Page:The Bible Against Slavery (Weld, 1838).djvu/18

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alleluia"—"For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honor. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet." Ps. viii. 5, 6. The repetition of this distinction is frequent and solemn. In Gen. i. 26-28, it is repeated in various forms. In Gen. v. 1, we find it again, "in the likeness of God made he man." In Gen. ix. 6, again. After giving license to shed the blood of "every moving thing that liveth," it is added, "Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed, for in the image of God made he man." As though it had been said, "All these creatures are your property, designed for your use—they have the likeness of earth, they perish with the using, and their spirits go downward; but this other being, man, has my own likeness: "in the image of God made I man;" "an intelligent, moral, immortal agent, invited to all that I can give and he can be." So in Lev. xxiv. 17, 18, 21, "He that killeth any man shall surely be put to death; and he that killeth a beast shall make it good, beast for beast; and he that killeth a man shall be put to death." So in Ps. viii. 5, 6, what an enumeration of particulars, each separating infinitely men from brutes and things! (1.) "Thou hast made him a little lower than the angels." Slavery drags him down among brutes. (2.) "And hast crowned him with glory and honor." Slavery tears off his crown, and puts on a yoke. (3.) "Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands." Slavery breaks the sceptre, and casts him down among those works—yea, beneath them. (4.) "Thou hast put all things under his feet." Slavery puts him under the feet of an "owner." Who, but an impious scorner, dares thus strive with his Maker, and mutilate his image, and blaspheme the Holy One, who saith, "Inasmuch as ye did it unto one of the least of these, ye did it unto me."

In further prosecuting this inquiry, the Patriarchal and Mosaic systems will be considered together, as each reflects light upon the other, and as many regulations of the latter are mere legal forms of Divine institutions previously existing. As a system, the latter alone is of Divine authority. Whatever were the usages of the patriarchs, God has not made them our exemplars.[1]


  1. Those who insist that the patriarchs held slaves, and sit with such delight under their shadow, hymning the praises of "those good old patriarchs and slaveholders," might at small cost greatly augment their numbers. A single stanza celebrating patriarchal concubinage, winding off with a chorus in honor of patriarchal drunken-