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^ 111 

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1851, by 


in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the Southern District of Mississippi. 

ntlXTK!) r,V i^MITH & ri-TEKS, 
Franklin Buildings, Sixth Strort bolow Arch, Philadelphia. 


This is a legitimate topic of general interest, and it as- 
sumes a preponderating importance to the people of the 
Southern American States, when the fact is taken into 
consideration that a general league against the institution 
of African slavery has been entered into and consummated 
between most of the civilized nations of the earth, and 
public opinion in many of the sister States of our own 
National Union has taken the same direction. The result 
is, to have arraigned the slaveholding States before the 
mighty bar of public opinion, on the charge of holding, as 
property, more than ten hundred millions of dollars' worth 
of what does not belong to them, which is and never can Ije 
the property of man ; and this charge embraces, wdthin its 
scope, the crimes of theft, robbery, rapine, and cruelty. 

The time has come when the South must enter her plea 
of defence, not because the accusers are foreign nations, 
of which it may justly be said, before their charges are 
entertained, " Physician, heal thyself," but because our 
accusers are among our own brethren, bound to us by free- 
dom's holiest associations and religion's most sacred ties. 

The author of the " Studies on Slavery" has the double 
advantage of a full comprehension of the subject both in 
its Northern and Southern aspect. Born and educated in 
the former, and qualified by a long residence in the latter 
section of our Union, he is amply qualified to weigh the 
prejudices, the teachings, and the arguments of the one^, 


against the facts, the justifications, the religious and po- 
litical sanctions of the other. 

Mr. Fletcher has not only marshalled into his line of 
impregnable defence the mandates and sanctions of the 
Sacred Writings concerning the slave institutions, but he 
has drawn powerful auxiliaries from the sources of ancient 
history. His exegesis of biblical passages, in the original 
languages in which they were communicated by inspiration 
to the world, shows his sound scholarship, as well as his 
reverence of the literal sense and specific meaning of God's 
holy and unimpeachable standard and rule of life and 

The author has also analyzed the fountain of Moral 
Philosophy, and detected the bitter waters of error so in- 
dustriously infused by the eloquent and magical pens of 
such writers as Dr. Samuel Johnson, Dr. Paley, Dr. Chan- 
ning, Dr. Wayland, Mr. Barnes, and others. He has con- 
fined himself to the moral and ethical bearings of the 
question, scarcely touching upon its political aspects, — a 
course calculated to render the book far more useful to the 
dispassionate seekers after truth, who may belong to dif- 
ferent political sects. 

Neither time nor labour has been spared in the author- 
ship of the work ; and it is believed that, while it is written 
with candour and calmness, it will be received by the 
people of the North as well as of the South as a sincere 
and enlightened endeavour to seek for truth, and thus allay 
the tumultuous and disorganizing fanaticism of those who 
have not had opportunity to study the subject, and are 
incapable of acting upon it with understanding and true 


Philosophy knows no oj^ligation thcat binds one man to 
another without an equivalent. If one man could be sub- 
jected to another, who is not bound to render any thing in 
return, it would be subversive to good morals and political 
justice. Such a relation cannot exist, only so far as to reach 
the immediate death of the subjected. But it has been the 
error of some good men to suppose that slavery presented 
such a case. It has been their misfortune also to receive 
the following succedaneums as axioms in the search for 
ti'uth : — 

" All men are born equal." 

" The rights of men are inalienable." 

" No man has power to alienate a natural right." 

" No man can become property." 

" No man can own property in another." 

" The conscience is a distinct mental faculty." 

" The conscience infallibly distinguishes between right 
and wrong." 

" No man is under any obligation to obey any law when 
his conscience dictates it to be wrong." 

" The conscience empowers any man to nullify any law ; 
because the conscience is a part and parcel of the Divine 


" Slavery is wholly founded on force." 

" Slavery originates in the power of the strong over the 

" Slavery disqualifies a man to fulfil the great object of 
his being." 

" The doctrines of the Bible forbid slavery." 

" There is no word, either in the Old or the New Testa- 
ment, which expresses the idea of slave or slavery." 

" Slavery places its subjects beyond moral and legal ob- 
ligation : therefore, it can nevei" be a legal or moral rela- 

" Slavery is inconsistent with the moral nature of man." 

" To hold in slavery is inconsistent with the present state 
of morals and religion." 

" Slavery is contrary to the will of God." 

" No man can hold a slave, and be a Christian." 

Averments of this order are quite numerous. Fanatics 
receive them ; and some others do not distinguish them from 

At any age, and in any country, where such errors are 
generally adopted, and become the rules of poHtical action, 
morals and religion are always in commotion, and in danger 
of shipwreck : for, although, where man has only ap- 
proached so far towards civilization that even the enlight- 
ened can merely perceive them as rudimental, yet the great 
principles that influence human life, morality and religion, 
are, everywhere, and always have been the same. 



Lesson I. — Wayland's definition of moral law, page 7 to 8 ; sin the antecedent of sla7ery, 
9 ; the abuse of slavery a sin, 10. 

Lesson IL — Wayland on the elements of consciousness, 10 to 11 ; the degeneracy of races, 
and slavery as the scriptural means of reclamation, 12 ; object of punishment, 13. 

Lesson III. — Wayland on conscience as a distinct faculty, 14, 15 ; Channing, Barnes, and 
abolitionists generally on the same, 16, 17, 18. 

Lesson IV. — Wayland on conscience as an independent faculty derived from Shaftesbury, 
Hutchinson, and Raid, 18; combated by Archbishop Seeker, 19; argument that con- 
science is neither a distinct faculty nor infallible, 20 to 23. 

Lesson V. — Wayland's doctrine, that slavery sacrifices the slave's eternal happiness to 
the master's temporal, refuted, 23 to 25; the master's interest and the slave's moral 
improvement identical, 26, 27. 

Lesson VI. — Wayland's argument, that slavery is at variance with the laws of God, ex- 
amined, 27 ; its connection with productive labour and national wealth considered, 28 
to 32 ; Sismondi's theory of labour and capital, 32 ; Wayland on slavery as impoverish- 
ing soil refuted, 33, 34. 

Lesson VII. — Wayland's doctrine, that the moral principles of the Bible are opposed to 
slavery, refuted, 34, 35 ; Seeker's authority, 36 ; Wayland on slavery as a prohibition 
of gospel privileges and matrimony controverted, 37 to 40 ; Luther and Melancthon 
quoted, 39; African practice in regard to matrimony, 40; interest of masters to pro- 
mote permanent marriages among their slaves, 40 to 42. 

Lesson VIII. — Wayland, Paley, Channing, and Barnes on the opinion that the sacred 
writers abstained from condemning slavery on motives of policy, 43 to 47. 

Lesson IX. — Wayland's doubts, caused by Prof. Taylor, 47 to 50 ; Wayland's assertion, 
that the inculcation of the duties of slaves is no sanction of slavery, combated, 51, 52. 

Lesson X. — Wayland's assertion, that Scripture is opposed to slavery, contrasted with the 
declarations of the Bible, 53 ; slavery a desii-able and ardently sought condition un- 
der certain circumstances — historical proofs, 54 to 57. 

Lesson XT. — Dr. Paley on slavery and the laws of nature, 57 to 61. 

Lesson XII. — Paley on cruelty as an argument against slavery, 62 ; Lander's testimony 
respecting native cruelty in Africa, 63 ; Paley's slander on Jesus Christ and Paul and 
Peter repelled, 65 to 67. 

Lesson XIII. — Slavery in ancient Britain, 67 ; Dr. Samuel Johnson's argument against 
negro slavery analyzed, and overthrown by arguments drawn from the laws of nations 
and the laws of God, 68 to 82. 



Lesson I. — Relation of guardian and ward a Divine institution, 83 to 85. 

Lesson IL — Slavery a Divine institution, and the reason why, 85 to 88. 

Lesson IIL — Slavery the school of adversity to reclaim wicked nations and individuals — 
Scripture proofs, 89 to 91. 

Lesson TV. — Albert Barnes on the slavery of the Lsraelites in Egypt refuted, 92 to 96 ; 
his attempt by human reason to determine the will of God, 97 to 99. 

Lesson V. — Barnes's examination of the Scripture argument on slavery, and the scriptural 
account of slavery in the days of Abraham, contrasted, 99 to 109. 

Lesson VI. — The smiles of God on the institution of slavery proved from the argument 
of Barnes against it, 110 ; ratio of slaves to whites, and the relative increase in the 
United States, 111, 112. 

Lesson VII. — The interest of the master and the direct laws of God against the abuses 
of slavery coincident, 113, 114; Barnes's cure for slavery, 115. 

Lesson VIII. — Barnes's denial that Christ ever came in contact with slavery compared 
with scriptural assertions, 116 to 119. 

Lesson IX. — The admission of Barnes in regard to slaves escaping to the Hebrew coun- 
try, 119 ; his assertion, that the Hebrews were not a nation of slaveholders, overthrown 
by Scripture testimony, 120, 121. 

Lesson X. — Distribution by the Hebrews of captives taken in battle, 122, 123 ; Greek cus- 
tom in regard to captives made in war, 124 ; proof-texts from the Bible, 125. 

Lesson XI. — The claim of Barnes to identity with the African race, 126 ; his views on 
Paul's injunction to sympathize with those in bonds controverted, 127, 128. 

Lesson XII. — Legend of Antioch, Margarita, and the Roman Praefeet Olybius, 128 to 133 ; 
song of the slaves, 131, 132 ; letter of Olybius to the Emperor Probus, manufactured 
from the language of Mr. Barnes, 133 to 135. 

Lesson XIII. — Barnes's admissions of the existence of Hebrew and Roman slavery, 136, 

Lesson XIV. — The denial of Barnes that slavery cannot be defended by Bible arguments, 
/ 138 ; its influence on agriculture, commerce, arts, and the African slave himself con- 
sidered, idem ; Sedgjo, the African slave in Louisiana, 139, 140 ; the Periplus of 
Hanno, 140, 141 ; the testimony of the Landers on the depravity of native Africans, 
142 to 144; the Landers made slaves, 145; various historical authorities on African 
and Moorish slavery, 145 to 155. 

Lesson XV. — Authorities to prove African degradation continued, 155 to 158 ; slavery 
subservient to the religious conversion of African slaves, 159, 160. 

Lesson XVI.— Paul's exhortations to slaves considered, 161, 162 ; God's sentence of four 
hundred years of slavery upon the Hebrews, 163. 

Lesson XVIL— The assertion of Barnes, that a slave bought with money had compensa- 
tion commanded to be paid him by Scripture, controverted, 163, 164; Barnes's declara- 
tion of the cunning of the Apostles in not condemning slavery, 165, 106. 

Lesson- XVIIL— Argument that the iujucetions of the Bible upon God's ancient people 
are in force and equaUy binding upon Ciiristians now, (Christians are the heirs of 
Abraham,) 106 to 169. 


Lesson XIX. — Authorities quoted by Barnes, 169 ; numerous quotations from Barnes on 
slaver}-, 170 to 174. 

Lesson XX. — Wayland's assertion, that, if the New Testament authorized slavery, it would 
be the greatest of curses, adopted by Barnes, 174 to 176. 


Lesson I. — Works of Kev. Dr. Channing — his opinion that the worst errors may arise from 
religious tendencies, 177, 178. 

Lesson II. — Channing's seven arguments, that a man cannot be held as property, exa- 
mined, 178, 179; his doctrine of conscience and indestructible rights, 180 to 182. 

Lesson III. — Examination of Channing's seven arguments continued, 183 to 188. 

Lesson IV. — That slavery, disease, and death are necessary effects of sin proved by the 
chapter of curses, (Deut. xxviii.,) 188 to 193 ; Channing's standard of feeling or sense 
of duty controverted, 194, 195. 

Lesson V. — Channing's theory of man's rights and his consciousness examined, 195, 196 ; 
argument that slavery is the best condition for the African race, 197 to 200 ,• criticism 
on Channing's use of the words nature, conscience, law of nature, &c., 200 to 204. 

Lesson VI. — Channing's position, that the debasement of African slavery arises from tho 
enslavement of the race in America, controverted, 204 to 206; its influence on the 
master race, 206, 207. 

Lesson VII. — Channing's views of slavery, as conducive to licentiousness and unrestrained 
cohabitation between masters and female slaves, examined, 207 to 211; his views of 
the quality and brotherhood of the races, 212 to 214. 

Lesson VIII. — Channing on the relative productiveness of free and slave labour, 215 ; 
his opinion that the admission of slave territory was just cause for the dissolution of 
the Union, 217, 218; his deference to the opinion of Europe, 218; labour and capital, 
the political influence of slavery, 219 to 221. 

Lesson IX. — Channing's views of the scriptural argument in favour of slavery over- 
thrown, by a parallel between slavery and polygamy, 222 to 230. 

Lesson X. — Channing adopting and endorsing Paley's slander on the integi-ity of Paul, 
230 to 232. 

Lesson XI. — Channing's plan of emancipation and inflammatory counsels to the free 
States, 232 to 235. 

Lesson XII. — The zeal of abolitionism not according to knowledge, 235, 236 ; Channing's 
opinion that the negro is one of the best races of the human famUy, 237; Channing 
on West India emancipation and Southern character, 237 to 239. 

Lesson XIII. — Sympathy for those suffering punishment from God, for sin, considered, 
239 to 241 ; the deterioration of sin the inevitable cause of slavery, 241 to 243. / 

Lesson XIV. — God's government of the universe, and his declaration of the right ol 
man's property in man, 243 to 246 ; God's blessing on the slave-owners, 247, 248. / 

Lesson XV. — Ham's intermarriage with the race of Cain the cause of his doom and that 
of his seed to perpetual servitude, 248 to 250 ; God never entails a curse without suf- 
ficient cause, 250, 251; the mark on Cain, 252 to 255. 

1 J/ 



Lesson I. — Extracts from Bower, 256; the Treuga Dei, 257, 258; Bishop England quoted 
on the action and records of the Church, 259, 260. 

Lesson II. — Establishment of Christianity by law, by Constantine, and the rise of Moham- 
medanism, 201, 262; the schism of the Greek Church, 263, 264. 

Lesson III. — Nature swarming with life, and life merging in distress and death, 264, 265 ; 
sin the cause of slavery, and the latter as a protection, 266, 267 ; slavery in China, 269. 

Lesson IV. — Liberty of less value than life, 270 ; the Divine grant to hold slaves, 27L 

Lesson V. — Early church acts and documents approving and providing for slavery, 272 ; 
the canons and the constitutions of the apostles, 272 to 274 ; constitution of Antoninus 
Pius respecting cruelty to slaves, 275 ; canons of the Council of Nice and the first 
appearance of abolitionism in the world, 276, 277; St. Basil's canonical writings, 278. 

Lesson VI. — The invasion of Attila and the Pontiff Leo's successful intercession, 279, 
280; Nero's African slaves, and the white slaves of the Roman Empire, 281. 

Lesson VII. — Church rescripts for the freedom of slaves, and St. Augustin's mode of 
manumission in Africa, 282, 283 ; Pope Leo's letters, forbidding slaves to enter the 
priesthood, and protecting the rights of masters, 284, 285 ; barbarian cruelty to slaves 
ameliorated by Christianity, 286, 287 ; canons of the Council of Agdle on slavery, 288 ; 
modes of becoming slaves, 289, 290. 

Lesson VIII. — Muratori on the manumission of slaves in Rome, 291 ; colonial and con- 
ditional slaves, 292 ; arming of slaves in defence of Rome and the glutting of the 
slave-markets of the world, 293 ; canons of the Fourth Council of Orleans, 294, 295 ; 
ditto Fifth Council of Orleans, 296 to 299. 

Lesson IX. — Bishop England's account of slavery in England and Ireland in remote 
ages, 299, 300 ; Pope Pelagius and the canons of the Third Councils of Paris and 
Braga, 301, 302; articles of the Third Council of Toledo, 302, 303. 

Lesson X. — The venerable Bede's account of the slave-trade of England, A. d. 577, 304 
to 306 ; Pope Gregory's purchase of British youth, 306, 307 ; Gregory's pastoral ad- 
monitions and epistles, 308 to 311. 

Lesson XL— Constantine's edict that none but Christians could hold slaves, 212, 213 ; 
Gregory's letter to the Prefect of Sicily, 313 to 315; canons of the Fourth Councils 
of Orleans and Macon, 315, 316; Gregory to the Bishop of Luna, and the laws of the 
empire on slavery, 317, 318. 

Lesson XII.— Gregory to the Bishop of Naples, 319, 320; the same to the Bishop of Ca- 
tania, 321. 

Lesson XIII.— Justinian's law to protect debtors against slavery, 323 ; Gregory's letters 
about a Syrian deeply in debt, 322; his letter of emancipation to Montana and 
Thomas, 324, 325; Justinian's law of marriage between slaves and persons on differ- 
ent estates, 327, 328; Gregory's letter on the same subject, 329: his letter to the 
Bishop of Syracuse on the same, 330, 331. 

Lesson XR''.— Gregory's deed of gift conveying the slave boy Acorimus to Theodore the 
counsellor, 331, 332 ; his letter about a slave to the Proctor Bonitus, 333 : his docu- 
ment to reclaim runaway slaves, 333, 334 ; his various letters concerning slaves and 
the purchase of Barbary slaves, 334 to 336. 


Lesson XV. — Canons of the Councils of Toledo and Saragossa, 336 to 339; laws of Ina, 
king of the West Saxons, and the judgments of Withred, 340 to 343. 

Lesson XVL — The canons of Theodore, Archbishop of Canterbury, King Pepin, Council 
of Bavaria, Pope Adrian and Charlemagne, 343 to 349 ; canon of the Council of Frank- 
fort, 349, 350. 

Lesson XVIL — Laws of Charlemagne on slavery, 350 to 353 ; canons of the Council of 
Aix-la-Chapelle, 353; capitulary of the Emperor Lotharius, 353 to 355. 

Lesson XVIIL — Unconnected facts bearing on ancient slavery; prostitutes made slaves; 
Sclavonian bondage; persecution of the Knights Templars, 355 to 360. 

Lesson XIX. — Derivation of the word wary Divine authority for wars, 361 to 365; the 
church claiming the right to declare offensive war under two circumstances, 365 ; bull 
of Pope Gregory XL against the Florentines, 366, 367; Papal bulls against the Ve- 
nitians and Henry VIIL of England, 367 to 369 ; the American colonies at New 
Haven decreeing the Indian tribes to slavery, 369, 370. 

Lesson XX. — Ancient piracy and pirates, 370, 371 ; rise of the Vandals, Goths, Huns, 
and Tartars, 372; the Northmen, 373 to 379. 

Lesson XXL — Condition of slavery in Europe, 379 to 381. 

Lesson XXII. — Origin of the Sclavonians, 381 ; the descent of the Arabs and Moors, 
383, 384. 

Lesson XXIIL — Africans generally slaves in their native country, 384 ; African slavery 
to the Shemitic races foretold by prophecy, 385, 386 ; sketch of the life, doctrines, and 
conquests of Mohammed and his successors, 386 to 390. 

Lesson XXIV. — Slavery introduced into the world as a mercy in favour of life, 390 ; duty 
and interest combine to incite the master to promote religion and good morals in the 
slave, 391 ; slavery commanded by reason and the laws of nature, 392. 


Lesson I. — Faith and observance of facts in the moral world the true modes of learning 
God's will, 393. 

Lesson II. — The works of creation proofs of the Creator, 394 to 398. 

Lesson III. — The question of the admission of evil into the economy of God's govern- 
ment on earth, and a denial that all men are born equals, 398, 399 ; the five races of 
the human family, and the moral necessity of command in some and subordination 
in others, 399 to 402. 

Lesson IV. — Intellect correspondent to organization, 403 ; inquiry into the nature of in- 
stinct by various philosophers, 403 to 405 ; inexorable inequality of human condition 
in this world and the next, 406 to 408. 

Lesson V. — The moral duty of loving our species defined, 409. 

Lesson VI. — Men not equal physically, religiously, mentally, morally, or politically, 410. 

Lesson VII. — Justice and the rules of Christianity identical and inseparable, 411, 412. 

Lesson VIII. — The golden rule considered in relation to slavery, 413 to 416. 

Lesson IX. — The unchangcableness of God, and human misery caused by a general rebel- 
lion against his laws, 417 to 420. 

Lesson X. — Christianity incompatible with savage life, 420, 421. 


Lesson XL— Gradation in intellect and condition no impediment to Christianity, 42L 

Lesson XIL— Christianity and slavery not antagonistic, 422. 

Lesson XIIL — Christian humility inculcated, 423. 

Lesson XIV.— Jhe radiance of Christian hope equalizes all variety of condition, 423, 424 ; 
sketch of the slave's prospect of immortal happiness, 426 to 428. 

Lesson XV.— The feebleness of finite conceptions of infinity, 428, 429 ; hope for the sub- 
missive, 430, 431 ; the requirement of God that the strong should protect the weak, 432. 


Lesson L — Nature of sin; the primal transgression, 433, 434. 
Lesson IL — The occupation and doom of Cain, 435, 436. 

Lesson III. — The mark upon Cain, Mohammedan traditions, 437, 438 ; proof-tests from 
Scripture, 439, 440. 

Lesson IV. — The punishment of Cain did not lead him to reformation, 440 ; Asiatic hy- 
perbole in description, 441, 442. 

Lesson V. — The cause of Cain's degradation renewed upon Canaan, and his masters 
named, 442, 443. 

Lesson VI. — Proofs that the descendants of Ham inherited the curse of Cain, and were 
black, as also were the Canaanites whom God's chosen people either exterminated 
or enslaved, 443 to 447. 

Lesson VII. — The negro lineage of Ham established, 447 to 451. 

Lesson VIII. — Signification of the name " Naamah" in Hebrew and Arabic, 451 to 455. 
Lesson IX. — Variations in different languages of the names of Cain and Naamah, also 
of other remarkable words, 456 to 458. 

Lesson X. — The names and derivatives of the words Cain and Naamah found only among 
the descendants of Ham, 459 to 464. 

Lesson XI. — Proofs scrij)tural and historical that the descendants of Ham were black, 
464 to 470. 

Lesson XII. — Biblical proofs that the Canaanites were black, 471 to 473. 

Lesson XIIL — Scriptural testimony respecting the colour of the races of the human 
famUy, 473 to 477. 

Lesson XIV. — Jewish wars against the Ethiopian race ; the Philistines black, 478, 479 : 
the origin of these wars the animosity between the Shemitic and Hamitio races, 480 ; 
difference in the structure of the bones and the hair between the antagonist races, 
481; intermarriage with the Hamitic by the Shemitic race a cause of Gods anger, 
482 ; the dispersion of the Canaanites by the Jewish conquest of Palestine, 482. 

Lesson XV. — Derivation and train of thought connected with the word Ham in the 
Shemitic languages, 483 to 487 ; the Hebrew personal pronoun, 488 to 491 ; origin of 
the word Ethiopian, 493 to 495. 

Lesson XVI. — Hebrew, Syriac, Greek, and Coptic derivations of the word Ham, 495 to 502. 

Lesson XVII. — Exegesis of the thirty-third chapter of Ecelesiastieus, 502 to 503 ; the pro- 
vidence of God manifested in placing deteriorated races under the control of races 
less debased, 504, 505. 


STUDY vn. _ ^^ . 

Lesson L — Critical examination into the meaning of the Greek word 6ov\os, dotdos, slave, 
as used both by the sacred and classical writers, 506. 

Lesson IL — Abolition denunciation of the Bible, 507, 508 ; tendency to mystery in the 
human mind; the God of Abraham and Moses, who gave command how to treat 
slaves, to be trustingly worshipped, 508, 609. 

Lesson IIL — The meaning of SovXo; as used by the Greek poets, 510; Valckenaerus on 
the phonetic relation of Greek words to their derivative, 511 to 514; the argument 
that iovXo; could not have meant an unconditional slave, refuted, 515, 516. 

Lesson IV. — Extracts from Grecian historians, philosophers, and poets, showing the classi- 
cal sense in which they used the word &uAoj and its derivatives, 516 to 536. 

Lesson V. — The use of the word 6ov\os by Thucydides, Herodotus, and Xenophon, 536 to 

Lesson VL — Extracts from Xenophon continued, 546 to 549. 

Lesson VII. — Extracts from Xenophon's Cyropsedia, 549 to 554. 

Lesson VIII. — Extracts from Herodotus of Halicarnassus, 554 to 558. 

Lesson IX. — The Scriptural use of the word 66v\o;, 559 to 561. 

Lesson X. — Scriptural extracts continued, 562 to 564. 

Lesson XI. — The Greek word signifying slave-stealers in 1 Tim. i. 5 to 11, 564 to 566 ; 
quotation from Xenophon in proof, 566 ; the appeal of Mr. Barnes to the Dutch, 567 ; 
Greek words ixom. freeman and slave, 568. 

Lesson XII. — Paul on slave stealing, 569 to 572. 

Lesson XIII. — Reasons for Paul's instructions to Timothy and to Christian slaves re- 
specting slave-stealing and the duties of the servile condition, 672 to 575. 

Lesson XIV. — The use of the word.^ouXoj by Jesus Christ, 576, 577. 

Lesson XV. — Use of the word hvkoi by Paul, Peter, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, 578 
to 581. 

Lesson XVI. — Origin of the English word servant aniJi its derivatives, 581; its use by the 
sacred writers and Grecian scholars, 582 to 585. 


STUDY vni. 

Lesson I. — Hebrew orthography of the word by which we mean slave, 586 to 588 ; the 
corresponding word in the Arabic, Chaldaic, and Syriac languages, 588 to 590. 

Lesson II. — Tendency of the Shemitic languages to the rhetorical figure prosopopoeia, 
590 to 594. 

Lesson III. — Examples of the Hebrew word meaning slave, both as a noun and a verb, 
595 to 601. 


Lesson IV. — Refutation of the assertion that the root of the Hebrew word meaning slave 
is also used in a sense signifying worship, 602 to 607. 

Lesson V. — Further quotations from the sacred writers, showing the meaning attached to 
the Hebrew word signifying slave in the Old Testament, 607 to 609. 

Lesson VL — Quotations from the sacred authors of the use of the Hebrew verb signifying 
to slave, or to he slaves to, 610, 611,- identity of welfare and interest between the 
slave and his master, 612, 613. 

Lesson VIL — The two distinct eras in the Hebrew language ; its approximation to the 
Chaldaic and Persian in the second era, 613 to 615. 

Lesson VIIL — Meaning attached to the Hebrew word signifying slave by Ezra, Nehemiah, 
Jeremiah, and other prophets, 616 to 618. 

Lesson IX. — The use of the Hebrew word meaning slave in the book of Genesis, and ex- 
tract from the Rev. J. B. Stratton's letter to the author on the same, 618 to 620; the 
word Eden in the Arabic, 620, 621 ; the Hebrew word meaning tilletli, 622. 

Lesson X. — The laws of Moses in Deuteronomy respecting slavery, 623. 

Lesson XL — The Hebrew use of the word meaning slaves in Samuel, and many other 
books of the Bible, 624 to 627. 

Lesson XII. — Declension of the Hebrew noun meaning slave, and the conjugation and 
paradigms of the Hebrew verb signifying to slave, 628 to 637. 



" The Elements of Moral Science: By Francis Wayland, D.D., President of 
Brown University, and Professor of Moral Philosophy. Fortieth Tliousand. 
Boston, 1849." Pp. 396. 

This author informs us that he has been many years preparing 
the work, with a view to furnish his pupils with a text-book free 
from the errors of Paley. Like Paley, whom he evidently wishes 
to supersede, he has devoted a portion of his strength to the abo- 
lition of slavery. We propose to look into the book with an eye 
to that subject alone. President Wayland says: 

P. 24. " Moral Law is a form of expression denoting an order of 
sequence established between the moral quality of actions and 
their results." 

Pp. 25, 26. " An order of sequence established, supposes, of ne- 
cessity, an Establisher. Hence Moral Philosophy, as well as every 
other science, proceeds upon the supposition of the existence of a 
Universal Cause, the Creator of all things, who has made every 
thing as it is, and who has subjected all things to the relations 
Avhich they sustain. And hence, as all relations, whether moral 
or physical, are the result of his enactment, an order of sequence 
once discovered in morals, is just as inviolable as an order of se- 
quence in physics. 

" Such being the fact, it is evident that the moral laws of God 
can never be varied by the institutions of man, any more than the 
physical laws. The results which God has connected with actions 
will inevitably occur, all the created power in the universe to the 
contrary notwithstanding. 

" Yet men have always flattered themselves with the hope that 

thev could violate the moral law and escape the consequences which 



God has established. The reason is obvious. In physics, the con- 
sequent follows the antecedent, often immediately, and most com- 
monly after a stated and well-known interval. In morals, the 
result is frequently long delayed; the time of its occurrence is 
always uncertain : — Hence, ' because the sentence against an evil 
work is not speedily executed, therefore the hearts of the sons of 
men are fully set in them to do evil.' But time, whether long or 
short, has neither power nor tendency to change the order of an 
established sequence. The time required for vegetation, in different 
orders of plants, may vary ; but, yet, wheat will always produce 
wheat, and an acorn will always produce an oak. That such is the 
case in morals, a heathen poet has taught us. ' Raro, anteceden- 
tiim scelestum deseruit pede poena elaudo.' HoR. lib. iii. car. 2. 

"A higher authority has admonished us, 'Be not deceived; God 
is not mocked; whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he reap.' It 
is also to be remembered, that, in morals as well as in physics, the 
harvest is always more abundant than the seed from which it 

To this doctrine we yield the highest approval. 

The first obvious deduction from the lesson here advanced is, 
that the laws of God, as once revealed to man, never lose their 
high moral qualities nor their divine character, at any subsequent 
age of the world. The law, which God delivered to Moses from 
Mount Sinai, authorizing his chosen people to buy slaves, and hold 
them as an inheritance for their children after them, is, therefore, 
the law of God now. The action of the law may be suspended at 
a particular time or place, from a change of contingencies, — yet 
the law stands unaffected. 

We hope no one doubts the accuracy of the doctrine thus fairly 
stated in these "Elements." But we shall see how fatal it is to 
some portions of the author's positions concerning slavery. And 
we propose to show how this doctrine, as connected with slavery, 
has been, and is elucidated in scripture. The twenty-eighth chap- 
ter of Deuteronomy shows that the fruits of wickedness are all 
manner of curses, finally terminating in slavery or death. 

Here, slavery, as a threatened punishment, distinctly looks back 
to a course of wickedness for its antecedent. The same idea is 
spread through the whole Scriptures : " Whosoever committeth sin, 
is the servant of sin." John viii. 34. "I am carnal, sold under 
sin." Rom. vii. 14. "Behold, for your iniquities have ye sold 
yourselves." Isa. 1. 1. See, also, Jer. xiii. 22. 


The biblical scholar will recollect a multitude of instances Mhere 
this doctrine is clearly advanced, recognising sin as the antecedent 
of slavery. 

Abraham was obedient to the voice of God. His conduct Avas 
the antecedent ; and the consequent was, God heaped upon him 
many blessings ; and among them, riches in various things, — '■'"maU 
and female slaves," some of whom were '■'■horn in his house," and 
some "^bought uith his money ;" and God made a covenant with 
him, granting him, and his seed after him, the land of Canaan for 
an everlasting possession. 

But this gift, as is the continuance of all other blessings, was 
accompanied with a condition, which is well explained in Genesis, 
xviii. 19 : " For I know him, that he will command his children 
and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the 
Lord to do justice and judgment ; that the Lord may bring upon 
Abraham that which he hath spoken of him." 

Scholars will concede the fact that " his household" is a term by 
which his slaves are particularly included, over whom his govern- 
ment was extended ; and, without its proper maintenance, the cove- 
nant so far on his part would be broken. 

From the wording of the covenant it is evident that Abraham 
had slaves before the covenant was made, since it embraced regu- 
lations concerning slaves, but, in no instance, hints that the exist- 
ence of slavery was adverse to the law of God, or that the holding 
of slaves, as slaves, was contrary to his will. The deduction is, 
that slavery exists in the world by Divine appointment ; and that 
the act of owning slaves is in conformity with the moral law. 

The doctrine, that sin is the antecedent of slavery, is further 
elucidated and made still more manifest by the recognition of the 
institution by the biblical writers, where they place sin and slavery 
in opposition to holiness and freedom : — thus, figuratively, making 
righteousness the antecedent of freedom. " Stand fast, therefore, 
in the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free, and be not en- 
tangled again with the yoke of bondage." G-al. v. 1. "And ye 
shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." Johyi 
iii. 32. 

The abuse of slavery, like the abuse of any thing else, is doubt- 
less a great sin. Of the blessings God bestows on man, there is 
perhaps no one he does not abuse ; and while we examine the laws 
of God, as presenting to the mind the vast field of cause and effect, 
— of antecedent and consequent, — we may be led to a reflection 


on the necessity of a conformity thereto, lest a long continuance 
of such abuses shall become the antecedent to future calamities 
and woes, either to ourselves or posterity ; woes and calamities pre- 
figured by those nations and tribes already under the infliction of 
slavery, as a just punishment of sin. 

Thus far, we thank the Rev. Dr. Wayland for this fair exposS of 
his views of the moral law of God ; and if he will apply them now 
to the institution of slavery, — if he will unfetter his intellect from 
the manacles imposed on it by a defective education on that sub- 
ject, and cut himself loose from the prejudices that his associations 
have gathered around him, we may yet have occasion to rejoice 
over him as one once an estray from the fold of truth, but now re- 
turned, "sitting in his right mind and clothed." And will not 
Mr. Fuller and Professor Taylor rejoice with us ! 


In those "Elements of Moral Science," we find the follow- 
ing, p. 29 : 

" From what has been said, it may be seen that there exists, in 
the actions of men, an element which does not exist in the actions 
of brutes. ****** "We can operate upon brutes only 
by fear of punishment, and hope of reward. We can operate upon 
man, not only in this manner, but also by an appeal to his con- 
sciousness of right and wrong ; and by such means as may improve 
his moral nature. Hence, all modes of punishment, which treat 
men as we treat brutes, are as unphilosophical as they are thought- 
less, cruel, and vindictive. Such are those systems of criminal 
jurisprudence which have in view nothing more than the infliction 
of pain upon the oflender." 

It was unnecessary to inform us that man possesses higher 
mental endowments than the brute. But the main object of the 
author in the foregoing paragraph is his deduction ; that, because 
we can operate on man by an appeal to his consciousness of right 
and wrong, therefore any other mode of governing him is wrong. 
This consequent we fail to perceive. We also fail in the perception 
that his postulate is universally true : which we think should have 
been proved before he can claim assent to the deduction. If this 


our view be correct, we beg the reverend author to reflect how far 
he may have made himself obnoxious to the charge of sophistry ! 

If President Wayland intends, by the clause, — " and by such 
means as may improve his moral nature," — to include corporeal 
'punishment, then his mind was unprepared to grapple with the 
subject ; for, in that case, the whole paragraph is obscure, without 
object, and senseless. We most readily agree that to govern man 
by appeals to his consciousness of right and wrong is highly proper 
where the mind is so well cultivated that no other government is 

But, however unhappy may be the reflection, too large a pro- 
portion of the human family will not fall within that class. How 
often do we see among men, otherwise having some claim to be 
classed with the intelligent, those of acknowledged bad habits ; 
habits which directly force the sufferer downward to poverty, dis- 
grace, disease, imbecility, and death, — on whom argument addressed 
to their "consciousness of right and wrong," "is water spilled on 
the ground." 

Children, whose ancestors have, for ages, ranked among the 
highly cultivated of the earth, — each generation surpassing its 
predecessor in knowledge, in science, and religion, — have been 
found to degenerate, oftener than otherwise, when trained solely 
by arguments addressed to their reason, and unaccompanied by 
physical compulsion. 

What then are we to expect from man in a savage state, whose 
ancestors have been degenerating from generation to generation, 
through untold ages, — him, who has scarcely a feeling in com- 
mon with civilized man, except such as is common to the mere 
animal, — him, whom deteriorating causes have reduced to the 
lowest grade above the brute ? 

Domberger spent twelve years in passing through the central 
parts of Africa, from north to south. He found the negroes, in a 
large district of country, in a state of total brutality. Their habits 
were those only of the wild brutes. They had no fixed residences. 
They lay down wherever they might be when disposed to sleep. 
They were not more gregarious than the wild goats. So far as 
tie could discover, they had not a language even, by which to hold 
intercourse with each other. They possessed no power by which 
they were enabled to exhibit moral degradation, any more than 
the wild beasts. 

Hanno, the Carthaginir : navigator, in his Periplus, eight hundred 


years before the birth of Christ, gives a similar account of a race 
he calls Gretuli. 

It is possible that man, in these extreme cases, where there is 
very little to unlearn, might sooner be regenerated, elevated to 
civilization, physical and mental power, than in other cases where 
there may be far more proof of mental capacity, but where the 
worst of intellectual and physical habits have stained soul and 
body with, perhaps, a more indelible degradation. 

It would be a curious experiment, and add much to our know- 
ledge of the races of man, to ascertain how many generations, 
under the most favourable treatment, it would require to produce 
an equal to Moses, or a David, a Newton, or the learned Dr. 
Wayland himself, (if such be possible,) from these specimens of 
man presented before us ! And we now inquire, what course of 
treatment will you propose, as the most practical, to elevate such 
a race to civilization ? 

It appears to us God has decided that slavery is the most 

" Therefore my people are gone into captivity, because they have 
no knowledge." Isa. v. 13. "And they forsook the Lord, and 
served Baal and Ashteroth. And the anger of the Lord was 
hot against Israel, and he delivered them into the hands of the 
spoilers that spoiled them, and he sold them into the hands of their 
enemies round about." Judg. ii. 13, 14. See also, iii. 6-8. 
" If his children forsake my law and walk not in my judgments : 
if they break my statutes, and keep not my commandments :. 
then will I visit their transgressions with the rod and their iniquity 
with stripes." Ps. Ixxxviii. 30-32. " He that troubleth his 
own house shall inherit the wind : and the fool shall be the 
servant (13^ ^^'et?, slave) to the wise of heart." Prov. ii. 29. 
" And her daughters shall go into captivity. Thus will I execute 
judgments in Egypt: and they shall know that I am the Lord." 
Ezelc. XXX. 18. See also the preceding part of tlie chapter. 

It is highly probable that among savage tribes, punishment and 
the infliction of pain are often applied with no higher view than 
to torture the object of displeasure. But to us it seems remark- 
ably unfortunate, in a student of moral and civil jurisprudence, to 
suggest that legal punishment, among civilized men, is ever awarded 
or ordered with any such feeling. If our education has given us 
a correct view of the subject, the man who inflicts pain even on 
the brute, solely on the account of such a feeling, instantly, so far 


as it is known, sinks to the grade of a savage ; and much more 
explicitly when the object of revenge is his fellow man. On the 
contrary, when "the offender" has given unquestionable evidence 
of a depravity too deeply seated for any hope of regeneration, 
and the law orders his death, it selects that mode of execution 
which inflicts the least suffering, and which shall have also the 
greatest probable influence to deter others who may be downward 
bound in the road of moral deterioration. There never has been 
a code of laws among civilized nations, where the object of pu- 
nishment was to inflict pain on the implicated ; only so far as was 
thought necessary to influence a change of action for the better. 
The object of punishment invariably has been the improvement of 

If the Rev. Dr. Wayland had been teaching legislation to 
savages, or, perhaps, their immediate descendants, his remarks, 
to which we allude, might have been in place. But may we in- 
quire to what cause are ive indebted for them ? 

Permit us to inquire of the Doctor, where now are to be found 
the "systems of criminal jurisprudence" to which he alludes? 
Does he imagine that such system has some likeness to the govern- 
ment of the civilized man over his slave ? Or, in their govern- 
ment, does he propose to abolish corporeal punishment, because he 
may think that will destroy the institution itself? For " a ser- 
vant (ID]/ abed, a slave) will not be corrected by words ; for, 
though he understand, he will not answer." Prov. xxix. 19. 

We cannot pass over the paragraph we have quoted, without 
expressing the most bitter regret to learn from Dr. Wayland's 
own words, that he recognises the fact, without giving it reproval, 
that "we" punish "brutes" with no other view than to inflict pain. 
To MS, such an idea is most repugnant and awful ! And we hope — 
we pray Him who alone hath power to drag up from the deep 
darkness of degradation, that the minds of such men may be placed 
under the controlling influence of a rule that will compel to a higher 
sense of what is proper, and to a more clear perception of what is 
truth ! 



The learned Doctor says : 

P. 49. "By conscience, or moral sense, is meant that faculty by 
which we discern the moral quality of actions, and by which we 
are capable of certain affections in respect to this quality. 

"By faculty is meant any particular part of our constitution, by 
which we become affected by the various qualities and relations of 
beings around us ?" * * * " Now, that we do actually observe 
a moral quality in the actions of men, must, I think, be admitted. 
Every human being is conscious, that, from childhood, he has 
observed it." * * * * * 

P. 50. " The question would then seem reduced to this : Do we 
perceive this quality of actions by a single faculty, or by a combi- 
nation of faculties ? I think it must be evident from what has 
been already stated, that this is, in its nature, simple and ultimate, 
and distinct frotn eve^'y other notion. 

"Now, if this be the case, it seems self-evident that we must 
have a distinct and separate faculty^ to make us acquainted with 
the existence of this distinct and separate quality.'^ 

And for proof, he adds : " This is the case in respect to all 
other distinct qualities : it is, surely, reasonable to suppose, that 
it would be the case in this." 

"What ! have we a distinct faculty by which we determine one 
thing to be red, and another distinct faculty by which we discover 
a thing to be black ; another distinct faculty by which we judge a 
thing to be a cube, and another distinct faculty by which we 
determine it to be a triangle ? Have we one distinct faculty by 
which we find a melon, and another by which we find a gourd ? 
What ! one distinct faculty by which we determine a professor of 
moral philosophy to be a correct teacher, and another by which 
we discover him to be a visionary ? 

This faculty of moral sense puts us in mind of Dr. Testy's 
description of the peculiar and distinct particles upon the tongue, 
which render a man a liar, a lunatic, or a linguist ; a treacher, a 
tattler, or a teacher, and so on. His theory is that every mental 
and moral quality of a man has its distinct particle, or little pimple, 
upon the tongue, whereby the quality is developed ; or, by the aid 


of which the man is enabled to make the quality manifest. Long 
practice in examining the tongues of sick people enabled him, he 
says, to make the discovery. We should like to know what acumi- 
nated elevation of the cuticle of the tongue represented " conscience 
or moral sense," as a separate and distinct faculty ! 

Why does he not at once borrow support from the extravagancies 
of phrenology, and assert, according to the notions of its teachers, 
that, since the brain is divided into distinct organs for the exercise 
of each distinct faculty, therefore there must be a distinct faculty 
for the conception of each idea ? There is surely an evident rela- 
tion between this theory of the author and the doctrines of Gall ; 
nor will the world fail to associate it with the phantasies of Mesmer. 

But we ask the author and his pupils to apply to this theory the 
truism of Professor Dodd : "It is, at all times, a sufficient refuta- 
tion of what purports to be a statement of facts, to show that the 
only kind of evidence by which the facts could possibly be sustained, 
does not exist." 

The theory by which the Doctor arrives at the conclusion that 
we possess a separate and distinct faculty for the perception of 
each separate and distinct quality, assimilates to that of a certain 
quack, who asserted that the human stomach was inapped off, like 
Gall's cranium, into distinct organs of digestion ; one solely for 
beef-steak, one for mutton-chops, and another for plum-pudding ! 

It is a great point with certain of the higher class of abolition 
writers to establish the doctrine that man possesses a distinct 
mental power, which they call conscience, or moral sense, by which 
he is enabled to discover, of himself, and without the aid of study, 
teaching, or even inspiration, what is right and what is wrong. 

The practice is, the child is taught by them that slavery is very 
wicked ; that no slaveholder can be a good man ; and much of 
such matter. Books are put into the hands of the schoolboy and 
the youth, inculcating similar lessons, fraught with lamentation 
and sympathy for the imaginary woes of the slave, and hatred and 
disgust towards the master ; and when maturer years are his, he 
is asked if he does not feel that slavery is very wicked ; and the 
professors of moral philosophy then inform him that he feels so 
because he possesses "a distinct mental faculty" — distinct from 
the judgment — which teaches those who cultivate it, infallibly, all 
that is right and wrong ; that this conscience, or moral sense, is 
more to be relied on than the Bible — than the ancient inspirations 
of God ! 


Hence, Channing says : 

" That same inward principle, which teaches a man what he is 
bound to do to others, teaches equally, and at the same instant, 
what others are bound to do to him." * * * " jjjg conscience, 
in revealing the moral law, does not reveal a law for himself only, 
but speaks as a universal legisator." * * * "There is no 
deeper principle in human nature than the consciousness of right." 
Vol. ii. p. 33. 
. And Barnes, on Slavery, says : 

P. 381. " If the Bible could be shown to defend and counte- 
nance slavery as a good institution, it would make thousands of 
infidels ; for there are multitudes of minds that will see more 
clearly that slavery is against all the laws which God has written 
on the human soul, than they would see, that a book, sanction- 
ing such a system, had evidence of Divine origin." 

And this same author makes Dr. Wayland say : 

P. 310. " Well may we ask, in the words of Dr. Wayland, 
(pp. 83, 84,) whether there was ever such a moral superstructure 
raised on such a foundation ? The doctrine of purgatory from a 
verse of Maccabees ; the doctrine of papacy from the saying of 
Christ to Peter ; the establishment of the Inquisition from the 
obligation to extend the knowledge of religious truth, all seem 
nothing to it. If the religion of Christ allows such a license from 
such precepts as these, the New Testament would be the greatest 
curse that ever was inflicted on our race." 

This book, as quoted by Barnes, we have not seen. 

Such is the doctrine of these theologians, growing out of the 
possession, as they imagine, of this distinct moral faculty, infal- 
libly teaching them the truth touching the moral quality of the 
actions of men. And what is its effect upon their scarcely more 
wicked pupils ? One of them, in a late speech in Congress, says : 

" Sir, I must express the most energetic dissent from those who 
would justify modern slavery from the Levitical law. My reason 
and conscience revolt from those interpretations which 

Torture the hallowed pages of the Bible, 
To sanction crime, and robbery, and blood, 
And, in oppression's hateful service, libel 
' Both man and God !' " 

The ignorant fanaticism, so proudly buoyant even in repose 
upon its ill-digested reason, — here so flippantly uttered, — to us be- 
speaks a dangerous man, (as far as he may have capacity,) in what- 


ever station he may be found. The most hateful idolatry has 
nevei' presented to the "world a stronger proof of a distorted 
imagination giving vent to the rankest falsehood. It is to be 
deeply regretted that such intellects are ever permitted to have 
any influence upon the minds of the young. We deem it would 
be a fearful inquiry, to examine how far the strange assassinations, 
lately so common at the North, have been the direct result of that 
mental training of which we here see an example. We fear too 
little is thought of the quick transition from this erroneous theo- 
logy to the dai'kened paths of man when enlightened aloue by his 
own depraved heart. 

The saying is true, however awful : He who rejects or dispels 
the plain meaning of the Bible, rejects our God, and is an idola- 
ter ; and God alone can give bound to his wicked conceptions. 

The foregoing extracts show us a specimen of the arguments 
and conclusions emanating from the doctrine that the conscience 
is a distinct mental power, and that it infallibly teaches v/hat is 
right before God. We deem it quite objectionable — quite er- 
roneous ! 

We present the proposition : The judgment is as singly em- 
ployed in the decision of what is right and wrong, as it is in the 
conclusion that all the parts of a thing constitute the whole of it. 
True, the judgment, when in the exercise of determining what is 
right and wrong in regard to our own acts, has been named con- 
science. But it remains for that class of philosophers, who argue 
that man possesses a faculty of clairvoyance, to establish that man 
has also a sister faculty, which they call conscience, ox moral sense ; 
and that it exists as an independent mental power, distinct from 

Most men live without reflection. They think of nothing but 
the objects of sense, of pressing want, and the means of relief. 
The wonderful works of nature create no wonder. A mine of 
sea-shells on the Andes excites no surprise. Of the analogies or 
dissimilarities between things, or their essential relations, the 
mind takes no notice. Even their intellectual powers exist almost 
without their cognisance. Their mental faculties are little im- 
proved or cultivated ; and, as they are forced to the Gazetteer for 
the description of some distant locality, so they would be to their 
logic, before they could speak of their own mental functions. 

The teaching of this doctrine, untrue as it is, may, therefore, 


be very harmful ; as ill-informed individuala often form a very 
erroneous judgment about right and wrong, and, under the influ- 
ence of its teachings, may come to think and believe that their 
conclusion concerning right and wrong is the product of their 
infallible guide, the conscience, or mo7'al sense, and therefore past 
all doubt and beyond question ; that their minds are under the 
influence and control of a nezv and spiritually higher law than the 
law of the land, or even the moral law as laid down in the Bible, 
when not in unison with their feelings. And we venture to 
prophesy, in case this doctrine shall gain general credence, that 
such will be the rocks on which multitudes will founder ; for simple 
and ill-informed people may thus be led, and doubtless are, to do 
very wicked and mischievous acts, under the influence of this 
belief — a belief of their possessing this power, which no one ever 
did possess, unless inspired. 

" There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end 
thereof are the ways of death." Prov. xvi. 25. 

Thus we see there is a class of theologians, who, in hot pursuit 
of abolitionism, seem ready to sacrifice their Bible and its re- 
ligion to the establishment of such principles as they deem wholly 
contradictory to, and incompatible with, the existence of slavery ; 
and it is hence that they attempt to teach that man possesses an 
intuitive sense of its wrong. But shall we not be forced, with 
regret, to acknowledge, that there are quacks in divinity as well 
as in physic ? 


We do not charge Dr. Wayland with being the author of this 
new doctrine that man possesses an independent and distinct 
power, faculty, or sense, by the exercise of which he perceives 
right and wrong, or, in other words, the moral quality of the ac 
tions of men, and upon which perception he may rest with safety, 
as to its accuracy and truthfulness ; for the same doctrine has been 
suggested by greater men than Dr. Wayland, long ago. Lord 
Shaftesbury, Dr. Hutchinson, and Dr. Reid have laid the founda- 
tion ; the latter of whom says, (p. 242,) " The testimony of our 


moral faculty, like that of the external senses, is the testimony 
of nature, and we have the same reason to rely upon it." Again: 
" As we rely upon the clear and distinct testimony of our eyes, con- 
cerning the figures and colours of bodies about us, we have the same 
reason, with security, to rely upon the clear and unbiassed testi- 
mony of our conscience with regard to what we ought or ought 
not to do." 

Such sentiments may seem to some to be deducible from an in- 
distinct and indefinite reference to our judgment after the under- 
standing has been improved by moral culture, when such judgment, 
by a mere looseness of language, is sometimes described as if the 
writers confounded it with the state of mind and moral perfecti- 
bility produced by the reception of the Holy Ghost. Thus, Arch- 
bishop Seeker, in his Fourth Lecture on the Catechism, says : 

" How shall all persons know what they are taught to believe is 
really true ? 

^'■Anstver. The greater part of it, when it is once duly pro- 
posed to them, they may perceive to be so by the light of their 
own reason and conscience." 

Now it is evident that the bishop's answer is predicated upon 
the supposition that the understanding has been cultivated in con- 
formity to the principles of moral truth. 

But, from such hasty, perhaps thoughtless, snatches of specula- 
tion, occasionally found in some few of the older metaphysical 
writers, our author and his co-associates in this belief have drawn 
their materials, remodelled the parts, and reared, even as to heaven, 
a lofty structure upon a doubtful, tottering base, bringing untold 
social and political evils upon society, and spiritual death, in its 
fall, to all who shelter under it. But for the good of the world, in 
opposition to such a doctrine, truth has erected her column of solid 
masonry, against which the fanaticism and sophistry of these 
builders can only, like successive drops of water, carry down the 
walls some useless portions of the cement. 

We repeat, how tottering must be the argument founded upon 
analogy where there is no relation ! We all agree that the senses 
make truthful representations : all see, smell, and taste alike ; 
vinegar will be sour to the savage, as well as the savant. But is 
their judgment the same about the moral qualities of actions ? 
What says this moral sense, this conscience, in the savage, who is 
taught to steal from his friend and torture his enemy ? Does the 


reverend doctor think his moral sense will dictate the same conclu- 
sion ? What right has he, then, to say, it is the voice of nature — 
of God ? Does he fail to perceive that the moral quality of actions 
is distinguished by man in conformity to his experience, his train- 
ing, his education ? 

We see that men often differ about the moral quality of an action. 
It might be that no two men would have the same idea about the 
moral quality of a particular action. Would the conscience, this 
moral sense, or faculty, in such case, be right in each one ? If 
not, who is to determine which is right and which is wrong ? And 
further, of what use to man can be this distinct, independent, and 
unchangeably truthful power, which, nevertheless, brings him no 
certainty ? But has the mind of man over found out that God has 
overdone, or unnecessarily done, any thing ? Will these theorists 
reflect, that, in case God had seen fit to bestow such a sense on 
man, inspiration would have been useless, and the Bible not wanted ? 
And the condition of man upon the earth would be wholly station- 
ary instead of progressive. And permit us to inquire, whether 
this notion of theirs is the reason why some of these theorists 
speak so rashly, Ave might say blasphemously, of that sacred volume, 
upon the condition which^they dictate ? 

The truth is, we have no such infallible guide. The idea of 
right and wrong, either theologically or physically considered, is 
always fixed through an exertion of the powers of the understand- 
ing. We have no instinctive power reaching the case. Our judg- 
ment, our feelings are often unstable, irregular, and sometimes 
antagonistic. In abstruse cases, very often we cannot even satisfy 
ourselves what is right ; and will it be said that we do not often 
fail to see the object, design, and law of God touching a case ? 

On every decision on a question of right or wrong, a train of 
mental action is called into operation, comparing the ideas already 
in the mind with the facts of the case under review, and noting the 
similarity of these facts to our idea of right, or whether the facts 
conform to our idea of wrong. This decision we call judgment : 
but when the decision reaches to the question of right or wrong, 
touching our own conduct only, logicians have agreed to call it 
conscience ; not a distinct action from judgment — much less a dis- 
tinct faculty ; and by no means carrying vvith it more proof of 
accuracy and correctness than is our judgment about any other 
matter, where the ideas and facts are equally manifest and accu- 
rately presented. 


There is another consideration which to us gives proof that the 
conscience or moral sense is not an independent faculty of the 
mind, nor to be relied on at all as infallible. Many of us have 
noticed the changes that imperceptibly come over our moral feel- 
ings, and judgment of right and wrong, conscience or moral sense, 
through the influences of association and habit. Our affluent 
fteighbour, who manifests to others many virtues and some follies, 
our mind, by association and habit, regards as a perfect model of 
human greatness and perfection. Thus a corrupt government soon 
surveys a corrupt people ; and a somewhat licentious, but talented 
and accomplished clergyman, soon finds his hearers in fashion. 
Nor is it unfrequent, that which should stigmatize a father is beheld 
with admiration by the son. Thus Avealth, to most, is desirable, 
but its desirability has been created by association ; we recollect 
the objects it enables us to command, often the objects of our prin- 
cipal pursuit. The quality the mind associates with these gratifi- 
cations, it eventually associates with that which procures them. 
Thus, we perceive, the mind is able to form a moral estimate upon 
considerations wholly artificial, which could never happen in case 
the moral sense was independent, and a distinct faculty teaching 
us infallible truth. 

But how are we to account for the fact that some of the finest 
intellects, as well as the most learned men, have fallen into this 
most dangerous error ? It should be a subject of deep thought ! 

We discover, in some men of the highest order of intellects, the 
power of arriving, as it were instantaneously^, at a conclusion, 
giving it the appearance of being intuitive, rather than the result 
of what would be, when analyzed, a long chain of reasoning. Thus, 
the instant and happy thought often springing to the mind when 
in some sudden or unforeseen difficulty. The nice and instant per- 
ception, often displayed by medical men, of the condition of the 
patient, is an example ; and hence the astonishing accuracy of 
judgment, sometimes noticed in the military commander, from a 
mere glance of the eye. 

In such cases the mind is often not conscious of any mental 
action ; and others, who observe these facts, are led, sometimes, to 
confound what, in such cases, is a deductive judgment, with in- 
tuitiveness. The judgment, thus formed without any perceptible 
succession of thought, is merely the result of acquirement from 
long experience and habits of active ratiocination. Some few in- 
stances of this unconscious and rapid thought have' been exem- 


plified by mathematicians, when the calculator could give no account 
how he arrived at the conclusion. Will any one claim that they 
abstract their answers from the most abstruse propositions intui- 
tively, or by instinct, or by any new and distinct faculty of the 
mind ? This habit of mind is as applicable to morals as to any 
thing else. But in mathematics the data are everywhere the same ; 
whereas in morals the data are as different among men as are then- 
conditions of life ; because our ideas of right and wrong, existing 
in the mind before the judgment is formed on the case to be con- 
sidered, were introduced by the aid of the senses, through the 
medium of experience and education ; and it is, therefore, quite 
obvious that the idea of right in one man may be quite like the 
idea of wrong in another. 

But it remains to show the fallacy of the argument by which 
Dr. Wayland arrives at his conclusion. Let us examine the 
paragraph quoted, and sift from verbiage the naked points of the 
argument : 

"We do actually observe a moral quality in the actions of 

" Do we perceive this quality of actions by a single faculty, or a 
combination of faculties ? This notion" (the perception of the 
moral quality of an action) "is, in its nature, simple and ultimate, 
and distinct from every other notion." 

"We have a distinct faculty to make us acquainted with the 
existence of all other distinct qualities." " Therefore, it is self-evi- 
dent that this is a separate and distinct faculty." 

The syllogism is defective because the idea of right or wrong is 
not simple nor ultimate, but complex, and ever subject to change 
from the influence of any new light presented to the mind. Nor 
is it true that we possess a distinct faculty to make us acquainted 
with each distinct quality ; for, if so, the mind would be merely a 
very large bundle of faculties ; and we should neither possess nor 
stand in need of any reasoning powers whatever, because the naked 
truth about every thing would always stand revealed before us by 
these faculties ; which, we think, is not the fact. 

In syllogistic argument, the first principles must be something 
that cannot be otherwise — unalterable — an eternal truth ; " because 
these qualities cannot belong to the conclusion unless they belong 
to the premises, which are its causes." 

The syllogism will then stand thus : 

It is not true our notion, or idea, of the moral quality of an 


action "is simple and ultimate, and distinct from any other idea 
or notion :" 

It is not true that we have a distinct faculty to make us 
acquainted with the existence of all other distinct qualities : 

Therefore, it is not true, nor self-evident, that we perceive the 
moral qualities of an action, or that we have the idea or notion of 
it, by the aid of a single distinct and separate faculty. 

The "notion" advanced by Dr. Wayland, on this subject, 
appears to us so strange, that it would be difficult to conceive it to 
have been issued or promulgated by a schoolman, did we not 
know how often men, led by passion, some by prejudice, argue 
from false premises to which they take no heed, or, from a want 
of information, honestly mistake for truths. 


P. 206. "It" (slavery) "supposes that the Creator intended 
one human being to govern the physical, intellectual, and moral 
actions of as many other human beings as, by purchase, he can 
bring within his physical power, and that one human being may 
thus acquire a right to sacrifice the happiness of any number of 
other human beings, for the purpose of promoting his own." 

This proposition is almost a total error. Slavery supposes the 
Creator intended that the interest of the master in the slave who, 
by becoming his slave, becomes his property, should secure to the 
slave that protection and government which the slave is too 
degenerate to supply to himself; and that such protection and 
government are necessary to the happiness and well-being of the 
slave, without which he either remains stationary or degenerates in 
his moral, mental, and physical condition. 

P. 207. "It" (slavery) "renders the eternal happiness of the 
one party subservient to the temporal happiness of the other." 

This is equally untrue. Slavery subjects one party to the com- 
mand of another who is expected to feel it a duty to so " command 
his household" that "they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do 
justice and judgment." 

This is the voice of God on the subject, as heretofore quoted. 
The learned Dr. Wayland is evidently wholly unacquainted with 


the spirit and intention, and, "we may add, origin of the institution 
of slavery ; yet he has, doubtless, been studying some of its abuses. 

But suppose a man to study nothing of Christianity but its abuses, 
and from these alone undertake to describe what he conceives to 
be its results, its character, and suppositions ; he doubtless would 
make what Dr. Wayland would very justly call a distorted repre- 
sentation ; and perhaps, he might safely use a harsher phrase. 
But would such a representation be productive of any good in the 
world ? It might do much mischief by spreading, broadcast, its 
errors and misrepresentations ; a most delicious food for the 
morbid appetite of the ignorant and fanatic infidel ! Yes, infi- 
delity has its fanatics as well as abolitionism ! 

" Obey them that have rule over you, and submit yourselves : 
for they watch for your souls as they that must give account, that 
they may do it with joy and not with grief: for that is unpro- 
fitable for you." Heh. xiii. 17. 

P. 207. " If argument were necessary to show that such a sys- 
tem as this must be at variance with the ordinance of God, it 
might easily be drawn from the eifects which it produces, both 
upon morals and national Avealth." 

The author, in this instance, as he has in many others, designs 
to produce an efi'ect on the mind of his reader from Avhat he does 
not say, as well as from Avhat he does say. We acknowledge this 
mode to be quite noncommittal, while, on the minds of some, it 
may be very skilfully used to produce an impression. But we 
confess ourselves ignorant of any logical rule by which it is enti- 
tled to produce any on us. The mode of speech used is intended 
to produce the impression that the proposition is someway self- 
evident, and therefore stands in no need of proof or argument. But 
how the proposition, that slavery is "at variance with the ordi- 
nances of God" is self-evident, and needs no proof nor argument, 
we have not the "moral sense" or "faculty" to discover. But as 
Dr. Wayland proposes, nevertheless, to prove its truth by its effects 
on morals and wealth, let us listen to the evidence. 

Idem. " Its eifects must be disastrous upon the morals of both 
parties. By presenting objects on whom passion may be satiated 
without resistance and without redress, it tends to cultivate in the 
master, pride, anger, cruelty, selfishness, and licentiousness. By 
accustoming the slave to subject his moral principles to the will of 
another, it tends to abolish in him all moral distinctions ; and thus 


fosters in him lying, deceit, hypocrisy, dishonesty, and a willingness 
to yield himself up to the appetites of his master." 

This is his proof that slavery is " at variance with the ordinances 
of God," as he has drawn it from its eiiect on morals ; — in which 
we think him singularly unfortunate. He asks us to receive, as 
proof of the truth of the proposition, a combination of propositions 
all requiring proof of their truth, but of the truth of which he 
ofiers no proof. 

This view of the state of the argument, we imagine, would be 
sufficient to condemn it in all well-schooled minds ; but, neverthe- 
less, we propose to show that which he offers as proof is not true ; 
and even if true, is no proof of the truth of the proposition he 
endeavours to sustain. 

In regard to the master, the eiFect complained of may or may 
not exist, as may be the fact whether the master is or is not 
capable of administering the charge and governm«nt of slaves 
wisely for himself and them. But these abuses, when found to 
exist, are no proof of the moral impropriety of the institution ; 
for, if so, the abuses of a thing are proof that the thing itself is 
evil. There are many abuses of government : is government, 
therefore, at variance with the ordinances of God? The same of 
matrimony; and is it, therefore, to be set aside ? Some men make 
an abusive use of their education, and, in consequence, would have 
been more valuable members of society in a state of comparative 
ignorance : are our universities, therefore, to be abolished ? Money 
has been said to be "the root of all evil;" it, to some extent, is 
the representative of wealth and power ; the possession of either 
of which may, in some individuals, sometimes apparently enable 
the possessor "to cultivate pride, anger, cruelty, selfishness, and 
licentiousness." The same may be said of power of any kind. 
But has not Dr. Wayland learned that there are cases where the 
effect would be and is entirely the reverse? — where power, 
wealth, or even the possession of slaves, produces in the possessor 
a greater degree of humility, placidity or mildness, sympathy or 
charity for others, and orderly conduct in himself? Does the 
reverend moral philosopher make so low an estimate of the value 
of civilization — of the influence of Christianity — as not to admit the 
capability of enjoying a blessing without abusing it? 

If Dr. Wayland's argument be founded on truth, it will be easy 
to show that any system of things must be at variance with the 
ordinances of God which permit the possession of either power or 


wealth : consequently, in such case, we must and should all go back 
to the savage state. We ask this learned standard author to read 
the history of Abraham and Isaac, and inform us whether slavery 
produced the effect on them which he supposes to be an entailment 
of the institution; for the effect must be proved to be an un- 
changeable, a universal and unavoidable consequence, before it 
can receive the character of evidence in the case to which he ap- 
plies it. 

But Dr. Wayland thinks that slavery " tends to abolish all moral 
distinctions in the slave" — " fosters in him lying, deceit, hypocrisy, 
dishonesty, and a willingness to yield himself up to minister to the 
appetites of his master;" and, therefore, "is at variance with the 
ordinances of God." 

If the doctor had seen the native African and slave in the wild, 
frantic joy of his savage worship, tendered to his chief idol-god. 
the imbodiment of concupiscence ; if he had seen all the power of 
the Christian master centered to effect the eradication of this 
heathen belief, and the habits it engendered ; had he witnessed the 
anxiety of the master for the substitution of the precepts of 
Christianity ; if he had seen the untiring efforts of the masters, 
sometimes for several generations, before this great object could 
be accomplished, and the absolute necessity of its accomplishment 
before the labour of the slave could ordinarily become to him an 
article of full and desirable profit, — he would probably never have 
written the paragraph we have quoted ! 

But since, in the honest, we may perhaps say the amiable, sim- 
plicity of his mind, he has composed this lesson for his pupil, 
which, like the early dew in imperceptible showers on the tender 
blade, becomes the daily nutriment of his juvenile mind and the 
habitual aliment of its maturity, we deem it necessary to make one 
further brief remark in proof of its entire inadequacy to the task 
assigned it in his argument, as a particular and special, and of its 
total untruthfulness as a general and comprehensive, maxim in 

Our experience is, that the crimes here named, when detected in 
the slave, are punished, and, if necessary, with severity, if for no 
other reason, because they render the slave less valuable to his 
master. The master wishes to find in his slave one on whom he 
can rely with certainty ; in whom there is no dissonance of interest 
from his own, and whose honesty and obedience are past doubt. 
The qualities which are the exact opposite of the crimes imputed 


are, therefore, sedulously cultivated in the slave, — and truly, very 
often, with small success. But we are surprised at the doctrine 
which proclaims a system of government that ever punishes and 
looks with displeasure on " lying, deceit, hypocrisy, and dishonesty," 
to be the very thing to foster and nourish those vices ! When such 
is proved to be the fact, we shall regard it as a new discovery in 

As to the last clause of what he has adduced as proof of his 
proposition, we say that any one who is in the employ, or even the 
company, of another, either as a friend, wife, child, or hireling, as 
well as slave, may manifest a growing willingness to minister to the 
appetites of such person ; and such inclination, or willingness, will 
operate to the benefit or injury of those so influenced, in propor- 
tion as such appetite is good or bad, or tends to good or evil : but 
this influence, whether tending to benefit or injury, is not an ex- 
clusive incident of slavery, and, therefore, cannot with any pro- 
priety, be quoted either for or against it : for, everywhere, " evil 
communications corrupt good manners." 


Dr. AVayland informs us that slavery is at variance with the 
ordinances of God, because it diminishes the amount of national 
wealth. If the diminishing of national wealth be proof of the 
variance from the ordinances of God, then it will follow that what- 
ever will increase such wealth must be in conformity to such ordi- 
nances, — a position which we think no one will attempt to main- 
tain. But let us notice the evidence he adduces to prove that 
slavery diminishes national wealth. His first proof is, that slavery 
does not " impose on all the necessity of labour ;" but that it " re- 
stricts the number of labourers — that is, of producers — by render- 
ing labour disgraceful." 

Now this is surely a proposition which requires to be proved 
itself before it can be received as a proof of an antecedent propo- 
sition ; and President Wayland seems to have perceived that, under 
the general term, "labourers," it would be incapable of proof; and, 
therefore, he informs us that by labourers he means producers. 
The logicians will agree that there is a disjointedness in this pro- 
position (very common in this author) to which exception might be 


taken ; but we suppose Dr. Way land means that slavery decreases 
the number of those whose labour is employed in the production of 
the articles or products of agriculture ; for we do not presume he 
means that the labours of the law, physic, divinity, the mechanic 
arts, commerce, politics or war, are rendered disgraceful by slavery, 
but agriculture alone ; and that, therefore, it is at variance with 
the ordinances of God, because it thus diminishes the amount of 
national wealth. If this is not his meaning, we confess ourselves 
unable to find any meaning in it. 

We know of no surer method to test its truth or falsehood than 
for the Slave States to compare their number of agricultural pro- 
ducers with those of the Free States, having relation to the entire 
population. The result will be found wholly adverse to the reve- 
rend moralist's position. In fact, so great is the disproportion 
between the numbers of agricultural labourers in the Slave States, 
compared to those in the Free, that the articles of their produce 
often fall down to prices ruinous to the agriculturist, which very 
seldom, or never, happens in the Free States. Let Dr. Wayland 
study the statistics touching this point, and he will find himself in 

But the proposition of President Wayland includes this minor 
proposition : That the increase of agricultural products, to the 
greatest possible extent, increases national wealth. We are very 
far from discovering the truth of this ; because the increase of a 
production, beyond utility and demand, can add nothing to the 
value of the production, since value depends upon utility and de- 
mand. If this position be true, which we think very few at this 
day will dispute, it is quite obvious that President Wayland, and 
even Adam Smith, (from whom we suppose the former has re- 
ceived this notion,) are quite mistaken when they predicate the 
amount of labour to be the sole measure, or, in fact, the amount 
of Avealth ; since that position must render the amount of labour 
and the amount of wealth terms of convertible significance, which, 
in fact, is seldom the case. Such, then, being the state of the 
argument. Dr. Wayland's proposition is, in eifect : That the pro- 
duction of the articles of agriculture, to an extent beyond any 
demand or value, is in conformity to the ordinances of God ; and, 
+herefore, their production, to any less extent, is at variance with 
those ordinances, because the first increases and the latter decreases 
national wealth. We shall leave these contradictions for the 
consideration of the professor of moral philosophy and his pupils. 


Tlio second witness Dr. Wayland introduces to prove the 
truth of his proposition, that slavery lessens the amount of na- 
tional wealth, is that slavery takes from the labourer the natural 
stimulus to labour, — the desire of individual benefit, — and substi- 
tutes the fear of punishment : And for the third and last, that 
slavery removes from both parties the disposition and motive to 
frugality ; by which means national wealth is diminished. 

If national wealth be the desideratum, in order not to be at 
variance with the ordinances of God, it matters not whether the 
contributors to it did so contribute through the selfish view of 
personal aggrandizement and a desire of elevation above their 
fellows, or whether they did so to relieve themselves from some 
stigma or personal infliction that a refusal might be expected to 
fasten upon them. The motive in both cases is the same — a desire 
to benefit themselves. Thus Dr. Wayland, therefore, makes a 
distinction where, in reality, there is no difference. 

But again, if the amount of labour be the criterion of the 
amount of national wealth, as he seems to suppose, it can make 
no difference, in a national point of view, whether A and B 
squander the result of their labours into the possession of C and 
D, or retain it themselves ; because the change of possession in 
no way destroys the thing possessed. It might be gathered, from 
this part of Dr. Wayland's argument, that the greatest misers 
would be the most efficient builders of national wealth, and, there- 
fore, most in accordance with the ordinances of God. 

We are somewhat at loss to perceive the precise idea the author 
affixes to the term " national wealth." Whether this be his or our 
fault, we leave for others to decide. 

Has it ever occurred to the reverend author to estimate the 
wealth of a nation by the moral, physical, and individual welfare 
of the population ? 

But we cannot attempt, or undertake, to expose, nor explain, 
all the false reasoning, distorted views, and prejudiced conclusions 
found heaped up, in heterogeneous confusion, by the abolition 
writers. The dissection of mental putridity is as unwelcome a 
task as that of the animal carcass in a state of decomposition. 

If we cast our eyes over the surface of human life, we notice 
that wealth and power usually travel hand in hand ; but that wealth 
is distributed unequally, varied from the lofty possessions of royal 
power down to the most scanty pittance of poverty and want ; — 
yet leaving a vast majority in possession of nothing save life, and 


their right to the use of the elements of nature. It is with these 
lower classes we have the most to do. The wants of these, most 
generally, are physical : indeed, we sometimes find them only on a 
level with the brute. Thus, the African mountaineer is prone and 
content to feed on the decaying remains of what he may find, 
and wanders, like the hyena, upon the trail of what he hopes to 
find his prey ; while the savage islanders of the distant seas are 
satisfied with what the ocean heaves on shore. We notice that 
these wants are increased by climate ; hence, the native of the 
extreme north, content with his flitch of blubber, yet robs the 
bear of his hide for a blanket. These wants we also find en- 
larged by the least contact with civilization. Hence we see the 
African, on the western coast of his continent, garnished out with 
the gewgaws of Europe, and the Indian of our own clime with the 
trinkets of trade. And thus we may notice that, as civilization 
and capital increase in any country, new objects of desire, new 
individual wants increase in proportion. Hence, the farm-house 
now exhibits its carpet, whereas Queen Elizabeth was content 
with straw ! 

All these wants require some action, on the part of those who 
desire their gratification, to continue their supply, or it must cease ; 
because, as a general rule, the product of individual labour must 
bound the supply of individual wants, in all cases where the indi- 
vidual possesses no capital which yields an additional revenue. 

But a large portion of those in savage life produce nothing ; so, 
also, a portion from civilized society seem ever disposed to break 
through the rules of civilization, to retrograde as to morals, and 
subsist by trick or some dishonesty. They produce nothing, and 
are, therefore, a total drawback on the welfare of others. We 
find, also, another portion, the product of whose labour is inade- 
quate to the supply of their individual wants, and who are without 
capital to supply the deficiency. Such must die, or resort to 
charity; or retrograde, and live by their wits. Good men, in all 
ages, have striven to obviate these evils. The Levitical law did 
so by permitting the unfortunate man to sell himself, as a slave, 
for six years, or for life, as he mjght choose, under the state of 
the case ; or, in case he did not so choose to sell himself, but be- 
came indebted beyond his means, the law forced his sale, and also 
that of his whole family. Although, to some, this law may look 
harsh, yet its spirit, intention, and effect were in favour of the 
general good, of morals, and of life. Yet it was slavery ; and we 


take liberty here to say, although some may not be prepared to 
receive it, that such ever was, is now, and ever will be the spirit, 
intention, and effect of slavery, when not disfigured by its abuse. 

We have in vain looked through these " Elements" for some 
proposal of the author to meet such cases as those of savages, and 
of those degenerating and deteriorating poor, in all countries, 
known to be so from the fact that they ever Strive to live by their 
wits. And here we may remark that it is evident the system of 
alms-giving must terminate when the capitalists shall find the 
amount of alms beyond their surplus revenue ; and no one will 
deny that the whole system has a direct tendency towards a 
general bankruptcy. We therefore ask Dr. Wayland to make a 
proposal that shall be a permanent and effectual remedy in the 
cases under consideration. 

Now, very few will say, but that if society can find out some 
humane plan by which beggars and thieves can be forced, if force 
be necessary, to yield a product of labour equal to the supply of 
their necessary wants, the ordinances of God will not sanction the 

From imperfection, perhaps, in the organization of society, we 
not only see individuals branching off, and taking a downward road, 
but also, in all old countries, from the very stimulus of nature, 
a constant tendency to such an increase of population as lessens 
the value of labour by overstocking the demand, whereby its 
product becomes less than is required for the supply of individual 
wants. The consequences resulting from these facts, so ruinous 
to individual morals and happiness, often become national evils 
and the causes of national deterioration. But, under the Levitical 
law, and in all countries with similar provisions, the effect has 
been, and ever will be, a division of such population into a separate 
caste, — not national deterioration. 

With a view to remedy the evils to which we have invited the 
attention of the Rev. Dr. Wayland, Sismondi, book vii. chap. 9, 
has proposed, that inasmuch, as he says, the low wages of the la- 
bouring poor redound wholly to the pecuniary benefit of the capi- 
talists who employ them, those capitalists shall be charged by law 
with their support, when wages become too low to supply the ne- 
cessary wants of the labourer ; at the same time bestowing power 
on the capitalists to prevent all marriages when the labourer can 
give no evidence of a prospect of increased means of subsistence, 
satisfactory to the capitalist, that he will not be burdened with the 


support of the offspring. We are, by no means, the advocates of 
Sismondi's proposed arrangement. But if the labourers, since in 
some sense they may be considered freemen, give their consent to 
it, we do not perceive that it would be "at variance with the 
ordinances of God." 

The author of these "Elements" and Sismondi, we believe, 
differed little, if any, on the subject of the abolition of slavery 
touching the negro race. Will he say, the proposal of that 
philosopher to benefit the condition of the labouring poor, if car- 
ried into effect as suggested, would be " at variance with the ordi- 
nances of God ?" Yet, all the world perceive that it is a mere 
modification of slavery, containing conditions more obnoxious to 
human nature than appertains to any condition of slavery now 
known beyond the African shores. 

Man has ever been found to advance in moral improvement 
civilization, and a stable and healthy increase of population, only 
in proportion as they have been taught to supply their necessary 
wants by the products of individual labour. This is what first 
distinguishes civilized from savage life. The savage relies wholly 
upon the elements, the casualties that bring him advantage, and 
the spontaneous productions of nature. The idea of supplying 
his wants through the products of labour never enters the mind. 
And will it be denied that, even in civilized countries, they who 
solely rely upon begging, trick, and dishonesty, for their support, 
are always found to be deteriorating, both in morals and in their 
physical ability, rapidly receding from ail the characteristics of 
civilization, in the direction towards savage life. Indeed, a tend- 
ency to move in the same direction is often perceptible among 
those who only partially supply the wants of civilized support by 
the product of individual labour, and rely upon their wits for the 
remainder, thus, to some extent, becoming the plunderers of so- 
ciety. We would have been happy to have found the causes why 
these things are so, as well as to have found the remedy, in "The 
Elements of Moral Science." 

But let us contemplate, for a moment, a certain class of free- 
men, the lazaroni of Italy, who exist, merely, upon one small dish 
of macaroni, daily issued to them from the Hospital of St. Lazarus. 
We are all familiar with the condition of these people. Let us 
compare theirs with what would be the condition of the beggars 
and thieves of some other countries, were they placed under the 
control of some salutary power, whereby their necessary wants 


would be supplied by the product of their individual labour. We 
need not ask which condition is most " at variance with the ordi- 
nances of God !" 

Dr. Wayland has retained, for his last witness, the old trite 
charge that slavery impoverishes the soil ; that, therefore, it con- 
stantly " migrates from the old to new regions," "where alone the 
accumulated manure of centuries" can "sustain a system at vari- 
ance with the laws of nature." "Hence," he sb.js, "slavery in 
this country is acknowledged to have impoverished many of our 
most valuable districts." 

We are not aware how far Dr. Wayland has founded this state- 
ment upon facts drawn from his own observation. Has he done so 
at all ; or has he, carelessly and without reflection, adopted it from 
the assertions of others notoriously destitute of ability to form an 
opinion with accuracy, or else too deeply prejudiced to give their 
opinion any value ? Does he wish us to infer that the plough and 
the hoe, in the hands of a slave, communicate some peculiar 
poison to the soil ; and by reason of which " the ground shall not 
henceforth yield her strength ?" Will he please explain how the 
eflect of which he complains is produced ? If he finds it merely 
in the mode of cultivation, we then inquire whether the same mode 
would not produce the same eftect, even if the plough and hoe were 
held by freemen ? If so, then it is evident that " the impoverish- 
ment of many of our most valuable districts" is not the result of 
slavery, but of a bad mode of cultivation. Or, will the doctor con- 
tend that if those valuable districts had been cultivated by free 
hired men, the evils from negligence in the labourer would be 
remedied? "He that is a hireling fleeth, because he is a hire- 
ling, and careth not for the sheep." John x. 13. 

Dr. Wayland will not deny that the "heathen round about," of 
whom the Jews were permitted to buy slaves, were a slave-holding 
people ; but we have no account that their country was impoverished 
thereby. The Canaanites, whom the Israelites drove out from Pales- 
tine, were slaveholders ; yet the country Avas represented as very 
fertile, even to "overflowing with milk and honey." The Danites 
found " Laish very good," Jicdg.xviu.9. And the children of 
Judali "found fat pasture and good" about Gedar. 1 Chron.'w. 40. 
''^For they of Ham had dwelt there of old!'' 

For many centuries, slavery extended over every part of Europe, 
yet history gives us no account of the ruin of the soil. In Greece 
and Rome, the numbers of slaves were extended to millions beyond 



any number these States possess ; but their historians failed to 
discover their destructive influence on the fertility of those 

Before the impoverishment of the soil can, with any force, be 
adduced as proof against slavery, it must be proved to be a neces- 
sary consequence ; which, we apprehend, will be a diflBcult labour, 
since the sluggishness and the idleness of the Canaanites, and of 
the nations round about, left their country overflowing with milk 
and honey, abounding in fat pastures and good, notwithstanding 
their population were, to a large extent, slaves ; — since, also, the 
servile cultivation of the soil in Greece and Rome did not impove- 
rish it ; and since slavery, which everywhere abounded in Europe, 
never produced that eflect. 

If Dr. Wayland will discover the legitimate cause of this impove- 
rishment of the soil in the Slave States, and teach the planters a 
better mode of cultivation, we doubt not he will receive their 
thanks, and deserve well of his country, as a public benefactor. 


Dr. Wayland says : 

P. 209. "The moral precepts of the Bible are diametrically 
opposed to slavery." 

P. 210. " The moral principles of the gospel are directly sub- 
versive of the principles of slavery." * * * ujf ^j^g 
gospel be diametrically opposed to the principles of slavery, it 
must be opposed to the practice of slavery ; and, therefore, were 
the principles of the gospel fully adopted, slavery could not exist." 

Dr. Wayland having conceived himself to possess a distinct 
faculty, which reveals to him, with unerring truthfulness, whatever 
is right and all that is wrong, may be expected to consider himself 
fully able to decide, in his own way, what instruction God intended 
to convey to us, on the subject of slavery, through the books of 
Divine revelation ; yet, we cannot but imagine that St. Paul would 
be somewhat astonished, if presented with the doctor's decision 
for his approval, and that he would cry out : 

"Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? To his 


own master, he standetli, or I'alleth : yea, he will be holden up ; 
for God is able to make him stand;" 

But although we cannot boast of possessing this unerring moral 
guide, which, of late years, seems to be so common a possession 
among that class who ardently desire us to believe that they have 
monopolized all the knowledge of God's will on the subject of 
slavery, yet we may venture a remark on the logical accuracy of 
Dr. Wayland's argument. 

It seems to be a postulate in his mind that the gospel is diame- 
trically opposed to, and subversive of, the principles of slavery. 
We do not complain of this syllogistic mode ; but we do complain, 
as we have done before, that his postulate is not an axiom, a self- 
evident truth, or made equal thereto, by the open and clear decla- 
rations of Christ or his apostles. This defect cannot be remedied 
by ever so many suppositions, nor by deductions therefrom. Nor 
will those of a different faith from Dr. Wayland, on the subject of 
" conscience," or " moral sense," be satisfied to receive the declara- 
tions of this his "distinct faculty" as the fixed decrees of eternal 
truth. His assertions and arguments may be very convincing to 
those who think they possess this distinct faculty, especially if 
their education and prejudices tend to the same conclusion. 

But if what President Wayland says about slavery be true, then 
to hold slaves is a most heinous sin ; and he who does so, and never 
repents, can never visit Paul in heaven. He necessarily is placed 
on a parallel with the thief and robber ; and Dr. Channing has been 
bold enough to say so. 

But has Paul ever hinted to us any such thing as that the hold- 
ing of slaves is a sin ? Yet he gives us instruction on the subject 
and relations of slavery. What excuse had St. Paul for not telling 
us what the Rev. Dr. Wayland now tells us, if what he has 
told us be true ? And if it be true, what are we to think of Paul's 
verity, when he asserts that he has " not shunned to declare all the 
counsel of God ?" 

Did Jesus Christ ever hint such an idea as Dr. Wayland's ? 
What are we to understand, when he addresses God, the Father, 
and says, " I have given unto them the words thou gavest me, and 
they have received them?" What are we to deduce from his re- 
mark on a slaveholder, and who notified him of that fact, when he 
says to his disciples, " Verily I say unto you, I have not found so 
great faith, no, not in Israel?" What impression was this remark 
calculated to produce on the minds of the disciples ? Does Dr. 


Wajland found liis assertion on Lulce xvii. 7-10 ? or does lie agree 
with Palej that Christ privately condemned slavery to the apostles, 
and that they kept such condemnation secret to themselves, to pre- 
vent opposition to the introduction of Christianity, and left the 
most wicked sin of slave-holding to be found out by a mere innu- 
endo ? Or does Dr. Vrayland claim, through the aid of his distinct 
moral faculty infallibly teaching him the truth, to have received 
some new light on the subject of slavery, which the FATHER 
deemed not prudent to be intrusted to the SON, and, therefore, 
now more lucid and authoritative than what was revealed to the 
apostles ? 

The Archbishop Seeker has made a remark which appears to 
us conclusive, and also exactly to fit the case. In his Fifth Lec- 
ture on the Catechism, he says : — 

" Supposing the Scripture a true revelation, so far as it goes ; 
how shall we know, if it be a full and complete one too, in all 
things necessary ? I answer : Since our Saviour had the Spirit 
without measure, and the writers of Scripture had as large a mea- 
sure of it as their commission to instruct the world required, it is 
impossible that, in so many discourses concerning the terms of 
salvation as the New Testament contains, they should all have 
omitted any one thing necessary to the great end which they had 
in view. And what was not necessary when the Scripture was 
completed, cannot have become so since. For the faith was, once 
for all, ' delivered to the saints,' Jude 3 ; and ' other foundation 
can no man lay,' 1 Cor. iii. 11, than what was laid then. The 
sacred penmen themselves could teach no other doctrine than Christ 
appointed them ; and he hath appointed no one since to make ad- 
dition to it." 

But it may be proper to take some further notice how the author 
of these "Elements" attempts to prove the truth of the proposi- 
tion that " the moral precepts of the Bible are diametrically op- 
posed to slavery." He says, " God can make known to us his 
will, either directly or indirectly." 

He may, in express terms, command or forbid a thing ; this will 
be directly ; — or he may command certain duties, or impose certain 
obligations, with which some certain course of conduct is incon- 
sistent ; in which case the inconsistent course of conduct will be 
indirectly forbidden. 

We have not followed Dr. Wayland's exact words, because we 
found them somewhat confused, and rather ambiguous. We prefer 


to have the case clearly stated, and we then accept the terms, and 
repeat the question, " Has God imposed obligations on man which 
are inconsistent with the existence of domestic slavery ?" 

In proof that he has, Dr. Wayland presents the Christian duty 
"to preach the gospel to all nations and men, without respect to 
circumstances or condition." We agree that such is our duty, so 
far as we may have the power ; and it appears to us strange 
how that duty can interfere with the existence of slavery, because 
the practical fact is, slavery brings hundreds of thousands of ne- 
groes into a condition whereby the duty may be performed, and 
many thereby do come to some knowledge of the gospel, who would, 
otherwise, have none. 

Every Christian slaveholder feels it to be his duty. Is it denied 
that this duty is ever performed ? 

But if it is incompatible with the institution of slavery for the 
slave to be taught Christianity, then Christianity and slavery can 
never co-exist in the same person. Therefore, Dr. Wayland must 
prove that no slave can be a Christian, before this argument can 
have weight. 

The man who owns a slave has a trust ; he who has a child has 
one also. In both cases the trustee may do as he did who " dug 
in the earth and hid his lord's money." We cheerfully deliver 
them up to the lash of Dr. Wayland. 

The author of the "Elements of Moral Science" next presents 
the marriage contract, and seems desirous to have us suppose that 
its obligations are incompatible with slavery. His words are — 

" He has taught us that the conjugal relation is established by 
himself; that husband and wife are joined together by God; and 
that man may not put them asunder. The marriage contract is a 
contract for life, and is dissoluble only for one cause, that of con- 
jugal infidelity. Any system that interferes with this contract, 
and claims to make it any thing else than what God has made it, 
is in violation of his law." 

This proposition is bad ; it is too verbose to be either definite or 
correct. There are many things that will interfere with the pro- 
visions of this proposition, and yet not be in violation of the laws 
of God. Suppose one of President Wayland's pupils has married 
a wife, and yet commits a crime. He is arrested, and the president 
is his judge. When about to pronounce sentence of imprisonment 
for life, the pupil reads to his judge the foregoing paragraph, and 
argues that he cannot receive such sentence, because it will inter- 


fere with the marriage contract, and, therefore, be in violation of 
the laws of God, 

We trust some will deem this a sufficient refutation of the pro- 

But if we take the proposition as its author has left it, we have 
yet to learn that any slaveholder will object to it; although it 
may be he will differ with them on the subject of what consti- 
tutes Christian marriage, among pagan negroes or their pagan 

Will the reverend moralist determine that a promiscuous inter- 
course is the conjugal relation established by God himself; that 
such is the marriage contract which no man may put asunder? 
Will he decide that an attempt to regulate the conduct of men, 
bond or free, who manifest such a state of morals, is in violation 
of the laws of God ? AVho are his pupils, when he shall say that 
an attempt to enforce the laws of God, in practice among men, is 
a violation of them ? 

So far as our experience goes, masters universally manifest a 
desire to have their negroes marry, and to live with their wives and 
children, in conformity to Christian rules. And one reason, if no 
other, is very obvious. The master wishes to secure the peace and 
tranquillity of his household. And we take this occasion to inform 
Dr. Wayland and his coadjutors, that a very large proportion of 
the punishments that are awarded slaves are for ^dolations of what, 
perhaps, he may call the marriage contract, so anxious is the mas- 
ter to inculcate the obligations of marriage among them. 

It is true, some slaves of a higher order of physical and moral 
improvement, influenced by the habits and customs of their masters, 
habituate themselves to a cohabitation with one companion for life ; 
and, in all such cases, the master invariably gives countenance to 
their wishes ; indeed, in some instances, masters have deemed them 
worthy of having their wishes sanctioned and solemnized by the 
ceremonies of the church ritual. And in all such cases, superior 
consideration and advantages are always bestowed, not only in 
reward of their merit, but as an encouragement for others. 

The African negro has no idea of marriage as a sacred ordinance 
of God. Many of the tribes worship a Fetish, which is a per- 
sonification of their gross notions of procreation ; but it inculcates 
no idea like that of marriage; and we have known the posterity 
of that people, four or five generations removed from the African 
native, as firmly attached to those strange habits as if they had 


been constitutional. Negroes, who have only arrived to such a 
state of mental and moral development, would find it somewhat 
difficult to comprehend what the Christian church implied by the 
marriage covenant ! Therefore, where there was no reason to be- 
lieve that its duties were understood, or that their habits and con- 
duct would be influenced by it any longer than until they should 
take some new notion, a ceremony of any high order has been 
thought to do injury. A rule, often broken, ceases to be venerated. 
And we feel quite sure that some Christians would deem it quite 
improper to permit those to join in any sacred ceremony which 
neither their physical nor mental development would permit them 
to comprehend or obey, whether freemen or slaves. 

In the articles drawn up at Ratisbon by Melancthon, we find, 
Article 16, De Sacrum. Matrimo.: 

" The sacrament of matrimony belongs only to Christians. It 
is a holy and constant union of one single man with one single 
woman, confirmed by the blessing and consecration of Jesus 

And St. Paul says, Epli. v. 32, of matrimony : " This is a great 
mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the Church." 

We know not whether the author of the "Elements" believes, 
with Melancthon, that matrimony is a Christian sacrament or not. 
We believe the majority of modern Protestants do not so consider 
it, although Luther says, De 3Iatrimonio : 

" Matrimony is called a sacrament, because it is the type of a 
very noble and very holy thing. Hence the married ought to con- 
sider and respect the dignity of this sacrament." 

Question : — Would Melancthon, or Luther, or the author of these 
"Elements," consent to perform the marriage ceremony, joining, 
in the holy bonds of matrimony, two negroes, who neither under- 
stood the Christian duties it imposed, and of whom it was well 
known that they would not regard the contract as binding any 
longer than their fancy or passions might dictate. A Christian 
sacrament is not only a sign of Christian grace, but the seal of its 
insurance to us, and the instrument of the Holy Ghost, whereby 
faith is conferred, as a Divine gift, upon the soul. We feel it a 
Christian duty to "not give that which is holy to dogs," nor "cast 
pearls before swine." Is Dr. Wayland of the same opinion ? 

It may be w*ell to advise our author of some facts in proof of 
what state of connubial feelings exist among African negroes. 
We quote from Lander, vol. i. p. 312 : 


" The manners of the Africans are hostile to the interests and 
advancement of women." 

P. 328. " A man is at liberty to return his wife to her parents, 
at any time, without adducing any reason for his dislike." * * * 
" The children, if any, the mother is by no means permitted to 
take along with her ; but they are left behind with the father, who 
delivers them over to the care of other women." 

P. 158. "A man thinks as little of taking a wife as of cutting 
an ear of corn ; affection is altogether out of the question." 

Vol. ii. p. 208. "Africans, generally speaking, betray the most 
perfect indifference on losing their liberty, or in being deprived of 
their relations ; while love of country is, seemingly, as great a 
stranger to their breasts as social tenderness and domestic affec- 

We quote from the Christian Observer, vol. xix. p. 890 : "Mr. 
Johnson was appointed to the care of Regent's Town, June, 1816. 
* * * Natives of twenty-two different nations were there 
collected together : * * * none of them had learned to live 
in a state of marriage." 

Proofs of this trait in the African character may be accumulated; 
and a very determined disposition to live in a state of promiscuous 
intercourse is often noticeable, in their descendants, for many 
generations, notwithstanding the master endeavours to restrain it 
by corporeal punishment. But yet, under this state of facts, our 
laws forbid the separation of children from mothers, under ages 
stipulated by law. 

It is the interest of the master to have his slaves orderly — to 
possess them of some interest which will have a tendency to that 
result. Their quiet settlement in families has been thought to be' 
among the most probable and influential inducements to insure the 
desired effect, and to produce a moral influence on them. Besides 
this interest of the master, his education on the subject of marriage 
must be allowed to have a strong influence on his mind to favour 
and foster in his slaves a connection which his own judgment 
teaches him must be important to their happiness and his own 
tranquillity, to say nothing of his duty as a Christian. Indeed, 
we never heard of a master who did not feel a strong desire, a 
pride, to see his slaves in good condition, contented and happy ; 
and we venture to assert, that no man, who entertained a proper 
regard for his own character, would consent to sell a family of 
slaves, separately, to different individuals, when the slaves them- 


selves manifested good conduct, and a habit, or desire, to live 
together in conformity to the rules of civilized life. Even a casual 
cohabitation is often caught at by the master, and sanctioned, as 
permanent, if he can do so in accordance "v\"ith the conduct and 
feelings of the negroes themselves. 

That the owners of slaves have sometimes abused the power 
they possessed, and outraged the feelings of humanity in this 
behalf, is doubtless a fact. Nor do we wish to excuse such con- 
duct, by saying that proud and wealthy parents sometimes outrage 
the feelings of common sense and of their own children in a 
somewhat similar way. These are abuses that can be, and should 
be corrected ; and we are happy to inform Dr. Wayland that we 
have lived to see many abuses corrected, and hope that many more 
corrections may follow in their train. But we assure him that the 
wholesale denunciations of men who, in fact, know but little about 
the subjects of their distress, may produce great injury to the 
objects of their sympathies, but no possible benefit. And let us 
now, with the best feeling, inform Dr. Wayland, and his co-agita- 
tors, of one result of his and their actions in this matter. We 
assert what we know. 

Thirty years ago, we occasionally had schools for negro children ; 
nor was it uncommon for masters to send their favourite young 
slaves to these schools ; nor did such acts excite attention or 
alarm ; and, at the same time, any missionary had free access to 
that class of our population. But when we found, with astonish- 
ment, that our country was flooded with abolition prints, deeply 
laden with the most abusive falsehoods, with the obvious design to 
excite rebellion among the slaves, and to spread assassination and 
bloodshed through the land ; — when we found these transient mis- 
sionaries, mentally too insignificant to foresee the result of their 
conduct, or wholly careless of the- consequences, preaching the 
same doctrines ; — these little schools and the mouths of these 
missionaries were closed. And great was the cry. Dr. Wayland 
knows whereabout lies the wickedness of these our acts ! Let 
him and his coadjutors well understand that these results, 
whether for the benefit or injury of the slave, have been brought 
about by the work of their hands. 

If these transient missionaries were the only persons who had 
power to teach the gospel to the slave, who has deprived the slaves 
of the gospel ? 

If these suggestions are true, will not Dr. Wayland look back 


upon his labours with dissatisfaction ? Does he behold their effects 
with joy ? Has he thrown one ray of light into the mental dark- 
ness of benighted Africa ? Has he removed one pain from the 
moral disease of her benighted children? If so perfectly adverse 
have been his toils, will he expect us to countenance his school, 
sanction his morality, or venerate his theology ? A very small 
portion of poison makes the feast fatal ! 

Does he complain because some freemen lower themselves down 
to this promiscuous intercourse with the negro ? We are dumb ; 
we deliver them up to his lash ! Or does he complain because we 
do not marry them ourselves ? We surely have yet to learn, 
because we decline such marriages, and a deteriorated posterity, 
that, therefore, we interfere with the institution of marriage, or 
make it something which God did not. We had thought that the 
laws of God all looked towards a state of physical, intellectual, and 
moral improvement ; and that such an amalgamation as Avould 
necessarily leave a more deteriorated race in our stead, would be 
sin, and would be punished, if in no other way, yet still by the 
very fact of such degradation. Or does Dr. Wayland deny that 
the negro is an inferior race of man to the white ? If the slave 
and master were of the same race, as they once were in all parts 
of Europe, intermarriage between them would blot out the institu- 
tion, as it has done there. In such case, his argument might have 
some force. 

Under the Spanish law, a master might marry his female slave, 
or he might suffer any freeman to marry her ; but the marriage, 
in either case, was emancipation to her. The wife was no longer 
a slave ; and so by the Levitical law. See Deut. xxi. 14. 

The laws of the Slave States of our Union forbid amalgamation 
with the negro race ; consequently such a marriage would be a 
nullity, and the offspring tako the condition of the mother. 

The object of this law is to prevent the deterioration of the 
white race. 

Thus we have seen that all the practical facts relating to the 
influence of the slavery of the Africans among us, touching the 
subject of marriage, as to them, are in opposition to what Dr. Way- 
land seems to suppose. In short, the slavery of the negroes in 
these States has a constantly continued tendency to change — to 
enforce an improvement of the morals of the African — to an ap- 
proximation of the habits of Christian life. 



It is conceded by Dr. Wayland, that the Scriptures do not di- 
rectly forbid or condemn slavery. In search of a path over this 
morass of difficulty, he says that the Scripture goes upon the "fair 
ground of teaching moral principles" "directly subversive of the 
principles of slavery;" and quotes the golden rule in proof; and 
thus comes to the conclusion that, " if the gospel be diametrically 
opposed to the principle of slavery, it must be opposed to the 
jyractiee of slavery." In excuse for this mode being pursued by 
the Author of our religion, he says — 

P. 212. "In this manner alone could its object, a universal 
moral revolution, have been accomplished. For, if it had forbidden 
the evil, instead of subverting the principle, — if it had proclaimed 
the unlawfulness of slavery and taught slaves to resist the oppres- 
sion of their masters, — it would instantly have arrayed the two 
parties in deadly hostility, through the civilized world ; its an- 
nouncement would have been the signal of servile war ; and the 
very name of the Christian religion would have been forgotten 
amidst the agitations of universal bloodshed." 

We have heretofore attempted to show that this doctrine is ex- 
tremely gross error ; — its very assertion goes to the extinction, 
the denial of the divinity of Jesus Christ and his religion. And 
we deeply lament that this was not one of the errors of Paley 
which Dr. Wayland has seen fit to expunge from his book. [See 
his Preface.) 

Paley says, third book, part ii. chap. 3 — " Slavery was a part 
of the civil constitution of most countries, when Christianity first 
appeared ; yet no passage is to be found in the Christian Scrip- 
tures by which it is condemned or prohibited. This is true, for 
Christianity, soliciting admission into all nations of the world, 
abstained, as behooved it, from intermeddling with the civil insti- 
tutions of any. But does it follow, from the silence of Scripture 
concerning them, that all the civil institutions which then prevailed 
were right ? Or that the bad should not be exchanged for 

"Besides this, the discharging the slaves from all obligation to 
obey their masters, which is the consequence of pronouncing 


slavery to be unlawful, would have had no better effect than to let 
loose one half of mankind upon the other. Slaves would have 
been tempted to embrace a religion which asserted their right to 
freedom ; masters would hardly have been persuaded to consent to 
claims founded on such authority ; the most calamitous of all con- 
tests, a helium servile, might probably have ensued, to the reproach, 
if not the extinction, of the Christian name." 

In these thoughtless remarks of Paley, abolition writers seem to 
have found a mine of argument, from which they have dug until 
they deemed themselves wealthy. • 

Channing, vol. ii. p. 101, says — 

" Slavery, in the age of the apostle, had so penetrated society, 
was so intimately interwoven with it, and the materials of servile 
war were so abundant, that a religion preaching freedom to the 
slave would have shaken the social fabric to its foundation, and 
would have armed against itself the whole power of the state. 
Paul did not then assail the institution. He satisfied himself with 
spreading principles, -which, however slowly, could not but work 
its dissolution." 

This author, thus having satisfied himself with a display which 
the greater portion of his readers deem original, commences, 
p. 103, and quotes from "The Elements of Moral Science," p. 212: 

''This very course, which the gospel takes on this subject, seems 
to have been the only one that could have been taken in order to 
effect the universal abolition of slavery. The gospel was designed, 
not for one race or for one time, but for all races and for all times. 
It looked, not at the abolition of this form of evil for that age 
alone, but for its universal abolition. Hence, the important object 
of its author was to gain it a lodgment in every part of the known 
world:" and concludes with our quotation from the author. 

Dr. Barnes " fights more shy;" he sees " the trap." The Bibli- 
cal Repertory has unveiled to his view the awful abyss to which 
this doctrine necessarily leaps. Yet the abyss must be passed ; 
the facts, the doctrine of Paley, and the gulf, must be got over, 
in some way, or abolition doctrines must be given up. For thirty 
pages, like a candle-fly, he coquets around the light of this doc- 
trine, until he gathers courage, and finally falls into it under the 
plea of "expediency." He quotes Wayland's Letters to Fuller, 
p. 73, which says — 

" This form of expediency — the inculcating of a fundamental 
truth, rather than of the duty which springs immediately out of 


it, seems to me innocent. I go further : in some cases, it may be 
really demanded," &c. 

" And a certain ruler asked him, saying. Good Master, what 
shall I do to inherit eternal life." Luke xviii, 18. 

This man was rich — probably had slaves. Was it itiexpedient 
for the Son of God to have plainly told him of its wickedness ? 
Was not the occasion quite appropriate, if such had been the 
Saviour's view? 

When the keeper of the prison said to Paul and Silas, " Sirs, 
what shall I do to be saved?" was it inexpedient in them to have 
mentioned this sin f 

When the subject of slavery was mentioned in Corinthians, 
Ephesians, Colossians, in Timothy, Titus, and Peter, was it still in- 
expedient? And in the case of Philemon, "the dearly beloved and 
fellow-labourer," when Paul was pleading for the runaway slave, in 
what did the inexpediency consist ? When the centurion applied 
to the Son of God, and boasted that he oioned slaves, can we bring 
forward this paltry excuse ? 

This doctrine of Paley has been so commonly quoted, let us be 
excused for presenting a remark from the " Essays," reprinted 
from the Princeton Review, second series, p. 283 : 

" It is not by argument that the abolitionists have produced the 
present unhappy excitement. Argument has not been the cha- 
racter of their publications. Denunciations of slave-holding as 
man-stealing, robbery, piracy, and worse than murder ; conse- 
quently vituperation of slaveholders as knowingly guilty of the 
worst of crimes ; passionate appeals to the feelings of the inhabit- 
ants of the Northern States ; gross exaggerations of the moral and 
physical condition of the slaves, have formed the staple of their 
addresses to the public." 

P. 286. " Unmixed good or evil, however, in such a world as 
ours, is a rare thing. Though the course pursued by the aboli- 
tionists has produced a great preponderance of mischief, it may 
incidentally occasion no little good. It has rendered it incumbent 
on every man to endeavour to obtain, and, as far as he can, to 
communicate, definite opinions and correct principles on the wholo 
subject. * * * The subject of slavery is no longer one on 
which men are allowed to be of no mind at all. * * * The 
public mind is effectually aroused from a state of indifference ; and 
it is the duty of all to seek the truth, and to speak in kindness, 
hut ivith decision. * * * "\Ye recognise no authoritative rule 


of truth and duty but the word of God. * * * Men nre too 
nearly upon a par as to their powers of reasoning, and ability to 
discover truth, to make the conclusions of one mind an authorita- 
tive rule for others." * * * 

The subject for consideration is : If the abolitionists are right 
in insisting that slave-holding is one of the greatest of all sins, — 
that it should be immediately and universally abandoned, as a con- 
dition of church communion, or of admission into heaven, — how 
comes it that Christ and his apostles did not pursue this sin in 
plain and determined opposition ? How comes it that the teach- 
ings of the abolitionists, on the subject of slavery, are so ex- 
tremely different from those of Jesus Christ and his apostles ? 
The mind is forced to the conclusion that, if the abolitionists are 
right, Jesus Christ and his apostles are wrong ! We agree that, if 
slave-holding is a sin, it should at once be abandoned. The whole 
subject is resolved to one single question : Is slave-JioIding, in it- 
self, a crime before Grod f 

The abolitionists say that it is ; we assert that it is not ; and 
we look to the conduct of Christ and his apostles to justify our 
position. Did they shut their eyes to the enormities of a great 
offence against God and man ? Did they temporize with a heinous 
evil, because it was common and popular ? Did they abstain from 
even exhorting masters to emancipate their slaves, though an im- 
perative duty, from fear of consequences ? Was slavery more 
deeply rooted than idolatry ? or more deeply interwoven with 
the civil institutions? more thoroughly penetrated through every 
thing human — their prejudices, literature, hopes, and happiness ? 
Was its denunciation, if a sin, attended with consequences more 
to be dreaded than death by torture, wild beasts, the crucifix, the 
fagot, and the flame ? Did the apostles admit drunkards, liars, 
fornicators, adulterers, thieves, robbers, murderers, and idolaters 
to the Christian communion, and call them " dearly beloved and 
fellow-labourers ?" Did the Son of God ever intimate of any such 
unrepentant man, that he had "not found so great faith, no, not 
in Israel?" 

What are we then to think of the intellect of that man who 
shall affirm that Jesus Christ and his apostles classed the slave- 
holder with the worst of these characters ? Yea, what can such a 
man think of himself? Did the apostles counsel thieves and rob- 
bers how they should advisedly conduct themselves in the practice 
of these crimes? Were those who had been robbed carefully 


gathered up and sent back to some known robber, to be robbed 
again ? And, on such occasion, did any of the apostles address 
such robber in the language of aflFection, saying, " I thank my God, 
making mention of thee always in my prayers, hearing of thy 
love and faith, which thou hast towards the Lord Jesus and toward 
all saints?" 

No one in his senses will deny that the Scriptures condemn in- 
justice, cruelty, oppression, and violence, whether exhibited in the 
conduct of the master towards his slave or any other person : — 
crime being the same, whether committed in the relation of master 
and slave, husband and wife, or the monarch and his subjects. It 
may so happen that great crimes are committed by persons in these 
relations. But what is the argument worth which asserts it is very 
wicked to be a schoolmaster, because some schoolmaster whipped 
his pupil too much, or another not enough, or a third, in an angry, 
wicked state of mind, has put one to death ? 

Who has ever asserted that marriage was not a Divine institu- 
tion, because some in that state live very unhappily together, and 
others have conspired against the happiness or life of those whom 
the institution made it their duty to protect ? 

Dr. Wayland's proposition, when analyzed and freed from verbi- 
age, is this : the teaching of moral principles, subversive of the 
abuse of a thing, is proof that the teacher is opposed to the thing 
itself! and, if true, we say, is as applicable to every other insti- 
t'ltion among men, as to slavery. 


Dpw Wayland says, p. 213 — 

" It is important to remember that two grounds of moral obliga- 
tion are distinctly recognised in the gospel. The first is our duty 
to man as man, that is, on the ground of the relation which men 
sustain to each other ; the second is our duty to man as a creature 
of God, that is, on the ground of the relation which we all sustain 
to God. On this latter ground, many things become our (iutv 
which would not be so on the former. It is on this ground that 
we are commanded to return good for evil, to pray for them that 
despitefully us'^ us, and, when we are smitten on one cheek, to turn 
also the other To act thus is our duty, not because our fellow- 


man has a rio;lit to claim this course of conduct from us, but 
oecause such conduct in us will be well-pleasing to God. And 
when God prescribes the course of conduct which will be well- 
pleasing to him, he by no means acknowledges the right of abuse 
in the injurious person, but expressly declares, '3i^engeance is 
mine and I will repay it, saith the Lord!' Now, it is to be 
observed, that it is precisely upon this latter ground' that the 
/• slave is commanded to obey lih master. It is never urged, li"ke 

/a the duty of obedience to parents, because it is right ; but because 
1 the cultivation of meekness and forbearance under injury will be 
well-pleasing unto God. Thus servants are commanded to be 
obedient to their own masters, 'in singleness of heart, as unto 
Christ ; doing the will of God from the heart, with good-will doing 
service, as to the Lord, and not to man.' Eph. v. 5-7. 

" Servants are commanded to count their masters worthy of all 
honour, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed. 
1 Tim. vi. 1. That they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour 
in all things. Titus iii. 9. 

"The manner in which the duty of servants or slaves is incul- 
cated, therefore, affords no ground for the assertion that the 
gospel authorizes one man to hold another in bondage, any more 
than the command to honour the king, when that king was Nero, 
authorized the tyranny of the emperor ; or the command to turn 
the other cheek when one was smitten, justifies the infliction of 
violence by an injurious man." 

Added to the foregoing, we find the following note : 

"I have retained the above paragraph, though I confess that 
the remarks of Professor Taylor, of the L^nion Theological Semi- 
nary of Virginia, have led me seriously to doubt whether the dis' 
tinction, to which it alludes, is sustained by the New Testament." 

Why then did he retain it ? 

In his preface to the fourth edition, which is inserted in the 
present, after expressing his acknowledgments for the criticisms 
with which gentlemen have favoured him, he says — 

" Where I have been convinced of error, I have altered the 
text. Where I have only doubted, I have suffered it to remain; 
as it seemed profitless merely to exchange one doubtful opinion 
for another." 

We beg to know Avhat doubtful opinion would have been intro- 
duced by the deletion of this, which he acknowledges to be 
doubtful ? Why did he not go to the Bible, and inquire of Jesus 


Christ and the apostles for advice in such a case? "And imnit- 
diately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said 
unto him, thou of little faith, ^vherefore didst thou doubt?" 
Matt. xiv. 31. 

In 3Iatt. xxi. 21, we find that the doubting mind is destitute of 
Christian power ; and the same in BlarJc xi. 23. Jesus, speaking 
to his disciples, says to them, Luke xii. 29, "Neither be ye of a 
doubtful mind." Does any one imagine that Luke would have 
left any thing in his book that he thought doubtful ? But we 
find in Horn. xiv. 1, "Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but 
not to doubtful disputations." This surely needs no comment. 
The poison of doubt is rejected in 1 Tim. ii. 8 ; and the apostle in 
Horn. xiv. 23, says, " And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, 
because he eatethnot of faith, for whatsoever is not of faith is sin." 
How awful is the condition of him who shall attempt to preach a 
doctrine, and that an important one too, as the doctrine of the 
Bible, of which he doubts ! A doctrine in which he can have no 
faith ! Who shall say it would not be a palpable attempt to 
change the meaning and alter the sense of the Scripture from its 
true interpretation ? 

"Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither 
shall ye diminish aught from it, that ye may keep the command- 
ments of the Lord your God, which I command you." Deut. iv. 2. 

"But there be some that trouble you, and pervert the gospel of 
Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any 
other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, 
let him be accursed. As we said before, so say we now again, if 
any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have 
received, let him be accursed." Grcd.l. 7-9. 

" I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things 
in the churches. * * * Yov I testify unto every man that 
heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, if any man shall 
add unto those things, God shall add unto him the plagues that 
are written in this book ; and if any man shall take away from the 
words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part 
out of the book of life." Hev. xxii. 16-19. 

" Every word of God is pure. * * * Add not unto his Avords, 
lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar." Prov. xxx. ^-Q. 

We have not seen the remarks of Professor Taylor ; but we can 
easily imagine that a professor of theology, free from the delirium 
of abolitionism, would not have found it a difiicult labour to prove 


that the main point of the author's argument was contradicted bv 
Scripture, and that even he himself attempted to sustain it onlv 
by assumption. We regret that President Wayland has not given 
US Professor Taylor's remarks that made him "doubt." We, how- 
ever, will venture our "remark" that the author.'s assertion, "the 
inculcation of the duty of slaves affords no evidence that the^ 
Scriptures countenance slavery, more than the command to honour 
the king authorized the tyranny of Nero," is a comparison where 
there is no parallel. Dr. Wayland must first make it appear that 
all kings, or chief magistrates, are, necessarily, wicked tyrants, 
like Nero ; and that the wicked tyranny is a part and parcel of 
the thing to be honoured, before his parallel between slavery and 
monarchy can be drawn ; and since, then, the deduction will be 
useless, we suppose he will not make the attempt. 

The parallel that might have been sustained is this : The incul- 
cation of the duty of slaves to obey their masters does not authorize 
masters to abuse their power over their slaves, any more than the 
command to honour the king authorized the tyranny of Nero ; — 
from which the deductions are, that masters have a right to com- 
mand their slaves as things in their peculiar relation, and not as 
things having a different relation. The master has no right to 
command a slave, as if the slave stood in the relation of a horse ; 
nor even a horse, as if the horse stood in the relation of a piece 
of timber : so the king has no right to govern his subjects as if 
they were idiots or brutes, but as enlightened free-men, if such 
be their condition. 

The object of the government is the happiness no more of the 
governor than of the governed. This principle, so profusely illus- 
trated in Scripture, it would seem the abolitionists run to shipAvreck, 
in every approach they make towards it. 

There are a class of abolition writers who never fail to compare 
St. Paul's instruction, to live in obedience to the civil authority, 
(making no exception even when the worst of monarchs are in 
power,) Avith his instruction to slaves to obey their masters ; and 
then say that no argument is to be drawn from the latter in favour 
of slavery, any more than there is from the former in favour of 
the wickedness of the Emperor Nero. To some, this position may 
look quite imposing ; while others will associate it with the false 
position of a wicked, unprincipled lawyer, who is ambitious only 
to gain his case, and cares not by what falsehood, or by what means. 
But it is truly mortifying to see such an argument presented, and 


attempted to be sustained, by any one who pretends to be an honest 
man, and a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ. And we cannot but 
reflect that such an one must be in one of three predicaments ; 
either in that of the lawyer, or his understanding must be so 
obtuse he cannot reason, or so crazed by fanaticism as to be equally 
stultified in intellect. Yet these men present this argument, or 
position, with an air which displays the utmost confidence of their 
having obtained a victory, and of their having established for them- 
selves a lofty intellectual character. 

Jesus Christ and his apostles everywhere reprimanded and con- 
demned crime, outrage, and oppression, whether to superiors, equals, 
or inferiors. Yet these qualities of action must take their charac- 
ter from the facts of the case. The parent will feel it his duty to 
compel, by force, his froward child to do right ; yet the same action 
directed to his neighbour, or equal, may be manifestly wrong, or 
even sinful. The crimes of monarchs and the crimes of masters 
are everywhere condemned, as well as the crimes of all other men. 
Yet to be a monarch or a master is nowhere condemned, j^er se, as 
a sinful condition of itself. 

All history agrees that Nero was a wicked, bad prince ; he was 
wicked and bad because his acts were wicked and bad; not because 
he was a prince or an emperor. Slaves are ordered to be obedient 
to their masters. Is there any one so crazy as therefore to sup- 
pose that the master has a right to overwork, starve, murder, or 
otherwise misuse his slave ? We are all commanded to be obedient 
to the civil power. Does this give the chief ruler the right to 
practise the wickedness of Nero? 

Is there any proof that Philemon murdered, or was recklessly 
cruel to his slaves? What justice is there in comparing his charac- 
ter as only on an equality with that of Nero ? Was Nero, with 
all his sins, admitted into the church of Christ? Where is the 
parallel between him and the "beloved" of the apostle? 

We feel authorized to affirm that St, Paul would have rejected 
from the church a slaveholder, who murdered, starved, or otherwise 
maltreated his slaves, because these crimes would have been proof 
of his want of the Christian character. The same evidence of 
wicked conduct would have excluded any other man, even the em- 
peror, from the church ; yet, since slaveholders, who had not been 
guilty of such enormities, were admitted to the church, and distin- 
guished as "beloved," tliis fact becomes proof that slaveholding is 
no evidence of a sinful character. So monarchs and emperors, 


who gave proof of the possession of the Christian character, were 
always admissible to the Christian church. This fact also becomes 
demonstration, that being a monarch or an emperor gave no proofs 
of a sinful character. 

Will Dr. Way land undertake to prove that the admission of Con- 
stantino to the Christian church gave any license to the wicked 
murders and hateful hypocrisy of the Emperor Phocas? Or will 
he venture to extend his argument, and say that the command of 
marital and filial obedience proves nothing in their favour ; since we 
are commanded to yield a like obedience to the king, although that 
king be the wicked Phocas ? The fact is, the mere character of chief- 
magistrate, of husband, of parent or slaveholder, is quite distinct 
from the character which their acts may severally heap upon them. 
It is, therefore, quite possible for us to reverence and obey the 
king, yet hold in contempt the person who fills the throne. 

Civil government, the relations of parent and child, husband 
and wife, and slavery itself, are all ordinances of Divine wisdom, 
instituted for the benefit of man, under the condition of his fallen 
state. But because these relations are in accordance with the or- 
dinances of God, it by no means follows that the abuses of them 
are so. 

Suppose those who wish to abolish the institution of marriage 
should present the same argument in their behalf which Dr. Way- 
land has in this case, it will surely be just as legitimate in the one 
as the other. But will not Dr. Wayland readily say that there is 
no parallel between the particular relations compared? We doubt 
not, he would consider it too stupid to even require refutation. 


Our author says, as before quoted — 

P. 209. " That the precepts of the Bible are diametrically op- 
posed to slavery." 

In proof, he ofi"ers one precept: 

" Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, and All things what- 
soever ye would that men should do unto you, do ye even so unto 

Upon which he says, for argument — 


"1. The application of these precepts is universal. Our neigh- 
bour is every one whom we may benefit. The obligation respects 
all things whatsoever. The precept, then, manifestly extends to 
men as men, or men in every condition ; and if to all things what- 
soever, certainly to a thing so important as the right of personal 

" 2. Again, by this precept it is made our duty to cherish a tender 
and delicate respect for the right the meanest individual possesses 
over the means of happiness bestowed on him by God, as we 
cherish for our own right over our own means of happiness, or as 
we desire any other individual to cherish for it. Now, were this 
precept obeyed, it is manifest that slavery could not in fact exist 
for a single instant. The principle of the precept is absolutely 
subversive of the principle of slavery. That of the one is the 
entire equality of right ; that of the other, the entire absorption 
of the rights of one in the rights of the other." 

We propose to make no comment upon these arguments. We 
cannot do battle against phantoms. But we shall take this golden 
rule, which we most devoutly reverence, and show that it incul- 
cates slavery, upon a statement of facts. 

The 28th chapter of Deuteronomy contains the revelations of 
blessings and curses promised the Jews, and, we may add, all 
mankind, for obedience to the laws of God, and for disobedience 
to the same. At the 68th verse, they were told that they should 
again be sent to Egypt ; or that they should be exposed for sale ; 
or that they should expose themselves for sale, as the passage may 
be read, and that no man should buy them ; or that there should 
not be buyers enough to give them the benefit even of being slaves, 
whereby they could be assured of protection and sustenance. 
This was most signally verified at the time Jerusalem was sacked 
by Titus ; and not only in Egypt, but in many other places, thou- 
sands of the Hebrew captives were exposed for sale as slaves. 
But thousands of them, thus exposed, died of starvation, because 
purchasers could not be found for them. The Eomans, considered 
them too stubborn, too degraded, to be worthy of being slaves to 
them, refused to buy them. Their numbers, compared to the 
numbers of their purchasers, were so great that the price became 
merely nominal ; and thousands were suffered to die, because pur- 
chasers could not be had at any price. Their death was the con- 

Now let us apply the truly golden rule or precept, relied upon 


by Dr. Wayland in support of abolitionism. Would it teach to 
buy these slaves, or not ? 

The same incident happened once again to all the Jews, who 
were freemen in Spain, during the reign of Ferdinand and Isa- 
bella, when 800,000 Jews were driven from that kingdom in one 
day ; vast multitudes of whom famished to death because, although 
anxious to do so, they could not find for themselves even a master ! 
Let us ask, what would the precept teach in this case ? 

Nor has such a peculiar relation of facts been confined to the 
Jews alone. In 1376, the Florentines, then a travelling, trading, 
or commercial people, but in many instances quite forgetful of the 
rules of Christian honesty, became exceedingly obnoxious to their 
neighbours, especially to the subjects of the church of Rome. To 
many of them, murder and robbery became a mere pastime. From 
individuals the moral poison was communicated to their govern- 
ment. The church was despoiled of her patrimony, her subjects 
of their homes. The church remonstrated until patience was ex- 
hausted, when Gregory XI. issued his papal bull, delivering 
each individual of that nation, in all parts of the earth, who did 
not instantly make reparation, up to pillage, slavery, or death. 

Let us notice how Walsingham witnessed this matter in Eng- 
land, where a large portion of the traders were of that people, 
all liable, if freemen, to be put to death by any one who might 
choose to inflict the punishment; and their effects were legally 
escheated to whomsoever might seize them. Slavery was their 
only remedy. The Anglo-Saxon Normans, the natives of the 
realm, had not yet, as a people, sufiiciently emerged from the 
poverty and darkness of the times to give them protection. This, 
to us so strange a relation between the church and civil govern- 
ment, in regard to the Florentines, produced an action on the part 
of the king by which he became their personal master. Thus 
they became slaves, not of the crown, but of the individual who 
sat upon the throne. Did he act in conformity to this precept or 

John and Richard Lander were sent by the "London African 
Association" to explore some parts of Africa. On the 24th of 
March, 1830, they were only one half day's travel from the sea- 
coast, at which point they say, vol. i. p. 58 : 

" Meantime the rainy season is fast approaching, as is suffi- 
ciently announced by repeated showers and occasional tornadoes ; 
and, what makes us still more desirous to leave this abominable 


place, is the fact, as we have been told, that a sacrifice of no less 
than three hundred human beings, of both sexes and all ages, is 
about to take place. We often hear the cries of these poor crea- 
tures ; and the heart sickens with horror at the bare contemplation 
of such a scene as awaits us, should we remain here much longer." 

It is to be regretted that since the abolition of the slave-trade 
in Africa, slaves have become of little value in that country. 
That the Africans in many places have returned to sacrifice and 
cannibalism, is also true, and a cause of deep sorrow to the philan- 
thropist ; but, considering the state and condition of these savages, 
there is no alternative ; — the slave there, if he cannot be sold, is 
at all times liable to be put to death. 

Suppose you buy, and then turn them loose there ; they will 
again and instantly be the subjects of slavery ; and even there, 
slavery is some protection, for, so long as the savage master 
chooses or is able to keep his slave alive, he is more sure of the 
usual means of living. But, let us present this state of facts to 
the Christian, and ask him to apply the golden rule ; and, in case 
the slave-trade with Africa had not now been abolished, what would 
he deem it his duty to do for the practical and lasting benefit of 
these poor victims, whom the sympathy of the world has thus con- 
signed to sacrifice and death ? 

The people of the Slave States have determined not to counte- 
nance amalgamation with the slave race ; they have determined 
not to set the slaves free, because they have previously resolved 
that they will not, cannot live under the government of the negro. 
In full view of these evils, they have resolved that they will not 
sufi'er the presence of that race in their community, on terms of 
political or social equality. They have, therefore, further resolved, 
in furtherance of its prevention, to oppose it while life shall last. 

Now, Dr. Wayland says — 

P. 215. " The slaves were brought here without their own con- 
sent ; they have been continued in their present state of degrada- 
tion without their own consent, and they are not responsible for 
the consequences. If a man have done injustice to his neighbour, 
and have also placed impediments in the way of remedying that 
injustice, he is as much under obligations to remove the impedi- 
ments in the way of justice as he is to do justice." 

The ancestors of our slaves were brought from beyond sea by 
the people of Old England, and by the people of Noav England, 
and particularly by the people of Rhode Island, among the de- 


scendants of whom the reverend doctor resides. The ancestors 
of these slaves were sold to our ancestors for money, and guaran- 
teed, by them, to be slaves for life, and their descendants after 
them, as they said, both by the laws of God and man. Whether 
this was false, whether they were stolen and cruelly torn from 
their homes, the reverend doctor has better means of determining 
than we. We may sell, we will not free them. 

Under this statement of facts, let the re%'erend doctor apply the 
golden rule and his own argument to himself. Let him then buy, 
and set them free in Rhode Island ; or send them to Africa, if 
their ancestors "were unlawfully torn from thence." 

"Wo unto you, scribes and pharisees, hypocrites! because ye 
build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the 
righteous, and say. If we had been in the days of our fathers, we 
should not have been partakers with them in the blood of the 
prophets. Wherefore, ye be witness unto yourselves, that ye are 
the children of them that killed the prophets." Matt, xxiii. 29, 
30, 31. 

" For they bind heavy burdens, and grievous to be borne, and 
lay them on men's shoulders ; but they themselves will not move 
them with one of their fingers." Idem. 4. 

Within the last year, our sympathies have be?n excited by an 
account now published to the world, of an African chieftain and 
slaveholder, who, during the year previous, finding himself cut off 
from a market on the Western coast, in consequence of the abo- 
lition of the slave-trade with Europe and America, — the trade with 
Arabia, Egypt, and the Barbary States not being sufficient to drain 
off the surplus number, — put to death three thousand ! 

The blood of these massacred negroes now cries from the ground 
unto Dr. Wayland and his disciples — 

" Apply, oh, apply to bleeding Africa the doctrine of the golden 
rule, and relieve us, poor African slaves, from starvation, mas- 
sacre, and death. Come, oh, come ; buy us, that we may be your 
slaves, and have some chance to learn that religion under which 
you prosper. Then ' we shall build up the old wastes' — ' raise up 
the former desolations,' and ' repair the waste cities, the desolations 
of many generations.' 'And strangers shall stand and feed your 
flocks, and the sons of the alien shall be your ploughmen, and your 
vine-dressers.' ' Then ye shall be named the priests of the Lord ; 
men shall call you the ministers of our God.' " Isa. Ix'i. 4, 5, 6. 

We shall here close our remarks on the Rev. Dr. Wayland's 


book ; and however feeble they may be, yet we can conscientiously 
say, we have no " cloiiht" about the truth of our doctrine. 

" Forever, Lord, thy word is settled in heaven. Thy faith- 
fulness is unto all generations ; thou hast established the earth, 
and it abideth. They continue, this day, according to thine ordi- 
nances ; for all are thy servants," (n^n.^J/. ebedeka, slaves.) Ps» 
cxix. 89, 90, 91. 


Among those who have advocated views adverse to those of our 
present study, we are compelled to notice Dr. Paley, as one of the 
most influential, the most dignified, and the most learned. He 
defines slavery to be "an obligation to labour for the benefit of 
the master, w^ithout the contract or consent of the servant." He 
says " that this obligation may arise, consistently with the laws of 
nature, from three causes : 1st, from crimes ; 2d, from captivity ; 
and 3d, from debt." He says that, "in the first case, the continuance 
of the slavery, as of any other punishment, ought to be propor- 
tionate to the crime. In the second and third cases, it ought to 
cease as soon as the demand of the injured nation or private 
creditor is satisfied." He was among the first to oppose the Afri- 
can slave-trade. He says, " Because, when the slaves were brought 
to the African slave-market, no questions were asked as to the 
origin of the vendors' titles : Because the natives were incited to 
war for the sake of supplying the market with slaves : Because the 
slaves were torn away from their parents, wives, children, and friends, 
homes, companions, country, fields, and flocks, and their accom- 
modation on shipboard not better than that provided for brutes : 
Because the system of laws by which they are governed is merci- 
less and cruel, and is exercised, especially by their English mas- 
ters, with rigour and brutality." 

But he thinks the American Revolution, which had just then 
happened, will have a tendency to accelerate the fall of this most 
abominable tyranny, and indulges in the reflection whether, in the 
providence of God, the British legislature, which had so long as- 
sisted and supported it, was fit to have rule over so extensive an 
empire as the North American colonies. 


Dr. Paley says that slavery was a part of the civil constitution 
of most countries -when Christianity appeared ; and that no passage 
is found in the Christian Scriptures by which it is condemned or 
prohibited. But he thinks the reason to be, because " Christianity, 
soliciting admission into all nations of the world, abstained, as 
behooved it, from intermeddling mih. the civil institutions of any ; 
l)ut," says he, " does it follow from the silence of Scripture concern- 
ing them, that all the civil institutions that then prevailed were 
right ? or, that the bad should not be exchanged for better ? 
Besides," he says, " the discharging the slaves from all obligations to 
their masters would have had no better effect than to let loose one 
half of mankind upon the other. Besides," he thinks " it would have 
produced a servile war, which would have ended in the reproach 
and extinction of the Christian name." 

Dr. Paley thinks that the emancipation of slaves should be 
carried on very gradually, by provision of law, under the pro- 
tection of government ; and that Christianity should operate as an 
altei'ative, in which way, he thinks, it has extinguished the Greek 
and Roman slavery, and also the feudal tyranny ; and he trusts, 
"as Christianity advances in the world, it will banish what remains 
of this odious institution." 

In some of his other writings, Dr. Paley suggests that Great 
Britain, by way of atoning for the wrongs she has done Africa, 
ought to transport from America free negroes, the descendants of 
slaves, and give them location in various parts of Africa, to serve 
as models for the civilization of that country. 

Dr. Paley's Treatise on Moral and Political Philosophy, from 
which the foregoing synopsis is taken, Avas published to the world 
in 1785 ; but it had been delivered in lectures, almost verbatim, 
before the University of Cambridge, several years previous ; and 
it is now a class-book in almost every high literary institution 
where the English language is spoken. It is, therefore, a work 
of high authority and great influence. 

But we think his definition of the term slavery is not correct. 
Let us repeat it : " An obligation to labour for the benefit of the 
master, without the contract or consent of the servant." 

Many, who purchase slaves to be retained in their own families, 
first examine and consult with the slave, and tell him — " My busi- 
ness is thus ; I feed and clothe thus ; are you willing that I should 
buy you ? For I will buy no slave who is not willing." 

To this, it is usual for the slave to say, "Yes, master! and I 


hope you will buy me. I will be a good slave. You shall have no 
fault to find with me, or my work." 

By all the claims of morality, here is a contract and consent, and 
the statute might make it legal. But who will say that the con- 
dition of slavery is altered thereby ? But, says one, this suppo- 
sition does not reach the case, because all the obligations and con- 
ditions of slavery previously existed; and, therefore, the "con- 
tract" and "consent" here only amounted to a contract and 
consent to change masters. 

Suppose then, from poverty or misfortune, or some peculiar 
affection of the mind, a freeman should solicit to place himself in 
the condition of slavery to one in whom he had sufficient confi- 
dence, (and we have known such a case,) — a freeman anxiously 
applying to his more fortunate friend to enter into such an engage- 
ment for life ; suppose the law had sanctioned such voluntary 
slavery, and, when entered into, made it obligatory, binding, and 
final for ever. There would be nothing in such law contrary to the 
general powers of legislation, however impolitic it might be ; and 
such a law did once exist among the Jews. 

" And if a sojourner or a stranger wax rich by thee, and thy 
brother that dwelleth by him wax poor, and sell himself unto the 
stranger or sojourner by thee, or to the stock of the stranger's 
family ; after that he is sold, he may be redeemed again ; and one 
of his brethren may redeem him. Either his uncle or his uncle's 
son may redeem him, or any that is nigh of kin unto his family 
may redeem him ; or, if he be able, he may redeem himself : ^^^ * * 
and if he be not redeemed in one of these years, — then he shall go 
out in the year of Jubilee, both he and his children with him." 
Lev. XXV. '17-54. " Now these are the judgments which ye shall set 
before them. If ye buy an Hebrew servant, six years shall he 
serve, and in the seventh he shall go out free for nothing. If he 
came in by himself, he shall go out by himself; if he were married, 
then his wife shall go out with him. If his master have given him 
a wife, and she have borne him sons or daughters, the wife and her 
children shall be her master's, and he shall go out by himself; and 
if the servant shall plainly say, 'I love my master, my wife, and 
my children; I will not go out free,' — then his master shall bring 
him unto the judges ; he shall bring him unto the door, or unto 
the door-post, and his master shall bore his ear through with an 
awl, and he shall serve him forever." Ex. xxi. 1-G. 

It is clear, then, that "to contract and consent," or the reverse, 


is no part of the qualities of slavery. Erase, tlien, that portion of 
Dr. Paley's definition as surplusage ; it will then read, " an obli- 
gation to labour for the benefit of the master." 

Now, there can be no obligation to do a thing where there is no 
possible power to do it; and more especially, if there is no con- 
tract. But it does not unfrequently occur, that a slave, from its 
infancy, old age, idiocy, delirium, disease, or other infirmity, has 
no power to labour for the benefit of the master ; and the want of 
such ability may be obviously as permanent as life, so as to exclude 
the idea of any prospective benefit. Yet the law compels the 
master to supply food, clothes, medicine, pay taxes on, and every 
way suitably protect such slave, greatly to the disadvantage of the 
master. Or, a case might be, for it is presumable, that the master, 
from some obliqueness of understanding, might not wish some 
slave, even in good health, to labour at all, but would prefer, 
at great expense, to maintain such slave in luxury and idleness, 
clothed in purple and fine linen, and faring sumptuously every 
day : surely, such slave, would be under no obligation to labour 
for the benefit of the master, when, to do so, would be acting con- 
trary to his will and command. Yet none of these circumstances 
make the slave a freeman, or alter at all the essentials of slavery. 

The slave, then, may or may not be under obligation to labour 
for the benefit of the master. Therefore, the "obligation to la- 
bour for the benefit of the master" is surplusage also, and may be 
erased. So the entire definition is erased — not a word left ! 

The fact is, Dr. Paley took some of the most common incidents 
accompanying the thing for the thing itself; and he would have 
been just as logically correct had he said, that " slavery was to be 
a hearty feeder on fat pork," because slaves feed heartily on that 
article. In his definition Dr. Paley has embraced none of the 
essentials of slavery. 

We propose to notice the passage — " This obligation may arise, 
consistently with the laws of nature, from three causes : 1st, from 
crime; 2d, from captivity ; 3d, from debt." 

The first consideration is, what he means by "obligation." In 
its usual acceptation, the term means something that has grown out 
of a previous condition, as the obligations of marriage did not, 
nor could they exist until the marriage was had. If he only 
means that the " obligations" of slavery arise, &c., then he has 
told us nothing of the arising of slavery itself. But as he has 
used the word in the singular number, and given it three progeni- 


tors, we may suppose, that, by some figure of rhetoric, not usual 
in works of this kind, he has used the consequent for the cause. 
In that case, the sentence should read, " Slavery may arise, con- 
sistently -with the laws of nature, from three causes," &c. ; which 
is what Ave suppose the doctor really meant. 

The next inquiry is, what did Dr. Paley mean by " the laws of 
nature ?" Permit us to suffer him to answer this inquiry himself. 

In the twenty-fourth chapter of his "Natural Theology," a 
work of great merit, he says — 

" The wisdom of the Deity, as testified in the works of creation, 
surpasses all idea we have of wisdom drawn from the highest in- 
tellectual operations of the highest class of intelligent beings with 
whom we are acquainted. * * * ^Jjq degree of knowledge 
and power requisite for the formation of created nature cannot, 
with respect to us, be distinguished from infinite. The Divine om- 
nipresence stands in natural theology upon this foundation, - In 
every part and place of the universe, with which we are acquainted, 
we perceive the exertion of a power which we believe mediately 
or immediately to proceed from the Deity. For instance, in what 
part or point of space, that has ever been explored, do we not 
discover attraction ? In what regions do we not discover light? 
In what accessible portion of our globe do we not meet with gravi- 
tation, magnetism, electricity ? together with the properties, also, 
and powers of organized substances, of vegetable or animated, na- 
ture ? Nay, further we may ask, what kingdom is there of nature, 
what corner of space, in which there is any thing that can be ex- 
amined by us, where we do not fall upon contrivance and design? 
The only reflection, perhaps, which arises in our minds from this 
view of the world around us, is that the laws of nature every- 
where prevail ; that they are uniform and universal. But what 
do Ave mean by the laws of nature ? or by any law ? Effects are 
produced by power, not by law; a law cannot execute itself; a law 
refers to an agent." 

By the "laws of nature," then, Dr. Paley clearly means the 
laws of God. 

Now be pleased to look at the close of Dr. Paley's remarks on 
slavery, where he trusts that, " as Christianity advances in the 
world, it will banish Avhat remains of that odious institution." 
How happens it that an institution which arises consistently with 
the laws of God should be odious to him, unless the laws of God 
and Dr. Paley are at variance on this subject ? 



It will be recollected, that Dr. Palej has presented a number 
of facts, displaying acts of oppression and cruelty, as arguments 
against the African slave-trade. These facts are arranged and 
used in place as arguments against the institution of slavery it- 
self; and the verbose opponents of this institution have always so 
understood it, and so used this class of facts. It is this circum- 
stance that calls for our present view of these facts, rather than 
any necessity the facts themselves impose of proving their exag- 
geration or imaginary existence ; and doubtless, in many cases, 
most heartless enormities were committed. But what do they all 
prove ? Truly, that some men engaged in the traffic were exceed- 
ingly wicked men. 

Such men would fashion the traffic to suit themselves, and 
would, doubtless, make their business an exceedingly wicked one. 
But none of the enormities named, or that could be named, con- 
stituted a necessary part of the institution of slavery, or necessa- 
rily emanated from it. What enormities have wicked men some- 
times committed in the transportation of emigrants from Germany 
and Ireland ? Wicked men, intrusted with power, have, at least 
sometimes, been found to abuse it. Is it any argument against the 
institution of marriage, because some women have made their 
husbands support and educate children not their own ? Or, be- 
cause some men murder, treat with cruelty, or make their wives 
totally miserable and wretched ? None of these things were any 
part of the institution of marriage, but the reverse of it. Apply 
this view also to the institution of Christianity, for nothing has 
been more abused. Already, under its very banners, as it were, 
have been committed more enormities than would probably attend 
that of slavery through all time. Yet the institution of Chris- 
tianity has not been even soiled thereby ; but its character and 
usefulness have become brighter and more visible. In proportion 
to the importance of a thing is its liability to abuse. A worthless 
thing is not worth a counterfeit. 

We have before us the testimony of travellers in regard to the 
indifference felt by the Africans on being sold as slaves ; of their 
palpable want of love and affection for their country, their rela- 


tives, and even for their wives and children. Nor should we forget 
that a large portion of this race are born slaves to the chieftainSj 
whose wars with each other are mere excursions of robbery and 

Lander, vol. i. p. 107, speaking of Jenna, says — 

" It must not be imagined that because the people of this country 
are almost perpetually engaged in conflicts with their neighbours, 
the slaughter of human beings is therefore very great. They pur- 
sue war, as it is called, partly as an amusement, or to heei:) their 
hands in it; and partly to benefit themselves by the capture of 

One decrepit old woman was the victim of a hundred engage- 
ments, at Cape La Hoo, during a three years' war. Lander de- 
scribes those who claim to be free, as the tvai- men of the j^ath, who 
are robbers. H® says, p. 145, " they subsist solely by pillage and 

Such is the condition of the poor free negro in Africa. The 
chieftain often, it is true, has goats, sheep, fields of corn and rice ; 
but we mistake when we suppose that the slaves, the surplus of 
whom were formerly sent to market, were the proprietors of such 
property. At Katunqua, p. 179, Lander describes the food to be 
" such as lizards, rats, locusts, and caterpillars, which the natives 
roast, grill, bake, and boil." No people feed on such vermin who 
possess fields and flocks. 

We can form some notion of their companionship, from p. 110: 
"It is the custom here, when the governor dies, for two of his 
favourite wives to quit the world on the same day;" but in this 
case they ran and hid themselves. Also, p. 182 : " This morning 
a young man visited us, with a countenance so rueful, and spoke in 
a tone so low and melancholy, that we were desirous to learn what 
evil had befallen him. The cause of it was soon explained by his 
informing us that he would be doomed to die, with two companions, 
as soon as the governor's dissolution should take place." 

There is little or no discrepancy among travellers in their de- 
scriptions of the Africans. Their state of society must have been ' 
well known to Paley ; yet Paley gives us a picture of their state 
of society from imagination, founded upon that state of society 
with which his pupils were conversant : " Because the slaves were 
torn away from their parents, wives, children, and friends, homes, 
companions, country, fields, and flocks." 

If the picture drawn by Paley were the lone consideration ad- 


dressed to our commiseration in the argument against slavery as a 
Divine institution of mercy, Ave should, perhaps, be at some loss 
to deterinine what amount was due from us to the African slave, 
who had thus been torn from the danger of being ■put to death! 
— thus torn from his fields of lizards and locusts, and flocks of 
caterpillars ! 

But what shall we think of an argument, founded on relations in 
England, but applied to Africa, where no such relations exist ? 

It is a rule to hesitate as to the truthfulness of all that is stated, 
when the witness is discovered to be under the influence of a pre- 
judice so deeply seated as to mislead the mind, and especially 
when we discover a portion of the stated facts to be either not true 
or misapplied. 

The reasons assigned by Dr. Paley why the Christian Scriptures 
did not prohibit and condemn slavery, we deem also quite erro- 
neous : — "For Christianity, soliciting admission into all nations of 
the world, abstained, as behooved it, from intermeddling with the 
civil institutions of any;" and then asks, with an air of triumph, 
" But does it follow from the silence of Scripture concerning them, 
that all the civil institutions that prevailed were right ? or that 
the bad should not be exchanged for better?" 

We wish to call particular attention to this passage, for, even 
after having examined the books of the Greek philosophers, wt are 
constrained to say we have never seen a more beautiful sophism. 

Is it a fact, then, that Jesus Christ and his apostles did compro- 
mise and compound with sin, as Dr. Paley thinks it behooved them, 
and with the design to avoid opposition to the introduction of 
Christianity ? 

Say, thou humble follower of the lowly Jesus, art thou ready 
to lay down thy life for Him who could truckle to sin — to a gross, 
an abominable sin, which alone would destroy the purity of his 
character and the divinity of his doctrine? In all love, we pray 
Him who holds your very breath in his hand, to cause you to trem- 
ble, before you shall say that Jesus Christ was a liar, and his 
" apostles perjured ! 

" I am the true vine ; and my Father is the husbandman * * * 
as the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you ; continue ye in 
my love. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay 
down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends if ye do what- 
soever I command you. Henceforth I call you not servants, for 
the servant knoweth not what his Lord doeth; but I have called 


you friends ; for all things that I have heard of my Father, I 
have made known unto you." John xv. 1, 9, 13, 15. 

" And when they were come to him, he said unto them ; ye know, 
from the first day that I came into Asia, after what manner I have 
been with you, at all seasons, serving the Lord with all humility 
of mind, and with many tears and temptations, which befell me by 
the lying in wait of the Jews. And how I kept back nothing that 
was profitable unto you ; but have showed you, and have taught 
you publicly and from house to house. Wherefore, I take you to 
record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men. For I 
have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God." 
Acts XX. 

Had St. Paul foreseen the attack upon his character, made by 
Dr. Paley, seventeen hundred and eighty-five years after, and that 
upon his Master and their religion, he need not have altered his 
language to have repelled the slander. 

"Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, to them 
that have obtained like precious faith with us, through the right- 
eousness of God and of our Saviour Jesus Christ : grace and peace 
be multiplied unto you, through the knowledge of God and of Jesus 
Christ our Lord, according as his divine power hath given unto us 


the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue." 

And what says this holy man, — what says this same Peter, touch- 
ing the subject of Dr. Paley's remarks ? 

" Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear ; not only to 
the good and gentle, but also to the froward, * * * for here- 
unto were ye called." 1 Pet. ii. 18-21. 

Permit us to inquire whether the language of Jesus Christ him- 
self, of St. Paul and St. Peter, does not, in a strong degree, con- 
tradict the supposition of Dr. Paley ? And let us inquire whether 
it is probable that a class of men, devoted to the promulgation of 
a doctrine which ran so counter to many of the civil institutions, 
customs, habits, and religions then in the world, as to have subjected 
them to death, would have secretly kept back a part of their creed, 
when, to have made it known, could not have increased their 
danger ; and, especially, as by the creed itself, such keeping back 
would have insured to them the eternal punishment hereafter ? 

" Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the 
spirit which is of God : that we might know the things that are 


freely given to us of God ; which things we also speak, not in the 
words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost 
teacheth." 1 Cor. ii. 12, 13. "And Jesus came and spake unto 
them, saying ; all power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 
Go ye, therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name 
of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, teaching 
them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you ; 
and lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world." 
3Iatf. xxviii. 18-20. " And now, Father, glorify thou me, with 
thine own self, with the glory which I had with thee before the 
world was. I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou 
gavest me out of the world. Now they have known all things 
whatsoever thou hast given me of thee : for I have given unto 
them the words which thou gavest me, and they have received 
them, and have known surely that I came out from thee." 
JoJm xvii. 5-8. 

It is not possible that we could have had greater evidence that 
the whole counsel of God, illustrating the Christian duty, was 
delivered to the apostles, and through them, to the world. Besides, 
the very presumption of the incompleteness of the instruction un- 
dermines the divinity of the doctrine. 

There is, perhaps, no one who does not feel pain, sometimes 
almost unspeakable, when we see a great man leaning upon the 
staff of error, especially when such error is palpable, gross, and 
calamitous in its tendency and effects. 

But, cheering as the early ray of hope, and welcome as the 
rest-giving witness of a covenant, will be the proof that human 
weakness still had power to wade from out the miry labyrinth of 
error — to stand upon the rock from whence even human eyes 
might behold some few glimpses of the rising effulgence of truth. 

We have some evidence that Dr. Paley did, at a later period of 
his life, adopt a more consistent view of the Christian Scriptures, 
touching the subject of this inquiry. In his " Horge Paulinse," 
a work of exceeding great merit, on the subject of Paul's letter to 
the Corinthian church, he enumerates and classifies the subjects 
of Paul's instruction, among which slavery is conspicuously men- 
tioned, and then says — "That though they" (the subjects) "be 
exactly agreeable to the circumstances of the persons to whom the 
letter was written, nothing, I believe, but the existence and reality 
of the circumstances" (subjects) "could have suggested them to 
the writer's thought." 


In all Christian love and charity, we are constrained to believe 
that he had discovered his error ; and that, had his lil'e been 
spared longer, he, with diligence and anxiety, would have expunged 
from his works charges so reflecting on himself, and contrary to the 
character of the God of our hope. 


Slavery existed in Britain when history commenced the records 
of that island. It was there found in a state and condition pre- 
dicated upon the same causes by which its existence is now con- 
tinued and perpetuated in Africa. But as early as the year 
692-3 A. D., the Witna-Gemot, convoked by Ina, began to mani- 
fest a more elevated condition of the Britons. Without abolishing 
slavery, they regulated its government, ameliorated the old practice 
of death or slavery being the universal award of conquest ; by sub- 
mission and baptism the captive was acknowledged to merit some 
consideration ; life, and, in some cases, property were protected 
against the rapacity of the conqueror ; the child was secured 
against the mere avarice of the savage parent, and heavy punish- 
ment was announced against him who should sell his countryman, 
whether malefactor, slave, or not, to any foreign master. 

He who has the curiosity to notice the steps by which the Britons 
emerged from savage life, in connection with their condition of 
slavery, may do well to examine the works of William of Malms- 
bury, Simeon of Durham, Bede, Alcuin, Wilkins, Huntingdon, 
Hoveden, Lingard, and Wilton. But he will not find the statutes 
of the monarchies succeeding Ina free from these enactments until 
he shall come down near the fourteenth century. Thus, genera- 
tions passed away before these statutes came to be regarded with 
general respect. National regeneration has ever been thus slow. 
Thus, savage life has ever put to death the captive ; while we fin<l 
that slavery, among such tribes, has ever been introduced as a 
merciful provision in its stead, and is surely a proof of one step 
towards a more elevated state of moral improvement. But in the 
case of Britain and the whole of Europe, the slave was of the same 
original stock with the master ; he, therefore, presented no physi- 
cal impediment to amalgamation, by which has been brought about 
whatever of equality now exists among their descendants. 


But in the close of this study, we propose to take some notice 
of the arguments of another most distinguished writer in favour 
of the abolition of slavery, as it now affects the African race. 

In 1777, the celebrated Dr. Samuel Johnson wrote his argument 
in favour of the freedom of the negro slave who accompanied his 
master from Jamaica to Scotland, and who there brought suit in 
the Court of Sessions for his freedom. This argument has been 
deemed by so many to be unanswerable, and ever since that time 
so generally used as a seed argument in the propagation of aboli- 
tion doctrines, that we feel it worthy of notice and examination. 

Johnson was a bitter opponent of negro slavery ; yet, strange, 
he ever advocated the justice of reducing the American colonies 
and the West India Islands to the most abject condition of political 
slavery to the British crown. This system is fully advocated, and 
garnished by his sarcasm and ridicule, in his famous work, entitled 
"Taxation no Tyranny." " How is it," says he, "that we hear 
the loudest yelps for liberty among the drivers of negroes." 

Not long after he wrote this argument, on the occasion of a 
dinner-party at Dilly's, he said, " I am willing to love all man- 
kind, except an American ;'' whereupon, adds his biographer, "he 
breathed out threatenings and slaughter, calling them rascals, rob- 
bers, pirates, and exclaiming, he'd burn and destroy them." 

Some knowledge of a man's peculiar notions relevant to a sub- 
ject will often aid the mind in a proper estimate of the value of 
his opinion and judgment concerning correlative matters. His 
biographer says — 

" I record Dr. Johnson's argument fairly upon this particular 
case;" * * * "but I beg leave to enter my most solemn pro- 
test against his general doctrine with respect to the slave-trade ; 
for I will most resolutely say that his unfavourable notion of it 
was owing to prejudice, and imperfect or false information. The 
"wild and dangerous attempt, which has for some time been per- 
sisted in, to obtain an act of the legislature to abolish so very im- 
portant and necessary a branch of commercial interest, must have 
been crushed at once, had not the insignificance of the zealots who 
vainly took the lead in it, made the vast body of the planters, 
merchants, and others, whose immense properties are involved in 
the trade, reasonably enough suppose that there would be no dan- 
ger. The encouragement which the attempt has received excites 
my wonder and indignation ; and though some men of superior 
abilities have suppoi'ted it, whether from a love of temporary popu- 


larity when prosperous, or a love of general mischief when des- 
perate, my opinion is unshaken. To abolish a status, which in all 
ages God has sanctioned and man has continued, would not only 
be robbery to an innumerable class of fellow-subjects, but it would 
be extreme cruelty to African savages, a portion of whom it saves 
from massacre or intolerable bondage in their own country, and 
introduces into a much happier state of life." BoswelVs Life of 
Johnson, vol. ii. pp. 132, 133. 

On the same page, the biographer adds — 

" His violent prejudices against our West-Indian and American 
settlers, appeared whenever there was an opportunity." * * * 
*' Upon an occasion, when in company with several very grave men 
at Oxford, his toast was : ' Here's to the next insurrection of the 
negroes in the West Indies !' I, with all due deference, thought 
that he discovered a zeal without knowledge." 

This was surely bold in Boswell ! 

Since the culmination of the great British lexicographer, it has 
been unusual to hear a whisper in question of his high moral accu- 
racy, of his singularly nice mental training, or the perspicuous and 
lofty display of these qualities in all his works. Even at this day, 
such a whisper may be proof of temerity. But truth is of higher 
import than the fear of individual rebuke, or of our literary faith 
that any one hero in the walks of erudition heretofore went down 
to the tomb without one mental or classical imperfection. 

Argument in favour of a negro claiming his liberty, referred to 
in BosweWs Life of Johnson, p. 132. 

" It must be agreed that in most ages many countries have had 
part of their inhabitants in a state of slavery ; yet it may be 
doubted whether slavery can ever be supposed the natural condition 
of man. It is impossible not to conceive that men in their original 
state were equal ; and very difficult to imagine how one would be 
subjected to another but by violent compulsion. An individual 
may, indeed, forfeit his liberty by a crime ; but he cannot by that 
crime forfeit the liberty of his children. What is true of a criminal 
seems true likewise of a captive. A man may accept life from a 
conquering enemy on condition of perpetual servitude ; but it is 
very doubtful whether he can entail that servitude on his descend- 
ants ; for no man can stipulate without commission for another. 
The condition which he himself accepts, his son or grandson would 
have rejected. If we should admit, what perhaps may with more 


reason be denied, that there are certain relations between man and 
man which may make slavery necessary and just, yet it can never 
be proved that he who is now suing for his freedom ever stood in 
any of those relations. He is certainly subject by no law, but that 
of violence, to his present master, who pretends no claim to his 
obedience but that he bought him from a merchant of slaves, whose 
right to sell him never was examined. It is said that according 
to the constitutions of Jamaica he was legally enslaved ; these con- 
stitutions are merely positive, and apparently injurious to the rights 
of mankind, because whoever is exposed to sale is condemned to 
slavery without appeal, by whatever fraud or violence he might 
have originally been brought into the merchant's power. In our 
own time, princes have been sold, by wretches to Avhose care they 
were intrusted, that they might have an European education ; but 
when once they were brought to a market in the plantations, little 
would avail either their dignity or their wrongs. The laws of 
Jamaica aiFord a negro no redress. His colour is considered as a 
sufficient testimony against him. It is to be lamented that moral 
right should ever give way to political convenience. But if tempta- 
tions of interest are sometimes too strong for human virtue, let us 
at least retain a virtue where there is no temptation to quit it. In 
the present case there is apparent right on one side, and no con- 
venience on the other. Inhabitants of this island can neither gain 
riches nor power by taking away the liberty of any part of the 
human species. The sum of the argument is this : No man is by 
nature the property of another. The defendant is, therefore, by 
nature, free. The rights of nature must be some way forfeited 
before they can be justly taken away. That the defendant has, 
by any act, forfeited the rights of nature, we require to be proved ; 
and if no proof of such forfeiture can be given, we doubt not but 
the justice of the court will declare him free." 

The author of this production has artfully surrounded his sub- 
ject with such a plausibility of concessive proposals, doubtful sug- 
gestions, indefinite words and propositions, as will require a sifting 
of his ideas into a more distinct view. And we fear some will find 
his argument thus vague and indeterminate ; the mind will pass it 
by, as one of those learned masterpieces of logic, so distant from 
the eye of our common judgment, that they will sooner yield their 
assent than endure the labour of examination. 

The first suggestion we would offer on the subject of this pro- 
duction is its total inapplicability to the case. The negro was 


held a slave in Jamaica. The inquiry was not, whether he was sc 
held in obedience to the British law regulating the institution of 
slavery in Jamaica. The only question was, whether a slave in 
Jamaica, or elsewhere, who had by any means found his way into 
Scotland, was or was not free by operation of law. Not a word 
is directed to that point. And the court of session must have 
regarded its introduction before them as an argument in the case, 
as idle and as useless as would have been a page from his llasselas. 
The British government established negro slavery by law in all her 
colonies, but made no provision by which the slave, when once 
found on the shores of England, could be taken thence again into 

The object, no doubt, was wholly to prevent their introduction 
there, in favour to her own labouring poor. The British mo- 
narchy retained the whole subject of slavery under its own control. 
The colonies had no voice in the matter. They had no political 
right to say that the slave, thus imposed on them, should, after he 
had found his way into any part of the British Isles, be reclaimed, 
and their right of property in him restored. Their political con- 
dition differed widely from the condition of these United States 
at the formation of this republic. 

They, as colonial dependants, had no power to dictate protection 
to their own rights, or to insist on a compromise of conflicting 
interests to be established by law. 

Dr. Johnson's argument is exclusively directed against the po- 
litical and moral propriety of the institution of slavery as a state 
or condition of man anywhere, instead of the true question at 
issue. The argument, taken as a whole, is, therefore, a sophism, 
of the order which dialecticians call '■'■ ig nor alio elenchi ;" a 
dodging of the question ; a substitution of something for the ques- 
tion which is not ; a practice common among the pert pleaders of 
the day — sometimes, doubtless, without their own perception of the 
fact. In regard to him who uses this sophism to effect the issue, 
the conclusion is inevitable, — he is either dishonest or he is ignorant 
of his subject. And when we come to examine this celebrated 
production as an argument against the moral propriety of the ex- 
istence of the institution of slavery in the world, we shall fiml 
every pillar presented for its foundation a mere sophism, now 
quite distinctly, and again more feebly enunciated, as if with a 
more timid tongue, and left to inquiry, adorned by festoons of 
doubt and supposition. 


We shall requote some portions, with a view to their more par- 
ticular consideration. And, first, "Yet it maybe doubted whether 
slavery can ever be supposed the natural condition of man." This 
clause, when put in the crucible, reads, "Yet slavery can never 
exist in conformity to the law of God." Whoever doubts this to 
be the sense, we ask him to suppose what the sense is ! The 
author did not choose these few words to express the proposition, 
because the law of God could readily be produced in contradiction : 
" Whosoever committetli sin is the servant {hovxoi, doulos, slave) of 
sin." Besides, then, he loses the benefit of the sophism, — the 
substitution of the condition of man in his fallen state, through 
the ambiguity of the word " natural," for the condition of the first 
man, fresh fi'om the hand of the Creator. This sophism is one 
of great art" and covertness ; so much so, that it takes its character 
rather from its effect on the mind than from its language ; and we 
therefore desire him who reads, to notice the whole chain of thought 
passing in the author's mind, — lest he forget how our present state 
is the subject of contemplation offered as data, when, on the word 
" natural," as if it were a potter's wheel, our original condition is 
turned to the front, a postulate, from which we are left to compare 
and conclude. 

The doctrine of the Bible is, that slavery is the consequence of 
sin. If "natural" be taken to mean the quality of a state of 
perfect holiness and purity, then slavery cannot be the natural 
condition of man ; no doubts are required in the case. But if 
"natural" is used to express the quality of our condition under 
sin, sinking us under the curse of the law, then the propriety of 
its use will not be "doubtful," when applied to slavery, because it 
is a consequent of the quality of the condition. " Cursed is every 
one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book 
of the law to do them." The proposition, as thus explained, we 
think of no value in the argument ; but, as left by the author, 
obscure, its real meaning and intent not obviously perceived nor 
easily detected, and he may have thought it logical and sound. 

" It is impossible not to conceive that men, in their original 
state, were equal." 

Here is another sophism, which the learned call jyetitio principii, 
introduced without the least disguise, — the assumption of a pro- 
position without proof, which, upon examination, is not true. If 
the author mean, by "original state," the state of man in para- 
dise, we have no method of examining facts, except by a comparison 


of Adam ■with Eve, ■uho was placed in subjection. And if we may 
be permitted to examine the state of holy beings more elevated 
than was man, — " For thou hast made him a little lower than the 
angels," — then, by analogy, w'e shall find it possible to conceive that 
men, in the original state, were not equal, since even the angels, 
who do the commands of God, are described as those " that excel 
in strength." 

But if Dr. Johnson mean the state of man after the fall, then 
Cain was told by God himself, that, if he did well, he should have 
rule over Abel. 

" And very difficult to imagine how one would be subjected to 
another, but by violent compulsion." The object of this singular 
remark is to enforce the proposition. That slavery is incompatible 
with the law of God, which is not true. 

" And if the servant shall plainly say, ' I love my master 
* * * I will not go out free:' then his master shall bring 
jjjj^ * * * ^jj^j ]^g shall serve (be a slave to) him for ever." 

But if it shall be said the value of the passage quoted resides 
in the term "violent compulsion;" that "violent compulsion," 
sufficient to make a man a slave, is incompatible with the law of 
God, then it will have no weight in the argument, because the 
" violent compulsion" used may be in conformity to the law of 
God. " And I will cause thee to serve (be a slave) to thine ene- 
mies in the land which thou knowest not." 

" An individual may indeed forfeit his liberty by crime ; but he 
cannot forfeit the liberty of his children." 

This, as a proposition, presents a sophism of the order non 
causa pro causa, in reverse. We all agree a man may forfeit his 
liberty by crime ; but how are we to deduce from this fact that 
the liberty of the child cannot be affected by the same crime ? 
The truth is, the crime that deprives a parent of liberty, may, or 
may not, deprive the child. The framework of this sophism is 
quite subtle ; it implies the sophism, " a dicto secundum quid, ad 
dictutn simpliciter," to have full effect on the mind. Because, in 
truth, the crime that deprives the parent of liberty does not in- 
variably involve the liberty of the child, we are, therefore, asked 
to assent to the proposition that it never does. But, perhaps, an 
analysis of the proposition before us may be more plain to some, 
when we remark, what is true in all such compound sophisms, that 
the proposition containing it is divisible into two distinct pro- 


In this case, the first one is true, — the second not. If, by 
crime, a man forfeits his life, he forfeits his liberty. If he is put 
to death previous to a condition of paternity, its prospect is cut off 
with him. Those beings who, otherwise, might have been his de- 
scendants, will never exist. Hence rude nations, from such analogy, 
in case of very high crimes, destroyed, with the parent, all his ex- 
i^ting descendants. Ancient history is full of such examples. 
The principle is the same as the more modern attaint, and is 
founded, if in no higher law, in the common sense of mankind ; 
for, when the statute establishing attaints is repealed, the public 
mind and the descendant both feel that the attaint essentially 
exists, even without law to enforce it. Who does not perceive 
that the descendants of certain traitors are effectually attainted at 
the present day, even among the most enlightened nations. He 
who denies that the crime of the parent can affect the liberty of 
the child, must also deny that the character of the parent can 
affect him ; a fact that almost universally exists, and which every 
one knows. 

" Let his children be continually vagabonds and beg ; * * * 
let his posterity be cut off; * * * let the iniquities of his 
fathers be remembered with the Lord." 

This doctrine w^as recognised and practised by the church, even 
in England, in the more early ages. Let one instance suffice. 
About the year 560, Mauricus, a Christian king of Wales, com- 
mitted perjury and murdered Cynetus, — whereupon, Odouceus, 
Bishop of Llandaff, in full synod, pronounced excommunication, 
and cursed, for ever, him and all his offspring. See Milton's 


This principle actively exists in the physical world. The pa- 
rent contracts some loathsome disease — the offspring are physically 
deteriorated thereby. He whose moral and physical degradation 
are such that slavery to him is a blessing, with few exceptions, will 
find his descendants fit only for that condition. The children of 
parents whose conduct in life fostered some mental peculiarity, 
are quite likely, with greater or less intensity, to exhibit traces of 
the same. " The parents have eaten sour grapes, and the chil- 
dren's teeth are set on edge." The law is not repealed by the 
mantle of love, which, in mercy, the Saviour has spread over the 
world, any more than forgiveness blots out the fact of a crime. 
The hope of happiness hereafter alleviates present suffering, but, 
in no sense, annihilates a cause which has previously existed. 


"A man may accept life from a conquering enemy on condition 
of perpetual servitude ; but it is very doubtful whether he can en- 
tail that servitude on his descendants ; for no man can stipulate, 
without commission, for another." 

All that is presented as argument here, is founded upon the 
proposition, that no man can stipulate for his descendants, whether 
unborn or not. 

If what we have before said be true, little need be said on the 
subject of this paragraph. For we have already seen that the 
conduct of the ancestor, to an indefinite extent, both physically 
influences and morally binds the condition of the offspring. It is 
comparatively but a few ages since, over the entire world, the 
parent had full power, by law, to put his children to death for 
crime, or to sell them into slavery for causes of which he was the 
judge. And it may be remarked, that such is the present law 
among, perhaps, all the tribes who furnish from their own race 
slaves for the rest of the world. It is not necessary here to show 
why a people, who find such laws necessary to their welfare, also 
find slavery a blessing to them. 

Civilization has ameliorated these, to us, harsh features of 
parental authority; yet, to-day, the world can scarcely produce a 
case where the condition of the child has not been greatly affected 
by the stipulations, the conduct, the influences of the parent, wholly 
beyond its control. The relation of parent has ever been found 
a sufficient commission to bind these results to the condition of the 

" But our fathers dealt proudly, and hardened their necks, and 
hearkened not to thy commandments, and refused to obey ; * * * 
and in their rebellion appointed a captain to return to their 

" The condition which he (the captive) accepts, his son or 
grandson would have rejected." 

This, at most, is supposititious, and, as an argument, we think, 
extremely weak ; because it implies, either that the acceptance of 
the parent was not the result of necessity, and the wisest choice 
between evils, or that the rejection, by the son, was the fruit of 
extravagant pretension. 

"He that is extravagant will quickly become poor, and poverty 
will enforce dependence and invite corruption." * * * "I 
have avoided that empyrical morality that cures one vice by the 
means of another." Johnson s Rambler. 


" If we should admit, what perhaps with more reason may be denied, 
that there are certain relations between man and man, which may 
make slavery necessary and just, yet it can never be proved, that he, 
who is suing for his freedom, ever stood in any of these relations." 

We cannot pretend to know what were the particular facts in 
relation to the slavery of the individual then in Scotland. It is 
not, however, pretended that the facts in relation to this slave were 
not the facts in relation to all others. No suggestion of any ille- 
gality as to his slavery in Jamaica is made, other than the broad 
ground of the illegality of slavery itself. This is quite evident 
from what follows : 

" He is certainly subject, by no law but that of violence, to his 
present master, who pretends no claim to his obedience, but that 
he bought him from a merchant of slaves, whose right to sell him 
was never examined." 

In the passage under consideration, we are confined wholly to 
negro slavery ; and had Dr. Johnson been serious in admitting that 
slavery, under "certain relations," was "necessary and just," he 
would have yielded his case ; because, then, the slave in hand would 
have been placed in the category of proving that he did not exist 
under these relations. Johnson well knew that slavery existed in 
Jamaica by the sanction of the British Parliament, and he mani- 
fests his contempt for it, by the assertion that the slave was held 
only by the law of force. He was, therefore, not reaching for the 
freedom of that particular slave, but for the subversion of slavery 
as a condition of man. 

The author has heretofore signified a willingness to admit the 
lawfulness of slavery, when induced by "crime or captivity ;" but 
now denies the validity of such admission, because the relations of 
"crime and captivity" can never be proved. The apparent object 
of his admission was merely to rally us, by his liberality, to the 
admission that these relations could never be proved; and we 
admit they never can be in the way he provides ; and he there- 
fore announces the demonstration of the proposition, that slavery 
can never be just, because "these relations," which alone make it 
so, can never be established. But what are the reasons ? They 
are the very causes which render the Africans obnoxious to the 
condition of slavery — the degraded, deteriorated, and savage state 
of that people. The negro slave, in his transit from the interior 
of Africa, is often sold many times, by one master and chieftain to 
another, before he reaches the western coast, whence he was trans- 


ferred by the slave factors to the English colonies. No memory 
of these facts, or of the slave's origin, is preserved or attempted. 
Under these circumstances, though each individual of these slaves 
induced the condition by "crime or captivity," such fact could 
never be established in the English colony. To attempt proof 
there of any fact touching the case, would be as idle and futile as 
to attempt such proof in regard to the biography of a baboon. 
Besides, the truth is, a very large portion of these slaves were 
born slaves in Africa, inheriting their condition from a slave 
ancestry of unknown ages, and recognised to be slaves by the laws 
and customs of the various tribes there, and sent to market as a 
surplus commodity, in accordance to the laws and usages among 
them, enforced from time immemorial. 

So far as we have knowledge of the various families of man, we 
believe it to have ever been the practice for one nation to receive 
the national acts of another as facts fixed, and not subject to 
further investigation or alteration by a foreign people, especially 
when none but the people making the decision were affected by it. 
Johnson surely must have agreed to such a practice, because an 
opposite course, so far as carried into action, w^ould have involved 
every nation in universal war and endless bloodshed. Besides, 
tlie right to usurp such control would involve the right to enslave, 
and can only exist when the degeneracy of a nation has become 
too great a nuisance to be longer tolerated with safety by the 
people annoyed : self-protection will then warrant the right. 

If England makes it lawful for her subjects to buy slaves in 
Africa and hold them in Jamaica, then her subjects may lawfully 
hold there such as are decided by the laws of Africa to be slaves. 
But the author of the argument, with all this before him, having 
dictated what alone shall make a man a slave, would propose to 
set up a new tribunal contrary to all international law — contrary 
to the peace of the world — and, finally, as to the object to which 
it is to be applied, forever abortive : wherefore his argument in 
effect is, because "these relations," which he admits would justly 
make a man a slave, cannot be proved, therefore what he admits 
to be ti'ue is not true ; and puts us in mind of the sophism : " If, when 
a man speaks truth, he says he lies, he lies ; but he lies when he 
speaks the truth; therefore, by speaking the truth, he lies!" 
Avhich we think about as relevant to the question. 

In his conclusion. Dr. Johnson frankly acknowledges the position 
we have assigned him : — 


" The sum of the argument is this : No man is, by nature, the 
property of another. The defendant, therefore, is free by nature. 
The rights of nature must be someway forfeited before they can be 
justly taken away." 

There are, in our language, but few words of which we make 
such loose and indefinite use as we do of the word " nature," and 
its variously modified forms. It would elucidate what we wish to 
bring to mind concerning the use of this word, to select some ver- 
bose author, of a fanatical habit of thought, or enough so to favour 
a negligence as to the clearness of the ideas expressed by the terms 
at his command, and compare the varied meanings which his appli- 
cation of the word will most clearly indicate. We do not accuse 
Dr. Johnson of any want of astute learning, but we wish to pre- 
sent au excuse for explaining that, by his use of the phrases, "men 
by nature" — " by nature free" — " the rights of nature," he means, 
the rights established by the laws of God. He uses those phrases 
as synonyms of the Creator, of his providence influencing the con- 
dition of man, or the adaptations bestowed on him. The laws of 
nature are the laws of God. And we are bold to say, no discreet 
writer uses the words differently. As a sample of its legitimate 
use, we quote "Milton to Hortlib on Education:" — 

"Not to mention the learned correspondence which you hold in 
foreign parts, and the extraordinary pains and diligence which you 
have used in this matter, both here and beyond the seas ; either by 
the definite will of God so ruling, or the peculiar sway of nature, 
which also is God's working," &c. 

We all agree that God has made the world, and all things therein, 
and that he established laws for its government, and also for the 
government of every thing in it. Now we must all agree that it 
was an act of great condescension, love, and mercy, if God did 
come down from his throne in heaven, and, from his own mouth 
instruct a few of the lost men then in the world, his chosen people, 
what were some of his laws, such as were necessary for them to 
know and to be governed by, that they might, to the greatest pos- 
sible extent, live happily in this world, and enjoy eternal life here- 
after. Do you believe he did so? You either believe he did, or 
you believe the Bible is a fable. If you believe he did, then we 
refer you to ^x. xx. and xxi., and to Lev. xxv., for what he did 
then reveal, as his law, on the subject of slavery ; not that other 
important revelations were not made concerning this subject, which 
we shall have occasion to notice in the course of these studies. 


If we believe the Bible to be a true book, then we must believe 
that God did make these revelations to Moses. Among them, one 
law permitted the Israelites to buj, and inherit, and to hold slaves. 
And Dr. Wayland, the author of " The Elements of Moral Science," 
agrees that what was the law of God must ever remain to be so. 

It will follow then, if the laws of God authorize slavery, that a 
man hy nature may he the 'pro'perty of another^ because, whatever 
you may think the laws of nature to be, yet they can have no 
validity in opposition to the laws of God. If it shall be said that 
Jesus Christ repealed the law as delivered to Moses, then we an- 
swer : He says he came not to destroy, but to fulfil the law ; and 
that he fully completed his mission. He had no commission to 
repeal the law : therefore he had no power to do so. 

This portion of Dr. Johnson's argument is consonant with the 
notions of the advocates of the "higher law" doctrine, who persist 
that slavery is a sin, because they think it is. 

But if the law permitted slavery, then to hold, cannot be a sin, 
because God "frameth not mischief by a law." See Ps. xciv. 20. 
"Wo unto them that decree unrighteous decrees." Isa. x. 1. If 
the law authorizing the Jews to hold slaves was unrighteous, 
then God pronounces the wo upon himself, which is gross contra- 

But the law is "pure, holy, and just ;" therefore a law permit- 
ting sin must be against itself — which cannot be ; for, in such case, 
the law recoils against itself, and destroys its own end and character. 

But again : " The end of the commandment is charity out of a 
pure heart, and of a good conscience, and faith unfeigned." 1 Tiyn. 
i. 5. Now it is not charity to permit that which cannot be done 
with a pure heart, because then conscience and faith are both 

Again : The law " beareth not the sword in vain, but to be a 
terror to evil works, for he (the instrument executing the law) is 
the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that 
doeth evil." 

If slavery, or to hold slaves, be sin, then also the law granting 
the license to do so destroys the very object which it was enacted 
to sustain. But again : If the law allows sin, then it is in covenant 
with sin ; and the law itself, therefore, must be sin. 

In short, the doctrine is pure infidelity. It is destructive to the 
object of law, and blasphemous to God. What are we to think of 
him who holds that God descended in the majesty of his power 


upon Sinai, and there, from the bottomless treasures of his wisdom 
and purity, commanding man to wash his garment of every pollu- 
tion, opened to him — what ? Why, an unclean system of morals, 
stained by a most unholy impurity ; but which he is nevertheless 
to practise to the damning of his soul ! Atheism, thou art indeed 
a maniac I 

In the course of these studies, we shall attempt to show that man 
is not free in the unlimited sense with which the word is here used. 
Absolute freedom is incompatible with a state of accountability. 
Say, if you choose, Adam was free in paradise to eat the apple, to 
commit sin, yet we find his freedom was bounded by an account- 
ability beyond his power to give satisfactory answer : hence the 
consequent, a change of state, a circumscribing of what you may 
call his freedom. This, in common parlance, we call punishment ; 
yet our idea of punishment is inadequate to express the full idea ; 
because God cannot be supposed to delight in punishment, or to 
be satisfied with punishment, in accordance with our narrow views. 
Such would be inconsistent with the combination of his attributes 
— a Being so constituted of all power, that each power is pre- 
dominant, even love and mercy. Thus the law of God clothes the 
eflfect in mercy and positive good, inversely to the virulence of the 
cause, or in direct proportion to its propriety. Thus, righteous- 
ness, as a cause, exalteth a nation ; but sin is a reproach to any 
people. Thus the law of God places the sinner under the govern- 
ment of shame, infamy, contempt, as schoolmasters to lead him 
back to virtue ; and it may be observed that the schoolmaster is 
more forcing in his government in proportion to the virulence of 
vice, down to the various grades of subjection and slavery, and 
until the poison becomes so great that even death is a blessing. 

But if the mind cannot perceive that the chastenings of the 
Lord are blessings, let it regard them as lessons. The parent, 
from the waywardness of the child, perceives that it will fall from 
a precipice, and binds it with a cord to circumscribe its walk. 
True, such are poor figures to outline a higher Providence ! 

The Being who created, surely had power to appoint the govern- 
ment. Can the thing created remain in the condition in which 
it is placed, except by obedience to the law established for its go- 
vernment ? Disobedience must change the condition of the thing 
and bring it under new restraints — a lessening of the boundaries 
of freedom. The whole providence of God to man is upon this 
plan, and is abundantly illustrated, in the holy books, by precept 


and example. These restraints follow quick on the footsteps of 
disobedience, until the law — the Spirit shall no longer strive for re- 
formation, but say, " Cut it down ; why cumbereth it the ground?" 

Is this a too melancholy view ? Let us, then, look at obedience 
and its consequents, and turn the eye from this downward path of 
mental and physical degradation, pain, misery, want, slavery, and 
death, to the bright prospect of a more elevated state of progres- 
sive improvement, secured to us as a consequent, a reward of obe- 
dience ; the physical powers improving, the mental elevating, 
and all our faculties becoming instruments of greater truthfulness, 
until our condition shall be so elevated that the Creator shall say, 
"Come ye and sit at my right hand !" 

The assertion, that "no man is by nature the property of an- 
other," flatters our vanity and tumefies our pride, but is, neverthe- 
less, untrue. We are all absolutely the property of Him who 
made, and who sustains his right to dispose of us ; and does so in 
conformity to his law. Thus, qualifiedly, we are the property of 
the great family of man, and are under obligations of duty to all ; 
more pressingly to the national community of which we compose a 
part, and so on down to the distinct family of which we are a 
member. It is upon this principle that Fleta says, (book i, chap. 
17,) " He that has a companion has a master." See also the same 
in Bracton, book i. chap. 16. 

If, by the laws of God, other men could have no property in us, 
the laws of civil government could have no right to control us. 
But if the civil government, by the laws of God, has the right to 
govern and control us, so far as is for the benefit of ourselves and 
the community, then it will follow, that when our benefit will be 
enhanced, and that of the community, by our subjection to slavery, 
either temporary or perpetual, the laws of God, in mercy, will 
authorize such subjection. Or, if the state of our degradation be 
such that our continuance upon the earth be an evil past all re- 
medy, then the laws of God will authorize the civil law to decree 
our exit. 

The providence of God to man is practical. He never deals 
in the silly abstractions of foolish philosophers. He spends no 
time in experimenting by eristic syllogisms. He deals alone in his 
own power, which nowhere ever ceases to act, although wholly 
beyond our comprehension. Man may long for a full view of tlie 
Almighty, yet we are destined here to perceive but the " hinder 
parts" of his presence — the effect of his power, not Him ! Let 



US worship ; and, for our guidance, be content with the pillar of 
cloud by day and of fire by night ! 

In conclusion : Should the author of " The Elements of Moral 
Science" examine this argument of the great dialectician of the 
past century, with his acknowledged logical acumen, free from the 
prejudices of his locality, now so abundantly displayed in that 
portion of his work to which we object, we would suggest the pro- 
priety of his applying the discoveries he may make to emendations 
in his succeeding thousands. 


^txm »* 


As far as men are able to comprehend Jehovjxh, the wisest, in 
all ages, have deduced the fact, that God acts ; yet, as an essential 
Being, he is beyond being acted upon. 

That which is manifested by the character of his acts is called 
his attributes ; that is, the thing or quality which we attribute to 
him as a portion or quality of his essence. 

Thus among his attributes, are said to be power, wisdom, truth, 
justice, love, and mercy. His action is always found to be in con- 
formity and accordance to these attributes. This state of con- 
formity, this certainty of unison of action, is called truth. " Thy 
word is truth." John xvii. 7. 

A system of laws, permanently established for the production of 
some object, we call an institution. 

Law is the history of how things are influenced by one another ; 
yet the mind should never disconnect such influence from the 
attributes of Jehovah ; and hence Burke very properly says, 
" Law is beneficence acting by rule." " The law of the Lord i.s 
perfect." Ps. xix. 7. The deduction follows that the laws of God 
are well adapted, and intended to benefit all those who are suitably 
related under them. 

By relation we mean the connection between things, — what one 
thing is in regard to the influence of another. And hence it also 
follows that, in case the relation is in utter want of a conformity 
to the attributes of Jehovah, the actor in the relation becomes an 
opponent, and, so far, joins issue with God himself. The laws 
fitting the case operate, and his position is consumed, as it were, 
by the breath of the Almighty. 

But yet an institution may be a righteous one, may exist in 


conformity to tlie laws of God, and particular cases of a relation, 
seeming to us to emanate from it, be quite the reverse. For ex- 
"ample, the institution of marriage may. be righteous, may exist 
in conformity to the laws of God ; yet cases of the relation of 
husband and wife may be a very wicked relation. 

Individuals in a relation to each other under an institution are 
supposed to bear such comparison to each other as will permit the 
laws of God. influencing the relation, to be beneficial to them ; 
and when such comparative qualities are not the most suitable, or 
are more or less unsuitable for the relation, the benefits intended 
by the relation must be proportionably diminished. If wholly un- 
suitable, then it is found that the conservative influences of the 
same laws operate in the direction to cause the relation to cease 
between them. 

If a supposed male and female are each distinctly clothed with 
qualities wholly unsuited to each other in the relation emanating 
from the institution of marriage, then, in that case, the relation 
will be sinful between them ; and the repulsion, the necessary con- 
sequence of a total unsuitableness, will be in constant action in the 
direction of sw^eeping it away. 

Will it be new in morals to say that it is consistent with the 
ordinances of Jehovah to bring things into that relation to each 
other by which they will be mutually benefited ? 

As an exemplification of the doctrine, we cite the institution of 
guardianship — guardian and ward ; both words derived from the 
same Saxon root, weardian, which implies one who protects and 
one who is protected. 

The institution itself presupposes power in the one and weak- 
ness in the other, a want of equality between the parties. And it 
may be here remarked, that, the greater the inequality, the greater 
the prospect of benefit growing out of the relation, especially to 
the weaker party. But when the weak, ignorant, or wayward 
youth is the guardian, and the powerful and wise man is the ward, 
then the relation will be sinful, and the repulsion necessarily 
emanating from the relation must quickly terminate it. No pos- 
sible benefit could accrue from such a case — nothing but evil. 
The conservative influence of God's providence must, therefore, 
suddenly bring it to a close. 

Will the assertion be odious to the ear of truth, that the laws 
of God present the same class of conservative influences in the 
moral world that is every day discovered in the physical ? — that 


the tiling manifestly useless, from whicli no benefit can accrue, but 
from Avhich a constant injury emanates, shall be cut away, nor 
longer "cumber the ground?" Or, where a less degree of enor- 
mity and sin have centered, it may be placed under influences of 
guidance, and controlled into the path of regeneration and com- 
parative usefulness ? Surely, if we detach from Jehovah these 
high attributes, we lessen his character. 

When we enter into the inquiry, whether an institution, or the 
relation emanating from it in a particular case, be sinful or not, 
it seems obvious that the inquiry must reach the object of the in- 
stitution and its tendencies, and take into consideration how far 
they, and the relations created by it, coincide with the laws of God. 

The relation of master and slave, and the institution of slavery 
itself, in the inquiry whether such relation or institution is right 
or wrong, just or unjust, righteous or sinful, must be subjected to 
a like examination, — applying the same rules applicable to any 
other relation or institution, — before we can determine whether or 
not it exists in conformity to the laws of God. 

But human reason is truly but of small compass ; and the mercy 
of God has vouchsafed to man the aids of faith and inspiration. 
"All scripture is given by inspiration of God." 2 Tim. iii. 16. 

These are important aids in the examination of all moral sub- 
jects, without which we may be " ever learning and never able to 
come to the knowledge of the truth." 2 Tiyn. iii. T. 


If it be true that slavery is of divine origin, that its design is 
to prevent so great an accumulation of sin as would, of necessity, 
force. its subjects down to destruction and death, and to restore 
those who are ignorantly, heedlessly, and habitually rushing on 
their own moral and physical ruin, by the renovating influence of 
divine power, to such a state of moral rectitude as may be re- 
quired of the recipients of divine grace ; — then we should expect 
to find, in the history of this institution, of its effects, both moral 
and physical, upon its subjects, some manifestations of such ten- 
dencies ; some general evidences that, through this ordinance, God 
has ever blessed its subjects and their posterity with an amelio- 


vated condition, progressive in the direction of his great and final 
purpose. Let us examine that fact. 

In the government of the world, God has as unchangeably fixed 
his laws producing moral influences, as he has those which relate 
to material objects. When we discover some cause, which, under 
similar circumstances, always produces a similar result, we need 
not hesitate to consider such discovery as the revelation of his 
will, his law touching its action and the effects produced ; and by 
comparing the general tendency of the effect produced with the 
previously revealed laws and will of God in relation to a particular 
matter, we are permitted to form some conclusion whether the " 
cause producing the effect exists and acts in conformity with his 
general providence towards the matter or subject in question. If 
so, we may readily conclude that such cause is of his appointment, 
and that it exists and acts agreeably to his will. 

But one of the previously revealed laws of God is, that he ever 
wills the happiness, not the misery, of his creatures. " Say unto them. 
As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of 
the wicked ; but that the wicked should turn from his way and live : 
turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways, for why will you die, house 
of Israel !" Ezeh. xxxiii. 11. And we may form some conclusion 
of a man, a class of people, or a nation, from their condition pro- 
duced by the general result of their conduct, whether their conduct 
has been in general conformity with the laws of God. If the 
general result of the conduct of the thief, gambler, tippler, and 
drunkard, — of him who lives by trickery and deception, is an accu- 
mulation of weight of character among men, a display of useful 
industry, independence, and wealth among his associates ; if him- 
self and family are thereby made visibly more healthy, happy, and 
wise, — if by these practices he and his family become patterns of 
piety and of all noble virtues, he may hope ; but if the contrary 
of all these is the final result, we may safely condemn. 

Another of the laws of God is, " Thine own wickedness shall 
correct thee, and thy backslidings shall reprove thee." Jer. ii. 19. 
When the characters just named become so great a nuisance that 
the strong arm of the law of the land takes away their liberty, 
places a master over them, in fact reducing them to slavery ; forces 
and compels them to habits of useful industry, and, in a length of 
time, makes of them useful and good men, — then this law is exem- 
plified ; and also the fact is proved, that slavery, thus induced, is 
attended with and does produce an ameliorated condition as to the 


morals, and probably as to the intellectual and physical powev, of 
its subjects. This law was also exemplified in the family of Jacob. 
God, in the order of his providence, had determined and made a 
covenant with Abraham, to wit : " In the same day the Lord 
made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given 
this land, from the land of Egypt unto the great river, the river 
Euphrates." Gf-en. xv. 18. This was to be brought about through 
the family of Jacob. " And God Almighty bless thee, and make 
thee fruitful and multiply thee, that thou mayest be a multitude of 
people, and give the blessing of Abraham to thee, and to thy seed 
with thee, that thou mayest inherit the land wherein thou art a 
stranger, which God gave unto Abraham." Gen. xxviii. 3, 4. 

There are left us enough traces of the conduct of the family of 
Jacob, whereby we may know the fact that they, although living 
in the midst of the promised land, had become incorrigibly wicked 
and licentious. Judah, who seems to have ranked as the head of 
the family, notwithstanding the impressive lesson in the case of 
Esau, took to himself a Canaanitish wife, and his eldest sons be- 
came so desperately wicked that, in the language of Scripture, 
God slew them. Even the salt of slavery could not save them. 
Of Shelah, we have no further account than that he went into 
slavery in Egypt. Instead of nurturing up his family with pro- 
priety and prudence, Judah seems to have idled away his time with 
his friend the Adullamite, hunting up the harlots of the country. 
Reuben committed incest ; he went up to his father's bed. Simeon 
and Levi, instigated by feelings of revenge in the case of the 
Hivites, pursued such a course of deception, moral fraud, and 
murder, leading on the rest of their brethren to such acts of theft 
and robbery, that Jacob was constrained to say, "Ye have troubled 
me, to make me stink among the inhabitants of the land." Cfen. 
xxxiv. 30. Jacob found his children so lost to good morals, so 
sunken in heathenism and idolatry, that, hoping that a change of 
abode might also produce a change of conduct, he was impelled to 
command them, saying, " Put away the strange gods that are 
among you, and be clean, and change your garments, and let us 
arise and go to Bethel, and I will make there an altar unto God." 
Cfen. XXXV. 2, 3. 

And let us take occasion here to notice the long-suffering and 
loving-kindness of the Lord ; for, no sooner had they taken this 
resolution, than Jehovah, to encourage and make them steadfast in 
this new attempt in the paths of virtue, again appeared to Jacob : 


" And God said unto him, I am God Almighty ; a nation, and a 
company of nations shall be of thee, and kings shall come out of 
thy loins. And the land which I gave to Abraham and to Isaac, 
to thee I will give it, and to thy seed after thee will I give the 
land." Cren, xxxv. 11, 12. 

" But the sow that was washed has returned to her wallowing 
in the mire." 2 Pet. ii. 22. 

And what is the next prominent state of moral standing in which 
we find this family ? The young and unsuspecting Joseph brought 
unto his father their evil report, and hence their revenge. " And 
when they saw him afar off, even before he came near unto them, 
they conspired against him to slay him. * * * And they sold 
Joseph to the Ishmaelites for twenty pieces of silver." G-en. xxxvii. 
2, and xviii. 28. And against the deed of fratricide there was but 
one dissenting voice ; and he, whose voice it was, dared not boldly 
to oppose them. He had not the moral courage to contend. 
Sometimes, in the conduct of men, there may be a single act that 
gives stronger proof of deep, condemning depravity, than a whole 
life otherwise spent in wanton, wilful wickedness and sensual sin. 
Their betrayal of the confidence of an innocent and confiding 
brother, who neither had the will nor the power to injure them, 
whose only wish was their welfare, bespeaks a degradation of guilt, 
a deep and abiding hypocrisy of soul before God and man, and a 
general readiness to the commission of crimes of so dark a dye, 
that, it would seem to moral view, no oblations of the good, nor 
even the prayers of the just, could wash and wipe away the stain. 
During the history of all time, has God ever chosen such wretches 
to become the founders of an empire — his own peculiar, chosen 
people ? On the contrary, has not his will, as expressed by reve- 
lation, and by the acts of his providence, for ever been the reverse 
of such a supposition ? The laws of God are unchangeable : at 
all times and among all people, the premises being the same, their 
operation has been and will ever be the same. 



"Let favour be showed to the wicked, yet will he not learn 
righteousness ; in the land of uprightness will he deal unjustly, 
and will not behold the majesty of the Lord." Isa. xxvi. 10. 

" His own iniquities shall take the wicked himself, and he shall 
be holden by the cords of his sins." Prov. v. 22. 

"But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the 
voice of the Lord thy God, to observe to do all his commandments, 
and his statutes, which I command thee this day ; that all these 
curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee : 

" Cursed shalt thou be in the city, and cursed shalt thou be in 
the field ; cursed shalt thou be in thy basket and thy store ; 
cursed shall be the fruit of thy body and the fruit of thy land ; 
the increase of thy loins, and the flocks of thy sheep. Cursed shalt 
thou be Avhen thou comest in ; and cursed shalt thou be when thou 
goest out. The Lord shall send upon thee cursing, vexation and 
rebuke in all thou settest thy hand unto for to do, until thou be 
destroyed, and until thou perish quickly ; because of the wicked- 
ness of thy doings, whereby thou hast forsaken me. And the 
Lord shall bring thee into Egypt again with ships, the way 
whereof I spake unto thee. Thou shalt see it no more again ; and 
there ye shall be sold unto your enemies for bondmen (DHDj/? 

la ehedim,for slaves) and bondwomen (ill 115 C^ 'pi ^'^ lisheiypahotlu 
and for female slaves), and no man shall buy you." (That is, they 
should be worthless.) Deut. xxviii. 15-68. 

Such, then, are the unchangeable laws of God touching man's 
disobedience and non-conformity ; and, in this instance of their 
application, have been seen fulfilled, with wonder and astonish- 
ment, by the whole world. 

Consistent with the laws of God and the providence of Jehovah, 
there was no other way to make any thing out of the wicked 
family of Jacob ; no other means to fulfil his promise to Abraham, 
Isaac, and Jacob, except to prepare them in the school of adversity ; 
to reduce them under the severe hand of a master ; to place them 
in slavery, until, by its compulsive operation tending to their 
mental, moral, and physical improvement, they would become 


fitted to enjoy the blessing promised their fathers. "Compel them 
to come in, that my house may be filled." Luke xiv. 

" And when the sun was going down a deep sleep fell upon 
Abraham, and a horror of great darkness fell upon him ; and He 
(the Lord) said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall 
be a stranger in a strange land that is not theirs, and shall serve 
(QIIDX^l va ehadu7n, shall he slaves to) them; and they shall afflict 
them four hundred years." G-en. xv. 12, 13. 

God foresaw what condition the wicked family of Jacob would 
force themselves into ; nor is it a matter of surprise that it filled 
the mind of Abram with horror. 

God never acts contrary to his own laws. The Israelites, in 
slavery four hundred years under hard and cruel masters, kept 
closely bound to severe labour, and all the attendants of slavery, 
had no time to run into deeper sins. The humility of their con- 
dition and distinction of race would be some preventive to amalga- 
mation, and a preservative to their purity of blood ; and would 
lead them also to contemplate and worship the God of Abraham. 
And let it ever be remembered that the Avorship of God is the very 
highw^ay to intellectual, moral, and physical improvement, however 
slow, under the circumstances, was their progress. 

Let us take the family of Jacob, at the time of the selling of Joseph, 
and, from what their conduct had been and then was, form some 
conjecture of what would have been the providence of God, touch- 
ing their race, at the close of the then coming four hundred years, 
had not the Divine Mind seen fit to send them into slavery. Does 
it require much intellectual labour to set forth their ultimate con- 
dition ? Would not the result have been their total annihilation 
by the action of the surrounding tribes ; or their equally certain 
national extinction by their amalgamation with them ? If, by the 
providence of God, as manifested among men through all time, 
one of these conditions must have attached to them, then will it 
follow that, to them, slavery was their salvation, — under the cir- 
cumstances of the case, the only thing that could preserve them 
from death and extinction on earth. 

Under such view of the facts, and the salvatory influence of the 
institution, slavery will be hailed by the good, pious, and godly- 
minded, as an emanation from the Divine Mind, portraying a 
fatherly care, and a watchful mercy to a fallen world, on a parallel 
with the general benevolence of that Deity who comprehended his 
own work, and the welfare of his creatures. 


The slavery of the Israelites in Egypt for the term of four hun- 
dred years was a sentence pronounced against them by Jehovah 
himself, who had previously promised them great worldly blessings, 
preceded by the promise of his own spiritual forbearance, of his 
own holy mercy, as the ultimate design of his providence towards 
them. And we now ask him, w^ho denies that the design of this 
term of slavery was to ameliorate and suitably prepare that wicked 
race for the reception and enjoyment of the promises made, to extri- 
cate himself from the difficulties in which such denial will involve 
the subject. We are aware that there are a class of men so holy 
in their own sight, that, from what they say, one might judge they 
felt capable of dictating to Jehovah rules for his conduct, and that 
they spurn in him all that which their view does not comprehend. 
Do such forget, when they stretch forth their hand, imagining God 
to be that which suits them, but which he is not, that they make 
an idol, and are as much idolaters as they would be had they sub- 
stituted wood and stone ? Such, God will judge. "We have no 
hope our feeble voice will be heard where the mind is thus esta- 
blished upon the presumption of moral purity — we might say divine 
foresight. But, by a more humble class, we claim to be heard, 
that, as mortal men, reasoning by the light it hath pleased God to 
give, we may take counsel together in the review of his provi- 
dences, as vouchsafed to man, and, by his blessing be enabled to 
see enough to justify the ways of the Almighty against the 'slanders 
of his and our enemy. 

The theological student will notice the fact of the holy books 
abounding with the doctrine that the chastenings of the Lord ope- 
rate the moral, mental, and physical improvement of the chastised ; 
and that such chastenings are ever administered for that purpose, 
and upon those whose sins call it down upon them. "My son, despise 
not the chastenings of the Lord ; neither be weary of correction : 
for those whom the Lord loveth he correcteth ; even as a father 
the son in whom he delighteth." Prov. iii. 11, 12. "Thus saith 
the Lord, where is the bill of thy mother's divorcement, whom I 
have put away ? Or which of my creditors is it to whom I have 
sold you ? Behold, for your iniquities have ye sold yourselves, and 
for your transgressions is your mother put away." Isa. 1. 1. 

The garden of the sluggard produces weeds and want. We 
know a man of Avhom it may be said, he is inoffensive ; but he is 
thriftless, indolent, and therefore miserable. He has never learned 
those virtues that would make him respectable or happy. 



"Barnes on Slavery. An Inquiry info the Scriptural Views of Slavery." By 
Albert Barnes. Philadelphia, 1846. 

In his fourth chapter, on the shivery of the Israelites in Egypt, 
Rev. Mr. Barnes says — 

" The will of God may often be learned from the events of his 
providence. From his dealings with an individual, a class of men 
or a nation, we may ascertain whether the course which has been 
pursued was agreeable to his will. It is not, indeed, always safe 
to argue that, because calamities come upon an individual, they 
are sent as a punishment on account of any peculiarly aggravated 
sin, or that these calamities prove that he is a greater sinner than 
others ; — but when a certain course of conduct always tends to cer- 
tain results — when there are laws in operation in the moral world 
as fixed as in the natural world — and when there are, uniformly, 
either direct or indirect interpositions of Providence in regard to 
any existing institutions, it is not unsafe to infer from these what 
is the Divine will. It is not unsafe, for illustration, to argue, from 
the uniform effects of intemperance, in regard to the will of God. 
These effects occur in every age of the world, in reference to every 
class of men. There are no exceptions in favour of kings or 
philosophers ; of the inhabitants of any particular climate or re- 
gion of country ; of either sex, or of any age. The poverty and 
babbling, and redness of eyes, and disease, engendered by intem- 
perance, may be regarded without danger of error, as expressive 
of the will of God in reference to that habit. They show that 
there has been a violation of a great law of our nature, ordained 
for our good, and that such a violation must always incur the 
frown of the great Governor of the world. The revelation of the 
mind of God, in such a case, is not less clear than were the annun- 
ciations of his will on Sinai. 

" The same is true in regard to cities and nations. We need be 
in as little danger, in general, in arguing from what occurs to 
them, as in the case of an individual. There is now no doubt 
among men why the old world was destroyed by a flood ; why So- 
dom and Gomorrah were consumed ; why Tyre, Nineveh, Babylon, 


and Jerusalem were overthrown. If a certain course of conduct, 
long pursued and in a great variety of circumstances, leads uni- 
formly to health, happiness, and property, we are in little danger 
of inferring: that it is in accordance with the will of God. If it 
lead to poverty and tears, we are in as little danger of error in 
inferring that it is a violation of some great law which God has 
ordained for the good of man. If an institution among men is 
always followed by certain results ; if we find them in all climes, 
and under all forms of government, and in every stage of society, 
it is not unsafe to draw an inference from these facts on the ques- 
tion whether God regards the institution as a good one, and one 
which he designs shall be perpetuated for the good of society. 

"It would be easy to make an application of these undeniable 
principles to the subject of slavery. The inquiry would be, whether, 
in certain results, always found to accompany slavery, and now de- 
veloping themselves in our own country, there are no clear indica- 
tions of what is the will of God." 

We subscribe to the doctrine that God often reveals his will con- 
cerning a thing by the acts of his providence affecting it. But we 
contend that God has extended the field of Christian vision by a 
more direct revelation, and by the gift of faith ; and that the mind 
which can neither hear the revelation, nor feel the faith, is merely 
the mind of a philosopher, not of a Christian : he may be. a be- 
liever in a God, but not in the Saviour of the world. 

The direction contained in the foregoing quotation, by which 
we are to discriminate what are the will and law of God, may be 
considered, when presented by the mere teacher of abolition, 
among the most artful, because among the most insidious, speci- 
mens of abolition logic. It is artful, because, to the unschooled, 
it presents all that may seem necessary in the foundation of a 
sound system of theology ; and, further, because every bias of the 
human heart is predisposed to receive it as an entire platform of 
doctrine. It is insidious and dangerous, because, although the mind 
acquiesces in its truth, yet it is false when proposed as the lone 
and full foundation of religious belief. On such secret and hidden 
rocks, infidelity has ever established her lights, her beacons to the 
benighted voyager ; and, in their surrounding seas, the shallops 
of hell have for ever been the most successful wreckers, in gather- 
ing up multitudes of the lost, to be established as faithful subjects 
of the kingdom of darkness. 

The relio-ious fanatical theorists of this order of abolition writers 


have further only to establish then* doctrine about the "con- 
science," "inward light," or "moral sense," — that it is a distinct 
mental power, infallibly teaching what is right, intuitively spread- 
ing all truth before them, — and they will then succeed to qualify 
man, a being fit to govern the universe, and successfully carry on 
a war against God ! 

The man thus prepared, if an abolitionist, reasons: "My con- 
science or moral sense teaches me infallible truth ; therefore, my 
conscience is above all law, or is a ' higher law' than the law of 
the land. My conscience, feelings, and sympathies all teach me 
that slavery is wrong. Thus I have been educated. My conscience 
or moral sense teaches me what are the laws of God, without pos- 
sible mistake; and according to their teaching, slavery is for- 

In short, he thinks so ; and, therefore, it is so. He " is wiser 
in his own conceit than seven men that can render a reason." 

But we proceed to notice how the doctrine of the author most 
distinctly agrees with the precepts of infidelity. 

" The deist derives his religion by inference from what he sup- 
poses discoverable of the will and attributes of God, from nature, 
and the course of the Divine government." Watson s Tlieo. Inst. 
vol. ii. p. 542. This learned theologian differs widely from Mr. 
Barnes. When treating of slavei-y, Watson frankly admits that 
we are indebted to direct revelation for our knowledge on the 

In page 556, he says — 

" Government in masters, as Avell as in fathers, is an appoint- 
ment of God, though difi"ering in circumstances ; and it is there- 
fore to be honoured. 'Let as many servants as are under the 
yoke, count their own masters worthy of all honour;' a direction 
which enjoins both respectful thoughts and humility and propriety 
of external demeanour towards them. Obedience to their com- 
mands in all things lawful is next enforced ; which obedience is to 
be grounded on principle, on ' singleness of heart as unto Christ ;' 
thus serving a master with the same sincerity, the same desire to 
do the appointed work well, as is required of us by Christ. This 
service is also to be cheerful, and not wrung out merely by a sense 
of duty; 'not with eye-service as men-pleasers ;' not having re- 
spect simply to the approbation of the master, but 'as the servant 
of Christ,' making profession of his religion, ' doing the will of 
God,' in this branch of duty, 'from the heart,' with alacrity and 


good feeling. The duties of servants, stated in these brief pre- 
cepts, might easily be shown to comprehend every particular -which 
can be justly required of persons in this station ; and the whole is 
enforced by a sanction which could have no place but in a revela- 
tion from God, — ' Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man 
doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond 
or free.' Eph. vi. 5. In other words, even the common duties of 
servants, when faithfully, cheerfully, and pioiisly performed, are 
by Christianity made rewardable actions : ' Of the Lord ye shall 
receive a reward.' 

" The duties of servants and masters are, however, strictly re- 
ciprocal. Hence, the apostle continues his injunctions as to the 
right discharge of these relations, by saying, immediately after he 
had prescribed the conduct of servants, 'And ye masters, do the 
same tilings unto them ; that is, act towards them upon the same 
equitable, conscientious, and benevolent principles as you exact 
from them. He then grounds his rules, as to masters, upon the 
great and influential principle, ' knowing that your Master is in 
heaven;' that you are under authority, and are accountable to him 
for your conduct to your servants. Thus masters are put under 
the eye of God, who not only maintains their authority, when pro- 
perly exercised, by making their servants accountable for any 
contempt of it, and for every other failure of duty, but holds the 
master also himself responsible for its just and mild exercise. A 
solemn and religious aspect is thus at once given to a relation 
which by many is, considered as one merely of interest." 

" All the distinctions of good and evil refer to some principle 
above ourselves ; for, were there no Supreme Governor and Judge 
to reward and punish, the very notions of good and evil would 
vanish aAvay." Ellis on Divine Tilings. 

The qualities good and evil can only exist in the mind as they 
are measured by a supreme law. " If we deny the existence of a 
Divine law obligatory on men, we must deny that the world is 
under Divine government, for a government without rule or law is 
a solecism." Watson s Tlieo. Inst. vol. i. p. 8. 

Divine laws must be the subject of revelation. The law of a 
visible power cannot be known without some indications, much less 
the will of an invisible power, and that, too, of an order of exist- 
ence so far above our own that even its mode is beyond our com- 
prehension. Very true, the providence of God towards any par- 
ticular course of conduct may be taken as the revelation of his 


will thus far, but, by no means, preclude the necessity of a more 
direct revelation, until man shall be able to boast that he compre- 
hends the entire works of Jehovah. 

The difference between the Christian and the mere theist is, 
while the latter admits that a revelation of the will of God is or 
has been made by significant actions, he contends that is a suffi- 
cient revelation of the laws of God for the guidance of man. 
"They who never. heard of any external revelation, yet if they 
knew from the nature of things what is fit for them to do, they 
know all that God can or will require of them." Christianity as 
Old as Creation, p. 233. 

" By employing our reason to collect the will of God from the 
fund of our nature, physical and moral, we may acquire not only 
a particular knowledge of those laws, which are deducible from 
them, but a general knowledge of the manner in which God is 
pleased to exercise his supreme powers in this system." Boling- 
hroTces Works, vol. v. p. 100. 

" But they who believe the holy Scriptures contain a revelation 
of God's will, do not deny that indications of his will have been 
made by actions ; but they contend that they are in themselves 
imperfect and insuflScient, and that they were not designed to su- 
persede a direct revelation. They also hold, that a direct commu- 
nication of the Divine will was made to the progenitors of the 
human race, which received additions at subsequent periods, and 
that the whole was at length embraced in the book called, by way 
of eminence, the Bible." Watson s Theo. Inst. vol. i. p. 10. 

Faith " is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of 
things not seen." ITeb. xi. 1. 

As an instance of revelation, we present Lev. xxv. 1, and 44, 45, 46. 

"And the Lord spake unto Moses in Mount Sinai, saying: 
Both thy bondmen and bondmaids, which thou shalt have, shall be 
of the heathen that are round about you ; of them shall ye buy 
bondmen and bondmaids." 

" Moreover, of the children of the strangers that do sojourn 
among you, of them shall ye buy, and of their families that are 
with you, which they begat in your land : and they shall be your 

" And ye shall take them as an inheritance for your children 
after you, to inherit them for a possession, they shall be your 
bondmen for ever ; but over your brethren, the children of Israel, 
ye shall not rule over one another with rigour." 


Here is direct revelation, and faith gives us evidence of the 
truth of its being of Divine origin. 

Mr. Barnes proposes, by human reason, without the aid of reve- 
lation and faith, to determine what is the will of God on the sub- 
ject of slavery ; and it suggests the inquiry, How extensive must 
be the intellectual power of him who can reason with God ? " Foi- 
he is not a man, as I am, that I should answer him, and we should 
come together in judgment ; neither is any daysman betwixt us, 
that might lay his hand upon us both." Job ix. 32, 33. 

"We frankly acknowledge, that, in the investigation of this sub- 
ject, we shall consider the Divine authority of those writings, 
which are received by Christians as a revelation of infallible truth, 
as so established ; and, with all simplicity of mind, examine their 
contents, and collect from them the information they profess to 
contain, and concerning which information it had become necessary 
that the world should be experimentally instructed. 

But the passage quoted from Mr. Barnes gives us a stronger 
suspicion of his want of orthodoxy and Christian principle from 
its connection with what he says, page 310 : 

"If the religion of Christ allows such a license" (to hold slaves) 
" from such precepts as these, the New Testament would be the 
greatest curse ever inflicted on our race." 

The fact is, little can be known of God or his law except by 
faith and revelation. Beings whose mental powers are not in- 
finite can never arrive at a knowledge of all thinffs, nor can we 
know any thing fully, only in proportion as we comprehend the 
laws influencing it. In conformity to the present limited state of 
our knowledge, we can only say, that we arrive at some little, by 
three distinct means : the senses open the door to a superficial per- 
ception of things ; the mental powers to their further examination ; 
while faith gives us a view of the superintending control of Ono^ 
Almighty God. 

In the proportion our senses are defective, our mental powers 
deficient, and our faith inactive or awry, — our knowledge will be 
scanty. The result of all knowledge is the perception of truth. 
Under the head of the mental powers, philosophers tell us our 
knowledge is acquired by three methods : intuition, demonstration, 
and analogy. By intuition they mean when the mind perceives 
a certainty in a proposition where the relation is obvious, as it is 
obvious that the whole is greater than a part ; and such proposi- 
tions they call axioms. 


When the relation of things is not thus obvious, that is, when 
the proposition involves the determination of the relation between 
two or more things whose relations are not intuitively perceived, 
the mind may sometimes come to a certainty, concerning the rela- 
tion, by the interposition of a chain of axioms ; that is, of propo- 
sitions where the relations are intuitively perceived. This is called 

In all such cases, the mind would perceive the relation, and 
come to a certainty intuitively, if adequately cultivated and en- 
larged ; or, in other words, all propositions that now, to us, require 
demonstration, would, to such a cultivation, become mere axioms : 
consequently, now, where one man sees a mere axiom, another re- 
(luires demonstration. 

But the great • mass of our ideas are too imperfect or too com- 
plicated to admit of intuitive conclusions ; consequently, as to them, 
we can never arrive at demonstration. Here we substitute facts; 
and reason, that, as heretofore one certain fact has accompanied 
another certain fact, so it will be hereafter. This is what the phi- 
losophers call analogy. Analogy is thus founded on experience, 
and is, therefore, far less perfect than intuition or demonstration. 
That gravitation will always continue is analogical ; we do not 
know it intuitively ; nor can we demonstrate it. Analogical pro- 
positions are, therefore, to us mere probabilities. 

But our knowledge has cognizance of ideas only. These ideas 
we substitute for the things they represent, in which there is a 
liability to err. Thus a compound idea is an assemblage of the 
properties of a thing, and may be incomplete and inadequate ; 
wholly diiferent from any quality in the thing itself. What is our 
idea of spirit, colour, joy ? Yet Ave may conceive an intelligence 
so extended as to admit that even analogical problems should be- 
come intuitive : with God every thing is intuitively known. But 
even intuitive propositions sometimes reach beyond our compre- 
hension. Example — a line of infinite length can have no end : 
therefore, the half of an infinite line would be a line also of infinite 
length. But all lines of infinite length are of equal length ; there- 
fore, the half of an infinite line is equal to the whole. Such fal- 
lacies prove that human reason is quite limited and liable to err ; 
and hence the importance of faith in God, in the steadfastness of 
his laws, and the certainty of their operations "And Jesus 
answering said unto them, have faith in God." 3Iarh xi. 22. " And 
when they were come, and had gathered the church together, they 


rehearsed all that God had done with them, and how he had opened 
the door of faith unto the Gentiles." Acts xiv. 27. " So, then, faith 
Cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." Romans 
X. 17. That is, by revelation. " Now faith is the substance of 
things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen," Jleb. xi. 1. 
" But without faith it is impossible to please God ; for he that 
Cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is the rewarder 
of them that diligently seek him." Jleb. xi. 6. "Even so faith, 
if it hath not works, is dead." James ii. 17. "And he said, I will 
hide my face from them, I will see what their end shall be ; for 
they arc a very froward generation, children in whom there is no 
faith." Deut. xxxii. 20. To which add Romans xii. 3. 

These passages seem to imply an unchangeable reliance on faith 
and revelation for all knowledge of God, his laws, and our peace 
hereafter ; and we do feel the most heartfelt regret to see those 
who claim to be religious teachers, laying the foundation for the 
most gross infidelity. 


On page 6, Mr. Barnes says — 

" The work" (his own) "which is now submitted to the public, 
is limited to an examination of the Scripture argument on the 
subject of slavery." 

Now, if it shall appear that his exertion has universally been to 
gloss over the Scripture, or strain it into some meaning favour- 
able to abolition, and adverse to its rational and obvious interpre- 
tation, the mind will be forced to the conclusion, that his real 
object has been to hide the " Scripture argument," and to limit his 
researches by what he may deem to be sound reason and philosophy, 
and let it be remembered that such has been the constant practice 
»of every infidel writer, who has ever attempted to reconcile his own 
peculiar theories to the teachings of the holy books. 

"And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother's son, 
and all their substance that they had gathered, and the souls that 
they had gotten in Haran ; and they went forth to go into the 
land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came." Cren. xii.b. 

" And he entreated Abram well for her sake : and he had sheep, 
and he-asses, and men-servants {^''■'^'2^\va abadim, male slaves), 

and maid-servants (nn^^l vu shephaJiotJi, female slaves), and she 


asses and camels." xii. 16. "But Abram said unto Sarai, Be- 
hold thy maid (rjnn^C* sMphhatheJc, female slave) is in thy hand ; 
do unto her as it pleaseth thee. And when Sarai dealt hardly by 
her, she fled from her face. And the angel of the Lord found her 
by a fountain of water in the wilderness, by the fountain in the 
way to Shur. And he said, Hagar, Sarai's maid (nn5u* shijyli- 
hatJi, female slave), whence camest thou and whither wilt thou go ? 
And she said, I flee from the face of my mistress Sarai ; and the 
angel of the Lord said unto her. Return to thy mistress and submit 
thyself unto her hands." Cfen. xvi. 6-9. 

" And God said unto Abraham, Thou shalt keep my covenant." 
* * * "This is my covenant." * * * " And he that is eight days 
old shall be circumcised among you, every man-child in your gene- 
rations, he that is born in the house, or bought ivith money of any 
stranger which is not of thy seed. He that is born in thy house, 
and he that is bought with thy money must needs be circumcised ; 
and my covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting cove- 
nant." Gen. xvii. 9, 10, 12, 13. "And all the men of his house, 
born in the house, and bought with money of the stranger, were cir- 
cumcised with him." Ver. 27. 

" And Abimclech took sheep and oxen, and men-servants 

{W']'2)^\va abadim, male slaves), and women-servants (nn5ii'*1 vu 
shephhahoth, female slaves), and gave them unto Abraham." Gen. 
XX. 14. 

"Wherefore she said unto Abraham, Cast out the bond-woman, 
and her son. For the son of this bond-woman shall not be heir 
with my son, even with Isaac. And God said unto Abraham, let 
it not be grievous in thy sight, because of the lad, and because of 
thy bond-woman." * * * "And also of the son of the bond- 
woman I will make a nation, because he is of thy seed." Gen. 
xxi. 10, 12, 13. 

" For it is written that Abraham had two sons, the one by a 
bond-maid, the other by a free-woman. But he who was of the 
bond-woman was after the flesh, but he of the free-woman was by 
promise ; nevertheless, what saith the scripture ? Cast out the 
bond-woman and her son, for the son of the bond-woman shall not 
be heir with the son of the free-woman." Gal. iv. 22, 23, 30. 

" And he said, I am Abraham's servant {1^^ ebecl, male slave), 
and the Lord hath blessed my master greatly, and he is become 
great ; and he hath given him flocks and herds, and silver and 
gold, and man-servants (Dn^)7l va abadim, and male slaves), and 


maid-servants (DHiDp*! vu shejjJiaJiotJi, and female slaves), and 
camels and asses." Gen. xxiv. 34, 35. 

" And the man vraxed great, and went forward, and grew until 
he became very great. For he had possession of flocks, and pos- 
session of herds, and great store of servants (HIDX^I va abndda, 
of slaves), and the Philistines envied him." Cren. xxvi. 13, 14. 

" And the man (Jacob) increased exceedingly, and he had much 
cattle, and maid-servants (ninSti'l vu sliephalioth, and female 
slaves,) and men-servants (□'TnpT va ahadim, and male slaves), 
and camels and asses." Cren. xxx. 43. 

" And I have oxen and asses, flocks, and men-servants (l^i^l 
ve ebed, and male slaves), and women-servants (iiniJD'l ^'^ sJiiphha, 
and female slaves). And I have sent to tell my lord that I may 
find grace in thy sight." Cren. xxxii. 5. 

Let us now notice how Mr. Barnes treats the records here 
quoted. He says, page 70 — 

" Some of the servants held by the patriarchs were 'bought with 
money.' Much reliance is laid on this by the advocates of slavery, 
in justifying the purchase, and consequently, as they seem to 
reason, the sale of slaves now ; and it is, therefore, of importance, 
to inquire, how far the fact stated is a justification of slavery as 
it exists at present. But one instance occurs, in the case of the 
patriarchs, where it is said that servants were 'bought with money.' 
This is the case of Abraham, Cren. xvii. 12, 13. ' And he that is 
eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man-child in 
your generations ; he that is born in the house, or bou§Jit with 
money of any stranger, which is not of thy seed ; he that is born 
in thy house, and he that is bought tvith thy money, must needs be 
circumcised.' Compare verses 23, 27. This is the only instance 
in which there is mention of the fact that any one of the patri- 
archs had persons in their employment who were bought with 
money. The only other case which occurs at that period of the 
world is that of the sale of Joseph, first to the Ishmaelites, and 
then to the Egyptians — a case which, it is believed, has too close 
a resemblance to slavery as it exists in our own country, ever to 
be referred to with much satisfaction by the advocates of the sys- 
tem. In the case, moreover, of Abraham, it should be remem- 
bered that it is the record of a mere fact. There is no command 
to buy servants or to sell them, or to hold them as property — any 
more than there was a command to the brethren of Joseph to enter 
into a negotiation for the sale of their brother. Nor is there any 


approbation expressed of the fact that they were bought ; unless 
the command given to Abraham to aflSx to them the seal of the 
covenant, and to recognise them as brethren in the faith which he 
held, should be construed as such evidence of approval. 

" The inquiry then presents itself, whether the fact that they 
were bought determines any thing with certainty in regard to the 
nature of the servitude, or to the propriety of slavery as practised 
now. The Hebrew, in the passages referred to in Genesis, is ' the 
born in thy house, and the jyurchase of silver,'' f]pD"n^pP — mi 
Jcnath heseph — not incorrectly rendered, ' those bought with 
money.' The verb HJp kdnd, from which the noun here is de- 
rived, and which is commonly used in the Scriptures when the 
purchase of slaves is referred to, means to set upright or erect, to 
found or create. Gren. xiv. 19, 22. Beut. xxxii. 6 ; to get for o?ieself, 
to gain or acquire. Prov. iv. 7, xv. 32 ; to obtain, Gren. iv. 1 ; and to 
buy, or purchase, Cren. xxv. 10 ; xlvii. 22. In this latter sense it 
is often used, and with the same latitude of signification as the 
word buy or purchase is with us. It is most commonly rendered 
by the words buy and pm-chase in the Scriptures. See Gen. xxv. 10 ; 
xlvii. 22; xlix. 30; 1.13; Josh. xxiv. 32; 2 Sam. xii. 3; Ps. 
Ixxviii. 54; Deut. xxxii. G; Lev. xxvii. 24, and very often else- 
where. It is applied to the purchase of fields, of cattle, of men, 
and of every thing which was or could be regarded as pro- 
perty. As there is express mention of silver or money in the 
passage before us respecting the servants of Abraham, there is 
no douM that the expression means that he paid a price for a part 
of his servants. A part of them 'were born in his house;' a part 
had been 'bought with money' from ' strangers,' or were foreigners. 

"But still, this use of the word in itself determines nothing in 
regard to the tenure by which they were held, or the nature of the 
servitude to which they were subjected. It does not prove that 
they were regarded as property in the sense in which a slave is 
now regarded as a chattel ; nor does it demonstrate that the one 
who was bought ceased to be regarded altogether as a man; or that 
it was regarded as right to sell him again. The fact that he was 
to be circumcised as one of the family of Abraham, certainly does 
not look as if he ceased to be regarded as a man. 

"The word rendered buy or purchase in the Scriptures, is applied 
to so many kinds of purchases, that no safe argument can be 
founded on its use in regard to the kind of servitude which existed 
in tlip tira*' of A^->rahara. A reference to a few cases where this 


word is used, will show that nothing is determined by it respecting 
the tenure by which the thing purchased was held. (1.) It is used 
in the common sense of the word imrchase as applied to inanimate 
things, where the property would be absolute. G-en. xlii. 2, 7 ; 
xliii. 20 ; xlvii. 19 ; xxx. 19. (2.) It is applied to the purchase of 
cattle, where the property may be supposed to be as absolute. See 
G-en. xlvi. 22, 24 ; iv. 20 ; Job xxxvi. 33 ; Deut. iii. 19 ; arid often, 
(3.) God is represented as having bought his people ; that is, as 
having ransomed them with a price, or purchased them to himself. 
Deut. xxxii. 6 : ' Is he not thy Father that hath hovgJtt thee T 
Tl^p — MneJchd, thy purchaser. Exod. xv. 16 : 'By the greatness of 
thine arm they shall be still as a stone, till thy people pass over ; 
till the people pass over which thou ha,st purchased,' n'JD) kdnithd. 
See Ps. Ixxiv. 2. Compare Isa. xliii. 3 : ' I gave Egypt for thy ran- 
som, Ethiopia and Seba for thee.' But though the v^ovik purchase 
is used in relation to the redemption of the people of God, the very 
word which is used respecting the servants of Abraham, no one 
will maintain that they were held as slaves, or regarded as property. 
AVho can tell but what Abraham purchased his servants in some 
such way, by redeeming them from galling captivity ? May they 
not have been prisoners in war, to whom he did an inestimable 
service in rescuing them from a condition of grievous and hopeless 
bondage ? May they not have been slaves in the strict and proper 
sense, and may not his act of purchasing them have been, in fact, 
a species of emancipation in a way similar to that in which God 
emancipates his people from the galling servitude of sin ? The 
mere act of paying a price for them no more implies that he con- 
tinued to hold them as slaves, than it does noAV when a man pur- 
chases his wife or child who have been held as slaves, or than the 
fact that God has redeemed his people by a price, implies that he 
regards them as slaves. (4.) Among the Hebrews a man might 
sell himself, and this transaction on the part of him to whom he 
sold himself would be represented by the word bought. Thus, in 
Z/cy. XXV. 47, 48 : 'And if a sojourner or a stranger wax rich by 
thee, and thy brother that dwelleth by him wax poor, and sell him- 
self unto the stranger or sojourner by thee, or to the stock of the 
stranger's family, after that he is sold, he may be redeemed 
again.' This transaction is represented as a p>urchase. Ver. 50 : 
'And he shall reckon with him that bought him, (Ileb. his pur- 
chaser, injp Jconaihu), from the year that he M'as sold unto the 
year of jubilee,' &c. Tiiid was a mere purchase of tijne or service. 


It gave no right to sell the man again, or to retain him in any 
event beyond a certain period, or to retain him at all, if his friends 
chose to interpose and redeem him. It gave no right of property 
in the man^ any more than the purchase of the unexpired time of 
an apprentice, or the 'purchase' of the poor in the State of Con- 
necticut does. In no proper sense of the word could this be called 
slavery. (5.) The word buy or purchase was sometimes applied to 
the manner in which a wife was procured. Thus Boaz is repre- 
sented as saying that he had bought liuth. ' Moreover, Ruth the 
Moabitess, the wife of Mahlon, have I purchased (^jl^jp hdnithi) 
to be my wife.' Here the word applied to the manner in which 
Abraham became possessed of his servants, is applied to the man- 
ner in Avhich a wife was procured. So Hosea says, (ch. iii. 2,) ' So 
I bought her to me (another word, however, being used in the He- 
brew, (THD kdrd) for fifteen pieces of silver, and for an homer of 
barley, and an half homer of barley.' Jacob purchased his wives, 
Leah and Rachel, not indeed by the payment of money, but by 
labour. Gren. xxix. 15-23. That the practice o^ purchasing a wife, 
or paying a doiory for her, was common, is apparent from Exod. 
xxii. 17; 1 Sam.x\\n.'2.b. Compare Judg. \. 11,1^. Yet it will 
not be maintained that the wife among the Hebrews, was in any 
proper sense a slave, or that she was regarded as subject to the 
laws which regulate property, or that the husband had a right to 
sell her again. In a large sense, indeed, she was regarded, as the 
conductors of the Princeton Repertory (1836, p. 293) allege, as 
the wife is now, as the property of her husband ; that is, she was 
his to the exclusion of the claim of any other man ; but she was his 
as his loife, not as his slave. (6.) The word ' bought' occurs in a 
transaction between Joseph and the people of Egypt in such away 
as farther to explain its meaning. When, during the famine, the 
money of the Egyptians had failed, and Joseph had purchased all 
the land, the people proposed to become his servants. When the 
contract was closed, Joseph said to them, ' Behold, I have bought 

you — 'ri'Jp IcCinithi — this day, and your land for Pharaoh.' 
(xen. xlvii. 23. The nature of this contract is immediately speci- 
fied. They were to be regarded as labouring for Pharaoh. The 
land belonged to him, and Joseph furnished the people seed, or 
'stocked the land,' and they Avere to cultivate it on shares for 
Pharaoh. The fifth part was to be his, and the other four parts 
were to be theirs. There was a claim on them for labour, but it 
does not appear that the claim extended farther. No farmers who 


no"W work land on shares would be willing to have their condition 
described as one of slavery. 

"The conclusion which we reach from this examination of the 
words buy and houglit as applied to the case of Abraham is, that 
the use of the word determines nothing in regard to the tenure by 
which his servants were held. They may have been purchased 
from those who had taken them as captives in war, and the pur- 
chase may have been regarded by themselves as a species of re- 
demption, or a most desirable rescue from the fate which usually 
attends such captives — perchance from death. The property which 
it was understood that he had in them may have been merely pro- 
perty in their time^ and not in their persons ; or the purchase 
may have amounted in fact to every thing that is desirable in 
emancipation ; and, from any thing implied in the icord., their sub- 
sequent service in the family of Abraham may have been entirely 
voluntary. It is a very material circumstance, also, that titer e is 
not the slightest evidence that either Abraham, Isaac, or Jacob ever 
sold a slave, or vffcred one for sale, or regarded them as liable to be 
sold. There is no evidence that their servants even descended as 
a part of an inheritance from father to son. So far, indeed, as the 
accounts in the Scriptures go, it would be impossible to prove that 
they would not have been at liberty at any time to leave their 
masters, if they had chosen to do so. The passage, therefore, 
which says that Abraham had 'servants bought with money,' can- 
not be adduced to justify slavery as it exists now — even if this 
were all that we know about it. But (4.) servitude in the days of 
Abraham must have existed in a very mild form, and have had 
features which slavery by no means has now. Almost the only 
transaction which is mentioned in regard to the servants of Abra- 
ham, is one which could never occur in the slave-holding parts of 
our country. A marauding expedition of petty kings came from 
the north and east, and laid waste the country around the vale 
of Siddim, near to which Abi-aham lived, and, among other spoils 
of battle, they carried away Lot and his possessions. Abraham, 
it is said, then ' armed his trained servants, born in his own house, 
three hundred and eighteen, and pursued them unto Dan,' and 
rescued the family of Lot and his goods. Gen. xiv. This narra- 
tive is one that must for ever show that servitude, as it existed in 
the family of Abraham, was a very different thing from what it is 
in the United States. The number was large, and it does not ap- 
pear that any persons but his servants accompanied Abraham. 


They all were armed. They were led off on a distant expedition, 
where there could have been no power in Abraham to preserve his 
life, if they had chosen to rise up against him, and no power to 
recbver them, if they had chosen to set themselves free. Yet he 
felt himself entirely safe when accompanied with this band of 
armed men, and when far away from his family and his home. 
What must have been the nature of servitude, where the master 
was willing to arm such a company, to put himself entirely at 
their disposal, and lead them ofif to a distant land ? 

" Compare this with the condition of things in the United States. 
Here, it is regarded as essential to the security of the life of the 
master that slaves shall never be intrusted with arms. ' A slave is 
not allowed to keep or carry a weapon.'* 'He cannot go from 
the tenement of his master, or other person with whom he lives, 
without a pass, or something to show that he is proceeding by 
authority from his master, employer, or overseer.'f 'For keeping 
or carrying a gun, or powder, or sliot, or cluh, or other weapon 
U'Jiatsoever, offensive or defensive, a slave incurs, §br each offence, 
thirty-nine lashes, by order of a justice of the peace ;'| and in 
North Carolina and Tennessee, twenty lashes, by the nearest con- 
stable, without a conviction by the justice. § Here, there is every 
precaution from laws, and from the dread of the most fearful kind 
of punishment, against the escape of slaves. Here, there is a con- 
stant apprehension that they may rise against their masters, and 
every security is taken against their organization and combination. 
Here, there is probably not a single master who would, if he 
owned three hundred slaves, dare to put arms in their hands, and 
lead them off on an expedition against a foe. If the uniform pre- 
cautions and care at the South against arming the slaves, or al- 
lowing them to become acquainted with their own strength, be any 
expression of the nature of the system, slavery in the United 
States is a very different thing from servitude in the time of 
Abraham ; and it does not prove that in the species of servitude 
existing here it is right to refer to the case of Abraham, and to 
say that it is 'a good patriarchal system.' Let the cases be made 
parallel before the names of the patriarchs are called in to justify 
the system. But — 

* Rev. Cod. Virg. vol. i. p. 453, sections 83, 84. 

f Ibid. vol. i. p. 422, section 6. See Paulding on Slavery, p. 146. 

J 2 Litt. and Smi. 1150; 2 Missouri Laws, 741, section 4. 

§ Haywood's Manual, 521 ; Stroud on the Laws relating to Slavery, p. 102. 


"(5.) What real support would it furnish to the system, even if it 
were true that the cases were wholly parallel ? How far would it 
go to demonstrate that Crod regards it as a good system, and one 
that is to be perpetuated, in order that society may reach ita 
highest possible elevation ? Who would undertake to vindicate all 
the conduct of the patriarchs, or to maintain that all which they 
practised was in accordance with the will of God? They practised 
concubinage and polygamy. Is it therefore certain that this was 
the highest and purest state of society, and that it was a state 
which God designed should be perpetuated ? Abraham and Isaac 
were guilty of falsehood and deception, {Gren. xx. 2, seq.; xxvi. 7;) 
Jacob secured the birthright by a collusive fraud between him and 
his mother, [Cren. xxvii.) and obtained no small part of his pro- 
perty by cunning, [Cren. xxx. 36-43,) and Noah was drunk with 
wine, [Gren. ix. 21 ;) and these things are recorded merely as facts, 
without any decided expression of disapprobation ; but is it there- 
fore to be inferred that they had the approbation of God, and that 
they are to be practised still, in order to secure the highest condi- 
tion of society ? 

"Take the single case of polygamy. Admitting that the patri- 
archs held slaves, the argument in favour of polygamy, from their 
conduct, would be, in all its main features, the same as that which 
I suggested, in the commencement of this chapter, as employed in 
favour of slavery. The argument would be this : — That they were 
good men, the 'friends of God,' and that what such men practised 
freely cannot be wrong ; that God permitted this ; that he nowhere 
forbade it ; that he did not record his disapprobation of the prac- 
tice ; and that whatever God permitted in such circumstances, 
without expressing his disapprobation, must be regarded as in it- 
self a good thing, and as desirable to be perpetuated, in order 
that society may reach the highest point of elevation. It is per- 
fectly clear that, so far as the conduct of the patriarchs goes, it 
would be just as easy to construct an argument in favour of po- 
lygamy as in favour of slavery — even on the supposition that 
slavery existed then essentially as it does now. But it is not pro- 
bable that polygamy would be defended now as a good institution, 
and as one that has the approbafion of God, even by those who 
defend the ' domestic institutions of the South.' The truth is, that 
the patriarchs were good men in their generation, and, considering 
their circumstances, were men eminent for piety. But they were 
imperfect men ; they lived in the infancy of the world ; they had 


comparatively little light on the subjects of morals and religion ; 
and it is a very feeble argument which maintains that a thing is 
right, because any one or all of the patriarchs practised it. 

" But after all, what real sanction did God ever give either to 
polygamy or to servitude, as it was practised in the time of the 
patriarchs ? Did he command either ? Did he ever express ap- 
probation of either ? Is there an instance in which either is men- 
tioned with a sentiment of approval ? The mere record of actual 
occurrences, even if there is no declared disapprobation of them, 
proves nothing as to the Divine estimate of what is recorded. 
There is a record of the ' sah' of Joseph into servitude, first to 
the Ishmaelites, and then to Potiphar. There is no expression of 
disapprobation. There is no exclamation of surprise or astonish- 
ment, as if a deed of enormous wickedness were done, when 
brothers sold their own brother into hopeless captivity. TJiis was 
done also by those who were subsequently reckoned among the 
'patriarchs,' and some of whom at the time were probably pious 
men. Will it be inferred that God approved this transaction ; that 
he meant to smile on the act, when brothers sell their own brothers 
into hopeless bondage ? Will this record be adduced to justify 
kidnapping, or the acts of parents in barbarous lands, who, for- 
getful of all the laws of their nature, sell their own children ? 
Will the record that the Ishmaelites took the youthful Joseph into 
a distant land, and sold him there as a slave, be referred to as 
furnishing evidence that God approves the conduct of those who 
kidnap the unoifending inhabitants of Africa, or buy them there, 
and carry them across the deep, to be sold into hopeless bondage ! 
Why then should the fact that there is a record that the patriarchs 
held servants, or bought them, without any expressed disapproba- 
tion of the deed, be adduced as evidence that God regards slavery 
as a good institution, and intends that it shall be perpetuated under 
the influence of his religion, as conducing to the highest good of 
society ? The truth is, that the mere record of a fact, even with- 
out any sentiment of approbation or disapprobation, is no evidence 
of the views of him who makes it. Are we to infer that Hero- 
dotus approved of all that he saw or heard of in his travels, and 
of which he made a record ? Are we to suppose that Tacitus and 
Livy approved of all the deeds the memory of which they have 
transmitted for the instruction of future ages ? Are we to main- 
tain that Gibbon and Hume believed that all which they have re- 
corded was adapted to promote the good of mankind ? Shall the 


biogr;i})lier of Nero, and Caligula, and Richard III., and Alex- 
ander VI., and Csesar Borgia be held responsible for approving 
of all that these men did, or of commending their example to the 
imitation of mankind ? Sad would be the office of an historian 
were he to be thus judged. Why then shall we infer that Ciod 
approved of all that the patriarchs did, even when there is no 
formal approbation expressed ; or infer, because such transactions 
have been recorded, that therefore they are right in his sight?" 

Does the mind hesitate as to the desigrn of this laboured and 
lengthy argument ? That its object is to do away, to destroy the 
scriptural force of the facts stated in these records ? Does not 
this argument substantially deny that Abraham had slaves bought 
with money ? And even if he did have them, then that it was 
just as wicked at that time as he thinks it to be now ? Or, if he 
shall thus far fail, then to bring down the characters of Abraham, 
Isaac, and Jacob to a level with Nero, Caligula, Richard III., and 
Csesar Borgia ? And the holy books themselves to the standard 
of Herodotus, Tacitus, and Livy ; and inure our mind to compare 
them with the writings of Hume and Gibbon ? 

The writer who lessens our veneration for the characters of the 
ancient worshippers of Jehovah ; who, as by a system of special 
pleading, attempts to overspread the simple announcements of the 
holy books with doubt and uncertainty, however conscientious he 
may be in these labours of his hand, while he assumes a most 
awful responsibility to God, must ever call down upon himself the 
universal and determined opposition of the intelligent and good 
amona: men. 

The more secret, the more adroit the application of the poison, 
the more intensely wicked is the hand that presents it. 


Mr. Barnes has devoted twenty-four pages of his book to the 
slavery of the Hebrews in Egypt, wherein we find no instance that 
his test is applied with either fairness of deduction or logical accu- 
racy. Indeed, so far as our limited capacity can trace his applica- 
tion to the test, he has made but two points : 

I. After repeated judgments upon the Egyptians, for hesitating 
to set the Hebrews free, God, in his providence, effected their 


deliverance from slavery. Therefore, we are to infer tlie indigna- 
tion of God against the institution of slavery. What were the facts 
of the case ? On account of their sins rendering them unfit for 
the blessings promised their fathers, God imposed on them slavery 
four hundred years, — at the expiration of which time he delivered 
them from it. When a free negro becomes a public nuisance, the 
court will give judgment that he shall be sold to be a slave five 
years. The term having expired, if the purchaser holds on, and 
refuses to let him go, the same court will interfere, set him free, 
and impose heavy penalties on the master. Does the case show 
that the court feels indignation against the institution of slavery? 
We think it proves exactly the opposite ! 

If the four hundred years of slavery operated to fit the Hebrews 
for the reception of the blessing ; if the five years of slavery re-fitted 
the negro for the rational enjoyment of liberty, we think the pro- 
vidence of God places the institution of slavery in a valuable point 
of light. 

II. In this review of the slavery of the Israelites in Egypt, Mr. 
Barnes has noticed the fact of their rapid increase, to the extent 
of their becoming dangerous to the Egyptian government ; and he 
has compared it with the more rapid increase of the slaves over 
the whites in the Slave States; and suggests a similar danger to 
the government of the United States, — adding, that such increase 
" can be arrested by nothing but emancipation." Now all this 
may be true; but in what light does it show forth the institution of 
slavery ? Does Mr. Barnes really mean to say, what is the fact, 
that the condition of slavery is so well adapted to the negro race, 
that, by it, their comforts, peace of mind, and general happiness 
are made so certain and well-secured to them, that they increase 
rapidly ? And that, as they are a race of people whom we do not 
desire to bear rule over us, or become more numerous than they 
now are, it would be good policy, and he desires, to set them free, 
in order that they may be deprived of their present comforts, 
peace of mind, and happiness, with the view to lessen their increase, 
and waste them aAvay ? If such really be his view, we may regard 
it as an extraordinary instance of his Christian counsel, and form 
some idea of what he would be as a slave-holder. But the same 
increase of the slaves happened in Egypt in a different age, and in 
reference to a difi'erent class of men ; nor could any exertion cor- 
rect it. We may apply the test, and safely infer, that God 



There is, in this chapter on the slavery of the Hebrews, an allu 
sion made to the States of Ohio and Kentucky, (see page 102 ;) the 
one represented as "adorned with smiling villages, and .cottages, 
and churches, and the aspect of neatness, thrift, and order ;" and 
that the other wears " the aspect of ignorance, irreligion, neglect, 
and desolation;" and that the reason of the difference is, because 
'' God smiles upon the free State, and frowns upon the one where 
slavery exists." 

We do not deem it necessary to question or even examine the 
correctness of the view of Kentucky, as presented to us by Mr. 
Barnes : so far as the argument is concerned, we will take it as 
established. If the institution of slavery is of Divine origin, or if 
we are to form a notion of the will of God respecting it from his 
providences affecting the institution, we must keep our eye upon 
the subject of slavery, not upon those otherwise conditioned. We 
must look to the slave in Kentucky, and compare his conditions 
there with his conditions in a state of freedom ; and Mr. Barnes 
has furnished us with data, proving that in Kentucky the slaves 
are in a rapid state of propagation and increase. 

Page 95, he says — "The whites were to the slaves — 

In 1790. 

In 1840. 

North Carolina, 

2.80 to 1 

1.97 to 1 

South Carolina, 

1.31 " 1 

79 " 1 


1.76 " 1 

1.44 " 1 


13.35 " 1 

3.49 " 1 


5.16 " 1 

3.23 " 1 

"From this it is apparent that, in spite of all the oppressions and 
cruelties of slavery, of all the sales that are effected, of all the 
removals to Liberia, and of all the removals by the escape of 
the slaves, there is a regular gain of the slave population over the 
free in the slave-holding States. No oppression prevents it here 
more than it did in Egypt, and there can be no doubt whatever 
that, unless slavery shall be arrested in some way, the increase is 
so certain that the period is not far distant when, in all the Slave 
States, the free whites will be far in the minority. At the first 
census, taken in 1790, in every Slave State there was a very large 
majority of whites. At the last census, in 1840, the slaves out- 
numbered the whites in South Carolina, Mississippi, and Louisiana. 
The tendency of this, from causes which it would be easy to state, 
can be arrested by nothing but emancipation." 

But Mr. Barnes does not state what those causes are ; and will 


he acknowledge that tlicy really are what we have before stated ? 
So far as these facts teach any thing, it is that God smiles on the 
institution of slavery. Let it be true, as Mr. Barnes says it is, 
that Ohio exhibits a state of prosperity, and Kentucky a state of 
^^ desolation," — the legitimate deduction is, that those, having the 
direction and government of affairs in Ohio are wiser and more 
intelligent than those of the same class in Kentucky. We shall 
leave all further view of the matter to Mr. Barnes and the people 
of Kentucky. 

The four hundred years of slavery in Egypt were not a sentence 
on the Hebrews for the especial benefit of the Egyptians, but for 
that of the Hebrews themselves. The court did not sentence the 
free negro, who had become a nuisance, to five years of slavery, 
for the especial benefit of the purchaser, but for the prospect of 
amelioration in the negro himself. The races of Ham were not 
made subject to slavery for the especial benefit of Shem and 
Japheth ; but because, in such slavery, their condition would be 
more elevated, and better, than in a state of freedom. The slave- 
owner may be very wicked, and God may destroy him for his 
wickedness, and yet his merciful designs, by the institution of 
slavery, not be affected thereby. An eastern monarch, determined 
to destroy his minister, sent him a present of a thousand slaves 
and a hundred elephants. The minister dared not refuse the pre- 
sent ; but not being able profitably to employ them, was ruined. 
But the condition of the slave and the elephant was not injured. 
The poor-house was not made for the especial benefit of its keeper, 
but for its subjects. 


The benefit of the slave-owner depends on a different principle, 
upon the wisdom, propriety, and prudence with which he governs 
and manages his slaves. If he neglect their morals, suffering 
them to become idle, runaways, dissolute, thieves, robbers, and 
committers of crime, he is made, to some extent, responsible ; or 
if he neglect to supply suitable clothing, food, and medicine, at- 
tention in sickness, and all other necessary protection, he is liable 
to great loss ; his profit may be greatly diminished ; or, if he abuse 
his slave with untoward cruelty, he may render him less fit for 
labour, — may destroy him altogether ; or the law may set in, and 


compel the slave to be sold to a less cruel master. Tlie interest 
of the master has become protection to the slave; and this principle 
holds good in all countries, in all ages, and among all men. But 
it is yet said, that there are men who most outrageously abuse, 
and sometimes kill their slaves. Very true and. because some men 
do the same to their wives, is it any argument against marriage ? 
It proves that there are men who are not fit to be slave-owners. 
And what is the providence of God, as generally manifested, in 
these cases ? That such husband does not enjoy the full blessing 
designed by the institution of marriage ; or such marriage is, in 
some way, shortly set aside. That such slave-owner does not enjoy 
the full benefit a difi"erent course would insure to him ; or, in some 
way, he is made to cease being a slave- owner. Such instances are 
most direct and powerful manifestations against the abuses, — not 
of the institution itself. 

But God has not left his displeasure of the abuses of slavery to 
be found out by our poor, dim, mortal eyes ; by our weak view of 
his manifestations. He made direct laws on the subject. 

" But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God ; in 
it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, 
thy man-servant (TI'l^J^ abeddeka, male slave,) nor thy maid-se)'- 
^•an^(^|^^^s^ va amatheka, nor thy female slave), nor thy cattle, 
nor thy stranger that is within thy gates." Exod. xx. 10. 

" But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God ; in 
it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, 
nor thy man-servant (H'lDiTll ve abeddeka, male slave), nor th}^ 
maid-servant (^Hp^T va amatheka, female slave), nor thine ox, noi 
thine ass, nor any of thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within 
thy gates ; that thy man-servant (7j"151? abeddeka, male slave) 
and thy maid-servant (^n.tDi^JI va amatheka, female slave) may 
rest as well as thou." Dent. v. 14. 

But we find laws correcting abuses of quite a different nature ; 
abuses that grow out of the perverse nature of man towards his 
fellow-man of equal grade, touching their mutual rights in pro- 
perty : 

" Thou shalt not covet thy neighbpur's house, thou shalt not 
covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his man-servant ("i*!!?!/! ve abeddo, 
male slave), nor his maid-servant {iH^ii^ va amatho, female slave), 
nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's." 
Exod, XX. 17. 



" Neither slialt thou desire thy neighbour's wife, neither shalt 
thcu covet thy neighbour's house, his field, or his man-servant 
(IIDIi'l ^•'^ abeddo, male slave), or his maid-servant (lilDNl va 
aniafJio, female slave), his ox, or his ass, or any thing that is thy 
neighbour's." Deut. v. 21 — the 18th of the Hebrew text. 

It does appear to us that these statutes speak volumes — por- 
traying the providences of God, and his design in regard to the 
institutions of slavery. The word covet, as here used, as well as 
its original, implies that action of the mind which reaches to the 
possession of the thing ourselves, and to the depriving of our 
neighbour, without a glimpse at the idea of payment, reciprocity, 
or compromise ; consequently, it is the exact action of mind, 
which, when cultivated into physical display, makes a man a thief. 
The command forbids that the mind shall be thus exercised, for 
the command only reaches to the exercise of the mind ; an exer- 
cise, which, from the very nature of it, must for ever draw us 
deeper into crime. It is a command that well comes to us from 
Jehovah direct, because it is a command that man could never en- 
force ; the individual, and Jehovah alone, can only and surely tell 
when it is broken. But it may be broken in various ways ; it may 
be broken by writing books persuading others that it is no crime, 
that it is even praiseworthy, by any other course of conduct, to 
weaken the tenure of the proprietor in the property named. 

"But fools do sometimes fearless tread, 
Where angels dare not even look!" 

"VVe hold the doctrine good that, whenever we find that the 
providence of God frowns upon the abuse of a thing, such abuse 
is contrary to his law. So, also, the doctrine is indisputably true 
that all laws, all providences against the abuse of a thing, neces- 
sarily become laws and providences for the protection of the thing 
itself; consequently, it always follows that they contemplate pro- 

Mr. Barnes compares the slavery of the Hebrews in Egypt to 
the condition of slavery in the United States, and complains of 
the harsh treatment of the slaves in the latter country. See p. 92 : 

" Preventing the slaves from being taught to read and write : 
prohibiting, as far as possible, all knowledge among themselves of 
their own numbers and strength ; forbidding all assemblages, even 
for worship, where there might be danger of their becoming ac- 
quainted with their own strength, and of forming plans for free- 
dom ; enacting laws of excessive severity against those who run 


fiway from their masters ; appointing severe and disgraceful pu- 
nishments, either with or without the process of law, for those who 
are suspected of a design to inform the slaves that they are men 
and that they have the rights of human beings ; and solemnly 
prohibiting the use of arms among the slaves, designed to prevent 
their rising i;pon their masters, or 'joining themselves to an enemy 
to fight against their masters,' and 'getting up out of the land.' " 

We did suppose from this passage that Mr. Barnes might desire 
us to lie down, and let the slaves kill or onaJce slaves of us. But 
he has presented us with his cure for all these wrongs on pages 
383, 384. He says— 

" Now here, I am persuaded, is a wise model for all other de- 
nominations of Christian men, and the true idea of all successful 
efforts for the removal of this great evil from the land. Let all 
the evangelical denominations but follow the simple example of the 
Quakers in this country, and slavery would soon come to an end. 
There is not power of numbers and influence out of the church to 
sustain it. Let every denomination in the land detach itself from 
all connection with slavery, without saying a word against others ; 
let the time come when, in all the mighty denominations of Chris- 
tians, it can be assured that the evil has ceased with them for 
EVER ; and let the voice, from each denomination, be lifted up in 
kind, but firm and solemn, testimony against the system ; with no 
' mealy' words ; with no attempt at apology ; with no wish to blink 
it ; with no effort to throw the sacred shield of religion over so 
great an evil ; and the work is done. There is no public sentiment 
in this land, there could be none created, that would resist the 
power of such testimony. There is no power out of the church 
that could sustain slavery an hour, if it were not sustained in it. 
Not a blow need be struck. Not an unkind word need be uttered. 
No man's motive need be impugned. No man's proper rights in- 
vaded. All that is needful is for each Christian man, and every 
Christian church, to stand up in the sacred majesty of such a 
solemn testimony ; to free themselves from all connection with the 
evil, and utter a calm and deliberate voice to the world ; and the 


This looks very much like converting the church into an instru- 
ment of political power. We might indulge in severe remarks. 
We might quote some very cogent and rebuking passages of Scrip- 
ture ; but. since we believe that where the spirit of Christ is, he 
will be there also, we do not deem it necessary. 


From the very considerable labour evidently bestowed in the 
preparation of the test, apparently to be applied in his reasoning 
on this subject, a feeling of disappointment rests upon the mind 
■when we discover how little use Mr. Barnes has made of it. 

We have given a view of Mr. Barnes's peroration ; his complaints ; 
the wrongs that excite his sympathy ; and his final conclusion of 
the whole matter. We have attempted to reason by the same rule 
he has adopted, and, so far as he has chosen to apply it, leave it 
to others to judge whether it is not most fatal to the cause he 


We are told that book-making, among some, has become a trade. 
That some men write books to order, to suit the market ; that there 
is no knowing what may be an author's principles, or whether he 
has any at all, by what may be in his book. 

The principal object of such a writer must be his. money — his 
pay : if in great haste to get it in possession, he may be expected 
sometimes to be careless ; and unless very talented and experienced 
in the subject on which he writes, to record contradictions. 

Page 83, Mr. Barnes says — " The Hebrews were not essentially 
distinguished from the Egyptians, as the Africans are from their 
masters in this land, by colour." But he continues, pages 86 and 
87 — " They (the Hebrews) were a foreign race, as the African 
race is with us. They were not Egyptians, any more than the 
nations of Congo are Americans. They were not of the children 
of Ham. They were of another family ; they differed from the 
Egyptians, by whom they were held in bondage, as certainly as the 
African does from the Caucasian or the Malay divisions of the 
great family of man." 

In page 228, on another subject, he says — " If, therefore, it be 
true that slavery did not prevail in Judea ; that there is no evidence 
that the Hebrews engaged in the traffic, and that the prophets felt 
themselves at liberty to denounce the system as contrary to the 
spirit of the Mosaic institutions, these facts will furnish an im- 
portant explanation of some things in regard to the subject in the 
New Testament, and will prepare us to enter on the inquiry how 
it was regarded by the Saviour ; for if slavery did not exist in 


Palestine in his time : if he never came in contact with it, it will 
not be fair to infer that he was not opposed to it, because he did 
not often refer to it, and expressly denounce it." 

This is in strict conformity with the following : 

Page 242. "There is no conclusive evidence that he ever came in 
contact with slavery at all. * * * There is no proof which I 
have seen referred to from any contemporary writer, that it existed 
in Judea in his time at all ; and there is no evidence from the New 
Testament that he ever came in contact with it." 

Also, page 244. " There is not the slightest proof that the Sa-^ 
viour ever came in contact with slavery at all, either in public or 
in private life." 

Also, page 249. " We have seen above, that there is no evidence 
that when the Saviour appeared, slavery in any form existed in 
Judea, and consequently there is no proof that he ever encoun,- 
tered it." 

Permit us to compare these statements with 3Iatt. viii. 5-14 : 

" And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto 
him a centurion, beseeching him, (verse 6,) and saying. Lord, my 
servant, &c. (Verse 9,) For I am a man of authority, having sol- 
diers under me ; and I say to this man go, and he goeth ; and to 
another, Come, and he cometh, and to my servant (^oi'/Ig), slave), 
Do this, and he doeth it," &c. 

Also, Lukevli. 2-10. "And a certain centurion's servant ((§oiJ/log, 
slave) was sick," &c. * * * " beseeching him that he Avould 
come and heal his servant {hoii/ioi', slave.) (Verse 10,) "And they 
that were sent, returning to the house, found the servant {Sov2.ov, 
slave) whole that had been sick." 

So also, Luke xix. 12-16. (Verse 13,) " And he called his ten 
se7'vants [8ov?iOvg, slaves), &c. Also Jo/m viii. 33-36 : " And they 
answered him, we be Abraham's seed, and were never in bondage 
{hshovTiEVxa^BV, in slavery) to any man ; how sayest thou. Ye 
shall be made free? (Verse 34,) "Jesus answered them. Verily, 
verily, I say unto you, whoever committeth sin is the servant {hovXoc, 
slave) of sin." (Verse 35,) " And the servant (^oit/log, slave) 
abideth not in the house for ever, but the Son abideth ever. If the 
Son therefore make you free, you shall be free indeed." 

Permit us also to compare them with the following, Mr. Barnes's 
own statements. See page 250 : " All that the argument does 
require, whatever conclusion we may reach as to the manner in 
which the apostles treated the subject, is, the admission of i\iQ fact, 


that slavery everywhere abounded ; that it existed in forms of great 
severity and cruelty ; that it involved all the essential claims that 
are now made by masters to the services or persons of slaves ; that 
it was protected by civil laws ; that the master had the right of 
transferring his slaves by sale, donation, or testament ; that in 
general he had every right which was supposed to be necessary to 
perpetuate the system ; and that it was impossible that the early 
preachers of Christianity should not encounter this system, and be 
constrained to adopt principles in regard to the proper treatment 
of it." 

And, again, page 251 : " It is fair that the advocates of the 
system should have all the advantage which can be derived from 
the fact, that the apostles found it in its most odious forms, 
and in such circumstances as to make it proper that they should 
regard, and treat it as an evil, if Christianity regards it as such at 

And, again, pages 259, 260 : " I am persuaded that nothing can 
be gained to the cause of anti-slavery by attempting to deny that 
the apostles found slavery in existence in the regions where they 
founded churches, and that those sustaining the relation of master 
and slave were admitted to the churches, if they gave real evidence 
of regeneration, and were regarded by the apostles as entitled to 
the common participation of the privileges of Christianity." 

But there are other errors in this " Scriptural View of Slavery," 
page 245 : 

" He (the Saviour) never uttered a word in favour of slavery, 
* * * not even a liint can be found, in all he said, on which a 
man * * * ^,\^q meant to keep one already in his possession, 
could rely to sustain his course." 

We ask that this assertion of Mr. Barnes shall be compared with 
LuTce xvii. 7-11: 

" But which of you having a servant {hov'kov, slave) ploughing, 
or feeding cattle, will say unto him, by and by, when he has come 
from the field. Go, sit down to meat ? And will not rather say unto 
hira, Make ready wherewith I may sup, and gird thyself and serve 
me, till I have eaten and drunken, and afterward thou shalt eat 
and drink ? Doth he thank that servant (^oi'/Iq, slave) because 
he did the things that were commanded him ? I trow not." " So 
likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are com- 
manded you, say, We are unprofitable servants ; we have done that 
which was our duty to do." 


And, again, Mr. Barnes says: " The nations of Palestine were 
devoted to destruction, not to servitude." See page 118. 

Compare this with the following, from page 156 : " There were 
particular reasons operating for subjecting the nations around 
Palestine to servitude, which do not exist now. They were 
doomed to servitude for sins." 


Beut.xxni.Q. "When the host goeth forth against thine ene- 
mies, then keep thee from every wicked thing" — directions what 
to do, or what not to do, in time of war, being continued, the 15th 
and 16th verses read thus : 

" Thou shalt not deliver up to his master the servant [slave) 
which is escaped unto thee." * * * " He shall dwell with thee, even 
among you in that place which he shall choose in on ) of thy gates 
where it liketh him best ; thou shalt not oppress hiir ." 

This passage is quoted by Mr. Barnes, upon which he says, 
page 140 — 

"I am willing to admit that the command proballj/ relates only 
to the slaves which escaped to the country of the Hebrews from 
surrounding nations ; and that in form it did not contemplate the 
runaway slaves of the Hebrews in their own land." 

Pray, then, for what purpose does he speak as follows? 

" A seventh essential and fundamental feature of the Hebrew 
slavery was, that the runaway slave was not to be restored to his 
master ; on this point the law was absolute." 

And to sustain this assertion, he quotes this same passage from 
Deuteronomy, and, commenting thereon, says, pages 140, 141 — 
" This solemn and fundamental enactment would involve the fol- 
lowing results or effects. (1.) No laws could ever be enacted in the 
Hebrew commomwealth by which a runaway slave could be restored 
to his master. No revolution of the government, and no change of 
policy, could ever modify this principle of the constitution. (2.) No 
magistrate could on any pretence deliver up a runaway slave." 

Then, again, page 190 : 

"Slaves of the United States are to be restored to their masters, 
if they endeavour to escape. We find among the fundamental 
principles of the Mosaic laws a provision that the slave was never 


to be restored, if he attempted to do thus. He was to find in the 
land of Judea an asylum. The power and authority of the com- 
monwealth were pledged for his protection." 

And yet, again, page 226 : 

" As one of the results of this inquiry, it is apparent that the 
Hebrews were not a nation of slaveholders." 

We present these passages to shows Mr. Barnes's mode of argu- 
ment. But let us examine, for a moment, the indications of the 
holy books on the subject of runaway slaves. When David had 
protected the flocks of Nabal, upon the mountains of Carmel, on 
a holiday, he sent his young men, to ask a present, as some com- 
pensation for the same. 

"And Nabal answered David's servants, and said. Who is 
David ? and who is the son of Jesse ? There be many servants 

(D'"lD^ abadim^ slaves) nowadays that break away every man from 
his master. Shall I then take my bread, and my water, and my 
flesh that I have killed for my shearers, and give it unto men, 
whom I know not whence they be ?" 1 &'am. xxv. 10, 11. 

We think the indications are that for slaves to run away was 
a common occurrence, and that it was immoral to give them coun- 
tenance or protection ; and Nabal, pretending that David might 
be one of that class, excused himself from bestowing the present 
on that account. 

"And it came to pass at the end of three years, that two of the 
servants (□''IDy abadim, slaves) of Shemei ran away unto Achish, 
son of Maachah king of Gath ; and they told Shemei, saying, 
Behold thy servants (n*12^ ubadeka, slaves) be iu Gath. And 
Shemei arose and saddled his ass, and went to Gath to Achish to 
seek his servants (Vli^ abadav, slaves) ; and Shemei went and 
brought his servants (VIDJ^ abadav, slaves) from Gath." 1 Kings^ 
ii. 39, 40. 

If it can be said that Jehovah has views and wishes, then it may 
be said, that the views and wishes of Jehovah on the subject of 
runaway slaves must, at all times, be the same. " In him there is 
no variableness, nor shadow of turning." 

" And she had a Jiand-maid {Hn^Z* shiphehah, female slave), an 
Egyptian (n*"|V'P mitserith, Egyptian, a descendant of Misraim, 
the second son of Ham), whose name was Hagar." Gfen. xvi. 1. 

Upon a feud between her and her mistress, her mistress dealt 
hardly by her, and she ran away : " And the angel of the Lord 


found her by a fountain of water in the wilderness, by the fountain 
in the way to Shur." (8th verse,) "And he said, Hagar, Sarai's 
maid, whence comest thou ? and whither wilt thou go ? And she 
said, I flee from the face of my mistress Sarai." (The angel did 
not say to her, "Here is a shilling; get into Canada as soon as 
possible !") "And the angel of the Lord said unto her, Return to 
thy mistress and submit thyself under her hands." G-en. xvi. 7-9. 

On page 117, Mr. Barnes says — 

" In the laws of Moses, there is but one way mentioned by which 
a foreigner could be made a slave ; that is, by purchase. Lev. 
XXV. 44. And it is remarkable that the Hebrews were not per- 
mitted to make slaves of the captives taken in war." 

Let us compare this assertion, made by Mr. Barnes, with the 31st 
of Numbers : 

" And the Lord spake unto Moses saying, Avenge the children 
of Israel of the Midianites. * * * (Yerse 9,) And the children 
of Israel took all the women of Midian captives, and their little 
ones. * * * (Verse 11,) And they took all the spoils and all the 
prey, both' of men and of beasts. (Verse 12,) And the}'- brought 
the captives and the prey unto Moses and Eleazar the priest. * * * 
(Verse 25,) And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying. Take the 
sum of the prey that was taken, both of man and beast. * * * 
(Verse 27,) And divide the prey into two parts, between them that 
took the war upon them, who went out to battle, and between all 
the congregation. * * * (Verse 28,) And levy a tribute unto the 
Lord of the men of war which went out to battle, one soul of five 
hundred, both of the persons and of the beeves. * * * (Verse 30,) 
And of the children of Israel's half, thou shalt take one portion of 
fifty of the persons, &c. * * * (Verse 32,) And the booty, being 
the rest of the prey, which the men of war had, was * * * sheep. 
(Verse 35,) And thirty-two thousand persons in all. * * * (Verse 
36,) And the half which was the portion of them that went out to 
war, was, &c. * * * sheep, &c. (Verse 40,) "And the persons 
were sixteen thousand, of which the Lord's tribute was thirty and 
two persons. (Verse 42) And the children of Israel's half which 
Moses divided from the men that warred * * * was, &c. * * * 
sheep, &c. * * * (Verse 46,) and sixteen thousand persons. (Verse 
47,) Even of the children of Israel's half, Moses took one portion 
of fifty, both of man and of beast, and gave them unto the Levites 
which kept the charge of the tabernacle of the Lord, as the Lord 
commanded Moses." 



In ancient times, all persons conquered in battle were liable to 
be put to death by the national laws then existing. If the con- 
queror suffered the captive to escape death, imposing on him only 
the cutting off his thumbs, hands, or ears ; or, without these per- 
sonal deformations, subjecting him to slavery, as was often the 
case, especially when the captive was of low grade, — it was ever 
regarded as an act of mercy in the conqueror. 

In the 17th verse of the thirty-first chapter of Numbers, Moses 
commanded that " every male among the little ones, and every 
woman who had known a man," should be killed, even after they 
had been taken to the Israelitish camp ; and that none should be 
reserved for slaves, except female children, of whom, it appears, 
there were thirty-two thousand. The booty taken in this war, was 
distributed by Moses, in comformity to the especial direction of 
God himself, as follows : — (Verse 25,) " And the Lord spake unto 
Moses, saying, (verse 26,) Take the sum of the prey that was taken, 
both of man and of beast, thou, and Eleazar the priest, and the 
chief fathers of the congregation, (verse 28,) and levy a tribute 
unto the Lord of the men of war which went out to battle : one 
soul of five hundred, both of the persons, and of the beeves, and 
of the asses, and of the sheep : (verse 29,) Take it of their half, 
and give it unto Eleazar the priest, for a heave-offering of the 
Lord. (Verse 30,) And of the children of Israel's half, thou shalt 
take one portion of fifty of the persons, of the beeves, of the 
asses, and of the flocks, of all manner of beasts, and give them to 
the Levites which keep the charge of the tabernacle of the Lord. 
(Verse 31,) And Moses and Eleazar did as the Lord commanded 

Houbigant, in his commentary upon this chapter, has given us 
the following 


Table of the cUstrihution of the booty of this war : 

ai. n~- r^nn f To tlic Soldicrs. .. .337,500 To the Lord 675 

Sheep G<o,000 { _ , „,_ ,.^ 

^ I " People 337,500 

" Soldiers.... 36,000 

" People 36,000 

<« Soldiers.... 30,500 

" People 30,500 

<,,^^^ r " Soldiers.... 16,000 

Persons.. 32,000 \ « -p , icAAf^ 

( " People 16,000 

Beeves.... 72,000 | 
Asses 61,000 | 


. 6,750 




. 720 









This table has been adopted by Dr. Adam Clark in his Com- 
mentary, to which he adds — 

" In this table the booty is equally divided between the people 
and the soldiers ; a five-hundredth part being given to the Lord, 
and a fiftieth part to the Levites." And this learned divine, in 
his commentary on the 28th verse, says — " And levy a tribute unto 
the Lord, one soul of five hundred, &c. * * * 'J^i^q persons 
to be employed in the Lord's service, under the Levites: the cattle 
either for sacrifice or for the use of the Levites. (Verse 30.) Some 
monsters have supposed that one out of every five himdred of the 
captives was offered in sacrifice to the Lord ! But this is abomi- 
nable. When God chose to have the life of a man, he took it in 
the way of justice, as in the case of the Midianites above ; but 
never in the way of sacrifice.'' 

In the 29th verse, we learn that the Lord's portion was to be 
given to Eleazar the priest, "for a heave-offering of the Lord." 
The word heave-offering is rendered from the word ri^liri teru- 
math, from the root Dl"! rum, which means a lifting up, exalting, 
elevation of rank, while the form here used means a gift, a con- 
tribution, associated with the idea of being lifted up, exalted, ele- 
vated to a higher condition. Hence, when the priest presented a 
heave-offering, he moved his censer upwards, in a perpendicular 
line, with the view to intimate the elevating tendency resulting from 
the relation of the person offering, the thing offered, and the one 
to whom it is offered ; whereas, in a wave-offering, he moved his 
censer in a horizontal line, intimating a relation of steadfastness 
and unchangeability. Because the cross is represented by perpen- 
dicular and horizontal lines, some early commentators have ima- 
gined that the heave and wave-offerings were typical of the cross 
of Christ. The word "heave," as here used, is purely Saxon: 
heafan, to lift, to raise, to move upward. V\''e may well say to 
heave up ; but it is bad Saxon to say heave doivn. From this same 


Saxon word comes our Avord heaven, on account of the notion of 
its lofty location, and the elevating influence of the acts of him 
"who shall reach it ; each act which makes us nearer heaven may 
not inappropriately be considered a heave-offering to the Lord. 
The corollary is, that if God had regarded the making these 
children slaves a sin, — since sin always deteriorates and degrades, 
the reverse of elevation or lifting up, — he never could have ordered 
any of them to be given to him as a heave-offering. 

We trust to establish the point that the enslavement of such 
people as we find the African hordes now to be, to those who have 
a more correct knowledge of God and his laws, — of those most 
wicked Midianites, to those to whom God had most especially re- 
vealed himself, — must, so long as the laws of God operate, have an 
elevating influence upon those so enslaved. Thus we shall perceive 
that the Hebrew word translated into our old Saxon heave-offer- 
ing was the most appropriate, and significant of the facts of the 
case, that could be expressed by language. 

Our received version of this chapter, which is a good translation 
of the original, contains no word by which we directly express the 
idea of slavery : so is it in the original. But we trust the readers 
of either will not be found so awry as not to perceive that the idea 
ond facts are as fully and substantially developed as though those 
terms were used in each. 

In the most of languages, an idea, and facts in relation to it, may 
be and are often expressed without the use of the name of the idea, 
and sometimes of the facts. The Greek is well deemed a most par- 
ticular and definite language. In Thucydides, liber vii. caput 87, 
this sentence occurs : STlELra itkr.v A^r^aiG)v, xal elrivEg 2t- 
KEXicdtdiv r, 'IrakLiiitciv ^vvsar^arevaav, rovg dXAoi^g dyie^ovTo. 
Here, there is no word expressing the idea of slavery. Literally, 
it is : " Then, except the Athenians, and some of the Sicilians or 
Italians, who had engaged in the war, all others were sold." Yet 
Dr. Smith, the rector of Holy Trinity Church, in Chester, Eng- 
land, who lived at an age beyond the reach of prejudice or argu- 
ment on the subject of slavery, (he was born in 1711,) has correctly 
translated the passage thus : " But, after this term, all but the 
Athenians, and such of the Sicilians and Italians as had joined 
with them in the invasion, were sold out for slaves." Smith's 
TJmc2/d. p. 285. 

And permit us further to inquire how the assertion of Mr. 
Barnes, page 117, that, "in the laws of Moses there is but one 


way mentioned by -which a foreigner could be made a slave ; that 
is, by purchase, Lev. xxv. 44 ; and it is remarkable that the He- 
brews wore not permitted to make slaves of the captives taken in 
the war" — will compare Avith Deut. xx. 10-16 : 

" And when thou comest nigh unto a city to fight against it, 
then proclaim peace unto it," * * * "And it shall be, if it 
make answer of peace, and open unto thee, then it shall be, that 
all the people that is found therein, shall be tributaries unto thee, 
and ^hall serve thee" (^113^*1 va abadiiJca, shall be slaves to thee). 
"And if it will make no peace with thee, but will make war 
ao^ainst thee, then thou shalt besiecre it." And when the hand of 
thy God hath delivered it into thy hands, thou shalt smite every 
male thereof with the edge of the sword." "But the women, and 
the little ones, and the cattle, and all that is within the city, evev 
all the spoil thereof, shalt thou take unto thyself; and thou shalt 
eat the spoil of thine enemies, which the Lord thy God hath given 
thee." " Thus shalt thou do unto all the cities wliich are very far 
off from thee, which are not of the cities of those nations." 

It is evident that the captives here allowed to be made were 
to be slaves, from what follows on the same subject, in the same 
book, Kxi. 10-15: When thou goest forth to war against thine ene- 
mies, and the Lord thy God hath delivered them into thy hands, 
and thou hast taken them captive, and seest among the captives 
a beautiful woman, and hast a desire unto her, that thou wouldst 
have her to thy wife : then thou shalt bring her home to thy house, 
and she shall shave her head and pare her nails : and she shall 
put the raiment of her captivity from off her, and shall remain in 
thy house, and bewail her father and her mother a full month : 
and after that, thou shalt go in unto her, and be her husband, and 
she shall be thy wife. And it shall be, if thou have no delight in 
her, then thou shalt let her go whither she will ; but thou shalt 
not sell her at all for money : thou shalt not make merchandise 
of her, because thou hast humbled her." 

Thus the fact is proved, that if he had not thus made her his 
wife, she would have been his slave and an article of merchandise. 



In the introductory part of Mr. Barnes's book, lie makes some 
remarks in the nature of an apology for his undertaking to examine 
the subject of slavery. Page 20, he says — 

" Belonging to the same race with those who are held in bond- 
age. We have a right, nay, we are bound to express the sympa- 
thies of brotherhood, and ' to remember those who are in bonds 
as bound with them.' " 

We were not aware of any fact relating to Mr. Barnes's descent ; 
nor did we before know from what race he was descended. 

We were truly much surprised at this avowal, and endeavoured 
to imagine that he had used the word in some general and indefinite 
sense, as some do when they say animal race, and human race. 
But on examining his use of the word, page 20: "How is a 
foreign race, with so different a complexion, and in reference to 
which, so deep-seated prejudices and aversions exist, in every part 
of the land, to be disposed of if they become free ?" — and page 27 : 
" And the struggles which gave liberty to millions of the Anglo- 
saxon race did not loosen one rivet from the fetter of an African;" 
page 83 : " The Hebrews were not essentially distinguished from 
the Egyptians, as the Africans are from their masters in this 
land, by colour ;" and page 86 : " They were a foreign race, as 
the African race is with us ;" and page 96 : " There are in the 
United States now, according to the census of 1840, 2,486,465 of 
a foreign race held in bondage ;" and page 97 : " It would have 
been as just for the Egyptians to retain the Hebrews in bondage 
as it is for white Americans to retain the African race ;" — we 
were forced to conclude that the author understood his language 
and its meaning. 

Such, then, being the fact, we cannot find it in our heart to blame 
him for "expressing the sympathies of brotherhood." But we feel 
disposed with kindness to relieve his mind from the burthen of 
such portion of sympathy for those of his race who are in slavery, 
as he may conceive to be a duty imposed by the injunction, " Re- 
member those who are in bond, as bound with them." Wo will 
quote the passage, Heh. xiii. 3 : '• Bemember them that are in 
bonds, as bound with them." It is translated from the Greek — 


MLLLVnaxsaBs Tqv SeC^iCdV w$ GvvSE8e[.i8V0L, dlinineskesthe ton des- 
mion has sundedemenoi. The words translated "bonds," "bound 
with," &c. are derived from the root ^fo, deo, and signifies to bind, to 
bring together, to chain, to fetter, to hinder, to restrain, &c., which 
meaning falls into all its derivations. When one was accused of 
some oiTence, and was, on that account, restrained, so that he 
might be surely had at a trial for the same, such restraint would 
be expressed, as the case required, by some of its derivations. 
Hence we have hicic,^ desis, the act of binding ; ^fCT^a, desma, a 
bond, a chain ; Ssdfiiog, desmios, chained, fettered, imprisoned, &c. ; 
oe(j^6g, desmos, a bond, chain, knots, cords, cables; SeO^oq, 
desmoo, to enchain, to imprison ; 8£^, desmophulax, a 
jailer, &c. 

The word is used, differently varied, in 3Iatt. xvi. 19 ; xviii. 18 ; 
Acts viii. 23 ; xx. 23 ; xxiii. 21 ; xxvi. 29 ; Mom. vii. 2 ; 1 Co7\ vii. 
39 ; UpL iv. 3 ; PMlijJ. i. 16 ; Col. iv. 18 ; 2 Tim. ii. 9 ; Fhilem. 
10 ; Heb. x. 34 ; xi. 36 ; and never used, in any sense whatever, 
to express any condition of slavery. St. Paul was under the re- 
straint of the law upon a charge of heresy. All the Christians 
of his day were very liable to like danger. His only meaning 
was that all such should be remembered, as though they themselves 
were suffering a like misfortune. Suppose he had expressed the 
idea more diffusely and said, " Remember all Christians who, for 
teaching Christ crucified, are persecuted on the charge of teaching 
a false religion, as though you yourselves were persecuted with 

Such was the fact. Surely no one, by any course of rational 
deduction, could construe it into an injunction to remember or do 
any thing else, in regard to slavery or its subjects, unless upon 
the condition that the slave was, by some means, under restraint 
upon a similar charge. St. Paul was never married ; cannot be 
said to have looked with very ardent eyes upon the institution of 
marriage ; by many is thought to have been unfavourably disposed 
towards it. We have among us, to this day, some who pretend that 
they think it a great evil, are its bitter enemies, and give evidence 
that, if in their power, they would totally abolish it. Suppose 
such a man should say that, because he belonged to the same race 
with those who were bound in the bonds of Avedlock, it was his 
privilege to express the sympathies of brotherhood, and expostu- 
late against that evil institution ; nay, that he was enjoined by St. 
Paul to do so in this passage, " Remember those who are in bonds, 


as bound ^Yitll them," — what would be the value of this appeal to 
St. Paul ? But the very word he uses, in the passage quoted, is 
also used, almost invariably, in the gospels, to express the re- 
straint imposed by matrimony ; yet it is never used to express any 
condition, or quality, or station, in regard to slavery. 

The naked, unadorned proposition presented by Dr. Barnes is, 
that, because St. Paul enjoined the Hebrew Christians to sympa- 
thize with, to remember all those who were labouring under perse- 
cution on the account of their faith in Christ, they were also 
bound to remember, to sympathize with the slaves, on the account 
of their being in slavery, as though they were slaves themselves. 
We feel that such argument must ever be abortive. 

From the delicacy of Dr. Barnes's situation, as " belonging to 
the same race with those held in bondage," we feel it a duty to 
treat the position with great forbearance. Had it come from one 
of the more favoured race of Shem, or the still more lofty race of 
Japheth, we should have felt it an equal duty to have animadverted 
with some severity. 

It would have appeared like a design to impose on those igno- 
rant of the original ; and might have put us in mind of the cun- 
ning huckster, with his basket of addled eggs, — although unex- 
pectedly broken in the act of their delivery to the hungry travel- 
ler ; yet the incident was remembered by the recorder of pro- 


Antioch is said to have been the birthplace of St. Margaret, — 
of which there are many legends, to one of which we allude. It 
brings to mind some early views of Christianity ; besides, at her 
time, a large portion of the population of Antioch were slaves, and 
are alluded to in the legend. 

She was the daughter of the priest of Apollo, and was herself a 
priestess to the same god. She is said to have lived in the time and. 
under the authority of the Praefect Olybius, who became devoted to 
her mental and personal accomplishments and very great beauty. 
He is said to have sought her in marriage, and, after great labour 
and exertion, to have brought about such a state of affairs as to 


insure her approval and consent. But, although thus the affianced 
bride of Olybius, by some means she had held intercommunion 
with the private teachers of Christianity, and was converted to its 
faith ; a fact known only to her and them. 

Upon such a state of things, arrives from Probus, Rome's im- 
perial lord, Vopiscus, charged to admonish the praefect how famr 
bore tidings of the frequent apostasy from the true religion of 
the gods, and the increase of the unholy faith of the Galileans at 
Antioch ; and that the laws were made to be executed upon the 
godless, whose wicked and incestuous rites offend the thousand 
deities of Rome. 

Olybius well knows that the least faltering on his part would 
probably be followed by his being shown the mandate for Vopiscus 
to supersede him in the government ; for which he determines to not 
give him the least pretence : hence he orders the immediate arrest 
of all suspected ; convenes his council in the halls of justice, and 
announces thus his views : 

" Hear me, ye priests on earth, ye gods in heaven! 
By Vesta, and her virgin-guarded fires ; 
By Mars, the sire and guardian god of Rome ; 
By Antioch's bright AjdoIIo ; by the throne 
Of him whose thunder shakes the vaulted skies ; 
And that dread oatli I add, that binds the immortals, 
The unblessed waters of Tartarean Styx ; 
Last, by the avenger of despised vows. 
The inevitable, serpent-haired Eumenides, 
Olybius swears, thus mounting on the throne 
Of justice, to exhaust heaven's wrath on all 
That have cast off their fathers' gods for rites 
New and unholy. From my heart, I blot 
Partial affection and the love of kindred ; 
Even if my father's blood flowed in their veins, 
I would obey the emperor and the gods!" 


* * * The prisoners are ushered in, heard, and ordered to 
death ; among whom a female veiled, as if Phoebus-chosen ! 

"What! dare they rend our dedicated maids. 
Even from our altars ? Haste ! withdraw the veil, 
In which her guilty face is shrouded close. 
Ha ! their magic mocks my sight ! I seem to see 

What cannot be Margarita ! 

Answer, if thou art she I" 



His mind was agonized at the thoughts of her position : silently, 
to hiraself, he says — 

-This pale and false Vopiscus 

Hath from great Probus wrung his easy mandate ; 
Him Asia owns her prsefect, if Olybius 
Obey not this fell edict." * * * 

Much art and great argument were privately used to produce 
her recantation ; to which she calmly answers — 

" AVho disown their Lord 

On earth, will He disown in heaven!" 

* * * Sent to the arena; the torture and execution of the 
prisoners proceed, according to the order of their arraignment. The 
populace become enraged, and loudly demand the blood of the 
apostate priestess ; while the prasfect, in his palace, digests a 
plan to surely save her life. The high-priest of Apollo, her 
father, in his robes of office and with his official attendants, must 
boldly enter the arena, and offer pardon, in the name of his god, 
to any one who utters the cabalistic word signifying "I kecant;" 
must hastily apply to each in person ; at Margarita, one instructed 
must imitate her voice ; instantly the priest is to throw the mantle 
of the god upon her ; and the attendants, by force, to carry her 
to the palace of Olybius, where, instead of her execution, her 
marriage with Olybius is to take place. 

The procession of priests (of whom none but her father, and her 
sister in disguise as a proxy for the act of recantation, kncAv the 
secret) are urged instantly to action : "For, says Olybius, "my very 
soul is famished in every moment of delay !" 

The procession moves in all pomp and splendour, with a view to 
produce an alterative effect on the mind of the maddened populace. 
Its approach to the arena is proclaimed by a sentinel there ; on 
hearing which, Margarita falls at the feet of the headsman, and 
successfully implores instant death, that her father may be spared 
the misery of witnessing it. She breathes a prayer in forgiveness 
of Olybius, and receives the stroke of death as the procession 
enters. The father rages, demands torture to make the Christians 
say how they enthralled her : a Christian teacher explains, as with 
" a still, small voice ;" the priests of Apollo listen ! 

Rage and excitement had reached the utmost bound. There 
Avas a pause, as the recess between two raging storms. The still- 
ness reached even the palace, and reason did feel as if 


"There was darkness over all the laud. Olybius, then: — 
What means this deathlike stillness ? Not a sound 
Or murmur, from yon countless multitudes ; 

A pale, contagious horror seems to creep . 

Even to our palace. Men gaze mutely round. 
As in their neighbour's face to read a secret 
They dare not speak themselves : 
Even thus, along his vast domains of silence, 
Dark Pluto gazes, when tlie sullen spirits 
Speak only with fixed look and voiceless motion. 
'Tis misery ! Speak ; Olybius orders ; speak to me, 
Nor let mine own voice, like an evil omen. 
Load this hot air unanswered." 

A messenger announces the death of Margarita ; Olybius rushes 
to kill him ; but, recovering self-command — 

"Oh, I'm sick 

Of this accursed pomp : I will not use 
Its privilege of revenge. Fatal trappings 
Of proud authority ! That * * * * 

* * * shine and burn into the very entrails ! 
Supremacy ! ! the great prerogative 
Of being blasted by superior misery !" 

A second messenger announces that 

" The enchantress Margarita, by her death, 
Hath wrought upon the changeful populace. 
That they cry loudly on the Christian's God: 
Emboldened multiutudes, from every quarter. 
Throng forth, and in the face of day proclaim 
Their lawless faith. They have taken up the body, 
And hither, as in proud ovation, bear it^ 
With clamour and with song. All Antioch crowds 
Applauding round them." 

We are favoured only with the song of the slaves, who, upon 
that holiday, intermingled in the throng about the palace of 
Olybius, to which the body of Margarita has been borne ; by which 
vre may perceive how Christianity has elevated them above 
thoughts of their condition : 


Sing to the Lord ! Oh, let us shout his praise ! 
More lofty pscans let our masters raise. 

JVIidst clouds of golden light, a pathway clear. 
With soaring soul, these martyred saints have trod 
To Him, the only true Almighty God I 

Earth's tumults wild and pagan darkness drear. 
To bonds of peace and songs of joy give way : 
Behold ! we bring you light — one everlasting day ! 


Sing to the Lord ! No more shall frantic Sibyl's yell, 
Watchful Augurs, or those of magic spell, 

No, not Isis, nor yet Apollo's throne, 
, No, nor even Death, -with Lethean bands. 

Shall longer bind the soul ; before us stands 

Him of the Cross of Calvary : — His groan 
Of death burst forth from its eternal womb, 
While angel spirits shout, and open wide the tomb ! 

Sing to the Lord ! The Temple's veil is rent ! 
From Moab's plains, the Slave, an outcast, sent 

From this cold world shall, soaring, fly to heaven, 
From depths of Darkness, Night, and Orcus dread. 
Each spirit woke at the Eternal's tread 

On the head of Death ! a promise given 
To all Earth's houseless, homeless, and forlorn. 
Before the Ages were — or His Eldest Son was born ! 

Sing to the Lord ! Lo ! while God's rebels rave, 
He plunges down, and renovates the slave — 

Vengeance and love at once bestowed on man. 
See ! crushed is Baal's, proud Moloch's temple falls ; 
Shout to the Lord ! No more shall blood-stained walls, 

Nor mountain grove, nor all the gods of Ham, 
Dispel a Saviour's love ! Correction's rod 
Hath won the world, — for Heaven and Thee, God ! 

It is one of the providences of Jehovah, that the very wretched 
forget their wrath, and the broken in spirit their violence. And 
it maybe well for those who examine "moral conduct by the evi- 
dences of the providences of God, to notice how wrath conduces 
to wretchedness, and violence to a breaking down of the spirit. 

Olybius was by no means prepared to adopt the humiliating 
doctrines of the new faith ; but he perceived it to be well adapted 
to the condition of those in the extremely low walks of life. By 
it the slave was taught to become " the freeman of the Lord," and 
the wretched, destitute, and miserable, to become "heirs of God, 
and j jint-heirs with Christ." These doctrines, and the whole sys- 
tem, being founded upon the pillars of Humility, Faith, Hope, 
and Charity, were an arrangement to make the most humble as 
happy as the most exalted; as to happiness and hopes of heaven, 
it made all men equal; nor is it surprising that the low classes 
more readily become its converts. 

Olybius may have seen some beautiful features in this system ; 
but his philosophy forbid his faith. He calmly decided that it was 
a supei'stition too low to combat — worthy only of contempt. But 
he perceived that the blood of a hundred made a thousand Chris- 


tians, and was convinced the only remedy was to improve and 
elevate the mind, — to imbue it with deep religious feeling and prin- 
ciple, a reverence and veneration for the gods. 

He deeply felt the wound inflicted by the presence of Vopiscus, 
and would gladly have proved to the emperor that change of 
government, either as to ruler or its general system, could not affect 
the condition of this new doctrine. But he had no knowledge of 
the Christian's God, nor of his attributes as a distinct Being ; and 
hence, although he may be regarded as a most deadly enemy, yet, 
since the providences of Jehovah, through the mild light of the 
gospel, begin to develop themselves to the human understanding, 
we may deem his report to the emperor, on the Christian super- 
stition, to be ONE or its most undying panegyrics ; as an ex- 
tract from which, we may well imagine, he wrote thus : — 

Olyhius to the Em'peror Prohus. 

* * * " Great reforms on moral subjects do not occur, ex- 
cept under the influence of religious principle. Political revolu- 
tions and changes of policy and administration do indeed occur 
from other causes, and secure the ends which are desired. But, 
on subjects pertaining to right and wrong ; on those questions 
where the rights of an inferior and down-trodden class are con- 
cerned, we can look for little advance, except from the operation 
of religious principle. 

" Unless the inferior classes have power to assert their rights by 
arms, those rights will be conceded only by the operations of con- 
science and the principles of religion. There is no great wrong 
in any community which we can hope to rectify by new considera- 
tions of policy, or by a mere revolution. The relations of Ohris- 
tianity are not reached by political revolutions, or by changes of 
policy or administration. 

" Political revolutions occur in a higher region, and the condi- 
tion of the Christian is no more affected by a mere change of 
government, than that of the vapours of a low, marshy vale is 
affected by the tempest and storm in the higher regions of the air. 
The storm sweeps along the Apennines, the lightnings play, and 
the thunders utter their voice, but the malaria of the Campagna 
is unaffected, and the pestilence breathes desolation there still. 
So it is with Christianity. Political revolutions occur in higher 
places, but the malaria of Christianity remains settled down on 
the low plains of life, and not even the surface of the pestilential 


vapour is agitated by all the storms and tempests of political 
changes; it remains the same deadly, pervading pestilence still. 
Under all the forms of despotism ; in the government of aristo- 
cracy, or an oligarchy ; under the administration of a pure demo- 
cracy, or the forms of a republican government ; and in all the 
changes from one to the other, Christianity remains still the same. 
Whether the ijrinee is hurled from the throne, or rides into power 
on the tempest of revolution, the down-trodden Christian is the 
same still : — and it makes no difference to him whether the prince 
wears a crown, or appears in a plain, republican garb, — ' whether 
Ceesar is on the throne, or slain in the senate-house.' " 

In these imputed sentiments of Olybius, the indications of the 
will of Jehovah, in establishing and protecting the institutions of 
Christianity, by his providences towards it, is vividly portrayed to 
the Christian eye. Jehovah w^ofild not suffer " the gates of hell 
to prevail against it." Of the very materials intended by its ene- 
mies for its destruction, he made them build its throne. 

The scene, by which we have introduced this imaginary report 
of Olybius to the emperor, has been merely to remove from the 
mind any bias tending to a partial conception of the indications 
of the will of God, as evinced by his providences therein described, 
that we may more readily discover the fact, that, instead of show- 
ing Christianity to be worthy only of contempt, Olybius did pro- 
nounce its eulogium. 

Change the words Christian and Christianity into slave and 
slavery ; prince into master, and it then is what Mr. Barnes did 
say, and has said, (pages 25, 26, 27,) word for word, about the in- 
stitution of slavery ; and, as if desirous to portray the providences 
of God towards it down to the present time, continuously says. 
See pages 27 and 28 — 

" Slavery among the Romans remained substantially the same 
under the Tarquins, the consuls, and the Csesars ; when the tri- 
bunes gained the ascendency, and when the patricians crushed 
them to the earth. It lived in Europe when the northern hordes 
poured down on the Roman Empire ; and when the caliphs set up 
the standard of Islam in the Peninsula. It lived in all the revo- 
lutions of the Middle Ages, — alike, when spiritual despotism 
swayed its sceptre over the nations, and when they began to emerge 
into freedom. In the British realms, it has lived in the time of the 
Stuarts, under the Protectorate, and for a long time under the 
administration of the house of Hanover. With some temporary 


interruptions, it lived in the provinces of France through the revo- 
lution. It lived through our own glorious Revolution ; and the 
struggles -which gave liberty to millions of the Anglo-Saxon race 
did not loosen one rivet from the fetters of an African, nor was 
there a slave who was any nearer to the enjoyment of freedom 
after the surrender of Yorktown, than when Patrick Henry taught 
the notes of liberty to echo along the hills and vales of Virginia. 
So in all changes of political administration in our own land, the 
condition of the slave remains unaffected. Alike whether the 
Federalists or Republicans have the rule ; whether the star of the 
Whig or the Democrat is in the ascendant ; the condition of the 
slave is still the same. The preans of victory, when the hero of 
New Orleans was raised to the presidential chair, or when the 
hero of Tippecanoe was inaugurated, conveyed no * * * in- 
timation of a change to the slave ; nor had he any more hope, nor 
was his condition any more affected, when the one gave place to 
his successor, or the other vras borne to the grave. And so it is 
now. In all the fierce contests for rule in the land ; in the ques- 
tions about changes in the administration, there are nearly three 
millions of our fellow-beings, who have no interest in these con- 
tests and questions, and whose condition will be affected no more, 
whatever the result may be, than the vapour that lies in the valley 
is by the changes from sunshine to storm on the summits of the 
Alps or the Andes." 

This may be all true, but what is the indication of God's will, 
as taught by these, his providences towards it ? " And now I say 
unto you refrain from these men, and let them alone ; for if this 
counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought ; but if it 
be of God, ye cannot overthrow it ; lest haply ye be found even to 
fight against God." Acts v. 38, 39. 



Thus, it has pleased God, at an early age of the world, to reveal 
to the mind of man this mode of learning his will by the indica- 
tions of Providence. 

But Mr. Barnes has given us further data, whereby we may be 
enabled to examine more deeply into the indications of God's will 
touching the institution of slavery, by reference to his providences 
concerning it, growing out of the universality and ancientness of 
the institution. Thus, page 112, he says — " That slavery had an 
existence when Moses undertook the task of legislating for the 
Hebrews, there can be no doubt. We have seen that servitude 
of some kind prevailed among the patriarchs ; that the traffic in 
slaves was carried on between the Midianites and the Egyptians, 
* * * and that it existed among the Egyptians. It was un- 
doubtedly practised by all the surrounding nations, for history 
does not point us to a time when slavery did not exist. * * * 
There is even evidence that slavery was practised by the Hebrews 
themselves, when in a state of bondage ; and that though they 
were as a nation ' bondmen to Pharaoh,' yet they had servants in 
their families who had been 'bought with money.' * * * At 
the very time that the law was given respecting the observance of 
the passover, and before the exode from Egypt, this statute ap- 
pears among others : ' This is the ordinance of the passover : 
there shall no stranger eat thereof: but every man-servant, that is 
bought for money, when thou hast circumcised him, then shall he 
eat thereof.' It is clear, from this, that the institution was always 
in existence, and that Moses did not originate it." Again, page 
117: "A Hebrew might be sold to his brethren if he had been 
detected in the act of theft, and had no means of making restitu- 
tion according to the provisions of the law. Exod. xxii. 3. ' He 
shall make full restitution ; if he have nothing, then he shall be 
sold for his theft.' " " This is in accordance with the common 
legal maxim, Luat in corpore, qui non hahet in aere. The same 
law prevailed among the Egyptians, and among the Greeks also 
till the time of Solon. * * * By the laws of the twelve 
tables, the same thing was enacted at Rome. A native-born He- 


brew might be a servant in a single case in virtue of his birth. 
If the master had given to a Hebrew, whom he had purchased, a 
Avife, and she had borne him children ; the children were to re- 
main in servitude." See Exod. xxi. 4. Again, page 250: "It is 
unnecessary to enter into proof that slavery abounded in the 
Roman Empire, or that the conditions of servitude were very 
severe and oppressive. This is conceded on all hands." And 
page 251 : " Slavery existed generally throughout the Roman 
Empire was very great." '* * * Page 252: " Of course, ac- 
cording to this, the number of slaves could not have been less than 
sixty millions in the Roman Empire, at about the time when the 
apostles went forth to preach the gospel." And again, page 253: 
" The slave-trade in Africa is as old as history reaches back. 
Among the ruling nations of the north coast, the Egyptians, 
Cyrenians, and Carthaginians, slavery was not only established, 
but they imported whole armies of slaves, partly for home use, and 
partly, at least by the Carthaginians, to be shipped for foreign 

" They were chiefly drawn from the interior, where kidnapping 
was just as much carried on then as now. Black male and female 
slaves were even an article of luxury, not only among the above- 
named nations, but in Greece and Italy." 

Mr. Barnes has quoted and adopted the foregoing, and many 
other passages, from the Biblical Repository. (See Bib. Rep. pp. 
413,414.) And again, page 259 of Barnes: * * * "Audit 
is a rare thing, perhaps a thing that never has occurred, that 
slavery did not prevail in a country which furnished slaves for 
another country." 

Many of the foregoing statements are facts as well established 
as any part of histoi'y. But these truths, honestly admitted by 
Mr. Barnes, are pregnant with important considerations touching 
the institution of slavery and the providence of God towards it. 



Mr. Barxes says, page 381 — 

" If slavery is to be defended, it is not to be by arguments drawn 
from the Bible, but by arguments drawn from its happy influences 
on agriculture, commerce, and the arts ; * * * on its elevating 
the black man, and making him more intelligent and happy than 
he would be in his own land ; on its whole benevolent bearing on 
the welfare of the slave, in this world and the world to come." 

It must give every good man the deepest grief to discover this 
growing disposition among religious teachers to thrust aside the 
teachings of the Bible, and to place in its stead the worldly advan- 
tages and personal considerations of individual benefit. What 
shall we think of the religious feeling and orthodoxy of him who 
places "agriculture, commerce, and the arts" in higher authority 
than the books of Divine revelation. Thus, this teacher says, 
" If the Bible teaches slavery, then the Bible is the greatest curse 
that could happen to our race ;" yet allows, that if slavery shall 
have a beneficial and happy influence on " agriculture, commerce, 
and the arts," it may be sustained and defended. Such is the 
obvious deduction from the proposition ! Mistaken man ! But, 
since Ave say that slavery is most triumphantly sustained and de- 
fended by the Bible, let us take a view of it agreeably to Mr. 
Barnes's direction. So far as we have means, it may be well to 
examine the negro in his native ranges. 

About thirty years ago, we had a knowledge of an African slave, 
the property of Mr. Bookter, of St. Helena Parish, La. Sedgjo 
was apparently about sixty years of age — was esteemed to be 
unusually intelligent for an African. We propose to give the sub- 
stance of his narrative, without regard to his language or manner. 
For a length of time we made it an object to draw out his know- 
ledge and notions ; and on the subject of the Deity, his idea was 
that the power which made him was ■procreation ; and that, as far 
as regarded his existence, he needed not to care for any other god. 
This deity was to be worshipped by whatever act would represent 
him as procreator. It need not be remarked that this worship 
was the extreme of indecency ; but the more the act of worship 


was wounding to the feelings or sense of delicacy, the more ac- 
ceptable it was to the god. The displays of this worship could 
not well be described. 

Sedgjo's account put us in mind of Maachah, the mother of Asa. 
In this worship, it was not uncommon to kill, roast, and eat young 
children, with the view to propitiate the god, and make its parents 
prolific. So also the first-born of a mother was sometimes killed 
and eaten, in thankfulness to the god for making them the instru- 
ments of ii% procreation. The king was the owner and master of 
the whole tribe. He might kill and do what else he pleased with 
them. The whole tribe was essentially his slaves. But he usually 
made use of them as a sort of soldiers. Those who were put to 
death at feasts and sacrifices were generally persons captured from 
other tribes. Persons captured were also slaves, might be killed 
and eaten on days of sacrifice, or sold and carried away to un- 
known countries. If one was killed in battle, and fell into the 
hands of those who slew him, they feasted on him at night. If 
they captured one alive who had done the tribe great injury, a day 
was set apart for all the tribe to revenge themselves and feast on 
him. The feet and palms of the hands were the most delicious 
parts. When the king or master died, some of his favourite wives 
and other slaves were put to death, so that he yet should have their 
company and services. The king and the men of the tribe seldom 
cultivated the land ; but the women and captured slaves are the 
cultivators. They never whip a slave, but strike him with a club ; 
sometimes break his bones or kill him : if they kill him, they eat 

Sedgjo belonged to the king's family ; sometimes commanded as 
head man ; consequently, had he not been sold, would have been 
killed and eaten. The idea of being killed and eaten was not very 
dreadful to him ; he had rather be eaten by men than to have the 
flies eat him. 

He once thought white men bought slaves to eat, as they did 
goats. When he first saw the white man, he was afraid of his red 
lips ; he thought they were raw flesh and sore. It was more fright- 
ful to be eaten by red than by black lips. 

On shipboard, many try to starve, or jump into the sea, to keep 
themselves from being eaten by the red-lips. Did they but know 
what was wanted of them, the most would be glad to come. He 
cannot tell how long he was, on the way to the ships, nor did hn 
know where he was going ; thinks he was sold many times before 


he got there ; never saw the white man tiii he was near the sea ; 
all the latter part of his journey to the coast the people did not 
kill or eat their slaves, but sold them. Their clothing is a small 
cloth about the loins. The king and some others have a large cloth 
about the shoulders. Many are entirely naked all their lives. 
Sedgjo has no wish to go back ; has better clothing here than the 
kings have there ; if he does more work, he has more meat. If he 
is whipped here, he is struck with a club there. There, always 
afraid of being killed ; jumped like a deer, if, out of the village, he 
saw or met a stranger ; is very glad he came here ; here he is afraid 
of nobody. 

Such is the substance of what came from the negro's own lips. 
It was impossible to learn from him his distinct nation or tribe. 
Mr. Bookter thought him an Eboe, which was probably a mistake. 

The Periplus, or voyage of Hanno, was made 570 years before 
the Christian era. Its account was written in Punic, and deposited 
in the temple of Moloch, at Carthage. It was afterwards translated 
into Greek ; and thence into English, by Dr. Faulkner, a sketch 
of which may be found in the "Phoenix of Rare Fragments," from 
which we quote, pp. 208-210 : 

"Beyond the Lixitise dwell the inhospitable Ethiopians, who 
pasture a wild country, intersected by large mountains, from 
•which they say the river Lixus flows. In the neighbourhood of 
the mountains lived the ' Troglodytte,' (people who burrowed in the 
earth,) men of various appearance, whom the Lixitise described as 
swifter in running than horses. * * * Thence we proceeded 
towards the east the course of a day, * * * fj-om which pro- 
ceeding a day's sail, we came to the extremity of the lake, that 
was overhung by large mountains, inhabited by savage men clothed 
in skins of wild beasts, who drove us away by throwing stones, and 
hindered us from landing. * * * Thence we sailed towards 
the south twelve days, * * * ^]^q -^rjiole of which is inhabited 
by Ethiopians, who would not wait our approach, but fled from us. 
Their language was not intelligible, even to the Lixitije who were 
with us. * * * When we had landed, we could discover nothinir 
in the daytime except trees ; in the night we saw many fires burn- 
ing, and heard the sound of pipes, cymbals, drums, and confused 
shouts. We were then afraid, and our diviners ordered us to aban- 
don the island ; * * * at the bottom of which lay an island 
like the other, having a lake, and in this lake another island, full 


of savage people, the gi'eater part of wlaom were women, whose 
bodies were hairy, and whom our interpreters called Gfoi'illce. 
Though we pursued the men, we could not seize any of them ; all 
fled from us, escaping over the precipices, and defending them- 
selves with stones. Three women were however taken ; but they 
attacked their conductors with their teeth and hands, and could 
not be prevailed on to accompany us. Having killed them, we 
flayed them, and brought their skins with us to Carthage." 

See also King Humpsal's History of African Settlements, trans- 
lated from the Punic books, by Sallust and into English by H. 
Stewart, page 221 : 

" The Gietuli and the Libyans, as it appears, were the first nations 
that peopled Africa ; a rude and savage race, subsisting partly on 
the flesh of wild beasts, and partly, like cattle, on the herbs of the 
field. Among these tribes social intercourse was unknown ; and 
they were utter strangers to laws, or to civil government ; wander- 
ing during the day from place to place, as inclination prompted ; 
at night, wherever chance conducted them they took up their 
transient habitation." See page 224, same book: "At the back of 
Numidia, the Gsetuli are reported to inhabit, a savage tribe, of 
which a part only made use of huts ; while the rest, less civilized, 
lead a roving life, without restraint or fixed habitation. Beyond 
the Gsetuli is the country of the Ethiopians." 

In Judg.m.7, 8, we have as follows: "And the children of 
Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord, and forgot the Lord their 
God. * * * Therefore the anger of the Lord was hot against 
Israel, and he sold them into the hand of Ohusan RisJiathaimy 
{WTy'^jy'^ jw'^3) which means the '■^■wicked JEthiopians." Let 
us notice its similarity of sentiment with a record in hieroglyphics, 
in the temple of Karnac, where Cush is used as the general term 
to mean the negro tribes: thus, ^'■Kush, harharian, perverse race ;'' 
and there inscribed over the figures of negro captives, two thou- 
sand years before our Christian era. See Gliddon's Lectures, 
page 42. 

We quote from Home's " Introduction to the Study of the 
Scriptures," thus: "It is a notorious fact that these latter" (the 
Canaanites) " were an abominably wicked people." 

" It is needless to enter into any proof of the depraved state of 
their morals ; they were a wicked people in the time of Abraham ; 
and even then were devoted to destruction by God. But their 
iniquity was not yet full. In the time of Moses, they were idola- 


ters ; sacrificers of their own crying and smiling infants ; devourers 
of human flesh ; addicted to unnatural lusts ; immersed in the 
filthiness of all manner of vice." See Ohristian Observer of 1819, 
p. 732. 

But let us look at the negro tribes in more modern days. We 
quote from Lander, p. 58 : " What makes us more desirous to 
leave this abominable place, is the fact (as we have been told) that a 
sacrifice of no less than three hundred human beings, of both 
sexes and all ages, is shortly to take place. We often hear the 
cries of many of these poor wretches ; and the heart sickens with 
horror at the bare contemplation of such a scene as awaits us 
should we remain here much longer." 

And page 74 : " We have longed to discover a solitary virtue 
lingering among the natives of this place, (Badagry,) but as yet 
our search has been ineffectual." 

And page 77 : "We have met with nothing but selfishness and 
rapacity, from the chief to the meanest of his people. The religion 
of Badagry is Mohammedanism, and the worst species of paganism ; 
that which sanctions and enjoins the sacrifice of human beings, and 
other abominable practices, and the worship of imaginary demons 
and fiends." 

Page 110: "It is the custom here, when a governor dies, for 
two of his favourite wives to quit the world on the same day, in 
order that he may have a little pleasant, social company in a future 

Page 111 : " The reason of our not meeting with a better recep- 
tion at Loatoo, when we slept there, was the want of a chief to 
that town, the last having followed the old governor to the eternal 
shades, for he was his slave. Widows are burned in India, just as 
they are poisoned or clubbed here ; but in the former country, I 
believe no male victims are destroyed on such occasions." 

" At Paoya, (page 124,) several chiefs in the road have asked 
us the reason why the Portuguese do not purchase as many slaves 
as formerly ; and make very sad complaints of the stagnation in 
this branch of traffic." 

Page 158 : " At Leograda, a man thinks as little of taking a 
wife as cutting an ear of corn. Affection is altogether out of the 

Page 160 : " At Eitcho, it will scarcely be believed, that not less 
than one hundred and sixty governors of towns and villages between 
this place and the seacoast, all belonging to Yariba, have died from 


natural causes, or have been slain in war, since I was last here ; 
and that of the inhabited places through which we have passed, not 
more than a half-dozen chiefs are alive at this moment, who re- 
ceived and entertained me on my return to Badagry, three years 

Page 176 : " They seem to have no social tenderness ; very few 
of those amiable private virtues which would win our affection, and 
none of those public qualities that claim respect or command admi- 
ration. Their love of country is not strong enough in their bosoms 
to incite them to defend it against the irregular incursions of a 
despicable foe. * * * Regardless of the past as reckless of 
the future ; the present alone influences their actions. In this 
respect they approach nearer to the brute creation than perhaps 
any other people on the face of the globe." 

Page 181 : "In so large a place as this, where two-thirds of the 
population are slaves." * =1= * 

Page 192 : " The cause of it was soon explained by his inform- 
ing us that he would be doomed to die with two companions, 
(slaves,) as soon as their governor's dissolution should take place." 

Page 227 : " In the forenoon we passed near a spot where our 
guides informed us a party of Falatahs, a short time ago, murdered 
twenty of their slaves, because they had not food sufficient," &c. 

Page 232: "At Coobly, he would rather have given us a boy 
(slave) instead of the horse." 

Page 233 : " Monday, June 14th. — The governor's old wife re- 
turned from Boossa this morning, whither she had gone in quest 
of three female slaves who had fled from her about a fortnight 
since. She has brought her fugitives back vfith her, and they 
are now confined in irons." 

Page 272 : " Both these days the men have been entering the 
city; and they have brought with them only between forty and 
fifty slaves." 

Page 278 : " The chief benefits resulting to Bello from the suc- 
cess of the rebels, were a half-yearly tribute, which tlie magia 
agreed to pay him in slaves." 

Page 282: "At Yaooris. — And many thousands of his men, 
fearing no law, and having no ostensible employment, are scattered 
over the face of the Avhole country. They commit all sorts of 
crimes ; they plunder, they burn, they destroy, and even murder, 
and are not accountable to any earthly tribunal for their actions." 

Page 312: "At Boossa. — The manners of the Africans too, are 


hostile to the interest and advancement of woman, and she is very 
rarely placed on an equality with her husband." 

Page 228 : "A man is at liberty to return his wife to her parents 
at any time, and without adducing any reason." 

Page 345 : " The Sheikh of Bornou has recently issued a procla- 
mation, that no slaves from the interior countries are to be sent for 
sale farther west than Wowow, — so that none will be sent in future 
from thence to the seaside. The greatest and most profitable 
market for slaves is said to be at Timbuctoo, whither their owners 
at present transport them to sell to the Arabs, who take them 
over the deserts of Tahara and Libya to sell in the Barbary States. 
An Arab has informed us that many of his countrymen trade as 
far as Turkey, in Europe, with their slaves, where they dispose of 
them for two hundred and fifty dollars each. * * * Perhaps 
it would be speaking within compass to say that four-fifths of the 
whole population of this country, (the Eboe,) likewise every other 
hereabouts, are slaves." 

Vol. ii. ^age 208 : " It may appear strange that I should dwell 
so long on this subject, for it seems quite natural that every one, 
even the most thoughtless barbarian, would feel at least some slight 
emotion on being exiled from his native land and enslaved ; but so 
far is this from being the case, that Africans, generally speaking, 
betray the most perfect indifference on losing their liberty and 
being deprived of their relatives ; while love of country is seem- 
ingly as great a stranger to their breasts as social tenderness and 
domestic affection. We have seen many thousands of slaves : 
some of them more intelligent than others ; but the poor little fat 
woman whom I have mentioned, — the associate of beasts and wal- 
lowing in filth, — whose countenance would seem to indicate only 
listnessness, stupidity, and perhaps idiotism, without the smallest 
symptom of intelligence — she alone has shown any thing like re- 
gret on gazing on her native land for the last time." 

Page 218 : "It has been told us by many that the Eboe people 
are confirmned Anthropophagi ; and this opinion is more prevalent 
among the tribes bordering on that kingdom than with the nations 
of more remote districts." 

We shall close our extracts from Lander's work, by the follow- 
ing, showing that the Africans made slaves of the two Landers 

Page 225 : " The king then said, with a serious countenance, 
that there was no necessity for further discussion respecting the 


white men, (the two brothers Lander,) his mind was ah-eady made 
up on the subject ; and for the first time, he briefly explained him- 
self, to this eiFect : That circumstances having thrown us in the 
way of his subjects, by the laws and usages of the country he was 
not only entitled to our own persons, but had equal rights to those 
of our attendants. That he should take no further advantuge of 
his good fortune than by exchanging us for as much English goods 
as would amount in value to twenty slaves." 

The following we transci-ibe from Stedman's Narrative, vol. ii. 
page 267 : " I should not forget to mention that the Gingo negroes 
are supposed to be Anthropophagi, or cannibals, like the Caribbee 
Indians, instigated by habitual* and implacable revenge. Among 
the rebels of this tribe, after the taking of Boucore, some pots were 
found on the fire, with human flesh, which one of the ofiicers had 
the curiosity to taste ; and declared that it was not inferior to 
some kinds of beef or pork. I have since been informed, by a 
Mr. Vaugils, an American, who, having travelled a great number 
of miles inland in Africa, at last came to a place where human 
arms, legs, and thighs hung upon Avooden shambles, and were ex- 
posed to sale like butcher's meat. And Captain John Keen, formerly 
of the Dolphin, but late of the Vianbana schooner, in the Sierra 
Leone Company's service, positively assured me that, a few years 
since, when he was on the coast of Africa, in the brig Fame, from 
Bristol, Mr. Samuel Briggs, owner, trading for wool, ivory, and 
gold-dust, a Captain Duuningen, with the whole crevf belonging 
to the Nassau schooner, were cut in pieces, salted, and eaten by 
the negroes of Great Drewin." 

But this is nothing to what is related, on good authority, respect- 
ing the Giagas, a race of cannibals who are said to have overrun a 
great part of Africa. These monsters, it is said, are descended, 
from the Agows and Galia, who dwell in the southern extremity 
of Abyssinia, near the sources of the Nile. Impelled by necessity 
or the love of plunder, they left their original settlements, and 
extended their ravages through the heart of Africa, till they were 
stopped by the Western Ocean. They seized on the kingdom of 
Benguela, laying to the south of Angola ; and in this situation 
they were found by the Romish missionaries, and by our countrj^- 
man, Andrew Battel, whose adventures may be found in Purchas"s 
Pilgrim. Both he, and the Capuchin Cavozzi, who resided long 
among them and converted several of them to Christianity, gave 
such an account of their manners as is enough to chill the blood 



with horror. We shall spare our readers the horrid detail, only 
observing that human flesh is one of their delicacies, and that they 
devour it, not from a spirit of revenge, or from any want of other 
food, but as the most agreeable dainty. Some of their command- 
ers, when they went on an expedition, carried numbers of young 
women along with them, some of whom were slain almost every 
day, to gratify this unnatural appetite." See Modern Universal 
History, vol. xvi. p. 321 ; also Anzito ; also Edin. Encyc. vol. ii. 
p. 185!! 

In continuation of this subject, permit us to take a view of these 
tribes, at a time just before the slave-trade commenced among 
them with Christian nations. The Portuguese were first to attempt 
to colonize portions of Africa, with the double view of extending 
commerce and of spreading the Christian faith. They commenced 
a settlement of that kind in the regions of Congo, as early as 
1578 ; shortly after which, the Angolas, an adjoining nation, being 
at war with each other, one party applied to Congo and the Portu- 
guese for aid, which was lent them. Soon a battle took place, in 
which 120,000 of the Angolas and Giagas were slain. See Lopez's 
Hist, of Congo. 

About the same time, we find in Dappus de VAfrique, the fol- 
lowing data : 

"The natives of Angola are tall and strong; but, like the rest 
of the Ethiopians, they are so very lazy and indolent, that although 
their soil is admirably adapted to the raising of cattle and the 
production of grain, they allow both to be destroyed by the wild 
beasts with which the country abounds. The advantages which 
they enjoy from climate and soil are thus neglected. * * * 
We are told that the people in some of the idolatrous provinces 
still feed on human flesh, and prefer it to all other ; so that a dead 
slave gives a higher price in market than a living one. The can- 
nibals are in all probability descended from the barbarous race of 
the Giagas, by whom the greater part of the eastern and south- 
eastern provinces were peopled. One most inhuman custom still 
prevails in this part of the kingdom, and that is, the sacrificing of 
a number of human victims at the burial of their dead, in testi- 
mony of the respect in which their memory is held. The number 
of these unhappy victims is therefore always in proportion to the 
rank and wealth of the deceased ; and their bodies are afterwards 
piled up in a heap upon their tombs. * * * This prince 
(Angola Chilvagni) became a great warrior, enlarged the AngoHc 


dominions, and died much regretted ; and •was succeeded by his 
pon, Dambi Angola. Unlike his father, he is described as a mon- 
ster of cruelty, and, happily for his subjects, his reign was of short 
duration. Nevertheless, he was buried with great magnificence ; 
and, according to the barbarous custom of the country, a mound 
was erected over his grave, filled with the bones of human victims, 
who had been sacrificed to his manes." 

"He was succeeded by Ngola Chilvagni, a warlike and cruel 
prince, who carried his victorious arms within a few leagues of 
Loando. * * * Intoxicated with success, he fancied himself a 
God, and claimed divine honours. * * * Ngingha was elected 
his successor, a prince of so cruel a disposition that all his subjects 
wished his death ; which, happily for them, soon arrived. Never- 
theless, he was buried with the usual pomp, with the usual number 
of sacrifices. His son and successor, Bandi Angola, discovered a 
disposition still more cruel than his father's. * * * -Jq coun- 
teract these and other idolatrous rites, and to soften that barbarity 
of manners which so generally prevailed, the Portuguese, when 
they established themselves in the country, (1578,) were at great 
pains to introduce the invaluable blessings of Christianity. * * * 
so that from the year 1580 to 1590, we are informed, no less a 
number than 20,000 were converted and publicly professed Chris- 
tianity." * ■ * 

"Her remains were no sooner deposited beside her sisters, in the 
church which she had built, than Mona Zingha declared his abhor- 
rence to Christianity, and revived the horrid Giagan rites. Five 
women, of the first rank, were by his orders buried in the queen's 
grave, and upwards of forty persons of distinction were next sacri- 
ficed. * * * He wrote the viceroy at Loando, that he had 
abjured the Christian religion, which he said he had formerly em- 
braced merely out of respect * * * to his queen, and that he 
now returned to the ancient sect of the Giasas. That there might 
remain no doubt of his sincerity in that declaration, he followed it 
with the sacrifice of a great number of victims, in honour of their 
bloody and idolatrous rites, with the destruction of all Christian 
churches and chapels, and with the persecution of the Christians 
in all parts of his kingdom." 

And we may here remark that even the nations of the coast 
could never be persuaded to abolish human sacrifice, nor to the in- 
troduction of Christianity, to any extent, until after the introduc- 
tion of the slave-trade with christian nations. See also Osb:rn's 


Collection of Travels, vol. ii. p. 537 ; Mod. Universal Hist. vol. 43 ; 
and Edin. Encyc. vol. ii. pp. lOT, 109, 110, 113. 

Over two hundred vears ao;o, and durino; the reign of Charles I. 
of England, Sir Thomas Herbert, (not Lord Edward Herbert, who 
wrote a deistical book, entitled, "Truth,") a gentleman of most 
elevated connection, and a scholar devoted to science and general 
literature, with a mind adorned bj poetry and influenced by the 
strongest impulses of human sympathy ; and one, of whom Lord 
Fairfax said, 

" He travelled, not -witli lucre sotted, 
But went for knowledge — and he got it I" 

This author, in his Tour in Africa, writes thus : " The inhabit- 
ants here along the Golden coast of Guinea, and Benin, bounded 
with Tombotu, (Timbuctoo,) Gualata, and Mollis, and watered by the 
great river Niger, but, especially in the Mediterranean (inland) parts, 
know no God, nor are at all willing to be instructed by nature — 
" Scire nihil jucundissimum." Howbeit the Divel, who will not 
want his ceremonie, has infused prodigious idolatry into their 
hearts, enough to relish his pallet, and aggrandize their tortures, 
where he gets power to fry their souls, as the raging sun has 
scorched their cole-black carcasses. * * * Those countries 
are full of black-skinned wretches, rich in earth, as abounding 
with the best minerals and with elephants, but miserable in De- 
monomy. * * * Lgt one character serve for all. For colour 
they resemble chimney-sweepers ; unlike them in this, they are of 
no profession, except rapine and villany make one ; for here, De- 
monis omnia 2)lena. * * * But in Loango and the Anziqui 
the people are little other than divels incarnate ; not satisfied 
with nature's treasures, as gold, precious stones, flesh in variety, 
and the like ; the destruction of men and women neighbouring 
them, whose dead carcasses they devour with a vulture relish and 
appetite ; whom if they miss, they serve their friends such scurvy 
sauce, butchering them, and thinking they excuse all in a compli- 
ment that they know no better way to express love than in making 
two bodies in one, by an inseparable union ; yea, some, as some 
report, proff"ering themselves to the shambles, accordingly are dis- 
jointed and set to sale upon the stalls. * * * The natives 
of Africa being propagated from Cham, both in their visages and 
natures, seem to inherit his malediction. * * * They are 
very brutes. A dog was of that value here that twenty salvages 
(slaves) have been exchanged for one of them ; but of late years 


the exchange here made for negroes, to transport into the Cariba 
isles and continent of America, is become a considerable trade." 

It -will be remembered how great have been the exertions of the 
British Government to abolish totally the slave-trade in Africa. A 
great number of slave ships were captured, and the negroes found 
on board sent to Sierra Leone. Strong hopes were entertained that 
'"'■poor, suffering Africa' was about to be civilized. 

We quote from the Hibernian Auxiliary Missionary Report, 
Christian Observer, 1820, pages 888 and 889 : 

" The slave-trade, which like the (fabled) upas, blasts all that 
is wholesome in its vicinity, has, in one important instance, been 
here overruled for good. It has been made the means of assem- 
bling on one spot, and that on a Christian soil, individuals from 
almost every nation of the western coast of Africa. It has been 
made the means of introducing to civilization and religion many 
hundreds from the interior of that vast continent, who had never 
seen the face of a white man, nor heard the name of Jesus. And 
it will be made the means under God of sending to the nations 
beyond the Niger and the Zaire, native missionaries who will preach 
the Redeemer in the utmost parts of the country, and enable their 
countrymen to hear in their own tongue the wonderful works of 
God. European avarice and native profligacy leave no part of 
xA.frica unexplored for victims ; and these slaves, rescued by our 
cruisers, and landed on the shores of our colony, are received by 
our missionaries and placed in their schools." 

The sympathies of the world were excited on this subject, and 
every civilized heart cried amen., in union with the impulsive feel- 
ings of this Hibernian Report. 

But let us remember to inquire a little into the facts, and 
examine whether these hopes were well or ill founded. We quote 
from vol. xix. of the Christian Observer, page 890 : 

" Mr. Johnson was appointed to the care of Regent's Town, in 
the month of June, 1816. On looking narrowly into the actual 
condition of the people intrusted to his care, he felt great dis- 
couragement. Natives of twenty-two different nations were there 
collected together. A considerable number of them had been but 
recently liberated from the holds of slave-vessels. They were 
greatly prejudiced against one another, and in a state of continual 
hostility, with no common medium of intercourse but a little broken 
English. When clothing was given to them, they would sell it, or 
throw it away : it was difficult to induce them to put it on ; and it 


was not found practicable to introduce it among them, until led to 
't by the example of Mr. Johnson's servant-girl. None of them, 
on their first arrival, seemed to live in a state of marriage ; some 
of them were soon afterwards married by the late Mr. Butscher ; 
but all the blessings of the marriage state and of female purity 
appeared to be quite unknown. * * * Superstition, in various 
forms, tyrannized over their minds ; many devil's houses sprang 
up, and all placed their security in wearing gregrees. Scarcely 
any desire of improvement was discernable. * * * Some, who 
wished to cultivate the soil, were deterred from doing so by the fear 
of being plundered of the produce. Some would live in the woods, 
apart from society ; and others subsisted by thieving and plunder : 
they would steal poultry and pigs from any who possessed them, 
and would eat them raw ; and not a few of them, particularly of 
the Eboe nation, the most savage of them all, would prefer any 
kind of refuse meat to the rations which they received from 

Doubtless Mr. Johnson and his successors have done all that good 
men could do, even under the protection of the British Govern- 
ment ; but have they, in the least, aflfected the slave-trade of 
Africa, otherwise than to divert its direction, or have they dimi- 
nished it to any observable extent ? True, its course has been 
changed, and its enormities thereby increased tenfold. Instead 
of its subjects being brought under the regenerating influences of 
Christianity, they are sacrificed at the shrine of friends at home, 
or sent among pagans or Mohammedans ! Let the Christian phi- 
losopher think of these things. 

While we recollect the proclamation of the Emperor of Bourno, 
let us look at the slave-trade as now carried on with the Barbary 
States, the Arab tribes, and Egypt and Asia, as well as Turkey 
in Europe. We quote from " Burckhart's Travels in Nubia," as 
reported in the Christian Observer, vol. xix. p. 459 : 

" The author had a most favourable opportunity of collecting 
intelligence and making observations on this subject, (slavery,) as 
connected with the northeastern parts of Africa by travelling 
with companies of slaves and slave-merchants through the deserts 
of Nubia. * * * The chief mart in the Nubian mountains, for 
the Egyptian and the Arabian slave-trade, is Shendy. * -'= ^^'■ 
To this emporium, slaves are brought from various parts of the 
interior, and particularly from the idolatrous * * * tribes in 
the vicinity of Darfour, Bozgho, and Dar Saley." 


Our traveller calculated tlie number sold annually in the market 
of Shendy at five thousand. "Far the larger part of these slaves 
are under the age of fifteen." 

See page 460 : '"FeAV slaves are imported into Egypt without 
changing masters several times. * * * ^4^^ slave, for example, 
purchased at Fertit, is transferred at least six times befoi'e he 
arrives at Cairo. These rapid changes, as might be expected, are 
productive of great hardship to the unfortunate individuals, espe- 
cially in the toilsome journey across the deserts. Burckhart saw 
on sale at Shendy, many children of four of five years old, loitli- 
out their parents. * * * Burckhart has entered into tht* 
details of cruelties of another kind, practised on the slaves to raise 
their pecuniary value. The particulars are not suitable for a work 
of miscellaneous perusal. * * * The great mart, however, for 
the supply of European and Asiatic Turkey with the kind of 
slaves required as guardians for the harem, Mr. Burckhart informs 
us, is not at Shendy, but at a village near Siout, in Upper Egypt, 
inhabited chiefly hy Christians." (Abyssinians, we suppose.) 

The mode of marching slaves is described as follows : " On the 
journey, they are tied to a long pole, one end of which is tied to a 
camel's saddle, and the other, which is forked, is passed on each 
side of the slave's neck, and tied behind with a strong cord, so as 
to prevent him drawing out his head : in addition to this, his right 
hand is also fastened to the pole, at a short distance from the 
head, thus leaving only his legs and left arm at liberty. In this 
manner he marches the whole day behind the camel : at night he 
is taken from the pole and put in irons. While on the route to 
Souakim, I saw several slaves carried along in this way. Their 
owners were afraid of their escaping, or of becoming themselves 
the objects of their vengeance ; and in this manner they would 
continue to be confined until sold to a master, who, intending to 
keep them, would endeavour to attach them to his person. In 
general, the traders seem greatly to dread the efiects of sudden 
resentment in their slaves ; and if a grown-up boy is to be whipped, 
his master first puts him in irons." 

Page 333 : " Females with children on their backs follow the 
caravans on foot ; and if a camel breaks down, the owner generally 
loads his slaves with the packages ; and if a boy in the evening can 
only obtain a little butter with his clhourra bread, and some grease 
every two or three days to smear his body and hair, he is con- 
tented, and never complains of fatigue. Another cause which 


induces the mercliants to treat the shives well (?) is their anxiety 
to dissipate the horror which the negroes all entertain of Egypt 
and the white people. It is a common opinion in the black slave 
countries that the Ouleder Rif, or children of Rif, as the Egyptians 
are there called, devour the slaves, who are transported thither for 
that purpose : of course, the traders do every thing in their power 
to destroy this belief; but, notwithstanding all their endeavours, 
it is never eradicated from the mind of the slaves." 

Page 462: "The manners of the people of Souakim are the 
same as those I have already described in the interior, and I have 
reason to believe that they are common to the whole of eastern 
Africa, including Abyssinia, where the character of the inhabitants, 
as drawn by Bruce, seems little different from that of these Nubians. 
I regret that I am compelled to represent all the nations of Africa 
which I have yet seen, in so bad a light." 

We next quote from the Family Magazine, 1836, page 439, as 
follows: "Many of the Dayaks have a rough, scaly scurf on their 
skin, like the Jacong of the Malay Peninsula. * * * The 
female slaves of this race, which are found among the Malays, 
have no appearance of it. * * * AVith regard to their funeral 
cereYuonies, the corpse * * * remains in the house till the 
son, the father, or the next of blood, can procure or purchase a 
slave, who is beheaded at the time the corpse is burned, m order 
that he may become the slave of the deceased in the next world. 

* -^ * Nobody can be permitted to marry till he can pre- 
sent a human head of some other tribe to his proposed bride. 

* * * rpj^g head-hunter proceeds in the most cautious man- 
ner to the vicinity of the villages of another tribe, and lies in am- 
bush till he can surprise some heedless, unsuspecting wretch, who 
is instantly decapitated. * * * When the hunter returns, the 
whole village is filled with joy, and old and young, men and 
women, hurry out to meet him, and conduct him, with the sound 
of brazen cymbals, dancing, in long lines, to the house of the 
female he admires, whose family likewise come out to greet him 
with dances, and provide him with a seat, and give him meat and 
drink. He holds the bloody head still in his hand, and puts part of 
the food into his mouth, after which the females of the family receive 
the head from him, which they hang up to the ceiling over the door. 
If a man's wife die, he is not permitted to make proposals of mar 
riage to another till he has procured another head of a different 
tribe. The heads they procure in this manner, they preserve with 


great care, and sometimes consult in divination. The religious 
opinions connected with this practice are by no means correctly 
understood : some assert they believe that every person whom a 
man kills in this world becomes his slave in the next. * * * 
The practice of stealing heads causes frequent wars among the 
tribes of the Idean. Many persons never can obtain a head ; in 
which case they are generally despised by the warriors and the 
women. To such a height is it carried, however, that a person 
who has obtained eleven heads has been seen, and at the same time 
he pointed out his son who, a young lad, had procured three." 

James Edward Alexander, H. L. S., during the years 1836 and 
1837, made an excursion from the Cape of Good Hope into the 
interior of South Africa and the countries of the Namaquas, 
Boschmans, and Hill Damaras, under the auspices of Her Ma- 
jesty's Government and the Royal Geographical Society, which 
has been published in two volumes ; from which we extract, vol. i. 
page 126: "I was anxious to ascertain the extent of knowledge 
among the tribe (Damaras) with which I now dwelt ; to learn whai 
they knew of themselves, and of men and things in general: but 
I must say that they positively know nothing beyond tracing game 
and breaking in jack-oxen. They did not know one year from 
another; they only knew that at certain times the trees and flowers 
bloom, and then rain was expected. As to their own age, they 
knew no more Avhat it was than idiots. Some even had no names. 
Of numbers, of course, the}'' were nearly or quite ignorant ; few 
could count above five ; and he was a clever fellow who could count 
his ten fingers. Above all they had not the least idea of God or 
of a future state. They were, literally like the beasts which 

Page 163, 164, and 165 : " At Chubeeches the people were very 
poor. * * * Standing in need of a shepherd, I observed here 
two or three fine little Damara boys, as black as ebony. * * * 
I said to the old woman to whom Saul belonged, ' You have two 
boys, and they are starving ; you have nothing to give them.' ' This 
is true,' she replied. 'Will you part with Saul?' said I; 'I want 
a shepherd, and the boy wants to go with me.' 'You will find 
him too cunning,' returned the old dame. 'I want a clever fel- 
low,' said I. 'Very well,' she replied ; 'give me four cotton hand- 
kerchiefs and he is yours.' 'Suppose,' said I, 'you take two 
handkerchiefs and two strings of glass beads?' 'Yes! that will 
do ;' and so the bargain was closed; and thus a good specim.en of 


Damara flcsli and blood was bought for the value of about four 
shillings. * * * J told him to go and bring his skins ; on which 
lie informed me that he had none, saving what he stood in — and 
that was his own sable hide, with the addition of the usual strap 
of leather around his waist, from which hung a piece of jackal's 
skin in front. Constant exposure to the vicissitudes of the weather, 
without clothes, hardens the skin of the body like that of the face ; 
and still it is difficult to sleep at nights without proper covering. 
In cold weather, the poor creatures of Namaqua Land, who may 
have no karosses, sit cowering over a fire all night, and merely 
doze with their heads on their knees." 

Vol. ii. page 23 : " Can any state of society be considered more 
low and brutal than that in which promiscuous intercourse is viewed 
with the most perfect indifference ; wdiere it is not only practised, 
but spoken of without any shame or compunction ? Some rave 
about the glorious liberty of the savage state, and about the innocence 
of the children of nature, and say that it is chiefly by the white 
men that they become corrupt. The Boschmans of Ababres had 
never seen white men before ; they were far removed from the in- 
fluence of the Europeans." 

Vol. i. page 102 : "Notwithstanding that some people maintain 
that there is no nation on earth without religion in some form, 
however faintly it may be traced in their minds, yet, after much 
diligent inquiry, I could not discover the slightest feeling of devo- 
tion towards a higher and invisible power among the Hill Da- 

In Mohammedan countries, the most unfavourable portions of the 
slave's existence, as such, is while in the hands of the geeleb, or 
slave-merchant, and until he is sold to one who designs to keep 
him permanently. In the -first instance, if negroes, they suffer 
much in the journey from the place of purchase to that of sale. 
For instance, it has been known, in the journey from Sennaar and 
Darfour to the slave-mart at Cairo, or even the intermediate one 
at Siout, the loss in a slave caravan, of men, women, camels, and 
horses, amounted to not less than 4000. The circumstances of the 
mart itself scarcely appear in a more favourable aspect than those 
of the journey, — whether we regard the miserable beings, as in 
the market at Cairo, crowded together in enclosures like the sheep- 
pens in Smithfield market, amid the abominable stench and un- 
cleanness which result from their confinement ; whether, as at an- 
other great mart at Muscat, we perceive the dealer walking to and 


fro, with a stick in bis hand, between two lots of ill-clothed boys 
and girls, whom he is offering for sale, proclaiming aloud, as he 
passes, the price fixed on each ; or else leading his string of slaves 
through the narrow and dirty streets, and calling out their prices 
as he exhibits them in this ambulatory auction. >i= * * ^^I^p 
slaves, variously exhibited, usually appear quite indifi"erent to the 
process, or only show an anxiety to be sold, from knowing that as 
slaves, finally purchased, their condition will be much ameliorated. 
* * * How little slavery is dreaded is also shown by the 
fact that even Mohammedan parents or relatives are, in cases of 
emergency, ready enough to ofier their children for sale. During 
the famine which a few years since drove the people of Mosul to 
Bengal, one could not pass the streets without being annoyed by 
the solicitations of parents to purchase their boys and girls for the 
merest trifle ; and even in Koordistan, where no constraining mo- 
tive appeared to exist, we have been sounded as to our willingness 
to purchase young members of the family. Europeans in the East 
are scarcely considered amenable to any general rules, but Chris- 
tians generally are not allowed to possess any other than negro 
slaves." London Penny Mag. 1834, pp. 243, 244; also, Sketches 
of Persia, and Johnson s Journey from India. 


Quotations from books of authority, portraying the universal 
state of degradation of the African hordes, may be made to an 
unlimited extent. Our object has been to present some idea of 
what the negro is in his own country, when beyond the influence 
of American slavery. We will now advance some views of him and 
his race, as they present themselves in this American slavery. 
And here let us premise that the population of the African tribes 
is estimated at 50,000,000, 40,000,000 of whom are deemed to 
be slaves : that the wars among them are not so much wars to make 
freemen slaves, as they are to appropriate the slaves of one owner 
to the rightful ownership of another, according to their notions of 
law and their customs of right. Among them, conquest always 
subjects to slavery. When slaves take a captive, he is the property 
of their master. Slavery exists there according to their laws and 
customs ; and there is no evidence, nor in fact is it probable, that 


even the slave-trade with Amei'ica has ever increased the extent or 
degree of slavery in Africa. 

We quote from a truly able and sympathetic writer, J. Morier's 
"Second Journey through Persia," as reported in the Christian 
Observer, vol. xvi. page 808 : 

"During the time we were at the Brazils, the slave-trade was in 
full vigour, and a visit to the slave-market impressed us more with 
the iniquity of this traffic than any other thing that could be said 
or written on the subject. On each side of the street where the 
market was held, were large rooms in which the negroes were kept ; 
and during the day, they were seen in melancholy groups, waiting to 
be delivered from the hands of the trader, whose dreadful economy 
might be traced in their persons, which at that time were little 
better than skeletons. If such were their state on shore, with the 
advantage of air and space, what must have been their condition 
on board the ship that brought them hither ? It is not unfrequent 
that slaves escape to the woods, where they are almost as frequently 
retaken. When this is the case, they have an iron collar put about 
their necks, with a long hooked ai'm extending from it, to impede 
their progress through the woods, in case they should abscond a 
second time. Yet amid all this misery, it was pleasing to observe 
the many negroes who frequented the churches, and to see them, 
in form and profession, at least making a part of a Christian 

Mr, Morier's statement may bear testimony to abuses of slavery ; 
but it certainly bears testimony to another thing more important 
to the slave. " The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom." 
Prov. ix. 10. 

And we here beg leave to remark that we shall, in all instances, 
draw our proofs from the enemies of the institution. We quote 
from Berbick's Notes on America, page 20, and reported in vol. 
xvi. of the Christian Observer, published in London, May 10th, 
page 109 : 

" I saw two female slaves and their children sold by auction in 
the street ; an incident of common occurrence here, though horri- 
fying to myself and many other strangers. I could hardly bear 
to see them handled and examined like cattle ; and when I heard 
their sobs and saw the hig tears rolling down their cheeks at the 
tliought of being separated, I could not refrain from weeping 
with them." 

This may have been very cruel in the white man ; but who has 


ever hoard of a negro in Africa displaying such a strength of ten- 
derness and feeling of sympathy as here manifested ? And how 
are we to account for it in this instance, if not by the regenerating 
influence of a few generations in American and Christian slavery ? 
However slow the action, the condition of the mental faculties was 
improved and tlie moral condition ameliorated. But in the same 
page, he says — 

" A traveller told me that he saw, a few weeks ago, one iiundred 
and twenty sold by auction in the streets of Richmond, and that 
they filled the air with their lamentations." 

The case of the women was not solitary, and doubtless we shall 
find such proof of an improved state of the affections quite com- 
mon. But this good man continuously pursues the subject: 

"It has also been confidently alleged, that the condition of 
slaves in Virginia, under the mild treatment they are said to ex- 
perience, is preferable to that of our English labourers. I know 
and lament the degrading state of dependent poverty to which the 
latter have been gradually reduced by the operation of laws 
originally designed for their comfort and protection. I know also 
that many slaves pass their lives in comparative ease, and seem to 
be unconscious of their bonds, and that the most wretched of our 
paupers might even envy the allotment of the hajjpi/ negro." 

We will now quote from Lieutenant Francis Hall, of the British 
Light Dragoons. In his Travels in Canada and the United States, 
pubhshed in London, 1818, pages 357 to 360, he says — 

" I took the boat this morning, and crossed the ferry over to 
Portsmouth, the small town which I told you was opposite to this 
place, (Norfolk.) It was court-day, and a large crowd of people 
was gathered about the door of the court-house. I had hardly got 
upon the steps to look in, when my ears were assailed by the voice 
of singing, and turning round to observe from what quarter it came, 
I saw a group of about thirty negroes, of diiferent sizes and ages, 
following a rough-looking white man, who sat carelessly lolling in 
his sulkey. They had just turned round the corner, and were 
coming up the main street, to pass by the spot where I stood, on 
their way out of town. As they came nearer, I saw some of them 
loaded with chains to prevent their escape, while others had hold 
of each other's hands, strongly grasped, as if to support them- 
selves in their afHiction. I particularly noticed a poor mother, 
with an infant, as she walked along, while two small children had 
hold of her apron on either side, almost running, to keep up with 


the rest. They came along singing a little wild hymn, of sweet 
and mournful melody, flying, by Divine instinct of the heart, to the 
consolations of religion, the last refuge of the unhappy, to support 
them in their distress." 

We have no knowledge of Lieutenant Hall's powers of deduction, 
nor of what he thought this story proved. But it v,'ill surely give 
us new views of Africa, if he will travel there, and find such a 
scene there, among the many slaves he may yioiv see naked, tied to 
poles, and leaving their country for ever. The world has been 
flooded with stories of this description, some of which prove the 
abuses of slavery, but all of them prove some amelioration, both 
mentally and physically, in the condition of the slave here, when 
compared with the condition of the African at home, whether bond 
or free. 

Mr. Barnes has admitted one into his book, pages 136, 137, and 
188, which adds strength to our position : its length excludes a 
copy. We quote again from the Christian Observer, vol. xv. p. 
541 : "Missions of the United Brethren at Surinam." — Mr. Camp- 
bell writes : " On the plantations and at Sommelsdyk there was a 
great desire among the negroes to hear the gospel, which finds 
entrance into many of their hearts. * * * At Paramaribo, 
the negro congregation consisted, at the close of 1813, of 550." 
" On the 30th of August, 1814, the same missionary writes that 
the word of God among the negroes in Paramaribo continues to 
increase, and we have great reason to rejoice and take courage 
when we see marked proofs of the Divine blessing upon our feeble 
ministry." See page 542. "Antigua." — "A letter from this 
island, dated, Grace Hill, Jan. 14th, 1814. * * * The con- 
gregation of Christian negroes at this place consisted, at the close 
of 1813, of 2087 persons." Again, page 543 : "Some poor ne- 
groes, who, although they sigh under the pressure of slavery and 
various hardships, or ailments of body, seek consolation and re- 
freshment from the meritorious passion of Jesus, are enabled, with 
tears of joy, to lay hold on these words of Scripture : ' I reckon 
that the sufi'erings of this present time are not worthy to be com- 
pared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.' " Again, p. 
554 : " Jamaica." — Mr. Lang, the missionary, writes thus, on the 5th 
February, 1814 : " It pleases the Lord still to bless our labours with 
success, so as to encourage us to believe that he has thoughts of 
peace regarding the negroes in Jamaica also, and will visit them 
yet more generally with his salvation," &c. Page 546 : " Danish 



Islands. — The number of Christian negroes belonging to the 
different missions in the Danish Islands, was, at the end of 1813, 
as follows : 

At Friedensthal, St. Croix 5,100 

" Friedensberg " 2,396 

" New Hernhutt, St. Thomas 949 

" Nisky " 1,304 

" Bethany, St. Jan 474 

" Emmaus " 952 

Total .• 11,175 

" St. Kitts. — On the 10th August, 1814, the missionaries write 
that they have lately had several very pleasing instances of ne- 
groes departing this life in reliance on the merits of the Saviour, 
with great joy and the sure and steadfast hope of everlasting life." 

Among us it seems to be but little known what have been the 
providences of God towards the slaves of the West Indies. The 
following sketch is taken from the Report of the Moravian Mis- 
sionaries, as found in the Christian Observer, vol. xvi. page 64 : 

Missions to the Slaves in the 

Danish Islands. 

When begun. 

No. of Settlements. 

No. of Missionaries 

St. Thomas 




St. Croix 




St. Jan. 




Beitish Islands. 









St. Kitts 








South America 






The Dutch took possession of the Cape of Good Hope in 1650. 
Slaves from various parts of Africa, Mozambique, and the Malay 
Islands were introduced ; we have no means of knowing to what 
extent. Somerville found the city of Cape Town to contain 1145 
houses, 5500 white and free people of colour, and 10,000 slaves. 
In all of the years 1736-1792, and 1818, the Moravians es- 
tablished 27 missionaries to the blacks. But they, nor no other 
people, have ever been able to produce any considerable effect 
there, or elsewhere, upon the natives, except upon such as were in 


slavery among a Christian people. The sound of the gospel had 
no charms for the Avild, roving savage. 

But, as reported in the Christian Observer, vol. xiv. page 830, 
Campbell says — "In the colony of the Cape of Good Hope, consider- 
able efforts have been made of late, particularly by Sir John Cradock, 
aided by the zeal of the colonial chaplain, the Rev. Mr. Jones, to 
diffuse the blessings of Christian instruction, not only among the 
slaves, but among all classes. * * * Several of the negroes 
read the New Testament tolerably well, and repeat questions from 
Walls's Catechism : on the Lord's day they were well-dressed, 
and attended church." But, page 829, same vol.: "At Cape 
Town, Mohammedanism is much on the increase. The free Mo- 
hammedans are strenuous in their efforts to make proselytes among 
the slaves," &c. 

We have endeavoured to show that the providences of God 
towards the African races in slavery to Christian nations, tend to 
their deliverance from idolatry, and to their restoration to an ac- 
ceptable worship of the true God. And may we not inquire 
whether the introduction to this worship w as not foretold by the 
prophets ? " Thus saith the Lord, The labour of Egypt, and 
merchandise of Ethiopia and of the Sabeans, men of stature, shall 
come over unto thee, and they shall be thine : they shall come 
after thee ; in chains they shall come over, and they shall fall 
down unto thee, they shall make supplication unto thee, saying, 
Surely, God is in thee ; and there is none else, there is no God" 
beside. Isa. xlv. 14. 

" From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia, my suppliants, even the 
daughters of my dispersed, shall bring mine offering." 

" I will also leave in the midst of thee an afflicted and poor 
people, and they shall trust in the name of the Lord." Zeph. iii. 
10, 12. 

The progress of the Christian religion among the slaves of 
the United States is known to the world, and needs no mention 
here. No such accounts have ever come from the African tribes 
at any period of time. These indications of the providence of 
God seem to show that he smiles upon the institution of African 
slavery in all Christian lands, and "that its tendencies are to 
elevate the black man, and make him more intelligent and happy 
than he would be in his own land, and that it has a benevolent 
bearing on the welfare of the slave in this world and the world to 



Our limits Trill not permit an extended accumulation of the 
testimony showing the degenerate condition of the African hordes, 
nor of those facts showing the ameliorating effect of American 
slavery upon that race of mankind. A lai'ge volume would not 
contain more than an abstract. This effect is obvious to any one 
acquainted with the race ; while the deep degradation of the races 
from which they have descended has caused some j^^ii^osopJiers to 
adopt the opinion that they are not of a common origin with the 
white races of the earth. But we present the doctrine that sin — 
that any want of conformity to the laws of God touching our 
health and happiness, our physical and mental improvement and 
condition, has a direct tendency to deteriorate the animal man, 
and that a general abandonment and disregard of such laws, 
through a long series of generations, Avill be sufficient to account 
for the lowest degradation found to exist. We believe there is 
truth in the saying, " The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and 
the children's teeth are set on edge ;" that, when the progenitors 
for a series of ages manifest some particular quality or tendency 
of action, the same may be found, even in an increased degree, in 
their descendants ; and that this principle holds true to some 
extent through the whole animal world. Further, that such pro- 
gressive tendency to some particular mental or physical condition 
may be obviated, and its action reversed, by a sufficient controlling 
influence or force. 

And if it shall be found that there maybe truth in this position, 
we might submit the inquiry : If God in his wisdom foresaw that 
the family of Jacob would become so degraded, in one generation, 
that it would require the counteracting influence of four hundred 
years of slavery to place them in a condition fit to receive and 
enjoy the blessings promised their fathers; how long will it require 
a similar state of control to produce a like renovation among the 
descendants of Ham, the degraded Africans ? But we think, so 
far as the inquiry can interest us, it has been answered by St. 
Paul : " Let as many servants {Sov?.oi, douloi, slaves) as are 
under the yoke, count their own masters worthy of all honour, 


that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed. And 
they that have believing masters, let them not despise them 
because they are brethren ; but rather do them, service {hov7.svi- 
rcjo'az', he slaves to them,) because they are faithful and beloved par- 
takers of the benefit. These things teach and exhort. If any 
man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome Vv'ords, even to 
the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is 
according to godliness, he is proud, knowing nothing, but doting 
about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, 
railings, evil surmisings, perverse disputings of men of corrupt 
minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: 
from such withdraw thyself. But godliness, Avith contentment, is 
great gain, for we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain 
that we can carry nothing out ; and having food and raiment, let 
us be therewith content. 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 ; which while some covet after, they 
have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with 
many sorrows. But thou, man of God ! flee these things ; and 
follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meek- 
ness. Fight the good fight of faith ; lay hold on eternal life, 
whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profes- 
sion before many witnesses. I give thee charge, in the sight of 
God who quickeneth all things, and before Jesus Christ, who before 
Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession, that thou keep this 
commandment {£vro?.rj>, an order, a command, a jjrecejit, a charge, 
wjunction) without spot {d(yni/\.07; free from stain, spotless, fault- 
less), unrebukable {dv67ti?.yi7tro7', of tohom no hold can he taken, 
not to be attacked, irreprehensihle), until the appearing of our Lord 
Jesus Christ." 1 Tim. vi. 1-14. 

Thus St. Pai;l has told us how long this doctrine shall be taught; 
that it shall be taught free from any alteration, change ; free from 
any stain, pure and spotless ; and that his manner of teaching it 
shall be plain, simple, open, and bold ; so that there could be no 
hold taken of him ; and the doctrines, instructions, counsels and 
commands here given were to be so taught, until the coming of our 
Lord Jesus Christ. 

But Mr. Barnes says, page 194 — 

" If we may draw an inference also from this case, (the Hebrews 
in Egypt,) in regard to the manner in which God would have such 


a people (slaves in America) restored to freedom, it would be 
in favour of immediate emancipation." 

God himself sentenced the Hebrews to slavery for four hundred 
years. " And when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell 
upon Abram ; and lo, a horror of great darkness fell upon him. 
And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be 
a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve (Din^X^"), 
va xladum, shall be slaves to, or shall slave themselves to) them, 
and they shall afflict them four hundred years." G-en. xv. 12, 13. 
At the expiration of which time he delivered them from it. An 
instance drawn from their case can be legitimately applied only to 
one where the term of servitude has been determined. 

God made no attempt to liberate the Hebrews until the expira- 
tion of the term allotted them for servitude. Mr. Barnes evidently 
applies his inference to the abolition of the institution generally, 
and thus places himself in opposition to St. Paul. But our mind 
has come to the decision that the apostle is the higher authority. 
And the inquiry is also left upon the mind, whether, in the matter 
of his whole book, Mr. Barnes has not "run before he was sent;" 
whereby he may have subjected himself to the mortification of 
again seeing, in his own case, the counsels of Achitophel turned 
into foolishness. 


Mr. Barnes has quoted some few passages of Scripture to which 
he applies a meaning we deem erroneous; but we attach no blame to 
him on this account ; because oui- English version itself, of the pas- 
sages referred to, has a tendency to lead to an inadequate concep- 
tion of the idea conveyed by the original. The doctor says, page 
128 — " That even the servant that was houglit was to have com- 
pensation for his labour ; and there are some general principles laid 
down, which, if applied, would lead to that : thus, Jer. xxii. 13, 
'Wo unto him that buildeth his house by unrighteousness, and his 
chambers by wrong; that uses his neighbour's service without 
wages, and giveth him not for his work,' " He quotes this same 
passage for the same purpose, pp. 353 and 360, and seems to regard 
it as a secure pillar, and on which he founds his doctrines. The 


words, ^Hliat useth his neighbour's service -without wages, and 
giveth him not for his work," are translated from 

I I •.■ • 1 1. -: I I- J :- I- .. .. ; ^T : • 

The passage admits of two additional readings, thus : Who shall 
judge for a neighhour as to his slave undeservedly no tvages, no 
gifts ; or, WJio shall have adjudged as to his neighhour that he 
shall slave himself undeservedly or gratuitously, ivithout wages or 
reivard. The meaning is : Who shall corruptly judge that his 
neighbour shall not receive wages or conipensatioji for the services 
of his slave ; or, that the neighbour himself shall so slave himself 
to another without Avages or compensation. The word "131' «- slave 
is often used as a verb, to express such action as would be that of 
a slave. 

On page 67, Mr. Barnes says — " The word, avh^^jamjhiarYig, 
andrapodistes, occurs once, 1 Tim. i. 10, with the most marked 
disapprobation of the thing denoted by it. ' The law is made for 
murderers of fathers, murderers of mothers, for manslayers, for 
whoremongers, for man-stealers, for liars,' &c. " 

The truth is, that the word hov'X.oc,, doulos, is the peculiar word 
to denote slavery, and is so used in the New Testament and every- 
where else ; but this word also means slave, &c., and is never used 
disconnected from the idea of slavery, but carries with it the idea 
of some change, as to ptlace, condition, possession, or oivnership. 
We shall notice how some men are striving to change the Greek, 
as to the meaning of the word hovT^og, doulos, because, unless they 
do so, the New Testament is strongly against them. However, of 
the word used in 1 Tim. i. 10, avh^anohioraig-, andrapodistais, it 
is true, that it is used " with the most marked disapprobation of 
the thing denoted by it;" and it is just as true that the thing de- 
noted by it is the stealing and enticing away other meyis slaves ! 
Slave-stealers is its only and legitimate meaning in the place used. 
Had St. Paul intended to express the idea, men-stealers, he would 
have used the word dvBpcxiTtox/iETiraLg, anthropokleptais ; which 
would have expressed the very thing wanted by Mr. Barnes. We 
shall examine these words in another portion of our study. But 
Mr. Barnes does not appear to be aware why it was that St. Paul 
instructed Timothy that the law was made for slave-stealers : for 
whose benefit we will explain ; and by which explanation he will 
learn that the abolitionists commenced their labours during the days 
of the apostles. From some of the relations of Christianity, not 


well understood by the Gentile churches, the idea was entertained 
by some that the operation of Christianity abolished the bonds of 
matrimony between a believing and an unbelieving party ; that it 
abolished the authority of an unbelieving parent over a believing 
child ; that it abolished slavery in case the slave was converted to 
the faith, and especially if the master belonged to the household 
of God. On these subjects and others, the Corinthian church ad- 
dressed St. Paul for instruction and advice. It is to be regretted 
that their letter has not come down to us ; "but, we can gather what 
it contained, from the answer of St. Paul : " Now concerning the 
things whereof ye wrote unto me." 1 Cor. vii. 1. 

Touching the subject before us, see his answer in the 20th to 
the 25th verse ; and the same subject continued in Eph. vi. 5-10 ; 
also Col. iii. 22-25 ; he found it necessary to instruct Titus on this 
subject: see Tit. ii. 9—15; and, finally, as in the passage before 
us, and also vi. 1-15. St. Peter also found it necessary to correct 
the errors of these abolitionists, and to give them instruction on 
this subject. 1 Pet. ii. 18-25. 

Had St. Paul regarded slavery as an evil, he certainly had no 
excuse for not denouncing it. Nor do we know of any of the early 
fathers of the church that did so. St. Ignatius, in his second 
epistle to Polycarp, says — " Overlook not the men and maid ser- 
vants. Let them be the more subject to the glory of God, that 
they may obtain from him a better liberty. Let them not desire 
to be set/ree at public cost, that they be not slaves to their own 
lusts." See also, G-eneral Epistle of Barnabas, xiv. 15 : " Thou shalt 
not be bitter in thy commands towards any of thy servants that 
trust in God, lest thou chance not to fear him who is over both ; 
because he came not to call any with respect to persons, but whom- 
soever the Spirit prepared." 

Such is the construction of the human mind, and of human lan- 
guage, that whenever a thing is made a subject of remark, or 
merely brought to mind, it, of necessity, must be so, in one of 
three positions : either a thing to be commended ; to be repre- 
hended ; or as a thing of total indifference. A glaring sin and gross 
evil could not have been a thing of indifference to Jesus Christ and 
his apostles. They, therefore, cannot be supposed to have acted 
honestly in not condemning a sin, when by them mentioned, or 
brought to mind. It is a supposition too gross for refutation ! 

But it is conceded by Mr. Barnes, page 260, that " the apostles 
did not openly denounce slavery as an evil, or require that those 


■who were held in bondage should be at once emancipated. * * * 
These thino-s seem to me to lie on the face of the New Testament ; 
and whatever argument they may furnish to the advocates of 
slavery in disposing of these facts, it seems plain that the facts 
themselves cannot be denied." 

The facts, then, must stand in commendation and approval. 
They cannot be got rid of by arguing ever so ingeniously, that 
Jesus Christ and his apostles were cunning ; that they acted with 
prudence ; that they dexterously taught it to be an evil by implica- 
tion ; or that they acted with deep-seated and far-reaching expe- 
diency ; nor by any other subterfuge by which the enemies of God 
are striving to mould his essence and character into an idol to suit 


" If, however, it should be conceded that this passage {Lev. xxv. 
45, 46) means that the heathen might be subjected to perpetual 
bondage, and that the intention was not that they should be re- 
leased in the year of jubilee, still it will not follow that this is a 
justification of perpetual slavery as it exists in the United States. 
For, even on that supposition, the concession was one made to 
them, not to any other people." Barnes, p. 156. 

This is not the first time the abolitionists have presented this 
proposition, and seem to deem it insurmountable. Therefore, 
it may merit a few words of inquiry. 

Is it contended that God ever grants or denies, or, in other 
words, acts, except in conformity with some universal rule or law 
of his providence and government ? For, to suppose otherwise, 
must involve the consideration of an inferior and capricious being. 
If God, on any occasion, permitted slavery, then it is deducible 
from the unchangeableness of God and his laws, that he always 
permits it, when all the circumstances and conditions shall be found 
to exist as they were when he did so permit it. The Jews, as a 
nation, were God's people ; his worshippers, his church. " And ye 
shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation." Exod. 
xix. 6. "For thou art a holy people unto the Lord thy God : 
The Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto 
himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth."' 
Deut. vii. 6. 


But, in the order of God's providence, other people were to be 
the recipients of the grace of God also : "And it shall come to pass 
in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be 
established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above 
the hills : all nations shall flow unto it." Isa. ii. 2. 

" Sing and rejoice, daughter of Zion ; for lo, I come, and I 
will dwell in the midst of thee, saith the Lord. And many na- 
tions shall be joined to the Lord in that day, and shall be mj 
people." Zech. ii. 10, 11. 

This is in strict conformity with the promise of Jehovah tc 
Isaac: "And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be 
blessed." G-en. xxvi. 4. 

The time of this great enlargement of the church of God was 
the advent of the Saviour. The Christian church succeeded as 
heirs of all the promises, benefits, and free grace of the ancient 
church and people of God; — in fact, became heirs of Abraham ; — 
"And the father of circumcision to them, who are not of the cii*- 
cumcision only, but who walk in the steps of that faith of our 
father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised. For the 
promise that he shoulfl be the heir of the world was not to 
Abraham, or to his seed through the law, but through the right- 
eousness of faith." * * * "Therefore it is of faith, that 
it might be by grace ; to the end the promise might be sure to all 
the seed ; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also 
which is of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all, (as 
it is written, I have made thee the father of many nations,) before 
him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and 
calleth those things which be not, as though they were." Romans 
iv. 11, 12, 16, 17. 

" Therefore remember, that ye being in times past Gentiles in 
the flesh, who are called uncircumcision by that which is called 
the circumcision in the flesh made by hands; 

"That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from 
the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenant of 
promise, having no hope, and without God in the world. 

"But now in Christ Jesus, ye who sometime were afar off, are 
made nigh by the blood of Christ ; for he is our peace, who hath 
made both one ; and hath broken down the middle wall of parti- 
tion between us." Eph. ii. 11, 12, 13, 14. 

" Know ye, therefore, that they which are of faith, the same 
are children of Abraham. And the scripture foreseeing that God 


would justify the heathen by faith, preached before the gospel to 
Abraham, saying. In thee shall all nations be blessed." Gral. 
iii. 7, 8. 

And wherefore Peter very properly describes the Gentile church 
of Christ by similar language applied to the Jews, the chosen people 
of God to whom the promises of the law were made : " But ye are 
a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar 
people ; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath 
called you out of darkness into his marvellous light ; which in time 
past were not a people, but are now a people of God ; which had 
not obtained mercy, but have now obtained mercy." 1 Peter 
ii. 9, 10. 

The theological student will recollect many more very pertinent 
proofs of the heirship of the Christian church to the chosen people 
of God. " Think not I am come to destroy the law, or the 
prophets ; I come not to destroy the law, but to fulfil." 31att. v. 17. 

So far then as the Gentile nations have become Christianized, 
have become the followers of Christ, so far they have, through 
faith, become the peculiar people of God, and heirs and children 
of Abraham ; and, as heirs, succeeded to all things resulting from 
the providence and grace of God to his peculiar people. 

The broad and universal principle concerning slavery is, that a 
want of knowledge of the true God, a want of conformity to his 
law, have a constantly deteriorating eifect, whereas, on the con- 
trary, a knowledge of Jehovah and a conduct in conformity to his 
law, (since the fallen state of man renders him unable to comply 
with the law) the application of God's grace, and free forgiveness 
through faith and repentance, shall have the redeeming effect of 
a full compliance with the law. As the one position is deteriorating, 
forcing as it were downward to destruction and death, — the other is 
as constantly elevating towards all perfection and life eternal. 

Thus the mercy of God is manifested to the degraded and heathen 
nations, by substantially placing them under a protection and 
guidance, which, however slow may be the progress, must of ne- 
cessity have an elevating influence on thousands, in proportion as 
they, with heart-felt willingness, yield themselves to it. " Oh, 
that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his won- 
derful works to the children of men ! For he satisfieth the long- 
ing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness. Such as sit 
in darkness and the shadow of death, being bound in affliction and 
iron ; because they rebelled against the words of God, and con- 


temned the counsels of the Most High : therefore, he brought 
down their heart Avith labour ; they fell down, there was none to 
help. Then they cried unto the Lord in their trouble, and he 
raised them out of their distresses. He brought them out of dark- 
ness and the shadow of death, and brake their bands in sunder. 
Oh, that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his 
wonderful works to the children of men." Psa. cvii. 8—15. 

In conclusion, we may remark, that under this view of the law, 
the announcements of holy writ, so far as they regard the subject 
under consideration, are as applicable to the Christian people of the 
present day as they at any time were to the Hebrews themselves. 

" Thus saith the Lord, The labour of Egypt, and merchandise 
of Ethiopia, and of the Sabeans, men of stature, shall come over 
unto thee, and they shall be thine : they shall come after thee ; in 
chains they shall come over, and they shall fall down unto thee, 
they shall make supplication unto thee, saTjing, Surely God is in 
thee ; and there is none else, there is no God" beside. Isa. xlv. 14. 


Mr. Barxes has referred to Vatalbus, Rabbi Solomon, Abenezra 
Joh. Gasp. Mi^gius, Constitutiones Servi Hebr?ei, Ugolin, Maimo- 
nides, Michaelis, John's Archaeology, Selden de Uxore Hebraica, 
and some other books which are not at hand, in support of his 
doctrine, and the points on which he predicates it. We did not 
doubt the accuracy of these references and quotations ; but, page 
149, we find the following in his book: "It would appear from 
Josephus, that on the year of jubilee all slaves were set at liberty ;" 
and he refers to " Antiquities," vol. ii. chap. xii. sec. 3, which, so 
far as it refers to slavery, reads thus : "Accordingly I enjoin thee 
to make no more delays, but to make haste to Egypt, and to travel 
night and day, and not to draw out the time, and to make the 
slavery of the Hebrews and their sufferings to last the longer." 

We do not see how the passage warrants the assertion of Mr. 
Barnes, and apprehended some mistake, such as a young lawyer, 
willing to appear very learned, might make, by affixing to his 
brief a long list of authorities, merely from an examination of his 


But the sentence here quoted from Mr. Barnes, containing the 
proposition that Josephus said, in his Antiquities, vol. ii. chap, xii 
sec. 3, that all slaves were set at liberty in the year of jubilee, is 
consecutively followed in his book, thus : " The fiftieth year is 
called by the Hebrews the jubilee, wherein debtors are freed from 
their debts, and slaves are set at liberty." And this sentence is 
marked as quoted from Josephus, and as though it was the exact 
passage to be found in the place just before referred to. The fact 
is, this sentence is nearly a j^art of what may be found in book iii. 
chap. xii. sec. 3 of Antiquities, thus : " And that fiftieth year is 
called by the Hebrews the jubilee wherein debtors are freed from 
their debts, and slaves are set at liberty ; which slaves became such, 
though they were of the same stock, by transgressing some of 
those laws whose punishment was not capital, but they were pu- 
nished by this method of slavery." 

Suppose the mistake to be in the number of the book, still, does 
the passage, as fully quoted, give any authority for the assertion 
of Mr. Barnes ? Thus the mind is led to inquire what credit is to 
be given to these references ? 

But we hasten to give a few extracts illustrative of Mr. Barnes's 
thought and argument. He says, p. 126 — 

" Considering the universal prevalence of slavery when the 
gospel was preached, it is not probable that any considerable 
number would be found, who were masters and servants in the 
sense of a voluntary servitude on the part of the latter." He says — 

Page 273 : " The permanency of the institution (slavery) can 
derive no support from what they (the apostles) said on the sub- 
ject, and in no manner depends on it." 

Page 300 : " It is only the antagonistic fanaticism of a fragment 
of the South, which maintains the doctrine that slavery is, in 
itself, a good thing, and ought to be perpetuated. It cannot by 
possibility be perpetuated." 

Page 301 : ^'■The South, therefore, has to choose between emanci- 
pation, by the silent and holy influence of the gosjyel, securing the 
elevation of the slaves to the stature and character of freemen, or to 
abide the issue of a long continued conflict against the laws o^" 

Page 306: "And if a Christian master at the present time 
* * * should be troubled in his conscience in regard to his 
right to hold slaves, there is no part of the apostolic writings to 
which he could turn to allay his feelings or calm his scruples." 


Page 311: "Now this undeniable fact, that the right of the 
master over the person and services of the slave, is never recognised 
at all in the New Testament." 

Page 312 : " Whatever distinction of complexion there may be, 
it is the doctrine of the Bible that all belong to one and the same 
great family, and that, in the most important matters pertaining to 
their existence, they are on a level." 

Page 315: "Up to the time when its truths (the gospel's) were 
made known, the great mass of mankind had no scruples about its 
propriety ; they regarded one portion of the race as inferior to the 
other, and as born to be slaves. Christianity disclosed the great 
truth that all men were on a level; that all were equal." 

Page 317 : "If a man should in fact render to his slaves ' that 
which is just and equal;' would he not restore them to freedom? 
Would any thing short of this be all that is just and equal ?" 

Page 322 : " No man has a right to assume that when the word 
hov7.o<;, doulos, occurs in the New Testament, it means a slave." 

Page 331 : "No argument in favour of slavery can be derived from 
the injunctions addressed by the apostles to the slaves themselves." 

Page 340 : "From the arguments thus far presented in regard 
to the relations of Christianity to slavery, it seems fair to draw 
the conclusion, that the Christian religion lends no sanction to 

Page 341 : "The Saviour and his apostles inculcated such views 
of man as amount to a prohibition of slavery." Page 345: "He 
(Jesus Christ) was not a Jew, except by the accident of his birth, 
but he was a man ; in his human form there was as distinct a re- 
lation to the African * * * j^g there was to the Caucasian." 

We have understood that one popular clergyman at the North 
(an abolitionist) has gone so far as to say that Jesus Christ was a 
negro ! To what folly and extravagance will not wickedness sub- 
ject its slaves ! 

Mr. Barnes says, page 375 — " These considerations seem to me 
to be conclusive proof that Christianity was wo;( designed to extend and 
perpetuate slavery ; but that the spirit of the Christian religion would 
remove it from the world, because it is an evil, and displeasing to God. " 

To all of which, worthy of answer, it may be well to apply the 
sentiment which he attributes to Dr. Fuller, that the New Testa- 
ment is not silent on the subject of slavery; that it recognises the 
relation; that it commands slaves to obey their masters, and gives 
reasoT.s why they should do so. iVnd it may be steadily affirmed, 


if slavery be a sin, that such commands and counsels are not only 
a suppressio veri, but a suggestio falsi ; not only a suppression of 
the truth, but a suggestion of what is false ! 

If it shall be said that God merely sanctioned or permitted 
slavery in the time of the patriarchs, who will say that he did not 
enjoin it in the time of Moses ? A repeal of this injunction de- 
manded a countervailing revelation of no equivocal character, clear 
and decided, without the admission of a doubt. 

" And God spake unto Moses in Mount Sinai, saying, * * * 
But thy bond-men and bond-maids which thou shalt have, shall be 
of the heathen that are round about you; of them shall ye buy 
bond-men and bond-maids. Moreover, of the children of the 
strangers that do sojourn among you, of them shall ye buy and 
of their families, which they beget in your land ; and they shall 
be your possession. And ye shall take them as an inheritance, 
for your children after you, to inherit them for a possession : they 
shall be your bond-men for ever." Lev. xxv. 1, 44, 45, 46. 

Mr. Barnes has adduced no proof that this law was ever re- 
pealed ; nor do the holy books contain any evidence of such re- 
peal ; yet he has denied the existence of slavery in Judea, at the 
time of the advent of the Saviour. See pp. 228, 242, 244, and 
249, before quoted, and, we trust, sufficiently refuted. But we 
now add, that at the time Jesus Christ and his apostles were on 
the earth, Judea was a province of Rome. Now, since it was 
clear that slavery was inculcated by the Hebrew laws, unless it 
was forbidden by the Roman, we could not come to the conclusion 
that slavery did not exist in ^udea at their time, even if Jesus 
Christ and his apostles had never alluded to it. 

But, — see 3Iatt. xxvi. 51 : " Behold, one of them which were with 
Jesus stretched out his hand and drew his sword and struck the 
servant [hovTiOV, doulon, slave) of the high-priest," then some 
suitable but different word would have been used, as in the follow- 
ing: "And the servants [boiOMi, douloi, slaves) and officers 
{iTtyjpsTai, Jiuperetai, attendants, persons who aid, assistants) 
stood there," John xviii. 18; proving the fact that both slaves 
and other attendants were present, and that the slave was named 
distinctly from such other attendants. There can be no doubt 
about these facts ; and in proof that slavery was not forbidden by 
the Roman laws, we quote from jNIr. Barnes, page 251 : " In Italy, 
it was computed that there were three slaves to one freeman; and 


in this part of tlie empire alone, their numbers amounted to more 
than twenty millions." 

Page 252 : * * * u rpj^g number of slaves could not have 
been less than sixty millions in the Roman Empire, at about the 
time the apostles went forth to preach the gospel." 

Page 254: * * * "The following places are mentioned, 
either as emporia for slaves or countries from which they were 
procured: Delos, Phrygia, and Cappadocia, Panticapoeum, Dias- 
curias, and Phanagoria on the Euxine or Black Sea ; Alexandria 
and Cadiz ; Corsica, Sardinia, and Britain ; Africa and Thrace." 

And does it astonish us that in these dark ages of human deaira- 
dation, Britain helped to supply Rome with slaves ? It should be 
remembered that conquest gave the right in ancient days to en- 
slave all barbarous and deeply degraded nations ; and it might be 
inquired whether such principle was not alluded to by the prophet : 
" Shall the prey be taken from the mighty, or the lawful captive 
delivered." Isa. xlix. 24. History will inform us that all these 
nations were of the lowest order. St. Jerome, in his writings 
against Jovinian, informs us what were the morals of Britain. He 
says — " Why should I refer to other nations, when I myself, when 
a youth in Gaul, have seen the Atticotti, a British tribe, eating 
human flesh ? Should they find shepherds tending their herds of 
swine or cattle, and flocks of sheep in the woods, they are wont 
to cut ofl" the fleshy parts of the men, and the breasts of the 
women, which are esteemed the most delicious food." 

Who then is to say that Britain is not now indebted for her 
high state of intellectual improvement to the pike, bludgeon, and 
sword of the Roman, Dane, Saxon, and Norman? And can we 
say that the hand of God was not in this? The same providences 
and principles that have ever applied to degraded Africa apply to 
all degraded nations, and even to individual men. " Whosoever 
committeth sin is the servant {hovkoc,, doulos, slave) of sin." 

And it may be said that nations and individuals thus enslave 
themselves. "Behold, for your iniquities ye have sold yourselves." 
Isa. 1. 1. These principles may be seen every day operating 
among the most degraded of even the most enlightened nations. 
The history of the present day informs us of the deep degradation 
of the African tribes; and that even in their own country the 
great mass are slaves. Consistently with the laws of God, they 
could not be otherwise ; and even slavery among themselves, sub- 
ject to sacrifice and death as we have seen it, is yet better for 


them than a state of freedom. We have seen how the free hordes 
roam like the brutes, making that place home where night over- 
took them. Suppose such to be cannibals, of which we have 
proof, it might so happen, that, in one day, one half of their 
number would be destroyed by themselves. Therefore, as dis- 
tressing as slavery must be among them, yet it is far preferable to 
their dejected condition of freedom. 

We know of no one who pretends to believe that the masses of 
the African tribes have increased in number since the commence- 
ment of our era ; whereas, a few scattering individuals, brought 
into slavery, within the last few generations, in these States, have 
increased to near four millions ; nearly one-twelfth of ihe number 
of the entire population of Africa. However wicked may be the 
Christian master, how much more is slavery to be desired by the 
negro than any condition among these pagan hordes ! We, there- 
fore, do not deem it presumptuous to say, that so degraded is the 
condition of the African in his own land, that it has been elevated 
in proportion as it has been affected by the slave-trade, and more 
especially with Christian nations. The first tendencies towards 
civilization, and whatever dawning of mental development there 
may be now noticed among the African tribes, are traceable alone 
to that source. And the Christian philosopher might well inquire 
whether, in the providence of God, its existence, from the time of 
Noah to the present, has not been the saving principle which has 
alone preserved the tribes of Ham from the condition of Sodom 
and Gomorrah, and other nations long since wasted away. 


Mr. Barnes has quoted and adopted the following passage from 
President Wayland, page 310 : "If the religion of Christ allows 
such a license (to hold slaves) from such precepts as these, the New 
Testament would be the greatest curse that ever was inflicted on 
0U7' race." On the account of the avowal of Dr. Barnes as to Ms 
race, heretofore noticed, we feel a degree of gladness that the 
above passage is not original with him : we should expect to find 
in him a sympathy on this subject, unpleasant to encounter, be- 
cause legitimately acting on his mind. A man may be a philosopher 


or a Christian, yet the ties of nature, the sympathies of kindred 
are not abated. 

We are informed that heretofore, written arguments in favour of 
abolitionism by Dr. Wayland and against it by Dr. Fuller, have 
been published. We have not seen the work ; but are told that 
the abolitionists claim victory for Dr. Wayland, and that the oppo- 
nents also claim it for Dr. Fuller ; and from the foregoing passage 
as quoted, we conclude that Dr. AVayland found himself, at least, 
in stt'ciits on the subject. If such be the fact, it may account why 
the abolitionists thought Dr. Barnes's present work necessary. 
But, however these things may be, the passage from Dr. Wayland 
is a volume of deep instruction, announcing the feelings and theolo- 
gical consistency, we might say fanaticism, of, we hope, but a few 
extraordinary men, now appearing in our land ; men, we doubt not, 
conscientious in their opinion that God designs the government of 
the world to be in strict conformity with human reason, and who 
cannot, therefore, pray in the spirit of the Son : " Father, if thou 
be willing, remove this cup from me : nevertheless, not my will, but 
thine, be done." Lulce xxii. 42. " If any man have not the spirit 
of Christ, he is none of his." Horn. viii. 9. 

In the book before us, the author falls into one error, common to 
every writer on his side of the question : That slavery is the cause 
of the degradation of the Africans and the slaves generally. We 
maintain that the converse is the true state of the case. Another 
error is the substitution of what may be abuses of slavery for 
the institution itself. This author, like most of the abolition 
writers of whom we have any knowledge, evinces an inability to 
enter into an impartial consideration of the subject, from his deep 
and overshadowing prejudices against it. Indeed, the whole work, 
from page to page, carries proof of a previous determination to 
condemn, not less obvious than in the instance of the judge who, 
in summing up a case, said — " It is true, in this case, the accused 
has proved himself innocent ; but, since a guilty man might prove 
himself so, and since I myself have always been of the opinion 
that he was guilty, it will be the safest to condemn." 

The style of the work before us is always diffuse and declama- 
tory, sometimes elevated, but often cumbrous ; still his language 
bears the impress of classical learning and a cultivated mind ; but 
there is in the work a want of conciseness ; it abounds in contra- 
dictory positions and a frequent inconcluslvencss of deduction, 
which make it obnoxious to a charge of carelessness. But may 


we not account for these defects by the urgent solicitude of his 
readers ? 

The morbid appetite of the Northern abolitionists was probably 
hungry for the work. Having no wish to oppose his pecuniary 
views, we refrain from further extracts, lest we should infringe his 
copyright. Nor did we at all contemplate a classical review of 
the work. The book contains about 400 pages. If it could be 
condensed, like a pot of new-brewed and foaming, into potable 
beer, to a fourth of that size, it might well claim such attention ; 
and from the specimens of ability displayed, if it were proved that 
the doctor has suffered his zeal to run ahead of the truth in regard 
to his 7-ace, we should judge him fully competent to the task of 
such improvement. 


Stuti|) m. 


" The WbyJcs of William Ellery Channing, D. D., in six vohtmes. Tenth 
Edition. Boston, 1849. 

These volumes include essays, sermons, and lectures on various 
subjects. The style is easy, flowing, and persuasive ; the language 
is generally clear, often elevated, sometimes sublime. Few can 
read the book and not feel the evidence, whatever may be the error 
of his doctrine, that the author added to his literary eminence a 
purity of intention. Such a work must always make a deep impres- 
sion on the reader. It is this fact that prompts the present essay. 
It may be said of Channing what Channing said of Fenelon : 

" He needs to be read with caution, as do all who write from 
their own deeply excited minds. He needs to be received with 
deductions and explanations. * * * "\Ye fear that the very 
excellencies of Fenelon may shield his errors. Admiration pre- 
pares the mind for belief ; and the moral and religious sensibility 
of the reader may lay him open to impressions which, while they 
leave his purity unstained, may engender causeless solicitude." 
Vol. i. p. 185. 

Dr. Channing's sympathies for every appearance of human suffer- 
ing, for every grade of human imperfection, gave a peculiar phasis, 
perhaps most amiable to his intellect, religion, and writings. He 
sought perfection for himself — he was ardent to behold it universal. 
Heaven must for ever be the home of such a spirit. But the 
scenes of earth gave agitation and grief. Limited, in his earthly 
associations, to the habits of the North, the very purity of his 
heart led him to attack what he deemed the most wicked sin of the 

South. His politics were formed upon the mod^l of his mind. 



Religion spread before bim ber golden wing, and science aided in 
tlie elevation of his view. 

But, tbou Being, God Eternal ! wby not this earth made 
heaven ? Why thy most perfect work imperfection ? Why thy 
child, clothed with holiness or shod with the gospel, run truant to 
thy law, thy providence and government ? 

But, lo, we are not of thy council. We were not called when 
the foundations of eternity were laid. We are, truly, all very 
small beings. Our virtues, even purity, may lead in error. May 
not our best intentions lead down to wo ? 

" It is a fact worthy of serious thought, and full of solemn 
instruction, that many of the worst errors have grown out of the 
religious tendencies of the mind. So necessary is it to keep watch 
over our whole nature, to subject the highest sentiments to the 
calm, conscientious reason. Men, starting from the idea of God, 
have been so dazzled by it, as to forget or misinterpret the uni- 
verse." Charming, vol. i. p. 14. 


Volume ii. page 14, Dr. Channing says — 

" 1. I shall show that man cannot be justly held and used as 

" 2. I shall show that man has sacred rights, the gifts of God, 
and inseparable from human nature, of Avhich slavery is the 

" 3. I shall offer some explanations to prevent misapplication of 
these principles. 

"4. I shall unfold the evils of slavery. 

" 5. I shall consider the argument which the Scriptures are 
thought to furnish in favour of slavery. 

" 6. I shall offer some remarks on the means of removing it. 

" 7. I shall offer some remarks on abolitionism. 

" 8. I shall conclude with a few reflections on the duties belong- 
ing to the times." 

In support of the first proposition, to wit, " I will show that 
man cannot be justly held and used as property," the doctor has 
advanced seven arguments. He says, page 18 — " It is plain, that, 
if OEte man may be held as property, then every other man may be 


SO held." * * * " Now let every reader ask himself this plain 
question : Could 1, can I, be rightfully seized, and madean article of 
property," &c. Page 19 : " And if this impression be delusion, on 
what single moral conviction can we rely ? * * * ^}xe con- 
sciousness of indestructible rights is a part of our moral being. The 
consciousness of our humanity involves the persuasion that we 
cannot be owned as a tree or brute. As men, we cannot justly 
be made slaves. Then no man can be rightfully enslaved." 

The first idea we find, touching property, is in Greyi. i. 26 : 
" And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over 
the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, 
and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth." 
Verse 28th: "And God blessed them, and God said unto them, 
Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth and subdue it ; 
and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of 
the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth." 

In Lev. XXV. 44 : " Both thy bond-men and bond-maids which 
thou shalt have shall be of the heathen, that are round about you : 
of them shall ye buy bond-men and bond-maids." Verse 45 : 
" Moreover of the children of the strangers that do sojourn among 
you, of them shall ye buy, and of their families that are with you 
which they beget in your land, and they shall be your possession." 
Verse 46 : " And ye shall take them as an inheritance for your 
children after you, to inherit them for a possession, they shall be 
your bondmen for ever." 

And if we look at the first verse of this chapter, that the fore- 
going was announced by God himself to Moses from Sinai ; and 
from which it Avould seem that God and Dr. Channing were of 
quite a different opinion on this subject. 

We know not what notion Dr. Channing may have entertained 
of " man's indestructible rights." But let us ask, what rights has 
he that may not be destroyed ? The right to breath ? Suppose, 
by his own Avantonness, carelessness, or wickedness, he is sub- 
merged in water, what becomes of his right to breathe, since he can 
no longer exercise it ? Can you name any right that, under the 
providence of God, may not be destroyed ? Freemen have rights, 
but subject to alteration, and even extinction ; slaves have rights, 
but subject to the same changes. There is no such thing as an 
"indestructible right" appertaining to any existence, save to the 
Great Jehovah ! lie must be an immortal God who can possess an 
indestructible right. We use the word "right" in Dr. Channing's 


sense — just claim, legal title, ownership, the legal power of exclu- 
sive possession. You ask, has not man an indestructible right 
to worship God ? We answer, no ! Man has no such right to wor- 
ship God ; such right would make him a partner. The worship 
of God is a duty which man owes ; the forbearance of which is 
forbidden by the moral law, by justice and propriety. Nothing 
can be forbidden or ordered touching an indestructible right ; for 
such command, if to be obeyed, changes the quality of the right ; 
or rather shows that it was not indestructible. 

Such arguments may seem to give great aid and beauty to a 
mere rhetorical climax, but, before the lens of analyzation, evapo- 
rates into enthusiastic declamation, — which, in the present case, 
seems to be addressed to the sympathies, prejudices, and impulses' 
of the human heart. 

In his writings on slavery, in fact through all his works, we find 
a fundamental error, most fatal to truth. He makes the conscience 
the great cynosura of all that is right in morals, and of all that 
is true in religion. 

Hence, in the passage before us, — " The consciousness of inde- 
structible rights is a part of our moral being," — the consciousness 
of such rights is his proof that we possess them ; therefore, "the 
consciousness of our humanity involves the persuasion (proof) that 
we cannot be owned;" and, therefore, "as men (being men) we 
cannot justly be made slaves." So, page 25: "Another argument 
against the right of property in man, may be drawn from a very 
obvious principle of moral science, the conscience." Page 33. 
" His conscience, in revealing the moral law, does not reveal a law 
for himself only, but speaks as a universal legislator. He has an 
intuitive conviction that the obligations of this divine code press 
on others as truly as on himself. * * * There is no deeper 
principle in human nature than the consciousness of rights." 

Vol. iii. page 18 : " By this I mean that a Christian minister 
should beware of offering interpretations of Scripture which are 
repugnant to any clear discoveries of reason, or dictates of con- 

Page 93 : "We believe that all virtue has its foundation in the 
moral nature of man ; that is, conscience, or his sense of 

Page 164 : " One of the great excellencies of Christianity is 
that it does not deal in minute regulations ; but, that, having given 
broad views of duty," &c., * * * "it leaves us to apply 


these rules, and express their spirit, according to the promptings 
of the divine 7nonitor within us" — the conscience. 

Vol. vi. page 308 : " We have no higher law than our convic- 
tion of duty." 

*' Conscience is the supreme power within us. Its essence, its 
grand characteristic, is sovereignty. It speaks with divine au- 
thority. Its office is to command, to rebuke, to reward ; and hap- 
piness and honour depend on the reverence with which we listen 
to it." Vol. iii. pp. 335, 336. 

Such passages plainly expose the view of what Dr. Channing 
calls conscience : in answer to which we say, the conscience may 
be a poor guide to truth. The African savage feels a clear con- 
science when he kills and eats his captive. The Hindoo mother 
is governed by her conscience when she plunges her new-born in- 
fant beneath the flood, a sacrifice to her gods. The idolaters of 
Palestine were subdued by conscience when they thrust their suck- 
ling infants into the flames to appease Moloch ; yet God did not 
think it was right, and forbade them to do so. 

The truth is, the conscience is merely that part of the judg- 
ment which takes notice of what it deems right or wrong : con- 
sequently, is as prone to be in error as our judgment about any 
other matter. 

For the accuracy of this definition, we refer to all the standard 
writers on logic, and those on the human understanding, treating 
on the subject. And in fact. Dr. Channing is forced to recede 
from his position when he finds that Abraham, Philemon, and some 
good men even of the present day, were slave-owners ; and in 
vol. vi. page 55, he says — " It is a solemn truth, not yet under- 
stood as it should be, that the worst institutions may be sustained, 
the worst deeds performed, the most merciless cruelties inflicted 
by the conscientious and the good." 

And again, page 57 : " The great truth is now insisted on, that 
evil Is evil, no matter at wdiose door it lies ; and that men acting 
from conscience and religion" may do nefarious deeds, needs to be 
better understood." 

Would it not have been more frank for Dr. Channing to have 
said, that the conscience would be an unerring guide so long as 
it agreed with his, but when it did not, why, then he would inquire 
into the matter ? 

It is to be lamented that, among the unlearned at the present 


day, a onfused idea of something tantamount to the conscience 
being a divine monitor within us has taken a deep root among the 
minds of men; having grown out of the fact that such was the 
doctrine of some of the fanatical teachers of former days. 

If we shall be permitted to speak of propert}^ in reference to 
our and its relation to the Divine Being, then we cannot strictly 
say that man can oivn 'profertjj. Jehovah stands in no need. 
Behold the cattle upon a thousand hills are his ; all is the work of 
his hand ; all, all is his property alone I At most, God has only 
intrusted the possession, the administration of the subjects of his 
creation, to man for the time being, — to multiply, to replenish and 
subdue. It is only in reference to our relation to one another that 
we can advance the idea of property. Man was commanded to 
have dominion over the whole earth, to replenish and subdue, in 
proportion to the talent bestowed on him for that purpose. This 
command presupposes such a state of things as we find, of ad- 
vancement, progression, and improvement. But in the course of 
the Divine administration, God has seen fit to bestow on one man 
ten talents, and on another but one ; and who shall stand upon the 
throne of the Almighty, and decide that he of the ten talents shall 
have no relation with the progression of him of but one talent ? 

" Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him of 
ten talents. For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he 
shall have abundance : but from him that hath not shall be taken 
away even that which he hath." Matt. xxv. 28, 29 ; see also Lxike 
xvii. 24-26. 

And what, in the course of Divine providence, is to become of 
him who buried his talent in the earth, and from whom it was taken 
away ? " Blessed is that servant whom his Lord when he cometh 
shall find so doing. Of a truth I say unto 3"ou, that he will make 
him ruler over all that he hath." Lulce xii. 43, 44. "Jesus an- 
swered them. Verily I say unto you, whoever committeth sin is the 
servant (^or/lo$, doulos, slave) of sin." John viii. 34." " Behold for 
your iniquities have ye sold yourselves." Isa. 1. 1. " Cursed be 
Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren." 
Gen. ix. 25. D^"lDi^. "131;^. ehed, ehedim, a most abject slave 
shall he be ! 



The second argument in support of his first proposition is, " A 
man cannot be seized and held as property, because he has rights ;" 
to enforce which, he says — " Now, I say, a being having riglits 
cannot justly be made property ; for this claim over him virtually 
annuls all his rights." We see no force of argument in this posi- 
tion. It is also true that all domestic animals, held as property, 
have rights. " The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master's 
crib." They all have "the right of petition;" and ask, in their 
way, for food : are they the less property ? 

But his third argument in support of his first proposition is, 
that man- cannot justly be held as property, on the account of the 
"'essential equality of man." If to be born, to eat, to drink, and 
die alike, constitutes an essential equality among men, then be it 
so ! What ! the African savage, born even a slave amid his native 
wilds, who entertains no vestige of an idea of God^ of a future 
state of existence, of moral accountability; who has no wish be- 
yond the gratification of his own animal desire ; whose parentage, 
for ages past, has been of the same order ; and whose descendants 
are found to require generations of constant training before they 
display any permanent moral and intellectual advancement ; what, 
such a one essentially equal to such a man as Dr. Channing ? 

The truth is, such a man is more essentially equal with the brute 
creation. We shall consider the subject of the equality in another 
part of our study, to which we refer. We, therefore, only remark, 
that the doctrine is a chimera. 

His fourth argument in support of the proposition is, " That 
man cannot justly be held as property, because property is an ex- 
clusive right. "Now," he says, "if there be property in any 
thing, it is that of a man in his own person, mind, and strength." 
"Property," he repeats, "is an exclusive right." 

If a man has an exclusive right to property, he can alienate it ; 
he may sell, give, and bequeath it to others. If a man is the pro- 
perty of himself, suppose he shall choose to sell himself to another, 
and deliver himself in full possession to the purchaser, as he had 
before been in the full possession of himself — whose property will 


he be then ? See a case in point in Deid. xv. 12-17 ; see also 
Exod. xxi. 1-7. 

His fifth argument is that, " if a human being cannot without 
infinite injustice be seized as property, then he cannot, without 
equal wrong, be held and used as such." If a human being shall 
be found a nuisance to himself and others in a state of freedom, 
then there will be no injustice in his being subjugated, by law, to 
such control as his qualities prove him to require in reference to 
the general good ; even if the subject shall not choose such control 
as a personal benefit to himself. 

The sixth argument is, that a human being cannot be held as 
property, because, if so held, " the latter is under obligation to 
give himself up as a chattel to the former. " Now," he says, " do we 
not instantly feel, can we help feeling, that this is false?" And 
that " the absence of obligation proves the want of the right." 

We suppose all acknowledge God as the author of the moral 
law. The moral law forcibly inculcates submission to the civil or 
political law, even independent of any promise to do so. Now, no 
one can have a right to act in contradiction to law. The absence 
of this right, then, proves the existence of the obligation. 

For his seventh argument, he says — " I come now to what is, to 
my mind, the great argument against seizing and using a man as 
property. He cannot be property in the sight of God and jus- 
tice, because he is a rational, moral, immortal being; because 
created in God's image, and therefore in the highest sense his 
child ; because created to unfold godlike faculties, and to govern 
himself by a Divine law, written on his heart, and republished in 
God's word." 

Dr. Channing adds a page or two in the same impulsive strain, 
of the same enthusiastic character. We may admire his style, his 
language, the amiable formation of his mind, but we see nothing 
like precision or logical deduction in support of his proposition. 
We see nothing in it but the declamation of a learned, yet an over- 
ardent, enthusiastic mind. His whole book is but a display of his 
mental formation. He could love his friends; yea, his enemies. 
He could have rewarded virtue, but he never could have punished 
sin. He could have forgiven the greatest outrage, but he never 
could have yielded a delinquent to the rigid demands of justice. He 
was a good man, but he never could have been an unbending judge. 

The laws of God have been made for the government and bene- 
fit of his creatures. God, nor his law, is, like man, changeable. 


His law, as expressed or manifested towards one class of objects, 
is also expressed and manifested towards all objects similarly situ- 
ated. The law, brought into action by an act of Cain, would 
also have been brought into action by a similar act of Abel. The 
law condemnatory of the shedding of blood is still in fearful 
existence against all who shall have brought themselves within the 
category of Cain's acts, the most of which have probably not been 

We anticipate from another portion of our studies, that " sin is 
any want of conformity unto the law of God." Sin is as neces- 
sarily followed by ill consequences to the sinner as cause is by 
eflfect. A man commits a private murder ; think ye, he feels no 
horrors of mind — no regrets ? Is the watchfulness he finds neces- 
sary to keep over himself for fear of exposure, through the whole 
of life, not the effect of the act ? Is not his whole conduct, his 
friendships and associations with men, his very mental peculiari- 
ties, his estimate of others, often all influenced and directed in 
the path of his personal safety, the avoidance of suspicion ? And 
is all this no punishment ? Probably, to have been put to death 
would have been a much less suffering ; and who can tell hcrw far 
this long, fearful, and systematic working of his mind is to affect 
the mental peculiarities of his ofispring ? Shall he, who, by wanton 
thoughtlessness, regardless of propriety, the moral law, and the 
consequences of its breach, contracts some foul, loathsome, con- 
suming disease, that burns into the bones, and becomes a part of 
his physical constitution, leave no trace of his sin on his descend- 
ants? Deteriorated, feeble, and diseased, they shall not live out 
half their days ! 

A long-continued course of sin, confined to an individual, or 
extended to a family or race of people, deteriorates, degenerates, 
and destroys. Such deterioration, continued perhaps from untold 
time, has brought some of the races of men to what we now find 
them ; and the same causes, in similar operation, would leave the 
same effect on any other race ; and Dr. Channing's " child of God" 
ceases to be so. "Ye are of your father, the devil." John viii. 
44. " And Dr. Channing's man, created to unfold godlike facul- 
ties, and to govern himself by a Divine law written on his heart," 
ceases to act as he supposes: "And the lusts of your father ye 
will do : he was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in 
the truth; because there is no truth in him." John viii. 44. And 
what saith the Spirit of prophecy to these degenerate sons of 


earth ? " When thou criest, let thy companions deliver thee ; but 
the wind shall carry them away ; vanity shall take them ; but he 
that putteth his trust in me shall possess the land, and shall in- 
herit my holy mountain." Im. Ivii. 13. 

" And if thou shalt say in thy heart, wherefore came these 
things upon me ? For the greatness of thine iniquity are thy 
skirts discovered, and thy heels made bare. Can the Ethiopian 
change his skin, or the leopard his spots ? Then may ye also do 
good that are accustomed to do evil. Therefore will I scatter them 
as stubble that passeth away by the wind of the wilderness. This 
is thy lot, the portion of thy measures from me, saith the Lord : 
because thou hast forgotten me, and trusted in falsehood. There- 
fore, will I discover thy skirts upon thy face, that thy shame may 
appear." Jer. xiii. 22—26. 

"And Twill sell your sons and your daughters into the hand of 
the children of Judah, and they shall sell them to the Sabeans, to 
a people far off: for the Lord hath spoken it." Joel iii. 8. 

And what saith the same Spirit to those of opposite character ? 

" The sons also of them that afflicted thee shall come bending unto 
thee ; and they that despised thee shall bow themselves down at 
the soles of thy feet." Isa. Ix. 14. 

" And strangers shall stand and feed your flocks, and the sons 
of the alien shall be your ploughmen and your vine- dressers." 
Ibid. Ixi, 5. 

" They (my people) shall not labour in vain, nor bring forth 
trouble ; they are the seed of the blessed of the Lord, and their 
offspring with them. And it shall come to pass, before they shall 
call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear." 
Ibid. Ixv. 234. 

"What are the threatenings announced in prospect of their dete- 
rioration and wickedness ? 

" And thou (Judah) even thyself, shalt discontinue from thy 
heritage that I gave thee ; and I will cause thee to serve (n'ri15i^ 
he a slave to) thine enemies in a land which thou knowest not." 
Jer. xvii. 4. 

"Are ye not as the children of the Ethiopians unto me, chil- 
dren of Israel ? saith the Lord. * * * Behold the eyes of the 
Lord God are upon this sinful kingdom, and I will destroy it from 
off the face of the earth ; saving that I will not utterly destroy the 
house of Jacob, saith the Lord." Amos ix. 7, 8. 

The consequences of sin are degradation, slavery, and death : 


" A righteous man hateth lying ; but a -u'icked man is loathsome 
and Cometh to shame." 

" He that troubleth his own house shall inherit the wind ; and the 
Ibol shall be servant (IDJ^ ehed, slave) to the wise of heart." 

"As righteousness tendeth to life, so he that pursueth evil, pur- 
sueth it to his own death." Prov. 

Dr. Channing has suffered his idea of property to bring him 
great mental suffering : he evidently associates, under the term 
'property^ those qualities and relations only, which are properly 
associated in an inanimate object of possession, or at most in a 
brute beast. He has, no doubt, suffered great misery from the 
reflection that a human being has ever been reduced to such a con- 
dition. But his misery has all been produced by his adherence to 
his own peculiar definition of the word lyroperty. His definition 
is not its exact meaning, when applied to a slave. Had the doctor 
attempted an argument to show that the word ■proiJerty could not 
consistently be applied to a slave, he might, perhaps, have im- 
proved our language, by setting up a more definite boundary to the 
meaning of this terra, and saved himself much useless labour. 

Mankind apply the term property to slaves : they have always 
done so ; and since Dr. Channing has not given us an essay upon 
the impropriety of this use of the word, perhaps the accustomed 
usage will be continued. But we imagine that no one but the doctor 
and his disciples will contend that it expresses the same complex 
idea when applied to slaves, which is expressed by it when applied 
to inanimate objects, or to brute beasts. It will be a new idea to the 
slaveholder to be told that the word property^ as applied to his 
slaves, converts them at once into brute beasts, no longer human 
beings : that it deprives them of all legal protection ; and that he, 
the master, in consequence of the use of this word, stands in the 
same relation to his slave that he does to his horse ; and we ap- 
prehend he will find it quite as difficult to comprehend how this 
metamorphosis is brought about, as it is for the doctor and his 
disciples, how the slave is property. 

We may say a man has property in his wife, his children, his 
hireling, his slave, his horse, and a piece of timber, — by which we 
mean that he has the right to use them, in conformity to the rela- 
tions existing between himself and these several objects. Because 
his horse is his property, who ever dreamed that he had therefore 
the right to use him as a piece of timber ? 


No man has a right to use any item of property in a different 
manner than his relations Avith it indicate ; or, in other -words, as 
shall be in conformity with the laws of God. Our property is little 
else than the right of possession and control, under the guidance 
of the laws by which we are in possession for the time being. 

The organization of society is the result of the conception of the 
general good. By it one man, under a certain chain of circum- 
stances, inherits a throne ; another, a farm ; one, the protection of 
a bondman, or whatever may accrue to these conditions from other 
operating causes ; and another, nothing. If Dr. Channing and his 
disciples can find out some new principles by which to organize 
society, producing different and better results, they will then do 
what has not been done. 


The doctrine that slavery, disease, and death are the necessary 
effects of sin, we humbly claim to perceive spread on every page 
of the holy books. This doctrine is forcibly ijlustrated in the 
warning voice of Jehovah to the Israelites. They were empha- 
tically called his children — peculiar people — his chosen ones. He 
made covenants with them to bless them ; yet all these were 
founded upon their adherence to the Divine law. These promises 
repealed no ordinance of Divine necessity in their behalf. He ex- 
pressed, revealed the law, so far as it was important for them at 
the time, and then says, Deut. xxviii. 14-68 : — 

" 15. But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto 
the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe to do all his command- 
ments and his statutes which I command thee this day, that all 
these curses shall come upon thee and overtake thee : 

" 16. Cursed shah thou he in the city, and cursed slialt thou he 
in the field. 

" 17. Cursed shall he thy basket and thy store. 

" 18. Cursed shall he the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of 
thy land, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep. 

" 19. Cursed shalt thou he when thou comest in, and cursed slialt 
thou he when thou o-oest out. 

" 20. The Lord shall send upon thee cursing, vexation, and re- 
buke, in all that thou settest thy hand unto for to do, until thou be 


destroyed, and until thou perish quickly : because of the wicked- 
ness of thy doings whereby thou hast forsaken me. 

" 21. The Lord shall make the pestilence cleave unto thee, until 
he have consumed thee from off the land, whither thou goest to 
possess it. 

" 22. The Lord shall smite thee with a consumption, and with a 
fever, and with an inflammation, and with an extreme burning, and 
with the sword, and with blasting, and with mildew : and they shall 
pursue thee until thou perish. 

" 23. And thy heaven that is over thy head shall be brass, and 
the earth that is under thee shall be iron. 

" 24. The Lord shall make the rain of thy land powder and 
dust : from heaven shall it come down upon thee, until thou be 

" 25. The Lord shall cause thee to be smitten before thine ene- 
mies : thou shalt go out one way against them, and flee seven ways 
before them ; and shalt be removed into all the kingdoms of the 

" 20. And thy carcass shall be meat unto all fowls of the air, 
and unto beasts of the earth, and no man shall fray tJiem away. 

" 27. The Lord will smite thee with the botch of Egypt, and 
with the emerods, and with the scab, and with the itch, whereof 
thou canst not be healed. 

" 28. The Lord shall smite thee with madness, and blindness, 
and astonishment of heart : 

" 29. And thou shalt grope at noonday, as the blind gropeth in 
darkness, and thou shalt not prosper in thy ways ; and thou shalt 
be only oppressed and spoiled evermore, and no man shall save 

" 30. Thou shalt betroth a wife, and another man shall lie with 
her : thou shalt build a house, and thou shalt not dwell therein : 
thou shalt plant a vineyard, and shalt not gather the grapes 

"31. Thine ox shall be slain before thine eyes, and thou shalt 
not eat thereof: thy ass shall be violently taken away from before 
thy face, and shall not be restored to thee : thy sheep shall be 
given unto thine enemies, and thou shalt have none to rescue 

" 32. Thy sons and thy daughters shall be given unto another 
people, and thy eyes shall look, and fail with longing for them all 
the day long : and there shall be no might in thy hand. 


" 33. The fruit of thy land and all thy labours shall a nation 
which thou knowest not eat up : and thou shalt fee only oppressed 
and crushed always : 

" 34. So that thou shalt be mad for the sight of thy eyes which 
thou shalt see. 

" 35. The Lord shall smite thee in the knees, and in the legs, 
with a sore botch that cannot be healed, from the sole of thy foot 
unto the top of thy head. 

" 36. The Lord shall bring thee, and thy king which thou shalt 
set over thee, unto a nation which neither thou nor thy fathers 
have known, and there shalt thou serve {Dl'l}^) ve abadfa, and 
shall slave yourselves to) other gods, wood and stone : 

"37. And thou shalt become an astonishment, a proverb, and 
a by-word, among all nations whither the Lord shall lead thee. 

" 38. Thou shalt carry much seed out unto the field, and shalt 
gather hut little in : for the locust shall consume it. 

" 39. Thou shalt plant vineyards and dress tliem, but shalt 
neither drink of the wine, nor gather the grapes : for the worms 
shall eat them. 

" 40. Thou shalt have olive-trees throughout, but thou shalt not 
anoint tht/self mth. the oil : for thine olive shall cast his fruit. 

"41. Thou shalt beget sons and daughters, but thou shalt not 
enjoy them, for they shall go into captivity." 

{Into captivity is translated from '''2\l}'2 hashshehi; the prefix pre- 
position in, into, &c. here makes hash. The root is shehi. The 
translation is correct, but the idea extends to such a possession of 
the captive as includes the idea of a right of property. The same 
word is used when dumb beasts are taken as spoil in war ; thus, Amos 
iv. 10, Dp''p'lD '''2V shehi susekem, I have taken your horses, i. e. 
I have captured your horses, — the right of property in the horses 
is changed. The idea in the text is, they shall go into slavery.) 

"42. All thy trees and fruit of thy land shall the locust con- 

"43. The stranger that is within thee shall get up above thee 
very high ; and thou shalt come down very low. 

"44. He shall lend to thee, and thou shalt not lend to him : he 
shall be the head, and thou shalt be the tail. 

" 45. Moreover, all these curses shall come upon thee, and shall 
pursue thee, and overtake thee, till thou be destroyed : because 
thou hearkenedst not unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to keep 
his commandments and his statutes which he commanded thee. 


"46. And they shall be upon thee for a sign, and for a wonder, 
and upon thy seed for ever." 

[For a sign niN oth, a mark, sign, ^-c. It may be noted that 
this word is used in Gen. iv. 15 : " And the Lord set a mark upon 
Cain," niK oth, mark, sign, ^-c.) 

"47. Because thou servedst not the Lord thy God with joyfulness 
and with gladness of heart for the abundance of all tldags. 

"48. Therefore shalt thou serve {^\'^'l]^ he a slave ifo) thine ene- 
mies which the Lord shall send against thee, in hunger, and in 
thirst, and in nakedness, and in want of all things : and he shall 
put a yoke of iron upon thy neck, until he have destroyed thee. 

"49. The Lord shall bring a nation against thee from far, from 
the end of the earth, as swift as the eagle flieth, a nation whose 
tongue thou shalt not understand ; 

" 50. A nation of fierce countenance, which shall not regard the 
person of the old, nor show favour to the young : 

"51. And he shall eat the fruit of thy cattle, and the fruit of 
thy land, until thou be destroyed : which also shall not leave thee 
cither corn, wine, or oil, or the increase of thy kine, or flocks 
of thy sheep, until he have destroyed thee. 

"52. And he shall besiege thee in all thy gates, until thy high 
and fenced walls come down, w^herein thou trustedst, throughout all 
thy land : and he shall besiege thee in all thy gates throughout all 
chy land which the Lord thy God hath given thee. 

" 53. And thou shalt eat the fruit of thine own body, the flesh 
of thy sons and of thy daughters which the Lord thy God hath 
given thee, in the siege and in the straitness wherewith thine ene- 
mies shall distress thee : 

"54. So that the man that is tender among you, and very deli- 
cate, his eye shall be evil toward his brother, and toward the 
wife of his bosom, and toward the remnant of his children which 
he shall leave. 

"55. So that he will not give to any of them of the flesh of his 
children whom he shall eat : because he hath nothing left him in 
the siege, and in the straitness wherewith thine enemies shall dis- 
tress thee in all thy gates. 

"56. The tender and delicate woman among you, which would 
not adventure to set the sole of her foot upon the ground for deli- 
cateness and tenderness, her eye shall be evil toward the hus- 
band of her bosom, and toward her son, and toward her daughter, 

"57. And toward her young one that cometh out from between 


her feet, and toward her children which she shall bear : for she 
shall eat them for want of all tliiyigs secretly in the siege and 
straitness wherewith thine enemy shall distress thee in thy gates. 

"58. If thou wilt not observe to do all the words of this law that 
are written in this book, that thou mayest fear this glorious and 
fearful name THE LORD THY GOD. 

" 59. Then the Lord will make thy plagues wonderful, and the 
plagues of thy seed, even great plagues, and of long continuance, 
and sore sicknesses and of long continuance. 

" 60. Moreover, he will bring upon thee all the diseases of Egypt, 
which thou wast afraid of, and they shall cleave unto thee. 

"61. Also every sickness, and every plague which is not written 
in the book of this law, them will the Lord bring upon thee, until 
thou be destroyed. 

" 02. And ye shall be left few in number, whereas ye were as the 
stars of heaven for multitude ; because thou wouldest not obey the 
voice of the Lord thy God. 

" 63. And it shall come to pass, that as the Lord rejoiced over 
you to do you good, and to multiply you ; so the Lord will rejoice 
over you to destroy you and to bring you to nought ; and ye shall 
be plucked from ofl' the land whither thou goest to possess it. 

"64. And the Lord shall scatter thee among all people from the 
one end of the earth even to the other, and thou shalt serve {T\'^'2]^, 
he slave to) other gods which neither thou nor thy fathers have 
known, even wood and stone. 

" 65. And among these nations shalt thou find no ease, neither 
shall the sole of thy foot have rest : but the Lord shall give thee 
there a trembling heart, and failing of eyes, and sorrow of mind. 

" QQ. And thy life shall hang in doubt before thee ; and thou 
shalt fear day and night, and shalt have none assurance of thy 

"67. In the morning thou shalt say. Would God it were even ! 
and at even shalt thou say, Would God it were morning ! for the 
fear of thy heart wherewith thou shalt fear, and for the sight of 
thine eyes which thou shalt see. 

"68. And the Lord shall bring thee into Egypt again with 
ships, by the way whereof I spake unto thee. Thou shalt see it 
no more again : and there ye shall be sold unto your enemies for 
bond-men and bond-women, and no man shall buy you.'' 

Ye shall he sold, i. e. be exposed to sale, or expose yourselves 
to sale, as the word DrilD-^rin hith maccartem may be rendered; 


cney were vagrants, and -wished to become slaves that they might 
be provided with the necessaries of life." Clarke s Commentary. 

The markets were overstocked with them, says Josephus : 
* * * " They Avere sold with their wives and children at the 
lowest price, there being many to be sold, and few purchasers." 

Hegesippus also says — " There were many captives offered for 
sale, but few buyers, because the Romans disdained to take the 
Jews for slaves, and there were not Jews remaining to redeem 
their countrymen." 

" When Jerusalem was taken by Titus, of the captives who were 
sent into Egypt, those under seventeen were sold ; but so little 
care was taken of them, that 11,000 of them perished for want." 
Bishop Newton. 

St. Jerome says — "After their last overthrow by Adrian, many 
thousands of them were sold, and those who could not be sold were 
transported into Egypt, and perished by shipwreck and famine, or 
were massacred by the inhabitants." 

A similar condition happened to the Jews in Spain, when, under 
the reign of Ferdinand and Isabella, they were driven out of that 
kingdom, concerning which, Abarbinel, a Jewish writer says — 
" Three hundred thousand, young and old, women and children, 
(of whom he was one,) not knowing where to go, left on foot in one 
day : some became a prey, some perished by famine, some by 
pestilence, — some committed themselves to the sea, but were sold 
for slaves when they came to any coast ; many were drowned and 
burned in the ships Avhich were set on fire. In short, all suffered 
the punishment of God the Avenger." 

Benson, in his Commentary, says — " How these instances may 
affect others, I know not, but for myself I must acknowledge, they 
not only convince, but astonish me beyond expression. They are 
truly, as Moses foretold they would be, a sign and a wondei' for 

Scott says — " Numbers of captives were sent by sea into Egypt, 

(as well as into other countries,) and sold for slaves at a vile price, 

and for the meanest offices ; and many thousands were left to 

perish from want ; for the multitude was so great that purchasers 

could not be found for them all at any price. * * * To such 

wretchedness is every one exposed, who lives in disobedience to 

God's commands. * * * None will suffer any misery above 

his deserts : but, indeed, we are all exposed to this woful curse, 

for breaking the law of God." 



Henry says — " I have heard of a wicked man, who, on reading 
these threatenings, was so enraged that he tore the leaf out of his 

Upon a review of all this evidence, to what conclusion is the 
raind inclined ? Are there no circumstances under which man may 
become a .slave — " property, in the sight of God and justice?" 

Dr. Channing says, vol. ii. page 28 — " Such a being (man) was 
plainly made to obey a law within himself. This is the essence of 
a moral being. He possesses, as part of his nature, and the most 
essential part, a cause of duty, which he is to reverence and 

This is in accordance with his idea of conscience — "the Divine 
monitor within us." But we are forced to differ from Dr. Chan- 
ning. To obey the law of God, not some creature of man's, or our 
own judgment, is the creed we inculcate ; and we further teach 
that "such a being was plainly made" "to reverence and follow" 
the law of God, not his own opinion or the feelings of his own 

If this doctrine is not true in theology, can it be so in regard to 
slavery, or any thing else ? 

Page 29, he says — "Every thing else may be owned in the uni- 
verse ; but a moral, rational being cannot be property. Suns and 
stars may be owned, but not the lowest spirit. Touch any thing 
but this. Lay not your hand upon God's rational offspring. The 
whole spiritual world cries out. Forbear !" 

We do not quote this as an argument. If his postulate be true 
concerning the "law within himself," he needs no argument ; his 
opinion is enough: his feeling, his "sense of duty" governs the 
matter. But, while his disciples "reverence and follow" their 
" sense of duty," by obeying a law Avithin themselves, and, accord- 
ing to their conscience, " own the sun and stars," may not those 
who believe the Bible to be the word of God, who "reverence and 
follow" it, as their "sense of duty," and obey it as a law within 
themselves, according to their conscience, own slaves ? 

But Dr. Channing continues — " The highest intelligences recog- 
nise their own nature, their own rights, in the humblest human 
being. By that priceless, immortal spirit which dwells in him, by 
that likeness of God which he wears, tread him not in the dust, 
confound him not with the brute." And he then gravely adds — 
" We have thus seen that a human beins; cannot rio-htfullvbe held 
and used as property. No legislation, not that of all countries or 


worlds, could make him so. Let this be laid down as a first, funda- 
mental truth." 

Such were his opinions. We view them, if not the ra\ings, at 
least the impressions, of fanaticism. When counsellor Quibble 
saw his client Stultus going to the stocks, he cried out, "It is con- 
trary to my seiTSe of justice ; to the laws of God and man ; no 
power can make it right !" Yet Stultus is m the stocks! 

But what shall we say of him who makes the sanction of his 
own feelings the foundation of his creed, of his standard of right ? 
What of him, who, in his search for truth, scarcely or never alludes 
to the Bible as the voice of God, as the Divine basis of his reasons, 
as the. pillar on which argument may find rest? Has some new 
revelation inspired him ? Has he heard a voice louder and more 
clear than the thunder, the trumpet from the mount of God ? Has 
he beheld truth by a light more lucid than the flaming garments of 
Jehovah ? Or has he only seen a cloud, not from the top of Sinai, 
but from the dismal pit of human frailty ? 


Dr. Ciianning's second proposition is : " Man has sacred rights, 
the gifts of God, and inseparable from human nature, of which 
slavery is the infraction ;" in proof of which he says, vol. ii. p. 
23 — " Man's rights belong to him as a moral being, as capable 
of perceiving moral distinctions, a subject of moral obligation. 
As soon as he becomes conscious of a duty, a kindred consciousness 
springs up, that he has a rigid to do what the sense of duty en- 
joins, and that no foreign will or power can obstruct his moral 
action without crime." 

Suppose man has rights as described ; suppose he feels conscious, 
as he says ; does that give him a right to do wrong, because his 
sense of duty enjoins him to do so? And may he not be pre- 
vented from so doing ? Was it indeed a crime in God to turn the 
counsels of Ahithophel into foolishness ? 

Page 33. " That some inward principle which teaches a man 
what he is boand to do to others, teaches equally, and at the same 
instant, what others are bound to do to him!" Suppose a few 
Africans, on an excursion to capture slaves, find that this "inward 


principle" teaches them that they are bound to make a slave of 
Dr. Channing, if they can ; does he mean that, therefore, he is 
hound to make slaves of them ? 

Idem, p. 33. " The sense of duty is the fountain of human 
rights. In other words, the same inward principle which teaches 
the former, bears witness to the latter." 

If the African's sense of duty gives the right to make Dr. 
Channing a slave, we do not see Avhy he should complain ; since, 
by- his own rule, the African's sense of duty proves him to possess 
the right which his sense of duty covets. 

Page 34. " Having shown the foundation of human rights in 
human nature, it may be asked, what they are. * * * They 
may all be comprised in the right, which belongs to every rational 
being, to exercise his powers for the promotion of his own and 
others' happiness and virtue. * * * jj^g ability for this work 
is a sacred trust from God, the greatest of all trusts. He must 
answer for the waste or abuse of it. He consequently suffers an 
unspeakable wrong when stripped of it by others, or forbidden to 
employ it for the ends for which it is given." 

We regret to say that we feel an objection to Channing's argu- 
ment and mode of reasoning, for its want of definiteness and pre- 
cision. If what he says on the subject of slavery were merely 
intended as eloquent declamations, addressed to the sympathies 
and impulses of his party, we should not have been disposed to 
have named such an objection. But his works are urged on the 
world as sound logic, and of sufficient force to open the eyes of 
every slaveholder to the wickedness of the act, and to force him, 
through the medium of his " moral sense," to set the slaves in- 
stantly free. 

A moral action must not only be the voluntary offspring of the 
actor, but must also be performed, to be judged by laws which 
shall determine it to be good or bad. These laws, man being the 
moral agent, we say, are the laws of God ; by them man is to 
measure his conduct. 

Locke says, " Moral good and evil are the conformity or disa- 
greement of our voluntary actions to some law, whereby good or 
evil is drawn upon us from the will or power of the lawmaker." 

But the doctrine of Dr. Channinfj seems to be that this law is 
each man's conscience, moral sense, sense of duty, or the inward 
principle. If the proposition of Mr, Locke be sound logic, what 
becomes of these harangues of Dr. Channing ? 


We say, that the law, rule, or power that decides good or evil, 
must be from a source far above ourselves ; for, if otherwise, the 
contradictory and confused notions of men must necessarily banish 
all idea of good and evil from the earth. In fact, the denial of 
the elevated, the Divine source of such law, is also a denial that 
God governs ; for government without law is a contradiction. 

If the conscience, as Dr. Channing thinks, is the guide between 
right and wrong according to the law of God ; then the law of 
God must be quite changeable, because the minds of men differ. 
Each makes his own deduction ; therefore, in that case, the law 
of God must be what each one may severally think it to be; which 
is only other language to say there is no law at all. " Every way 
of a man is right in his own eyes." Prov. xxi. 2. But, " The 
statutes of the Lord are right." Ps. xix. 8. The laws of God 
touching the subject of slavery are spread through every part of 
the Scriptures. Human reason may do battle, but the only result 
will be the manifestation of its weakness. The institution of 
slavery must, of necessity, continue in some form, so long as sin 
shall have a tendency to lead to death ; so long as -Jehovah shall 
rule, and exercise the attributes of mercy to fallen, degraded man. 

But let us for a moment view the facts accompanying the slavery 
of the African race, and compare them with the assertion, p. 35, 
that every slave "suffers a grievous wrong;" and, p. 49, that 
every slave-owner is a "robber," however unconscious he may be 
of the fact. 

So far as history gives us any knowledge of the African tribes, 
for the last 4000 years, their condition has been stationary ; at 
least they have given no evidence of advancement in morals or 
civilization beyond what has been the immediate effect of the ex- 
change of their slaves for the commodities of other parts of the 
world. So far as this trade had influence, it effected almost a 
total abolition of cannibalism among them. That the cessation of 
cannibalism was the result of an exchange of their slaves as pro- 
perty for the merchandise of the Christian nations, is proved by 
the fact that they have returned to their former habits in that 
respect upon those nations discontinuing the slave-trade with 
them. Which is the greatest wrong to a slave, to be continued in 
servitude, or to be butchered for food, because his labour is not 
wanted by his owner ? 

No very accurate statistics can be given of African affairs ; but 
their population has been estimated at 50,000,000, and to have 


been about the same for many centuries ; of which population, even 
includino; the -wildest tribes, far over four-fifths have ever been 
slaves among themselves. The earliest and the most recent travel- 
lers among them agree as to the facts, that they are cannibals ; that 
they are idolaters, or that they have no trace of religion whatever ; 
that marriage with them is but promiscuous intercourse; that there 
is but little or no afiection between husband and wife, parent and 
children, old or young ; that in mental or moral capacity, they are 
but a crrade above the brute creation ; that the slaves and Avomen 
alone do any labour, and they often not enough to keep them from 
Avant ; that their highest views are to take slaves, or to kill a 
neighbouring tribe ; that they evince no desire for improvement, 
or to ameliorate their condition. In short, that the}^ are, and ever 
have been, from the earliest knowledge of them, savages of the 
most debased character. "We have, in a previous studj^, quoted 
authority in proof of these facts, to which we refer. 

Will any one hesitate to acknowledge, that, to them, slavery, 
regulated by law, among civilized nations is a state of moral, 
mental, and physical elevation 1 A proof of this is found in the 
fact that the descendants of such slaves are found to be, in all 
things, their superiors. If their descendants were found to dete- 
riorate from the condition of the parents, we should hesitate to say 
that slavery was to them a blessing. Which would man consider 
the most like an act of mercy in Jehovah, to continue them in 
their state of slavery to their African master, brother, and owner, 
or to order them into that condition of slavery in which we find 
them in these States ? Which state of slavery would a man prefer, 
to a savage, or to a civilized master ? 

The Hebrews, Medes, Persians, Chaldeans, Syrians, Greeks, and 
Romans have, on the borders of Africa, to some extent, amalga- 
mated with them, from time immemorial. But such amalgamation 
has never been known to attain to the position, either physically, 
mentall}^, or morally, of their foreign progenitors; perhaps superior 
to the interior tribes, 3'et often they scarcely exhibit a mental or 
moral trace of their foreign- extraction. The thoughtless, those 
of slovenly morals, or those of none at all, from among the de- 
scendants of Japheth, have commingled with them in the new 
Avorld ; but the amalgamation never exhibits a corresponding ele- 
vation in the direction of the white progenitor. The connection 
may degrade the parent, but never elevate the offspring. The 
great mass look upon the connection with abhorrence and loathing ; 


and pity or contempt always attends the footsteps of the aggressor. 
These feelings are not confined to any particular country or ago 
of the world. Are not these things proof that the descendants of 
Ham are a deteriorated race ? Will the declarations of a few dis- 
tempered minds, as to their religion, feeling, and taste, weigh in 
contradiction? What was the judgment of Isaac and Rebecca on 
this subject? See Cren. xxvi. 35; xxvii. 4G ; also xxviii. 1. 

Since the days of Noah, where are their monuments of art, re- 
ligion, science, and civilization ? Is it not a fact that the highest 
moral and intellectual attainment which the descendants of Ham 
ever displayed is now, at this time, manifested among those in 
servile pupilage ? The very fact of their being property gives 
them protection. What, he their "robber," who watches over 
their welfare with more effect and integrity than all their ancestry 
together since the days of Noah ! By the contrivance of making 
them property, has God alone given them the protection which 
4000 years of sinking degradation demand, in an upward move- 
ment towards their physical, mental, and moral improvement, their 
rational happiness on earth, and their hopes of heaven. What, 
God's agent in this matter a robber of them ! 

Let us assure the disciples of Dr. Channing that there are thou- 
sands of slaves too acute observers of truth to come to such a 
conclusion ; who, although from human frailty they may some- 
times seem to suffer an occasional or grievous wrong, can yet give 
good reason in proof that slavery is their only safety. Let us 
cast the mind back to a period of five hundred years ago. A 
Christian ship, intent on new discoveries, lands on the African 
coast. The petty chieftain there, is and about to sacrifice a num- 
ber of his slaves, either to appease the manes of his ancestor, to 
propitiate his gods, or to gratify his appetite by feasting. Presents 
have been made to the natives ; it is thought their friendship is 
secured; the Christians are invited to the fete, the participants are 
collected, the victims brought forward, and the club uplifted for 
the blow. The Christians, struck with surprise, or excited by 
horror, remonstrate with the chief ; to which he sullenly replies : 
" Yonder my goats, 7ny village, all around my domain ; these are 
my slaves!" meaning that, by the morals and laws that have from 
time immemorial prevailed there, his rights are absolute; that he 
feels it as harmless to kill a slave as a goat, or dwell in his village. 
But the clothing of the Christian is presented, the viands of arc 
are offered, the food of civilization is tasted, the cupidity of the 


savage is tempted, and the fete celebrated through a novel and 
more valuable oflfering. What, these Christians, who have bought 
these slaves, robbers! 

Let us look back to the days of the house of Saul, when, per- 
haps, David, hiding himself from his face amid the villages of 
Amraon, chanced upon the ancestors of Naamah, the mother of 
Rehoboam, a later king of Israel. Finding them about to sacri- 
fice a child upon the altar of Moloch, " Stay thy hand!" says the 
son of Jesse ; " I have a message to thee from the God of Israel ; 
deliver me the child for these thirty pieces of silver !" And, accord- 
ing to the law of the God of his fathers, it becomes his " bond-man 
for ever." What, was David a robber in all this ? Suppose the 
child to have been sold, resold, and sold again, is the character of 
the owner changed thereby? 

But it is concerning the riglits of the descendants of these 
slaves that we have now to inquire. See Luke xvii. 7-10 : 

" 7. But which of you having a servant {hovT^og, slave) ploughing 
or feeding cattle, will say unto him by and by, when he has come 
from the field, Go, and sit down to meat ? 

" 8. And will not rather say unto him, Make ready wherewith 
I may sup, and gird thyself, and serve me, till I have eaten and 
drunken ; and afterwards thou shalt eat and drink ? 

" 9. Doth he thank that servant {hov7MV^ slave) because he did 
the things that were commanded him ? I trow not. 

" 10. So likewise ye, when ye have done all those things which 
are commanded you, say. We are unprofitable servants : we have 
done that which was our duty to do." 

Suppose a proprietor, in any country or at any age, receives into 
his employment an individual, who thereafter resides and has a 
family upon his estate : upon the death of the individual, will his 
heirs accrue to any of the rights of the proprietor, other than those 
granted, or those consequent to their own or their ancestor's con- 
dition, or those that may accrue by operation of law ? Where is 
the political enactment, the moral precept, the Divine command, 
teaching an adverse doctrine ? 

Before we close our view of Dr. Channing's second proposition, 
we design to notice his use of the word "nature." He says, that 
man has rights, gifts of God, inseparable from human " nature." 
We confess that we are somewhat at a loss to determine the pre- 
cise idea the doctor afiixes to this term. The phrase " human 
nature" is in most frequent use through' these volumes. But in vol. 


i. page 74, he says — "Great powers, even in their perversion, 
attest a glorious nature.'' Page 77 : " The infinite materials of 
illustration Avhich nature and life afford." Page 82 : " To regard 
despotism as a law of nature." Page 84: "His superiority to 
nature, as well as to human opposition." Page 95: "We will 
inquire into the nature and fitness of the measures." Page 98 : 
" The first object in education naturally wps to fit him for the 
field." Page 110: "From the principles of our nature.'' 
Page 111: '•^Nature and the human will were to bend to his 
power." Idem: " He wanted the sentiment of a common tiature 
with his fellow-beings." Page 112 : " With powers which might 
have made him a glorious representative and minister of the bene- 
ficent Divinity, and with natural sensibilities." Page 119: 
" Traces out the general and all-comprehending laws of nature." 
Page 143 : " A power which robs men of the free use of their 
nature," &c. Page 146 : " Its efficiency resembles that of dark- 
ness and cold in the natural -worM." Page 184 : " Whose writings 
seem to be natural breathings of the soul." Page 189: "Lan- 
guage like this has led men to very injurious modes of regarding 
themselves, and their own nature." Idem: " A man when told 
perpetually to crucify himself, is apt to include under this word 
his whole nature." Idem: "Men err in nothing more than in 
disparaging and wronging their own nature." Idem: "If we 
first regard man's highest nature." Page 190 : "We believe that 
the human mind is akin to that intellectual energy, which gave 
birth to nature." Idem : " Taking human nature as consisting of 
a body as well as mind, as including animal desire," &c. Idem: 
" We believe that he in whom the physical nature is unfolded." 
Page 191 : " But excess is not essential to self-regard, and this 
principle of our nature is the last which could be spared." 
Page 192 : " Is is the great appointed trial of our moral nature." 
Page 193 : " Our nature has other elements or constituents, and 
vastly higher ones." Idem: "For truth, which is its object, is 
of a universal, impartial nature." Page 196 : " Is the most sig- 
nal proof of a higher nature which can be given." Ide?n: " It is 
a sovereignty worth more than that over outward nature." Idem: 
" Its great end is to give liberty and energy to our nature." 
Page 198 : " Our moral, intellectual, immortal nature we cannot 
remember too much." Page 200 : " The moral nature of religion." 
Page 202 : " We even think that our love of nature." Idem : " For 
the harmonies of nature are only his wisdom made visible." 


Page 203: "That progress in truth is the path of nature.'" 
Page 211 : " It has the liberality and munificence of nature, which 
not only produces the necessary root and grain, but pours forth 
fruits and flowers. It has the variety and bold contrasts of 
nature.''' Idem: "The beautiful and the superficial seem to be 
naturally conjoined." Page 212: "And by a law of his nature.'' 
Page 218 : " These gloomy and appalling features of our nature." 
Page 215 : " These conflicts between the passions and the moral 

We regret that so eminent and accurate a scholar, and so influ- 
ential a man, should have fallen into such an indefinite and con- 
fused use of any portion of our language. If we mistake not, it 
will require more than usual reflection for the mind to determine 
what idea is presented by its use in the most of these instances. 
We know that some use this word so vaguely, that if required to 
explain the idea they wished to convey by it, they would be unable 
to do so. But there are those from whom we expect a better use 
of language. Many English readers pass over such sentences 
without stopping to think what are the distinct ideas of the writer. 
There are, in our language, a few words used in our conversational 
dialect, as if especially intended for the speaker's aid when he only 
had a confused idea, or perhaps none at all, of what he designed 
to say; and we extremely regret that words, to us of so important 
meaning, as nature and conscience, should be found among that 
class. The teacher of theology and morals should surely be care- 
ful not to lead his pupils into error. Might not the unskilled in- 
quirer infer that nature was a substantive existence, taking rank 
somewhere between man and the Deity ? And what would be his 
notion, derived from such use of the term, of its offices, of its in- 
fluence on, and man's relation with it ? What is our notion as to 
the definite idea these passages convey ? 

" Man has rights, gifts of Cfod, inseparable frovi human nature, 
of ivhich slavery is the infraction." By "human nature," as here 
used, we understand the condition or state of being a man in a 
general sense. Our inference is, then, that God has given man 
rights, that is, all men the same rights, which are inseparable 
from his state of being a man ; consequently, if by any means 
these rights are taken from him, then his state of being a man is 
changed, or ceases to exist ; and since slavery breaks these rights, 
therefore a slave is not a man. 


But the fact we fiu J to be that the slave is, nevertheless, a man ; 
and hence it follows that these rights were not inseparable from 
his state of being a man, or that he had not the rights. 

If slavery is sinful because it infringes the rights of man, then 
any other thing is also sinful which infringes them. Will the dis- 
ciples of Dr. Channing deny that these rights are infringed by the 
constitution of the civil government ? The law gives parents the 
right to govern, command, and restrain minor children ; to inflict 
punishment for their disobedience. Is parental authority a sin ? 
Government, in every form, is found to deprive females of a large 
proportion of the rights which men possess. When married, their 
rights are wholly absorbed in the rights of the husband. This 
must be very sinful ! 

Idiots have no rights. In reality, the very idea of rights vanishes 
away with the power to exercise them. But in a state of civil go- 
vernment, it is a mere question of expediency how personal rights 
shall be adjusted ; which is very manifest, if we look at the different 
constitutions of government now in the world. In one, men who fol- 
low certain occupations have certain rights as a consequence. Men 
who are found guilty of certain breaches of the law lose a jDortion 
or all their rights. The president of our senate loses the right to 
vote, except under condition ; and we agree that a mere majority 
shall rule. Thus forty-nine of the hundred cease to find their 
rights available. They must submit. Man, as a member of civil 
society, is only a small fraction of an unit, and has no right to ex- 
ercise a right unconformably to the expression of the sense of the 
general good. Man has no right to live independent of his fellow- 
man, like a plant or a tree ; consequently, his rights must be de- 
termined and bounded by the general welfare. Dr. Channing 
ceases to be enlightened by moral science when he announces 
that, because a man is " conscious of duty," therefore, what he 
may think his right cannot be affected by others "without crime." 
So reverse may be the fact, that it may be a crime in him to claim 
the right his conscious duty may suggest. 

Man cannot be said to be in possession of all things that he, or 
such theorists, may deem his rights only in a monocratic state. 
But how will he retain them ? For then, so far as he shall have 
intercourse with others, every thing will come to be decided by the 
law of might ; so that, instead of gaining, he will lose all rights. 
But suppose him to live without intercourse ; what is a naked, abstract 
right, that yields him nothing above the brute ? God never made 


a man for sucli a state of life ; because it at once includes rebellion 
to his government ; and, therefore, its every movement will be to 

Will the disciples of Dr. Channing be surprised to find that the 
only medicine God has prepared for such a loathsome moral disease 
as vfiW then be developed, is slavery to a higher order of men ? 


Dr. Channing' s third position is to offer explanations to prevent 
misapplication of the principles presented in his first two proposi- 

Vol. ii. page 51, he says — " Sympathy with the slave has often 
degenerated into injustice towards the master." We fully agi'ee 
with him; and we also admit "that the consciences of men are 
often darkened by education." This short chapter is evidently 
written in a spirit of conciliation, and contains many truths elo- 
quently told; yet, he finally grasps his doctrines, and repeats his 

His fourth position is, " To unfold the evils of slavery." He 
says the first great evil is the debasement of the slave. Page 60 : 
" This word, (slave,) borrowed from his condition, expresses the 
ruin wrought by slavery within him. * * * To be an instrument 
of the physical, material good of another whose will is his highest 
law, he is taught to regard as the great purpose of his being. 
Here lies the evil of slavery. Its whips, imprisonment, and even 
the horrors of the middle passage from Africa to America, these 
are not to be named in comparison with this extin:;tion of the pro- 
per consciousness of a human being, with the degradation of a man 
into a brute." 

If it be a fact that the debasement of the negro race has been 
brought about by their having been made slaves in America; then 
it will be a very strong argument, we are willing to acknowledge, 
an insurmountable one, against the institution. That Dr. Channing 
thinks such to be the fact, we have no doubt ; for we cannot a mo- 
ment admit that he would assert what he did not believe was true. 
But "the consciences of men are often darkened by education." 
We hold that the assertion is capable of proof, that the debasement 


of the race was the moral, the necessary effect of a long course of 
sin ; and that, instead of slavery producing the debasement, the 
fact is, the debasement produced the slavery ; or, in other words, 
slavery is tlio moral, the necessary effect of the debasement. 

The leading object, through all our studies, is the elucidation of 
the fact, that- sin has a poisonous effect upon the moral, mental, 
and physical man, that is in constant action in the direction of 
deterioration, debasement, ruin, death. Such we teach to be the 
doctrine of the holy books, spread through the whole volume, 
elucidated upon every page ; that slavery, like a saviour, steps in 
upon this descending road, arresting the downward progress, the 
rapid fall to final, to unalterable ruin and death. 

" If his children forsake my law, and walk not in my judgments ; 
if they break my statutes, and keep not my commandments, — then 
will I visit their transgressions with the rod, and their iniquity 
with stripes." P.s. Ixxxix. 30—32. "A righteous man hateth lying : 
but a wicked man is loathsome, and cometh to shame." Prov. 
xiii. 5. " Thou turnest man to destruction ; and sayest, return, 
ye children of men." Ps. xc. 3. " I have therefore delivered unto 
the mighty one of the heathen ; he shall surely deal with him : I 
have driven him out for his wickedness." Ezek. xxxi. 11. "And I 
will sell your sons and your daughters into the hands of the children 
of Judah, and they shall sell them to the Sabeans, to a people 
far off; for the Lord hath spoken it." Joel iii. 8. "Nevertheless 

they shall be his servants (D'^D^ 7 slaves), that they may know my 
service {'ipi'^'i^^, slavery), and the service {^\'^'^'2^\ slavery) of the 
kingdoms of the countries." 2 Ohron. xii. 8. "The show of their 
countenance doth witness against them ; and they declare their sin 
as Sodom, they hide it not. Wo unto their soul ! for they have 
rewarded evil unto themselves." Isa. iii. 9. "Therefore my peo- 
ple are gone into captivity, because they have no knowledge ; and 
their honourable men are famished, and their multitude dried up 
with thirst.'' " And the mean man shall be brought down, and the 
mighty man shall be humbled, and the eyes of the lofty shall be 
humbled : but the Lord of hosts shall be exalted in judgment, and 
God that is holy shall be sanctified in righteousness." Isa. v. 13, 
15, 16. 

Dr. Channing's book before us goes on to specify this debase- 
ment as to the intellect ; its influence on the domestic relations ; 
how it " produces and gives license to cruelty." The fact that 


debasement reaches all these points, v^e agree to ; nay, further, 
that it reaches to every act and thought. But "we refer all these 
displays of debasement to the result of the degradation, of which 
slavery is only the moral, the natural consequence. If v,e find a 
man debased as to one thing, it is in conformity with the common 
sense of mankind to expect to find him debased as to another. 

Channing, pp. 78, 79. " I proceed to another view of the evils 
of slavery. I refer to its influence on the master. * * * J pass 
over many views. * * * I ^yi]] confine myself to two consider- 
ations. The first is, that slavery, above all other influences, nou- 
rishes the passion for power and its kindred vices. There is no 
passion which needs a stronger curb. Men's worst crimes have 
sprung from the desire of being masters, of bending others to their 

It is to be lamented that man is so prone to sin ; that he is not 
more undeviating in the paths of virtue, of goodness, of perfection. 
The charge made by Dr. Channing in the passage quoted, we are 
sorry to acknowledge, is too true. But so far as we have any 
knowledge of the history of man, even in the absence of slavery, 
the time h^s never been when the passion for power and its 
kindred vices did not find sufficient food for their nourishment. 
The evil passions alluded to are not so particular as to their food 
but that, if they do not find a choice thing to nourish themselves 
on, they will feed and nourish themselves on another. 

It, perhaps, would not be difficult to show that the love of power 
and its kindred vices first operated to bring on us "all our wo;" 
stimulated Cain to kill Abel ; in fact, has been in most powerful 
action among those causes that have introduced slavery to the 
world. Slavery gave no birth to these passions. They drove 
Nebuchadnezzar from his throne down to the degradation of the 
brute. " Is not this great Babylon that I have built for the house 
of the kingdom, by the might of my power, and for the honour of 
my majesty?" Dan. iv. 12. 

He had great power, great wealth, and, it is true, he had great 
possessions in slaves. The prophet understood his case, and spoke 
plainly. If his owning thousands of slaves merely had nursed in 
him a forgetfulness of God, the seer w' ould not have hesitated so to 
inform him. Great prosperity in the affairs of the world in his case, 
as in some others of a somewhat later day, so puff"ed him up that 
he forgot who he was. The owning of slaves may puff" up a silly 
intellect — doubtless, often does ; but the same intellect would be 


more likely to be puffed up by a command of a more elevated 
grade, as officers of government, or, even in private life, by the con- 
trol of superior amounts of wealth ; or even by the conceit of pos- 
sessing a great superiority of intellect. 

Doubtless, the disciples of Dr. Channing will agree that abun- 
dant instances of such tumidity might be found in any country, 
even among those who never owned a slave. 

■ It may be a fact, that, to some, the having control over and 
owning a slave have a greater tendency to produce the effect of 
puffi7ig up the owner than would his value in money or other pro- 
perty ; because it may be a fact that a given amount in one kind 
of property may possess such tendency to a greater extent than 
another. But the truth probably is, that one man would be the 
most puffed up by one thing, and another man by another. We 
agree that being thus puffed up is a sin ; that it leads to conse- 
quences extremely ruinous, and often fatal. Very small men are 
also liable to the disease, and they sometimes take it from very 
slight causes. It is true, "there is no passion that needs a stronger 
curb." What we contend is, that it is not a necessary consequence 
of owning slaves, any more than it is of owning any othe%property, 
or of possessing any other command of men ; and that so far as it 
is an argument against owning slaves, it is also an argument 
against owning any other property, or of having any other control, 
or of possessing any other command among men. 


Dr. Channing continues his view of the evils of slavery, and 
says, p. 80, 81 — 

"I approach a more delicate subject, and one on which I shall 
not enlarge. To own the persons of others, to hold females in 
slavery, is necessarily fatal to the purity of a people : that unpro- 
tected females, stripped by their degraded condition of woman's 
self-respect, should be used to minister to other passions in man 
than the love of gain, is next to inevitable. Accordingly, in such 
a community, the reins are given to youthful licentiousness. 
Youth, everywhere in peril, is, in these circumstances, urged to 
vice with a terrible power. And the evil cannot stop at youth. 
Early licentiousness is fruitful of crime in mature life. How far 


the obligation to conjugal fidelity, the sacredness of domestic ties, 
will be revered amid'such habits, such temptations, such facilities 
to vice as are involved in slavery, needs no exposition. So sure 
and terrible is retribution even in this life I Domestic happiness 
is not blighted in the slave's hut alone. The master's infidelity 
sheds a blight over his own domestic affections and joys. Home, 
without purity and constancy, is spoiled of its holiest charm and 
most blessed influences. I need not say, after the preceding expla- 
nations, that this corruption is far from being universal. Still, a 
slave-country reeks with licentiousness. It is tainted with a 
deadlier pestilence than the plague. 

" But the worst is not told. As a consequence of criminal con- 
nections, many a master has children born into slavery. Of these, 
most, I presume, receive protection, perhaps indulgence, during the 
life of the fathers ; but at their death, not a few are left to the 
chances of a cruel bondage. These cases must have increased 
since the difiiculties of emancipation have been multiplied. Still 
more, it is to be feared that there are cases in which the master 
puts his own children under the whip of the overseer, or sells them 
to undergij the miseries of a bondage among strangers. 

" I should rejoice to learn that my impressions on this point are 
false. If they be true, then our own country, calling itself en- 
lightened and Christian, is defiled with one of the greatest enormi- 
ties on earth. We send missionaries to heathen lands. Among the 
pollutions of heathenism, I know nothing worse than this. The 
heathen who feasts on his country's foe, may hold up his head by 
the side of the Christian who sells his child for gain, sells him to 
be a slave. God forbid that I should charge this crime to a people ! 
But, however rarely it may occur, it is a fruit of slavery, an exercise 
of power belonging to slavery, and no laws restrain or punish it. 
Such are the evils which spring naturally from the licentiousness 
generated by slavery." 

The owner of slaves who acts in conformity to the foregoing 
picture, to our mind displays proofs of very great debasement, and 
his offspring, stained with the blood of Ham, we should deem most 
likely to be quite fit subjects of slavery: we cannot therefore re- 
gret that the laws do not punish nor restrain him from selling them 
as slaves ; we should rather regret that the laws did not compel 
him to go with them. 

That there are instances in the Slave States where the owner of 
female slaves cohabits with them, and has offspring by them, is 


true. There may be instances where such parent has sold tliem 
into slavery, — they, in law, being his slaves ; yet we aver we have 
never known an instance in which it has been done. That such 
offspring have been sold as slaves, by the operation of law, must 
certainly be acknowledged ; and that such instances have been 
more frequent since the action of the abolitionists has aroused the 
Slave States to a sense of their danger, and thereby caused the laws 
to be more stringent on the subject of emancipation, is also true. 
And are you, ye agitators of the slave question, willing to ac- 
knowledge this fact ? And that your conduct — even you your- 
selves — are even now the cause, under God, of the present condi- 
tion of slavery, which many such persons now endure ? Is not he 
who places the obstruction on the highwaj^ whereby the traveller 
is plunged in death, the guilty one ? In what light, think ye, must 
this class of slaves view you and your conduct ? Eut wc wish not 
to upbraid you. If you are ignorant, w^ords are useless. If you 
are honest men and know the truth, we prefer to leave you in the 
hands of God and your own conscience. 

We hold that cohabitation with the blacks, on the part of the 
whites, is a great sin, and is proof of a great moral debasement ; 
nor will we say but that the conservative influences of God's provi- 
dence may have moved the abolitionists to the action of for ever 
placing a bar to the emancipation of this class of slaves, such 
coloured offspring, in order that the enormity of the sin of such 
cohabitation may be brought home, in a more lively sense, to the 
minds of their debased parents. 

" I saw the Lord sitting upon his throne, and the host of heaven 
standing on his right hand and on his left. 

''And the Lord said, Who will entice Ahab, king of Israel, that 
he may go up and fall at Kamoth Gilead ? And one spake after 
this manner, and another saying after that manner. 

" Then there came out a spirit, and stood before the Lord, and 
said, I will entice him ; and the Lord said unto him, Wherewith ? 

" And he said, I will go out and be a lying spirit in the moutli 
of all his prophets. And the Lord said. Thou shalt entice him." 
2 Chron. xviii. 18-21 ; 1 Kings, xxii. 19. 

We wish to state a fact which may not be generally known to 
the disciples of Dr. Channing : we speak of Louisiana, where wo 
live. Here is a floating population, emigrants from all parts of 
the world, especially from free countries and states, nearly or quite 
equal in number to the native-born citizens who have been raised 



lip and grown to maturity amid slaves or as the owners of slaves. 
If tlie cohabitation complained of is at all indicated by the mixed- 
blooded offspring, then the proof of this cohabitation will be far 
overbalancing on the side of this floating population. 

But again, there are instances where an individual from this 
class, who thus cohabits with some master's slave, and has offspring, 
and, succeeding in some business, buys her, probably with the in- 
tention of emancipation ; but, as he becomes a proprietor and fixed 
citizen, procrastination steals upon him, and he finds himself en- 
thralled by a coloured family for life. 

Let the number of these instances be compared with those where 
the delinquents have been habituated, from the earliest youth, to 
the incidents of slavery, and the former class is found to be entitled 
to the same pre-eminence. From this class also there are instances 
where the white man, so cohabiting with the -slave whom he has 
purchased for the purpose of emancipation, sends her and his 
offspring to some free State, often to Cincinnati, the Moab of the 
South I "Let mine outcasts dwell with thee, Moab." Isa. xvi. 4. 

Let such instances as this last named be contrasted with like 
instances emanating from among the native-born, or those raised 
among slaves, and the former class are still far in the majority. 
In short, the fact is found to be, that those who have been born, 
raised, and educated among them, and as the owners of slaves, are 
found more seldom to fall into this cohabitation than those who 
are by chance among slaves, but had not been educated from youth 
among them. 

Far be it from us to recriminate. Our object alone, in present- 
ing these facts, is to show, to give proof, that slavery is not the 
cause of the debasement which urges the white man on to cohabi- 
tation with the negro. 

We will ask no questions as to the frequency of such intercourse 
in some of the large Northern cities, in which blacks are numerous 
as well as free, between them and the debased of the whites. 
"What if we should be told, in answer, if the charge were established, 
that such whites acted from conscience, under a sense of the essen- 
tial equality of the negro with the white man, and under the reli- 
gious teaching of the advocates of amalgamation ! 

He who writes on and describes moral influences, must be ex- 
pected to view them as he has been in the habit of seeing them 
manifested. We therefore regret exceedingly to see that Dr. 
Channing has made the assertion that, " to own the persons of 

STUDIES OX Slavery. 211 

)thers, to hold females in slavery, is necessarily fatal to the purity 
of a people ; that unprotected females, stripped by their degraded 
condition of woman's self-respect, should be used to minister to 
other passions in men than the love of gain, is next to inevitable." 

If this assertion is warranted by the moral condition of society 
as displayed before him, may we not find in it a solution of the 
fact, that those who have been reared up under all the influences 
of slavery on the master, are far less frequently found to fall into 
the odious cohabitation with the negro than are those who have 

However, we have among us some very wicked and debased men, 
who own slaves, and who have been born and educated in the midst 
of the influences of the institution of slavery, and who yet cohabit 
with their female negroes. But the moral sense of the community, 
from day to day and from year to year, more and more distinctly 
gives reproof, more and more emphatically points to such the finger 
of contempt and scorn, and continues to increase in energy, ex- 
pressing its loathing and abhorrence ; and all this is taking place 
under the influences of slavery on the master. Do all these things 
give proof that slavery is the progenitor of this debasement, or 
the reverse? 

Dr. Channing was mistaken ; his mind was in error : he substi- 
tuted the consequent for the cause. 

We deem it useless to spend time or argument with those who 
will pertinaciously deny and refuse to listen to facts, unless they 
shall be in support of their previously conceived views or preju- 
dices. We are aware that the numerical proportion which wo 
have ascribed to what we call "a floating population" may seem 
incredible to those in other countries, where the facts are quite 
different. Yet we are sure that such estimate is within the truth. 

Here, as everywhere else, the government, the legislative power 
of the country, is in the hands of the permanent and more ele- 
vated and wealthy classes ; in the hands of slave-owners. Would 
such a class consent to laws throwing difliculties in the way of 
emancipation, if the effect of such laws were to be expended on 
their own offspring ? To the more elevated and cultivated class 
of community in any country (and here such are all slave-OAvners) 
is to be ascribed the tone of moral feeling. Does any man covet 
for himself the loathing and scorn of community? 

The familv of the slave-owner is tauofht to regard the negro as 

t/ coo 

a race of man radically inferior, in moral capacity, in mental 


power, and even in physical ability, to tlie white man; that, al- 
though he is susceptible of improvement in all these things, and 
even does improve in the state of slavery to the white man, yet 
that it would require untold generations to elevate him and his 
race to the present standing of the white races. 

The child, the mere youth, and those of more experience, see 
proofs of these facts in every comparison. The master feels them 
to be true, and is taught, that, while he governs with compassion, 
forbearance, and mercy, and as having regard to their improve- 
ment, any familiarity on terms of equality, beyond that of com- 
mand on his side, and obedience on theirs, is, and must be, disgrace 
to him. He is taught to consider the negro race, from some 
cause, to have deteriorated to such extent that his safety and hap- 
piness demand the control of a superior; he regards him as a 
man, entitled to receive the protection of such control ; and that 
he, like every other man, will be called to account unto God, ac- 
cording to the talents God has given him. He is taught, by every 
hour's experience, to know that slavery to the negro is a blessing. 
He is taught to feel it a duty to teach, as he would an inferior, 
the negro his moral duty, his obligations to God, the religion of 
the Bible, the gospel of Christ. 

But the man born and educated in the Free States is taught 
that " he who cannot see a brother-, a child of God, a man pos- 
sessing all the rights of humanity, under a skin darker than his 
own, wants the vision of a Christian." Clianning, vol. ii. p. 14. 
"To recognise as brethren those who want all outward distinctions, 
is the chief way in which we are to manifest the spirit of him who 
came to raise the fallen and save the lost." Ibidem. 

Vol. ii. pp. 20, 21, 22, he says — " Another argument against 
property (in slaves) is to be found in the essential equality of men." 

* * * " Nature indeed pays no heed to birth or condition 
in bestowing her favours. The noblest spirits sometimes grow up 
in the obscurest spheres. Thus equal are men ; — and among these 
equals, Avho can substantiate his claim to make others his property, 
his tools, the mere instruments of his private interest and gratifi- 
cation?" * * .* "Is it sure that the slave, or the slave's 
child, may not surpass his master in intellectual energy, or in moral 
worth ? Has nature conferred distinctions, Avhieh tell us plainly 
who shall be owners and who shall be owned ? "Who of us can 
unblushingly lift up his head and say that God has w)'itten 
'master' there? Or who can show the word 'slave' engraven 


on his brother's brow ? The equality of nature makes slavery a 

May we aid the disciples of Dr. Channing by referring them to 
Prov. xvii. 2, "A wise servant ("I^J^^ ehed, slave) shall have rule 
over a son that causeth shame, and shall have part of the inherit- 
ance among the brethren?" And will the doctor and his disciples 
believe the proverb any the more true, when we inform them that 
it is a matter of frequent occurrence in slave-holding communities. 
Vol. V. p. 89, 90, he says — " But we have not yet touched the 
great cause of the conflagration of the Hall of Freedom. Some- 
thing worse than fanaticism or separation of the Union was the 
impulse to this violence. We are told that white people and black 
sat together on the benches of the hall, and were even seen walk- 
ing together in the streets ! This was the unheard-of atrocity 
which the virtues of the people of Philadelphia could not endure. 
They might have borne the dissolution of the national tie ; but 
this junction of black and white was too much for human patience 
to sustain. And has it indeed come to this ? For such a cause 
are mobs and fires to be let loose on our persons and most costly 
buildings ? What ! Has not an American citizen a right to sit 
and walk with whom he will 't Is this common privilege denied 
us? Is society authorized to choose our associates? Must our 
neighbour's tastes as to friendship and companionship control our 
own ? Have the feudal times come back to us, when to break the 
law of caste was a greater crime than to violate the laws of God ? 
What must Europe have thought, when the news crossed the ocean 
of the burning of the Hall of Freedom, because white and coloured 
people walked together in the streets ? 

" Europe might well open its eyes in wonder. On that conti- 
nent, with all its aristocracy, the coloured man mixes freely with 
his fellow-creatures. He sometimes receives the countenance of 
the rich, and has even found his way into the palaces of the great. 
In Europe, the doctrine would be thought to be too absurd for refu- 
tation, that a coloured man of pure morals and piety, of cultivated 
intellect and refined manners, was not a fit companion for the best 
in the land. What must Europe have said, when brought to un- 
derstand that, in a republic, founded on the principles of human 
rights and equality, people are placed beyond the laws for treating 
the African as a man. This Philadelphia doctrine deserves no 
mercy. What an insult is thrown on human nature, in making it 
a heinous crime to sit or walk with a human being, whoever it may 


be? It just occurs to me, that I have forgotten the circumstance 
which filled to overflowing the cup of abolitionist wickedness in 
Philadelphia. The great oifence was this, that certain young 
women of anti-slavery faith were seen to walk the streets with 
coloured young men !" 

Such are the lessons taught the youth as well as the aged of the 
Free States, even by Dr. Channing himself. We now ask, under 
the teachings of which school will the pupils be the best prepared 
for this cohabitation with the negro ? 

The burning of the Hall of Freedom was, no doubt, a very 
great outrage, well meriting severe condemnation. Yet we cannot 
but notice, that Dr. Channing has nowhere, in all his works, said 
one word about the burning of the Convent on Mount Benedict, 
by his own townsmen, the good people of Boston. 

We care not with what severity he punishes such outrages. But 
it is the influence of his lesson in palliating the familiarity, and 
mitigating the evil consequences of a coalition of the white man 
with the negro, that we present to view. It is with grief that we 
find him infusing into his disciples this nauseating, disgusting, 
moral poison ; preparing their minds to feel little or no shame in a 
cohabitation with the negro, so degrading to the white man, and so 
diso-raceful in all Slave States. Yea further, what are we to think 
of the judgment, of the taste, — may we not add, habits, of a 
man who could unblushingly publish to the world his partiality to 
the negro of Jamaica, after his visit there, as follows : 

"I saw too, on the plantation where I resided, a gracefulness 
and dignity of form and motion, rare in my own native New Eng- 
land." Vol. vi. p. 51. 

Again, page 52. "The African countenance seldom shows that 
coarse, brutal sensuality which is so common in the face of the 
white man." 

May we be pardoned for feeling a strong desire, — rather, a cu- 
riosity, — to be made acquainted with the faces of the white men 
with whom he was the most familiar ! 



In vol, ii. page 82, Dr. Channing says — 

" I cannot leave the subject of the evils of slavery, without say- 
ing a word of its political influence." 

He considers that " slave labour is less productive than free." 
This is doubtless true ; and if so, it proves that the master of the 
slave does not require of him so much labour as is required of a 
hired labourer. Are the friends of abolition angry, because, in 
their sympathy for the slave, they have found something to be 
pleased with ? 

He considers. that "by degrading the labouring population to a 
state which takes from them motives to toil, and renders them ob- 
jects of suspicion or dread," impairs "the ability of a community 
to unfold its resources in peace, and to defend itself in war." 

This proposition includes the idea that the Slave States have de- 
graded a portion of their citizens to a state of slavery. This is 
not true. Our ancestors, contrary to their will, were forced to re- 
ceive a degraded race among them, not as citizens, but slaves ; — 
and does it follow now, that we must again be forced to make this 
degraded race our political equals ? Even the British Government, 
with all its claim to sovereign rule, never dreamed of imposing on 
us a demand so destructive to our political rights ; so blighting io 
social happiness ; so annihilating to our freedom as men ; so extin- 
guishing to our very race. Do the friends of abolition deem us so 
stupid as not to see, if, even when the negro is in slavery, cases of 
amalgamation happen, that, when he shall be elevated to political 
freedom, the country would, by their aid, be overspread by it? Do 
they think that we do not see that such a state of things is de- 
generacy, degradation, ruin, worse than death to the white men ': 
And will they chide, if, in its prevention, we drench our fields iu 
our own blood in preference ? The British Government urged the 
race here as an article of property, of commerce and profit, as 
they did their tea. They stipulated, they guaranteed them to be 
daves, they and their posterity for ever — not citizens I On such 
terms alone could they have been received. The South then, as 
now, to a man would have met death on the battle-field, sooner 
than have suffered their presence on other conditions. 


The British governmental councils, our colonial assemblies, our 
prjiniitive inquiring conventions never viewed them in any other 
light. It was not on their account we sought for freedom. It was 
not in their behalf we fought for liberty. It was not for them our 
blood ran like water. It was not to establish for them political 
rights we broke the British yoke, or founded here this great go- 
vernment. Qiir national synods recognised them only as property ; 
our constitutional charter, only as slaves ; our congressional sta- 
tutes, only as the subjects of their masters. 

There is falsity in the very language that frames the proposition 
which inculcates that these slaves are a portion of population that 
ever can be justly entitled to equal political rights, or that they 
are, or ever were, degraded by the community among whom they 
are now found. 

So degraded, both mentally and physically, is the African in 
his own native wilds, that, however humiliating to a freeman 
slavery may seem, to him it is an elevated school ; and however 
dull and stupid may be his scholarship, yet a few generations dis- 
tinctly mark some little improvement. We cannot doubt, some few 
individuals of this «race have been so far elevated in their consti- 
tutional propensities that they might be well expected to make 
provident citizens ; and the fact is, such generally become free, 
without the aid of fanaticism. But what is the value of a general 
assertion predicated alone upon a few exceptions ? Some few of 
our own race give ample proof that they are not fit to take care 
of themselves : shall we, therefore, subject our whole race to 
pupilage ? 

That such a population, such a race of men, is as conducive 
to national grandeur, either as to resources or defence, as the same 
number of intellectual, high-minded yeomanry of our own race 
might be well expected to be, perhaps few contend ; and we pray 
you not to force us to try the experiment. But if such weakness 
attend the position in which we feel God has placed us, why dis- 
tress us by its distortion ? Why torment our wound with your 
inexperienced, and therefore unskilful hand ? Why strive ye to 
enrage our passions, by constantly twitting us with what is not our 
fault ? Do you indeed wish to destroy, because you have no power 
to amend ? Why, then, your inexperience as to facts, aided by mis- 
representation and sophistry in the digestion of language and sen- 
timent, — and we exceedingly regret that we can correctly say, 
open falsehood, — as found on pages 86, 87 ? — 


" Slavery is a strange element to mix up witli free institutions. 
It cannot but endanger them. It is a pattern for every kind of 
■wrong. The slave brings insecurity on the free. Whoever holds 
one human being in bondage, invites others to plant the foot on 
liis own neck. Thanks to God, not one human being can be 
wronged with impunity. The liberties of a people ought to trem- 
ble, until every man is free. Tremble they will. Their true founda- 
tion is sapped by the legalized degradation of a single innocent 
man to slavery. That foundation is impartial justice, is respect 
for human nature, is respect for the rights of every human being. 
I have endeavoured in these remarks to show the hostility between 
slavery and 'free institutions.' If, however, I err; if these in- 
stitutions cannot stand without slavery for their foundation, then I 
say, let them f;ill. Then they ought to be buried in perpetual 
ruins. Then the name of republicanism ought to become a by-word 
and reproach among the nations. Then monarchy, limited as it is 
in England, is incomparably better and happier than our more 
popular forms. Then, despotism, as it exists in Prussia, where 
equal laws are in the main administered with impartiality, ought 
to be preferred. A republican government, bought by the sacrifice 
of half, or more than half of a people, stripping them of their 
most sacred rights, by degrading them to a brutal condition, would 
cost too much. A freedom so tainted with wrong ought to be our 

Let not the looseness of the doctor's regard for the Union sur- 
prise. With him a dissolution of the Union had become a fixed 
idea. On pages 237 and 238, he says — 

" To me it seems not only the right, but the duty of the Free 
States, in case of the annexation of Texas, to say to the Slave- 
holding States, 'We regard this act as the dissolution of the Union.' 

* * * A pacific division in the first instance seems to me to 
threaten less contention than a lingering, feverish dissolution of 
the Union, such as must be expected under this fatal innovation. 
For one, then, I say, that, earnestly as I deprecate the separation 
of these States, and though this event would disappoint most 
cherished hopes for my country, still I could submit to it more 
readily than to the reception of Texas into the confederacy." "I 
do not desire to share the responsibility or to live under the laws 
of a government adopting such a policy." * '^ * "If the 
South is bent on incorporating Texas with itself, as a new prop to 
slavery, it would do well to insist on a division of the States. It 


would, in so doing, consult best its own safety. It should studi- 
ously keep itself from communion with the free part of the country. 
It should suffer no railroad from that section to cross its borders. It 
should block up intercourse with us by sea and land." Vol. ii. p. 239. 

We do not quote these passages for the sake of refuting them. 
" In EurojJe, tJie doctrine ivould he thought too ahswd for refuta- 
tion." " What must Europe have thought when" these sentiment >< 
^' crossed the ocean." * * * '•^ WTiat must Europe have said, 
when brought to understand that, in a reimblic founded on the 
principles of human rights and equality," — and this writer acknow- 
ledges the doctrine that " the constitution was a compromise 
among independent States, and it is well known that geographical 
relations and the local interest were among the essential conditions 
on which the compromise Avas made ;" and concerning which, he 
adds, " Was not the constitution founded on conditions or con- 
siderations which are even more authoritative than its particular 
provisions?" (see vol. ii. p. 287,) — " What must Europe have said," 
when informed that these sentiments were expressed against the 
right of the South to hold slaves ? Slaves, whom she, herself, in 
our childhood, had sold us ? Why, she must have thought that we 
were on the eve of a civil war, and that Dr. Channing was about 
to take command of an army of abolitionists to compel the South 
to submit to his terms! ^^ Europe might well operi its eyes in 
•wonder" at such extravagance. 

"Such," says our author, are "the chief evils of slavery;" and 
we are willing to leave it to "Europe" to decide whether he has 
not furnished us with declamation instead of argument. 

Under the head, "Evils of Slavery," he examines those con- 
siderations that have been urged in its favour, or in mitigation, 
which we deem unnecessary to notice further than to note a few 
passages in which there is between us some unity of sentiment. 

Page 89. "Freedom undoubtedly has. its perils. It offers no- 
thing to the slothful and dissolute. Among a people left to seek 
their own good in their own way, some of all classes fail from 
vice, some from incapacity, some from misfortune." 

Page 92. " Were we to visit a slave-country, undoubtedly the 
most miserable human beings would be found among the free ; for 
among them the passions have a wider sweep, and the power they 
possess may be used to their own ruin. Liberty is not a necessity 
of happiness. It is only a means of good. It is a trust that may 
be abused." 


Page Oo. " Of all races of men, the African is the mildest 
and most susceptible of attachment. He loves where the Euro- 
pean would hate. lie watches the life of a master, whom the 
North American Indian, in like circumstances, would stab to the 

The African may exhibit mildness and attachment in slavery 
when others would exhibit a reverse feeling ; but it is not true 
that he exhibits these qualities as a fixed moral principle, resulting 
from intellectual conclusion. 

Page 95. "No institution, be it what it may, can make the life 
of a human being wholly evil, or cut off every means of improve- 
ment." Ideyn. "The African \i so afi'ectionate, imitative, and do- 
cile, that, in favourable circumstances, he catches much that is good ; 
and accordingly the influence of a wise and kind master will be 
seen in the very countenance and bearing of his slaves." Or, 
rather, we find traces of these qualities developed among their de- 
scendants. But the truth is far below this description. 

We had expected to have received light and pleasure from the 
examination of Dr. Channing's view of slavery in a political atti- 
tude. We confess we are disappointed. His political view of it 
is, at least, jejune. To us, it suggests the superior adaptation of 
his genius and education to the rhapsody of a prayer-meeting than 
to the labours of a legislative hall. We doubt much whether he 
had ever arrived to any very clear and general view of the organ- 
ization of society. Finding, under this head, very little in his 
volumes that a politician can descend to encounter, we shall close 
our present Lesson with a very few remarks. 

Capital and labour can exist in but two relations ; congenerous 
or antagonistic. They are never congenerous only when it is true 
that labour constitutes capital, which can only happen through 
slavei'y. The deduction is then clear, that capital for ever governs 
labour ; and the deduction is also as clear, that, out of slavery, 
capital and labour must be for ever antagonistic. But, again, 
capital governs labour, because, while capital noiv exists, labour can 
possess it only by its own consumption. But when the two are 
congenerous, labour, as a tool, is not urged to its injury, because 
the tool itself is capital ; but when antagonistic, the tool is urged 
to its utmost power, because its injury, its ruin touches not the 
capital. Hence, we often hear slave-labour is the less productive. 
The propos'^'ion is not aflFected by facts attending him who is said 


to he free, hi\t who only labours for his individual support ; because 
H-hile he adds nothing to the general stock of capital, he yet falls 
within the catalogue of being a slave to himself: " The Lord sent 

him forth ^0 till the ground," (ib^? la evod, to slave the ground;) 
to do slave-labour for his own support; to slave himself for his own 

Such is the first degree of slavery to which sin has subjected all 
mankind. Therefore, in such case, labour is capital. But the 
very moment a lower degradation forces him to sell his labour, 
capital is the only purchaser, and they at once become antagonistic. 
On the one hand, labour is seeking for all ; on the other, capital is 
seeking for all. But the capital governs, and always obtains the 
mastery, and reduces labour down to the smallest pittance. Thus 
antagonistic are capital and labour, that the former is for ever 
trying to lessen the value of the other by art, by machinery ; thus 
converting the tool of labour into capital itself. The political dif- 
ference between the influence of these two relations, capital and 
labour, is very great. We feel surprised that the sympathies of 
the abolitionists are not changed, from the miseries where capital 
and labour are decidedly congenerous, to a consideration of that 
morass of misery into which the worn-out, broken tools of labour 
are thrown, with cruel heartlessness, where capital and labour are 

Under the one system, beggars and distress from want are un- 
known, because such things cannot exist under such an organiza- 
tion of society. But, under the other, pauperism becomes a lead- 
ing element. The history of that class of community, in all free 
countries, is a monument and record of free labour. 

We ask the politician to consider these facts, while he searches 
the history of man for light in the inquiry of what is the most 
tranquil, and, in all its parts, the most happy organization of society. 
• Under the head of " The Political Influence of Slavery," Dr. 
Ghanning has taken occasion to inform us of his feelings as to the 
stability of this Union ; that he prefers its dissolution to the per- 
petuation of slavery; and that he proposes a "pacific division." 
And what is his "pacific division?" Why, he says, (if we must 
repeat it,) " the South must studiously Jceej) itself from conmiunion 
■with the Free States ; to suffer no railroad from the Free States 
to cross its border ; and to block tip all intercourse by sea and 
land!'' Why, it is "death in the pot !" 

most unhappy man ! the most unfortunate of all, to have 


left such a record of intellectual weakness and folly behind ! But 
we will forbear. 

We think Dr. Channing's declarations and proposals wholly un- 
called for. We regret the existence of such feelings at the North. 
We say feelings, because we are bold to say, such sentiments are 
alone the oH'spring of the most ignorant, wicked, and black- 
hearted feelings of the human soul. Their very existence shows a 
preparedness to commit treason, perjury, and the murders of civil 
war ! The disciples of Dr. Channing, on the subject of abolitionism, 
may be too stupid to perceive it ; for " Evil men understand not 
judgment." Prov. xxviii. 5. 

AVe regret this feeling at the North the more deeply on the 
account of the extraordinary generant quality of sin. For it pro- 
pagates, not only its peculiar kind, but every monster, in ever}" 
shape, by the mere echo of its voice ! Will they remember, " He 
that diggeth a pit shall fall into it ; and whoso breaketh a hedge, 
a serpent shall bite him." Or, that, "It is an honour to cease 
from strife: but every fool will be meddling." Prov. But since 
such feelings do exist, we feel thankful to God that the sin of the 
initiative in the dissolution of this Union is not with the Slave 
States. AVe know there are many good men in the North. Much 
depends on what they may do. We believe the union of these 
States need not — will not be disrupted. 

But if the laws of Congress can neither be executed nor con- 
tinued, nor oaths to be true to the constitution longer bind these 
maniacs, the issue will finally be loft in the hand of the God of 
battles ! It becomes the South to act wisely, to be calm, and to 
hope as long as there can be hope. And to the North, let them 
say now, before it be too late, "We pray you to forbear. We en- 
treat you to be true to your oaths, and not force us, in hostile 
array, to bathe our hands in blood." 

But, if the term of our great national destiny is to be closed, 
and war, the most cruel of all Avars, is to spread far beyond the 
reach of human foresight, — the South, like Abraham in olden time, 
will "arm their trained servants," and go out to the war, SHOUT- 



As a fifth proposition, Dr. Channing says — " I shall consider 
the argument tvhich the Scriptures are thought to furnish in favour 
of slavery.'' 

In the course of these studies, we have often had occasion to 
refer to the Scripture in our support. We have shown that even the 
Decalogue gave rules in regulation of the treatment of slaves; that 
commands from the mouth of God himself were delivered to Abra- 
ham concerning his slaves ; that the Almighty from Sinai delivered 
to Moses laws, directing him whom they might have as slaves, — 
slaves forever, and to be inherited by their children after them ; 
rules directing the government and treatment of slaves, who had 
become such under different circumstances. We have adverted to 
the spirit of prophecy on the subject of the providence of God 
touching the matter, to the illustrations of our Saviour, and the 
lessons of the apostles. Others have done the same before us. 
But Dr. Channing says, page 99 — " In this age of the world, and 
amid the light which has been thrown on the true interpretation 
of the Scriptures, such reasoning hardly deserves notice." 

Had Tom Paine been an abolitionist, he could scarcely have said 
more ! He continues — "A few words only will be offered in reply. 
This reasoning proves too much. If usages sanctioned in the Old 
Testament, and not forbidden in the New, are right, then our moral 
code will undergo a sad deterioration. Polygamy was allowed to 
the Israelites, was the practice of the holiest men, and was com- 
mon and licensed in the age of the apostles. * * * Why may 
not Scripture be used to stock our houses with wives as well as 

We know not what new light has come to this age of the Avorld, 
enabling it to interpret the Scriptures more accurately than is af- 
forded by the language of the Scriptures themselves. Whatever 
it may be, we shall not deprive Dr. Channing nor his disciples of 
its entire benefit, by the appropriation of its use to ourselves ; and 
therefore we shall proceed to examine his position, by interpreting 
the Scriptures in the old-fashioned way — understanding them to 
mean what they say. 


The first instance the idea is brought to view which we express 
by the term ivife, is found in Gren. ii. 20 : " There was not found 

a AeZpwee^ for him." The original is II^.^D "!?J7 ^s]»D"^j7 not 
found, discovered, help, aid, or assistance, flowing, ijroceeding, at, to, 
or for him. Let it be noticed that the idea is in the singular. The 
word ishsha, used to mean 07ie woman, or wife, is so distinctly 
singular, that it sometimes demands to be translated by the word 
07ie, as we shall hereafter find. 

Same chapter, verse 22: "Made he a ivoman," H^J^, ishsha, 
tvoman, wife. 

Ver. 23 : " Shall be called ivoman,'" nb'N ishsha, woman, wife. 

Ver. 24 : " Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, 

and cleave unto his wife," iHp*}^ ishto, his loife, his ivoman, "and 
they shall be one flesh." 

Ver. 25: " The man and his wife," lr)u*{>J ishto, ivife, woman. 

These terms are all in the singular number. We propose for con- 
sideration, how far these passages are to be understood as a law 
and rule of action among men. 

G-en. vii. 7: "And Noah went in, and his sons, and his wife, 
and his sons' wives with him, into the ark." 

Ver. 9 : " There went in two and two unto Noah into the ark, 
the male and female, as God had commanded Noah." 

We propose also for consideration, how far these passages are an 
indication of the law of God, and his providence, as bearing on 

Exod. XX. 17 (18th ver. of the Hebrew text): "Thou shalt not 
covet thy neighbour's loife,'' HL^'K csheth, in the construct state, 
showing that she was appropriated to the neighbour in the singular 
number. If the passage had read, Thou shalt not covet thy 
neighbour's loives, or any of them, the interpretation must have 
been quite diiferent. 

So also Deut. v. 21 : " Neither shalt thou desire thy neighbour's 
wife,''' nt^'N esheth. 

The twenty-second chapter of Deuteronomy relates the law 
concerning a portion of the relations incident to a married state ; 
but we find the idea always advanced in the singular number. 
There was no direction concerning his wives. Had the decalogue 
announced, " Thou shalt have but one wife," the language of these 
explanations and directions, to bo in unison therewith, need not 
have been changed. 


The subject is continued through the first five verses of the 
twenty-fourth chapter, but we find the idea ivife still expressed in 
the same careful language, conveying the idea, as appropriated to 
one man, in the person of one female only. The term " new wife," 
here used, does not imply that she is an addition to others in like 
condition, but that her condition of being a wife is neiv, as is 
most clearly show^n by the word nC'lll hadasha, from which it is 
translated. The sentiment or condition explained in this passage 
is illustrated by our Saviour in Luke xiv. 20 : "I have married a 
wife, and therefore I cannot come," — that is, until the expiration 
of the year, — having reference to this very passage in Deutero- 
nomy for authority. But this passage is made very plain by a 
direct command of God : see Deut. xx. 7 : "And what man is there 
that hath betrothed a wife, and hath not taken her ? Let him go 
and return unto his house, lest he die in the battle, and another 
man take her." 

But the institution of marriage was established, before the fall 
of man, by the appropriation of one w'oman to one man. Now, 
that this fact, this example, stands as a command, is clear from 
the words of Jesus Christ, in 3fatt. xix. 4, 5 : " And he answered 
and said, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the begin- 
ning, made them male and female, and said, For this cause shall 
a man leave father and mother and shall cleave unto his wife ; 
and they twain shall be one flesh ? Wherefore, they are no more 
twain, but one flesh." 

We trust, "at this age of the world," there is a sufficiency of 
light, among even the most unlearned of us, whereby we shall be 
enabled to interpret these scriptures, not to license polygamy, but 
to discountenance and forbid it, by showing that they teach a con- 
trary doctrine. But, perhaps, the explanation is more decided in 
Mark x. 8-11 : "And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they 
are no more tw^ain, but one flesh." "And he saith unto them, 
whoever shall put away his Avife, and marry another, committeth 
adultery against her." 

Surely, if a man commit adultery by marrying the second when 
he has turned oS" the previous, it may be a stronger case of 
adultery to marry a second wife 'without turning off the first one ' 

We think St. Paul interprets the Scriptures in the old-fashioned 
way, Epli. V. 31 : " For this cause shall a man leave his father and 
mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be 
one jlesh." 


See 1 Cor. vi. 16-18 : " What ! know ye not that he which is 
joined to a harlot is one body ? For two, saith he, shall be on*;, 
flesh. Flee fornication." And further, the deductions that St. 
Paul made from these teachings are plainly drawn out in his les- 
sons to Timothy : " If a man desire the office of bishop, he de- 
sireth a good work. A bishop then must be blameless, the husband 
of one wife." "Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife." 
1 Tim. iii. 1, 2, 12. 

" These things command and teach. Let no man despise thy 
youth ; but be thou an example of the believers in word, in con- 
versation, in charity, in faith, in purity." 1 Tim. iv. 11, 12, 

And we now beg to inquire whether this lesson to Timothy is 
not founded upon the law as delivered to Moses ? "And the Lord 
said unto Moses, Speak unto the priests the sons of Aaron, and say 
unto them :" * * * " They shall be holy unto their God, and 
not profane the name of their God." * * * " They shall not 
take a wife that is a whore, or profane ; neither shall they take a 
woman put away from her husband." * * * "And he that is the 
high priest among his brethren * * * shall take a wife in 
her virginity." "A widow, or a divorced woman, or profane, or 
a harlot, these he shall not take ; but he shall take a virgin of his 
own people to wife." "Neither shall he profane his seed among 
his people : for I the Lord do sanctify him." Lev. xxi. 1, 6, 7, 10, 
13, 14, 15. 

We doubt not it will be conceded that the teachings of the 
Bible are, that polygamy includes the crime of adultery and forni- 
cation, both of which have a tendency towards a general promis- 
cuous intercourse. In addition to the express commands as to the 
views thus involved, to our mind there are specifications on the 
subject equally decisive. " If any man take a wife * * * 
and give occasion of speech against her, * * * then shall the 
father of the damsel and her mother take and bring forth the 
tokens • * * * and the damsel's father shall say, * * * 
and, lo, he hath given occasion of speech against her. ^' * "*'- 
And the elders of the city shall take that man and chastise him ; 
and they shall amerce him in a hundred shekels of silver, * * * 
and she shall be his wife ; he may not put her away all his days." 
"But if this thing is true, and the tokens of her virginity be 
not found for the damsel ; then they shall bring out the damsel to 
the door of her father's house, and the men of the city shall stone 

her with stones that she die." * * * " If a man be found lying 



with a woman married to a husband, then they shall both of them 
die." * * * " If a damsel ^Aa^ es a virgin be betrothed unto 
a husband, and a man find her in the city and lie with her ; then ye 
shall bring them both out unto the gate of that city, and ye shall 
stone them with stones that they die." * * * "But if a man 
find a betrothed damsel in the field, and the man force her and lie 
with her; then the man only that lay with her shall die." * * * 
" If a man find a damsel that is a virgin, which is not betrothed, 
and lay hold on her, and lie with her, and they be found, then the 
man that lay with her shall give unto the damsel's father fifty 
shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife : * * * he may not 
put her away all his days." Deut. xxii. 13-25, 28, 29. 

" A bastard shall not enter into the congregation of the Lord ; 
even unto his tenth generation." Idem, xxiii. 2. 

" These are the statutes which the Lord commanded Moses be- 
tween a man and his wife, between the father and his daughter, 
heing yet in her youth in her father's house." Num. xxx. 16. 

" When thou art come into the land which the Lord thy God 
giveth thee, * * * and shalt say, I will set a king over me," &c. 
* * * " But he shall not," &c. ^= * * " Neither shall he 
multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away." Deut. 
xvii. 14-17. 

The inferences to be drawn from a review of these statutes, in 
opposition to polygamy, we deem of easy deduction. We leave 
them for the consideration of those who shall examine the subject. 

We deem it extraordinary that, "at this age of the world," we 
vshould find men who seem to think that because Moses had a 
statute which, under certain circumstances, authorized husbands to 
divorce their wives, that thereby he permitted polygamy. 

" When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come 
to pass that she find no favour in his eyes, because he hath found 
some uncleanness in her," (it is the same word elsewhere trans- 
lated nakedness,) " then let him write her a bill of divorcement, 
and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house. And when 
she is departed out of his house, she may go and be another man's 
wife. And if the latter husband hate her, and write her a bill of 
divorcement, and giveth it in her hand, and sendeth her out of his 
house; or if the latter husband die, which took her to be his wife; 
her former husband which sent her aAvay may not take her again 
to be his wife, after that she is defiled ; for this is abomination be- 
fore the Lord." Deut. xxiv. 1-4. 


Is there any tiling here that favours polygamy ? Such Tvas the 
law. But in the original, there is a term used which became the 
subject of discussion among the Jews, perhaps shortly after its pro- 
mulgation. This term, in our translation "uncleanness," some 
understand to mean such moral or physical defects as rendered her 
marriage highly improper or a nullity; others understand it to 
mean, or rather to extend to and embrace, all dislike on the part 
•of the husband whereby he became desirous to be separated from 

This interpretation seemed most conducive to the power of the 
husband, and, therefore, probably had the most advocates ; and it is 
said that the Jewish rulers so suffered it to be understood, and that 
even Moses, as a man, suffered it ; noticing that where the wife 
became greatly hated by the husband, she was extremely liable to 
abuse, unless this law was so explained as to permit a divorce. 
The Jews kept up the dispute about this matter down to the days 
of our Saviour ; when the Pharisees, with the view to place before 
him a difficult question, and one that might entangle him, if an- 
swered adverse to the popular idea, presented it to him, as related 
in Matt. xix. He promptly decides the question, Avhereupon they 
say — 

" Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorce- 
ment, and to put her away ? He saith unto them, Moses, because 
of the hardness of your hearts, suffered you to put away your 
wives : but from the beginning it was not so. And I say unto you, 
Whoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and 
shall marry another, committeth adultery ; and whoever marrieth 
her that is put away, doth commit adultery." Matt. xix. 7, 8, 9. 

Mark describes this interview thus : " And the Pharisees came 
to him, and asked him, saying, Is it lawful for a man to put away 
his wife, tempting him ? And he answered and said unto them, 
What did Moses command you? And they said, Moses suffered 
to write a bill of divorcement, and to put her away. Jesus an- 
swered and said unto them, For the hardness of your heart he 
wrote you this precept : but from the beginning of the creation, 
God made them male and female." Mark x. 2-G. 

But do these answers, either way, favour polygamy ? Is it not 
clear that the law was in opposition to it ? 

It is true, the Jews, corrupted by the neighbouring nations who 
fell into it, practised the habit to a great extent: and so they did 


idolatry and many other sins. But Avas idolatry alhioed to the 
Israelites I* 

What truth can there be in the assertion that they were alloived 
a thing, in the practice of which they had to trample their laws 
under foot ? And, under the statement of the facts, what truth 
is there in the assei'tion that "polygamy was licensed in the age 
of the apostles ?" 

If such was " the practice of the holiest men," it proves nothing- 
except that the holiest men were in the practice of breaking the law. 

It is true that a looseness of adjudication on the subject of 
divorce grew up, perhaps even from the time of Moses, among the 
Jews, on account of the dispute about the interpretation of the 
law. But upon the supposition that the law was correctly in- 
terpreted by those who advocated the greatest laxity, which Jesus 
Christ sufficiently condemned, yet there is found nothing favouring 
polygamy in it ; for even the loosest interpretation supposed a 
divorce necessary. The dispute was not about polygamy ; but 
about what predicates rendered a divorce legal. 

In the books of the Old Testament we find the accounts of many 
crimes that were committed in those olden days ; but can any one 
be so stupid as to suppose the law permitted those crimes, because 
the history of them has reached us through these books ? 

If the polygamy of Jacob, rehearsed in these books, teaches the 
doctrine that these books permitted polygamy, — then, because these 
books relate the history of the murder of Abel, it must be said 
that these books permit murder ? And because, in these books, 
we have the account of the disobedience of Adam and Eve, that 
therefore disobedience to the command of God is legalized also ! 

Before we can say that polygamy is countenanced by. the Old 
Testament as well as slavery, we must find some special law to that 
effect. And some of the advocates of abolition, striving to make a 
parallel between slavery and polygamy, pretend they have done so 
in Lev. xviii. 18 : "Neither shalt thou take a wife to her sister to 
vex her, to uncover her nakedness, besides the other in her life- 

These advocates interpret this law to permit a man to marry two 
wives or more, so that no two of them are sisters ; and because few 
take the trouble to contradict them, they seem to think their inter- 
pretation to be true, and urge it as such. 

It was clear the law perijiitted no additional wife, so as to allow 
two or more wives, unless, by the example of Jacob, the law was 


ameliorated. His example was the taking of sisters ; and if the 
original be correctly translated, his example is condemned by the 
law cited. We surely fail to see how forbidding polygamy as to 
sisters, permits it as to others. Louisiana by laAv forbids any free 
white person being joined in marriage to a person of colour. If 
that State, in addition, forbids free white persons being married to 
slaves, does it repeal the law as to persons of colour ? 

But to the Hebrew scholar we propose a small error in the 
translation of this passage. The preceding twelve verses treat on 
the subject of whom it is forbidden to marry on the account of 
consanguinity, the last of which names the grand-daughter of a 
previous wife, declaring such act to be wicked, and closes the list 
of objections on account of consanguinity, unless such list be ex- 
tended by the passage under review ; for the succeeding sentence 
is a prohibition of all females who may be unclean ; consanguinity 
is no more mentioned ; yet these prohibitions continue to the 23d 
verse ; and it is to be noticed that each prohibition succeeding the 
wife's grand-daughter commences with a T [vav with sJieva), whereas 
not one on the ground of consanguinity is thus introduced ; illus- 
trating the fact that each prohibition, succeeding the wife's grand- 
<laughter, is founded upon new and distinct causes. 

The widow of a deceased husband who had left no issue was per- 
mitted to marry his brother ; it was even made a duty. There- 
fore, by parity of reason, there could be no objection, on the 
account of consanguinity, for the husband of a deceased wife to 
marry her sister. 

It is clear then that the person whom this clause of the law for- 
bids to marry, is some person other than a deceased wife's sister. 

We propose for consideration, as nearly literal as may be, to ex- 
press the idea conveyed — Thou shalt not take one ivife to another, 
to he enemies, or to he exiles, the shame of thy hed-chamher through 

The doctrine it inculcates is, if a man has two wives, he must 
either live in the midst of their rivalry and enmity, or exile one or 
both ; either of which is disgrace. The reading may be varied ; 
but let the Hebrew scholar compare the first three words of the 
original with Uxod. xxvi. 3, where they twice occur, and also with 
the 6th and 17th verses of the same chapter, in each of which they 
are also found. Let him notice that, in the passage before us, in 
the word translated sister, the vav, under holem, is omitted; 
whereas such is not the case in the preceding instances, where the 


word is correctly translated to express a term of consanguinity; 
and we think he will abandon the idea that nnhX ahotha, in the 
passage before us, means sister ; and if not, the sentence stands a 
clear, indisputable, and general condemnation of polygamy. 

Can Dr. Channing's disciples point out to us a law allowing poly- 
gamy in as direct terms as the following would have done, substi- 
tuting the word wives for slaves ? 

" Thy wives which thou shalt have, shall be of the heathen that 
are round about you : of them shall ye buy wives.'' "Moreover, 
of the children of the strangers that sojourn among you, of them 
shall ye buy wives" — " and of their families that are with you, which 
they beget in your land, and they shall be your ivives.'" "And 
ye shall take them as wives for your children after you, and they 
shall have them for wives'' — "they shall be your wives for ever." 
Compare Lev. xxv. 44, 46. 

Until they can do so, until they shall do so, we shall urge their 
not doing it as one reason why the Scripture " cannot be used to 
stock our houses with tvives as well as with slaves." 


Dr. Channing says, page 101, vol. ii. — 

" Slavery, at the age of the apostle, had so penetrated society, 
was so intimately interwoven with it, and the materials of servile war 
were so abundant, that a religion, preaching freedom to the slave, 
would have shaken the social fabric to its foundation, and would 
have armed against itself the whole power of the state. Paul did 
not then assail the institution. He satisfied himself with spreading 
principles which, however slowly, could not but work its destruc- 
tion. * * :H ^^^(j }jQ^^ jjj Yiis circumstances, he could have 
done more for the subversion of slavery, I do not see." 

May we request the disciples of Dr. Channing to I'ead the chap- 
ter on " Slavery," in Paley's Moral and Political Philosophy, and 
decide whether the above is borrowed in substance therefrom. And 
we beg further to inquire, whether it does not place Paul, consi- 
dering "his circumstances," in an odious position ? What, Paul 
satisfying himself to not do his duty ! What, Paul shrink from 
assailing an institution because deeply rooted in power and sin ! 


What, Paul, the apostle of God, fearing, hesitating, failing to de- 
nounce a great sin, because it was penetrating through and inti- 
mately interwoven with society ! 

Why did he not manifest the same consideration in behalf of 
other great sins ? Would it not be an easier and more rational 
way to account for his not assailing slavery, by supposing him to 
have known that it was the providence of God, in mercy, present- 
ing some protection to those too degraded and low to protect them- 
selves ? If such supposition describes the true character of the 
institution of slavery, then the conduct of Paul in regard to it 
would have been just what it was. Paul lived all his life in the 
midst of slavery ; as a man among men, he had a much better 
opportunity to know what was truth in the case than Dr. Channing. 
But as an apostle, Paul was taught of God. Will the disciples of 
Dr. Channing transfer these considerations from St. Paifl to the 
Almighty, and say that he was afraid to announce his truth, his 
law, then to the world, lest it should stir up a little war in the Ro- 
man Empire? In what position does Dr. Channing place Him, 
who came to reveal truth, holding death and judgment in his hand! 

" Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast 
given me are of thee : For I have given unto them the words Avhich 
thou gavest me; and they have received them." Jolm xvii. 7, 8. 

" I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood 
of all men, for I have not shunned to declare unto you all the 
counsel of God." Acts xx. 26, 27. 

"God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar." 
Rom. iii. 4. 

But we propose to the disciples of Dr. Channing an inquiry : 
If he could not see how St. Paul in his circumstances could have 
done more for the subversion of slavery, why did he not take St. 
Paul for his example, and suffer the matter to rest where St. Paul 
left it ? For he says, vol. iii. page 152 — " It becomes the preacher 
to remember that there is a silent, indirect influence, more sure 
and powerful than direct assaults on false opinions." Or was he 
less careless than St. Paul about stirring up a servile war, and of 
shaking our social fabric to its foundation ? Or did the doctor's 
circumstances place him on higher ground than St. Paul ? Had 
"this age of the world" presented him with new light on the true 
interpretation of the Scriptures ? Had the afflatus of the Holy 
Spirit commissioned him to supersede Paul as an apostle ? Are 
we to expect, through him, a new and improved edition of the 


gospel ? And is this the reason why an argument drawn from the 
Old Edition now "hardly deserves notice?" 

Dr. Channing says, vol. ii. p. 104 — " The very name of the 
Christian religion would have been forgotten amidst the agitations 
of universal bloodshed." Is then the Christian religion a fabri- 
cation of men ? Was Christ himself an impostor ? And could 
Dr. Channing loan himself to such a consideration ? 

" Upon this rock I will build my church : and the gates of hell 
shall not prevail against it." Matt. xvi. 18. 


The sixth position in the treatise under consideration is, "I 
shall offer some remai'ks on the means of removing it." His plan 
is, page 108 — " In the first place, the great principle that man 
cannot rightfully be held as property, should be admitted by the 

Dr. Channing seems to suppose that his previous arguments are 
sufficient to produce the proposed admission. 

Page 109. " It would be cruelty to strike the fetters from a 
man, whose first steps would infallibly lead him to a precipice. 
The slave should not have an owner, but he should have a guar- 

We take this as an admission that the slave is not a fit subject 
for freedom. But he says — 

Page 110. " But there is but one weighty argument against im 
mediate emancipation ; namely, that the slave would not support 
himself and his children by honest industry." 

Dr. Channing's plan in short is, that the names, master and 
slave, shall be exchanged for guardian and ward ; but he awards 
no compensation to the guardian ; — that the negro shall be told he 
is free ; yet he should be compelled to work for his own and his 
family's support ; — that none should be whipped who will toil "from 
rational and honourable motives." 

Page 112. " In case of being injured by his master in this or in 
any respect, he should be either set free, or, if unprepared for 
liberty, should be transmitted to another guardian." 

Dr. Channing proposes "bounties," "rewards," "new privi- 
leges," "increased indulgences," "prizes for good conduct," &c., 


as substitutes for the lasli. He supposes that the slave maj be 
"elevated and his energies called forth bj placing his domestic 
relations on new ground." "This is essential; we wish him to 
labour for his family. Then he must have a family to labour for. 
Then his wife and children must be truly his own. Then his home 
must be inviolate. Then the responsibilities of a husband and 
father must be laid on him. It is argued that he will be fit for 
freedom as soon as the support of his family shall become his habit 
and his happiness." 

Page 114. " To carry this and other means of improvement into 
effect, it is essential that the slave should no longer be bought and 

Page 115. " Legislatures should meet to free the slave. The 
church should rest not, day nor night, till this stain be wiped 

We do not choose to make any remark on his plan of emanci- 
pation; we shall merely quote one passage from page 106 : 

" HoAv slavery shall be removed is a question for the slaveholder, 
and one which he alone can answer fully. He alone has an inti- 
mate knowledge of the character and habits of the slaves." 

In this we fully concur ; and we now ask our readers, what does 
Dr. Channing's confession of this fact suggest to their minds ? 

Dr. Channing's seventh proposition is, " To offer, some remarks 
on abolitionism." The considerations of this chapter are evidently 
addressed to the abolitionists, with which we have no wish to in- 
terfere. There are, however, in it, some fine sentiments expressed 
in his usual eloquent style. 

The eighth and concluding subject is, "A few reflections on the 
duties of the times." These reflections, we are exceedingly sorry 
to find highly inflammatory ; they are addressed alone to the Free 
States. We shall present a few specimens. They need no com- 
ment : there are those to whom pity is more applicable than 

Page 138. " A few words remain to be spoken in relation to the 
duties of the Free States. These need to feel the responsibilities 
and dangers of their present position. The country is approach- 
ing a crisis on the greatest question which can be proposed to it : 
a question, not of profit or loss, of tariffs or banks, or any tempo- 
rary interests ; but a question involving the first principles of free- 
dom, morals, and religion." 

Page 139. " There are, however, other duties of the Free States, 


to which they may prove false, and which they are too willing to 
forget. They are bound, not in their public, but in their individual 
capacities, to use every virtuous influence for the abolition of 

Page 140. " At this moment an immense pressure is driving the 
North from its true ground. God save it from imbecility, from 
treachery to freedom and virtue ! I have certainly no feelings but 
those of good-will towards the South ; but I speak the universal 
sentiments of this part of the country, when I say that the tone 
which the South has often assumed towards the North has been 
that of a superior, a tone unconsciously borrowed from the habit 
of command to which it is unhappily accustomed by the form of 
its society. I must add, that this high bearing of the South has 
not always been met by a just consciousness of equality, a just 
self-respect at the North. * * * Here lies the danger. The 
North will undoubtedly he just to the South. It must also be just 
to itself. This is not the time for sycophancy, for servility, for 
compromise of principle, for forgetfulness of our rights. It is the 
time to manifest the spirit of men, a spirit which prizes, more than 
life, the principles of liberty, of justice, of humanity, of pure 
morals, of pure religion." 

Page 142. " Let us show that we have principles, compared with 
which the wealth of the world is as light as air. * * * ^j^g 
Free States, it is to be feared, must pass through a struggle. May 
they sustain it as becomes their freedom ! The present excitement 
at the South can hardly be expected to pass away without attempts 
to wrest from them unworthy concessions. The tone in regard to 
slavery in that part of the country is changed. It is not only 
more vehement, but more false than formerly : once slavery was 
acknowledged as an evil; now, it is proclaimed to be a good." 

Page 143. " Certainly, no assertion of the wildest abolitionist 
could give such a shock to the slaveholder, as this new doctrine is 
fitted to give to the people of the North. * * * There is a 
great dread in this part of the country that the Union of the States 
may be dissolved by conflict about slavery. * * * '^q one 
prizes the Union more than myself." 

Page 144. " Still, if the Union can be purchased only by the 
imposition of chains on the tongue and the press, by prohibition of 
discussion on the subject involving the most sacred rights and 
dearest interests of humanity, then union would be bought at too 
dear a price." 


In his concluding note, lie says, page 153 — " I feel too much 
about the great subject on which I have written, to be very soli- 
citous about what is said of myself. I feel that I am nothing, that 
my reputation is nothing, in comparison with the fearful wrong and 
evil which I have laboured to expose ; and I should count myself 
unworthy the name of a man or a Christian, if the calumnies of 
the bad, or even the disapprobation of the good, could fasten my 
thoughts on myself, and turn me aside from a cause which, as I 
believe, truth, humanity, and God call me to sustain." 


The abolition writers and speakers are properly divided into two 
classes : those who agitate and advocate the subject as a successful 
means of advancing their own personal and ambitious hopes ; some- 
times with 

" One eye turned to God, condemning moral evil ; 
The other downward, winking at the devil !" 

Thus, one seeks office, another distinction or fame. Small con- 
siderations often stimulate the conduct of such men. 

But we have evidence that another class zealously labour to abo- 
lish slavery from the world, because they think its existence a stain 
on the human character, and that the laws of God make it the duty 
of every man to " cry aloud and spare not," until it shall cease. 

Our author had no secondary views alluring him on to toil ; no 
new purpose ; no new summit to gain. What he thought darkness 
he hated, because he loved the light ; what he thought wicked, to 
his soul was awful and abhorred, because, even in life, he was ever 
peering into the confines of heaven. Ardour was cultivated into 
zeal, and zeal into enthusiasm. 

In its eagerness to accomplish its object in behalf of liberty, the 
mind is often prepared to subvert without reflection — to destroy 
without care. Hence, even the religious may sometimes " record 
that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge." 
" For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about 
to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves 
unto the righteousness of God." Rom. x. 


They are convinced that they alone are right. But, " Can a 
man be profitable unto God, as he that is wise may be profitable 
unto himself? Is it any pleasure to the Almighty, that thou art 
righteous? or is it gain, that thou makest thy ways perfect." 
Job xxii. 2, 3. 

" Knowest thou the ordinances of heaven ? Canst thou set the 
dominion thereof in the earth?" Answer thou, Why "leaveththe 
ostrich her eggs in the earth, and warmeth them in the dust? 
Why forgetteth she that the foot may crush them, or that the wild 
beast may break them ?" 

" Why is she hardened against her young ones, as though they 
were not hers ?" " Why is her labour in vain without fear?" 

" Why feedeth the fish upon its fellow, Avhich forgetteth and de- 
voureth its young ?" 

" Who looketh on the proud and bringeth him low ? and treadeth 
down the wicked in their place ? hiding them in the dust, and 
binding their faces in secret?" 

Who hardeneth the heart of Pharaoh ? and multiplies signs 
and wonders before the children of men? Who is he who "hath 
mercy on whom he will ?" Why was Esau hated or Jacob loved 
before they were born ? 

Wilt thou say, " Why doth he find fault ? for Avho hath resisted 
his will." See Rom.'ix. 19. 

Or wilt thou rather say, "Behold I am vile; Avhat shall I 
answer thee ? I will lay my hand upon my mouth. Once have I 
spoken ; but I will not answer thee : yea, twice ; but I will pro- 
ceed no further." Job xl. 4. 

There are in these volumes several other essays, under different 
titles, on the same subject ; but in most instances, although the 
language is varied, the same arguments exert their power on 
the mind of the writer. Aided by the common sympathy of the 
people among whom he lived, and the conscientious operations of 
his own mind, his judgment on the decision of the question of 
right and wrong became unchangeably fixed ; while the evidence 
forced upon him by the only class of facts in relation to the subject 
which his education and associations in society enabled him to com- 
prehend, became daily more imposing, more exciting in their re- 
view, more lucid in their exposing an image of deformity, the most 
wicked of the ofi"spring of evil. Filled with horror, yet as if 
allured by an evil charm, his mind seems to have had no power to 


banisli from its sight its hoi-rid vision. Nor is it singular that it 
should, to some extent, become the one idea — his leading chain of 
thought. To him, the proofs of his doctrine became a blaze of 
light, so piercingly brilliant that nothing of a contrary bearing was 
worthy of belief or consideration. 

The following extracts will perhaps sufficiently develop the 
state to which his mind had arrived on this subject of his study. 
Vol. vi. p. 38, he says — " My maxim is, Any thing but slavery !" 

Page 50. " The history of West India emancipation teaches 
us that we are holding in bondage one of the best races of the 
human family. The negro is among the mildest and gentlest of 
men. He is singularly susceptible of improvement from abroad. 
His children, it is said, receive more rapidly than ours the elements 
of knowledge." 

Page 51. "A short residence among the negroes in the West 
Indies impressed me with their capacity for improvement ; on all 
sides, I heard of their religious tendencies, the noblest of human 
nature. I saw, too, on the plantation where I resided, a graceful- 
ness and dignity of form and motion rare in my own native New 
Englandj And that is the race which has been selected to be 
trodden down and confounded with the brute." 

If slavery in the West Indies has thus elevated the African 
tribes above the majority of the people of New England, we will 
not ask the question, whether the doctor's disciples propose the ex- 
periment on their countrymen. But there is, nevertheless, abun- 
dant proof that slavery to the white races does necessarily, and 
from philosophical causes, have the most direct tendency to elevate 
the moral, mental, and physicaL ability of the African; in fact, of 
any other race of men sunk equally low in degradation and ruin. 

If the negro slaves of the West Indies exhibit moral, mental, 
and physical merit in advance of most of Dr. Channing's country- 
men, who were never in slavery, we beg to know how it is accounted 
for ; what are the causes that have operated to produce it ? For 
we believe no sane man, who knows any thing of the xifi'ican sa- 
vage in his native state, whether bond or free, will so much as give 
a hint that they are as elevated in any respect as are his country- 
men, the people of New England. Will the fact then be acknow- 
ledged, that slavery, however bad, does yet constitutionally amend 
and elevate the African savage ! 

At the moment the foregoing paragraphs were placed on paper, 


there happened to be present a Northern gentleman, who very 
justly entertained the most elevated regard for the personal cha- 
racter of Dr. Channing, to whom they were read. His views 
seemed to be that the extracts from Channing were garbled,, and 
the deductions consequent thereon unjustly severe. 

We war not with Dr. Channing, nor his character. He no longer 
liveth. But his works live, and new editions crowd upon the public 
attention, as if his disciples were anxious to saturate the whole 
world with his errors, as well as to make known his many virtues. 
We do not design to garble ; and therefore requote the extract 
more fully, from vol. vi. pp. 50, 51 : 

" The history of the West India emancipation teaches us that 
we are holding in bondage one of the best races of the human 
family. The negro is among the mildest, gentlest of men. He is 
singularly susceptible of improvement from abroad. His children, 
it is said, receive more rapidly than ours the elements of know- 
ledge. How far he can originate improvements, time only can 
teach. His nature is affectionate, easily touched ; and hence he 
is more open to religious impression than the white man. The 
European race have manifested more courage, enterprise, inven- 
tion ; but in the dispositions which Christianity particularly 
honours, how inferior are they to the African ! When I cast my 
eyes over our Southern region, the land of bowie-knives, Lynch- 
law, and duels, of 'chivalry, honour,' and revenge; and when I 
consider that Christianity is declared to be a spirit of charity, 
' which seeketh not its own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no 
evil, and endureth all things,' and is declared to be 'the wisdom 
from above, which is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, easy to be 
entreated, full of mercy and good fruits,' — can I hesitate in de- 
ciding to which of the races in that land Christianity is most 
adapted, in which its noblest disciples are most likely to be reared." 

Pp. 52, 53. " Could the withering influence of slavery be with- 
drawn, the Southern character, though less consistent, less based 
on principle, might be more attractive and lofty than that of the 
North. The South is proud of calling itself Anglo-Saxon. Judg- 
ing from character, I should say that this name belongs much more 
to the North, the country of steady, persevering, unconquerable 
energy. Our Southern brethren remind me more of the Normans. 
They seem to have in their veins the burning blood of that pii'ate 

'•' Who is he that hideth counsel without knowledge ? Thereiore 


have I uttered that I understood not ; things too wonderful for 
me, which I knew not." Job xlii. 3. 

Will the disciples of Dr. Channing account for the curious facts 
developed by the census of 1850, as follows ? — 

" A writer in the New York Observer calls attention to some 
curious facts derived from the census of the United States. These 
facts show that there is a remarkable prevalence of idiocy and in- 
sanity among the free blacks over the whites, and especially over 
the slaves. In the State of Maine, every fourteenth coloured per- 
son is an idiot or a lunatic. And though there is a gradual im- 
provement in the condition of the coloured race as we proceed 
West and South, yet it is evident that the Free States are the prin- 
cipal abodes of idiocy and lunacy among them. 

" In Ohio, there are just ten coloured persons, who are idiots or 
lunatics, where there is one in Kentucky. And in Louisiana, where 
a large majority of the population is coloured, and four-fifths of 
them are slaves, there is but one of these unfortunates to 4309 who 
are sane. The proportions in other States, according to the census 
of 1850, are as follow : — In Massachusetts, 1 in 43 ; Connecticut, 
1 in 185 ; New York, 1 in 257 ; Pennsylvania, 1 in 256 ; Mary- 
land, 1 in 1074 ; Virginia, 1 in 1309 ; North Carolina, 1 in 1215 ; 
South Carolina, 1 in 2440 ; Ohio, 1 in 105 ; Kentucky, 1 in 1053. 
This is certainly a curious calculation, and indicates that diseases 
of the brain are far more rare among the slaves than among the 
free of the coloured race." 


Sympathy probably operates more or less in the mind of each 
individual of the human family. Traces of it are discovered even 
in some of the brute creation ; but yet we are far from saying 
that it is merely an animal feeling. But we do say that sympathy 
often gives a direction to our chains of thought ; and that, in some 
minds, such direction is scarcely to be changed by any subsequent 
reflection, or even evidence. Some minds seem incapable of ap- 
preciating any evidence which does not make more open whatever 
way sympathy may lead ; consequently a full histoi-y of its exer- 


cise would prove that it has been frequently expended on mistaken 
facts, imaginary conditions, or fictitious suffering. In such cases, 
it may produce much evil, and real suffering. It therefore may be 
of some importance to the sympathizer and to community, that 
this feeling be under the government of a correct judgment founded 
on truth. 

Among the rude tribes of men, and in ihe early ages of the 
world, its action seems to have taken the place of what, in a higher 
civilization and cultivation of the mind, should be the result of 
moral principle founded on truth. 

But even now, if we look abroad upon the families of men, even 
to the most intellectual, shall we not find the greater number rather 
under the government of the former than the latter ? One infer- 
ence surely is, that man, as yet, has not, by far, arrived at the 
fullest extent of intellectual improvement. 

But suppose we say that God punishes sin ; or, by the laws of 
God, sin brings upon itself punishment ; — we propose the question, 
how far, under our relation to our Creator, is it consistent in us to 
sympathize with such punishment ? It may be answered, we are 
instructed to "remember" to sympathize with those who are under 
persecution for their faith in Christ ; so also, impliedly, with our 
brethren, neighbours, or those who have done us or our ancestors 
favours, or those who have given or can give some proof of good- 
ness, when such have fallen, or shall fall into bondage ; and, perhaps, 
with any one giving proof of such amendment as may merit a 
higher condition. But in all these cases, does not the injunction, 
"remember," look to an action resulting from principle, emanating 
from truth, or the conformity of the person or thing to be "re- 
membered" with the law of God? 

In the holy books, the word nearest to a synonyme of our word 
sympathy^ will be found in Deiit. vii. 16 : " Thou shalt consume 
all the people which the Lord thy God shall deliver thee ; thine 
eye shall have no yity (Dinn thehlios) upon them," (wo sympatliy 

So, xix. 13: "Thine eye shall not pity (Dlliri thaJiJios) him." 
So xiii. 8 (the 9th of the Hebrew text) : " Neither shall thine e^'e 
j)ity him," (Dllin thahJws.) 

This word, when used in relation to punishment, is usually asso- 
ciated with the word implying the "eye," as if the feeling ex- 
pressed thereby partook more of an animal than a moral sensa- 


tion. In G-en. xlv. 20, our translators finding our idea of sympathy 
inapplicable to inanimate objects, expressed it by the word 
'■^regard,'" meaning care^ or concern. Now, since the command 
forbids this gush of feeling (whether merely animal or not) in the 
cases cited, is it not evident that the feeling inculcated as proper 
must be the produce of moral principle, cultivated and sustained 
by a truthful perception of the laws of God ? 

The feeling of sympathy, commiseration, or mercy, is inculcated 
in the latter clause of Lev. xlvi. 26. The circumstances were these : 
— The descendants of Ham occupied the whole of Palestine, and the 
most of the adjoining districts. Those of Palestine had become 
so sunken in idolatry, and the most grievous practices, counteract- 
ing any improvement of their race, that God, in his providence, 
gave them up to be extirpated from the earth, and forbid the 
Israelites to have any " pity," any sympathy for them ; but to 
slay them without hesitation. While those of the adjacent tribes, 
who had, since the days of Noah, been denounced as fit subjects 
of slavery, on the account of their degradation, brought upon them 
by similar causes, were again specified to Moses as those whom 
they were at liberty in peace to purchase, or in war to reduce to 
perpetual bondage. 

But such is the deteriorating effect of sin, even individuals of 
the Israelites themselves were often falling into that condition. 
But God made a distinction between the condition of these heathen, 
and the Israelites that might thus fall into slavery. The slavery 
of the heathen was perpetual, while that of these improvident 
Jews was limited to six years, unless such slave preferred to con- 
tinue in his state of slavery ; his kin at all times having the right 
to redeem him, which right of redemption was also extended to 
the Jewish slave himself. But no such right was ever extended to 
the heathen slave, or him of heathen extraction. Under this state 
of facts, the Jewish master is forbidden to use "rigour" towards 
his Jewish slave : " But over your brethren the children of Israel, 
ye shall not rule over one another with rigour." This evidently 
inculcates a feeling of commiseration for such of their countrymen 
as may have fallen into slavery ; and in conformity with such pre 
cepts, all nations, at all times, who were advanced in civilization, 
seem to have ever felt disposed to extend relief when practical. 
Ilence Abraham extended relief to the family of Lot : hence the 
prophet Obed succeeded to deliver from slavery two hundroil thousand 

of the children of Judah from the hand of the king of Israel, dur- 



ing the days of Ahaz. But in no instance have such acts of mercy 
been manifested by a people sunk as low in degradation as the 
African races. 

For several centuries, Britain supplied slaves for other parts of 
the world ; but, during the time she did so, she took no steps 
for the redemption of any ; and such has invariably been the case 
at all times of the world. All races of men, sunk in the lowest 
depths of degradation, have never failed to be in slavery to one 
another, and to supply other nations with their own countrymen 
for slaves ; and, perhaps, this may be adduced as an evidence of 
their having descended to that degree of degradation that makes 
slavery a mercy to them. Sympathy for them could do them no 
good ; because a relief from slavery could not elevate them, — could 
do them no good, but an injury. Hence such sympathy is for- 

The degradation of the children of Jacob became almost extreme ; 
yet they went not into slavery until it was accompanied by a fact 
of like nature. Who shall say that slavery and the slave-trade in 
Britain was not one of the steps, under Divine providence, whereby 
God brought about the elevated condition of the race of man there ? 
Who will say that the slavery of the Israelites in Egypt was not to 
them a mercy, and did not bring to them an ameliorated, an ele- 
vated condition, necessary to them before the Divine law could ful- 
fd its promise to Abraham ? But this was a mere temporary 
slavery ; whereas the slavery pronounced on the races of Ham 
was through all time, perpetual. During the dark ages of the 
Avorld, the races of men generally became deteriorated to an extra- 
ordinary extent. If our doctrine be true, slavery was a necessary 
consequence, and continued, until by its amendatory influence on 
the enslaved, in accordance with the law of God, they becamp ele- 
vated above the level of its useful operation. 

But, during these periods, the slave in Africa, little sought after 
by other races, became of small value to the African master, and 
Avas the prey, frequently an article of food, even to the slaves them- 
selves, as well as to his own master ; and this state of facts existed 
until the other races of man had mostly emerged from slavery ; 
when the African slave became an article of commerce, and canni- 
balism, in consequence, became almost forgotten. Was this no 
blessing ? Was this not a mercy — an improved condition ? 

But, as if God really intended, contrary to the apparent wishes 
of some men, to fulfil his Avord, and establish their condition of 


never-ending bondage, he has suffered the slave-trade with Africa 
to be abolished among the Christian nations. The great surplus 
of slaves in Africa has rendered them of little value there ; and 
these anthropophagi have again returned to their ancient habits, 
giving proof that their condition of slavery, so far as mortal eye 
can see, is now for ever past hope. The theological philosopher 
did once hope that the only commerce which could bring them 
generally in contact with Christian nations would have a perma- 
nent influence on the character of these people. But God, in his 
providence, has seen proper to order it otherwise. The slave- 
trade that has been carried on between them and Western Asia, 
for more than four thousand years, now the only external influence 
on them as a people, may doubtless extend the standard of Islam, 
and spread some few corruptions of its religious systems. But 
neither the religion nor the trade carries to the home of these 
savages a sufficiency of interest to excite new passions or stimu- 
late into existence new habits or chains of thought. 

" The rod and reproof give wisdom." 

" A scrvcmt {l^^ abed, a slave) will not be corrected by words ; 
for though he understand, he will not answer." Prov. xxix. 15, 19. 

In close, may we inquire what benefit has resulted to the slave in 
the South, — what benefit to poor, bleeding Africa, from the sympathy 
of the world on the subject of their slavery ? What, none ! If 
none — has it done them no evil ? And will ye continue to do 
evil ? In your weakness, will ye think to contend against God? 


The abolitionist will probably consent to the truth of the pro- 
position that God governs the universe. It may be that they 
will also agree that he is abundantly able to do so. But, what- 
ever may be their decision, it is one of the revealed laws of God, 
that — 

" Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any like- 
ness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth 
beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: thou shalt not 
bow thyself to them, nor serve them ; for I, the Lord thy God, am 


a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children 
unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me." 

It is not to be supposed that man can comprehend God as it 
may be said he comprehends things within the compass of his own 
understanding. If so, there would have been no need of revelation. 
Revelation has given us all the knowledge of God necessary to our 
welfare and happiness. We have not yet learned that man has 
become able to go beyond revelation in his knowledge of God. 

But suppose some one should take it into his fancy to say and 
believe that the Sabbath was not a Divine institution, or that 
" Thou shalt not kill," " Thou shalt not commit adultery," "Thou 
shalt not steal," were mere human contrivances, and contrary to 
the will and laws of their God ; now, if the God who has revealed 
these laws to us is the genuine God, would not the god who should 
teach these forbidden acts to be lawful be a different god ? And 
although he would exist only in the imagination of those who be- 
lieved in such a being, yet would it be any the less idolatry to 
worship him than it would be if a block were set up to represent 
him ? Is it any sufficient excuse, because such worshipper acts 
from ignorance, or under the influence of a sincere conscience ? Is 
it to be presumed that those who sacrificed their children, and even 
themselves, to a false god, were not sincere ? Did not Paul act 
with a sincere conscience when he persecuted the Christians ? 

But can we suppose that the real Jehovah would, in a revelation 
to man of his will, his law, recognise a thing as property among 
men, when, at the same time, it was contrary to his will and his 
law that such thing should be property among men ? 

"Neither shalt thou desire thy neighbour's wife ; neither shalt 
thou covet thy neighbour's house, his field, or his man-servant 

(11DJ71 his male slave), or his maid-servant (lilDNT his female 
slave), his ox, or his ass, or any tldng that is thy neighbour's." 
Deut. V. 21, the 18th of the Hebrew text. 

Would it not have been just as easy for God to have said, if 
such was his will, " Thou shalt not have slaves,'' as to have said this, 
as follows ? " And also of the heathen shall ye buy slaves, and 
yO'Ur children shall inherit them after you, and they shall be your 
slaves for ever !" 

But Dr. Channing, speaking of the various exertions now making 
in behalf of the abolition of slavery, gives us to understand that 
the Christian philanthropy and the enlightened goodness, (and, he 


means, sympathy alone,) now pouring forth in prayers and persua- 
sions from the press, the pulpit, from the lips and hearts of devoted 
men, canfiot fail. "This," he says, "must triumph." "It is 
leagued with God's omnipotence." "It is God himself acting in 
the hearts of his children." Vol. ii. p. 12. Does -Dr. Channing 
mean the God who revealed the law to Moses ? If so, has he 
changed his mind since that time ? 

We know that some say that slavery is contrary to their moral 
sense, contrary to their conscience, that under no circumstances 
can it be right. But if God has ordained the institution of slavery, 
not only as a punishment of sin, but as a restraint of some effect 
against a lower degradation, had not such men better cultivate and 
improve their "moral sense" and "conscience" into a conformity 
with the law of God on this subject ? They cannot think that, on 
the account of their much talking, God will change his government 
to suit their own peculiar views. In our judgment, their views 
must bring great darkness to the mind, and, we think, distress ; for 
is it not a great distress itself, to be under the government of one 
we think unjust ? We know not but that we owe them, as fellow 
travellers through this momentary existence, the duty of trying to 
remove from their minds the cause of such darkness and distress. 
Shall we counsel together ? Will you, indeed, stop for a moment 
in company with a brother ? Will you hear the Bible ? Will you, 
through a child, listen to the voice of God ? 

All agree that slavery has existed in the world from a very re- 
mote age. Wicked men and wicked nations have passed away, 
but slavery still exists among their descendants. Good men and 
enlightened nations have gone the way of all that is and has been, 
but slavery still abides on the earth. Upon the introduction of 
Christianity, men, who little understood its spirit, suddenly rose up 
to abolish slavery in cases where the slave became converted to its 
faith ; also to cut loose the believing child from all obligations of 
obedience to the unbelieving parent, and also the husband or wife 
from his or her unbelieving spouse. Yet this new doctrine only 
met the condemnation of Peter and Paul. And even at the present 
day, we find men ready to give up the religion of Christ, and the 
gospel itself, rather than their own notions concerning slavery. 

" If the religion of Christ allows such a licence" (to hold slaves) 
" from such precepts as these, tjie New Testament would be the 
greatest curse that was ever inflicted on our race." Barnes on 


Slavery, p. 310. (He quotes the passage from Dr. Wayland's 
Letters, pp. 83, 84, which work we have not seen.) 

Such writers may be conscientious, but their writings have only 
bound the slave in stronger chains. God makes his very enemies 
build up his throne. Thus the exertions of man are ever feeble 
when in contradiction to the providence of God. The great ad- 
versary has ever been at work to dethrone the Almighty from the 
minds of men. Abolition doctrines are no new thing in the world. 
We concede them the age of slavery itself, which we shall doubt- 
less find as old as sin. 

Stay thy haste, then, thou who feelest able to teach wisdom to 
thy Creator : come, listen to the voice of a child ; the lessons of a 
worm ; for God is surely able to vindicate his ways before thee ! 

When Adam was driven out of paradise, he was told — ■ 

" Cursed is the ground for thy sake ; in sorrow shalt thou eat 
of it all the days of thy life." " Thorns and thistles shall it bring 
forth to thee ; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field. In the 
sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the 

The expression, "Thou shalt eat the /ler/) of the field," wethink 
has a very peculiar significance ; for God made " every lierh of the 
field before it grew;" and one of the reasons assigned why the 
"herb was made before it grew," w"e find to be, that " there was 
not a man to till the ground." Now, the word to till is translated 
from the word ibl^^ la ehod, and means to slave ; but in English 
we use the term not so directly. We use more words to express 
the same idea ; we say to do slave-labour on the ground, instead of 
to slave the ground, as the expression stands in Hebrew. 

The doctrine is, that the herb, on which the fallen sinner is de- 
stined to subsist, was not of spontaneous growth ; it could only be 
produced by sweat and toil, even unto sorrow. Sin had made man 
a slave to his own necessities ; he had to slave the ground for his 
subsistence ; and such was the view of David, who, after describing 
how the brute creation is spontaneously provided for, says — 

" He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the 

service (m^J/*^ la ebodath, the slavery) of man : that he may 
bring forth food out of the earth." Ps. civ. 14. 

This state of being compelled to labour with sweat and toil for 
subsistence, is the degree of slavery to which sin reduced the whole 


human family. If we mistake not, the holy books include the idea 
that sin afiects the character of man as a moral poison, producing 
aberrations of mind in the constant direction of greater sins and an 
increased departure from a desire to be in obedience to the laws of 
God. If we mistake not, the doctrine also is prominent that idle- 
ness is not only a sin itself, but exceedingly prolific of still greater 
sins. This mild state of slavery, thus imposed on Adam, was a 
constant restraint against a lower descent into sin, and can be re- 
garded in no other light than a merciful provision of God in pro- 
tection of his child, the creation of his hand. If it then be a fact 
that a given intensity of sin draws upon itself a corresponding con- 
dition of slavery, as an operating protection against the final effect 
of transgression, it will follow that an increased intensity of sin 
will demand an increased severity of the condition of slavery. 
Thus, when Cain murdered Abel, God said to him — 

" Now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her 
mouth to receive thy brother's blood from thy hand. When thou 

tillest (12i*ri tha cbod, thou slavest) the ground, it shall not hence- 
forth yield unto thee her strength : a fugitive and a vagabond shalt 
thou be in the earth." * * * "And the Lord set a mark upon 
Cain, lest any finding him should kill him." 

" Shall not yield unto thee her strength ;" either the earth 
should be less fruitful, or from his own waywardness, it should be 
less skilfully cultivated by him, or that a profit from his labour 
should be enjoyed by another ; or, perhaps, from the joint opera- 
tion of them all. Thus an aggravated degree of sin is always 
attended by an aggravated degree of slavery. 

The next final step we discover in the history of slavery appears 
in Ham, the son of Ncah ; and he said, " Cursed be Canaan ; a 
servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren." ^'■Servant of 
servants," D'"Tlli'* "ID^ ehed ebadim, slave of slaves. This mode 
of expression in Hebrew is one of the modes by which they ex- 
pressed the superlative degree. The meaning is, the most abject 
slave shall he be to his brethren. 

Ho'- '^ofore slavery has been of less intensity; here we find the 
ordination of the master, and it is not a little remarkable that he 
is distinctly blessed ! 

"And he said, I am Abraham's servant. And the Lord hath 
blessed my master greatly, and he is become great : and he hath 
given him flocks, and herds, and silver and gold, and men-ser- 


vants{0''1'2^') va ehadim, and male slaves), and maid-servants 

(nn5p*T va shepJiahoth, and female slaves), and camels and asses." 
" And Sarah, my master's wife, bare a son to my master when she 
was old : and unto him hath he given all that he hath." 

And of Isaac it is said — 

" Then Isaac sowed in that land, and received in the same year 
a hundred fold : and the Lord blessed him, and the man waxed 
great, and went forward and grew until he became very great : 
for he had possessions of flocks, and possessions of herds, and 
great store of servants (niDJ/l va ebuddah, and a large family 
of slaves): and the Philistines envied him.'' We pray that no one 
in these days will imitate those wicked Philistines ! 

And of Jacob it is said — 

"And the man increased exceedingly, and had much cattle, and 
maid-servants (nihiSt^l ^^* shephahoth), and female slaves and 

T : 

men-servants (□^TD^l va ehadim, and male slaves), and camels, 
and asses." "And the Lord said unto Jacob, Return unto the 
land of thy fathers, and to thy kindred ; and I will be with thee." 

" He that is despised, and hath a servant ("IDJ^ ebed, a slave), 
is better than he that honoureth himself, and lacketh bread." 
Prov. xii. 9. 

" I know that whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever ; nothing 
can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it : and God doeth it 
that men should fear before him. That which hath been is now ; 
and that which is to be, hath already been ; and God requireth 
that which is past." Eccl. iii. 14. 


We shall, in the course of these studies, with some particularity 
examine what evidence there may be that Ham took a wife from 
the race of Cain ; and we propose a glance at that subject now. 
Theological students generally agree that, in Gf-enesis vi. 2, 
"sons of God" mean those of the race of Seth ; and that the 
"daughters of men" imply the females of the race of Cain. The 
word "fair," in our version, applied to these females, does not 
justly teach us that they were white women, or that they were 


of a light complexion. It is translated from the Hebrew ^^^12 
tovotJi, being in the feminine plural, from "^y^ tov, and merely ex- 
presses the idea of what may seem good and excellent to him who 
speaks or takes notice : it expresses no quality of complexion nor 
of beauty beyond what may exist in the mind of the beholder ; it 
is usually translated good or excellent Immediately upon the 
announcement that these two races thus intermarry, God declares 
that his spirit shall not always strive with man, and determines 
to destroy man from the earth. Is it not a plain inference that 
such intermarriages were displeasing to him ? And is it not also 
a plain inference, these intermarriages were proofs that the " wick- 
edness of man had become great in the earth ?" Cain had been 
driven out a degraded, deteriorated vagabond. Is there any proof 
that his race had improved ? 

The fact is well known that all races of animals are capable of 
being improved or deteriorated. A commixture of a better with a 
worse sample deteriorates the offspring of the former. Man is no 
exception to this rule. Our position is, that sin, as a moral poison, 
operating in one continued strain in the degradation and deteriora- 
tion of the race of Cain, had at length forced them down to be- 
come exceedingly obnoxious to God. Intermarriage with them 
was the sure ruin of the race of Seth : it subjected them at once 
to the curses cleaving to the race of Cain. Even after the flood, 
witness the repugnance to intermarry with the race of Ham often 
manifested by the descendants of Shem ; and that the Israelites 
were forbidden to do so. 

Now, for a moment, let us suppose that Ham did marry and 
take into the ark a daughter of the race of Cain. If the general 
intermixture of the Sethites with the Cainites had so deteriorated 
the Sethites, and reduced them to the moral degradation of the 
Cainites, that God did not deem them worthy of longer encumber- 
ing the earth before the flood, would it be an extraordinary mani- 
festation of his displeasure at the supposed marriage of Ham with 
one of the cursed race of Cain, to subject the issue of such mar- 
riage to a degraded and perpetual bondage ? 

But again, in case this supposed marriage of Ham with the race 
of Cain be true, then Ham would be the progenitor of all the 
race of Cain who should exist after the flood ; and such fact 
would be among the most prominent features of his history. It 
would, in such case, bo in strict conformity with the usages of 
these early times for his father to have called him by a name indi- 


cative of such fact: instead of calling him Ham, he would announce 
to him a term implying his relationship -with the house of Cain. 
If such relation did not exist, why did he call him Canaan ? 

Some suppose that this question would be answered by saying 
that the term was applied to the youngest son of Ham ; but all 
the sons of Ham were born after the flood ; yet the planting of 
the vineyard and the drinking of the wine are the first acts of 
Noah which are mentioned after that deluge ; and further, Canaan, 
the son of Ham, was most certainly not the individual whose ill- 
behaviour was simultaneous with and followed by the curse of 
slavery. Have we any proof, or any reason to believe, that Canaan, 
the son of Ham, was then even born ? But in the catalogue of 
Noah's sons, even before the planting of the vineyard is mentioned. 
Ham is called the father of Canaan, even before we are told that 
he had any sons. Why was he then so called the father of Canaan, 
unless upon the fact that by his marriage he necessarily was to 
become the progenitor of the race of Cain in his own then unborn 
descendants ? 

Under all the facts that have come down to us, we are not to 
suppose that there was any Cainite blood in Noah, or in Noah's 
wife. Why then did Ham choose to commemorate the race of 
Cain, by naming his fourth son Cain, a term synonymous w^ith 
Cainite, or Canaanite? And why did the race of Ham do the 
same thing through many centuries, using terms diflerently varied, 
sometimes interchanging the consonant and vowel sounds, as was 
common in the language they used ? These variations, it is true, 
when descending into a language so remote as ours, might not be 
noticed, yet the linguist surely will trace them all b*ck to their 
root, the original of " Cain." 

God never sanctions a curse without an adequate cause ; a cause 
under the approbation of his law, sufficient to produce the effect 
the curse announces. The conduct of Ham to his father proved 
him to possess a degraded, a very debased mind ; but that alone 
could not produce so vital, so interminable a change in the moral 
and physical condition of his offspring. And where are we to look 
for such a cause, unless in marriage ? And with whom could such 
an intermarriage be had, except with the cursed race of Cain ? The 
ill-manners of Ham no doubt accelerated the time of the announce- 
ment of the curse, but was not the sole cause. The cause must 
have previously existed ; and the effect would necessarily have 
been produced, even if it had never been announced. 


But again, the condition of slavery imposed on the descendants 
of Ham, subjected them to be bought and sold ; they became ob- 
jects of purchase as property, for this quality is inseparable from 
the condition of the most abject slaver3^ Now the very name 
Cain signifies "one purchased." "I have gotten a man from the 
Lord." The word "gotten," in the original, is the word his mother 
Eve gave her son for his name, " Cain." J have jno'chased, &c., 
evidently shadowing forth the fact that his race were to be subjects 
of purchase. 

The history of man since the flood is accompanied with a suffi- 
ciency of facts by which we ai'e enabled to determine that the de- 
scendants of Ham were black, and that the black man of Africa 
is of that descent. 

" And the Lord set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him would 
kill him." 

The word " ???-«rA;" is translated from HlX oth; its signification 
is, a marh hy ivhich to distinguish ; a memorial or tvarning ; mi- 
raculous sign or tvonder, consisting either in -word or deed, ivherehy 
the certainty of any thing future is foretold or hioivn ; and hence 
it partook of the nature of a prophecy. In the present case it 
was the mark of sin and degradation ; it was the token of his 
condition of slavery, of his being a vagabond on the earth. It 
distinguished his rank of inferiority and wickedness, proclaiming 
liim to be the man whose greatest punishment was to live and bear 
his burthens, below all rivalship. 

Hence its protective influence. Now, by the common consent 
of all men, at all times, what has been the mark of sin and degra- 
dation? Were we even now, among ourselves, about to describe 
one of exceedingly wicked and degraded character, should we say 
that he looked very white ? Or should we say that his character 
was black? And so has been the use of the term since language 
has been able to send down to distant times the ideas and asso- 
ciations of men. 

" Their visage is blacker than a coal.' 
" Our skin was black." 

" I am black : astonishment hath taken hold on me." 

" For though thou wash thee with nitre, and take thee much 

soap, yet thine iniquity is marked before me, saith the Lord God." 

And Avho shall say that the wicked, disgusting mode of life, the 

practices deteriorating the physical and mental powers imputed to 

the Caiuites, do not constitute what some may call a philosophical 


cause of the physical development of the mark of sin ? Does not 
our own observation teach us that a single lifetime, spent in the 
practice of some degrading sins, leaves upon the person the evi- 
dence, the mark, the proof* of such practice ? We are under no 
compulsion of evidence or belief to suppose that the mark set upon 
Cain was the product of a moment ; but the gradual result of his 
wicked practices, as a physical and moral cause. 

But allow the fact to have been that, in the case of Cain, the 
physical change was instantaneous, God had the power to institute 
in a moment what should thereafter be produced only by progres- 
sion or inheritance. God created man ; but, thereafter, man was 
born and became mature through the instrumentality only of phy- 
sical causes. 

" The shew of their countenance doth witness against them ; and 
they declare their sin as Sodom, they hide it not." Isa. iii. 9. In 
fact, "The faces of them all gather blackness." Nahum ii. 10. 

But we know that the descendants of Ham were black ; nor is 
it stated that any personal mark was placed upon him, although 
the name applied to his first-born son, " Cush," signifies that he 
was black, giving proof that the colour was inherited ; but from 
w^hom ? Not from his father ! 

" Can the Ethiopian ('t^'13 Cushi, the Cushite, the hlach man) 
change his skin?" 

The evidence forced on the mind leads to the conclusion that the 
descendants of Ham were black, not by the progressive operation 
of the laws of God on the course of sin which they doubtless 
practised, but that they were so at birth, — consequently an inherit- 
ance from parentage. And a further conclusion also is, that the 
wife of Ham must have been black, of the race of Cain, inheriting 
his mark, and that that mark was black. 

A further proof that Ham took to wife a daughter of the race 
of Cain is found in the traces of evidence indicating her person, 
who she was. Lamech, of the race of Cain, had a daughter, 
Naamah ; her name is given as the last in the genealogy of Cain. 
Why did the inspired penman think it necessary to send her name 
down to us ? Why was the genealogy of Cain given us, unless to 
announce some fact important for us to know ? If this whole race 
were to be cut off by the flood, we see nothing in the genealogy 
teaching any lesson to the descendants of Noah. Vv'hy was the 
particular line from Cain to Naamah selected, unless she was the 
particular object designed to be pointed out 1 Hundreds of other 


genealogies, commencing in Cain and terminating in some one just 
at the coming of the flood, existed ; but not written down nor 
transmitted, for the obvious reason that such list could be of no 
benefit to posterity. Are we not, then, led to believe that there 
was some design in the preservation of the one terminating in 
Naamah ? But this genealogy could only be preserved through 
the family of Noah ; through whom we also have a genealogy of 
the line from Seth, terminating in Noah's youngest son. These 
two stand in a parallel position, at the foot of each separate list. 
But it is so extremely unusual for ancient genealogies to give the 
name of a female, who had brothers, that it becomes strong evi- 
dence, when such catalogue terminates in the name of such a 
female, that she personally was the individual on whose account the 
catalogue was formed. Is not this consideration, and the fact that 
it could only be preserved by the family of Noah, evidence that 
they attached sufficient importance to it to make its preservation 
by them a desirable object ? 

Inasmuch as Naamah belonged to a race distinct from that of 
Seth, could the family of Noah have any desire to preserve her 
lineage from any other cause than that of her having become a 
member of that family ? — in which case the cause of its preserva- 
tion is obvious, and a thing to have been expected. On any other 
state of facts, would they have carefully handed down the gene- 
alogy, so far as we are informed, of a mere uninteresting woman 
of the cursed race of Cain, and neglected to have given us the 
name and genealogy of Noalis wife, of the more holy race of 
Seth ? 

The presumption then being that she did become the wife of 
one of Noah's sons, the first inquiry is, to which was she attached ? 
A sufficient answer to this question, for the present moment, v/ill 
be found in the fact that Ham was doomed to perpetual and bitter 
slavery, while his brothers were blessed and ordained to be hi.i 
masters. Now since an amalgamation of the races of Seth and 
Cain was deemed a most grievous sin before the flood, if Japhctli 
or Shem had either of them taken Naamah to wife, it would bo 
past understanding to find them both highly blessed and made the 
masters of Ham. 

But a more direct evidence that Ham did take to wife Naamtil!, 
of the race of Cain, is found in the fact that the descendantL" 
of Ham commemorated her name by giving it to persons of their 


race, as descendants might be expected to do, -who wished to keep 
it in remembrance. The name of her mother also is found in 
similar use. 

These names are varied, often, from the original form, as are a 
great number of proper names found in use among the ancient 
nations. These Avords we shall have hereafter occasion particularly 
to examine. We shall merely add, that in the marriage of Ham 
and Naamah we may find a reasonable explanation for the other- 
wise inexplicable speech of Lamech to his two wives, — since such 
marriage would have produced, what Ave find was produced, the 
ruin and degradation of Ham, — Ave might say, his moral death, his 
extinguishment, from the race of Seth. Some commentators de- 
duce the name Naamah from the root " nam," and consequent!}" 
make it signify beautiful. We give it quite a difi'erent origin, 
Avhich we shall explain at large elsewhere. It is to be expected 
that men will differ in opinion as to the historical facts of these 
early days. Some have made Naamah a pure saint ; some, the 
wife of Noah ; some, of her brother, Tubal-Cain ; some make her 
the heathen goddess Venus ; others, the mother of ca^I spirits. 

Thus diversified have been the speculations of men. We pre- 
sent our view, because Ave believe it better sustained by Scripture 
and known facts than any we have examined : but we deem it no 
Avay important in the justification of the Avays of God to man ; 
for, Avhatever the truth may be, this we know, that the curse of 
slavery was, if Scripture be true, unalterably uttered against the 
race of Ham, — in Avhich condition, as a people, they ever have 
been and still are found : a condition so well adapted to their 
physical and mental organization, the result of ages spent in bad, 
degenerating habits, that when held in such relation by the races 
of Japheth or Shem, the race of Ham is found gradually to emerge 
from its native brutality into a state of comparative elevation and- 
usefulness in the world ; a condition without which they, as a race, 
have never been found progressing, but ever exhibiting the desire 
of wandering backAvard, in search of the life of the vagabond, in 
the midst of the wilderness of sin ; — unless in this author. Dr. 
Channing, Ave find an exception ; for he more than intimates that 
he found the negro Avomen of Jamaica rather to excel the Avhite 
ones of New England. We believe, according to his OAvn taste 
and judgment, what he said was true ; but we also believe his 
taste was very depraved, and his judgment of no value on this 


subject ; yet we feel less astonishment at the degenerate sons of 
Seth before the flood, on the account of their admiration of the 
black daughters of the race of Cain ; and we should feel it a sub- 
ject of curious solicitude, if Dr. Channing's taste and judgment 
on this subject were to become the standard among his disciples, 
whether thej will, by their practice, illustrate the habit of these 
antediluvians ! 


S)tiiti}) IV. 


In the course of the present study, we propose to notice the 
doctrine and action of the church as connected with the subject of 
slavery; and to examine what were the tenets and conduct of 
those men who claimed to be governed by the immediate teachings 
of Christ and his apostles. 

In this investigation, we must apply to the records of the Catho- 
lic Church, although we are aware that, in the minds of some, strong 
and bitter prejudice may exist against these records ; that some will 
say the canker of corruption had destroyed the very kernel of 
Christianity in that church. 

Bower, a Protestant author, in the preface to his " History of 
the Popes," 7 vols, quarto, says — 

" We must own the popes to have been, generally speaking, men 
of extraordinary talents, the ablest politicians we read of in history ; 
statesmen fit to govern the world, and equal to the vast dominion 
they grasped at ; a dominion over the minds as well as the bodies 
and estates of mankind ; a dominion, of all that ever were formed, 
the most wide and extensive, as knowing no other bounds but those 
of the earth." Page 10, vol. i. 3d edition, London, 1750. 

Mr. Bower was a very learned man, had been educated a Catho- 
lic, was professor of rhetoric, history, and philosophy in the uni- 
versities of Borne, Fermo, and Macerata, and counsellor of the 
Inquisition at Bome. He commenced a work to prove the pope's 
infallibility and supremacy. But he proved to himself the adverse 
doctrine. He resigned his professorships and places, removed to 
London, abjured the Catholic religion, and wrote the work quoted. 
It is a work of great labour and merit, and well worth the attention 
of the curious in these matters. But it is proper here to remark, 


that Mr. Sale, in his preface to his translation of the Koran, has 
made a severe, yet an unexplained attack, on the character of this 
writer ; but whatever may have been the provocation, we have to 
view him through his book. It is not always possible for a just 
degree of merit to be awarded those who lived in former times. 
We cannot always learn the circumstances influencing them, nor 
do we often throw our minds back into their peculiar position, by 
which alone can we be able to give a just value to those influences. 

History has handed us a few of the acts of him who lived a thou- 
sand years ago ; by them we judge, as though he lived to-day, acts 
which prejudice may have distorted, or favour presented to the lens 
of time. We must look to the condition of things at the time of 
the act ; to the probable effect under such condition, and to the 
real effect as developed by time. 

Pope Benedict IX. ascended the throne in a. d. 1033. He is 
very unfavourably known to history. During his time there was a 
very powerful faction raging against him at Rome, by which, at 
one time, he was driven into exile. He is said to have sold the 
popedom, because his debaucheries made him an object of con- 
tempt, and he wished to be free from restraint ; but in 1041, four 
years before he abandoned the papal chair, he established, at a 
council in Aquitaine, the Treuga Dei, whence it has been said 
that, during three days in the week, he permitted any man to 
commit all sorts of crimes, even murder, free from church censure, 
&c. By the Treuga Dei, for any WTong done him, no person was 
permitted to revenge himself, from Wednesday evening to Monday 
morning : construed, a? above, by some, that he might do so dur- 
ing the remaining portion of the week. 

The facts were, all Europe was still groping in the ignorance of 
the darkest ages ; yet Christianity had been firmly established as 
a system of faith. The church had always forbidden a revengeful 
redress of individual wrongs ; and, for such acts, her priests ever 
threatened excommunication. But these charges had little or no 
effect during these still semi-idolatrous and barbarous ages. 

The kings were but heads of tribes, too weak to restrain their 
nobles, as the nobles were their vassals : under such a state of 
things, each one strove to redress his own wrongs. This led to 
constant murders, and every kind of crime. Each state was con- 
stantly agitated by civil commotions and bloodshed. Great moral 
changes are advanced by short steps. The church took this evil in 

hand, and hence the Treuga Dei, a word used in the Latin of that 



flay, a corruption from the Gothic triggua, and now found in the 
Spanish and Italian " tregua" and from whence our word truce. 
The curse of God was pronounced against all offenders, and death 
followed a discovery of the crime. It was thought to he a Divine 
suggestion, and hence the name. All consented to yield to it as 
such, and it was found to have a powerful effect. In 1095, it was 
warmly sustained in the Council of Clermont, under Urban II., 
and extended to all the holy-days, and pei'petually to clerks, monks, 
pilgrims, merchants, husbandmen, and women, and to the persons 
and property of all who would engage in crusades, and against all 
devastations by fire. It was re-established in 1102, by Paschal II. ; 
in 1139, by Innocent II. ; in 1180, by Alexander III. ; nor would 
it be difficult to show that the Treuga Dei, the Truce of Crod, of 
Benedict IX., was one of the most important, during the primary 
steps towards the civilization of Europe ; such was the state of 
society in that age of the world. But we acknowledge that indi- 
viduals of the Roman church, some of whom obtruded themselves 
into the priesthood, have been very corrupt men. But have not 
similar obtrusions happened in every other Christian, Protestant, 
or worthy association of men ? Have we not seen, among the 
apostles, a Judas, betraying the Saviour of the world ? Ananias 
and Sapphira, attempting to swindle even God himself? Of confi- 
dence betrayed among men, need we point to the tragical death of 
Servetus, which has for ever placed the bloody mark of murder on 
the face of Calvin ? 

And may we not find sometimes, among ourselves, lamentable 
instances of corruption, which, in the blaclAess of their character, 
defy the powers of the pen ? Instances, where, recreant to every 
lionest, noble, and holy feeling, individuals, hidden, as they think, 
beneath the robes of righteousness, have carried poverty and dis- 
tress to the house of the widow, trampling on the rights — may be, 
the life — of the orphan, and even using the confidence of a brother 
to betray and rob him ? 

Nor is it a matter of any exultation to the broken, the wounded 
mind, that, in all such instances, unless the stink of insignificance 
shall totally exclude such criminal from the page of history, what- 
ever may be the cloak he may wear, truth will eventually for ever 
convert it into the burning shirt of Nessus. 

But, if you call a dog a thief, he feels no shame. Generations 
of enforced improvement and the grace of God alone can wipe 
out the stains of an ^vil heart. Nor can man alter this his des- 


tiny. Therefore, in all ages, and among all men, the tares and 
the wheat have been found in the same field. What presumption, 
then, if not blasphemy, in opposition to the word of Jehovah, to 
say, that the looming light of truth never dawned upon this night 
of time until the advent of Luther or Knox ! 

In presenting the action and records of the church and early 
fathers, we have freely adopted the sentiments and facts digested 
by Bishop England, to whom, we take occasion here to say, we 
feel as much indebted, as though we had merely changed a par- 
ticle or deleted what was irrelevant to our subject. Nor do w^e 
know of higher honour we can do this great and good man than 
to lend our feeble mite to extend the knowledge of his research, 
his purity, and great learning ; and if, in the continuation of this 
his unfinished study, amid the pagan superstitions and bigoted 
thousands of Islam in benighted Asia, the conflicts of the Cross 
and the Wand of Woden, during the dark ages of continental 
Europe, we may be suffered to feel the elevating influence of his 
life-giving mantle, we shall also surely feel elevated hopes of a 
high immortality. 

But, it may be well here to remark, that we have no sectarian 
cliirch to sustain ; that we belong to no religious order ; nor have, 
as yet, subscribed to any faith formed by man. And while w'e ad- 
vocate the cause of religion and truth, yielding ourselves in all 
humility to the influence of Divine power, we feel as certain of his 
final notice, as though we had marched through under a thousand 
banners at the head of the world. We have all confidence in the 
w-ord of him who hath said that even the sparrow falleth not 
without his notice. 

But, it is said, when disease infuses bile into the organs of 
sight, the objects of vision have a peculiar tinge : to blend pre- 
vious, sometimes numerous, impressions into one perception, is a 
common action of the mind. Thus the present idea is often modi- 
fied by those that have preceded ; and hence we may conclude 
how often the mind is under the insensible influence of prejudice. 
Upon these facts she has enthroned her power. 

But he who has schooled his mind in the doctrines of a tfcnquil 
devotion, who habituates himself to view all things past, present, 
and to come, through the medium of cause and efi"ect, as the 
mere links of one vast chain, reaching from Omnipotence to the 
present action, may well rise superior to the tumult of passion or 
the empire of prejudice. And to the utilitarian permit us to 


say, that prejudice is peculiarly unsuited to the age of moral and 
physical improvement in which we live. Let no one say, the spirit 
of improvement has a deep root, and its lofty hof es cannot be 
subverted ; that the most penetrating philosophy cannot prescribe 
its limits, the most ardent imagination reach its bounds : rather 
let him reflect that all improvement must for ever follow the foot- 
steps of truth; and that the peculiar province of prejudice is to 
set us aside from its path. 

With such views, let us for a moment consider the circumstances 
attending the early ages of the Roman church ; and let us note 
that, although her priests were but men, whether her records are 
not as reliable as if some of her peculiarities had been different, 
or she had been called by a different name. But we shall not 
quote or pursue these records down to so late a day as the Pro- 
testant Reformation. We hope, therefore, that the Protestant 
will say that the records we quote are, most decidedly, the records 
of the church. 


The moral condition of man was peculiar. To a great extent 
the religious systems of the Old World had been analyzed by the 
intelligent ; they no longer gave confidence to the mind. The 
sanctity of the temples was dissipated by the mere speculations of 
philosophy, and the gods of idolatry tottered on their pedestals. 

The nations of the earth were brought in subjection, in slavery, 
to the feet of imperial Rome ; and their gods, being presented face 
to face, lost their divinity by the rivalship of men. 

Such was the condition of the moral world when Christianity 
was introduced to mankind. 

The old religions pretended to give safety by bargain of sacri- 
fice, by penance, and payment, but the religion of Jesus Christ 
taught«that salvation and safety were the free gift of God. 

The history of man proves the fact that he has ever been dis- 
posed to purchase happiness on earth and felicity in heaven by his 
own acts, or by the merit of his condition ; and hence, we always 
find that a corrupted Christianity for ever borders on the confines 
of idolatry. Nor is it difficult to show how this easily runs into 


all the wild extravagancies of human reason, or, rather, human 
ignorance ; while the simplicity of truth tends to a calm submis- 
sion, and a desire of obedience to the will and laws of the only 
true God. The one was the religion of the government of men, 
of show, of political power, and expediency ; the other is of 
heaven, of truth. "My kingdom is not of this world." 

The barbarians of northern Europe and western Asia, while yet 
only illumined by some faint rays of the Christian light, feeling 
from habit the want of the external pomp and the governing con- 
trol of a religious power, in a half-savage, half-heathen state of 
mind, were disposed to prostrate themselves at the feet of the 
chief priest of Rome. 

In the year 312, under the pontificate of Melchiades, (by the 
Greeks called Miltiades,) the Emperor Constantine established the 
Christian church by law. Thus sustained, it became at once the 
pool in which ambition and crime sought to cleanse their robes. 
Yet, beneath its waters were priceless pearls. Torn by schism, 
sometimes by temporal misrule, the church languished, — but lived. 
For several centuries the future became a mere variation of the 
past. The ways of God are indeed inscrutable. A flaming meteor 
in the east now agitated the mind. Like the insects of twilight, 
thousands marshalled under the crescent light of the prophet. 
The disciples of Mohammed swept from the earth the churches at 
Antioch and Alexandria, suddenly made inroads on Europe, con- 
quered Spain, and were in step to overleap the Pyrenees and Alps. 
Let us step aside, and reconnoitre their host ! 

The object of the Arabian, Saracen, and Moorish warriors was 
the propagation of their creed. The alternative was proposed to 
all, — its embrace, or tribute ; if rejected, the chance of war. 
Persia and Syria were quickly subdued. Egypt and Cyprus gave 
way, A. D. 645. The slave of Jews or Christians seldom rejected 
freedom in favour of the cross ; if so, he was reduced to the level 
of the vilest brute. The free were either put to death, or, as a 
great favour, permitted to be slaves. Thus the Christian master 
and slave were often in a reversed condition under Mohammedan 
rule. Sicily and the whole northern Africa substituted the crescent 
for the Cross ; and in quick succession Spain was invaded and the 
throne of lloderick overturned. Toledo yielded to Mousa ; and 
Fleury, lib. xli. part 25, says — " He put the chief men to death, 
and subjugated all Spain, as far as Saragossa, which he found open. 
He burned the towns, he had the most powerful citizens crucified, 


he cut the throats of children and infants, and spread terror on 
every side." 

Italy was in consternation ; the church trembled, and Constan- 
tinople was threatened. Crossing the Pyrenees, a. d. 719, they 
poured down upon France, met Charles, the father of Pepin, and 
Eude of Aquitaine, who slew Zama, and compelled his troops to 
raise the siege of Toulouse ; but, recovering confidence, their in- 
cursions were frequent and bloody ; and the historians of that day 
announce that, upon one occasion alone, they lost 370,000 men 
upon the fields of France. But these reverses were the bow of 
hope to the Peninsula. Alphonsus struck a blow, and in one day 
retook many towns and released from bondage ten thousand 
Christian slaves. These exertions were continued with intermitted 
success ; and, like the retiring thunder of the retreating storm, 
the rage of battle became less terrific and at more distant pe- 
riods ; but the standard of Islam still continued to afii-ighten the 
world,' alternately flaming its red glare over the Peninsula to the 
mountains of France and the plains of Italy, and until embattled 
Europe, excited to Croisade, dispelled its power on the banks of 
the Jordan. 

But, let us return. Aistulphus appears amid this flame of war. 
His Lombards threaten extermination, and brandish the sword at 
the very gates of Rome. Pepin had now usurped the throne of 
the Franks. He demanded the confirmation of the church ; and, 
in return, promised protection to the " Republic of God." Rome 
saw the prospect of her ruin, with searching eyes looked for aid, 
and confirmed Pepin in his secular power ; who, in gratitude, drove 
for a time the Lombards from Italy, and deposited the keys of 
the conquered cities on the altar of Saint Peter. 

The Roman emperors had now long since removed their court 
to Constantinople. Their power over western Europe vacillated 
with the strife of the times. Charlemagne now appears kissing 
the steps of the throne of the church. Again he appears, master 
of all the nations composing the Western Empire, and of Rome ; 
and, on Chriatmas-day, in the year 800, Leo III. placed the crown 
of the Roman emperors on the head of the son of Pepin. But, 
as yet, the act of crowning by the pope was a mere form. 

Fifty years had scarcely sunk in the past, when the Emperor 
Basilius expelled Photius from the patriarchal see of his capital. 
He was charged with having been the tool of the Emperor Michael. 
He claimed supremacy over the pope of Rome. Hadrian had now 


ascended the papal chair, 8GT. Jealous of the bold spirit of Pho- 
tius, his excommunication was recorded, and Ignatius installed in 
his see. 

But the Greeks and Bulgarians, jealous for their native priesthood, 
demanded by what authority the see of Rome claimed jurisdiction 
over the Old and New Epirus, Thessaly, and Dardania, the country 
now called Bulgaria. For more than four centuries there had 
been occasional jealousies between these two churches ; certain 
articles of faith continued subjects of difference ; and the ques- 
tions of temporal and spiritual precedence made them ever watch- 
ful. History records that, as early as 606, Phocas, having 
ascended the imperial throne, treading upon the dead bodies of 
the Emperor Mauritius, his children and friends, — Cyriacus, the 
patriarch, exposed to his view the enormity of his crimes, and 
most zealously exhorted to repentance. The supremacy of order 
and dignity was instantly granted to the patriarch of Rome, in 
the person of Boniface III. But his successors, their historians 
say, wisely refused, disclaimed the favour of Phocas, but claimed 
it as a Divine right derived from St. Peter. Thus commenced 
and was made final the severance of the Greek and Roman 

But the loss of spiritual rule in the east was accompanied by an 
enlargement of temporal power in the west. Upon the death of 
Hadrian, John, the son of Gundo, succeeded to the papal chair ; 
and, upon the demise of Lewis IL, (876,) his uncles, Lewis, king of 
Germany, and Charles the Bald, king of France, were rivals for 
the vacant throne. Charles and Hadrian were ever at variance. 
But, seizing upon the moment, because he was more ready at hand, 
or more yielding to his wishes, John invoked him instantly at 
Rome, received him with loudest acclamations, and crowned him 
emperor, just seventy-five years to a day from the elevation of 
Charlemagne to the Western Empire. 

Upon this occasion. Pope John announced that he had elected 
him emperor in conformity to the revealed will of God ; that his 
act of crowning him made him such ; and that the sceptre, under 
God, was his free gift. This new doctrine was assented to by 
Charles, and ever after claimed as one of the powers of the pope 
of Rome. Thus the church of Rome became wholly separated 
from the Eastern Empire, — " freely losing its hold on a decayed 
tree, to graft itself upon a wild and vigorous sapling." D'Auhigne. 
Eutropius, the Lombard, informs us of the rich presents made to 


St. Peter for these favours of the pope, and that the emperor 
ceded to him the dukedoms, Benevento and Spoleti, together with 
the sovereignty of Rome itself. 

Thus we have seen why and how the brawny shoulders of the 
idolatrous children of the north elevated to the throne, thus how 
the Franks established the temporal power, of the popes of Rome ; 
yet, perhaps, little was foreseen how this state of things was 
destined, in the course of events, to elevate the church of Rome, 
and the power of its pontiffs, to a supremacy of all temporal 
government. It could not have been foreseen how the genius of 
Hildebrand (Pope Gregory VII.) should, two hundred years after, 
carry into full accomplishment, by mere words of peace, " what 
Marius and Caesar could not by torrents of blood." 

But corruption, to a greater or less extent, necessarily followed 
such a connection of church and state. It matters not to whom, 
nor in what age, — give churches temporal power, and they are 
liahle to be corrupt. 

But the church was still a fountain from which the living waters 
Avere dispensed to mankind. Instances of personal wickedness may 
have been more or less common ; yet the spirit of truth found it a 
focal residence, and diffused its light to the world. 

The Christian church is not the contrivance of man, whose 
works pass away, but of God, who upholds v^'hat he creates, and 
who has given his promise for its duration. Its object is to satisfy 
the religious wants of human nature, in whatever degree that 
nature may be developed ; and its efficacy is no greater for the 
learned than for the unlearned ; for the exalted of the earth, than 
for the slave. 


It is said all nature swarms with life. But every animal, iii 
some way, preys upon his fellow. Even we cannot move our foot 
without becoming the means of destruction to petty animals capa- 
ble of palpitating for hours, may be days, in the agonies of death. 
There is no day upon this earth, in which men, and millions of 
other animals, are not tortured in some way, to the fullest extent 
of life. 


Let us look at man alone ; poor and oppressed ; tormented by 
injustice, and stupified to lethargy ; writhing under disease, or tor- 
tured by his brethren ! Recollect his mental pains ! The loss of 
friends, and the poison of ingratitude ; the rage of tyranny, and 
the slow progress of justice ; the brave, the high-minded, the 
honest, consigned to the fate of guilt ! 

Dive into the dungeon, or the more obscure prison-house of 
penury. See the aged long for his end, and the young languish in 
despair ; talents and virtue in eternal oblivion : see malice, ven- 
geance, and cruelty at their work, while they propagate every 
hour ; for severity begets its kind, and hate begets hate. 

Look where you will, the heart is torn with anguish ; the soul 
is saddened by sorrow. All things seem at war ; all one vast 
abortion. Such is the rugged surface ; and the eye sees no golden 
sands, no precious gems gleaming from beneath the blackened 
waters of human suffering. These things are so ; creation has 
grown up ; and human life can never effect one tremble of the leaf 
on which it has found its residence. 

But the Christian philosopher views these evidences of a great 
moral catastrophe without madness. He perceives that sin has 
sunk man into degradation, slavery, and death. He comprehends 
his own weakness, and trusts in God. 

But there is a man, with all these facts before him, who rages. 
He makes war on the providence, and determines, as if to renovate 
the work, of the Almighty. Is he a man of a single idea ? If 
not, let him make a better world ; and, while he is thus employed, 
let us resume our subject. 

Slavery, either voluntary or involuntary, whether the immediate 
result of crime or of mental and physical degradation, is equally 
the consequent of sin. Let us consider how far its existence is 
sustained by the laws of justice, of religion, and of God. 

Our word, God, is pure Saxon, signifying "perfectly good;" 
" God is good." "And God saw every thing that he had made, 
and, behold, it ivas very good." 

Suppose the laws of Japan permit voluntary slavery, as did 
those of Moses. (See Exod. xxi, 5 ; also Lev. xxv. 47.) Suppose 
an African negro, of the lowest grade, destitute and naked, volunta- 
rily finds himself in that island, where the poor, free inhabitants 
scarcely sustain life by the most constant toil. The negro finds no 
employment. He can neither buy, beg, nor steal ; starvation is 
at hand. He applies to sell himself, under the law of the country, 


a slave for life. Is not slavery, in this case, a good, because life 
is a greater good than liberty ? Liberty is worth nothing in oppo- 
sition to life. Liberty is worth nothing without available posses- 
sions to sustain it. The preservation of life is the highest law. 
The law of God, therefore, would be contradictory, if it forbid a 
man to sell himself to sustain his life ; and the justice and pro- 
priety of such law must be universal and eternal, so far as it can 
have relation with the condition of man upon this earth. 

But, " What is life without liberty ?" said a beggar-woman ! He, 
who thinks life without liberty worth nothing, must die if he have 
no means to sustain his liberty. Esther entertained no such 
notion : " For we are sold, I and my people, to be destroyed and 
slain, and to perish. But if we had been sold for bond-men, and 
bond-women, I had held my tongue." Esth. vii. 4. 

Nor has such ever been the notion of the church. Bergier says. 
Diet. Theo., Ai't. Esclava — 

" That civil liberty became a benefit, only after the establish- 
ment of civil society, when man had the protection of law, and the 
multiplied facilities for subsistence ; that, previous to this, abso- 
lute freedom would be an injury to a person destitute of flocks, 
herds, lands, and servants." 

" The common possession of all things is said to be of the 
natural law ; because the distinction of possessions and slavery 
were not introduced by nature, but by reason of man, for the 
benefit of human life ; and thus the law of nature is not changed 
by their introduction, but an addition is made thereto." St. Thomas 
Aquinas, 1, 2, q. 94 a 95 ad 2. 

And the same father says again, 2, 2 q. 51 a S ad 2 — " This 
man is a slave, absolutely speaking, rather a son, not by any 
natural cause, but by reason of the benefits which are produced ; 
for it is more beneficial to this one to be governed by one who has* 
more wisdom, and the other to be helped by the labour of the 
former. Hence the state of slavery belongs principally to the 
law of nations, and to the natural law, only in the second degree, 
not in the first." 

But a man having the natural right to sell himself proves that 
he has the same right to bu?/ others. The one follows the other. 
But, suppose the laws of Japan do not permit voluntary slavery 
for life, or, rather that they have no law on the subject ; but that 
they have a law, that whosoever proves himself to be so degraded 
that he cannot, or will not sustain himself, but is found loitering. 


begging, or stealing, shall be forcibly sold a slave for life, — is not 
the same good effected as in the other case, although the indi- 
vidual may be too debased to perceive it himself ? And is it diffi- 
cult to perceive, that the same deteriorating causes have produced 
both cases ? The doctrine of the church "is that " death, sick- 
ness, and a large train of what is called natural evils, are con- 
sidered to be the consequences of sin. Slavery is an evil, and is 
also a consequence of sin." Bishop England, p. 23. 

And St. Augustine preached the same doctrine, as long ago as 
the year 425. See his book, " Of the City of God,'" liber xix. 
cap. 15. He says — " The condition of slavery is justly regarded 
as imposed on the sinner. Hence, we never read slave (as one 
having a master) in Scripture before the just Noe, by this word, 
punished the sin of his son. Sin, not nature, thus introduced the 

And St. Ambrose, bishop of Milan, a. d. 390, in his book on 
'''' Elias and Fasting" c. 5, says — "There would be no slavery to- 
day had there not been drunkenness." 

And so, St. John Chrysostom, bishop of Constantinople, a. d. 
400, Horn. 29, in Gen. : " Behold brethren born of the same 
mother ! Sin makes one of them a servant, and, taking away his 
liberty, lays him under subjection." 

The very expression, " Cursed be Canaan, a servant of servants 
shall he be to his brethren," most distinctly shows the "sentence to 
have been the consequent of sin, and especially so when compared 
with the blessing bestowed upon the two brothers, in which they 
are promised the services of him accursed. 

Pope Gelesius I., A. d. 491, in his letter to the bishops of the 
Picene territory, states, " slavery to have been the consequence 
of sin, and to have been established by human law." 

St. xVugustine, lib. xix. cap. 16, " On the City of God," argues 
at length to show " that the peace and good order of society, as 
well as religious duty, demand that the wholesome laws of the 
state regulating the conduct of slaves should be conscientiously 

" Slavery is regarded by the church * * * not to be in- 
compatible with the natural law, to be the result of sin by Divine 
dispensation, to have been established by human legislation ; and, 
when the dominion of the slave is justly acquired by the master, 
to be lawful, not in the sight of the human tribunal only, but also 
in the eye of Heaven." Bisliop England, page 24. 


But again, in the works already quoted, "De Civitate Dei," St. 
Augustine says, liber xix. caput 15, that, "although slavery is 
the consequence of sin, yet that the slavery may not always light 
upon the sinful individual, any more than sickness, war, famine, or 
any other chastisement of this sinful world, whereby it may often 
happen that the less sinful are afflicted, that they may be turned 
more to the worship of God, and brought into his enjoyment," and 
refers to the case of Daniel and his companions, who were slaves in 
Babylon, and by which captivity Israel was brought to repentance. 

In cap. 16, "he presents to view the distinction of bodily em- 
ployment and labour between the son and the slave ; but that each 
are equally under the master's care ; and as it regards the soul, 
each deserved a like protection, and that therefore the masters 
were called jxitres familias, or fathers of households: and 
shows that they should consult for the eternal welfare of their 
slaves as a father for his children ; and insists upon the weight 
and obligation of the master to restrain his slaves from vice, and 
to preserve discipline with strict firmness, but yet with affection ; 
not by verbal correction alone, but, if requisite, corporeal chastise- 
ment, not merely for the punishment of delinquency, but for a 
salutary monition to others." 

And he proceeds to show "that these things become a public 
duty, since the peace of the vicinage depends upon the good order 
of its families, and that the safety of the state depends upon the 
peace and discipline of all the vicinage." 

This author also shows, from the etymology of the word "seri'us," 
that, according to the law of nations at the time, the conqueror 
had at his disposal the lives of the captives. If from some cause 
he forbore to put some of them to death, then such one was servati, 
or servi, that is, kept from destruction or death, and their lives 
spared, upon the condition of obedience, and of doing the labours 
and drudgery of the master." 

And we may again inquire whether, when prisoners taken in 
war, under circumstances attending their capture by which the 
captor feels himself entitled to put them to death, — it is not a 
great good to the captured to have their lives spared them, and 
they permitted to be slaves ? The answer will again turn upon 
the question, whether life is worth any thing upon these terms ? 
And whatever an individual may say, the world will answer like 
Esther. Thus far slavery is an institution of mercy and in favour 
of life. 


We close this lesson by presenting the condition of slavery 
among the Chinese, and their laws and customs touching the 

M. De Guignes, who traversed China throughout its whole extent, 
observing with minuteness and philosophical research every thing 
in relation to its singular race, does not believe slavery existed 
there until its population had become overloaded, when, as a par- 
tial relief from its miseries, they systematically made slaves of 
portions of their own race. 

He says, that in ancient times, "it is not believed that there 
were slaves in China, except those who were taken prisoners in 
war, or condemned to servitude by the laws. Afterwards, in times 
of famine, parents were frequently reduced to the necessity of 
selling their children. This practice, originated in the pressure 
of necessity, has continued to exist, and even become common. 
* * * A person may also sell himself as a slave when he has 
no other means of succouring his father ; a young woman, who 
finds herself destitute, may in like manner be purchased with her 
own consent. 

" The prisoners of war are the slaves of the emperor, and ge- 
nerally sent to labour on his land in Tartary. The judges have 
the power to pass the sentence of slavery on culprits such as are 
sold at public auction ; slaves also who belong to persons whose 
property is confiscated, are sold to the highest bidder by public 
outcry." See work as quoted by Edin. Encyc, Article, " China'' 


The titles which divines and canonists have considered to be 
good and valid for the possession of slaves, are purchase, inherit- 
ance, gift, birth, slaves made in war, and sentenced for crime ; 
but, in all cases, the title is vitiated when not sustained by the 
civil law. Yet the civil law may be repealed, or ameliorated, so 
that prisoners taken in war or crime may not be subject to death 
or servitude, in which case the validity of the title follows in the 
footsteps of the civil law ; but these conditions primarily exist, as 
perpetual as the condition of man. The civil law, by its interven- 
tion, merely diverts the action during its rule. 


But, in all cases of a secondary title, the validity follows the 
character of the previous holding, as no man can sell, give, or 
leave by inheritance a better title than that which he has. The 
question thus runs to the origin of what gives a good title, to wit, 
the condition that enforces one to be sold, or to sell himself, a 
slave, in favour of life. True, Blackstone, Montesquieu, and 
others of less note, contend that no man has a right to sacrifice his 
liberty ; and what is their argument? They make an assumption, 
where there is no parallel, " that liberty is of equal worth to life ;" 
but before their argument is good, they must show that liberty is 
of more value than life : for surely a man may barter an equal for 
an equal. They cry, "God gave all men liberty." Even that is 
a fiction. The truth is, God gave no man liberty, only upon con- 

But to show that life is of more value than liberty, we need 
only observe that even with the loss of liberty there is hope — 
hope of change, of liberty, and of the means of sustaining it ; and 
such hopes have often been realized. There is no truth in the 
proposition that liberty is of equal value (or rather superior) to 
life. The doctrine therefore is, that man, in his natural state, is 
the master of his own liberty, and may dispose of it as he sees 
proper in favour of life ; that he may be deprived of it by force, 
in consequence of crime, or from his not being able to sustain it ; 
and in all cases where liberty has become of less value than life, 
and both cannot be sustained, the one may be properly exchanged 
for the safety of the other. And upon this principle, in those 
countries where the parent had the right, by their law, to put to 
death his own children, he also had the right to. sell them into 
slavery ; and further, by natural law, where the parent cannot sus- 
tain the life of his child, where civil law gives him no power over 
its life, he yet, in favour of life, may sell him into slavery. 

Natural law recognises the principle that the child, of right, is 
subject to the condition of the parent ; and in these enfeebled con- 
ditions of man, for sake of more certainty, the civil law usually 
acknowledges the maternal line. It acknowledges the paternal 
line only when the elevated condition forms a presumption of equal 

The Divine law recognises a good title to hold slaves among all 
people. The Divine grant to hold slaves was not an "especial 
permit to the Hebrews." Abimelech gave slaves to Abraham: 
hal his title been bad, Abraham could not have received them. 


Bethuel and Laban gave slaves to their daughters. None of these 
were Hebrews, yet they held slaves by a good title ; for the very 
act of acceptance, in all these cases, is proof that the title was 

Besides, the Divine law itself instructed the Israelites to buy 
slaves of the surrounding nations. See Lev. xxv. 44. Can there 
be a stronger proof of the purity of a title, than this gives of the 
title by which the " nations round about" held slaves? The same 
law which permitted the Israelites to buy slaves of the " heathen 
round about," also permitted the "heathen round about" to hold 
slaves, because it acknowledges their title to be good. 

By an inquiry into the history of these " heathen round about," 
their religion, civil condition, their manners and customs, as well 
as the final state to which they arrived, we may form some idea 
how a good title to hold slaves and to sell them arose among them ; 
and since the laws of God are everlasting, and always applicable 
to every case where all the circumstances are similar, we may 
reasonably conclude that the same race, or any other race, then, 
or at any other period of time, to whom the same descriptions will 
apply, will also be found attended with the same facts in regard to 

The conclusion therefore is, that from such a people, who have 
a good right to hold and sell slaves, other people, whose civil laws 
permit them to do so, may purchase slaves by a good title. 

It may not then be wholly an idle labour to compare the history 
and race of these "heathen round about," with the bistory, race, 
and present condition of those African heathen who have from 
time immemorial held and sold slaves. 

But it being shown that the Divine sanction to hold slaves, did, 
at one time, exist, it devolves on them, who deny its religious 
legality, now to prove that the sanction had been withdrawn. 


We proceed to prove, by a variety of documents, that the Church 
of Christ did, at all times during its early ages, consider the exist- 
ence of slavei'y and the holding of slaves compatible with a reli- 
gious profession and the practice of Christian duties. 

It is first in order to present the sermons of St. Paul and St. 
Peter direct upon this subject. Having heretofore quoted them, 


M'e now merely repeat the references, and ask for their perusal : 
See 1 Cor. vii. 20-24 ; Eph. vi. 5-9 ; Col. iii. 22 to iv. 1 ; 
1 Tim. vi. 1-14 : Tit. ii. 9-15 ; Philemon entire, and 1 Pet. ii. 18-25. 
These scriptures distinctly teach the doctrine of the Christian 
church. But it remains to see what was the practice that grew 
up under it. 

Upon the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, the mind cannot well con- 
ceive how the apostles could have avoided, from time to time, meet- 
ing together for the purposes of consultation and agreement among 
themselves as to the particulars of their future course ; and that 
such was the fact, we have in evidence, Acts i. 15-26, where they 
did thus meet, and elected Matthias to fill the vacancy in their 
number. Also, Acts ix. 26-31, where Paul was received by them 
and sent forth as an apostle ; but the book in question only gives 
us the outlines of what they did. Now, there is found among the 
ancient records of the church what is called " The Canons of the 
Apostles," which, if not actually written by them, is still known 
to be in conformity with their doctrine, as developed in their own 
writings and the earliest usages of the church. 

Among these, the canon Ixxxi. is the following : 

Servos in clerum provehi sine voluntate dominorum, non permit- 
timus, ad eorum qui possident molestiam, domorum enim eversionem 
talia eflSciunt. Siquando autem, etiam dignus servus visus sit, qui 
ad gradum eligatur, qualis noster quoque Onesimus visus est, et 
domini concesserint ac liberaverint, et cedibus emiserint, fiat. 

We do not permit slaves to be raised to clerical rank without the 
will of their masters, to the injure/ of their oivners. For such con- 
duct produces the upturning of houses. But if at any time, 
even a slave may he seen worthy to be raised to that degree, as 
even our Onesimus was, and the masters shall have granted and 
given freedom, and have sent them forth from their houses, let itj>e 

This is the first of a series of similar enactments, and it should 
be observed that it recognises the principle of the perfect domi- 
nion of the master, the injury to his property, and requires the 
very legal formality by which the slave was liberated and fully 

The slave had the title, without his owner's consent, to the com- 
mon rights of religion and the necessary sacraments. In using 
these, no injury was done to the property of his owner ; but he had 
no claim to those privileges which would diminish his value to the 


owner, or would degrade the dignitj conferred, and which couhl 
not be performed without occupying that time upon which his 
owner had a claim. 

There are eight other books of a remote antiquity, known as 
" The Constitutions ascribed to the Apostles," said to be compiled 
by Pope Clement I., who was a companion of the apostles. It is 
generally believed that, though Clement might have commenced 
such a compilation, he did not leave it in the form which it now 
holds, but, like the Canons of the Apostles, the exhibition of disci- 
pline is that of the earliest days. 

In book iv. ch. 5, enumerating those whose offerings were to be 
refused by the bishops as unworthy, we have, among thieves and 
other sinners, 

(Qui) famulos sues dure accipiunt et tractant ; id est, verberibus, 
aut fame afficiunt, aut crudeli servitute premunt. 

They who receive and treat their slaves harshly ; that is, who ivhip 
or famish them, or oppress them, with heavy drudgery. 

There is no crime in having the slave, but cruelty and oppres- 
sion are criminal. 

In the same book, ch. 11 regards slaves and masters. 

De famulis quid amplius dicamus, quam quod servus habeat 
benevolentiam erga dominum cum timore Dei, quamvis sit impius, 
quamvis sit improbus, non tame,n cum eo religione consentiat. 
Item dominus servum diligat, et quamvis pn^stet ei, judicet tamen 
esse osqualitatem, vel quatenus homo est. Qui autem habet domi- 
num Christian um, salvo dominatu, diligat eum, turn ut dominum, 
tum ut fidei consortem et ut patrem, non sicut servus ad oculum 
serviens sed sicut dominum amans, ut qui sciat mercedem famula- 
tus sui a Deo sibi solvendam esse. Similiter dominus, qui Chris- 
tianum famulum habet, salvo famulatu, diligat eum tanquam filium, 
et tanquam fratrem propter fidei communionem. 

Wliat further, then, can we say of slaves, than that the servant 
should have benevolence towards his master, ivith the fear of Crod, 
though he should he impious, though wiched ; though he should not 
even agree with him iyi religion. In like manner, let the master 
love his slave, and though he is above him, let him judge him to be 
his equal at least as a humayi being. But let him ivho has a Chris^ 
tian master, having regard to his dominion, love him both as a 
master, as a companion in the faith, and as a father, not as an 
eye-servant, but loving his master as one who knows that he will re- 
ceive the reward of his service to be paid by Qod. iSo let the 



master ivho has a Christian slave, saving the service, love him as a 
son and as a hrotlier, on account of the communion of faith. 

Ne amaro animo jubeas famulo tuo aut ancillee eidem Deo con- 
fidentibus : ne aliquando gemant adversus te, et irascatur tibi 
Deus. Et vos servi dominis vestris tanquam Deum reproesentan- 
tibus subditi estote cum sedulitate et metu, tanquam Domino, et 
non tanquam hominibus. 

Do not command your man-servant nor your woman-servant 
having confidence in the same Grod, in the bitterness of your 
soul; lest they at any time lament against you, and Crod be angry 
with you. And you servants be subject to your masters, the repre- 
sentatives of God, with care and fear, as to the Lord, and not to 

In the eighth book, eh. 33, is a constitution of SS. Peter and 
Paul, respecting the days that slaves were to be employed in 
labour, and those on which they were to rest and to attend to 
religious duties. 

Stephen I., who was the pontiff in 253, endeavoured to preserve 
discipline, and set forth regulations to remedy evils. 

Accusatores vero et accusationes, quas saeculi leges non recipi- 
unt, et antecessores nostri prohibuerunt, et nos submovemus. 

We also reject these accusers and charges which the secular laws 
do not receive, and ivhich our predecessors Jiave j^Tohibited. 

Soon after he specifies : 

Accusator autem vestrorum nullus sit servus aut libertus. 

Let not your accuser be a slave or a freed p)erson. 

Thus, in the ancient discipline of the church, as in the secular 
tribunals, the testimony of slaves was inadmissible. 

In the year 305, a provincial council was held at Elvira, in the 
southern part of Spain. The fifth canon of which is — 

Si qua domina furore zeli accensa flagris verberaverit ancillam 
suam, ita ut in tertium diem animam cum cruciatu effundat : eo 
quod incertum sit, voluntate, an casu occiderit, si voluntate post 
septem annos ; si casu, post quinquennii tempora ; acta legitima 
psenitentia, ad communionem placuit admitti. Quod si infra tem- 
pora constituta fuerit infiimiata, accipiat communionem. 

If any mistress, carried away by g7'eat anger, shall have lohipped 
her maid-servant so that she shall ivithin three days die in torture, 
as it is uncertain whether it may happen by reason of her will or by 
accident, it is decreed that she may be admitted to communion, hav- 
ing done lawful penance, after seven years, if it happened by her 


will; if hy accident, after five years. But slioidd she get sick 
within the time 23rescribed, she may get communion. 

Spanish ladies, at that period, had not yet so far yielded to the 
benign influence of the gospel, and so far restrained their violence 
of temper, as to show due mercy to their female slaves. 

It may be well to observe a beneficial change, not only in pub- 
lic opinion, but even in the court, by reason of the influence of the 
spirit of Christianity; so that the pagan more than once reproved, 
by his mercy, the professor of a better faith. 

Theodoret (1. 9, de Grrec. cur. aff".) informs us that Plato esta- 
blished the moral and legal innocence of the master who slew his 
slave. Ulpian, the Roman jurist (1. 2, de his quoe sunt sui vel 
alieni jur.) testifies the power which — in imitation of the Greeks — 
the Roman masters had over the lives of their slaves. The well- 
known sentence of Pollio upon the unfortunate slave that broke a 
crystal vase at supper, — that he should be cast as food to fish, — 
and the interference of Augustus, who was a guest at that supper, 
give a strong exemplification of the tyranny then in many instances 

Antoninus Pius issued a constitution about the year 150, restrain- 
ing this power, and forbidding a master to put his own slave to 
death, except in those cases where he would be permitted to slay 
the slave of another. The cruelty of the Spaniards to their slaves, 
in the province of Boetica, gave occasion to the constitution ; and 
we have a rescript of Antoninus to ^lius Martianus, the proconsul 
of Boetica, in the case of the slave of Julius Sabinus, a Spaniard. 
In this the right of the masters to their slaves is recognised, hue 
the oflScer is directed to hear their complaints of cruelty, starva- 
tion, and oppressive labour; to protect them, and, if the complaints 
be founded in truth, not to allow their return to the master; and 
to insist on the observance of the constitution. 

Caius (in 1. 2, ad Cornel, de sicar.) states that the cause should 
be proved in presence of judges before the master could pronounce 
his sentence. Spartianus, the biographer, informs us that the Em- 
peror Adrian, the immediate predecessor of Antoninus, enacted a 
law forbidding masters to kill their slaves, unless legally convicted. 
And Ulpian relates that Adrian placed, during five years, in con- 
finement (relegatio) Urabricia, a lady of noble rank, because, for 
very slight causes, she treated her female slaves most crucll3\ 
But Constantine the Great, about the year 820, enacted that no 
master should, under penalty due to homicide, put his slave \to 


death, and gave the jurisdiction to the judges; but if the slave 
died casually, after necessary chastisement, the master was not 
accountable to any legal tribunal, (Const, in 1. i. ; C. Theod. de 
emendat. servorum.) 

As Christianity made progress, the unnatural severity with 
which this class of human beings was treated became relaxed, and 
as the civil law ameliorated their condition, the canon law, by its 
spiritual efficacy, came in with the aid of religion, to secure that, 
the followers of the Saviour should give full force to the merciful 
provisions that were introduced. 

The principle which St. Augustine laid down was that observed. 
The state was to enact the laws regulating this species of property ; 
the church was to plead for morality and to exhort to practise 

About the same time, St. Peter, archbishop of Alexandria, 
drew up a number of penitential canons, pointing out the manner 
of receiving, treating, and reconciling the "lapsed," or those who, 
through fear of persecution, fell from the profession of the faith. 
Those canons were held in high repute, and were generally adopted 
by the eastern bishops. 

The sixth of those canons exhibits to us a device of weak 
Christians, who desired to escape the trials of martyrdom, without 
being guilty of actual apostasy. A person of this sort procured 
that one of his slaves should personate him, and in his name should 
apostatize. The canon prescribes for such a slave, who necessarily 
was a Christian and a slave of a Christian, but one-third of the 
time required of a free person, in a mitigated penance, taking into 
account the influence of fear of the master, which, though it did 
not excuse, yet it diminished the guilt of the apostasy. 

The general council of Nice, in Bythinia, was held in the year 
325, when Constantino was emperor. In the first canon of this 
council, according to the usual Greek and Latin copies, there is a 
provision for admitting slaves, as well as free persons who have 
been injured by others, to holy orders. In the Arabic copy, the 
condition is specially expressed, which is not found in the Greek 
or Latin, but Avhicli had been previously well known and universally 
established, ^'' that this should 7iot take place unless the slave had 
been manumitted by his master.'' 

About this period, also, several of the 'Gnostic and Tdanichean 
errors prevailed extensively in Asia Minor. The fanatics denied 
tlxe lawfulness of marriage; they forbid meat to be eaten; they 


condemned the use of wine ; they praised extravagantly the 
monastic institutions, and proclaimed the obligation on all to enter 
into religious societies ; they decried the laivfulness of slavery ; 
they denounced the slaveholders as violating equally the laws of 
nature and of religion ; they offered to aid slaves to desert their 
owners ; gave them exhortations^ invitations, asylum, and jyrotec- 
tion ; and in all things assumed to be more holy, more perfect, and 
more spiritual than other men. ! ! ! 

Osius, bishop of Cordova, whom Pope Sylvester sent as his 
legate into the east, and wdio presided in the council of Nice, was 
present when several bishops assembled in the city of Gangroe, 
Paphlagonia, to correct those errors. Pope Symmachus declared, 
in a council held in Rome, about the year 500, that Osius con- 
firmed, by the authority of the pope, the acts of this council. The 
decrees have been admitted into the body of canon law, and have 
always been regarded as a rule of conduct in the Catholic church. 
The third canon : 

Si quis docet servum, pietatis prretextu, dominum contemnere, 
et a ministerio recedere, et non cum benevolentia et omni honore 
domino suo inservire. Anathema sit. 

If any one, under the pretence of piety, teaches a slave to despise 
Ids master, and to withdraw from his service, and not to serve his 
master with good-ivill and all respect. Let him he anathema. 

Let him he anathema is never appended to any decree which 
does not contain the expression of unchangeable doctrine respect- 
ing belief or morality, and indicates that the doctrine has been 
revealed by God. It is precisely what St. Paul says in G-al. i. 8 : 
"But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach a gospel to you 
beside that which we have preached to you, let him be anathema." 
9: "As we said before to you, so I say now again: If any man 
preach to you a gospel besides that which you have received ; let 
him be anathema." It is therefore manifest, that although this 
council of GangrfB was a particular one, yet the universal recep- 
tion of this third canon, with its anathema, and its recosnitiou in 
the Roman council by Pope Symmachus, gives it the greatest au- 
thority ; and in Labbe it is further entitled as approved by Leo lY., 
about the year 850, dist. 20, C. de libell. 

Several councils were held in Africa in the third and fourtl^ 
centuries, in Carthage, in Milevi, and in Hippo. About the year 
422, the first of Pope Celestine I., one was held under Aurelius, 
archbishop of Carthage, and in which St. Augustine sat as bishop 


of Hippo and legate of Numidia. A compilation was made of 
the canons of this and the preceding ones, which was styled the 
"African Council." The canon cxvi. of this collection, taken 
into the body of the canon law, decrees that slaves shall not be 
admitted as prosecutors, nor shall certain freedmen be so admitted, 
except to complain for themselves ; and for this, as well as for the 
incapacity of several others there described, the public law is cited, 
as well as the 7th and 8th councils of Carthage. 

The great St. Basil was born in 329, and died in 379. His 
works, called " Canonical," contain a great number of those which 
were the rules of discipline, not only for Asia Minor, but for the 
vast regions in its vicinity. The fortieth canon regards the mar- 
riages of female slaves. In this he mentions a discipline which 
was not general, but was peculiar to the north-eastern provinces of 
the church, requiring the consent of the master to the validit}' of 
the marriage-contract of a female slave : this was not required in 
other places, as is abundantly testified by several documents. 

The forty-second canon treats in like manner of the marriages 
of children without their parents' consent, and generally of those 
of all slaves without the consent of the owner. 


It may not be improper now to take a more particular view of 
the civil world, its condition, and of those wars at the instance of 
which it had been, and then was, flooded with slaves. As an 
example, we select the middle of the fifth century: 

Attila, to whom the Romans gave the sobriquet, ^^ JFlagellum 
Dei," Scourge of God, was driven by ^tius out of Gaul in the 
year 451 ; and the following year, pouring his wild hordes down 
upon Italy, conquered Aquillia, Pavia, Milan, and a great number 
of small cities, and was in the attitude of marching on Rome. 
The Emperor Valentinian III,, who was a weak prince, panic- 
struck, shut himself up in Ravenna ; and his general, ^tius, who 
had been so victorious in Gaul, partook of the general fear when 
invaded at home. The destruction of Rome and its imperial 
power, the slaughter and slavery of the Roman people, and the 
extinction of the church appeared probable. Under such a state 


of things, the emperor and his council prevailed on Leo the pon- 
tiff himself, supported by Albienus and Tragelius, men of great 
experience and talent, to undertake an embassy to the enemy's 
camp, then on the banks of the Minzo. This embassy was ac- 
companied by a most grand and numerous retinue — a small army — 
armed, not with the weapons of war, but with the crosier and 
crook. Nor did Attila attempt to hide his joy for their arrival. 
The most profound attention, the most convincing demonstrations 
of his kindness to them, were studiously displayed by him. 

The terms proposed were readily accepted, and Attila and his 
army, a tornado fraught with moral and physical ruin to Rome, 
the church, and the civilized world, silently sank away far behind 
the Danube. 

Nor is it strange that the great success of this embassy should 
have been attributed to some intervention of miraculous power 
during the dark ages that followed ; — and hence we find that, four 
hundred years after, in one of Gruter's copies of " The Historica 
Miscella," it is stated that St. Peter and St. Paul stood, visible 
alone to Attila, on either side of Leo, brandishing a sword, com- 
manding him to accept whatever Leo should offer ; and this is 
quoted as credible history by Barronius, ad arm. 452, no. 
47-59, and has been painted by RaffLiele, at a much later period. 
The idea was perhaps poetical, and this piece alone would have 
immortalized the artist. But it is truly singular that this ap- 
pearance of Peter and Paul should have gained a place in the 
Roman Breviary, especially as it is nowhere alluded to by Leo, 
nor by his secretary. Prosper, who was present at that treaty, nor 
by any contemporary whatever. The facts attached to Attila, iu 
connection with this treaty, were : — His army was extremely desti- 
tute, and a contagious and very mortal disease was raging in his 
camp ; in addition to which, Marcian had gathered a large army, 
then under march for Italy, to join the imperial forces under 
^tius, while, at the same moment, another army, sent by Marcian 
long before, were then ravaging the country of the Huns them- 
selves: of these facts Attila was well advised. These were the 
agencies that operated on his mind in favour of peace with Valen- 
tinian. To us the idea seems puerile to suppose Jehovah sending 
Peter and Paul, sword in hand, to frighten his Hunnish majesty 
from making slaves of the Roman people. 

Would it not be more consonant with the general acts of his 
providence to point Attila to his diseased army ; to their conse- 


quent want of supplies, and to the threatening danger of his being 
totally cut oiT by the two armies of Marcian, saying nothing of 
the possibility of a restored confidence among the then panic- 
struck Romans? Besides, it has been well ascertained that, at the 
time of Leo's arrival, he had been liesitating whether to march on 
Rome — or recross the Alps. See Boiver, vol. ii. p. 202 ; also, Jor- 
nandez Ilei: Cfotli. c. 41, 49. 

But, we acknowledge the intervening influences of the Divine 
will, in this case, as forcibly as it could be urged, even if attended 
with all the particulars and extravagancies of the poetic painter's 
fancy. We have alluded to this particle of the history of that 
day, as it stands upon the records, in order that, while we quote, 
we may not be misunderstood as to our view of the providences of 

But to return to our subject : — Upon a review of these times, we 
may notice the distractions of the church by means of the various 
heresies which imbittered against each other the difterent profes- 
sions of the Christian faith. How the followers of Arius, for more 
than half a century, spread confusion and violence over the entire 
Christian world : — How, crushed and driven out by Theodosius, 
thousands took shelter. among the pagans, whose movements they 
stimulated, and whom we now perceive in progress of the gradual 
overthrow of the Roman Empire : — How, upon the partial or more 
general successes of these hordes, their Arian confederates, Avith a 
fresh memory of their late oppressions and the cruelties inflicted 
on them, retaliated with unsparing severity and bloodshed upon 
their Nicene opponents ; while, among all these savage invaders, 
the Arian creed supplanted and succeeded the pagan worship : — 
How this wild Attila swept the banks of the Danube and the Rhine, 
carrying death or desolation to the followers of Pharamond, and 
to the Goths, who had then already established themselves in the 
strongholds of ancient Gaul and of the more modern Romans. 
True, his career was checked on the banks of the Rhone, but, like 
a hunted lion, he rushed towards the Mediterranean, and, recruit- 
ing his force in Pannonia, directed his march to Italy ; and to-day, 
after fourteen centuries, it is said that Aquillia still stands the 
monument of his barbarity. We have this moment noticed the 
extraordinary manner in which, it is said, by the monition of Leo, 
his path of ruin was suddenly directed to the ice-bound fortresses 
of the north. But the captives made on both sides, in these deso- 
lating wars, greatly increased the number of slaves of the white 


race, -which otherwise, from operating causes, -would have been 

Up to this time in these regions, and, as we shall see, to a much 
later time, slavery -was the result of that mercj in the victor, 
whereby he spared the life of the conquered enemy. Its condition 
did not depend on any previous condition of degradation, of free- 
dom or slavery, nor upon the race or colour of the captive ; — and 
the wars, for ages, which had been and were so productive of 
slavery, Avere almost exclusively among those who, in common, 
claimed a Caucasian origin. Instances of African slavery were rare. 
The Romans derived some few from their African wars, valued 
mostly by pride, because they were the most rare. 

Thus we read in the Life of Nero, by Tacitus : — " Nero never 
travelled with less than a thousand basffao-e-wafrons ; the mules all 
shod with silver, and the drivers dressed in scarlet ; his African 
slaves adorned with bracelets on their arms, and the horses deco- 
rated with the richest trappings." Bat these times had passed 
away. Yet we find in the Life of Alphonso el Casto, that, upon 
his conquest of Lisbon, 798, he sent seven Moorish slaves as a 
present to Charlemagne. And also, in Bower's "Lives of the 
Popes," that in 849, "A company of Moors, from Africa, rendez- 
voused at Tozar, in Sardinia, and thence made an incursion, by the 
Tiber, on Rome. But they were mostly lost in a storm before 
landing. Of those who got on shore, some were killed in battle, 
some were hanged, and a large number were brought to Rome and 
reduced to slavery." 

Yet the great mass of slaves were of the same race and colour 
of their masters ; and at this age, a most important fact with the 
Christian, if they were pagans, was their conversion to Christianity. 

For the first three hundred years, we may notice how Chris- 
tianity had threaded her way amidst the troublous and barbarous 
paganisms of that age. But, at the time to which we have arrived, 
Christianity had ruled the civilized world for more than a century. 
And had Providence seen fit to have attended her future path with 
peace, human sympathy might have fondly hoped that the mild 
spirit of her religion would have been poured in ameliorating, pu- 
rifying streams upon the condition and soul of the slave, and like 
a dissolving' oil on the chains that bound him. . 



"VYe present a series of records and documents which elucidate 
the practice and doctrine of the church in regard to slavery, as wo 
find it in that age. 

These records are mostly extracts from Bishop England's Let- 
ters, and collated by him with accuracy. Some few, from Bower, 
Bede, Lingard, and others, will be noticed in their place. 

It should be remembered that, in all cases where the contrary 
is not explicitly announced, the slave is of the same colour and 
race as the master. At this era of the Avorld, slaves were toc^ 
common, and their value too little, to warrant the expense of a dis- 
tant importation. The negro slave, from his exhibiting an extreme 
variety of the human species, was regarded more as an article of 
curiosity and pride than usefulness ; and therefore was seldom or 
never found in Europe, except near the royal palaces, or in the 
trains of emperors. 

As early as the days of Polycarp and St. Ignatius, who were 
disciples of the apostles, Christians had, from motives of mercy, 
charity, and affection, manumitted many of their slaves in presence 
of the bishops, and this was more or less extensively practised 
through the succeeding period. In several churches, it was agreed 
that if a slave became a Christian, he should be manumitted on 
receiving baptism. In Rome, the slave was frequently manumitted 
by the form called vindicta, with the praetor's rod. Constantine, 
in the year 317, Sozomen relates, lib. i. c. 9, transferred this au- 
thority to the bishops, who were empowered to use the rod in the 
church, and have the manumission testified in the presence of the 
congregation. A rescript of that emperor to this effect is found 
in the Theodosian code, 1. i. c. Be his qui in eccl. manumitt. The 
master, who consented to manumit the slave, presented him to the 
bishop, in presence of the congregation, and the bishop pronounced 
him free, and became the guardian of his freedom. The rescript 
was directed to Protogenas, bishop of Sardica, and was in the con- 
sulship of Sabinus and Bufiinus. 

In book ii. of the same code, is a rescript to Osius, bishop of 
Cordova, in which the emperor empowers the bishops to grant the 


privilege of Roman citizenship to such freedmen as they may judge 

In the consulship of Crispus and Constantine, a grant was 
given to the clergy of manumitting their own slaves when they 
pleased, by any form they should think proper. About a century 
later, St. Augustine, bishop of Hippo, informs us [Sermo. de di- 
versis, 50) that this form was established in Africa. " The deacon 
of Hippo is a poor man : he has nothing to give to any person : 
but, before he was a clergyman, he, by the fruit of his labour and 
industry, bought some little servants, and is to-day, by the epis- 
copal act, about to manumit them in your sight." 

This same bishop writes, {Enarrat in Ps. cxxiv.,) "Christ does 
not wish to make you proud while you walk in this journey, that 
is, while you are in this life. Has it happened that you have 
been made a Christian, and you have a man as your master : you 
have not been made a Christian that you may scorn to serve. 
When, therefore, by the command of Christ you are the servant 
of a man, your service is not to him, but to the one that gave you 
the command to serve. And he says. Hear your masters, ac- 
cording to the flesh, with fear and trembling, and in the simplicity 
of your hearts, not as eye-servants, as if pleasing men, but, as 
the servants of Christ, doing the will of God, from your hearts, 
with a good will. Behold, he did not liberate you from being ser- 
vants, but ho made those who were bad servants to be good ser- 
vants. Oh, how much do the rich owe to Christ who has thus set 
order in their houses ! So, if there be in his family a faithless 
slave, and Christ convert him, he does not say to him. Leave 
your master, because you have now known him who is the true 
Master ! Perhaps this master of yours is impious and unjust, and 
that you are faithful and just : it is unbecoming that the just and 
faithful should serve the unjust and the infidel : this is not what 
he said; but, let him rather serve." This great doctor of the 
church continues at considerable length to show how Christ, by his 
own example, exhorts the servants to fidelity and .obedience to 
their masters in every thing, save what is contrary to God's ser- 
vice. Subsequently, he passes to the end of time, and the opening 
of eternity, and shows many good, obedient, and afflicted servants 
mingled with good masters among the elect, and bad, faithless, and 
stubborn servants, with cruel masters, cast among the reprobates. 

In his hooh i., on the Sermon of OJirist on the 3fount, he dwells 
upon the duty of Christian masters to their slaves. They are not 


to regar<{ tliem as mere property, but to treat them as human 
beings having immortal souls, for which Christ died. 

Thus we perceive that, though from the encouragement of manu- 
mission and the spirit of Christianity, the number of slaves had 
been greatly reduced and their situation greatly improved, still 
the principles were recognised of the moral and religious legality 
of holding slave property, and of requiring that they should per- 
form a reasonable service. 

The instances of voluntary slavery, such as that of St. Paulinus, 
were not rare. It is related, that having bestowed all that he 
could raise, to ransom prisoners taken by the barbarians who over- 
ran the country; upon the application of a poor widow whose son 
was held in captivity, he sold himself, to procure the means of her 
son's release. His good conduct procured the affection of his 
master, and subsequently his emancipation. Thus slavery lost 
some of its degrading character. This, together with the confu- 
sion arising from the turbulence accompanying the invasions, 
caused a relaxation of discipline : to remedy some of the abuses, 
Pope Leo issued several letters. The following is an extract from 
the first of them : it has been taken into the body of the canon 
law. Dist. 5, Admittuntur : — 

" Admittuntur passim ad ordinem sacrum, quibus nulhx natalium, 
nulla morum dignitas suffragatur : et qui a dominis suis libertatem 
consequi minime potuerunt, ad fastigium sacerdotii, tanquam servilis 
vilitas hunc honorem jure capiat, provehuntur, et probari Deo se 
posse creditur, qui domino suo necdum probare se potuit. Duplex 
itaque in hac parte reatus est, quod et sacrum mysterium (minis- 
terium) talis consortii vilitate polluitur, et dominorum, quantum ad 
illicitiB usurpationis temeritatem pertinet, jura solvuntur. Ab his 
itaque, fratres carissimi, omnes provinciee vestrae abstineant sacer- 
dotes : et non tantum ab his, sed ab illis etiam, qui aut originali 
aut alicui conditioni obligati sunt, volumus temperari : nisi forte 
eorum petitio aut voluntas accesserit, qui aliquid sibi in eos vindi- 
cant potestatis. Debet enim esse immunis ab aliis, qui divinte 
militiai fuevit aggregandus ; ut a castris Dominicis, quibus nomen 
ejus adscribitur, nullis necessitatis vinculis abstrahatur." 

Persons who have not the qualifications of birth or conduct, 
are everywhere admitted to holy orders ; and they ivho could not 
procure freedom from their masters are elevated to the rank of the 
priesthood ; as if the loivliness of slavery could rightfully claim this 
honour : and, as if he who could not procure the approbation of 


even his master, could jiroeure that of God. There is, therefore, 
in this a double criminality : for the holy ministry is polluted by 
the meanness of this fellowship, and so far as regards the rashness 
of this unlawful usurpation, the rights of the masters are infringed. 
Wherefore, dearest brethren, let all the j^^i^sts of your ])rovince 
keep aloof from these :. and not only from these, but also, ive desire 
they should abstain from those tvho are under bond, by origin or 
any condition, except p>erchance upon the petition or consetit of the 
persons who have them in their potver in any ivay. For he ivho is 
to be aggregated to the divine tvarfare, ought to be exempA from 
other obligations : so that he may not by any bond of necessity be 
drawn away from that camp of the Lord for which his name has 
been enrolled. 

Prosper, lib. 2 de vita contemplat. c. 3, and many other writers of 
this century, treat of the relative duties of the Christian master 
and his Christian slave. The zeal and charity of several holy 
men led them to make extraordinary sacrifices during this period, 
to redeem the captives from the barbarians : besides the remark- 
able instance of Paulinus, we have the ardent and persevering 
charity of Exuperius, bishop of Toulouse, who sold the plate belong- 
ing to the church, and used glass for the chalice, that he might be 
able by every species of economy to procure jiberty for the enslaved. 

Nor was this a solitary instance. About the year 513, Pope 
Symmachus called a national council, by which, among other 
enactments, he established the rule that under no circumstances, 
could the church property be alienated. See Bower, vol. ii. p. 277. 

About the year 535, Ciesarius, primate of Aries, applied to 
Pope Agapetus for means to relieve the poor Christians in Gaul. 
But, at that time, the church being quite destitute of money, the 
pope excused himself, and quoted the decree of Symmachus. The 
Arians, and some others, hence inculcated the doctrine that the 
alienation of church property, under any circumstances, was 
sacrilege. The laws of the empire also forbid such alienation, but 
with the proviso, " except there was no other means by which the 
poor could be relieved in time of famine, nor the captives be re- 
deemed from slavery." Such was the practice among the most 
pious of the age. 

St. Ambrose did not scruple to melt down the communion-plate 
of the church of Milan to redeem some captives, who otherwise 
must have continued in slavery. The Arians changed him with 
sacrilege : in answer to which he wrote his Apology, which has 


reached this late day, as the rules and reasons of the church m 
such cases. He says — " Is it not better that the plate should be 
melted by the bishop to maintain the poor, when they can be 
maintained by no other means, than that it should become the 
6poil and plunder of a sacrilegious enemy ? Will not the Lord 
thus expostulate with us, Why did you suffer so many helpless 
persons to die with hunger, when you had gold to relieve and sup- 
port them ? Why were so many captives carried away and sold 
without ransom ? Why were so many suffered to be slain by the 
enemy ? It would have been better to have preserved the vessels 
of living men than lifeless metals. To this, what answer can be 
returned? Should one say, I was afraid that the temple of God 
should want its ornaments : Christ would answer. My sacraments 
require no gold, nor do they please me more for being ministered 
in gold, as they are not to be bought with gold. The ornament 
of my sacrament is the redemption of captives ; and those alone 
are precious vessels that redeem souls from death." 

The saint concludes that though it would be highly criminal for 
a man to convert the sacred vessels to his own private use, yet it 
is so far from being a crime, that he looks upon it as an obligation 
incumbent on him and his brethren to prefer the living temples of 
God to the unnecessary ornaments of the material edifices. See 
Ambrose de OflSc. lib. ii. cap. 28 ; and such was the doctrine of St. 
Austin, see Possid. Vit. Aug. caput 24 ; of Acacius of Amida, see 
Socrat. lib. vii. c. 24 ; of Deigratias of Carthage, see Vict, de 
Persec. Vandal, lib. i. ; of Cyril of Jerusalem, see Theodoret, lib. 
ii. c. 27 ; yea all, who have touched on the subject, have subscribed 
to the doctrine of St. Ambrose. Even the Emperor Justinian, in 
his law against sacrilege, forbids the church plate, vestments, or 
any other gifts, to be sold, or paAvned ; but adds, " except in case 
of captivity or famine, the lives and souls of men being preferable 
to any vessels or vestments whatever." See Codex Just. lib. i. 
tit. 2. de Sacr. Eccles. leg. 21 ; also see Bower's Life of Agapetus, 
p. 354. 

It will be readily conceived that the barbarians, in the earlier 
ages of the Christian church, treated their slaves with cruelty, in- 
consistent with the spirit of the new religion; and, upon their 
adoption of the Christian creed, they sometimes ran into an oppo- 
site extreme, contrary to the rules of the church. In both cases 
the church used her authority, and, says Bishop England, upon 
their embrace of Christianity, "slavery began to assume a variety 


of mitigated forms among them," which will, in some degree, be 
developed as we proceed with the history of canonical legislation 
on that subject. 

The rules of the Christian church are evidently founded upon 
the laws of God, as delivered to Moses: "And if a man smite his 
servant, or his maid, with a rod, and he die under his hand,;,he 
shall be surely punished. Notwithstanding, if he continue a da,y 
or two, he shall not be punished : for he is his money." 

" If a man smite the eye of his servant, or the eye of his maid, 
that it perish, he shall let him go free for his eye's sake. And 
if he smite his man-servant's tooth, or his maid-servant's tooth, 
he shall let him go for his tooth's sake." Exod. xxi. 20, 21, 26, 27. 
And if a man took his female slave to wife, and became displeased 
with her * * * she should be free. See Deut. xxi. 10-15. 
But fornication in a female slave was not punished by death, but 
by stripes. See Lev. xix. 20-23. 

Neither the laws of Moses, nor indeed of any civilized people, 
have ever permitted unusual or cruel punishments to be inflicted on 
the slave. Civilization, as well as Judaism, seems to have incul- 
cated, " Be not exces'sive toward any ; and without discretion do 
nothing. If thou have a servant, let him be unto thee as thyself, 
because thou hast bought him with a price." Eccl. xxxiii. 29. 

Among heathen nations, their laws were to the effect, that when 
the slave, sick or wounded, was neglected, or abandoned to his fate 
by his master ; yet, if he recovered, the master should lose his 
property in such slave, and the slave should be free ; and such 
neglect was often otherwise made punishable. The Roman law 
sanctioned this doctrine : " Si verberatus fuerit servus non morti- 
fere, negligentia autem perierit, de vulnerato actio erit, non de 
occiso." See Lex Aquillia. And so in ancient France, see Foedere, 
vol. iii. p. 290 : If negligence or had treatment towards the slave 
rcas proved in the 7naster, the slave was declared free. 

At this day, in all civilized countries, the civil law forbids un- 
usual and cruel punishment of slaves, and also a wanton and care- 
less negliorence of them, cither in sickness or health. Thus the 
law punishes the master for his neglect to govern his slaves, by 
making him responsible for their bad conduct, and the damage their 
want of proper government may occasion others. 

In the year 494, Pope Gelesius admonished the bishops, at their 
ordinations, that — 

" Ne unquam ordinationes praesumat illicitas ; ne * * * cura; 


aut cuilibet conditioni obnoxium notatumque ad sacros orc^nes 
permittat accedere." 

That lie should never i^resume to hold unlaiofiil ordinations ; 
that he should not alloio to holy orders * * * any j^&rson hound 
to the service of the court, or liable to bond for his condition 
(slavery) or marked thereto. 

In the year 506, a council was held at Agdle, the sixty-second 
canon of which is — 

" Si quis servum proprium sine conscientia judicis occiderit, 
excommunicatione vel poenitentia biennii reatum sanguinis emen- 

If any one shall j^ut his oivn servant to death, without the know- 
ledge of the judge, let him make compensation for the guilt of 
blood by excommunication or tivo years penance. 

Another council was held eleven years later. Many of the 
canons of this synod are transcripts of those of Agdle. The 
thirty -fourth is : 

"Si quis servum proprium sine conscientia, judicis occiderit, ex- 
communicatione biennii effusionem sanguinis expiabit." 

If any one shall slay his oum servant ivithout the knoivledge of 
the judge, let him expiate the shedding of blood by an excommuni- 
cation of two years. 

This was nearly two hundred years after the law of Constantine 
forbidding this exercise of power by the master. 

The third council of Orleans was held in the year 538. 

The thirteenth canon regulates, that if Christian slaves shall be 
possessed by Jews, and these latter require them to do any thing 
forbidden by the Christian religion, or if the Jews shall seize upon 
any of their servants to whip or punish theni for those things 
that have been declared to be excusable or forgiven, and those 
slaves fly to the church for protection, they are not to be given up, 
unless there be given and received a just and sufficient sum to war- 
rant their protection. 

The canon xxvi. gives a specimen of the early feudalism nearly 
similar to the subsequent villain service. 

" Ut nullus servilibus colonariisque conditionibus obligatus, juxta 
statuta sedis^ apostolicae, ad honores ecclesiasticos admittatur ; 
nisi prius ailt testamento, aut per tabulas legitime constiterit abso- 
lutum. Quod si quis episcoporum, ejus qui ordinatur conditionem 
sciens, transgredi per ordinationem inhibitam fortasse voluerit, 
anni spatio missas facere non prjesumat." 


Let no one held under servile or colonizing conditions he ad- 
mitted to church honours, in violation of the statutes of the Apos- 
tolic see ; unless it he evident that he has heen previously absolved 
therefrom hy will or hy deed. And if any hishop, heing aware of 
such condition of the^person so ordained, shall wilfully transgress 
hy making such unlaivful ordination, let him not presume to cele- 
hrate mass for the space of a year. 

The colonial condition was in its origin different from the mere 
servile. The mancipium or manu caption was the servus or slave 
made in war : the colonus, or husbandman, though, at the period 
at which we are arrived, he frequently was in as abject a condition, 
yet was so by a different process. St. Augustine, in cap. i. lib. x. 
De Civitate Dei, tells us, " Coloni dicuntur, qui conditionem debe- 
bant genitali solo propter agriculturam sub dominio possessorum." 
They are called colonists who owe their condition to their native 
land, under the dominion of its possessors. 

The following history of various modes by which they became 
servants, is taken from the work De Guhernat. Dei, lib. v., by the 
good and erudite Salvianus, a priest, who died at Marseilles, about 
the year 484. 

Nonnulli eorum de quibus loquimur, * * * q^^^ domicilia 
atque agellos sues pervasionibus perdunt, aut fatigati ab exactoribus 
deserunt, quia tenere non possunt, fundos majorum expetunt, et 
coloni divitum fiunt. Aut sicut solent hi qui hostium terrore cora- 
pulsi, ad castella se conferunt, aut qui perdito ingenuoe incolumi- 
tatis statu ad asylum aliquod desperatione confugiunt : ita et isti 
qui habere amplius vel sedem vel dignitatem suorum natalium non 
queunt, jugo se inquilinee abjectionis addicunt: in banc necessita- 
tem redacti, ut exactores non facultatis tantum, set etiam condi- 
tionis sujB, atque exultantes non a rebus tantum suis, sed etiam a 
seipsis, ac perdentes secum omnia sua, et rcrum proprietate care- 
ant, et jus libertatis amittant. * * * Illud gravius et acerbius, 
quod additur huic malo servilius malum. Nam suscipiuntur advents, 
fiunt prsejudicio habitationis indigent, et quos suscipiunt ut extra- 
neos et alienos, incipiunt habere quasi proprios : quos esse constat 
ingenuos, vertunt in servos. 

Some of those, when they lose their dwellings and their little f elds 

hy invasion, or leave them, heing wo7'ried hy exactions, as they can 

no longer hold them, seek the grounds of the larger proprietors, and 

hecome the colonists of the wealthy. Or, as is usual ivith those tvho 

are driven off hy the fear of enemies, and take refuge in the castles, 



orwJio, having lost their state of safe freedom, Jl^ to some asylum in 
despair : so they who can no longer have the place or the dignity 
derived from their birth, subject themselves to the abject yoke of the 
sojourner s lot; reduced to such necessity, that they are stripped 
not only of their property, but also of their t^Lnk; going into exile 
not only from tvhat belongs to them but from their very selves, and 
with themselves losing all that they had, they are bereft of any pro- 
perty in things and lose the very right of liberty. * * * ^ 
more degrading injury is added to this evil. For they are received 
as strangers, they become inhabitants bereft of the rights of inhabit- 
ants; they who receive them as foreigners and aliens begin to treat 
them as property, and change into slaves those u^ho, evidently, were 

In this picture of tlie colonist, we may find the outline of the 
villain of a later age ; and in the several enactments and regula- 
tions of succeeding legislators and councils, we shall discover the 
changes which servitude underwent previous to its total extinction 
in Europe. 

Flodoardin, c. 28, History of the church of Eheims, gives us the 
will of St. Remi, its bishop, who baptized Clovis, upon his conver- 
sion in 496, and who was still living in the year 550. This docu- 
ment grants freedom to some of the colonists belonging to that 
church and retains others in service. 

Du Cange says (Art. Colonus) that though in several instances 
the condition of the colonists was as abject as that of slaves, yet 
generally they were in a better position. Erant igitur coloni 
mediae conditionis inter ingenuos seu liberos et servos. 


From the fact that the slaves of this era were of the same 
colour and other physical qualities of their masters ; from their 
great number, and consequently little value, their condition 
became attended with extremely diverse circumstances ; so various 
were, therefore, the relations between them and the master, that 
it wpuld now be impossible, perhaps, to give an accurate history of 
their various castes. These facts should be kept in mind, lest we 
mistake, and find confusion, where distinction was sufiiciently clear 
and obvious. 


Muratori, treating of the Roman slaves and freedmen, acknow- 
ledges that he is unable accurately to state the conditions on 
ivhich they manumitted their slaves. In his treatise, " Sopra i 
Servi e Liherti AnticJii," he has a passage thus: 

Noi non sappiamo se con patti, e con quai patti una vulta si 
manomettessero que' Servi, che poi continuavano come Liberti a 
servire in Casa de' loro Padroni, con essere alzati a piu onorati 
impieghi. Sappiamo bensi dal Tit. 7ie Operis Libertorum, e dall' 
altro de bonis Libertorum ne' Digesti, che moltissimi acquistavano 
la Liberta con obbligarsi di fare ai Padroni de' Regaii, o delle 
Fatture, se erano Artefici, Operas, vel Donum. Questo si prati- 
cava verisimilmente dai soli Mercatanti, ed altri Signori dati all' 
interarse, ma non gia dalle Nobili Case. Per conto di questo, le 
antiche Iscrizioni ci fanno vedere, che moltissimi furono colore, 
che anche dopo la conseguita Liberta seguitavano a convivere, e 
servire in quelle medesime Case, non piu come Servi, ma come 
Liberti, perche probabilmente tornava il conto agli uni e agli 
altri. I Padroni si servivano di Persone loro confidenti, e gia 
innestate nella propria Famiglia ; ei Liberti cresciuti di onore, e 
di guadagno poteano cumulare roba per se e per li Figli. Non 
ho io potuto scoprire se i Romani tenessero Servi Mercenarj come 
oggidi. di veri Servi, o di Liberti allora si servivano. Cio 
posto, maraviglia e, che il Pignoria, in trattando degli Ufizj de' 
Servi antichi, imbrogliasse tanto le carte, senza distinguere i Servi 
dai Liberti, e con attribuir molti impieghi ai primi, che pure erano 
riserbati agli ultimi. E piu da stupire e, citarsi da lui Marmi, che 
parlano di Liberti, e pure sono presi da esso, come se parlassero 
di Servi. 

We knoio not whether tliey manumitted upon condition, or, if 
so, upon what conditions they manumitted formerly those servants 
who continued thenceforth as freed persons, but elevated to more 
honourable employments, to serve in the houses of their masters. 
We do indeed know in the Tit. de Operis Libertorum, and in 
another de bonis Libertorum of the Digests, that very many 
acquired their liberty with the obligation of giving to their masters 
IJresents, or doing toork if they were artists, Operas vel donum. 
This was in all likelihood practised only by merchants or other 
masters given to making p>rofit, but not by noble houses. As to 
these the ancient inscrip)tions exhibit to us that very many xoho 
obtained their freedom, yet continued to live and to do service in 
those same houses, no longer as slaves, but as freed persons, because 


probably each party found it beneficial. The j^atrons kept about 
them persons in whom they had confidence, and who had already 
been engrafted on their families ; the freed persons, grown to 
honour and mahing profit could create property for themselves and 
for their children. I cannot discover whether the Romans had 
hireling servants, as is noiv the case. They had then true slaves and 
sometimes freed persons. This being the case, it is matter of sur- 
prise that Pignoria, in treating of the employment of the ancient 
slaves, should have been so perplexed as not to be able clearly to dis- 
tinguish slaves from freed persons, and should have attributed to 
the former many employments lohich ivere specially reserved for the 
latter : and it is more to be loond^cred at, that marbles tvhich speak 
of freed j^er sons are referred to by him and explained as treating 
of slaves. 

It is clear that even in the days of the Emperor Claudius, to 
whose reign, A. D. 45, the marble of which he treats refers, and 
probably long before that period, many of the freedmen of the 
Roman empire were bound to do certain services for the patrons 
who had been their masters, and that this obligation descended to 
their progeny. Hence this would still be a species of servitude. 

The barbarians who overran the empire came chiefly from 
Scythia and Germany, as that vast region was then called which 
stretches from the Alps to the Northern Ocean. When they 
settled in the conquered provinces of Gaul and in Italy, they 
introduced many of their customs as well of government as of 
policy. Most of their slaves were what the writers of the second, 
third, and fourth centuries describe as eoloni and conditionibus 
obligati. As Tacitus describes, in xxv. De Moribus Germanorum : 

" The slaves in general are not arranged at their several employ- 
ments in the household affairs, as is the practice at Rome. Each 
has his separate habitation, and his own establishment to manage. 
The master considers him as an agrarian dependant, who is 
obliged to furnish a certain quantity of grain, cattle, or wearing- 
apparel. The slave obeys, and the state of servitude extends no 
further. All domestic affairs are managed by the master's wife 
and children. To punish a slave with stripes, to load him with 
chains, or condemn him to hard labour, is unusual. It is true 
that slaves are sometimes put to death, not under colour of justice, 
or of any authority vested in the master; but in a transport of 
passion, in a fit of rage, as is often the case in a sr.dden affray ; 
but it is also true that this species of homicide passes with impu- 


nity. The freedmen mre not of much higher consideration than 
the actual slaves ; they obtain no rank in their master's family, 
and, if we except the parts of Germany where monarchy is esta- 
blished, they never figure on the stage of public business. In 
despotic governments they often rise above the men of ingenuous 
birth, and even eclipse the whole body of the nobles. In other 
states the subordination of the freedmen is a proof of public 

At all ages, slaves who belonged to the absolute monarch, some- 
times became elevated above the native nobility : witness the case 
of Joseph in Egypt ; of Ebed Melech, who was black, in Judea ; 
of Haman, also a black, an Amalekite ; of Mordecai, his successor; 
of Esther the queen ; of Daniel the prophet, and Felix, governor 
of Judea, a Greek slave to the Roman emperor. But such things 
can never occur in a republic. To a political misfortune of this 
kind the prophet alludes — " Servants (slaves) have ruled over 
us" — than which nothing can be more expressive of the loss of 

In the appendix to the Theodosian code, Const. 5, we read — 

Inverecunda arte defendetur, si hi ad conditionem vel orio-inem 
reposcuntur, quibus tempore famis, cum in mortem penuria coge- 
rentur, opitulari non potuit dominus aut patronus. 

It is forbidden as a shameless trick, that an effort should be 
made to regain to their condition or original state, those ivhom the 
master, or patron could not aid, ivhen, in a period of famine, they 
ivere pressed nearly to death by ivant. 

This exhibits the obligation on the patron of the person wider 
condition, and on the master of the slave, to support them, and the 
destruction of their title by the neglect of their duty. 

Muratori observes, that in process of time, the special agree- 
ments and particular enactments regarding the conditions, gave 
such a variety as baffled all attempts at classification and precision. 

At a much earlier period, slaves had become a drug in the 
Italian market. When, about the year 405, Rhadagasius, the 
Goth, was leading upwards of three hundred thousand of his bar- 
barians into Italy, the Emperor Honorius ordered the slaves to 
be armed for the defence of the country, by which arming they 
generally obtained their freedom ; Stilichon, the consul, slew 
nearly one hundred and fifty thousand of the invaders in the 
vicinity of Florence, and made prisoners of the remainder, who 
were sold as slaves at the low price of one piece of gold for each. 


Jacobs estimates the aureus at eleven shillings. It is supposed 
to have contained about TO grains of gold, which will make the 
price of a slave, at that time, about $2.60. But \Yilkins (Leges 
Saxon.) informs us that, in England, about the year 1000, the 
price of a slave was £2 16s. dd. sterling, not quite the value of two 
horses. But, of these slaves of Stilichon, numbers died within 
the year, so that Baronius relates (Annals, a. d. 406) that the 
purchasers had to pay more for their burial than for their bodies ; 
according to the remarks of Orosius, in this state of the market, 
it was easy for the slave to procure that he should be held at a 
condition, and thenceforth the number under condition greatly in- 
creased, and in process of time becauje more numerous than those 
in absolute slavery. 

In the year 541, the fourth council of Orleans was celebrated, 
in the thirtieth year of King Childebert. The ninth canon : — Ut 
episcopus, qui de facultate propria ecclesire nihil relinquit, de ec- 
clesise facultate si quid aliter quam canones eloquuntur obligaverit, 
vendiderit aut distraxerit, ad ecclesiam revocetur, (ab ecclesia, in 
other editions.) Sane si de servis ecclesine libertos fecit numero 
competenti, in ingenuitate permaneant, ita ut ab officio ecclesiee 
non recedant. 

Be it enacted. That a bishoj) who has left none of his private 
property to the church shall not dispose of any of the church 
property, otherunse than as the canons point out. Should he bind 
or sell or separate any thing otherwise, let it he recalled for the 
church. But if, indeed, he has made freemen of slaves of the 
church to a reasonable number, let them continue in their freedom, 
but loith the obligatiori of not departing from the duty of the church. 

The canon xxii. of the same council is — 

Ut servis ecclesise, vel sacerdotum, prsedas et captivitates ex- 
ercere non liceat ; qui iniquum est, ut quorum domini redemp- 
tionis prsestare solent suffragium, per servorum excessum disci- 
plina ecclesiastica maculetur. 

That it be not lauful for the slaves of the church, or of the 
priests, to go on predatory excursions or to make captives, for it 
is unjust that when the inasters are accustomed to aid in redeem- 
ing, the discipline of the chui'ch should be disgraced by the mis- 
conduct of the slaves. 

In Judaism, God had established a limited sanctuary for slaves 
and for certain malefactors, not to encourage crime, but to protect 
against the fury of passion, and to give some sort of aid to the 


feeble. Paganism adopted the principle, and the Christian temple 
and its precincts became, not only by common consent, but by 
legal enactment, the sanctuary instead of the former. Like every 
useful institution, this too was occasionally abused. 

The xxixth canon was — 

Qufficumque mancipia sub specie conjugii ad ecclesia) septa 
confugerint, ut per hoc credant posse fieri conjugium, minime eis 
licentia tribuatur, nee talis conjunctio a clericis defensetur : quia 
probatum est, ut sine legitima traditione conjuncti, pro religionis 
ordine, statuto tempore ab Ecclesise communione suspendantur, ne 
in sacris locis turpi concubitu misceantur. De quit re decernimus, 
ut parentibus aut propriis dominis, prout ratio poscit personarum, 
acceptii fide excusati sub separationis promissione reddantur : post- 
raodum tamen parentibus atque dominis libertate concessa, si eos 
voluerint propria voluntate conjungere. 

Let not those slaves ivho, under pretext of marriage, take refuge 
toitldyi the precincts of the church, imagining that hy this they 
ivould make a marriage, he allowed to do so, nor let such union be 
countenanced hy the clergy : for it has been regulated that they 
who form an union, without lauful delivery, should he, for the 
good order of religion, separated for a fixed period from the com- 
munion of the church, so that this vile connection may he pre- 
ve7ited in holy places. Wherefore we decree, that such persons, 
being declaimed free from the bond of any plighted faith and made 
to promise a sej)aration, should be restored to their parents or 
owners, as the case may require; to be, however, subsequently, if 
the p>arents or ownem should grant leave, married with their own 
free consent. 

As we have seen in some parts of the East at an earlier period, 
now in this portion of the West, the slaves were made incapable of 
entering into the marriage-contract without the owner's consent. 

In this same council, canon xxx., provision is made for affording 
to the Christians, who are held as slaves by the Jews, not only 
sanctuary of the church, but in the house of any Christian, until 
a fair price shall be stipulated for and paid to the Jewish owner, 
if the Christian be unwilling to return to his service. This is a 
clear recognition of the right of property in slaves. 

Canon xxxi. of this council provides, that " if any Jew shall 
bring a slave to he a proselyte to his religion, or make a Jew of a 
Christian slave, or take as his companion a Christian female slave, 
or induce a slave horn of Christian parents to become a Jew utider 


the influence of a promise of emancipation, he shall lose the title 
to every such slave. And further, that if any Christian slave 
shall become a Jeivfor the sake of being manumitted with condi- 
tion, and shall continue to be a Jew, the liberty shall be lost and 
the condition shall not avail him." 

Canon xxxii. provides, that the " descendants of a slave, ivher- 
ever they may be, even after a long lapse of time, though there 
should be neglect, if found upon the land or possession upon which 
their parents loere placed, shall he held to the original conditions 
established by the deceased proprietor for the deceased parents, and 
the priest of the place shall aid in enforcing the fulfilment, and 
any persons loho shall through avarice interpose obstacles, shall 
be placed under church censures.'' 

The doctrine and discipline of the church of the Franks were 
like that of other churches in the several regions of Christendom 
at this period. 

A fifth council was held at Orleans, in the year 549, the thirty- 
eighth of King Childebert. The sixth canon of this council relates to 
the improper ordination of slaves, and also exhibits distinctly the 
freedmen under condition, classing them in the same category with 

Canon vi. Ut servum, qui libertatem a dominis propriis non 
acceperit, aut etiam jam libertum, nullus episcoporum absque ejus 
tantum voluntate, cujus aut servus est, aut eum absolvisse digno- 
scitur^ clericum audeat ordinare. Quod si quisquam fecerit, si qui 
ordinatus est a domino revocetur, et ille qui est collator ordinis, si 
sciens fecisse probatur, sex mensibus missas»tantum facere non 
prf«sumat. Si vero stecularium servus esse convincitur, ei qui 
ordinatus est benedictione servata, honestum ordini domino suo 
impendat obsequium. Quod si sajcularis dominus amplius eum 
voluerit inclinare, ut sacro ordini inferre videatur injuriam, duos 
servos sicut antiqui canones habent, episcopus qui eum ordinavit 
domino socculari restituat ; et episcopus eum quem ordinavit ad 
ecclesiam suam revocandi habeat potestatem. 

That no bishop shall dare to ordain as a clergyman, the slave 
who shall not have received licence from his proper owners, or a 
person already freed, without the permission of either the person 
whose servant he is, or of the person who is knoivn to have freed 
him. And if any one shall do so, let him who is ordained be re- 
called by his master, and let him who conferred the order, if it be 
proved that he did so knowing the state of the person, not presume 


to celebrate mass for six months only. But if it he jjroved tJiat he 
is the servant of lay persons, let the person ordained be kept in 
his rank and do service for his owner in away hecoming his order ; 
hut if his lay owner debases him under that grade, so as to do 
any dishonour to his holy order; let the bishop who ordained him 
give, as the ancient canons enact, two slaves to his master, and be 
empoivered to take him lohom he ordained to his church. 

The canon regards manumission, and the protection of those 
properly liberated from slavery, against the injustice of persons 
who disregarded the legal absolution from service. 

Canon xii. Et quia plurimorum suggestione comperimus, eos 
qui in ecclesiis juxta patrioticam consuetudinem a servitio fu- 
erint absoluti, pro libito quorumcumque iterum ad servitium revo- 
cari, impium esse tractavimus, ut quod in ecclesia Dei considera- 
tione a vinculo servitutis absolvitur, irritum habeatur. Ideo 
pietatis causa communi consilio placuit observandum, ut queecum- 
que mancipia ab ingenuis dominis servitute laxantur, in e^ libertate 
maneant, quam tunc a dominis perceperunt. Hujusmodi quoque 
libertas si a quocumque pulsata fuerit, cum justitia ab ecclesiis 
defendatur, praeter eas culpas pro quibus leges collatas servis 
revocare jusserunt libertates. 

And since we have discovered by information from several, that 
they who, according to the custom of the country, were absolved 
from slavery in the churches, were again, at the will of some per- 
sons, reduced to slavery ; we have regarded it to be an impiety ; 
that what has by a judicial decree been absolved from servitude in 
the church of G-od,»should be set at nought. Wherefore, through 
motives of piety, it is decreed by common counsel to he henceforth 
observed, that whatever slaves are freed from servitude by free 
masters are to remain in that freedom ivhich they then received 
from the masters ; and should this liberty of theirs be assailed by 
any person, it shall be defended within the limits of justice by 
the churches, saving ivhere there are crimes for which the laws 
have enacted that the liberty granted to servants shall be recalled. 

It is quite evident, from Exodus xii. 44, that the Israelites, who 
were themselves slaves in Egypt, also themselves possessed slaves. 
Also from Nehemiah vii. 67, that the Jews who were slaves in 
Babylon, yet, upon their liberation, were found to own 7337 slaves ; 
and from the foregoing it appears that the persons then called 
liberti or freedmen, or the conditionati or persons under condition, 
and probably, in some instances, coloni or colonists, had slaves, but 


vere not permitted to liberate them, at least ■^\-itliout the consent 
of their own masters, for the canon speaks of only the servants of 
the ingenui, or those who enjoyed perfect freedom. We see, also, 
what is evident from many other sources, that persons who had ob- 
tained their freedom were for some crimes reduced to servitude, 
and we shall see, in future times, even freemen are enslaved for 
various offences. 

Again, in the canon xxii. of this council, we find provision 
which exhibits the caution which was used in regulating the right 
of sanctuary for slaves. This right was, in Christianity, a concession 
of the civil power, humanely interposing, in times of imperfect 
security and violent passion, the protecting arm of the church, to 
arrest the violence of one party, so as to secure merciful justice for 
the other, and to make the compositions of peace and equity be 
substituted for the vengeance or the exactions of power. It was, 
so far from being an encouragement to crime, one of the best 
helps towards civilizing the barbarian. 

Canon xxii. De servis vero, qui pro qualibet culpa ad ec- 
clesige septa confugerint, id statuimus observandum, ut, sicut in 
antiquis constitutionibus tenetur scriptum, pro concessa, culpa datis 
a domino sacramentis, quisquis ille fuerit, egrediatur de venia jam 
securus. Enimvero si immemor fidei dominus transcendisse con- 
vincitur quod juravit, ut is qui veniam acceperat, probetur post- 
modum pro ea cum qualicumque supplicio cruciatus, dominus ille, 
qui immemor fuit datce fidei, sit ab omnium communione suspensus. 
Iterum si servus de promissione venise datis sacramentis a domino 
jam securus exire noluerit, ne sub tali contumacia requirens locum 
fugae domino fortasse disperiat, egredi nolentem a domino eum 
liceat occupari, ut nullam, quasi pro retentatione servi, quibuslibet 
modis molestiam aut calumniam patiatur ecclesia : fideni tamen 
dominus, quam pro concessa venia dedit, nulla temeritate tran- 
scendat. Quod si aut gentilis dominus fuerit, aut alterius sectse, 
qui a conventu ecclesi^B probatur extraneus, is qui servum repetit 
personas requirat bon£e fidei Christianas, ut ipsi in persona domini 
servo prasbeant sacramenta : quia ipsi possunt servare quod sacrum 
est, qui pro transgressione ecclesiasticam metuunt disciplinam. 

We enact this to be observed respecting slaves, who may for any 
fault fly to the precincts of the church, that, as is found ivritten in 
ancieyit constitutions, when the master shall pledge his oath to 
grant pardon to the culprit, whosoever he may be, he shall go out 
secure of pardon. But, if the master, unmindful of his oath, 


shall he convicted of having gone begond what he had sworn, so 
that it shall be proved that the servant who had received pardon 
tvas afterivards tortured tvith any punishment for that fault, let 
that master tvho was forgetful of his oath be separated from the 
communion of all. Again, should the servant secured from pu- 
nishment by the master s oath, he umvilling to go forth, it shall be 
lawful for the master, that he should not lose the service of a slave 
seeking sanctuary by such contumacy, to seize upon such a one un- 
ivilling to go out, so that the church should not suffer either trouble 
or calumny hy any means on account of retaining such servant : 
hut let not the master in any way rashly violate the oath that he 
swore for granting pardon. But, if the master he a gentile, or 
of any other sect proved without the church, let the person who 
claims the slave procure Christian persons of good account who 
shall sioear for the servant's security in the master's name : because 
they loho dread ecclesiastical discipline for transgression can keep 
that ivhich is sacred. 


Bishop England has, in his eighth letter, alluded to the state of 
society in England and Ireland at this early day, for the purpose 
of elucidating the fact that the doctrines of the church concerning 
slavery and the civil condition of those regions were materially 
without difference from the other parts of Europe. Some portions 
of his letter, although, perhaps, too distant from our subject, are, 
nevertheless, too interesting to omit. 

About the year 462, Niell Naoigiallach, or Neill of the Nine 
Hostages, ravaged the coast of Britain and Gaul. In this expe- 
dition a large number of captives were made. One youth, sixteen 
years of age, by the name of Cothraige, was sold to Milcho, and 
was employed by him in tending sheep, in a place called Dalradia 
— within the present county of Antrim. This Cothraige was St. 
Patrick, subsequently the apostle of Ireland. 

St. Patrick, in his Confessions, states that many of his unfortu- 
nate countrymen were carried off and made captives, and dispersed 
among many nations. 

The Romans had possession of Britain, and even had not 


slavery existed there previously, they would have introduced it ; 
but, the Britons needed not this lesson ; they had been conversant 
■with it before : we shall see evidence of the long continuance of 
its practice. 

About the year 450, a party of them, among whom were 
several that professed the Christian religion, made a piratical in- 
cursion upon the Irish coast, under the command of Corotic, or 
Caractacus, or Coroticus. 

Lanigan compiles the following account of this incursion from 
the Eeeles. History of Ireland, vol. i. c. iv. 

"This prince, Coroticus, though apparently a Christian, was a 
tyrant, a pirate, and a persecutor. He landed, with a party of his 
armed followers, many of whom were Christians, at a season of 
solemn baptism, and set about plundering a district in which St. 
Patrick had just baptized and confirmed a great number of con- 
verts, and on the very day after the holy chrism was seen shining 
in the foreheads of the white-robed neophytes. Having murdered 
several persons, these marauders carried off a considerable number 
of people, whom they went about selling or giving up as slaves to 
the Scots and the apostate Picts. St. Patrick wrote a letter, 
which he sent by a holy priest whom he had instructed from his 
younger days, to those pirates, requesting of them to restore the 
baptized captives and some part of the booty. The priest and the 
other ecclesiastics that accompanied- him being received by them 
with scorn and mockery, and the letter not attended to, the saint 
found himself under the necessity of issuing a circular epistle or 
declaration against them and their chief Coroticus, in which, an- 
nouncing himself a bishop and established in Ireland, he proclaims 
to all those who fear God, that said murderers and robbers are 
excommunicated and estranged from Christ, and that it is not 
lawful to show them civility, nor to eat or drink with them, nor to 
receive their offerings, until, sincerely repenting, they make atone- 
ment to God and liberate his servants and the handmaids of Christ. 
He begs of the faithful, into whose hands the epistle may come, to 
get it read before the people everywhere, and before Coroticus 
himself, and to communicate it to his soldiers, in the hope that 
they and their master may return to God, &c. Among other very 
affecting expostulations, he observes that the Roman and Gallic 
Christians are wont to send proper persons with great sums of 
money to the Franks and other pagans, for the purpose of redeem- 
ing Christian captives; while, on the contrary, that monster, 


CoroMcus, made a trade of selling the members of Christ to nations 
ignorant of God." 

The Britons were frequently invaded by the Scots, upon the 
abandonment of their country by the Romans ; and at the period 
here aUuded to, it is supposed by many that the captives taken 
from Ireland Avere in several instances given by their possessors 
to the plundering and victorious Northmen, by the Britons, in ex- 
change for their own captured relatives, whom they desired to 

About the year 555, Pope Pelagius held, under the protection 
of King Childebert, the third council of Paris, in which we find a 
canon, entitled, "De Servis Degeneribus," concerning "bastard 
slaves," as follows : (See Du Cange.) 

Canon ix. De degeneribus servis, qui pro sepulchris defunctorum 
pro qualitate ipsius ministerii deputantur, hoc placuit observari, ut 
sub qua ab auctoribus fuerint conditione dimissi, sive heredibus, 
sive ecclesiis pro defensione fuerint deputati, voluntas defuncti 
circa eos in omnibus debeat observari. Quod si ecclesia eos de fisci 
functionibus in omni parte defenderit eeclesige tarn illi, quam poster! 
eorum, defensione in omnibus potiantur, et occursum impendant. 

I{ is enacted concerning bastard slaves ivlio are placed to keep 
the sepulchres, because of the rank of that office, that ivhether they 
be 'placed under the protection of the heirs or of the church for their 
defence, upon the condition upon which they were discharged by 
their oioners, the tvill of the deceased should be observed in all 
things in their regard. But, if the church shall keep them en- 
tirely exempt from the services and payments of the fisc, let them 
and their descendants enjoy the protection of the church for de- 
fence, and pay to it their tribute. 

The auctores, or authors, in the original sense, were owners or 
masters ; and subsequently, especially in Gaul, it was often taken 
to mean p>arents, which probably, from the context, is here its 
meaning ; and, we find a new title and a new class, where the mas- 
ter having committed a crime with his servant, the offspring was 
his slave ; yet, his natural affection caused the parent to grant him 
a conditioned freedom, to protect which this canon specified the 
guardian to be either the heir or the church. 

Martin, archbishop of Braga, who presided at the third council 
of that city, in the year 572, collected, from the councils of the 
east and the west, the greater portion of the canon law then in 
force, and made a compendium thereof, which he distributed into 


eiglity-four heads, which formed as many short canons, and thence- 
forth they were the basis of the discipline in Spain. 

The forty-sixth of these canons is — 

Si quis obligatus tributo servili, vel aliqua conditione, vel pa- 
trocinio cujuslibet domus, non est ordinandus clericus, nisi pro- 
bandse vitse fuerit et patroni concessus accesserit. 

If any one is hound to servile tribute, or hy any condition, or 
by the patronage of any house, he is not to be ordained a clergy- 
man, unless he be of approved life, and the consent of the patron 
be also given. 

This canon is taken into the body of the canon law. Dist. 53. 

Canon xlvii. Si quis servum alienum causa, religionis doceat 
contemnere dominum suum et recedere a servitio ejus, durissime 
ab omnibus arguatur. 

If any person will teach the servant of another, under pretext 
of religion, to despise his master and to tvithdraw from his service, 
let him he most sharply rebuked by all. 

This too is taken into the body of the canon law. (17, q. 4, 
Si quis.) 

In the year 589, the third council of Toledo, in Spain, was cele- 
brated, in the pontificate of Pope Pelagius II. All the bishops 
of Spain assembled upon the invitation of King Reccared. 

The articles of faith form twenty-three heads of various length ; 
after which follow twenty-three capitula, or little chapters or heads 
of discipline. 

The sixth of these is in the following words : 

De libertis autem id Dei prsecipiunt sacerdotes, ut si qui ab 
episcopis facti sunt secundum modum quo canones antiqui dant 
licentiam, sint liberi ; et tamen a patrocinio ecclesise tarn ipsi, 
quam ab eis progeniti non recedant. Ab aliis quoque libertati 
traditi, et ecclesiis commendati, patrocinio episcopal! regantur : 
fl principe hoc episcopus postulet. 

The priests of Q-od decree concerning freedmen, that if any are 
made hy the bishops in the way the ancient canons permit, they 
shall be considered free; yet so that neither they nor their descend- 
ants shall retire from the p>atronage of the church. Let those 
freed hy others and placed under the protection of the church, he 
placed under the bishop's protection. Let the bishop ask this of 
his prince. 

This too is taken into the body of the canon law. (12, q. 2, 
De libertis.) 


A custom had already gained considerable prevalence, which wo 
shall find greatly extended in subsequent ages, of granting to the 
churches slaves for its service and support. The administrators 
of the church property were called familia fisci. The church 
property was in ecclesiastical documents styled the fisc. The fi8ca 
regis, or royal fisc, was a different fund or treasury. It sometimes 
happened that the Clergy who were the administrators sought to 
obtain from the "conditioned slaves" more than they were bound 
to give, and also, sometimes, others sought to have their service 
taken from the church. The capitulary viii. of this third council 
of Toledo was enacted to remedy this latter grievance. 

Innuente (other copies, jubente) atque consentiente domino 
piissimo Reccaredo rege, id prsecipit sacerdotale consilium, ut cleri- 
corum (others, clericos) ex familia, .fisci nullus audeat a principe 
donatos expetere ; sed reddito capitis sui tribute ecclesise Dei, cui 
sunt alligati, usque dum vivent, regulariter administrent. 

By the suggestion [or hy the command) and ivith the consent of 
the lyiost pious lord King Reccared, the council of p>Tiests directs 
that no one shall dare to reclaim from the administrators of the 
church those clergy given hy the prince ; hut having paid their tri- 
hute to the church of Gfod, to which they are hound, let them, as long 
as they live, administer regularly. 

In the same council, the canon xv. is the following : 

Si qui ex servis fiscalibus ecclesias forte construxerint easque 
de sua paupertate ditaverint, hoc procuret episcopus prece sua auc- 
toritate regia confirmari. 

If any of the king's special servants shall have huilt churches, 
and have enriched them hy the contrihutions from their poverty, 
let the hishop ohtain that it he confirmed hy the royal authority. 

The servi fiscales were the private or patrimonial property of 
the king. 

This also exhibits the principle that the slave was not permitted 
to contribute, without the consent of his owner, to religious esta- 

A canon of the assembly held in Constantinople, 692 : 

Canon Ixxxv. In duobus vel tribus testibus confirmari omne 
verbum 'ex Scriptura accepimus. Servos ergo qui a dominis suis 
manumit tuntur, sub tribus testibus eo frui honore decernimus, 
qui prajsentes libertati vires et firmitatem afi"erent, et ut iis quae 
ipsis testibus facta sunt fides habeatur efficient. 

We have learned from the Scripture that every tvord is con- 


firmed in two or three tvitnesses. We therefore declm^e that slaves 
who are manumitted hy their masters shall he admitted to enjoy 
that honour under three witnesses, who may he ahle to afford secu- 
rity hy their presence to the freedom, and who may he ahle to secure 
credit for the acts done in their view. 


As late as the year 577, Britain furnished other nations with 
slaves, which is sufficiently proved by the following extract from 

Nee silentio pr^tereunda opinio quas de beato Gregorio, tra- 
ditione majorum, ad nos usque perlata est : qua videlicet ex causa 
admonitus, tam sedulam erga salutem nostrse gentis curara gesserit. 
Dicunt, quia die quadam cum advenientibus nuper mercatoribus 
multa venalia in forum fuissent conlata, multique ad emendum 
confluxissent, et ipsum Gregorium inter alios advenisse, ac vidisse 
inter alia pueros venales positos, candidi corporis ac venusti vultus, 
capillorum quoque forma egregia. Quos cum aspiceret, interro- 
gavit, ut ajunt, de qua regione vel terra essent adlati. Dictumque 
est quod de Brittania insulS, cujus incol?e talis essent aspectus. 
Bursus interrogavit, utrum iidem insulani, Christiani, an paganis 
adhuc erroribus essent implicati ? Dictumque est, quod essent 
pagani. At ille intimo ex corde longa trahens suspiria : " Heu, 
proh dolor !" inquit, " quod tam lucidi vultus homines tenebrarum 
auctor possidet, tantaque gratia frontispicii mentem ab internii 
gratia vacuam gestat!" Rursus ergo interrogavit, quod esset 
vocabulum gentis illius ? Responsum est quod Angli vocarentur. 
At ille, "Ben^," inquit, "nam et angelicam habent faciem, et tales 
angelorum in coclis decet esse coheredes. Quod habet nomen ipsa 
provincia de qua isti sunt adlati ?" Responsum est quod Deiri 
vocarentur iidem provinciales. At ille: " Bene," inquit, "Deiri, de 
ira eruti, et ad misericordiam Christi vocati. Rex provincise 
illius, quomodo appellatur?" Responsum est quod Aella dice- 
retur. At ille adludens ad nomen ait : " Alleluia, laudem Dei 
creatoris illis in partibus oportet cantari." Accedensque ad Ponti- 
ficem Romanaj et Apostolicse sedis, nondum enim erat ipse Pon- 
tifex factus, rogavit, ut genti Angliorum in Britanniam aliquos 


verbi ministros, per quos ad Christum converterentur, mitteret : 
seipsum paratum esse in hoc opus Domino co-operante perficien- 
dum, si tamen Apostolico Papoe hoc ut fieret placeret. Quod 
dum perficere non posset ; quia etsi pontifex concedere illi quod 
petierat voluit, non tamen cives Romani ut tam longe ab urbe 
recederet potuere permittere ; mox ut ipse pontificatus officio 
functus est, perficit opus diu desideratum : alios quidem proedica- 
tores mittens, sed ipse prsedicationem ut fructificaret suis exhor- 
tationibus et precibus adjuvans. 

Nor is that notice of the blessed Crregory which has come dcmn 
to us hy the tradition of our ancestors to he silently passed over i 
for, hy reason of the admonition that he then received, he hecame so 
industrious for the salvation of our nation. For they say, that on 
a certain day when merchants had neivly arrived, many things 
were brought into the market, and several persons had come to pur- 
chase; Crregory himself came aynong them, and saw exposed for 
sale, youths of a fair body and handsome countenance, whose hair 
ivas also beautiful. Looking at thein, they say, he asked from ivhat 
part of the world they were brought ; he was told from the island 
of Britain, whose inhabitants were of that complexion. Again he 
asked whether these islanders tvere Christians or ivere immersed in 
the errors of paganism. It was said, that they zvere ptagans. 
And he, sighing deeply, said, ^^Alas ! ivhat a pity thatthe author of 
darkness should possess men of so bright a countenance, and that 
so graceful an aspect should have a mind void of grace withiii!" 
Again he inquired what was the name of their nation. Ke ivas 
told that they were called Angles. He said, " It is well, for they 
have angelic faces, and it is Jit that such should be the coheirs with 
Angels in Heaven." From ivhat province zvere they brought, was 
his next inquiry. To tvhich it was answered, Tlie people of their 
province are called Deiri. " Cfood again," said he, "Deiri, ((ie ird 
eruti,) rescued from anger and called to the mercy of Christ." 
What is the naine of the king of that province ? He was told, 
Aella. And, playing upon the word, he responded, " Alleluia. The 
praise?, of Gfod our Creator ought to be chanted in those regions." 
And going to the pontiff of the Roman Apostolic See, for lie ivas 
not yet made pope himself, he besought him to send to Britain, for 
the nation of the Angles, some ministers of the word, through whom 
they may be converted to Christ ; ar^d stated that he was himself 
ready, the Lord being his aid, to undertake this work, if the pope 
should so please. This he ivas not able to do, for though the pon- 



tiff desired to grant his petition, the citizens of Rome ivould not 
consent that he should go to so great distance therefrom. As soon, 
however, as he was placed in the office of pope, he performed his 
long desired work : he sent other 'preachers, but he aided by his 
prayers and exhortations, that he might make their preaching 

Gregory became pope in 590. Soon after his elevation to the 
pontifical dignity, he sought to purchase some of the British 
youths, in order to have them trained up to be missionaries to 
their countrymen. 

The holy see had already a considerable patrimony in Gaul, 
bestowed by the piety of the faithful : we shall see from the fol- 
lowing epistle of the pope to the priest Candidus, whom he sent as 
its administrator, the use which was made of its income. 

Lib. V. Epist. X. — Gregorius Candido Presbytero eunti ad 
patrimonium Gallise. 

Pergens auxiliante Domino Deo nostro Jesu Christo ad patri- 
monium, quod est in Galliis gubernandum, volumus ut dilectio tua 
ex solidis quos acceperit, vestimenta pauperum, vel pueros Anglos, 
qui sunt ab annis decem et septem, vel decem et octo, ut in mona- 
steriis dati Deo proficiant, comparet ; quatenus solidi Galliarum, 
qui in terra nostra expendi non possunt, apud locum proprium 
utiliter expendantur. Si quid vero de pecuniis redituum, quae 
dicuntur ablat?e, recipere potueris, ex his quoque vestimenta pau- 
perum comparare te volumus ; vel, sicut prgefati sumus, pueros qui 
in omnipotentis Dei servitio proficiant. Sed quia pagani sunt, qui 
illic inveniri possunt, volo, ut cum eis presbyter transmittatur, ne 
quid gegritudinis contingat in viS, ut quos morituros conspexerit 
debeat baptizare. Ita igitur tua dilectio faciat, ut haec diligenter 
implere festinet. 

Gregory to the Priest Candidus, going to the patrimony of 

As you are going, zvith aid of the Lord Jesus Christ, our God, 
to govern the patrimony which is in Gaul ; tve desire that out of 
the shillings you may receive, you, our beloved, should purchase 
clothing for the poor, or English youths about the age of seventeen 
or eighteen, that, being placed in monasteries, they may be useful for 
the service of God ; so that the money of Gaul, lohich ought not to 
be expended in our land, may be laid out in its oivn place benefi- 
cially. If you can also get any of the money of that income called 


tolh, (ablatfB,) ive also desire that yoii should thereivith buy clothing 
for the 2)oor, or, as we have before said, youths who may become pro- 
ficients in the service of God. But as they who divell in that 
place are pagans, it is our desire that a priest be sent with them!, 
lest they should yet sick on the journey, and he ought to baptize 
those ivhom he may see in a dying state. So let you, our beloved, 
do, and be alert in fulfilling lohat we have desired. 

The commission of Pope Gregory to purchase those youths was 
executed. But, as Lingard observes, (Ant. Anglo-Saxon Chu. c. i.,) 
"their progress was slow, and his zeal impatient." The result 
was that St. Augustine and his companions were sent by the pope, 
and effected the conversion of the island. 

In the same chapter, Lingard describes the Saxons who had 
settled in England, previous to their conversion, and refers to 
Will, of Malmesbury {de reg. 1. i., c. 3.) 

" The savages of Africa may traffic with the Europeans for the 
negroes whom they have seized by treachery, or captured in open 
war ; but the most savage conquerors of the Britons sold without 
scruple, to the merchants of the continent, their countrymen, and 
even their own children." 

" But their ferocity soon yielded to the exertions of the mis- 
sionaries, and the harsher features of their origin were insensibly 
softened under the mild influence of the gospel. In the rage of 
victory, they learned to respect the rights of humanity. Death or 
slavery was no longer the fate of the conquered Britons ; by their 
submission, they were incorporated with the victors ; and their 
lives and property were protected by the equity of their Christian 
conquerors. * * * TJ^ie humane idea, that by baptism all 
men become brethren, contributed to meliorate the condition of 
slavery, and scattered the seeds of that liberality which gradually 
undermined, and at length abolished, so odious an institution. By 
the provision of the legislature, the freedom of the child was 
secured from the avarice of an unnatural parent ; and the heaviest 
punishment was denounced against the man who presumed to sell 
to a foreign master one of his countrymen, though he were a slave 
or a malefactor." 

Lingard here refers to the statutes of Ina, quoted in a previous 
study. But it may be remarked that here is the earliest notice of 
the African slave-trade, as a branch of European commerce, com- 
pared with the ancient slave-trade carried on with Britain. 


In his book, " Pastoralis CuriTe," Of the Pastoral Care, part 3, 
c. i. Admonit. vi., Pope Gregory says — 

Admonitio VI. — Aliter admonendi sunt servi, atque aliter 
domini. Servi scilicet, ut in se semper humilitatem conditionis 
aspiciant : domini vero, ut naturse suee qua requaliter sunt cum 
servis conditi, memoriam non amittant. Servi admonendi sunt 
ne dominos despiciant, ne Deum offendant si ordinationi illius su- 
perbiendo contradicunt : domini quoque a( ■ monendi sunt, quia 
contra Deum de munere ejus superbiunt, si eos quos per conditionem 
tenent subditos, sequales sibi per naturse consortium non agnoscunt. 
Isti admonendi sunt ut sciant se servos esse dominorum : illi ad- 
monendi sunt ut cognoscant se consei'vos esse servorum. Istis 
namque dicitur : Servi, ohedite doviinis carnalihus. Et rursum : 
Quicumque sunt sub jugo servi, dominos suos omni honore dignos 
arbitrentur : illis autem dicitur : et vos, domini, eadem facite illis, 
remittentes minas, scientes quod et illorum et vester dominus est in 

Admonition vi. — Servants are to be admonished in oneivay, mas- 
ters in another ivay : servants indeed, that they should aboays 
regard in themselves the lowliness of their condition : masters how- 
ever, that they lose not the recollection of their nature, by which they 
are created ujyon a level with their slaves. Slaves are to be admo- 
nished not to despise their masters, lest they offend Crod, if growing 
proud they contradict his ordinance: masters too are to be admo- 
nished; because they groio proud against God by reason of his gift, 
if they do not achioivledge as their equals, by the felloivship qf 
nature, those whom by condition they hold as subjects. These are 
to be admonished that they be mindful that they are the slaves of 
their masters ; those that they recollect that tliey are the felloiv-ser- 
vants of servants. To these it is said : Servants, obey your mas- 
ters in the flesh : and again. Whosoever are servants under the 
yoke, let them consider their masters worthy of all honour : but 
to those it is said : And you, masters, do in like manner to them, 
laying aside threats, knowing that your and -their Master is in 

In his book ii. of Epistles, ep. xxxix., writing to Peter, a sub- 
deacon of Campania, he directs him how to act in the case of a 
female slave, belonging to a proctor or manager of church property, 
(defensor,) who was anxious to be allowed to become a sister in a 
monastery, which was not lawful without the consent of her owner. 
The pope neither orders the master to manumit her nor to permit 


lier profession, for, though he was employed by the church, the re- 
ligion to which he belonged did not require of him to give away 
his property, nor had the head of that church power to deprive 
him thereof; hence he writes — 

Preterea quia Felix defensor puellam nomine Catillam habere 
dicitur, qu» cum magnis lacrymis, et vehementi desiderio habitum 
conversionis appetit, sed earn prnsfatus dominus suus converti 
minime permittit : proinde volumus, ut experientia tua proefatum 
Felicem adeat, atque puelliB ejusdem animum sollicite requirat ; et 
si ita esse cognoverit, pretium ejusdem puellse suae domino prgebeat, 
et hue cam in monasterio dandam cum personis gravibus, Domino 
auxiliante, ti'ansmittat. Ita vero heec age, ut non per lentam ac- 
tionem tuam prasfatge puellce anima detrimentum aliquod in desi- 
derio suo sustineat- 

3Ioreover, because the proctor Felix is said to have a servant 
named Catilla, who ivith many tears and vehement desire wishes to 
obtain the habit of religion; but her aforesaid master will not by 
any means jjermit her making profession : it is then our desire that 
your expterience would call upon the said Felix, and carefully ex- 
amine the disposition of that young woman, and if you should find 
it such as is stated, pay to the master her price, and send her hither 
ivith discreet persons, to be placed, with Cfod's help, in a monastery. 
But do this, so that the soul of the young woman may not suffer 
any inconvenience in her desire, through your tardiness. 

The following is a deed of gift which the same Pope made, to 
assure the possession of a slave to the bishop of Porto, one of the 
suburban sees near Rome. It is curious, not merely as exhibiting 
the fact that the pope and the See of Rome held and transferred 
slaves at this period, but also as giving a specimen of a legal docu- 
ment of that date and tenor : — 

Lib. X. Ep. LII. — Gregorius, Felici Episcopo Portuensi. 

Charitatis vestroe gratia provocati, ne infructuosi vobis vi- 
deamur existere, praecipue cum et minus vos habere servitia nove- 
rimus ; ideo Joannem juris ecclesiastici famulum, natione Sabinum, 
ex massa Flaviana, annorum plus minus decern et octo, quem nostra 
voluntate jam diu possidetis, fraternitati vestrge jure directo dona- 
mus atque concedimus ; ita ut cum habeatis, possideatis, atque juri 
proprietatique vestra vindicetis atque defendatis, et quidquid do eo 
facere volueritis, quippe ut dominus, ex hujus donationis jure libero 
potiamini arbitrio. Contra quam munificentise nostrse chartulam 


nunquam nos successoresque nostros noveris esse venturos. Hauc 
autem donationem a notario nostro perscriptam legimus, atque 
subscripsimus, tribuentes etiam non expectata professione vestra, 
quo volueritis tempore alligandi licentiam legitima, stipulatione et 
sponsione interposita. Actum Romse. 

Excited hy our regard for your charitable person^ that ive may 
not appear to he useless to you, especially as we knoio you are short 
of servants : we therefore give and grant to you our brother, by 
our direct right, John, a servant of the church domain, hy birth a 
Sabine, of the Flavian property, now aged about eighteen years, 
whom by our will you have a good while had in your possession. 
So that you may have and possess him, and preserve and maintain 
your right to him and defend him as your property. And that 
you may, by the free gift of this donation, enjoy the exercise of 
your tvill, to do what you may think proper in his regard, as his 

Against which faper of our munificence, you may know that 
neither we nor our successors are ever to come. And we have read 
this deed of gift, written out hy our notary, and we have subscribed 
the same, not even awaiting your profession, respecting the time you 
would desire license to register it in the jniblic acts by interposing 
the lawful process of signature and covenant. Done at Rome, ^c. 

The massa was generally a portion of land of about twelve acres : 
and the servants belonging specially thereto are in the documents 
of this and a later period generally called either servi de (or ex) 
massa, and when they subsequently became conditioned, or freed 
to a certain extent, they were called homines de masnada, or other 
names equivalent thereto. 

Lib. V. Ep. XXXIV. — Gregorius, Athemio Subdiacono. 

Quantus dolor, quantaque sit nostro cordi afflictio do his, quoe 
in partibus Campanioe contigerunt, dicere non possumus : sed ex 
calamitatis magnitudine potes ipse cognoscere. Ea de re, pro rc- 
medio captivorum qui tenti sunt, solidos experientise ture per horum 
portitorem Stcphanum virum magnificum transmisimus, admonentes 
ut omnino debeas esse sollicitus, ac strenue peragas, et liberos ho- 
mines, quos ad redemptionem suam sufBcere non posse cognoscis, tu 
eos festines redimere. Qui vero servi fuerint, et dominos eorum 
ita pauperes esse compereris, ut eos redimere non assurgant, et hos 
quoque comparare non desinas. Pariter etiam et servos ecclesise 
qui tua negligentiii perierunt, curabis redimere. Quo cumque 


autem redemeris, subtiliter notitiam, quoe nomina eorum, vel quis 
ubi maneat, sive quid agat, seu unde sit, contineat, facere modis 
omnibus studebis, quam tecum possis afferre cum veneris. Ita 
autem in hac re te studiose exhibere festina, ut ii qui redimendi 
sunt, nullum te negligente periculum possint incurrere, et tu apud 
nos postea vehementer incipias esse culpabilis, sed et hoc quam 
maxime age, ut si fieri potest, captivos ipsos minori possis pretio 
comparare. Substantiam vero sub omni puritate atque subtilitate 
describe, et ipsam nobis descriptionem cum celeritate transmitte. 

Gregory, to the Suhdeacoii Anthemius : 

We cannot express Jiow great is our grief and the affliction of 
our heart, by reason of what has occurred in a part of Oampania ; 
but you may yourself estimate it from the extent of the calamity. 
Wherefore, we send to your experience, by Stephen, a worthy man, 
the bearer hereof, money for the aid of those captives who are de- 
tained ; admonishing you that you ought to be very industrious 
and exert yourself to discover what freemen are unable to procure 
their own release, and that you should quickly redeem them. But 
respecting the slaves, when you shall discover that their masters are 
so poor as not to have it in their power to release them, you will 
also not omit to buy them. In like manner you will be careful to 
redeem the servants of the church who have been lost through your 

You will also be very careful by all means to make a neat brief, 
tvhich you can bring when you come, containing their names, as 
also where any one remains, how he is employed, or whence he is. 
You will be diligent, and so industrious in this transaction, as to 
give no cause of danger by your neglect, for those who are to be 
released, nor run the risk of being exceedingly culpable in our view. 
You will be most particular, above all things, to procure the release 
of the captives at the loivest possible rate. You will make out the 
accounts as accurately and as clearly as possible, and send them to 
us with speed. 

The calamity which he bewails was an incursion of the Lom- 
bards, who, coming originally from Scandinavia, settled for a while 
in Pomerania, and about this period ravaged Italy. 



At this age of the world, there still existed a feeling of rival- 
ship between the Jew, the pagan, and the Christian; and, in truth, 
between some of the different sects of the latter, as to which sys- 
tem of religion should prevail. This state of facts often rendered 
the condition of the slave peculiar. 

The Jew and the Christian were in opposition from the very 
origin of Christianity. The first persecutors of the Christians 
were the relatives of the first Christians ; the death of the Saviour 
and the martyrdom of Stephen, the imprisonment of Peter, the 
mission of Saul to Damascus, and a variety of other similar facts, 
exhibit in strong relief the spirit of hatred which caused not 
merely separation, but enmity. The destruction of Jerusalem, the 
captivity of the people who preserved the early records of reve- 
lation, and the increase of the Christian religion, even under the 
swords and the gibbets of its persecutors, only increased and per- 
petuated this feeling. 

The pride of the Gentile ridiculed what he denominated super- 
stition : while he smote the believer whom he mocked, he bowed 
before the idol of paganism. The early heresies of those who 
professed the Christian name, but separated from Christian unity, 
sprang generally from the efforts to destroy the mysterious nature 
of the doctrine of the apostles, and to explain it by the system of 
some Gentile philosopher, or to modify it by superinducing some 
Judaic rite or principle. The Jew, the Gentile, and the heretic 
equally felt elevated by his imagined superiority over the faithful 
follower of the doctrine of the Galilean. Thus the sword of the 
persecutor, the scoff of ridicule, and the quibbling of a false phi- 
losophy, were all employed against the members of the church ; 
and among those who were by their situation the most exposed 
to suffering, were the Christian slaves of the enemies of the cross. 
Even they who belonged to the faithful had peculiar trials, because, 
frequently, in times of persecution, masters, desirous of obtaining 
protection, without actually sacrificing to idols, compelled their ser- 
vants to personate them in perpetrating the crime. They were fre- 
quently circumcised, even against the/r will, by the Jewish owners. 


They were frequently mutilated by the infidel master. They 
were also exposed to the continued hardships and enticements of 
owners who desired to make them proselytes. 

It was, therefore, at an early period after the conversion of Con- 
stantine, enacted that no one who was not a Christian should hold 
a Christian slave, upon that principle contained in Lev. xxv. 47, 
48. We find in the civil code, lib. i. tit. 10, " Judseus servum 
Christianum nee comparare debebit, nee largitatis aut alio quo- 
cumque titulo consequetur." A Jew shall 7iot purchase a Christian 
slave, nor shall he obtain one hij title of gift, nor hy any other title. 

In a subsequent part of the title the penalty is recited, " non 
solum mancipii damno mulctetur, veriim etiam capitali sententia 
punietur." Not only shall he he mulcted by the loss of the slave, 
but he shall he punished hy a capital sentence. 

By a decree of Valentinian III., found after the Theodosian 
code, and entitled, "De diversis ecclesiasticis capitibus," bearing 
date 425, Aquileia, vii. of the ides of July, Jews and pagans were 
prohibited from holding Christian slaves. 

Thus by the laws of the empire at this period, no Jew or Gentile 
could have any property in a Christian slave. This principle was 
not adopted until a much later period by the Franks and other na- 
tions, and this will account for the diversity of legislation and of judg- 
ment which the books of the same period exhibit in various regions. 

Another clause of the code was more comprehensive : " Gr^ecus, 
seu paganus, et Judteus, et Samaritanus, et alius hrereticus, id est, 
non existens orthodoxus, non potest Christianum mancipium 
habere." A Grreek or jjagan, a Jew, a Samaritan, and any here- 
tic, that is, one not orthodox, cannot hold a Christian slave. 

The authority of Gregory over Sicily was not merely spiritual. 
He had a temporal supervision, if not a full sovereignty, over the 
island. — The document is ep. xxxvii. lib. ii. indict, xi. 

Gregorius Libertino, Prsefecto Sicilioe. 

De prcesumptione Nasce Judoii, qui altare nomine B. Helice con- 
struxerat, et de mancipiis Christianis comparatis. 

Ab ipso administrationis exordio, Deus vos in causae suae voluit 
vindicta procedere, et hanc vobis raercedem propitius cum laude 
servavit. Fertur siquidem quod Nasas quidam sceleratissimus 
Judaeorum, sub nomine beati Helire altare punienda, temeritate 
construxerit, multosque illic Christianorum ad adorandum sacrilega, 
seductione decepit. Sed et Christiana, ut dicitur, mancipia com- 


paravit, et suis ea obsequiis ac utilitatibus deputavit. Dum igitur 
severissime in eum pro tantis facinoribus debuisset ulcisci, gloriosus 
Justinus medicamento avaritias, ut nobis scriptum est, Dei distulit 
injuriam vindicare. Gloria autem vestra hsec omnia districta ex- 
aminatione perquirat : et si hujusmodi manifestum esse repererit, 
ita districtissime at corporaliter in eundem sceleratum festinet 
vindicare Judaeum ; quatenus hac ex caus^ et gratiam sibi Dei 
nomine conciliet, et his se posteris pro sua mercede imitandum 
monstret exemplis. Mancipia autem Christiana, qusecumque eum 
comparasse patuerit, ad libertatem, juxta legum prsecepta, sine 
omni ambiguitate perducite, ne, quod absit, Christiana religio 
Judais subdita polluatur. Ita ergo omnia districtissime sub omni 
festinatione corrigite, ut non solum pro hac vobis disciplina gratias 
referamus, sed et testimonium de bonitate vestra ubi necesse fuerit, 

Gregory to Libertinus, Prefect of Sicily : 

Concerning the presumption of Nasas, a Jew, who had erected 
an altar in the name of the blessed Elias ; and concerning the 
procuring of Christian slaves. 

God has willed that from the very beginning of your adminis- 
tration you should jyvoceed to the avenging of Ids cause; and he 
has mercifully kept this reward for you ivith praise. It is indeed 
said that one Nasas, a very wicked man, of the Jetvish people, has, 
with a rashness deserving punishment, constructed an altar under 
the name of the blessed Elias, and deceitfully and sacrilegeously 
seduced many Christians thither for adoration. It is also said 
that he has procured Christian slaves, and put them to his service 
and profit. It has also been loritten to us that the most glorious 
Justin, when he ought to have most severely punished him for such 
crimes, has, through the soothing of his avarice, put off the aveng- 
ing of this injury to God. 

Do you, glorious sir, most closely examine into all the premises ; 
and if you shall find the allegations evidently sustained, hasten to 
proceed most strictly to have bodily justice done upon this wicked 
Jetv, so as to procure for yourself the favour of God in this case, 
and to exhibit for your reivard, to those who ivill come after us, 
an example for imitation. But, further, do you carry through, 
according to the prescriptions of the laws, to their liberty, zvithout 
any cavilling, every and any Christian slaves that it may be evi- 
dent he procured, lest, which God forbid, the Christian religion 
should be degraded by subjection to the Jeivs. 


Therefore do all this correction most exactly/ and quickly, that 
you may not only have our thanks for preserving discipline, hut 
that we may, when opportunity offers, give you proof of our re- 
cognition for your goodness. 

Canon xxx. of the fourth council of Orleans : 

Cum prioribus canonibus jam fuerit definitum, ut de mancipiis 
Christianis, quoe apud Judseos sunt, si ad ecclesiam confugerint, 
et redimi se postulaverint, etiam ad quoscumque Christianos re- 
fugerint, et servire Jud?eis noluerint, taxato et oblato a fidelibus 
justv pretio, ab eorum dominio liberentur ; ideo statuimus, ut tarn 
justa constitutio ab omnibus Catholicis conservetur. 

Whereas it has been decreed by former canons, respecting the 
Christian slaves that are under the Jews, that if they should fly 
to the church, or even to any Christians, and demand their re- 
demption, and he unwilling to serve the Jews, they should be freed 
from their owners upon a fair price being assessed by the faithful 
and tendered for them : tve therefore enact that this so just a regu- 
lation shall he observed by all Catholics. 

At this period, 541, in this province and kingdom, the Jew had 
a good title to his Christian slave, and could not be deprived of 
him except by law, or for value tendered. 

The first council of Macon was assembled at the request of 
King Guntram, or Goutran, one of the sons of Clotaire I., to whom 
the division of Orleans was left upon the death of his father in 
561. This assembly was held in 581. The sixteenth canon is — 

Et licet quid de Christianis, qui aut captivitatis incursu, aut 
quibuscumque fraudibus, Judseorum servitio implicantur, debeat 
observari, non solum canonicis statutis, sed et legum beneficio pri- 
dem fuerit constitutum : tamen quia nunc ita quorundam querela 
exorta est, quosdam JudiTeos, per civitates aut municipia consisten- 
tes, in tantam insolentiam et proterviam prorupisse ut nee recla- 
mantes Christianos liceat vel precio de eorum servitute absolvi. 
Idcirco prsesenti concilio, Deo auctore, sancimus, ut nullus Chris- 
tianus Judpeo deinceps debeat servire ; sed datis pro quolibet bono 
mancipio xii. solidis, ipsum mancipium quicumque Christianus seu 
ad ingenuitatem, seu ad servitium, licentiam habeat redimendi : 
quia nefas est, ut quos Christus Dominus sanguinis effusione redemit 
persecutorum vinculis maneant irretiti. Quod si acquiescere his 
qure statuimus quicumque Judoeus noluerit, quamdiu ad pecuniam 
constitutam venire distulerit, liceat mancipio ipsi cum Christianis 


ubicumque voluerit habitare. Illud etiam specialiter sancientes, 
quod si qui Judseus Christianum mancipium ad errorem Judaicum 
convictus fuerit persuasisse, ut ipso mancipio careat, et legandi 
damnatione plectetur. 

And aWiough the mode of acting in regard to Cliristians ivho 
have been entangled in the service of the Jews by the invasions for 
making captives, or by other frauds, has been regulated heretofore 
not only by canonical enactments, but also by favour of the civil 
laivs ; yet because noiv the complaint of some persons has arisen, 
that some Jews dwelling in the cities and towns have grown so in- 
solent and bold, that they will not permit the Christians demanding 
it to be freed even upon the ransom of their service ; loherefore, by 
the authority of Q-od, we enact by this present act of council, that 
no Christian shall henceforth laufully continue enslaved to a Jew; 
but that any Christian shall have the poiver of redeeming that slave 
either to freedom or to servitude, upon giving for each good slave 
the sum of tivelve shillings (solidum): because it is improper that 
they whom Christ redeemed by the shedding of his blood, should 
continue bound in the chains of persecutors. But if any Jew 
shall be umvilling to acquiesce in these enacted provisions, it shall 
be lawful for the slave himself to divell cohere he 'will, ivith Chris- 
tians, as long as the Jew shall keep from taking the stijjulated 
money. This also is specially enacted, that if any Jew shall be 
convicted of having persuaded his Christian slave to the adoption 
of Jewish error, he shall be deprived of the slave and amerced to 
make a gift. 

It was only at this period that we find any of the laws of the 
Franks introducing the right of a Christian to refuse service to a 
Jew. This, however, was not the case in all the territory, for that 
over which Guntram ruled was but a fourth part of the empire. 

The following is ep. xxi. lib. iii. indie, xii. 

Gregorius Venantio, Episcopo Lunensi : 

Quod Judsei non possunt Christiana habere mancipia : sed coloni 
et originarii pensiones illis prsebere debent. 

Multorum ad nos relatione pervenit, a Jud?eis in Lunensi civi- 
tate degentibus in servitio Christiana detineri manaipia : qujB res 
nobis tanto visa est asperior, quanto ea fraternitati tufe patientia 
operabatur. Oportebat quippe te respectu loci tui, atque Chris- 
tianse religionis intuitu, nullam relinquere occasionem, ut super- 
stitioni Judaicas simplices animae non, tam suasionibus quam po- 
testatis jure, quodammodo deservirent. Quamobrem hortamur 


fraternitatcm tuam, ut secundum piissimarum legum tramitem, nulli 
Judseo liceat Christianum mancipium in suo retinere dominio. Sed 
si qui pen^s eos inveniuntur. libertas eis tuitionis auxilio ex legum 
sanctione servetur. Hi vero qui in possessionibus eorum sunt, licet 
et ipsi ex legum distinctione sint liberi ; tamen quia colendis eorum 
terris diutius adhreserunt, utpote conditionem loci debentes, ad 
colenda qxive consueverant rura permaneant, pensionesque prsedictis 
viris prgebeant : ec cuncta qure de colonis vel originariis jura pros- 
cipiunt, peragant, extra quod nihil eis oneris amplius indicatur. 
Quodsi quisquaui de his vel ad alium migrare locum, vel in obse- 
quio suo retinere voluerit, ipse sibi reputet, qui jus colonarium 
temeritate sua, jus vero juris dominii sui severitate damnavit. In 
his ergo omnibus ita te volumus solerter impendi, ut nee direpti 
gregis pastor reus existas, nee apud nos minor semulatio fraterni- 
tatem tuam reprehensibilem reddat. 

Gregory to Venantius, Bisliop of Luna : 

That Jews should not have Christian slaves, but that colonists 
and those born on their lands should pay them pensions. 

We have learned hy the report of many jjersons that Christian 
slaves are kept in servitude by the Jews dwelling in the city of 
Luna, which is the more grievous to us as it has been caused by 
the remissness of you our brother. For it ivas becoming you, as 
well by reason of the p)lace you hold, as from your regard for the 
Christian religion, not to allow the existence of any occasion by 
which simple souls may be subjected to the Jeivish superstition, not 
only by the force of persuasion, but by a sort of right arising from 
power. Wherefore toe exhort you, our brother, that, according to 
the regulation of the most pious laws, it should not be permitted to 
any Jew to keep a OJiristian slave under his dominion, and that 
if any such be found under them, the liberty of such should be 
secured by the process of law and the aid of protection. 

And as regards those who are on their lands, though by strict 
construction of lazv they may be free, yet, because they have re- 
mained a long time in the cultivation of the soil, as bound to the 
condition of the place, let them remain to till the lands as they have 
used to do, and pay tlieir pension to the aforesaid men ; and let 
them do cdl that the laws require of colonists or persons of origin. 
Let no additional burthen hoivever be laid on them. 

But should any one of these desire to migrate to another pilace ; 
or should he prefer remaiyiing in his obedience, let the conse- 
quences be attributed to him ivho rashly violated the colonial rights^ 


or who injured himself hy the severity of his conduct towards his 

It is our wish that you be careful so to give your attention to all 
these letters as not to be the guilty pastor of a plundered flock, nor 
that your want of zeal should compel us to reprehend our brother. 

The law of the empire in force through Italy and Sicily : 

1. Slaves who were Christians could not be held by those who 
were not Christians. 

2. It being unlawful for others than Christians to hold them, 
these others could have no property in them : the persons so held 
were entitled to their freedom. 

3. The church was the guardian of their right to freedom, and 
the church acted through the bishop. 

4. Consequently it was the duty, as it was the right, of the 
bishop to vindicate that freedom for those so unjustly detained. 

5. The right and duty of the pope was to see that each bishop 
was careful in his charge, and this part of his charge came as 
much as any other did under the supervision of his superior and 
immediate inspector, and it was the duty of that superior to repre- 
hend him for any neglect. 

6. The law of each country was to regulate the duty of the 
master and slave, and if that law made, as in Italy and its envi- 
rons, the church the proper tribunal for looking to the performance 
of those duties, any neglect of the church in its discharge would 
be criminal. 

7. Through the greater part of Italy and Sicily, at this period, 
the pope was the sovereign, and it was only by his paramount in- 
fluence that the half-civilized Gothic and Lombard chiefs were 
kept in any order, and their despotism partially restrained. 

They were times of anarchy, between which and the present no 
analogy exists. The Jews and separatists from the church were 
very numerous, and on their side, as well as on that of their op- 
posers, passion frequently assumed the garb of religion, and the 
unfortunate slave was played upon by each. The position of the 
pope was exceedingly difficult, for while he had to restrain the 
enemies of the church on one side, he had to correct the excesses 
of its partisans upon the other. 



The laws of the empire having declared it unlawful for Jewj or 
pagans to hold Christian slaves, the church took a further step, 
which, in effect, forbade pagan slaves being sold to Jews, and 
which, to a considerable extent, suppressed their introduction, by 
the difficulties with which the following order surrounded the traffic. 
It is found in lib. v. indie, xiv. epist. xxxi. 

Gregorius, Fortunato Episcopo Neopolitano : 

Ne mancipia quce Christianam fidem suscipere volunt, Judgeis 
venundentur : sed pretium a Christiano emptore percipiant. 

Fraternitati vestr^e ante hoc tempus scripsimus, ut hos qui de Ju- 
daica superstitione ad Christianam fidem Deo aspirante venire deside- 
rant, dominis eorum nulla esset licentia venundandi : sed ex eo quo 
voluntatis sufe desiderium prodidissent, defendi in libertatem per 
omnia debuissent. Sed quia quantum cognovimus, nee voluntatem 
nostram, nee legum statuta subtili scientes discretione pensare, in 
paganis servis hac se non arbitrantur conditione constringi : fraterni- 
tatem vestram oportet de his esse solicitam, et si de Jud^eorum ser- 
vitio non solum Judseos, sed etiam quisquam paganorum fieri vo- 
luerit Christianus, postquam voluntas ejus fuerit patefacta, nee hunc 
sub quolibet ingenio vel argumento cuipiam Jud?eorum venundandi 
facultas sit : sed is qui ad Christianam converti fidem desideret, de- 
fensione vestra in libertatem modis omnibus vindicetur. Hi vero quos 
hujusmodi oportet servos amittere, ne forsitan utilitates suas irra- 
tionabiliter cestiment impediri, sollicit^ vos hsec convenit considera- 
tione servare : ut si paganos, quos mercimonii causS, de externis fini- 
bus emerint, intra tres menses, dum emptor cui vendi debeant non in- 
venitur, fugere ad ecclesiam forte contigerit, et velle se fieri dixerint 
Christianos, vel etiam extra ecclesiam hanc talem voluntatem pro- 
dederint, pretium ibi a Christiano scilicet emptore percipiant. Si 
autem post prgefinitos tres menses quisquam hujusmodi servorum 
velle suum edixerit, et fieri voluerit Christianus, nee aliquis eum 
postmodum emere, nee dominus qualibet occasionis specie audeat 
venundare, sed ad libertatis proculdubio prsemia perducatur : quia 
hunc non ad vendendum, sed ad serviendum sibi iutelligitur com- 
parasse. Haec igitur omnia fraternitas vestra ita vigilanter ob- 


servet, quatenus ei nee supplicatio quorumdam valeat, nee persona 

" Gregory to Fortunatus, Bishop of Naples : 

" That slaves who wish to embrace the Christian faith must not be 
sold to Jews, but (the owners) may reeeive a priee from a Christian 

" We have before now written to you, our brother, that their 
masters should not have leave to sell those who, by the inspiration 
of God, desire to come from the Jewish superstition to the Christian 
faith ; but that from the moment they shall have manifested this 
determination they should be, by all means, protected to seek their 
liberty. But, as we have been led to know some persons, not 
exactly and accurately giving heed to our will, nor to the enact- 
ments of the laws, think that, as regards pa.gan slaves, this law 
does not apply, it is fit that you, our brother, should be careful on 
this head ; and if among the slaves of the Jews, not only a Jew, 
but any of the pagans, should desire to become a Christian, to see 
that no Jew should have power to sell him under any pretext, or 
by any ingenious device, after this his intention shall have been 
made known ; but let him who desires to become of the Christian 
faith have the aid of your defence, by all means, for his liberty. 

" And respecting those who are to lose such servants, lest they 
should consider themselves unreasonably hindered, it is fit that you 
should carefully follow this rule : that, if it should happen that 
pagans, whom they bought from foreign places for the purpose of 
trafiic, should within three months, not having been purchased, fly 
to the church and say that they desire to be Christians, or even 
make known this intention without the church, let the owners be 
capable of receiving their price from a Christian purchaser. But 
if, after the lapse of three months, any one of those servants of 
this description should speak his will and wish to become a Chris- 
tian, no one shall thereafter dare to purchase him, nor shall his 
master under any pretext sell him ; but he shall unquestionably 
be brought to the reward of liberty, because it is suflSciently in- 
telligible that this slave was procured for the purpose of service, 
and not for that of traffic. Do you, my brother, diligently and 
closely observe all these things, so that you be not led away by any 
supplication, nor affected by personal regard." 

The grounds of the law above given may be partially gathered 


from the following, which is a letter to the bishop of Catania in 
Sicily. Lib. v. ind. xiv. epist. xxxii. 

Gregorius, Leoni Episcopo Catanensi : 

De Samarms qui pagd7ia mancipia emerunt et cireumciderunt. 

Res ad nos detestabilis, et omnino legibus inimica pervenit, 
qufB, si vera est, fraternitatem vestram vehementer accusat, 
eamque de minori solicitudine probat esse culpabilem. 

Comperimus autem quod Samartei degentes Catinte pagana 
mancipia emerint, atque ea circumcidere ausu teraerario prgesump- 
serint. Atque idcirco necesse est, ut omnimodo zelum in hac 
causa sacerdotalem exercens, cum omni hoc vivacitate ac solicitu- 
dine studeas perscrutari : et si ita repereris, mancipia ipsa sine 
mora in libertatem modis omnibus vindica, et ecclesiasticam in eis 
tuitionem irapende, nee quidquam dominos eorum de pretio quoli- 
bet modo recipere patiaris : qui non solum hoc damno mulctandi, 
sed etiam alia erant poena de legibus feriendi. 

" Gregory to Leo, Bishop of Catania: 

" Concerning Samaritans (or Jews) who purchased pagan slaves 
and circumcised them. 

" Accounts have been brought to us of a transaction very de- 
testable and altogether opposed to the laws, and which, if true, 
shows exceedingly great neglect on the part of you, our brother, 
and proves you to have been very culpable. 

"We have found that some Jews dwellino; at Catania have 
bought pagan slaves, and with rash presumption dared to circum- 
cise them. Wherefore it is necessary that you should exert all 
your priestly zeal in this case, and give your mind to examine 
closely into it with energy and care ; and, should you find the 
allegation to be true, that you should by all means, and without 
delay, secure the liberty of the slaves themselves, and give them 
the protection of the church ; nor should you suffer their masters, 
on any account, to receive any of the price given for them, for 
they not only should be fined in this amount, but they are liable 
also to suffer such other punishment as the laws inflict." 




In Judea, the creditor could take the children of the debtor, and 
keep them as his slaves, to labour until the debt was paid ; and 
among the Gentiles this right was not only in existence, but in 
most cases the child could be subjected to perpetual slavery, and in 
many instances the debtor himself could thus be reduced to bondage. 
Improvement had been made in this respect, as will be seen by the 
following document, found in lib. iii. indie, xii. epist. xliii. 

Gregorius, Fantino Defensor! : 

Be Cosnia Syro multis dehitis ohligato. 

Later praesentium, Cosmas Syrus, in negotio quod agebat, de- 
bitum se contraxisse perhibuit, quod, et multis aliis et lacrymia 
ejus attestantibus, verum esse credidimus. Et quia 150 solidos 
debebat, volui ut creditores illius cum eo aliquid paciscerentur : 
quoniam et lex habet, ut homo liber pro debito nullatenus teneatur, 
si res defuerint, quae possunt eidem debito addici, creditores ergo 
SUDS, ut asserit, ad 80 solidos consentire possibile est. Sed quia 
multum est ut a nil habente homine 80 solidos petant, 60 solidos 
per notarium tuum tibi transmisimus ; ut cum eisdem creditoribus 
subtiliter loquaris, rationem reddas, quia filium ejus quem tenere 
dicuntur, secundum leges tenere non possunt. Et si potest fieri, 
ad aliquod minus quam nos dedimus, condescendant. Et quidquid 
de eisdem (30 solidis remanserit, ipsi trade, ut cum filio suo exinde 
vivere valeat. Si autem nil remanet, ad eamdem summam debitum 
ejus incidere stude, ut possit sibi libere postmodum laborare. 
Hoc tamen solerter age, ut acceptis solidis ei plenariam munitionem 
scripto faciant. 

" Gregory, to the Proctor Fantinus : 

" Of Cosmas, the Syrian, deeply in debt. 

"The bearer hereof, Cosmas the Syrian, has informed us that 
he contracted many debts in the business in which he was engageu. 
We believe it to be true ; he has testified it with many tears and 
witnesses. And, as he owes 150 shillings, I wish his creditors 
would make some composition with him. And as the law regulates 
that no freeman shall be held for a debt, if there be no goods 
which can be attached for that debt, he says that his creditors 


may be induced to accept 80 shillings ; but it is extravagant on 
their part to ask 80 shillings from a man who has nothing. We 
have sent you 60 shillings by your notary, that you may have a 
discrete conference with his creditors, and explain matters to them, 
because they cannot legally hold his son, whom they are said to 
keep. And if they will come down to any thing less, by your 
efforts, than the sum that we send, should any thing remain of the 
60 shillings, give it to him to help to support himself and his son ; 
should nothing be left, exert yourself to have his debt cancelled by 
that amount sent, so that henceforth he may be free to exert himself 
for his own benefit. But be careful, in doing this, to get for him 
a full receipt and discharge in writing for this money that they get." 

The law to which the pope refers, and by which the persons of 
the unfortunate debtor and his family were protected, is found in 
Novell. 134, c. vii., and was enacted by Justinian I. in 541. 

Ne quis creditor Jiliuni debitoris pro dehito retinere prsesumat. 

Quia vero et hujuscemodi iniquitatem in diversis locis nostras 
reipublicse cognovimus admitti, quia creditores filios debitorum 
prffisumunt retinere aut in pignus, aut in servile ministerium, aut 
in conductionem : hoc modis omnibus prohibemus : et jubemus ut 
si quis hujusmodi aliquid deliquerit, non solum debito cadat, sed 
tantam aliam quantitatem adjiciat dandam ei qui retentus est ab 
eo, aut parentibus ejus, et post hoc etiam corporalibus poenis ipsum 
subdi a loci judice ; quia personam liberam pro debito proesumpserit 
retinere aut locare aut pignorare. 

" That no creditor should presume to retain for debt the son of 
the debtor. 

" And because we have known that this sort of injustice has 
been allowed in several places of our commonwealth, — that credit- 
ors presume to keep the children of their debtors, either in pledge 
or in slavish employment, or to hire them out. We by all means 
forbid all this : and we order that, if any person shall be guilty 
of any of these things, not only shall he lose the debt, but he 
shall in addition give an equal sum, to be paid to the person that 
was held by him, or to the parents of such person ; and, beyond 
this, he shall be subjected to corporal punishment by the local 
judge, because he presumed to restrain or to hire out, or keep in 
pledge, a free person." 

The following document will exhibit in some degree the origin 
of the principle of escheats to be found in slavery. The slave 


being freed upon certain conditions, if they were not fulfilled the 
master of course re-entered upon his rights. The manumitted 
slave was sometimes allowed, not only freedom, but a certain gift, 
and often with the condition that, if he had not lawful issue, the 
gift, and its increase hy his industry, should revert to the master 
or his heir. So, in after times, the lord of the soil, or the monarch, 
gave portions of land to his vassals upon condition of service, and, 
upon failure of service or of heirs, his land escheated, or went back 
to the lord of the soil. 

The document is found in lib. v. indie, xiv. epist. xii. 

Gregorius, Montange et Thomse : 

Lihertatem dat, et cos cives Romanos efficit. 

Cum Redemptor noster totius conditor creaturge ad hoc pro- 
pitiatus humanam voluerit carnem assumere, ut divinitatis suae 
gratia, dirupto quo tenebamur captivi vinculo servitutis, pristinse 
nos restitueret libertati : salubriter agitnr, si homines quos ab 
initio natura liberos protulit, et jus gentium jugo substituit servi- 
tutis, in ea natura, in qua nati fuerant, manumittentis beneficio, 
libertati reddantur. Atque ideo pietatis intuitu, et hujus rei con- 
sideratione permoti, vos Montanam atque Thomam famulos sanctne 
EomanfB ecclesioe, cui, Deo adjutore, deservimus, liberos ex hac 
die, civesque Romanos efficimus, omneque vestrum vobis relaxamus 
servitutis peculium. Et quia tu, Montana, animum te ad conversio- 
nem fateris appulisse monachicam : idcirco duas uncias, quas tibi 
quondam Gaudiosus presbyter per supremse suae voluntatis arbi- 
trium institutionis modo noscitur reliquisse, hac die tibi donamus, 
atque concedimus omnia scilicet monasterio Sancti Laurentii cui 
Constantina abbatissa priest, in quo converti Deo miserante festi- 
nas, modis omnibus profutura. Si quid vero de rebus suprascripti 
Gaudiosi te aliquomodo celasse constituerit, id totum ecclesiae 
nostr^e juri sine dubio mancipetur. Tibi autem, suprascripto 
Thomae, quern pro libertatis tuai cumulo etiam inter notarios 
volumus militare, quinque uncias, quas pr^^fatus Gaudiosus pres- 
byter per ultimam voluntatem hereditario tibi nomine dereliquit, 
simul et sponsalia quce matri tuae conscripserat, similiter hac die 
per hujus manumissionis paginam donamus, atque concedimus, ea 
sane lege, atque conditione subnexa, ut si sine filiis legitimis, hoc 
est, de legitime susceptis conjugio, te obire contigerit, omnia quae 
tibi concessimus, ad jus sanctfB Romana ecclesias sine diminutione 
aliqua revertantur. Si autem filios de conjugio, sicut diximus, 


cognitos lege susceperis, eosque superstites reliqueris, earumdem 
te rerum dominum sine quadam statuimus conditione persistere, et 
testamentum de his faciendi liberam tibi tribuimus potestatem. 
H^c igitur, quse per hujus manumissionis chartulam statuimus, 
atque concessimus, nos successoresque nostros, sine aliqua scitote 
refragatione servare. Nam justiti^B ac rationis ordo suadet, ut qui 
sua a successoribus desiderat mandata servari, decessoris sui pro- 
culdubio voluntatem et statuta custodiat. Hanc autem manumis- 
sionis paginam Paterio notario scribendam dictavimus, et propria 
manu una cum tribus presbyteris prioribus et tribus diaconis pro 
plenissima firmitate subscripsimus, vobisque tradidimus. Actum in 
urbe Roma. 

"Gregory to Montana and Thomas: 

"He emancipates them, and makes them Roman citizens. 

" Since our Redeemer, the Maker of every creature, mercifully 
vouchsafed to take human flesh, that, breaking the chain by which 
we were held captive, he may, by the grace of his divinity, restore 
us to our first liberty, it is then salutary that they whom he at first 
made free by nature, and whom the law of nations subjected to the 
yoke of slavery, should in the nature in which they were born be 
restored to liberty by that kindness of their emancipator. And 
therefore, moved by this consideration, and in respect to piety, 
we make you, Montana and Thomas, slaves of the holy Roman 
church, in whose service we are by God's help engaged, from this 
day forward free and Roman citizens. And we release to you all 
your allowance of slavery. 

"And because you, Montana, have declared that it was your 
wish to enter into the monastic state, we give and grant to you 
this day two ounces, which it is well known were formerly left as 
a legacy to you for inheritance by the priest Gaudiosus, to be by 
all means available to the monastery of St. Lawrence, over which 
Constantina is superioress, and into which you desire anxiously by 
God's mercy to be admitted. But should it appear that you have 
concealed any of the efi"ects of the said Gaudiosus, the entire 
thereof doubtless is by right for the service of our church. 

"But to you, the said Thomas, whom, in addition to the bestowal 
of freedom, we desire to be enrolled in service among our notaries, 
we likewise this day give and grant, by this charter of manumis- 
sion, five ounces which the same Gaudiosus the priest left to you 
i Y name in his last will, and the portion which he assigned for 


your mother, but upon this ground and condition well attached, 
that, should you die without issue by lawful marriage, all those 
goods which we have granted to you shall come back, without any 
diminution, under the dominion of the holy Roman church ; but 
should you leave behind you children lawfully recognised from 
your marriage, we give to you full power to hold the same effects 
as their owner, and without any condition, and to make free dis- 
position of the same by will. 

" Know you, therefore, that what we have thus, by this charter 
of manumission, enacted and granted to you, bind, without an}^ 
gainsay, ourselves and our successors for its observance. For the 
order of justice and of reason requires that he who desires his own 
commands to be observed by his successors, should also doubtless 
observe the will and the statutes of his predecessor. 

" We have dictated this writing of manumission to be copied by 
our notary Paterius, and have for its most perfect stability sub- 
scribed it with our hand, and with those of three of the more dig- 
nified priests and three deacons, and delivered them to you. 

"Done in the city of Rome, &c." 

One of the subjects which at all times caused slavery to be 
surrounded with great difficulties was the result of marriage. The 
liability to separation of those married was a more galling afiliction 
in the Christian law, where the Saviour made marriage indissoluble, 
and it often happened that an avaricious or capricious owner cared 
as little for the marriage bond as he did for the natural tie of 
affection. Hence, as Christianity became the religion of the state, 
or of the great body of the people, it was imperatively demanded 
that some restraint should be placed upon that absolute power 
which the owners sometimes abused, of wantonly making these 
separations. On the other hand, the association of the sexes made 
marriage desirable : it was ordained by God to be the general 
state of the bulk of mankind, and even the self-interest or the 
avarice of the master calculated upon its results. Then again the 
slave dreaded separation, not only because of the violence committed 
on the most sacred affections, but also because, though the husband 
and wife should be separated by impassable barriers, yet the bond 
of their union subsisted, and could be severed by death alone. 

This was a strong temptation to both master and slave to prefer 
concubinage to wedlock. 

Another difficulty arose, in cases of the colonist, by reason of 


the claims of the several owners where colonists of distinct estates 
and different owners intermarried. In the case of perfect slaves, 
the child generally followed the mother, both as regarded condition 
and property. This was not, however, universally the case. But 
the owners of colonized lands set up different claims. At length 
the dispute was settled in the Roman Empire by a law of Justinian, 
in 539, Novell, clxii. cap. iii., and confirmed by a decision in a case 
brought up by the church-wardens of Apamea, in Phrygia, in 541, 
on the kalends of March, by dividing equally the progeny between 
the estates to which the parents belonged, giving the preference, 
in all cases of uneven number, to that estate to which the mother 
was attached. Nov. clvii. tit. xxxix. 

The following law concerning marriages and the separation of 
married persons from each other, and of children from their pa- 
rents, is of the same date. 

Novell, clvii. De Rusticis qui in alienis prcediis 7iuptias con- 
frahunt. Tit. xl. 

Imp. Justin. August. Lazaro Comiti Orientis. 

Prsefatio. Ex his quae diverso modo ad nos relata sunt, didi- 
cimus in Mesopotamia et Osdroena provinciis quidquam delinqui, 
nostris plane temporibus indignum : consuetudinem etiam apud 
ipsos esse, ut qui ex diversis originem trahant prsediis, nuptias inter 
se contrahant. Inde sane .conari dominos, de facto jam contractas 
nuptias dissolvere, aut procreatos filios a parentibus abstrahere, 
exindeque totum ilium locum misere affligi, dum et rusticani viri 
et mulieres ex una parte distrahantur, et proles his adimitur, qui 
in lucem produxerunt, et sola, nostra opus esse providentia. 

Cap. I. Sancimus igitur, ut pri^diorum domini de caetero rus- 
ticos suos, prout voluerint, conservent : neque quisquam eos qui 
jam conjuncti sunt possit secundum consuetudinem prius obtinen- 
tem divellere, aut compellere ut terram ad ipsos pertinentem 
colant, abstrahereve a parentibus filios prsetextu conditionis colo- 
nariae. Sed et si quid hujusmodi forte jam factum est, corrigi 
hoc simul, et restitui efficies, sive filios abstrahi contigerit, sive 
etiam mulieres, nempe vel a parentibus, vel contubernii consortibus : 
eo, qui reliquo deinceps tempore hujusmodi aliquid facere praj- 
sumpserit, etiam de ipso prcedio in periculum vocando. Quare libera 
sunto contubernia metu, qui dudum ipsis immittitur, et parentes ha- 
bento ex hac jussione filios suos : nequeuntibus praediorum dominis 
subtilibus contendere rationibus, et vel nuptias contrahentes vel 


filios abstrahere. Qui enim tale quid facere prresumpserit, etiam de 
ipso prtedio in periculum veniet, cui eos vindicare rusticos attentat. 
Epilogus. Qure igitur nobis placuerunt, et per sacram banc 
pragmaticam declarantur fornam, earn providentiam habeto magni- 
ficentia tua, tibique obtemperans cohors, et qui pro tempore 
eundem magistratum geret; ut ad effectum deducantur conserven- 
turque, trium librarum auri poena imminenti ei, qui uUo unquam 
tempore haec transgredi attentaverit. Dat. Kal. Maii, Constan- 
tinop. J). N. Justin. PP. Aug. Bisil. V. C. Cons. 

" Of country 2^ef sons ivlw contract marriage on divers estates. 
TheEmperor Justinian Augustus, to Lazarus the Count of the East. 

" Preamble. "We have learned by relation in various ways, 
that a delinquency quite unworthy of our times is allowed in the 
provinces of Mesopotamia and of Osdroene. They have a custom 
of having marriage contracted between those born on different 
estates : whence the masters endeavour to dissolve marriages actu- 
ally contracted, or to take away from the parents the children who 
are their issue ; upon which account that entire place is miserably 
afflicted, while country people, husbands and wives, are drawn 
away from each other, and the children whom they brought into 
light are taken away from them ; and that there needs for the re- 
gulation only our provision. 

" Chapter I. Wherefore, we enact, that otherwise the masters 
of the aforesaid keep their colonists as they will ; but, it shall not 
be allowed, by virtue of any custom heretofore introduced and in 
existence, to put away from each other those who were married, or 
to force them to cultivate the land belonging to themselves, or to 
take away children from their parents, under the colour of colonial 
condition. And you will be careful that if any thing of this sort 
has haply been already done, the same be corrected and restitution 
made, whether it be that children were taken away from their 
parents or women from their consorts of marriage. And for any 
who shall in future presume to act in this way, it shall be at the 
hazard of losing the estate itself. 

"Wherefore, let marriages of servants be exempt from that fear 
which has hitherto hung over them : and from the issue of this 
order, let the parents have their children. It shall not be compe- 
tent for the lords of the estates to strive by any subtle arguments 
either to take away those who contract marriage, or their children. 
For he who shall presume to do any such thing shall incur the 


risk of losing tliat estate for ■\\iiich he attempts to claim those 

" Epilogue. That therefore which has been good in our view, 
and is declared by this sacred pragmatic form, let your magnifi- 
cence provide to have carried into execution, and the cohort which 
obeys you, as also he who for the time being shall hold the same 
magisterial oiBce. To the end, then, that this edict may produce 
its effect and continue in force, let him who may at any time vio- 
late its enactments be liable to a penalty of three pounds of gold. 

"Given at Constantinople, on the kalends of May, our most pious 
lord Justinian being Augustus, and the most renowned Basil 
being consul." 

To rectify this, it became a principle, where an estate was large 
and the colonists numerous, to confine the choice of the servants 
within the bounds of the property ; and thus marriage had its full 
sanctity, and families remained without separation. 

We have an instance of the exercise of this right, by Pope St. 
Gregory, in a document found in lib. x. indie, v. epist. 28. 

Gregorius, Romano Defensori. 

Defiliis Petri defensoris extra massam in qua nati sunt non 

Petrus quem defensorem fecimus, quia de massa jui'is ecclesise 
nostrse, qune Vitelas dicitur, oriundus sit, experientiee tuie bene est 
cognitum, Et ideo quia circa eum benigni debemus existere, ut 
tamen ecclesife utilitas non lasdatur : hac tibi praceptione man- 
damus, ut eum districte debeas admonere, ne filios suos quolibet 
ingenio vel excusatione foris alicubi in conjugio sociare praisumat, 
sed in ea massa, cui lege et conditione ligati sunt, socientur. In 
qua re etiam et tuam omnino necesse est experientiam esse solli- 
citam, atque eos terrere, ut qualibet occasione de possessione cui 
oriundo subjecti sunt exire non debeant. Nam si quis eorum 
exinde, quod non credimus, exire prassumpserit ; certum illi est 
quia noster consensus nunquam illi aderit, ut foris de massa in qua 
nati sunt, aut habitare aut debeant sociari, sed et superscribi terram 
eorum. Atque tunc sciatis vos non leve periculum sustinere, si 
vobis negligentibus quisquam ipsorum quidquam de iis quie pro- 
hibemus facere qualibet sorte tentaverit. 

" Gregory to the Proctor Romanus. 

" Of not marrying the cJiildren of Peter the Proctor, tvithout the 
limits of the estate upon tvhich they were horn. 


" You, experienced sir, are well aware that Peter, ■whom wc 
made a proctor, is a native of the estate of our church territory 
which is called Vitelas. And as our desire is to act towards him 
with such favour as is compatible with avoiding any injury to the 
church, we command you by this precept, that you should strictly 
warn him not to presume, under any pretext or excuse, to have his 
children joined in wedlock anywhere but -on that estate to which 
they may be bound by law or by condition. In which matter it 
is quite necessary that you, experienced sir, be very careful, and 
instil into them a fear to prevent any of them from going on any 
account beyond the estate to which they are subject by origin. 
For if any one of them shall presume, as we believe he will not, 
to go thence, let him be assured that he shall never have our con- 
sent either to dwell or to associate himself without the estate on 
which he was born, but that the land of any such person shall be 
more heavily charged {superscribi). And know you, that if, by 
your negligence, any of them shall attempt to do any of those 
things which we prohibit, you will incur no small danger." 

Many of the restrictions on marriage that are found in subse- 
quent ages, under the feudal system, had their origin in this prin- 
ciple, because indeed the vassal, in feudal times, was but a slave 
under a more loose dominion in a mitigated form. 

The following document shows that, in the west, the separation of 
married persons was very uncommon, (quam sit inauditum atque cru- 
dele, unheard of and cruel.) It is found in lib. iii. indie, iii. ep. xii. 

Gregorius, Maximiano Episcopo Syracusano. 

De uxore cujusdam ahlatd et alteri venumdatd. 

Tanta nobis subinde mala, quoe aguntur in ista provincia, nun- 
ciantur, ut peccatis facientibus, quod avertat omnipotens Deus, 
celeriter eam perituram credamus. Pr?esentium namque portitor 
veniens lacrymabiliter quaestus est, ante plurimos annos ab homine 
nescio quo de possessione Messanensis ecclesifB de fontibus se sus- 
ceptum, et violenter diversis suasionibus puelloe ipsius junctum, ex 
qua juvenculos filios jam habere se asseruit, et quam nunc violenter 
huic disjunctam abstulisse dicitur, atque cuidam alii venumdedisse. 
Quod si verunf est, quam sit inauditum atque crudele malum, tua 
bene dilectio perspicit. Ideoque admonemus, ut hoc tantum nefas 
sub ea vivacite, quam te in causis piis habere certissime scimus, 
requiras atque discutias. Et si ita, ut supradictus portitor insinu- 
avit, esse cognoveris, non solum quod male factum est, ad statum 


pristinum revocare curabis; sed et vinclictam, quae Deum possit 
placare, exhibere modis omnibus festinabis. Episcopum vero, qui 
homines suos talia agentes corrigere negligit atque emendare, ve- 
hementer aggredere, proponens, quia si denuo talis ad nos de quo- 
quam qui ad eum pertinet quserela pervenerit, non in eum qui 
excesserit, sed in ipsum canonice vindicta procedet. 

" Gregory to Maximian, Bishop of Syracuse. 

*' Concerning the wife of some one that tvas taken away and sold 
to another. 

" We are told of so many bad things done in that province, that 
we are led to believe, which may God forbid, the place must soon 
be destroyed. 

" Now, the bearer of these presents complained to us in a pitiable 
manner, that many years ago, some man whom I know not, belong- 
ing to the church of Messina stood as his sponsor at baptism, and 
prevailed upon him by extreme urgency to marry his servant, by 
whom, he says, he has now young children, and whom now this 
man has violently taken away and sold to another. If this be 
true, you, our beloved, will see plainly how unheard of and how 
cruel is the evil. We therefore admonish you to look into and to 
sift so great a crime, with that earnestness which we assuredly 
know you have in matters of piety : and should you come to know 
that the fact is as the aforesaid bearer has stated, you will be 
careful not only to bring back to its former state that which was 
badly done, but you will quickly, by all means, have that punish- 
ment inflicted which may appease God. Give a severe lecture to 
the bishop that neglected to correct or to amend his people who do 
such things; setting before him that if a like complaint comes to 
us again of any one who belongs to him, canonical process for 
punishment shall issue, not against the one that shall have done 
wrong, but against himself." 


The form of a deed of gift found in lib. ii. indie, xi. epist. IS: 

Gregorius, Theodoro Consiliario. 

Acosimum pueruyn dat per ejnstolam. 

Ecclesiasticis utilitatibus desudantes ecclesiastic^ dignum est 
remuneratione gaudere, ut qui se voluntariis obsequiorum necessi- 
tatibus sponte subjiciunt, digne nostris provisionibus consolentur. 


Quia igitur te Theoclorum, virum eloquentissimum, consiliarium nos 
trum, mancipiorum cognovimus ministerio destitutum, ideo puerum 
nomine Acosiraum, natione Siculum, juri dominioque tuo dari tra- 
dique prajcipimus. Quern quoniam traditum ex nostr^ voluntate 
jam possides, hujus te necesse fuit scripti pro futuri temporis tes- 
timonio ac robore largitatis auctoritate fulciri : quatenus, Domino 
protegente, secure eum semper et sine ullius retractionis suspicione, 
quippe ut dominus, valeas possidere. Neque enim quemquam fore 
credimus, qui tarn parvam largitatem pro tuii tibi devotione conces- 
sam desideret, vel tentet ullo modo revocare : cum uno eodemque 
tempore, et verecundum sit a decessoribus bene gesta resolvere, et 
verecundum sit docere ceteros in su^ quandoque resolutoriam pro- 
ferre largitate sententiam. 

" Gregory, to Theodore the Counsellor. 

" He, by lette?', gives him the hoy Acosimus. 

" It is fit that they who labour for the benefit of the church 
should enjoy a reward from the church, that they who voluntarily 
and of their own accord have undertaken burthensome duties should 
be worthily assisted by our provision. Because, therefore, we have 
known that you, Theodore, our counsellor, a most eloquent man, 
were not well provided with the service of slaves, we have ordered 
that a boy, by name Acosimus, of the Sicilian nation, should be 
given up and delivered to your right and dominion. And as you 
already have him in your possession by delivery, upon our will, it 
was necessary to fortify you with the authority of this writing as 
a testimony to the future and for protection of the gift : so that 
by God's protection you may have power to possess him as his 
lord and master, always securely for ever and without any ques- 
tion being raised of his being in any way taken back. Nor indeed 
do Ave believe that there is any one who would desire or would at- 
tempt in any way to revoke so small a bounty given to you for 
your devotion, since it would be shameful to undo the good deeds 
of our predecessors, as it would to teach others that each could 
from time to time make the revocation of his own gift." 

The next document is found in lib. x. indie, v. epist. 40 : 

Gregorius, Bonito Defensori. 
De mancipio Fortunati Abbatis. 

Filius noster Fortunatus abbas monasterii sancti Severini, quod 
in hac urbe Romana situm est, latores prsesentium, monachos sues, 



ilHc pro recolligendis mancipiis juris sui monasterii qure illic lati- 
tare dicuntur dirigens, petiit ut experientiaj tuse ei debeant adesse 
solatia. Ea propter prsesenti tibi auctoritate prgecipimus, ut eis in 
omnibus salva ratione concurrere ac opitulari festines : quatenus 
te illic coram posito, atque in hiic caustic ferente solatia, salubriter 
hsec citius valeant quee sibi injuncta sunt ad efiectum, Deo auc- 
tore, perducere. 

" Gregory, to the Proctor Bonitus. 

" Concerning the slave of the Abbot Fortunatus. 

" Our son Fortunatus, the abbot of the monastery of St. Seve- 
rinus which is in the city of Rome, directing his monks, the bearers 
of these presents to your neighbourhood, to gather slaves belong- 
ing to the rights of his monastery, who are said to be there in con- 
cealment, begged that he should have your aid for that object. 
Wherefore, we command you, by this present order, that you would 
be alert in giving them all reasonable concurrence and aid ; so that 
you being present there and comforting them in this business, they 
may, with God's aid, be able in a wholesome manner the sooner to 
perform the duty which has been laid upon them." 

The pope did not consider it unbecoming in the monastery of 
St. Severinus to hold slaves, nor irreligious for the abbot to send 
monks to bring back runaways, nor criminal for the monks to go 
looking for them, nor offensive to God, on his own part, to give 
letters to his oflBcer and overseers to aid by all reasonable means 
to discover and to capture them. 

The following document enters into details for the recovery of 
a runaway slave. It is found in lib. vii. ind. ii. epist. 107. 

Gregorius Sergio Defensori. 

De Petro puero fagd lapso. 

Filius noster vir magnificus Occilianus, tribunus Hydruntinse oi- 
vitatis, ad nos veniens, puerum unum, Petrum nomine, artis pisto- 
rise, ex jure germani nostri, ad eum noscitur perduxisse. Quern 
nunc fuga lapsum ad partes illas reverti cognovimus. Experientia 
ergo tua, antequam ad Hydruntinam civitatem valeat is ipse con- 
tingere, sub qua valueris celeritate, vel ad episcopum Hydruntinre 
civitatis, vel ad pr?edictum tribunum, si vel alium quern in loco tuo 
te habere cognoscis, scripta dirigas, ut uxorem vel filios prosdicti 
mancipii sub omni habere debeant cautela, atque de ipso sollicitu- 
dinem gerere, ut preveniens valeat detineri, et mox, cum rebus suis 
omnibus qu?e ad eum pertinent navi impositis, per fidelem personam 


hue modis omnibus destinari. Experientia itaque tua cum omni 
hoc studeat efficaciS. solertiaque perficere, ne de neglectu vel mora 
nostros quod non optamus animos offendas. 

" Gregory, to the Proctor Sergius. 

" Concerning Peter, a servant who fled away. 

" Our son Occilianus, a highly respectable man, a tribune of the 
city of Otranto, brought with him to our cousin, as is known, when 
he Avas coming to us, a boy named Peter, a baker, who belonged to 
that cousin. We have now learned that he has run away, and re- 
turned to your country. Let then it be your care, experienced 
sir, before he shall be able to get back to Otranto, to direct, as 
quickly as you can, a writing to the bishop of Otranto, or to the 
foresaid tribune himself, or to any one else whom you know, that 
you can depute, to have a good care of the wife or children of the 
said slave, and to be very careful respecting himself, that as soon 
as he shall arrive he may be detained, and sent with every thing 
that pertains to him, by all means hither, embarking them on board 
a ship under care of some faithful person. 

" You, experienced sir, will therefore exert yourself to do this 
with all attention and effect, so as not to displease us by a delay 
or neglect, which we should not desire." 

The following is taken from lib. viii. indie, iii. epist. 4. 

Gregorius, Fantino Defensori. 

De mancipiis Romani spcctabilis viri. 

Mancipia juris Romani spectabilis memorise viri, qui in domo sua 
qua3 Neapoli sita est monasterium ordinari constituit, habitare in 
Sicili^ perhibentur. Et quia monasterium ipsum juxta voluntatera, 
ejus, Deo auctore, noscitur ordinatum, experientia tua prsesentium 
portitoribus, qui ad recolligenda mancipia ipsa illuc directi sunt, 
omni studio solatiari festinet, et recollectis eis, possessiones illi 
ubi laborare debeant, te solatiante, conducant. Et quidquid eorum 
labore accesserit, reservato unde ipsi possint subsistere, reliqua 
ad prasdictum monasterium, experientiae tuse cura, annis singulis, 
auxiliante Domino, transmittantur. 

" Gregory, to the Proctor Fantinus. 

" Concerning the slaves of the honourable man Romanus. 

" The slaves of the man of honourable memory, Romanus, who 
directed that his house in Naples should be formed into a monastery, 
are said to dwell in Sicily. And as it is known that, with God's 


help, the monastery has been established according to the regula- 
tions of his will ; you, experienced sir, will without delay use your 
best efforts to aid the bearers of these presents, who are sent 
thither, to collect those slaves : and when they shall be collected, 
let them hire lands under your countenance, where they may la- 
bour ; keeping them out of their produce of labour, whatever may 
be necessary for their support ; let the remainder, under the care 
of you, experienced sir, be sent, with God's help, every year to the 
foresaid monastery." 

Gregorius, Vitali Defensori Sardinias. 

De Barharicinis maneipiis comparandis. 

Bonifacium praesentium portitorem, notarium scilicet nostrum, 
nos experientia tua illuc transmisisse cognoscat, ut in utilitatera 
parochioe Barbaricina debeat mancipia comparare. Et ideo expe- 
rientia tua omnino et studio sesolliciteque concurrat, ut bono pretio, 
et talia debeat comparare, qure inministerio parochise utilia valeant 
inveniri, atque emptis eis hue Deo protegente is ipse celcrius possit 
remeare. Ita ergo te in hac re exhibere festina, ut te quasi servi- 
entium amatorem, quorum usibus emuntur, ostendas, et nobis ipsi 
te de tua valeant sollicitudine commendare. 

"Gregory, to Vitalis, Proctor of Sardinia. 

" Of buying Barhary slaves. 

"Know, experienced six-, that Boniface, our notary, the bearer 
of these presents, has been sent by us to your place to purchase 
some Barbary slaves for the use of the hospital. And therefore, 
you will be careful to concur diligently and attentively with him, 
that he may buy them at a good rate, and such as would be found 
useful for the service of the hospital. And that having bought 
them, he may, under the protection of God, very speedily return 
hither. Do you then be prompt to show yourself in this business 
so as to exhibit your affection for those who serve the hospital, and 
for whose use the purchase is made, and that they may have it in 
their power to commend you to us for your zeal in their regard." 

The word parocMse, which is translated "hospital," is more 
properly ptochia in some of the ancient MSS., which is a sort of 
Latinized imitation of Ttto^ia — a house for feeding the poor. 
Gregory had a large establishment of this description in Rome, 
attended by pious monks, for whose service those barbarians were 
purchased. Procopius informs us, lib. ii. de Bello Vandanco, cap. 13, 
^I'ho these Barbary slaves were. " When the Vandals had conquered 


the Moors of Africa, they were annoyed by the incursions of some 
of the barbarians of the southern part of Numidia. In order to 
prevent this, they seized upon them, their wives and children, and 
transported them to the island of Sardinia : kept prisoners and 
slaves for some time here, they escaped to the vicinity of Cagliari, 
and, forming a body of 3000 men, they regained a sort of freedom. 
Greo-ory made various efforts to convert them. They who were 
kept in thraldom were frequently purchased, as in this instance, 
by the Italians and others," 

This is the first instance on record of the purchase of negro 
slaves by the church, and occurred about the year 600. At that 
time, white slaves cost less than the expense of importation from 

In his sixth book, ep. 21, Gregory commands the priest Can- 
didus, who was his agent in Gaul, to purchase four of the brothers 
of one Dominic, who complained to him that they were redeemed 
from their captors by Jews in Narbonne, and held by them in 

The seventh book, ep. 22, to John, the bishop of Syracuse, is 
a very curious document. It recites the case of one Felix, who 
was a slave born of Christian parents, and given in his youth as a 
present to a Jew by a Christian owner : he served illegally during 
nineteen years the Jew who, was disqualified from holding a Chris- 
tian slave ; but Maximinian the former bishop of Syracuse, learn- 
ing the facts, had, as in duty bound, Felix discharged from this 
service and made free. Five years subsequently, a son of the 
Jew became, or pretended to become, a Christian, and being thus 
qualified to hold a Christian slave, claimed Felix as his property. 
Felix appealed to the pope, and the letter to the bishop of Syra- 
cuse is a decision in favour of his freedom, containing also an order 
to the bishop to protect him and defend his liberty. 


We have heretofore, in our fifth lesson, noticed the doctrine of 
the church, that the civil power had the prerogative of making 
laws in regard to slavery ; although, at that time, paganism may 
be said to have governed the world. And while we travel rapidly 
through the seventh century, finding the Roman Empire, the mis- 
tress of the world, now tottering to decay ; the Lombards firmly 


established in Italy ; the Franks in Gaul ; the Goths in Spain ; 
the Suevi in Portugal ; and all Germany filled by various hordes, 
governed by their petty chieftains, just now showing some symp- 
toms of civilization, and Christianity in the ascendant ; yet Ave 
find this doctrine of the church unchanged. 

The church may now be considered strong ; and although the 
civil power is regarded as the legitimate legislative authority, yet, 
in no instance, are the laws found to run counter to the doctrines 
of the church on this subject. 

In the precept of King Clotaire II. for endowing the abbey of 
Corbey, after the grant of the parcels of land therein recited, he 
adds, " una cum terris, domibus, mancipiis, ?edificiis, vineis, silvis, 
pratis, pascuis, farinariis, et cunctis appenditiis," &c. — Together 
■with the lands, houses, slaves, buildings, vineyards, tvoods, mea- 
dows, jyastures, granaries, and all appendages. 

And the abbey not only possessed the slaves as property, but by 
the same precept had civil jurisdiction over all its territory and all 
persons and things thereon, to the exclusion of all other judges. 

The fourth council of Toledo, in 633, in its fifty-ninth canon, 
by the authority of King Sisenand and his nobles in Spain, restored 
to liberty any slaves whom the Jews should circumcise, and in the 
sixty-sixth canon, by the same authority, Jews were thenceforth 
rendered incapable of holding Christian slaves. The seventieth 
and the seventy-first canons regulated the process regarding the 
freed persons and colonists of the church, and the latter affixed a 
penalty of reduction to slavery for neglect of formal observances 
useful to preserve the evidence of title for the colonist. The 
seventy-second canon places the freed persons, whether wholly 
manumitted or only conditioned, when settled under patronage of 
the church, under the protection of the clergy. 

The seventy-fourth allows the church to manumit worthy slaves 
belonging to herself, so that they may be ordained priests or 
deacons, but still keeps the property they may acquire, as belong- 
ing to the church which manumitted them, and restricts them 
even in their capacity as witnesses in several instances ; and 
should they violate this condition, declares them suspended. 

In the year 650, which was the sixth of King Clovis II., a coun- 
cil was held at Chalons. The canon begins with the announce- 
ment — 

Pietatis est maximte et religionis intuitus, ut captivitatis vinculum 
omnino a Christianis redimatur. Unde sancta synodus noscitur 


censuisse, ut nullus mancipium extra fines vel terminos qui ad reg- 
nura domini Clodovei regis pertinent, penitus, deb'eat venumdare ; 
ne, quod absit, per tale commercium aut captivitatis vinculo, vel, 
quod pejus est, Judaica servitute mancipia Christiana teneantur 

"It is a work of the greatest piety, and the intent of religion, 
that the bond of captivity should be entirely redeemed from Chris- 
tians. Whence it is known to be the opinion of the holy synod, 
that no one ought, at all, to sell a slave beyond the dominions of 
our lord Clovis the king ; lest, which God forbid, Christian slaves 
should be kept entangled in the chains of captivity, or what is 
worse, under Jewish bondage." 

In the tenth council of Toledo, celebrated in the year 656, in 
the reign of Receswind, king of the Goths, the seventh chapter is a 
bitter complaint of the practice, which still prevailed among Chris- 
tians, of selling Christian slaves to the Jews, to the subversion of 
their faith or their grievous oppression. 

In the year QGQ, a council was held in Merida, in Spain. The 
eighteenth canon of which allows that, of the slaves belonging to 
the church, some may be ordained minor clerks, who shall serve 
the priests as their masters with due fidelity, receiving only food 
and raiment. 

The twentieth chapter complains of many irregularities in the 
mode of making freedmen for the service of the church, regulates 
the mode of making them, and provides for the preservation of 
the evidence of their obligation and the security of their service- 

The twenty-first regulates the extent to which a bishop shall 
be allowed to grant gifts to his friends, the slaves, the freedmen, 
or others. 

The thirteenth council of Toledo was held in the year 683, in 
the reign of Ervigius, the successor of Wamba. There was an 
old law of the Goths, found in lib. v. tit. vii., and repeated in other 
forms in lib. x. and xi., regulating that no freedman should do an 
injury or an unkindness to his master, and authorizing the master 
who had suffered, to bring such offender back again to his state 
of slavery. And in lib. xvii. the freedman, and his progeny for 
ever, were prohibited from contracting marriage with the family 
of their patron or behaving with insolence to them. King Ervigius 
was reminded by many of his nobles that former kings, in deroga- 
tion of this law, had given employments about the palace to slaves 
and to freedmen, and even sustained them in giving offence to 


tlieir masters, had even sometimes ordered them so to do, and pro- 
tected them ; for this the nobles sought redress. The king called 
upon the council to unite Vt'ith. him in putting a stop to this indig- 
nity. And in the sixth canon we have the detail of the evils set 
forth, and also the enactment, in concurrence with the king, that 
thenceforward it shall be unlawful to give any employment what- 
ever about the palace, or in the concerns of the crown, to any slave 
or freedman. 

The third council of Saragossa was celebrated in the year 691, 
in the reign of Egica, king of the Goths. 

In Toledo, it had been enacted, that any freedman of the church, 
who did not comply with certain regulations, should lose his free- 
dom and be reduced to slavery. One of the conditions was, that 
any person pretending to have been manumitted, or claiming as the 
descendant of a freedman, should, upon the death of the bishop, 
exhibit his papers to the successor of the deceased, within a year, 
or, upon his neglect, should be declared a slave. The object of 
this was to discern those who were partially free from the perfect 
slave, and to cause the former to preserve their muniments. 

The fathers of Saragossa, however, discovered that some of the 
bishops, studying their own gain, had been too rigid in enforcing 
this law, and thereby reduced several negligent or ignorant per- 
sons to bondage ; in order then to do justice, they enacted in their 
fourth chapter, that the year within which the documents should 
be exhibited should not commence to run until after the new bishop, 
subsequently to his institution, should have given sufficient notice to 
those claiming to be put in partial service, to produce their papers. 

The sixteenth council of Toledo was held in the year 693. The 
fifth chapter of the acts, determining when a priest may hold two 
churches, has the following passage : 

Ut ecclesia, qu» usque ad decern habuerit mancipia, super se 
habeat sacerdotem, quve vero minus decem mancipia habuerit aliis 
conjungatur ecclesiis. 

" That the church which shall have as many as ten slaves shall 
liave one priest over it, but that one which shall have less than 
ten slaves shall be united to other churches." 

In the tenth chapter of the acts of the same council, not only 
was excommunication pronounced against all who should be guilty 
of high treason against Egica, the king of the Gothic nation, but 
the bishops ard clergy united with the nobles [palatii senioinbus) 
and the popuUr representatives in condemning traitors and their 


progeny to perpetual slavery, (fisci virihus sub perpetud servitute 
maneant religati.) 

The laws of Ina, king of the West Saxons, about the year 692, 
were made for the regulation of religion : 

Servus, si quid operis patra,rit die Dominico ex prsecepto domini 
sui, liber esto, dominus triginta solidos dependito. Verum si id 
operis injussu domini sui aggressus fuerit, verberibus creditor, aut 
saltem virgarum metum precio redimito. Liber, si die hoc operetur 
injussu domini sui, aut servituti addicitor, aut sexaginta solidos 
dependito. Sacerdos, si in banc partem deliquerit, poena in duplum 

"If a slave shall do any work on the Lord's day, by order of 
his master, let him become free, and let the master pay thirty 
shillings, (another copy adds, 'ad witam-,' as a fine.) But, if he 
went to this work without his master's command, let him be cut 
with whips, (another copy has ' corium perdat,' let him lose his 
skin,) or at least, let him redeem the fear of the scourge by a 
price. A freeman, if on this day he shall work without the order 
of his lord, let him be reduced to slavery, or pay sixty shillings. 
Should a priest be delinquent in this respect, his penalty shall be 
increased to double." 

In the eighth, the division of the weregild for the killing of a 
stranger : 

Wallus censum pendens annuum, 120 solidorum sestimatur, filius 
ejus 100. Ser\Tis, alias 60, alias 50, solidis valere putatur. Wal- 
lus virgarum metum 12 solidis redimito. Wallus quinque terroe 
hydas possidens 600 solidis JBStimandus est. 

" A stranger paying a yearly rent is to be rated at 120 shil- 
lings, his son at 100. A slave at either 50 or 60, is a fair estima- 
tion. Let a stranger redeem his fear of whipping for 12 shillings. 
A stranger being in possession of five hydes of land is to be valued 
at 600 shillings." 

The seventeenth council of Toledo was celebrated in 694, in 
the reign of Egica. It was enacted — 

Si quis servum proprium sine conscientia; judicis occiderit, ex- 
communicatione biennii sanguinis se mundabit. 

" If any one shall put his own slave to death, without the know- 
ledge of the judge, he shall cleanse himself the blood by an ex- 
communication of two years." 

In the council of Berghamstead, near Canterbury, held in 697, 
under Withred, king of Kent, at which Gebmund, bishop of Ro- 


Chester, was present, and where a sort of parliament also assem- 
bled and gave a civil sanction to the temporal enactments and 
penalties of the canons, several regulations were made concerning 
slaves. The Saxon MS. is the adoption of the canons into the 
common law of Canterbury, and is entitled " The Judgments of 

The ninth canon in this collection is the following : 

Si quis servum suum ad altare manumiserit, liber esto, et habilis 
sit ad gaudendum hereditate et wirigildo, et fas sit ei ubi volet 
sine limite versari. 

" If any person shall manumit his servant at the altar, let him 
be free, and capable of enjoying inheritance and weregild, and let 
it be lawful for him to dwell where he pleases without limit." 

The tenth canon is : 

Si in vespera prrecedente diem solis postquam sol occubuit, aut 
in vespera prgecedente diem lunae post occasum solis, servus ex 
mandaio domini sui opus aliquod servile egerit, dominus factum 
octoginta solidis luito. 

" If on the evening preceding Sunday, after the sun has set, or 
on the evening preceding Monday, after the setting of the sun, a 
slave shall do any servile work by command of his master, let the 
master copapensate the deed by eighty shillings." 

The eleventh : 

Si servus hisce diebus itineraverit, domino pendat sex solidos, 
aut flagello csedatur. 

" If a servant shall have journeyed on these days, let him pay 
six shillings to his master, or be cut with a whip." 

The thirteenth: 

Si paganus uxore nescifi. diabolo quid obtulerit, omnibus fortunis 
suis plectatur et collistrigio. Sin et ambo pariter itidem fecerint, 
omnium bonorum suorum amissione ipsa etiam luat et collistrigio. 

" If a villain, without the knowledge of his wife, shall have 
offered any thing to the devil, let him be punished by the loss of 
all his fortune and by the pillory. And if both did so together, 
let her also lose all her goods and be punished by the pillory." 

The English villain was the colonist of the European continent, 
and in the Speculum Saxonicum, lib. i. art. 3, his imperfect liberty 
IS compared with the freeman. Also in Du Cange, Paganus, 
Pagenses, &c. 

The fourteenth: 

Si servus diabolo offerat, sex dependat solidos, aut flagro vapulet. 


" If a slave offers to the devil^ let him pay six shillings, or be 

The ifteenth : 

Si quis servo carnem in jejunio dederit comedendam, servus liber 

"If any one shall give his slave flesh-meat to eat on a fast-day, 
let the slave go out free." 

The sixteenth : 

Si servus ex sponte su^ earn ederit, aut sex solidis aut flagello. 

" If the slave shall eat it of his own motion, let the penalty be 
either six shillings or a whipping." 

After regulating the mode of declaration of swearing and of 
compurgation, for the king, the bishop, the abbot, the priest, the 
deacon, the cleric, the stranger, and the king's thane, the twenty- 
first canon enacts — 

Paganus cum quatuor compurgatoribus, capite suo ad altare in- 
clinato, semet eximat. 

" Let the villain deliver himself with four compurgators, with 
his head bowed down to the altar." 

The twenty-third : 

Si quis Dei mancipium in conventu suo accusaverit, dominua 
ejus eum simplici suo juramento purgabit, si eucharistiam susce- 
perit. Ad eucharistiam autem si nusquam venerit, habeat in jura- 
mento fidejussorem bonum, vel solvat, vel se tradat flagellandum. 

" If any person shall accuse a slave of God in his convent, his 
lord shall purge him with a simple oath, if he shall have received 
the eucharist. But if he has never come to the eucharist, let him 
in his oath have a good surety to answer, or let him pay or give 
himself up to be whipped." 

The slave of God was one belonging to a monastery, of whom 
there appear to have been a good number in England, at that 
period, as well as on the continent. The previous canon had legis- 
lated for the bishop's dependants as distinguished from the slave 
of the monastery. 

The twenty-fourth canon is : 

Si servus viri popularis servum viri ecclesiastici accusaverit, vel 
servus ecclesiastici servum viri popularis, dominus ejus singulari 
suo juramento eum expurgabit. 

" If the slave of a lay person shall accuse the slave of a clergy- 
man, or if the slave of a clergyman shall accuse the slave of a 
layman, let his master purge him by his single oath." 


The twenty-seventh regulated the punishment of the person who 
permitted a thievish slave to escape, and, respecting the slave him- 
self, concluded thus : 

Si quis eum occiderit, domino ejus dimidium pendito. 

" If any one shall slay him, let him pay to his master one- 

In Germany, however, as yet, in most places paganism pre- 
vailed, and human sacrifices were offered. St. Boniface had been 
sent by the Holy See to endeavour to reclaim to religion and to 
civilization the nations or tribes that composed this undefined ex- 
tent of territory. We find in a letter of Pope Gregory III., written 
in answer to his request for special instructions, about the year 735, 
the following paragraph : 

Haec quoque inter alia crimina agi in partibus illis dixisti, quod 
quidam ex fidelibus ad immolandum paganis sua venumdent man- 
cipia. Quod ut magnopere corrigere debeas, frater, commonemus, 
nee sinas fieri ultra : scelus est enim et impietas. Eis ergo qui 
hsec perpetraverunt, similem homicidte indices poenitentiam. 

" You have said that, among other crimes, this was done in those 
parts, that some of the faithful sold their slaves to pagans to be 
immolated. Which you should use all your power to correct, nor 
allow it to be done any more : for it is wickedness and impiety. 
Impose then upon its perpetrators the same penance as for homi- 


Theodore, archbishop of Canterbury, governed the English 
church from 670 to 690, when he died. The following extracts 
are from his canonical regulations : 

VII. Groeci et Romani dant servis suis vestimenta, et laborant 
excepto Dominico die. Gra^corum monachi servos non habent, 
Romani habent. 

" The Greeks and Romans give clothing to their slaves, and they 
work except on the Lord's day. The Greek monks have not slaves, 
the Romans have." 

XVII. Ingenuus cum ingenua, conjungi debet. 

" A free man should be married to a free woman." 


LXV. Qui per jussionem domini sui occiderit hominem, dies xl. 

" He who, by the command of his master, shall kill a man, shall 
fast forty days." 

The seventy-first prohibits the intermarriages of those slaves 
whose owners will prevent their living together. 

The seventy-fourth regulates, that if a free pregnant woman be 
sold into slavery, the child that she bears shall be free ; all subse- 
quently born shall be slaves. 

LXXIX. Pater filium necessitate coactus in servitium sine volun- 
tate filii tradat. 

"A father, compelled by necessity, may deliver his son into 
slavery without the will of that son." 

LXXXIX. Episcopus et abbas hominem sceleratum servum 
possunt habere, si precium redimendi non habet. 

"A bishop or an abbot can hold a criminal in slavery, if he 
have not the price of his redemption." 

CXVII. Servo pecuniam per laborem comparatam nulli licet 

" It is not lawful for any one to take away from a slave the 
money made by labour." 

In the council of Verberie, held in a palace of King Pepin, the 
sixth canon made regulations in the case of marriage between free 
persons and slaves. The following are its provisions : 

1. If any free person contracted marriage with a slave, being at 
the time ignorant of the state of bondage of that party, the mar- 
riage was invalid. 

2. If a person under bond should have a semblance of freedom 
by reason of condition, and the free person be ignorant of the 
bondage, and this bond person should be brought into servitude, 
the marriage was declared originally void. 

3. An exception was made where the bond person, by reason of 
Avant, should, with the consent of the free party, sell himself or 
herself into perfect slavery with the consent of the free party ; 
then the marriage was to stand good, because the free party had 
consented to the enslavement, and profited of its gains. 

The seventh canon would seem to show that a slave could hold 
property in slaves : 

Si servus suam ancillam concubinam habuerit, si ita placet, 
potest ilia dimissa comparem suam ancillam domini sui accipere : 
sed melius est suam ancillam tenere. 


" If a man-servant shall have his own female slave as a concu- 
bine, he shall have power, if he wishes, leaving her, to marry his 
equal, the female servant of his master : but it is better that he 
should keep his own servant in wedlock." 

The eighth canon provided, in the case of a freedman who, 
subsequently to his liberation, committed sin with the female slave 
of his former master, that the master should have power, whether 
the freedman would or not, to compel him to marry that female 
slave ; and should this man leave her, and attempt a marriage 
with another woman, this latter must be separated from him. 

The thirteenth declares that when a freeman, knowing that the 
woman whom he is about to marry is a slave, or, not having known 
it until after marriage, voluntarily upon the discovery consents to 
the marriage, it is thenceforth indissoluble. 

The nineteenth declares that the separation of married parties, 
by the sale of one who is a slave, does not aflfect the marriage. 
They must be admonished, if they cannot be reunited, to remain 

The twentieth provides for the case of a male slave freed by 
letter, (charteUarius,) who, having for his wife taken a slave with 
the lawful consent of her master, and leaving her, takes another 
as his wife. The latter contract is void, and the parties must 

Another assembly was held by King Pepin, in Compeigne, forty- 
eight miles north-east of Paris, where he had a country-seat. At 
this assembly also the prelates held a council in 757, and made 
eighteen canons. The fourth makes provision for th£ case of a 
man's giving his free step-daughter in wedlock to a freeman or to 
a slave. The fifth declares void the marriage between a free per- 
son and a slave, where the former was ignorant of the condition of 
the latter. The sixth regards a case of a complicated description, 
where a freeman got a civil benefice from his lord, and takes his 
own vassal with him, and dies upon the benefice, leaving after him 
the vassal. Another freeman becomes invested with the benefice, 
and, anxious to induce the vassal to remain, gives him a female 
serf attached to the soil as his wife. Having lived with her for a 
time, the vassal leaves her, and returns to the lord's family, to 
which he owed his services, and there he contracts a marriage with 
one of the same allegiance. His first contract was invalid, the 
second was the marriage. 

In the year 772, a council was held in Bavaria, at a place called 


Dingolvinga, the present city of Ingolstadt, in the reign of Tassilo, 
duke of Bavaria. The tenth canon of this council decides that a 
noble woman, who had contracted marriage with a slave, not being 
aware of his condition, is at liberty to leave him, the contract being 
void, and she is to be considered free and not to be reduced to 
slavery. By noble we are here to understand /re^, as distinguished 
from ignoble, that is, a slave. 

We have then sixteen amendments of the national law. 

The first regulates, by the authority of the prince and consent 
of the whole assembly, that henceforth no slave, whether fugitive 
or other, should be sold beyond the limits of the territory, under 
penalty of the payment of his weregild. 

In the second, among other things, it is enacted that if a slave 
should be killed in the commission of house-breaking, his owner is 
to receive no compensation ; and should the felon who is killed in 
man-stealing, when he could not be taken, whether it be a freeman 
or a slave that he is carrying off, no weregild shall be paid by the 
slayer, but he shall be bound to prove his case before a court. 

The seventh regards the trial by ordeal of slaves freed by the 
duke's hand. 

The eighth establishes and guards the freedom, not only of them- 
selves, but of their posterity, of those freed in the church, unless 
when they may be reduced to slavery from inability to pay for 
damages which they had committed. 

The ninth contains, among other enactments, those which explain 
the tenth canon of the council. After specifying different were- 
gilds for freed persons, it says — 

Si ancilla libera dimissa fuerit per chartam aut in ecclesia, et 
post haec servo nupserit, ecclesise ancilla permanebit. 

" Should a female slave be emancipated by deed or in the 
church, and afterwards marry a slave, she shall be a slave to the 

It then continues, respecting a woman originally free, and the 
nobilis of canon x. : 

Si autem libera Bajoaria servo ecclesise nupserit, et servile opus 
ancilla contradixerit, abscedat. 

"But if a free Bavarian female shall have married a servant of 
the church, and the maid will not submit to servile work, she may 

Si autem ibi filios et filias generaverit, ipsi servi et ancillge per- 
maneant, potestatem exinde (exeundi) non habeant. 


"But if she shall have there borne so-is and daughters, they 
shall continue slaves, and not have power of going forth." 

Her freedom was not, however, immediately destroyed, for the 
law proceeds — 

Ilia autem mater eorum, quando exire voluerit, ante annos iii, 
liberam habeat potestatem. 

" But she, their mother, when she may desire to go forth before 
three years, shall have free power therefor." 

In this case the marriage subsisted, but the free woman could 
separate, without however the marriage-bond being rent. If she 
remained beyond the time of three years, she lost her freedom ; 
and it shows us that, probably, previous to this amendment, any 
free woman who married a slave, thereby lost her own freedom ; 
and that the tenth canon, showing the marriage of which it 
treated to be invalid, showed that the woman should not lose her 
liberty. The concluding provision of the ninth law is as follows : 

Si autem iii annos induraverit opus ancillse, et parentes ejus non 
exadomaverunt earn ut libera fuisset, nee ante comitem, ducem, nee 
ante regem, nee in publico mallo, transactis tribus kalendis Martis, 
(Martu,) post hsec ancilla permaneat in perpetuum, et quicumque 
ex ea nati fuerint servi et ancillte sunt. 

" But if she shall have continued three years doing the work of 
a slave, and her relations have not brought her out so that she 
should be free, either before the count, or the duke, or the king, 
or in the public high court, (mall,) when the kalends of March shall 
have thrice passed, after this she shall remain perpetually a slave, 
and they who shall be born of her, male and female, shall be 

In 774, Pope Adrian I. delivered to Charlemagne a digest of 
canon law, then in force, in which we find — 

" The third of Gangrse, condemning as guilty of heresy those 
who taught that religion sanctioned the slave in despising his 
master ; the thirtieth in the African collection, which showed that 
the power of manumission in the church was derived from the civil 
authority; the one hundred and second of the same, which de- 
clared slaves and freed persons disqualified to prosecute, except in 
certain cases and for injuries done to themselves." 

In a capitulary of Charlemagne, published in such a synod and 
general assembly in 770, in the month of March, in the eleventh 
year of his reign, at Duren, on the Roer, (Villa Duria,) between 
Cologne and Aix-la-Chapelle, there being assembled episcopis, 


abbatibus, virisque illustribus, comitibus, una cum piissimo domino 
nostro, — "the bishops, abbots, and the illustrious men, the counts, 
together with our most pious lord," — we find the following chapter : 

XX. De mancipiis quse venduntur, ut in prsesentia episcopi vel 
comitis sit, aut in prsesentia archdiaconi, aut centenarii, aut in 
prsesentia vicedomini, aut judicis comitis, aut ante bene nota testi- 
monia. Et foras marcham nemo mancipium vendat. Qui fecerit, 
tantis vicibus bannos solvet, quanta mancipia vendidit. Et si non 
habet precium vivadio, pro servo semetipsam donet comiti, usque- 
dum ipsos bannos solvat. 

" Concerning slaves that are sold, let it be in presence of the 
bishop, or of the count, or in presence of the archdeacon, or of the 
judge of the hundred, or in presence of the lord's deputy, or of 
the judge of the county, or of well known witnesses. And let no 
one sell a slave beyond the boundary. Whosoever shall do so 
shall pay as many fines as he sold slaves. And if he has not the 
money, let him deliver himself to the count in pledge as a slave 
until he shall pay the fines." 

In a capitulary of Pope Adrian I., containing the summary of 
the chief part of the canon law then in force, as collected from the 
ancient councils and other sources, delivered to Ingilram, bishop 
of Metz, or, as it was then called, Divodurum, or oppidum Medio- 
matricorum, on the 19th of September, xiii. kalendas Octobris, 
indie, ix. 785, the sixteenth chapter, describing those who cannot 
be witnesses against priests, mentions not merely slaves, but 
quorum vitae libertas nescitur, those ivJio are not known to be free ; 
and in the notes of Anthony Augustus, bishop of Tarragona, on 
this capitulary, he refers for this and another passage, viles per- 
sonse, persons of vile condition, which is the appellation of slaves, 
to decrees of the earliest of popes, viz., Anacletus, A. D. 91, and 
Clement his immediate successor ; Evaristus, who was the next, 
and died a. d., 109 ; Pius, who died a. d. 157 ; Calistus, in 222 ; 
Fabian, 250 ; and several others. In chapter xxi. among incom- 
petent witnesses, are recited, nullus servus, nullus libertus — no 
slave, no freedman. The notes of the same author inform us that 
this portion of the chapter is the copy of an extract from the first 
council of Nice, and that it is also substantially found in a passage 
from Pope Pontianus, who died in 235, as well as in several of the 
early African and Spanish councils, which he quotes. 

One of these assemblies, in which Charlemagne published a 
capitulary, was held at Aix-la-Chapelle (Aquisgranum) in 789, in 


which eightj-two chapters were enacted. No. xxiii. is founded 
upon canon iv. of the council of Chalcedon, and upon an enact- 
ment of Leo the Great. It prohibited all attempts to induce a 
slave to embrace either the clerical or monastical state without 
the will and license of the master. No. xlv. prohibits, among 
others, slaves from being competent witnesses, or freedmen 
against their patrons : founded upon the ninety-sixth canon of the 
African councils. No. Ivii. referring to the third canon of the coun- 
cil of Gangrss, prohibits bishops ordaining slaves without the 
master's license. 

In 794 a council was held at Frankfort on the Maine, at which 
the bishops of a large portion of Europe assisted ; the twenty-third 
canon of which is the following : » 

De servis alienis, ut a nemine recipiantur, neque ab episcopis 
sacrentur sine licentiii dominorum. 

" Of servants belonging to others : they shall be received by no 
one, nor admitted to orders by bishops, without their masters' 

In the year G97, at another assembly held at Aix-la-Chapelle, 
the capitulary for the pacification and government of Saxony was 
enacted by Charlemagne. The eighth chapter is — 

Si quis hominem diabolo sacrificaverit, et hostiam in more paga- 
norum daemonibus obtulerit, morte moriatur. 

" If any person shall sacrifice a man to the devil, and ofi'er him 
as a victim to devils after the fashion of pagans, he shall be put to 

An explanation of this will be found where Pope Gregory III. 
answers St. Boniface, who informed him that unfortunate slaves 
were bought to be thus immolated. 

XI. Si quis filiam domini sui rapuerit, morte moriatur. 

" If any one shall do violence to his master's daughter, he shall 
be put to death." 

XII. Si quis dominum suum vel dominam suam interfecerit, 
simili modo puniatur. 

" If any one shall kill his master or his mistress, he shall be 
punished in like manner." 

XIV. De minoribus capitulis consenserunt omnes, ad unam- 
quamque ecclesiam curtem et duas mansas terr93 pagenses ad ec- 
clesiam recurrentes condonent : et inter centum viginti homines 
nobiles et ingenuos, similiter et litos, servum et ancillam eidem 
ecclesijie tribuant. 


"All agreed concerning the smaller congregations, that the 
colonists frequenting each church should bestow upon it one dwell- 
ing, with proper out-offices, and two manses (24 acres) of land ; 
and that they should give to the same church one male slave and 
one female slave between one hundred and twenty noble and free 
men, and counting also the conditioned servants." 

In this newly settled ecclesiastical province the provision made 
for the support of religion consisted of land and slaves. 


Upon the ascension of Charlemagne to the imperial throne, the 
Roman Empire may date its extinction. But, in the reign of the 
Franks, in their succession to the throne of the western empire, 
we fail to find any change of doctrine on the subject of slavery. 
But the Lombards had long disturbed Italy : Charlemagne suc- 
ceeded in reducing them to better order, and, in the year 801, 
amended their laws. One chapter assimilated to that of France 
and of Germany : 

VI. De Aldionihus puhlicis ad jus inihlicum pertinentihus. 

Aldiones vel Aldianes ea lege vivant in Italia, in servitute domi- 
norum suorum, qua fiscalini vel liddi vivunt in Francia. 

" Of the public Aldions, belonging to the iiublic estate. 

" The Aldions, or Aldians, shall in Italy exist upon the same 
principle in the service of their masters that the fiscals and lids do 
exist in France." 

The Aldions were bond-men or bond-women, whose persons 
were not at the disposal of their masters, nor did they pass with 
the land as colonists did, but their masters or patrons had certain 
claims upon stated services from them. They were generally 
either freed persons or the descendants of those who had been 
manumitted upon the condition of performing stijDulated services ; 
and if they lailed to perform these, they were liable to be reduced 
to slavery. The lidus or liddus or litus of the Saxon was so 
called from being spared iii the conquest, and left on the land, with 
the obligation of paying the master, who owned it and himself, a 
certain portion of its produce, and doing him other fixed services. 
Thus neither of them was an absolute slave ivhose person and pro 


perty were at the owner's disposal. The slave was manumitted, 
but this latter description of servants were generally released by 
deed or charter : hence, when so freed, they were called chartulmii, 
chartellani, or "chartered." The transition from slavery to this 
latter kind of servitude was, at the commencement of the ninth 
century, greatly on the increase. 

VIII. De servis fugacibus. 

Ubique intra Italiam, sive regius, sive ecclesiasticus, vel cujus- 
libet alterius hominis servus fugitivus inventus fuerit a domino suo 
sine uUa annorum prtescriptione vindicetur, eii tamen ratione, si 
dominus Francus sive Alemannus, aut alterius cujuslibet nationis 
sit. Si vero Longobardus aut Romanus fuerit, ea lege servos suos 
vel adquirat vel admittat, qute antiquitus inter eos constitutus est. 

" Concerning runaway slaves. 

"Wheresoever within the bounds of Italy, either the runaway 
slave of the king or of the church or of any other man shall be 
found by his master, he shall be restored without any bar of pre- 
scription of years ; yet upon the provision that the master be a 
Frank or a German or of any other nation, (foreign.) But if he 
be a Lombard or a Roman, he shall acquire or receive his slaves 
by that law which has been established from ancient times among 

Here is evidence of the prevalent usage of the church holding 
property in slaves, just as commonly as did the king or any other 

In the year 805, Charlemagne published a capitulary at Thion- 
ville, in the department of Moselle, France, (Theodonis villa.) In 
the chap. xi. we read — 

De servis propriis vel ancillis. 

De propriis servis et ancillis, ut non supra modum in monasteria 
sumantur, ne deserentur villsB. 

" Concerning their oivn male or female slaves. 

"Let not an excessive number of their own male or female 
slaves be taken into the monasteries, lest the farms be deserted." 

This capitulary regards principally the regulation of monas- 

St. Pachomius, who was born in Upper Egypt, in 292, and who 
was the first that drew up a regular monastic rule, would never 
admit a slave into a monastery. Tillemont, vii. p. 180. 

In the year 813, a council was held at Chalons, the portions of 
whose enactments in any way afi"ecting property or civil rights 


•were confirmed by Charlemagne and made a portion of the law of 
the empire. 

Many of the churches, especially in the country, were curtailed 
in their income and reduced to difficulties, because the bishops and 
abbots had large estates within their parishes, and many servants 
occupied in their cultivation, and the prelates prevented these ser- 
vants paying tithes to the parish clergy, claiming for themselves 
an exemption from the obligation.. The canon xix. is the fol- 
lowing : 

Questi sunt prseterea quidam fratres, quod essent quidam epis- 
copi et abbates, qui decimas non sinerent dari ecclesiis ubi illi 
coloni missas audiunt. Proinde decrevit sacer ille conventus, ut 
episcopi et abbates de agris et vineis, qu?e ad suum vel fratrum 
stipendium habent, decimas ad ecclesias deferri faciant : familise 
vero ibi dent decimas suas, ubi infantes eorum baptizantur, et ubi 
per totum anni circulum missas audiunt. 

" Moreover some brethren have complained, that there were 
some bishops and abbots who would not permit tithes to be given 
to those churches where colonists hear mass. Wherefore that holy 
assembly decreed, that, for those fields and vineyards which they 
have for their own support or that of their brethren, the bishops 
and abbots should cause the tithe to be paid to the churches. And 
let the servants pay their tithes to the church where their infants 
are baptized, and where during the year they hear mass." 

In this we have additional evidence of the fact that large bodies 
of land, and numerous servants attached to them, were held by 
bishops and abbots, not only for themselves, but for their churches 
and their monasteries. The canon xxx. is the following : 

Dictum nobis est quod quidam legitima servorum matrimonia 
potestiva quadam pr?esumptione dirimant, non attendentes illud 
evangelicum : Quod Deus conjunxit, homo non separet. Undo 
nobis visum est, ut conjugia servorum non dirimantur, etiam si 
diversos dominos habeant : sed in uno conjugio permanentes do- 
minis suis serviant. Et hoc in illis observandum est, ubi legalis 
conjunctio fuit, et per voluntatem dominorum. 

" It has been stated to us that some persons, by a sort of magis- 
terial presumption, dissolve the lawful marriages of slaves ; not 
regarding that evangelical maxim. What G-od hath jjut together, 
let man not separate. Whence it appears to us, that the wedlock 
of slaves may not be dissolved, even though they have different 
masters ; but let them serve their masters, remaining in one wed- 


lock. And this is to be observed with regard to those where there 
has been a lawful union, and with the will of the owners." 

In the year 816, a council was held at Aix-la-Chapelle, in which 
a large portion of the canon law then in force regarding the clergy 
was imbodied into one hundred and forty-five chapters. After 
the session of the council, the emperor published a capitulary con- 
taining thirty chapters ; the sixth of which complains of the coa- 
tinued indiscretion of bishops in ordaining servants, contrai"y to 
the canons, and forbids such ordinations except upon the master's 
giving full liberty to the slave. If a servant shall impose upon ::. 
bishop by false witnesses or documents of freedom, and thus pro- 
cure ordination, he shall be deposed and taken back by his owner. 
If the descendant of a slave who came from abroad shall have 
been educated and ordained, where there was no knowledge of his 
condition, should his owner subsequently discover him and prove 
his property, if this owner grants him liberty, he may keep his 
clerical rank ; but if the master asserts his right and carries hini 
away, though the slave does not lose his character of order, ho 
loses his rank, and cannot officiate. Should masters give servants 
freedom that they may be capable of ordination, it shall be in the 
master's discretion to give or to withhold the property necessary 
to enable the person to get orders. 

The archbishops are to have in each province the emperor's au- 
thority in the original, to authorize their ordaining the servants of 
the church, and the suffragan bishops are to have copies of this 
original, and when such servant is to be ordained, this authority 
must be read for the people from the pulpit or at the corner of the 
altar. The like form was to be observed when any of the laity 
desired to have any servant of the church promoted to orders, or 
Avhen the like promotion was petitioned for by the prior of a chap- 
ter or of a monastery. Lotharius, the emperor, published a 
capitulary in Rome, in 842. 

In the third chapter of the first part, we find the following ex- 
pression : 

In electione autem Roraani pontificis nullus, sive liber sive servus, 
prsesumat aliquod impedimentum facere. 

" Let no one, whether freeman or slave, presume to create any 
impediment in the election of the Roman pontiff." 

Which leads us to suspect that some slaves possessed considerable 

power or influence. 

In the second chapter, fines are imposed for creating riots in 



any churcli. And the chapter concludes in the following 
words : 

Et qui non habet unde ad ecclesiam persolvat, tradat se in ser- 
vitio eidem ecclesise, usque dum totum debitum persolvat. 

" And let him who has not the means of paying the church, 
give himself in servitude to that same church until he pays the 
whole debt." 

By the tenth chapter he restrained the power of manumission. 

Quod per xxx annos servus liber fieri non possit, si pater illius 
servus, aut mater ancilla fuit. Similiter de Aldionibus prsecipimus. 

" That a slave whose father or whose mother was a slave cannot 
become free before thirty years of age. We order that the same 
shall be the case respecting Aldions." 

In the twelfth he states that these are but a continuance of the 
laws of his grandfather Charles and of his father Louis. And in 
tit. i. 12 of Ulpian, reference is made to a variety of enactments 
of the ancient Roman law, that a slave manumitted under the age 
of thirty could not be a Roman citizen except by a special grant 
of a court. 

The thirteenth declares that free women who unite with their 
own slaves are in the royal power, and are given up, together with 
their children, to slavery among the Lombards. 

The fourteenth enacts that a free woman who shall unite her- 
self to the male slave of another, and remain so for a year and a 
day, shall, together with her children, become enslaved to her hus- 
band's owner. 

The fifteenth regulates that if the free husband of a free woman 
shall, for crime or debt, bring himself into servitude to another, 
and she not consent to remain with him, the children are free ; but 
if she die, and another free woman, knowing his condition, marries 
him, the children of this latter shall be slav^es. 

A number of chapters are also on these records showing the in- 
sufficiency of servile testimony. Others provide against the op- 
pression of poor freemen, so that they shall not be easily com- 
pelled to sell themselves into slavery. 

About the year 860, Pope Nicholas I. sent to the newly con- 
verted Christians of Bulgaria answers to several inquiries which 
they made for the regulation of their conduct. The ninety-seventh 
regards slaves who accuse their masters to the prince or to the 
court : and the pope refers them to the obligation of the master 
as given in chapter vi. of the epistle of St. Paul to the Ephesians, 


(not to use threatenings towaixls their servants,) and then asks, how 
much more strongly does the spirit of this maxim of kindness and 
affection bear upon the servant, and teach him to be of an humble 
and forgiving disposition, such as that chapter enjoins ; referring 
also to the direction of our Saviour, Luke vi. 37, and the injunc- 
tion of the apostle, 1 Thess. v. 15, for their direction. 

At this period of time, the piratical wars of the Northmen, 
who were perpetually making inroads on the rest of Europe, kept 
the whole of Christendom in commotion, and marked perhaps the 
darkest period of the dark ages. 



In 1030, Peter, bishop of Girona, in Spain, came to Rome, 
and begged leave of the pope (John XIX.) to wear the pall twelve 
days in the year, promising to redeem thirty slaves then in capti- 
vity among the Saracens, provided his holiness granted him this 
request. It was readily granted. See Bower, vol. v. p. 153. 

Shortly after the 30th October, 1051, Pope Leo IX., having 
visited Vercelli and Augsburg, returned to Rome, and held a 
council soon after Easter, in which he excommunicated Gregory, 
bishop of Vercelli, for committing adultery with a widow betrothed 
to his uncle. The bishop was absent when this sentence was 
given, but he flew to Rome as soon as he heard of it ; and upon 
his promising to perform the penance that his holiness imposed 
upon him, he was absolved from the excommunication, and restored 
to the functions of his office. On that occasion the canons issued 
by other councils against the incontinence of the clergy were con- 
firmed, and " some new ones were added, and, in order to check 
more effectually the scandalous irregularity of the Roman clergy 
in particular, it was decreed, at the request of the pope, that all 
women who should for the future prostitute themselves to the 
priests within the walls of Rome should be condemned to serve as 
.slaves in the Lateran palace." See Herman, ad an. 1051 ; also 
Bower, idem, p. 183. 

By one of Constantino's laws, they who ravished virgins or stole 
them, even with their consent, against the will of their parents, 


(with the view to make sbives of them or not,) were burned alive. 
Cod. Theodos. 1. ix. tit. 29, leg. 1. The severity of this law was 
somewhat mitigated by Constantius, but he still made it a capital 
offence. Ibid. leg. 2. It was upon this law, Pope Hadrian II. 
applied to the emperor for redress against EJeutherius, who had 
carried off his daughter Stephania by force, and married her, 
although she was betrothed to another. See Bower, idem, p. 11. 
We have a remarkable letter, written by Gregory VII., in January, 
1080, in answer to one he had received from Vratislaus, duke of 
Bohemia, desiring leave to have Divine service peiformed in the 
Sclavonian tongue, that is, in the language of the country. That 
letter the pope answered in the following words : 

" As you desire us to allow Divine service to be performed 
among you in the Sclavonian tongue, know that by no means can 
I grant your request, it being manifest to all, who will but reflect, 
that it has pleased the Almighty that the Scripture should be 
withheld from some, and not understood by all, lest it should fall 
into contempt, or lead the unlearned into error. And it must not 
be alleged that all were allowed, in the i^rimitive times, to read the 
Scriptures, it being well known that in those early times the 
church connived at many things, which the holy fathers disap- 
proved and corrected when the Christian religion was firmly 
established. He cannot therefore grant, but absolutely forbid, 
by the authority of Almighty God and his blessed apostle Peter, 
what you ask, and command you to oppose to the utmost of your 
power all who require it." Greg. 1. vii. ep. ii. ; also Bower, idem, 
p. 279. 

On the subject of the above letter, it should be remembered 
none spoke the Sclavonic at that day except the Sclavonians 
themselves ; that the great mass of that people were slaves, 
either to some few individuals of their own nation, or to the other 
European nations, by whom they had been captured, or to wdiom 
they had been sold. They were a nation of slaves, and hence the 
Romans called their language Se7-vian,'ixoxn. servus, a slave. There 
is still extant among the ancient German archives some account 
of the physical and moral appearance of this people, representing 
them as robust, filthy, faithless, and extremely wicked. They 
called themselves sclava or sclavas, &c., which word, in their lan- 
guage, implied an elevated distinction, and was in common use as 
a suffix to individual names, indicating that the person was highly 
elevated among his countrymen, as in this case, Yrati-Slaus — indi- 


eating the fact that Vrati was famous, elevated, a man of high 
and honourable distinction. Such men often held immense num- 
bers of their less elevated countrymen in bondage. From the 
form and meaning of this suffix, some modern scholars have erro- 
neously supposed it to have come from the Latin, laus. We may 
form some idea of the feelings of Pope Gregory VII., upon this 
application, by imagining what would have been the feelings of a 
Virginia legislature, fifty years ago, had some free African, then 
there, petitioned to have the laws published in ^boe, for the bene- 
fit of the slaves. In the above letter, the meaning of the assertion, 
" in those early times the church connived at many things which 
the holy fathers disapproved," &c., at this late day is very liaJble 
to be misconceived. He does not allude to any thing said or done 
by Jesus Christ or his apostles, but to the action of his predecessors 
in the pontificate on this very subject. About the year 860, Pope 
Nicholas I. granted this very privilege to the Sclavonians in IMoravia ; 
and about ten years after, the same was renewed by Hadrian II., 
upon the request of St. Cyril, the apostle of the Moravians. See the 
Life of Cyril, (Latin,) page 22. And John VIII., in the year 882, 
confirmed the same, at the request of Sf ento Pulelter, Tprince of Mo- 
ravia, calling it the license granted by Pope Nicholas, " of saying the 
canonical hours and celebrating mass in their native language," 

" The Sclavonian language we justly commend,'" says the pope 
in his letter to the prince, " and order the praise and the works of 
Christ our Lord to he celebrated in that tongue, being directed by 
Divine authority to i^raise the Lord, not in three 07ily, but in all 
languages, agreeably to what we find in holy tvrit — ' Praise ye the 
Lord, all ye nations, and bless him, all ye peoijle.' The apostles 
announced the ivonderful works of Grod in all languages," &c., 
^^and he who made the three chief languages, the Hebrew, the 
Greek, and the Latin, created all the rest for his praise and 
glory." See Johan. ep. 247. § « 

The same privilege was granted by the Cfreek church to the 
Mussians, who speak the Sclavonian language ; and they perform, 
to this day, as well as the Moravians, Divine service in their native 
language. The pope, however, ordered the gospel to be first read 
in Latin, and afterwards, for the sake of those who understood not 
that language, in the Sclavonian. (See Bower, idem, p. 37.) It 
is not relevant to our subject to inquire what facts presented them- 
selves to the mind of Gregory VII., whereby he apprehended that 
the Scripture might ^^fall into contempt," or they '■Head the un- 


learned into error.'' But we have seen, in our own day, a wide de- 
viation from the instruction of St. Paul, in a version of the New 
Testament in Romaic, or modern Greek, evidently translated from 
our English version, instead of from the ancient Greek ; wherein 
Taul is made to say, 1 Tim. i. 10, anthropoJcleptas, which indi- 
cates the stealing of a free man — instead of what Paul did say, 
andrapodistais, which indicates the stealing of a slave. It is true, 
King James's translators substituted '■^ men-stealers," without any 
further allusion that the men who were to be the things stolen were 
slaves. It does not appear to have occurred to them that a free 
man could be stolen, since in no sense could he be property. In 
said version are other errors of equal magnitude ; and we have it 
from good authority that the Greek patriarch, after an examina- 
tion of said version, most strictly forbad his people to read it, and, 
also, to introduce it among them. If such errors were incident to 
the Sclavo7iic, Gregory VII. had at least some ground for his ap- 
prehensions. But the Sclavonians were of the same colour and 
physical formation of the northern tribes to whom they were in 
bondage. There was no physical or moral degradation consequent 
to an amalgamation with them ; and such connection did happen 
to a very great extent, and at this day has very nearly extin- 
guished all caste between them. But in the days of Gregory VII., 
and long since, the politer nations of the south of Europe regarded 
those of the north, whether free or in servitude, as but a mere 
grade, if at all, above barbarians ; and this pope seems to have been 
disposed to havefedthem with "milk," and not with "strong meat." 
JTeb. v. 12. We may perceive how the south estimated the north nt 
those early times, by an incident related by D'Aubigne, vol. i. p. 9G. 
Reuchlin, a native of Pforzheim, had made himself a distinguished 
scholar for any age. In 1498, he found his way to Rome, when 
Argyropylos, a celebrated Greek professor, was lecturing on the 
elevated staading in literatuf e to which the Greeks had formerly 
arrived, &c. Reuchlin, highly delighted with the lecture, visited 
the professor, and addressed him in Greek. Argyropylos, perceiv- 
ing him to be a German, says, "Whence come you, and do you 
understand Greek?" Reuchlin replies, "I am a German, and 
am not quite ignorant of your language." He took up Thucydides 
and read ; when Argyropylos said, in grief, tears, and astonish- 
• ment, " Alas, alas, Greece cast out and fugitive, is gone to hide 
herself beyond the Alps !" But the funeral fire of Greece and 
Rome illumed the extreme north, and by its light the savage free- 


man and his more savage slave were taught their religion, civiliza- 
tion, and science. " It was thus," says D'Auhigne, " that the sons 
of harharous Germany and those of ancient Greece met together 
in the palaces of Rome ; thus it was that the east and the west 
gave each other the right hand of fellowship in this rendezvous of 
the world, and that the former poured into the hands of the latter 
those intellectual treasures which it had carried off in its escape 
from the barbarism of the Turks. God, when his plans require it, 
brings together in an instant, by some unlooked-for catastrophe, 
those who seemed for ever removed from each other." This im- 
proved condition of the northern nations was foreseen, perhaps 
already felt, by Innocent IV., in 1254, when he permitted Divine 
service to be performed in the Sclavonic language, which is noticed 
by Bower, vol. vi. p. 254. At the close of his remarks on Pope 
Innocent IV., he says — " We have a great number of letters 
written by this pope on different occasions, and a decree allowing 
the Sclavonians to perform Divine service in their mother tongue, 
contrary to a decree of Gregory VII." We beg to notice Pope 
Gregory IX. ; for, " by this pope was confirmed the religious 
order of St. Mary de dfercede, as it is called, an order instituted 
to make gatherings all over the Christian world for the redemption 
of Christians taken and kept in slavery by the infidels." Bower, 
idem, p. 236. This order was instituted by James, king of Arra- 
gon, about the year 1223, and was confirmed by Gregory on the 
17th of January, 1230. The general of this order resides con- 
stantly at Barcelona, where it was instituted by the king of Arra- 
gon, under the direction of Raimund de Pennefort, then canon, 
of that city. See Oldoinus in notis ad Oiacon. Bullarium in Greg. 
IX. constit. 9. About the year 1312, charges of the most wicked 
and gross nature were had against the Knights Templars. Their 
chief persecutor was King Philip, who suspected them to have en- 
couraged an insurrection during his war in Flanders. Through 
his influence the whole order were arrested, not only in France, 
but in all Christendom. Pope Clement V. took charge of their 
prosecution. But it appearing that thousands of them had and 
were ready to defend the Christian religion at the expense of their 
lives, and that many of their order were then in slavery among 
the Saracens, from which they might redeem themselves by repu- 
diating Jesus Christ and his religion, yet they preferred rather 
to live and die in chains than to purchase freedom at so high a 
Drice, their judges considered these facts to overbalance the 


evidence against tbem. But through Philip's influence the order 
was suppressed. See Bower, vol. vi. p. 39. Bj the laws of Moses, 
when the Hebrews found it necessary to make war and subdue 
their enemies in battle, they were directed to put all the men to 
death, and to make slaves of the women and children. See Deute- 
ronomy XX. 13, 14. The milder treatment of the women and 
children was in mercy, predicated on the presumption of their 
being more tractable and less unalterably sunk in sin. We 
perceive the same state of facts when the Lord commanded the 
Hebrews to put the Canaanites to death. " Thou shalt smite them, 
and utterly destroy them ; thou shalt make no covenant with them, 
nor show mercy to them : neither shalt thou make marriages with 
them," (fee. Deut. vii. 2, 3. Whereas the adjoining and kindred 
tribes were only devoted to slavery. " Both thy bond-men and 
thy bond-maids which thou shalt have, shall be of the heathen that 
are round about you : of them shall ye buy bond-men and bond- 
maids." Lev. XXV. 44. It is, and ever has been, the universal rule 
to destroy from the earth, whenever sin has sunk its votary so 
low in the depths of crime that there is no longer even hope of 
reform. Whereas, for a less degree of depravity, mercy intercedes 
for the reformation of the victim, by placing him someway in 
surveillance, either for life or for a term of years. On the same 
principle is founded the distinction of punishment between homi- 
cide attended with premeditated malice, and that which is not so 

" Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig-tree, 
and find none : cut it down ; why cumbereth it the ground ? And 
he answering, said unto him. Lord, let it alone this year also, till 
I may dig about it, and dung it : and if it bear fruit, well ; and if 
not, then after that thou shalt cut it down." Luke xiii. 7. 



Our English word war is of Saxon origin, (Sax. waer,) and from 
whence has also been derived many of the corresponding terms in 
the present European languages. Its primary sense implies the 
action of a competent power in accomplishing something. But, 
like many other words, its use has degenerated into various shades 
of meaning. The corresponding Greek term, palemos, from pallo, 
or its cognate, hallo, seems originally to have been illustrative of 
offensive and coercive action, and hence implies all the agitative 
and repulsive movement illustrated by our present word battle : 
whereas the Hebrew term, laham, cognate with ITam, on whose de- 
scendants the curse of slavery was pronounced by Noah, involves 
the idea of destruction, as a thing burned, consumed, devoured, and 
destroyed ; hence the Hebrews would say, the sword devoured, that 
is, eats up, &c. ; yet their term gerav, or Tcerab, boldly implied offen- 
sive and opposing force ; hence, to advance upon, or, to approach 
unto, in which sense it was often used, as well as to imply conflict 
and Avar. We wish to illustrate the fact that, when the mind of a 
Hebrew was in exercise with the complex idea which we express 
by the term war, the conception embraced a larger portion of the 
simple elements which enter into the complex ideas of destruction, 
annihilation, and death, than is now found associated in the mind 
of the more highly cultivated descendants of the Caucasian races. 
In the idea war, with him, the leading sentiment was the extinc- 
tion of those against whom the war was waged. Their doctrine, 
that God governed the world ; that the Hebrews were his chosen 
people ; that no war was justifiable unless authorized by Jehovah; 
that the object of war was to destroy from the earth those who 
were too wicked to live, or to place in subjection and servitude, 
those who manifested a less degree of stubbornness, but whose sins 
made them a nauseant, a nuisance, in the world ; that God always 
governed a war in such a manner as rendered it a punishment for 
sins. Hence the law of Deut. xx. 13, 14, before quoted. Hence 
the wars of the Israelites are named as "the wars of the Lord," 
Numb. xxi. 14. Hence, we find in Ex. xvii. IG, " The Lord hath 
riworn that the Lord tvill have war with Amalek from generation to 


generation," and in the preceding verse, that " Moses built an 
altar and called it Jehovah-nissi." The word nissi means the flag, 
standard, or banner of an army, indicating the centre of command, 
or the location and movement of the commander, and is sometimes 
used in the sense of example, or model of action, and by figure is 
also used to mean the commander or leader himself. And Joshua 
said unto them, "Fear not nor be dismayed, be strong and of good 
courage : for thus shall the Lord do to all your enemies whom ye 
fight." Josh. X. 25. "He teacheth my hands to Avar, so that a 
bow of steel is broken by mine arms." 2 Sam. xxii. 35. Also the 
same, Ps. xviii. 34. "With good advice make war." Frov. xxiv. G, 
Ps. xviii. 37 : "I have pursued mine enemies and overtaken them ; 
neither did I turn again until they were consumed." 38. "I have 
wounded them that they were not able to rise. They are fallen 
under my feet." 39. "For thou hast girded me with strength 
unto the battle. Thou hast subdued under me those that rose up 
against me." 40." "Thou hast also given me the necks of mine 
enemies; that I might destroy them that hate me." 41. "They 
cried, but there was none to save them : even unto the Lord, but he 
answered them not." 42. " Then did I beat them small as the 
dust before the wind : I did cast them out as the dirt in the streets." 
43. " Thou hast delivered me from the strivings of the people : and 
thou hast made me the head of the heathen : a people whom I have 
not known shall serve me," [ahedini, shall he slaves to me.) 44. "As 
soon as they shall hear of me, they shall obey me : the strangers 
shall submit themselves unto me." 

" God the Lord, the strength of my salvation, thou hast 
covered my head in the day of battle." cxiv. 7. 

" Blessed be the Lord God of my strength, which teacheth my 
hands to war and my fingers to fight." cxliv. 1. 

So the prophets : " A noise shall come even to the ends of the 
earth, for the Lord hath a controversy with the nations ; he will 
plead with all flesh : he will give them that are wicked to the 
sword." Jer. xxv. 31. 

" And I will smite thy bow out of thy left hand, and will cause 
thy arrows to fall out of thy right hand. 

" Thou shalt fall upon the mountains of Israel, thou, and all thy 
bands, and the people that is with thee : I will give thee unto 
the ravenous birds of every sort, and unto the beasts of the field, 
to be devoured. Thou shalt fall upon the open field : for I have 
spoken it, saith the Lord God." Ezek. xxxix. 3-5. 


" At the same time %pake the Lord by Isaiah the son pf Ailos, 
saying, Go, and loose the sackcloth from off thy loins, and put 
off thy shoe from thy foot : and he did so, walking naked and 

"And the Lord said, Like as my servant Isaiah hath walked naked 
and barefoot three years for a sign and wonder upon Egypt and 
upon Ethiopia; 

" So shall the king of Assyria lead away the Egyptians prisoners, 
and the Ethiopians captives, young and old, naked and barefoot, 
even with their buttocks uncovered, to the shame of Egypt." 
Isa. XX. 2, 3, 4. 

And again, " The word of the Lord came again unto me, saying, 
Son of man, prophesy and say, Thus saith the Lord God ; Howl 
ye, Wo worth the day ! 

" For the day is near, even the day of the Lord is near, a cloudy 
day: it shall be the time of the heathen. 

"And the sword shall come upon Egypt, and great pain shall be 
in Ethiopia, when the slain shall fall in Egypt, and they shall take 
away her multitude, and her foundations shall be broken down. 

"Ethiopia (Oush) and Libya (Put) and Lydia [Ludim) and all the 
mingled {ereh, mixed-hlooded) people, and Olmh, (the Arabians read 
Nuh, Nubia,) and the men of the land that is in league, shall fall 
with them by the sword. 

" Thus saith the Lord : They also that behold Egypt {Mitsraim) 
shall fall ; and the pride of her power shall come down : from the 
tower of Syene shall they fall in it by the sword, saith the Lord 

" And they shall be desolate in the midst of the countries that 
are desolate, and her cities shall be in the midst of the cities that 
are wasted. 

" And they shall know that I am the Lord, when I have set a fire 
in Egypt, [Mitsraim,) and when all her helpers shall be destroyed. 

"In that day shall messengers go forth from me in ships to make 
the careless [betahh, confident of ones own security, thoughtless, 
unconcerned, trusting in themselves) Ethiopians afraid, and great 
pain shall come upon them : as in the day of Egypt, [Mitsraim :) for 
lo it cometh ! 

" Thus saith the Lord God, I will make the multitude of Egypt to 
cease by the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon. 

" He and his people with him, the terrible of the nations, shall be 


brought to destroy the land : and they skall draw their swords 
against Egypt, and fill the land with the slain. 

" And I will make the rivers dry, and sell the land into the hand 
of the wicked : and I will make the land waste, and all that is 
therein, by the hand of strangers. I the Lord have spoken it. 

" Thus saith the Lord God : I will also destroy the idols, and I 
will cause their images to cease out of Noph : and there shall be 
no more a prince of the land of Egypt : and I will put a fear in 
the land of Egypt. 

"And I will make Pathros (a Coptic word signifying south latid, 
ifc.) desolate, and will set a fire in Zoan, (both Isoan and Isaan ; it 
means a tvanderer^ &c. and was the name of a city at the mouth of 
the Nile,) and will execute judgments in No. 

" And I will pour my fury on Sin, the strength of Egypt ; and I 
will cut ofi" the multitude of No. 

" And I will set fire in Egypt : Sin shall have great pain, and No 
shall be rent asunder, and Noph shall have distresses daily. 

" The young men of Aven and Pi-beseth shall fall by the sword : 
and these cities shall go into captivity. 

"At Tehaphnehes also the day shall be darkened, when I shall 
break there the yokes of Egypt : and the pomp of her strength 
shall cease in her : a cloud shall cover her, and her daughters shall 
go into captivity. Thus will I execute judgments in Egypt, 
[Mithraim, the same as Misraim, the son of Ham :) and they shall 
know that I am the Lord." Ezek. xxx. 1-19. 

And so Zeph. ii. 12: "Ye Ethiopians also, ye shall be slain 
by my sword." We shall take occasion to notice this passage 
elsewhere. And Joel iii. 8 : " And I will sell your sons and your 
daughters into the hand of the children of Judah, and they shall 
sell them to the Sabeans, to a people far off: for the Lord hath 
spoken it." Zephaniah iii. 8-10 may be said to develop the ulti- 
mate providence of God touching this matter : 

" Therefore, wait ye upon me, saith the Lord, until the day that 
I rise up to the prey : for my determination is to gather the nations, 
that I may assemble the kingdoms, to pour upon them mine indigo 
nation, even all my fierce anger : for all the earth shall be de- 
voured with the fire of my jealousy. 

"For then I will turn to the people a pure language, that they 
may all call upon the name of the Lord, to serve him with one 

"From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia, my suppliants, even th^ 


daugii^cr of my dispersed {PiUsi, the daugliters of Put; the word 
means dispersed, because they were scattered and lost as to name) 
shall brine: mine offering." Thej were evidently the most dete- 
riorated of all the descendants of Ham. 

When a people or nation give evidence that they are insensible 
to all rules of right, either divine or human, it necessarily follows 
that their hand will be found against every man, and every man's 
hand against them. The subjugation of such a people, so regard- 
less of nil law, can only end in their being put to death, or, in the 
more merciful provision of the divine law, by reducing them to a 
state of absolute slavery. 

The experience of mankind proves that such heathen, so re- 
duced to a state of bondage, have always given evidence that 
their moral and even physical condition has been ameliorated by 
it, and in proportion to the scrupulous particularity by which 
they to whom they were enslaved successfully compelled and 
forced them to walk in the paths of rectitude. 

Ever since the world has been peopled by nations, none have 
ever hesitated to make war a protection to themselves against 
those who thus had become a nuisance in it. To such men, either 
individually or collectively, reason, justice, law are without effect 
or influence : nothing short of absolute compulsive force can avail 
them beneficially. And, indeed, it is upon this principle that 
civilized communities do essentially, in their prisons and by other 
mode of restraint, enslave, for life or a term of years, those who 
have proved themselves too reckless to be otherwise continued 
among them. 

In the year 1437, the Christian right or duty of declaring, or 
rather of making war against infidels, was proposed to the church 
for the pope's decision and counsel. Duarte, king of Portugal, 
was importuned by his brother Ferdinand, to make war on the 
Moors with a view to the conquest of Tangier. Duarte entertained 
scruples about his moral and Christian right to do so ; and there- 
fore proposed the subject to the theologians and to the pope. 
Eugenius IV., who then filled the papal chair, decided that there 
were but two cases in which an offensive war could be justifiably 
undertaken against unbelievers, &c. : 1st. " When they were in 
possession of territory which had belonged to Christians, and 
which the latter sought to recover. 2d. When, by piracy or war, 
or any other means, they injured or insulted the true believers." 
In all other cases, proceeded his holiness, hostilities are unjust. 


The elements, earth, air, fire, and water, were created for all ; and 
to deprive any creature, without just cause, of these necessary 
things, was a violation of natural right. See Lardner, Hist. Portu- 
gal, vol. iii. p. 204. We proceed to instances wherein the records 
show the church to have declared offensive war. 

In 1375, " the Florentines, entering into an alliance with the 
Visconti of Milan, broke unexpectedly into the territory of the 
Church, made themselves masters of several cities, demolished the 
strongholds, drove everywhere out the officers of the pope, and 
setting up a standard, with the word ' Libertas' in capital letters, en- 
couraged the people to shake off the yoke and resume their liberty : 
at their instigation, Bologna, Perugia, and most of the chief cities 
in the pope's dominions openly revolted, and, joining the Floren- 
tines, either imprisoned, or barbarously murdered those whom the 
pope had set over them. Gregory (XI.) was no sooner in- 
formed of that general revolt, and the unheard of barbarities 
committed by the Florentines, and those who had joined them, 
than he wrote to the people and magistrates of Florence, ex- 
horting them to withdraw their troops forthwith out of the do- 
minions of the Church, to forbear all further hostilities, to satisfy 
those whom they had injured, and revoke the many decrees they 
had issued absolutely inconsistent with the ecclesiastical immunity 
as established by the canons. As they paid no regard to the pope's 
exhortations, he summoned the magistrates to appear in person, 
and the people by their representatives, at the tribunal of the 
apostolic see, by the last day of March, 1376, to answer for their 
conduct. The Florentines, far from complying with that summons, 
insulted the pope's messengers in the grossest manner, and, con- 
tinuing their hostilities, laid waste the greater part of the patri- 
mony, destroying all before them with fire and sword. 

"Gregory, therefore, provoked beyond all measure, issued the 
most terrible bull against them that had ever yet been issued by 
any pope. For, by that bull, the magistrates were all excommu- 
nicated ; the whole people and every place and person under their 
jurisdiction were laid under an interdict. All traffic, commerce, 
and intercourse with any of that state, in any place whatever, 
were forbidden on pain of excommunication. Their subjects were 
absolved from their allegiance ; all their rights, privileges, and im- 
munities were declared forfeited ; their estates, real and personal, 
in what part soever of the world, were given away, and declared 
to be the property of the first who should seize them, frima occu- 


pantis ; all were allowed, and even exhorted and encouraged, to 
seize their persons, wherever found, as well as their estates, and 
reduce them to slavery. Their magistrates were declared intest- 
able, and their sons and grandsons incapable of succeeding to 
their paternal estates, or to any inheritance whatever ; their 
descendants, to the third generation, were excluded from all 
honours, dignities, and preferments, both civil and ecclesiastic. 
All princes, prelates, governors of cities, and magistrates were for- 
bidden, on pain of excommunication, to harbour any Florentine, or 
suffer any in the places under their jurisdiction in any other state 
or condition than that of a slave." This bull is dated in the palace 
of Avignon, in some copies the 30th of March, and in some the 20th 
of April, in the sixth year of Gregory's pontificate, that is, in 1376, 
{apud Raynald. ad hunc ann. num. i. etseq., et Bzovium, num. xv.) 
Walsingham writes, that upon the publication of this bull the 
Florentine traders who had settled in England, delivered up all 
their effects to the king, and themselves with them, for his slaves. 
One of the authors of Gregory's life [auctor jjrimce vit. Crregor.) 
tells us, that in all other countries, especially at Avignon, they 
abandoned their effects, and returned, being no where else safe, to 
their own country. (See Bower, vol. vii. p. 23.) 

Again, in 1508 was concluded the famous treaty or league of 
Cambray, against the republic of Venice : that state had been long 
aspiring at the government of all Italy. The contracting parties 
were the pope, the emperor, the king of France, and the king of 
Spain ; and it was agreed that they should enter the state of 
Venice on all sides ; that each of them should recover what that 
republic had taken from them ; that they should therein assist one 
another : and that it should not be lawful for any of the confede- 
rates to enter into an agreement with the republic but by common 
consent. The duke of Ferrara, the marquis of Mantua, and who- 
ever else had any claims upon the Venetians, were to be admitted 
into this treaty. The Venetians had some suspicion of what was 
contriving against them at Cambray, but they had no certain 
knowledge of it, till the pope informed them of the whole. For 
Julius II., (then pope,) no less apprehensive of the emperor's 
power in Italy than the French king's, acquainted the Venetian 
ambassador at Rome, before he signed the treaty, with all the 
articles it contained, represented to him the danger that his re- 
public was threatened with, and offered not to confirm the league, 
but to start difficulties and raise obstacles against it, provided 


tliey only restored to him the cities of Rimini and Faenza. This 
.'lemand appeared to be very reasonable to the pope, but it was 
rejected by a great majority of the senate, when communicated to 
them by their ambassador ; and the pope thereupon confirmed the 
league by a bull, dated at Rome, the 22d of March, 1508. The 
Venetians, hearing of the mighty preparations that were carrying 
on all over Christendom against them, began to repent their not 
having complied with the pope's request and by that means broken 
the confederacy. They therefore renewed their negotiations with 
his holiness, and oifered to restore to him the city of Faenza. But 
Julius, instead of accepting their offer, published, by way of moni- 
tory, a thundering bull against the republic, summoning them to 
restore, in the term of twenty-four days, all the places they had 
usurped, belonging to the apostolic see, as well as the profits they 
had reaped from them since the time they first usurped them. If 
they obeyed not this summons, within the limited time, not only 
the city of Venice, but all places within their dominions, were, 
ipso facto, to incur a general interdict ; nay, all places that should 
receive or harbour a Venetian. They were, besides, declared 
guilty of high treason, worthy to be treated as enemies to the 
Christian name, and all were empowered " to seize on their effects, 
wherever found, and to enslave their persons." (See G-uicand, et 
Onuphrius in vita Julii II., et Raymimd ad ann. 1509, and 
Bower, vol. vii. p. 379.) 

In 1538 was published the bull of excommunication against 
Henry VIII. It had been drawn up in 1535, on the occasion 
of the execution of Cardinal Fisher, bishop of Rochester ; had 
been submitted to the judgment of the cardinals, and approved by 
most of them in a full consistory. However, the pope, flattering 
himself that an accommodation with England might still be brought 
about, delayed the publication of it till then, when, finding an 
agreement with the king quite desperate, he published it with the 
usual solemnity, and caused it to be set up on the doors of all the 
chief churches of Rome. By that bull the king was deprived of 
his kin^-dom, his subjects were not only absolved from their oaths 
of allegiance, but commanded to take arms against him and drive 
him from the throne ; the whole kingdom was laid under interdict ; 
all treaties of friendship or commerce with him and his subjects 
were declared null, his kingdom was granted to any who should 
invade it, and all were allowed " to seize the effects of such of his 
subjects as adhered to him, and enslave their persons." See 


Burnet's Hist, of the Reform. 1. 3. Pallavicino, 1. 4, Saudeos 
de Scliis. b. i., and Bower, vol. vii. p. 447. 

We ask permission to introduce a case on the North American 
soil, of somewhat later date. We allude to an act, or law, passed 
hj the " United English Colonies, at New Haven," in the year 
1646, and approved and adopted by a general court or convention 1 
of the inhabitants of Windsor, Hartford, and Wethersfield, in the 
year 1650. We copy from the " Code of 1650," as published by 
Andrus, and with him retain the orthography of that day : 

" This courte having duly weighed the joint determination^ and 
agreement of the commissioners of the United English Colonyes, 
at New Haven, of anno 1646, in reference to the indians, and judg- 
ing it to bee both according to rules of prudence and righteous- 
ness, doe fully assent thereunto, and order that it bee recorded 
amongst the acts of this courte, and attended in future practice, as 
occasions present and require ; the said conclusion is as follows : 

" The commissioners seriously considering the many Avillful 
wrongs and hostile practices of the indians against the English, 
together with their interteining, protecting, and rescuing of ofi'end- 
ers, as late our experience sheweth, Avhich if suffered, the peace 
of the colonyes cannot bee secured : It is therefore concluded, 
that in such case the magistrates of any of the jurisdictions, may, 
at the charge of the plaintiff, send some convenient strength, and 
according to the nature and value of the offence and damage, 
seize and bring away any of that plantation of indians that shall 
intertein, protect, or rescue the offender, though hee should bee in 
another jurisdiction, when through distance of place, commission or 
direction cannott be had, after notice and due warning given them, 
as actors, or at least accessary to the injurye and damage done to 
the English : onely women and children to be sparingly seized, 
unless known to bee someway guilty : and because it Avill bee 
chargeable keeping indians in prison, and if they should escape, 
they are like to prove more insolent and dangerous after, it was 
thought fitt, that uppon such seizure, the delinquent, or satisfac- 
tion bee again demanded of the sagamore, or plantation of indians 
guilty or accessary, as before ; and if it bee denyeu, that 'hen the 
magistrate of this jurisdiction, deliver up the Indian seized by the 
partye or partyes indammaged, either to serve or to bee shipped 
out and exchanged for neagers, as the case will justly beare ; and 
though the commissioners foresee that said severe, though just 
proceeding may provoke the indians to an unjust seizing of some 


of ours, yet they could not at present find no better means to 
preserve the peace of the colonyes ; all the aforementioned out- 
rages and insolensies tending to an open wai-r; onely they thought 
fitt, that before any such seizure bee made in any plantation of 
indians, the ensuing declaration bee published, and a copye given to 
the particular sagamores." 


Under the term ivar, mankind have from time immemorial in- 
cluded those acts which the more enlightened nations of modern 
days have designated by the name of firacy^ a word derived 
from the Greek peirao. The primary sense is to dare, to attempt, 
&c., as, to rush and drive foi'ward, &c. ; used in a bad sense, as to 
attempt a thing contrary to good morals and contrary to law, and 
now mostly applied to acts of violence on the high seas, &c. ; the 
same acts on land being called robbery, &c. These acts of vio- 
lence have generally been founded on the desire of plunder, and 
in all ages have been recognised as good cause of war against 
those nations or tribes Avho upheld and practised them. Such pi- 
ratical war has ever been considered contrary to the laws of Grod 
and repugnant to civilized life; and it may be with the strictest 
truth asserted that those nations and tribes of people whom God 
devoted to destruction, and also those of whom he permitted the 
Jews to make slaves, were distinguished for such predatory excur- 
sions. The first account we have of any such predatory war is 
found in Genesis. True, it is said, they had been subject to Che- 
dorlaomer twelve years, and rebelled, but the manner in which he 
and his allies carried on the war leaves sufficient evidence of its 
character, even if they had not disturbed Lot and his household : 
and it may be well here remarked, that the original parties to this 
war were of the black races ; in fact, progenitors of the very 
people who were denominated by Moses as the heathen round 

The second instance of this kind of warfare we find carried on 
by the sons of Jacob against the Hivites. True, they professed 
to be actuated by a spirit of revenge for the dishonour of Dinah. 
They put all the adult males to death, made slaves of the women 


and children, and possessed themselves of all the wealth of She- 
chem, for which they were reprimanded by Jacob. Their conduct 
upon this occasion was in conformity to the usages of the heathen 
tribes who knew not God, and, if persisted in, must have ulti- 
mately just as necessarily been fraught with their own destruction 
and extinction from the earth. And this was no doubt one of the 
many crimes that gave proof of their deep degradation, and which 
finally sunk them in slavery. The heathen tribes in all ages 
have ever been characterized by this kind of warfare, however 
truly and often the more civilized portions of the world may have 
been obnoxious to similar charges. The doctrine is, that where 
such predatory war essentially exists against a people, they, find- 
ing no other efiicient remedy, are authorized by the laws of God 
to make Avar a remedy, to repel force by force, to destroy and kill 
until they overcome, and, as the case may be, to subjugate and 
govern or reduce to slavery. And the laws of modern civilized 
nations regulating the conduct of belligerants are merely an ame- 
lioration ; but give evidence that such belligerants are already ele- 
A'ated above those grades of human life which look to subjugation 
and slavery as the only termination of war. But the condition 
of man, in this higher state of mental and religious improvement, 
is none the less governed by the laws of Divine power, influencing 
and adapted to his improved state. Corollary : When the time 
shall come, that all men shall live in strict conformity to the laws 
of God, war shall cease from the earth, and slavery be no more 
known ; and at that time the Lord will " turn to the people a pure 
language, that they may all call upon the name of the Lord," 
to serve him with one consent. " Then from beyond the rivers 
of Ethiopia, my suppliants, even the daughter of my dispersed, 
[phut) shall bring mine offering." Zeph. iii. 9, 10. 

We have heretofore alluded to the idolatrous barbarians of the 
north of Europe and to their inroads upon the more civilized re- 
gions of the south. It may be well to take some further notice 
of these people, to mark the influence of their predatory wars on 
the morals of those times, and of the influences of the church in 
counteracting and ameliorating their effect on the character and 
condition of the Christian world. Their religion was cast upon the 
•model of their savage appetite: easily excited by the love of con- 
quest and plunder, their minds were still further inflamed by their 
bards, who promised them, after death, daily combats of immortal 
fury, with glittering weapons and fiery steeds, in the immediate 


presence of their supreme god, Oden. The wounds of these 
conflicts were to be daily washed away by the waters of life. 
Congregated in the great hall of their deity, seated upon the skulls 
of those they had slain in battle, they spent each night in cele- 
brating in song the victories they had won, refreshing themselves 
with strong drink out of the skulls on which they rested, while 
they feasted on the choicest morsels of the victims they had sacri- 
ficed to their gods. Constantine, having succeeded to the throne 
of the Roman Empire, transferred his court to Constantinople. 
This, a notable step in the downfall of Rome, was followed by his 
dividing his dominions between three sons and two nephews. The 
imperial power thus partitioned away, the northern nations, who 
had been subjected to her rule,' no longer regarded Rome as a 
sovereign power over them : at once the German tribes, among 
whom were the Franks, overran Gaul : the Picts and Saxons 
broke into Britain, and the Sarmatians into Hungary. The spirit 
of war was let loose. As early as the time of the Christian era, 
scattered from the Caucasus to the north-eastern Pacific, were nu- 
merous tribes whom the all-conquering arm of Rome had never 
reached. Cradled amidst precipitous mountains, savage and wild 
scenery, howling tempests or eternal snows, the form of their 
minds and the character of their religion associated with the re- 
gion of their birth. 

Europe has given some of them the appellation, Vandals, 
Sueves, Alans, Sclavas, Goths, Huns, Tartars, and Veneti. Rest- 
less as the elements of their native clime, their leaders ever showed 
themselves striving for dominion and thirdty for power. Pushing 
westward, one upon the other, they became somewhat amalgnmated 
in the north of Europe, under the general term of Scandinavians, 
yet receiving new cognomens or retaining their old as fancy or 
knowledge of them suggested ; yet, in the middle and south of 
Europe, they were as commonly known by the appellation of 
Northmen. The most of these people were emphatically warlike 
and savage. The world possessed no one power sufiiciently strong 
to restrain them. Italy was overrun and Rome itself was cap- 
tured by the Goths, under Alaric — then by the Herulians, under 
Odoacer. They in turn were subdued by Theodoric the Ostro- 
goth — then by the Lombards from Brandenburg, who estiiblished 
a more permanent government. But they, in turn, yielded to the 
power of the Franks, under Charlemagne, who entered Rome in 


triumph, and ^vas crowned Emperor of the West, as elsewhere 
noted by us. 

Up to the time of Charlemagne, the Northmen were excited to 
war, not alone by their love of liberty and a desire to extend their 
possessions, but also by their hatred to the Christians and their 
religion ; and in the countries further north, this prejudice existed 
until a much later day. But we have only time to give an ex- 
ample of the character of their inroads on the peace and prosperity 
of Europe. Scotland had been early engaged in these conflicts. 
In June, 79-3, the Northumbrians were alarmed by a large arma- 
ment on their coast. These barbarians were permitted to land 
without opposition. The plunder of the churches exceeded their 
expectations, and their route was marked by the mangled carcasses 
of the nuns, the monks, and the priests, whom they had massacred. 
Historians have scarcely condescended to notice the misfortunes 
of other churches than that of Lindesferne, which became a prey 
to these barbarians: their impiety polluted the altars; their ra- 
pacity was rewarded by its gold and silver ornaments. The monks 
endeavoured, by concealment, to elude their cruelty ; the greater 
number were discovered and slaughtered. If the lives of the 
children were spared, they were sold into slavery. (See Lingard.) In 
800, these Northmen made an irruption on the German coast, and 
carried off plunder and captives. They shortly visited France : a 
large party entered the Loire, and fixed permanent quarters in 
the island of Hero, and made their incursions thence. The French 
writers describe them as now pushing in upon their northern 
coasts, carrying off captives into slavery and loading their vessels 
with booty. In 841 they entered the Seine, sacked and burned the 
monastery of St. Ouen, of Jumieges, spared Fontenelle for a 
ransom, where the monks of St. Denys paid them twenty-six 
pounds of silver for sixty-eight captives. For nineteen days they 
ravaged both banks of the river. In 843, they again entered the 
Loire, took Nantes, when the city was filled by the inhabitants of 
the neighbouring country, celebrating the festival of St. John, who 
retired with the bishop and clergy to the cathedral. The gates 
were soon burst open, and a general slaughter ensued : loaded 
with booty and captives, they retired to their ships. In 844, they 
sailed up the Garonne, pillaged Toulouse, made an attempt on 
Gallicia in Spain, but were repelled by the Saracens. In 845, 
Ragner Lodbroy, one of their sea-kings, entered the Seine with 
twenty-six ships, and spread consternation through the land, leaving, 


in their rear, Christians hanging on trees, stakes, and even in 
their houses. They entered Paris, when Charles the Bald, by the 
advice of his lords, paid them seven thousand pounds of silver, 
and they swore by their gods to never re-enter his kingdom except 
by his invitation. They ravaged the seacoast on their return 
homeward, and were wrecked on the shores of Northumbria, 
where Ragner and the survivors recommenced to plunder. They 
were attacked by Aella, and Ragner slain. But a formidable 
fleet, under the command of Ragner's sons, was soon on the coast 
of the East Angles, and marked their advances to Northumbria in 
lines of blood and ruin. Aella fell into their hands, and was put 
to death with untold torture. This incursion of Ragner is noticed 
by Voltaire, who says that Charles the Bald paid him fourteen 
thousand marks in gold to retire from France, and adds, in his 
"General History of Europe," such payments to the Northmen 
only induced them to continue these piratical incursions. That 
these wars were most strictly piratical, not undertaken for the 
good of mankind, but for plunder alone, we beg here to introduce 
some proof from the early writers. 

Adam of Bremen, who, about the year 1080, wrote his work en- 
titled, "De Situ Danae et Reliquarum, Septentrionalium," says 
of the city of "Lunden," m the island Schonen — "It is a city in 
which there is much gold, which is procured by those incursions 
on the barbarous nations on the shores of the Baltic Sea, which 
are tolerated and encouraged by the king of Denmark on account 
of the tribute he draws from them." In proof that Voltaire's esti- 
mate of the influence of such payments to these northern pirates 
was just, we advert to their inroads on Ethelred. Soon after he 
ascended the throne, he was invaded by Sweyn, by some called 
Sitric, and Clave, and paid them sixteen thousand pounds. Ten 
years after, he was forced to pay these Northmen thirty thousand 
pounds, and then, at the expiration of only four years, forty thou- 
sand pounds more ; each time the Northmen swearing by their 
gods to never trouble the counti'y again. Yet, twelve years after 
the last payment, the crown and throne were transferred to Canute. 
We have an anonymous Latin author, a contemporary of Canute, 
who informs us to what use these pirate lords applied the vast sums 
thus procured. The book is entitled, "Emmse Anglorum Regina; 
Encomium," — The Encomium of Emma, the Queen of England. 
She was the wife of Canute. Page 166, the author, describing the 
Danish ships, says — " On the stern of the ships, lions of molten gold 


were to be seen : on the mast-heads were either birds, whose turning 
showed the change of the wind, or dragons of various forms, which 
threatened to breathe out fire. There were to be seen human 
figures looking like life, glittering with gold and silver; dolphins 
of precious metals, and centaurs that brought to mind the ancient 
fables. But how shall I describe the sides of the ships, which 
swelled out with gold and silver ornaments ! But the royal ship ex- 
ceeded all the rest as far as the king in appearance exceeded the 
common soldiers or people." This author, in the second book, de- 
scribing the landing of the Danes, repeats and says — " The ships were 
so splendid that they seemed a flame of fire, and blinded the eyes 
of the beholders ; the gold flamed on the sides, and silver-work 
was mingled with it. Who could look upon the lions of gold ? 
Who on the human figures of electrum, (a mixture of gold and 
silver,) their faces of pure gold ? Who on the dragons, gleaming 
with brilliant gold? Who could look on the carved oxen, thac 
threatened death with their golden horns ? Who could look on 
all these things and not fear a king possessed of so great power?" 
Jacobs's "Inquiry into the Precious Metals" attributes the accumu- 
lation of gold and silver, of which we have seen a specimen among 
these northern barbarians, to the piracies of these people. Ilel- 
modus, in his Sclavonic Chronicles, [Ohronicayi Sclavicum,) lib. iii., 
says the people of Denmark abounded in all riches, the wealthy 
being clothed in all sorts of scarlet, in purple and fine linen, 
(nunc non salum scarlatica vario grisio, sed purpurea et bysso in- 
duntur;) and he further adds, "that this wealth is drawn from the 
herring-fishery at the island of Schonen, whither traders of all 
nations resorting, bring with them gold, silver, and other commo- 
dities, for purchasing fish." The fact was, that island became a 
place of great resort by these pirates for supplies. But Ave return 
to sketch these piracies : — In about the year 846, an immense 
body of Scandinavians ascended the Elbe with six hundred vessels 
under their king Boric. Hamburg was burned ; they then poured 
down upon Saxony ; but, having met with a defeat, and just then 
learning the fate of Bagner, sent messengers to Louis, king of 
Germany, sued for peace, and were permitted to retire from the 
country upon their giving up their plunder and releasing their 
captives. After leaving the Elbe, Boric went to the Bhine and 
the Scheldt, destroyed all the monasteries as far as Ghent, and 
the Emperor Lothaire, unable to subdue him, received him as his 
vassal and gave him a large territory. In 850, Godfrey^ another 


chieftain, repulsed in an attack on England, sailed up the Seine, 
and, after some successes, obtained from King Charles a permanent 
location and territory about Beauvais. In 856, nearly all the 
coast of France, and to the interior as far as Orleans, was over- 
run. The churches were plundered, and captives carried away 
and enslaved. In Flanders, all the chief men and prelates were 
either slain or in slavery. These pirates circumnavigated Spain, 
amalgamated with the Moors of Africa; some entered the Gulf 
of Lyons, and committed depredations in Provence and Italy. All 
notions of peace, of justice, were wasting away, and the laws of 
the monarchs and the canons of the councils began to exhibit the 
ruins of morality. In 861, the Seine is again infested, and Paris ter- 
rified. In 883, they poured themselves on both sides of the Rhine, 
as high as Coblentz, where the Emperor Charles made a treaty 
with Godfrey and gave him the duchy of Friesland. France 
was so much overrun by the pagans, that thousands of Christians, 
to escape death or bondage, publicly renounced their religion and 
embraced the pagan rites ; and not long after, Rollo, the grand- 
father of William the Conqueror, at the head of his Scandinavian 
bands, took possession and held the dukedom of Normandy, and 
forced Charles the Simple to bestow him Gisla his daughter in 
marriage. In England, Alfred, placing himself at the head of his 
faithful followers, subdue^ the Danes, who had overrun his king- 
dom ; and many of them, embracing the Christian religion, were 
adopted as subjects of the realm. In 893, a fleet of three hundred 
and thirty sail rendezvoused at Boulogne, under the command of 
Hastings, for the avowed purpose of conquering for himself a 
kingdom in Britain. Three years he contended against Alfred, 
who eventually subdued him, but restored to him all the captives 
upon his promise to leave the island for ever. 

Nor did Ireland escape the ravages of the Northmen, In 783, 
they landed in the extreme north of the island, and burned the town 
and abbey of Dere Columh-Jcill, the Londonderry of more modern 
times. Here the Hydaher-teayli, the chiefs of the oak habitatiotis, 
(the 0' Dougherty s of a latter day,) secured the record of their 
name in the ^'' Book of Iloivth." But here the Tuatha De Danaan, 
the Darnii of Ptolemy, washed out even the history of their race 
in the blood of battle. 

In 790, the Danes made a general assault upon this devoted 
island : in 797, wasted the island of Ragulin, devastated Holm 
Patrick, and carried away captives, among whom was the sister of 


St. Findan, and, shortly after, the saint himself. In 802, they 
burned the monastery of Hy : in 807, destroyed Roscommon, ra- 
vaged the country, and made captives and slaves. In 812, they 
again burned Londonderry and its abbey ; massacred the students 
and the clergy ; nor did they relax their attacks upon the north 
of the island until, twenty years after, they were driven from the 
place by Neil Calne, with most incredible slaughter. But yet the 
whole island was infested by these northern marauders. 

In 812, the Irish made a more determined resistance, and the 
Northmen, after three defeats, escaped from the island. But, in 
817, Turgesius, wuth a large force, overran a large portion of the 
island, and a large portion of the clergy, monks, and nuns were 
massacred, and many of the inhabitants taken into captivity. 

In 837, two large additional fleets arrived ; one entered the 
Boyne, and the other the LiflFy. The masses which they poured 
upon the country spread in all directions, committing every kind 
of excess. 

In 848, Olchobair McKinde, king of Munster, uniting his troops 
with those of Dorcan, king of Leinster, was encouraged by a suc- 
cession of victories over the pagans; yet the archbishop of Armagh 
and seven hundred of his countrymen were made captive, and 
sent by Turgesius to Limerick as slaves. But Melseachlin, king 
of Ireland, defeated Turgesius and put him to death. The Irish 
now arose on every side and drove the barbarians from the country. 
But yet, in 850, Dublin was invaded by a band of Northmen, whom 
the Irish denominated Fin-gal, or white strangers, and by another 
body, called Dubh-gal, or black strangers, who took possession of 
Leinster and Ulster, and ravaged the country. In 853, a sea-king, 
named Amlave, AuUffe, or Olave, from Norway, with two brothers, 
Sitric and Ivor, with large additional forces, arrived, and was 
acknowledged chief of all the Northmen in the islands. He took 
possession of Dublin, Limerick, and Waterford, which he enlarged 
and improved, as if their possession was to be perpetual. But 
war not only raged between them and the Irish, but the Irish and 
Danes were in perpetual conflict, diff"erent parties of Danes with 
one another, and discord and strife were constant among the Irish 
themselves. Carnage and bloodshed, captivity and slavery every- 
where covered the island. 

In 860, Melseachlin, the king, defeated Aulifie with great 
slaughter ; but, recovering strength, he plundered and burned 
Armagh, and took a large number of captives, who were sent away 


for slaves. In 884, Kildare was plundered, and more than 300 
sent away for slaves. In 892, Armagh was again captured, and 800 
captives sent to the ships. But, in quick succession, Carrol, with 
Leinster forces, and Aloal Finia, with the men of Bregh, defeated 
the Danes and retook Dublin, while in other parts of the island 
the Northmen suffered great reverses ; but in 914 we find them 
again returned and in possession of Dublin and Waterford, but 
quickly put to the sword by the Irish. Another division succeeded 
to plunder Cork, Lismore, and Aghadoe ; and, in 916, were again 
in Dublin, ravaged Leinster, and killed Olioll, the king. In 919, 
they were attacked near Dublin by Niell Glunndubh, king of Ire- 
land. Their resistance was desperate, under the command of the 
chiefs Ivor and Sitric : here fell the Irish monarch, the choice 
nobility, and the flower of the army. Donough revenged the death 
of the king, his father, and the barbarians were again signally de- 
feated ; hut we find them, in 921, under the command of Godfrey, 
their king, in possession of Dublin, marching to and plundering 
Armagh, and, for the first time, sparing the churches and the oflB- 
ciating clergy. A predatory war, without decisive encounters, was 
continued for more than twenty years, when they suffered two 
severe defeats from Cougall II., in which their king, Blacar, and 

the most of his army were slain. In but the mind sickens, 

tires at these recitals ; a whole army is swept away, and, as if 
the ocean poured twice its numbers on shore, whole centuries gave 
no relief. In short, we have a continuation of these scenes of 
piratical war, until the power and spirit of this restless race of the 
Northmen were broken at Clontarf, near Dublin, on the 23d of 
April, 1014, where they suffered an irrecoverable defeat from the 
Irish, under the command of Brian Boroimhe. 

Ireland did well to rejoice in the perfect overthrow of these 
ruthless invaders ; but here fell Brian, whom ninety winters had 
only nerved for the conflict. Here fell his son Morogh, and his 
grandson Turlogh, personifications of the rage of battle ; here fell 
a numerous, almost the entire, nobility ; here fell Ireland's valiant 
warriors in unnumbered heaps. The voice of Ireland is yet some- 
times heard, but it is the voice of a broken heart ; of complaint, of 
weakness, of weeping, and sadness. In a review of these times 
and those that followed, the providence of God may be traced by 
its final development. Where no mercy was, it is infused by hope 
of gain ; and the savage and the captured slave are led to an equal 
elevation in the service of the altar of the God Jehovah. 


The sacrifice of the Lamb is substituted for the victim of war 
in the woods of Woden ; while the proud flashes of the crescent 
of Islam became dim before the continued ray of the Star of 


The condition of the slave, throughout the whole of Europe, 
was attended with some circumstances of great similarity. 

The slaves were generally of the same nation, tribe, and people, 
who formed a constituent portion of the free population of the 
country where they were, and always of the same colour and race. 
Even the Sclavonians, on the continent, formed no exception in 
the more northern parts of Europe. In short, slavery, as it ex- 
isted in Europe, was only in a very few instances in the south 
marked by any radical distinction of race : consequently, the con- 
dition of the slave could never be as permanent and fixed as it 
ever must be where strong distinctions of race mark the bounda- 
ries between bondage and freedom — although often far more cruel. 

The disgrace of the free, from an amalgamation with the slaves, 
did not proceed from any consideration as to race, but merely from 
the condition of the slave — more pointed, but somewhat analogous 
to the disgrace among the more elevated and wealthy, arising from 
an intermarriage with the ignorant, degraded, or poor. Influenced 
by such a state of facts, the particulars of his condition were liable 
to constant change, as afiected by accident, the good or ill conduct 
of the individual slave, the sense of justice, partiality, fancy, or 
the wants and condition of the master ; nor needed it the talent 
of deep prophecy to have foretold that such a state of slavery 
must ultimately eventuate in freedom from bondage. 

A description of the slaves of Britain will give a general view 
of those of the continent, for which we refer to Dr. Lingard. 

The classes whose manners have been heretofore described con- 
stituted the Anglo-Saxon nation. They alone were possessed of 
liberty, or power, or property. But they formed but a small part 
of the population, of which not less than two-thirds existed in a 
state of slavery. 

All the first adventurers were freemen ; but in the course of 


their conquests, made a great number of slaves. The posterity of 
these men inherited the lot of their fathers, and their number was 
continually increased by freeborn Saxons, who had been reduced 
to the same condition by debt, or made captives in war, or deprived 
of liberty in punishment of their crimes, or had voluntarily sur- 
rendered it to escape the horrors of want. 

The ceremony of the degradation and enslavement of a freeman 
was performed before a competent number of witnesses.* " The 
unhappy man laid on the ground his sword and his lance, the sym- 
bols of the free, took up the bill and the goad, the implements 
of slavery, and falling on his knees, placed his head, in token of 
submission, under the hands of his master." 

All slaves were not, however, numbered in the same class. In 
the more ancient laws we find the esne distinguished from the 
theow ; and read of female slaves of the first, the second, and 
third rank. In later enactments we meet with borders, cocksets, 
parddmgs, and other barbarous denominations, of which, were it 
easy, it would be useless to investigate ilie meaning. The most 
numerous class consisted of those who lived on the land of their 
lord, near to his mansion, called in Saxon his tmie — in Latin, his 
villa. From the latter word they were by the Normans denomi- 
nated villeins, while the collection of cottages in which they dwelt 
acquired the name of village. Their respective services were ori- 
ginally allotted to them according to the pleasure of their pro- 
prietor. Some tilled his lands, others exercised for him the trades 
to which they had been educated. In return, they received certain 
portions of land, with other perquisites, for the support of them- 
selves and their families. 

But all were alike deprived of the privileges of freemen. They 
were forbidden to carry arms. Their persons, families, and goods 
of every description were the property of their lord. He could 
dispose of them as he pleased, either by gift or sale : he could 
annex them to the soil, or remove them from it : he could transfer 
them with it to a new proprietor, or leave them by will to his heirs. 

Out of the hundreds of instances preserved by our ancient 
writers, one may be sufiicient. In the charter by which Harold of 
Buckenhole gives his manor of Spaulding to the abbey of Croy- 
land, he enumerates among its appendages Colgrin, his bailiff, 
Harding, his smith, Lefstan, his carpenter, Elstan, his fisherman, 
Osmund, his miller, and nine others, who probably were his hus- 
bandmen ; and these with their wives and cliildien. Wherever 


slaves have been numerous, and of the same race as the master, 
this variety in their condition ha? always followed. See the state- 
ment of Muratori concerning the Roman slaves ; also the laws of 
Charlemagne concerning those of the Lombards and Goths. 
These records arc proof that slavery, accompanied with such facts, 
is always in the act of wearing out. 


All historians agree that the Sclavonians, who at an early age 
made their appearance on the north-eastern borders of Europe, 
came, a countless multitude, po'iring down upon those countries 
from the middle regions of Asia. 

The precise place from which they originated, the causes of such 
emigration, and the successive impulses that pushed them west- 
ward, have now, for centuries, been buried beneath the rubbish of 
the emigrants themselves and the general ignorance that over- 
spread the events of that age. 

But there are some facts that assign to them a place among the 
Hindoo tribes. Brezowski, speaking the Sclavonic of his day, in 
his travels eastward, was enabled to understand the language 
of the country as far east as Cochin-China ; and scholars of the 
present day find numerous Indian roots in this language. A 
similarity of religious rites is to be noticed between the ancient 
Sclavonians and the Hindoos. They burned their dead, and wives 
ascended the funeral piles of their husbands. Their principal gods 
were Bog, and Seva, his wife. They worshipped good spirits calleil 
Belbog, and bad spirits called Czarnebog. 

These hordes overspread the countries from the Black Sea to 
the Icy Ocean ; and, in their turn, were forced westward by similar 
hordes of Wends, Veneti, Antes, Goths, and Huns. Thus attacked 
and pushed in the rear, they poured themselves upon the inhabit- 
ants of the more western regions, who, more warlike, and v.ith 
superior arms, put thera to death by thousands, until the earth was 
covered with the slain. Thus fleeing from death, they met it in 
front, until the nations then occupying the north and east of 
Europe, satiated and sickened by their slaughter, seized upon theii 
persons as slaves, and converted them into beasts of burden. 


Their numbers exceeding every possible use, the captors exported 
them to adjoining countries as an article of traffic ; and the Vene- 
tians, being then a commercial people, enriched themselves by this 
traffic for many years. All continental Europe was thus filled by this 
race, from the Adriatic to the Northern Ocean. Thus their na- 
tional appellation became through Europe the significant term for 
a man in bondage ; and although in their own language their name 
signified fame and distinction, yet in all the world besides, it has 
superseded the Hebrew, the Greek, and Roman terms, to signify 
the condition of man in servitude. Thus the Dutch and Belgians 
say slaaf ; Germans, sclave ; Danes, slave and sclave ; Swedes, 
slaf ; French, esclave ; the Celtic French, &c., sclaff ; Italians, 
scMavo ; Spanish, escZavo; Portuguese, g-scraw ; (j:di,e\\c, slahhadh ; 
and the English, slave. 

Nor was this signification inappropriate to their native condition. 
For these countless hordes were the absolute property of their 
leaders or kings, who were hereditary among them, — as was, also, 
their condition of bondage. 

The Romans called their language Servian, from the Roman word 
servus, a bond-man ; and from the same cause, also, a district of 
country low down on the Danube, Servia, which name it retains to 
this day. This country belongs to Turkey, from whence they took 
the name serf. This term has been borrowed from thence, by the 
Sclavonic Russians, to signify a man in bondage. The whole num- 
ber of their descendants is now estimated at 100,000,000 ; and 
notwithstanding their amalgamation has identified them with the 
nations with whom they were thus intermingled, yet a thousand 
years have not ended their condition of bondage in Russia, and 
40,000,000 are accounted only as an approximation to the number 
that still remain in servitude in the north of Europe and Asia. 

" The unquestionable evidence of language," says the author of 
the Decline and Fall, "attests the descent of the Bulgarians from 
the original stock of the Sclavonian, or more properly Slavonian, 
race ; and the kindred bands of Servians, Bosnians, Rascians, 
Croatians, Walachians, followed either the standard or example of 
the leading tribes, from the Euxine to the Adriatic, in the state 
of captives, or subjects, or allies, or enemies ; in the Greek empire, 
they overspread the land : and the national appellation of the 
Slaves has been degraded by chance or malice from the significa- 
tion of glory to that of servitude. Chalcocondyles, a competent 
judge, affirms the identity of the language of the Dalmatians, 


Bosnians, Servians, Bulgarians, Poles, [De Rehus Tureitis, 1, x. p. 
283,) and elsewhere of the Bohemians, (1. ii. p. 38.) The same author 
has marked the separate idiom of the Hungarians. 

See the work of John Christopher de Jordan, De Originihus 
Sclavicis, Vindobonee, 1745, in four parts. Jordan subscribes 
to the well-known and probable derivation from slava, laus, gloria, 
a word of familiar use in the different dialects and parts of speech, 
and which forms the termination of the most illustrious names. 
De Originibus Sclavicis, part i. p. 40, part iv. p. 101, 102. 

This conversion of a national into an appellative name appears 
to have arisen in the eighth century, in the oriental France, where 
the princes and bishops were rich in Sclavonian captives, not of 
the Bohemian (exclaims Jordan) but of Sorabian race. From 
thence the word was extended to general use, to the modern lan- 
guages, and even to the style of the last Byzantines. (See the 
Greek and Latin Glossaries of Ducange; also Gibbon's Decline and 
Fall of the Roman Empire, vol. iv. p. 38.) 

The Moors, with whom the early Christians in the south of 
Europe had so many and frequent contentions, at this day differ 
from all the other African races, in their physical and mental de- 
velopment ; — in person, black, with the straight hair of the Arab, 
whom they exceed in stature and intellect. 

The Arabs are admitted to be an amalgamation of the descend- 
ants of Shem, of Canaan, and IMisrain. Into the particulars of 
their admixture, it will be as useless to inquire as it would be into 
the paternity of the goats on their mountains. 

The Moors, according to King Hiempsal's History of Africa, as 
related by Sallust, are descended from an admixture of Medes, 
Persians, and Armenians with the Libyans and Gatulians, the 
original occupants of the country. His statement is, that Her- 
cules led a large army of the people to conquer new and unknown 
countries ; that after his death in Spain, it became a heterogeneous 
mass, made up of a great number of nations, among whom were 
many ambitious chiefs, each one aspiring to rule ; that 'a portion 
of this mass, mostly of Japhanese descent, passed over to Africa 
;ind seized on the shores of the Mediterranean ; that their ships, 
being hauled ashore, were used for shelter ; that the Persians 
among them passed on to the interior, and mingled with the 
Gretulians, and in after times were known as Numidians, — whereas 
those who remained upon the coast intermarried with Libyans, and 


in course of time, by a corruption of their language, Medi, in the 
barbarous dialect of Libya, became Mauri — now Moor. 

To the foregoing, digested from Hiempsal, as given by Sallust, 
we may add : — To this amalgamation was also adjoined, from time 
to time, large parties of adventurers from the Hebrews, Greeks, 
Romans, and from almost every part of Europe, which were all 
absorbed by the nadve masses ; and between the years 850 and 
860, large masses of the Scandinavian hordes were also absorbed 
into this general amalgam of the races of man. 

The instances of slavery, and the laws and customs of the 
church regulating it, as presented in this study, with few excep- 
tions, have pointed to the case where the white races have been 
enslaved or have enslaved one another ; where no strongly 
marked physical impediment has branded amalgamation with 
deterioration and moral disgust ; nor is it thought necessary to 
present an argument to prove that, under such a state of facts, the 
condition of Europe at the present moment is in strict conformity 
with the result produced by the unchangeable la ,vs of God touch- 
ing the subject. 

God always smiles upon the strong desire of moral and physical 
improvement. Had Europe remained under deteriorating influ- 
ences which determined her moral and physical condition two 
thousand years ago, her condition as to slavery could not have 
changed. Nor is it seen that she is yet in so highly favoured a 
condition as to call upon her the providence of God, charging her 
with the pupilage of the backslidden nations of the earth. 


It has been heretofore remarked that the great mass of the 
African tnbes are slaves in their own country, — that slavery there 
subjects them to death at the will of the master, to sacrifice in the 
worship of their gods, and to all the evils of cannibalism ; and yet it 
has been seen that even such slavery is a more protected state 
than would be a state of freedom with their religion, and other 
moral and phy ical qualities. History points not to the time 
when their present condition did not exist, nor to the time when 
their removal, in a state of slavery, to the pagan nations of Asia 


commenced. Upon the adoption of Mohammedanism there, we 
find the black tribes of Africa succeeding to them in a state of 
slavery ; and we also find, and history will support the assertion, 
that in some proportion as the slavery of these tribes was adopted 
by Christian nations, it was diminished among the Mohammedans ; 
and also, that as the slave-trade with Africa was abolished by the 
Christians, it was increased there ; and also, that in the propor- 
tion it has been extended among both or either of these creeds of 
religion abroad, it has been invariably ameliorated at home. The 
causes of this state of facts seem to have been these : — The African 
slave-owner found his bargain with the Christian trader more pro- 
fitable than with the Mohammedan. He received more value, and 
in materials more desired by him : the labour of the slave was of 
more value in America than Asia ; and the transportation to the 
place of destination was attended with less cruelty and hardship 
by sea than by land. The slave of the African owner was 
increased in value beyond any native use to which he could be 
applied, by reason of both or either trade: hence the slave in his 
native land became of greater interest and concern. The native 
owner ceased to kill for food the slave whose exportation would 
produce him a much greater quantity. His passions were curbed 
by the loss their indulgence occasioned. The sacrifice was stayed 
by a less expensive, but, in his estimation, a more valuable offering. 
The object of our present inquiry is, whether the slavery of the 
African tribes to the followers of Mohammed is at all recognised or 
alluded to by the inspired writers. The fact exists, nor can it be 
contested, although the condition of the African slave is far more 
degraded among the Asiatics and Arabians than among the Chris- 
tians, but that even there it is far more elevated than in his native 
land. " Blessed be the Lord God of Shem, and Canaan shall be his 
servant." G-en. ix. 26. The prophet Daniel was a captive the 
greater portion of his life, in the very region of country, and among 
the ancestors of the Mohammedans of the present day, and, of all 
the prophets, the most to have been expected to have been en- 
dowed with prophetic gifts in relation to that country and its 
future condition. It is proper also to remark that although there 
is in many instances among the Mohammedans of the present day a 
mixture of Japhanese descent, yet their main stock is well known 
to be Shemitic. It should also be noticed that the Shemites have 
at all times more frequently amalgamated with the descendants of 
Ham than those of Japhet, consequently more liable to moral and 


physical deterioration ; and here, indeed, we find a reason why it 
was announced that Japhet should possess the tents of Shem. 

Dan. viii. 9 : " And out of one of them came forth a little horn, 
which waxed exceeding great towards the south, and towards the 
east, and towards the pleasant land. 10. And it waxed great, 
even to the host of heaven, and it cast down some of the host of 
the stars to the ground, and stamped upon them. 11. Yea, he 
magnified himself even to the prince of the host, and by him the 
daily sacrifice was taken away, and the place of his sanctuary was 
cast down. 12. And an host was given him against the daily 
sacrifice by reason of transgression, and it cast down the truth to 
the ground, and it practised and prospered. 23. And in the latter 
time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, 
a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, 
shall stand up. 24. And his power shall be mighty, but not by 
his own power : and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall pros- 
per, and practise, and shall destroy the mighty and holy people. 
25. And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in 
his hand, and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace 
shall destroy many : he shall also stand up against the Prince of 
princes ; but he shall be broken without hand." 

Dan. xi. 40 : " And at the time of the end shall the king of the 
south push at him, and the king of the north shall come against 
him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with 
many ships, and he shall enter into the countries, and shall over- 
flow and pass over. 41. He shall enter also into the glorious 
land, and many countries shall be overthrown ; but these shall 
escape out of his hand, even Edom and Moab, and the chief of the 
children of Ammon. 42. He shall stretch forth his hand also 
upon the countries: and the land of Egypt shall not escape. 
43. But he shall have power over the treasures of gold and of silver, 
and over all the precious things of Egypt, and the Libyans and 
the Ethiopians shall be at his steps." 

Of the language used by this prophet, it is proper to remark 
that there are many variations from the more ancient Hebrew, 
both as to form of expression and the particular words used, 
among which Arabicisms and Aramacisms are quite common. 
Faber supposes that this remarkable vision relates to the history 
of Mohammedanism : no previous theory has been satisfactory to 
the Christian world, and it is now generally believed that he has 
suggested a correct interpretation. We may therefore be allowed 


to follow him in considering it as descriptive ot the rise and pro- 
gress of that religion. 

Mohammed was born at Mecca. His education was contracted, 
and his younger days devoted to commercial and warlike pursuits. 
By his marriage with the widow of an opulent merchant, he rose 
to distinction in his native city. For several years he frequently 
I'etired into the cave of Hera and cherished his enthusiastic senti- 
ments, till, at the age of forty, he stated that he had held communi- 
cation with the angel Gabriel, and was appointed a prophet and 
apostle of God. In 612, he publicly announced to his relations 
and friends that he had ascended through seven heavens to the 
very throne of Deity, under the guidance of Gabriel, and had re- 
ceived the salutations of patriarchs, prophets, and angels. This 
monstrous statement, however, did not succeed, except with a very 
few ; and on the death of his uncle Abn Taleb, who had been his 
powerful protector, he was compelled, in 622, to seek security by 
flight to Medina. This henceforth became the epoch of Moham- 
medan chronology ; his power was more consolidated, and his influ- 
ence extended by a large accession of deluded, but determined fol- 
lowers. He very soon professed to have received instructions from 
the angel Gabriel to propagate his religion by the sword ; and 
power made him a persecutor. In seven years he became the 
sovereign of Mecca, and this led to the subjugation of all Arabia, 
Ashich was followed by that of Syria. In less than a century 
fiom the period of its rise in the barren wilds of Arabia, the 
Mohammedan religion extended over the greater part of Asia and 
Africa, and threatened to seat itself in the heart of Europe. 

The unity of God was the leading article of Mohammed's creed. 
When addressing the Jews, he professed highly to honour Abraham, 
Moses, and the prophets, and admitted, for the sake of conciliating 
Christians, that Jesus was the Messiah of the Jews, and will be the 
judge of all. This compromising policy is seen in the Koran. 

Mohammedan morals enforce many principles of justice and 
oenevolence, and inculcate a degree of self-denial, but, at the same 
time, permit the indulgence of some of the strongest passions of 
our nature. The representations given of paradise are adapted to 
gratify the sensuality of men, — and of hell, to awaken their fears 
of disobeying the Koran or the prophet. " Eastern Christendom," 
says Mr. Foster, " at once the parent and the prey of hydra-headed 
lieresy, demanded and deserved precisely the inflictions which the 
rod of a conquering heresiarch could bestow. The king of fierce 


countenance, and understanding dark sentences, well expresses the 
character of Mohammed and his religion." "Mohammed," says 
Gibbon, "with the sword in one hand, and the Koran in the 
other, erected his throne on the ruins of Christianity and of Rome. 
The genius of the Arabian prophet, the manners of his nation, and 
the spirit of his religion involve the causes of the decline and fall 
of the Eastern empire, and our eyes are curiously intent on one of 
the most memorable revolutions which impressed a new and lasting 
character on the nations of the globe." 

His first efforts were directed against the Jews, Avho refused to 
receive Mohammed's effusions as the revelations of heaven, and, in 
consequence, suffered the loss of their possessions and lives. 

"When Christian churches," says Scott, "were converted into 
mosques, the ' daily sacrifice' might be said to be taken away," 
(viii. 11, 12,) and the numbers of nominal Christians who were thus 
led to apostatize, and of real Christians and ministers who perished 
by the sword of this warlike, persecuting power, fulfilled the pre- 
diction that he cast down some of the host and of the stars to 
the ground, and stamped on them. It is said that " a host was 
given him against the daily sacrifice," (or worship of the Christian 
church, corresponding with the Jewish sanctuary,) " by reason of 
transgression." A rival priesthood subverted the priesthood of a 
degenerate church. The imams of Mohammed assumed the place 
of the apostate teachers of Christianity. The event here pre- 
dicted was to occur in the latter part of the Grecian empire, (ver. 23,) 
"when the transgressors are come to the full." 

History relates that the remains of the Eastern empire and the 
power of the Greek church were overthrown by Mohammedans. 
Their chief endeavoured to diffuse his doctrine, but found that it 
could not prevail by "its own power," or the inherent moral 
strength of the system : it was requisite to support his pretensions 
by "craft" and "policy." Mohammed sanctioned as much of the 
inspired Scriptures as he thought might tend to obviate the pre- 
judices of the Jews, and incorporated as much of his own system 
with the errors of the Eastern church as might tend to conciliate 
Greek Christians. 

" Although Mohammedism did not first spring up in the Mace- 
donian empire, yet it noAV spread from Arabia to Syria, and 
occupied locally, as well as authoritatively, the ancient dominion 
of the he-goat." [Scott.) It has been renuirked, however, by Mr. 
Foster, (Mohammedism Unveiled,) that the part of Arabia which 


included the native country of Mohammed, composed an integral 
province both of the empire of Alexander and of the Ptolemean 
kingdom of Egypt. Ptolemy had Egypt, Syria, Arabia, Crelo-syria, 
and Palestine. The sovereignties of Egypt and Syria, before called 
the king of the south and the king of the north, disappeared when 
they were absorbed in the Roman empire, and the new power, or the 
Saracen and Turkish empires, that succeeded, are now brought to 
view. But let it be observed, that the Saracens became masters of 
Egypt, the original territory of the king of the south, and the 
Turks possessed Syria, or the kingdom of the north, and still 
retain it. "• The king of the south shall push at him." The power 
of Kome was overthrown in the east by the Saracens. This was 
the first wo of the revelation, which was to pass away after three 
hundred years. The Turks then came, a whirlwind of northern 
barbarians, and achieved a lasting conquest, in a day, of the 
Asiatic provinces of the Roman empire. The line of march was 
along the north of Palestine, and the Turkish monarch entered 
only to pass through and overflow : " he entered into the glorious 
land;" for, as Gibbon has stated it, the most interesting conquest 
of the Seljukian Turks was that of Jerusalem, which soon became 
the theatre of nations. "But Edom and Moab, and the chief of 
the children of Ammon escaped out of his hand." Even when all 
the regions round owned the Turkish sway, these retained their 
detached and separate character, and even received tribute from 
the pilgrims as they passed to the shrines of Mecca and Medina. 
Thus they have escaped and maintained their independence of the 
Porte. A race of monarchs arose to stretch out their hand upon the 
countries. Othman, Amurath, Bajazet, and Mohammed conquered 
nation after nation, and finally fixed the seat of their empire at 
Constantinople. The land of Egypt " did not escape ;" it was in- 
deed the last to yield ; but, though its forces had vanquished both 
Christians and Turks, it was at length subdued by Selim I. in 1517, 
and came into possession of the Ottomans. (Cox, on Daniel.) 
And it may be here remarked, as a fact of well-known history, that 
the countries known as Libya and Ethiopia have, at all ages of 
the world, supplied this country with slaves, whoever may have 
borne rule, and still continue to do the same. Thousands from 
the interior of Africa are yearly transplanted from the slavery of 
their native land into those countries now under Mohammedan 
rule. And it may be well here for the Christian philanthropist to 
notice, that so far as the slave-trade with Africa has ceased with 


Christian nations, to the same extent it has substantially in- 
creased with Mohammedan countries. 

"And the Libyans and the Ethiopians shall be at his steps," — a 
form of speech as clearly indicating the condition of slavery as 
though ever so broadly asserted. The Hebrew word here trans- 
lated "at his steps," Vl^^P^ in his footsteps, &c., i. e. attached 
or subjected to his interests as slaves, is cognate with the Arabic 

word j.J&^aX/o metsuad, and means the chains by which the feet 
of captive slaves are bound, and in Hebrew form this word is used 

in Isa. iii. 20, Hi "1)7 V tseadoth. The whole passage is strictly an 
Arabicism, and is to be construed, with reference to that language, 
chain for the legs. Of this passage, Adam Clark says, " Uncon- 
quered Arabs all sought their friendship, and many of them are 
tributary to the present time." Some commentators seem to un- 
derstand this passage to mean only that Libyans and Ethiopians 
would be in courteous attendance, &c. If so, the Hebrew would 
haveread, asinJw(^^.iv.lO,7i"l regel. " And he went up with ten 
thousand men at Ms feet." This passage, foretelling the slavery 
of the Ethiopians to the Mohammedans, may well be compared 
with Isa. xlv. 14, announcing the slavery of the same people to 
those of the true religion. " Thus saith the Lord, the labour of 
Egypt and the merchandise of Ethiopia and of the Sabeans, men 
of stature, shall come over unto thee, and they shall be thine ; they 
shall come after thee, in chains they shall come over, and they 
shall fall down unto thee ; they shall make supplication unto thee, 
saying, Surely God is in thee, and there is none else, there is no 
God" beside. 


In reflection upon the leading ideas that present themselves in 
the review of the subjects of this study, we may notice that 
slavery has been introduced to the world as a mercy in favour of 
life. That, in its operation, its general tendency is to place the 
weak, deteriorated, and degraded under the control and govern- 
ment of a wisdom superior to their own ; from whence the intel- 
lectual, moral, and physical improvement of the enslaved, to some 
extent, is a consequence as certain as that cause produces its effect. 


The world never has, nor will it ever witness a case where the 
moral, intellectual, and physical superior has been in slavery, as a 
fixed state, to an inferior race or grade of human life. The law 
giving superior rule and government to the moral, intellectual, 
and physical superior is as unchangeable as the law of gravitatioi). 
No seeming exception can be imagined which does not lend proof 
of the existence of such law. The human intellect can make no 
distinction between the establisher of such law and the author and 
establisher of all other laws which we perceive to be established 
and in operation, and which we attribute to God. No one has 
ever yet denied that obedience to the laws of God eifects and 
produces mental and physical benefits to the obedient, or that 
their disregard and contempt are necessarily followed by a deteriora- 
tion of the condition of the disobedient ; nor can any one deny 
that the neglect of obedience to the laws of God, which, in its 
product, yields to the disobedient mental and physical deteriora- 
tion, or any one of them, is sin, — and in proportion to its magnitude, 
so will be its consequent degradation. To be degraded is sin, be- 
cause the law is improve. No one will pretend that the relation 
of master and slave is not often attended with sin on the part of 
the master, on the account of his disobedience to the law of God 
in his government of his slave ; or on the part of the slave, on the 
account of his disobedience to the same law in his conduct tOAvards 
his master. Therefore, such master is not as much benefited, not, 
the slave as much improved by the relation, as would otherwise be 
the case. It is therefore incumbent on the master to search out 
and exclude all such abuses from the intercourse and reciprocal 
duties between him and his slave. Placed upon him is the respon- 
sible charge of governing both himself and his slave. The re- 
sponsibility of the master in this respect is of the same order as 
that of a guardian and that of a parent. 

The want of a less affectionate regard in the master towards the 
slave is supplied and secured to the safety of the slave by the in- 
creased watchfulness of the master over the slave from the con- 
sideration that the slave is his property. For where affection can- 
not be supposed sufficiently strong to stimulate a calm and wise 
action, interest steps in to produce the effect. 

That every mind will see and comprehend these truths, where 
prejudice and education are in contradiction, is not to be expected. 
The influences of a false philosophy on the mind, like stains of 
crime on the character, are often of diflicult removal. Some for- 


bearance towards those who honestly entertain opposing ideas on 
this subject, can never disgrace the Christian character, — and we 
think it particularly the duty of the men of the South, towards the 
men, women, and children of the Northern States, especially of the 
unlearned classes. For even among ourselves of the South, we 
sometimes hear the announcement of doctrines that declare all the 
most rabid fanatic at the North need claim, on the subject of imme- 
diate abolition. We refer to and quote from Walker's Reports 
of Cases adjudged in the Supreme Court of Mississippi, at the 
June term, 1818, page 42 : " Slavery is condemned by reason and 
the laws of nature." This false and suicidal assertion, most un- 
necessarily and irrelevantly introduced, still stands on the records 
of the Supreme Court of that State, and is an epitaph of the in- 
capacity and stupidity of him who wrote it and engraved it on this 
monument of Southern heedlessness. We were at first surprised 
at the silence of the reporter, but, at that day, any criticism by 
that officer would have been contempt. Yet we may infer that the 
ingenious and talented gentleman contrived to express his most 
expunging reprobation, by wholly omitting all allusion to the point 
in his syllabus of the case. 

If in the course of these Studies Ave shall not have shown that 
slavery as it exists in the world is commanded by "reason" and 
the laws of "nature," we shall have laboured in vain; and even 
now an array of battle is formed, and our enemy has chosen hu- 
man "reason" for the "bolt of Jove," as wrought from strands 
of Northern colds. Southern heats, and Eastern winds ; in their 
centre, bound by cloudy fears and avenging fires ; for their aegis, 
'■Hhe Imvs of nature" supply Minerva's shield, upon which fanati- 
cism has already inscribed its government over thirty States, far 
exceeding in purity, they think, that of the God of Israel. And 
we have come up to the war ! — armed neither with the rod of 
Hermes nor the arrows of Latona's son ; but with a word from 
him of Bethlehem: "Sanctify them through thy truth; thy word 
is truth." 


Stuttfi V. 


The inquirer after truth has two sources bj which he can arrive 
at some knowledge of the will of God : — 1st. By faith and reve- 
lation ; 2d. By the observance of the facts uniformly developed 
in the material and moral world. The accuracy of his knowledge 
will be coincident with the accuracy of the mental perceptions and 
the extent of the research of the inquirer. 

In the Bible he will find the declarations of God himself: some 
of them are express, and some of them implied. 

In the second place, he may discover the will of God from the 
arrangement of his works as manifested in the visible world. 
Some call this the light of nature ; others the laws of nature. 
But what do they mean other than the light and laws of God ? 
Are not the laws of gravitation as much the laws of God as they 
would be if set down in the decalogue, although not as important 
to man in his primary lessons of moral duty ? 

Let us view the forest as planted by the hand of God : we see 
some trees made to push their tall boughs far above the rest ; 
while others, of inferior stem and height, seem to require the par- 
tial shade and protection of their more lofty neighbours ; others, 
of still inferior and dwarfish growth, receive and require the full 
and fostering influence of the whole grove, that their existence 
may be protected and their organs fully developed for use. 

Let us view the tribes of ocean, earth, and air : we behold a 
regular gradation of power and rule, from man down to the atom. 

Whether with reason or with instinct blest, 
All enjoy that power that suits them best: 
Order is Heaven's first law ; and this confess'd, 
Some are, and must be, greater than the rest — 


More rich, more wise ; but who infers from hence 

That such are happier, shocks all common sense. 

Heaven to mankind impartial we confess, 

If all are equal in their happiness ; 

But mutual wants this happiness increase. 

All nature's difference, keeps all nature's peace : 

Condition, circumstance, is not the thing ; 

Bliss is the same, in subject, or in king! 

Pope's Essay. 


They who study even only such portion of the works of God 
as can, seemingly, to some extent be examined by the human mind, 
never fail to discover a singular aflBnity between all things, the 
creation of his hand. This, to us, would be proof, independent of 
inspiration, that one Creator made the whole world and all things 

So great is the affinity between the vegetable and animal king- 
doms, that it is to this day a doubt where the one terminates or 
where the other begins. Naturalists all agree that they both spring 
from " slightly developed forms, perhaps varied, yet closely con- 
nected;" true, "starting away in different directions of life," but 
ever preserving, it may be an obscure, yet a strict analogy to each 

These analogies are sufficiently obvious to prove that one power, 
one and the same general law, has brought them both into existence. 
Thus the devout worshipper of God may, in some sense, view the 
vegetable inhabitants of the earth as his brethren. 

The animal kingdom may be considered as divisible into five 
groups. The vertebreta, annulosa, (the articulata of Cuvier,) the 
radiata, the acrita, (in part the radiata of Cuvier,) and the molusca. 

Each one of these groups will be found divisible into five classes. 
Let us take, for example, the vertebreta, and it is readily divided 
into the mammalia, reptilia, pisces, amphibia, and aves. 

So each one of these classes is divisible into five orders. Let 
us take, for example, the mammalia ; and it is readily divided into 
the cheirotheria, (animals with more or less perfect hands,) ferae, 
cetacea, glires, and ungulata. 

So each one of these orders is divisible into five genera. Let us 


take, for example, the cheirotheria, and it is readily divided into 
the bimana or homo, the quadrumana or simiadse, the natatorials 
or vespertilionidae, the suctorials or lemuridse, the rasorials or 

So each one of these genera is divided in five species. Let us 
take, for example, the bimana or homo, and it is readily divided 
into the Caucasian or Indo-European, the Mongolian, the Malayan, 
the Indian or aboriginal American, and the Negro or African. 

Thus we behold man in his relation to the animal world : true, 
far in advance as to his physical and mental development ; yet the 
natural philosopher finds traces of all his mental powers among the 
inferior animals, as does the comparative anatomist those of his 
physical structure. 

Does he feel degraded by the fact that God has been pleased to 
order this relation of brotherhood with the lower orders of crea- 
tion ? Or will he for ever suffer his pride to hedge up the way of 
progress by the impassable darkness of his own ignorance. 

The uniformity of these penta-legal ramifications, which reach 
down from man through all the orders and groups of the animal 
world, gives evidence of a preconceived design — of an arrangement 
by Almighty power — of a God whose thought is law ! — while the 
analogy of animal formation, the traces of affinity in the mental 
qualities found in all, in proportion as those qualities are more or 
less developed, and the apparent adaptation of each one to the 
condition in which it is found, demonstrate the unity of the law 
which governs their physical being. 

These analogies, found to exist between all the individuals of the 
animal world, and particularly striking and more and more obvious 
as we proceed from a particular group to its genera and species, 
have led some philosophers to suppose that the more perfectly de- 
veloped species have been progressively produced by some instance 
of an improved development, as an offshoot from the genera, and 
so on back to its original form of animal life, in obedience to the 
laws of the great First Cause. But we wish to disturb* no man's 
philosophy. We deem it of little importance to us what method 
God pursued in the creation of our species ; whether we were 
spoken instantly into life, as was the light, or whether ages were 
spent in reproducing improved developments from the earlier forms 
of animal life. 

In either case we see nothing contradictory to the inspired 
writings of Moses. Man is as much the creation of God through 


one means as another. The wisdom and power required are the 
same ; for his existence alone demonstrates him to be the work of 
a God. The fact of the existence of these analogies is alone what 
we propose to notice. And we offer them merely as indications of 
a course of study that may lead to some important results in eluci- 
dation of the mental and physical relations between the different 
varieties of man. 

In further illustration, let us for a moment look at the bovine 
species, from the genus ruminantia, from the order ungulata, and 
we find the ox, the bison, the buifalo, the elk, and the goat. 

Like the five species of homo, we find the bovine species divided 
into a great number of families or varieties, of which we need take 
no further notice. Does any one fail to perceive the analogy be- 
tween these species of the bos ? Are they more obscure, more 
aberrant than are the relations between the species of man ? Ex- 
amine the high physical development of the most intellectual 
Caucasian ; trace down the line to the diminutive and ill-formed 
cannibal savage of Africa, the habits and mental development of 
whom would seem rather allied to the lower orders of animals than 
to the Caucasian ! How will it comport with the general laws 
manifested by the condition of the animal world and of the obvious 
inferiority and influence of one over another, in proportion to their 
apparent superiority in physical and mental development, to place 
the lowest grade of the African in equal power or in control of 
the Caucasian brother ? Is there any manifestation of the Creator 
of an arrangement like this, even through the eternity of his own 
work ? 

On the contrary, through the whole animal race, we find power 
and control lodged everywhere in proportion as we find an advance 
towards perfection in the development bestowed. 

In conformity to this law, God gave Adam "dominion" over 
every living thing that moved upon earth. 

It is known to most men, that, under certain circumstances, the 
race of any animal will improve : so also, under adverse, they de- 
generate. We see these facts daily in the breeds of domestic 
animals. We see these changes even in the families of all the 
species of man. Nor is it a matter of the least importance to our 
inquiry, whether these species of the race have been produced by 
an upward movement from the lowest, or a downward degenerating 
movement from the most elevated. It is sufiicient that they exist 
from some cause ; for an individual having been, say an equal, 


but iiDW degenerate, falls under the influence and control of his 
superior. And in conformity to this law, it was announced to Eve, 
the helpmate of Adam, that "he shall rule over thee." 

But if these particles of inspiration had never been proclaimed, 
man would have discovered this law from its constant operation, 
not only on the family of man, but on every branch of the animal 

We can spend but little time with such infidel principles as lead 
some men to say, " Down with your Bible that teaches slavery." " If 
the religion of Jesus Christ allows slavery, the New Testament is 
the greatest curse that could be inflicted on man." " Down with 
your God who upholds slavery ; he shall be no God of mine." 
"Jesus Christ was himself a negro !"- Our hearts bleed when we 
see such evidence of a destroyed intellect. The maniac in his 
ravings excites our extreme sorrow. We feel no harshness. He 
has sunk far below resentment. Can we administer to such mental 
deformity any relief? Will it be absurd to ask him to deduce 
from nature, as it is found to operate, that the various grades 
of subjection spread through the animal world exist in conformity 
to the natural law ? 

But, says the querist, "Your remarks have a tendency towards 
the conclusion, — upon the supposition that Adam was created with 
a perfect, or rather with a very high order of physical organiza- 
tion and mental development, — that the facts of the greater or 
less degeneration of the people of the world, since his fall, now 
exhibited by the different species of man upon the earth, had their 
origin in his transgression. Now, by parity of argument, we may 
conclude, if such high physical elevation wae the original condition 
of Adam, that each genus of the brute creation also was origin- 
ally created on a proportional scale. If so, their degeneration 
is quite as visible as that of man. Yet we have no account that 
they committed sin and 'fell.' " 

We do not say that such was the original condition of the first 
man. We say, the creation of the animal world was upon princi- 
ples compatible Avith progressive improvement; and that as far as 
these principles are not obeyed, but changed or reversed 'by the 
practice of the animal world, that the effect is to remain stationary, 
or to retrograde and deteriorate. 

It is a matter of no importance to our argument what was the 
first condition of Adam. But allow it to be as querist has stated: 
VYe answer, the Bible was given to man for his moral govern- 


ment; not to teach him geology, chemistry, or other sciences. 
Such matters were left for him to attain by progressive improve- 
ment. A minute history of the brute creation, or any portion of 
it, from the earliest dawn of animal life up to the time of revela- 
tion, other than the announcement of their creation and subjection 
to him, was irrelevant. But man was the very head and governor 
of the whole animal race. Now, who is to say that the degenera-' 
tion of the ruler will not produce a change of conduct in the 
ruled ? Who is to say that the poisoned moral feeling of him in 
command, breaking forth in acts of violence on all around, will 
not produce a corresponding effect on the animate objects under 
him ? Witness the effect, we need not say on children, but on 
domestic animals, of the rash, cruel, and crazy treatment of a 
wicked and inconsistent man ? 

The idea that the brute creation were injured in condition by 
the fall of man is put forth by St. Paul, in Rom. viii. 9-22, where 
the word "creature" is translated from the Greek term that im- 
plies the whole animal or the whole created world. But no an- 
swer to querist is necessary. The fact is sufficient that animals, 
under habits ill-adapted to their organization, do degenerate. 


However insensible individuals themselves may be of the fact, 
some men, and those of quite different character, find it un- 
pleasant to submit themselves to the great Author of animal life. 
For they, in substance, make a continual inquiry. How is it to be 
reconciled that a Being so perfectly good should have admitted 
into the midst of his works, as a constant attendant of all his 
sentient creations, so large an admixture of what we call evil ? 

We might continue the inquiry by adding, Why, in a mere drop 
of water, do we find the animalculce manifesting all the agonies 
and repeating the outrages upon one another strikingly visible 
among the larger animal developments of the great ocean and of 
the land ? Why such an admixture of pain and misery among 
men ? Why the male of all animals making destructive war on 
their kind ? Why exterminating wars among men ? And why 
the numberless, nameless evils everywhere spread through the 
world *! 


And do we forget that the great Creator of animal life brought 
forth his works and sustains each thing by the unchangeable ex- 
ercise of his laws ? Laws which are found to have a direct ten- 
dency to progressive improvement ? Will rational beings expect 
God to change their actions to suit their disregard of them ? Will 
fire cease to burn because we may choose to thrust in the hand ? 
And what if, even in all this, we shall discover his wisdom and 
goodness by making what we may call punishment for the breach 
of the law, a pulling back from deeper misery, a powerful stimulus 
for a change of direction from a downward to an upward move- 
ment in the path of progressive improvement ? Do we find no 
satisfaction in this view of the constitution of nature, of the 
wisdom of God ? 

These men seem desirous that the works of God should have 
been on a different footing, or that every thing should have been 
lit once perfect to the extent of his power. Would they then de- 
sire to be his equal too ? But, at least as to man, the mind inca- 
pable of error, the body of suffering ! It is possible that under such 
a dispensation, our mental enjoyments would have been on a par 
with a mathematical axiom, and our bodies have about as much sym- 
pathy for the things around them as has a lump of gold. And 
how do they know that the rocks, minerals, and trees, yea, the 
starry inhabitants of the firmament, are not the exact mani- 
festations of what would have been creations of that order ? We 
will not stop here to inquire how far the complaints of these men 
operate to their own mental and physical injury. 

It is a great popular error to suppose all of our own species to 
be born equals. It involves the proposition that each one also 
possesses the same faculties and powers, and to the same extent. 
Even every well-informed nursery-maid is furnished with a good 
refutation. The grades of physical development are proofs of 
grades of mind. 

Through the whole animal world, as with man, mental action 
takes place, providing for the sustenance and security of life ; and 
the amount of mental power each one possesses is ever in propor- 
tion to the development of the nervous system and animal struc- 
ture. Upon this earth, the highest grade of such development 
is found among the Caucasian species of man. Physiologists 
assert that the African exhibits, in maturity, the imperfect brain 
&c. of a Caucasian foetus some considerable time before its birth : 
so the Malay and Indian, the same at a period nearer birth ; while 


the Mongolian, that of the infant lately born. See Lloyd's Popu- 
lar Physiology. The heard, among men the attribute of a full 
maturity, largest in the Caucasian, is scarcely found among the 
lower grades of the African. 

Colour is also found the darkest where the development is the 
least perfect, and the most distant from the Caucasian ; and hence 
a philosopher of great learning makes the question pertinent, 
" May not colour then depend on development also ? Develop- 
ment being arrested at so immature a stage in the case of the 
negro, the skin may take on the colour as an unavoidable conse- 
quence of its imperfect organization." The difi'erent species and 
all the varieties of man are nothing but a short history of their 
different grades of organization and development. One fraction, 
by a long and more or less strict observance of the laws of nature, 
becomes, after many generations, quite improved in its organiza- 
tion. From an opposite course, another fraction has degenerated 
and sunk into degradation. It is now a well-known fact that Cau- 
casian parents too nearly related exhibit offspring of the Mon- 
golian type. So, a particular tribe of Arabs, now on the banks 
of the Jordan, from an in-and-in propagation have become scarcely 
to be distinguished from Negroes. This is only an instance, but is 
important when we notice the deteriorating influence such inter- 
course has among domestic animals. In short, every breach of 
the laws tending to the path of progressive improvement must 
have a deteriorating effect on the offspring. There was truth in 
the ancient adage, " The fathers have eaten sour grapes and the 
children's teeth are set on edge." 

Every private habit and circumstance in life that enervates or 
deranges the physical system, or disturbs the balance of the 
mind, stamps its impress on the descendant. The moral and 
physical condition of the progeny, with slight exceptions the 
result of an elevating and upward movement, or a downward and 
deteriorating one, (as the case may be,) is the necessary result of 
the moral and physical condition of the parentage : and this influ- 
ence is doubtless felt back for many generations. 

But does God make man wicked ? does he predestine to evil ? 
These queries may seem pertinent to some, because we are in the 
habit of considering each individual by itself; whereas each indi- 
vidual is only a link in the chain of phenomena, which owe their 
existence to laws productive of good, and even of progressive im- 
provement, but of necessity, in their breach, admit these evils, 


because such breach is sin. Our moral faculties are permitted to 
range in a wide field ; but evil is the result of a disruption of the 
rules of action. It is the flaming sword elevated to guard our 
good, showing us the awful truth, the mere bad habit in the 
parent may become a constitutional inherent quality in the ofi- 

We do not suppose these influences always very perceptibly 
immediate. Many generations are doubtless often required in the 
full development of an iipward movement to a higher order of 
moral perception; and so in the opposite. Yet we cannot forbear 
to notice how often the immediate descendant is quite apt to prove 
its parentage. 

Will the theologian object — "You contradict the Scripture. 
You make five species of man. Wherea