Rev. John G. Fee Welcome to the book An Anti-Slavery Manual, or, The Wrongs of American Slavery Exposed By the Light of the Bible and of Facts, with A Remedy for the Evil (1851), by Rev. John G. Free (1816-1901).
To go to the "Table of Contents" immediately, click here.
Prior to the 1861-1865 War, there were a number of Christian abolitionists who opposed slavery. They included Rev. John Rankin (1823), Rev. Theodore D. Weld (1837), Rev. Beriah Green (1839), Deacon James Birney (1840), Rev. Stephen S. Foster (1843), Rev. William W. Patton (1846), Rev. Parker Pillsbury (1847), Harriet B. Stowe (1853), Rev. George B. Cheever (1857), etc. Nowadays, their Biblical-based reasons are generally unknown.
They had assembled a vast array of evidence, an overwhelming convergence of historical, legal, geographical, Biblical, direct and circumstantial evidence, with numerous examples.
This series of websites educates by making the text of their writings accessible. Whether or not you agree with their position, it is at least a good idea to know what it (in its full scope) was!
This site in the series reprints the named book by Rev. John G. Fee (1816-1901), a Kentucky clergyman, who wrote several anti-slavery books, and founded Berea College.
The basic Bible commands banning slavery are in Exodus 21:16 and Deuteronomy 24:7. The New Testament reaffirmed them in 1 Timothy 1:9-10.
Three major aspects of slavery are in violation of nowadays-rarely-taught Bible principles
  • on the original grant,
  • against extortion, p 10, and
  • against owning people, pp 35, 38, 39, 41, 47, 53, 54, 174.
    [The "vile" and "demonized" clergymen of that era did not teach such Bible principles, and especially, did not teach the first two Bible concepts, on the original grant, and the Bible extortion ban, p 10. Over a million casualties resulted from this vile clergy silence.]

    "There never was such a thing as slavery among the Hebrews, nor ever any such thing as slave-legislation; they had no word in the language to signify a slave, nor did God ever permit any such word to be brought in . . . [the] legislation [was instead] absolutely and entirely against it . . . in abhorrence of it . . . condemning and forbidding it under penalty of death”—Rev. George B. Cheever, D.D., Iniquity of the Extension of Slavery (1856), pp 19-20.
    “There was never, at any time, in the Jewish [Bible] statutes, or authorized by them, any such thing as slavery in the Hebrew nation; never any claim of property in man.”—Rev. George B. Cheever, D.D., God Against Slavery (Cincinnati: American Reform Tract and Book Society, 1857), p 97. “Involuntary servitude was forbidden by the divine law, and the service appointed by the constitution of the Jewish state was a free [voluntary] service,” p 72.
    “The [Hebrew] legislation commenced by making the great and common source of slavery—kidnapping —a capital crime.”—Harriet Beecher Stowe, Key (Boston: John P. Jewett & Co, 1853), p 117.
    “In reality, the [so-called] Hebrew slave is a hireling [employee; job-holder].”—Henry J. Grimmelsman, Professor of Old Testament Exegesis, Mt. St. Mary Seminary of the West, Cincinnati, The Book of Exodus (Norwood, Cincinnati, Ohio: The Seminary Book Store, 1927), p 144.
    Wherefore, in view of said Bible anti-slavery principles, and many others, Rev. Fee is rebutting pro-slavery tergiversation (false claims) and “eisegesis” (imposing one's predetermined alleged meaning upon words) as opposed to “exegesis” (determining word meaning from context) with respect to the Bible. Pro-slavers did “eisegesis,” i.e., imposed their pre-determined minds-made-up-in-advance pro-slavery views on the Bible.
    Rev. Fee is further doing a proper analysis, i.e., establishing and defending the “exegesis,” finding the Bible words' meaning, for example, the meaning of the allegedly pro-slavery Greek word *@\8@H (doulos), p 73. Doing “exegesis” reveals the Bible actual anti-slavery meaning.
    In short, “the term slavery should never be used to designate the [Israelites'] servitude [employment] under the Mosaic economy [system],” p 63, and “the Mosaic servitude had none of the characteristics of modern slavery,” p 17. God had enabled the Hebrews to have fled slavery themselves, p 66. His divine Bible law made man-stealing a death penalty offense, p 46, citing Exodus 21:16, and Deuteronomy 24:7. Slavery violated God's original grant, original intent, p 116. Slavery is extortion, p 10, citing, e.g., 1 Corinthians 6:10. Slavery is listed as an offense like murder and perjury, 1 Timothy 1:10-11.
    After the Civil War, the South's disinformation campaign to 'win the peace' by altering history, meant and means that schools, reference books, and churches would teach only its side, the pro-slavery side. “After the war, former Confederates [had] wondered how to hold on to their . . . pride after [the] devastating defeat. . . . So they reverse-engineered a cause worthy of [their] heroics. They also sensed . . . that the end of slavery would confer a gloss of nobility, and bragging rights, on the North," says Donald von Drehle, "The Civil War, 1861-2011, The Way We Weren't" (Time, 18 April 2011), p 40. So unreconstructed Confederates resolved on denial and disinformation, including pretending that slavery had been constitutional and Biblically allowed.
    All the pro-slavery lies that had been so exhaustively refuted, thus keep showing up time and time again, deceiving the unwary. Your own church, school, or college, is undoubtedly corrupted by this. Southern disinformation is aided and abetted by the average clergy (like before the Civil War), not having the educational qualifications, competence, and background, nor the integrity, to even check the truth for themselves.
    Note also concerning U.S. clergy, their corrupt support of U.S. wars of aggression to expand slavery, e.g., as cited by Rev. Parker Pillsbury, the aggression war against Mexico.
  • An Anti-Slavery Manual,

    The Wrongs of American Slavery Exposed
    By the Light of the Bible and of Facts,
    with A Remedy for the Evil
    , 2d ed.
    by Rev. John G. Fee
    (New York: William Harned, 1851)

    Importance of the question
    Author's definition
    Involuntary service not slavery
    Apprentices and serfs not slaves
    Folly of confounding different relations with slavery
    Meaning of different Hebrew words
    Circumcision of servants
    No mention of them as property
    No record of their sale
    Case of Joseph
    Argument from Lev. xxv. 44-46; its fallacy
    Proofs that bondmen were not slaves
    Word buy
    Words possession and inheritance
    Word for ever
    Year of jubilee
    Nature of the servitude
    Voluntary with Jew and Gentile
    Facilities for escape of servants
    Their return forbidden
    Legal protection of servants
    Right of property secured to them
    Design of this bondservice
    No warrant for us at any rate
    Fallacy of pro-slavery argument from
        fourth and tenth commandments
    God makes no slaves in the womb
    Law for the protection of rights
    Meaning of different Greek words
    Teaching of Christ


    No evidence that He ever met a case of slavery
    Hostility of His precepts to slavery
    Golden rule
    Duties of servants
    Not hopeful for slavery
    Duties of masters
    What is "just and equal"?
    Pro-slavery objections considered
    Roman slavery
    Case of Onesimus
    No argument from silence of the apostles
    Slaveholders not in apostolic churches
    Bearings of the word extortioner, 1 Cor. v. 10.
    An invasion of God's authority
    A usurpation of man's rights
    Destroys the right of personal ownership
    Reviewer In Biblical Repertory reviewed
    Right to worship God
    Right of personal security
    Right of property
    Evils of slavery
    To the slave
    To the master
    To the church
    Immediate emancipation
    West India emancipation
    Working of freedom at the North
    Emancipation safe
    Colonization scheme unjust, unchristian and hopeless
    Will never remove slavery
    Feeds prejudice against color
    Other objections met
    Final appeal



    "THE human mind," said Professor Miller, of Glasgow, "revolts at a serious discussion of the subject of slavery. Every individual, whatever be his country or complexion, is entitled to freedom."

    Whilst the above is true, and readily seen by minds always accustomed to free institutions, and never blurred by opposite teachings and customs, yet the history of the past tells us, that where institutions [traditions of men] have been made familiar by use, hallowed by time, and sanctioned by the highest civil and religious authority, the human mind may be induced to embrace and practice that which is opposed to the noblest feelings of our nature, and the plainest principles of natural justice. Under such influences, the mother has been induced to throw her smiling babe into the arms of burning Moloch; and the father to stand with approving silence by, whilst its infant shrieks, amidst devouring flames, were drowned by the hoarse voice of Tophet's drums, and the frantic yells of religious devotees.

    By such influence among the nations of antiquity, renowned for learning, intellectual strength and sagacity, the arbitrary murder of the wife by the husband, the child by the parent, have been regarded as lawful, and praised by the deluded populace. Idolatry, theft, adultery, every sin forbidden in the decalogue [Ten Commandments], have in different ages been sanctioned by law, and practiced by the people, as consistent with right, and even praiseworthy. How true are the words so often quoted:

    "Vice is a monster of such frightful mien,
    As to be hated needs but to be seen;
    But seen too oft, familiar with her face,
    We first endure, then pity, then embrace."

    With the above facts before us, it is not a strange thing that slaveholding, when [un]sanctioned by the law of the land, rendered familiar by every day's occurrence, practiced by kind and beloved parents, and by revered Christian friends; apologized for


    by the pastor from the sacred desk, with whose name and labors are associated our very hopes of heaven; and last of all, enforced by the judges of our civil courts, with sacred book in hand;—with all these influences, goaded on by hearts too full of covetousness, and too fond of ease, it is not strange that even slaveholding should be deemed at least tolerable.

    Nor will it be deemed a useless work to frame a serious and extended argument, to remove teachings engraven by the highest human authority, and the dearest associations.

    "Even the slave-trade," says [Abbé Henri] Grégoire [1750-1831], "has been a subject of discussion for more than twenty years in the British Parliament; and so distinguished for talents and sophistry have been some of its abettors, that a refutation of their false reasoning became highly useful, and even NECESSARY."

    Clarkson tells us the same inhuman practice [tradition] was not only sanctioned by the laws of the land, in his day, but defended as a religious institution. Though this foreign slave-trade is declared by the American Government to be piracy, and punishable with death; and though domestic slavery is in nature, practice and crime, the same as the foreign slave-trade, (viz.: the robbing innocent men and women of their natural liberty,) yet so numerous are its defenders, and so distinguished for talents and authority are some of its apologists, that "a refutation of their false reasoning is highly useful, and even necessary."

    Although there are a multitude of persons, who, after all this pro-slavery teaching, do not feel satisfied, and say that "somehow or other it is not exactly right," yet they cannot tell definitely where and how it is forbidden. This want of definite knowledge—of ready weapons—deprives them of courage to attack. If they had the armor, there would soon be thousands of valiant soldiers in the fields—yea, upon the sunny plains of the South-—we mean soldiers engaged only in a moral warfare.

    Also, there is in the South a vast amount of teaching like the following: "In olden times there were some practices [traditions], such as concubinage, arbitrary divorce, and slavery, which God 'winked at'—tolerated. The apostles got rid of the first two of these practices [traditions], but saw fit to continue the toleration of the latter." Taking the former for granted—as true, many suppose slavery is one of the things to be tolerated.

    And we believe all those books written by anti-slavery men, on the principle and on the admission that God did tolerate some antichristian practices [traditions], and among others slavery, unrebuked in the Church, yet inculcated principles opposed to them, and such as would eventually wear


    them out—all such books, and all such teaching, we believe to be erroneous, and wholly inadequate to the end [goal]—the removal of slavery. In despite of the most labored arguments, the people will still say and believe, that if these practices [traditions] were not sinful then, they are not sinful now; if Christians might practice them then, they may practice them now: the circumstances of time and place cannot change moral right or wrong.

    We need, then, a different kind of teaching. And it was in view of the above facts that a worthy President of one of our Southern colleges said to me:

    "We need an anti-slavery manual, giving a concise yet comprehensive Bible argument showing slavery to be sin; and one that we can put in the hands of every man in the South."

    As a citizen of the South—as one who has been born and reared in the midst of slavery—as one who has lived and labored along with slaves from infancy to manhood, and who has seen slavery in its workings from its northern to its southern boundary, I believe the words of that President to be true. Prior to this, because God in his providence had thrown my lot in the land of slavery, and made me acquainted with its workings, and the feelings of those involved in it, I felt called and had consecrated my life to the work of preaching the gospel of love to all men, designed to remove that common enemy of religion, of virtue, of knowledge, and of human happiness—slavery.

    In 1844, I delivered in outline the argument contained in the following chapters, to some of the citizens of my native county—Bracken county, Kentucky. In 1845, I delivered the same in Lewis county, to the congregation to which I now minister. In 1846, by request, I sent the whole argument to the "True American," in which, in a series of numbers, the argument was published.

    At the suggestion of some friends, I have revised these numbers, and collected them into chapters in their present form. And as the whole is designed to be a kind of manual for the aid of those who are desirous to gather truth and facts on the all-absorbing question, I have felt free, for the sake of enforcing the original plan, to make some extracts from authors which have appeared since the publication of the original numbers.

    Our argument is chiefly a Bible argument; because,

    1. We need to enlist the conscience. Said a late writer, "The more I see of slavery, the more am I convinced that whenever we move against slavery, we should do so from the consideration that it is sin against God. For," said he, "whenever we lose


    sight of this fact, we lose our hold upon conscience." The loss of this is a great loss. Facts prove that it is conscience that has nerved the arm, fired the heart, and emboldened the soul in all great struggles for truth and liberty. It has given permanency, as well as potency, to action. So great is the desire for popularity, and the unwillingness to meet opposition, that unless we can get men to feel that they owe a duty to their fellow-man, the cause of truth, and of God—that unless they move forward in behalf of the oppressed, their own souls cannot be unspotted from guilt; even the non-slaveholder is apt to "hear slightly" the cries of patriotism and philanthropy.

    With the slaveholder, who has hundreds and thousands invested in his slaves, unless we can awaken his conscience—lay the hand upon his soul and cause it to tremble for its future and immortal interests, we shall find it difficult, if not impossible, to convince him that it is his duty, and for his good, that he should make a sacrifice of his present interests, and "let the oppressed go free."

    2. The Bible, in our country, is the standard of right. Its decisions are final. And there is not a judge upon the bench, nor a jury in the land, who will decide in opposition to what are the generally received teachings of the Bible. If these teachings or interpretations be wrong, they will decide with them, because they understand them to be the teachings of the Bible. If, therefore, the common interpretation of the Bible be wrong, then there is the greater necessity that a correct interpretation be placed in the hands of every man—of every juror—that his decisions may not only be made in accordance with what he shall suppose to be the Bible, but also with truth and right.

    3. We appeal to the Bible, because the apologists of slavery also appeal to it, and, as we believe, by false interpretations, make it to support despotism of the grossest form. We wish to see it free from such perversions. We wish to make no new or foreign interpretations, but simply tear off the false glosses that have been placed upon it, that it may shine with its original purity and righteousness.

    In this exposition we have indulged a little in verbal criticisms. This we have done because much of the pro-slavery argument in the South, at least in Kentucky, is interwoven with, or built upon Greek and Hebrew criticisms. And I know that many persons seem to think the pro-slavery argument is strengthened, by the fact that it is backed by such an array of learning. In order to the greatest good, it is necessary to meet this array of learning,


    and by this means expose the deceptions, that no soul be deluded, and that the advocates of freedom may have their positions strongly fortified, and their confidence unwavering. In our criticisms, we have endeavored to present them so that the common reader will see their force and propriety.

    In order that the evil of slavery may be fully seen, we have also incorporated some facts, showing the evil effects of slavery upon general intelligence—upon the domestic and social relations of life—upon the efficiency of the Church, and the purity of religion.

    Its corrupting influence upon the gospel calls loudly for the interposition of every voice in the land—of every lover of virtue, and of all who love the salvation of the soul of the master, as well as the slave. The Bible teaches us that the sum and essence of all religion is supreme love to God, and equal love to our neighbor; that there is no religion without this. See Luke x.27; Matt. xxii. 37-40.

    And it is delusion to hope that we love God when we do not love our neighbor as ourselves; for, "He that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?" (John iv. 20.) "And if ye love me, keep my commandments." (John xiv. 15.) The practical teaching of slavery is the opposite of all this, and yet it is alleged to be in accordance with the religion of the Bible.

    The purity of religion, then, and the salvation of the soul, require us to speak. Silence is treason to God—treachery to man. We honestly believe that the policy of those who keep silence on this subject, in order that they may not waken the prejudice of the master, and thus have "access to master and slave," is as ruinous in practice, as it is corrupting in principle.

    The Word of God (1 Cor. vi. 10) says, "Drunkards shall not enter the kingdom of heaven." This, of course, means a deliberate and unrepenting drunkard. Now, suppose some individuals, or denominations, in order not to awaken the prejudice of drunkards, and to get access to them, should apologize for drunkenness, saying it was a patriarchal practice [tradition], as in the case of those good men, Noah and Lot; or, if they did not apologize for it, say, "We will be silent—we will go along and preach the gospel, [a part of the gospel they mean, limiting the Bible to "Jesus loves you"] and let these licensed [widespread] sins alone;" saying pervertingly, "Be subject to the powers that be." What would be the consequence of such a policy? Drunkenness would be multiplied all over the land, and drunkards would go to the Judgment bar deluded by false teaching. By such a policy the gospel would be lowered [debased] in its claims,


    and deprived of its power to purify society [cause national repentance]—be converted into a mere "conscience-plaster," quieting the inebriate in his lust, until at the Judgment day he beholds—O my God! too late—that he is still in his sins; and with anguish of soul, he cries, Farewell, heaven! farewell for ever!!

    Ed. Note: Such lying clergy will then become seen as liars, deceivers, and be killed even by their own parents. And any who survive will be ashamed of their past, deny being clergymen, and claim to be agriculturalists. Zechariah 13:2-5.
    But tragically, two-thirds of the people will be dead, due to having been deceived during their lifetime by such lying clergymen. Zechariah 13:8.
    Such clergymen had suppressed, concealed, refused to preach, essential parts of the Bible. Romans 1:18. Warning had been given to beware of
  • an alternative "gospel," Galatians 1:6-9
  • deceitful clergymen, 2 Corinthians 11:13-15.
    This message was not being adhered to in the South, the "Bible-Belt." Here, Rev. Fee is giving examples of clergymen misleading their congregations, then on slavery, now on . . . .
  • Now, reader, the same scripture (1 Cor. vi. 10) which says drunkards shall not enter the kingdom of heaven, says also, No EXTORTIONER shall enter the kingdom of heaven. That slaveholding is the worst form of extortion, few will deny. To be silent, then, is to teach men that they may live in the worst species of extortion, and yet go to heaven. It is to deprive the gospel of its power to remove such sins; leave the poor slave ground down in ignorance; and cheat the master out of the salvation of his soul.

    Ed. Note: Note additional anti-extortion references, e.g., Psalm 109:11,   Isaiah 16:4,   Ezekiel 22:12,   Matthew 23:25,   Luke 18:11, and 1 Corinthians 5:10-11.
    The commandments are not to be added to nor subtracted from, Deuteronomy 4:2 and 12:32. This concept follows from the "original grant," Genesis 1:28, p 116 infra. Adding is invariably extortion, as nobody is authorized to add orders to their fellow humans; subtraction can lead to extortion. Both are precluded.

    Oh, the criminality of such a course! Will not the blood of souls be required at the hands of those watchmen who refuse “to speak, to warn” the extortioner “from his way?” “His blood will I require at their hands.” (See Ezekiel xxxiii. 8.)

    And would it not be better that the South should be without a gospel ministry, than with one which corrupts the Word of God, and allows practices [traditions] which as effectually exclude from heaven as heathen darkness itself ? I believe it. Moreover, if the South had not a delusive gospel, which now gives a partial quietus to conscience, she would soon seek a pure gospel, or a whole gospel; for "all that a man hath, will he give for his life." Let churches go, rather than delude them with false hopes, and corrupt the very standard of right. Christ and his apostles often left, if men would not hear the whole truth. Then, as we desire the purity of the gospel, and the never-dying soul of the master as well as the slave, we must in faithfulness speak.

    Did we do otherwise, you would say we are "hirelings who flee when we see the wolf coming." But the good shepherd, the true pastor will stand by the sheep, and raise the warning voice, because he loves the sheep, and fears his God. (John x. 12.) We are free to say, we believe there are good and conscientious men who pursue the policy of saying nothing about the sinfulness of slavery. But charity for the men should not lead us to overlook their practice [tradition], which we believe to be delusive and ruinous. With these views, to remain silent is to be unloyal to God, and unfaithful to both master and slave.

    This, then, dear reader, is our reason for speaking against a sin [un]sanctioned by law, and practiced by men we love.

    We have endeavored to speak in a spirit of love and kindness; for we know the difficulties of those involved in slaveholding.


    We know the biasing effect of education, of example, of interest, and of prejudice. We know, too, the anxiety of an awakened conscience on the question of human rights—the enslavement of our fellow-men, the brethren of Christ, and the children of our heavenly Father. We know the solicitude of those who really wish to know what is truth on this question, which is now the great question in Church and State. We have, therefore, written such truths as were effective in awakening our own minds, with the hope that they may be found useful to others.

    Reader, our interests are identified with yours; and we have no motive to say or do any thing on this subject, but such as is drawn from duty to God and man. About this subject we may honestly differ; yet let us have charity for each other, and a mutual expression of our honest convictions of truth; remembering that it is by the free expression of opinion that the landmarks of truth are advanced; that "truth has nothing to fear from error, so long as she is left free to combat it," and that freedom of thought and liberty of speech are natural and constitutional rights.

                        THE AUTHOR.


    Chapter I.


    Importance of The Question

    "COMPARED with slavery," said Dr. Fuller, of South Carolina, "all other questions that agitate the minds of men in the United States are really trifling." The great point to be settled in reference to this question is, whether it is in itself sinful. As the standard of right and wrong in our country is the Bible, our decision of this question must be made by an appeal to the teaching of the Bible on the subject.

    But before we can call in the decision of the Bible, we must define what is meant by slavery, or what relation constitutes a man a slave. Much confusion on this subject has arisen from the want of correct definitions.

    "The term slave," says Dr. Johnson, "is derived from Slavi or Slavonians, who were subdued and sold by the Venitians, and signifies one mancipated or sold to a master." Mancipation, on the same authority, is involuntary obligation—slavery. The Latin mancipium, from which the word mancipated is derived, signifies, (1) property, or right of perpetual possession, as lands; (2) a slave.

    Author's Definition

    A slave, then, is one who, without his consent, is held as property, before and after he is of age—during lifetime; and that in such a manner that he may acquire nothing, possess nothing, nor do any thing either for himself, his wife, his family, his church, his country, his God, but [except] with the consent of his master.

    And slavery is that relation in which unoffending human beings are, without their consent, made and held as property for lifetime.

    That the slave is thus held, and is one in this relation is proved—

    1. By the laws of slave States. "A slave is one who is in the power of a master, to whom he belongs. The master may sell

    him, dispose of his person, his industry and his labor. He can do nothing, possess nothing, nor acquire any thing but what must belong to his master." (Code of Louisiana.)

    "Slaves shall be deemed, sold, taken, and reputed to be chattels personal in the hands of their owners and possessors, their executors, administrators and assigns, to all intents, constructions and purposes whatsoever." (See Laws of South Carolina, Stroud, p. 22.)

    Ed. Note: Full Citation: George M. Stroud (1795-1875), A Sketch of the Laws Relating to Slavery in the Several States of the United States of America (Philadelphia: Kimber and Sharpless, 1827)

    2. From similarity of tenure with other property, in all slave States. What we hold as property, we use and dispose of as weplease, without consulting the will of said property. So, the will, interest, happiness or duties of the slave may be wholly disregarded.

    3. From claim of the master. He claims his slave, not as a hireling, child or ward, but as his property.

    Involuntary Service Not Slavery

    To prevent confounding the above relation with those which are lawful and necessary, I remark:

    I. All who perform involuntary service for others are not slaves; otherwise, unwilling jurors, or those citizens compelled to fight for a season the battles of their country, would be slaves. Much error and confusion have arisen from defining slavery to be merely involuntary servitude. Involuntary servitude is a part of slavery, but not the whole of it.

    Dr. Fuller and Dr. Rice, (in substance,) with many other apologists for slavery, have assumed Paley's definition—"an obligation to labor for the benefit of the master, without the contract or consent of the servant," as a correct definition of slavery. If this definition be correct, then, as a child is under obligation to perform service for the parent without contract or consent, there would be no difference between the relation which a child sustains to its parent and the relation which a slave sustains to his master. But this is not true; for,

    (1.) The relation of child to parent is natural. That of the slave to the master is not. Freedom is the natural state of all men, so soon as they attain the age of manhood.

    (2.) The relation or obligation of the child to the parent is only during the years of minority; but slavery is for life.

    (3.) The child receives more than an equivalent for his services; but the slave does not receive any thing like an equivalent. Slavery is continued only for the supposed profits of extortion. If masters had to give equivalents to their slaves, slavery would soon cease.

    (4.) The child, in its natural relation, may never be sold. To

    sell is an abuse of the relation. But slavery makes one adult man the property of another man, and therefore liable at all times to be sold, as other property.

    Do you say, "The master may have the power to sell, but he ought not to exercise it; and if he don't, then there is no harm done in holding the man as a slave?" We reply :

    (1.) If it would be wrong for the master to exercise the power, then it was wrong in us to give him the power. We ought to give no man a power which it would be wrong for him to exercise. We ought not to tempt him to evil.

    (2.) The liability of the sale of the slave does not depend alone upon the will of the master. The law has made that slave property, and the law holds him liable to sale as other property, irrespective of the wish of either him or his master. If the master is in debt, becomes bankrupt, the law seizes tbe slave, and sells him to the highest bidder—the husband from the wife, the wife from the husband, the parent from the child. Or if the master dies, then the law divides these toil-worn slaves to the heirs of the master. And these heirs by law, may sell, or separate these human beings, just as they do the hogs and cattle of their father. They are by law made property, subject to all the liabilities of property.

    Do you say, "Pass a law forbidding slaves to be sold and families to be separated?" We reply:

    (1.) You would pass an abolition act; for no man would buy a slave or slaves when he knew he would be compelled to keep that slave, irrespective of what his character might prove to be, or irrespective of the numbers that might increase on his hands.

    (2.) With such a law, slavery never could have had an existence, unless all enslavers had become practical kidnappers, seizing men in a state of freedom, and each master for himself reducing his fellow-man to a state of slavery, which, Dr. Rice says, "was an unrighteous thing."

    (3.) Such a law would really destroy slavery, and convert it into something else—a mere bond-service.

    There is a relation regulated by law, in which human beings are not only held to involuntary service for life, but also are held as other property, liable to sale. This relation differs from other relations, and is, therefore, correctly designated by a different and specific term. That term is slavery. And the relation above alluded to is slavery. But a relation in which human beings were simply required to labor during life for another, without the latter having power to sell the servant; this relation

    would be a different thing—a mere oppressive bond-service. But we did not set out to discuss bond-service. Slavery, then, is not mere obligation to perform service.*   It includes property tenure in man for life.

    Apprentices and Serfs Not Slaves

    II. All hirelings are not slaves. This relation is (1.) voluntary; (2.) for the mutual good of the laborer and employer; (3.) the rights of man as man are regarded and secured.

    III. All apprentices are not slaves.

  • (1.) This relation is entered upon only as a bond-service during the period of minority in which the law and guardian take the natural and necessary relations of parent.

  • (2.) For the mutual good of apprentice and master. To the apprentice a full equivalent is given for services rendered. Not so with the slave.

  • (3.) His rights as man are all the while regarded and secured. The apprentice is never regarded as in person the property of the master. All the master has, is a claim to his services for the season of minority, or for a term of years. He may not hold the apprentice beyond the proper period for contracting the marriage relation, nor may he sell the apprentice. Thus with the apprentice the marriage relation cannot be violated, nor other social and religious duties be interrupted. To confound this relation with slavery is to be guilty of the grossest fallacy.
  • IV. The condition of the serf or villein is not slavery. As a fixture, he is confined to the glebe, but he may not be individually sold and deprived of his home, nor his wife, nor his children, nor of religious privileges on the Sabbath. The relation is indeed oppressive, and the government which inflicts the oppression commits sin in so doing. And if slavery and the condition of the serfs were precisely the same, slavery would also be sin, because it is not a natural relation, and is a robbery of the most precious of all boons—liberty.

    V. Slavery is not mere bond-service for a definite period of time. The Jew might sell [hire, contract out out] himself, that is, his services, for six years, or until the year of jubilee. Still this was not slavery—it was voluntary servitude. And the purchaser might not sell the man. He had only a claim to his services for himself and family. In like manner, white men in America have sold [contracted out] their services for a time.

    Nor was the condition of the poor Jew, who was sold for theft, until his work should pay the fine, that of American slavery.
    * In this respect we believe the Biblical Repertory, 1836, pp. 279, 293, 294, is defective.

    This was the obligation of a criminal to perform service for a definite period of time.

    Folly of Confounding Different Relations with Slavery

    Both of the above cases differ from that of a slave, in that the service of the slave is the involuntary service of an innocent man for a lifetime.

    Now different relations or conditions should always be distinguished by different terms. Propriety and justice require it. And as "a definition of any thing is that which distinguishes it from every thing else," slavery is not defined, until it is distinguished from every thing else.

    Great confusion is made, and false impressions given, even by anti-slavery men, in calling the bond-service of the Mosaic economy slavery, when in reality it was something else. It was simple bond-service, in which children were bound [apprenticed] by parents until they should be "of age," and in the case of adult servants, they bound themselves for a term of years, as we shall show. And if it is insisted that these servants were placed in the hands of the Jew without their wills being consulted, we shall show that the Jew might not hold the servant so—in involuntary servitude. Mere bond-service is not slavery.*

    But slavery is that relation in which one innocent man, without his consent, is made, for lifetime, the property of another, or others. The slave is held in such manner that his person, time, labor, and all natural rights may be controlled by his master, irrespective of the wish of the slave.

    The question then is, whether this relation is sanctioned by the Bible.
    * A late writer, referring to some valuable articles which he had written, says: “We have sometimes used the terms slave and slavery in the preceding discussion, but any one can see that the Mosaic servitude had none of the characteristics of modern slavery.” Why then, we ask, confound things entirely dissimilar by using the same terms? As long as our [pro-slavery] teachers [fraudulently] call the Mosaic servitude slavery, the people will be likely to infer that it is what it is called.

    Mr. Barnes has done the same thing—calling that slavery which his previous definitions show is not real slavery.

    Chapter II.


    THE primitive grant given in Gen. i. 26 does not sanction slavery. There we are told that God gave to man dominion over the fish of the sea, the fowls of the air, the beasts of the field; but over man he [God] gave him [mankind] no dominion.

    Ed. Note: For background on the "original grant" concept dating back thousands of years, to the "Garden of Eden" Genesis 1:28 era and reaffirmed in Psalm 8:6-8 and Hebrews 2:6-8, see e.g., p 10, supra, and
  • Rev. John Rankin, Letters (1823), p 100
  • Rev. Theo. D. Weld, Bible Against Slavery (1837), pp 28-30
  • James Birney, Bulwarks (1840), p 29
  • Lysander Spooner, Slavery (1845), p 14
  • Rev. Parker Pillsbury, Forlorn Hope (1847), p 8
  • Rev. John Fee, Non-Fellowship (1849), p 6
  • Rev. John G. Fee, Sinfulness of Slavery (1851), p 10
  • Edward C. Rogers, Slavery Illegality (1855), pp 28-33
  • Sen. Charles Sumner Barbarism (1860), p 132
  • Rev. Parker Pillsbury, Acts (1883), p 365.
    The "original grant" was rulership, dominion, over the earth, fish, fowl, herbs, THINGS, NOT people. See also p 116, infra.
  • A like grant was given or continued to Noah after the flood. Gen. ix. 2. But over man he had no dominion. But some, even ministers of the gospel, and judges of our civil courts, in their instructions to grand juries, in vindication of African enslavement, plead Gen. ix. 25: "And he (Noah) said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren."

    The argument drawn from this passage is as follows:—"The text declares that the Canaanites were to be cursed for Ham's sin. The curse to be inflicted was enslavement by the descendants of Shem and Japheth. "We, as the descendants of Japhetic are enslaving the Canaanites, and are therefore doing right."

    In answer to this position, I reply: There is no proof that the Africans we are enslaving are Canaanites. The burden of proof rests with the affirmative; and inasmuch as they vindicate slavery, not on the ground that it is a natural relation, and necessary, but only on the ground of permission from God, they must show positively a permission from God, and then that these Africans among us are the people whom we are permitted to enslave by the authority of the above text. This cannot be done, while there is proof abundant that they are not the Canaanites. The Canaanites were Asiatics, living in the land of Canaan, and are the people who afterwards settled the islands of the Mediterranean, and are well known not to have been either in their physiognomy or color like our Africans.*
    * Many seem to think the dark complexion and peculiar form of the negro are badges of Noah's curse, and that their [alleged] feeble intellects unfit them for freedom—that these are evidences that God designed the negroes to be slaves. We often hear these sentiments proclaimed among us from men in high places. On the subject of color, form, and intellectual capacity, see Appendix, letter A [not included here].


    Again: Their language was as different from that of the people on the western coast of Africa, as the Hebrew is from ours, or ours from the Hottentot, or any Indian language.

    But if we admit, what is not true, that the people we are enslaving are the Canaanites, still the text furnishes no justification of our enslavement of them; the text being only a prophecy, and a mere prophecy never justifies those who fulfil it; otherwise the Egyptians who oppressed the Hebrews,—Ishmael, of whom it was predicted, "his hand will be against every man, and every man's hand against him,"—Judas who betrayed Christ, and the Jews who crucified him, were innocent; for it was foretold that they would do these things.

    Ed. Note: The duty is to do what the law says, not merely copy what people do, are said to do, or predicted to do. The standard is what the law says, defines as within legal and constitutional limits. To find out what laws say, do not compare with tradition, with practice, with prophecy, with what people do. Read the law. Here is why:

    “what ought to be done is fixed by a standard . . . whether it usually is complied with or not.”—Texas & Pac Ry v Behymer, 189 US 468, 470; 23 S Ct 622, 623; 47 L Ed 903 (U.S. Supreme Court, 1903).

    Law is designed for a purpose. That is, it is

    “designed to disrupt” nonconforming practice or behavior (even prophecied behavior), says U.S. v City of Los Angeles, 595 F2d 1386, 1391 (CA 9, 1979).

    A “practice” [or tradition] “not based upon any rule of law” [or Constitution] must be reversed and rejected, Biafore v Baker, 119 Mich App 667; 326 NW2d 598 (1982); The T. J. Hooper, 60 F2d 737, 740 (CA 2, 1932). Such "practice" must be superseded and ended.

    Once more: The prophecy in the text has had its fulfilment long since:

    First, in the subjugation of the Canaanites by the Jews, who were the descendants of Shem;

    Second, by the Greeks and Romans, who were the descendants of Japheth, and now by the Turks; and needs not our enslavement of a different people to secure its fulfilment. Then, so far as this text is concerned, we have no more right to enslave the black man, than the white man.

    Ed. Note: Southern slavers were working to
    expand slavery, to include enslaving whites.


    Chapter III.


    THE next reliance, in defense of American slavery, is the practice [tradition] of the patriarchs.

    Here it is assumed, first, that the patriarchs held slaves; and Gen. xiv. 14, xvii. 12, and other like passages, are plead as proof.

    And second, as they were good men, and God did not openly censure their practice [tradition], therefore we may do as they did.

    Meaning of Different Hebrew Words

    In the first position, it is assumed that the word servant, bond-man and bond-maid, mean slave,—one held as property, without his consent, before and after he is of age; whereas, the Hebrew word, +13, which is translated servant, like our word servant, simply denotes one who does service for another, without regard

    to the time for which, or the principles upon which, he does service. The service may be voluntary, or it may be involuntary; it may be for a limited time, or it may be for an unlimited, time. The import of the word must be determined by the connection in which it is used—by historical facts, or by laws defining the servant's condition. A servant in Ohio, and a servant in Kentucky, may mean very different relations. The term +13 which we translate servant and bondman, "nowhere in the Scriptures of necessity implies slavery." So says Barnes. Like our word servant, it does not of necessity mean one held as property, without his consent, before and after he is of age.

    Take, for example, Isa. xlii.1: "Behold my servant whom I uphold; mine elect in whom my soul delighteth: I have put my Spirit upon him, he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles," The word servant here is applied to Christ. Are we to infer, therefore, that he was a slave, doing compulsory or unwilling service, and held as an article of property, liable to barter and sale? Surely not.

    Again, in 1 Kings xii. 7, we have these words of the counsellors to [King] Rehoboam: "If thou wilt be a servant unto this people this day, and wilt serve them, and answer them, and speak good words unto them, then they will be thy servants for ever." Here, and in verse 4th, preceding, was a declaration that the people, owning themselves and their property, and as free as we are, would voluntarily labor for the good of [King] Rehoboam, if he would for them.

    The subjects of [Kings] Saul and David, who paid a tribute or tax, were called servants; see 1 Sam. viii. 17; 1 Chron. xxi. 3. Once more, see Joshua ix. 23: "Now, therefore, ye are cursed, and there shall none of you be freed from being bondmen, and hewers of wood and drawers of water for the house of my God." The word bondmen here, has been quoted as evidence that the Gibeonites were slaves to the Israelites; that they held the Gibeonites as individual property, with absolute control. But we shall show that even bondman here does not mean a slave. For if we read Joshua x. 1-5, Ezra ii.70, 2 Sam. xxi. 1-14, we learn that the Gibeonites were not the individual property of the Israelites, owned and controlled by individuals, but that they as a people lived as a distinct tribe or nation, having their own property and families; and as a tax, or revenue to the house of God, a part of them, the Nethinims, (those who did the temple service,) were required to do a certain kind and amount of labor "for the house of my God." Even these Nethinims, who were the part of the

    Gibeonites doing the temple service, lived in their own cities; see Neh. vii. 73. Thus we see their bond service [taxpaying via a "draft"] "was a requirement of the law [special one-time treaty], that they should perform a certain amount of labor for the house of God—not for individual Israelites.*

    [It was] A service like to that which we may be required to pay to our government in military service; or that which subjugated nations pay as a tax to their king, or similar to that which the people of England pay to the Established Church, only it was paid in labor. Bush, in his Notes on Exod. xxi. 2, says:

    "The word servant is applied to the serving of worshippers, of tributaries, of domestics, of Levites, of sons to a father, of subjects to a ruler, of hirelings, of soldiers, of public officers, &c. And to interpret it slave or to argue, from the fact of the words being used to denote domestic servants, that they were made servants by force, worked without pay, and held as articles of property, would be a gross and gratuitous assumption."

    Then the mere fact that the patriarchs had servants, does no more prove that these servants were slaves, than the fact that a farmer in Ohio has a body of servants [employees] in his employ, proves that they are slaves. More will be said on this when we come to the Mosaic institution [pp 30-72], where servitude was regulated by the law.

    Ed. Note: And see Paul's anti-extortion analysis, p 10; and the Christian overview, pp 72-121.

    But secondly, it is maintained that the patriarchs not only had servants, but servants bought with money; and these must have been slaves. We reply, that to buy in the days of the patriarchs and Mosaic institutions, as it has been with us, did not give absolute ownership, or unlimited control, in all cases. The word buy in English, and (18 in Hebrew, which is the word we translate "to buy," are modified, or limited in their signification, by the laws of the land where they are used, and the subjects to which they are applied. See Biblical Repository, April No. 1844, page 308.

    Examples in illustration of this rule. When a Jew or stranger bought a piece of land under the Mosaic economy, that Jew or stranger had not absolute ownership or unlimited control. He
    * Though that service was not slavery, its requirement was without divine sanction. God had commanded the Israelites to slay every thing in the land of Canaan. But because the "Princes of the congregation swore unto the Gibeonites, that they would not destroy them;" yet as these Gibeonites had lied unto the princes, Joshua and the princes required a tax of bond service of them, to the house of God [Joshua 9:3-27]. Yet we are told that this whole transaction was without "counsel from the mouth of the Lord." [Joshua 9:14.] Indeed, contrary to his previous command. So [Rev. William H.] Brisbane in loco. So there was no authority for exacting this bond service.

    had the use of the land, until the year of jubilee, when it reverted to the original owner. See Lev. xxv. 24. Such, doubtless, was the tenure in man. By the law, his service was secured until the year of jubilee, when all went out free. See Lev. xxv. 10: "Ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout the land, and to all the inhabitants thereof: ye shall return every man to his family." When a Hebrew servant was bought, the master had not absolute or unlimited control, but simply a claim to his services for six years; see Exod. xxi. 2.

    So with us, when immigrants to this country are sold [hired out] for their passage money, they are sold for a definite period of time, and the man who buys them has a claim upon their services for a few months or years; then they are free men, having all the while their natural rights protected. The immigrant received an equivalent for his labor, and when the stipulated service was performed, he went free, though he had been bought. He received his price or hire himself and that beforehand, and was therefore said to be bought.

    Boaz bought Ruth, (Ruth iv. 10;) Hosea bought his wife, (Hos. iii. 2;) Jacob his; but it does not follow, that because these were bought, they were, therefore, held as slaves.

    Nehemiah and his brethren bought some of their brethren from the Persians, (see Nehem. v. 8,) but they were not held as slaves, though bought. We learn from the record, that they were restored to freedom immediately: moreover, the law would not permit them, they being Jews, to be held longer than six years; see Exod. xxi. 2. Though bought, they were not held as slaves; nor is there a particle of evidence that the servants of patriarchs were held in involuntary servitude, a day after they had attained the age of freemen. It is wholly an assumption for men to say they did. It cannot be proved, and the burden of proof lies with those who take the affirmative. Neither the word servant nor the word buy, proves that those doing service for the patriarchs were slaves. "Nothing but historic facts and laws defining the condition or relation of those doing service, can prove that they were slaves." (R. Bishop, D.D.)

    Now, having shown the signification of the word buy, even admitting that the patriarchs might, or did buy children of their parents, still, in the absence of all proof to the contrary, it is fair to infer that the patriarchs followed the general custom of the world by giving liberty to man when he attained the age of a freeman. If they bought adults, there is no proof that they bought of a third person, for servants might, and did sell themselves, (Lev. xxv. 47)—agree [contract] to perform service for a given term of years.


    One more text remains to be noticed. "And Abraham took Sarah his wife, and Lot his brothers son, and all their SUBSTANCE that they had gathered, and the souls that they had gotten in Haran, and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan." Gen. xii. 5. Although the term substance is here used to denote all their property, and a distinction made between their substance and the souls gotten or proselyted in Haran, some persons overlooking this distinction, have labored to show that these souls were held as property also, and that the Hebrew word %:3 means to purchase as absolute property.

    The Hebrew word %:3, a form of which is here rendered "gotten" means to induce or prepare; and "gotten" is to be here understood in the same sense that a missionary of the present day "gets" another to go with him to India, or China. The word is here used in the plural form; and designates the persons whom Abraham, Lot and Sarah had proselyted, or induced to forsake their idolatry and go with them as a colony into Canaan; and as such were fit subjects to receive the "seal of the righteousness of faith."

    "The word is used (Gen. ii. 2) to signify the finishing of God's creation. It expresses (Gen. v. 1) God's work in fashioning the man, whom he had created, according to his own image and likeness. It is used (Ezekiel xviii. 31) to express the work of regeneration or restoring, in a sinner, the lost image of his Maker. In the passage before us, it expresses the instrumentality of a prophet, and his pious wife and nephew, in the conversion of the souls whom they brought with them from Haran." (S. Crothers.)

    Ed. Note: Full Citation: Samuel Crothers (1783-1856), Strictures on African Slavery (Rossville, Ohio: Abolition Society of Paint Valley, 1833)

    The passage in the Targum of Jonathan is thus rendered: "The souls whom they had made proselyte in Haran." The Targum of Jerusalem: "The souls proselyted in Haran." [Saint] Jerome [340-420 A.D.], one of the most learned of the Christian Fathers, renders it thus: "The persons whom they had proselyted."

    Ed. Note: "Targums" were ancient Aramaic Bible translations.

    Menochius, who wrote before our present translation of the Bible, renders it, "Quas de idolatraria converterent:" "Those whom they had converted from idolatry." (Quoted from [Theodore D.] Weld's Bible Argument [1844].)

    Ed. Note: Full Citation: Joannes Stephanus Menochius (1532-1607), Commentarii Totius s. Scripturae, Ex Optimis Quibusque Authoribus Collecti (Lugduni: Francisci Comba, 1703)

    The "souls gotten," then, means those whom they had induced to forsake idolatry, and go with them to the worship of the true God.

    That the souls gotten could not have been slaves—persons held as property without their consent, before and after age—will be clear from the facts which wo now proceed to notice.

    And, 1st. The employment and situation of the patriarchs.


    They were wandering shepherds, going from country to country, amidst hostile tribes, and having no more power than one man. They had no confederacies as we have. There was no league of States to oppress their poor as we have. They could not call to their aid the military power of a nation to suppress the first instincts of nature. They could not call to their aid the voice of the magistrate, the prison, the fetter, to restrain their fellow-man from efforts to be a man, and not a chattel. The servant could go where, when, and as he chose, just as a voluntary subject of one of the chiefs of our western wilds now can.

    What would Abraham do with three hundred and eighteen trained or armed servants, led to Dan, the extreme point of the province? What would one of our Southern slaveholders do with three hundred and eighteen of their full-grown slaves at Buffalo, in New-York, or Detroit, in Michigan, with but a step between them and Canada? Think you they would be forced back to be the property of, and labor for the gain of a master who had no power to compel them—who could call no other force than that of a single individual to subjugate them? No! such would be contrary alike to reason and facts.

    And could we look upon Abraham as the man "doing justice and judgment," (Gen. xviii. 19,) who would, either by his own arm, or by law, compel three hundred and eighteen of his fellow-men to go into bondage, and toil for his individual good, or that of his family? Would not this be selfishness in the extreme?

    Ed. Note: For more examples, see
  • Rev. John Rankin, Letters (1823), pp 76-79
  • Harriet Beecher Stowe, Key (1853), pp 115-116
  • Away then with such charges of selfish oppression. I consider it a reproach alike upon the pious patriarch and upon that God whose darling attributes are goodness, justice, and mercy.

    Circumcision of Servants

    Second fact—proving that the servants of the patriarchs were not slaves—persons deprived of personal ownership, without their consent, both before and after age: It is a fact that all males were circumcised; which, in the case of every adult, must have been voluntary, in order to be valid before God.

    All must be circumcised. Gen. xvii. 13: "He that is born in thy house, and he that is bought with thy money, must needs be circumcised; and my covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant." Exod. xii. 44: "Every man's servant [employee] that is bought [hired] for money, when thou hast circumcised him, then shall he eat thereof," i. e. of the passover.

    Now, in every adult this must have been voluntary. (1.) From the very nature of the covenant. In this covenant he "chose the Lord to be his God;" and voluntarily agreed to be his willing servant, just as an individual, who now receives the rite


    of baptism, if an adult, must receive it willingly, in order to be valid. In it he willingly chooses the Lord to be his God. No one would think of compelling an individual to be baptized, or to take the covenant, otherwise "it would be the seal of a lie," and "God abhors the sacrifice where not the heart is found;" yet the servant must be circumcised. The law, as seen above, required it; and if he was not, "that soul shall be cut off from his people," saith the Lord. (See Gen. xvii. 14.) Then the patriarchs could have none in their service, save those who were circumcised, and thus were incorporated into the Church of God; and this Church, from the very nature of its organization, might have none but willing members. If he should refuse to be circumcised and become a member of the Church, he must leave the patriarchs. He must, then, have been voluntary in his stay and in his services. If he had received circumcision when a child, then, when he had attained the age of accountability, he must voluntarily accept and acknowledge this circumcision; for "the God of Jacob would not accept the worship of any other than a willing heart."

    (2.) The testimony of [Moses] Maimonides [1135-1204], one of the most celebrated of the Jewish Rabbins, who was called "the eagle of the doctors, and the lamp of Israel." He says: "If the master receive a grown slave, and he be unwilling, his master is to bear with him, to seek to win him over by instruction, and by love and kindness, for one year; after which, should he refuse so long, it is forbidden longer than twelve months, and the master must send him back to the strangers whence he came; for the God of Jacob will not accept any other than the worship of a willing heart." (Quoted in Stroud's Sketches, page 63, from Gill's Exposition.)

    Ed. Note: Full Citation: John Gill (1697-1771), An Exposition of the Old Testament in Which Are Recorded the Original of Mankind, of the Several Nations of the World, and of the Jewish Nation in particular; the Lives of the Patriarchs of Israel, the Journey of That People from Egypt ... Their Laws ... Their Government ... Their Several Captivities and Their Sacred Books of Devotion (London: George Keith, 1762)

    No Mention of Them as Property

    Third fact. No mention is made of the servants of the patriarchs being considered as property.

    Some suppose, from Gen. xxvi. 14, that Isaac had slaves. "He had possession of flocks and possession of herds, and great store of servants." Notice in the text, that whilst it is said he had possession of flocks, and possession of herds, it is not said he had possession of servants, but (Heb. %v9 %y"3) much service, or many servants [employees]; just as a large farmer in Ohio would have many servants; or as rich shepherds in Oregon, where their wandering life, amid wandering tribes, would forbid the possibility of holding men as property against their will. The servants of the patriarchs are often spoken of, when the greatness or strength of the patriarchs is recorded; just as the greatness


    or strength of a king is spoken of, by noticing a list of his goods, together with the number of his soldiers. The mere fact that they were mentioned along with cattle, sheep, &c., no more proves them to have been property than quadrupeds, or without souls or reason. By the same mode of reasoning, in Exodus xx. 10, we should prove the man's wife to be his property, held like his ox. She was not property. He had no right to sell her. She was a companion, to him, and not to any other man. Yet she was not property, otherwise she might be sold as other property.

    Where, as in Gen. xxxi. 16-18, Joshua xxii. 8, 2 Chron. xxxii. 27-29, wealth is alluded to, no slaves are enrolled as property. Whilst sheep, and oxen, and silver, &c., are recorded, servants are not mentioned.

    No Record of Their Sale

    Another fact showing that the servants of the patriarchs were not held as slaves, is this: No record is given of the sale or barter of a single servant, in the history of all the patriarchs. Nor is there any record of their being given away. Pharaoh, Laban, and others, living in heathen lands, gave servants to Abraham and others. But the example of idolaters is no rule for Christians. No record can be found of the patriarchs giving away their servants When Abraham gave gifts to Abimelech, he gave sheep and oxen, but no servants.

    Some maintain, from Gen. xxiv. 36, that Abraham gave his servants to Isaac; yet in that same chapter we are told, in verses 34 and 52, that Eliezer was Abraham's servant, and not Isaac's. "I am Abraham's servant," says Eliezer. "And it came to pass," says Moses, "when Abraham's servant heard their words, he worshipped the Lord," &c. Now, when it is said in verse 36, that Abraham "hath given to him (i.e. Isaac) all that he hath," both Moses and Eliezer the servant must have known that he held no property in his servants; but that they were simply either hirelings, or persons bound for a season.

    Again: We know he did not literally give a11 he had to Isaac, for in Gen. xxv. 6 we are told "he gave gifts to the sons of his concubines," "and sent them away." And if his servants were slaves, owned by him as property, with this last fact before us, the language in Gen. xxiv. 36 would not of necessity imply that Abraham gave away his slaves. If he had literally given all, then he would have had nothing to give to the sons of the concubines. But the first inference, that his servants were not regarded as property, and therefore not given away, is, we think, the correct view. If Abraham had considered his servants


    as property, and lawfully so, why did he not take Hagar, when his wife became displeased with her, and sell her—trade her to some slave merchant? Why did he not do this instead of supplying her wants out of his own house, and sending her away to go whither she chose? If Abraham had considered the "bondwoman," Sarah's maid, as his slave, and her and hers his property, as some D.D.'s would fain make us believe, why did he not take Ishmael, the son of his bond-woman, and sell him to some slave-trader, instead of giving him "gifts and sending him away?" Gen. xxv. 6. Had he done so, is there a man living that believes he would have been styled, by a justice and mercy-loving God, "the father of the faithful,"—"the man doing justice and judgment?" No! no!

    Nor is there any evidence that Isaac considered those who followed him from place to place, amidst hostile tribes, as property;—not even so much as to give them to his sons. "Would Isaac transfer them to Esau, who had sold his birth-right?" Certainly not, says J. L.Wilson, D.D.

    When Jacob went down into Padan-aram to seek his fortune, he went alone, and had to sell himself as a servant during seven years for his beloved Rachel. Gen. xxix. 20.

    In the schedule of his property, when he came out of Padan-aram, no servants are mentioned. [Flavius] Josephus [37 A.D. - 100 A.D.] says that the handmaids of Leah and Rachel "were by no means slaves, but, however, [employees] subject to their mistress." Antiq. B. i. ch. 19, § 8.*

    When he gave gifts to Esau his brother, he gave no slaves. When he went down into Egypt, he took no slaves with him, Dr. Junkin

    Ed. Note: Referring to George Junkin (1790-1868), The Integrity of our National Union, vs. Abolitionism: An Argument from the Bible, in Proof of the Position That Believing Masters Ought to be Honored and Obeyed by Their Own Servants, and Tolerated In, Not Excommunicated From, the Church of God: Being Part of a Speech Delivered Before the Synod of Cincinnati, on the Subject of Slavery, September 19th and 20th, 1843 (Cincinnati: R.P. Donogh, 1843)

    to the contrary notwithstanding. The souls that went with him were "the souls that came out of the loins of Jacob"—his children and grandchildren. Gen. xlvi. 26, 27; Exodus i. 5. See also Relations and Duties of Masters and Servants, by J. L. Wilson, D.D., pp. 17, 18.

    Ed. Note: Full citation: Joshua Lacy Wilson (1774-1846), Relations and Duties of Servants and Masters (Cincinnati: I. Hefley, 1839)

    Case of Joseph

    Fourth and, last fact. The patriarchs considered slavery morally wrong—yes, sinful in the sight of God. And here we will introduce the testimony of Joseph, who had some personal
    * And if these handmaids of Rachel and Leah had been slaves, the historic fact that Laban held them as such, before and when he gave them to Jacob as his concubines, was no more evidence that slaveholding was right, than that idolatry was right. We learn from the Bible that Laban was an idolater.

    And if Jacob received these handmaids as slaves, and held them as such, this would be no more evidence that slaveholding was right or is right, than that concubinage was or is right; for Jacob had concubines.


    experience in the matter. As a matter of complaint, a violation of his own rights, and guilt in those who had thus violated them, he says in the anguish of his soul,

    "I indeed was stolen away out of the land of the Hebrews; and here also have I done nothing, that they should put me in the dungeon." Gen. xl. 15.

    He felt that to be taken without his consent and forced into bondage, though done by the common law of the land, was THEFT,—a violation of his rights, which God by nature had given him; and all the sophisms of the world could not have convinced him to the contrary.

    All the pro-slavery men of Egypt could not have convinced him that he was better off (when the wants of his body only were supplied,) than in a state of freedom. He had a soul to be fed as well as a body,—a soul which, like that of every other man, by nature hungered and thirsted for liberty.

  • What cared he for the luxuries of Pharaoh's table, when he could not take the wonted fare of frugal industry, spiced with the sweets of liberty?

  • What cared he for the splendor of Pharaoh's courts when the plains of Judea could not be roamed in innocency, and the tent, where dwelt a pious father, lived in his remembrance?

  • What cared he for the pageantry of Egypt's temples, where was worshipped in unmeaning ceremony the spotted calf, whilst the smoke of Hebron's altar was unseen, and the worship of God under his own vine and fig tree denied him?
  • "Hog and hominy" was not a compensation for liberty. There was to him no equivalent for plundered rights and lost manhood. And I venture the declaration that if some of our advocates for slavery, who, with Bible in hand, learnedly and sanctimoniously plead for oppression, were for a season, like Joseph, deprived of their liberty—their wills made to bow to the wills of others, and their bodies to toil for the luxury, the ease or gain of another, liable to be imprisoned by the whim of a woman, or torn from their homes by the cupidity of man—they would soon learn whether slavery is morally wrong—whether a man in enslaving can "love his neighbor as himself"—whether he can do unto others as he would they should do unto him—in a word, whether the Bible condemns slavery or not.

    Not only did Joseph believe slavery to be wrong, but his brethren who detained him and sold him into bondage believed they had sinned against Joseph and against God, (not merely against their father,) when they said "one to another, We are GUILTY concerning our brother, in that we saw the anguish of his soul, when he besought us, and we would not hear; therefore is this distress come upon us." Gen. xlii. 21. "What shall we


    speak? or how shall we clear ourselves?" "God hath found out the iniquity of thy servants." Gen. xliv. 16.

    "We are guilty concerning our brother." What! guilty, when they had placed him in a land where he was "better clothed and better fed" than in the land of his choice; and "better provided for" than he could do for himself? Yes, they were; for in so doing they had deprived him of personal ownership—the foundation of all rights;—his personal security, without which all others were comparatively useless;—his liberty, the dearest of all rights. "We are guilty . . . in that we saw the anguish of Ins soul, when he besought us, and we would not." What! is it sinful—a matter of guilt, to disregard the desires and entreaties of a fellow-being ? Yes, it is, when they are lawful, and we have ability to relieve; for "thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself," says God.

    "God hath found out the iniquity of thy servants."

    Yes, man may, before his fellow-man, whilst in prosperity, hide the conviction that slavery is wrong, and "go joined hand in hand with the throne of iniquity;" but when the hour of trial comes, and he is made to answer before God, then he will confess that slavery is wrong.

    See also
  • Samuel Sewall, The Selling of Joseph: A Memorial (Boston: Green and Allen, 1700)
  • Rev. George B. Cheever, D.D., God Against Slavery (New York: Joseph Ladd, 1857), pp 111 and 145.
  • No other argument is necessary to refute the whole system of slavery, than this one case of the enslavement of Joseph. If it was wrong for his brethren to kidnap him, and if it was wrong for those Midianites and Egyptians to continue to rob him of his rights—his liberty, then it is just as wrong to continue to rob any other unoffending man of his liberty. We are all the children of one Father.

    The second inference drawn from the [alleged] practice [tradition] of the patriarchs is, that "what they, as good men, did without open rebuke from God, we may do."

    Now, if it were even really true that the patriarchs held slaves, the record of the historic fact, without any express disapprobation of it from God, would be no evidence that slavery is right, or that we may do as they did.

    The historic fact that Abraham had two wives, without any expressed disapprobation from God, is no evidence that polygamy is right, or that we may do as he did—have two or more wives.

    The historic fact that Abraham and Isaac practiced deception (the latter palpably lying) to Abimelech concerning their wives, without any express disapprobation from God, is no evidence


    that lying was or is now right—that we may now practice it towards our neighbors.

    The historic fact that Noah got drunk, without any express disapprobation from God, is no evidence that drunkenness is right, or that we may do the same now.

    Is the historic fact that the brethren of Joseph sold him to the Ishmaelites, and thus made a slave of him, without any express disapprobation from God, evidence that the sale of innocent men is right, or that brothers may sell their own brothers into hopeless and returnless bondage? No! is the response of every man. Yet, absurd as is the position, that we may do what the patriarchs did, it is the main argument of the apologists for slavery, as drawn from the [alleged] practice [tradition] of the patriarchs.

    If, then, we will justify slavery—the robbing of innocent men, women, and children of those natural rights which God has given to one man as much as to any other—we must show that such robbery is consistent with the eternal principles of justice and right,—with the principles of that law of God by which we shall be judged. The mere example of erring men like ourselves is not sufficient.

    If, then, it were even true that the patriarchs really held slaves, it does not follow that we may hold them.


    Chapter IV.


    Argument from Lev. xxv. 44-46; Its Fallacy

    ANOTHER Bible institution plead in defense of American slavery, is the servitude established by Moses amongst the Jews, as recorded in Lev. xxv. 44-46: "Both thy bondmen and thy bondmaids, which thou shalt have, shall be of the heathen that are round about you; of them shall ye buy bondmen and bondmaids. Moreover, of the children of the strangers that do sojourn among you, of them shall ye buy, and of their families that are with you, which they begat in your land; and they shall be your possession. And ye shall take them as an inheritance for your children after you, to inherit them for a possession: they shall


    be your bondmen for ever; but over your brethren, the children of Israel, ye shall not rule one over another with rigor."

    The argument drawn from this passage is this: "God permitted the Jews to enslave the heathen around them. What he permitted to the Jew is lawful to us; therefore we may enslave the Africans."

    In replying to this very popular argument, we shall notice—

      I. The points in the text relied upon.

      II. The nature of the servitude instituted.

      III. The design of the institution.

      IV. The people to whom it was permitted.

      Ed. Note: See also Harriet Beecher Stowe, in Key (1853), pp 115-120.

      Proofs That Bondmen Were Not Slaves


    I. The points in the text relied upon, as proof that the Jews by God's permission held slaves. They are (1.) The word "BONDMEN." (2.) "BUY." (3.) "INHERITANCE and "POSSESSION." (4.) "FOR EVER."

    Do these prove the existence of slavery!

    The term "bondmen" does not, as may be seen,

    1st. By those passages of Scripture collated under that term in our third chapter. By examination of those passages, every reader of English may see, that the term is applied to the Gibeonites; a people living in their own cities, owning themselves, having protection of person, property, and character, for the defense of which they made alliances with Israel against their enemies. A portion of their males were required by law to do a certain kind of service for the temple, "the house of my God." The persons set apart for this work were called Nethinims. The nation or people, required by law to furnish these laborers, were called bondmen. (See Josh. ix. 23.) The term bondman, then, does not. necessarily denote a slave, but one bound by law to the performance of labor; and generally for a definite or fixed period of time, as six years, or to the year of jubilee. The term, as often used in the Bible, is similar in its import to our term bound boy, or bound girl. The term may be applied to one required by law to perform military duty for the good of the nation, or to the man in Europe who may be required by law to support the Church, or house of God.

    The term bondman, as used even to denote the service of the Hebrews in Egypt, does not mean slave. The Hebrews there, save Joseph when first sold, were not slaves; they were not the individual property of the Egyptians. As subjects of government, an oppressive tax in labor was required by law of the


    male Hebrews. The proof that even they were not slaves is—

    (1.) They dwelt as a separate people in the land of Goshen. See Exod. viii. 22; Gen. xlvi. 34. They were not the property of individuals, as our slaves are. They owned themselves, their wives and children, and lived with them in separate families. Exod. xii. 7-22; Acts vii. 20; Exod. x. 23.

    (2.) They owned "flocks, and herds, and very much cattle." Exod. xii. 32-38.

    (3.) They had officers, and framed State or national laws peculiar to themselves. Exod. v. 19, xii. 21.

    (4.) Their elders seem to have had command of their own time, as they collected from time to time to deliberate upon national affairs, and went in associated capacities to negotiate with Pharaoh. Exod. iii. 16, iv. 28.

    (5.) Their females doubtless had their own time, and employed it in their own domestic affairs. When Pharaoh's daughter would procure a nurse for Moses, she hired a Hebrew woman, saying, "Take this child away and nurse it for me, and I will give thee thy wages." Exod ii. 9. These facts, with others that might be enumerated, prove that their bond service consisted simply in a requirement by law that their males should pay an oppressive tax in labor [cf. the modern military "draft"], just as the subjects of the Pasha of Egypt now do, only it is not so grievous as was that of the Israelites. But note this: even for this oppression, which was not so great as that of the Africans in our country, (for here a man may not own himself, the wife of his bosom, or child of his body,) God heard the cry of his people, and avenged their wrongs, with fire that played in their pathway, with blood that rolled in their rivers, with death that brooded in their chambers. And would God teach that people, whose memories were yet fresh with the visitations of his wrath upon the oppressor, to institute a system of bondage still more galling—one that would reach even to the soul? Believe not, reader, that he designed that the word bondman, as here used, should denote a slave.

    2d. Every reader of the original Hebrew knows that the word +13, ebed, a form of which is here rendered bondman, is generally translated servant, and denotes one who performs service for another, without regard to the time for which, or principle upon which he does service. The word +13 servant alone does not determine the nature of the servitude; for it may mean—

    (1.) One who performs of his own choice a willing service for God; as, Christ for God. Isa. xlii. 1.


    (2.) Those voluntarily doing service for their fellow-men, yet owning themselves. See 1 Kings xii. 7; Ex. xxi. 5.

    (3.) Those who pay tax or tribute for the support of government. See 1 Kings xii. 7; 1 Sam. viii. 17.

    (4.) To designate military officers, see 2 Kings v. 6; yet from the first verse we learn that he was captain of the host of the king of Syria.

    (5.) As a term of respect, like our word " Sir," "Humble Servant;" as in Gen. xliv. 24 and xlii. 10. Yet Jacob and his sons were residents of another country; not even the subjects of the Egyptian government; much less the property of any individual.

    (6.) Those who are deprived of personal ownership without their consent, before and after ago, those who are slaves, as in the case of Joseph. Gen. xxxix. 17.

    (7.) And, lastly, those who, as in Josh. ix. 34, are required by law to perform service for the house of God, yet owning themselves, having personal protection, protection of property, character, all absolute rights,—paying only, like other subjects, a tax or revenue.

    The connection in which the term is used, the nature of the subject to which it is applied, or the law of the land, only can fix the import which is to be applied to it. It may be asked, then, why have our translators translated the word +13 by the term bondman? We answer, from the connection, they saw the service to be rendered was fixed, or regulated by law; but not, therefore, slavery, as we have already seen.

    The term may be used also to distinguish the relation of the +13 (ebed) from that of the +*1: (sakir) or hired servant. Much has been said about these terms being used in the Bible in contradistinction; and the difference between them has been inferred to be the relation of slave and hireling, or freeman. That there was a difference, and an important one, no man denies. But that that difference was the relation of slave and freeman, we do deny, There was a difference.

    (1.) The +*1: (hired servant) labored during a period, fixed not by law, but by special contract. He seems not to have engaged longer than a day, or at farthest three years. See Deut. xxiv.14, 15; com. Isa. xvi. 14.

    (2.) He was paid daily, or at short intervals. Deut. xxiv. 14, 15.

    (3.) He had no connection with the family where he labored, and might be uncircumcised. Exod. xii. 44, 45.


    The relation of the +13 might be entirely different, though not that of a slave.

    (1.) His term of service (when that service was not the punishment of theft*) was fixed by law at six years, or it might be until the year of jubilee, as seen in Exod. xxi. 2; Lev. xxv. 54.

    (2.) Instead of daily wages, he received a sum agreed upon at the beginning of his engagement. This was called "the money of his purchase." See Lev. xxv. 51. If a minor, the money probably went to his father. See Exod. xxi. 7. He received also a home, food, and clothing. If he left at the end of six years, he was furnished liberally out of the flock, the floor, and the wine press.' Deut. xv. 14.

    (3.) He was circumcised—became a member both of his master's family and of the Church of God. This was the condition of becoming an +13. See Exod. xii. 44, compared with verse 48. Thus he became a Jew—was "made a Jew," and became entitled to the privileges of a Jew. See Esther viii. 17.

    A bond servant, then, is one whose time of service is fixed by law. The master may have only a leasehold title to his service, for a given time, as with our bound boy or bound girl.

    The Word Buy

    We now notice the word "BUY." For the import of this word we again refer our readers to our third chapter, where it is examined. The original word is %18 (kanah). Its primary signification is to procure, to obtain. The law of the land, and nature of the subject to which it is applied, determine the nature of the tenure acquired. Using it in its primary sense, Eve said, (Gen. iv. 1,) "I have gotten (?(?#8) a man from the Lord." She accordingly named him Cain, (=?P8H,) that is, obtained, acquired. But we do not understand that she paid a price, nor that there was a transfer of ownership, nor that Cain was held as property. Again, Prov. xv. 32: "He that heareth reproof, getteth ((#*8) understanding." Here there is not a transfer of ownership. The nature of the subject forbids it.

    Again, it is used to denote a leasehold title to service, for a given period of time, as in Exod. xxi. 2: "If thou buy or procure ((#8;) a Hebrew servant, six years he shall serve, and in the seventh he shall go out free for nothing." Here the law of the
    * The Hebrews, as we do, graduated penalties according to the magnitude of offence. Theft of an ox was punished with a greater penalty than the stealing of a sheep. Hence, when one was sold for theft, it was until bis services should bring the amount required.


    land limits the acquisition to a leasehold title during six years. "He was not to be held as a possession, but a mere temporary subject." "You own not the man, but his service, for a limited period."

    Also, Lev. xxv. 47—54. Here was a tenure of service until the year of jubilee; and the servant sold himself, or his service, until the year of jubilee. Let the reader turn to the passages and read for himself. Now this leasehold service, for a definite period of time was the service bought by the Jews, of the "heathen round about them." And this is the signification of the word (+13) buy, as used in the text under consideration.

    The word is also used in a secondary sense, to denote transfer of ownership and absolute control; as in Gen. xlix. 30, where Abraham is said to have bought the field and cave of Ephron the Hittite; and also where the people are said to have bought corn of Joseph. In the latter case the nature of the subject admitted the transfer of ownership; and the laws of the land did not limit the manner of use or time of ownership.

    But, as we shall see, they did restrict both in the case of the $,7—servant. Then the form of %18 (kanah) used here (y#8A~) should be rendered according to ite primary import—procure. And the reading of the 44th verse is this: "Both thy servant men and servant maids shall be of the heathen round about you; of, or from them, shall ye procure servant men and servant maids." Or if we will use the word buy, then we must use it as it is used in Exod. xxi, 2, and other places, denoting leasehold title—a claim to his service for a definite period. We use it so, when we say we have bought an Irish emigrant, who was too poor to pay his passage money. We have simply a claim to his service, until he shall have rendered an equivalent for the money we have advanced.

    We next notice the words POSSESSION and INHERITANCE.

    "Ye shall take them for a possession." A living divine says this word is "invariably used to signify ownership in landed estate; not transient, but permanent possessions." Now, we shall show, from the Word of God, that it is not so.* We do not
    * The same author (Dr. Junkin) says the word, as here used, denotes perpetuity of property in man. And yet in immediate connection, he says, "I have not said it is right to hold man as property. Neither," says he, "as I suppose, has God affirmed it to be right. All I affirm is, that God's law has permitted it to Israel."

    Reader, do you believe God would permit, and incorporate into an established law for his people, what he knew to be wrong? For if it be


    deny that possession, when applied to land, houses, and the like, denotes property tenure, and may designate absolute control.

    Neither the term possession nor inheritance always denotes property possession. See 2 Sam. xx. 1: "We have no part in David, neither have we inheritance in the sons of Jesse. The word translated inheritance means, they would have no interest in or connection with David, or rather his son Rehoboam.

    Again, the reader is requested to notice Isa. xiv. 1, 2, where the prophet, speaking of the return of the Jews from captivity in Babylon, says:

    "The strangers (the Babylonians) will be joined with them, and they shall CLEAVE to the house of Jacob; and Israel shall possess them in the land of the Lord for servants and handmaids," &c.
    The truth declared here is, that many of the Babylonians would embrace the Jewish religion—would cleave to Jacob of their own choice, and to do so would have to become members of Jewish families, and be circumcised; "would be induced to become proselytes, to be willing to accompany them to their own homes and to become their servants there." See Barnes' comment on this passage.

    Ed. Note: Full Citation of Rev. Dr. Albert Barnes' book: Inquiry into the Scriptural Views of Slavery (Boston, Philadelphia: B. Perkins; Perkins & Purves, 1846)

    Here POSSESSION denotes the willing or voluntary service the Babylonians would render to the Jews, and thus become willing "captives," or subjects to those who were once in bondage to the Babylonians. Here the Jews did not literally capture these strangers and compel them to involuntary servitude; but these strangers "clave unto Jacob."

    Possession, then, may denote the interest which one person may have in the voluntary service of another, and that not of a slave or chattel. Remember this.

    Once more, under this head, see Gen. xlvii. 11:

    "And Joseph placed his father and brethren, and gave them a possession in the land of Egypt."
    In what sense had they possession in the land of Egypt? Answer: In the sense of having it to live in or use for a season, as the connection teaches us. In verse 4, they (the brethren of Joseph) said unto Pharaoh, "For to sojourn in the land are we come." Not literally to possess the land of
    "not right," it must have been wrong. The Doctor says, God has no where sanctioned slavery, but that he tolerates slavery. "Now toleration," says he, "implies that the thing is viewed as an evil;" and yet he claims that the evil should be permitted in the Church of God. See pamphlet, pp. 38, 43, 71.

    For a full exposition of the Doctor's false positions and false reasonings, see a review of his pamphlet on the subject of slavery, by Rev. T. E. Thomas, of Hamilton, Ohio.


    Pharaoh. And Pharaoh said to Joseph, "The land of Egypt is before thee; in the best of the land make thy father and brethren to dwell—not possess. Here their possession consisted in the use of the land, as a place to sojourn, and procure sustenance.

    So the possession of the Jew consisted in the USE OF THE SERVANT—a claim to his [contract employee] service for a definite period—not a literal property tenure in his person. This we think will be clear to any mind by noticing Lev. xxv. 45:

    "Moreover, of the children of the strangers that do sojourn among you, of them shall ye buy [hire], and of their families that are with you, which they begat in your land; and they shall be your possession."

    By reading the first part of the chapter, you will see that this law was prospective of. what the Jew should do when he entered the land of Canaan. At that time strangers would be dwelling in the land with families born there. They would become property holders, and might even buy [hire] a Jew, (Lev. xxv. 47,) and there was "one manner of law for the stranger as for the Jew." Lev. xxiv. 22.

    Now who sold these free property holders, with their rights equally protected with those of the Jew? The Jew dare not seize him and sell him. This would be punished with death, as we shall hereafter see.

    There was no power to sell these strangers dwelling iin the land of Judea, but their own. Evidently then they sold their service for six years, or to the year of jubilee. Yet this voluntary service is called a possession, in the same verse. This is a strong point, and there is no escaping it; for the Jews as certainly were to procure their servants [employees] from among the strangers living and born in their land, as from the nations around them.

    Should the purchaser [supervisor] die before the time expired, then the [employee] servant or stranger would continue to serve the children or family of the Jew, until the amount of service contracted for should be rendered. The phrase, "inheritance for your children after you," includes also the idea that generation after generation, the descendants of the then living Jews should procure their servants [employees] from amongst these strangers. And thus he would become an inheritance to the children.

    "Possession and inheritance," here, evidently mean the service which the Jews would regularly procure from those Gentiles around them and amongst them; the Gentiles or strangers voluntarily rendering it.

    Other writers suppose that Moses, by saying to the Jews, "they shall be your possession and inheritance," meant simply this: "Your supply of service, to you and your children, shall continually be from the strangers among you and the nations around you." This view will not be con-


    tradictory to the above—is only another mode of expressing it, and as we shall hereafter see, will suit the context—the subject matter about which Moses was speaking.

    It has been stated, that a possession did not go out at the jubilee. This is not true, as may be seen by examining Lev. xxvii. 16-21. If you doubt, read the reference.

    The Word For Ever

    Let us now notice the last point in defense of slavery, as drawn from the passage under consideration. It is the term FOR EVER. This is supposed to be a "clincher," and to fix, or teach the nght of perpetual property in man. Such is not the doctrine or duty here taught, as I hope to make plain to every reader. And whilst I shall address myself chiefly to the reader of English, yet I remark:

    1. Every reader of the original Hebrew knows, that the words, as spoken by Moses, are these: "Always,"—"for ever with them shall ye serve yourselves,"—('$"3~ 2%x .-3-) or "always ye shall serve yourselves with them." That is, as long as ye shall procure servants, ye shall precure them from among the heathen.*

    2. Every English reader who has a copy of the Polyglott Bible, published by the American Bible society, can see in the margin most of the same correction. Then, if he will go back a few verses and notice the connection, he will see that this rendering or translation harmonizes with the subject about which Moses was speaking. He was not speaking about perpetuity of property in man, but ABOUT THE CLASS OF NATION OF PEOPLE FROM WHOM THEY SHOULD ALWAYS GET THEIR SERVANTS. Accordingly, he says:

    "Both thy servant-men and servant-women, (or "bondmen and bondmaids,") which ye shall have, shall be of the heathen round about you"—"ye shall always serve yourselves with them: but over the children of Israel ye shall not rule," &c.;
    —as though he had said, the heathen are the class of people from whom ye shall obtain your servants, for thereby they will be brought into the church, and made acquainted with the true God.

    Reader, pause until the above truth is fixed in your mind. Let this truth be remembered, and the argument will always swing clear—the great difficulty be removed.

    Again, we must see that Moses did not design to teach perpetual property in man, because—
    * Barnes, in his late work on Slavery, speaking concerning this text, says: "All that is fairly implied in this text is, that the permanent provision for servants [employees] was, not that they were to enslave or employ their brethren, the Hebrews, but that they were to employ foreigners."


    (1.) Neither the master nor the slave could live "for ever," or perpetually. But does the objector say, "He meant by for ever as long as the master and servant lived?" Then I say that he, like Dr. Junkin, at once admits that for ever is here to be used in a limited sense—the point claimed in our next remark. And according to the argument of the objector, for ever may be limited, not merely to the year of jubilee, but to one day, or to six months; for the servant and master may both die within that time.

    Year of Jubilee

    (2.) Moses knew the jubilee would necessarily limit, and close the period of service of the servant; and could not therefore have meant to teach (even if his words were arranged as men generally read them) perpetual property in man. In the preceding part of the chapter [Leviticus 25], (verse 10,) we have the institution of the jubilee given by himself to the same people in these words:

    "Ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land, unto all the inhabitants thereof; it shall be a jubilee unto you; and ye shall return every man unto his possession, and ye shall return EVERY man unto his family." ((": -,-, to all inhabiting her; that is, the land.)
    Now liberty being proclaimed to all the inhabitants thereof, and "every man returned to his family," how could any be held in perpetual bondage?

    Nor is the phrase, "to all those inhabiting her," or "to all the inhabitants thereof," to be limited to Jews only, as some [pro-slavers] teach. The Bible usage of the word "inhabitants," means, most generally, all those living in a land or place, whether Jews or Gentiles—land possessors or not. It is used often to denote all that dwell upon the earth.

  • Ps. xxxiii. 8: "Let all the inhabitants of the earth stand in awe of Him," that is, God.

  • Also, verse 14: "He," the Lord, "looketh upon all the inhabitants of the earth."

  • Again, it is used to denote Gentiles as well as Jews, inhabiting the same land. 1 Chron. ix. 2: "Now the inhabitants that dwelt in their possessions in their cities, were, the Israelites, the priests, Levites, and the Nethinims."
  • Here the Nethinims, though Gentiles, were called inhabitants of the land. Barnes, in his work on Slavery, speaking of the import of the Hebrew word which in the text is translated inhabitants, says,
    "The word is used in the Bible eleven hundred times, and there is no word which would more naturally embrace all that abode in a country from any cause whatever. Any dweller, any inhabitant, any one who resides in a place, any one who sojourns, any one who remains only for a short time, or any one who has


    a permanent residence, would be embraced by this word."

    The term then included all living in the land, and that were bound in any way to service.

    (3.) Another fact, proving that the Gentile servants went out at the jubilee. Every one becoming an $,3, or bond servant had to be circumcised. Gen. xvii. 13; Exod. xii. 44. In so doing, he became a Jew, (Esther viii. 17,) and entitled to the privileges of a Jew. See [Augustin] Calmet [1672-1757], Art. "Proselyte."

    Ed. Note: By Augustin Calmet: Dictionnaire Historique, Critique, Chronologique, Geographique et Litteral de la Bible (Paris: Chez Emery, 1730); transl. Dictionary of the Holy Bible: Historical, Critical, Geographical, and Etymological: With an Ample Chronological Table of the History of the Bible, Jewish Calendar, Tables of the Hebrew Coins, Weights and Measures (Charlestown [Mass.]: Samuel Etheridge, 1812; London: C. Taylor, 1823; Boston: Crocker and Brewster, 1832; London: Holdsworth & Ball, 1835), etc.

    Drs. Lardner and Jennings believe there were none who could with propriety be styled proselytes, save those who fully embraced the Jewish religion.

  • "These engaged themselves to receive circumcision and to observe the whole law of Moses. Thus they were admitted to all the privileges of the people of the Lord."—Watson.

  • "Foreign servants, as well as Hebrew servants, were to be initiated into the Hebrew religion; and, when willing, they were to be received as members of the Hebrew community; and thus received, they were entitled to all the privileges and immunities of native Hebrews—for there was to be but one law for the converted stranger and the native Hebrew."—C. E. Stowe, D. D.
  • Would these proselytes, these adopted Jews bo defied the privileges of the jubilee? Would it not be a solemri farce to adopt these Gentiles into the church, and then cut them off from the privileges of the church?

    Nor will it avail any thing to say,

    "This release was a civil institution; and because the servant was brougbt into the church, and entitled to all the privileges of the church, it does not therefore follow that he was entitled to all civil privileges."
    To this we reply,
  • [1.] we have already seen that this year of release secured freedom to all, and it matters not whether it was a civil or a religious institution. It put an end to servitude—the point now under consideration.

  • 2. The institutions of sabbatical years and the jubilee were pre-eminently religious institutions, as certainly so as our Sabbath now is. The Gentile servant then, being adopted into the church, would be entitled to the privileges of the church. If the Jewish servant went out free at the year of release, the proselyte did also.
  • Again, the jubilee was typical. "The jubilee commencing on the great day of the atonement, typified the acceptable year of the Lord, (Luke iv. 18, 19,) the gospel dispensation." This is a general admitted fact with commentators. The atonement was typical of that atonement or propitiation, which was made for the "sins of the whole world." 1 John ii. 2. The glad sound of the liberty trumpets was a type of that gospel dispen-


    sation, which is "good tiding of great joy to ALL PEOPLE." Luke ii. 10. Now, is this atonement and this gospel liberty offered to Gentiles as well as Jews? Every Bible reader knows it is. So was the sound of the jubilee trumpets to the Gentile servants, as well as to Jews.

    One design of the jubilee, says Calmet, was to prevent perpetual slavery. Hear his words:

    "The object of the jubilee was to prevent the rich from oppressing the poor, and from reducing them to perpetual slavery."

    Ed. Note: While everyone is a "sinner," God's Word identifies one category of sinners, "the rich," as "the wicked." See, e.g., Isaiah 53:9 and Psalm 37:14 and 16. Jesus Christ stipulates that "the rich," meaning, "the wicked," cannot be saved, see, e.g., Matthew 5:3,   Matthew 19:16-24,   Mark 10:17-25,   Luke 1:53,   Luke 6:20 and 24-25,   Luke 12:16-21,   Luke 16:13-15, 19-31 (Video),   Luke 18:18-25,   James 2:5, 15-16, and James 5:1-6.
    Christ further identifies the bottom line thusly: "'Happy the poor, for yours is the kingdom of God' Luke 6:20), and adds "Woe to you the rich, because you have received your comfort" (Luke 6:24)." Re who will and will not be in God's Kingdom, Jesus Christ makes clear, not "the rich."
    The parable of the rich man and the poor one (Luke 16:19-31) is perfectly consistent with Mark 10:25 and Luke 6:20, 24. The sole reason Christ cited for the rich man's punishment is: "Remember you received good things during your lifetime, and Lazarus on the contrary evil things" (Luke 16:25). This is the sole criterion for the world being turned upside down (Acts 17:6). Nothing in the parable shows "the rich man" as particularly wicked, nor that Lazarus the poor man was in any way virtuous. God's final analysis judgment, the bottom line is, He reverses the conditions of life now, reverses the rich and poor, turns the world upside down (Acts 17:6).

    [Flavius] Josephus [37 A.D. - 100 A.D.], who was a Jew and lived before the final destruction of the Mosaic economy, says that even the ear-bored servant, who in Exod. xxi. 6 is said to "serve for ever," went free at the jubilee. These are his words:

    "If any one be sold to one of his own nation, let him serve him six years, and on the seventh let him go free; but if have a son by a woman servant in his purchaser's house, and if, on account of his good will to his master, and his natural affection to his wife and children," (not by force as we [southern slavers] do,) "he will be servant still, let him be set free only at the coming of the year of Jubilee; and let him then take away with him his children and wife, and let them be free also."
    And note this: all agree, even Dr. Junkin himself, that the woman serving the purchaser was a Gentile; yet not only did this husband, who is said to "serve for ever" go free, but this Gentile woman and her children; proving two points:
  • (1) that the word for ever is sometimes used in a limited sense; and

  • (2) that the Gentiles, as well as Jews, went out free at the jubilee.
  • By consequence Moses could not, in the text under consideration, have designed to teach perpetuity of property in man; but simply the class of people from whom they should procure their servants.

    Barnes says,

    "The language which is employed in Lev. xxv. 46, 'they shall be your bondmen for ever,' does not of necessity imply that this refers to the perpetual bondage of the individual slave. It could not at all events be literally true, nor is it necessarily meant even that the individual was to be a slave till his death."
    The same language precisely is used of the Hebrew servant who had his ear bored, yet we have seen that he went out free at the jubilee. If limited in the one case, it may be in the other.

    The two following authorities are given by Barnes:

  • Rabbi Solomon says, "Thou shalt proclaim liberty to the servants whether the ear had been perforated with an awl or not, or whether the six years had not been completed from the time when they were purchased."

  • Maimonides [1135-1204] says, "The servant who was sick as the year of jubilee comes in, becomes free.
  • -41-

    When a servant who sells himself, or who was sold by the court," (this was done for theft, Exod. xxii. 3,) "made an attempt to escape, he was held to make up for these years, but he was set at liberty at the year of jubilee," "The year of jubilee made all servants free without exception."

    This, says Barnes, is the opinion of the most distinguished Jewish Rabbins, and in his book he gives the authorities.

    Cruden, on the word eternal, says: "The words eternal, ever-lasting, and for ever, are sometimes taken for a long time, and are not to be understood strictly; as for example Gen. xvii. 8. "And in many other portions of Scripture, and in particular when the word for ever is applied to the Jewish rites and privileges, it commonly signifies no more than the standing of that commonwealth, or until the coming of the Messiah. Exod. xii. 14-17; Num. x. 8."

    Gesenius says: "The term is often applied to the Jewish priesthood, to the Mosaic ordinances, to the possession of the land of Canaan, to the time of service to be rendered by a slave [employee]."

    Parkhurst says that (2-&3 olam) for ever denotes "sometimes the period of time to the jubilee," and cites Exod. xxi 6, Deut. xv. 17, as proof.

    The learned Bishop [Samuel] Horsley says: "The man is ignorant of Jewish technical terms, who does not know that the term for ever, as used in this text, (Lev. xxv. 46,) means no more than to the year of jubilee." Quoted by Thomas.

    Then, take which reading we will—either our common version, as given by King James, or the reading as above given, (and found in the language in which Moses spake it,)—we are forced in either case to use the word for ever in a secondary or restricted sense, denoting uniformity of custom, and limited duration. Such usage is common with us, and in the Bible. No phrases are more common with us than these:

    "The Northern preachers are for ever harping on slavery."

    "My relations in Ohio are always teasing me about my slaves."

    "Such an one is for ever dabbling in politics."

    "When I go to the city of —, I always put up at the Broadway Hotel."

    John Q. Adams is for ever troubling Congress with his abolition petitions."

    In these, and like examples, we use the word for ever and always, denoting uniformity of custom [tradition] or practice, as long as the parties meet or live. So it is sometimes used in the Bible.

    Thus, 1 Kings xii. 7. The counsellors said to Rehoboam, "the people will be thy servants for ever." Now the counsellors did not expect Rehoboam to live as king perpetually, nor that the people as subjects would live perpetually. All that any


    man here understands by the term for ever, is that continually, as long as the parties lived or existed, the people would serve him. The case is a very clear one, and much to the point under consideration.

    Again, 1 Chron. xxiii. 13, we are told that Aaron and his sons were set apart "to burn incense before the Lord for ever." Now, neither Aaron nor his sons lived perpetually to offer incense; and two of them, Nadab and Abihu, were consumed by fire from the Lord for their impiety. [Lev. 10:1-2; Num. 3:4]. What then is there meant by the term for ever? This, as every reader must clearly see—that continually, as long as they lived, this work should be their duty and employ.

    Again, 1 Sam. xxvii. 12, Achan said concerning David, "therefore he shall be my servant forever;" that is, soldier in my employ; for, in ch. xxviii. 2, Achish said to David, "Therefore will I make thee keeper of mine head for ever"—that is, my body guard. Here again, for ever means continually, and as long as the parties should live, David should thus serve Achish.

    Once more: "Elisha said to Gehazi, The leprosy of Naaman shall cleave unto thee and unto thy seed for ever.'' 2 Kings v. 27. Now, we do not understand that the disease of leprosy would go with them into the "spirit world;" but that continually, and as long as they lived, it should be upon them.

    So continually—as long as the Jews existed as a nation, and did procure servants, they were to procure them from the heathen round about them. Whilst the above is true, this also is true: The primary signification of for ever is perpetual duration—unlimited duration; and such we are always to understand when it is used, unless the nature of the subject to which it is applied, the connection in which it is used, or the [Bible] laws of the land forbid. Then, like other words, it may be restricted. This every scholar knows.

    Now in the case before us, the connection, and laws of fhe land previously instituted, positively forbid that we should use it, save in that secondary, or restricted sense, so often used in tlie Bible. The connection shows that Moses was simply teaching the Jews the class of people from whom they should procure their servants [employees]; and the jubilee previously instituted, together with other laws defining the nature of the servitude, proves that Moses had no design here to teach absolute ownership, and perpetuity of possession in man; but this:

    "Both thy bondmen and bondmaids [employees] shall be of the heathen round about you; ye shall always serve yourselves with them, for thereby the heathen will be profited by being brought into the church, and God glorified."
    The institution was not a selfish system, securing the good of the Jew


    at the expense of the heathen. The good was mutual; but especially was the good of the heathen servant secured. This we shall see, by noticing the nature of the servitude to be rendered.


    In deciding whether slavery was found in the Mosaic economy, we must keep distinctly before our minds what constitutes slavery. We must be careful not to confound slavery with other relations that are lawful and innocent. It is an abuse of language, and it is dishonesty in reasoning, to apply the same term to relations entirely distinct in nature and effects.

    That only is slavery, as you saw in our first chapter, which includes involuntary service, and property tenure in man. Was this found in the servitude regulated and defined by the laws of Moses?

    We answer, it was not. The servitude in the case of adults was entered upon voluntarily, and the purchaser [employer] had no property tenure in man, but only a claim to his service for a definite period of time, as men now [1851] have in apprentices, or bound boys. Much depends upon sustaining this position, which we believe may be clearly and forcibly done.

    The reader will be aided in seeing it by remembering that words and phrases vary in their import in different ages and countries.

    We are now [1851] in the habit of attaching the idea of absolute property to any thing which is said to be bought. But, as we have shown, in the days of Moses, as it used to be in our own country, when an individual bound himself by law to perform service for another for six years, or until the year of jubilee, this voluntary engagement was often expressed by the varied forms of the verb to buy. The servant [contract employee] who bound himself to perform service to certain periods of time for a certain amount, was said to be sold, and the master [employer] or man by whom his services were engaged, was said to have bought him; yet the servant was voluntary. Thus,


    Moses, speaking to the children of Israel, said:

    "And if a sojourner or stranger wax rich by thee, and thy brother that dwelleth by him wax poor, and SELL HIMSELF to the stranger or sojourner by thee," &c. Lev. xxv. 4, 7.
    Here the Jew engaged his services only until the year of jubilee, as you will see by reading the verses that follow. The Jew received [in advance] the wages due for his service; for if at any time, between that and the jubilee, he wished to redeem himself lie could do so by "giving again


    the price of his redemption, out of the money that he was bought for." (v. 61.)

    Again, in verse 39, we have the case of a Jew who sold himself to a fellow Jew. In our present translation the language is, "If thy brother that dwelleth by thee be waxen poor, and. be sold unto thee," &c. By the words "be sold," is to be understood that he "sold himself," for,

    1. In the original Hebrew, the same word ($ƒ/# nimkar) is used which is used in verse 47, and there translated "sell himself."

    2. He had committed no crime for which he should be sold by the judges; but was, like the Jew described in verse 47, poor, and wanted something for himself and family—a home until the jubilee; and such he got, as the context shows. It is clear then, that the Jewish servant [employee] was voluntary in his servitude even when he was said to "be sold."

    So, under the Mosaic economy,


    In the same chapter from which we have been quoting (Lev. xxv. 45) will be found these words:

    "Moreover, of the children of the stranger that do sojourn among you, of them shall ye buy [hire], and of their families that are with you, which they begat in your land; and they shall be your possession."
    These strangers dwelt among the Jews just as Germans and Irish do among the native citizens of our Republic. They might become property holders, and even buy a Jew just as a Jew might buy a stranger; that is, his service [employment] up to a given time. See Lev. xxv. 47, as above quoted.

    The property and liberty of these strangers were protected equally with those of the Jew.

  • "Ye shall have one manner of law, as well for the stranger as for one of your own country; for I am the Lord your God." Lev. xxiv. 28.

  • "Thou shalt neither vex a stranger nor oppress him;" and this enforced by the consideration, "for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt." Exod. xxii. 21.
  • The strangers, then, were freemen, with their rights as well protected as those of the Jew; yet of, or from among these strangers, sojourning in their land, and born in their land, did the Jew buy or procure [hire] his servants [employees]. Now, who sold these freemen—that is, their service to a given time? There was no power in Judea, as we shall see hereafter, aside from themselves, that dare do it. Who sold these freemen?

    Will you try to evade the point by saying, it was the children of these sojourners that were sold to the Jew? Then we reply:

    1. The proof lies with you.


    2. If they were, then the Jew was required by law to circumcise the child. See Gen. xvii. 12. This made the child a Jew, "entitled to all the prerogatives of a Jew."—Watson.

    And as they had "one manner of law, as well for the stranger as for one of their own country," it is clear that this child, like the child of the Jew, and like a bound child in our land, went out free when it attained the age of a freeman. And there is no proof to the contrary. And we do not deny the right of a parent to place his child in a bond service. But,

    3. The inference is as clear, that the phrase "children of the stranger," in this verse, means adult strangers, as that the phrase "children of Israel," in the next verse, means adult Israelites. And then, to settle all doubt, the verse explains itself, by telling us that these persons, designated by the phrase "children of the stranger," had families, which they "begat in your land." And as it is a thing unheard of for babies to have families, it is clear that by the phrase "children of the stranger" is meant adult strangers.

    Then take it either way, whether the Jew bought parent or child, in neither case did he buy one who was already a slave. Many, even of those who are anti-slavery men, believe that those servants bought or procured from among the heathen, were, when first bought by the Jew, slaves, but afterwards became free by force of the Jewish laws and region.

    Yet here is a case where the stranger was a free man, and as certainly sold himself (that is, his services [as employee] for a definite period of time) as ever a Jew did. Had these "strangers" or "sojourners" been slaves, they could not have either sold themselves, that is, their service, nor that of their families. Yet, from both these strangers and their families were the Jews to procure help or service. They must therefore have been freemen in order to sell themselves, that is, their service [as employees] for a given time.

    I ask again, who sold these strangers? There was no power in Judea that dare do it. Flaming from Mount Sinai came the law: "He that stealeth a man, and selleth him, or if he be found in his hands, he shall surely be put to death." Exod. xxi. 16. [Deuteronomy 24:7]. "God's cherubim and flaming sword guarding the entrance to the Mosaic system."

    But do you say this means that one man should not steal a servant or slave from another man? Then we answer:

    1. It would have been written, he that stealeth a servant or slave—not, "he that stealeth a man."

    2. The Hebrew word ("11 ganabh) is one that means, not merely secret purloining, but also open violence and robbery. It is


    the word used in Gen. xl. 15, where Joseph says, "I indeed was stolen away out of the land of the Hebrews." It is the word that is used to designate the robbery of liberty—the chattelizing of man.

    [Rabbi Solomon] Jarchi [1040-1105], one of the oldest of the Jewish commentators, gives the import of this stealing and making merchandise of men, thus:

    "Using a man against his will, as a servant lawfully (i.e. by human law) purchased; yea, though he should use his services ever so little, only to the value of a farthing, or use but his arm to lean on to support him, if he be FORCED so to act as a servant, the person compelling him but once to do so shall die as a thief, whether he has sold him or not." Quoted from Bush's commentary.

    Involuntary servitude could not enter Israel by sanction of her [Bible vs. politician] laws. It was death to rob a man of his liberty, or even to hold him after he was robbed by others. Oppression in its slightest form was guarded against.

    3. If the command had recognized the right of property in man by the master, and waa simply guarding the property of the master, then it would have demanded a different penalty. It would have atoned for the crime by requiring, as in other cases, a property punishment. It was a principle in the Jewish law, that where property was taken, the thief should return an increased amount of property; and if he had not the property, then he was to be sold until his services would pay the amount. See Exod. xxii. 1-3.

    But where liberty was taken, and thus violence done to manhood and the image of God, then death was the penalty. When a man murdered his fellow-man, he robbed him of liberty; did violence to manhood, and the image of God. So, when he enslaved him, as he inflicted on him a like wrong—robbed him of liberty, did violence to manhood and the image of God—on the aggressor was indicted a like penalty—death.

    Here, whilst yet at the foot of the smoking mount [Exod. 19:18], where was heard the voice of the Almighty [Exod. 20:1], inscribed as it were upon the frontlet of the nation's existence, was the foundation truth, man as man owns himself. And as personal ownership is the dearest of all rights—that in which all others inhere, it should be guarded by the severest of all penalties—death.

    By all then that was dear to a Jew in time and in eternity, he dare not seize the stranger, or rob him of his liberty. The stranger, then, must have sold himself.

    But do you say, although the Jew might not seize the stranger and enslave him, yet he might buy those who had already been seized and enslaved by the nations around them?

    We answer, the above command (Exod. xxi. 16) [and Deuteronomy 24:7] as


    effectually excluded slaveholding as it did slavemaking. It punished the perpetuation of the crime with the same penalty that it did the beginning of it. Not only he that stealeth and selleth a man, "but if he be FOUND IN HIS HANDS, he shall be put to death."*

    If the Jew had not first stolen him—if some other had stolen him and sold him to the Jew, yet if this stolen man was "found in his hands "—if the Jew was found guilty of perpetuting the crime, he was alike to be punished with death.

    Now, this truth was consistent with reason—the standard of justice the world over. The world has decided that the sharer or withholder of stolen goods is as guilty as the original thief. How would it look—oh! how would it look in the eyes of Justice, for Moses to make a law forbidding the Jews to steal horses, yet giving them another law allowing them to buy those that they knew were stolen.

    That man owns himself the Jew knew; and fresh before his mind was the vindication of this sacred right, by that stretched-out arm of the Almighty, that scattered the corpses of the Egyptian oppressors like stranded wrecks upon the bosom of the Red Sea. [Exod. 14:28].

    The Jew, then, no more dare touch a stolen man (that is, with intention to continue him in slavery) than he dare seize a free man, and enslave him. The participant would be just as criminal as the first perpetrator of the act. And it did not then, any more than now, require the wisdom of a Solomon to see it.†

    But do you again say, the slaves sold to the Jews were captives, taken in war by tho surrounding nations? To this we reply:

    (1.) The position lacks one essential thing, and that is, proof. It is mere assertion.

    (2.) This is only another name for kidnapping, or man-stealing—is indeed the way slaves are now kidnapped on the coast of Africa. And the American people say it is piracy—a crime which they say, as the Jewish law did, shall be PUNISHED WITH DEATH. It is not, and never was right. And if the Jew did get
    * The passage in Deut. xxiv. 7 is a specific law, having reference to Jews only, whilst the above is a general law, having reference to all men.

    † The position of Dr. Rice, and many of the American people, is that to seize a man in a state of freedom, and enslave him, is an "unrighteous thing;" but if another man haa seized the enslaved one, and robbed him of his liberty, then we, by transferring to the robber a little money, may continue to rob the enslaved one of his liberty, and be blameless. How absurd! See Dr. Rice's debate with President Blanchard.


    his servants in that way, the slaves NOW living in our land were not obtained in that way. They are unoffending persons. The example of the Jew, then, would be worth nothing to us. But,

    (3.) The text (Lev. xxv. 45) which we have now under consideration, tells us that the Jew was not only to procure his serants from the heathen round about them, but also from among those strangers born and dwelling peacefully in the land of the Jew. Then, when these strangers became servants to the Jews, they must have done so voluntarily. And there is no evidence that the servants who came from the nations round about them came in any other way. Indeed, as we have seen, the law of Moses forbids that they should come in any other way.

    Then it was not only true that the Jew in becoming a servant did so voluntarily—sold himself, that is, his service to a given period—but the stranger did so also. This is an important truth—a truth which frees the Mosaic servitude from one of the essential elements of slavery—involuntary servitude.

    We have nothing to say against voluntary servitude [employment]. I have it from good authority, that one of the vealthiest men that ever lived in Maysville, Kentucky, was a "stranger"—sold himself, that is, his services, for seven years, that he might get to America, and have a little to start on.

    So a poor Jew or Gentile might wish a home, where he could receive, first, the "purchase money," (Lev. xxv. 51,) then a good home, where, as we shall see, his person, his rights were protected, shielded from marauding tribes by the "God of battles." But voluntary servitude, however long, is not slavery.

    Again, in noticing the nature of the servitude under the Mosaic economy, we remark: Whether the servant of the Jew was voluntary in the commencement of his servitude or not, sure we are, from the foregoing facts, he was in the continuance of it. If it were admitted that the servant was bought of a heathen master who enslaved him and sold him without his consent, it does not follow that the Jew held him as such—a slave, because he had bought him with money. Nehemiah bought some of his brethren of the Persians, but did not hold them as slaves. The law forbade it. The context proves it. (Nehem. v. 8.)

    A Hebrew might buy a fellow Hebrew, but he might not hold him as a slave. He had only a leasehold title to his service. Lev. xxv. 39; Exod. xxi. 2.*
    * The Jew might not deem it a sin to redeem the slave from slavery, by placing him in a bound service, where, by law, his personal safety was secured—his religious wants, and eventually his entire liberty; as in the


    The American people have frequently bought fellow Americans who were taken captives by pirates or enemies. But these captives were not held as slaves by the Americans. And it is clear, that if a Jew even bought a slave, he could not continue to hold him as a slave—one doomed to involuntary servitude.

    The testimony of [Moses] Maimonides [1135-1204], a Jewish Rabbi, as quoted in our third chapter, is very pertinent, and proves the position. Turn and see his words, page 25. From this Jewish writer this much is clear, that whether the servant bought was first subjugated by the heathen master, and sold without his consent to the Jew, or whether he was one that came from among the heathen, and sold himself, that is, his service [employment], he might not in either case continue to be a servant without his consent. Unwilling service of an adult and innocent man might not exist in Israel.

    The above position may be shown again from the rite of circumcision. Every servant ($,7) must necessarily be circumcised. See Gen. xvii. 12; Exod. xii. 44. If the servant refused to be circumcised, or eat leavened bread during the feast, or touched any unclean thing, and refuse to be cleansed with the "water of separation," he was "cut off," excluded from Israel. Gen. xvii. 14; Exod. xii. 19; Num. xix. 16. The master could not hold a servant without these rites were complied with; and all that a servant need to do, in order to be [out] from under the control of his master, was to refuse circumcision; or, in case of trespass upon the ceremonial laws, refuse to be cleansed.

    But especially on the nature of the covenant do we rely for proof. In this covenant he chose the Lord to be his God. To compel an adult to receive the covenant, would be mockery before God; just as it would be to compel an individual now to receive the rite of baptism.

    "The God of Jacob will not accept any other than the worship of a willing heart." "By circumcision to boys, and baptism to girls, each of them by this received (as it were) a new birth; so that those who were before slaves now became free."—[Augustin] Calmet.

    It is preposterous, then, to talk about slavery being found in connection with such laws.

    Under this head, we may add these additional truths: They were required to

  • observe the Sabbath,
  • celebrate the various feasts, and
  • attend three times a year at Jerusalem.
  • Were these duties enforced by fear of pains and penalties? Were they driven from
    case of bound boys [apprentices] with us [1850's]. In this case the Jew would not be a slave-holder—only a redeemer and guardian. But we believe the former argument the correct one.


    all parts of the land three times a year to Jerusalem, and there made to offer up mock petitions in woeful jargon with the prayers of their masters; then again driven away by thousands, like beasts of burden, to their fields of toil? Was this the passport to the communion of saints? For the sake of his own, and the character of God, let no man say he believes it.

    Facilities for Escape of Servants

    Again, we prove the [alleged] servitude, in continuance at least, must have been voluntary, by the peculiar opportunities and facilities the servants had for escape.

    Three times a year was every man required to appear at Jerusalem before the Lord, and each one with an offering. See Deut. xvi. 16, 17.

    Now, in attending these feasts many of them would be nearly a week in their journey up there [to Jerusalem], a week at each feast, and several days in returning. How did the [alleged Hebrew] slaveholders get their [alleged] ten, fifty, or a hundred slaves up to Jerusalem?

  • Did they send for their neighbors to help drive them?

  • And did they take turns by night in keeping a sharp look-out lest any should conclude to assume to himself the crime of personal ownership, and walk off?

  • And if he should, were there any of those beings called negro-catchers, skulking along the defiles and narrow passes, watching for the poor man struggling for the lauded boon of liberty?

  • And if so, will any of our pro-slavery divines tell us where is found the [politician-devised law] code [in the Law of Moses] by which fugitives were arrested?

  • Or did the masters then, when a number were driven any considerable distance, handcuff them, and drive them, amid the music of chains, to the house of prayer and praise?

  • And when they arrived at the holy city, were they lodged in jail for safe keeping?

  • Did the Sanhedrim "appoint special service for them," and some one to impart "ORAL instruction?"

  • Or, if permitted to go at large, were they skulking under the eaves of the temple, or employed in watching the coaches and horses of their masters, whilst the masters worshipped within?

  • And were there some men called patrollers, armed with cowhides and pistols, prowling about on Sundays and nights, lest the slaves should worship in "unlawful assemblages," and later than eight or nine o'clock?
  • Ed. Note: See Rev. Parker Pillsbury's reaction to such acts, upheld by pro-slavery clergy. He excommunicated them, finding them to be NOT Christian, but imposters.

    Oh, for honor to God, and for consistency in man, let us not suppose that such horrid paraphernalia were mingled with the [Hebrew] worship of the Most High.

    We do not ask such questions because our bosoms are destitute of love for those involved in the practice [tradition] of slaveholding. No! with them are linked the tenderest ties of consanguinity, and the dearest associations. But we ask them because such things are always found in the land of slavery, and are inseparable from it where it exists to any extent; and with the example of Holy


    Writ before us, (1 Kings xviii. 27,) we use irony for the purpose of showing the glaring inconsistency of error.

    We might also ask, what became of the sturdy hand-maids, or bond-women, left at home whilst all the males above twelve years were gone during two or three weeks to Jerusalem?

    Ed. Note: See Exod. 34:22-23; Lev. 23:4; Lev. 23:38; Deut. 16:16, "three times" a year, in addition to weekly Sabbaths. See also Harriet Beecher Stowe, Key, p 117.
    Preventing Southern slaves escaping required large numbers of men for constant surveillance, night-riding, patrols. Such labor-intensive escape-prevention was not possible under Hebrew Law requiring repeated, regular absence of "all" males, to attend lengthy, distant religious festivals.
    Consider that labor-intensive escape prevention was needed in the South, with slaves of a different color! Hebrews did not have this color-difference, thus making escapes even easier (due to blending in easily), had Hebrew Law allowed slavery, which the convergence of evidence shows it did NOT, could not.

    Surely the tender daughters and mothers did not stand as sentinels, day and night, to watch over those who were compelled to serve, in that land where "a very considerable degree of severity, in the treatment of servants, was indulged in during the Old Testament times."

    To talk of slavery, (which includes compulsory service,) under such laws and usages as were established among the Jews, is but to utter [Ed. Note: deliberate lying] contradictions.

    Their Return Forbidden

    Next, we prove that the servitude amongst the Jews must have been voluntary, because they had a law positively forbidding the return of a fugitive.

    "Thou shalt not deliver unto his master the servant which is escaped from his master unto thee: he shall dwell with thee, even among you, in that place which he shall choose, in one of thy gates, where it liketh him best: thou shalt not oppress him." Deut. xxiii. 15, 16.
    This way a humane institution, and designed to prevent the servant from being oppressed in body or mind.

    Nor will it avail any thing if we, like some, attempt to escape this Scripture by saying it has reference to heathen servants who should escape from their masters to the Jews. Reader, hear the words of one who has studied long and carefully the Word of God.

    "It is in vain to say this law refers only to fugitives from the heathen. There is no such thing in the law; there is nothing in the connection to limit it thus; it stands disconnected to both sides; it is a positive statute, and is therefore to be strictly interpreted. Its design was to prevent all cruelty and injustice. If a servant was abused, he could at any time leave his master, and serve him right in doing it; and a servant who would be base enough to run away from a good master, would be no great loss, and the statute was in all respects a good one, and could do harm to no one. God grant that there may be such a statute in every State where slavery exists, and for the present I ask no more."—Professor [Calvin E.] Stowe [1802-1886] before the American Board of C. F. M., when at Brooklyn, New York. [More].

    The text cited shows that no man could be kept contrary to his will. If he was "oppressed in any wise," he could flee to
    * The words included in quotation marks are those of [vile liar] Dr. Junkin. We believe his words are not true, as we shall hereafter see.


    a neighboring city or tribe; and the law protected him from being delivered up. This is clear and decisive.

    Do you still insist that the statute had reference to Gentile servants? Then we answer, so far as the question of slavery is concerned, your position does not affect the argument. For if slavery was lawful to the Jew only, and not to the Gentile, then it is not lawful to you; for you are not a Jew, but a Gentile.

    But if lawful to you, or the Jew, it was lawful to the Gentile; and if lawful, then it would have been wrong to pass a law depriving the Gentile master of the right to recover his property.

    But the very fact that God enacted such a law is proof positive that he did not regard as lawful the right of property in man—that it is wrong for man to oppress his fellow-man in any form; and if there are those who will do it, then there ought to be places and institutes prepared for the shelter and protection of the oppressed. Barnes says:

    "Assuredly, if Moses had supposed that the master had a right to the slave, he would never have publicly invited the slave to escape if he could. He never would have thrown around the runaway the protecting shield of his laws.

    "He would never have proclaimed in the face of all nations, that the moment when a man who had fled from oppression had reached the land overshadowed [ruked] by Hebrew laws and customs [God's civil laws], that moment he was a freeman; and all the powers of the State [government] would be exerted to secure him from being restored to his master [the exact opposite of human civil laws]."

    Does any man, who knows the fact that Pennsylvania passed a law forbidding the fugitive slave te be delivered up to his master, and punishing any of her officers [employees] who shall do so,—does any man, with this act before him, suppose for a moment that the laws of Pennsylvania even tolerate slavery?

    And if the Legislature of that State should, in addition to their law, append the words of God in the cited statute, requiring every citizen of Pennsylvania to "let the servant that is escaped from his master dwell with thee, even among you, in the place where he shall choose," and then add, "thou shall not oppress him," does any man suppose that that Legislature would be guilty of such folly as to turn right round, and pass laws allowing the same citizens to enslave—to practice the worst form of oppression—require the citizens to shelter the slave from Virginia, and then allow them to practice the same thing which they reprobated in others?

    As long as the former statute existed, and there was humanity enough in the citizens of the State to enforce it, it would be impossible for any one man, or set of men, to enslave—that is, to enforce involuntary servitude. And are we to


    suppose that equal folly was wrought by the Divine Legislator? or that slavery could have existed under that law, when we remember that Israel was yet a Theocracy; that God Almighty was yet the executioner of his own laws? As well talk of icebergs in the desert of Sahara, or of the drifted snow in the furnace of Nebuchadnezzar.

    Slavery, then, could not enter the Jewish Theocracy; and if it had entered, it could not have stayed there.

    Ed. Note: There was an attempt! As Fee says, it couldn't succeed. Rev. George Cheever, God Against Slavery (1857), pp 72-81, says God's reaction: having Judah conquered and abolished as a nation!

    That God did not intend to allow the right of property in many or involuntary servitude, is clear from other statutes. The Jew was required to return that which was the property of his fellow-man. Exod. xxiii. 4. If he saw the ox, or ass, even of his enemy, going astray, the law of the land made it the duty of the Jew to return that property.

    But the fact that God forbade that the servant should be delivered up, "that was escaped from his master [Deut. 23:15]," is evidence clear as a demonstration, that God did not recognize the right of man's ownership of his fellow-man; for if the servant was the lawful and righteous property of his fellow-man, whether the owner be Jew or Gentile, it would have been wrong to withhold that which was lawful property. But no! it never was lawful to enslave; even if slavery was an "organic sin" sanctioned by long established laws and customs—whether the servant had been oppressed by Jew or Gentile.

    God here [Deut. 23:13] made law in direct and immediate contravention of the wicked laws [Ed. Note: e.g., the 1850 Fugitive Slave Act requiring return] and customs of men.

  • This passage strikes a death-blow to slavery take it either way you will:

  • It [Deut. 23:13] destroys the property tenure in man, the very heart of slavery.

  • It destroys also involuntary servitude, the life's blood of slavery; and man can no more exist without heart and blood, than slavery can without property ownership in man, and involuntary servitude.
  • The two essential elements in slavery did not exist in the Jewish servitude; therefore that servitude was not slavery. In the language of Doctor Beecher, "It wasn't slavery; it is mockery to call it so" [p 63, infra].

    Legal Protection of Servants

    1. The next element which we notice in the nature of the Jewish servitude is, that each servant had safety of person secured to him by law. As an example, see Exod. xxi. 26, 27:

    "If a man smite the eye of his servant or the eye of his maid, that it perish, he shall let him go free for his eye's sake. And if he smite out his man-servant's tooth, he shall let him go free for his tooth's sake."
    The servant having voluntarily bound himself by law [Ed. Note: employment contract] to labor for a term of years—for six, or to the jubilee, as the case might be; and the money for that service


    having been paid [him], as in Lev. xxv. 46-51,—"He shall give again out of the money he was bought for,"—if the master should inflict upon him personal injury, then the servant went free from his obligation, and the master lost the money and service, as a punishment for his passion and cruelty.
    "Moses frequently delivered general laws in the form of particular examples; and although here only the eye, one of the most valuable organs, and the tooth, one of the most easily dispensed with, are mentioned, yet it is clear that all other organs of intermediate value are included; and mutilation in every form is forbidden, on penalty of losing the services of his servant, though he might have paid a sum of money for his services to a stipulated time."
    The master [employer], then, was punished for any maltreatment of the person of the servant [employee]. The above statute, together with the statute in Deut. xxiii. 15, 16, released the servant from such a master, thereby punishing the master for such offense, and secured the servant against a second infliction of maltreatment. The person of the servant [employee] was as sacredly guarded as that of any other person of the nation, whether he was a Jew or a Gentile, for he might be either.
  • "Ye shall have one manner of law, as well for the stranger as for one of your own country." Lev. xxiv. 22.

  • "But the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself." Lev. xix. 34.

  • "Cursed be he that perverteth the judgment of the stranger, fatherless, and widow: and all the people shall say, Amen." [Deut. 27:19].
  • So sacredly guarded was the person of the servant, that the master was put to death as quick for the killing of a servant [employee], where there was evidence of wilful murder, as for the killing of any freeman. See Exod. xxi. 12-20. Read these passages.

    Also, "Whosoever killeth any person, the murderer shall be put to death by the hand of witnesses. * * * Moreover, ye shall take no [money] satisfaction [instead] for the life of a murderer, he shall surely be put to death. So shall ye not pollute the land wherein ye are; for blood it defileth the land; and the land cannot be cleansed of the blood that is shed therein, but by the blood of him that shed it." Num. xxxv. 30-33.

    Under this head of personal security, we may notice the cruel perversions that have been given to the 20th and 21st verses of the 21st chapter of Exodus:

  • "And-if a man smite his servant or his maid with a rod, and he die under his hand, he shall surely be punished," i. e., with death, according to the above rule, (verse 12.)

  • "Notwithstanding, [or but,] if he continue a day or two, he shall not be punished, [i. e. with, or to the amount of
  • -55-

    death;] for he is his money."

    Some suppose that this passage teaches that among the Jews slavery existed,—that man held his fellow-man as property, disposed of at pleasure, like other property; and because of this property claim the master was not to be punished if he killed his slave. Now, this passage means no such thing; it is a plain case, as every person may see. And,

    (1.) Every man knows, that in the sight of God, it is just as wrong to kill a slave as a freeman.
  • "He that sheddeth man's blood, [whether slave or freeman,] by man shall his blood be shed."

  • "Thou shalt not kill."

  • "He that killeth ANY man shall surely be put to death,"
  • whether the object of rage be bond or free, is the command of God. Our civil law recognizes the act as criminal as the slaying of a freeman; and if enforced would assuredly inflict the same penalty.

    (2.) The Jewish law, like ours, looked at the intention of an act; judging of it by circumstantial evidence. See Num. xxxv. 20-23; Deut. xix. 11. There, if the manslayer used an "instrument of iron," or "a stone," or "a hand weapon of wood," and "if he thrust him with hatred, that he die," he was adjudged a murderer; the circumstances proving an intact to kill.

    But in the present case, the master could not be regarded as a wilful murderer. He had not intent to kill, as appears,

  • first, from the fact that the servant did not die under his hand. Had he intended to kill him, he would have beat him to death at once.

  • Secondly, the kind of instrument employed favored the same conclusion. Had he used an "instrument of iron," or "a stone," or "a hand weapon of wood," instead of a "rod," (^^—shebet—small stick, Isa. xxviii. 27,) there would have been evidence of intent to kill.

  • Thirdly, the servant "was his money;" not literally pieces of silver, but the source of money, and for the services of whom he had paid money. It was considered improbable that a man would destroy his own sources of gain.
  • Then the phrase, "his money," is here used, not to teach that the master had a right to beat to death his slave because he was his money, nor even a right to punish him with a "very considerable degree of cruelty," but as circumstantial evidence that the master had not intent to kill, and should not therefore be punished—that is, with death.

    Now, this will appear clear, if in the examination of the passages collated, we notice,

    (1.) The master was put to death for killing his servant, if there was evidence of intent to kill; as is clear from verse 20 of this same chapter:

    "If a man smite his servant or his maid with a rod, and
    he die under his hand
    , he shall surely be punished,"


    or avenged, as the original Hebrew means; and the correction is found in the margin of your Bible. And why punished with death? Because the fact of the servant dying under his hand shows intent to kill.

    The position is also made clear from Lev. xxiv. 17: "He that killeth ANY man shall surely be put to death." Also, "He that smiteth a man so that he die, shall be surely put to death." Exod. xxi. 12. This verse precedes those two verses under consideration, and is the basis on which the latter are built. It is the general principle laid down of inflicting death for death. And lest any might suppose that the life of a servant was cheapened by the fuct that he was a servant, God, blessed be his holy name, sedulously guarded the servant's life against passion and danger; and in the 20th verse, declares again that the same general principle, of death for death, shall be enforced—there being evidence of intent to kill.

    But in the next verse he says, if the servant "continue a day or two," with other circumstances showing that the master had not intent to kill, then he shall not be punished with death, according to the general rule previously laid down.

    (2.) He was punished for any cruel treatment of his servant. This is clear from verses 26 and 27, where the master was punished with the loss of his servant, if he so much as knocked out his tooth, or maimed his body in any way. It is not true, then, that "a very considerable degree of severity might be practiced by masters under Old Testament times." The law did not so much as tolerate such a thing, (verses 26 and 27,) but immediately took the servant from a master who should inflict the least cruelty upon his servant, and punished him in so doing. Deut. xxvii. 19, Lev. xxiv. 22, prove also that he was punished.

    Then, in the 21st verse, by the phrase "he shall not be punished," it is manifest we are to understand, that he was not to be punished with death, according to the preceding rule, on account of the circumstances proving that he had not intent to kill, and not because his slave was his money.

    Think you, reader, that God would require the master to be punished for the small offense of knocking out a tooth, and then let the master of the same servant go unwhipped of justice for manslaughter—for mangling to such a degree of cruelty as to cause death? Such a license would not be surpassed in cruelty by the bloodiest days of Pagan Rome. Such a perversion would make God a monster of cruelty, and his Holy Word a license for crime.

    Carry it [the perversion of the Bible rule] out now, and any man whose services are bought for a time, or for life, whether


    he be black or white, may be beaten even to death for any whim that may infest the breast of an irresponsible master.*

    We have dwelt on the above passage, because we know it is a stumbling-block to many. Under this head we may notice another passage supposed by some to be a license for compulsory and rigorous servitude. It is Lev. xxv. 23:

    "Thou shalt not rule over him [i.e., a poor afflicted Jew, reduced by some misfortune to poverty—verse 39, and had to sell himself [become someone's employee] for a sustenance for himself and family—verse 41] with rigor, but shalt fear thy God."
    Because it is said here that no one should rule over the poor Jew with rigor, it is inferred,
  • (1) that they might rule over the poor heathen servant with rigor; and,

  • (2) because the law was not to hold the poor Jew as a bondman, but that he should be to his brother Jew as a hireling or sojourner, it is inferred that the bondman might be held as a slave—property, worked without consent.
  • In reference to the first inference, it is like the Jews in the days of our Saviour, inferring that they might hate their enemies because the law required them to love their neighbors. Or, as though one should now infer that he is justified in cursing his friend, because the Saviour said, "Pray for them that despitefully use you" [Luke 6:28].

    Because we are enjoined to bestow mercy upon one poor man, it does not follow that we may heap oppression upon another who is equally innocent. And the Jew knew it when he was commanded, "Thou shalt neither vex a stranger nor oppress him; for ye were strangers in Egypt" [Exod. 22:21].

    In reference to the second inference, drawn from the 40th verse,

  • because the poor Jew was an adult, and not a minor that he might be bound; and

  • because he, to get bread to eat for him and his family, had sold himself, (for so the original word $,/" imports;) and he had no crime but that of being poor, having fallen in decay, and might not be sold by the judges; and

  • because he is required not to be held subject to his master's household as a bound servant is, but permitted to be with his family for their good, and thus be like a hireling or sojourner; and

  • because he might receive daily wages as a hireling for the wants of his poor family;
  • does it follow that one who is held in a different relation must therefore be a slave, and without any
    * The servants in those days from the "nations around," differed not in color from their masters, only that they were a little whiter; for the Jews had just come up out of Africa [Egypt] into Asia [Palestine].


    compensation for his toil? Let us try it. My neighbor is a blacksmith; he has a boy bound [apprenticed] to him; he also wants a house built, or a fence made. He hires a carpenter to come and work for him. Every night the carpenter returns home to his family, having received his daily wages, and with it provides for the necessities of his family.

    The bound boy stays—is subject to the rules of the family—is required to do all the domestic labors—learns a trade—is educated. At the end of the bond-service [apprenticeship, he receives a set of tools, horse, saddle, and bridle, and being mounted, rides off free as the air that bore on its bosom the sweet tones of the jubilee.

    Does it follow that because during his bond-service he sustained a different relation from that of the carpenter, that he was therefore a slave? Every body says, No!

    Nor does it follow, that because the bondman sustained a different relation from that of the poor Hebrew, that he was therefore a slave, as we have, and shall yet further show. And if it be true that no Jew might be held in the relation of a bond-servant, still it does not follow that the relation of a bond-servant must therefore be that of a slave.

    The passages first cited show that personal security was secured to the servant: the objections raised do not militate against the truth, but harmonize with it. And thus every part of God's Word may be made to harmonize with his character, which is love [I John 4:8, 16].

    Think not then, dear reader, that the Bible is a throne from which we may receive power to enslave man—a forge where we may find chains to bind him, and a storehouse where we may gather rods to beat him. No! the God of the Bible loves his poor, and has evinced it in his Holy Word. And when his professed ministers [2 Cor. 11:13-15] come to you, with hands wreaking with blood, and Bibles labelled with oppression, hear them not. They are mistaken prophets, "crying, Peace, peace, when there is no peace" [Jer. 6:14]. And whilst they would "sew pillows under the armholes" [Ezek. 13:18] of some, they bind chains upon the hands of others.

    3. A third element, which we notice in the Jewish servitude is, that the bondman had secured to him by law more than ONE THIRD of his time for religious purposes. If they remained until the year of jubilee, they had,

    (1.) Every seventh year—seven out of fifty. See Lev. xxv. 3-6.

    (2.) They had every seventh day, as most of ours get. Exod. xx.10.

    (3.) They had at the feast of the Passover seven days. Deut. xvi. 3-11.


    (4.) They had at the feast of Weeks seven days. Deut. xvi. 10, 11.

    (5.) They had at the feast of Tabernacles eight days. Lev. xxiii. 34-39. All the males were required to appear at these feasts, in. the place where the Lord should choose, which we know was Jerusalem, (Deut. xvi. 16.) The going to and from these feasts, together with the time spent at them and in preparations, would consume for each feast from two to three weeks.

    To this may be added the feast of Trumpets, of New Moons, and the Atonement day.

    Now, if we add together the time as above shown, we shall find that the bondman had more than one third of his time for religious purposes, and consequently abstinence from toil for his master. Some compute twenty-three years out of every fifty.

    To the above may be added numerous local feasts, such as those of marriages, of circumcision, of covenants; all showing that even as a bond-service, it was the mildest ever regulated by law. Let there be a law passed requiring our slaves to be held to the same kind of service as the Jewish bond-servant, and slavery will soon cease. Property tenure in man, and involuntary servitude, will not be known. None would be found going to the Bible for a system of slavery. Men, already, with our present heavy exaction of labor, without allowing the slave a week to celebrate the glory of God, or a month for education, are beginning to see that slavery is without profit.

    Those of the remaining Canaanites, on whom Solomon is said to have "levied a tribute of bond-service," (1 Kings ix. 21,) who were national servants, had still more of their time—two thirds. "A month they were in Lebanon, and two months at home. 1 Kings v. 14. And even this exaction was without sanction or authority from God.

    Right of Property Secured to Them

    4. Another right secured to the servant was the right to acquire and disburse property. Facts will show that this right was protected by law, and not a mere gratuity of the master, as with our [Southern] slaves. The case of the servant recorded in Lev. xxv. 47, is ia point. Here we are told that the servant sold himself, and in verse 51st we are told he might, according to the statute of the land, redeem himself "out of the money that he was bought for." This money he must have owned, and that under protection of law, or he could not legally have redeemed himself. And remember, this money was not earned by the consent or permission of the master, nor was he redeemed only with the consent of the master.

    The [Bible] law provided that so soon as the servant


    could transfer to the master an equivalent, he should go free from obligation to farther service.
  • Ziba, the servant of Mephibosheth, gave to David, when he was fleeing, asses, a great quantity of bread, and fruit for his army. The same Ziba had in his employ twenty servants, and with these tilled the land of Mephibosheth. 2 Sam. ix. 9-12.

  • Elisha seems to have expected Gehazi to have expended what he received from Naaman as his own; for "olive-yards, vineyards, sheep, oxen, men-servants, and maid-servants." 2 Kings v. 22-26.
  • The case of the servant, as recorded in Matt. xviii. 23-35, has been employed by some to prove the existence of slavery. But this is the plainest case possible to show that the servant was not a slave, but a freeholder. The servant says to his master or employer, "Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all." How could the servant do so unless he was a freeman, that he might accumulate means by which to pay the debt?

    Again, the fact of his suing those who were debtors to him is evidence that both were recognized as freemen, having rights of property secured to them by law; otherwise they might not sue and be sued. But he and his fellow-servants were recognized in law as property holders.

    5. The servants had a right to religious instruction. This was secured to them by law. This was the business of the "Levites, who went about through all the cities of Judea, and taught the people." 2 Chron. xvii. 9; see also Deut. xxxi. 10-12. [Flavius] Josephus [37 A.D. - 100 A.D.] says the servants were included with the rest of the people. See Ant. B. IV., chap. 8, § 12.

    Is this [religious instruction] secured by law to our servants? Or are there in some of our States, laws forbidding that the slaves shall be taught to read even the Word of God, under heavy penalties! and in all slave States a custom forbidding their instruction? We make them to have "eyes and see not;" aye, ears, and hear not, even on Sabbath, when too often their services are demanded at home, either to cook or to take care of the stock.

    Ed. Note: See also Harriet B. Stowe, Key, pp 244-245.

    6. The Jewish servants [employees] were members of the families where they lived, and partook with them in all their festival occasions, (see Exod. xii. 43, 44; Deut. xii. 12, 18;) as David, who was servant to Saul; see 1 Sam. xvi. 21-23, compared with xxii. 8. Great trusts of honor, or business, were often committed to their hands, as in the case of Abraham's servant who was sent to select a wife for Isaac. [Gen. 24:2-4]. In a word, they were members of the family, living in the same house, partaking at the same table, and at the


    same feasts, just as bound [apprenticed] children now are. And this is the condition or relation of servants now in Asiatic nations.

    Lastly, entire liberty was secured to them.* Whether this bond-service [as employees] ended at the end of six years, (they all being circumcised, and thereby adopted Jews,) or whether it ended at the year of jubilee, certain it is that at that time all who were bound went free.

    Lev. xxv. 10: "Ye shall proclaim liberty throughout all the land, and ye shall return every man to his possession, and every man to his family."
    In either case, the master only had a leasehold title to service for a limited period of time. Property tenure in man, one of the elements of slavery, did not exist.

    In all these cases we see most clearly that the servant or bond-man [employee] was regarded as having natural rights; and these rights were equally guarded and protected with those of the Jew, both by specific and general statutes; and we close this point by noticing some of these general laws.

  • "Ye shall have one manner of law, as well for the stranger as for one of your own country." Lev. xxiv. 12.

  • "The stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you; and thou shalt love him as thyself." Lev. xix. 34.

  • "Cursed be he that perverteth the judgment of the stranger." [Deut. 27:19].

  • "I will be a swift witness against those that turn aside the stranger from his rights." Mal. iii. 5.
  • Now, many of the bond-servants [employees] were of those strangers "that do sojourn among you, . . . . which they begat in your land." Lev. xxv. 45. Yet for these, as for the Jew, there was one law.

    Now, if the Jew had a right to liberty, a right to personal security, a right to compensation for his labor, then the bond-servant from among the heathen had, and the Jew dare not deprive him of these rights by enslaving him, without incurring the swift judgments of that God who was then head of the Theocracy, and who had said:

    "He that stealeth a man, or if he be found in his hands, he shall surely be put to death." [Exod. 21:16].

  • "Woe unto him that taketh his neighbor's service without wages, and giveth him not for his work." Jer. xxii. 13.

  • "Thou shalt neither vex a stranger nor
  • ____________
    * The object of the jubilee was not, as I suppose, so much to release servants from obligation to service as to revert lands to the original owners; thus preventing' monopolies, which are generally injurious, and would then have proved oppressive. The jubilee was also a great religious and national festival, and as auch, all ought to observe it. Hence, no engagements were made longer than to the jubilee, that all might be free, and then begin the world, a» it were, anew. There was no oppression from which the servant needed to be released.

    Ed. Note: The Jubilee was part of a total socio-economic policy. Other aspects included debt cancellation every seven years, free land grants, no property taxes, land Sabbatical every seven years, ban on charging interest on loans, etc., as per the laws and implementation cited in Exodus - Leviticus - Numbers - Deuteronomy - Joshua.
    No law-making body (legislature, congress, parliament) was allowed, so there was no system to alter these laws.
    This utopian economic system meant regularly renewed equality of all people in fact, not merely 'equality of opportunity' (the narrow, limited, modern goal).
    This utopian system of economic and related laws was designed to prevent unemployment, homelessness, poverty, crime, from starting. Everyone being independently wealthy as land-owners, and kept regularly equal, there was no incentive for crime to even occur. This in turn precluded a 'criminal justice system,' and its vast economic costs, vast numbers of police, guards, prosecutors, judges, prisons, jails, half-way houses—an enormous cost burden on modern society, but non-existent in Israel's economic system.
    As no political system was allowed (no elections and no law-makers, as God was sole law-maker), this utopian economic system also prevented 'special interests' even existing, much less, exercising disproportionate influence in government (thus prevented the modern issue of 'campaign reform' in elections).
    This utopian economic and legal system prevented idolatry, looking up to wealthy individuals, or politicians, as 'role models,' instead of to God.
    This utopian system was the model law for all nations; all nations were to adopt it as their 'Constitution.' Had they done so, modern society's problems would never have begun in the first place. In 1851, there would of course have been no slavery, Rev. Fee's immediate issue.
    As the economic system provided everyone their own land, acreage, self-employment, nobody would foreseeably leave their own land to become an 'employee' of somebody else. Being an 'employee' was undesirable, a 'put down,' 'come-down,' as per the derogatory references to the concept. There is no Bible record of anyone in Israel leaving their own land and self-employment, to become nothing but another's employee.
    For background, see Ed. Note in Rev. Parker Pillsbury's 1883 Acts of Anti-slavery Apostles, p 377.


    OPPRESS him. If thou afflict them in ANY WISE, and they cry at all unto me, I will surely hear their cry. And my wrath shall wax hot, and I will kill you with the sword, and your wives shall be widows, and your children shall be fatherless." Exod. xxii. 21-24.

    The rights of the servant, then, were protected by awful penalties for their violation. Let such laws be now established as the civil law of the land [U.S.A.], and slavery would be, like prowling beasts before the morning sun, hastening to caves of darkness and gloom.

    Now, if systems entirely dissimilar in every element should be represented by different words, then the term slavery should never be used to designate the servitude [employment] under the Mosaic economy [p 54, supra].

    Moreover, in all this system we see nothing of that philosophy which represents God as winking at sin,—pandering to despotism,—mingling righteousness with unrighteousness,—compromising with ignorance and error.

    Nothing of that modern expediency, that whilst it admits the truth that God mowed down men by thousands, rather than tolerate idolatry and adultery,—overturned empires and nations rather than sanction these, and other "organic sins;"—yet, when it comes to such sins as concubinage, arbitrary divorce,* and slavery, represents the Almighty God as bowing his sceptre,—lowering his standard of righteousness, and with time-serving policy accommodating himself to the "organic sins" of lustful, hard-hearted, and covetous men.

    But we see stepping at once upon the broad platform of righteousness,—securing at once to man personal ownership, freedom of will, protection of person, of character, of property—the essential elements of natural liberty, individual happiness, and national prosperity.

    Design of This Bondservice

    III. We promised to notice the DESIGN of this servitude, or bond-service. The institution was designed not only to secure the physical, but especially the spiritual good of the heathen. Scott, in his comment upon Lev. xxv. 44, says:

    "It was allowed, in order that the Gentiles might in this way become acquainted with the true religion."
    And in this institution, as Scott shows by marginal references, was one of the ways in which was seen a fulfilment of the promise of God to Abraham, that "in him all the nations of the earth should be blessed." Gen. xviii. 18.

    A living divine well expresses the truth in these words: "The reason of this bond-service was simply that untaught heathen
    * On the subjects of arbitrary divorce and concubinage, under the Mosaic economy, see Appendix, letter B [not here reprinted].


    brought among the Jews might be kept steady, until fully reclaimed from their savage ways and worship. It was a wise apprenticeship to the business of knowing and serving God."

    The truth of the above position may be further shown from the fact, that every servant was required to be circumcised. Gen. xvii 12; Exod. xii. 44.

    2. In becoming servants, they became members of God's Church. They might not stay in the family without doing so. Gen. xvii. 14.

    3.They were required to appear before the Lord at Jerusalem, three times a year. Exod. xxiii. 17. And they were each to appear there with a sacrifice. Deut xvi. 16, 17. Male and female were to observe joyfully these feasts. Deut. xvi. 11. This institution, instead of being a selfish system, by which the aggrandizement of the Jew was secured at the expense of the heathen, was a door by which the heathen were brought into the Church of the true God, and made acquainted with the only way of salvation.

    With this design before our minds, we can readily see the intention, and understand the import of that much perplexing and much perverted passage, found in Lev. xxv. 44-46:

    "Both thy bondmen and bondmaids which thou shalt have, shall be of the heathen round about you." "Ye shall always serve yourselves with THEM;"
    for thereby the poor heathen will be brought into the Church of the true God, as well as the Jew.
    No Warrant for Us at any Rate

    IV. In noticing the servitude [employment] established by Moses, we promised to notice, in the last place, the persons to whom it was permitted. If it were even true that God did permit the Jews to enslave the heathen around them, that fact is no permit to us to enslave.

    Let the reader here notice, and remember that proslavery men do not defend slavery upon the ground that it is a natural relation, or that it is right in itself, or that it is productive of national prosperity, but on the ground of permission. But what was permitted to the Jews is not in all cases lawful to us. For instance, Saul was commissioned to go and destroy theAmalekites, men, women, and children, (1 Sam. xv. 1-7,) because they had sinned against God and his people. God, who was Sovereign, and might destroy them with famine, pestilence, or sword, commissioned Saul to do the work of his providence. Now, might the kmg of Egypt, without commission from God, claim the right to slay the same people, or another nation of people who were innocent, who had done him no harm? Surely not.

    Let us apply the principle to ourselves. May we, without com-


    mission from God the Sovereign, go and enslave the inhabitants of the land of Canaan, the people said to be enslaved by the Jews through God's permission? No man claims this.

    Much less may we go and enslave a different and unoffending people—the poor Africans—especially when we remember that the Canaanites were held not as slaves, but simply to a bound service for a definite period of time, and the mildest the world has ever known.

    Let us illustrate this last thought. A permits B to take one of his children for a definite period of time, under laws that protect all its natural rights, and allows it more than one third of its time for religious and other purposes. Now, because of A's permission to B, may C, without any permission, go and take the rest of A's children, and hold them as property as long as they live? Is there a parent, aye, is there a man in the nation, who would this is right? If not, then, my brethren, let us not use the "liberty of God for a cloak of maliciousness [1 Pet. 2:16]."

    The bond-service given to the Jews is no license for our slavery.

    This fourth point may be satisfactory to some minds, and may serve to loosen their grasp on slavery. But we do not rely upon it, after what we have seen under the preceding points.

    Chapter V.


    Fallacy of Pro-slavery Argument from
    Fourth and Tenth Commandments

    IN the Old Testament, the only remaining Scripture pleaded in defense of slavery is the fourth [Exodus 20:8-11] and tenth [Exodus 20:17] commandments. Here,

  • because in the one [Ex. 20:8-11] the master is required to see that his man-servant or maid-servant does not break the Sabbath;

  • and in the other [Ex. 20:17], one neighbor is forbidden to covet the man-servant or maid-servant of another,
  • it is therefore inferred that God here recognizes the existence of slavery, and protects the master's right of property in the slave.

    To this we reply:

    1. Before the least plausibility can be claimed for an argument from this source, it must be proved that these commands refer to slaves. And what evidence have we that such persons are referred to?

    The word servant, in English, or $,3, the Hebrew word, does not necessarily mean slave, as we have abundantly shown.


    Nor is there any thing in the connection here that demands such a signification of the words. On the other hand:

    2. The Hebrews were just from the land of bondage themselves, and now escaping for their lives through the wilderness; and it is rather laughable to talk about their having slaves. These commands were given them only a few days after their exit from Egypt.

    Ed. Note: They were fugitive slaves themselves—Alvan Stewart, Legal Argument For Deliverance of Persons from Bondage (1845), pp 31-34.

    3. The master's duty to restrain the servant [employee] from violating the Sabbath rested, not on the ground that the servant was his property, but upon the ground that the servant was a member of his household; just as his wife and children were members of his household, but not slaves. Therefore it was the duty of the master to see that the servant did not violate the Sabbath. On the same ground, it was the master's or householder's duty to see that the "stranger within his gates" did not violate the Sabbath.

    Now, if the master's duty to restrain the servant [employee] from violating the Sabbath rested on the ground that the servant was his property, then the stranger that was lodging within his gates, and his children, were slaves. But this would prove too much, and therefore proves nothing. No one will claim it.

    The above principle obtains in Lev. xxii. 11. The servant of the priest might eat of the holy things because he was a member of his family, and was necessarily circumcised, (see Exod. xii. 43, 44, and Gen. xvii. 12, 13,) and not merely because he was bought with the master's money. If the latter were tho reason why he might eat, then his dog and ox might eat, if money had been paid for them.

    But it is claimed that the tenth commandment [Exod. 20:17] recognizes and protects slavery; because, as it is maintained, we can covet only that which is held as property by our neighbor. Let us test this position also.

    1. To covet is to desire without a willingness to give an equivalent, or "to desire unlawfully." My neighbor has a white boy bound [apprenticed] to him for six or twelve years. The boy is very sprightly. Cannot I covet that boy—desire him without a willingness to give an equivalent, though he be not the slave, the property of my neighbor? The same would be true if the boy were only a hireling. Because I may covet his wife, or his child, does it follow that they are his slaves—his property? Every man knows better. Then a man can covet that which is not held as the property of his neighbor.

    2. This command would be necessary, tbough the servant of my neighbor was held as a slave, and unlawfully held. To


    illustrate: My neighbor has a piece of stolen cloth; I may covet the cloth, and yet it would, be as wrong for me to covet the cloth as though he lawfully or rightfully owned the cloth. Covetousness is wrong in me,
  • (1) because of its influence upon my own heart; and

  • (2) because of the effects it may produce upon society—the outrages it may lead to.
  • Hence it is wrong to covet even that which is wrongfully held. Then the command is necessary, and yet at the same time the servant held may be unlawfully or wrongfully held; and the command may be used without implying any right to enslave.

    Lastly, this [tenth] command [Exod. 20:17], and the eighth command [Exod. 20:15], are death to slavery. They strike at the very foundation of slavery, and forbid the elements that compose it.

  • "Thou shalt not steal."

  • "Thou shalt not covet any thing that is thy neighbor's."
  • The term neighbor, as here used, means any one of the human family. About this there can be no controversy; because,

    (1.) The original Hebrew word 39 (rea,) denotes a fellow-being, one of the human family.

    (2.) The commandments, or moral law, regulate our duty, not merely to those near by us, but to all and every one of the human. If we say the commands have reference only to those near us, then it will read thus:

    "Thou shalt not covet or steal the property of
    one near by you, but you may of one afar off."

    Now, every man knows that it is just as wrong to covet the person or property of one who is ten miles from us as one who is ten steps from us. The Saviour uses the word in the same sense, when he says,

    "Love thy neighbor as thyself." Luke x. 27; Matt. xxii. 39.
    That is, you shall have the same regard for your neighbor's rights, welfare, temporal and spiritual, as you would have him have for yours. Matt. vii. 12. He showed the Jew that his neighbor was one of another nation, (Luke x. 27-37,) even the Samaritans—a people despised by the Jews.

    The word may be used in a secondary sense denoting one near by us; but as here used, and in many other places in the Bible, it means any one of the human family.

    Then the command of God is,

  • "Thou shalt not steal" [Exod. 20:17].

  • "Thou shalt not covet any thing that is the right of a fellow-being" [Exod. 20:17].
  • Now, either or both of these commands, together with the whole moral law, recognize the fact, that man has rights, for the protection of which the [Bible] law was given.

    Remember, the law was not given to invest [create] rights, but to protect rights already existing. And the law recognizes these rights as belonging to man as man—to every individual man. Among the rights thus protected are the rights to pro-


    tection of person, protection of character, protection of property. These rights necessarily pre-suppose the right of personal ownership—the foundation of all other rights—that in which all others inhere. I cannot acquire or really hold property unless I own myself. It may all belong to the man to whom I [supposedly] belong. So with the other rights here guarded.

    The moral law then recognizes the fact that man, as man, HAS A RIGHT TO HIMSELF—to his limbs, his mind, his body; a right to his time, his labor—the proceeds of his labor, for this is the property guarded by the eighth command [Exod. 20:15].

    Now, the command forbids not only that we shall not take from man these rights, but that we shall not so much as covet them: "Thou sbalt not covet any thing that is thy neighbor's." [Exod. 20:17].

    Does he own his hands, his feet, his body? We can not speak of them without implying that he does. The very word "his" denotes that they belong to him, and not to us.

    Now, we may not covet any thing that is our neighbors. Then, the moral law not only forbids the beginning of slavery in the heart, but every step in the practice [tradition]; not only one element, but every element that composes it. And the man that enslaves his fellow-man, violates the moral law; the known and wilful violation of which is eternal death, for "sin is the transgression of the law" [1 John 3:4], and "the wages of sin is death" [Rom. 6:23].*
    * We do not mean that the enslaver secretly purloins the body of the slave, which is called theft, but that under the form of law he forcibly deprives him of his liberty—the free exercise of his mind and body for his own good, that of his family, and the glory of God; rights which naturally and rightfully belong to every unoffending or law-abiding man. In this way the enslaver violates the moral law, as may be made perfectly plain to every man.

    In the interpretation of all law, civil as well as moral, the law is understood to have a spirit, as well as a letter. By the spirit of a law, we understand the meaning, design, or intention of the law, which may be much more extended than the letter. Hence the moral law, like the civil, forbids crimes by classes, and not every specific crime of that class. In doing so, it usually forbids the highest crime of that class—always including [subsuming] every minor crime of the same class.

    To illustrate: The sixth commandment forbids that we shall murder, or kill the body of our neighbor. In so doing, it forbids the greatest offense that can be offered to personal security, and thereby forbids all other offenses against the person of our neighbor or fellow-being.

    So with the eighth command: when it forbids us to steal, it forbids one of the greatest violences that can be offered to that which belongs to another; and in doing so, forbids us to take any thing, even to the smallest amount, that may rightfully belong to another. It then not only forbids us secretly to take away that which rightfully belongs to another, but it forbids all overreaching in trade, all forms of robbery and oppression, whether by force of arms, or by sanction of unrighteous law. And it is under this [unconstitutionally] legalized form of robbery, that the


    "But," says one, "I did not enslave—deprive my slave of his liberty, his rights. I found him already deprived of them by another man; and with Dr. Rice I am ready to admit that the
    eighth command forbids slavery; and the man that enslaves, is guilty of robbing hia fellow-man of his dearest rights.

    Here let us guard against misconstruction. We do not say that every man who may sustain the relation of a slaveholder is in heart a robber. We would distinguish between the character of a man, and the system in which he may be involved.

    It sometimes occurs that a man's heart is better than than his practice. Some fifty years since [1801 era], many of our pious elders and deacons in the Church were engaged in beggaring and murdering families around them, by the sale of ardent spirits. They might not now do it, with their present knowledge, without sin, though the practice [tradition] be [allegedly] legalized.

    Dr. Rice says, "Abraham, though a good man, lived in the sin of concubinage. But let it be remembered that he lived in the twilight of gospel day." Debate, page 185.

    Still more to our point: John Newton, raised up under the belief that the slave-trade was a righteous institution, (for so Clarkson says it was considered in his early day,) continued to visit Africa, as master of a slave-ship, after his conversion. But when his mind was enlightened, and he was brought to see the sinfulness of the slave-trade, which we as a nation now denounce as piracy, he, like every other true penitent, put away the sin.

    A man then may be honest in heart, but sinful in practice; but when truth is brought to light, if a true child of God, he will embrace it, and put away the sin.

    I suppose there are persons in our land, who, from the example and teaching of those to whom they look for instruction, have never yet been brought to see the sinfulness of the practice [tradition] in which they are living, and when the truth is fairly presented to their minds, will give up the sin.

    For truth they ought honestly and earnestly to seek, lest God

    "should send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie, that they all might be damned, who believe not the truth, but have pleasure in unrighteousness." 2 Thess. ii. 11, 12.

    But we must guard against error on the other hand.. It does not follow, that because some well-meaning men do not see the practice [tradition] to be sinful, that the Church must admit the sin into her communion. [Ed. Note: See his 1849 book].

    Most Protestants in our land believe there are well-meaning Roman catholics; yet they would not think it best for the cause of truth and righteousness to take the Catholic with his belief and practices [traditions] into their communion. In order that the Church may exhibit a proper and correct light, she always has exercised the right of excluding wrong practices [traditions] without impugning the motives of the heart.

    In this and every way let the Church proclaim the truth—spread it before the mind of every penitent, or seeker for admission.

  • If he [an applicant for membership] be a true penitent—an humble and sincere inquirer far truth—he will hear; and when he sees the truth, he will put away the sin.

  • If he [the applicant] will not [repent], then there is not "credible evidence of piety." There is [instead] fearful evidence that he wants to serve God and Mammon [Matt. 6:24; Luke 16:13], and has an unsubdued will.
  • Let the Church see to it, that she does not sanctify by her example the unholy thing—that her "good be not evil spoken of." In this way she will diffuse light, that the sin may be the more manifest.

    I know nothing that has done so much to tolerate and perpetuate the sin in our midst, as the practice [tradition] of the Church.

    Ed. Note: See also Bible anti-traditionism, and demand for repentance in, e.g., Matt. 15:2-6; Mark 7:3-9; Acts 2:38; Col. 2:8; and I Pet. 1:18.   And see
    James Birney's Bulwarks (1840);
    Rev. S. Foster's Brotherhood of Thieves (1843);
    Rev. Wm. Patton's Infidelism (1846).

    And, "verily, three fourths of all the Episcopalians, Methodists, Baptists, and Presbyterians, in eleven states of the Union, are of the devil."—Rev. James Smylie, quoted by Rev. Foster, pp 14-15.
    Note William Lloyd Garrison's analysis of U.S. Clergy: "disgraces to humanity . . . heathenish, filled with apologies for sin and sinners of the worst sort . . . . Bulwarks of Slavery . . . [and] accessories to the MANSTEALERS in the bloodiest of their crimes . . . Oh the rottenness of Christendom." Quoted by Macalester College Prof. James Brewer Stewart, William Lloyd Garrison and the Challenge of Emancipation (Arlington Heights, IL: Harlan Davidson, Inc, 1992), p 91.

    She [the professing Christian church, insteading of demanding repentance] has permitted it [slavery] to lay hold on the horns of her altars [into the church], and thus, instead of expelling it from her sanctuary, has shielded it from a righteous indignation.


    slaves were 'unrighteously enslaved by others.'" Debate, page 81.

    True, you [the slaveholder] may not have commenced the "unrighteous act" of enslaving, but you are continuing, prolonging, perpetuating the SAME ACT. And pray, dear reader, tell me the difference between beginning an unrighteous act—slavery—and knowingly continuing the same act. You are prolonging an act which is admitted to be sinful; for, says John, "All unrighteousness is sin." 1 John v. 17.

    The admitted point may be held before your mind, by one or two illustrations, until it is engraven there so as not to be forgotten. My neighbor seizes you, binds you hand and foot with a rope, and dies, leaving the rope in my hands. I continue to keep you bound by holding it. All the while the friends of humanity are entreating me to desist from my "unrighteous act," and I very gravely say, Oh! it was "unrighteous" and cruel in any neighbor to bind you as he did, but all that I am doing is just to hold on to the rope. Now, how would you look upon me? and how do you suppose God would?

    To take another illustration, which in substance has been used: My neighbor seizes you, builds a prison, compels you to toil for him in the prison, locks the door, wills the key to me, and dies. Now, every man knows that I am guilty of the sin of slavery—an "unrighteous act"—if I do not open the door and let you out.

    Ed. Note: The principle in law is: "Quod ab initio non valet in tractu temporis non convalescet. That which is bad in its commencement improves not by lapse of time."   "Quod initio non valet, tractu temporis non valet. A thing void in the beginning does not become valid by lapse of time."—Black's Law Dictionary (St. Paul: West Pub, 5th ed, 1979), pp 1126-1127.

    The application of the above is easily made. Others have bound the poor African, and you are holding on to him—keeping him imprisoned.

    God Makes No Slaves in the Womb

    "But," says one, "my slaves were not kidnapped; they were born slaves." We answer:

    1. "God did not make them slaves in the womb."

    2. The civil law does not compel you to hold them as slaves; and if they are slaves you have made them slaves, and are now guilty of the acknowledged sin.

    Do you make another effort of vindication, and say, "The civil law makes the slave my property?" We answer, the moral law, as we have seen, does not; the civil law cannot.

    Law for the Protection of Rights

    The moral law, as you remember, does not come to invest [create] rights, but to declare and protect rights already existing—rights inherent in man as man, rights natural to all men. And every human being has a right to claim protection under these laws. Now, the province of human law is the same, and may never contravene the moral law.

    To prove both these points:

    1. Civil law, like the moral law, is given, not to invest [create] rights, but to protect rights in man already invested [existing]. [Professor of Common Law Sir William] Blackstone says man has natural, or absolute rights; and the

    "primary object of


    law is to maintain and regulate these absolute rights of individuals."
    Vol. I, page 89.

    And by these absolute rights, he says,

    "we mean such as would belong to man in a state of nature, and which EVERY MAN is entitled to enjoy, whether in society or out of society."
    These natural rights, he says, are such as
    "life and liberty, and which no human legislature may abridge or destroy, unless the OWNER himself shall commit some act that amounts to a forfeiture."
    The object of law is to protect rights already invested.

    Our own [American] laws [1776 - 1851] are framed on the same basis or principle. In our Declaration of Independence, the professed political creed of the nation, we declare

    "that all men are created equal, [i. e., so far as natural rights are concerned,] and have certain inalienable rights; among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. That to SECURE these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed."
    Now, when human and civil governments, instead of protecting rights, attempt to take away those which they say "ALL MEN" possess—which are inalienable, and endowed by their Creator—they stop out of their province, and attempt to subvert the very end for which they were intended, namely, the protection of rights.

    Again, when our government [unconstitutionally] essays to enslave, and deprive its own subjects of their natural rights, it attempts a glaring absurdity, and its own crimination. It has already declared to the world, that governments derive the just powers from the CONSENT of the governed; and then, without obtaining their consent (and by consequence the just and necessary power,) essays to enslave three millions of its own subjects; as though my arm should attempt to enslave the body from which it derives its strength.

    Our government then, upon its own admission, has no right to take away from its own subjects or body those rights which it never invested, but which to all men are "inalienable," (if inalienable, governments themselves cannot alienate them,) and which they were designed only to protect. Indeed it cannot, not having the just or necessary power from the "consent of the governed."

    Ed. Note: See the precedent to the effect that government aiding and abetting private individuals in violating a right is unconstitutional, i.e., when ". . . States have made available to [private] individuals the full coercive power of government to deny" other individuals their rights. Shelley v Kraemer, McGhee v Sipes, 334 US 1, 19; 68 S Ct 836; 92 L Ed 1161 (1948).

    2. Civil law or government, may never contravene or oppose the moral law, or law of revelation. Blackstone says:

  • "Upon the law of Nature and Revelation all human laws depend." . . . .

  • "No human laws should be suffered to contradict these." . . .

  • "Nay, if any human laws should allow, or enjoin us to commit a violation of the revealed law, we are bound to transgress that
  • -71-

    human law, or else we must offend both natural and revealed law."
    —Vol. I. pp. 28, 29.

    The same truth was uttered by inspiration eighteen hundred years ago,

    "when Peter and the other apostles answered and said,
    We ought to obey God rather than men [Acts 5:29]."

    Human laws can never change what God has made right. "They cannot make black white; right, wrong; nor wrong, right." Then, if the moral law be against slavery, no excuses will stand—it is sinful in itself. For all men, so far as the claims of their fellow-men are concerned, own themselves—have a right to liberty.

    The moral law, as we have seen, forbids that we shall take,

  • either by superior numbers,
  • or semblance of law,
  • or any other means,
  • that which belongs to our fellow-man, yea, even to covet it. But slavery takes from man—unoffending man—the right of personal ownership, the dearest of all rights. It is, therefore, a violation of the moral law—sinful in itself.

    And now, dear reader, if the above is God's truth, place yourself upon it. Hide not your light, bury not your talent, be not a traitor to your God and your county, but speak with the assurance that truth is mighty and will prevail, for it is leagued with God.

    Chapter VI.


    WE come now to the New Testament argument. The texts relied upon, in defense of slavery, in the New Testament are

    Matt xvii. 23-30; 1 Cor. vii. 21; Eph. vi. 5-9; Col. iii. 22-25;
    1 Timothy vi. 1, 2; 1 Peter ii. 18; Titus ii. 9; Philemon 1.

    As we have not space for all, we will copy only one or two of these texts as examples, and the reader is requested to turn and read the rest.

  • "Art thou called, being a servant? Care not for it; but if thou mayest be made free, use it rather." 1 Cor. vii. 21.

  • "Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ; not with eye-service as men-pleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the
  • -72-

    heart; with good-will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men: knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free. And, ye masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing threatening: knowing that your Master also is in heaven; is there respect of persons with him." Eph. vi. 5-9.

    Meaning of Different Greek Words

    Before we proceed to the direct argument, we will drop a word on the import of the terms servant and master; and in the original Greek, the corresponding words *@\8@H (doulos), iLD4@H (kurios,) and *,B@J0H (despotes.) The apologists for slavery are not willing to rest. their positions upon the plain principles of justice and mercy as taught in the Word of God, and by the sense of right planted every where in the bosom of man; but they seek to support oppression by giving to these terms a restricted meaning, and by an array of learning and apparent show of authority. Facts will show that truth and freedom have nothing to fear from learning and a sound exegesis. They will shine brighter by every test applied.

    The meaning of the Greek word (*@\8@H,) which in the New Testament is translated servant, is regarded as furnishing an unanswerable argument to prove that slaveholding was allowed by Christ and the apostles. As so much stress is laid upon the meaning of this word, and in fact, as the whole defense of slavery depends upon restricting it to slaves, it is worth while to examine it closely.

    The reader, however, will bear in mind, as we go along, that the meaning of this word, although so important to slaveholders and their apologists, is quite unimportant in the chain of argument by which we establish the guilt of slavery. The truth in regard to freedom, like the truth that the Scriptures are divinely inspired, depends not for its establishment upon the meaning of a single word or a single argument.

    The stream [convergence] of evidence on our side has a thousand tributaries, any one of which (although far more conclusive than that founded upon *@\8@H by the defenders of slavery) might be spared, and yet not materially lessen its fulness. Whereas, if *@\8@H be taken from them, they are gone—there is no hope! Surely if the whole of their New Testament argument rests here, the meaning of *@\8@H ought to be established beyond doubt.

    But let us examine it. In 1 Cor. ix. 19, Paul says, "Though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant (g*@L0T`") unto all." Now was Paul the slave of all men? Remember the definition of a slave; and remember that a definition must distinguish the thing defined from every thing


    else, or it is not a definition. A slave is one who is held as property without his consent, before and after he is of age. Mere "obligation to perform service for another," is not a definition of slavery.

    I have promised to labor with and for this people to whom I now minister; and having done so, I am under obligation to labor for them. Yet I am not the slave—the property of any man. The service I perform is a willing service. So it was with Paul. He was not the property of any man; but having voluntarily given up the things of this world, he was performing service willingly, for all men. Paul says in this same verse [1 Cor. 9:19] he is not a slave, but "free from all men," yet he made himself a willing servant.

    Again, we are told in Phil. ii. 7, that Christ "took upon himself the form of a servant,"   (*@\8@H.) Isa. xlii. 1: "Behold my servant whom I uphold," &c. Now was Jesus Christ, our willing Saviour and Redeemer, the ever-living God, who "is before all things, and by whom all things consist"—was he a slave? Let that Christian blush with shame who would say so; yet Christ, like Paul, was a *@\8@H, a willing servant for the good of man.

    Kindred with the first passage cited, is 2 Cor. iv. 5:

    "For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord;
    and ourselves your servants (*@\8@H) for Jesus' sake."

    Now, were Paul, Timothy, and all the saints in Achaia, slaves to the Christians at Corinth—held as property, without their consent?

    Such a use of the word servant as above can deceive no man.

    Ed. Note: If slavers were in fact deceived, it was because they were not Christian, but atheist, vile, demonized.

    Take the first two passages cited by Dr. Rice, in his debate with Rev. J. Blanchard, (p. 384,) to prove that the "literal and proper meaning of *@\8@H is slave:"

    "Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, whosoever commiteth sin is the servant (*@\8@H) of sin. And the servant (*@\8@H) abideth not in the house ever, but the Son abideth ever." John viii. 34, 35.
    "In this passage," says he, "it is evident that the Savour represents wicked men as the slaves of sin."

    Now, were these men the property of sin? and did they render an unwilling service? Was the service without their consent? Certainly not. Was it with their consent? Then they were not slaves; for willing service is not slavery. And it is only quibbling, and using words in an improper sense, to say such service was slavery.

    If *@\8@H here means slave, why did not the translators of the New Testament use the term slave? Plainly because they saw that the service spoken of was not slavery.

    Take the second passage cited by Dr. Rice—Rom. vi. 17, 18:

    "But God be thanked that ye were the servants (*@\8@H) of sin: but


    ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants [,*@L8T2,J,] of righteousness," &c.

    Now, according to the Doctor's teaching, "that slave is the proper and literal meaning of *@\8@H, those persons were slaves when they were servants to sin, and also slaves when they were "made free, and became servants to righteousness."

    But those who translated the New Testament did not so understand the word *@\8@H, and accordingly translated it servant—one doing a willing service. And every man can see that the servants were neither the property of sin, nor of righteousness; nor was the service they rendered an unwilling service.

    Ed. Note: If slavers did indeed not see this, it was because they were not Christian, but atheist, vile, demonized.

    It is mere trifling for men to talk about voluntary service being slavery. Now, the word *@\8@H is used twenty-eight times in the New Testament, to denote this voluntary service of man to his God. See Greenfield.

    Take one more example—the words of pious old Simeon, when for the first time he saw the Saviour. They are these: "Now, Lord, [7,FB@B",] lettest thou thy servant (*@\8@H) depart in peace, for mine eyes have seen thy salvation." [Luke 2:29-30].

    Now give it the pro-slavery reading, and make 7,FB@B" mean slaveholder, and you have these words:

    "Now slaveholder, lettest thou thy slave depart in peace."

    You see what havoc such definitions would make of the Bible.

    Dr. Rice admits with anti-slavery men that God is our Creator and Preserver, yet we are freemen—voluntary in our acts—we are not slaves. He, though a servant of God, would not like to be called a slave.

    According to the Doctor's teaching, it is all a mistake about the white citizens of America being freemen, especially the Christians. They are all slaves, because they are called the servants of God. And the angels in heaven are slaves, for they who are represented as there praising God are called servants—*@\8@H. Rev. xix. 10. These absurdities correct themselves; and when seen, can deceive no man.

    What then is the truth in reference to this word? This, as every man may plainly see: The Greek word *@\8@H, like $"3 in Hebrew, and servant in English, denotes one who does service for another irrespective of the time for which, or the principle upon which that service may be rendered.

  • It may be for a short time; it may be for a long time.

  • It may be willingly; it may be unwillingly.

  • It is a generic word denoting simply one who does service.
  • The connection in which it is used must determine what kind of service is performed—whether voluntary or involuntary—free or bond.* With other qualifying words, as
    * Hence the Greeks used the term *@\8@H to express servitude in the


    "*@L8@H LB@ .L(@L," it may mean slave; but *@\8@H alone does not mean slave. Thus, Dr. [John] Potter [1673-1747], in his Grecian Antiquities, page 73, says:

    "Slaves, as long as they were under the government of a master, were called @4P,J"4, (oiketai;) BUT AFTER THEIR FREEDOM WAS GRANTED TO THEM, they were *@\8@H, not being, like the former, a part of the master's estate, but only obliged to some grateful acknowledgmente and small services, such as were required of the :,J@4P@4, (metoikoi, resident foreigners,) to whom they were in some few things inferior."

    The word *@\8@H does not necessarily denote a slave. Andrapodon ("<&D"B@&<) is the definite Greek word to denote a slave.*

    Ed. Note: Citation for Dr. Potter's Book: Archaelogiae Graecae, or, The Antiquities of Greece (Oxford: Abel Swall, 1697, reprinted S. and F. Sprint, 1706; Sam Palmer, 1722; J. Knapton, 1728; H. Knaplock, 1740; H. Knaplock, 1745, etc.)

    The word slave is used but once in the New Testament, and then, not to translate *@\8@H, but @T:" (soma.) Rev. xviii. 13. And those who would see in prospective the awful calamity of those who enslave, may turn to that chapter, and read the suffering of her, "the smoke of whose torment ascendeth up for ever and ever."

    Ed. Note: Rev. John Rankin, Letters, p 85, elaborates.

    We are also told

  • "that the Hellenistic writers, of whom were the apostles of Christ, did not make a distinction between the Greek words iLD4@H and *,FB@J0H, and

  • that these words signify "a master, owner of slaves;"

  • "that when applied to designate the relation between master and servant, they signify a slaveholder." See Debate on Slavery, by Dr. Rice and Rev. J. Blanchard, pp. 381 and 480.
  • Now these words denote the opposite relation to "*@<8@H," and like that word, they are general in their import.† They may, with other qualifying words, be used to denote a slaveholder; or they may be used to denote simply a teacher, a ruler, as a term of respect, &c. They are not the definite words for slaveholder.

    The definite term for slaveholder is "<&D"B@&JFJ0., (andrapodistes.)‡

    If they be used to denote a slaveholder at all, the connection in which they are used must fix their import. They
    most general form, whatever might be the method by which the obligation to service originated." So Barnes, and G. W. Becker, in Bibliotheca Sacra, vol ii. p. 569.

    * Barnes says the proper word to denote a slave, with reference to the master's claim of property in him, and without regard to the relations and offices in which he was employed, was not *@<8@H, but "<&D"B@&@<. So Passow.

    † Robinson, than whom as a lexicographer we have no better authority, says, "*,FB@J0H means master." This is the first or primary meaning which he gives to it, and says it is used,

  • (a) as opposed to a servant, the head of a family, pater familias, and cites immediately, 1 Tim. vi. 1, 2; 2 Tim. ii. 21; Titus ii. 9; 1 Peter ii. 18;

  • (b) by impl. as denoting Lord, spoken of God, of Christ, of Kings or Emperors.
  • Ed. Note: Bibliographic data is: Edward Robinson (1794-1863), A Greek and English Lexicon of the New Testament (New York, Harper & Bros, 1850).

    ‡ So Barnes in his late [1846] work on Slavery, page 67.


    are often used not to denote slaveholder.

    "Then came Peter to Him, (the Saviour,) and said, Lord, (5LDJ,—Master, Teacher,) how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him?" Matt. xviii. 21.

    Now we all know that Peter did not use the word here as denoting that Christ, his Master or Teacher, was a slaveholder, and that he (Peter) was held as a slave—as property, and that to an unwilling service.

    Robinson says, "5LDJ@H is applied to the Lord Jesus in reference to his abode on earth, as a Master and Teacher,"—a director and instructor.

    The same word, says Stuart, "is used as a term of respect and civility," as in Matt. xxi. 30.

  • The son says to the father, "Sir, (5LDJ,) I go."

  • In Matt. xxv. 11, the virgins say to the bridegroom, who was surely not their slaveholder, "Lord, Lord, [5LDJ,, 5LDJ,,] open unto us."

  • The Greeks who came up to worship, said to Philip, "Sir, [5LDJ,,] we would see Jesus." Surely, they did not mean to say they were the slaves of Philip. See John xi. 21.
  • This same word, says Stuart, "is used to denote the head of a family or household." (Mark xiii. 35.)

    Again, Luke xvi. 3-8. There tbe steward is represented as saying within himself, "What shall I do? for my lord (iLD4@H—master) taketh away from me the stewardship? I cannot dig; to beg I am ashamed." Here it is plain iLD4@H does not mean a slaveholder, but only an employer of a hireling or steward [supervisor], who was under the direction of the employer, and the employer is therefore called Lord or master. He was a director, not a property-holder of the steward.

    The same word is used to designate the husband of Sarah. 1 Peter iii. 6. He was head or director; and as such, she is said to have called him 5LDJ@H—Lord—Master.

    Take as another example, Matt. xviii. 26: "The servant therefore fell down and worshipped [or besought] him, saying, Lord, [5LDJ,, Master,] have patience with me, and I will pay thee all." Here the word denotes a king who was a creditor, who had hired one of his subjects, called a servant—*@\8@H.

    But Dr. Junkin says, "This *@\8@H must have been a slave, and the master a slaveholder, or we cannot understand the transaction." The servant clearly was not a slave, as may be seen,

    (1.) From the fact that he said to his lord, "have patience with me, and I will pay thee all"—ten thousand talents. He must have been a free property-holder, otherwise he would have had no means to pay, though his lord should wait for him.

    (2.) This servant, having "begged patience," went away and cast his fellow-servants into prison, until they should pay him what they owed him. The fact of his being a creditor, is evidence that he was himself a free property-holder, that might sue and be sued.


    (3.) If he was a slave, what would his lord or master make by selling his own property? Can a slave become a debtor of ten thousand talents to his master? And if he does, can the master recover that debt, by selling him as the absolute property of another man? Every man must see the absurdity. Can my horse, my property, become a debtor to me? And if he does, will I get my debt out of him by selling him to another man?

    The truth in the case can be very easily shown. The Saviour was a Jew, and speaking to Jews, he would use Jewish customs to illustrate his truths, such as were familiar to them. The servant, as Barnes very properly suggests, was a [civil service] collector of revenue.

    [Hugo] Grotius [1583-1645] says, "All the king's subjects and especially his ministers, were called his servants." See T. E. Thomas.

    It is certain the servant here spoken of was a debtor; that which property cannot become. According to a custom among the Jews, a creditor could seize a debtor, or his children, and sell them [hire them out] for a season, until the debt was paid. See 2 Kings iv. 1; Amos viii. 6.

    "Well," says Dr. Junkin, "if the servant was not a slave before he was sold, he was after."

    Unfortunately for the Doctor, this refuge fails also; for, first, he was not sold at all: his lord had compassion on him, "and forgave him the debt." And second, if he had been sold, the Doctor has admitted that he (that is, his service) could be sold only for six years. See his pamphlet on Slavery, pp. 30, 31.

    If the servant sold had been made a slave, the fact that tho Saviour alluded to him would be no evidence that the Saviour intended to sanction slavery, but the opposite. The very object of the introduction [Matt. 18:21-22] of the parable was to show that men ought to forgive, and not be like the king or his steward. The truth is this: The servant spoken of was a subject, acting as an officer [government employee] in the employ of his king [government]; and according to a custom of those days, was called a [civil] servant.

    Again, Ephesians vi. 9:

    "And ye masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing threatening; knowing that your Master [5LDJ@H] also is in heaven; neither is there respect of persons with him."
    Now, if iLDJ@H—master, in all these cases means slaveholder, then the definition, when put in the place of the word, will convey the same sense or idea as the word itself, if the definition be correct. If not correct, it will not.

    Let us try it. Notice the above reading, as it stands in the New Testament.

    Now adopt the one with the definition given by pro-slavery men, and it will be thus:

    "Ye slaveholders, do the same things unto them, [your slaves,] for-
    bearing threatening, knowing that your Slaveholder is in heaven."

    What! dear reader, is it true that there are slaveholders in heaven? A being,


    or beings, who hold others as "chattels personal m the hands of their possessors"—held without their consent? Can you believe this? Plainly then, iLD4@H, the word commonly translated master, as here used, does not mean slaveholder. Nor does `@Ú0@H, as here used, mean slave.

    Then, when you meet with the term master, in reading the Bible, you are not to understand that it always means a slaveholder. It is often used simply to denote a teacher, or a householder; one having an oversight over others, as a guardian over apprentices or bound boys.* It is used to denote a ruler or king, having one or more of his subjects in his employ. It is also used simply as a term of respect and civility. At the time [1611] our present translation of the Scriptures was made, the word was used with this general signification, and as the popular way to translate iLD4@H, `,F6@J0l, and other words; and would, have continued to be used in this general sense, were it not that slavery has degraded it.


    We come now to the direct argument. And, 1. It is claimed that Christ recognized the relation of master and slave; referred to it in illustration of his doctrines, and did not forbid it.

    No Evidence that He Ever Met a Case of Slavery

    In answer, we reply: There is no evidence that the Saviour ever met a case of slavery.

    (1.) There is no evidence that the servants alluded to by Christ were slaves, and not servants only. The Saviour was a Jew. He labored only with Jews, with whom, we have already shown, slavery did not exist; and especially is this true, (as is generally believed,) that they held no slaves after the Babylonian captivity.

    Ed. Note: Judah had gone into that Captivity for having attempted slavery. See Rev. George Cheever, God Against Slavery (1857), pp 72-81, for details. Thereafter, the lesson had been learned: NO slavery.

    The case in Matt. xviii. 25 we have already noticed, and shown that the servant there alluded to was not a slave.

    In reference to the case of the centurion, Matt. viii. 6, there is, first, no positive evidence that his servant was a slave. The word used by the centurion, as it stands in the original, is B"ÃH, (pais)—a word usually translated boy; and, as Barnes correctly says, "was rarely applied to a slave." Many writers believe this boy was his own child—"He was dear unto him," Luke vii. 2. The term used in verse 9, designating the servant under him,
    * In New-England and other free States, they use the term master now, to designate those who are guardians and teachers of bound boys and apprentices. See Life of Norman Smith, by Dr. Hawes.


    is `@Ú0n; a term so general in its import that nothing, as to the nature of the servitude, can be determined from the mere use of that word, as we have shown.

    Do you say it is probable that the servant was a slave? We answer, the argument is worth nothing unless you can show positively that the servant was a slave.*   The centurion was a soldier having officers under him, in Capernaum. And again, if the servant was a slave, we have no evidence that the centurion continued to hold slaves after his interview with the Saviour.

    Though Judea was then under the Roman government, it was the policy of Rome to let each nation enjoy its peculiar form of government.† and the Jews maintaining their voluntary bond-service, as we have shown, in accordance with it, the Saviour says,

    "The servant abideth not in the house for ever; but the Son abideth ever." John viii. 35.

    The servant went out at the end of six years, or at the Jubilee, according as he had bound himself to serve [Ed. Note: as an employee]. If the servant had been a slave, he would have abode as long as the son; yea, longer, as long as he and his family existed. But the very fact that the service was temporary, shows that it was not slavery. The case is clear, forcible, and pertinent.

    So the other parables used by the Saviour, in which servants are alluded to, show that the service was not that of slavery.

  • In the parable of the Prodigal Son [Luke 15:11-24], we are told that the servants were "hired servants."

  • In the parable of the vineyard, the master went out and "hired servants at every hour in the day," and paid them for it. [Matthew 20:1-16].

  • The case of the unjust steward [Luke 16:1-9], we have shown, was not that of slavery.

  • Where servants of kings are alluded to, as in the marriage feast, there is no evidence that they were slaves; whilst on the other hand we know that was customary to call officers of government, assisting the king, servants [modern term, 'civil servants'].
  • There is not a single case that will prove that Christ met with a slaveholder.

    (2.) Were it certain that the servants alluded to by Christ
    * That the servant was not a slave, will appear from these considerations: "Though the centurion would probably have a servant with him, as is the custom now in the East," yet "these are not commonly slaves. They are persons in the employ of the Government assigning such persons to the use of the army, to be paid by the Government. Again, considering the facilities for escaping in passing through foreign countries, on a march, it is hardly probable that the attendants on Roman officers would be slaves."—Barnes.

    † And when subjugated by the Romans, they were left the privilege of adjudicating their secular affairs, as well as regulating their religion, by their former laws and customs. See McKnight's Com. on 1 Cor. vi. 2, and his reference to Josephus, Art. lib. xiv. p. 487. Genev. edit.


    were slaves, still, the fact that he alluded to them, in illustration of spiritual or moral truths, is no more evidence that he recognized slavery as right, than the fact that he alluded to the unjust steward, (Luke xvi. 18,) is evidence that he RECOGNIZED DECEPTION AND DISHONESTY AS RIGHT. Read the text referred to.

    (3.) The mere fact that we have no record of Christ calling slavery by its specific name, and forbidding it as sin, is no more evidence that he considered it lawful, than the fact that we have no record of his specifically speaking against gambling, piracy, counterfeiting, persecutions, [abortion,] &c., is evidence that he considered these as lawful and right. On the same ground we may infer that Christ approved the horrid massacre of infants by Herod, because we have no record of his specific denunciation of the act.

    We know not how much Christ and his apostles preached against specific sins. We have but a very small part of their preaching and teaching recorded. John, using the language of hyperbole, with reference to the things which Jesus did, says:

    "If they should be written, every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written." John xxi. 25.

    The New Testament is not a volume of the sermons and discourses of Christ and his apostles against specific sins; but chiefly an outline of their history, and the general principles taught by them.

    Ed. Note: See also pp 110-114 on apostles' silence.
    Note the John 8:33 denial of bondage in Israel. There is not much point in telling people to avoid doing something they never do anyway!

    Hostility of His Precepts to Slavery

    But Christ did oppose slavery in the most effective manner, by laying down general precepts which forbid slavery, and every other form of oppression. This is the Bible method of opposing most sins.

  • Had its Author framed a specific description of and denunciation for every specific sin, or form of wrong, the Bible would have been so large that no man would have been able to read it, in order to know what is wrong.

  • And second, specific statutes may often be avoided [circumvented], but general precepts or principles, never.
  • Hence the Saviour comes, not only, as he said [Matthew 5:17-18], to fulfil the moral law, which, as we have seen, forbids slavery; but that no social wrong may escape, and that all men may have a plain and intelligible rule, he says,

    "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." Luke x. 27. And, "Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them." Matt. vii. 12.

    Now, no man can be a willing slaveholder, (as distinguished from a guardian or redeemer,) without violating these plain precepts. And we need no other argument with which to oppose slavery, or any other form of oppression.

    All this talk about loving our neighbor as ourselves, by buying a slave and holding him in a better condition, but still as a


    slave, is a mere heartless subterfuge, "an inoperative conscience plaster," based upon selfishness and oppression, as we shall show when we come to answer objections. If I am able to buy the slave, I am able to free him immediately;* and then be as rich or richer than he will be. When the early Christians bought slaves, they bought them not for the purpose of showing their Christian love by holding them still as slaves, but for the purpose of freeing them immediately.†

    Ed. Note: For more on Christ's teaching, see Edward C. Rogers, Slavery Illegality (1855), pp 27-28.

    Golden Rule

    We said that Christ did forbid slavery, in the most effective manner, by proclaiming the precepts, "Love thy neighbor as thyself" [Matt. 19:19, 22:39, Mark 12:31, Luke 10:27, Rom. 13:9] and, "Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them; for this is the law and the prophets." [Matt. 7:12].

    "This rule," says Dr. Rice, "requires us to treat others as we would reasonably expect and desire them to treat us, if we were in their situation." As it was shown him, the question to be settled is, whether the golden rule allows the slave to be put in the condition of a slave. Concerning those first enslaved, he says they were "unrighteously enslaved by others;" and surely it cannot be right in any man to continue or even tolerate an "unrighteous thing." Then,

    (2.) Does the golden rule allow us to continue to enslave those already enslaved?.‡ Let us try it. Suppose the English [or Russians, taliban, whomever] land upon our shores a superior force, (for slavery is a system of force, and can exist only by force,) and take "us whites" captives, enslave us, and sell us to the French. The French as a nation adopt the Christian religion, the foundation principle of which is, "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." "Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them." Now would we reasonably "expect and desire" them to give us our liberty? We had done no harm, our forefathers had done no harm; as
    * Or very soon, holding him only to a bond-service, with a deed of emancipation recorded—guarantee in will, &c.

    † Such persons are properly called redeemers, not slaveholders. See Nehemiah v. 8: "We after our ability have redeemed our brethren which were sold unto the heathen."

    ‡ A minister of the gospel, living in Alabama, writing to the Editor of the New-York Evangelist, says. "The influences of religion are gaining ground, and as they gain ground masters treat their servants better in dress, and grant them more Christian privileges. And this is not all. Owners begin to feel that slavery is a sin. A few wicked men (slave-holders) have said to me at different times, that they did not see what business Christians had to come here and buy plantations and negroes; intimating that there is, in their estimation, a glaring inconsistency between religion and slavery. They justify themselves in slavery, because they do not profess to obey the Bible. They say a man cannot do to others as he would they should do to him, and hold slaves."


    innocent beings, we had been "unrighteously enslaved by others." Would we "reasonably expect and desire" them, as Christian men, to give us our liberty? Every man knows how he would decide, were it his own case. No man is willing to be held as a slave—have his body, his mind, his time, his labor, his wife, is child, his religion, all that distinguishes him as a man, usurped and controlled by another. And if slavery is right, then to enslave man, as man, is right, irrespective of color.

    But, says one, if men's desires are to be the standard by which this rule is to be interpreted, then, any poor man may demand of me a part of my farm, on the ground that if I were in his place, I would wish him to give it to me. To this I reply, he has no right to desire his own aggrandizement at the expense of another's lawful gains. This would be violating another command, which forbids us to covet any thing that belongs to another. The meaning of the rule is, "All lawful things whatsoever ye would others should do to you, do ye even so to them."

    Now, to desire liberty is lawful; for liberty is the natural state of every man,,—as Wesley said, "the birthright of every man." And to desire another man to give him his liberty, is not coveting that which belongs to another, but that which by nature belongs to himself; for as an innocent man, he has done nothing by which to forfeit it. No man then can wilfully enslave his fellow-man without violating this plain precept of Christ; and "sin is the transgression of the law."

    We need go no farther to know whether the New Testament forbids slavery. Whatever isolated passages we may hereafter find, that may seem to tolerate slavery, we may be sure that such apparent toleration arises from our ignorance of the design of the writer, or of the truth concerning these passages; for it cannot be that the specific precepts of Christianity will violate its foundation principle. This would be an inconsistency reproachful to man, and much more so to God.

    Further, this precept requires not only that the slaveholder shall let the oppressed go free, but that the non-slaveholder, whether he be North or South, shall also plead and labor for the rights and welfare of his fellow-man—both slave and master.

    If we were involved in the darkness and difficulties that many masters really are, and if we were bowed down under the yoke of bondage, as is the poor slave, we would wish, yea, "reasonably expect and desire," those who knew the truth, to speak, to plead and labor for our deliverance. Then every man and woman, whether slaveholder or non-slaveholder, at the East or West, North or South, in Europe or America—every soul in Christendom,


    has something to do with slavery. Patriotism has no territory for neutrals to stand on. Humanity will own no one who has not a soul [empathy] to feel for another's woe. Christianity will reject the man who disregards the rights of man, and denies his Saviour in the person of his fellow—"the least of one of these, my brethren." For, at the day of final retribution, the Saviour will say,
    "I was an hungered, and ye gave me no meat; I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink; I was a stranger, and ye took me not in; naked, and ye clothed me not; sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? Then shall he answer them, saying, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into life eternal." [Matt. 25:42-46].

    Oh! fellow-man, thou hast something to do with slavery. The first principles of right, of Christianity require, not only that we shall not enslave, but that we shall labor for the oppressed, as we would were the person of our Saviour himself enslaved. Remember this, and

    "If then thou hast truth to utter,
    Speak it boldly, speak it all."

    There are other teachings of Christ, which are directly against slavery. In the outset of his preaching he said,

    "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord." Luke iv. 18, 19.
    These words, as Barnes suggests, were spoken by Isaiah, Ixi. 1, in reference to the delivery of the Jews from Babylonian oppression, and also as applicable to Christ at his coming. The Saviour assumes them as appropriate to himself—that he had come to preach against all oppression; and, alluding to the year of jubilee, (which, as we have seen, was the year of release to all,) he says, "to preach the acceptable year of the Lord."

    To evade the force of these truths, some say the words are to be understood only in a spiritual sense. We reply, it is manifest and acknowledged, that they are literal as well as figurative or spiritual. That he preached the gospel to the poor, waa literal as well as figurative. That he opened the eyes of the blind, was literal as well as figurative. That he comforted the broken-hearted by


    bringing to life their departed dead, was literal as well as figurative; and that he has really preached deliverance to the captives and set at liberty them that are bruised, is literal as well as figurative.
  • It was the gospel of Christ—the doctrine of equal love to our neighbor—of doing to others as we would they should do to us—that prompted the early Christians to expend their estates, as we shall see, to buy slaves from slavery.

  • It was the gospel of Christ that had entirely banished slavery from the whole of the Roman Empire when it was overrun by the fordes of northern Europe.

  • It was the gospel of Christ that moved the hearts of the British people, and bade them proclaim liberty of body to eight hundred thousand in one day.

  • It is the gospel of Christ that has been feeling about the hearts and opening the hands of the American people ever since they have had an existence.
  • And now, whilst as by an eye of faith it points to a throne of eternal justice and final retribution, it is still saying to the trembling soul,

    "Break every yoke, and let the oppressed go free." [Isa. 58:6].
    "Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them." [Heb. 13:3].

    And of the millions that have been freed from the thraldom of literal slavey, it will be found that in ninety-nine cases out of a hundred, the prime moving cause of literal freedom was the gospel of Christ. And blessed be God, the apologists for oppression themselves being judges, the gospel will yet literally banish all slavery. Thus the [pro-slavery] Biblical Repertory, speaking of the principles of the gospel, says:

    "It is evident, that acting in accordance with these principles would soon improve the condition of the slaves, would make them intelligent, moral and religious, and thus work out the benefit of all concerned, and the removal of the institution. For slavery, like despotism, supposes the actual inferiority and consequent dependence of those held in subjection. Neither can be permanent. Both may be prolonged by keeping the subject classes degraded, that is, by comitting sin on a large scale, which is only to treasure up wrath for the day of wrath. It is only the antagonist fanaticism of the South which maintains the doctrine that slavery is in itself a good thing, and ought to be perpetuated. It cannot possibly be perpetuated."
    So, Dr. Fuller:
    "In process of time Christianity seconded the humane workings of this system, [that is, a system for the protection of the slaves—done in the second century, and doubtless prompted in the first place by Christianity,] and infused its mild and benevolent spirit into the institution, [that is, of slavery, as I infer from his book,] making it quite a different thing."
    As when you put an alkali into an acid, it makes it quite a different thing—


    that is, it destroys it. Says Dr. [George] Junkin [1790-1868]:

    "Manumission was often practiced in the Roman and Grecian world. PAUL advises the servant, if the master offer to manumit him, to accept his freedom with gratitude—'use it rather.' 1 Cor. vii. 21.

    "When grace touched the master's heart, and especially if his conversion, as doubtless was often the case, was brought about by the patient and quiet obedience and manifest improvement of his converted slaves, it cannot be doubted HE OFTEN FREED HIS SERVANTS."

    "When the grace of God,"—yes, when the Spirit of God pressed the soul with the obligations of the gospel, and filled the heart with the true foundation principles or precepts of the gospel, love to God and love to man, (Matt. xxii. 37-40,) "then the master freed his servants."

    Would to God this gospel were more generally preached! Oh that ministers and people would declare the whole gospel, and not keep back a part of the price—precious price!—paid by Heaven and sealed by the blood of Jesus. Then would come to pass the precept and saying of Christ:

    "Be not ye called Rabbi (master): for one is your Master, even Christ; AND ALL YE ARE BRETHREN" [Matthew 23:8].

    Such a gospel was and will continue to be opposed to all slavery. Thus did Christ oppose slavery.

    Ed. Note: See also the analyses by
  • Edward C. Rogers, Slavery Illegality (1855), pp 27-33
  • Harriet Beecher Stowe, Key (1853), pp 237-240.

  • Chapter VII.


    IN the preceding chapter, we were engaged in showing that slavery, built as it is upon the principle that one innocent man may be compelled to be the property of another—his powers of body and of mind, bis means of happiness, consumed for the interest, and controlled for the benefit of the master—is directly opposed and forbidden by the principles of that gospel which requires us to

  • "love our neighbor as ourselves," and says:

  • "Whatsoever ye would that others should do to you, do ye even so to them."
  • Now let it be remembered, that this position is admitted by almost all. The critic, the theologian, the mechanic, the scholar, the moralist, the statesman—almost all, with one consent, admit that slavery is wrong, and that the principles of


    the gospel are opposed to it. Dr. Junkin says:

    "We are opposed to slavery, and are doing as much in our respective positions to abate its evils as our brethren are." Pamp., p. 12.
    Dr. Rice says the first enslavement of man was an unrighteous thing:
    "What is our duty to a class unrighteously enslaved by others!" Debate, p. 81. "Far from defending the African slave-trade, we abhor and denounce it as piracy. We, therefore, maintain that American slavery ought never to have existed." Debate, p. 26.

    Ed. Note: Legally, indeed, it could never have existed. See the numerous references at our anti-slavery law history website.

    Dr. [Richard] Fuller [Beaufort, S.C.], in his letters to Pres. [Francis] Wayland [Providence, R.I.], says:

    "You must already have perceived that, speaking abstractly of slavery, I do not consider its perpetuation PROPER, even if it were possible." P. 157.

    Ed. Note: Full Citation As Published: Rev. Richard Fuller (1804-1876), and Rev. Francis Wayland (1796-1865), Domestic Slavery Considered as a Scriptural Institution in a Correspondence between the Rev. Richard Fuller of Beaufort, S.C., and the Rev. Francis Wayland, of Providence, R.I. (New York: Lewis Colby, 1845, 1847)

    The Biblical Repertory says:

    "The consequence of acting on the principles of the gospel, of following the example and obeying the precepts of Christ, would be the gradual elevation of the slaves, in intelligence, virtue and wealth; the peaceable and speedy extinction of slavery." Vol. viii. p. 304.
    Stuart says:
    "Paul himself gave precepts in abundance, which, if obeyed, would bring all slavery ere long to an end."
    Says Scott, in his Commentary:
    "The principles of both the law and the gospel, when carried out, infallibly abolish slavery."

    Says Barnes:

    "No candid reader of the New Testament, it is believed, can doubt that the principles of Christianity are opposed to the existence of slavery."
    Says Clark:
    "In heathen countries slavery was in some sort excusable; but among Christians it is an enormity and a crime, for which perdition has scarcely an adequate state of punishment."
    Wayland, in his Moral Science, says:
    "The moral precepts of the Bible are diametrically opposed to slavery."
    Said [Thomas] Jefferson, in view of slavery:
    "I tremble for my country, when I remember that God is just."
    Said Henry Clay, in a colonization speech in 1827, (referring to those who would suppress all agitation of the slavery question:)
    "If they would suppress all tendencies toward liberty and ultimate emancipation, they must blow out the moral lights around us, and extinguish the greatest torch of all which America presents to a benighted world, pointing their way to their rights, their liberties, and their happiness. They must penetrate the human soul, and eradicate the light of reason and the love of liberty. Then, and not till then, when universal darkness and despair prevail, can you perpetuate slavery, and repress all sympathies, and all humane and benevolent efforts among freemen, in behalf of the unhappy portion of our race who are doomed to bondage."
    Here is one general consent that slavery is wrong, and as such the principles of the gospel are against it. Go throughout soci-


    ety, and in our every-day intercourse with men, the admission is the same.

    Now, this is enough. For, if the PRINCIPLES of the gospel are opposed to slavery, then the PRACTICE of the gospel must be opposed to slavery. Hence, when the apostles go out into practical life, teaching by inspiration of Jesus, we are not to expect to find them giving any specific precepts, in violation of the plain principles of the gospel they preach.

    This brings us to notice the second argument for slavery, as drawn from the New Testament. It is this: "The reciprocal duties enjoined upon masters and servants are such as recognize slavery not to be sinful, but a lawful relation."

    Duties of Servants.

    Turn to the texts cited at the beginning of the New Testament argument. Let us notice, first, the duties enjoined upon servants. They are these: patience, obedience, long-suffering, fidelity, honesty, and reverence.

    These duties were enjoined upon servants in general; whether they were minors, persons bound [apprenticed] for a season, or slaves. To say they were addressed to slaves only, is to leave all other servants without any instruction. To say they were addressed to minors, and persons bound for a season, is to leave slaves without any instruction. Also, these duties are obligatory upon all persons under government, so long as they remain members of that government. But it was necessary that the apostles should address them to servants, because:

    1. There were judaizing teachers, who, looking as they did upon Gentiles as dogs and idolaters, taught that obedience to such was not the duty of any person, whether a servant or not; and especially, that it was not the duty of Christians, having now become the servants of Christ. The apostles' instructions were necessary to correct this error.

    2. The duties enjoined were such as Christianity, from its very nature, must enjoin, though slavery be wrong. These virtues are Christian virtues, essential to the perfection of Christian character. The opposite vices, hatred to masters, dishonesty, fretfulness, insubordination, and pride, would have been wrong in these Christian servants, even though their masters were wrong, and the aggressors. Further, servants were especially liable not to exercise these virtues. They were generally igno-


    rant, and as such, were liable to be governed by passion, and not by reason or principle. They were generally poor; hence, temptations to unfaithfulness great. They were under the command of others, who, having a little authority, are very apt to abuse it, and become whimsical and tyrannical. Even if they do not, servants, not seeing as they do, are liable, under these circumstances, to hate their masters, be fretful and insubordinate. This would be wrong. Their very condition in life, then, made these injunctions of the apostle necessary, though the power exercised may have been wrong.

    Ed. Note: Harriet Beecher Stowe, Key (1853) pp 234-236, elaborated.

    Again, individual retaliation and insubordination are wrong, because of their effect upon the individual and society. In the very attempt to get what he supposed to be right, he would lose it in the midst of anarchy and bloodshed. Hence, so long as an individual remains a member of that society, he must leave the adjudication of his wrongs to society. Also, by this course, God would be glorified, and the gospel of his Son Jesus honored.

    Ed. Note: Others said this does NOT mean to not
  • do rescue efforts to free unjustly detained people
  • use violence in the rescue process.
  • Hence, under all these circumstances, it was the duty of the servant to exercise the virtues essential to his own spiritual welfare, the peace of society, and the glory of God, though he might be unlawfully oppressed by his master. He must do that which is right, exercise Christian vratues and acts, though his master is doing wrong.

    This position is abundantly illustrated in the Scriptures. In Matt. v. 44, we are taught that though

    "our enemy hate us, despitefully use us, and persecute us,
    yet we are to love him, do good unto him, and pray for him."

    The injunction to this obedience, and the cxercise on our part of those Christian virtues, do not for a moment justify the course of our enemy.

    Again: we have specific teaching concerning this principle, in the case of a servant, in 1 Peter, ii. 19, 20, where the servant is commanded, from "conscience toward God," to be "obedient; and though he may do well, and suffer for it, yet he is to take it patiently, and endure grief, suffering wrongfully." He is not to be filled with hatred, and thereby become in heart "a murderer," (1 John, iii. 15,) but to exercise Christian feelings, and pray for those despitefully using him.

    But does the injunction to the exercise of these Christian virtues justify the course of the oppressor? for it is here declared that he "suffers wrongfully." Certainly not.

    Take another example, Matt. v. 39:

    "Whosoever shall smite thee on the right cheek, turn to
    him the other also;" that is, "Ye shall not resist evil."

    The Jews had arrogated to themselves the prerogative of adjudicating, or avenging their own wrongs—taking eye for eye, and tooth


    for tooth—a right belonging to God, but delegated to judges, or society. Compare Deut. xix. 16-21, with Lev. xxiv. 16-19. Individual retaliation or revenge was wrong; and injuries of the character specified, not involving life or conscience, were to be left to society to adjudicate.

    But does this injunction to obedience and patience justify the wrong smiting? Certainly not.

    Again, the apostles enjoined upon Christians that under persecution they should be submissive, patient, and forgiving; "returning good for evil." But does this injunction to labor for the good of their enemies, and to be submissive, patient, and forgiving under injuries, prove that these fellow, free Christians, and the apostles, were the property of their enemies, or especially that the apostle intended thereby to recognize the practice of the persecutors as right? Assuredly not. This is clear, and very much to the point.

    Then Christianity may enjoin upon us the exercise of the Christian virtues, obedience, patience, and long suffering, though individuals and governments may be oppressive and wrong, yea, sinful in their practice [tradition].

    Further, these injunctions are not without limitation.

    (1.) They do not require tbat we shall do immoralities. The obedience enjoined upon servants is "in the Lord;" "doing service not unto men, but as unto the Lord."

  • When Nebuchadnezzar said to the three Hebrew children, "Bow down and worship the image," they felt that they must obey God, and not man. [Daniel 3:1-18].

  • When the government said to Daniel that he must not pray to his God, he believed it was his duty not to obey; and prayed as formerly, with "open windows." [Daniel 6:7-10].

  • When the Sanhedrin said to the apostles, that they must no more preach in the name of Jesus, they replied, "We ought to obey God rather than men." [Acts 5:27-29].
  • The principle taught is, that there are commands, both of individuals and governments, which it is not our duty to obey. Conscience, religious liberties, may never be invaded.

    Ed. Note: Abolitionists cited slavers' many violations of this concept. Slavers
  • supported sins en masse
  • had vile, atheistic clergy
  • banned Bible reading
  • obstructed Christianity being taught
  • banned marriage
  • corrupted the Church
  • supported sins condemned in Ancient Israel.
    Slavers disregarded warnings by Rev. Rankin, Green, Weld, Cheever, etc.
    Slavers became demonized.
    Slavers and accessories were excommunicated.
  • (2.) The [above-listed Christian] duties enjoined do not imply that a man is always to stay under a government thus oppressive.

  • Otherwise, the children of Israel should never have left Egypt. [Exodus 12:37].

  • Otherwise, our Pilgrim Fathers should have remained under oppression in Old England, and never have landed on Plymouth Rock.

  • Otherwise, the early settlers of Kentucky, who were seized by the Indians, carried into bondage, and held there as property, should never have left those who held them, but have remained under an oppressive government.
  • Every man sees clearly the force of these cases; and if he were thus oppressed, he would know in a moment how to interpret these commands [suggestions by apostles, in specific circumstances, not general ones, not 'commandments' from Heaven].

    Then, while the


    Scriptures lay down, as a general rule [suggestion], that "every man abide in the same calling wherein he is called," [1 Cor. 7:20] yet Paul himself makes an exception, and says to the servant, "if thou mayest be made free, use it rather:" or, "88t ,J P"4 &L<"FL ,8,<2,D@H (,<,F2"4, :88@< PD0F"4, "but if thou art able to become free, use it rather."[1 Cor. 7:21]

    It is clear that a man is not to stay, in all cases, in the same calling or business in which he is called to be a Christian.

  • John Newton did not consider that this injunction required him to continue to be a kidnapper [slave-trader].

  • A man may be called to be a Christian, being a dram-seller. Is he to remain in this calling?

  • A man who is a farmer or mechanic, may believe he can serve God better in the ministry. Must he, in literal obedience to this injunction, remain a farmer or mechanic?

  • A man who is a merchant, believes he can serve God better by going to England, or India. Must he obey this injunction literally—stay here as a merchant, or go there as a missionary?
  • Every man says it is his duty to go where he can serve God the best. These commands, then, are never to be so construed as to prevent a man from PEACEFULLY withdrawing to a place or profession where he can serve God better. No claims of man or society may contravene those of God or of conscience. And one command or duty must not be made to destroy another.

    (3.) All this will appear still more clear when we remember that the duties requred by the apostle are not urged on the ground of the master's claim of property in the servant, but upon the ground of duty to God; "doing service as to the Lord, and not to men;" "for conscience toward God;" "that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things."

    "Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward. For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. For what glory is it, if when ye are buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God." [2 Peter 1:18-20].
    Here servants are admonished to be subject to their masters with all fear. But this fear, as [Rev. William H.] Brisbane has properly suggested, was not of the master, but of God. In those things enjoined upon them to perform, they were to be watchful, and not do any immorality; they were to be careful, in all that they did, to do it with an eye to the glory of God. They were not only to be thus watchful over their actions in laboring for good men, but especially they would need to be thus watchful how they performed the things required by the froward masters, who would


    often not regard religious duties; and as the servant was liable to be punished by such masters, if he persisted in trying to do that which would be pleasing to God, there would be a strong temptation to do whatever was commanded by froward masters, rather than be subject to punishment. This view is greatly strengthened by the fact that it harmonizes with the succeeding words:

    "If when ye do well and suffer for it, [that is, are chastised for doing your religious duties,] ye take it patiently, this is acceptable to God." [I Peter 2:20].

    Now for me to sit tamely by, and suffer a band of robbers to take my property, or maltreat my person and my wife and children—violate my natural rights—I do not suppose this could be said to be "acceptable to God."

    But if I am a member of a government, formed for the purpose of protecting natural rights, and where my rights are generally protected, yet if that government should require me to do an immorality, or an impious thing, and I should be watchful over all my acts, and be careful not to do any thing which would be displeasing to God; or was diligent in doing those things which I supposed to be pleasing to God, and a "froward" master or Christless government should chastise or punish me for so doing, for "doing well," and I should take it patiently, this would be "acceptable to God."

    So it was with Daniel and the three Hebrew children. [Dan. 1.5-13; Daniel 3:4-18].

    The above view is strengthened by the fact that the apostle, in giving like instructions to servants at Ephesus, (Eph. vi. 59,) said in immediate connection:

    "And ye masters, do the SAME THINGS unto them, forbearing threatening; knowng that your Master also is in heaven: neither is there RESPECT OF PERSONS WITH HIM."

    Here the masters were to do the same things, act "with fear and trembling" in the instruction or management of their servants, lest they do things displeasing to God—lest they should be unjust in their exactions, or be tempted to impatience, instead of " long suffering."

    Such instructions of the apostle, of duty toward God, certainly do not in any way imply the right of property in the servant, even if the servants addressed were slaves.   If, then, a servant, in the language of the apostle, is able to become free, let him "use it rather." If not, let him be patient, peaceful, obedient, long-suffering, even though he "suffer wrongfully." [1 Peter 2:19].

    And yet, the injunction to the exercise of these Christian virtues does not for a moment sanction the course of his oppressor, or his enslavement. He may be required to bear it with patience; just as the individual smitten on the right cheek must not resist [Matt. 5:39], but bear it patiently.

    (4.) If the fact that servants are commanded to be "subject


    to their masters," proves that masters had a right to hold their servants as slaves, then the fact that Christians were commanded to be subject to the "higher powers," (Rom. xiii. 1,) proves that the requirements of [Roman Emperor] Nero [54 A.D. - 68 A.D.] and bloody [English Queen] Mary [1553 - 1558] were right, and Christians were to submit to them as being right. No one, we presume, will claim this. Then you may not [claim] the former.

    Obedience in the Lord to civil government is right, but tyranny—despotism—always was wrong, whether in a Nero or in a slave-holder; and every man knows that slavery is tyranny and despotism of the most absolute form.

    (5.) If the servants addressed were slaves, as pro-slavery men claim, and if the fact that they are commanded to be obedient, (in the Lord, doing service as to the Lord,) proves that slavery is right, then it proves that the slavery of that age was right, in which the master, by law, had the power of life and death over his slaves.

  • Food and clothing depended upon the will of the master.

  • The old and infirm were frequently turned out to die when they became burdensome. Even Cato adopted this custom.

  • Obedience was enforced by severe discipline. The rod, the whip, thongs, scourges loaded with lead, chain-scourges, the equaleus, lyre strings, the ungula and forceps, the rack, throwing from the Capitoline rock, mutilation, crucifixion, burning alive, were the instruments and modes of punishment employed.

  • Vedius Pollio fed his fish with "the flesh of his slaves."
  • But do you say the apostle prohibited these abuses, these cruelties, but allowed the relation of master and slave to exist? WE DEMAND THE PROOF. Where is the prohibition of these cruelties? There is no more prohibition of these cruelties than there is of the relation itself.

    Do you say the apostle commanded masters to give to their servants that which was just and equal? [Colossians 4:1].

    We answer, this as much required them to give the slave entire liberty as it did that they should give

  • proper food,

  • clothing, and

  • compensation [reparations] for labor; for liberty is as much a natural right as any of these, and a right far more precious to all men.

  • Then if [you still insist that] the apostle [Paul] sanctioned slavery at all, he sanctioned the cruel slavery above described—the slavery of his day. Yet even [pro-slavery] Dr. Fuller himself tries to evade this.

    But do you say that slavery, like the conjugal and parental relations, is right, but the cruelties or abuses allowed by the Roman law were wrong?

    We remark, this too is an assumption. If you should say that liberty, like the conjugal and parental relations, was right, then you would speak correctly; for the conjugal and parental relations are natural relations, and are therefore right. So liberty is the nat-


    ural relation of man, and therefore right; and even Dr. Rice says, "the first enslavement of man was an unrighteous thing."

    Just so far as the Roman law allowed the husband and parent to violate the natural relations, (the conjugal and parental,) it allowed that which was wrong. And just so far as it allowed any of its citizens to violate the natural relation of man, liberty, it did that which was and is wrong.*

    So then, starvation, mangling, and murder, are not alone violations of nature, but slavery—privation of liberty—is also. If the teaching of the apostle is to be understood as sanctioning slavery, it not only sanctioned that which was cruel, but sanctioned white slavery; that is, the enslavement of those who were as white, and many of them whiter than their masters. This every man can see from the fact that the slaves of the Greeks and Romans were those taken as captives in war. The nations conquered were Germans, Franks, Britons, Jews, Modes, Persians, Egyptians, and Carthaginians. Even these Carthaginians, having lived in the
    *The words of C. M. Clay, in his reply to Dr. Rice on the above points, are so pertinent and forcible that they ought to be read by every one.

    Dr. R. says: "The question is not, whether the [politicians'] laws by which slavery is regulated are just or not? for, by that rule, the conjugal and parental relations are in themselves sinful."

    Mr. C. replies: "Let's strip [refute] him again! Now, we both agree that man is, by nature, free, and therefore freedom is not sinful. Again, marriage is by nature, we both agree, a right relation, independent of [politician] law, and of course not sinful.

    Now the [politician] law takes hold of the free man and makes him a slave, which Dr. Rice admits 'to be a crime of the first magnitude.' Where, then, is the crime? In the [politician] law, of course. Repeal the law, and the crime ceases—the injury ceases!

    "Now, once more, the parental relation and the marriage relation was a good and pure one; but the Roman law comes in, says Dr. R., and gives the father power of life over his child, and the husband power to degrade and tyrannize over the wife. Indeed! What is the remedy? Repeal the laws giving the improper power, and the conjugal relation and the parental relation are not objectionable.

    "But, now, mark the culminating point of the [pro-slavery] sophistry! Therefore, marriage, the parental relation, guardianship, and slavery are not in themselves sinful! It should have been stated thus:

    Therefore, the marriage and the parental relation
    and LIBERTY are not in themselves sinful.

    "For just so far as the [politician] law touched [regulated] liberty at all, as well as the marriage relation, it contaminated it. It laid its foul hand upon the freeman, and degraded him into a slave; it laid its foul hand upon the husband, and changed his love into brutality; it laid its foul hand upon the parent, and he forgot the father by becoming a master.

    "We say, then, with Mr. Blanchard, the [politicians' unconstitutional] laws are the basis, the bone and sinew, the flesh and blood of slavery; dissolve them, and slavery falls. Natural right is untrammelled, and the thing 'in itself is not sinful,' because it is [exists] no more."


    north-eastern part of Africa, and originally a colony from Tyre, in the land of Canaan in Asia, had straight hair, as we learn from history.

    That the slavery of the Greeks and Romans, the slavery with which the apostle [Paul] mingled, was not negro slavery, is manifest from the fact that the slaves had to be designated from the native citizens of Rome by their dress [clothing]. Hence, Rome passed laws requiring every slave to wear a dress peculiar to slaves, and made death the penalty of wearing any other dress.

    Also, intermarriages among slaves and native Romans were frequent. Also, Virginia was claimed as a slave, though represented as a young lady of "exquisite beauty, with a modest glow on her cheek," and of high birth in Rome. This could not have been done had their slaves been black.

    Also, slave women were imposed upon, or given to and received by, the Latins as Roman virgins of the first rank. This could not have been done had their slaves been black.

    Not Hopeful for Slavery.

    These facts, together with hundreds of others, and the well-known fact that most of the nations conquered and enslaved [by Rome] were white, proves to an admitted certainty that the slaves of the Roman government were white. Then, if the teaching of the apostle [Paul] is to be so construed as to sanction slavery, it sanctioned the enslavement of unoffending white persons—white persons who were guilty of no crime but that of trying to maintain their own liberty.

    Now, who claims that such enslavement was right, or sanctioned by the apostle? If be sanctioned such, as all must admit, he was the minister of sin—sanctioned that which was wrong. If he did not sanction white slavery, he sanctioned no other slavery.

    The above position is of itself sufficient to settle the whole slavery question. Reader, you can bluff off any man, who is an apologist for slavery, by asking him if white slavery is right. If he says it is not, and yet has taken the position that the apostle sanctions slavery, he thereby condemns the apostle, and surely will not plead the authority of one whom he admits to be in error.

    Then the injunction to patience, obedience, and long-suffering, does not for a moment sanction slavery. Whilst, then, the servant may bear with patience and obedience his wrongs, he and his friends, and friends of the master, with kindness and meekness may endeavor to show the master his duty, and entreat him to the performance of it. This will bring us to notice the duties enjoined upon masters.



    They were such as, in conjunction with the leading doctrines of Christianity, made it the manifest duty of the masters to free their slaves, if slaves they had.

    Christianity had already taught the world that

  • "God had made of one blood all nations of men," (Acts xvii. 26;)

  • "that of a truth God is no respecter of persons," (Acts x. 34;)

  • "that among Christians one is your Master, even Christ, AND ALL YE ARE BRETHREN," (Matt. xxiii. 8;)

  • that they had one common Redeemer, and, if Christians, one common home, heaven.
  • These principles were also practically carried out when, (Acts ii. 44,) "All that believed were together, and had all things common."

    And there were probably among the number, (Acts ii. 9, 11,)

    "Parthians and Medes and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judea and Cappadocia, in Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, in Egypt and in the parts about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, Cretes and Arabians."

    What is "Just and Equal"?

    In accordance with these principles, the apostle, after having enjoined upon [white] servants to act in their service with conscience towards God—with fidelity, honesty, and with long-suffering to their masters—adds:

    "And, ye masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing threatening, knowing that your Master also is in heaven; neither is there respect of persons with him." Ephesians vi. 9.

    And, "Masters, give unto your servants that which is just and equal." Col. iv. 1.

    Now, what is "just and equal." This question shall not, for the present, be decided either by anti-slavery men or pro-slavery men, but by the civil law or our courts of justice. What do they say is justice to white servants? for Christianity makes no distinction on the ground of color; and the servants, or slaves, in the days of the apostle, did not generally differ from their masters in color.* Our courts of justice say:

  • (1.) The servant
    * The Phrygians taken as captives in war by Agessilius were sold as slaves though white, "their skins being soft and white." (See Plutarch's Lives, vol iii, p. 182.)

    Crassus, 80 years B. C., invaded Mesopotamia, took one of the cities, and sold the inhabitants as slaves. (See vol. iii, p. 56.)

    The Thebans, citizens of Greece, were conquered by Alexander, and though of the same nation with himself, were sold as slaves. (Vol iii, p. 261.)

    Persians were sold as slaves by Cimon. (Vol. ii, p. 405.)


    shall have kind treatment, with plenty of good food and clothing.

  • (2.) He shall have that amount of instruction which will fit him for efficiency and usefulness in society.

  • (3.) When he has attained the age of a freeman [21], he shall then go free, that he may engage in business for himself.
  • All this the good of society and glory of God require. This, then, is what our courts of equity and the mass of mankind, with common consent, deem just and right.

    Then, the apostle [Paul] may be considered as saying,

    Masters, with conscience before God, acting as you would to the person of Christ, (Matt. xxv. 40, 45,) act toward your servants with fidelity, patience, long-suffering, forbearing even to make unhappy their condition by threatening, or, as the Greek may be rendered, harshness, and when they are "of age," give them their liberty, with a compensation for their toil,
    —what you would others should do unto you were you a servant, or what you would others should do to your child were it bound [apprenticed] out to service. This is "justice and equality" in the eyes of Christianity.

    All this talk about food and clothing being "justice and equality" to the adult slave is so palpably false and absurd, that I wonder that any man, laying claim to integrity before God and man, should utter it.

    Ed. Note: Such people were not Christians.

    If the free white laborer can justly earn more than his food and clothing, then the slave, who labors as hard or harder, can earn more than food and clothing. What means this seventy-five or a hundred dollars which the hirer pays to the master, besides food, clothing, doctor's bill, etc., for a year's labor of the slave, but that his labor is worth that much more than food and clothing?

    Ed. Note: See also Harriet B. Stowe's discussion of "just and equal."

    Do you say the master has paid some hundreds of dollars for him? Then we answer: If the master did not pay it [to the right person, i.e.,]
    [Gnaeus] Pompey [106 B.C. - 48 B.C.] took great numbers of the Jews captive, and sold them as slaves in Rome. (See Introduction of Barnes's "Comment on Romans.")

    Caccilius, who was contemporaneous with [Marcus T.] Cicero [106 B.C. - 43 B.C.], and who proposed to take upon himself the prosecution of Verres, had been enslaved, though a reputed Jew. (See Life of Cicero, by Plutarch, vol. iv., p. 100.)

    Some of the Romans themselves were taken captive by Hannibal [247 B.C. - 183 B.C.], and sold as slaves. (Vol. ii, p. 237.)

    Plato [427 B.C. - 347 B.C.] was once a slave, sold by order of Dyonisius.

    Aesop [620 B.C. - 560 B.C.] was also at one time a slave.

    There was so little distinction in the color and beauty of the slaves of that age [era] and their masters and families, that intermarriages were common. It was common for the young men of Athens to redeem a woman from slavery and marry her. (See Plutarch, vol. iv., p. 403.)

    These facts are sufficient to show that no difference of color is to be regarded in settling this question. What, then, we repeat, is the decision of our courts of justice?


    to the servant, who rightfully owns himself, then he paid it to the wrong owner; and the servant ought not to be deprived of his liberty, his natural rights, and a fair compensation [reparations] for his toil, because of the bad management of the master. It is clear, then, that justice and equality to the servant is more than food and clothing.

    It is also clear, that IF any one of the primitive Christians did hold slaves, they, in obedience to the principles taught by Christ, their Saviour, and the plain precept of the apostle, could not hold them as slaves without sinning against God and man.

    Further, in 1 Cor. vii. 21, the apostle says to servants, "Art thou called, being a servant? care not for it;" that is, be not more anxious about your condition in this world than your spiritual condition. The expression is like that in Matt. vi. 34: "Take, therefore, no thought for the morrow." This does not literally forbid that we shall make any provision for the morrow, but means that we should "seek first the kingdom of God;" be not so much concerned about the things of the morrow or this world as our souls.

    So in the present case, the apostle says to the servant, Be not more solicitous about your personal liberty than the salvation of your soul. You can be a Christian if you are a slave, and oppressed. He does not forbid him to desire liberty, for he immediately adds that it is his duty to use it, if he can: "If thou mayest be free, use it rather."

    Now, note this: The apostle has here decided that LIBERTY IS A BETTER STATE FOR THE SLAVE THAN BONDAGE. Then let no man ever say, aganst Holy Writ, slaves are as well off as if they were free.

    Now comes the point. The apostle having decided that freedom is a BETTER condition than bondage, every master who would obey Christ in loving his neighbor as himself, doing unto others as he would others should do unto him, and obeying the precept of the apostle,

    "Masters, give unto your servants that
    which is just and equal [Col. 4:1],"

    was religiously bound to give liberty to his slave, if he had one.

    If the servant was a hireling, the master should give him a fair compensation for his toil.

    What was then true is true now. Then the [Bible] precepts given to both servants and masters were such as gave no tolerance to slavery, but, in the language of Scott, they were such as, "if obeyed, would infallibly destroy it."



    1. It is objected, if Christianity gives no tolerance to slavery, why did the apostles tolerate slaveholders in their communion? We answer, this is a point not proved, and we by no means concede it.

    Ed. Note: See also
  • Rev. John Rankin's analysis, pp 14-19 and 73-82
  • Edward Rogers' analysis, pp 27-33
  • Harriet Beecher Stowe's analysis, pp 228- 243
  • Rev. George Cheever's analysis, pp 9-184.
  • The [so-called] evidence relied upon [by pro-slavery apologists] is [not direct evidence but] mere verbal criticism, which, in the language of Dr. Bishop, "must be very inconclusive reasoning as to historic matter of fact."

    The texts relied upon in support of the [pro-slavery] objection are, Eph. vi. 5-9; 1 Tim. vi. 1, 2; and the Epistle to Philemon. We will examine the texts in the above order.

    Eph. vi. 5-9: "Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ; 6not with eye-service as men-pleasers, but as the servants of Christ, domg the will of God from the heart; 7with good-will doing service as to the Lord, and not to men: 8knowing, that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free. 9And, ye masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing threatening; knowing that your Master also is in heaven; neither is there RESPECT OF PERSONS WITH HIM."

    If it be claimed, as is usual, that the word masters (iLD4@4H) in verse 5, means slaveholders, then, on the same authority, in verse 9, the Christian's Master (5LDJ@H) means slaveholder—i. e., the merciful God holds slaves—persons in involuntary servitude. Every man must know that this is not true; and by consequence, nothing can be inferred from this text in favor of slavery because these servants had masters.

    This term, as we have shown [pp 76-78, supra], is often used to designate householders, employers, guardians or teachers.

    The word servant, (*@<8@H) as we have shown also [pp 73-76, supra], does not of necessity mean slave; and that these servants were not held as slaves is clear from the fact that the masters were required to act towards the servants as the servants were required to act towards them:

  • "Ye masters, do the same things to them,"—act with fear and trembling before God, fearing least ye displease Him by doing any injustice to His creatures,

  • remembering that "you have a Master in heaven,"

  • who will "mete to every man as he measures to others,"

  • for "He is no respecter of persons."
  • Here was the master's example and rule.

    But if he should hold his child in what is called the ordinary free relations, and the child of another person as a slave, would not that master be a respecter of persons? If the master should hold one man's


    child as a bound boy [apprentice] until twenty-one, and the child of another as a slave, would he not be a respecter of persons?

    If the master should give to one servant, as a hireling and contractor, that which was just and equal—a full equivalent for his labor—and then hold another servant, because he had on his side the advantage of human and unjust law, a slave—held to involuntary and unrequited toil—would he not be a respecter of persons?

    Ed. Note: The phrase "a full equivalent for his labor" is elaborated in the "theory of labor value" described by such economics writers as Prof. Adam Smith (1723 –1790) and Karl Marx, Ph.D. (1818 – 1883).

    No man then, as we believe, could fully obey the above precept, and hold another as a slave.

    This text, instead of sanctioning slavery, we consider a powerful one against slavery. We do not believe that a primitive Christian master, with this precept before him, would any more dare hold a fellow-being as a slave than he would dare steal his preacher's coat—the only coat of a beloved Paul or Timothy. Nor do I believe Christians would dare do so now were they free from false teachings—perversions of the Bible by man.

    Ed. Note: Such perversions
  • allowed mass sins
  • were by vile, atheist clergy
  • made for infidels
  • corrupted the church
  • led to demonization
  • and to disfellowshipment.
  • The next text in order is, 1 Tim. vi. 1, 2:

    "Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honor, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed. 2And they that have believing masters, let them not despise them, because they are brethren; but rather do them service, because they are faithful and beloved partakers of the benefit."

    These verses are regarded [by vile, atheist clergy] as the strongest justification for slavery, both as requiring honor to be given to slaveholders, whatever their character, and in recognizing them as believers in Christ, and enjoining obedience and respect to them on account of their being Christians.

    We reply to these [false] positions by saying,

    1st. That this language was equally appropriate, to say the least, to apprentices bound to service, the figure of the yoke being applied in all other places in the Bible to signify a voluntary service, and therefore it is not certain that slaves are here designated.

    2d. That if we admit that slaves are addressed in the first of these verses, and they are commanded to honor slaveholders, the reason given for rendering honor to them is far from being such as implies any right on their part to demand it. Mark the words, "that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed." A very different thing from saying, because they deserve it, or because it is their right.

    A thousand things may be required of me, to be done to men [humans] for Christ's sake, which for them to require is the grossest injustice. Witness the commands of our Saviour, Matt. v. 39-41:

    "But I say unto you, that ye


    resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also. 41And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain."

    Do these commands justify the smiting and extortion spoken of? By no means.

    No more does this verse justify the claims of slaveholders, even on the supposition that they are here meant. No doubt much blasphemy would have been occasioned among oppressors, had Christian servants refused to honor their masters, and no real good would have resulted.

    It was no doubt [as Harriet B. Stowe said, temporarily] wise, and therefore duty, in such [temporary Roman] circumstances, to submit to the [Roman] powers that were over them, "not only for wrath, but also for conscience' sake."

    But how poor a sanction is this for [unconstitutional U.S.] slavery! Will any man ever plead it at the bar of his Maker?

    It has been translated variously, but the version given by Dr. Robinson is undoubtedly correct. The Greek word (,<,D(,F4".) has an active sense meaning "benefiting." The import of the phrase is, "partakers in promoting the cause of Christ." A very good reason certainly why they should not be despised by those laboring for a common object.

    No doubt these masters—"believing masters," (B4FJ@<. *,FB@J"H) not merely professors of religion—obeyed the command of Christ, "Be ye not called Rabbi, for one is your Master, even Christ and all ye are brethren [Matt. 23:8]," and counted it the highest honor to be the servant (*@Ø8@H) of all.

    They would have followed Christ's example and precept by washing their servants' feet even [John 13:5-14]. Their money was regarded at one time, and perhaps for a long period, as common stock. [Acts 2:44].

    These masters were not monopolizers, but sharers with the servants in the benefit of the service—treating them according to the ordinary free relations of life; and thus doing to others as they would others should do to them; and obeying the apostle [Paul] when he said,

    "Masters, give unto your servants that which is just and equal." [Col. 4:1].

    No other course, as we have seen [pp 96-98, supra], would be just and equal.*

    But does the objector say, "Servants treated thus would not be under any temptation to despise their masters:
    * That these servants [employees], though not slaves, might be tempted to despise their masters [employers], is manifest when we consider that these servants may have been bound persons, and from the fact that there were judaizing teachers, who taught that those who were Christians should be in obedience to no man, especially to a master [employer], who was not a Jew. From such teaching they might be tempted to despise even those who did not hold them as slaves.


    there would be no necessity for such an injunction to freemen; and therefore the servants addressed must have been slaves"?

    We remark [respond],

    (1.) Your objection necessarily presupposes that there is something in slavery which would naturally provoke a man to despise his oppressor.

    Ed. Note: Example: extortion.

    But if it [slavery] were a natural and righteous or lawful relation, then there would be nothing in it to provoke a man to despise his enslaver, more than in a state of freedom. But your objection necessarily presupposes that there is.

    Being therefore wrong, you are bound, at the peril of your soul, to quit it immediately; for the apostle [Paul] says,

  • "It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is OFFENDED, or is made weak."

  • "For when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin AGAINST CHRIST." Rom. xiv. 21; 1 Cor. viii. 12.
  • But, (2.) Whilst freedom does not, like slavery, occasion hatred, yet it is possible for persons in the ordinary free relations of life to despise even those who are their benefactors. Hagar, (who could religiously and devoutly cry, "Thou, God, seest me [Gen. 16:13],") so soon as she was raised to the condition of a wife or concubine, despised her mistress. This promotion, too, was done by the suggestion or importunity of Sarah. Yet Hagar was tempted to despise her benefactress. [Genesis 16:2-4].

    We all know instances of men who have been raised suddenly from the condition of poor apprentices to rich freemen, whose vain hearts, elated with promotion, passed scornfully the friend who taught their hand the skill by which their wealth and promotion were secured. These are facts, against theory.

    Then those treated as freemen might be tempted to despise their benefactors, especially if their present masters or employers had once been their enslavers. For this, they might yet be tempted to despise them.*

    If persons shall yet honestly insist that the fair inference from the language of the apostle is, that the servants to Christian masters were servants under the yoke—were slaves—we reply:

    If they were regarded as slaves by the [Roman] civil law, and still in the service of their former masters, it does not follow that Christian masters held them as slaves. The persons freed by Christians would [likely] remain with their masters; for the Roman law made it difficult, and often impossible, that the slave should be regarded by the civil law as a freeman. See [Edward] Gibbon's Rome, vol. 1, ch. 2, and Biblical Repository, vol. 6, pp. 411-36.

    In this [narrow] respect
    * And if these servants were held by Christians under the yoke, this fact would be no evidence that these Christians were doing right; for God has said by the mouth of his prophet [Isaiah], "break every yoke and let the oppressed go free." [Isaiah 58:6]. That slavery always was oppression every body knows. And if Christians were practicing it, they were doing wrong. But we do not believe they did practice it.


    some of the servants of Christians might be "under the yoke"—the restriction of the Roman law—yet not held thus, so far as the claim of the Christian master was concerned; just as the slaves emancipated in South Carolina by the Quakers, though held in the eye of the civil law as property—as slaves, were not so held or regarded by their former owners.*

    In the case of the primitive [First Century] Christians, as in the case of the Quakers, the law of Christ forbade the existence or practice [tradition] of slavery. And the Christian servant was not to despise or feel revengeful towards his master, because he had once been enslaved by that master. This would be wrong, and injurious to the spiritual welfare of the servant.

    There was, then, propriety in the injunction of the apostle, though the servant was not held as a slave by the Christian master.

    And if the [pagan Roman] law of the land gave them uninterrupted privilege to go from under the care of these Christian masters, still being, as we have shown, mutual partakers of the benefits—the products of their labor—it was best for these servants to.stay with such masters [employers].

    As persecuted and despised masters for their profession of Christianity, it would be difficult often for them to get help; and Christian servants ought to feel an obligation to labor for such masters.

    The above distinction between the claim of [pagan politician] civil law and the law of Christ's house—"the higher law"—is very important. If the former [pagan Roman civil law] forced upon the Christian the legal relation, the latter forbade the exercise of the rights of a slaveholder.

    Roman Slavery

    Pro-slavery men fall into a great mistake by interpreting the words master and servant, as used by the apostle in addressing Christians, by our own [unconstitutional] slave laws, or by the slave laws of Greece and Rome. They infer that because the apostles use the words master and servant (*,FB@J0H and *@Ø8@H) when addressing little groups of Christians, governed by the law of Christ, that they meant by these terms property-holders of men, and men held as property—slaves; because this was the import of the terms in the [pagan] Roman law.

    As well might they infer that when the apostle spoke of the wife and child ((L<0 and J,P<@<) of a Christian, that the husband and father held that wife and child
    * And there was not found injustice enough in the community to enforce the [immoral South Carolina] law and make the servants of those Quakers again slaves.


    as slaves, exercising over them [wife, children] the power of life and death, because the Roman civil law allowed him [the father] the power to do so; and so far as the record goes, the apostle never ONCE SAID this was wrong—that Christian fathers and husbands must not exercise this power. The words of Rev. William Hague, in his review of Wayland and Fuller, are very penitent:

    "In all these exhibitions of the Scriptural doctrine, we doubt not that there is a cardinal mistake; and that mistake is in defining the relation denoted by the words "servant" and "master," `@Ú0@H and iLD4@H or `,F6@J0l by the law of Rome instead of "the law of Christ."
    In the community of Christians this latter governed all relations. For unto whom were these three epistles of Paul and one of Peter, which contain the passages referred to, originally addressed? To the world at large? No. To the subjects of the Roman empire, as such? No. To men, as men and citizens? No. They were addressed to little communities of Christians, voluntarily united as churches, as those who were "called to be saints," "the faithful brethren in Christ;" to those who had "come out from the world;" to the regenerated, baptized, and sworn subjects of the Messiah's kingdom; to those who had received, as their first lesson, the doctrine that, unless they could willingly give up "houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, [or servants,] for their Lord's sake, they were not worthy of him." [Matt. 10:37, etc.]

    Before the epistles were written, all these persons had risen above the level of the Roman law to a higher moral realm, wherein Christ swayed the sceptre of sovereignty; unto whom, looking up, they could say, with the voice of a common adoration, in response to his own announcement to them:

    "Thou only art our Master, and ALL WE ARE BRETHREN."

    Such laws and such a change modified at once all the then existing relations of life—held forth to their view a new doctrine of right, a new standard by which to judge of all the duties pertaining to the connections in which they stood.

    That this case is true and just, will appear further, if we consider how greatly a knowledge of the law of Christ modified a Christian's sense of duty touching the other permanent relations of life. It is certainly an error into which many have fallen, to discuss this subject as if, by the law of Rome, the right of slave-property inhered only in the relation indicated by the words master and servant; whereas it pertained as really to the relation indicated in the New Testament by the words (@L,LH and J,iL@L—parent and child. Any school-boy may learn the ori-


    gin of this domestic slavery from the first chapter of [Oliver] Goldsmith's History of Rome [Dublin: S. Powell, 1769]. It is clear, not only from [Marcus Tullius] Cicero [106 B.C. - 43 B.C.], in his treatise on the laws, but from nearly all the Roman writers, historians, and poets, that every father had the power of life and death over bis children; could expose them to death in infancy; and not only so, but a child was not deemed legitimate, or treated as such, unless the father took it formally from the ground, and placed it on his bosom.

    Dr. [Alexander] Adam [1741-1809], in his Roman Antiquities [Edinburgh: A. Strahan & T. Cadell, 1791], presents the following statements:

    "Even when his children were grown up, the father might imprison, scourge, send them bound to work in the country, and also put them to death by any punishment he pleased, if they deserved it. Hence, a father is called a domestic judge or magistrate by Seneca. A son could acquire no property but by his father's consent; and what he did thus acquire was called his peculium, as that of a slave. The condition of a son was, in some respects, harder than that of a slave. A slave, when sold once, became free; but a son, not unless sold three times."

    In his History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, [Edward] Gibbon [1737-1794] remarks:

    "The exclusive, absolute, and perpetual dominion of the father over his children, is peculiar to the Roman jurisprudence, and seems to be coeval with the foundation of the city. The paternal power was instituted or confirmed by Romulus himself; and, after the practice [tradition] of three centuries, it was inscribed on the fourth table of the Decemviri. In the forum, the senate, or the camp, the adult son of a Roman citizen enjoyed the public and private rights of a PERSON: in his father's house he was a mere THING; confounded by the laws with the movables, the cattle; and the slaves, whom the capricious master might alienate or destroy, without being responsible to any earthly tribunal. The hand which bestowed the daily sustenance might resume the voluntary gift; and whatever was acquired by the labor or fortune of the son, was immediately lost in the property of the father. At the call of indigence or avarice, the master of a family could dispose of his children or his slaves. According to his discretion, a father might chastise the real or imaginary faults of his children by stripes, by imprisonment, by exile, by sending them to the country to work in chains among the meanest of his servants. The majesty of a parent was armed with the power of life and death; and the example of such bloody executions, which were sometimes praised and never punished, may be traced in the annals of Rome beyond the times of Pompey and Augustus."


    "Not only in the relation of the child to the father, but also in that of the wife to the husband, did the Roman law establish a power adverse to the precepts and spirit of Christianity. In case of any offense whatever, the husband was the supreme judge, invested with authority to acquit her or to condemn her to death. The law placed her like a slave at his feet, and her life hung on his decree. Observe the testimony of Dionysius Halicarnassensis on this point:
    "The law obliged the married women, as having no other refuge, to conform themselves entirely to the temper of their husbands. But if she committed any fault, the injured person was her judge, and determined the degree of her punishment. In case of adultery, or where it was found she had drunk wine, (which the Greeks would look upon as the least of all crimes,) her relations, together with her husband, were appointed her judges, who were allowed by Romulus to punish both these crimes with death.'
    This law, of so ancient date, continued to be operative under the empire. Tacitus mentions a case which occurred at Rome, in A.D. 57, in the reign of Nero."

    Between a Roman citizen and a foreigner there could be no legal marriage,* and the offspring of such a union were deemed illegitimate.†

    "Of this firmly established law there was no change until the days of the Emperor Caracalla [211 A.D. - 217 A.D.]. During more than two centuries of the Christian era, the children who may have sprung from the marriage of a Roman citizen and a Jew, or a Greek, were denied the rights and honors of a legitimate birth. Paul himself, who was a Roman citizen, declared that he had a right to 'lead about a wife' with him; but had he or any one of the Roman converts been pleased to marry a Galatian or a Syrian Christian, the law would, as far as concerned civil rights, have placed the offspring of such a union on a level with the children of a base and criminal connection."
    Now, when the apostle, addressing Christians, speaks of a husband and wife, ("L0D and (LL0) parent and child, ((@L,LH and J,iL@L are we to infer that, under the law of Christ, the wife and child might be held in the same relation as under the Roman law? No man will claim that the Christian husband or parent might have or exercise this power.

    So when the apostle is addressing Christians under the law of Christ, and speaking of servant and master, `@Ú0@H and iLD4@H (or `,FB@0l in one instance only,) we are not to infer that the servant of the Christian master was held, or
    * "Non erat cum externo connubium."

    † Livy, xxxviii. 36.


    might be held in the same relation as the servant of a heathen master under the law of Rome. The law of Christ, which was the law of love, ("Whatsoever ye would that others should do to you, do ye so to them,") was now the rule of duty, the standard by which every relation in life was to be regulated. If, then, the same term be used to designate the servant of a Christian, as that used to designate the servant of a pagan citizen of Rome, it does not follow that the servant of the Christian was held in the same relation as the servant of the pagan citizen. As the law of Christ destroyed the property tenure in the wife and child, so it destroyed the property tenure in the slave.* This argument is to my mind very forcible.

    A pro-slavery writer wants to know, if slavery was wrong, why the apostle did not tell the master to set his slave free, when slavery existed all around him, sanctioned by the Roman law? We ask, if the enslavement and the murder of the son by the father, and the arbitrary murder of the wife by the husband, was wrong, (which the writer will not deny,) why did not the apostle tell parents and husbands not to do these things, which, like slavery, were all around him and sanctioned by the law? We answer:

    1st. Neither we nor the writer know whether the apostle did or did not tell masters to let their slaves go free.

    2d. We suppose the law of "love to our neighbor as ourselves" made it unnecessary; and had already raised the slave, together with the wife and child, up to the same moral level with the master, the husband, and the father. To tell the master to set his slave free, was no more necessary than to tell the father to set his own son free, or to tell the husband not to kill his wife. Remember this point.

    Before dismissing this text, (1 Tim. vi. 1, 2,) we remark, some writers tell us there was no slavery in Asia Minor, the country
    * The position of many commentators, that the gospel did not affect the political relations of any one, is not true. It did often affect them radically. Among Christians it destroyed the property tenure in the wife, the child, and the slave. It did not allow Christians even to go to law before the unjust. 1 Cor. vi. 1. It required men to preach in the "name of Jesus, though the Sanhedrin or law of the land forbade it." It made it sin in a Christian to deliver up a Christian brother to the civil authorities to be punished, though the law of the land, the political relation, required "every man to deliver up the Christian to the civil authorities." Primitive Christianity did not adopt a time-serving policy, shaping itself to suit the ever-varying phases of political power. It proclaimed whatever was truth and right, and opposed error, whether found in a Nebuchadnezzar, a Darius, a Herod—in the court, or in the sanctuary.


    where were situated those churches to whom instruction was given to masters. They state:
    "It was the policy of the Roman Empire to allow the conquered provinces to retain, for the most part, their own laws, under Roman masters, or officers. The ancient laws prohibited slavery in these countries; and when conquered by the Greeks and Romans, slavery was not introduced into them; so that at the time of writing these epistles, they were free from slavery. They were free provinces of the Roman Empire. And if slavery was not in the country, it was not in the Church."
    If this were once clearly established, then there would be no hesitancy about the import of the words master and servant, nor of the term yoke, used in 1 Tim. vi. 1. It would then be understood, not as designating a slave relation, but a voluntary engagement for a definite period of time; or the relation of a minor bound.

    And it is worthy of notice here, that the term yoke, as used in the Bible, is but seldom if ever used to denote slavery. It is often used to denote oppressive taxes, and bond-service, in the Old Testament. In the New Testament, in every case, save this in 1 Timothy vi. 1, it is used to denote a voluntary service; as, ''Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me."

    And if it could be clearly shown that, at the time these epistles were written, there was no slavery in Asia Minor, then it would follow that in this instance also it does not denote slavery. Barnes, however, tells us that large numbers of Phrygians and Cappadocians were taken as slaves to Rome; and that it is asserted that there were six thousand slaves which belonged to the tomple of a goddess in Cappadocia. Hence, he says, the words of [Quintus Horatius Flaccus] Horace [65-8 BC]: "Mancipiis locuples, eget æris Cappadocum rex." Who "asserted" this he does not say. But suppose there were slaves in Cappadocia before, or at the time of Horace; that does not prove that there were slaves there and in other parts of Asia Minor, when these epistles were written. There were slaves in the British West Indies a few years since, but there are none there now.

    Now, when we remember how little reliance is to be placed upon mere verbal criticism, aside from historic facts, and that historic facts in this case, defining the condition of the servant, are wanting, we see that we are driven to the last rule of exposition, and that is, to interpret the words of the Bible in accordance with its well-known spirit, or principles; and this we know is against slavery, and in favor of equal liberty and equal rights. And could it be made certain from historic facts, that slavery existed in Asia Minor, and in those portions where were those churches addressed, still our previous argument meets the


    question fully, and gives the decision in favor of liberty. On that we rely, and notice this because, in publishing a manual, all, or the most prominent questions should be noticed.

    Case of Onesimus

    One more passage brought forward in support of the first objection [p 99, supra] remains to be examined. It is the case of Onesimus, as given in the epistle to Philemon. It is maintained that Onesimus was a slave; had run away from his Christian owner, Philemon; and that Paul recognized the lawfulness of slavery by returning the man a slave to his master. See Dr. Junkins' pamphlet, and everybody who attempts to apologize for slavery. Concerning this case, we remark:

    1. No man can prove that he was a slave, and not simply either a bound person or a hireling, indebted to Philemon.

    2. The benefit spoken of in verse 14th can be accounted for as readily on the ground that Onesimus was simply a bound person or hireling, as that he was a slave.

    3. The fact that the apostle expresses a doubt (verse 18) as to whether Onesimus owed Philemon any thing, is proof that he was not a slave. Had the apostle recognized Onesimus as the rightful property, the slave of Philemon, then there could have been no doubt in the apostle's mind as to whether he owed him any thing. Also, slaves do not become indebted to their masters.

    4. There is no evidence in the epistle that Onesimus was not a natural brother to Philemon—a younger brother, bound to the elder. This was very common in that age. Paul calls him "a brother beloved, especially to me, but how much more unto thee, both IN THE FLESH, and in the Lord" [v 16]. We know that Dr. Junkin has given a very lucid criticism on the adverb "especiall" showing that it qualifies beloved. As C. M. Clay said to Dr. Rice: "This is love's labor lost." No body denies it. Every school-boy knows it. And yet it is clear to every mind, that there was some reason why Onesimus was more beloved to Philemon than to Paul. It could not have been on the ground of civil relationship, for he had done service for Paul as well as Philemon; and that, too, when the service to Paul was very much needed—under circumstances in which it would be likely to elicit as great affection as it was possible to extend to one not a blood relation. To Paul, Onesimus was a brother, especially or peculiarly beloved in the Lord,—as a Christian,—in a spiritual sense. To Philemon he was not only a brother specially beloved in the Lord, but also a brother specially beloved in the flesh. (And Paul knew, from previous acquaintance, this attachment and blood relationship.) This made Onesimus more especially beloved to

    Philemon than to Paul. That an elder brother in the flesh, and at the same time a Christian brother, should have a double attachment to a younger brother who had become a Christian and was now returning from his wanderings to the path of rectitude, to meet his lawful obligations, is an intelligible reason for more special attachment. But no other is as yet assigned.*

    5. As Mr. [William H.] Brisbane very appropriately suggests, if Onesimus had been a runaway slave, he would not have been found courting the acquaintance of one who knew him and his master, and who could easily inform of his whereabouts. Fugitives in Ohio do not generally court the presence of travellers from Kentucky; especially if these travellers know them and their masters.

    6. If it be still insisted that the servant here spoken of was a slave, and that ðovos here means slave, as is claimed by pro-slavery men, then, in the language of the apostle, (verse 16,) he, returns Onesimus, "NOT NOW A SLAVE, but above a slave, a brother beloved, especially to me, but how much more to thee, both in the flesh and in the Lord." And history informs us that he [Onesimus] was afterwards Bishop of Ephesus.   "Ignatius, writing concerning him, praises God that the church of Ephesus had so good a bishop."†   If, then, he was a slave to Philemon, as is claimed, then the apostle emancipated him immediately; and that too, "upon the soil." The strongest anti-slavery man could ask no more.

    Then, take the case either way you will, neither the teaching nor the practice of the apostle for a moment tolerates slavery.

    Ed. Note: See also analyses of Philemon by
  • Rev. Beriah Green, The Chattel Principle (1837), pp 45-52
  • Rev. Stephen Foster, Brotherhood of Thieves (1843), pp 48-49
  • Rev. Silas McKeen, Disfellowshipping (1848), pp 28-29
  • Rev. George B. Cheever, Extension of Slavery (1856), pp 24-26
  • Rev. George B. Cheever, God Against Slavery (1857), pp 140-147.
  • No Argument From Silence of the Apostles

    A second objection is, that if slavery was wrong, why did not the apostles command Christians and all men not to enslave? "If slavery was deemed by them to be a sin, not to command masters to emancipate and cease to enslave, and content themselves by preaching principles, would have been the worst form of expediency—to act the traitor's part; they would have been faithless and craven heralds." So Dr. Fuller and others write.

    Much stress is laid upon this point by the advocates or apologists for slavery. It is considered a stronghold; and yet no point is more easy of refutation, and of triumphant reply. We
    * A reflecting Kentucky farmer suggested, a few days since [ago], that, even if it be admitted that Onesimus was a slave and an African, yet a brother in the flesh to Philemon, his master, then the case can prove nothing in favor of negro slavery to white masters, but that brother enslaved brother: and who will say that was or is right?

    †See Epistle of Ignatius to the church at Ephesus, as found in [Joseph] Milner's Church History.

    Ed. Note: The full citation is History of the Church of Christ
    (London, 1794–1809. An abridged edition is online.
    answer the above question as Christ did on one occasion, by asking another or others.

    Why did not the apostles command Christians and all others not to persecute? Persecution was very common in their day. It was "all around them," and sanctioned too by law. "By a law of the Emperor, every man was required to deliver up the Christian to the civil authorities." (Hague.)

    Yet against this unjust and bloody system—this wholesale murder—this wicked law, there is not a command saying, You must not persecute. Do you say, the epistles of the apostles being directed to little bands of Christians, governed by the law of love, and having a common interest in the cause of their religion, they did not need a specific command forbidding them to persecute each other?

    So we say, governed as they were by the law of love, and having a common interest in the cause of Christ, they did not need a specific command to tell them not to enslave. To enslave was just as inconsistent with the law of love as to persecute. No man can dispute this.

    Again, we ask, why did not the apostles speak against gladiatorial shows, those bloody butcheries regulated by law, and in which men were made to fight with their fellow-men and with beasts, to gratify a corrupt and cruel-hearted populace, fighting as they did before the vast multitude of men, women, and children, in a state of entire nakedness? Why did not the apostles speak against these shows?

    Do you say, I don't know why? Then we might say we don't know why he did not speak against slavery. And this silence, "so far as the record goes," is just as good in behalf of those bloody shows, as it is in behalf of slavery.

    As you cannot claim the former to be right, merely from the silence of the apostle, so, from the silence of the apostle, you cannot infer that the latter is right. Do you say the law of love and the spirit of the sixth commandment were against these shows?

    So we say the law of love and the spirit of the eighth commandment, which says, "Thou shalt not steal," and forbids all kinds of robbery; and the letter of the tenth commandment, which says, "Thou shalt not covet any thing that is thy neighbor's, not even his service, his person, or his liberty"—these were and are against slavery.

    Again, why did not the apostle speak against robbery—tell men they must not rob the houses or pockets of others? There were hordes of men in their day, who lived by robbing travellers and the houses of defenseless persons. Yet, "so far as the record goes," the apostle has nowhere forbidden men to rob. Do


    you say they needed no specific command from the apostle against this sin, for it was contrary to the light of nature and the sixth commandment? So we say slavery was contrary to the light of nature, and of the same sixth commandment.

    Why did not the apostle speak specifically against gambling and counterfeiting? In all the epistles it is not once said, You must not gamble or counterfeit.

    Do you say he forbade these when he said, "Let no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter"? So we say he forbade slavery when he forbade oppression (1 Thes. iv. 6—see the margin) and extortion. See 1 Cor. v. 11; vi. 10. That slavery is oppression and extortion in the highest degree, no man can successfully deny. And if to give a man a counterfeit note or coin, for five days' labor, and thus get his labor without giving him an equivalent, is fraud, then to take a man's labor for five years, yea, for a lifetime, yea, his body, bis wife, his child—this is fraud that earth cannot measure, and Heaven has told only in the tragedy of mystical Babylon, the "smoke of whose torment ascendeth up for ever and ever." Slavery was her crime. Read it. Rev. xviii. 13.

    Lastly, on this point, we notice two most cruel and inhuman sins of the age in which the apostle lived, and yet he has said nothing about them. As we have already seen, the husband and the father, by the Roman law, had the power of life and death over the wife and the child. The wife might be put to death for drinking wine, or the most trivial offense. "The law placed her like a slave at his feet, and her life hung on his decree."

    Should the innocent and obedient wife be so unfortunate as not to have been by birth a Roman citizen, then she might be cast off at any whim of her husband, left without a home, with no protection of law, and her children pronounced illegitimate, and "placed upon a level with a base and criminal connection." Essential as is the marriage relation—the protection of wives and children—to the welfare of society, and cruel and inhuman as was the above law,

    "yet in the epistles of Paul, all of which were addressed to persons living under the Roman empire, no care is taken to guard the churches against the specific evils of this pagan legislation, which, in the eyes of multitudes, had been embalmed and hallowed by time; had been blended with the very elements of domestic and social life; had been sustained in every age by the most illustrious examples, and had interwoven itself with the earliest remembrances and associations of the civilized world, touching human rights, the fitness of things, and the moral order of the universe. Strange as it may seem to some, no hus-


    band, in all the realm of the Caesars, is told that his wife had been raised by Christianity above the level of her condition under the Roman law. No one is told that the domestic despotism, on which Roman society was based, was an abomination in the sight of Heaven, and that it was a contravention of the original law of Paradise, which placed the man and the woman on the ground of a true moral equality."
    And are we to infer from the silence of the apostle that this domestic despotism was right? That this more than brutal cruelty was sanctioned by the gospel of love? No man dare claim it. And yet the argument of silence is just as much in favor of this, as of slavery.

    Also, the power of life and death over the son was in the hands of the father. "In his father's house he (the son) was a mere thing; confounded by the laws with the movables, the cattle, and the slaves, whom the capricious master might alienate or destroy without being responsible to any earthly tribunal."

    And shall we say that this inhuman custom and this cruel law were sanctioned by the apostle, because there is no specific denunciation of it in his epistles? No man will claim this. And yet the argument of silence is just as good for this form of cruelty as for slavery.

    But do you say, this "domestic despotism" was forbidden by the plainest principles of humanity, and by that command which says, "Thou shalt not kill"?

    So we say, slavery was forbidden by the plainest principles of humanity, and those commands of the Decalogue which say, "Thou shalt not steal," and "Thou shalt not covet." Especially by the law of Christ: "Do unto others as we would they should do unto us." "Love thy neighbor as thyself."

    Ed. Note: Re economic abuses, which in slavery included but were not limited to, grossly underpaying slaves, under 5% of what the slaver kept for himself, recall Sodom and Gomorrah's destruction; "the cities were destroyed because the inhabitents were nasty, depraved, and uncompromisingly greedy. Classical Jewish writings affirm that the primary crimes of the Sodomites were, among others, terrible and repeated economic crimes, both against each other and to outsiders," says "What was the sin of Sodom?" The Bible forbids a predatory economic system.
    Recall the destruction of Ancient Judah for reasons including its economic crime of forcing people to work without pay, aka slavery, see Rev. George B. Cheever, D.D., God Against Slavery (New York: Joseph Ladd, 1857; Cincinnati: American Reform Tract and Book Society, 1857; reprinted, NUP, 1969), pp 72ff.
    Taking or retaining more for oneself than giving another, in slavery a 21:1 ratio, violates commandments, e.g., the one against coveting, "Thou shalt not covet . . . anything that is thy neighbor's," Exodus 20:17, and the one to "love thy neighbor as thyself," Leviticus 19:18,   Matthew 19:19,   Mark 12:31, or more so, John 13:34,   Philippians 2:5-8.
    Underpaying employees, a 21:1 ratio, is therefore sin as well, says James 5:4-5. What the Bible commands is the opposite of exploiting others, making money off others, underpaying others, but instead the Mark 10:17-31 approach, life-style, giving attitude, "sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor" (Mark 10:21). Even better, pay equal pay in the first place, full wage equality, Matthew 20:1-15.
    "Jesus . . . was a cutting man. Has there ever existed, in all of history, a more intransigent person than the one who turned to those who spontaneously wished to follow him and stopped them dead in their tracks with: First go and sell everything you have and give it to the poor and then come and follow me? This is a statement that can have been made only in a harsh, pugnacious tone-the tone of the man who, when he talks about money, calls it the "money of iniquity" (Luke 16:9, 11), the tone of the man who was capable of shouting out, "Scribes and pharisees, hypocrites!" seven times running (Matt. 23:13, 14, 15, 23, 25, 27, 29), the tone of the man who, speaking about the temple, comes right out and says, "not a stone will be left upon a stone" (Mark 13:2). Jesus had the character of a hardened revolutionary. It is time we understood that," says Prof. José P. Miranda, Comunismo en la Biblia (1981), transl., Communism in the Bible (Maryknoll, N.Y.: Orbis Books, 1982), Chapter 2, p 22.
    In the New Testament, Ananias and Sapphira ran afoul of these principles, while pretending to become Christian, but failing to give. For this, they received the death penalty, Acts 5:1-11. Thus in view of all the pertinent Bible principles involved which slavers were habitually and continuingly violating, it is ultra clear that slavers were not Christian!! For additional context, in Bible economic law, anti-selfishness, and/or anti-covetousness terminology, see, e.g.,
  • Rev. Parker Pillsbury, Acts (1883), p 377, Ed. Note
  • Prof. Thomas W. Collens, "Preaching" (1868), p 17.
  • Rev. Dennis Hird, Jesus the Socialist (1908), pp 9-11,   15-16, and pp 5-6.
  • In the realm of Christ, with those who had risen superior to the Roman law, who "would not go to law before the unjust," whose only rule of action was the law of love, the wife needed no specific command to secure her protection—the son no specific command to secure his emancipation—and the servant no specific command to secure his freedom.

    In this realm, and under this law, it was enough to the husband, parent and master, to say:

  • "Husbands, love your wives" [Ephesians 5:25];

  • "Fathers, provoke not your children" [Ephesians 6:4];

  • "Masters, give unto your servants that which is just and equal"
    [Colossians 4:1];
  • and the rights of all were secured and placed upon that platform of equality which "nature and nature's God had established."

    There are many other practices [traditions] of men which are admitted to be wrong, yet the apostle has given no express prohibition of them; and we may just as correctly infer that the apostle did not consider them sinful, as we may infer that he regarded slavery as not sinful, because he did not say in so many


    words—slavery is sinful.

    Ed. Note: See also pp 79-81 on Christ's silence.

    Slaveholders Not in Apostolic Churches

    Then we come to this conclusion, that none of the passages relied upon, nor the silence of the apostles, "so far as the record goes," prove that the apostles tolerated or sanctioned slavery in any way; or that slaveholders were members of the primitive churches. That they were not is clear, because,

    1. The principles of Christianity, as we have seen, are opposed to slavery. This point is admitted by the large body of the apologists for the existence of slavery in the Church. They say, "The consequence of acting on the principles of the gospel, of following the example and obeying the precepts of Christ, would be the peaceable and speedy extinction of slavery."—Biblical Repository. Now, the principles of the gospel will destroy nothing that is good. "It is a fair conclusion, therefore, that if Christianity would abolish slavery, it is sinful;" and that Christianity in its beginning would not take this moral wrong, this sin into its bosom. Would the inspired apostles, in setting up a Church that was to teach the world righteousness and true holiness, take into it an institution, a practice, knowing that "it is sinful"? The absurdity is too gross to be sustained for a moment. Also, if the principles of Christianity be against slavery, then it is a plain violation of all rules of interpretation so to construe its specific precepts as to make them contradict or destroy its foundation principles.

    2. The organization of the apostolical churches forbids the idea that slavery was tolerated amongst them.

    "And all that believed were together, and had all things common; and sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all as every man had need." Acts ii. 44, 45; iv. 32, 34.
    Now, would these Christians sell their property—their "possessions and goods"—that they might give to the poor, and at the same time rob their fellow-man, yea, fellow-Christian, of the right to personal ownership, of the very right to acquire and hold property; yea, the privilege to go and worship his God where, when, and as he chose?*     Such an act would imply a moral absurdity too gross, and an outrage upon the rights of man too glaring, to be imputed to those whose hearts were filled with love to man as man, and whose minds were illumined by that Spirit which taught them that "God had made of one blood all nations of men;" and "of a truth he is no respecter of persons."
    * Who would be more poor and so great an object of charity as the poor slave? Primitive Christianity was no respecter of persons. See Acts x. 11-16, 28.


    3. The precept of the apostle in 1 Tim. i. 10, forbids the idea that slaveholders were in the apostolic churches. The apostle, speaking to Timothy concerning the law given by God through Moses, says:

    "The law is made for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for man-slayers, for whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for MEN-STEALERS, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any thing contrary to sound doctrine,"—the glorious gospel of the blessed God being the standard. See verse 11.

    That slavery was opposed to or condemned by the gospel, we have already seen. It is therefore, by the teaching of the apostle, condemned by the law.

    But the word which is here translated "men-stealers," condemns slave-holding, directly and expressly. The original Greek word for man-stealer is "L`D"B@`4`J0l (andrapodistes.) This is formed from the verb "L`D"B@`4>T (see Robinson,) which means "to enslave." This is its true and primary meaning. No man will or can dispute this.

    "L`D"B@`4`J0l, coming from this verb, means "one who makes a slave in any of the senses of "L`D"B@`4>T." Donnegan. Then "L`D"B@`4`J0l, the word which, in the above text, is translated men-stealers, means not only those who kidnap, or who seize men and bring them into bondage, but also, and primarily, it means those who enslave men. This view is also in accordance with reason and justice.

    Now, what would you think of that interpretation of the gospel, that would condemn and exclude the original horse-thief, and then hold as a saint the man who would conceal and use that horse? Is not the participant of crime as guilty as the perpetrator of the first act? Is not the smuggler of goods as guilty as he who first stole them?

    And suppose human [politician-passed] laws should say the smuggler shall be protected, could these laws alter the moral character of the deed? Could they make black, white?—evil, good? And should the smuggler take advantage of this law, would he be any the less guilty in the sight of the moral law and of God? Every man must say he would not.

    The above exposition has been confirmed by some of the highest ecclesiastical authorities in Christendom. In the Confession of Faith of the Presbyterian Church, as amended by act of the General Assembly of 1794, and appended to the 142d question of the Larger Catechism, will be found the following note in exposition of 1 Tim. i. 10, the text under consideration:

    "The law is made for man-stealers. This crime among the Jews exposed the perpetrators of it, as we have seen, to capital punishment, (see Exod. xxi. 17;) and the apostle here classes them with sinners of the first rank. The word he uses, in its


    original import, comprehends all who are concerned in bringing any of the human race into slavery, or in RETAINING THEM in it. Stealers of men are those who bring off slaves or freemen, and KEEP, sell or buy them. 'To steal a freeman,' says [Hugo] Grotius [1583-1645], "is the highest kind of theft. In other instances we only steal human property; but when we steal or RETAIN men in slavery, we seize those who, in common with ourselves, are constituted, by the original grant, lords of the earth.' Gen. i. 28."

    Ed. Note: For background on the "original grant" concept dating back thousands of years, to the "Garden of Eden" Genesis 1:28 era and reaffirmed in Psalm 8:6-8 and Hebrews 2:6-8, see e.g., p 10 and p 18, supra, and
  • Rev. John Rankin, Letters (1823), p 100
  • Rev. Theo. D. Weld, Bible Against Slavery (1837), pp 28-30
  • James Birney, Bulwarks (1840), p 29
  • Lysander Spooner, Slavery (1845), p 14
  • Rev. Parker Pillsbury, Forlorn Hope (1847), p 8
  • Rev. John Fee, Non-Fellowship (1849), p 6
  • Rev. John G. Fee, Sinfulness of Slavery (1851), p 10
  • Edward C. Rogers, Slavery Illegality (1855), pp 28-33
  • Sen. Charles Sumner Barbarism (1860), p 132
  • Rev. Parker Pillsbury, Acts (1883), p 365.
    The "original grant" was rulership, dominion, over the earth, fish, fowl, herbs, THINGS, NOT people.
    As ruler, people originally had God as King. Period. Theocracy vs man-ocracy. Merely wanting another ruler is coveting manocracy. Wanting a manocracy is thus a rejection of God, of His original theocracy. 1 Sam. 8:5-9.
    The choice is God OR mammon, not God AND Mammon. Matthew 6:24. One or the other, you can't have both. Luke 16:13—Christ's radical teaching contradicting and rejecting the conventional view.
    God merely tolerates, "suffers," puts up with very temporarily [Acts 13:18], "winks at," disregard of his original intent, but "commands" all to repent and forthwith follow his original intent. Acts 17:30. And, said Peter, "Obey God rather than men." Acts 5:29.
    "[S]laveholding is the worst form of extortion." "No extortioner shall enter the kingdom of heaven.—I Cor. 6:10, cited by Rev. Fee, Manual, p 10.
    For reference to God's continued will that people must follow his original intent, original grant, marriage rules, etc., as per his original revelation, words and actions, at "the beginning," see Matthew 19:8 (divorce example, criticizing religious leaders NOT following original intent, thus misleading others).
    Blatant sinners, e.g., slavers, people-detainers, defy God's "original grant," "beginning" intent, concept. Doing so reveals a carnal mind, unconverted, despite sham pretense of being 'pro-Bible.'
    The American Revolution had been fought over issues such as a 33¢ tea tax!—See George Mellen, Slavery (Boston: Saxton & Pierce, 1841), p 40.
    "The right to freedom being the gift of Almighty God, it is not in the power of man to alienate this [original grant] gift and voluntarily become a slave [e.g., be taxed 33¢ for tea!]."—Samuel Adams, "The Rights of the Colonists" (Boston: 20 Nov 1772).
    Founding Fathers deemed the Revolution "holy resistance to oppression."—Marquis de Lafayette, Bunker Hill Anniversary Speech (17 June 1825).
    Pope Gregory XVI in 1839 had "condemned slavery and the slave trade and forbade all Catholics to propound views contrary to this." [Context].

  • Dr. Adam Clarke [1762-1832], the celebrated Methodist divine, in his commentary on the above text, has these words:

    ""L`D"B@`4J"4l, slave-dealers; whether those who carry on the traffic in human flesh and blood; or those who steal a person in order to sell him into bondage; or those who BUY such stolen men or women; no matter of what COLOR, or what country; or the nations who legalize or connive at such traffic; all these are men-stealers, and God classes them with the most flagitious of mortals."

    In the Methodist Discipline, as amended 1784, in answer to the 42d question, "What shall we do to extirpate slavery?" five rules are appended, namely:

    1. "Every member of our Society who has slaves in his possession, shall, within twelve months after notice given to him by the assistant, legally execute and record an instrument, whereby he emancipates and sets free every slave in his possession." Infants born in slavery were to be emancipated immediately; those under twenty, at twenty-five; those between the ages of twenty and twenty-five, immediately, or at farthest when they arrive at the age of thirty; and so on with every slave, until all were set free by a deed of emancipation recorded.

    The second rule required every assistant to keep a book in which should be recorded all the names and ages of all the slaves, belonging to all the members of the Circuit, and the time of each record of emancipation.

    The third rule permitted those who refused to do so, to withdraw: "otherwise the assistant shall exclude him from the Society."

    4th Rule. "No person so voluntarily withdrawn, or so excluded, shall ever partake of the Lord's Supper with the Methodists, till he complies with the above requisitions."

    5th Rule. "No person holding slaves shall in future be admitted into Society, or to the Lord's Supper, till he previously complies with these rules concerning slavery."

    Question 43. "What shall be done with those who buy or sell slaves, or give them away? Answer: They are immediately to


    be expelled, unless they buy them on purpose to free them."* Thus Methodists and Presbyterians once regarded slaveholding as a violation of the law of God, and a disciplinable offense. And we believe they would do so now, were it not for proslavery teaching, and that ignis fatuus, expediency.

    The words of Mr. [William H.] Brisbane, a Baptist minister, who was once a slaveholder in South Carolina, are so pertinent, and so forcibly elucidate the text under consideration, that for the good of readers who may not see his book on slavery, I shall insert his words on the above text:

    "Paul was speaking of the law as having been made for men-stealers. Where is the record of that law? It is in Exod. xxi. 16, and in these words: 'He that stealeth a man, and selleth him, or if he be found in his hands, he shall surely be put to death.' [Ed. Note: And see Deuteronomy 24:7]. Here it will be perceived that it was a crime to sell the man, for which the seller must suffer death. But it was no less a crime to hold him as a slave, for this also was punishable with death.

    "A man may be kidnapped out of slavery into freedom. There was no law against that. And why? Because kidnapping a slave and placing him in a condition of freedom, was only to restore him to his lost rights. But if the man who takes him becomes a slaveholder, or a slave-seller, then he is a criminal liable to the penalty of death, because he robs the man of liberty. Perhaps some will say this law was only applicable to the first holder of the slave, that is, the original kidnapper, but not to his successors who might have purchased or inherited him. But what is kidnapping?

    "Suppose I propose to a neighbor to give him a certain sum of money if he will steal a white child in Carolina and deliver him to me. He steals him; I pay him the money upon his delivering the child to me. Is it not my act as fully as his? Am I not also the thief? But does it alter the case whether I agree beforehand, or not, to pay him for the child? He steals him, and then sells him to me. He is found by his parents in my hands. Will it avail me to say I purchased him and paid my money for him? Will it not be asked, Do you not know that a white person is not merchantable? And shall I not have to pay the damage for detaining that child in my service as a slave? Assuredly, not only in the eyes of the law, but in the judgment of the whole community, I would be regarded a criminal.

    "So when one man steals another and offers him for sale, no one, in view of the Divine law, can buy him, for the reason that the Divine law forbids that man shall in the first

    * See Slavery and Episcopacy, by Dr. Peck.


    place be made a merchantable article. The inquiry must be, if I buy, I buy in violation of the Divine law, and it will not do for me to plead that I bought him. I have him in possession, and that is enough. God condemns me for it as a manstealer. My having him in possession is evidence against me, and the Mosaic law says, if he be found in my hands, I must die.

    "Now, when Paul said the law was made for men-stealers, was it not also saying the law was made for slaveholders? I am not intending to apply this term in a harsh spirit. But I am bound, as I fear God, to speak what I am satisfied is the true meaning of the apostle."

    That slaveholding is as sinful as the first kidnapping, (in kindness we say it,) must be manifest upon a moment's reflection. In what does the sin of kidnapping consist? Not in simply removing a man from one country to another, (with his consent,) for in so doing you may greatly improve his condition; and if you leave him a free man, he will be very thankful to you for it.

    Nor does it consist in rescuing him from those who have robbed him of his liberty; as when Abraham rescued Lot from the four kings who had enslaved him, (Gen. xiv. 16.) Abraham found Lot a slave—rescued him from the hand of the oppressor—changed his location. But Abraham did not continue to hold him a slave, but left him a free man. To Lot the act was of inestimable value; and it was one so replete with disinterested benevolence and so truly a Christian duty, that Holy Writ will transmit it as a worthy and noble example to Adam's last son.

    The sin of kidnapping then must consist in holding the man in bondage. Now, this is the thing done by the slaveholder. It is clear then that the law, in condemning the man-stealer, equally condemns the slaveholder; for the sin of each is the same—the withholding freedom from man. It is clear, then, that the apostles did not receive slaveholders into the Church; for they are here said, by inspiration, to be violators of the law, and classed with those who commit the most "flagitious crimes"—with "murderers of fathers and mothers." Would they take such into the Church?*   All this can be said in the spirit of love. Christ loved sinners when he in great plainness told them of their sins, and so did the apostle on the day of Pentecost; and by doing so, three thousand were converted in one day, and their souls
    * Dr. Rice and Dr. Fuller assume that slaveholders were received into the primitive Church, and therefore conclude slaveholding cannot be sinful. We deny the position, and demand proof of the assumption.


    made heirs of eternal glory. May God Almighty grant that the slaveholders of our country (for whom we are willing to make sacrifice of all that this world holds dear) may in like manner see and obey the truth, that they may be eternally happy!

    Ed. Note: The Greek term for man-stealer had been cited by Dr. Horsley, Bishop of Asaph, in his 24 June 1806 anti-slavery speech to the British House of Lords.

    Bearings of the Word Extortioner, 1 Cor. v. 10

    5. We cannot suppose that the apostle received slaveholders into the Church; for manifestly slaveholding was then a disciplinable offense. The apostle Paul, directing the church at Corinth (1 Cor. v. 10) to exclude certain immoralities, says:

    "Now I have written to you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an EXTORTIONER; with such an one, no, not to eat." "Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person." [I Cor. v. 13]

    Here we see that extortioners, in common with fornicators and drunkards, were to be excluded from the Church. Now that slaveholding was and is the worst form of extortion, there are but few men who will deny. It is therefore a disciplinable offense, and as such could have had no place in the primitive Church.

    To extort is to draw by force—to gain by oppression. I will mention a case. A man once loaned to his neighbor two hundred dollars for twelve months, and took a mortgage on his neighbors farm, which joined his own. Twelve months rolled round, and the neighbor having been unexpectedly detained by sickness, came two days after the time and made a tender of the money. The man refused to accept it—closed the mortgage, and having the advantage, the power, the "force" on his side, drew from his neighbor his only home—his farm, worth a thousand dollars—when the man himself had an abundance. The neighbor could make about one hundred dollars a year, (which is the hire of a good slave in some places,) clear of all expenses. By his industry and economy, he had bought his farm. The man, in taking it, robbed him of the proceeds of his labor for eight years, without giving him an equivalent. Now this was extortion, and the man who inflicted it was an extortioner. And the case seems aggravated because it was inflicted by a professed Christian upon a Christian, and a white man.

    But the slaveholder not only takes the slave's labor for eight years, but for a lifetime, without an equivalent; and not only this, but the body, the wife, the children, whom God hias given to the poor man. All this is done upon men, frequently as innocent and harmless as that neighbor, simply because the slaveholder has the power, "the force," on his side. This is the worst conceivable form of extortion; and (in kindness we say it) the slave-


    holder is therefore the worst of all extortioners. Now the apostle commanded that such persons be "put away from among you; with such, no, not to eat." Thus, it is clear slaveholders were not in the apostolic churches.

    We believe, for the purity of our holy religion—the good of the master as well as the slave—the offense of slaveholding ought now to be disciplined; and the Church that does not do it disobeys the injunction of the inspired apostle, and is recreant to her high trust. God designed the Church to be a light to the world, to teach men righteousness and the road. to eternal light. And the world looks to her for what is right. Her decision in almost every nation is admitted to be the standard of right; for it is supposed that she speaks according to the oracles of God. She cries, Observe the Sabbath. The farmer lays aside his implements of husbandry, the merchant closes his doors, and the mechanic his workshop. The smoking furnace smothers her breath, and the iron horse upon the railway rests from his rapid flight.

    Does she apologize for sin, and proclaim a sale of indulgence? A Tetzel is abroad in the land, and the people crowd in tumultuous throngs to receive measured sin. So when oppression grievous to be borne, and extortion that reaches to the soul—slavery—if this may receive her sanction, and have the mantle of patriarchal purity thrown over it by her, it will live, though knowingly and confessedly it sucks the life's blood of the nation; and ineffective will be your appeals to men on the ground of temporal benefit. So long as men can find a resting-place in the sanctuary, they will seek present ease, and risk the consequences of national interests for coming generations.

    But strip the iniquitous system of the sacred livery of heaven, and let the naked soul tremble in view of its final destiny, and "all that a man hath will he give for his life." And whilst I believe it is true that the Church is now the bulwark of slavery, yet if she would raise her united voice against it, all the powers on earth could not save it. In the language of Rev. Mr. [Albert] Barnes,

    "There is no power out of the Church that could sustain slavery an hour, if it were not sustained in it."
    Not only is this the way to secure the purity of religion, the welfare of the nation, and the freedom of the slave, but also the spiritual welfare of the master. The incestuous person (1 Cor. v. 5) was to be delivered unto Satan, i.e., to be cast out from the Church, into the world, (which is Satan's kingdom,) for the destruction of the flesh, (i.e., as a means of inducing him to put away his lustful habits, seeing that they were inconsistent with religion,) "that his spirit might be saved in the day of the Lord


    Jesus." So, we believe there is nothing that would so effectually bring the slaveholder to repent of his sin, and put away his extortion, as to be shown that it is a sin that ruins the soul—excludes from God's kingdom on earth; and if willingly and knowingly persisted in, must exclude from his kingdom in heaven: for the apostle adds in the next chapter, (1 Cor. vi. 9, 10,) "Neither fornicators, nor drunkards, nor thieves, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God."

    Lastly. The known belief and practice of the early Christians forbids the idea that slavery was tolerated in the apostolic churches. They deemed it one of their highest duties to redeem and emancipate those who were enslaved; and for this purpose, they made great sacrifices, and expended vast sums of money. Clement, who lived at the time of the apostle Paul, "was fellow laborer with him," and "whose name is in the book of life," (Phil. iv. 3,) in his Epistle to the Corinthians, says,
    "We have known many among ourselves, who have delivered themselves
    into bonds and slavery, that they might restore others to their liberty."
    Can we think that these Christians, who were members of the apostolic churches, looked upon Christianity as tolerating slavery? They who were pupils of, and fellow laborers with the apostle, certainly knew the mind and practice of the apostle on this matter. Paulinius, Bishop of Nola, expended his whole estate, and then sold himself, in order to accomplish the same object.

    Cyprian sent to the Bishop of Numidia two thousand five hundred crowns, in order to redeem some captives. Acacius, Bishop of Amida, melted down the gold and silver plate of his church, with which he redeemed captives, taken and enslaved by the Romans. Ambrose of Milan did the same with the furniture of his church.*

    Ed. Note: See also summaries of early church anti-slavery activity, by Harriet Beecher Stowe, Key (1853), pp 228-240, and Edward C. Rogers, Slavery Illegality (1855), pp 27-33.

    With such facts before our minds, can we for a moment suppose that Christianity gives any tolerance to slavery, or that the apostles tolerated it in their communion? What a rebuke is here given to those minister, and all followers of that self-sacrificing Jesus, who enslave their fellow-beings, and live upon the gains of unrequited toil! In view of tho preceding truths and above facts, let us never say again that Christianity tolerates slavery, lest "the stone cry out of the wall, and the beam out of the timber shall answer it." Ay, lest the long-sepulchred dead rise from their tombs, and rebuke us for our impiety.
    * For the above facts, see the Biblical Repository, October No., 1835, Article, Roman Slavery.


    Chapter VIII.

    Slavery Sinful In Itself

    SLAVERY, as we have shown, is not sanctioned, nor even tolerated, by the Bible. Nor is it a thing indifferent; but positively it is sin, a great sin against God and man. This position it is important to make clear, and enforce. It is the great turning-point in the anti-slavery controversy.

    "Every thing," said the reviewer of Dr. Channing, "is then conceded which Abolitionists need require, when it is granted that slaveholding is in itself a crime." This is what we now propose to show.

    And this work is the more important from the fact, that we never believe aright, feel aright, nor act aright, on any subject of moral reform, until the magnitude of the evil or sin is clearly set before our minds. And one grand reason why we in the South do so little for the abolition of slavery is, our perceptions of its evils and sinfulness are but feeble. Though facts stand thick around us showing our losses, and sins climb mountain high showing our guilt, yet our attention has not been properly turned to them.*

    Against God slavery is a sin, because,

    I. An Invasion of God's Authority

    I. It is a usurpation of his authority—an invasion of his rights At the creation God gave to man authority, or government, over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and the beasts of the fieId, but authority over man be reserved to himself.

    And God now requires that man's powers of body and mind shall be consecrated to his glory; that he "shall love his God with all his soul, with all his mind, and with all his strength;" that he shall "do all for the glory of God."

    This he cannot do when his limbs, his body are governed by another—his time wholly engrossed by another—his mind shrouded in ignorance—his energies crushed by subjugation.

    God says to the slave, "Go, preach my gospel to every creature." Slavery says he shall not; he shall labor for man and not for God. God says to the slave, "Go, spend this hour at the house of God in prayer and praise."
    * The channels of light and moral reform have been to us shut up. Most of our Southern presses [the media] have been worse than silent. Selecting not the good and that which might have been to us beneficial and timely, but selecting the errors of a few eccentric minds, they have branded the whole anti-slavery movement with opprobrium, and prejudiced our minds against even an investigation, or search for truth and duty.

    Ed. Note: Rev. Green had said likewise about the media in 1836. A modern term, or example, is the tobacco taboo. There are journalists who do write disinformation.


    Slavery says he shall not; he shall go and toil in the field for his master.

    God says concerning those united in holy wedlock, "What I have joined together let no man put asunder." Slavery says they shall go where and as the will of the master, or his debts, shall demand. God says to the wife, "Be obedient to your husband." Slavery says she shall not, but be obedient to her husband's master.

    God says to children, "Be obedient to your parents." Slavery says they shall not, but be obedient to their mother's master. God says to the parent, "Train up your child in the nurture and admonition of the Lord." Slavery says it shall go where, when, and as the debts or will of the master shall choose; even where the parent cannot look upon it.

    But does some one attempt to evade this monstrous impiety by saying, "These are the abuses of slavery, and no one has a right thus to intervene between the slaveholder and God"?

    We answer: These are not the abuses, but some of the very elements that compose the slavery of the land. Slavery is not a mere obligation to perform service for another, as we have shown; but it is a relation in which one innocent man, by law, is made the property of another, subject to the liabilities of property. Slavery is a creature of law, and regulated by law. Hence, at the death of every master, or during the lifetime of debtors, by the authority of the law, the husband is torn from the wife, the wife from the husband, the parent from the child, the child from its parent, and the Christian from the chosen service of his God.

    All this may be done without the master's wish or consul; and all these atrocities may be committed, not by the authority of unkind masters, but in consequence of one of the very elements of slavery—the property, the chattel principle in man; and by authority of the law—the law of its existence.

    But, do you say with Dr. Fuller, "The master may have this power, but it is not right for him to exercise it"? Then we answer:

    1st. If it be not right for him to exercise it, then it is not right for him to covet it, nor for us to bestow it.

    And 2dly. As we have just shown, these abuses may result, not from unkind exercise of the master's power, but from the law of the land, which makes the slave subject to the liabilities of property.

    But do you say, Pass a law forbidding these abuses? Then we answer: The moment you pass such a law, you pass an abolition act—you hurl a death-blow at slavery. For,

    (1st,) no man will buy a slave under such restrictions. He will not buy them when he is compelled to keep them, whatever may be the character or number of his slaves. Here then would be an end to the matter.



    (2d,) not only would the master cease to buy, but the slave himself would become free; for the moment you pass a law forbidding the master to invade the religious rights of the slave, to allow him to worship his God where, when, and as he may deem it his duty, that moment he becomes free; for no man will stay under such a law, where even his religious rights may be controlled—usurped by another. Slavery, then, is a usurpation of God's claims, of God's authority. It cannot exist without giving to the master this power; nor can the master perpetuate slavery without the exercise of this power.

    The non-slaveholder, who, by his silent consent, by his vote, and by his musket, protects the slaveholder in this usurpation, is a participant in the sin.

    II. A Usurpation of Man's Rights

    II. Slavery is a usurpation of man's rights. That man, as man, has rights—rights variously termed natural, inalienable, inherent, or absolute—is a truth which has been conceded and acted upon by the mass of mankind, from creation's dawn to the present time. The law of God proclaims the same truth, when it declares, that God will be a "swift witness against those who turn aside the stranger from his rights." [Mal. iii. 5] "To turn aside the rights of a man before the face of the Most High, . . . . the Lord approveth not." [Lam. iii. 35-36] "Woe unto them that decree unrighteous decrees, . . . . to turn aside the needy from judgment, and to take away the right from the poor of my people." [Isa. x. 1-2]

    The second table of the Decalogue proclaims the same truth, and specifies what these rights are. The sixth commandment teaches the rights of personal ownership, and personal security. The eighth command teaches the right of property; the ninth, the right of character. The tenth sums up all rights, and forbids their invasion.

    And remember, the moral law teaches our duty to man as man; to the whole human family. Note also, the moral law, like the civil law, was given, not to invest rights, but to protect rights already possessed*—rights natural to man as man. Man, then, is the possessor of rights, and to violate them is sin.

    We now show how slavery violates these rights.

    Destroys the Right of Personal Ownership

    1. It takes away from man the right of personal ownership. The fundamental truth, that man owns himself, so far as man's claims are concerned, is taught by the light of nature, the laws of civilized nations, and the Word of God. The very fact that
    * See Chapter V, pp. 67-71.


    God has given to man eyes to see, is evidence that God wills that man should use them. The very fact that God has given him a body with a variety of members, is evidence that God wills that he should use it, and that he has a right to do so. And this right imposes on all others the obligation to leave him in the innocent exercise of this right; for rights and duties are correlative terms—one always implies the other.

    The laws of civilized nations declare the same truth. Blackstone says,

    "Those rights which God and nature have established, and are therefore called natural, such as life and liberty, no human legislature has power to abridge or destroy, unless the owner himself shall commit some act that amounts to a forfeiture." By these natural or absolute rights, he says, "we mean those which are so in their strict and primary sense; such as would belong to their possessors in a state of nature, and which EVERY MAN IS ENTITLED TO ENJOY, whether in society or out of it." "Liberty," he says, "is a right inherent in us by birth."
    In our Declaration of Independence, "the political faith of the nation," we have declared that "all men by nature are created equal, [that is, so far as are concerned, not as to condition;] that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." These self-evident truths necessarily presuppose that man owns himself, for no man can have liberty without owning himself.

    The Word of God presupposes the same truth, in imposing on man the duties of employing the energies of his body and mind for God's glory, and for the welfare of his wife, his children, his fellowman. These duties he cannot perform, unless, so far as the claims of man are concerned, he owns himself. The eighth commandment presupposes that man owns himself, in guarding his right of property, which right he cannot have unless he owns himself.

    As we showed in chapter fifth, the moral law was given, not to invest rights, but to protect rights already given—rights which belong to man in a state of nature. That man owns himself—has a right to personal ownership in a state of nature, (that is, prior to coming into organized society,) is a point which no man will deny. Yet the law of God says, thou shalt not so much as even covet this right—"Thou shall not covet any thing that is thy neighbor's."

    Again, the Word of God teaches that man as man owns himself when it forbids man-stealing. "He that stealeth a man and selleth him, or if he be found in his hands, he shall surely be put to death." Exod. xxi. 16. [Ed. Note: Commandment # 298. And see Deuteronomy 24:7]. Here it is taught that


    man owns himself; and to deprive him of self, of personal ownership, of liberty, is a sin, which, undor the Mosaic [God's] law, was punished by death. [Exodus; Deuteronomy 24:7].

    As we have shown, page 115, the apostle Paul places the robbery of personal ownership with the worst of crimes.

    We, as a nation, have proclaimed the same truth to the world, in condemning kidnapping and piracy as criminal offenses. Our Government has pronounced the slave-trade on the ocean to be piracy, and punishable with death. Why this, but that man owns himself, and it is a crime, a great crime, to deprive him of this right?

    Now, if a man on the coast of Africa owns himself, as we thus admit, then neither the violent seizure by the kidnapper, nor his transportation across the ocean, deprives him of personal ownership.

    Nor does the fact that I [some slaver] transfer to the kidnapper a certain amount of money for him deprive him of personal ownership; for, the claim of the kidnapper being invalid—void—the transfer must be the same.

    Ed. Note: “Quod ab initio non valet in tractu temporis non convalescet.” That which is bad in its commencement improves not by lapse of time. “Quod initio non valet, tractu temporis non valet.” A thing void in the beginning does not become valid by lapse of time.—Black's Law Dictionary (St. Paul: West, 5th ed, 1979), pp 1126-1127.
    “One cardinal principle must be borne in mind, that any element of illegality essential to a scheme or combination makes the whole illegal.”—Newton Co v Erickson, 70 Misc 291, 298; 126 NYS 949, 954 (1911).
    The “condition precedent” concept (each preceding event MUST lawfully occur, or subsequent events are void) is well-established, New Orleans v Texas & P Ry Co, 171 US 312, 333-334; 18 S Ct 875, 883 (1898).

    Nor can the laws or resolutions of a band of his fellow-men on this side of the ocean lawfully deprive him of personal ownership, any more than the laws of Pharaoh could make it right for the Hebrew midwives to destroy the male children [Exodus 1:16], or that Joseph or the Israelites should be deprived of their liberty. [Genesis 37:27-28, pp 27-29, supra; and Exodus 1:11].

    Human governments have no right to deprive an unoffending man of his liberty, or right to personal ownership. Human laws “derive their just powers from the consent of the governed” and are made for “the PROTECTION of rights,” not for the robbery of the rights of an innocent man. Such is the voice of our Declaration of Independence.

    Blackstone, after stating that all men have absolute rights, such as “life and liberty,” says:

    “The primary object [purpose] of law is to maintain
    and regulate these rights”—not to rob man of them.

    He says further,

    “no human legislature has power to abridge or
    destroy them, unless the owner himself shall
    commit some act that amounts to a forfeiture.”

    Concerning things which are naturally and intrinsically wrong, (naturally man owns himself—has liberty; to take this away is a violation of nature,) such as “murder, perjury, theft,” (and the robbery of liberty is the worst of theft,) he says,

    “municipal law has no force or operation at all.”

    That is, things naturally and intrinsically wrong, human laws have no power to make rigbt by saying they may be practiced. No human legislature then has a right to make an unoffending man a slave, any more than they have to take the life of an innocent man. And such laws are impious before God, unjust to man, and, as we have shown, (pp. 7l, 72,) gross absurdities, and therefore (the


    best legal authorities being judge, as seen above) null and void from the beginning.

    Nor can any person be born a slave. We have declared to the world, in our Declaration of Independence, that

    "all men are created equal, [that is, so far as natural rights are concerned,] and have an inalienable right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."

    Then no man may be born a slave, any more than you or I, dear reader; or your child, or my child.

    Two years before our [July 1776] Declaration of Independence, John Wesley said:

    “It cannot be that either war or contract can give any man such a power in another as he has in his sheep and oxen. Much less is it possible that any child of man should ever be BORN a slave. Liberty is the right of every human creature, as soon as he breathes the vital air; and no human laws can deprive him of that right, which he derives from the law of nature
    And, reader, were it your case, or that of your child, you would soon understand whether human governments have a right to cause that you and yours should be born slaves. There is, then, no just ground on which personal ownership may be withheld from an adult man who is sane, and not a criminal. To deprive of personal ownership, or to enslave, is robbery of the worst form that we can inflict upon man.

    This position I will make clear by an illustration. Not long since [ago], I was conversing with an elder in the Presbyterian Church, and who has lived here in Kentucky, in the midst of slavery, until he has become a gray-headed man. He remarked that he was like Dr. Rice and Dr. Junkin: he thought that the wrong of slavery consisted in its abuse, in the unkind treatment of slaves, and not in the thing itself.

    I requested the privilege of asking a few questions, which he granted.

    Said I, If I were to meet you on the highway, and take your horse from you, would you not deem the act sinful?

    “Yes,” was his reply.

    But, said I, were I to leave you the owner of yourself, could you not, by industry and economy, soon get enough to buy another horse?

    “Yes,” was his reply.

    And could you not also administer to the comfort of your family, and still worship your God as you might choose?

    “Yes,” was again his reply.

    But, said I, if, instead of taking your horse, I should take you, and make you a slave, and thus deprive you of your liberty, and the very right to possess, would I not do you a greater wrong?

    “Yes,” said he.

    Well, then, is not slavery worse than stealing the horse?

    “Yes,” was again the reply.

    Liberty, personal ownership, is more dear to man than the posssesion of the world. Give me liberty, or give me death! was


    the motto of our forefathers.

    Slavery, then, in itself, in its essential clement, aside from its abuses, is SIN; sin of awful and fearful magnitude.

    The Princeton Biblical Repertory, April, 1836, says:

    "The grand mistake, as we apprehend, of those who maintain that slaveholding is in itself a crime, is, that they do not discriminate between slaveholding in itself considered, and its accessories at any particular time or place."

    By these accessories, it means, as it specifies, "laws forbidding the instruction of slaves;" which interfere "with the marital or parental rights; which subject them to the insults and oppression of the whites."

    "These," it says, "we may admit to be in the highest degree unjust, without at all admitting that slaveholding is itself a crime. Slavery may exist without any one of these concomitants."

    This last assertion is not admitted [meaning, the PBR writers are liars].

    Speaking concerning those "who denounce slavery," it says:

    "They have a confused idea of chains and whips, of degradation and misery, of ignorance and vice, and to this complex conception they apply the name slavery, [not so—our idea of slavery consists chiefly in the robbery of personal ownership—of liberty,] and denounce it as the aggregate of all moral and physical evil."

    Now to all this we reply:

    (1.) We have as certainly seen "ignorance and vice, degradation and misery," as our friend, the Princeton reviewer. We have seen, too, "chains and whips"—yea, whips stained with human gore; and with it, we have heard the slave-groans! And painful as is this to the heart of philanthropy, we can look beyond all these, and distinguish between these and the mere robbery of personal ownership—of liberty; and firmly believe, and effectually prove, that this latter is in itself sinful—a great crime. Were we to ask the reviewer which is the greatest sin—to rob him of his library and his horse, or to make a slave of him—rob him of personal ownership, of his liberty, even though he was placed in the hand of what is called a "kind master,"—what would be his reply? He would say, (unless he differs from all men,) Take my library, my horse, my house—all that I have; but let me be a FREE MAN!—let me be free to minister to my wife, my child, where and when I choose. Let me be free to worship my God where and when I choose; "to rob me of liberty is itself a crime."

    (2.) The [PBR] reviewer will find it exceedingly difficult to separate slavery from what he calls its "accessories." Whenever he passes a law allowing the slave to worship his God and take care of his family—have "his marital rights" wgere and when he


    chooses—so soon he will have destroyed slavery; for the slave, be assured, will no longer worship under the "vine and fig-tree" of slavery, but under the olive of peace, and the wide-spread shade of liberty; in other words, in a free State, among men who will respect his rights, his liberty, and encourage his manhood.

    But laws forbidding the slave to worship his God where, when, and as he chooses, to take care of his family where and as he may deem it best and duty, are essential to the very existence of slavery. We think therefore the [vile] reviewer has been trying to make a distinction where there is no difference.

    Again, he [the PBR reviewer] tries [dishonestly] to evade this point by saying all men forfeit more or less of their natural rights in coming into society, or organized governments. He admits that slavery is a condition in which man

    "is deprived of his personal liberty, and made to labor for another." "That this condition involves the loss of many of the rights commonly and properly called natural, because belonging to men as men, is readily admitted. It is, however, incumbent on those who maintain that slavery is, on this account, necessarily sinful, to show that it is criminal under all circumstances [he should have said, in the case of all those not criminals] to deprive any set of men of a portion [he should have said all] of their natural rights."

    This broad position, he says, cannot be maintained.

    "For," says he,"the very constitution of society supposes the forfeiture of a greater or less amount of those rights, according to its peculiar organization."

    To this we reply: The reviewer has the great misfortune to differ from George Washington, Benjamin Frankiin, John Adams, and that long list of good men and sound minds, who signed the Declaration, and there declared it to be a self-evident truth, that all men have certain inalienable rights, such as life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; that to SECURE these rights governments are formed.

    Then, these Revolutionary Fathers being judges, society or governments are formed for the protection, of our natural rights, not their "forfeiture." We come into society to have our natural rights more perfectly protected; and whenever society or government takes these away, as we have shown above, (and the reviewer himself being judge,) it does that which is sinful, unless we as criminals have murdered the peace of society—forfeited our right by crime.

    The PBR reviewer in reality HATED the purpose of government (to protect rights) so invented the lie that government is created to have people forfeit rights. His was classic Southern hatred of principles underlying Declaration of Independence.

    "I'm A Good Old Rebel"

    "I'm a good old rebel,
    Now that's just what I am,
    For this 'Fair Land of Freedom'
    I do not care a damn;

    I hates the Yankee nation
    And everything they do,
    I hates the Declaration
    of Independence, too.

    Three hundred thousand Yankees
    Is stiff in Southern dust;
    We got three hundred thousand,
    Before they conquered us;

    They died of Southern fever,
    And Southern steel and shot,
    I wish they was three million,
    Instead of what we got."

    The reviewer next refers to patriarchal governments and monarchies, affirming that they, with their arbitrary power, may exist without sin, if the state of society demands them. Admitted, because they may exist without depriving man of any of


    his natural rights. But whenever they take from an unoffending man (as is the case with tbe slave) his natural rights, they commit sin; because they violate nature and the law of God, as we have shown.

    Again, he [the PBR writer] refers to women and minors, as deprived of certain political rights; and infers that it is

    "not enough to prove the sinfulness of slaveholding, to show that it interferes with the natural rights of a portion of the community."

    Now, when he [the PBR writer] talks about women being deprived of certain rights without sin, and therefore the slave may be deprived of natural rights without sin, it is manifest,

    (1.) That he [the PBR writer] confounds political with natural rights.

    [Whereas] Blackstone [honest writer] discriminates between them.

    Natural rights, he [rights writer Blackstone] says, are such as right to personal ownership—right to personal security—right to proceeds of our labor—right to worship God where, when, and as we please—such as a man has in a state of nature. When he [any human] consents to become a member of [political] society, on him may be conferred certain political rights, such as voting, &c. This is conventional, and may be bestowed or withheld, as the well-being of society may demand. The possession of this is not essential to man's well-being, his duty to God and to his fellowman. But the possession of man's natural rights is, and to withhold them is therefore sinful.

    Ed. Note: In this context, the modern synonym for their 18th-19th century term “natural rights” is our term “human rights.”

    (2.) The [PBR] reviewer's argument, to be worth any thing, should suppose the condition of the slave to be like the condition of the woman, or person deprived of certain political rights. Here is an awful chasm, and we wonder that he [the vile PBR writer] could have leaped it.

    Ed. Note: A motive for writing pro-slavery materials was concubines for clergy, says Rev. Stephen S. Foster, The Brotherhood of Thieves: or, A True Picture of the American Church and Clergy (New-London: William Bolles Pub, 1843), pp 71-73.

    I, and he too, if he [the PBR writer] is a minister of the gospel, suffer the privation of certain political rights, yet our condition is far from being that of a slave. My wife and his (if he has one) suffer the privation of certain political privileges, yet their condition is far from being that of a slave. Again he [the PBR writer] says:

    “As it is acknowledged [not acknowledged by all] that the slaves may be justly deprived of political rights, on the ground of their incompetency to exercise them without injury to the community, it must be admitted, by parity of reason, that they may be justly deprived of personal freedom, if incompetent to exercise it with safety to society.”

    To this we reply:

    (1.) If his child, or the women of our country, are not fitted to exercise the elective franchise, or if it is best for society that they should not, it does not follow that they may be held as slaves. So, if it were even admitted that the slaves of our country may be deprived of the elective franchise, of political rights, it does not


    follow, that by parity of reason, they may be deprived of all their natural rights [p 130], or enslaved; for,

    (2.) FACTS prove that they [blacks] are not "incompetent to exercise personal freedom with safety to society." In the last forty-two years there have been between fifty and sixty cases of emancipation, and all have worked better than in a state of slavery. Every free State of our Republic is a demonstration of the same truth.

    To his [the vile, demonized PBR writer's] reference to parental authority over minors, we reply:

    The parental relation is right, because it is necessary, and appointed of God. But slavery is not necessary, nor is it a thing appointed by God.

  • The right of control of the father over the son during the years of minority, arises from the father's obligation to provide for, and train aright that child. But so soon as the son attains to the years of manhood, so soon does the father's obligation cease, and with it hia authority over tbe son.

  • But over another man, the slave, there is no such obligation to train him, and provide for him or his child; and by consequence no such claim to service or obedience as over the master's own child during the years of minority.
  • Again, he [the demonized PBR writer] says the condition of the slave results from the form of society. In England, one man is born a peer, another a peasant; and so in America, one is born a freeman, and another is born a slave.*   We reply:

    One man in England may be born a peasant, and though he may not have (and all men cannot have) the privileges and responsibilities of a peer, yet he enjoys all of his natural rights—those rights essential to his well-being, his duty to his God and his fellow-men.

    But when one in [demonized Southern] America is born a slave, he is deprived of those natural rights—those rights essential to his well-being, his duty to his God and his fellow-men. And the society that commits such robbery, does that which is impious towards God, and unjust to man.

    And we believe every man who sanctions such a state of society, and who will not use the moral and political means which his honest and enlightened judgment shall decide to be necessary for the change of that society, is a participant in other men's sins.

    Ed. Note: I Timothy 5:22,   Ephesians 5:7, and Revelation 18:4, command to NOT partake in others' sins.
    Instead of partaking in evil, people are to become partakers in the holy divine nature, 2 Peter 1:4. Example: “Let him that stole steal no more,” Ephesians 4:28. Don't be overcome by evil, Romans 12:21. Resist the devil, James 4:7 and 2 Peter 5:8-9. Be holy, 1 Peter 1:16. Abstain from lusts, 1 Peter 2:11.

    Lastly, the [PBR] reviewer, to [dishonestly] evade the point that the robbery of
    * Strictly speaking, no man is born a peer or a slave. Each are by nature endowed with natural rights which place them upon one common level. Society [by traditions of men] makes one a peer, the other a slave.

    Ed. Note: Re adhering to traditions of men, vs God's laws, see Matthew 15:3-9; Mark 7:6-13; and Colossians 2:8.

    And now the question is, whether an individual or individuals (as government) may without sin take away from an innocent man those God-given rights which it is admitted [in the Declaration of Independence] it is tbe duty and province of government to protect!


    personal ownership is sin, says:
    “Slavery is obligation to perform service for another, with power to transfer this claim of service to another; and this is analogous in principle to the transfer of subjects from one government to another; as of Louisiana from France to the United States.”
    To this we reply:

    (1.) His [the PBR writer's] definition of slavery is not correct, as we showed in our first chapter [pp 13-17, supra]. Slavery is not mere obligation to perform service for another. My child is under obligation to render me service, but it is not therefore a slave; and I have no right to treat it [the child] as one.

    (2.) There is no "analogy" between the condition of a slave and that of the citizens of Louisiana. Every man [except the demonized] knows that

  • these citizens were not the property of any man, or set of men;

  • that they were not held to involuntary service;

  • that they were free to stay or remove—were free subjects of a free province.
  • And thus we believe that nearly the whole of that argument in the Princeton Repertory is based upon false positions [assumptions]. We doubt not but that they were honestly made, but to us they seem palpably erroneous [vile, atheist, demonized]; and we have referred to it, thus often and extendedly, because it has been retailed and reiterated so long and so extensively through the South, that it has become the stereotyped argument of almost every apologist for slavery.

    But after all, when the battery of logic is exhausted, and criticism drained of her lore, men will still say, when it comes to their case: “Give me liberty, or give me death;” take my horse, my house, my farm—all; but let me own myself. To take me, “is a crime in itself.”

    2. Slavery is sinful because it takes from man his right to serve God as he chooses—as his judgment and conscience shall dictate. This right, to man, is the most sacred of all others, because its invasion affects his immortal [eternal] interests, his destiny in the spirit-world. Robbery of temporal rights can follow the poor man no farther than the grave; but robbery of religions interests will be felt through the cycles of eternity.

    Hence Holy Writ records no miracles so replete with disapprobation as those wrought in defense of this right to worship God as we choose. The deliverance of the three Hebrews from the fiery furnace, of Daniel from the lions' den, the exodus of the children of Israel, the waters that became stagnant pools of blood, the boils and blains on man and beast, the streets and highways piled up with things of loathsome form, the fire and hail that played in dread confusion in their pathway, the loathsomeness of the kneading-troughs, the chambers and couches filled with the death-groans of the


    first-born, and above all, that stretched-out arm that overthrew Pharaoh and his hosts, and stranded them like wrecks upon the billows of the sea, are so many moral monuments of God's displeasure at religions tyranny, and decision that each man has a right to worship God where and as he chooses.

    So thought our forefathers when they forsook their friends and property, the homes of tbeir youth and graves of their fathers, perilled the dangers of tho ocean and blasts of winter, that they might plant in the unbroken wilderness temples which should be a resting-place to every soul, and institutions securing religious liberty to men of every land.

    And oh! is it true that in this land, dedicated to religious freedom, there are three millions of innocent, unoffending beings [slaves] so fettered by the vote of [pretended] Christians that they can worship only as the judgment or caprice of masters, long accustomed to usurpation, may dictate?

    Ed. Note: Slavers BANNED reading, writing, and the Gospel. See
  • Rev. John Rankin, Letters (1823), pp 21-23
  • Rev. Stephen Foster, Brotherhood (1843), p 35
  • Rev. Parker Pillsbury, Acts (1883), p 436
  • Rep. Horace Mann, Slavery and the Slave-Trade . . . . (1849), p 24
  • Rev. Wm. Goodell, Slavery and Anti-Slavery (1852), pp 210-213
  • Harriet Beecher Stowe, The Key (1853), 244-250.
  • Charles Sumner, The Barbarism of Slavery (1860), p 134.
  • Is it true that the toil-worn slave and Christian pilgrim cannot have the privilege of cheering his burdened soul by mingling his voice and his prayers at the house [church-building] and with the people of his choice?

    Do we not only burden the body of the poor unoffending man, but then fetter his soul—trammel his immortal [eternal] interests—maim his spirit for all coming time? Was ever robbery more complete, despotism more galling, and sacrilege more demoniacal? Is not this sinful? And if we persist in our oppression, shall we not incur the wrath of Him who hath said:

    “Thou shalt neither vex a stranger, nor oppress him . . . . . if thou afflict them in any wise, and they cry at all unto me, I will surely hear their cry; and my wrath shall wax hot, and I will kill you with the sword; and your wives shall be widows, and your children fatherless.” [Exodus 22:21-24; Leviticus 19:33-34].

    O reader, let us run to and fro through the land, calling upon our brethren to turn from their evil doings—rush to the sanctury—tear from the altar the monster of oppression, that we may avert the swift judgment of God Almighty.

    The world, too, is waking to freedom. Borne on every breeze that crosses the Atlantic, come the sweet tones of a universai jubilee. Shall transatlantic States become our exemplars, and Mussulmans our teachers? Shall we, who were first to raise the banner of liberty, be last to cease swaying the sceptre of despotism?

    Ye sons of the fair South, let us, with all those of every State who are lovers of that which is right, generous, and noble, purify the sanctuary from all oppression—rally to the ballot-box—tear down that fustian flag from our Capitol, which waves a falsehood to every breeze, and hoist in its stead one that in truth and verity will


    proclaim to the wide world, Man is free—made so by the “genius of universal emancipation.”

    3. Slavery takes from man the right of personal security.

    Personal security is also classed among the natural rights of man; for the protection of which, says our Declaration of Independence,

    “governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it.”

    Ed. Note: In the Bill of Rights, the Second Amendment right to bear arms is based on the pre-existing right to personal security, and is part of the penumbra from that underlying right.
    David B. Kopel, "The Second Amendment in the Nineteenth Century," BYU Law Review 1359 (1998) summarizes the 19th century view on this subject.

    The law of God also forbids the invasion of this right. The sixth commandment [Exodus 20:13] forbids that injury should be offered to the person of man.

    A rule of interpretation, as recognized both in civil and divine law, is, that when any precept forbids the highest crime of any class of wrongs, it forbids all smaller ones of the same class. So when the sixth command forbids us to kill the body of our fellow-man, it also forbids all further [lesser] violences that may be offered to his person.

    Ed. Note: Tobacco-raising was a significant factor underlying slavery. Tobacco causes numerous injuries including a holocaust level of deaths. Tobacco involves a wide range of sins. Had the principle Rev. Fee cites been obeyed, these evils would have been prevented, not happened in the first place.

    But slavery says it shall be lawful to violate both the fundamental principle of the civil law, and the plain teachings of revealed [Bible] law.

  • If the slave shall leave the master's premises and go to another for the purpose of worshipping God, or of performing some duty to his family, slavery makes it lawful that he may be severely punished.

  • If he [the slave] persist in [his religious or family] duty, or resist offered violence, without any attempt to injure the person inflicting punishment, he [the slave] may be beaten to bloodshed.
  • The [South's] civil law [passed by politicians] has cut the sinews of industry, economy, and virtue, by taking away reputation and a recompense for labor; it has placed the whip in the hands of the master, and subjected the poor slave to all the torture that wanton caprice, brutal lust, or malignant spite may inflict. And, said the Synod of Kentucky,

    “if we could calculate the amount of woe endured by ill-treated slaves, it would overwhelm every compassionate heart; it would move even the obdurate to sympathy.”

    Even though [if, theoretically] the physical condition of the slave should [were to] be comparatively good, yet who among us would be willing

  • to have his body liable to such inflictions;

  • to be under the control of some petty overseer, paid in proportion to his abilities to extort labor and subjection from the poor slave; or

  • under a master with irresponsible power?
  • Oh, my dear readers, those of us who may be husbands or parents, let us for a moment imagine what would be the anguish of our souls if we were compelled to stand by and see the cowhide [torture] applied to the tender flesh of the wife of our bosom, or the child of our love. Who,


    oh! who, that has the feelings of a man, could look upon such a sight?

    Were it your case, dear reader, overruled, as is the poor slave, by superior numbers and cruel laws, all that you could do would be to wipe from your eyes the tear of sorrow, and hide wlthin your bosom that anguish of soul that knows nothing more bitter this side the grave.

    And though their bodies were spared, and were what is termed "well clothed and well fed," still, could you bear to see tbem driven like beasts of burden to unrequited toil, and the eyes of their mind put out?

    Ed. Note: Because the South was thoroughly vile, atheistic, demonized, all Rev. Fee's appeals went for nought. He was himself forced to flee!!

    Every stroke of the slave is extorted by fear; for no man will, as a slave, toil without recompense, except from fear of punishment.

    And has it come to this, that in liberty-boasting America, three millions of our fellow-beings are driven under the lash, like beasts, to toil for the ease, the wealth, the pride of others? Was ever despotism so complete and so degrading?

    And must this be the condition of man, who was made a little lower than the angels? [Psalm 8:5; Hebrews 2:7, 9]. Forbid it humanity, forbid it Heaven!

    Truly may we say, in the language of Holy Writ,

    “Judgment is turned away backward, and justice standeth afar off; for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter. And the Lord saw it, and it displeased him that there was no judgment [justice].”[Isaiah 59:14, 16].

    Nor may we, either as slaveholders or non-slaveholders, say, I have not done it:

    “For if thou forbear to DELIVER them that are drawn to death, and those that are ready to be slain; if thou sayest, Behold, we knew it not; doth not he that pondereth the heart consider it? and he that keepeth thy soul, doth he not know it? and shall he not render to every man according to his works?” [Proverb 24:11-12].

    Ed. Note: Pretended Christians regularly ignore these verses. Examples: during slavery, and in Nazi Germany.
    "Christians" committed mass disregard of evil, atrocities, genocide, going on all around.
    Their evil clergy, pretended Christians, reassured them that Christians can thus aid and abet any and all evils without limit.
    For explanation of how "Christianity" came to be reduced to such an anti-Bible deteriorated level, click here.
    But the REAL TRUTH is as Rev. Fee next says:

    No MAN can do his duty and be silent. The God of his being and final destiny demands action at his hands.

    4. Slavery takes from man the right to acquire and hold property.

    Every man has by nature [God's pre-existing system] a right to the products of his own labor. Whatever value I create by my own labor, or by the innocent use of the other means which God has given me, is mine. So says [Rev. Francis] Wayland.

    This, indeed, is the true ground on which all men originally acquire a right to property. The fruits of the tree, the timber of the forest, the fish of the sea, the ground we cultivate, survey or inclose, become ours by labor bestowed.

    So plain is this truth, that the large mass of the human family have acted upon it for more than five thousand years. The defense of this right was the ground [basis] of the American Revolution.

    “The objection which the fathers of the [1776 American] Revo-


    lution had to being taxed by a Parliament in which they were not represented, was, that Parliament on this basis was empowered to swell [increase] their taxes, so as to draw from the people all their earnings, save a bare subsistence, and to go even below this, into their needful bread [necessities]. This, said the [1776] revolutionists, destroys in us the right of getting and holding property

    This was a right on which depended the welfare of themselves, their families, and their country; a right so dear, so valuable, that for it they were willing to peril their lives, and shed their hearts' blood. And shall we, their descendants, who annually celebrate their virtues [each Fourth of July], and laud their patriotic deeds, be guilty of a system of oppression a thousand fold more grievous than British Parliaments ever heaped upon American colonies?

    The Bible teaches the same great truth: that man has a right to the proceeds of bis own labor. The ground [legal basis or reasoning] on which Abraham claimed the well, usurped by the servants of Abimelech, was, that he, Abraham, had digged the well. Gen. xxi. 25-30. He had a right to his own labor, and that produced by his labor.

    This is a clear and a strong case. It is very pertinent to the question under discussion.

    The eight and tenth commandments [Exodus 20:15, 17; Deuteronomy 5:19, 21] forbid that one man shall take the property, the goods produced by the labor of another. It is a sin to do it.

    And if one man has not a right to the proceeds of another man's labor, much less has he a right to the labor itself.

    “Labor, the basis of the right of property,
    cannot be the subject of property.”—Locke.

    Further, and stronger, the Bible pronounces an awful curse upon those who rob their fellow-men of their labor, or withhold from them the reward due to them for their labor.

    “Wo unto him that buildeth his house by unrighteousness, and his chambers by wrong; that USETH HIS NEIGHBOR'S SERVICE WITHOUT WAGES, AND GIVETH HIM NOT FOR HIS WORK.” Jer. xxii. 13.

    Slavery then is sin—sinful in itself. Every essential element of it is sinful. It is a robbery of man's right to serve God as he chooses—of his right to personal ownership—of his right to personal security—of his right to acquire, hold and disburse property [see p 130, supra].

    It [slavery] is a complication [combination] of sins; and it was in view of the privation of these many rights, that Wesley styled it “the sum of all villanies.”

    It is in view of this robbery of man's natural rights that we decide that slavery is always and in all cases sinful.

    Some try to disprove this by saying, “A man may buy a slave for the purpose of freeing him—this cannot be sin. Therefore slavery is not in all cases sinful.”

    To this we reply:

    (1.) The man enters upon the relation of master to a slave, not


    because slavery is a good thing, but that he may destroy a wrong thing.

    (2.) The existence or relation of slavery does not depend alone upon the intentions of the master. The law holds the purchased man as the property of the purchaser, subject to all the liabilities of property.

  • Should the master be in debt, the law seizes the purchased man immediately, and sells him for the master's debts into interminable bondage.

  • Or, on the other hand, should the master die before he had time to get a decree of court for the slave's emancipation, the slave is given by law to unfeeling heirs.
  • The law, in holding the slave thus, deprives him of personal ownership—of porsonal security—of right to the proceeds of his labor—of right to worsbip his God where and when he chooses—of the right to his wife and his child.

    Now the law, in creating and perpetuating such a relation, creates and perpetuates one which is sinful as long as it exists. Tho master's intentions may have been good, and he may have desired the relation to cease, and the purchased man to be free, the moment after he bought the slave.

    But the law holds that man as property—robbed of his natural rights—until the master can obtain a decree of court, and lodge in the office a deed of emancipation. As long as the law continues the relation, it continues one which is in itself sinful. Slavery then may be [is inherently] sinful, but [even when] the mastor may have been innocent in his intentions.

    (3.) Such a master is not, strictly speaking, a slaveholder, but only an emancipator. He does not hold the purchased man—he does not wish to do so for a single moment. The law is the slaveholder. Slavery then, whether continued by the law or the master, is always sinful, because it is the robbery of man's dearest [God-given] rights—the right to possess—the right to be a man and act as a man.

    Never was despotism more galling. Even the Pasha of Egypt, though he claims the land on which his subjects live, and a large part of what they raise, yet leaves them the owners of themselves, their wivcs, their children, their household stuff, and a part of what they raise; but slavery takes all.

    Other despots leave a part, but slavoholders take all.

    It is worse than highway robbery. The robber, so he get my property, is willing to leave me the owner of my wife, my child, and myself, that I may acquire more; but slavery takes all.

    And tell me not that this MONSTER SIN, this complication [combination] of wrongs, is sanctioned or even tolerated by the Bible.

    Ed. Note: Vile, atheistic, demonized slavers blasphemed God by saying God favors their combination of sins!

    Has God given us a long list of commandments guarding man's every right, and then sanctioned


    this great iniquity, which, at one fell blow, robs man of all rights? It cannot be.

    And if those of us who are non-slaveholders stand silent by, wink at, and with our vote sustain [partake in, aid and abet] this cruel System, we are participants in the slaveholder's robbery, and the nation's ruin.

    Ed. Note: I Timothy 5:22 commands to NOT partake in others' sins.

    If I should push a man into the stream, and you should run down and deliberately hold his head under until you should witness the last death gasp, would you not be equally guilty? Remember this. It was very forcible to my mind the first time I heard it.

    Reader, let us now covenant that we will not again vote in a way that will encourge, or even tolerate slavery or slaveholding. I, for one, will lose my vote before I will give it to perpetuate what I now believe to be one of the worst evils, morally, and politically, in our nation.

    Fraudulent banks and unjust tariffs are nothing in comparison with slavery.

    And just so soon as the political parties see that there is a balance of power, however small, in any county or State which will not vote so as to sanction slavery, then they will put up candidates who are not slaveholdcrs. Then the work will be done. The plan is simple, easy, and certain. Facts have already proved it.

    Reader, let us not hold the hoad of the poor man under [water, slavery] any longer.


    We now specify some of those evils which grow out of slavery, and are always connected with slavery.

    And here let me state an admitted truth: It is always sinful for us to practice, or sanction by our voice or vote, a practice which of itself necessarily brings evil upon our fellow-men, the Church of Christ, and our country.

    If the practice even occasion others to do wrong, and is not essential, we should abandon it. Paul says,

    “If meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend.” [I Corinthians 8:13]. “It is good not to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor ANY THING whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is MADE WEAK.”   [Romans 14:21].

    And that all pretext for false logic may be removed, we would note specially, that we do not say that those things (such as the parental and marriage relations) which are in themselves right, good, and essential, should be put away because they may be and are abused; but those things which are not essential, not good, and always occasion or directly produce evil, such it is sinful for


    us to practice or sanction, for it is a violation of the law of love. “And to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.” [James 4:17].

    I. Slavery is an evil to the slave.

    1. It removes from the slave some of the strongest motives to virtue, and the greatest restraints from vice. God has placed in man a love of approbation, a desire for family preferment, a sense of character, a desire for property, a thirst for knowledge. These are the natural incentives to industry and virtue, and are surpassed in their invigorating and healthful tendencies only by the motives of the gospel. They are the springs to action, and the “salt that saves from corruption.”

    But slavery takes these away, and leaves a man exposed to the baser passions of his corrupt nature. Not being able to possess any thing, he has no motive to industry but the lash. It is not then surprising that he is slothful, negligent, stupid. Who would not be so under such circumstances, with his mind shrouded in ignorance, his energies crushed by subjugation, and his appetite bestialized with sensuality? Would not the white man be so, were he kept in this condition for centuries?

    Ed. Note: Slavers were enraged at education, so, after the Civil War, set out to destroy education nation-wide.

    Having no opportunities of rising to respectability in society, knowledge, skill, and virtue are considered by him of but little utility. Hence so little effort to secure or possess them. Having no reputation to lose, either for himself or his family, he has but little to restrain him from the commission of vice or crime when temptations come. To evade chastisement for want of industry, economy, or virtue, he becomes a liar. To gratify the [God-given] desire for property, and to have a little pocket money to get small articles for himself and family, he becomes a thief.

    Or, if unwilling to get these articles in this way, having his time occupied during the week in the service of his master, he becomes a Sabbath-breaker, by employing that day in making and selling his brooms, trays, &c. This he would not do but to procure money to buy little articles for himself and children.

    It [slavery] makes him in heart a murderer, in hating the man who robs him of his rights, or oppresses him.

    Ed. Note: Correction, killing slavers is NOT murder. Killing slavers is doing one's duty, enforcing the death penalty against the sin of committing slavery.

    Does not slavery sink the slave into the greatest depths of moral degradation? Surely we may say it is worse for his soul than for his body.

    And can any man love his neighbor as himself, and wilfully practice the systom, or even silently consent to it, and tolerate it in the land, so long as he has a mouth to speak, property to employ, or a vote to give?

    2. Slavery violates the marriage relation, occasions the slave to disregard it, and practice the consequent vice, concubinage.


    Slavery, as we have noticed before, is a creature of law; hence, whether the master wishes to separate the slave from his companion or not, if he should die, or get in debt, either by extravagance or by becoming security, the law seizes his slaves, sunders husband and wife, sends them east, west, north, or south—wherever it can get the highest bidder.*   Thus does law, sustained by
    * The following picture, from the Christian Advocate and Journal, (Methodist,) is only one of the thousand daily occurrences in every slave state:

    “At Wilmington, North Carolina, as I went on board the steamboat, I noticed eight colored men, hand-cuffed and chained together in pairs, four women, and eight or ten children, of the apparent ages of from four to ten years, all standing together in the bow of the boat, in charge of a man standing near them. Of the men, one was sixty, one was fifty-two, three of tbem about thirty, two of them about twenty-five, and one about twenty years of age, as I subsequently learned from them.

    “The two first had children, the next three had wives and children, and the other three were single, but had parents living from them.

    “Coming near them, I perceived they were all greatly agitated; and, on inquiring, I found that they were all slaves, who had been born and raised in North Carolina, and had just been sold to a speculator who was now taking them to the Charleston market.

    “Upon the shore there were a number of colored persons, women and children, waiting the departure of the boat; and my attention was particularly attracted by two colored females of uncommonly respectable appearance, neatly attired, who stood together, at a little distance from the crowd, and upon whose countenances was depicted the keenest sorrow.

    “As the last bell was toiling, I saw the tears gushing from their eyes, and they raised their neat cotton aprons and wiped their faces under the cutting anguish of severed affection. They were the wives of two of the men in chains.

    “There, too, were mothers and sisters, weeping at the departure of their sons and brothers; and there, too, were fathers, taking the last look of their wives and children.

    “My whole attention was directcd to those on the shorc, as they seemed to stand in solemn, submissive silence, occasionally giving utterance to the intensity of their feelings by a sigh or a stifled groan. As the boat was loosed from her moorings, they cast a distressed, lingering look towards those on board, and turned away in silence.

    “My eyes now turned to those on the boat; and although I had tried to control my feelings amidst my sympathies for those on shore, I could conceal them no longer, and I found myself literally 'weeping with those that weep.' [Romans 12:15].

    “I stood near them, and when one of the husbands saw his wife upon the shore wave her hand for the last time, in token of her affection, his manly efforts to restrain his feelings gave way, and fixing his watery cyes upon her, he exclaimed,

    “This is the most distressing thing of all!
    My dear wife and children, farewell!”

    “The husband of the other wife stood weeping in silence, and with his manacled hands raised to his face, as he looked upon her for the last time. Of the poor women on board, three of them had husbands whom they left behind. One of them had three children, auother had two, and the third had none. These husbands and fathers were among the throng upon the shore, witnessing the departure of their wives and children, and as they took


    [pretended] Christians violate one of God's plainest commands:

    “What God hath hath joined together, let no man
    put asunder.” [Matthew 19:6; Mark 10:9].

    Do you say, Pass a law preventing the sale of the slave!

    This would destroy one of the essential elements of slavery, the chattel principle, and lead to the abolition of slavery. Just take away the barbarous law that makes man the property of his fellow-man, and thus violates the law of God, and we have no more of slavery.

    We said that slavery causes the slave to disregard the relation of marriage, and practice the consequent vice, concubinage. In our land, marriage, as a civil ordinance, they do not enjoy.

    Our [Southern state] laws do not recognize this relation among them, nor defend
    their leave of them they were sitting together upon the floor of the boat, sobbing in silence, but giving utterance to no complaint.

    “But the distressing scene was not yet ended. Passing down the Cape Fear river twenty-five miles, we touched at the little village of Smithport, on the south side of the river. It was at this place that one of these slaves lived, and here were his wife and five cbildren; and while at work on Monday last his purchaser took him away from his family, carried him in chains to Wilmington, wbere he had since remained in jail. As we approached the wharf, a flood of tears gushed from his eyes, and anguish seemed to have pierced his heart. The boat stopped but a moment, and as she left, he bade farewell to some of his acquaintance whom he saw upon the shore, exclaiming, 'Boys, I wish you well; tell Molly (meaning his wife) and the children I wish them well, and hope God will bless them.' At that moment he espied his wife on the stoop of a house some rods from the shore, and with one hand which was not in thc hand-cuffs, he pulled off his old hat, and waving it towards her, exclaimed, 'Farewell!' As he saw by the waving of her apron that she recognized him, he leaned back upon the railing, and with a faltering voice repeated, 'Farewell, for ever.'

    “After a moment's silence, conflicting passions seemed to tear open his heart, and he exclaimed, 'What have I done that I should suffer this doom? Oh, my wife and children, I want to live no longer!'

    “And then the big tear rolled down his cheek, which he wiped away with the palm of his unchained hand, looked once more at the mother of his five children, and the turning of the boat hid her face from him for ever.

    “As I looked around I saw that mine was not the only heart that had been affected by the scene, but that the tears standing in the eyes of many of my fellow-passengers bore testimony to the influence of human sympathy; and I could, as an American citizen, standing within the limits of one of the old thirteen States, but repeat the language of Mr. Jefferson, in relation to the general subject,

    'I tremble when I think that God is just.'” [See context].

    And now, reader, it is more than probable that your silence in the church, and vote at the ballot-box, have sanctioned, yea, directly decreed the cruel law that thus sunders the dearest ties on earth, and the plainest command of God. And here we complain, not of tattered garments, of lacerated bodies, or of starved and emaciated frames, but of this crushing of the heart's dearest solace, this robbery of earth's most prccious treasures, this MURDER of affections. Oh! it is of this we complain.


    it, nor enforce its duties. This would interfere with the claims and interests of the master. Hence, to use the language of the slave, they “take up with one another.” And this continues as long as their own convenience, and that of the master, requires.

    Marriage is the great preservative against the abhorrent vices of concubinage and adultery. It is the origin of those strong ties which cement and bind together society. It is the fountain of the dearest earthly pleasures that man enjoys—domestic bliss. Without it, the endearing relations of husband and wife, parent and child, would be unknown. Without it, man and woman would wander forth, selfish, shameless, and unrestrained, like one vast herd of brutes. And yet the very tendency of our system of slavery is to abolish it.

    Christians! yea, all lovers of virtue and order! what would you think, and how would you act, did these evils exist to the same extent among the whites? And are they any the less ruinous to society, and any the less criminal in the sight of God, in the black man than in the white man?

  • How many there are in our midst who are parents, and yet know no one that they can call husband or wife!

  • And how many, even of those in whose veins courses much of the blood of the white man [quadroons, octoroons, tercerons], who know not their parents!
  • Oh! is it true there is a single woman in the whole South who is opposed to the abolition of slavery, when she remembers how many bosoms have been wrung with anguish at the reflection that the husbands of their choice have been unfaithful, in cases that never would have occurred had it not been for slavery?

    And I will ask one more question. Is tbere in our State [Kentucky], even among Christians, as much regard for the purity of the marriage relation of their slaves, and the proper descent of slave children, as there is to have the best stock of sheep, hogs, cattle, to say nothing of horses? May God pardon our shameful neglect of a relation which he has so greatly honored.

    3. Slavery keeps the slave in hopeless ignorance.

    Most persons are agreed that this ignorance is necessary, in order to the continued existence or perpetuity of slavery. Whether this be true or not, we know, as a matter of fact, that the large mass of our slaves are deplorably ignorant. And we know that in some States the law positively forbids their instruction; and in all others many masters are opposed to their instruction, lest they should read something which will teach them their [legal and constitutional] rights, and make them discontented.

    Ed. Note: See reading-ban references at p 144, infra.

    And almost all consent to, and by their vote [and politicians] decree, that such shall be the condition of the poor, unoffending slave. But should we seal up the mind,


    and shut the door of knowledge to the immortal spirit, lest the slave should see his wrongs? Would we feel that we are justified in cutting off the hand or foot, in order to prevent him from escaping from forced and unwilling [extorted] servitude? Every feeling of our nature forbids it. Humanity forbids it. God forbids it.

    And is it any the less criminal to clog, to maim the mind, the soul, than the body?

    “If, by our practice, our silence, or our sloth, we perpetuate a system which paralyzes our hands when we attempt to convey to them the bread of life, and which inevitably consigns the great mass of them to unending perdition, can we be guiltless in the sight of Him who hath made us stewards of his grace?”

    Ed. Note: This alludes to
  • Genesis 4:9-10 (being brother's keeper)
  • Isaiah 58:1 (to warn others of their sin)
  • Ezekiel 33:8-9 (consequences of not warning others)
  • I Timothy 5:22 (to not be partaker in others' sins).
  • This [aiding and abetting, partaking, and silent failure to warn others] is sinful. What the Saviour said to the lawyers of his day, he may be considered as saying to American slaveholders:

    “Wo unto you . . . ! for ye have taken away the key of knowledge: ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered.” Luke xi. 52.

    II. Slavery is a great evil to the master and his family. For reasons which we have stated in this chapter, the slaves are often slothful, negligent, and wasteful. The control and management of such is often wearisome and perplexing to a perilous degree. They only know its evils who have tried it. In view of them we have often thought of the words of Solomon:

    “Better is a little, with the fear of the Lord, than great treasure and trouble therewith.”   “Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a stalled ox, and HATRED therewith.” Prov. xv. 16, 17.

    Also, the [unconstitutional monarchical] power intrusted to masters is, to a great degree, irresponsible. The history of man [humanity] shows that such power cannot be often exercised by him [humans], without injury to his own soul, and to others. Under sueh circumstances, the master and mistress are more [better] than human nature generally is, if they do not find irritability, fretfulness, habits of scolding, pride, contempt, selfishness, hard-heartedness, and other evils constantly growing upon them. Says Jefferson:

    Thomas Jefferson“The whole commerce between master and slave is a perpetual exercise of the most boisterous passions, the most unrelenting despotism on the one part, and degrading submission on the other. Our children see this, and learn to imitate it. For man is an imitative animal. This quality is the germ of all education in him. From his cradle to his grave he is learning to do what he sees others do. If a parent could find no motive, either in his philanthropy or his self-love, for restraining the intemperance of passion toward his slave, it should always be a sufficient one that his child is present; but generally it is not sufficient [as a restraint on the parent's behavior]. The parent storms, the child looks on, catches


    the lineaments of wrath, puts on the same airs in the circle of smaller slaves, gives loose to the worst of passions, and, thus nursed, educated, and daily exercised in tyranny, cannot but be stamped by it with odious peculiarities. The man must be a prodigy who can retain his manners and morals undepraved by such circumstances.”—Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), in Notes on Virginia (1787).

    Truly, slavery is evil, and only evil continually.

    Further, the children of slaveholders are frequently exempted from that labor which is necessary to give proper development to the constitution, or health to the body; consequently, they often are weak, effeminate, and sickly. Go into slaveholding districts, and see the effeminacy of our females; and then to the public burying-grounds, and behold the multitude of infant graves planted by sickly mothers, and you will be ready to cry out, Egypt's destroying angel is already in our land.

    Ed. Note: Consider the link between infant deaths and tobacco; and slavery role in tobacco-raising.

    Also, the [bad] habits acquired under such circumstances [of having slaves] are often unfriendly to either the acquisition of knowledge or of property.

    Ed. Note: The white South was anti-education, made it low-priority. Slavery also reduced property values.

    Hence, as political economists tcach us, neither this nor any other nation can long be prosperous where one part are not producers in any sphere, but consumers of other men's toil. And hence, from this and other fruits [results] of slavery, those States where slavery has long been in existence are on the decline.

    Ed. Note: For examples, see Alvan Stewart, Legal Argument (NY: 1845), pp 49-51.

    As this part of the subject belongs to statesmen and journalists, I will hasten to notice another fact.

    III. Slavery is an evil to the Church.

    1. It [slavery] keeps in our State two hundred thousand, and in the whole South three millions of slaves, unable to read God's Word.

    Ed. Note: The South, pretended "Christians" no less! had made reading and writing a criminal offense! See
  • Charles Sumner, Barbarism of Slavery (1860), p 134
  • Rev. Stephen Foster, Brotherhood (1843), p 35
  • Rep. Horace Mann, Slavery and the Slave-Trade . . . .
    (Washington, D.C.: 1849), p 24
  • Rev. Wm. Goodell, Slavery and Anti-Slavery (1852),
    pp 189-190 and 210-213.
  • Rev. Parker Pillsbury, Acts (1883), p 436
  • Rev. Silas McKeen, Scriptural Argument (1848), p 8
  • Harriet B. Stowe, Key (1853), pp 244-250.
    The basis for slavers' banning reading by slaves includes the slaver / creationist dogma that blacks were not human but instead a separate species.
    Rev. George Cheever, Discourse (1856), p 5, said “in our own country [U.S.A.], there is a more gigantic, deadly, and iniquitous proscription [banning] of the truth, and conspiracy against it, and persecution on account of it, in one particular form, than in any other country.” He analogized, at p 14, such false writings to fraud with navigation data.
    Cheever, in God Against Slavery (1857), p 180, had also predicted continuance of such censorship. See also slaver tobacco growers' experience obtaining pre-emption laws. And see the classic pre-emption law, the Fugitive Slave Act.
  • It is impossible that a people so [forced by law to be] ignorant should ever be efficient or useful Christians. They have neither the knowledge nor means to become such. The large mass of them receive no instruction, (that is, in spelling or reading,) even in a Sabbath-school.

    In almost every place in the South, where there is not positive law forbidding their instruction, public sentiment amounts to a prohibition equally effective.

    Ed. Note: Southerners were NOT Christian. Period.

  • Christianity had not even been preached in the Deep South itself until after 1695, says Edward C. Rogers, Slavery Illegality (Boston, 1855), p 78.

  • "the Christian population is so very small a part of the South"—Rev. Groff (1843), quoted by Rev. Parker Pillsbury, Forlorn Church (1847), p 21.

  • And among those few Christians, "verily, three fourths of all the Episcopalians, Methodists, Baptists, and Presbyterians, in eleven states of the Union, are of the devil."—Rev. James H. Smylie (1836), quoted by Rev. Stephen S. Foster, Brotherhood of Thieves (1843), pp 14-15.

  • Wherefore a 40-year listener never heard a gospel sermon to slaves.—Dr. Nelson, quoted by Rev. Parker Pillsbury, Forlorn Church (1847), p 81.

  • And as Southerners made it illegal for slaves to read Bibles, the American Bible Society refused to provide them any—Rev. Wm. Goodell, Slavery and Anti-Slavery (1852), pp 210-213. Others refused as well, pp 189-190.

  • Do not overlook the basic fact, that Christianity had been abolished by the Roman Emperor Diocletian: “Extincto nomine Christianorum
  • But do you ask, “Do they not receive oral instruction?”

    I answer, yes, of its kind—some good truths mingled with what we believe revolting error—that the God of the Bible is a respecter of persons in sanctioning oppression—the robbery of the slave's natural rights.

    Ed. Note: Such "teaching" was by vile, atheistic, demonized clergymen pretending to be Christian.

    Some go to the same church where their [demonized] masters worship.

    These [getting any "teaching" no matter how foul] are the few, who, overcoming all the neglect and indifference shown them, press into the "negro-pew (if not taken up by whites on special occasions) or into the little galleries cut from the far end.

    Others go to hear preachers of their own color, who are


    often scarcely able to read a sentence of God's holy Word, much less able to explain it.

    In some places white preachers preach to them directly.

    Notwithstanding these hindrances, some of the slaves have become Christians, exhibiting many of the essential principles of Christianity—kinduess, brotherly love, humility, meekness, and devotion.

    Under equally favorable circumstances, I believe the negroes would be the most religious race of beings in the world. But every man knows that the efficiency of the Church depends, in a great degree, upon the amount of Christian intelligence in its members. But when so many are unable [by law] to read even the Word of God, how can the Church be efficient?

    2. Slavery keeps many of the whites in ignorance; and thus prevents the gospel from being effective as it would otherwise be with them.

    The children of the large slaveholders, being raised in what is called high life, when educated, must be sent to "high schools" in cities or towns. The laborers of the slaveholder, being slaves, are not educated. Hence the slaveholder feels little or no interest in sustaining a neighborhood school.

    The tendencies of slavery being to monopolies of land, and to the exclusion of school-going children, (that is, white children,) the children of other portions of the neighborhood who are not able to send their children away to fashionable boarding-schools, or to make a school within convenient distance, or to defray the expenses of one themselves, have little or no education.

    Ed. Note: The South was anti-education, and after the Civil War, set about to destroy education throughout the nation.

    Slaveholders often form or accumulate monopolies of land and property. These men (for reasons before assigned, and not desiring that their laborers should be educated) are often unwilling that their property should be taxed for general education. Hence the free-school System never has flourished in the slave States, and, as a consequence, the children of the poor man have to do without instruction.

    And hence we have in Kentucky 45,000 white persons, over 20 years of age, who cannot read or write, and 200,000 slaves in the same deplorable condition; giving us in Kentucky about eight persons over the age of 20, who cannot read or write, to one in Ohio in the same amount of population.*

    In the whole of the slaveholding States we have 800,000 white persons, over the age of 20, who cannot read or write, and more than three millions of colored people in the same condition. Many of those children who have the opportunities of acquiring an education, have never been accustomed to habits
    * See the census of 1840.


    of industry and application, and as a general rule do not become thorough scholars, do not acquire more than fashion demands, or is necessary to fit for common business transactions.

    Hence, it is rare to meet with the author of a book who is a native and resident of the South. And hence we have but few men who enter the ministry, and have to import men from the free States to fill our pulpits, teach in our schools, our academies, and our colleges.

    Because the slaves are not allowed to be educated, and the white population is comparatively sparse, Sabbath-schools are few and thinly attended. Hence the very fountains of the Church, of early piety, and of efficient Christianity, are dried up. Does not slavery affect, yea, deeply affect the Church?

    3. Slavery causes our churches to be few and feeble. In the days of the apostle he said, "not many mighty, not many noble were called." [I Corinthians 1:26]. So now, those whose minds are inflated with a "little brief authority," whose natural pride is pampered with the accumulated fruits of unrequited toil and despised caste-whose consciences are seared [I Timothy 4:2] by repeated acts of injustice and oppression-whose wills are made more stubborn by a life of continued domination-comparatively few such persons receive a meek and self-denying gospel. The pride cultivated is hostile to the true spirit of the gospel.

    The slaves are mere nominal members. They have no voice in the affairs of the Church, truth, or spread of the gospel. Further, they have no means to encourage or sustain the ministration of the gospel. Here exist impossibilities to a successful and efficient gospel.

    Further, slavery makes our population sparse, by shutting out the artist, the mechanic, the manufacturer, the free laborer.

    Ed. Note: Others also noted slavery-caused white flight:
  • Alvan Stewart, Legal Argument (1845), pp 49-50
  • Rev. John Rankin, Letters (1823) pp 64-65
  • Sen. Charles Sumner, Barbarism of Slavery (1860), p 143
  • Harriet Beecher Stowe, Key (1853), pp 129 and 184
  • Abraham Lincoln, Speech (1854), p 232
  • Prof. Dwight Dumond, Antislavery (1961), pp 87-95.
  • The history of the gospel teaches us that it is with these industrious and virtuous classes [artists, mechanics, manufacturers, free laborers] that the gospel makes the greatest progress. These indisputable facts existing, it is impossible that our churches should be either as numerous or efficient as they would be did slavery not exist among us.

    4. Slavery dries up the fountains of true benevolent enterprise. The master, or man, who is taught to regard one portion of the human family as chattels, the mere subject of his interests and pleasure, will not generally feel for man as man, nor often feel a spirit of true benevolence. Hence, Massachusette alone is computed as giving more to the cause of foreign missions (and perhaps to the general cause of benevolence) than the whole South. The donations here given are generally either


    for neighborhood concerns, or for party movements. Even our home missions have to be sustained by donations from the free States.

    5. Slavery corrupts the gospel.

    The Bible teaches us that to love God with all the heart, and our neighbor as ourselves, is the sum of all religion: “This is the law and the prophets.” See Matt. xxii. 37-40; Luke x: 27.

    “This is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.” Mark xii. 33.

    These passages teach that there is no true religion without love to God, and to man “as ourselves.” Without this, all else is hollow formality. We may “tithe mint, and anise, and cummin,” yet Jesus will say,

    “Ye have omitted the weightier matters of the law,
    JUSTICE, MERCY, and Truth.” [Matthew 23:23].

    And again, “Go learn what this meaneth, I will have MERCY and not sacrifice.” [Matthew 9:13]. “He that loveth not, knoweth not God.” [I John 4:8].

    Now no man, as we believe, with a correct knowledge of the nature of slavery, can love his neighbor as himself, do justice and mercy, and at the same time willingly enslave his fellow-man—his neighbor.

    Yet the teaching and practice of slavery is,

  • that man is an article of merchandise;

  • that his interests for time and eternity may be wholly overlooked in promoting the supposed temporal interests of the master;

  • that the master, with certain professions and ceremonies, may live in the worst form of oppression and yet be a Christian.
  • “Now, as whatever gives us wrong notions concerning God, prevents us from feeling and acting towards him aright; so whatever gives us wrong notions concerning our fellow-man, prevents us from feeling and acting towards him aright. This [wrong notions] being done [in one's mind], all the virtues growing out of the observance of the second table of the law, which is love to man, will soon die.”—Pres. Blanchard.

    Not only this, slavery leads to a violation of the first table of the law. For

    “he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how
    can he love God whom he hath not seen?” 1 John iv. 20, 21.

    “And he that faileth in one point is guilty of [violating] the whole law.” [James 2:10].

    Thus slavery destroys the very heart of true religion. Like a loathsome leech, it absorbs her life's blood, and leaves her a pale, cold, and lifeless corpse—a ghastly skeleton—a frame without a heart to beat, or lungs to breathe.

    [6] Lastly, slavery banishes the gospel from the land where it is. A brother, who is a minister of the gospel, and the author of a work deservedly popular, writing to me from one of the slaveholding towns of our State, says:

    “Slavery has driven from our State to free States many of our conscientious and best minis-


    ters." And, said he, "often have I determined that I would go myself, but
    have been hindered [from moving out of the South] as [of] yet."

    This [many people] they did [moved out of the South], because in conscience they thought they ought to speak against slavery. But the hearts of the people being often filled with prejudice by slavery, and their minds blinded by supposed interest, these ministers could not be sustained.

    Ed. Note: Moral people generally, fled the South. See
  • Rev. John Rankin, Letters, (1823), p 64
  • Alvan Stewart, Legal Argument (1845), pp 49-50
  • Harriet Beecher Stowe, Key (1853), pp 129 and 184
  • Abraham Lincoln, Peoria Speech (1854), p 232
  • Charles Sumner, Barbarism of Slavery (1860), p 143.
  • Further, and more especially, for reasons previously assigned, they saw that neither the English school, nor Sabbath-school, nor the church, could be long healthfully prosperous. For these and like reasons, many of our best ministers, as we know, have been driven from our State.

    This is not all. Those men and ministers who are slaveholders, or are apologists for slavery, and who occupy posts of influence, biased by slavery, employ their means and influence to shut out those who, from love to God and man, would preach a whole gospel; and they introduce those who will not urge upon the people their whole duty to man as man—who will cry, Peace, peace, when there is no peace—who will preach about the externals of religion, but not the essential principle, the sum of the law and the prophets, love to God supreme, and our neighbor as ourselves.

    May we not then say, that slavery is the Hydra with a hundred heads and a thousand stings; the deadly Upas that infuses death into all that comes beneath its shade, or inhales its odors?

    But, says one, grant that slavery is sin in itself, and sinful from the evils that necessarily and invariably flow from it; still, what shall we do? Where is the remedy? We answer, EMANCIPATION.


    Chapter IX.


    SLAVERY, as we have shown, is a sin against God, and against man. The remedy is emancipation. With regard to this, as every other sin, we must abandon it.

    If it be asked, When? then we answer, as Wayland did: "When is it our duty to obey God," or cease sinning? To this there can be but one answer; and that is, immediately.

    No man who desires the favor of his God dare do otherwise. "A reason that would be sufficient for delaying to obey God for a moment, would be a suffi-


    cient reason for disobeying him for ever."

    Said Judge Reid, (who is the present Judge of our district,*)

    "When you are convinced that slavery is the greatest political evil, whether sinful against high Heaven or not, set YOURS free, let others do as they will."

    "You will gain some credit by proving your faith by your works. But to be talking about going with the North [that is, for emancipation] without moving a step towards accomplishing it—you cannot even deceive the negroes themselves."

    All men, like Judge Reid, know that whenever we see a thing to be sinful, or even "the greatest political evil," we ought to repent of it immediately, and "bring forth fruits meet for repentance." Why, dear reader, if adultery, and theft, and counterfeiting, were as publicly and extensively practiced, both in the church and out of the Church, as slavery is, what would you think of a man who would preach the gradual abolition such vices, pleading that some have no other way to get their living—that the hands of some are too tender to work, and others are too old to work—and many have received these sins from their fathers, or friends, by will and inheritance—and above all, here is the law of the land, (made by men of like passions with ourselves;) it sanctions these practices [traditions] as right; and with all these considered, I think we might continue in these practices [traditions] for a while any how?

    You would deem such an one as worthy only of the execrations of man, and the direct vengeance of Almighty God. But do you object, and say, It is not self, it is not interest that keeps me from emancipating mine immediately; I am looking at the good of the slave, and society?

    First, be sure you are really honest with yourself in saying so; for we have known men, when their objections were shown to be false, and their difficulties removed, and they were pressed to do their duty, obstinately refuse to quit their sin, like the young man who came to the Saviour inquiring duty, and went away sorrowing, because he had great possessions. Matt. xix. 22. It was self, it was covetousness, that hindered and deceived him.

    Second, you are not left to the choice of saying, it will be better to quit sin gradually; for God Almighty, your Judge, requires immediate repentance of ALL SIN.

    But let us examine your objection. You say they are not fit for freedom, and it would be
    * See Judge Reid's Charge to the grand jury of Mason county, Ky., delivered on the first day of the November term of the Circuit Court of 1845. I wish the Judge was as sound on the moral character of slavery as he is on the mode of emancipation.


    better for them, and society, not to have it now.

    If they are unfit for freedom, then, we ask, what has kept them from not being fit for freedom like other men?

    Your only answer is, SLAVERY.

    Ed. Note: Caused by
  • immoral politicians
  • demonized clergy.
  • Now [Catch-22] if slavery unfits tbem for freedom, when will they become fit for freedom, whilst you keep them in slavery?

    Will you plead their unfitness for freedom as a reason why you may continue in sin, and yet continue to practice the very thing you say unfits them for freedom?

    You are, my dear reader, according to your own showing, chargeable with double guilt.

  • You not only rob the slave of his liberty, but

  • practice that upon him which you say unfits him for liberty.

    If you say they [slaves] should not enjoy freedom because they are not educated, then on the same ground [logic] you may enslave three hundred tbousand white men in the South, who are not educated—who are over twenty years of age and cannot read or write.*

    Ed. Note: See data on enslaving whites also.

    The best way to fit men for freedom, and make them safe for society, is to give them their liberty, and treat them as men, and not as beasts. This position we will support with good reasons and facts.

    When you give a man his liberty, and treat him as a man, you immediately invest him with a character—a character dear to him as life, a character which he will sustain, prompted by the principle of love of approbation implanted in his nature.

  • If you reward him for his labor, he will have other incentives to industry, virtue and economy.

  • If you respect all his rights, then he will have need of, and a desire for, knowledge and virtue. He will make efforts to obtain them.
  • To treat man thus, is the most natural and effective way to fit him for the duties of a frecman. Facts prove it.

    Take as an example emancipation in the West India Islands. There slavery [had] existed for many long years; and, as it always has been, it became a great evil to the master and the slave. The people of England and the Government became convinced of it, and determined to emancipate.

    Two of the Islands emancipated immediately; †   the rest continued a gradual system—an apprenticeship system of six years. After the lapse of two years, finding that those who had emancipated immediately, both master and former slaves, were doing better than they who were gradually ceasing to do evil, the rest with one accord emancipated on the soil all then in bonds, making altogether eight hundred thousand [freed individuals].

    Thrilling was the scene on one of the islands, Antigua, which [had] emancipated immediately, 1st August, 1834.

    “When the hour of twelve ap-
    * See the census of 1840.

    † August 1st, 1834.


    proached, the missionary proposed that they should kneel down and take the boon of freedom in silence. Accordingly, as the loud bell tolled its first note, the crowded assembly prostrated themselves on their knees.

    “All was silent, save the quivering, half-stifled breath of the struggling spirit. The slow notes of the clock fell upon the multitude; peal on peal, peal on peal rolled over the prostrated throng in tones of angels' voices, thrilling among the desolate chords and weary heart-strings.

    “Scarcely had the clock sounded its last note, when the lightning flashed vividly around, and a loud peal of thunder roared along the sky—God's pillar of fire, and his trump of jubilee.

    “A moment of profound silence passed—then came the burst; they broke forth in prayers, they shouted, they sang glory, hallelujah; they clapped their hands, leaped up, fell down, clasped each other in their free arms, laughed, cried, went to and fro tossing up their unfettered hands. Above all, in broken dialect, were heard the utterings of gratitude to God.” *

    Yes, with gratitude to God. There was no danger of insurrection then. The feelings of revenge were all lost in the ocean of love that filled the soul. Full of gratitude to their masters and friends for the precious boon of liberty, insurrection was the last thought that could enter their minds.

    Ed. Note: We see here gross error in how slavery was ended, failure to follow precedent, e.g., the Bible precedent in Exodus:
  • (1) mass deaths of the guilty public in the Ten Plagues,
    including of women and children (Exodus 9:25, hail);
    Exodus 12:29-30, first-born, approx. 10%, ie., two and one-half
    million of the est. twenty five million population).
  • (2) reparations via gold and jewels for the emancipated
    slaves (Exodus 12:35-36).
  • (3) drowning thereby executing the entire slaver army
    (Exodus 14:27-28, 30); and
  • and (4) even failure to even at least follow historical
    precedent, e.g., that of the ending of the 1745
    Scottish civil-war-type insurrection.

    When sin is unpunished, when victims are left penniless, the evil effects of sin, slavery, continue on generation after generation, century after century.
    The proper ending to slavery is per Bible precedent. That multi-step process (mass capital punishment, plus reparations) is called "justice," not "insurrection."
    The "missionary" grossly erred in not citing Bible precedent, including songs celebrating the liberation including the mass deaths of enslavers, Exodus 15:1-21.
  • And so would it be in Kentucky, if the shackles were struck from every slave to-morrow morning. If I do a man an act of kindness, I reasonably expect that he in return will be kind to me. To talk otherwise, is to talk against reason, and well-known facts.

    Ed. Note: Ending slavery (kidnaping, rape, genocide, etc.), is not in the class of acts called "kindness" acts. Ending slavery is not like handing someone a glass of water.
    When a bank robber restores the loot, that is NOT a "kindness act," that is a "duty" and does NOT abolish the penalty!! or need for deterrence and prevention!
    Ending slavery is a ceasing to sin, egregious sin, like stopping raping someone. That is not "kindness" of the "glass-of-water" variety.
    Proper reaction includes
  • punishing for having done the outrage in the first place, including capital punishment as per Bible precedent
  • deterrence of such acts in the future, and/or
  • prevention of future outrages and abuses, even holocausts, that the then perpetrators and their subsequent descendants may thereafter commit once they see that past outrages go undealt with.
  • The Africans are not insensible to gratitude for favors bestowed. Every man, who knows any thing about them, knows that they are as proverbial for gratitude, as Frenchmen for urbanity and sociability. They are submissive to government.

    So true is this, that it was one of the considerations which [supposedly] prompted [Bishop] Las Casas to [allegedly] recommend to Cardinal Ximenes the introduction of Africans into Hispaniola, instead of the Indian, as laborers.

    It is notorious tbat they [Africans] are humble and docile above all men. So true is this, that some even plead this fact as a reason why they ought to be enslaved—saying that God designed them to be slaves.

    Now, will any man who expects to be credited, talk of insurrection and danger on the performance of an act of humanity and justice, in view of these well-known facts?

    What we would infer to be true, is proved by facts. We shall show that the pecuniary, physical, intellectual, and moral
    * Thorne and Kimball's "Emancipation in the West Indies."


    condition of both master and slave—white and black—are infinitely improved by immediate emancipation. We shall adduce testimony of such a character as to leave no ground for doubt. The French Royal Commission, presided over by the Duke de Broglie, states:

    “For eight years past emancipation has been proclaimed in the slave colonies of Great Britain. These colonies are nineteen in number, and contain eight hundred thousand negroes. . . . Under the influence of varions climes, and of social and political circumstances so different, emancipation took place every where in 1838, and has continued since that time, peacefully and without violence.

    “It may be said, without fear of contradiction, that an event so formidable at first sight as the summons of eight hundred thousand slaves to liberty, on the same day, at the same hour, has not caused in eight years, in all the English colonies, the tenth part of the troubles that are ordinarily caused among the most civilized nations of Europe, by the least political question that agitates, however little, the public mind." *

    —Quoted from an address sent by the
    Committee of the British and Foreign
    Anti-Slavery Society, to those countries
    of Europe that possess slave colonies.”

    The same Committee state:

    “The English apprenticeship, which in its provisions appeared to offer better guarantees for the protection of the semi-bondsman than any code of slavery with which we are acquainted, utterly failed of securing those advantages which it promised. Reason and experience alike demonstrate, that no measure short of perfect freedom, and equal laws, can enable man to protect himself against oppression, and to secure his just interests."”

    In the British House of Lords, November 23, 1837, Lord Brougham said of Antigua, (one of the islands that emancipated immediately,)

    “Property in that island had risen in value—exports of sugar had increased—offenses of all sorts, from capital offenses downwards, had decreased, as appeared from returns sent to the Governor of the colony.”

    The Governor himself said:

    “The planters all concede tbat emancipation has been a great blessing, and he did not know of a single individual who wanted to return to the old system.” †

    Dr. Daniell observed, ‡   that after so prodigious a revolution in
    * Rapport fait au Ministre Secretaire d'Etat, de la Marine et des Colonies.

    † Thorne and Kimball.

    ‡ Ibid.


    the condition of the negroes, he expected that some irregularities would ensue; but he had been entirely disappointed. He also said that he anticipated some relaxation from labor during the week following emancipation. But he found his hands in the field early on Monday morning, and not one missing.

    The same day he received word from another estate, of which he was proprietor *   that the negroes had to a man refused to go to the field. He immediately rode to the estate, and found the people standing with their hoes in their hands doing nothing. He accosted them in a friendly manner: "What does this mean, my fellows, that you are not at work this morning?" They immediately replied, "It's not because we don't want to work, massa, but we wanted to see you first and foremost to know what the bargain [pay-rate] would be." As soon as that matter was settled, the whole body of negroes turned out cheerfully, without a moment's cavil.

    Mr. Bourne, of Millar's, informed us that the largest gang he had ever seen in the field on his property, turned out the week after emancipation.

    Said Hon. N. Nugent: "Nothing could surpass the universal propriety of the negroes' conduct on the first of August, 1834! Never was there a more beautiful and interesting spectacle exhibited than on that occasion."

    There has been since emancipation not only no rebellion in fact, but NO FEAR OF IT, in Antigua.

    Proof 1st. The militia were not called out during Christmas holidays. Before emancipation, martial law invariably prevailed on the holidays, but the very first Christmas after emancipation, the Governor made a proclamation stating that in consequence of the abolition of slavery it was no longer necessary to resort to such a precaution. There has not been a parade of soldiery on any subsequent Cbristmas.

    2d. The uniform declaration of planters and others.

    "Previous to emancipation, many persons apprehended violence and bloodshed as the consequence of turning the slaves all loose. But when emancipation took place, all these apprehensions vanished. The sense of personal security is universal. We know not of a single instance in wbich the negroes have exhibited a revengeful spirit."—S. Bourne, Esq., of Millar's; —Watkins, Esq., of Donovan's.
    * It is not unusual in the West Indies for proprietors to commit their own estates into the hands of managers, and be themselves the managers of other men's estates.


    “It has always appeared to me self-evident that, if a man is peaceable while a slave, he will be so when a freeman.”—Dr. Ferguson.

    “There is no possible danger of personal violence from the slaves; should a foreign power invade our island, I have no doubt that the negroes would, to a man, fight for the planters. I have the utmost confidence in all the people who are under my management; they are my friends, and they consider me their friend.”—H. Armstrong, Esq., of Fitch's Creek.

    The same gentleman informed us that during slavery, he used frequently to lie sleepless on his bed, thinking about his dangerous situation—a lone white person far away from help, and surrounded by hundreds of savage slaves; and he had spent hours thus, in devising plans of self-defense in case the house should be attacked by the negroes.

    “"If they come," he would say to himself, "and break down the door,and fill my bed-room, what shall I do? It will be useless to fire at them; my only hope is to frighten the superstitious fellows by covering myself with a white sheet, and rushing into tbe midst of them, crying, 'Ghost, ghost.'”

    Now Mr. A. sleeps in peace and safety, witbout conjuring up a ghost to keep guard at his bed-side. His body-guard is a battalion of substantial flesh and blood, made up of those who were once the objects of his nightly terror!

    “There has been no instance of personal violence since freedom. Some persons pretended, prior to emancipation, to apprehend disastrous results; but for my part, I cannot say that I ever entertained such fears. I could not see any thing which was to instigate negroes to rebellion, after they had obtained their liberty. I have not heard of a single case of even meditated revenge."—Dr. Daniell, Proprietor, Member of Council, Attorney of six estates, and Manager of Weatherill's.

    "0ne of the blessings of emancipation has been, that it has banished the fear of insurrections, incendiarism, &c."—Mr. Favey, Manager of Lavicount's.

    "In my extensive intercourse with the people, as missionary, I have never heard of an instance of violence or revenge on the part of the negroes, even where they had been ill-treated during slavery."—Rev. Mr. Morrish, Moravian Missionary.

    "Insurrection or revenge is in no case dreaded, not even by those planters who were most cruel in the time of slavery. My family go to sleep every night with the doors unlocked, and we fear neither violence nor robbery."—Hon. N. Nugent.

    In the year 1837, Joseph Sturge, Thomas Harvey, Dr. Lloyd,


    and John Scoble of England, went to the West Indies for the express purpose of examining into the condition of the emancipated slaves, and they state:

    “Our opportunities of personal observation were extensive. We had the privilege of free communication with the most intelligent and influential persons in the colony. There is one subject upon which all are agreed—that the experiment of abolition has succeeded beyond the expectation of its most sanguine advocates.”

    “The measure has been felt to be one of emancipation of masters as well as of slaves. The average cost of cultivation is believed to be one fifth or one sixth less tban formerly, so that free labor is manifestly advantageous. Houses and lands have risen in value. Many estates are now worth as much as they were formerly with their slaves attached to them

    Ed. Note: Emancipation was NOT an experiment. Exodus records Bible example in 1400's B.C.E.!!
    Note emphasis on appeasing slavers, verifying that nothing would be done to follow Bible precedent.
    Naturally slavers saw that they could get away with continued abuses of blacks, continuing to present, mass poisonings, and mass jailings and disenfranchisements.
    As usual, most clergy continue their do-nothing, say-nothing policy for the victims, all concern for the aggressors.

    So it would be in Kentucky were emancipation to take place—no pecuniary loss.

    “There has been an augmentation of the import trade of the Island.”

    Twenty-four Wesleyan Missionaries, assembled at St. John's, Antigua, Feb. 7, 1837, state:

    1. “The emancipation of the slaves of the West Indies, while it was an act of undoubted justice to that oppressed people, has operated most favorably in furthering the triumphs of the gospel among the negroes, . . . and in its operations as a stimulus to proprietors and other influential gentlemen, to encourage religious education and the wide dissemination of the Scriptures; and as an incentive to industry and good order.

    2. “That while the above statements are true with reference to all tbe Islands, even where the system of apprenticeship prevails, they are especially applicable to Antigua, where the results of the great measure of entire freedom, so humanely and judiciously granted by the Legislature, cannot be contemplated without the most devout thanksgiving to Almighty God.”

    Here is the testimony of the Council of a disinterested nation—of the Governor of the Island—of one of the first statesmen of Britain—of travellers—of resident planters—of missionaries, who travel from place to place, and mingle with the people.

    They testify that immediate emancipation on the soil has been a blessing to both master and slave—that crime has diminished—that peace and order prevail—that the people are greatly improved in morals and religion—that property has risen in value—that cultivation is cheaper—that products are greater—that man has been blessed, and God glorified.

    Ed. Note: U.S. slavers determined that such good effects would NOT occur here.
    To sabotage freedom, unreconstructed slavers set about to manufacture crime among the freedmen and descendants, via the already long known criminal-manufacturing process.
    Via mass criminalization, unreconstructed slavers restored slavery under the guise of jails, and massively disenfranchise freedmen's descendants.
    As usual, clergy continue ther long-term do-nothing, say-nothing policy.

    Pause a while, reader, until you fix these facts in your mind. But does any one object, and say they have had


    to import [paid] laborers into some of the Islands to cultivate the soil?

    We answer: It is true they have done so; and there are reasons for it—reasons wbich do not in the least militate against emancipation.

    1. The women now being wives, and, with their husbands, the owners of housea and property, are employed in their families with domestic cares, as they sbould be, and as God designed them. By consequence, the number of field hands is diminished.

    But suppose there is a demand for more laborers in consequence of the women being in their appropriate place, then there will be employment for some good, honest, free laborer, who will come if the employer will give a fair compensation and treat him aright. Labor, like trade, will go where there is a demand and proper treatment.

    And it is better for the master to do right to his God—his fellow-man—his country, and suffer, for the present, some momentary inconvenience—some loss of expensive hands—than to sin against his God, wrong his fellow-man, and injure the markets, trade, and general prosperity of his country.

    Further, if the master has any daims to philanthropy, he should consider that those wives, husbands, and children have interests and rights which should be regarded as well as his own. In the scale of humanity, and of Christianity, the convenience, the interest, the rights of one man and his family, are as great and as important as those of any other. The rights of man, the good of a country, and the glory of God, should never be sacrificed to a little momentary covetousness of the few.

    2. Second reason wby some Islands have had to import [paid] laborers. Some of the men who were emancipated have bought small parcels of land, and the cultivation of this, with the improvement of houses, &c., occupy much, and in some cases, all of their time. Some, also, have gone to trades.

    This division of labor, this variety of trades and employments, whilst it diminishes the number of laborers of large proprietors, of aristocracies, and monopolies, is nevertheless promotive of the general good of most individuals, and national prosperity.

    Though the above classes have been called away from being field hands, still there is no necessity for the importation of foreign laborers. There are laborers enough there, if Government and proprietors will do their duty; as may be seen from these facts:

  • The freeman now performs nearly double the labor he did in a state of slavery.

  • Ihe mode of cultivating the soil has been greatly improved.

  • The plough and hoe, instead of the hoe alone, have been introduced, together with other improvements, since emancipation took place.
  • -156-

    These greatly facilitate labor. If Government and proprietors would do their duty, there would be no need of the importation of laborers, or complaint of the condition of the emancipated. This leads us to notice,

    3. The third reason why laborers have been imported. There are men there, as in other places, prompted too much by covetousness. The Government, instigated by such persons, passed an ejectment act, by which any laborer might be turned out of the house of his employer at a week's notice. This, and the promotion of virtue, made it best that they should seek a home for themselves and their families.

    When they [the newly freed people] went to buying and building, [the vile government still under slaver control fought back] a heavy tax was taken off of sugar factories, and placed upon all titles to lands that might be bought, however small.

    On the materials with which they would want to build was also placed a heavy duty—on some articles, such as shingles, twelve times as much as the planter had to pay for the same material, coming from the same country, but used for staves.

    The [slaver-controlled] Government thought it best that the land should be chiefly employed in the production of sugar and rum [thus obstructing food-crops].

    On this [sugar and rum] the laborer could not subsist, and he was dependent upon foreign supplies for his breadstuffs—his meal, flour, and pork, and fish.

    On these [food items], [the vile slaver-controlled government did as follows:] a heavy duty was placed; on every barrel of pork, three dollars and thirty-three cents.

    The taxes, paid chiefly by the laborers, on these articles, amounted

    in 1842 to 127,821l. 14s. 6d.;
    in 1843, to 100,250l.;
    in 1844, to 192,517l. 12s. 7d.

    In addition to all this, they [the unrepentant slavers now in the guise of "employers"] refused to give the laborer more than one shilling sterling (twenty-two cents) per day for his labor and the support of his family.*

    Ed. Note: Recall slavers' sabotaging freedom, p 155, supra, Ed. Note.
    Also read the record of how to do law manipulations.
    Such evils happen as the Bible's Exodus precedent on ending slavery, including the mass execution of slavers, was neither respected nor preached by the clergy, nor followed by the government.
    U.S. slavers, also wrongly allowed to live, followed the Island's bad example, went well beyond mere tax law manipulations, arranged intense mass criminalization of blacks, in essence, restoring slavery.

    Was it any wonder that the laborer, under such unrighteous exactions, should refuse to labor for such men—flee to the mountains—construct a house to live in, and try to raise something for himself and his family to live upon? You, dear reader, would do the same.

    Nor is it at all surprising if there should be want [poverty], and even suffering, among these laborers, as in other countries, where governments and proprietors are oppressive.

    Ed. Note: The workers had NOT been paid their centuries-due back pay. Such evils happen when the Bible's Exodus precedent on ending slavery, including reparations, was neither respected nor preached by the clergy, nor followed by the government.

    These facts prepare us to answer another objection that is going the rounds in our Southern newspapers, and always urged by Nortbern apologists for despotism. It is, that there is now
    * See an address delivered in London, before the British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society, by the Rev. W. Knibb, a Baptist Missionary in Jamaica for twenty-one years.


    pecuniary embarrassment in these Islands, showing that emancipation was a bad act! To this we reply:

    Ed. Note: Emancipation without following Bible Exodus precedent (reparations, executions)—that's the real “bad act.”

    1. Will you weigh humanity, liberty, the interest of the immortal mind, with dollars and cents? The very objection shows a low and sensual estimate of man and true excellence.

    2. This present distress is not attributable to emancipation, but to former bad management and late repeal of their tariff. Hothing will perhaps put this in a clearer light than the words of the editor of the National Era, March 23, 1848. They are as follows:—

    “The present distress of the West Indian planters is by no means unprecedented. Under the system of slavery, according to their own statements, the reports of committees and official documents, they were frequently on the verge of ruin, and their clamors for relief were as loud as they are now.

    “In the year 1829, the Standing Committee of West India Planters and Merchants presented a series of papers to the Government, designed to show the deplorable condition of the Colonies, and imploring aid to save them from ruin. Of Jamaica they say:

    “'For many years the distress of the planters of Jamaica has been accumulating, until it has reached a crisis which threatens to involve all classes in ruin. The planter is unable to raise money to provide for his family, or to feed and clothe his negroes; the mortgagee gets no interest on the capital he has advanced; and numerous annuitants in tbis country look for remittances in vain.'—Par. Pap. No. 120—1831, p. 9.

    “Precisely the state of things existing, as described by the London Times!

    “On the 28th of May, 1830, (still under the system of slavery,) the Committee of West India Merchants presented a memorial to Government, in which they say

  • that 'many estates have not paid the expenses of their cultivation for the past year;'

  • 'that the debt has been increased by the proprietors in consequence of the expenses exceeding the sale of the crop;'

  • that many other estates, more favorably situated, 'have not produced enough to pay the interest of the mortgages on them;'

  • that the remainder of the estates, still more favorably situated, have yielded so little net income, that 'great distress has fallen upon the families of proprietors;'

  • that the result of the account of crops in 1830 'will be more disastrous than that of the past year,' &c., &c.;
  • and this extract was signed by twenty-six West India houses of the highest respectability.

    “A select committee was appointed by the House of Commons, February 7th, 1831, to report on the subject; and the London


    Reporter publishes the testimony of numerous witnesses examined by that committee, demonstrating a state of extreme distress in all the Colonies. Merchants had refused to grant further advances. Many of the planters were reduced almost to the point of starvation.

    “Doubts 'had arisen of the Colonies existing at all.' Every interest was prostrated. One proprietor said the distress could not be greater.

    “In Antigua, Montserrat, the whole of the Leeward Islands, a universal bankruptcy was threatened, and it was apprehended tbat the negro population could not be provided for.

    “The Council and Assembly of St. Kitts say, in their memorial, that the

    'struggle is not for restoration to that prosperity which once smiled upon them, but for bread, and they add: 'Scarcely is an ancient name in possession of its patrimony; and those who have been driven to the possession of it, find it an incumbrance instead of payment.'

    “The Secretary of the Committee of West India Merchants said, that 'much the larger proportion of the estates was encumbered by debt or mortgages.'

    “Peter Rose, of Devereaux, said that this state of things existed, in that Island, before the conquest of 1803.

    “Under the system of slave labor, if we are to believe the testimony of the planters and merchante of the Colonies, of their committees and agents, of their Councils and Assemblies, and of the select committees of the British Parliament, the Islands were on the very brink of ruin, at the extreme point of embarrassment and distress, threatened with universal bankruptcy, with no hope of relief but from the Imperial Government.

    “Now, if the present distress is to be attributed to emancipation, which took place fifteen years ago, to what was to be attributed the distress of 1829 and 1830, and of the periodical crises anterior to those dates?

    “How, then, are the existing embarrassments of the British West Indies to be explained? In the debates on the subject, in the British Parliament, and in the representation of the West Indian interest, the Emancipation Act is rarely referred to as the cause.

    “The Committee of the British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society charges it upon the abolition, in 1846, of the differential duties [taxes] between free and slave-grown sugars.

    “The free-trade section of the Abolitionists, dissenting from this view, assert that the Colonies have been ruined by protection—have so long been accustomed to rely upon governmental aid, that, being thrown upon their own resources by its partial withdrawal, they naturally enough fall into [financial] embarrassments.

    “The causes, we suppose,


    are manifold. We have already seen that, before emancipation, the Islands were liable to great commercial revulsions, occurring periodically.

    “This will be the case in every community where the credit [i.e., non-cash] system prevails, and especially in planting countries, where, labor and capital being invested in the cultivation of one or two great staples, they are peculiarly exposed to loss and embarrassment from a sudden fall in prices.

    “It was under this state of things 'that a large proportion' of the estates in the British West Indian Islands became encumbered with debts or mortgages.

    “The Emancipation Act found them in this condition, and who could expect that it would relieve them from it? On the contrary, by entirely changing the relations of labor and capital, by altering the whole framework of society, it was calculated temporarily to increase the embarrassment.

    “The wonder is, not that such a false state of things should have resulted in this prevailing distress of 1847-'48, but that this result was not precipitated sooner. What else could be expected?

    “Encumbered as the properties were, a vast amount of cheap, protracted labor was required to produce enough to meet the demands upon them.

    “But the Act of Emancipation left the peasantry at liberty to make their own bargains. Women and children worked before; but they were now, to a considerable extent, withdrawn from field labor. This was the first step towards the elevation of the former, and the education of the latter. It was right, but its effects on sugar-planting were injurious.

    “Again, the laborers had been compelled to work sixteen or eighteen hours before for a bare subsistance of the meanest kind. Now, they would devote only such a portion of their time to labor, and on such terms, as would yield them a comfortable sustenance. Were they to be blamed for this? Do not white laborers act in the same way? They did right.

    Ed. Note: Slavers drew a different conclusion, i.e., not that emancipation is right, but that white laborers should also be enslaved.

    “But the effects of these changes were, a diminution of labor on the estates, and an increased outlay by the proprietors. Consequently, the sugar-planting intereat was injured; the estates became more and more embarrassed.

    “Were it possible to revolutionize the habits of a slaveholding community suddenly, and make those just divested of their slaves as ingenious, industrious, enterprising, economical, as ready at expedients, and as well satisfied with moderate profits, as those wbo have never held slaves, even now the West Indian plantera might have saved themselves. But instead of conforming themselves to the new state of things, and making the best of it, by conciliating the laborers, and taking an interest in their welfare, paying them fair wages, studying


    economy, and availing themselves of machinery, they must have,
  • first, a bonus of twenty millions sterling;

  • next, regulations, designed to secure as much labor at as little cost to them as possible, and with an entire disregard of the comfort of the laborers, whom they were apt to regard still as their property, of which they had been unjustly deprived;

  • then, protection for their sugar in the British market, against all competition; and

  • then, the importation of laborers from all quarters of the earth, so as to bring down the price of labor, and subject it to their control.
  • “In this way, though they alienated the native laboring population to a considerable extent, and really diminished the value of its labor, they continued to maintain themselves without any signal reverses till about two years since [ago], when the protection which they had enjoyed in the British market against the slave-grown sugars of Cuba and Brazil was withdrawn, and they were thrown to a great extent upon their own resources.

    “Then began to be developed the full consequences of a rotten system, which had been only delayed by the false policy of [tax-law manipulations] protection.

    “Without enterprise or economy, with little capital, no machinery, and no internal improvements, with estates encumbered by mortgages, and labor insufficient, the native laborers having been alienated and repelled by harsh treatment and the competition of the brutal and stupid Coolies, the planters were suddenly subjected to competition with the sugar-growers of Cuba, with

  • their importation of Yankee enterprise and machinery,

  • their eight hundred miles of railroad, and

  • their coerced laborers, working night and day under the bloody lash, their ranks being filled, as fast as they were thinned by this destructive system, from [slave-trade] supplies from the coast of Africa. The result [financial distress] is before us.

    “The planters of the British West Indies are at last overwhelmed, and they must change their habits and entire system, before they can expect relief.

  • The estates must pass from the hands of absentees into those of resident proprietors, who must begin de novo, without encumbrances upon them, without a reckless use of the credit system.

  • Capital must be husbanded; industry and economy be practiced, machinery put in motion; and the laborers must be treated kindly and paid fairly.”
  • It is bad management, not freedom, that has caused the pressure in the West Indies.

    It cannot be that freedom is the cause of embarrassment. Look at the free States of our Union, contrasted with the slave States. See facts gathered from the census of 1840, by the


    Editor of the Examiner, April 15, 1848. Agricultural products of

    Value of Cotton, Rice, Sugar, and Tobacco, for the year 1839,$74,866,310Agricultural products of, for 1839,$108,275,281
    Slave States,$42,178,184Free States,$197,658,040
    Slave States,$403,429,718 Free States,$658,705,108
    N. and S. Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana,$189,321,719New-York,$193,806,432
    Slave States,301,172Free States,2,212,444

    What a contrast in wealth and intelligence, two things so essential to individual and national prosperity! Nothing but slavery causes the difference, for the South has better soil and better climate, and might have greater facilities of trade, and in every way be in the advance, were it not for slavery.

    Ed. Note: See also Hinton R. Helper's The Impending Crisis of the South: How to Meet It (New York: Burdick Bros, 1857). That book was "an economic argument attacking slavery as responsible for the backwardness and poverty of the poor whites and small farmers in the South. . . . His book created a sensation in the North but was effectively banned in the South, where by 1857 even to read expressions of opposition to slavery had come to be regarded by many as an act of treason to the established order."—Roy P. Basler, A Short History of the American Civil War (New York: Basic Books, Inc, 1967), p 15. (Click here for link to context).

    But does some one say, "The people in our free States, where these causes do not exist, have trouble in procuring help"?

    To this we reply:

    1. They have not the trouble and inconvenience that we have, with our hunting, buying, selling, scolding, whipping, driving,—with slothful, unskilful, wasteful laborers,—want [lack] of schools, churches, arts, sciences, towns, markets,—in a word, want [lack] of individual comfort, social and national prosperity, with constant fear of insurrection and foreign interference.

    2. Whether they have inconvenience or not, they get along much faster and more happily than we do. They are our superiors in wealth, education, arts, sciences, morals, and State prosperity.

    Ed. Note: Senator Charles Sumner would say likewise nine years later in Barbarism of Slavery (1860), pp 142-159.

    3. Is it not better that a few masters should suffer a small inconvenience, rather than that three millions of our fellow-beings should suffer inconveniences a thousand fold greater, and the robbery of their dearest rights? As we have said, in the scale of humanity and Christianity, the convenience of one man and his family is as great as that of any other. And the man who


    will obey Christ's command [Matthew 19:19 and 22:39, Mark 12:31, Luke 10:27], in “loving his neighbor as himself,” will feel so. “Charity seeketh not her own.” [I Corinthians 13:5].

    Again, the non-slaveholders (who in our State [Kentucky] are six to one) suffer a great inconvenience in getting free laborers, because slavery makes labor disreputable, and keeps away the free laborer.

    Is it not better that one should suffer, in common with others, a little inconvenience for a while, than that six should suffer a greater inconvenience—an inconvenience which they must continue to feel as long as slavery exists?

    Lastly, who is willing, at the peril of his soul's salvation, to practice a manifest sin against his God, his fellow-man, and his country, rather than suffer a little temporary inconvenience? The above objection is very common in our country. Let the friends of humanity and justice be active in showing its true character. It will sacrifice right and general good for momentary ease. It is not the spirit of Christ, who was willing to toil that he might save a world, and afterward enjoy the peaceable fruits of righteousness.

    Not only is emancipation the policy securing prosperity, but it is safe. Safe, not only abroad where there were five, ten, and in some places fifteen slaves to one freeman, but it is safe at home where there are five, ten, and in some places fifteen freemen to one slave.

    Nine States of our own Union have emancipated upon the soil with safety and continued prosperity. Every one of them is more prosperous than the States where slavery exists. And from facts which we have previously noticed, we believe it would have been even better had emancipation been immediate than gradual—better to master and slave, neighbor, schools, Church and State.

    The freed man can live here and prosper. It is the testimony of a number of the best men of our country, that the free colored people of our country are as civil, as law-abiding, and virtuous, as any other people with the same amount of education.

    In Cincinnati, where their chance has been bad enough, there are two thousand and forty-nine free colored people. One thousand of these are church members. Five hundred and nine belong to temperance societies. Three hundred and sixty-nine have been slaves, for whose redemption there was paid (chiefly by themselves) the sum of one hundred and sixty-six thousand and fifty dollars. They hold property in the city to the amount of one hundred and fifty thousand one hundred dollars—nearly a third more property to each family of five persons than in Liberia. They have five churches, three literary societies, and


    three schools.*

    Is not this infinitely better than slavery? The comparison reminds one of the joys of heaven, compared with the sorrows of hell.

    As I know from personal observation, their [ex-slaves] physical, intellectual, and moral condition is far better than those in slavery. Besides, there is the inestimable boon of liberty. Its value to all men, even to the long-abused and degraded slave, admits of no comparison or estimate.†

    We sometimes hear persons refer to the condition of the negroes in what are called the camps in Adams and Brown counties, Ohio, as evidence that they will do no good in a state of freedom.

    Now, it has been my privilege to pass through one of these settlements, and without hesitancy I will say, of all the poor, dismal, clay swamps that I ever saw human beings attempt to live in, that is the worst. And I am told the other is no better.

    The colored people were taken there from Virginia, with all the degradation that slavery could heap upon them, placed in that poor swamp by those who seem to have had no concern for them, and the wonder to me is, that they have done as well as they have.

    I do not believe the man lives who could make a comfortable living there. And for any man to refer to these colored people as a fair sample of what the mass of them will do, or are doing, shows that he is either dishonest, unpardonably prejudiced, or ignorant of their true condition.

    In another portion of Brown county, where the land is good, and the colored people are encouraged by the kind and thrifty white people around them, they are doing well. An Elder in the Presbyterian Church (Old School) who is a long resident, and a substantial farmer, said to me:

    “In reference to the physical condition of the colored people here, (and there are not a few of them, I assure you,) they don't know what want [poverty] is. And as to their moral condition, it is a little better than that of the whites, with the same amount of education.”

    Reader, give the colored people a fair chance, and, the history of the world for it, they will take care of themselves and do well.
    * This estimate was made in 1846.

    † A slave in our State, who is but fifty-six years of age, and whose old master bas been dead many years, and whose mistress died a few years since, said to a son of the old master, "Massa B—, what is going to become of me? Didn't you use to say I should go free at old mistress's death?" "Yes," said Massa B—, "but I have concluded that you are getting old, and had better be kept as a slave, and be provided for." The poor old slave said. "I had rather die and go to hell! If I have to live but FORTY DAYS, LET ME BE A FREE MAN." Liberty with ALL men is inestimable. The slave alluded to is with a "kind master," if any master may be called kind, yet he desired liberty.


    The American Citizen says, concerning the people of color in Philadelphia:

    “More than one fourth of the whole population are members of some branch of the Christian Church. They have four literary societies, and one devoted to theological studies, containing more than six hundred members in all. There are, within the precincts of the city and county of Philadelphia, no less than twenty houses for religious worship.

    “They have seven different temperance societies, embracing thousands of members. Tbere are one hundred beneficial societies, which dispense yearly to the sick and needy an average of two hundred dollars each; that is, twenty thousand dollars.”

    Is not this better than slavery? Is it not better than the condition of the people in Liberia?

    Still stronger. The LEGISLATURE of Michigan appointed a committee to report upon the propriety of extending the right of suffrage [vote] to colored men. The committee reported favorably, and further state:

    “Your committee has been assured by citizens of Detroit, well qualified to judge, and entitled to full credit, that the moral habits of this people are better than those of an average and equal number of whites. *

    “The colored population of Detroit is about three hundred. It has two churches, two Sabbath-schools, a day school, a temperance society, a female benevolent society, a young men's Lyceum and debating society. Over two hundred and fifty (all save one sixth part) regularly attend the churches.” . . . . . .

    “The same facts were also shown in the colored population of Washtenaw. In that county, there are many farmers of the highest respectability. They are independent in circumstances, good citizens, encouragers of schools, churches and morality.”

    Numerous examples might be adduced proving that emancipation is safe, and that the colored man can rise even here in society, in virtue, intelligence, and respectability. Nothing but an unholy prejudice prevents them from doing so here. Governor Giles of Virginia said:

    “It will be admitted, that this caste of colored population attract but little of the public sympathy and commiseration; in fact, that the public sentiment and feeling are opposed to it.”

    Yet he says:

    “The proportion of the annual convictions to the whole population is as one to five thousand. These facts," (with other facts cited by him,) he says, "serve to prove almost to a demonstration,

  • 1st, that this class of population is by no means so degraded, vicious,
  • ____________________________________
    * This has perhaps arisen from special effort on their part, and that of anti-slavery men, to encourage and aid them. But what has been done there may be done in other places.

    and demoralized, as represented by their prejudiced
    friends and voluntary benefactors; and,
  • 2d, that the evils attributed to this caste are vastly magnified and exaggerated.” Letter of W. B. Giles, Governor of Virginia, to Lafayette, in 1829.
  • Ed. Note: After the Civil War, unreconstructed slavers determined to change this low black crime rate, and have succeeded, by targeting them into the crime manaufacturing process, in reversing the old crime profile ("white male smokers").

    Under the head [subject heading] of emancipation we notice this fact: Within the last forty years, emancipation has taken place in forty-five different places; and in every single instance it has been with safely.

    How can any man, in view of these facts, talk about "overturning society, and destroying our country, if we emancipate here"? To talk so, is to manifest either a great want of fiound reflection and ordinary intelligence, or a wilful blindness to well-known facts.

    The colored man, then, can live and prosper here, and society be vastly more safe and peaceful than in a state of slavery.

    But, says one, I will go for emancipation, if you will adopt the plan of the Colonization Society—send the colored people to Africa. To this we reply:

    1. The object of the Colonization Society, as declared in its Constitution, is only to colonize "the free people of color, with their own consent. It is, therefore, no remedy for slavery. The slaves must be first emancipated before they can be colonized.

    But do you say, Emancipate the slaves only on condition that they will, or shall be colonized? This, we reply, would be to act the robber's part. He meets you, presents his pistol, and tells you if you will give him your money he will spare your life, or let you go free. He has overpowered you, has the advantage, and requires you to give up a natural right.

    Though you choose to do so rather than meet death, yet you complain of the act as cruel, and worthy of punishment from God and man.

    You would do the same thing in quality [principle], did you require the slave to leave the land of his birth, a land where he has acquired a birthright, a land of health and civilization—meet the perils of the ocean, undergo the evils and mortality of a strange climate, in order to have liberty.

    No man can do this and obey Christ—do as he would be done by. Let us try it.

    You and I, dear reader, are descendants of Irishmen. The descendants of the Scotch and English are in the majority. A prejudice arises against us Irish, and having the power in their favor, they decree that we must leave friends and the land of our birth, gospel privileges to a great estent, meet the perils of the ocean, take up our abode among the bogs of Ireland; alleging as a reason for all this, that there is a prejudice against us, that Heaven seems to have made a distinction between us and them; we have black


    hair, are low in stature, square built, and just fitted to handle the shovel and pitch turf.

    Now, every man would see that such reasoning would be very insufficient, and such a prejudice very unjust.

    And yet it is the very same ground on which we propose to colonize the African. Prejudice, unholy prejudice, is at the bottom of the whole of it; and on the same ground we might colonize many of the best classes and associations of men in our land. Every man who is not a criminal has a right to liberty in the land where he is born. There he has birth-rights; and to banish him is to inflict upon, an innocent man the penalty of a criminal.

    Banishment has always been considered a penalty for crime. I do not believe that any man can do it and love his neighbor as himself. We have territory enough here for them and us too.

    Do you say, "It is not prejudice with me; I only wish to promote the good of the colored man"?

    Well, let us try this: do you think you can aid, can benefit bim as much when you have spread a broad and dangerous ocean between you and him, as you can when he is near by you, where he has health, you have means, and there is plenty of land? Impossible!

    But do you again object, and say, "I wish to civilize Africa"? Then we ask, what progress do you expect to make in civilizing savages with those who are themselves uneducated, and whom some colonizationists have pronounced "half civilized;" and that too by sending them there, contrary to the real wishes of many?

    This would be like whipping slaves to make tbem come in to hear Massa pray.

    There is a better way of doing this work, a cheaper and a far more efficient way. Employ the same money you would thus expend in sending to Africa missionaries whose hearts are in the work, who have piety and intelligence, and one will do more than a hundred of your colonists.

    Again, such colonization is not only unjust and unchristian, but it is a hopeless scheme wholly inadequate to the removal of slavery. There are in the United States about three millions of slaves, and four hundred thousand free colored people. The increase of this part of our population is about ninety thousand annually; the increase of slaves eighty thousand, and the increase of free colored ten thousand.

    Now, the Colonization Society has been organized twenty-nine years, and engaged in the work of colonizing more than twenty-five years. *

    The Society has sent off four thousand one hundred and sixty-eight colonists—
    * This calculation was made at the first publication of these articles, 1846.


    an average of one hundred and sixty-six annually—not the five hundredth part of the increase, much less any of the principal. In the whole twenty-five years, it has not taken off one half of the mere increase of the free colored population FOR ONE YEAR; much less any of the eighty thousand increase of slaves annually.

    If the colored population continue to increase as it has done, (they will double themselves in less than twenty years, says the Christian Observer,) we shall have at the end of forty years, fourteen millions.

    Some colonizationists ask a century to complete tbeir work. (Af. Repos., V. 367.)

    Then, with the present ratio of increase, we shall have a colored population of more than one hundred millions. Is the Colonisation Society adequate to the task?

    “The rustic waiting stands to see the flowing river dry,
    Nor thinks its high fountains continuous streams supply;
    Downward it comes and rolls, and will till time itself shall die.”

    One of the Vice Presidents of the Colonization Society—R. J. Harper—said:

    “The removal of a few thousand individuals will, in an evil of such magnitude, produce but little effect; it will not materially benefit this class of population themselves; and though three or four hundred thousand already free should be removed, the great political mischief among us will be but slightly affected.” (Seventh Report, page 8.)

    Do you say, "When the Society becomes more efficient, it will accomplish more"?

    We answer, instead of becoming more efficient, it is becoming more inefficient; and that because the people of this nation are convinced, by trial, that the scheme is hopeless, inexpediont, and wrong.

    Where are the means? In 1839 the Colonization Society, with one hundred and thirty thousand dollars received from Government for the settlement of re-captured Africans, had expended five hundred thousand dollars to build up a colony of about four thousand people; i. e., about one hundred and twenty-five dollars per head.

    Twenty-five dollars is the passage money—the expense of crossing the ocean. Then lands have to be purchased, houses built for them to live in, their expenses paid during their acclimation, their sickness, wbich all have with the African fever—utensils to work with—clothing and food until they can raise a crop. One hundred dollars is a moderate calculation for each colonist. *   Then
    * Some now estimate the expense necessary for each colonist at $50. This estimate omits the amount paid for lands previously purchased for the colonists to settle on, with other incidental expenses to the Society.


    if we could remove every colored person in the United States to-morrow morning, without delaying for further increase, it would take three hundred million four hundred thousand dollars.

    Who will raise the money? The North will not do it. The East will not do it. The West will not do it. And the South will say she has done her part by giving up her slaves. Who will raise the money? Nobody; and there is an end of it.

    Suppose we had the money necessary; would-the slaveholders give up the slaves? If tbey do not do so now, are we to expect that while they find slavery a shade in the summer, and a fire in the winter—while there are [demonized] divines and jurists going throughout the length and breadth of the South, telling the masters

  • that slavery is an institution given by Heaven to man—

  • that the Bible sanctions it—

  • the patriarchs practiced it—

  • that "it is the cornerstone of our republican edifice"—
  • they will under such circumstances, with such teachers, give up their slaves?

    No! never, until you go to the conscientious and show them that slavery is a sin against their fellow-men, their country, and their God—to the mass of the people, and show them that slavery is contrary to their interests, their comfort, their safety, and national prosperity.

    With respect to those who will not regard moral principle, the welfare of their neighbors and country, you must do a work for them at the ballot-box—vote down the system. This is constitutional and right. The people have a right to remove, in a constitutional manner, that which is a manifest injury to their country.

    [George] Washington, writing to Lafayette concerning emancipation, in our country, said:

    “It certainly might and ought to be effected, and that, too, by legislative authority.”

    But colonization will never remove slavery. As colonization advances, slavery will be tightened. When the free colored population are removed, as colonizationists themselves teach, "the slaves will be more secure."

    Hence they will be more valuable to the master. As free laborers are removed, there will be a greater demand for slave labor. Hence the slave will be more valuable to the master.

    With this demand, too, there will be corresponding efforts on the part of slave-breeders and traders to increase the stock. Slaves being property, like other property, will be regulated in value by want and supply [supply and demand].

    So, colonization will but tighten slavery upon us; and at last, when years of precious time have rolled away, your money squandered, and your State impoverished, as Virginia and other slave States are, then at last you will have to resort to legislation to improve the State by emancipation.


    But suppose you had the money necessary, and the colored people all at your disposal; it would then be wrong for you to send them—to compel them to go.

    (1.) There would not be one out of a hundred who would be willing to go. If he consented, it would be as the man gives up his money when the robber's pistol is pointed at him—he chooses to do it rather than meet death. So, some colored men would choose Africa rather than slavery.

    But who can do as he would be done by and compel him to do this?

    Do you say it will be better for him?

    Then we reply, of that he should be the sole judge. If you assume the rigbt to judge for him, then a man who professes to have more intelligence and power may judge for you and send you along with the slaves.

    Absurd and unrighteous as is this mode of action, yet more than one half of those sent out by the American Colonization Society have been sent in this way.

    “One thousand six hundred and eighty-seven free colored persons went to Liberia up to September, 1843. Ninety-seven others who had purchased their freedom, and two thousand three hundred and eighty-four who were emancipated,”

    that is, when they got to Liberia. Out of thirty-four who went from Kentucky in 1846, two of them only were free-born. Two of the thirty-four were free-born, the rest were set free to go to Liberia*—that is, they were put into the hands of the Colonization Society, that they might be made free in Liberia; or they were to be free on condition that they would go to Liberia. No man can do this, and do as he would be done by.

    Still further, had you the means, had you the men at your disposal, and had you their consent; still, it would be wrong and unchristian in you to send them, because of the great mortality or number of deaths that would ensue.

    Of the four thousand one hundred and sixty-eight who were colonized from this country in Liberia, eight hundred and seventy-four died of African fever alone. This is a disease which all take [get] who go there from this country. lu their seasoning nearly one fourth have died of this disease alone; and all must have it.

    One hundred and eight returned to the United States. Sixty-eight left Liberia for other countries. One hundred aud ninety-seven removed to Sierra Leone. Four hundred and twenty-six have died from other diseases, casualties, &c.,—leaving two thousand eight hundred and sixty-eight.

    This in twenty-five years is
    * For the above two quotations, see the Annual Report of the Kentucky Colonization Society for 1846.


    a great and useless mortality; and colonizationists are responsible for it. After adding two hundred and eighty-six re-captured Africans to four thousand one hundred and sixty-eight, that went out from the United States, the Kentucky Colonization Society report two thousand two hundred and fifty-seven living up to September, 1843, out of four thousand four hundred and fifty-four. (See the Report for 1846.)

    Now here is a useless destruction of lives. It is a murderous policy.

    How much better for the poor African, had the same money and labor been bestowed in improving his condition in this land, where he could have enjoyed health, and life, and liberty.

    We [non-slavers but accessoriues via our votes and churches] have been indirectly guilty of the murder of hundreds of our fellow-beings, and that for the sake of gratifying an unholy prejudice.

    The ground of [reason for] the Colonization Society in removing the people of color to Africa, or any other place, is that there is a prejudice against them. This is assumed as a ground of Colonization. (See Af. Repos., v. 51, vii. 230, 231.) It is declared that

    “invincible prejudice excludes them from the enjoyment of the society of the whites, and denies to them all the advantages of freemen.” (Af. Repos., vi. 17.)

    It is known to all men that this is the chief ground of action. But is it a ground on which any man ought to act?

  • On the same ground we might colonize the brethren of the Methodist, Baptist, or Presbyterian Church.

  • On the same ground we might colonize you, dear reader, because there may be a prejudice against you.
  • Tbis prejudice against color is sinful; one which God has most signally punished. The wife of Moses was an Ethiopian [black]. [Numbers 12:1].

    Miriam, his sister, scoffed at him—“spake against him because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married.” God, in a most signal manner, struck her with the leprosy: “She became leprous, white as snow.” [Numbers 12:10].

    This prejudice against color is no less sinful and displeasing to God now than then; and a day of retribution will come to us also, dear reader.

    Now, colonization, instead of rebuking this sinful prejudice, encourages, feeds, and perpetuates it.

    Well, says one, "African colonization is inexpedient, but let us colonize the slaves to a part of our own continent."

    Then we answer:

    (1.) The principle will be the same as in the former—it will be on the ground of a sinful prejudice.

    (2.) We have no right to do so, only with their own choice after they shall have become freemen, with the immunitles of freemen. Then, if they wish to go, we are willing to aid them


    in getting a home of their choice. But to compel them to go is oppressive, unjust, and unchristian. It is treating an innocent man as a criminal.

    (3.) You have first of all to get him free from the claims of his master. The first work that every man has to aim at is emancipation.


    "Well," says one, "if emancipation takes place here on the soil [in the U.S.], then we shall have amalgamation and all that sort of thing." Many are perfectly horrified at the very idea of such a result. But let us be calm a moment, look at facts, and listen to the voice of reason.

    1st. In those States of our Union where emancipation has taken place, there is not the hundredth part of amalgamation that is found in the slave States. Every man who has travelled out of the smoke of his father's chimney knows this fact. Hon. Thomas Morris, speaking on this point, in the Senate of the United States, says:—

    "A colony of blacks, some three or four hundred, were settled, some fifteen or twenty years since, in the county of Brown, a few miles distant from my former residence in Ohio, and I was told by a person living near them, a country merchant with whom they dealt, when conversing with him on this very subject, that he knew of but one instance of a mulatto child being born amongst them for the last fifteen years; and I venture the assertion, had this same colony been settled in a slave State, the cases of a like kind would have been far more numerous.

    "I repeat again, in the words of Dr. Channing, it is a slave country that reeks with licentiousness of this kind, and for proof I refer to the opinions of Judge Harper, of North Carolina, in his defense of Southern slavery."

    Ed. Note: The 1860 census showed 588,000 mulatto women—Barbara Goldsmith, Other Powers (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 1998), p 154.

    2d. If it be claimed that, emancipation taking place, amalgamation will eventually follow, we reply:

    (1.) Perpetuation of slavery will not prevent the feigned caanity. The process is now going on rapidly, illegally, and shamefully.

    (2.) Should emancipation take place, and amalgamation eventually ensue, voluntarily and legally, as it would then be, there would be in it no sin, no crime. We do not learn from the Bible that God ever regarded it as a crime in Moses to marry the Ethiopian woman [Numbers 12:1]. This may be contrary to the feelings of some, but this should not prevent us from doing justice to the wronged, especially as no one would be compelled to make such a choice. The words of the venerable David Rice, delivered in


    the Convention which framed the first Constitution of Kentucky, 1792, are pertinent:—

    "To plead this [pride] as a reason for the continuation of slavery, is to plead the fear that we should disgrace ourselves, as a reason why we should do injustice to others; to plead that we may continue in guilt for fear the features and complexion of our posterity should be spoiled. We should recollect that it is too late to prevent this great imaginary evil; the matter is already gone beyond recovery; for it may be proved, with mathematical certainty, that, if things go on in the present channel, the future inhabitants of America will inevitably be mulattoes.

    "How often have men children by their own slaves, by their fathers' slaves, or the slaves of their neighbors! How fast is the number of mulattoes increasing in every part of the land! Visit the little towns and villages to the eastward, visit the seats of gentlemen who abound in slaves, and see how they swarm on every hand. All the children of mulattoes will be mulattoes, and the whites are daily adding to the number, which will continually increase the proportion of mulattoes. Thus this evil is coming upon us in a way much more disgraceful and unnatural than intermarriages.

    "Fathers will have their own children for slaves, and leave them as an inheritance to their [other] children. Men will possess their brothers and sisters as their property, leave them to their heirs, or sell them to strangers.

    "Youth will have their gray-headed uncles and aunts for slaves, call them their property, and transfer them to others. Men will humble their own sisters, or even their aunts, to gratify their lust. A hard-hearted master will not know whether he has a blood-relation, a brother or a sister, an uncle or an aunt, or a stranger of Africa, under his scourging hand.

    "This is not the work of imagination; it has been frequently realized. The worst that can be made of this objection, ugly as it is, is that it would be hastening an evil in an honest way which we are already bringing on ourselves in a way that is absolutely dishonest, perfectly shameful, and extremely criminal.

    "This objection then can have no weight with a reasonable man, who can divest himself of his prejudices and his pride, and view the matter as really circumstanced. The evil is inevitable; but as it is a prejudice of education, it would be an evil only in its approach; as it drew near, it would decrease; when fully come, it would cease to exist."

    Other Objections Met

    But do you again object and say, "They will become a pilfering set, and a constant pest to society"? Then we answer, they will not pilfer as much in a state of freedom as they


    now do in a state of slavery. Facts show that there is not the tenth part of theft amongst the colored people of the free States that there is amongst our slaves. We have previously pointed out reasons why they do, as a matter of fact, steal more in a state of slavery than in a state of freedom. If they in any other manner violate the laws and peace of society, then there are laws to punish and restrain them, as white men are punished and restrained. Most persons, in their evil forebodings, seem to forget this fact.

    Do you again object, and say, "There will be old persons and children who cannot take care of themselves"? For these there is also provision made. It is the duty of our county courts to see that all children who have not good homes are bound out and provided for until they are of age.*

    Ed. Note: Should note also reparations.

    As for those who are old and infirm, we have poor-houses for such; and it will not cost us the hundredth part to take care of the few who cannot provide for themselves, that it now does to sustain our system of slavery. Facts prove this. The truth is, reader, it is safer, it is easier, it is cheaper, to do right than to do wrong. Facts prove this also.

    Do you once more object and say, "It is a breach of faith for government to encourage masters to invest property in slaves, and afterwards withdraw protection from such property"? We answer:

    (1.) Governments have no right to violate the very end for which they were formed—"the protection of rights"—the rights of all their subjects. Government have no right to encourage or allow one part of their subject to rob others of the very rights which governments are designed to protect.

    (2.) No man has a right to commit a manifest sin in enslaving his fellow-man under the paper protection of governments. And because the master has been unwise or reckless in the outlay of a little money, that is no reason why the slave should be robbed of that which by nature belongs to him—his liberty. The slave too has rights, as well as his master.
    * I suppose that masters might remain as guardians over the servant children of their households (when the children have not parents to take care of them) until they are twenty-one. The moment a man records his slaves free at a certain age, he ceases to be a slaveholder; he has given up the right of property in man; he exercises only a guardianship over them. He will be guilty of oppression if he extends his control beyond a proper time for their freedom.


    (3.) Governments always have claimed the right of correcting abuses, and we have, in our Declaration of Independence, proclaimed to the world,

    "that to secure the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter and abolish it, and to institute a new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness."

    Manifestly, we have the right to alter our laws on this subject, which are manifestly oppressive to the slave, and destructive of the safety and happiness of the white man.

    When anti-slavery men plead for the peaceful and constitutional abolition of slavery, some people object, and say, "Abolitionism are interfering with the rights of the master." They seem to forget that the slave has rights, as well as the master—rights which are "inalienable," and, by consequence, neither the master nor legislatures can alienate them. Also, the non-slave-holders have a right to a redress of grievances. Slavery is a grievance to them. No government may promote the interest of the few at the expense of the many.

    But, says another, "I have raised my slaves." So you have, (unless they have raised themselves and you too,) and you have raised your son, who is now twenty-one; and may you therefore hold him as a slave? No! says the world. If, then, you may not enslave your son, much less may you enslave the son of another man.

    Another objects, and says, "The law requires me to give security for their maintenance, provided they shall fall as a charge upon the State." We answer:

    (1.) The law is unnecessary and unjust, and we should seek its repeal as soon as possible, refusing to vote for any man who will not labor for its repeal; then it will soon be repealed.

    (2.) In the mean time, either give security for the poor man who has toiled for you and your children, or else, if you live in Kentucky, take him across the river, where the law requiring security is, as it should be, a dead letter. Let your light shine, and your influence be felt, and soon, in our own State, there will be no inconvenience on this point.

    Again, do you object, "that in some States the laws positively forbid eni«pcipation, by requiring tho free man to be sold again into slavery"? We answer:

    (1.) Such laws are unjust and oppressive, and have no more right to require this of you,


    and trammel the poor slave, than Pharaoh had to require the children of Israel to make brick without straw, or that they should not go out to sacrifice without his consent. Liberty is an inalienable right, and the province of governments is to protect men in their enjoyment of it. Let us seek the immediate repeal of such laws.

    (2.) Take your slaves (to whom you should do as you would be done by) to a free State; then they will be free.

    (3.) If you cannot do this, set them free where they are: free your own skirts from the sin of oppression, and cease to set a wicked example. Soon public conscience will be formed, and none will have the hardihood to molest the freed man. So it was in South Carolina when the Quakers set their slaves free.

    Again, do you say, you have not had your slave long, and you think he ought to stay until he pays for himself? We answer:

    (1.) It is not his fault that you paid out your surplus money for a man, who is innocent, and rightfully belongs to himself. He ought not to suffer oppression, the robbery of his dearest rights, because of your and other persons' wrong acts.

    (2.) Were you the slave, you would not like the master to be the sole judge of the time when the debt would be liquidated. You would think the time long, and the lot oppressive.

    (3.) Should you die before the time, or become involved in debt, then your slave will be seized by law, and sold into perpetual bondage. In addition to all this, your example, as a slaveholder, will be seen by the world. You will lend your name and influence in society to perpetuate one of the greatest evils that ever befell your country, and the Church of Christ; a crime against your fellowman, and a sin against God.

    Should you buy a slave in order that he may be free by working out his purchase money, free him, and take his obligation [a promissory note] for the amount, if you are not able to give it to him. Or if he is a minor, see to it that a deed of emancipation is immediately recorded, securing his freedom in the event you shall die. Also, thus he will be only a bound boy, and your example cannot be plead as a slaveholder.

    Lastly, do you say, "I bought my slave at his request, to keep him from being separated from his family, and from enduring cruel treatment. I did it as an act of mercy"? We answer:

    (1.) Carry your mercy a little further, as the primitive Christians used to do, and let him or her have their entire liberty—their "inalienable rights." Though you may have rescued him or her from the robber's bands, that does not justify you in continuing to be a robber, a withholder of the "inalienable rights" of man. You


    are doing the same thing, in quality, that the former master was doing; the quantity of suffering is a little diminished.

    (2.) When you die, you will entail upon the slave and his posterity the horrors of bondage; and upon your own posterity, the accumulating evils and vices of slavery. I am myself a witness of the evils of these supposed and former good intentions. To relieve momentary and individual pain, you accumulate, in a thousand cases, future woe.

    Ed. Note: Note the 'accumulation-of-consequences-onto-one-generation' principle in Matthew 23:35 and Luke 11:50-51.

    You do (if your heart doesn't deceive you in the desire for a little ease) a little good, resulting in much evil.

    (3.) The world is a stranger to your present motives [cannot read your mind], and your example is seen and plead as a wilful slaveholder. You give your example and influence to perpetuate upon your fellow-men, and your country, the admitted and enormous evil.

    And all your more kind actions, while still a slaveholder, serve only to salve over the horrors of slavery, and perpetuate on us the great evil. Oh! it is these kind masters that perpetuate slavery. If it had been left only in the hands of the cruel, our country would have spurned it long since [ago]. It is not the example of the sot, but the example of the moderate dram-drinker, that makes dram-drinking tolerable, and thereby multiplies drunkards in our midst. So it is the example of these kind masters that makes slavery tolerable; throws a delusive veil over its true nature, and perpetuates the untold evil. Fellow-man! wash your hands in innocency.

    Do you say, "I cannot afford to lose so much—I want government to pay me for my slaves"? We reply:

    (1.) What would you think of the dram-seller [tobacco pusher] who should ask government to pay him to quit poisoning his neighbors? And, upon second reflection, what do you think of yourself for asking government to pay you to quit oppressing your poor, unoffending fellow-beings? Must you be paid to do that which is right?

    (2.) When you have freed the poor man or woman, you will be as rich, or richer, in this world's goods than he or she will be.

    (3.) The Christians at Ephesus, when they saw that they were making their living in a wrong manner,

    "brought their books together and burned them before
    all men; and they counted the price of them, and
    found it fifty thousand pieces of silver." Acts xix. 19.

    As Christ said to the lawyer, "go thou and do likewise [Luke 10:37];" make sacrifice rather than do wrong.

    Shrink not from the work of duty because it may be attended with difficulties of any kind. It is a well-known principle in law and morals, that we may never take advantage of our own wrongs, to perpetuate evils on others.

    Ed. Note: Case Precedents: Glus v Eastern District Terminal, 359 US 231 (1957)
    Stephenson v Golden, 279 Mich 710, 737; 276 NW 848 (1938)


    Final Appeal

    And now, respected reader, in conclusion, let me say, if you and I have been either practical slaveholders, or simply non-slaveholders, but sustainers of the [unconstitutional] laws that help the slaveholder to do his work of oppression to man, and moral and political death to the nation, though it may cost us time, money, persecution and public commotion, let us do so no more. Let us "remember those in bonds as bound with them [Hebrews 13:3]," by breaking every yoke [Isaiah 58:6], and labor to induce our neighbors to do the same.

    If, by faith in God and persevering effort, you succeed in removing this great evil, you will wipe out the darkest spot on your nation's escutcheon, and achieve the most glorious triumph written upon the scroll of time. The living will praise you; posterity will hail you as the benefactor of mankind; and best of all, Christ Jesus will hail you, at the judgment morn, with the plaudit,

    "Well done, thou good aod faithful servant;" " inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me [Matthew 25:40]:" "enter thou into the joys of thy Lord [Matthew 25:21, 23]."
    Amen, and Amen.

    But, on the other hand, if you refuse to co-operate with your fellow-men in removing this growing curse, then calamity, untold and inevitable, awaits you, and your posterity. Never has it been known that any people remained perpetually in bondage. Either they have risen in their own strength, by the aid of allies, or by the arm of God, and avenged their wrongs.

    The slaves in our midst are fast increasing on us. We are growing fewer in number and weaker in body. The North, the East, the West, are fast becoming alienated from us, because of our oppression—of our wrongs and usurpations. Other nations are looking upon us with feelings of righteous indignation. Three millions of slaves in our midst are ready to rise at the tap of a drum.

    The day is fast approaching when forbearance will cease to be a virtue; and, oh! my brethren, what can we do in the day of calamity, when our iniquities are being visited on our own heads, and the vials of God's wrath are poured out upon us? We can, if we will, avert the impending ruin.

    If we do duty to the slave, he will become our friend; the world will become our friend; God will become our friend. We shall be stable and prosperous by virtuous action; stand as a beacon to the world; and continue a fountain of good until liberty, enrobed in light, shall wave her lovely flag triumphant over every land, and the olive of peace deck the brow of every nation.

    Action is glory won; but refusing to act is treason to your country, rebellion to God, and treachery to man.

    [The End]

  • Other Books by Rev. John G. Fee
    An Anti-slavery Manual, Being an Examination, In the Light of the Bible and of Fact, Into the Moral and Social Wrongs of American Slavery, With a Remedy for the Evil (Maysville, Ky.: Herald Office, Pub, 1848)
    Non-fellowship with Slaveholders the Duty of Christians (New York: John A. Gray Pub, 1851 and 1855)
    The Sinfulness of Slaveholding Shown by Appeals to Reason and Scripture (New-York: John A. Gray, 1851)
    Colonization: The Present Scheme of Colonization Wrong, Delusive, and Retards Emancipation (Cincinnati, Ohio: American Reform Tract and Book Society, 1857)
    Autobiography of John G. Fee: Berea, Kentucky (Chicago, Ill.: National Christian Association, 1891)

    Related Writings by Other Authors
    S. Horsley's 1806 Anti-
    Slavery Bible Principles Speech

    Rev. T. Weld's 1839
    Slavery Conditions
    G. W. F. Mellen's 1841
    Unconstitutionality of Slavery
    A. Stewart's 1845
    Legal Speech For Freeing Slaves
    P 31-34 cites the Exodus
    and Ten Commandments
    L. Spooner's 1845
    Unconstitutionality of Slavery
    Rev. W. Patton's 1846
    Pro-slavery Interpretations of
    the Bible: Productive of Infidelity

    B. Shaw's 1846
    Unconstitutionality of Slavery
    Rev. P. Pillsbury's 1847
    Forlorn Hope
    J. Tiffany's 1849
    Unconstitutionality of Slavery
    H. B. Stowe's 1853
    Key to Uncle Tom's Cabin
    A. Lincoln's 1854
    Peoria Speech
    E. C. Rogers' 1855
    Slavery Illegality
    Rev. G. Cheever's 1857
    God Against Slavery
    Sen. C. Sumner's 1860
    Barbarism of Slavery
    Rev. P. Pillsbury's 1883
    Acts of the Anti-Slavery Apostles
    Asa Earl Martin, The Anti-Slavery Movement in Kentucky Prior to 1850 (Louisville: The Standard Printing Co, 1918 reprinted NUP, 1970)

    See also 'The Three Laws of Logic' cited by J. P. Moreland, in The Apologetics Study Bible (Holman Bible Publishers, 2007), p. 1854. The three laws are:

    1. The Law of Identity (A is A). The Law of Identity says that everything is itself and not something else.

    2. The Law of noncontradiction (A is not non-A). As Moreland explains, "The law of noncontradiction says that a statement such as "It is raining" cannot be both true and false in the same sense . . . the principle says that it cannot be raining and not raining at the same time in the same place."

    3. The Law of the Excluded Middle (either A or non-A). Moreland continues, "a statement such as "It is raining" is either true or false. There is no other alternative." Either it IS raining, or it IS NOT raining. Those are the only options.

    In slavery context, God cannot be simultaneously both the 'god of liberty' and pro-slavery.
    Abolitionists correctly understood this. Slavers did not: God is the God of Liberty, ONLY, meaning NO slavery allowed.
    Note that the Supreme Court said “that this is a Christian nation” in Holy Trinity Church v United States, 143 US 457, 471; 12 S Ct 511, 516; 36 L Ed 226 (1892). Assuming this arguendo, note that other abolitionists cited that the Founding Fathers in the Constitution and Bill of Rights precluded slavery. See such abolitionist writings on the unconstitutionality of slavery, e.g., John Adams (pre-1776), Samuel May (1836), Salmon P. Chase (1837), George Mellen (1841), Alvan Stewart (1845), Lysander Spooner (1845), Benjamin Shaw (1846), Horace Mann (1849), Joel Tiffany (1849), William Goodell (1852), Abraham Lincoln (1854), Edward C. Rogers (1855), and Frederick Douglass (1860).