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Full text of "The other leaf of the book of nature and the word of God"

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THE 



OTHER LEAF 



OF THE 



BOOK OF NATURE 



AND THE 



WORD OF GOD. 



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WORD OF GOB 



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1948. 






Digitized by the Internet Archive 
in 2013 



http://archive.org/details/otherleafofbookoOOmitc 






A PRAYER. 



Of God, all-wise, all-just, all-merciful, his worthless and un^ 
profitable slave begs grace and mercy. Thou knowest the heart, 
and that he has seemed to himself to be willing to learn the mind 
and will of God, discoverable, whether by the light of reason, or 
that clearer, brighter light which beams from thine holy word, and 
to set forth the same to his fellow men. If he has found the truth, 
wilt thou be pleased to make it acceptable and convincing to those 
who read. If he has deceived himself, and, through the feebleness 
of his intellectual nature, or the sinfulness of his heart, he has fallen 
into error, wilt thou cause some other of thy servants, whom thou 
dost also permit to call themselves thy children, more gifted and 
holy, to expose with freedom and power, whatever here is wrong. 
Wilt thou be pleased to grant this, for his sake who died, the just 
for the unjust. Amen. 



u 



A SERMON. 



** For the earth is the Lord's^ and the fulness thereof." — 1 Cor. x. 26, 

A TEXT SO very plain requires but two remarks before 
we proceed to consider the truth which it asserts and teaches. 

1. That it appears to be a quotation by the apostle from 
the first verse of the 26th Psalm, w^here we find the same 
words:—" The earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof-— 
the world, and they that dwell therein/' 

2. That the "fulness of a thing" is a Hebrew^diom for 
that of which the thing is full. The fulness of a house is that 
of which the house is full, as the furniture, gold, silver, and 
other property that is there : Numbers xxii. 18. The fulness 
of a city is the people and all their possessions that are within 
the compass of the city walls: Amos vi. 8. (Note A.) 

The fulness of the earth is whatever thing is upon the 
face of the earth, such as the trees and other vegetables, the 
animals, including man. The text asserts that all these, as 
well as the solid body of the globe, the hills, and mountains, 
are the Lord's 

Some things are asserted in the Scriptures which are so 
clearly and evidently true, that one is inclined sometimes to 
wonder that it should have been considered necessary to 
introduce a formal enunciation of them into a revelation from 
the Most High. That God is great, and wise, and powerful, 
and good ; that man is weak, ignorant, and sinful ; that we 
must all die ; that the earth is the Lord's, and the fulness 



6 

thereof; we need no angel or holy prophet bearing a com- 
mission from the supreme Creator, to satisfy om- minds that 
these things are so. If God made the world and all that 
therein is, all must be his. 

The object of the writer in this, as in other places, seems to be, 
not to inform our understandings with the knowledge of truths 
they were unable to reach and ascertain, but to remind us of 
such as are self-evident, but liable to be forgotten. 

The earth and the fulness thereof are the property of Him 
who created them, unless He has given them away. It ap- 
pears that he has given the use of them to the various crea- 
tures he has formed. Actions, as the common saying declares, 
speak louder than words. By the act of creating all living 
things, giving to them instincts and appetites suited to the 
condition of the elements here, and placing them all upon the 
earth, God signified as clearly as the most explicit declara- 
tions could do, His will that they all, so long as life should 
last, should regard the habitation in which he had placed them 
as their own. To the fishes he gave the sea, to the birds the 
clouds of heaven, to reptiles the marshes, and to the other 
animals, as the lion, the ox, the monkey, and the man, the dry 
land. 

By conferring upon man a capacity for improvement denied 
to all the rest, and especially of handing down the discove- 
ries and improvements of one age to those that were to follow, 
and through the medium of these accumulated acquisitions 
gaining an authority over the inferior animals, God intimated 
his will that man should be the lord and master of the other 
races. He fully declared his will in this respect in the earliest 
communications that were made to Adam, as is stated in 
Genesis i. 27-8 : 

" So God created man in his own image, in the image of 
God created he him ; male and female created he them, and 
God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and 
multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it, and have do- 
minion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air^ 
and over every hving thing that moveth upon the earth." 

And again after the flood : Genesis ix. 1-3. 

" And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, 
Be fruitful, and multiply, and ^replenish the earth ; and the 



fear of you, and the dread of you, shall be upon every beast 
of the earth, and upon every fov^l of the air, and upon all that 
moveth upon the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea ; 
into your hand are they delivered Every moving thing that 
liveth shall be meat for you ; even as the green herb have I 
given you all things." 

Almighty God, our Heavenly Father, has then kindly be- 
stow^ed the use of this earth and of all the creatures that inhabit 
it, upon our race, upon man. He has not given these things 
in perpetuity, and in such a way that they shall be our's abso- 
lutely, and as perfectly as they were his ; but the use of them 
only. The earth is still the Lord's, and the fulness thereof 
He claims the right of prescribing to us, and dictating still, 
how it is that his gifts are to be employed. 

He has not given the earth to one, two, or three ; not to any 
number of humankind, but to all ; to all the descendants of 
Adam and of Noah. In order that one may have a right to a 
share in this common inheritance, it is only necessary to be 
born. The child has a just claim upon his parents for pro- 
tection and support, so long as he is unable to provide for the 
supply of his own wants ; so long as his body is so weak, or 
his mind so feeble, that he cannot obtain for himself what is 
necessary to the maintenance of a comfortable, if not of a 
happy existence. They have been the causes of his coming 
into the world without asking his consent, or the possibility 
that he should give it. They are bound, therefore, to provide 
for him, until his mind and his body shall have been somewhat 
matured. He may then be expected to put forward his 
claim to a share in that inheritance which God in heaven, the 
Creator, Preserver, and Governor of all, has bequeathed to all, 
in common, and alike, and injustice shall be done him, to have 
his claim allowed. If the natural rights of all are not equal, 
the claims of all to as good a share as the others are not just, 
I should be very glad to know theiTi'eason why. It has never 
yet been my fortune to meet with the original instruments, the 
parchments, or papers, by which the God of Nature has con- 
veyed to any one of mankind an absolute title ; any title to a 
single acre of the soil of this Western Continent. Is it any- 
where written upon the rocks of the fields around me ? is any 
such inscription buried in permanent and legible characters deep 



8 

in the bosom of any ? " This field was intended by the God of 
Nature for such or such a favorite child." Is it inscribed 
upon the forehead, or upon some other part of the body of 
any ? " It is the will of God that this man -shall possess a large 
tract of the earth's surface ; or, it is the will of God that this 
man shall have no inheritance with his fellows, but shall be 
destitute and poor." 

My brethren, it is just as certain that every person who is 
born into the world has a natural right ; a right by the laws of 
Nature, and from the God of Nature, to an equal share in the 
soil of the earth, and to all the comforts and enjoyments that 
the earth yields, as it is that a man has a natural right to free- 
dom. The two stand upon the same footing. Indeed, a man 
cannot be truly free to whom such right is denied. If the 
whole of the soil is claimed and occupied by others, what can 
he do ? Whither shall he turn to find the means of subsist- 
ence ? He must consent to give a part of his time to others, 
for the privilege of cultivating their land ; must share with 
others those products of his labors which are rightfully his 
own. And this — disguise the truth, call hideous things by 
gentle names as we may — this is slavery ; a less evil and 
offensive kind than what now prevails in the Southern States 
— but slavery still. 

I am well aware that this assertion of an equality of right on 
the partof all God's rational creatures in this lower world : that 
it is his will, so far as we know, or can judge, that all shall share 
alike in his goodness and bounty, is likely to be received by 
some with impatience, and even with indignation. That in the 
tenure of the fields they so proudly call their own, they are 
guilty of an invasion of their brother's rights ; of the sin and 
wickedness of excluding him from the enjoyment of what is 
justly his, is a truth which is likely to kindle in certain of my 
hearers a wrath as hot as that which burns in the bosom of the 
slaveholder, when he is td|l that to hold his fellow-creatures 
Jn bondage, is a grievous wong. 

These views and opinions are not new. They have been 
entertained and expressed by others before our time. Many 
books have been written upon the subject of moral science 
and natural law. As the authors of these treatises would have 
occasion to speak of human rights, and of the right of pro- 



perty, or what is commonly received as such, amongst the rest, 
it might naturally be expected that they would feel a delicacy 
about looking the truth full in the face, and seeing and ac- 
knowledging that there is no right in the matter. Yet this 
is what some have frankly done, and in regard to the others, 
it is amazing to see on how small a foundation, men of ability 
and worth, have been wilhng to rear the immense fabric of 
law, and what is called justice, in all civilized countries. 
Ashamed to lay the corner stones of their several systems on 
rank and manifest injustice, or upon nothing, they have 
thought it better to save appearances by placing them upon 
the sand. (Note B.) 

The limits assigned to this discourse, are such as do not ad- 
mit of the introduction of more than a single example. I have 
made choice of Dr. Paley, because his work on Moral Phi- 
losophy is very common, having been used as a text book in 
many Colleges, as well as for the reason that he has been long 
known and respected as an able and judicious writer, and one 
withal, inclined to become the apologist of existing institutions, 
even where they have abuses connected with them, rather 
than to advance extreme opinions upon any subject. His 
chapter on property in land, commences with the following 
statements. 

"We now speak of property in land: and there is a diffi- 
culty in explaining the origin of this property, consistently 
with the law of nature ; for the land was once no doubt com- 
mon, and the question is, how any particular part of it could 
justly be taken out of the common, and so appropriated to the 
first owner, as to give him a better right to it than others, and 
what is more, a right to exclude others from it. 

" Moralists have given many different accounts of this mat- 
ter, which diversity alone, perhaps, is a proof that none of 
them are satisfactory." 

After stating some of these, he adds: 

" These are the accounts that have been given of the matter 
by the best writers on the subject ; but were these accounts 
perfectly unexceptionable, they would none of them, I fear, 
avail us in vindicating our present claims of property in land, 
unless it were more probable than it is, that our estates were 
actually acquired at first, in some of the ways which these 



10 

accounts suppose ; and that a regular regard had been paid to 
justice in every successive transmission of them since ; for if 
one link in the chain fail, every title posterior to it falls to the 
ground." 

" The real foundation of our right is, the law of the land." 
Paley acknow^ledges that by the law of nature, the soil of 
the earth is the common property of its inhabitants. In its 
products and benefits, therefore, if justice v^^ere done, all would 
alike participate. But the fallible human lawgiver steps in, 
and thrusting the law of nature aside, substitutes for it his own 
enactment. And the title so created, is all that any landholder 
has to show for his property. 

But I am addressing a company of people who are Chris- 
tians, at least in theory and name, and recur, therefore, once 
more to the words of the text, and the inference from it. The 
earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof So far as man- 
kind have any right or title to it, it must be common property. 
This is one of those primary and self-evident truths that defy 
the attacks of sophistry, and cannot be made clearer or more 
certain by argument. If this is doubted or denied, it is useless 
to hold, or pretend to hold, opinions upon any subject, to 
attempt to reason about anything. But let us see upon what 
ground it is that an exclusive title to the soil of the earth, or 
to any part of it, or to anything that has proceeded from it, 
may be defended. 

1. A man may say, I purchased my farm, paid a fair price 
for it, and on that account am entitled to hold it, and regard 
and treat it as my own. 

Answer. The person who pretended to sell to you had no 
title, and could not, therefore, convey any. He could no more 
sell you a tract of soil, than he could sell an exclusive right to 
the light of the sun, to the air, or to the fertilizing shower. 
They are all common property, and not to be sold. If you 
purchase a couple of acres in the public ground, around the 
house where we are assembled, and get a deed for it from 
some person, will your claim be allowed ? 

2. A man may say that he has held his farm, occupied and 
cultivated it, for a long time. It belonged to his father and 
grandfather before him, and has been in the family, for he 
knows not how many generations. 



11 

Answer. Instead of being a reason why you should be 
permitted to retain possession of your farm, this is the very 
best possible reason why you should be deprived of it ; why 
as a just and generous man, you should abandon it of your 
own accord, and surrender it to some other family that has 
hitherto been poor. What more just, than that if all cannot 
enjoy together, different individuals or families should take 
their turn, in reaping the fruits of what belongs alike to all ? 

3. A man may say that he has made great improvements 
in the property he holds. It is much more productive and 
valuable than it was when it came into his hands, and it is on 
this account no more than just that he should be permitted 
to hold it. 

Answer. The improvements you have made are perhaps 
a fair equivalent and return for the advantages you have been 
permitted to derive from the property in question, so that 
instead of being in arrears to your fellow-creatures, bound 
in honor and justice to descend to the bottom of the ladder 
whilst they ascend to the top, you may claim to stand on a 
level with the poorest of them in regard to the future. But 
your improvements are perhaps rather pretended than real. 
A tract of land in a state of nature, covered with original 
forest, is at this moment more valuable than a tract of equal 
size, whose soil is of equal goodness, in almost any part of 
the country, but especially in such parts as have been long 
settled and are extensively cleared. 

4. One will say that he has no property in land, perhaps 
very little real estate of any kind. He is wealthy, but has 
made his money by manufacturing, or by trade and com- 
merce, and is therefore entitled to hold and enjoy it. 

Answer. Of this species of property, it is to be said, that 
it is not, as in the case of land, evident at first sight, that it 
does and ought to belong to all, and is liable therefore to be 
seized and divided, equally, amongst the whole population of 
the country, or otherwise disposed of for the common benefit. 
That this is true, may, however, be rendered very probable, 
and as many will think quite certain, by a few considerations. 

(a.) The earth is the sole pi'oducer, the ultimate source of 
all material wealth. It has been in the hands of a part of 
mankind, to whom it did not rightfully belong. To them, 



12 

and for their benefit, its returns have been made, and they, 
with no just and true ownership, have disposed of them to 
others ; have sold, or otherwise aliened, what did not belong 
to them. Whatever has grown up under this vicious sys- 
tem — grown out of it, and is one of its consequences, is, like 
the system itself, vicious and bad ; of equal badness and in- 
justice with the system. That large portion of the popula- 
tion of the earth, who have been debarred and shut out by 
it from their natural rights, and denied the enjoyment of the 
blessings and mercies which their kind Father in heaven in- 
tended for them, may now well claim, that of what remains, 
an equal share shall be theirs. 

(b.) Try those transactions by which property is accumu- 
lated by the rules of right prescribed by our blessed Saviour, 
in the New Testament. " Thou shalt love thy neighbor as 
thyself." — " Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, 
do ye even so to them." To this standard it is, that it is in- 
sisted that the dealings of the southern planter with his slave, 
ought to be, and shall be, brought for trial, and if he refuses 
such scrutiny, or is found wanting when it is applied, the 
northern philanthropist pronounces him a demon in human 
shape. Every man wishes to be fairly dealt with in a bar- 
gain, to get at least a fair equivalent for the property he parts 
with. 

And how is it that wealth is accumulated, necessarily, by 
the manufacturer and the merchant ? By buying a thing for less, 
and selling it for more (one or both), than its real value, I 
do not say than its value in the market — but than its real 
value. A manufacturer purchases labor, and as his opera- 
tives are out of employment, they are content to work for 
him for somewhat — not very much, less than what their labor 
is worth. He sends the products of their industry and skill 
to a distance, and sells them for what they are worth, or for 
more, and by a repetition of this process it is, that he gets 
rich. It is by buying for less than a thing is worth, and sell- 
ing it for more — by making what are commonly called good, 
but what are in truth biad, because they are (according to the 
New Testament standard of morals) unjust and wicked bar- 
gains, that men make their accumulations. If a merchant 
were to buy his goods at their true value, and sell at such an 



13 

advance, as would cover the cost of transportation, the risk 
of loss by unsaleable articles, or by other causes, the interest 
of his capital, and pay himself for his time and care at the 
rate at which a common laborer is paid for harder work, 
should we hear any more of estates made by trade ? Take 
the man who lately died worth some millions in the city of 
New York, a fair man as the world goes — 'will his proceed- 
ings bear to have the light of the gospel let in upon them ? 
His first considerable gains are said to have been made by 
giving to the ignorant savages of Oregon, a few trinkets, 
almost w^orthless, for furs worth many thousands. It was by 
playing the same game on a larger scale amongst civilized 
men, that his immense fortune grew. He was not possessed 
of such superhuman strength and activity, as gave to his in- 
dividual labor, the efficiency and value of that of hundreds 
and thousands of his fellow men. But he was far-sighted and 
skilful, in the game which is continually going on in our 
great cities, and which by courtesy bears the name of fair 
trading. Would much injustice — would any worth mention- 
ing, be done, if the hoards thus made, were seized by the 
strong arm of public power, and applied for the reHef of the 
distresses of the unhappy children of misfortune, of suffering, 
and want ? 

(c.) Instead of looking at the history of property and the 
processes by which it is accumulated in a few hands, it may 
be equally useful to turn our attention to its origin and the 
final results. By whom is it created ? By laborers of every 
kind, by the hard handed ploughman or other tiller of the 
ground, by the smith, the operatives in the cotton or other 
mill, the pale artist who plies the sickly trade. Do the re- 
wards and emoluments come to them ? No. At the end of a 
long life of labor they are still poor. This is sometimes the 
history of families from generation to generation. Whilst 
contributing largely to the means of human enjoyment, they 
themselves enjoy nothing, but their whole lives are a struggle 
for the means of bare subsistence. Without waiting to in- 
quire minutely how it is that such results are produced, we 
may say at once, that if not wicked, they are at least unjust 
and wrong, and that such a condition of things should be 
changed. 



|14 

(d.) The public or state, is not merely an important and 
efficient, but an indispensable agent in the creation of every 
large property. It furnishes the protection and defence, with- 
out which the operations necessary to the ends to be secured 
could not be carried on, and for this reason, if for no other, it 
is entitled to the lion's share in the profits. Another extract 
from Paley will illustrate this point. 

" If you should see a flock of pigeons in a field of corn, and 
if (instead of each picking where and what it liked, taking just 
as much as it wanted, and no more) you should see ninety- 
nine of them gathering all they got into a heap, reserving no- 
thing to themselves but the chaflf and refuse ; keeping this 
heap for one, and that the weakest, perhaps, and worst pigeon 
of the flock ; sitting round and looking on all the winter, 
whilst this one was devouring, throwing about and wasting it ; 
and if a pigeon more hardy or more hungry than the rest 
touched a grain of the hoard, all the others instantly flying up- 
on it and tearing it to pieces ; if you should see this, you would 
see nothing more than what is every day practised and esta- 
blished among men." 

(e) Now it does appear to me, that simply as a remunera- 
tion from that weak and bad pigeon, the others might with a 
clear conscience help themselves from his stores, as largely as 
they might be inclined ; and much more, that after his death, 
they might safely take possession of the whole heap. In other 
wordsS, that there would be no wrong, if the law should direct 
that after a man's decease, his property of every kind should 
escheat and revert to the state. 

For the reasons now stated, one or all, it is but just that per- 
sonal not less than real estate, money, merchandise, and other 
property, as well as the land, should be thrown into one com- 
mon stock, an equal division be made, and the hard-handed 
sons of toil by whose labors all the wealth there is, except 
what nature furnishes unaided, has been created, should be 
admitted to share equally with those who have hitherto lived 
in idleness, the bounty of that God, who, but for the wicked- 
ness of man in thwarting his views, would be equal and just 
to all, even during the present life. 

5. It will be said that what is now offered, is neither more 
nor less than Agrarianism ; a doctrine and practice that has 



15 

been more than once proposed by certain visionary enthusiasts 
to the people of this country, and been by their good sense 
rejected as impracticable, and wholly unsuited to the condition 
of society in any part of the civilized world. 

I answer ; it is just so. It is agrarianism, under one of its 
worst forms, that is proposed as a simple act of justice to the 
poor. It has been shown to be a scheme which it would be 
very difficult to carry into execution, even if it should not 
prove to be quite impracticable. But has any one of those 
who have written or spoken against it, dared to grapple with 
the question of its justice ? It is with that alone that I am 
now concerned. We will not quarrel about names. If a 
glorious angel were to come into this lower world, and men 
were to revile him and call him a devil, he would be an angel 
still. And just so, justice, and truth, whatever be the names 
by which we call them, are holy and good, are truth and jus- 
tice still. Is it the matter of slavery alone that affords a pro- 
per subject of discussion, with the view of ascertaining what 
there is of right or wrong connected with it ; or does the in- 
equality of condition in regard to property that obtains in 
what are called the free states, open as reasonable and fair a 
field? 

6. It may be said, finally, that if justice were to be done, 
the property real and personal all equally divided, it would 
not remain so for a week. The idleness, extravagance, and 
folly of some : the industry, economy, and wisdom of others, 
would very shortly, if any transfer were permitted, raise the 
one class to wealth, and sink the others down to poverty. 

I answer again ; there is very little connected with man 
besides his sinfulness, weakness, and dependence, that is un- 
changing and permanent. All that we enjoy demands per- 
petually recurring and assiduous labor. Our habitations de- 
cay and require to be rebuilt, our clothes fall to pieces and 
have to be renewed ; the fields are to be cultivated year after 
year ; the food provided with so much care, meets only the 
necessities of the present moment. Is it any sufficient reason 
why we should refuse to do what justice or necessity requires, 
that it may have to be done over again ? An affectionate 
wife says to her husband when he enters the house at the 
usual breakfast hour — " My best beloved, idol of my heart, 



16 

there is nothing ready for you ; I have tried the preparation 
of those repasts at which ourselves and our children are so 
happy, for many years, but it does no good — the same labor 
is perpetually recurring. My affection for you has been still 
the same from the hour when we first plighted our faith to 
each other, or if there has been any change, it has gone on 
increasing. Be assured of the continuance of that, but I shall 
provide breakfast for you no more." I am free to acknow- 
ledge, however, that until society shall have been reconstruct- 
ed on Christian principles, the maintenance of a perfect equal- 
ity, or even of what shall approach nearly to it, will be a mat- 
ter of great difficulty, and demand unremitting attention. Let 
us see what was the procedure of the Allwise and Almighty 
when such a problem was to be solved. 

Once, and once only, so far as we know, in the history of 
the earth, God has interfered, to fix and settle the social con- 
dition of a whole people. It was when the descendants of 
Jacob, after having entered Palestine sword in hand, subdued 
the country, and exterminated to a considerable extent the 
former population, were to receive a permanent establishment 
in that promised land. The wisdom of God assigned them 
seats there on the Agrarian plan. It will not answer, there- 
fore, for one who receives the Bible as a revelation from the 
Supreme Creator, to be too loud in his condemnation of Agra- 
rianism, lest he accuse God his Maker of stupidity and folly. 
A census was first taken, for the purpose of ascertaining how 
many men there were in each tribe capable of bearing arms 
(Numbers xxvi.) ; and the land was then divided to the tribes 
by lot, so as to give each man a share. This subject occupies 
several chapters in the book of Joshua, as the xin., xv., xvi., 
xvii., xviii., and xix. As the arrangement would seem to bear 
hard upon families where the children were all females, pro- 
vision was made for their relief also, as in the case of the 
daughters of Zelophehad (Numbers xxvii.). But not only did 
God adopt the Agrarian principle in assigning settlements to 
his chosen people, in the land promised to their fathers ; he 
provided for its maintenance afterwards (Leviticus xxv.). In 
the course of human events, it would naturally happen that 
property would change hands. But on the fiftieth year — the 
year of jubilee — every one was to be reinstated in his original 



17 

rights. The land and the man were by the wisdom of God 
placed on the same footing. The man, if a slave, was to have 
his freedom ; the land v^^as to return to its original possessor 
(Leviticus xxv. 9). 

" And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty 
throughout all the land, unto all the inhabitants thereof ; it 
shall be a jubilee unto you, and ye shall return every man unto 
his possession, ye shall return every man unto his family." 
(Note C.) 

From the Old Testament we pass to the New, and here 
what merits first of all, to fix our attention is, the great and 
golden rule of morals so often referred to, furnished by our 
Saviour in Matthew vii. 12. " Therefore all things whatso- 
ever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to 
them, for this is the law and the prophets." If the earth is 
the Lord's and the fulness thereof, and in that fulness his in- 
telligent creatures are included, God has an unquestionable 
right to prescribe to us this law for the regulation of our con- 
duct. We have to inquire, then, what those things are which 
by the spirit certainly, probably by the letter of this law, are 
forbidden. 

I notice first, slavery, as it now exists in the southern States 
of this Union. If I were a slave, I should wish that my mas- 
ter would give me my freedom. It would be a reasonable 
desire on my part. I ought, therefore, it would seem, if I 
would carry out fully and effectively the rule of the Saviour, 
to set my slave, if I have one, free. 

But this is not all. The existing inequality of property and 
of social condition that is seen in all civilized countries, even 
those which claim to be most free, in New England, is as 
truly forbidden by the Saviour's rule as slavery itself If I 
were a very poor man, had in fact nothing but my hands, a 
little coarse furniture for my house, a fair character for in- 
tegrity and industry, and a large family dependent upon me 
for bread, — and if I had a neighbor who was a professor of 
religion, and in good circumstances, or perhaps quite rich, I 
should wish that he would give me such a part of his property 
as would place me in a state of moderate and humble inde- 
pendence. If he owned, for instance, five hundred acres of 
land, I should wish that he would give me fifty. It would be 



^ 18 

a reasonable wish ; as reasonable, as, if I were a slave, would 
be the desire of freedom. It would not hurt the rich Chris- 
tian, — might do him good, and it would benefit me very much ; 
would in fact, be restoring to me that right to a portion of the 
earth's surface to which, as has been ah'eady shown in this 
discourse, I am entitled by the law of nature, and the gift of 
God. When I had taken my fifty acres, another poor man 
might be expected to come in for another fifty, a third to suc- 
ceed to him, and so on, until a substantial equality had been 
reached on the part of all. If the rich Christian, instead of 
land, had 20,000 or 50,000 dollars in money, or other proper- 
ty, and I was very poor, and in want, it would be no unrea- 
sonable wish on my part that he would give me a thousand 
dollars. And if I should desire in case I were poor that the 
rich man should so deal with me, the Saviour's rule requires 
of me, if I am rich, that I divide my property with my poorer 
brother. This is quite as certain as it is that the same rule 
requires that the master should give freedom to the slave. 

That there may be no mistake on this point, Jesus has fur- 
ther explained himself, and instructed us in our duty, as in the 
case of the person who came to him to ask what he should do 
to inherit eternal life. " Then Jesus beholding him loved him 
and said unto him, one thing thou lackest, go thy way, sell 
whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shall 
have treasure in heaven, and come, take up the cross and fol- 
low me. And he was sad at that saying, and went away 
grieved, for he had great possessions." Mark x. 21, also 
Matthew xix. 21, Luke xviii. 22. 

The same rule is made general for all the followers of 
Christ, in Luke xii. 32-3. " Fear not, little flock, for it is 
your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell 
that ye have and give alms ; provide for yourselves bags 
which wax not old; a treasure in the heavens that faileth not ; 
where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth." 
(Note D.) 

These rules were carried out, and the genuine character of 
the Christian religion fully exemplified, amongst the first con- 
verts to the faith. See Acts iv. 32, 34-5. " And the multi- 
tude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soui, 
neither said any of them that aught of the things which he 



1^ 

;possessed was his own : but they had all things common 
Neither was there any anaong them that lacked, for as many 
as were possessors of Jands or houses, sold them, and brought 
the prices of the things that were sold, and laid them down at 
the Apostles' feet, and distribution was made unto every man 
according as he had need." 

This is Christianity. These are its proper effects. To 
such a condition of things the great rule of morals we are 
considering necessarily leads ; to agrarianism of the worst 
kind ; to a substantial equalization of property, and of all 
other rights, so that the rich shall be rendered comparatively 
poor, the poor comparatively rich, and all shall become what 
they are accustomed to call each other — brothers. 

There are certain parts of the Bible which unregenerate 
men and sinners take a pleasure in reading ; those, for exam- 
ple, which speak of the joys of heaven and the blessedness of 
the just ; whilst they turn with horror from the 25th chapter 
of St. Matthew, where is an account of the transactions of 
the great day of Judgment. A Calvinist will dwell with 
most satisfaction and comfort on St. Paul's Epistle to the 
Romans ; the pleasant meditations of the Arminian will be 
upon the General Epistle of St. James ; a Christian man may 
remain, even through life, unfamiliar with such parts of the 
holy volume as do not seem to accord fully with his own 
views of divine truth. It will be useful to such an one to 
persuade him, if we can, to turn over a new leaf; to turn it 
even for him, and ask him to read and see what he finds writ- 
ten there. 

My brethren and sisters, you have been faithfully instructed 
on the great subject of slavery, told of its injustice, and how 
much it is at variance with the very nature of Christianity. 
Its multiplied wrongs have been depicted in glowing colors; 
the question has been raised whether those who hold their 
fellow men in bondage, should not be excluded from Christian 
privileges and the sacraments of the Lord, denied, as unworthy 
of it, the name of brother ; and by some this question has 
been decided in the affirmative, that they should be so 
excluded. The itinerant lecturer and the weekly journal, 
have been ahke eloquent in their condemnation of this foul 
wrong done to freeborn and immortal beings. 



20 

It is my office this day to turn over a new leaf (not to write 
a new one, that is the impious work of the abolitionist), but 
merely to turn over a new leaf, in the book of nature, and in 
the Word of God, and to ask you to listen whilst I read. It 
has been long before you, but you have failed to direct your 
attention to it, or to derive instruction from it. Examine for 
yourselves and see whether I deal unfairly with you ; whether 
it be from the book of nature and the Holy Scriptures, that 
the statements I make are taken ; whether they are honestly 
reported as they are found written there. If it be true, as is 
asserted in the Declaration of Independence, that all men are 
created equal, every man must have a natural right to a cer- 
tain part of the earth's surface, to be cultivated for his own 
support and that of his family, and of which no regulations of 
society can justly deprive him. The poor that are around us, 
or assembled with us, are therefore oppressed and wronged 
by their wealthier brethren. Have I quoted correctly the 
passages of Scripture to which reference has been made ? 
Then such equal division as I represent to be just and fair, is 
what the wisdom and justice of God adopted as proper and 
right for the chosen people ; what the golden rule of th^ Gos- 
pel prescribes ; what was practised by the first converts to 
the Christian faith, and is recorded of them for our imitation, 
so far as we can judge, if we shall be so inclined, and not for 
warning, for there is no word of disapproval in the narrative. 
(Note E.) 

The slaveholder is often reproached as afraid of free dis- 
cussion ; represented as exemplifying the truth of what was 
said by Christ to Nicodemus, in the interview by night ; " For 
every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to 
the light, lest his deeds should be reproved." He is a kind of 
moral and religious monster, who, whilst practising the most 
frightful injustice, will still claim to be regarded and spoken 
of as pious and good. Will my present audience be more 
patient of discussion ? Will they sit quietly, and observe, and 
listen, whilst a light from God's Holy Word is let in upon 
their own misdoings ? It has not been my purpose to call 
hard names ; I have uttered no word that I did not believe to 
be true ; have advanced no argument that I did not believe 
to be sound and of weight ; hardly one that I did not regard 



m 

as decisive. Suppose I were to go out and distribute through 
this land, tracts, or other publications, in which the same train 
of reasoning was presented, and in which furthermore, the 
poor and destitute, in addition to being told of their wrongs, 
were urged to right themselves ; assured that a fair share of 
all the property about them was theirs, the land by a law of 
nature, and as a gift from the God of nature, the rest, partly 
because it was the produce of the land, and partly because it 
was the product of their own labors ; told that it would be 
no other than just for them to break into the houses of their 
oppressors in the dead of night, carry off whatever they could 
lay their hands on, and kill without mercy such as should at- 
tempt resistance — would such proceeding, if there were any 
probability that it would accomplish its ends, be borne with ? 
Would there not be as loud a condemnation pronounced here, 
as elsewhere, of incendiary publications ? 

The judgments that have been passed in these parts on the 
matter of slavery as it exists at the South, have been false and 
incorrect. The source of the error that has been committed 
is to be found especially in the false assumptions that have 
been made in regard to the social, moral, and religious condi- 
tion of the people on the spot where the decision is made. It 
is taken for granted, that here, all is just and right in the rela- 
tions between man and man, established by the laws ; that 
every one is admitted to the full enjoyment of all his natural 
rights ; that Christians are walking in the law of the Lord, 
and substantially at least, observing the rule of doing to 
others as they would be done by. 

When I have read the doings of a body of men of good 
property (as I have reason to suppose, at least, many of them), 
assembled in some ecclesiastical capacity, and who have taken 
it upon themselves to condemn slavery, and for this reason 
especially, that it is a violation of the rule requiring us to do 
to others as we would have them do to us ; I have been some- 
times disposed to be indignant, and sometimes to smile at their 
ignorance and self-delusion. But I have before me a work 
on moral science, by no less a man than a President of a New 
England College, Francis Wayland, D.D., who is also a Pro- 
fessor of Moral Philosophy in Brown University, in which 
the same ground is taken. It seems to be necessary, there- 



22 

fore, to examine the subject a little more carefully. I know 
Dr. Wayland to be a man of worth and talent ; he might 
well have meditated some of its topics more profoundly, be- 
fore he came forward to direct the public mind on the subject 
of Christian morals. Does he exhibit, will he endure, in his 
own person, the working of those rules by which he calls 
upon others to abide ? He is represented to me as a man 
of respectable property, and the children of misfortune and 
poverty are around him in the town of Providence ; some of 
them, I venture to say, members of Christian churches. I will; 
say to him, to all others who take the same ground, " You 
have weighed the slaveholder and found him wanting, get 
into the scales yourself, we will use your own beam, your 
own weights, God, and angels, and men, shall look on and see 
that the business is fairly done, and the result shall be told.^ 
Until this shall have been accomplished, we have no chance 
of a fair hearing. 

The opinion which after a good deal of thought upon the 
subject I have been led to form, is, that the divine right of 
kings, the divine right of landholders, the divine right of pro- 
perty in general, the divine right of slaveholders (and by 
divine right, I mean a right sanctioned by religion natural or 
revealed), that all these are on the same footing, and must 
stand or fall together. There is no right or justice in either 
case ; it is toleration merely on the part of the Deity, and a 
necessity on ours. The man who is an abolitionist, unless he 
be one of those who can blow hot and cold with the same 
breath, if he will be consistent and true to his principles,, 
must necessarily be an Agrarian of the woyst kind. 



ANOTHEE SERMON 



" Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth 
corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal. But lay up for yourselves 
treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where 
thieves do not break through nor steal. For where your treasure is, there will 
your heart be also." — Matthew vi, 19-21. 

Brethren and Fathers. Some one may perhaps ask, what 
is the use of this kind of discussion ? Supposing that the soil 
of the earth does belong to the whole human family in com- 
mon, and that every member of that family is entitled to an 
equal share ; that the occupancy of large tracts by the rich 
is an usurpation ; and that in regard to this, as well as the 
perishable property, which is in great part the product of their 
own labors, and from the enjoyment of which they are never- 
theless excluded, the poor are most unjustly dealt by ; what 
has this to do with slavery ? The holding of one's fellow- 
creatures in bondage is neither a greater wrong, nor a less, on 
that account. What is the use of raising a question which 
can only have the effect of disturbing men's minds without 
leading to any valuable result ? People are not going to be 
such fools as to give away all, or nearly all, their property, 
whatever show of argument there may be in favor of such 
proceeding. 

What connexion these things have with our main subject 
shall hereafter be made to appear ; but, my hearers, however 
little what we had in hand this morning may have to do with 
the guilt or innocence of slaveholding, it does bear on the 
judgment you are warranted in pronouncing on the character 
and conduct of your fellow-countrymen at the South. He 
who takes it upon himself to condemn in strong terms the 
abominations committed by others, must be able to raise his 
hands on high, and show that they are stainless and pure. 
Could the truth find access to the minds of the population of 
this part of the country, there would be an end to agitation, at 
least on the part of reasonable Christian men, on the subject of 
slavery. To procure admission for the truth will be difficult 
for certain reasons. 



24 

1. It will be unpalatable to people of wealth, to those per- 
sons, generally, who occupy a good position in society, and 
especially to such as are members of Christian churches. 
That such as they are violating from year's end to year's end 
a plain law of nature and of nature's God, depriving their 
neighbor of his just rights, and treating with habitual neglect 
some of the simplest and clearest instructions of Him whose 
name they bear, whose followers they profess to be — they 
will keep from believing, and still more, I fear, from acknow- 
ledging this, if they can. 

2. The opinion has been fostered and cherished in the 
Northern States, and especially in New England, until it has 
become an article of belief all but universal, that whatever be 
the folly or wickedness that deforms the social system in 
other parts of the earth, here it is not to be found. Here all 
is just and right, if men would but obey the laws. Or if this 
shall be denied ; here is exactly the amount of social injustice 
that is reasonable and proper, suited to all climates and coun- 
tries, all conditions of society, to every peculiarity or inter- 
mixture of races, short of which it is folly to stop, beyond 
which it is wickedness to go. The French politicians are 
madmen. Their plan is not only to acknowledge men to be 
free and equal, but to suit the action to the word, and make 
them so. Our fellow-countrymen at the South are devils ; 
they go as far into the opposite extreme. With us is the per- 
fection of wisdom, let the whole earth come and imitate our 
example. (Note F.) 

The delusion of which I speak has been fostered by the 
frequent repetition of certain maxims that pass from mouth to 
mouth, without much inquiry respecting their truth ; such as 
that just referred to, that here all are free and equal ; than 
which a more barefaced and impudent falsehood has seldom 
been uttered or written. 

Free ? He that has a handsome income from money lodged 
in the bank or elsewhere, who can move about in good style, 
go when he pleases, where he pleases, spend the summer at 
some fashionable watering place, the winter in the great city, 
or the whole year in Europe — is free. But the smith at the 
anvil, or other mechanic, with a wife and children dependent 
upon his earnest and unremitting labor, who cannot cease 
from that labor even for a week without the apprehension 



25 

that the gaunt and repulsive forms of hunger, and cold, and 
nakedness will be seen coming in to take up their abode in his 
dwelling, and that his heart will be wrung by the voices of 
his children clamoring for bread ; if he is free, it is only in a 
very modified sense as compared with the other. And as to 
their equality, it is a mockery to mention it. Try at a public 
meeting, and see whose opinion will have the most weight ; 
for which of the two will the crowd give way, and leave him 
room to pass ? Let the two be rivals where a connexion in 
marriage is to be formed for a son or daughter. And yet the 
smith is perhaps a person of better sense and better moral 
character ; in all respects the worthier man of the two. A 
gentleman in silk stockings, and a lady in silk gloves, arrive 
at the wharf in New York in May, to attend the anniversary 
of the Antislavery Society ; pay the porter a quarter for car- 
rying their trunk to the hotel, where they are welcomed with 
smiles (whilst the porter, if he even lingered long, would be 
told very plainly that he was not wanted there) ; they go into 
the meeting and express their indignation that the blacks at the 
South should be denied those equal rights which the God of 
nature has given them. Have they all their equal rights, 
those eloquent speakers and that porter, the last no less, the 
others no more ? Is it reasonable and right that the people of 
the North, thrusting the law of Nature's God and the particu- 
lar teaching of the God of the Scriptures aside, should estab- 
lish an arbitrary standard of injustice, suited to their own 
circumstances, perpetuate the same from age to age, and treat 
all as destitute of religious principle and honorable feeling 
who refuse to conform to it ? 

3. I will mention but one other reason why I am not san- 
guine respecting the amount of conviction the representations 
I have to offer are likely to produce. With the forms of evil, 
of injustice, and suffering, of w^hich I have to speak, you have 
long been famihar. They have even been handed down from 
generations that are gone. Forgetting that sin is as old as the 
days of Adam, you are perhaps ready to infer, that what has 
existed so long must be just and right. If you have not come 
to consider them as indifferent, or good, they are at the worst 
necessary evils, for which you are very little more responsible 
than you are for the coldness of a northern winter, or for any 
other peculiarity in the physical condition of the country. 



26 

And in some respects your views may not be very wrong. 
But the mischief is, that I cannot make you even apprehend 
the frightful amount of evil and suffering that is around you, 
which springs from those very institutions of which you are 
accustomed to speak with so much pride and self-complacency. 
With regard to the slaveholding states, all is different. Much 
of what is wrong there is to you new and strange, and when 
presented it affects you deeply, almost to madness. 

When, therefore, one comes forward, and, professing his 
reverence for the Pilgrim Fathers of New England, as men 
who, in wisdom and goodness, were such as the world has 
seldom seen, declaring that after years of absence, the love of 
that land, of her hills and mountains and of her people, lingers 
with him and will linger — yet points with profane finger to 
the evidence that those pilgrim fathers were men, that the in- 
stitutions founded by them — that survive, (and God grant that 
they may long survive), are not exempt from the common 
character of all that belongs to humanity — the proof he offers, 
is, for the reasons that have been stated and others, likely to 
be resisted. 

And shall I, nevertheless, proceed to lay it before you ? I 
will. It may produce immediate conviction in some minds ; 
and in other cases, the bread cast upon the waters may return 
after many days. If truth has that power over the human 
mind which is commonly ascribed to it, if it be so great that it 
must and will prevail, I need not despair. 

Injustice is everywhere around us. The corner stone of 
the civil polity of those states which are most proud and boast- 
ful of their free institutions, is laid in it. Injustice pervades 
the whole texture of the social condition of those who listen 
to me. It is in the great masses that constitute the population 
of the country, in neighborhoods, in families ; the Church of 
the living God is not exempt, is no exception. It has its origin 
in the statute book, in the laws which fix the rights (as they 
are called) of individual men, and is sanctioned and maintain- 
ed by them. Slavery, as it exists at the South, is part and 
parcel of it, but by no means the whole. Its effects are vari- 
ous, neither unmixed good, nor simple, unadulterated evil. It 
causes everywhere much wickedness, aside from what is in- 
herent in its very nature, much suffering. The spirit in which 
it is founded, and that is fostered and cherished by it, is most 



27 

hostile to the spirit of Christianity, so that the mischiefs it pro- 
duces, and which are apparent during the present hie, are a 
mere nothing, in comparison with those which we shall wit- 
ness and acknowledge, when we shall have passed out of time 
into eternity. 

The evidence of the truth of the statements 1 now make is 
so clear, that it would seem to be in a manner impossible for 
one to present it so unskilfully that it shall fail of carrying 
conviction to every candid mind. Whoever shall see cause 
to adopt those conclusions on these subjects to which I have 
myself been led, and which I now present for your considera- 
tion, will be constrained to acknowledge that the only defence 
that can be offered for the misery and wrong which society, 
through the ministry of the constitution and the laws, inflicts 
upon many of its members, is to be found in the plea of a stern 
and terrible necessity. That necessity comprehends with 
nearly equal, perhaps with absolutely equal show of reason, 
the existing condition of things in New England^ and the 
slavery of the South. 

When the slaveholder offers this apology for a system! 
whose evils he acknowledges and deplores, but w^hich he 
nevertheless continues to uphold, the abolitionist lays his hand 
upon his lips, refuses to listen to it, and pronounces it inadmis- 
sible, and unworthy of a Christian man. It is the apology 
the abolitionist himself must present in a coming day ; he will 
have no other. He will not dare to place his hand upon the 
lips of the slaveholder when standing in equal jeopardy, and 
in like manner guilty before that dread tribunal. It may be 
anticipated that a plea thus common and universal, will in some 
cases be received with more allowance by a God of wisdom, 
than is accorded to it by passionate, prejudiced, and sinful 
man ; that there will be more impartiality in the judgment that 
is pronounced, on the nature and degree of the necessity. Let 
us inquire, with the best lights we have, what these are. 

The great object of the civil institutions of ancient times 
was, to prepare men for war ; and it was well accomplished. 
No more enduring or braver soldiers have ever been, than 
those of ancient Sparta or Rome. This was brought about 
mainly by placing military glory above every other species of 
distinction. Men were then ready to make any and every 



28 

sacrifice to gain it. They felt that it was better to die, than 
to retire dishonored from the fields of war. It was a costly 
sacrifice for the attainment of the desired object, but well 
bestowed, when the dangers of war were so constantly immi- 
nent, and the consequences of defeat so terrible. 

In modern times, the military virtues are held in great, but 
in somewhat less esteem. Men have been brought to see that 
there is no very great advantage in killing one another. The 
conqueror, even, reaps no such benefits as are an adequate 
return for his own sufferings, even if we leave out of the 
account all consideration of the miseries he inflicts on others. 
Mankind have, therefore, turned themselves with more ardor 
than formerly to the cultivation of the arts of peace. 

The earth has to be subdued and tilled, and made to pro- 
duce its rich harvests, habitations have to be built, and clothing 
and the other necessaries and comforts of life provided. All 
these perish in the using, or by the process of natural decay, 
and have most of them to be reproduced from year to year. 
In all this is involved the necessity of perpetually recurring 
and painful labor. By whom shall it be performed? In 
what way shall men be induced to apply their hands to an un- 
pleasant task, which some must necessarily execute ? 

The simplest way of attaining these objects, seems to be 
that which has actually been adopted ; that of making the soil 
of the earth, and every other species of property, a kind of 
prize that is to be contended for, and which, whoever wins, by 
the ever-varying processes of labor, of bargain and sale, and 
of traffic of whatever kind, is to be allowed to hold, to enjoy, 
and dispose of, in such way as may best suit his own judg- 
ment or fancy. It is a necessary part of this scheme, that 
wealth shall come to be regarded, and be, the greatest of ad- 
vantages, and poverty the greatest of evils. The more dis- 
tinction there is connected with the possession of riches, and 
the more perfect the command it gives one of every species 
of enjoyment, the deeper the dishonor attached to being poor, 
the more earnestly will men exert themselves, the greater the 
sacrifices of ease and pleasure they will be ready to make, to 
secure the one and escape the other. When the rich are 
greatly elevated, and the poor greatly depressed in society, 
there will be no want of activity of either body or mind. 



29 

So far as the ends it has to accomphsh are concerned, the 
system works admirably. Men rise early and lie down late, 
eat the bread of carefulness, endure cold, heat, fatigue, and 
hunger, often tear themselves from their families because there 
is no sufficient field of enterprise at home, face danger, and 
sometimes meet death, in distant, unhealthy climes. There is 
an incessant and commonly a successful activity, the marks of 
industry and thrift are around us, and the whole land is con- 
verted into one vast whited sepulchre, beautiful outwardly to 
the eye, but within,fullof dead men's bones and of all unclean- 
ness. I proceed to open and exhibit this foul mass of cor- 
ruption in the production of which you, my hearers, have 
borne a part. (Note G.) 

1. The good effects of the system, how well it works in 
creating habits of industry, patience, and frugality, have been 
sufficiently noticed. I proceed to its evils, and mention, first, 
its injustice, as exhibited in those walks of life where it does 
not cause much physical, though it may produce a good deal 
of mental suffering. It involves an exclusion of many persons 
in every society from their natural rights, from the fair rewards 
of their life of laborious industry ; the cutting them off from 
the privileges and blessings a benevolent Deity has provided 
for them and wills that they enjoy, and this without any other 
fault of theirs than that they happened to be born in humble 
life and of poor parents. They are honest, work hard, live on 
coarse food, are meanly clad, occupy a house somewhat better 
than a hovel, and are despised. Their neighbor, an idle but 
plausible, cunning man, is eminently successful, and leaves a 
family respected and well provided for behind him. If it be 
said, that in a generation or two this state of things will be 
reversed, I reply, that to a man of sense, it can be but slender 
consolation to know that his grandson will be the hammer that 
beats, and not, like the grandsire, the anvil that is beaten. 

2. The second evil of the system is the amount of physical 
suffering connected with it, and produced by it. 

The quantity of that kind of misery which I have in my 
mind's eye, is greatly diminished in New England, in conse- 
quence of her fortunate position, and the vast extent of unoc- 
cupied and fertile country that lies at no great distance west, 
and which is so easily reached by those who desire to remove. 



30 

But notwithstanding the existence of this outlet for a vast 
amount of poverty and wretchedness, and after all the provi- 
sion that is made by public and private charity for the relief 
of the poor, there is much misery here, which these do not 
reach ; much that pride conceals, much hunger and cold, and 
much labor to avoid these, when the body is feeble and full 
of pain. These evils are increasing even here, but are felt 
most intensely at this moment in Old England — country of my 
fathers, and which merits at this time to be the scorn, the 
scoff, and derision of nations. She has the power to mitigate 
greatly in a thousand ways, and with perfect safety, the suf- 
ferings of those who have hitherto been excluded from their 
just rights ; but to those who administer her affairs there is 
wanting the will. The products of her industry are sufficient 
to supply her whole population with bread, so that each shall 
have not merely enough to eat, but to spare. But so thorough- 
ly has property of every kind been engrossed by the favored 
few, so utterly destitute are the operatives, those by whose 
hands value is created, and so inadequate are the wages paid 
for the most earnest and faithful industry, that hundreds and 
thousands are to be met with in the streets of her manufac- 
turing towns, pale, emaciated, feeble, and diseased from very 
want. Such is the overwhelming testimony of Englishmen 
themselves. What shall I say of unhappy Ireland ? Nothing 
perhaps to you, my hearers. The famine which has recently 
prevailed there was not caused merely by the failure of the 
potatoe crop, but is one of the results of a system, that prevails 
here amongst yourselves, as well as there, and was produced 
in a greater degree by that system, than by the providence of 
God ; you perhaps would not listen to me, or not believe, 
(Note H.) 

Things are not in as bad a condition here, but they are 
tending rapidly towards it. These are the effects of the sys- 
tem — what is now seen and felt in Europe, what will be seen 
and felt in these Northern States in the course of a few years, 
unless something shall be done to hinder it. The system is 
not to be judged by the mischiefs it does not produce on a few 
favored spots, any more than men will estimate the good or 
evil of slavery by the condition of those blacks who are the 
property of wise, kind-hearted, and Christian masters. The 



most atrocious cases are brought diligently forward, and ex- 
hibited in bold relief as decisive in the one case ; why not also 
in the other? 

3. Amidst the grosser evils of the existing social system, the 
want, and cold, and nakedness of the poor, shall I refer to what 
relates merely to the feelings? Why not? Amongst the 
bitterest ills of poverty, by those who are its victims, would 
probably be reckoned the contempt in which they are held, 
the degradation in which they are compelled to live. A man 
is conscious to himself that he has a sound, discriminating mind, 
but he is poor, and therefore a mere Mr. Nobody. His opi- 
nion weighs as nothing in comparison with that of some mi- 
nion of fortune of slender capacity, whose lot it has been to be 
descended from a wealthy father or other ancestor. Dr. Rush, 
in his work on the Diseases of the Mind, mentions amongst the 
common causes of insanity, the loss of property. '' Hundreds 
have become insane in consequence of unexpected losses of 
money." We have frequent accounts in the newspapers of 
people who kill themselves from the same cause. In these 
cases, it is not absolute want, or the fear of it, that operates, 
but the dread of losing caste, of being degraded from that po- 
sition in society which they have hitherto occupied. That 
which, or the mere apprehension of which, drives men mad, 
or impels them to open the gate that leads into the eternal 
world with their own hands, must be no inconsiderable evil. 
(Note L) 

4. The present unequal division of property, and the honor 
and disgrace therewith connected, create a temptation to 
wickedness, too powerful often for our weak and sinful natures 
to resist. 

The existing arrangements of society thrust all, more or 
less, into that condition, from which we are instructed by our 
blessed Saviour to pray to God that we may be delivered. 
<* Lead us not into temptation." As things are, temptations 
beset us on every side, are created in countless multitudes, and 
presented along the whole pathway of life. Many are over- 
come by them. They do not exist naturally, but are created 
by the agency of man, are a necessary result of the spirit of 
modern society, and the existing laws in relation to property, 
A man sees that in the judgment of intelligent persons calling 



82 

themselves Christians, of the present age, wealth is the great 
good that is beyond everything else to be sought after and 
labored for, and poverty the great evil. The actions of men, 
their daily labors, prove that such is their opinion, whatever 
their declarations may be. An opportunity is presented of 
increasing his own wealth, or of acquiring at once a large for- 
tune, by wicked means, which he hopes to be able to conceal 
from the world ; and the temptation is yielded to. By far the 
larger part of the unhappiness which, often under a fair exte- 
rior, wrings the heart and makes the soul a desolation where 
not one joy can take root and grow, the physical suffering, the 
wickedness, that exist everywhere, depend upon that inequal- 
ity of condition, which, if not created, is at least sanctioned 
and supported by the laws. Why do men deceive, and lie, 
and cheat, and steal, and commit forgery, and perjury, and 
robbery, and murder ? Is it out of pure love of wickedness, 
or to get money? What makes brothers hate each other 
sometimes all their lives long, creates dissensions in neighbor- 
hoods, but a dispute about some trifling matter of property ? 
All these would cease, all in a good degree, and most of them 
utterly, were the earth and its fulness restored to the condi- 
tion in which the wisdom of God placed them at the begin- 
ning. Men would not brave the wrath of Heaven by the 
commission of crimes when the temptation to them had been 
taken away. [Note K.] 

The whole aspect of the country would be greatly changed 
after this equalization of rights and condition had operated 
for some time. There would be fewer splendid mansions, 
less labor and expense would be bestowed on dress and 
equipage, which would be less prized when they were not 
an evidence of wealth. There would be less attention given 
to show, and more to comfort. Great cities, those foul ulcers 
of the body politic, and sinks of vice and corruption, would 
dwindle down to villages of moderate dimensions. There 
would be little need for that moral reform which has been so 
earnestly advocated within the last few years, by which aban- 
doned women were to be rescued from infamy in the present 
life, from an early death, and from hell in the life that is to 
come — and which 1 may add, so long as the present state of 
things shall continue to exist, and great cities shall afford such 



opportunities for secret vice, will be of so little avail The 
lev^^dness, and the sin, and misery therewith connected, which 
prevails in such places, might be noticed as another of the 
evils of the existing social system. Riches, with elegance 
of dress and polished manners, or even the last two without 
the other, give to the seducer a power that is hard to be re- 
sisted by a young, simple, and confiding maiden. From the 
earliest dawn of civilization to this day, commercial cities 
have always contained large numbers of these unhappy 
beings, nor is it in the power of law, or of love, on the part of 
pious men and women to hinder it. The supply will always 
correspond to the demand, for this, as for any other article of 
merchandise. (Note L.) 

5. The great and paramount objection to the present une- 
qual distribution of property, and the spirit consequent there- 
upon which pervades society, is drawn, not from the evils 
they produce during the present life, but from their effects 
upon the immortal spirit in the world to come. 

The representations of the Scriptures are very clear and 

explicit. 1 Timothy vi. 9, 10: "But they that will be rich, 

fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and 

hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. 

For the love of money is the root of all evil." This evil, 

which drowns men's souls in destruction and perdition, may 

be removed and annihilated by removing its cause. If all 

men were placed at once on a footing of equality in regard 

to property, by throwing the whole into a common stock, as 

the first Christians did (" they had all things common," it is 

said), and each drew what was needful to supply his wants, 

can any doubt that there would be a great change in the 

whole tone of feeling and course of action in regard to the 

matter of religion? Are Christians excusable for neglecting 

so easy a method of saving souls from hell 1 I have quoted 

the words of an Apostle, but with these the words of Jesus 

himself agree. You recollect the parable of the sower. 

Some of the seed fell by the way side, some on stony ground 

where it had not much earth, some among thorns. — " And 

these are they which are sown among thorns ; such as hear 

the word, and the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness 

3 

/ 



34 

of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the 
word, and it becometh unfruitful." (Note M.) 

The gospel is faithfully preached to the congregation it is 
now my privilege to address, but conversions from sin to holi- 
ness are few and far between. And why ? Because from all 
around, from saint and sinner, is heard a different word of 
exhortation. We talk of a Christian education, of bringing 
children up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. But 
what is the character of the instruction which the son re- 
ceives from his Christian father in almost every case ? I 
do not refer to words alone, but to actions and words taken 
together. What do they all mean ? What do they all say ? 
" It is a good thing to be a Christian, it is a still better thing 
to be rich." It is impossible to put any other interpretation 
upon his father's earnest, persevering labor from day to day, 
and all day, and part of the night, to acquire property, the one 
thing that seems to engross all his thoughts on six days in the 
week, and to be hardly excluded from them on the seventh. 
Is it wonderful that with such example before him, such guid- 
ance, the boy as he grows up should prefer this world to his 
God ? Is it for the man who gives his child such a training, 
to complain that the religious instruction furnished to the 
slaves at the South is imperfect and inadequate ? When I 
have inquired in these parts, of old friends, with whom I had 
not met for some years, people of sincere piety, respecting 
the welfare of their sons and daughters, I have been told, 
the countenances of the happy parents beaming all the while 
with satisfaction and joy, that they were getting along well 
in the world. This I found meant, not that they were walk- 
ing in the ordinances of the Lord blameless, preparing them- 
selves diligently and successfully for a happier clime, but that 
they had been able to amass a certain amount of property. 
Things will be so until the tenure of property shall have been 
placed on a different footing, and public opinion respecting it 
shall have undergone a radical change. 

Your worthy pastor himself falls into the tide of general 
feeling, and is borne onward with his flock. It is not quite 
evident, I imagine, that the ornament of a meek and quiet 
spirit is the accomplishment that wins all his love ; that he 



feels — deeply and at all times, that a good trade, a good store, 
or a good farm, is a mere nothing in comparison with a crown 
of glory in heaven. He exhibits tokens of regard, perhaps high 
regard, for those who have not much to recommend them 
besides their wealth and position in society. He thus diligently 
pulls down in the course of the week, (as I should probably do 
if I were in his place), the work he has so carefully built up 
on the Lord's day. 

When there comes a revival of religion, all this is changed. 
The world sinks down in the estimation of men and women 
to something like its real value, and the word of God entering 
a mind, which is not hindered by the prejudice and passion 
that are there from receiving the truth, acknowledges the 
power of the Gospel. The spirit of God is present, moving 
over the soul of the sinner, as it did over the face of the 
waters, when the work of creation was about to be com- 
menced, the prime agent in effecting all the changes that oc- 
cur. But the work goes on, because the sinner is brought to 
make a juster estimate of the relative value of this world and 
of that which is eternal ; it would go on perpetually, if such 
were the constant condition of his judgment and feelings. 

Two other evils of the existing arrangements with regard 
to property, and of the state of public opinion connected with 
it, which would by some persons be regarded as trivial and 
unimportant, remain to be considered. They tend to produce 
infidelity, sometimes secret, and sometimes open and avowed, in 
two different ways. 

6. Human laws appeal directly and exclusively to the prin- 
ciple of selfishness. The maxims and spirit even of that 
Christian community in which you, my hearers, live, are with 
the laws. Let every man, it is said, take care of himself. If 
he does this, let him be rewarded with honors, let his life be 
passed in the midst of soothing, pleasurable enjoyments ; if 
he fails, let him suffer, suffer severely, that others may take warn- 
ing, and profit by his evil example. Such is the spirit of our 
institutions, and if they are to accomplish their objects, it will 
not answer to oppose arid thwart them. Almsgiving, therefore, 
does mischief. It is worse than a weakness, it is a crime, be- 
cause it serves to mitigate that punishment which our poUcy 
appoints to such as are indolent or unwise in the management 



of their affairs. There is nothing short of intense suffering 
or a terrible apprehension of it, that will arouse our sluggish 
natures, and keep all men awake and active. 

Our blessed Saviour discards selfishness, and commands us to 
discard it also, bringing in benevolence as a principle of ac- 
tion, in its stead, and directing us to love our neighbor as our- 
selves. " Sell that ye have and give alms," is his exhortation 
in one instance to a company of his disciples (Luke xii. 33). 
And to the ruler who would learn from him what he must do 
to inherit eternal life, " Go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, 
and give to the poor." 

Either incentive to action, selfishness, or benevolence, if it 
be abiding and stroTig, will be sufficient to keep mankind in 
motion, and furnish that stimulus to exertion which is neces- 
sary to the production of the comforts of life. But they do 
not harmonize with each other, do not work well together ; and 
the spirit of the world, or the selfish feeling, gaining the pre- 
dominance, and being acknowledged, at least in practice, as 
that which has reason and truth on its side, the confidence of 
men in the wisdom of Jesus of Nazareth is shaken. The po- 
litical economist comes forward, and, directing his attention to 
the wealth, strength, and splendor of nations, rather than the 
happiness and goodness of the individuals of whom they are 
composed — knowing, also, no other motives than those of 
interest, in which he can repose confidence, on which he can 
count with certainty, pronounces almsgiving and other kin- 
dred acts, follies, the remedies of a quack, whose effects will 
prove worse than the disease. Believing that long experience 
has warranted such conclusions, the inference which men in 
their madness and folly deduce from them, is, that Jesus did 
not understand accurately the appetites and passions of man, 
and how his conduct is controlled by them ; that he cannot 
therefore have been the Son of God. Facts would also seem 
to indicate, that either a latent scepticism in regard to the 
wisdom of Christ, or a disposition to treat his instructions with 
strange neglect, is much more widely diffused than positive 
unbelief It is another evil effect of that social system, whose 
mischiefs we are considering. 

7. Finally, after having been long subjected to the baneful 
influences of a world that lieth in wickedness, the hearts of 



... ' , " ■ ^' 

37 ' ISI ■ **' 

men are sometimes operated upon by the Spirit of God, they 
are born again, and in due time are received into the Christian 
church. They bring with them into that family, a character, 
changed, but which still exhibits the ill effects of their previous 
training. Professing Christians, as a body, are much better 
than such as make no pretensions to piety, more just, truthful, 
kind, and merciful — let God be thanked. All with whom I 
have been acquainted have come very far short of a compliance 
with the rule of Jesus, " Whatsoever ye would that men should 
do to you, do ye even so to them." There has not been, so far 
as I could judge, one exception. They have learned, especial- 
ly, before coming into the church, the value of property, and 
its influence upon a man's standing in society, and show no 
readiness to comply with another of Christ's rules, already 
quoted in part. " Sell that, ye have, and give alms, provide 
yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens 
that faileth not, w^here no thief approaches, neither moth cor- 
rupteth. For where your treasure is, there will your heart 
be also." They frequently exhibit a disposition to make a good 
deal of any little superiority of wealth with which God has 
blessed them, or cursed them, as the case may be. Giving 
heed to the remark that there must be distinctions in society, 
they treat poor Christians, if as brethren, certainly as very in- 
ferior brethren. The poor Christian, on the other hand, in- 
stead of copying the meekness of his Divine Master, is en- 
vious of the rich Christian, so that the church, instead of a 
happy home for all, becomes the abode of anger and bitter- 
ness. 

Not finding, then, in the church, the cordial love, affection, 
and respect which their hearts desire, men go elsewhere. 
They resort to Fourierism, Communism, and other associations 
of the kind, from which Christianity is virtually excluded, for 
that equality of right and condition which the church denies 
them. We may preach against these visionary schemes, 
but the only way to combat them successfully, is to employ 
some agency, which, on right principles, shall accomplish bet- 
ter, and more effectually, the very ends at which they aim. 
The church that has not hitherto been true to herself, must do 
her duty, and crush infidelity of this kind, by removing or de- 
stroying the cause in which it has its origin. Nor until society 

■ / 



38 

shall have been thoroughly revolutionized, and reconstructed 
on Christian principles, and every person shall be admitted to 
the enjoyment of equal rights, and of all his rights, do I see 
how this shall readily be accomplished. If the property were 
equally divided, the evil would of course cease. 

Let us, my friends, briefly retrace the ground over which 
we have passed. 

It has been shown that the earth is the Lord's, that he has 
given the use of it to all his children in common, except that 
long ago he gave the land of Palestine to the descendants of 
Jacob ; that men, interfering with the Divine arrangements, 
have parcelled out the soil of the earth amongst themselves ; 
and in such way, that whilst some 'have large tracts, others 
have not whereon to set the sole of their foot, and that from 
this primal injustice a whole host of sufferings, sins, and wick- 
ednesses have followed. Men of fair character are compelled 
to toil through a long life, with coarse food and mean clothing, 
are despised, and bequeathe the same fate to their children. 
The miseries of such a condition are so great that the mere 
apprehension of them has driven many people mad, and caused 
others to lay violent hands upon themselves. Not only are 
the food and clothing of the poor coarse and mean, but they 
do not always get enough of either, even here in New Eng- 
land ; and the case is still worse abroad. Through fear of 
poverty men are subjected to temptations by which they are 
frequently overcome, so as to be guilty of deceit, lying, perju- 
ry, forgery, theft, robbery, and murder, besides a multitude of 
other crimes of lesser name. The same condition of things 
creates irreconcilable hatreds in neighborhoods and families, 
leads to impurity and whoredom, especially in the great cities, 
and above all, is the primary cause of the everlasting misery 
of hundreds and thousands in hell, sometimes through the in- 
fidelity to which it leads, and sometimes through the corrupt- 
ing influence of riches on the human heart. 

These things are undeniable ; one might as well deny the 
existence of the sun in heaven. This vast body of injustice, 
this countless host of miseries and crimes, has its origin in 
institutions which are the work of the people of these States; 
in that constitution and those laws, which you, my hearers, if 



you did not frame and establish, you do continue to uphold. 
You are of course responsible for their effects. 

Many men who are enjoying the benefits of them (for they 
are beneficial to some), instead of considering the means of 
diminishing the mischiefs they create, are standing telescope 
in hand, unconscious apparently of the misery that is imme- 
diately about them, and looking away hundreds of miles, to 
see what injustice is inflicted on another race in that distant 
land. If they would deal fairly with those brethren of theirs 
whom they accuse of oppression, and consent to have their 
conduct tried by the same standard that they apply to their 
own, with such allowances only as all must acknowledge to 
be reasonable and fair, things would be on a better footing. 
Or if they would bring their own conduct to the standard 
which they prescribe for the slaveholder — but they know very 
well that they can abide no such scrutiny — " Whatsoever ye 
would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them ;" 
Is there amongst those who hear me one whose conduct will 
bear an examination by this rule ? Do you know such an 
one ? Paul was not such an one, we have his own testimony. 
What will be your plea, then, at the judgment seat of Christ ? 
What excuse will you give for your misdoings ? Not con- 
venience surely, you will not venture to rest on that. Neces- 
sity — there is no other. If you were to put things on the foot- 
ing on which they were placed by God when he legislated for 
the Jews, and give to every man an equal share in the soil, 
there would be no danger indeed, but you would have an in- 
tolerable amount of trouble. (Note N.) 

At the South there is an additional element of difficulty and 
danger. Along with the Anglo-Saxon, there is intermingled 
through every part of the country another race, of inferior 
moral and mental endowment, so as to constitute from a little 
less than a quarter in some states, to a little more than a half 
in others, of the whole population. They are there, without 
any procurement or connivance of the generation of white 
men now living, which is no more responsible for their pre- 
sence, than the Greenlander is for the snows that cover his 
country for so large a part of the year. They have hitherto 
been held in bondage. The love of freedom and equal rights 
is as strong in the breasts of the Southern people as at the 



40 

North ; and if, on giving liberty to their slaves, those slaves 
would be immediately converted into such men and women 
as themselves, with whom they could intermarry, and enter 
with them into the other intimacies of social life, and who 
would assist them in the maintenance of good government 
and the authority of the laws, slavery would not exist at the 
South for a year. But suppose the slave to be free, he is 
there, a negro still, in arms, if he shall choose to be so, not as 
at the North in consequence of his inferiority of numbers, un- 
der the overwhelming influence and control of the white man^ 
but feeling his strength, and prepared to make others feel it 
too. What his tender mercies are, the blood-stained dwellings 
of Southampton did once sufficiently attest. It is to a repe- 
tition of such scenes,.that the abolition and anti-slavery people in 
the plenitude and exuberance of their philanthropy are urging 
the country. The happiness ot the negro race would not be 
increased by emancipation, at least for a long series of years ; 
whilst the whole region would become intolerable to the 
white man, and uninhabitable by him. Such are the honest and 
strong convictions which an acquaintance with the circum- 
stances of the case for many years has forced upon me, 
(Note O.) 

It is to such a state of things that the slaveholder if he be 
not cursed with utter blindness, and indifference about the 
future, is compelled to look forward. The negro population 
is, in the hands of the whites, at present, a tiger chained (as 
Jesus when on earth called some people sheep, and others 
wolves, I hope to be pardoned for using this mode of illustra- 
tion), a tiger chained, useful, and harmless. When a person 
comes along and talks to the master a while about equal rights, 
and doing to others as one would be done by, the master is 
half inclined to turn his captive loose, and measure his strength, 
if it shall be necessary, with him — but when he looks round 
upon his wife and children, he throws the key away. If men 
shall see fit to abuse him on that account, he appeals to God 
to judge his cause. 

The man of property in the Northern States of the Union 
and in Western Europe, excludes his brother of the same race 
with himself from his; natural flight in the soil and all that it 
produces, well knowing at the time the vast amount of misery 



♦.. 



41 H- 

and wickedness connected with such unequal division of pro- 
perty there. He claims to be regarded as blameless, or nearly 
so. He has yielded to what all alike regard as an uncontrol- 
lable necessity. The plea is admitted. A necessity incom- 
parably more imperative, stern, and terrible, constrains the 
Southern planter to hold his black slave in a bondage, involv- 
ing, if you please, a still higher amount of suffering and crime. 
Will any fair and honorable mind which has admitted the plea 
in the former case reject it here ? Ordinarily, men are influ- 
enced in the judgments they pass on such matters by the 
greatness and urgency of the difficulty that is presented. 

A man is hired to labor on a farm. His employer dares 
not lay the weight of his finger upon him. If his operative is 
unfaithful, the only redress is through damages awarded in a 
court of law ; because there is no great danger of loss ordi- 
narily, even if a man does neglect such duty. 

A man is hired as a mariner. The captain is authorized by 
the law to chastise the refractory sailor, for disobedience to 
orders, almost at discretion. And why? Because if the sea- 
man shall refuse to peril his life at the extremity of the yard 
when a storm is raging, the vessel, cargo, and crew, may perish 
in a moment through his obstinacy or folly. 

A man is hired as a soldier. His commanding officer will 
shooj, him down without mercy if he shall attempt to retreat 
without orders, or refuse to advance to the loaded cannon's 
mouth -When so directed. The safety of a whole army may 
depend ^ot upon the possession merely, but upon the exercise 
of such po^'er. 

These three cases are not stated with the view of compar- 
ing the treatment the slave receives at the hand of his master 
with either ; it has no connexion with either. But to show 
how, if an urgent necessity may warrant the usurpation of 
that property in the soil which belongs to all alike, a necessity 
much more imperious and strong may, by the plain principles 
of common sense, authorize the taking away of another com- 
mon right — that of freedom. 

We are prepared now to recur very briefly to the New 
Testament, from whi,ch we have already, perhaps, too long 
wandered. A rule has been furnished us by our Blessed Sa- 
viour, which prescribes in few words the duties we owe to 



42 

our fellow-creatures. It is expressed under two difterent 
forms, both amounting to very much the same thing. " What- 
soever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to 
them ;" and, " Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." 
Either form of the rule would require, that if we have slaves, 
we should set them free, if not to-day, certainly at a very 
early date, and that we expend our last dollar in charity, 
sharing it with the poor ; that beyond this, if the child of ano- 
ther person be sick we nurse it, if naked we clothe it, if hun- 
gry feed it, and, in general, that we care and provide for his 
family with the same love and affection as if it were our own. 
Nothing short of this will come up to the requisitions of the 
law. 

The first converts to the Christian faith, in the ardor of their 
new-born zeal, exhibited the holy temper and conduct which 
the gospel requires. The rich sold their possessions, and they 
had all things common. But when, under the guiding di- 
rection of the spirit of God, the religion of the cross made new 
conquests in heathen lands, and believers were mixed in the 
various relations of life, parent and child, husband and wife, 
master and servant, with unbelievers, a divinely inspired Apos- 
tle was commissioned to frame rules for the regulation of the 
conduct of church members, that are perhaps equally authori- 
tative with the precepts of Christ himself 

The golden rule of doing to others as we would be done by 
was left unchanged, as a perfect and beautiful standard of 
duty, and a touchstone by which to determine what is base 
metal and what fine gold in human conduct, whenever a ques- 
tion may arise, rather than what any one of human kind can 
ever hope to reach. But men. Christian men^ were allowed 
to hold property, and that species of property which consists 
in slaves ; only in their treatment of them they were to exhibit 
the influences of the Christian faith. It does appear to me 
that what was allowed to them is lawful for us ; that without 
claiming that God fully approves, we may say, that commise- 
rating our condition amidst the difficulties by which we are 
surrounded, he permits; and that a person may without fear of 
falling into condemnation hold property of various kinds, land, 
goods, gold and silver, and slaves. If any one shall undertake 
to say that some of those things which were allowed by Paul 



in the churches which he was permitted to found, are sinful 
now, whilst others are not, and to specify what those things 
are that belong to each class — that slavery, for example, is con- 
demned by the gospel, but wealth is tolerated ; what is this 
but to thrust St. Paul down from his seat, take the pen of 
inspiration into- one's own hand, and write a new Bible ? It 
is to introduce a new religion, prescribing new duties. Will 
God endure, think you, that such dishonor shall be cast upon 
his crucified son ? (Note P.) 

It is remarkable, how many warnings, counsels, expostula- 
tions, and commands the New Testament contains, all having 
reference to the danger of riches; how plain and direct they are ; 
how often repeated, whilst there is hardly a single intimation 
in regard to that species of wealth which consists in slaves. 
For one to neglect these ; if he is a' man of some property, for 
him to get up in an anti-slavery meeting, still retaining his 
wealth, and denounce slaveholding, against which God has 
said nothing expressly, whilst his own conduct is so pointedly 
and repeatedly condemned, and yet call himself a Christian, 
even in name, is an absurdity by the side of which Mormon- 
ism itself becomes reasonable and respectable. 

I am the owner of a few slaves, of certain tracts of land of 
no great value, and of some other property. If it is a sin to 
hold the first, it is a sin to hold the others. If I were to be 
convinced that it is a sin to hold the first, I would abandon 
them all. I would disregard the claims of my family, deal 
faithfully with my conscience, and seek in voluntary and utter 
poverty, deliverance from the anger and curse of God when 
the earth and heavens shall be no more. Amen, 



J'^ 



NOTES 



Note A. ' " 

These references are to the original, rather than the common translation, 
the language of which may not seem to warrant the use that is made 
of it. 

Note B. ■ ■ 

The principles here stated and considered, that the earth is the Lord's, 
and (so far as they have any property in it) the common property of all 
mankind, are so clear and simple, that they must receive the assent of 
every 'well constituted mind. But as much of the following argument 
rests upon them, it was thought best to cite some authorities, to show what 
had been the judgment in the case of men whose opinions command gene- 
ral respect. Use was made, in the first instance, of those collected by E. 
P. Hurlbut, in a small volume published in 1845. For these, the extract 
from Paley was substituted, partly for the reasons stated, and also because 
he seems to take the only natural and rational course in this inquiry; giving 
the first place to property in the soil, from which all other property is ulti- 
mately derived. That he did not include those mines which are a little be- 
low the soil, is, of course, a mere omission. 

The method of writers has been, too much, to consider the right of pro- 
perty in the abstract, or, in general, of which we can have no very clear 
idea, and it serves them to smuggle in under one head property of every 
kind. Wayland has part of a section on this subject, which is little better 
than a mystification throughout, a portion of his argument also involving 
the principle that what appears to be useful is of course right. 

The earth, including what it spontaneously brings forth, and its capabili- 
ties of being made to produce, by the agency of man, is common property. 
But a savage finds upon the sea-shore some pieces of flint, which nobody cares 
for, and, with great labor, fashions some of them into arrow-heads. Of wood, 
that would otherwise rot, he makes a bow and arrows ; some bark serves 
him for a string, and he is thus furnished for the chase. As his weapons 
have received their whole value from his own labor, we want no natural 
conscience, or other fticulty of the mind, besides our simple reason, to ena- 
ble us to see that they are absolutely his. In other cases, a man may 
take what has intrinsic value, and by the application of labor add to 
that value. He thus acquires a claim upon such article, but not an abso- 
lute property in it. But all other kinds of property do so sink into in- 



46 

significance, are so annihilated and swallowed up, in comparison with that 
of the " all-producing earth," that there is no great exaggeration in the 
doctrine laid down by Bentham : 

" Property and law are born together, and die together. Before 
laws were made, there was no property ; take away laws, and property 
ceases." 

That industry may be awakened, the legislator authorizes individual per- 
sons to claim certain tracts of the earth's surface as their own, and a right 
to exclude all other persons from whatever they may be made to produce. 
God, in the Scriptures, commands us to yield, to such claim, just as he 
directs the slave to respect the authority of his master over him. 

Note C. 

By the law for partitioning the land amongst the children of Israel, and 
the descent of property by inheritance, every man would necessarily have 
a tract which would be his own. But inequality would arise. Some families 
would increase more rapidly than others. The first born was entitled to a 
double portion, probably of the personal property only (" a double portion 
of all that is found with him ;" it is in the Hebrew, Deuteronomy xxi. 17). 
but as some may think of the land also. It may be said in relation to this, 
that God, in directing the original partitioning, indicated very clearly the 
principle, that of a substantial equality, which it was his will should pre- 
vail. We may presume, therefore, that if the chosen people had been 
faithful to him, he would have interfered through a new lawgiver when- 
ever the inequality should have become very great, and have restored 
things to their original condition. 

Note D. 

Commentators, disliking apparently too much comprehensiveness in this 
command, have been careful to note that it was addressed to the immediate 
disciples of Jesus, desiring the inference to be drawn, that it should be re- 
garded as intended for their direction only. But much of what was said 
to the immediate disciples of that day, was intended for such as should be- 
come disciples in future time ; perhaps we might say that all was so in- 
tended, except what related to their personal and official duties as apostles. 
There were no others, except such as believed on him, to whom the 
Saviour could give these peculiar and paternal directions, and as the same 
language was used in the conference with the Jewish ruler, it is safest to 
regai;d it as, at least in its spirit, a general rule of the Christian life. It 
may be remarked further that the disciples had nothing beyond the clothes 
they wore to sell. " They forsook all," it is said, " and followed him." 
The command must, therefore, have been intended to apply prospectively to 
others, and not to themselves, or to others with themselves. 

Note E. 

The impression prevails extensively, and certainly not less widely at the 
North than at the South, that the Declaration of Independence asserts in 



47 

the same sentence the freedom^ as well as the equality of condition in which 
men are born. To correct this impression, as. far as the influence of this 
little publication may go, the true reading is given as a sort of motto on 
the title page, with the correction which the Abolitionists would be glad to 
have applied to it — their reading: The declaration, in fact, asserts the doc- 
trine of this discourse ; the perfect equality of all, their right not merely 
to freedom, but to an equal and just share in the earth's soil. In the next 
following member of the sentence, liberty, as suited the object of the 
declaration, is mentioned as one of the unalienable rights conferred upon 
man by his Creator, but the enumeration is according to the terms em- 
ployed, imperfect. As it may very possibly be a hundred years before 
the opinions here advanced will be so generally adopted as to be carried 
into practice, the printer has been desired also to place at the foot of the 
title page, the date of the century, and year, to which this publication 
belongs, rather than that in which it is carried through the press. 

Note F. 

The people, who, on the 23d of June, 1848, made insurrection against 
the authority of the National Assembly in Paris, and raised the Barricades 
around which the blood of some thousands was shed, by the mutual 
slaughter of citizen by fellow citizen, were the abolition party of that city ; 
the claimants of extreme and impracticable justice. They had been all 
their lives long trodden down, they said, by the middle and upper classes, 
denied the common rights of humanity, and were fighting for justice. This 
was true. They were no more bound to submit than the slaves of the 
South. Yet every friend of the human race must rejoice that they were 
put down. A scene of deeper horror than Paris has ever yet witnessed, 
the massacre of St. Bartholomew not excepted, would have ensued, had 
they been triumphant. The genius of emancipation would willingly bring 
about the results they failed of producing, at the South ; convert the whole 
country into a scene of violation and blood, and that done, would howl in 
fiendish joy over the desolation she had created. 

Note G. 

The science of Political Economy had its origin in the feebleness of the 
small States of Italy, the rulers of which, being unable to maintain in the 
field, armies corresponding to their schemes of defence or conquest, sought 
the means of increasing the wealth of the citizen, that he might be able 
to bear, without being crushed, a heavier burden of taxation. The science 
still retains much of its original character. Another science, kindred to 
this, but distinct from it, remains to be created ; that which shall teach 
the means of advancing the happiness of nations. Of that happiness, 
wealth is at best only one of the elements. Features in her physical 
geography of which she has up to this time been able to avail herself to a 
limited extent only, are about to give to the little state of Connecticut, the 
means of perhaps a successful rivalry with her elder sister Massachusetts, 



48 

in future time. Whether the virtue and happiness of the people of either 
state will increase with its wealth, and with an equal pace, is hardly 
doubtful. 

Note H. 

England may not be justified in withdrawing her control from Ireland 
just now. Rapine and massacre might become the order of the day there, 
just as they would at the South, if the schemes of the Abolitionists were 
to be carried into execution. But the condition of things in Ireland is the 
result of a long course of injustice and misgovernment there. 

But England herself, with her nobility, too generally overbearing, idle, 
dissolute, and worthless ; her established church, for whose support people 
of other creeds are compelled, either directly or indirectly, to contribute, 
and afterwards to maintain the worship of God under such form as their 
own reason approves ; her universities, from which all but men of one 
faith are still, as they have been for centuries, excluded ; her national debt, 
which does not permit the poor man to rest at being absolutely destitute 
and without anything, but through the medium of taxes imposed to pay 
the expenses of wars waged long before he was born, thrusts him down to 
a still lower depth of misery and poverty, compelling him to come into life, 
as it were, wath a load upon his shoulders, the money going also into the 
pockets of the upper classes, to pamper their luxury; with nearly a mil- 
lion and a half of the population (including that of Wales), unable to sub- 
sist without the aid of charity ; what shall in justice be said of England ? 
The horrible ftict stated by Carlyle, that a father and mother were found 
guilty of poisoning three of their children, that they might get sixteen 
dollars and forty-nine cents by the death of each ; and that other 
in Scotland, where Hare and Burke killed, according to the statement of 
the latter, sixteen persons in succession, that they might get thirty- 
six dollars, thirty-seven and a half cents, by the sale of their bodies, 
are important, chiefly as indexes of the utter destitution and extreme 
misery of the poor, in the midst of the wealthiest population in the world. 
The people amongst whom these things are, are of one race, and can 
change their social organization without danger of a convulsion. And 
when one as Dickens, gifted as a writer, familiar, as his works show, with 
the atrocious sufferings of the lower classes, and instead of taking their 
part, and endeavoring to lighten their burdens, identifying himself, so far 
as he can, with their oppressors, comes to this country, and after having 
been treated with respect and kindness, goes home to write a book on the 
injustice and cruelty with which certain Southern planters treat their slaves 
— may not one be excused, if, whilst reading it, the idea of the Devil giving 
Judas Iscariot a lecture on the eccentricities of his moral character, some- 
times crosses' his mind ? 

But England has emancipated her slaves in the West Indies at an ex- 
pense of an hundred millions of dollars — and draws more than half that 
sum every year (English people draw it) from famishing Ireland. And if 
resistance is made to the payment, English bayonets and sabres, in the 



49 

bands of an armed soldiery, are very promptly on the ground, to perpetuate 
that injustice ; and the gibbet is prepared for such as have written or spoken 
against it 

The owners of property in the West Indies were very generally English- 
men — not people of English descent — but residents in England, who had 
a powerful interest ; commanded many votes in parliament. A call was 
made for the eipancipation of the slaves, and, by a compromise, the sum 
named, was, for the benefit of the West India proprietors — not raised and 
paid at once from the capital of the country, but, by a decree of a parliament 
imperfectly responsible, transferred from the pockets of one Englishman to 
those of another — added to the national debt, and left as an element of 
trouble and suffering to succeeding generations, to be struggled with by 
them as God might give them ability. There was at least as much of 
political manoeuvring, as of pure benevolence, in the whole business. And 
if; instead of the distant island of Jamaica, the proposition had been to set 
the same number of blacks loose upon the soil of England, in what man- 
ner would it have been entertained ? It is easy to legislate for people 
living in a remote province, and to vole money, that is to be paid by the 
generations that are to come after us. 

Note I. 

There v/as put into my hands a number of the Emancipator, date not re- 
collected, but of Jane last, containing a very dreadful account, furnished 
by J. G. W., to the National Era, of a black family in Kentucky, of which 
Ihe father and mother had been sold to a negro trader to be carried to 
New Orleans, whilst their only child was to be left behind. They were 
shut up for sake keeping in the jail in Covington, and the child was left 
with them. In their grief and despair they resolved (so says the story) to 
die. The mother cut the child's throat, and gave the knife to her husband, 
who killed her, and then attempted to take his own life. 

Soon after reading this, my eye fell upon an account in the Connecticut 
Historical Collections, of the murder of a whole family, a wife and four 
children, by their husband and father, William Beadle, of Wethersfield. It 
is now a long time since (1782), such sad events happily occurring but sel- 
dom. But it is not the less instructive on that account. The eldest child 
was a boy of twelve, the youngest of the three daughters was six 3^ears of 
age. He first fractured the skulls of his victims with an axe, then cut their 
throats, and finished by sending two pistol bullets through his own brain. 
He had at one time been worth about four thousand dollars, but being a 
merchant, and receiving continental paper in payment for his goods, the 
value of which depreciated at length to nothing, he lost it all. 

The black family were victims of the social institutions of Kentucky ; the 
white family, of those which prevail in New England, and which place such 
an immense distance between the rich and the poor, in regard to the honor 
and esteem in which they are respectively held, that poor Beadle thought 
it would be a kindness to relieve the objects of his love from the horrors of 

4 



50 

poverty, by a sudden death. This was clearly indicated in the writings he 
left behind. 

The writer in the Era seems to commend the blacks as exhibiting a 
Roman firmness. I think differently from him, and commend no mur- 
derers, be the circumstances what they may ; but the person whose heart 
does not bleed over such tales of woe, whatever be the color of the skin 
of the parties, must be little better than a monster. 

Note K. 

If, at the close of his argument, at the trial of John F. Knapp for the 
murder of Capt. Joseph White, in Salem, in 1830, Mr. Webster had at- 
tempted to show that the State of Massachusetts is just and humane in her 
dealings with her own children, would not even his great mind have labor- 
ed under the difficulties of such a theme ? She fosters by her laws, and 
by the whole spirit of her institutions, those commercial and manufacturing 
enterprises, by which property is accumulated in a few hands, creates an 
unnatural temptation to crime, too powerful to be resisted by people of a 
feeble will, or a will strongly inclined to guilty courses, and then punishes 
without mercy such as are overcome by it. John F. Knapp was very 
guilty, but were the people of Massachusetts quite innocent ? The plea of 
necessity would probably be resorted to here as well as at the South. An 
active industry must be awakened and encouraged ; the life of the peace- 
ful and quiet citizen must not be in danger from the hand of violence, as 
he sleeps. 

Note L. 

Heeren (Historical Researches into the Politics, Intercourse, and Trade of 
the Principal Nations of Antiquity) notices in two places, in guarded and 
decorous, but significant terms, the corruption, that, as it were, by a law of 
our fallen nature, prevails in those places where a very active trade is car- 
ried on. " The relations between the sexes are modified and deteriorated 
in places of great commercial resort." " It has been already observed, that 
the relations of the sexes are formed in a peculiar manner in large com- 
mercial cities." See also almost any account of ancient Corinth, and 
sketches of Venetian History. 

As it contributes to economy, that we know the cost of articles that are 
purchased, the following little narrative of what occurred, the only time that 
I was ever in Boston during the session of the Legislature, is given. 

Mammon, the Demon of Riches, had established his court on the upper 
part of the Common. It was a large tent of rich silk, surrounded by bales 
of merchandise, and within, what served him for a kind of throne, was a 
huge pile of ingots and coins of gold and silver. A Committee of the Le- 
gislature were in treaty with him, to get him, if they could, to make the 
city his principal and permanent residence. They told of the railroads 
they were about to construct, and the other arrangements that were in 
progress, with the view of making the place easy and comfortable to him. 

His reply was, " You know I do not grant such favors without a suita- 



51 

ble return. In ancient Carthage they used to sacrifice, to propitiate me, 
many children of the best families every year, throwing them alive into the 
arms of a huge brazen image of me that stood just v^^ithout the gate, and 
whose hollow body had, by a fire within, been intensely heated. You 
know what was done when Agathocles invaded the country. What I 
demand is, twenty-five young maidens, yearly, from the hills and valleys of 
Massachusetts, to come to the city and die of broken hearts, and disease, 
and brutal treatment, here." 

The Committee pleaded hard to be excused from conditions so revolting 
to their feelings, or to have them somewhat mitigated; but the Demon said 
in reply, that he had far better terms than these offered him, from New 
York and Philadelphia ; and it was only because he expected considerable 
contributions at Salem, and elsewhere along the coast, and at some places 
in the interior, and because he liked the country and the people, that he 
had been so liberal with them. 

Some of the Committee turned pale, some trembled, as conscious of the 
baseness of the act in which they were engaged, one hung his head, and 
writhed as though he verily believed that his own daughter would be of 
the number of those who were to be given up. But they plighted, at length, 
the faith of the ancient Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and said in alow, 
faint voice — it is a bargain. 

The victims for that year then moved in procession through the city, 
before separating ; some to the elegant mansions, and some to the miserable 
hovels, where the doom of each was to be accomplished. On the fair 
cheeks of some, the blush of maiden modesty still lingered, but was fast 
disappearing. They passed the house where an eloquent Divine (Dr. 
William E. Channing) was engaged in writing a work on slavery, and just at 
the time when he was in the midst of a glowing account of the indignities 
to which black females are subjected at the South. He raised his head, 
and looked out with some interest at them, but by the time the last one 
had gone by, I heard his pen again busy with that argument. 

The next morning at breakfast, the reverend gentleman did what was 
uncommon with him, complained of his coffee, as having a bad taste. I do 
believe, said he, you have used Cuba sugar, and that the lash of the driver, 
with which he had drawn blood from one of his gang, by some means got 
into the kettle, and communicated its taste to the product. The lady who 
presided at the table then produced a vial and said, " The tears of those un- 
happy women who passed the house yesterday are, you know, an unavoida- 
ble element of the commercial prosperity of our city ; of the wealth of those 
(merchants and others) by whom your salary is paid. Those they shed 
last night have been collected ; a part have been sent in as your due, and a 
tithe offering, this morning; suppose you try some of these with your 
cofffee." He looked up doubtfully at her, to see whether she were in earnest, 
or uttering a bitter sarcasm, and discovering no tokens of the latter, accept- 
ed her offer, found the drink more palatable, and was greatly comforted. 

But let us tread lightly on the ashes of the dead, and especially of one 
who wrote well, though not always justly or wisely. There is terrible 



52 

wickedness and terrible misery elsewhere than at the South, though it is 
reached by one route in one part of the country, and by a different route 
in another part. 

Note M. 

There are certain passages in the New Testament which bear at once 
upon the slaveholder and the rich man, be the particular species of his 
wealth what it may. Such are all those which inculcate love, benevolence, 
kindness to our fellow-creatures, direct us to love our neighbor as our- 
selves, or to do to others as we would be done by. 

There is no one text, so far as I can discover, which bears directly and 
exclusively upon the slaveholder. 

There are very many, which, beyond doubt, should rest heavily upon the 
conscience of the man of wealth. The principal ones of these, I have 
thought it well to collect and exhibit together, partly with reference to this 
head of the sermon, and partly for use in connexion with the last paragraph 
but one — that it may be seen clearly how the case stands, and what those 
persons are doing who admit to their communion rich men, whom they know 
to be violating daily both the spirit and the letter of instructions so often 
repeated, and repel such as they know well the apostle did receive. If this 
be not a case of impious rebellion against the authority of Jesus, I shall be 
at a loss to know where to find it. No slaveholder will desire to commune 
with such people. I have not made much use of the Old Testament in this 
whole discussion, it being the fashion of the day to give little heed to those 
Scriptures to which our Saviour and his Apostles appealed with so much 
respect — at least in any question connected with slavery. 

Matthew vi. 19, Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where 
moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal, 
24. No man can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and 
love the other, or else he will hold to the one and despise the other. Ye can- 
not serve God and Mammon. 25. Therefore I say unto you take no thought 
for your life what ye shall eat, &c. 

xix. 21. Jesus said unto him, if thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou 
hast and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven, and come 
and follow me. 23. Then said Jesus unto his disciples, verily I say 
unto you that a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. 
24. And again I say unto you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye 
of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. 

So also, with sHght variations in the parallel passages of Mark and Luke. 

Mark iv. 18, 19. And these are they which are sown among thorns, 
such as hear the word, and the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of 
riches, and the lusts of other things, entering in, choke the word, and it be- 
cometh unfruitful. 

Luke vi. 20. And he hfted up his eyes on his disciples and said, Blessed 
be ye poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. 24. But woe unto you that 
are rich, for ye have received your consolation. 

xii. 16. And he said unto them, take heed and beware of covetousness, 



53 

for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he pos- 
sesseth. Then follows the parable of the man who would pull down his 
barns and build greater. 33. Sell that ye have and give alms, provide 
yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth 
not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth. 

xiv. 13. But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the 
lame, and the blind. 

xvi. 19 — 31. The rich man that lifted up his eyes in hell-torments whilst 
Lazarus the beggar was in Abraham's bosom. What a valuable chapter 
were this, had it been a slaveholder, instead of simply a rich man. 

xix. 1 — 10. Zaccheus was rich, but immediately on becoming a disciple 
of Christ, gave half his goods to the poor. 

Acts iv. 34 — 37. Christianity in action ; the land is sold and the proceeds 
laid at the Apostle's feet. 

Ephesians v. 4, Colossians iii. 5. Covetousness is denounced as idolatry. 

1 Timothy vi. 8 — 10. And having food and raiment, let us be therewith 
content. For they that will be rich, fall into temptation, and a snare, and 
into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and 
perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil, which while some 
coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through 
with many sorrows. Verses 17 — 19, directions to rich Christians as to 
what they are to do with their money. 

James ii. 5. Hearken, my beloved brethren ; hath not God chosen the 
poor of this world, rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath 
promised to them that love him ? 

V. 1 — 3. Go to, now, ye rich men, weep and howl, for your miseries 
that shall come upon you, for your riches are corrupted, and your garments 
are moth eaten, your gold and silver are^ cankered, and the rust of them 
shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. 

Revelations xviii. The merchants, the ship-masters, and the sailors, who 
had been made rich by their trade with great Babylon, are represented as 
sympathizing with her in whom was found the blood of prophets and saints, 
and lamenting over her fall. 

« Note K 

The people of southern and eastern Asia are perishing for lack of know- 
ledge of the one true and living God, and of Christ his son. If I shall 
meet with a man who labors hard all day, feeds, lodges, and clothes him- 
self in the plainest, cheapest way, and pays over all the money he can 
save into the treasury of the Lord, to be employed in conveying the bless- 
ings of the gospel to these poor heathen, I shall think of such an one, that 
he is earnestly endeavoring to obey the command to do to others as we 
would have them do to us. If I shall meet such an one, I will say to him, 
Stand by thyself, thou art holier than I. If, instead of laboring for the hea- 
then, he shall so exert himself in behalf of the poor and suffering of his 
own countrymen, the case will still be much the same. 

But the members of all the churches in the land, though purer and better 



54 

than their Godless brethren, are making themselves considerably comforta- 
ble, supplying themselves with the elegances and luxuries of life, amidst 
the misery and suffering v^^hich pervade the earth, and much of which is 
immediately about them, and it is in their power to relieve. To claim that 
they are honestly and earnestly endeavoring to observe the rule of doing to 
others as they would be done by, were a better joke than any that has appeared 
in Punch for a long time, were not the whole subject so important at once, 
and so melancholy. And yet it is taken for granted in the works against 
slavery that the Christians of the free states are so endeavoring and labor- 
ing, whilst slaveholders are not. It is here that an arbitrary line of demar- 
cation is drawn, suited to the state of society and manners in one part of 
the Union, so as to include the Christians that are there amongst the pure 
and holy, whilst those bearing the name, far away at the South, and under 
the pressure of other wants and difficulties, are fit only for outer darkness. 
An axiom of this sort, admitted without due consideration, by his own just 
mind, is what gives force to much of what is in Dr. Wayland's letters. The 
line drawn by the finger of God is different. We are all sinners continu- 
ally in the sight of that one perfect and spotless Being. 

The following little sketches of character may perhaps place in a clearer 
light the true relations of the parties concerned. 

There are in the same city, living not very far from each other, two men 
(I give their titles of honor with their names). Captain Cleptees, and Major 
Leestees, both with large families. Cleptees is a thief, and has trained his 
whole family to the same business. His plea is vecessity, he cannot support 
them in any other way. Leestees is not merely a thief, but if the truth must 
be told, he and his sons sometimes sally out with loaded pistols and rob on 
the highway. I d» not know exactly what excuse he gives for such pro- 
ceedings, perhaps that he for some reason cannot make a living, like his 
neighbor, by simple thieving. 

Cleptees being a devout man, and of uncommon piety, is greatly distressed 
by the ill conduct of his neighbor, congratulates himself, like Albert Barnes, 
that no one of his family has ever owned, or would own, a pistol, has got 
up a society with the view of putting him down, written a book entitled, 
" Robbery as it is," in which all the miseries produced by robbing on the 
highway are clearly set forth, uses many arguments against robbing, but 
rests with most confidence on this — that it is a violation of the rule of doing 
to others as one would be done by. This he regards as conclusive. Leestees 
on his part declares, that he never kills anybody with his pistols — merely 
scares people to get their money ; but he is highly indignant against Cleptees, 
and threatens to break off all intercourse between their flimilies, and to have 
nothing more to do vi^ith him or his people. 

The writer of this account, sensible of his want of skill in executing 
portraits, follows the example of the prudent Dutch painter, who used to 
write under his pictures, " This is a bear," " This is a horse," and so on. 
It is stated for the information of the curious, that by Cleptees is meant the 
Northern man of property, especially the abolitionist, and by Leestees the 
Southern planter. 



55 

Note O. 

We have a report of the results of one experiment in abolition, made 
under the most favorable circumstances (in the City of New Haven, Con- 
necticut; famed for the intelligence, morality, and piety of its inhabitants), 
drawn by no common hand (that of Dr. Dwight, President of Yale College), 
which I copy in full from his statistical account of the City of New Haven. 
It bears date the 6th of July, 1811, and may well be a warning to the people 
of the Southern country, that whatever they do in this matter, they do it 
cautiously and wisely. 

Page 67. — " The number of free blacks in the City of New Haven was, in 
the year 1800, 150. 

" Their vices are of all the kinds usually intended by the phrase, ' low vice.' 
Uneducated to principles of morality, or to habits of industry and economy, 
they labor only to acquire the means of expense, and expend only to gratify 
gross and vulgar appetite. Accordingly, many of them are thieves, liars, 
profane, drunkards. Sabbath breakers, quarrelsome, idle, and prodigal, the 
last in the extreme. Their ruling passion seems very generally to be a 
desire of being fashionable. Their ambition in dressing is not so much to 
be dressed richly, gaily, or splendidly, as to be dressed fashionably. Their 
wish is not merely to dance and frolic, but to have genteel assemblies, col- 
lected by tickets, and regulated by managers. The difference between them 
and the whites, who are nearest to them in their circumstances, is entire. 
The whites are generally satisfied with being decent, with being dressed in 
such clothes, and living in such a manner, as they can afford ; the blacks 
appear to covet nothing but to be genteel ; and ape those who are above 
them, or rather people of fashion, in a manner sufficiently ridiculous. No 
well bred people are mutually so respectful, or adopt so precise and attentive 
a ceremonial. The expense of such a mode of life, their earnings will not 
sustain ; and to supply it, a considerable number of them scruple not to 
engage in dishonest practices. 

" There are, however, exceptions to this character, and a greater number 
among the females than among the males. Almost all who acquire an 
attachment to property, appear to assume better principles, or, at least, 
better practices. Several of the men have in this manner become good 
members of society. A number of the females are well behaved. 

" Six of these people are communicants in the two Presbyterian churches 
in this town. 

" The Committee for completing the Long Wharf have contracted with 
two black men to execute 50 rods in length of this w^ork, and 32 feet in 
breadth (the depth is estimated at 16 feet), at 3 cents per cubic foot. This 
contract is an honorable proof of the character which they sustain, both for 
capacity and integrity. 

" There are lately set up in this city two schools for the education of black 
children, one for males and the other for females ; the latter is a charity 
school. These institutions furnish the first rational hope of a reformation 
among the people." 

Such are the recorded results of an experiment of probably more than 



56 

twenty years' standing. Some years later, the writer of this note received 
from a most worthy and intelligent magistrate of the city of New Haven, 
details still more revolting of the depravity of tlie free bl?.cks, which had 
been brought to his knowledge in the discharge of his official duties there. 
The paper that is before me would blush, if I were to write down upon it 
the details that were given during that interview. 

Subsequently, the whites interfered in their behalf Foremost in this 
work of benevolence was a gentleman of the name of Jocelyn, now of 
Brooklyn, in New York, whom, with no very intimate acquaintance, I have 
learned to esteem and love, though I do by no means share all his opinions, 
or approve of all his movements. Something has been effected, but even 
at this time the character of the free blacks in the city of New Haven, as 
a body, is none of the fairest, nor is their situation the most enviable. 
And from what the whites have effected in half a century, under the most 
favorable circumstances, and when they were, to those whom they would 
improve, in the proportion of 20 to one, no good inference can be drawn 
in regard to the safety or wisdom (even supposing no convulsion) of 
attempting the same thing, where the proportion is from 4 to one, to an 
absolute minority. It is but common prudence to let things remain for the 
present as they are. 

If there is any difference between the North and the South, in regard to 
the amount of pity, commiseration, and kind feeling entertained for the 
colored race, or a disposition to do them substantial justice, that particular 
alone excepted, wherein one has a deep interest and the other none, that 
difference is small, and perhaps not to the advantage of the Northern man. 
What says the abolitionist to the slave? I will revile your master, publish 
stories, some true, some false, it matters little which to me, but all 
tending to render him an object of abhorrence amongst men. I will 
compel him to set you free if I can. I may even give a little money to 
help you to found a school for your children: but that done, hands off; do 
not come into the same house of God, to worship with me there ; or if you 
do come, bestow yourself in some corner apart, where you shall be out of 
sight and out of mind. If at the table of the dying Redeemer, you presume 
to touch the holy symbols before I am served, I will raise a disturbance 
even there (Lyell's Travels, Vol. i. p. ]68). Seek not to enjoy any of the 
intimacies of social life with me. If a son or daughter of yours shall pre- 
sume to come into my house and utter the language of love, or even of 
gallantry, where my children are, be assured my house shall be very sud- 
denly cleared of sucli vermin. If the negro, uttering the exclamation, " am 
not I also a brother?" shall venture to express the hope that one so much 
his friend will think more favorably of tlie matter, and that " the time may 
come. Sir, when I shall see a son of yours united to a daughter of mine, or 
my son to your daughter, in the bonds of wedded love," the afflicted aboli- 
tionist would find the language of Hector to Andromache, at their last 
interview, most appropriate to his feelings : 

" May I lie cold before that dreadful day, 
Pressed with a load of monumental clay." 



57 

This is the kind of treatment the black receives from those who re- 
proach the shiveholder as having no bowels of mercies, and not loving his 
neiglibor as himself; and the negro feels it in proportion to his intelligence. 
I knew one who used to say he would be willing to be skinned all over to 
be a white man. 

It has been proposed in a late number of the New Englander, to give the 
blacks the right of suffrage in those states where it is now denied them. 
And supposing it given, what would it avail them, what would it be but a 
mockery? In all that is peculiar and most important in his interests and 
character — that he is a black man — would the negro be represented ? If 
his rights are to be recognised and allowed, it can be done in but one way, 
by changing the constitutions of the different states, so as to give to the 
blacks, as a distinct race, the right of sending into the Legislature a cer- 
tain number (determined by their own aggregate wealth and numbers) of 
members of their own choice, to represent them there. Then, whether 
heeded or not, their claims and complaints would at least be heard. 

There is one other theatre where an equality of right might, perhaps, be 
conceded to the blacks for a brief period, without any great harm. They 
are congregated in greatest numbers in the large cities, and have always 
been kept in the back ground, never admitted to civic honors there. It is 
but just that these things should come round at least as often as once or 
twice in a century. Suppose the anti-slavery societies of Boston and New 
York bring forward, not as a matter of choice, but of justice, a black 
Mayor of those cities, and get him elected, if they can. It is a destiny 
they are preparing for the sister city of Charleston, and urging upon her, 
by every consideration of humanity and religion; only in her case, the die, 
once cast, would probably be cast for ever. 

Note P. 

If St. Paul is not to be heeded, nor his authority respected on such ques- 
tions, the straightforward way would be to depose him from the office of 
an inspired teacher at once. And with reference to such action at the 
next meeting of the anti-slavery society, the following preamble and reso- 
lutions have been prepared. 

Whereas, one Saul, of Tarsus, commonly known as Paul the Apostle, 
did take upon himself to write certain letters to the first Christian churches, 
wherein he treats of matters of Christian doctrine and practice, and, in 
particular, of the reciprocal duties of master and slave, and, instead of 
dealing honestly with masters, denouncing their conduct as contrary to rea- 
son, and the spirit of Christ's teachings, reprimanding, and expostulating 
with them, he allowed them to come without censure to the Lord's table, 
treating them as the children of God; and the men and women of that day, 
who were in the unhappy condition of slavery, as chattels or things, 
sending back Onesimus to his master, and thus treating him in particular as 
a chattel or thing, all which has been of evil example, so that slaveholders 
of our own day have taken courage from it, to persevere in their wicked- 
ness : Be it known, therefore, that by the authority of this anti-slavery 



58 

convention, the said Paul is deposed, and, by the said authority, he is hereby 
deposed from the title, dignity, and authority of the apostleship, so that it 
shall no longer be lawful to quote his writings as having any weight in any 
meeting of this body, nor for any member who is a preacher of the Gospel 
to do the same in his public ministrations, except so far as his hearers may 
be babes requiring milk instead of meat. 

Resolved, secondly, that whereas some of the teachings of Jesus Christ on 
the subject of property, and the danger and evil of riches, do seem to con- 
flict with the doctrines of Political Economy, that have been ascertained in 
modern times, that therefore a committee of seven be appointed to take the 
New Testament in hand, and consider what parts are proper to be erased, 
so as no longer to have the appearance of conflicting, mentioned above, 
nor be capable of being used in any way, to extenuate the guilt of slavery. 

Resolved, that the members of this convention regard the Scriptures of 
the Old and New Testament as the only, and an infallible rule of faith and 
practice. 

Note Q. 

I devote a few pages, included under this last note, to some works of 
rather recent date, on the subject of slavery. 

I. There is before me a volume of 384 pages, bearing for its title, " An 
Enquiry into the Scripture Doctrine of Slavery," by Albert Barnes. I 
should be glad to believe that it had been written by some enemy of his, 
for the purpose of ruining his character as a man of integrity and truth. 
But I do not learn that he has ever disavowed it. It is noticed, chiefly, 
with the view of exposing its dishonesty. 

From pages 29 to 37 inclusive, he gives the views of a number of 
persons on the subject of slavery — individual men and public bodies: — 
E. D. Sims, Prof, in Randolph Macon College, Wilbur Fisk, President 
of the Wesleyan University, at Middletown, Conn., Dr. Fuller, of S. Ca., 
J. K. Paulding, Prof. Stuart, four Presbyteries, one Synod, the Church 
in Petersburg, Virginia, and the Princeton Biblical Repertory, — twelve 
in all ; and on page 56, professes to give the matter at issue between 
himself and them, under the head of, 

THE TRUE QUESTION STATED. 

" The true question now is, whether this is a good institution, and one 
which God designed to commend and perpetuate ? Is it an institution 
for the maintenance of which He has made arrangements in his Word, 
and which has his sanction ? Is it a system in accordance with the 
spirit of the religion which He has revealed, and which that religion 
is intended to keep up in the world? Is it such an arrangement in 
society that the fair influence of that religion will tend to perpetuate it, 
as it will the relations of husband and wife, and of parent and child ? 
Or is it an institution which God regards as undesirable and evil, in its 
nature and tendency, and which he intends to have removed from the 
world ? Would the fair application of the principles of his religion per- 
petuate it on the earth, or remove it as an evil thing ? This is the fair 



59 

question now before us. According to the references made to the 
Scriptures by most of the writers ah-eady alhided to, they would regard 
the former of these opinions as the true one ; that slavery has the sanc- 
tion of God ; that He has from the beginning fostered, and patronized the 
institution ; that He legislates for its continuance, as he does for the re- 
lation of parent and child ; and that the principles of his religion do not 
conflict with its perpetuity on the earth." 

No one of the writers quoted, expresses the sentiments which are here 
charged upon them ; such for example as that in the first sentence : that 
slavery is a good institution, and one which God designed to commend 
and perpetuate. Not more than three, out of the whole twelve, afford 
any warrant whatever for Mr. Barnes's statement, and they hardly any. 
Prof. Sims says, at the end of one paragraph, that slavery is not im- 
moral ; also, in another, that as it exists in America it was founded in 
right. Dr. Fisk, that the general rule of Christianity not only permits, 
but in supposable circumstances enjoins, a continuance of the master's 
authority. The Harmony Presbytery, that the existence of slavery 
itself, is not opposed to the will of God. Such are Mr. Barnes's war- 
rants for his statements. In general they take the same ground respect- 
ing slavery that they would in regard to riches ; that God tolerates, and 
allows, and by allowing, sanctions it, and that it is not, therefore, in 
itself sinful. But to combat this opinion did not suit Mr. Barnes's pur- 
pose. That he might have better ground for abusing the people of the 
South, and blackening their characters, he chose rather to represent 
their sentiments as different from v/hat they stood expressed before him, 
a proceeding which has all the meanness, and all the wickedness, of a 
continuous falsehood, interwoven more or less with the matter of 384 
pages. 

It is in the same conscientious spirit that he proceeds to show, that 
" there is no evidence thai Christ himself ever came in contact with slavery," 
and " no positive or certain evidence that Onesimus was a slave at all.'''' 
With reference to both objects he attempts to disguise, or destroy, the 
meaning of the Greek word 6ov\og (doulos), rendered in our common 
version, servant, but meaning properly, as every school-boy knows, 
a slave. He would gather a mist around this word, persuade his readers 
that it is ambiguous, or uncertain in its meaning, and in a manner 
without any definite signification, other than what may be collected from 
the connexion in which it is found. Hear him, pages 65 and 321. 

" That 6ov\os might be a slave, and that the word is most commonly 
applied to slaves in the classic writers, and frequently in the New 
Testament, no one can doubt ; but its mere use in any case does not of 
necessity denote the relation sustained, or make it proper to infer that 
he to whom it is applied was bought with money, or held as property, or 
even in any way regarded as a slave.'^ 

" From the remarks which I have before made on the meaning of the 
Greek word, rendered servant — Sov^og — it is evident, I trust, that nothing 
certain can be determined from the mere use of this word, in regard to 
the condition of one to whom it is applied. It is not the peculiar and 



60 

distinclive word which in the Greek language denotes a slam, though, like 
our word servant, it was often, perhaps usually, applied to a slave. 
Like that word, it is of a general character, and would he applied to any 
one who was engaged in the service of another, ivheiher bound by a parent 
or guardian, or whether he was engaged voluntarily to serve another, or 
whether he was purchased as a slave, or whether he was a serf attached 
to the soil. Unless there is some circumstance stated which will 
enable us to determine what kind of a servant any one was, it can never 
be ascertained by the mere use of the word. In the instance before us, 
there is no circumstance mentioned by which it can be determined whether 
Onesimus loas a voluntary or involuntary servant, and no advocate of 
slavery has a right to assume that he was a slave.^^ 

I have put in italics, for particular animadversion, two members of 
sentences, and one whole sentence in the foregoing paragraph, which 
will be read with pity, or scorn, for the man making any pretensions to 
learning who could write them, by every accomplished scholar whether 
of Europe or America, under whose eye they may happen to fall. AovXos 
was not the peculiar, but it was the distinctive word, in common and 
famiUar use in Greece, to denote that part of the population of the 
country, that was held in bondage, by which in a region where slaves 
were very numerous, they were every day and hour distinguished from 
the other classes. On the other hand, he who was engaged voluntarily 
to serve another, was not, as Mr. Barnes asserts, called 6ov\og. Even com- 
mon school books place this in the clearest light, Robinson's Antiquities 
of Greece, p. 15; Eschenburg's Manual, by Fiske, pp. 159, 180. 

" The inhabitants of Attica were divided into three classes. 1. UoXirai, 
or freemen. 2. Mctoikoi, or foreigners, settled in the country; and, 
3. AovXoi, or slaves." 

"The slaves (AouXot) of the Greeks, male and female, were persons 
that had been taken prisoners in war (ai^[ia\o}ros, avSpairoSop), or were 
purchased of others. Besides the actual slaves, there was a class of day 
laborers, who were accustomed to let their services for hire {Orires, 

TreXarat.)" 

" The slaves (SovXoi) were of different sorts, those belonging to the pub- 
lic (SovXoL Srifjioatoi), and those belonging to private citizens (otAsrat)." 

The truth is, that few words in the two languages correspond more 
exactly, or more uniformly, to each other in their meaning, than the 
Greek 6oiy\os, and the English slave. Both are used with some extension 
of meaning, as when we speak of the subjects of the Autocrat of 
Russia as slaves, and metaphorically, where we say of a mother that she 
is the slave of her children, or of a man that he is the slave of ]]is pas- 
sions, or of habit. Just so SovXos, meaning properly a man held in 
bondage, was appUed to the subjects of the King of Persia, to man in his 
relations to God, as we say in English the servant of God, and some- 
times, though rarely, to scholars with reference to their instructor. It 
was also used metaphorically. There was very little, if any more un- 
certainty about its meaning, than there is about that of the English word 
slave, and if there were any, there is one rule of interpretation with 



61 

which Mr. Barnes should by this time be well acquainted, viz. that 
every word is to be taken in its common, simple, and literal signification, 
unless there appears a good reason why some other should be assigned 
to it. So long as we abide by this rule, we are safe ; any other course 
is presumptuous and ungodly tampering with Holy Truth. 

The word Sov\os, meaning properly a slave, in some of its cases, is 
reported by the Evangelists in fifty-nine places (if I have counted right), 
as on the lips of Christ, generally in the parables, delivered to plain 
common people, by whom it was his wish to be understood, and to 
whom, therefore, he would be likely to speak only of familiar things. 
If language has any meaning, we can ask no stronger evidence that 
slavery was around them there. But there is other evidence. Matt, 
xviii. 25. A man is directed to be sold with his wife and children (of 
course into slavery), for the payment of a debt, Matt. xxiv. 45-51 ; also 
Luke xii. 45. A slave is represented as placed in authority over his fellow 
slaves, and beating or whipping them at discretion, Matt. xxv. 14. The 
parable of the talents. The master is stated to make no return to his 
servants or slaves, for services rendered ; as reaping where he had not 
sown, and gathering where he had not strewed, Luke xii. 47. The 
servant who knew his Lord's will and prepared not himself, is beaten 
with many stripes, and the other who knew not his Lord's will, with few 
stripes. In the parable of the Prodigal Son, two classes of servants are 
mentioned by the proper designation of each, the ixkjOioi, or hired servants,, 
and the 6ov\oi, or slaves. 

This selling, and whipping, and exacting of services without any 
return, indicates clearly the employment in that country, commonly, so 
that Jesus and his hearers were both familiar witli the course of affairs, 
not of hired servants, but of slaves ; and these under a discipline at least 
as severe, as the blacks are held to in the United States. It is useless 
to attempt to disguise so plain a matter; the facts are too clear. 

Paul found at Rome a slave, Onesimus, who had run away from his 
master Philemon, living at Colossae, in Asia Minor, and who became a 
convert to the Christian faith. The apostle, now in his old age, would 
willingly have retained this slave about his own person, to minister to 
his wants, but respecting the rights of his master, he sent him back with 
a letter. A fine example of the power of Christian principle. Paul 
explains to Onesimus that he has done wrong, must return, and submit 
himself to his master, and Onesimus is willing to go. Such was the 
view which those who read their Bibles took of this matter, until it was 
discovered that the facts might stand between the slaveholder and the poi- 
soned arrows of the abolitionists, when Albert Barnes took the word of 
God in hand, to make it bend or break. 

He says, " It cannot be denied that this view of the matter would be 
sanctioned by most of the commentaries on this epistle." Most ! Will 
he produce three respectable commentators, even including by courtesy 
Albert Barnes as one of them, who take any other view of it ? I speak 
of the main fact, that Onesimus was a slave; whether it was Christian 
truth or the persuasion of Paul that made him return may be uncertain. 



62 

Onesimus is called 6ov\ov a slave, Paul tells Philemon that he is sent 
back, but to be received, ovksti ws SovKov a\y vnep SovXov, no longer as a 
slave, but above, or better than a slave ; by v^^hich words his former 
servile condition is marked in the strongest possible manner. But 
enough of this book, of which a few salient points have been touched, to 
show how Vv'orthless and contemptible it is for its dishonesty. 

P. S. 1 should be very sorry to do injustice to Albert Barjies, even in 
an insignificant pamphlet. In the ecclesiastical troubles in which he 
was involved some years since, my sympathies were with him, and I 
supposed him harshly treated. On page 229 he states again, " the true 
points of inquiry." The points at issue betwixt himself and those who 
difier from him. 

" The true points of inquiry may be stated in few words. Did Christ 
and his apostles look benignly on the institution ? Did they regard it 
as a good institution, or as one adapted to promote permanent good ? 
Did they consider it to be desirable for the highest comfort of social life ? 
Did they consider that they who held slaves could illustrate the power 
and excellence of the Christian religion in the best manner, while continu- 
ing in that relation ? Did they suppose that they who ivere held in 
slavery were occupying the most desirable condition in life, and that 
they should consider that the Christian religion contemplated the con- 
tinuance of that relation ? Was it the design of the Saviour, that the 
fair application of the gospel to this system should perpetuate it in his 
church ? The affirmative of these questions it is necessary for the 
advocates of slavery to make out, in order to show that the New Testa- 
ment sustains the system." 

He then gives long extracts from the proceedings of the Presbytery of 
Tombecbee, the Princeton Repertory (against which he seems to cherish 
a malignity of feeling appropriate to an evil spirit), and the letters of Dr. 
Fuller of S. Ca., apparently for the purpose of showing that such are 
the points at issue. But they make no such points, take no such 
■ground. That a man of sense should quote fairly from the writings of 
others, to show that they entertain and have expressed certain opinions, 
when the passages cited contain nothing of the kind, is one of those 
strange and unaccountable facts that are hardly to be explained on any 
of the common principles of our nature. Is there some obliquity of judg- 
ment here ? Is Mr. Barnes's diseased spot in the understanding, rather 
than in the heart? Christ and his apostles did not look benignly on the 
possession of riches. With one who reads the New Testament there can 
be no doubt on that point. Yet such possession is tolerated in the Bible, 
and rich men are with good reason admitted to commune with their 
poorer brethren. It is the same with slavery. Cannot Mr. Barnes see 
the distinction between tolerating and fostering, or even fully approving ? 
If not, it is only to be regretted that he did not ascertain more correctly 
the place he holds amongst God's intellectual creatures, before he under- 
took to write a book on slavery. 



63 

11. Slavery Discussed in Occasional Essays from 1833 to 1846. By 
Leonard Bacon. 

The work of an honest, intelligent, and in general fair man, who 
writes with ease and vigor, has no sympathy with slavery, and yet is 
afraid to go further in his opposition to it, than he finds warrant for in 
the Holy Scriptures. The most humble and gentle-minded Christian at 
the South, will meet in these essays, as in the letters of Dr. Wayland, 
with passages which he will feel to be unkind, unjust, unwise ; some 
which he will regard as mere overflowings of spleen and gall, and that, 
therefore, would have been better omitted ; but there is evidence of so 
much integrity of purpose, and they are so w-ell written, that they may 
be read, though with pain, yet with profit, at the South. I have said 
that the author has no sympathy with slavery, and may add, not as 
much as may be due to his Christian character for slaveholders ; is not 
prepared to make due allowances for the difficulties of their situation. 

" I hold that the law of love requires the master to regard the rela- 
tion between himself and his slaves as a relation to be dissolved as soon 
as it can be done consistently with the welfare of the slaves." P. 241. 
I pray you consider, Dr. Bacon, whether, as in most of the States, the 
whites are the more numerous race, and they are very nearly on an 
equality in the others, their welfare have not a claim also to some little 
portion of regard. 

"For eleven years the record of deaths in the city of Baltimore has 
carefully distinguished the three classes, of white, free blacks, and 
slaves. The deaths among the free blacks annually, are one in twenty- 
nine ; among the whites, one in thirty-eight ; among the slaves only one 
in forty-four." P. 120. 

If there is no error in this register, it appears that by manumission, 
in the city of Baltimore, the chance of life is diminished in the propor- 
tion of forty-four to twenty-nine, or by one third very nearly. There is 
a dreadful tale of vice and suffering on the part of the free blacks in- 
volved in these numbers, which no " abolition, as it is," has the honesty 
to unfold, of which " slavery, as it is," will be very careful to avoid any 
notice. 

III. Dr. Waylandh Letters to Dr. Fuller of South Carolina. 

Another honest argument, by a Christian gentleman, which a few 
verbal and other alterations (Dr. Wayland will be surprised on examina- 
tion to find how few) would convert into an argument against the law- 
fulness of a Christian man's holding property to any considerable 
amount, of any kind. That rule of the Saviour's, of doing to others as we 
would have them do to us, is in Dr. Wayland's hands a weapon of 
power, and cuts dreadfully into the conscience of the slaveholder. But, 
my dear sir, have a care ; like the old Roman sword, it has two edges, 
both fearfully sharp, one as sharp as the other, and they reach all the 
way from the hilt to the point. It makes almost as merciless havoc 
amongst tjie actings and doings of the Christians of Providence, as at 



64 

Beaufort, South Carolina. Will Dr. Wayland bo pleased to examine at 
liis leisure, the section of the Moral Science, on the origin of property, 
and .'^ee whether it be not better to follow the example of his great 
predecessor Paley, and acknowledge that its only foundation is, the law 
of the land. 

IV. A Letter to the People of the United Slates, touching the matter of 
Slavery. By Theodore Parker. 1848. 

It was a matter of some interest to know what this unbelieving non- 
descript, who is neither Christian, Jew, nor Pagan, would have to say 
upon the subject of slavery. His exordium is modest in the extreme. 
He is " but one of the undistinguished millions who live unnoticed, and 
die remembered, only by their family and friends, humble and ob- 
scure." But this weakness is soon shaken off, there is in his language 
a pleasing amount of self-sufficiency and confidence, and near the end 
(p. 113) he turns out by his own account quite a hero. 

Sismondi, in the introduction to his history of the Italian Republics, 
recounts with satisfaction the labors he had undergone, with the view 
of giving accuracy to his work. He had lived in Tuscany almost as 
much as in Geneva, or France, had traversed Italy nine times in different 
directions, made the tour of Germany once, had visited nearly all the 
places that had been the theatre of any great event, labored in almost all 
the great libraries, gained admittance to the archives of many cities and 
convents, and finally procured at any price, whatever books promised to 
shed light upon the times and the people that were his theme. 

It had been no more than decent i^n one who was about to address a 
letter to the people of the United States, touching the matter of slavery, 
to have visited in person, at least once, the seat of the disease, and by 
an examination on the spot, have qualified himself to give utterance to 
the language of intelligence and truth, instead of what is to a great 
extent, if not a malicious, at least an ignorant libel, on some millions of 
his fellow-countrymen. The letter consists largely of a setting forth of 
the immense superiority of the free over the slave States, in regard to 
all that is honorable and good, the greater rapidity of their onward 
progress, and an exultation over the same. 

These are not the words of an angel of mercy, come on a message of 
benevolence and love. It is the voice of a lost spirit, who, whilst 
enduring the pains of penal justice, still claps his hands, and screams 
with frantic joy, because he seems to see far below him, a brother spirit, 
involved in darker guilt, and writhing in the agonies of a punishment 
still more intolerable than his own. 

The wisdom of his arguments, and the fairness of his inferences, may 
be judged of from one or two examples. 

1. Labor saving machines, he says, all come from the North. In 
1846, only 76 patents were granted for inventions made in fourteen 
slave states, whilst 564 were taken out by the people of the free 
states. — And is it so very strange, that where the principal employ- 
ment is that agriculture which has been pursued for so many ages, 



65 

new inventions should be few, and that amidst the machinery of a manu- 
facturing district they should be numerous ? 

2. The shipping of the free, exceeds beyond all comparison that of 
the slave states. — Look at the southern coast, with good harbors at dis- 
tant intervals only, and malaria there, which drives the white population 
from them into the interior during some months of the year ; with no 
fisheries to serve as nurseries for seamen. Where is the wonder there 
is not an active commerce ? Yet all this is set down to the account of 
slavery. If one were to lay it as a reproach upon Massachusetts, that 
she brings from her own domain, no mineral coal into the market of the 
world, he would hardly be guilty of more unadulterated folly. Many 
parts of the Southern can never support as dense a population as even 
now overspreads a large part of the Northern States, and therefore, the 
blessings of education and religious instruction will^be less widely dif- 
fused, or less amply furnished. 

It is a queer fact in psychology, that the man who rejects as legend- 
ary fable, I know not what part of those gospels which have commanded 
the reverential belief of the great and good, through so many ages, should 
repose implicit faith in the revelations of Moses Roper, Lunsford Lane, 
and the rest, some if not all of whom were under such temptations to 
make false or exaggerated statements. 

One so deeply sensible as Theodore Parker of the misery and destitu- 
tion of the 3outh, will certainly come to her aid, and point out the exact 
and easy methods by which she may be relieved from the intolerable 
burdens that weigh her down, and her condition improved. Not he. 
Having abused the Southern people through something like a hundred 
pages, his mission- of love is accomplished ; he has nothing more to say. 
The whole paragraph is too remarkable to be omitted. Page 113. 

" It is not for me to point out the remedy for the evil, and show how it 
can be applied ; that is work for those men you dignify with place and 
power. I pretend not to give counsel here, only to tell the warning 
truth. Will you say that in the free states there is oppression, ignorance, 
and want and crime ? 'Tis true. But an excuse specious and popular 
for its continuance is this ; that the evils of slavery are so much worse, 
men will not meddle with the less till the greater is removed. Men are 
so wonted to the monstrous wrong, they cannot see the little wrongs 
with which modern society is full ; evils which are little only when 
compared to that. When this shame of the nation is wiped off it will be 
easy, seeing more clearly, to redress the minor ills of ignorance, and 
want, and crime. But there is one bright thing connected with this 
wrong. I mean the heroism which wars against it with pure hands; 
historic times have seen no chivalry so heroic." 

Let the astronomers over at Cambridge beware what account they 
give of the condition of the heavens. If they but intimate their ap- 
prehensions that all is not as it should be amongst the inhabitants of 
the planet Saturn, it will be enough to make Theodore Parker oppose 
himself resolutely to all attempts at moral improvement in the free 

5 



66 

states, till such time as the same celestial observers shall report all 
correct in that pale star. 

If one may be allowed to address the author of the letter to the people 
of the United States in the language of plain and simple truth. I would 
say, If you had been impelled by benevolent feeling and for benevolent 
purposes, to write a pamphlet touching the matter of slavery, your first 
inquiry would have been in regard to a remedy for its evils, and if you 
could find none, it had been wise in you to keep silence. There is little 
kindness in pointing the Arab to the arid wastes, or the Greenlander to 
the eternal snows, that surround them, or in telling the latter that his 
subterranean dwelling has an offensive smell. You had some selfish 
ends of your own to gain.. Your snivelling excuse for not engagirig in 
the practice of virtue yourself, or stimulating others thereto ; because 
you do not approve of the state of things at a distance of some hundreds 
of miles from you ; is, I will not say unchristian, which might give yon 
little concern, but it is unmanly and mean. And as to your being a 
hero, it is a mistake. Heroism involves, if not the endurance of extreme 
sufferings, at least the encountering of extreme dangers for the benefit of 
others ; and in what you have done there has been neither. The con- 
duct of those who interest themselves in the welfare of the poor African, 
is benevolent, and kind, and Christian, and greatly to be commended, 
especially if there be mingled in it the wisdom of the serpent, with the 
harmlessness of the dove ; but there is very little that is heroic in it. 
Nor in your trips to New York to make speeches there, or sitting in 
your study, and writing an ill-natured pamphlet against the South, is 
there anything of this character ? Even if Mr. Longfellow were to 
make you the theme of an anti-slavery epic, the Parkeriad, placing you 
somewhere between Homer's hero, and him, who as you know has 
sometimes been said to be the hero of Milton, and re'count the perils of a 
steamboat navigation along the Sound, after the manner of Camoens, in 
the Lusiad, people might still doubt and question whether you were a 
real hero. 

You may perhaps become a hero, if you will exemplify in your own 
conduct the practical working of those rules of Jesus: "Thou shaltlove 
thy neighbor as thyself," and " Whatsoever ye would that men should 
do to you, do ye even so to them," which you also quote, and whether 
upon anything else or not, would have them brought to bear upon the 
matter of slavery. The next time you go out into the streets of Boston, 
pull off that fine coat of yours, sell it to the highest bidder, put on some 
wretched blouse, and thus apparelled, plunge with the proceeds of the 
sale into the houses where the very bread that is eaten is the wages of 
licentiousness, lead out the wretched inmates, do not fear contamina- 
tion, bring them into your family, warn, rebuke, instruct, counsel, con- 
sole, and cheer them ; the Saviour, you know, came to Seek and to save 
those that are lost. Fish up the negro from those gulfs of degradation, 
fathom on fathom deep, in which he lives in the northern cities ; cause 
him to cease from being, at least where you are, the Pariah of the 



67 

western world, whose duty it is to clean the shoes and do other menial 
services for the white that claims to be a nobler race ; effect his intro- 
duction into the colleges, high schools, theological seminaries, and town 
halls of the country, where you intimate that he should be, and into the 
polished social circle, which you omitted. Let your acts prove your 
sincerity. It is in such places as Boston, where the whites are in over- 
whelming numbers, and their influence determines everything, and in 
Liberia where there are no whites, that his capacity for improvement 
and self-government can be ascertained. Attend to l^ie suggestion of 
Mr. Webster in his address, dehvered at Plymouth, in 1820, that the 
slave trade was even then prosecuted in vessels fitted out in the ports of 
Massachusetts. The clanking of the necessary chains might then be 
heard on the plains of that ancient Commonwealth, and in her obscure 
workshops the rattle of the hammers employed in their fabrication. If 
at that time, perhaps now ; ferret out the authors of such wickedness, if 
they are to be found. Proclaim l^hat obvious consequence of the 
equality in which men are created ; an equal right of property in the soil. 
Apply Christ's rules as plainly and directly to the consciences of the 
capitalists of Boston, as you do to the understanding of the Southern 
planter ; tell them that the law of love requires that they share their 
fortunes with the poor that are around them. 

If in consequence of such proceedings you should be thrown out of 
employment there, come South. The people of this region, whatever 
faults they may have, are hospitable and generous, and you would be- 
received with open arms. Overseers are wanted in Mississippi and 
Xouisiana, or if you failed of getting employm.ent there, you might pass 
over into the Island of Cuba. The degree of LL.D., lately conferred 
upon you at Harvard, would at once give you rank and standing among 
people of like occupation. There are, unhappily, men who are willing 
that their slaves should be worked hard, whilst their comforts are not 
properly provided for. And after looking over your pamphlet once 
more, and maturely considering its whole ferocious tone and temper, I 
am constrained to believe that if the place of overseer to such an one 
were proposed to you, and the offer backed by large pecuniary considera- 
tions, there is not that about you, head or heart, certainly not in the 
heart, that would hinder you from accepting it, and discharging its 
duties faithfully. 

V. American Slavery as it is ; Testimony of a Thousand Witnesses. 

This book is so obviously written without the purpose of giving a true 
representation of the condition of the slaves, in the Southern states, and 
with the purpose of at once exciting sympathy for them, and rendering 
their masters infamous and detestable, at all hazards ; under the influence 
of the feeling apparently, that so good an end would justify the use of 
almost any means, and has been so long before the public, that it can 
hardly claim particular notice. It is wonderful that the authors did not 
enter a protest at the end against being themselves regarded as belong- 



68 

ing to the human species, or if that could not avail them, that they did 
not give utterance to a lamentation over the fact that they were doomed 
to wear the human form. 

A variety of cruelties is represented as inflicted upon the slaves, fre- 
quently for petty offences. A charge of wanton and causeless barbarity 
towards the blacks, is in fact brought against, if not quite the whole, 
very nearly the whole population of the Southern country. The rich 
slaveholder is cruel at all times, the poor man is still worse whenever 
he gets a chancre, as when he becomes an overseer. Jt is the common, 
every day state of things ; what prevails, if not in all places, and 
at all times, at least so generally, that the exceptions hardly merit 
attention. But this is not all. 

It was foreseen that such charges would be indignantly repelled. 
Care is therefore taken to provide against the influence of such denial, 
by representing the slaveholders (and under this title the whole popula- 
tion of the slaveholding country, some millions of people are virtually 
included, they being in like manner guilty), as unworthy of credit, inas- 
much as they testify in their own behalf, and to clear themselves. No 
matter what the character of the parties may be amongst their intimate 
acquaintance, for integrity and truth ; their intercourse with people of 
the same color with themselves may be marked by humanity and kind- 
ness ; if they come forward and declare, that after having lived in a slave 
country for many years, for half a century perhaps, they have never 
witnessed any of these atrocious cruelties with their own eyes, have 
seldom, if ever, known of the occurrence of any of them in the region of 
country where they reside, that they read the accounts of them with the 
same horror, and the same detestation of the authors of them, that they 
excite in the people of the free states, such statements are not worthy 
of any consideration. 

The persons who can believe these things, that our nature is capable 
of such a depth of moral degradation throughout a whole country, such 
an inconsistent intermixture of cruelty and kindness, of truth and false- 
hood, and of hypocrisy and piety, should by all means pull off their hats 
to every horse and dog they meet, and salute them respectfully, as 
animals of a nobler and better race than that to which it is their mis- 
fortune to belong. 

The slave is a slave. Whatever censure is, under the circumstances, 
merited by those who hold and treat him as such, they are prepared to 
meet and bear. He is denied the benefit of those natural rights with 
which the God of Nature has endowed him. So is the poor, and 
especially the landless inhabitant of the free states. Whilst I am 
busied with this notice of slavery as it is, there comes to hand the North 
American Review for October, 1848, with an article on Mill's Political 
Economy ; a book which is represented as " worthy to take its place by 
the side of the Wealth of Nations, in the library of every well informed 
man, both in the Old and New World ;" and in which the same ground 
is taken with regard to an equality of right on the part of every man 



69 

to a property in the soil, and the right of the state to control and regu- 
late at pleasure the disposal of all property, as in the first of the fore- 
going discourses. " No man made the land. It is the original inherit- 
ance of the whole species. Public reasons exist for its being appro- 
priated. But if those reasons lost their force, it would be unjust.' 
The doctrines of property abolitionism would spread, with even greater 
rapidity than those of slavery abolitionism, having a vast advantage so 
far as the Scripture argument is concerned, were it not that the interests 
of great numbers in the free, as well as the slave states, are involved, so 
that a determined opposition will be made to the practice to which they 
lead, and through the practice to the theory. Yet it was perhaps an 
error to say that the year 1948 must be waited for, before these views 
will be generally received, and to some unknown extent, be carried into 
practice. 

There are in the State Prisons of New York, at Auburn, Sing Sing, and 
Blackwell's Island, somewhat more than two thousand convicts : 2135 
according to statements with which I have been furnished — persons 
who are in confinement because they are of such evil tempers and dis- 
positions, that it does not consist with the peace and safety of quiet and 
law-abiding people of the state, that they should go at large. Supposing 
the ratio to be the same amongst the blacks, there will be about three 
thousand of them of the same character in the slave states. Exact num- 
bers are not important here to the justness of the main argument — the 
number must be considerable. These, instead of being under the care 
of the state, have to be managed as best they can be by individuals, 
their masters, who being without that kind of structure which gives 
grace and beauty to Blackwell's Island, resort to those methods of 
coercion which fill the breasts of the abolitionists with such undis- 
sembled horror. A slave has worn out the patience of a kind and 
indulgent master, has fled to the swamps, where the sheriflT with his 
posse comitatus cannot reach him, he has violated what is of course the 
fundamental law of every slave country, and becoming an intolerable 
nuisance, is outlawed. The object commonly is, not to procure his 
death, but to place him in such circumstances of peril, that getting in- 
formation from those who communicate with him, he shall be induced to 
come in and surrender himself. Notice of such legal proceeding is 
given in the public journals, constituting every man who shall choose to 
embark in the business, a minister of the public justice. This falls into 
the hands of those fearless and impartial advocates of right and truth, 
Mr. Theodore Weld, and the executive committee of the anti-slavery 
society, who choose to represent the outlawed felon as a blameless man, 
whom the fiends are tormenting. The cases are very rare : public men; 
lawyers, pass a long life in the slave states without being brought 
into contact with a single one. The law and the practice may be bad ; 
my only object is to show that they have not necessarily that unmiti- 
gated atrocity which is ascribed to them. But it will be said, on the 
other hand, that this outlaw was a noble minded fellow, who had too 

5* 



70 

much spirit to submit to an authority which he knew to be oppressive 
and tyrannical. The convict at Sing Sing will take very nearly the 
same ground ; that it was because he was denied his natural rights, his 
just place in society, that he became its enemy. He had too much spirit 
to submit to injustice, and was so converted into what is called a felon. 

But there are at the South white devils as well as black ones, men of 
evil dispositions, to whose bosoms there come no gentle relentings 
when they witness the miseries of their fellow-creatures, who are 
grasping, vindictive, selfish, and crnel. They too may become owners 
of slaves, whose condition in such case is deplorable. This is the 
great evil of the system ; that it is in its operations liable to clothe bad 
men with irresponsible power. This is what makes one's heart ache 
and bleed, and awakens the earnest wish, that some safe and practicable 
method could be devised of removing the evil. If Messrs. Weld, Parker, 
or Barnes will point out those arrangements by which, constituted as 
men are, such results may be attained; whatever injustice or folly there 
may be in their writings touching the matter of slavery, shall be re- 
garded as more than atoned for. 

In most of the works, large and small, that have been written against 
slavery, and those who practise it, the matter is considered in its politi- 
cal, as well as its moral and religious bearings. One cannot read these 
books without being led to inquire, whether the interests of the 
Southern States, most of them if not all, would not be advanced by a 
dissolution of the Union. 

1. The provision of the constitution which requires the surrender and 
return of a fugitive slave is now a dead letter. Instead of this, slaves 
are rather encouraged to escape, and welcomed when they arrive, so 
that if we were two or more distinct nations, things would not be in a 
worse condition so far as relates to this particular, than they are now. 
Dr. Channing speaks of this provision as " virtually fading away," but 
his subsequent remarks show that it had when he wrote already dis- 
appeared. He defends this violation of a solemn compact, by a re- 
ference to laws passed at the South involving " a threat to imprison 
and punish free colored citizens of the North for setting foot on their 
shores and using their highways." As though a little common sense 
were not to be exercised even at the North in a matter where the 
peace and safety of a whole community are concerned, and the original 
injustice and wrong were not in the people of Massachusetts. The 
felons of London, when landed at New York, may at once become 
virtuous and industrious citizens, but the probability of this change is 
so small, that the arrival of such immigrants may well be viewed with 
apprehension, and if continued, become the subject of remonstrance, or 
even of positive law, without disturbing our friendly relations with 
Great Britain, Free blacks from the North would be equally danger- 
ous amongst the slave population at the South. They would have op- 
portunities not enjoyed by white men, of familiar and unsuspected 
intercourse with those of their own color, would be impelled by all the 



71 

sympathies of blood and a community of race, to set on foot a plan for 
involving the cities, to which they came, in conflagration and massacre ; 
would in fact be the very persons whom some Northern fanatic would 
select as tools for accomplishing such a scheme. The people of 
Charleston had been madmen to allow them free admittance there : 
what* shall be said of those who would claim it for them ? 

2. The Southern States are reproached with the backward state of 
the useful arts amongst them. And where are the cotton mills of 
Massachusetts, of New York, and New Jersey ? Along the peninsula 
of Cape Cod, the southern side of Long Island, or the Atlantic coast 
of New Jersey ? There is in the parts named of those states no available 
water power, and the seats of their manufacturing activity, are there- 
fore at such points as Lc^vell and Patterson. In Rhode Island and Con- 
necticut, such power abounds, and in close proximity to the navigable 
waters. The Southern manufacturer cannot establish himself on the sea- 
board, where there is little fall in the streams, and where he has to en- 
counter malaria. If he goes into the back country, a costly land carriage 
renders it difficult, if not impossible for him to compete with his 
northern rivals. But let the Union be dissolved and a tariff imposed, 
such as would be sufficient to exclude most of the goods now received 
from the North, and the cheerful and glad voice of manufacturing in- 
dustry would soon be awakened along the whole range of the Southern 
Alleganies, and on both sides of them, and the reproach above referred 
to, would be done away. Causes depending upon the laws of Physical 
Geography that have not hitherto been properly considered, will pre- 
vent as easy and rapid an improvement of the soil here, as may be ef- 
fected in higher latitudes ; but with a mild and genial climate — with 
slavery or without it, this may on the whole be a happy country — 
happier and more virtuous unquestionably it would be with a single, 
free, white race, than with the existing intermixture of races. 

On the part of the Northern States, if such scenes are to be re- 
produced in Congress as the last few years, and especially the year 
1848 have witnessed, it is due to their own moral character to seek a 
dissolution of the Union. The reception of the abolition petitions there, 
whatever might be the abstract right of the case, or however high the 
character of the individuals by whom it was advocated or defended, was 
an outrage. Their object was well known. They bore upon their 
face that they were petitions, but they were intended simply to annoy 
the Southern people, and especially their representatives in that bodv. 
Certain questions still pending possess a still deeper interest. 

When Pohind was taken possession of by the adjacent powers, 
Russia, Prussia, and Austria, reasons of state, and the position of the 
high contracting powers who were parties to that vile act of robbery, 
served to throw a mist over the whole business, and to mask the 
enormity of the proceeding. Suppose it to have been three farmers, 
A, B, and C, who pounced upon the estate of a fourth, D, which lay 
conveniently to ihem, so that each could take a piece, ejected the right- 



72 

ful possessor, and appropriated the whole to themselves. The ques- 
tion about the admission of the people of the Southern States, into 
a part of the territory of California along with their peculiar property, 
will be much simplified, if we take it out of the Congressional halls, 
and make it a transaction of private life. 

Two men, whom we will call Peter and Paul, enter into a co- 
partnership for the prosecution of a trade with England, in which 
they are eminently successful. They associate their sons, as they grow 
up, as partners in the same business. It is a fundamental article of 
the compact between the parties, that the final disposition of all the pro- 
perty acquired shall be determined by the voice of a majority of those 
interested. An opportunity offering, they extend their business, send 
two or three ships to China, and the same •good fortune attending 
them, realize a hundred thousand dollars by this enterprise. One of 
the young Pauls, however, sickens and dies in consequence of exposure 
in the China Sea. The question at length arises respecting the disposal 
that is to be made of this property, the hundred thousand dollars, and 
the Peter family being a majority, determine to take it all to them- 
selves. The reasons they assign are two. 1. That the letter of the 
contract between the two families warrants such proceeding, and 
2. That they are apprehensive that the young Pauls would make a bad 
use of their share, if any of it were to come into their hands ; that one 
of them has shown some inclination to dissipation and intemperance, 
and another they do suspect would employ his part in the establish- 
ment of a brothel somewhere in the city. 

The case is brought into the court, and Mr. Webster is employed to 
manage the case of the Paul family. What a storm gathers on that 
dark brow, and how does it lower like a thunder cloud over the un- 
happy victims of his eloquence, as he meditates his argument, and 
scare them into an earnest entreaty to the judge, that he will appoint 
them any terras, rather than let loose that terrible man upon them. 
How do the dilated nostril, and the curled lip, indicate that his mind 
is laboring in search of terms strong enough to express his utter detes- 
tation and abhorrence of so vile a plea and proceeding. " It seems that 
this Peter family is too moral and pious to be just. After a close con- 
nexion in business with the Pauls of twenty years' standing, after one 
of them has sacrificed his life for the common good, it is discovered 
when a considerable amount of property is to be divided and a part 
given to them, that they are unworthy of confidence." But let me not 
attempt with this feeble arm to wield the bolts of Jove. Those who 
are familiar with Mr. Webster's printed speeches will understand very 
well how he would handle such a subject. And is it not painful to 
think, that the man who would reason and decide so justly if it were a 
matter of private right, should have his judgment so blinded when he 
takes his seat in the Senate, and it is a question of public right that ib 
proposed for his decision, that he will become party to a proceeding so 
clearly and evidently wrong ? But, says Mr. Webster, Florida, and 



73 

Louisiana, and Texas, and Arkansas, and Missouri, all slave states, 
with ten votes in the Senate, have been created out of territory not in- 
cluded within the limits of the thirteen, which carried on the war witli 
the British king, and by which the Federal Constitution was framed 
and adopted. This is true, but not all. More than half of Ohio, 
Indiana, and Illinois, was part of the domain of a slave state, of Virgi- 
nia, and with a view to the general good, was surrendered by her, and 
set apart to be a country where slavery should never enter. Material 
for two states was thus transferred, the slave states yielding four 
votes, and the free gaining four, making a difference of eight. But 
further, will Mr. Webster take a map of the United States, such as 
they were by the treaty of 1783, look across it, and see where the 
line would run from a point in the Ohio, a little below the town of 
Beaver, where it leaves the State of Pennsylvania, due west, including 
the whole of thiat beautiful river from thence downwards to its con- 
fluence with the Mississippi, and all its tributary streams far up towards 
their sources ; then take a map of the United States, as they now are, 
and say upon his honor, whether this main argument of his, for refusing 
to the slave states a pitiful corner of the southern part of California, and 
New Mexico, is worthy of that integrity, and that intellect, so many 
works and manifestations of which are before his admiring fellow- 
countrymen, whether these corrupt and sinning sisters of the South 
have not dealt even generously with the Northern members of the 
confederacy. Have these principles of justice which ruled and regu- 
lated the conduct of her children in her earlier day disappeared from 
the land of the Pilgrims 1 

It has occurred to me that an imaginary scene, such as all pictures 
are to a greater or less extent, connected with the matter under consi- 
deration, might furnish to a skilful painter a good subject for his art ; the 
Senators of South Carolina informing the small remains of the Palmetto 
regiment of the result of the deliberations in Congress, and how of all 
that broad domain for the acquisition of which the blood of so many 
of them had been poured out like water, not enough for one to plant 
the sole of his foot upon, was to be allowed them, save upon such 
terms that they could not accept it without dishonor, and an insult on 
their part, to the land that gave them birth. The surviving officers are 
so few, that portraits of them all, down to those of the lowest grade, 
and even of some of the more remarkable and distinguished private 
soldiers, might be introduced. The duty of making the necessary 
explanations would devolve upon Mr. Calhoun, and be represented as 
discharged by him. Mr, Butler would be there, but silent. His eye 
would seek in vain that loved brother of his, the brave commander of 
that gallant band. The painter might even see fit, in imitation of the 
ancient Grecian artist, to hide his face under some kind of veil, or other 
covering, as betraying emotions too strong to consist with that grace 
and beauty which even in the representation of deep sorrow and dis- 
tress are not to be altogether neglected. David Wilmot (it being his 



74 

only chance of gaining a brief immortality, he might be pleased with 
such distinction), Mr. Dix, of New York, Gov. Baldwin, of Connecticut,^ 
and others might be placed in the back ground, as standing and 
looking on, whilst the tale of infamy was told, and marking its effect, 
pity, sorrow, shame, scorn, and indignation, as exhibited in the 
countenances of the listeners. Such a picture might fill one of the 
vacant niches in the rotunda of the capitol at Washington. Those 
already there, serve to mark some great era in the history of the 
country. The embarkation of the Pilgrims, the Signing of the 
Declaration of Independence, the Surrender of Corhwallis at York- 
town, This too would have its era — that, dating from which, what had 
been gained at the expense of the blood and treasure of the whole 
country (in the pre'Sent instance, especially by the blood of Southern 
men), was first avowedly, and unblushingly, appropriated for the bene- 
fit of a part, and of that part whose sacrifices had been least consider- 
able in making such acquisition. 



A PRAYER. 1^ 

Thine unprofitable slave, oh God most holy, humbly begs of thee, 
his kind and rightful master, that if in these arguments and rebukes of 
unreasonable, and wicked, or mistaken men, he have committed sin, he 
may be led to repent of the sam'e, and be forgiven. Thou knowest his 
belief, that it is not amongst the eternal purposes of the only just and 
wise, that the subjection of man to man, or an inequality of right 
to the blessings thy kind hand bestows, shall be perpetual here ; but 
though thou dost permit them now, they shall both, by the agency of 
thy Providence, at length be done away. Till that day come, rhay 
" slaves be obedient to them that are their masters ;" may " masters 
give their slaves what is just and equal, remembering that they have a 
master in heaven ;" may the rich be kind and respectful to the poor, 
and the poor not envious of the rich. May those inhabiting the parts 
of this great land that are remote from each other, deal so justly and 
lovingly with their distant fellow-countrymen, that the peace and hap- 
piness we now enjoy as one nation, may still abide with us. May the 
Redeemer's kingdom come, and the vv'ill of God be done on earth as it 
Is in Heaven. Amen. 



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