and by the people of New England, and particularly by
the people of Rhode Island, among the descendants of whom the reverend
doctor resides. The ancestors of these slaves were sold to our ancestors
for money, and guaranteed, by them, to be slaves for life, and their
descendants after them, as they said, both by the laws of God and man.
Whether this was false, whether they were stolen and cruelly torn from
their homes, the reverend doctor has better means of determining than
we. We may sell, we will not free them.

Under this statement of facts, let the reverend doctor apply the golden
rule and his own argument to himself. Let him then buy, and set them
free in Rhode Island; or send them to Africa, if their ancestors “were
unlawfully torn from thence.”

“Wo unto you, scribes and pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the
tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous, and
say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we should not have been
partakers with them in the blood of the prophets. Wherefore, ye be
witness unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them that killed
the prophets.” _Matt._ xxiii. 29, 30, 31.

“For they bind heavy burdens, and grievous to be borne, and lay them on
men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of
their fingers.” _Idem._ 4.

Within the last year, our sympathies have been excited by an account now
published to the world, of an African chieftain and slaveholder, who,
during the year previous, finding himself cut off from a market on the
Western coast, in consequence of the abolition of the slave-trade with
Europe and America,—the trade with Arabia, Egypt, and the Barbary States
not being sufficient to drain off the surplus number,—put to death three

The blood of these massacred negroes now cries from the ground unto Dr.
Wayland and his disciples—

“Apply, oh, apply to bleeding Africa the doctrine of the golden rule,
and relieve us, poor African slaves, from starvation, massacre, and
death. Come, oh, come; buy us, that we may be your slaves, and have some
chance to learn that religion under which you prosper. Then ‘we shall
build up the old wastes’—‘raise up the former desolations,’ and ‘repair
the waste cities, the desolations of many generations.’ ‘And strangers
shall stand and feed your flocks, and the sons of the alien shall be
your ploughmen, and your vine-dressers.’ ‘Then ye shall be named the
priests of the Lord; men shall call you the ministers of our God.'”
_Isa._ lxi. 4, 5, 6.

We shall here close our remarks on the Rev. Dr. Wayland’s book; and
however feeble they may be, yet we can conscientiously say, we have no
“_doubt_” about the truth of our doctrine.

“Forever, O Lord, thy word is settled in heaven. Thy faithfulness is
unto all generations; thou hast established the earth, and it abideth.
They continue, this day, according to thine ordinances; for all are thy
servants,” (עֲבָדֶֽיךָ _ebedeka_, _slaves_.) cxix. 89, 90, 91.


                               LESSON XI.

Among those who have advocated views adverse to those of our present
study, we are compelled to notice Dr. Paley, as one of the most
influential, the most dignified, and the most learned. He defines
slavery to be “an obligation to labour for the benefit of the master,
without the contract or consent of the servant.” He says “that this
obligation may arise, consistently with the laws of nature, from three
causes: 1st, from crimes; 2d, from captivity; and 3d, from debt.” He
says that, “in the first case, the continuance of the slavery, as of any
other punishment, ought to be proportionate to the crime. In the second
and third cases, it ought to cease as soon as the demand of the injured
nation or private creditor is satisfied.” He was among the first to
oppose the African slave-trade. He says, “Because, when the slaves were
brought to the African slave-market, no questions were asked as to the
origin of the vendors’ titles: Because the natives were incited to war
for the sake of supplying the market with slaves: Because the slaves
were torn away from their parents, wives, children, and friends, homes,
companions, country, fields, and flocks, and their accommodation on
shipboard not better than that provided for brutes: Because the system
of laws by which they are governed is merciless and cruel, and is
exercised, especially by their English masters, with rigour and

But he thinks the American Revolution, which had just then happened,
will have a tendency to accelerate the fall of this most abominable
tyranny, and indulges in the reflection whether, in the providence of
God, the British legislature, which had so long assisted and supported
it, was fit to have rule over so extensive an empire as the North
American colonies.

Dr. Paley says that slavery was a part of the civil constitution of most
countries when Christianity appeared; and that no passage is found in
the Christian Scriptures by which it is condemned or prohibited. But he
thinks the reason to be, because “Christianity, soliciting admission
into all nations of the world, abstained, as behooved it, from
intermeddling with the civil institutions of any; but,” says he, “does
it follow from the silence of Scripture concerning them, that all the
civil institutions that then prevailed were right? or, that the bad
should not be exchanged for better? Besides,” he says, “the discharging
the slaves from all obligations to their masters would have had no
better effect than to let loose one half of mankind upon the other.
Besides,” he thinks “it would have produced a servile war, which would
have ended in the reproach and extinction of the Christian name.”

Dr. Paley thinks that the emancipation of slaves should be carried on
very gradually, by provision of law, under the protection of government;
and that Christianity should operate as an alterative, in which way, he
thinks, it has extinguished the Greek and Roman slavery, and also the
feudal tyranny; and he trusts, “as Christianity advances in the world,
it will banish what remains of this odious institution.”

In some of his other writings, Dr. Paley suggests that Great Britain, by
way of atoning for the wrongs she has done Africa, ought to transport
from America free negroes, the descendants of slaves, and give them
location in various parts of Africa, to serve as models for the
civilization of that country.

Dr. Paley’s Treatise on Moral and Political Philosophy, from which the
foregoing synopsis is taken, was published to the world in 1785; but it
had been delivered in lectures, almost _verbatim_, before the University
of Cambridge, several years previous; and it is now a class-book in
almost every high literary institution where the English language is
spoken. It is, therefore, a work of high authority and great influence.

But we think his definition of the term slavery is not correct. Let us
repeat it: “An obligation to labour for the benefit of the master,
without the contract or consent of the servant.”

Many, who purchase slaves to be retained in their own families, first
examine and consult with the slave, and tell him—“My business is thus; I
feed and clothe thus; are you willing that I should buy you? For I will
buy no slave who is not willing.”

To this, it is usual for the slave to say, “Yes, master! and I hope you
will buy me. I will be a good slave. You shall have no fault to find
with me, or my work.”

By all the claims of morality, here is a contract and consent, and the
statute might make it legal. But who will say that the condition of
slavery is altered thereby? But, says one, this supposition does not
reach the case, because all the obligations and conditions of slavery
previously existed; and, therefore, the “contract” and “consent” here
only amounted to a contract and consent to change masters.

Suppose then, from poverty or misfortune, or some peculiar affection of
the mind, a freeman should solicit to place himself in the condition of
slavery to one in whom he had sufficient confidence, (and we have known
such a case,)—a freeman anxiously applying to his more fortunate friend
to enter into such an engagement for life; suppose the law had
sanctioned such voluntary slavery, and, when entered into, made it
obligatory, binding, and final for ever. There would be nothing in such
law contrary to the general powers of legislation, however impolitic it
might be; and such a law did once exist among the Jews.

“And if a sojourner or a stranger wax rich by thee, and thy brother that
dwelleth by him wax poor, and sell himself unto the stranger or
sojourner by thee, or to the stock of the stranger’s family; after that
he is sold, he may be redeemed again; and one of his brethren may redeem
him. Either his uncle or his uncle’s son may redeem him, or any that is
nigh of kin unto his family may redeem him; or, if he be able, he may
redeem himself: * * * and if he be not redeemed in one of these
years,—then he shall go out in the year of Jubilee, both he and his
children with him.” _Lev._ xxv. 47–54. “Now these are the judgments
which ye shall set before them. If ye 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 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; he shall bring him unto 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. 1–6.

It is clear, then, that “to contract and consent,” or the reverse, is no
part of the qualities of slavery. Erase, then, that portion of Dr.
Paley’s definition as surplusage; it will then read, “an obligation to
labour for the benefit of the master.”

Now, there can be no obligation to do a thing where there is no possible
power to do it; and more especially, if there is no contract. But it
does not unfrequently occur, that a slave, from its infancy, old age,
idiocy, delirium, disease, or other infirmity, has no power to labour
for the benefit of the master; and the want of such ability may be
obviously as permanent as life, so as to exclude the idea of any
prospective benefit. Yet the law compels the master to supply food,
clothes, medicine, pay taxes on, and every way suitably protect such
slave, greatly to the disadvantage of the master. Or, a case might be,
for it is presumable, that the master, from some obliqueness of
understanding, might not wish some slave, even in good health, to labour
at all, but would prefer, at great expense, to maintain such slave in
luxury and idleness, clothed in purple and fine linen, and faring
sumptuously every day: surely, such slave, would be under no obligation
to labour for the benefit of the master, when, to do so, would be acting
contrary to his will and command. Yet none of these circumstances make
the slave a freeman, or alter at all the essentials of slavery.

The slave, then, may or may not be under obligation to labour for the
benefit of the master. Therefore, the “obligation to labour for the
benefit of the master” is surplusage also, and may be erased. So the
entire definition is erased—not a word left!

The fact is, Dr. Paley took some of the most common incidents
accompanying the thing for the thing itself; and he would have been just
as logically correct had he said, that “slavery was to be a hearty
feeder on fat pork,” because slaves feed heartily on that article. In
his definition Dr. Paley has embraced none of the essentials of slavery.

We propose to notice the passage—“This obligation may arise,
consistently with the laws of nature, from three causes: 1st, from
crime; 2d, from captivity; 3d, from debt.”

The first consideration is, what he means by “obligation.” In its usual
acceptation, the term means something that has grown out of a previous
condition, as the obligations of marriage did not, nor could they exist
until the marriage was had. If he only means that the “obligations” of
slavery arise, &c., then he has told us nothing of the arising of
slavery itself. But as he has used the word in the singular number, and
given it three progenitors, we may suppose, that, by some figure of
rhetoric, not usual in works of this kind, he has used the consequent
for the cause. In that case, the sentence should read, “Slavery may
arise, consistently with the laws of nature, from three causes,” &c.;
which is what we suppose the doctor really meant.

The next inquiry is, what did Dr. Paley mean by “the laws of nature?”
Permit us to suffer him to answer this inquiry himself.

In the twenty-fourth chapter of his “Natural Theology,” a work of great
merit, he says—

“The wisdom of the Deity, as testified in the works of creation,
surpasses all idea we have of wisdom drawn from the highest intellectual
operations of the highest class of intelligent beings with whom we are
acquainted. * * * The degree of knowledge and power requisite for the
formation of created nature cannot, with respect to us, be distinguished
from infinite. The Divine omnipresence stands in natural theology upon
this foundation. In every part and place of the universe, with which we
are acquainted, we perceive the exertion of a power which we believe
mediately or immediately to proceed from the Deity. For instance, in
what part or point of space, that has ever been explored, do we not
discover attraction? In what regions do we not discover light? In what
accessible portion of our globe do we not meet with gravitation,
magnetism, electricity? together with the properties, also, and powers
of organized substances, of vegetable or animated, nature? Nay, further
we may ask, what kingdom is there of nature, what corner of space, in
which there is any thing that can be examined by us, where we do not
fall upon contrivance and design? The only reflection, perhaps, which
arises in our minds from this view of the world around us, is that the
laws of nature everywhere prevail; that they are uniform and universal.
But what do we mean by the laws of nature? or by any law? Effects are
produced by power, not by law; a law cannot execute itself; a law refers
to an agent.”

By the “laws of nature,” then, Dr. Paley clearly means the laws of God.

Now be pleased to look at the close of Dr. Paley’s remarks on slavery,
where he trusts that, “as Christianity advances in the world, it will
banish what remains of that odious institution.” How happens it that an
institution which arises consistently with the laws of God should be
odious to him, unless the laws of God and Dr. Paley are at variance on
this subject?


                              LESSON XII.

It will be recollected, that Dr. Paley has presented a number of facts,
displaying acts of oppression and cruelty, as arguments against the
African slave-trade. These facts are arranged and used in place as
arguments against the institution of slavery itself; and the verbose
opponents of this institution have always so understood it, and so used
this class of facts. It is this circumstance that calls for our present
view of these facts, rather than any necessity the facts themselves
impose of proving their exaggeration or imaginary existence; and
doubtless, in many cases, most heartless enormities were committed. But
what do they all prove? Truly, that some men engaged in the traffic were
exceedingly wicked men.

Such men would fashion the traffic to suit themselves, and would,
doubtless, make their business an exceedingly wicked one. But none of
the enormities named, or that could be named, constituted a necessary
part of the institution of slavery, or necessarily emanated from it.
What enormities have wicked men sometimes committed in the
transportation of emigrants from Germany and Ireland? Wicked men,
intrusted with power, have, at least sometimes, been found to abuse it.
Is it any argument against the institution of marriage, because some
women have made their husbands support and educate children not their
own? Or, because some men murder, treat with cruelty, or make their
wives totally miserable and wretched? None of these things were any part
of the institution of marriage, but the reverse of it. Apply this view
also to the institution of Christianity, for nothing has been more
abused. Already, under its very banners, as it were, have been committed
more enormities than would probably attend that of slavery through all
time. Yet the institution of Christianity has not been even soiled
thereby; but its character and usefulness have become brighter and more
visible. In proportion to the importance of a thing is its liability to
abuse. A worthless thing is not worth a counterfeit.

We have before us the testimony of travellers in regard to the
indifference felt by the Africans on being sold as slaves; of their
palpable want of love and affection for their country, their relatives,
and even for their wives and children. Nor should we forget that a large
portion of this race are born slaves to the chieftains, whose wars with
each other are mere excursions of robbery and theft.

Lander, vol. i. p. 107, speaking of Jenna, says—

“It must not be imagined that because the people of this country are
almost perpetually engaged in conflicts with their neighbours, the
slaughter of human beings is therefore very great. They pursue war, as
it is called, partly as an amusement, or to _keep their hands in it_;
and partly to benefit themselves by the capture of slaves.”

One decrepit old woman was the victim of a hundred engagements, at Cape
La Hoo, during a three years’ war. Lander describes those who claim to
be free, as _the war men of the path_, who are robbers. He says, p. 145,
“they subsist solely by pillage and rapine.”

Such is the condition of the poor free negro in Africa. The chieftain
often, it is true, has goats, sheep, fields of corn and rice; but we
mistake when we suppose that the slaves, the surplus of whom were
formerly sent to market, were the proprietors of such property. At
Katunqua, p. 179, Lander describes the food to be “such as lizards,
rats, locusts, and caterpillars, which the natives roast, grill, bake,
and boil.” No people feed on such vermin who possess fields and flocks.

We can form some notion of their companionship, from p. 110: “It is the
custom here, when the governor dies, for two of his favourite wives to
quit the world on the same day;” but in this case they ran and hid
themselves. Also, p. 182: “This morning a young man visited us, with a
countenance so rueful, and spoke in a tone so low and melancholy, that
we were desirous to learn what evil had befallen him. The cause of it
was soon explained by his informing us that he would be doomed to die,
with two companions, as soon as the governor’s dissolution should take

There is little or no discrepancy among travellers in their descriptions
of the Africans. Their state of society must have been well known to
Paley; yet Paley gives us a picture of their state of society from
imagination, founded upon that state of society with which his pupils
were conversant: “Because the slaves were torn away from their parents,
wives, children, and friends, homes, companions, country, fields, and

If the picture drawn by Paley were the lone consideration addressed to
our commiseration in the argument against slavery as a Divine
institution of mercy, we should, perhaps, be at some loss to determine
what amount was due from us to the African slave, who had thus been
_torn from the danger of being put to death_!—_thus torn from his fields
of lizards and locusts, and flocks of caterpillars!_

But what shall we think of an argument, founded on relations in England,
but applied to Africa, where no such relations exist?

It is a rule to hesitate as to the truthfulness of all that is stated,
when the witness is discovered to be under the influence of a prejudice
so deeply seated as to mislead the mind, and especially when we discover
a portion of the stated facts to be either not true or misapplied.

The reasons assigned by Dr. Paley why the Christian Scriptures did not
prohibit and condemn slavery, we deem also quite erroneous:—“For
Christianity, soliciting admission into all nations of the world,
abstained, as behooved it, from intermeddling with the civil
institutions of any;” and then asks, with an air of triumph, “But does
it follow from the silence of Scripture concerning them, that all the
civil institutions that prevailed were right? or that the bad should not
be exchanged for better?”

We wish to call particular attention to this passage, for, even after
having examined the books of the Greek philosophers, we are constrained
to say we have never seen a more beautiful sophism.

Is it a fact, then, that Jesus Christ and his apostles did compromise
and compound with sin, as Dr. Paley thinks it behooved them, and with
the design to avoid opposition to the introduction of Christianity?

Say, thou humble follower of the lowly Jesus, art thou ready to lay down
thy life for Him who could truckle to sin—to a gross, an abominable sin,
which alone would destroy the purity of his character and the divinity
of his doctrine? In all love, we pray Him who holds your very breath in
his hand, to cause you to tremble, before you shall say that Jesus
Christ was a liar, and his apostles perjured!

“I am the true vine; and my Father is the husbandman * * * as the Father
hath loved me, so have I loved you; continue ye in my love. Greater love
hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye
are my friends if ye do whatsoever I command you. Henceforth I call you
not _servants_, for the _servant_ knoweth not what his Lord doeth; but I
have called you friends; for ALL THINGS that I have heard of my Father,
I have made known unto you.” _John_ xv. 1, 9, 13, 15.

“And when they were come to him, he said unto them; ye know, from the
first day that I came into Asia, after what manner I have been with you,
at all seasons, serving the Lord with all humility of mind, and with
many tears and temptations, which befell me by the lying in wait of the
Jews. And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you; but have
showed you, and have taught you publicly and from house to house.
Wherefore, I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood
of all men. For I have not shunned to declare unto you ALL THE COUNSEL
OF GOD.” _Acts_ xx.

Had St. Paul foreseen the attack upon his character, made by Dr. Paley,
seventeen hundred and eighty-five years after, and that upon his Master
and their religion, he need not have altered his language to have
repelled the slander.

“Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have
obtained like precious faith with us, through the righteousness of God
and of our Saviour Jesus Christ: grace and peace be multiplied unto you,
through the knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ our Lord, according as
his divine power hath given unto us ALL THINGS THAT PERTAIN UNTO LIFE
AND GODLINESS, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory
and virtue.” 2 _Pet._ i. 1, 2, 3.

And what says this holy man,—what says this same Peter, touching the
subject of Dr. Paley’s remarks?

“Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the
good and gentle, but also to the froward, * * * for hereunto were ye
called.” 1 _Pet._ ii. 18–21.

Permit us to inquire whether the language of Jesus Christ himself, of
St. Paul and St. Peter, does not, in a strong degree, contradict the
supposition of Dr. Paley? And let us inquire whether it is probable that
a class of men, devoted to the promulgation of a doctrine which ran so
counter to many of the civil institutions, customs, habits, and
religions then in the world, as to have subjected them to death, would
have secretly kept back a part of their creed, when, to have made it
known, could not have increased their danger; and, especially, as by the
creed itself, such keeping back would have insured to them the eternal
punishment hereafter?

“Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which
is of God: that we might know the things that are freely given to us of
God; which things we also speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom
teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth.” 1 _Cor._ ii. 12, 13. “And
Jesus came and spake unto them, saying all power is given unto me in
heaven and in earth. Go ye, therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing
them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost,
teaching them to observe ALL THINGS whatsoever I have commanded you; and
lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” _Matt._
xxviii. 18–20. “And now, O Father, glorify thou me, with thine own self,
with the glory which I had with thee before the world was. I have
manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world.
Now they have known ALL THINGS whatsoever thou hast given me of thee:
for I have given unto them the WORDS which thou gavest me, and they have
received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee.” _John_
xvii. 5–8.

It is not possible that we could have had greater evidence that the
whole counsel of God, illustrating the Christian duty, was delivered to
the apostles, and through them, to the world. Besides, the very
presumption of the incompleteness of the instruction undermines the
divinity of the doctrine.

There is, perhaps, no one who does not feel pain, sometimes almost
unspeakable, when we see a great man leaning upon the staff of error,
especially when such error is palpable, gross, and calamitous in its
tendency and effects.

But, cheering as the early ray of hope, and welcome as the rest-giving
witness of a covenant, will be the proof that human weakness still had
power to wade from out the miry labyrinth of error—to stand upon the
rock from whence even human eyes might behold some few glimpses of the
rising effulgence of truth.

We have some evidence that Dr. Paley did, at a later period of his life,
adopt a more consistent view of the Christian Scriptures, touching the
subject of this inquiry. In his “Horæ Paulinæ,” a work of exceeding
great merit, on the subject of Paul’s letter to the Corinthian church,
he enumerates and classifies the subjects of Paul’s instruction, among
which slavery is conspicuously mentioned, and then says—“That though
they” (the subjects) “be exactly agreeable to the circumstances of the
persons to whom the letter was written, nothing, I believe, but the
existence and reality of the circumstances” (subjects) “could have
suggested them to the writer’s thought.”

In all Christian love and charity, we are constrained to believe that he
had discovered his error; and that, had his life been spared longer, he,
with diligence and anxiety, would have expunged from his works charges
so reflecting on himself, and contrary to the character of the God of
our hope.


                              LESSON XIII.

Slavery existed in Britain when history commenced the records of that
island. It was there found in a state and condition predicated upon the
same causes by which its existence is now continued and perpetuated in
Africa. But as early as the year 692–3 A.D., the Witna-Gemot, convoked
by Ina, began to manifest a more elevated condition of the Britons.
Without abolishing slavery, they regulated its government, ameliorated
the old practice of death or slavery being the universal award of
conquest; by submission and baptism the captive was acknowledged to
merit some consideration; life, and, in some cases, property were
protected against the rapacity of the conqueror; the child was secured
against the mere avarice of the savage parent, and heavy punishment was
announced against him who should sell his countryman, whether
malefactor, slave, or not, to any foreign master.

He who has the curiosity to notice the steps by which the Britons
emerged from savage life, in connection with their condition of slavery,
may do well to examine the works of William of Malmsbury, Simeon of
Durham, Bede, Alcuin, Wilkins, Huntingdon, Hoveden, Lingard, and Wilton.
But he will not find the statutes of the monarchies succeeding Ina free
from these enactments until he shall come down near the fourteenth
century. Thus, generations passed away before these statutes came to be
regarded with general respect. National regeneration has ever been thus
slow. Thus, savage life has ever put to death the captive; while we find
that slavery, among such tribes, has ever been introduced as a merciful
provision in its stead, and is surely a proof of one step towards a more
elevated state of moral improvement. But in the case of Britain and the
whole of Europe, the slave was of the same original stock with the
master; he, therefore, presented no physical impediment to amalgamation,
by which has been brought about whatever of equality now exists among
their descendants.

But in the close of this study, we propose to take some notice of the
arguments of another most distinguished writer in favour of the
abolition of slavery, as it now affects the African race.

In 1777, the celebrated Dr. Samuel Johnson wrote his argument in favour
of the freedom of the negro slave who accompanied his master from
Jamaica to Scotland, and who there brought suit in the Court of Sessions
for his freedom. This argument has been deemed by so many to be
unanswerable, and ever since that time so generally used as a _seed
argument_ in the propagation of abolition doctrines, that we feel it
worthy of notice and examination.

Johnson was a bitter opponent of negro slavery; yet, strange, he ever
advocated the justice of reducing the American colonies and the West
India Islands to the most abject condition of political slavery to the
British crown. This system is fully advocated, and garnished by his
sarcasm and ridicule, in his famous work, entitled “Taxation no
Tyranny.” “How is it,” says he, “that we hear the loudest yelps for
liberty among the drivers of negroes.”

Not long after he wrote _this_ argument, on the occasion of a
dinner-party at Dilly’s, he said, “I am willing to love all mankind,
_except an American_;” whereupon, adds his biographer, “he breathed out
threatenings and slaughter, calling them rascals, robbers, pirates, and
exclaiming, he’d burn and destroy them.”

Some knowledge of a man’s peculiar notions relevant to a subject will
often aid the mind in a proper estimate of the value of his opinion and
judgment concerning correlative matters. His biographer says—

“I record Dr. Johnson’s argument fairly upon this particular case;” * *
* “but I beg leave to enter my most solemn protest against his general
doctrine with respect to the slave-trade; for I will most resolutely say
that his unfavourable notion of it was owing to prejudice, and imperfect
or false information. The wild and dangerous attempt, which has for some
time been persisted in, to obtain an act of the legislature to abolish
so very important and necessary a branch of commercial interest, must
have been crushed at once, had not the insignificance of the zealots who
vainly took the lead in it, made the vast body of the planters,
merchants, and others, whose immense properties are involved in the
trade, reasonably enough suppose that there would be no danger. The
encouragement which the attempt has received excites my wonder and
indignation; and though some men of superior abilities have supported
it, whether from a love of temporary popularity when prosperous, or a
love of general mischief when desperate, my opinion is unshaken. To
abolish a _status_, which in all ages God has sanctioned and man has
continued, would not only be robbery to an innumerable class of
fellow-subjects, but it would be extreme cruelty to African savages, a
portion of whom it saves from massacre or intolerable bondage in their
own country, and introduces into a much happier state of life.”
_Boswell’s Life of Johnson_, vol. ii. pp. 132, 133.

On the same page, the biographer adds—

“His violent prejudices against our West-Indian and American settlers,
appeared whenever there was an opportunity.” * * * “Upon an occasion,
when in company with several very grave men at Oxford, his toast was:
‘Here’s to the next insurrection of the negroes in the West Indies!’ I,
with all due deference, thought that he discovered a zeal without

This was surely bold in Boswell!

Since the culmination of the great British lexicographer, it has been
unusual to hear a whisper in question of his high moral accuracy, of his
singularly nice mental training, or the perspicuous and lofty display of
these qualities in all his works. Even at this day, such a whisper may
be proof of temerity. But truth is of higher import than the fear of
individual rebuke, or of our literary faith that any one hero in the
walks of erudition heretofore went down to the tomb without one mental
or classical imperfection.

                  *       *       *       *       *

Argument in favour of a negro claiming his liberty, referred to in
_Boswell’s Life of Johnson_, p. 132.

“It must be agreed that in most ages many countries have had part of
their inhabitants in a state of slavery; yet it may be doubted whether
slavery can ever be supposed the natural condition of man. It is
impossible not to conceive that men in their original state were equal;
and very difficult to imagine how one would be subjected to another but
by violent compulsion. An individual may, indeed, forfeit his liberty by
a crime; but he cannot by that crime forfeit the liberty of his
children. What is true of a criminal seems true likewise of a captive. A
man may accept life from a conquering enemy on condition of perpetual
servitude; but it is very doubtful whether he can entail that servitude
on his descendants; for no man can stipulate without commission for
another. The condition which he himself accepts, his son or grandson
would have rejected. If we should admit, what perhaps may with more
reason be denied, that there are certain relations between man and man
which may make slavery necessary and just, yet it can never be proved
that he who is now suing for his freedom ever stood in any of those
relations. He is certainly subject by no law, but that of violence, to
his present master, who pretends no claim to his obedience but that he
bought him from a merchant of slaves, whose right to sell him never was
examined. It is said that according to the constitutions of Jamaica he
was legally enslaved; these constitutions are merely positive, and
apparently injurious to the rights of mankind, because whoever is
exposed to sale is condemned to slavery without appeal, by whatever
fraud or violence he might have originally been brought into the
merchant’s power. In our own time, princes have been sold, by wretches
to whose care they were intrusted, that they might have an European
education; but when once they were brought to a market in the
plantations, little would avail either their dignity or their wrongs.
The laws of Jamaica afford a negro no redress. His colour is considered
as a sufficient testimony against him. It is to be lamented that moral
right should ever give way to political convenience. But if temptations
of interest are sometimes too strong for human virtue, let us at least
retain a virtue where there is no temptation to quit it. In the present
case there is apparent right on one side, and no convenience on the
other. Inhabitants of this island can neither gain riches nor power by
taking away the liberty of any part of the human species. The sum of the
argument is this: No man is by nature the property of another. The
defendant is, therefore, by nature, free. The rights of nature must be
some way forfeited before they can be justly taken away. That the
defendant has, by any act, forfeited the rights of nature, we require to
be proved; and if no proof of such forfeiture can be given, we doubt not
but the justice of the court will declare him free.”

The author of this production has artfully surrounded his subject with
such a plausibility of concessive proposals, doubtful suggestions,
indefinite words and propositions, as will require a sifting of his
ideas into a more distinct view. And we fear some will find his argument
thus vague and indeterminate; the mind will pass it by, as one of those
learned masterpieces of logic, so distant from the eye of our common
judgment, that they will sooner yield their assent than endure the
labour of examination.

The first suggestion we would offer on the subject of this production is
its total inapplicability to the case. The negro was held a slave in
Jamaica. The inquiry was not, whether he was so held in obedience to the
British law regulating the institution of slavery in Jamaica. The only
question was, whether a slave in Jamaica, or elsewhere, who had by any
means found his way into Scotland, was or was not free by operation of
law. Not a word is directed to that point. And the court of session must
have regarded its introduction before them as an argument in the case,
as idle and as useless as would have been a page from his Rasselas. The
British government established negro slavery by law in all her colonies,
but made no provision by which the slave, when once found on the shores
of England, could be taken thence again into slavery.

The object, no doubt, was wholly to prevent their introduction there, in
favour to her own labouring poor. The British monarchy retained the
whole subject of slavery under its own control. The colonies had no
voice in the matter. They had no political right to say that the slave,
thus imposed on them, should, after he had found his way into any part
of the British Isles, be reclaimed, and their right of property in him
restored. Their political condition differed widely from the condition
of these United States at the formation of this republic.

They, as colonial dependants, had no power to dictate protection to
their own rights, or to insist on a compromise of conflicting interests
to be established by law.

Dr. Johnson’s argument is exclusively directed against the political and
moral propriety of the institution of slavery as a state or condition of
man anywhere, instead of the true question at issue. The argument, taken
as a whole, is, therefore, a sophism, of the order which dialecticians
call “_ignoratio elenchi_;” a dodging of the question; a substitution of
something for the question which is not; a practice common among the
pert pleaders of the day—sometimes, doubtless, without their own
perception of the fact. In regard to him who uses this sophism to effect
the issue, the conclusion is inevitable,—he is either dishonest or he is
ignorant of his subject. And when we come to examine this celebrated
production as an argument against the moral propriety of the existence
of the institution of slavery in the world, we shall find every pillar
presented for its foundation a mere sophism, now quite distinctly, and
again more feebly enunciated, as if with a more timid tongue, and left
to inquiry, adorned by festoons of doubt and supposition.

We shall requote some portions, with a view to their more particular
consideration. And, first, “Yet it may be doubted whether slavery can
ever be supposed the natural condition of man.” This clause, when put in
the crucible, reads, “Yet slavery can never exist in conformity to the
law of God.” Whoever doubts this to be the sense, we ask him to suppose
what the sense is! The author did not choose these few words to express
the proposition, because the law of God _could_ readily be produced in
contradiction: “_Whosoever committeth sin is the servant_ (δοῦλος,
_doulos_, SLAVE) _of sin_.” Besides, then, he loses the benefit of the
sophism,—the substitution of the condition of man in his fallen state,
through the ambiguity of the word “natural,” for the condition of the
first man, fresh from the hand of the Creator. This sophism is one of
great art and covertness; so much so, that it takes its character rather
from its effect on the mind than from its language; and we therefore
desire him who reads, to notice the whole chain of thought passing in
the author’s mind,—lest he forget how our present state is the subject
of contemplation offered as data, when, on the word “natural,” as if it
were a potter’s wheel, our _original condition_ is turned to the front,
a postulate, from which we are left to compare and conclude.

The doctrine of the Bible is, that slavery is the consequence of sin. If
“natural” be taken to mean the quality of a state of perfect holiness
and purity, then slavery cannot be the natural condition of man; no
_doubts_ are required in the case. But if “natural” is used to express
the quality of our condition under sin, sinking us under the curse of
the law, then the propriety of its use will not be “doubtful,” when
applied to slavery, because it is a consequent of the quality of the
condition. “Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which
are written in the book of the law to do them.” The proposition, as thus
explained, we think of no value in the argument; but, as left by the
author, obscure, its real meaning and intent not obviously perceived nor
easily detected, and he may have thought it logical and sound.

“It is impossible not to conceive that men, in their original state,
were equal.”

Here is another sophism, which the learned call _petitio principii_,
introduced without the least disguise,—the assumption of a proposition
without proof, which, upon examination, is not true. If the author mean,
by “original state,” the state of man in paradise, we have no method of
examining facts, except by a comparison of Adam with Eve, who was placed
in subjection. And if we may be permitted to examine the state of holy
beings more elevated than was man,—“For thou hast made him a little
lower than the angels,”—then, by analogy, we shall find it possible to
conceive that men, in the original state, were not equal, since even the
angels, who do the commands of God, are described as those “that excel
in strength.”

But if Dr. Johnson mean the state of man after the fall, then Cain was
told by God himself, that, if he did well, he should have rule over

“And very difficult to imagine how one would be subjected to another,
but by violent compulsion.” The object of this singular remark is to
enforce the proposition, That slavery is incompatible with the law of
God, which is not true.

“And if the servant shall plainly say, ‘I love my master * * * I will
not go out free:’ then his master shall bring him * * * and he shall
serve (be a slave to) him for ever.”

But if it shall be said the value of the passage quoted resides in the
term “violent compulsion;” that “violent compulsion,” sufficient to make
a man a slave, is incompatible with the law of God, then it will have no
weight in the argument, because the “violent compulsion” used may be in
conformity to the law of God. “And I will cause thee to serve (be a
slave) to thine enemies in the land which thou knowest not.”

“An individual may indeed forfeit his liberty by crime, but he cannot
forfeit the liberty of his children.”

This, as a proposition, presents a sophism of the order _non causa pro
causa_, in reverse. We all agree a man may forfeit his liberty by crime;
but how are we to deduce from this fact that the liberty of the child
cannot be affected by the same crime? The truth is, the crime that
deprives a parent of liberty, may, or may not, deprive the child. The
framework of this sophism is quite subtle; it implies the sophism, “_a
dicto secundum quid, ad dictum simpliciter_,” to have full effect on the
mind. Because, in truth, the crime that deprives the parent of liberty
does not invariably involve the liberty of the child, we are, therefore,
asked to assent to the proposition that it never does. But, perhaps, an
analysis of the proposition before us may be more plain to some, when we
remark, what is true in all such compound sophisms, that the proposition
containing it is divisible into two distinct propositions.

In this case, the first one is true,—the second not. If, by crime, a man
forfeits his life, he forfeits his liberty. If he is put to death
previous to a condition of paternity, its prospect is cut off with him.
Those beings who, otherwise, might have been his descendants, will never
exist. Hence rude nations, from such analogy, in case of very high
crimes, destroyed, with the parent, all his existing descendants.
Ancient history is full of such examples. The principle is the same as
the more modern attaint, and is founded, if in no higher law, in the
common sense of mankind; for, when the statute establishing attaints is
repealed, the public mind and the descendant both feel that the attaint
essentially exists, even without law to enforce it. Who does not
perceive that the descendants of certain traitors are effectually
attainted at the present day, even among the most enlightened nations.
He who denies that the crime of the parent can affect the liberty of the
child, must also deny that the character of the parent can affect him; a
fact that almost universally exists, and which every one knows.

“Let his children be continually vagabonds and beg; * * * let his
posterity be cut off; * * * let the iniquities of his fathers be
remembered with the Lord.”

This doctrine was recognised and practised by the church, even in
England, in the more early ages. Let one instance suffice. About the
year 560, Mauricus, a Christian king of Wales, committed perjury and
murdered Cynetus,—whereupon, Odouceus, Bishop of Llandaff, in full
synod, pronounced excommunication, and cursed, for ever, him and all his
offspring. See Milton’s ΕΙΚΟΝΟΚΛΑΣΤΗΣ, cap. 28.

This principle actively exists in the physical world. The parent
contracts some loathsome disease—the offspring are physically
deteriorated thereby. He whose moral and physical degradation are such
that slavery to him is a blessing, with few exceptions, will find his
descendants fit only for that condition. The children of parents whose
conduct in life fostered some mental peculiarity, are quite likely, with
greater or less intensity, to exhibit traces of the same. “The parents
have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge.” The
law is not repealed by the mantle of love, which, in mercy, the Saviour
has spread over the world, any more than forgiveness blots out the fact
of a crime. The hope of happiness hereafter alleviates present
suffering, but, in no sense, annihilates a cause which has previously

“A man may accept life from a conquering enemy on condition of perpetual
servitude; but it is very doubtful whether he can entail that servitude
on his descendants; for no man can stipulate, without commission, for

All that is presented as argument here, is founded upon the proposition,
that no man can stipulate for his descendants, whether unborn or not.

If what we have before said be true, little need be said on the subject
of this paragraph. For we have already seen that the conduct of the
ancestor, to an indefinite extent, both physically influences and
morally binds the condition of the offspring. It is comparatively but a
few ages since, over the entire world, the parent had full power, by
law, to put his children to death for crime, or to sell them into
slavery for causes of which he was the judge. And it may be remarked,
that such is the present law among, perhaps, all the tribes who furnish
from their own race slaves for the rest of the world. It is not
necessary here to show why a people, who find such laws necessary to
their welfare, also find slavery a blessing to them.

Civilization has ameliorated these, to us, harsh features of parental
authority; yet, to-day, the world can scarcely produce a case where the
condition of the child has not been greatly affected by the
stipulations, the conduct, the influences of the parent, wholly beyond
its control. The relation of parent has ever been found a sufficient
commission to bind these results to the condition of the offspring.

“But our fathers dealt proudly, and hardened their necks, and hearkened
not to thy commandments, and refused to obey; * * * and in their
rebellion appointed a captain to return to their bondage.”

“The condition which he (the captive) accepts, his son or grandson would
have rejected.”

This, at most, is supposititious, and, as an argument, we think,
extremely weak; because it implies, either that the acceptance of the
parent was not the result of necessity, and the wisest choice between
evils, or that the rejection, by the son, was the fruit of extravagant

“He that is extravagant will quickly become poor, and poverty will
enforce dependence and invite corruption.” * * * “I have avoided that
empyrical morality that cures one vice by the means of another.”
_Johnson’s Rambler._

“If we should admit, what perhaps with more reason may be denied, that
there are certain relations between man and man, which may make slavery
necessary and just, yet it can never be proved, that he, who is suing
for his freedom, ever stood in any of these relations.”

We cannot pretend to know what were the particular facts in relation to
the slavery of the individual then in Scotland. It is not, however,
pretended that the facts in relation to this slave were not the facts in
relation to all others. No suggestion of any illegality as to his
slavery in Jamaica is made, other than the broad ground of the
illegality of slavery itself. This is quite evident from what follows:

“He is certainly subject, by no law but that of violence, to his present
master, who pretends no claim to his obedience, but that he bought him
from a merchant of slaves, whose right to sell him was never examined.”

In the passage under consideration, we are confined wholly to negro
slavery; and had Dr. Johnson been serious in admitting that slavery,
under “certain relations,” was “necessary and just,” he would have
yielded his case; because, then, the slave in hand would have been
placed in the category of proving that he did not exist under these
relations. Johnson well knew that slavery existed in Jamaica by the
sanction of the British Parliament, and he manifests his contempt for
it, by the assertion that the slave was held only by the law of force.
He was, therefore, not reaching for the freedom of that particular
slave, but for the subversion of slavery as a condition of man.

The author has heretofore signified a willingness to admit the
lawfulness of slavery, when induced by “crime or captivity;” but now
denies the validity of such admission, because the relations of “crime
and captivity” can never be proved. The apparent object of his admission
was merely to rally us, by his liberality, to the admission that these
relations could never be proved; and we admit they never can be in the
way he provides; and he therefore announces the demonstration of the
proposition, that slavery can never be just, because “these relations,”
which alone make it so, can never be established. But what are the
reasons? They are the very causes which render the Africans obnoxious to
the condition of slavery—the degraded, deteriorated, and savage state of
that people. The negro slave, in his transit from the interior of
Africa, is often sold many times, by one master and chieftain to
another, before he reaches the western coast, whence he was transferred
by the slave factors to the English colonies. No memory of these facts,
or of the slave’s origin, is preserved or attempted. Under these
circumstances, though each individual of these slaves induced the
condition by “crime or captivity,” such fact could never be established
in the English colony. To attempt proof there of any fact touching the
case, would be as idle and futile as to attempt such proof in regard to
the biography of a baboon. Besides, the truth is, a very large portion
of these slaves were born slaves in Africa, inheriting their condition
from a slave ancestry of unknown ages, and recognised to be slaves by
the laws and customs of the various tribes there, and sent to market as
a surplus commodity, in accordance to the laws and usages among them,
enforced from time immemorial.

So far as we have knowledge of the various families of man, we believe
it to have ever been the practice for one nation to receive the national
acts of another as facts fixed, and not subject to further investigation
or alteration by a foreign people, especially when none but the people
making the decision were affected by it. Johnson surely must have agreed
to such a practice, because an opposite course, so far as carried into
action, would have involved every nation in universal war and endless
bloodshed. Besides, the right to usurp such control would involve the
right to enslave, and can only exist when the degeneracy of a nation has
become too great a nuisance to be longer tolerated with safety by the
people annoyed: self-protection will then warrant the right.

If England makes it lawful for her subjects to buy slaves in Africa and
hold them in Jamaica, then her subjects may lawfully hold there such as
are decided by the laws of Africa to be slaves. But the author of the
argument, with all this before him, having dictated what alone shall
make a man a slave, would propose to set up a new tribunal contrary to
all international law—contrary to the peace of the world—and, finally,
as to the object to which it is to be applied, forever abortive:
wherefore his argument in effect is, because “these relations,” which he
admits would justly make a man a slave, cannot be proved, therefore what
he admits to be true is not true; and puts us in mind of the sophism:
“If, when a man speaks truth, he says he lies, he lies; but he lies when
he speaks the truth; therefore, by speaking the truth, he lies!” which
we think about as relevant to the question.

In his conclusion, Dr. Johnson frankly acknowledges the position we have
assigned him:—

“The sum of the argument is this: No man is, by nature, the property of
another. The defendant, therefore, is free by nature. The rights of
nature must be someway forfeited before they can be justly taken away.”

There are, in our language, but few words of which we make such loose
and indefinite use as we do of the word “nature,” and its variously
modified forms. It would elucidate what we wish to bring to mind
concerning the use of this word, to select some verbose author, of a
fanatical habit of thought, or enough so to favour a negligence as to
the clearness of the ideas expressed by the terms at his command, and
compare the varied meanings which his application of the word will most
clearly indicate. We do not accuse Dr. Johnson of any want of astute
learning, but we wish to present an excuse for explaining that, by his
use of the phrases, “men by nature”—“by nature free”—“the rights of
nature,” he means, _the rights established by the laws of God_. He uses
those phrases as synonyms of the Creator, of his providence influencing
the condition of man, or the adaptations bestowed on him. The laws of
nature are the laws of God. And we are bold to say, no discreet writer
uses the words differently. As a sample of its legitimate use, we quote
“Milton to Hortlib on Education:”—

“Not to mention the learned correspondence which you hold in foreign
parts, and the extraordinary pains and diligence which you have used in
this matter, both here and beyond the seas; either by the definite will
of God so ruling, or the peculiar sway of _nature_, which also is God’s
working,” &c.

We all agree that God has made the world, and all things therein, and
that he established laws for its government, and also for the government
of every thing in it. Now we must all agree that it was an act of great
condescension, love, and mercy, if God did come down from his throne in
heaven, and, from his own mouth instruct a few of the lost men then in
the world, his chosen people, what were some of his laws, such as were
necessary for them to know and to be governed by, that they might, to
the greatest possible extent, live happily in this world, and enjoy
eternal life hereafter. Do you believe he did so? You either believe he
did, or you believe the Bible is a fable. If you believe he did, then we
refer you to _Ex._ xx. and xxi., and to _Lev._ xxv., for what he did
then reveal, as his law, on the subject of slavery; not that other
important revelations were not made concerning this subject, which we
shall have occasion to notice in the course of these studies.

If we believe the Bible to be a true book, then we must believe that God
did make these revelations to Moses. Among them, one law permitted the
Israelites to buy, and inherit, and to hold slaves. And Dr. Wayland, the
author of “The Elements of Moral Science,” agrees that what was the law
of God must ever remain to be so.

It will follow then, if the laws of God authorize slavery, that a man
_by nature may be the property of another_, because, whatever you may
think the laws of nature to be, yet they can have no validity in
opposition to the laws of God. If it shall be said that Jesus Christ
repealed the law as delivered to Moses, then we answer: He says he came
not to destroy, but to fulfil the law and that he fully completed his
mission. He had no commission to repeal the law: therefore he had no
power to do so.

This portion of Dr. Johnson’s argument is consonant with the notions of
the advocates of the “higher law” doctrine, who persist that slavery is
a sin, because they think it is.

But if the law permitted slavery, then to hold, cannot be a sin, because
God “frameth not mischief by a law.” See _Ps._ xciv. 20. “Wo unto them
that decree unrighteous decrees.” _Isa._ x. 1. If the law authorizing
the Jews to hold slaves was unrighteous, then God pronounces the wo upon
himself, which is gross contradiction.

But the law is “pure, holy, and just;” therefore a law permitting sin
must be against itself—which cannot be; for, in such case, the law
recoils against itself, and destroys its own end and character.

But again: “The end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart,
and of a good conscience, and faith unfeigned.” 1 _Tim._ i. 5. Now it is
not charity to permit that which cannot be done with a pure heart,
because then conscience and faith are both deceived.

Again: The law “beareth not the sword in vain, but to be a terror to
evil works, for he (the instrument executing the law) is the minister of
God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.”

If slavery, or to hold slaves, be sin, then also the law granting the
license to do so destroys the very object which it was enacted to
sustain. But again: If the law allows sin, then it is in covenant with
sin and the law itself, therefore, must be sin.

In short, the doctrine is pure infidelity. It is destructive to the
object of law, and blasphemous to God. What are we to think of him who
holds that God descended in the majesty of his power upon Sinai, and
there, from the bottomless treasures of his wisdom and purity,
commanding man to wash his garment of every pollution, opened to
him—what? Why, an unclean system of morals, stained by a most unholy
impurity; but which he is nevertheless to practise to the damning of his
soul! Atheism, thou art indeed a maniac!

In the course of these studies, we shall attempt to show that man is not
free in the unlimited sense with which the word is here used. Absolute
freedom is incompatible with a state of accountability. Say, if you
choose, Adam was free in paradise to eat the apple, to commit sin, yet
we find his freedom was bounded by an accountability beyond his power to
give satisfactory answer: hence the consequent, a change of state, a
circumscribing of what you may call his freedom. This, in common
parlance, we call punishment; yet our idea of punishment is inadequate
to express the full idea; because God cannot be supposed to delight in
punishment, or to be satisfied with punishment, in accordance with our
narrow views. Such would be inconsistent with the combination of his
attributes—a Being so constituted of all power, that each power is
predominant, even love and mercy. Thus the law of God clothes the effect
in mercy and positive good, inversely to the virulence of the cause, or
in direct proportion to its propriety. Thus, righteousness, as a cause,
exalteth a nation; but sin is a reproach to any people. Thus the law of
God places the sinner under the government of shame, infamy, contempt,
as schoolmasters to lead him back to virtue; and it may be observed that
the schoolmaster is more forcing in his government in proportion to the
virulence of vice, down to the various grades of subjection and slavery,
and until the poison becomes so great that even death is a blessing.

But if the mind cannot perceive that the chastenings of the Lord are
blessings, let it regard them as lessons. The parent, from the
waywardness of the child, perceives that it will fall from a precipice,
and binds it with a cord to circumscribe its walk. True, such are poor
figures to outline a higher Providence!

The Being who created, surely had power to appoint the government. Can
the thing created remain in the condition in which it is placed, except
by obedience to the law established for its government? Disobedience
must change the condition of the thing and bring it under new
restraints—a lessening of the boundaries of freedom. The whole
providence of God to man is upon this plan, and is abundantly
illustrated, in the holy books, by precept and example. These restraints
follow quick on the footsteps of disobedience, until the law—the Spirit
shall no longer strive for reformation, but say, “Cut it down; why
cumbereth it the ground?”

Is this a too melancholy view? Let us, then, look at obedience and its
consequents, and turn the eye from this downward path of mental and
physical degradation, pain, misery, want, slavery, and death, to the
bright prospect of a more elevated state of progressive improvement,
secured to us as a consequent, a reward of obedience; the physical
powers improving, the mental elevating, and all our faculties becoming
instruments of greater truthfulness, until our condition shall be so
elevated that the Creator shall say, “Come ye and sit at my right hand!”

The assertion, that “no man is by nature the property of another,”
flatters our vanity and tumefies our pride, but is, nevertheless,
untrue. We are all absolutely the property of Him who made, and who
sustains his right to dispose of us; and does so in conformity to his
law. Thus, qualifiedly, we are the property of the great family of man,
and are under obligations of duty to all; more pressingly to the
national community of which we compose a part, and so on down to the
distinct family of which we are a member. It is upon this principle that
Fleta says, (book i, chap. 17,) “He that has a companion has a master.”
See also the same in Bracton, book i. chap. 16.

If, by the laws of God, other men could have no property in us, the laws
of civil government could have no right to control us. But if the civil
government, by the laws of God, has the right to govern and control us,
so far as is for the benefit of ourselves and the community, then it
will follow, that when our benefit will be enhanced, and that of the
community, by our subjection to slavery, either temporary or perpetual,
the laws of God, in mercy, will authorize such subjection. Or, if the
state of our degradation be such that our continuance upon the earth be
an evil past all remedy, then the laws of God will authorize the civil
law to decree our exit.

The providence of God to man is practical. He never deals in the silly
abstractions of foolish philosophers. He spends no time in experimenting
by eristic syllogisms. He deals alone in his own power, which nowhere
ever ceases to act, although wholly beyond our comprehension. Man may
long for a full view of the Almighty, yet we are destined here to
perceive but the “hinder parts” of his presence—the effect of his power,
not Him! Let us worship; and, for our guidance, be content with the
pillar of cloud by day and of fire by night!

In conclusion: Should the author of “The Elements of Moral Science”
examine this argument of the great dialectician of the past century,
with his acknowledged logical acumen, free from the prejudices of his
locality, now so abundantly displayed in that portion of his work to
which we object, we would suggest the propriety of his applying the
discoveries he may make to emendations in his succeeding thousands.


                               Study II.


                               LESSON I.

As far as men are able to comprehend Jehovah, the wisest, in all ages,
have deduced the fact, that God acts; yet, as an essential Being, he is
beyond being acted upon.

That which is manifested by the character of his acts is called his
attributes; that is, the thing or quality which we attribute to him as a
portion or quality of his essence.

Thus among his attributes, are said to be power, wisdom, truth, justice,
love, and mercy. His action is always found to be in conformity and
accordance to these attributes. This state of conformity, this certainty
of unison of action, is called truth. “Thy word is truth.” _John_ xvii.

A system of laws, permanently established for the production of some
object, we call an institution.

Law is the history of how things are influenced by one another; yet the
mind should never disconnect such influence from the attributes of
Jehovah; and hence Burke very properly says, “Law is beneficence acting
by rule.” “The law of the Lord is perfect.” _Ps._ xix. 7. The deduction
follows that the laws of God are well adapted, and intended to benefit
all those who are suitably related under them.

By relation we mean the connection between things,—what one thing is in
regard to the influence of another. And hence it also follows that, in
case the relation is in utter want of a conformity to the attributes of
Jehovah, the actor in the relation becomes an opponent, and, so far,
joins issue with God himself. The laws fitting the case operate, and his
position is consumed, as it were, by the breath of the Almighty.

But yet an institution may be a righteous one, may exist in conformity
to the laws of God, and particular cases of a relation, seeming to us to
emanate from it, be quite the reverse. For example, the institution of
marriage may be righteous, may exist in conformity to the laws of God;
yet cases of the relation of husband and wife may be a very wicked

Individuals in a relation to each other under an institution are
supposed to bear such comparison to each other as will permit the laws
of God, influencing the relation, to be beneficial to them; and when
such comparative qualities are not the most suitable, or are more or
less unsuitable for the relation, the benefits intended by the relation
must be proportionably diminished. If wholly unsuitable, then it is
found that the conservative influences of the same laws operate in the
direction to cause the relation to cease between them.

If a supposed male and female are each distinctly clothed with qualities
wholly unsuited to each other in the relation emanating from the
institution of marriage, then, in that case, the relation will be sinful
between them; and the repulsion, the necessary consequence of a total
unsuitableness, will be in constant action in the direction of sweeping
it away.

Will it be new in morals to say that it is consistent with the
ordinances of Jehovah to bring things into that relation to each other
by which they will be mutually benefited?

As an exemplification of the doctrine, we cite the institution of
guardianship—guardian and ward; both words derived from the same Saxon
root, _weardian_, which implies one who protects and one who is

The institution itself presupposes power in the one and weakness in the
other, a want of equality between the parties. And it may be here
remarked, that, the greater the inequality, the greater the prospect of
benefit growing out of the relation, especially to the weaker party. But
when the weak, ignorant, or wayward youth is the guardian, and the
powerful and wise man is the ward, then the relation will be sinful, and
the repulsion necessarily emanating from the relation must quickly
terminate it. No possible benefit could accrue from such a case—nothing
but evil. The conservative influence of God’s providence must,
therefore, suddenly bring it to a close.

Will the assertion be odious to the ear of truth, that the laws of God
present the same class of conservative influences in the moral world
that is every day discovered in the physical?—that the thing manifestly
useless, from which no benefit can accrue, but from which a constant
injury emanates, shall be cut away, nor longer “cumber the ground?” Or,
where a less degree of enormity and sin have centered, it may be placed
under influences of guidance, and controlled into the path of
regeneration and comparative usefulness? Surely, if we detach from
Jehovah these high attributes, we lessen his character.

When we enter into the inquiry, whether an institution, or the relation
emanating from it in a particular case, be sinful or not, it seems
obvious that the inquiry must reach the object of the institution and
its tendencies, and take into consideration how far they, and the
relations created by it, coincide with the laws of God.

The relation of master and slave, and the institution of slavery itself,
in the inquiry whether such relation or institution is right or wrong,
just or unjust, righteous or sinful, must be subjected to a like
examination,—applying the same rules applicable to any other relation or
institution,—before we can determine whether or not it exists in
conformity to the laws of God.

But human reason is truly but of small compass; and the mercy of God has
vouchsafed to man the aids of faith and inspiration. “All scripture is
given by inspiration of God.” 2 _Tim._ iii. 16.

These are important aids in the examination of all moral subjects,
without which we may be “ever learning and never able to come to the
knowledge of the truth.” 2 _Tim._ iii. 7.


                               LESSON II.

If it be true that slavery is of divine origin, that its design is to
prevent so great an accumulation of sin as would, of necessity, force
its subjects down to destruction and death, and to restore those who are
ignorantly, heedlessly, and habitually rushing on their own moral and
physical ruin, by the renovating influence of divine power, to such a
state of moral rectitude as may be required of the recipients of divine
grace;—then we should expect to find, in the history of this
institution, of its effects, both moral and physical, upon its subjects,
some manifestations of such tendencies; some general evidences that,
through this ordinance, God has ever blessed its subjects and their
posterity with an ameliorated condition, progressive in the direction of
his great and final purpose. Let us examine that fact.

In the government of the world, God has as unchangeably fixed his laws
producing moral influences, as he has those which relate to material
objects. When we discover some cause, which, under similar
circumstances, always produces a similar result, we need not hesitate to
consider such discovery as the revelation of his will, his law touching
its action and the effects produced; and by comparing the general
tendency of the effect produced with the previously revealed laws and
will of God in relation to a particular matter, we are permitted to form
some conclusion whether the cause producing the effect exists and acts
in conformity with his general providence towards the matter or subject
in question. If so, we may readily conclude that such cause is of his
appointment, and that it exists and acts agreeably to his will.

But one of the previously revealed laws of God is, that he ever wills
the happiness, not the misery, of his creatures. “Say unto them, As I
live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked;
but that the wicked should turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye
from your evil ways, for why will you die, O house of Israel!” _Ezek._
xxxiii. 11. And we may form some conclusion of a man, a class of people,
or a nation, from their condition produced by the general result of
their conduct, whether their conduct has been in general conformity with
the laws of God. If the general result of the conduct of the thief,
gambler, tippler, and drunkard,—of him who lives by trickery and
deception, is an accumulation of weight of character among men, a
display of useful industry, independence, and wealth among his
associates; if himself and family are thereby made visibly more healthy,
happy, and wise,—if by these practices he and his family become patterns
of piety and of all noble virtues, he may hope; but if the contrary of
all these is the final result, we may safely condemn.

Another of the laws of God is, “Thine own wickedness shall correct thee,
and thy backslidings shall reprove thee.” _Jer._ ii. 19. When the
characters just named become so great a nuisance that the strong arm of
the law of the land takes away their liberty, places a master over them,
in fact reducing them to slavery; forces and compels them to habits of
useful industry, and, in a length of time, makes of them useful and good
men,—then this law is exemplified and also the fact is proved, that
slavery, thus induced, is attended with and does produce an ameliorated
condition as to the morals, and probably as to the intellectual and
physical power, of its subjects. This law was also exemplified in the
family of Jacob. God, in the order of his providence, had determined and
made a covenant with Abraham, to wit: “In the same day the Lord made a
covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from
the land of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates.” _Gen._ xv.
18. This was to be brought about through the family of Jacob. “And God
Almighty bless thee, and make thee fruitful and multiply thee, that thou
mayest be a multitude of people, and give the blessing of Abraham to
thee, and to thy seed with thee, that thou mayest inherit the land
wherein thou art a stranger, which God gave unto Abraham.” _Gen._
xxviii. 3, 4.

There are left us enough traces of the conduct of the family of Jacob,
whereby we may know the fact that they, although living in the midst of
the promised land, had become incorrigibly wicked and licentious. Judah,
who seems to have ranked as the head of the family, notwithstanding the
impressive lesson in the case of Esau, took to himself a Canaanitish
wife, and his eldest sons became so desperately wicked that, in the
language of Scripture, God slew them. Even the salt of slavery could not
save them. Of Shelah, we have no further account than that he went into
slavery in Egypt. Instead of nurturing up his family with propriety and
prudence, Judah seems to have idled away his time with his friend the
Adullamite, hunting up the harlots of the country. Reuben committed
incest; he went up to his father’s bed. Simeon and Levi, instigated by
feelings of revenge in the case of the Hivites, pursued such a course of
deception, moral fraud, and murder, leading on the rest of their
brethren to such acts of theft and robbery, that Jacob was constrained
to say, “Ye have troubled me, to make me stink among the inhabitants of
the land.” _Gen._ xxxiv. 30. Jacob found his children so lost to good
morals, so sunken in heathenism and idolatry, that, hoping that a change
of abode might also produce a change of conduct, he was impelled to
command them, saying, “Put away the strange gods that are among you, and
be clean, and change your garments, and let us arise and go to Bethel,
and I will make there an altar unto God.” _Gen._ xxxv. 2, 3.

And let us take occasion here to notice the long-suffering and
loving-kindness of the Lord; for, no sooner had they taken this
resolution, than Jehovah, to encourage and make them steadfast in this
new attempt in the paths of virtue, again appeared to Jacob:

“And God said unto him, I am God Almighty; a nation, and a company of
nations shall be of thee, and kings shall come out of thy loins. And the
land which I gave to Abraham and to Isaac, to thee I will give it, and
to thy seed after thee will I give the land.” _Gen._ xxxv. 11, 12.

“But the sow that was washed has returned to her wallowing in the mire.”
2 _Pet._ ii. 22.

And what is the next prominent state of moral standing in which we find
this family? The young and unsuspecting Joseph brought unto his father
their evil report, and hence their revenge. “And when they saw him afar
off, even before he came near unto them, they conspired against him to
slay him. * * * And they sold Joseph to the Ishmaelites for twenty
pieces of silver.” _Gen._ xxxvii. 2, and xviii. 28. And against the deed
of fratricide there was but one dissenting voice and he, whose voice it
was, dared not boldly to oppose them. He had not the moral courage to
contend. Sometimes, in the conduct of men, there may be a single act
that gives stronger proof of deep, condemning depravity, than a whole
life otherwise spent in wanton, wilful wickedness and sensual sin. Their
betrayal of the confidence of an innocent and confiding brother, who
neither had the will nor the power to injure them, whose only wish was
their welfare, bespeaks a degradation of guilt, a deep and abiding
hypocrisy of soul before God and man, and a general readiness to the
commission of crimes of so dark a dye, that, it would seem to moral
view, no oblations of the good, nor even the prayers of the just, could
wash and wipe away the stain. During the history of all time, has God
ever chosen such wretches to become the founders of an empire—his own
peculiar, chosen people? On the contrary, has not his will, as expressed
by revelation, and by the acts of his providence, for ever been the
reverse of such a supposition? The laws of God are unchangeable: at all
times and among all people, the premises being the same, their operation
has been and will ever be the same.


                              LESSON III.

“Let favour be showed to the wicked, yet will he not learn
righteousness; in the land of uprightness will he deal unjustly, and
will not behold the majesty of the Lord.” _Isa._ xxvi. 10.

“His own iniquities shall take the wicked himself, and he shall be
holden by the cords of his sins.” _Prov._ v. 22.

“But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of
the Lord thy God, to observe to do all his commandments, and his
statutes, which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall
come upon thee, and overtake thee:

“Cursed shalt thou be in the city, and cursed shalt thou be in the
field; cursed shalt thou be in thy basket and thy store; cursed shall be
the fruit of thy body and the fruit of thy land; the increase of thy
loins, and the flocks of thy sheep. Cursed shalt thou be when thou
comest in; and cursed shalt thou be when thou goest out. The Lord shall
send upon thee cursing, vexation and rebuke in all thou settest thy hand
unto for to do, until thou be destroyed, and until thou perish quickly;
because of the wickedness of thy doings, whereby thou hast forsaken me.
And the Lord shall bring thee into Egypt again with ships, the way
whereof I spake unto thee. Thou shalt see it no more again; and there ye
shall be sold unto your enemies for bondmen (לְעָבְדָֽים _la ebedim, for
slaves_) and bondwomen (וְלִשְׁפָה֭וֹת _ve lisheppahoth, and for female
slaves_), and no man shall buy you.” (That is, they should be
worthless.) _Deut._ xxviii. 15–68.

Such, then, are the unchangeable laws of God touching man’s disobedience
and non-conformity; and, in this instance of their application, have
been seen fulfilled, with wonder and astonishment, by the whole world.

Consistent with the laws of God and the providence of Jehovah, there was
no other way to make any thing out of the wicked family of Jacob; no
other means to fulfil his promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, except
to prepare them in the school of adversity; to reduce them under the
severe hand of a master; to place them in slavery, until, by its
compulsive operation tending to their mental, moral, and physical
improvement, they would become fitted to enjoy the blessing promised
their fathers. “Compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.”
_Luke_ xiv.

“And when the sun was going down a deep sleep fell upon Abraham, and a
horror of great darkness fell upon him; and He (the Lord) said unto
Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a strange
land that is not theirs, and shall _serve_ (וַֽעֲבָד֭וּם _va ebadum,
shall be slaves to_) them; and they shall afflict them four hundred
years.” _Gen._ xv. 12, 13.

God foresaw what condition the wicked family of Jacob would force
themselves into; nor is it a matter of surprise that it filled the mind
of Abram with horror.

God never acts contrary to his own laws. The Israelites, in slavery four
hundred years under hard and cruel masters, kept closely bound to severe
labour, and all the attendants of slavery, had no time to run into
deeper sins. The humility of their condition and distinction of race
would be some preventive to amalgamation, and a preservative to their
purity of blood; and would lead them also to contemplate and worship the
God of Abraham. And let it ever be remembered that the worship of God is
the very highway to intellectual, moral, and physical improvement,
however slow, under the circumstances, was their progress.

Let us take the family of Jacob, at the time of the selling of Joseph,
and, from what their conduct had been and then was, form some conjecture
of what would have been the providence of God, touching their race, at
the close of the then coming four hundred years, had not the Divine Mind
seen fit to send them into slavery. Does it require much intellectual
labour to set forth their ultimate condition? Would not the result have
been their total annihilation by the action of the surrounding tribes;
or their equally certain national extinction by their amalgamation with
them? If, by the providence of God, as manifested among men through all
time, one of these conditions must have attached to them, then will it
follow that, to them, slavery was their salvation,—under the
circumstances of the case, the only thing that could preserve them from
death and extinction on earth.

Under such view of the facts, and the salvatory influence of the
institution, slavery will be hailed by the good, pious, and
godly-minded, as an emanation from the Divine Mind, portraying a
fatherly care, and a watchful mercy to a fallen world, on a parallel
with the general benevolence of that Deity who comprehended his own
work, and the welfare of his creatures.

The slavery of the Israelites in Egypt for the term of four hundred
years was a sentence pronounced against them by Jehovah himself, who had
previously promised them great worldly blessings, preceded by the
promise of his own spiritual forbearance, of his own holy mercy, as the
ultimate design of his providence towards them. And we now ask him, who
denies that the design of this term of slavery was to ameliorate and
suitably prepare that wicked race for the reception and enjoyment of the
promises made, to extricate himself from the difficulties in which such
denial will involve the subject. We are aware that there are a class of
men so holy in their own sight, that, from what they say, one might
judge they felt capable of dictating to Jehovah rules for his conduct,
and that they spurn in him all that which their view does not
comprehend. Do such forget, when they stretch forth their hand,
imagining God to be that which suits them, but which he is not, that
they make an idol, and are as much idolaters as they would be had they
substituted wood and stone? Such, God will judge. We have no hope our
feeble voice will be heard where the mind is thus established upon the
presumption of moral purity—we might say divine foresight. But, by a
more humble class, we claim to be heard, that, as mortal men, reasoning
by the light it hath pleased God to give, we may take counsel together
in the review of his providences, as vouchsafed to man, and, by his
blessing be enabled to see enough to justify the ways of the Almighty
against the slanders of his and our enemy.

The theological student will notice the fact of the holy books abounding
with the doctrine that the chastenings of the Lord operate the moral,
mental, and physical improvement of the chastised; and that such
chastenings are ever administered for that purpose, and upon those whose
sins call it down upon them. “My son, despise not the chastenings of the
Lord; neither be weary of correction: for those whom the Lord loveth he
correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.” _Prov._
iii. 11, 12. “Thus saith the Lord, where is the bill of thy mother’s
divorcement, whom I have put away? Or which of my creditors is it to
whom I have sold you? Behold, for your iniquities have ye sold
yourselves, and for your transgressions is your mother put away.” _Isa._
l. 1.

The garden of the sluggard produces weeds and want. We know a man of
whom it may be said, he is inoffensive; but he is thriftless, indolent,
and therefore miserable. He has never learned those virtues that would
make him respectable or happy.


                               LESSON IV.

  “_Barnes on Slavery. An Inquiry into the Scriptural Views of
    Slavery._” By ALBERT BARNES. _Philadelphia_, 1846.

In his fourth chapter, on the slavery of the Israelites in Egypt, Rev.
Mr. Barnes says—

“The will of God may often be learned from the events of his providence.
From his dealings with an individual, a class of men or a nation, we may
ascertain whether the course which has been pursued was agreeable to his
will. It is not, indeed, always safe to argue that, because calamities
come upon an individual, they are sent as a punishment on account of any
peculiarly aggravated sin, or that these calamities prove that he is a
greater sinner than others;—but when a certain course of conduct
_always_ tends to certain results—when there are laws in operation in
the moral world as fixed as in the natural world—and when there are,
uniformly, either direct or indirect interpositions of Providence in
regard to any existing institutions, it is not unsafe to infer from
these what is the Divine will. It is not unsafe, for illustration, to
argue, from the uniform effects of intemperance, in regard to the will
of God. These effects occur in every age of the world, in reference to
every class of men. There are no exceptions in favour of kings or
philosophers; of the inhabitants of any particular climate or region of
country; of either sex, or of any age. The poverty and babbling, and
redness of eyes, and disease, engendered by intemperance, may be
regarded without danger of error, as expressive of the will of God in
reference to that habit. They show that there has been a violation of a
great law of our nature, ordained for our good, and that such a
violation must always incur the frown of the great Governor of the
world. The revelation of the mind of God, in such a case, is not less
clear than were the annunciations of his will on Sinai.

“The same is true in regard to cities and nations. We need be in as
little danger, in general, in arguing from what occurs to them, as in
the case of an individual. There is now no doubt among men why the old
world was destroyed by a flood; why Sodom and Gomorrah were consumed;
why Tyre, Nineveh, Babylon, and Jerusalem were overthrown. If a certain
course of conduct, long pursued and in a great variety of circumstances,
leads uniformly to health, happiness, and property, we are in little
danger of inferring that it is in accordance with the will of God. If it
lead to poverty and tears, we are in as little danger of error in
inferring that it is a violation of some great law which God has
ordained for the good of man. If an institution among men is always
followed by certain results; if we find them in all climes, and under
all forms of government, and in every stage of society, it is not unsafe
to draw an inference from these facts on the question whether God
regards the institution as a good one, and one which he designs shall be
perpetuated for the good of society.

“It would be easy to make an application of these undeniable principles
to the subject of slavery. The inquiry would be, whether, in certain
results, always found to accompany slavery, and now developing
themselves in our own country, there are no clear indications of what is
the will of God.”

We subscribe to the doctrine that God often reveals his will concerning
a thing by the acts of his providence affecting it. But we contend that
God has extended the field of Christian vision by a more direct
revelation, and by the gift of faith; and that the mind which can
neither hear the revelation, nor feel the faith, is merely the mind of a
philosopher, not of a Christian: he may be a believer in a God, but not
in the Saviour of the world.

The direction contained in the foregoing quotation, by which we are to
discriminate what are the will and law of God, may be considered, when
presented by the mere teacher of abolition, among the most artful,
because among the most insidious, specimens of abolition logic. It is
artful, because, to the unschooled, it presents all that may seem
necessary in the foundation of a sound system of theology; and, further,
because every bias of the human heart is predisposed to receive it as an
entire platform of doctrine. It is insidious and dangerous, because,
although the mind acquiesces in its _truth_, yet it is _false_ when
proposed as the lone and full foundation of religious belief. On such
secret and hidden rocks, infidelity has ever established her _lights_,
her _beacons_ to the benighted voyager; and, in their surrounding seas,
the shallops of hell have for ever been the most successful wreckers, in
gathering up multitudes of the lost, to be established as faithful
subjects of the kingdom of darkness.

The religious fanatical theorists of this order of abolition writers
have further only to establish their doctrine about the “conscience,”
“inward light,” or “moral sense,”—that it is a distinct mental power,
infallibly teaching what is right, intuitively spreading all truth
before them,—and they will then succeed to qualify man, a being fit to
govern the universe, and successfully carry on a war against God!

The man thus prepared, if an abolitionist, reasons: “My conscience or
moral sense teaches me infallible truth; therefore, my conscience is
above all law, or is a ‘higher law’ than the law of the land. My
conscience, feelings, and sympathies all teach me that slavery is wrong.
Thus I have been educated. My conscience or moral sense teaches me what
are the laws of God, without _possible mistake_; and according to their
teaching, slavery is forbidden.”

In short, he thinks so; and, therefore, it is so. He “is wiser in his
own conceit than seven men that can render a reason.”

But we proceed to notice how the doctrine of the author most distinctly
agrees with the precepts of infidelity.

“The deist derives his religion by inference from what he supposes
discoverable of the will and attributes of God, from nature, and the
course of the Divine government.”_Watson’s Theo. Inst._ vol. ii. p. 542.
This learned theologian differs widely from Mr. Barnes. When treating of
slavery, Watson frankly admits that we are indebted to direct revelation
for our knowledge on the subject.

In page 556, he says—

“Government in masters, as well as in fathers, is an appointment of God,
though differing in circumstances; and it is therefore to be honoured.
‘Let as many servants as are under the yoke, count their own masters
worthy of all honour;’ a direction which enjoins both respectful
thoughts and humility and propriety of external demeanour towards them.
_Obedience_ to their commands in all things lawful is next enforced;
which obedience is to be grounded on principle, on ‘singleness of heart
as unto Christ;’ thus serving a master with the same sincerity, the same
desire to do the appointed work well, as is required of us by Christ.
This service is also to be _cheerful_, and not wrung out merely by a
sense of duty; ‘not with eye-service as men-pleasers;’ not having
respect simply to the approbation of the master, but ‘as the servant of
Christ,’ making profession of his religion, ‘doing the will of God,’ in
this branch of duty, ‘from the heart,’ with alacrity and good feeling.
The duties of servants, stated in these brief precepts, might easily be
shown to comprehend every particular which can be justly required of
persons in this station; and the whole is enforced by a sanction which
could have no place but in a revelation from God,—‘Knowing that
whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the
Lord, whether he be bond or free.’ _Eph._ vi. 5. In other words, even
the common duties of servants, when faithfully, cheerfully, and piously
performed, are by Christianity made rewardable actions: ‘Of the Lord ye
shall receive a reward.’

“The duties of servants and masters are, however, strictly reciprocal.
Hence, the apostle continues his injunctions as to the right discharge
of these relations, by saying, immediately after he had prescribed the
conduct of servants, ‘And ye masters, do the _same things_ unto them;’
that is, act towards them upon the same equitable, conscientious, and
benevolent principles as you exact from them. He then grounds his rules,
as to masters, upon the great and influential principle, ‘knowing that
your Master is in heaven;’ that you are under authority, and are
accountable to him for your conduct to your servants. Thus masters are
put under the eye of God, who not only maintains their authority, when
properly exercised, by making their servants accountable for any
contempt of it, and for every other failure of duty, but holds the
master also himself responsible for its just and mild exercise. A solemn
and religious aspect is thus at once given to a relation which by many
is considered as one merely of interest.”

“All the distinctions of good and evil refer to some principle above
ourselves; for, were there no Supreme Governor and Judge to reward and
punish, the very notions of good and evil would vanish away.” _Ellis on
Divine Things._

The qualities good and evil can only exist in the mind as they are
measured by a supreme law. “If we deny the existence of a Divine law
obligatory on men, we must deny that the world is under Divine
government, for a government without rule or law is a solecism.”
_Watson’s Theo. Inst._ vol. i. p. 8.

Divine laws must be the subject of revelation. The law of a visible
power cannot be known without some indications, much less the will of an
invisible power, and that, too, of an order of existence so far above
our own that even its mode is beyond our comprehension. Very true, the
providence of God towards any particular course of conduct may be taken
as the revelation of his will thus far, but, by no means, preclude the
necessity of a more direct revelation, until man shall be able to boast
that he comprehends the entire works of Jehovah.

The difference between the Christian and the mere theist is, while the
latter admits that a revelation of the will of God is or has been made
by significant actions, he contends _that_ is a _sufficient revelation_
of the laws of God for the guidance of man. “They who never heard of any
external revelation, yet if they knew from the nature of things what is
fit for them to do, they know all that God can or will require of them.”
_Christianity as Old as Creation_, p. 233.

“By employing our reason to collect the will of God from the fund of our
nature, physical and moral, we may acquire not only a particular
knowledge of those laws, which are deducible from them, but a general
knowledge of the manner in which God is pleased to exercise his supreme
powers in this system.” _Bolingbroke’s Works_, vol. v. p. 100.

“But they who believe the holy Scriptures contain a revelation of God’s
will, do not deny that indications of his will have been made by
_actions_; but they contend that they are in themselves imperfect and
insufficient, and that they were not designed to supersede a direct
revelation. They also hold, that a direct communication of the Divine
will was made to the progenitors of the human race, which received
additions at subsequent periods, and that the whole was at length
embraced in the book called, by way of eminence, the Bible.” _Watson’s
Theo. Inst._ vol. i. p. 10.

Faith “is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not
seen.” _Heb._ xi. 1.

As an instance of revelation, we present _Lev._ xxv. 1, and 44, 45, 46.

“And the Lord spake unto Moses in Mount Sinai, saying: 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 for ever;
but over your brethren, the children of Israel, ye shall not rule over
one another with rigour.”

Here is direct revelation, and faith gives us evidence of the truth of
its being of Divine origin.

Mr. Barnes proposes, by human reason, without the aid of revelation and
faith, to determine what is the will of God on the subject of slavery;
and it suggests the inquiry, How extensive must be the intellectual
power of him who can reason with God? “For he is not a man, as I am,
that I should answer him, and we should come together in judgment;
neither is any daysman betwixt us, that might lay his hand upon us
both.” _Job_ ix. 32, 33.

We frankly acknowledge, that, in the investigation of this subject, we
shall consider the Divine authority of those writings, which are
received by Christians as a revelation of infallible truth, as so
established; and, with all simplicity of mind, examine their contents,
and collect from them the information they profess to contain, and
concerning which information it had become necessary that the world
should be experimentally instructed.

But the passage quoted from Mr. Barnes gives us a stronger suspicion of
his want of orthodoxy and Christian principle from its connection with
what he says, page 310:

“If the religion of Christ allows such a license” (to hold slaves) “from
such precepts as these, the New Testament would be the greatest curse
ever inflicted on our race.”

The fact is, little can be known of God or his law except by faith and
revelation. Beings whose mental powers are not infinite can never arrive
at a knowledge of all things, nor can we know any thing fully, only in
proportion as we comprehend the laws influencing it. In conformity to
the present limited state of our knowledge, we can only say, that we
arrive at some little, by three distinct means: the senses open the door
to a superficial perception of things; the mental powers to their
further examination; while faith gives us a view of the superintending
control of One Almighty God.

In the proportion our senses are defective, our mental powers deficient,
and our faith inactive or awry,—our knowledge will be scanty. The result
of all knowledge is the perception of truth. Under the head of the
mental powers, philosophers tell us our knowledge is acquired by three
methods: intuition, demonstration, and analogy. By intuition they mean
when the mind perceives a _certainty_ in a proposition where the
relation is obvious, as it is obvious that the whole is greater than a
part; and such propositions they call axioms.

When the relation of things is not thus obvious, that is, when the
proposition involves the _determination_ of the relation between two or
more things whose relations are not intuitively perceived, the mind may
sometimes come to a certainty, concerning the relation, by the
interposition of a chain of axioms; that is, of propositions where the
relations are intuitively perceived. This is called demonstration.

In all such cases, the mind would perceive the relation, and come to a
certainty intuitively, if adequately cultivated and enlarged; or, in
other words, all propositions that now, to us, require demonstration,
would, to such a cultivation, become mere axioms: consequently, now,
where one man sees a mere axiom, another requires demonstration.

But the great mass of our ideas are too imperfect or too complicated to
admit of intuitive conclusions; consequently, as to them, we can never
arrive at demonstration. Here we substitute facts; and reason, that, as
heretofore one certain fact has accompanied another certain fact, so it
will be hereafter. This is what the philosophers call analogy. Analogy
is thus founded on experience, and is, therefore, far less perfect than
intuition or demonstration. That gravitation will always continue is
analogical; we do not know it intuitively; nor can we demonstrate it.
Analogical propositions are, therefore, to us mere probabilities.

But our knowledge has cognizance of ideas only. These ideas we
substitute for the things they represent, in which there is a liability
to err. Thus a compound idea is an assemblage of the properties of a
thing, and may be incomplete and inadequate; wholly different from any
quality in the thing itself. What is our idea of spirit, colour, joy?
Yet we may conceive an intelligence so extended as to admit that even
analogical problems should become intuitive: with God every thing is
intuitively known. But even intuitive propositions sometimes reach
beyond our comprehension. Example—a line of infinite length can have no
end: therefore, the half of an infinite line would be a line also of
infinite length. But all lines of infinite length are of equal length;
therefore, the half of an infinite line is equal to the whole. Such
fallacies prove that human reason is quite limited and liable to err:
and hence the importance of faith in God, in the steadfastness of his
laws, and the certainty of their operations. “And Jesus answering said
unto them, have faith in God.” _Mark_ xi. 22. “And when they were come,
and had gathered the church together, they rehearsed all that God had
done with them, and how he had opened the door of faith unto the
Gentiles.” _Acts_ xiv. 27. “So, then, faith cometh by hearing, and
hearing by the word of God.” _Romans_ x. 17. That is, by revelation.
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things
not seen.” _Heb._ xi. 1. “But without faith it is impossible to please
God; for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is
the rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” _Heb._ xi. 6. “Even so
faith, if it hath not works, is dead.” _James_ ii. 17. “And he said, I
will hide my face from them, I will see what their end _shall be_; for
they _are_ a very froward generation, children in whom there is no
faith.” _Deut._ xxxii. 20. To which add _Romans_ xii. 3.

These passages seem to imply an unchangeable reliance on faith and
revelation for all knowledge of God, his laws, and our peace hereafter;
and we do feel the most heartfelt regret to see those who claim to be
religious teachers, laying the foundation for the most gross infidelity.


                               LESSON V.

On page 6, Mr. Barnes says—

“The work” (his own) “which is now submitted to the public, is limited
to an examination of the Scripture argument on the subject of slavery.”

Now, if it shall appear that his exertion has universally been to gloss
over the Scripture, or strain it into some meaning favourable to
abolition, and adverse to its rational and obvious interpretation, the
mind will be forced to the conclusion, that his real object has been to
hide the “Scripture argument,” and to limit his researches by what he
may deem to be sound reason and philosophy; and let it be remembered
that such has been the constant practice or every infidel writer, who
has ever attempted to reconcile his own peculiar theories to the
teachings of the holy books.

“And Abram took Sarai 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; and into the
land of Canaan they came.” _Gen._ xii. 5.

“And he entreated Abram well for her sake: and he had sheep, and
he-asses, and men-servants (וַֽעַבָדִים _va abadim, male slaves_), and
maid-servants (וּשְׁפָחֹת _vu shephahoth, female slaves_), and she-asses
and camels.” xii. 16. “But Abram said unto Sarai, Behold thy maid
(שִׁפְחָהֵךְ _shiphhathek, female slave_) is in thy hand; do unto her as
it pleaseth thee. And when Sarai dealt hardly by her, she fled from her
face. And the angel of the Lord found her by a fountain of water in the
wilderness, by the fountain in the way to Shur. And he said, Hagar,
Sarai’s maid (שִׁפְחַ֥ת _shiphhath, female slave_), whence camest thou
and whither wilt thou go? And she said, I flee from the face of my
mistress Sarai; and the angel of the Lord said unto her, Return to thy
mistress and submit thyself unto her hands.” _Gen._ xvi. 6–9.

“And God said unto Abraham, Thou shalt keep my covenant.” * * * “This is
my covenant.” * * * “And 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.
He that is born in thy house, and he that is _bought with thy money_
must needs be circumcised; and my covenant shall be in your flesh for an
everlasting covenant.” _Gen._ xvii. 9, 10, 12, 13. “And all the men of
his house, born in the house, and _bought with money_ of the stranger,
were circumcised with him.” _Ver._ 27.

“And Abimelech took sheep and oxen, and men-servants (וַ֥עֲבָדִים _va
abadim, male slaves_), and women-servants (וּשְׁפָחֹ֔ת _vu shephhahoth,
female slaves_), and gave them unto Abraham.” _Gen._ xx. 14.

“Wherefore she said unto Abraham, Cast out the bond-woman, and her son.
For the son of this bond-woman shall not be heir with my son, even with
Isaac. And God said unto Abraham, let it not be grievous in thy sight,
because of the lad, and because of thy bond-woman.” * * * “And also of
the son of the bond-woman I will make a nation, because he is of thy
seed.” _Gen._ xxi. 10, 12, 13.

“For it is written that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bond-maid,
the other by a free-woman. But he who was of the bond-woman was after
the flesh, but he of the free-woman was by promise; nevertheless, what
saith the scripture? Cast out the bond-woman and her son, for the son of
the bond-woman shall not be heir with the son of the free-woman.” _Gal._
iv. 22, 23, 30.

“And he said, I am Abraham’s servant (עֶ֥בֶד _ebed, male slave_), and
the Lord hath blessed my master greatly, and he is become great and he
hath given him flocks and herds, and silver and gold, and man-servants
(וַֽעֲבָד֭יִִם _va abadim, and male slaves_), and maid-servants
(וּשְׁפָחֹ֔ת _vu shephahoth, and female slaves_), and camels and asses.”
_Gen._ xxiv. 34, 35.

“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 (וַֽעֲבֻדָּ֖הּ _va abudda, of slaves_), and
the Philistines envied him.” _Gen._ xxvi. 13, 14.

“And the man (Jacob) increased exceedingly, and he had much cattle, and
maid-servants (וּשְׁפָחוֹת _vu shephahoth, and female slaves_,) and
men-servants (וַֽעֲבָדִים _va abadim, and male slaves_), and camels and
asses.” _Gen._ xxx. 43.

“And I have oxen and asses, flocks, and men-servants (וְעֶ֣בֶד _ve ebed,
and male slaves_), and women-servants (וְשִׁפְחָ֑ה _ve shiphha, and
female slaves_). And I have sent to tell my lord that I may find grace
in thy sight.” _Gen._ xxxii. 5.

Let us now notice how Mr. Barnes treats the records here quoted. He
says, page 70—

“Some of the servants held by the patriarchs were ‘bought with money.’
Much reliance is laid on this by the advocates of slavery, in justifying
the purchase, and consequently, as they seem to reason, the _sale_ of
slaves now; and it is, therefore, of importance, to inquire, how far the
fact stated is a justification of slavery as it exists at present. But
one instance occurs, in the case of the patriarchs, where it is said
that servants were ‘bought with money.’ This is the case of Abraham,
_Gen._ xvii. 12, 13. ‘And 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;
he that is born in thy house, and _he that is bought with thy money_,
must needs be circumcised.’ Compare verses 23, 27. This is the only
instance in which there is mention of the fact that any one of the
patriarchs had persons in their employment who were bought with money.
The only other case which occurs at that period of the world is that of
the sale of Joseph, first to the Ishmaelites, and then to the
Egyptians—a case which, it is believed, has too close a resemblance to
slavery as it exists in our own country, ever to be referred to with
much satisfaction by the advocates of the system. In the case, moreover,
of Abraham, it should be remembered that it is the record of a mere
_fact_. There is no command to buy servants or to sell them, or to hold
them as property—any more than there was a command to the brethren of
Joseph to enter in to a negotiation for the sale of their brother. Nor
is there any approbation expressed of the fact that they were bought;
unless the command given to Abraham to affix to them the seal of the
covenant, and to recognise them as brethren in the faith which he held,
should be construed as such evidence of approval.

“The inquiry then presents itself, whether _the fact that they were
bought_ determines any thing with certainty in regard to the nature of
the servitude, or to the propriety of slavery as practised now. The
Hebrew, in the passages referred to in Genesis, is ‘the born in thy
house, and _the purchase of silver_,’ מִקְנַה־כֶּסֶף— _mi knath
keseph_—not incorrectly rendered, ‘those bought with money.’ The verb
קָנָה _kânâ_, from which the noun here is derived, and which is commonly
used in the Scriptures when the purchase of slaves is referred to, means
_to set upright_ or _erect_, to _found_ or _create_. _Gen._ xiv. 19, 22.
_Deut._ xxxii. 6; _to get for oneself_, _to gain_ or _acquire_. _Prov._
iv. 7, xv. 32; to _obtain_, _Gen._ iv. 1; and _to buy_, or _purchase_,
_Gen._ xxv. 10; xlvii. 22. In this latter sense it is often used, and
with the same latitude of signification as the word _buy_ or _purchase_
is with us. It is most commonly rendered by the words _buy_ and
_purchase_ in the Scriptures. See _Gen._ xxv. 10; xlvii. 22; xlix. 30;
1. 13; _Josh._ xxiv. 32; 2 _Sam._ xii. 3; _Ps._ lxxviii. 54; _Deut._
xxxii. 6; _Lev._ xxvii. 24, and very often elsewhere. It is applied to
the purchase of fields, of cattle, of men, and of every thing which was
or could be regarded as property. As there is express mention of
_silver_ or _money_ in the passage before us respecting the servants of
Abraham, there is no doubt that the expression means that he paid a
price for a part of his servants. A part of them were ‘born in his
house;’ a part had been ‘bought with money’ from ‘strangers,’ or were

“But still, this use of the word in itself determines nothing in regard
to the tenure by which they were held, or the nature of the servitude to
which they were subjected. It does not prove that they were regarded as
_property_ in the sense in which a slave is now regarded as a chattel;
nor does it demonstrate that the one who was bought ceased to be
regarded altogether _as a man_; or that it was regarded as right to sell
him again. The fact that he was to be circumcised as one of the family
of Abraham, certainly does not look as if he ceased to be regarded _as a

“The word rendered _buy_ or _purchase_ in the Scriptures, is applied to
so many kinds of purchases, that no safe argument can be founded on its
use in regard to the kind of servitude which existed in the time of
Abraham. A reference to a few cases where this word is used, will show
that nothing is determined by it respecting the tenure by which the
thing purchased was held. (1.) It is used in the common sense of the
word _purchase_ as applied to inanimate things, where the property would
be absolute. _Gen._ xlii. 2, 7; xliii. 20; xlvii. 19; xxx. 19. (2.) It
is applied to the purchase of _cattle_, where the property may be
supposed to be _as_ absolute. See _Gen._ xlvi. 22, 24; iv. 20; _Job_
xxxvi. 33; _Deut._ iii. 19; _and often_, (3.) God is represented as
having _bought_ his people; that is, as having ransomed them with a
price, or purchased them to himself. _Deut._ xxxii. 6: ‘Is he not thy
Father that hath _bought_ thee?’ קָּנֶךָ—_kânĕkhâ_, thy purchaser.
_Exod._ xv. 16: ‘By the greatness of thine arm they shall be still as a
stone, till thy people pass over; till the people pass over which thou
hast _purchased_,’ קָנִיהָ,_kânithâ_. See _Ps._ lxxiv. 2. Compare _Isa._
xliii. 3: ‘I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee.’ But
though the word _purchase_ is used in relation to the redemption of the
people of God, the very word which is used respecting the servants of
Abraham, no one will maintain that they were held as _slaves_, or
regarded as _property_. Who can tell but what Abraham purchased his
servants in some such way, by redeeming them from galling captivity? May
they not have been prisoners in war, to whom he did an inestimable
service in rescuing them from a condition of grievous and hopeless
bondage? May they not have been _slaves_ in the strict and proper sense,
and may not his act of purchasing them have been, in fact, a species of
emancipation in a way similar to that in which God emancipates his
people from the galling servitude of sin? The mere act of paying _a
price_ for them no more implies that he continued to hold them as
slaves, than it does now when a man purchases his wife or child who have
been held as slaves, or than the fact that God has redeemed his people
by a price, implies that he regards them as slaves. (4.) Among the
Hebrews a man might sell himself, and this transaction on the part of
him to whom he sold himself would be represented by the word _bought_.
Thus, in _Lev._ xxv. 47, 48: ‘And if a sojourner or a stranger wax rich
by thee, and thy brother that dwelleth by him wax poor, and _sell
himself_ unto the stranger or sojourner by thee, or to the stock of the
stranger’s family, after that he is sold, he may be redeemed again.’
This transaction is represented as a _purchase_. Ver. 50: ‘And he shall
reckon with him that _bought_ him, (Heb. _his purchaser_, קֹנֵהוּ
_konaihū_), from the year that he was sold unto the year of jubilee,’
&c. This was a mere purchase of _time_ or _service_. It gave no right to
sell the man again, or to retain him in any event beyond a certain
period, or to retain him _at all_, if his friends chose to interpose and
redeem him. It gave no right of property in the _man_, any more than the
purchase of the unexpired time of an apprentice, or the ‘purchase’ of
the poor in the State of Connecticut does. In no proper sense of the
word could this be called _slavery_. (5.) The word _buy_ or _purchase_
was sometimes applied to the manner in which a _wife_ was procured. Thus
Boaz is represented as saying that he had _bought_ Ruth. ‘Moreover, Ruth
the Moabitess, the wife of Mahlon, have I _purchased_ (קָנִיהִי
_kânithi_) to be my wife.’ Here the word applied to the manner in which
Abraham became possessed of his servants, is applied to the manner in
which a wife was procured. So Hosea says, (ch. iii. 2,) ‘So I _bought_
her to me (another word, however, being used in the Hebrew, כָּרָה
_kârâ_) for fifteen pieces of silver, and for an homer of barley, and an
half homer of barley.’ Jacob purchased his wives, Leah and Rachel, not
indeed by the payment of money, but by labour. _Gen._ xxix. 15–23. That
the practice of _purchasing_ a wife, or paying a _dowry_ for her, was
common, is apparent from _Exod._ xxii. 17; 1 _Sam._ xviii. 25. Compare
_Judg._ i. 12, 13. Yet it will not be maintained that the wife among the
Hebrews, was in any proper sense a _slave_, or that she was regarded as
subject to the laws which regulate property, or that the husband had a
right to sell her again. In a large sense, indeed, she was regarded, as
the conductors of the Princeton Repertory (1836, p. 293) allege, as the
wife is now, as the _property_ of her husband; that is, she was _his_ to
the exclusion of the claim of any other man; but she was his as his
_wife_, not as his _slave_. (6.) The word ‘_bought_’ occurs in a
transaction between Joseph and the people of Egypt in such a way as
farther to explain its meaning. When, during the famine, the money of
the Egyptians had failed, and Joseph had purchased all the land, the
people proposed to become his servants. When the contract was closed,
Joseph said to them, ‘Behold, I have _bought_ you —קָנִ֨יהִי— and your
land for Pharaoh.’ _Gen._ xlvii. 23. The nature of this contract is
immediately specified. They were to be regarded as labouring for
Pharaoh. The land belonged to him, and Joseph furnished the people seed,
or ‘stocked the land,’ and they were to cultivate it on shares for
Pharaoh. The fifth part was to be his, and the other four parts were to
be theirs. There was a claim on them for _labour_, but it does not
appear that the claim extended farther. No farmers who now work land on
shares would be willing to have their condition described as one of

“The conclusion which we reach from this examination of the words _buy_
and _bought_ as applied to the case of Abraham is, that the use of the
word determines nothing in regard to the tenure by which his servants
were held. They may have been purchased from those who had taken them as
captives in war, and the purchase may have been regarded by themselves
as a species of redemption, or a most desirable rescue from the fate
which usually attends such captives—perchance from death. The property
which it was understood that he had in them may have been merely
property in their _time_, and not in their persons; or the purchase may
have amounted in fact to every thing that is desirable in emancipation;
and, from any thing implied in the _word_, their subsequent service in
the family of Abraham may have been entirely voluntary. It is a very
material circumstance, also, that _there is not the slightest evidence
that either Abraham, Isaac, or Jacob ever sold a slave, or offered one
for sale, or regarded them as liable to be sold_. There is no evidence
that their servants even descended as a part of an inheritance from
father to son. So far, indeed, as the accounts in the Scriptures go, it
would be impossible to _prove_ that they would not have been at liberty
at any time to leave their masters, if they had chosen to do so. The
passage, therefore, which says that Abraham had ‘servants _bought_ with
money,’ cannot be adduced to justify slavery as it exists now—even if
this were all that we know about it. But (4.) servitude in the days of
Abraham must have existed in a very mild form, and have had features
which slavery by no means has now. Almost the only transaction which is
mentioned in regard to the servants of Abraham, is one which could never
occur in the slave-holding parts of our country. A marauding expedition
of petty kings came from the north and east, and laid waste the country
around the vale of Siddim, near to which Abraham lived, and, among other
spoils of battle, they carried away Lot and his possessions. Abraham, it
is said, then ‘armed his trained servants, born in his own house, three
hundred and eighteen, and pursued them unto Dan,’ and rescued the family
of Lot and his goods. _Gen._ xiv. This narrative is one that must for
ever show that servitude, as it existed in the family of Abraham, was a
very different thing from what it is in the United States. The number
was large, and it does not appear that any persons but his servants
accompanied Abraham. They all were armed. They were led off on a distant
expedition, where there could have been no power in Abraham to preserve
his life, if they had chosen to rise up against him, and no power to
recover them, if they had chosen to set themselves free. Yet he felt
himself entirely safe when accompanied with this band of armed men, and
when far away from his family and his home. What must have been the
nature of servitude, where the master was willing to arm such a company,
to put himself entirely at their disposal, and lead them off to a
distant land?

“Compare this with the condition of things in the United States. Here,
it is regarded as essential to the security of the life of the master
that slaves shall never be intrusted with arms. ‘A slave is not allowed
to keep or carry a weapon.’[A] ‘He cannot go from the tenement of his
master, or other person with whom he lives, without a pass, or something
to show that he is proceeding by authority from his master, employer, or
overseer.’[B] ‘For keeping or carrying a gun, or powder, or _shot_, or
_club_, or _other weapon whatsoever_, offensive or defensive, a slave
incurs, for each offence, thirty-nine lashes, by order of a justice of
the peace;’[C] and in North Carolina and Tennessee, twenty lashes, by
the nearest constable, _without_ a conviction by the justice.[D] Here,
there is every precaution from laws, and from the dread of the most
fearful kind of punishment, against the escape of slaves. Here, there is
a constant apprehension that they may rise against their masters, and
every security is taken against their organization and combination.
Here, there is probably not a single master who would, if he owned three
hundred slaves, _dare_ to put arms in their hands, and lead them off on
an expedition against a foe. If the uniform precautions and care at the
South against arming the slaves, or allowing them to become acquainted
with their own strength, be any expression of the nature of the system,
slavery in the United States is a very different thing from servitude in
the time of Abraham; and it does not prove that in the species of
servitude existing here it is right to refer to the case of Abraham, and
to say that it is ‘_a good patriarchal system_.’ Let the cases be made
parallel before the names of the patriarchs are called in to justify the
system. But—

“(5.) What _real_ support would it furnish to the system, even if it
were true that the cases were wholly parallel? How far would it go to
demonstrate that _God_ regards it as a good system, and one that is to
be perpetuated, in order that society may reach its highest possible
elevation? Who would undertake to vindicate all the conduct of the
patriarchs, or to maintain that all which they practised was in
accordance with the will of God? They practised concubinage and
polygamy. Is it therefore certain that this was the highest and purest
state of society, and that it was a state which God designed should be
perpetuated? Abraham and Isaac were guilty of falsehood and deception,
(_Gen._ xx. 2, _seq._; xxvi. 7;) Jacob secured the birthright by a
collusive fraud between him and his mother, (_Gen._ xxvii.) and obtained
no small part of his property by cunning, (_Gen._ xxx. 36–43,) and Noah
was drunk with wine, (_Gen._ ix. 21;) and these things are recorded
merely _as facts_, without any decided expression of disapprobation; but
is it therefore to be inferred that they had the approbation of God, and
that they are to be practised still, in order to secure the highest
condition of society?

“Take the single case of polygamy. Admitting that the patriarchs held
slaves, the argument in favour of polygamy, from their conduct, would
be, in all its main features, the same as that which I suggested, in the
commencement of this chapter, as employed in favour of slavery. The
argument would be this:—That they were good men, the ‘friends of God,’
and that what such men practised freely cannot be wrong; that God
permitted this; that he nowhere forbade it; that he did not record his
disapprobation of the practice; and that whatever God permitted in such
circumstances, without expressing his disapprobation, must be regarded
as in itself a good thing, and as desirable to be perpetuated, in order
that society may reach the highest point of elevation. It is perfectly
clear that, so far as the conduct of the patriarchs goes, it would be
just as easy to construct an argument in favour of polygamy as in favour
of slavery—even on the supposition that slavery existed then essentially
as it does now. But it is not probable that polygamy would be defended
now as a good institution, and as one that has the approbation of God,
even by those who defend the domestic institutions of the South.' The
truth is, that the patriarchs were good men in their generation, and,
considering their circumstances, were men eminent for piety. But they
were imperfect men; they lived in the infancy of the world; they had
comparatively little light on the subjects of morals and religion; and
it is a very feeble argument which maintains that a thing is _right,
because any one or all of the patriarchs practised it_.

“But after all, what _real_ sanction did God ever give either to
polygamy or to servitude, as it was practised in the time of the
patriarchs? Did he command either? Did he ever express approbation of
either? Is there an instance in which either is mentioned with a
sentiment of approval? The mere _record_ of actual occurrences, even if
there is no declared disapprobation of them, proves nothing as to the
Divine estimate of what is recorded. There is a _record_ of the ‘_sale_’
of Joseph into servitude, first to the Ishmaelites, and then to
Potiphar. There is no expression of disapprobation. There is no
exclamation of surprise or astonishment, as if a deed of enormous
wickedness were done, when brothers sold their own brother into hopeless
captivity. _This_ was done also by those who were subsequently reckoned
among the ‘patriarchs,’ and some of whom at the time were probably pious
men. Will it be inferred that God approved this transaction; that he
meant to smile on the act, when brothers sell their own brothers into
hopeless bondage? Will this record be adduced to justify kidnapping, or
the acts of parents in barbarous lands, who, forgetful of all the laws
of their nature, sell their own children? Will the record that the
Ishmaelites took the youthful Joseph into a distant land, and sold him
there as a slave, be referred to as furnishing evidence that God
approves the conduct of those who kidnap the unoffending inhabitants of
Africa, or _buy_ them there, and carry them across the deep, to be sold
into hopeless bondage! Why then should the fact that there is a _record_
that the patriarchs held servants, or bought them, without any expressed
disapprobation of the deed, be adduced as evidence that God regards
slavery as a good institution, and intends that it shall be perpetuated
under the influence of his religion, as conducing to the highest good of
society? The truth is, that the mere record of a _fact_, even without
any sentiment of approbation or disapprobation, is no evidence of the
views of him who makes it. Are we to infer that Herodotus approved of
all that he saw or heard of in his travels, and of which he made a
record? Are we to suppose that Tacitus and Livy approved of all the
deeds the memory of which they have transmitted for the instruction of
future ages? Are we to maintain that Gibbon and Hume believed that all
which they have recorded was adapted to promote the good of mankind?
Shall the biographer of Nero, and Caligula, and Richard III., and
Alexander VI., and Cæsar Borgia be held responsible for approving of all
that these men did, or of commending their example to the imitation of
mankind? Sad would be the office of an historian were he to be thus
judged. Why then shall we infer that _God_ approved of all that the
patriarchs did, even when there is no formal approbation expressed; or
infer, because such transactions have been _recorded_, that _therefore_
they are right in his sight?”


Footnote A:

  Rev. Cod. Virg. vol. i. p. 453, sections 83, 84.

Footnote B:

  Ibid. vol. i. p. 422, section 6. See Paulding on Slavery, p. 146.

Footnote C:

  2 Litt. and Smi. 1150; 2 Missouri Laws, 741, section 4.

Footnote D:

  Haywood’s Manual, 521; Stroud on the Laws relating to Slavery, p. 102.


Does the mind hesitate as to the design of this laboured and lengthy
argument? That its object is to do away, to destroy the scriptural force
of the facts stated in these records? Does not this argument
substantially deny that Abraham had slaves bought with money? And even
if he did have them, then that it was just as wicked at that time as he
thinks it to be now? Or, if he shall thus far fail, then to bring down
the characters of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob to a level with Nero,
Caligula, Richard III., and Cæsar Borgia? And the holy books themselves
to the standard of Herodotus, Tacitus, and Livy; and inure our mind to
compare them with the writings of Hume and Gibbon?

The writer who lessens our veneration for the characters of the ancient
worshippers of Jehovah; who, as by a system of special pleading,
attempts to overspread the simple announcements of the holy books with
doubt and uncertainty, however conscientious he may be in these labours
of his hand, while he assumes a most awful responsibility to God, must
ever call down upon himself the universal and determined opposition of
the intelligent and good among men.

The more secret, the more adroit the application of the poison, the more
intensely wicked is the hand that presents it.


                               LESSON VI.

Mr. Barnes has devoted twenty-four pages of his book to the slavery of
the Hebrews in Egypt, wherein we find no instance that his _test_ is
applied with either fairness of deduction or logical accuracy. Indeed,
so far as our limited capacity can trace his application to the _test_,
he has made but two points:

I. After repeated judgments upon the Egyptians, for hesitating to set
the Hebrews free, God, in his providence, effected their deliverance
from slavery. Therefore, we are to infer the indignation of God against
the institution of slavery. What were the facts of the case? On account
of their sins rendering them unfit for the blessings promised their
fathers, God imposed on them slavery four hundred years,—at the
expiration of which time he delivered them from it. When a free negro
becomes a public nuisance, the court will give judgment that he shall be
sold to be a slave five years. The term having expired, if the purchaser
holds on, and refuses to let him go, the same court will interfere, set
him free, and impose heavy penalties on the master. Does the case show
that the court feels indignation against the institution of slavery? We
think it proves exactly the opposite!

If the four hundred years of slavery operated to fit the Hebrews for the
reception of the blessing; if the five years of slavery re-fitted the
negro for the rational enjoyment of liberty, we think the providence of
God places the institution of slavery in a valuable point of light.

II. In this review of the slavery of the Israelites in Egypt, Mr. Barnes
has noticed the fact of their rapid increase, to the extent of their
becoming dangerous to the Egyptian government; and he has compared it
with the more rapid increase of the slaves over the whites in the Slave
States; and suggests a similar danger to the government of the United
States,—adding, that such increase “can be arrested by nothing but
emancipation.” Now all this may be true; but in what light does it show
forth the institution of slavery? Does Mr. Barnes really mean to say,
what is the fact, that the condition of slavery is so well adapted to
the negro race, that, by it, their comforts, peace of mind, and general
happiness are made so certain and well-secured to them, that they
increase rapidly? And that, as they are a race of people whom we do not
desire to bear rule over us, or become more numerous than they now are,
it would be good policy, and he desires, to set them free, in order that
they may be deprived of their present comforts, peace of mind, and
happiness, with the view to lessen their increase, and waste them away?
If such really be his view, we may regard it as an extraordinary
instance of his Christian counsel, and form some idea of what he would
be as a slave-holder. But the same increase of the slaves happened in
Egypt in a different age, and in reference to a different class of men;
nor could any exertion correct it. We may apply the _test_, and safely

There is, in this chapter on the slavery of the Hebrews, an allusion
made to the States of Ohio and Kentucky, (see page 102;) the one
represented as “adorned with smiling villages, and cottages, and
churches, and the aspect of neatness, thrift, and order;” and that the
other wears “the aspect of ignorance, irreligion, neglect, and
desolation;” and that the reason of the difference is, because “God
smiles upon the free State, and frowns upon the one where slavery

We do not deem it necessary to question or even examine the correctness
of the view of Kentucky, as presented to us by Mr. Barnes: so far as the
argument is concerned, we will take it as established. If the
institution of slavery is of Divine origin, or if we are to form a
notion of the will of God respecting it from his providences affecting
the institution, we must keep our eye upon the subject of slavery, not
upon those otherwise conditioned. We must look to the slave in Kentucky,
and compare his conditions there with his conditions in a state of
freedom; and Mr. Barnes has furnished us with data, proving that in
Kentucky the slaves are in a rapid state of propagation and increase.

Page 95, he says—“The whites were to the slaves—

                                      In 1790.        In 1840.

          North Carolina,            2.80 to 1       1.97 to 1
          South Carolina,           1.31 ”   1        79 ”   1
          Georgia,                  1.76 ”   1      1.44 ”   1
          Tennessee,               13.35 ”   1      3.49 ”   1
          Kentucky,                 5.16 ”   1      3.23 ”   1

“From this it is apparent that, in spite of all the oppressions and
cruelties of slavery, of all the sales that are effected, of all the
removals to Liberia, and of all the removals by the escape of the
slaves, there is a regular gain of the slave population over the free in
the slave-holding States. No oppression prevents it here more than it
did in Egypt, and there can be no doubt whatever that, unless slavery
shall be arrested in some way, the increase is so certain that the
period is not far distant when, in all the Slave States, the free whites
will be far in the minority. At the first census, taken in 1790, in
every Slave State there was a very large majority of whites. At the last
census, in 1840, the slaves out-numbered the whites in South Carolina,
Mississippi, and Louisiana. The tendency of this, from causes which it
would be easy to state, can be arrested by nothing but emancipation.”

But Mr. Barnes does not state what those causes are; and will he
acknowledge that they really are what we have before stated? So far as
these facts teach any thing, it is that God smiles on the institution of
slavery. Let it be true, as Mr. Barnes says it is, that Ohio exhibits a
state of prosperity, and Kentucky a state of “_desolation_,”—the
legitimate deduction is, that those, having the direction and government
of affairs in Ohio are wiser and more intelligent than those of the same
class in Kentucky. We shall leave all further view of the matter to Mr.
Barnes and the people of Kentucky.

The four hundred years of slavery in Egypt were not a sentence on the
Hebrews for the especial benefit of the Egyptians, but for that of the
Hebrews themselves. The court did not sentence the free negro, who had
become a nuisance, to five years of slavery, for the especial benefit of
the purchaser, but for the prospect of amelioration in the negro
himself. The races of Ham were not made subject to slavery for the
especial benefit of Shem and Japheth; but because, in such slavery,
their condition would be more elevated, and better, than in a state of
freedom. The slave-owner may be very wicked, and God may destroy him for
his wickedness, and yet his merciful designs, by the institution of
slavery, not be affected thereby. An eastern monarch, determined to
destroy his minister, sent him a present of a thousand slaves and a
hundred elephants. The minister dared not refuse the present; but not
being able profitably to employ them, was ruined. But the condition of
the slave and the elephant was not injured. The poor-house was not made
for the especial benefit of its keeper, but for its subjects.


                              LESSON VII.

The benefit of the slave-owner depends on a different principle, upon
the wisdom, propriety, and prudence with which he governs and manages
his slaves. If he neglect their morals, suffering them to become idle,
runaways, dissolute, thieves, robbers, and committers of crime, he is
made, to some extent, responsible; or if he neglect to supply suitable
clothing, food, and medicine, attention in sickness, and all other
necessary protection, he is liable to great loss; his profit may be
greatly diminished; or, if he abuse his slave with untoward cruelty, he
may render him less fit for labour,—may destroy him altogether; or the
law may set in, and compel the slave to be sold to a less cruel master.
_The interest of the master has become protection to the slave_; and
this principle holds good in all countries, in all ages, and among all
men. But it is yet said, that there are men who most outrageously abuse,
and sometimes kill their slaves. Very true and because some men do the
same to their wives, is it any argument against marriage? It proves that
there are men who are not fit to be slave-owners. And what is the
providence of God, as generally manifested, in these cases? That such
husband does not enjoy the full blessing designed by the institution of
marriage; or such marriage is, in some way, shortly set aside. That such
slave-owner does not enjoy the full benefit a different course would
insure to him; or, in some way, he is made to cease being a slave-owner.
Such instances are most direct and powerful manifestations against the
abuses,—not of the institution itself.

But God has not left his displeasure of the abuses of slavery to be
found out by our poor, dim, mortal eyes; by our weak view of his
manifestations. He made direct laws on the subject.

“But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God; _in it_ thou
shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy
_man-servant_ (עַבְדְּךָ _abeddeka_, _male slave_,) nor thy
_maid-servant_ (וַֽאֲמָֽתֶךָ _va amatheka_, _nor thy female slave_), nor
thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates.” _Exod._ xx. 10.

“But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God; in it thou
shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, nor thy
man-servant (וְעַבְדְּךָׄ _ve abeddeka_, _male slave_), nor thy
maid-servant (וַֽאֲמָחֶךָ _va amatheka_, _female slave_), nor thine ox,
nor thine ass, nor any of thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within
thy gates; that thy man-servant (עַבְדְּךָ _abeddeka_, _male slave_) and
thy maid-servant (וַֽאֲמָֽתֶךָ _va amatheka_, _female slave_) may rest
as well as thou.” _Deut._ v. 14.

But we find laws correcting abuses of quite a different nature; abuses
that grow out of the perverse nature of man towards his fellow-man of
equal grade, touching their mutual rights in property:

“Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy
neighbour’s wife, nor his _man-servant_ (וְעַבְדּ֤וֹ _ve abeddo_, _male
slave_), nor his _maid-servant_ (וַֽאֲמָתוֹ _va amatho_, _female
slave_), nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy
neighbour’s.” _Exod._ xx. 17.

“Neither shalt thou desire thy neighbour’s wife, neither shalt thou
covet thy neighbour’s house, his field, or his _man-servant_
(וְעַבְדּ֤וֹ _ve abeddo_, _male slave_), or his _maid-servant_:
(וַאֲמָתוֹ _va amatho_, _female slave_), his ox, or his ass, or any
thing that is thy neighbour’s.” _Deut._ v. 21—the 18th of the Hebrew

It does appear to us that these statutes speak volumes—portraying the
providences of God, and his design in regard to the institutions of
slavery. The word covet, as here used, as well as its original, implies
that action of the mind which reaches to the possession of the thing
ourselves, and to the depriving of our neighbour, without a glimpse at
the idea of payment, reciprocity, or compromise; consequently, it is the
exact action of mind, which, when cultivated into physical display,
makes a man a thief. The command forbids that the mind shall be thus
exercised, for the command only reaches to the exercise of the mind; an
exercise, which, from the very nature of it, must for ever draw us
deeper into crime. It is a command that well comes to us from Jehovah
direct, because it is a command that man could never enforce: the
individual, and Jehovah alone, can only and surely tell when it is
broken. But it may be broken in various ways; it may be broken by
writing books persuading others that it is no crime, that it is even
praiseworthy, by any other course of conduct, to weaken the tenure of
the proprietor in the property named.

                “But fools do sometimes fearless tread,
                Where angels dare not even look!”

We hold the doctrine good that, whenever we find that the providence of
God frowns upon the abuse of a thing, such abuse is contrary to his law.
So, also, the doctrine is indisputably true that all laws, all
providences against the abuse of a thing, necessarily become laws and
providences for the protection of the thing itself; consequently, it
always follows that they contemplate protection.

Mr. Barnes compares the slavery of the Hebrews in Egypt to the condition
of slavery in the United States, and complains of the harsh treatment of
the slaves in the latter country. See p. 92:

“Preventing the slaves from being taught to read and write; prohibiting,
as far as possible, all knowledge among themselves of their own numbers
and strength; forbidding all assemblages, even for worship, where there
might be danger of their becoming acquainted with their own strength,
and of forming plans for freedom; enacting laws of excessive severity
against those who run away from their masters; appointing severe and
disgraceful punishments, either with or without the process of law, for
those who are suspected of a design to inform the slaves that they are
men and that they have the rights of human beings; and solemnly
prohibiting the use of arms among the slaves, designed to prevent their
rising upon their masters, or ‘joining themselves to an enemy to fight
against their masters,’ and ‘getting up out of the land.’”

We did suppose from this passage that Mr. Barnes might desire us to lie
down, and _let the slaves kill or make slaves of us_. But he has
presented us with his cure for all these wrongs on pages 383, 384. He

“Now here, I am persuaded, is a wise model for all other denominations
of Christian men, and the true idea of all successful efforts for the
removal of this great evil from the land. Let all the evangelical
denominations but follow the simple example of the Quakers in this
country, and slavery would soon come to an end. There is not power of
numbers and influence out of the church to sustain it. Let every
denomination in the land _detach itself_ from all connection with
slavery, without saying a word against others; let the time come when,
in all the mighty denominations of Christians, it can be assured that
the evil has ceased _with them_ FOR EVER; and let the voice, from each
denomination, be lifted up in kind, but firm and solemn, testimony
against the system; with no ‘mealy’ words; with no attempt at apology;
with no wish to blink it; with no effort to throw the sacred shield of
religion over so great an evil; and the work is done. There is no public
sentiment in this land, there could be none created, that would resist
the power of such testimony. There is no power _out_ of the church that
could sustain slavery an hour, if it were not sustained in it. Not a
blow need be struck. Not an unkind word need be uttered. No man’s motive
need be impugned. No man’s proper rights invaded. All that is needful is
for each Christian man, and every Christian church, to stand up in the
sacred majesty of such a solemn testimony; to free themselves from all
connection with the evil, and utter a calm and deliberate voice to the
world; and THE WORK WILL BE DONE!”

This looks very much like converting the church into an instrument of
political power. We might indulge in severe remarks. We might quote some
very cogent and rebuking passages of Scripture; but, since we believe
that where the spirit of Christ is, he will be there also, we do not
deem it necessary.

From the very considerable labour evidently bestowed in the preparation
of the _test_, apparently to be applied in his reasoning on this
subject, a feeling of disappointment rests upon the mind when we
discover how little use Mr. Barnes has made of it.

We have given a view of Mr. Barnes’s peroration; his complaints; the
wrongs that excite his sympathy; and his final conclusion of the whole
matter. We have attempted to reason by the same rule he has adopted,
and, so far as he has chosen to apply it, leave it to others to judge
whether it is not most fatal to the cause he advocates.


                              LESSON VIII.

We are told that book-making, among some, has become a trade. That some
men write books to order, to suit the market; that there is no knowing
what may be an author’s principles, or whether he has any at all, by
what may be in his book.

The principal object of such a writer must be his money—his pay: if in
great haste to get it in possession, he may be expected sometimes to be
careless; and unless very talented and experienced in the subject on
which he writes, to record contradictions.

Page 83, Mr. Barnes says—“The Hebrews were not essentially distinguished
from the Egyptians, as the Africans are from their masters in this land,
by colour.” But he continues, pages 86 and 87—“They (the Hebrews) were a
_foreign_ race, as the African race is with us. They were not Egyptians,
any more than the nations of Congo are Americans. They were not of the
children of Ham. They were of another family; they differed from the
Egyptians, by whom they were held in bondage, as certainly as the
African does from the Caucasian or the Malay divisions of the great
family of man.”

In page 228, on another subject, he says—“If, therefore, it be true that
slavery did not prevail in Judea; that there is no evidence that the
Hebrews engaged in the traffic, and that the prophets felt themselves at
liberty to denounce the system as contrary to the spirit of the Mosaic
institutions, these FACTS will furnish an important explanation of some
things in regard to the subject in the New Testament, and will prepare
us to enter on the inquiry how it was regarded by the Saviour; for if
slavery did not exist in Palestine in his time: if he never came in
contact with it, it will not be fair to infer that he was not opposed to
it, because he did not often refer to it, and expressly denounce it.”

This is in strict conformity with the following:

Page 242. “There is no conclusive evidence that he ever came in contact
with slavery at all. * * * There is no proof which I have seen referred
to from any contemporary writer, that it existed in Judea in his time at
all; and there is no evidence from the New Testament that he ever came
in contact with it.”

Also, page 244. “There is not the slightest proof that the Saviour ever
came in contact with slavery at all, either in public or in private

Also, page 249. “We have seen above, that there is no evidence that when
the Saviour appeared, slavery in any form existed in Judea, and
consequently there is no proof that he ever encountered it.”

Permit us to compare these statements with _Matt._ viii. 5–14:

“And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto him a
centurion, beseeching him, (verse 6,) and saying, Lord, my _servant_,
&c. (Verse 9,) For I am a man of authority, having soldiers under me;
and I say to this man go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he
cometh, and to my SERVANT (δουλῳ, _slave_), Do this, and he doeth it,”

Also, _Luke_ vii. 2–10. “And a certain centurion’s _servant_ (δοῦλος,
_slave_) was sick,” &c. * * * “beseeching him that he would come and
heal his _servant_ (δοῦλον, _slave_.)” (Verse 10,) “And they that were
sent, returning to the house, found the _servant_ (δοῦλον, _slave_)
whole that had been sick.”

So also, _Luke_ xix. 12–16. (Verse 13,) “And he called his ten
_servants_ (δοῦλους, _slaves_),” &c. Also _John_ viii. 33–36: “And they
answered him, we be Abraham’s seed, and were never _in bondage_
(δεδουλεύκαμεν, _in slavery_) to any man; how sayest thou, Ye shall be
made free?” (Verse 34,) “Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto
you, whoever committeth sin is the servant (δοῦλος, _slave_) of sin.”
(Verse 35,) “And the servant (δοῦλος, _slave_) abideth not in the house
for ever, but the Son abideth ever. If the Son therefore make you free,
you shall be free indeed.”

Permit us also to compare them with the following, Mr. Barnes’s _own
statements_. See page 250: “All that the argument does require, whatever
conclusion we may reach as to the manner in which the apostles treated
the subject, is, the admission of the _fact_, that slavery _everywhere_
abounded; that it existed in forms of great severity and cruelty; that
it involved all the essential claims that are now made by masters to the
services or persons of slaves; that it was protected by civil laws; that
the master had the right of transferring his slaves by sale, donation,
or testament; that in general he had every right which was supposed to
be necessary to perpetuate the system; and that it was impossible that
the early preachers of Christianity should not encounter this system,
and be constrained to adopt principles in regard to the proper treatment
of it.”

And, again, page 251: “It is fair that the advocates of the system
should have all the advantage which can be derived from the fact, that
the apostles found it in its most odious forms, and in such
circumstances as to make it proper that they should regard, and treat it
as an evil, if Christianity regards it as such at all.”

And, again, pages 259, 260: “I am persuaded that nothing can be gained
to the cause of anti-slavery by attempting to deny that the apostles
found slavery in existence in the regions where they founded churches,
and that those sustaining the relation of master and slave were admitted
to the churches, if they gave real evidence of regeneration, and were
regarded by the apostles as entitled to the common participation of the
privileges of Christianity.”

But there are other errors in this “Scriptural View of Slavery,” page

“He (the Saviour) never uttered a word _in favour_ of slavery, * * * not
even a _hint_ can be found, in all he said, on which a man * * * who
meant to keep one already in his possession, could rely to sustain his

We ask that this assertion of Mr. Barnes shall be compared with _Luke_
xvii. 7–11:

“But which of you having a servant (δοῦλον, _slave_) ploughing, or
feeding cattle, will say unto him, by and by, when he has come from the
field, Go, sit down to meat? And will not rather say unto him, Make
ready wherewith I may sup, and gird thyself and serve me, till I have
eaten and drunken, and afterward thou shalt eat and drink? Doth he thank
that servant (δούλῳ, _slave_) because he did the things that were
commanded him? I trow not.” “So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all
those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants;
we have done that which was our duty to do.”

And, again, Mr. Barnes says: “The nations of Palestine were devoted to
destruction, not to servitude.” See page 118.

Compare this with the following, from page 156: “There were particular
reasons operating for subjecting the nations around Palestine to
servitude, which do not exist now. They were _doomed_ to servitude for


                               LESSON IX.

_Deut._ xxiii. 9. “When the host goeth forth against thine enemies, then
keep thee from every wicked thing”—directions what to do, or what not to
do, in time of war, being continued, the 15th and 16th verses read thus:

“Thou shalt not deliver up to his master the servant (_slave_) which is
escaped 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.”

This passage is quoted by Mr. Barnes, upon which he says, page 140—

“I am willing to admit that the command _probably_ relates only to the
slaves which escaped to the country of the Hebrews from surrounding
nations; and that in form it did not contemplate the runaway slaves of
the Hebrews in their own land.”

Pray, then, for what purpose does he speak as follows?

“A seventh essential and fundamental feature of the Hebrew slavery was,
that the runaway slave was not to be restored to his master; on this
point the law was absolute.”

And to sustain this assertion, he quotes this same passage from
Deuteronomy, and, commenting thereon, says, pages 140, 141—“This solemn
and fundamental enactment would involve the following results or
effects. (1.) No laws could ever be enacted in the Hebrew commonwealth
by which a runaway slave could be restored to his master. No revolution
of the government, and no change of policy, could ever modify this
principle of the constitution. (2.) No magistrate could on any pretence
deliver up a runaway slave.”

Then, again, page 190:

“Slaves of the United States are to be restored to their masters, if
they endeavour to escape. We find among the fundamental principles of
the Mosaic laws a provision that the slave was _never_ to be restored,
if he attempted to do thus. He was to find in the land of Judea an
asylum. The power and authority of the commonwealth were pledged for his

And yet, again, page 226:

“As one of the results of this inquiry, it is apparent that the Hebrews
were not a nation of slaveholders.”

We present these passages to shows Mr. Barnes’s mode of argument. But
let us examine, for a moment, the indications of the holy books on the
subject of runaway slaves. When David had protected the flocks of Nabal,
upon the mountains of Carmel, on a holiday, he sent his young men, to
ask a present, as some compensation for the same.

“And Nabal answered David’s servants, and said, Who is David? and who is
the son of Jesse? There be many servants ( _abadim_, _slaves_) nowadays
that break away every man from his master. Shall I then take my bread,
and my water, and my flesh that I have killed for my shearers, and give
_it_ unto men, whom I know not whence they be?” 1 _Sam._ xxv. 10, 11.

We think the indications are that for slaves to run away was a common
occurrence, and that it was immoral to give them countenance or
protection and Nabal, pretending that David might be one of that class,
excused himself from bestowing the present on that account.

“And it came to pass at the end of three years, that two of the servants
(עֲבָדִים _abadim_, _slaves_) of Shemei ran away unto Achish, son of
Maachah king of Gath; and they told Shemei, saying, Behold thy servants
(עֲבָדֶיךָ, _abadeka_, _slaves_) _be_ in Gath. And Shemei arose and
saddled his ass, and went to Gath to Achish to seek his servants
(עֲבָדָ֑יו _abadav_, _slaves_); and Shemei went and brought his servants
(עבָדָיו _abadav_, _slaves_) from Gath.” 1 _Kings_, ii. 39, 40.

If it can be said that Jehovah has views and wishes, then it may he
said, that the views and wishes of Jehovah on the subject of runaway
slaves must, at all times, be the same. “In him there is no
variableness, nor shadow of turning.”

“And she had a _hand-maid_ (שִׁפְחַה _shiphehah_, _female slave_), an
Egyptian (מִצְרִית _mitserith_, _Egyptian_, _a descendant of Misraim,
the second son of Ham_), whose name was Hagar.” _Gen._ xvi. 1.

Upon a feud between her and her mistress, her mistress dealt hardly by
her, and she ran away: “And the angel of the Lord found her by a
fountain of water in the wilderness, by the fountain in the way to
Shur.” (8th verse,) “And he said, Hagar, Sarai’s maid, whence comest
thou? and whither wilt thou go? And she said, I flee from the face of my
mistress Sarai.” (The angel did not say to her, “Here is a shilling; get
into Canada as soon as possible!”) “And the angel of the Lord said unto
her, Return to thy mistress and submit thyself under her hands.” _Gen._
xvi. 7–9.

On page 117, Mr. Barnes says—

“In the laws of Moses, there is but one way mentioned by which a
foreigner could be made a slave; that is, by purchase. _Lev._ xxv. 44.
And it is remarkable that the Hebrews were not permitted to make slaves
of the captives taken in war.”

Let us compare this assertion, made by Mr. Barnes, with the 31st of

“And the Lord spake unto Moses saying, Avenge the children of Israel of
the Midianites. * * * (Verse 9,) And the children of Israel took all the
women of Midian captives, and their little ones. * * * (Verse 11,) And
they took all the spoils and all the prey, both of men and of beasts.
(Verse 12,) And they brought the captives and the prey unto Moses and
Eleazar the priest. * * * (Verse 25,) And the Lord spake unto Moses,
saying, Take the sum of the prey that was taken, both of man and beast.
* * * (Verse 27,) And divide the prey into two parts, between them that
took the war upon them, who went out to battle, and between all the
congregation. * * * (Verse 28,) And levy a tribute unto the Lord of the
men of war which went out to battle, one soul of five hundred, both of
the persons and of the beeves. * * * (Verse 30,) And of the children of
Israel’s half, thou shalt take one portion of fifty of the persons, &c.
* * * (Verse 32,) And the booty, being the rest of the prey, which the
men of war had, was * * * sheep. (Verse 35,) And thirty-two thousand
persons in all. * * * (Verse 36,) And the half which was the portion of
them that went out to war, was, &c. * * * sheep, &c. (Verse 40,) “And
the persons were sixteen thousand, of which the Lord’s tribute was
thirty and two persons. (Verse 42) And the children of Israel’s half
which Moses divided from the men that warred * * * was, &c. * * * sheep,
&c. * * * (Verse 46,) and sixteen thousand persons. (Verse 47,) Even of
the children of Israel’s half, Moses took one portion of fifty, both of
man and of beast, and gave them unto the Levites which kept the charge
of the tabernacle of the Lord, as the Lord commanded Moses.”


                               LESSON X.

In ancient times, all persons conquered in battle were liable to be put
to death by the national laws then existing. If the conqueror suffered
the captive to escape death, imposing on him only the cutting off his
thumbs, hands, or ears; or, without these personal deformations,
subjecting him to slavery, as was often the case, especially when the
captive was of low grade,—it was ever regarded as an act of mercy in the

In the 17th verse of the thirty-first chapter of Numbers, Moses
commanded that “every male among the little ones, and every woman who
had known a man,” should be killed, even after they had been taken to
the Israelitish camp; and that none should be reserved for slaves,
except female children, of whom, it appears, there were thirty-two
thousand. The booty taken in this war, was distributed by Moses, in
conformity to the especial direction of God himself, as follows:—(Verse
25,) “And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, (verse 26,) Take the sum of
the prey that was taken, _both_ of man and of beast, thou, and Eleazar
the priest, and the chief fathers of the congregation, (verse 28,) and
levy a tribute unto the Lord of the men of war which went out to battle:
one soul of five hundred, _both_ of the PERSONS, and of the beeves, and
of the asses, and of the sheep: (verse 29,) Take it of their half, and
give it unto Eleazar the priest, _for_ a heave-offering of the Lord.
(Verse 30,) And of the children of Israel’s half, thou shalt take one
portion of fifty of the PERSONS, of the beeves, of the asses, and of the
flocks, of all manner of beasts, and give them to the Levites which keep
the charge of the tabernacle of the Lord. (Verse 31,) And Moses and
Eleazar did as the Lord commanded Moses.”

Houbigant, in his commentary upon this chapter, has given us the

         _Table of the distribution of the booty of this war_:

 Sheep     675,000 { To the Soldiers   337,500 To the Lord           675
                   { ”    People       337,500 ”   Levites         6,750
 Beeves     72,000 { ”    Soldiers      36,000 ”   Lord               72
                   { ”    People        36,000 ”   Levites           720
 Asses      61,000 { ”    Soldiers      30,500 ”   Lord               61
                   { ”    People        30,500 ”   Levites           610
 Persons    32,000 { ”    Soldiers      16,000 ”   Lord               32
                   { ”    People        16,000 ”   Levites           320

This table has been adopted by Dr. Adam Clark in his Commentary, to
which he adds—

“In this table the booty is equally divided between the people and the
soldiers; a five-hundredth part being given to the Lord, and a fiftieth
part to the Levites.” And this learned divine, in his commentary on the
28th verse, says—“And levy a tribute unto the Lord, one soul of five
hundred, &c. * * * The _persons_ to be employed in the Lord’s service,
under the Levites: the _cattle_ either for sacrifice or for the use of
the Levites. (Verse 30.) Some monsters have supposed that _one_ out of
every _five hundred_ of the captives was offered in sacrifice to the
Lord! But this is abominable. When God chose to have the life of a man,
he took it in the way of _justice_, as in the case of the Midianites
above; but never in the way of _sacrifice_.”

In the 29th verse, we learn that the Lord’s portion was to be given to
Eleazar the priest, “for a heave-offering of the Lord.” The word
_heave-offering_ is rendered from the word תְּר֥ווּמַ֖ת _terūmath_, from
the root רוּם _rūm_, which means a lifting up, exalting, elevation of
rank, while the form here used means a gift, a contribution, associated
with the idea of being lifted up, exalted, elevated to a higher
condition. Hence, when the priest presented a heave-offering, he moved
his censer upwards, in a perpendicular line, with the view to intimate
the elevating tendency resulting from the relation of the person
offering, the thing offered, and the one to whom it is offered; whereas,
in a wave-offering, he moved his censer in a horizontal line, intimating
a relation of steadfastness and unchangeability. Because the cross is
represented by perpendicular and horizontal lines, some early
commentators have imagined that the heave and wave-offerings were
typical of the cross of Christ. The word “heave,” as here used, is
purely Saxon; _heafan_, to lift, to raise, to move upward. We may well
say _to heave up_; but it is bad Saxon to say _heave down_. From this
same Saxon word comes our word _heaven_, on account of the notion of its
lofty location, and the elevating influence of the acts of him who shall
reach it; each act which makes us nearer heaven may not inappropriately
be considered a heave-offering to the Lord. The corollary is, that if
God had regarded the making these children slaves a sin,—since sin
always deteriorates and degrades, the reverse of elevation or lifting
up,—he never could have ordered any of them to be given to him as a

We trust to establish the point that the enslavement of such people as
we find the African hordes now to be, to those who have a more correct
knowledge of God and his laws,—of those most wicked Midianites, to those
to whom God had most especially revealed himself,—must, so long as the
laws of God operate, have an elevating influence upon those so enslaved.
Thus we shall perceive that the Hebrew word translated into our old
Saxon _heave-offering_ was the most appropriate, and significant of the
facts of the case, that could be expressed by language.

Our received version of this chapter, which is a good translation of the
original, contains no word by which we directly express the idea of
slavery: so is it in the original. But we trust the readers of either
will not be found so awry as not to perceive that the idea and facts are
as fully and substantially developed as though those terms were used in

In the most of languages, an idea, and facts in relation to it, may be
and are often expressed without the use of the name of the idea, and
sometimes of the facts. The Greek is well deemed a most particular and
definite language. In Thucydides, liber vii. caput 87, this sentence
occurs: ἔπειτα πλην Αθὴναιῶν, καὶ εἴτινες Σικελιωτῶν ἤ Ἰταλιωτῶν
ξυνεστρατευσαν, τοὺς ἄλλους ἀπέδοντο. Here, there is no word expressing
the idea of slavery. Literally, it is: “Then, except the Athenians, and
some of the Sicilians or Italians, who had engaged in the war, all
others were sold.” Yet Dr. Smith, the rector of Holy Trinity Church, in
Chester, England, who lived at an age beyond the reach of prejudice or
argument on the subject of slavery, (he was born in 1711,) has correctly
translated the passage thus: “But, after this term, all but the
Athenians, and such of the Sicilians and Italians as had joined with
them in the invasion, were sold out for slaves.” _Smith’s Thucyd._ p.

And permit us further to inquire how the assertion of Mr. Barnes, page
117, that, “in the laws of Moses there is but _one_ way mentioned by
which a foreigner could be made a slave; that is, by purchase, _Lev._
xxv. 44; and it is remarkable that the Hebrews were not permitted to
make slaves of the captives taken in the war”—will compare with _Deut._
xx. 10–16:

“And when thou comest nigh unto a city to fight against it, then
proclaim peace unto it.” * * * “And it shall be, if it make 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 _shall
serve thee_” (וַֽעֲבָדֽוּךָ _va abaduka_, _shall be slaves to thee_).
“And if it will make no peace with thee, but will make war against thee,
then thou shalt besiege it.” “And when the hand of thy God hath
delivered it into thy hands, thou shalt smite every male thereof with
the edge of the sword.” “But the women, and the little ones, and the
cattle, and all that is within the city, _even_ all the spoil thereof,
shalt thou take unto thyself and thou shalt eat the spoil of thine
enemies, which the Lord thy God hath given thee.” “Thus shalt thou do
unto all the cities _which are_ very far off from thee, which _are_ not
of the cities of those nations.”

It is evident that the captives here allowed to be made were to be
slaves, from what follows on the same subject, in the same book, xxi.
10–15: When thou goest forth to war against thine enemies, and the Lord
thy God hath delivered them into thy hands, and thou hast taken them
captive, and seest among the captives a beautiful woman, and hast a
desire unto her, that thou wouldst have her to thy wife: then thou shalt
bring her home to thy house, and she shall shave her head and pare her
nails: and she shall put the raiment of her captivity from off her, and
shall remain in thy house, and bewail her father and her mother a full
month: and after that, thou shalt go in unto her, and be her husband,
and she shall be thy wife. And it shall be, if thou have no delight in
her, then thou shalt let her go whither she will; but thou shalt not
sell her at all for money: thou shalt not make merchandise of her,
because thou hast humbled her.”

Thus the fact is proved, that if he had not thus made her his wife, she
would have been his slave and an article of merchandise.


                               LESSON XI.

In the introductory part of Mr. Barnes’s book, he makes some remarks in
the nature of an apology for his undertaking to examine the subject of
slavery. Page 20, he says—

“Belonging to the same _race_ with those who are held in bondage. We
have a right, _nay_, we are bound to express the sympathies of
brotherhood, and ‘to remember those who are in bonds as bound with

We were not aware of any fact relating to Mr. Barnes’s descent; nor did
we before know from what race he was descended.

We were truly much surprised at this avowal, and endeavoured to imagine
that he had used the word in some general and indefinite sense, as some
do when they say animal _race_, and human _race_. But on examining his
use of the word, page 20: “How is a foreign _race_, with so different a
complexion, and in reference to which, so deep-seated prejudices and
aversions exist, in every part of the land, to be disposed of if they
become free?”—and page 27: “And the struggles which gave liberty to
millions of the Anglo-saxon _race_ did not loosen one rivet from the
fetter of an African;” page 83: “The Hebrews were not essentially
distinguished from the Egyptians, as the Africans are from their masters
in this land, by colour;” and page 86: “They were a foreign _race_, as
the African _race_ is with us;” and page 96: “There are in the United
States now, according to the census of 1840, 2,486,465 of a foreign
_race_ held in bondage;” and page 97: “It would have been as just for
the Egyptians to retain the Hebrews in bondage as it is for white
Americans to retain the African race;”—we were forced to conclude that
the author understood his language and its meaning.

Such, then, being the fact, we cannot find it in our heart to blame him
for “expressing the sympathies of brotherhood.” But we feel disposed
with kindness to relieve his mind from the burthen of such portion of
sympathy for those of his _race_ who are in slavery, as he may conceive
to be a duty imposed by the injunction, “Remember those who are in bond,
as bound with them.” We will quote the passage, _Heb._ xiii. 3:
“Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them.” It is translated
from the Greek— Μιμνήσκεσθε τῶν δεσμίων ὡς συνδεδεμένοι, _Mimnēsicĕsthe
tōn dĕsmiōn hōs sundĕdĕmĕnoi_. The words translated “bonds,” “bound
with,” &c. are derived from the root δέω, _deo_, and signifies to bind,
to bring together, to chain, to fetter, to hinder, to restrain, &c.,
which meaning falls into all its derivations. When one was accused of
some offence, and was, on that account, restrained, so that he might be
surely had at a trial for the same, such restraint would be expressed,
as the case required, by some of its derivations. Hence we have δέσις,
_dĕsis_, the act of binding; δέσμα, _desma_, a bond, a chain; δέσμιος,
_desmios_, chained, fettered, imprisoned, &c.; δεσμός, _desmos_, a bond,
chain, knots, cords, cables; δεσμόω, _desmŏō_, to enchain, to imprison;
δεσμοφύλαξ, _desmophulax_, a jailer, &c.

The word is used, differently varied, in _Matt._ xvi. 19; xviii. 18;
_Acts_ viii. 23; xx. 23; xxiii. 21; xxvi. 29; _Rom._ vii. 2; 1 _Cor._
vii. 39; _Eph._ iv. 3; _Philip._ i. 16; _Col._ iv. 18; 2 _Tim._ ii. 9;
_Philem._ 10; _Heb._ x. 34; xi. 36; and never used, in any sense
whatever, to express any condition of slavery. St. Paul was under the
_restraint_ of the law upon a charge of heresy. All the Christians of
his day were very liable to like danger. His only meaning was that all
such should be remembered, as though they themselves were suffering a
like misfortune. Suppose he had expressed the idea more diffusely and
said, “Remember all Christians who, for teaching Christ crucified, are
persecuted on the charge of teaching a false religion, as though you
yourselves were persecuted with them.”

Such was the fact. Surely no one, by any course of rational deduction,
could construe it into an injunction to remember or do any thing else,
in regard to slavery or its subjects, unless upon the condition that the
slave was, by some means, under restraint upon a similar charge. St.
Paul was never married; cannot be said to have looked with very ardent
eyes upon the institution of marriage; by many is thought to have been
unfavourably disposed towards it. We have among us, to this day, some
who pretend that they think it a great evil, are its bitter enemies, and
give evidence that, if in their power, they would totally abolish it.
Suppose such a man should say that, because he belonged to the same
_race_ with those who were bound in the bonds of wedlock, it was his
privilege to express the sympathies of brotherhood, and expostulate
against that evil institution; nay, that he was enjoined by St. Paul to
do so, in this passage, “Remember those who are in bonds, as bound with
them,”—what would be the value of this appeal to St. Paul? But the very
word he uses, in the passage quoted, is also used, almost invariably, in
the gospels, to express the restraint imposed by matrimony; yet it is
never used to express any condition, or quality, or station, in regard
to slavery.

The naked, unadorned proposition presented by Dr. Barnes is, that,
because St. Paul enjoined the Hebrew Christians to sympathize with, to
remember all those who were labouring under persecution on the account
of their faith in Christ, they were also bound to remember, to
sympathize with the slaves, on the account of their being in slavery, as
though they were slaves themselves. We feel that such argument must ever
be abortive.

From the delicacy of Dr. Barnes’s situation, as “belonging to the same
_race_ with those held in bondage,” we feel it a duty to treat the
position with great forbearance. Had it come from one of the more
favoured race of Shem, or the still more lofty _race_ of Japheth, we
should have felt it an equal duty to have animadverted with some

It would have appeared like a design to impose on those ignorant of the
original; and might have put us in mind of the cunning huckster, with
his basket of addled eggs,—although unexpectedly broken in the act of
their delivery to the hungry traveller; yet the incident was remembered
by the recorder of propriety.


                              LESSON XII.

Antioch is said to have been the birthplace of St. Margaret,—of which
there are many legends, to one of which we allude. It brings to mind
some early views of Christianity; besides, at her time, a large portion
of the population of Antioch were slaves, and are alluded to in the

She was the daughter of the priest of Apollo, and was herself a
priestess to the same god. She is said to have lived in the time and
under the authority of the Præfect Olybius, who became devoted to her
mental and personal accomplishments and very great beauty. He is said to
have sought her in marriage, and, after great labour and exertion, to
have brought about such a state of affairs as to insure her approval and
consent. But, although thus the affianced bride of Olybius, by some
means she had held intercommunion with the private teachers of
Christianity, and was converted to its faith; a fact known only to her
and them.

Upon such a state of things, arrives from Probus, Rome’s imperial lord,
Vopiscus, charged to admonish the præfect how fame bore tidings of the
frequent apostasy from the true religion of the gods, and the increase
of the unholy faith of the Galileans at Antioch; and that the laws were
made to be executed upon the godless, whose wicked and incestuous rites
offend the thousand deities of Rome.

Olybius well knows that the least faltering on his part would probably
be followed by his being shown the mandate for Vopiscus to supersede him
in the government; for which he determines to not give him the least
pretence: hence he orders the immediate arrest of all suspected;
convenes his council in the halls of justice, and announces thus his

          “Hear me, ye priests on earth, ye gods in heaven!
          By Vesta, and her virgin-guarded fires;
          By Mars, the sire and guardian god of Rome;
          By Antioch’s bright Apollo; by the throne
          Of him whose thunder shakes the vaulted skies;
          And that dread oath I add, that binds the immortals,
          The unblessed waters of Tartarean Styx;
          Last, by the avenger of despised vows,
          The inevitable, serpent-haired Eumenides,
          Olybius swears, thus mounting on the throne
          Of justice, to exhaust heaven’s wrath on all
          That have cast off their fathers’ gods for rites
          New and unholy. From my heart, I blot
          Partial affection and the love of kindred;
          Even if my father’s blood flowed in their veins,
          I would obey the emperor and the gods!”


* * * The prisoners are ushered in, heard, and ordered to death; among
whom a female veiled, as if Phœbus-chosen!

            “What! dare they rend our dedicated maids,
            Even from our altars? Haste! withdraw the veil,
            In which her guilty face is shrouded close.
            Ha! their magic mocks my sight! I seem to see
            What cannot be——Margarita!
            Answer, if thou art she!”

His mind was agonized at the thoughts of her position: silently, to
himself, he says—

             “————————This pale and false Vopiscus
             Hath from great Probus wrung his easy mandate;
             Him Asia owns her præfect, if Olybius
             Obey not this fell edict.” * * *

Much art and great argument were privately used to produce her
recantation; to which she calmly answers—

                  —————————“Who disown their Lord
                  On earth, will He disown in heaven!”

* * * Sent to the arena; the torture and execution of the prisoners
proceed, according to the order of their arraignment. The populace
become enraged, and loudly demand the blood of the apostate priestess;
while the præfect, in his palace, digests a plan to _surely_ save her
life. The high-priest of Apollo, her father, in his robes of office and
with his official attendants, must boldly enter the arena, and offer
pardon, in the name of his god, to any one who utters the cabalistic
word signifying “I RECANT;” must hastily apply to each in person; at
Margarita, one instructed must imitate her voice; instantly the priest
is to throw the mantle of the god upon her; and the attendants, by
force, to carry her to the palace of Olybius, where, instead of her
execution, her marriage with Olybius is to take place.

The procession of priests (of whom none but her father, and her sister
in disguise as a proxy for the act of recantation, knew the secret) are
urged instantly to action: “For,” says Olybius, “my very soul is
famished in every moment of delay!”

The procession moves in all pomp and splendour, with a view to produce
an alterative effect on the mind of the maddened populace. Its approach
to the arena is proclaimed by a sentinel there; on hearing which,
Margarita falls at the feet of the _headsman_, and successfully implores
instant death, that her father may be spared the misery of witnessing
it. She breathes a prayer in forgiveness of Olybius, and receives the
stroke of death as the procession enters. The father rages, demands
torture to make the Christians say how they enthralled her: a Christian
teacher explains, as with “a still, small voice;” the priests of Apollo

Rage and excitement had reached the utmost bound. There was a pause, as
the recess between two raging storms. The stillness reached even the
palace, and reason did feel as if

         “There was darkness over all the land. Olybius, then:—
         What means this deathlike stillness? Not a sound
         Or murmur, from yon countless multitudes;
         A pale, contagious horror seems to creep
         Even to our palace. Men gaze mutely round,
         As in their neighbour’s face to read a secret
         They dare not speak themselves:
         Even thus, along his vast domains of silence,
         Dark Pluto gazes, when the sullen spirits
         Speak only with fixed look and voiceless motion.
         'Tis misery! Speak; Olybius orders; speak to me,
         Nor let mine own voice, like an evil omen,
         Load this hot air unanswered.”

A messenger announces the death of Margarita; Olybius rushes to kill
him; but, recovering self-command—

              ——————————“Oh, I’m sick
              Of this accursed pomp: I will not use
              Its privilege of revenge. Fatal trappings
              Of proud authority! That * * * * *
              * * * shine and burn into the very entrails!
              Supremacy!! the great prerogative
              Of being blasted by superior misery!”

A second messenger announces that

           “The enchantress Margarita, by her death,
           Hath wrought upon the changeful populace.
           That they cry loudly on the Christian’s God:
           Emboldened multitudes, from every quarter,
           Throng forth, and in the face of day proclaim
           Their lawless faith. They have taken up the body,
           And hither, as in proud ovation, bear it,
           With clamour and with song. All Antioch crowds
           Applauding round them.”

We are favoured only with the song of the slaves, who, upon that
holiday, intermingled in the throng about the palace of Olybius, to
which the body of Margarita has been borne; by which we may perceive how
Christianity has elevated them above thoughts of their condition:

                          SONG OF THE SLAVES.

        Sing to the Lord! Oh, let us shout his praise!
        More lofty pæans let our masters raise.
            Midst clouds of golden light, a pathway clear,
        With soaring soul, these martyred saints have trod
        To Him, the only true Almighty God!
            Earth’s tumults wild and pagan darkness drear,
        To bonds of peace and songs of joy give way:
        Behold! we bring you light—one everlasting day!

        Sing to the Lord! No more shall frantic Sibyl’s yell,
        Watchful Augurs, or those of magic spell,
            No, not Isis, nor yet Apollo’s throne,
        No, nor even Death, with Lethean bands,
        Shall longer bind the soul; before us stands
            Him of the Cross of Calvary:—His groan
        Of death burst forth from its eternal womb,
        While angel spirits shout, and open wide the tomb!

        Sing to the Lord! The Temple’s veil is rent!
        From Moab’s plains, the Slave, an outcast, sent
            From this cold world shall, soaring, fly to heaven,
        From depths of Darkness, Night, and Orcus dread.
        Each spirit woke at the Eternal’s tread
            On the head of Death! a promise given
        To all Earth’s houseless, homeless, and forlorn,
        Before the Ages were—or His Eldest Son was born!

        Sing to the Lord! Lo! while God’s rebels rave,
        He plunges down, and renovates the slave—
            Vengeance and love at once bestowed on man.
        See! crushed is Baal’s, proud Moloch’s temple falls;
        Shout to the Lord! No more shall blood-stained walls,
            Nor mountain grove, nor all the gods of Ham,
        Dispel a Saviour’s love! Correction’s rod
        Hath won the world,—for Heaven and Thee, O God!

It is one of the providences of Jehovah, that the very wretched forget
their wrath, and the broken in spirit their violence. And it may be well
for those who examine moral conduct by the evidences of the providences
of God, to notice how wrath conduces to wretchedness, and violence to a
breaking down of the spirit.

Olybius was by no means prepared to adopt the humiliating doctrines of
the new faith; but he perceived it to be well adapted to the condition
of those in the extremely low walks of life. By it the slave was taught
to become “the freeman of the Lord,” and the wretched, destitute, and
miserable, to become “heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ.” These
doctrines, and the whole system, being founded upon the pillars of
Humility, Faith, Hope, and Charity, were an arrangement to make the most
humble as happy as the most exalted; as to happiness and hopes of
heaven, it made all men equal; nor is it surprising that the low classes
more readily become its converts.

Olybius may have seen some beautiful features in this system; but his
philosophy forbid his faith. He calmly decided that it was a
superstition too low to combat—worthy only of contempt. But he perceived
that the blood of a hundred made a thousand Christians, and was
convinced the only remedy was to improve and elevate the mind,—to imbue
it with deep religious feeling and principle, a reverence and veneration
for the gods.

He deeply felt the wound inflicted by the presence of Vopiscus, and
would gladly have proved to the emperor that change of government,
either as to ruler or its general system, could not affect the condition
of this new doctrine. But he had no knowledge of the Christian’s God,
nor of his attributes as a distinct Being; and hence, although he may be
regarded as a most deadly enemy, yet, since the providences of Jehovah,
through the mild light of the gospel, begin to develop themselves to the
human understanding, we may deem his report to the emperor, on the
Christian superstition, to be ONE OF ITS MOST UNDYING PANEGYRICS; as an
extract from which, we may well imagine, he wrote thus:—

                    _Olybius to the Emperor Probus._

* * * “Great reforms on moral subjects do not occur, except under the
influence of religious principle. Political revolutions and changes of
policy and administration do indeed occur from other causes, and secure
the ends which are desired. But, on subjects pertaining to right and
wrong; on those questions where the rights of an inferior and
down-trodden class are concerned, we can look for little advance, except
from the operation of religious principle.

“Unless the inferior classes have power to assert their rights by arms,
those rights will be conceded only by the operations of conscience and
the principles of religion. There is no great wrong in any community
which we can hope to rectify by new considerations of policy, or by a
mere revolution. The relations of _Christianity_ are not reached by
political revolutions, or by changes of policy or administration.

“Political revolutions occur in a higher region, and the condition of
the _Christian_ is no more affected by a mere change of government, than
that of the vapours of a low, marshy vale is affected by the tempest and
storm in the higher regions of the air. The storm sweeps along the
Apennines, the lightnings play, and the thunders utter their voice, but
the malaria of the Campagna is unaffected, and the pestilence breathes
desolation there still. So it is with Christianity. Political
revolutions occur in higher places, but the malaria of _Christianity_
remains settled down on the low plains of life, and not even the surface
of the pestilential vapour is agitated by all the storms and tempests of
political changes; it remains the same deadly, pervading pestilence
still. Under all the forms of despotism; in the government of
aristocracy, or an oligarchy; under the administration of a pure
democracy, or the forms of a republican government; and in all the
changes from one to the other, _Christianity_ remains still the same.
Whether the _prince_ is hurled from the throne, or rides into power on
the tempest of revolution, the down-trodden Christian is the same
still:—and it makes no difference to him whether the _prince_ wears a
crown, or appears in a plain, republican garb,—'whether Cæsar is on the
throne, or slain in the senate-house.'”

In these imputed sentiments of Olybius, the indications of the will of
Jehovah, in establishing and protecting the _institutions_ of
_Christianity_, by his providences towards it, is vividly portrayed to
the Christian eye. Jehovah would not suffer “the gates of hell to
prevail against it.” Of the very materials intended by its enemies for
its destruction, he made them build its throne.

The scene, by which we have introduced this imaginary report of Olybius
to the emperor, has been merely to remove from the mind any bias tending
to a partial conception of the indications of the will of God, as
evinced by his providences therein described, that we may more readily
discover the fact, that, instead of showing Christianity to be worthy
only of contempt, Olybius did pronounce its eulogium.

Change the words _Christian_ and _Christianity_ into _slave_ and
_slavery_; _prince_ into _master_, and it then is what Mr. Barnes did
say, and has said, (pages 25, 26, 27,) word for word, about the
institution of slavery; and, as if desirous to portray the providences
of God towards it down to the present time, continuously says. See pages
27 and 28—

“Slavery among the Romans remained substantially the same under the
Tarquins, the consuls, and the Cæsars; when the tribunes gained the
ascendency, and when the patricians crushed them to the earth. It lived
in Europe when the northern hordes poured down on the Roman Empire; and
when the caliphs set up the standard of Islam in the Peninsula. It lived
in all the revolutions of the Middle Ages,—alike, when spiritual
despotism swayed its sceptre over the nations, and when they began to
emerge into freedom. In the British realms, it has lived in the time of
the Stuarts, under the Protectorate, and for a long time under the
administration of the house of Hanover. With some temporary
interruptions, it lived in the provinces of France through the
revolution. It lived through our own glorious Revolution; and the
struggles which gave liberty to millions of the Anglo-Saxon race did not
loosen one rivet from the fetters of an African, nor was there a slave
who was any nearer to the enjoyment of freedom after the surrender of
Yorktown, than when Patrick Henry taught the notes of liberty to echo
along the hills and vales of Virginia. So in all changes of political
administration in our own land, the condition of the slave remains
unaffected. Alike whether the Federalists or Republicans have the rule;
whether the star of the Whig or the Democrat is in the ascendant; the
condition of the slave is still the same. The pæans of victory, when the
hero of New Orleans was raised to the presidential chair, or when the
hero of Tippecanoe was inaugurated, conveyed no * * * intimation of a
change to the slave; nor had he any more hope, nor was his condition any
more affected, when the one gave place to his successor, or the other
was borne to the grave. And so it is now. In all the fierce contests for
rule in the land; in the questions about changes in the administration,
there are nearly three millions of our fellow-beings, who have no
interest in these contests and questions, and whose condition will be
affected no more, whatever the result may be, than the vapour that lies
in the valley is by the changes from sunshine to storm on the summits of
the Alps or the Andes.”

This may be all true, but what is the indication of God’s will, as
taught by these, his providences towards it? “And now I say unto you
refrain from these men, and let them alone; for if this counsel or this
work be of men, it will come to nought; but if it be of God, ye cannot
overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God.” _Acts_
v. 38, 39.


                              LESSON XIII.

Thus, it has pleased God, at an early age of the world, to reveal to the
mind of man this mode of learning his will by the indications of

But Mr. Barnes has given us further data, whereby we may be enabled to
examine more deeply into the indications of God’s will touching the
institution of slavery, by reference to his providences concerning it,
growing out of the universality and ancientness of the institution.
Thus, page 112, he says—“That slavery had an existence when Moses
undertook the task of legislating for the Hebrews, there can be no
doubt. We have seen that servitude of some kind prevailed among the
patriarchs; that the traffic in slaves was carried on between the
Midianites and the Egyptians, * * * and that it existed among the
Egyptians. It was undoubtedly practised by all the surrounding nations,
for history does not point us to a time when slavery did not exist. * *
* There is even evidence that slavery was practised by the Hebrews
themselves, when in a state of bondage and that though they were as a
nation ‘bondmen to Pharaoh,’ yet they had servants in their families who
had been ‘bought with money.’ * * * At the very time that the law was
given respecting the observance of the passover, and before the exode
from Egypt, this statute appears among others: ‘This is the ordinance of
the passover: there shall no stranger eat thereof: but every
man-servant, _that is bought for money_, when thou hast circumcised him,
then shall he eat thereof.’ It is clear, from this, that the institution
was always in existence, and that Moses did not originate it.” Again,
page 117: “A Hebrew might be sold to his brethren if he had been
detected in the act of theft, and had no means of making restitution
according to the provisions of the law. _Exod._ xxii. 3. ‘He shall make
full restitution; if he have nothing, then he shall be sold for his
theft.’” “This is in accordance with the common legal maxim, _Luat in
corpore, qui non habet in aere_. The same law prevailed among the
Egyptians, and among the Greeks also till the time of Solon. * * * By
the laws of the twelve tables, the same thing was enacted at Rome. A
native-born Hebrew might be a servant in a single case in virtue of his
birth. If the master had given to a Hebrew, whom he had purchased, a
wife, and she had borne him children; the children were to remain in
servitude.” See _Exod._ xxi. 4. Again, page 250: “It is unnecessary to
enter into proof that slavery abounded in the Roman Empire, or that the
conditions of servitude were very severe and oppressive. This is
conceded on all hands.” And page 251: “Slavery existed generally
throughout the Roman Empire was very great.” * * * Page 252: “Of course,
according to this, the number of slaves could not have been less than
sixty millions in the Roman Empire, at about the time when the apostles
went forth to preach the gospel.” And again, page 253: “The slave-trade
in Africa is as old as history reaches back. Among the ruling nations of
the north coast, the Egyptians, Cyrenians, and Carthaginians, slavery
was not only established, but they imported whole armies of slaves,
partly for home use, and partly, at least by the Carthaginians, to be
shipped for foreign markets.”

“They were chiefly drawn from the interior, where kidnapping was just as
much carried on then as now. Black male and female slaves were even an
article of luxury, not only among the above-named nations, but in Greece
and Italy.”

Mr. Barnes has quoted and adopted the foregoing, and many other
passages, from the Biblical Repository. (See Bib. Rep. pp. 413, 414.)
And again, page 259 of Barnes: * * * “And it is a rare thing, perhaps a
thing that never has occurred, that slavery did not prevail in a country
which furnished slaves for another country.”

Many of the foregoing statements are facts as well established as _any_
part of history. But these truths, honestly admitted by Mr. Barnes, are
pregnant with important considerations touching the institution of
slavery and the providence of God towards it.


                              LESSON XIV.

Mr. Barnes says, page 381—

“If slavery is to be defended, it is not to be by arguments drawn from
the Bible, but by arguments drawn from its happy influences on
agriculture, commerce, and the arts; * * * on its elevating the black
man, and making him more intelligent and happy than he would be in his
own land; on its whole benevolent bearing on the welfare of the slave,
in this world and the world to come.”

It must give every good man the deepest grief to discover this growing
disposition among religious teachers to thrust aside the teachings of
the Bible, and to place in its stead the worldly advantages and personal
considerations of individual benefit. What shall we think of the
religious feeling and orthodoxy of him who places “agriculture,
commerce, and the arts” in higher authority than the books of Divine
revelation. Thus, this teacher says, “If the Bible teaches slavery, then
the Bible is the greatest curse that could happen to _our race_;” yet
allows, that if slavery shall have a beneficial and happy influence on
“agriculture, commerce, and the arts,” it may be sustained and defended.
Such is the obvious deduction from the proposition! Mistaken man! But,
since we say that slavery is most triumphantly sustained and defended by
the Bible, let us take a view of it agreeably to Mr. Barnes’s direction.
So far as we have means, it may be well to examine the negro in his
native ranges.

About thirty years ago, we had a knowledge of an African slave, the
property of Mr. Bookter, of St. Helena Parish, La. Sedgjo was apparently
about sixty years of age—was esteemed to be unusually intelligent for an
African. We propose to give the substance of his narrative, without
regard to his language or manner. For a length of time we made it an
object to draw out his knowledge and notions; and on the subject of the
Deity, his idea was that the power which made him was _procreation_; and
that, as far as regarded his existence, he needed not to care for any
other god. This deity was to be worshipped by whatever act would
represent him as _procreator_. It need not be remarked that this worship
was the extreme of indecency; but the more the act of worship was
wounding to the feelings or sense of delicacy, the more acceptable it
was to the god. The displays of this worship could not well be

Sedgjo’s account put us in mind of Maachah, the mother of Asa. In this
worship, it was not uncommon to kill, roast, and eat young children,
with the view to propitiate the god, and make its parents prolific. So
also the first-born of a mother was sometimes killed and eaten, in
thankfulness to the god for making them the instruments of its
_procreation_. The king was the owner and master of the whole tribe. He
might kill and do what else he pleased with them. The whole tribe was
essentially his slaves. But he usually made use of them as a sort of
soldiers. Those who were put to death at feasts and sacrifices were
generally persons captured from other tribes. Persons captured were also
slaves, might be killed and eaten on days of sacrifice, or sold and
carried away to unknown countries. If one was killed in battle, and fell
into the hands of those who slew him, they feasted on him at night. If
they captured one alive who had done the tribe great injury, a day was
set apart for all the tribe to revenge themselves and feast on him. The
feet and palms of the hands were the most delicious parts. When the king
or master died, some of his favourite wives and other slaves were put to
death, so that he yet should have their company and services. The king
and the men of the tribe seldom cultivated the land; but the women and
captured slaves are the cultivators. They never whip a slave, but strike
him with a club; sometimes break his bones or kill him: if they kill
him, they eat him.

Sedgjo belonged to the king’s family; sometimes commanded as head man;
consequently, had he not been sold, would have been killed and eaten.
The idea of being killed and eaten was not very dreadful to him; he had
rather be eaten by men than to have the flies eat him.

He once thought white men bought slaves to eat, as they did goats. When
he first saw the white man, he was afraid of his red lips; he thought
they were raw flesh and sore. It was more frightful to be eaten by red
than by black lips.

On shipboard, many try to starve, or jump into the sea, to keep
themselves from being eaten by the red-lips. Did they but know what was
wanted of them, the most would be glad to come. He cannot tell how long
he was on the way to the ships, nor did he know where he was going;
thinks he was sold many times before he got there; never saw the white
man till he was near the sea; all the latter part of his journey to the
coast the people did not kill or eat their slaves, but sold them. Their
clothing is a small cloth about the loins. The king and some others have
a large cloth about the shoulders. Many are entirely naked all their
lives. Sedgjo has no wish to go back; has better clothing here than the
kings have there; if he does more work, he has more meat. If he is
whipped here, he is struck with a club there. There, always afraid of
being killed; jumped like a deer, if, out of the village, he saw or met
a stranger; is very glad he came here; here he is afraid of nobody.

Such is the substance of what came from the negro’s own lips. It was
impossible to learn from him his distinct nation or tribe. Mr. Bookter
thought him an Eboe, which was probably a mistake.

                  *       *       *       *       *

The Periplus, or voyage of Hanno, was made 570 years before the
Christian era. Its account was written in Punic, and deposited in the
temple of Moloch, at Carthage. It was afterwards translated into Greek;
and thence into English, by Dr. Faulkner, a sketch of which may be found
in the “Phœnix of Rare Fragments,” from which we quote, pp. 208–210:

“Beyond the Lixitiæ dwell the inhospitable Ethiopians, who pasture a
wild country, intersected by large mountains, from which they say the
river Lixus flows. In the neighbourhood of the mountains lived the
‘Troglodytæ,’ (people who burrowed in the earth,) men of various
appearance, whom the Lixitiæ described as swifter in running than
horses. * * * Thence we proceeded towards the east the course of a day,
* * * from which proceeding a day’s sail, we came to the extremity of
the lake, that was overhung by large mountains, inhabited by savage men
clothed in skins of wild beasts, who drove us away by throwing stones,
and hindered us from landing. * * * Thence we sailed towards the south
twelve days, * * * the whole of which is inhabited by Ethiopians, who
would not wait our approach, but fled from us. Their language was not
intelligible, even to the Lixitiæ who were with us. * * * When we had
landed, we could discover nothing in the daytime except trees; in the
night we saw many fires burning, and heard the sound of pipes, cymbals,
drums, and confused shouts. We were then afraid, and our diviners
ordered us to abandon the island; * * * at the bottom of which lay an
island like the other, having a lake, and in this lake another island,
full of savage people, the greater part of whom were women, whose bodies
were hairy, and whom our interpreters called _Gorillæ_. Though we
pursued the men, we could not seize any of them; all fled from us,
escaping over the precipices, and defending themselves with stones.
Three women were however taken; but they attacked their conductors with
their teeth and hands, and could not be prevailed on to accompany us.
Having killed them, we flayed them, and brought their skins with us to

See also King Humpsal’s History of African Settlements, translated from
the Punic books, by Sallust and into English by H. Stewart, page 221:

“The Gætuli and the Libyans, as it appears, were the first nations that
peopled Africa; a rude and savage race, subsisting partly on the flesh
of wild beasts, and partly, like cattle, on the herbs of the field.
Among these tribes social intercourse was unknown; and they were utter
strangers to laws, or to civil government; wandering during the day from
place to place, as inclination prompted; at night, wherever chance
conducted them they took up their transient habitation.” See page 224,
same book: “At the back of Numidia, the Gætuli are reported to inhabit,
a savage tribe, of which a part only made use of huts; while the rest,
less civilized, lead a roving life, without restraint or fixed
habitation. Beyond the Gætuli is the country of the Ethiopians.”

In _Judg._ iii. 7, 8, we have as follows: “And the children of Israel
did evil in the sight of the Lord, and forgot the Lord their God. * * *
Therefore the anger of the Lord was hot against Israel, and he sold them
into the hand of _Chusan Rishathaim_," (כּוּשָׁן רִשְׁעֲתַיִם) which,
means the “_wicked Ethiopians_.” Let us notice its similarity of
sentiment with a record in hieroglyphics, in the temple of Karnac, where
_Cush_ is used as the general term to mean the negro tribes: thus,
“_Kush_, _barbarian_, _perverse race_;” and there inscribed over the
figures of negro captives, two thousand years before our Christian era.
See Gliddon’s Lectures, page 42.

We quote from Horne’s “Introduction to the Study of the Scriptures,”
thus: “It is a notorious fact that these latter” (the Canaanites) “were
an abominably wicked people.”

“It is needless to enter into any proof of the depraved state of their
morals; they were a wicked people in the time of Abraham; and even then
were devoted to destruction by God. But their iniquity was not yet full.
In the time of Moses, they were idolaters; sacrificers of their own
crying and smiling infants; devourers of human flesh; addicted to
unnatural lusts; immersed in the filthiness of all manner of vice.” See
_Christian Observer_ of 1819, p. 732.

But let us look at the negro tribes in more modern days. We quote from
Lander, p. 58: “What makes us more desirous to leave this abominable
place, is the fact (as we have been told) that a sacrifice of no less
than _three hundred_ human beings, of both sexes and all ages, is
shortly to take place. We often hear the cries of many of these poor
wretches; and the heart sickens with horror at the bare contemplation of
such a scene as awaits us should we remain here much longer.”

And page 74: “We have longed to discover a solitary virtue lingering
among the natives of this place, (Badagry,) but as yet our search has
been ineffectual.”

And page 77: “We have met with nothing but selfishness and rapacity,
from the chief to the meanest of his people. The religion of Badagry is
Mohammedanism, and the worst species of paganism; that which sanctions
and enjoins the sacrifice of human beings, and other abominable
practices, and the worship of imaginary demons and fiends.”

Page 110: “It is the custom here, when a governor dies, for two of his
favourite wives to quit the world on the same day, in order that he may
have a little pleasant, social company in a future state.”

Page 111: “The reason of our not meeting with a better reception at
Loatoo, when we slept there, was the want of a chief to that town, the
last having followed the old governor to the eternal shades, for he was
his slave. Widows are burned in India, just as they are poisoned or
_clubbed_ here; but in the former country, I believe no male victims are
destroyed on such occasions.”

“At Paoya, (page 124,) several chiefs in the road have asked us the
reason why the Portuguese do not purchase as many slaves as formerly;
and make very sad complaints of the stagnation in this branch of

Page 158: “At Leograda, a man thinks as little of taking a wife as
cutting an ear of corn. Affection is altogether out of the question.”

Page 160: “At Eitcho, it will scarcely be believed, that not less than
one hundred and sixty governors of towns and villages between this place
and the seacoast, all belonging to Yariba, have died from natural
causes, or have been slain in war, since I was last here; and that of
the inhabited places through which we have passed, not more than a
half-dozen chiefs are alive at this moment, who received and entertained
me on my return to Badagry, three years ago.”

Page 176: “They seem to have no social tenderness; very few of those
amiable private virtues which would win our affection, and none of those
public qualities that claim respect or command admiration. Their love of
country is not strong enough in their bosoms to incite them to defend it
against the irregular incursions of a despicable foe. * * * Regardless
of the past as reckless of the future; the present alone influences
their actions. In this respect they approach nearer to the brute
creation than perhaps any other people on the face of the globe.”

Page 181: “In so large a place as this, where two-thirds of the
population are slaves.” * * *

Page 192: “The cause of it was soon explained by his informing us that
he would be doomed to die with two companions, (slaves,) as soon as
their governor’s dissolution should take place.”

Page 227: “In the forenoon we passed near a spot where our guides
informed us a party of Falatahs, a short time ago, murdered twenty of
their slaves, because they had not food sufficient,” &c.

Page 232: “At Coobly, he would rather have given us a boy (slave)
instead of the horse.”

Page 233: “Monday, June 14th.—The governor’s old wife returned from
Boossa this morning, whither she had gone in quest of three female
slaves who had fled from her about a fortnight since. She has brought
her fugitives back with her, and they are now confined in irons.”

Page 272: “Both these days the men have been entering the city; and they
have brought with them only between forty and fifty slaves.”

Page 278: “The chief benefits resulting to Bello from the success of the
rebels, were a half-yearly tribute, which the magia agreed to pay him in

Page 282: “At Yaooris.—And many thousands of his men, fearing no law,
and having no ostensible employment, are scattered over the face of the
whole country. They commit all sorts of crimes; they plunder, they burn,
they destroy, and even murder, and are not accountable to any earthly
tribunal for their actions.”

Page 312: “At Boossa.—The manners of the Africans too, are hostile to
the interest and advancement of woman, and she is very rarely placed on
an equality with her husband.”

Page 228: “A man is at liberty to return his wife to her parents at any
time, and without adducing any reason.”

Page 345: “The Sheikh of Bornou has recently issued a proclamation, that
no slaves from the interior countries are to be sent for sale farther
west than Wowow,—so that none will be sent in future from thence to the
seaside. The greatest and most profitable market for slaves is said to
be at Timbuctoo, whither their owners at present transport them to sell
to the Arabs, who take them over the deserts of Tahara and Libya to sell
in the Barbary States. An Arab has informed us that many of his
countrymen trade as far as Turkey, in Europe, with their slaves, where
they dispose of them for two hundred and fifty dollars each. * * *
Perhaps it would be speaking within compass to say that four-fifths of
the whole population of this country, (the Eboe,) likewise every other
hereabouts, are slaves.”

Vol. ii. page 208: “It may appear strange that I should dwell so long on
this subject, for it seems quite natural that every one, even the most
thoughtless barbarian, would feel at least some slight emotion on being
exiled from his native land and enslaved; but so far is this from being
the case, that Africans, generally speaking, betray the most perfect
indifference on losing their liberty and being deprived of their
relatives; while love of country is seemingly as great a stranger to
their breasts as social tenderness and domestic affection. We have seen
many thousands of slaves; some of them more intelligent than others; but
the poor little fat woman whom I have mentioned,—the associate of beasts
and wallowing in filth,—whose countenance would seem to indicate only
listnessness, stupidity, and perhaps idiotism, without the smallest
symptom of intelligence—she alone has shown any thing like regret on
gazing on her native land for the last time.”

Page 218: “It has been told us by many that the Eboe people are
confirmned Anthropophagi; and this opinion is more prevalent among the
tribes bordering on that kingdom than with the nations of more remote

We shall close our extracts from Lander’s work, by the following,
showing that the Africans made slaves of the two Landers themselves.

Page 225: “The king then said, with a serious countenance, that there
was no necessity for further discussion respecting the white men, (the
two brothers Lander,) his mind was already made up on the subject; and
for the first time, he briefly explained himself, to this effect: That
circumstances having thrown us in the way of his subjects, by the laws
and usages of the country he was not only entitled to our own persons,
but had equal rights to those of our attendants. That he should take no
further advantage of his good fortune than by exchanging us for as much
English goods as would amount in value to twenty slaves.”

The following we transcribe from Stedman’s Narrative, vol. ii. page 267:
“I should not forget to mention that the Gingo negroes are supposed to
be Anthropophagi, or cannibals, like the Caribbee Indians, instigated by
habitual and implacable revenge. Among the rebels of this tribe, after
the taking of Boucore, some pots were found on the fire, with human
flesh, which one of the officers had the curiosity to taste; and
declared that it was not inferior to some kinds of beef or pork. I have
since been informed, by a Mr. Vaugils, an American, who, having
travelled a great number of miles inland in Africa, at last came to a
place where human arms, legs, and thighs hung upon wooden shambles, and
were exposed to sale like butcher’s meat. And Captain John Keen,
formerly of the Dolphin, but late of the Vianbana schooner, in the
Sierra Leone Company’s service, positively assured me that, a few years
since, when he was on the coast of Africa, in the brig Fame, from
Bristol, Mr. Samuel Briggs, owner, trading for wool, ivory, and
gold-dust, a Captain Dunningen, with the whole crew belonging to the
Nassau schooner, were cut in pieces, salted, and eaten by the negroes of
Great Drewin.”

But this is nothing to what is related, on good authority, respecting
the Giagas, a race of cannibals who are said to have overrun a great
part of Africa. These monsters, it is said, are descended from the Agows
and Galia, who dwell in the southern extremity of Abyssinia, near the
sources of the Nile. Impelled by necessity or the love of plunder, they
left their original settlements, and extended their ravages through the
heart of Africa, till they were stopped by the Western Ocean. They
seized on the kingdom of Benguela, laying to the south of Angola; and in
this situation they were found by the Romish missionaries, and by our
countryman, Andrew Battel, whose adventures may be found in Purchas’s
Pilgrim. Both he, and the Capuchin Cavozzi, who resided long among them
and converted several of them to Christianity, gave such an account of
their manners as is enough to chill the blood with horror. We shall
spare our readers the horrid detail, only observing that human flesh is
one of their delicacies, and that they devour it, not from a spirit of
revenge, or from any want of other food, but as the most agreeable
dainty. Some of their commanders, when they went on an expedition,
carried numbers of young women along with them, some of whom were slain
almost every day, to gratify this unnatural appetite.” See Modern
Universal History, vol. xvi. p. 321; also Anzito; also Edin. Encyc. vol.
ii. p. 185.

In continuation of this subject, permit us to take a view of these
tribes, at a time just before the slave-trade commenced among them with
Christian nations. The Portuguese were first to attempt to colonize
portions of Africa, with the double view of extending commerce and of
spreading the Christian faith. They commenced a settlement of that kind
in the regions of Congo, as early as 1578; shortly after which, the
Angolas, an adjoining nation, being at war with each other, one party
applied to Congo and the Portuguese for aid, which was lent them. Soon a
battle took place, in which 120,000 of the Angolas and Giagas were
slain. See Lopez’s Hist. of Congo.

About the same time, we find in _Dappus de l'Afrique_, the following

“The natives of Angola are tall and strong but, like the rest of the
Ethiopians, they are so very lazy and indolent, that although their soil
is admirably adapted to the raising of cattle and the production of
grain, they allow both to be destroyed by the wild beasts with which the
country abounds. The advantages which they enjoy from climate and soil
are thus neglected. * * * We are told that the people in some of the
idolatrous provinces still feed on human flesh, and prefer it to all
other; so that a dead slave gives a higher price in market than a living
one. The cannibals are in all probability descended from the barbarous
race of the Giagas, by whom the greater part of the eastern and
south-eastern provinces were peopled. One most inhuman custom still
prevails in this part of the kingdom, and that is, the sacrificing of a
number of human victims at the burial of their dead, in testimony of the
respect in which their memory is held. The number of these unhappy
victims is therefore always in proportion to the rank and wealth of the
deceased; and their bodies are afterwards piled up in a heap upon their
tombs. * * * This prince (Angola Chilvagni) became a great warrior,
enlarged the Angolic dominions, and died much regretted; and was
succeeded by his son, Dambi Angola. Unlike his father, he is described
as a monster of cruelty, and, happily for his subjects, his reign was of
short duration. Nevertheless, he was buried with great magnificence;
and, according to the barbarous custom of the country, a mound was
erected over his grave, filled with the bones of human victims, who had
been sacrificed to his manes.”

“He was succeeded by Ngola Chilvagni, a warlike and cruel prince, who
carried his victorious arms within a few leagues of Loando. * * *
Intoxicated with success, he fancied himself a God, and claimed divine
honours. * * * Ngingha was elected his successor, a prince of so cruel a
disposition that all his subjects wished his death; which, happily for
them, soon arrived. Nevertheless, he was buried with the usual pomp,
with the usual number of sacrifices. His son and successor, Bandi
Angola, discovered a disposition still more cruel than his father’s. * *
* To counteract these and other idolatrous rites, and to soften that
barbarity of manners which so generally prevailed, the Portuguese, when
they established themselves in the country, (1578,) were at great pains
to introduce the invaluable blessings of Christianity. * * * so that
from the year 1580 to 1590, we are informed, no less a number than
20,000 were converted and publicly professed Christianity.” * *

“Her remains were no sooner deposited beside her sisters, in the church
which she had built, than Mona Zingha declared his abhorrence to
Christianity, and revived the horrid Giagan rites. Five women, of the
first rank, were by his orders buried in the queen’s grave, and upwards
of forty persons of distinction were next sacrificed. * * * He wrote the
viceroy at Loando, that he had abjured the Christian religion, which he
said he had formerly embraced merely out of respect * * * to his queen,
and that he now returned to the ancient sect of the Giagas. That there
might remain no doubt of his sincerity in that declaration, he followed
it with the sacrifice of a great number of victims, in honour of their
bloody and idolatrous rites, with the destruction of all Christian
churches and chapels, and with the persecution of the Christians in all
parts of his kingdom.”

And we may here remark that even the nations of the coast could never be
persuaded to abolish human sacrifice, nor to the introduction of
Christianity, to any extent, until after the introduction of the
slave-trade with christian nations. See also Osborn’s Collection of
Travels, vol. ii. p. 537; Mod. Universal Hist. vol. 43; and Edin. Encyc.
vol. ii. pp. 107, 109, 110, 113.

Over two hundred years ago, and during the reign of Charles I. of
England, Sir Thomas Herbert, (not Lord Edward Herbert, who wrote a
deistical book, entitled, “Truth,”) a gentleman of most elevated
connection, and a scholar devoted to science and general literature,
with a mind adorned by poetry and influenced by the strongest impulses
of human sympathy; and one, of whom Lord Fairfax said,

                 “He travelled, not with lucre sotted,
                 But went for knowledge—and he got it!”

This author, in his Tour in Africa, writes thus: “The inhabitants here
along the Golden coast of Guinea, and Benin, bounded with Tombotu,
(Timbuctoo,) Gualata, and Mellis, and watered by the great river Niger,
but, especially in the Mediterranean (inland) parts, know no God, nor
are at all willing to be instructed by nature—“Scire nihil
jucundissimum.” Howbeit the Divel, who will not want his ceremonie, has
infused prodigious idolatry into their hearts, enough to relish his
pallet, and aggrandize their tortures, where he gets power to fry their
souls, as the raging sun has scorched their cole-black carcasses. * * *
Those countries are full of black-skinned wretches, rich in earth, as
abounding with the best minerals and with elephants, but miserable in
Demonomy. * * * Let one character serve for all. For colour they
resemble chimney-sweepers; unlike them in this, they are of no
profession, except rapine and villany make one; for here, _Demonis omnia
plena_. * * * But in Loango and the Anziqui the people are little other
than divels incarnate; not satisfied with nature’s treasures, as gold,
precious stones, flesh in variety, and the like; the destruction of men
and women neighbouring them, whose dead carcasses they devour with a
vulture relish and appetite; whom if they miss, they serve their friends
such scurvy sauce, butchering them, and thinking they excuse all in a
compliment that they know no better way to express love than in making
two bodies in one, by an inseparable union; yea, some, as some report,
proffering themselves to the shambles, accordingly are disjointed and
set to sale upon the stalls. * * * The natives of Africa being
propagated from Cham, both in their visages and natures, seem to inherit
his malediction. * * * They are very brutes. A dog was of that value
here that twenty salvages (slaves) have been exchanged for one of them;
but of late years the exchange here made for negroes, to transport into
the Cariba isles and continent of America, is become a considerable

It will be remembered how great have been the exertions of the British
Government to abolish totally the slave-trade in Africa. A great number
of slave ships were captured, and the negroes found on board sent to
Sierra Leone. Strong hopes were entertained that “_poor, suffering
Africa_” was about to be civilized.

We quote from the Hibernian Auxiliary Missionary Report, Christian
Observer, 1820, pages 888 and 889:

“The slave-trade, which like the (fabled) upas, blasts all that is
wholesome in its vicinity, has, in one important instance, been here
overruled for good. It has been made the means of assembling on one
spot, and that on a Christian soil, individuals from almost every nation
of the western coast of Africa. It has been made the means of
introducing to civilization and religion many hundreds from the interior
of that vast continent, who had never seen the face of a white man, nor
heard the name of Jesus. And it will be made the means under God of
sending to the nations beyond the Niger and the Zaire, native
missionaries who will preach the Redeemer in the utmost parts of the
country, and enable their countrymen to hear in their own tongue the
wonderful works of God. European avarice and native profligacy leave no
part of Africa unexplored for victims; and these slaves, rescued by our
cruisers, and landed on the shores of our colony, are received by our
missionaries and placed in their schools.”

The sympathies of the world were excited on this subject, and every
civilized heart cried _amen_, in union with the impulsive feelings of
this Hibernian Report.

But let us remember to inquire a little into the facts, and examine
whether these hopes were well or ill founded. We quote from vol. xix. of
the Christian Observer, page 890:

“Mr. Johnson was appointed to the care of Regent’s Town, in the month of
June, 1816. On looking narrowly into the actual condition of the people
intrusted to his care, he felt great discouragement. Natives of
twenty-two different nations were there collected together. A
considerable number of them had been but recently liberated from the
holds of slave-vessels. They were greatly prejudiced against one
another, and in a state of continual hostility, with no common medium of
intercourse but a little broken English. When clothing was given to
them, they would sell it, or throw it away: it was difficult to induce
them to put it on; and it was not found practicable to introduce it
among them, until led to it by the example of Mr. Johnson’s
servant-girl. None of them, on their first arrival, seemed to live in a
state of marriage; some of them were soon afterwards married by the late
Mr. Butscher; but all the blessings of the marriage state and of female
purity appeared to be quite unknown. * * * Superstition, in various
forms, tyrannized over their minds; many devil’s houses sprang up, and
all placed their security in wearing gregrees. Scarcely any desire of
improvement was discernable. * * * Some, who wished to cultivate the
soil, were deterred from doing so by the fear of being plundered of the
produce. Some would live in the woods, apart from society; and others
subsisted by thieving and plunder: they would steal poultry and pigs
from any who possessed them, and would eat them raw; and not a few of
them, particularly of the Eboe nation, the most savage of them all,
would prefer any kind of refuse meat to the rations which they received
from Government.”

Doubtless Mr. Johnson and his successors have done all that good men
could do, even under the protection of the British Government; but have
they, in the least, affected the slave-trade of Africa, otherwise than
to divert its direction, or have they diminished it to any observable
extent? True, its course has been changed, and its enormities thereby
increased tenfold. Instead of its subjects being brought under the
regenerating influences of Christianity, they are sacrificed at the
shrine of friends at home, or sent among pagans or Mohammedans! Let the
Christian philosopher think of these things.

While we recollect the proclamation of the Emperor of Bourno, let us
look at the slave-trade as now carried on with the Barbary States, the
Arab tribes, and Egypt and Asia, as well as Turkey in Europe. We quote
from “Burckhart’s Travels in Nubia,” as reported in the Christian
Observer, vol. xix. p. 459:

“The author had a most favourable opportunity of collecting intelligence
and making observations on this subject, (slavery,) as connected with
the northeastern parts of Africa by travelling with companies of slaves
and slave-merchants through the deserts of Nubia. * * * The chief mart
in the Nubian mountains, for the Egyptian and the Arabian slave-trade,
is Shendy. * * * To this emporium, slaves are brought from various parts
of the interior, and particularly from the idolatrous * * * tribes in
the vicinity of Darfour, Bozgho, and Dar Saley.”

Our traveller calculated the number sold annually in the market of
Shendy at five thousand. “Far the larger part of these slaves are under
the age of fifteen.”

See page 460: “Few slaves are imported into Egypt without changing
masters several times. * * * A slave, for example, purchased at Fertit,
is transferred at least six times before he arrives at Cairo. These
rapid changes, as might be expected, are productive of great hardship to
the unfortunate individuals, especially in the toilsome journey across
the deserts. Burckhart saw on sale at Shendy, many children of four or
five years old, _without their parents_. * * * Burckhart has entered
into the details of cruelties of another kind, practised on the slaves
to raise their pecuniary value. The particulars are not suitable for a
work of miscellaneous perusal. * * * The great mart, however, for the
supply of European and Asiatic Turkey with the kind of slaves required
as guardians for the harem, Mr. Burckhart informs us, is not at Shendy,
but at a village near Siout, in Upper Egypt, _inhabited chiefly by
Christians_.” (Abyssinians, we suppose.)

The mode of marching slaves is described as follows: “On the journey,
they are tied to a long pole, one end of which is tied to a camel’s
saddle, and the other, which is forked, is passed on each side of the
slave’s neck, and tied behind with a strong cord, so as to prevent him
drawing out his head: in addition to this, his right hand is also
fastened to the pole, at a short distance from the head, thus leaving
only his legs and left arm at liberty. In this manner he marches the
whole day behind the camel: at night he is taken from the pole and put
in irons. While on the route to Souakim, I saw several slaves carried
along in this way. Their owners were afraid of their escaping, or of
becoming themselves the objects of their vengeance; and in this manner
they would continue to be confined until sold to a master, who,
intending to keep them, would endeavour to attach them to his person. In
general, the traders seem greatly to dread the effects of sudden
resentment in their slaves; and if a grown-up boy is to be whipped, his
master first puts him in irons.”

Page 333: “Females with children on their backs follow the caravans on
foot; and if a camel breaks down, the owner generally loads his slaves
with the packages; and if a boy in the evening can only obtain a little
butter with his _dhourra_ bread, and some grease every two or three days
to smear his body and hair, he is contented, and never complains of
fatigue. Another cause which induces the merchants to treat the slaves
well (?) is their anxiety to dissipate the horror which the negroes all
entertain of Egypt and the white people. It is a common opinion in the
black slave countries that the Ouleder Rif, or children of Rif, as the
Egyptians are there called, devour the slaves, who are transported
thither for that purpose: of course, the traders do every thing in their
power to destroy this belief; but, notwithstanding all their endeavours,
it is never eradicated from the mind of the slaves.”

Page 462: “The manners of the people of Souakim are the same as those I
have already described in the interior, and I have reason to believe
that they are common to the whole of eastern Africa, including
Abyssinia, where the character of the inhabitants, as drawn by Bruce,
seems little different from that of these Nubians. I regret that I am
compelled to represent all the nations of Africa which I have yet seen,
in so bad a light.”

We next quote from the Family Magazine, 1836, page 439, as follows:
“Many of the Dayaks have a rough, scaly scurf on their skin, like the
Jacong of the Malay Peninsula. * * * The female slaves of this race,
which are found among the Malays, have no appearance of it. * * * With
regard to their funeral ceremonies, the corpse * * * remains in the
house till the son, the father, or the next of blood, can procure or
purchase a slave, who is beheaded at the time the corpse is burned, in
order that he may become the _slave_ of the deceased in the next world.
* * * Nobody can be permitted to marry till he can present a human head
of some other tribe to his proposed bride. * * * The head-hunter
proceeds in the most cautious manner to the vicinity of the villages of
another tribe, and lies in ambush till he can surprise some heedless,
unsuspecting wretch, who is instantly decapitated. * * * When the hunter
returns, the whole village is filled with joy, and old and young, men
and women, hurry out to meet him, and conduct him, with the sound of
brazen cymbals, dancing, in long lines, to the house of the female he
admires, whose family likewise come out to greet him with dances, and
provide him with a seat, and give him meat and drink. He holds the
bloody head still in his hand, and puts part of the food into his mouth,
after which the females of the family receive the head from him, which
they hang up to the ceiling over the door. If a man’s wife die, he is
not permitted to make proposals of marriage to another till he has
procured another head of a different tribe. The heads they procure in
this manner, they preserve with great care, and sometimes consult in
divination. The religious opinions connected with this practice are by
no means correctly understood: some assert they believe that every
person whom a man kills in this world becomes his _slave_ in the next. *
* * The practice of stealing heads causes frequent wars among the tribes
of the Idean. Many persons never can obtain a head; in which case they
are generally despised by the warriors and the women. To such a height
is it carried, however, that a person who has obtained eleven heads has
been seen, and at the same time he pointed out his son who, a young lad,
had procured three.”

James Edward Alexander, H.L.S., during the years 1836 and 1837, made an
excursion from the Cape of Good Hope into the interior of South Africa
and the countries of the Namaquas, Boschmans, and Hill Damaras, under
the auspices of Her Majesty’s Government and the Royal Geographical
Society, which has been published in two volumes; from which we extract,
vol. i. page 126: “I was anxious to ascertain the extent of knowledge
among the tribe (Damaras) with which I now dwelt; to learn what they
knew of themselves, and of men and things in general; but I must say
that they positively know nothing beyond tracing game and breaking in
jack-oxen. They did not know one year from another; they only knew that
at certain times the trees and flowers bloom, and then rain was
expected. As to their own age, they knew no more what it was than
idiots. Some even had no names. Of numbers, of course, they were nearly
or quite ignorant; few could count above five; and he was a clever
fellow who could count his ten fingers. Above all they had not the least
idea of God or of a future state. They were, literally like the beasts
which perish.”

Page 163, 164, and 165: “At Chubeeches the people were very poor. * * *
Standing in need of a shepherd, I observed here two or three fine little
Damara boys, as black as ebony. * * * I said to the old woman to whom
Saul belonged, ‘You have two boys, and they are starving; you have
nothing to give them.’ ‘This is true,’ she replied. ‘Will you part with
Saul?’ said I; ‘I want a shepherd, and the boy wants to go with me.’
‘You will find him too cunning,’ returned the old dame. ‘I want a clever
fellow,’ said I. ‘Very well,’ she replied; ‘give me four cotton
handkerchiefs and he is yours.’ ‘Suppose,’ said I, ‘you take two
handkerchiefs and two strings of glass beads?’ ‘Yes! that will do;’ and
so the bargain was closed; and thus a good specimen of Damara flesh and
blood was bought for the value of about four shillings. * * * I told him
to go and bring his skins; on which he informed me that he had none,
saving what he stood in—and that was his own sable hide, with the
addition of the usual strap of leather around his waist, from which hung
a piece of jackal’s skin in front. Constant exposure to the vicissitudes
of the weather, without clothes, hardens the skin of the body like that
of the face; and still it is difficult to sleep at nights without proper
covering. In cold weather, the poor creatures of Namaqua Land, who may
have no karosses, sit cowering over a fire all night, and merely doze
with their heads on their knees.”

Vol. ii. page 23: “Can any state of society be considered more low and
brutal than that in which promiscuous intercourse is viewed with the
most perfect indifference; where it is not only practised, but spoken of
without any shame or compunction? Some rave about the glorious liberty
of the savage state, and about the innocence of the children of nature,
and say that it is chiefly by the white men that they become corrupt.
The Boschmans of Ababres had never seen white men before; they were far
removed from the influence of the Europeans.”

Vol. i. page 102: “Notwithstanding that some people maintain that there
is no nation on earth without religion in some form, however faintly it
may be traced in their minds, yet, after much diligent inquiry, I could
not discover the slightest feeling of devotion towards a higher and
invisible power among the Hill Damaras.”

In Mohammedan countries, the most unfavourable portions of the slave’s
existence, as such, is while in the hands of the geeleb, or
slave-merchant, and until he is sold to one who designs to keep him
permanently. In the first instance, if negroes, they suffer much in the
journey from the place of purchase to that of sale. For instance, it has
been known, in the journey from Sennaar and Darfour to the slave-mart at
Cairo, or even the intermediate one at Siout, the loss in a slave
caravan, of men, women, camels, and horses, amounted to not less than
4000. The circumstances of the mart itself scarcely appear in a more
favourable aspect than those of the journey,—whether we regard the
miserable beings, as in the market at Cairo, crowded together in
enclosures like the sheep-pens in Smithfield market, amid the abominable
stench and uncleanness which result from their confinement; whether, as
at another great mart at Muscat, we perceive the dealer walking to and
fro, with a stick in his hand, between two lots of ill-clothed boy and
girls, whom he is offering for sale, proclaiming aloud, as he passes,
the price fixed on each; or else leading his string of slaves through
the narrow and dirty streets, and calling out their prices as he
exhibits them in this ambulatory auction. * * * The slaves, variously
exhibited, usually appear quite indifferent to the process, or only show
an anxiety to be sold, from knowing that as slaves, finally purchased,
their condition will be much ameliorated. * * * How little slavery is
dreaded is also shown by the fact that even _Mohammedan parents or
relatives_ are, in cases of emergency, ready enough to offer their
children for sale. During the famine which a few years since drove the
people of Mosul to Bengal, one could not pass the streets without being
annoyed by the solicitations of parents to purchase their boys and girls
for the merest trifle; and even in Koordistan, where no constraining
motive appeared to exist, we have been sounded as to our willingness to
purchase young members of the family. Europeans in the East are scarcely
considered amenable to any general rules, but Christians generally are
not allowed to possess any other than negro slaves.” _London Penny Mag._
1834, pp. 243, 244; also, _Sketches of Persia_, and _Johnson’s Journey
from India_.


                               LESSON XV.

Quotations from books of authority, portraying the universal state of
degradation of the African hordes, may be made to an unlimited extent.
Our object has been to present some idea of what the negro is in his own
country, when beyond the influence of American slavery. We will now
advance some views of him and his race, as they present themselves _in_
this American slavery. And here let us premise that the population of
the African tribes is estimated at 50,000,000, 40,000,000 of whom are
deemed to be slaves, that the wars among them are not so much wars to
make freemen slaves, as they are to appropriate the slaves of one owner
to the rightful ownership of another, according to their notions of law
and their customs of right. Among them, conquest always subjects to
slavery. When slaves take a captive, he is the property of their master.
Slavery exists there according to their laws and customs; and there is
no evidence, nor in fact is it probable, that even the slave-trade with
America has ever increased the extent or degree of slavery in Africa.

We quote from a truly able and sympathetic writer, J. Morier’s “Second
Journey through Persia,” as reported in the Christian Observer, vol.
xvi. page 808:

“During the time we were at the Brazils, the slave-trade was in full
vigour, and a visit to the slave-market impressed us more with the
iniquity of this traffic than any other thing that could be said or
written on the subject. On each side of the street where the market was
held, were large rooms in which the negroes were kept; and during the
day, they were seen in melancholy groups, waiting to be delivered from
the hands of the trader, whose dreadful economy might be traced in their
persons, which at that time were little better than skeletons. If such
were their state on shore, with the advantage of air and space, what
must have been their condition on board the ship that brought them
hither? It is not unfrequent that slaves escape to the woods, where they
are almost as frequently retaken. When this is the case, they have an
iron collar put about their necks, with a long hooked arm extending from
it, to impede their progress through the woods, in case they should
abscond a second time. Yet amid all this misery, it was pleasing to
observe the many negroes who frequented the churches, and to see them,
in form and profession, at least making a part of a Christian

Mr. Morier’s statement may bear testimony to abuses of slavery; but it
certainly bears testimony to another thing more important to the slave.
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” _Prov._ ix. 10.

And we here beg leave to remark that we shall, in all instances, draw
our proofs from the enemies of the institution. We quote from Berbick’s
Notes on America, page 20, and reported in vol. xvi. of the Christian
Observer, published in London, May 10th, page 109:

“I saw two female slaves and their children sold by auction in the
street; an incident of common occurrence here, though horrifying to
myself and many other strangers. I could hardly bear to see them handled
and examined like cattle; and when I heard their sobs and saw the _big
tears_ rolling down their cheeks at the thought of being separated, I
could not refrain from weeping with them.”

This may have been very cruel in the white man; but who has ever heard
of a negro in Africa displaying such a strength of tenderness and
feeling of sympathy as here manifested? And how are we to account for it
in this instance, if not by the regenerating influence of a few
generations in American and Christian slavery? However slow the action,
the condition of the mental faculties was improved and the moral
condition ameliorated. But in the same page, he says—

“A traveller told me that he saw, a few weeks ago, one hundred and
twenty sold by auction in the streets of Richmond, and that they filled
the air with their lamentations.”

The case of the women was not solitary, and doubtless we shall find such
proof of an improved state of the affections quite common. But this good
man continuously pursues the subject:

“It has also been confidently alleged, that the condition of slaves in
Virginia, under the mild treatment they are said to experience, is
preferable to that of our English labourers. I know and lament the
degrading state of dependent poverty to which the latter have been
gradually reduced by the operation of laws originally designed for their
comfort and protection. I know also that many slaves pass their lives in
comparative ease, and seem to be unconscious of their bonds, and that
the _most wretched_ of our paupers might even envy the allotment of the
_happy_ negro.”

We will now quote from Lieutenant Francis Hall, of the British Light
Dragoons. In his Travels in Canada and the United States, published in
London, 1818, pages 357 to 360, he says—

“I took the boat this morning, and crossed the ferry over to Portsmouth,
the small town which I told you was opposite to this place, (Norfolk.)
It was court-day, and a large crowd of people was gathered about the
door of the court-house. I had hardly got upon the steps to look in,
when my ears were assailed by the voice of singing, and turning round to
observe from what quarter it came, I saw a group of about thirty
negroes, of different sizes and ages, following a rough-looking white
man, who sat carelessly lolling in his sulkey. They had just turned
round the corner, and were coming up the main street, to pass by the
spot where I stood, on their way out of town. As they came nearer, I saw
some of them loaded with chains to prevent their escape, while others
had hold of each other’s hands, strongly grasped, as if to support
themselves in their affliction. I particularly noticed a poor mother,
with an infant, as she walked along, while two small children had hold
of her apron on either side, almost running, to keep up with the rest.
They came along singing a little wild hymn, of sweet and mournful
melody, flying, by Divine instinct of the heart, to the consolations of
religion, the last refuge of the unhappy, to support them in their

We have no knowledge of Lieutenant Hall’s powers of deduction, nor of
what he thought this _story_ proved. But it will surely give us new
views of Africa, if he will travel there, and find such a scene there,
among the many slaves he may _now_ see naked, tied to poles, and leaving
their country for ever. The world has been flooded with stories of this
description, some of which prove the abuses of slavery, but all of them
prove some amelioration, both mentally and physically, in the condition
of the slave here, when compared with the condition of the African at
home, whether bond or free.

Mr. Barnes has admitted one into his book, pages 136, 137, and 138,
which adds strength to our position: its length excludes a copy. We
quote again from the Christian Observer, vol. xv. p. 541: “Missions of
the United Brethren at Surinam.”—Mr. Campbell writes: “On the
plantations and at Sommelsdyk there was a great desire among the negroes
to hear the gospel, which finds entrance into many of their hearts. * *
* At Paramaribo, the negro congregation consisted, at the close of 1813,
of 550.” “On the 30th of August, 1814, the same missionary writes that
the word of God among the negroes in Paramaribo continues to increase,
and we have great reason to rejoice and take courage when we see marked
proofs of the Divine blessing upon our feeble ministry.” See page 542.
“Antigua.”—“A letter from this island, dated, Grace Hill, Jan. 14th,
1814. * * * The congregation of Christian negroes at this place
consisted, at the close of 1813, of 2087 persons.” Again, page 543:
“Some poor negroes, who, although they sigh under the pressure of
slavery and various hardships, or ailments of body, seek consolation and
refreshment from the meritorious passion of Jesus, are enabled, with
tears of joy, to lay hold on these words of Scripture: ‘I reckon that
the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with
the glory which shall be revealed in us.’” Again, p. 554: “Jamaica.”—Mr.
Lang, the missionary, writes thus, on the 5th February, 1814: “It
pleases the Lord still to bless our labours with success, so as to
encourage us to believe that he has thoughts of peace regarding the
negroes in Jamaica also, and will visit them yet more generally with his
salvation,” &c. Page 546: “Danish Islands.—The number of Christian
negroes belonging to the different missions in the Danish Islands, was,
at the end of 1813, as follows:

                   At Friedensthal, St. Croix   5,100
                    ” Friedensberg      ”       2,396
                    ” New Hernhutt, St. Thomas    949
                    ” Nisky               ”     1,304
                    ” Bethany, St. Jan            474
                    ” Emmaus        ”             952
                      Total                    11,175

“_St. Kitts._—On the 10th August, 1814, the missionaries write that they
have lately had several very pleasing instances of negroes departing
this life in reliance on the merits of the Saviour, with great joy and
the sure and steadfast hope of everlasting life.”

Among us it seems to be but little known what have been the providences
of God towards the slaves of the West Indies. The following sketch is
taken from the Report of the Moravian Missionaries, as found in the
Christian Observer, vol. xvi. page 64:

_Missions to the Slaves in the_

 DANISH ISLANDS.        When begun.     No. of                   No. of
                                        Settlements.      Missionaries.

  St. Thomas          }                 2                             }

  St. Croix           } 1732            3                          } 32

  St. Jan.            }                 2                             }


  Jamaica               1754            4                            10

  Antigua             { 1756            3 }                          16

                      { 1817            1 }

  St. Kitts             1775            1                             4

  Barbadoes.            1738            3                            11


   generally.         } 1765            1                             4

                                        ——                           ——

                                        20                           77

The Dutch took possession of the Cape of Good Hope in 1650. Slaves from
various parts of Africa, Mozambique, and the Malay Islands were
introduced; we have no means of knowing to what extent. Somerville found
the city of Cape Town to contain 1145 houses, 5500 white and free people
of colour, and 10,000 slaves. In all of the years 1736–1792, and 1818,
the Moravians established 27 missionaries to the blacks. But they, nor
no other people, have ever been able to produce any considerable effect
there, or elsewhere, upon the natives, except upon such as were in
slavery among a Christian people. The sound of the gospel had no charms
for the wild, roving savage.

But, as reported in the Christian Observer, vol. xiv. page 830, Campbell
says—“In the colony of the Cape of Good Hope, considerable efforts have
been made of late, particularly by Sir John Cradock, aided by the zeal
of the colonial chaplain, the Rev. Mr. Jones, to diffuse the blessings
of Christian instruction, not only among the slaves, but among all
classes. * * * Several of the negroes read the New Testament tolerably
well, and repeat questions from Walls’s Catechism: on the Lord’s day
they were well-dressed, and attended church.” But, page 829, same vol.:
“At Cape Town, Mohammedanism is much on the increase. The free
Mohammedans are strenuous in their efforts to make proselytes among the
slaves,” &c.

We have endeavoured to show that the providences of God towards the
African races in slavery to Christian nations, tend to their deliverance
from idolatry, and to their restoration to an acceptable worship of the
true God. And may we not inquire whether the introduction to this
worship was not foretold by the prophets? “Thus saith the Lord, The
labour of Egypt, and merchandise of Ethiopia and of the Sabeans, men of
stature, shall come over unto thee, and they shall be thine: they shall
come after thee; in chains they shall come over, and they shall fall
down unto thee, they shall make supplication unto thee, saying,
_Surely_, God is in thee; and _there_ is none else, there _is_ no God”
_beside_. Isa. xlv. 14.

“From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia, my suppliants, even the daughters
of my dispersed, shall bring mine offering.”

“I will also leave in the midst of thee an afflicted and poor people,
and they shall trust in the name of the Lord.” _Zeph._ iii. 10, 12.

The progress of the Christian religion among the slaves of the United
States is known to the world, and needs no mention here. No such
accounts have ever come from the African tribes at any period of time.
These indications of the providence of God seem to show that he smiles
upon the institution of African slavery in all Christian lands, and
“that its tendencies are to elevate the black man, and make him more
intelligent and happy than he would be in his own land, and that it has
a benevolent bearing on the welfare of the slave in this world and the
world to come.”


                              LESSON XVI.

Our limits will not permit an extended accumulation of the testimony
showing the degenerate condition of the African hordes, nor of those
facts showing the ameliorating effect of American slavery upon that race
of mankind. A large volume would not contain more than an abstract. This
effect is obvious to any one acquainted with the race; while the deep
degradation of the races from which they have descended has caused some
_philosophers_ to adopt the opinion that they are not of a common origin
with the white races of the earth. But we present the doctrine that
sin—that any want of conformity to the laws of God touching our health
and happiness, our physical and mental improvement and condition, has a
direct tendency to deteriorate the animal man, and that a general
abandonment and disregard of such laws, through a long series of
generations, will be sufficient to account for the lowest degradation
found to exist. We believe there is truth in the saying, “The fathers
have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge;” that,
when the progenitors for a series of ages manifest some particular
quality or tendency of action, the same may be found, even in an
increased degree, in their descendants; and that this principle holds
true to some extent through the whole animal world. Further, that such
progressive tendency to some particular mental or physical condition may
be obviated, and its action reversed, by a sufficient controlling
influence or force.

And if it shall be found that there may be truth in this position, we
might submit the inquiry: If God in his wisdom foresaw that the family
of Jacob would become so degraded, in one generation, that it would
require the counteracting influence of four hundred years of slavery to
place them in a condition fit to receive and enjoy the blessings
promised their fathers; how long will it require a similar state of
control to produce a like renovation among the descendants of Ham, the
degraded Africans? But we think, so far as the inquiry can interest us,
it has been answered by St. Paul: “Let as many servants (δοῦλοι,
_douloi_, _slaves_) as are under the yoke, count their own masters
worthy of all honour, that the name of God and his doctrine be not
blasphemed. And they that have believing masters, let them not despise
them because they are brethren; but rather do _them_ service
(δουλευέτωσαν, _be slaves to them_,) because they are faithful and
beloved partakers of the benefit. These things teach and exhort. If any
man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even to the
words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according
to godliness, he is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions
and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil
surmisings, perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute
of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw
thyself. But godliness, with contentment, is great gain, for we brought
nothing into this world, and it is certain that we can carry nothing
out; and having food and raiment, let us be therewith content. But they
that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many
foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.
For the love of money is the root of all evil; which while some covet
after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through
with many sorrows. But thou, O man of God! flee these things; and follow
after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. Fight
the good fight of faith; lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art
also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.
I give thee charge, in the sight of God who quickeneth all things, and
before Jesus Christ, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good
confession, that thou keep this commandment (ἐντολήν, _an order_, _a
command_, _a precept_, _a charge_, _injunction_) _without spot_
(ἄσπιλον, _free from stain_, _spotless_, _faultless_), unrebukable
(ἀνεπίληπτον, _of whom no hold can be taken_, _not to be attacked_,
_irreprehensible_), until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1
_Tim._ vi. 1–14.

Thus St. Paul has told us how long this doctrine shall be taught; that
it shall be taught free from any alteration, change; free from any
stain, pure and spotless; and that his manner of teaching it shall be
plain, simple, open, and bold; so that there could be no hold taken of
him; and the doctrines, instructions, counsels and commands here given
were to be so taught, until the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

But Mr. Barnes says, page 194—

“If we may draw an inference also from this case, (the Hebrews in
Egypt,) in regard to the manner in which God would have such a people
(slaves in America) restored to freedom, it would be in favour of
immediate emancipation.”

God himself sentenced the Hebrews to slavery for four hundred years.
“And when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and lo,
a horror of great darkness fell upon him. And he said unto Abram, Know
of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not
theirs, and shall serve (וַֽעֲבָדֽוּם _va æbadum_, _shall be slaves to_,
_or shall slave themselves to_) them, and they shall afflict them four
hundred years.” _Gen._ xv. 12, 13. At the expiration of which time he
delivered them from it. An instance drawn from their case can be
legitimately applied only to one where the term of servitude has been

God made no attempt to liberate the Hebrews until the expiration of the
term allotted them for servitude. Mr. Barnes evidently applies his
inference to the abolition of the institution generally, and thus places
himself in opposition to St. Paul. But our mind has come to the decision
that the apostle is the higher authority. And the inquiry is also left
upon the mind, whether, in the matter of his whole book, Mr. Barnes has
not “run before he was sent;” whereby he may have subjected himself to
the mortification of again seeing, in his own case, the counsels of
Achitophel turned into foolishness.


                              LESSON XVII.

Mr. Barnes has quoted some few passages of Scripture to which he applies
a meaning we deem erroneous; but we attach no blame to him on this
account; because our English version itself, of the passages referred
to, has a tendency to lead to an inadequate conception of the idea
conveyed by the original. The doctor says, page 128—“That even the
servant that was _bought_ was to have compensation for his labour; and
there are some general principles laid down, which, if applied, would
lead to that: thus, _Jer._ xxii. 13, 'Wo unto him that buildeth his
house by unrighteousness, and his chambers by wrong; that uses his
neighbour’s _service_ without wages, and giveth him not for his work.'”
He quotes this same passage for the same purpose, pp. 353 and 360, and
seems to regard it as a secure pillar, and on which he founds his
doctrines. The words, “_that_ useth his neighbour’s service without
wages, and giveth him not for his work,” are translated from

                  מִשְׁפָּ֑ט בְּרֵעֵ֨הוּ֙ יַֽעֲבֹ֣ד חִנָּ֔ם וּפֹֽעֲל֖וֹ לֹֽא יִתֶּן־לֽוֹ׃

The passage admits of two additional readings, thus: _Who shall judge
for a neighbour as to his slave undeservedly no wages, no gifts_; or,
_Who shall have adjudged as to his neighbour that he shall slave
himself, undeservedly or gratuitously, without wages or reward_. The
meaning is: _Who shall corruptly judge that his neighbour shall not
receive wages or compensation for the services of his slave_; or, that
the neighbour himself shall so slave himself to another without wages or
compensation. The word עֶבֶד _a slave_ is often used as a verb, to
express such action as would be that of a slave.

On page 67, Mr. Barnes says—“The word, ἀνδραποδίστης, _andrapodistĕs_,
occurs once, 1 _Tim._ i. 10, with the most marked disapprobation of the
thing denoted by it. ‘The law is made for murderers of fathers,
murderers of mothers, for manslayers, for whoremongers, for
_man-stealers_, for liars,’ &c.”

The truth is, that the word δουλος, _doulos_, is the peculiar word to
denote slavery, and is so used in the New Testament and everywhere else;
but this word also means _slave_, &c., and is never used disconnected
from the idea of slavery, but carries with it the idea of some change,
as to _place_, _condition_, _possession_, or _ownership_. We shall
notice how some men are striving to change the Greek, as to the meaning
of the word δοῦλος, _doulos_, because, unless they do so, the New
Testament is strongly against them. However, of the word used in 1 Tim.
i. 10, ἀνδραποδισταῖς, _andrapodistais_, it is true, that it is used
“with the most marked disapprobation of the thing denoted by it;” and it
is just as true that the thing denoted by it is _the stealing and
enticing away other men’s slaves_! _Slave-stealers_ is its only and
legitimate meaning in the place used. Had St. Paul intended to express
the idea, _men-stealers_, he would have used the word ἀνθροποκλεπταῖς,
_anthropokleptais_; which would have expressed the very thing wanted by
Mr. Barnes. We shall examine these words in another portion of our
study. But Mr. Barnes does not appear to be aware why it was that St.
Paul instructed Timothy that the law was made for _slave-stealers_: for
whose benefit we will explain; and by which explanation he will learn
that the abolitionists commenced their labours during the days of the
apostles. From some of the relations of Christianity, not well
understood by the Gentile churches, the idea was entertained by some
that the operation of Christianity abolished the bonds of matrimony
between a believing and an unbelieving party; that it abolished the
authority of an unbelieving parent over a believing child; that it
abolished slavery in case the slave was converted to the faith, and
especially if the master belonged to the household of God. On these
subjects and others, the Corinthian church addressed St. Paul for
instruction and advice. It is to be regretted that their letter has not
come down to us; but, we can gather what it contained, from the answer
of St. Paul: “Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me.” 1
_Cor._ vii. 1.

Touching the subject before us, see his answer in the 20th to the 25th
verse; and the same subject continued in _Eph._ vi. 5–10; also _Col._
iii. 22–25; he found it necessary to instruct Titus on this subject: see
_Tit._ ii. 9–15, and, finally, as in the passage before us, and also vi.
1–15. St. Peter also found it necessary to correct the errors of these
abolitionists, and to give them instruction on this subject. 1 _Pet._
ii. 18–25.

Had St. Paul regarded slavery as an evil, he certainly had no excuse for
not denouncing it. Nor do we know of any of the early fathers of the
church that did so. St. Ignatius, in his second epistle to Polycarp,
says—“Overlook not the men and maid _servants_. Let them be the more
subject to the glory of God, that they may obtain from him a better
liberty. Let them not desire to be set _free_ at public cost, that they
be not slaves to their own lusts.” See also, _General Epistle of
Barnabas_, xiv. 15: “Thou shalt not be bitter in thy commands towards
any of thy servants that trust in God, lest thou chance not to fear him
who is over both; because he came not to call any with respect to
persons, but whomsoever the Spirit prepared.”

Such is the construction of the human mind, and of human language, that
whenever a thing is made a subject of remark, or merely brought to mind,
it, of necessity, must be so, in one of three positions: either a thing
to be commended; to be reprehended; or as a thing of total indifference.
A glaring sin and gross evil could not have been a thing of indifference
to Jesus Christ and his apostles. They, therefore, cannot be supposed to
have acted honestly in not condemning a sin, when by them mentioned, or
brought to mind. It is a supposition too gross for refutation!

But it is conceded by Mr. Barnes, page 260, that “the apostles did not
openly denounce slavery as an evil, or require that those who were held
in bondage should be at once emancipated. * * * These things seem to me
to lie on the face of the New Testament; and whatever argument they may
furnish to the advocates of slavery in disposing of these facts, it
seems plain that the facts themselves cannot be denied.”

The facts, then, must stand in commendation and approval. They cannot be
got rid of by arguing ever so ingeniously, that Jesus Christ and his
apostles were cunning; that they acted with prudence; that they
dexterously taught it to be an evil by implication; or that they acted
with deep-seated and far-reaching expediency; nor by any other
subterfuge by which the enemies of God are striving to mould his essence
and character into an idol to suit themselves.


                             LESSON XVIII.

“If, however, it should be conceded that this passage (_Lev._ xxv. 45,
46) means that the heathen might be subjected to perpetual bondage, and
that the intention was not that they should be released in the year of
jubilee, still it will not follow that this is a justification of
perpetual slavery as it exists in the United States. For, even on that
supposition, the concession was one made to _them_, not to any other
people.” _Barnes_, p. 156.

This is not the first time the abolitionists have presented this
proposition, and seem to deem it insurmountable. Therefore, it may merit
a few words of inquiry.

Is it contended that God ever grants or denies, or, in other words,
acts, except in conformity with some universal rule or law of his
providence and government? For, to suppose otherwise, must involve the
consideration of an inferior and capricious being. If God, on any
occasion, permitted slavery, then it is deducible from the
unchangeableness of God and his laws, that he always permits it, when
all the circumstances and conditions shall be found to exist as they
were when he did so permit it. The Jews, as a nation, were God’s people;
his worshippers, his church. “And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of
priests, and a holy nation.” _Exod._ xix. 6. “For thou art a holy people
unto the Lord thy God: The Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a special
people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the
earth.” _Deut._ vii. 6.

But, in the order of God’s providence, other people were to be the
recipients of the grace of God also: “And it shall come to pass in the
last days, that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in
the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills: all
nations shall flow unto it.” _Isa._ ii. 2.

“Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion; for lo, I come, and I will dwell
in the midst of thee, saith the Lord. And many nations shall be joined
to the Lord in that day, and shall be my people.” _Zech._ ii. 10, 11.

This is in strict conformity with the promise of Jehovah to Isaac: “And
in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed.” _Gen._ xxvi.

The time of this great enlargement of the church of God was the advent
of the Saviour. The Christian church succeeded as heirs of all the
promises, benefits, and free grace of the ancient church and people of
God;—in fact, became heirs of Abraham;—“And the father of circumcision
to them, who are not of the circumcision only, but who walk in the steps
of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet
uncircumcised. For the promise that he should be the heir of the world
was not to Abraham, or to his seed through the law, but through the
righteousness of faith.” * * * “Therefore it is of faith, that it might
be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not
to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith
of Abraham, who is the father of us all, (as it is written, I have made
thee the father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God,
who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not, as
though they were.” _Romans_ iv. 11, 12, 16, 17.

“Therefore remember, that ye being in times past Gentiles in the flesh,
who are called uncircumcision by that which is called the circumcision
in the flesh made by hands;

“That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the
commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenant of promise,
having no hope, and without God in the world.

“But now in Christ Jesus, ye who sometime were afar off, are made nigh
by the blood of Christ; for he is our peace, who hath made both one; and
hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us.” _Eph._ ii.
11, 12, 13, 14.

“Know ye, therefore, that they which are of faith, the same are children
of Abraham. And the scripture foreseeing that God would justify the
heathen by faith, preached before the gospel to Abraham, saying, In thee
shall all nations be blessed.” _Gal._ iii. 7, 8.

And wherefore Peter very properly describes the Gentile church of Christ
by similar language applied to the Jews, the chosen people of God to
whom the promises of the law were made: “But ye are a chosen generation,
a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should
show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into
his marvellous light; which in time past were not a people, but are now
a people of God; which had not obtained mercy, but have now obtained
mercy.” 1 _Peter_ ii. 9, 10.

The theological student will recollect many more very pertinent proofs
of the heirship of the Christian church to the chosen people of God.
“Think not I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets; I come not to
destroy the law, but to fulfil.” _Matt._ v. 17.

So far then as the Gentile nations have become Christianized, have
become the followers of Christ, so far they have, through faith, become
the peculiar people of God, and heirs and children of Abraham; and, as
heirs, succeeded to all things resulting from the providence and grace
of God to his peculiar people.

The broad and universal principle concerning slavery is, that a want of
knowledge of the true God, a want of conformity to his law, have a
constantly deteriorating effect, whereas, on the contrary, a knowledge
of Jehovah and a conduct in conformity to his law, (since the fallen
state of man renders him unable to comply with the law) the application
of God’s grace, and free forgiveness through faith and repentance, shall
have the redeeming effect of a full compliance with the law. As the one
position is deteriorating, forcing as it were downward to destruction
and death,—the other is as constantly elevating towards all perfection
and life eternal.

Thus the mercy of God is manifested to the degraded and heathen nations,
by substantially placing them under a protection and guidance, which,
however slow may be the progress, must of necessity have an elevating
influence on thousands, in proportion as they, with heart-felt
willingness, yield themselves to it. “Oh, that men would praise the Lord
for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!
For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with
goodness. Such as sit in darkness and the shadow of death, being bound
in affliction and iron; because they rebelled against the words of God,
and contemned the counsels of the Most High: therefore, he brought down
their heart with labour; they fell down, there was none to help. Then
they cried unto the Lord in their trouble, and he raised them out of
their distresses. He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of
death, and brake their bands in sunder. Oh, that men would praise the
Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of
men.” _Psa._ cvii. 8–15.

                  *       *       *       *       *

In conclusion, we may remark, that under this view of the law, the
announcements of holy writ, so far as they regard the subject under
consideration, are as applicable to the Christian people of the present
day as they at any time were to the Hebrews themselves.

“Thus saith the Lord, The labour of Egypt, and merchandise of Ethiopia,
and of the Sabeans, men of stature, shall come over unto thee, and they
shall be thine: they shall come after thee; in chains they shall come
over, and they shall fall down unto thee, they shall make supplication
unto thee, _saying_, Surely God is in thee; and there is none else,
_there_ is no God” _beside_. _Isa._ xlv. 14.


                              LESSON XIX.

Mr. Barnes has referred to Vatalbus, Rabbi Solomon, Abenezra Joh. Casp.
Miégius, Constitutiones Servi Hebræi, Ugolin, Maimonides, Michaelis,
John’s Archæology, Selden de Uxore Hebraica, and some other books which
are not at hand, in support of his doctrine, and the points on which he
predicates it. We did not doubt the accuracy of these references and
quotations; but, page 149, we find the following in his book: “It would
appear from Josephus, that on the year of jubilee _all_ slaves were set
at liberty;” and he refers to “Antiquities,” vol. ii. chap. xii. sec. 3,
which, so far as it refers to slavery, reads thus: “Accordingly I enjoin
thee to make no more delays, but to make haste to Egypt, and to travel
night and day, and not to draw out the time, and to make the slavery of
the Hebrews and their sufferings to last the longer.”

We do not see how the passage warrants the assertion of Mr. Barnes, and
apprehended some mistake, such as a young lawyer, willing to appear very
learned, might make, by affixing to his brief a long list of
authorities, merely from an examination of his index.

But the sentence here quoted from Mr. Barnes, containing the proposition
that Josephus said, in his Antiquities, vol. ii. chap. xii sec. 3, that
all slaves were set at liberty in the year of jubilee, is consecutively
followed in his book, thus: “The fiftieth year is called by the Hebrews
the _jubilee_, wherein debtors are freed from their debts, and slaves
are set at liberty.” And this sentence is marked as quoted from
Josephus, and as though it was the exact passage to be found in the
place just before referred to. The fact is, this sentence is _nearly_ a
_part_ of what may be found in book iii. chap. xii. sec. 3 of
Antiquities, thus: “And that fiftieth year is called by the Hebrews the
jubilee wherein debtors are freed from their debts, and slaves are set
at liberty; which slaves became such, though they were of the same
stock, by transgressing some of those laws whose punishment was not
capital, but they were punished by this method of slavery.”

Suppose the mistake to be in the number of the book, still, does the
passage, as fully quoted, give any authority for the assertion of Mr.
Barnes? Thus the mind is led to inquire what credit is to be given to
these references?

But we hasten to give a few extracts illustrative of Mr. Barnes’s
thought and argument. He says, p. 126—

“Considering the universal prevalence of slavery when the gospel was
preached, it is not probable that any considerable number would be
found, who were masters and servants in the sense of a voluntary
servitude on the part of the latter.” He says—

Page 273: “The permanency of the institution (slavery) can derive no
support from what they (the apostles) said on the subject, and in no
manner depends on it.”

Page 300: “It is only the antagonistic fanaticism of a fragment of the
South, which maintains the doctrine that slavery is, in itself, a good
thing, and ought to be perpetuated. It cannot by possibility be

Page 301: “_The South, therefore, has to choose between emancipation, by
the silent and holy influence of the gospel, securing the elevation of
the slaves to the stature and character of freemen_, or to abide the
issue of a long continued conflict against the laws of God.”

Page 306: “And if a Christian master at the present time * * * should be
troubled in his conscience in regard to his right to hold slaves, there
is no part of the apostolic writings to which he could turn to allay his
feelings or calm his scruples.”

Page 311: “Now this undeniable fact, that the right of the master over
the person and services of the slave, is never recognised at all in the
New Testament.”

Page 312: “Whatever distinction of complexion there may be, it is the
doctrine of the Bible that all belong to one and the same great family,
and that, in the most important matters pertaining to their existence,
they are on a level.”

Page 315: “Up to the time when its truths (the gospel’s) were made
known, the great mass of mankind had no scruples about its propriety;
they regarded one portion of the race as inferior to the other, and as
born to be slaves. Christianity disclosed the great truth that all men
were on a level; that all were equal.”

Page 317: “If a man should in fact render to his slaves ‘that which is
just and equal;’ would he not restore them to freedom? Would any thing
short of this be _all_ that is just and equal?”

Page 322: “No man has a right to _assume_ that when the word δοῦλος,
_doulos_, occurs in the New Testament, it means a _slave_.”

Page 331: “No argument in favour of slavery can be derived from the
injunctions addressed by the apostles to the slaves themselves.”

Page 340: “From the arguments thus far presented in regard to the
relations of Christianity to slavery, it seems fair to draw the
conclusion, that the Christian religion lends no _sanction_ to slavery.”

Page 341: “The Saviour and his apostles inculcated such views of man as
_amount_ to a prohibition of slavery.” Page 345: “He (Jesus Christ) was
not a Jew, except by the accident of his birth, but he was a _man_; in
his human form there was as distinct a relation to the African * * * as
there was to the Caucasian.”

We have understood that one popular clergyman at the North (an
abolitionist) has gone so far as to say that Jesus Christ was a _negro_!
To what folly and extravagance will not wickedness subject its slaves!

Mr. Barnes says, page 375—“These considerations seem to me to be
conclusive proof that Christianity was _not_ designed to extend and
perpetuate slavery; but that the spirit of the Christian religion would
remove it from the world, _because it is an evil, and displeasing to

To all of which, worthy of answer, it may be well to apply the sentiment
which he attributes to Dr. Fuller, that the New Testament is not silent
on the subject of slavery; that it recognises the relation; that it
commands slaves to obey their masters, and gives reasons why they should
do so. And it may be steadily affirmed, if slavery be a sin, that such
commands and counsels are not only a _suppressio veri_, but a _suggestio
falsi_; not only a suppression of the truth, but a suggestion of what is

                  *       *       *       *       *

If it shall be said that God merely sanctioned or permitted slavery in
the time of the patriarchs, who will say that he did not enjoin it in
the time of Moses? A repeal of this injunction demanded a countervailing
revelation of no equivocal character, clear and decided, without the
admission of a doubt.

“And God spake unto Moses in Mount Sinai, saying, * * * But thy bond-men
and bond-maids which thou shalt have, shall be of the heathen that are
round about you; of them shall ye buy bond-men and bond-maids. Moreover,
of the children of the strangers that do sojourn among you, of them
shall ye buy and of their families, which they beget 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 bond-men for ever.” _Lev._ xxv. 1, 44, 45, 46.

Mr. Barnes has adduced no proof that this law was ever repealed; nor do
the holy books contain any evidence of such repeal; yet he has denied
the existence of slavery in Judea, at the time of the advent of the
Saviour. See pp. 228, 242, 244, and 249, before quoted, and, we trust,
sufficiently refuted. But we now add, that at the time Jesus Christ and
his apostles were on the earth, Judea was a province of Rome. Now, since
it was clear that slavery was inculcated by the Hebrew laws, unless it
was forbidden by the Roman, we could not come to the conclusion that
slavery did not exist in Judea at their time, even if Jesus Christ and
his apostles had never alluded to it.

But,—see _Matt._ xxvi. 51: “Behold, one of them which were with Jesus
stretched out his hand and drew his sword and struck the servant
(δοῦλον, _doulon_, _slave_) of the high-priest,” then some suitable but
different word would have been used, as in the following: “And the
servants (δοῦλοι, _douloi_, _slaves_) and officers (ἱπηρέται,
_hupēretai_, _attendants_, _persons who aid_, _assistants_) stood
there,” _John_ xviii. 18; proving the fact that both slaves and other
attendants were present, and that the _slave_ was named distinctly from
such other attendants. There can be no doubt about these facts; and in
proof that slavery was not forbidden by the Roman laws, we quote from
Mr. Barnes, page 251: “In Italy, it was computed that there were three
slaves to one freeman; and in this part of the empire alone, their
numbers amounted to more than twenty millions.”

Page 252: * * * “The number of slaves could not have been less than
sixty millions in the Roman Empire, at about the time the apostles went
forth to preach the gospel.”

Page 254: * * * “The following places are mentioned, either as _emporia_
for slaves or countries from which they were procured: Delos, Phrygia,
and Cappadocia, Panticapæum, Diascurias, and Phanagoria on the Euxine or
Black Sea; Alexandria and Cadiz; Corsica, Sardinia, and Britain; Africa
and Thrace.”

And does it astonish us that in these dark ages of human degradation,
Britain helped to supply Rome with slaves? It should be remembered that
conquest gave the right in ancient days to enslave all barbarous and
deeply degraded nations; and it might be inquired whether such principle
was not alluded to by the prophet: “Shall the prey be taken from the
mighty, or the lawful captive delivered.” _Isa._ xlix. 24. History will
inform us that all these nations were of the lowest order. St. Jerome,
in his writings against Jovinian, informs us what were the morals of
Britain. He says—“Why should I refer to other nations, when I myself,
when a youth in Gaul, have seen the Atticotti, a British tribe, eating
human flesh? Should they find shepherds tending their herds of swine or
cattle, and flocks of sheep in the woods, they are wont to cut off the
fleshy parts of the men, and the breasts of the women, which are
esteemed the most delicious food.”

Who then is to say that Britain is not now indebted for her high state
of intellectual improvement to the pike, bludgeon, and sword of the
Roman, Dane, Saxon, and Norman? And can we say that the hand of God was
not in this? The same providences and principles that have ever applied
to degraded Africa apply to all degraded nations, and even to individual
men. “Whosoever committeth sin is the servant (δοῦλος, _doulos_,
_slave_) of sin.”

And it may be said that nations and individuals thus enslave themselves.
“Behold, for your iniquities ye have sold yourselves.” _Isa._ l. 1.
These principles may be seen every day operating among the most degraded
of even the most enlightened nations. The history of the present day
informs us of the deep degradation of the African tribes; and that even
in their own country the great mass are slaves. Consistently with the
laws of God, they could not be otherwise; and even slavery among
themselves, subject to sacrifice and death as we have seen it, is yet
better for them than a state of freedom. We have seen how the free
hordes roam like the brutes, making that place home where night overtook
them. Suppose such to be cannibals, of which we have proof, it might so
happen, that, in one day, one half of their number would be destroyed by
themselves. Therefore, as distressing as slavery must be among them, yet
it is far preferable to their dejected condition of freedom.

We know of no one who pretends to believe that the masses of the African
tribes have increased in number since the commencement of our era;
whereas, a few scattering individuals, brought into slavery, within the
last few generations, in these States, have increased to near four
millions; nearly one-twelfth of the number of the entire population of
Africa. However wicked may be the Christian master, how much more is
slavery to be desired by the negro than any condition among these pagan
hordes! We, therefore, do not deem it presumptuous to say, that so
degraded is the condition of the African in his own land, that it has
been elevated in proportion as it has been affected by the slave-trade,
and more especially with Christian nations. The first tendencies towards
civilization, and whatever dawning of mental development there may be
now noticed among the African tribes, are traceable alone to that
source. And the Christian philosopher might well inquire whether, in the
providence of God, its existence, from the time of Noah to the present,
has not been the saving principle which has alone preserved the tribes
of Ham from the condition of Sodom and Gomorrah, and other nations long
since wasted away.


                               LESSON XX.

Mr. Barnes has quoted and adopted the following passage from President
Wayland, page 310: “If the religion of Christ allows such a license (to
hold slaves) from such precepts as these, the New Testament would be the
greatest curse that ever was inflicted on _our race_.” On the account of
the avowal of Dr. Barnes as to _his race_, heretofore noticed, we feel a
degree of gladness that the above passage is not original with him: we
should expect to find in him a sympathy on this subject, unpleasant to
encounter, because legitimately acting on his mind. A man may be a
philosopher or a Christian, yet the ties of nature, the sympathies of
kindred are not abated.

We are informed that heretofore, written arguments in favour of
abolitionism by Dr. Wayland and against it by Dr. Fuller, have been
published. We have not seen the work; but are told that the
abolitionists claim victory for Dr. Wayland, and that the opponents also
claim it for Dr. Fuller; and from the foregoing passage as quoted, we
conclude that Dr. Wayland found himself, at least, in _straits_ on the
subject. If such be the fact, it may account why the abolitionists
thought Dr. Barnes’s present work necessary. But, however these things
may be, the passage from Dr. Wayland is a volume of deep instruction,
announcing the feelings and theological consistency, we might say
fanaticism, of, we hope, but a few extraordinary men, now appearing in
our land; men, we doubt not, conscientious in their opinion that God
designs the government of the world to be in strict conformity with
human reason, and who cannot, therefore, pray in the spirit of the Son:
“Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless, not
my will, but thine, be done.” _Luke_ xxii. 42. “If any man have not the
spirit of Christ, he is none of his.” _Rom._ viii. 9.

In the book before us, the author falls into one error, common to every
writer on his side of the question: That slavery is the cause of the
degradation of the Africans and the slaves generally. We maintain that
the converse is the true state of the case. Another error is the
substitution of what may be abuses of slavery for the institution
itself. This author, like most of the abolition writers of whom we have
any knowledge, evinces an inability to enter into an impartial
consideration of the subject, from his deep and overshadowing prejudices
against it. Indeed, the whole work, from page to page, carries proof of
a previous determination to condemn, not less obvious than in the
instance of the judge who, in summing up a case, said—“It is true, in
this case, the accused has proved himself innocent; but, since a guilty
man might prove himself so, and since I myself have always been of the
opinion that he was guilty, it will be the safest to condemn.”

The style of the work before us is always diffuse and declamatory,
sometimes elevated, but often cumbrous; still his language bears the
impress of classical learning and a cultivated mind; but there is in the
work a want of conciseness; it abounds in contradictory positions and a
frequent inconclusiveness of deduction, which make it obnoxious to a
charge of carelessness. But may we not account for these defects by the
urgent solicitude of his readers?

The morbid appetite of the Northern abolitionists was probably hungry
for the work. Having no wish to _oppose_ his pecuniary views, we refrain
from further extracts, lest we should infringe his copyright. Nor did we
at all contemplate a classical review of the work. The book contains
about 400 pages. If it could be condensed, like a pot of new-brewed and
foaming, into potable beer, to a fourth of that size, it might well
claim such attention; and from the specimens of ability displayed, if it
were proved that the doctor has suffered his zeal to run ahead of the
truth in regard to his _race_, we should judge him fully competent to
the task of such improvement.


                               Study III.


                               LESSON I.

  “_The Works of William Ellery Channing, D.D.,” in six volumes. Tenth
    Edition. Boston, 1849._

These volumes include essays, sermons, and lectures on various subjects.
The style is easy, flowing, and persuasive; the language is generally
clear, often elevated, sometimes sublime. Few can read the book and not
feel the evidence, whatever may be the error of his doctrine, that the
author added to his literary eminence a purity of intention. Such a work
must always make a deep impression on the reader. It is this fact that
prompts the present essay. It may be said of Channing what Channing said
of Fenelon:

“He needs to be read with caution, as do all who write from their own
deeply excited minds. He needs to be received with deductions and
explanations. * * * We fear that the very excellencies of Fenelon may
shield his errors. Admiration prepares the mind for belief; and the
moral and religious sensibility of the reader may lay him open to
impressions which, while they leave his purity unstained, may engender
causeless solicitude.” Vol. i. p. 185.

Dr. Channing’s sympathies for every appearance of human suffering, for
every grade of human imperfection, gave a peculiar phasis, perhaps most
amiable to his intellect, religion, and writings. He sought perfection
for himself—he was ardent to behold it universal. Heaven must for ever
be the home of such a spirit. But the scenes of earth gave agitation and
grief. Limited, in his earthly associations, to the habits of the North,
the very purity of his heart led him to attack what he deemed the most
wicked sin of the South. His politics were formed upon the model of his
mind. Religion spread before him her golden wing, and science aided in
the elevation of his view.

But, O thou Being, God Eternal! why not this earth made heaven? Why thy
most perfect work imperfection? Why thy child, clothed with holiness or
shod with the gospel, run truant to thy law, thy providence and

But, lo, we are not of thy council. We were not called when the
foundations of eternity were laid. We are, truly, all very small beings.
Our virtues, even purity, may lead in error. May not our best intentions
lead down to wo?

“It is a fact worthy of serious thought, and full of solemn instruction,
that many of the worst errors have grown out of the religious tendencies
of the mind. So necessary is it to keep watch over our whole nature, to
subject the highest sentiments to the calm, conscientious reason. Men,
starting from the idea of God, have been so dazzled by it, as to forget
or misinterpret the universe.” _Channing_, vol. i. p. 14.


                               LESSON II.

Volume ii. page 14, Dr. Channing says—

“1. I shall show that man cannot be justly held and used as property.

“2. I shall show that man has sacred rights, the gifts of God, and
inseparable from human nature, of which slavery is the infraction.

“3. I shall offer some explanations to prevent misapplication of these

“4. I shall unfold the evils of slavery.

“5. I shall consider the argument which the Scriptures are thought to
furnish in favour of slavery.

“6. I shall offer some remarks on the means of removing it.

“7. I shall offer some remarks on abolitionism.

“8. I shall conclude with a few reflections on the duties belonging to
the times.”

In support of the first proposition, to wit, “I will show that man
cannot be justly held and used as property,” the doctor has advanced
seven arguments. He says, page 18—“It is plain, that, if one man may be
held as property, then every other man may be so held.” * * * “Now let
every reader ask himself this plain question: Could I, can I, be
rightfully seized, and made an article of property,” &c. Page 19: “And
if this impression be delusion, on what single moral conviction can we
rely? * * * The consciousness of indestructible rights is a part of our
moral being. The consciousness of our humanity involves the persuasion
that we cannot be owned as a tree or brute. As men, we cannot justly be
made slaves. Then no man can be rightfully enslaved.”

The first idea we find, touching property, is in _Gen._ i. 26: “And let
them 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
creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.” Verse 28th: “And God
blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and
replenish the earth and subdue it; and 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 _Lev._ xxv. 44: “Both thy bond-men and bond-maids which thou shalt
have shall be of the heathen, that are round about you: of them shall ye
buy bond-men and bond-maids.” Verse 45: “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 beget in your land, and they shall
be your possession.” Verse 46: “And ye shall take them as an inheritance
for your children after you, to inherit them for a possession, they
shall be your bondmen for ever.”

And if we look at the first verse of this chapter, that the foregoing
was announced by God himself to Moses from Sinai; and from which it
would seem that God and Dr. Channing were of quite a different opinion
on this subject.

We know not what notion Dr. Channing may have entertained of “man’s
indestructible rights.” But let us ask, what rights has he that may not
be destroyed? The right to breath? Suppose, by his own wantonness,
carelessness, or wickedness, he is submerged in water, what becomes of
his right to breathe, since he can no longer exercise it? Can you name
any right that, under the providence of God, may not be destroyed?
Freemen have rights, but subject to alteration, and even extinction;
slaves have rights, but subject to the same changes. There is no such
thing as an “indestructible right” appertaining to any existence, save
to the Great Jehovah! He must be an immortal God who can possess an
_indestructible right_. We use the word “right” in Dr. Channing’s
sense—just claim, legal title, ownership, the legal power of exclusive
possession. You ask, has not man an _indestructible right_ to worship
God? We answer, no! Man has no such right to worship God; such right
would make him a partner. The worship of God is a _duty_ which man owes;
the forbearance of which is forbidden by the moral law, by justice and
propriety. Nothing can be forbidden or ordered touching an
_indestructible right_; for such command, if to be obeyed, changes the
quality of the right; or rather shows that it was not indestructible.

Such arguments may seem to give great aid and beauty to a mere
rhetorical climax, but, before the lens of analyzation, evaporates into
enthusiastic declamation,—which, in the present case, seems to be
addressed to the sympathies, prejudices, and impulses of the human

In his writings on slavery, in fact through all his works, we find a
fundamental error, most fatal to truth. He makes the conscience the
great _cynosura_ of all that is right in morals, and of all that is true
in religion.

Hence, in the passage before us,—“The consciousness of _indestructible
rights_ is a part of our moral being,”—the _consciousness_ of such
rights is his proof that we possess them; therefore, “the consciousness
of our humanity involves the persuasion (proof) that we cannot be
owned;” and, therefore, “as men (being men) we cannot justly be made
slaves.” So, page 25: “Another argument against the right of property in
man, may be drawn from a very obvious principle of moral science, the
conscience.” Page 33. “His conscience, in revealing the moral law, does
not reveal a law for himself only, but speaks as a universal legislator.
He has an _intuitive conviction_ that the obligations of this divine
code press on others as truly as on himself. * * * There is no deeper
principle in human nature than the consciousness of rights.”

Vol. iii. page 18: “By this I mean that a Christian minister should
beware of offering interpretations of Scripture which are repugnant to
_any clear discoveries_ of reason, or dictates of _conscience_.”

Page 93: “We believe that all virtue has its foundation in the moral
nature of man; that is, conscience, or his sense of duty.”

Page 164: “One of the great excellencies of Christianity is that it does
not deal in minute regulations; but, that, having given broad views of
duty,” &c., * * * “it leaves us to apply these rules, and express their
spirit, according to the promptings of the _divine monitor_ within
us”—the conscience.

Vol. vi. page 308: “We have no higher law than our conviction of duty.”

“Conscience is the supreme power within us. Its essence, its grand
characteristic, is sovereignty. It speaks with divine authority. Its
office is to command, to rebuke, to reward; and happiness and honour
depend on the reverence with which we listen to it.” Vol. iii. pp. 335,

Such passages plainly expose the view of what Dr. Channing calls
_conscience_: in answer to which we say, the conscience may be a poor
guide to truth. The African savage feels a clear conscience when he
kills and eats his captive. The Hindoo mother is governed by her
conscience when she plunges her new-born infant beneath the flood, a
sacrifice to her gods. The idolaters of Palestine were subdued by
conscience when they thrust their suckling infants into the flames to
appease Moloch; yet God did not think it was right, and forbade them to
do so.

The truth is, the conscience is merely that part of the judgment which
takes notice of what it deems right or wrong; consequently, is as prone
to be in error as our judgment about any other matter.

For the accuracy of this definition, we refer to all the standard
writers on logic, and those on the human understanding, treating on the
subject. And in fact, Dr. Channing is forced to recede from his position
when he finds that Abraham, Philemon, and some good men even of the
present day, were slave-owners; and in vol. vi. page 55, he says—“It is
a solemn truth, not yet understood as it should be, that the worst
institutions may be sustained, the worst deeds performed, the most
merciless cruelties inflicted by the _conscientious_ and the good.”

And again, page 57: “The great truth is now insisted on, that evil is
evil, no matter at whose door it lies; and that men acting from
conscience and religion may do nefarious deeds, needs to be better

Would it not have been more frank for Dr. Channing to have said, that
the conscience would be an unerring guide so long as it agreed with his,
but when it did not, why, then he would inquire into the matter?

                  *       *       *       *       *

It is to be lamented that, among the unlearned at the present day, a
confused idea of something tantamount to the conscience being a divine
monitor within us has taken a deep root among the minds of men; having
grown out of the fact that such was the doctrine of some of the
fanatical teachers of former days.

If we shall be permitted to speak of property, in reference to our and
its relation to the Divine Being, then we cannot strictly say that man
can _own property_. Jehovah stands in no need. Behold the cattle upon a
thousand hills are his; all is the work of his hand; all, all is his
property alone! At most, God has only intrusted the possession, the
administration of the subjects of his creation, to man for the time
being,—to multiply, to replenish and subdue. It is only in reference to
our relation to one another that we can advance the idea of property.
Man was commanded to have dominion over the whole earth, to replenish
and subdue, in proportion to the talent bestowed on him for that
purpose. This command presupposes such a state of things as we find, of
advancement, progression, and improvement. But in the course of the
Divine administration, God has seen fit to bestow on one man ten
talents, and on another but one; and who shall stand upon the throne of
the Almighty, and decide that he of the ten talents shall have no
relation with the progression of him of but one talent?

“Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him of ten
talents. For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have
abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that
which he hath.” _Matt._ xxv. 28, 29; see also _Luke_ xvii. 24–26.

And what, in the course of Divine providence, is to become of him who
buried his talent in the earth, and from whom it was taken away?
“Blessed is that servant whom his Lord when he cometh shall find so
doing. Of a truth I say unto you, that he will make him ruler over all
that he hath.” _Luke_ xii. 43, 44. “Jesus answered them, Verily I say
unto you, whoever committeth sin is the servant (δοῦλος, _doulos_,
_slave_) of sin.” _John_ viii. 34. “Behold for your iniquities have ye
sold yourselves.” _Isa._ l. 1. “Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants
shall he be unto his brethren.” _Gen._ ix. 25. עֶֽבֶד עֲבָדִים _ebed_,
_ebedim_, a most abject slave shall he be!


                              LESSON III.

The second argument in support of his first proposition is, “A man
cannot be seized and held as property, because he has rights;” to
enforce which, he says—“Now, I say, a being having _rights_ cannot
justly be made property; for this claim over him virtually annuls all
his rights.” We see no force of argument in this position. It is also
true that all domestic animals, held as property, have rights. “The ox
knoweth his owner, and the ass his master’s crib.” They all have “the
right of petition;” and ask, in their way, for food: are they the less

But his third argument in support of his first proposition is, that man
cannot justly be held as property, on the account of the “essential
equality of man.” If to be born, to eat, to drink, and die alike,
constitutes an essential equality among men, then be it so! What! the
African savage, born even a slave amid his native wilds, who entertains
no vestige of an idea of God, of a future state of existence, of moral
accountability; who has no wish beyond the gratification of his own
animal desire; whose parentage, for ages past, has been of the same
order; and whose descendants are found to require generations of
constant training before they display any permanent moral and
intellectual advancement; what, such a one essentially equal to such a
man as Dr. Channing?

The truth is, such a man is more essentially equal with the brute
creation. We shall consider the subject of the equality in another part
of our study, to which we refer. We, therefore, only remark, that the
doctrine is a chimera.

His fourth argument in support of the proposition is, “That man cannot
justly be held as property, because property is an exclusive right.”
“Now,” he says, “if there be property in any thing, it is that of a man
in his own person, mind, and strength.” “Property,” he repeats, “is an
exclusive right.”

If a man has an exclusive right to property, he can alienate it; he may
sell, give, and bequeath it to others. If a man is the property of
himself, suppose he shall choose to sell himself to another, and deliver
himself in full possession to the purchaser, as he had before been in
the full possession of himself—whose property will he be then? See a
case in point in _Deut._ xv. 12–17; see also _Exod._ xxi. 1–7.

His fifth argument is that, “if a human being cannot without infinite
injustice be seized as property, then he cannot, without equal wrong, be
held and used as such.” If a human being shall be found a nuisance to
himself and others in a state of freedom, then there will be no
injustice in his being subjugated, by law, to such control as his
qualities prove him to require in reference to the general good; even if
the subject shall not choose such control as a personal benefit to

The sixth argument is, that a human being cannot be held as property,
because, if so held, “the latter is under obligation to give himself up
as a chattel to the former.” “Now,” he says, “do we not instantly feel,
can we help feeling, that this is false?” And that “the absence of
obligation proves the want of the right.”

We suppose all acknowledge God as the author of the moral law. The moral
law forcibly inculcates submission to the civil or political law, even
independent of any promise to do so. Now, no one can have a right to act
in contradiction to law. The absence of this right, then, proves the
existence of the obligation.

For his seventh argument, he says—“I come now to what is, to my mind,
the great argument against seizing and using a man as property. He
cannot be property in the sight of God and justice, because he is a
rational, moral, immortal being; because created in God’s image, and
therefore in the highest sense his child; because created to unfold
godlike faculties, and to govern himself by a Divine law, written on his
heart, and republished in God’s word.”

Dr. Channing adds a page or two in the same impulsive strain, of the
same enthusiastic character. We may admire his style, his language, the
amiable formation of his mind, but we see nothing like precision or
logical deduction in support of his proposition. We see nothing in it
but the declamation of a learned, yet an over-ardent, enthusiastic mind.
His whole book is but a display of his mental formation. He could love
his friends; yea, his enemies. He could have rewarded virtue, but he
never could have punished sin. He could have forgiven the greatest
outrage, but he never could have yielded a delinquent to the rigid
demands of justice. He was a good man, but he never could have been an
unbending judge.

The laws of God have been made for the government and benefit of his
creatures. God, nor his law, is, like man, changeable. His law, as
expressed or manifested towards one class of objects, is also expressed
and manifested towards all objects similarly situated. The law, brought
into action by an act of Cain, would also have been brought into action
by a similar act of Abel. The law condemnatory of the shedding of blood
is still in fearful existence against all who shall have brought
themselves within the category of Cain’s acts, the most of which have
probably not been recorded.

We anticipate from another portion of our studies, that “sin is any want
of conformity unto the law of God.” Sin is as necessarily followed by
ill consequences to the sinner as cause is by effect. A man commits a
private murder; think ye, he feels no horrors of mind—no regrets? Is the
watchfulness he finds necessary to keep over himself for fear of
exposure, through the whole of life, not the effect of the act? Is not
his whole conduct, his friendships and associations with men, his very
mental peculiarities, his estimate of others, often all influenced and
directed in the path of his personal safety, the avoidance of suspicion?
And is all this no punishment? Probably, to have been put to death would
have been a much less suffering; and who can tell how far this long,
fearful, and systematic working of his mind is to affect the mental
peculiarities of his offspring? Shall he, who, by wanton
thoughtlessness, regardless of propriety, the moral law, and the
consequences of its breach, contracts some foul, loathsome, consuming
disease, that burns into the bones, and becomes a part of his physical
constitution, leave no trace of his sin on his descendants?
Deteriorated, feeble, and diseased, they shall not live out half their

A long-continued course of sin, confined to an individual, or extended
to a family or race of people, deteriorates, degenerates, and destroys.
Such deterioration, continued perhaps from untold time, has brought some
of the races of men to what we now find them; and the same causes, in
similar operation, would leave the same effect on any other race; and
Dr. Channing’s “child of God” ceases to be so. “Ye are of your father,
the devil.” _John_ viii. 44. “And Dr. Channing’s man, created to unfold
godlike faculties, and to govern himself by a Divine law written on his
heart,” ceases to act as he supposes: “And the lusts of your father ye
will do: he was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the
truth; because there is no truth in him.” _John_ viii. 44. And what
saith the Spirit of prophecy to these degenerate sons of earth? “When
thou criest, let thy companions deliver thee; but the wind shall carry
them away; vanity shall take them; but he that putteth his trust in me
shall possess the land, and shall inherit my holy mountain.” _Isa._
lvii. 13.

“And if thou shalt say in thy heart, wherefore came these things upon
me? For the greatness of thine iniquity are thy skirts discovered, and
thy heels made bare. Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard
his spots? Then may ye also do good that are accustomed to do evil.
Therefore will I scatter them as stubble that passeth away by the wind
of the wilderness. This is thy lot, the portion of thy measures from me,
saith the Lord: because thou hast forgotten me, and trusted in
falsehood. Therefore, will I discover thy skirts upon thy face, that thy
shame may appear.” _Jer._ xiii. 22–26.

“And I will sell your sons and your daughters into the hand of the
children of Judah, and they shall sell them to the Sabeans, to a people
far off: for the Lord hath spoken it.” _Joel_ iii. 8.

And what saith the same Spirit to those of opposite character?

“The sons also of them that afflicted thee shall come bending unto thee;
and they that despised thee shall bow themselves down at the soles of
thy feet.” _Isa._ lx. 14.

“And strangers shall stand and feed your flocks, and the sons of the
alien shall be your ploughmen and your vine-dressers.” _Ibid._ lxi. 5.

“They (my people) shall not labour in vain, nor bring forth trouble;
they are the seed of the blessed of the Lord, and their offspring with
them. And it shall come to pass, before they shall call, I will answer;
and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.” _Ibid._ lxv. 234.

What are the threatenings announced in prospect of their deterioration
and wickedness?

“And thou (Judah) even thyself, shalt discontinue from thy heritage that
I gave thee; and I will cause thee _to serve_ (עֲבַדְתִּיךָ _be a slave
to_) thine enemies in a land which thou knowest not.” _Jer._ xvii. 4.

“Are ye not as the children of the Ethiopians unto me, O children of
Israel? saith the Lord. * * * Behold the eyes of the Lord God are upon
this sinful kingdom, and I will destroy it from off the face of the
earth; saving that I will not utterly destroy the house of Jacob, saith
the Lord.” _Amos_ ix. 7, 8.

The consequences of sin are degradation, slavery, and death:

“A righteous man hateth lying; but a wicked man is loathsome and cometh
to shame.”

“He that troubleth his own house shall inherit the wind; and the fool
shall be _servant_ (עֶֽבֶד _ebed_, _slave_) to the wise of heart.”

“As righteousness tendeth to life, so he that pursueth evil, pursueth it
to his own death.” _Prov._

                  *       *       *       *       *

Dr. Channing has suffered his idea of property to bring him great mental
suffering: he evidently associates, under the term _property_, those
qualities and relations only, which are properly associated in an
inanimate object of possession, or at most in a brute beast. He has, no
doubt, suffered great misery from the reflection that a human being has
ever been reduced to such a condition. But his misery has all been
produced by his adherence to his own peculiar definition of the word
_property_. His definition is not its exact meaning, when applied to a
slave. Had the doctor attempted an argument to show that the word
_property_ could not consistently be applied to a slave, he might,
perhaps, have improved our language, by setting up a more definite
boundary to the meaning of this term, and saved himself much useless

Mankind apply the term _property_ to slaves: they have always done so;
and since Dr. Channing has not given us an essay upon the impropriety of
this use of the word, perhaps the accustomed usage will be continued.
But we imagine that no one but the doctor and his disciples will contend
that it expresses the same complex idea when applied to slaves, which is
expressed by it when applied to inanimate objects, or to brute beasts.
It will be a new idea to the slaveholder to be told that the word
_property_, as applied to his slaves, converts them at once into brute
beasts, no longer human beings; that it deprives them of all legal
protection; and that he, the master, in consequence of the use of this
word, stands in the same relation to his slave that he does to his
horse; and we apprehend he will find it quite as difficult to comprehend
how this metamorphosis is brought about, as it is for the doctor and his
disciples, how the slave is property.

We may say a man has property in his wife, his children, his hireling,
his slave, his horse, and a piece of timber,—by which we mean that he
has the right to use them, in conformity to the relations existing
between himself and these several objects. Because his horse is his
property, who ever dreamed that he had therefore the right to use him as
a piece of timber?

No man has a right to use any item of property in a different manner
than his relations with it indicate; or, in other words, as shall be in
conformity with the laws of God. Our property is little else than the
right of possession and control, under the guidance of the laws by which
we are in possession for the time being.

The organization of society is the result of the conception of the
general good. By it one man, under a certain chain of circumstances,
inherits a throne; another, a farm; one, the protection of a bondman, or
whatever may accrue to these conditions from other operating causes; and
another, nothing. If Dr. Channing and his disciples can find out some
new principles by which to organize society, producing different and
better results, they will then do what has not been done.


                               LESSON IV.

The doctrine that slavery, disease, and death are the necessary effects
of sin, we humbly claim to perceive spread on every page of the holy
books. This doctrine is forcibly illustrated in the warning voice of
Jehovah to the Israelites. They were emphatically called his
children—peculiar people—his chosen ones. He made covenants with them to
bless them; yet all these were founded upon their adherence to the
Divine law. These promises repealed no ordinance of Divine necessity in
their behalf. He expressed, revealed the law, so far as it was important
for them at the time, and then says, _Deut._ xxviii. 14–68:—

“15. But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice
of the Lord thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his
statutes which I command thee this day, that all these curses shall come
upon thee and overtake thee:

“16. Cursed _shalt_ thou _be_ in the city, and cursed _shalt_ thou _be_
in the field.

“17. Cursed _shall be_ thy basket and thy store.

“18. Cursed _shall be_ the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy land,
the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep.

“19. Cursed _shalt_ thou _be_ when thou comest in, and cursed _shalt_
thou _be_ when thou goest out.

“20. The Lord shall send upon thee cursing, vexation, and rebuke, in all
that thou settest thy hand unto for to do, until thou be destroyed, and
until thou perish quickly: because of the wickedness of thy doings
whereby thou hast forsaken me.

“21. The Lord shall make the pestilence cleave unto thee, until he have
consumed thee from off the land, whither thou goest to possess it.

“22. The Lord shall smite thee with a consumption, and with a fever, and
with an inflammation, and with an extreme burning, and with the sword,
and with blasting, and with mildew: and they shall pursue thee until
thou perish.

“23. And thy heaven that is over thy head shall be brass, and the earth
that _is_ under thee _shall be_ iron.

“24. The Lord shall make the rain of thy land powder and dust: from
heaven shall it come down upon thee, until thou be destroyed.

“25. The Lord shall cause thee to be smitten before thine enemies: thou
shalt go out one way against them, and flee seven ways before them; and
shalt be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth.

“26. And thy carcass shall be meat unto all fowls of the air, and unto
beasts of the earth, and no man shall fray _them_ away.

“27. The Lord will smite thee with the botch of Egypt, and with the
emerods, and with the scab, and with the itch, whereof thou canst not be

“28. The Lord shall smite thee with madness, and blindness, and
astonishment of heart:

“29. And thou shalt grope at noonday, as the blind gropeth in darkness,
and thou shalt not prosper in thy ways; and thou shalt be only oppressed
and spoiled evermore, and no man shall save _thee_.

“30. Thou shalt betroth a wife, and another man shall lie with her: thou
shalt build a house, and thou shalt not dwell therein: thou shalt plant
a vineyard, and shalt not gather the grapes thereof.

“31. Thine ox _shall be_ slain before thine eyes, and thou shalt not eat
thereof: thy ass _shall be_ violently taken away from before thy face,
and shall not be restored to thee: thy sheep _shall be_ given unto thine
enemies, and thou shalt have none to rescue _them_.

“32. Thy sons and thy daughters _shall_ be given unto another people,
and thy eyes shall look, and fail _with longing_ for them all the day
long: and there _shall be_ no might in thy hand.

“33. The fruit of thy land and all thy labours shall a nation which thou
knowest not eat up: and thou shalt be only oppressed and crushed always:

“34. So that thou shalt be mad for the sight of thy eyes which thou
shalt see.

“35. The Lord shall smite thee in the knees, and in the legs, with a
sore botch that cannot be healed, from the sole of thy foot unto the top
of thy head.

“36. The Lord shall bring thee, and thy king which thou shalt set over
thee, unto a nation which neither thou nor thy fathers have known, and
there shalt thou _serve_ (וְעָבַֽדְתָּ _ve abadta_, _and shall slave
yourselves to_) other gods, wood and stone:

“37. And thou shalt become an astonishment, a proverb, and a by-word,
among all nations whither the Lord shall lead thee.

“38. Thou shalt carry much seed out unto the field, and shalt gather
_but_ little in: for the locust shall consume it.

“39. Thou shalt plant vineyards and dress _them_, but shalt neither
drink of the wine, nor gather _the grapes_: for the worms shall eat

“40. Thou shalt have olive-trees throughout, but thou shalt not anoint
_thyself_ with the oil: for thine olive shall cast _his fruit_.

“41. Thou shalt beget sons and daughters, but thou shalt not enjoy them,
for they shall go _into captivity_.”

(_Into captivity_ is translated from בַּשֶׁבִי _bashshebi_; the prefix
preposition _in_, _into_, &c. here makes _bash_. The root is _shebi_.
The translation is correct, but the idea extends to such a possession of
the captive as includes the idea of a right of property. The same word
is used when dumb beasts are taken as spoil in war; thus, _Amos_ iv. 10,
שְׁבִי סוּסֵיבֶם _shebi susekem_, _I have taken your horses_, _i. e._ I
have _captured_ your horses,—the right of property in the horses is
changed. The idea in the text is, _they shall go into slavery_.)

“42. All thy trees and fruit of thy land shall the locust consume.

“43. The stranger that _is_ within thee shall get up above thee very
high; and thou shalt come down very low.

“44. He shall lend to thee, and thou shalt not lend to him: he shall be
the head, and thou shalt be the tail.

“45. Moreover, all these curses shall come upon thee, and shall pursue
thee, and overtake thee, till thou be destroyed: because thou
hearkenedst not unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to keep his
commandments and his statutes which he commanded thee.

“46. And they shall be upon thee for a _sign_, and for a wonder, and
upon thy seed for ever.”

(_For a sign_ אוֹת _oth_, _a mark_, _sign_, _&c._ It may be noted that
this word is used in _Gen._ iv. 15: “And the Lord set a _mark_ upon
Cain,” אוֹת _oth_, _mark_, _sign_, _&c._)

“47. Because thou servedst not the Lord thy God with joyfulness and with
gladness of heart for the abundance of all _things_.

“48. Therefore shalt thou _serve_ (עָבַדְתָּ _be a slave to_) thine
enemies which the Lord shall send against thee, in hunger, and in
thirst, and in nakedness, and in want of all _things_: and he shall put
a yoke of iron upon thy neck, until he have destroyed thee.

“49. The Lord shall bring a nation against thee from far, from the end
of the earth, _as swift_ as the eagle flieth, a nation whose tongue thou
shalt not understand;

“50. A nation of fierce countenance, which shall not regard the person
of the old, nor show favour to the young:

“51. And he shall eat the fruit of thy cattle, and the fruit of thy
land, until thou be destroyed: which _also_ shall not leave thee
_either_ corn, wine, or oil, _or_ the increase of thy kine, or flocks of
thy sheep, until he have destroyed thee.

“52. And he shall besiege thee in all thy gates, until thy high and
fenced walls come down, wherein thou trustedst, throughout all thy land:
and he shall besiege thee in all thy gates throughout all thy land which
the Lord thy God hath given thee.

“53. And thou shalt eat the fruit of thine own body, the flesh of thy
sons and of thy daughters which the Lord thy God hath given thee, in the
siege and in the straitness wherewith thine enemies shall distress thee:

“54. So _that_ the man _that_ is tender among you, and very delicate,
his eye shall be evil toward his brother, and toward the wife of his
bosom, and toward the remnant of his children which he shall leave.

“55. So that he will not give to any of them of the flesh of his
children whom he shall eat: because he hath nothing left him in the
siege, and in the straitness wherewith thine enemies shall distress thee
in all thy gates.

“56. The tender and delicate woman among you, which would not adventure
to set the sole of her foot upon the ground for delicateness and
tenderness, her eye shall be evil toward the husband of her bosom, and
toward her son, and toward her daughter,

“57. And toward her young one that cometh out from between her feet, and
toward her children which she shall bear: for she shall eat them for
want of all _things_ secretly in the siege and straitness wherewith
thine enemy shall distress thee in thy gates.

“58. If thou wilt not observe to do all the words of this law that are
written in this book, that thou mayest fear this glorious and fearful

“59. Then the Lord will make thy plagues wonderful, and the plagues of
thy seed, _even_ great plagues, and of long continuance, and sore
sicknesses and of long continuance.

“60. Moreover, he will bring upon thee all the diseases of Egypt, which
thou wast afraid of, and they shall cleave unto thee.

“61. Also every sickness, and every plague which is not written in the
book of this law, them will the Lord bring upon thee, until thou be

“62. And ye shall be left few in number, whereas ye were as the stars of
heaven for multitude; because thou wouldest not obey the voice of the
Lord thy God.

“63. And it shall come to pass, _that_ as the Lord rejoiced over you to
do you good, and to multiply you; so the Lord will rejoice over you to
destroy you and to bring you to nought; and ye shall be plucked from off
the land whither thou goest to possess it.

“64. And the Lord shall scatter thee among all people from the one end
of the earth even to the other, and thou shalt _serve_ (עׇבַדְתָּ, _be
slave to_) other gods which neither thou nor thy fathers have known,
_even_ wood and stone.

“65. And among these nations shalt thou find no ease, neither shall the
sole of thy foot have rest: but the Lord shall give thee there a
trembling heart, and failing of eyes, and sorrow of mind.

“66. And thy life shall hang in doubt before thee; and thou shalt fear
day and night, and shalt have none assurance of thy life:

“67. In the morning thou shalt say, Would God it were even! and at even
shalt thou say, Would God it were morning! for the fear of thy heart
wherewith thou shalt fear, and for the sight of thine eyes which thou
shalt see.

“68. And the Lord shall bring thee into Egypt again with ships, by the
way whereof I spake unto thee. Thou shalt see it no more again: and
there ye shall be sold unto your enemies for bond-men and bond-women,
and no man shall buy _you_.

_Ye shall be sold_, _i. e._ be exposed to sale, or expose yourselves to
sale, as the word הִתְמַכַּרְתֶּם _hith maccartem_ may be rendered; they
were vagrants, and wished to become slaves that they might be provided
with the necessaries of life.” _Clarke’s Commentary._

The markets were overstocked with them, says Josephus: * * * “They were
sold with their wives and children at the lowest price, there being many
to be sold, and few purchasers.”

Hegesippus also says—“There were many captives offered for sale, but few
buyers, because the Romans disdained to take the Jews for slaves, and
there were not Jews remaining to redeem their countrymen.”

“When Jerusalem was taken by Titus, of the captives who were sent into
Egypt, those under seventeen were sold; but so little care was taken of
them, that 11,000 of them perished for want.” _Bishop Newton._

St. Jerome says—“After their last overthrow by Adrian, many thousands of
them were sold, and those who could not be sold were transported into
Egypt, and perished by shipwreck and famine, or were massacred by the

A similar condition happened to the Jews in Spain, when, under the reign
of Ferdinand and Isabella, they were driven out of that kingdom,
concerning which, Abarbinel, a Jewish writer says—“Three hundred
thousand, young and old, women and children, (of whom he was one,) not
knowing where to go, left on foot in one day: some became a prey, some
perished by famine, some by pestilence,—some committed themselves to the
sea, but were sold for slaves when they came to any coast; many were
drowned and burned in the ships which were set on fire. In short, all
suffered the punishment of God the Avenger.”

Benson, in his Commentary, says—“How these instances may affect others,
I know not, but for myself I must acknowledge, they not only convince,
but astonish me beyond expression. They are truly, as Moses foretold
they would be, _a sign and a wonder for ever_.”

Scott says—“Numbers of captives were sent by sea into Egypt, (as well as
into other countries,) and sold for slaves at a vile price, and for the
meanest offices; and many thousands were left to perish from want; for
the multitude was so great that purchasers could not be found for them
all at any price. * * * To such wretchedness is every one exposed, who
lives in disobedience to God’s commands. * * * None will suffer any
misery above his deserts: but, indeed, we are all exposed to this woful
curse, for breaking the law of God.”

Henry says—“I have heard of a wicked man, who, on reading these
threatenings, was so enraged that he tore the leaf out of his Bible.”

Upon a review of all this evidence, to what conclusion is the mind
inclined? Are there no circumstances under which man may become a
slave—“property, in the sight of God and justice?”

Dr. Channing says, vol. ii. page 28—“Such a being (man) was plainly made
to obey a law within himself. This is the essence of a moral being. He
possesses, as part of his nature, and the most essential part, a cause
of duty, which he is to reverence and follow.”

This is in accordance with his idea of conscience—“the Divine monitor
within us.” But we are forced to differ from Dr. Channing. To obey the
law of God, not some creature of man’s, or our own judgment, is the
creed we inculcate; and we further teach that “such a being was plainly
made” “to reverence and follow” the law of God, not his own opinion or
the feelings of his own heart.

If this doctrine is not true in theology, can it be so in regard to
slavery, or any thing else?

Page 29, he says—“Every thing else may be owned in the universe; but a
moral, rational being cannot be property. Suns and stars may be owned,
but not the lowest spirit. Touch any thing but this. Lay not your hand
upon God’s rational offspring. The whole spiritual world cries out,

We do not quote this as an argument. If his postulate be true concerning
the “law within himself,” he needs no argument; his opinion is enough:
his feeling, his “sense of duty” governs the matter. But, while his
disciples “reverence and follow” their “sense of duty,” by obeying a law
within themselves, and, according to their conscience, “own the sun and
stars,” may not those who believe the Bible to be the word of God, who
“reverence and follow” it, as their “sense of duty,” and obey it as a
law within themselves, according to their conscience, own slaves?

But Dr. Channing continues—“The highest intelligences recognise their
own nature, their own rights, in the humblest human being. By that
priceless, immortal spirit which dwells in him, by that likeness of God
which he wears, tread him not in the dust, confound him not with the
brute.” And he then gravely adds—“We have thus seen that a human being
cannot rightfully be held and used as property. No legislation, not that
of all countries or worlds, could make him so. Let this be laid down as
a first, fundamental truth.”

Such were his opinions. We view them, if not the ravings, at least the
impressions, of fanaticism. When counsellor Quibble saw his client
Stultus going to the stocks, he cried out, “It is contrary to my sense
of justice; to the laws of God and man; no power can make it right!”
_Yet Stultus is in the stocks!_

But what shall we say of him who makes the sanction of his own feelings
the foundation of his creed, of his standard of right? What of him, who,
in his search for truth, scarcely or never alludes to the Bible as the
voice of God, as the Divine basis of his reasons, as the pillar on which
argument may find rest? Has some new revelation inspired him? Has he
heard a voice louder and more clear than the thunder, the trumpet from
the mount of God? Has he beheld truth by a light more lucid than the
flaming garments of Jehovah? Or has he only seen a cloud, not from the
top of Sinai, but from the dismal pit of human frailty?


                               LESSON V.

Dr. Channing’s second proposition is: “Man has sacred rights, the gifts
of God, and inseparable from human nature, of which slavery is the
infraction;” in proof of which he says, vol. ii. p. 23—“Man’s rights
belong to him as a moral being, as capable of perceiving moral
distinctions, a subject of moral obligation. As soon as he becomes
_conscious_ of a duty, a kindred _consciousness_ springs up, that he has
a _right_ to do what the sense of duty enjoins, and that no foreign will
or power can obstruct his moral action without crime.”

Suppose man has rights as described; suppose he feels _conscious_, as he
says; does that give him a right to do wrong, because his sense of duty
enjoins him to do so? And may he not be prevented from so doing? Was it
indeed a crime in God to turn the counsels of Ahithophel into

Page 33. “That some inward principle which teaches a man what he is
bound to do to others, teaches equally, and at the same instant, what
others are bound to do to him!” Suppose a few Africans, on an excursion
to capture slaves, find that this “inward principle” teaches them that
they are bound to make a slave of Dr. Channing, if they can; does he
mean that, therefore, he is bound to make slaves of them?

_Idem_, p. 33. “The sense of duty is the fountain of human rights. In
other words, the same inward principle which teaches the former, bears
witness to the latter.”

If the African’s sense of duty gives the right to make Dr. Channing a
slave, we do not see why he should complain; since, by his own rule, the
African’s sense of duty proves him to possess the right which his sense
of duty covets.

Page 34. “Having shown the foundation of human rights in human nature,
it may be asked, what they are. * * * They may all be comprised in the
right, which belongs to every rational being, to exercise his powers for
the promotion of his own and others’ happiness and virtue. * * * His
ability for this work is a sacred trust from God, the greatest of all
trusts. He must answer for the waste or abuse of it. He consequently
suffers an unspeakable wrong when stripped of it by others, or forbidden
to employ it for the ends for which it is given.”

We regret to say that we feel an objection to Channing’s argument and
mode of reasoning, for its want of definiteness and precision. If what
he says on the subject of slavery were merely intended as eloquent
declamations, addressed to the sympathies and impulses of his party, we
should not have been disposed to have named such an objection. But his
works are urged on the world as sound logic, and of sufficient force to
open the eyes of every slaveholder to the wickedness of the act, and to
force him, through the medium of his “moral sense,” to set the slaves
instantly free.

A moral action must not only be the voluntary offspring of the actor,
but must also be performed, to be judged by laws which shall determine
it to be good or bad. These laws, man being the moral agent, we say, are
the laws of God; by them man is to measure his conduct.

Locke says, “Moral good and evil are the conformity or disagreement of
our voluntary actions to some law, whereby good or evil is drawn upon us
from the will or power of the lawmaker.”

But the doctrine of Dr. Channing seems to be that this law is each man’s
_conscience, moral sense, sense of duty_, or the _inward principle_. If
the proposition of Mr. Locke be sound logic, what becomes of these
harangues of Dr. Channing?

We say, that the law, rule, or power that decides good or evil, must be
from a source far above ourselves; for, if otherwise, the contradictory
and confused notions of men must necessarily banish all idea of good and
evil from the earth. In fact, the denial of the elevated, the Divine
source of such law, is also a denial that God governs; for government
without law is a contradiction.

If the conscience, as Dr. Channing thinks, is the guide between right
and wrong according to the law of God; then the law of God must be quite
changeable, because the minds of men differ. Each makes his own
deduction; therefore, in that case, the law of God must be what each one
may severally think it to be; which is only other language to say there
is no law at all. “Every way of a man is right in his own eyes.” _Prov._
xxi. 2. But, “The statutes of the Lord are right.” _Ps._ xix. 8. The
laws of God touching the subject of slavery are spread through every
part of the Scriptures. Human reason may do battle, but the only result
will be the manifestation of its weakness. The institution of slavery
must, of necessity, continue in some form, so long as sin shall have a
tendency to lead to death; so long as Jehovah shall rule, and exercise
the attributes of mercy to fallen, degraded man.

But let us for a moment view the facts accompanying the slavery of the
African race, and compare them with the assertion, p. 35, that every
slave “suffers a grievous wrong;” and, p. 49, that every slave-owner is
a “robber,” however unconscious he may be of the fact.

So far as history gives us any knowledge of the African tribes, for the
last 4000 years, their condition has been stationary; at least they have
given no evidence of advancement in morals or civilization beyond what
has been the immediate effect of the exchange of their slaves for the
commodities of other parts of the world. So far as this trade had
influence, it effected almost a total abolition of cannibalism among
them. That the cessation of cannibalism was the result of an exchange of
their slaves as property for the merchandise of the Christian nations,
is proved by the fact that they have returned to their former habits in
that respect upon those nations discontinuing the slave-trade with them.
Which is the greatest wrong to a slave, to be continued in servitude, or
to be butchered for food, because his labour is not wanted by his owner?

No very accurate statistics can be given of African affairs; but their
population has been estimated at 50,000,000, and to have been about the
same for many centuries; of which population, even including the wildest
tribes, far over four-fifths have ever been slaves among themselves. The
earliest and the most recent travellers among them agree as to the
facts, that they are cannibals; that they are idolaters, or that they
have no trace of religion whatever; that marriage with them is but
promiscuous intercourse; that there is but little or no affection
between husband and wife, parent and children, old or young; that in
mental or moral capacity, they are but a grade above the brute creation;
that the slaves and women alone do any labour, and they often not enough
to keep them from want; that their highest views are to take slaves, or
to kill a neighbouring tribe; that they evince no desire for
improvement, or to ameliorate their condition. In short, that they are,
and ever have been, from the earliest knowledge of them, savages of the
most debased character. We have, in a previous study, quoted authority
in proof of these facts, to which we refer.

Will any one hesitate to acknowledge, that, to them, slavery, regulated
by law, among civilized nations is a state of moral, mental, and
physical elevation? A proof of this is found in the fact that the
descendants of such slaves are found to be, in all things, their
superiors. If their descendants were found to deteriorate from the
condition of the parents, we should hesitate to say that slavery was to
them a blessing. Which would man consider the most like an act of mercy
in Jehovah, to continue them in their state of slavery to their African
master, brother, and owner, or to order them into that condition of
slavery in which we find them in these States? Which state of slavery
would a man prefer, to a savage, or to a civilized master?

The Hebrews, Medes, Persians, Chaldeans, Syrians, Greeks, and Romans
have, on the borders of Africa, to some extent, amalgamated with them,
from time immemorial. But such amalgamation has never been known to
attain to the position, either physically, mentally, or morally, of
their foreign progenitors; perhaps superior to the interior tribes, yet
often they scarcely exhibit a mental or moral trace of their foreign
extraction. The thoughtless, those of slovenly morals, or those of none
at all, from among the descendants of Japheth, have commingled with them
in the new world; but the amalgamation never exhibits a corresponding
elevation in the direction of the white progenitor. The connection may
degrade the parent, but never elevate the offspring. The great mass look
upon the connection with abhorrence and loathing; and pity or contempt
always attends the footsteps of the aggressor. These feelings are not
confined to any particular country or age of the world. Are not these
things proof that the descendants of Ham are a deteriorated race? Will
the declarations of a few distempered minds, as to their religion,
feeling, and taste, weigh in contradiction? What was the judgment of
Isaac and Rebecca on this subject? See _Gen._ xxvi. 35; xxvii. 46; also
xxviii. 1.

Since the days of Noah, where are their monuments of art, religion,
science, and civilization? Is it not a fact that the highest moral and
intellectual attainment which the descendants of Ham ever displayed is
now, at this time, manifested among those in servile pupilage? The very
fact of their being property gives them protection. What, he their
“robber,” who watches over their welfare with more effect and integrity
than all their ancestry together since the days of Noah! By the
contrivance of making them _property_, has God alone given them the
protection which 4000 years of sinking degradation demand, in an upward
movement towards their physical, mental, and moral improvement, their
rational happiness on earth, and their hopes of heaven. What, God’s
agent in this matter a _robber_ of them!

Let us assure the disciples of Dr. Channing that there are thousands of
slaves too acute observers of truth to come to such a conclusion; who,
although from human frailty they may sometimes seem to suffer an
occasional or grievous wrong, can yet give good reason in proof that
slavery is their only safety. Let us cast the mind back to a period of
five hundred years ago. A Christian ship, intent on new discoveries,
lands on the African coast. The petty chieftain there, is and about to
sacrifice a number of his slaves, either to appease the manes of his
ancestor, to propitiate his gods, or to gratify his appetite by
feasting. Presents have been made to the natives; it is thought their
friendship is secured; the Christians are invited to the _fête_, the
participants are collected, the victims brought forward, and the club
uplifted for the blow. The Christians, struck with surprise, or excited
by horror, remonstrate with the chief; to which he sullenly replies:
“Yonder _my_ goats, _my_ village, all around _my_ domain; _these are my
slaves!_” meaning that, by the morals and laws that have from time
immemorial prevailed there, his rights are absolute; that he feels it as
harmless to kill a slave as a goat, or dwell in his village. But the
clothing of the Christian is presented, the viands of art are offered,
the food of civilization is tasted, the cupidity of the savage is
tempted, and the _fête_ celebrated through a novel and more valuable
offering. What, these Christians, who have bought these slaves,

Let us look back to the days of the house of Saul, when, perhaps, David,
hiding himself from his face amid the villages of Ammon, chanced upon
the ancestors of Naamah, the mother of Rehoboam, a later king of Israel.
Finding them about to sacrifice a child upon the altar of Moloch, “Stay
thy hand!” says the son of Jesse; “I have a message to thee from the God
of Israel; deliver me the child for these thirty pieces of silver!” And,
according to the law of the God of his fathers, it becomes his “bond-man
for ever.” What, was David a robber in all this? Suppose the child to
have been sold, resold, and sold again, is the character of the owner
changed thereby?

But it is concerning the _rights_ of the descendants of these slaves
that we have now to inquire. See _Luke_ xvii. 7–10:

“7. But which of you having a servant (δοῦλος, _slave_) ploughing or
feeding cattle, will say unto him by and by, when he has come from the
field, Go, and sit down to meat?

“8. And will not rather say unto him, Make ready wherewith I may sup,
and gird thyself, and serve me, till I have eaten and drunken and
afterwards thou shalt eat and drink?

“9. Doth he thank that servant (δουλον, _slave_) because he did the
things that were commanded him? I trow not.

“10. So likewise ye, when ye have done all those things which are
commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that
which was our duty to do.”

Suppose a proprietor, in any country or at any age, receives into his
employment an individual, who thereafter resides and has a family upon
his estate: upon the death of the individual, will his heirs accrue to
any of the rights of the proprietor, other than those granted, or those
consequent to their own or their ancestor’s condition, or those that may
accrue by operation of law? Where is the political enactment, the moral
precept, the Divine command, teaching an adverse doctrine?

Before we close our view of Dr. Channing’s second proposition, we design
to notice his use of the word “nature.” He says, that man has rights,
gifts of God, inseparable from human “nature.” We confess that we are
somewhat at a loss to determine the precise idea the doctor affixes to
this term. The phrase “human nature” is in most frequent use through
these volumes. But in vol. i. page 74, he says—“Great powers, even in
their perversion, attest a _glorious nature_.” Page 77: “The infinite
materials of illustration which nature and life afford.” Page 82: “To
regard despotism as a law of _nature_.” Page 84: “His superiority to
_nature_, as well as to human opposition.” Page 95: “We will inquire
into the nature and fitness of the measures.” Page 98: “The first object
in education _naturally_ was to fit him for the field.” Page 110: “From
the principles of our _nature_.” Page 111: “_Nature_ and the human will
were to bend to his power.” _Idem_: “He wanted the sentiment of a common
_nature_ with his fellow-beings.” Page 112: “With powers which might
have made him a glorious representative and minister of the beneficent
Divinity, and with _natural_ sensibilities.” Page 119: “Traces out the
general and all-comprehending laws of _nature_.” Page 143: “A power
which robs men of the free use of their _nature_,” &c. Page 146: “Its
efficiency resembles that of darkness and cold in the _natural_ world.”
Page 184: “Whose writings seem to be _natural_ breathings of the soul.”
Page 189: “Language like this has led men to very injurious modes of
regarding themselves, and their own _nature_.” _Idem_: “A man when told
perpetually to crucify _himself_, is apt to include under this word his
whole _nature_.” _Idem_: “Men err in nothing more than in disparaging
and wronging their own _nature_.” _Idem_: “If we first regard man’s
highest _nature_.” Page 190: “We believe that the human mind is akin to
that intellectual energy, which gave birth to _nature_.” _Idem_: “Taking
human _nature_ as consisting of a body as well as mind, as including
animal desire,” &c. _Idem_: “We believe that he in whom the physical
_nature_ is unfolded.” Page 191: “But excess is not essential to
self-regard, and this principle of our _nature_ is the last which could
be spared.” Page 192: “It is the great appointed trial of our moral
_nature_.” Page 193: “Our _nature_ has other elements or constituents,
and vastly higher ones.” _Idem_: “For truth, which is its object, is of
a universal, impartial _nature_.” Page 196: “Is the most signal proof of
a higher _nature_ which can be given.” _Idem_: “It is a sovereignty
worth more than that over outward _nature_.” _Idem_: “Its great end is
to give liberty and energy to our _nature_.” Page 198: “Our moral,
intellectual, immortal _nature_ we cannot remember too much.” Page 200:
“The moral _nature_ of religion.” Page 202: “We even think that our love
of _nature_.” _Idem_: “For the harmonies of _nature_ are only his wisdom
made visible.” Page 203: “That progress in truth is the path of
_nature_.” Page 211: “It has the liberality and munificence of _nature_,
which not only produces the necessary root and grain, but pours forth
fruits and flowers. It has the variety and bold contrasts of _nature_.”
_Idem_: “The beautiful and the superficial seem to be _naturally_
conjoined.” Page 212: “And by a law of his _nature_.” Page 213: “These
gloomy and appalling features of our _nature_.” Page 215: “These
conflicts between the passions and the moral _nature_.”

                  *       *       *       *       *

We regret that so eminent and accurate a scholar, and so influential a
man, should have fallen into such an indefinite and confused use of any
portion of our language. If we mistake not, it will require more than
usual reflection for the mind to determine what idea is presented by its
use in the most of these instances. We know that some use this word so
vaguely, that if required to explain the idea they wished to convey by
it, they would be unable to do so. But there are those from whom we
expect a better use of language. Many English readers pass over such
sentences without stopping to think what are the distinct ideas of the
writer. There are, in our language, a few words used in our
conversational dialect, as if especially intended for the speaker’s aid
when he only had a confused idea, or perhaps none at all, of what he
designed to say; and we extremely regret that words, to us of so
important meaning, as _nature_ and _conscience_, should be found among
that class. The teacher of theology and morals should surely be careful
not to lead his pupils into error. Might not the unskilled inquirer
infer that _nature_ was a substantive existence, taking rank somewhere
between man and the Deity? And what would be his notion, derived from
such use of the term, of its offices, of its influence on, and man’s
relation with it? What is our notion as to the definite idea these
passages convey?

“_Man has rights, gifts of God, inseparable from human nature, of which
slavery is the infraction._” By “human nature,” as here used, we
understand _the condition or state of being a man_ in a general sense.
Our inference is, then, that God has given man rights, that is, all men
the same rights, which are inseparable from his state of being a man;
consequently, if by any means these rights are taken from him, then his
state of being a man is changed, or ceases to exist; and since slavery
breaks these rights, therefore a slave is not a man.

But the fact we find to be that the slave is, nevertheless, a man; and
hence it follows that these _rights_ were not inseparable from his state
of being a man, or that he had not the _rights_.

If slavery is sinful because it infringes the rights of man, then any
other thing is also sinful which infringes them. Will the disciples of
Dr. Channing deny that these rights are infringed by the constitution of
the civil government? The law gives parents the right to govern,
command, and restrain minor children; to inflict punishment for their
disobedience. Is parental authority a sin? Government, in every form, is
found to deprive females of a large proportion of the rights which men
possess. When married, their rights are wholly absorbed in the rights of
the husband. This must be very sinful!

Idiots have no rights. In reality, the very idea of rights vanishes away
with the power to exercise them. But in a state of civil government, it
is a mere question of expediency how personal rights shall be adjusted;
which is very manifest, if we look at the different constitutions of
government now in the world. In one, men who follow certain occupations
have certain rights as a consequence. Men who are found guilty of
certain breaches of the law lose a portion or all their rights. The
president of our senate loses the right to vote, except under condition;
and we agree that a mere majority shall rule. Thus forty-nine of the
hundred cease to find their rights available. They must submit. Man, as
a member of civil society, is only a small fraction of an unit, and has
no right to exercise a right unconformably to the expression of the
sense of the general good. Man has no right to live independent of his
fellow-man, like a plant or a tree; consequently, his rights must be
determined and bounded by the general welfare. Dr. Channing ceases to be
enlightened by moral science when he announces that, because a man is
“conscious of duty,” therefore, what he may think his right cannot be
affected by others “without crime.” So reverse may be the fact, that it
may be a crime in him to claim the right his conscious duty may suggest.

Man cannot be said to be in possession of all things that he, or such
theorists, may deem his rights only in a monocratic state. But how will
he retain them? For then, so far as he shall have intercourse with
others, every thing will come to be decided by the law of _might_; so
that, instead of gaining, he will lose all rights. But suppose him to
live without intercourse; what is a naked, abstract right, that yields
him nothing above the brute? God never made a man for such a state of
life; because it at once includes rebellion to his government; and,
therefore, its every movement will be to retrograde.

Will the disciples of Dr. Channing be surprised to find that the only
medicine God has prepared for such a loathsome moral disease as will
then be developed, is slavery to a higher order of men?


                               LESSON VI.

Dr. Channing’s third position is to offer explanations to prevent
misapplication of the principles presented in his first two

Vol. ii. page 51, he says—“Sympathy with the slave has often degenerated
into injustice towards the master.” We fully agree with him; and we also
admit “that the consciences of men are often darkened by education.”
This short chapter is evidently written in a spirit of conciliation, and
contains many truths eloquently told; yet, he finally grasps his
doctrines, and repeats his elucidations.

His fourth position is, “To unfold the evils of slavery.” He says the
first great evil is the debasement of the slave. Page 60: “This word,
(slave,) borrowed from his condition, expresses the ruin wrought by
slavery within him. * * * To be an instrument of the physical, material
good of another, whose will is his highest law, he is taught to regard
as the great purpose of his being. Here lies the evil of slavery. Its
whips, imprisonment, and even the horrors of the middle passage from
Africa to America, these are not to be named in comparison with this
extinction of the proper consciousness of a human being, with the
degradation of a man into a brute.”

If it be a fact that the debasement of the negro race has been brought
about by their having been made slaves in America; then it will be a
very strong argument, we are willing to acknowledge, an insurmountable
one, against the institution. That Dr. Channing thinks such to be the
fact, we have no doubt; for we cannot a moment admit that he would
assert what he did not believe was true. But “the consciences of men are
often darkened by education.” We hold that the assertion is capable of
proof, that the debasement of the race was the moral, the necessary
effect of a long course of sin; and that, instead of slavery producing
the debasement, the fact is, the debasement produced the slavery; or, in
other words, slavery is the moral, the necessary effect of the

The leading object, through all our studies, is the elucidation of the
fact, that sin has a poisonous effect upon the moral, mental, and
physical man, that is in constant action in the direction of
deterioration, debasement, ruin, death. Such we teach to be the doctrine
of the holy books, spread through the whole volume, elucidated upon
every page; that slavery, like a saviour, steps in upon this descending
road, arresting the downward progress, the rapid fall to final, to
unalterable ruin and death.

“If his children forsake my law, and walk not in my judgments; if they
break my statutes, and keep not my commandments,—then will I visit
their transgressions with the rod, and their iniquity with stripes.”
_Ps._ lxxxix. 30–32. “A righteous man hateth lying: but a wicked man
is loathsome, and cometh to shame.” _Prov._ xiii. 5. “Thou turnest man
to destruction; and sayest, return, ye children of men.” _Ps._ xc. 3.
“I have therefore delivered unto the mighty one of the heathen; he
shall surely deal with him: I have driven him out for his wickedness.”
_Ezek._ xxxi. 11. “And I will sell your sons and your daughters into
the hands of the children of Judah, and they shall sell them to the
Sabeans, to a people far off; for the Lord hath spoken it.” _Joel_
iii. 8. “Nevertheless they shall be his _servants_ (לַֽעֲבָדִים
_slaves_), that they may know my _service_ (עֲב֣וֹדָתִ֔י, and the
_service_ (וַֽעֲבוֹדַ֖ת, _slavery_) of the kingdoms of the countries.”
2 _Chron._ xii. 8. “The show of their countenance doth witness against
them; and they declare their sin as Sodom, they hide it not. Wo unto
their soul! for they have rewarded evil unto themselves.” _Isa._ iii.
9. “Therefore my people are gone into captivity, because they have no
knowledge; and their honourable men are famished, and their multitude
dried up with thirst.” “And the mean man shall be brought down, and
the mighty man shall be humbled, and the eyes of the lofty shall be
humbled: but the Lord of hosts shall be exalted in judgment, and God
that is holy shall be sanctified in righteousness.” _Isa._ v. 13, 15,

Dr. Channing’s book before us goes on to specify this debasement as to
the intellect; its influence on the domestic relations; how it “produces
and gives license to cruelty.” The fact that debasement reaches all
these points, we agree to; nay, further, that it reaches to every act
and thought. But we refer all these displays of debasement to the result
of the degradation, of which slavery is only the moral, the natural
consequence. If we find a man debased as to one thing, it is in
conformity with the common sense of mankind to expect to find him
debased as to another.

Channing, pp. 78, 79. “I proceed to another view of the evils of
slavery. I refer to its influence on the master. * * * I pass over many
views. * * * I will confine myself to two considerations. The first is,
that slavery, above all other influences, nourishes the passion for
power and its kindred vices. There is no passion which needs a stronger
curb. Men’s worst crimes have sprung from the desire of being masters,
of bending others to their yoke.”

It is to be lamented that man is so prone to sin; that he is not more
undeviating in the paths of virtue, of goodness, of perfection. The
charge made by Dr. Channing in the passage quoted, we are sorry to
acknowledge, is too true. But so far as we have any knowledge of the
history of man, even in the absence of slavery, the time has never been
when the passion for power and its kindred vices did not find sufficient
food for their nourishment. The evil passions alluded to are not so
particular as to their food but that, if they do not find a choice thing
to nourish themselves on, they will feed and nourish themselves on

It, perhaps, would not be difficult to show that the love of power and
its kindred vices first operated to bring on us “all our wo;” stimulated
Cain to kill Abel; in fact, has been in most powerful action among those
causes that have introduced slavery to the world. Slavery gave no birth
to these passions. They drove Nebuchadnezzar from his throne down to the
degradation of the brute. “Is not this great Babylon that I have built
for the house of the kingdom, by the might of my power, and for the
honour of my majesty?” _Dan._ iv. 12.

He had great power, great wealth, and, it is true, he had great
possessions in slaves. The prophet understood his case, and spoke
plainly. If his owning thousands of slaves merely had nursed in him a
forgetfulness of God, the seer would not have hesitated so to inform
him. Great prosperity in the affairs of the world in his case, as in
some others of a somewhat later day, so puffed him up that he forgot who
he was. The owning of slaves may puff up a silly intellect—doubtless,
often does; but the same intellect would be more likely to be puffed up
by a command of a more elevated grade, as officers of government, or,
even in private life, by the control of superior amounts of wealth; or
even by the conceit of possessing a great superiority of intellect.

Doubtless, the disciples of Dr. Channing will agree that abundant
instances of such tumidity might be found in any country, even among
those who never owned a slave.

It may be a fact, that, to some, the having control over and owning a
slave have a greater tendency to produce the effect of _puffing up_ the
owner than would his value in money or other property; because it may be
a fact that a given amount in one kind of property may possess such
tendency to a greater extent than another. But the truth probably is,
that one man would be the most puffed up by one thing, and another man
by another. We agree that being thus _puffed up_ is a sin; that it leads
to consequences extremely ruinous, and often fatal. Very small men are
also liable to the disease, and they sometimes take it from very slight
causes. It is true, “there is no passion that needs a stronger curb.”
What we contend is, that it is not a necessary consequence of owning
slaves, any more than it is of owning any other property, or of
possessing any other command of men; and that so far as it is an
argument against owning slaves, it is also an argument against owning
any other property, or of having any other control, or of possessing any
other command among men.


                              LESSON VII.

Dr. Channing continues his view of the evils of slavery, and says, p.
80, 81—

“I approach a more delicate subject, and one on which I shall not
enlarge. To own the persons of others, to hold females in slavery, is
necessarily fatal to the purity of a people: that unprotected females,
stripped by their degraded condition of woman’s self-respect, should be
used to minister to other passions in man than the love of gain, is next
to inevitable. Accordingly, in such a community, the reins are given to
youthful licentiousness. Youth, everywhere in peril, is, in these
circumstances, urged to vice with a terrible power. And the evil cannot
stop at youth. Early licentiousness is fruitful of crime in mature life.
How far the obligation to conjugal fidelity, the sacredness of domestic
ties, will be revered amid such habits, such temptations, such
facilities to vice as are involved in slavery, needs no exposition. So
sure and terrible is retribution even in this life! Domestic happiness
is not blighted in the slave’s hut alone. The master’s infidelity sheds
a blight over his own domestic affections and joys. Home, without purity
and constancy, is spoiled of its holiest charm and most blessed
influences. I need not say, after the preceding explanations, that this
corruption is far from being universal. Still, a slave-country reeks
with licentiousness. It is tainted with a deadlier pestilence than the

“But the worst is not told. As a consequence of criminal connections,
many a master has children born into slavery. Of these, most, I presume,
receive protection, perhaps indulgence, during the life of the fathers;
but at their death, not a few are left to the chances of a cruel
bondage. These cases must have increased since the difficulties of
emancipation have been multiplied. Still more, it is to be feared that
there are cases in which the master puts his own children under the whip
of the overseer, or sells them to undergo the miseries of a bondage
among strangers.

“I should rejoice to learn that my impressions on this point are false.
If they be true, then our own country, calling itself enlightened and
Christian, is defiled with one of the greatest enormities on earth. We
send missionaries to heathen lands. Among the pollutions of heathenism,
I know nothing worse than this. The heathen who feasts on his country’s
foe, may hold up his head by the side of the Christian who sells his
child for gain, sells him to be a slave. God forbid that I should charge
this crime to a people! But, however rarely it may occur, it is a fruit
of slavery, an exercise of power belonging to slavery, and no laws
restrain or punish it. Such are the evils which spring naturally from
the licentiousness generated by slavery.”

The owner of slaves who acts in conformity to the foregoing picture, to
our mind displays proofs of very great debasement, and his offspring,
stained with the blood of Ham, we should deem most likely to be quite
fit subjects of slavery: we cannot therefore regret that the laws do not
punish nor restrain him from selling them as slaves; we should rather
regret that the laws did not compel him to go with them.

That there are instances in the Slave States where the owner of female
slaves cohabits with them, and has offspring by them, is true. There may
be instances where such parent has sold them into slavery,—they, in law,
being his slaves; yet we aver we have never known an instance in which
it has been done. That such offspring have been sold as slaves, by the
operation of law, must certainly be acknowledged; and that such
instances have been more frequent since the action of the abolitionists
has aroused the Slave States to a sense of their danger, and thereby
caused the laws to be more stringent on the subject of emancipation, is
also true. And are you, ye agitators of the slave question, willing to
acknowledge this fact? And that your conduct—even you yourselves—are
even now the cause, under God, of the present condition of slavery,
which many such persons now endure? Is not he who places the obstruction
on the highway, whereby the traveller is plunged in death, the guilty
one? In what light, think ye, must this class of slaves view you and
your conduct? But we wish not to upbraid you. If you are ignorant, words
are useless. If you are honest men and know the truth, we prefer to
leave you in the hands of God and your own conscience.

We hold that cohabitation with the blacks, on the part of the whites, is
a great sin, and is proof of a great moral debasement; nor will we say
but that the conservative influences of God’s providence may have moved
the abolitionists to the action of for ever placing a bar to the
emancipation of this class of slaves, such coloured offspring, in order
that the enormity of the sin of such cohabitation may be brought home,
in a more lively sense, to the minds of their debased parents.

“I saw the Lord sitting upon his throne, and the host of heaven standing
on his right hand and on his left.

“And the Lord said, Who will entice Ahab, king of Israel, that he may go
up and fall at Ramoth Gilead? And one spake after this manner, and
another saying after that manner.

“Then there came out a spirit, and stood before the Lord, and said, I
will entice him; and the Lord said unto him, Wherewith?

“And he said, I will go out and be a lying spirit in the mouth of all
his prophets. And the Lord said, Thou shalt entice him.” 2 _Chron._
xviii. 18–21; 1 _Kings_, xxii. 19.

We wish to state a fact which may not be generally known to the
disciples of Dr. Channing: we speak of Louisiana, where we live. Here is
a floating population, emigrants from all parts of the world, especially
from free countries and states, nearly or quite equal in number to the
native-born citizens who have been raised up and grown to maturity amid
slaves or as the owners of slaves. If the cohabitation complained of is
at all indicated by the mixed-blooded offspring, then the proof of this
cohabitation will be far overbalancing on the side of this floating

But again, there are instances where an individual from this class, who
thus cohabits with some master’s slave, and has offspring, and,
succeeding in some business, buys her, probably with the intention of
emancipation; but, as he becomes a proprietor and fixed citizen,
procrastination steals upon him, and he finds himself enthralled by a
coloured family for life.

Let the number of these instances be compared with those where the
delinquents have been habituated, from the earliest youth, to the
incidents of slavery, and the former class is found to be entitled to
the same pre-eminence. From this class also there are instances where
the white man, so cohabiting with the slave whom he has purchased for
the purpose of emancipation, sends her and his offspring to some free
State, often to Cincinnati, the Moab of the South! “Let mine outcasts
dwell with thee, Moab.” _Isa._ xvi. 4.

Let such instances as this last named be contrasted with like instances
emanating from among the native-born, or those raised among slaves, and
the former class are still far in the majority. In short, the fact is
found to be, that those who have been born, raised, and educated among
them, and as the owners of slaves, are found more seldom to fall into
this cohabitation than those who are by chance among slaves, but had not
been educated from youth among them.

Far be it from us to recriminate. Our object alone, in presenting these
facts, is to show, to give proof, that slavery is not the cause of the
debasement which urges the white man on to cohabitation with the negro.

We will ask no questions as to the frequency of such intercourse in some
of the large Northern cities, in which blacks are numerous as well as
free, between them and the debased of the whites. What if we should be
told, in answer, if the charge were established, that such whites acted
from _conscience_, under a sense of the essential equality of the negro
with the white man, and under the religious teaching of the advocates of

He who writes on and describes moral influences, must be expected to
view them as he has been in the habit of seeing them manifested. We
therefore regret exceedingly to see that Dr. Channing has made the
assertion that, “to own the persons of others, to hold females in
slavery, is necessarily fatal to the purity of a people; that
unprotected females, stripped by their degraded condition of woman’s
self-respect, should be used to minister to other passions in men than
the love of gain, is next to inevitable.”

If this assertion is warranted by the moral condition of society as
displayed before him, may we not find in it a solution of the fact, that
those who have been reared up under all the influences of slavery on the
master, are far less frequently found to fall into the odious
cohabitation with the negro than are those who have not.

However, we have among us some very wicked and debased men, who own
slaves, and who have been born and educated in the midst of the
influences of the institution of slavery, and who yet cohabit with their
female negroes. But the moral sense of the community, from day to day
and from year to year, more and more distinctly gives reproof, more and
more emphatically points to such the finger of contempt and scorn, and
continues to increase in energy, expressing its loathing and abhorrence;
and all this is taking place under the influences of slavery on the
master. Do all these things give proof that slavery is the progenitor of
this debasement, or the reverse?

Dr. Channing was mistaken; his mind was in error: he substituted the
consequent for the cause.

We deem it useless to spend time or argument with those who will
pertinaciously deny and refuse to listen to facts, unless they shall be
in support of their previously conceived views or prejudices. We are
aware that the numerical proportion which we have ascribed to what we
call “a floating population” may seem incredible to those in other
countries, where the facts are quite different. Yet we are sure that
such estimate is within the truth.

Here, as everywhere else, the government, the legislative power of the
country, is in the hands of the permanent and more elevated and wealthy
classes; in the hands of slave-owners. Would such a class consent to
laws throwing difficulties in the way of emancipation, if the effect of
such laws were to be expended on their own offspring? To the more
elevated and cultivated class of community in any country (and here such
are all slave-owners) is to be ascribed the tone of moral feeling. Does
any man covet for himself the loathing and scorn of community?

The family of the slave-owner is taught to regard the negro as a race of
man radically inferior, in moral capacity, in mental power, and even in
physical ability, to the white man; that, although he is susceptible of
improvement in all these things, and even does improve in the state of
slavery to the white man, yet that it would require untold generations
to elevate him and his race to the present standing of the white races.

The child, the mere youth, and those of more experience, see proofs of
these facts in every comparison. The master feels them to be true, and
is taught, that, while he governs with compassion, forbearance, and
mercy, and as having regard to their improvement, any familiarity on
terms of equality, beyond that of command on his side, and obedience on
theirs, is, and must be, disgrace to him. He is taught to consider the
negro race, from some cause, to have deteriorated to such extent that
his safety and happiness demand the control of a superior; he regards
him as a man, entitled to receive the protection of such control; and
that he, like every other man, will be called to account unto God,
according to the talents God has given him. He is taught, by every
hour’s experience, to know that slavery to the negro is a blessing. He
is taught to feel it a duty to teach, as he would an inferior, the negro
his moral duty, his obligations to God, the religion of the Bible, the
gospel of Christ.

But the man born and educated in the Free States is taught that “he who
cannot see a _brother_, a child of God, a man possessing all the rights
of humanity, under a skin darker than his own, wants the vision of a
Christian.” _Channing_, vol. ii. p. 14. “To recognise as brethren those
who want all outward distinctions, is the chief way in which we are to
manifest the spirit of him who came to raise the fallen and save the
lost.” _Ibidem._

Vol. ii. pp. 20, 21, 22, he says—“Another argument against property (in
slaves) is to be found in the essential equality of men.” * * * “Nature
indeed pays no heed to birth or condition in bestowing her favours. The
noblest spirits sometimes grow up in the obscurest spheres. Thus equal
are men;—and among these equals, who can substantiate his claim to make
others his property, his tools, the mere instruments of his private
interest and gratification?” * * * “Is it sure that the slave, or the
slave’s child, may not surpass his master in intellectual energy, or in
moral worth? Has nature conferred distinctions, which tell us plainly
who shall be owners and who shall be owned? Who of us can unblushingly
lift up his head and say that God has written ‘master’ there? Or who can
show the word ‘slave’ engraven on his brother’s brow? The equality of
nature makes slavery a wrong.”

May we aid the disciples of Dr. Channing by referring them to _Prov._
xvii. 2, “A wise _servant_ (עֶֽבֶד _ebed_, _slave_) shall have rule over
a son that causeth shame, and shall have part of the inheritance among
the brethren?” And will the doctor and his disciples believe the proverb
any the more true, when we inform them that it is a matter of frequent
occurrence in slave-holding communities. Vol. v. p. 89, 90, he says—“But
we have not yet touched the great cause of the conflagration of the Hall
of Freedom. Something worse than fanaticism or separation of the Union
was the impulse to this violence. We are told that white people and
black sat together on the benches of the hall, and were even seen
walking together in the streets! This was the unheard-of atrocity which
the virtues of the people of Philadelphia could not endure. They might
have borne the dissolution of the national tie; but this junction of
black and white was too much for human patience to sustain. And has it
indeed come to this? For such a cause are mobs and fires to be let loose
on our persons and most costly buildings? What! Has not an American
citizen a right to sit and walk with whom he will? Is this common
privilege denied us? Is society authorized to choose our associates?
Must our neighbour’s tastes as to friendship and companionship control
our own? Have the feudal times come back to us, when to break the law of
caste was a greater crime than to violate the laws of God? What must
Europe have thought, when the news crossed the ocean of the burning of
the Hall of Freedom, because white and coloured people walked together
in the streets?

“Europe might well open its eyes in wonder. On that continent, with all
its aristocracy, the coloured man mixes freely with his
fellow-creatures. He sometimes receives the countenance of the rich, and
has even found his way into the palaces of the great. In Europe, the
doctrine would be thought to be too absurd for refutation, that a
coloured man of pure morals and piety, of cultivated intellect and
refined manners, was not a fit companion for the best in the land. What
must Europe have said, when brought to understand that, in a republic,
founded on the principles of human rights and equality, people are
placed beyond the laws for treating the African as a man. This
Philadelphia doctrine deserves no mercy. What an insult is thrown on
human nature, in making it a heinous crime to sit or walk with a human
being, whoever it may be? It just occurs to me, that I have forgotten
the circumstance which filled to overflowing the cup of abolitionist
wickedness in Philadelphia. The great offence was this, that certain
young women of anti-slavery faith were seen to walk the streets with
coloured young men!”

Such are the lessons taught the youth as well as the aged of the Free
States, even by Dr. Channing himself. We now ask, under the teachings of
which school will the pupils be the best prepared for this cohabitation
with the negro?

The burning of the Hall of Freedom was, no doubt, a very great outrage,
well meriting severe condemnation. Yet we cannot but notice, that Dr.
Channing has nowhere, in all his works, said one word about the burning
of the Convent on Mount Benedict, by his own townsmen, the good people
of Boston.

We care not with what severity he punishes such outrages. But it is the
influence of his lesson in palliating the familiarity, and mitigating
the evil consequences of a coalition of the white man with the negro,
that we present to view. It is with grief that we find him infusing into
his disciples this nauseating, disgusting, moral poison; preparing their
minds to feel little or no shame in a cohabitation with the negro, so
degrading to the white man, and so disgraceful in all Slave States. Yea
further, what are we to think of the judgment, of the taste,—may we not
add, habits, of a man who could unblushingly publish to the world his
partiality to the negro of Jamaica, after his visit there, as follows:

“I saw too, on the plantation where I resided, a gracefulness and
dignity of form and motion, rare in my own native New England.” Vol. vi.
p. 51.

Again, page 52. “The African countenance seldom shows that coarse,
brutal sensuality which is so common in the face of the white man.”

May we be pardoned for feeling a strong desire,—rather, a curiosity,—to
be made acquainted with the faces of the white men with whom he was the
most familiar!


                              LESSON VIII.

In vol. ii. page 82, Dr. Channing says—

“I cannot leave the subject of the evils of slavery, without saying a
word of its political influence.”

He considers that “slave labour is less productive than free.” This is
doubtless true; and if so, it proves that the master of the slave does
not require of him so much labour as is required of a hired labourer.
Are the friends of abolition angry, because, in their sympathy for the
slave, they have found something to be pleased with?

He considers that “by degrading the labouring population to a state
which takes from them motives to toil, and renders them objects of
suspicion or dread,” impairs “the ability of a community to unfold its
resources in peace, and to defend itself in war.”

This proposition includes the idea that the Slave States have degraded a
portion of their citizens to a state of slavery. This is not true. Our
ancestors, contrary to their will, were forced to receive a degraded
race among them, not as citizens, but slaves;—and does it follow now,
that we must again be forced to make this degraded race our political
equals? Even the British Government, with all its claim to sovereign
rule, never dreamed of imposing on us a demand so destructive to our
political rights; so blighting to social happiness; so annihilating to
our freedom as men; so extinguishing to our very race. Do the friends of
abolition deem us so stupid as not to see, if, even when the negro is in
slavery, cases of amalgamation happen, that, when he shall be elevated
to political freedom, the country would, by their aid, be overspread by
it? Do they think that we do not see that such a state of things is
degeneracy, degradation, ruin, worse than death to the white men? And
will they chide, if, in its prevention, we drench our fields in our own
blood in preference? The British Government urged the race here as an
article of property, of commerce and profit, as they did their _tea_.
They stipulated, they guaranteed them to be _slaves_, they and their
posterity for ever—not _citizens_! On such terms alone could they have
been received. The South then, as now, to a man would have met death on
the battle-field, sooner than have suffered their presence on other

The British governmental councils, our colonial assemblies, our
primitive inquiring conventions never viewed them in any other light. It
was not on their account we sought for freedom. It was not in their
behalf we fought for liberty. It was not for them our blood ran like
water. It was not to establish for them political rights we broke the
British yoke, or founded here this great government. Our national synods
recognised them only as property; our constitutional charter, only as
slaves; our congressional statutes, only as the subjects of their

There is falsity in the very language that frames the proposition which
inculcates that these slaves are a portion of population that ever can
be justly entitled to equal political rights, or that they are, or ever
were, degraded by the community among whom they are now found.

So degraded, both mentally and physically, is the African in his own
native wilds, that, however humiliating to a freeman slavery may seem,
to him it is an elevated school; and however dull and stupid may be his
scholarship, yet a few generations distinctly mark some little
improvement. We cannot doubt, some few individuals of this race have
been so far elevated in their constitutional propensities that they
might be well expected to make provident citizens; and the fact is, such
generally become free, without the aid of fanaticism. But what is the
value of a _general assertion_ predicated alone upon a few exceptions?
Some few of our own race give ample proof that they are not fit to take
care of themselves: shall we, therefore, subject our whole race to

That such a population, such a race of men, is as conducive to national
grandeur, either as to resources or defence, as the same number of
intellectual, high-minded yeomanry of our own race might be well
expected to be, perhaps few contend; and we pray you not to force us to
try the experiment. But if such weakness attend the position in which we
feel God has placed us, why distress us by its distortion? Why torment
our wound with your inexperienced, and therefore unskilful hand? Why
strive ye to enrage our passions, by constantly _twitting_ us with what
is not our fault? Do you indeed wish to destroy, because you have no
power to amend? Why, then, your inexperience as to facts, aided by
misrepresentation and sophistry in the digestion of language and
sentiment,—and we exceedingly regret that we can correctly say, open
falsehood,—as found on pages 86, 87?—

“Slavery is a strange element to mix up with free institutions. It
cannot but endanger them. It is a pattern for every kind of wrong. The
slave brings insecurity on the free. Whoever holds one human being in
bondage, invites others to plant the foot on his own neck. Thanks to
God, not one human being can be wronged with impunity. The liberties of
a people ought to tremble, until every man is free. Tremble they will.
Their true foundation is sapped by the legalized degradation of a single
innocent man to slavery. That foundation is impartial justice, is
respect for human nature, is respect for the rights of every human
being. I have endeavoured in these remarks to show the hostility between
slavery and ‘free institutions.’ If, however, I err; if these
institutions cannot stand without slavery for their foundation, then I
say, let them fall. Then they ought to be buried in perpetual ruins.
Then the name of republicanism ought to become a by-word and reproach
among the nations. Then monarchy, limited as it is in England, is
incomparably better and happier than our more popular forms. Then,
despotism, as it exists in Prussia, where equal laws are in the main
administered with impartiality, ought to be preferred. A republican
government, bought by the sacrifice of half, or more than half of a
people, stripping them of their most sacred rights, by degrading them to
a brutal condition, would cost too much. A freedom so tainted with wrong
ought to be our abhorrence.”

Let not the looseness of the doctor’s regard for the Union surprise.
With him a dissolution of the Union had become a fixed idea. On pages
237 and 238, he says—

“To me it seems not only the right, but the duty of the Free States, in
case of the annexation of Texas, to say to the Slave-holding States, ‘We
regard this act as the dissolution of the Union.’ * * * A pacific
division in the first instance seems to me to threaten less contention
than a lingering, feverish dissolution of the Union, such as must be
expected under this fatal innovation. For one, then, I say, that,
earnestly as I deprecate the separation of these States, and though this
event would disappoint most cherished hopes for my country, still I
could submit to it more readily than to the reception of Texas into the
confederacy.” “I do not desire to share the responsibility or to live
under the laws of a government adopting such a policy.” * * * “If the
South is bent on incorporating Texas with itself, as a new prop to
slavery, it would do well to insist on a division of the States. It
would, in so doing, consult best its own safety. It should studiously
keep itself from communion with the free part of the country. It should
suffer no railroad from that section to cross its borders. It should
block up intercourse with us by sea and land.” Vol. ii. p. 239.

We do not quote these passages for the sake of refuting them. “_In
Europe, the doctrine would be thought too absurd for refutation._”
_“What must Europe have thought when” these sentiments “crossed the
ocean.”_ * * * “_What must Europe have said, when brought to understand
that, in a republic founded on the principles of human rights and
equality_,”—and this writer acknowledges the doctrine that “the
constitution was a compromise among independent States, and it is well
known that geographical relations and the local interest were among the
essential conditions on which the compromise was made;” and concerning
which, he adds, “Was not the constitution founded on conditions or
considerations which are even more authoritative than its particular
provisions?” (see vol. ii. p. 237,)—“_What must Europe have said_,” when
informed that these sentiments were expressed against the right of the
South to hold slaves? Slaves, whom she, herself, in our childhood, had
sold us? Why, she must have thought that we were on the eve of a civil
war, and that Dr. Channing was about to take command of an army of
abolitionists to compel the South to submit to his terms! “_Europe might
well open its eyes in wonder_” at such extravagance.

“Such,” says our author, are “the chief evils of slavery;” and we are
willing to leave it to “Europe” to decide whether he has not furnished
us with declamation instead of argument.

Under the head, “Evils of Slavery,” he examines those considerations
that have been urged in its favour, or in mitigation, which we deem
unnecessary to notice further than to note a few passages in which there
is between us some unity of sentiment.

Page 89. “Freedom undoubtedly has its perils. It offers nothing to the
slothful and dissolute. Among a people left to seek their own good in
their own way, some of all classes fail from vice, some from incapacity,
some from misfortune.”

Page 92. “Were we to visit a slave-country, undoubtedly the most
miserable human beings would be found among the free; for among them the
passions have a wider sweep, and the power they possess may be used to
their own ruin. Liberty is not a necessity of happiness. It is only a
means of good. It is a trust that may be abused.” Page 93. “Of all races
of men, the African is the mildest and most susceptible of attachment.
He loves where the European would hate. He watches the life of a master,
whom the North American Indian, in like circumstances, would stab to the

The African may exhibit mildness and attachment in slavery when others
would exhibit a reverse feeling; but it is not true that he exhibits
these qualities as a fixed moral principle, resulting from intellectual

Page 95. “No institution, be it what it may, can make the life of a
human being wholly evil, or cut off every means of improvement.” _Idem._
“The African is so affectionate, imitative, and docile, that, in
favourable circumstances, he catches much that is good; and accordingly
the influence of a wise and kind master will be seen in the very
countenance and bearing of his slaves.” Or, rather, we find traces of
these qualities developed among their descendants. But the truth is far
below this description.

We had expected to have received light and pleasure from the examination
of Dr. Channing’s view of slavery in a political attitude. We confess we
are disappointed. His political view of it is, at least, jejune. To us,
it suggests the superior adaptation of his genius and education to the
rhapsody of a prayer-meeting than to the labours of a legislative hall.
We doubt much whether he had ever arrived to any very clear and general
view of the organization of society. Finding, under this head, very
little in his volumes that a politician can descend to encounter, we
shall close our present Lesson with a very few remarks.

                  *       *       *       *       *

Capital and labour can exist in but two relations; congenerous or
antagonistic. They are never congenerous only when it is true that
labour constitutes capital, which can only happen through slavery. The
deduction is then clear, that capital for ever governs labour; and the
deduction is also as clear, that, out of slavery, capital and labour
must be for ever antagonistic. But, again, capital governs labour,
because, while capital _now exists_, labour can possess it only by its
own consumption. But when the two are congenerous, labour, as a tool, is
not urged to its injury, because the tool itself is capital; but when
antagonistic, the tool is urged to its utmost power, because its injury,
its ruin touches not the capital. Hence, we often hear slave-labour is
the less productive. The proposition is not affected by facts attending
him who is said to be _free_, but who only labours for his individual
support; because while he adds nothing to the general stock of capital,
he yet falls within the catalogue of being a slave _to himself_: “The
Lord sent him forth _to till_ the ground,” (לַעֲבֹד _la evod, to slave
the ground_;) to do slave-labour for his own support; _to slave himself_
for his own subsistence.

Such is the first degree of slavery to which sin has subjected all
mankind. Therefore, in such case, labour is capital. But the very moment
a lower degradation forces him to sell his labour, capital is the only
purchaser, and they at once become antagonistic. On the one hand, labour
is seeking for all; on the other, capital is seeking for all. But the
capital governs, and always obtains the mastery, and reduces labour down
to the smallest pittance. Thus antagonistic are capital and labour, that
the former is for ever trying to lessen the value of the other by art,
by machinery; thus converting the tool of labour into capital itself.
The political difference between the influence of these two relations,
capital and labour, is very great. We feel surprised that the sympathies
of the abolitionists are not changed, from the miseries where capital
and labour are decidedly congenerous, to a consideration of that morass
of misery into which the worn-out, broken tools of labour are thrown,
with cruel heartlessness, where capital and labour are antagonistic.

Under the one system, beggars and distress from want are unknown,
because such things cannot exist under such an organization of society.
But, under the other, pauperism becomes a leading element. The history
of that class of community, in all free countries, is a monument and
record of _free labour_.

We ask the politician to consider these facts, while he searches the
history of man for light in the inquiry of what is the most tranquil,
and, in all its parts, the most happy organization of society.

Under the head of “The Political Influence of Slavery,” Dr. Channing has
taken occasion to inform us of his feelings as to the stability of this
Union; that he prefers its dissolution to the perpetuation of slavery;
and that he proposes a “pacific division.” And what is his “pacific
division?” Why, he says, (if we must repeat it,) “_the South must
studiously keep itself from communion with the Free States; to suffer no
railroad from the Free States to cross its border; and to block up all
intercourse by sea and land_!” Why, it is “death in the pot!”

O most unhappy man! the most unfortunate of all, to have left such a
record of intellectual weakness and folly behind! But we will forbear.

We think Dr. Channing’s declarations and proposals wholly uncalled for.
We regret the existence of such feelings at the North. We say
_feelings_, because we are bold to say, such sentiments are alone the
offspring of the most ignorant, wicked, and black-hearted feelings of
the human soul. Their very existence shows a preparedness to commit
_treason_, perjury, and the murders of civil war! The disciples of Dr.
Channing, on the subject of abolitionism, may be too stupid to perceive
it; for “Evil men understand not judgment.” _Prov._ xxviii. 5.

We regret this feeling at the North the more deeply on the account of
the extraordinary generant quality of sin. For it propagates, not only
its peculiar kind, but every monster, in every shape, by the mere echo
of its voice! Will they remember, “He that diggeth a pit shall fall into
it; and whoso breaketh a hedge, a serpent shall bite him.” Or, that, “It
is an honour to cease from strife; but every fool will be meddling.”
_Prov._ But since such feelings do exist, we feel thankful to God that
the sin of the initiative in the dissolution of this Union is not with
the Slave States. We know there are many good men in the North. Much
depends on what they may do. We believe the union of these States need
not—will not be disrupted.

But if the laws of Congress can neither be executed nor continued, nor
oaths to be true to the constitution longer bind these maniacs, the
issue will finally be left in the hand of the God of battles! It becomes
the South to act wisely, to be calm, and to hope as long as there can be
hope. And to the North, let them say now, before it be too late, “We
pray you to forbear. We entreat you to be true to your oaths, and not
force us, in hostile array, to bathe our hands in blood.”

But, if the term of our great national destiny is to be closed, and war,
the most cruel of all wars, is to spread far beyond the reach of human
foresight,—the South, like Abraham in olden time, will “arm their
trained servants,” and go out to the war, SHOUTING UNDER THE BANNER OF


                               LESSON IX.

As a fifth proposition; Dr. Channing says—“_I shall consider the
argument which the Scriptures are thought to furnish in favour of

In the course of these studies, we have often had occasion to refer to
the Scripture in our support. We have shown that even the Decalogue gave
rules in regulation of the treatment of slaves; that commands from the
mouth of God himself were delivered to Abraham concerning his slaves;
that the Almighty from Sinai delivered to Moses laws, directing him whom
they might have as slaves,—slaves forever, and to be inherited by their
children after them; rules directing the government and treatment of
slaves, who had become such under different circumstances. We have
adverted to the spirit of prophecy on the subject of the providence of
God touching the matter, to the illustrations of our Saviour, and the
lessons of the apostles. Others have done the same before us. But Dr.
Channing says, page 99—“In this age of the world, and amid the light
which has been thrown on the true interpretation of the Scriptures, such
reasoning hardly deserves notice.”

Had Tom Paine been an abolitionist, he could scarcely have said more! He
continues—“A few words only will be offered in reply. This reasoning
proves too much. If usages sanctioned in the Old Testament, and not
forbidden in the New, are right, then our moral code will undergo a sad
deterioration. Polygamy was allowed to the Israelites, was the practice
of the holiest men, and was common and licensed in the age of the
apostles. * * * Why may not Scripture be used to stock our houses with
wives as well as slaves.”

We know not what new light has come to this age of the world, enabling
it to interpret the Scriptures more accurately than is afforded by the
language of the Scriptures themselves. Whatever it may be, we shall not
deprive Dr. Channing nor his disciples of its entire benefit, by the
appropriation of its use to ourselves; and therefore we shall proceed to
examine his position, by interpreting the Scriptures in the
old-fashioned way—understanding them to mean what they say.

The first instance the idea is brought to view which we express by the
term _wife_, is found in _Gen._ ii. 20 “There was not found a _help
meet_ for him.” The original is לֹֽא־מָצָ֥א עֵ֖זֶר בְּנֶגְדּֽוֹ _not
found_, _discovered_, _help, aid, or assistance_, _flowing_,
_proceeding_, _at_, _to_, or _for him_. Let it be noticed that the idea
is in the singular. The word _ishsha_, used to mean _one woman_, or
_wife_, is so distinctly singular, that it sometimes demands to be
translated by the word _one_, as we shall hereafter find.

Same chapter, verse 22: “Made he a _woman_,” אִשָׁ֑ה _ishsha_, _woman_,

Ver. 23: “Shall be called _woman_,” אִשָּ֔ה _ishsha_, _woman_, _wife_.

Ver. 24: “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and
cleave unto his wife,” אִשְׁתּ֑וֹ _ishto_, _his wife_, _his woman_, “and
they shall be one flesh.”

Ver. 25: “The man and his wife,” אִשְׁתּ֑וֹ _ishto_, _wife_, _woman_.

These terms are all in the singular number. We propose for
consideration, how far these passages are to be understood as a law and
rule of action among men.

_Gen._ vii. 7: “And Noah went in, and his sons, and his wife, and his
sons’ wives with him, into the ark.”

Ver. 9: “There went in two and two unto Noah into the ark, the male and
female, as God had commanded Noah.”

We propose also for consideration, how far these passages are an
indication of the law of God, and his providence, as bearing on

_Exod._ xx. 17 (18th ver. of the Hebrew text): “Thou shalt not covet thy
neighbour’s _wife_,” אֵ֣שֶׁת, _esheth_, in the construct state, showing
that she was appropriated to the neighbour in the singular number. If
the passage had read, Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s _wives_, or
any of them, the interpretation must have been quite different.

So also _Deut._ v. 21: “Neither shalt thou desire thy neighbour’s
_wife_,” אֵ֣שֶׁת, _esheth_.

The twenty-second chapter of Deuteronomy relates the law concerning a
portion of the relations incident to a married state; but we find the
idea always advanced in the singular number. There was no direction
concerning his _wives_. Had the decalogue announced, “Thou shalt have
but one wife,” the language of these explanations and directions, to be
in unison therewith, need not have been changed.

The subject is continued through the first five verses of the
twenty-fourth chapter, but we find the idea _wife_ still expressed in
the same careful language, conveying the idea, as appropriated to one
man, in the person of one female only. The term “new wife,” here used,
does not imply that she is an addition to others in like condition, but
that her condition of being a wife is _new_, as is most clearly shown by
the word חֲדָשָׁ֔ה _hadasha_, from which it is translated. The sentiment
or condition explained in this passage is illustrated by our Saviour in
_Luke_ xiv. 20: “I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot
come,”—that is, until the expiration of the year,—having reference to
this very passage in Deuteronomy for authority. But this passage is made
very plain by a direct command of God: see _Deut._ xx. 7: “And what man
is there that hath betrothed a wife, and hath not taken her? Let him go
and return unto his house, lest he die in the battle, and another man
take her.”

But the institution of marriage was established, before the fall of man,
by the appropriation of one woman to one man. Now, that this fact, this
example, stands as a command, is clear from the words of Jesus Christ,
in _Matt._ xix. 4, 5: “And he answered and said, Have ye not read, that
he which made them at the beginning, made them male and female, and
said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother and shall
cleave unto his wife; and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore, they
are no more twain, but one flesh.”

We trust, “at this age of the world,” there is a sufficiency of light,
among even the most unlearned of us, whereby we shall be enabled to
interpret these scriptures, not to license polygamy, but to
discountenance and forbid it, by showing that they teach a contrary
doctrine. But, perhaps, the explanation is more decided in _Mark_ x.
8–11: And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain,
but one flesh.” “And he saith unto them, whoever shall put away his
wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her.”

Surely, if a man commit adultery by marrying the second when he has
turned off the previous, it may be a stronger case of adultery to marry
a second wife _without turning off the first one_!

We think St. Paul interprets the Scriptures in the old-fashioned way,
_Eph._ v. 31: “For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother,
and shall be joined unto his wife, and they _two_ shall be _one flesh_.”

See 1 _Cor._ vi. 16–18: “What! know ye not that he which is joined to a
harlot is one body? For two, saith he, shall be one flesh. Flee
fornication.” And further, the deductions that St. Paul made from these
teachings are plainly drawn out in his lessons to Timothy: “If a man
desire the office of bishop, he desireth a good work. A bishop then must
be blameless, the husband of one wife.” “Let the deacons be the husbands
of one wife.” 1 _Tim._ iii. 1, 2, 12.

“These things command and teach. Let no man despise thy youth; but be
thou an example of the believers in word, in conversation, in charity,
in faith, in purity.” 1 _Tim._ iv. 11, 12.

And we now beg to inquire whether this lesson to Timothy is not founded
upon the law as delivered to Moses? “And the Lord said unto Moses, Speak
unto the priests the sons of Aaron, and say unto them:” * * * “They
shall be holy unto their God, and not profane the name of their God.” *
* * “They shall not take a wife that is a whore, or profane; neither
shall they take a woman put away from her husband.” * * * “And _he that
is_ the high priest among his brethren * * * shall take a wife in her
virginity.” “A widow, or a divorced woman, or profane, or a harlot,
these he shall not take; but he shall take a virgin of his own people to
wife.” “Neither shall he profane his seed among his people: for I the
Lord do sanctify him.” _Lev._ xxi. 1, 6, 7, 10, 13, 14, 15.

We doubt not it will be conceded that the teachings of the Bible are,
that polygamy includes the crime of adultery and fornication, both of
which have a tendency towards a general promiscuous intercourse. In
addition to the express commands as to the views thus involved, to our
mind there are specifications on the subject equally decisive. “If any
man take a wife * * * and give occasion of speech against her, * * *
then shall the father of the damsel and her mother take and bring forth
the tokens; * * * and the damsel’s father shall say, * * * and, lo, he
hath given occasion of speech against her. * * * And the elders of the
city shall take that man and chastise him; and they shall amerce him in
a hundred shekels of silver, * * * and she shall be his wife; he may not
put her away all his days.” “But if this thing is true, and the tokens
of her virginity be not found for the damsel; then they shall bring out
the damsel to the door of her father’s house, and the men of the city
shall stone her with stones that she die.” * * * “If a man be found
lying with a woman married to a husband, then they shall both of them
die.” * * * “If a damsel _that is_ a virgin be betrothed unto a husband,
and a man find her in the city and lie with her; then ye shall bring
them both out unto the gate of that city, and ye shall stone them with
stones that they die.” * * * “But if a man find a betrothed damsel in
the field, and the man force her and lie with her; then the man only
that lay with her shall die.” * * * “If a man find a damsel that is a
virgin, which is not betrothed, and lay hold on her, and lie with her,
and they be found, then the man that lay with her shall give unto the
damsel’s father fifty _shekels_ of silver, and she shall be his wife: *
* * he may not put her away all his days.” _Deut._ xxii. 13–25, 28, 29.

“A bastard shall not enter into the congregation of the Lord; even unto
his tenth generation.” _Idem_, xxiii. 2.

“These are the statutes which the Lord commanded Moses between a man and
his wife, between the father and his daughter, _being yet_ in her youth
in her father’s house.” _Num._ xxx. 16.

“When thou art come into the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee, *
* * and shalt say, I will set a king over me,” &c. * * * “But he shall
not,” &c. * * * “Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his
heart turn not away.” _Deut._ xvii. 14–17.

The inferences to be drawn from a review of these statutes, in
opposition to polygamy, we deem of easy deduction. We leave them for the
consideration of those who shall examine the subject.

We deem it extraordinary that, “at this age of the world,” we should
find men who seem to think that because Moses had a statute which, under
certain circumstances, authorized husbands to divorce their wives, that
thereby he permitted polygamy.

“When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that
she find no favour in his eyes, because he hath found some _uncleanness_
in her,” (it is the same word elsewhere translated _nakedness_,) “then
let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and
send her out of his house. And when she is departed out of his house,
she may go and be another man’s wife. And if the latter husband hate
her, and write her a bill of divorcement, and giveth it in her hand, and
sendeth her out of his house; or if the latter husband die, which took
her to be his wife; her former husband which sent her away may not take
her again to be his wife, after that she is defiled; for this is
abomination before the Lord.” _Deut._ xxiv. 1–4.

Is there any thing here that favours polygamy? Such was the law. But in
the original, there is a term used which became the subject of
discussion among the Jews, perhaps shortly after its promulgation. This
term, in our translation “uncleanness,” some understand to mean such
moral or physical defects as rendered her marriage highly improper or a
nullity; others understand it to mean, or rather to extend to and
embrace, all dislike on the part of the husband whereby he became
desirous to be separated from her.

This interpretation seemed most conducive to the power of the husband,
and, therefore, probably had the most advocates; and it is said that the
Jewish rulers so suffered it to be understood, and that even Moses, as a
man, suffered it; noticing that where the wife became greatly _hated_ by
the husband, she was extremely liable to abuse, unless this law was so
explained as to permit a divorce. The Jews kept up the dispute about
this matter down to the days of our Saviour; when the Pharisees, with
the view to place before him a difficult question, and one that might
entangle him, if answered adverse to the popular idea, presented it to
him, as related in _Matt._ xix. He promptly decides the question,
whereupon they say—

“Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put
her away? He saith unto them, Moses, because of the hardness of your
hearts, suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it
was not so. And I say unto you, Whoever shall put away his wife, except
it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery; and
whoever marrieth her that is put away, doth commit adultery.” _Matt._
xix. 7, 8, 9.

Mark describes this interview thus: “And the Pharisees came to him, and
asked him, saying, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife, tempting
him? And he answered and said unto them, What did Moses command you? And
they said, Moses suffered to write a bill of divorcement, and to put her
away. Jesus answered and said unto them, For the hardness of your heart
he wrote you this precept: but from the beginning of the creation, God
made them male and female.” _Mark_ x. 2–6.

But do these answers, either way, favour polygamy? Is it not clear that
the law was in opposition to it?

It is true, the Jews, corrupted by the neighbouring nations who fell
into it, practised the habit to a great extent; and so they did idolatry
and many other sins. But was _idolatry allowed to the Israelites_?

What truth can there be in the assertion that they were _allowed_ a
thing, in the practice of which they had to trample their laws under
foot? And, under the statement of the facts, what truth is there in the
assertion that “polygamy was licensed in the age of the apostles?”

If such was “the practice of the holiest men,” it proves nothing except
that the holiest men were in the practice of breaking the law.

It is true that a looseness of adjudication on the subject of divorce
grew up, perhaps even from the time of Moses, among the Jews, on account
of the dispute about the interpretation of the law. But upon the
supposition that the law was correctly interpreted by those who
advocated the greatest laxity, which Jesus Christ sufficiently
condemned, yet there is found nothing favouring polygamy in it; for even
the loosest interpretation supposed a divorce necessary. The dispute was
not about polygamy; but about what predicates rendered a divorce legal.

In the books of the Old Testament we find the accounts of many crimes
that were committed in those olden days; but can any one be so stupid as
to suppose the law permitted those crimes, because the history of them
has reached us through these books?

If the polygamy of Jacob, rehearsed in these books, teaches the doctrine
that these books permitted polygamy,—then, because these books relate
the history of the murder of Abel, it must be said that these books
permit murder? And because, in these books, we have the account of the
disobedience of Adam and Eve, that therefore disobedience to the command
of God is legalized also!

Before we can say that polygamy is countenanced by the Old Testament as
well as slavery, we must find some special law to that effect. And some
of the advocates of abolition, striving to make a parallel between
slavery and polygamy, pretend they have done so in _Lev._ xviii. 18:
“Neither shalt thou take a wife to her sister to vex _her_, to uncover
her nakedness, besides the other in her lifetime.”

These advocates interpret this law to permit a man to marry two wives or
more, so that no two of them are sisters; and because few take the
trouble to contradict them, they seem to think their interpretation to
be true, and urge it as such.

It was clear the law permitted no additional wife, so as to allow two or
more wives, unless, by the example of Jacob, the law was ameliorated.
His example was the taking of sisters; and if the original be correctly
translated, his example is condemned by the law cited. We surely fail to
see how forbidding polygamy as to sisters, permits it as to others.
Louisiana by law forbids any free white person being joined in marriage
to a person of colour. If that State, in addition, forbids free white
persons being married to slaves, does it repeal the law as to persons of

But to the Hebrew scholar we propose a small error in the translation of
this passage. The preceding twelve verses treat on the subject of whom
it is forbidden to marry on the account of consanguinity, the last of
which names the grand-daughter of a previous wife, declaring such act to
be wicked, and closes the list of objections on account of
consanguinity, unless such list be extended by the passage under review;
for the succeeding sentence is a prohibition of all females who may be
unclean; consanguinity is no more mentioned; yet these prohibitions
continue to the 23d verse; and it is to be noticed that each prohibition
succeeding the wife’s grand-daughter commences with a וְ (_vav with
sheva_), whereas not one on the ground of consanguinity is thus
introduced; illustrating the fact that each prohibition, succeeding the
wife’s grand-daughter, is founded upon new and distinct causes.

The widow of a deceased husband who had left no issue was permitted to
marry his brother; it was even made a duty. Therefore, by parity of
reason, there could be no objection, on the account of consanguinity,
for the husband of a deceased wife to marry her sister.

It is clear then that the person whom this clause of the law forbids to
marry, is some person other than a deceased wife’s sister.

We propose for consideration, as nearly literal as may be, to express
the idea conveyed—_Thou shalt not take one wife to another, to be
enemies, or to be exiles, the shame of thy bed-chamber through life_.

The doctrine it inculcates is, if a man has two wives, he must either
live in the midst of their rivalry and enmity, or exile one or both;
either of which is disgrace. The reading may be varied; but let the
Hebrew scholar compare the first three words of the original with
_Exod._ xxvi. 3, where they twice occur, and also with the 6th and 17th
verses of the same chapter, in each of which they are also found. Let
him notice that, in the passage before us, in the word translated
_sister_, the _vav_, under _holem_, is omitted; whereas such is not the
case in the preceding instances, where the word is correctly translated
to express a term of consanguinity; and we think he will abandon the
idea that אֲחֹתָהּ _ahotha_, in the passage before us, means _sister_;
and if not, the sentence stands a clear, indisputable, and general
condemnation of polygamy.

                  *       *       *       *       *

Can Dr. Channing’s disciples point out to us a law _allowing_ polygamy
in as direct terms as the following would have done, substituting the
word _wives_ for _slaves_?

“Thy _wives_ which thou shalt have, shall be of the heathen that are
round about you: of them shall ye buy _wives_.” “Moreover, of the
children of the strangers that sojourn among you, of them shall ye buy
_wives_”—“and of their families that are with you, which they beget in
your land, and they shall be your _wives_.” “And ye shall take them as
_wives_ for your children after you, and they shall have them for
_wives_”—“they shall be your _wives_ for ever.” Compare _Lev._ xxv. 44,

Until they can do so, until they shall do so, we shall urge their not
doing it as one reason why the Scripture “cannot be used to stock our
houses with _wives_ as well as with slaves.”


                               LESSON X.

Dr. Channing says, page 101, vol. ii.—

“Slavery, at the age of the apostle, had so penetrated society, was so
intimately interwoven with it, and the materials of servile war were so
abundant, that a religion, preaching freedom to the slave, would have
shaken the social fabric to its foundation, and would have armed against
itself the whole power of the state. Paul did not then assail the
institution. He satisfied himself with spreading principles which,
however slowly, could not but work its destruction. * * * And how, in
his circumstances, he could have done more for the subversion of
slavery, I do not see.”

May we request the disciples of Dr. Channing to read the chapter on
“Slavery,” in Paley’s Moral and Political Philosophy, and decide whether
the above is borrowed in substance therefrom. And we beg further to
inquire, whether it does not place Paul, considering “his
circumstances,” in an odious position? What, Paul satisfying himself to
not do his duty! What, Paul shrink from assailing an institution because
deeply rooted in power and sin! What, Paul, the apostle of God, fearing,
hesitating, failing to denounce a great sin, because it was penetrating
through and intimately interwoven with society!

Why did he not manifest the same consideration in behalf of other great
sins? Would it not be an easier and more rational way to account for his
not assailing slavery, by supposing him to have known that it was the
providence of God, in mercy, presenting some protection to those too
degraded and low to protect themselves? If such supposition describes
the true character of the institution of slavery, then the conduct of
Paul in regard to it would have been just what it was. Paul lived all
his life in the midst of slavery; as a man among men, he had a much
better opportunity to know what was truth in the case than Dr. Channing.
But as an apostle, Paul was taught of God. Will the disciples of Dr.
Channing transfer these considerations from St. Paul to the Almighty,
and say that he was afraid to announce his truth, his law, then to the
world, lest it should stir up a little war in the Roman Empire? In what
position does Dr. Channing place Him, who came to reveal truth, holding
death and judgment in his hand!

“Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are
of thee: For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and
they have received them.” _John_ xvii. 7, 8.

“I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all
_men_, for I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of
God.” _Acts_ xx. 26, 27.

“God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar.” _Rom._ iii. 4.

But we propose to the disciples of Dr. Channing an inquiry: If he could
not see how St. Paul in his circumstances could have done more for the
subversion of slavery, why did he not take St. Paul for his example, and
suffer the matter to rest where St. Paul left it? For he says, vol. iii.
page 152—“It becomes the preacher to remember that there is a silent,
indirect influence, more sure and powerful than direct assaults on false
opinions.” Or was he less careless than St. Paul about stirring up a
servile war, and of shaking our social fabric to its foundation? Or did
the doctor’s _circumstances_ place him on higher ground than St. Paul?
Had “this age of the world” presented him with new light on the true
interpretation of the Scriptures? Had the afflatus of the Holy Spirit
commissioned him to supersede Paul as an apostle? Are we to expect,
through him, a new and improved edition of the gospel? And is this the
reason why an argument drawn from the Old Edition now “hardly deserves

Dr. Channing says, vol. ii. p. 104—“The very name of the Christian
religion would have been forgotten amidst the agitations of universal
bloodshed.” Is then the Christian religion a fabrication of men? Was
Christ himself an impostor? And could Dr. Channing loan himself to such
a consideration?

“Upon this rock I will build my church: and the gates of hell shall not
prevail against it.” _Matt._ xvi. 18.


                               LESSON XI.

The sixth position in the treatise under consideration is, “I shall
offer some remarks on the means of removing it.” His plan is, page
108—“In the first place, the great principle that man cannot rightfully
be held as property, should be admitted by the slaveholder.”

Dr. Channing seems to suppose that his previous arguments are sufficient
to produce the proposed admission.

Page 109. “It would be cruelty to strike the fetters from a man, whose
first steps would infallibly lead him to a precipice. The slave should
not have an owner, but he should have a guardian.”

We take this as an admission that the slave is not a fit subject for
freedom. But he says—

Page 110. “But there is but one weighty argument against immediate
emancipation; namely, that the slave would not support himself and his
children by honest industry.”

Dr. Channing’s plan in short is, that the names, master and slave, shall
be exchanged for guardian and ward; but he awards no compensation to the
guardian;—that the negro shall be told he is free; yet he should be
compelled to work for his own and his family’s support;—that none should
be whipped who will toil “from rational and honourable motives.”

Page 112. “In case of being injured by his master in this or in any
respect, he should be either set free, or, if unprepared for liberty,
should be transmitted to another guardian.”

Dr. Channing proposes “bounties,” “rewards,” “new privileges,”
“increased indulgences,” “prizes for good conduct,” &c., as substitutes
for the _lash_. He supposes that the slave may be “elevated and his
energies called forth by placing his domestic relations on new ground.”
“This is essential; we wish him to labour for his family. Then he must
have a family to labour for. Then his wife and children must be truly
his own. Then his home must be inviolate. Then the responsibilities of a
husband and father must be laid on him. It is argued that he will be fit
for freedom as soon as the support of his family shall become his habit
and his happiness.”

Page 114. “To carry this and other means of improvement into effect, it
is essential that the slave should no longer be bought and sold.”

Page 115. “Legislatures should meet to free the slave. The church should
rest not, day nor night, till this stain be wiped away.”

We do not choose to make any remark on his plan of emancipation; we
shall merely quote one passage from page 106:

“How slavery shall be removed is a question for the slaveholder, and one
which he alone can answer fully. He alone has an intimate knowledge of
the character and habits of the slaves.”

In this we fully concur; and we now ask our readers, what does Dr.
Channing’s confession of this fact suggest to their minds?

Dr. Channing’s seventh proposition is, “To offer some remarks on
abolitionism.” The considerations of this chapter are evidently
addressed to the abolitionists, with which we have no wish to interfere.
There are, however, in it, some fine sentiments expressed in his usual
eloquent style.

The eighth and concluding subject is, “A few reflections on the duties
of the times.” These reflections, we are exceedingly sorry to find
highly inflammatory; they are addressed alone to the Free States. We
shall present a few specimens. They need no comment: there are those to
whom pity is more applicable than reproof.

Page 138. “A few words remain to be spoken in relation to the duties of
the Free States. These need to feel the responsibilities and dangers of
their present position. The country is approaching a crisis on the
greatest question which can be proposed to it; a question, not of profit
or loss, of tariffs or banks, or any temporary interests; but a question
involving the first principles of freedom, morals, and religion.”

Page 139. “There are, however, other duties of the Free States, to which
they may prove false, and which they are too willing to forget. They are
bound, not in their public, but in their individual capacities, to use
every virtuous influence for the abolition of slavery.”

Page 140. “At this moment an immense pressure is driving the North from
its true ground. God save it from imbecility, from treachery to freedom
and virtue! I have certainly no feelings but those of good-will towards
the South; but I speak the universal sentiments of this part of the
country, when I say that the tone which the South has often assumed
towards the North has been that of a superior, a tone unconsciously
borrowed from the habit of command to which it is unhappily accustomed
by the form of its society. I must add, that this high bearing of the
South has not always been met by a just consciousness of equality, a
just self-respect at the North. * * * Here lies the danger. _The North
will undoubtedly be just to the South._ It must also be just to itself.
This is not the time for sycophancy, for servility, for compromise of
principle, for forgetfulness of our rights. It is the time to manifest
the spirit of MEN, a spirit which prizes, more than life, the principles
of liberty, of justice, of humanity, of pure morals, of pure religion.”

Page 142. “Let us show that we have principles, compared with which the
wealth of the world is as light as air. * * * The Free States, it is to
be feared, must pass through a struggle. May they sustain it as becomes
their freedom! The present excitement at the South can hardly be
expected to pass away without attempts to wrest from them unworthy
concessions. The tone in regard to slavery in that part of the country
is changed. It is not only more vehement, but more false than formerly:
once slavery was acknowledged as an evil; now, it is proclaimed to be a

Page 143. “Certainly, no assertion of the wildest abolitionist could
give such a shock to the slaveholder, as this new doctrine is fitted to
give to the people of the North. * * * There is a great dread in this
part of the country that the Union of the States may be dissolved by
conflict about slavery. * * * No one prizes the Union more than myself.”

Page 144. “Still, if the Union can be purchased only by the imposition
of chains on the tongue and the press, by prohibition of discussion on
the subject involving the most sacred rights and dearest interests of
humanity, then union would be bought at too dear a price.”

In his concluding note, he says, page 153—“I feel too much about the
great subject on which I have written, to be very solicitous about what
is said of myself. I feel that I am nothing, that my reputation is
nothing, in comparison with the fearful wrong and evil which I have
laboured to expose; and I should count myself unworthy the name of a man
or a Christian, if the calumnies of the bad, or even the disapprobation
of the good, could fasten my thoughts on myself, and turn me aside from
a cause which, as I believe, truth, humanity, and God call me to


                              LESSON XII.

The abolition writers and speakers are properly divided into two
classes: those who agitate and advocate the subject as a successful
means of advancing their own personal and ambitious hopes; sometimes

             “One eye turned to God, condemning moral evil;
             The other downward, winking at the devil!”

Thus, one seeks office, another distinction or fame. Small
considerations often stimulate the conduct of such men.

But we have evidence that another class zealously labour to abolish
slavery from the world, because they think its existence a stain on the
human character, and that the laws of God make it the duty of every man
to “cry aloud and spare not,” until it shall cease.

Our author had no secondary views alluring him on to toil; no new
purpose; no new summit to gain. What he thought darkness he hated,
because he loved the light; what he thought wicked, to his soul was
awful and abhorred, because, even in life, he was ever peering into the
confines of heaven. Ardour was cultivated into zeal, and zeal into

In its eagerness to accomplish its object in behalf of liberty, the mind
is often prepared to subvert without reflection—to destroy without care.
Hence, even the religious may sometimes “record that they have a zeal of
God, but not according to knowledge.” “For they being ignorant of God’s
righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness,
have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.” _Rom._ x.

They are convinced that they alone are right. But, “Can a man be
profitable unto God, as he that is wise may be profitable unto himself?
_Is it_ any pleasure to the Almighty, that thou art righteous? or _is
it_ gain, that thou makest thy ways perfect.” _Job_ xxii. 2, 3.

“Knowest thou the ordinances of heaven? Canst thou set the dominion
thereof in the earth?” Answer thou, Why “leaveth the ostrich her eggs in
the earth, and warmeth them in the dust? Why forgetteth she that the
foot may crush them, or that the wild beast may break them?”

“Why is she hardened against her young ones, as though they were not
hers?” “Why is her labour in vain without fear?”

“Why feedeth the fish upon its fellow, which forgetteth and devoureth
its young?”

“Who looketh on the proud and bringeth him low? and treadeth down the
wicked in their place? hiding them in the dust, and binding their faces
in secret?”

Who hardeneth the heart of Pharaoh? and multiplies signs and wonders
before the children of men? Who is he who “hath mercy on whom he will?”
Why was Esau hated or Jacob loved before they were born?

Wilt thou say, “Why doth he find fault? for who hath resisted his will.”
See _Rom._ ix. 19.

Or wilt thou rather say, “Behold I am vile; what shall I answer thee? I
will lay my hand upon my mouth. Once have I spoken; but I will not
answer thee: yea, twice; but I will proceed no further.” _Job_ xl. 4.

                  *       *       *       *       *

There are in these volumes several other essays, under different titles,
on the same subject; but in most instances, although the language is
varied, the same arguments exert their power on the mind of the writer.
Aided by the common sympathy of the people among whom he lived, and the
conscientious operations of his own mind, his judgment on the decision
of the question of right and wrong became unchangeably fixed; while the
evidence forced upon him by the only class of facts in relation to the
subject which his education and associations in society enabled him to
comprehend, became daily more imposing, more exciting in their review,
more lucid in their exposing an image of deformity, the most wicked of
the offspring of evil. Filled with horror, yet as if allured by an evil
charm, his mind seems to have had no power to banish from its sight its
horrid vision. Nor is it singular that it should, to some extent, become
the _one idea_—his leading chain of thought. To him, the proofs of his
doctrine became a blaze of light, so piercingly brilliant that nothing
of a contrary bearing was worthy of belief or consideration.

The following extracts will perhaps sufficiently develop the state to
which his mind had arrived on this subject of his study. Vol. vi. p. 38,
he says—“My maxim is, Any thing but slavery!”

Page 50. “The history of West India emancipation teaches us that we are
holding in bondage one of the best races of the human family. The negro
is among the mildest and gentlest of men. He is singularly susceptible
of improvement from abroad. His children, it is said, receive more
rapidly than ours the elements of knowledge.”

Page 51. “A short residence among the negroes in the West Indies
impressed me with their capacity for improvement; on all sides, I heard
of their religious tendencies, the noblest of human nature. I saw, too,
on the plantation where I resided, a gracefulness and dignity of form
and motion rare in my own native New England. And that is the race which
has been selected to be trodden down and confounded with the brute.”

If slavery in the West Indies has thus elevated the African tribes above
the majority of the people of New England, we will not ask the question,
whether the doctor’s disciples propose the experiment on their
countrymen. But there is, nevertheless, abundant proof that slavery to
the white races does necessarily, and from philosophical causes, have
the most direct tendency to elevate the moral, mental, and physical
ability of the African; in fact, of any other race of men sunk equally
low in degradation and ruin.

If the negro slaves of the West Indies exhibit moral, mental, and
physical merit in advance of most of Dr. Channing’s countrymen, who were
never in slavery, we beg to know how it is accounted for; what are the
causes that have operated to produce it? For we believe no sane man, who
knows any thing of the African savage in his native state, whether bond
or free, will so much as give a hint that they are as elevated in any
respect as are _his_ countrymen, the people of New England. Will the
fact then be acknowledged, that slavery, however bad, does yet
constitutionally amend and elevate the African savage!

                  *       *       *       *       *

At the moment the foregoing paragraphs were placed on paper, there
happened to be present a Northern gentleman, who very justly entertained
the most elevated regard for the personal character of Dr. Channing, to
whom they were read. His views seemed to be that the extracts from
Channing were _garbled_, and the deductions consequent thereon unjustly

We war not with Dr. Channing, nor his character. He no longer liveth.
But his works live, and new editions crowd upon the public attention, as
if his disciples were anxious to saturate the whole world with his
errors, as well as to make known his many virtues. We do not design to
garble; and therefore requote the extract more fully, from vol. vi. pp.
50, 51:

“The history of the West India emancipation teaches us that we are
holding in bondage one of the best races of the human family. The negro
is among the mildest, gentlest of men. He is singularly susceptible of
improvement from abroad. His children, it is said, receive more rapidly
than ours the elements of knowledge. How far he can originate
improvements, time only can teach. His nature is affectionate, easily
touched; and hence he is more open to religious impression than the
white man. The European race have manifested more courage, enterprise,
invention; but in the dispositions which Christianity particularly
honours, how inferior are they to the African! When I cast my eyes over
our Southern region, the land of bowie-knives, Lynch-law, and duels, of
‘chivalry, honour,’ and revenge; and when I consider that Christianity
is declared to be a spirit of charity, ‘which seeketh not its own, is
not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and endureth all things,’ and is
declared to be ‘the wisdom from above, which is first pure, then
peaceable, gentle, easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good
fruits,’—can I hesitate in deciding to which of the races in that land
Christianity is most adapted, in which its noblest disciples are most
likely to be reared.”

Pp. 52, 53. “Could the withering influence of slavery be withdrawn, the
Southern character, though less consistent, less based on principle,
might be more attractive and lofty than that of the North. The South is
proud of calling itself Anglo-Saxon. Judging from character, I should
say that this name belongs much more to the North, the country of
steady, persevering, unconquerable energy. Our Southern brethren remind
me more of the Normans. They seem to have in their veins the burning
blood of that pirate race.”

“Who is he that hideth counsel without knowledge? Therefore have I
uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew
not.” _Job_ xlii. 3.

                  *       *       *       *       *

Will the disciples of Dr. Channing account for the curious facts
developed by the census of 1850, as follows?—

“A writer in the New York Observer calls attention to some curious facts
derived from the census of the United States. These facts show that
there is a remarkable prevalence of idiocy and insanity among the free
blacks over the whites, and especially over the slaves. In the State of
Maine, every fourteenth coloured person is an idiot or a lunatic. And
though there is a gradual improvement in the condition of the coloured
race as we proceed West and South, yet it is evident that the Free
States are the principal abodes of idiocy and lunacy among them.

“In Ohio, there are just ten coloured persons, who are idiots or
lunatics, where there is one in Kentucky. And in Louisiana, where a
large majority of the population is coloured, and four-fifths of them
are slaves, there is but one of these unfortunates to 4309 who are sane.
The proportions in other States, according to the census of 1850, are as
follow:—In Massachusetts, 1 in 43; Connecticut, 1 in 185; New York, 1 in
257; Pennsylvania, 1 in 256; Maryland, 1 in 1074; Virginia, 1 in 1309;
North Carolina, 1 in 1215; South Carolina, 1 in 2440; Ohio, 1 in 105;
Kentucky, 1 in 1053. This is certainly a curious calculation, and
indicates that diseases of the brain are far more rare among the slaves
than among the free _of the coloured race_.”


                              LESSON XIII.

Sympathy probably operates more or less in the mind of each individual
of the human family. Traces of it are discovered even in some of the
brute creation; but yet we are far from saying that it is merely an
animal feeling. But we do say that sympathy often gives a direction to
our chains of thought; and that, in some minds, such direction is
scarcely to be changed by any subsequent reflection, or even evidence.
Some minds seem incapable of appreciating any evidence which does not
make more open whatever way sympathy may lead; consequently a full
history of its exercise would prove that it has been frequently expended
on mistaken facts, imaginary conditions, or fictitious suffering. In
such cases, it may produce much evil, and real suffering. It therefore
may be of some importance to the sympathizer and to community, that this
feeling be under the government of a correct judgment founded on truth.

Among the rude tribes of men, and in the early ages of the world, its
action seems to have taken the place of what, in a higher civilization
and cultivation of the mind, should be the result of moral principle
founded on truth.

But even now, if we look abroad upon the families of men, even to the
most intellectual, shall we not find the greater number rather under the
government of the former than the latter? One inference surely is, that
man, as yet, has not, by far, arrived at the fullest extent of
intellectual improvement.

                  *       *       *       *       *

But suppose we say that God punishes sin; or, by the laws of God, sin
brings upon itself punishment;—we propose the question, how far, under
our relation to our Creator, is it consistent in us to sympathize with
such punishment? It may be answered, we are instructed to “remember” to
sympathize with those who are under persecution for their faith in
Christ; so also, impliedly, with our brethren, neighbours, or those who
have done us or our ancestors favours, or those who have given or can
give some proof of goodness, when such have fallen, or shall fall into
bondage; and, perhaps, with any one giving proof of such amendment as
may merit a higher condition. But in all these cases, does not the
injunction, “remember,” look to an action resulting from principle,
emanating from truth, or the conformity of the person or thing to be
“remembered” with the law of God?

In the holy books, the word nearest to a synonyme of our word
_sympathy_, will be found in _Deut._ vii. 16: “Thou shalt consume all
the people which the Lord thy God shall deliver thee; thine eye shall
have no _pity_ תָ֥חוֹס _thehhos_) upon them,” (_no sympathy for._)

So, xix. 13: “Thine eye shall not _pity_ (תָח֤וֹס _thahhos_) him.” So
xiii. 8 (the 9th of the Hebrew text): “Neither shall thine eye _pity_
him,” (תָח֤וֹס _thahhos_.)

This word, when used in relation to punishment, is usually associated
with the word implying the “eye,” as if the feeling expressed thereby
partook more of an animal than a moral sensation. In _Gen._ xlv. 20, our
translators finding our idea of sympathy inapplicable to inanimate
objects, expressed it by the word “_regard_,” meaning _care_, or
_concern_. Now, since the command forbids this gush of feeling (whether
merely animal or not) in the cases cited, is it not evident that the
feeling inculcated as proper must be the produce of moral principle,
cultivated and sustained by a truthful perception of the laws of God?

The feeling of sympathy, commiseration, or mercy, is inculcated in the
latter clause of _Lev._ xlvi. 26. The circumstances were these:—The
descendants of Ham occupied the whole of Palestine, and the most of the
adjoining districts. Those of Palestine had become so sunken in
idolatry, and the most grievous practices, counteracting any improvement
of their race, that God, in his providence, gave them up to be
extirpated from the earth, and forbid the Israelites to have any “pity,”
any sympathy for them; but to slay them without hesitation. While those
of the adjacent tribes, who had, since the days of Noah, been denounced
as fit subjects of slavery, on the account of their degradation, brought
upon them by similar causes, were again specified to Moses as those whom
they were at liberty in peace to purchase, or in war to reduce to
perpetual bondage.

But such is the deteriorating effect of sin, even individuals of the
Israelites themselves were often falling into that condition. But God
made a distinction between the condition of these heathen, and the
Israelites that might thus fall into slavery. The slavery of the heathen
was perpetual, while that of these improvident Jews was limited to six
years, unless such slave preferred to continue in his state of slavery;
his kin at all times having the right to redeem him, which right of
redemption was also extended to the Jewish slave himself. But no such
right was ever extended to the heathen slave, or him of heathen
extraction. Under this state of facts, the Jewish master is forbidden to
use “rigour” towards his Jewish slave: “But over your brethren the
children of Israel, ye shall not rule over one another with rigour.”
This evidently inculcates a feeling of commiseration for such of their
countrymen as may have fallen into slavery; and in conformity with such
precepts, all nations, at all times, who were advanced in civilization,
seem to have ever felt disposed to extend relief when practical. Hence
Abraham extended relief to the family of Lot: hence the prophet Obed
succeeded to deliver from slavery two hundred thousand of the children
of Judah from the hand of the king of Israel, during the days of Ahaz.
But in no instance have such acts of mercy been manifested by a people
sunk as low in degradation as the African races.

For several centuries, Britain supplied slaves for other parts of the
world; but, during the time she did so, she took no steps for the
redemption of any; and such has invariably been the case at all times of
the world. All races of men, sunk in the lowest depths of degradation,
have never failed to be in slavery to one another, and to supply other
nations with their own countrymen for slaves; and, perhaps, this may be
adduced as an evidence of their having descended to that degree of
degradation that makes slavery a mercy to them. Sympathy for them could
do them no good; because a relief from slavery could not elevate
them,—could do them no good, but an injury. Hence such sympathy is

The degradation of the children of Jacob became almost extreme; yet they
went not into slavery until it was accompanied by a fact of like nature.
Who shall say that slavery and the slave-trade in Britain was not one of
the steps, under Divine providence, whereby God brought about the
elevated condition of the race of man there? Who will say that the
slavery of the Israelites in Egypt was not to them a mercy, and did not
bring to them an ameliorated, an elevated condition, necessary to them
before the Divine law could fulfil its promise to Abraham? But this was
a mere temporary slavery; whereas the slavery pronounced on the races of
Ham was through all time, perpetual. During the dark ages of the world,
the races of men generally became deteriorated to an extraordinary
extent. If our doctrine be true, slavery was a necessary consequence,
and continued, until by its amendatory influence on the enslaved, in
accordance with the law of God, they became elevated above the level of
its useful operation.

But, during these periods, the slave in Africa, little sought after by
other races, became of small value to the African master, and was the
prey, frequently an article of food, even to the slaves themselves, as
well as to his own master; and this state of facts existed until the
other races of man had mostly emerged from slavery; when the African
slave became an article of commerce, and cannibalism, in consequence,
became almost forgotten. Was this no blessing? Was this not a mercy—an
improved condition?

But, as if God really intended, contrary to the apparent wishes of some
men, to fulfil his word, and establish their condition of never-ending
bondage, he has suffered the slave-trade with Africa to be abolished
among the Christian nations. The great surplus of slaves in Africa has
rendered them of little value there; and these anthropophagi have again
returned to their ancient habits, giving proof that their condition of
slavery, so far as mortal eye can see, is now for ever past hope. The
theological philosopher did once hope that the only commerce which could
bring them generally in contact with Christian nations would have a
permanent influence on the character of these people. But God, in his
providence, has seen proper to order it otherwise. The slave-trade that
has been carried on between them and Western Asia, for more than four
thousand years, now the only external influence on them as a people, may
doubtless extend the standard of Islam, and spread some few corruptions
of its religious systems. But neither the religion nor the trade carries
to the home of these savages a sufficiency of interest to excite new
passions or stimulate into existence new habits or chains of thought.

“The rod and reproof give wisdom.”

“A _servant_ (עֶבֶד _abed, a slave_) will not be corrected by words; for
though he understand, he will not answer.” _Prov._ xxix. 15, 19.

                  *       *       *       *       *

In close, may we inquire what benefit has resulted to the slave in the
South,—what benefit to poor, bleeding Africa, from the sympathy of the
world on the subject of their slavery? What, none! If none—has it done
them no evil? And will ye continue to do evil? In your weakness, will ye
think to contend against God?


                              LESSON XIV.

The abolitionist will probably consent to the truth of the proposition
that God governs the universe. It may be that they will also agree that
he is abundantly able to do so. But, whatever may be their decision, it
is one of the revealed laws of God, that—

“Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness _of any
thing_ that _is_ in heaven above, or that _is_ in the earth beneath, or
that _is_ in the water under the earth: thou shalt not bow thyself to
them, nor serve them; for I, the Lord thy God, _am_, a jealous God,
visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third
and fourth _generation_ of them that hate me.”

It is not to be supposed that man can comprehend God as it may be said
he comprehends things within the compass of his own understanding. If
so, there would have been no need of revelation. Revelation has given us
all the knowledge of God necessary to our welfare and happiness. We have
not yet learned that man has become able to go beyond revelation in his
knowledge of God.

But suppose some one should take it into his fancy to say and believe
that the Sabbath was not a Divine institution, or that “Thou shalt not
kill,” “Thou shalt not commit adultery,” “Thou shalt not steal,” were
mere human contrivances, and contrary to the will and laws of their God;
now, if the God who has revealed these laws to us is the genuine God,
would not the god who should teach these forbidden acts to be lawful be
a different god? And although he would exist only in the imagination of
those who believed in such a being, yet would it be any the less
idolatry to worship him than it would be if a block were set up to
represent him? Is it any sufficient excuse, because such worshipper acts
from ignorance, or under the influence of a sincere _conscience_? Is it
to be presumed that those who sacrificed their children, and even
themselves, to a false god, were not sincere? Did not Paul act with a
sincere _conscience_ when he persecuted the Christians?

                  *       *       *       *       *

But can we suppose that the real Jehovah would, in a revelation to man
of his will, his law, recognise a thing as property among men, when, at
the same time, it was contrary to his will and his law that such thing
should be property among men?

“Neither shalt thou desire thy neighbour’s wife; neither shalt thou
covet thy neighbour’s house, his field, or his _man-servant_
(וְעַבְ֑דּוֹ֜ _his male slave_), or his maid-servant (וֲאֲמָתוֹ֙ _his
female slave_), his ox, or his ass, or any thing that is thy
neighbour’s.” _Deut._ v. 21, the 18th of the Hebrew text.

Would it not have been just as easy for God to have said, if such was
his will, “_Thou shalt not have slaves_,” as to have said this, as
follows? “And also of the heathen shall ye buy slaves, and your children
shall inherit them after you, and they shall be your slaves for ever!”

But Dr. Channing, speaking of the various exertions now making in behalf
of the abolition of slavery, gives us to understand that the Christian
philanthropy and the enlightened goodness, (and, he means, sympathy
alone,) now pouring forth in prayers and persuasions from the press, the
pulpit, from the lips and hearts of devoted men, cannot fail. “This,” he
says, “must triumph.” “It is leagued with God’s omnipotence.” “It is God
himself acting in the hearts of his children.” Vol. ii. p. 12. Does Dr.
Channing mean the God who revealed the law to Moses? If so, has he
changed his mind since that time?

We know that some say that slavery is contrary to their moral sense,
contrary to their conscience, that under no circumstances can it be
right. But if God has ordained the institution of slavery, not only as a
punishment of sin, but as a restraint of some effect against a lower
degradation, had not such men better cultivate and improve their “moral
sense” and “conscience” into a conformity with the law of God on this
subject? They cannot think that, on the account of their much talking,
God will change his government to suit their own peculiar views. In our
judgment, their views must bring great darkness to the mind, and, we
think, distress; for is it not a great distress itself, to be under the
government of one we think unjust? We know not but that we owe them, as
fellow travellers through this momentary existence, the duty of trying
to remove from their minds the cause of such darkness and distress.
Shall we counsel together? Will you, indeed, stop for a moment in
company with a brother? Will you hear the Bible? Will you, through a
child, listen to the voice of God?

                  *       *       *       *       *

All agree that slavery has existed in the world from a very remote age.
Wicked men and wicked nations have passed away, but slavery still exists
among their descendants. Good men and enlightened nations have gone the
way of all that is and has been, but slavery still abides on the earth.
Upon the introduction of Christianity, men, who little understood its
spirit, suddenly rose up to abolish slavery in cases where the slave
became converted to its faith; also to cut loose the believing child
from all obligations of obedience to the unbelieving parent, and also
the husband or wife from his or her unbelieving spouse. Yet this new
doctrine only met the condemnation of Peter and Paul. And even at the
present day, we find men ready to give up the religion of Christ, and
the gospel itself, rather than their own notions concerning slavery.

“If the religion of Christ allows such a licence” (to hold slaves) “from
such precepts as these, the New Testament would be the greatest curse
that was ever inflicted on our race.” _Barnes on Slavery_, p. 310. (He
quotes the passage from Dr. Wayland’s Letters, pp. 83, 84, which work we
have not seen.)

Such writers may be _conscientious_, but their writings have only bound
the slave in stronger chains. God makes his very enemies build up his
throne. Thus the exertions of man are ever feeble when in contradiction
to the providence of God. The great adversary has ever been at work to
dethrone the Almighty from the minds of men. Abolition doctrines are no
new thing in the world. We concede them the age of slavery itself, which
we shall doubtless find as old as sin.

Stay thy haste, then, thou who feelest able to teach wisdom to thy
Creator: come, listen to the voice of a child; the lessons of a worm;
for God is surely able to vindicate his ways before thee!

                  *       *       *       *       *

When Adam was driven out of paradise, he was told—

“Cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all
the days of thy life.” “Thorns and thistles shall it bring forth to
thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field. In the sweat of thy face
shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground.”

The expression, “Thou shalt eat the _herb_ of the field,” we think has a
very peculiar significance; for God made “every _herb_ of the field
before it grew;” and one of the reasons assigned why the “herb was made
before it grew,” we find to be, that “there was not a man to till the
ground.” Now, the word _to till_ is translated from the word לַֽעֲבֹֽד
_la ebod_, and means _to slave_; but in English we use the term not so
directly. We use more words to express the same idea; we say _to do
slave-labour on the ground_, instead of _to slave the ground_, as the
expression stands in Hebrew.

The doctrine is, that the herb, on which the fallen sinner is destined
to subsist, was not of spontaneous growth; it could only be produced by
sweat and toil, even unto sorrow. Sin had made man a slave to his own
necessities; he had _to slave the ground_ for his subsistence; and such
was the view of David, who, after describing how the brute creation is
spontaneously provided for, says—

“He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and _herb_ for the service
(לַֽעֲבֹדַ֣ת _la ebodath, the slavery_) of man: that he may bring forth
food out of the earth.” _Ps._ civ. 14.

This state of being compelled to labour with sweat and toil for
subsistence, is the degree of slavery to which sin reduced the whole
human family. If we mistake not, the holy books include the idea that
sin affects the character of man as a moral poison, producing
aberrations of mind in the constant direction of greater sins and an
increased departure from a desire to be in obedience to the laws of God.
If we mistake not, the doctrine also is prominent that idleness is not
only a sin itself, but exceedingly prolific of still greater sins. This
mild state of slavery, thus imposed on Adam, was a constant restraint
against a lower descent into sin, and can be regarded in no other light
than a merciful provision of God in protection of his child, the
creation of his hand. If it then be a fact that a given intensity of sin
draws upon itself a corresponding condition of slavery, as an operating
protection against the final effect of transgression, it will follow
that an increased intensity of sin will demand an increased severity of
the condition of slavery. Thus, when Cain murdered Abel, God said to

“Now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to
receive thy brother’s blood from thy hand. When thou _tillest_ (תַֽעֲבד֙
_tha ebod, thou slavest_) the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto
thee her strength: a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the
earth.” * * * “And the Lord set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him
should kill him.”

“Shall not yield unto thee her strength;” either the earth should be
less fruitful, or from his own waywardness, it should be less skilfully
cultivated by him, or that a profit from his labour should be enjoyed by
another; or, perhaps, from the joint operation of them all. Thus an
aggravated degree of sin is always attended by an aggravated degree of

The next final step we discover in the history of slavery appears in
Ham, the son of Noah; and he said, “Cursed be Canaan; a servant of
servants shall he be unto his brethren.” “_Servant of servants_,” עֶ֖בֶד
עֲבָדִ֖ים _ebed ebadim, slave of slaves_. This mode of expression in
Hebrew is one of the modes by which they expressed the superlative
degree. The meaning is, the _most abject slave_ shall he be to his

Heretofore slavery has been of less intensity; here we find the
ordination of the master, and it is not a little remarkable that he is
distinctly blessed!

“And he said, I am Abraham’s servant. And the Lord hath blessed my
master greatly, and he is become great: and he hath given him flocks,
and herds, and silver and gold, and _men-servants_ (וַֽעֲבָדִים _va
ebadim, and male slaves_), and _maid-servants_ (וּשְׁפָ֔חֹת _va
shephahoth, and female slaves_), and camels and asses.” “And Sarah, my
master’s wife, bare a son to my master when she was old: and unto him
hath he given all that he hath.”

And of Isaac it is said—

“Then Isaac sowed in that land, and received in the same year a hundred
fold: and the Lord blessed him, and the man waxed great, and went
forward and grew until he became very great: for he had possessions of
flocks, and possessions of herds, and great store of servants
(וַֽעֲבֻדָּ֥ה _va ebuddah, and a large family of slaves_): _and the
Philistines envied him_.” We pray that no one in these days will imitate
those wicked Philistines!

And of Jacob it is said— “And the man increased exceedingly, and had
much cattle, and _maid-servants_ (וּשְׁפָחוֹת _vu shephahoth_), _and
female slaves_ and _men-servants_ (וַ֥עֲבָדִים _va ebadim, and male
slaves_), and camels, and asses.” “And the Lord said unto Jacob, Return
unto the land of thy fathers, and to thy kindred; and I will be with

“_He that is_ despised, and hath a _servant_ (עֶבֶד _ebed, a slave_), is
better than he that honoureth himself, and lacketh bread.” _Prov._ xii.

“I know that whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever; nothing can be
put to it, nor any thing taken from it: and God doeth it that men should
fear before him. That which hath been is now; and that which is to be,
hath already been; and God requireth that which is past.” _Eccl._ iii.


                               LESSON XV.

We shall, in the course of these studies, with some particularity
examine what evidence there may be that Ham took a wife from the race of
Cain; and we propose a glance at that subject now. Theological students
generally agree that, in _Genesis_ vi. 2, “sons of God” mean those of
the race of Seth; and that the “daughters of men” imply the females of
the race of Cain. The word “fair,” in our version, applied to these
females, does not justly teach us that they were white women, or that
they were of a light complexion. It is translated from the Hebrew טֹבֹת
_tovoth_, being in the feminine plural, from טוֹב _tov_, and merely
expresses the idea of what may seem _good_ and _excellent_ to him who
speaks or takes notice: it expresses no quality of complexion nor of
beauty beyond what may exist in the mind of the beholder; it is usually
translated good or excellent. Immediately upon the announcement that
these two races thus intermarry, God declares that his spirit shall not
always strive with man, and determines to destroy man from the earth. Is
it not a plain inference that such intermarriages were displeasing to
him? And is it not also a plain inference, these intermarriages were
proofs that the “wickedness of man had become great in the earth?” Cain
had been driven out a degraded, deteriorated vagabond. Is there any
proof that his race had improved?

The fact is well known that all races of animals are capable of being
improved or deteriorated. A commixture of a better with a worse sample
deteriorates the offspring of the former. Man is no exception to this
rule. Our position is, that sin, as a moral poison, operating in one
continued strain in the degradation and deterioration of the race of
Cain, had at length forced them down to become exceedingly obnoxious to
God. Intermarriage with them was the sure ruin of the race of Seth: it
subjected them at once to the curses cleaving to the race of Cain. Even
after the flood, witness the repugnance to intermarry with the race of
Ham often manifested by the descendants of Shem; and that the Israelites
were forbidden to do so.

Now, for a moment, let us suppose that Ham did marry and take into the
ark a daughter of the race of Cain. If the general intermixture of the
Sethites with the Cainites had so deteriorated the Sethites, and reduced
them to the moral degradation of the Cainites, that God did not deem
them worthy of longer encumbering the earth before the flood, would it
be an extraordinary manifestation of his displeasure at the supposed
marriage of Ham with one of the cursed race of Cain, to subject the
issue of such marriage to a degraded and perpetual bondage?

But again, in case this supposed marriage of Ham with the race of Cain
be true, then Ham would be the progenitor of all the race of Cain who
should exist after the flood; and such fact would be among the most
prominent features of his history. It would, in such case, be in strict
conformity with the usages of these early times for his father to have
called him by a name indicative of such fact: instead of calling him
Ham, he would announce to him a term implying his relationship with the
house of Cain. If such relation did not exist, why did he call him

Some suppose that this question would be answered by saying that the
term was applied to the youngest son of Ham; but all the sons of Ham
were born after the flood; yet the planting of the vineyard and the
drinking of the wine are the first acts of Noah which are mentioned
after that deluge; and further, Canaan, the son of Ham, was most
certainly not the individual whose ill-behaviour was simultaneous with
and followed by the curse of slavery. Have we any proof, or any reason
to believe, that Canaan, the son of Ham, was then even born? But in the
catalogue of Noah’s sons, even before the planting of the vineyard is
mentioned, Ham is called the father of Canaan, even before we are told
that he had any sons. Why was he then so called the father of Canaan,
unless upon the fact that by his marriage he necessarily was to become
the progenitor of the race of Cain in his own then unborn descendants?

Under all the facts that have come down to us, we are not to suppose
that there was any Cainite blood in Noah, or in Noah’s wife. Why then
did Ham choose to commemorate the race of Cain, by naming his fourth son
Cain, a term synonymous with Cainite, or Canaanite? And why did the race
of Ham do the same thing through many centuries, using terms differently
varied, sometimes interchanging the consonant and vowel sounds, as was
common in the language they used? These variations, it is true, when
descending into a language so remote as ours, might not be noticed, yet
the linguist surely will trace them all back to their root, the original
of “Cain.”

God never sanctions a curse without an adequate cause; a cause under the
approbation of his law, sufficient to produce the effect the curse
announces. The conduct of Ham to his father proved him to possess a
degraded, a very debased mind; but that alone could not produce so
vital, so interminable a change in the moral and physical condition of
his offspring. And where are we to look for such a cause, unless in
marriage? And with whom could such an intermarriage be had, except with
the cursed race of Cain? The ill-manners of Ham no doubt accelerated the
time of the announcement of the curse, but was not the sole cause. The
cause must have previously existed; and the effect would necessarily
have been produced, even if it had never been announced.

But again, the condition of slavery imposed on the descendants of Ham,
subjected them to be bought and sold; they became objects of purchase as
property, for this quality is inseparable from the condition of the most
abject slavery. Now the very name _Cain_ signifies “_one purchased_.” “I
have _gotten_ a man from the Lord.” The word “gotten,” in the original,
is the word his mother Eve gave her son for his name, “Cain.” _I have
purchased_, &c., evidently shadowing forth the fact that his race were
to be subjects of purchase.

The history of man since the flood is accompanied with a sufficiency of
facts by which we are enabled to determine that the descendants of Ham
were black, and that the black man of Africa is of that descent.

“And the Lord set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him would kill

The word “_mark_” is translated from אוֹת _oth_; its signification is,
_a mark by which to distinguish_; _a memorial or warning_; _miraculous
sign or wonder, consisting either in word or deed, whereby the certainty
of any thing future is foretold or known_; and hence it partook of the
nature of a prophecy. In the present case it was the mark of sin and
degradation; it was the token of his condition of slavery, of his being
a vagabond on the earth. It distinguished his rank of inferiority and
wickedness, proclaiming him to be the man whose greatest punishment was
to live and bear his burthens, _below all rivalship_.

Hence its protective influence. Now, by the common consent of all men,
at all times, what has been the mark of sin and degradation? Were we
even now, among ourselves, about to describe one of exceedingly wicked
and degraded character, should we say that he looked very white? Or
should we say that his character was black? And so has been the use of
the term since language has been able to send down to distant times the
ideas and associations of men.

“Their visage is blacker than a coal.”

“Our skin was black.”

“I am black: astonishment hath taken hold on me.”

“For though thou wash thee with nitre, and take thee much soap, yet
thine iniquity is marked before me, saith the Lord God.”

And who shall say that the wicked, disgusting mode of life, the
practices deteriorating the physical and mental powers imputed to the
Cainites, do not constitute what some may call a philosophical cause of
the physical development of the mark of sin? Does not our own
observation teach us that a single lifetime, spent in the practice of
some degrading sins, leaves upon the person the evidence, the mark, the
proof of such practice? We are under no compulsion of evidence or belief
to suppose that the mark set upon Cain was the product of a moment; but
the gradual result of his wicked practices, as a physical and moral

But allow the fact to have been that, in the case of Cain, the physical
change was instantaneous, God had the power to institute in a moment
what should thereafter be produced only by progression or inheritance.
God created man; but, thereafter, man was born and became mature through
the instrumentality only of physical causes.

“The shew of their countenance doth witness against them; and they
declare their sin as Sodom, they hide it not.” _Isa._ iii. 9. In fact,
“The faces of them all gather blackness.” _Nahum_ ii. 10.

But we know that the descendants of Ham were black; nor is it stated
that any personal mark was placed upon him, although the name applied to
his first-born son, “Cush,” signifies that he was black, giving proof
that the colour was inherited; but from whom? Not from his father!

“Can the _Ethiopian_ (כּוּשִׁי _Cushi_, _the Cushite_, _the black man_)
change his skin?”

The evidence forced on the mind leads to the conclusion that the
descendants of Ham were black, not by the progressive operation of the
laws of God on the course of sin which they doubtless practised, but
that they were so at birth,—consequently an inheritance from parentage.
And a further conclusion also is, that the wife of Ham must have been
black, of the race of Cain, inheriting his _mark_, and that _that mark_
was black.

A further proof that Ham took to wife a daughter of the race of Cain is
found in the traces of evidence indicating her person, who she was.
Lamech, of the race of Cain, had a daughter, Naamah; her name is given
as the last in the genealogy of Cain. Why did the inspired penman think
it necessary to send her name down to us? Why was the genealogy of Cain
given us, unless to announce some fact important for us to know? If this
whole race were to be cut off by the flood, we see nothing in the
genealogy teaching any lesson to the descendants of Noah. Why was the
particular line from Cain to Naamah selected, unless she was the
particular object designed to be pointed out? Hundreds of other
genealogies, commencing in Cain and terminating in some one just at the
coming of the flood, existed; but not written down nor transmitted, for
the obvious reason that such list could be of no benefit to posterity.
Are we not, then, led to believe that there was some design in the
preservation of the one terminating in Naamah? But this genealogy could
only be preserved through the family of Noah; through whom we also have
a genealogy of the line from Seth, terminating in Noah’s youngest son.
These two stand in a parallel position, at the foot of each separate
list. But it is so extremely unusual for ancient genealogies to give the
name of a female, who had brothers, that it becomes strong evidence,
when such catalogue terminates in the name of such a female, that she
personally was the individual on whose account the catalogue was formed.
Is not this consideration, and the fact that it could only be preserved
by the family of Noah, evidence that they attached sufficient importance
to it to make its preservation by them a desirable object?

Inasmuch as Naamah belonged to a race distinct from that of Seth, could
the family of Noah have any desire to preserve her lineage from any
other cause than that of her having become a member of that family?—in
which case the cause of its preservation is obvious, and a thing to have
been expected. On any other state of facts, would they have carefully
handed down the genealogy, so far as we are informed, of a mere
uninteresting woman of the cursed race of Cain, and neglected to have
given us the _name_ and _genealogy of Noah’s wife_, of the more holy
race of Seth?

The presumption then being that she did become the wife of one of Noah’s
sons, the first inquiry is, to which was she attached? A sufficient
answer to this question, for the present moment, will be found in the
fact that Ham was doomed to perpetual and bitter slavery, while his
brothers were blessed and ordained to be his masters. Now since an
amalgamation of the races of Seth and Cain was deemed a most grievous
sin before the flood, if Japheth or Shem had either of them taken Naamah
to wife, it would be past understanding to find them both highly blessed
and made the masters of Ham.

But a more direct evidence that Ham did take to wife Naamah, of the race
of Cain, is found in the fact that the descendants of Ham commemorated
her name by giving it to persons of their race, as descendants might be
expected to do, who wished to keep it in remembrance. The name of her
mother also is found in similar use.

These names are varied, often, from the original form, as are a great
number of proper names found in use among the ancient nations. These
words we shall have hereafter occasion particularly to examine. We shall
merely add, that in the marriage of Ham and Naamah we may find a
reasonable explanation for the otherwise inexplicable speech of Lamech
to his two wives,—since such marriage would have produced, what we find
was produced, the ruin and degradation of Ham,—we might say, his moral
death, his extinguishment, from the race of Seth. Some commentators
deduce the name Naamah from the root “_nam_,” and consequently make it
signify _beautiful_. We give it quite a different origin, which we shall
explain at large elsewhere. It is to be expected that men will differ in
opinion as to the historical facts of these early days. Some have made
Naamah a pure saint; some, the wife of Noah; some, of her brother,
Tubal-Cain; some make her the heathen goddess Venus; others, the mother
of evil spirits.

Thus diversified have been the speculations of men. We present our view,
because we believe it better sustained by Scripture and known facts than
any we have examined: but we deem it no way important in the
justification of the ways of God to man; for, whatever the truth may be,
this we know, that the curse of slavery was, if Scripture be true,
unalterably uttered against the race of Ham,—in which condition, as a
people, they ever have been and still are found: a condition so well
adapted to their physical and mental organization, the result of ages
spent in bad, degenerating habits, that when held in such relation by
the races of Japheth or Shem, the race of Ham is found gradually to
emerge from its native brutality into a state of comparative elevation
and usefulness in the world; a condition without which they, as a race,
have never been found progressing, but ever exhibiting the desire of
wandering backward, in search of the life of the vagabond, in the midst
of the wilderness of sin;—unless in this author, Dr. Channing, we find
an exception; for he more than intimates that he found the negro women
of Jamaica rather to excel the white ones of New England. We believe,
according to his own taste and judgment, what he said was true; but we
also believe his taste was very depraved, and his judgment of no value
on this subject; yet we feel less astonishment at the degenerate sons of
Seth before the flood, on the account of their admiration of the black
daughters of the race of Cain; and we should feel it a subject of
curious solicitude, if Dr. Channing’s taste and judgment on this subject
were to become the standard among his disciples, whether they will, by
their practice, illustrate the habit of these antediluvians!


                               Study IV.


                               LESSON I.

In the course of the present study, we propose to notice the doctrine
and action of the church as connected with the subject of slavery; and
to examine what were the tenets and conduct of those men who claimed to
be governed by the immediate teachings of Christ and his apostles.

In this investigation, we must apply to the records of the Catholic
Church, although we are aware that, in the minds of some, strong and
bitter prejudice may exist against these records; that some will say the
canker of corruption had destroyed the very kernel of Christianity in
that church.

Bower, a Protestant author, in the preface to his “History of the
Popes,” 7 vols. quarto, says—

“We must own the popes to have been, generally speaking, men of
extraordinary talents, the ablest politicians we read of in history;
statesmen fit to govern the world, and equal to the vast dominion they
grasped at; a dominion over the minds as well as the bodies and estates
of mankind; a dominion, of all that ever were formed, the most wide and
extensive, as knowing no other bounds but those of the earth.” Page 10,
vol. i. 3d edition, London, 1750.

Mr. Bower was a very learned man, had been educated a Catholic, was
professor of rhetoric, history, and philosophy in the universities of
Rome, Fermo, and Macerata, and counsellor of the Inquisition at Rome. He
commenced a work to prove the pope’s infallibility and supremacy. But he
proved to himself the adverse doctrine. He resigned his professorships
and places, removed to London, abjured the Catholic religion, and wrote
the work quoted. It is a work of great labour and merit, and well worth
the attention of the curious in these matters. But it is proper here to
remark, that Mr. Sale, in his preface to his translation of the Koran,
has made a severe, yet an unexplained attack, on the character of this
writer; but whatever may have been the provocation, we have to view him
through his book. It is not always possible for a just degree of merit
to be awarded those who lived in former times. We cannot always learn
the circumstances influencing them, nor do we often throw our minds back
into their peculiar position, by which alone can we be able to give a
just value to those influences.

History has handed us a few of the acts of him who lived a thousand
years ago; by them we judge, as though he lived to-day, acts which
prejudice may have distorted, or favour presented to the lens of time.
We must look to the condition of things at the time of the act; to the
probable effect under such condition, and to the real effect as
developed by time.

Pope Benedict IX. ascended the throne in A.D. 1033. He is very
unfavourably known to history. During his time there was a very powerful
faction raging against him at Rome, by which, at one time, he was driven
into exile. He is said to have sold the popedom, because his
debaucheries made him an object of contempt, and he wished to be free
from restraint; but in 1041, four years before he abandoned the papal
chair, he established, at a council in Aquitaine, the _Treuga Dei_,
whence it has been said that, during three days in the week, he
permitted any man to commit all sorts of crimes, even murder, free from
church censure, &c. By the _Treuga Dei_, for any wrong done him, no
person was permitted to revenge himself, from Wednesday evening to
Monday morning: construed, as above, by some, that he might do so during
the remaining portion of the week.

The facts were, all Europe was still groping in the ignorance of the
darkest ages; yet Christianity had been firmly established as a system
of faith. The church had always forbidden a revengeful redress of
individual wrongs; and, for such acts, her priests ever threatened
excommunication. But these charges had little or no effect during these
still semi-idolatrous and barbarous ages.

The kings were but heads of tribes, too weak to restrain their nobles,
as the nobles were their vassals: under such a state of things, each one
strove to redress his own wrongs. This led to constant murders, and
every kind of crime. Each state was constantly agitated by civil
commotions and bloodshed. Great moral changes are advanced by short
steps. The church took this evil in hand, and hence the _Treuga Dei_, a
word used in the Latin of that day, a corruption from the Gothic
_triggua_, and now found in the Spanish and Italian “_tregua_,” and from
whence our word _truce_. The curse of God was pronounced against all
offenders, and death followed a discovery of the crime. It was thought
to be a Divine suggestion, and hence the name. All consented to yield to
it as such, and it was found to have a powerful effect. In 1095, it was
warmly sustained in the Council of Clermont, under Urban II., and
extended to all the holy-days, and perpetually to clerks, monks,
pilgrims, merchants, husbandmen, and women, and to the persons and
property of all who would engage in crusades, and against all
devastations by fire. It was re-established in 1102, by Paschal II.; in
1139, by Innocent II.; in 1180, by Alexander III.; nor would it be
difficult to show that the _Treuga Dei_, the _Truce of God_, of Benedict
IX., was one of the most important, during the primary steps towards the
civilization of Europe; such was the state of society in that age of the
world. But we acknowledge that individuals of the Roman church, some of
whom obtruded themselves into the priesthood, have been very corrupt
men. But have not similar obtrusions happened in every other Christian,
Protestant, or worthy association of men? Have we not seen, among the
apostles, a Judas, betraying the Saviour of the world? Ananias and
Sapphira, attempting to swindle even God himself? Of confidence betrayed
among men, need we point to the tragical death of Servetus, which has
for ever placed the bloody mark of murder on the face of Calvin?

And may we not find sometimes, among ourselves, lamentable instances of
corruption, which, in the blackness of their character, defy the powers
of the pen? Instances, where, recreant to every honest, noble, and holy
feeling, individuals, hidden, as they think, beneath the robes of
righteousness, have carried poverty and distress to the house of the
widow, trampling on the rights—may be, the life—of the orphan, and even
using the confidence of a brother to betray and rob him?

Nor is it a matter of any exultation to the broken, the wounded mind,
that, in all such instances, unless the stink of insignificance shall
totally exclude such criminal from the page of history, whatever may be
the cloak he may wear, truth will eventually for ever convert it into
the burning shirt of Nessus.

But, if you call a dog a thief, he feels no shame. Generations of
enforced improvement and the grace of God alone can wipe out the stains
of an evil heart. Nor can man alter this his destiny. Therefore, in all
ages, and among all men, the tares and the wheat have been found in the
same field. What presumption, then, if not blasphemy, in opposition to
the word of Jehovah, to say, that the looming light of truth never
dawned upon this night of time until the advent of Luther or Knox!

In presenting the action and records of the church and early fathers, we
have freely adopted the sentiments and facts digested by Bishop England,
to whom, we take occasion here to say, we feel as much indebted, as
though we had merely changed a particle or deleted what was irrelevant
to our subject. Nor do we know of higher honour we can do this great and
good man than to lend our feeble mite to extend the knowledge of his
research, his purity, and great learning; and if, in the continuation of
this his unfinished study, amid the pagan superstitions and bigoted
thousands of Islam in benighted Asia, the conflicts of the Cross and the
Wand of Woden, during the dark ages of continental Europe, we may be
suffered to feel the elevating influence of his life-giving mantle, we
shall also surely feel elevated hopes of a high immortality.

But, it may be well here to remark, that we have no sectarian church to
sustain; that we belong to no religious order; nor have, as yet,
subscribed to any faith formed by man. And while we advocate the cause
of religion and truth, yielding ourselves in all humility to the
influence of Divine power, we feel as certain of his final notice, as
though we had marched through under a thousand banners at the head of
the world. We have all confidence in the word of him who hath said that
even the sparrow falleth not without his notice.

But, it is said, when disease infuses bile into the organs of sight, the
objects of vision have a peculiar tinge: to blend previous, sometimes
numerous, impressions into one perception, is a common action of the
mind. Thus the present idea is often modified by those that have
preceded; and hence we may conclude how often the mind is under the
insensible influence of prejudice. Upon these facts she has enthroned
her power.

But he who has schooled his mind in the doctrines of a tranquil
devotion, who habituates himself to view all things past, present, and
to come, through the medium of cause and effect, as the mere links of
one vast chain, reaching from Omnipotence to the present action, may
well rise superior to the tumult of passion or the empire of prejudice.
And to the utilitarian permit us to say, that prejudice is peculiarly
unsuited to the age of moral and physical improvement in which we live.
Let no one say, the spirit of improvement has a deep root, and its lofty
hopes cannot be subverted; that the most penetrating philosophy cannot
prescribe its limits, the most ardent imagination reach its bounds:
rather let him reflect that all improvement must for ever follow the
footsteps of truth; and that the peculiar province of prejudice is to
set us aside from its path.

With such views, let us for a moment consider the circumstances
attending the early ages of the Roman church; and let us note that,
although her priests were but men, whether her records are not as
reliable as if some of her peculiarities had been different, or she had
been called by a different name. But we shall not quote or pursue these
records down to so late a day as the Protestant Reformation. We hope,
therefore, that the Protestant will say that the records we quote are,
most decidedly, the records of the church.


                               LESSON II.

The moral condition of man was peculiar. To a great extent the religious
systems of the Old World had been analyzed by the intelligent; they no
longer gave confidence to the mind. The sanctity of the temples was
dissipated by the mere speculations of philosophy, and the gods of
idolatry tottered on their pedestals.

The nations of the earth were brought in subjection, in slavery, to the
feet of imperial Rome; and their gods, being presented face to face,
lost their divinity by the rivalship of men.

Such was the condition of the moral world when Christianity was
introduced to mankind.

The old religions pretended to give safety by bargain of sacrifice, by
penance, and payment, but the religion of Jesus Christ taught that
salvation and safety were the free gift of God.

The history of man proves the fact that he has ever been disposed to
purchase happiness on earth and felicity in heaven by his own acts, or
by the merit of his condition; and hence, we always find that a
corrupted Christianity for ever borders on the confines of idolatry. Nor
is it difficult to show how this easily runs into all the wild
extravagancies of human reason, or, rather, human ignorance; while the
simplicity of truth tends to a calm submission, and a desire of
obedience to the will and laws of the only true God. The one was the
religion of the government of men, of show, of political power, and
expediency; the other is of heaven, of truth. “My kingdom is not of this

The barbarians of northern Europe and western Asia, while yet only
illumined by some faint rays of the Christian light, feeling from habit
the want of the external pomp and the governing control of a religious
power, in a half-savage, half-heathen state of mind, were disposed to
prostrate themselves at the feet of the chief priest of Rome.

In the year 312, under the pontificate of Melchiades, (by the Greeks
called Miltiades,) the Emperor Constantine established the Christian
church by law. Thus sustained, it became at once the pool in which
ambition and crime sought to cleanse their robes. Yet, beneath its
waters were priceless pearls. Torn by schism, sometimes by temporal
misrule, the church languished,—but lived. For several centuries the
future became a mere variation of the past. The ways of God are indeed
inscrutable. A flaming meteor in the east now agitated the mind. Like
the insects of twilight, thousands marshalled under the crescent light
of the prophet. The disciples of Mohammed swept from the earth the
churches at Antioch and Alexandria, suddenly made inroads on Europe,
conquered Spain, and were in step to overleap the Pyrenees and Alps. Let
us step aside, and reconnoitre their host!

The object of the Arabian, Saracen, and Moorish warriors was the
propagation of their creed. The alternative was proposed to all,—its
embrace, or tribute; if rejected, the chance of war. Persia and Syria
were quickly subdued. Egypt and Cyprus gave way, A.D. 645. The slave of
Jews or Christians seldom rejected freedom in favour of the cross; if
so, he was reduced to the level of the vilest brute. The free were
either put to death, or, as a great favour, permitted to be slaves. Thus
the Christian master and slave were often in a reversed condition under
Mohammedan rule. Sicily and the whole northern Africa substituted the
crescent for the Cross; and in quick succession Spain was invaded and
the throne of Roderick overturned. Toledo yielded to Mousa; and Fleury,
lib. xli. part 25, says—“He put the chief men to death, and subjugated
all Spain, as far as Saragossa, which he found open. He burned the
towns, he had the most powerful citizens crucified, he cut the throats
of children and infants, and spread terror on every side.”

Italy was in consternation; the church trembled, and Constantinople was
threatened. Crossing the Pyrenees, A.D. 719, they poured down upon
France, met Charles, the father of Pepin, and Eude of Aquitaine, who
slew Zama, and compelled his troops to raise the siege of Toulouse; but,
recovering confidence, their incursions were frequent and bloody; and
the historians of that day announce that, upon one occasion alone, they
lost 370,000 men upon the fields of France. But these reverses were the
bow of hope to the Peninsula. Alphonsus struck a blow, and in one day
retook many towns and released from bondage ten thousand Christian
slaves. These exertions were continued with intermitted success; and,
like the retiring thunder of the retreating storm, the rage of battle
became less terrific and at more distant periods; but the standard of
Islam still continued to affrighten the world, alternately flaming its
red glare over the Peninsula to the mountains of France and the plains
of Italy, and until embattled Europe, excited to Croisade, dispelled its
power on the banks of the Jordan.

But, let us return. Aistulphus appears amid this flame of war. His
Lombards threaten extermination, and brandish the sword at the very
gates of Rome. Pepin had now usurped the throne of the Franks. He
demanded the confirmation of the church; and, in return, promised
protection to the “Republic of God.” Rome saw the prospect of her ruin,
with searching eyes looked for aid, and confirmed Pepin in his secular
power; who, in gratitude, drove for a time the Lombards from Italy, and
deposited the keys of the conquered cities on the altar of Saint Peter.

The Roman emperors had now long since removed their court to
Constantinople. Their power over western Europe vacillated with the
strife of the times. Charlemagne now appears kissing the steps of the
throne of the church. Again he appears, master of all the nations
composing the Western Empire, and of Rome; and, on Christmas-day, in the
year 800, Leo III. placed the crown of the Roman emperors on the head of
the son of Pepin. But, as yet, the act of crowning by the pope was a
mere form.

Fifty years had scarcely sunk in the past, when the Emperor Basilius
expelled Photius from the patriarchal see of his capital. He was charged
with having been the tool of the Emperor Michael. He claimed supremacy
over the pope of Rome. Hadrian had now ascended the papal chair, 867.
Jealous of the bold spirit of Photius, his excommunication was recorded,
and Ignatius installed in his see.

But the Greeks and Bulgarians, jealous for their native priesthood,
demanded by what authority the see of Rome claimed jurisdiction over the
Old and New Epirus, Thessaly, and Dardania, the country now called
Bulgaria. For more than four centuries there had been occasional
jealousies between these two churches; certain articles of faith
continued subjects of difference; and the questions of temporal and
spiritual precedence made them ever watchful. History records that, as
early as 606, Phocas, having ascended the imperial throne, treading upon
the dead bodies of the Emperor Mauritius, his children and
friends,—Cyriacus, the patriarch, exposed to his view the enormity of
his crimes, and most zealously exhorted to repentance. The supremacy of
order and dignity was instantly granted to the patriarch of Rome, in the
person of Boniface III. But his successors, their historians say, wisely
refused, disclaimed the favour of Phocas, but claimed it as a Divine
right derived from St. Peter. Thus commenced and was made final the
severance of the Greek and Roman churches.

But the loss of spiritual rule in the east was accompanied by an
enlargement of temporal power in the west. Upon the death of Hadrian,
John, the son of Gundo, succeeded to the papal chair; and, upon the
demise of Lewis II., (876,) his uncles, Lewis, king of Germany, and
Charles the Bald, king of France, were rivals for the vacant throne.
Charles and Hadrian were ever at variance. But, seizing upon the moment,
because he was more ready at hand, or more yielding to his wishes, John
invoked him instantly at Rome, received him with loudest acclamations,
and crowned him emperor, just seventy-five years to a day from the
elevation of Charlemagne to the Western Empire.

Upon this occasion, Pope John announced that he had elected him emperor
in conformity to the revealed will of God; that his act of crowning him
made him such; and that the sceptre, under God, was his free gift. This
new doctrine was assented to by Charles, and ever after claimed as one
of the powers of the pope of Rome. Thus the church of Rome became wholly
separated from the Eastern Empire,—“freely losing its hold on a decayed
tree, to graft itself upon a wild and vigorous sapling.” _D'Aubigne._

Eutropius, the Lombard, informs us of the rich presents made to St.
Peter for these favours of the pope, and that the emperor ceded to him
the dukedoms, Benevento and Spoleti, together with the sovereignty of
Rome itself.

Thus we have seen why and how the brawny shoulders of the idolatrous
children of the north elevated to the throne, thus how the Franks
established the temporal power, of the popes of Rome; yet, perhaps,
little was foreseen how this state of things was destined, in the course
of events, to elevate the church of Rome, and the power of its pontiffs,
to a supremacy of all temporal government. It could not have been
foreseen how the genius of Hildebrand (Pope Gregory VII.) should, two
hundred years after, carry into full accomplishment, by mere words of
peace, “what Marius and Cæsar could not by torrents of blood.”

But corruption, to a greater or less extent, necessarily followed such a
connection of church and state. It matters not to whom, nor in what
age,—give churches temporal power, and they are _liable_ to be corrupt.

But the church was still a fountain from which the living waters were
dispensed to mankind. Instances of personal wickedness may have been
more or less common; yet the spirit of truth found it a focal residence,
and diffused its light to the world.

The Christian church is not the contrivance of man, whose works pass
away, but of God, who upholds what he creates, and who has given his
promise for its duration. Its object is to satisfy the religious wants
of human nature, in whatever degree that nature may be developed; and
its efficacy is no greater for the learned than for the unlearned; for
the exalted of the earth, than for the slave.


                              LESSON III.

It is said all nature swarms with life. But every animal, in some way,
preys upon his fellow. Even we cannot move our foot without becoming the
means of destruction to petty animals capable of palpitating for hours,
may be days, in the agonies of death. There is no day upon this earth,
in which men, and millions of other animals, are not tortured in some
way, to the fullest extent of life.

Let us look at man alone; poor and oppressed; tormented by injustice,
and stupified to lethargy; writhing under disease, or tortured by his
brethren! Recollect his mental pains! The loss of friends, and the
poison of ingratitude; the rage of tyranny, and the slow progress of
justice; the brave, the high-minded, the honest, consigned to the fate
of guilt!

Dive into the dungeon, or the more obscure prison-house of penury. See
the aged long for his end, and the young languish in despair; talents
and virtue in eternal oblivion: see malice, vengeance, and cruelty at
their work, while they propagate every hour; for severity begets its
kind, and hate begets hate.

Look where you will, the heart is torn with anguish; the soul is
saddened by sorrow. All things seem at war; all one vast abortion. Such
is the rugged surface; and the eye sees no golden sands, no precious
gems gleaming from beneath the blackened waters of human suffering.
These things are so; creation has grown up; and human life can never
effect one tremble of the leaf on which it has found its residence.

But the Christian philosopher views these evidences of a great moral
catastrophe without madness. He perceives that sin has sunk man into
degradation, slavery, and death. He comprehends his own weakness, and
trusts in God.

But there is a man, with all these facts before him, who rages. He makes
war on the providence, and determines, as if to renovate the work, of
the Almighty. Is he a man of a single idea? If not, let him make a
better world; and, while he is thus employed, let us resume our subject.

Slavery, either voluntary or involuntary, whether the immediate result
of crime or of mental and physical degradation, is equally the
consequent of sin. Let us consider how far its existence is sustained by
the laws of justice, of religion, and of God.

Our word, God, is pure Saxon, signifying “perfectly good;” “God is
good.” “And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, _it was_
very good.”

Suppose the laws of Japan permit voluntary slavery, as did those of
Moses. (See _Exod._ xxi. 5; also _Lev._ xxv. 47.) Suppose an African
negro, of the lowest grade, destitute and naked, voluntarily finds
himself in that island, where the poor, free inhabitants scarcely
sustain life by the most constant toil. The negro finds no employment.
He can neither buy, beg, nor steal; starvation is at hand. He applies to
sell himself, under the law of the country, a slave for life. Is not
slavery, in this case, a good, because life is a greater good than
liberty? Liberty is worth nothing in opposition to life. Liberty is
worth nothing without available possessions to sustain it. The
preservation of life is the highest law. The law of God, therefore,
would be contradictory, if it forbid a man to sell himself to sustain
his life; and the justice and propriety of such law must be universal
and eternal, so far as it can have relation with the condition of man
upon this earth.

But, “What is life without liberty?” said a beggar-woman! He, who thinks
life without liberty worth nothing, must die if he have no means to
sustain his liberty. Esther entertained no such notion: “For we are
sold, I and my people, to be destroyed and slain, and to perish. But if
we had been sold for bond-men, and bond-women, I had held my tongue.”
_Esth._ vii. 4.

Nor has such ever been the notion of the church. Bergier says, Dict.
Theo., Art. _Esclava_—

“That civil liberty became a benefit, only after the establishment of
civil society, when man had the protection of law, and the multiplied
facilities for subsistence; that, previous to this, absolute freedom
would be an injury to a person destitute of flocks, herds, lands, and

“The common possession of all things is said to be of the natural law;
because the distinction of possessions and slavery were not introduced
by nature, but by reason of man, for the benefit of human life; and thus
the law of nature is not changed by their introduction, but an addition
is made thereto.” _St. Thomas Aquinas, 1, 2, q. 94 a 95 ad 2_.

And the same father says again, _2, 2 q. 57 a 3 ad 2_—“This man is a
slave, absolutely speaking, rather a son, not by any natural cause, but
by reason of the benefits which are produced; for it is more beneficial
to this one to be governed by one who has more wisdom, and the other to
be helped by the labour of the former. Hence the state of slavery
belongs principally to the law of nations, and to the natural law, only
in the second degree, not in the first.”

But a man having the natural right to _sell_ himself proves that he has
the same right to _buy_ others. The one follows the other. But, suppose
the laws of Japan do not permit voluntary slavery for life, or, rather
that they have no law on the subject; but that they have a law, that
whosoever proves himself to be so degraded that he cannot, or will not
sustain himself, but is found loitering, begging, or stealing, shall be
forcibly sold a slave for life,—is not the same good effected as in the
other case, although the individual may be too debased to perceive it
himself? And is it difficult to perceive, that the same deteriorating
causes have produced both cases? The doctrine of the church is that
“death, sickness, and a large train of what is called natural evils, are
considered to be the consequences of sin. Slavery is an evil, and is
also a consequence of sin.” _Bishop England_, p. 23.

And St. Augustine preached the same doctrine, as long ago as the year
425. See his book, “_Of the City of God_,” liber xix. cap. 15. He
says—“The condition of slavery is justly regarded as imposed on the
sinner. Hence, we never read _slave_ (as one having a master) in
Scripture before the just Noe, by this word, punished the sin of his
son. Sin, not nature, thus introduced the word.”

And St. Ambrose, bishop of Milan, A.D. 390, in his book on “_Elias and
Fasting_” c. 5, says—“There would be no slavery to-day had there not
been drunkenness.”

And so, St. John Chrysostom, bishop of Constantinople, A.D. 400, Hom.
29, in Gen.: “Behold brethren born of the same mother! Sin makes one of
them a servant, and, taking away his liberty, lays him under

The very expression, “Cursed be Canaan, a servant of servants shall he
be to his brethren,” most distinctly shows the sentence to have been the
consequent of sin, and especially so when compared with the blessing
bestowed upon the two brothers, in which they are promised the
_services_ of him accursed.

Pope Gelesius I., A.D. 491, in his letter to the bishops of the Picene
territory, states, “slavery to have been the consequence of sin, and to
have been established by human law.”

St. Augustine, lib. xix. cap. 16, “On the City of God,” argues at length
to show “that the peace and good order of society, as well as religious
duty, demand that the wholesome laws of the state regulating the conduct
of slaves should be conscientiously observed.”

“Slavery is regarded by the church * * * not to be incompatible with the
natural law, to be the result of sin by Divine dispensation, to have
been established by human legislation; and, when the dominion of the
slave is justly acquired by the master, to be lawful, not in the sight
of the human tribunal only, but also in the eye of Heaven.” _Bishop
England_, page 24.

But again, in the works already quoted, “De Civitate Dei,” St. Augustine
says, liber xix. caput 15, that, “although slavery is the consequence of
sin, yet that the slavery may not always light upon the sinful
individual, any more than sickness, war, famine, or any other
chastisement of this sinful world, whereby it may often happen that the
less sinful are afflicted, that they may be turned more to the worship
of God, and brought into his enjoyment,” and refers to the case of
Daniel and his companions, who were slaves in Babylon, and by which
captivity Israel was brought to repentance.

In cap. 16, “he presents to view the distinction of bodily employment
and labour between the son and the slave; but that each are equally
under the master’s care; and as it regards the soul, each deserved a
like protection, and that therefore the masters were called _patres
familias_, or _fathers of households_; and shows that they should
consult for the eternal welfare of their slaves as a father for his
children; and insists upon the weight and obligation of the master to
restrain his slaves from vice, and to preserve discipline with strict
firmness, but yet with affection; not by verbal correction alone, but,
if requisite, corporeal chastisement, not merely for the punishment of
delinquency, but for a salutary monition to others.”

And he proceeds to show “that these things become a public duty, since
the peace of the vicinage depends upon the good order of its families,
and that the safety of the state depends upon the peace and discipline
of all the vicinage.”

This author also shows, from the etymology of the word “_servus_,” that,
according to the law of nations at the time, the conqueror had at his
disposal the lives of the captives. If from some cause he forbore to put
some of them to death, then such one was _servati_, or _servi_, that is,
kept from destruction or death, and their lives spared, upon the
condition of obedience, and of doing the labours and drudgery of the

And we may again inquire whether, when prisoners taken in war, under
circumstances attending their capture by which the captor feels himself
entitled to put them to death,—it is not a great good to the captured to
have their lives spared them, and they permitted to be slaves? The
answer will again turn upon the question, whether life is worth any
thing upon these terms? And whatever an individual may say, the world
will answer like Esther. Thus far slavery is an institution of mercy and
in favour of life.

We close this lesson by presenting the condition of slavery among the
Chinese, and their laws and customs touching the subject.

M. De Guignes, who traversed China throughout its whole extent,
observing with minuteness and philosophical research every thing in
relation to its singular race, does not believe slavery existed there
until its population had become overloaded, when, as a partial relief
from its miseries, they systematically made slaves of portions of their
own race.

He says, that in ancient times, “it is not believed that there were
slaves in China, except those who were taken prisoners in war, or
condemned to servitude by the laws. Afterwards, in times of famine,
parents were frequently reduced to the necessity of selling their
children. This practice, originated in the pressure of necessity, has
continued to exist, and even become common. * * * A person may also sell
himself as a slave when he has no other means of succouring his father;
a young woman, who finds herself destitute, may in like manner be
purchased with her own consent.

“The prisoners of war are the slaves of the emperor, and generally sent
to labour on his land in Tartary. The judges have the power to pass the
sentence of slavery on culprits such as are sold at public auction;
slaves also who belong to persons whose property is confiscated, are
sold to the highest bidder by public outcry.” See work as quoted by
Edin. Encyc., Article, “_China_.”


                               LESSON IV.

The titles which divines and canonists have considered to be good and
valid for the possession of slaves, are purchase, inheritance, gift,
birth, slaves made in war, and sentenced for crime; but, in all cases,
the title is vitiated when not sustained by the civil law. Yet the civil
law may be repealed, or ameliorated, so that prisoners taken in war or
crime may not be subject to death or servitude, in which case the
validity of the title follows in the footsteps of the civil law; but
these conditions primarily exist, as perpetual as the condition of man.
The civil law, by its intervention, merely diverts the action during its

But, in all cases of a secondary title, the validity follows the
character of the previous holding, as no man can sell, give, or leave by
inheritance a better title than that which he has. The question thus
runs to the origin of what gives a good title, to wit, the condition
that enforces one to be sold, or to sell himself, a slave, in favour of
life. True, Blackstone, Montesquieu, and others of less note, contend
that no man has a right _to sacrifice his liberty_; and what is their
argument? They make an assumption, where there is no parallel, “that
liberty is of equal worth to life;” but before their argument is good,
they must show that liberty is of more value than life: for surely a man
may barter an equal for an equal. They cry, “God gave all men liberty.”
Even that is a fiction. The truth is, God gave no man liberty, only upon

But to show that life is of more value than liberty, we need only
observe that even with the loss of liberty there is hope—hope of change,
of liberty, and of the means of sustaining it; and such hopes have often
been realized. There is no truth in the proposition that liberty is of
equal value (or rather superior) to life. The doctrine therefore is,
that man, in his natural state, is the master of his own liberty, and
may dispose of it as he sees proper in favour of life; that he may be
deprived of it by force, in consequence of crime, or from his not being
able to sustain it; and in all cases where liberty has become of less
value than life, and both cannot be sustained, the one may be properly
exchanged for the safety of the other. And upon this principle, in those
countries where the parent had the right, by their law, to put to death
his own children, he also had the right to sell them into slavery; and
further, by natural law, where the parent cannot sustain the life of his
child, where civil law gives him no power over its life, he yet, in
favour of life, may sell him into slavery.

Natural law recognises the principle that the child, of right, is
subject to the condition of the parent; and in these enfeebled
conditions of man, for sake of more certainty, the civil law usually
acknowledges the maternal line. It acknowledges the paternal line only
when the elevated condition forms a presumption of equal certainty.

The Divine law recognises a good title to hold slaves among all people.
The Divine grant to hold slaves was not an “especial permit to the
Hebrews.” Abimelech gave slaves to Abraham: had his title been bad,
Abraham could not have received them. Bethuel and Laban gave slaves to
their daughters. None of these were Hebrews, yet they held slaves by a
good title; for the very act of acceptance, in all these cases, is proof
that the title was good.

Besides, the Divine law itself instructed the Israelites to buy slaves
of the surrounding nations. See _Lev._ xxv. 44. Can there be a stronger
proof of the purity of a title, than this gives of the title by which
the “nations round about” held slaves? The same law which permitted the
Israelites to buy slaves of the “heathen round about,” also permitted
the “heathen round about” to hold slaves, because it acknowledges their
title to be good.

By an inquiry into the history of these “heathen round about,” their
religion, civil condition, their manners and customs, as well as the
final state to which they arrived, we may form some idea how a good
title to hold slaves and to sell them arose among them; and since the
laws of God are everlasting, and always applicable to every case where
all the circumstances are similar, we may reasonably conclude that the
same race, or any other race, then, or at any other period of time, to
whom the same descriptions will apply, will also be found attended with
the same facts in regard to slavery.

The conclusion therefore is, that from such a people, who have a good
right to hold and sell slaves, other people, whose civil laws permit
them to do so, may purchase slaves by a good title.

It may not then be wholly an idle labour to compare the history and race
of these “heathen round about,” with the history, race, and present
condition of those African heathen who have from time immemorial held
and sold slaves.

But it being shown that the Divine sanction to hold slaves, did, at one
time, exist, it devolves on them, who deny its religious legality, now
to prove that the sanction had been withdrawn.


                               LESSON V.

WE proceed to prove, by a variety of documents, that the Church of
Christ did, at all times during its early ages, consider the existence
of slavery and the holding of slaves compatible with a religious
profession and the practice of Christian duties.

It is first in order to present the sermons of St. Paul and St. Peter
direct upon this subject. Having heretofore quoted them, we now merely
repeat the references, and ask for their perusal: See 1 _Cor._ vii.
20–24; _Eph._ vi. 5–9; _Col._ iii. 22 to iv. 1; 1 _Tim._ vi. 1–14;
_Tit._ ii. 9–15; _Philemon_ entire, and 1 _Pet._ ii. 18–25. These
scriptures distinctly teach the doctrine of the Christian church. But it
remains to see what was the practice that grew up under it.

Upon the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, the mind cannot well conceive how
the apostles could have avoided, from time to time, meeting together for
the purposes of consultation and agreement among themselves as to the
particulars of their future course; and that such was the fact, we have
in evidence, _Acts_ i. 15–26, where they did thus meet, and elected
Matthias to fill the vacancy in their number. Also, _Acts_ ix. 26–31,
where Paul was received by them and sent forth as an apostle; but the
book in question only gives us the outlines of what they did. Now, there
is found among the ancient records of the church what is called “The
Canons of the Apostles,” which, if not actually written by them, is
still known to be in conformity with their doctrine, as developed in
their own writings and the earliest usages of the church.

Among these, the canon lxxxi. is the following:

Servos in clerum provehi sine voluntate dominorum, non permittimus, ad
eorum qui possident molestiam, domorum enim eversionem talia efficiunt.
Siquando autem, etiam dignus servus visus sit, qui ad gradum eligatur,
qualis noster quoque Onesimus visus est, et domini concesserint ac
liberaverint, et œdibus emiserint, fiat.

_We do not permit slaves to be raised to clerical rank without the will
of their masters, to the injury of their owners. For such conduct
produces the upturning of houses. But if, at any time, even a slave may
be seen worthy to be raised to that degree, as even our Onesimus was,
and the masters shall have granted and given freedom, and have sent them
forth from their houses, let it be done._

This is the first of a series of similar enactments, and it should be
observed that it recognises the principle of the perfect dominion of the
master, the injury to his property, and requires the very legal
formality by which the slave was liberated and fully emancipated.

The slave had the title, without his owner’s consent, to the common
rights of religion and the necessary sacraments. In using these, no
injury was done to the property of his owner; but he had no claim to
those privileges which would diminish his value to the owner, or would
degrade the dignity conferred, and which could not be performed without
occupying that time upon which his owner had a claim.

There are eight other books of a remote antiquity, known as “The
Constitutions ascribed to the Apostles,” said to be compiled by Pope
Clement I., who was a companion of the apostles. It is generally
believed that, though Clement might have commenced such a compilation,
he did not leave it in the form which it now holds, but, like the Canons
of the Apostles, the exhibition of discipline is that of the earliest

In book iv. ch. 5, enumerating those whose offerings were to be refused
by the bishops as unworthy, we have, among thieves and other sinners,

(Qui) famulos suos dure accipiunt et tractant; id est, verberibus, aut
fame afficiunt, aut crudeli servitute premunt.

_They who receive and treat their slaves harshly; that is, who whip or
famish them, or oppress them with heavy drudgery._

There is no crime in having the slave, but cruelty and oppression are

In the same book, ch. 11 regards slaves and masters.

De famulis quid amplius dicamus, quam quod servus habeat benevolentiam
erga dominum cum timore Dei, quamvis sit impius, quamvis sit improbus,
non tamen cum eo religione consentiat. Item dominus servum diligat, et
quamvis præstet ei, judicet tamen esse æqualitatem, vel quatenus homo
est. Qui autem habet dominum Christianum, salvo dominatu, diligat eum,
tum ut dominum, tum ut fidei consortem et ut patrem, non sicut servus ad
oculum serviens sed sicut dominum amans, ut qui sciat mercedem famulatûs
sui a Deo sibi solvendam esse. Similiter dominus, qui Christianum
famulum habet, salvo famulatu, diligat eum tanquam filium, et tanquam
fratrem propter fidei communionem.

_What further, then, can we say of slaves, than that the servant should
have benevolence towards his master, with the fear of God, though he
should be impious, though wicked; though he should not even agree with
him in religion. In like manner, let the master love his slave, and
though he is above him, let him judge him to be his equal at least as a
human being. But let him who has a Christian master, having regard to
his dominion, love him both as a master, as a companion in the faith,
and as a father, not as an eye-servant, but loving his master as one who
knows that he will receive the reward of his service to be paid by God.
So let the master who has a Christian slave, saving the service, love
him as a son and as a brother, on account of the communion of faith._

Ne amaro animo jubeas famulo tuo aut ancillæ eidem Deo confidentibus: ne
aliquando gemant adversus te, et irascatur tibi Deus. Et vos servi
dominis vestris tanquam Deum repræsentantibus subditi estote cum
sedulitate et metu, _tanquam Domino, et non tanquam hominibus_.

_Do not command your man-servant nor your woman-servant having
confidence in the same God, in the bitterness of your soul; lest they at
any time lament against you, and God be angry with you. And you servants
be subject to your masters, the representatives of God, with care and
fear_, as to the Lord, and not to men.

In the eighth book, ch. 33, is a constitution of SS. Peter and Paul,
respecting the days that slaves were to be employed in labour, and those
on which they were to rest and to attend to religious duties.

Stephen I., who was the pontiff in 253, endeavoured to preserve
discipline, and set forth regulations to remedy evils.

Accusatores vero et accusationes, quas sæculi leges non recipiunt, et
antecessores nostri prohibuerunt, et nos submovemus.

_We also reject these accusers and charges which the secular laws do not
receive, and which our predecessors have prohibited._

Soon after he specifies:

Accusator autem vestrorum nullus sit servus aut libertus.

_Let not your accuser be a slave or a freed person._

Thus, in the ancient discipline of the church, as in the secular
tribunals, the testimony of slaves was inadmissible.

In the year 305, a provincial council was held at Elvira, in the
southern part of Spain. The fifth canon of which is—

Si qua domina furore zeli accensa flagris verberaverit ancillam suam,
ita ut in tertium diem animam cum cruciatu effundat: eo quod incertum
sit, voluntate, an casu occiderit, si voluntate post septem annos; si
casu, post quinquennii tempora; acta legitima pænitentia, ad communionem
placuit admitti. Quod si infra tempora constituta fuerit infirmata,
accipiat communionem.

_If any mistress, carried away by great anger, shall have whipped her
maid-servant so that she shall within three days die in torture, as it
is uncertain whether it may happen by reason of her will or by accident,
it is decreed that she may be admitted to communion, having done lawful
penance, after seven years, if it happened by her will; if by accident,
after five years. But should she get sick within the time prescribed,
she may get communion._

Spanish ladies, at that period, had not yet so far yielded to the benign
influence of the gospel, and so far restrained their violence of temper,
as to show due mercy to their female slaves.

It may be well to observe a beneficial change, not only in public
opinion, but even in the court, by reason of the influence of the spirit
of Christianity; so that the pagan more than once reproved, by his
mercy, the professor of a better faith.

Theodoret (l. 9, de Græc. cur. aff.) informs us that Plato established
the moral and legal innocence of the master who slew his slave. Ulpian,
the Roman jurist (l. 2, de his quæ sunt sui vel alieni jur.) testifies
the power which—in imitation of the Greeks—the Roman masters had over
the lives of their slaves. The well-known sentence of Pollio upon the
unfortunate slave that broke a crystal vase at supper,—that he should be
cast as food to fish,—and the interference of Augustus, who was a guest
at that supper, give a strong exemplification of the tyranny then in
many instances indulged.

Antoninus Pius issued a constitution about the year 150, restraining
this power, and forbidding a master to put his own slave to death,
except in those cases where he would be permitted to slay the slave of
another. The cruelty of the Spaniards to their slaves, in the province
of Bœtica, gave occasion to the constitution; and we have a rescript of
Antoninus to Ælius Martianus, the proconsul of Bœtica, in the case of
the slave of Julius Sabinus, a Spaniard. In this the right of the
masters to their slaves is recognised, but the officer is directed to
hear their complaints of cruelty, starvation, and oppressive labour; to
protect them, and, if the complaints be founded in truth, not to allow
their return to the master; and to insist on the observance of the

Caius (in l. 2, ad Cornel. de sicar.) states that the cause should be
proved in presence of judges before the master could pronounce his
sentence. Spartianus, the biographer, informs us that the Emperor
Adrian, the immediate predecessor of Antoninus, enacted a law forbidding
masters to kill their slaves, unless legally convicted. And Ulpian
relates that Adrian placed, during five years, in confinement
(relegatio) Umbricia, a lady of noble rank, because, for very slight
causes, she treated her female slaves most cruelly. But Constantine the
Great, about the year 320, enacted that no master should, under penalty
due to homicide, put his slave to death, and gave the jurisdiction to
the judges but if the slave died casually, after necessary chastisement,
the master was not accountable to any legal tribunal. (Const. in 1. i.;
C. Theod. de emendat. servorum.)

As Christianity made progress, the unnatural severity with which this
class of human beings was treated became relaxed, and as the civil law
ameliorated their condition, the canon law, by its spiritual efficacy,
came in with the aid of religion, to secure that, the followers of the
Saviour should give full force to the merciful provisions that were

The principle which St. Augustine laid down was that observed. The state
was to enact the laws regulating this species of property; the church
was to plead for morality and to exhort to practise mercy.

About the same time, St. Peter, archbishop of Alexandria, drew up a
number of penitential canons, pointing out the manner of receiving,
treating, and reconciling the “lapsed,” or those who, through fear of
persecution, fell from the profession of the faith. Those canons were
held in high repute, and were generally adopted by the eastern bishops.

The sixth of those canons exhibits to us a device of weak Christians,
who desired to escape the trials of martyrdom, without being guilty of
actual apostasy. A person of this sort procured that one of his slaves
should personate him, and in his name should apostatize. The canon
prescribes for such a slave, who necessarily was a Christian and a slave
of a Christian, but one-third of the time required of a free person, in
a mitigated penance, taking into account the influence of fear of the
master, which, though it did not excuse, yet it diminished the guilt of
the apostasy.

The general council of Nice, in Bythinia, was held in the year 325, when
Constantine was emperor. In the first canon of this council, according
to the usual Greek and Latin copies, there is a provision for admitting
slaves, as well as free persons who have been injured by others, to holy
orders. In the Arabic copy, the condition is specially expressed, which
is not found in the Greek or Latin, but which had been previously well
known and universally established, “_that this should not take place
unless the slave had been manumitted by his master_.”

About this period, also, several of the _Gnostic_ and _Manichean_ errors
prevailed extensively in Asia Minor. The _fanatics_ denied the
lawfulness of _marriage_; they forbid _meat to be eaten_; they condemned
the _use of wine_; they praised extravagantly the monastic institutions,
and proclaimed the _obligation on all_ to enter into religious
societies; they decried the _lawfulness of slavery_; they denounced the
_slaveholders_ as violating equally the laws of _nature and of
religion_; they offered to _aid slaves_ to _desert their owners_; gave
them _exhortations_, _invitations_, _asylum_, and _protection_; and in
all things assumed to be more _holy_, more _perfect_, and more
_spiritual_ than other men.!!!

Osius, bishop of Cordova, whom Pope Sylvester sent as his legate into
the east, and who presided in the council of Nice, was present when
several bishops assembled in the city of Gangræ, Paphlagonia, to correct
those errors. Pope Symmachus declared, in a council held in Rome, about
the year 500, that Osius confirmed, by the authority of the pope, the
acts of this council. The decrees have been admitted into the body of
canon law, and have always been regarded as a rule of conduct in the
Catholic church. The third canon:

Si quis docet servum, pietatis prætextu, dominum contemnere, et a
ministerio recedere, et non cum benevolentia et omni honore domino suo
inservire. Anathema sit.

_If any one, under the pretence of piety, teaches a slave to despise his
master, and to withdraw from his service, and not to serve his master
with good-will and all respect. Let him be anathema._

_Let him be anathema_ is never appended to any decree which does not
contain the expression of unchangeable doctrine respecting belief or
morality, and indicates that the doctrine has been revealed by God. It
is precisely what St. Paul says in _Gal._ i. 8: “But though we, or an
angel from heaven, preach a gospel to you beside that which we have
preached to you, let him be anathema.” 9: “As we said before to you, so
I say now again: If any man preach to you a gospel besides that which
you have received; let him be anathema.” It is therefore manifest, that
although this council of Gangræ was a particular one, yet the universal
reception of this third canon, with its _anathema_, and its recognition
in the Roman council by Pope Symmachus, gives it the greatest authority
and in Labbe it is further entitled as approved by Leo IV., about the
year 850, _dist. 20, C. de libell_.

Several councils were held in Africa in the third and fourth centuries,
in Carthage, in Milevi, and in Hippo. About the year 422, the first of
Pope Celestine I., one was held under Aurelius, archbishop of Carthage,
and in which St. Augustine sat as bishop of Hippo and legate of Numidia.
A compilation was made of the canons of this and the preceding ones,
which was styled the “African Council.” The canon cxvi. of this
collection, taken into the body of the canon law, decrees that slaves
shall not be admitted as prosecutors, nor shall certain freedmen be so
admitted, except to complain for themselves; and for this, as well as
for the incapacity of several others there described, the public law is
cited, as well as the 7th and 8th councils of Carthage.

The great St. Basil was born in 329, and died in 379. His works, called
“Canonical,” contain a great number of those which were the rules of
discipline, not only for Asia Minor, but for the vast regions in its
vicinity. The fortieth canon regards the marriages of female slaves. In
this he mentions a discipline which was not general, but was peculiar to
the north-eastern provinces of the church, requiring the consent of the
master to the validity of the marriage-contract of a female slave: this
was not required in other places, as is abundantly testified by several

The forty-second canon treats in like manner of the marriages of
children without their parents’ consent, and generally of those of all
slaves without the consent of the owner.


                               LESSON VI.

It may not be improper now to take a more particular view of the civil
world, its condition, and of those wars at the instance of which it had
been, and then was, flooded with slaves. As an example, we select the
middle of the fifth century:

Attila, to whom the Romans gave the sobriquet, “_Flagellum Dei_,”
_Scourge of God_, was driven by Ætius out of Gaul in the year 451; and
the following year, pouring his wild hordes down upon Italy, conquered
Aquillia, Pavia, Milan, and a great number of small cities, and was in
the attitude of marching on Rome. The Emperor Valentinian III., who was
a weak prince, panic-struck, shut himself up in Ravenna; and his
general, Ætius, who had been so victorious in Gaul, partook of the
general fear when invaded at home. The destruction of Rome and its
imperial power, the slaughter and slavery of the Roman people, and the
extinction of the church appeared probable. Under such a state of
things, the emperor and his council prevailed on Leo the pontiff
himself, supported by Albienus and Tragelius, men of great experience
and talent, to undertake an embassy to the enemy’s camp, then on the
banks of the Minzo. This embassy was accompanied by a most grand and
numerous retinue—a small army—armed, not with the weapons of war, but
with the crosier and crook. Nor did Attila attempt to hide his joy for
their arrival. The most profound attention, the most convincing
demonstrations of his kindness to them, were studiously displayed by

The terms proposed were readily accepted, and Attila and his army, a
tornado fraught with moral and physical ruin to Rome, the church, and
the civilized world, silently sank away far behind the Danube.

Nor is it strange that the great success of this embassy should have
been attributed to some intervention of miraculous power during the dark
ages that followed;—and hence we find that, four hundred years after, in
one of Gruter’s copies of “The Historica Miscella,” it is stated that
St. Peter and St. Paul stood, visible alone to Attila, on either side of
Leo, brandishing a sword, commanding him to accept whatever Leo should
offer; and this is quoted as credible history by Barronius, _ad ann._
452, _no._ 47–59, and has been painted by Raffaele, at a much later
period. The idea was perhaps poetical, and this piece alone would have
immortalized the artist. But it is truly singular that this appearance
of Peter and Paul should have gained a place in the Roman Breviary,
especially as it is nowhere alluded to by Leo, nor by his secretary,
Prosper, who was present at that treaty, nor by any contemporary
whatever. The facts attached to Attila, in connection with this treaty,
were:—His army was extremely destitute, and a contagious and very mortal
disease was raging in his camp; in addition to which, Marcian had
gathered a large army, then under march for Italy, to join the imperial
forces under Ætius, while, at the same moment, another army, sent by
Marcian long before, were then ravaging the country of the Huns
themselves: of these facts Attila was well advised. These were the
agencies that operated on his mind in favour of peace with Valentinian.
To us the idea seems puerile to suppose Jehovah sending Peter and Paul,
sword in hand, to frighten his Hunnish majesty from making slaves of the
Roman people.

Would it not be more consonant with the general acts of his providence
to point Attila to his diseased army; to their consequent want of
supplies, and to the threatening danger of his being totally cut off by
the two armies of Marcian, saying nothing of the possibility of a
restored confidence among the then panic-struck Romans? Besides, it has
been well ascertained that, at the time of Leo’s arrival, he had been
hesitating whether to march on Rome—or recross the Alps. See _Bower_,
vol. ii. p. 202; also, _Jornandez Rer. Goth._ c. 41, 49.

But, we acknowledge the intervening influences of the Divine will, in
this case, as forcibly as it could be urged, even if attended with all
the particulars and extravagancies of the poetic painter’s fancy. We
have alluded to this particle of the history of that day, as it stands
upon the records, in order that, while we quote, we may not be
misunderstood as to our view of the providences of God.

But to return to our subject:—Upon a review of these times, we may
notice the distractions of the church by means of the various heresies
which imbittered against each other the different professions of the
Christian faith. How the followers of Arius, for more than half a
century, spread confusion and violence over the entire Christian
world:—How, crushed and driven out by Theodosius, thousands took shelter
among the pagans, whose movements they stimulated, and whom we now
perceive in progress of the gradual overthrow of the Roman Empire:—How,
upon the partial or more general successes of these hordes, their Arian
confederates, with a fresh memory of their late oppressions and the
cruelties inflicted on them, retaliated with unsparing severity and
bloodshed upon their Nicene opponents; while, among all these savage
invaders, the Arian creed supplanted and succeeded the pagan
worship:—How this wild Attila swept the banks of the Danube and the
Rhine, carrying death or desolation to the followers of Pharamond, and
to the Goths, who had then already established themselves in the
strongholds of ancient Gaul and of the more modern Romans. True, his
career was checked on the banks of the Rhone, but, like a hunted lion,
he rushed towards the Mediterranean, and, recruiting his force in
Pannonia, directed his march to Italy; and to-day, after fourteen
centuries, it is said that Aquillia still stands the monument of his
barbarity. We have this moment noticed the extraordinary manner in
which, it is said, by the monition of Leo, his path of ruin was suddenly
directed to the ice-bound fortresses of the north. But the captives made
on both sides, in these desolating wars, greatly increased the number of
slaves of the white race, which otherwise, from operating causes, would
have been diminished.

Up to this time in these regions, and, as we shall see, to a much later
time, slavery was the result of that mercy in the victor, whereby he
spared the life of the conquered enemy. Its condition did not depend on
any previous condition of degradation, of freedom or slavery, nor upon
the race or colour of the captive,—and the wars, for ages, which had
been and were so productive of slavery, were almost exclusively among
those who, in common, claimed a Caucasian origin. Instances of African
slavery were rare. The Romans derived some few from their African wars,
valued mostly by pride, because they were the most rare.

Thus we read in the Life of Nero, by Tacitus:—“Nero never travelled with
less than a thousand baggage-wagons; the mules all shod with silver, and
the drivers dressed in scarlet; his African slaves adorned with
bracelets on their arms, and the horses decorated with the richest
trappings.” But these times had passed away. Yet we find in the Life of
Alphonso el Casto, that, upon his conquest of Lisbon, 798, he sent seven
Moorish slaves as a present to Charlemagne. And also, in Bower’s “Lives
of the Popes,” that in 849, “A company of Moors, from Africa,
rendezvoused at Tozar, in Sardinia, and thence made an incursion, by the
Tiber, on Rome. But they were mostly lost in a storm before landing. Of
those who got on shore, some were killed. in battle, some were hanged,
and a large number were brought to Rome and reduced to slavery.”

Yet the great mass of slaves were of the same race and colour of their
masters; and at this age, a most important fact with the Christian, if
they were pagans, was their conversion to Christianity.

For the first three hundred years, we may notice how Christianity had
threaded her way amidst the troublous and barbarous paganisms of that
age. But, at the time to which we have arrived, Christianity had ruled
the civilized world for more than a century. And had Providence seen fit
to have attended her future path with peace, human sympathy might have
fondly hoped that the mild spirit of her religion would have been poured
in ameliorating, purifying streams upon the condition and soul of the
slave, and like a dissolving oil on the chains that bound him.


                              LESSON VII.

We present a series of records and documents which elucidate the
practice and doctrine of the church in regard to slavery, as we find it
in that age.

These records are mostly extracts from Bishop England’s Letters, and
collated by him with accuracy. Some few, from Bower, Bede, Lingard, and
others, will be noticed in their place.

It should be remembered that, in all cases where the contrary is not
explicitly announced, the slave is of the same colour and race as the
master. At this era of the world, slaves were too common, and their
value too little, to warrant the expense of a distant importation. The
negro slave, from his exhibiting an extreme variety of the human
species, was regarded more as an article of curiosity and pride than
usefulness; and therefore was seldom or never found in Europe, except
near the royal palaces, or in the trains of emperors.

As early as the days of Polycarp and St. Ignatius, who were disciples of
the apostles, Christians had, from motives of mercy, charity, and
affection, manumitted many of their slaves in presence of the bishops,
and this was more or less extensively practised through the succeeding
period. In several churches, it was agreed that if a slave became a
Christian, he should be manumitted on receiving baptism. In Rome, the
slave was frequently manumitted by the form called _vindicta_, with the
prætor’s rod. Constantine, in the year 317, Sozomen relates, lib. i. c.
9, transferred this authority to the bishops, who were empowered to use
the rod in the church, and have the manumission testified in the
presence of the congregation. A rescript of that emperor to this effect
is found in the Theodosian code, 1. i. c. _De his qui in eccl.
manumitt_. The master, who consented to manumit the slave, presented him
to the bishop, in presence of the congregation, and the bishop
pronounced him free, and became the guardian of his freedom. The
rescript was directed to Protogenas, bishop of Sardica, and was in the
consulship of Sabinus and Ruffinus.

In book ii. of the same code, is a rescript to Osius, bishop of Cordova,
in which the emperor empowers the bishops to grant the privilege of
Roman citizenship to such freedmen as they may judge worthy.

In the consulship of Crispus and Constantine, a grant was given to the
clergy of manumitting their own slaves when they pleased, by any form
they should think proper. About a century later, St. Augustine, bishop
of Hippo, informs us (_Sermo. de diversis_, 50) that this form was
established in Africa. “The deacon of Hippo is a poor man: he has
nothing to give to any person: but, before he was a clergyman, he, by
the fruit of his labour and industry, bought some little servants, and
is to-day, by the episcopal act, about to manumit them in your sight.”

This same bishop writes, (_Enarrat in Ps._ cxxiv.,) “Christ does not
wish to make you proud while you walk in this journey, that is, while
you are in this life. Has it happened that you have been made a
Christian, and you have a man as your master: you have not been made a
Christian that you may scorn to serve. When, therefore, by the command
of Christ you are the servant of a man, your service is not to him, but
to the one that gave you the command to serve. And he says, Hear your
masters, according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, and in the
simplicity of your hearts, not as eye-servants, as if pleasing men, but,
as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God, from your hearts, with
a good will. Behold, he did not liberate you from being servants, but he
made those who were bad servants to be good servants. Oh, how much do
the rich owe to Christ who has thus set order in their houses! So, if
there be in his family a faithless slave, and Christ convert him, he
does not say to him, Leave your master, because you have now known him
who is the true Master! Perhaps this master of yours is impious and
unjust, and that you are faithful and just; it is unbecoming that the
just and faithful should serve the unjust and the infidel: this is not
what he said; but, let him rather serve.” This great doctor of the
church continues at considerable length to show how Christ, by his own
example, exhorts the servants to fidelity and obedience to their masters
in every thing, save what is contrary to God’s service. Subsequently, he
passes to the end of time, and the opening of eternity, and shows many
good, obedient, and afflicted servants mingled with good masters among
the elect, and bad, faithless, and stubborn servants, with cruel
masters, cast among the reprobates.

In his _book_ i., _on the Sermon of Christ on the Mount_, he dwells upon
the duty of Christian masters to their slaves. They are not to regard
them as mere property, but to treat them as human beings having immortal
souls, for which Christ died.

Thus we perceive that, though from the encouragement of manumission and
the spirit of Christianity, the number of slaves had been greatly
reduced and their situation greatly improved, still the principles were
recognised of the moral and religious legality of holding slave
property, and of requiring that they should perform a reasonable

The instances of voluntary slavery, such as that of St. Paulinus, were
not rare. It is related, that having bestowed all that he could raise,
to ransom prisoners taken by the barbarians who overran the country;
upon the application of a poor widow whose son was held in captivity, he
sold himself, to procure the means of her son’s release. His good
conduct procured the affection of his master, and subsequently his
emancipation. Thus slavery lost some of its degrading character. This,
together with the confusion arising from the turbulence accompanying the
invasions, caused a relaxation of discipline: to remedy some of the
abuses, Pope Leo issued several letters. The following is an extract
from the first of them: it has been taken into the body of the canon
law. _Dist. 5, Admittuntur_:—

“Admittuntur passim ad ordinem sacrum, quibus nulla natalium, nulla
morum dignitas suffragatur: et qui a dominis suis libertatem consequi
minime potuerunt, ad fastigium sacerdotii, tanquam servilis vilitas hunc
honorem jure capiat, provehuntur, et probari Deo se posse creditur, qui
domino suo necdum probare se potuit. Duplex itaque in hac parte reatus
est, quod et sacrum mysterium (ministerium) talis consortii vilitate
polluitur, et dominorum, quantum ad illicitæ usurpationis temeritatem
pertinet, jura solvuntur. Ab his itaque, fratres carissimi, omnes
provinciæ vestræ abstineant sacerdotes: et non tantum ab his, sed ab
illis etiam, qui aut originali aut alicui conditioni obligati sunt,
volumus temperari: nisi forte corum petitio aut voluntas accesserit, qui
aliquid sibi in eos vindicant potestatis. Debet enim esse immunis ab
aliis, qui divinæ militiæ fuerit aggregandus; ut a castris Dominicis,
quibus nomen ejus adscribitur, nullis necessitatis vinculis

_Persons who have not the qualifications of birth or conduct, are
everywhere admitted to holy orders; and they who could not procure
freedom from their masters are elevated to the rank of the priesthood;
as if the lowliness of slavery could rightfully claim this honour: and,
as if he who could not procure the approbation of even his master, could
procure that of God. There is, therefore, in this a double criminality:
for the holy ministry is polluted by the meanness of this fellowship,
and so far as regards the rashness of this unlawful usurpation, the
rights of the masters are infringed. Wherefore, dearest brethren, let
all the priests of your province keep aloof from these: and not only
from these, but also, we desire they should abstain from those who are
under bond, by origin or any condition, except perchance upon the
petition or consent of the persons who have them in their power in any
way. For he who is to be aggregated to the divine warfare, ought to be
exempt from other obligations: so that he may not by any bond of
necessity be drawn away from that camp of the Lord for which his name
has been enrolled._

Prosper, lib. 2 _de vitâ contemplat._ c. 3, and many other writers of
this century, treat of the relative duties of the Christian master and
his Christian slave. The zeal and charity of several holy men led them
to make extraordinary sacrifices during this period, to redeem the
captives from the barbarians: besides the remarkable instance of
Paulinus, we have the ardent and persevering charity of Exuperius,
bishop of Toulouse, who sold the plate belonging to the church, and used
glass for the chalice, that he might be able by every species of economy
to procure liberty for the enslaved.

Nor was this a solitary instance. About the year 513, Pope Symmachus
called a national council, by which, among other enactments, he
established the rule that under no circumstances, could the church
property be alienated. See Bower, vol. ii. p. 277.

About the year 535, Cæsarius, primate of Arles, applied to Pope Agapetus
for means to relieve the poor Christians in Gaul. But, at that time, the
church being quite destitute of money, the pope excused himself, and
quoted the decree of Symmachus. The Arians, and some others, hence
inculcated the doctrine that the alienation of church property, under
any circumstances, was sacrilege. The laws of the empire also forbid
such alienation, but with the proviso, “except there was no other means
by which the poor could be relieved in time of famine, nor the captives
be redeemed from slavery.” Such was the practice among the most pious of
the age.

St. Ambrose did not scruple to melt down the communion-plate of the
church of Milan to redeem some captives, who otherwise must have
continued in slavery. The Arians charged him with sacrilege: in answer
to which he wrote his Apology, which has reached this late day, as the
rules and reasons of the church in such cases. He says—“Is it not better
that the plate should be melted by the bishop to maintain the poor, when
they can be maintained by no other means, than that it should become the
spoil and plunder of a sacrilegious enemy? Will not the Lord thus
expostulate with us, Why did you suffer so many helpless persons to die
with hunger, when you had gold to relieve and support them? Why were so
many captives carried away and sold without ransom? Why were so many
suffered to be slain by the enemy? It would have been better to have
preserved the vessels of living men than lifeless metals. To this, what
answer can be returned? Should one say, I was afraid that the temple of
God should want its ornaments: Christ would answer, My sacraments
require no gold, nor do they please me more for being ministered in
gold, as they are not to be bought with gold. The ornament of my
sacrament is the redemption of captives; and those alone are precious
vessels that redeem souls from death.”

The saint concludes that though it would be highly criminal for a man to
convert the sacred vessels to his own private use, yet it is so far from
being a crime, that he looks upon it as an obligation incumbent on him
and his brethren to prefer the living temples of God to the unnecessary
ornaments of the material edifices. See Ambrose de Offic. lib. ii. cap.
28; and such was the doctrine of St. Austin, see Possid. Vit. Aug. caput
24; of Acacius of Amida, see Socrat. lib. vii. c. 24; of Deigratias of
Carthage, see Vict. de Persec. Vandal, lib. i.; of Cyril of Jerusalem,
see Theodoret, lib. ii. c. 27; yea all, who have touched on the subject,
have subscribed to the doctrine of St. Ambrose. Even the Emperor
Justinian, in his law against sacrilege, forbids the church plate,
vestments, or any other gifts, to be sold, or pawned; but adds, “except
in case of captivity or famine, the lives and souls of men being
preferable to any vessels or vestments whatever.” See Codex Just. lib.
i. tit. 2. de Sacr. Eccles. leg. 21; also see Bower’s Life of Agapetus,
p. 354.

It will be readily conceived that the barbarians, in the earlier ages of
the Christian church, treated their slaves with cruelty, inconsistent
with the spirit of the new religion; and, upon their adoption of the
Christian creed, they sometimes ran into an opposite extreme, contrary
to the rules of the church. In both cases the church used her authority,
and, says Bishop England, upon their embrace of Christianity, “slavery
began to assume a variety of mitigated forms among them,” which will, in
some degree, be developed as we proceed with the history of canonical
legislation on that subject.

The rules of the Christian church are evidently founded upon the laws of
God, as delivered to Moses: “And 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.”

“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 his
man-servant’s tooth, or his maid-servant’s tooth, he shall let him go
for his tooth’s sake.” _Exod._ xxi. 20, 21, 26, 27. And if a man took
his female slave to wife, and became displeased with her * * * she
should be free. See _Deut._ xxi. 10–15. But fornication in a female
slave was not punished by death, but by stripes. See _Lev._ xix. 20–23.

Neither the laws of Moses, nor indeed of any civilized people, have ever
permitted unusual or cruel punishments to be inflicted on the slave.
Civilization, as well as Judaism, seems to have inculcated, “Be not
excessive toward any; and without discretion do nothing. If thou have a
servant, let him be unto thee as thyself, because thou hast bought him
with a price.” _Eccl._ xxxiii. 29.

Among heathen nations, their laws were to the effect, that when the
slave, sick or wounded, was neglected, or abandoned to his fate by his
master; yet, if he recovered, the master should lose his property in
such slave, and the slave should be free; and such neglect was often
otherwise made punishable. The Roman law sanctioned this doctrine: “Si
verberatus fuerit _servus_ non mortifere, negligentia autem perierit, de
vulnerato actio erit, non de occiso.” See Lex Aquillia. And so in
ancient France, see Fœdere, vol. iii. p. 290: _If negligence or bad
treatment towards the slave was proved in the master, the slave was
declared free._

At this day, in all civilized countries, the civil law forbids unusual
and cruel punishment of slaves, and also a wanton and careless
negligence of them, either in sickness or health. Thus the law punishes
the master for his neglect to govern his slaves, by making him
responsible for their bad conduct, and the damage their want of proper
government may occasion others.

In the year 494, Pope Gelesius admonished the bishops, at their
ordinations, that—

“Ne unquam ordinationes præsumat illicitas; ne * * * curæ aut cuilibet
conditioni obnoxium notatumque ad sacros ordines permittat accedere.”

_That he should never presume to hold unlawful ordinations; that he
should not allow to holy orders * * * any person bound to the service of
the court, or liable to bond for his condition_ (slavery) _or marked

In the year 506, a council was held at Agdle, the sixty-second canon of
which is—

“Si quis servum proprium sine conscientiâ, judicis occiderit,
excommunicatione vel pœnitentia biennii reatum sanguinis emendabit.”

_If any one shall put his own servant to death, without the knowledge of
the judge, let him make compensation for the guilt of blood by
excommunication or two years’ penance._

Another council was held eleven years later. Many of the canons of this
synod are transcripts of those of Agdle. The thirty-fourth is:

“Si quis servum proprium sine conscientiâ, judicis occiderit,
excommunicatione biennii effusionem sanguinis expiabit.”

_If any one shall slay his own servant without the knowledge of the
judge, let him expiate the shedding of blood by an excommunication of
two years._

This was nearly two hundred years after the law of Constantine
forbidding this exercise of power by the master.

The third council of Orleans was held in the year 538.

The thirteenth canon regulates, that if Christian slaves shall be
possessed by Jews, and these latter require them to do any thing
forbidden by the Christian religion, or if the Jews shall seize upon any
of their servants to whip or punish them for those things that have been
declared to be excusable or forgiven, and those slaves fly to the church
for protection, they are not to be given up, unless there be given and
received a just and sufficient sum to warrant their protection.

The canon xxvi. gives a specimen of the early feudalism nearly similar
to the subsequent villain service.

“Ut nullus servilibus colonariisque conditionibus obligatus, juxta
statuta sedis apostolicæ, ad honores ecclesiasticos admittatur; nisi
prius aut testamento, aut per tabulas legitime constiterit absolutum.
Quod si quis episcoporum, ejus qui ordinatur conditionem sciens,
transgredi per ordinationem inhibitam fortasse voluerit, anni spatio
missas facere non præsumat.”

_Let no one held under servile or colonizing conditions be admitted to
church honours, in violation of the statutes of the Apostolic see;
unless it be evident that he has been previously absolved therefrom by
will or by deed. And if any bishop, being aware of such condition of the
person so ordained, shall wilfully transgress by making such unlawful
ordination, let him not presume to celebrate mass for the space of a

The colonial condition was in its origin different from the mere
servile. The _mancipium_ or _manu captum_ was the _servus_ or slave made
in war: the _colonus_, or husbandman, though, at the period at which we
are arrived, he frequently was in as abject a condition, yet was so by a
different process. St. Augustine, in cap. i. lib. x. _De Civitate Dei_,
tells us, “Coloni _dicuntur_, qui conditionem debebant genitali solo
propter agriculturam sub dominio possessorum.” They are called
_colonists who owe their condition to their native land, under the
dominion of its possessors_.

The following history of various modes by which they became servants, is
taken from the work _De Gubernat. Dei_, lib. v., by the good and erudite
Salvianus, a priest, who died at Marseilles, about the year 484.

Nonnulli eorum de quibus loquimur, * * * cum domicilia atque agellos
suos pervasionibus perdunt, aut fatigati ab exactoribus deserunt, quia
tenere non possunt, fundos majorum expetunt, et coloni divitum fiunt.
Aut sicut solent hi qui hostium terrore compulsi, ad castella se
conferunt, aut qui perdito ingenuæ incolumitatis statu ad asylum aliquod
desperatione confugiunt: ita et isti qui habere amplius vel sedem vel
dignitatem suorum natalium non queunt, jugo se inquilinæ abjectionis
addicunt: in hanc necessitatem redacti, ut exactores non facultatis
tantum, set etiam conditionis suæ, atque exultantes non a rebus tantum
suis, sed etiam a seipsis, ac perdentes secum omnia sua, et rerum
proprietate careant, et jus libertatis amittant. * * * Illud gravius et
acerbius, quod additur huic malo servilius malum. Nam suscipiuntur
advenæ, fiunt præjudicio habitationis indigenæ, et quos suscipiunt ut
extraneos et alienos, incipiunt habere quasi proprios: quos esse constat
ingenuos, vertunt in servos.

_Some of those, when they lose their dwellings and their little fields
by invasion, or leave them, being worried by exactions, as they can no
longer hold them, seek the grounds of the larger proprietors, and become
the colonists of the wealthy. Or, as is usual with those who are driven
off by the fear of enemies, and take refuge in the castles, or who,
having lost their state of safe freedom, fly to some asylum in despair:
so they who can no longer have the place or the dignity derived from
their birth, subject themselves to the abject yoke of the sojourner’s
lot; reduced to such necessity, that they are stripped not only of their
property, but also of their rank; going into exile not only from what
belongs to them but from their very selves, and with themselves losing
all that they had, they are bereft of any property in things and lose
the very right of liberty. * * * A more degrading injury is added to
this evil. For they are received as strangers, they become inhabitants
bereft of the rights of inhabitants; they who receive them as foreigners
and aliens begin to treat them as property, and change into slaves those
who, evidently, were free._

In this picture of the colonist, we may find the outline of the villain
of a later age; and in the several enactments and regulations of
succeeding legislators and councils, we shall discover the changes which
servitude underwent previous to its total extinction in Europe.

Flodoardin, c. 28, History of the church of Rheims, gives us the will of
St. Remi, its bishop, who baptized Clovis, upon his conversion in 496,
and who was still living in the year 550. This document grants freedom
to some of the colonists belonging to that church and retains others in

Du Cange says (Art. _Colonus_) that though in several instances the
condition of the colonists was as abject as that of slaves, yet
generally they were in a better position. _Erant igitur coloni mediæ
conditionis inter ingenuos seu liberos et servos._


                              LESSON VIII.

From the fact that the slaves of this era were of the same colour and
other physical qualities of their masters; from their great number, and
consequently little value, their condition became attended with
extremely diverse circumstances; so various were, therefore, the
relations between them and the master, that it would now be impossible,
perhaps, to give an accurate history of their various castes. These
facts should be kept in mind, lest we mistake, and find confusion, where
distinction was sufficiently clear and obvious.

Muratori, treating of the Roman slaves and freedmen, acknowledges that
he is unable accurately to state the conditions on which they manumitted
their slaves. In his treatise, “_Sopra i Servi e Liberti Antichi_,” he
has a passage thus:

Noi non sappiamo se con patti, e con quai patti una vulta si
manomettessero que’ Servi, che poi continuavano come Liberti a servire
in Casa de’ loro Padroni, con essere alzati a piu onorati impieghi.
Sappiamo bensi dal Tit. _ne Operis Libertorum_, e dall’ altro _de bonis
Libertorum_ ne’ Digesti, che moltissimi acquistavano la Liberta con
obbligarsi di fare ai Padroni de’ Regaii, o delle Fatture, se erano
Artefici, _Operas, vel Donum_. Questo si praticava verisimilmente dai
soli Mercatanti, ed altri Signori dati all’ interarse, ma non gia dalle
Nobili Case. Per conto di questo, le antiche Iscrizioni ci fanno vedere,
che moltissimi furono coloro, che anche dopo la conseguita Liberta
seguitavano a convivere, e servire in quelle medesime Case, non piu come
Servi, ma come Liberti, perche probabilmente tornava il conto agli uni e
agli altri. I Padroni si servivano di Persone loro confidenti, e gia
innestate nella propria Famiglia; ei Liberti cresciuti di onore, e di
guadagno poteano cumulare roba per se e per li Figli. Non ho io potuto
scoprire se i Romani tenessero Servi Mercenarj come oggidi. O di veri
Servi, o di Liberti allora si servivano. Cio posto, maraviglia e, che il
Pignoria, in trattando degli Ufizj de’ Servi antichi, imbrogliasse tanto
le carte, senza distinguere i Servi dai Liberti, e con attribuir molti
impieghi ai primi, che pure erano riserbati agli ultimi. E piu da
stupire e, citarsi da lui Marmi, che parlano di Liberti, e pure sono
presi da esso, come se parlassero di Servi.

_We know not whether they manumitted upon condition, or, if so, upon
what conditions they manumitted formerly those servants who continued
thenceforth as freed persons, but elevated to more honourable
employments, to serve in the houses of their masters. We do indeed know
in the Tit._ de Operis Libertorum, _and in another_ de bonis Libertorum
_of the Digests, that very many acquired their liberty with the
obligation of giving to their masters presents, or doing work if they
were artists_, Operas vel donum. _This was in all likelihood practised
only by merchants or other masters given to making profit, but not by
noble houses. As to these the ancient inscriptions exhibit to us that
very many who obtained their freedom, yet continued to live and to do
service in those same houses, no longer as slaves, but as freed persons,
because probably each party found it beneficial. The patrons kept about
them persons in whom they had confidence, and who had already been
engrafted on their families; the freed persons, grown to honour and
making profit could create property for themselves and for their
children. I cannot discover whether the Romans had hireling servants, as
is now the case. They had then true slaves and sometimes freed persons.
This being the case, it is matter of surprise that Pignoria, in treating
of the employment of the ancient slaves, should have been so perplexed
as not to be able clearly to distinguish slaves from freed persons, and
should have attributed to the former many employments which were
specially reserved for the latter: and it is more to be wondered at,
that marbles which speak of freed persons are referred to by him and
explained as treating of slaves._

It is clear that even in the days of the Emperor Claudius, to whose
reign, A.D. 45, the marble of which he treats refers, and probably long
before that period, many of the freedmen of the Roman empire were bound
to do certain services for the patrons who had been their masters, and
that this obligation descended to their progeny. Hence this would still
be a species of servitude.

The barbarians who overran the empire came chiefly from Scythia and
Germany, as that vast region was then called which stretches from the
Alps to the Northern Ocean. When they settled in the conquered provinces
of Gaul and in Italy, they introduced many of their customs as well of
government as of policy. Most of their slaves were what the writers of
the second, third, and fourth centuries describe as _coloni_ and
_conditionibus obligati_. As Tacitus describes, in xxv. _De Moribus

“The slaves in general are not arranged at their several employments in
the household affairs, as is the practice at Rome. Each has his separate
habitation, and his own establishment to manage. The master considers
him as an agrarian dependant, who is obliged to furnish a certain
quantity of grain, cattle, or wearing-apparel. The slave obeys, and the
state of servitude extends no further. All domestic affairs are managed
by the master’s wife and children. To punish a slave with stripes; to
load him with chains, or condemn him to hard labour, is unusual. It is
true that slaves are sometimes put to death, not under colour of
justice, or of any authority vested in the master; but in a transport of
passion, in a fit of rage, as is often the case in a sudden affray but
it is also true that this species of homicide passes with impunity. The
freedmen are not of much higher consideration than the actual slaves;
they obtain no rank in their master’s family, and, if we except the
parts of Germany where monarchy is established, they never figure on the
stage of public business. In despotic governments they often rise above
the men of ingenuous birth, and even eclipse the whole body of the
nobles. In other states the subordination of the freedmen is a proof of
public liberty.”

At all ages, slaves who belonged to the absolute monarch, sometimes
became elevated above the native nobility: witness the case of Joseph in
Egypt; of Ebed Melech, who was black, in Judea; of Haman, also a black,
an Amalekite; of Mordecai, his successor; of Esther the queen; of Daniel
the prophet, and Felix, governor of Judea, a Greek slave to the Roman
emperor. But such things can never occur in a republic. To a political
misfortune of this kind the prophet alludes—“Servants (slaves) have
ruled over us”—than which nothing can be more expressive of the loss of

In the appendix to the Theodosian code, Const. 5, we read—

Inverecundâ arte defendetur, si hi ad conditionem vel originem
reposcuntur, quibus tempore famis, cum in mortem penuria cogerentur,
opitulari non potuit dominus aut patronus.

_It is forbidden as a shameless trick, that an effort should be made to
regain to their condition or original state, those whom the master, or
patron could not aid, when, in a period of famine, they were pressed
nearly to death by want._

This exhibits the obligation on the patron of the person _under
condition_, and on the master of the slave, to support them, and the
destruction of their title by the neglect of their duty.

Muratori observes, that in process of time, the special agreements and
particular enactments regarding the _conditions_, gave such a variety as
baffled all attempts at classification and precision.

At a much earlier period, slaves had become a drug in the Italian
market. When, about the year 405, Rhadagasius, the Goth, was leading
upwards of three hundred thousand of his barbarians into Italy, the
Emperor Honorius ordered the slaves to be armed for the defence of the
country, by which arming they generally obtained their freedom;
Stilichon, the consul, slew nearly one hundred and fifty thousand of the
invaders in the vicinity of Florence, and made prisoners of the
remainder, who were sold as slaves at the low price of one piece of gold
for each. Jacobs estimates the _aureus_ at eleven shillings. It is
supposed to have contained about 70 grains of gold, which will make the
price of a slave, at that time, about $2.60. But Wilkins (Leges Saxon.)
informs us that, in England, about the year 1000, the price of a slave
was £2 16_s._ 3_d._ sterling, not quite the value of two horses. But, of
these slaves of Stilichon, numbers died within the year, so that
Baronius relates (Annals, A.D. 406) that the purchasers had to pay more
for their burial than for their bodies; according to the remarks of
Orosius, in this state of the market, it was easy for the slave to
procure that he should be held _at a condition_, and thenceforth the
number under condition greatly increased, and in process of time became
more numerous than those in absolute slavery.

In the year 541, the fourth council of Orleans was celebrated, in the
thirtieth year of King Childebert. The ninth canon:—Ut episcopus, qui de
facultate propria ecclesiæ nihil relinquit, de ecclesiæ facultate si
quid aliter quam canones eloquuntur obligaverit, vendiderit aut
distraxerit, ad ecclesiam revocetur, (ab ecclesia, _in other editions_.)
Sane si de servis ecclesiæ libertos fecit numero competenti, in
ingenuitate permaneant, ita ut ab officio ecclesiæ non recedant.

Be it enacted, _That a bishop who has left none of his private property
to the church shall not dispose of any of the church property, otherwise
than as the canons point out. Should he bind or sell or separate any
thing otherwise, let it be recalled for the church. But if, indeed, he
has made freemen of slaves of the church to a reasonable number, let
them continue in their freedom, but with the obligation of not departing
from the duty of the church_.

The canon xxii. of the same council is—

Ut servis ecclesiæ, vel sacerdotum, prædas et captivitates exercere non
liceat; qui iniquum est, ut quorum domini redemptionis præstare solent
suffragium, per servorum excessum disciplina ecclesiastica maculetur.

_That it be not lawful for the slaves of the church, or of the priests,
to go on predatory excursions or to make captives, for it is unjust that
when the masters are accustomed to aid in redeeming, the discipline of
the church should be disgraced by the misconduct of the slaves._

In Judaism, God had established a limited sanctuary for slaves and for
certain malefactors, not to encourage crime, but to protect against the
fury of passion, and to give some sort of aid to the feeble. Paganism
adopted the principle, and the Christian temple and its precincts
became, not only by common consent, but by legal enactment, the
sanctuary instead of the former. Like every useful institution, this too
was occasionally abused.

The xxixth canon was—

Quæcumque mancipia sub specie conjugii ad ecclesiæ septa confugerint, ut
per hoc credant posse fieri conjugium, minime eis licentia tribuatur,
nec talis conjunctio a clericis defensetur: quia probatum est, ut sine
legitimâ traditione conjuncti, pro religionis ordine, statuto tempore ab
Ecclesiæ communione suspendantur, ne in sacris locis turpi concubitu
misceantur. De quâ re decernimus, ut parentibus aut propriis dominis,
prout ratio poscit personarum, acceptâ fide excusati sub separationis
promissione reddantur: postmodum tamen parentibus atque dominis
libertate concessâ, si eos voluerint propriâ voluntate conjungere.

_Let not those slaves who, under pretext of marriage, take refuge within
the precincts of the church, imagining that by this they would make a
marriage, be allowed to do so, nor let such union be countenanced by the
clergy: for it has been regulated that they who form an union, without
lawful delivery, should be, for the good order of religion, separated
for a fixed period from the communion of the church, so that this vile
connection may be prevented in holy places. Wherefore we decree, that
such persons, being declared free from the bond of any plighted faith
and made to promise a separation, should be restored to their parents or
owners, as the case may require; to be, however, subsequently, if the
parents or owners should grant leave, married with their own free

As we have seen in some parts of the East at an earlier period, now in
this portion of the West, the slaves were made incapable of entering
into the marriage-contract without the owner’s consent.

In this same council, canon xxx., provision is made for affording to the
Christians, who are held as slaves by the Jews, not only sanctuary of
the church, but in the house of any Christian, until a fair price shall
be stipulated for and paid to the Jewish owner, if the Christian be
unwilling to return to his service. _This is a clear recognition of the
right of property in slaves._

Canon xxxi. of this council provides, that “_if any Jew shall bring a
slave to be a proselyte to his religion, or make a Jew of a Christian
slave, or take as his companion a Christian female slave, or induce a
slave born of Christian parents to become a Jew under the influence of a
promise of emancipation, he shall lose the title to every such slave.
And further, that if any Christian slave shall become a Jew for the sake
of being manumitted with condition, and shall continue to be a Jew, the
liberty shall be lost and the condition shall not avail him._”

Canon xxxii. provides, that the “_descendants of a slave, wherever they
may be, even after a long lapse of time, though there should be neglect,
if found upon the land or possession upon which their parents were
placed, shall be held to the original conditions established by the
deceased proprietor for the deceased parents, and the priest of the
place shall aid in enforcing the fulfilment, and any persons who shall
through avarice interpose obstacles, shall be placed under church

The doctrine and discipline of the church of the Franks were like that
of other churches in the several regions of Christendom at this period.

A fifth council was held at Orleans, in the year 549, the thirty-eighth
of King Childebert. The sixth canon of this council relates to the
improper ordination of slaves, and also exhibits distinctly the freedmen
_under condition_, classing them in the same category with slaves.

Canon vi. Ut servum, qui libertatem a dominis propriis non acceperit,
aut etiam jam libertum, nullus episcoporum absque ejus tantum voluntate,
cujus aut servus est, aut eum absolvisse dignoscitur, clericum audeat
ordinare. Quod si quisquam fecerit, si qui ordinatus est a domino
revocetur, et ille qui est collator ordinis, si sciens fecisse probatur,
sex mensibus missas tantum facere non præsumat. Si vero sæcularium
servus esse convincitur, ei qui ordinatus est benedictione servatâ,
honestum ordini domino suo impendat obsequium. Quod si sæcularis dominus
amplius eum voluerit inclinare, ut sacro ordini inferre videatur
injuriam, duos servos sicut antiqui canones habent, episcopus qui eum
ordinavit domino sæculari restituat; et episcopus eum quem ordinavit ad
ecclesiam suam revocandi habeat potestatem.

_That no bishop shall dare to ordain as a clergyman, the slave who shall
not have received licence from his proper owners, or a person already
freed, without the permission of either the person whose servant he is,
or of the person who is known to have freed him. And if any one shall do
so, let him who is ordained be recalled by his master, and let him who
conferred the order, if it be proved that he did so knowing the state of
the person, not presume to celebrate mass for six months only. But if it
be proved that he is the servant of lay persons, let the person ordained
be kept in his rank and do service for his owner in a way becoming his
order; but if his lay owner debases him under that grade, so as to do
any dishonour to his holy order; let the bishop who ordained him give,
as the ancient canons enact, two slaves to his master, and be empowered
to take him whom he ordained to his church._

The canon regards manumission, and the protection of those properly
liberated from slavery, against the injustice of persons who disregarded
the legal absolution from service.

Canon xii. Et quia plurimorum suggestione comperimus, eos qui in
ecclesiis juxta patrioticam consuetudinem a servitio fuerint absoluti,
pro libito quorumcumque iterum ad servitium revocari, impium esse
tractavimus, ut quod in ecclesia Dei consideratione a vinculo servitutis
absolvitur, irritum habeatur. Ideo pietatis causâ, communi consilio
placuit observandum, ut quæcumque mancipia ab ingenuis dominis servitute
laxantur, in eâ libertate maneant, quam tunc a dominis perceperunt.
Hujusmodi quoque libertas si a quocumque pulsata fuerit, cum justitiâ ab
ecclesiis defendatur, præter eas culpas pro quibus leges collatas servis
revocare jusserunt libertates.

_And since we have discovered by information from several, that they
who, according to the custom of the country, were absolved from slavery
in the churches, were again, at the will of some persons, reduced to
slavery; we have regarded it to be an impiety; that what has by a
judicial decree been absolved from servitude in the church of God,
should be set at nought. Wherefore, through motives of piety, it is
decreed by common counsel to be henceforth observed, that whatever
slaves are freed from servitude by free masters are to remain in that
freedom which they then received from the masters; and should this
liberty of theirs be assailed by any person, it shall be defended within
the limits of justice by the churches, saving where there are crimes for
which the laws have enacted that the liberty granted to servants shall
be recalled._

It is quite evident, from Exodus xii. 44, that the Israelites, who were
themselves slaves in Egypt, also themselves possessed slaves. Also from
Nehemiah vii. 67, that the Jews who were slaves in Babylon, yet, upon
their liberation, were found to own 7337 slaves; and from the foregoing
it appears that the persons then called _liberti_ or freedmen, or the
_conditionati_ or persons under condition, and probably, in some
instances, _coloni_ or colonists, had slaves, but were not permitted to
liberate them, at least without the consent of their own masters, for
the canon speaks of only the servants of the _ingenui_, or those who
enjoyed perfect freedom. We see, also, what is evident from many other
sources, that persons who had obtained their freedom were for some
crimes reduced to servitude, and we shall see, in future times, even
freemen are enslaved for various offences.

Again, in the canon xxii. of this council, we find provision which
exhibits the caution which was used in regulating the right of sanctuary
for slaves. This right was, in Christianity, a concession of the civil
power, humanely interposing, in times of imperfect security and violent
passion, the protecting arm of the church, to arrest the violence of one
party, so as to secure merciful justice for the other, and to make the
compositions of peace and equity be substituted for the vengeance or the
exactions of power. It was, so far from being an encouragement to crime,
one of the best helps towards civilizing the barbarian.

Canon xxii. De servis vero, qui pro qualibet culpâ ad ecclesiæ septa
confugerint, id statuimus observandum, ut, sicut in antiquis
constitutionibus tenetur scriptum, pro concessâ culpâ datis a domino
sacramentis, quisquis ille fuerit, egrediatur de veniâ jam securus.
Enimvero si immemor fidei dominus transcendisse convincitur quod
juravit, ut is qui veniam acceperat, probetur postmodum pro eâ cum
qualicumque supplicio cruciatus, dominus ille, qui immemor fuit datæ
fidei, sit ab omnium communione suspensus. Iterum si servus de
promissione veniæ datis sacramentis a domino jam securus exire noluerit,
ne sub tali contumaciâ requirens locum fugæ domino fortasse disperiat,
egredi nolentem a domino eum liceat occupari, ut nullam, quasi pro
retentatione servi, quibuslibet modis molestiam aut calumniam patiatur
ecclesia: fidem tamen dominus, quam pro concessâ veniâ dedit, nullâ
temeritate transcendat. Quod si aut gentilis dominus fuerit, aut
alterius sectæ, qui a conventu ecclesiæ probatur extraneus, is qui
servum repetit personas requirat bonæ fidei Christianas, ut ipsi in
personâ domini servo præbeant sacramenta: quia ipsi possunt servare quod
sacrum est, qui pro transgressione ecclesiasticam metuunt disciplinam.

_We enact this to be observed respecting slaves, who may for any fault
fly to the precincts of the church, that, as is found written in ancient
constitutions, when the master shall pledge his oath to grant pardon to
the culprit, whosoever he may be, he shall go out secure of pardon. But,
if the master, unmindful of his oath, shall be convicted of having gone
beyond what he had sworn, so that it shall be proved that the servant
who had received pardon was afterwards tortured with any punishment for
that fault, let that master who was forgetful of his oath be separated
from the communion of all. Again, should the servant secured from
punishment by the master’s oath, be unwilling to go forth, it shall be
lawful for the master, that he should not lose the service of a slave
seeking sanctuary by such contumacy, to seize upon such a one unwilling
to go out, so that the church should not suffer either trouble or
calumny by any means on account of retaining such servant: but let not
the master in any way rashly violate the oath that he swore for granting
pardon. But, if the master be a gentile, or of any other sect proved
without the church, let the person who claims the slave procure
Christian persons of good account who shall swear for the servant’s
security in the master’s name: because they who dread ecclesiastical
discipline for transgression can keep that which is sacred._


                               LESSON IX.

Bishop England has, in his eighth letter, alluded to the state of
society in England and Ireland at this early day, for the purpose of
elucidating the fact that the doctrines of the church concerning slavery
and the civil condition of those regions were materially without
difference from the other parts of Europe. Some portions of his letter,
although, perhaps, too distant from our subject, are, nevertheless, too
interesting to omit.

About the year 462, Niell Naoigialluch, or Neill of the Nine Hostages,
ravaged the coast of Britain and Gaul. In this expedition a large number
of captives were made. One youth, sixteen years of age, by the name of
Cothraige, was sold to Milcho, and was employed by him in tending sheep,
in a place called Dalradia—within the present county of Antrim. This
Cothraige was St. Patrick, subsequently the apostle of Ireland.

St. Patrick, in his Confessions, states that many of his unfortunate
countrymen were carried off and made captives, and dispersed among many

The Romans had possession of Britain, and even had not slavery existed
there previously, they would have introduced it; but, the Britons needed
not this lesson; they had been conversant with it before: we shall see
evidence of the long continuance of its practice.

About the year 450, a party of them, among whom were several that
professed the Christian religion, made a piratical incursion upon the
Irish coast, under the command of Corotic, or Caractacus, or Coroticus.

Lanigan compiles the following account of this incursion from the
_Eccles. History of Ireland_, vol. i. c. iv.

“This prince, Coroticus, though apparently a Christian, was a tyrant, a
pirate, and a persecutor. He landed, with a party of his armed
followers, many of whom were Christians, at a season of solemn baptism,
and set about plundering a district in which St. Patrick had just
baptized and confirmed a great number of converts, and on the very day
after the holy chrism was seen shining in the foreheads of the
white-robed neophytes. Having murdered several persons, these marauders
carried off a considerable number of people, whom they went about
selling or giving up as slaves to the Scots and the apostate Picts. St.
Patrick wrote a letter, which he sent by a holy priest whom he had
instructed from his younger days, to those pirates, requesting of them
to restore the baptized captives and some part of the booty. The priest
and the other ecclesiastics that accompanied him being received by them
with scorn and mockery, and the letter not attended to, the saint found
himself under the necessity of issuing a circular epistle or declaration
against them and their chief Coroticus, in which, announcing himself a
bishop and established in Ireland, he proclaims to all those who fear
God, that said murderers and robbers are excommunicated and estranged
from Christ, and that it is not lawful to show them civility, nor to eat
or drink with them, nor to receive their offerings, until, sincerely
repenting, they make atonement to God and liberate his servants and the
handmaids of Christ. He begs of the faithful, into whose hands the
epistle may come, to get it read before the people everywhere, and
before Coroticus himself, and to communicate it to his soldiers, in the
hope that they and their master may return to God, &c. Among other very
affecting expostulations, he observes that the Roman and Gallic
Christians are wont to send proper persons with great sums of money to
the Franks and other pagans, for the purpose of redeeming Christian
captives; while, on the contrary, that monster, Coroticus, made a trade
of selling the members of Christ to nations ignorant of God.”

The Britons were frequently invaded by the Scots, upon the abandonment
of their country by the Romans; and at the period here alluded to, it is
supposed by many that the captives taken from Ireland were in several
instances given by their possessors to the plundering and victorious
Northmen, by the Britons, in exchange for their own captured relatives,
whom they desired to release.

About the year 555, Pope Pelagius held, under the protection of King
Childebert, the third council of Paris, in which we find a canon,
entitled, “De Servis Degeneribus,” concerning “bastard slaves,” as
follows: (See Du Cange.)

Canon ix. De degeneribus servis, qui pro sepulchris defunctorum pro
qualitate ipsius ministerii deputantur, hoc placuit observari, ut sub
quâ ab auctoribus fuerint conditione dimissi, sive heredibus, sive
ecclesiis pro defensione fuerint deputati, voluntas defuncti circa eos
in omnibus debeat observari. Quod si ecclesia eos de fisci functionibus
in omni parte defenderit ecclesiæ tam illi, quam posteri eorum,
defensione in omnibus potiantur, et occursum impendant.

_It is enacted concerning bastard slaves who are placed to keep the
sepulchres, because of the rank of that office, that whether they be
placed under the protection of the heirs or of the church for their
defence, upon the condition upon which they were discharged by their
owners, the will of the deceased should be observed in all things in
their regard. But, if the church shall keep them entirely exempt from
the services and payments of the fisc, let them and their descendants
enjoy the protection of the church for defence, and pay to it their

The _auctores_, or authors, in the original sense, were _owners_ or
_masters_; and subsequently, especially in Gaul, it was often taken to
mean _parents_, which probably, from the context, is here its meaning;
and, we find a new title and a new class, where the master having
committed a crime with his servant, the offspring was his slave; yet,
his natural affection caused the parent to grant him a conditioned
freedom, to protect which this canon specified the guardian to be either
the heir or the church.

Martin, archbishop of Braga, who presided at the third council of that
city, in the year 572, collected, from the councils of the east and the
west, the greater portion of the canon law then in force, and made a
compendium thereof, which he distributed into eighty-four heads, which
formed as many short canons, and thenceforth they were the basis of the
discipline in Spain.

The forty-sixth of these canons is—

Si quis obligatus tributo servili, vel aliqua conditione, vel patrocinio
cujuslibet domûs, non est ordinandus clericus, nisi probandæ vitæ fuerit
et patroni concessus accesserit.

_If any one is bound to servile tribute, or by any condition, or by the
patronage of any house, he is not to be ordained a clergyman, unless he
be of approved life, and the consent of the patron be also given._

This canon is taken into the body of the canon law. _Dist._ 53.

Canon xlvii. Si quis servum alienum causâ religionis doceat contemnere
dominum suum et recedere à servitio ejus, durissimè ab omnibus arguatur.

_If any person will teach the servant of another, under pretext of
religion, to despise his master and to withdraw from his service, let
him be most sharply rebuked by all._

This too is taken into the body of the canon law. (17, q. 4, _Si quis_.)

In the year 589, the third council of Toledo, in Spain, was celebrated,
in the pontificate of Pope Pelagius II. All the bishops of Spain
assembled upon the invitation of King Reccared.

The articles of faith form twenty-three heads of various length; after
which follow twenty-three _capitula_, or little chapters or heads of

The sixth of these is in the following words:

De libertis autem id Dei præcipiunt sacerdotes, ut si qui ab episcopis
facti sunt secundum modum quo canones antiqui dant licentiam, sint
liberi; et tamen a patrocinio ecclesiæ tam ipsi, quam ab eis progeniti
non recedant. Ab aliis quoque libertati traditi, et ecclesiis
commendati, patrocinio episcopali regantur: à principe hoc episcopus

_The priests of God decree concerning freedmen, that if any are made by
the bishops in the way the ancient canons permit, they shall be
considered free; yet so that neither they nor their descendants shall
retire from the patronage of the church. Let those freed by others and
placed under the protection of the church, be placed under the bishop’s
protection. Let the bishop ask this of his prince._

This too is taken into the body of the canon law. (12, q. 2, _De

A custom had already gained considerable prevalence, which we shall find
greatly extended in subsequent ages, of granting to the churches slaves
for its service and support. The administrators of the church property
were called _familia fisci_. The church property was in ecclesiastical
documents styled the fisc. The _fisca regis_, or royal fisc, was a
different fund or treasury. It sometimes happened that the clergy who
were the administrators sought to obtain from the “conditioned slaves”
more than they were bound to give, and also, sometimes, others sought to
have their service taken from the church. The capitulary viii. of this
third council of Toledo was enacted to remedy this latter grievance.

Innuente (other copies, jubente) atque consentiente domino piissimo
Reccaredo rege, id præcipit sacerdotale consilium, ut clericorum
(others, clericos) ex familiâ fisci nullus audeat a principe donatos
expetere; sed reddito capitis sui tributo ecclesiæ Dei, cui sunt
alligati, usque dum vivent, regulariter administrent.

_By the suggestion (or by the command) and with the consent of the most
pious lord King Reccared, the council of priests directs that no one
shall dare to reclaim from the administrators of the church those clergy
given by the prince; but having paid their tribute to the church of God,
to which they are bound, let them, as long as they live, administer

In the same council, the canon xv. is the following:

Si qui ex servis fiscalibus ecclesias forte construxerint easque de suâ
paupertate ditaverint, hoc procuret episcopus prece suâ auctoritate
regiâ confirmari.

_If any of the king’s special servants shall have built churches, and
have enriched them by the contributions from their poverty, let the
bishop obtain that it be confirmed by the royal authority._

The _servi fiscales_ were the private or patrimonial property of the

This also exhibits the principle that the slave was not permitted to
contribute, without the consent of his owner, to religious

A canon of the assembly held in Constantinople, 692:

Canon lxxxv. In duobus vel tribus testibus confirmari omne verbum ex
Scriptura accepimus. Servos ergo qui a dominis suis manumittuntur, sub
tribus testibus eo frui honore decernimus, qui præsentes libertati vires
et firmitatem afferent, et ut iis quæ ipsis testibus facta sunt fides
habeatur efficient.

_We have learned from the Scripture that every word is confirmed in two
or three witnesses. We therefore declare that slaves who are manumitted
by their masters shall be admitted to enjoy that honour under three
witnesses, who may be able to afford security by their presence to the
freedom, and who may be able to secure credit for the acts done in their


                               LESSON X.

As late as the year 577, Britain furnished other nations with slaves,
which is sufficiently proved by the following extract from Bede:

Nec silentio prætereunda opinio quæ de beato Gregorio, traditione
majorum, ad nos usque perlata est: quâ videlicet ex causâ admonitus, tam
sedulam erga salutem nostræ gentis curam gesserit. Dicunt, quia die
quâdam cum advenientibus nuper mercatoribus multa venalia in forum
fuissent conlata, multique ad emendum confluxissent, et ipsum Gregorium
inter alios advenisse, ae vidisse inter alia pueros venales positos,
candidi corporis ac venusti vultûs, capillorum quoque formâ egregiâ.
Quos cum aspiceret, interrogavit, ut ajunt, de quâ regione vel terrâ
essent adlati. Dictumque est quod de Brittaniâ insulâ, cujus incolæ
talis essent aspectûs. Rursus interrogavit, utrum iidem insulani,
Christiani, an paganis adhuc erroribus essent implicati? Dictumque est,
quod essent pagani. At ille intimo ex corde longa trahens suspiria:
“Heu, proh dolor!” inquit, “quod tam lucidi vultûs homines tenebrarum
auctor possidet, tantaque gratia frontispicii mentem ab internâ gratiâ
vacuam gestat!” Rursus ergo interrogavit, quod esset vocabulum gentis
illius? Responsum est quod Angli vocarentur. At ille, “Benè,” inquit,
“nam et angelicam habent faciem, et tales angelorum in cœlis decet esse
coheredes. Quod habet nomen ipsa provincia de quâ isti sunt adlati?”
Responsum est quod Deiri vocarentur iidem provinciales. At ille: “Benè,”
inquit, “Deiri, de irâ eruti, et ad misericordiam Christi vocati. Rex
provinciæ illius, quomodo appellatur?” Responsum est quod _Aella_
diceretur. At ille adludens ad nomen ait: “_Alleluia_, laudem Dei
creatoris illis in partibus oportet cantari.” Accedensque ad Pontificem
Romanæ et Apostolicæ sedis, nondum enim erat ipse Pontifex factus,
rogavit, ut genti Angliorum in Britanniam aliquos verbi ministros, per
quos ad Christum converterentur, mitteret: seipsum paratum esse in hoc
opus Domino co-operante perficiendum, si tamen Apostolico Papæ hoc ut
fieret placeret. Quod dum perficere non posset; quia etsi pontifex
concedere illi quod petierat voluit, non tamen cives Romani ut tam longe
ab urbe recederet potuere permittere; mox ut ipse pontificatûs officio
functus est, perficit opus diu desideratum: alios quidem prædicatores
mittens, sed ipse prædicationem ut fructificaret suis exhortationibus et
precibus adjuvans.

_Nor is that notice of the blessed Gregory which has come down to us by
the tradition of our ancestors to be silently passed over: for, by
reason of the admonition that he then received, he became so industrious
for the salvation of our nation. For they say, that on a certain day
when merchants had newly arrived, many things were brought into the
market, and several persons had come to purchase; Gregory himself came
among them, and saw exposed for sale, youths of a fair body and handsome
countenance, whose hair was also beautiful. Looking at them, they say,
he asked from what part of the world they were brought; he was told from
the island of Britain, whose inhabitants were of that complexion. Again
he asked whether these islanders were Christians or were immersed in the
errors of paganism. It was said, that they were pagans. And he, sighing
deeply, said, “Alas! what a pity that the author of darkness should
possess men of so bright a countenance, and that so graceful an aspect
should have a mind void of grace within!” Again he inquired what was the
name of their nation. He was told that they were called Angles. He said,
“It is well, for they have angelic faces, and it is fit that such should
be the coheirs with Angels in Heaven.” From what province were they
brought, was his next inquiry. To which it was answered, The people of
their province are called Deiri. “Good again,” said he, “Deiri, (de irâ
eruti,) rescued from anger and called to the mercy of Christ.” What is
the name of the king of that province? He was told, Aella. And, playing
upon the word, he responded, “Alleluia. The praises of God our Creator
ought to be chanted in those regions.” And going to the pontiff of the
Roman Apostolic See, for he was not yet made pope himself, he besought
him to send to Britain, for the nation of the Angles, some ministers of
the word, through whom they may be converted to Christ; and stated that
he was himself ready, the Lord being his aid, to undertake this work, if
the pope should so please. This he was not able to do, for though the
pontiff desired to grant his petition, the citizens of Rome would not
consent that he should go to so great distance therefrom. As soon,
however, as he was placed in the office of pope, he performed his long
desired work: he sent other preachers, but he aided by his prayers and
exhortations, that he might make their preaching fruitful._

Gregory became pope in 590. Soon after his elevation to the pontifical
dignity, he sought to purchase some of the British youths, in order to
have them trained up to be missionaries to their countrymen.

The holy see had already a considerable patrimony in Gaul, bestowed by
the piety of the faithful: we shall see from the following epistle of
the pope to the priest Candidus, whom he sent as its administrator, the
use which was made of its income.

                  *       *       *       *       *

Lib. v. Epist. x.—GREGORIUS Candido Presbytero eunti ad patrimonium

Pergens auxiliante Domino Deo nostro Jesu Christo ad patrimonium, quod
est in Galliis gubernandum, volumus ut dilectio tua ex solidis quos
acceperit, vestimenta pauperum, vel pueros Anglos, qui sunt ab annis
decem et septem, vel decem et octo, ut in monasteriis dati Deo
proficiant, comparet; quatenus solidi Galliarum, qui in terrâ nostrâ
expendi non possunt, apud locum proprium utiliter expendantur. Si quid
vero de pecuniis redituum, quæ dicuntur ablatæ, recipere potueris, ex
his quoque vestimenta pauperum comparare te volumus; vel, sicut præfati
sumus, pueros qui in omnipotentis Dei servitio proficiant. Sed quia
pagani sunt, qui illic inveniri possunt, volo, ut cum eis presbyter
transmittatur, ne quid ægritudinis contingat in viâ, ut quos morituros
conspexerit debeat baptizare. Ita igitur tua dilectio faciat, ut hæc
diligenter implere festinet.

GREGORY _to the Priest Candidus, going to the patrimony of Gaul_.

_As you are going, with aid of the Lord Jesus Christ, our God, to govern
the patrimony which is in Gaul; we desire that out of the shillings you
may receive, you, our beloved, should purchase clothing for the poor, or
English youths about the age of seventeen or eighteen, that, being
placed in monasteries, they may be useful for the service of God; so
that the money of Gaul, which ought not to be expended in our land, may
be laid out in its own place beneficially. If you can also get any of
the money of that income called tolls_, (ablatæ,) _we also desire that
you should therewith buy clothing for the poor, or, as we have before
said, youths who may become proficients in the service of God. But as
they who dwell in that place are pagans, it is our desire that a priest
be sent with them lest they should get sick on the journey, and he ought
to baptize those whom he may see in a dying state. So let you, our
beloved, do, and be alert in fulfilling what we have desired_.

                  *       *       *       *       *

The commission of Pope Gregory to purchase those youths was executed.
But, as Lingard observes, (Ant. Anglo-Saxon Chu. c. i.,) “their progress
was slow, and his zeal impatient.” The result was that St. Augustine and
his companions were sent by the pope, and effected the conversion of the

In the same chapter, Lingard describes the Saxons who had settled in
England, previous to their conversion, and refers to Will. of Malmesbury
(_de reg._ 1. i., c. 3.)

“The savages of Africa may traffic with the Europeans for the negroes
whom they have seized by treachery, or captured in open war; but the
most savage conquerors of the Britons sold without scruple, to the
merchants of the continent, their countrymen, and even their own

“But their ferocity soon yielded to the exertions of the missionaries,
and the harsher features of their origin were insensibly softened under
the mild influence of the gospel. In the rage of victory, they learned
to respect the rights of humanity. Death or slavery was no longer the
fate of the conquered Britons; by their submission, they were
incorporated with the victors; and their lives and property were
protected by the equity of their Christian conquerors. * * * The humane
idea, that by baptism all men become brethren, contributed to meliorate
the condition of slavery, and scattered the seeds of that liberality
which gradually undermined, and at length abolished, so odious an
institution. By the provision of the legislature, the freedom of the
child was secured from the avarice of an unnatural parent; and the
heaviest punishment was denounced against the man who presumed to sell
to a foreign master one of his countrymen, though he were a slave or a

Lingard here refers to the statutes of Ina, quoted in a previous study.
But it may be remarked that here is the earliest notice of the African
slave-trade, as a branch of European commerce, compared with the ancient
slave-trade carried on with Britain.

In his book, “Pastoralis Curæ,” _Of the Pastoral Care_, part 3, c. i.
Admonit. vi., Pope Gregory says—

ADMONITIO VI.—Aliter admonendi sunt servi, atque aliter domini. Servi
scilicet, ut in se semper humilitatem conditionis aspiciant: domini
vero, ut naturæ suæ quâ æqualiter sunt cum servis conditi, memoriam non
amittant. Servi admonendi sunt ne dominos despiciant, ne Deum offendant
si ordinationi illius superbiendo contradicunt: domini quoque admonendi
sunt, quia contra Deum de munere ejus superbiunt, si eos quos per
conditionem tenent subditos, æquales sibi per naturæ consortium non
agnoscunt. Isti admonendi sunt ut sciant se servos esse dominorum: illi
admonendi sunt ut cognoscant se conservos esse servorum. Istis namque
dicitur: _Servi, obedite dominis carnalibus._ Et rursum: _Quicumque sunt
sub jugo servi, dominos suos omni honore dignos arbitrentur_: illis
autem dicitur: _et vos, domini, eadem facite illis, remittentes minas,
scientes quod et illorum et vester dominus est in cœlis_.

ADMONITION VI.—_Servants are to be admonished in one way, masters in
another way: servants indeed, that they should always regard in
themselves the lowliness of their condition: masters however, that they
lose not the recollection of their nature, by which they are created
upon a level with their slaves. Slaves are to be admonished not to
despise their masters, lest they offend God, if growing proud they
contradict his ordinance: masters too are to be admonished; because they
grow proud against God by reason of his gift, if they do not acknowledge
as their equals, by the fellowship of nature, those whom by condition
they hold as subjects. These are to be admonished that they be mindful
that they are the slaves of their masters; those that they recollect
that they are the fellow-servants of servants. To these it is said_:
Servants, obey your masters in the flesh: _and again_, Whosoever are
servants under the yoke, let them consider their masters worthy of all
honour: _but to those it is said_: And you, masters, do in like manner
to them, laying aside threats, knowing that your and their Master is in

In his book ii. of Epistles, ep. xxxix., writing to Peter, a subdeacon
of Campania, he directs him how to act in the case of a female slave,
belonging to a proctor or manager of church property, (_defensor_,) who
was anxious to be allowed to become a sister in a monastery, which was
not lawful without the consent of her owner. The pope neither orders the
master to manumit her nor to permit her profession, for, though he was
employed by the church, the religion to which he belonged did not
require of him to give away his property, nor had the head of that
church power to deprive him thereof; hence he writes—

Preterea quia Felix defensor puellam nomine Catillam habere dicitur, quæ
cum magnis lacrymis, et vehementi desiderio habitum conversionis
appetit, sed eam præfatus dominus suus converti minime permittit:
proinde volumus, ut experientia tua præfatum Felicem adeat, atque puellæ
ejusdem animum sollicite requirat; et si ita esse cognoverit, pretium
ejusdem puellæ suæ domino præbeat, et huc eam in monasterio dandam cum
personis gravibus, Domino auxiliante, transmittat. Ita vero hæc age, ut
non per lentam actionem tuam præfatæ puellæ anima detrimentum aliquod in
desiderio suo sustineat.

_Moreover, because the proctor Felix is said to have a servant named
Catilla, who with many tears and vehement desire wishes to obtain the
habit of religion; but her aforesaid master will not by any means permit
her making profession: it is then our desire that your experience would
call upon the said Felix, and carefully examine the disposition of that
young woman, and if you should find it such as is stated, pay to the
master her price, and send her hither with discreet persons, to be
placed, with God’s help, in a monastery. But do this, so that the soul
of the young woman may not suffer any inconvenience in her desire,
through your tardiness._

The following is a deed of gift which the same Pope made, to assure the
possession of a slave to the bishop of Porto, one of the suburban sees
near Rome. It is curious, not merely as exhibiting the fact that the
pope and the See of Rome held and transferred slaves at this period, but
also as giving a specimen of a legal document of that date and tenor:—

                  *       *       *       *       *

LIB. X. EP. LII.—GREGORIUS, Felici Episcopo Portuensi.

Charitatis vestræ gratiâ provocati, no infructuosi vobis videamur
existere, præcipuè cum et minus vos habere servitia noverimus; ideo
Joannem juris ecclesiastici famulum, natione Sabinum, ex massâ Flavianâ,
annorum plus minus decem et octo, quem nostra voluntate jam diu
possidetis, fraternitati vestræ jure directo donamus atque concedimus;
ita ut cum habeatis, possideatis, atque juri proprietatique vestra
vindicetis atque defendatis, et quidquid de eo facere volueritis, quippe
ut dominus, ex hujus donationis jure libero potiamini arbitrio. Contra
quam munificentiæ nostræ chartulam nunquam nos successoresque nostros
noveris esse venturos. Hanc autem donationem a notario nostro
perscriptam legimus, atque subscripsimus, tribuentes etiam non expectatâ
professione vestrâ quo volueritis tempore alligandi licentiam legitimâ
stipulatione et sponsione interpositâ. Actum Romæ.

_Excited by our regard for your charitable person, that we may not
appear to be useless to you, especially as we know you are short of
servants: we therefore give and grant to you our brother, by our direct
right, John, a servant of the church domain, by birth a Sabine, of the
Flavian property, now aged about eighteen years, whom by our will you
have a good while had in your possession. So that you may have and
possess him, and preserve and maintain your right to him and defend him
as your property. And that you may, by the free gift of this donation,
enjoy the exercise of your will, to do what you may think proper in his
regard, as his lord._

_Against which paper of our munificence, you may know that neither we
nor our successors are ever to come. And we have read this deed of gift,
written out by our notary, and we have subscribed the same, not even
awaiting your profession, respecting the time you would desire license
to register it in the public acts by interposing the lawful process of
signature and covenant. Done at Rome, &c._

The _massa_ was generally a portion of land of about twelve acres: and
the servants belonging specially thereto are in the documents of this
and a later period generally called either _servi de_ (or _ex_) _massa_,
and when they subsequently became _conditioned_, or freed to a certain
extent, they were called _homines de masnada_, or other names equivalent

LIB. V. EP. XXXIV.—GREGORIUS, Athemio Subdiacono.

Quantus dolor, quantaque sit nostro cordi afflictio de his, quæ in
partibus Campaniæ contigerunt, dicere non possumus: sed ex calamitatis
magnitudine potes ipse cognoscere. Eâ de re, pro remedio captivorum qui
tenti sunt, solidos experientiæ tuæ per horum portitorem Stephanum virum
magnificum transmisimus, admonentes ut omnino debeas esse sollicitus, ac
strenuè peragas, et liberos homines, quos ad redemptionem suam sufficere
non posse cognoscis, tu eos festines redimere. Qui vero servi fuerint,
et dominos eorum ita pauperes esse compereris, ut eos redimere non
assurgant, et hos quoque comparare non desinas. Pariter etiam et servos
ecclesiæ qui tuâ negligentiâ perierunt, curabis redimere. Quo cumque
autem redemeris, subtiliter notitiam, quæ nomina eorum, vel quis ubi
maneat, sive quid agat, seu unde sit, contineat, facere modis omnibus
studebis, quam tecum possis afferre cum veneris. Ita autem in hâc re te
studiose exhibere festina, ut ii qui redimendi sunt, nullum te
negligente periculum possint incurrere, et tu apud nos postea vehementer
incipias esse culpabilis, sed et hoc quam maxime age, ut si fieri
potest, captivos ipsos minori possis pretio comparare. Substantiam verò
sub omni puritate atque subtilitate describe, et ipsam nobis
descriptionem cum celeritate transmitte.

GREGORY, _to the Subdeacon Anthemius_:

_We cannot express how great is our grief and the affliction of our
heart, by reason of what has occurred in a part of Campania; but you may
yourself estimate it from the extent of the calamity. Wherefore, we send
to your experience, by Stephen, a worthy man, the bearer hereof, money
for the aid of those captives who are detained; admonishing you that you
ought to be very industrious and exert yourself to discover what freemen
are unable to procure their own release, and that you should quickly
redeem them. But respecting the slaves, when you shall discover that
their masters are so poor as not to have it in their power to release
them, you will also not omit to buy them. In like manner you will be
careful to redeem the servants of the church who have been lost through
your neglect._

_You will also be very careful by all means to make a neat brief, which
you can bring when you come, containing their names, as also where any
one remains, how he is employed, or whence he is. You will be diligent,
and so industrious in this transaction, as to give no cause of danger by
your neglect, for those who are to be released, nor run the risk of
being exceedingly culpable in our view. You will be most particular,
above all things, to procure the release of the captives at the lowest
possible rate. You will make out the accounts as accurately and as
clearly as possible, and send them to us with speed._

The calamity which he bewails was an incursion of the Lombards, who,
coming originally from Scandinavia, settled for a while in Pomerania,
and about this period ravaged Italy.


                               LESSON XI.

At this age of the world, there still existed a feeling of rivalship
between the Jew, the pagan, and the Christian; and, in truth, between
some of the different sects of the latter, as to which system of
religion should prevail. This state of facts often rendered the
condition of the slave peculiar.

The Jew and the Christian were in opposition from the very origin of
Christianity. The first persecutors of the Christians were the relatives
of the first Christians; the death of the Saviour and the martyrdom of
Stephen, the imprisonment of Peter, the mission of Saul to Damascus, and
a variety of other similar facts, exhibit in strong relief the spirit of
hatred which caused not merely separation, but enmity. The destruction
of Jerusalem, the captivity of the people who preserved the early
records of revelation, and the increase of the Christian religion, even
under the swords and the gibbets of its persecutors, only increased and
perpetuated this feeling.

The pride of the Gentile ridiculed what he denominated superstition:
while he smote the believer whom he mocked, he bowed before the idol of
paganism. The early heresies of those who professed the Christian name,
but separated from Christian unity, sprang generally from the efforts to
destroy the mysterious nature of the doctrine of the apostles, and to
explain it by the system of some Gentile philosopher, or to modify it by
superinducing some Judaic rite or principle. The Jew, the Gentile, and
the heretic equally felt elevated by his imagined superiority over the
faithful follower of the doctrine of the Galilean. Thus the sword of the
persecutor, the scoff of ridicule, and the quibbling of a false
philosophy, were all employed against the members of the church; and
among those who were by their situation the most exposed to suffering,
were the Christian slaves of the enemies of the cross. Even they who
belonged to the faithful had peculiar trials, because, frequently, in
times of persecution, masters, desirous of obtaining protection, without
actually sacrificing to idols, compelled their servants to personate
them in perpetrating the crime. They were frequently circumcised, even
against their will, by the Jewish owners. They were frequently mutilated
by the infidel master. They were also exposed to the continued hardships
and enticements of owners who desired to make them proselytes.

It was, therefore, at an early period after the conversion of
Constantine, enacted that no one who was not a Christian should hold a
Christian slave, upon that principle contained in _Lev._ xxv. 47, 48. We
find in the civil code, lib. i. tit. 10, “Judæus servum Christianum nec
comparare debebit, nec largitatis aut alio quocumque titulo
consequetur.” _A Jew shall not purchase a Christian slave, nor shall he
obtain one by title of gift, nor by any other title._

In a subsequent part of the title the penalty is recited, “non solum
mancipii damno mulctetur, verùm etiam capitali sententia punietur.” _Not
only shall he be mulcted by the loss of the slave, but he shall be
punished by a capital sentence._

By a decree of Valentinian III., found after the Theodosian code, and
entitled, “De diversis ecclesiasticis capitibus,” bearing date 425,
Aquileia, vii. of the ides of July, Jews and pagans were prohibited from
holding Christian slaves.

Thus by the laws of the empire at this period, no Jew or Gentile could
have any property in a Christian slave. This principle was not adopted
until a much later period by the Franks and other nations, and this will
account for the diversity of legislation and of judgment which the books
of the same period exhibit in various regions.

Another clause of the code was more comprehensive: “Græcus, seu paganus,
et Judæus, et Samaritanus, et alius hæreticus, id est, non existens
orthodoxus, non potest Christianum mancipium habere.” _A Greek or pagan,
a Jew, a Samaritan, and any heretic, that is, one not orthodox, cannot
hold a Christian slave._

The authority of Gregory over Sicily was not merely spiritual. He had a
temporal supervision, if not a full sovereignty, over the island.—The
document is ep. xxxvii. lib. ii. indict. xi.

                  *       *       *       *       *

GREGORIUS Libertino, Præfecto Siciliæ.

_De præsumptione Nasæ Judæi, qui altare nomine B. Heliæ construxerat, et
de mancipiis Christianis comparatis._

Ab ipso administrationis exordio, Deus vos in causæ suæ voluit vindicta
procedere, et hanc vobis mercedem propitius cum laude servavit. Fertur
siquidem quòd Nasas quidam sceleratissimus Judæorum, sub nomine beati
Heliæ altare puniendâ temeritate construxerit, multosque illic
Christianorum ad adorandum sacrilegâ seductione decepit. Sed et
Christiana, ut dicitur, mancipia comparavit, et suis ea obsequiis ac
utilitatibus deputavit. Dum igitur severissimè in eum pro tantis
facinoribus debuisset ulcisci, gloriosus Justinus medicamento avaritiæ,
ut nobis scriptum est, Dei distulit injuriam vindicare. Gloria autem
vestra hæc omnia districtâ examinatione perquirat: et si hujusmodi
manifestum esse repererit, ita districtissime ac corporaliter in eundem
sceleratum festinet vindicare Judæum; quatenus hâc ex causâ et gratiam
sibi Dei nomine conciliet, et his se posteris pro suâ mercede imitandum
monstret exemplis. Mancipia autem Christiana, quæcumque eum comparasse
patuerit, ad libertatem, juxta legum præcepta, sine omni ambiguitate
perducite, ne, quod absit, Christiana religio Judais subdita polluatur.
Ita ergo omnia districtissimè sub omni festinatione corrigite, ut non
solum pro hâc vobis disciplinâ gratias referamus, sed et testimonium de
bonitate vestrâ ubi necesse fuerit, præbeamus.

GREGORY to Libertinus, Prefect of Sicily:

Concerning the presumption of Nasas, a Jew, who had erected an altar in
the name of the blessed Elias; and concerning the procuring of Christian

_God has willed that from the very beginning of your administration you
should proceed to the avenging of his cause; and he has mercifully kept
this reward for you with praise. It is indeed said that one Nasas, a
very wicked man, of the Jewish people, has, with a rashness deserving
punishment, constructed an altar under the name of the blessed Elias,
and deceitfully and sacrilegeously seduced many Christians thither for
adoration. It is also said that he has procured Christian slaves, and
put them to his service and profit. It has also been written to us that
the most glorious Justin, when he ought to have most severely punished
him for such crimes, has, through the soothing of his avarice, put off
the avenging of this injury to God._

_Do you, glorious sir, most closely examine into all the premises; and
if you shall find the allegations evidently sustained, hasten to proceed
most strictly to have bodily justice done upon this wicked Jew, so as to
procure for yourself the favour of God in this case, and to exhibit for
your reward, to those who will come after us, an example for imitation.
But, further, do you carry through, according to the prescriptions of
the laws, to their liberty, without any cavilling, every and any
Christian slaves that it may be evident he procured, lest, which God
forbid, the Christian religion should be degraded by subjection to the

_Therefore do all this correction most exactly and quickly, that you may
not only have our thanks for preserving discipline, but that we may,
when opportunity offers, give you proof of our recognition for your

                  *       *       *       *       *

Canon xxx. of the fourth council of Orleans:

Cùm prioribus canonibus jam fuerit definitum, ut de mancipiis
Christianis, quæ apud Judæos sunt, si ad ecclesiam confugerint, et
redimi se postulaverint, etiam ad quoscumque Christianos refugerint, et
servire Judæis noluerint, taxato et oblato a fidelibus justo pretio, ab
eorum dominio liberentur; ideo statuimus, ut tam justa constitutio ab
omnibus Catholicis conservetur.

_Whereas it has been decreed by former canons, respecting the Christian
slaves that are under the Jews, that if they should fly to the church,
or even to any Christians, and demand their redemption, and be unwilling
to serve the Jews, they should be freed from their owners upon a fair
price being assessed by the faithful and tendered for them: we therefore
enact that this so just a regulation shall be observed by all

At this period, 541, in this province and kingdom, the Jew had a good
title to his Christian slave, and could not be deprived of him except by
law, or for value tendered.

The first council of Macon was assembled at the request of King Guntram,
or Goutran, one of the sons of Clotaire I., to whom the division of
Orleans was left upon the death of his father in 561. This assembly was
held in 581. The sixteenth canon is—

Et licet quid de Christianis, qui aut captivitatis incursu, aut
quibuscumque fraudibus, Judæorum servitio implicantur, debeat observari,
non solum canonicis statutis, sed et legum beneficio pridem fuerit
constitutum: tamen quia nunc ita quorundam querela exorta est, quosdam
Judæos, per civitates aut municipia consistentes, in tantam insolentiam
et proterviam prorupisse ut nec reclamantes Christianos liceat vel
precio de eorum servitute absolvi. Idcirco præsenti concilio, Deo
auctore, sancimus, ut nullus Christianus Judæo deinceps debeat servire;
sed datis pro quolibet bono mancipio xii. solidis, ipsum mancipium
quicumque Christianus seu ad ingenuitatem, seu ad servitium, licentiam
habeat redimendi: quia nefas est, ut quos Christus Dominus sanguinis
effusione redemit persecutorum vinculis maneant irretiti. Quod si
acquiescere his quæ statuimus quicumque Judæus noluerit, quamdiu ad
pecuniam constitutam venire distulerit, liceat mancipio ipsi cum
Christianis ubicumque voluerit habitare. Illud etiam specialiter
sancientes, quod si qui Judæus Christianum mancipium ad errorem Judaicum
convictus fuerit persuasisse, ut ipso mancipio careat, et legandi
damnatione plectetur.

_And although the mode of acting in regard to Christians who have been
entangled in the service of the Jews by the invasions for making
captives, or by other frauds, has been regulated heretofore not only by
canonical enactments, but also by favour of the civil laws; yet because
now the complaint of some persons has arisen, that some Jews dwelling in
the cities and towns have grown so insolent and bold, that they will not
permit the Christians demanding it to be freed even upon the ransom of
their service; wherefore, by the authority of God, we enact by this
present act of council, that no Christian shall henceforth lawfully
continue enslaved to a Jew; but that any Christian shall have the power
of redeeming that slave either to freedom or to servitude, upon giving
for each good slave the sum of twelve shillings_ (_solidum_): _because
it is improper that they whom Christ redeemed by the shedding of his
blood, should continue bound in the chains of persecutors. But if any
Jew shall be unwilling to acquiesce in these enacted provisions, it
shall be lawful for the slave himself to dwell where he will, with
Christians, as long as the Jew shall keep from taking the stipulated
money. This also is specially enacted, that if any Jew shall be
convicted of having persuaded his Christian slave to the adoption of
Jewish error, he shall be deprived of the slave and amerced to make a

It was only at this period that we find any of the laws of the Franks
introducing the right of a Christian to refuse service to a Jew. This,
however, was not the case in all the territory, for that over which
Guntram ruled was but a fourth part of the empire.

The following is ep. xxi. lib. iii. indic. xii.

                  *       *       *       *       *

GREGORIUS Venantio, Episcopo Lunensi:

_Quod Judæi non possunt Christiana habere mancipia: sed coloni et
originarii pensiones illis præbere debent._

Multorum ad nos relatione pervenit, a Judæis in Lunensi civitate
degentibus in servitio Christiana detineri mancipia: quæ res nobis tanto
visa est asperior, quanto ea fraternitati tuæ patientia operabatur.
Oportebat quippe te respectu loci tui, atque Christianæ religionis
intuitu, nullam relinquere occasionem, ut superstitioni Judaicæ
simplices animæ non, tam suasionibus quam potestatis jure, quodammodo
deservirent. Quamobrem hortamur fraternitatem tuam, ut secundum
piissimarum legum tramitem, nulli Judæo liceat Christianum mancipium in
suo retinere dominio. Sed si qui penes eos inveniuntur, libertas eis
tuitionis auxilio ex legum sanctione servetur. Hi vero qui in
possessionibus eorum sunt, licet et ipsi ex legum distinctione sint
liberi; tamen quia colendis eorum terris diutius adhæserunt, utpote
conditionem loci debentes, ad colenda quæ consueverant rura permaneant,
pensionesque prædictis viris præbeant: et cuncta quæ de colonis vel
originariis jura præcipiunt, peragant, extra quod nihil eis oneris
amplius indicatur. Quodsi quisquam de his vel ad alium migrare locum,
vel in obsequio suo retinere voluerit, ipse sibi reputet, qui jus
colonarium temeritate suâ, jus vero juris dominii sui severitate
damnavit. In his ergo omnibus ita te volumus solerter impendi, ut nec
direpti gregis pastor reus existas, nec apud nos minor æmulatio
fraternitatem tuam reprehensibilem reddat.

                  *       *       *       *       *

GREGORY _to Venantius, Bishop of Luna_:

That Jews should not have Christian slaves, but that colonists and those
born on their lands should pay them pensions.

_We have learned by the report of many persons that Christian slaves are
kept in servitude by the Jews dwelling in the city of Luna, which is the
more grievous to us as it has been caused by the remissness of you our
brother. For it was becoming you, as well by reason of the place you
hold, as from your regard for the Christian religion, not to allow the
existence of any occasion by which simple souls may be subjected to the
Jewish superstition, not only by the force of persuasion, but by a sort
of right arising from power. Wherefore we exhort you, our brother, that,
according to the regulation of the most pious laws, it should not be
permitted to any Jew to keep a Christian slave under his dominion, and
that if any such be found under them, the liberty of such should be
secured by the process of law and the aid of protection._

_And as regards those who are on their lands, though by strict
construction of law they may be free, yet, because they have remained a
long time in the cultivation of the soil, as bound to the condition of
the place, let them remain to till the lands as they have used to do,
and pay their pension to the aforesaid men; and let them do all that the
laws require of colonists or persons of origin. Let no additional
burthen however be laid on them._

_But should any one of these desire to migrate to another place; or
should he prefer remaining in his obedience, let the consequences be
attributed to him who rashly violated the colonial rights, or who
injured himself by the severity of his conduct towards his subject._

_It is our wish that you be careful so to give your attention to all
these letters as not to be the guilty pastor of a plundered flock, nor
that your want of zeal should compel us to reprehend our brother._

                  *       *       *       *       *

The law of the empire in force through Italy and Sicily:

1. Slaves who were Christians could not be held by those who were not

2. It being unlawful for others than Christians to hold them, these
others could have no property in them: the persons so held were entitled
to their freedom.

3. The church was the guardian of their right to freedom, and the church
acted through the bishop.

4. Consequently it was the duty, as it was the right, of the bishop to
vindicate that freedom for those so unjustly detained.

5. The right and duty of the pope was to see that each bishop was
careful in his charge, and this part of his charge came as much as any
other did under the supervision of his superior and immediate inspector,
and it was the duty of that superior to reprehend him for any neglect.

6. The law of each country was to regulate the duty of the master and
slave, and if that law made, as in Italy and its environs, the church
the proper tribunal for looking to the performance of those duties, any
neglect of the church in its discharge would be criminal.

7. Through the greater part of Italy and Sicily, at this period, the
pope was the sovereign, and it was only by his paramount influence that
the half-civilized Gothic and Lombard chiefs were kept in any order, and
their despotism partially restrained.

They were times of anarchy, between which and the present no analogy
exists. The Jews and separatists from the church were very numerous, and
on their side, as well as on that of their opposers, passion frequently
assumed the garb of religion, and the unfortunate slave was played upon
by each. The position of the pope was exceedingly difficult, for while
he had to restrain the enemies of the church on one side, he had to
correct the excesses of its partisans upon the other.


                              LESSON XII.

The laws of the empire having declared it unlawful for Jews or pagans to
hold Christian slaves, the church took a further step, which, in effect,
forbade pagan slaves being sold to Jews, and which, to a considerable
extent, suppressed their introduction, by the difficulties with which
the following order surrounded the traffic. It is found in lib. v.
indic. xiv. epist. xxxi.

                  *       *       *       *       *

GREGORIUS, Fortunato Episcopo Neopolitano:

Ne mancipia quæ Christianam fidem suscipere volunt, Judæis venundentur:
sed pretium à Christiano emptore percipiant.

Fraternitati vestræ ante hoc tempus scripsimus, ut hos qui de Judaica
superstitione ad Christianam fidem Deo aspirante venire desiderant,
dominis eorum nulla esset licentia venundandi: sed ex eo quo voluntatis
suæ desiderium prodidissent, defendi in libertatem per omnia debuissent.
Sed quia quantum cognovimus, nec voluntatem nostram, nec legum statuta
subtili scientes discretione pensare, in paganis servis hâc se non
arbitrantur conditione constringi: fraternitatem vestram oportet de his
esse solicitam, et si de Judæorum servitio non solum Judæos, sed etiam
quisquam paganorum fieri voluerit Christianus, postquam voluntas ejus
fuerit patefacta, nec hunc sub quolibet ingenio vel argumento cuipiam
Judæorum venundandi facultas sit: sed is qui ad Christianam converti
fidem desideret, defensione vestrâ in libertatem modis omnibus
vindicetur. Hi vero quos hujusmodi oportet servos amittere, ne forsitan
utilitates suas irrationabiliter æstiment impediri, sollicitâ vos hæc
convenit consideratione servare: ut si paganos, quos mercimonii causâ de
externis finibus emerint, intra tres menses, dum emptor cui vendi
debeant non invenitur, fugere ad ecclesiam forte contigerit, et velle se
fieri dixerint Christianos, vel etiam extra ecclesiam hanc talem
voluntatem prodederint, pretium ibi à Christiano scilicet emptore
percipiant. Si autem post præfinitos tres menses quisquam hujusmodi
servorum velle suum edixerit, et fieri voluerit Christianus, nec aliquis
eum postmodum emere, nec dominus quâlibet occasionis specie audeat
venundare, sed ad libertatis proculdubio præmia perducatur: quia hunc
non ad vendendum, sed ad serviendum sibi intelligitur comparasse. Hæc
igitur omnia fraternitas vestra ita vigilantes observet, quatenus ei nec
supplicatio quorumdam valeat, nec persona surripere.

                  *       *       *       *       *

“GREGORY to Fortunatus, Bishop of Naples:

“That slaves who wish to embrace the Christian faith must not be sold to
Jews, but (the owners) may receive a price from a Christian purchaser.

“We have before now written to you, our brother, that their masters
should not have leave to sell those who, by the inspiration of God,
desire to come from the Jewish superstition to the Christian faith; but
that from the moment they shall have manifested this determination they
should be, by all means, protected to seek their liberty. But, as we
have been led to know some persons, not exactly and accurately giving
heed to our will, nor to the enactments of the laws, think that, as
regards pagan slaves, this law does not apply, it is fit that you, our
brother, should be careful on this head; and if among the slaves of the
Jews, not only a Jew, but any of the pagans, should desire to become a
Christian, to see that no Jew should have power to sell him under any
pretext, or by any ingenious device, after this his intention shall have
been made known; but let him who desires to become of the Christian
faith have the aid of your defence, by all means, for his liberty.

“And respecting those who are to lose such servants, lest they should
consider themselves unreasonably hindered, it is fit that you should
carefully follow this rule: that, if it should happen that pagans, whom
they bought from foreign places for the purpose of traffic, should
within three months, not having been purchased, fly to the church and
say that they desire to be Christians, or even make known this intention
without the church, let the owners be capable of receiving their price
from a Christian purchaser. But if, after the lapse of three months, any
one of those servants of this description should speak his will and wish
to become a Christian, no one shall thereafter dare to purchase him, nor
shall his master under any pretext sell him; but he shall unquestionably
be brought to the reward of liberty, because it is sufficiently
intelligible that this slave was procured for the purpose of service,
and not for that of traffic. Do you, my brother, diligently and closely
observe all these things, so that you be not led away by any
supplication, nor affected by personal regard.”

                  *       *       *       *       *

The grounds of the law above given may be partially gathered from the
following, which is a letter to the bishop of Catania in Sicily. Lib. v.
ind. xiv. epist. xxxii.

                  *       *       *       *       *

GREGORIUS, Leoni Episcopo Catanensi:

_De Samaræis qui pagana mancipia emerunt et circumciderunt._

Res ad nos detestabilis, et omnino legibus inimica pervenit, quæ, si
vera est, fraternitatem vestram vehementer accusat, eamque de minori
solicitudine probat esse culpabilem.

Comperimus autem quod Samaræi degentes Catinæ pagana mancipia emerint,
atque ea circumcidere ausu temerario præsumpserint. Atque idcirco
necesse est, ut omnimodo zelum in hâc causâ sacerdotalem exercens, cum
omni hoc vivacitate ac solicitudine studeas perscrutari: et si ita
repereris, mancipia ipsa sine morâ in libertatem modis omnibus vindica,
et ecclesiasticam in eis tuitionem impende, nec quidquam dominos eorum
de pretio quolibet modo recipere patiaris: qui non solum hoc damno
mulctandi, sed etiam aliâ erant pœnâ de legibus feriendi.

                  *       *       *       *       *

“GREGORY to Leo, Bishop of Catania:

“Concerning Samaritans (or Jews) who purchased pagan slaves and
circumcised them.

“Accounts have been brought to us of a transaction very detestable and
altogether opposed to the laws, and which, if true, shows exceedingly
great neglect on the part of you, our brother, and proves you to have
been very culpable.

“We have found that some Jews dwelling at Catania have bought pagan
slaves, and with rash presumption dared to circumcise them. Wherefore it
is necessary that you should exert all your priestly zeal in this case,
and give your mind to examine closely into it with energy and care; and,
should you find the allegation to be true, that you should by all means,
and without delay, secure the liberty of the slaves themselves, and give
them the protection of the church; nor should you suffer their masters,
on any account, to receive any of the price given for them, for they not
only should be fined in this amount, but they are liable also to suffer
such other punishment as the laws inflict.”


                              LESSON XIII.

In Judea, the creditor could take the children of the debtor, and keep
them as his slaves, to labour until the debt was paid; and among the
Gentiles this right was not only in existence, but in most cases the
child could be subjected to perpetual slavery, and in many instances the
debtor himself could thus be reduced to bondage. Improvement had been
made in this respect, as will be seen by the following document, found
in lib. iii. indic. xii. epist. xliii.

                  *       *       *       *       *

GREGORIUS, Fantino Defensori:

_De Cosma Syro multis debitis obligato._

Lator præsentium, Cosmas Syrus, in negotio quod agebat, debitum se
contraxisse perhibuit, quod, et multis aliis et lacrymis ejus
attestantibus, verum esse credidimus. Et quia 150 solidos debebat, volui
ut creditores illius cum eo aliquid paciscerentur: quoniam et lex habet,
ut homo liber pro debito nullatenus teneatur, si res defuerint, quæ
possunt eidem debito addici, creditores ergo suos, ut asserit, ad 80
solidos consentire possibile est. Sed quia multum est ut a nil habente
homine 80 solidos petant, 60 solidos per notarium tuum tibi
transmisimus; ut cum eisdem creditoribus subtiliter loquaris, rationem
reddas, quia filium ejus quem tenere dicuntur, secundum leges tenere non
possunt. Et si potest fieri, ad aliquod minus quam nos dedimus,
condescendant. Et quidquid de eisdem 60 solidis remanserit, ipsi trade,
ut cum filio suo exinde vivere valeat. Si autem nil remanet, ad eamdem
summam debitum ejus incidere stude, ut possit sibi libere postmodum
laborare. Hoc tamen solerter age, ut acceptis solidis ei plenariam
munitionem scripto faciant.

                  *       *       *       *       *

“GREGORY, to the Proctor Fantinus:

_Of Cosmas, the Syrian, deeply in debt._

“The bearer hereof, Cosmas the Syrian, has informed us that he
contracted many debts in the business in which he was engaged. We
believe it to be true; he has testified it with many tears and
witnesses. And, as he owes 150 shillings, I wish his creditors would
make some composition with him. And as the law regulates that no freeman
shall be held for a debt, if there be no goods which can be attached for
that debt, he says that his creditors may be induced to accept 80
shillings; but it is extravagant on their part to ask 80 shillings from
a man who has nothing. We have sent you 60 shillings by your notary,
that you may have a discrete conference with his creditors, and explain
matters to them, because they cannot legally hold his son, whom they are
said to keep. And if they will come down to any thing less, by your
efforts, than the sum that we send, should any thing remain of the 60
shillings, give it to him to help to support himself and his son; should
nothing be left, exert yourself to have his debt cancelled by that
amount sent, so that henceforth he may be free to exert himself for his
own benefit. But be careful, in doing this, to get for him a full
receipt and discharge in writing for this money that they get.”

The law to which the pope refers, and by which the persons of the
unfortunate debtor and his family were protected, is found in Novell.
134, c. vii., and was enacted by Justinian I. in 541.

_Ne quis creditor filium debitoris pro debito retinere præsumat._

Quia verò et hujuscemodi iniquitatem in diversis locis nostræ reipublicæ
cognovimus admitti, quia, creditores filios debitorum præsumunt retinere
aut in pignus, aut in servile ministerium, aut in conductionem: hoc
modis omnibus prohibemus: et jubemus ut si quis hujusmodi aliquid
deliquerit, non solum debito cadat, sed tantam aliam quantitatem
adjiciat dandam ei qui retentus est ab eo, aut parentibus ejus, et post
hoc etiam corporalibus pœnis ipsum subdi a loci judice; quia personam
liberam pro debito præsumpserit retinere aut locare aut pignorare.

“That no creditor should presume to retain for debt the son of the

“And because we have known that this sort of injustice has been allowed
in several places of our commonwealth,—that creditors presume to keep
the children of their debtors, either in pledge or in slavish
employment, or to hire them out. We by all means forbid all this: and we
order that, if any person shall be guilty of any of these things, not
only shall he lose the debt, but he shall in addition give an equal sum,
to be paid to the person that was held by him, or to the parents of such
person; and, beyond this, he shall be subjected to corporal punishment
by the local judge, because he presumed to restrain or to hire out, or
keep in pledge, a free person.”

The following document will exhibit in some degree the origin of the
principle of escheats to be found in slavery. The slave being freed upon
certain conditions, if they were not fulfilled the master of course
re-entered upon his rights. The manumitted slave was sometimes allowed,
not only freedom, but a certain gift, and often with the condition that,
if he had not lawful issue, the gift, and its increase by his industry,
should revert to the master or his heir. So, in after times, the lord of
the soil, or the monarch, gave portions of land to his vassals upon
condition of service, and, upon failure of service or of heirs, his land
escheated, or went back to the lord of the soil.

The document is found in lib. v. indic. xiv. epist. xii.

                  *       *       *       *       *

GREGORIUS, Montanæ et Thomæ:

_Libertatem dat, et eos cives Romanos efficit._

Cum Redemptor noster totius conditor creaturæ ad hoc propitiatus humanam
voluerit carnem assumere, ut divinitatis suæ gratia, dirupto quo
tenebamur captivi vinculo servitutis, pristinæ nos restitueret
libertati: salubriter agitur, si homines quos ab initio natura liberos
protulit, et jus gentium jugo substituit servitutis, in eâ naturâ in quâ
nati fuerant, manumittentis beneficio, libertati reddantur. Atque ideo
pietatis intuitu, et hujus rei consideratione permoti, vos Montanam
atque Thomam famulos sanctæ Romanæ ecclesiæ, cui, Deo adjutore,
deservimus, liberos ex hac die, civesque Romanos efficimus, omneque
vestrum vobis relaxamus servitutis peculium. Et quia tu, Montana, animum
te ad conversionem fateris appulisse monachicam: idcirco duas uncias,
quas tibi quondam Gaudiosus presbyter per supremæ suæ voluntatis
arbitrium institutionis modo noscitur reliquisse, hac die tibi donamus,
atque concedimus omnia scilicet monasterio Sancti Laurentii cui
Constantina abbatissa præest, in quo converti Deo miserante festinas,
modis omnibus profutura. Si quid vero de rebus suprascripti Gaudiosi te
aliquomodo celasse constituerit, id totum ecclesiæ nostræ juri sine
dubio mancipetur. Tibi autem, suprascripto Thomæ, quem pro libertatis
tuæ cumulo etiam inter notarios volumus militare, quinque uncias, quas
præfatus Gaudiosus presbyter per ultimam voluntatem hereditario tibi
nomine dereliquit, simul et sponsalia quæ matri tuæ conscripserat,
similiter hac die per hujus manumissionis paginam donamus, atque
concedimus, eâ sane lege, atque conditione subnexâ, ut si sine filiis
legitimis, hoc est, de legitimo susceptis conjugio, te obire contigerit,
omnia quæ tibi concessimus, ad jus sanctæ Romanæ ecclesiæ sine
diminutione aliquâ revertantur. Si autem filios de conjugio, sicut
diximus, cognitos lege susceperis, eosque superstites reliqueris,
earumdem to rerum dominum sine quadam statuimus conditione persistere,
et testamentum de his faciendi liberam tibi tribuimus potestatem. Hæc
igitur, quæ per hujus manumissionis chartulam statuimus, atque
concessimus, nos successoresque nostros, sine aliquâ scitote
refragatione servare. Nam justitiæ ac rationis ordo suadet, ut qui sua a
successoribus desiderat mandata servari, decessoris sui proculdubio
voluntatem et statuta custodiat. Hanc autem manumissionis paginam
Paterio notario scribendam dictavimus, et propriâ manu unà cum tribus
presbyteris prioribus et tribus diaconis pro plenissimâ firmitate
subscripsimus, vobisque tradidimus. Actum in urbe Româ.

                  *       *       *       *       *

“GREGORY to Montana and Thomas:

“He emancipates them, and makes them Roman citizens.

“Since our Redeemer, the Maker of every creature, mercifully vouchsafed
to take human flesh, that, breaking the chain by which we were held
captive, he may, by the grace of his divinity, restore us to our first
liberty, it is then salutary that they whom he at first made free by
nature, and whom the law of nations subjected to the yoke of slavery,
should in the nature in which they were born be restored to liberty by
that kindness of their emancipator. And therefore, moved by this
consideration, and in respect to piety, we make you, Montana and Thomas,
slaves of the holy Roman church, in whose service we are by God’s help
engaged, from this day forward free and Roman citizens. And we release
to you all your allowance of slavery.

“And because you, Montana, have declared that it was your wish to enter
into the monastic state, we give and grant to you this day two ounces,
which it is well known were formerly left as a legacy to you for
inheritance by the priest Gaudiosus, to be by all means available to the
monastery of St. Lawrence, over which Constantina is superioress, and
into which you desire anxiously by God’s mercy to be admitted. But
should it appear that you have concealed any of the effects of the said
Gaudiosus, the entire thereof doubtless is by right for the service of
our church.

“But to you, the said Thomas, whom, in addition to the bestowal of
freedom, we desire to be enrolled in service among our notaries, we
likewise this day give and grant, by this charter of manumission, five
ounces which the same Gaudiosus the priest left to you by name in his
last will, and the portion which he assigned for your mother, but upon
this ground and condition well attached, that, should you die without
issue by lawful marriage, all those goods which we have granted to you
shall come back, without any diminution, under the dominion of the holy
Roman church; but should you leave behind you children lawfully
recognised from your marriage, we give to you full power to hold the
same effects as their owner, and without any condition, and to make free
disposition of the same by will.

“Know you, therefore, that what we have thus, by this charter of
manumission, enacted and granted to you, bind, without any gainsay,
ourselves and our successors for its observance. For the order of
justice and of reason requires that he who desires his own commands to
be observed by his successors, should also doubtless observe the will
and the statutes of his predecessor.

“We have dictated this writing of manumission to be copied by our notary
Paterius, and have for its most perfect stability subscribed it with our
hand, and with those of three of the more dignified priests and three
deacons, and delivered them to you.

“Done in the city of Rome, &c.”

                  *       *       *       *       *

One of the subjects which at all times caused slavery to be surrounded
with great difficulties was the result of marriage. The liability to
separation of those married was a more galling affliction in the
Christian law, where the Saviour made marriage indissoluble, and it
often happened that an avaricious or capricious owner cared as little
for the marriage bond as he did for the natural tie of affection. Hence,
as Christianity became the religion of the state, or of the great body
of the people, it was imperatively demanded that some restraint should
be placed upon that absolute power which the owners sometimes abused, of
wantonly making these separations. On the other hand, the association of
the sexes made marriage desirable: it was ordained by God to be the
general state of the bulk of mankind, and even the self-interest or the
avarice of the master calculated upon its results. Then again the slave
dreaded separation, not only because of the violence committed on the
most sacred affections, but also because, though the husband and wife
should be separated by impassable barriers, yet the bond of their union
subsisted, and could be severed by death alone.

This was a strong temptation to both master and slave to prefer
concubinage to wedlock.

Another difficulty arose, in cases of the colonist, by reason of the
claims of the several owners where colonists of distinct estates and
different owners intermarried. In the case of perfect slaves, the child
generally followed the mother, both as regarded condition and property.
This was not, however, universally the case. But the owners of colonized
lands set up different claims. At length the dispute was settled in the
Roman Empire by a law of Justinian, in 539, Novell. clxii. cap. iii.,
and confirmed by a decision in a case brought up by the church-wardens
of Apamea, in Phrygia, in 541, on the kalends of March, by dividing
equally the progeny between the estates to which the parents belonged,
giving the preference, in all cases of uneven number, to that estate to
which the mother was attached. Nov. clvii. tit. xxxix.

The following law concerning marriages and the separation of married
persons from each other, and of children from their parents, is of the
same date.

NOVELL. CLVII. _De Rusticis qui in alienis prædiis nuptias contrahunt._
Tit. xl.

Imp. Justin. August. Lazaro Comiti Orientis.

Præfatio. Ex his quæ diverso modo ad nos relata sunt, didicimus in
Mesopotamiâ et Osdroenâ provinciis quidquam delinqui, nostris plane
temporibus indignum: consuetudinem etiam apud ipsos esse, ut qui ex
diversis originem trahant prædiis, nuptias inter se contrahant. Inde
sane conari dominos, de facto jam contractas nuptias dissolvere, aut
procreatos filios a parentibus abstrahere, exindeque totum ilium locum
misere affligi, dum et rusticani viri et mulieres ex unâ parte
distrahantur, et proles his adimitur, qui in lucem produxerunt, et solâ
nostrâ opus esse providentiâ.

Cap. I. Sancimus igitur, ut prædiorum domini de cætero rusticos suos,
prout voluerint, conservent: neque quisquam eos qui jam conjuncti sunt
possit secundum consuetudinem prius obtinentem divellere, aut compellere
ut terram ad ipsos pertinentem colant, abstrahereve a parentibus filios
prætextu conditionis colonariæ. Sed et si quid hujusmodi forte jam
factum est, corrigi hoc simul, et restitui efficies, sive filios
abstrahi contigerit, sive etiam mulieres, nempe vel a parentibus, vel
contubernii consortibus: eo, qui reliquo deinceps tempore hujusmodi
aliquid facere præsumpserit, etiam de ipso prædio in periculum vocando.
Quare libera sunto contubernia metu, qui dudum ipsis immittitur, et
parentes habento ex hac jussione filios suos: nequeuntibus prædiorum
dominis subtilibus contendere rationibus, et vel nuptias contrahentes
vel filios abstrahere. Qui enim tale quid facere præsumpserit, etiam de
ipso prædio in periculum veniet, cui eos vindicare rusticos attentat.

Epilogus. Quæ igitur nobis placuerunt, et per sacram hanc pragmaticam
declarantur fornam, eam providentiam habeto magnificentia tua, tibique
obtemperans cohors, et qui pro tempore eundem magistratum geret; ut ad
effectum deducantur conserventurque, trium librarum auri pœna imminenti
ei, qui ullo unquam tempore hæc transgredi attentaverit. Dat. Kal. Maii,
Constantinop. D.N. Justin. PP. Aug. Bisil. V.C. Cons.

                  *       *       *       *       *

“_Of country persons who contract marriage on divers estates._ The
Emperor JUSTINIAN AUGUSTUS, to Lazarus the Count of the East.

“Preamble. We have learned by relation in various ways, that a
delinquency quite unworthy of our times is allowed in the provinces of
Mesopotamia and of Osdroene. They have a custom of having marriage
contracted between those born on different estates: whence the masters
endeavour to dissolve marriages actually contracted, or to take away
from the parents the children who are their issue; upon which account
that entire place is miserably afflicted, while country people, husbands
and wives, are drawn away from each other, and the children whom they
brought into light are taken away from them; and that there needs for
the regulation only our provision.

“Chapter I. Wherefore, we enact, that otherwise the masters of the
aforesaid keep their colonists as they will; but, it shall not be
allowed, by virtue of any custom heretofore introduced and in existence,
to put away from each other those who were married, or to force them to
cultivate the land belonging to themselves, or to take away children
from their parents, under the colour of colonial condition. And you will
be careful that if any thing of this sort has haply been already done,
the same be corrected and restitution made, whether it be that children
were taken away from their parents or women from their consorts of
marriage. And for any who shall in future presume to act in this way, it
shall be at the hazard of losing the estate itself.

“Wherefore, let marriages of servants be exempt from that fear which has
hitherto hung over them: and from the issue of this order, let the
parents have their children. It shall not be competent for the lords of
the estates to strive by any subtle arguments either to take away those
who contract marriage, or their children. For he who shall presume to do
any such thing shall incur the risk of losing that estate for which he
attempts to claim those colonists.

“Epilogue. That therefore which has been good in our view, and is
declared by this sacred pragmatic form, let your magnificence provide to
have carried into execution, and the cohort which obeys you, as also he
who for the time being shall hold the same magisterial office. To the
end, then, that this edict may produce its effect and continue in force,
let him who may at any time violate its enactments be liable to a
penalty of three pounds of gold.

“Given at Constantinople, on the kalends of May, our most pious lord
Justinian being Augustus, and the most renowned Basil being consul.”

To rectify this, it became a principle, where an estate was large and
the colonists numerous, to confine the choice of the servants within the
bounds of the property; and thus marriage had its full sanctity, and
families remained without separation.

We have an instance of the exercise of this right, by Pope St. Gregory,
in a document found in lib. x. indic. v. epist. 28.

                  *       *       *       *       *

GREGORIUS, Romano Defensori.

_De filiis Petri defensoris extra massam in qua nati sunt non

Petrus quem defensorem fecimus, quia de massa juris ecclesiæ nostræ, quæ
Vitelas dicitur, oriundus sit, experientiæ tuæ bene est cognitum. Et
ideo quia circa eum benigni debemus existere, ut tamen ecclesiæ utilitas
non lædatur: hac tibi præeptione mandamus, ut eum districte debeas
admonere, ne filios suos quolibet ingenio vel excusatione foris alicubi
in conjugio sociare præsumat, sed in eâ massâ, cui lege et conditione
ligati sunt, socientur. In quâ re etiam et tuam omnino necesse est
experientiam esse sollicitam, atque eos terrere, ut qualibet occasione
de possessione cui oriundo subjecti sunt exire non debeant. Nam si quis
eorum exinde, quod non credimus, exire præsumpserit; certum illi est
quia noster consensus nunquam illi aderit, ut foris de massâ in quâ nati
sunt, aut habitare aut debeant sociari, sed et superscribi terram eorum.
Atque tunc sciatis vos non leve periculum sustinere, si vobis
negligentibus quisquam ipsorum quidquam de iis quæ prohibemus facere
qualibet sorte tentaverit.

                  *       *       *       *       *

“GREGORY to the Proctor Romanus.

“_Of not marrying the children of Peter the Proctor, without the limits
of the estate upon which they were born._

“You, experienced sir, are well aware that Peter, whom we made a
proctor, is a native of the estate of our church territory which is
called Vitelas. And as our desire is to act towards him with such favour
as is compatible with avoiding any injury to the church, we command you
by this precept, that you should strictly warn him not to presume, under
any pretext or excuse, to have his children joined in wedlock anywhere
but on that estate to which they may be bound by law or by condition. In
which matter it is quite necessary that you, experienced sir, be very
careful, and instil into them a fear to prevent any of them from going
on any account beyond the estate to which they are subject by origin.
For if any one of them shall presume, as we believe he will not, to go
thence, let him be assured that he shall never have our consent either
to dwell or to associate himself without the estate on which he was
born, but that the land of any such person shall be more heavily charged
(_superscribi_). And know you, that if, by your negligence, any of them
shall attempt to do any of those things which we prohibit, you will
incur no small danger.”

                  *       *       *       *       *

Many of the restrictions on marriage that are found in subsequent ages,
under the feudal system, had their origin in this principle, because
indeed the vassal, in feudal times, was but a slave under a more loose
dominion in a mitigated form.

The following document shows that, in the west, the separation of
married persons was very uncommon, (quam sit inauditum atque crudele,
_unheard of and cruel_.) It is found in lib. iii. indic. iii. ep. xii.

                  *       *       *       *       *

GREGORIUS, Maximiano Episcopo Syracusano.

_De uxore cujusdam ablatâ et alteri venumdatâ._

Tanta nobis subinde mala, quæ aguntur in istâ provinciâ, nunciantur, ut
peccatis facientibus, quod avertat omnipotens Deus, celeriter eam
perituram credamus. Præsentium namque portitor veniens lacrymabiliter
quæstus est, ante plurimos annos ab homine nescio quo de possessione
Messanensis ecclesiæ de fontibus se susceptum, et violenter diversis
suasionibus puellæ ipsius junctum, ex quâ juvenculos filios jam habere
se asseruit, et quam nunc violenter huic disjunctam abstulisse dicitur,
atque cuidam alii venumdedisse. Quod si verum est, quam sit inauditum
atque crudele malum, tua bone dilectio perspicit. Ideoque admonemus, ut
hoc tantum nefas sub ea vivacite, quam te in causis piis habere
certissime scimus, requiras atque discutias. Et si ita, ut supradictus
portitor insinuavit, esse cognoveris, non solum quod male factum est, ad
statum pristinum revocare curabis; sed et vindictam, quæ Deum possit
placare, exhibere modis omnibus festinabis. Episcopum vero, qui homines
suos talia agentes corrigere negligit atque emendare, vehementer
aggredere, proponens, quia si denuo talis ad nos de quoquam qui ad eum
pertinet quærela pervenerit, non in eum qui excesserit, sed in ipsum
canonice vindicta procedet.

                  *       *       *       *       *

“GREGORY to Maximian, Bishop of Syracuse.

“_Concerning the wife of some one that was taken away and sold to

“We are told of so many bad things done in that province, that we are
led to believe, which may God forbid, the place must soon be destroyed.

“Now, the bearer of these presents complained to us in a pitiable
manner, that many years ago, some man whom I know not, belonging to the
church of Messina stood as his sponsor at baptism, and prevailed upon
him by extreme urgency to marry his servant, by whom, he says, he has
now young children, and whom now this man has violently taken away and
sold to another. If this be true, you, our beloved, will see plainly how
unheard of and how cruel is the evil. We therefore admonish you to look
into and to sift so great a crime, with that earnestness which we
assuredly know you have in matters of piety: and should you come to know
that the fact is as the aforesaid bearer has stated, you will be careful
not only to bring back to its former state that which was badly done,
but you will quickly, by all means, have that punishment inflicted which
may appease God. Give a severe lecture to the bishop that neglected to
correct or to amend his people who do such things; setting before him
that if a like complaint comes to us again of any one who belongs to
him, canonical process for punishment shall issue, not against the one
that shall have done wrong, but against himself.”


                              LESSON XIV.

The form of a deed of gift found in lib. ii. indic. xi. epist. 18:

GREGORIUS, Theodoro Consiliario.

_Acosimum puerum dat per epistolam._

Ecclesiasticis utilitatibus desudantes ecclesiasticâ dignum est
remuneratione gaudere, ut qui se voluntariis obsequiorum necessitatibus
spontè subjiciunt, dignè nostris provisionibus consolentur. Quia igitur
te Theodorum, virum eloquentissimum, consiliarium nostrum, mancipiorum
cognovimus ministerio destitutum, ideo puerum nomine Acosimum, natione
Siculum, juri dominioque tuo dari tradique præcipimus. Quem quoniam
traditum ex nostrâ voluntate jam possides, hujus te necesse fuit scripti
pro futuri temporis testimonio ac robore largitatis auctoritate fulciri:
quatenus, Domino protegente, securè eum semper et sine ullius
retractionis suspicione, quippe ut dominus, valeas possidere. Neque enim
quemquam fore credimus, qui tam parvam largitatem pro tuâ tibi devotione
concessam desideret, vel tentet ullo modo revocare: cùm uno eodemque
tempore, et verecundum sit a decessoribus benè gesta resolvere, et
verecundum sit docere ceteros in suâ quandoque resolutoriam proferre
largitate sententiam.

                  *       *       *       *       *

“GREGORY, to Theodore the Counsellor.

“_He, by letter, gives him the boy Acosimus._

“It is fit that they who labour for the benefit of the church should
enjoy a reward from the church, that they who voluntarily and of their
own accord have undertaken burthensome duties should be worthily
assisted by our provision. Because, therefore, we have known that you,
Theodore, our counsellor, a most eloquent man, were not well provided
with the service of slaves, we have ordered that a boy, by name
Acosimus, of the Sicilian nation, should be given up and delivered to
your right and dominion. And as you already have him in your possession
by delivery, upon our will, it was necessary to fortify you with the
authority of this writing as a testimony to the future and for
protection of the gift: so that by God’s protection you may have power
to possess him as his lord and master, always securely for ever and
without any question being raised of his being in any way taken back.
Nor indeed do we believe that there is any one who would desire or would
attempt in any way to revoke so small a bounty given to you for your
devotion, since it would be shameful to undo the good deeds of our
predecessors, as it would to teach others that each could from time to
time make the revocation of his own gift.”

                  *       *       *       *       *

The next document is found in lib. x. indic. v. epist. 40:

                  *       *       *       *       *

GREGORIUS, Bonito Defensori.

_De mancipio Fortunati Abbatis._

Filius noster Fortunatus abbas monasterii sancti Severini, quod in hâc
urbe Romanâ situm est, latores præsentium, monachos suos, illic pro
recolligendis mancipiis juris sui monasterii quæ illic latitare dicuntur
dirigens, petiit ut experientiæ tuæ ei debeant adesse solatia. Eâ
propter præsenti tibi auctoritate præcipimus, ut eis in omnibus salvâ
ratione concurrere ac opitulari festines: quatenus te illic coràm
posito, atque in hâc causâ ferente solatia, salubriter hæc citiùs
valeant quæ sibi injuncta sunt ad effectum, Deo auctore, perducere.

                  *       *       *       *       *

“GREGORY, to the Proctor Bonitus.

“_Concerning the slave of the Abbot Fortunatus._

“Our son Fortunatus, the abbot of the monastery of St. Severinus which
is in the city of Rome, directing his monks, the bearers of these
presents to your neighbourhood, to gather slaves belonging to the rights
of his monastery, who are said to be there in concealment, begged that
he should have your aid for that object. Wherefore, we command you, by
this present order, that you would be alert in giving them all
reasonable concurrence and aid; so that you being present there and
comforting them in this business, they may, with God’s aid, be able in a
wholesome manner the sooner to perform the duty which has been laid upon

                  *       *       *       *       *

The pope did not consider it unbecoming in the monastery of St.
Severinus to hold slaves, nor irreligious for the abbot to send monks to
bring back runaways, nor criminal for the monks to go looking for them,
nor offensive to God, on his own part, to give letters to his officer
and overseers to aid by all reasonable means to discover and to capture

The following document enters into details for the recovery of a runaway
slave. It is found in lib. vii. ind. ii. epist. 107.

                  *       *       *       *       *

GREGORIUS Sergio Defensori.

_De Petro puero fugâ lapso._

Filius noster vir magnificus Occilianus, tribunus Hydruntinæ civitatis,
ad nos veniens, puerum unum, Petrum nomine, artis pistoriæ, ex jure
germani nostri, ad eum noscitur perduxisse. Quem nunc fugâ lapsum ad
partes illas reverti cognovimus. Experientia ergo tua, antequam ad
Hydruntinam civitatem valeat is ipse contingere, sub quâ valueris
celeritate, vel ad episcopum Hydruntinæ civitatis, vel ad prædictum
tribunum, si vel alium quem in loco tuo te habere cognoscis, scripta
dirigas, ut uxorem vel filios prædicti mancipii sub omni habere debeant
cautelâ atque de ipso sollicitudinem gerere, ut preveniens valeat
detineri, et mox, cum rebus suis omnibus quæ ad eum pertinent navi
impositis, per fidelem personam huc modis omnibus destinari. Experientia
itaque tua cum omni hoc studeat efficaciâ solertiâque perficere, ne de
neglectu vel morâ nostros quod non optamus animos offendas.

                  *       *       *       *       *

“GREGORY, to the Proctor Sergius.

“_Concerning Peter, a servant who fled away._

“Our son Occilianus, a highly respectable man, a tribune of the city of
Otranto, brought with him to our cousin, as is known, when he was coming
to us, a boy named Peter, a baker, who belonged to that cousin. We have
now learned that he has run away, and returned to your country. Let then
it be your care, experienced sir, before he shall be able to get back to
Otranto, to direct, as quickly as you can, a writing to the bishop of
Otranto, or to the foresaid tribune himself, or to any one else whom you
know, that you can depute, to have a good care of the wife or children
of the said slave, and to be very careful respecting himself, that as
soon as he shall arrive he may be detained, and sent with every thing
that pertains to him, by all means hither, embarking them on board a
ship under care of some faithful person.

“You, experienced sir, will therefore exert yourself to do this with all
attention and effect, so as not to displease us by a delay or neglect,
which we should not desire.”

                  *       *       *       *       *

The following is taken from lib. viii. indic. iii. epist. 4.

                  *       *       *       *       *

GREGORIUS, Fantino Defensori.

_De mancipiis Romani spectabilis viri._

Mancipia juris Romani spectabilis memoriæ viri, qui in domo suâ guæ
Neapoli sita est monasterium ordinari constituit, habitare in Siciliâ
perhibentur. Et quia monasterium ipsum juxta voluntatem ejus, Deo
auctore, noscitur ordinatum, experientia tua præsentium portitoribus,
qui ad recolligenda mancipia ipsa illuc directi sunt, omni studio
solatiari festinet, et recollectis eis, possessiones illi ubi laborare
debeant, te solatiante, conducant. Et quidquid eorum labore accesserit,
reservato unde ipsi possint subsistere, reliqua ad prædictum
monasterium, experientiæ tuæ curâ, annis singulis, auxiliante Domino,

                  *       *       *       *       *

“GREGORY, to the Proctor Fantinus.

“_Concerning the slaves of the honourable man Romanus._

“The slaves of the man of honourable memory, Romanus, who directed that
his house in Naples should be formed into a monastery, are said to dwell
in Sicily. And as it is known that, with God’s help, the monastery has
been established according to the regulations of his will; you,
experienced sir, will without delay use your best efforts to aid the
bearers of these presents, who are sent thither, to collect those
slaves: and when they shall be collected, let them hire lands under your
countenance, where they may labour; keeping them out of their produce of
labour, whatever may be necessary for their support; let the remainder,
under the care of you, experienced sir, be sent, with God’s help, every
year to the foresaid monastery.”

                  *       *       *       *       *

GREGORIUS, Vitali Defensori Sardiniæ.

_De Barbaricinis mancipiis comparandis._

Bonifacium præsentium portitorem, notarium scilicet nostrum, nos
experientia tua illuc transmisisse cognoscat, ut in utilitatem parochiæ
Barbaricina debeat mancipia comparare. Et ideo experientia tua omnino et
studio sesolliciteque concurrat, ut bono pretio, et talia debeat
comparare, quæ inministerio parochiæ utilia valeant inveniri, atque
emptis eis huc Deo protegente is ipse celerius possit remeare. Ita ergo
te in hac re exhibere festina, ut te quasi servientium amatorem, quorum
usibus emuntur, ostendas, et nobis ipsi te de tuâ valeant sollicitudine

                  *       *       *       *       *

“GREGORY, to Vitalis, Proctor of Sardinia.

“_Of buying Barbary slaves._

“Know, experienced sir, that Boniface, our notary, the bearer of these
presents, has been sent by us to your place to purchase some Barbary
slaves for the use of the hospital. And therefore, you will be careful
to concur diligently and attentively with him, that he may buy them at a
good rate, and such as would be found useful for the service of the
hospital. And that having bought them, he may, under the protection of
God, very speedily return hither. Do you then be prompt to show yourself
in this business so as to exhibit your affection for those who serve the
hospital, and for whose use the purchase is made, and that they may have
it in their power to commend you to us for your zeal in their regard.”

                  *       *       *       *       *

The word _parochiæ_, which is translated “hospital,” is more properly
_ptochia_ in some of the ancient MSS., which is a sort of Latinized
imitation of πτωχία—a house for feeding the poor. Gregory had a large
establishment of this description in Rome, attended by pious monks, for
whose service those barbarians were purchased. Procopius informs us,
lib. ii. de Bello Vandanco, cap. 13, who these Barbary slaves were.
“When the Vandals had conquered the Moors of Africa, they were annoyed
by the incursions of some of the barbarians of the southern part of
Numidia. In order to prevent this, they seized upon them, their wives
and children, and transported them to the island of Sardinia: kept
prisoners and slaves for some time here, they escaped to the vicinity of
Cagliari, and, forming a body of 3000 men, they regained a sort of
freedom. Gregory made various efforts to convert them. They who were
kept in thraldom were frequently purchased, as in this instance, by the
Italians and others.”

This is the first instance on record of the purchase of negro slaves by
the church, and occurred about the year 600. At that time, white slaves
cost less than the expense of importation from Africa.

In his sixth book, ep. 21, Gregory commands the priest Candidus, who was
his agent in Gaul, to purchase four of the brothers of one Dominic, who
complained to him that they were redeemed from their captors by Jews in
Narbonne, and held by them in slavery.

The seventh book, ep. 22, to John, the bishop of Syracuse, is a very
curious document. It recites the case of one Felix, who was a slave born
of Christian parents, and given in his youth as a present to a Jew by a
Christian owner: he served illegally during nineteen years the Jew who
was disqualified from holding a Christian slave; but Maximinian the
former bishop of Syracuse, learning the facts, had, as in duty bound,
Felix discharged from this service and made free. Five years
subsequently, a son of the Jew became, or pretended to become, a
Christian, and being thus qualified to hold a Christian slave, claimed
Felix as his property. Felix appealed to the pope, and the letter to the
bishop of Syracuse is a decision in favour of his freedom, containing
also an order to the bishop to protect him and defend his liberty.


                               LESSON XV.

We have heretofore, in our fifth lesson, noticed the doctrine of the
church, that the civil power had the prerogative of making laws in
regard to slavery; although, at that time, paganism may be said to have
governed the world. And while we travel rapidly through the seventh
century, finding the Roman Empire, the mistress of the world, now
tottering to decay; the Lombards firmly established in Italy; the Franks
in Gaul; the Goths in Spain; the Suevi in Portugal; and all Germany
filled by various hordes, governed by their petty chieftains, just now
showing some symptoms of civilization, and Christianity in the
ascendant; yet we find this doctrine of the church unchanged.

The church may now be considered strong; and although the civil power is
regarded as the legitimate legislative authority, yet, in no instance,
are the laws found to run counter to the doctrines of the church on this

In the precept of King Clotaire II. for endowing the abbey of Corbey,
after the grant of the parcels of land therein recited, he adds, “unà
cum terris, domibus, mancipiis, ædificiis, vineis, silvis, pratis,
pascuis, farinariis, et cunctis appenditiis,” &c.—_Together with the
lands, houses, slaves, buildings, vineyards, woods, meadows, pastures,
granaries, and all appendages._

And the abbey not only possessed the slaves as property, but by the same
precept had civil jurisdiction over all its territory and all persons
and things thereon, to the exclusion of all other judges.

The fourth council of Toledo, in 633, in its fifty-ninth canon, by the
authority of King Sisenand and his nobles in Spain, restored to liberty
any slaves whom the Jews should circumcise, and in the sixty-sixth
canon, by the same authority, Jews were thenceforth rendered incapable
of holding Christian slaves. The seventieth and the seventy-first canons
regulated the process regarding the freed persons and colonists of the
church, and the latter affixed a penalty of reduction to slavery for
neglect of formal observances useful to preserve the evidence of title
for the colonist. The seventy-second canon places the freed persons,
whether wholly manumitted or only conditioned, when settled under
patronage of the church, under the protection of the clergy.

The seventy-fourth allows the church to manumit worthy slaves belonging
to herself, so that they may be ordained priests or deacons, but still
keeps the property they may acquire, as belonging to the church which
manumitted them, and restricts them even in their capacity as witnesses
in several instances; and should they violate this condition, declares
them suspended.

In the year 650, which was the sixth of King Clovis II., a council was
held at Chalons. The canon begins with the announcement—

Pietatis est maximæ et religionis intuitus, ut captivitatis vinculum
omnino à Christianis redimatur. Unde sancta synodus noscitur censuisse,
ut nullus mancipium extra fines vel terminos qui ad regnum domini
Clodovei regis pertinent, penitus, debeat venumdare; ne, quod absit, per
tale commercium aut captivitatis vinculo, vel, quod pejus est, Judaicâ
servitute mancipia Christiana teneantur implicita.

“It is a work of the greatest piety, and the intent of religion, that
the bond of captivity should be entirely redeemed from Christians.
Whence it is known to be the opinion of the holy synod, that no one
ought, at all, to sell a slave beyond the dominions of our lord Clovis
the king; lest, which God forbid, Christian slaves should be kept
entangled in the chains of captivity, or what is worse, under Jewish

In the tenth council of Toledo, celebrated in the year 656, in the reign
of Receswind, king of the Goths, the seventh chapter is a bitter
complaint of the practice, which still prevailed among Christians, of
selling Christian slaves to the Jews, to the subversion of their faith
or their grievous oppression.

In the year 666, a council was held in Merida, in Spain. The eighteenth
canon of which allows that, of the slaves belonging to the church, some
may be ordained minor clerks, who shall serve the priests as their
masters with due fidelity, receiving only food and raiment.

The twentieth chapter complains of many irregularities in the mode of
making freedmen for the service of the church, regulates the mode of
making them, and provides for the preservation of the evidence of their
obligation and the security of their service.

The twenty-first regulates the extent to which a bishop shall be allowed
to grant gifts to his friends, the slaves, the freedmen, or others.

The thirteenth council of Toledo was held in the year 683, in the reign
of Ervigius, the successor of Wamba. There was an old law of the Goths,
found in lib. v. tit. vii., and repeated in other forms in lib. x. and
xi., regulating that no freedman should do an injury or an unkindness to
his master, and authorizing the master who had suffered, to bring such
offender back again to his state of slavery. And in lib. xvii. the
freedman, and his progeny for ever, were prohibited from contracting
marriage with the family of their patron or behaving with insolence to
them. King Ervigius was reminded by many of his nobles that former
kings, in derogation of this law, had given employments about the palace
to slaves and to freedmen, and even sustained them in giving offence to
their masters, had even sometimes ordered them so to do, and protected
them; for this the nobles sought redress. The king called upon the
council to unite with him in putting a stop to this indignity. And in
the sixth canon we have the detail of the evils set forth, and also the
enactment, in concurrence with the king, that thenceforward it shall be
unlawful to give any employment whatever about the palace, or in the
concerns of the crown, to any slave or freedman.

The third council of Saragossa was celebrated in the year 691, in the
reign of Egica, king of the Goths.

In Toledo, it had been enacted, that any freedman of the church, who did
not comply with certain regulations, should lose his freedom and be
reduced to slavery. One of the conditions was, that any person
pretending to have been manumitted, or claiming as the descendant of a
freedman, should, upon the death of the bishop, exhibit his papers to
the successor of the deceased, within a year, or, upon his neglect,
should be declared a slave. The object of this was to discern those who
were partially free from the perfect slave, and to cause the former to
preserve their muniments.

The fathers of Saragossa, however, discovered that some of the bishops,
studying their own gain, had been too rigid in enforcing this law, and
thereby reduced several negligent or ignorant persons to bondage; in
order then to do justice, they enacted in their fourth chapter, that the
year within which the documents should be exhibited should not commence
to run until after the new bishop, subsequently to his institution,
should have given sufficient notice to those claiming to be put in
partial service, to produce their papers.

The sixteenth council of Toledo was held in the year 693. The fifth
chapter of the acts, determining when a priest may hold two churches,
has the following passage:

Ut ecclesia, quæ usque ad decem habuerit mancipia, super se habeat
sacerdotem, quæ vero minus decem mancipia habuerit aliis conjungatur

“That the church which shall have as many as ten slaves shall have one
priest over it, but that one which shall have less than ten slaves shall
be united to other churches.”

In the tenth chapter of the acts of the same council, not only was
excommunication pronounced against all who should be guilty of high
treason against Egica, the king of the Gothic nation, but the bishops
and clergy united with the nobles (_palatii senioribus_) and the popular
representatives in condemning traitors and their progeny to perpetual
slavery, (_fisci viribus sub perpetuâ servitute maneant religati_.)

The laws of Ina, king of the West Saxons, about the year 692, were made
for the regulation of religion:

Servus, si quid operis patrârit die Dominico ex præcepto domini sui,
liber esto, dominus triginta solidos dependito. Verum si id operis
injussu domini sui aggressus fuerit, verberibus cæditor, aut saltem
virgarum metum precio redimito. Liber, si die hoc operetur injussu
domini sui, aut servituti addicitor, aut sexaginta solidos dependito.
Sacerdos, si in hanc partem deliquerit, pœna in duplum augeator.

“If a slave shall do any work on the Lord’s day, by order of his master,
let him become free, and let the master pay thirty shillings, (another
copy adds, ‘ad witam,’ as a fine.) But, if he went to this work without
his master’s command, let him be cut with whips, (another copy has
‘corium perdat,’ let him lose his skin,) or at least, let him redeem the
fear of the scourge by a price. A freeman, if on this day he shall work
without the order of his lord, let him be reduced to slavery, or pay
sixty shillings. Should a priest be delinquent in this respect, his
penalty shall be increased to double.”

In the eighth, the division of the weregild for the killing of a

Wallus censum pendens annuum, 120 solidorum æstimatur, filius ejus 100.
Servus, alias 60, alias 50, solidis valere putatur. Wallus virgarum
metum 12 solidis redimito. Wallus quinque terræ hydas possidens 600
solidis æstimandus est.

“A stranger paying a yearly rent is to be rated at 120 shillings, his
son at 100. A slave at either 50 or 60, is a fair estimation. Let a
stranger redeem his fear of whipping for 12 shillings. A stranger being
in possession of five hydes of land is to be valued at 600 shillings.”

The seventeenth council of Toledo was celebrated in 694, in the reign of
Egica. It was enacted—

Si quis servum proprium sine conscientiâ judicis occiderit,
excommunicatione biennii sanguinis se mundabit.

“If any one shall put his own slave to death, without the knowledge of
the judge, he shall cleanse himself the blood by an excommunication of
two years.”

In the council of Berghamstead, near Canterbury, held in 697, under
Withred, king of Kent, at which Gebmund, bishop of Rochester, was
present, and where a sort of parliament also assembled and gave a civil
sanction to the temporal enactments and penalties of the canons, several
regulations were made concerning slaves. The Saxon MS. is the adoption
of the canons into the common law of Canterbury, anti is entitled “_The
Judgments of Withred_.”

The ninth canon in this collection is the following:

Si quis servum suum ad altare manumiserit, liber esto, et habilis sit ad
gaudendum hereditate et wirigildo, et fas sit ei ubi volet sine limite

“If any person shall manumit his servant at the altar, let him be free,
and capable of enjoying inheritance and weregild, and let it be lawful
for him to dwell where he pleases without limit.”

The tenth canon is:

Si in vesperâ præcedente diem solis postquam sol occubuit, aut in
vesperâ præcedente diem lunæ post occasum solis, servus ex mandato
domini sui opus aliquod servile egerit, dominus factum octoginta solidis

“If on the evening preceding Sunday, after the sun has set, or on the
evening preceding Monday, after the setting of the sun, a slave shall do
any servile work by command of his master, let the master compensate the
deed by eighty shillings.”

The eleventh:

Si servus hisce diebus itineraverit, domino pendat sex solidos, aut
flagello cædatur.

“If a servant shall have journeyed on these days, let him pay six
shillings to his master, or be cut with a whip.”

The thirteenth:

Si paganus uxore nesciâ diabolo quid obtulerit, omnibus fortunis suis
plectatur et collistrigio. Sin et ambo pariter itidem fecerint, omnium
bonorum suorum amissione ipsa etiam luat et collistrigio.

“If a villain, without the knowledge of his wife, shall have offered any
thing to the devil, let him be punished by the loss of all his fortune
and by the pillory. And if both did so together, let her also lose all
her goods and be punished by the pillory.”

The English _villain_ was the _colonist_ of the European continent, and
in the Speculum Saxonicum, lib. i. art. 3, his imperfect liberty is
compared with the freeman. Also in Du Cange, Paganus, Pagenses, &c.

The fourteenth:

Si servus diabolo offerat, sex dependat solidos, aut flagro vapulet.

“If a slave offers to the devil, let him pay six shillings, or be

The fifteenth:

Si quis servo carnem in jejunio dederit comedendam, servus liber exeat.

“If any one shall give his slave flesh-meat to eat on a fast-day, let
the slave go out free.”

The sixteenth:

Si servus ex sponte suâ eam ederit, aut sex solidis aut flagello.

“If the slave shall eat it of his own motion, let the penalty be either
six shillings or a whipping.”

After regulating the mode of declaration of swearing and of
compurgation, for the king, the bishop, the abbot, the priest, the
deacon, the cleric, the stranger, and the king’s thane, the twenty-first
canon enacts—

Paganus cum quatuor compurgatoribus, capite suo ad altare inclinato,
semet eximat.

“Let the villain deliver himself with four compurgators, with his head
bowed down to the altar.”

The twenty-third:

Si quis Dei mancipium in conventu suo accusaverit, dominus ejus eum
simplici suo juramento purgabit, si eucharistiam susceperit. Ad
eucharistiam autem si nusquam venerit, habeat in juramento fidejussorem
bonum, vel solvat, vel se tradat flagellandum.

“If any person shall accuse a slave of God in his convent, his lord
shall purge him with a simple oath, if he shall have received the
eucharist. But if he has never come to the eucharist, let him in his
oath have a good surety to answer, or let him pay or give himself up to
be whipped.”

The slave of God was one belonging to a monastery, of whom there appear
to have been a good number in England, at that period, as well as on the
continent. The previous canon had legislated for the bishop’s dependants
as distinguished from the slave of the monastery.

The twenty-fourth canon is:

Si servus viri popularis servum viri ecclesiastici accusaverit, vel
servus ecclesiastici servum viri popularis, dominus ejus singulari suo
juramento eum expurgabit.

“If the slave of a lay person shall accuse the slave of a clergyman, or
if the slave of a clergyman shall accuse the slave of a layman, let his
master purge him by his single oath.”

The twenty-seventh regulated the punishment of the person who permitted
a thievish slave to escape, and, respecting the slave himself, concluded

Si quis eum occiderit, domino ejus dimidium pendito.

“If any one shall slay him, let him pay to his master one-half.”

In Germany, however, as yet, in most places paganism prevailed, and
human sacrifices were offered. St. Boniface had been sent by the Holy
See to endeavour to reclaim to religion and to civilization the nations
or tribes that composed this undefined extent of territory. We find in a
letter of Pope Gregory III., written in answer to his request for
special instructions, about the year 735, the following paragraph:

Hæc quoque inter alia crimina agi in partibus illis dixisti, quod quidam
ex fidelibus ad immolandum paganis sua venumdent mancipia. Quod ut
magnopere corrigere debeas, frater, commonemus, nec sinas fieri ultra:
scelus est enim et impietas. Eis ergo qui hæc perpetraverunt, similem
homicidæ indices pœnitentiam.

“You have said that, among other crimes, this was done in those parts,
that some of the faithful sold their slaves to pagans to be immolated.
Which you should use all your power to correct, nor allow it to be done
any more: for it is wickedness and impiety. Impose then upon its
perpetrators the same penance as for homicide.”


                              LESSON XVI.

Theodore, archbishop of Canterbury, governed the English church from 670
to 690, when he died. The following extracts are from his canonical

VII. Græci et Romani dant servis suis vestimenta, et laborant excepto
Dominico die. Græcorum monachi servos non habent, Romani habent.

“The Greeks and Romans give clothing to their slaves, and they work
except on the Lord’s day. The Greek monks have not slaves, the Romans

XVII. Ingenuus cum ingenuâ conjungi debet.

“A free man should be married to a free woman.”

LXV. Qui per jussionem domini sui occiderit hominem, dies xl. jejunet.

“He who, by the command of his master, shall kill a man, shall fast
forty days.”

The seventy-first prohibits the intermarriages of those slaves whose
owners will prevent their living together.

The seventy-fourth regulates, that if a free pregnant-woman be sold into
slavery, the child that she bears shall be free; all subsequently born
shall be slaves.

LXXIX. Pater filium necessitate coactus in servitium sine voluntate
filii tradat.

“A father, compelled by necessity, may deliver his son into slavery
without the will of that son.”

LXXXIX. Episcopus et abbas hominem sceleratum servum possunt habere, si
precium redimendi non habet.

“A bishop or an abbot can hold a criminal in slavery, if he have not the
price of his redemption.”

CXVII. Servo pecuniam per laborem comparatam nulli licet auferre.

“It is not lawful for any one to take away from a slave the money made
by labour.”

In the council of Verberie, held in a palace of King Pepin, the sixth
canon made regulations in the case of marriage between free persons and
slaves. The following are its provisions:

1. If any free person contracted marriage with a slave, being at the
time ignorant of the state of bondage of that party, the marriage was

2. If a person under bond should have a semblance of freedom by reason
of condition, and the free person be ignorant of the bondage, and this
bond person should be brought into servitude, the marriage was declared
originally void.

3. An exception was made where the bond person, by reason of want,
should, with the consent of the free party, sell himself or herself into
perfect slavery with the consent of the free party; then the marriage
was to stand good, because the free party had consented to the
enslavement, and profited of its gains.

The seventh canon would seem to show that a slave could hold property in

Si servus suam ancillam concubinam habuerit, si ita placet, potest illâ
dimissâ comparem suam ancillam domini sui accipere: sed melius est suam
ancillam tenere.

“If a man-servant shall have his own female slave as a concubine, he
shall have power, if he wishes, leaving her, to marry his equal, the
female servant of his master: but it is better that he should keep his
own servant in wedlock.”

The eighth canon provided, in the case of a freedman who, subsequently
to his liberation, committed sin with the female slave of his former
master, that the master should have power, whether the freedman would or
not, to compel him to marry that female slave; and should this man leave
her, and attempt a marriage with another woman, this latter must be
separated from him.

The thirteenth declares that when a freeman, knowing that the woman whom
he is about to marry is a slave, or, not having known it until after
marriage, voluntarily upon the discovery consents to the marriage, it is
thenceforth indissoluble.

The nineteenth declares that the separation of married parties, by the
sale of one who is a slave, does not affect the marriage. They must be
admonished, if they cannot be reunited, to remain continent.

The twentieth provides for the case of a male slave freed by letter,
(_chartellarius_,) who, having for his wife taken a slave with the
lawful consent of her master, and leaving her, takes another as his
wife. The latter contract is void, and the parties must separate.

Another assembly was held by King Pepin, in Compeigne, forty-eight miles
north-east of Paris, where he had a country-seat. At this assembly also
the prelates held a council in 757, and made eighteen canons. The fourth
makes provision for the case of a man’s giving his free step-daughter in
wedlock to a freeman or to a slave. The fifth declares void the marriage
between a free person and a slave, where the former was ignorant of the
condition of the latter. The sixth regards a case of a complicated
description, where a freeman got a civil benefice from his lord, and
takes his own vassal with him, and dies upon the benefice, leaving after
him the vassal. Another freeman becomes invested with the benefice, and,
anxious to induce the vassal to remain, gives him a female serf attached
to the soil as his wife. Having lived with her for a time, the vassal
leaves her, and returns to the lord’s family, to which he owed his
services, and there he contracts a marriage with one of the same
allegiance. His first contract was invalid, the second was the marriage.

In the year 772, a council was held in Bavaria, at a place called
_Dingolvinga_, the present city of Ingolstadt, in the reign of Tassilo,
duke of Bavaria. The tenth canon of this council decides that a noble
woman, who had contracted marriage with a slave, not being aware of his
condition, is at liberty to leave him, the contract being void, and she
is to be considered free and not to be reduced to slavery. By _noble_ we
are here to understand _free_, as distinguished from _ignoble_, that is,
a slave.

We have then sixteen amendments of the national law.

The first regulates, by the authority of the prince and consent of the
whole assembly, that henceforth no slave, whether fugitive or other,
should be sold beyond the limits of the territory, under penalty of the
payment of his weregild.

In the second, among other things, it is enacted that if a slave should
be killed in the commission of house-breaking, his owner is to receive
no compensation; and should the felon who is killed in man-stealing,
when he could not be taken, whether it be a freeman or a slave that he
is carrying off, no weregild shall be paid by the slayer, but he shall
be bound to prove his case before a court.

The seventh regards the trial by ordeal of slaves freed by the duke’s

The eighth establishes and guards the freedom, not only of themselves,
but of their posterity, of those freed in the church, unless when they
may be reduced to slavery from inability to pay for damages which they
had committed.

The ninth contains, among other enactments, those which explain the
tenth canon of the council. After specifying different weregilds for
freed persons, it says—

Si ancilla libera dimissa fuerit per chartam aut in ecclesiâ, et post
hæc servo nupserit, ecclesiæ ancilla permanebit.

“Should a female slave be emancipated by deed or in the church, and
afterwards marry a slave, she shall be a slave to the church.”

It then continues, respecting a woman originally free, and the _nobilis_
of canon x.:

Si autem libera Bajoaria servo ecclesiæ nupserit, et servile opus
ancilla contradixerit, abscedat.

“But if a free Bavarian female shall have married a servant of the
church, and the maid will not submit to servile work, she may depart.”

Si autem ibi filios et filias generaverit, ipsi servi et ancillæ
permaneant, potestatem exinde (exeundi) non habeant.

“But if she shall have there borne sons and daughters, they shall
continue slaves, and not have power of going forth.”

Her freedom was not, however, immediately destroyed, for the law

Illa autem mater eorum, quando exire voluerit, ante annos iii, liberam
habeat potestatem.

“But she, their mother, when she may desire to go forth before three
years, shall have free power therefor.”

In this case the marriage subsisted, but the free woman could separate,
without however the marriage-bond being rent. If she remained beyond the
time of three years, she lost her freedom; and it shows us that,
probably, previous to this amendment, any free woman who married a
slave, thereby lost her own freedom; and that the tenth canon, showing
the marriage of which it treated to be invalid, showed that the woman
should not lose her liberty. The concluding provision of the ninth law
is as follows:

Si autem iii annos induraverit opus ancillæ, et parentes ejus non
exadomaverunt eam ut libera fuisset, nec ante comitem, ducem, nec ante
regem, nec in publico mallo, transactis tribus kalendis Martis, (Martu,)
post hæc ancilla permaneat in perpetuum, et quicumque ex ea nati fuerint
servi et ancillæ sunt.

“But if she shall have continued three years doing the work of a slave,
and her relations have not brought her out so that she should be free,
either before the count, or the duke, or the king, or in the public high
court, (mall,) when the kalends of March shall have thrice passed, after
this she shall remain perpetually a slave, and they who shall be born of
her, male and female, shall be slaves.”

In 774, Pope Adrian I. delivered to Charlemagne a digest of canon law,
then in force, in which we find—

“The third of Gangræ, condemning as guilty of heresy those who taught
that religion sanctioned the slave in despising his master; the
thirtieth in the African collection, which showed that the power of
manumission in the church was derived from the civil authority; the one
hundred and second of the same, which declared slaves and freed persons
disqualified to prosecute, except in certain cases and for injuries done
to themselves.”

In a capitulary of Charlemagne, published in such a synod and general
assembly in 779, in the month of March, in the eleventh year of his
reign, at Duren, on the Roer, (Villa Duria,) between Cologne and
Aix-la-Chapelle, there being assembled episcopis, abbatibus, virisque
illustribus, comitibus, unà cum piissimo domino nostro,—“the bishops,
abbots, and the illustrious men, the counts, together with our most
pious lord,”—we find the following chapter:

XX. De mancipiis quæ venduntur, ut in præsentiâ episcopi vel comitis
sit, aut in præsentiâ archdiaconi, aut centenarii, aut in præsentiâ
vicedomini, aut judicis comitis, aut ante bene nota testimonia. Et foras
marcham nemo mancipium vendat. Qui fecerit, tantis vicibus bannos
solvet, quanta mancipia vendidit. Et si non habet precium vivadio, pro
servo semetipsum donet comiti, usquèdum ipsos bannos solvat.

“Concerning slaves that are sold, let it be in presence of the bishop,
or of the count, or in presence of the archdeacon, or of the judge of
the hundred, or in presence of the lord’s deputy, or of the judge of the
county, or of well known witnesses. And let no one sell a slave beyond
the boundary. Whosoever shall do so shall pay as many fines as he sold
slaves. And if he has not the money, let him deliver himself to the
count in pledge as a slave until he shall pay the fines.”

In a capitulary of Pope Adrian I., containing the summary of the chief
part of the canon law then in force, as collected from the ancient
councils and other sources, delivered to Ingilram, bishop of Metz, or,
as it was then called, Divodurum, or oppidum Mediomatricorum, on the
19th of September, xiii. kalendas Octobris, indic. ix. 785, the
sixteenth chapter, describing those who cannot be witnesses against
priests, mentions not merely slaves, but quorum vitæ libertas nescitur,
those _who are not known to be free_; and in the notes of Anthony
Augustus, bishop of Tarragona, on this capitulary, he refers for this
and another passage, viles personae, _persons of vile condition_, which
is the appellation of slaves, to decrees of the earliest of popes, viz.,
Anacletus, A.D. 91, and Clement his immediate successor; Evaristus, who
was the next, and died A.D., 109; Pius, who died A.D. 157; Calistus, in
222; Fabian, 250; and several others. In chapter xxi. among incompetent
witnesses, are recited, nullus servus, nullus libertus—_no slave, no
freedman_. The notes of the same author inform us that this portion of
the chapter is the copy of an extract from the first council of Nice,
and that it is also substantially found in a passage from Pope
Pontianus, who died in 235, as well as in several of the early African
and Spanish councils, which he quotes.

One of these assemblies, in which Charlemagne published a capitulary,
was held at Aix-la-Chapèlle (Aquisgranum) in 789, in which eighty-two
chapters were enacted. No. xxiii. is founded upon canon iv. of the
council of Chalcedon, and upon an enactment of Leo the Great. It
prohibited all attempts to induce a slave to embrace either the clerical
or monastical state without the will and license of the master. No. xlv.
prohibits, among others, slaves from being competent witnesses, or
freedmen against their patrons: founded upon the ninety-sixth canon of
the African councils. No. lvii. referring to the third canon of the
council of Gangræ, prohibits bishops ordaining slaves without the
master’s license.

In 794 a council was held at Frankfort on the Maine, at which the
bishops of a large portion of Europe assisted; the twenty-third canon of
which is the following:

De servis alienis, ut a nemine recipiantur, neque ab episcopis sacrentur
sine licentiâ dominorum.

“Of servants belonging to others: they shall be received by no one, nor
admitted to orders by bishops, without their masters’ license.”

In the year 697, at another assembly held at Aix-la-Chapelle, the
capitulary for the pacification and government of Saxony was enacted by
Charlemagne. The eighth chapter is—

Si quis hominem diabolo sacrificaverit, et hostiam in more paganorum
dæmonibus obtulerit, morte moriatur.

“If any person shall sacrifice a man to the devil, and offer him as a
victim to devils after the fashion of pagans, he shall be put to death.”

An explanation of this will be found where Pope Gregory III. answers St.
Boniface, who informed him that unfortunate slaves were bought to be
thus immolated.

XI. Si quis filiam domini sui rapuerit, morte moriatur.

“If any one shall do violence to his master’s daughter, he shall be put
to death.”

XII. Si quis dominum suum vel dominam suam interfecerit, simili modo

“If any one shall kill his master or his mistress, he shall be punished
in like manner.”

XIV. De minoribus capitulis consenserunt omnes, ad unamquamque ecclesiam
curtem et duas mansas terræ pagenses ad ecclesiam recurrentes condonent:
et inter centum viginti homines nobiles et ingenuos, similiter et litos,
servum et ancillam eidem ecclesiæ tribuant.

“All agreed concerning the smaller congregations, that the colonists
frequenting each church should bestow upon it one dwelling, with proper
out-offices, and two manses (24 acres) of land; and that they should
give to the same church one male slave and one female slave between one
hundred and twenty noble and free men, and counting also the conditioned

In this newly settled ecclesiastical province the provision made for the
support of religion consisted of land and slaves.


                              LESSON XVII.

Upon the ascension of Charlemagne to the imperial throne, the Roman
Empire may date its extinction. But, in the reign of the Franks, in
their succession to the throne of the western empire, we fail to find
any change of doctrine on the subject of slavery. But the Lombards had
long disturbed Italy: Charlemagne succeeded in reducing them to better
order, and, in the year 801, amended their laws. One chapter assimilated
to that of France and of Germany:

VI. _De Aldionibus publicis ad jus publicum pertinentibus._

Aldiones vel Aldianes eâ lege vivant in Italiâ, in servitute dominorum
suorum, quâ fiscalini vel liddi vivunt in Franciâ.

“_Of the public Aldions, belonging to the public estate._

“The Aldions, or Aldians, shall in Italy exist upon the same principle
in the service of their masters that the fiscals and lids do exist in

The Aldions were bond-men or bond-women, whose persons were not at the
disposal of their masters, nor did they pass with the land as colonists
did, but their masters or patrons had certain claims upon stated
services from them. They were generally either freed persons or the
descendants of those who had been manumitted upon the condition of
performing stipulated services; and if they failed to perform these,
they were liable to be reduced to slavery. The _lidus_ or _liddus_ or
_litus_ of the Saxon was so called from being spared in the conquest,
and left on the land, with the obligation of paying the master, who
owned it and himself, a certain portion of its produce, and doing him
other fixed services. Thus neither of them was an absolute slave whose
person and property were at the owner’s disposal. The slave was
manumitted, but this latter description of servants were generally
released by deed or charter: hence, when so freed, they were called
_chartulani_, _chartellani_, or “chartered.” The transition from slavery
to this latter kind of servitude was, at the commencement of the ninth
century, greatly on the increase.

VIII. _De servis fugacibus._

Ubique intra Italiam, sive regius, sive ecclesiasticus, vel cujuslibet
alterius hominis servus fugitivus inventus fuerit à domino suo sine ullâ
annorum præscriptione vindicetur, eâ tamen ratione, si dominus Francus
sive Alemannus, aut alterius cujuslibet nationis sit. Si vero
Longobardus aut Romanus fuerit, eâ lege servos suos vel adquirat vel
admittat, quæ antiquitùs inter eos constitutus est.

“_Concerning runaway slaves._

“Wheresoever within the bounds of Italy, either the runaway slave of the
king or of the church or of any other man shall be found by his master,
he shall be restored without any bar of prescription of years; yet upon
the provision that the master be a Frank or a German or of any other
nation, (foreign.) But if he be a Lombard or a Roman, he shall acquire
or receive his slaves by that law which has been established from
ancient times among them.”

Here is evidence of the prevalent usage of the church holding property
in slaves, just as commonly as did the king or any other person.

In the year 805, Charlemagne published a capitulary at Thionville, in
the department of Moselle, France, (Theodonis villa.) In the chap. xi.
we read—

_De servis propriis vel ancillis._

De propriis servis et ancillis, ut non suprà modum in monasteria
sumantur, ne deserentur villæ.

“_Concerning their own male or female slaves._

“Let not an excessive number of their own male or female slaves be taken
into the monasteries, lest the farms be deserted.”

This capitulary regards principally the regulation of monasteries.

St. Pachomius, who was born in Upper Egypt, in 292, and who was the
first that drew up a regular monastic rule, would never admit a slave
into a monastery. _Tillemont_, vii. p. 180.

In the year 813, a council was held at Chalons, the portions of whose
enactments in any way affecting property or civil rights were confirmed
by Charlemagne and made a portion of the law of the empire.

Many of the churches, especially in the country, were curtailed in their
income and reduced to difficulties, because the bishops and abbots had
large estates within their parishes, and many servants occupied in their
cultivation, and the prelates prevented these servants paying tithes to
the parish clergy, claiming for themselves an exemption from the
obligation. The canon xix. is the following:

Questi sunt præterea quidam fratres, quod essent quidam episcopi et
abbates, qui decimas non sinerent dari ecclesiis ubi illi coloni missas
audiunt. Proinde decrevit sacer ille conventus, ut episcopi et abbates
de agris et vineis, quæ ad suum vel fratrum stipendium habent, decimas
ad ecclesias deferri faciant: familiæ vero ibi dent decimas suas, ubi
infantes eorum baptizantur, et ubi per totum anni circulum missas

“Moreover some brethren have complained, that there were some bishops
and abbots who would not permit tithes to be given to those churches
where colonists hear mass. Wherefore that holy assembly decreed, that,
for those fields and vineyards which they have for their own support or
that of their brethren, the bishops and abbots should cause the tithe to
be paid to the churches. And let the servants pay their tithes to the
church where their infants are baptized, and where during the year they
hear mass.”

In this we have additional evidence of the fact that large bodies of
land, and numerous servants attached to them, were held by bishops and
abbots, not only for themselves, but for their churches and their
monasteries. The canon xxx. is the following:

Dictum nobis est quod quidam legitima servorum matrimonia potestivâ
quâdam præsumptione dirimant, non attendentes illud evangelicum: _Quod
Deus conjunxit, homo non separet._ Unde nobis visum est, ut conjugia
servorum non dirimantur, etiam si diversos dominos habeant: sed in uno
conjugio permanentes dominis suis serviant. Et hoc in illis observandum
est, ubi legalis conjunctio fuit, et per voluntatem dominorum.

“It has been stated to us that some persons, by a sort of magisterial
presumption, dissolve the lawful marriages of slaves; not regarding that
evangelical maxim, _What God hath put together, let man not separate_.
Whence it appears to us, that the wedlock of slaves may not be
dissolved, even though they have different masters; but let them serve
their masters, remaining in one wedlock. And this is to be observed with
regard to those where there has been a lawful union, and with the will
of the owners.”

In the year 816, a council was held at Aix-la-Chapelle, in which a large
portion of the canon law then in force regarding the clergy was imbodied
into one hundred and forty-five chapters. After the session of the
council, the emperor published a capitulary containing thirty chapters;
the sixth of which complains of the continued indiscretion of bishops in
ordaining servants, contrary to the canons, and forbids such ordinations
except upon the master’s giving full liberty to the slave. If a servant
shall impose upon a bishop by false witnesses or documents of freedom,
and thus procure ordination, he shall be deposed and taken back by his
owner. If the descendant of a slave who came from abroad shall have been
educated and ordained, where there was no knowledge of his condition,
should his owner subsequently discover him and prove his property, if
this owner grants him liberty, he may keep his clerical rank; but if the
master asserts his right and carries him away, though the slave does not
lose his character of order, he loses his rank, and cannot officiate.
Should masters give servants freedom that they may be capable of
ordination, it shall be in the master’s discretion to give or to
withhold the property necessary to enable the person to get orders.

The archbishops are to have in each province the emperor’s authority in
the original, to authorize their ordaining the servants of the church,
and the suffragan bishops are to have copies of this original, and when
such servant is to be ordained, this authority must be read for the
people from the pulpit or at the corner of the altar. The like form was
to be observed when any of the laity desired to have any servant of the
church promoted to orders, or when the like promotion was petitioned for
by the prior of a chapter or of a monastery. Lotharius, the emperor,
published a capitulary in Rome, in 842.

In the third chapter of the first part, we find the following

In electione autem Romani pontificis nullus, sive liber sive servus,
præsumat aliquod impedimentum facere.

“Let no one, whether freeman or slave, presume to create any impediment
in the election of the Roman pontiff.”

Which leads us to suspect that some slaves possessed considerable power
or influence.

In the second chapter, fines are imposed for creating riots in any
church. And the chapter concludes in the following words:

Et qui non habet unde ad ecclesiam persolvat, tradat se in servitio
eidem ecclesiæ, usque dam totum debitum persolvat.

“And let him who has not the means of paying the church, give himself in
servitude to that same church until he pays the whole debt.”

By the tenth chapter he restrained the power of manumission.

Quod per xxx annos servus liber fieri non possit, si pater illius
servus, aut mater ancilla fuit. Similiter de Aldionibus præcipimus.

“That a slave whose father or whose mother was a slave cannot become
free before thirty years of age. We order that the same shall be the
case respecting Aldions.”

In the twelfth he states that these are but a continuance of the laws of
his grandfather Charles and of his father Louis. And in tit. i. 12 of
Ulpian, reference is made to a variety of enactments of the ancient
Roman law, that a slave manumitted under the age of thirty could not be
a Roman citizen except by a special grant of a court.

The thirteenth declares that free women who unite with their own slaves
are in the royal power, and are given up, together with their children,
to slavery among the Lombards.

The fourteenth enacts that a free woman who shall unite herself to the
male slave of another, and remain so for a year and a day, shall,
together with her children, become enslaved to her husband’s owner.

The fifteenth regulates that if the free husband of a free woman shall,
for crime or debt, bring himself into servitude to another, and she not
consent to remain with him, the children are free; but if she die, and
another free woman, knowing his condition, marries him, the children of
this latter shall be slaves.

A number of chapters are also on these records showing the insufficiency
of servile testimony. Others provide against the oppression of poor
freemen, so that they shall not be easily compelled to sell themselves
into slavery.

About the year 860, Pope Nicholas I. sent to the newly converted
Christians of Bulgaria answers to several inquiries which they made for
the regulation of their conduct. The ninety-seventh regards slaves who
accuse their masters to the prince or to the court: and the pope refers
them to the obligation of the master as given in chapter vi. of the
epistle of St. Paul to the Ephesians, (not to use threatenings towards
their servants,) and then asks, how much more strongly does the spirit
of this maxim of kindness and affection bear upon the servant, and teach
him to be of an humble and forgiving disposition, such as that chapter
enjoins; referring also to the direction of our Saviour, _Luke_ vi. 37,
and the injunction of the apostle, 1 _Thess._ v. 15, for their

At this period of time, the piratical wars of the Northmen, who were
perpetually making inroads on the rest of Europe, kept the whole of
Christendom in commotion, and marked perhaps the darkest period of the
dark ages.


                             LESSON XVIII.


In 1030, Peter, bishop of Girona, in Spain, came to Rome, and begged
leave of the pope (John XIX.) to wear the pall twelve days in the year,
promising to redeem thirty slaves then in captivity among the Saracens,
provided his holiness granted him this request. It was readily granted.
See Bower, vol. v. p. 153.

Shortly after the 30th October, 1051, Pope Leo IX., having visited
Vercelli and Augsburg, returned to Rome, and held a council soon after
Easter, in which he excommunicated Gregory, bishop of Vercelli, for
committing adultery with a widow betrothed to his uncle. The bishop was
absent when this sentence was given, but he flew to Rome as soon as he
heard of it; and upon his promising to perform the penance that his
holiness imposed upon him, he was absolved from the excommunication, and
restored to the functions of his office. On that occasion the canons
issued by other councils against the incontinence of the clergy were
confirmed, and “some new ones were added, and, in order to check more
effectually the scandalous irregularity of the _Roman_ clergy in
particular, it was decreed, at the request of the pope, that all women
who should for the future prostitute themselves to the priests within
the walls of Rome should be condemned to serve as slaves in the Lateran
palace.” See Herman, ad an. 1051; also Bower, idem, p. 183.

By one of Constantine’s laws, they who ravished virgins or stole them,
even with their consent, against the will of their parents, (with the
view to make slaves of them or not,) were burned alive. Cod. Theodos. 1.
ix. tit. 29, leg. 1. The severity of this law was somewhat mitigated by
Constantius, but he still made it a capital offence. Ibid. leg. 2. It
was upon this law, Pope Hadrian II. applied to the emperor for redress
against _Eleutherius_, who had carried off his daughter _Stephania_ by
force, and married her, although she was betrothed to another. See
Bower, idem, p. 11. We have a remarkable letter, written by Gregory
VII., in January, 1080, in answer to one he had received from
Vratislaus, duke of Bohemia, desiring leave to have Divine service
performed in the Sclavonian tongue, that is, in the language of the
country. That letter the pope answered in the following words:

“As you desire us to allow Divine service to be performed among you in
the Sclavonian tongue, know that by no means can I grant your request,
it being manifest to all, who will but reflect, that it has pleased the
Almighty that the Scripture should be withheld from some, and not
understood by all, lest it should fall into contempt, or lead the
unlearned into error. And it must not be alleged that all were allowed,
in the _primitive times_, to read the Scriptures, it being well known
that in those early times the church _connived_ at many things, which
the holy fathers disapproved and corrected when the Christian religion
was firmly established. He cannot therefore grant, but absolutely
forbid, by the authority of Almighty God and his blessed apostle Peter,
what you ask, and command you to oppose to the utmost of your power all
who require it.” Greg. l. vii. ep. ii.; also Bower, idem, p. 279.

On the subject of the above letter, it should be remembered none
spoke the Sclavonic at that day except the Sclavonians themselves;
that the great mass of that people were slaves, either to some few
individuals of their own nation, or to the other European nations,
by whom they had been captured, or to whom they had been sold. They
were a nation of slaves, and hence the Romans called their language
_Servian_, from _servus_, a slave. There is still extant among the
ancient German archives some account of the physical and moral
appearance of this people, representing them as robust, filthy,
faithless, and extremely wicked. They called themselves _sclava_ or
_sclavas_, &c., which word, in their language, implied an elevated
distinction, and was in common use as a _suffix_ to individual
names, indicating that the person was highly elevated among his
countrymen, as in this case, Vrati-Slaus—indicating the fact that
_Vrati_ was famous, elevated, a man of high and honourable
distinction. Such men often held immense numbers of their less
elevated countrymen in bondage. From the form and meaning of this
_suffix_, some modern scholars have erroneously supposed it to have
come from the Latin, _laus_. We may form some idea of the feelings
of Pope Gregory VII., upon this application, by imagining what would
have been the feelings of a Virginia legislature, fifty years ago,
had some free African, then there, petitioned to have the laws
published in _Eboe_, for the benefit of the slaves. In the above
letter, the meaning of the assertion, “in those early times the
church _connived at_ many things which the holy fathers
disapproved,” &c., at this late day is very liable to be
misconceived. He does not allude to any thing said or done by Jesus
Christ or his apostles, but to the action of his predecessors in the
pontificate on this very subject. About the year 860, Pope Nicholas
I. granted this very privilege to the Sclavonians in Moravia; and
about ten years after, the same was renewed by Hadrian II., upon the
request of St. Cyril, the apostle of the Moravians. See the Life of
Cyril, (Latin,) page 22. And John VIII., in the year 882, confirmed
the same, at the request of _Sfento Pulcher_, prince of Moravia,
calling it the _license_ granted by Pope Nicholas, “of saying the
canonical hours and celebrating mass in their native language.”

“_The Sclavonian language we justly commend_,” says the pope in his
letter to the prince, “_and order the praise and the works of Christ our
Lord to be celebrated in that tongue, being directed by Divine authority
to praise the Lord, not in three only, but in all languages, agreeably
to what we find in holy writ—‘Praise ye the Lord, all ye nations, and
bless him, all ye people_.’ _The apostles announced the wonderful works
of God in all languages,” &c., “and he who made the three chief
languages, the Hebrew, the Greek, and the Latin, created all the rest
for his praise and glory._” See Johan. ep. 247.

The same privilege was granted by the _Greek_ church to the _Russians_,
who speak the _Sclavonian_ language; and they perform, to this day, as
well as the Moravians, Divine service in their native language. The
pope, however, ordered the gospel to be first read in _Latin_, and
afterwards, for the sake of those who understood not that language, in
the _Sclavonian_. (See Bower, idem, p. 37.) It is not relevant to our
subject to inquire what facts presented themselves to the mind of
Gregory VII., whereby he apprehended that the Scripture might “_fall
into contempt_,” or they “_lead the unlearned into error_.” But we have
seen, in our own day, a wide deviation from the instruction of St. Paul,
in a version of the New Testament in Romaic, or modern Greek, evidently
translated from our English version, instead of from the ancient Greek;
wherein Paul is made to say, 1 _Tim._ i. 10, _anthropokleptas_, which
indicates the stealing of a free man—instead of what Paul did say,
_andrapodistais_, which indicates the stealing of a slave. It is true,
King James’s translators substituted “_men-stealers_,” without any
further allusion that the _men_ who were to be the _things stolen_ were
slaves. It does not appear to have occurred to them that a _free man_
could be _stolen_, since in no sense could he be _property_. In said
version are other errors of equal magnitude; and we have it from good
authority that the Greek patriarch, after an examination of said
version, most strictly forbad his people to read it, and, also, to
introduce it among them. If such errors were incident to the
_Sclavonic_, Gregory VII. had at least some ground for his
apprehensions. But the Sclavonians were of the same colour and physical
formation of the northern tribes to whom they were in bondage. There was
no physical or moral degradation consequent to an amalgamation with
them; and such connection did happen to a very great extent, and at this
day has very nearly extinguished all caste between them. But in the days
of Gregory VII., and long since, the politer nations of the south of
Europe regarded those of the north, whether free or in servitude, as but
a mere grade, if at all, above barbarians; and this pope seems to have
been disposed to have fed them with “milk,” and not with “strong meat.”
_Heb._ v. 12. We may perceive how the south estimated the north at those
early times, by an incident related by D'Aubigne, vol. i. p. 96.
Reuchlin, a native of Pforzheim, had made himself a distinguished
scholar for any age. In 1498, he found his way to Rome, when
Argyropylos, a celebrated Greek professor, was lecturing on the elevated
standing in literature to which the Greeks had formerly arrived, &c.
Reuchlin, highly delighted with the lecture, visited the professor, and
addressed him in Greek. Argyropylos, perceiving him to be a German,
says, “Whence come you, and do you understand Greek?” Reuchlin replies,
“I am a German, and am not quite ignorant of your language.” He took up
Thucydides and read; when Argyropylos said, in grief, tears, and
astonishment, “Alas, alas, Greece cast out and fugitive, is gone to hide
herself beyond the Alps!” But the funeral fire of Greece and Rome
illumed the extreme north, and by its light the savage freeman and his
more savage slave were taught their religion, civilization, and science.
“It was thus,” says D'Aubigne, “that the sons of barbarous Germany and
those of ancient Greece met together in the palaces of Rome; thus it was
that the east and the west gave each other the right hand of fellowship
in this rendezvous of the world, and that the former poured into the
hands of the latter those intellectual treasures which it had carried
off in its escape from the barbarism of the Turks. God, when his plans
require it, brings together in an instant, by some unlooked-for
catastrophe, those who seemed for ever removed from each other.” This
improved condition of the northern nations was foreseen, perhaps already
felt, by Innocent IV., in 1254, when he permitted Divine service to be
performed in the Sclavonic language, which is noticed by Bower, vol. vi.
p. 254. At the close of his remarks on Pope Innocent IV., he says—“We
have a great number of letters written by this pope on different
occasions, and a decree allowing the _Sclavonians_ to perform Divine
service in their mother tongue, contrary to a decree of Gregory VII.” We
beg to notice Pope Gregory IX.; for, “by this pope was confirmed the
religious order of _St. Mary de Mercede_, as it is called, an order
instituted to make gatherings all over the Christian world for the
redemption of Christians taken and kept in _slavery_ by the infidels.”
Bower, idem, p. 236. This order was instituted by James, king of
Arragon, about the year 1223, and was confirmed by Gregory on the 17th
of January, 1230. The general of this order resides constantly at
Barcelona, where it was instituted by the king of Arragon, under the
direction of _Raimund de Pennefort_, then canon of that city. See
_Oldoinus in notis ad Ciacon. Bullarium in Greg. IX. constit. 9_. About
the year 1312, charges of the most wicked and gross nature were had
against the _Knights Templars_. Their chief persecutor was King Philip,
who suspected them to have encouraged an insurrection during his war in
Flanders. Through his influence the whole order were arrested, not only
in France, but in all Christendom. Pope Clement V. took charge of their
prosecution. But it appearing that thousands of them had and were ready
to defend the Christian religion at the expense of their lives, and that
many of their order were then in _slavery_ among the Saracens, from
which they might redeem themselves by repudiating Jesus Christ and his
religion, yet they preferred rather to live and die in chains than to
purchase freedom at so high a price, their judges considered these facts
to overbalance the evidence against them. But through Philip’s influence
the order was suppressed. See Bower, vol. vi. p. 39. By the laws of
Moses, when the Hebrews found it necessary to make war and subdue their
enemies in battle, they were directed to put all the men to death, and
to make slaves of the women and children. See _Deuteronomy_ xx. 13, 14.
The milder treatment of the women and children was in mercy, predicated
on the presumption of their being more tractable and less unalterably
sunk in sin. We perceive the same state of facts when the Lord commanded
the Hebrews to put the Canaanites to death. “Thou shalt smite them, and
utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor show
mercy to them: neither shalt thou make marriages with them,” &c. _Deut._
vii. 2, 3. Whereas the adjoining and kindred tribes were only devoted to
slavery. “Both thy bond-men and thy bond-maids which thou shalt have,
shall be of the heathen that are round about you: of them shall ye buy
bond-men and bond-maids.” _Lev._ xxv. 44. It is, and ever has been, the
universal rule to destroy from the earth, whenever sin has sunk its
votary so low in the depths of crime that there is no longer even hope
of reform. Whereas, for a less degree of depravity, mercy intercedes for
the reformation of the victim, by placing him someway in surveillance,
either for life or for a term of years. On the same principle is founded
the distinction of punishment between homicide attended with
premeditated malice, and that which is not so attended.

“Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig-tree, and
find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground? And he answering,
said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I may dig about
it, and dung it: and if it bear fruit, well; and if not, then after that
thou shalt cut it down.” _Luke_ xiii. 7.


                              LESSON XIX.

Our English word _war_ is of Saxon origin, (Sax. _waer_,) and from
whence has also been derived many of the corresponding terms in the
present European languages. Its primary sense implies the action of a
competent power in accomplishing something. But, like many other words,
its use has degenerated into various shades of meaning. The
corresponding Greek term, _palemos_, from _pallo_, or its cognate,
_ballo_, seems originally to have been illustrative of offensive and
coercive action, and hence implies all the agitative and repulsive
movement illustrated by our present word _battle_: whereas the Hebrew
term, _laham_, cognate with _Ham_, on whose descendants the curse of
slavery was pronounced by Noah, involves the idea of _destruction_, as a
thing _burned_, _consumed_, _devoured_, and _destroyed_; hence the
Hebrews would say, the sword devoured, that is, eats up, &c.; yet their
term _gerav_, or _kerab_, boldly implied offensive and opposing force;
hence, to advance upon, or, to approach unto, in which sense it was
often used, as well as to imply conflict and war. We wish to illustrate
the fact that, when the mind of a Hebrew was in exercise with the
complex idea which we express by the term _war_, the conception embraced
a larger portion of the simple elements which enter into the complex
ideas of destruction, annihilation, and death, than is now found
associated in the mind of the more highly cultivated descendants of the
Caucasian races. In the idea _war_, with him, the leading sentiment was
the extinction of those against whom the _war_ was waged. Their
_doctrine_, that God governed the world; that the Hebrews were his
chosen people; that no war was justifiable unless authorized by Jehovah;
that the object of war was to destroy from the earth those who were too
wicked to live, or to place in subjection and servitude, those who
manifested a less degree of stubbornness, but whose sins made them a
nauseant, a nuisance, in the world; that God always governed a war in
such a manner as rendered it a punishment for sins. Hence the law of
_Deut._ xx. 13, 14, before quoted. Hence the wars of the Israelites are
named as “the wars of the Lord,” _Numb._ xxi. 14. Hence, we find in
_Ex._ xvii. 16, “The Lord hath sworn that the Lord _will have_ war with
Amalek from generation to generation,” and in the preceding verse, that
“Moses built an altar and called it _Jehovah-nissi_.” The word _nissi_
means the flag, standard, or banner of an army, indicating the centre of
command, or the location and movement of the commander, and is sometimes
used in the sense of _example_, or model of action, and by figure is
also used to mean the commander or leader himself. And Joshua said unto
them, “Fear not nor be dismayed, be strong and of good courage: for thus
shall the Lord do to all your enemies whom ye fight.” _Josh._ x. 25. “He
teacheth my hands to war, so that a bow of steel is broken by mine
arms.” 2 _Sam._ xxii. 35. Also the same, _Ps._ xviii. 34. “With good
advice make war.” _Prov._ xxiv. 6. _Ps._ xviii. 37: “I have pursued mine
enemies and overtaken them; neither did I turn again until they were
consumed.” 38. “I have wounded them that they were not able to rise.
They are fallen under my feet.” 39. “For thou hast girded me with
strength unto the battle. Thou hast subdued under me those that rose up
against me.” 40. “Thou hast also given me the necks of mine enemies;
that I might destroy them that hate me.” 41. “They cried, but there was
none to save them: even unto the Lord, but he answered them not.” 42.
“Then did I beat them small as the dust before the wind: I did cast them
out as the dirt in the streets.” 43. “Thou hast delivered me from the
strivings of the people: and thou hast made me the head of the heathen:
a people whom I have not known _shall serve me_,” (_abedini_, _shall be
slaves to me_.) 44. “As soon as they shall hear of me, they shall obey
me: the strangers shall submit themselves unto me.”

“O God the Lord, the strength of my salvation, thou hast covered my head
in the day of battle.” cxiv. 7.

“Blessed be the Lord God of my strength, which teacheth my hands to war
_and_ my fingers to fight.” cxliv. 1.

So the prophets: “A noise shall come even to the ends of the earth, for
the Lord hath a controversy with the nations; he will plead with all
flesh: he will give them that are wicked to the sword.” _Jer._ xxv. 31.

“And I will smite thy bow out of thy left hand, and will cause thy
arrows to fall out of thy right hand.

“Thou shalt fall upon the mountains of Israel, thou, and all thy bands,
and the people that is with thee: I will give thee unto the ravenous
birds of every sort, and unto the beasts of the field, to be devoured.
Thou shalt fall upon the open field: for I have spoken it, saith the
Lord God.” _Ezek._ xxxix. 3–5.

“At the same time spake the Lord by Isaiah the son of Amos, saying, Go,
and loose the sackcloth from off thy loins, and put off thy shoe from
thy foot: and he did so, walking naked and barefoot.

“And the Lord said, Like as my servant Isaiah hath walked naked and
barefoot three years for a sign and wonder upon Egypt and upon Ethiopia;

“So shall the king of Assyria lead away the Egyptians prisoners, and the
Ethiopians captives, young and old, naked and barefoot, even with their
buttocks uncovered, to the shame of Egypt.” _Isa._ xx. 2, 3, 4.

And again, “The word of the Lord came again unto me, saying, Son of man,
prophesy and say, Thus saith the Lord God; Howl ye, Wo worth the day!

“For the day is near, even the day of the Lord is near, a cloudy day: it
shall be the time of the heathen.

“And the sword shall come upon Egypt, and great pain shall be in
Ethiopia, when the slain shall fall in Egypt, and they shall take away
her multitude, and her foundations shall be broken down.

“Ethiopia (_Cush_) and Libya (_Put_) and Lydia (_Ludim_) and all the
mingled (_ereb_, _mixed-blooded_) people, and _Chub_, (the Arabians read
_Nub_, Nubia,) and the men of the land that is in league, shall fall
with them by the sword.

“Thus saith the Lord: They also that behold Egypt (_Mitsraim_) shall
fall; and the pride of her power shall come down: from the tower of
Syene shall they fall in it by the sword, saith the Lord God.

“And they shall be desolate in the midst of the countries _that are_
desolate, and her cities shall be in the midst of the cities _that are_

“And they shall know that I am the Lord, when I have set a fire in
Egypt, (_Mitsraim_,) and when all her helpers shall be destroyed.

“In that day shall messengers go forth from me in ships to make the
careless (_betahh_, _confident of one’s own security_, _thoughtless_,
_unconcerned_, _trusting in themselves_) Ethiopians afraid, and great
pain shall come upon them: as in the day of Egypt, (_Mitsraim_:) for lo
it cometh!

“Thus saith the Lord God, I will make the multitude of Egypt to cease by
the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon.

“He and his people with him, the terrible of the nations, shall be
brought to destroy the land: and they shall draw their swords against
Egypt, and fill the land with the slain.

“And I will make the rivers dry, and sell the land into the hand of the
wicked: and I will make the land waste, and all that is therein, by the
hand of strangers. I the Lord have spoken it.

“Thus saith the Lord God: I will also destroy the idols, and I will
cause their images to cease out of Noph: and there shall be no more a
prince of the land of Egypt: and I will put a fear in the land of Egypt.

“And I will make Pathros (a Coptic word signifying _south land_, _&c._)
desolate, and will set a fire in Zoan, (both _Isoan_ and _Isaan_; _it_
means _a wanderer_, &c. and was the name of a city at the mouth of the
Nile,) and will execute judgments in _No_.

“And I will pour my fury on Sin, the strength of Egypt; and I will cut
off the multitude of No.

“And I will set fire in Egypt: Sin shall have great pain, and No shall
be rent asunder, and Noph shall have distresses daily.

“The young men of Aven and Pi-beseth shall fall by the sword: and these
cities shall go into captivity.

“At Tehaphnehes also the day shall be darkened, when I shall break there
the yokes of Egypt: and the pomp of her strength _shall cease in her_: a
cloud shall cover her, and her daughters shall go into captivity. Thus
will I execute judgments in Egypt, (_Mithraim_, the same as _Misraim,
the son of Ham_:) and they shall know that I am the Lord.” _Ezek._ xxx.

And so _Zeph._ ii. 12: “Ye Ethiopians also, ye shall be slain by my
sword.” We shall take occasion to notice this passage elsewhere. And
_Joel_ iii. 8: “And I will sell your sons and your daughters into the
hand of the children of Judah, and they shall sell them to the Sabeans,
to a people far off: for the Lord hath spoken it.” _Zephaniah_ iii. 8–10
may be said to develop the ultimate providence of God touching this

“Therefore, wait ye upon me, saith the Lord, until the day that I rise
up to the prey: for my determination is to gather the nations, that I
may assemble the kingdoms, to pour upon them mine indignation, _even_
all my fierce anger: for all the earth shall be devoured with the fire
of my jealousy.

“For then I will turn to the people a pure language, that they may all
call upon the name of the Lord, to serve him with one consent.

“From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia, my suppliants, _even_ the daughter
of my _dispersed_ (_Putsi, the daughters of Put_; the word means
_dispersed_, because they were scattered and lost as to name) shall
bring mine offering.” They were evidently the most deteriorated of all
the descendants of Ham.

When a people or nation give evidence that they are insensible to all
rules of right, either divine or human, it necessarily follows that
their hand will be found against every man, and every man’s hand against
them. The subjugation of such a people, so regardless of all law, can
only end in their being put to death, or, in the more merciful provision
of the divine law, by reducing them to a state of absolute slavery.

The experience of mankind proves that such heathen, so reduced to a
state of bondage, have always given evidence that their moral and even
physical condition has been ameliorated by it, and in proportion to the
scrupulous particularity by which they to whom they were enslaved
successfully compelled and forced them to walk in the paths of

Ever since the world has been peopled by nations, none have ever
hesitated to make war a protection to themselves against those who thus
had become a nuisance in it. To such men, either individually or
collectively, reason, justice, law are without effect or influence:
nothing short of absolute compulsive force can avail them beneficially.
And, indeed, it is upon this principle that civilized communities do
essentially, in their prisons and by other mode of restraint, enslave,
for life or a term of years, those who have proved themselves too
reckless to be otherwise continued among them.

In the year 1437, the Christian right or duty of declaring, or rather of
making war against infidels, was proposed to the church for the pope’s
decision and counsel. Duarte, king of Portugal, was importuned by his
brother Ferdinand, to make war on the Moors with a view to the conquest
of Tangier. Duarte entertained scruples about his moral and Christian
right to do so; and therefore proposed the subject to the theologians
and to the pope. Eugenius IV., who then filled the papal chair, decided
that there were but two cases in which an offensive war could be
justifiably undertaken against unbelievers, &c.: 1st. “When they were in
possession of territory which had belonged to Christians, and which the
latter sought to recover. 2d. When, by piracy or war, or any other
means, they injured or insulted the true believers.” In all other cases,
proceeded his holiness, hostilities are unjust. The elements, earth,
air, fire, and water, were created for all; and to deprive any creature,
without just cause, of these necessary things, was a violation of
natural right. See _Lardner_, Hist. Portugal, vol. iii. p. 204. We
proceed to instances wherein the records show the church to have
declared offensive war.

In 1375, “the Florentines, entering into an alliance with the Visconti
of Milan, broke unexpectedly into the territory of the Church, made
themselves masters of several cities, demolished the strongholds, drove
everywhere out the officers of the pope, and setting up a standard, with
the word ‘Libertas’ in capital letters, encouraged the people to shake
off the yoke and resume their liberty: at their instigation, Bologna,
Perugia, and most of the chief cities in the pope’s dominions openly
revolted, and, joining the Florentines, either imprisoned, or
barbarously murdered those whom the pope had set over them. Gregory
(XI.) was no sooner informed of that general revolt, and the unheard of
barbarities committed by the Florentines, and those who had joined them,
than he wrote to the people and magistrates of Florence, exhorting them
to withdraw their troops forthwith out of the dominions of the Church,
to forbear all further hostilities, to satisfy those whom they had
injured, and revoke the many decrees they had issued absolutely
inconsistent with the ecclesiastical immunity as established by the
canons. As they paid no regard to the pope’s exhortations, he summoned
the magistrates to appear in person, and the people by their
representatives, at the tribunal of the apostolic see, by the last day
of March, 1376, to answer for their conduct. The Florentines, far from
complying with that summons, insulted the pope’s messengers in the
grossest manner, and, continuing their hostilities, laid waste the
greater part of the patrimony, destroying all before them with fire and

“Gregory, therefore, provoked beyond all measure, issued the most
terrible bull against them that had ever yet been issued by any pope.
For, by that bull, the magistrates were all excommunicated; the whole
people and every place and person under their jurisdiction were laid
under an interdict. All traffic, commerce, and intercourse with any of
that state, in any place whatever, were forbidden on pain of
excommunication. Their subjects were absolved from their allegiance; all
their rights, privileges, and immunities were declared forfeited; their
estates, real and personal, in what part soever of the world, were given
away, and declared to be the property of the first who should seize
them, _prima occupantis_; all were allowed, and even exhorted and
encouraged, to seize their persons, wherever found, as well as their
estates, and reduce them to slavery. Their magistrates were declared
intestable, and their sons and grandsons incapable of succeeding to
their paternal estates, or to any inheritance whatever; their
descendants, to the third generation, were excluded from all honours,
dignities, and preferments, both civil and ecclesiastic. All princes,
prelates, governors of cities, and magistrates were forbidden, on pain
of excommunication, to harbour any Florentine, or suffer any in the
places under their jurisdiction in any other state or condition than
that of a slave.” This bull is dated in the palace of Avignon, in some
copies the 30th of March, and in some the 20th of April, in the sixth
year of Gregory’s pontificate, that is, in 1376, (_apud Raynald. ad hunt
ann. num._ i. _et seq._, _et Bzovium, num._ xv.) Walsingham writes, that
upon the publication of this bull the Florentine traders who had settled
in England, delivered up all their effects to the king, and themselves
with them, for his slaves. One of the authors of Gregory’s life (_auctor
primæ vit. Gregor._) tells us, that in all other countries, especially
at Avignon, they abandoned their effects, and returned, being no where
else safe, to their own country. (See Bower, vol. vii. p. 23.)

Again, in 1508 was concluded the famous treaty or league of Cambray,
against the republic of Venice: that state had been long aspiring at the
government of all Italy. The contracting parties were the pope, the
emperor, the king of France, and the king of Spain; and it was agreed
that they should enter the state of Venice on all sides; that each of
them should recover what that republic had taken from them; that they
should therein assist one another: and that it should not be lawful for
any of the confederates to enter into an agreement with the republic but
by common consent. The duke of Ferrara, the marquis of Mantua, and
whoever else had any claims upon the Venetians, were to be admitted into
this treaty. The Venetians had some suspicion of what was contriving
against them at Cambray, but they had no certain knowledge of it, till
the pope informed them of the whole. For Julius II., (then pope,) no
less apprehensive of the emperor’s power in Italy than the French
king’s, acquainted the Venetian ambassador at Rome, before he signed the
treaty, with all the articles it contained, represented to him the
danger that his republic was threatened with, and offered not to confirm
the league, but to start difficulties and raise obstacles against it,
provided they only restored to him the cities of _Rimini_ and _Faenza_.
This demand appeared to be very reasonable to the pope, but it was
rejected by a great majority of the senate, when communicated to them by
their ambassador; and the pope thereupon confirmed the league by a bull,
dated at Rome, the 22d of March, 1508. The Venetians, hearing of the
mighty preparations that were carrying on all over Christendom against
them, began to repent their not having complied with the pope’s request
and by that means broken the confederacy. They therefore renewed their
negotiations with his holiness, and offered to restore to him the city
of _Faenza_. But Julius, instead of accepting their offer, published, by
way of monitory, a thundering bull against the republic, summoning them
to restore, in the term of twenty-four days, all the places they had
usurped, belonging to the apostolic see, as well as the profits they had
reaped from them since the time they first usurped them. If they obeyed
not this summons, within the limited time, not only the city of
_Venice_, but all places within their dominions, were, _ipso facto_, to
incur a general interdict; nay, all places that should receive or
harbour a Venetian. They were, besides, declared guilty of high treason,
worthy to be treated as enemies to the Christian name, and all were
empowered “to seize on their effects, wherever found, and to enslave
their persons.” (See _Guicand, et Onuphrius in vita Julii II., et
Raymund ad ann. 1509_, and _Bower_, vol. vii. p. 379.)

In 1538 was published the bull of excommunication against Henry VIII. It
had been drawn up in 1535, on the occasion of the execution of Cardinal
Fisher, bishop of Rochester; had been submitted to the judgment of the
cardinals, and approved by most of them in a full consistory. However,
the pope, flattering himself that an accommodation with England might
still be brought about, delayed the publication of it till then, when,
finding an agreement with the king quite desperate, he published it with
the usual solemnity, and caused it to be set up on the doors of all the
chief churches of Rome. By that bull the king was deprived of his
kingdom, his subjects were not only absolved from their oaths of
allegiance, but commanded to take arms against him and drive him from
the throne; the whole kingdom was laid under interdict; all treaties of
friendship or commerce with him and his subjects were declared null, his
kingdom was granted to any who should invade it, and all were allowed
“to seize the effects of such of his subjects as adhered to him, and
enslave their persons.” See _Burnet’s Hist. of the Reform._ 1. 3.
_Pallavicino_, 1. 4. _Saudeos de Schis._ b. i., and _Bower_, vol. vii.
p. 447.

We ask permission to introduce a case on the North American soil, of
somewhat later date. We allude to an act, or law, passed by the “United
English Colonies, at New Haven,” in the year 1646, and approved and
adopted by a general court or convention of the inhabitants of Windsor,
Hartford, and Wethersfield, in the year 1650. We copy from the “Code of
1650,” as published by Andrus, and with him retain the orthography of
that day:

“This courte having duly weighed the joint determination and agreement
of the commissioners of the United English Colonyes, at New Haven, of
anno 1646, in reference to the indians, and judging it to bee both
according to rules of prudence and righteousness, doe fully assent
thereunto, and order that it bee recorded amongst the acts of this
courte, and attended in future practice, as occasions present and
require; the said conclusion is as follows:

“The commissioners seriously considering the many willful wrongs and
hostile practices of the indians against the English, together with
their interteining, protecting, and rescuing of offenders, as late our
experience sheweth, which if suffered, the peace of the colonyes cannot
bee secured: It is therefore concluded, that in such case the
magistrates of any of the jurisdictions, may, at the charge of the
plaintiff, send some convenient strength, and according to the nature
and value of the offence and damage, seize and bring away any of that
plantation of indians that shall intertein, protect, or rescue the
offender, though hee should bee in another jurisdiction, when through
distance of place, commission or direction cannott be had, after notice
and due warning given them, as actors, or at least accessary to the
injurye and damage done to the English: onely women and children to be
sparingly seized, unless known to bee someway guilty: and because it
will bee chargeable keeping indians in prison, and if they should
escape, they are like to prove more insolent and dangerous after, it was
thought fitt, that uppon such seizure, the delinquent, or satisfaction
bee again demanded of the sagamore, or plantation of indians guilty or
accessary, as before; and if it bee denyed, that then the magistrate of
this jurisdiction, deliver up the indian seized by the partye or partyes
indammaged, either to serve or to bee shipped out and exchanged for
neagers, as the case will justly beare; and though the commissioners
foresee that said severe, though just proceeding may provoke the indians
to an unjust seizing of some of ours, yet they could not at present find
no better means to preserve the peace of the colonyes; all the
aforementioned outrages and insolensies tending to an open warr; onely
they thought fitt, that before any such seizure bee made in any
plantation of indians, the ensuing declaration bee published, and a
copye given to the particular sagamores.”


                               LESSON XX.

Under the term _war_, mankind have from time immemorial included those
acts which the more enlightened nations of modern days have designated
by the name of _piracy_, a word derived from the Greek _peirao_. The
primary sense is _to dare_, _to attempt_, &c., as, _to rush_, and _drive
forward_, &c.; used in a bad sense, as to attempt a thing contrary to
good morals and contrary to law, and now mostly applied to acts of
violence on the high seas, &c.; the same acts on land being called
_robbery_, &c. These acts of violence have generally been founded on the
desire of plunder, and in all ages have been recognised as good cause of
war against those nations or tribes who upheld and practised them. Such
piratical war has ever been considered contrary to the laws of God and
repugnant to civilized life; and it may be with the strictest truth
asserted that those nations and tribes of people whom God devoted to
destruction, and also those of whom he permitted the Jews to make
slaves, were distinguished for such predatory excursions. The first
account we have of any such predatory war is found in Genesis. True, it
is said, they had been subject to Chedorlaomer twelve years, and
rebelled, but the manner in which he and his allies carried on the war
leaves sufficient evidence of its character, even if they had not
disturbed Lot and his household; and it may be well here remarked, that
the original parties to this war were of the black races; in fact,
progenitors of the very people who were denominated by Moses as the
_heathen round about_.

The second instance of this kind of warfare we find carried on by the
sons of Jacob against the Hivites. True, they professed to be actuated
by a spirit of revenge for the dishonour of Dinah. They put all the
adult males to death, made slaves of the women and children, and
possessed themselves of all the wealth of Shechem, for which they were
reprimanded by Jacob. Their conduct upon this occasion was in conformity
to the usages of the heathen tribes who knew not God, and, if persisted
in, must have ultimately just as necessarily been fraught with their own
destruction and extinction from the earth. And this was no doubt one of
the many crimes that gave proof of their deep degradation, and which
finally sunk them in slavery. The heathen tribes in all ages have ever
been characterized by this kind of warfare, however truly and often the
more civilized portions of the world may have been obnoxious to similar
charges. The doctrine is, that where such predatory war essentially
exists against a people, they, finding no other efficient remedy, are
authorized by the laws of God to make war a remedy, to repel force by
force, to destroy and kill until they overcome, and, as the case may be,
to subjugate and govern or reduce to slavery. And the laws of modern
civilized nations regulating the conduct of belligerants are merely an
amelioration; but give evidence that such belligerants are already
elevated above those grades of human life which look to subjugation and
slavery as the only termination of war. But the condition of man, in
this higher state of mental and religious improvement, is none the less
governed by the laws of Divine power, influencing and adapted to his
improved state. _Corollary_: When the time shall come, that all men
shall live in strict conformity to the laws of God, war shall cease from
the earth, and slavery be no more known; and at that time the Lord will
“turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the
name of the Lord,” to serve him with one consent. “Then from beyond the
rivers of Ethiopia, my suppliants, even the daughter of my dispersed,
(_phut_) shall bring mine offering.” _Zeph._ iii. 9, 10.

We have heretofore alluded to the idolatrous barbarians of the north of
Europe and to their inroads upon the more civilized regions of the
south. It may be well to take some further notice of these people, to
mark the influence of their predatory wars on the morals of those times,
and of the influences of the church in counteracting and ameliorating
their effect on the character and condition of the Christian world.
Their religion was cast upon the model of their savage appetite: easily
excited by the love of conquest and plunder, their minds were still
further inflamed by their bards, who promised them, after death, daily
combats of immortal fury, with glittering weapons and fiery steeds, in
the immediate presence of their supreme god, Oden. The wounds of these
conflicts were to be daily washed away by the waters of life.
Congregated in the great hall of their deity, seated upon the skulls of
those they had slain in battle, they spent each night in celebrating in
song the victories they had won, refreshing themselves with strong drink
out of the skulls on which they rested, while they feasted on the
choicest morsels of the victims they had sacrificed to their gods.
Constantine, having succeeded to the throne of the Roman Empire,
transferred his court to Constantinople. This, a notable step in the
downfall of Rome, was followed by his dividing his dominions between
three sons and two nephews. The imperial power thus partitioned away,
the northern nations, who had been subjected to her rule, no longer
regarded Rome as a sovereign power over them: at once the German tribes,
among whom were the Franks, overran Gaul: the Picts and Saxons broke
into Britain, and the Sarmatians into Hungary. The spirit of war was let
loose. As early as the time of the Christian era, scattered from the
Caucasus to the north-eastern Pacific, were numerous tribes whom the
all-conquering arm of Rome had never reached. Cradled amidst precipitous
mountains, savage and wild scenery, howling tempests or eternal snows,
the form of their minds and the character of their religion associated
with the region of their birth.

Europe has given some of them the appellation, Vandals, Sueves, Alans,
Sclavas, Goths, Huns, Tartars, and Veneti. Restless as the elements of
their native clime, their leaders ever showed themselves striving for
dominion and thirsty for power. Pushing westward, one upon the other,
they became somewhat amalgamated in the north of Europe, under the
general term of Scandinavians, yet receiving new cognomens or retaining
their old as fancy or knowledge of them suggested; yet, in the middle
and south of Europe, they were as commonly known by the appellation of
Northmen. The most of these people were emphatically warlike and savage.
The world possessed no one power sufficiently strong to restrain them.
Italy was overrun and Rome itself was captured by the Goths, under
Alaric—then by the Herulians, under Odoacer. They in turn were subdued
by Theodoric the Ostrogoth—then by the Lombards from Brandenburg, who
established a more permanent government. But they, in turn, yielded to
the power of the Franks, under Charlemagne, who entered Rome in triumph,
and was crowned Emperor of the West, as elsewhere noted by us.

Up to the time of Charlemagne, the Northmen were excited to war, not
alone by their love of liberty and a desire to extend their possessions,
but also by their hatred to the Christians and their religion; and in
the countries further north, this prejudice existed until a much later
day. But we have only time to give an example of the character of their
inroads on the peace and prosperity of Europe. Scotland had been early
engaged in these conflicts. In June, 793, the Northumbrians were alarmed
by a large armament on their coast. These barbarians were permitted to
land without opposition. The plunder of the churches exceeded their
expectations, and their route was marked by the mangled carcasses of the
nuns, the monks, and the priests, whom they had massacred. Historians
have scarcely condescended to notice the misfortunes of other churches
than that of Lindesferne, which became a prey to these barbarians: their
impiety polluted the altars; their rapacity was rewarded by its gold and
silver ornaments. The monks endeavoured, by concealment, to elude their
cruelty; the greater number were discovered and slaughtered. If the
lives of the children were spared, they were sold into slavery. (See
Lingard.) In 800, these Northmen made an irruption on the German coast,
and carried off plunder and captives. They shortly visited France: a
large party entered the Loire, and fixed permanent quarters in the
island of Hero, and made their incursions thence. The French writers
describe them as now pushing in upon their northern coasts, carrying off
captives into slavery and loading their vessels with booty. In 841 they
entered the Seine, sacked and burned the monastery of St. Ouen, of
Jumieges, spared Fontenelle for a ransom, where the monks of St. Denys
paid them twenty-six pounds of silver for sixty-eight captives. For
nineteen days they ravaged both banks of the river. In 843, they again
entered the Loire, took Nantes, when the city was filled by the
inhabitants of the neighbouring country, celebrating the festival of St.
John, who retired with the bishop and clergy to the cathedral. The gates
were soon burst open, and a general slaughter ensued: loaded with booty
and captives, they retired to their ships. In 844, they sailed up the
Garonne, pillaged Toulouse, made an attempt on Gallicia in Spain, but
were repelled by the Saracens. In 845, Ragner Lodbroy, one of their
sea-kings, entered the Seine with twenty-six ships, and spread
consternation through the land, leaving, in their rear, Christians
hanging on trees, stakes, and even in their houses. They entered Paris,
when Charles the Bald, by the advice of his lords, paid them seven
thousand pounds of silver, and they swore by their gods to never
re-enter his kingdom except by his invitation. They ravaged the seacoast
on their return homeward, and were wrecked on the shores of Northumbria,
where Ragner and the survivors recommenced to plunder. They were
attacked by Aella, and Ragner slain. But a formidable fleet, under the
command of Ragner’s sons, was soon on the coast of the East Angles, and
marked their advances to Northumbria in lines of blood and ruin. Aella
fell into their hands, and was put to death with untold torture. This
incursion of Ragner is noticed by Voltaire, who says that Charles the
Bald paid him fourteen thousand marks in gold to retire from France, and
adds, in his “General History of Europe,” such payments to the Northmen
only induced them to continue these piratical incursions. That these
wars were most strictly piratical, not undertaken for the good of
mankind, but for plunder alone, we beg here to introduce some proof from
the early writers.

Adam of Bremen, who, about the year 1080, wrote his work entitled, “De
Situ Danae et Reliquarum, Septentrionalium,” says of the city of
“Lunden,” in the island Schönen—“It is a city in which there is much
gold, which is procured by those incursions on the barbarous nations on
the shores of the Baltic Sea, which are tolerated and encouraged by the
king of Denmark on account of the tribute he draws from them.” In proof
that Voltaire’s estimate of the influence of such payments to these
northern pirates was just, we advert to their inroads on Ethelred. Soon
after he ascended the throne, he was invaded by Sweyn, by some called
Sitric, and Olave, and paid them sixteen thousand pounds. Ten years
after, he was forced to pay these Northmen thirty thousand pounds, and
then, at the expiration of only four years, forty thousand pounds more;
each time the Northmen swearing by their gods to never trouble the
country again. Yet, twelve years after the last payment, the crown and
throne were transferred to Canute. We have an anonymous Latin author, a
contemporary of Canute, who informs us to what use these pirate lords
applied the vast sums thus procured. The book is entitled, “Emmæ
Anglorum Reginæ Encomium,”—The Encomium of Emma, the Queen of England.
She was the wife of Canute. Page 166, the author, describing the Danish
ships, says—“On the stern of the ships, lions of molten gold were to be
seen: on the mast-heads were either birds, whose turning showed the
change of the wind, or dragons of various forms, which threatened to
breathe out fire. There were to be seen human figures looking like life,
glittering with gold and silver; dolphins of precious metals, and
centaurs that brought to mind the ancient fables. But how shall I
describe the sides of the ships, which swelled out with gold and silver
ornaments! But the royal ship exceeded all the rest as far as the king
in appearance exceeded the common soldiers or people.” This author, in
the second book, describing the landing of the Danes, repeats and
says—“The ships were so splendid that they seemed a flame of fire, and
blinded the eyes of the beholders; the gold flamed on the sides, and
silver-work was mingled with it. Who could look upon the lions of gold?
Who on the human figures of electrum, (a mixture of gold and silver,)
their faces of pure gold? Who on the dragons, gleaming with brilliant
gold? Who could look on the carved oxen, that threatened death with
their golden horns? Who could look on all these things and not fear a
king possessed of so great power?” Jacobs’s “Inquiry into the Precious
Metals” attributes the accumulation of gold and silver, of which we have
seen a specimen among these northern barbarians, to the piracies of
these people. Helmodus, in his Sclavonic Chronicles, (_Chronican
Sclavicum_,) lib. iii., says the people of Denmark abounded in all
riches, the wealthy being clothed in all sorts of scarlet, in purple and
fine linen, (nunc non salum scarlatica vario grisio, sed purpurea et
bysso induntur;) and he further adds, “that this wealth is drawn from
the herring-fishery at the island of Schönen, whither traders of all
nations resorting, bring with them gold, silver, and other commodities,
for purchasing fish.” The fact was, that island became a place of great
resort by these pirates for supplies. But we return to sketch these
piracies:—In about the year 846, an immense body of Scandinavians
ascended the Elbe with six hundred vessels under their king Roric.
Hamburg was burned; they then poured down upon Saxony; but, having met
with a defeat, and just then learning the fate of Ragner, sent
messengers to Louis, king of Germany, sued for peace, and were permitted
to retire from the country upon their giving up their plunder and
releasing their captives. After leaving the Elbe, Roric went to the
Rhine and the Scheldt, destroyed all the monasteries as far as Ghent,
and the Emperor Lothaire, unable to subdue him, received him as his
vassal and gave him a large territory. In 850, Godfrey, another
chieftain, repulsed in an attack on England, sailed up the Seine, and,
after some successes, obtained from King Charles a permanent location
and territory about Beauvais. In 856, nearly all the coast of France,
and to the interior as far as Orleans, was overrun. The churches were
plundered, and captives carried away and enslaved. In Flanders, all the
chief men and prelates were either slain or in slavery. These pirates
circumnavigated Spain, amalgamated with the Moors of Africa; some
entered the Gulf of Lyons, and committed depredations in Provence and
Italy. All notions of peace, of justice, were wasting away, and the laws
of the monarchs and the canons of the councils began to exhibit the
ruins of morality. In 861, the Seine is again infested, and Paris
terrified. In 883, they poured themselves on both sides of the Rhine, as
high as Coblentz, where the Emperor Charles made a treaty with Godfrey
and gave him the duchy of Friesland. France was so much overrun by the
pagans, that thousands of Christians, to escape death or bondage,
publicly renounced their religion and embraced the pagan rites; and not
long after, Rollo, the grandfather of William the Conqueror, at the head
of his Scandinavian bands, took possession and held the dukedom of
Normandy, and forced Charles the Simple to bestow him Gisla his daughter
in marriage. In England, Alfred, placing himself at the head of his
faithful followers, subdued the Danes, who had overrun his kingdom; and
many of them, embracing the Christian religion, were adopted as subjects
of the realm. In 893, a fleet of three hundred and thirty sail
rendezvoused at Boulogne, under the command of Hastings, for the avowed
purpose of conquering for himself a kingdom in Britain. Three years he
contended against Alfred, who eventually subdued him, but restored to
him all the captives upon his promise to leave the island for ever.

Nor did Ireland escape the ravages of the Northmen. In 783, they landed
in the extreme north of the island, and burned the town and abbey of
_Dere Columb-kill_, the Londonderry of more modern times. Here the
_Hydaher-teagh_, the _chiefs of the oak habitations_, (the
_O'Dougherty’s_ of a latter day,) secured the record of their name in
the “_Book of Howth_.” But here the _Tuatha De Danaan_, the Darnii of
Ptolemy, washed out even the history of their race in the blood of

In 790, the Danes made a general assault upon this devoted island: in
797, wasted the island of Ragulin, devastated Holm Patrick, and carried
away captives, among whom was the sister of St. Findan, and, shortly
after, the saint himself. In 802, they burned the monastery of Hy: in
807, destroyed Roscommon, ravaged the country, and made captives and
slaves. In 812, they again burned Londonderry and its abbey; massacred
the students and the clergy; nor did they relax their attacks upon the
north of the island until, twenty years after, they were driven from the
place by Neil Calne, with most incredible slaughter. But yet the whole
island was infested by these northern marauders.

In 812, the Irish made a more determined resistance, and the Northmen,
after three defeats, escaped from the island. But, in 817, Turgesius,
with a large force, overran a large portion of the island, and a large
portion of the clergy, monks, and nuns were massacred, and many of the
inhabitants taken into captivity.

In 837, two large additional fleets arrived; one entered the Boyne, and
the other the Liffy. The masses which they poured upon the country
spread in all directions, committing every kind of excess.

In 848, Olchobair McKinde, king of Munster, uniting his troops with
those of Dorcan, king of Leinster, was encouraged by a succession of
victories over the pagans; yet the archbishop of Armagh and seven
hundred of his countrymen were made captive, and sent by Turgesius to
Limerick as slaves. But Melseachlin, king of Ireland, defeated Turgesius
and put him to death. The Irish now arose on every side and drove the
barbarians from the country. But yet, in 850, Dublin was invaded by a
band of Northmen, whom the Irish denominated _Fin-gal_, or white
strangers, and by another body, called _Dubh-gal_, or black strangers,
who took possession of Leinster and Ulster, and ravaged the country. In
853, a sea-king, named Amlave, _Auliffe_, or _Olave_, from Norway, with
two brothers, Sitric and Ivor, with large additional forces, arrived,
and was acknowledged chief of all the Northmen in the islands. He took
possession of Dublin, Limerick, and Waterford, which he enlarged and
improved, as if their possession was to be perpetual. But war not only
raged between them and the Irish, but the Irish and Danes were in
perpetual conflict, different parties of Danes with one another, and
discord and strife were constant among the Irish themselves. Carnage and
bloodshed, captivity and slavery everywhere covered the island.

In 860, Melseachlin, the king, defeated Auliffe with great slaughter;
but, recovering strength, he plundered and burned Armagh, and took a
large number of captives, who were sent away for slaves. In 884, Kildare
was plundered, and more than 300 sent away for slaves. In 892, Armagh
was again captured, and 800 captives sent to the ships. But, in quick
succession, Carrol, with Leinster forces, and Aloal Finia, with the men
of Bregh, defeated the Danes and retook Dublin, while in other parts of
the island the Northmen suffered great reverses; but in 914 we find them
again returned and in possession of Dublin and Waterford, but quickly
put to the sword by the Irish. Another division succeeded to plunder
Cork, Lismore, and Aghadoe; and, in 916, were again in Dublin, ravaged
Leinster, and killed Olioll, the king. In 919, they were attacked near
Dublin by Niell Glunndubh, king of Ireland. Their resistance was
desperate, under the command of the chiefs Ivor and Sitric: here fell
the Irish monarch, the choice nobility, and the flower of the army.
Donough revenged the death of the king, his father, and the barbarians
were again signally defeated; but we find them, in 921, under the
command of Godfrey, their king, in possession of Dublin, marching to and
plundering Armagh, and, for the first time, sparing the churches and the
officiating clergy. A predatory war, without decisive encounters, was
continued for more than twenty years, when they suffered two severe
defeats from Cougall II, in which their king, Blacar, and the most of
his army were slain. In——but the mind sickens, tires at these recitals;
a whole army is swept away, and, as if the ocean poured twice its
numbers on shore, whole centuries gave no relief. In short, we have a
continuation of these scenes of piratical war, until the power and
spirit of this restless race of the Northmen were broken at Clontarf,
near Dublin, on the 23d of April, 1014, where they suffered an
irrecoverable defeat from the Irish, under the command of Brian

Ireland did well to rejoice in the perfect overthrow of these ruthless
invaders; but here fell Brian, whom ninety winters had only nerved for
the conflict. Here fell his son Morogh, and his grandson Turlogh,
personifications of the rage of battle; here fell a numerous, almost the
entire, nobility; here fell Ireland’s valiant warriors in unnumbered
heaps. The voice of Ireland is yet sometimes heard, but it is the voice
of a broken heart; of complaint, of weakness, of weeping, and sadness.
In a review of these times and those that followed, the providence of
God may be traced by its final development. Where no mercy was, it is
infused by hope of gain; and the savage and the captured slave are led
to an equal elevation in the service of the altar of the God Jehovah.

The sacrifice of the Lamb is substituted for the victim of war in the
woods of Woden; while the proud flashes of the crescent of Islam became
dim before the continued ray of the Star of Bethlehem.


                              LESSON XXI.

The condition of the slave, throughout the whole of Europe, was attended
with some circumstances of great similarity.

The slaves were generally of the same nation, tribe, and people, who
formed a constituent portion of the free population of the country where
they were, and always of the same colour and race. Even the Sclavonians,
on the continent, formed no exception in the more northern parts of
Europe. In short, slavery, as it existed in Europe, was only in a very
few instances in the south marked by any radical distinction of race:
consequently, the condition of the slave could never be as permanent and
fixed as it ever must be where strong distinctions of race mark the
boundaries between bondage and freedom—although often far more cruel.

The disgrace of the _free_, from an amalgamation with the _slaves_, did
not proceed from any consideration as to _race_, but merely from the
condition of the slave—more pointed, but somewhat analogous to the
disgrace among the more elevated and wealthy, arising from an
intermarriage with the ignorant, degraded, or poor. Influenced by such a
state of facts, the particulars of his condition were liable to constant
change, as affected by accident, the good or ill conduct of the
individual slave, the sense of justice, partiality, fancy, or the wants
and condition of the master; nor needed it the talent of deep prophecy
to have foretold that such a state of slavery must ultimately eventuate
in freedom from bondage.

A description of the slaves of Britain will give a general view of those
of the continent, for which we refer to Dr. Lingard.

The classes whose manners have been heretofore described constituted the
Anglo-Saxon nation. They alone were possessed of liberty, or power, or
property. But they formed but a small part of the population, of which
not less than two-thirds existed in a state of slavery.

All the first adventurers were freemen; but in the course of their
conquests, made a great number of slaves. The posterity of these men
inherited the lot of their fathers, and their number was continually
increased by freeborn Saxons, who had been reduced to the same condition
by debt, or made captives in war, or deprived of liberty in punishment
of their crimes, or had voluntarily surrendered it to escape the horrors
of want.

The ceremony of the degradation and enslavement of a freeman was
performed before a competent number of witnesses. “The unhappy man laid
on the ground his sword and his lance, the symbols of the free, took up
the bill and the goad, the implements of slavery, and falling on his
knees, placed his head, in token of submission, under the hands of his

All slaves were not, however, numbered in the same class. In the more
ancient laws we find the _esne_ distinguished from the _theow_; and read
of female slaves of the first, the second, and third rank. In later
enactments we meet with _borders_, _cocksets_, _parddings_, and other
barbarous denominations, of which, were it easy, it would be useless to
investigate the meaning. The most numerous class consisted of those who
lived on the land of their lord, near to his mansion, called in Saxon
his _tune_—in Latin, his _villa_. From the latter word they were by the
Normans denominated _villeins_, while the collection of cottages in
which they dwelt acquired the name of _village_. Their respective
services were originally allotted to them according to the pleasure of
their proprietor. Some tilled his lands, others exercised for him the
trades to which they had been educated. In return, they received certain
portions of land, with other perquisites, for the support of themselves
and their families.

But all were alike deprived of the privileges of freemen. They were
forbidden to carry arms. Their persons, families, and goods of every
description were the property of their lord. He could dispose of them as
he pleased, either by gift or sale: he could annex them to the soil, or
remove them from it: he could transfer them with it to a new proprietor,
or leave them by will to his heirs.

Out of the hundreds of instances preserved by our ancient writers, one
may be sufficient. In the charter by which Harold of Buckenhole gives
his manor of Spaulding to the abbey of Croyland, he enumerates among its
appendages Colgrin, his bailiff, Harding, his smith, Lefstan, his
carpenter, Elstan, his fisherman, Osmund, his miller, and nine others,
who probably were his husbandmen; and these with their wives and
children. Wherever slaves have been numerous, and of the same race as
the master, this variety in their condition has always followed. See the
statement of Muratori concerning the Roman slaves; also the laws of
Charlemagne concerning those of the Lombards and Goths. These records
are proof that slavery, accompanied with such facts, is always in the
act of wearing out.


                              LESSON XXII.

All historians agree that the Sclavonians, who at an early age made
their appearance on the north-eastern borders of Europe, came, a
countless multitude, pouring down upon those countries from the middle
regions of Asia.

The precise place from which they originated, the causes of such
emigration, and the successive impulses that pushed them westward, have
now, for centuries, been buried beneath the rubbish of the emigrants
themselves and the general ignorance that overspread the events of that

But there are some facts that assign to them a place among the Hindoo
tribes. Brezowski, speaking the Sclavonic of his day, in his travels
eastward, was enabled to understand the language of the country as far
east as Cochin-China; and scholars of the present day find numerous
Indian roots in this language. A similarity of religious rites is to be
noticed between the ancient Sclavonians and the Hindoos. They burned
their dead, and wives ascended the funeral piles of their husbands.
Their principal gods were Bog, and Seva, his wife. They worshipped good
spirits called Belbog, and bad spirits called Czarnebog.

These hordes overspread the countries from the Black Sea to the Icy
Ocean; and, in their turn, were forced westward by similar hordes of
Wends, Veneti, Antes, Goths, and Huns. Thus attacked and pushed in the
rear, they poured themselves upon the inhabitants of the more western
regions, who, more warlike, and with superior arms, put them to death by
thousands, until the earth was covered with the slain. Thus fleeing from
death, they met it in front, until the nations then occupying the north
and east of Europe, satiated and sickened by their slaughter, seized
upon their persons as slaves, and converted them into beasts of burden.
Their numbers exceeding every possible use, the captors exported them to
adjoining countries as an article of traffic; and the Venetians, being
then a commercial people, enriched themselves by this traffic for many
years. All continental Europe was thus filled by this race, from the
Adriatic to the Northern Ocean. Thus their national appellation became
through Europe the significant term for a man in bondage; and although
in their own language their name signified _fame_ and _distinction_, yet
in all the world besides, it has superseded the Hebrew, the Greek, and
Roman terms, to signify the condition of man in servitude. Thus the
Dutch and Belgians say _slaaf_; Germans, _sclave_; Danes, _slave_ and
_sclave_; Swedes, _slaf_; French, _esclave_; the Celtic French, &c.,
_sclaff_; Italians, _schiavo_; Spanish, _esclavo_; Portuguese,
_escravo_; Gaelic, _slabhadh_; and the English, _slave_.

Nor was this signification inappropriate to their native condition. For
these countless hordes were the absolute property of their leaders or
kings, who were hereditary among them,—as was, also, their condition of

The Romans called their language _Servian_, from the Roman word
_servus_, a bond-man; and from the same cause, also, a district of
country low down on the Danube, _Servia_, which name it retains to this
day. This country belongs to Turkey, from whence they took the name
_serf_. This term has been borrowed from thence, by the Sclavonic
Russians, to signify a man in bondage. The whole number of their
descendants is now estimated at 100,000,000; and notwithstanding their
amalgamation has identified them with the nations with whom they were
thus intermingled, yet a thousand years have not ended their condition
of bondage in Russia, and 40,000,000 are accounted only as an
approximation to the number that still remain in servitude in the north
of Europe and Asia.

“The unquestionable evidence of language,” says the author of the
Decline and Fall, “attests the descent of the Bulgarians from the
original stock of the Sclavonian, or more properly Slavonian, race; and
the kindred bands of Servians, Bosnians, Rascians, Croatians,
Walachians, followed either the standard or example of the leading
tribes, from the Euxine to the Adriatic, in the state of captives, or
subjects, or allies, or enemies; in the Greek empire, they overspread
the land: and the national appellation of the SLAVES has been degraded
by chance or malice from the signification of _glory_ to that of
_servitude_. Chalcocondyles, a competent judge, affirms the identity of
the language of the Dalmatians, Bosnians, Servians, Bulgarians, Poles,
(_De Rebus Turcitis_, 1. x. p. 283,) and elsewhere of the Bohemians, (1.
ii. p. 38.) The same author has marked the separate idiom of the

See the work of John Christopher de Jordan, _De Originibus Sclavicis,
Vindobonæ_, 1745, in four parts. Jordan subscribes to the well-known and
probable derivation from _slava_, _laus_, _gloria_, a word of familiar
use in the different dialects and parts of speech, and which forms the
termination of the most illustrious names. _De Originibus Sclavicis_,
part i. p. 40, part iv. p. 101, 102.

This conversion of a national into an appellative name appears to have
arisen in the eighth century, in the oriental France, where the princes
and bishops were rich in Sclavonian captives, not of the Bohemian
(exclaims Jordan) but of Sorabian race. From thence the word was
extended to general use, to the modern languages, and even to the style
of the last Byzantines. (See the Greek and Latin Glossaries of Ducange;
also Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, vol. iv. p. 38.)

The Moors, with whom the early Christians in the south of Europe had so
many and frequent contentions, at this day differ from all the other
African races, in their physical and mental development;—in person,
black, with the straight hair of the Arab, whom they exceed in stature
and intellect.

The Arabs are admitted to be an amalgamation of the descendants of Shem,
of Canaan, and Misrain. Into the particulars of their admixture, it will
be as useless to inquire as it would be into the paternity of the goats
on their mountains.

The Moors, according to King Hiempsal’s History of Africa, as related by
Sallust, are descended from an admixture of Medes, Persians, and
Armenians with the Libyans and Gætulians, the original occupants of the
country. His statement is, that Hercules led a large army of the people
to conquer new and unknown countries; that after his death in Spain, it
became a heterogeneous mass, made up of a great number of nations, among
whom were many ambitious chiefs, each one aspiring to rule; that a
portion of this mass, mostly of Japhanese descent, passed over to Africa
and seized on the shores of the Mediterranean; that their ships, being
hauled ashore, were used for shelter; that the Persians among them
passed on to the interior, and mingled with the Gætulians, and in after
times were known as Numidians,—whereas those who remained upon the coast
intermarried with Libyans, and in course of time, by a corruption of
their language, Medi, in the barbarous dialect of Libya, became
_Mauri_—now Moor.

To the foregoing, digested from Hiempsal, as given by Sallust, we may
add:—To this amalgamation was also adjoined, from time to time, large
parties of adventurers from the Hebrews, Greeks, Romans, and from almost
every part of Europe, which were all absorbed by the native masses; and
between the years 850 and 860, large masses of the Scandinavian hordes
were also absorbed into this general amalgam of the races of man.

The instances of slavery, and the laws and customs of the church
regulating it, as presented in this study, with few exceptions, have
pointed to the case where the white races have been enslaved or have
enslaved one another; where no strongly marked physical impediment has
branded amalgamation with deterioration and moral disgust; nor is it
thought necessary to present an argument to prove that, under such a
state of facts, the condition of Europe at the present moment is in
strict conformity with the result produced by the unchangeable laws of
God touching the subject.

God always smiles upon the strong desire of moral and physical
improvement. Had Europe remained under deteriorating influences which
determined her moral and physical condition two thousand years ago, her
condition as to slavery could not have changed. Nor is it seen that she
is yet in so highly favoured a condition as to call upon her the
providence of God, charging her with the pupilage of the backslidden
nations of the earth.


                             LESSON XXIII.

It has been heretofore remarked that the great mass of the African
tribes are slaves in their own country,—that slavery there subjects them
to death at the will of the master, to sacrifice in the worship of their
gods, and to all the evils of cannibalism; and yet it has been seen that
even such slavery is a more protected state than would be a state of
freedom with their religion, and other moral and physical qualities.
History points not to the time when their present condition did not
exist, nor to the time when their removal, in a state of slavery, to the
pagan nations of Asia commenced. Upon the adoption of Mohammedanism
there, we find the black tribes of Africa succeeding to them in a state
of slavery; and we also find, and history will support the assertion,
that in some proportion as the slavery of these tribes was adopted by
Christian nations, it was diminished among the Mohammedans; and also,
that as the slave-trade with Africa was abolished by the Christians, it
was increased there; and also, that in the proportion it has been
extended among both or either of these creeds of religion abroad, it has
been invariably ameliorated at home. The causes of this state of facts
seem to have been these:—The African slave-owner found his bargain with
the Christian trader more profitable than with the Mohammedan. He
received more value, and in materials more desired by him: the labour of
the slave was of more value in America than Asia; and the transportation
to the place of destination was attended with less cruelty and hardship
by sea than by land. The slave of the African owner was increased in
value beyond any native use to which he could be applied, by reason of
both or either trade: hence the slave in his native land became of
greater interest and concern. The native owner ceased to kill for food
the slave whose exportation would produce him a much greater quantity.
His passions were curbed by the loss their indulgence occasioned. The
sacrifice was stayed by a less expensive, but, in his estimation, a more
valuable offering.

The object of our present inquiry is, whether the slavery of the African
tribes to the followers of Mohammed is at all recognised or alluded to
by the inspired writers. The fact exists, nor can it be contested,
although the condition of the African slave is far more degraded among
the Asiatics and Arabians than among the Christians, but that even there
it is far more elevated than in his native land. “Blessed be the Lord
God of Shem, and Canaan shall be his servant.” _Gen._ ix. 26. The
prophet Daniel was a captive the greater portion of his life, in the
very region of country, and among the ancestors of the Mohammedans of
the present day, and, of all the prophets, the most to have been
expected to have been endowed with prophetic gifts in relation to that
country and its future condition. It is proper also to remark that
although there is in many instances among the Mohammedans of the present
day a mixture of Japhanese descent, yet their main stock is well known
to be Shemitic. It should also be noticed that the Shemites have at all
times more frequently amalgamated with the descendants of Ham than those
of Japhet, consequently more liable to moral and physical deterioration;
and here, indeed, we find a reason why it was announced that Japhet
should possess the tents of Shem.

_Dan._ viii. 9: “And out of one of them came forth a little horn, which
waxed exceeding great towards the south, and towards the east, and
towards the pleasant land. 10. And it waxed great, even to the host of
heaven, and it cast down some of the host of the stars to the ground,
and stamped upon them. 11. Yea, he magnified himself even to the prince
of the host, and by him the daily sacrifice was taken away, and the
place of his sanctuary was cast down. 12. And an host was given him
against the daily sacrifice by reason of transgression, and it cast down
the truth to the ground, and it practised and prospered. 23. And in the
latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the
full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences,
shall stand up. 24. And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own
power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and
practise, and shall destroy the mighty and holy people. 25. And through
his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand, and he
shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he
shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be
broken without hand.”

_Dan._ xi. 40: “And at the time of the end shall the king of the south
push at him, and the king of the north shall come against him like a
whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships, and he
shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over. 41. He
shall enter also into the glorious land, and many countries shall be
overthrown; but these shall escape out of his hand, even Edom and Moab,
and the chief of the children of Ammon. 42. He shall stretch forth his
hand also upon the countries: and the land of Egypt shall not escape.
43. But he shall have power over the treasures of gold and of silver,
and over all the precious things of Egypt, and the Libyans and the
Ethiopians shall be at his steps.”

Of the language used by this prophet, it is proper to remark that there
are many variations from the more ancient Hebrew, both as to form of
expression and the particular words used, among which Arabicisms and
Aramacisms are quite common. Faber supposes that this remarkable vision
relates to the history of Mohammedanism: no previous theory has been
satisfactory to the Christian world, and it is now generally believed
that he has suggested a correct interpretation. We may therefore be
allowed to follow him in considering it as descriptive of the rise and
progress of that religion.

Mohammed was born at Mecca. His education was contracted, and his
younger days devoted to commercial and warlike pursuits. By his marriage
with the widow of an opulent merchant, he rose to distinction in his
native city. For several years he frequently retired into the cave of
Hera and cherished his enthusiastic sentiments, till, at the age of
forty, he stated that he had held communication with the angel Gabriel,
and was appointed a prophet and apostle of God. In 612, he publicly
announced to his relations and friends that he had ascended through
seven heavens to the very throne of Deity, under the guidance of
Gabriel, and had received the salutations of patriarchs, prophets, and
angels. This monstrous statement, however, did not succeed, except with
a very few; and on the death of his uncle Abn Taleb, who had been his
powerful protector, he was compelled, in 622, to seek security by flight
to Medina. This henceforth became the epoch of Mohammedan chronology;
his power was more consolidated, and his influence extended by a large
accession of deluded, but determined followers. He very soon professed
to have received instructions from the angel Gabriel to propagate his
religion by the sword; and power made him a persecutor. In seven years
he became the sovereign of Mecca, and this led to the subjugation of all
Arabia, which was followed by that of Syria. In less than a century from
the period of its rise in the barren wilds of Arabia, the Mohammedan
religion extended over the greater part of Asia and Africa, and
threatened to seat itself in the heart of Europe.

The unity of God was the leading article of Mohammed’s creed. When
addressing the Jews, he professed highly to honour Abraham, Moses, and
the prophets, and admitted, for the sake of conciliating Christians,
that Jesus was the Messiah of the Jews, and will be the judge of all.
This compromising policy is seen in the Koran.

Mohammedan morals enforce many principles of justice and benevolence,
and inculcate a degree of self-denial, but, at the same time, permit the
indulgence of some of the strongest passions of our nature. The
representations given of paradise are adapted to gratify the sensuality
of men,—and of hell, to awaken their fears of disobeying the Koran or
the prophet. “Eastern Christendom,” says Mr. Foster, “at once the parent
and the prey of hydra-headed heresy, demanded and deserved precisely the
inflictions which the rod of a conquering heresiarch could bestow. The
king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, well
expresses the character of Mohammed and his religion.” “Mohammed,” says
Gibbon, “with the sword in one hand, and the Koran in the other, erected
his throne on the ruins of Christianity and of Rome. The genius of the
Arabian prophet, the manners of his nation, and the spirit of his
religion involve the causes of the decline and fall of the Eastern
empire, and our eyes are curiously intent on one of the most memorable
revolutions which impressed a new and lasting character on the nations
of the globe.”

His first efforts were directed against the Jews, who refused to receive
Mohammed’s effusions as the revelations of heaven, and, in consequence,
suffered the loss of their possessions and lives.

“When Christian churches,” says Scott, “were converted into mosques, the
‘daily sacrifice’ might be said to be taken away,” (viii. 11, 12,) and
the numbers of nominal Christians who were thus led to apostatize, and
of real Christians and ministers who perished by the sword of this
warlike, persecuting power, fulfilled the prediction that he cast down
some of the host and of the stars to the ground, and stamped on them. It
is said that “a host was given him against the daily sacrifice,” (or
worship of the Christian church, corresponding with the Jewish
sanctuary,) “by reason of transgression.” A rival priesthood subverted
the priesthood of a degenerate church. The imams of Mohammed assumed the
place of the apostate teachers of Christianity. The event here predicted
was to occur in the latter part of the Grecian empire, (ver. 23,) “when
the transgressors are come to the full.”

History relates that the remains of the Eastern empire and the power of
the Greek church were overthrown by Mohammedans. Their chief endeavoured
to diffuse his doctrine, but found that it could not prevail by “its own
power,” or the inherent moral strength of the system: it was requisite
to support his pretensions by “craft” and “policy.” Mohammed sanctioned
as much of the inspired Scriptures as he thought might tend to obviate
the prejudices of the Jews, and incorporated as much of his own system
with the errors of the Eastern church as might tend to conciliate Greek

“Although Mohammedism did not first spring up in the Macedonian empire,
yet it now spread from Arabia to Syria, and occupied locally, as well as
authoritatively, the ancient dominion of the he-goat.” (_Scott._) It has
been remarked, however, by Mr. Foster, (Mohammedism Unveiled,) that the
part of Arabia which included the native country of Mohammed, composed
an integral province both of the empire of Alexander and of the
Ptolemean kingdom of Egypt. Ptolemy had Egypt, Syria, Arabia,
Cælo-syria, and Palestine. The sovereignties of Egypt and Syria, before
called the king of the south and the king of the north, disappeared when
they were absorbed in the Roman empire, and the new power, or the
Saracen and Turkish empires, that succeeded, are now brought to view.
But let it be observed, that the Saracens became masters of Egypt, the
original territory of the king of the south, and the Turks possessed
Syria, or the kingdom of the north, and still retain it. “The king of
the south shall push at him.” The power of Rome was overthrown in the
east by the Saracens. This was the first wo of the revelation, which was
to pass away after three hundred years. The Turks then came, a whirlwind
of northern barbarians, and achieved a lasting conquest, in a day, of
the Asiatic provinces of the Roman empire. The line of march was along
the north of Palestine, and the Turkish monarch entered only to pass
through and overflow: “he entered into the glorious land;” for, as
Gibbon has stated it, the most interesting conquest of the Seljukian
Turks was that of Jerusalem, which soon became the theatre of nations.
“But Edom and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon escaped out
of his hand.” Even when all the regions round owned the Turkish sway,
these retained their detached and separate character, and even received
tribute from the pilgrims as they passed to the shrines of Mecca and
Medina. Thus they have escaped and maintained their independence of the
Porte. A race of monarchs arose to stretch out their hand upon the
countries. Othman, Amurath, Bajazet, and Mohammed conquered nation after
nation, and finally fixed the seat of their empire at Constantinople.
The land of Egypt “did not escape;” it was indeed the last to yield;
but, though its forces had vanquished both Christians and Turks, it was
at length subdued by Selim I. in 1517, and came into possession of the
Ottomans. (_Cox, on Daniel._) And it may be here remarked, as a fact of
well-known history, that the countries known as Libya and Ethiopia have,
at all ages of the world, supplied this country with slaves, whoever may
have borne rule, and still continue to do the same. Thousands from the
interior of Africa are yearly transplanted from the slavery of their
native land into those countries now under Mohammedan rule. And it may
be well here for the Christian philanthropist to notice, that so far as
the slave-trade with Africa has ceased with Christian nations, to the
same extent it has substantially increased with Mohammedan countries.

“And the Libyans and the Ethiopians shall be at his steps,”—a form of
speech as clearly indicating the condition of slavery as though ever so
broadly asserted. The Hebrew word here translated “at his steps,”
בְּמִצְעָדָיו _in his footsteps_, &c., i. e. attached or subjected to
his interests as slaves, is cognate with the Arabic word مِصعادٌ
_metsuad_, and means the chains by which the feet of captive slaves are
bound, and in Hebrew form this word is used in _Isa._ iii. 20, צְעָדוֹת֙
_tseadoth_. The whole passage is strictly an Arabicism, and is to be
construed, with reference to that language, _chain for the legs_. Of
this passage, Adam Clark says, “_Unconquered Arabs_ all sought their
friendship, and many of them are tributary to the present time.” Some
commentators seem to understand this passage to mean only that Libyans
and Ethiopians would be in courteous attendance, &c. If so, the Hebrew
would have read, as in _Judg._ iv. 10, רֶגּל _regel_. “And he went up
with ten thousand men _at his feet_.” This passage, foretelling the
slavery of the Ethiopians to the Mohammedans, may well be compared with
_Isa._ xlv. 14, announcing the slavery of the same people to those of
the true religion. “Thus saith the Lord, the labour of Egypt and the
merchandise of Ethiopia and of the Sabeans, men of stature, shall come
over unto thee, and they shall be thine; they shall come after thee, in
chains they shall come over, and they shall fall down unto thee; they
shall make supplication unto thee, saying, Surely God is in thee, and
there is none else, there is no God” _beside_.


                              LESSON XXIV.

In reflection upon the leading ideas that present themselves in the
review of the subjects of this study, we may notice that slavery has
been introduced to the world as a mercy in favour of life. That, in its
operation, its general tendency is to place the weak, deteriorated, and
degraded under the control and government of a wisdom superior to their
own; from whence the intellectual, moral, and physical improvement of
the enslaved, to some extent, is a consequence as certain as that cause
produces its effect.

The world never has, nor will it ever witness a case where the moral,
intellectual, and physical superior has been in slavery, as a fixed
state, to an inferior race or grade of human life. The law giving
superior rule and government to the moral, intellectual, and physical
superior is as unchangeable as the law of gravitation. No seeming
exception can be imagined which does not lend proof of the existence of
such law. The human intellect can make no distinction between the
establisher of such law and the author and establisher of all other laws
which we perceive to be established and in operation, and which we
attribute to God. No one has ever yet denied that obedience to the laws
of God effects and produces mental and physical benefits to the
obedient, or that their disregard and contempt are necessarily followed
by a deterioration of the condition of the disobedient; nor can any one
deny that the neglect of obedience to the laws of God, which, in its
product, yields to the disobedient mental and physical deterioration, or
any one of them, is sin,—and in proportion to its magnitude, so will be
its consequent degradation. To be degraded is sin, because the law is
improve. No one will pretend that the relation of master and slave is
not often attended with sin on the part of the master, on the account of
his disobedience to the law of God in his government of his slave; or on
the part of the slave, on the account of his disobedience to the same
law in his conduct towards his master. Therefore, such master is not as
much benefited, not the slave as much improved by the relation, as would
otherwise be the case. It is therefore incumbent on the master to search
out and exclude all such abuses from the intercourse and reciprocal
duties between him and his slave. Placed upon him is the responsible
charge of governing both himself and his slave. The responsibility of
the master in this respect is of the same order as that of a guardian
and that of a parent.

The want of a less affectionate regard in the master towards the slave
is supplied and secured to the safety of the slave by the increased
watchfulness of the master over the slave from the consideration that
the slave is his property. For where affection cannot be supposed
sufficiently strong to stimulate a calm and wise action, interest steps
in to produce the effect.

That every mind will see and comprehend these truths, where prejudice
and education are in contradiction, is not to be expected. The
influences of a false philosophy on the mind, like stains of crime on
the character, are often of difficult removal. Some forbearance towards
those who honestly entertain opposing ideas on this subject, can never
disgrace the Christian character,—and we think it particularly the duty
of the men of the South, towards the men, women, and children of the
Northern States, especially of the unlearned classes. For even among
ourselves of the South, we sometimes hear the announcement of doctrines
that declare all the most rabid fanatic at the North need claim, on the
subject of immediate abolition. We refer to and quote from Walker’s
Reports of Cases adjudged in the Supreme Court of Mississippi, at the
June term, 1818, page 42: “Slavery is condemned by reason and the laws
of nature.” This false and suicidal assertion, most unnecessarily and
irrelevantly introduced, still stands on the records of the Supreme
Court of that State, and is an epitaph of the incapacity and stupidity
of him who wrote it and engraved it on this monument of Southern
heedlessness. We were at first surprised at the silence of the reporter,
but, at that day, any criticism by that officer would have been
contempt. Yet we may infer that the ingenious and talented gentleman
contrived to express his most expunging reprobation, by wholly omitting
all allusion to the point in his syllabus of the case.

If in the course of these Studies we shall not have shown that slavery
as it exists in the world is commanded by “reason” and the laws of
“nature,” we shall have laboured in vain; and even now an array of
battle is formed, and our enemy has chosen human “reason” for the “bolt
of Jove,” as wrought from strands of Northern colds, Southern heats, and
Eastern winds; in their centre, bound by cloudy fears and avenging
fires; for their ægis, “_the laws of nature_” supply Minerva’s shield,
upon which fanaticism has already inscribed its government over thirty
States, far exceeding in purity, they think, that of the God of Israel.
And we have come up to the war!—armed neither with the rod of Hermes nor
the arrows of Latona’s son; but with a word from him of Bethlehem:
“Sanctify them through thy truth; thy word is truth.”


                                Study V.


                               LESSON I.

The inquirer after truth has two sources by which he can arrive at some
knowledge of the will of God:—1st. By faith and revelation; 2d. By the
observance of the facts uniformly developed in the material and moral
world. The accuracy of his knowledge will be coincident with the
accuracy of the mental perceptions and the extent of the research of the

In the Bible he will find the declarations of God himself: some of them
are express, and some of them implied.

In the second place, he may discover the will of God from the
arrangement of his works as manifested in the visible world. Some call
this the light of nature; others the laws of nature. But what do they
mean other than the light and laws of God? Are not the laws of
gravitation as much the laws of God as they would be if set down in the
decalogue, although not as important to man in his primary lessons of
moral duty?

Let us view the forest as planted by the hand of God: we see some trees
made to push their tall boughs far above the rest; while others, of
inferior stem and height, seem to require the partial shade and
protection of their more lofty neighbours; others, of still inferior and
dwarfish growth, receive and require the full and fostering influence of
the whole grove, that their existence may be protected and their organs
fully developed for use.

Let us view the tribes of ocean, earth, and air: we behold a regular
gradation of power and rule, from man down to the atom.

           Whether with reason or with instinct blest,
           All enjoy that power that suits them best:
           Order is Heaven’s first law; and this confess’d,
           Some are, and must be, greater than the rest—
           More rich, more wise; but who infers from hence
           That such are happier, shocks all common sense.
           Heaven to mankind impartial we confess,
           If all are equal in their happiness;
           But mutual wants this happiness increase.
           All nature’s difference, keeps all nature’s peace:
           Condition, circumstance, is not the thing;
           Bliss is the same, in subject, or in king!
                                              POPE’S _Essay_.


                               LESSON II.

They who study even only such portion of the works of God as can,
seemingly, to some extent be examined by the human mind, never fail to
discover a singular affinity between all things, the creation of his
hand. This, to us, would be proof, independent of inspiration, that one
Creator made the whole world and all things therein.

So great is the affinity between the vegetable and animal kingdoms, that
it is to this day a doubt where the one terminates or where the other
begins. Naturalists all agree that they both spring from “slightly
developed forms, perhaps varied, yet closely connected;” true, “starting
away in different directions of life,” but ever preserving, it may be an
obscure, yet a strict analogy to each other.

These analogies are sufficiently obvious to prove that one power, one
and the same general law, has brought them both into existence. Thus the
devout worshipper of God may, in some sense, view the vegetable
inhabitants of the earth as his brethren.

The animal kingdom may be considered as divisible into five groups. The
vertebreta, annulosa, (the articulata of Cuvier,) the radiata, the
acrita, (in part the radiata of Cuvier,) and the molusca.

Each one of these groups will be found divisible into five classes. Let
us take, for example, the vertebreta, and it is readily divided into the
mammalia, reptilia, pisces, amphibia, and aves.

So each one of these classes is divisible into five orders. Let us take,
for example, the mammalia; and it is readily divided into the
cheirotheria, (animals with more or less perfect hands,) feræ, cetacea,
glires, and ungulata.

So each one of these orders is divisible into five genera. Let us take,
for example, the cheirotheria, and it is readily divided into the bimana
or homo, the quadrumana or simiadæ, the natatorials or vespertilionidæ,
the suctorials or lemuridæ, the rasorials or cebidæ.

So each one of these genera is divided in five species. Let us take, for
example, the bimana or homo, and it is readily divided into the
Caucasian or Indo-European, the Mongolian, the Malayan, the Indian or
aboriginal American, and the Negro or African.

Thus we behold man in his relation to the animal world: true, far in
advance as to his physical and mental development; yet the natural
philosopher finds traces of all his mental powers among the inferior
animals, as does the comparative anatomist those of his physical

Does he feel degraded by the fact that God has been pleased to order
this relation of brotherhood with the lower orders of creation? Or will
he for ever suffer his pride to hedge up the way of progress by the
impassable darkness of his own ignorance.

The uniformity of these penta-legal ramifications, which reach down from
man through all the orders and groups of the animal world, gives
evidence of a preconceived design—of an arrangement by Almighty power—of
a God whose thought is law!—while the analogy of animal formation, the
traces of affinity in the mental qualities found in all, in proportion
as those qualities are more or less developed, and the apparent
adaptation of each one to the condition in which it is found,
demonstrate the unity of the law which governs their physical being.

These analogies, found to exist between all the individuals of the
animal world, and particularly striking and more and more obvious as we
proceed from a particular group to its genera and species, have led some
philosophers to suppose that the more perfectly developed species have
been progressively produced by some instance of an improved development,
as an offshoot from the genera, and so on back to its original form of
animal life, in obedience to the laws of the great First Cause. But we
wish to disturb no man’s philosophy. We deem it of little importance to
us what method God pursued in the creation of our species; whether we
were spoken instantly into life, as was the light, or whether ages were
spent in reproducing improved developments from the earlier forms of
animal life.

In either case we see nothing contradictory to the inspired writings of
Moses. Man is as much the creation of God through one means as another.
The wisdom and power required are the same; for his existence alone
demonstrates him to be the work of a God. The fact of the existence of
these analogies is alone what we propose to notice. And we offer them
merely as indications of a course of study that may lead to some
important results in elucidation of the mental and physical relations
between the different varieties of man.

In further illustration, let us for a moment look at the bovine species,
from the genus ruminantia, from the order ungulata, and we find the ox,
the bison, the buffalo, the elk, and the goat.

Like the five species of homo, we find the bovine species divided into a
great number of families or varieties, of which we need take no further
notice. Does any one fail to perceive the analogy between these species
of the bos? Are they more obscure, more aberrant than are the relations
between the species of man? Examine the high physical development of the
most intellectual Caucasian; trace down the line to the diminutive and
ill-formed cannibal savage of Africa, the habits and mental development
of whom would seem rather allied to the lower orders of animals than to
the Caucasian! How will it comport with the general laws manifested by
the condition of the animal world and of the obvious inferiority and
influence of one over another, in proportion to their apparent
superiority in physical and mental development, to place the lowest
grade of the African in equal power or in control of the Caucasian
brother? Is there any manifestation of the Creator of an arrangement
like this, even through the eternity of his own work?

On the contrary, through the whole animal race, we find power and
control lodged everywhere in proportion as we find an advance towards
perfection in the development bestowed.

In conformity to this law, God gave Adam “dominion” over every living
thing that moved upon earth.

It is known to most men, that, under certain circumstances, the race of
any animal will improve: so also, under adverse, they degenerate. We see
these facts daily in the breeds of domestic animals. We see these
changes even in the families of all the species of man. Nor is it a
matter of the least importance to our inquiry, whether these species of
the race have been produced by an upward movement from the lowest, or a
downward degenerating movement from the most elevated. It is sufficient
that they exist from some cause; for an individual having been, say an
equal, but now degenerate, falls under the influence and control of his
superior. And in conformity to this law, it was announced to Eve, the
helpmate of Adam, that “he shall rule over thee.”

But if these particles of inspiration had never been proclaimed, man
would have discovered this law from its constant operation, not only on
the family of man, but on every branch of the animal world.

We can spend but little time with such infidel principles as lead some
men to say, “Down with your Bible that teaches slavery.” “If the
religion of Jesus Christ allows slavery, the New Testament is the
greatest curse that could be inflicted on man.” “Down with your God who
upholds slavery; he shall be no God of mine.” “Jesus Christ was himself
a negro!” Our hearts bleed when we see such evidence of a destroyed
intellect. The maniac in his ravings excites our extreme sorrow. We feel
no harshness. He has sunk far below resentment. Can we administer to
such mental deformity any relief? Will it be absurd to ask him to deduce
from nature, as it is found to operate, that the various grades of
subjection spread through the animal world exist in conformity to the
natural law?

But, says the querist, “Your remarks have a tendency towards the
conclusion,—upon the supposition that Adam was created with a perfect,
or rather with a very high order of physical organization and mental
development,—that the facts of the greater or less degeneration of the
people of the world, since his fall, now exhibited by the different
species of man upon the earth, had their origin in his transgression.
Now, by parity of argument, we may conclude, if such high physical
elevation was the original condition of Adam, that each genus of the
brute creation also was originally created on a proportional scale. If
so, their degeneration is quite as visible as that of man. Yet we have
no account that they committed sin and ‘fell.’”

We do not say that such was the original condition of the first man. We
say, the creation of the animal world was upon principles compatible
with progressive improvement; and that as far as these principles are
not obeyed, but changed or reversed by the practice of the animal world,
that the effect is to remain stationary, or to retrograde and

It is a matter of no importance to our argument what was the first
condition of Adam. But allow it to be as querist has stated: We answer,
the Bible was given to man for his moral government; not to teach him
geology, chemistry, or other sciences. Such matters were left for him to
attain by progressive improvement. A minute history of the brute
creation, or any portion of it, from the earliest dawn of animal life up
to the time of revelation, other than the announcement of their creation
and subjection to him, was irrelevant. But man was the very head and
governor of the whole animal race. Now, who is to say that the
degeneration of the ruler will not produce a change of conduct in the
ruled? Who is to say that the poisoned moral feeling of him in command,
breaking forth in acts of violence on all around, will not produce a
corresponding effect on the animate objects under him? Witness the
effect, we need not say on children, but on domestic animals, of the
rash, cruel, and crazy treatment of a wicked and inconsistent man?

The idea that the brute creation were injured in condition by the fall
of man is put forth by St. Paul, in _Rom._ viii. 9–22, where the word
“creature” is translated from the Greek term that implies the whole
animal or the whole created world. But no answer to querist is
necessary. The fact is sufficient that animals, under habits ill-adapted
to their organization, do degenerate.


                              LESSON III.

However insensible individuals themselves may be of the fact, some men,
and those of quite different character, find it unpleasant to submit
themselves to the great Author of animal life. For they, in substance,
make a continual inquiry, How is it to be reconciled that a Being so
perfectly good should have admitted into the midst of his works, as a
constant attendant of all his sentient creations, so large an admixture
of what we call evil?

We might continue the inquiry by adding, Why, in a mere drop of water,
do we find the animalculæ manifesting all the agonies and repeating the
outrages upon one another strikingly visible among the larger animal
developments of the great ocean and of the land? Why such an admixture
of pain and misery among men? Why the male of all animals making
destructive war on their kind? Why exterminating wars among men? And why
the numberless, nameless evils everywhere spread through the world?

And do we forget that the great Creator of animal life brought forth his
works and sustains each thing by the unchangeable exercise of his laws?
Laws which are found to have a direct tendency to progressive
improvement? Will rational beings expect God to change their actions to
suit their disregard of them? Will fire cease to burn because we may
choose to thrust in the hand? And what if, even in all this, we shall
discover his wisdom and goodness by making what we may call punishment
for the breach of the law, a pulling back from deeper misery, a powerful
stimulus for a change of direction from a downward to an upward movement
in the path of progressive improvement? Do we find no satisfaction in
this view of the constitution of nature, of the wisdom of God?

These men seem desirous that the works of God should have been on a
different footing, or that every thing should have been at once perfect
to the extent of his power. Would they then desire to be his equal too?
But, at least as to man, the mind incapable of error, the body of
suffering! It is possible that under such a dispensation, our mental
enjoyments would have been on a par with a mathematical axiom, and our
bodies have about as much sympathy for the things around them as has a
lump of gold. And how do they know that the rocks, minerals, and trees,
yea, the starry inhabitants of the firmament, are not the exact
manifestations of what would have been creations of that order? We will
not stop here to inquire how far the complaints of these men operate to
their own mental and physical injury.

It is a great popular error to suppose all of our own species to be born
equals. It involves the proposition that each one also possesses the
same faculties and powers, and to the same extent. Even every
well-informed nursery-maid is furnished with a good refutation. The
grades of physical development are proofs of grades of mind.

Through the whole animal world, as with man, mental action takes place,
providing for the sustenance and security of life; and the amount of
mental power each one possesses is ever in proportion to the development
of the nervous system and animal structure. Upon this earth, the highest
grade of such development is found among the Caucasian species of man.
Physiologists assert that the African exhibits, in maturity, the
imperfect brain &c. of a Caucasian fœtus some considerable time before
its birth: so the Malay and Indian, the same at a period nearer birth;
while the Mongolian, that of the infant lately born. See _Lloyd’s
Popular Physiology_. The _beard_, among men the attribute of a full
maturity, largest in the Caucasian, is scarcely found among the lower
grades of the African.

Colour is also found darkest where the development is the least perfect,
and the most distant from the Caucasian; and hence a philosopher of
great learning makes the question pertinent, “May not colour then depend
on development also? Development being arrested at so immature a stage
in the case of the negro, the skin may take on the colour as an
unavoidable consequence of its imperfect organization.” The different
species and all the varieties of man are nothing but a short history of
their different grades of organization and development. One fraction, by
a long and more or less strict observance of the laws of nature,
becomes, after many generations, quite improved in its organization.
From an opposite course, another fraction has degenerated and sunk into
degradation. It is now a well-known fact that Caucasian parents too
nearly related exhibit offspring of the Mongolian type. So, a particular
tribe of Arabs, now on the banks of the Jordan, from an _in-and-in_
propagation have become scarcely to be distinguished from Negroes. This
is only an instance, but is important when we notice the deteriorating
influence such intercourse has among domestic animals. In short, every
breach of the laws tending to the path of progressive improvement must
have a deteriorating effect on the offspring. There was truth in the
ancient adage, “The fathers have eaten sour grapes and the children’s
teeth are set on edge.”

Every private habit and circumstance in life that enervates or deranges
the physical system, or disturbs the balance of the mind, stamps its
impress on the descendant. The moral and physical condition of the
progeny, with slight exceptions the result of an elevating and upward
movement, or a downward and deteriorating one, (as the case may be,) is
the necessary result of the moral and physical condition of the
parentage: and this influence is doubtless felt back for many

But does God make man wicked? does he predestine to evil? These queries
may seem pertinent to some, because we are in the habit of considering
each individual by itself; whereas each individual is only a link in the
chain of phenomena, which owe their existence to laws productive of
good, and even of progressive improvement, but of necessity, in their
breach, admit these evils, because such breach is sin. Our moral
faculties are permitted to range in a wide field; but evil is the result
of a disruption of the rules of action. It is the flaming sword elevated
to guard our good, showing us the awful truth, the mere bad habit in the
parent may become a constitutional inherent quality in the off spring.

We do not suppose these influences always very perceptibly immediate.
Many generations are doubtless often required in the full development of
an upward movement to a higher order of moral perception; and so in the
opposite. Yet we cannot forbear to notice how often the immediate
descendant is quite apt to prove its parentage.

Will the theologian object—“You contradict the Scripture. You make five
species of man. Whereas they are all the descendants of Noah.” Have we
not shown ample ground and time for their formation from his stock?
Besides, we expect hereafter to prove by Scripture that Ham took a wife
from the degenerate race of Cain; which, if so, would alone place his
descendants in the attitude of inferiority and subjection.

No! but we advertise the theologian that we shall take the Scripture for
our platform. We believe it, and hope to even hold him close to it.

But we now ask for the reflection of all, does not the degenerate man,
degraded in constitution below the possibility of his emerging from the
depth to which he has sunk, by any self-renovating power, still
lingering about his reduced condition, require the aid of one of
superior nature, of superior organization and mental development, to act
as his adviser, protector, and master? Would not such a provision be a
merciful one?

And may we not also inquire, whether the superior endowments here
required do not also require to be exercised in bearing rule over the
wayward energies of those more degenerate, as a necessary element in the
school to a higher advance? And shall we not perceive that such a
relation must produce a vast amount of improvement and happiness to

Children and inferior persons often show themselves, upon the slightest
temptation, false and cruel,—often the inheritance of parental
imperfection. Absolute command, sustained by physical force, has alone
been found sufficient to eradicate these old, and to found new habits of
truthfulness and humanity.

True, the Scripture asserts that all men are equal in the sight of God,
just as a father feels an equal parental regard for all his children.
The philosophic mind cannot well conceive otherwise than that God feels
an equal regard for all parts of his creation; for “The glory of the
Lord shall endure for ever: the Lord shall rejoice in his work.” But
this view reaches not the physical fact; for the father hesitates not to
place a guardian over his wayward child, or disinherit the utterly
worthless. So God “turneth man to destruction; and sayeth, Return, ye
children of men.” And how gladly would the parent provide the fatted
calf for the worthless son upon his return to honour and virtue! So
there is more joy in heaven over the return of one sinner than over
ninety-nine who have not gone astray.

The mercy of God shines upon the world in floods of celestial light; for
Christianity, in its passports to heaven, judges all men by their own
acts. Therefore, the most degraded nature, upon a sight of its
deformity, may feel an unchangeable regret, and inherit its portion.

Here Christianity itself points the way to progressive improvement, and
commands children to obey their parents, wives their husbands, and
servants their masters.

The grace of God is as openly manifested in the welfare of the child or
slave, when produced through the interposition of the parent or master,
as if the interposition had been more immediate.


                               LESSON IV.

Intellect is not found to exist only in connection with a corresponding
physical organization. In the family of man, if that which may appear a
good organization is accompanied by an inferior intellect, we may
suspect our nice accuracy of discernment, rather than a discrepancy in
the operation of the general law; so also where we may seem to perceive
a good intellect, but which produces inferior or unworthy results. We do
not always notice the small steps of degeneration. Often the first
notice we take is of the fact of a changed condition, as proved by the
results: “By their fruits ye shall know them.”

The idea that intellect and mental development can be independent of
physical organization is an absurdity. A suppressed or incomplete
organization must arrest a further enlargement of the mental faculties.
These faculties may be improved, brought into action, or even their
action to some extent suppressed, by government and culture. Such indeed
are the guides to progressive improvement. EXPLANATION:—_Man has no
organization by which he could build a honey-comb like a bee._ Will any
culture applied to him teach him? _Man has no organization by which he
can closely examine spiritual existences_: his ideas about them are
therefore variant and confused. Who will arrange their study into a
science? _Man has no organization by which he can fully comprehend God._
Will he ever do so in his present state?

Are, then, the actions of the child, and of those persons whose mental
development has been arrested at a very early stage, (as has been
supposed the case with the lower orders of animals, and of those animals
themselves,) the result of some faculty or mental power different from
mind? The result of instinct? And what is instinct but mind in the early
dawn of its development? Are not such actions as the chick breaking its
shell, the young-born infant receiving its natural food, the necessary
consequents of the state of their infantile organization, which the
earliest development of mind could prompt and enable them to put forth;
and will it be deemed beyond the reach of reason, to prove that with the
difference of maturity in organization and development, the same general
connection of mind and organization is found, through the entire of life
as well as infancy?

Philosophers have, with indefatigable labour, endeavoured to enlighten
the world on the subject of instinct. Can we be pardoned if we suggest
that their theories on this subject signally prove they were but men?
Des Cartes says—“Brutes are machines without sensation or ideas; that
their actions are the result of external force, as the sound of an organ
is the result of the air being forced through the pipes.” This is his
“instinct.” If this be true, then it follows that every action in the
material world is instinct. Then the thunder utters its voice, the earth
quakes, and the telegraph works by “instinct.” Yet, his theory has found
an advocate in that very classical Latin poem, “Anti Lucretius,” by
Cardinal Polignac.

Dr. Reid sustains the mechanical nature of brutes, but classifies their
actions into those of habit and those of instinct.

Dr. Darwin says that instinct is mental, and that the actions of brutes
result from faculties, the same in nature as those of man, but extremely
limited. Smellie takes the same view. Yet Darwin asserts that instinct
is the reason; and Smellie, that reason is the result of instinct.
Cudworth says that instinct is an intermediate power, taking rank
between mind and matter, yet often vibrating from one to the other.
Buffon contends that brutes possess an _intellectual principle_, by
which they distinguish between pleasure and pain, and desire the one and
repel the other. This is his _instinct_.

Reimar divides _instinct_ into three classes: _mechanical_, such as the
pulsation of the heart; _representative_, such as result from an
imperfect kind of memory, and, so far as it is memory, in common with
mankind; and _spontaneous_, the same as Buffon’s. Cuvier says that
instinct consists of ideas that do not result from _sensation_, but flow
directly from the brain! Dupont says that there is no such distinct
faculty as instinct. His views are analogous to Darwin and Smellie.

Pope, Stahl, and others say, “It is the divinity that stirs within us.”

              “And reason raise o’er instinct as you can,
              In this ’tis God directs, in that ’tis man.”

Cullen, Hoffman, and others say that _instinct_ is the “vis medicatrix
naturæ.” Dr. John Mason Good says that “_instinct is the law of the
living principle_,” that “_instinctive actions are the actions of the
living principle_.” If so, instinct is as applicable to vegetables as to

Dr. Hancock, in his work on the Physical and Moral Relations of
Instinct, has evidently enlarged on the doctrine of Pope and Stahl. He
says instinct is the “_impulse_,” “_the inspiration of the Holy
Spirit_;” and, in his own words, “_which we can only regard as an
emanation of Divine wisdom_.”

He asserts that the lower we descend in the scale of animal organization
and mental development, the more active and all-pervading over the
conduct of the animal is instinct! But, nevertheless, holds that
“_instinct_ is in such animals an _unconscious intelligence_.” We much
admire why he did not think proper to cast off from the ancients the
charge of a _puerile idolatry_, on the account of their worship of
_bulls_, _calves_, _alligators_, _snakes_, _beetles_, and _bugs_, for
they must have entertained a somewhat similar notion. But the doctor
goes further, and says, that as the lower grades of the animal world
have this _quality_, in which “the Divine energy seems to act with most
unimpeded power,” so the holiest of men has it also, but consciously and
willingly, and it then becomes his ruling principle, “Divine counsellor,
his never-failing help, a light to his feet, and a lantern to his path.”
(Page 513.) It is quite evident that the doctor’s instinct is the same
with the “unerring conscience,” “the innate principle of light,” “the
moral sense,” “the spiritual power,” “the Divine reason,” “the internal
teaching,” “the perfect light of nature,” and “the Divine afflatus” of
the theologico-abolition speakers and writers of the present day, which,
they say, is the gift of God to every man. This strange error of some of
these writers we have already had occasion to notice. But it is to be
regretted, for the good credit of _religious profession_, that they did
not acknowledge from whom they borrowed the idea; or, will they at this
late day, excuse themselves, and frankly acknowledge they took it, not
from Dr. Hancock, or any other modern, but as a deduction from the
practices of ancient idolatry?

Since we have ventured an opinion on the subject of instinct, we trust
forgiveness for the introduction of that of others.

Our desire is to present such considerations as lead to the conclusion
that men are born into the world with different physical and mental
aptitudes: in short, that their corporeal and intellectual organizations
are not of equal power; or, if some prefer the term, that their
_instincts_ are not of equal extent and activity.

For substantially, upon a contrary hypothesis, are founded all those
beautiful arguments in favour of the entire equality of man. Some whole
systems of political justice are founded upon the proposition that there
is no innate principle; and one class of philosophers argue that, as
there is no innate principle, therefore all men are ushered into the
world under the circumstance of perfect equality; consequently, all the
inequality afterwards found is the result of usurpation and injustice.

Do they forget that organization itself is innate, and that different
organizations must direct the way through different paths? But these
philosophers still persist that there is no such disparity among the
human race whereby the inferiority of one man shall necessarily place
him in subjection to another. This doctrine is perhaps confuted by
practice better than by argument. Counsellor Quibble saw his client
Stultus in the stocks, on which he cries out, “It is contrary to law.
The court has no such power. They cannot do it.” Nevertheless, Stultus
is still in the stocks! But what would it avail, even if all men were
born equals? Could they all stand in the same footsteps, do the same
things, think the same thoughts, and be resolved into a unit? Who does
not perceive the contrary?—but that from their birth they must stand in
different footsteps, walk in different paths, think different things,
and, in the journey of life, arrive at different degrees of wealth,
honour, knowledge, and power?

Men organized into some form of government cannot be equal; because the
very thing, government, proves the contrary: among perfect equals,
government is an impossibility. If laws were prescribed, they could
never be executed until some of these equals shall have greater power
than those who infringe them. Man is never found so holy as to punish
himself for his own impulses. Thus the idea of government among equals
is a silly fiction.

Men without government cannot be equal, because the _strong_ will have
power over the _weak_.

The inequality of men is the progenitor of all civil compact. One man is
strong, another weak; one wise, another foolish: one virtuous, another
vicious: each one yielding himself to a place in the compact, all
acquire additional protection, especially so long as all shall adhere to
the terms of the compact. But the compact itself is the result of the
proposition that the majority shall have more power than the minority,
because they are supposed to have more animal force, and that they hold
the evidence of a more lofty mental development. Here has sprung forth
the doctrine that _the good of the greater part is the good of the
whole_: hence, under this system, an opposing fraction is often
sacrificed to the ruling power. We must here remark that this doctrine
was changed at an early day into, “The good of the ruling power is the
good of the whole.”

Although not a part of our study, we may turn aside here to remark that,
from this _monad_ in the composition of the doctrines of government, did
emanate the idea of all those strange sacrifices that now deform the
pages of ancient idolatry. In its aid the idol divinity vouched its
influence, and the daughter of Ham yielded her new-born to the flaming
embraces of her god. Even now the ancient sources of the Ganges still
pour down their holy waters, are still drinking in an excessive
population from the arms of the Hindoo mother. Nor is this idea only an
ancient thought; it is not half a century since it was broached in one
of the European parliaments to so hedge around the institution of
marriage with thorny impediments, that none excessively poor could
legally propagate. But to our minds these things strangely show forth
the facts that prove “men are not equal.”

But even the lowest grades yield their obedience, and are protected from
greater evils. Even though they may have been so low as to have not been
able to take any part in the formation of the compact, yet they are as
certainly benefited as the most elevated.

Such has been the condition of the race through all time, while
falsehood has often mingled in her ingredients, adding misery to the
degradation of man;—for it is truly observable that falsehood has for
ever led to deeper degradation, to an increased departure from the laws
of civil rule. So far as human intellect has threaded its way along the
path of truth and through the mazes of human depravity, so far has man
improved his condition by increasing his knowledge and power,—while a
reversed condition has ever attended a retrograde movement. May not the
conclusion then be had, such is the ordinance of God! But equality among
men is a chimera, not possible to be reduced to practice, nor desirable
if it could be. They never were so, nor was it intended they ever should
be. Cain and Abel were not equal: God told Cain that if he behaved well,
he should have rule over Abel; but if he did not, he should suffer the
consequences of sin. “Who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the
thing formed say unto him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?
Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one
vessel to honour and another to dishonour?” _Rom._ ix. 20, 21. “Who hath
made thee to differ one from another?” 1 _Cor._ iv. 7. “And the Lord
said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb; and two manner of people
shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger
than the other people, and the older shall _serve_ (יַֽעֲבֹ֥ד _ya avod_,
_be a slave to_) the younger.” _Gen._ xxv. 23. See also _Rom._ ix. 12.
Can the inequality of man be more strongly inculcated? And St. Paul
seems to suggest that such inequality will exist hereafter. “There is
one glory of the sun, another glory of the moon, and another glory of
the stars; for as one star differeth from another star in glory, so also
is the resurrection of the dead.” 1 _Cor._ xv. 41, 42.

The idea that the souls of men are unequal in a future state of
existence seems to be consonant with the faith of most of the Christian
churches. “And his lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful
servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee
ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. For unto
every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance; but
from him that hath not, shall be taken away even that he hath; and cast
ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping
and gnashing of teeth.” _Matt._ xxv. 21, 29, 30.

Some politicians say, government is founded on opinion. Be it so; yet
opinion is predicated upon the very incidents of men’s conduct, which,
when analyzed, are found to prove their inequality. So also, when, by
the aid of the compact formed, one individual holds a part of the
community in subjection, such extended rule is dependent on the same
principles as the elementary case. The truth is, human society never
recedes far from elementary influences, notwithstanding all the
artificials in government that ever have or ever can be brought into
use. The conditions to govern and to be in subjection necessarily imply
superiority and inferiority: change these relative qualities, and the
condition of the parties is changed also. But, upon the organization of
society, in all countries and at all times, we find inequality in the
conditions of men, growing out of their social state; distinctions
between them, affecting their personal considerations, and often
disposing of them for life. Thus, in one country a man is born a
monarch, in another a priest of the Lord, a prince, a peer, a noble, a
commoner, a freeman, a serf, a slave. This arrangement of the conditions
of social and civil life, from long habit, may well be said to become
constitutional, and necessary to the happiness of that society, although
thereby one may seem forced to be a tinker and another a tailor. Hence
we infer, inequality among men is the necessary result of the rules of
civil life.


                               LESSON V.

Justice, as a general term, means all moral duty. One of its rules is,
that we should “love our neighbours as ourselves.” Some men have
construed this to include each individual of the human family. Such
construction we deem to be error. The word “neighbour,” as here used,
includes those virtues which render one good man acceptable to another
and to God. “And who is my neighbour?” “And Jesus answered and said, A
certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves,
which stripped him, and departed, leaving him half dead. And by chance
there came down a certain priest that way, and when he saw him, he
passed by on the other side. And likewise a Levite, when he was at the
place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side. But a
certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw
him, he had compassion on him, and went to him and bound up his wounds,
pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him
to an inn, and took care of him. And on the morrow, when he departed, he
took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take
care of him, and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again I will
repay thee.” _Luke_ x. 30–36.

Who has given a better definition of the word neighbour? And how shall
we esteem him, who, instead of loving such an one as himself, shall
treat him with ingratitude, fraud, and cruelty? “God is angry with the
wicked every day.” _Ps._ vii. 2. If to “love our neighbour as ourselves”
implies that we should love all men equally alike, it also necessarily
will imply a subversion of order, and consequently lead to acts of
injustice, because all men are not equal. “For if any provide not for
his own, and especially for those of his own house, he hath denied the
faith, and is worse than an infidel.” 1 _Tim._ v. 8.

It would be ungrateful and unjust to not save a parent from death in
preference to a stranger—the life of him on whom the life and happiness
of thousands depended, in preference to an obscure individual.

One man may be of more value to me, and to the public, than another,
because he is further removed from being a mere animal. He has more
knowledge, more power, and does dispense more happiness to his

A very evil man and a good one may be in the vicinity or elsewhere; but
to regard them equally alike is a contradiction of Christian duty. When
we love our neighbour as ourselves, we love the man, his acts, his
character; but when we are taught to love our enemies, the mind reaches
him as a creature of God, our erring fellow-mortal, our brother steeped
in sin—and we look upon him with pity, forgiveness; and yet hate his
qualities and conduct. The cases are quite dissimilar. “Love not the
world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the
world, the love of the Father is not in him.” 1 _John_ ii. 15.


                               LESSON VI.

Virtue is always an appellant to justice. It is manifested by the acts
of an intelligent being of correct and benevolent motives, contributing
to the general good. Consequently an act, however benevolent may have
been the motive of the actor, cannot be a virtuous act if it have an
evil tendency. Ignorance can never be virtue: so, no man can be virtuous
who acts from a wicked motive, however beneficial may be the result. The
motive must be pure, and the effect good, before the act or the actor is
virtuous. A man, may be virtuous, but in so low a degree as to not merit
the appellation: we must compare what he does, with what he has the
power of doing. The widow’s mite may be an example.

We submit the inquiry—Is not the deduction clear, that men are not
equal—neither physically, religiously, mentally, or morally? Can they
then be so politically? Will not the proposition be correct, that
political equality can never exist with an inequality in these previous

Raynal has said, we think correctly, “that equality will always be an
unintelligible fiction, so long as the capacities of men are unequal,
and their claims have neither guarantee nor sanction by which they can
be enforced.” “On a dit que nous avions tous les mêmes droits. J'ignore
ce que c'est que les mêmes droits, où il y a inégalitè de talens ou de
force, et nulle garantie, nulle sanction.” _Raynal, Revolution
d'Amerique_, p. 34.


                              LESSON VII.

The rules of Christianity are always coadjuvant to those of justice. The
least deviation from justice begins to mark the unchristian character.
“Just balances, just weights, a just _epha_ and a just _hin_ shall ye
have.” _Lev._ xix. 36. “But thou shalt have a perfect and just weight, a
perfect and just measure shalt thou have; that thy days may be
lengthened in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.” _Deut._ xxv.
15. “Ye shall have a just balance and a just epha, and a just bath.”
_Ezek._ xlv. 10.

“Justice and judgment are the habitation of thy throne; mercy and truth
shall go before thy face.” _Ps._ lxxxix. 14.

“As I hear I judge, and my judgment is just.”

“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are
honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure,
whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report, if
there be any virtue, if there be any praise, think on those things.”
_Phil._ iv. 8.

But justice, as an act emanating from the rules of right, is wholly
dependent on the law: with the abolition of all law, justice or its
opposite would cease to exist.

We are aware there are a class who say that Christians have nothing to
do with the law of God; that they believe in Christ, and are excused
from obedience to the law; that they are not under the law, but the
gospel; that the law to them is of none effect; that the laws of God as
revealed to Moses have been repealed;—or rather they seem to have but a
confused idea of what they do believe touching the matter, while they
fashion a theory of Divine providence to suit their own fancies, and
substantially, by their own hands, fashion Jehovah into an idol,
although not of wood or stone, yet as much in conformity to their own
notions; perhaps but little thinking that their notions may have arisen
from pride or ignorance. We cannot promise any benefit by addressing
such. He who dares take the character of Jehovah into keeping, selecting
from among the manifestations of his providence, and decide this law to
be repealed, or this only in force, would seem to be as far beyond the
reach of human reason as his position is beyond the bounds of moral

But let us, who claim not so high prerogative, who are able only to
notice some faint emanations of the Divine mind, as He has seen fit to
reveal himself to our feeble perceptions,—who have been taught by the
exercise of faith to perceive them in the holy books of his record of
what is past, and the present display of his power and rule in the
government of the world,—take counsel together, and examine and compare
the teachings they may give of the unchangeableness of, and our relation
with, the laws of God.

The Creator of things may be deemed able to impose such relations
between the things created as he may judge suitable to effect the object
had in their creation. Such relations we call law; because, as we notice
things, they are the rules by which they act or are acted upon. So far
as human reason has been able to examine, such laws are as unchangeable
as the Deity who imposed them. To such certainty and unchangeableness we
give the name of truth, and hence we say God is truth, having reference
to the unchangeableness of his nature and of his laws.

With the idea of the changeability of his laws, of necessity must be
associated the idea of the changeability of God himself. The wickedness
of such argument is announced in its tendency to the dethronement of
Jehovah. It was the very argument used by the serpent in Eden.

The conclusion is, it is inconsistent with the Deity that his laws
should be repealed; the same circumstance, under which his law has been
noticed to manifest itself, reappearing, and it is again developed. They
are the laws of eternity. They are the voice of God. The doctrine of the
gospel is bold and plain upon this subject.

“Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good.”
_Rom._ vii. 12.

“Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who
are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world
may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law, there
shall no flesh be justified in his sight, for the law is the knowledge
of sin.” “Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid; yea,
we establish the law.” _Rom._ iii. 19, 20, 31.

“Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law, for sin is the
transgression of the law.” 1 _John_ iii. 4.

“Think not that I am come to destroy the law or the prophet