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Fiat Justitia Ruat Cælum.
have received the sanction of a just and merci- || tory upon us, (which we deny,) the advocates of
negro slavery would gain nothing by the admission. For it has already been shown that the latter has no parallel in ancient history.
If the comparatively mild system of servitude which existed among the Hebrews and the neighboring nations, was sanctioned by the Jewish lawgiver, does it follow that the more cruel and debasing bondage in which the negro race are held in the United States, would also have been tolerated? The many humane provisions contained in the law, in favor of the bond servant, prove the contrary-provisions which, if admitted into our code, would be found incom
"Slavery, says he, "was established and sanctioned by Divine authority, among the elect of || Heaven-the favored children of Israel. Abraham, the founder of this interesting nation, and the chosen servant of the Lord, was the owner of hundreds of slaves;—that magnificent shrine, | the temple of Solomon, was reared by the hand of slaves." Truly the professor must be accredited for boldness of assertion, in the absence of all evidence. What proof have we that Sclo-patible with the present system. That of Deumon's workmen, and the Tyreans who assisted teronomy xxiii. 15 and 16, would alone be sufficient to put an end to slavery in this country, them, were slaves? None but the word of Proand proves the mildness of servitude among the fessor Dew. "The servants of Solomon," and Hebrews. Thou shalt not deliver unto his mas "the servants of Hyram, king of Tyre," were ter the servant which is escaped from his master unto thee; he shall dwell with thee, even among not slaves, in the modern use of that term, but the subjects of those kings. We have no evi- you in that place which he shall choose, in one of thy gates where it liketh him best: thou shalt dence in the only authentic history of these not oppress him.' Again: The penalty for manevents extant, of their being servants in any stealing, by the 21st chapter of Exodus, verse other sense than the subjects of absolute monarchs. 16th, is death. And he that stealeth a man, and The political condition of the subject under those selleth him, or if he be found in his hand, he shall surely be put to death.' The crime is absolute kings, furnishes no argument in sup-ranked in immediate connexion with the capital port of the unconditional slavery and abasement of the African race, in a country where personal freedom is the acknowledged right of every man. Besides, the builders of the temple were architects of the first order in skill and experience in the art. And we have the evidence of history to prove that none but freemen were permitted, in those days, to be initiated in the art of building.
Again. The professor asserts that the patriarch Abraham owned hundreds of slaves. We assert that he never owned one slave. One assertion is just as good as the other, because neither assertion is capable of proof. The probabilities of the case, however, are in favor of the latter assertion. First, because the government of Abraham over his household was patriarchal. The servants born in his house submitted to his paternal authority, as children to a father whom they loved, and obeyed from a principle of love and gratitude. Secondly, because the servitude among the Hebrews, as we discover from the Pentateuch, bore no analogy to the slavery of the African race in our own country. The lat ter finds no parallel in ancient history. The
condition of the slave in the United States is beyond comparison more hopeless and debased than the slave of ancient Greece or heathen Rome. And when we attempt to compare it to the condition of the Hebrew servant, the contrast is so striking and obvious that the two conditions cannot be represented by the same form of words, and ought not to be designed by a
"But granting for the sake of argument, the civil provisions of the law of Moses to be obliga
offence of smiting or cursing father or mother,
If the Mosaic law is to be resorted to in justification of slavery, let us take the whole of it as it was given by the inspired lawgiver; and let not the hapless servant be deprived of its lenient provisions in his favor. If we are to be Jews and not Christians, let us at least be consistent Jews, and conform literally to all the instructions of our lawgiver."
(To be continued.)
From a late English publication. PETITIONS RESPECTING NEGRO SLAVERY.
Ought the friends of lawful liberty to petition for the complete and immediate emancipation of the oppressed Negroes, that they may at once be raised from slaves into subjects; and while they share in all the wise and wholesome restraints of law, may partake with us in its privileges and blessings?-or, ought they to insert in their peti
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tions any subordinate clauses, such as, that the deplorably defective propositions of Mr. Canning's administration, may be carried into effect || -and, that the children, born after a certain date, shall remain free? &c. &c.
1st-They ought to petition for complete and immediate emancipation of the Negroes, in the above sense.
Because it is morally right.
Because the Negroes have a right to it, whether we look to the fundamental principles of the constitution of our country, or of the religion of Christ: and of this right, nothing can rightly deprive them, but their own guilt. But they were stolen before they could be guilty-they were stolen as soon as they were born.
Because every moment they are kept in slavery, places them under the most violent temptation, to hate and destroy their masters-and continually endangers one or other of two dreadful catastrophes, viz.-either the utter extinction of the slaves, through the yearly slaughter to which they are actually subjected in our colonies-or, their retaliating upon their tyrants, in a deluge of blood, whenever amidst the revolutions, sudden as the whirlwind, to which all despotisms are exposed, the grasp of the tyrant relaxes, and the oppressed trample in their turn upon their oppressors.
Because, if we do not free them to-day, tomorrow the empire over them may be torn from us, and we be left to mourn, when it is too late, that we had rejected the golden opportunity of doing them justice, and of averting from our souls the curse of their groanings!
And because their history is replete with evidences, that nothing but placing them under the dominion of law, with all its upright restraints to coerce them, and with all its sacred privileges to awaken their affections and to inspire them with hope, is wanting, to make them as free, as useful, and as happy as any other class of our fellow subjects.
2d-We ought not to insert in our petitions, any subordinate clauses, such as those above mentioned &c. &c.
Because it is our duty to petition for the whole-it is our duty to do all in our power to have justice done instantly and universally.
Because to petition for a part, in the same petition as we petition for the whole, is inviting those whom we petition, in the first place at least, to give us that part instead of the whole.
Because, if the government be inclined to give us the whole, we shall only perplex them petitioning for a part also.
Because, if the government be inclined to give us the whole, they do not stand in need of our assistance to tempt and encourage them to give us a part.
Because, if we ask for nothing more or less than what is evidently upright, and do this in a right and lawful manner, we cannot conceive it possible that the government will be less willing to give us all which they will give, when they find that we do not, and dare not, tempt them to give us, at least for the present, less than they ought to give.
Because colonial slavery is a national crime of the most atrocious description; so atrocious, that our own legislature has declared a mere branch of it, the African slave trade, to be felony! and because it is the nation's duty, at once and altogether, to " cease from doing evil!"
Because no sin ought to be tolerated, even for moment by any body-it is every body's duty instantly to cease from sin.
Because in the same manner, it is every man's duty to do all that he rightfully can, immediate. ly to put an end to all sin in others.
Because to suffer sin upon our country, is in God's own language, to hate her in our hearts. Because the worst way in the world to get rid of sin, is to parly with it. It is, in fact, but a device for remaining for the present at peace with it. But, say some, the politicians will rise up against us, and we can never succeed. Well, they are but politicians, and who does not know the character of their wisdom! God, who requires right, is wiser than the politicians, and He knows how to bring their wisdom to nothing; we ought to look to Him, not to them; and where is their power, when, listening to the cries of His children, God fights against them!
The sin of Slavery, and its remedy; containing some reflections on the moral influence of African Colonization. By Elizur Wright, jr., Professor of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy, Western Reserve College. New York. 1833."
We propose to take a summary view of this pamphlet of fifty-three octavo pages. It is writ ten in the spirit of Christian benevolence, but with the uncompromising fearlessness of conscientious rectitude and uprightness of intention. The appalling magnitude of the evil of slavery is vividly portrayed; and the veil which sophistry and selfishness have thrown over the lauded scheme of African Colonization, is torn asunder; and its inefficiency fairly exposed. We shall copy the introduction entire.
The American revolution was incomplete. It left one sixth part of the population the victims of a servitude immeasurably more debasing, than that from which it delivered the rest. While this nation held up its declaration of independence-its noble bill of human rights before an admiring world, in one hand, it mortified the friends of humanity, by oppressing the poor and defenceless with the other. The progress of time has not lessened the evil. There are now held in involuntary and perpetual slavery, in the southern half of this republic, more than 2,000,000 of men, women, and children, guarded with a vigilance which strives, and with success appalling as it is complete, to shut out every ray of knowledge, human and divine, and reduce them as nearly as possible to a level with the brutes. These miserable slaves are not only compelled to labor without choice and without hire, but they are subjected to the cruelty and lust of their masters to an unbounded extent. In the northern states there is very generally a sympathy with the slave-holders, and a preju dice against the slaves, which shows itself in palliating the crime of slave-holding, and in most unrighteously disregarding the rights, and villifying the characters of the free colored men.
At the same time, slavery, as a system, is (in a certain sense) condemned. It is confessed to be a great evil, "a moral evil," and, when the point is urged, a sin. The slaves, it is admitted,
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have rights every principle of honesty, justice, || the practicability of rescuing the victim by flatand humanity, "in the abstract," calls aloud thattering the oppressor, the whole cause of Christhey should be made free. The word of God istian benevolence is attacked? If not, why not in their favor. Indeed, there is no ground claimed by the abettors of slavery, on which they pretend to justify it for a moment, but a supposed, a begged expediency, baseless as the driven clouds. I say baseless, for while not a single fact has ever been produced, going to show the danger of putting the slaves, all at once, under the protection of law, and employing them as free laborers, there have been produced, on the other side, varied and fair experiments, showing that it is altogether safe and profitable.
In this state of things where has the American church stood? Has she too sympathized with the hearts of the Pharaohs? Or has she, in the spirit of the martyrs of former times, borne an unflinching testimony against this sin? Alas! the painful truth stares us in the face. She has come down from the high and firm foundation of scripture truth, and is professedly at work upon a floating expediency, doing against slavery what can be done upon the unchecked current of popular prejudice. Speaking through the organ of the Colonization Society, she has admitted all that the most determined slaveholder could ask, and she is doing just that and no more, which, so far as he understands the subject, he hails with pleasure as a safeguard to his property in human bodies and souls. This is the testimony of slave-holders themselves -most competent witnesses.
Is further evidence needed? When the American Colonization Society, as a remedy for slavery, has been called in question, as well it might be for its tardiness, if for no other reason, there has been manifested a determination to
hush inquiry. There has been a most pusillanimous shivering and shrinking from the probe. Nay, the few men who, in the uncompromising spirit of Christian benevolence, have urged this inquiry, have been slandered as disturbers of the public peace-have been assailed with abusive epithets, not by slave-holders only, but by their brethren in the bosom of the church.
A most singular spectacle is presented in this enlightened and Christian age; a handful of philanthropists dare to denounce a system of legalized oppression, and to charge guilt upon all who uphold it; upon this, not only do the principals in crime, as might be expected, ascribe the whole to sheer malice, but the leaders of the Christian church, as ought not to be expected, endorse and give currency to the charge, and throw the whole weight of their cold and crushing influence to smother in its cradle this attempt at a gospel reformation.
welcome inquiry? A thorough investigation, a looking on both sides, would surely do no harm. Those defenders of truth who have shunned such inquiry, have always proved themselves short-sighted. The cause of God courts scrutiny-its advocates are thrown into no unseemly agitation when they are most rigourously sifted. The subject cries aloud for more earnest consideration than it has yet received. More than two millions of outraged, down-trodden men cry out, shall we die in this sore bondage that white Christians may have the pleasure of attempting to shun God's wrath without repenting of sin? Half a million of free colored men cry out-America is our country-the land for which our fathers bled as well as yours. Why will you seek to banish us? The wrongs of the poor Indian cry aloud, There is no safety in league with transgressors! The present political aspect of the South cries out, that tyrants do not regard law! Six hundred millions of idolaters cry out to the American church, "Why pluckest thou the mote out of thy brother's eye, and behold a beam is in thine own!"
Let us, Christian brethren, for I will not waste an appeal upon those who do not acknow. ledge the authority of the Gospel, dispassionately, and in the fear of God, look this inquiry in the face-Is the Colonization Society doing what the gospel requires to be done for the removal of || slavery and its concomitant sins?
Take the following pointed testimonies as a specimen of the boldness with which our author meets the question of slavery, and presents it to his readers in all its naked deformity. Who can say that the description is not true-that the denunciation is not just? Many thousands who think they have a testimony against slavery are afraid to speak their real sentiments lest they should give offence-they have not moral cour age to speak the truth, to give utterance to their own convictions, lest they should be the means of producing excitement in the South. And what is still more to be deprecated, they censure and condemn those who are less timid, and squemish, and cautious, than themselves. It is cheering to see men engaged in the righteous cause of emancipation who are not afraid to. "beard the lion in his den," and who will speak the truth, regardless of consequences. Such a man is ELIZUR WRIGHT. Hear him.
What does all this mean? Are Christians in these northern states interested in upholding slavery? Are they unwilling to be convinced "It is heard from the south, and reëchoed that their colored brethren are better than the from the remotest north, that instant emancipa. slanders of their oppressors would make them?tion "would be but an act of dreamy madness". Are they sure, beyond a doubt, that the coloniza--the fatal match to produce a most appalling tion scheme will relieve our country of the mighty evil which is crushing it? that it is the Christian way to relieve it? Are they on good evidence convinced that it is not expedient to say to the wicked, "O wicked man, thou shalt surely die?" Must they have PEACE at any rate -peace, though the groans of millions should ascend and mingle with the muttering thunders of coming wrath? Will they have it, that if a word is said against a mere experiment, to test
and distructive explosion. A reformation so sudden, it is said, would be worse than the sin. But where are the facts? In the name of sacred verity, where are the FACTS? We must have evidence, the same in kind, and not less in de. gree, than that which convinces us that the sun will rise to-morrow, before we believe that God has so constituted his creatures that they must continue in one sin to avoid another, or that there is danger in being just and merciful. In
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Again, the guilt of slave-holding may be clearly seen from the relation it holds to acknowledg ed sins. I have already hinted at this; but let us look it more fully in the face. Why has it come to be a settled point, (in the abstract, the slavery apologists would say,) that man is unfit to be intrusted with despotic power? Why, but that this very power stands in the relation of a fruitful parent to all the transgressions of the second table of the law? Destroying natural affection, exciting anger, lust, extortion, falsehood and cruel covetousness? timony of facts in regard to slavery in republican America? Look at the prodigality and shameless profligacy of southern youth. How many a son has been sent to the distant university, surrounded with whatever advantages wealth could procure, and after having been sub
What is the tes
the entire absence of facts which prove them, || will you answer when I shall make inquisition for and in the face of facts which disprove them, I blood? Is the church to rise up and cry, this is must believe that the evil consequences of imme-not a religious but a political question—it will diate emancipation are confined to the fancies of exasperate sinners, it will divide Christians, it the apologists of sin. will grieve the blessed spirit, it will put an end If then there is guilt any where, it rests in to revivals. Well might God say of such a full weight upon the present slave-holder. In church, "They draw near to me with their mouths.' vain he looks around him for those modifying 'But we hope better things, though we thus, circumstances which may change his crime to a || speak.' The church, as a body, (I speak with misfortune. Out of his own mouth he is con- I out respect to denominations,) has taken her demned. He admits the guilt of the kidnapper,|| view of slavery, not from the word of God, but the slave-merchant, the original purchaser and from a supposed expediency. She has consider. why? Not simply because their transient agen-ed it a political question, settled by an authority cy was marked with cruelty, but because the with which she has no concern. Moreover she consequence was the perpetual slavery of a race, has heard the statement of one party only; the and the entail upon a fair country of a blighting slave-holder has told his story, but the poor slave curse-a consequence for which he, in his place, has not been heard. Let the doctrines of scripis responsible. Guilt, however, is not measured ture be now at length preached; let the facts, by the consequences of action, but by some the woful, blood-stained facts, be spread out; let known rule. To say nothing of the voice of the tale of a slave's wrongs enter the ear, and conscience, the Word of God is plain: Thou the church, as a body, will rise in the might of shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." Who would truth. Her testimony will be uttered, and heard, put himself under the arbitrary control of an in- and felt. She will speak out, and trust God for dividual, rather than under the mild and steady the consequences. government of law? Who would himself be willing to labor without wages, and have his own support, and that of his family, depend upon the will of any man, however good? Thou shalt not steal,' says the supreme law; but the slave-holder is a perpetual thief. He steals, not 'to satisfy his soul when hungry,' but to feast on dainties, to pamper every lust. There cannot be made out a clearer case of violation of divine law, than slave-holding. The very permission given to the Israelites to make servants of the heathen who dwelt about them, is a proof against the slave-holder. Did God grant an express permission to his people to buy and use oxen? An express permission implies that a thing would be wrong without it. But the bible contains positive instruction on this subject which is applicable to all,-fair expositions of the general law in regard to this very thing.jected to all that is reformatory in discipline, Is not this the fast that I have chosen? To and stimulating in the love of praise, has returnloose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy ed to his house a ruined debauchee, made so by burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and the vices that he carried from his father's roof? that ye break every yoke?'-Isa. lviii. 6. Mas- Did the parent's heart break? No: it was the ters, give unto your servants that which is just heart of a slave-holder-it was too hard! It and equal; knowing that ye also have a Master thrust away the undutiful child from the scene in heaven.'-Col. iv. 1. In the first epistle to of his first lessons in guilt, to the riper instruc Timothy, first chapter, tenth verse, the apostle tion of hoary-headed gamblers, profligates, and classes men-stealers with whore-mongers, liars, duellists. Look again at the shameless violation perjured persons, and the like; on this passage of the seventh commandment. Reed the proof there stood in the standard of the Presbyterian in the thousands of mulattos born of black mochurch, till 1818, this very appropriate comment: thers every year-born to be treated like brutes 'Men-stealers among the Jews were expssed to by their own fathers! Shall I enter into further capital punishment; and the apostle Paul classes details? Most easily I might, but the task is them with sinners of the first rank. Stealers of needless. The abomination is open, the cry has men are all those who bring off slaves or free gone up to heaven, the very sun turns pale! men, and keep, sell, or buy them; comprehend-Shall I not be avenged on such a nation as this, ing all those who are concerned in bringing any saith the Lord?' of the human race into slavery, or detaining But is there no reproving, reforming spirit among them? Does not the Christian pulpit But in 1818 this note was struck out. That thunder forth the penalties of the insulted law? is, when the General Assembly of the Presbyte-Is there not an intrepid remnant of God's elect, rian Church saw that the thieves,' were respect-whose lives are a standing rebuke to the general able, 'then it consented with them, and became corruption? No, the pulpit is spell-bound. The partakers with adulterers.' And has God indeed message of God is clothed in pointless generalplaced a church in the world to say that his lawities. The righteous are tamer than Lot in is too severe ? Do his redeemed people tarry in this wilderness on their way to glory, to keep sin in countenance by sympathizing with shame. less rebels? If God asks the transgressor, what will you do when I shall deal with you? What
them in it.'
Sodom. The prophet dares not take forth the precious from the vile; I speak of the general fact. If there are men, and I rejoice to believe thereare a few, who dare openly attack slavery on bible ground, they are regarded as insane by
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their brethren. Their most celebrated philan- || are laboring under the peculiar disadvantages of thropists, in view of all the sins of the system, domestic servitude, and while, indeed, as a comthink they have done enough when they have munity, we hardly express so much sympathy with exposed, what every slave-holder knew well them as with their masters, will it not be expedienough before, the pecuniary waste which at- ent for those who can do it conscientiously, to say tends it. They hope that a clear demonstration that slavery is always wrong or even wickedof the pecuniary unprofitableness of slavery will as a sort of foundation for their efforts towards its supersede the necessity of any more direct and removal? I ask those sober men, who have hazardous aggression. Vain hope! Will the sharpened their vision by looking after conseloss of property stop the drunkard, or the gam-quences and circumstances in the dim field of bler, or the debauchee? The slaves are held by political expediency, was any great triumph the lust of power and the lust of pleasure, Are ever won in favor of truth, by concealing truth? these passions, cherished, fortified, enthroned in the heart as they are, to be weakened and expelled by the love of money?
Let those cherish such hopes who can shut out the glorious sun at noon-day, and illuminate themselves with rushlights. For one I disclaim all respect for such childish absurdity, and cowardly good nature. If man is not a soulless brute, the whole system of slavery, in all its parts, by whatsoever circumstances surrounded, and whomsoever upheld, is a monstrous sin, a most comprehensive and damning iniquity, for which it is downright treason against God to offer the shadow of an apology, and for which there is no remedy but the uncompromising truth of the gospel.
Such is the slavery which cleaves to our republic, and holds in its fist, defying heaven's wrath, one sixth part of our population. Who shall gauge the current of its wo? Who shall calculate the amount of sighs, and tears, and wailings, and of unspoken anguish, that have flowed through it during one hundred and fifty years? Who shall sum up the bitter complaints which it has poured into the ear of an avenging God? Who shall despise the coming retribution? Let those do so, if they will, who represent slavery as a curse which we innocently inherit from our fathers-which we cannot throw off, how ever much we may desire to. I must be permitted to "tremble for my country," while I regard it as a crime which has polluted this whole nation from the lakes to the gulf, and from the river to the sea. While I claim the right, nay, while I avow the imperative obligation, thus to denounce slavery, be it understood that it is not on the ground of my own innocence. The consciousness of past guilt sometimes impels a man to speak the terrors of the law in the ear of a fellow sinner. Slavery is not the exclusive sin of the South. Northern ships and northern capital helped to introduce it; and northern capital and northern morality throw the strongest shield around the system at this moment. And is this a reason why northern men, washing|| their own hands of the guilt, should not raise their voices against it? Is it not rather a reason why they should do it the more earnestly? If slavery has polluted the moral atmosphere of the nation-if it has stupified the conscience and paralized the energy of the church of God-if it has written "hypocrisy" upon the portals of the sanctuary, and thrown doubt upon the very existence of love for souls, (and who will say that it has not?) shall those who see, and know, and feel all this, smother their convictions of duty? And for what?
Or should such language seem too harsh, (for I would not be guilty of uttering truth in words which are too true,) if there is any apparent inconsistency in professing to love God, while we do so little for 2,000,000 of our fellow men, who
From the Friend, or Advocate of Truth. THE POOR AFRICAN'S COMPLAINT.. The editor of the Friend, in his remarks upon this piece, says :-"The story of the poor African, on the last page, is no poetic fiction; it is literally true. The man whose captivity it relates, was remarkable for his integrity and fervent piety; and he was generally esteemed in the neighborhood in which he resided. His character gained him admittance into many worthy families, on the same terms of friendship as his paler neighbors. He has laid down his head in peace, and his spirit rests with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, beyond the reach of the oppressor." While round my head time spreads perennial
Remembrance backward far her twilight throws;
Came to my threshold, and would there narrate,,
And esculent riches in the enclosure round.