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breath, authorize them to "use his services without wages;" force him to work and ROB HIM OF HIS EARNINGS?


The discussion of this topic has already been somewhat anticipated, but a variety of additional considerations remain to be noticed.

1. Servants were not subjected to the uses nor liable to the contingencies of property. (1.) They were never taken in payment for their masters' debts, though children were sometimes taken (without legal authority) for the debts of a father. 2 Kings iv. 1; Job xxiv. 9; Isa. 1., 1; Matt. xviii. 25. Creditors took from debtors property of all kinds, to satisfy their demands. Job xxiv. 3, cattle are taken; Prov. xxii. 27, household furniture; Lev. xxv. 25-28, the productions of the soil; Lev. xxv. 27-30, houses; Ex. xxii. 26-29, Deut. xxiv. 10—13, Matt. v. 40, clothing; but servants were taken in no instance. (2.) Servants were never given as pledges. Property of all sorts was given in pledge. We find household furniture, clothing, cattle, money, signets, and personal ornaments, with divers other articles of property, used as pledges for value received; but no servants. (3.) All lost PROPERTY was to be restored. Oxen, asses, sheep, raiment, and "whatsoever lost things," are specified-servants not. Deut. xxii. 13. Besides, the Israelites were forbidden to return the runaway servant. Deut. xxiii. 15. (4.) The Israelites never gave away their servants as presents. They made costly presents, of great variety. Lands, houses, all kinds of animals, merchandise, family utensils, precious metals, grain, armor, &c. are among their recorded gifts. Giving presents to superiors and persons of rank, was a standing usage. 1 Sam. x. 27; 1 Sam. xvi. 20; 2 Chron. xvii. 5. Abraham to Abimelech, Gen. xxi. 27; Jacob to the viceroy of Egypt, Gen. xliii. 11; Joseph to his brethren and father, Gen. xlv. 22, 23; Benhadad to Elisha, 2 Kings viii. 8, 9; Ahaz to Tiglath Pilezer, 2 Kings vi. 8; Solomon to the Queen of Sheba, 1 Kings x. 13; Jeroboam to Ahijah, 1 Kings xiv. 3; Asa to Benhadad, 1 Kings xv. 18, 19. But no servants were given as presents-though it was a prevailing fashion in the surrounding nations. Gen. xii. 16; Gen xx. 14. It may be objected that Laban GAVE handmaids to his daughters, Jacob's wives. Without enlarging on the nature of the

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polygamy then prevalent suffice it to say that the handmaids of wives were regarded as wives, though of inferior dignity and authority. That Jacob so regarded his handmaids, is proved by his curse upon Reuben, Gen. xlix. 4, and Chron. v. 1; also by the equality of their children with those of Rachel and Leah. But had it been otherwise had Laban given them as articles of property, then, indeed, the example of this "good old patriarch and slaveholder,' Saint Laban, would have been a forecloser to all argument. Ah! we remember his jealousy for religion-his holy indignation when he found that his "GODS 99 were stolen! How he mustered his clan, and plunged over the desert in hot pursuit, seven days, by forced marches; how he ransacked a whole caravan, sifting the contents of every tent, little heeding such small matters as domestic privacy, or female seclusion, for lo! the zeal of his "IMAGES" had eaten him up! No wonder that slavery, in its Bible-navigation, drifting dismantled before the free gusts, should scud under the lee of such a pious worthy to haul up and refit; invoking his protection, and the benediction of his "GODS!" Again, it may be objected that, servants were enumerated in inventories of property. If that proves servants property, it proves wives property. "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's WIFE, nor his man-servant, nor his maid-servant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbor's." Ex. xx. 17. In inventories of mere property if servants are included, it is in such a way, as to show that they are not regarded as property. See Eccl. ii. 7, 8. But when the design is to show, not merely the wealth, but the greatness of any personage, servants are spoken of, as well as property. In a word, if riches alone are spoken of, no mention is made of servants; if greatness, servants and property. Gen. xiii. 2. "And Abraham was very rich in cattle, in silver and in gold," So in the fifth verse, "And Lot also had flocks, and herds, and tents." In the seventh verse servants are mentioned, " And there was a strife between the HERDMEN of Abraham's cattle and the HERDMEN of Lot's cattle." See also Josh. xxii. 8; Gen. xxxiv. 23; Job xlii. 12; 2 Chron. xxi. 3; xxxii. 27-29; Job i. 3-5; Deut. viii. 12-17; Gen. xxiv. 35, xxvi. 13, xxx. 43. Jacob's wives say to him, "All the riches which thou hast taken from our father that is ours and our children's." Then follows an inventory of property. "All his cattle," "all his goods," "the cattle of his getting." He had a large number of servants at the time but they are not

included with his property. Comp. Gen. xxx. 43, with Gen. xxxi. 16—18. When he sent messengers to Esau, wishing to impress him with an idea of his state and sway, he bade them tell him not only of his RICHES, but of his GREATNESS; that Jacob had “ oxen, and asses, and flocks, and men-servants, and maid-servants." Gen. xxxii. 4, 5. Yet in the present which he sent, there were no servants; though he seems to have sought as much variety as possible. Gen. xxxii. 14, 15; see also Gen. xxxvi. 6, 7; Gen. xxxiv. 23. As flocks and herds were the staples of wealth, a large number of servants presupposed large possessions of cattle, which would require many herdsmen. When servants are spoken of in connection with mere property, the terms used to express the latter do not include the former. The Hebrew word Mikně, is an illustration. It is derived from Kānā, to procure, to buy, and its meaning is, a possession, wealth, riches. It occurs more than forty times in the Old Testament, and is applied always to mere property, generally to domestic animals, but never to servants. In some instances, servants are mentioned in distinction from the Mikně. "And Abraham took Sarah his wife, and Lot his brother's son, and all their SUBSTANCE that they hadg athered; and the souls that they had gotten in Haran, and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan."-Gen. xii. 5. Many will have it, that these souls were a part of Abraham's substance (notwithstanding the pains here taken to separate them from it)—that they were slaves taken with him in his migration as a part of his family effects. Who but slaveholders, either actually or in heart, would torture into the principle and practice of slavery, such a harmless phrase as "the souls that they had gotten?" Until the slave trade breathed its haze upon the vision of the church, and smote her with palsy and decay, commentators saw no slavery in, "The souls that they had gotten." In the Targum of Onkelos* it is rendered, "The souls whom they had brought to obey the law in Haran." In the Targum of Jonathan, "The souls whom they had made proselytes in Haran." In the

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

Targum of Jerusalem, "The souls proselyted in Haran." Jarchi, the prince of Jewish commentators, "The souls whom they had brought under the Divine wings." Jerome, one of the most learned of the Christian fathers, "The persons whom they had proselyted." The Persian version, the Vulgate, the Syriac, the Arabic, and the Samaritan all render it, "All the wealth which they had gathered, and the souls which they had made in Haran." Menochius, a commentator who wrote before our present translation of the Bible, renders it, "Quas de idolatraria converterant." "Those whom they had converted from idolatry."-Paulus Fagius.* "Quas instituerant in religione." Those whom they had established in religion.” Luke Francke, a German commentator who lived two centuries ago. "Quas legi subjicerant."-" Those whom they had brought to obey the law."


The condition and treatment of servants make the doctrine that they were mere COMMODITIES, an absurdity. St. Paul's testimony in Gal. iv. 1, shows the condition of servants : "Now I say unto you, that the heir, so long as he is a child, DIFFERETH NOTHING FROM A SERVANT, though he be lord of all." That Abraham's servants were voluntary, that their interests were identified with those of their master's family, and that the utmost confidence was reposed in them, is shown in their being armed.-Gen. xiv. 14, 15. When Abraham's servant went to Padanaram, the young Princess Rebecca did not disdain to say to him, "Drink, MY LORD," as "she hasted and let down her pitcher upon her hand, and gave him drink." Laban, the brother of Rebecca," ungirded his camels, and brought him water to wash his feet, and the men's feet that were with him!" In 1 Sam. ix. is an account of a festival in the city of Zuph, at which Samuel presided. None but those bidden, sat down at the feast, and only "about thirty persons" were invited. Quite a select party!—the elite of the city. Saul and his servant had just arrived at Zuph, and both of them, at Samuel's solicitation, accompany him as invited guests. "And Samuel took Saul and his SERVANT, and brought THEM into the PARLOR (!) and made THEM sit in the CHIEFEST SEATS among those that were bidden." A servant invited by the chief judge, ruler, and prophet in

*This eminent Hebrew scholar was invited to England to superintend the translation of the Bible into English, under the patronage of Henry the Eighth. He had hardly commenced the work when he died. This was nearly a century before the date of our present translation.


Israel, to dine publicly with a select party, in company with his master, who was at the same time anointed King of Israel! and this servant introduced by Samuel into the PARLOR, and assigned, with his master, to the chiefest seat at the table! This was one of the servants" of Kish, Saul's father; not the steward or the chief of them— not at all a picked man, but "one of the servants;" any one that could be most easily spared, as no endowments specially rare would be likely to find scope in looking after asses. Again: we find Elah, the King of Israel, at a festive entertainment, in the house of Arza, his steward, or head servant, with whom he seems to have been on terms of familiarity.-1 Kings xvi. 8, 9. See also the intercourse between Gideon and his servant.-Judg. vii. 10, 11. Jonathan and his servant.-1 Sam. xiv. 1-14. Elisha and his servant.-2 Kings iv. v. vi.

III. The case of the Gibeonites. The condition of the inhabitants of Gibeon, Chephirah, Beeroth, and Kirjathjearim, under the Hebrew commonwealth, is quoted in triumph by the advocates of slavery; and truly they are right welcome to all the crumbs that can be gleaned from it. Milton's devils made desperate snatches at fruit that turned to ashes on their lips. The spirit of slavery raves under tormenting gnawings, and casts about in blind phrenzy for something to ease, or even to mock them. But for this, it would never have clutched at the Gibeonites, for even the incantations of the demon cauldron, could not extract from their case enough to tantalize starvation's self. But to the question. What was the condition of the Gibeonites under the Israelites? (1.) It was voluntary. Their own proposition to Joshua was to become servants. Josh. ix. 8, 11. It was accepted, but the kind of service which they should perform, was not specified until their gross imposition came to light; they were then assigned to menial offices in the Tabernacle. (2.) They were not domestic servants in the families of the Israelites. They still resided in their own cities, cultivated their own fields, tended their flocks and herds, and exercised the functions of a distinct, though not independent community. They were subject to the Jewish nation as tributaries. So far from being distributed among the Israelites, and their internal organization as a distinct people abolished, they remained a separate, and, in some respects, an independent community for many centuries. When attacked by the Amorites, they applied to the Israelites as confederates for aid-it was rendered, their enemies routed, and themselves left unmolested in their cities. Josh. x. 6-18.

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