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fered divers grievous wrongs, and had been left more than half dead; he is treating them with compassion, binding up their wounds, and pouring in oil and wine; he is putting them upon his own beast, and taking them to the inn. You may denounce him as a Samaritan because he rejects your formula ; you may say that his treatment is not judicious, that his surgery is old-fashioned, and will never result in a cure; that he ought to use your patent nostrums, your hydropathic bandages, your homeopathic powders, your 'magical pain extractor,' and that if you had the patients in hand, you would cure them all in half an hour. All this may be as you say, I will not dispute it; but after all the man is a good Samaritan; he is neighbor to the poor negroes that had fallen among thieves; and there is neither principle nor rule, in the New Testament, which authorizes any church to exclude him from communion.

I need not deny that the cause of human liberty and of human happiness—the great cause of God in the world-would be more promoted, if the man of whom I am speaking should follow the example of a friend of his in the same county, who has removed his slaves to a free State, and has discharged himself of all further responsibility in respect to them. But is this so plain and certain, so infallibly revealed, that the man who does not see it may be censured by the church, and excommunicated for not seeing it? Who has not known many an instance in which a patient, who might have recovered with competent medical attendance, has died before his time, because his friends had more confidence in some advertising quack than in a scientific and skill

ful physician? Yet the church does not excommunicate such persons. Why not? Because, plain as the matter is to others, it is not plain to them; and it is not the province of the church to settle such questions. The friends who called in the quack were honest in so doing ; they did it in pure love for the sufferer; they did it, praying for God's blessing; and though life was sacrificed, the church does not interpose with its censures. Questions of medical practice are not to be decided by the clergy, or by a church meeting. The Bible does not reveal God's will upon that subject. Clear as it may be to some of us that the policy which the man of whom I speak has adopted is erroneous, there is no infallible judge this side of Rome, to decide the question against his conscientious judgment.

I say, then, charge upon the slaveholder some specific crime, and prove it. Show that he treats his servants as mere property; show that he does not respect or guard their domestic relations; show that the chastity of their wives and daughters is not protected under his government; show that he keeps them in ignorance of God and of God's Word ; show that he permits them to steal, to quarrel, to break the Sabbath, so that they do not injure him; show even that he runs in debt on the credit of what they would sell for if seized by the sheriff; and for any such thing he may be admonished by the church, and if he will not hear the church he may be excommunicated. But where has Christ given the church authority to decide upon forms of government, to proscribe political institutions, to adjust the relations between rulers and subjects ?



Suppose the gospel to be preached for the first time in a civilized slave state-civilized in the same degree in which the slave States of this Union are civilized—civilization being carried as far as is compatible with a structure of society so essentially barbarous. Suppose that the gospel, as a revelation of God's character and moral government, of the way in which sinners may be forgiven and saved, and of those divine truths by the spiritual perception of which the soul is renewed to holiness is preached without any particular exposition of its bearings on the political institution of slavery, or even on the relative duties of masters and slaves. On the one hand, the consciences of the people have not been sophisticated with atrocious arguments in defence of slavery; on the other hand, the intrinsic injustice of the institution and the mischiefs which it works upon the morals, the intelligence and the industry of the community, have never been pointed out to them. To that people the gospel is preached in its principles—“ repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ." The all-comprehending law, “ Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself," is clearly announced as God's law for the universe. The character of God, who hath made of one blood all nations of men,” and who now commands all men everywhere to repent, because he hath appointed a day in which he will judge the

world in righteousness”-is exhibited in all the illustrations of its glory, which the gospel affords. Christ is " set forth evidently crucified,” as “a propitiation for the sins of the whole world.” It is proclaimed that if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature,” and that in Christ-in the bonds of allegiance and love to him, in the unity of communion with himall the distinctions which divide men, whether distinctions of race or language, of nation or condition, are merged, and all are on one footing. These principles, we will suppose, find audience; and, by the grace of God, they enter into some hearts with a quickening power. How will they operate in respect to slavery?

The first effect of Christian principle on the mind of a master toward his slaves, is to make him

recognize those slaves as his brethren of the human race, who, though they may not be his equals in the eye of the state, are his equals at the tribunal of God. Not only is that natural instinct strengthened and elevated, which prompts him to treat his servants kindly, as he would his dogs or his cattle, because they are his; but he is made to feel that these servants, placed under his power and protection, are, like himselt, the subjects of God's government, rational and responsible; that like him they are made for immortality; that like him, involved in the ruin of a common apostacy from God, they are the objects of God's care and compassion, and of the redeeming love of One who gave himself a ransom for all. He feels that in the sight of God he and the meanest of his slaves are equal-equally worthless as sinful creatures, equally precious as immortal

souls. He feels, within, the movement of the Spirit of God's love, writing upon his heart and breathing into his soul's life the law, “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” The first impulse upon his mind is that these poor people are his neighbors, and must be treated accordingly; that he must do them good to the extent of his opportunities; that he must by all means make them acquainted with God and with the way of salvation; that the first of all his duties to his fellow-men, is his duty to these wronged and helpless creatures whose entire destiny, from this time onward, is so much within his power. Can he any longer treat these persons as things which, having no rights, can suffer no injustice ? Can he treat them as merchandise, property, creatures made to be bought and sold? Can he leave them in the power of a mere hireling, a low and brutal overseer? Can he refuse to acknowledge and protect the domestic relations and affections which nature, too strong to be entirely subverted by oppression, has established among them? Must he not begin to treat them in all respects as men having the common rights of human nature? Must he not begin to treat them in all respects as men made in God's image, and redeemed from the wrath to come by Christ's atoning sacrifice? I am not speaking of how a man may act, who has received Christianity as a dead tradition including a divine warrant for enslaving the “cursed race of Ham.” I am not speaking of how a man may act who knows the gospel only under the forms of a “hard-shell ” Antinomianism. I am not speaking of what a Christian man may do contrary to the principle of Christian

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