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with the character of your Heavenly Father? But you have answered this inquiry already. The very design of the article in the Biblical Repertory was to rebuke the Abolitionists for saying that God's way and the devil's way of buying servants are not the same. And thus you have paid the devil the highest compliment ever paid him, by any good man, since the world began. It has been suggested as an apology, that this was not the necessary result of your views of the character and will of the Most Highbut to save the seminary from the storm which the father of mischief and sin has raised against the Abolitionists. It may be so. And it reminds us of the answer of a poor Indian when asked why he prayed to the bad spirit, and not to the good. He replied, that he was afraid of the bad spirit, and wished to keep him in a good humor by saying his prayers to him. This course is likely to become fashionable. The enemy of souls lately raised a mob to pull down a college and theological seminary in Missouri, on suspicion that the professors were opposed to slavery. The president to quiet the blaspheming wretches, stepped forward and assured them that he had bought one slave, and expected to buy more. And they dispersed with a shout of approbation, like that with which their master was cheered when he proposed the ruin and enslavement of the human race. Quere-How long will a devil's blessing give prosperity to our public institutions?
A servant bought with money, means a servant in the good sense. It never did mean any thing else in any land, or in any age, excepting where the morals and the mind of the community were polluted by slavery. A large proportion of the households in Pennsylvania used to be servants of this description. When "the good man of the house" was inquired for, the answer frequently was, "He is gone to Philadelphia to buy servants from Scotland or Ireland." Many of these servants, by industry and economy after their term expired, became wealthy. We could name some of their sons who are slaveholders. These sons are zealous advocates for holding slaves. Their proof is, Abraham had servants bought with money. Were you to remind them that their fathers were bought with money, and therefore their children must be the sons of slaves, your life would be in danger. They would lynch or dirk you for
believing that a servant bought with money means slave.
Abraham's servants were pious-hence they were to be circumcised. They were the souls whom he, and Sarah, and Lot had gotten (Heb. made) in Haran. Gen. xii. 5, . i. e., they were the proselytes they had made-so the phrase was understood before the slave trade commenced. They followed him because he was a mighty prince, a prophet, and priest of the Most High God. They became his servants because they wanted employment, and he wanted servants. There were no slaves in Abraham's house when the angels visited him, Gen. xviii. A young man killed and dressed the calf, Sarah did all the baking, and Abraham all the waiting at the table. Where were his hundreds of servants? In their own tents, with their own families, ready, no doubt, to entertain strangers after the pious and hospitable example of their pastor.
[To be continued.]
SLAVERY AND THE CONSTITUTION.
BY REV. SAMUEL J. MAY.
[Concluded from page 90.]
IN the October number of this Magazine we gave what we believe to be a correct exposition of those parts of the Constitution, under which the abettors of slavery attempt to shelter that most atrocious system of outrage upon human rights. We hope we made it apparent to our readers that the Magna Charta of our civil liberties was not intended to be, and is not, by any fair construction, instrumental to the continued oppression of the colored people of the land. So far from there being in the Constitution (as there is generally supposed to be) a guarantee of slavery, there cannot be found in it so much as an explicit recognition of its existence. It seems to us that the members of the Federal Convention are to be considered no more answerable for
the continuance of slavery in any of these United States, than for the continuance of lotteries, distilleries or brothels. True, there are several articles in the Constitution framed with reference to the slave system existing in some of the States. But how are they framed? So as to countenance and encourage the abomination? By no means. Far otherwise, as we have shown in the former part of this disquisition. They are so framed that they may remain unchanged after slavery shall be abolished. Indeed we see not, if there were no slaves in the land, how any or any part of these articles could be spared, excepting only the words three-fifths of all other persons in Art. I., Sec. I. And it surely would not be worth while to be at any great trouble to procure the amendment of the Constitution by the erasure of these words. They might be suffered to remain, as the IX. Sec. of Art. I. has remained ever since 1808-a dead letter. As to the other passages, upon which so much reliance is placed by those who would have it believed that slavery is upheld by our Constitution, Art. IV., Sec. III. C. 3, and Sec. IV. Any one may see at a glance, that if these should be erased, others of precisely the same import would need to be substituted for them.*
The more we have studied their work, the more plainly has appeared to us the especial pains which the framers of our Constitution took, so to construct those parts of it, in which there were necessarily references to the dissimilar population of the several states, as to leave with each state all the responsibility of enforcing civil disabilities upon any portion of its people.t And moreover, as we shall presently take pains to show, they have secured to us several important means and facilities for effecting the abolition of slavery, and other great evils in the country, which we should not have had if these states had continued under the original confederation.
But before we pass to that part of our subject, let us call the attention of our readers to several facts highly important in this connection.
And first, let it be observed, that the Federal Convention instituted the general government of this republic, so that it recognizes as its constituents all in the several states who
* See October number, page 86.
+ See page 85.
are therein admitted to the elective franchise, in its lowest application. (See Art. I., Sec. I., C. 1.) At that time, in several of the states, a white complexion was not one of the qualifications of voters; colored men were free men, electors; and the framers of the Constitution made no exception of them. That this was not unintentional is put beyond question by the well-known fact, that some of the southern members of the Convention urged that the exception of colored men should be made, and their proposal was rejected "by a respectable majority." We believe that majority looked forward in confident expectation of the time when there would be no slave in this republic, then so zealous for freedom; and when there would be no differences in the civil and political rights of the people, "founded upon so casual and trifling a distinction as the color of a man's skin." There was a spirit then abroad in our land which threatened to extirpate every vestige of oppression; and the men who devised the plan of our general government were careful not to throw any impediment in its way.
If our readers need any thing more to confirm them in the assurance that the framers of the Constitution had no such intention respecting slavery as is now generally attributed to them-that they had no thought of giving the countenance, much less the guaranty of the general government to such an outrageous system of injustice and cruelty-we say, if our readers need to be more fully persuaded of this, let them only consider the subsequent conduct of some of those men in reference to this very matter. In less than two years after they had acted as members of the Convention, several were zealously engaged in societies for the abolition of slavery-societies which proposed to proceed, and for a number of years did proceed upon the same plan, that has been adopted by the anti-slavery societies of the present day. They procured eloquent men to address the public upon this "delicate" and "exciting" subject. They published in papers and pamphlets of every size, for general circulation, some of the sentiments that are now denounced as incendiary and insane. They sent into the slaveholding states earnest appeals to the citizens thereof against the enslavement of their fellow men. They moreover petitioned Congress, and prayed "their hon
orable bodies to step to the very verge of the power vested in them, for discouraging every species of traffic in the persons of our fellow-men." In all these measures several of the framers of the Constitution heartily concurred-especially Benjamin Franklin, one of the last men in the world to misunderstand the letter or spirit of an instrument to which he had given the sanction of his name; or to disregard any of the provisions he had deli-, berately helped to make for promoting the welfare of the people of the United States. We will give an extract from a memorial to Congress, presented in February, 1790, about two years after the adoption of the Constitution, by Dr. Franklin as president, and in behalf of a society which embraced many of the most distinguished and venerated men of that day, and among them several who were members of the Federal Convention :
"That mankind are all formed by the same Almighty Being, alike objects of his care, and equally designed for the enjoyment of happiness, the Christian religion teaches us to believe, and the political creed of Americans fully coincides with the position. Your memorialists, particularly engaged in attending to the distresses arising from slavery, believe it to be their indispensable duty to present this subject to your notice. They have observed with real satisfaction that many important and salutary powers are vested in you, 'for promoting the welfare and securing the blessings of liberty to the people of the United States; and as they conceive that these blessings ought rightfully to be administered, without distinction of color, to all descriptions of people, so they indulge themselves in the pleasing expectation, that nothing which can be done for the relief of the unhappy objects of their care will be either omitted or delayed.
"From a persuasion that equal liberty was originally the portion, and is still the birth-right of all men; and influenced by the strong ties of humanity, and the princiciples of their institution, your memorialists conceive themselves bound to use all justifiable endeavors to loosen the bands of slavery, and promote a general enjoyment of the blessings of freedom. Under these impressions they earnestly entreat your serious attention to the subject of