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if the doctrine for which I contend is true; but the thing is wholly unaccountable, if Mr. B.'s principles are correct. The law did not require wages to be paid to the bond-servant, because the master had already paid for his labor what, under the circumstances, it was worth, and because the master was bound to provide his slave food and raiment, and shelter, in sickness and health, until death. This support was the servant's wages--quite as much, by the way, as ! most men obtain for their labor.
Mr. B. proves, that the primitive Christians were not slaveholders, from the fact that they were generally poor people, in the lower walks of life. Admit the truth of the statement; does it follow that the apostles excluded slave-holders, as such, from their churches? Surely the premises are at a great distance from the conclusion:
But he tells us, that the first converts at Jerusalem sold their houses and lands, and had all things in common; and he asks, what became of their slaves ? I answer-1. He has himself informed us, that the Jews, after the Babylonish captivity, had no slaves. If his statement is true, the question is answered. 2. But Paul and Peter teach us, as plainly as language can teach, that there were in many of the churches, as at Ephesus and Colosse, both masters and slaves; and they give such directions to both, as cannot apply to employers and hired-servants. They exhort the slaves to obey their own masters with fear and trembling," not only the “good and gentle," but also the froward. 3. If there had been slave-holders amongst those converts, they certainly would not have sold their slaves for money for the church. Any Christian would have cheerfully given up his other possessions for the general interest, but not the servants of his family, whose happiness he is solemnly bound to regard, and whom God requires him to instruct in the things pertaining to their salvation. Doubtless every Christian master would, if he consistently could, liberate his slaves; but certain it is, that the servants of the family are amongst the last of a pious master's possessions with which,
when in difficult circumstances, he would part. The silence of the inspired record concerning slaves, therefore, affords no evidence that slave-holders were not received into the churches organized by the apostles.
The gentleman asserts, that the word doulos does not mean slave. This is merely assertion; but we call for evidence. I called upon him to tell us what word in the Greek language does mean slave, if this word does not. He has not given us the information. A similar question was asked concerning the Hebrew eved ; but the gentleman could find no other word signifying slave. Indeed he told us, virtually, that there is no word either in the Hebrew of Greek language, which does definitely signify slave! a statement contradicted by every Greek Lexicon, by classic usage, by Bible usage, and by all Greek and Hebrew scholars. Stuart, MeNight, Barnes, and a host of others, commentators, critics and theologians, say unhesitatingly, that the literal and proper meaning of doulos, is slave.
But Mr. B. presents a supposed case which he regards as entirely conclusive. Suppose,” says he, “a church member had come to one of those churches and claimed as his servant a man who had run from him, and had become pious and had married in the place. Which relation would the church regard, the conjugal or the property relation ?" How this supposed case proves, that there were no slave-holders in the apostolic churches, I know not. It is not difficult, however, to answer the question. The church, so far as it had authority, would, of course, sacredly regard the marriage relation, and so would every pious master. It would not be difficult, however, if the master were not pious, to satisfy him, if he were a reasonable
man, by paying him what his slave was worth. Precisely in this way did primitive Christians liberate the slaves of men, when they liberated them at all. Instead of combining to run them off from their masters, as do many modern abolitionists, they united to purchase them. Our abolition
ists, however, are quite too conscientious to imitate their example!
Having now answered so much of the gentleman's speech as required notice, I proceed very briefly to recapitulate, that the audience may have distinctly before them the ground over which I have travelled.
The question before us, as I have repeatedly stated, is not, whether it is wrong to force a free man into slavery; nor whether all the particular laws by which, at different times and in different countries, it has been regulated, are just and righteous; nor whether it is right or wrong for a man to treat his slaves cruelly, to separate husbands and wives, &c.; nor whether a man may rightly regard and treat his siaves as mere chattels personal, not as rational, accountable, immortal beings; nor whether a great amount of sin is often actually committed in this relation ; nor whether slavery, as a system, is an evil, the removal of which should be sought by all proper means; nor whether it is the true policy, and the duty of the several slave States to abolish slavery immediately or gradually; nor whether “ the system of American slavery," or any other system, is right, but simply whether the relation, divested of all abuses, is in itself sinful.
To prove, that slave-holding is not in itself sinful, but that there have been, and may be circumstances justifying it, I have advanced the following arguments :
1. The great principles of the moral law are written on the human heart; and, when presented, they do commend themselves to the understandings and consciences of men. The truth of this proposition is universally admitted. Now it is a notorious fact, that the doctrine that slave-holding is in itself sinful, has not commended itself to the understandings and consciences of even the great body of the wise, and the good. Therefore it is not true. The feeble effort made by the gentleman to reply to this argument only proves it unanswerable.
2. The history of the church and of the world cannot furnish one instance of a man or a society of men heretical on one fundamental principle of morality, or article of Christian faith, and yet sound on all others. But it is admitted, that the ministers and churches in the slave-holding States are as orthodox on all the principles of morality and doc trines of Christianity, as blameless in their lives, as benevolent, and in all respects, except the matter of slavery, as exemplary Christians as any in the world. If, then, the doctrine of abolitionism is true, we have presented before us two spectacles, such as the world never before saw, viz: 1. The great body of eminently wise and good men pronouncing one of the very grossest violations of the moral law, such as kidnapping, man stealing and robbery, not in itself sinful. 2. A large number of Christians and Christian churches rotten on one fundamental point of morality, and perfectly sound and conscientious on all others ! The gentleman attempted to answer this argument by giving the Pharisees as an instance of men sound on all points of faith and morality, except one! But this he soon abandoned. Then he referred us to John Newton, just at the time when his mind was emerging from the midnight gloom of ignorance and deep depravity! Such are his only answers !
3. It is a fact, admitted even by the gentleman himself, that there are Christian slave-holders, and Christian churches, whose members are involved in slave-holding, accepted and blessed of God, often enjoying seasons of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. And it is a fact, that many of the best ministers in the free States, if converted at all, were converted in those churches, in answer to the prayers
of those Christians. Nay, it is a fact, that all, or nearly all, our older churches were organized in States where slavery then existed, and admitted slave-holders to their communion. Now one of two things is true, viz.: either God hears the prayers and blesses the labors of the most scandalous sinners, or abolitionism is not true. The gentleman attempted to evade the force of this argument, by saying—1. That those revivals are granted in answer to the prayers
of those who are not actually slave-holders. But the reply is obvi
ous—that those who countenance slave-holding Christians, and hold fellowship with them, are no better than they. 2. But he told us, those revivals were granted in answer to the prayers of goodly men who were opposed to slavery, such as David Rice, of Kentucky. But the reply is no less obvious—that he was not an abolitionist; and if he had been, the Bible affords not an instance in which God has, for the sake of the pious dead, poured out spiritual blessings upon professors of religion who were gross sinners, and continued in their sin. All seasons of revival recorded in the Bible, were seasons of general reformation.
4. The faith of the abolitionists induces them to pursue a course widely different from that pursued by the apostles of Christ, in regard to prevailing sins, particularly in regard to slavery. Abolitionists stand at a distance, and denounce and villify all slave-holders; the apostles never did so. On the contrary, they preached the gospel both to masters and slaves, enjoining on each the faithful discharge of their respective duties. Abolitionists seek to render the slaves discontented, and to induce them to leave the service of their masters; the apostles pursued an opposite course. word—the apostles, though assailed with many odious charges, were never represented as abolitionists, or as seeking to interfere with the relation of master and slave. They, in their epistles and discourses, so far as they are recorded in the Bible, never denounced the relation itself as sinful. They sought to reform men, not by abusing and denouncing them in papers, pamphlets and public meetings, but by going amongst them, and kindly reasoning with them. The course of the abolitionists is precisely opposite to this. Now if it be true, as the apostle James teaches, that men show their faith by their works-it follows, that, since the works of abolitionists are widely different from those of the apostles, and opposed to them, their faith is equally different from the faith of the apostles.
5. The tendency and necessary effects of abolitionism prove it false. What are its tendency and its effects? They