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have been to have shown to a carnal eye the sensible influence of such a lack upon the temple !! Yet God who saw the minuteness of her contribution towards the preservation of the temple, and how insensible the effect upon its magnificence would have been, if she had withheld it, pronounced it more than all the rich and mighty gave. The error of my brother here, I think, is, in looking at the result as man sees it, instead of looking at the principle, connected with its result, as God sees it,---viewed in the former light, nothing could appear more contemptible than the widow's mitesviewed in the latter, the gold and silver of the wealthy sunk into insignificance compared with them. The consumers of slave produce, as connected with slavery in these states, may be 50,000,000-supposing this estimate correct, each individual of these 50,000,000, has just about as much to do with slavery, as the widow had with the temple. By consuming slave produce, they as powerfully and as effectually sustain slavery, as the widow did the temple; and if the curse of supporting transgression be equivalent to the blessings of sustaining righteousness, as her blessing was great, how great will the curse be? The money given for slave produce, as undeniably and as directly goes to sustain slavery, as the widow's mites went to support the temple. The withholding of her mites, would not have destroyed the temple, would not have deranged one of its massy blocks; nay, would scarcely have been felt by a particle of dust on its walls. As little would the abstaining from slave produce by a single person affect slavery; but there is something antecedent to the effect produced upon slavery, which it would infinitely affect; that is, God's appreciation of the moral aspect of the action. He would see, that the individual, did what he could in that particular, to sustain the most ferocious and impure iniquity, and although the support yielded, was but the 50,000,000 part, yet has He not told us, that "whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, is guilty of all." James ii. 10.
But here my friend goes over to the difficulties of the case; he shows us, that slave cotton is mixed with almost every thing: that, industry and enterprise would be blighted; travelling arrested, clothing made extensively impracticable, printing and correspondence abolished, reformation crushed, and anti-slavery societies themselves put to a stop without it.
What a gang of lions! Who does not startle at them? Surely such dreadful consequences must abolish the divine injunctions. "Neither be partaker of other men's sins," 1. Tim. v. 22. "Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil," Exodus xxiii. 2, and must render the divine warning, Psalm 1. 18, of none effect.
But is it a fact, either in divine or human legislation, that insuperable difficulties abolish law?
"Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy, &c.," says God, Exodus xx. 8. Yet the same God declares to us, "that on the Sabbath days, the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath, and are blameless," Matthew xii. 5.
So David and his followers, when they were famishing, entered into the temple, and did eat the shew bread, which it was ordinarily lawful for the priests alone to eat, Matthew xii. 4. And our blessed Lord and his apostles, in a similar strait, on a Sabbath day, plucked the ears of corn and allayed their hunger, Matthew xii. 1.
Was therefore the law of the Sabbath abolished? By no means! How then could these things be? They were merely exceptions to the law, and exceptions do not abolish law, they on the contrary prove it, for if there were no law, there self-evidently could be no exceptions.
Here appears to me, to be the fundamental error of my friend. The din of the objections, shuts his ears to the demands of the law. The objections start up into giants before him, and the law vanishes from his sight. He deems the law abrogated, because the objections are great.
Undeniably, slave cotton, that is, cotton bedewed with the tears and heavy with the groans of the outraged and guiltless poor, is fearfully intermingled with a vast variety of our most necessary articles, and our dreadful alternative is to resign them, or to participate in sustaining slavery. What does duty require?
I reply, clearly to resign them, except when they are, properly speaking, NECESSARY! and then to use them, as David used the shew bread, the actual necessity, producing a lawful exception, without abrogating or weakening the law. When a man has no alternative but to starve, or to use slave bread-no alternative but to be naked, and to deprive himself of the mighty power of traveling, correspondence and the press, in vindicating the claims of God's law, and the rights of outraged humanity, or to use slave cotton,
the bread and the cotton must be used, but they must be used as exceptions, attesting, not overturning the law. The sin of using them unnecessarily remains the same; because in using them unnecessarily, the sin of slavery is unnecessarily sustained. David and his followers, together with the priests in the temple, would have sinned in doing as they did without the necessity which rendered them blameless in doing so. That necessity did render them blameless, but that necessity touched not the integrity of the law. The Sabbath remained God's day of rest as much as ever-and the shew-bread remained, as much as ever, the peculiar portion of the priests. So, the necessity for using slave cotton, where that necessity does really exist, while, in such cases, it renders the use of slave cotton blameless, touches not the integrity of the general prohibition. "Neither be partaker of other men's sins" remains a divine injunction, a law for our guidance, as much as if no exception to it had ever existed; and still it remains a crime as truly as ever, when we see a thief to consent with him.
But, exclaims my brother, "We say confidently, that a man may buy and use any product of slave labor, which is in itself proper to be used, without at all participating in the crime which attended the production."
But, I ask, where is that product of slave labor which is, in itself, proper to be used? Bread, let us remember, and poisoned bread are two different things-so are sugar and slave sugar; cotton and slave cotton; rice and slave rice, &c. Bread, in itself, is very proper to be used-so are sugar, cotton and rice-but bread poisoned with arsenic; and sugar, cotton and rice poisoned with slavery; with the guilt of the oppressor, and the tears and blood of the oppressed, are quite different things. In themselves they are always most improper to be used; and nothing but a strict necessity, such as that adverted to, can ever render their use blameless. This fundamental difference is, I think, generally lost sight of by my brother abolitionists: they think and speak of slave produce as if there were no slavery in it—as if slave sugar were, sugar and slave rice, rice-and slave cotton, cotton. They might much better think and say, that a tallow candle was a spermaceti one; or poisoned bread, was bread. It is time for them to learn and remember, that there is poison in it; the poison of the masters' tyranny and
of the sufferings of the slave-that the cry of the downtrodden poor, hás entered into the ears of Jehovah against it, James v. 4. Physical poison would make them start from arsenicked bread; shall not the moral poison which is in it, make them start more promptly still from slave produce? or have they hearts, capable indeed of caring for the life of their own bodies, but incapable, in this particular, of caring for the bodies and souls together of their outraged and suffering brethren whose sacred cause, in other things, they plead so boldly and so magnanimously? or do they think that by pleading the cause of the guiltless and suffering poor in words, they obtain a license to hire and sustain the oppression under which their poor clients are perishing?
My friend argues that slave produce is not stolen goods; and illustrates his argument by declaring that corn raised by means of a stolen horse is not stolen corn. But can innocent men, reduced by desperate oppression to forced servitude, be fairly thus compared to horses?
The horse, it is true, was stolen, but nothing was stolen from the horse; its services are always compulsory, and are lawfully compulsory when cruelty is not used in exacting them. The thief had no right to the horse; his sin consisted in keeping it away from its lawful owner; not in working it while he kept it away. The horse was stolen, but the corn which he raised by help of the horse was not stolen. The owner of the horse had a right to the horse, but not to the corn; the corn was the thief's lawful property. The owner of the horse indeed had a right to claim a remuneration for the loss of the horse's services, and the state was bound to bring the thief to justice as an example to others; but neither the owner of the horse, nor the state had any right to the corn-remuneration was due, but the corn was not due to the owner. The thief, when convicted, might pay the remuneration by any honest means he pleased without being under the least obligation to resign a single grain of the corn, except he was absolutely destitute of every other means of paying the just penalty of his transgression. The corn was his legally, although the horse was not his; and morally, the corn was his, although he owed repentance unto God for the theft, and remuneration to the owner for the loss of the horse's services.
But is it so when a man is stolen ?
Ah, no! In addi
tion to the sin (as in the case of the horse,) of stealing the man from his owner--his owner who is God!—the guilt arises of stealing from the man his time, his wages and his labor-the freedom of his body and the freedom of his soul -the sacred security of conjugal union, and the right and the opportunity to bring up his own children according to his own heart's pleasure in the unfettered nurture and admonition of the Lord. The corn which his oppressor raises by means of his driven services, does not rightfully belong to his oppressor-it is stolen property of the worst kind. Not only (as in the case of the horse) is the slave stolen-stolen from God, his country, and himself! but the products of his labor, also, are stolen; stolen from him by the robbery which he is continually suffering of his time, his liberty and his unrequited services. The man who steals my money from me, is a thief; the man who steals my reputation from me, morally speaking, is a greater thief-he does me a far heavier injury-but what kind of a thief is the man who reduces me by law, or under law, to the state of a beast; who obliterates my manhood; who enslaves me without even the imputation of a crime; who not only robs me of money and reputation (or, of what is the same thing to a poor man, the means of acquiring money and reputation,) but who also robs me of my liberty, my time, my labor! who deprives me of house and home and country! and casts me forth, an outcast from mankind, an article of merchandise! a poor, forlorn, insulted slave! a beast whom christians and republicans buy and sell, without shame and without compunction! The corn, in this case, is stolen property of the worst kind; the slave has a juster claim to it than the master; the curse of his wrongs is upon it, and whosoever unnecessarily buys or consumes it, takes it heavy with that curse-he buys it from the hyper-thief, the thing itself being a stolen thing in the most aggravated sense, and in doing so, he sustains, as far as he can, in that particular, the curse of the hyper-plunderer against the helpless and innocent sufferer of the most enormous outrage.
My brother, in the ardor of his argument, falls into another delusion similar to the above, and in illustrating his idea says, that a man does not act "inconsistently with his "doctrine, when he condemns the dishonesty of the miller, "and yet carries corn to his mill," as if this case were simi