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palatable, at least to hired laborers. I
say, these exhortations were addressed to slaves, and that they are applicable to slaves alone.
Monday Evening, 7 o'clock [MR. BLANCHARD'S FIFTEENTH SPEECH.] Gentlemen Moderators, and Gentlemen and Ladies, Fellow
I will answer the question which my brother has urged so frequently, since he evidently deems it important, viz: "If the Hebrews wished to sayóslave,' what word would they employ?” I do not think of any single word at present, but I suppose that they employed a circumlocution analagous to the Greek phrase used to designate a slave in the New Tes. tament, as in 1 Timothy vi, 1, doulos hupo zugon, “servants under the yoke," or under bondage to heathen masters who held them as slaves, and not servants to the children of God. No single word in the New Testament necessarily means “slave." It takes a “ doulos under the yoke to mean one.
When I sat down, I was in the midst of an argument to prove that the Hebrew bond-servants were not slaves because they had secured to them by law the three great fundamental rights of man; life, liberty, and property. I showed that they might be redeemed from their bond service by any of their relatives, or might redeem themselves if able, before the jubilee, and that they must therefore, (if allowed the latter privilege,) have held property while in their condition of bondservants. In answer to this, my friend states that the negroes in Kentucky often have money and other property of their own, and sometimes purchase themselves and their families. This argument seems cruel and unfeeling in him, when my brother knows that if they have acquired five hundred or a thousand dollars by their owner's permission, or indeed, any sum whatever, their masters can, and often do take the whole from them and sell them South. It often happens that when a slave has agreed to pay six hundred dollars for his liberty, the master receives from him three, four or five hundred dollars of the amount, and afterwards sells him. And in doing this, the Kentucky master violates no law, but simply uses his slave-holding rights. If the poor slave has but a shilling it belongs to the master. Old Billy Cravens, a Methodist minister, who belonged, by family connexion, to the aristoc. racy of Virginia, and who preached many years against slavery to both slave-holders and slaves, had closed his sermon on one occasion ; and, when the collection was being taken up, he saw the stewards going up into the gallery to circulate the plates among the slaves; "Stop !" cried Billy from the pulpit, with his stentorian lungs, “Stop!” “ Dont go there! They hav'nt got any thing: They don't own their hats, their coats, or their bodies. No," said he, raising his voice to the top,)“ there is not a louse in their garments that don't belong to their masters.” This is literally true. The master owns the body and the garment and all that is in it or upon it. Though sometimes, kind masters will permit them to have money, yet that is granted as a privilege and not as a right.
But the Hebrew servant had a right to his property the same as his master, and if his master took it away from him he could recover it back by suit at law. That is, he was a man, with the rights and immunities of a man. While the slave has neither. You can all see the difference between a man's holding his money or his wife as long as I permit him, and holding them by a sacred right of which none can deprive him. One state is slavery, the other liberty. The slave is in the first condition. The Hebrew servant was, as I have shown in the last, moreover, the Hebrew servant not only was a legal property holder, having access to the courts of justice to secure him in his rights, and to punish ago gressors, who should trespass upon his rights ; but, after his master's death, in certain cases a share of his goods fell to his servants. Abraham said, “I go childless, and one born in my house
(to wit: Eliezer) “is mine heir." So,
after he had taken Hagar to be his wife, the reason given by Sarah, why Hagar should be put out of the house, was, that Ishmael, the son of Hagar (who was a slave according to my friend) should not be heir (!) with Isaac. (Gen. xxi, 10.) Hagar went out, accordingly, because she was "put forth.” Now if Hagar had been a slave, it would not have been necessary to put her out.
She would have gone out very willingly. They would have had but to open the door and point to the north star, (if there were a Canada in the region) and she would have gone out quickly enough of her own accord. [A laugh] Slaves will always go free when permitted unless slavery has already broken their souls upon its wheel. But the point is this; Ishmacl had a right to be coñeir with Isaac, otherwise there would have been no force in Sarah's plea to expel her. But the merciful slave-holder of the South, allows whatever he allows to slaves, as a privilege, nct as a right. The slave cannot keep a shilling in his pocket, one moment longer than until his owner sees fit to take it from him. Why he may take all he has and sell him too! the owner may sell him with his shilling in his pocket. If the master dies, not a cent of his property goes to his slave. But the slave is put up with the hogs and sold for a division among heirs. My brother knows all these facts, but I suppose he means to argue the best he can. (A laugh. ]
I have shown that the Hebrew servant has secured to him as rights, his life, his property, and his civil liberty, with personal liberty after his indentures expire. “Oh but” says Dr. Rice, “ according to the gentleman ; eternity means only six years !"
Now Dr. Rice knows that Dr. Wilson, of this city, who strenuously opposes abolition, teaches in his pamphlet, that fifty years is the longest term the Hebrew bond service could last, and my friend does not and dare not dispute the fact. There was no perpetual servitude for the ear-bored servant, Nor is fifty years any nearer a literal “forever," than six
urs? I observed you smile at his reply to me on this point, but I could not tell whether you laughed at the smartness of the joke or the folly of the argument. Both were somewhat marked.
The Hebrew servant was secured, I repeat, in life, liberty and property, in neither of which the American slave either was or is; and I have shown that Roman, Grecian, English, and American slavery are one and the same. Now if you wish to abolish slavery in Kentucky, what have you to do? Nothing, but to strike the chattel principle from the code, and then give the emancipated free access to the courts. Repealing the chattel principle turns the slaves into men, and giving them access to the courts, secures to them the rights of men. This sweeps slavery from the soil. There is no person in this audience but can see this. If you strike out the chattel principle and enable slaves to come into courts of justice and establish their rights to person, wife, children, property, and character-what is there left of American slavery? Now these two things THE MOSAIC CODE DID. No: I do not speak correctly. The Mosaic law did not strike out the chattel principle, for it never was there. There was, therefore, nothing of the kind to strike out. But it allowed the lowest order of servants free access to courts of justice; and these two things, viz: the absence of chattelism and legal security, show conclusively, that no such thing as slavery did or could exist in Judea. Give the Jewish law of bond service to Kentucky, and the thousands who lie down slaves to-night, will rise in the morning free men. Establish the Hebrew code throughout the States, and there will not be a slave left to wet the soil with the tears, and the sweat of his unpaid labor, in the whole country. So utterly false is it, that “ God did expressly permit his people to hold slaves.”
Again :-All the Hebrew servants who were bought from the heathen, were to be circumcised. Gen. xvii, 13. that is born in thy house, and he that is bought with thy money, must needs be circumcised.” And this law of circumcision alone shows that THEY WERE NOT SLAVES.
For they had nothing to do, to free themselves, but simply to refuse to
be circumcised, unless you adopt the abominable and monstrous supposition that they might be forced to be circumcised and profess the true religion. Thus their relation to their master was a voluntary condition, while slavery is involuntary, hereditary and perpetual, in the slave and his posterity. Hebrew servitude was voluntary, and limited, ordinarily, to six years, and could never go beyond fifty: and even from this modified bond service, they could free themselves after they were bought from the heathen, by refusing circumcision.
Maimonides, contemporary with Jarki, (both writers of authority with Jews,) says, that the master who had bought a foreign servant, must win him over to the true religion in one year or send him back to his tribe. And his statement surely has reason to support it; seeing there is no other supposition possible, but the absurd one that the Jews filled their land with forced converts who were forced to undergo circumcision. If one of these servants bought of the heathen had disliked his condition, refused to be circumcised and become a Jew, what could they do ? Seize him and cut off his foreskin before the eyes of the people ! Surely it was not so that the Hebrews made converts to their religion.
Now Professor Jahn, in his Archaeology, a high authority in Jewish statistics, says that these bondmen “were circumcised," and that “ after circumcision THEY WERE RECORDED AMONG THE HEBREWS."
Now in the light of all these facts, let us look into Judea, and see what sort of a thing this bond service, or religious serfdom was. Remember, that not only the Hebrew servant who was waxen poor and sold for debt, but the bond-servant bought from the heathen, was required to be circumcised, and all “ were reckoned among the Hebrews,” and the law of the Hebrew servants was, that they should serve for six
free. “ What then," says one, “ was the fifty-year jubilee for?” It was to free any remnant who had waved their right to go out at six years, by having their ear
years and then