Page:The Bible Against Slavery (Weld, 1838).djvu/27

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.

25

dren of Israel' and for the stranger that sojourneth among them." Deut. xxvii. 19. "Cursed be he that perverteth the judgment of the stranger."

VI. The Mosaic system enjoined the greatest affection and kindness toward servants, foreign as well as Jewish.

Lev. xix. 34. "The stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself." Also Deut. x. 17, 19. "For the Lord your God * * regardeth not persons. He doth execute the judgment of the fatherless and widow, and loveth the stranger, in giving him food and raiment, love ye therefore the stranger." So Ex. xxii. 21. "Thou shalt neither vex a stranger nor oppress him." Ex. xxiii. 9. "Thou shalt not oppress a stranger, for ye know the heart of a stranger." Lev. xxv. 35, 36. "If thy brother be waxen poor thou shalt relieve him, yea, though he be a stranger or a sojourner, that he may live with thee, take thou no usury of him or increase, but fear thy God." Could this same stranger be taken by one that feared his God, and held as a slave, and robbed of time, earnings, and all his rights!

VII. Servants were placed upon a level with their masters in all civil and religious rights. Num. xv. 15, 16, 29; ix. 14. Deut. i. 16, 17. Lev. xxiv. 22.


III.—Did persons become servants voluntarily, or were they made servants against their wills?


We argue that they became servants of their own accord.

I. Because to become a servant in the family of an Israelite, was to abjure idolatry, to enter into covenant with God,[1] be circumcised in


  1. Maimonides, who wrote in Egypt about seven hundred years ago, a contemporary with Jarchi, and who stands with him at the head of Jewish writers, gives the following testimony on this point: "Whether a servant be born in the power of an Israelite, or whether he be purchased from the heathen, the master is to bring them both into the covenant. "But he that is in the house is entered on the eighth day, and he that is bought with money, on the day on which his master receives him, unless the slave be unwilling. For if the master receive a grown slave, and he be unwilling, his master is to bear with him, to seek to win him over by instruction, and by love and kindness, for one year. After which, should he refuse so long, it is forbidden to keep him, longer than a year. And the master must send him back to the strangers from whence