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shall prove to your satisfaction that the truth lies in this direction.
For instance: a slave is in the hands of a cruel, iron-hearted master, who abuses him in a most severe and brutal manner, denying him all religious privileges, etc. Now, suppose yourself not able to purchase such a one, and liberate him; but could make arrangements to purchase, by retaining the services of the person thus bought; would you not be doing an act of mercy, in the sight of heaven and earth, toward that slave, if, after having bought him, you treated him with humanity and Christian kindness, allowing his religious privileges, and instructing him in the way of salvation? The question is not, could not more have been done for him? This may be granted; but, having done all you were able to do, have you sinned against God or man by so doing? We answer, most unhesitatingly, No!
But then it is inquired as to selling, as an act of mercy. We answer on this wise: You or I may own a man; some other neighbour may own his wife. She, under the heart-rending workings of the system, may be sold out of the neighbourhood into a more or less distant part. Suppose we had an opportunity of selling the husband into the same neighbourhood; where, in all other matters, he would fare equally well, or better than with us, and enjoy the company of his wife and family into the bargain; would we not be doing him a kindness by selling him? The question is not here, again, have we done the best that might be done? But, supposing we could do no better for him; have we done wickedly in selling him into the hands of another master, where, all things else being equal, or better, he can enjoy the
additional happiness of his wife and children? Religion, reason, humanity, and common sense, answer No! God, in the judgment at the last day, will approve the act : "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." The case, however, should be clearly and fully covered by the rule. The "pride of life, or the love of ambition or ease, should be vigilantly watched and guarded; lest our own gratification and convenience, regardless of the good of the servant, lead us astray from the principle laid down. And in view of such liability, it would be the most prudent course to have the least to do with it that we possibly can; and never, on any terms, touch, taste, or handle, in a case involved in any degree of doubt or uncertainty: "For he that doubteth is damned if he eat."
All other traffic in slaves is essential wickedness; and the monster in human form who deals in the souls and bodies of men for the sake of gain, deserves the execration of all mankind. Worse! To be delivered over to Heaven's bangman, and lashed naked all around the horizon of heaven's circumference. Worse! To be shut up in the dominions of old Apollyon,-handed over to the care of his Satanic majesty, who will assign him, if not a comfortable and honourable place, the very best accommodations in all the infernal regions, in the shape of close and hot quarters. And doubtless, if he could disentangle himself from those chains of darkness, in which he is reserved unto the judgment of the great day,fearing a rivalship in the reign of Pandemonium, in the character of this aspiring fiend, in the shape of humanity, a sight over which all heaven weeps, and hell,—profoundest hell, grows pale with conster
nation, he would effectually and eternally secure him against further encroachments on the rights of his throne.
If he can, may God have mercy on these, the devil's nearest relations, with all their aiders and abettors;—and especially all those who breed human beings for market, as honest people do cattle, and horses, and other descriptions of stock.
OBJECTION CONSIDERED-THAT THE SAME PRINCIPLE THAT RECEIVES SLAVEHOLDERS INTO THE CHURCH, REQUIRES THE RECEPTION OF THE POLYGAMIST.
SINCE Writing out our thoughts on slavery, as connected with the moral and providential government of God; a friend to whom we submitted them for critical observation, and whose judgment is entitled to respect, offered verbally, if our memory serves us right, the following objection: That the Polygamist, on a profession of faith in Christ, is just as eligible to church-membership as a man in the slavery relation, on a like profession of faith. Shortly subsequent to our friend's objection, another friend placed in our hands the works of Doctor Channing on slavery, whose views, if not in exact accordance with the above objection, would tend very much to strengthen such objections in the minds of those who, prior to their having read the Doctor's works, had embraced it. The difference, however, between them, as it appears to us, would be this: our friend, in defiance of existing civil authority, and the teaching of the Scriptures, would entirely exclude the relation from the Church. The Doctor would acknowledge the authority of the teach
ing of the Scriptures, and, as we think, the relation as being compatible with a creditable profession of Christianity; but at the same time oppose the essential rightfulness of slavery. For he says, “Of what avail are a few texts, which were designed for local and temporary use, when urged against the vital, essential spirit, and plainest precepts of our religion?" In regard to the temporary character of the regulation of slavery as taught in the Scriptures, we are pleased to find the views we have offered on this aspect of the question sustained by so respectable authority. We think, however, that on the whole there is some little confusion of thought in the Doctor's views on this subject. In answer to the following argument in favour of slavery, viz., "Slavery, it is said, is allowed in the Old Testament, and not condemned in the New; Paul commands slaves to obey; he commands masters not to release their slaves, but to treat them justly. Therefore slavery is right, is sanctified by God's word:" he says, in vol. ii, page 99, "This reasoning proves too much. If usages sanctioned in the Old Testament, and not forbidden in the New, are right, then our moral code will undergo a sad deterioration. Polygamy was allowed to the Israelites, was the practice of the holiest men, and was common and licensed in the age of the apostles. But the apostles. nowhere condemn it, nor was the renunciation of it made an essential condition of admission into the Christian Church. It is true, that in one passage Christ has condemned it by implication. But is not slavery condemned by stronger implication, in the many passages which make the new religion to consist in serving one another, and in doing to others what we would they should do to ourselves? Why
may not Scripture be used to stock our houses with wives as well as slaves?" If by this language we are to understand the Doctor as placing polygamy and slavery in the same category, as to original right, there is no controversy between us. For with him, as the reader has seen, and will further see in the sequel, we do not believe in the essential rightfulness of slavery. But if we are to understand him, as my friend's objection supposes, that in the teaching of the New Testament the same tolerance is lent to the practice of polygamy that is lent to the practice of slavery, we must, for the following reasons, beg leave to dissent from both their views. And first: from the teaching of Christ and the apostles, it is obvious beyond controversy that a man is restricted to one wife, and a woman to one husband, at a time. Jesus says, "For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh." Matt. xix, 5. And Paul says, "Nevertheless let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband." 1 Cor. vii, 2. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. And nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself, and the wife see that she reverence her husband." Eph. v, 31, 33. In 1 Tim. iii, 2, 12, as also in Titus i, 6, the apostle, speaking of the qualifications of bishops and deacons, says, "they must be the husband of one wife." That is, we suppose, it was lawful for them to have one wife,-and but one, at the same time. So that nothing can be more plain and clear than that it is the Divine will that every son of Adam should have a daughter of Eve, and vice versa.