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The Anti-Slavery Examiner, Part 1 of 4 by American Anti-Slavery Society

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gaping marvel would it be if they did not. Why should they not follow in
the footsteps of their masters and mistresses? Dull scholars indeed! if,
after so many lessons from _proficients_ in the art, who drive the
business by _wholesale_, they should not occasionally copy their
betters, fall into the _fashion_, and try their hand in a small way, at
a practice which is the _only permanent and universal_ business carried
on around them! Ignoble truly! never to feel the stirrings of high
impulse, prompting to imitate the eminent pattern set before them in the
daily vocation of "Honorables" and "Excellences," and to emulate the
illustrious examples of Doctors of Divinity, and _Right_ and _Very
Reverends_! Hear President Jefferson's testimony. In his Notes on
Virginia, pp. 207-8, speaking of slaves, he says, "That disposition to
theft with which they have been branded, must be ascribed to their
_situation_, and not to any special depravity of the moral sense. It is
a problem which I give the master to solve, whether the religious
precepts against the violation of property were not framed for HIM as
well as for his slave--and whether the slave may not as justifiably take
a _little_ from one who has taken ALL from him, as he may _slay_ one who
would slay him?"]

IV. Heirship.--Servants frequently inherited their master's property;
especially if he had no sons, or if they had dishonored the family.
Eliezer, the servant of Abraham; Ziba, the servant of Mephibosheth,
Jarha the servant of Sheshan, and the _husbandmen_ who said of their
master's son, "this is the HEIR, let us kill him, and the INHERITANCE
WILL BE OURS," are illustrations; also Prov. xvii. 2--"A wise servant
shall have rule over a son that causeth shame, and SHALL HAVE PART OF
THE INHERITANCE AMONG THE BRETHREN." This passage gives servants
precedence as heirs, even over the wives and daughters of their masters.
Did masters hold by force, and plunder of earnings, a class of persons,
from which, in frequent contingencies, they selected both heirs for
their property, and husbands for their daughters?

V. ALL were required to present offerings and sacrifices. Deut. xvi. 15,
17, 2 Chron. xv. 9-11. Numb. ix. 13. Servants must have had permanently,
the means of _acquiring_ property to meet these expenditures.

VI. Those Hebrew servants who went out at the seventh year, were
provided by law with a large stock of provisions and cattle. Deut. xv.
11-14. "Thou shall furnish him liberally out of thy flock, and out of
thy flour, and out of thy wine press, of that wherewith the Lord thy God
hath blessed thee, thou shall give him[A]." If it be said that the
servants from the Strangers did not receive a like bountiful supply, we
answer, neither did the most honorable class of _Israelitish_ servants,
the free-holders; and for the same reason, _they did not go out in the
seventh year_, but continued until the jubilee. If the fact that the
Gentile servants did not receive such a _gratuity_ proves that they were
robbed of their _earnings_, it proves that the most valued class of
_Hebrew_ servants were robbed of theirs also; a conclusion too stubborn
for even pro-slavery masticators, however unscrupulous.

[Footnote A: The comment of Maimonides on this passage is as
follows--"Thou shalt furnish him liberally," &c. "That is to say,
'_Loading, ye shall load him_,' likewise every one of his family, with
as much as he can take with him--abundant benefits. And if it be
avariciously asked, "How much must I give him?" I say unto _you, not
less than thirty shekels_, which is the valuation of a servant, as
declared in Ex. xxi. 32."--Maimonides, Hilcoth Obedim, Chap. ii. Sec. 3]

VII. The servants were BOUGHT. In other words, they received
compensation in advance. Having shown, under a previous head, that
servants _sold themselves_, and of course received the compensation for
themselves, except in cases where parents hired out the time of their
children till they became of age[B], a mere reference to the fact is all
that is required for the purposes of this argument.

[Footnote B: Among the Israelites, girls became of age at twelve, and
boys at thirteen years.]

VIII. We find masters at one time having a large number of servants, and
afterwards none, without any intimation that they were sold. The wages
of servants would enable them to set up in business for themselves.
Jacob, after being Laban's servant for twenty-one years, became thus an
independent herdsman, and was the master of many servants. Gen. xxx. 43,
xxxii. 15. But all these servants had left him before he went down into
Egypt, having doubtless acquired enough to commence business for
themselves. Gen. xlv. 10, 11; xlvi. 1-7, 32.

IX. God's testimony to the character of Abraham. Gen. xviii. 19. "For I
know him that he will command his children and his household after him,
God here testifies that Abraham taught his servants "the way of the
Lord." What was the "way of the Lord" respecting the payment of wages
where service was rendered? "Wo unto him that useth his neighbor's
service WITHOUT WAGES!" Jer. xxii. 13. "Masters, give unto your servants
that which is JUST AND EQUAL." Col. iv. 1. "Render unto all their DUES."
Rom. xiii. 7. "The laborer is WORTHY OF HIS HIRE." Luke x. 7. How did
Abraham teach his servants to "_do justice_" to others? By doing
injustice to them? Did he exhort them to "render to all their dues" by
keeping back _their own_? Did he teach them that "the laborer was worthy
of his hire" by robbing them of _theirs_? Did he beget in them a
reverence for honesty by pilfering all their time and labor? Did he
teach them "not to defraud" others "in any matter" by denying them "what
was just and equal?" If each of Abraham's pupils under such a catechism
did not become a very _Aristides_ in justice, then illustrious examples,
patriarchal dignity, and _practical_ lessons, can make but slow headway
against human perverseness!

X. _Specific precepts of the Mosaic law enforcing general principles_.
Out of many, we select the following: (1.) "Thou shalt not muzzle the ox
that treadeth out the corn," or literally, while he thresheth. Deut.
xxv. 4. Here is a general principle applied to a familiar case. The ox
representing all domestic animals. Isa. xxx. 24. A _particular_ kind of
service, _all_ kinds; and a law requiring an abundant provision for the
wants of an animal ministering to man in a _certain_ way,--a general
principle of treatment covering all times, modes, and instrumentalities
of service. The object of the law was; not merely to enjoin tenderness
towards brutes, but to inculcate the duty of rewarding those who serve
us; and if such care be enjoined, by God, both for the ample sustenance
and present enjoyment _of a brute_, what would be a meet return for the
services of _man_?--MAN with his varied wants, exalted nature and
immortal destiny! Paul says expressly, that this principle lies at the
bottom of the statute. 1 Cor. ix. 9, 10, "For it is written in the law
of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out
the corn. Doth God take care for oxen? Or saith he it altogether for OUR
SAKES? that he that ploweth should plow in HOPE, and that he that
thresheth in hope should be PARTAKER OF HIS HOPE," (2.) "If thy brother
be waxen poor, and fallen in decay with thee, then thou shalt relieve
him, YEA, THOUGH HE BE A STRANGER or a SOJOURNER that he may live with
thee. Take thou no usury of him, or increase, but fear thy God. Thou
shalt not give him thy money upon usury, nor lend him thy victuals for
increase." Lev. xxv. 35-37. Now, we ask, by what process of pro-slavery
legerdemain, this regulation can be made to harmonize with the doctrine
of WORK WITHOUT PAY? Did God declare the poor stranger entitled to
RELIEF, and in the same breath, authorize them to "use his services
without wages;" force him to work and ROB HIM OF HIS EARNINGS?


The discussion of this topic has already been somewhat anticipated, but
a variety of additional considerations remain to be noticed.

1. Servants were not subjected to the uses nor liable to the
contingencies of property. (1.) They were never taken in payment for
their masters' debts, though children were sometimes taken (without
legal authority) for the debts of a father. 2 Kings iv. 1; Job xxiv. 9;
Isa. l., 1; Matt. xviii. 25. Creditors took from debtors property of all
kinds, to satisfy their demands. Job xxiv. 3, cattle are taken; Prov.
xxii. 27, household furniture; Lev. xxv. 25-28, the productions of the
soil; Lev. xxv. 27-30, houses; Ex. xxii. 26-29, Deut. xxiv. 10-13, Matt,
v. 40, clothing; but _servants_ were taken in _no instance_. (2.)
Servants were never given as pledges. Property of all sorts was given in
pledge. We find household furniture, clothing, cattle, money, signets,
and personal ornaments, with divers other articles of property, used as
pledges for value received; but no servants. (3.) All lost PROPERTY was
to be restored. Oxen, asses, sheep, raiment, and "whatsoever lost
things," are specified--servants _not_. Deut. xxii. 13. Besides, the
Israelites were forbidden to return the runaway servant. Deut. xxiii.
15. (4.) The Israelites never gave away their servants as presents. They
made costly presents, of great variety. Lands, houses, all kinds of
animals, merchandise, family utensils, precious metals, grain, armor,
&c. are among their recorded _gifts_. Giving presents to superiors and
persons of rank, was a standing usage. 1 Sam. x. 27; 1 Sam. xvi. 20; 2
Chron. xvii. 5. Abraham to Abimelech, Gen. xxi. 27; Jacob to the viceroy
of Egypt, Gen. xliii. 11; Joseph to his brethren and father, Gen. xlv.
22, 23; Benhadad to Elisha, 2 Kings viii. 8, 9; Ahaz to Tiglath Pilezer,
2 Kings vi. 8; Solomon to the Queen of Sheba, 1 Kings x. 13; Jeroboam to
Ahijah, 1 Kings xiv. 3; Asa to Benhadad, 1 Kings xv. 18, 19. But no
servants were given as presents--though it was a prevailing fashion in
the surrounding nations. Gen. xii. 16; Gen. xx. 14. It may be objected
that Laban GAVE handmaids to his daughters, Jacob's wives. Without
enlarging on the nature of the polygamy then prevalent suffice it to say
that the handmaids of wives were regarded as wives, though of inferior
dignity and authority. That Jacob so regarded his handmaids, is proved
by his curse upon Reuben, Gen. xlix. 4, and Chron. v. 1; also by the
equality of their children with those of Rachel and Leah. But had it
been otherwise--had Laban given them as _articles of property_, then,
indeed, the example of this "good old patriarch and slaveholder," Saint
Laban, would have been a forecloser to all argument. Ah! we remember his
jealousy for _religion_--his holy indignation when he found that his
"GODS" were stolen! How he mustered his clan, and plunged over the
desert in hot pursuit, seven days, by forced marches; how he ransacked a
whole caravan, sifting the contents of every tent, little heeding such
small matters as domestic privacy, or female seclusion, for lo! the zeal
of his "IMAGES" had eaten him up! No wonder that slavery, in its
Bible-navigation, drifting dismantled before the free gusts, should scud
under the lee of such a pious worthy to haul up and refit: invoking his
protection, and the benediction of his "GODS!" "Again, it may be
objected that, servants were enumerated in inventories of property. If
that proves _servants_ property, it proves _wives_ property. "Thou shalt
not covet thy neighbor's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's
WIFE, nor his man-servant, nor his maid-servant, nor his ox, nor his
ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbor's." Ex. xx. 17. In inventories
of _mere property_ if servants are included, it is in such a way, as to
show that they are not regarded as _property_. See Eccl. ii. 7, 8. But
when the design is to show not merely the wealth, but the _greatness_ of
any personage, servants are spoken of, as well as property. In a word,
if _riches_ alone are spoken of, no mention is made of servants; if
_greatness_, servants and property. Gen. xiii. 2. "And Abraham was very
rich in cattle, in silver and in gold." So in the fifth verse, "And Lot
also had flocks, and herds, and tents." In the seventh verse servants
are mentioned, "And there was a strife between the HERDMEN of Abraham's
cattle and the HERDMEN of Lot's cattle." See also Josh. xxii. 8; Gen.
xxxiv. 23; Job xlii. 12; 2 Chron. xxi. 3; xxxii. 27-29; Job i. 3-5;
Deut. viii. 12-17; Gen. xxiv. 35, xxvi. 13, xxx. 43. Jacobs's wives say
to him, "All the _riches_ which thou hast taken from our father that is
ours and our children's." Then follows an inventory of property. "All
his cattle," "all his goods," "the cattle of his getting." He had a
large number of servants at the time but they are not included with his
property. Comp. Gen. xxx. 43, with Gen. xxxi. 16-18. When he sent
messengers to Esau, wishing to impress him with an idea of his state and
sway, he bade them tell him not only of his RICHES, but of his
GREATNESS; that Jacob had "oxen, and asses, and flocks, and
men-servants, and maid-servants." Gen. xxxii. 4, 5. Yet in the present
which he sent, there were no servants; though he seems to have sought as
much variety as possible. Gen. xxxii. 14, 15; see also Gen. xxxvi. 6, 7;
Gen. xxxiv. 23. As flocks and herds were the staples of wealth, a large
number of servants presupposed large possessions of cattle, which would
require many herdsmen. When servants are spoken of in connection with
_mere property_, the terms used to express the latter do not include the
former. The Hebrew word _Mikne_, is an illustration. It is derived from
_Kana_, to procure, to buy, and its meaning is, _a possession, wealth,
riches_. It occurs more than forty times in the Old Testament, and is
applied always to _mere property_, generally to domestic animals, but
never to servants. In some instances, servants are mentioned in
distinction from the _Mikne_. And Abraham took Sarah 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."--Gen. xii. 5. Many will have it, that these _souls_
were a part of Abraham's _substance_ (notwithstanding the pains here
taken to separate them from it)--that they were slaves taken with him in
his migration as a part of his family effects. Who but slaveholders,
either actually or in heart, would torture into the principle and
practice of slavery, such a harmless phrase as "_the souls that they had
gotten_?" Until the slave trade breathed its haze upon the vision of the
church, and smote her with palsy and decay, commentators saw no slavery
in, "The souls that they had gotten." In the Targum of Onkelos[A] it is
rendered, "The souls whom they had brought to obey the law in Haran." In
the Targum of Jonathan, "The souls whom they had made proselytes in
Haran." In the Targum of Jerusalem, "The souls proselyted in Haran."
Jarchi, the prince of Jewish commentators, "The souls whom they had
brought under the Divine wings." Jerome, one of the most learned of the
Christian fathers, "The persons whom they had proselyted." The Persian
version, the Vulgate, the Syriac, the Arabic, and the Samaritan all
render it, "All the wealth which they had gathered, and the souls which
they had made in Haran." Menochius, a commentator who wrote before our
present translation of the Bible, renders it, "Quas de idolatraria
converterant." "Those whom they had converted from idolatry."--Paulus
Fagius[B]. "Quas instituerant in religione." "Those whom they had
established in religion." Luke Francke, a German commentator who lived
two centuries ago. "Quas legi subjicerant"--"Those whom they had brought
to obey the law."

[Footnote A: The Targums are Chaldee paraphrases of parts of the Old
Testament. The Targum of Onkelas is, for the most part, a very accurate
and faithful translation of the original, and was probably made at about
the commencement of the Christian era. The Targum of Jonathan Ben
Uzziel, bears about the same date. The Targum of Jerusalem was probably
about five hundred years later. The Israelites, during their captivity
in Babylon, lost, as a body, their own language. These translations into
the Chaldee, the language which they acquired in Babylon, were thus
called for by the necessity of the case.]

[Footnote B: This eminent Hebrew scholar was invited to England to
superintend the translation of the Bible into English, under the
patronage of Henry the Eighth. He had hardly commenced the work when he
died. This was nearly a century before the date of our present

II. The condition and treatment of servants make the doctrine that they
were mere COMMODITIES, an absurdity. St. Paul's testimony in Gal. iv. 1,
shows the condition of servants: "Now I say unto you, that the heir, so
long as he is a child, DIFFERETH NOTHING FROM A SERVANT, though he be
lord of all." That Abraham's servants were voluntary, that their
interests were identified with those of their master's family, and that
the utmost confidence was reposed in them, is shown in their being
armed.--Gen. xiv. 14, 15. When Abraham's servant went to Padanaram, the
young Princess Rebecca did not disdain to say to him, "Drink, MY LORD,"
as "she hasted and let down her pitcher upon her hand, and gave him
drink." Laban, the brother of Rebecca, "ungirded his camels, and brought
him water to wash his feet and the men's feet that were with him!" In 1
Sam. ix. is an account of a festival in the city of Zuph, at which
Samuel presided. None but those bidden, sat down at the feast, and only
"about thirty persons" were invited. Quite a select party!--the elite of
the city. Saul and his servant had just arrived at Zuph, and _both_ of
them, at Samuel's solicitation, accompany him as invited guests. "And
Samuel took Saul and his SERVANT, and brought THEM into the PARLOR(!)
and made THEM sit in the CHIEFEST SEATS among those that were bidden." A
_servant_ invited by the chief judge, ruler, and prophet in Israel, to
dine publicly with a select party, in company with his master, who was
at the same time anointed King of Israel! and this servant introduced by
Samuel into the PARLOR, and assigned, with his master, to the _chiefest
seat_ at the table! This was "_one_ of the servants" of Kish, Saul's
father; not the steward or the chief of them--not at all a _picked_ man,
but "_one_ of the servants;" _any_ one that could be most easily spared,
as no endowments specially rare would be likely to find scope in looking
after asses. Again: we find Elah, the King of Israel, at a festive
entertainment, in the house of Arza, his steward, or head servant, with
whom he seems to have been on terms of familiarity.--1 Kings xvi. 8, 9.
See also the intercourse between Gideon and his servant.--Judg. vii. 10,
11. Jonathan and his servant.--1 Sam. xiv. 1-14. Elisha and his
servant.--2 Kings iv. v. vi.

III. The case of the Gibeonites. The condition of the inhabitants of
Gibeon, Chephirah, Beeroth, and Kirjathjearim, under the Hebrew
commonwealth, is quoted in triumph by the advocates of slavery; and
truly they are right welcome to all the crumbs that can be gleaned from
it. Milton's devils made desperate snatches at fruit that turned to
ashes on their lips. The spirit of slavery raves under tormenting
gnawings, and casts about in blind phrenzy for something to ease, or
even to _mock_ them. But for this, it would never have clutched at the
Gibeonites, for even the incantations of the demon cauldron, could not
extract from their case enough to tantalize starvation's self. But to
the question. What was the condition of the Gibeonites under the
Israelites? (1.) _It was voluntary_. Their own proposition to Joshua was
to become servants. Josh. ix. 8, 11. It was accepted, but the kind of
service which they should perform, was not specified until their gross
imposition came to light; they were then assigned to menial offices in
the Tabernacle. (2.) _They were not domestic servants in the families of
the Israelites_. They still resided in their own cities, cultivated
their own fields, tended their flocks and herds, and exercised the
functions of a _distinct_, though not independent community. They were
subject to the Jewish nation as _tributaries_. So far from being
distributed among the Israelites, and their internal organization as a
distinct people abolished, they remained a separate, and, in some
respects, an independent community for many centuries. When attacked by
the Amorites, they applied to the Israelites as confederates for aid--it
was rendered, their enemies routed, and themselves left unmolested in
their cities. Josh. x. 6-18. Long afterwards, Saul slew some of them,
and God sent upon Israel a three years' famine for it. David inquired of
the Gibeonites, "What shall I do for you, and wherewith shall I make the
atonement?" At their demand, he delivered up to them, seven of Saul's
descendants. 2 Sam. xxi. 1-9. The whole transaction was a formal
recognition of the Gibeonites as a distinct people. There is no
intimation that they served families, or individuals of the Israelites,
but only the "house of God," or the Tabernacle. This was established
first at Gilgal, a day's journey from their cities; and then at Shiloh,
nearly two day's journey from them; where it continued about 350 years.
During this period, the Gibeonites inhabited their ancient cities and
territory. Only a few, comparatively, could have been absent at any one
time in attendance on the Tabernacle. Wherever allusion is made to them
in the history, the main body are spoken of as _at home_. It is
preposterous to suppose that all the inhabitants of these four cities
could find employment at the Tabernacle. One of them "was a great city,
as one of the royal cities;" so large, that a confederacy of five kings,
apparently the most powerful in the land, was deemed necessary for its
destruction. It is probable that the men were divided into classes,
ministering in rotation--each class a few days or weeks at a time. This
service was their _national tribute_ to the Israelites, for the
privilege of residence and protection under their government. No service
seems to have been required of the _females_. As these Gibeonites were
Canaanites, and as they had greatly exasperated the Israelites by
impudent imposition, and lying, we might assuredly expect that they
would reduce _them_ to the condition of chattels if there was _any_ case
in which God permitted them to do so.

IV. Throughout the Mosaic system, God warns the Israelites against
holding their servants in such a condition as they were held in by the
Egyptians. How often are they pointed back to the grindings of their
prison-house! What motives to the exercise of justice and kindness
towards their servants, are held out to their fears in threatened
judgments; to their hopes in promised good; and to all within them that
could feel; by those oft repeated words of tenderness and terror! "For
ye were bondmen in the land of Egypt"--waking anew the memory of tears
and anguish, and of the wrath that avenged them.

God's denunciations against the bondage of Egypt make it incumbent on us
to ascertain, of what rights the Israelites were plundered, and what
they retained.

EGYPTIAN BONDAGE ANALYZED. (1.) The Israelites were not dispersed among
the families of Egypt[A], but formed a separate community. Gen. xlvi.
35. Ex. viii. 22, 24; ix. 26; x. 23; xi. 7; ii. 9; xvi. 22; xvii. 5.
(2.) They had the exclusive possession of the land of Goshen[B]. Gen.
xlv. 18; xlvii. 6, 11, 27. Ex. xii. 4, 19, 22, 23, 27. (3.) They lived
in permanent dwellings. These were _houses_, not _tents_. In Ex. xii. 6,
22, the two side _posts_, and the upper door _posts_, and the lintel of
the houses are mentioned. Each family seems to have occupied a house _by
itself_,--Acts vii. 20. Ex. xii. 4--and judging from the regulation
about the eating of the Passover, they could hardly have been small
ones, Ex. xii. 4, probably contained separate apartments, and places for
concealment. Ex. ii. 2, 3; Acts vii. 20. They appear to have been well
apparelled. Ex. xii. 11. To have their own burial grounds. Ex. xiii. 19,
and xiv. 11. (4.) They owned "a mixed multitude of flocks and herds,"
and "very much cattle." Ex. xii. 32, 37, 38. (5.) They had their own
form of government, and preserved their tribe and family divisions, and
their internal organization throughout, though still a province of
Egypt, and _tributary_ to it. Ex. ii. 1; xii. 19, 21; vi. 14, 25; v. 19;
iii. 16, 18. (6.) They seem to have had in a considerable measure, the
disposal of their own time,--Ex. xxiii. 4; iii. 16, 18, xii. 6; ii. 9;
and iv. 27, 29-31. And to have practiced the fine arts. Ex. xxxii. 4;
xxxv. 22-35. (7.) They were all armed. Ex. xxxii. 27. (8.) They held
their possessions independently, and the Egyptians seem to have regarded
them as inviolable. No intimation is given that the Egyptians
dispossessed them of their habitations, or took away their flocks, or
herds, or crops, or implements of agriculture, or any article of
property. (9.) All the females seem to have known something of domestic
refinements; they were familiar with instruments of music, and skilled
in the working of fine fabrics. Ex. xv. 20; xxxv. 25, 26. (10.) Service
seems to have been exacted from none but adult males. Nothing is said
from which the bond service of females could he inferred; the hiding of
Moses three months by his mother, and the payment of wages to her by
Pharaoh's daughter, go against such a supposition. Ex. ii. 29. (11.) So
far from being fed upon a given allowance, their food was abundant, and
of great variety. "They sat by the flesh-pots," and "did eat bread to
the full." Ex. xvi. 3; xxiv. 1; xvii. 5; iv. 29; vi. 14; "they did eat
fish freely, and cucumbers, and melons, and leeks, and onions, and
garlic." Num. xi. 4, 5; x. 18; xx. 5. (12.) The great body of the people
were not in the service of the Egyptians. (a.) The extent and variety of
their own possessions, together with such a cultivation of their crops
as would provide them with bread, and such care of their immense flocks
and herds, as would secure their profitable increase, must have
furnished constant employment for the main body of the nation. (b.)
During the plague of darkness, God informs us that "ALL the children of
Israel had light in their dwellings." We infer that they were _there_ to
enjoy it. (c.) It seems improbable that the making of brick, the only
service named during the latter part of their sojourn in Egypt, could
have furnished permanent employment for the bulk of the nation. See also
Ex. iv. 29-31. Besides, when Eastern nations employed tributaries, it
was as now, in the use of the levy, requiring them to furnish a given
quota, drafted off periodically, so that comparatively but a small
portion of the nation would be absent _at any one time_. Probably
one-fifth part of the proceeds of their labor was required of the
Israelites in common with the Egyptians. Gen. xlvii. 24, 26. Instead of
taking it from their _crops_, (Goshen being better for _pasturage_) they
exacted it of them in brick making; and it is quite probable that labor
was exacted only from the _poorer_ Israelites, the wealthy being able to
pay their tribute in money. Ex. iv. 27-31. Contrast this bondage of
Egypt with American slavery. Have our slaves "very much cattle," and "a
mixed multitude of flocks and herds?" Do they live in commodious houses
of their own, "sit by the flesh-pots," "eat fish freely," and "eat bread
to the full?" Do they live in a separate community, in their distinct
tribes, under their own rulers, in the exclusive occupation of an
extensive tract of country for the culture of their crops, and for
rearing immense herds of their own cattle--and all these held inviolable
by their masters? Are our female slaves free from exactions of labor and
liabilities of outrage? or when employed, are they paid wages, as was
the Israelitish woman by the king's daughter? Have they the disposal of
their own time and the means for cultivating social refinements, for
practising the fine arts, and for personal improvement? THE ISRAELITES
True, "all the service wherein they made them serve was with rigor." But
what was this when compared with the incessant toil of American slaves,
the robbery of all their time and earnings, and even the power to "own
any thing, or acquire any thing?" a "quart of corn a-day," the legal
allowance of food[C]! their _only_ clothing for one half the year,
"_one_ shirt and _one_ pair of pantaloons[D]!" _two hours and a half
only_, for rest and refreshment in the twenty-four[E]!--their dwellings,
_hovels_, unfit for human residence, with but one apartment, where both
sexes and all ages herd promiscuously at night, like the beasts of the
field. Add to this, the ignorance, and degradation; the daily sundering
of kindred, the revelries of lust, the lacerations and baptisms of
blood, sanctioned by law, and patronized by public sentiment. What was
the bondage of Egypt when compared with this? And yet for her oppression
of the poor, God smote her with plagues, and trampled her as the mire,
till she passed away in his wrath, and the place that knew her in her
pride, knew her no more. Ah! "I have seen the afflictions of my people,
and I have heard their groanings, and am come down to deliver them." HE
DID COME, and Egypt sank a ruinous heap, and her blood closed over her.
If such was God's retribution for the oppression of heathen Egypt, of
how much sorer punishment shall a Christian people be thought worthy,
who cloak with religion a system, in comparison with which the bondage
of Egypt dwindles to nothing? Let those believe who can that God
commissioned his people to rob others of _all_ their rights, while he
denounced against them wrath to the uttermost, if they practised the
_far lighter_ oppression of Egypt--which robbed it's victims of only the
least and cheapest of their rights, and left the females unplundered
even of these. What! Is God divided against himself? When He had just
turned Egypt into a funeral pile; while his curse yet blazed upon her
unburied dead, and his bolts still hissed amidst her slaughter, and the
smoke of her torment went upwards because she had "ROBBED THE POOR," did
He license the victims of robbery to rob the poor of ALL? As _Lawgiver_
did he _create_ a system tenfold more grinding than that for which he
had just hurled Pharaoh headlong, and overwhelmed his princes, and his
hosts, till "hell was moved to meet them at their coming?"

[Footnote A: The Egyptians evidently had _domestic_ servants living in
their families; these may have been slaves; allusion is made to them in
Ex. ix. 14, 20, 21.]

[Footnote B: The land of Goshen was a large tract of country, east of
the Pelusian arm of the Nile, and between it and the head of the Red
Sea, and the lower border of Palestine. The probable centre of that
portion, occupied by the Israelites, could hardly have been less than
sixty miles from the city. The border of Goshen nearest to Egypt must
have been many miles distant. See "Exodus of the Israelites out of
Egypt," an able article by Professor Robinson, in the Biblical
Repository for October, 1832.]

[Footnote C: Law of N.C. Haywood's Manual 524-5.]

[Footnote D: Law of La. Martin's Digest, 610.]

[Footnote E: Law of La. Act of July 7, 1806. Martin's Digest, 610-12.]

We now proceed to examine various objections which will doubtless be set
in array against all the foregoing conclusions.


The advocates of slavery find themselves at their wits end in pressing
the Bible into their service. Every movement shows them hard-pushed.
Their ever-varying shifts, their forced constructions, and blind
guesswork, proclaim both their _cause_ desperate, and themselves. The
Bible defences thrown around slavery by professed ministers of the
Gospel, do so torture common sense, Scripture, and historical facts it
were hard to tell whether absurdity, fatuity, ignorance, or blasphemy,
predominates in the compound; each strives so lustily for the mastery it
may be set down a drawn battle. How often has it been bruited that the
color of the negro is the _Cain-mark_, propagated downward. Cain's
posterity started an opposition to the ark, forsooth, and rode out the
flood with flying streamers! Why should not a miracle be wrought to
point such an argument, and fill out for slaveholders a Divine
title-deed, vindicating the ways of God to man?

OBJECTION 1. "Cursed be Canaan, a servant of servants shall he be unto
his brethren." Gen. ix. 25.

This prophecy of Noah is the _vade mecum_ of slaveholders, and they
never venture abroad without it; it is a pocket-piece for sudden
occasion, a keepsake to dote over, a charm to spell-bind opposition, and
a magnet to draw around their standard "whatsoever worketh abomination
or maketh a lie." But "cursed be Canaan" is a poor drug to ease a
throbbing conscience--a mocking lullaby, to unquiet tossings, and vainly
crying "Peace be still," where God wakes war, and breaks his thunders.
Those who justify negro slavery by the curse of Canaan, _assume_ all the
points in debate. (1.) That _slavery_ was prophesied rather than mere
_service_ to others, and _individual_ bondage rather than _national_
subjection and tribute. (2.) That the _prediction_ of crime _justifies_
it; at least absolving those whose crimes fulfill it, if not
transforming the crimes into _virtues_. How piously the Pharoahs might
have quoted the prophecy _"Thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that
is not theirs, and they shall afflict there four hundred years."_ And
then, what _saints_ were those that crucified the Lord of glory! (3.)
That the Africans are descended from Canaan. Whereas Africa was peopled
from Egypt and Ethiopia, and they were settled by Mizraim and Cush. For
the location and boundaries of Canaan's posterity, see Gen. x. 15-19. So
a prophecy of evil to one people, is quoted to justify its infliction
upon another. Perhaps it may be argued that Canaan includes all Ham's
posterity. If so, the prophecy is yet unfulfilled. The other sons of Ham
settled Egypt and Assyria, and, conjointly with Shem, Persia, and
afterward, to some extent, the Grecian and Roman empires. The history of
these nations gives no verification of the prophecy. Whereas, the
history of Canaan's descendants for more than three thousand years,
records its fulfilment. First, they were put to tribute by the
Israelites; then by the Medes and Persians; then by the Macedonians,
Grecians and Romans, successively; and finally, were subjected by the
Ottoman dynasty, where they yet remain. Thus Canaan has been for ages
the servant mainly of Shem and Japhet, and secondarily of the other sons
of Ham. It may still be objected, that though Canaan alone is _named_ in
the curse, yet the 23d and 24th verses show the posterity of Ham in
general to be meant. "And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness
of his father, and told his two brethren without." "And Noah awoke from
his wine, and knew what his YOUNGER son had done unto him, and said,"
&c. It is argued that this "_younger_ son" can not be _Canaan_, as he
was the _grandson_ of Noah, and therefore it must be _Ham._ We answer,
whoever that "_younger son_" was, _Canaan_ alone was named in the curse.
Besides, the Hebrew word _Ben_, signifies son, grandson, or _any_ of
_one_ the posterity of an individual. "_Know ye Laban the SON of
Nahor?_" Laban was the _grandson_ of Nahor. Gen. xxix. 5. "_Mephibosheth
the SON of Saul_." 2 Sam. xix. 24. Mephibosheth was the _grandson_ of
Saul. 2 Sam. ix. 6. "_There is a SON born to Naomi._" Ruth iv. 17. This
was the son of Ruth, the daughter-in-law of Naomi. "_Let seven men of
his (Saul's) SONS be delivered unto us._" 2 Sam. xxi. 6. Seven of Saul's
_grandsons_ were delivered up. "_Laban rose up and kissed his SONS._"
Gen. xxi. 55. These were his _grandsons_. "_The driving of Jehu the SON
of Nimshi._" 2 Kings ix. 20. Jehu was the _grandson_ of Nimshi. Shall we
forbid the inspired writer to use the _same_ word when speaking of
_Noah's_ grandson? Further; Ham was not the "_younger_" son. The order
of enumeration makes him the _second_ son. If it be said that Bible
usage varies, the order of birth not always being observed in
enumerations, the reply is, that, enumeration in that order is the
_rule_, in any other order the _exception_. Besides, if a younger member
of a family, takes precedence of older ones in the family record, it is
a mark of pre-eminence, either in endowments, or providential
instrumentality. Abraham, though sixty years younger than his eldest
brother, stands first in the family genealogy. Nothing in Ham's history
shows him pre-eminent; besides, the Hebrew word _Hakkatan_ rendered "the
_younger_," means the _little, small_. The same word is used in Isa. xl.
22. "_A LITTLE ONE shall become a thousand_." Isa. xxii. 24. "_All
vessels of SMALL quantity_." Ps. cxv. 13. "_He will bless them that fear
the Lord both SMALL and great_." Ex. xviii. 22. "_But every SMALL matter
they shall judge_." It would be a literal rendering of Gen. ix. 24, if
it were translated thus. "When Noah knew what his little son[A], or
grandson (_Beno Hakkatan_) had done unto him, he said cursed be Canaan,"
&c. Further, even if the Africans were the descendants of Canaan, the
assumption that their enslavement fulfils this prophecy, lacks even
plausibility, for, only a _fraction_ of the Africans have at any time
been the slaves of other nations. If the objector say in reply, that a
large majority of the Africans have always been slaves _at home_, we
answer: _It is false in point of fact_, though zealously bruited often
to serve a turn; and _if it were true_, how does it help the argument?
The prophecy was, "Cursed be Canaan, a servant of servants shall he be
_unto his_ BRETHREN," not unto _himself_!

[Footnote A: The French follows the same analogy; _grandson_ being
_petit fils_ (little son.)]

OBJECTION II.--"If a man smite his servant or his maid with a rod, and
he die under his hand, he shall surely be punished. Notwithstanding, if
he continue a day or two, he shall not be punished, for he is his
money." Ex. xxi. 20, 21. What was the design of this regulation? Was it
to grant masters an indulgence to beat servants with impunity, and an
assurance, that if they beat them to death, the offense shall not be
_capital_? This is substantially what commentators tell us. What Deity
do such men worship? Some blood-gorged Moloch, enthroned on human
hecatombs, and snuffing carnage for incense? Did He who thundered from
Sinai's flames, "THOU SHALT NOT KILL," offer a bounty on _murder_?
Whoever analyzes the Mosaic system, will find a moot court in session,
trying law points--settling definitions, or laying down rules of
evidence, in almost every chapter. Num. xxxv. 10-22; Deut. xi. 11, and
xix. 4-6; Lev. xxiv. 19-22; Ex. xxi. 18, 19, are a few, out of many
cases stated, with tests furnished the judges by which to detect _the
intent_, in actions brought before them. Their ignorance of judicial
proceedings, laws of evidence, &c., made such instructions necessary.
The detail gone into, in the verses quoted, is manifestly to enable them
to get at the _motive_ and find out whether the master _designed_ to
kill. (1.) "If a man smite his servant with a _rod_."--The instrument
used, gives a clue to the _intent_. See Num. xxxv. 16, 18. A _rod_, not
an axe, nor a sword, nor a bludgeon, nor any other death-weapon--hence,
from the _kind_ of instrument, no design to _kill_ would be inferred;
for _intent_ to kill would hardly have taken a _rod_ for its weapon. But
if the servant die _under his hand_, then the unfitness of the
instrument, is point blank against him; for, to strike him with a _rod_
until he _dies_, argues a great many blows and great violence, and this
kept up to the death-gasp, showed an _intent to kill_. Hence "He shall
_surely_ be punished." But if he continued _a day or two_, the _length
of time that he lived_, together with the _kind_ of instrument used, and
the master's pecuniary interest in his _life_, ("he is his _money_,")
all made a strong case of circumstantial evidence, showing that the
master did not design to kill. Further, the word _nakam_, here rendered
_punished_, is _not so rendered in another instance_. Yet it occurs
thirty-five times in the Old Testament, and in almost every place is
translated "_avenge_," in a few, "_to take vengeance_," or "_to
revenge_," and in this instance ALONE, "_punish_." As it stands in our
translation, the pronoun preceding it, refers to the _master_, whereas
it should refer to the _crime_, and the word rendered _punished_, should
have been rendered _avenged_. The meaning is this: If a man smite his
servant or his maid with a rod, and he die under his hand, IT (the
death) shall surely be avenged, or literally, _by avenging it shall be
avenged_; that is, the _death_ of the servant shall be _avenged_ by the
_death_ of the master. So in the next verse, "If he continue a day or
two," his death is not to be avenged by the _death_ of the _master_, as
in that case the crime was to be adjudged _manslaughter_, and not
_murder_. In the following verse, another case of personal injury is
stated, for which the injurer is to pay a _sum of money_; and yet our
translators employ the same phraseology in both places. One, an instance
of deliberate, wanton, killing by piecemeal. The other, an accidental,
and comparatively slight injury--of the inflicter, in both cases, they
say the same thing! "He shall surely be punished." Now, just the
discrimination to be looked for where God legislates, is marked in the
original. In the case of the servant wilfully murdered, He says, "It
(the death) shall surely be _avenged_," that is, the life of the wrong
doer shall expiate the crime. The same word is used in the Old
Testament, when the greatest wrongs are redressed, by devoting the
perpetrators to _destruction_. In the case of the unintentional injury,
in the following verse, God says, "He shall surely be _fined_,"
(_Aunash_.) "He shall _pay_ as the judges determine." The simple meaning
of the word _anash_, is to lay a fine. It is used in Deut. xxii. 19:
"They shall amerce him in one hundred shekels," and in 2 Chron. xxxvi.
3: "He condemned (_mulcted_) the land in a hundred talents of gold."
That _avenging_ the death of the servant, was neither imprisonment, nor
stripes, nor a fine, but that it was _taking the master's life_ we
infer, (1.) From the _use_ of the word _nakam_. See Gen. iv. 24; Josh.
x. 13; Judg. xiv. 7; xvi. 28; I Sam. xiv. 24; xviii. 25; xxv. 31; 2 Sam.
iv. 8; Judg. v. 2: I Sam. xxv. 26-33. (2.) From the express statute,
Lev. xxiv. 17; "He that killeth ANY man shall surely be put to death."
Also Num. xxxv. 30, 31: "Whoso killeth ANY person, the murderer shall be
put to death. Moreover, ye shall take NO SATISFACTION for the life of a
murderer which is guilty of death, but he shall surely be put to death."
(3.) The Targum of Jonathan gives the verse thus, "Death by the sword
shall surely be adjudged." The Targum of Jerusalem. "Vengeance shall be
taken for him to the _uttermost_." Jarchi, the same. The Samaritan
version: "He shall die the death," Again the clause "for he is his
money," is quoted to prove that the servant is his master's property,
and therefore, if he died, the master was not to be punished. The
assumption is, that the phrase, "HE IS HIS MONEY." proves not only that
the servant is _worth money_ to the master, but that he is an _article
of property_. If the advocates of slavery insist upon taking the
principle of interpretation into the Bible, and turning it loose, let
them stand and draw in self-defence. If they endorse for it at one
point, they must stand sponsors all around the circle. It will be too
late to cry for quarter when its stroke clears the table, and tilts them
among the sweepings beneath. The Bible abounds with such expressions as
the following: "This (bread) is my body;" "this (wine) _is_ my blood;"
"all they (the Israelites) _are_ brass and tin;" "this (water) _is_ the
blood of the men who went in jeopardy of their lives;" "the Lord God
_is_ a sun and a shield;" "God _is_ love;" "the seven good ears _are_
seven years, and the seven good kine _are_ seven years;" "the tree of
the field _is_ man's life;" "God _is_ a consuming fire;" "he _is_ his
money," &c. A passion for the exact _literalities_ of the Bible is so
amiable, it were hard not to gratify it in this case. The words in the
original are (_Kaspo-hu_,) "his _silver_ is he." The objector's
principle of interpretation is a philosopher's stone! Its miracle touch
transmutes five feet eight inches of flesh and bones into _solid
silver!_ Quite a _permanent_ servant, if not so nimble with
all--reasoning against "_forever_," is forestalled henceforth, and,
Deut. xxiii. 15, utterly outwitted. The obvious meaning of the phrase,
"_He is his money_," is, he is _worth money_ to his master, and since,
if the master had killed him, it would have taken money out of his
pocket, the _pecuniary loss_, the _kind of instrument used_, and _the
fact of his living some time after the injury_, (if the master _meant_
to kill, he would be likely to _do_ it while about it,) all together
make a strong case of presumptive evidence clearing the master of
_intent to kill_. But let us look at the objector's _inferences_. One
is, that as the master might dispose of his _property_ as he pleased, he
was not to be punished, if he destroyed it. Whether the servant died
under the master's hand, or after a day or two, he was _equally_ his
property, and the objector admits that in the _first_ case the master is
to be "surely punished" for destroying _his own property!_ The other
inference is, that since the continuance of a day or two, cleared the
master of _intent to kill_, the loss of the slave would be a sufficient
punishment for inflicting the injury which caused his death. This
inference makes the Mosaic law false to its own principles. A _pecuniary
loss_ was no part of the legal claim, where a person took the _life_ of
another. In such case, the law spurned money, whatever the sum. God
would not cheapen human life, by balancing it with such a weight. "Ye
shall take NO SATISFACTION for the life of a murderer, but he shall
surely be put to death." Num. xxxv. 31. Even in excusable homicide,
where an axe slipped from the helve and killed a man, no sum of money
availed to release from confinement in the city of refuge, until the
death of the High Priest. Numb. xxxv. 32. The doctrine that the loss of
the servant would be a penalty _adequate_ to the desert of the master,
admits his _guilt_ and his desert of _some_ punishment, and it
prescribes a kind of punishment, rejected by the law in all cases where
man took the life of man, whether with or without the intent to kill. In
short, the objector annuls an integral part of the system--makes a _new_
law, and coolly metes out such penalty as he thinks fit. Divine
legislation revised and improved! The master who struck out his
servant's tooth, whether intentionally or not, was required to set him
free. The _pecuniary loss_ to the master was the same as though he had
killed him. Look at the two cases. A master beats his servant so that he
dies of his wounds; another accidentally strikes out his servant's
tooth,--_the pecuniary loss of both cases is the same_. If the loss of
the slave's services is punishment sufficient for the crime of killing
him, would _God_ command the _same_ punishment for the _accidental_
knocking out of a _tooth?_ Indeed, unless the injury was done
_inadvertantly_, the loss of the servant's services was only a _part_ of
the punishment--mere reparation to the _individual_ for injury done; the
_main_ punishment, that strictly _judicial_, was reparation to the
_community_. To set the servant free, and thus proclaim his injury, his
right to redress, and the measure of it--answered not the ends of
_public_ justice. The law made an example of the offender. That "those
that remain might hear and fear." "If a man cause a blemish in his
neighbor, as he hath done, so shall it be done unto him. Breach for
breach, eye for eye, tooth for tooth. Ye shall have one manner of law as
well for the STRANGER as for one of your own country." Lev xxiv. 19, 20,
22. Finally, if a master smote out his servant's tooth the law smote out
_his_ tooth--thus redressing the _public_ wrong; and it cancelled the
servant's obligation to the master, thus giving some compensation for
the injury done, and exempting him form perilous liabilities in future.

OBJECTION III. "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 stranger 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
possessions. And ye shall take them as an inheritance of your children
from you, to inherit them for a possession; they shall be your bondmen
forever." Lev, xxv. 44-46.

The _points_ in these verses urged as proof, that the Mosaic system
sanctioned slavery, are 1. The word "BONDMEN." 2. "BUY." 3. "INHERITANCE

The _buying_ of servants was discussed, pp. 17-22, and holding them as a
"possession." pp. 37-46. We will now ascertain what sanction to slavery
is derivable from the terms "bondmen," "inheritance," and "forever."

1. "BONDMEN." The fact that servants from the heathen are called
"_bondmen_," while others are called "_servants_," is quoted as proof
that the former were slaves. As the caprices of King James' translators
were not inspired, we need stand in no special awe of them. The word
here rendered bondmen is uniformly rendered servants elsewhere. The
Hebrew word "_ebedh_," the plural of which is here translated "bondmen,"
is in Isa. xlii. 1, applied to Christ. "Behold my _servant_ (bondman,
slave?) whom I have chosen." So Isa. lii. 13. "Behold my _servant_
(Christ) shall deal prudently." In 1 Kings xii. 6, 7, to _King
Rehoboam_. "And they spake unto him, saying if thou wilt be a _servant_
unto this people, then they will be thy _servants_ forever." In 2 Chron.
xii. 7, 8, 9, 13, to the king and all the nation. In fine, the word is
applied to _all_ persons doing service for others--to magistrates, to
all governmental officers, to tributaries, to all the subjects of
governments, to younger sons--defining their relation to the first born,
who is called _Lord_ and _ruler_--to prophets, to kings, to the Messiah,
and in respectful addresses not less than _fifty_ times in the Old

If the Israelites not only held slaves, but multitudes of them, if
Abraham had thousands and if they _abounded_ under the Mosaic system,
why had their language _no word_ that _meant slave_? That language must
be wofully poverty-stricken, which has no signs to represent the most
common and familiar objects and conditions. To represent by the same
word, and without figure, property, and the owner of that property, is a
solecism. Ziba was an "_ebedh_," yet he "_owned_" (!) twenty _ebedhs_!
In our language, we have both _servant_ and _slave_. Why? Because we
have both the _things_ and need _signs_ for them. If the tongue had a
sheath, as swords have scabbards, we should have some _name_ for it: but
our dictionaries give us none. Why? Because there is no such _thing_.
But the objector asks, "Would not the Israelites use their word _ebedh_
if they spoke of the slave of a heathen?" Answer. Their _national_
servants or tributaries, are spoken of frequently, but domestic servants
so rarely that no necessity existed, even if they were slaves, for
coining a new word. Besides, the fact of their being domestics, under
_heathen laws and usages_ proclaimed their _liabilities_, their
_locality_ made a _specific_ term unnecessary. But if the Israelites had
not only _servants_, but a multitude of _slaves_, a _word meaning
slave_, would have been indispensable for every day convenience.
Further, the laws of the Mosaic system were so many sentinels on the
outposts to warn off foreign practices. The border ground of Canaan, was
quarantine ground, enforcing the strictest non-intercourse in usages
between the without and the within.

2. "FOREVER." This is quoted to prove that servants were to serve during
their life time, and their posterity from generation to generation. No
such idea is contained in the passage. The word "forever," instead of
defining the length of _individual_ service, proclaims the permanence of
the regulation laid down in the two verses preceding, namely, that their
_permanent domestics_ should be of the Strangers, and not of the
Israelites: it declares the duration of that general provision. As if
God had said, "You shall _always_ get your _permanent_ laborers from the
nations round about you--your servants shall always be of that class of
persons." As it stands in the original it is plain--"Forever of them
shall ye serve yourselves." This is the literal rendering.

That "_forever_" refers to the permanent relations of a _community_,
rather than to the services of _individuals_, is a fair inference from
the form of the expression, "Both thy bondmen, &c., shall be of the
_heathen_. Of THEM shall ye buy," &c. "THEY shall be your possession."
To say nothing of the uncertainty of _those individuals_ surviving those
_after_ whom they are to live, the language used, applies more naturally
to a _body_ of people, than to _individual_ servants. Besides
_perpetual_ service cannot be argued from the term _forever_. The ninth
and tenth verses of the same chapter, limit it absolutely by the
jubilee. "Then thou shalt cause the trumpet of the jubilee to sound * *
throughout ALL your land." "And ye shall proclaim liberty throughout all
the land unto ALL the inhabitants thereof." It may be objected that
"inhabitants" here means _Israelitish_ inhabitants alone. The command
is, "Proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto ALL _the inhabitants
thereof_." Besides, in the sixth verse, there is an enumeration of the
different classes of the inhabitants, in which servants and Strangers
are included; and in all the regulations of the jubilee, and the
sabbatical year, the Strangers are included in the precepts,
prohibitions, and promises. Again: the year of jubilee was ushered in,
by the day of atonement. What did these institutions show forth? The day
of atonement prefigured the atonement of Christ, and the year of
jubilee, the gospel jubilee. And did they prefigure an atonement and a
jubilee to Jews only? Were they types of sins remitted, and of salvation
proclaimed to the nation of Israel alone? Is there no redemption for us
Gentiles in these ends of the earth, and is our hope presumption and
impiety? Did that old partition wall survive the shock, that made earth
quake, and hid the sun, burst graves and rocks, and rent the temple
veil? and did the Gospel only rear it higher to thunder direr perdition
from its frowning battlements on all without? No! The God of our
salvation lives "Good tidings of great joy shall be to ALL people." One
shout shall swell from all the ransomed, "Thou hast redeemed us unto God
by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation."
To deny that the blessings of the jubilee extended to the servants from
the _Gentiles_, makes Christianity _Judaism_. It not only eclipses the
glory of the Gospel, but strikes out the sun. The refusal to release
servants at the jubilee falsified and disannulled a grand leading type
of the atonement, and was a libel on the doctrine of Christ's
redemption. Finally, even if _forever_ did refer to _individual_
service, we have ample precedents for limiting the term by the jubilee.
The same word defines the length of time which _Jewish_ servants served
who did not go out in the _seventh_ year. And all admit that they went
out at the jubilee. Ex. xxi. 2-6; Deut. xv. 12-17. The 23d verse of the
same chapter is quoted to prove that "_forever_" in the 46th verse,
extends beyond the jubilee. "The land shall not be sold FOREVER, for the
land is mine"--since it would hardly be used in different senses in the
same general connection. As _forever_, in the 46th verse, respects the
_general arrangement_, and not _individual service_ the objection does
not touch the argument. Besides in the 46th verse, the word used, is
_Olam_, meaning _throughout the period_, whatever that may be. Whereas
in the 23d verse, it is _Tsemithuth_, meaning, a _cutting off_.

for your children after you to inherit them for a possession." This
refers to the _nations_, and not to the _individual_ servants, procured
from these nations. We have already shown, that servants could not be
held as a _property_-possession, and inheritance; that they became
servants of their _own accord_, and were paid wages; that they were
released by law from their regular labor nearly _half the days in each
year_, and thoroughly _instructed_; that the servants were _protected_
in all their personal, social and religious rights, equally with their
masters &c. All remaining, after these ample reservations, would be
small temptation, either to the lust of power or of lucre; a profitable
"possession" and "inheritance," truly! What if our American slaves were
all placed in _just such a condition_ Alas, for that soft, melodious
circumlocution, "Our PECULIAR species of property!" Verily, emphasis
would be cadence, and euphony and irony meet together! What eager
snatches at mere words, and bald technics, irrespective of connection,
principles of construction, Bible usages, or limitations of meaning by
other passages--and all to eke out such a sense as sanctifies existing
usages, thus making God pander for lust. The words _nahal_ and _nahala_,
inherit and inheritance by no means necessarily signify _articles of
property_. "The people answered the king and said, we have none
_inheritance_ in the son of Jesse." 2 Chron. x. 16. Did they moan
gravely to disclaim the holding of their kin; as an article of
_property_? "Children are an _heritage_ (inheritance) of the Lord." Ps.
cxxvii. 3. "Pardon our iniquity, and take us for thine _inheritance_."
Ex. xxxiv. 9. When God pardons his enemies, and adopts them as children,
does he make them _articles of property_? Are forgiveness, and
chattel-making, synonymes? "Thy testimonies have I taken as a
_heritage_" (inheritance.) Ps. cxix. 111. "_I_ am their _inheritance_."
Ezek. xliv. 28. "I will give thee the heathen for thine _inheritance_."
Ps. ii. 8. "For the Lord will not cast off his people, neither will he
forsake his _inheritance_." Ps. xciv 14. see also Deut. iv. 20; Josh.
xiii. 33; Ps. lxxxii. 8; lxxviii. 62, 71; Prov. xiv. 8. The question
whether the servants were a PROPERTY-"_possession_," has been already
discussed--pp. 37-46--we need add in this place but a word, _ahuzza_
rendered "_possession_." "And Joseph placed his father and his brethren,
and gave them a _possession_ in the land of Egypt." Gen. xlii. 11. In
what sense was Goshen the _possession_ of the Israelites? Answer, in the
sense of _having it to live in_. In what sense were the Israelites to
_possess_ these nations, and _take them_ as an _inheritance for their
children_? Answer, they possessed them as a permanent source of supply
for domestic or household servants. And this relation to these nations
was to go down to posterity as a standing regulation, having the
certainty and regularity of a descent by inheritance. The sense of the
whole regulation may be given thus: "Thy permanent domestics, which thou
shalt have, shall be of the nations that are round about you, of _them_
shall ye get male and female domestics." "Moreover of the children of
the foreigners that do sojourn among you, of _them_ shall ye get, and of
their families that are with you, which they begat in your land, and
_they_ shall be your permanent resource." "And ye shall take them as a
_perpetual_ provision for your children after you, to hold as a
_constant source of supply_. Always _of them_ shall ye serve
yourselves." The design of the passage is manifest from its structure.
It was to point out the _class_ of persons from which they were to get
their supply of servants, and the _way_ in which they were to get them.

OBJECTION IV. "If thy brother that dwelleth by thee be waxen poor, and
be sold unto thee, thou shalt not compel him to serve as a BOND-SERVANT,
but as an HIRED-SERVANT, and as a sojourner shall he be with thee, and
shall serve thee unto the year of jubilee." Lev. xxv. 39, 40.

As only _one_ class is called "_hired_," it is inferred that servants of
the _other_ class were _not paid_ for their labor. That God, with
thundering anathemas against those who "used their neighbor's service
without wages," granted a special indulgence to his chosen people to
force others to work, and rob them of earnings, provided always, in
selecting their victims, they spared "the gentlemen of property and
standing," and pounced only upon the strangers and the common people.
The inference that "_hired_" is synonymous with _paid_, and that those
servants not _called_ "hired" were not _paid_ for their labor, is a mere
assumption. The meaning of the English verb _to hire_, is to procure for
a _temporary_ use at a certain price--to engage a person to temporary
service for wages. That is also the meaning of the Hebrew word
"_saukar_." It is not used when the procurement of _permanent_ service
is spoken of. Now, we ask, would _permanent_ servants, those who
constituted a stationary part of the family, have been designated by the
same term that marks _temporary_ servants? The every-day distinction on
this subject, are familiar as table-talk. In many families the domestics
perform only the _regular_ work. Whatever is occasional merely, as the
washing of a family, is done by persons hired expressly for the purpose.
The familiar distinction between the two classes, is "servants," and
"hired help," (not _paid_ help.) _Both classes are paid_. One is
permanent, the other occasional and temporary, and therefore in this
case called "_hired_[A]."

[Footnote A: To suppose a servant robbed of his earnings because he is
not called a _hired_ servant is profound induction! If I employ a man at
twelve dollars a month to work my farm, he is my "_hired_" man, but if
_I give him such a portion of the crop_, or in other words, if he works
my farm "_on shares_," every farmer knows that he is no longer called my
"_hired_" man. Yet he works the same farm, in the same way, at the same
time, and with the same teams and tools; and does the same amount of
work in the year, and perhaps earns twenty dollars a month, instead of
twelve. Now as he is no longer called "_hired_," and as he still works
my farm, suppose my neighbours sagely infer, that since he is not my
"_hired_" laborer, I _rob_ him of his earnings and with all the gravity
of owls, pronounce the oracular decision, and hoot it abroad. My
neighbors are deep divers!--like some theological professors, they not
only go to the bottom but come up covered with the tokens.]

A variety of particulars are recorded distinguishing _hired_ from
_bought_ servants. (1.) Hired servants were paid daily at the close of
their work. Lev. xix 13; Deut. xxiv. 14, 15; Job. vii. 2; Matt. xx. 8.
"_Bought_" servants were paid in advance, (a reason for their being
called _bought_,) and those that went out at the seventh year received a
_gratuity_. Deut. xv. 12, 13. (2.) The "hired" were paid _in money_, the
"bought" received their _gratuity_, at least, in grain, cattle, and the
product of the vintage. Deut. xiv. 17. (3.) The "hired" _lived_ in their
own families, the "bought" were part of their masters' families. (4.)
The "hired" supported their families out of their wages: the "bought"
and their families were supported by the master _besides_ their wages.
The "bought" servants were, _as a class, superior to the hired_--were
more trust-worthy, had greater privileges, and occupied a higher station
in society. (1.) They were intimately incorporated with the family of
the masters, were guests at family festivals, and social solemnities,
from which hired servants were excluded. Lev. xxii. 10; Ex. xii, 43, 45.
(2.) Their interests were far more identified with those of their
masters' family. They were often, actually or prospectively, heirs of
their masters' estates, as in the case of Eliezer, of Ziba, and the sons
of Bilhah and Zilpah. When there were no sons, or when they were
unworthy, bought servants were made heirs. Prov. xvii. 2. We find traces
of this usage in the New Testament. "But when the husbandmen saw him,
they reasoned among themselves, saying, this is the _heir_, come let us
kill him, _that the inheritance may be ours._" Luke xx. 14. In no
instance does a _hired_ servant inherit his master's estate. (3.)
Marriages took place between servants and their master's daughters.
Sheshan had a _servant_, an Egyptian, whose name was Jarha. And Sheshan
gave his daughter to Jarha his servant to wife. 1 Chron. ii. 34, 35.
There is no instance of a _hired_ servant forming such an alliance. (4.)
Bought servants and their descendants were treated with the same
affection and respect as the other members of the family.[A]. The
treatment of Abraham's servants, Gen. xxv.--the intercourse between
Gideon and his servant, Judg. vii. 10, 11; Saul and his servant, 1 Sam.
iv. 5, 22; Jonathan and his servant, 1 Sam. xiv. 1-14, and Elisha and
his servant, are illustrations. No such tie seems to have existed
between _hired_ servants and their masters. Their untrustworthiness was
proverbial. John ix. 12, 13. None but the _lowest class_ engaged as
hired servants, and the kinds of labor assigned to them required little
knowledge and skill. Various passages show the low repute and trifling
character of the class from which they were hired. Judg. ix. 4; 1 Sam.
ii. 5. The superior condition of bought servants is manifest in the high
trusts confided to them, and in their dignity and authority in the
household. In no instance is a _hired_ servant thus distinguished. The
_bought_ servant is manifestly the master's representative in the
family--with plenipotentiary powers over adult children, even
negotiating marriage for them. Abraham adjured his servant not to take a
wife for Isaac of the daughters of the Canaanites. The servant himself
selected the individual. Servants also exercised discretionary power in
the management of their masters' estates, "And the servant took ten
camels of the camels of his master, _for all the goods of his master
were under his hand_." Gen. xxiv. 10. The reason assigned for taking
them, is not that such was Abraham's direction, but that the servant had
discretionary control. Servants had also discretionary power in the
_disposal of property_. See Gen. xxiv. 22, 23, 53. The condition of Ziba
in the house of Mephibosheth, is a case in point. So in Prov. xvii. 2.
Distinct traces of this estimation are to be found in the New Testament,
Matt. xxiv. 45; Luke xii, 42, 44. So in the parable of the talents; the
master seems to have set up each of his servants in trade with a large
capital. The unjust steward had large _discretionary_ power, was
"accused of wasting his master's goods," and manifestly regulated with
his debtors, the _terms_ of settlement. Luke xvi. 4-8. Such trusts were
never reposed in _hired_ servants.

[Footnote A: "For the _purchased servant_ who is an Israelite, or
proselyte, shall fare as his master. The master shall not eat fine
bread, and his servant bread of bran. Nor yet drink old wine, and give
his servant new; nor sleep on soft pillows, and bedding, and his servant
on straw. I say unto you, that he that gets a _purchased_ servant does
well to make him as his friend, or he will prove to his employer as if
he got himself a master."--Maimonides, in Mishna Kiddushim. Chap. 1,
Sec. 2.]

The inferior condition of _hired_ servants, is illustrated in the
parable of the prodigal son. When the prodigal, perishing with hunger
among the swine and husks, came to himself, his proud heart broke; "I
will arise," he cried, "and go to my father." And then to assure his
father of the depth of his humility, resolved to add, "Make me as one of
thy _hired_ servants." If _hired_ servants were the _superior_ class--to
apply for the situation, savored little of that sense of unworthiness
that seeks the dust with hidden face, and cries "unclean." Unhumbled
nature _climbs_; or if it falls, clings fast, where first it may.
Humility sinks of its own weight, and in the lowest deep, digs lower.
The design of the parable was to illustrate on the one hand, the joy of
God, as he beholds afar off, the returning sinner "seeking an injured
father's face" who runs to clasp and bless him with unchiding welcome;
and on the other, the contrition of the penitent, turning homeward with
tears from his wanderings, his stricken spirit breaking with its
ill-desert he sobs aloud. "The lowest place, _the lowest place_, I can
abide no other." Or in those inimitable words, "Father I have sinned
against Heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy
son; make me as one of thy HIRED servants." The supposition that _hired_
servants were the _highest_ class, takes from the parable an element of
winning beauty and pathos. It is manifest to every careful student of
the Bible, that _one_ class of servants, was on terms of equality with
the children and other members of the family. (Hence the force of Paul's
declaration, Gal. iv. 1, "Now I say unto you, that the heir, so long as
he is a child, DIFFERETH NOTHING FROM A SERVANT, though he be lord of
all.") If this were the _hired_ class, the prodigal was a sorry specimen
of humility. Would our Lord have put such language upon the lips of one
held up by himself, as a model of gospel humility, to illustrate its
deep sense of an ill-desert? If this is _humility_, put it on stilts,
and set it a strutting, while pride takes lessons, and blunders in
apeing it.

Israelites and Strangers, belonged indiscriminately to _each_ class of
the servants, the _bought_ and the _hired_. That those in the former
class, whether Jews or Strangers, rose to honors and authority in the
family circle, which were not conferred on _hired_ servants, has been
shown. It should be added, however, that in the enjoyment of privileges,
merely _political_, the hired servants from the _Israelites_, were more
favored than even the bought servants from the _Strangers_. No one from
the Strangers, however wealthy or highly endowed, was eligible to the
highest office, nor could he own the soil. This last disability seems to
have been one reason for the different periods of service required of
the two classes of bought servants--the Israelites and the Strangers.
The Israelite was to serve six years--the Stranger until the jubilee. As
the Strangers could not own the soil, nor even houses, except within
walled towns, most would attach themselves to Israelitish families.
Those who were wealthy, or skilled in manufactures, instead of becoming
servants would need servants for their own use, and as inducements for
the Stranger's to become servants to the Israelites, were greater than
persons of their own nation could hold out to them, these wealthy
Strangers would naturally procure the poorer Israelites for servants.
Lev. xxv. 47. In a word, such was the political condition of the
Strangers, that the Jewish polity offered a virtual bounty, to such as
would become permanent servants, and thus secure those privileges
already enumerated, and for their children in the second generation a
permanent inheritance. Ezek. xlvii. 21-23. None but the monied
aristocracy would be likely to decline such offers. On the other hand,
the Israelites, owning all the soil, and an inheritance of land being a
sacred possession, to hold it free of incumbrance was with every
Israelite, a delicate point, both of family honor and personal
character. 1 Kings xxi. 3. Hence, to forego the control of one's
inheritance, after the division of the paternal domain, or to be kept
out of it after having acceded to it, was a burden grievous to be borne.
To mitigate as much as possible such a calamity, the law released the
Israelitish servant at the end of six years[A]; as, during that time--if
of the first class--the partition of the patrimonial land might have
taken place; or, if of the second, enough money might have been earned
to disencumber his estate, and thus he might assume his station as a
lord of the soil. If neither contingency had occurred, then after
another six years the opportunity was again offered, and so on, until
the jubilee. So while strong motives urged the Israelite to discontinue
his service as soon as the exigency had passed which made him a servant,
every consideration impelled the _Stranger_ to _prolong_ his term of
service; and the same kindness which dictated the law of six years'
service for the Israelite, assigned as a general rule, a much longer
period to the Gentile servant, who had every inducement to protract the
term. It should be borne in mind, that adult Jews ordinarily became
servants, only as a temporary expedient to relieve themselves from
embarrassment, and ceased to be such when that object was effected. The
poverty that forced them to it was a calamity, and their service was
either a means of relief, or a measure of prevention; not pursued as a
permanent business, but resorted to on emergencies--a sort of episode in
the main scope of their lives. Whereas with the Strangers, it was a
_permanent employment_, pursued both as a _means_ of bettering their own
condition, and that of their posterity, and as an _end_ for its own
sake, conferring on them privileges, and a social estimation not
otherwise attainable.

[Footnote A: Another reason for protracting the service until the
seventh year, seems to have been the coincidence of that period with
other arrangements, in the Jewish economy. Its pecuniary
responsibilities, social relations, and general internal structure, were
_graduated_ upon a septennial scale. Besides as those Israelites who
became servants through poverty, would not sell themselves, till other
expedients to recruit their finances had failed--(Lev. xxv. 35)--their
_becoming servants_ proclaimed such a state of their affairs, as
demanded the labor of a _course of years_ fully to reinstate them.]

We see from the foregoing, why servants purchased from the heathen, are
called by way of distinction, _the_ servants, (not _bondmen_,) (1.) They
followed it as a _permanent business_. (2.) Their term of service was
_much longer_ than that of the other class. (3.) As a class they
doubtless greatly outnumbered the Israelitish servants. (4.) All the
Strangers that dwelt in the land were _tributaries_, required to pay an
annual tax to the government, either in money, or in public service,
(called a "_tribute of land-service_;") in other words, all the
Strangers were _national servants_ to the Israelites, and the same
Hebrew word used to designate _individual_ servants, equally designates
_national_ servants or tributaries. 2 Sam. viii. 2, 6, 14. 2 Chron.
viii. 7-9. Deut xx. 11. 2 Sam. x. 19. 1 Kings ix. 21, 22. 1 Kings iv.
21. Gen. xxvii. 29. The same word is applied to the Israelites, when
they paid tribute to other nations. 2 Kings xvii. 3. Judg. iii. 8, 14.
Gen. xlix. 15. Another distinction between the Jewish and Gentile bought
servants, was in their _kinds_ of service. The servants from the
Strangers were properly the _domestics_, or household servants, employed
in all family work, in offices of personal attendance, and in such
mechanical labor, as was required by increasing wants, and needed
repairs. The Jewish bought servants seem almost exclusively
_agricultural_. Besides being better fitted for it by previous
habits--agriculture, and the tending of cattle, were regarded by the
Israelites as the most honorable of all occupations. After Saul was
elected king, and escorted to Gibeah, the next report of him is, "_And
behold Saul came after the herd out of the field_." 1 Sam. xi. 7. Elisha
"was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen." 1 Kings xix. 19. King Uzziah
"loved husbandry." 2 Chron. xxvi. 10. Gideon _was "threshing wheat_"
when called to lead the host against the Midianites. Judg. vi. 11. The
superior honorableness of agriculture, is shown, in that it was
protected and supported by the fundamental law of the theocracy--God
indicating it as the chief prop of the government. The Israelites were
like permanent fixtures on their soil, so did they cling to it. To be
agriculturalists on their own inheritances, was with them the grand
claim to honorable estimation. Agriculture being pre-eminently a
_Jewish_ employment, to assign a native Israelite to other employments
as a business, was to break up his habits, do violence to cherished
predilections, and put him to a kind of labor in which he had no skill,
and which he deemed degrading. In short, it was in the earlier ages of
the Mosaic system, practically to _unjew_ him, a hardship and rigor
grievous to be borne, as it annihilated a visible distinction between
the descendants of Abraham and the Strangers.--_To guard this and
another fundamental distinction_, God instituted the regulation which
stands at the head of this branch of our inquiry, "If thy brother that
dwelleth by thee be waxen poor, and be sold unto thee, thou shalt not
compel him to serve as a bond-servant." In other words, thou shalt not
put him to servant's work--to the business, and into the condition of
domestics. In the Persian version it is translated thus, "Thou shalt not
assign to him the work of _servitude_." In the Septuagint, "He shall not
serve thee with the service of a _domestic_." In the Syriac, "Thou shalt
not employ him after the manner of servants." In the Samaritan, "Thou
shalt not require him to serve in the service of a servant." In the
Targum of Onkelos, "He shall not serve thee with the service of a
household servant." In the Targum of Jonathan, "Thou shalt not cause him
to serve according to the usages of the servitude of servants."[A] The
meaning of the passage is, _thou shalt not assign him to the same grade,
nor put him to the same service, with permanent domestics._ The
remainder of the regulation is,--"_But as an hired servant and as a
sojourner shall he be with thee._" Hired servants were not incorporated
into the families of their masters: they still retained their own family
organization, without the surrender of any domestic privilege, honor, or
authority; and this even though they resided under the same roof with
their master. While bought servants were associated with their master's
families at meals, at the Passover, and at other family festivals, hired
servants and sojourners were not. Ex. xii. 44, 45; Lev. xxii. 10, 11.
Hired servants were not subject to the authority of their masters in any
such sense as the master's wife, children, and bought servants. Hence
the only form of oppressing hired servants spoken of in the Scriptures
as practicable to masters, is that _of keeping back their wages_. To
have taken away such privileges in the case under consideration, would
have been pre-eminent "_rigor_," for it was not a servant born in the
house of a master, not a minor, whose minority had been sold by the
father, neither was it one who had not yet acceded to his inheritance:
nor finally, one who had received the _assignment_ of his inheritance,
but was working off from it an incumbrance, before entering upon its
possession and control. But it was that of _the head of a family_, who
had known better days, now reduced to poverty, forced to relinquish the
loved inheritance of his fathers, with the competence and respectful
consideration its possession secured to him, and to be indebted to a
neighbor for shelter, sustenance, and employment. So sad a reverse,
might well claim sympathy; but one consolation cheers him in the house
of his pilgrimage; he is an _Israelite--Abraham is his father_, and now
in his calamity he clings closer than ever, to the distinction conferred
by his birth-right. To rob him of this, were "the unkindest cut of all."
To have assigned him to a grade of service filled only by those whose
permanent business was serving, would have been to "rule over him with"
peculiar "rigor." "Thou shalt not compel him to serve as a
bond-servant," or literally, _thou shalt not serve thyself with him,
with the service of a servant_, guaranties his political privileges, and
a kind and grade of service, comporting with his character and relations
as an Israelite. And "as a _hired_ servant, and as a sojourner shall he
be with thee," secures to him his family organization, the respect and
authority due to its head, and the general consideration resulting from
such a station. Being already in possession of his inheritance, and the
head of a household, the law so arranged the conditions of his service
as to _alleviate_ as much as possible the calamity, which had reduced
him from independence and authority, to penury and subjection. The
import of the command which concludes this topic in the forty-third
verse, ("Thou shalt not rule over him with rigor,") is manifestly this,
you shall not disregard those differences in previous associations,
station, authority, and political privileges, upon which this regulation
is based; for to hold this class of servants _irrespective_ of these
distinctions, and annihilating them, is to "rule with rigor." The same
command is repeated in the forty-sixth verse, and applied to the
distinction between servants of Jewish, and those of Gentile extraction,
and forbids the overlooking of distinctive Jewish peculiarities, the
disregard of which would be _rigorous_ in the extreme[B]. The
construction commonly put upon the phrase "rule with rigor," and the
inference drawn from it, have an air vastly oracular. It is interpreted
to mean, "you shall not make him a chattel, and strip him of legal
protection, nor force him to work without pay." The inference is like
unto it, viz., since the command forbade such outrages upon the
Israelites, it permitted and commissioned their infliction upon the
Strangers. Such impious and shallow smattering captivates scoffers and
libertines; its flippancy and blasphemy, and the strong scent of its
loose-reined license works like a charm upon them. What boots it to
reason against such rampant affinities! In Ex. i. 13, it is said that
the Egyptians "made the children of Israel to _serve_ with rigor." This
rigor is affirmed of the _amount of labor_ extorted and the _mode_ of
the exaction. The expression, "serve with rigor," is never applied to
the service of servants under the Mosaic system. The phrase, "thou shalt
not RULE over him with rigor," does not prohibit unreasonable exactions
of labor, nor inflictions of cruelty. Such were provided against
otherwise. But it forbids confounding the distinctions between a Jew and
a Stranger, by assigning the former to the same grade of service, for
the same term of time, and under the same political disabilities as the

[Footnote A: Jarchi's comment on "Thou shall not compel him to serve as
a bond-servant" is, "The Hebrew servant is not to be required to do any
thing which is accounted degrading--such as all offices of personal
attendance, as loosing his master's shoe-latchet, bringing him water to
wash his feet and hands, waiting on him at table, dressing him, carrying
things to and from the bath. The Hebrew servant is to work with his
master as a son or brother, in the business of his farm, or other labor,
until his legal release."]

[Footnote B: The disabilities of the Strangers, which were distinctions,
based on a different national descent, and important to the preservation
of national characteristics, and a national worship, did not at all
affect their _social_ estimation. They were regarded according to their
character, and worth as _persons_, irrespective of their foreign origin,
employments, and political condition.]

We are now prepared to review at a glance, the condition of the
different classes of servants, with the modifications peculiar to each
class. In the possession of all fundamental rights, all classes of
servants were on an absolute equality, all were equally protected by law
in their persons, character, property and social relations; all were
voluntary, all were compensated for their labor, and released from it
nearly half of the days in each year; all were furnished with stated
instruction: none in either class were in any sense articles of
property, all were regarded as _men_, with the rights, interests, hopes
and destinies of _men_. In all these respects, _all_ classes of servants
among the Israelites, formed but ONE CLASS. The _different_ classes and
the differences in _each_ class, were, (1.) _Hired Servants._ This class
consisted both of Israelites and Strangers. Their employments were
different. The _Israelite_ was an agricultural servant. The Stranger was
a _domestic_ and _personal_ servant, and in some instances _mechanical_;
both were occasional and temporary. Both lived in their own families,
their wages were _money_, and they were paid when their work was done.
(2.) _Bought Servants_, (including those "born in the house.") This
class also, consisted of Israelites and Strangers, the same difference
in their kinds of employments noticed before. Both were paid in
advance[A], and neither was temporary. The Israelitish servant, with the
exception of the _freeholders_ was released after six years. The
stranger was a permanent servant, continuing until the jubilee. A marked
distinction obtained also between different classes of _Jewish_ bought
servants. Ordinarily, they were merged in their master's family, and,
like his wife and children, subject to his authority; (and, like them,
protected by law from its abuse.) But the _freeholder_ was a marked
exception: his family relations, and authority remained unaffected, nor
was he subjected as an inferior to the control of his master, though
dependent upon him for employment.

[Footnote A: The payment _in advance_, doubtless lessened the price of
the purchase; the servant thus having the use of the money, and the
master assuming all the risks of life and health for labor: at the
expiration of the six year's contract, the master having suffered no
loss from the risk incurred at the making of it, was obliged by law to
release the servant with a liberal gratuity. The reason assigned for
this is, "he hath been worth a double hired servant unto thee in serving
thee six years," as if it had been said, as you have experienced no loss
from the risks of life, and ability to labor, incurred in the purchase,
and which lessened the price, and as, by being your servant for six
years, he has saved you the time and trouble of looking up and hiring
laborers on emergencies, therefore, "thou shalt furnish him liberally,"

It should be kept in mind, that _both_ classes of servants, the
Israelite and the Stranger, not only enjoyed _equal natural and
religious rights_, but _all the civil and political privileges_ enjoyed
by those of their own people who were _not_ servants. They also shared
in common with them the political disabilities which appertained to all
Strangers, whether the servants of Jewish masters, or the masters of
Jewish servants. Further, the disabilities of the servants from the
Strangers were exclusively _political_ and _national._ (1.) They, in
common with all Strangers, could not own the soil. (2.) They were
ineligible to civil offices. (3.) They were assigned to employments less
honorable than those in which Israelitish servants engaged; agriculture
being regarded as fundamental to the existence of the state, other
employments were in less repute, and deemed _unjewish._

Finally, the Strangers, whether servants or masters, were all protected
equally with the descendants of Abraham. In respect to political
privileges, their condition was much like that of naturalized foreigners
in the United States; whatever their wealth or intelligence, or moral
principle, or love for our institutions, they can neither go to the
ballot-box, nor own the soil, nor be eligible to office. Let a native
American, be suddenly bereft of these privilege, and loaded with the
disabilities of an alien, and what to the foreigner would be a light
matter, to _him_, would be the severity of _rigor_. The recent condition
of the Jews and Catholics in England, is another illustration.
Rothschild, the late banker, though the richest private citizen in the
world, and perhaps master of scores of English servants, who sued for
the smallest crumbs of his favor, was, as a subject of the government,
inferior to the lowest among them. Suppose an Englishman of the
Established Church, were by law deprived of power to own the soil, of
eligibility to office and of the electoral franchise, would Englishmen
think it a misapplication of language, if it were said, the government
"rules over him with rigor?" And yet his person, property, reputation,
conscience, all his social relations, the disposal of his time, the
right of locomotion at pleasure, and of natural liberty in all respects,
are just as much protected by law as the Lord Chancellor's.

FINALLY,--As the Mosaic system was a great compound type, rife with
meaning in doctrine and duty; the practical power of the whole, depended
upon the exact observance of those distinctions and relations which
constituted its significancy. Hence, the care to preserve serve
inviolate the distinction between a _descendant of Abraham_ and a
_Stranger_, even when the Stranger was a proselyte, had gone through the
initiatory ordinances, entered the congregation, and become incorporated
with the Israelites by family alliance. The regulation laid down in Ex.
xxi. 2-6, is an illustration. In this case, the Israelitish servant,
whose term expired in six years, married one of his master's _permanent
female domestics_; but her marriage, did not release her master from
_his_ part of the contract for her whole term of service, nor from his
legal obligation to support and educate her children. Neither did it do
away that distinction, which marked her national descent by a specific
_grade_ and _term_ of service, nor impair her obligation to fulfill
_her_ part of the contract. Her relations as a permanent domestic grew
out of a distinction guarded with great care throughout the Mosaic
system. To render it void, would have been to divide the system against
itself. This God would not tolerate. Nor, on the other hand, would he
permit the master, to throw off the responsibility of instructing her
children, nor the care and expense of their helpless infancy and
rearing. He was bound to support and educate them, and all her children
born afterwards during her term of service. The whole arrangement
beautifully illustrates that wise and tender regard for the interests of
all the parties concerned, which arrays the Mosaic system in robes of
glory, and causes it to shine as the sun in the kingdom of our Father.
By this law, the children had secured to them a mother's tender care. If
the husband loved his wife and children, he could compel his master to
keep him, whether he had any occasion for his services or not. If he did
not love them, to be rid of him was a blessing; and in that case, the
regulation would prove an act for the relief of an afflicted family. It
is not by any means to be inferred, that the release of the servant in
the seventh year, either absolved him from the obligations of marriage,
or shut him out from the society of his family. He could doubtless
procure a service at no great distance from them, and might often do it,
to get higher wages, or a kind of employment better suited to his taste
and skill. The great number of days on which the law released servants
from regular labor, would enable him to spend much more time with his
family, than can be spent by most of the agents of our benevolent
societies with _their_ families, or by many merchants, editors, artists
&c., whose daily business is in New York, while their families reside
from ten to one hundred miles in the country.

We conclude this Inquiry by touching briefly upon an objection, which,
though not formally stated, has been already set aside by the whole
tenor of the foregoing argument. It is this,--"The slavery of the
Canaanites by the Israelites, was appointed by God as a commutation of
the punishment of death denounced against them for their sins." If the
absurdity of a sentence consigning persons to _death_, and at the same
time to perpetual _slavery_, did not sufficiently laugh at itself, it
would be small self-denial, in a case so tempting, to make up the
deficiency by a general contribution. For, _be it remembered_, only
_one_ statute was ever given respecting the disposition to be made of
the inhabitants of Canaan. If the sentence of death was pronounced
against them, and afterwards _commuted_, when? where? by whom? and in
what terms was the commutation, and where is it recorded? Grant, for
argument's sake, that all the Canaanites were sentenced to unconditional
extermination; as there was no reversal of the sentence, how can a right
to _enslave_ them, be drawn from such premises? The punishment of death
is one of the highest recognitions of man's moral nature possible. It
proclaims him _man_--rational, accountable, guilty, deserving death for
having done his utmost to cheapen human life, when the proof of its
priceless worth lived in his own nature. But to make him a _slave_,
cheapens to nothing _universal human nature_, and instead of healing a
wound, gives a death-stab. What! repair an injury to rational being in
the robbery of _one_ of its rights, by robbing it of _all_, and
annihilating their _foundation_--the everlasting distinction between
persons and things? To make a man a chattel, is not the _punishment_,
but the _annihilation_ of a _human_ being, and, so far as it goes, of
_all_ human beings. This commutation of the punishment of death, into
perpetual slavery, what a fortunate discovery! Alas! for the honor of
Deity, if commentators had not manned the forlorn hope, and by a timely
movement rescued the Divine character, at the very crisis of its fate,
from the perilous position in which inspiration had carelessly left it!
Here a question arises of sufficient importance for a separate
dissertation; but must for the present be disposed of in a few
UNCONDITIONAL EXTERMINATION? As the limits of this inquiry forbid our
giving all the grounds of dissent from commonly received opinions, the
suggestions made, will be thrown out merely as QUERIES, rather than laid
down as _doctrines_. The directions as to the disposal of the
Canaanites, are mainly in the following passages: Ex. xxiii. 23-33;
xxxiv. 11; Deut. vii. 16-25; ix. 3; xxxi. 3-5. In these verses, the
Israelites are commanded to "destroy the Canaanites," "drive out,"
"consume," "utterly overthrow," "put out," "dispossess them," &c. Did
these commands enjoin the unconditional and universal destruction of the
_inhabitants_ or merely of the _body politic?_ The word _haram_, to
destroy, signifies _national_, as well as individual destruction, the
destruction of _political_ existence, equally with _personal_; of
governmental organization, equally with the lives of the subjects.
Besides, if we interpret the words destroy, consume, overthrow, &c., to
mean _personal_ destruction, what meaning shall we give to the
expressions, "throw out before thee;" "cast out before thee;" "expel,"
"put out," "dispossess," &c., which are used in the same passages? "I
will destroy all the people to whom thou shalt come, and I will make all
thine enemies _turn their backs unto thee_" Ex. xxiii. 27. Here "_all
thine enemies_" were to _turn their backs_ and "_all the people_" to be
"_destroyed_." Does this mean that God would let all their _enemies_
escape, but kill all their _friends_, or that he would _first_ kill "all
the people" and THEN make them "turn their backs," an army of runaway
corpses? If these commands required the destruction of all the
inhabitants, the Mosaic law was at war with itself, for directions as to
the treatment of native residents form a large part of it. See Lev. xix.
34; xxv. 35, 36; xx. 22. Ex. xxiii. 9; xxii. 21; Deut. i. 16, 17; x. 17,
19, xxvii. 19. We find, also that provision was made for them in the
cities of refuge. Num. xxxv. 15;--the gleanings of the harvest and
vintage were theirs, Lev. xix. 9, 10; xxiii. 22;--the blessings of the
Sabbath, Ex. xx. 10;--the privilege of offering sacrifices secured, Lev.
xxii. 18; and stated religious instruction provided for them, Deut.
xxxi. 9, 12. Now does this same law require the _individual
extermination_ of those whose lives and interests it thus protects?
These laws were given to the Israelites, long _before_ they entered
Canaan; and they must have inferred from them that a multitude of the
inhabitants of the land were to _continue_ in it, under their
government. Again Joshua was selected as the leader of Israel to execute
God's threatenings upon Canaan. He had no _discretionary_ power. God's
commands were his _official instructions_. Going beyond them would have
been usurpation; refusing to carry them out rebellion and treason. Saul
was rejected from being king for disobeying god's commands in a _single_
instance. Now, if God commanded the individual destruction of all the
Canaanites. Joshua _disobeyed him in every instance_. For at his death,
the Israelites still "_dwelt among them_," and each nation is mentioned
by name. Judg. i. 5, and yet we are told that Joshua "left nothing
undone of all that the Lord commanded Moses;" and that he "took all that
land." Josh. xi. 15-22. Also, that "there _stood not a man_ of _all_
their enemies before them." How can this be, if the command to _destroy_
enjoined _individual_ extermination, and the command to _drive out_,
unconditional expulsion from the country, rather than their expulsion
from the _possession_ or _ownership_ of it, as the lords of the soil?
True, multitudes of the Canaanites were slain, but not a case can be
found in which one was either killed or expelled who _acquiesced_ in the
transfer of the territory, and its sovereignty, from the inhabitants of
the land to the Israelites. Witness the case of Rahab and her kindred,
and the Gibeonites[A]. The Canaanites knew of the miracles wrought for
the Israelites; and that their land had been transferred to them as a
judgment for their sins. Josh. ii. 9-11; ix. 9, 10, 24. Many of them
were awed by these wonders, and made no resistance. Others defied God
and came out to battle. These occupied the fortified cities, were the
most inveterate heathen--the aristocracy of idolatry, the kings, the
nobility and gentry, the priests, with their crowds of satellite, and
retainers that aided in idolatrous rites, and the military forces, with
the chief profligates of both sexes. Many facts corroborate the general
position. Such as the multitude of _tributaries_ in the midst of Israel,
and that too, after they had "waxed strong," and the uttermost nations
quaked at the terror of their name--the Canaanites, Philistines, and
others, who became proselytes--as the Nethenims, Uriah the
Hittite--Rahab, who married one of the princes of Judah--Ittai--the six
hundred Gitites--David's body guard. 2 Sam. xv. 18, 21. Obededom the
Gittite, adopted into the tribe of Levi. Comp. 2 Sam. vi. 10, 11, with 1
Chron. xv. 18, and 1 Chron. xxvi. 45--Jaziz, and Obil. 1 Chron. xxvi.
30, 31, 33. Jephunneh the father of Caleb, the Kenite, registered in the
genealogies of the tribe of Judah, and the one hundred and fifty
thousand Canaanites, employed by Solomon in the building of the
Temple[B]. Besides, the greatest miracle on record, was wrought to save
a portion of those very Canaanites, and for the destruction of those who
would exterminate them. Josh. x. 12-14. Further--the terms employed in
the directions regulating the disposal of the Canaanites, such as "drive
out," "put out," "cast out," "expel," "dispossess," &c. seem used
interchangeably with "consume," "destroy," "overthrow," &c., and thus
indicate the sense in which the latter words are used. As an
illustration of the meaning generally attached to these and similar
terms, we refer to the history of the Amelekites. "I will utterly put
out the remembrance of Amelek from under heaven." Ex. xxvii. 14. "Thou
shalt blot out the remembrance of Amelek from under heaven; thou shalt
not forget it." Deut. xxv. 19. "Smite Amelek and _utterly destroy_ all
that they have, and spare them not, but slay both man and woman, infant
and suckling, ox and sheep." 1 Sam. xv. 2, 3. "Saul smote the
Amelekites, and took Agag the king of the Amelekites, alive and UTTERLY
DESTROYED ALL THE PEOPLE with the edge of the sword." Verses 7, 8. In
verse 20, Saul says, "I have brought Agag, the king of Amelek, and have
_utterly destroyed_ the Amelekites." In 1 Sam. xxx. we find the
Amelekites marching an army into Israel, and sweeping everything before
them--and this in about eighteen years after they had _all been_
"UTTERLY DESTROYED!" Deut. xx. 16, 17, will probably be quoted against
the preceding view. We argue that the command in these verses, did not
include all the individuals of the Canaanitish nations, but only the
inhabitants of the _cities_, (and even those conditionally,) because,
only the inhabitants of the _cities_ are specified,--"of the _cities_ of
these people thou shalt save alive nothing that breatheth." Cities then,
as now, were pest-houses of vice--they reeked with abominations little
practiced in the country. On this account their influence would be far
more perilous to the Israelites than that of the country. Besides, they
were the centres of idolatry--there were the temples and altars, and
idols, and priests, without number. Even their buildings, streets, and
public walks were so many visibilities of idolatry. The reason assigned
in the 18th verse for exterminating them, strengthens the idea,--"that
they teach you not to do after all the abominations which they have done
unto their gods." This would be a reason for exterminating _all_ the
nations and individuals _around_ them, as all were idolaters; but God
commanded them, in certain cases, to spare the inhabitants. Contact with
_any_ of them would be perilous--with the inhabitants of the _cities_
peculiarly, and of the _Canaanitish_ cities pre-eminently so. The 10th
and 11th verses contain the general rule prescribing the method in which
cities were to be summoned to surrender. They were first to receive the
offer of peace--if it was accepted, the inhabitants became
_tributaries_--but if they came out against Israel in battle, the _men_
were to be killed, and the women and little ones saved alive. The 15th
verse restricts this lenient treatment to the inhabitants of the cities
_afar off_. The 16th directs as to the disposal of the inhabitants of
Canaanitish cities. They were to save alive "nothing that breathed." The
common mistake has been, in supposing that the command in the 15th verse
refers to the _whole system of directions preceding_, commencing with
the 10th, whereas it manifestly refers only to the _inflictions_
specified in the 12th, 13th, and 14th, making a distinction between
those _Canaanitish_ cities that _fought_, and the cities _afar off_ that
fought--in one case destroying the males and females, and in the other,
the _males_ only. The offer of peace, and the _conditional
preservation_, were as really guarantied to _Canaanitish_ cities as to
others. Their inhabitants were not to be exterminated unless they came
out against Israel in battle. But let us settle this question by the
"law and the testimony." "There was not a city that made peace with the
children of Israel save the Hivites, the inhabitants of Gibeon; all
others they took in battle. For it was of the Lord to harden their
hearts, that they should COME OUT AGAINST ISRAEL IN BATTLE, that he
might destroy them utterly, and that they might have no favor, but that
he might destroy them, as the Lord commanded Moses." Josh. xix. 19, 20.
That is, if they had _not_ come out against Israel in battle, they would
have had "favor" shown them, and would not have been "_destroyed
utterly._" The great design was to _transfer the territory_ of the
Canaanites to the Israelites, and along with it, _absolute sovereignty
in every respect_; to annihilate their political organizations, civil
polity, and jurisprudence and their system of religion, with all its
rights and appendages; and to substitute therefor, a pure theocracy,
administered by Jehovah, with the Israelites as His representatives and
agents. In a word the people were to be _denationalized_, their
political existence annihilated, their idol temples, altars, images
groves and heathen rites destroyed, and themselves put under tribute.
Those who resisted the execution of Jehovah's purpose were to be killed,
while those who quietly submitted to it were to be spared. All had the
choice of these alternatives, either free egress out of the land[C]; or
acquiescence in the decree, with life and residence as tributaries,
under the protection of the government; or resistance to the execution
of the decree, with death. "_And it shall come to pass, if they will
diligently learn the ways of my people, to swear by my name, the Lord
liveth as they taught my people to swear by Baal_; THEN SHALL THEY BE

[Footnote A: Perhaps it will be objected, that the preservation of the
Gibeonites, and of Rahab and her kindred, was a violation of the command
of God. We answer, if it had been, we might expect some such intimation.
If God had strictly commanded them to _exterminate all the Canaanites_,
their pledge to save themselves was neither a repeal of the statute, nor
absolution for the breach of it. If _unconditional destruction_ was the
import of the command, would God have permitted such an act to pass
without rebuke? Would he have established such a precedent when Israel
had hardly passed the threshold of Canaan, and was then striking the
first blow of a half century war? What if they _had_ passed their word
to Rahab and the Gibeonites? Was that more binding than God's command?
So Saul seems to have passed _his_ word to Agag; yet Samuel hewed him in
pieces, because in saving his life, Saul had violated God's command.
When Saul sought to slay the Gibeonites in "his zeal for the children of
Israel and Judah," God sent upon Israel three years famine for it. When
David inquired of them what atonement he should make, they say, "The man
that devised against us, that we should be destroyed from _remaining in
any of the coasts of Israel_, let seven of his sons be delivered," &c. 2
Sam. xxii. 1-6.]

[Footnote B: If the Canaanites were devoted by God to unconditional
extermination, to have employed them in the erection of the
temple,--what was it but the climax of impiety? As well might they
pollute its altars with swine's flesh, or make their sons pass through
the fire to Moloch.]

[Footnote C: Suppose all the Canaanitish nations had abandoned their
territory at the tidings of Israel's approach, did God's command require
the Israelites to chase them to the ends of the earth and hunt them out,
until every Canaanite was destroyed? It is too preposterous for belief
and yet it follows legitimately from that construction, which interprets
the terms "consume," "destroy," "destroy utterly," &c. to mean
unconditional, individual extermination.]

[The original design of the preceding Inquiry embraced a much wider
range of topics. It was soon found, however, that to fill up the outline
would be to make a volume. Much of the foregoing has therefore been
thrown into a mere series of _indices_, to trains of thought and classes
of proof which, however limited or imperfect, may perhaps, afford some
facilities to those who have little leisure for protracted









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The spirit of slavery never seeks refuge in the Bible of its own accord.
The horns of the altar are its last resort--seized only in desperation,
as it rushes from the terror of the avenger's arm. Like other unclean
spirits, it "hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest its
deeds should be reproved." Goaded to phrenzy in its conflicts with
conscience and common sense, denied all quarter, and hunted from every
covert, it vaults over the sacred inclosure and courses up and down the
Bible, "seeking rest, and finding none." THE LAW OF LOVE, glowing on
every page, flashes around it an omnipresent anguish and despair. It
shrinks from the hated light, and howls under the consuming touch, as
demons quailed before the Son of God, and shrieked, "Torment us not." At
last, it slinks away under the types of the Mosaic system, and seeks to
burrow out of sight among their shadows. Vain hope! Its asylum is its
sepulchre; its city of refuge, the city of destruction. It flies from
light into the sun; from heat, into devouring fire; and from the voice
of God into the thickest of His thunders.


If we would know whether the Bible sanctions slavery, we must determine
_what slavery is_. An element, is one thing; a relation, another; an
appendage, another. Relations and appendages presuppose other things to
which they belong. To regard them as the things themselves, or as
constituent parts of them, leads to endless fallacies. Mere political
disabilities are often confounded with slavery; so are many relations,
and tenures, indispensible to the social state. We will specify some of

1. PRIVATION OF SUFFRAGE. Then minors are slaves.

2. INELIGIBILITY TO OFFICE. Then females are slaves.

3. TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION. Then slaveholders in the District of
Columbia are slaves.

4. PRIVATION OF ONE'S OATH IN LAW. Then atheists are slaves.

5. PRIVATION OF TRIAL BY JURY. Then all in France are slaves.

England are slaves.

7. APPRENTICESHIP. The rights and duties of master and apprentice are
correlative. The _claim_ of each upon the other results from his
_obligation_ to the other. Apprenticeship is based on the principle of
equivalent for value received. The rights of the apprentice are secured,
equally with those of the master. Indeed while the law is _just_ to the
former it is _benevolent_ to the latter; its main design being rather to
benefit the apprentice than the master. To the master it secures a mere
compensation--to the apprentice, both a compensation and a virtual
gratuity in addition, he being of the two the greatest gainer. The law
not only recognizes the _right_ of the apprentice to a reward for his
labor, but appoints the wages, and enforces the payment. The master's
claim covers only the _services_ of the apprentice. The apprentice's
claim covers _equally_ the services of the master. Neither can hold the
other as property; but each holds property in the services of the other,
and BOTH EQUALLY. Is this slavery?

and intrinsic elements of the social state; the natural affections which
blend parent and child in one, excite each to discharge those offices
incidental to the relation, and are a shield for mutual protection. The
parent's legal claim to the child's services, is a slight return for the
care and toil of his rearing, exclusively of outlays for support and
education. This provision is, with the mass of mankind, indispensable to
the preservation of the family state. The child, in helping his parents,
helps himself--increases a common stock, in which he has a share; while
his most faithful services do but acknowledge a debt that money cannot

9. CLAIMS OF GOVERNMENT ON SUBJECTS. Governments owe their subjects
protection; subjects owe just governments allegiance and support. The
obligations of both are reciprocal, and the benefits received by both
are mutual, equal, and voluntarily rendered.

10. BONDAGE FOR CRIME. Must innocence be punished because guilt suffers
penalties? True, the criminal works for the government without pay; and
well he may. He owes the government. A century's work would not pay its
drafts on him. He will die a public defaulter. Because laws make men pay
their debts, shall those be forced to pay who owe nothing? The law makes
no criminal, PROPERTY. It restrains his liberty, and makes him pay
something, a mere penny in the pound, of his debt to the government; but
it does not make him a chattel. Test it. To own property, is to own its
product. Are children born of convicts, government property? Besides,
can _property_ be guilty? Can _chattels_ deserve punishment?

11. RESTRAINTS UPON FREEDOM. Children are restrained by parents, pupils,
by teachers, patients, by physicians, corporations, by charters, and
legislatures, by constitutions. Embargoes, tariffs, quarantine, and all
other laws, keep men from doing as they please. Restraints are the web
of civilized society, warp and woof. Are they slavery? then a government
of LAW, is the climax of slavery!

12. INVOLUNTARY OR COMPULSORY SERVICE. A juryman is empannelled against
his will, and sit he _must_. A sheriff orders his posse; bystanders
_must_ turn in. Men are _compelled_ to remove nuisances, pay fines and
taxes, support their families, and "turn to the right as the law
directs," however much against their wills. Are they therefore slaves?
To confound slavery with involuntary service is absurd. Slavery is a
_condition_. The slave's _feelings_ toward it cannot alter its nature.
Whether he desires or detests it, the condition remains the same. The
slave's willingness to be a slave is no palliation of the slaveholder's
guilt. Suppose he should really believe himself a chattel, and consent
to be so regarded by others, would that _make_ him a chattel, or make
those guiltless who _hold_ him as such? I may be sick of life, and I
tell the assassin so that stabs me; is he any the less a murderer? Does
my _consent_ to his crime, atone for it? my partnership in his guilt,
blot out his part of it? The slave's willingness to be a slave, so far
from lessening the guilt of his "owner," aggravates it. If slavery has
so palsied his mind that he looks upon himself as a chattel, and
consents to be one, actually to hold him as such, falls in with his
delusion, and confirms the impious falsehood. These very feelings and
convictions of the slave, (if such were possible) increase a hundred
fold the guilt of the master, and call upon him in thunder, immediately
to recognize him as a MAN, and thus break the sorcery that cheats him
out of his birthright--the consciousness of his worth and destiny.

Many of the foregoing conditions are _appendages_ of slavery, but no
one, nor all of them together, constitute its intrinsic unchanging

agents, chattels--converting _persons_ into _things_--sinking
immortality into _merchandize_. A _slave_ is one held in this condition.
In law, "he owns nothing, and can acquire nothing." His right to himself
is abrogated. If he say _my_ hands, _my_ body, _my_ mind, MY_self_, they
are figures of speech. To _use himself_ for his own good, is a _crime_.
To keep what he earns, is _stealing_. To take his body into his own
keeping, is _insurrection_. In a word, the profit of his master is made
the END of his being, and he, a _mere means_ to that end--a mere means
to an end into which his interests do not enter, of which they
constitute no portion[A]. MAN, sunk to a _thing!_ the intrinsic element,
the _principle_ of slavery; MEN, bartered, leased, mortgaged,
bequeathed, invoiced, shipped in cargoes, stored as goods, taken on
executions, and knocked off at a public outcry! Their _rights_,
another's conveniences; their interests, wares on sale; their happiness,
a household utensil; their personal inalienable ownership, a serviceable
article or a plaything, as best suits the humour of the hour; their
deathless nature, conscience, social affections, sympathies,
hopes--marketable commodities! We repeat it, THE REDUCTION OF PERSONS TO
THINGS! Not robbing a man of privileges, but of _himself_; not loading
him with burdens, but making him a _beast of burden_; not restraining
liberty, but subverting it; not curtailing rights, but abolishing them;
not inflicting personal cruelty, but annihilating _personality_; not
exacting involuntary labor, but sinking man into an _implement_ of
labor; not abridging human comforts, but abrogating human _nature_; not
depriving an animal of immunities, but despoiling a rational being of
attributes--uncreating a MAN, to make room for a _thing_!

[Footnote A: To deprive human nature of _any_ of its rights is
_oppression_; to take away the _foundation_ of its rights is slavery. In
other words, whatever sinks man from an END to a mere _means_, just so
far makes him a slave. Hence West-India apprenticeship retained the

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