Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

tures may now be brought to bear, with the utmost propriety, against the present system of oppression which prevails in this nation, merely because the circumstances under which this sin is now committed may differ, in some respects, from those in which men sinned when the various parts of the Bible were at first written, then it must follow, as an undeniable consequence, that no sins of any kind can be reproved, at the present day, in Scripture language, nor from Scripture authority.

It is not pretended that all the passages in the Bible, which relate to this subject, are brought forward in this little work, but it has been the author's design to notice the most of those which, it is believed, either directly or indirectly, show slaveholding to be a sin; and to do justice to the subject, none of those are omitted which have been so frequently quoted, and so strangely tortured to prove that the Bible justifies the system.

The work is divided into chapters, and the different authors or writers, from which the passages are quoted, are named at the head of each chapter. The notes are numbered to correspond with the texts upon which they are written.

This work has been prepared with the kindest of feelings, both towards the enslaver and enslaved; and if it should be the means of helping the friends of these two classes of our fellow-citizens, in any degree, to the use of those heavenly weapons, by which it is our duty to prosecute the great and good work of delivering the oppressed from the hands of the oppressor, the object will have been obtained. For the weapuns of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God, to the pulling down of strong holds ; casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knoroledge of God.

SEPTEMBER 4, 1836.

CHAPTER I.

WHAT IS SLAVERY?

The inquiry here is, not what was Roman or Grecian slavery, but what is American slavery? What is that slavery which has been created and which is still sanctioned by law in these United States ?

We answer, it is the condition of those of our species who are held and treated as property. In South Carolina, this state is described in the following language; -“ Slaves shall be deemed, sold, taken, reputed and adjudged in law to be chattels, personal, in the hands of their owners and possessors, and their executors, administrators, and assigns, to all intents, constructions and

purposes whatsoever." The law of Louisiana declares:

“A slave is one who is in the power of the master to whom he belongs. The master may sell him, dispose of his person, his industry and labor; he can do nothing, possess nothing, nor acquire anything, but what must belong to his master."

An act of the State of Maryland, declares slaves to be property, in these words :

[ocr errors]

pass an

“ In case the personal property of a ward shall consist of specific articles such as SLAVES, WORKING BEASTS, ANIMALS of ANY KIND, stock, furniture, plate, books, &c., the court, if it shall deem it advantageous for the ward, may, at any time, order for the sale thereof."

“ Slaves shall always be reputed and considered real estate ; shall be, as such, subject to be mortgaged, according to the rules prescribed by law, and they shall be seized and sold as real estate.Act of Louisiana.

Hence it appears that the distinguishing principle of slavery is this : slaves are not to be ranked among rational, immortal beings, but they are to be considered, held and treated as things, as articles of properly.

Now, whether the Holy Scriptures afford any authority for the assumption of that right or power, by which the enslaved are held in this condition, and subjected to the evils which directly or indirectly flow from it, may be determined at once, when we shall have seen how far this power extends.

From an examination of the slave laws, it will be found that the master's authority over his slave is as unlimited as it is over any other property.

He may at any time inflict any punishment upon the person

of his slave. He may determine the kind and degree and time of labor to which the slave shall be subjected.

« ZurückWeiter »