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treat any animal he possesses : nay worse, for, in our country, cruel people are not allowed to torture or injure even beasts. Surely this should show us how much happier it is to live in a land where the true God is really worshipped, than to live among heathens. This cruel treatment caused rebellions or insurrections among the Roman slaves, in which many thousand lives were lost; but we do not hear of any among the Jews. At Rome, also, persons who could not pay their debts were sold for slaves, and were used as cruelly as the others.

The apostle Paul often refers to the state and condition of slaves to explain his meaning, and to express it more strongly. Thus he speaks of believers as being the servants of Christ, bound to do the will of their Lord, and to exert themselves in his service. He says, “ Ye are not your own, for ye are bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's,” i Cor. vi. 19, 20. He also refers to the marks with which slaves were branded, when he speaks of the manner in which his body was marked with scars, and other tokens of his sufferings in the cause of Christ: he says, “I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.” The prophet Isaiah, alludes to these marks, xliv. 5. Many early Christians marked their arms with the sign of the cross, or the name of Christ.

Very often slaves were redeemed ; that is, a price was paid, which is called, a ransom, to make them ee. This affords a beautiful illustration of the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ : by nature and practice we are the slaves of sin; but Christ became our Redeemer; and vast indeed is the price he paid to ransom us. The apostle says, “Ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold; but with the precious blood of Christ,” 1 Pet. i. 18, 19; “ Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works," Titus ii. 14.

But let no one suppose that slavery is authorised or approved of by God, because it is thus mentioned in the Bible. Slavery is quite opposed to the character and precepts of the gospel; the text, 1 Thess. iv. 6, “Let no man go beyond and defraud” (oppress or overreach) “his brother in any matter,” is sufficient, even if there were no more, to show us that it is not lawful to treat our fellow-creatures as slaves. And in the law as given by Moses, it is expressly commanded that man-stealers, those who kidnap others to sell them for slaves, should be put to death.

We also find various precepts addressed to those who were slaves, showing that they were to act as becometh the gospel, which spoke of pardon and salvation for them as well as their masters. Thus we read, 1 Pet. ii. 18, “ Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward.” The apostle Paul says, Eph. vi. 5—8, “Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ; not with eye-service, as men-pleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; with good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men: knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free.” Remember that these exhortations were not addressed to the slaves of Christian or Jewish masters only, but also to those who were the servants of heathens. Nor should Christian masters forget the especial injunctions that all their servants should enjoy the rest of the sabbath, and religious instruction.

In former times there were slaves in England; they were bought and sold just as the negroes in the West Indies used to be, and as they are even now sold in some parts of the United States of North America ; also in South America, and in many other lands. A few hundred years ago, men, women, and children were exposed for sale on the quay at Bristol, just like cattle or sheep. In the accounts of the abbey of Dunstable for the year 1283, there is mention made of “our slave by birth, William Pike, and all his family,” being sold for a mark; that is, thirteen shillings and four-pence. It is noticed as any common occur

The price of this man and all his family was not more than about ten pounds of our money at the present day. But the readers probably have heard that there are no slaves now in England, and have been told, that if a slave treads upon English ground he directly becomes free. This has been the case with some poor blacks who have, at different times, been brought to this country. They became free when the ship arrived here. But, after all, it is a fact that there STILL ARE MANY SLAVES IN ENGLAND. “ How is this?” the reader may say ;

“I never heard of any.”—Perhaps so, and yet after all, my reader, you MAY

rence.

P

BE A SLAVE YOURSELF.

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Are you surprised to hear this ? turn to Romans vi. 16, “Know ye not that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants" (or slaves)

ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness ?” Read on to the end of the chapter. Is there no evil passion or sinful practice which you often give way to, or delight in ? Remember, “No man can serve two masters,” Matt. vi. 24. Satan is a hard master; turn then to Christ, whose yoke is easy, and whose burden is light,” whose "commandments are not grievous ;" and remember the words of the psalmist, “I will walk at liberty ; For I seek thy precepts,” Matt. xi. 30 ; 1 John v. 3; Psa. cxix. 45.

When speaking of slavery, it should be mentioned, that among the Jews, parents had power to sell their children. That this was sometimes done, we may conclude from Isaiah 1. 1, and Neh. v. 5. This is still the case in eastern nations : persons who have travelled or lived among them, tell us of instances in which parents have brought their children for sale, particularly in times of famine, as in the days of Nehemiah.

The severe manner in which slaves were punished, is also alluded to in Scripture ; they were often confined in dark dungeons, or sent to labour in the mines, either of which may explain the words of our Lord, Matt. viii. 12; xxii. 13. In Luke xii. 45, 46, our blessed Lord seems to have referred to the case of a slave that had been raised to authority, but proved to be a hypocrite, and deceived his master, who, at length, detecting his wicked conduct, ordered him to be cut to pieces. Another cruel punishment inflicted upon slaves, and the worst malefactors, was crucifixion. It was a punishment, in particular, for worthless slaves. St. Paul refers to this when he speaks of our Lord taking upon him the form of a servant, and becoming subject to death, even the death of the cross, Phil. ii. 7, 8. And in Heb. xii. 2, he speaks of our blessed Lord, “who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame." This explains why the apostle speaks of the preaching of the cross being foolishness to the Gentiles, i Cor. i. 23, and of glorifying in the cross. Worldlyminded men rejected the idea of receiving as their Lord and Saviour, one who had suffered the death usually inflicted upon slaves and malefactors. This is what St. Paul means when he speaks of the offence of the cross, Gal. v. 11.

In our times the same prejudice does not precisely exist, yet there are many who take offence at the truths of the gospel. This will always be the case ; for those that love the world are not inclined to love the truth. But let us remember, our Lord requires us to take up our cross and follow him ; that is, to show that we belong to him, and to live to the praise of the glory of his grace, without minding the perishing vanities and fashions of this world, which must pass away, 1 Cor. vii. 31 ; nor should we care for its contempt.

There were hired servants, as well as slaves, among the Jews. The law of Moses ordered that they should be treated kindly, and expressly directed that their wages should be paid every day before sunset, Lev. xix. 13 ; Deut. xxiv. 14, 15. From the parable of the labourers in the vineyard, Matt. xx., we find that they stood in the marketplace to be hired ; that their daily wages at that time were a denarius, or about sevenpence halfpenny of our money ; also that they left work about six o'clock in the evening, and then were paid their wages.

When Morier was in Persia, a few years ago, he stayed some time in the city of Hamadan. He saw every morning, before sunrise, a great number of persons assemble in a large open square, with their tools in their hands, waiting to be hired. Some of them, as in the parable, remained till late in the day without being hired, and on asking them, in the words of Scripture, “ Why stand ye here all the day idle ?” he received the answer mentioned in the parable, though they had never heard of it. They replied, “ Because no man hath hired us." In

many parts of England, and even in London, labourers assemble in the morning, and stand to be hired.

In other parts of the Bible we find strong injunctions to deal kindly with hired servants, as Mal. iii. 5 ; James v. 4 ; Jer. xxii. 13. The reader will recollect the words of the prodigal son, when he reflected upon the plenty which the hired servants of his father enjoyed, and compared it with the scanty fare which his master, probably a heathen, allowed him. In like manner, such has ever been the bitter experience of all who follow the ways of sin; but the folly of sinners is such, that they do not take warning from the sad examples which prove that “the way of transgressors is hard.”

CHAPTER IV.

THE CEREMONIAL LAW.

Many of the ceremonial laws given to the Jews referred to the great Atonement, and were types and figures pointing to the Lord Jesus Christ, our blessed Saviour, and his taking our nature, and dying for us. These sacrifices, and the various institutions connected with them, as the scapegoat, and the annual festivals, are noticed at page 222 of this work, to which the reader is referred for particulars concerning them, and also for remarks upon the circumcision and other religious observances practised by the ancient people of God.

The miscellaneous ceremonial institutions of the Jews will here be noticed. These are well worthy of examination, since they will be found, not to be arbitrary enactments, or such as must be traced up to the unrevealed will of God, like his providential dispensations, Deut. xxix. 29. In mercy to us he often restrains us from evil, by ways and means, the wisdom of which we may not be able now to discern, and to such matters the words may be applied, “What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter,” John xiii. 7. In the ceremonial law, the

meaning of every enactment may not be discerned, and may be mistaken in those which seem to be clearly understood ; still there is much to be learned respecting them by searching into history, and inquiring respecting the customs of eastern nations. And all we are able to understand, will prove more and more abundantly, that these enactments were a reasonable service well adapted to the Jews in their peculiar situation. The subject is interesting, as bringing before the mind many remarkable circumstances, and it should excite in the heart of the reader especial thankfulness for the time and place in which God has seen fit to fix our own lot, and for our superior religious advantages.

It has been said that the ceremonial law, by its sacrifices and other rites, pointed to the atonement-to Jehovah, as

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