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making, and war-waging power, they must be content to compass the ends they aim at, by moral suasion. With this, they may well be content. More than this, they need not demand. Give the friends of truth and freedom access to the understandings, consciences, and hearts of their fellow citizens ; let them state facts, urge arguments, make appeals in the presence of the nation, and the dungeons of oppression will speedily crumble with the dust. Of this the abettors of slavery are well aware. Hence their desperate efforts to chain thought, to cripple inquiry, gag discussion. Do not those, who are almost if not “quite” ready to subscribe to the views of Dr. Rice know, that in a republic like ours, law-makers and their laws are indebted for their life and power altogether to public sentiment ? Let this be corrupt, and wickedness in every form may be legally enacted. Purify this, and good laws shine upon the pages of the statute-book. And purified it may be under God “by an excitement produced by speeches and addresses”-by the power of moral suasion. And who will forbid Reason to expose, rebuke, and restrain the wayward Will ? But the excitement ! Let it come! Let the infectious pool, stagnant, green, alive with abominable reptiles, be agitated. Who would not invoke and welcome the storm ? Better inhale the breath of the tempest than the infection of the plague. We do not choose to withdraw our sympathies from a celebrated “producer of excitement by means of speeches and addresses ” with whom we desire to unite in ojects, methods, spirit and hopes—that great master of moral suasion, who once exclaimed; “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: For the weapons 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 knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” Will the Christian Spectator inform us, whether in achieving such victories, the Apostle welcomed as an auxiliary “the religious feeling," and whether he ever tried, even at the hazard of an excitement, to enlist it by “speeches and addresses ?"
Dr. Rice believed, " that it never fared well with either church or state, when the chURCH MEDDLED WITH TEMPORAL AFFAIRS!” With temporal affairs ! And from what by such an intimation, would the doctor dissuade his brethren ? From meddling with one of the greatest evils ; according to his own showing, a MORAL EVIL, with which our country is cursed! Slavery, that mother of abominations—that source of crimes of all sorts and sizes—that sin, second in the eyes of Dr. Rice himself only to the sin of intemperance, he would have the church leave unexposed, untouched. They must not form benevolent societies; must not make speeches and addresses; must not produce an excitement; must not enlist the religious feeling in “delivering the poor and needy—in ridding them out of the hand of the wicked! No? Why? Because it has never fared well either with church or state, when the church have meddled with TEMPORAL AFFAIRS !" Stealing babes from their mother's bosom ;-merely a temporal affair ! Selling children by the pound ;-merely a temporal affair! Tearing the helpless husband from his frantic wife ; merely a temporal affair! Cutting men with whips for trying to "search the Scriptures ;"—merely a temporal affair! One church member putting up another at public auction ;-merely a temporal affair! Full indulgence for fornication, adultery, and murder—ay, murder “by moderate correction;"—merely a temporal affair! A legalized system of oppression, which consigns millions of God's children to insufferable wrongs and unutterable misery in this world, and to agony and despair in the future ;merely a temporal affair! Too vulgar for the church' to waste her thoughts upon ! or defile her hands with! We wonder, what a theological professor would have considered a spiritual affair ?-Ah, we have it! The doctor himself has solved the problem. Such temporal affairs are not to be meddled with, “while we go on MINDING OUR OWN BUSINESS, and endeavouring to make as MANY GOOD CHRISTIANS AS POSSIBLE among masters and servants !" Here is business as spiritual as mist and moonshine. “Go on, making good Christian baby-stealers! Good Christian children-sellers ! Good Christian wedlock-breakers ! Good Christian Bible-withholders! Good Christians; the pledged protectors of a system of fornication, adultery, and murder ! How spiritually minded, churches and ministers thus employed must be! With what pious disgust must they not stand aloof from such “ temporal affairs," as “ defending the
poor and fatherless ;-as doing justice to the afflicted and needy !"_Such “ good Christians” belong to a stock which may boast of high antiquity. The Hebrew Prophets found them very numerous; and took the liberty on various occasions to delineate their character and dispose of their pretensions. Isaiah, though his views and feelings ill accord with those of Dr. Rice, shall place these “ good Christians" in the light in which they ought to be regarded. “Yet they seek me daily, and delight to know my ways, as a nation, that did righteousness, and forsook not the ordinances of their God : they ask of me the ordinances of justice; they take delight in approaching to God. Wherefore have we fasted, say they, and thou seest not ? Wherefore have we afflicted our soul, and thou takest no knowledge ? Behold, in the day of your fast, ye find pleasure and exact all your labors. Behold ye fast for strife, and debate and to smite with the fist of wickedness : ye shall not fast as you do this day, to make your voice to be heard on high, Is it such a fast, that I have chosen ? A day for a man to afflict his soul ? Is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? Wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the Lord ? Is not this the fast that I have chosen ? To loose the bands of wickedness and undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke ?" Would Isaiah have been taught to deliver himself in such terms, if he had been trained up in Dr. Rice's Seminary? By all his regard “ for calculated consequences," would he not have been urged to let such “ temporal affairs" alone, “while he went on minding his own business, and making as many good Christians as possible !!
His skill in “calculating consequences” gave, we suppose, to Dr. Rice the right “to meddle" with slavery. For meddle with it he did, if we may believe what he asserts, that "it was his most ardent prayer, that we might be delivered from” this next to “ the greatest evil in our country.” But though it be a “delicate subject,” we cannot well suppress the inquiry, With what sort of prayers did Dr. R. seek deliverance from the evil, of which he so loudly complains ? That they were “ ardent”-“most ardent,” he himself has acknowledged. But what with a soul on flame with the vehemency of his desires, could he say? Between his
views of the evil and remedy of slavery, and his prayers for “deliverance from it,” we have a right to presume there must have been a strict consistency and a manifest harmony. From his description of the former, we may fairly infer the tenor of the latter. See the suppliant, then, upon his knees ! Listen to his “most ardent” supplications. Our Father, who art in heaven. Behold this nation, under the pressure of one of the greatest evils. Next to intemperance, I deplore before Thee the evil of slavery. I lift up my soul in earnest entreaty for deliverance from it. Save, Lord, save, I beseech thee! I confess before thee, that this evil depends upon “the state of the public will ;" that our "only possible chance of deliverance is by making the people willing to get rid of it.” But how, O Lord, shall they be made willing ? Thou knowest how fearful a thing it must be to have the religious feeling brought to bear directly on the subject of slavery;"> how little can be accomplished " by the combination of benevolent societies." Thou knowest how "little the great body of persons composing such societies, are accustomed TO CALCULATE CONSEQUENCES ;" how directly they are apt to go at their measure," and to "produce a strong excitement by speeches and addresses." Lord, as I am strenuously opposed to any movement by the church or ministers of religion on this subject,” so do thou graciously prevent them from “TOUCHING it." Thou knowest, heavenly Father, that “slaves,” thine own children though they be, "are held by law as property." Thy people cannot “ touch the subject without touching what are called the rights of property." “We cannot move a step in this way without wakening up the strongest opposition and producing the most violent excitement." - The whole mass of the community will be set in motion, and THE GREAT BODY OF THE CHURCH WILL BE CARRIED ALONG !" And then, what wilt Thou do for Thy great name? Stretch out Thy arm to prevent such dreadful results. For Thou knowest it has never fared well either with church or state, when the church has meddled with TEMPORAL AFFAIRS!" "I most devoutly wish success to the Colonization Society." Crown the efforts of this association with Thy blessing. But O, grant my “earnest wish, that its friends may not refer to it as a means of DELIVERANCE FROM SLAVERY !" Grant, then, Father of men, that “We may go on minding our own business.”
May we leave “the subject of slavery”-the slavery of our brethren and Thy children, “with the POLITICAL papers, reviews," &c., “to be discussed as a question of POLITICAL ECONOMY !” Teach us to “treat it as a matter of state concernment !" Help us, Thou who hast given Thy Son to die for the enslaved; O, help us “to examine its effects on the agriculture, commerce and manufactures of the state !" Enable us to compare the expense of free and slave labor ! In thy great mercy-for nothing is too hard for Thee--"set the people to calculating the weight of their burdens !" “Let them see how many old slaves and young slaves, who PRODUCE NOTHING, they have to support!” “Show them how slavery detracts from the military force as well as the wealth of a country, &c. &c.!" Open their eyes to “considerations of this sort, that, combined with the benevolent feelings growing out of a gradual, uninterrupted progress of religion, they may “set the people of their own accord to seek deliverance." "Such is my prayer !
Such a prayer is suited to the preaching, with which Dr. R. would edify us. What a prayer, to be offered for the repentance of those, whose “will” has involved the nation in an evil inferior, even in the doctor's eyes, only to intemperance !- the repentance of the guilty authors and supporters of a system of oppression, which is crushing and destroying millions of God's children! What a prayer, to be offered for the deliverance and relief of stolen men, who are robbed of all their rights, and whose welfare here, and whose happiness hereafter are set at nought, as a vile and worthless thing!
While he sees such men as Dr. Rice upon their knees, let every abolitionist be excited to prayer. Let him carry the insulted, outraged children of the Lord to their gracious Father. Let him carry the “little ones” of Christ, whose ransomed souls are put up at public auction, to their merciful Redeemer. Let him invoke the grace of the Holy Spirit upon His despised outcasts, who, while they are entitled to His influences, are shut away from his presence. Let him give the Avenger of the oppressed no rest, day nor night, till He arise to redress the wrongs and vindicate the rights of His own suffering poor.
Dr. Rice had reason to expect, that the “good christians” of the South would, whenever an occasion for so doing