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THE

CHEISTIAI DOCTEIIE

SLAVERY.
GEO. D. ARMSTRONG,

D.D.,

PASTOR OP THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH OF NORFOLK, VA.

" Wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the doctrina

which

is

according to godliness."

^1

Tim. VI.

3.

NEW YORK:
CHARLES SCRIBNER,

311

1857.

&

3l9

BROADWAY.

(/

"

Enterkd

according to Act of Congress, in the year KST, by

CHARLES SCRIBNER,
In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for the Southern District of

TINdON, KTIKKOTYI-BK,

-S:?

CZNTKK

T.

B.

New York.

CRAlGHHAn, rUINTKE.

P E E F A C E.

With

the hope of doing something toward bringing God's people,

North and South, to "see eye to eye" on the much vexed question
of Slavery, this

little

book has been

written,

and

is

now given

to the

public.

Throughout, the author has kept these two ends in view

Christ

and

his Apostles.

tionally omitted.

No

topic which they omitted

has been introduced.


meaning of the

true

by

Nothing which they taught, has been inten-

to a full discussion of Slavery as a civil

be

A faithful exhibition of the doctrine respecting Slavery taught

1.

As

text, the

however

essential

and poUtical question,

the simplest

it

may

method of exhibting the

author has given a paraphrase of each

passage of Scripture particularly examined, and in connection with


his

own, the paraphrases of Whitby, McKnight, and Doddridge, ex-

positors of established reputation both for piety

reader
is

may have

at

and learning, that the

hand the means of determining whether or not he

putting forth novelties in the interpretation of God's

Word

to-

gether with such notes as seemed needful to illustrate and establish


the paraphrase.
2.

An

examination of the

^^

false

glosses,''^

as the author thinks them^

IV

PREFACE.

which Dr. Barnes has put upon

tJccse

passages in his

Barnes' Notes are the only exposition of Scripture, in


lation in our country, in
tically,

^'-

account, they are thus singled out for examination.

made from

Dr. B.'s

*'

Scriptural

would develop the doctrine

"God's word
world.

is

laid

down

and on

this

Occasionally,

Views of Slavery," and

his " Church and Slavery," for the purpose of showing


self

Dr.

circu-

which the attempt has been made, systema-

to " wrest the Scriptures " respecting Slavery

quotations are

Notes^

common

how he him-

in his Notes.

truth," and, as truth, will ere

long govern the

COE^TEI^TS.

CHAPTER

I.

PRESUMPTIVE EVIDENCE.
PA03

1.

Preliminary Statements.

Slave-holding not in

" Offences " given us in the


2,

These Catalogues

3.

New Testament

4.

Nature of Slavery in

Sins or

Testament,

and minute,

full

New

any Catalogue of

written in Slave-holding States,

5. Often referred to

10
11

Christ's day,

by Christ and

13

his Apostles,

CHAPTER

II.

APOSTOLIC EXAMPLE.

.18

6.

DocLOS,

7.

Slave-holders received

8.

Case of Onesimus.Phil. 10-19,

IV. 1

1 Tim. VI. 2

and retained
Phil.

in the Church.

Eph.

VI. 9

Col.

21

I. 2.,

88

CHAPTER

III.

APOSTOLIC PRECEPT.
9. Duties of

Masters and Slaves taught as Christian Duties.Eph. VI. 5-9

Col. III. 22-25, IV. 1

10.

1 Tim. VI.

1,

The Doctrine of Christ.1 Tim. VI.

11. Slavery a Matter of Little


Ill,

Titus II.

9,

10; 1 Pet.

II. 18, 19,

Moment. Gal.

50
CI

3,

III.

2S

1 Cor. XII, 13

Col.

05

11; 1 Cor. VII. 20,21,

"

CONTENTS.

VI

CHAPTER

IV.

APOSTOLIC INJCNCTIOK.
PARB

Church. 1 Tim. TI.

12. Doctrine to be taught in the

4,

Titus

II. 9, 10, 15,

18. "Blasphemies,"

75
82

14. "Logomachies."!.

"Mere Property."

" Unrequited Labor."

4.

"Theft."

5.

CHAPTER

2.

"A

Chattel, a Thing."

8.

" Exclusion from the Pulpit.

86

V.

NATCRK AND ORIGIN OF SLAVKBT.


15. Paul's Definition of Slavery.

102

16. Bible Theory of the Origin of Slavery,

110

17. Counter-arguments,

114

CHAPTER

VI.

RELATION OF THE CHURCH TO SLAVERY.


18.

The

19.

The Teaching of the Church,

122

20.

Church and

124

Discipline of the Church,

State,

117

CONCLUSION.
God's

Work

in God's

Way,

181

THE

CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE OF SLAVERY.

CHAPTEE

I.

PRESUMPTIVE EVIDENCE.
Preliminary Statements.

1.

"^The Church

cute his wilL

is

as a

lias

which he

"The power
Bible alone,

Lord Jesus

bound

to exe-

given from God.

is

Its discipline

Church accordingly,

The

Bible,

only-

is

and the

her rule of faith and practice.

prohibit

by

which

as a king has ordained."

of the

can announce what

testimonies

his servants,

and declarative.

ministerial

of the

Its doctrines are his teachings,

prophet

his law,

mands

kingdom

the

Its officers are

Christ.

he

is

it

what

teaches
it

enjoin

condemns

spiritual sanctions.

what

it

She
com-

and enforce her

Beyond

the Bible

she can never rightfully go, and apart from the Bible
T


THE CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE OF SLAVERY.

she can never rightfully speak.


the testimony,' and to

appeal

them

and when they are

put her hand upon her

'

To the law and

to

must always

alone, she

her duty to

silent, it is

Synod of South Caro-

lips."

lina, 1848.

What do
by him

Christ and his Aposties

organization of his Church

and the

relation in

institution

We

commissioned
and perfect the

to complete the sacred canon,

teach respecting slavery,

which the Church stands

reply

^They teach

that slave-holding

sin in the sight of God, and


"offence-''

to that

by

distinction

his Church.

is

is

Having a regard

to the

between slavery and the incidental

which may attach

to it in

itself;

evils

any particular country or

age, as fundamental to their doctrine

defining slavery

not a

not to be accounted an

and care^dly

they direct that the Church,

both by her teaching and her discipline, shall labor

remove the incidental

to

which they
this,

by

evil

distinctly point out

and

the whole subject shall be

this

And,
left to

in a

that,

way

beyond

be regulated

the State, as other civil institutions are, under the

wholesome influence of God's providence, and

his

gospel truth faithfully exhibited by the Church.

The evidence

Word
reader.

of God,

that this answer

we now proceed

is

to

according: to the
set

before the

PKESUMPTIVE EVIDENCE.

Presumpt ive Evidence.


Slave-holding does not appear in any Catalogue
OF Sins or Disciplinable Offences given us in

THE ]^EW Testament.

This

fact,

which none

will call in question,

is

pre-

sumptive proof that neither Christ nor his Apostles


regarded slave-holding as a sin or an " offence."

That we may give to


weight,

we must

presumption

this

proper

its

take account of such facts as the

following

First.

2.

The

Gcutalogues

of Sins and Discip-

linable Offences^ given us in the


ment., are

extended

numerous^ and

Testa-

some instances,

and minute.

In illustration of
such as these

i7i

New

this statement, let the reader take

" Being

filled

with

all

unrighteous-

ness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, malicious-

ness;

full

of envy, murder, debate, deceit,

malig-

nity

whisperers, backbiters, haters of God,

despite-

ful

proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobe-

dient

to

parents, without

understanding, covenant

breakers, without natural affection, implacable, un-

merciful."Eom.

I.

29-31.
1^-

"JN'ow the works of

THE CHKISTIAN DOCTRINE OF SLAVERY.

10

the flesh are manifest, which are these

adultery, for-

nication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idohitry, witchcraft, hatred,

variance, emulation, wrath, strife, sedi-

envjings, murders, drunkenness, re-

tions, heresies,

and such

vellings,

Matt.

XY.

19; Mark.

10

Eph. Y. 5

YI.

9,

10

2 Tim. III.

3. Second.

Gal. Y.

like."

2, 3,

YIL

10-21.

21, 22;

Tim.

11,

Col. III. 8, 9

Eev. XXI. 8 XXII. 15.

All the hooks of

the

were written in slave- holding

in slaveholding states
to

Y.

Philemon

is

I.

9,

N'ew Testament

and were
and churches

states^

origincdly addressed to j)ersons

tle

See also

1 Cor.

One of them
addressed

the

to

epis-

slave-

holder.

Christ and his Apostles lived, and labored, and

founded the Christian Church, in the midst of slaveholding communities.


itself,

This,

the

Xew

Testament

as well as the concurrent testimony of

tory, places

all his-

beyond reasonable question.

Slavery was expressly authorized by Moses' Law.


'*

Both thy hond-men and thy hond-maids^ which thou

shalt have, shall

about you
maids.

of

be of the heathen that are round

them

shall

ye buy hond-men and

ho7id-

Moreover, of the children of the strangers

that do sojourn

among

you, of them shall ye buy, and


PKESDMPTIVE EVIDENCE.
of
in
(i.

tlieir

families tnat are with you,

your land

and they
"

your property.)

e.j

an inheritance f

07'

shall

And

11

which they begat

be your

possessions^''

ye shall take them

your children after you^

them

for a possession, they shall he

everJ^

Lev.

XXY.

to inherit

your londmen for-

The number of

44-46.

and

in Judea, in the days of Clirist

as

slaves

his Apostles,

we

have no means of determining with certainty.


I?i Greece.

" When Demetrius the Phalerian was

governor of Attica, the number of citizens in


state was 21 thousand; the

thousand

I.

9.

of slaves in the

of Claudius

Lord

at

Vol.

I.,

tliat

of foreigners, 10

and the number of slaves, 400 tliousand."

Potter^s Gr. Ant.

number

number

the

no

less

And Gibbon estimates the


Koman Empire, in the days

emperor contemporary with our


than 60 million.

Gibbori's

Rome^

p. 26.

The condition of slaves in Judea^ in our


Lord'^s day^ was no better than it now is in our

4. Third.

Southern
it

was

In Judea.

states^ lohilst

in all other countries

greatly worse.

" Both the food and clothing of slaves

were of the poorest description.

went

to their masters.

All their earnings

The maid-servants were em-

ployed in domestic concerns, though not unfrequently

THE CHEISTIAN DOCTRINE OF SLAVERY.

12
tliej

were compelled

from
"

to

nature, were

tlieir

engage in those duties wliich,

more

befitting the other sex."

They commonly had the consent

to marry, or rather, to

woman

in that

way

connect themselves with a

wliich

is

law term, contiihernium/^


ceeded from

of their masters

denominated by a Latin

The children that

this sort of marriages,

pto-

were the property


Jahi's

not of the parents, but of their owners."


ArchcBology^ pp. ISO, 181.

In Borne.
punishment

" For
;

slaves, the lash

was the common

but for certain crimes they used to be

branded in the forehead, and sometimes were forced


to carry a piece of

they went.

wood round

"When

their necks,

wherever

slaves were beaten, they used to

be suspended with a weight tied

to their feet, that

move them. When punished capitally, they were commonly crucified.


If a master of
a family was slain in his own house, and the murderer
they might not

not discovered,

be put

all his

domestic slaves were liable to

to death."

" There
Tlie seller

was a continual market

was bound

his slaves,

and not

to

for slaves at

Rome.

promise for the soundness of

to conceal their faults.

Hence

* " Contuhernium was the matrimony of slaves, a permitted cohabitation


tract."

not partaking of lawful marriage, which they could not conCooper's Justinian^ p. 420.


PRESUMPTIVE EVIDENCE.

13

they were commonly exposed to sale naked; and


a scroll hanging at their necks, on which

tliey carried

and

good

their

Rom.

Adaim^s

In

Greece.

bad

"The

5.

were specified."

condition of slaves in Greece

much

appears to have been


Potter's Gr.

qualities

Ant.^ pp. 48, 51.

Ant,

I.

the

same

as at

Rome."

10.^

Fourth. Slavery, and the relations which

it

establishes are freciiiently sjpoken of,

and

yet

more frequently referred

and

his

treat

of

to

hy Christ

Apostles.

The passages

which they expressly

in

slavery will be examined hereafter.

the incidental reference to

it,

As

instances of

on the part of Christ,

* As Rome, in our Lord's day, had extended her dominion over

known workl, her law was

the then
in

the supreme law in every country

which the Apostles preached and planted a Christian

Under the Roman


tuis

pro quadrupedibus

cattle whatsoever.

register

nay, were in a

They had no head

take by purchase or descent


will

nullis

j!??'o

much worse

in the state,

they were not capable of being injured

make no

"slaves were held

civil law,

state than

no name,
:

chlirch.

pro mor-

they had no heirs, and therefore could

they were not entitled to the rights and considerations

were they proper objects of cognation or


;

or

nor could they

of matrimony, and therefore had no relief in case of adultery

tion only

any

title,

affinity,

nor

but of quasi-cogna-

they could be sold, transferred, or pawned, as goods or

14

THE CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE OF SLAVERY.

we may

cite

Luke XVII. 7-10, the

parable of the

improfitable servant {doulos, see G)

Luke !^X.

9-18, the parable of the wicked husbandmen,


maltreat,
his sou

Jno. VIII.

31:,

35, "

who

and then

their lord's servant {doulos)

Whosoever committeth

the servant of sin, and the servant {doulos)

is

gill,

first

abideth not in the house for ever, but the son abideth
ever

;''"

Jno.

i^crvaiits, for

XV.

15,

''

Henceforth I

the servant {doulos)

call

you not

knoweth not what

have called you friends."

his lord doeth, but I

Evident reference to slavery on the part of the

Apostles we have in 1 Cor.

VL

20,

VIL

22.

''

St.

Paul, in reference to the custom of purchasing slaves,

on whose head a price was then

fixed, just as

upon

any other commodity, and who, when bought, were

personal estate, for goods they were, and as such they were esteemed

they might be tortured for evidence, punished at the discretion of


tlieir lord,

and even put

many'other

civil incapacities

by

to death

which

his authority

together with

have not room to enumerate."

Taylor's Elm. of Civil Law, quoted in Cooper's Justinian, p. 411.

"Here we have an

mon

life.

family

The

illustration

slave has

drawn from what

with the servants of sin,

who may,

at

in the

same

the liberty of sons of

God

will

Thus

family.

it is

any time, be excluded from

God's house and favor, into outer darkness

T.

usual in com-

but may, at the pleasure of his owner, be sold unto another.

Not so the son; he cannot be alienated from the

N.

is

no claim to remain continually

abide in

it

whereas, those
for ever."

who have

Bloowfeld's

PRESUMPTIVE EVIDENCE.
tile

15

property of the pnrcliaser, by a very beautiful

and

similitude, represents Christians as

ex23i'essive

And

the servants (douloi) of Christ.

YI. 17,

in Gal.

alluding to the signatures with which slaves in those

days were branded, writes

man

''

From henceforth

of the Lord Jesus.' "

my

metrics

Ilovneh Introduction.

With

the Apostles the word servant [douloi)

word

no

let

body the

trouble me, for I bear in

is

a favorite

for setting forth the relation Vvhich they sus-

tained to

Christ,

persons entirely and for

as

life

devoted to his service, and bound to implicit obedi(See

ence.'

Rom.

But the most

I.

2 Pet.

''

Knowing

Jude,

this,

tliat

signi-

now under examination

that contained in 1 Tim.

is

1.)

significant allusion to slavery

ficant in so far as the point

concerned

I.

the law

is

not

I. 9,

10

made

is

for a

" righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient,


" for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and
"

2:)rofane, for

murderers of fathers and murderers of

" mothers, for


"

them

man-slayers, for whoremongers, for


,

that defile themselves with

" STEALERS

(cindrcijoodistais)^ for

" persons, and

if

mankind,
liars,

for

men-

for perjured

there be any other thing that

is

con-

" trary to sound doctrine."

On

the

word andrajwdistcds Bloomfield remarks

" Expositors are agreed that the Vv^ord

means kidnap-

ping free persons to be sold as slaves, a crime uni-

"

THE CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE OF SLAVERY.

16

versally regarded as of the deepest dye, and always

the countries adjacent to that in which

when Paul wrote

this epistle to

is

one always made, in so far as

the laws of slave-holding states.

quoted

in 3,) whilst

"

capital crime.

And

selleth him, or if
'

See also Deut.

XXIY.

to
7.

death."

ment was not written

to

be

Ex.

"The

for the

this distinction

1.

10.

the

16.

Old

New Testa;

must

and when

of the deepest dye, whilst in the

same

Thessalians, according to Aristophanes, were notorious for

But

if

and education, and

selling

them

any person was convicted of having betrayed a

freeman, he was severely punished by Solon's laws."

Ant.

XXL

him, and, in giving a catalogue of

stealing persons of ingenuous birth


as slaves.

e.

(i.

Patrick^

condemned, mentions " man-stealing

among crimes
*

Bj).

in Timothy's childhood

have been familiar with

sins

'

Timothy, who " from a

Testament Scriptures, of course,

to

man and

he be found in his hand,

had known the Holy Scriptures,"

Paul writes

XXY.

kidnapping was made a

he that stealeth a

he shall surely be put

in

Under Moses' law

though he had not actually sold him

child

we know,

was expressly authorized, (Lev.

slave-holding
44-J:G,

express

^^

between slave-holding and kid-

distinction

napping

in

Timothy was

him we have

testimony that kidnapping prevailed.

The

And

BloonifielcVs iV. T.

punished with death."

Potter's Gr.

PRESUMPTIVE EVroENCE.
epistle lie requires

him

masters, and this the

17

to teach slaves to

more

heartily

when

obey

their

the masters

are Christian men, and to withdraw himself from

any who should

teach a different

1 Tim. YI. 1-5,) the idea

ably that the distinction

doctrine,

would be suggested

made

(see

inevit-

in Moses' law con-

tinued under the Gospel dispensation.

CHAPTER

11.

APOSTOLIC EXAMPLE.
"Brethren, be

followers

"

mark them which walk

"

example." Phil.

together of me,

jou have us

so as

and

for

an

III. IT.

DouLos.

6.

There are several Greek words used by the sacred


writers which, in our English version of the IsTew

One

Testament, are alike translated servant.

them, the word Doulos,

it

will

of

be necessary to

examine, as preparatory to an intelligent decision of


the

question.

What do

teach respecting slavery

" Doulos

Christ

and

his

Apostles

A 'bondman^

slave, servant, pr.

by birth.

In a family, the clotdos was one bound to serve


slave

and was the property of

his master,

possession,' as Aristotle calls him.


fore,

was never a hired


18

The

'

a living

doulos, there-

servant, the latter

being

APOSTOLIC EXAMPLE.

and

called misthios

See Potter's

q. v.

Adam's Eom. Ant., Dictionary

Gr. Ant.

servus^

art.

Qnisthotos^

19

BohinsoTi's

" Doulos^ from deo^ to bind, means a

from a

slave^ as distinguished

and

called misthios

VI.

And

5.

Dr.

of Ant.,

iT. T. Lexicon.

/wV<?c^

hondman

servant,

Hodge
adds "

misthotosy

Hodge

It

or

who was
on Eph.

is

evident,

both from the meaning of the terms here used and

from the known historical


throughout the

Roman

age, that this

e.

of the
"

(i.

Eph. YI. 5-9) and other passages

New Testament

The word

perly an

fact that slavery prevailed

empire during the apostolic

refer to that institution."

doidos, contracted for deolos,

adjective,

was pro-

but,

used

denotes a 'bond-servant^ usually for

substantively,

liiQ^Bloomfield's iT. T.,

For the

hound;

signifying

distinction

Eom.

I. 1.

between the word doulos and

several other words, also translated servant in our

English version, the reader can consult " Trench''

Synonyms of the
doulos

is

New Testament.^''

His

definition of

" one in a permanent relation of servitude

to another.

^'^

Dr. Barnes

is

one among the few writers

called this definition of djoulos in question


little

show.
is

reason an examination of his

The

case, as stated

" The word {doulos)

own

who have
with how

authority will

by himself in his " ITotes,"

is

that

which

is

commonly

THE CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE OF SLAVERY.

20

applied to a slave^ but

it is

so extensive in

any

cation as to be applicable to

There

whether voluntary or involuntary.

in the word itself which essentially

Examine Matt. XIII.

slavery.

X. 41; Luke,
Eev.
VI.

I. 1,

Rom.

to

it

Mark,

15; Acts,

2 Cor. lY. 5

zyBarnes'

20, YII.

II.

27

II.

18,

Jude, 1

mtes,

Tim.

1.

Of

these fourteen instances thus quoted

six viz.. Acts, lY.


lY. 5
is

1.

nothing

is

limits

XX.

27,

XY.

29; Jno.

II.

lY. 29, XYI. 17

its signifi-

species of servitude,

Jude, 1

XYI. 17; Eom.

29,

Rev.

1.

by Barnes,

1.

2 Cor.

are instances in which

it

used figuratively, and applied to the Apostles,

by themselves or

either

others, for the

setting forth the fact that they


life

devoted to God's service, (see

beauty of the figure

is

purpose of

were entirely and

destroyed

if

5,)

and the chief

we

give the word

doulos any other than what Dr. B. admits to be

''common"
it is

meanins:.

Four are instances

applied in the same

Luke, IL 29

Acts, IL

way
18

to
;

for

in

God's people

Rev.

II.

its

which

viz.,

20, YII. 3.

Matt. XIII. 27, in the parable of the tares, the mean-

ing of the word doulos


slave

in the

On

is

positively determined to be

by the use of the corresponding term despotas


same sentence.

Matt.

among

XX.

27

you, let

"

For Jno. XY.

But whosoever

him be your

15, see 5.

will

be great

minister {diakonos)

APOSTOLIC EXAMPLE.

and whosoever

will

be chief among yon,

joiir servant" {doulos).

record

'parallel

remarks

of

And

the

Mark, X.

same words.

" Dlakonosdoulos.

difference

21

between these terms

let liim
4-i,

be
the

is

Bloomlield

There

is

properly a

the former si^nifv-

ing a servant like owy footman or valet^ and nsiially a

freeman
slaved

the latter, a servant for

For an

all

work, and also a

illustration of this difference in the

meaning of the two words,

as beautifully illustrated

in the parable of the marriage-supper, the reader

consult

" Treiicli's Syn. of iY.

stances cited

Z"

can

All these

by Dr. Barnes, when examined,

in-

instead

of setting aside, do but establish the meaning assigned


to the

word doulos by

all

our lexicographers and

commentators of reputation.

1.

II.

The Apostles Received Slave-Holdeks into


THE ChpJSTIAN ChURCH, AND CONTINUED THEM
THEREIN, W^ITHOUT GIVING

ANT INTIMATION EITHER

AT THE TIME OF THEIR RECEPTION, OR AFTERWARDS, THAT Slave-Holding was a Sin before

God, or to be accounted an offence by the

Church.

Proof. J5?A.
Philemon

I. 2.

VL

9,

Col.

IV.

1,

Tim. VI.

2,


22

THE CHKISTIAN DOCTRINE OF SLAVERY.

YI.

Epii.

"

1
'

And ye

do the same things unto them,

inastors,

" forbearing threatening


" also

in

is

heaven

9.

knowing

neither

is

that yom- master

there respect of persons

" with him."

Paraphrase.

And ye masters^ who are saints and

faithful in Christ Jesus


slaves {douloi^

which

Y.

have enjoined

(')

5) in the
it

upon them

you, forbearing threatening


ter also

is

in

heaven

{See I.

1.,)

treat

same Christian

neither

knowing
is

your

spirit in

that they treat


that your mas-

there respect of per-

son* with him.*

Masters who are saints and faithful in

]^0TEs.(')

Christ Jesus.

The

titles,

Agioi, saints, and Pistoi^

faithfuls or believers, are the titles

by which the mem-

bers of the Christian Church were

nated in the Apostle's days.

commonly

The name

generally used in later times, had not then

common

New
*

designation

Testament.

To avoid

it is

Some

desig-

Christian, so

become a

used but three times in the

of the epistles are addressed

distracting the reader's attention,

we

shall give a para-

phrase of the passages of Scripture quoted in proof, in so far only as


they bear upon the point under examination at the time they are
quoted.

APOSTOLIC EXAMPLE.
to

^'

the chiiTclies^''

others to

'^

e.

g.

23

Gal. and 1 and 2 Thess.

the saints ^^^ ov 'Hhe saints

or lelievers^^

e.

g.

Eom.

and faithful^

and 2 Cor., and

this

epistle to the Ephesians.

The propriety of the para-

phrase will appear,

From

epistle

will of
to

" Paul,

God,

(1)

the address of the

an Apostle of Jesus Christ, by the

to the saints

which are

the faithful in Christ Jesus^''

I.

at Ephesus,
1

Erom

(2)

motive with whicli Paul enforces obedience


injunction:

"knowing that ye

heaven neither
;

is

also

and
the

to his

have a master in

there respect of persons with him

:"

a motive w^hich might be urged wdth. great effect in

addressing a Christian master

but whicli

would be

it

folly to present to a heathen.

Col. IY.

1.

" Masters, give unto your servants that whicli

is

"just and equal, knowing that ye also have a master


" in heaven."

Paraphrase.

Ye

masters (who

are

faithful brethren in Christ at Colosse,

your slaves {douloi) that which

knowing that ye

also

1.

"And

is

saints

I. 2),

just

and

give unto

and equal;

have a master in heaven.

Tim. YI.

2.

they that have believing masters,

let

them'

24

THE CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE OF SLAVERY.

" not despise them, because tliey are brethren

but

" rather do them service, because they are faithful and

" beloved, partakers of the benefit. These things teach


" and exliort."

Paraphrase.
V. 1) tliat

And

they

(i.

e.

such slaves, douloi^

have believing {pistons) masters,

not despise them, because they are

who

let

them

hrethren

(')

but the rather do them service,

{adeljyhoi) in Christ,

because they

tlieir

are partakers in the benefits of their

and heloved Q) {agapatoi)

labor, are faithful {pistoi)

These things teach in the Church, and

of God.

exliort Christian slaves to observe

some words, even the words

of the

them, as " whole-

Lord Jesus Christ,"

V. 3.*

IToTEs.(')

"The

loved, sons of

* "

And

titles,

God,

hrethren, saints, elect, he-

have ever been applied

etc.,

they that have believing masters, let them not despise

them, because they are advanced to be brethren, and

them

in Christ

are faithful

(i.

but rather,

e.,

And

let

them do them

so,

equal to

service, because they

of the household of faith) and beloved of God, par-

takers of the benefit.

"

as

These things teach and exhort."

those Christian slaves

who have beUeving

Wldthy.

masters, let thera

not despise them, fancying that they are their equals, because they
are their brethren in Christ

for

though

all

Christians are equal as to

religious privileges, slaves are inferior to their masters in station.

Wherefore,

let

them serve

their masters

more

diligently,

because they

APOSTOLIC EXAMPLE.
the special prerogative
Christians."

Cole7na7i's

25

of believers, or professing

Ancient Christianity^

Philemon,

p. 110.

2.

I.

" Paul, a prisoner of Jesus Christ, and Timothy our

"brother, unto Philemon, our dearly beloved and


" fellow-laborer

and

our beloved Apphia, and

to

" Archippus our fellow-soldier, and to the Church in


" thy house."

Paraphrase.

Paul, a

prisoner for the cause of

Jesus Christ, and Timothy our brother, unto our


dearly beloved Philemon, ou7' fellow-minister {simergos)

the

Church;

and Archippus our


who

and

to

our beloved Apphia,

and

to the

Church

enjoy the benefit of their service, are believers, and beloved of

God.

These things teach

and exhort the brethren

And

as for those servants

masters, let

who

practise

are so happy as to have believing

them not presume upon

because they

ai'e

much

that account to despise

them

brethren, and with respect to sacred privileges

equal in Christ their conimon Lord

with so

to

McKnight.

them."

"

(')

fellow-soldier,

but

let

them rather serve them

the greater care, tenderness, and respect, because they

are faithful and beloved,

and partakers with them of the great and

glorious benefit which the Gospel brings to

of whatever rank or profession in

been mentioning, take care,

life.

all its faithful

professors,

These things which

have

Timothy, to teach and exhort thine

hearers always to maintain a due regard to them."

Doddridge.

THE CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE OF SLAVERY."

26

which statedly assembles for GotVs worship in thy


*

house.

(^)

Our fellow-minister

KoTES-O
Church.

'''

In

helper.

Smiergos.
IST.

T.

JS^.

co-worker,

fellow-laborer,

spoken only of a co-worker, helper

in the Christian work,


JRoMnso7i''s

{swiergos) in the

i.

of Christian teachers."

e.

" Literally, helper, (in

T. Lexicon.

the cause of the Gospel,) whether as a Deacon, or

Preacher

to the congregation

uncertain."

is

assembling in his house,

BloomfieWs N. T.

* " Paul, a prisoner of Jesus

Clirist,

"Archippus,

and Timothy our brother, write

unto Philemon, our dearly beloved and fellow-laborer; and to our

beloved Apphia, and to Archippus our fellow-soldier, and to the

church

in thy

house." IFAi^iy,

"Paul, confined with a chain for preaching Christ Jesus to the


Gentiles,

and Timothy, our

lirothcr-ministcr, to

Philemon the beloved

of us both, and our fellow-laborer in the Gospel, and to Apphia, the

beloved of
to that

all

part

who know

her,

and

Archippus our fellow-soldier, and

to

of Jhe Church at Colosse which

is

in

thy h^use."

McKnight.
"Paul, a well-known prisoner in the cause of Christ Jesus, and Timothy, a brother, not

unknown, join

in their salutations to

Philemon

our beloved friend, and pious fellow-laborer in the work of the Gospel of our blessed

Church

and

Redecmor, and one of the Pastors of the Colossian

and we also address thorn

to

Apphia, his pious consort,

to his associate in the ministry, Archippus, our fellow-soldier in

that holy warfare in which


Christians

tliat is in

we

are engaged

thine liouse.*'

and the

Doddridge.

little

church of

APOSTOLIC EXAMPLE.

27

appears from Col. lY. IT, to have been a Pastor of

The

the Church of Colosse.

given Philemon, makes

it

probable that he was his

He

colleague in the ministry.


hints given in the Epistle, to
distinction

of fellow-laborer,

title

seems from several

have been a person of

particularly from the mention

the Church in his house, (ver.

2,)

and

made

of

his liberal con-

tribution to the relief of the saints, (ver.

5,

;)

and

the general strain of the letter shows, that the Apostle

held
as

him

in

very high esteem, and looked upon him

one of the great supports of religion in that

society."
(")

in thy house.

wo/'shij?

XYI.

Doddridge^ Int.

The Ckurch which

5,

Dr.

church that

many
mean

of the
their

to

On

a similar phrase in

Hodge remarks
is

Phil.

statedly assemhlesfor God's

" These

Rom.

words,

'

the

in their house^ are understood by

Greek and modern commentators,


Christian faraily

Koppe, Tholuck, &c.


ral interpretation

is,

'

so

Calvin,

to

Flatt,

The most common and natuthe church which

"
to assemble in their house.'

is

accustomed

Hodge on Bomans.

Remabks.
First.

In

these

several

passages

w^e

find

inspired Apostle, giving to slave-holders the

an

titles,

" Saints^ Faithfid in Christ Jesus, Believers, Breth-

THE CHRISTIAN DOCTRIXE OF SLAVERY.

28

ren^ Beloved,

members

Dearly Beloved^^

of the

which

as
it

titles

by which

and enjoining npon them

by

masters

Christian

And

motives

in

their

motives

folly to

have addressed to

in the case of

Philemon, addres-

Deacon

or Pastor in the

would have been

heathen men.

the

Church were commonly designated

the Apostles' day


duties

call

sing a slave-holder as a

Christian Church, and along with his salutation to

him, sending like salvation "

to the

Church

in his

house."

Could we have clearer evidence than

this that the

Apostles received slave-holders into the Church, and

continued them therein, seeing in their slave-holding

nothing inconsistent with " having a good conscience


before

God" and

Second.
writes

"

good standing" in the Church

In his Xotcs on 1 Tim. VI.

" Nor

is

it

foirly to

2,

Dr. Barnes

be inferred from

this

passage that he (Paul) meant to teach that they


(masters)

might continue

yet be entitled to
to the Christian

all tlie

this

(i.

slave-holding)

and

name, or be regarded as maintaining

a good standing in the Church.


true on these

e.

respect and confidence due

points,

Whatever may be

the passage before us only

man who was

slave-holder might be converted, and be sj)oken of

as

proves that Paul considered that a

'

Many have been concircumstances, as many have in the

believer,' or a Christian.

verted in similar

APOSTOLIC EXAMPLE.

29

What was

practice of all other kinds of iniquity.


their

duty after their conversion was another ques-

And

tion."

in the

summary

of the truth taught in

the whole passage, (ver. 1-5,) he adds

not teach that a

man

that point.

It

"

It

does

can be a Christian and continue

hold others in bondage, whatever

to

may

be true on

does not teach that he ought to be

considered as maintaining a 'good standing' in the

Church

if

he continues

The

to

be a slave-holder."

The

quotations are Dr. B.'s own.

italics in these

insinuation, or rather the clear implication

contained in these paragraphs


masters," here spoken

of,

is

that the " believing

were slave-holders only

at

the time of their conversion, and were required to


free their slaves before they could

be permitted "

to

maintain a good standing in the Church."

What

are the facts in this case,

and those of the

passages similar in import in the epistles to the Ephesians, Colossians,

self
1.

Ill the case

church

at

to

Philemon, Dr. Barnes

hijpa-

and that " the

* "

of 1 Tim. VI.

2.

Paul

founds a

Ephesus, a.d. 55, (see Barnes' Int. to 1 Tim.,)


full

there," ^ that this

full

and

being our witness-in-chief?

The Apostle,

power of the Gospel should be

may be

tried

a model Church, he spends

therefore, seems to liave been anxious that

power of the Gospel should be

tried there,

tlie

and that Ephosus

THE CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE OF SLAVERY.

?>0

years with

tliree wliole

from house

this

time he

them"
is

who

Timothy,

keeping back nothing that was

to house,

profitable to

" teaching publicly and

it,

(Acts,

driven

XX.

20).

away from Ephesus. but

this, (a.d.

68 or 59

Three years then, at the


is

leaves

II. 22),

in charge.

Barnes,) he writes

Timothy, yet laboring in Ephesus.

his First Epistle to

Church

the end of

" as a son with the father, has served

with him in the Gospel," (Phil.


Shortly after

At

least,

model

after this

founded by Paul, there are slave-holders in

known

and in writing

it,

and

to

Timothy, their pastor, Paul speaks of them as

this fact, is well

to Paul,

" helievers, hrethren^ faithful^ and helomdP


far

And

he from intimating that they ought

is

to

so

be

excluded from the Chnrch, or that they were not


" entitled to

all

the respect and confidence due to the

Christian name," he requires Timothy to teach their


slaves, also
se^'ve

them

members
(i.

e.

of the

same Church, that they

their " believing masters") the

more

faithfully, and treat them with the more respect,

because they are their


2.

In

the case of

''

^beloved of God."
From four seven

brethren

Eph. VI.

9.

to

years after, Paul wrote his First Epistle to Timothy,

sliould

become

world as

it

Epheaians.

as important as a centre of influence in the Christian

had been

in

paganism and

civil affairs."

Barnes^ Int.

to

APOSTOLIC EXAMPLE.

he writes an
it

31

epistle to tlie Churcli at

Ephesus, writes

during his second imj^risonment at Rome, and

shortly before his martyrdom.

Eph.)

Slave-holders are

and Paul

still

cognizant of this

is

(See Barnes' Int. to


in this

intimating that they ought not to

model Church,

But instead of

fact.
''

be regarded as

maintaining a good standing in the Church," he


specially addresses masters and slaves, as classes of

Church members, along with husbands and wives,


parents and children, giving them the

titles

and Faithful in Christ Jesus," and repeats

''

Saints

to Christ-

ian slaves the

same

their conduct

which he had before given by Timothy.

3.

Ill the case

of

direction, in substance, resj^ecting

Col.

IV.

1.

Paul, in conjunction

with Silas and Timothy, found a Church at Colosse,


A.D. 52, 53.

he writes an
to Col.)

In

" saints

and

Some

ten to thirteen years afterwards,

epistle to this
this epistle

Church.

(See Barnes' Int.

he addresses slave-holders as

faithful brethren in Christ,"

and carefully

prescribes the relative duties of masters and slaves as

Christian men, and enforces these his directions

Christian motives;

by

but says not one word about

emancipation.
4.

Ii

the case of Phil. I. 2.

which Paul writes

At the same time

his epistle to the

and by the same person,

Church at

at

Colosse,

(see Barnes' Int. to Col.,)

he

addresses an epistle to Philemon, his " dearly be-

THE CHRISTIAN DOCTJRINE OF SLAVERY.

32

loved sunergos^^

deacon or

(''

Bloomfield^

'

preacliei*-

Dod-

" one of the pastors of the chnrch at Colosse"


dridge)^ sendhig

back

him Onesimus,

to

a slave,

who

had some time before run away from him, and who,

Home, had been hopefully

whilst a fugitive in

verted through Paul's instrumentality.

we

own

him

his freedom,

will not affect the case, in so far as the point

that

is

concerned.

ten years, at the

least,

Colosse w^as founded by Paul

not as worthy

members

deacon or pastor
(ver. 19),

also,

in

and even that Paul

desire,

did reguest his master to grant

under examination

con-

admit,

Onesimus was sent back

as Dr. B. contends, that

accordance with his

If

It

had

only, but

now

clear, then,

the

after
it

is

it

Church

at

slave-holders,

a slave-holding

one of Paul's

own

converts

and one of such standing in the Church

that a part of that

Church was accustomed

for divine worship in his house.

and he writes

to this

Paul knows

Philemon an

to

meet

all this,

epistle of wdiich

slave-holding furnishes the occasion, not only without

any intimation that

his slave-holding

was inconsistent

with his "good standing" in the Church, but he


writes in terms which, as an honest

man, he could

not have used had he thought Pliilemon an unworth}^


office-bearer in the Church.
Is

all this

reconcilable with the idea that a slave-

holder, though " ho

might be converted

as

many

APOSTOLIC EXAMPLE.

have been in the practice of


quity

yet

Church

8.

other kinds of ini-

maintain a good standing " in

conlcl not

the Christian

all

33

in the Aj^ostles'

day

Paul sent back a Fugitive Slave, aftek the


Slave's hopeful Conversion, to his Christian

Master again, and

assigns as his reason for

so DOING THAT MaSTEr's RIGHT TO THE SERVICES

OF HIS Slave.

Proof.

Philemon, 10-19.

"I beseech thee

for

my

" have begotten in

my

bonds

" was to thee unprofitable, but


" and to

me whom
;

" fore receive him, that

which

now

in times past

profitable to thee

have sent again

thou there-

mine own bowels

is

whom

son Onesimus,

whom

" would have retained with me, that in thy stead he


" might have ministered unto
''

Gospel.

me

in the

But without thy mind would

" that thy benefit should not be as


"

sity,

but willingly.

it

bonds of the
I

do nothing,

were of neces-

For perhaps he therefore

" departed for a season, that thou shouldest receive


"

him

''

seivant, a brother beloved, especially to me, but

"

how much more

for ever

not

now

as a servant,

but above a

unto thee both in the flesh and in

2-

THE CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE OF SLAVERY.

34:

"

tlie

Lord

" receive

If

him

tlioii

count

me

therefore a partner,

If he hath

as myself.

wronged

thee,

" or oweth thee aught, put that on mine account


" Paul, have written
" repay

it

albeit,

" owest unto

me

Paraphrase."

it

with mine own

do not say

even thine own

to

I,

hand, I will

thee

how thou

self besides."

I Paul, beseech thee (Philemon) for

my son in the faith, Onesimus, whom I have begotten


in my bonds.
In time past, though called Onesimus,
he has been an unprofitable slave to

{profitable ^)

thee

but

believe, I

now

that he has

been truly converted,

deavor to serve thee

''

not with eye service, but in

singleness of heart," (Eph. YI. 5, 6,) doing


ily," (Col.
version.{^)

in. 23,) as

As

lie

I have sent

I entreat thee to receive

Had

hath served

his sj^iritual father

Christian duty^

bowels.

as I

have confidence in him, that he will en-

him

him

as

regarded mine

it

"heart-

me

since his con-

and

instructor in

hach to thee

one that

own

is

; (^)

and

mine own

wishes, and not

thy rights, I would have kept him with me, that in

thy stead he might have rendered

mine imprisonment which

me

that service in

know thou wouldst most


Pome. But

cheerfully have done hadst thou been in


that I
I

might not even seem

had a right

to

compel thee, even where

to expect assistance

from thee, 1 would

do nothing of the kind loithout thine

expi^ess consent.(^)

APOSTOLIC EXAMPLE.

Who

35

but that, in God's providence, Onesi-

shall say

mns escaped from thee for a season, that thou


shouldst have him again for Ufe.i^) Eeceive him
back

into thy family again, I beseech thee, not as a

fugitive slave {do2dos),Q) to be regarded with suspicion and treated with severity

but, even, as one

better than an ordinary slave, {doulos,) a brother,

become

especially dear to me, and, I doubt not, to

even more dear to thee, as a member of thy family,

and of the Church worshipping in thy house.


count

me

him

therefore a partner, receive

taking into account his former unprofitableness to

If,

thee, along

with his diligent and willing service for

the future, thou yet thinkest that he hath


thee in

to thee, put that to

Paul have written


repay

it

this

* "
e.

past

own

with mine

my

account.

own hand, I will


God made me

not to say to thee, that as

the instrument in thine

thine

wronged

running away^i^) or in any way he hath be-

come indebted

i.

If thou

as myself.

self to

own

conversion, thou owest

me.*

beseech thee for ray son Onesimus,

converted to the faith

when

was

in

whom I have begotten


my bonds which in time
:

was to thee an unprofitable servant, but now,

profitable to thee,

and

if

sent back, to

me

Whom

if

received, will be

have sent again

unto thee, he being in duty thine, and not to be employed by others,


or detained without thy leave.

sav

that

is,

Thou therefore

receive

him him,

mine own bowels, he being as dear to me as

if

he had

THE CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE OF SLAVERY.

00

As he hath served me since his conversion.

JSToTES-C)

This

is

McKiiiglit's paraphrase of ''profitable to

me," and

we can

only sense which

tlie

is

proceeded from mine own bowels

wliom

assign to

would willingly have

retained with me, that in thy stead he might have ministered unto

me
1

nature

this

who

received from him


it

But without thy mind would

being in the bonds of the Gospel.

do nothing of

that thy benefit (or the advantage I

thy servant) should not be, on thy part, as

is

were a matter of necessity, because thou couldst not have him

own

returned to |hee, but willingly, by thine

For perhaps he

grant.

therefore departed from thee for a season, that thou shouldst receive

him

for ever

him,

I say,

i.

not

e.,

to serve thee for

now

That thou shouldst receive

life.

as a servant only, but above a servant, as being

also in Christ a brother beloved, specially (or, particularly) to me, but

how much more unto

thee, both in the flesh

being of thy family and of ihy

foith.

and

in the Lord,

If thou count

me

If he have

partner in thy friendship, receive him as myself.

wronged

thee in anything, or oweth thee aught, put that on mine account

Paul have written

it

with mine

a solemn obligation that


i.

e.,

insist

upon

it,

repay

it

albeit I

so have entered into

do not say to thee,

how thou owest unto me, by whom thou wast

converted, even thine


sides."

I will

own hand, and

as

e.,

i.

therefore a

own

self,

or the well-being of thy soul, be-

Whitby.

these considerations I beseech thee for my son, whom I


my bonds, and who on that account is very dear to me, even
Onesimus, whom I acknowledge, formerly was to thee an unprofit-

"

By

all

begat iu

able slave, but now' having


ful,

been to me since
his

embraced the Gospel, he

will,

by

his faith

affectionate services, be very profitable to thee, even as he has

own

is to

desire.

say, receive

his conversion.

Do thou
one who

Him

therefore receive
is

have sent back to thee by

him

mine own bowels,

into thy family

my

that

son, a part of me.

APOSTOLIC EXAMPLE.

37

the expression, without giving to the same


ferent senses, as

parts of the

" to thee," and

offices to

me

But, whatever

me

title I

had to

bonds of

thou hadst

if

on account

his services,

as an Apostle of Christ suflFering for

knowing thy mind, whose

Gospel, without

me."

to

in these

the Gospel, which thou thyself wouldst have performed

been at Rome.

'^

wish to detain him with myself, that, in thy

might have performed those

of what thou owest to

dif-

stands connected with different

it

same sentence

Being so useful to me,


stead, he

word

nothing to encourage him to stay with

slave he

me

is,

that thy

he

would do

good deed

in

pardoning him might not be as extorted, but as proceeding from thine

own good

To mitigate thy resentment,

will.

also for this reason he

thou mightest have him thy slave for


but above a slave

who know

m^e

services.

by

who

affection,

life

little

while, that

no longer as a slave only

even a beloved Christian brother

and have been indebted

his worth,

How much more

religion,

and

consider, that perhaps

was separated from thee for a

to

especially to

him

thee with more understanding,

will serve

If thou then hold

than before?

me

for his

by nation and

to thee, as a brother, both

fidelity,

as a partaker of

thy affection, give him the same reception which thou wouldst give

And

to myself.

if

he hath injured thee anything by running away,

or oweth thee in the

And
own

way of borrowing,

place

it

all

to

to entitle thee to payment, I Paul have written

hand, I

will

repay thee

thee to pardon Onesimus I


thine

own

self besides."

my

not say to thee, thou owest

me even

McKnight.

"I entreat thee concerning


begotten to Christ in

account.

with mine

This I have done, that in urging

all.

may

my
it

a certain son of mine,

bonds

and

that account, be inclined to favor,

whom

whom

hope thou

wilt,

have

upon

knowing how dear he must be

me, considered as a soul which God hath given

me

at such a

to

sea-

THE CHRISTIAIi DOCTKENE OF SLAVERY.

38

As

(')

Christian duty^

I have sent

him hack

instructor in

Of

to thee.

the

anapempo, here rendered " sent again," Robin-"

word

son as

this.

indeed,

if I

it,"

and

his spiritual father^

And
may

it

is

no other than thy servant Onesimus

who

so allude to his name, did not formerly answer to

(Onesimus, signifies profit.

Note.) " for he was once unprofitable

to thee, negligent of thy business, and so conscious of thy displeasure


that he fled from

But he now

it.

is,

and

I trust will be, profitable

both to thee and to me, so as daily to give increasing satisfaction to


us both
to

me

whom, how agreeable and

here,

him with readiness and


receive, as
love, that

it

useful soever he

have sent back to thee again

were,

he may seem, as

it

with him wherever he goes.

bowels

might have been

do thou therefore receive

Receive him did

affection.

my own

a person

say ? nay rather

whom

I so

tenderly

were, to carry the heart of Paul along

Whom

indeed

was desirous to have

kept neir me, that he might have officiated for thee, and in thy stead
attended upon

me

in the

bonds

I suffer for

the sake of the Gospel

Philemon, the justice to believe, thou wouldst have

for I do thee,

found a pious pleasure in every ministration of


near me.

But

would do nothing

this kind, if

consent, that thy benefit might not seem extorted

appear a voluntary
opportunity

act.

therefore return

for perhaps he

thou wert

in this affair without thy express

him

by

necessity, but

by the

to thee

was separated from thee

first

for a while,

by

the permission of Providence to this very end, that thou mightest


receive

him and enjoy him

and useful

whose
to the

for ever

ear, is as

it

Hebrew custom, Ex. XXI.

all

that he might not only be dear


life,

as a servant,

were, bored to the door of thine house, (to allude


6,)

source of eternal delight to thee,

where

to thee, during all the remainder of his

distinctions

but that he might indeed be a


in

that infinitely better world,

between masters and their slaves

shall cea&e,

APOSTOLIC EXAMPLE.

son gives this definition

"

11."

As

belonged

Luke

XXIII. 11

I*liilemon

that he (Jesus)

Herod's jurisdiction, he sent him

to

you

I (Pilate) sent

nothing worthy of death

lo,

knew

soon as he (Pilate)

For

Herod.

again.

To send up before a
Luke XXIII. 7, 15. 2.

''1.

higlier tribunal, to remit.

To send lack

39

to

is

him (Herod)

to

and

done unto him."

even that world of complete liberty and everlasting friendship.

mean

the

time, receive

him not now

frowned upon, and kept at a distance, for his former

him merely

as a

common

brother, especially to me, as having been for


ful

attendant upon

whom

thee, to

hast so long

more

me

in

my

afflictions

he belongs both in the

known

particularly

nor treat

but

flesh

relation, a

beloved

some time a very

how much more

and

use-

so to

in the Lord, as thou

him, and wilt have the pleasure of discerning

how happy

temper and character

faults

servant, but as above a servant, as standing

much more dear and honorable

in another, a

In

as a fugitive slave, to be long

a change Christianity hath

If therefore, thou esteem

me

made

in his

as a friend

and

a companion in Christ, I beseech thee to receive him as thou wouldst


myself, if I could have the satisfaction of

to thee in

far as

it

written

hope,

has been the case, charge

it

with

my own

legal security for

it.

to

my

pay

Not

it

is

indebted

foUies, (of

truly sensible,) as

account.

hand, and do hereby, as

I will

substance will go.

it

made him

it

Paul have

were, give thee

again upon demand, as far as

to say to thee thus, as I

me."

Doddridge.

my

was the happy

instrument of thy conversion to Christ, thou owest even thine


self to

per

visit in

consequence of any former extravagances and

which divine grace hath, now,

little

making thee a

If he have injured thee in any pecuniary matter, or

son.

own

THE CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE OF SLAVERY.

40

Luke XXIII.
again

(Herod) sent him (Jesus)

New

Pilate." Luke XXIII. 11.

to

ment usage,

Testa-

then, requires us to understand Paul,

sajs, " I

when he

And

"

7, 15.

have sent again," to mean, that he

had used some authority in returning Onesimus


his master.

And as an Apostle

idea of acting

''

as a

Lord

in God's heritage," the

only consistent interpretation of the expression


presented in the paraphrase, "

and instructor
(')

As

is

that

his spiritual father

in Christian duty."

I would

do nothing of the kind without thine

When

express consent.

writes, "

Paul

thy min-d would I do nothing,"

him

to

indignantly repels the

But without

we must understand

what he has written in the verse

as referring to

preceding.
(*)

Shoiddest receive

him again for

use of the expression {aionios) ''for


to slaves, see Sep. Ex.

XXI.

5,

vant shall plainly say, I love

and

my

children

I will not

life.

For this

ever^"' as

applied

if

the ser-

" And

my

my

master,

go out free

master shall bring him unto the judges

then his

he shall also

bring him unto the door, or unto the door-post


his master shall bore his ear

and he

XT.
(^)

ir

shall serve
;

Lev.

Not

and

through with an awl

him for ever^

XXY.

wife,

See also Deut.

46.

as a fugitive slave.

phrases the clause, and

we

So Doddridge para-

think, correctly;

since

APOSTOLIC EXAMPLE.

Paul

here speaking immediately of Onesimus'

is

by

reception

his master,

that the treatment


fugitives

was very

Hath

and not of

And we know,

relation to him.

(')

41

his subsequent

from other sources,

commonly received by returned

severe.

"

loronged thee in rimning away.

Many

are of opinion that Onesimus robbed his master before

he ran

we

off.

But of

no evidence

this there is

think the expression, ver. 18,

thee in

But the Apostle might mean, injured

The words will

pretation.

Why

unless

If he have injured

anything^ contain an insinuation of

of his services.

thee

this sort.

by the

loss

fairly bear this inter-

then, as Lardner observes, impute

men without proof?" M^KnigMs Int. to


" From these words, many infer that Onesi-

crimes to

Phil.

mus had been

guilty of robbery as well as desertion.

But the recent commentators seem

right in thinking

that the terms will scarcely authorize us to suppose


this.

Adikase

may

apply to the having wronged his

master by depriving him of his services during his


absence, or perhaps

fieWs N.

T.

by

idleness

before."

Bloom-

42

THE CHKISTIAN DOCTRINE OF SLAVERY.

REMARKS.

In his preface to
M'Knight writes " What

this Epistle to

First.

Philemon on
notice

tliis

occasion

Apostle wrote to

the

is

Philemon,

highly worthy of our

namely, that although he had great need of

an affectionate and honest servant to minister to

him

Onesimus was, who had

in his bonds, such as

expressed a great inclination to stay with

although

if

him

and

Onesimus had remained with him, he

would only have discharged the duty which Phile-

mon

himself

owed

to his spiritual father, yet the

Apostle will by no means detain Onesimus without

Philemon's leave,

of his own slave in


also the

belonged to

'because it

the

way

him

to

dispose

he thought proper.

{See

Paraphrases of Whitby and Doddridge on

this point.)

Such was the

Ap(?Stle's regard to justice

and the rights of mankind."

And

subsequently,

when setting

made

of this epistle,

makes no

alteration in

he writes
men's

forth the uses to be

" Christianity

political state.

Onesimus, the slave, did not

become a freeman by embracing


was

still

Christianity, but

obliged to be Philemon's slave for ever,

unless his master gave

him

his

freedom.

Slaves

should not be taken^ nor detained from their masters^

without their

inaster'^s consent.'^'^

Whitby and Doddridge on

{See

Paraphrases of

this point also.)


APOSTOLIC P^XAMPLK.

Second.

"whom

Dr. Barnes,
we

remarks, to which

on the expression,

in his notes

have sent again,"

43

makes

(ver. 12,)

/<9?;r

will briefly turn the reader's

attention.

"There

1.

not the slightest evidence that he

is

(Paul) compelled

him (Onesimus),

The language

to go.

him

or even urged

would have

just such as

is

been used on the supposition either that he requested

him

to

mus

desired to go, and that Paul sent

go and bear a

Comp.

to his request.

posed

it

letter to Colosse, or that Onesi-

necessary

to

send

'

my

All

state shall

'Yet I sup-

my

you Epaphroditus,

to

brother and companion in labor.'

is

him agreeably

Phil. 11. 25.

Col.

lY.

7,

Tychicus declare unto you,

8.

who

a beloved brother, and a faithful minister and

fellow-servant in the Lord

whom

have sent unto

But Epa]3hroditus and Tychicus were not

you.'

against their

own

to think that

Onesimus was."

]^ot to dwell

will,

nor

upon the

sent

there any more reason

is

Barnes^ Notes.

fact that the

ti-anslated sent in Phil. II. 25,

Greek words

and Col. lY.

7, are

not

the same with that used in Philemon, 12, and therefore cannot properly

that

word

ditus

be appealed

We remark,

in these instances, Epaphro-

and Tychicus were

sent

by Paul,

the one to

in virtue of

his

Apos-

commentators are agreed.

Not

Philippi, the other to Colosse


tolic authority, as all

to in interpreting


44

THE CHRISTIAN DOCTKINE OF SLAVERY.

against their will,


ministers, taught

they were' worthy Christian

if

of the

Spirit

of

God

submit

to

themselves to one set over them in the Lord


not,

on that account, the

less

sent

yet

by Paul the

Apostle, in virtue of that authority which Christ

had

conferred upon

him

calling

in

him

the

to

Apostleship.
2.

" Paul

had no power

he chose

his master, unless

authority

to

send Onesimus back to


to go.

He had

could intrust him to no sheriff to convey


place to place, and he had no

him,

if

he chose

He

Colosse.

no

civil

he had no guard to accompany him

to

go

to

means of

ing he had no

How

him from

controlling

any other place than

could indeed have sent him

himself," (qy. 1st,

he

away from

could he have sent him, see-

civil authority,

guard or

sheriff,

to

convey him? 2d, Could he not have sent him

to

Colosse in the same way?) " he could have told


to

go

to Colosse

but there his power ended.

simus then could have gone where he pleased.


there

is

no evidence that Paul even told him

Colosse against his

own

have sent him away


requested

it."

inclination, or that

at all, unless

evident as to need no
" There

But
go

to

he would

he had himself

Barnes' Notes.

The quibble involved

3.

to

him

One-

in this note of Dr. B. is so

comment from

us.

may have been many

reasons

why


APOSTOLIC EXAMPLE.

Onesimus desired
can prove that

and that

lie

and no one

to return to Colosse,

did not express that desire to Paul,

him was not

his sending

He may

such request.

45

ger in Kome, and

in consequence of

have been poor and a

may have been

stran-

greatly disap-

pointed in what he had expected to find there

he

left

Philemon, and

may have

when

desired to return to

the comparative comforts of his former condition."


Barnes'' Notes.
If this reason for

Onesimus' return be admitted to

be the true one, we remark, the whole transaction


does very

little

that of a

credit either to

The

Christian men.

man who,

him

or to Paul as

case, as Dr. B. presents

it,

is

before his conversion, has over-

reached himself in attempting to over-reach a Christian brother;

and who,

after his

conversion, takes

advantage of his Christian profession to throw the

bad bargain upon the hands of the Christian brother

whom

he had attempted to wrong.

may

Dr. B.

believe this of an Apostle of Jesus, if he can


ourselves,

we have

much respect
memory both of Paul and

far too

stronger term) for the

(to

for

use no
his

convert Onesimus to admit any such explanation of


their conduct as this.
4.

'^

It

may

be added, therefore, that

should not be adduced


over a

run-away

to justify

slave to induce

any

him

this

sort
to

passage

of influence

return

to his


THE CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE OF SLAVERY.

46

There

former master.

is

not the least evidence that

this occurred in the case before us.


is

ever appealed

to,

If this instance

should be to justify what

it

and, nothing elaePBarnes^ Notes.

Paul did

If Paul did not " use any sort of influence over


Onesimus to induce him to return to his former

mean by writing ''whom I


Even giving the word the most

master," what does he

have sent again?"


limited

possible,

signification

imply the use of some

it

occasionally has fugitive slaves

" Scriptural

Yiews

come

Dr. B.

to him,

any

sort of influence to

Dr.

him

would

induce

Barnes sends

to his master every fugitive slave that

back

(see

Supposing

to return to their former masters."

I should publish the statement

to

certainly

of Slavery," p. 324), and of late

years, he never " uses

them

would

sort of influence.

not Dr. B. cry out npon

comes

me

as a

slanderer ?

But, writes Dr. B.


that

" There

is

no certain evidence

Onesimus was ever a slave

ver. 16.

" All that

is

stated of

at all."

him

Notes on

in this epistle,

would be met by the supposition that he was hound


to

Philemon, either by his parents or guardians.

is

perhaps quite as

away, as

We

it is

common

for slaves^''

for apprentices to

Barnes'' Int.

are surprised that Dr. B., having

pregnant discovery as

this,

makes

to

It

run

Philemon.

made such

so little use of

a
it

APOSTOLIC EXAMPLE.
in his after labors
to

XYIIL

Acts

upon

47

Had he

this epistle.

he might have

3,

because he (Paul) was of the same

read

craft,

turned

"And

he abode

with them (Priscilla and Aquila) and wrought, for

by their occupation they were tent-makers.^'' Now,


Philemon " maif^ have been a tent-maker also. ^^ No
one can prove that he was
addresses
1,

him

business.

And when he

his

"iTc? one

can prove that he was

apprentice,

that he

bound by

And

^^

any thing

to infer

Should Dr. B.

we would
1. It

is

business.

And

One-

been a mere

one can jprove

then: the whole transaction

have a right

pretation, with

not^''

No

new

from

tent-

his father or guardian to Phile-

appears in an entirely

fugitive slaves,

the

he " may " have

may " have

Paul, tent-makers.

was notP

at

tent-making

partner in the

simus, as Dr. B. suggests, "

mon and

when he

speaks of himself

as Philemon's " partner," ver. 17,

meant

Paul,

have meant fellow-worker

'^may^''

making

And

not.^^

as his " fellow-worker {sunergos)^^^ ver.

light.

this epistle to

And

no one will

at all respecting

Philemon.

feel inclined to consider this inter-

an eye

to a future edition of his Notes,

suggest

more ingenious

not

to say

ingenuous

than the remark that Paul could not have sent One-

simus

to

Colosse,

because

sheriff" at his disposal.

he had "no guard or


THE CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE OF SLAVERY.

48

ter,

derogatory to the Christian charac-

It is far less

2.

both of Paul and of Onesimus, than the reason

Dr. B. assigns in his note 3d for Onesimus' return to


Lis master.
3.

can be supported throughout bj Dr. B.'s two

It

favorite

arguments

can prove that

it

" It

was

homogeneous part of

which seems

'heen^'^

and

his JSTotes

"

No

one

fonn a

so, will

on Philemon.

to

swarm

of minor

have stung Dr. B. to temporary

But enough of such notes

blindness.

ingenuous

^'whom

have

springing up from every part of this epis-

difficulties,

An

not so "

once, of the whole

4. It disposes, at

tle,

may

I have

interpretation

sent again^'' will

as these.

Paul's words,

of

make them convey

the idea, that Onesimus, after his conversion under

Paul's teaching, " becomes sensible of his fault in

running away from his master, and wishes


the injury

by returning

to

him."

to repair

McKnight.

And

Paul, taking this same view of his past conduct and


present duty, directs

him

to return.

We do

not sup-

pose that Onesimus returned against

his will^

more than Zaccheus, on

made

tion of

restitu-

what he had before taken wrongfully,

Luke XIX.
alike, the

repair

his conversion,

against his will.

8,)

Holy

Spirit

made

any

(see

In both instances

the convert willing to

any and every wrong done before conversion.

APOSTOLIC EXAMPLE.

But

that Paul, as

liis

instructor in Christian truth

and duty, directed Onesimus


master,

is

to return to his

clearly implied in his

have sent again."

former

words " whom

CHAPTER

III.

APOSTOLIC PKECEPT.
"

When

"guide you

9.

he, tlie

Spirit of Trutli, is come, lie will

XYI.

into all trutli." Jno.

13.

The Apostles kepeatedlt enjoin the relative


Duties of Masters and Slaves, and enforce
THEIR Injunctions upon both alike, as Chris-

tian Men, by Christian Motives; ^uniformly

treating the Evils which they sought to correct AS incidental Evils, and not part and

parcel of Slavery

Proof. ^>A. VI. 5-9


1

Tim.

FZ

1,

Titus

itself.

II

Ool. III. 22-25,


9,

10

1 I'et.

IV.

II

18, 19.

Eph. YI. 5-9.


" Servants {douloi) be olDedicnt to those that are
" your masters according to the flesh, -with fear and

" trembling, in
50

singleness

of your

heart,

as

unto

APOSTOLIC PEECEPT.
" Christ

51

not with eje-service, as men-pleasers, but

" as the servants {douloi) of Christ, doing the will of


"

God from

the heart

with good-will doing service,

" as to the Lord, and not to

men knowing that whatman doeth, the same shall

" soever good thing any

" he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or


" free."
"

And

ye masters, do the same things nnto them,

" forbearing threatening


*'

also is in

heaven

knowing

neither

that your master

there respect of per-

is

" sons with him."

CoL. IIL 22-25

" Servants {douloi) obey in


" according to the flesh
" men-pleasers
"

God

all

lY.

things your masters

not with eye-service, as

but in singleness of heart, fearing

and whatsoever ye do, do

1.

men

" the Lord, and not unto

it

heartily, as to

knowing

that of the

" Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance

" for ye serve the Lord Christ.

But he

that doeth

" wrong, shall receive for the wrong which he hath


" done

and there

is

no respect of persons."

" Masters, give unto your servants {douloi) that


"

which

is

just

and equal

" a master in heaven."

knowing that ye

also

have

;;

THE CHKISTIAN DOCTRINE OF SLAVERY.

52

"Let

many

as

name

" let
" ren

of

And

" phemed.

2.

1,

servants {douloi) as are under the

" yoke count their


" that the

Tm. YI.

own masters worthy of all honor,


God and his doctrine be not blas-

they that have believing masters,

them not despise them, because they are


;

breth-

but rather do them service, because they are

" faithful and beloved, partakers of the benefit."

Titus

II. 9, 10.

" Exhort servants {douloi) to be obedient to their


"

own

masters, and to please

them well

in all things

" not answering again, not purloining, but showing


" good fidelity
"

God

our Saviour in

"Servants

{oilcetaif'

all fear

* " Oiketas.

"

be subject

for this is

an inmate of one's house

meyiiaiy

to

your masters

thankworthy,

In the N. T. a domestic, a servant.

Rom. XIV. VEobinsoji's iV

Strictly,

slave,

II. 18, 19.

not only to the good and gentle, but

" also to the froward

Acts X. 7

all

doctrine of

things."

all

Peter

" with

may adorn the

that they

LiJfkll and

Scott.

if

Luke XVI. 13

T. Lexicoyi.

but most usually, a Iwuse-

APOSTOLIC PKECEPT.

"

man for

God endure

conscience toward

" ing wrongfully."

53
grief, suffer-

^^^.

Instead of giving the reader a paraphrase of these


several passages

and

bears upon the point

their meaning, in so far as

now under

consideration,

obvious as to render a paraphrase unnecessary

summary

give an admirable
contain, in the

is

it

so

we

of the instruction they

words of Bishop Wilson

" If the deepest student of Christian morals were


to

endeavor

to point

out the especial dangers to which

servants are exposed, he could mention none so pro-

minent

as those

experience of
Eye-servcmts

named by our inspired

The

ages agrees upon these matters.

all

who watch

the absence of their masters

for indolence or negligence

vants,

Apostle.

who answer

;'

pert and froward ser-

disrespectfully

when rebuked

dishonest servants, who, instead of guarding their


master's house, food, provisions, stores, gardens, furniture, property,

'

with

all

good

fidelity,'

'

purloin,'

and give away to their companions whatever they


ill-instructed religious servants,

can

ties

with their masters,

persons

if

take liber-

they are pious and devout

lastly, hypocritical

who abuse

who

and disputatious servants,

the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and

dote about abstruse

questions,

which they cannot

understand, and which do not concern their prac-

THE CHEISTIAN DOCTRINE OF SLAVERY.

54:

tical duties

allowed by

tliese are

all to

be the most

unprofitable and disgrac^l to the Gospel they proof

fess,

"

all

How

kinds of persons in stations of dependence.

precisely adapted to the dangers to

which

masters are exposed in the performance of their


are the

duties to their inferiors,"

" Tliey are to give to their servants

dressed to them.
or slaves

'

which

that

instructions ad-

is

and equal

just

that measure

;'

of support and recompense for their labors, which

them

their contract with

require

that care of

in old age

nary

or the natural laws of

them

in sickness

God

that provision

that proportional reward for extraordi-

fidelity

and exertions

them

word,

would wish

they, in like circumstances,


to

in a

that con-

all

and affectionate attention, which

siderate, reasonable,

to render

'
;

their servants

forbearing threatening,' and

remembering that they also have a master in heaven


and exercising,

their authority with hu-

therefore,

manity and gentleness, not only without


rigorous punishment, as
ters to do,

it

inflicting

was too common

for

mas-

but also forbearing to menace and terrify

their servants, or to express

them even when

anger

at

law of

man might

any haughty or excessive


faulty.

w^ere accountable to the great


for their use of

it

For though the

give them great power, yet they

who would

Lord and Master of


deal with

all

them accord-

ing to their conduct to their inferiors, as well

as

APOSTOLIC PRECEPT.
others

and who expects

ample of
"

his

own

divine

55

his people to

mercj and

copy the

The wisdom of the inspired Apostle

directions

stractedly

is

He

most observable.

upon the subject of

ex-

leniency.

these

in

enters not

slavery, in

ab-

existing

tlije

state of the world, but requires implicit obedience

from servants

same

their masters

to

time, on the masters equity

enjoining, at

and mildness, and

not the absolute manumission of their slaves.

by working

in

this

unobtrusive

way

It

in

eigns

good magistrates, good

that Christianity

was

to

dous effects." ^j?. Wilso}i on

rulers,

was

making

good husbands, good wives, good children, good


servants,

the

ser-

good sover-

produce

stupen-

its

Col., pp. 340, 343.

REMARKS.
First.
sians,

In

Paul

his Epistles to the

Ephesians and Colos-

treats of the relative duties of

master and

slave in immediate connection with those of

and wife, parent and child


in very

much

the

And

Peter treats of these

connection with those of husbands and

duties

in

wdves,

rulers

and

subjects.

remark, that in form, at


all in

in his Epistle to Titus,

same connection, with the addition

of rulers and subjects.

them

husband

least,

the sarn<^ way.

And

let

the

reader

Paul and Peter

treat


THE CHKISTIAN DOCTEINE OF 6LAVEEY.

56

In the Apostles' days,

The

greatly abused.

these relations were

all

government under which

civil

they lived, and labored, and preached, and wrote,

was a despotic government, and in

and often exceedingly corrupt.

nistration oppressive,

Nero was emperor throughout


Paul's

and

ministry,

actual admi-

its

many

the greater part of

of

his

epistles

were

written from a Itoman prison, into which he had

been unrighteously

Roman

Throughout the

cast.

empire, the wife, the child, and the slave were, in

law

on very nearly the same

as well as in fact,

The Apostles found incidental


attaching to

all

evils,

those relations of

level.*

many and

life,

great,

and these were

sanctioned by law.
* The condition of the Child.

had the power of

life

" A father, under

and death over

the Koraan law

He

his children.

could not only

expose them when infants, which cruel custom prevailed at

many
grown

ages, as

among

other nations, but even

them

to death

The condition of a son was

of a slave.

None

their father

and grandfather."

by any punishment he pleased."

in

the Wife.

his peculium., as that of a

some respects harder than that

of them became their

The condition of

own masters

Adam's Rom. Ant.

to the

husband

till

the death of

p. 60.

" A daughter by marriage passed from

the power of her father under that of her husband.

was

for

were

could acquire no property but with the father's consent;

and what he did thus acquire was called


slave.

Rome

his children

he might imprison, scourge,. send them bound into the

up,

country, and also put

"A sou

when

in the place of a daughter,

father."^lc/am' Rom. Ant., pp. 60, 441.

" The woman

and he

to her as a

APOSTOLIC PRECEPT.

57

Calledj in such circumstances, to preacli the Gospel,

and to teach mankind righteousness, they did

not shut their eyes to the abuses of these several


institutions

slavery

civil

government, marriage, the family,

nor do they affect an ignorance of them, but

carefully distinguishing between the institutions themselves

and the abuses which had become attached

to

them, they set themselves to work with zeal and


faithfulness

faithfulness

once to

at

God and

to

man

to correct the abuses.

With

civil

government, marriage, the family, and

slavery they dealt in the


sinful,

same way.

All that Tvas

contrary to the laws of God, in each, as then

actually

existing,

condemn

they clearly and

unequivocally

and within the pale of the Church, by

their

authority as Apostles, and in the w^orld at

large,

through the influence of their teaching and

example, they labored

to

But they touch not

remove.

the institutions themselves.

They require

subjects

" to submit themselves to every ordinance of

the Lord's sake

whether

it

be

man

for

to tlie king, as su-

preme, or unto governors, as unto them that are sent

by him

for the

praise of

them

punishment of evil-doers and


that do w^ell."

themselves to their

for the

" Wives to submit

own husbands,

as

unto the Lord,''

and hiislands " to love their wives, even as Chi-ist


loved the Church and gave himself for

3*

it."

Children

THE CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE OF SLAVERY.

58

" to obey their parents," and parents " to bring np


their children in the nurture

and admonition of the

who were

Slaves " to be obedient to tliose

Lord."

their masters according to the flesh, in singleness of


heart, as unto Christ,"

their servants that

which was

ing that they also had

they sought to

and masters "


just

to give

and equal, know-

Thus

a master in heaven."

make good

subjects,

unto

good wives, good

husbands, good children, good parents, good slaves,

good masters

that

good

is,

good, in the Bible sense of the

discharging

the

all

out of their several relations as

growing

duties

men and

word

as Christ-

ians.

The condition
land

is

not

of the wife in this our Cliristian

now what

it

was throughout the

civilized

world, both in law and in fact, at the time Christianity

was

be easy
life

to

in the

wrought

first

preached among men.

show

way

this

in

And

it

that Christianity, applied to

which the Apostles applied

change.

evils attaching to

would

human
it,

has

That there are yet incidental

the marriage relation

that the

husband often abuses the authority which belongs

him

as a husband,

tioned

by

property,
deu}^.

and that these abuses are sanc-

the laws of the land


for

to

example

no

the laws

one,

respecting

we presume,

will

Tliat the industrious, pains-taking wife should

be turned out of " house and home," and stripped


APOSTOLIC PRECEPT.

69

even of that which she has herself earned, to pay the

by a

debts contracted

unknown event

profligate husband,

any of our

in

God-fearing man, in

denounce the marriage

But

States.

senses,

liis

relation,

on

this

not an

is

will

any

account,

and advocate the

doctrine of the " Free-lovers ?"

The condition

of the child, in the United States,

is

change.

Eome and
And yet, in

this Christian land, in spite of all the

guards which

very different from what


Christianity has

wrought

it

was

this

the law has thrown around

childhood," and

and

indirect,

all

''

in old

the helplessness of

the influence of the Gospel, direct

the authority of the

greatly abused.

From

father

time to time

often

is

we read

in the

papers of fathers cruelly beating, starving, and even

murdering their own children


part of the land.

Shall

we

and

this in

every

therefore abolish the

authority of the father, and introduce socialism, mak-

ing children the immediate care of the community

Can any

man believe that, in so doing, he


either God or humanity a service ?

Christian

would be doing

The condition of the


different

from what

it

empire in Paul's day.

slave, in

our country,

is

very

was throughout the Eoman

And

this

change

also is

one

of the trophies of our heaven-descended Christianity.

That there are incidental


institution,

evils yet attaching to the

both in law and in

fact, all will

admit

THE CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE OF SLAVERY.

60
evils

which

working

Christianity,

in God's appointed

way, will ere long remove, we firmly believe.


done a mighty work in

worked

Ly-gone

da3^s

All that has ever been done for the

well.

slave has been done through


perfectly willing to trust

do, that the time will yet

see

and acknowledge that

" the foolishness of

God

Referring

addressed to slaves,

and we arc

come when

all

wiser than man."


the Scriptural injunctions

to

and quoted
:

at the

" But

think, because a pious slave

nor

let

this

not a master

let

shows

head of

this spirit, that

therefore the slave feels that the master

withholding his freedom

men will

in this, as in other matters,

is

Barnes writes

section. Dr.

agency

its

for the future, believing, as

it

we

Second.

has

has always

it

It

is

right in

him suppose,

be-

cause religion requires the slave to be submissive and


obedient, that therefore
ter does.

It

it

approves of what the mas-

does this no more than

it

sanctions the

conduct of Kero and Mary, because religion required


the martyrs to be unresisting, and to allow themselves
to

be led to the stake.

A conscientious

find happiness in submitting to


will,

this

just

a conscientious

as

does not

slave-owner

Eph. VI.

or

God

the

persecutor."

may

and doing his

martyr

sanction the wrong,

slave

But

may.

either

Barnes^

of

the

N'otes,

71.

Supposing

we admit

the correctness of this view

61

APOSTOLIC PRECEPT.

of

tlie

injunctions addressed to slaves,

we must

then

interpret the corresponding injunctions addressed to

upon

masters, in immediate connection with these,


the

same

Col. lY.

" Saintly

principles.
1,

And

would read somewhat

and faithful"

the wild beasts,

but see to

Paul's words, in

it,

you

if

as

and equal" in

''

this

Mary, kindle the

please, the disciples of Jesus

God

to

for

give unto them that which

whole matter.

fires

9,

way:

this

l^ero, impale, crucify, cast to

you must answer

conduct, that you

in

Eph. YI.

And

your

is

just

you. Bloody

of Smithfield anew, and send

your brethren in Jesus

to the stake

of God," burn these holy

men

but, " beloved

with the same meek-

ness and single-eye for God's glory with which they

submit to be burned.

10.

Paul declares that

his

Doctrine respecting

THE Duties of Slaves and Masters

is

whole-

some DOCTRINE, ACCORDINa TO GoDLINESS

AND

THE Doctrine of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Proof. 1 Tim, VI.


" Let as
"
*'

many

yoke count
that the

servants {douloi) as are under the

their

name

1-3.

of

own masters worthy of all honor,


God and of his doctrine be not

THE CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE OF SLAVERY.

62

And they that have believing masters.

" blasphemed.
*'

let

them not

" thren

"are

despise them, because they are bre-

but rather do them service, because they

faithful

and beloved,

partakei's of the benefit.

" These things teach and exhort."


3.

" If any

man

teach otherwise, and consent not

" to wholesome words, even the words of the Lord


" Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which
" ing to godliness, he

is

proud,"

Paraphrase of Yer.

3.

If

is

accord-

etc.

any man teach that

slaves ought not to count even unbelieving masters

worthy of
ters

all

honor, and to render to believing mas-

the more cheerful and hearty service because

they are believers, he teaches what

with the doctrine which

wholesome words, even

is

is

at variance

according to godliness and

the expressed will

of the Lord

Jesus Christ. i^Y

* " If

any man

tcacli

otherwise, and consent not to

words, even the words of our


that woukl be

of

all

first

among

Lord Jesus

yon, let

Christ, (Matt.

him be your

Mark, X. 44,) and to the doctrine which

is

wholesome

XX.

sei'vant, or

27,

He

servant

according to godli-

ness." Whithif.

"If any one teach


slaves are not

bound

differently,

by affirming

that,

to serve their masters, but

and docs not consent

to the

under the

Grosiicl,

ought to be set

free,

wholesome commandments which arc

APOSTOLIC PRECEPT.

The expressed will of

N'oTE.(')

is

Lord Jesus

the

" All the precepts which the Apostles de-

Christ.

livered

63

by

inspiration being precepts of Christ, there

no occasion

suppose that he referred to some

to

precepts concerning slaves, which Christ, while on

and which, thougli

earth, delivered to his Apostles,

made known

not recorded by the Evangelists, were

Paul by revelation

to

;"

or,

understand him as

to

referring to such precepts as are actually recorded in

the Gospels, but which do not directly refer to the


case

under

consideration,

Whitby has

as

done.

Commissioned, as the Apostles were,

to j^erfect the

organization, of the Christian Church,

and complete

by "

the Spirit of

the sacred cannon, and guided

Jesus"

into all truth,

what they taught may, with

strictest propriety,

be spoken of as " the words of the

our Lord Jesus

and

all

points
*'

is

Christ's,

to the doctrine of the Gospel,

conformable to true morality, he

These things which I have been mentioning, take care,

thy, to teach

which

in

McKniglit.

is," etc.

Timo-

and exhort thine hearers always to maintain a due

And

regard to them.

if

any one teach otherwise,

if

he attempt to

broach principles contrary to these great maxims, and attend not to


such sound and wholesome words, even to those of our Lord Jesus
Christ,

may

these

as

with

express the doctrine that

is

strict

cause of practical godliness, which


G-ospel to

promote

humility he

may

in the world,

affect,

he

is

propriety be

called,

and which

agreeable and subservient to the great


it

is

whatever

the declared design of


fair

show of

certainly proud," etc.

simplicity

Doddridge.

tlie

and

THE CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE OF SLAVERY.

64

Lord Jesus Christ."

This,

Paul distinctly

his first epistle to the Corinthians

" If

himself to be a prophet, or spiritual,

asserts in

any man think

let

him acknow-

ledge that the things that I write unto you are the

commandments

of the Lord."

1 Cor. XIY.

37.

Remarks.
Paul's declaration in the passage under examination, refers expressly to

such as should teach

doctrine respecting the duties of slaves alone.

upon

fair principles

of interpretation,

understood to include those

also, if

it

The " doctrine which

correlative
is

according

to godliness," teaches the slave to serve his

with singleness of heart;"

Yet,

must be

such there were,

as taught false doctrine respecting the

duties of masters.

false

and just

as

master

distinctly

teaches the master to give unto the slave " that which
is

just

and equal."

Master and slave are alike the

creatures of God, the objects of his care, the subjects

of his government

and alike responsible

to

him

for

the discharge of the duties belonging to their several


stations.

APOSTOLIC PRECEPT.

11.

Paul treats the

65

Diste^-ctions wnicii

Slavery

CREATES AS MatTERS OF VERY LITTLE IMPORTANCE


in so

far as the interests of the christian

Life are concerned.

Proof. 6'Z.
11

VII

1 Cor.

III. 2S

is

neither

III. 28.

Jew nor Greek,

there

" bond {doulos) nor free {eleuthereos)^ there


" male nor female

for

1.

" For

by one

" body, whether


" be

bond

"^

made

all

Col. III.

20, 21.

Gal.
" There

XII. 13

1 Cor.

ye are

all

is

neither

is

neither

one in Christ Jesus."

Cor. XII. 13.

we all baptized into one


we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we
Spirit are

{douloi) or free {eleutheroi)


to drink into

one

and have been

spirit."

Col. III. 11.

"
*'

Where

there

is

neither Greek nor Jew, circum-

cision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian,

" {doidos) nor free {eleuthereos)


" in

all."

but Christ

bond

is all

and

THE CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE OF SLAVERY.

66

The common sentiment


ture

well expressed

is

phrase of the

of these passages of Scrip-

by Doddridge,

quoted

last

"

become genuine members


where there

is

in his para-

Thus you

will indeed

of that blessed society

no distinction between

men

of differ-

ent rations, education, or rank in life; where neither


is

any man rejected

merely

for

for

being a Greek, nof accepted

Jew

being a

a society where he can

claim nothing by virtue of circumcision, nor lose anything by uncircumcision

where no Barbarians, or

even Scythians, are treated with contempt for that

want of learning and

most remote nations

in the

upon

unworthy of

as

which

politeness
;

or

is

to

be found

any slave trampled

notice, since

he shares with

others in the possession of that inestimable treasure,

an immortal soul, and

Eedeemer

a part in the great

a freeman chiefly esteemed

upon account

of his boasted liberty, but

of souls

or regarded

may have
is

nor

rather in proportion to his subjugation to our divine

master

them

for this is the great

all,

bond of union among

the matter of their boasting and their joy,

that they are related to Christ,


to

be

all

dwells in

that
all

is

who

is

acknowledged

amiable and excellent, and

who

true believers, without any difference on

any of these accounts."

II

APOSTOLIC PRECEPT.

67

1 CoE. VII. 20, 21.

" IT. But as

God

liatli

distributed to every

" as the Lord hath called every one, so let

And so ordain I
" man called being
"

" uncircumcised.

him not be

''let

in all the churches.

circumcised
Is

circumcised.

" nothing, and uncircumcision

" keeping of the


" every

man

pel

is

it

but

is

nothing, but the


of God.

20.

thou raayest be made

20, 21.

Since

not of this world," (Jno.

makes no

Let

free,

that Christian

men remain

XYIIL

36,) his

Gos-

I ordain in all tlie churches


in the

as these are concerned,(^) in

finds them.

Christ's " king-

alteration in a man's civil relations or

and hence

far

19. Circumcision is

thou called being a servant


if

^oliticcil state^

so

him not become

rather."

Pakaphease of ver.

dom

any

in uncircumcision

commandments

2L Art

" care not for


it

him walk.
18. Is

abide in the same calling wherein he

" was called.

" use

let

any called

man,

same condition, in

which the Gospel

Art thou called of God, being a slave

{doidos\ care not for

it,

as

though

it

could affect

thine acceptance with God, or thine acceptable service of him.

Yet

if

they can lawfully be

made

free,

as a general rule^i^) slaves had better accept their

THE CHKISTIAN DOCTRINE OF SLAVERY.

68
freedom

own

its

condition^

man

abide

still

i,

<?.,

The word

relations or political state.

* " Let every

in the

same

be

the

wherein he was

by

to quit his call-

it

it

but

if

thou

Whitby.

rather."

it

civil

hlaseis^ is here,

Art thou called being a servant, care not for


free, use

same

calling

called to the faith, not thinking himself obliged

mayest lawfully be made

to

account.*

The same

!N'oTES.(^)

ing.

one

for a condition of slavery is not

desired on

" Since the Gospel makes no alteration in men's political

state, let

every Christian remain in the same political state in which he was


called.

Agreeably to

this

rule,

wast thou called being a bondman,

be not thou solicitous to be made

free,

fancying that a

Yet

God's favor than a freeman.

less the object of

if

bondman

is

thou canst even

be made free by any lawful method, rather obtain thy freedom."

McKnight.

"As

for other matters, be not excessively concerned about

but in whatever calling, that

is,

of you was called, in that let

them:

profession or circumstances, any one

him continue

aflFcct

not to change

without the clear and evident leadings of Providence, as there

is

generally greater reason to expect comfort and usefulness in such a

And

calling than in another.

may

rent employments, but relations in

Christ, being in the

life
it,

uneasy

be made

but
free,

diffe-

as well as diversity in reli-

Art thou, for instance, called into the Church of

gious professions.

slave? do not so

apply this not only to the


life,

low rank, not only of a hired servant, but of a

much regard
if

it

as ui)ou that account to

make thy

thou canst, without any sinful method of obtaining

choose

it

rather, as

what

is

no doubt

in itself eligible,

yet not absolutely necessary to the happiness of a good )nan."

Doddridge.


APOSTOLIC PRECEPT.

69

evidently, not used in the sense of "calling," as

we

understand that word at the present day, and as

Doddridge seems to have understood


specifications

under the general term

and uncircumcised, bond and


give this definition^"
kaleseis, are the

rives there from."

Paul uses

it

II.

Roman

here

This
;

is

free.

in

(^)

it,

since Paul's

circumcised

Liddell and Scott

Dion H. Uaseis and

classes^

which word he de-

doubtless the sense in which

and as we have no one English

word which corresponds exactly


phrased

it

are,

to

it,

we have

As a

general rule.

here, to give anything

That Paul does not mean

more than general

evident from the language he uses, " use


as well as

are

many

become

him

para-

" civil relations or jpolitical stateP

advice,
it

rather,"

from the whole tenor of the context.


cases in

free

where

his freedom,

which the advice


his master

is

There

to a slave to

would willingly grant

would be neither kind nor

wise.

Indeed, the greatest practical difiiculties which the

enlightened Christian citizen encounters in attempting to solve the problem of emancipation, are such as

grow out of the obligation

to act

with a righteous

regard to the subsequent w^ell-being of the slave.

THE CHEISTIAN DOCTTRIXE OF SLAVERY.

70

Remarks.
First.

In

the passage under examination, Paul

must be understood

as

speaking in his character of a

religious teacher, an Apostle of Christ

when he

treats the relation of master

matter of very

little

importance,

him to mean, of very


and

duties

little

and

lience,

and slave

as a

we must understand

importance in so far as the

interests of the Cliristian life are concerned.

In other words

man

can be as good a Christian,

and can as acceptably serve God,

as a slave, if in

God's providence the Gospel finds him a slave, as he


could had

only not

it

tJie

pediment

found him a free man.

way

it

1.

in the case of

although there

is

of incidental evil attaching to slavery as

among

exists

not

of the spread of the Gospel.

A practical proof of this is afibrded


little

is

great impediment, but not a great im-

in the

the slaves in our Southern states,

not a

Slavery

us,

in

such

A larger proportion

facts as these, viz.

of the laboring classes be-

long to the Christian Church in the Southern than in


the Northern states of the Union.
2.
is

be
as alleged and we believe that
that the piety of the Christian slaves the

If

true

South

it

true,

it

at

is

of a lower, less intelligent grade than that

of the laborers of the North,

we have

at the

South, as

AVOHTOLUi

an

U)

ollricit

[JiiivdrHaliHrn,

many

loriiiH

their

an altnoHt

l.liiri,

uM\(>UjS

remov(Ml

lower grade of piety prevailing


Hlav<tn, to n-.tiK-iiiln-.v tliat tlioso

many

of them, but a very few generations

and

hintory

all
Ixicfi

debarting,

inowt

its

tefltlfi<;fl

that a

going on through ages

oidy gra<lually overcome.

Hnmnd.

made

in

h<;ath(;nirtm

fronj

degradation vvhieh ban


b(.-

in

tlifi

degrading form

(!an

laboring

fair, too,

('hriritian

ar:r:ourit of*

HJavcH an;,

\\i(i

initiibcr

tlio

fiecmg but

It

jjoin

.'likI

wlilcli

by thouHand.H atnorig

diH(;ij)lcfl

oiii*

MormoiiiHin,

lnli<l<;llt,y,

l)a[)l,Iz<:<l

claHHOB in tlio Free StatcH.

taking

<;X(;tn|)lioii

(tiillni

Spirit.iJJiliHin,
oi'

71

I'ltWJlJl.

When

U'('m^

une

it

I'aid writes,

rather,"

"

If

thou rnayeat be

we munt underntand him

an givirig thin direr^tion wifli enpeelal ref(*rene(i to the

of thingH (ixihting

Htato
wrol<;

l.hJH

in

epihih; to the ('hnrcli

a H<jund i'ul;of Inter[>n;l:ation in


(thp<;elally fiuggehted In

find

Ih

tho

eontexf.

boufid fo a

In

wifo'i?

iooHadfronfh a

ver.
H(:(;k

'impt f

27

not

n.

<

'oilnl.h,

all (vxm-a
tin;

b(3

of

'llii.-i

tiiin

''Art
Alt

looiftd.

mife.^''

No

h<j
irt

kind,

eane before nn

writ<*fl

h;

not to

H(utk

at.

time

at the

(ir(;<-<!e

by

ihoii
l/i.ofi

ingcnmuiH

interpreter ban ever urnlerrfood Paul an here intond-

ing to diMf,<jiint(inaneo marriage, or an in a/iy

eonlradieling
for

man

to

\\\(\

bo

H<;nt dirttrehH,"

<llvifie

aloiu.-."
1.

e.

dcelarati'nj, "
It

liability

waw
to

in

it

in

way

not good

view of " iho pro

porhoeutlot) for their

THE CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE OF SLAVERY.

72

religion's sake,

Paul gives the advice he does respect-

ing marriage.

So in the words " if thou


it rather ^^

if

we wonld

may est

he

made free^

fairly interpret

them

use

for the

purpose of applying the truth they teach in our


country, and at the present day,

we must

take into

account,
1.
^^

In Rome, and in Greece

jpro quadrujpedibus^^

might torture

3,)

our Southern States


the law, as

is

and the master

as cattle,

even put them to death, at

tliem, or

(See

his will.

e.

i.

In contrast with
is

were held

also, slaves

as truly a

the master.

this,

man,

A master

a slave in

in the eye of

will

be hung as

quickly for the murder of his slave as he would for


that of a freeman.

in his

In

comments on

this

view of the

this

passage, writes

case, Calvin,
:

" This

admonition was very necessary at that time, when


slaves

were driven by threats and

fear of death, to

stripes,

and even

obey every kind of command with-

out selection or exception, so that they reckoned the

procuring of prostitutes, and other crimes of that


nature, to be duties belonging to slaves, equally with

honorable employments."
2.

Most of the

in Greece,

slaves in Paul's day, especially those

were of nations so closely

allied to that of

the master that they could freely intermingle


free,

and

in the course of a

few generations

all

if set

trace

73

APOSTOLIC PRECEPT.

of
of

condition would disappear.

tlieir servile
tlie

We

slaves in our Southern States

fully

human

one blood

nations of

all

face of the earth."

not

no trace of
all

And

very

different.

and firmly believe in the doctrine of the

" unity of the

find

is

The case

race

;" that "

men

Even

if

for to dwell

body

this unity in the

Adam," has branded

its

has

made

on

all

He

common
mark

the

The body

has a soul

first

of our unity just as

deeply and indelibly upon the soul of the negro, as

And

ration of the Christian negro, the

Holy

God

Adam."

master and slave

and

And
sit

it

in the regeneSpirit brings

a brighter

of that same' unity, in his union with Christ,

second

is

also.

parent, " the

has on that of the Anglo-Saxon.

out a second, and, blessed be

of

the physiologist could

of man, black or white.

the fatal sin of our

God

mark
^'

the

every time that the Christian

side

by

side at the Lord's table

in a ministry of twenty years at the South I

never recollect to have sat at the Lord's table when


there were not slaves at the

same

table

we make a

public profession of our faith on this point.

But that the negro cannot mingle with the Anglo-

Saxon

in our country,

purpose

why

this

matters not for our present

it

be so

we need no

than that afforded in the facts


States,

^1.

clearer proof

Tliat in the free

where the number of negroes

is

very small,

they never have been admitted upon equal footing

74

CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE OF SLAVERY.

TFIE

with the whites

and

2.

Whenever

the

number

of

negroes has seemed likely to increase to any great


extent, in

any of those

been passed

to

States,

immediately laws have

prevent their immigration, as in

Ohio.

There are impediments then in the way of a slave's


attaining to the rank of a genuine freeman, even

where

his legal

freedom has been granted him,

exist-

ing in our country, and at the present day, which


did not exist in Corinth at the time Paul wrote this
epistle to the
ness,

these

Church

in that city.

must be taken

And

into account,

in all fair-

in inter-

preting Paul's words with reference to our country

and our day.

CHAPTEK

lY.

APOSTOLIC INJUNCTION.
" Yerily I say unto yon, whatsoever ye shall bind

" on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatsoever


" ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."

Matt.

XYHL

18.

12. Paul directs the Chkistian Minister to teach


THIS

Doctrine respecting the Duties of Slaves

AND Masters

in the Church,

and prohibits

the teaching of any Doctrine at variance

WITH

it

under most SOLEMN SANCTIONS.

Pkoof. 1 Tim.

VL

3-5; Titus, 11.

9,

10, 15.

1 Tim. YI. 3-5.

many servants as are under the yoke


count their own masters worthy of all honor, that
the name of God and his doctrine be not blas" Let as

"
"

75

THE CnRISTIAN DOCTRINE OF SLAVERY.

76

" phemed.
"

2.

are

but rather do them service, because

and beloved partakers of the

faithful

" benefit.
''

they that have believing mas-

them not despise them, because they are

ters, let

" brethren
" they

And

These things teach and exhort.

any man teach otherwise, and consent not

" some words, even the words of the


" Christ, and to the doctrine
*'

godliness,

He

4.

is

which

is

3.

to

If

whole-

Lord Jesus
according to

proud, knowing nothing, but

" doting about questions and strifes of words, where" of Cometh envy,

"

5.

strife,

evil

railings,

men

Perverse disputings of

surmisings,

of corrupt minds,

" and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain


" godliness

Paraphrase of ver.
the

he

4, 5.

^These

Church and exhort thy hearers

them. (Yer.
is

If

2.)

pride

heed to
(ver. 4,)

though he knoweth

having a morhid fondness for so-called

2>hilosoj[)hical questions

Cometh envy,

strife,

and logomachies ^{^) whence

hlasphemies^i^)

cions, perverse disputings of

and

things teach in
to take

any man teach otherwise,

puffed up with

nothing,

is

from such withdraw thyself."

men

wicked suspi-

of corrupt minds

destitute of the true doctrine of Christ Jesus,

reckoning whatever produces most


religion.

From

all

money is

the best

such teachers publicly withdraw

thyself (^) and acknowledge

them not

as the ministers

APOSTOLIC INJUNCTION.
of Christ, that all

men may

not the countenance of thy


* " If any

man

YT

see that this doctrine has

name and

teach otherwise, he

authority.*

proud, (Gr. puffed up,) know-

is

ing nothing, but doting (sick) about questions and strifes of words,

whereof cometh envy,


putings

of men

that gain

is

godliness.

" If any

strife,

railings, evil surmisings,

man

From such withdraw

teach otherwise, he

knoweth nothing,

either

of

thyself.''

Jewish or

the

mind about

in his

Whitby.

puffed up with pride, and

is

Christian

although he pretends to have great knowledge of both

tempered

perverse dis-

of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing

revelation,
;

but

is

dis-

questions and debates of words,

idle

which afford no foundation for such doctrine, but are the source of
envy, contention, evil speakings, unjust suspicions that the truth

is

not sincerely maintained, keen disputings, carried on contrary to


conscience, by

men

wholly corrupt in their minds and destitute of

the true doctrines of the Gospel,

most money
withdraw

is

man

all

the

such impious teachers

McKnight.

teach otherwise, whatever fair show of simplicity and

humiUty he may

may have

From

and do not dispute with them."

thyself,

" If any

who reckon whatever produces

the best religion.

affect,

he

is

certainly proud,

of his superior knowledge, he

any good purpose

but, like a

man

is

and whatever conceit he

one who knows nothing

to,

raving and delirious in a fever, he

runs on, declaiming on idle questions and useless debates about words,

from whence no good can be expected to

arise, but,

a great deal of mischief; envying of those


selves, contention with others

such

self-sufficient teachers

who

intemperate zeal Heals round to


cions

and obnoxious

amiable characters

will

dictate
all

who

representations

truth,

for

not submissively yield to what

abusive language, which their

angry debates of

and averse from the

on the contrary,

more regarded than them-

offend them, and evil suspi-

of the

worthiest and most

men whose minds

are corrupt

which they pretend so eagerly to

THE CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE OF SLAVERY.

78

NoTES.(')

Having a mo rlid fondness for

and

philosophical questions
(doting) denotes

'

so-called

logomachies.

''

having a morbid fondness

which examples are adduced by Wets and


Sjn."

The sense

Bloonijleld.

zataseis (questions)

Paul's words

''

is

marks

is

determined by

On

word McKnight

re-

disputation, such as

was

this

" A philosophical

held in the schools, was called diatriba


addition of the preposition
into a

bad meaning."

para converts

And Bloomfield

(strifes

more

strife loith

mere words

spoken against God, and we see no

for giving

especially as

it is

it

a different

meaning

here,

evidently used in this sense

" that

the

name

of

God

while they seem to suppose that which promises the largest

quantity of gain to be most worthy of pursuit, and would,

varnish

it is

used in the J^ew Testament of

in the immediate context


plead

common
since

The Greek word llasphemia

Blasphemies.

good reason

it,

mere words.

(railings) is generally

railing w^ords

word

The Greek

of words) has no

used to convey the idea of a

f)

the

" The para

English word exactly corresponding to

as well as about

but the

denotes inanity, and the dia vehemence."

word logoniachia

in Rec.

disputings" {j)aradiatriba\

j^^^'^'^^^se

subsequently used.

of

which the word

in

used here

JV^oson
for,'

it

over with the venerable name of godliness.

therefore from such, and have no intimacy with them."

if

possible,

Turn away
Doddri<lt/e.

APOSTOLIC INJUNCTION.

and

be not blasphemed."

his doctrine

Y9

Yer.

Of

1.

the truth of Paul's descriptions, thus understanding


this

word,

we have many

illustrations at the present

day.
(')

self.

From
For

such teachers puhlicly withclraio thy-

all

tlie

use of a similar expression in this sense,

" But

see 1 Cor.

Y. 11

you not

keep company,

to

now
if

have written unto

any man that

is

called a

brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater,


or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner, with

such an one, no not


mentators to

mean

to eat ;"

understood by

all

com-

that such an one should be excom-

municated from the Church.

Titus

"Exhort servants

II.

9,

be obedient

to

" masters, and to please


" not answering again

"

all

" of

good

fidelity

them well

to

in

their
all

own

things

not purloining but shewing

that they

God our Saviour

10, 15.

may

in all things.

adorn the doctrine


15.

These things

" speak, and exhort and rebuke with all authority.


" Let no

man

despise thee."

Paraphrase of ver.

15.

^These

things which

I,

as

an Apostle of Jesus, have just given thee in charge,


respecting the duties of the old and the young of both

THE CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE OF SLAVERY.

80

and of those wlio in God's provi-

sexes, (ver. 1-G,)

dence are in the condition of slaves {douloi\


10,)

to

speak openly and exhort

them.

And

all

thy hearers to attend

rebuke the Judaizing teachers who

inculcate a different doctrine with

which belongs

to thee as

tliee,

all

the authority

an Evangelist, and as such

a spiritual ruler in the Church.


to despise

(ver. 9,

And

suffer

no

man

or disregard thy decisions in these

matters."^

* " These things speak and exhort, and rebuke the opposers of
this doctrine with all authority.

Let no

man

despise thee, but use

the censures of the Church, and deliver up to Satan those Jews

gainsay this doctrine."

who

Whithy.

" These things inculcate as necessary to be believed, and exhort

who

And

profess the Gospel to live suitably to them.

otherwise confute with

all

the authority which

thee as a teacher commissioned of Christ.

is

due to truth, and to

Let no one have reason

McKnight.

to despise thee."

" These things therefore speak boldly, and earnestly exhort


hearers to attend to them.

proper manner, rebuke them

And

if

they

despise thee

fail

all

thy

of regarding them in a

w^ith all authority, as

has a divine commission to support him

man

all

such as teach

one that knows he

and, upon the whole,

let

no

but endeavor to give them exhortations with that

solemnity and dignity, and to enforce them by that wisdom and


sanctity of behavior, which

tempt."

Doddridge.

may

set thee

above

all

danger of con-

81

APOSTOLIC INJUNCTION.

Remaeks.
Let the reader compare this account, given by

by Dr. Channing

Paul, with that given

and

surely

Dr. Channing cannot be thought to be a witness giving testimony nnder pro-slavery prejudices

same
''

nor

The
is

the

Abolitionists have done wrong, I believe

their

wrong

to

mischief

may

be winked

for

how much

be wrought with good designs

fallen into the

common

because done

at,

good intentions

fanatically, or with

have

of

day

class of teachers in this our

They

error of enthusiasts, that

of exaggerating their object, of feeling as if no evil


existed but that

which they opposed, and

as if

no guilt

could be compared with that of countenancing and

upholding
as I

it.

The tone

of their newspapers, as far

have seen them, has often been

fierce, bitter,

and

movement

is,

that they have sought to accomplish their object

by

abusive.

Another objection

a system of agitation

that

to their

is,

by

a system of

afiili-

ated societies, gathered, and held together, and extended,

by

might have formed an association


been an elective one.

Men

ciousness, sobriety, should


as

members.

plished

by

The

passionate eloquence.
;

but

Abolitionists

it

should have

of strong principles, judi-

have been carefully sought

Much good might have been accom-

the co-operation of such philanthropists.

4*

THE CHKISTIAN DOCTRINE OF SLAVERY.

82

Instead of
tors,

the Abolitionists sent forth their ora-

this,

some of them transported with

sound

tlie

fiery zeal, to

alarm, against slavery throughout the land,

to gather together

young and

old, pupils

from

schools,

females hardly arrived at years of discretion, the


ignorant, the excitable, the imj^etuous, and to organize these into

associations for the battle against op-

Yery unhappily they preached

pression.

colored people, and formed these into

trine to the

To

societies.

their doc-

mixed and excitable multitude,

this

minute, heart-rending, descriptions of slavery were

given in the piercing tones of passion


holders were
crime.
vert

The

and slave-

held up as monsters of cruelty and


Abolitionist, indeed, proposed to

the slave-holders;

and

for

this

end,

con-

he ap-

proached them with vituperation, and exhausted on

them the vocabulary of abuse


as

he sowed."

And

he has reaped

Quoted from, Dr. Hodge's Essays^

pp. 47Y, 478.

Dr. Barnes
Slavery,"

p.

in

his

" Scriptural

Yiews

of

267, quotes and endorses this descrip-

tion of Dr. Channing.

13. "Blasphemies."

Among
strifes of

the consequences of such

words"

as

'*

questions and

characterized the anti-slavery

83

APOSTOLIC INJUNCTION.

preaching in Paul's day, he reckons blasphemies.

The same

is

true of

take the following

it

"

in our day.

Andover God, the

with your Bible down


down with your trod that
The God of Moses Stuart, the
God of Wm. H. Kogers, which is
!

worshipped in the Winter

St.

Church,

composed of oppression, fraud,

is

am

an Atheist."

3fr.

To such a

Wright^ in his Speech

before the Anti-Slavevy Society in Boston^

To those

a monster,

injustice, pollution,

and every crime in the shape of slavery.

God

instance,

Down

with your political parties


sanctions slavery

As an

May^

1850.

familiar with the anti-slavery literature of

the day, especially the speeches delivered at anniversary meetings, there


that
of

blasphemy

is

is

no need that I should remark,

one of the characteristic features

it.

And

in connection with such

blasphemy, as that quoted above,

an extract or two from the

open and positive


let the

reader take

late writings

of Dr.

Barnes
" Is

it

to

be held that the manufacture and

sale of

ardent spirits will have something to do with the


progress of the Gospel and the salvation of men, and
slavery nothing
tickets

is

That the vending of a few

lottery-

a matter of sufficient importance to claim

the attention of the ministers of religion, and

not?

tliis

That the amusements of the ball-room, the

THE CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE OF SLAVERY.

84

and the opera, should engage the earnest

theatre,

prayers and exliortations of the ministers of religion,

and

the iact that three millions of

tliat

human

beings

are held under such a system, can have no claim on

the attention of the ministers of Christ?


horse-race, a bull-fight, or even
sufficient
tlie

moment

to

Shall a

a duel^ be deemed of

awaken the

soul of a minister of Christ,

indio-nation

and

this

and

stir

enormous

system of injustice and wrong have nothing to awa-

ken

his

sympathy, and

to enkindle his zeal

Is -the

system of caste in India, an evil greater than American slavery

Is

the voluntary

hurning of a

few

widoics on the funeral pile, either as an obstruction


to the

with

Gospel or as actual wrong^ to be compared

this

l)ainful

system

Is the

torture of the

swinging on hooks or the

body

in

Hindoo devotion an

obstruction to the progress of the Gospel, at all to be

compared
slavery."

enormity with American

in extent or in

Dr. Barnes^ Church and Slavery, pp.

161-2.
"

With what

consistency,

nation engage in the

work

it

might be asked, can a

of missions to the heathen,

which systematically and on principle holds three


millions of

human

beings in slavery

What

is

the

kind of religion which such a people would seek to


introduce

among

the heathen,

and

to substitute for

the forms of superstition and idolatry which prevail

APOSTOLIC INJUNCTION.

there

And what would

tuting a religion

vail in

be the advantage of substi-

where such views and purposes are


which now actually

for those systems

avowed,

heathen

85

lands ?"

pre-

Church and Slavery^ pp.

170, 1.

"We

must

either give

up the point

that the

New

Testament defends slavery, or we must give up a


very large

and an increasingly large portion of the

people of this land to infidelity

nor

will,

nor ought, to be convinced that a book

which sanctions slavery


this must,

for they neither can,

and should

is

from God.

he so

principles in our nature, as

I believe that

and that there are great

God

has

made

us,

which

can never be set aside by any authority of a pre-

tended revelation

and that

if

a book professing to

be a revelation from God, by any


defended slavery, or placed

it

fair interpretation

on the same basis as

the relation of husband and wife, parent and child,

guardian and ward, such a book neither ought to be,


nor could be received by mankind as a divine revelation."

The Church and Slavery,

Dr. Barnes

may be

of his does not

ask

able to show, that this language

amount

using one of

his

p. 193.

to positive

own

blasphemy

favorite expressions

would " a proper development of

it

" be

but

we

what

THE CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE OF SLAVERY.

86

14.

" So-called

logomachles.
1.

" Property

''Mere Property, *

the right of possession and use, and

is

must of necessity vary according


objects to

and

Questions

Philosophical

which

it

to the nature of the

A man has property in

attaches.

his wife, in his children, in his domestic animals, in

his fields,

and

That

in his forests.

he has the

is,

right to the possession and use of these several ob-

He

jects according to their nature.


* " So long as the slave

is

regarded as a

selves with the feeUng that he

Notes on Uph. VI.


*'

What

guishes

it

is

He

chattel,' or a

may be

held in bondage."

the essential element of the system

from

mere piece

to content them-

all

other relations
reply, that

(the master) regards

it is

him (the

"What

This question can

p.

distin-

now be

an-

property in a human being.

slave) as his

own property

as he regards anything else as his property."

Views of Slavery,

Barnes'

9.

swered by the single

same sense

'

men endeavor

of 'property,' like a horse, so long

has no more

in the

Scriptural

47.

" According to the system, their (slaves') bodies are not their own,
their souls, so far as they can be

made

the master, are not their own,"

The Church and Slavery,

"

He

(the master) sets the slave

disposes of the slave in his

of service. "

will,

Scriptural Vieivs^

to subserve the interests of

up at auction, not

by name, not of
p. 55.

p. 179.

his services

his unexpired

he

term


APOSTOLIC INJUNCTION.

87

right to use a brute as a log of wood, in virtue of the

man

right of property, than he has the right to use a

There are general principles of rectitude

as a brute.

obligatory on
all

all

the creatures

men, which require them


of

God

which he has given them.


his horse because

to treat

according to the nature

The man who should burn

he was his property, would find no

God
man is

man.

justification in that plea either before

or

When,

the pro-

therefore,

it

perty of another,

it

said that one

is

can only mean that the one has

a right to use the other as a

man, but not

as a brute

He has no right to treat him as he may


He can convert his

or as a thing.

lawfully treat his ox or a tree.

person to no use to which a

by

the laws of

When
is

God and

human being may

not,

nature, be properly applied.

the idea of property comes to be analyzed,

found

be nothins: more than a claim

to

either for life or for a


transferable,

and

is

term of years.

it

to service

This claim

of the nature of property,

and

is
is

consequently liable for the debts of the owner, and


subject to his disposal

by

will or otherwise."

Hodge's Essays on Reviews^

Dr.

p. 499.

This view of the nature of the property which a

master has in his slave,


writers of

is

the view which all ethical

any reputation, whether Christian or

have taken

and Dr. Barnes had before him

Essay of Dr. Hodge, as

is

this

not^

very

evident from his frequent

THE CHRISTIAN DOCTEINP: CF SLAVERY.

88

quotations from
those quoted in

when he penned such sentences as


On what ground, on what
the note.
it,

authority, does he set

it

aside

On

none, that

can discover, except that presented in


"

He

sets the slave

up

In Matt.

XX.

at auction

nameP

slave in his will, hy

we read

6, 7,

liis

we

words

he disposes of the

" About the eleventh

hour he went out and found others standing idle in


the marhet-^lace^

here

no

the day idle

all

man

and said unto them.

These

men exposed them-

selves, bodily, for hire in the market-place

language

when

" hired

is

stand ye

They say unto him, Because

usP

hath hired

Why

usP

Shall

we hence

and

their

infer, that

the ''owner of the vineyard" hired

them he

acquired a temporary property " in their bodies and

and that they meant

their souls,"

property to him?

wished

If Dr. B.

month

servant for a

or a year,

to transfer

to hire a huuse-

would he not expect

show himself bodily

that house-servant to

such

to him?.

not because he wished to acquire a temporary right


of property in his body, but because thus only could

he judge of
for

his physical ability to

And when

which he wished him.

him, would he not

naming him
might be

common

for
Such

life

say, I

a
is

perform the service

he had hired

have hired such an one

month

or a year, as the case

the language always used in

and although

it

may not

be philosophi-

89

APOSTOLIC INJUNCTION.

none but

callj a'^.curate,

misunda'stand

tlie

willfully perverse can

it.

"

chattel,

a thing. "*

" Slaves shall be claimed, held, taken, reputed and

adjudged

law

in

be chattels personal in the hands

to

of their owners and possessors,"


the law in South Carolina.

is

And

the language of

hence

it is

inferred

that that law does not regard a slave as a

being, but as a "

this

* "
'

'

thiiig.''''

be a correct view of the

It follows

chattel

or a

'

from

this that a slave is

thing,' or as

He

man, an immortal man.


Christ did not die for

ph.
'

'

'

chattels.'

one for

and

'

how comes

a man, a redeemed

is

whom

things.' "

Christ died.

But

Barries' JSfotes

on

would be impossible for Philemon to comply with the wishes

It

the case,
'

letter,

and meet exactly the

and yet regard him (Oaesimus)

thing.' "

desires of Paul in

as property, as a

chattel,'

Barnes' Notes, Pldlemon.

" This system (I speak of the system, not of the feelings of

who

it

not to be regarded as a

He

property.'
is

case,

VI. 9.

breathed forth in this

as a

human

are connected with

it)

treats

man

many

not as man, and not as capable

of redemption, but as a 'chattel,' as a 'thing;' this system does at


least as

much

in this country to hinder the progress of the Gospel

of Christ, and involves as

many

violations of the law of God,

as

either intemperance, gaming, lotteries, sabbath-breaking, skepticism,


infidehty, if not as
p. 167.

much

as

all

combined.'*

Church and Slavery,

90
that

THE CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE OF SLAVERY.


tlie

laws of Soutli Carolina

make

the killing of

a slave, murder; and the forcible violation of the

person of a female slave, rajDC?


bale of cotton, for examj)le

"What

is

''

chattel f "

Can a '"thing"

be murdered

" In the grand costumier

of l!Tormandj," writes Blackstons:, " a

chattel

is

described as a mere movable, buc at the same time


it is

set in opposition to a fief or feud

so that not

only goods, but whatever was not a feud, w^ere

And

accounted chattels.

ic

is

more

in this latter,

extended, negative sense that our law adopts

it

the

idea of goods or movables only being not sufiicientlj

comprehensive

to take in

everything that the law

considers as a chattel interest.

For

as

since,

the

commentators on the costumier observe, there are

two

requisites to

to time

make a fief

or heritage

and immobility with regard

ever wants either of these qualities,


to the K'ormans, a lieritage or fief
us, is not a real estate

both laws
chattel."

is,

that

civil

as

what-

not, according

or,

according to

the consequence of which in

must be a i)ersonal

Blaclcstone's Goimnentary^

"When then the


is

it

to place

is
;

duration

book

estate or
ii.

code of South Carolina

the civil and not the criminal code that

is

ch. 24.

for

it

quoted

declares that " slaves shall be claimed, held, taken,

reputed, and adjudged in law to be chattels personal,"

the

declaration

in

eftect

is,

simply that

APOSTOLIC INJUNCTION.

they are not to be held as real estate

that the pro-

without at
determining the extent of that property shall be

perty which the master has


all

91

in the slave

governed by the laws respecting transfer and

which apply

mission,

which a master has

to personal estate.

in his apprentice,

The

trans-

interest

under the laws

of Pennsylvania, or which Dr. Barnes

may have

in a

minor, bound as a servant to him for a term of years,


as truly a chattel interest, in the

is

law sense of that

term, as the interest which the master has in his

And

slave.

this fact

no more degrades the person,

in the account of the law, from the rank

whom Christ died, in


other.
And when Dr.

tal being, for

the

in

of an immor-

the one case than

Barnes

declares,

" Christ did not die for chattels," he cuts off the
apprentice and the bound servant along with the
slave

-"

the ])Oor^'^

whom

to

Christ

left

especial

direction that his Gospel should be preached

from

up

in that

all

the precious hopes which are garnered

Gospel.

3.

'^Unrequited Zc^Sor.*"

In the aspect in which


*

''

One of the elementary

must be

'

unrequited labor

more than he receives

;'

this objection

principles of

that

is,

it

contemplates

(slaver}')

is,

that there

the slave must earn as

much

as will do his part in maintaining the roaster in

THE CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE OF SLAVERY.

92

properly one respecting the

slavery, the question

is

relations of

and labor," and

''

capital

in all fairness

should be so treated.

Let us state

it

and

as a question of capital

labor,

taking the case of a slave on one of our southern

and

plantations,
(i.

e.

it

will stand thus

The

capitalist

the master) furnishes the land, live-stock, seed,

The laborer

and agricultural implements.


slave) furnishes his
tal.

The master,

own

(i. e.

the

labor in the use of this capi-

and

in return for his capital used,

his skill in superintending

and conducting the

affairs

of the plantation, receives the maintenance of himself

and family

perhaps something more.

The

slave, in

return for his labor, receives as wages, shelter, food,

and clothing

for himself

and

his

young

children, as

yet dependent on him, his maintenance and medical

attendance in sickness, and a comfortable provision


for his old age.

In what does this case differ from

that of the northern capitalist, the

idleness, for

it is

owner

of a cotton-

of the very essence of the system, that he

is

maintained in indolence by the slaves which he owns."

IV.

Notes, Col.

" Slavery
expects

to

is,

to be

Barnes'

1.

of necessity, a system of unrequited

make something by

more from the labor of the

the slave

that

is,

toil.

Tlie

master

he expects to secure

slave than he returns to him,"

" Appro-

priating to ourselves entirely the avails of the labor of another man,


is

an essential to the system."

Script.

Views of Slavcri/, pp. 52,

35-t.

93

APOSTOLIC INJUNCTION.

factory,

example, and the laborer he employs,

for

excepting that in one case the wages are paid " in


kind," in the other in money.
" the

But
expects

to

And

laborer).

(i.

the Southern capitalist)

e.

the slave "

(i.

e.

the

does not the lN"orthern capitalist ex-

make something by the laborers he employs ?

pect to

Are

master

make something by

cotton-factories benevolent institutions, for the

benefit of the poor


in idleness

;"

i.

e.

But " the master

is

maintained

he does not take hold of the plough-

handle and the hoe, as the slave does.

And

does

the owner of a cotton-factory labor as an operative

within

its w^alls ?

But, says Dr. B., "

it is

vain to say that the food,

the raiment, and the cottage of the slave are any


equivalent for his services, or that the deficiency of
these

is

that he

made up by
w^ill

and that he

We

the implied pledge of the master

him with medicine when sick,


take care of him when he is, old."

furnish
will

would inform Dr.

B.,

by

the way, that these are

not matters secured by " the implied pledge of the


master," but

by

Southern States

''^

the righteous slave-laws'''^ of the

and

if

the master

them, the proper authorities will do


ter will

have to pay

for

it.

fails to
it,

provide

and the mas-

" J^one of these things

are such an equivalent for his services that a free-

man would be

willing to contract for

them by

selling

THE CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE OF SLAVERY.

94

himself into slavery

tliey are

can secure by voluntary labor."

not what a freeman

Script Views,

by freeman, we understand the

If

slave are not as

free laborer in

we reply, the wages


much as the freeman can

our ISTorthern States,

p. 52.

of the
secnre.

Intelligence and industry are, and ought to be, taken

And

into account in determining a laborer's wages.


in these particulars the

American laborer

is

far in

advance of the African, but a few generations

moved,

the latter

as

is,

from the most degraded,

But compare the case

debasing barbarism.

re-

slave with that of the free laborer in Europe,

of the

and the

wages of the former are better than those of the


latter
five,

as

is

proven by the

fact, that

one out of every

even in Great Britain, of these free laborers,

compelled

That

house.

is

spend a part of his days in the poor-

to

is,

what amounts

he does not receive

for his labor

to a support for himself

and family

while able to labor, and a comfortable provision in


sickness and old age.

Even

in

our country, taking

amount and quality of the


receive
it

more wages

than, the

be that slave-labor

talist

than

is

free-labor?

labor,

pp.

2:1:,

mean

else

less profitable

This

tlie

the slave must

freeman

anything, must

how can

to the capi-

allegation,

repeated by anti-slavery writers, (see


25,) if it

account

into

so

Scrijpt.

mean

often
Vieios,

that the

APOSTOLIC INJUNCTION.

capitalist pays,

and

tlie

95

more wages

laborer receives,

for a given amount of labor performed under a sys-

tem

of slavery than under one of free-labor.

''Theft:'''

4.

Anti-slavery writers are accustomed to speak of


;"
slave-holders as " men-stealers," as guilty of " theft

not as the actual thieves, but as the receivers of


stolen goods.

Let us take Dr. Barnes' illustration of the case by


that of "

and admit

stolen horse,''

for the present

* " None become slaves voluntarily, and consequently the whole


process of making slaves partakes of the nature of theft of the worst

What

kind.

his father or
tially

guilt is like that of stealing a

mother?

The

by those who purchase those who are thus

chaser of a stolen horse, knowing

man's children or wife, or

guilt of man-stealing is incurred essen-

measure of that criminaUty also adheres to

thus maintain the system, for

it is

Barnes'' Notes

ginated by theft."

a system

on

stolen, as the

put'

be so, participates in the crime.

it to

Tim.

all

who own

known
I.

In his Scrij)tural Vieios of Slavery, Dr. B.

to

slaves,

and

have been

ori-

10.
illustrates the case

by

that of Napoleon's plundering the Itahan churches and monasteries

of their choicest paintings, remarking


time, no

amount of

legal enactment,

"

It is clear

that

no lapse of

and no number of transfers of

the property, by sale or bequest, could ever convey a moral right to

Somewhere, in spite of

all

these forms of law, the

perpetuated and extended, nor can

it

ever be obliterated but

those works of art.

wrong

is

by a restoration."

Pp. 356,

SSY.

THE CHRISTIAN DOCTBINE OF SLAVERY.

96

what

lie

Dr. B.

by

all

is

The case

a fair one.

is

may

That we

not fully stated.

not, that

bj

as stated

deal fairly

we

the parties concerned in the transaction,

must go back

Who

we do

doubtless believes, though

the illustration

to the beginning,

stole the horse

The ITorthern man

To

and ask

this the

for nothing is

first

of

all,

only true reply

more

is,

certain than

that the inhabitants of the ISTorthern States, and not

the people of the South, were the persons immedi-

employed

ately

in the African slave-trade at the time

that most of the original stock of slaves


into this countrj^,*

was brought

and that Southern men purchased

from them.

At the time, neither party thought

was a

But since then,

theft.

such was the nature of the

JST.

act.

has found out that

say,

S.

now, he would

If

honestly repair the wrong done, let

with the money that

him come

may

restore

Return

for him.

him

me

They

*'

(i. e.

the Southern people)

was imposed on them, and


ants

of

Views

Africa were

p. 9.

Mother

the

money

the horse, that I

to his rightful owner.

what would be required by the law

the laws and cupidity of the

it,

horse I sold you was

a stolen horse, I therefore bring you back the

you paid me

to S.

paid him, and returning

I have found out that the

it

of

Is

God

remember with

not this

as well as

little

country by which

it

gratitude
(slavery)

Northern ships by which the inhabit-

conveyed to their shores."

Barnes'

Scrip.

APOSTOLIC INJUNCTION,

of

man

in the case as stated

pose that, instead of


to refund

this,

!N".

97

by Dr. B.

comes, and not offering

any part of the price which

S.

paid him for

the horse, with sanctimonious visage, says

you have

are a thief; that horse

and

you'll

mouth

which our Lord puts

of a respondent the reply,

beam

cast out the

you

S.,

a stolen horse;

is

be a thief as long as you keep him.

this just the case in

first

But sup-

not

Is

into the

"Thou hypocrite,
own eye and

out of thine

then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out
of thy brother's eye."

Does Dr. B. say


Northern

men

did not receive the price^

it

upon

to return it

We

reply

sent generation of Southern


horse^

and they have him

is

day,

Neither did the pre-

money
that money

is

receive the stolen

rightfully called

If the stolen horse "

him

paid for

the

men

not, (he died years ago,)

and therefore cannot be


return him.

and they

and therefore cannot be rightfully called

have

not,

The present generation of

is

upon

to

somewhere," so

" somewhere."

At

this

just as easily to be found in the

shipping and manufacturing establishments of

England, as the stolen horse

is

New

upon a Southern

plantation.

Let us take another case.

England

was

and the same

procured from

Most of the land

in

New

is

true in the Southern States

its

original possessors, the In-

THE CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE OF SLAVERY.

98
dians,
title

by fraud

or violence.

original,

as the

which, at this day,

Does

one.

who

all

And

land

hence the original

now

is

would regard

held

has purchased or inherited


Is A^

it

title

an unrighteous

as

this vitiate the title of the present

operation of law

is

owner,

under the peaceful

a robber as truly as

if

he

had wrested the land from the Indian on yesterday ?

The

truth

is,

Moral

(See Foley's

more
tion

such reasoning as this

all

Phil.^ book

made

slave-holding

same

just the

(i.

e.

delusive.

ch. 2, 3, 4, for a

iii.

examination of the subject.)

full

between man-stealing

is

The

distinc-

kidnapping) and

in the laws of our country

distinction

and

was made in the laws of

Moses, and recognized in the ]^ew Testament (see


5)

is

a proper distinction, and one which no sound

writer has ever discarded.

5.

Exclusion from the

Puljpit.'^

Dr. Barnes complains, and the same

* " Now, what the


I

understand

it,

true of other

of the age and the spirit of the Gospel, as

spirit

demands,

is

is

have any undue prominence

not that the subject of slavery should


in these discussions,

nor that

it

should be

forced into the publications of the Tract Society and the Sunday
School Union, nor that
but that

it

it

should occupy the sole place in the pulpit

should be treated just as

wrongs are

all

other acknowledged evils and

as contrary to the Gospel of Christ, as preventing the

99

APOSTOLIC INJUNCTION.
anti-slavery writers, that he
his doctrine

is

not permitted to preach

on the subject of slavery, in the pulpits

at the South, or

by means

of the press, through the

agency of the American Tract Society and the American Sunday School Union

and represents

this as

willful withholding of God's truth for the purpose of

conciliating the favor of the Southern slave-holder.

This

all

is

a misrepresentation of the case from

The

beginning to end.

South are accustomed

ministers of Christ at the

to introduce the subject of

slavery into the pulpit, and teach

on the

teaches

subject,

any other subject which

And

in charge.

I will

of twenty years, there

Southern congregation

is

just

all

they

as

Clirist

that the Bible

introduce

has given them

add, after an experience

no subject on which a

listens

more

respectfully to

God's truth, as taught from the pulpit, than on this


very one.

Would you

me

to

occupy

salvation of men, as a violation of the spirit of the Gospel,

and as an

Does Dr. B. ask

evil

allow

not to be perpetuated, but to be removed.

weary

and

am

For one,

sure that in this I speak the sentiments of

am

many

thousands of others of the perpetual deference shown to the holders


of slaves in the pulpit and in the religious literature of the land.

am weary

of the care taken,

conciliate their favor

Slavery^ pp. 158, 159.

and

more than

to avoid giving

in other cases of

them

offence."

wrong, to

Church and

THE CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE OF SLAVERY,

100

jour pulpit
is

]S'o, sir

am

to preacli

never.

responsible to

on slavery

My prompt reply

As a pastor of a Cliristian Churcli,


God and to man, that nothing but

God's truth shall be preached from

its

pulpit.

have

your creed on slavery, in such passages from your


published works as these

argument

is

AYe cannot answer the

drawn from

for infidelity

admit that slavery

''
:

this source, if

authorized by the Bible, any

more than we could answer the argument


by a

fair interpretation,

highway robbery,

if

the Bible,

polygamy,

justified

piracy." " I

or

the

same

neither ought to be, nor could be, received

of slavery
infidel.

you

slavery, for the

not enter

I say to you,

are,

You cannot
it

my

in

sir,

view,

my

enter

same reason

to

God's truih,

pulpit to preach on

that the Free-lover can-

to preach on marriage, or the Socialist to

minister of Christ

will

a book

by man-

on the subject

preach on the relation of parent and child.

what

on

wife,

Church and Slavery^

kind as a divine revelation."

And

it

husband and

and ward, such

parent and child, (juardian

pp. 188, 193.

by any

defended slavery, or placed

basis as the relation of

theft,

believe, that if a

book, professing to be a revelation from God,


fair interpretation,

we

who

the Bible teaches,

will

and

be welcome, not to

come and preach

all

my

But any
just

that the Bible teaches,

pulpit only, but to any

pulpit in the slave-holding States, to preach on the

101

APOSTOLIC INJUNCTION.

subject of slavery, or any other subject on which


Christ has given instructions to his Church.

All

this

talk of " orators transported with fiery

zeal" (Channing) about " mere property"


tel,

" A chat-

thing"" Unrequited labor"" Theft"" Ex-

is fitly described by Paul


mere " logomachy," a w^ordy dispute about mere

clusion from the pulpit,"


as

words

words

stand, and, in
will not.

which the "orator" does not under-

many an

instance, does not because he

CIIAPTEE Y.
NATURE A^D ORIGIN OF SLAVERY.

In our examination of what the !N"ew Testament


teaches on the subject of Slavery,
1.

we have found

That slave-holding does not appear in any cata-

logue of sins or " offences " given us by inspired men,


( 2-5.)

into

the

2:

That the Apostles received slave-holders

and continued them

Christian Church,

therein, without giving

any intimation, either

at the

time of their reception or afterwards, that slave-holding was a sin or an " offence,"

( 6, 7.)

sent back a fugitive-slave to his

and assigned

3.

That Paul

own master

again,

as his reason for so doing, that master's

right to the services of his slave, (

8.)

4.

That the

Apostles frequently enjoin the relative duties of

master and slave, and enforce these injunctions upon


both alike, as Christian

men by

Christian motives

uniformly treating certain evils which they sought


to correct, as incidental evils,
102

and not " part and par-

NATURE AND ORI&IN OF SLAVERY.


eel " of slavery itself, ( 9.)

5.

That Paul treated the

which slavery creates

distinctions

103

as matters of very

importance, in so far as the interests of the

little

Christian

are concerned, (11.)

life

6.

That he de-

clares that this, his doctrine respecting the relation

of slave and master,

wholesome

is

doctrine,

and

ac-

cording to godliness, and the doctrine of the Lord


Jesus Christ,
ters to

( 10.)

teach

And

7.

directs Christian minis-

in the Church, and prohibits the

it

teaching of any doctrine at variance with


the most solemn sanctions

known

to the

it

under

Church,

( 12.)

All this

is

utterly irreconcilable with the idea that

slave-holding

is

to

be regarded as a sin in the sight

of God, or accounted an offence


is it

by

his

Church

nor

possible to maintain the opposite doctrine, with-

out either rejecting the


rule of faith

Word

God

of

as our ''only

and obedience," {Larger Catechising or

adopting principles and methods of interpretation

which
It

will destroy all certainty in

language.

becomes, then, a matter of great practical impor-

tance to

God

human

him who

receives the Bible as the

especially in view of

tlie conflict

the Christian Church in our day


the question.

What

Apostles teach
in his Church.

is

is

to

Word

of

of opinion in

answer correctly

the slave-holding which the

not a sin before God, or an " offence "

THE CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE OF SLAVERY.

10-i

15. Inspired Definition of Slavery,

The Clmrcli
is

is

the School of Christ j and the Bible

the authoritative text-book appoiated to be taught

in that schooL

If,

in the statement

of a doctrine

taught in any text-book, doubtful terms are used,

must go

to the

terms.

Tliis

we

text-book itself for a definition of those

is

nothing more than in

common

fair-

ness any author might demand.

The Church
Bible

is

is

the

Kingdom of

Christ ; and the

the one only law-book.of that kingdom.

the case of any other system of laws,


lation

were declared

to

if

In

a certain re-

be a lawful one, we would go

code of laws in which such declaration was

to the

made, and not

to that of

some other country or some

Any

other age, for a definition of that j-elation.

other course than

this,

would be accounted simply

absurd.

Let
us.

us, then,

The

adopt this course in the case before

Bible, the authoritative text-book in the

School of Christ, the code of laws in the


Christ, teaches that slave-holding

is

Kingdom

not a sin.

of

To

the Bible, then, let us go, and not to the writings of


Aristotle, or to the Civil

Law

of

Rome,

or to the laws

of South Carolina, for a definition of slavery.

Bible

we

will not find a definition of the term,

In the

drawn


NATUEE AND

ORIGEST

out in strictly logical form

OF SLAYEET.

for

not the

is

tliis

105

which the Bible ordinarily presents truth

in

tains

no

strictly logical

statement of

many

will find a definition, in substance,

and

con-

of the

most important doctrines of our holy religion

we

way

it

but

this so

presented as to leave the ingenuous inquirer in no

doubt respecting the matter.


Slayeey, in the Bible sense of the term,
*

OF MUTUAL

DITION

AND

EIGHTS

is

con-

ThE

OBLIGATIONS.

EIGHTS OF THE MASTEE, AND THE COEEESPONDING OBLIGA-

AEE TO OBEDIENCE AND SEEVICE.

TIONS OF THE SLAVE,

" Servants, be obedient to

" ters according to the

them

flesh,

that are your mas-

with fear and trembling,

" in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ

" eje-service, as men-pleasers


''

Christ, doing the will of

" good will doing


"

"

men
man

God from

set'vice, as

not with

but as the servants of

to the

the heart

with

Lord and not

to

knowing that whatsoever good thing any

doeth, the

same

shall

he receive of the Lord,

" whether he be bond or free."

ph.

VL

5-8.

See

TIL 22-25 Titus IL 9, 10.


The Rights of the Slave and the coeeespondinq

also Col.

Obligations of the Mastee aee, to " that which


just

" Masters, give unto your servants that which


'^

just

" in

is

and equal."

and equal, knowing

heaven." a>Z.

lY

is

that ye also have a master

1.

5*

See also Epli.

VL

9.

THE CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE OF SLAVERY.

106

For an exposition of these words,


In

see 9.

confirmation of this view, let the

Gal. lY.

1, 2,

reader turn to

where Paul makes use of the condition

of a slave to illustrate that of a child during his


minority, and thus of the Church, under the old dispensation.

"

Kow,

this 1 say, that the. heir, as

long as he

is

" child, differeth nothing from a servant, {doidos^ a

" slave,) though he be lord of


" tors "

{ejpitro])08^

place of a parent,

all,

but

is

under

tu-

a guardian, who, standing in the


is

entitled to the obedience

due a

parent,) " and governors," {pikonomos^ " an overseer

one who had authority over the servants of a family,


to assign their tasks

Robinson^ s N. T.

and portions."

Lex.) " until the time appointed of the father."

Besides what

may be

considered, strictly speaking,

essential to slavery, there are certain other particulars, so

treated

generally attaching to

it,

that they

may be

as they are by the sacred writers as " part

and parcel"

of the institution itself.

Of

this

nature

are the following, viz.


1.

Slavery

is

a relation formed without the consent

of ihe'slave being first obtained. ^This is not essential


since in the law of Moses provision is
to slavery
;

made for a man's voluntanly assuming the condition of


a slave, (Ex. XXI. 5, 6^) and analogous provisions
exist in the laws of many slave-holding states.

NATURE AND ORIGIN OF SLAVERY.


a

It is

2.

relation

for

life,

that an Israelite, who, in


slave, should regain his

Moses' law provided

any way had become a

freedom

end of seven

at the

years, or at the jubilee at the farthest, (Ex.

and similar laws have existed

may

that slavery

107

XXI.

in other countries

2
;

;)

so

exist without life-long duration.

It is a relation which cannot he lawfully termi-

3.

nated without the consent of loth the


general, the consent of the slave

is

jparties.

presumed

In
and

yet were not the consent of both parties recpired,


cases of great injustice

might

arise

for

example

By

the master's manumitting a slave in his old age, for


the purpose of getting rid of his obligation to sup-

port him.

The

rights

and obligations already

stated,

and these

three particulars, are all that the Apostles treat as

properly belo^iging to slavery

may

attach to

it

in

any particular country or age,

they treat as incidental.


that

which

that

which

is
is

^^

jpart

And

the distinction between

and jparceV of slavery itself and

merely incidental^ and therefore

vary or disapper, while slavery

which

tinction

Christian

the

life

It

is

"Whatever else

itself.

lies

method

at

itself

remains,

is

may
a

dis-

the very foundation of the

of dealing with

and writings of Christ and

it,

as set forth in

his Apostles.

a distinction, too, which has always been re-

cognized by ethical writers of reputation.

Thus,

THE CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE OF SLAVERY.

108

Pnfiendorf s definition of slavery


"

The

full

amounts

sum and

to this

man,

other necessaries of

life,

to perpetual labor

which,

extent, extracted

in these

words

notion, then, oijpersonal servitude^

that a

is

for the sake of food

shall lie
if

and

under an obligation

taken in

true natural

its

from the barbarous cruelty of some

masters, and the unreasonable rigor of

some laws,

doth not imply an extravagant degree of hardship

and

severity.

For that perpetual obligation

well

is

requited by a perpetual certainty of maintenance, for

which those who work


either through

Law

for hire are often at a loss,

want of business or

And Dr. Hodge


we apprehend, of
holding

is itself

writes

those

a crime,

accessories at

III.,

10.

" The grand mistake, as

who maintain
is,

that slave-

that they do not discrimi-

nate between slave-holding in


its

willful idleness."

of Nature and Nations, B. YI., Ch.

itself considered,

any particular time or

place.

and

They

have a confused idea of chains and whips, of degradation and misery, of ignorance and vice, and to this

complex conception they apply the name slavery,


and denounce

it

physical

Do

as

it

their

evil.

as the aggregate of all

such persons suppose that slavery

existed in the family of

imagination

moral and

thus

Abraham, was such

pictures

to

as

themselves

Might not that patriarch have had men purchased


with his

silver,

who were well

clothed, well instructed,

NATURE AND ORIGIN OF SLAVERY.


well conpensated for

tlieir

and

labor,

treated with parental kindness?

109

in all respects

^Neither inadequate

remuneration, physical discomfort, intellectual ignorance, nor moral degradation,


dition of a slave.

Yet,

is

essential to the con-

removed

these ideas are

if all

from the commonly received notions of slavery, how


All the ideas which necessarily

will remain.

little

enter into the definition of slavery, are deprivation of

personal liberty, obligation to service at the discretion


of another, and the transferable
authority and

character of the

claim of service of the master."

Hodge's Essays and Beviews^ pp. 483, 484.


Either of these definitions would answer our purpose,

had we no other design than that of defending

the doctrine of Scripture, that slave-holding

is

neither

a sin nor an " offence ;"* but neither of them

as

is

* In commenting upon Dr. Hodge's view of the nature of the property which a master has in his slave, (see 14,

" According to this view, slavery

is

and no one should regard slavery as


tion of society,

wrong.^^

And

and

still

less as

referring to

1,)

Dr. Barnes wiutes

comparatively a harmless thing


essentially

an undesirable condi-

having any thing

Abraham's

slaves,

in it that is

morally

he writes: "They

may

have been purchased from those who had taken them as captives in
war, and the purchase

may have been regarded by

species of redemption, or a

usually attends such captives

which

it

perchance from death.

was understood that he had

property in their

titne,

themselves as a

most desirable rescue from the

and not

in

fate

which

The property

them may have been merely

in their persons.

Or the purchase

THE CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE OF SLAVERY.

110

perfect a definition as that given

ciency consisting in

by Paul

their defi-

that whilst stating distinctly

this,

and correctly the obligations of the

slave, they

do not

take as. explicit notice of the corresponding obligations of the master

and the

latter enter as truly into

the idea of slavery as the former do.

Origin of Slavery.

16.

The

Scriptural theory respecting the

origin

The

of

Slavery,

may be

sin,

disobedience to God's laws, upon both indi-

i.

e.,

stated, in brief, thus

viduals and nations,

is

degradation.

this influence, continued

through

efi'ect

of

A people under

many

generations,

sink so low in the scale of intelligence and morality


as to

become incapable of

safe

and righteous

When, by God's appointment,

government.

comes upon them

and remedial

an

self-

slavery

appointment at once punitive

a punishment for sin actually com-

mitted, and at the

same time a means of saving the

sinning people from that utter extermination which

must otherwise be

their

doom, and gradually raising

them from the degradation

into

which they have

sunk.
raay have in fact
cipation."

amounted

to every thing that

Script. Views of Slavery^ pp. 40, 75.

is

desirable in

eman-

NATURE AND ORIGIN OF SLAVERY.


It

was

consequence of

in

mitted, and yet

more foreseen

slave sentence of

first

sin, in

Ill

part actually com-

in the future, that the

which we have any record was

pronounced by Koah upon Canaan and his descendants

" Cursed

shall

he be

mouth

be Canaan

By

brethren." Gen. IX. 25.^

to his

of Moses,

a servant of servants

God

the

threatens his people Israel, in

case of their disobedience, with a long series of judg-

" And the Lord

shall

bring thee into Egypt again with ships, by the

way

ments, terminating in slavery,

whereof I spake unto


again

and there

hond-icomen^ and no

XXYIII.
terms, "

vant

XL

68.

The

Thou

thee.

shall

man

shall

And Solomon

fool

(i. e.,

shalt see

ye be sold

for

no more

it

hond-men and

buy you."

Dent.

in general

declares,

the wicked) shall be the ser-

(ehed. the slave) of the

wise in heart."

Prov.

29.

This doctrine of God's word

is

strikingly illustrated

* The connection between sin and slavery appears in connection


with the record of man's

first sin

yorth from the garden of Eden

taken."

Gen.

means a

III. 23."

slave, but

slave the ground;''

is

and

" To

" Therefore

to till
till,^''

in the

Hebrew,

here used as a verb, and


is

used to show, not that

the slave of any other person, but a slave to his


that the labor required

on Slavery^

p.

434.

the Lord sent

him

the ground from which he was


is

the word that

literally

means "

to

Adam had become

own

necessities,

and

was the labor of a slaLxe^Fletcher's Studies

THE CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE OF SLAVERY.

112

all

are subject to

are sinners, and hence

what Fletcher well

degree- of slavery,"

i.

wants and necessities

must they

men

All

in his providence.

slavery to their physical

e.,

" in

the sweat of their face

Where

eat their bread."

persisted in for a time

sin

has been

by any people, then comes the

second degree of slavery,

i.

e.,

subjection to despotic

The deep foundations of despotism

government.

Europe are

calls " the first

.in

laid in the degradation of the people.

Overturn those despotisms a thousand times, and you


cannot

them

make

the people free, unless

sin has

been persisted in

first

raise

and moral being.

in the scale of intellectual

Where

you can

for

many

generations,

and a people have become deeply degraded, then

comes the third degree oi^\BNQYj^ i. e., personal slavery.


Uniformly the people who have been reduced
very, have been those degraded

operation of sin in just this way.*

* "

We may

so poisoned with sin, so

no longer

safe guardians to themselves,

dict, that

animal want enslaves us

the general safety


races have

may seem

all.

to require.

destroyed, that they are

even under the general

That, in the history of man,

become so deteriorated by a continued action

them under the control of others

mercy, under the guidance of a

inter-

That for such God provides as

position to the laws of God, that he has seen

placing

"The world never

everywhere notice that some among the family of

man have become

some

to sla-

by the long-continued

fit

in op-

to care for them, by

or by placing them, in

less deteriorated

race,

whom, no

NATURE AND ORIGIN OF SLAVERY.


has, nor will
intellectual,

it

113

ever witness, a case where the moral,

and physical superior has been


an

as a fixed state, to

in slavery,

The law giving

inferior race.

superior rule and government to the moral, intellec-

and physical superior,

tual,

is

as

unchangeable as the

Fletoher'^s Studies

law of gravitation."

on Slavery,

p. 391.

Of

tlie

remedial operation of slavery,

we have

striking illustration in the case of the African race in

our

be

own

In the history of nations,

country.

difficult to find

made more

upward and onward than


made under the operation of

rapid progress

slavery.

That they have not yet as a peo-

ple, attained a point at

self-government,

safe

would

an instance in wdiich a people have

the African race has

American

it

which they are capable of

is,

we

believe, conceded

by

every one personally acquainted with them, and


therefore capable of forming an intelligent opinion.

That

it

may

take generations yet, to accomplish the

gracious purposes of

them,

is

God

The work which

very possible.

doubt, he holds responsible for the

we be permitted

in inflicting slavery
it

good he intends them.

to inquire of the Christian

man,

if this

upon

has taken

And may

position pre-

sents anything contrary to the general law of benevolence of the

Deity

contrary

heaven.^'

to the welfare of

Fletcher^ s Stiidies

of

man on

earth, or his hopes of

Slaveri/, p. 504.

THE CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE OF SLAVERY.

114:

ages to do,
is

it

But nothing

often takes ages to undo.

more certain than that God's plan has* operated

well thus far

National
ration

sin, persisted in

then, national

and darker

from generation

to

gene-

degradation, becoming deeper

as time rolls on

at once a punishment for

then, national slavery,

sin,

and a gracious pro-

vision for saving from utter extinction, and gradually

restoring again to the position from

dragged
lished

its

Such

victims down.

by God,

his providence

is

which

as set forth both in his


;

sin has

the order estab-

word and

and thus understood, there

is

in

a pro-

found philosophy underlying the Scriptural method


of dealing with slavery.

17.

To most

ot the

Cou7iter' arguments.

arguments from express Scripture

advanced by anti-slavery

ment

writers, the simple state-

of the Scriptural doctrine of slavery,

cient answer.

argument from the passages


ter,

even Christ, and

XXIII.

8.

nations of

for to

earth." Acts, XYIII.


There

is

" For one

all ye

And "God
men

is

-suffi-

Such, for example, as Dr. Barnes'


is

your mas-

are 'bretJirenP

Matt.

hath made of one Mood

dwell on

all

all

the face of the

26.

one passage, however, which

may need


NATURE AND ORIGIN OF SLAVERY.
passing notice,

viz.

our Lord's words, " Whatsoever

ye would that men should do


to

them

YII.

for this

to you,

do ye even so

the law and the prophets."

Matt.

Or, as the same truth was expressed, on an-

2.

other occasion
like unto

On

is

115

it.

" And the second (commandment)

Thou

these two

shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.

commadments hang

prophets." Matt. XXII.


remarks

is

the law and the

all

On

39, 40.

this,

Dr. B.

" This rule he (Christ) evidently designed

should be incorporated into his religion as essential

and

to the system,
sistent

with the

it is

manifest that nothing incon-

of Christianity.

spirit

bearing on slavery, is obvious.


ing the emancipation of
age,

if fairly

Freedom
that

if

is

applied,

sweet to

man were

all

would be

man

in their place, the

Yet

its

Its influence iir secur-

those

now

certain

and

it

held in bond-

and inevitable.

cannot be doubted

in all circumstances to act

those under him, as he would desire

loosed."

can be in ac-

fair application of it

cordance with the

to

toward

be treated

if

bonds of servitude would soon be

Scrvpt. Views, pp. 248,

'9.

These words of Christ are given by him, expressly,


as a

summary

of the second table of the law, delivered

in full to Israel
this

own

from the top of

Sinai.

Turning

to

second table of the law, now, as written by God's


finger,

we

read, "

Thou

shalt not covet thy neigh-

bor's wife, nor his man-servajit (male-slave), nor his

THE CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE OF SLAVERY.

116

maid-servant (female-slave), nor his ox, nor his

nor anything that

Can

it

is

be that God has

regulating

it

a right, in

a law, which
of that law

is

ass,

Ex. XX.
recognized recognized by

thy neighbor's."

this his

IT.

statement in

full of

directly at variance with the principle

Or, taking Dr. B.'s method of interpreting the

words of our Lord, we

ask.

Can any

father rightfully

restrain the waywardness, or correct the disobedience

of his child

he were the

if

the child were the father, he

and

child,

Does he believe that

would

like to

be chastised?

Or, can the civil magistrate punish

the criminal?

Does he believe that

criminal,

would

like to

be hung ?

All interpretation of general

laws, such as that of Dr. B.,

quences of
self,

sin,

is

delusive.

must come upon the sinner

suffers

The

consequences established by

as chastening, they

who

he were the

if

and the criminal were the magistrate, he

and

if

conse-

God him-

they come

must come against the will of him

under them, "for no chastening, for

the present, seemeth to be joyous, but grievous;"

and

all this

love."

without any violation of the "law of

CHAPTER

YII.

RELATION OF THE CHURCH TO SLAVERY.


18.

"

Tlie Discijpline

The Church

is

the

kingdom

Its officers are

Christ.

cute his will.

of the Church.

his servants,

Its discipline is his

king has ordained.

of the Lord Jesus

bound

to exe-

law, which he as a

The Church can enjoin what he

commands, prohibit what he condemns, and enforce


her testimonies by spiritual sanctions."
Bible, the code

never rightfully go.

govern her

Beyond

which Christ has given

The

Bible,

her, she

the

can

and that alone, must

discipline.

Let us apply

this principle

first in

a case or two,

about which, w^e presume, there would be no


ence of opinion, that

we may

see clearly

its

difi*er-

scope

and import.

Under
might

the

Roman

kill his child,

(see 9).

law, in Paul's day, a father

and yet be

guiltless of

Supposing now, that some

murder

father, a

mem117

THE CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE OF SLAVERY.

118

ber of the Christian Church, had taken away the

life

of his child.

How

such a case?

Undoubtedly, they should deal with

the

man

ought the Church to deal with

as a murderer,

Did he put

over to Satan.''

as such, " deliver

and

in the plea.

me

law, the law of the land, gives

away

the

my

of

life

child

the right to take

the reply

would

Roman

plea might avail you before a

him

The Roman
be,

That

court, but in

the Church, the kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ,


the law of

you

God

is

alone of authority

are a murderer,

derer,

we

cast

and by that law

and under that law,

you out

Or, take a case such as might occur in

Northern

The laws

States.

husband and wife


to

marry again,

not allow

to

mur-

some of our

of certain States allow

be divorced, and subsequently

in cases in

which the law of God does

Supposing a

it.

as a

of the Church.

case, in

which a member

of the Church, divorced lawfully according to the


States' law,

but unlawfully according to God's law,

has married again, comes up for decision in a Church


court.

Will the plea that the second marriage was

lawful according to law of


offender

moment.

the State shield

from the Church's censure?

the

E'ot for a

The law of God, and not the law of this

that particular State,

must regulate

The only

all

is

or

the law in his Church, and

her discipline.

cases of apparent exception

and

the

RELATION OF THE CHURCH TO SLAVERY.


exception
ters left

apparent only

is

are

those in which mat-

undetermined by God's law are prohibited

by the law of the

or enjoined

In this case,

State.

under the general requirement of Christian

obey magistrates,"

may become,

required to deal with

it

may

among

is

arise in con-

marriage rela-

member

of

guilty of adultery, as that crime

is

slaves.

the Church,

Church

The laws of our slave-holding

States, at the present time, ignore the


tion

an

indirectly,

as such.

Turning now to such cases as


nection with slavery.

" to

an offence against

(Titus, III. 1,)

the law of the State

men

offence in the account of the Church, and the

may be

119

Supposing a

slave, a

defined in God's law, and his case comes up for adjudication before the Church.
act

"Will the plea that the

was not adultery according

admitted in bar of judgment?

The law
law

of God,

in his

The law

to the State

Kot

for a

and not the law of the

law be

moment.

State, is the

Church.
in our slave-holding States, at the present

day, gives to the master the right to separate finally

husband and wife among


pleasure and for his
* As this matter

is

own

his slaves,

profit.*

and

this at his

But supposing

that

often referred to by anti-slavery writers, let

me

ask the attention of the reader to an extract from Fletcherh Studies

on Slavery^ the most elaborate work on slavery which has been published at the South

" So

far as

our experience goes, masters uni-

THE CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE OF SLAVERY.

120

member

a master, a

power

of

that the State law gives

exercises his

Cliurcli,

tlie

in violation of the

law of God, will the plea

him

this authority

versally manifest a desire to have their negroes marry,

be ad-

and to

with their wives and children, in conformity to Christian rules.

one reason,

no other,

if

the peace and

The master wishes to secure

very obvious.

is

live

And

Besides the interest of

tranquillity of his household.

the master, his education on the subject of marriage must be allowed


to have a strong influence

a connection which his

and

to their happiness

his

his

mind

to favor

own

and foster

in his slaves

teaches him must be important

tranquillity, to say

we never heard of

Indeed,

as a Christian.

on

own judgment

nothing of his duty

a master

who

did not feel

a strong desire, a pride, to see his slaves in good condition, contented,

and happy

and we venture to

a proper regard for his

own

assert, that

no man who entertained

character, would consent to

of slaves, separately, to different individuals,

good conduct, and a

selves manifested

when

sell

habit, or desire to

gether in conformity to the rules of civilized

life.

a family

the slaves them-

hve toge-

That the owners

of slaves have sometimes abused the power they possessed, and out-

raged the feehngs of humanity in

Nor do we wish

this behalf, is doubtless a fact.

by saying that proud and

to excuse such conduct

wealthy parents sometimes outrage the feelings of


of their

own

children in a

somewhat

similar way.

that can be and should be corrected

Dr.

Wayland

that

we have

lived to see

many

The author would add, that


in Virginia

all

of

up

for decision

it

no

no such case has occurred.

He

to

to inform

abuses corrected, and


in their train."

in a ministry of

case such as that he

by the churches

sense and

These are abuses

and we are happy

hope that many more corrections may follow


38-41.

common

is

Pp.

twenty years

supposing has come

which he has ministered, because

has never

known

a Christian master

to violate God's law of marriage in the case of his slaves.

RELATION OF THE CHUKCH TO SLAVEKY.

121

mittecl as a valid defense in a Churcli court?

for a

Not
The law of God, and not the law of

moment.

the State, must govern the discipline of the Church.

Unscriptural State laws can no more determine the


discipline of the Church, in the case of slaves than in

the case of freemen.'^


'No conflict

Church

"

(i. e.

likely to

is

not a State Church)

that Christ intended his

where

and

Church

The

discipline of the

own members
own voluntary
sions

by

only,

^'

believe

free " every-

to her

their

and she can enforce her

deci-

sanctions

spiritual

Church extends

and they become such by

choice

enjoining

of God.

be

Free

under diflerent codes

that

There are no

alone.

slave-laws in our Southern States

know

and we

to

''

the State out of the administration of

justice, in their several courts,

of law.

between a

arise

which

is

in

contrary to the law

K such laws were enacted, the

Christian and the Christian

we

so far as

Church

course of the

is

very plain

they must obey God, and not man, as did the martyrs

But where the State law simply

of other days.

mits that which

is

contrary to the law of God, the

* The reader who wishes to

know how such

cases as those stated

above are treated by the churches of Christ in the slave


consult a very able
tion

*'

per-

Report of the Charleston

on the Marriages of Slaves," repubUshed

of the PreshyterioM Magazine for 1857.


6

(S.

States,

can

C.) Baptist Associa-

in the

February number

THE CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE OF SLAVERY.

122

man

Christian

him

require

can

abstain,

spiritual sanctions,

and the Church can

under the penalty of her

abstain,

to

from the exercise of the permitted

way coming

powers, without in any

in conflict

with

the State.

The Teaching of the Church.

19.

Beyond her

ow^n pale the Church has no authority

On

of discipline.

the world at large she can operate

directly through the

Her commission

agency of her teaching alone.

as a teacher

ye therefore and teach


the

name

of the Father,

20.

I have

As the

is

to observe all things

you.''''

teaching.

to

in

what-

the only record of what Christ hath


in all her

" Apart from the Bible, she can never

rightfully speak.

'

To the law and

to the testimonies,'

them, alone she must always appeal, and

they are

Go

Matt. XXYHI. 19,

commanded, the Bible must govern her

and

them

and of the Son, and of the

coramam^ded

Bible

in the words, "

all nations^ baptizing

Holy Ghost, teaching them


soever

is

silent,

it is

when

her duty to put her liand upon

her lips."

What
slavery

what

tlie

is

the Church to teach on the subject of

Just what Christ hath commanded.

Bible teaches

adding

taking nothing therefrom.

And

Just

nothing thereto
this

she

is

to teach

RELATION OF THE CHTROH TO SLAVERY.

123

publicly, to all alike, be they " bond," or be tliey

" free," and " wlietlier

initiated,

and

men will

She has no

will forbear."

esoteriG doctrine for the

exoteric for the people

the master which the slave


for the slave

may

bond nor

neither

Do

no doctrine

not hear

for

and none

which the master may not hear,

Dr.

as

" In Christ Jesus there

T3arnes seems to imagine."^


is

hear, or whether they

free."

the ministers of Christ, in the Southern states,

teach from the pulpit

all

that the Bible teaches on the

Yes,

subject of slavery?

we

reply

as freely as they

do the doctrine of God's word on any other subject.


(See 14,

There are practical

5.)

difficulties to

be

encountered, both in teaching and administering the


discipline of

tlie

Church touching domestic

as every N'orthern pastor

own experience

must have learned from

in the case of

* This passage teaches

upon

their masters.

terference, and

all

to inflame their

At the same

New

husband and

his

wife,

" That the ministers of religion should not

labor to produce a spirit of discontent


to rise

relations,

among

agencies or embassies sent

mind against

slaves, or excite

would undoubtedly forbid

It

among

their masters, in

all

them

such in-

slaves themselves

view of their wrongs.

time, nothing in this passage, or in any other part of the

Testament, forbids us to go to the maater himself^ and show

him the

evils

of the system, and to enjoin upon him to

pressed go free, or that the wrongs of the system


set before him."

Dr. B.'s own.

Barnes^ Notes on

Tim. VI.

5.

may

let

the op-

not be fully

The

italics

are

THE CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE OF SLAVERY.

124:

and

l^arent

Church

is

But we believe that the Southern

cliilcL

as faithful to her duty, in so far as the re-

lations established

Church, either

by slavery are concerned,


or South,

jS'orth

as the

respecting the

is

duties growing out of the marriage or parental relation.

pit, that

ject,

not to Scriptural teaching from the pul-

It is

Southern Christians or

men

of the world ob-

but to the uuscriptual teaching of

men

"puffed

up with pride though they know^ nothing, having a


morbid fondness

for so-called philosophical questions

and logomachies."

20.

The Church

God

by many

for granted
all

of

Church and
is

an

not

State,

as

seems

to

be taken

institution intended to

do

the good w^hich needs to be done in the world, and

wage war upon every form

of

human

ill.

There are

other institutions, intended to do good and to alleviate


the

ills

of

life,

to enable

and honesty," that are


the Church
Civil

men

to " live in all godliness

as truly institutions of

God

as

itself.

government

is

one of these.

"

The powers

" that be are ordained of God ; whosoever therefore


" resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God.

"

He

(i.

e.

the civil ruler)

is

the minister of

God

to


RELA.TION OF THE

"thee

for

good." Rom. XIII.

" therefore, that


" intercessions,

"

men

of

first

and

" able in the sight of

''

"

hy

him

for all

for all that are in authority /

For

God

Submit yourselves

for the Lord's sake

se7it

exhort,

supplications, prayers,

all,

this

to

good and accept-

it

Tim.

II.

man

be to the hing^ as

punishment of

for the

life, in all

every ordinance of

whether

is

our Saviour."

" supreme, or unto governors^ as unto


"

"I

l-t.

lead a quiet and peaceable

" godliness and honesty.

l-tt.

125

and giving of thanks, be made

for kings

we may

" that

CHURCH TO SLAVERY.

them

that are

evil-doers,

" for the praise of them that do well."

and

Pet.

11.

13, 14.

According

to the

plain teaching of Scripture in

such passages as those quoted above


multiply the

quotations

did

it

and we

seem

might

necessary

the Civil government

is

God

and a great deal of the good

as is the

which needs

Church

be done in

to

this world,

appointment, to be done through


great
the

many

of the

same way.

ruler

is

ills

In his

an institution of

as truly

is

by God's

agency

its

and a

of life are to be alleviated in

own proper

as truly " the minister of

good," as

is,

sphere, the civil

God

the minister of the Church.

to thee for

Is the " evil-

doer to be terrified ?" the civil ruler " beareth not the

sword in vain."

Is

"a

life

in

all

godliness and

honesty " to be secured to the Christian

man

the

THE CHEISTIAN DOCTRINE OF SLAVERY.

126

civil ruler is " sent of

evil-doers

for the "

God,"

punishment of

and the praise of them that do well."

The Christian man


pointments of God.

is

Tlie

bound

to

regard these ap-

Church may no more

right-

fully intrude itself into the province of the State,

than the State

may

the Church.

The

may

intrude itself into the province of

not be accomplishing

all

the good

civil or political evils are suffered

tration, that it

the State

fact, if fact it be, that

needs reforming

it

under

does

ought, that

adminis-

its

not authorize

the Church to step in and supply these deficiencies, or

reform these abuses, any more than a similar state of


things in the

All

interfere.

Church would authorize the State

human

institutions human,

to

in that

they are administered by man, though ordained of

God

are

imperfect in their operation.

not because the ordinance of

God

And

this,

imperfect, but

is

because sin has introduced disorder into the working


of all earthly things

The Church,

joint.

cover

And

evils in the

such,

man, but

we

has put man's nature out of

the State, the Family

practical

believe, will

we

dis-

working of them

all.

be the case so long

partially sanctified at best,

is

''

as

God's minis-

ter " in their administration.

"We

freely grant,

and sincerely

rejoice in

the

truth, that the healthful operations of the

Church

own

the interests

appropriate sphere, re-act upon

all

in

its


RELATION OF THE CHURCH TO SLAVERY.
of man, and contribute to

But we are

of society.
that

it is

tlie

far

127

progress and prosperity

from admitting,

either,

the purpose of God, that under this present

dispensation of religion, all evil shall be banished

from

this

sublunary

a paradise

or, that

and earth be converted

state,

the proper end of the

the direct promotion of univeral good."

into

Church

is

Synod of

South Carolina^ 1848.

and the same true


was always in conformity

The conduct of the Apostles

is

of that of Christ himself

with these principles so plainly laid down in the

Word

of

labored
'

They

God.

they planted the Church, and nurtured

countries where the civil

and greatly needed reforming

ills

life

which

civil

were suffered

rect,
feon

where the State

much

designed the State to do

of

of the good

in

is

intended to cor-

unchecked

and property were insecure

which

where many of the

government

to prevail

failed

where per-

where the judges

took bribes and the rulers oppressed the people


the Apostles suffered in their

various ways.

it,

government was oppressive,

in the accomplishment of

God

and preached, and

lived,

own

Yet never do we

persons in

all

and

these

find these heaven-

guided ministers of the Church, either individually


or in their synods, intermeddling with the affairs of
state.

Never do we

political agitation

see

them taking

the lead in

never did they, on the Sabbath,

THE CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE OF SLAVERY.

128

lay aside the Gospel that they might preach civil or


legal reform.
to " teach

all

Having received

things whatsoever Christ

manded," they abide by


transgressing

a specific commission

it,

had com-

their commission

by adding any thing

to,

never

or taking

anything from Christ's commandment.

Would

that the

Church

in succeeding ages,

Alas

followed their example.

she did not.

had

With

increasingnumbers, increasing wealth, and increasing

power, the ordinance of Christ came to be disregarded, the wisdom of

man was

truth of God, and the

Church was wedded

State in

and

in

And

unholy union.

quence of such a

step,

substituted for the

then, as

the

to the

conse-

growing corruption in doctrine

manners mark her histery

and a long, dark

night of ignorance, and degradation, and

down upon Christendom.


union with the Church

The

sin, settles

State, cursed in her

and the Church yet more

deeply cursed in her union with the State.

These unholy bonds are now, in some measure,

broken throughout Christendom.


try,

In our

own

coun-

they have been more thoroughly broken than in

any other

and God forbid that they should ever be

formed anew.

government

is

And
a

Church of Christ

let

us not say that because our

government of the people, and the


in our land is divided into different

denominations, there

is

no danger of Church and

RELATION OF THE CHURCH TO SLAVERY.


If such a union

State ever uniting.

its

that has existed heretofore.

And

will,

it

he who has

care-

watched the course of things during the summer

last passed,
it

formed,

is

character from any

of necessity, be different in

fully

129

may

may have some

take on.

inkling of a form which

which

state of things in

political

questions shall be discussed in the pulpit and on the

Sabbath, and ecclesiastical councils, turning away

from the matters which Christ has given them in


charge, shall busy themselves with affairs of state

and

men's religious feelings shall be evoked as elements

and they made

of political strife,

to feel that in

promot-

ing the interests of this or that party they are verily

doing
is

God

service.

no tyranny

Experience teaches us that there

like that of a

The

mob.

in the bloody history of France,

is

the despotism of the people.

And

bloodiest

that

page

which records

so,

we

believe,

should God, in righteous judgment, suffer a union to

be fprmed between a government of the people, and a

Church such

as ours,

it

will

prove

itself

the most dis-

Church and State the world has


disastrous to civil liberty and yet more

astrous union of

ever seen

disastrous to the religion of Christ.

God
each

has assigned to the Church and the State

its

separate province,

and

neither has ever

intruded into the province of the other without suffering therefor.

To

the

Church God has


6^

intrusted

130
all

THE CHRIS-HAN DOCTRINE OF SLAVERY.

the interests of

cern the

man which more immediately

come

life to

his Gospel,

preach to every creature

and

con-

this she is to

and the supervision of the

manners of his people, her members, and these she


to regulate

by

his law,

the interests of

so train

them

for his hea-

man which more immediately

this present life

all

all

concern

questions respecting capital and

and

labor, civil rights

tection of the

and

To the State God has intrusted

venly kingdom.

is

political franchises, the pro-

weak, the forcible repression of crime,

and the general administration of justice between

man and man.


rectly reacts

Each, acting in

upon

the other.

own

its

sphere, indi-

pure Church

a blessing to a State, and an incorrupt State


blessing to the Church.

But

let neither

prescribed.

The transgression

whether by individuals or nations,

the one nor

other o'erstep the "metes and bounds" which

has

is

is

God

of God's law,

is sin,

and

sin

and

sorrow came into our world hand-in-hand, and handin-hand they have walked " up and

earth" ever since.

down

in

the

CONCLUSIOK
GOD

Where God

WOKK

IN GOD

has appointed a vwrlc for

he has generally appointed the

work

is

to

be done.

Church

is

as

ment
the

And

much bound

as the other.

way

are often

God

is

more

made known,

which that

this is the case, the

to respect the

one appoint-

distinclj set forth in the life


his Apostles than in

any

in

whatever manner the

will

that will

In the case of a race of

which God

liis Cliiircli,

also in

Both the worJc of the Church and

But

positive precept.

way

where

and ministry of Christ and

of

WAT.

is

men

law

to his

Church.

in slavery, the worli,

has appointed his Church

as we learn

it,

both from the example and the precepts of inspired

men

is

to labor to secure in

ou earth and meetness

them a Christian

for his

heavenly kingdom.

The African slave, in our Southern States,


deeply degraded
of sin

may,

life

may

be

the debasing effects of generations

at first sight,

rated his humanity, yet

seem

is

to

have almost

oblite-

he an immortal creature
131

132

THE CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE OF SLAVERY.

one for

whom

God'the Son died

one

whom God

make him

Spirit can re-fashion, so as to

the

a worthy wor-

among God's people on earth, and a welcome


worshipper among the ransomed in heaven
one
whom God the Father waiteth to receive as a returnshipper

And

ing prodigal to his heart and to his home.

commission of the Church, " go ye into

and preach the Gospel

to

the

world

every creature^^^ sends her a

messenger of glad tidings

him

to

above him in the scale of

frir

all the

as truly as to

On

civilization.

men
this

point there can be no difference of opinion among

God's people, Korth or South, w^ho intelligently take

word

the

of

obedience."

him
us

to his

is

God

as

their " only rule of faitli

This

is

the

Church, in so far as the slave race among

concerned.''^

In what ^cay

By

this

is

work

to

be done

We answer,

preaching the same Gospel of God's grace alike

to the master

and the slave

ble evidence given

same Church

is,

is

neither

bond nor

The former

free "

is

Ilodge'a Essaj/s

and

Christ, in

and to seat
is

not emancipa-

obligatory only as a means to

an end, and therefore only under circumstances where

mote that end."

credi-

slave, into the

that the great duty of the South

but improvement.

is

Gospel has been received

the Church of the Lord Jesus

which " there


* " The fact

and when there

that this

admit them, master and

in faith, to

tion,

and

worh of God, assigned by

Revievjs, p. 507.

it

would

pro*

133

them

same table of the Lord, that drinking of


the same cup, and eating of the same loaf, they mayat the

communion

witness to the world their

And having received

and blood of the same Saviour.

them

into the

same Church,

body

in the

to teach

them the

duties

belonging to their several " callings " out of the

them

Bible, and subject

same law, the law

b}^ the

teaching of the Church,

members

way

in

slavery.
life

members

may

appear unto

The

this

way must

men.

This

have given us

the Church labor to

slaves,'' just as

" good husbands, good


children,

mate

good

rulers,

effect of this

just

is

with

in their

wives, good parents,

civil

it

we say

in

could " overthrow


as^ainst

it

it,

God."

the

good
ulti-

political condi-

directly to

be the emancipation

God's name, "

be of God, we camioV^

even to ti^ht

and

With

Church has nothing

If the ultimate effect of

of the slave

make "good

she labors to inake

good subjects.

upon the

tion of the slave the

we

God

and in their writings prohibit any other.

In

" If

all

his Apostles dealt

instructions they

her

to

and her

be exercised not in

to

is

which Christ and

masters and good

do.

be addressed not

to

the

this,

but before the world, that the light whicli

has given her


the

is

And

of Christ.

only, but to the world at large

discipline of her
secret,

same

to the discipline prescribed

let it

come."

and we would not

lest

if

haply we be found

If the ultimate effect

be

134

THE CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE OF SLAVERY.

the perpetuation of slavery divested of


evils

by

a slavery in which the master

the laws of

man

as well as that of

unto the slave that which

is

incidental

its

shall

be required,

God, " to give

and equal," and the

just

slave to render to the master a cheerful obedience

and hearty service

may

It

we

slavery continue.

say, let

be, that such a slavery, regulating the rela-

tions of capital

and

labor,

though implying some

deprivation of j^ersonal liberty, will prove a better


defense of the poor against the opj^ression of the rich,

than the too great freedom in which capital

many

in

Something of

day.

free laborers in

name

is

j^laced

of the free States of Europe at the present


this

kind

what the masses of

is

France are clamorino:

of " the right to labors

for

under the

Something of

'

this

kind would have protected the ejected tenantry of


the

Duke

of Sutherland against the tyranny

which

drove them forth from the home of their childhood,

and quenched the

fire

upon many a

converted once cultivated


It

may

the problem about

is

and

sheep-walks.

into

fields

be, that Christian slavery

hearth-stone,

God's solution of

which the wisest statesmen of

Europe confess themselves "

at fault."

free,

be they but righteous bonds.

if it

be an unrighteous freedom."*

"

Bonds make

Freedom

* For an able examination of this point the reader

is

enslaves,

referred to

god's

To

way

this

wokk

way.

in god's

135

of dealing witli slavery, thus clearly

God

pointed out in God's word, does

in his provi-

dence " shut us up," for years to come.

None but

the sciolist in political philoso23hy can regard the

problem of emancipation

even

were the aim which the Christian


immediately in view

And

as a problem
men

thoughtful Christian

seemed
ties in

granting that this

have

citizen should

of easy solution.

North,

at the

it

has

to us, often lose sight of the greatest difficul-

the case.

It is

comparatively an easy matter

to devise a

scheme of emancipation

just rights

and the well-being of the master

provided

for.

But how

in

which

all

the

shall

be

men,

shall we, as God-fearing

provide for the just rights and well-being of the

emancipated slave

To leave the

partially civilized

slave race, in a state of freedom, in contact with a

much more
fies,

is

highly civilized race, as

all

history

inevitable destruction to the former.

writ of enfranchisement

is

testi-

Their

their death-warrant.

To

remove one hundredth part of the annual increase of


the slave race to Liberia, year by year, would soon

quench

for ever that light of Christian civilization

which a wise philanthropy has kindled upon the dark

Slavery and the Remedy

or,

Principles and Suggestions for a

Memedial Code, by Samuel Nott.

Crocker and Brewster, publishers,

Boston.

THE CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE OF SLAVERY.

136

How

coast of Africa.

we

shall

provide for the well-

being of the enfranchised slave?

Here

is

the real

difficulty in the problem of emancipation.

We

mean

feasibility

no opinion respecting the

to express

of the future emancipation of the slave

race

among

pose

is

As we

us.

to introduce

stated in the outset, our pur-

no question on which the Bible

does not give us specific instruction.

And we have

referred to the question of emancipation

\vhich
settle

question

belongs to the State, and not the Church, to

it

simply

pletely God's

that the reader

may

how com-

see

word and God's providence

are " at

one," in so far as the present duty of the Church

concerned.

continue?

Is slavery to

We

is

want the

best of Christian masters and the best of Christian


slaves, that it

and the

may prove

other.

a blessing to both the one

Is ultimate

emancipation before us

"We want the best of Christian masters


carry out the scheme

by which

and the best of Christian

it

to devise

shall

and

be efiected,

slaves, that their

emancipa-

tion

may be

just

what the Bible plan of dealing with slavery aims

at.

T]ie

an enfranchisement indeed.

future

may be

the presetit.

And

immediately to do.

is

it is

this is

hidden from view in " the

clouds and darkness" with which

purposes; but there

And

light

God

heaven's

oft veils his

light

upon

with the present alone we have

137
This

one

is

way

of dealing with slavery, and so

we

firmly convinced are

that

Church that we cannot abandon


Another way ^xo^o^^^
tion

between slavery

which attach

to

it

is

God'S

it is

way

it.

confounding the

itself

for his

distinc-

and the incidental

in our country,

and

evils

at the present

day, under the guise of dealing with

"American

Slavery;" in

to

denounce

evil,

and only

the teaching of the

Church

slave-holding as a sin, as " evil, always


evil,"

{Barnes' Notes, 1 Cor.

Church

discipline of the

YIL

to treat

and " detach the Church from

from piracy, intemperance,


duelling," {Church

and

21)

it

as

as

it,

and in the

an "

offence,^''

is

detached

it

theft, licentiousness,

State^ p. 193),

and

and

so labor

put an end to slavery throughout the

directly to

world.*

* That the reader

may

see

how

own words: "A Church, located


its

members may

far Dr. B.

would go, we give

his

in the midst of slavery, though

all

be wholly unconnected with slavery, yet owes an

important duty to society and to God in reference to the system, and


its

mission will not be accomplished by securing merely the sanctifi-

cation of
those

who

its

its

fold midtitudes of

as a

Church may have

members, or even by drawing within

shall be saved.

Its

primary work

reference to an existing evil within

burden which

is

laid

upon

it

may

its

planted there,

it

may be

to do,

limits.

The

not be primarily the conversion of

the heathen, or the diffusion of Bibles

which God requires

own geographical

and

for

and

The work

tracts abroad.

which

specifically

it

has been

to diffuse a definite moral influence in respect

THE CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE OF SLAVERY.

138

To

all this

First.

we

object

There

use which

a radical fallacy involved in the

is

made

is

of the expression, "

American

Slavery."

By American
same

is

we have
and,

2.

seen

the

aggregate

Tlie incidental evils

country and at

an indivisible
ject

means

Slavery, Dr. Barnes

true of all anti-slavery writers

this day,

whose works

Slavery

1.

of,

and the

which attach

itself;

to it in this

considered as inseparable

This treatment of the sub-

unit.

is

Unphilosophical,

1.

Nothing

more

is

real than

the distinction, as set forth in the writings of Paul.

(See 15.)

The

fact that Dr. B.

Jewish slavery, and

Koman

slavery, as different the one

that there

can write about

slavery,

and American

from the others, shows

must be something common

to

them

which we give the common name. Slavery

all,
;

to

and

something peculiar to each, which we designate by the


adjuncts Jewish,

Roman, American.

to an existing evil institution."

vert the Church of

God

Dr. B. admits

Church and Slavery^

p. 21.

into a kind of " omnibus," in

To con-

which every-

thing called a moral reform shall be free to ride on an equal footing

with the Gospel, as Dr. B. does, (see Church and Slavery, pp. 159164,)

is

bad enough; but thus actually

to turn the Gospel out

the pave, until a certain moral reform has been carried home,

once the

folly

of fanaticism and the fanaticism of

folly.

upon
is

at


139

Roman

that

was

far

more

American slavery now


incidental evil

disappeared.

may

not

all

by the Apostles

slavery, as encountered

in their day,

is*

cruel and oppressive than

that

that

is,

which once attached

If

much

much

has already disappeared,

that has taken place, has been effected

And just

under the benign influence of Christianity.


as certainly as

God, and

is

why

manner?

that remains disappear in like

The change

of the

to slavery has

we

believe that Christianity

is

from

destined to a final triumph in the world,

just so certainly do
to continue to exist

we

believe that slavery

must continue

to

if it is

be modified by

until all its incidental evils disappear.

it,

an

By

It is unscTijptural.

2.

essentially diflerent

way

this

we mean,

* "

It is

by the Apostles.

line respecting Jewish slavery

proper to concede that the state of things was such that

they (the Apostles) must have encountered

then had

all

it

it

and that

it

repellant to any of the feelings of humanity,

or revolting to the principles of a Christian.


cates of the system should have

all

in such circumstances as to

regard and treat

it

as

an

evil, if

It is fair that the

make

it

it

in its

little

most odious forms,

proper that they should

Christianity regards

Views of Slavery^ pp. 250, 251.

quotation given a

further on.

advo-

the advantage which can be de-

rived from the fact that the Apostles found

Scriptural

(slavery),

the features of cruelty, oppression, and wrong, which

can ever exist to make

and

It is

of approaching the sub-

ject of slavery from that adopted

Paul never wrote a

1.

it

as such at all."

Compare

this with a

THE CHEI8TIAN DOCTRESTE OF SLAVERY.

140

meaning thereby, slavery


evils wliicli attached to

Jews

or

itself

in his

it

lloman slavery

and the incidental


day and among the

nor does he give the

Churches any directions couched in any such lan-

guage

He

as this.

which he

writes about slavery^

treats as neither a sin nor

an offence

and about

cer-

tain Qvils attaching to slavery as he encountered

it,

which he

in

her

treats as sinful,

own proper

and requires the Church,

sphere, to labor to correct.

upon which

ignores the very ground

method of dealing with slavery prescribed

Word

of God,

is

It

2.

whole

the

in

the

predicated.

Yiews

In his introduction to his "Scriptural

of

Slavery," Dr. Barnes justifies his dealing, as he does,

with what he

calls

"

American Slavery," upon the

ground
1.

That slavery, as

slavery divested of
is

it

divest
it,

reasonable to
it

ought

to

it

all

exists in the

United States,

is

the incidental evils of which

suppose Christianity will ever

and hence, that


be considered

all

which now belongs

as, for all practical

to

purposes,

essential to the system.*

* "If any system of slavery

presumed that that which


Christian land

land, to

is

sanctioned by the Bible,

exists in the

United States

a degree elsewhere

influence of the Christian religion.

is.

it

may be

This

is

unknown, under the

It could hardly be

hoped that a

141
This

"American

certainly

is

glorification"

"with

a witness." For ourselves, we love our country and


we feel an honest, patriotic pride in her standing
among the nations. But God forbid, that w^e should
;

thought that her social institutions,

entertain the
either in

law or in

fact, shall

never be brought more

fully

under the control of God's truth than they now

are

tliat

the wife shall never be better protected

against the

husband

wrong

often inflicted

by

the profligate

and the child against the cruelty of tho

drunken father

and

all this,

without destroying the

essential character of the marital

tions as set forth in the

and our home relations

and parental

AYord of God

shall

rela-

that our heart

never be more thoroughly

now are. And so, too, with reHad we heard such sentiments as

Christian than they


spect to slavery.

those just quoted from Dr. B., as part of a Fourth-of-

July oration of some beardless Sophomore,

have -comforted ourselves with the


creasing years

may

give the young

we

could

reflection

in-

man wisdom.

who
must have " gray hairs here and there upon him," we
can account for only by calling to mind what Paul

That we

should read them from the pen of one

state of society could

be found, in which slavery could be better de-

veloped, or where

developments would more accord with the prin-

its

ciples of the Bible, than in our

own

land.'' Scriptural Views^

p. 14.

THE CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE OF SLAVERY.

142
tells

lis

of the effects of feeding on "

YL

words." 1 Tim,

unwholesome

3.

That what we have designated as God's way of

2.

dealing with slavery,


abstract^

and not

dealing with slavery in the

is

as 2,jpTactical matter."^

AYhat Dr. B.'s idea of dealing with an institution


in the abstract

we know

is,

not.

We

have always

supposed that such dealing implied the abstraction


the taking

i. e.,

something,

away

or neglecting for the time being

either essential or incidental, belonging

to such institution.

But, surely,

we

slavery as

in any such sense as


in the abstract

with American slavery


us,

We take
it

are not dealing

* It

is

it

into

us, and,

among

this.

and the whole of slavery, just as

slavery,

among

exists

separate

exists

it

That

1.

we

example,

after Paul's

w^hicli is essential^

i.

e.,

that

a subject of not unfrequent complaint, that, in the exami-

nation of this subject (slavery), the adversaries of the system endeavor


to

show that slavery

a.s-

it

exists in

our country,

Bible, instead of confining themselves to the

slavery in the abstract

only

one that

slavery as

it

is

is

right or -wrong.

is

The very question

of &nj practical importance to us

exists in the

United States

is,

or

is

matter, there might indeed be


it

some

existed in the

not, in

with the principles and the spirit of Christianity.

whether slavery, as

contrary to the

naked question, whether

is,

the

whether

accordance

As an

abstract

interest attached to the inquiry

Roman

empire in the time of the

Apostles, or in Europe in the Middle Ages, was in accordance with

the spirit of the Christian religion.

Scriptural ViewSy pp. 10, 12.

work

god's

which must continue


That which

if

incidental^

is

way.

in god's

143

slavery continues
i.

that

e.,

Word
law

tion of his

of the second

is

of

God, that the

and show, just

The Jlrst we

of the second

and

violation of God's

by

authority given

members, and

move from
is

Christ to his

in every proper

dealing with slavery in the

of

re-

as is in

it

the

Church over her

way, we seek
If this

we

its entirety,

and

prohibit, with' all

the world at large.

with slavery in

in our

obligations

its

much

just so

we

law

much

we deal with

treat as not sinful,

quire both the parties to conform to

much

And

as a Churchy

it^

we

liot in viola-

as clearly, that

in violation of that law.

practical dealing with


hoth parts.

fir^st is

this,

We prove

then, in discussion^ deal with lothj^arts.

from the

2.

which may disap-

Having done

pear and slavery yet remain.

and,

is

to re-

not dealing

What is
If this
abstract^ we ask, What
ask,

have we abstracted ?

We remarked

volved in the use which

American
of the

is

slavery ^^ as used

same

was

that there

school.

a radical fallacy in-

'^

made

of the expression,

by Dr. B. and other writers

The reader

will

now

see just

what was meant by that remark.

The only meaning which can properly attach


expression

American

exists in these

slavery,

is

United States of America.

sense of the expression,

we

to the

that of slavery as

are dealing with

it

In this

American

THE CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE OF SLAVERY.

144:

and just

slavery, just as truly,

more of jpfactical wisdom, we

The

real difference

cidental, as

Paul

deserves, as

Paul

distinction,
tial,

and

deals with

is

did,

that

is,

we

is.

distinguish

and that which

is in-

and we deal with each

as it

essential

did.

far

think, than Dr. B.

between us

between that which

and with

as fully,

Whilst Dr. B., neglecting

this

thus, practically, treating all as essen-

as

it

an indivisible unit

this under the guise of dealing with "

and he does

American

very," foisting upon that phrase,* in addition to

slaits

proper meaning, the idea of the indivisible unity of

To take such a course

the mass.

issues in question are

more nor

less

Second.

when the

as this,

such as they are,

is

nothing

than "a begging of the question."

We object

to the course proposed

by Dr.

B. and others, for deaUng with slavery, because


quires the

Church

to

it re-

obtrude herself into the province

of the State, and this, in direct violation of the ordi-

nance of God.

A course which has never been taken

in times past, without disastrous consequences to the

Church which did the wrong,

as well as to the State

which permitted tbe wrong

to

thing which

it is

right

be done.

Many

and proper, and even the duty

of the Christian citizen, in this our free country, to


do, the Clmrch, as such, has
v/ith.

It

is,

no right

to intermeddle

doubtless, the duty of the Christian

zen, for example, to use all proper

means

to

citi-

inform

145
himself respecting the qualifications of candidates for
ofiDce,

and having thus informed himself,

whom

the one

to vote for

he believes will best discharge the

But

duties of the office.

hence contend that

any Christian man,

will

right for the preacher, in the

it is

pulpit and on the Sabbath, to discuss the claims of

and the Church,

rival candidates,

members how

direct her

State has each

own

its

tion assigned it of

to vote

in her councils to

The Church and

appropriate sphere of opera-

God, and neither can innocently

intrude herself into the province of the other.

Thikd.

It leads to

tampering with God's truth,

and " wresting the Scripture," as Dr. B. has done in


his Notes,

by

the application to

and methods of
tainty in

interpretation,

human

language.

them

which destroy

In order to

Bible declare that slave-holding


plainly teaches

"As

it

ust the contrary

is
;'^

the

New

it

sin,

and

all cer-

make

the

when

it

to teach in

appears to us too clear to admit of either denial or doubt,

that the Scriptures do sanction slave-holding

pensation

of principles

that under the old dis-

was expressly permitted by divine command, and under

Testament

is

nowhere forbidden or denounced, but on the

contrary, acknowledged to be consistent with the Christian character

and profession,
to God,
direct

(that

and love

to

is,

consistent with justice, mercy, holiness, love

man;)

impeachment of the

to declare

Word

it

of God."

to be a heinous crime

"When

is

Southern Chris-

tians are told that they are guilty of a heinous crime, worse than

THE CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE OF SLAVERY.

146

Church doctrines which we are forbidden

the

teach under the most solemn sanctions.

to

(See 12.)

This course has led not a few, once fair and promis-

ing

members

of the Church,

and even ministers, into

open "blasphemy;" and Paul teaches


natural tendency, (1 Tim. YI.

is its

desire to

walk

Fourth.

in their way, or to

We

4.)

meet

It requires us to quit a

us, that

such

have no

doom.

their

method of dealing

with slavery which has worked well in time past

all

of real advantage to the slave that has ever been done

by the Church has been done


substitute for

has wrought nothing but

harm

and

to

to the slave^ thus far

piracy, robbery, or murder, because tliey hold

know

way

a mere experiment, and an experiment which

is

it,

in this

a method which, to say the least of

it

that Christ

and

his Apostles

a crime, never called upon

men

when they

slaves,

never denounced slave-holding as

to renounce

it

as a condition of admis-

sion into the Church, they are shocked and offended without being

convinced.

They are

sure that their accusers cannot be wiser or bet-

ter than their Divine Master,

denunciations which they

and

know

if

their consciences are

well founded,

must

only, but the authors of the religion of the Bible."

and

untouched by

affect

not them

Hodge's Essays

Eevicivs, pp. 503, 484.

* In illustration of this remark, we quote from Fletcher


years ago,

uncommon
schools

we

occasionally had schools for negro children

for masters to send their favorite

young

" Thirty
nor was

it

slaves to these

nor did such acts excite attention or alarm, and, at the same

time, any missionary

had

free access to that class of our population.

'

147

and we say

this, after

watching

a ministry of twenty years,

all

its

of

operation during
in God's provi-

it,

dence, spent in a slave-holding state.

For

all

second

these reasons,

way

we can never adopt

the Church at the South, in


tions of the

Church

God's work

proposed.

common

this

God's way,

with some por-

at the IS^orth also,*

have inscribed

upon

their

mean

to fight the " Lord's battles," grace assisting us,

until

he who bid us gird on our armor shall give us

leave to put

banner

and under that banner do we

Churches of God

it off.

may

cut us off

They cannot break our union

from their communion.

with Christ, " the Head."

Ministers of the Gospel,

But when we found, with astonishment, that our country was flooded
with abolition prints, deeply laden with the most abusive falsehoods,
with the obvious design to excite rebeUion

among

the slaves, and to

spread assassination and bloodshed through the land

when we found

these transient missionaries, mentally too insignificant to foresee the


result

of their conduct,

or wholly

preaching the same doctrines

these

him and

lies

his coadjutors well

And

schools,

consequences,

and the mouths of


Dr.

Way-

the wickedness of these our acts!

Let

these missionaries, were closed.

land knows whereabout

careless of the
little

great was the cry.

understand that these

results,

whether for

the benefit or injury of the slave, have been brought about by the

work of

their hand."

Studies on Slavery^ p. 41.

"We could add much of similar character, from our own observation.

* See the paper adopted by the General Assembly of the Presbylerian Church, 0. S., in 1845.

{Assemhly's Digest^ pp. 811-813.)

THE CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE OF SLAVERY.

14:8

whom we

from

may revile

us

have a right

to

expect better things,

wc " fear God rather than man."

conscience void of offence before God,"


price.

With

to deal just

this

as

govern the
in Christian
to

A
all

his Apostles dealt


to labor as they labored

Christ and

to

Church of God
fellowship

God's people at the

MAY

"

above

whole subject of slavery, we mean

preach what they preached

it

is

JN'orth,

as

they governed

and brotherhood with


and

in faithfulness to Christ,

in other lands, if

we

though in opposition

to all the world, if loe must.

THE END

3li.77-l