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so arranged the conditions of his service as to alleviate as much as possible the calamity, which had reduced him from independence and authority, to penury and subjection. The import of the command which concludes this topic in the forty-third verse, ("Thou shalt not rule over him with rigor,") is manifestly this, you shall not disregard those differences in previous associations, station, authority, and political privileges, upon which this regulation is based; for to hold this class of servants irrespective of these distinctions, and annihilating them, is to "rule with rigor." The same command is repeated in the forty-sixth verse, and applied to the distinction between servants of Jewish, and those of Gentile extraction, and forbids the overlooking of distinctive Jewish peculiarities, the disregard of which would be rigorous in the extreme.* The construction commonly put upon the phrase "rule with rigor," and the inference drawn from it, have an air vastly oracular. It is interpreted to mean, "you shall not make him a chattel, and strip him of legal protection, nor force him to work without pay." The inference is like unto it, viz., since the command forbade such outrages upon the Israelites, it permitted and commissioned their infliction upon the Strangers. Such impious and shallow smattering captivates scoffers and libertines; its flippancy and blasphemy, and the strong scent of its loose-reined license works like a charm upon them. What boots it to reason against such rampant affinities! In Ex. i. 13, it is said that the Egyptians "made the children of Israel to serve with rigor." This rigor is affirmed of the amount of labor extorted and the mode of the exaction. The expression, serve with rigor," is never applied to the service of servants under the Mosaic system. The phrase, "thou shalt not RULE over him with rigor," does not prohibit unreasonable exactions of labor, nor inflictions of cruelty. Such were provided against otherwise. But it forbids confounding the distinctions between a Jew and a Stranger, by assigning the former to the same grade of service, for the same term of time, and under the same political disabilities as the latter.

We are now prepared to review at a glance, the condition of the


* The disabilities of the Strangers, which were distinctions, based on a different national descent, and important to the preservation of nat onal characteristics, and a national worship, did not at all affect their social estimation. They were regarded according to their character, and worth as persons, irrespective of their foreign origin, employments, and political condition.

different classes of servants, with the modifications peculiar to each class. In the possession of all fundamental rights, all classes of servants were on an absolute equality, all were equally protected by law in their persons, character, property and social relations; all were voluntary, all were compensated for their labor, and released from it nearly one half of the days in each year; all were furnished with stated instruction; none in either class were in any sense articles of property, all were regarded as men, with the rights, interests, hopes and destinies of men. In all these respects, all classes of servants among the Israelites, formed but ONE CLASS. The different classes, and the differences in each class, were, (1.) Hired Servants. This class consisted both of Israelites and Strangers. Their employments were different. The Israelite was an agricultural servant. The Stranger was a domestic and personal servant, and in some instances mechanical; both were occasional and temporary. Both lived in their own families, their wages were money, and they were paid when their work was done. (2.) Bought Servants, (including those "born in the house.") This class also, consisted of Israelites and Strangers, the same difference in their kinds of employment as noticed before. Both were paid in advance,* and neither was temporary. The Israelitish servant, with the exception of the freeholder, was released after six years. The Stranger was a permanent servant, continuing until the jubilee. A marked distinction obtained also between different classes of Jewish bought servants. Ordinarily, they were merged in their master's family, and, like his wife and children, subject to his authority; (and, like them, protected by law from its abuse.) But the freeholder was a marked exception; his family relations, and authority remained unaffected, nor was he subjected as an inferior to the control of his master, though dependent upon him for employment.

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

It should be kept in mind, that both classes of servants, the Israelite and the Stranger, not only enjoyed equal natural and religious rights, but all the civil and political privileges enjoyed by those of their own people who were not servants. They also shared in common with them the political disabilities which appertained to all Strangers, whether the servants of Jewish masters, or the masters of Jewish servants. Further, the disabilities of the servants from the Strangers were exclusively political and national. (1.) They, in common with all Strangers, could not own the soil. (2.) They were ineligible to civil offices. (3.) They were assigned to employments less honorable than those in which Israelitish servants engaged; agriculture being regarded as fundamental to the existence of the state, other employments were in less repute, and deemed unjewish.

Finally, the Strangers, whether servants or masters, were all protected equally with the descendants of Abraham. In respect to political privileges, their condition was much like that of unnaturalized foreigners in the United States; whatever their wealth or intelligence, or moral principle, or love for our institutions, they can neither go to the ballot-box, nor own the soil, nor be eligible to office. Let a native American, be suddenly bereft of these privileges, and loaded with the disabilities of an alien, and what to the foreigner would be a light matter, to him, would be the severity of rigor. The recent condition of the Jews and Catholics in England, is another illustration. Rothschild, the late banker, though the richest private citizen in the world, and perhaps master of scores of English servants, who sued for the smallest crumbs of his favor, was, as a subject of the government, inferior to the lowest among them. Suppose an Englishman of the Established Church, were by law deprived of power to own the soil, of eligibility to office and of the electoral franchise, would Englishmen think it a misapplication of language, if it were said, the government "rules over him with rigor ?" And yet his person, property, reputation, conscience, all his social relations, the disposal of his time, the right of locomotion at pleasure, and of natural liberty in all respects, are just as much protected by law as the Lord Chancellor's.

FINALLY, AS the Mosaic system was a great compound type, rife with meaning in doctrine and duty; the practical power of the whole, depended upon the exact observance of those distinctions and relations which constituted its significancy. Hence, the care to pre

serve inviolate the distinction between a descendant of Abraham and a Stranger, even when the Stranger was a proselyte, had gone through the initiatory ordinances, entered the congregation, and become incorporated with the Israelites by family alliance. The regulation laid down in Ex. xxi. 2-6, is an illustration. In this case, the Israelitish servant, whose term expired in six years, married one of his master's permanent female domestics; but her marriage, did not release her master from his part of the contract for her whole term of service, nor from his legal obligation to support and educate her children. Neither did it do away that distinction, which marked her national descent by a specific grade and term of service, nor impair her obligation to fulfill her part of the contract. Her relations as a permanent domestic grew out of a distinction guarded with great care throughout the Mosaic system. To render it void, would have been to divide the system against itself. This God would not tolerate. Nor, on the other hand, would he permit the master, to throw off the responsibility of instructing her children, nor the care and expense of their helpless infancy and rearing. He was bound to support and educate them, and all her children born afterwards during her term of service. The whole arrangement beautifully illustrates that wise and tender regard for the interests of all the parties concerned, which arrays the Mosaic system in robes of glory, and causes it to shine as the sun in the kingdom of our Father. By this law, the children had secured to them a mother's tender care. If the husband loved his wife and children, he could compel his master to keep him, whether he had any occasion for his services or not. If he did not love them, to be rid of him was a blessing; and in that case, the regulation would prove an act for the relief of an afflicted family. It is not by any means to be inferred, that the release of the servant in the seventh year, either absolved him from the obligations of marriage, or shut him out from the society of his family. He could doubtless procure a service at no great distance from them, and might often do it, to get higher wages, or a kind of employment better suited to his taste and skill. The great number of days on which the law released servants from regular labor, would enable him to spend much more time with his family, than can be spent by most of the agents of our benevolent societies with their families, or by many merchants, editors, artists, &c., whose daily business is in New York, while their families reside from ten to one hundred miles in the country.

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We conclude this Inquiry by touching briefly upon an objection, which, though not formally stated, has been already set aside by the whole tenor of the foregoing argument. It is this," The slavery of the Canaanites by the Israelites, was appointed by God as a commutation of the punishment of death denounced against them for their sins." If the absurdity of a sentence consigning persons to death, and at the same time to perpetual slavery, did not sufficiently laugh at itself, it would be small self-denial, in a case so tempting, to make up the deficiency by a general contribution. For, be it remembered, only one statute was ever given respecting the disposition to be made of the inhabitants of Canaan. If the sentence of death was pronounced against them, and afterwards commuted, when? where? by whom? and in what terms was the commutation, and where is it recorded? Grant, for argument's sake, that all the Canaanites were sentenced to unconditional extermination; as there was no reversal of the sentence, how can a right to enslave them, be drawn from such premises? The punishment of death is one of the highest recognitions of man's moral nature possible. It proclaims him man-rational, accountable, guilty, deserving death for having done his utmost to cheapen human life, when the proof of its priceless worth lived in his own nature. But to make him a slave, cheapens to nothing universal human nature, and instead of healing a wound, gives a death-stab. What! repair an injury to rational being in the robbery of one of its rights, by robbing it of all, and annihilating their foundation-the everlasting distinction between persons and things? To make a man a chattel, is not the punishment, but the annihilation of a human being, and, so far as it goes, of all human beings. This commutation of the punishment of death, into perpetual slavery, what a fortunate discovery! Alas! for the honor of Deity, if commentators had not manned the forlorn hope, and by a timely movement rescued the Divine character, at the very crisis of its fate, from the perilous position in which inspiration had carelessly left it! Here a question arises of sufficient importance for a separate dissertation; but must for the present be disposed of in a few paragraphs. WERE THE CANAANITES SENTENCED BY GOD TO INDIVIDUAL AND UNCONDITIONAL EXTERMI NATION? As the limits of this inquiry forbid our giving all the grounds of dissent from commonly received opinions, the suggestions made, will be thrown out merely as QUERIES, rather than laid down as doctrines. The directions as to the disposal of the Canaanites,

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