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relation of false marriage or concubinage. This is a wrong relation. It is forbidden by scripture, and justifies its condemnation by the common sense of mankind, by the evils which it brings in its train. So there are right and wrong business relations.
The relation of partners in a legitimate trade is a just and useful relation-founded on a right principle, that of the mutual dependence of men.
“God builds on wants and on defects of mind,
The glory, peace and virtue of mankind." But there is also a false relation in business—such as that between smugglers, or that of the anti-social conspiracy, formed by men who are banded together to burn our cities, and, by general disorganization, to bring down society to their own level.
I will not detain you by speciffying other human relations.
The point before us is; Is the relation between the master and his slave, just or unjust? Is it a holy or a sin. ful relation ?
Since this debate was announced, fears have been expresssed by certain public prints that no real issue will be made by the disputants, but that the whole question will be made to turn upon extreme cases :- :-for there are extreme cases, even in morals. But such fears may safely be dismissed. For by a glance at the printed pamphlet which I hold in my hand, and which has been issued by my respected friend, since this discussion was proposed,--and, being an argument on one side of the question, has thus become a part of the debate,-you will see that the gentleman opposed to me has no disposition to skulk behind extreme cases. He, as Kentuckians are wont to do, will come square up to the point in discussion, whether slave-holding-American slaveholding—or slave-holding in every nation, is sinful or not! From the free quotations, which, in this pamphlet, he makes from the actual slave code of the country, you will see that we have not invited you to a feast of moral principles to serve you with the scraps; to consume your time and our strength, haggling supposed cases of slave-holding; and
amusing you with tricks of logic and special pleading—the mere gim-cracks of argument.
The question is whether slave-holding, as practiced by Americans, Englishmen, Romans or Greeks;—whether SLAVE-HOLDING! is sinful; and the relation which it creates and which exists between master and slave is a sinful relation?
Gentlemen; every man wishes there may be a pure Christianity. When Ethan Allen's daughter was dying, she asked her father whether she should believe what he had taught her, or believe her mother ? Though a skeptic himself, he bade her believe her mother; and whether we are professors of religion or not, we all wish there may be on earth, one holy and unspotted shrine—a pure religion where the heart may worship while the mind approves.
Now, the question is, whether Humanity can look to Christianity and find protection? Whether the oppressed can flee to the sanctuary of the Gospel of Christ and find a refuge there—or whether religion affords no protection to human rights? In other words, whether the religion we profess is a humane or an inhuman religion?
The number of persons now held as slaves under nominally Christian governments is not quite seven millions. This is exclusive of the serfs of Europe who have legal existence and some rights. And as long as a human creature has one human right legally made secure, he is not, he cannot be, a slave. These seven millions of human beings _these slaves, touching whom we are met to hold colloquy, are in the United States and in Texas: the South American States, and in French, Spanish, Danish, Swedish and Dutch colonies of the West Indies.
Our Southern States and the Brazils together, contain 5,000,000, more than five sevenths of all the slaves in Christendom. Now, these seven millions of human beings are citizens of no country. They are neither Americans, French, Danish, Dutch, Spaniar is, or Swedes; neither are they found in families. I know that in the skirts of the system, i. e. in the slave-raising States, there exists a some
thing called families; but in the staple-growing plantations, for the supply of which slave-holding exists; and which are the market to which it tends; they are not in families; but they are illegitimate in their birth and in their death.Their children are born out of lawful wedlock, and, dying, they can make no wills. Nor can their children receive what is willed to them. It is common for them to have no patronymics, but, like dogs and horses, to be called by single names.
Their condition is legally one and the same, with slight modifications, in all the countries where they are found; and it has remained the same from age to age. It is a condition clearly and well defined. They are held by individuals, as individual property, for individual uses. They are all held by one and the same property tenure, and ruled by the same property power—that is, (and there can be no worse word,) they are slaves !
Now, gentlemen, we are met upon the question, whether the holding of men and women, under this relation and in this condition, is a right or a wrong practice; whether the relation subsisting between the owner and the owned is right or wrong
I propose here to advance certain considerations to show the vast personal interest which every one has in the subject under debate.
In the first place, it concerns seven millions of human creatures, born to all the hopes and fears to which we ourselves are born. It is precisely that class in whom Jesus Christ, the Son of God, did, while on earth, and does now, (for his disposition is unchanged,) take the deepest interest. For surely the lowest and most oppressed conditions of mankind received his most tender regards. For Christians, therefore, no question can be raised more fit to occupy
their attention than this. But it equally concerns all others.
Every person, present and absent, has a personal and deep stake in the decision of this question. For all wish a pure Christianity; and all see that when they have convinced the
people of the United States that there is no protection in Christianity for human rights, they will have taught them that we have an inhuman religion.
If we have no protection for our rights and liberties in the Gospel of Christ, then we have no protection for them except party politics, and all can see, nay, have already seen, what such protection must come to.
In 1776, there was no sentiment so popular, North, South, East, and West, as that “God hath created all men free and equal." This sentiment, at the beginning of our national history, was taken in charge by political parties who vied with each other in its praises. Now, leading statesmen and public prints deny its truth, and ridicule it as a “rhetorical flourish.”
The fact is, this fundamental idea of the American Declaration, has been running down for the last fifty years.The last citadel of human rights is Christianity. If there is no protection, no refuge there, for the principles on which liberty is based, there is none anywhere. As a nation, as individuals, we have no protection. But we have all a pecuniary interest in this question. It was well remarked by Joshua Leavitt, the able and experienced editor of a weekly and daily paper, that the United States free population sustain the relation of conquered subjects to our 250,000 slave-holders, the same relation that a conquered people do to their conquerers. That, in short, the free States are governed for the benefit of the slave-holders. The truth of this is clearly set forth in a late article of Dr. Bailey's, in the Morning Herald, of this city.
Speaking of the slave-holders' demands, he says:
“We must allow these men a representation for their slaves ; we must be called upon to stand guard over their runaway slaves; we are expected to aid them in keeping down their discontented slaves; we must expend forty millions of the Nation's treasure in breaking up a haunt in Florida for fugitive slaves ; we must tolerate monopoly of offices under the General Government by Southern men, because
they have slaves ; we must sully the reputation and hazard the peace of the Union, in demands for compensation for shipwrecked slaves; we must suffer the national legislation to be so shaped as, without any regard to the interests of freemen, to enhance the value of the labor of slaves ; we must violate all the compromises of the Constitution, and hazard the chances of a most wasteful, most disgraceful war with Mexico, for the sake of enlarging the area for slaves :". and I will venture to add to this delineation; We must pay from the nations' revenue hundreds of thousands every year to carry the mail for slave-holders' accommodation. must behold the District of Columbia, the seat of our national government, become a national slave-mart—the chief slave-mart of Christendom—and our national jails made national slave-pens, built and kept up at the national expense -so that every citizen at his anvil or loom-every man that labors in his shop or on the soil, stoops at his toil beneath the double load of personal labor and national disgrace: so that every person who pays a tax, or casts a vote, or serves in the army or navy, or buys a yard of ribbon, or consumes any other dutiable article, or writes or receives a letter ; every one in short who has a body to feed and clothe, or a soul to suffer disgrace ; every American who has either property or character, or the hope of either, is directly and personally concerned with American slavery: for every such person is taxed for its support.
Again. The rapid increase of the slave population makes the slave question a matter of personal concern to all.
In 1790 there were in the United States 697,697 slaves : at the last census there were 2,483,436. At the present time the number is above, 3,000,000; or one sixth part of the whole population of the United States. Moreover, while the free population increases 1 per cent., the slave population increases 3 per cent.—the circumstances being equal, and exclusive of emigration. It is obvious from this fact, that slavery is fast out-growing its bands. The slaves are the majority in two of the States already. These facts speak so