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struck the smiter dead. The parental relation is the centre of human society. God guards it with peculiar care. To violate that, is to violate all. Whoever trampled on that, showed that no relation had any sacredness in his eyes-that he was unfit to move among human relations who had violated one so sacred and tender. Therefore, the Mosaic law uplifted his bleeding corpse, and brandished the ghastly terror around the parental relation to guard it from impious inroads.
Why such a difference in penalties, for the same act? Answer. (1.) The relation violated was obvious-the distinction between parents and others manifest, dictated by natural affection—a law of the constitution. (2.) The act was violence to nature-a suicide on constitutional susceptibilities. (3.) The parental relation then, as now, was the focal point of the social system, and required powerful safeguards. "Honor thy father and thy mother," stands at the head of those commands which prescribe the duties of man to man; and, throughout the Bible, the parental state is God's favorite illustration of his own relations to the whole human family. In this case death was to be inflicted not for smiting a man, but a parent—a distinction cherished by God, and around which, He threw up a bulwark of defence. In the next verse, "He that stealeth a man," &c., the SAME PRINCIPLE is wrought out in still stronger relief. The crime to be punished with death was not the taking of property from its owner, but the doing violence to an immortal nature, blotting out a sacred distinction, making MEN "chattels." The incessant pains taken in the Old Testament to separate human beings from brutes and things, shows God's regard for his own distinction.
"In the beginning" it was uttered in heaven, and proclaimed to the universe as it rose into being. Creation was arrayed at the instant of its birth, to do it homage. It paused in adoration while God ushered forth its crowning work.. Why that dread pause and that creating arm held back in mid career and that high conference in the godhead? "Let us make man in OUR IMAGE after OUR LIKENESS, AND LET HIM HAVE DOMINION over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth." Then while every living thing, with land, and sea, and firmament, and marshalled worlds, waited to swell the shout of morning stars-then "GOD CREATED MAN IN HIS OWN IMAGE; IN THE IMAGE OF GOD CREATED HE HIM." This solves the problem, IN THE IMAGE OF GOD, CREATED HE HIM. Well might the sons of God shout, "Amen,
alleluia"- "For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honor. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet." Ps. viii. 5, 6. The repetition of this distinction is frequent and solemn. In Gen. i. 26-28, it is repeated in various forms. In Gen. v. 1, we find it again, 66 IN THE LIKENESS OF GOD MADE HE MAN." In Gen. ix. 6, again. After giving license to shed the blood of "every moving thing that liveth," it is added, "Whose sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed, for IN THE IMAGE OF GOD MADE HE MAN. As though it had been said, "All these creatures are your property, designed for your use—they have the likeness of earth, they perish with the using, and their spirits go downward; but this other being, MAN, has my own likeness: "IN THE IMAGE OF GOD made I man;" "an intelligent, moral, immortal agent, invited to all that I can give and he can be." So in Lev. xxiv. 17, 18, 21, “He that killeth any MAN shall surely be put to death; and he that killeth a beast shall make it good, beast for beast; and he that killeth a man shall be put to death." So in Ps. viii. 5, 6, what an enumeration of particulars, each separating infinitely MEN from brutes and things! (1.) "Thou hast made him a little lower than the angels." Slavery drags him down among brutes. (2.) "And hast crowned him with glory and honor." Slavery tears off his crown, and puts on a yoke. (3.) "Thou madest him to have dominion OVER the works of thy hands." Slavery breaks the sceptre, and casts him down among those works-yea, beneath them. (4.) "Thou hast put all things under his feet." Slavery puts HIM under the feet of an "owner." Who, but an impious scorner, dares thus strive with his Maker, and mutilate HIS IMAGE, and blaspheme the Holy One, who saith, “Inasmuch as ye did it unto one of the least of these, ye did it unto ME."
In further prosecuting this inquiry, the Patriarchal and Mosaic systems will be considered together, as each reflects light upon the oth ́er, and as many regulations of the latter are mere legal forms of Divine institutions previously existing. As a system, the latter alone is of Divine authority. Whatever were the usages of the patriarchs, God has not made them our exemplars.*
*Those who insist that the patriarchs held slaves, and sit with such delight under their shadow, hymning the praises of "those good old patriarchs and slaveholders," might at small cost greatly augment their numbers. A single stanza celebrating patriarchal concubinage, winding off with a chorus in honor of patriarchal drunken
Before entering upon an analysis of the condition of servants under these two states of society, we will consider the import of certain terms which describe the mode of procuring them.
IMPORT OF "BUY," AND "BOUGHT WITH MONEY."
As the Israelites were commanded to “buy” their servants, and as Abraham had servants "bought with money," it is argued that servants were articles of property. The sole ground for this belief is the terms themselves. How much might be saved, if in discussion, the thing to be proved were always assumed. To beg the question in debate, would be vast economy of midnight oil! and a great forestaller of wrinkles and grey hairs! Instead of protracted investigation into Scripture usage, with painful collating of passages, to find the meaning of terms, let every man interpret the oldest book in the world by the usages of his own time and place, and the work is done. And then instead of one revelation, they might be multiplied as the drops of the morning, and every man have an infallible clue to the mind of the Spirit, if he only understood the dialect of his own neighborhood! What a Babel-jargon it would make of the Bible to take it for granted that the sense in which words are now used is the inspired sense, David says, "I prevented the dawning of the morning, and cried." What, stop the earth in its revolution! Two hundred years ago, prevent was used in its strict Latin sense to come before, or anticipate. It is always used in this sense in the Old and New Testaments. David's expression, in the English of the nineteenth century, would be "Before the dawning of the morning I cried.", In almost every chapter of the Bible, words are used in a sense now nearly or quite obsolete, and sometimes in a sense totally opposite to their present meaning. A few examples follow: "I purposed to come to you, but was let (hindered) hitherto." "And the four beasts (living ones) fell down and worshipped God,"—" Whosoever shall offend (cause to sin) one of these little ones," "Go out into the highways and compel (urge) them to come in,"-" Only let your conversation (habitual conduct) be as becometh the Gospel," "They that seek me early (earnestly) shall find me,"-" So when tribulation
ness, would be a trumpet call, summoning from bush and brake, highway and hedge, and sheltering fence, a brotherhood of kindred affinities, each claiming Abraham or Noah as his patron saint, and shouting, "My name is legion." What a myriad choir and thunderous song.
or persecution ariseth by-and-by (immediately) they are offended." Nothing is more mutable than language. Words, like bodies, are always throwing off some particles and absorbing others. So long as they are mere representatives, elected by the whims of universal suffrage, their meaning will be a perfect volatile, and to cork it up for the next century is an employment sufficiently silly (to speak within bounds) for, a modern Bible Dictionary maker. There never was a shallower conceit than that of establishing the sense attached to a word centuries ago, by showing what it means now. Pity that fashionable mantuamakers were not a little quicker at taking hints from some Doctors of Divinity. How easily they might save their pious customers all qualms of conscience about the weekly shiftings of fashion, by proving that the last importation of Parisian indecency now flaunting on promenade, was the very style of dress in which the pious Sarah kneaded cakes for the angels, and the modest Rebecca drew water for the camels of Abraham's servants. Since such fashions are rife in Broadway now, they must have been in Canaan and Padanaram four thousand years ago!
The inference that the word buy, used to describe the procuring of servants, means procuring them as chattels, seems based upon the fallacy, that whatever costs money is money; that whatever or whoever you pay money for, is an article of property, and the fact of your paying for it proves it property. The children of Israel were required to purchase their first-born from under the obligations of the priesthood, Num. xviii. 15, 16; Ex. xiii. 13; xxxiv. 20. This custom still exists among the Jews, and the word buy is still used to describe the transaction. Does this prove that their first-born were, or are, held as property? They were bought as really as were servants. (2.) The Israelites were required to pay money for their own souls. This is called sometimes a ransom, sometimes an atonement. their souls therefore marketable commodities? (3.) Bible saints bought their wives. Boaz bought Ruth. "So Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of Mahlon, have I purchased to be my wife." Ruth iv. 10. Hosea bought his wife. "So I bought her to me for fifteen pieces of silver, and for an homer of barley, and an half homer of barley." Hosea iii. 6. Jacob bought his wives Rachael and Leah, and not having money, paid for them in labor-seven years a piece. Gen. xxix. 15-29. Moses probably bought his wife in the same way, and paid for her by his labor, as the servant of her father. Exod. ii.
21. Shechem, when negotiating with Jacob and his sons for Dinah, "Ask me never so much dowry and gift, and I will give according as ye shall say unto me." Gen. xxxiv. 11, 12. David purchased Michal, and Othniel, Achsah, by performing perilous services for their fathers. 1 Sam. xviii. 25-27; Judg. i. 12, 13. That the purchase of wives, either with money or by service, was the general practice, is plain from such passages as Ex. xxii. 17, and 1 Sam. xviii. 25. Among the modern Jews this usage exists, though now a mere form, there being no real purchase. Yet among their marriage ceremonies, is one called "marrying by the penny." The coincidences in the methods of procuring wives and servants, in the terms employed in describing the transactions, and in the prices paid for each, are worthy of notice. The highest price of wives (virgins) and servants was the same. Comp. Deut. xxii. 28, 29, and Ex. xxii. 17, with Lev. xxvii. 2-8. The medium price of wives and servants was the same. Comp. Hos. iii. 2, with Ex. xxi. 32. Hosea seems to have paid one half in money and the other half in grain. Further, the Israelitish female bought servants were wives, their husbands and masters being the same persons. Ex. xxi. 8, Judg. xix. 3, 27. If buying servants proves them property, buying wives proves them property. Why not contend that the wives of the ancient fathers of the faithful were their "chattels," and used as ready change at a pinch; and thence deduce the rights of modern husbands? Alas! Patriarchs and prophets are followed afar off! When will pious husbands live up to their Bible privileges, and become partakers with Old Testament worthies in the blessedness of a husband's rightful immunities! Refusing so to do, is questioning the morality of those "good old patriarchs and slaveholders, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob."
This use of the word buy, is not peculiar to the Hebrew. In the Syriac, the common expression for "the espoused," is "the bought." Even so late as the 16th century, the common record of marriages in the old German Chronicles was, "A BOUGHT B."
The word translated buy, is, like other words, modified by the nature of the subject to which it is applied. Eve said, "I have gotten (bought) a man of the Lord." She named him Cain, that is bought. "He that heareth reproof, getteth (buyeth) understanding," Prov. xv. 32. So in Isa. xi. 11. "The Lord shall set his hand again to recover (to buy) the remnant of his people." So Ps. lxxviii. 54. "He brought them to this mountain which his right hand had purchased,"