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On the Purchase and Consumption of the PRODUCE OF SLAVES' LABOUR.
The munition of rocks shall be his defence; bread shall be given, and the waters shall be sure, to him that despiseth the gain of oppression, shaketh his hands from the holding of bribes, shutteth his eyes from the seeing of evil, and stoppeth his ears from the hearing of blood. He that fulfils this is disposed to prove' all things in the light of Christ; (a manifestation of which is given to every man, to profit withal;) to bring all his deeds to this light; and to hold fast that which is good. In this he is careful to abstain from every appearance of evil, especially injustice. And without this care, he cannot be truly religious.
Now where is injustice carried to a greater extent than it is in the Slave trade? Many are willing to acknowledge that it is an iniquitous traffic; say much against buying and selling the human species; and are willing to espouse the cause of justice and humanity, where it costs them nothing. But while we are richly paying the Slave holders, thousands a year for the produce of Slaves' labour, to gratify our avarice or luxury, can we expect, that our inconsistent testimony will produce conviction in their minds? He may well reason against our empty pretensions to justice and equity, saying, you, the purchasers and consumers of the fruits of their labour, are parties in the business; we compel the slaves to labour your consumption, and you pay us for it. The money of the consumer goes to the retailer, from the retailer, to the importer of the goods, from the importer to the planter, and from the planter to the Guinea merchant. Thus countenancing and supporting each other, linked together in a chain, the whole business is carried on with vigor. The greater the demand for the produce is, the greater is the demand for slaves. The connexion between the Slave trade and the produce of slave's labour, is like the connexion) between the tree and its fruit, or the root and the branch. If the root be holy, so are the branches. So also, if the root be accursed, so are
There is but Right and Wrong in human actions though their grades are many. To refuse the purchase of goods extorted from Slaves by violence, cruelty, injustice, and oppression, is only refusing to be a party in this iniquity, and bearing a faithful testimony against it.
Where is the testimony which the Purchasers and Consumere of the fruits of slavery bear against it? To answer in truth, we must say, they all participate in the business; and their testimony is for it.
The beginners of the Slave Trade are the merchants who send their ships to Africa to bring them across the ocean; and the finishers are the consumers of the fruits of their labour. They are the Alpha and Omega of the business. The people whe drag them from their homes, the planters who purchase them, the merchants who import the fruits of their labour, the retailers, and the consumers thereof, are all partakers in the business. They all assist in furning the wheel of this vast engine of destruction. These parts compose the engine; and contain in
themselves the cause of its motion. They constitute a complete whole. Take from it the consumers, and the work must stop. The merchant will not import an article for which there is no demand. The Slave holder will have no disposition to buy Slaves when the fruits of their labour are wholly rejected. The Slave ships will cease to haunt the shores of Africa when there is no demand for Slaves.
Those who already hold Slaves will be willing to emancipate them, when there is no employment for Slaves. Then, that fountain of human blood, which hath been flowing in Africa for ages, would be dried up. The carnage and misery attending the traffic in human flesh, would cease.
This great fountain of human blood, which flows in Africa; whose streams have stained America and the West-Indies, is kept in motion by the consumers of the produce of Slave's labour. They are the subscribers, who furnish the fund by which the whole business is carried on
The feasts of the luxurious may be called banquets of human flesh and blood; and the partakers thereof considered as cannibals, devouring their own species; when we take into consideration the great destruction of human life: First, by the warfare carried on in Africa, in taking Slaves: Secondly, in transporting them across the ocean in the Guinea ships: Thirdly, in seasoning them; which is seasoning them to cruel whipping, hunger, and hard labour. In these operations, probably more than half perish; while the others are reduced to great sufferings; by which they are generally worn out in a few years.How is this vast destruction of the rational creation of God to be accounted for, to Him, whose justice is infinite? On whom will the guilt of this sacrifice to avarice and luxury fall? Certainly on the whole copartnsrship, who participate in the iniquity.
Having demonstrated that the consumption of the produce of Slave's labour, supports the Slave trade; and of consequence, that the consumers are parties in the business; let it be remembered, that the receiver of stolen goods is said to be equal to the thief. It is something paradoxical, that a man will refuse to buy a stolen sheep, or to eat a piece of one that is stolen; and not have the same scruples respectieg a stolen man.
The Apostle Paul, in endeavouring to remove the strong Jewish prejudice for the Mosaic Law, said, "Whatsoever is sold in the shambles, that eat asking no questions for conscience sake." 1. Cor. x. 25. But, that was relative to clean and unclean beasts, and their manner of killing them but that which is stolen, or taken by violence from its rightful owner is quite another thing.
If any one, after having fully considered the Slave trade, and the manner in which the fruits of Slave's labour is obtained, feel no doubts about partaking thereof, any more than about any thing obtained by the strictest honesty, I have nothing to say to him but to him who feels doubtful of its being perfeetly right, let it be observed, that Paul testifies, "He that doubteth is damned if he eat; because he eateth not of faith; for what ⚫soever is not of faith is sin.??
HARVARD COLLEGE LIBRARY
1850 Jan 30 later, Rev F. 4. Farley of Brocklyn NY
Entered according to the Act of Congress, in the Year 1832,
BY GARRISON AND KNAPP, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of Massachusetts.
I DEDICATE this work to my countrymen, in whose intelligence, magnanimity and humanity I place the utmost reliance. Although they have long suffered themselves to be swayed by a prejudice as unmanly as it is wicked, and have departed widely from the golden rule of the gospel, in their treatment of the people of color, to suppose that they will always be the despisers and persecutors of this unfortunate class is, in my opinion, to libel their character. A change in their feelings and sentiments is already visible—a change which promises, ere long, to redeem their character from the bloody stains which slavery has cast upon it, and to release the prisoner from his chains. May they be ashamed to persist in a mean and thievish course of conduct, and afraid to quarrel with the workmanship of God! May a righteous indignation be kindled in their breasts against a combination which is holding them up, for the scorn and contempt of other nations, as incorrigible oppressors, whom neither self-respect, nor the opinions of mankind, nor the fear of God, can bring to repentance! Their duty is plain, and it may easily be done. Slavery must be overthrown either by their own moral strength, or by the physical strength of the slaves. Let them imitate the example of the people of Great Britain, by seeking the immediate overthrow of the horrid sysLet a National Anti-Slavery Society be immediately organized, the object of which shall be, to quicken and consolidate the moral influence of the nation, so that Congress and the State Legislatures may be burdened with petitions for the removal of the evil-to scatter tracts, like rain-drops, over the land, on the subject of slavery—to employ active and eloquent agents to plead the cause incessantly, and to form auxiliary societies to encourage planters to cultivate their lands by freemen, by offering large premiums; to promote education and the mechanical arts among the free people of color, and to recover their lost rights. Religious professors, of all denominations, must bear unqualified testimony against slavery. They must not support, they must not palliate it. No slaveholder ought to be embraced within the pale of a christian church; consequently, the churches must be purified as by fire.' Slavery in the District of Columbia is sustained in our national capacity: it ought, therefore, to be prostrated at a blow. The clause in the Constitution should be erased, which tolerates, greatly to the detriment and injustice of the non-slaveholding States, a slave representation in Congress. Why should property be represented at the impoverished south, and not at the opulent north?
To impair the force of this exposition, the ardent advocates of the Colonization Society will undoubtedly attempt to evade the ground of controversy, and lead uncautious minds astray in a labyrinth of sophistry. But the question is not, whether the climate of Africa is salubrious, nor whether the mortality among the emigrants has been excessive, nor whether the colony is in a prosperous condition, nor whether the transportation of our whole colored population can be effected in thirty years or three centuries, nor whether any slaves have been