X. Specific precepts of the Mosaic law enforcing general principles. Out of many, we select the following: (1.) "Thou shall not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn," or literally, while he thresheth. Deut. xxv. 4. Here is a general principle applied to a familiar case. The ox representing all domestic animals. Isa. xxx. 24. A particular kind of service, all kinds; and a law requiring an abundant provision for the wants of an animal ministering to man in a certain way,—a general principle of treatment covering all times, modes, and instrumentalities of service. The object of the law was; not merely to enjoin tenderness towards brutes, but to inculcate the duty of rewarding those who serve us; and if such care be enjoined, by God, both for the ample sustenance and present enjoyment of a brute, what would be a meet return for the services of man?—man with his varied wants, exalted nature and immortal destiny! Paul says expressly, that this principle lies at the bottom of the statute. 1 Cor. ix. 9, 10, "For it is written in the law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen? Or saith he it altogether for our sakes? that he that ploweth should plow in hope, and that he that thresheth in hope should be partaker of his hope." (2.) "If thy brother be waxen poor, and fallen in decay with thee, then 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. Thou shalt not give him thy money upon usury, nor lend him thy victuals for increase." Lev. xxv. 35—37. Now, we ask, by what process of pro-slavery legerdemain, this regulation can be made to harmonize with the doctrine of work without pay? Did God declare the poor stranger entitled to relief, and in the same
dues." Rom. xiii. 7. "The laborer is worthy of his hire." Luke x. 7. How did Abraham teach his servants to "do justice" to others? By doing injustice to them? Did he exhort them to "render to all their dues "by keeping back their own? Did he teach them that "the laborer was worthy of his hire" by robbing them of theirs? Did he beget in them a reverence for honesty by pilfering all their time and labor? Did he teach them "not to defraud" others "in any matter" by denying them "what was just and equal?" If each of Abraham's pupils under such a catechism did not become a very Aristides in justice, then illustrious examples, patriarchal dignity, and practical lessons, can make but slow headway against human perverseness!