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Among Christians it is a crime, and an outrage for which perdition has scarcely an adequate punishment!"

There is one commentator at least who does not quite agree with my brother.

MR. Rice rose. I will beg leave to correct the gentleman. I said he could not find one respectable commentator who ever gave a different interpretation to the passages of scripture which I quoted, from mine.

MR. BLANCHARD. Perhaps you are right. I will however, give other commentators in their place. I thought I would read this just here by way of spice. (Great laughter.]

Now, Gentlemen Moderators, and Fellow-Citizens. I am happy to be in a situation to follow my brother pari passu in his scripture argument. His first main argument was from authorities. That I shall hereafter consider. His second was from scripture language, and that I am to consider


In the scripture argument for slavery, there are two texts so much relied on by slave-holders, and their apologists, that (if any part of the Bible could be) they might be called “ the slave-holders, texts ;” as their whole Bible argument hangs on their understanding of them. If these are taken from under them, their whole argument drops to the ground. They are Leviticus, chapter, xxv, 45, and Exodus, XXI, 21.

It is not pretended by them that the general principles of the Bible give the slightest countenance to slavery. They therefore do not attempt to show, by reference to the whole scope of the Bible, that slavery is consistent with its principles, for the principles of the Bible are justice and righteous

But they rely upon individual texts and parts of texts, which, taken out from the connexion, seem to teach that slavery was not a sin under the circumstances there found. Though their texts by no means prove their doctrine when an enlightened and just criticism is applied to them. As I have observed, their whole argument radiates from these two texts as froin a centre, while all their subordinate and inferior inferences, drawn from other texts, as well as from these, are founded


upon the same false view of the Bible, and are chickens of the same brood of error.

I will come now; though contrary to the usual course pursued in forensic argument, (which is to prove your proposition before stating and answering objections; so as to arm your hearers with truth, before staggering them with errors which you have not yet prepared them to meet.) I will come first to the very

heart and core of their “ Bible argument,” reading the texts on which they mainly rely, and on which they are harping from July to June. The first is Levit. xxv, 45.

“Moreover, of the children of the strangers (i. e. Canaaniles,) that do sojourn among you, of them shall ye buy, and of their families that are with you; which they beget in your land: and they shall be your possession, and ye shall take them as an inheritance for


children after you, to inherit them for a possession : they shall be your bondmen forever: but over your brethren, the children of Israel, ye shall not rule, one over another with rigor."

I have an hour and a half speech, to prove that these bondmen or bound

men were not slaves. But I am now simply replying to his arguments. His position is that this passage proves that the Hebrews held slaves, and that by God's permission.

I wish here, in the outset, to protest against being understood, even if I admitted the Hebrew bond-servants to be slaves, as also admitting that their slavery could sanction

(But I do not admit that those bond-servants were slaves, and my main argument will be, to prove that they were not.) For even if they had been slaves, they were Canaanites, a race of men accursed of God, having filled the measure of their iniquities, and doomed to extermination from the earth. Surely, if God saw fit to enslave these people for their crimes, and commanded his people to execute this wrath upon them, that would not justify an American in enslaving indifferent, unoffending persons. This must be clear to every understanding. If the court issue a warrant to the sheriff of your county to hang a convicted criminal, that warrant does not authorize any man to go out and hang any man in any other county who has been illegally seized. Supposing the Canaanites were really enslaved, with God's permission, for their sins, it does not give Dr. Rice, or his slave-holding friends, a right to enslave any person in the State of Kentucky, be it negro, mulatto, or white woman, the child of German, Irish, or Italian parents. I do not therefore admit, that, if those Hebrew bond-servants were slaves, that it does any thing towards maintaining his argument, that "slave-holding is no sin." This argument depends on the assumption, that God never can permit, for any purpose, punitive or otherwise, that which is wrong in itself. But God certainly permitted the Jews to divorce for hatred; and divorce for hatred is wrong in itself. See Deut. xxiv. 3. “ If the latter husband hate her, and write her a bill of divorcement, and giveth it in her hand, and sendeth her out of the house,”' &c., her former husband may not again take her to wife. Thus by the Jewish code, authorized by God, and given by Moses, men were allowed to divorce their wives for hatred, so far as regulating and restricting a vile practice allows it. Does that justify American husbands in turning the mothers of their children out of doors, in every family quarrel, weeping and friendless, because hated ?


Admit his inference from Jewish bond-service—(Jewish slavery if he will) to American, and you admit a principle by which every husband who hates his wife may drive her from his door. The teaching of Christ is explicit on the subject of divorce for hatred, showing that it is contrary to the original constitutions of God. When the Pharisees, asked him, “Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause ?" His reply was “ From the beginning it was not

.!! 6 What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put assunder.” “ Moses because of the hardness of your

hearts gave you that precept." Mat. xix. Yet in Deut. xxiv, 3, it is said, “ And if the latter husband hate her and write a bill



of divorcement and giveth it in her hand and sendeth her out of his house; or if the latter husband die, which took her to be his wife, her former husband which sent her away, may not take her again to be his wife," &c.

We see therefore that divorce for hatred was permittedand yet the same thing is not permitted now, but expressly forbidden as sinful by Christ himself. So if, in despotic countries, and in ages when as yet the law of force had not given way before the empire of reason, slavery had been permitted; it does not help the argument for American slaveholding

But again. This text, itself the very sheet anchor of the slave-holding doctrine, is misinterpreted to make it yield those inferences in favor of slavery which they draw from it. It positively does not mean, and can be shown not to mean what they say and


it to mean. My brother told you that my argument on a certain point, proving to much, proved nothing; I grant that if an argument proves too much, it proves nothing. I deny however, that mine was of that class. But let us apply that logical test to his main argument from Levit. xxv, 45. 66 Of them shall ye buy bondmen," etc., " and they shall be your possession.”

Is not the slave-trade justified here?

Now if their understanding of this text be correct, that those bondmen bought, were slaves; was not the business of buying them from the heathen tribes, the slave trade? And if this verse proves that God permitted slavery, does it not also prove that he permitted the slave trade? This certainly is proving too much; more even than Dr. Rice wishes to prove, that God permitted, nay commanded them to drive a slave trade with heathen nations-a traffic which consigns the trader caught on the African coast to be hung as a pirate ?


take this text in their sense; it is a complete justification of the slave trade; far more clear than it is of slavery. For: “Of them shall ye buy," etc., not them shall ye hold. Certainly his interpretation of this text proves Diel ni therefore, by his own quoted canon proves Run For my brother himself rounis deacen

de care se ss an “infernal traffic." V. Res 18d not denounce the buying of slares: we aremercions of humanity often to do that; but the spe suauem for money—the tearing apart of &c. MI. BLANCHARD. You hear the brother's explanation,

I desire you should allow it all the force which it de

I now resume the argument—with this remark, that, if you bay a slave only to set him free, your act is not slave-holding;

is an act of redemption. When the United Seres bought Americans from the Algerines, it was not save-trading. We bought them to set them free. Now the whole ques. tion is simply this: were those bondmen which were bought by the Jews, slates in the hands of their Hebrew masters or not? If they were not, then there was no slavery among the Jews, and his whole vaunted Bible argument is founded in and drawn from a mistake. But if they were slaves to the Jews, then the text justifies, not only slavery, but the slave trade, the original kidnapping, middle-passage, auction mart, coffe and all. He can no more escape from this than he can from the gripe of death. So truly as that text justifies holding slaves, in Kentucky or Virginia or Tennessee; so truly is it a warrant for the slave trade by which those slaves are procured; for its leading idea and object, is to direct the Jews to buy their bondmen of heathen nations, nations which were to them what Africans are to us. And when Sir John Hawkins, under Elizabeth, commenced the slave trade, it was founded and defended upon this very text. And, according to Dr. Rice's interpretation, Hawkins was right. They reasoned fairly, from my friend's premises ; for if it authorises the holding, it authorises the trading, in slaves. But it does neither-blessed be Godit does neither!

Nor does his argument hold good if it did both. There for not in the text a sprinkling of American slave-holding and

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