Page:The Bible Against Slavery (Weld, 1838).djvu/7

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THE


BIBLE AGAINST SLAVERY.




The spirit of slavery never seeks shelter in the Bible, of its own accord. It grasps the horns of the altar only in desperation—rushing from the terror of the avenger's arm. Like other unclean spirits, it "hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest its deeds should be reproved." Goaded to phrenzy in its conflicts with conscience and common sense, denied all quarter, and hunted from every covert, it vaults over the sacred inclosure and courses up and down the Bible, "seeking rest, and finding none." The law of love, glowing on every page, flashes around it an omnipresent anguish and despair. It shrinks from the hated light, and howls under the consuming touch, as demons quailed before the Son of God, and shrieked, "Torment us not." At last, it slinks away under the types of the Mosaic system, and seeks to burrow out of sight among their shadows. Vain hope! Its asylum is its sepulchre; its city of refuge, the city of destruction. It flies from light into the sun; from heat, into devouring fire; and from the voice of God into the thickest of His thunders.


DEFINITION OF SLAVERY.


If we would know whether the Bible sanctions slavery, we must determine what slavery is. A constituent element, is one thing; a relation, another; an appendage, another. Relations and appendages presuppose other things to which they belong. To regard them as the things themselves, or as constituent parts of them, leads to endless fallacies. A great variety of conditions, relations, and tenures,