Page:The Bible Against Slavery (Weld, 1838).djvu/11

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science, 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 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 him 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!

That this is American slavery, is shown by the laws of slave states. Judge Stroud, in his "Sketch of the Laws relating to Slavery," says, "The cardinal principle of slavery, that the slave is not to be ranked among sentient beings, but among things—obtains as undoubted law in all of these [the slave] states." The law of South Carolina thus lays down the principle, "Slaves shall be deemed, held, 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."—Brevard's Digest, 229. In Louisiana, "A slave is one who is in the power of a master to whom he belongs; the master may sell him, dispose of his person, his industry, and his labor; he can do nothing, possess nothing, nor acquire any thing, but what must belong to his master."—Civ. Code of Louisiania, Art. 35.

This is American slavery. The eternal distinction between a person and a thing, trampled under foot—the crowning distinction of all others—alike the source, the test, and the measure of their value—the rational, immortal principle, consecrated by God to universal homage, in a baptism of glory and honor by the gift of His Son, His Spirit, His word, His presence, providence, and power; His shield, and staff, and sheltering wing; His opening heavens, and angels ministering, and chariots of fire, and songs of morning stars, and a great voice in heaven, proclaiming eternal sanctions, and confirming the word with signs following.

Having stated the principle of American slavery, we ask, Does the Bible sanction such a principle?[1] "To the law and the


  1. The Bible record of actions is no comment on their moral character. It vouches for them as facts, not as virtues. It records without rebuke, Noah's drunkenness, Lot's incest, and the lies of Jacob and his mother—not only single acts, but usages,