Page:Appeal to the Christian women of the South (Grimké, 1836).djvu/18

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opinion, hence Isaiah says, "When the Lord hath performed his whole work upon mount Zion and on Jerusalem, (then) I will punish the fruit of the stout heart of the king of Assyria, and the glory of his high looks." And was it not so? Open the historical records of that age, was not Israel carried into captivity B. C. 606, Judah B. C. 588, and the stout heart of the heathen monarchy not punished until B. C. 536, fifty-two years after Judah's, and seventy years after Israel's captivity, when it was overthrown by Cyrus, king of Persia? Hence, too, the apostle Peter says, "judgment must begin at the house of God." Surely this would not be the case, if the professors of religion were not most worthy of blame.

But it may be asked, why are they most culpable? I will tell you, my friends. It is because sin is imputed to us just in proportion to the spiritual light we receive. Thus the prophet Amos says, in the name of Jehovah, "You only have I known of all the families of the earth: therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities." Hear too the doctrine of our Lord on this important subject; "The servant who knew his Lord's will and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes:" and why? "For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall much be required; and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more." Oh! then that the Christians of the south would ponder these things in their hearts, and awake to the vast responsibilities which rest upon them at this important crisis.

I have thus, I think, clearly proved to you seven propositions, viz.: First, that slavery is contrary to the declaration of our independence. Second, that it is contrary to the first charter of human rights given to Adam, and renewed to Noah. Third, that the fact of slavery having been the subject of prophecy, furnishes no excuse whatever to slavedealers. Fourth, that no such system existed under the patriarchal dispensation. Fifth, that slavery never existed under the Jewish dispensation; but so far otherwise, that every servant was placed under the protection of law, and care taken not only to prevent all involuntary servitude, but all voluntary perpetual bondage. Sixth, that slavery in America reduces a man to a thing, a "chattel personal," robs him of all his rights as a human being, fetters both his mind and body, and protects the master in the most unnatural and unreasonable power, whilst it throws him out of the protection of law. Seventh, that slavery is contrary to the example and precepts of our holy and merciful Redeemer, and of his apostles.

But perhaps you will be ready to query, why appeal to women on this subject? We do not make the laws which perpetuate slavery. No legislative power is vested in us; we can do nothing to overthrow the system, even if we wished to do so. To this I reply, I know you do not make the laws, but I also know that you are the wives and mothers, the sisters and daughters of those who do; and if you really suppose you can do nothing to overthrow slavery, you are greatly mistaken. You can do much in every way: four things I will name. lst. You can read on this subject. 2d. You can pray over this sub-