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circumstances would be a slavish act, and I will remain a slave, until he releases me holily? Or does he forget, that on the supposition which he makes, the emancipation would be quite voluntary on the master's part, and enacted strictly by himself, out of regard to his own interests; however much he might despair or abhor the fanaticism which urged him to it? By my dear brother's supposition, all the consumers of slave produce refrain from it, because it is slave produce, not because they do not want sugar and molasses and cotton and rice, &c., for they do love these things, and want them greatly but because they love their God, and their brother more! because they will deny themselves these desirable articles, rather than participate in the slaveholder's guilt, or aid in the misery and degradation of the guiltless slave!Does he not perceive, that as soon as the slaveholders were satisfied that they could never sell another pound of sugar, &c., wrung by force and fraud out of the outraged slave, but that they would be sure of an abundant market for the same things fairly obtained by hired and voltıntary labor, they would be as eager for immediate and thorough emancipation, at home, under law, as the abolitionists now are, and that in this awakened and dominant sense of their own interest, benevolence would have a better security for the new liberty on these principles bestowed, than all the special justices in the world could yield? We have a striking instance of this in Antigua. I know of no ground whatever for believing that the former slaveholders of that island have repented of their sin. It was policy, not righteousness, interest, not benevolence, which prompted them somewhat upwards of two years ago, to the immediate and thorough emancipation of their slaves on the spot, it was, in my dear brother's sense, a slavish act, and I have no doubt, that in God's sight it was so. Yet it was a perfectly voluntary act, properly speaking, their own act, in view of exactly the same influences, as all the world's abstaining from slave produce, would exercise universally upon slaveholders; and the same sense of interest which prompted them to the act has been found ten thousand times more efficient than any extraneous superintendance, could possibly have been, in securing the rights of the weaker party, the fact is, that in such cases, the power which rules, is not physical, as my brother supposes it, but is moral, exercising its might not.
upon the body, but upon the mind-not by physical penalties, but by moral persuasion-not by force, but by motives, the person thus governed, yielding not by compulsion, but by choice, the choice of good instead of evil, of right instead of wrong, of liberty instead of slavery, of honesty instead of theft, of justice and kindness instead of violence and fraud, of interest in some measure wholesome, instead of their tyranny and pride.
I remark in conclusion, that truth is eternally the same. That it is not strengthened by human attestation, nor enfeebled by human denial. Slavery is high treason against God and against human virtue and happiness, whatever slaveholders or their apologists may think or say; and alike whether the slave is kindly or cruelly treated; alike in fact, though differing in amount: and it is equally, and as obriously true, that the use of slave produce, sustains slavery more directly and powerfully than does any other thing, guiltily if the use be not strictly and fairly speaking necessary, blamelessly, if strictly and fairly speaking it be indispensable. The Anti-Slavery Society and any other society, my dear and honored brother, the editor of A. S. Quarterly, or any other person friend or foe, may deny this, if they please, or admitting it, may refuse to advocate the conduct which it requires. But the truth remains the same, unchanged by their assent or denial; and by God's unchangeable truth, must every man stand or fall. Every moment that slavery continues, God's law is outraged, and the most dear and sacred of human rights, are trampled in the dust. Every atom of slave produce which is used, actually and directly sustains slavery as far as it goes, for slavery could no more exist without the consumption of its products, than life could be preserved without food; the consumption of these products being criminal where unnecessary blameless where indispensable; and every individual who uses slave produce, does all that he can in that particular to support slavery. He is not the fifty million, and what the fifty million can do therefore, he is not required to do-but he is the one, and what one can do, is required of him! If he unnecessarily sustain slavery, he is partaker in the guilt of tyrants. If he do it necessarily the necessity pleads his excuse. God who makes the law, sees and recognizes the exception. No precept of scripture is more absolute than that against
theft. Yet the thief is excused, when hunger compels him. "Men do not despise a thief, if he steals to satisfy his soul when he is hungry," Prov. vi. 30. So the abolitionist who resides where he cannot sustain life without using slave produce, is excusable in using slave produce, as far as it is really necessary for his life and health. A compensation indeed may be required of him. "But if he be found, he shall restore seven fold, he shall give all the substance of his house," Prov. vi. 31. This compensation, the abolitionist richly pays, when being unable to travel, or speak, or correspond efficiently against slavery, without the use of slave cotton, he buys and employs it, for the extirpation of slavery. This is one of the ways in which God takes, "the wise" (the worldly wise) "in their own craftiness," 1. Cor. iii. 19. The slaveholder raises cotton for the support of slavery. The abolitionist buys the cotton and pulls slavery down. The starving man, compelled by hunger uses food without blame, which would otherwise be unlawful. The abolitionist compelled by an impulse mightier far, even by love, "thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself," seeing his guiltless brother in bondage, and realizing what he would justly wish, were situations altered, uses for his brother's deliver. ance, what he could not use without guilt for his own convenience. Just as the Temperance Society man will not hesitate to give alcohol to his neighbor, if alcohol be really necessary for his neighbor's life or health, but without that necessity, would rather lose his right hand, than put alcohol within his neighbors reach.
We may observe, that the whole apparent difficulty of this solemn question, relates to cotton. The other articles of slave labor, in our market, sugar, molasses, rum, tobacco, rice, indigo, &c., are clearly unnecessary, and therefore never can be lawful, except in strictly medical cases. Besides, with very little trouble perhaps, and a small additional expense, sugar, molasses, and indigo produced by free labor can always be obtained. Rum and tobacco, should never be used except as medicines, and rice can be dispensed with till it can be gotten undefiled by the pollution of tyrannyunmoistened by the tears and unbedewed with the blood of the guiltless and down trodden poor. Situated as we are, and with the whole world, excepting a few ultra abolitionists to sustain us, it is very easy now to make light of these
eternal truths. But will it be as easy to give a satisfactory answer to God, when He shall make inquisition for our brothers' blood, and require to know, why we aided in shedding it? Consumers of slave produce, look well to it.
My dear brother's principle, " of doing to others, as we would have them do to us, of remembering them that are in bonds, as bound with them," is dear to my whole heart, but with my whole heart, I reject the preservation of my infiuence, as the rule of this principle. The clear and thrilling claims of my God's law, and of my perishing brother's rights and blood, are my rule; and when the preservation of my influence, comes up against this rule, or as a substitute for it, I cast it from me, as I should cast from me a venemous serpent that would otherwise sting me to death.
God demands that every man should do his duty, his own duty, without waiting for any body, and without depending upon any body. What ought to be done, can be done.Nothing but a corrupt will prevents it. And amidst all the eulogia which have crowned with praise the glorious spirits that have adorned the world, all others sink into insignificance compared with Mark xiv. 8, "she hath done, what she could."
Whitesboro', Nov. 14th, 1835.
Our correspondent affirms that buying slave produce is a violation of the divine law. His chapter and verse for the why and wherefore are developed on the 155th page, and amount to this. If no body would buy the products, slaveholders would abandon their wicked system. Hence, we are bound to abstain as a means of bringing slavery to an end as furnishing a grand and irresistible argument ad crumenam. Now, granting for the arguments' sake, and that only, that it would be irresistible, if all non-slaveholders would unite, does it certainly follow that we ought to prefer this means to every other? Slavery would cease as soon, if all non-slaveholders would unite in a purely moral rebuke of it-if, denouncing it as piracy, they would withdraw from it the props of their 'compacts' and 'compromises' and mealy-mouthed engagements to restore fugitives. The divine law surely binds me to extinguish, if I can, the fire
that threatens to devour my neighbor's house, but it does not bind me to do it by stopping off the supporter of combustion with blankets, when I think I can better gain the end by throwing on water.
But if there is no probability of enough uniting in abstinence sensibly to affect the market, or rather to make slaveholding a losing business, the argument ad crumenam is with things unborn-it is less than nothing and vanity.
Our correspondent refers to the widow, who for giving two mites received the divine commendation. Did that commendation apply to her object, or to her motives? Now the question is not about the motives of the abstinent from slave produce, but about the obligation to abstain. It is quite possible that the Lord might have commended the widow's act, while he considered giving for the support of the temple of no moral obligation. He was looking, not at the support of the temple, but at the motives of the supporters. We are looking at the overthrow of slavery, and not at the motives of any body. And we apprehend our friend's argument goes legitimately to commend the motives of those who abstain from its products, with a sincere intention, however inefficient the means, to overthrow slavery, and to condemn the motives of him who buys even an ounce of cotton, consenting to the robbery by which it was raised; but no further. Now, our correspondent, if we understand him, holds that the buyer of an ounce of cotton does, to a certain fraction, be his motives what they may, either ignorantly or knowingly support slavery. We say, no-not necessarily, any more than we support the odious, and dishonest bank monopolies whose notes we pass while we are using all our power as a free citizen to put them down. He does not necessarily, for our correspondent has failed to show that his abstinence would be either the means or a means of abolishing slavery. But does not the buyer furnish to the slaveholder both the motive to tyrannize and the means of surrounding himself with the instruments and safe-guards of tyranny? Yes, but both the cotton and the money are bona in se and fit objects of barter, and the buyer of the cotton is no more responsible for the use which the other shall make of the money, than the buyer of the money is responsible for the use the other shall make of the cotton. It may be said that the common law holds the buyer of stolen goods