Page images
PDF
EPUB

Created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” If these truths are self-evident, in the light of nature, they are equally clear according to the word of God. That affirms that God “hath made of one blood all nations of men, for to dwell on the face of the earth.” Here, then, we take our stand, with the Bible in one hand, and the declaration of our fathers in the other; and we fearlessly affirm, that every pretended grant of the right of property in human beings, is self-evidently null and void; and every assertion of such a right is usurpation and robbery.

Man. Such declarations are mere rhetorical flourishes. Nobody believed them at the time.

Th. I am not willing to think that it was so. I believe them to be true, according to the natural import of their language, and I honor the patriots who put forth such a declaration before the world; and I think it eminently disgraceful for their posterity to maintain the contrary now.

Man. We must have slaves in our warm regions to perform the labor necessary to support human life. If they were free, they could not be hired to do it, and the land would become desolate.

Th. Better so, than live in the continual violation of the laws of God and man. “Woe unto him that buildeth his house by unrighteousness, and his chambers by wrong; that useth his neighbor's service without

wages, and giveth him not for his work." “Rob not the poor because he is poor; neither oppress the afflicted in the gate; for the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them.” I should suppose you would sometimes think as Mr. Jefferson, himself a slaveholder, said: "I tremble for my country, when I reflect that God is just, and that his justice cannot sleep forever. The Almighty has no attribute which can take sides with us."

Man. I am astonished at such sentiments. Slaveholders will not tolerate them; secession, rebellion, and division of the Union will be the result, if persevered in.

Ard. Away with your threats of rebellion, secession, and disunionremember the Whisky Rebellion and Shay's War-in later times, Nullification. Will not freemen, now as then, stand by the UNION. Try it

Th. Hold, hold, brother! "In meekness admonish those that oppse themselves." Although I admit that slaveholding, in these United States is sin; the vilest transgression of the laws of God, and the principles of the constitution of these United States, that ever had a legal existence, yet we must remember the slave holding mind is darkened by reason of its existance, therefore we must bear with their taunts and threats. But as you love your country, your fellow men and our free institutions, do nothing to extend or perpetuate the system of slaveholding, or in any way be partaker of its iniquity. The love you bear your fellow men at the south, and their children yet unborn, DEMAND IT AT YOUR HANDS !

CONTENTS.

page

[blocks in formation]

DAFINITION OF SLAVERY,

Negative,
Affirmative,

Legal,...
THE MORAL LAW AGAINST SLAVERY,

"Thou shalt not steal,”.

"Thou shalt not covet," MAN-STEALING-EXAMINATION OF Ex. xxi. 16,

Separation of man from brutes and things,
IMPORT OF "BUY" AND " Bought with Mover,"

Servants sold themselves, . .
RighTS AND PRIVILEGES SECURED BY LAW TO SERVANTS,
SERVANTS WERE VOLUNTARY,

Runaway Servants not to be delivered to their Masters,
SERVANTS WERE PÅID WAGES,
MASTERS NOT "OWNERS,”:

Servants nut subjected to the uses of property,
Servants expressly distinguished from property,.
Examination of Gen. xii. 5.—"The souls that they had gotten,” &c.
Social equality of Servants and Masters,
Condition of the Gibeonites as subjects of the Hebrew Commonwealth,
Egyptian Bondage analyzed, ..

23-25

25-31

26

32-36

37-46

37

38

39

40 41

42

[blocks in formation]

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

46-48 “For He is his Money," &c.-EXAMINATION OF Ex. xxi. 20, 21, ........ 49–52 EXAMINATION OF LEV. xxv. 44–46,.

52–57 "Both thy "BONDMEN, &c., shall be of the heathen,”.

53 "They shall be your hondmen FOREVER,'

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

55

[ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]

page

57-65

58

58

60

EXAMINATIOy or Lev. xxv. 39, 40.—THE FREEHOLDER NOT TO "SERVE AS

A BOND SERVANT,”.
Difference between Hired and Bought Servants,
Bought Servants the most fivored and honored class,
Israelites and Strangers belonged to both classes,
Israelites, servants to the Strangers,
Reasons for the release of the Israelitish Servants in the seventh year,
Reasons for assigning the Strangers to a longer service,
Reasons for calling them the Servants,

Different kinds of servioe assigned to the Israelites and Strangers, ..
RøviEW OF ALL THE CLASSES OF SERVANTS WITH THE MODIFICATIONS OF

61

61

61

62

62

66–68

67

EACH,

Political disabilities of the Strangers,
EXAMINATION OF Ex. xxi. 2–6.-"IF THOU BUY AN HEBREW SERVANT,” &c.
THE CANAANITES NOT sextENCED TO UNCONDITIONAL EXTERMINATION,...

68 69–74

THE

BIBLE AGAINST SLAVERY.

The spirit of slavery never seeks shelter in the Bible, of its own accord. It grasps the horns of the altar only in desperation-rushing from the terror of the avenger's arm. Like other unclean spirits, it “hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest its deeds should be reproved.” Goaded to phrenzy in its conflicts with conscience and common sense, denied all quarter, and hunted from every covert, it vaults over the sacred inclosure and courses up and down the Bible, “seeking rest, and finding none." THE LAW OF LOVE, glowing on every page, flashes around it an omnipresent anguish and despair. It shrinks from the hated light, and howls under the consuming touch, as demons quailed before the Son of God, and shrieked, “Torment us not.”

At last, it slinks away under the types of the Mosaic system, and seeks to burrow out of sight among their shadows. Vain hope ! Its asylum is its sepulchre ; its city of refuge, the city of destruction. It flies from light into the sun ; from heat, into devouring fire ; and from the voice of God into the thickest of His thunders.

DEFINITION OF SLAVERY.

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

1. Privation of suffrage. Then minors are slaves.
2. Ineligibility to office. Then females are slaves.

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

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

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

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

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

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

9. Filial subordination and parental claims. Both are nature's dictates and intrinsic elements of the social state; the natural affections which blend parent and child in one, excite each to discharge those offices incidental to the relation, and constitute a shield for mutual protection. The parent's legal claim to the child's services, while a minor, is a slight return for the care and toil of his rearing,

« PreviousContinue »