小说搜索     点击排行榜   最新入库
首页 » 英文短篇小说 » A Defence of Virginia » CHAPTER VI. THE NEW TESTAMENT ARGUMENT.
选择底色: 选择字号:【大】【中】【小】
CHAPTER VI. THE NEW TESTAMENT ARGUMENT.
Inspiration always represents the New Testament as its final teaching. Revelation is there completed; and all the instruction concerning right and wrong which man is ever to ask from God, must be sought in this book. We have done, then, with all sophistical pleas concerning the twilight of revelation: for we have come now to the meridian splendour. If slaveholding was allowed to the Old World for the hardness of its heart, here we may expect to see it repealed. Wherever the New Testament leaves the moral character of slavery, there it must stand. What, then, is its position here?
§ 1. Definition of Δουλο?.

The word commonly translated servant in the authorized version of the New Testament is Δουλο?, (doulos,) which is most probably derived from the verb δεω, (deo,) 'I bind.' Hence the most direct meaning of the noun is 'bondsman.' Many Abolitionists, with a reckless violence of criticism which cannot be too sternly reprobated, have endeavoured to evade the crushing testimony of the New Testament against their dogma, by denying that this word there means slave. Some of 147 them would make it mean son, some hired servant, and some subject, or dependent citizen. Even Mr. Albert Barnes, in his Commentaries on the Epistles, denies that the Word carries any evidence that a servile relation, proper, is intended by the sacred Writers. Every honest and well-informed biblical scholar feels that it would be an insult to his intelligence to suppose that a discussion of this preposterous assertion was needed for him: but as our aim is the general reader, we will briefly state the evidence that δουλο?, when not metaphorical, means in the mouth of Christ and his apostles a literal, domestic slave.

Judea and the Roman Empire in their day were full of domestic slaves, so that in many places they were more numerous than the free citizens. Δουλο? is confessedly the Word used for slave by secular writers of antiquity, in histories, statutes, works on political science, such as Aristotle's, in the allusions of Greeks to the Roman civil law, where they make it uniformly their translation for Servus, so clearly and harshly defined in that law as a literal slave. Did apostles and evangelists use the Greek language of their day correctly and honestly? And if δουλο? in them does not mean slave, there is no stronger word within the lids of the New Testament that does; (nor in the Greek language;) so that there is in all the apostolic histories and epistles, no allusion to this world-wide institution which surrounded them! Who believes this? Again: The current Greek translation of the Old Testament, the Septuagint, whose idioms are more imitated in the New Testament than any other book, uses δουλο?, as in Leviticus xxv. 44, for translation of the Ebed, bought with money from the 148 Gentiles. The places where the New Testament writers use δουλο? metaphorically imply the meaning of slave as the literal one, because the aptness of the trope depends on that sense. Thus, Acts iv. 29, xvi. 17, Romans i. 1, apostles are called God's δουλοι, servants, to express God's purchase, ownership and authority over them, and their strict obedience. Make the literal sense any thing less than slave proper, and the strength and beauty of the trope are gone. Again, the word is often used in contrast with son, and political subject, so as to prove a different meaning. Thus, John viii. 34, 35: "Whosoever committeth sin is the servant (δουλο?) of sin. And the δουλο? abideth not in the house forever: but the son abideth ever." Luke xix. 13, 14: "He called his ten δουλοι, and delivered them ten pounds, etc.; but his citizens (πολιται = political subjects) hated him," etc. Galatians iv. 1: "Now the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a δουλο?, though he be lord of all, but is under tutors and governors," etc. In conclusion: all well-informed and candid expositors tell us, that by δουλο?, the New Testament means slave. We may mention Drs. Bloomfield, Hodge, and Trench. The classical authorities of the Greek language give this as the most proper meaning; and the biblical lexicons of the New Testament Greek testify the same. Of the latter, we may cite Dr. Edward Robinson, of New York, no friend to slavery. He says:

"Δουλο? ου.δ = (subst. fr. δεω,) a bondsman, a slave, servant, properly by birth, diff. from ανδροποδον, 'one enslaved in war.' Compare Xen. Anab. iv. 1, 12, αιχμαλωτα αυδραποδα. Hell. i. 6, 15; Thuc. viii. 28, τα ανδραποδα παντα, και δουλα και ελευθερα. But such 149 a captive is sometimes called δουλο?, Xen. Cyr. 3, 1, 11, 19, ib., 4, 4, 12. Different also from ? διακονο?, see that art. No. 1. In a family, the δουλο? was one bound to serve, a slave, the property of his master, a 'living possession,' as Aristotle calls him, Pol. 1, 4. ? δουλο? κτημα τι εμψυχον. Compare Gen. xvii. 12, 27; Exod. xii. 44. According to the same writer, a complete household consisted of slaves and freemen, Polit. 1, 3. οικια δε τελειο? εκ δουλων και ελευθερον. The δουλο?, therefore, was never a hired servant, the latter being called μισθιο?, μισθωτο?, q. v. Dr. Robinson then proceeds to define δουλο? in detail as meaning, "1, Properly of involuntary service, a slave, servant, as opposed to ελευθερο?. 2, Tropically, of voluntary service, a servant, implying obligation, obedience, devotedness. 3, Tropically, a minister, attendant, spoken of the officers and attendants of an Oriental court, who are often strictly slaves."
§ 2. Slavery often mentioned; yet not condemned.

The mere absence of a condemnation of slaveholding in the New Testament is proof that it is not unlawful. In showing that there is no such condemnation, we are doing more than we could be held bound to do by any logical obligation: we might very properly throw the burden of proof here upon our accusers, and claim to be held innocent until we can be proved to be guilty by some positive testimony of holy writ. But our cause is so strong, that we can afford to argue ex abundantia; to assert more than we are bound to show. We claim then the significant fact, that there is nowhere any rebuke 150 of slaveholding, in express terms, in the New Testament. Of the truth of this assertion it is sufficient proof, that Abolitionists, with all their malignant zeal, have been unable to find a single instance, and are compelled to assail us only with inferences. The express permission to hold slaves given by Moses to God's people, is nowhere repealed by the 'greater than Moses,' the Divine Prophet of the new dispensation. Let the reader consider how this fact is strengthened by the attendant circumstances. Christ and his apostles preached in the midst of slaves and slaveholders. The institution was exceedingly prevalent in many parts of the world. Potter tells us that in Athens, (a place where Paul preached,) the freemen citizens, possessed of franchises, were twenty-one thousand, and the slaves four hundred thousand. The congregations to which Christ and his apostles preached, were composed of masters and their slaves. The slavery of that day, as defined by the Roman civil law, was harsh and oppressive, treating the slave as a legal nonentity, without property, rights, or legal remedy; without marriage, subject, even as to his life, to the caprice of his master, and in every respect a human beast of burden. Again: to this institution Christ and his apostles make many allusions, for illustration of other subjects; and upon the institution itself they often speak didactically. Yet, while often condemning the abuses and oppressions incident to it, they never condemn the relation. Several times the apostles give formal enumerations of the prevalent sins of their times; as in Romans i. 29, 31; Galatians v. 19 to 21; Matthew xv. 19; Colossians iii. 8, 9; 2 Timothy iii. 2 to 4. These catalogues of sins are 151 often full and minute; but the owning of slaves never appears among them.

Now, we are entitled to claim, that this silence of the later and final revelation leaves the lawfulness of slaveholding in full force, as expressly established in the earlier. On that allowance we plant ourselves, and defy our accusers to bring the evidence of its repeal. On them lies the burden of proof. And we have indicated by the circumstances detailed above, how crushing that burden will be to them.

This is the most appropriate place to notice the evasion attempted from the above demonstration. They plead that slavery is not specially forbidden in the New Testament, because the plan of the Bible is to give us a rule of morals, not by special enactments for every case, but by general principles of right, which we must apply to special cases as they arise. "Inspiration has not," say they, "specially condemned every possible sin which may occur in the boundless varieties of human affairs, because then the whole world would not contain the books that should be written; and the voluminous character of the rule of duty would disappoint its whole utility; and if any sin were omitted in order to abridge it, this would be taken as a sanction. Hence, God gives us a set of plain general principles, of obvious application under the law of love." Therefore, it is argued, we are not to expect that the sin of slaveholding should be singled out. Enough that general principles given exclude it.

There is a portion of truth in this statement of the matter, and in the grounds assigned for it. But waiving for the present the exposure of the groundless assertion 152 that there are any general principles in the New Testament condemnatory of slaveholding, we deny that this book teaches morals only by general rules. It also does it, in a multitude of cases, by special precepts. A multitude of special sins prevalent in that and all ages are singled out. This being so—the lists of particular sins being so full and specific as they are—we assert it would have been an unaccountable anomaly to pass over a thing so important, open, prevalent, had it been intrinsically wrong. But why does Revelation omit a number of particulars, and state general principles? For the lack of room, it is said. The other plan would have made the Bible too large. Now we ask, as the case actually stands in the New Testament, would not a good deal of room have been saved as to slavery, by simply specifying it as wrong? It is a queer way to economize space, thus to take up a subject, define it at large, limit, modify it, retrench its abuses, lay down in considerable detail a part of its duties and relations; and then provide by some general principle for its utter prohibition! Would not the obvious way have been, to say in three plain words, what was the only fundamental thing, after all, which, on this supposition, needed to be taught, "Slavery is sinful?" This would have settled the matter, and also have saved space and ambiguity, and made an end of definitions, limitations, abuses, inferences and all, in the only honest way. But farther, we admit that the Bible has left a multitude of new questions, emerging in novel cases, to be settled by the fair application of general principles, (which are usually illustrated in Scripture by application to some specific case.) Now must not an honest mind argue, 153 that since the human understanding is so fallible in inferential reasonings, especially on social ethics, where the premises are so numerous and vague, and prejudices and interests so blinding, a special precept, where one is found applicable, is better than an inference probably doubtful? Will it not follow a 'thus saith the Lord,' if it has one, rather than its own deduction which may be a blunder? Well, then, if God intended us to understand that he had implicitly condemned slavery in some general principles given, it was most unlucky that He said any thing specific about it, which was not a specific condemnation. For what He has specifically said about it must lead His most honest servants to conclude that He did not intend to leave it to be settled by general inference, that He exempted it from that class of subjects. Had God not alluded to it by name, then we should have been more free to apply general principles to settle its moral character, as we do to the modern duel, not mentioned in Scripture, because it is wholly a modern usage. But since God has particularized so much about slaveholding, therefore, honesty, humility, piety, require us to study his specific teachings in preference to our supposed inferences, and even in opposition to them. Here, then, we stand: Inspiration has once expressly authorized slaveholding. Until a repeal is found equally express, it must be innocent.
§ 3. Christ applauds a Slaveholder.

Our Lord has thrown at least a probable light upon his estimation of slaveholders by his treatment of the 154 Centurion of Capernaum, and his slave. The story may be found in Matthew viii. 5 to 13, and Luke vii. 2 to 10. This person, though a Gentile and an officer of the Roman army, was, according to the testimony of his Jewish neighbours, a sincere convert to the religion of the Old Testament, and a truly good man. He had a valued slave very sick, called in Matthew his "boy," (παι?,) a common term for slave in New Testament times; but Luke calls him again and again his "slave," (δουλο?.) Hearing of Christ's approach, he sent some of his Hebrew neighbours, (rulers of the synagogue,) to beseech our Lord to apply his miraculous power for the healing of his sick slave. A little later he appears himself, and explains to Jesus, that it was not arrogance, but humility, which prevented his meeting him at first, with his full confidence. For as he, though a poor mortal, was enabled, by the authority of an officer and master, to make others come and go at his bidding, so he knew that Christ could yet more easily bid away his servant's disease. And therefore he had not deemed it necessary to demand (what he was unworthy to receive) an actual visit to his house. Hereupon Christ declares with delight, that he "had not found so great faith, no, not in Israel." This was high praise indeed, after the faith of a Nathanael, a John, a James, a Mary Magdalene, a Martha, and a Lazarus. Yet this much-applauded man was a slaveholder! But our Lord comes yet nearer to the point in dispute. He speaks the word, and heals the slave, thus restoring him to the master's possession and use. Had the relation been wrong, here, now, was an excellent opportunity to set things right, when he had before him a subject so docile, so humble, so grateful 155 and trustful. Should not Christ have said: "Honest Centurion, you owe one thing more to your sick fellow-creature: his liberty. You have humanely sought the preservation of his being, which I have now granted; but it therefore becomes my duty to tell you, lest silence in such a case should confirm a sinful error, that your possession of him as a slave outrages the laws of his being. I cannot become accomplice to wrong. The life which I have rescued, I claim for liberty, for righteousness. I expect it of your faith and gratitude, that instead of begrudging the surrender, you will thank me for enlightening you as to your error." But no; Christ says nothing like this, but goes his way and leaves the master and all the people blinded by his extraordinary commendation of the slave-owner, and his own act in restoring the slave to him, to blunder on in the belief that slavery was all right. Certain we are, that had Dr. Channing, or Dr. Wayland, or the most moderate Abolitionist, been the miracle-worker, he would have made a very different use of the occasion. However he might have hesitated as to immediate and universal emancipation, he would have felt that the opportunity was too fair to be lost, for setting up a good strong precedent against slavery. Hence we feel sure that Christ and they are not agreed in the moral estimate of the relation.
§ 4. The Apostles separate Slavery and its Abuses.

We find the apostles everywhere treating slavery, in one particular, as the Abolitionists refuse to treat it; that is to say, distinguishing between the relation and 156 its incidental abuses. Our accusers now claim a license from the well-known logical rule, that it is not fair to argue from the abuses of a thing to the thing itself. Hence they insist that in estimating slavery, we must take it in the concrete, as it is in these Southern States, with all that bad men or bad legislation may at any time have attached to it. And if any feature attaching to an aggravated case of oppression should be proved wrong, then the very relation of master and slave must be held wrong in itself. The bald and insolent sophistry of this claim has been already alluded to. By this way it could be proved that marriage, civil government and church government, as well as the parental relation, are intrinsically immoral; for all have been and are abused, not only by the illegal license of individual bad men, but by bad legislation. Just as reasonably might a monk say to all Mohammedans, that marriage is a sin, for the character of the institution must be tried in the concrete, with all the accessaries which usually attend it in Mohammedan lands, and most certainly with such as are established by law; and among these is polygamy, which is sinful; wherefore the marriage relation is wrong. And this preposterous logick has been urged, although it has been proved that, in the vast majority of cases in these States, masters did preserve the relation to their slaves, without connecting with it a single one of the incidents, whether allowed by law or not, which are indefensible in a moral view. To say that the relation was sinful, in all these virtuous citizens, because some of the occasional incidents were sinful, is just as outrageous as to tell the Christian mother that her authority over her child is a 157 wicked tyranny, because some drunken wretch near by has been guilty of child-murder. But our chief purpose here is to show, that the apostles were never guilty of this absurdity; and that, on the contrary, they separated between the relation and its abuses, just as Christian masters now claim to do.

Let the reader note then, that the type of slavery prevailing where the apostles preached, was, compared with ours, barbarous, cruel, and wicked in many of its customary incidents, as established both by usage and law. Slaves were regarded as having neither rights nor legal remedies. No law protected their life itself against the master. There was no recognized marriage for them, and no established parental or filial relations. The chastity of the female slave was unprotected by law against her master. And the temper of society sanctioned the not infrequent use of these powers, in the ruthless separation of families, inhuman punishments, hard labour, coarse food, maiming, and even murder. Such were the iniquities which history assures us connected themselves only too often with this relation in the apostles' days, and were sanctioned by human laws.

But did they provoke these inspired law-givers to condemn the whole institution? By no means. As we have seen, they nowhere pronounce the relation of master and slave an inherent wrong. They everywhere act as though it might be, and when not abused, was, perfectly innocent. And that it might be innocent, they forbade to the members of the Christian church all these abuses of it. Thus they separated between the relation and its abuses. Doubtless, the 158 standard which they had in view, in commanding masters to "render to their servants those things which are just and equal," was the Mosaic law. We have seen how far this was in advance of the brutalities permitted by pagan laws, and how it protected the life, limbs, and chastity of servants among the Hebrews. This law, being founded in righteousness, was in its general spirit the rule of the New Testament church also. When this separation is made by the apostles between the relation and its abuses, we find that the former includes, as its essentials, just these elements: a right to the slave's labour for life, coupled with the obligation on the master to use it with justice and clemency, and to recompense the slave with a suitable maintenance; and on the slave's part, the obligation to render this labour with all good fidelity, and with a respectful obedience. Is not this just the definition of slavery with which we set out?
§ 5. Slavery no Essential Religious Evil.

The Apostle Paul teaches that the condition of a slave, although not desirable for its own sake, has no essential bearing on the Christian life and progress; and therefore, when speaking as a Christian minister, and with exclusive reference to man's religious interests, he treats it as unimportant. The proof of this statement may be found in such passages as the following: 1 Cor. xii. 13, "For by one Spirit we are all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free: and have all been made to drink into one Spirit." Galat. iii. 28, "There is 159 neither Jew nor Greek; there is neither bond nor free; there is neither male nor female; for we are all one in Jesus Christ." So, substantially, says Colos. iii. 11. But the most decisive passage is 1 Cor. vii. 20, 21: "Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called. Art thou called being a servant? care not for it; but if thou mayest be made free, use it rather." (Paul had just defined his meaning in the phrase "calling in which he was called," as being circumcised or uncircumcised, bond or free.)

The drift of all these passages is to teach that a man's reception by Christ and by the Church does not depend in any manner on his class or condition in secular life; because Christianity places all classes on the same footing as to the things of the soul, and offers to all the same salvation. When, therefore, men come to the throne of grace, the baptismal water, the communion table, distinctions of class are left behind them for the time. Hence, these distinctions are not essential, as to the soul's salvation. The last passage quoted brings out the latter truth more distinctly. Is any Christian, at his conversion, a Jew? That circumstance is unimportant to his religious life. Was he a Gentile? That also is unimportant. Was he a slave when converted to Christ? Let not this concern him, for it cannot essentially affect his religious welfare: the road to heaven is as open to him as to the freeman. But if a convenient and lawful opportunity to acquire his freedom, with the consent of his master, occurs, then freedom is to be preferred. Such is the meaning found in the words by all sober expositors, including those of countries where slavery does not exist. Who 160 can believe that the apostle would have taught thus, if slavery had been an iniquitous relation?

But when he tells the Christian servant that freedom is to be preferred by him to bondage, if it may be rightfully acquired, we must remember the circumstances of the age, in order to do justice to his meaning. The same apostle, speaking of marriage, says, "Art thou loosed from a wife? seek not to be bound." Does he mean to set himself against the holy estate of matrimony, and to contradict the divine wisdom which said that "it is not good for man to be alone?" By no means. He explains himself as advising thus "because of the present distress." Exposure to persecution, banishment, death, made it a step of questionable prudence at that time, to assume the responsibilities of a husband and father. Now the laws and usages of the age as to slaves were, as we have seen, harsh and oppressive. But worse than this, many masters among the heathen were accustomed to require of their slaves offices vile, and even guilty; and scruples of conscience on the slave's part were treated as an absurdity or rebellion. In such a state of society, although the relation of servitude was not in itself adverse to a holy life, the prudent man would prefer to be secured against the possibility of such a wrong, by securing his liberty if he lawfully could. Moreover, society offered a grade, and a career of advancement, to the "freedman" and his children. Master and slave were of the same colour; and a generation or two would obliterate by its unions the memory of the servile condition. But in these States, where the servant's rights were so much better protected by law and usage, and 161 where the freed servant, being a black, finds himself only deprived of his master's patronage, and still debarred as much as ever from social equality by his colour and caste, the case may be very different. Freedom to the Christian slave here, may prove a loss.

Now who can believe that the Apostle Paul would have spoken thus of slavery, if he had thought it an injurious and iniquitous relation, as hostile to religion, as degrading to the victim's immortal nature, and as converting him from a rational person into a chattel, a human brute? He treats the condition of bondage, in its religious aspects, precisely as he does accidents of birth, being born circumcised or uncircumcised, a citizen of the Empire or a subject foreigner, male or female. We have a practical evidence how incompatible such language is with the Abolitionist first principle, in their very different conduct. Do they ever say to the Christian slave: "Art thou called being a servant? care not for it." We trow not. They glory in teaching every slave they can to break away from his bondage, even at the cost of robbery and murder. And Mr. Albert Barnes informs his readers, that in his interviews with runaway slaves, he long ago ceased to instruct them that it was their duty to return to their masters. It is evident, therefore, that this abolitionist and St. Paul were not agreed.
§ 6. Slaveholders fully Admitted to Church-membership.

We now proceed, in the sixth place, to a fact of still greater force: that slaveholders were admitted by Christ to full communion and good standing in the Christian church. Let us first establish the fact. In 162 Acts X. 5-17, we learn that the pious Cornelius had at least two household servants, (οικετων, one of the Septuagint words for domestic slave.) There is no hint of his liberating them; but the Apostle Peter tells his brethren, Acts xi. 15-17, that he was obliged to admit him by baptism to the church, by the act of God himself. Says he: "Forasmuch then as God gave them the like gift as he did unto us," (power of miracles,) "who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, what was I, that I could withstand God?" So he baptized him and his servants together. Again we find the Epistle to the Ephesians addressed in the first verse, "to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful brethren in Christ Jesus," with a blessing in the second verse appropriate to none but God's children. When, therefore, in subsequent parts of the Epistle, we find any persons addressed in detail with apostolic precepts, we conclude of course that they are included in "the saints and faithful." But all expositors say these terms mean church members in good standing. If we find here any persons commanded to any duty, we know that they are church members. This thought confirms it, that St. Paul knew well that his office gave him no jurisdiction over the external world. He had himself said to the church authorities at Corinth, "What have I to do, to judge them that are without?" 1 Cor. v. 12. Now, in the sixth chapter and ninth verse of Ephesians, we find him, after commanding Christian husbands, Christian wives, Christian parents, Christian children, and Christian slaves, how to demean themselves, addressing Christian masters: "And ye, masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing threatening, 163 knowing that your Master also is in heaven," &c. Here, therefore, must have been slaveholders in good standing in this favourite church, which was organized under St. Paul's own eye. The Epistle to the Colossians is also addressed "to the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse:" and in ch. iv. 1, Christian slaveholders are addressed: "Masters, give unto your servants that which is just and equal," &c. There were, therefore, slaveholders in full communion at Colosse. Again: Mr. Albert Barnes (whom we cite here for a particular reason which will appear in the sequel) says correctly, that Timothy received his first Epistle from St. Paul at Ephesus, three or four years after that church was planted, having been left in charge there. But in Ephes. vi. 2, St. Paul Writes: "And they" (i. e. these Christian slaves) "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," (i. e. of the blessings of redemption.) "These things teach and exhort." There were still slaveholders then, in this church, three or four years after its organization; and Timothy is commanded to have them treated as brethren faithful and beloved, partakers of the favour of God. The Epistle to the Ephesians, according to the same Mr. Barnes, was written from four to seven years after the founding of the church, and that to the Colossians from ten to thirteen. So that this membership of slaveholders had continued for these periods.

But we have a stronger case still. St. Paul, during his imprisonment at Rome, addresses Philemon of Colosse thus: "Paul, a prisoner of Jesus Christ, and 164 Timothy our brother, unto our dearly beloved and fellow-labourer, (συνεργο?) and to our beloved Apphia and Archippus, our fellow-soldier, and to the church in thy house." Philemon, then, was a church member; his house was a place of meeting for the church; he was beloved of Paul; and last, he was himself a Christian minister. (Such is the only meaning of συνεργο? here, according to the agreement of all expositors, of whom may be mentioned Bloomfield, Doddridge, and Dr. Edward Robinson of New York.) But Philemon was a slaveholder: the very purpose of this affectionate epistle was to send back to him a runaway slave. Here, then, we have a slaveholder, not only in the membership, but ministry of the Church.

Now when we consider how jealously the apostles guarded the purity of the church, it will appear to be incredible that they should receive slaveholders thus, if the relation were unrighteous. The terms of admission (for adults) were the renunciation of all known sin, and a credible repentance leading to reparation, where ever practicable. Even the Baptist, who was unworthy to loose the shoe-latchet of Christ, could say: "Bring forth therefore the fruits meet for repentance." From all the prevalent and popular sins of Pagan society, the church members were inexorably required to turn away; else excommunication soon rid the church of their scandal. Thus, 1 Cor. v. 11, says: "But now I have written unto 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." Christ separated his church out of the world, to secure sanctity and holy 165 living. To suppose that he, or his apostles, could avowedly admit and tolerate the membership of men who persisted in criminal conduct, betrays the very purpose of the church, and impugns the purity of the Saviour himself. And here, all the evasions of Abolitionists are worthless; as when they say that Christ's mission was not to meddle with secular relations, or to interfere in politics; for the communion of the church was his own peculiar domain; and to meddle with every form of sin there was precisely his mission. Entrance to the church was voluntary. The terms of membership were candidly published; the penalty for violating them was purely spiritual, (mere exclusion from the society,) and interfered with no man's political rights or franchises. So that within this spiritual society, Christ had things his own way; there was no difficulty from without that could possibly restrain his action; and if he tolerated deliberate sin here, his own character is tarnished.

So cogent is this, that Mr. Albert Barnes, in his 'Notes' on 1 Tim. vi. 2, seeks to evade it thus: "Nor is it fairly to be inferred from this passage that he (Paul) meant to teach that they (masters) might continue this (i. e. slaveholding) and be entitled to all the respect and confidence due to the Christian name, or be regarded as maintaining a good standing in the church. Whatever may be true on these points, the passage before us only proves, that Paul considered that a man who was a slaveholder might be converted, and be spoken of as a 'believer' or a Christian. Many have been converted in similar circumstances, as many have in the practice of all other kinds of iniquity. What 166 was their duty after their conversion was another question."

That is, as a murderer or adulterer might become a subject of Almighty grace, so might a slaveholder; but all three alike must cease these crimes, when converted, in order to continue credible church members! To him who has weighed the Scripture facts, this statement will appear (as we shall find sundry others of this writer) so obviously uncandid, that it is mere affectation to refrain from calling it by its proper name, dishonesty. The simple refutation is in the fact, by which Mr. Barnes has convicted himself, that the slaveholders were still in the churches from three to thirteen years after they were organized, with no hint from the apostle that they were living in a criminal relation; that they were still beloved, approved, yea applauded, by Paul; and that one of them was even promoted to the ministry. The last case is particularly ruinous to Mr. Barnes. For when did Philemon first acquire his slave Onesimus? Before the former first joined the Church? Then Paul permitted him to remain all these years a member, and promoted him to the ministry, with the 'sin of slavery' unforsaken! Was it after he joined the church? Then a thing occurred which, on Mr. Barnes' theory, is impossible: because buying a slave, being criminal, must have terminated his church membership.

We thank God that it is true that some sinners of every class are converted. But their conversion must be followed by a prompt repentance and forsaking of their sins. Thus, it is said to the Corinthians, 1 Cor. vi. 9 to 11: "Be not deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of 167 themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you; but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God." According to the Abolitionists, another class of criminals fully deserving to be ranked in the above black list—slaveholders—enter the church under Paul's administration, without being washed or sanctified. If slaveholding is wrong, it was their duty on entering the Church to repent of, forsake and repair this wrong; to liberate their slaves, and to repay them for past exactions so far as possible. If this was their duty, it was the duty of the apostle to teach it to them. But he has not taught it: he has taken up the subject, and merely taught these masters that they would discharge their whole duty by treating their slaves, as slaves, with clemency and equity; and then he has continued them in the Church. It remains true, therefore, that this allowed membership of slaveholders in the apostolic churches, proves it no sin to own slaves.
§ 7. Relative Duties of Masters and Slaves recognized.

Another fact equally decisive is, that the apostles frequently enjoin on masters and slaves their relative duties, just as they do upon husbands and wives, parents and children. And these duties they enforce, both on master and servant, by Christian motives. Pursuing the same method as under the last head, we will first establish the fact, and then indicate the use to be made of it.

In Ephesians vi. 5 to 9, having addressed the other 168 classes, the Apostle Paul says: "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 heart; with good-will doing service as to the Lord and not unto 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; neither is there respect of persons with him."

In Colos. iii. 22 to iv. 1, inclusive, almost the same precepts occur in the same words, with small exceptions, and standing in the same connexion with recognized relations. Let the reader compare for himself. In 1 Tim. vi, 1, 2, we read: "Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honour, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed. And 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 things teach and exhort." So, in the Epistle to Titus, having directed him how to instruct sundry other classes in their relative duties, he says, ch. ii. 9 to 12: "Exhort servants to be obedient unto their own masters, and to please them well in all things: not answering again; not purloining, but showing all good fidelity; that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things. For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared unto all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly 169 lusts, we should live soberly, righteously and godly in this present world," etc. So, the Apostle Peter, 1 Ep. ii. 18, 19: "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 towards God endure grief, suffering wrongfully."

The word for servant in all these passages is δουλο?, except the last, where the Apostle Peter uses οικετια. But this is also proved to mean here, domestic slaves proper, by the current Septuagint and New Testament usage, by its relation to δεσποται?, (masters,) which always means in this connexion the proprietor of a slave, and by the reference in the subsequent verse to being buffeted for a fault; an incident of the slave's condition, rather than of the hired freeman's. Now the drift of all these precepts is too plain to be mistaken. Slaves who are church-members are here instructed that it is their religious duty to obey their masters, to treat them with deferential respect, and with Christian love where the masters are Christian, and to render the service due from a servant with fidelity and integrity, without requiring to be watched or threatened. The motives urged for all this are not carnal, but evangelical, a sense of duty, love for Christ and his doctrine, the credit of which was implicated in their Christian conduct here, and the expectation of a rich reward from Jesus Christ hereafter.

But the apostles are not partial. In like manner they positively enjoin on masters who are church-members, the faithful performance of their reciprocal duties to their slaves. They must avoid a harsh and minatory government: they must allot to the slave an equitable 170 maintenance and humane treatment, and in every respect must act towards him so as to be able to meet that judgment, where master and slave will stand as equals before the bar of Jesus Christ, at which social rank has no weight. These precepts imply, of course, that both master and servant are church-members; otherwise they would not have been under the ecclesiastical authority of the apostles. They imply with equal clearness, that the continuance of the relation was contemplated as legitimate: for if this is terminated as sinful, the duties of the relation are at an end, and such precepts are so much breath thrown away. Does any sophist insist that the "rendering of that which is just and equal" must not be less than emancipation? The very words refute him; for then he would no longer be his servant, and the master no longer master; so that he could owe no duties as such. Further, the same passage proceeds to enjoin on the slave the duties of a continued state of servitude. We repeat: all these passages contemplate the continuance of the relation among church-members, as legitimate. What would men say of the Christian minister who should instruct the penitent gambler how to continue the stated practice of his nefarious art in a Christian manner: and the penitent adulterer how to continue his guilty connexion exemplarily? When such a law-giver as Christ legislates concerning such a thing, there is but one thing he can consistently enjoin: and that is its instant termination. If slaveholding is a moral wrong, the chief guilt, of course, attaches to the master, because on his side is the power. When the apostles pass, then, from the duties of servants to those of masters, it is unavoidable 171 that they must declare the imperative duty of emancipation. But they say not one word about it: they seek to continue the relation rightfully. Therefore, either slaveholding is not wrong, or the apostles were unfaithful. The explanation of these passages, which we have given, is that of all respectable expositors, especially the British, no friends of slavery.

The attempt is made to argue, that if this were correct, then the holy apostles would be implicated in a connivance at the excesses and barbarities which, the history of the times tells us, often attached to the servile condition. The answer is: that they condemn and prohibit all the wrongs, as criminal, and leave the relation itself as lawful. No other defence can be set up for their treatment of the conjugal and parental relations. Antiquarians tell us they also were then deformed by great abuses. The wife and child were no better than slaves. Over the latter the father had the power of life and death, and of selling into bondage. From the former he divorced himself at pleasure, and often visited her with corporal punishment. How do the apostles treat these facts? They recognize the relation and forbid its abuses. Shall any one say that because these abuses were current, therefore they should have denounced the domestic relations, and invented some new-fangled communism? Or shall it be said that, because they have not done this, they wink at the wife-beatings, the child-murders, and the other barbarities so common in Greek and Oriental families? We trow not. Why then should these absurd inferences be attached to their treatment of domestic slavery? 172

But the favourite evasion of these Scriptures is that of Dr. Wayland: "The scope of these instructions to servants is only to teach patience, fidelity, meekness, and charity, duties which Christians owe to all men, even their enemies." In like strain, Mr. Albert Barnes, in his 'Notes on Ephesians,' vi. 7, writes: "But let not a master think, because a pious slave shows this spirit, that therefore the slave feels the master is right in withholding his freedom; nor let him suppose, because religion requires the slave to be submissive and obedient, that therefore it approves of what the master does. It does this no more than it sanctions the conduct of Mary and Nero, because religion required the martyrs to be unresisting, and to allow themselves to be led to the stake. A conscientious slave may find happiness in submitting to God, and doing His will, just as a conscientious martyr may. But this does not sanction the wrong, either of the slave-owner or of the persecutor." It is difficult to restrain the expression of natural indignation at so shameless a sophism as this, which outrages at once the understanding of the reader and the honour of Christ. It represents the pure and benign genius of Christianity as walking abroad, and finding oppressor and oppressed together, the oppressor avowedly within her reach, as well as his victim, as a subject of her spiritual jurisdiction and instruction. To the one she is represented as saying: "Oh, injured slave! glorify thy meek and lowly Saviour under this unrighteous oppression, by imitating His patience." Turning then to the other, who is present, and equally subject to her authority, must she not, of course, give the correlative injunction: "Oh, master! since thy yoke 173 is wicked, cease instantly to persecute Christ in the person of his follower." But no: abolitionism represents her as saying nothing at all on this point; but merely dismissing his side of the case with the injunction to oppress equitably! The honest mind meets such a statement, not only with the 'Incredulus sum,' but with the 'Incredulus odi,' of the Latin satirist. And the suffering victim of oppression could not but feel, while he recognized the duty of patience, that the counterpart treatment of his oppressor by Christianity was a foul injustice. The fact that Christ and apostles admitted these masters, with these slaves, to the same communion, proves that the comment of Mr. Barnes is preposterous. The fact that these Christian slaves are commanded to treat these pretended oppressors as "brethren, faithful and beloved, partakers of the benefit," proves it. Do the apostles, while enjoining patience under the persecutions of a bloody Nero, admit that Nero, with his brutality, to the same Christian communion with the peaceful and holy victims, address him as "saint and faithful in Christ Jesus," and instruct him to burn and tear the Christians for their faith, in a godly manner? The comment is disproved by Peter, when he says that there were slave-owners who were "good and gentle," as well as others who were "froward." Does truth or common sense distinguish "good and gentle" persecutors? It is disproved farther, by the fact that the apostles do not enjoin patience only, on these servants, as on Christians forbearing under an injury; but they enjoin duty, obedience, and fidelity also, as upon Christians paying reciprocal obligations. It is not patience under ruthless force, which 174 they require, as a tribute to Christ's honour; but it is obedience due to the master's legitimate authority, and that, a tribute due to the master also. Servants must "show all good fidelity." This implies an obligation to which to be faithful. Fidelity does not exist where there is no debt. To unrighteous exaction we may be submissive; but fidelity has no place. But the crowning refutation is, that St. Paul sent back an escaped slave to his master Philemon, from Rome to Colosse, hundreds of miles away. Will any one say that the duty of Christian submission and patience under wrongs extends so far as to require an injured Christian to go back several hundred miles, and hunt up his oppressor in order to be maltreated again, after Providence had enabled him to escape from his injuries? If Mr. Barnes is correct, Onesimus should have claimed that he had now availed himself of Christ's own command: "When they persecute you in one city, flee ye into another;" and was rightfully concealed in the midst of the vast metropolis. This was requiring him to "turn the other cheek" with a vengeance: to waive the right of peaceable escape which his Divine Lord had given him, and go all the way to Asia to be unjustly smitten again! There is this farther absurdity: the pious servant is required to stretch his forbearance to so Quixotic a degree, as to waive, not only the claim of forcible self-defence, but that of legal protection. (Oh that the holy Abolitionists had practised towards the injured South a little tythe of this forbearance which their learned scribe so consistently inculcates!) Is it Christ's requirement, that the Christian under oppression must refuse the shield of legal protection? Did Paul think 175 thus, when, prosecuted at the bar of Porcius Festus by unscrupulous enemies, he claimed the rights of his citizenship with so admirable a union of forbearance and courage? Now, if Messrs. Wayland and Barnes are right, these oppressed slaves possessed a tribunal in common with their oppressors, to which they could lawfully, peacefully, forgivingly, yet righteously summon them: the church court. They could have demanded of these authorities, with the strictest Christian propriety, to use all their spiritual powers, so far as they went, to induce the masters, their fellow-members, to give them that liberty which was their due. But, so exceedingly forbearing are they, that they not only forego forcible resistance, but the peaceable claim of their ecclesiastical right, for fear they might be thought to act in an impatient manner! A highwayman meets me in a wood, and begins to beat me and rob me: I have a weapon, but I forbear to use violence against him. Meantime, the legal authorities pass by, and I also forbear to claim their protection under the law, lest it should scandalize the amiable highwayman, and make him think less favourably of my religion!

It may be well, in concluding this point, to notice the plea that Christians were required by the apostles to render not only patience and submission to the Emperor Nero, but also allegiance and hearty obedience. Yet none will say that Nero was a righteous ruler. We reply, the case is precisely in our favour: for it proves the proposition exactly parallel to ours, that civil government is a lawful institution, notwithstanding it is abused. The government of the C?sars was providentially the de facto one, and Nero, bad as he 176 was, its recognized head. As such, all his magisterial acts which were not specifically contrary to God's law, were legitimate, and were the proper objects of the civic obedience of the Christian subject. Otherwise, the apostles would never have exacted it for him. The instance does imply, therefore, that civil government is a lawful relation; and this is precisely what we infer from the parallel instances of obedience enjoined on servants to masters. If Abolitionists are not willing to argue that the relation of ruler and subject is sin per se, notwithstanding the obedience required to Nero, they cannot argue from their proposed analogy between Nero's cruelties and slaveholding. But an equally conclusive reply is, that apostles never admitted a Nero, with his barbarities in full sway, to the same communion-table with his patient Christian victims, commanding the latter to forbear as towards a wrongdoer, and yet failing to give him the correlative command, to cease the wrong-doing.
§ 8. Philemon and Onesimus.

The Epistle to Philemon is peculiarly instructive and convincing as to the moral character of slavery. This Abolitionists betray, by the distressing wrigglings and contortions of logic, to which they resort, in the vain attempt to evade its inferences. The whole Epistle need not be recited. The apostle, after saluting Philemon as a brother and fellow-minister, and commending him in terms of peculiar beauty, warmth, and affection, for his eminent piety, and his hospitalities and charities to Christians, proceeds thus, v. 8 to 19: "Though I might be much bold in Christ to enjoin thee that 177 which is convenient, yet, for love's sake, I rather beseech thee, being such an one as Paul the aged, and now also a prisoner of Jesus Christ. I beseech thee for my son Onesimus, whom I have begotten in my bonds; which in time past was to thee unprofitable, but now profitable to thee and to me; whom I have sent again: thou, therefore, receive him, that is, mine own bowels: Whom I would have retained with me, that in thy stead he might have ministered unto me in the bonds of the Gospel. But without thy mind would I do nothing: that thy benefit should not be as it were of necessity, but willingly. For perhaps he therefore departed for a season, that thou shouldst receive him forever; not now as a servant, but above a servant, a brother beloved, especially to me, but how much more unto thee, both in the flesh, and in the Lord. If thou count me therefore, a partner, receive him as myself. If he hath wronged thee, or oweth thee aught, put that on mine account; I Paul have written it with mine own hand, I will repay it," &c. That it may not be supposed we give an explanation of these words warped to suit our own views, we will copy the very words of the judicious Dr. Thomas Scott, one of the most fair and reasonable of expositors, and a declared enemy of slavery. In his introduction to the Epistle, he says: "Philemon seems to have been a Christian of some eminence, residing at Colosse, (Col. iv. 9, or 17,) who had been converted under St. Paul's ministry, (19,) perhaps during his abode at Ephesus, (Acts xix. 10.) When the apostle was imprisoned at Rome, Onesimus, a slave of Philemon, having, as it is generally thought, been guilty of some dishonesty, 178 left his master and fled to that city, though at the distance of several hundred miles. When he came thither, curiosity or some such motive induced him to attend on St. Paul's ministry, which it pleased God to bless for his conversion. After he had given satisfactory proof of a real change, and manifested an excellent disposition, by suitable behaviour, which had greatly endeared him to Paul, he judged it proper to send him back to his master, to whom he wrote this epistle, that he might procure Onesimus a more favourable reception than he could otherwise have expected." Notes on v. 12 to 16: "Onesimus was Philemon's legal property, and St. Paul had required, and prevailed with him, to return to him, having made sufficient trial of his sincerity: and he requested Philemon to receive him with the same kindness as he would the aged apostle's own son according to the flesh, being equally dear to him, as his spiritual child. He would gladly have kept him at Rome, to minister to him in his confinement, which Onesimus would willingly have done in the bonds of the Gospel, being attached to him from Christian love and gratitude; and as he knew that Philemon would gladly have done him any service in person, if he had been at Rome, so he would have considered Onesimus as ministering to him in his master's stead. But he would not do any thing of this kind without his consent, lest he should seem to extort the benefit, and Philemon should appear to act from necessity, rather than from a willing mind. And though he had hopes of deriving benefit from Onesimus' faithful service, at some future period, by Philemon's free consent, yet he was not sure that this was the Lord's purpose concerning 179 him; for perhaps he permitted him to leave his master for a season in so improper a manner, in order that, being converted, he might be received on his return with such affection, and might abide with Philemon with such faithfulness and diligence, that they should choose to live together the rest of their lives as fellow-heirs of eternal felicity. In this case he knew that Philemon would no longer consider Onesimus merely as a slave, but view him as 'above a slave, even a brother beloved.' This he was become to Paul in an especial manner, who had before been entirely a stranger to him; how much more, then, might it be supposed that he would be endeared to Philemon, when he became well acquainted with his excellency! seeing he would be near to him both in the flesh as one of his domestics, and in the Lord, as one with him in Christ by faith."

Thus far Dr. Scott. These are substantially the views given of this epistle by Calvin, Whitby, Henry, Doddridge, McKnight, Hodge, and others: none of whom were slaveholders, or friends of the institution. Now, our purpose is not to vindicate the intrinsic innocence of slaveholding here, by dwelling again upon the just arguments, which have been already stated: that a slaveholder here receives from an inspired apostle the highest Christian commendations; and that he is addressed as a brother minister in the church. The Epistle presents still more emphatic evidence: First, if the relation is unrighteous, and the master's authority unfounded, then the only ground upon which the duty of the slave's submission rests, is that of Christian forbearance. When the wicked bonds were once happily evaded, and the oppressed person in 180 safety, that ground of obligation was wholly at an end. A captive has been unlawfully detained by a gang of highwaymen, for the purpose of exacting ransom. He has given them the slip, and is secure. Is there any obligation to go back, because, while there, there was an obligation to refrain from useless violence and bloodshed? Let us even suppose that the means of the captive's escape were in some point immoral: does this fact make it his duty to go back and submit himself to the freebooters? By no means. To God he ought to repent of whatever was immoral in the manner of his escape: but he is bound to make no reparation for it to the robbers, because they had no right to detain him at all. But we see St. Paul here enjoining on the newly-awakened conscience of Onesimus, the duty of returning to his master. That the apostle sent him, and that he went back under a sense of moral obligation, is proved by two facts: St. Paul had a strong desire to retain him, being greatly in need of an affectionate domestic, in his infirm, aged, and imprisoned condition, but he felt that he must not. (Verse 13.) Paul had no power, except moral power, to make Onesimus go back, being himself a helpless captive; so that the latter must have been carried back by a sense of duty. Hence this instance proves, beyond a cavil, that the relation of master and servant was moral; it lies above the level of all those quibbles which we have been compelled to rebut.

Second: the transaction clearly implies a moral propriety or ownership in Onesimus' labour, as pertaining to Philemon; of which the latter could not be rightfully deprived without his consent. For proof, see the 181 fact that Paul says, (v. 14,) "Without thy mind I would do nothing, that thy benefit should not be as it were of necessity, but willingly." The attendance of Onesimus on Paul, i. e., the bestowal of his labour, would have been, if given, Philemon's "benefit" to Paul. If, as Abolitionists say, Onesimus belonged to himself, how could it be Philemon's benefit, or benefaction? See also the fact that St. Paul (v. 18) explicitly recognizes the justice of Philemon's claim to indemnity for Onesimus' bad conduct. In order to smoothe the way for his pardon by his justly offended master, he proposes to pay this himself, whatever it may be, and (v. 19) gives the force of a pecuniary bond to his promise, by writing and signing it with his own hand: (the rest of the Epistle, as the most of Paul's, being evidently written by an amanuensis.) Some expositors, indeed, explain the 18th verse by supposing that Onesimus, when running away, had stolen something from Philemon. There is not a particle of evidence for this in the narrative; and it is a most unsafe method of explaining the Scriptures, to do it by bringing in gratuitous surmises. But be this as it may, Paul's language covers both suppositions, of debt for his delinquent services, and retention of his master's property: ("If he hath wronged thee, or oweth thee any thing.") Is it objected that St. Paul suggests, v. 19th, that gratitude ought to cause Philemon to forego the exaction of such a vicarious payment from him? The reply is, that the very nature of this plea implies most strongly the legal completeness of Philemon's title to the compensation. A poor man is sued for a debt. His only answer is, that he thinks the suitor ought to be generous enough to remit this debt 182 to him, inasmuch as he had once saved that suitor's life. Surely this plea is itself an admission that the debt is legal; and if the claimant chooses to be ungracious enough to press it under the circumstances, it must be paid. Moreover, Philemon's debt of gratitude was, thus far, to Paul, and not to Onesimus. Paul's stepping under the burden of his debt was an act of voluntary generosity only. The apostle makes no claim of any obligation, even of courtesy, from Philemon to his delinquent slave.

But if Onesimus' labour was Philemon's property, of which he could not be rightfully deprived without his own consent, and for the loss of which he was entitled to an equivalent, slaveholding cannot be in itself unlawful. We have here a recognition of the very essence of the relation.

This case is so fatal to the theory of all Abolitionists who admit the canonical authority of the Epistle, that desperate efforts are made to pervert its meaning. Mr. Albert Barnes, Coryph?us of these expository sophists, says in one of his comments, that it does not appear from the Epistle that Paul really sent Onesimus back to his master at all! "There is not the slightest evidence that he compelled, or even urged him to go. The language is just such as would have been used on the supposition, either that he suggested to him to go and bear a letter to Colosse, or that Onesimus desired to go, and that Paul sent him agreeably to his request. Compare Philip. ii. 25, Col. iv. 7, 8. But Epaphroditus and Tychicus were not sent against their own will; nor is there any more reason to think that Onesimus was." Mr. Barnes then adds the notable reason, that Paul 183 had no sheriff or constable to send Onesimus by; so that if he did not choose to return, he could not compel him. But the stubborn fact is, that Onesimus went; and it must be accounted for. This author's account is, that he probably found he had not mended his condition by running away, and so, desired to return to regain his comfortable home; whereupon Paul availed himself of the occasion to write to his friend. This solution is not particularly honourable to the religious character of either party: we shall neither insult the apostle by adopting, nor the understanding of readers by refuting it. As to Paul's 'sending' of Epaphroditus to Phillippi, and Tychicus to Colosse, we note that the word is not the same with the one used of Onesimus. This is ανεπεμψα; and it is expressly defined by Robinson's Lexicon as an authoritative sending up, or remitting to a higher tribunal, such as the sending of Paul by Festus to C?sar, Acts xxv. 21. Further, Paul did 'send' these two brethren, not indeed as slaves are sent, but by his apostolic authority, to which they doubtless cheerfully responded. Paul had no physical force by which to drive Onesimus all the way from Rome to Colosse; but there is such a thing as moral power, and the fact that the conscience of the sent freely seconds the righteous authority of the sender, surely does not prove this authority to be naught. How perverse must he be, who can see in the words, "whom I (Paul) have sent," nothing but that Onesimus sent himself! Is not this the state of facts, plain to any honest mind: that Paul instructed him it was his duty to return to his lawful master, and as his spiritual teacher told him to do so? And this injunction the converted Onesimus cheerfully obeyed. 184

Mr. Barnes also says, it is not proved that Onesimus was a literal slave at all; he may have been a hired servant or apprentice. Here, as will appear more fully, he expressly contradicts himself. But as to the assumption, we reply, that Onesimus is called, v. 16, δουλο?, a name never given to the hired servant: that he is sent back to his rightful owner, a thing which necessarily implies his slavery: that St. Paul intercedes for him; and that he recognizes his master's property in his labour. The whole company of expositors, ancient and modern, until Mr. Barnes, have declared that Onesimus was Philemon's slave.

But others again, following the same notable guide, learn that he was manumitted by the letter of Paul; so that they find here, not a justification of the slaveholder, but an implied rebuke of slavery. Thus contradictory is error! Just now he was not a slave at all: now he is a slave manumitted; and that by one who had no power to do it. The ground claimed for the latter position is, v. 16, "Not now as a servant, but above a servant, a brother beloved." Now, the obvious sense of these words is, that Philemon should now receive Onesimus back, not as a slave only, but as both a slave and Christian brother. For proof: By what law could Paul manumit another man's servant? And he had admitted Philemon's rightful authority, v. 10, by saying: "I beseech thee for my son Onesimus." Why beseech, if he might have commanded? If Paul had a right to emancipate, why did he send him back at all, when every other motive prompted to keep him? He again disclaims such right, v. 14, "But without thy mind I would do nothing." Still another proof appears, v. 18, 185 19, where St. Paul fully recognizes Onesimus' continued servitude by undertaking to pay for his delinquencies. The Epistle then adds, that Philemon was "to receive him back forever," v. 15, i. e., for life. The residence of a free denizen or dependent could not be defined as for life; because he would go away whenever he pleased. And last, St. Paul expressly declares that this life-long relation was to be political as well as spiritual, both that of a servant and fellow-Christian—"How much more (beloved) now unto thee both in the flesh and in the Lord."

Such are the wretched quibblings by which abolitionism seeks to pervert the plain meaning of God's Word, as clearly apprehended by the great current of Christian expositors, both ancient and modern, Greek, Latin, and English. We almost feel that an apology is due to the enlightened reader, for detaining him with the formal exposure of these miserable follies; but our promise was to display the thorough emptiness of our opponents.
§ 8. St. Paul reprobates Abolitionists.

One passage of the New Testament remains to be noticed. It is that which commands the exclusion of Abolitionist teachers from church communion, 1 Tim. vi. 3-5. St. Paul had just enjoined on this young minister the giving of proper moral instruction to servants. The pulpit was to teach them the duty of subordination to masters, as to rightful authority; and if those masters were also Christians, then the obligation was only the stronger. See v. 1, 2. The apostle then proceeds, v. 3, "If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome 186 words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness," (the opposite teaching of abolitionism contradicts Christ's own word,) "he is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself."

The more carefully these words of the Holy Ghost are considered, the more exceedingly remarkable will they appear. Doubtless, every reader of previous ages has felt a slight trace of wonder, that the apostle should have left on record a rebuke of such particularity, sternness, and emphasis, when there appeared nothing in the opinions or abuses of the Christian world, of sufficient importance quite to justify it. We have no evidence that, either in the primitive or medi?val church, any marked disposition prevailed to assail the rights of masters over their slaves, to such extent as to threaten the disorganization of civil society or the dishonouring of Christianity thereby. This denunciation of the apostle seems to have been sufficient to give the quietus to the spirit of abolition, so long as any reverence for inspiration remained. Even while the policy of the Roman Church and clergy was steadily directed to the extinction of feudal slavery in Western Europe, it does not appear that the doctors of that church assailed the master's rights or preached insubordination to the slaves. Why then did St. Paul judge it necessary to leave on record so startling a denunciation? The question is answered by the events of our age: these words were 187 written for us on whom these ends of the world have come. And we have here a striking proof that his pen was guided by omniscient foreknowledge. The God who told Paul what to write, foresaw that though the primitive church stood in comparatively slight need of such admonitions, the century would come, after the lapse of eighteen ages, when the church would be invaded and defiled by the deadly spirit of modern abolitionism, a spirit perverse, blind, divisive and disorganizing, which would become the giant scourge and opprobrium of Christianity. Therefore has this stern warning been recorded here, and left standing until events should make men understand both its wisdom and the lineaments of the monster which it foreshadowed. The learned Calvin, and the amiable Henry, in explaining the Epistle to Philemon, allude to the question: Why should this short letter, which directly touches no publick concernment of the churches, written on a personal topick from Paul to his friend, be preserved among the canonical Scriptures by God's Spirit and providence? They answer, that it was placed there because, although short and of private concernment, it teaches us many pleasing lessons of Paul's condescension and courtesy, and above all, of the adaptation of Christianity to visit, purify, and elevate the lowest and vilest of the ranks of men. This is true, so far as it goes; but another part of God's purpose is now developed. He left this little Epistle among his authoritative words, because he foresaw that the day would come when the Church would need just the instructions against insubordination, which are here presented in a concrete case.

Those who have seen and suffered by modern abolitionism 188 best know, how astonishingly true is the picture here drawn of it by the Divine limner. God here declares that the principles of the lawfulness of slavery, the rights of masters, and the duty of obedience in slaves, are wholesome, and according to godliness. In addition, the sacred authority of our Lord Jesus Christ is claimed for them. The Abolitionist who assails these teachings is described as a man proud, yet ignorant. This combined arrogance and vindictiveness, with ignorance of the true facts and merits of the case upon which they presume to dictate, are proverbial in modern abolitionism, according to the testimony of neutral parties, and even of some of their own clique. With a stupid superciliousness, equally ludicrous and offensive, they revile men wiser and better than themselves, and pass an oracular verdict upon questions of which they know nothing. They are doting about questions and strifes of words: that is, as the original word means, their minds are morbid with logomachies, and idle debates, and corrupted by prejudice and the spirit of disputation. ("Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds.") Those who have read thus far in this discussion have seen, in the prejudiced sophisms which we have been compelled to quote for refutation, sufficient evidence of the perverse, erroneous, and disputatious spirit of abolitionism. Their dogmas are not supported by the testimony of Scripture, nor the lights of practical experience, nor sound political philosophy; but by vain and Utopian theories of human rights, and philosophy falsely so called. The fruit of their discussions has been naught but "envy, strife, railings, and evil surmisings." The fact betrays itself in a thousand 189 ways, that envy of the slaveholder and his supposed advantages and power, is the root of much of their zeal. Hence the epithets of "aristocrat," "lordly slaveholder," "Southern nabob," as ridiculously false to fact as envious, which form so large a part of the staple of their abuse. They hate us because they suppose we possessed a privilege of which they were deprived. The angry and divisive tendencies of abolitionism have manifested themselves but too familiarly in the rending of churches, in the awakening of fierce contention wherever it has appeared, in the destruction of the union both of law and of love between the American States, and in a gigantic war which has filled a continent with woe and crime. And the remaining trait of "railings" is verified by the fact that these professed friends of humanity have exhausted the most inhuman stores of vituperation upon a class of Christian people whom none can know without loving for their purity and benevolence. There is no sect that knows how to scold so virulently as the Abolitionists. The apostle adds that they are "men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth." Now it is notoriously the fact that this sect, although claiming to be the special advocates of righteousness, have ever prosecuted their ends by unprincipled and false means. Their party action has been hypocritical and unscrupulous. Their main weapons have been slanders. And the tendency to mendacity has since been illustrated on a scale so grand in the recent War, by falsifications of fact, diplomatic treacheries, and wholesale breaches of covenant, that the accuracy of the apostle's description becomes startling. It would seem that when once a man is swayed 190 by this spirit fully, he is under a fatality to speak untruth, whether he be prime-minister, historian, official of government, or divine.

The last trait of abolitionism which the apostle draws, is one which, at the first glance, strikes the observer with surprise, but which is fully verified by the reality. This is the intensely mercenary spirit of the sect. "Supposing that gain is godliness." Without due reflection, one would suppose that a party animated as much as this is by an intense and sincere fanaticism, and that, a fanaticism of pretended humanity, whatever violences it might commit, would at least be free from the vice of a calculated avarice. But the suppleness of fanaticism in affiliating with every other vice, is not duly appreciated; it is a fact, true, if unexpected, that genuine fanaticism can tolerate any thing except the peculiar object of its hate, and that it is compatible with supreme selfishness. For what is fanaticism but selfishness acting under the forms of pride with its offspring censoriousness, the lust of power, envy, and dogmatism? Modern events verify the apostle's picture: the religion and humanitarianism of abolition are only a covert avarice. The people of the American States are notorious for their worship of wealth, just in proportion as they are swayed by the anti-slavery furor. No party has ever appeared on the stage of Federal politics, whose ends were so avowedly selfish and mercenary. The wrongs of the slave have been the pretext, sectional and personal aggrandizement the true ends. That party, under the phase of "free-soil," has thrown off the mask, and avowed the declaration that the true meaning of their opposition to the rights 191 of Southern masters in the territories is, that "the soil of America belongs to the white man;" and the poor negro, though now a native of it, is begrudged a home and a living upon it. There is no class of people in America which has expended so little of its money for the actual advantage of the black race, as the abolitionists. Usually, the history of the case has been, that they would give of their money, neither to ransom a slave from bondage, nor to aid the cause of African colonization, nor to assist a distressed free negro of their own section: the only use to which they can be induced to apply it is the printing of vituperations against the masters. It was the testimony of the fugitive slaves themselves, that the philanthropy of the Abolitionists extended only to seducing them from their homes; thenceforth their whole thought was to make gain of their godliness. The crowning evidence, however, of the mercenary spirit of this party is in this fact, that their advent to power in the Federal government of the United States has been, according to the testimony of their mutual recriminations, the epoch of an unprecedented reign of peculation and official corruption. Such is the picture of abolitionism as drawn by the Apostle Paul, and verified in America in our day. It is our privilege and our wisdom to obey his closing injunction, "From such withdraw thyself," that we may not become partakers of their sins. From this stern and just denunciation, it may be learned how utterly the New Testament is opposed to the whole doctrine and spirit of the party.

We have now passed in review every passage in the New Testament, in which domestic slavery is directly 192 treated, and we have seen that they every one imply the innocency of the institution. We have discussed many of the evasions by which Abolitionists attempt to escape these testimonies, and have found them utterly unsound. There remain two pleas, of more general application to the New Testament argument, to which the ablest of their advocates seem to attach prime importance. To these we will now attend.
§ 9. The Golden Rule Compatible with Slavery.

One of these general objections to our New Testament argument is the following. They say, Christ could not have intended to authorize slavery, because the tenour and spirit of His moral teachings are opposed to it. The temper He currently enjoins is one of fraternity, equality, love, and disinterestedness. But holding a fellow-being in bondage is inconsistent with all these. Especially is the great "Golden Rule" incompatible with slavery. This enjoins us to do unto our neighbour as we would that he should do unto us. Now, as no slaveholder would like to be himself enslaved, this is a clear proof that we should not hold others in slavery. Hence, the interpretations which seem to find authority for slavery in certain passages of the New Testament, must be erroneous, and we are entitled to reject them without examination. Abolitionists usually advance this with a disdainful confidence, as though he who does not admit its justice were profoundly stupid. But it is exceedingly easy to show that it is a bald instance of petitio principii, and it is founded on a preposterous interpretation of the Golden Rule, which every sensible Sabbath-school boy knows 193 how to explode. Its whole plausibility rests on the à priori assumption of prejudice, that slaveholding cannot but be wicked, and on a determination not to see it otherwise. Our refutation, which is demonstrative, reveals the Socinian origin and Rationalistic character of these opinions. Socinianism harbours loose views of the authority of inspiration, and especially of that of the Old Testament. It scruples not to declare, that these venerable documents contain many admixtures of human error, and wherever it finds in them any thing it does not like, it boldly rejects and repudiates it. Moreover, Socinianism having denied the divinity of our Redeemer Christ, finds itself compelled to attempt an answer to the hard question: Wherein, then, is He greater than Moses, David, or Isaiah? And in what respect does He fulfil those transcendent representations which the Scriptures correctly give of His superiority of person and mission? The answer which orthodoxy makes is plain and good: That it is because He is God as well as man, while they were but sinful men, redeemed and inspired; and that His mission is to regenerate and atone, while theirs was only to teach. But the answer which Socinianism has devised is in part this: Christ was commissioned to reform the moral system of the Old Testament, and to teach a new law of far superior beauty, purity, and benevolence. Thus, they have a corrupt polemical motive to misrepresent and degrade the Old Testament law, in order to make a Nodus vindice dignus, for their imaginary Christ, who does nothing but teach. To effect this, they seize on all such passages as those in the "Sermon on the Mount," which refute Pharisaic glosses, and evolve the 194 true law of love. This is the mint from which abolitionists have borrowed their objections against our Old Testament defence of slaveholding; such as this, that however it may have been allowed to the Hebrews, by their older and ruder law, "because of the hardness of their hearts," it is condemned by the new law of love, taught by Jesus. Now, our refutation (and it is perfect) is, that this law of love was just as fully announced by slaveholding Moses as it is by Jesus; in terms just as full of sweetness, benevolence, and universal fraternity. Yea more, the very words of Jesus cited by them and their Socinian allies, as the most striking instances of the superior mildness and love of His teachings, are in most cases quoted from Moses himself! The authority by which Christ enforced them upon His Jewish auditors was Moses' own! Such is the shameful ignorance of these fanatics concerning the real contents of that Old Testament which they depreciate. Thus, Christ's epitome of the whole law into the two commands to love God and our neighbour, is avowedly quoted from "the law," i. e., the Pentateuch. See Matthew xxii. 36 to 39, and Mark xii. 28 to 33. It may be found in Deut. vi. 4 and 5, and in Levit. xix. 18. Even the scribe of Mark, xii. 32, Pharisee as he was, understood better than these modern Pharisees of abolitionism, that Christ's ethics were but a reproduction of Moses'. He avows the correctness of Christ's rendering of the Pentateuch law, and very intelligently adduces additional evidence of it by evident allusion to 1 Samuel xv. 22, and Hosea vi. 6. Again: does Christ inculcate forgiveness of injuries, benefactions towards enemies, and the embracing of aliens in our 195 philanthropy as well as kindred and fellow-citizens? He does but cite them to the authority of Moses in Levit. xix. 18, Exod. xxiii. 4, 5, Levit. xxiv. 22, Exod. xxii. 21, xxxiii. 9. For here their great prophet himself had taught them that revenge must be left to God, that an embarrassed or distressed enemy must be kindly assisted, and that the alien must be treated in all humane respects as a fellow-citizen, under a lively and sympathetic sense of their own sufferings when they were oppressed aliens in Egypt. The Golden Rule, as stated by our Saviour, is but a practical application of the Mosaic precept "to love our neighbours as ourselves," borrowed from Moses. In Matt. vii. 12, Christ, after giving the Golden Rule, adds, "for this is the law and the prophets." That is, the Golden Rule is the summary of the morality of the Pentateuch and Old Testament prophets. We repeat that there is not one trait of love, of benevolence, of sweet expansive fraternity, of amiable equity, contained in any of Christ's precepts or parables, that is not also found in the Laws of Moses. Their moral teachings are absolutely at one, in principle; and so they must be, if both are from the unchangeable God. To say otherwise is a denial of inspiration; it is infidelity; and indeed abolitionism is infidelity. Our reply, then, is, that Christ's giving the law of love cannot be inconsistent with his authorizing slaveholding; because Moses gave the same law of love, and yet indisputably authorized slaveholding. We defy all the sophisms of the whole crew of the perverse and destitute of the truth, to obscure, much less to rebut this answer, without denying the inspiration and even the common truthfulness of Moses. But that they will 196 not stickle to do: for what do they care for Moses, or Christ either, in comparison of their fanatical idol?

But a more special word should be devoted to the argument from the Golden Rule. The sophism is so bald, and the clear evolution of it has been given so often, even in the humblest manuals of ethics prepared for school-boys, that it is tiresome to repeat its exposure. But as leading Abolitionists continue to advance the oft-torn and tattered folly, the friends of truth must continue to tear it to shreds. The whole reasoning of the Abolitionists proceeds on the absurd idea, that any caprice or vain desire we might entertain towards our fellow-man, if we were in his place, and he in ours, must be the rule of our conduct towards him, whether the desire would be in itself right or not. This absurdity has been illustrated by a thousand instances. On this rule, a parent who, were he a child again, would be wayward and self-indulgent, commits a clear sin in restraining or punishing the waywardness of his child, for this is doing the opposite of what he would wish were he again the child. Judge and sheriff commit a criminal murder in condemning and executing the most atrocious felon; for were they on the gallows themselves, the overmastering love of life would very surely prompt them to desire release. In a word, whatever ill-regulated desire we are conscious of having, or of being likely to have, in reversed circumstances, that desire we are bound to make the rule of our action in granting the parallel caprice of any other man, be he bore, beggar, highwayman, or what not. On this understanding, the Golden Rule would become any thing but golden; it would be a rule of iniquity; 197 for instead of making impartial equity our regulating principle, it would make the accidents of man's criminal caprice the law of his acts. It would become every man's duty to enable all other men to do whatever his own sinful heart, mutatis mutandis, might prompt.

The absurdity of the abolitionist argument may be shown, again, by "carrying the war into Africa." We prove from it, by a process precisely as logical as theirs, that emancipation is a sin. Surely the principle of the Golden Rule binds the slave just as much as the master. If the desire which one would feel (mutatis mutandis) must govern each man's conduct, then the slave may be very sure that, were he the master, he would naturally desire to retain the services of the slaves who were his lawful property. Therefore, according to this abolition rule, he is morally bound to decline his own liberty; i. e., to act towards his master as he, were he the master, would desire his slave to act.

It is clear, then, that our Saviour, by His Golden Rule, never intended to establish so absurd a law. The rule of our conduct to our neighbour is not any desire which we might have, were we to change places; but it is that desire which we should, in that case, be morally entitled to have. To whatsoever treatment we should conscientiously think ourselves morally entitled, were we slaves instead of masters, all that treatment we as masters are morally bound to give our servants, so far as ability and a just regard for other duties enables us. Whether that treatment should include emancipation, depends on another question, whether the desire which we, if slaves, should very naturally feel to be 198 emancipated, is a righteous desire or not; or, in other words, whether the obligation to service is rightful. Hence, before the Golden Rule can be cited as enjoining emancipation, it must first be settled whether the master's title is unrighteous. The Apostle Paul gives precisely the true application of this rule when he says: "Masters, give unto your servants that which is just and equal." And this means, not emancipation from servitude, but good treatment as servants; which is proven by the fact that the precept contemplates the relation of masters and servants as still subsisting. All this is so clear, that it would be an insult to the intelligence of the reader to tarry longer upon the sophism. We only add, that the obvious meaning above put upon the Golden Rule is that given to it by all sensible expositors, such as Whitby, Scott, Henry, before it received an application to this controversy. Yet, though this obvious answer has been a hundred times offered, abolitionists still obtrude the miserable cheat, in speeches, in pamphlets, in tracts, as though it were the all-sufficient demonstration of the anti-Christian character of slavery. They will doubtless continue a hundred times more to offer it, to gull none, however, except the wilfully blind.
§ 10. Was Christ Afraid to Condemn Slavery?

The other general evasion of the New Testament argument for the lawfulness of slavery, is to say: That Jesus Christ and his apostles did not indeed explicitly condemn slavery; but that they forbore from doing so for prudential reasons. They saw, say these abolitionists, that it was a sin universally prevalent, entwined 199 with the whole fabrick of human society, and sustained by a tremendous weight of sinful prejudice and self-interest. To denounce it categorically would have been to plunge the infant church, at its feeble beginning, into all the oppositions, slanders, and strifes of a great social revolution, thus jeopardizing all its usefulness to the souls of men. For this reason, Christ and his apostles wisely refrained from direct attack, and contented themselves with spreading through the world principles of love and equity, before which slavery would surely melt away in due time. So say all the abolitionists. So says Dr. Wayland, in substance, not only in his discussion of slavery, but in his more responsible and deliberate work, the "Moral Science." In that essay, Bk. II., Pt. II., Chap. I., § 1, he says: "The Gospel was designed, not for one race, or for one time, but for all races, and for all times. It looked not at the abolition of this form of evil for that age alone, but for its universal abolition. Hence the important object of its author was to gain it a lodgement in every part of the known world: so that by its universal diffusion among all classes of society, it might quietly and peacefully modify and subdue the evil passions of men; and thus, without violence, work a revolution in the whole mass of mankind. In this manner alone could its object, a universal moral revolution, have been accomplished. For if it had forbidden the evil instead of subverting the principle—if it had proclaimed the unlawfulness of slavery, and taught slaves to resist the oppression of their masters, it would instantly have arrayed the two parties in deadly hostility throughout the civilized world; its announcement 200 would have been the signal of servile war, and the very name of the Christian religion would have been forgotten amidst the agitations of universal bloodshed. The fact that, under these circumstances, the Gospel does not forbid slavery, affords no reason to suppose that it does not mean to prohibit it; much less does it afford ground for belief that Jesus Christ intended to authorize it."

Such is the Jesuitry which is gravely charged, by a professed minister of the Christian religion, and prominent instructor of youth, upon our Lord Jesus Christ and his apostles! Such is the cowardly prudence which it imputes to men who, every one, died martyrs for their moral courage and unvarying fidelity to truth. And thus is the divine origin and agency by which, the Bible declares, and by which alone Christianity is to succeed in a hostile world, quietly left out of view; and American youth are taught to apprehend it as a creed which has no Divine king ruling the universe for its propagation, no Almighty providence engaged for its protection, no Holy Ghost working irresistibly in the hearts of such as God shall call, to subdue their enmity to the obedience of Christ: but Christianity is merely a human system of moral reform, liable to total extinction, unless it is a little sly in keeping back its unpopular points, until an adroit occasion offers, (such, for instance, as the power and support of a resistless Yankee majority in some confederation of slaveholders,) to make the unpopular doctrine go down, or at least, to choke off those who dare to make wry faces! Christ and the twelve went out, forsooth, into a sinful and perishing world, professing to teach men the way 201 of salvation; and yet, although they knew that any sin persevered in must damn the soul, they were totally silent as to one great and universal crime! They came avowedly to "reprove the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment;" and yet uttered no rebuke for this "sum of all villainies." They went preaching the Gospel of repentance from all known sin, as the sole condition of eternal life: and yet never notified their hearers of the sin of one universal practice prevalent among them, lest, forsooth, they should raise a storm of prejudice against their system! Nay, far worse than this: they are not satisfied with a suppressio veri, but as though to insure the fatal misleading of the consciences which they undertook to guide to life, their policy of pusillanimity leads them to a positive suggestio falsi. Had they been simply and wholly silent about the great sin, this had been bad enough. But this is not what they did. It is a glozing deceit to attempt to cover up the case under the pretended admission that "the Gospel does not forbid slavery," as though this were the whole of it. Christ and his apostles allude to slavery: they say a multitude of things about it: they travel all around it: they limit its rights and define its duties: they retrench its abuses: they admit the perpetrators of its wrong, (if it be a wrong,) unrepenting, into the bosom of the church, and to its highest offices. They do almost every thing which is calculated to justify in masters the inference that it is lawful. And then they finally dismiss the whole matter, without one explicit warning of its sinfulness and danger. According to this theory, the apostles find their trusting pupils on the brink of the precipice, 202 surrounded with much darkness; and having added almost every circumstance adapted farther to obfuscate their consciences, they coolly leave them there, with no other guidance than a reference to those general principles of equity which, beautifully taught by Moses, had already signally failed to enlighten them.

Dr. Wayland's hypothesis is also deceitful and erroneous, in representing Christ as having no alternatives save the one which he imputes to him, or else of so denouncing slavery as to "teach slaves to resist the oppression of their masters," and thus lighting the flames of servile war. Is this so? When a given claim is condemned by the Bible as not grounded in right, does it necessarily follow on Gospel principles that those on whom it is made must resist it by force? Surely not. The uniform teaching of our Saviour to the wronged individual is, "that he resist not evil." Christ, if he had regarded slaveholding as sinful, would not indeed have incited slaves to resistance, any more than he did the victims of polygamy which he condemned. But he would have taught his disciples the sinfulness of the relation, and within the pale of his own spiritual commonwealth, the Church, he would have enforced reformation by refusing to admit or retain any who persevered in the wrong. Less than this he could not have done.

The hypothesis is also false to facts and to the actual method of his mission towards deeply rooted sins, as declared both by his words and conduct. He expressly repudiates this very theory of action. He declares that he came "not to send peace on earth, but a sword:" and announces himself as the grand incendiary of the world. How degrading to the almighty king of Zion is 203 this imputation of politic cowardice! And how different from the real picture where we see him boldly exposing the hypocrisy of the Jewish rulers, and assailing their most cherished deceptions, though he knew that the price of his truthfulness would be his blood! And can this paltry theory be true of that Paul, who took his hearers to record, in full view of his dread account, that he was "clear from the blood of all men, because he had not shunned to declare to them all the counsel of God?" (Acts, xx. 27.) This of the man who everywhere assailed and explicitly denounced the idolatry of Greece and Rome, established by law, entwined with every feeling, and defended by imperial might? This of men who, sternly reprobating the universal libertinism of the heathen world, attacked what every one, countenanced by sages and statesmen, regarded as a lawful indulgence? This of men who boldly roused every prejudice of the Jewish heart, by declaring their darling system of rites and types effete, their ceremonial righteousness a cheat, and the middle wall of partition between them and the Gentiles, the bulwark of their proud spiritual aristocracy, broken down? It is slander.

Finally, this hypothesis represents that Saviour who claimed omniscience, as adopting a policy which was as futile as dishonest. He forbore the utterance of any express testimony against the sin of slaveholding, say they, leaving the church to find it out by deduction from general principles of equity. But in point of fact, the church never began to make such deduction, until near the close of the 18th century. Neither primitive, nor reformed, nor Romanist, nor modern divines taught the doctrine of the intrinsic sinfulness of slaveholding. 204 The church as a body never dreamed it. Slavery remained almost universal. It remained for the political agitators of atheistic, Jacobin France, almost eighteen hundred years after Christ's birth, to give active currency to this new doctrine, and thus to infuse energy into the fanaticism of the few erratic Christian teachers, such as Wesley, who had hitherto asserted this novelty. Now, did Christ foresee this? If he did not, he is not divine. If he did, then Dr. Wayland believes that he deliberately chose a plan which consigned seventeen centuries of Christians to a sin, and as many of slaves to a wrong, which he all along abhorred. Credat Jud?us Apella!

The book from which we have extracted these words of Dr. Wayland, was put forth by him as a text-book for the instruction of young persons in academies and colleges, in the science of morals. We are informed that it is extensively used for this purpose. What can be expected of that people which suffers the very springs of its morality to be thus corrupted, by inculcating these ethics of expediency? Not satisfied with teaching to mortals that species of morality, so called, which makes convenience the measure of obligation, this scribe of their Israel imputes the same degrading principle to the Redeemer of men, and Author of religion, in thus suppressing the truth, and intimating error to whole generations of his own followers, in order to avoid the inconveniences of candour. So that unsuspecting youth are thus taught to approve and imitate this corrupt expediency, in the very person of the Redeemer God, whom they are commanded to adore. Will the Yankee give an actual apotheosis to his crooked principles, in 205 the person of an imaginary New England Christ? We thank God that this is not the Christ of the Bible, nor our Redeemer, but only the hideous invention of "men of perverse minds and destitute of the truth." But since we are taught (Psalm cxv. 8) that they who worship false Gods are like unto them, that is to say, that idolaters always reproduce in themselves all the abominations which they adore in their idols, we need no longer wonder at any thing which the Yankee people may do. Hence that state of publick morals blazoned to the world by the effrontery of their own corrupt press, charged upon each other in their mutual recriminations, and betrayed in their crimes against the general weal.

In concluding the biblical part of this discussion, it may be expected that we should indicate more exactly the influence which we suppose Christianity ought to have exerted upon slavery, and its ultimate destiny under pure Bible teachings. It may be asked: "When you claim that slavery is literally and simply a righteous relation, in itself, if it be not perverted and abused; do you mean that this is the normal and perfect relation for the labouring man; that this is to be the fullest and most blessed social development of Christianity: that it ought to subsist in the best states of Christian society, and will endure even in the millennium?" We reply, that one uniform effect of Christianity on slavery, has been to ameliorate it, to remove its perversions and abuses, just as it does those of the other lawful relations among men; to make better masters and better servants, and thus to promote the welfare of both. Domestic slavery has been violently and 206 mischievously ended in the South; and it is doubtless ended here in this form, finally. And it has long been manifest that the radical and anti-Christian tendency of the age is likely speedily to break up this form of servitude in other places where it still prevails. But true slavery, that is, the involuntary subjection of one man to the will of another, is not thereby any more abolished than sin and death are abolished. And least of all will real bondage of man to man be abolished in countries governed by radical democracy. The Scriptural, the milder and more benign form of servitude is swept away, in the arrogance of false political philosophy, to be replaced by more pretentious but more grinding forms of society. But, it may be asked: Will not the diffusion of the pure and blessed principles of the Gospel ultimately extinguish all forms of slavery? We answer: Yes, we devoutly trust it will, not by making masters too righteous to hold slaves, but by so correcting the ignorance, thriftlessness, indolence, and vice of labouring people, that the institution of slavery will be no longer needed. Just so, we hope that the spread of Christianity will some day abolish penitentiaries and jails: but this does not imply that to put rogues into penitentiaries is not now, and will not continue, so long as rogues shall continue to deserve imprisonment, an act which an angel might perform without sullying his morality. So likewise, we hope that our ransomed world will see the day when defensive war and military establishments will be superseded: superseded not because defensive war and the calling of the Christian soldier are immoral when one's country is wrongfully invaded; but because there will be none immoral 207 enough to commit the aggressions which now justify these costly, though righteous expedients of defence. There appears, in many minds, a strange impotency to comprehend the truth, that the strict righteousness of the relation maintained, and the treatment observed towards a person, may depend on that person's character. They will not see that, as it may be strictly moral to punish one who is guilty because of his guilt, and yet suffering is not intrinsic good in itself; so it may be perfectly righteous to hold a class in bondage, which is incapable of freedom, and yet it may be true still that bondage is not a good in itself. Because they cannot accept the extreme dogma, that domestic slavery is the beau ideal of the proper relation of labour to capital, they seem to imagine that they are bound in consistency to hold that it is somehow an evil. Yet they have too much reverence for God's word to assert, with the abolitionists, in the teeth of its fair meaning, that slavery is sin per se. So, they attempt to stand on an intermediate ground of invisible and infinitesimal breadth. The plain solution of the matter is, that slavery may not be the beau ideal of the social organization; that there is a true evil in the necessity for it, but that this evil is not slavery, but the ignorance and vice in the labouring classes, of which slavery is the useful and righteous remedy; righteous so long as the condition of its utility exists. Others pass to another extreme, and seeing that the Bible undoubtedly teaches that slaveholding is righteous, they liken the relation to those of the husband and father. There is, however, this obvious difference: These relations were established in paradise before man fell. Their righteousness 208 and usefulness are not dependent on the fact that man is a sinner, and they would be appropriately continued as long as men are in the body, though all were perfectly wise and holy. But the propriety of slavery, like that of the restraints and punishments of civil government, rests on the fact that man is depraved and fallen. Such is his character, that the rights of the whole, and the greatest welfare of the whole, may, in many cases, demand the subjection of one part of society to another, even as man's sinfulness demands the subjection of all to civil government. Slavery is, indeed, but one form of the institution, government. Government is controul. Some controul over all is necessary, righteous, and beneficent: the degree of it depends on the character of those to be controuled. As that character rises in the scale of true virtue, and self-command, the degree of outward controul may be properly made lighter. If the lack of those properties in any class is so great as to demand, for the good and safety of the whole, that extensive controul which amounts to slavery, then slavery is righteous, righteous by precisely the same reason that other government is righteous. And this is the Scriptural account of the origin of slavery, as justly incurred by the sin and depravity of man.



欢迎访问英文小说网http://novel.tingroom.com

©英文小说网 2005-2010

有任何问题,请给我们留言,管理员邮箱:tinglishi@gmail.com  站长QQ :点击发送消息和我们联系56065533

鲁ICP备05031204号