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combination of benevolent societies. The great body of persons composing such societies are too little accustomed to calculate cons quences. They go directly at their measure, and have no means of accomplishing it but the produci g, by means of speeches and addresses, a strong excitement. But on a subject of this delicate character, where much opposition is to be encountered, these very means give the adversary an advantage, which he will not fail to use to the injury, perhaps to the destruction of the society. While, therefore, I do m st devoutly wish success to the Colon zation Society, I do earnestly wish that its friends may not refer o it as a means of deliverance from slavery. Should that success which I hope for, crown the efforts of this association, the existence of a prosperous colony on the western coast will of itself do more for the cause of emancipation, than all that any, or all of us, now can effect by speaking of these things. So fully am I convinced of this, that I deplore every movement that raises any thing like opposition to the society.

The reason why I am so strenuously opposed to any movement by the church or the ministers of religion on this subject, is simply this. I am conv nced that any thing we can do will injure religion, and retard the march of public feeling in relation to slavery. I take the case to be just this: as slavery exists am ng us, the only possible chance of deliverance is by making the people willing to get rid of it. At any rate, it is this or physical force. The roblem to be solv d is, to produce that state of the public will, which will cause the peop e to move spontaneously to the eradication of the evil. Slaves by law are held as prop rty. If the church or the min ster of religion touches the subject, it is touching what are called the rights of property. The jealousy among our countrymen on this subject is such, t at we cannot move a step in his way, without wakening up the st ongest opposition, and producing the most violent exci ement. The whole mass of the community will be set in motion, and the great body of the church will be carried along. Under this conviction, I wish the ministers of religion to be convinced that there is nothing in the New Tes ament which obliges them to take ho'd of this subject directly. In fact, I believe that it never has fared well with either church or s a e, when the church meddled with temporal affairs. And I should-knowing how unmanage-ble religious feeling is, when not kept under the immediate influence of divine truth-be exceedingly "fraid to see it brought to bear directly on the subject of slavery. Where the movement might end, I could not pretend to conjecture.

But I tell you what I wish. While we go on minding our own business, and endeavoring to make as many good christians as possible among masters and servants, let the subject of slavery be discussed in the p litical papers, reviews, &c., as a question of political economy. Keep it entirely free from all ecclesiastical connections, and from all the politics of the general governo ent; and treat it as a matter of state concernment. Examine its effects on the agriculture, commerce and manufactures of the state. Compare the expense of free and slave labor. Bring distinctly be ore the people the evil in its unavoidable operat ons and its fearful increase. Set them to calculating the weight of their burdens. Let them see how many old slaves, and young slaves, who produce no hing, they have to support. Show them how slavery deducts from the military force as well as the wealth of a country, etc. etc. Considerations of this sort, combined with

the benevolent feelings growing out of a gradual, uninterrupted progress of religion, will, I believe, s t the people of their own accord to seek deliverance. They will foresee the necessity of a change; soon begin to prepare for it; and it will come about without violence or convulsion. Such is my op nion."" pp. 306308.

Dr. Rice then had the strongest conviction, that excepting intemperance, slavery was the greatest evil in our country. We shall not dispute its claims to such an unenviable distinction. It seizes a child of God; mars the divine image which had been impressed upon him; puts him among "goods and chattels," and disposes of him as if he had been reduced to a piece of property. It lays his "life, liberty, and happiness" at the feet of any creature, who has a heart hard enough and a purse long enough, to buy him. It blights his intellect; blasts his honor; treads out his soul. This it has done-this it is still doing, for millions within our republic and among our churches; for millions of sufferers, who are not allowed the poor privilege of giving free utterance to their sighs and groans and tears. In doing this, moreover, it is debauching the morals, disgracing the name, trampling upon the constitution and laws, and destroying the prospects of no less a nation than the United States! What an evil, then, must slavery be!

"I am most fully convinced," declared Dr. Rice, "that slavery is the greatest evil in our country except whiskey." But what sort of evil did our theological professor think it was? Did he regard it as a calamity or as a crime? As a misfortune or as a sin? Nothing can be more important here than just discrimination and accurate definition. A misfortune may be to be deplored and submitted to; but sin never. It is always and immediately to be repented of and abandoned. To our brethren who are under the pressure of calamity, it is our privilege to offer our heart-felt condolence; our fellow sinners are entitled to reproof, and to our assistance in breaking the "bonds of iniquity." How then did Dr. Rice regard the evil of slavery? This inquiry may be fairly settled in the light of the hints, which he suggests. In the first place, then, let us mark the class of evils in which he gives slavery a place. At the head of it we find intemperance. Was drunkenness in the eye of Dr. Rice, a misfortune or a sin? It opens a flood-gate, through which misfortunes rush, doubtless. This is an office which sin is

always commissioned to perform; and which it does perform with fearful fidelity and terrible effect. Moral evil may always be expected to open the way for physical. Those who sin must suffer. But surely it cannot be rash to presume, that Dr. Rice would pronounce it wicked for any man to intoxicate himself with "whiskey." The evil of intemperance, we cannot doubt, was with him a moral evil. With intemperance he ranks slavery. Not only does he assign it to the same class; he also gives it a marked prominency there. It has the second place. It stands "next to the head;"-near enough to inhale the fetid breath of its swollen neighbor. In the next place, Dr. Rice makes the prevalence of slavery to depend upon the "public WILL." "The problem to be solved is," as he informs us, "to produce that state of the public will, which will cause the people to move spontaneously to the eradication of the evil." The great thing to be attempted in the abolition of slavery is, according to him and in his words, to "make the people willing to get rid of it." But what can that evil be, whose prevalence depends upon the human will? What sort of evils are they, which vanish whenever "the people are willing to get rid" of them? Are they hurricanes, and plagues, and broken bones? No, no. Dr. Rice knew-every man knows, that they are sins. When moral evils are to be "got rid" of-when wicked habits are to be broken up, then the very problem which Dr. Rice presents, is to be disposed of. Then "that state of the public will must be produced, which will cause" transgressors "to move spontaneously to the eradication of the evil." In the light, then, in which Dr. Rice exhibits slavery, we cannot hesitate to pronounce it a SIN-one of the greatest sins which disgraces and afflicts our country. And as such, if he understood the import of his own language, he must from the "fullest convictions" have been ready to pronounce it—" sin."

Yet Dr. Rice would not have "benevolent societies" meddle with slavery. He was "exceedingly afraid"-we quote his own words" to see RELIGIOUS FEELINGS brought to bear directly" upon this subject! Let us see what were his objections.

His first objection "to the combination of benevolent societies" to deliver the nation from the evil of slavery, is to be found in the directness of their exertions. "They go," says

the Doctor, "directly at their measure." By this we understand that they fix their eyes full upon their object-distinctly and carefully survey it-adopt such measures as are best adapted to accomplish it; and like frank, honest, fearless men, announcing their intentions, go about their work. They thus choose a path strongly marked by the foot prints of their Lord and his Apostles. This the Doctor thinks is not the best way to contend with one of "the greatest evils in our country." He could not think so, and remain what he claimed to be, an ardent friend to the scheme of the American Colonization Society. Nothing could be more indirect than the exertions of that organization to break up the system of American slavery. Such a thing was not even proposed by the supporters of that scheme. Not a few of them were themselves slaveholders. They impudently claimed, and stoutly held, the right of property in their fellow men. They never dreamed, living or dying, of striking the chains from the limbs of their own vassals; much less of urging on the petty tyrants around them the doctrine and the duty of emancipation. And such men held the highest offices, and exerted the leading influences in this pseudo-benevolent society. So far were they from expecting in it any direct means for the abolition of slavery, that they seem to have regarded it as a shield to protect the hydra. Others-and perhaps Dr. Rice belonged to this class-seem to have hoped, that in some inconceivable, inexplicable, roundabout way, the expatriation of the free would open the door for the enfranchisement of the enslaved! And if, at some shining point, midway perhaps between now and never, their plan inight take effect and ensure success, they saw no cause for discontent or discouragement. And then what a happy method! Nobody's claim to property in human flesh disputed! Nobody's crimes assailed! Nobody's prejudices aroused! Nobody's passions inflamed! Thus by humoring in the oppressor "the lust of the eye, and the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life," these sentiments and habits, gradually becoming weaker, would at length, of their own accord, let go of the heart in which they had been cherished! Could such a plan succeed, the devil, that old hunter, who has for many ages been busy at work setting traps for others, would for the first time, be himself entrapped-and entrapped by those who would thus outwit him in wiliness, and outdo him in trickery!

But benevolent societies, the Doctor tells us, 66 are little accustomed to calculate consequences." They lack that slight of hand, by which our great magicians force the future to give up its secrets. On great moral questions, involving elemental principles and first truths, they lack that adroitness which might enable them by balancing probabilities, to guess at obligations! How poorly qualified must they not be, to aid in removing "one of the greatest evils in the country!"

There is a way, to be sure, in which those who know not how by the doctrine of expediency to juggle sin out of the human heart, foresee with prophetic certainty, and proclaim with prophetic confidence the consequences of evil doing. God in shedding the light of reason upon their understandings, and in opening their eyes upon the page of Revelation, has furnished them with the principles upon which His government proceedeth. Through those principles a flood of sunbeams is poured upon the future; and a child, if his eye be single, may clearly see what must result from obedience or disobedience to the laws under which human nature is placed. Conformity to these laws must be as practicable and useful as it is obligatory. To invade human rights in any way and under any pretext is to transgress these laws, and incur the penalties by which they are sanctioned. And as slavery is a most flagrant violation of these rights, it must bring after it the most dreadful consequences. To restore to the wronged their rights, must be followed with good results. No man can doubt this without stifling his Before opening his lips to deny it, he must close his eyes against the light of reason, and turn away from the inspired volume. Fouler blasphemy was never heard than he utters, who ventures to affirm that it can be hurtful to any good cause to reduce strict rectitude to practice! So every truly benevolent society believes, and while in contending with any evil, though second only to " whiskey" in magnitude, they hold on their way along the line of rectitude, they cheerfully give over the calculation of chances to those jugglers, political and ecclesiastical, who now amuse, and now scare, the multitude around them with their wonder-working rod. No man ever betakes himself under the pressure of evil to the fortune-teller, till he has fallen out with reason and the Bible. The king of Israel would never have gone to the witch of Endor, if he had not felt that Je

own nature.

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