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The Washington union. (City of Washington [D.C.]) 1857-1859, March 03, 1859, Image 1

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SI'EECII OK MK. K Ki l l ,
or aunu cakouxa ;
IJIk-iciI in tin; Houac of ReprMk.ii halve*, February 28,
IHSii, (Mr. Bocock in tiie chair.)
Mr. Chai?*a* : It In u peculiar tendency nf lumo Wind*
to accept, 'I - facta, foregone convhotiotM which, other wine
defined l>y tliv ?w of thing,.. frOilUotly corn* to delude
ui with tin' miunt vuiniklt of truth Among theme
i? tk of faith whMi dm iiiiml in no prone to |>crforin, I
iu?y well Itn alhovtid to uicliulc the. general belief tliat
(he direct mikiiou of Cliriktiruiity went beyond the rc.|.inpti"H
of Houlk, and that, breaking the fetter* of band
it was intended to elevate the tiavi to an equality,
which demon It* pefcdbiHtlva from the brain* only of
no ab ut finmtii iem, nkilfldly egged on by political knavery.
If. B'r, ?n paa' occamon*. and in the remark* which
1 have deemed it projier to ntaho in defence of the inatiI
ui ion of kluvcry, in the aeiikc that it violate* no law of
Cluiki and involves mi commikkiou of kin, 1 have not gone
....... v.. ........ r..., ... ....r,tukca
the teachings of the Uoijx.1; thou timy I boldly nr.
.. it (lint. a* ('UriuUaitity never eoudemu.-1 ? neither did
it abolish slavery, through the apple .it. i or enlorceintnt
of any binding, ciuiou law of the Church
'Ike church, Mr, whutevci \ou ui*y deem Hint to l*?,
in it* agencies on Iho body politic, wiu? no institution outside
of tlic general lawn, which contiol society. It was
ila boast, on the contrary, that it could fitly haimontae
with the nniMof social interests, nlik h It found in existence
when it was orgsniarol. The proclamation of Chris
(Unity, therefore, culled for no abolition, by virtue of
any *u|wrior right, of the forum of government; nor ilid
it produce any sudden revulsions in the cntahiishcd order
of thing*. If, according to the teachings of fit. J'.ml to
the (irtlntiaa* a doctiiue which, I think, 1 have strictly
explained?thore be an equality among men, that equal
ily does not extend to the eo-ordinations of liuiuun society.
Its level, ?if, Is outside of the measurements of
earth. It is dn'AVu in the eye of (Usl, who lias said "My
Kingdom Is not of this oarih;" and itinmks the equality
as a spiritual one, justifying the declaration that " He is
no respecter of person*," its conqsmenfs of a body of
hnuiati society.
In order, sir, that there might is: no donbt on thissnb
jeet, the same Apostle, training the Corinthians, who, as
0 reeks, were the owners of slaves, and who, ns neophytes,
might have harbored some scruples tho same Apostle, I
siy, training (lietit to the knowledge of spiritual gifts,
heralds, as it wore, his teachings to the Galntiaud by the
declaration to the Corinthians that " Hv one 'yirU are they
all buptiiud unto one laxly, whether they bedews or
tlelitiloB- whether they Is: bolid or free," The very
illustration which he nreij to euforeo his teuehing and its
meaning fore lays the ground which 1 have laeupiixl >?
repelling the sophisms of a Christianity condemning
slavery into sin. 'J'he teaching of the Apostle, sir, is that
the influence of the spirit of faith reduces all the discrepant
elements into one body for the reception uud exercise
of rjnrUual gifts ; but the discriminations between the
valines memliers of the body are. clearly retained, and
(lie necessity of their relative uses elegantly enforced. It
is the wisdom of the jsrgan Agtippi, made holy by the
breath ol Divine inspiration, speaking through the lips
of tho Apostle I'aUl.
Vsiforo tied, therefore, and liim only, according lo the
earliest Christian doctrine, arc men equal; and in him
are found the source* of a freedom not human- the spiiitu.d
freedom which l'anl defines as the ' 'liberty of the
sous'of tied." Thus, then, Christianity deferred to the
arrangements of the social organism, which it found existing
ou its advent. Society was then, :is it is now, ugreat
hisly, each memlrcr of wliieh lias its own special use and
assignment an organir.ition in which each one com iiiaudod,
hy the Master himself, t o oucitpy his station
and perform his task, la that otgani/.ation, among the
other integral elements, the Aposile found the slave ;
hut neither in (tie name of his Divine Master, nor hy
rirtue of his mission of truth, did ho withdraw the slave
from the obligations of flic general, social scheme. Tim
inequality of the ntntus remained as it stood before the
promulgation of the soul-saving law; whilst equality
merely was proclaimed in the right to, and in the participation
of, thoec spiritual gifts wliicli arc assurances *u
the salvation of aoiils, wliether they live and believe and
pray, in the body of tlie master or of the slave ; whether
the slave was one of our i wu rare, as lie then existed,
with, the superior organisation, whieh we claim and \ indicate
; or whether lie he, as now, the black Imrbui i?n,
redeemed from the savngistn of Africa, and tlirougli the
noviccship of domestic slavery, inducted Into the humanising
arts of life and trained to the very knowledge ol
spiritual things, which hauls to the salvation of souls.
Now, in the act of making its proclamation, Christianity,
as I have already shown, neither assailed, repudiated,
nor condemned any of (he distinctions whieh society had
wen fit to establish anil, hy inference, whatever it may
now have established- hut, on the contrary, its voice, <>'>
r.iHiuc rrriiw, down to the present day, commands obedience
to the order of filings and enjoins "tribute to whom
tribute is due ; custom to whom custom; foir to whom
fear; and honor to whom honor." This, I take it, sir, is
tin- real spirit in which the oiiginnt Christian faith prescribes
its rules of conduct for until, so long as social distinctions,
that is, so long as society itself" shall continue
to exist.. It, may, and 1 am free and bold enough
to declare it, it docs bring the master and the slave
up to the Maker on a footing of equality when it.
comes H> the scrutinies ot tlie soul. Hut, tar liom
condemning tlio Inwful distinction and (lie, consecrated
right as between the mister and the slave, it does,
in tfie name of that Maker, sanction Hie distinction,
recognise the right and demand kindness ft<nn the one,
and from the other obedience. This, sir, is the whole
and defined extent of the apostolic teachings on this subject
of slavery, Beyond that, the Gospel, whicli those
apostles were commissioned to teach and expound, far from
condemning slavery, supplies for it, on Hie contrary, a
prep and a stay as an institution of society, not repudiated,
not reproved, lint act ually admitted hy the scheme of
the salvation of mankind! A self-consistent Clnisliitii,
unless lie be "in the 1 Kinds of ignorance," lias no right,
therefore, to condemn slavery as something reprehensible
m the religious point of view, lie cannot declare it at war
with tie' mandate of (!<sl without declaring himself, i/>*>
J'icto, wiser and holier than the God who instituted it by
the revelations of the primitive, law, and sanctioned it by
the silence, at least, of the New Testament, which is the
record of that law fulfilled in its essence !
Hence there is no teaching of the Apostles, there is no
decision of the Chinch which they reared I mean, fir,
the f'liurch which existed when tbelc was none other
that could pretend to decide whieh has declared the
tenure of slaves to he sinful, whether j?r *a or in relation
to the utterances of God's law. Unless 1 mistake, Mr.
Chairman, the normal rule of the Church has ever heen :
"In iinrutiriit mufti*; in ihihiit hltrrln.?; in ctmnihun chnriln* "
i A magnificent rule, sir, whieh I should he glad to see
applied to tlie wielding of our political trust. Hut.
whether or not applied by us, that unity you And among
the .Vpodtra ; you find it in those who followed them,
and you find that it has not been departed from, so far as
ri.ivvij ih i uii(cnn<i. < mi Liu* i n;ivu niupiy,
" ><1 1 trust victoriously, shown litiw it wim treated and
uiidei stood by those who were immediately unit by the
Saviour iih heralds of his law and of iiin creed.
But, Mr. t*li ilinion, whatever may lie the diversities
mid dissidenccs of tin* day, 1 main lain that, an tin* tiulli nl
be doi tiiiie of Christianity is mm and essential, wi was
its application in Ilio origin, and in the course Of time, one
and essential. It will now therefore Iw mine, in the pu i nri i t
of my object, to endeavor to show what was held in reference
to slavery by the earliest expounders and defenders of
the Christian faith. Should you follow, sir, the application
and Keipiel of that doctrine during the ages which wit
Messed tho establishment ol" the Church should you ex
amine us usages and practice you will find them all
converging into testimony against the Innovations of our
'itnes. Impure into the teachings ol the successive. tins
lees of (lie new faith, when it had isased to 1 in k in (he dai h
lornois, or had emerged from the crypts and theipiailies,
lo stand face to fare with the institutions of (lie empire,
i' not to supply one of (lie elements the only one, in
deist ol its lineal power ; and they will answer out total
Ism of jaditieal Christianity to their contusion, if their
Ii'udiho.,i| . ,11 confounded, us wa ll Hs to, their shaine,
if tliey have retained that distinctive attribute of man
It was tlio etraiuptons of that church, -ir, who, resting
en (lie Uowpnl of their Master, settled tin canons of the
early faith and doctrine, which some of our "eleventh
hour' men now ignore, if not. repudiate, because they
p otest against their unholy passions and pliaiisuic cant.
Knr the former against ttie Utter. I may, at least, claim
the lkeiirfit oi the axiom of human law pow ya 'ini
s t fitf, i*Jmr lit* in )?/! Their piiorlty of possesion, in
time, is a warrant, at leant, for tlieir prioiity of posses
?f)C 1
VOL. XIV. NO. 271. I
hiott iu tight. Ask that church. UKR'tot, bishops and
tuuliurs, wlnMU lolloWCIa till' ll.'l siguod their faith with
llir blood of inailyrdom. Ask those who piously g.ith
cted Hit traditions of that church :tmt tin luithtully
hMhlcd the teachings of tlmt faith. " Ask your (stints,
sad they ivill show you your eldcn, mid tliey will
teach you," tlmt tlm doctiine wliicli they nwirud on
I tliis Subject froui the lunula of the A|<oatlos, tlmt doctrine
tlioy dclivciixl to their pimple in tlm huccuhuIoM of time.
i Tlioy will teoeh tlmt none they received und notte they
taught, of u |?;iein|itory chinicUr, against the tact or
I right of slavery ; bUt tn|us iully tlmt notui did they re
i dn or teach, which marked it with the Lnutid of sin,
or of violation of either covenant or <los|iel law !
j Now, air, as all are agreed in admitting (he tirst four
j 'centories, up to the liftti age of the Christian church, as
| jsuiods of authority iu matters of I'ailli, so shall I pan-,
| sir, through tlmt period as cursorily ss the subject wilt
allow, and, among other authorities, Invoke that of some
of the fathers, dm tors, Ami saints the great lights and
able e* ponenU of the creed tor tlm true doctrine of
r.Uvery iu connection with the permissions or Inhibitions
of the law of (fori. In the teachings and exhortations
of these futhirs of the faith, 1 see much that ju-tilics
slavery a* a mutual condition of social life ; much
tirat apix-als to the charities of the master iu regard ol
his slave ; much that admonishes the slave flint he owes
to that master tho tcrx ice of his body ; hut I see nothing
UOt One word which distinguishes the institution by
I he chur.u U iistic of. sin.
j lit the foremost rank of authority, sir* I (Poet with the
! name of Igualius, bishop of Anlioch, and one of the car|
licst fathers cf tile church. When 1 say in the foremost
I ranks, 1 do not mean that his teachings aro invested
i with more authority than nre those of his coterapoia!
ries and successors All of them are alike entitled to
| credit and faith, lint I mean to say that the logic of
j I,miner and Norton stands still impregnable ; and that
j all the sophistries of a Strauss or a Keurhiich have not
yet succeeded, us they never mn succeed, lit thrusting
liiui from lib "local habitation," and living, touching
action in tin; Apuntul(c age. It is (lie mime of one, sir, wlio
not only ministered wlion the voice of the Apostles wai still
Hitging in the cure of tho faithful, hut one, also, whose own
Voice was the echo of Piter s, the tint appointed shepherd
of the Christian their, from whom lie had learned not
that slavery is sin, but, on tlie contrary, tlint the
slave is, by tile law of God, Subject to his master "with
all fear." It you east, sir, a retrospective glance at the
then existing condition of things, you will find that,
forgetful of the declaration of the Divine Master, the
, ltonian world that, sir, had gut to lie the whole World
the lioiuaii world, I say, uiilieeding his wolds, " My
' kingdom is not of this world," deemed that he had conic
to overturn the existing order and substitute tor it a material
organisation of |Hiwer. As St raid had been as
billed with questions, all looking to a supposed change in
tlie social order, and atfecting the relations of hiislstnd
and wife, of |ureut and child, of man and woman, of
master and slave, in the arrangement of human, legal
society, so were his successors plied, in the course of
time, witli inquiries all tending to the same ends for decision.
Hence you liml the good Bishop of .Antioch,
among the anxious inquiries of his llo<k, adverting to this
quest ion of domestic slavery, writing to l'olyearp, and,
through liiui, n commending to the Christian slaves, by
whom he was surrounded, just as St. l'aul bad done to
those of his missionary provinces, to lie obedient to their
masters in the tlesh, and still more faithfully and assiduously
to serve, for the very reason that they M* IMllcVfci!".
in the faith. 1 ask yon, s'r, tr? liWd tlie Import of his
words. As (lie slaves lielieve mm rrr.lulrrint?so the
mere Ale they bound to serve their masters in the tlesh?
plus douiinh ramalibu* trrrire ilthrreAnd where, sir, do
you tiird tliis imperative command ? Is it in the evidences
of mere human speculations ? Is it in tlie delivery
of mere human opinions, which tnay, or may not, work
conviction in the human soul ? Why, sir, it is in a book
of testimonies, drawn up by one of the original teachers
of the faith ; drawn up by one trained to immediate contact
with the A pontics, and charged by immediate com
mission to teuch to the hock whatever essential thing of
that faith they hiul received from the master's lips.
Proceeding in this Inquiry, which, 1 repeat, is intended
to show that our northern antichrists ure porvortcra of
tb? primitive faith, when they say Hint the doctrines of
the Saviour proclaim slavery to lie a sin, I find, in the
middle of the second century, a legion of missionaries
starting from the shores of Asia Minor ; from those
shores whore the teachings of the true creed had la-en
delivered by St. l'aul to the firstlings of the Christian
faith, i find them, sir, coming out of the people, whom
John tiie Evangelist, at a later period, addressed without
rebuke, if not in praise, for that they were one of the two
congregations that had received and still retained the doctrines
of truth. I find them coming from the very spot
where Irenaus had been trained to the knowledge of that
truth by Poly carp, the Bishop of Smyrna, in the vindication
of which tire good bishop set up his testimony of
martyrdom. Yes, sir, under the lead of I'ottlnus and
IreiueiiH 1 find these witnesses of the truth of the doctrines
of the Christian church. In all its relations with social
life, wending their way from the shores of the Hilxinc
and the jKgean to the fastnesses of Western Gaul, to pull
down (lie dolmen of the druftl, nnd rear in its stead flic
altar of God I ? to dispel the falsehoods of heathenism
and Hash the lights of Christianity. For that purpose,
sir, they Went to those provinces in which tiro general
(silvern Of Home preload in every form of enormity.
Provinces in which the institution of Roman bondage
a fearful system, sir, 1 am free to confess?
exhibited its bareboat features in the right of conquest
and the usage of slavery combined. Those
missionaries not like our northern fanatics, missionaries
of Imto, insubordination, and bloodshed ; but tiiissiorm
ri<s of love, duty, mid obedience?wo lind, sir, preaching
self denial and patience to tbe conquered trila*. To the
rural slaves wo lind them holding up tbc duty of oliedience
iu the nam*' of Hut Redeemer. Those men wove
bis representatives. Tin y could not, sir, disparage tbe
iKSoneo of their mission, nor bclio the. truth of the doctrine,
which they hud traditionally received from his divinely
unerring lips. The testimony of history is still
I extant to toll us that those provinces of both Cisalpine
and 'I'ransalpine (iaui swarmed with herds of paujter,
and multitudes of slaves?slaves, so recognised both by
tbc pro-existing usages of the trilte and the sulwequcnt
law of conquest. Anil these, sir, in contact with few,
] very lew. provincial masters, the majority of whom were
! actually emancipated slaves theinselvos ! They greedily
clustered nrniind the strange heralds of a strange
creed to them. The, hopes of that creed the promises
of its sdvntion?were fendercd to them. Ilut
nothing was taught them that could affect their ?.>i
till condition, which it was not within the scope
' of the divinu mis-ion to touch. They clustered around
j these "heaven-alighted" heralds of spiritual weal. Wo
have, Rir, the record of the histoiy of those days for
; the fact that they asked easement from their estate of
bondage : and you have, sir, tbe answer also of those
in u of pi.' iee and justice. The early repiescntntlvo of
that Chuich, which claims that it cannot err, liccnusc it
claims to l e under the guidance and the presence of its
| founder one of the living and successive echoes of the
I teachings of the A|s>stle IVter, caught from the li|?> of
i that founder, ami of the. Apostle Paul, miraculously initiated
into the sccicts of His will lumens has hut one
; answer, like St. Paul's, for their anxious iii.|uirings : S(i,-*?*,
ritfii rml dfrinl, vlii* ilumiti? nmifitihun un virf iltbtr?
' Skives . for the very reason that you are Ujiovors for
i the very n anon that you have la-en redeemed from the
j daiknees of paganism for that, very reason are you still
; j-"
' Kir, is thin it nrw iloctiino of Ireiucua f Wore the onm
j ol the (initio klavex (Ik: liikt thnt had over hcen iiddremieil
I Iiy tliin doctrine <>l Kiilmiii-Kion, involved in tlie doctrine
j of truth ? Why. air, a century had acaruely gone by
when to the Kphe*jniia, lo the (iithilinns, to the Cm inthlann
nay, to the Very pnaton of the cliiiichc* ftinl inis
klonnric of llie f.-iitli llmt doetiine linil lieun proclaimed
nnil unjoined I?y 81. Peter mnl St Paul, lost, in (lie wind*
ol (lie latter, "(lie mime of (iml hIuiiiIiI lie blasphemed 1"
Why, kir, go to the convention* go to Die jmlpitn. or
to whatever place in which onr "covenanting c-nlm" ex
nit in their saturnalia if p<tendu-Christianity proclaim
thin doctrine, taught, maintained, and enforced hy the
Immediate recipient* nnil I lie cx(ioiinderK of the faith, mid
onr moiletn improver* of it* torn hinge would not, I have
little doiilit, hesitate to denounce l'eter nnd Paul iih per
vertim, if, imleed, they kIiimi( ! alistuin from the Ma*
phi niy of elmrging the Saviour with Imposture !
And yet, sir, were klavery a kin, ?m onr Inducer* pre
tend it folk' were it, and liftd it Iktii, a violation of lie
ooiinnnndmenU of the law of grnre never, ?inrn the
ilay s of the Mantel himself healing the slave of (he Clen
e:ierviw, rtim civlHnillt, |tm dnmlnls narnatltw*, ssriire tie
I lure." TVkllmon ; lib : 9. cap : 79
turlon, had such an opportunity offered for its condcin <1
nation in the name of Ood. Never mull mi opportunity <
for holding it out to tlie fciv mantels converted to tin' c
faith us u sin blighting the soul and subjecting them to I
the anger of Heaven, in those provinces, sir, the slave* <1
being incomparably more niimeTous than the musters, I
tlni tit at missionaries of the faith, had they acted in 11
| policy, and not In truth, wight haV* said to the former, r
In allsWer, 1 'The lass of the Redeemer is against (lie a
' claim of tlioso who hold you in Ismdagc ; yon, as well as I
| they, have la-en called t > the knowledge of divine (J
11 nt h : and we, as its messengers, declare to yon that lint <
divine truth charges you torefnse them service and ohe- s
dicnce, hecunse the service given and the obedience claim i|
ed are violations of the law of Ood, mid sin committed t
in his sight." Was that the answer, Mr. rhnirman ' t
Happily, sir, the voice which, peal'ng lilsiVe the roar ol i
... .... ...hi v? ? iii
! had "brought hi* warrant to tho knowledge arid teaching j I
j of truth ;" tin* voice of the holy martyr, Irian, uh join I
; iug In the concert, of nine thousand otlierChiistiao voii h ! g
of masters unit slaves dinging the pcans of martyrdom, j
^till rings through the lapse of seventeen liunilmi year* | i
this answer to those who hypocritically descant on the j a
slavery bin ot the S nith .* Servos, cum crrtlidcrint, fl". <lnn- \ i]
j mil romaUlm terrirr d'hrri slaves, as you are believers, s
j the greater your duty to serve your masters in the tl. h ! j c
You cannot, sir, ojwii a single i?".go of tho history of i
, iIhwo days, which f1' 'lie I'.t'us Hot only of modern Ids o
tory, htit the baptismal record, also, of all modern so- j '
elety, without finding testimonials of this kind. Ac
eoriling to iSt. Hilarlus, a truly religious man is to take ii
no account of the condition of freedom or of slavery ; h
whilst he makes no distinction of bondage, but that of t
the soul in sin.? (Slavery, therefore, not as understood f;
and judged by the vulgar, is but an empty name, which i
may deceive the herd only as to the relative condition of >
master and slave. It is a mere accident of life a fact t
which may Isj set among those things which arc inuna- t
tcrlaf in themselves?tilings that may lie good or laid in i
accordance only with the dis|Kisition of the spirit of those t
who arc submitted to its tiials and its ivnulri'iiiciits. I
tliHal, if tlicy obey the injunctions of the (Saviour, speak j a
ing through the Apostles. l!ad, if they resist tjio man J
date, in the resisting of which lie the ilisrcgaul of the i c
law and tho guilt of sin f Now, sir, do you liml a word i
I in this which goes to make slavery sin No doubt it i-> (
[ an inconvenient thing, says the doctor ; it is a hard obli- s
' gation of life ; but is it a sin, as our modern doctors t
touch .' Not u word, sir, about, that. Put the bondage s
of tlic soUl, which is sin, that the teacher of the primi u
tile Ini111 holds to lie wretchedness, indeed ! u
1 Another one, sir, and oOe of even greater authority, il j
; there can bo relative demons of authority tipou an essen- i I
. tial truth, (he great Risil, enforcing the example of St ! |
| l'aul returning Onesimits to Philemon, prescribca to hi- \ J
I clergy to admonish and ntnrnd the slaves wlio take refuge i
! in monasteries, and to return them to their master's nu- j
i thority. To the slaves themselves, by the seventy- \
| fourth of his rules, lie enjoins the duty of obedience i/uwii- t
i mt mrnalibtu to their masters in the tlesh. In others of 1
j his dogmatic writings, having special reference to mat- i
; tors of faith, the great doctor docs not scruple to in- 1
. vest iiis reasoning in the formulas of Aristotle, and to i
proclaim what That slavery is a curse and a sin .' |
Why, sir, that "it is useful and profitable to him, who. i
from inferiority of faculties, lias not within himself the <
means of self-guidance, and requires it from abler | \
hands " j t
it.!.., ihough more radical than tlio teachings of any ! 1
j of the other fathers, Augustine and Ambrose, perhaps, i I
( .repicii, ik niicuy III Keeping wiiu eocir lessons, iiiiii
j looked to the eininii ipation of souls from the bond* o(
: sin mill not to the enfranchisement of slaves from the
; master's rights. We find another example, sir, derived
from the tunic doctor ; 0110 which, although not presented
; in n didactic form, in not the leas significant of his tenet* on i
tlie nature of slavery and tlio diameter of the slave. In- j
tnlidvely questioned by Simplicia, nn Arian lady, who
i called him to account for some of his opinions?his very |
dictum, it nmy he, on the subject of slavery?the eiui- |
neut Bishop tells her: "My discourse* are not sucti as yon I
\ deem them. God will be my judge. If witnesses be re- j
I quired, Itt no tluva be brought forward against int. lVople of |
that condition shall not stand at tlie judgment seat ; liut j
virtuous and perfect tneii, who shall see in reality what is |
i now seen in (lie spirit only." We of the South, sir,
might well borrow the. vindications of the learned doctor
and equally pure saint to answer the impertinences of the
pantalooncd Kimplicius of the Noitli ! I would naturally
expect them to pervert the true doctrine, speaking
through his lips, and assail a character which still splendors
with all the beauty of primitive virtue. Well, let
them| if the-y boose. What tin: reasoning of a Wolf might
lie against an originally-appointed shepherd of the (lock I
will not stop to impure. Yet it seems to me, Mr. Chairman,
that it might not, by comparison, disparage the
i logic of our meek northern friends, who assume to them <
selves the exclusive wardship of the American Christine
flock, to howl denunciations against the other pastors who
have guided their sheep in the spirit of truth that- has
lawfully come down to th an. As they now denounce us
, of the South, who maintain that slavery is neither imI
moral nor nntichristiun, so I have no doubt they will not i
! spare their abuse of the teachings of the tirst shepherds of |
j the fold, into which some there lie who are irreverent
enough to suspect that they have stealthily clambered to
; contrive mischief and suggest bloodshed in the Muster's
' name ! I
However this may prove, Mr. Chairman, I find uddii
tional reasons for its probability in the accumulation of |
irresistible testimony, which rises out of this inquiry,
provoked by the repeated slanders of our adversaries. 1
liud another expounder of the curly faith of the Christian
church, as one of the body of heralds and teachers of the
Gospel, tire promises and reaches or which are bound only I
by the durations of eternity. Him J find a profound j
thinker, a faithful bishop?a man of a far-reaching iutel1
Igct, of inflexible justice, and of saintly purity. In that !
' man, sir, irt St. Ambrose of Milan, i liud a like identity, !
a like coherence of doctrine on this subject of slavery, as
{ handed down to him by the apostles through his prede- 1 t
j ceaeora. Slavery is one of the conditions of life; but it *
j is no violation of the law of God. II is a hard estate; (i
I but it is no destroying sin. Far from it ; St. Ambrose t
j holds that it may be an useful necessity. You have heard, t
sir, one of the lights of the custom church, St. ltasil, do- s
l iming that inferiority of faculties makes bondage profit- t
able to the slave. Listen now to an equally great head i
i of the western church, irt perfect accord, and in coriso|
nant faith with iris co-worker in tire task. St. Ambrose, t
| iit iris treaties on tire life of beatitude, speaking of tire j r
j bondage to which Jsrtnc reduced Ksuu, Iris own son, ml- j i
| vonces the proposition that it was right, tlrat iv.au t
i should serve a brother inert prudent titan himself f Mr- ! I
I ror, sir, is tiro child of Time ; (ruth tire offspring of I 1
j Eternity. Troth, therefore, is ever unchangeable. I 1
The doetiinc of the earliest guardian! of the creed of 1 t
truth, after a lapse of fifteen hundred years, is the dec d
! trine of those of its who maintain the lronetit of tire inst.i- Q
I tut Ion for the welfare, moral, physical, and religious, of A
tire African slave. A race, sir, which, for all tiro con- n
tacts of civilization, is marked for the lower readies of its
scale. A race, which, witli the pretended blessing of t
cmanci[ration, after the Gainings of Inlxrr had initialed t
them into a species of elevation, have shown themselves i;
to Ire so utterly incapable of self-guidance and so ludi- ii
crously unfit for self-government, in a rn<r marked >?y I t
every characteristic which defines strict inferiority, n
This, sir, is what we, who ere the founder* and tliu judges j a
of our own system of society, maintain; t his is whnt. the ad- i
| mitted levites of tlie faith have justified in times past | t
This is what warrants us in hurling beck, upon our tin- j o
durcrs, the charge of sin against (iod ; especially when i h
slavety Seems so manifestly to lie one of lire means of his j d
providential ends. To this view of the epilation, the t
doctrine of St. Ambrose is germuncly applicable The en h
feoffment of ISsan into liis brother Jacob's hand is addi- si
tionally sustained as coming within the intentions of o
<lod ; whilst, un the pretended sinfulness of slavery, as a h
fact existi nt in society, Ambrose leaves no doilbt With c
him, as well as with the other doctors, the only bondage II
is that of sin. 'lira slaveiy of tlio body is a condition of ?
human existence, and, ns I hare already shown from an f(
other source of Authority, a merely hard estate of life. d
But, sir, from whatsoever body of authorities, I defy
nny opponent to show that the keepers and expounder* of
the primitive faith though they held the fact of slavery i
to lie a harsh one though they pleaded earnestly foi its
mitigation ever held it in any other view than that of J,,
one of the inconveniences of life, like pauperism, for in- r>
stance; or ever proclaimed it to he iu violation of (lie I*
Owi'lalonetR ror|siris r*-5> * nnlm genera lta? rte> |<l<it. <1 ' ir
flrlum t|i?k'Urin dnrum. b?rnihi mm uinninn im-ombib-; v^r<S Ml
:?tmi ?' i-.tptlviliH Infill ?v " Trnrf ; in 6 4 il
hM|wrfir* n??? |*>???rn? rt nltornm r*?per?\ - rvir?Mi*i?M?n!f lit ?
i nrH'l/ri/i'irf frgft't'lnr. Jinlnon : tit vi/S (mittl ; lib 2. c. 3.
gtcm 1
RSI) AY, MARCH 3, 1851*.
liviiui law. 'I'o suppose tti.U they ever could have Jujir
o is impomilblr it is monstrous. TVy, sir, were selfonslstont
in'Mi ; they were men of sense aud conscience
Kitti Tlrey claimed anil inserted tin: right of being the
le|>o.-it.iiics of tlio faitli and the disciplines which the
kjH?th.i bad taught and they knew, long licfore our
imricrn-tiiucji discoveries, that every lino which heart the
ocorti and enjoins (he disci p! ill OS of Unit faith stands out In
censing rebuke of the perversions of our opponents,
hey, therefore, could not stultify themselves and die
[race their ministry by teaching that to be sin which lire
riginal doctrine had not no taught. On the contrary,
Ir, Itoth St. Augustine and St. Chrjsotttorn, far from
luallfyiug slavery as a sin, claim it to be tire result of
he violation of the law of God, arid, therefore, ono of I
he forms of displeasure indjeated by the Maker for the
nliingeinent of his lyill. Tlteiti 1 liaie Kel?ot?d, sin, to
omplcte my testimony, drawn from the primitive sources, ,
iccaus as expounders of tiro tenets of the Greek and
,?tin church, they stand prominently in advance of their 1
;lot iou* compeers
St. Augustine, in his magnificent coucoptiuir of the }
uvstic city of (lorl, lays down the theory of slavery with j
,n unfaltering hand. Proceeding to argite that tire conlition
of slavery must have been rightfully iui[sis d on
inning matt, Ire conclude* that sin was the original
nunc of bonibige. If tlrat be w?, sir, then uut 1 justified
n having, upon other occasions on this floor, carried its
rights to tlio very threshold of hiltum existence, j
Kin," says the great doctor anil logician, "is the primal I
ause of slavery. Whence, mail was made subject to man
n the bond of its condition, 'rhirh cmihl not br riunr, en*pl j
</ tlir jmlymatt of (!od, in whom there can be no ilijusice."
And this is not merely his own exposition of tip:
set ; not merely his own conclusions from it,
mt, like all the other doctors, ho rests them, so
ir as tlicv have any binding power, on the teachings of
he Apostles who, lie repents after all his coadjutors, comiinuderl
the slave to oltedlcncs. Nay, who exhorted them
l' they could not lie cmanci |si ted by tlieir masters to turn
iieir bodily bondage into spiritual freedom and to servo
heir ma-iturs in good will, until all human principalities
.nd powers shall have passed away, and Ural is all in all!?
So, Mr. Chairman, according to St. Augustine, who
uinot lie presumed to Irate had as much learning or
lave wielded so powcifu! an intellect as the llevcrard
"heevers, or the equally l'evcrend Ikeeher, hut who asuredly
must l?e admitted to be as genuine an interpre
er of the <l<Htnii(H el Christ an 111?-y call possibly he ;
Iuvery i> the result of the wilt ami judgment of God, in
rhi,in there is ho iniquity. Vet, sir, I lie Reverend Choovors
aid the equally Iteverend Beecher stand up in their pulliUmid
virtually d.nUH us for allowing that which lie I
limself instituted by special ordinance for a *|>eri;tl pur- j
kw ! A strange phase of sin, indeed, would that prove, ,
ilr. Chairman, which is laid down by one of the aocrcd- ;
ted expounders of the Christian faith rtB tho result of a
udgmcnt of a God, njiiut quern noil e*( inf/nila* -of K God
vhoin it were blasphemy to submit to our scrutinies or
o charge with injustice ; yet a God whom our northern |
Wends do not hesitate to arraign, and constructive- !
y to eondenin, before their own impeccable tribulai
! Kir, I do not pretend to he very familiar
\ith the question, as agitated in this special form, by the
last expounders of the faith. Indeed, I confess that my
nquirics on this ground are of n comparatively recent
late. That they have been routined to ascertaining
vhcth.T, actually and truly, in the opinions mid by the
cachings of out fondle,arris, We uro tile shocking ?!Mtfre
vhicli our loving llreilircn would have ti* appear. C011ined,
sir, to ascertain whethef the fc'liarge that "slavery
s a sin," made against us of the South, is founded in the
estiinoiiies of the early church ; and whether those,
nany of them Indeed, who gave evident*! of the true
ipirit of faith, in the greedy raptitres of martyrdom, had
eaily marked ns, for centuries and by anticipation, as
violators t?f tlie law of God, into which our charitable 1
lortlicrn friends would pervert us in tile sight of the
ountry and of the world ! Ves, sir, I confess that heI'ond
that line my investigations imve scarcely gone ; hut
[ inn equally bound to feel and to know that they have
ed me far enough .tutecc tlie shallow intensions ol
>ur detractors, and to discover the source of much of the
irerbity, the presumption and Intolerance of those who I
ifleet flie nion<>|>o.'y of moral goodness nod religious
ruth, liy virtue of their nurora-borcalis system of faith,
ooking like the true light, yet flashing nothing but error
md b lie over the northern heavens ! Now, do I under- I
fund, sir, the truculent ravings?tlio nnul-house blasphemies
of au 'anti-slavery Scripture and an anti-slavery
Jod?" The flat of that Scripture, which, In this matter
it least, cannot be theirs?for truth and falsehood cannot
xi-exist?is against their calculated malice ; and the very
dtlinanue of the God whom they would impiously shn|>o
a their views sjieaks in condemnation of their arrogant
pervorsions. They howl against the slaveholder of the
South in their very inability to convict him of sin in
>wning slaves. Still move fiercely do they howl against
is in their impotence " to rail away the seal'' from the !
testament of truth, which, not ranking slavery among \
the Infringements of the law of God, has been handed to
is by the early propagators, doctors, and martyrs of the ;
.'hristiaii faith to protest against their attempts to wrest i
ts legacies to their own uuhnllowed ends.
1 have said, Mr. Ciinlrman, that St. Augustine has laid |
lown the theory of slavery with an unerring hand. It !
s saying hut one-half of what he has done on this head
IVith u precision more marked and telling than nnv- j
liing that characterizes either Pagan or Christian think- j
)r? with a closeness of reasoning more binding than you ,
Ind in an Kpictctns, a Seneca, or a Lihnnitis, he clenches
lie question XVIMi me iiai 01 ail nuiuoiiiv which no ucuiiicii
vritei eoulit command- His premises lie carries to rondusious
which none hut the hopelessly ignorant anil the j
.vllfully perverse can resist. V<>? have heanl him, sir, 1
ay down the proposition that slavery is the consequence j
>f sin rightfully adjudged, and here-'urih/ so, by a (tod in I
vliom there is, and there ean lie no injustice. Listen i
low, sir, both to the logic of the philosopher and the |
loetrines of the suint. In the sequence of Ills clinined j
otielusions, ho takes issue with our good friends and i
ells them not that slavery is sin?but that so soon as
in aborted its power it tainted the freedom of man,
aid, in so much, introduced slaveiy. "From this fact,
herefore," argues the great doctor, "both the slave and
he master may alike derive groat advantage ; if they
shall consider that out of Kin grew among uien the dis- ]
Inction which marks the domination of the master, and, I
hi the other hand, the subservience of the slave.'"j*
I would suppose, sir- indeed, any one might suppose- |
hat, after conclusions so teiminative, the question might ;
veil he closed. The learned and holy doctor, however, ;
s not satisfied with results which might leave room for !
lie duuhts of the skeptic or the objections of the sophist,
'nking up bis own argument, be reduces it, under every '
base, to the searching scrutinies of bis own vast intel- j
eel and comes to the ultimate conclusion that slavery is j
be result, of a prc-conccived intention ; that, it is evilent
that it was biwftilh/ intriubweri into the world hi/ the law j
f nation*, ami that the slaves, by the mandate of Holy
Vrit, ti ecriptitrC tarra/il, are bound to acknowledge their '
nasters and to serve them ;
Stepping from this conclusion, sir, the doctor cariies j
bo question upon other grounds. He acorns to have on- i
kiips tod the very objection of those who, admitting the
utruduetion of slavery by the will of Hod. claim that it
< condemned and abolished by tlie subsequent law of
he gospel. If slavery entered the world through sin, It
nay lie argued, he says, that it was blotted awav by the
But the answer to the objection immediately follows in
bo compactness of reasoning, which is peculiarly bis
wn. "These questions," be savs, "may lie satisfactirily
settled by one solution. Our forefathers, indeed,
id sin, nml by their prevarication introduce slavery into i
be world ; but that slavery, thus introduced, their pos?ri
I if ?ti f, l,v 111,, fllct of their owo sills!'' F lllll V
ilrlv lost the question, Mr. ('buirmnii, on tin; authority
f a teacher, of whom wr have tliu record that "ho al- I
wed no utterance of (kiitUAil doctrine ever to pass un , ,
hocked nrid uurebukod rest it witli the conviction \
liat one mi watchful "f the sincerity of religious truth in
then cool.I hardly have ei red in laying down and en
m ing thin question of slavery in tlic sense of Christian
uty and of (roxpel precept. He hud learned, sir, nnd l
r |*. ."1 \ , 7. ,r. Pf| <
if* :tni?*ni ' 't. m po ciiioin rgt,*ut *.ln?mo homloi condition is vinculo <
iMfk'tur , nan jif, ttt'i ft** jMicant*, apvd ijutm nan r*t i
Apo*t<riux otium Hf^rvod monct, ut .*ci!;< ct, p! now pn-i*i?ut n
muiiU liln ri lion, vnnm forvitntoin ifvii quo<l;im mndo liht-rnin '
. doner rv.TMU'tnr omni< prinHpntu* rt liuavihn ct fit t
i"H oiiibift In oinnilMi-t f.S"' AnQ"* t d? Cio&Ate. 19 : my:
f IV" iKim H| c, nlti IntTAvit, ntN?rUt*m ponlitlil, Forvtttilenwiue in : !
(nliixit. Kx quo nutfin ^rviis a<jfloinlnin p.uit'r m-t^norn ( apirnt j j
tlllt it^m, st t'um niitntn r ft*, infer hotnim**-, j <
ioniin tloniln inlimn. ullornro contra n'tvlwitiiini, fliirfrfltitinin.
\SI Afijitmf: #/*- Ciii'itft I hi, Uh: 79, cay. I > in a "/" l
. St August: do Civitutc. lib. xix. chop. 1ft, vol Vfl. ? i
Jm on.
probably luul learned from the very epistle of the Apostle
Paul which poured the truth of Uod'i Word, with coil
verting power, into his mind, that that Word spoke no
cotiiiciuiiation of slavury. The prom iocs of the atone
ineut had been made, auu the injunctions of that Word
had been preached, for more than three and a half ceutu ,
ri'-s ; untl yet, iu the presence of both, the doctor do' t .
not hesitate to deckle that the continuance of sin u.uot.g |
the posterities of Adam conftrrtts Ura fact of slavery.
lienor', Mr. Chairman, yon perceive that !*t. Augustine
traces the origins of slave, v to the very piortneU of I'aiadisc;
derives it from the violation of the first command, j
and iustitirs its usage as a result, dm i?dicunlc, of the
judgment of God ; and sanctions its existence, fit re fjrnfiititt,
l>y the law of nations lt.it surely, sir, neither of these
can make slavery a sin. 1,iI;c plagues, war, rrourges, nnd
death, it can l>c l.i.t a consequence at worst. Tire fo.mei
Is art effect, the latter is the cause. To the destruction
of the latter, therefore, according to the a 'tow, nhjolii I
aruiG tolli/ur ejftclut, should our actnn.hr* of tl.o politicoreligious
concerns of tl.e work! apply their undivided
efforts and their lady zeal for. observe Mr. Chairman, |
if tl.u commission of sin was ti.e In .aid of bondage, tlici) ,
iiiusl its prevalence he tin- accompaniment of ?laver\ in
some sb.ipe on this earth. On this score, the dor-trine of .
tbu great b.d.op leaves nostouht. Deeply, (hereto.e, do ,
I regret tluU wa (sous t?reth.eti are >?? em.sitnicd bv tht*
zoul of flic house of foxl as to assail the consequences ol ,
his own law iu tlieli prosecution of that /.ml. I regret 1
that, holding the monopoly of godliness it. their hands,
and plcaditif against the slavery sinfulness of the South,
tl.ey have Hot addressed themselves directly to flic abolition
of slavery. Still More do 1 regret, sir. that they
have not yet consented to give us the l.est, if not tl.e j
only, earnest of their abhorrence of slavery by the uprooting
of sin in their midst. Though the qucstior of its l
overthrow, through such a condition precedent, might I
well be adjourned to the " Greek Kalends," which, I !? licvo,
never were known to come ; yet firmly us 1 hold to
the lawfulness, human and divine, of slavery, just as
truly would I greet the nnnouneenient of its impending
abolition. For then, Mr. (Minimum, would I exult in the
conviction that a new hoi>o had arisen for the sinner* of
our Israel. The day, sir, which would proclaim the abolition
of shivery as a violation of the law of God would
also suggest to tile the pleasing assurance that our northern
friends hare washed away every taint of iniquity and
every blot of sin from their sanctified souls !
Hut, sir, I am recalled to the consideration in chief of
this subject. It were easy to infer the hearing of the doctrine
which the Bishop of Hippo has advanced. Hut lie
does not leave us to inference. He lias authoritatively
laid down the principle, and he fully carries it out iu all
its tendencies, lie expound* the question not only iu (he
religious sense, but lie does it. also in the domestic sense.
In his view, (hei slave, by the judgment of God ?dtojmiiniah
and by the law of Billions? litre nenlntm ?owes
obedience to the master ; hut the master, by the law of
grace, owes care, kindness, and charity to Ills slave. !
This, Mr. Chairman, laid down with singular precision,
constitutes the perfect harmony between the law of God
and the law of mail in the institution of slavery. It absolves
it from all the trumpery charges of the North, and
leaves it, as God lias made it, a not abnormal element in
the organization of society. You havo seen that, according
to all the pastors of the early church, the master is
required to hear with the frowardness and tin: failings of ;
the slave. That is the law of his Christian duty. Hut
listen to the law of the church under his proprietary
rights: "Hilt IfanyttluVe," snystbe Kaint, "Khali, through ;
disobedience, assail the domestic peace of the household, j
Ift him Ita corrected by word or by scourge, or by any j
other kliid of jdst anil lawful punishment, which human
society grants for the good of him, who is corrected in
order that he may lie reduced to the state of pence from
which he bud strayed."0 Heaven knows, Mr. Chairman,
that, under this rule, and by the discipline of those whom
1 am comiiclled. with the consentient oninion of Die
world, to admit as expounders of the Christian faith, (he
subordination of the slave and the authority of the mas
ter are amply recognised, liitt, for fear >' iv~ fc.,,,
or iittMiuuurbntiiuuig ? iiie doctor immediately adds :
" llencc it is, that it is the Jul// of tin: head of the liousoliold
to apply Mr yrccpt* of the Slate, hy which lie must so
govern his household that it shall harmonize with the
peace of society." Note, Mr. Chairman, that this is
not said of the household in the form of it witli which
our northern friends are blessed ; but, in the household,
as, by the old patriarchal rule by the dispensations of
(lie new law?it exists in our southern homes, under the ;
" precepts of the State," as tiie bishop terras the laws, '
which justify the mastei's authority. Concluding his argument.,
011 the authority of the father, blending with ,
that of the master, and, on his obligation to rule his ,
household, the doctor subjoins : "Wherefore, as our jxutt
father/'' that, sir, you will please to observe, refers to
the old covenant?"as our just fathers had slaves ; they ]
so maintained the harmony of the household that, in so 1
far as concerned these temporal possessions, they made a
distinction between the estate of their children and the
condition of their slaves i but they provided, With equal
solicitude, that all the members of their family should
worship (lod, in whom lies ull hope of eternal good !"
Than yourself, Mr. Chairman, I hold none to be a better
judge of the intrinsic differences between error ami
truth. 1 ask you, sir, admitting the authority of the ex -
poneiu?nnu i amy us rejection upon any tciiuoic gioiinti, i
to tell me whether, within the range of your knowledge j
mul experience, you hiivo, on thin subject, us a matter of
Christian faith and Christian obligation, ever met with
any thing more lucid, more cogent, ami more inexorable
than this religious synthesis of slavery, as laid down by
one of the lights of the primitive Church ? It is the voice
of centuries ot primitive truth, pealing its refutations in !
the ears of those who would pervert l>oih the sanctions 1
of the Gospel and the teachings of the men, whoso places I
they seem not to have inherited but indeed usurped .
But, sir, as it is not yet proven to my satisfaction that
on this point, our friends of the North show an unquestionnhle
tible to the monopoly of Hod's truth : to is it not
proven to my satisfaction that, on the question of slavery.
the doctors of the Church wore not, eighteen hundred
years ago, better qualiliud, than our blends can be, to decide
a matter of so momentous an import to the temporal
and spiritual welfare of the South. 1, therefore, protest,
Mr. Chairman, that unless one of the ablest ami purest i
of the teachers of the Church has preached false doctrine
and dangerous heresy, we me no violators of the law of j
(Sod in the fact and right of holding slave s. I protest
flint what the great doctor taught, tiftecn hundred years
ago, is precisely what we now practice. 1 protest thai
we follow his dogmas, in preference to the anti-slavery j
ravings of the North, and that, obs. rvingaud maintaining '
the difference, which ho mark out between tlio children
and the slaves of our households, we reduce both to the
worshipful duty, which we all owe and pay to our liod.
Particularly do I protest, sir, that, relying on the original
purity of flic original faith, we of (lie South have
acquired the right to stigmatize, us I now do, those who j
accuse us of slavery-sin, with the brand which belongs to :
falsehood, perversion, and anti-Chiistiaiiity
Tor this protest, sir, well mid safely may we rely on j
the great doctor; for if ever there was one uian more
than another coui|>ctcnt to dispense sound doctrine, on
this subject, whether viewed in the legal, sm.ial, or |mlitlenl
light, .St. Austin was that man ; lie who iiiihodii'd
in his pel son the scholar, the philosopher, the legist, j
the pastor, and the saint. Evidences of the true teachings
of the church in connection with slavery you will ]
find, sir. inscribed in many a passage of his coniiucnta- !
ries or Holy Writ, 'l ake, lor instance, his seventy seventh
question on the Book of Kxodus. He is treating this
very Riihjei t of slavery in Jewish society. .Speaking ot j
the sc|>ctcnmy reversion to freedom which inured to the I
slave of Jlrhmr oritjin not to hi ill purchtuedfrom tht. heath' n
natioHi around, who was "n |xr|xtual inheritance" to his
muster* lie mark* the distinction l>ctwt-cn Jewish slavery
and Christian bondage, and concludes with this reiu.t?k,
which might, no doubt, kindle the im of nut inii
shivery riioihlris . ' lint the t hiteluin tlire* should request
this from their mantels, the iijxiKtolii authoiily commands
the slave* to Iks subject to those rnnstei8, for hit that the
name of find shall he blasphemed !"t
(hie more citation, sir, from liiiu who has hex the slave
that, "he in a faithful servant of Chii*t, il he serves those
whom Christ has served," and I will have adduced snlti
lent proof from that source that slavery is not the sin
:hnrgod ii|H->n our heads in the name or lhu (rosfiel of
Kaith, It is a dictum touching the or;,.?ni:'. ition ol hit
mail politico ; hut it i*. not tin- less hindin*. lor being pro
I alined liy oin* who stands as a controlling authority in
Si 1)1*1? tuiiDBi. Iii iloru*', |s'r tiiolHvllentli'ni,doaisstu a pact, mtvor |
MtUir, eorrl|iinlnr. sen vert* *ni v*Tber*. **n ?jn> il* t alio j?sni<r? j
jinn*1. J?i*to iict.hiMruifui jiro efmi, qui I
:??rrijiiiiir, Utlliitil**. of |wri, lin?!r
|\o xrrrl Cl?rtfi*Mi?i Im* H.igiMircnf ? iltuniuM ;j?n out to'Ilit
jtilif l - ?rv<>H -?ii- r -r ?uljorto?, m won n Ha*pkt {
mutur. St. August; O'lnuicnl in K*o<l Qrjwet: LXXVIf lib. 8<i. '
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liic earlier aunala of tliat faith. Com paling liod's gov
cinmeul ou earth und the republic dnrriliel by I'-eeio,
he refer* to Hcipio's itetiuitiou of it good ( oiiiuioiiwealth,
and argues ugni list hid objection that "it id uujtibt Utnl
the republic should allow slavery." There is the do<
toi'd answer; aud let me ask you whether the South
may not justly claim it as a vantage-ground of right f
"Wo answer ou the ]url of justice," says the doctor,
"that it is equitable on this account, that slavery is use
ful to some nu ll ; anil lluit, when legally practised, it ino
to their advantage- uaincly, wlieu tire license of doing
mischief is taken aw ay from the savage : for, in a condition
of domesticity, they will liear themselves better iu proi?>i
tion as tlicy bore tliciuselves worse, w hi n not domest
oahd. And in order that this reason mm be coutiriued
wc may add a noble example drawn from nature, and
ask, Why, therefore, does t.iod control his creature?the
soul the body nod reason, the (sessions, and oiler
vicious tendencies of the mind' It is plainly evident,
from 111is example, that slavery is beneficial to some."
With this quotation, which i will not weaken by so,
comment of mine, i close, sir, such anthoiitb* i? I bt-c
deemed appo-ite, from the works of St. Augustine, to
show that, ill the year three hundred and fifty, or stxti,
of the only Ctiri-liaii era, the guardians of the faith not
only did not hold slavery to |a: a sin, butitlao maiulauv-d
that, in Instances adduced, it is a positive benefit to some
Hut a* they entirely harmonize with the doctrines of the
(ireek bishopa, I now proceed to complete thern by
others, drawn from the doctrinal writings of tlie highfamed
Chrysostoni, the valiant champion and goldeii uoathed
orator of the Christianity of the hu>t. lal.c his
great brother of the I. din Church, on all questions of
faith, and of cpnise oil this of slavery, he goes to tluKicred
record to inquire into I lie mandate of the Saviour
and the teachings o4 his Apostles. I.ike him, he (beic
finds nothing that coBStmee slavery Into bin.; bill, on
the contrary, all that, makes it an allowable element ol
society, not clashing with the intentions and will of the
divine scheme. And none, sir, was I sitter qualified
than be to examine that .question under every phase
which it might present. Armed with all the resources of
tireuk dialectics - nit instrument friendly to error in the
service of paganism, but a weapon of irresistible (tower
in the vindications of Christianity?versed in what the
ancients tersely called the rrritni hmnanarum i/ivinuriim</ne
pertiiv trained to every fonn of liuiunu knowledge then
attained, and credited iih an antlioritative ex|toundcr <1
things divine?Chryaostom, with tlio stem logic of it
Demosthenes, embellished l>y the elegant copiousness* ?1
a Cicero, hiui developed every relation, moral, social, po
litical, and religious, of this Christian organization.
Nothing, air, tvaa too vast to elude the grasn of his in
tellcot nothing too niinule to escape tin* search i tigs ol
Ilia inquiry. And all of those relations were analyzed and
developed in due subordination to the mandates of the
Christian faith. Numerous, sir, as are the muniments
which we could huild up from the teachings of a man
who is acknowledged to lmvo had 110 superior in
pagan or Christian antiquity, i must he content to ad
duce a few authorities only from ids writings, and those
of a purely and strictly dogmatic character. I open
tlie hook of those immortal homilies which, if I may so
term jt, have constituted, unconsciously in many instances,
the stock in trade of successive preachers ; and,
among the multifarious subjects which they agitate. 1
iiud tliis of slavery, in the Christian sense, handled with
an acumen and a rigor- unsuypassed, in the outset of
his pastoral labors?in his prcuchings to his ltock, preachings
widely differing, sir, I am hound to Bay, front thoso
of our holy brethren of the North to lltrir (locks I find
the learned bishop, in iiis tifth homily in (Jencaht, inlro
ditciug this question of domestic slavery under the Christian
dispensation and addressing slaves, not to tell them
mm lueir masters arc siiiuera I-CC-IIUM' mey niiiii
but to justify such holding, and to explain to the slaves
their duty under the requirements of the Christian law.
" 'I'll is," exclaims the saint, "may he said to slaves :
Art thou called a slave ! Well, why should it concern
thee? Do you not see that the Apostle shows that slitve
i v is but a nominal thing if you but have the Christian
virtues r nut, even count you become ireo, (Baku a ttdl
heller use of your condition?that is, rallier remain in that
condition af bomlar/e And why ! Because he who is called
a slave, in the truth of the Lord, is the freedmnt) of the
Lord!" (St. < iirvssotom Homel V )
Human laws, Mr. Chairman, may, hv legislation,
create crimes. 1 mean that some nc:s against which
there never was a |>enal sanction may be, and they have
been, converted into misdemeanors by the subsequent
will of society lawfully expressed. Hut I am yet to learn,
sir, that the case finds a parallel in the divine law, and
that human agency can add to or detract from what it
has clearly defined under the sanctions of unerring truth.
Hence, sir, if the holding of slaves, involving the existence
of slavory, was not a sin in the earlier days of Christianity
; if the fact of slavery, involving the existence of
tho master, was not only not u sin, but actually was a
condition in which one of the great teachers of spiritual
truth exhorted the. slave to remain, 1 am at ft loss to account,
eatro on the grounds of malice and perversion, for the
late, very late, addition of "slavery sin" which our pious
brethren have, in the nineteenth century, made to the
catalogue of iniquities, originally defined as violations
of the law of God. Some, no doubt, may regret, that
the great doctor and exemplary saint hud not the assist
a nee of the profound learning and the benefit of the edifying
practices of our modern expositors. Had this been hi
privilege, lie would assuredly have amended his heresies
nor would lie lmve so pertinaciously held to his premises,
exclaiming in their further development : "Doyouuol
perceive, therefore, that slavery exists as a movoly nominal
thine, and is freedom in rcalitv .' Whv else did III
Ai*mili< allow you to continue a slave ? Why, l>ut Mint
you should be nmdo acquainted with the excellence ol
spiritual freedomI'or, a* it is a much greater tiling,
ami one worthy ol" uioro ndtni rift ion. to luivo preserved
iinsciitiierl the bodies of the three youths in the burning
furnace than to h ive quenched out the Humes ; so inueli
greater and more admirable is it in the jicruianrncc of
slavery to give evidence of that freedom than to al>olisii
the slavery! Hence has the Apostle snid, although you
iimj have it iii your power to lie made free, rather avail
yourself of the bondage : that, is. renwin u clave?trrnm
nunc?for you are in possession of the truest liberty."?
(Si. t'linsostorn, ibid i
Now, Mr. Chairman, if we take the doctrines of the
primitive teachers of the faith and contrast them witli
the denu iciations of our latter-day champions of antislavery.
we have an opposition tlie most alisolute, per
ha|is, presented to the judgments of the human intellect
and the obligations of Christian faith, lire authorised
expounders of that early faith tell the slave that his lUnlut
in the social organism should lie no mutter of concern to
him: but the ingenious inventors of our dnya tell him,
in contradiction, that it is his right, at any cost and by
every means, to withdraw himself from the normal stato
of things. The former, in the acquittal of their eon
n iencc, and in tile discharge of their ministry, as men
and as pastors, tell him that, provided he profits by the
spiritual gifts which are extended to him, it is lictter for
him, even if ho could become free, to continue in his
bondage, and, availing himself of his servitude for the
benefit of his soul, to abide by his condition as a slave
The laltcr tell him that, by nil cost and by all means, ii
is his duty to defraud the master of what Kt. Augustine
calls his "temporal property,'' ari-.i withdraw himself from
a lawful authority. The former tell him that his condition
is one of the various conditions of human life, which, fused
together, go to constitute the harmonic* of social order,
under the foresight nod intentions of the snggestoi
of all societies The hitter tell him that that condition is
not in tin: fitness of things, am j that it ia iui|h?uxl u|miii
him l>y the arliitrary will of man in violation of tlio written
law of thai. The former tell lit 111 that alavery ia ?
mere name that it ia 110 evil ; but, on the coniiaiy,
thai it i? a derivative benefit, to him, from whieh In
roust not wok to ahaolve himself. The latter tell him
that slavery ia a galling incubus that it ia the curie ot
hu m <. to the removal of which he ia hound, in the nameo.
iial and by the faith of Christianity, to apply all hia en
orgies in Aight. in cimtlagration, anil in blood ' <'an these
conflicting doctiines, Mr. Chairman, oouaiatcntly stand
aide by side Who are to lie- presumed to lie the pci
verters of the truth in this question of slavery ' Thev
who almost directly received the sacred teachings of the
primitive aimstlenhip, or they who, with an inter
veiling chasm of fifteen centuries, ignoring tho teseli
ing* of those agtostolic times?ignoring these compact
traditiona, whicii speak to the present tho testimonies
of the past suddenly stand up and preach a doctrine,
novel, falae, ami reprobated by the records of those days '
Can two distinct truths be soecenfully maintained on any
eaaeiitial question- even such a question aatbiiof alavery
as a matter of Christian obligation and Christian faith
And, if it l? a truth that slavery never was adjudged to
I e a sin, by the dithm of the Saviour- that it never wa

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