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the Duty of the Episcopal Church, in Relation to Slavery,"


"Alas! for the expectation that she would conform to the spirit of her ancient mother! She has not merely remained a mute and careless spectator of this great conflict of truth and justice with hypocrisy and cruelty, but her very priests and deacons may be seen ministering at the altar of slavery, offering their talents and influence at its unholy shrine, and openly repeating the awful blasphemy, that the precepts of our Saviour sanction the system of American slavery. Her Northern clergy, with rare exceptions, whatever they may feel on the subject, rebuke it neither in public nor in private, and her periodicals, far from advancing the progress of abolition, at times oppose our societies, impliedly defending slavery, as not incompatible with Christianity, and occasionally withholding information useful to the cause of freedom."

A writer in a late number of "The Anti-Slavery Churchman," published in Geneva, Wisconsin, speaking of a certain portion of the New Testament, says :

"This passage of Paul places necessary work in the hands of Gospel ministers. If they preach the whole Gospel, they must preach what this passage enjoins-and if they do this, they must preach against American slavery. Its being connected with politics does not shield them. Political connections cannot place sin under protection. They cannot throw around it guards that the public teachers of morals may not pass. Sin is a violation of God's law-and God's law must be proclaimed and enforced at all hazards. This is the business of the messenger of God, and if anything stands in its way, it is his right, rather it is his solemn commission, to go forward-straightway to overpass the lines that would shut him out, and utter his warnings. Many sins there are, that, in like manner, might be shielded. Fashion, and rank, and business, are doing their part to keep much sin in respectability, and excuse it from the attacks of God's ministers. But what are these, that they should seal a minister's lips-what more are the wishes of politicians ?"

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Concerning a certain text, the Rev. Mr. Brisbane, once a slaveholding Baptist in South Carolina, says :

"Paul was speaking of the law as having been made for menstealers. Where is the record of that law? It is in Exodus xxi. 16, and in these words: He that stealeth a man, and selleth him, or if he be found in his possession, he shall surely be put to death.' Here it will be perceived that it was a crime to sell the man, for which the seller must suffer death. But it was no less a crime to hold him as a slave, for this also was punishable with death. A man may be kidnapped out of slavery into freedom. There was no law against that. And why? Because kidnapping a slave and placing him in a condition of freedom, was only to restore him to his lost rights. But if the man who takes him becomes a slaveholder, or a slave seller, then he is a criminal, liable to the penalty of death, because he robs the man of liberty. Perhaps some will say this law was only applicable to the first holder of the slave, that is, the original kidnapper, but not to his successors who might have purchased or inherited him. But what is knapping? Suppose I propose to a neighbor to give him a certain sum of money if he will steal a white child in Carolina and deliver him to me. He steals him; I pay him the money upon his delivering the child to me. Is it not my act as fully as his? Am I not also the thief? But does it alter the case whether I agree before hand or not, to pay him for the


child? He steals him, and then sells him to me. He is found by his parents in my hands. Will it avail me to say I purchased him and paid my money for him? Will it not be asked, Do you not know that a white person is not merchantable? And shall I not have to pay the damage for detaining that child in my service as a slave? Assuredly, not only in the eyes of the law, but in the judgment of the whole community, I would be regarded a criminal. So when one man steals another and offers him for sale, no one, in view of the Divine law, can buy him, for the reason that the Divine law forbids that man shall in the first place be made a merchantable article. The inquiry must be, if I buy, I buy in violation of the Divine law, and it will not do for me to plead that I bought him. I have him in possession, and that is enough, God condemns me for it as a man-stealer. My having him in possession is evidence against me, and the Mosaic law says, if he be found in my hands, I must die. Now, when Paul said the law was made for men-stealers, was it not also saying the law was made for slaveholders? I am not intending to apply this term in harsh spirit. But I am bound, as I fear God, to speak what I am satisfied is the true meaning of the apostle."

In his "Elements of Moral Science," the Rev. Francis Wayland, D.D., one of the most erudite and distinguished Baptists now living, says :

"Domestic slavery proceeds upon the principle that the master has a right to control the actions, physical and intellectual, of the slave, for his own, that is, the master's individual benefit; and, of course, that the happiness of the master, when it comes in competition with the happiness of the slave, extinguishes in the latter the right to pursue it. It supposes, at best, that the relation between master and slave, is not that which exists between man and man, but is a modification, at least, of that which exists between man and the brutes.

"Now, this manifestly supposes that the two classes of beings are created with dissimilar rights: that the master posseses

hts which have never been conceded by the slave; and that

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the slave has no rights at all over the means of happiness which
God has given him, whenever these means of happiness can be
rendered available to the service of his master. It 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 happi-
ness of any number of other human beings, for the purpose of
promoting his own. Slavery thus violates the personal liberty
of man as a physical, intellectual, and moral being.

"It purports to give to the master a right to control the physical
labor of the slave, not for the sake of the happiness of the slave,
but for the sake of the happiness of the master. It subjects the
amount of labor, and the kind of labor, and the remuneration
for labor, entirely to the will of the one party, to the entire ex-
clusion of the will of the other party.

"But if this right in the master over the slave be conceded, there are of course conceded all other rights necessary to insure its possession. Hence, inasmuch as the slave can be held in this condition only while he remains in the lowest state of mental imbecility, it supposes the master to have the right to control his intellectual development, just as far as may be necessary to secure entire subjection. Thus, it supposes the slave to have no right to use his intellect for the production of his own happiness; but, only to use it in such manner as may conduce to his master's profit.

And, moreover, inasmuch as the acquisition of the knowledge of his duty to God could not be freely made without the acquisition of other knowledge, which might, if universally diffused, endanger the control of the master, slavery supposes the master to have the right to determine how much knowledge of his duty a slave shall obtain, the manner in which he shall obtain it, and the manner in which he shall discharge that duty after he shall have obtained a knowledge of it. It thus subjects the duty of man to God entirely to the will of man; and this for the sake of pecuniary profit. It renders the eternal happiness of the one party subservient to the temporal happiness of the other. And

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this principle is commonly carried into effect in slaveholding


If argument were necessary to show that such a system as this must be at variance with the ordinance of God, it might be easily drawn from the effects which it produces both upon morals and national wealth.

Its effects must be disastrous upon the morals of both parties. By presenting objects on whom passion may be satiated without resistance and without redress, it cultivates 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 distinction; and thus fosters in him lying, deceit, hypocrisy, dishonesty, and a willingness to yield himself up to minister to the appetites of his master.

The effects of slavery on national wealth, may be easily seen from the following considerations:

Instead of imposing upon all the necessity of labor, it restricts the number of laborers, that is of producers, within the smallest possible limit, by rendering labor disgraceful.

It takes from the laborers the natural stimulus to labor, namely, the desire in the individual of improving his condition; and substitutes, in the place of it, that motive which is the least operative and the least constant, namely, the fear of punishment without the consciousness of moral delinquency.

It removes, as far as possible, from both parties, the disposition and the motives to frugality. Neither the master learns frugality from the necessity of labor, nor the slave from the benefits which it confers. And here, while the one party wastes from ignorance of the laws of acquisition, and the other because he can have no motive to economy, capital must accumulate but slowly, if indeed it accumulate at all.

No country, not of great fertility, can long sustain a large slave population. Soils of more than ordinary fertility can not sustain it long, after the richness of the soil has been exhausted. Hence, slavery in this country is acknowledged to have impoverished many of our most valuable districts; and, hence, it is continually migrating from the older settlements, to those new and untilled regions, where the accumulated manure of centuries of vegetation

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