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tions accordingly, with this difference ; that it exhorts the servants, “ If thou mayest be made free, use it rather.'

In this connexion, it may not be improper to express our opinion as to the import of this inspired injunction. That it is a delicate point, we are fully aware; and also that it is involved in some difficulties. But as the revelation of God which tolerates the relation is “profitable for doctrine, for reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness, it is fairly to be presumed that its spirit and principles reflect some light on this aspect of the question. And it is to be remembered, that it is only by taking this general view of the subject, that we can arrive at satisfactory conclusions with regard to it.

With these preliminaries we remark, that whatever else it may mean, it cannot be pleaded in justification of the individual or systematic efforts made and making by persons, either in the free or slave States, to persuade, or by stealth or otherwise effect, the elopement of slaves from their legal owners ; for the obvious reason, that if civil government be the ordinance of God, and the Christian Scriptures, as we have shown, recognize it as the supreme rule of duty in this matter, in so doing we “resist the ordinance of God,"_" do evil that good may come,”—a practice nowhere justified by the Bible. The parable of the good Samaritan, though quoted with great confidence as justificatory of this practice, is entirely irrelevant; the civil condition of the man who fell among the thieves remaining just the same after, as before, the kind treatment received.

There is another passage found in the book of Deut., xxiii, 15, 16 : “ Thou shalt not deliver the servant that

has escaped from his master unto thee," &c., which is quoted and relied on with great assurance, as lending its sanction to the above 'practice; but we think with an equal perversion as in the case of the man who fell among thieves, just noticed. The injunction is addressed to the Jewish nation; the only one on the face of the earth, at the time, that was not idolatrous, and which, as before seen, was the depository of the true religion. Now the fact that this law was delivered to them in their national capacity, is proof positive that it cannot be understood as requiring them to hold or retain each other's escaping servants. The bad practical consequences, so disastrous to the peace of the nation, resulting from such a course, or the infraction of a practice which the laws they received from the mouth of God tolerated, forbids, absolutely, such a construction of the passage; especially in the face of what seems to be its most easy and natural meaning, a sense so consonant with the whole spirit of the patriarchal and Jewish law on this subject; which is, that these escaping servants were from the heathen idolatrous nations round about them, and who, on coming among them, were benefited according to the superior advantages of the Jewish religion, as compared with their foriner heathen state or condition. We cannot therefore admit the propriety of its being pressed into such service. It cannot be done without doing violence to the plain and obvious sense of the passage, as well as to the whole spirit of the Jewish law.

There are other modes of redress inculcated in the Bible, to which allusion has been previously de.

And while on this subject it may be perfectly in place to say, that the fugitive laws of this General Government, which have been, and are now, felt by

the non-slaveholding or free States to be a great injustice and indignity to them, derive no support from this Jewish precedent. Our reasons for this position are various, one of which we will here state; and which is virtually the same we have given why the Jews were forbidden to deliver up to their owners the escaping servants of heathen masters.

These servants, as just remarked, were running away from heathenisrn to Judaism, and by so doing, as a whole, were improving their condition. The "fugitives held to service,” or escaping servants of the slaveholding States, are running away from a state of semi-heathenism, to a situation where their privileges and advantages are more favourable to the end of their creation, as rational and accountable beings. Not but what the South has the gospel as well as the North ; but the laws which have been made, and in many of those States are still in force, to guard and protect this interest, so crush them, civilly, socially, intellectually, and morally, as comparatively to heathenize them. And as the great law of Christianity is, that, as a whole, we are never to worst any man's condition, these fugitive laws are a nullity, because in violation of that law. God's law is and should be supreme We need not here quote authorities to make good our position, relative to the verity and iniquitous character of these laws; the facts are outstanding and notorious, to heaven and earth.

We have here made some allusions to the servant's running away from his master. Our views on this subject will be seen in what immediately follows.

Should it be inquired, if the law and spirit of Christianity forbid the kind of interference above stated, how far is it the privilege of the servant for himself, to act upon this injunction ? we answer, if we should allow Onesimus to have been a slave, as some contend, the question would be settled by direct scriptural authority. But it is thought by some to be of doubtful authority, and therefore not relevant to the point in hand. Waiving this, we are therefore left to the general principles and spirit of Christianity to determine this question. If we admit, as I think we are bound to do, that in the Divine forbearance, in accommodation to the weakness of the present disordered state, the Scriptures tolerate the relation; the distinct and vigilant manner in which they point out and guard its duties, both to “believing and froward masters,” very strongly intimates their Christian obligation to continue in the relation, so long as it is providentially encumbered with legal difficulties; which view is very much strengthened by the following passage of Scripture : “ Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called. Art thou called being a servant ? care not for it.” 1 Cor. vii, 20, 21. And the whole question, as it appears to us, is powerfully confirmed by the spirit of Christianity, which proposes to achieve, in a peaceful and orderly manner, all its triumphs, by the principles of moral goodness. That the escaping servant will jeopard his salvation by so doing, we will not take it upon us to say. We simply mean to say, that the course the gospel points out is the more excellent way.

These views, when we entertain correct conceptions of the Divine government, commend themselves to our understanding, as Scriptural and rational; and while treating the subject generally, as an honest man, we cannot suppress them.

But to return. At the time as above stated when

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the gospel was announced, the nations of the earth, except the Jews, were all heathen ; among whom slavery was general, and indiscriminate as to clime, nation, and colour. The discrimination that guarded and restricted the slavery of the Patriarchal and Mosaical dispensations to the heathen, who, so far as a knowledge of the worship of the true God is a blessing, were benefited by the relation, now became impracticable, for all were heathen. Under these altered circumstances, though we have not, and cannot have, the same light which marked the practical utility of the relation under those dispensations, yet we think it will appear, on a careful examination of the principles, spirit, and teaching of the gospel dispensation, that the same wisdom and goodness that tolerated it under those dispensations, does under it.

We will now observe that the remedial dispensation does not propose, in the absolute sense of the term, to do the best according to the essential and eternal principles of right;—this would be conducting the Divine government on the covenant of works,—“Do this and live,”-in which all our ideas, or conceptions of remedy, would be entirely excluded; and all those overwhelming and attracting exhibitions of moral goodness, displayed in the Divine forbearance, so eminently calculated to subdue and win us back to our proper allegiance, and which are so beautifully and forcibly expressed by the poet,

“ His love is mighty to compel:

His conquering love consent to feel :
Yield to his love's resistless power,
And fight against your God no more"

would be lost.

We therefore conclude that it is an expedient super

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