Imágenes de páginas

them, for he has the closing speeches, both afternoon and evening, in each day of debate.

Now I beg you to bear in mind, my object, now in hand, is not to arraign every man who is sinfully or unfortunately connected with the slave system. But if I show the relation to be a sinful relation, it will follow that it is the duty of every

church to tell its candidates for membership, to come out of it, that God may receive them. A HUMAN RELATION is that connexion between two persons which creates mutual rights and obligations. As the relation of husband and wife. That is based upon a certain principle, and vests certain claims in the wife upon the husband, and certain claims in the husband upon the wife; and these rights and obligations take root in the principle which lies at the foundation of the relation.

Letus analyze this thing which is called a relation. There are three things constituting a relation. 1. The principle on which it is based. 2. The claims which it creates; And 3. The obligations it imposes. If we consider any good and wholesome relation, say a partnership in business, we find first the principle in which it rests, is the mutual wants of men. One man rnay know more than the other; the other may

be physically stronger than he. Their relation rests on this natural foundation; the mutual dependence of men upon one another, and because it rests on this true principle, the relation, thus. formed, gives rise to certain claims which are just claims, and certain obligations, which are right obligations. Marriage is susceptible of the same analysis. The principle on which it rests, is the mutual affection of the opposite sexes. This is a natural principle. God laid the foundation of marriage in the constitution of man. He is the author of nature, or rather nature is the rule by which God works. The claims of the husband on the wife, and of the wife upon her husband are right and just, because they are rooted in a right relation. So of the relation and mutual claims of

pa. rent and child. But look now at the relation of a gypsy to the child which she has stolen; that is, the relation of

false parentage. The principle of the relation is wrong at bottom. The relation is forced and annatural. It is unwarranted by scripture, having no foundation in the word of God. Hence it can give rise to no just claims nor obligations, because the relation itself is void in equity, ab initio, and, whatever claims exist, are rooted in a relation which is false.

Now, take the relation of master and slave, and test it by this same analysis. Has God fitted one man to be property, and adapted another to be the property-holder of men? is one man formed for fetters and a yoke, and another with a whip in his hand, and a spur on his heel? Will my

brother tell me, as the southern defenders of slavery argue in Congress, that the wise are the natural owners of the foolish, and the strong of the weak. Mr. Pickens, of South Carolina, stated in his place, in Congress, that " when once society is pressed down into its classifications, one class will always hold the other as property, in some form or other." Is that doctrine to find advocates in free Ohio? Sirs, if it be true that the strong are born to own the weak, why not put the weak slave-holder into slavery, and make the strong slave his master? If the unwise and the untalented are the natural slaves of the wise and capable, the moment when, by causes inseparable from slavery, the owner becomes the slave's inferior, that moment your rule gives the slave of strong and vigorous mind and athletic muscles, dominion over the master of weak intellect and emasculate person; and it is well understood that slavery deteriorates both the mind and body of the owner class. If the silly and weak are to be enslaved by the wise and strong, God help the cripple, the idiot, and the weak-minded child! No, gentlemen, no,

I will never admit the doctrine of the inequality of man, by nature, while I am told in God's word, that “He has made of one blood all nations of men to dwell on all the face of the earth.And if of one blood," then equal, because one.

The doctrine that the relation of slavery is an unnatural


[ocr errors]


relation, is not a new doctrine. It is laid down in the code of Justinian, which has been the fountain and spring-head of the civil law since A. D. 527. This code declares that slavery has no foundation in natural justice. 66 SERVITUS EST CONSTITUTIO JURIS GENTIUM, qua quis domino CONTRA NATURAM subjicitur."(Just. code, L. 1. Title 3.)—which, translated, is “Slavery is a constitution of the law of nations, whereby a man is subjected to a foreign master against natural right.Every lawyer knows that “contra natur

means against natural equity. And slavery is said to be a creation of positive law," because the relation has no archetype in nature, and hence, all the claims arising out of it, perish, because rooted in a vicious relation, and all its obligations are void, because its claims are unjust; that is, the relation is wrong in itself.

Now, again: The relation is sinful, because every act which it warrants, is something which


brother himself calls sinful. I know well what I say, and I will prove it. I say, the relation itself is sinful, because every act which it warrants is a sinful act. What acts does it warrant?

1. It warrants the taking of a man's labor without wages. My brother has almost said that the master is bound in justice to give his slave wages. He ought to say so.

But what becomes of slavery when you coinpel wages ? It has perished and the slave becomes a hired servant. Slavery excludes wages, and if withholding wages is sin, then is slave-holding sin.

2. Another act which this relation of master and slave warrants, is the separation of man and wife. My brother says, he is opposed to that. So when he has given the slaveholder a property power over mankind, by the permission of God, the Father, Son, and the Holy Ghost; (for he does this if he proves slave-holding not sinful ;) he then turns round and forbids him to use the power which he has thus given. The first property-holding act which the slave-holder puts forth, my friend tells him is an abuse of the relation. 'I argue from that, that the power to hold slaves—the

relation itself, is sinful. Can the fountain be pure, if all the streams flowing from it are corrupt? Suppose a man has a spring on his land, from which flows water which kills the grass of the sod which it irrigates, and the cattle which drink of it. I tell him his spring is poisonous; and he admits that all the water which comes from it is poison, but stoutly denies that the spring is a poisonous spring, and yet agrees to stop up the well and prevent its flowing, in order to prevent its doing damage. He certainly admits his spring to be poisonous. So I say that the relation which cannot be carried out in practice without abuse, is an abusive relation. It is abusive in itself. What sort of a relation is that which cannot be acted out without sin, unless it be a sinful relation? Assuredly, it is not a holy relation. A smuggler may be a man who has never yet handled contraband goods, yet, being connected with smugglers—standing in a criminal relation, he ought to come out of it. He may say:

6 I have never run goods across the line.” But

But you tell him; you are in a wicked relation, you ought to come out of it." So I say to the slave-holder ; lay down the mischievous power which you have assumed. Come out of the relation, for it is a relation wrong in itself. Who does not see that, that is a poisonous fountain, which, to prevent its pestilent and destructive effects, must be perpetually and forever damned

up ?

My brother declares for the gradual abolition of slavery; he would kill it off by degrees. But why abolish slaveholding gradually, unless it is unjust ? and if it be unjust, why continue it one hour? Do you not see that in admitting that it ought to be abolished, he admits it to be wrong ?

But he will have us to abolish safely. Let us lop off one abuse after another. Let us pluck out one strand after an. other until this scourge of the human race is taken wholly away. But why, when he arises to demolish one bad thing in it, does he not strike off the whole ? is not the whole thing bad ? Most evidently, the same reasons which require abolition at all call for it now. In the name of the God of truth

[ocr errors]

and in the living light of truth, I say, abolish it at once if it be wicked. Why should injustice live one hour? There is another inquiry of serious practical moment here. Why do those men who say they are opposed to slavery, and desire its speedy gradual abolition, stand so well with incorrigible slave-holders ? My brother boasts that he preaches to slave holders, enjoys their full confidence, and yet that he is opposed to slavery. Yes, somebody has committed an immense amount of sin in the slave-system, if we could come at it. There is a forbidden part of the hog, but nobody has found out where or which it is. He is opposed to slavery.

But, if he is actually opposed to slavery, how does his doctrine happen to be acceptable to every one who is irrecoverably wedded in the slave-holding interest? The answer is :-Because it justifies slavery as a divine institution. It can be no other. You

may read his allegation to the soul-driver at the head of the slave cofile; " that God permitted his ancient people to hold slaves.” “Ah,” says the driver, that is the doctrine for me.

I am one of Abraham's descendants in line direct. I am the good old patriarch's agent. My employer stands in the place of principal, and I as agent, and we shall both go to Abraham's bosom together.” Oh! gentlemen, the reason why his doctrine is so popular with the slave men, is, that they well know that if ministers give them God's permission to hold men as property, they will easily get man's permission to use them as such. That the reason that my brother's popularity will carry the book South. Slavery never will be put down in this way. My brother is pro-slavery, and they know it. He gives them God's permission to hold slaves, and that is all they want of him. He tells them they may

hold slaves without sin, but tells us that he is opposed to their using their slaves as their property. He puts a saddle on a man's back, and the bit in his mouth, vaults the slave-holder into the saddle, and as he places the reins in his hand, cries, “Easy, sir, I never meant you should ride." [A laugh.)

« AnteriorContinuar »