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as punishments due to the greatest crimes only. In the wide Roman Empire, where most of the Apostles resided and preached, there

were no other laborers except slaves but what were entitled to and X received wages by law, so that the Apostle in this passage must have

referred to slaves and to their condition and treatment alone, as evidence of the greatest criminality in their owners. And since the Apostle's language imports in the Scripture sense death and destruction as punishment due to the greatest crimes only, we necessarily infer from such premises, as a plain Bible doctrine, that human slavery is a crime justly deserving the punishment of death in those who practise it. No opposite inference can be justly derived from

the passage.

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VI. The same doctrine is also evident from the description of one of the crimes of the mystical“ Mother of Harlots" in . Rev. xviii. 13, which was “merchandise (that is trading in as property) *** and slaves and souls of men,” which so far as it goes is an exact description of human slavery. As death and destruction are represented in this chapter as punishments justly due to those who pursue this kind of merchandise or traffic, we are also compelled to draw the same inference as the foregoing. This inference is strongly corroborated by the fact, that most of the objects enumerated in the passage are morally lawful subjects of trade and traffic, and as these terrible punishments were justly due for crime of some kind, they must at any rate have been for that of trading in slaves a terrible warning to us not to pursue the practice of any mixture of good and evil. The mystical character here described is generally believed among Protestants to mean the Roman Catholic Church, and as a historical fact worthy of notice in this connection it is proper to state, that the practice of negro slavery among Christians, as well as the scriptural perversions by which it was justified, first originated among the members of that Church, though as the same wicked practice and perversions were immediately adopted by the various Protestant sects, the inference has been drawn that they are the daughters of “the Mother of Harlots,” ? Rev. xvii. 5, and will partake of the punishment for her sins, so far as they have been guilty of her crimes.

1 And cinnamon, and odors, and ointments, and frankincense, and wine, and oil, and fine flour, and wheat, and beasts, and sheep, and horses, and chariots, and slaves, and souls of men.-Rev. xviii. 13.

2 And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.-Rev. xvii. 5.

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VII. The same doctrine is also strongly to be inferred from the natural import of the language used in such passages as ? Jer. xxii.

1 13, ? Hab. ii. 9–11; · Mal. iii. 5, &c.; where the compulsory labor of the poor and helpless without wages, as in the case of slaves, is threatened with the temporal if not the eternal destruction of those who practise this kind of oppression, such destruction as the scriptural use of the word “wo” always imports. Certainly these terrible passages include the case of oppressed slaves and their oppressive owners, if they do or can any case. So the depriving the poor and helpless of the wages justly due them for labor and other services performed, is everywhere denounced in the Scriptures as one of the greatest sins that men can commit, and as sure to be punished with the utter destruction of the criminals and their families and posterity, see *Ex. xxii. 22-24; 5 Lev.xix. 13; • Deut. xv. 9; Deut. ?xxiv. 14, 15; 'Job xxvii. 13-23; Prov. xxii. 22, 23, &c.; as these pas

i Wo unto him that buildeth his house by unrighteousness, and his chambers by wrong; that useth his neighbor's service without wages, and giveth him not for his work-Jer. xxii. 13.

2 Wo to him that coveteth an evil covetousness to his house, that he may set his nest on high, that he may be delivered from the power of evil ! ' Thou hast consulted shame to thy house by cutting off many people, and hast sinned against thy soul. For the stone shall cry out of the wall, and the beam out of the timber shall answer it.--Hab. ii. 9–11.

3 And I will come near to you to judgment, and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers, and against those that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow, and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger from his right, and fear not me, saith the Lord of hosts.-Mal. iii. 5.

4 Ye shall not afflict any widow, or fatherless child. If thou afflict them in any wise, and they cry at all unto me, I will surely hear their cry; and my wrath shall wax hot, and I will kill you with the sword; and your wives shall be widows, and your children fatherless.-Ex xxii. 22—24

5 Thou shalt not defraud thy neighbor, neither rob him: the wages of him that is hired shall not abide with thee all night until the morning.-Lev. xix. 13.

6 Beware that there be not a thought in thy wicked heart, saying, The seventh year, the year of release, is at hand ; and thine eye be evil against thy poor brother, and thou givest him naught; and he cry unto the Lord against thee, and it be sin unto thee.

-Deut. xv. 9. 7 Thou shalt not oppress a hired servant that is poor and needy, whether he be of thy brethren, or of thy strangers that are in thy land within thy gates : at his day thou shalt give him his hire, neither shall the sun go down upon it, for he is poor, and setteth his heart upon it : lest he cry against thee unto the LORD, and it be sin unto thee.- Deut. xxiv. 14, 15.

8 This is the portion of a wicked man with God, and the heritage of oppressors, which they shall receive of the Almighty. If his children be multiplied, it is for the sword : and his offspring shall not be satisfied with bread. Those that remain of him shall be buried in death : and his widows shall not weep. Though he heap up silver as the dust, and prepare raiment as the clay; he may prepare it, but the just shall put it on, and the innocent shall divide the silver. He buildeth his house as a moth, and as a booth that the keeper maketh. The rich man shall lie down, but he shall not be gathered : he openeth his eyes, and he is not. Terrors take hold on him as waters, a tempest stealeth him away in the night. The east wind carrieth him away, and he departeth: and as a storm hurleth him out of his place. For God shall cast upon him, and not spare : he would fain flee out of his hand. Men shall clap their hands at him, and shall hiss him out of his place.—Job xxvii, 13-23,

9 Rob not the poor, because he is poor : neither oppress the afflicted in the gate: for the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. -Prov. xxii. 22, 23.

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sages certainly include the case of slaves and their enslavers, so their moral teaching is, that God will punish with utter retributive destruction those who practise the sin of slavish oppression.

A Virginia preacher of the Gospel* has said, “The fact that slavery was introduced among us, not by ourselves, but by our forefathers, is almost constantly brought forward as an excuse for our practice. Admitting that this may be some palliation, a moment's reflection might satisfy any one that we are not justified in living in a practice in itself wrong by the fact that our fathers acted so before us.

The laws of civil society, the conduct of man with man, the history of God's dealings towards nations and individuals, as well as the express declarations of his Word, are all opposed to this plea of justification. How can you read

your

Bible and not see as a matter of fact, that the sins of our fathers instead of justifying us in living in the same, will assuredly, unless we repent, be visited on us? It is laid down as a principle of God's providential government that he will visit the sins of the fathers on the children unto the third and fourth generation. This is explained in Ezek. xviii. as especially applicable to those cases in which children continue in the same sins in which their fathers lived. The way, and the only way, to escape visitations for the sins of our fathers, is to forsake those sins, and as far as may be correct the evils they have done. Not only is this principle plainly taught in Scripture, but it is illustrated by examples, and some on the very point in question.

“ The generation of the Egyptians that were visited with such heavy judgments for enslaving Israel, did not begin the work of enslaving that people ; it was commenced long before. They found it in existence, received it from their fathers, and were probably the third or fourth generation that had practised it. They followed the footsteps of their fathers; and while probably making this iden

e, the cloud of vengeance was gathering over them, which swept over them as with the besom of destruction.

“So it was with the Babylonians, and the nations that acted with them, in oppressing Israel, that held them fast and refused to let them go.' God visited on them their own sins, and the sins of their fathers; gave them up to spoil and slavery, and caused it to be recompensed unto them according to their doings.'. The practice of

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* Rev. J. D. Paxton, formerly Pastor of the Cumberland Congregation, Virginia, in a book of 200 es, entitled “ Letters on Slavery," published by A. T. Skillman, Lexington, Ky., 1833.

slavery may have been going on about as long among us as it did in Egypt; and while some are pleading in excuse that we did not begin it, they seem to forget that, according to God's word, we are the generation at which the Divine threatening begins to look hard. The very fact that it has gone on so long, is in proof that the cup of iniquity must be filling up, and the bitter.waters almost ready to overflow."

VIII. Abundant additional evidence of the same doctrine is found in the fact, that the holding, exchanging, bartering, buying, selling and otherwise trading in human beings as property, and the licentiousness and prodigality, tyranny and cruelty produced by those practices are represented as among the greatest sins and threatened with the severest Divine judgments and punishments, in various other parts of the Scriptures, see ?Deut. xxviii. 68; ? 2 Chron. xxviii. 8–15; ”Neh. v. 5–15 ; 'Ps. xliv. 12; • Isa. lii. 3–6; Jer.

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1 And the LORD shall bring thee into Egypt again with ships, by the way whereof I spake unto thee, Thou shalt see it no more again : and there ye shall be sold unto your enemies for bond-men and bond-women, and no man shall buy you.-Deuty xxviii. 68.

2 And the children of Israel carried away captive of their brethren two hundred thousand, women, sons, and daughters, and took also away much spoil from them, and brought the spoil to Samaria. But a prophet of the LORD was there, whose name was Oded; and he went out before the host that came to Samaria, and said unto them, Behold, because the LORD God of your fathers was wroth with Judah, he hath delivered them into your hand, and ye have slain them in a rage that reacheth up to heaven. And now ye purpose to keep under the children of Judah and Jerusalem for bond-men and bond-women unto you: but are there not with you, even with you, sins against the LORD your God ? Now hear me therefore, and deliver the captives again, which ye have taken captive of your brethren; for the fierce wrath of the Lord is upon you. Then certain of the heads of the children of Ephraim, Azariah the son of Johanan, Berechiah the son of Meshillemoth, and Jehizkiah the son of Shallum, and Amasa the son of Hadlai, stood up against them that came from the war, and' said unto them, Ye shall not bring in the captives hither : for whereas we have offended against the Lord already, ye intend to add more to our sins and to our trespass : for our trespass is great, and there is fierce wrath against Israel. So the armed men left the captives and the spoil before the princes and all the congregation. And the men which were expressed by name rose up, and took the captives, and with the spoil clothed all that were naked among them, and arrayed them,

and shod them, and gave them to eat and to drink, and anointed them, and carried all the feeble of them upon asses, and brought them to Jericho, the city of palm-trees, and to their brethren : then they returned to Samaria.—2 Chron. xxviii. 815.

3 Yet now our flesh is as the flesh of our brethren, our children as their children : and lo, we bring into bondage our sons and our daughters to be servants, and some of our daughters are brought into bondage already: neither is it in our power to redeem them; for other men have our lands and vineyards. And I was very angry when I heard their cry and these words. Then I consulted with myself, and I rebuked the nobles, and the rulers, and said unto them, Ye exact usury, every one of his brother, And i' set a great assembly against them. And I said unto them, We, after our ability, have redeemed our brethren the Jews, which were sold unto the heathen ; and will ye even sell your brethren? or shall they be sold unto us? Then held they their peace, and found nothing to answer. Also I said, It is not good that ye do : ought ye not to walk in the fear of our God because of the reproach of the heathen our enemies? I likewise, and my brethren, and my servants, might exact of them money and corn: I pray you, let us leave off this usury. Restore, I pray you, to them, even this day, their lands, their vineyards, their oliveyards, and their houses, 4 Thou sellest thy people for naught, and dost not increase thy wealth by their price.-Ps. xliv. 12.

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xv. 13, 14 ; 'Eze. xxvii. 2, 13, 26-36 ; *Joel iii. 3-8; 'Amos ii. 6,7; 0 Oba. 11; " Nah. iii. 10; 12 Zech. xi. 5, &c. According to also the hundredth part of the money, and of the corn, the wine, and the oil, that ye exact of them. Then said they, We will restore them, and will require nothing of them ; so will we do as thou sayest. Then I called the priests, and took an oath of them, that they should do according to this promise. Also I shook my lap, and said, So God shake out every man from his house, and from his labor, that performeth not this promise, even thus be he shaken out, and emptied. And all the congregation said, Amen, and praise the Lord. And the people did according to this promise. -Neh. v.515.

5 For thus saith the Lord, Ye have sold yourselves for naught; and ye shall be redeemed without money. For thus saith the Lord God, My people went down aforetime into Egypt to sojourn there; and the Assyrian oppressed them without cause. Now therefore, what have I here, saith the Lord, that my people is taken away for naught? they that rule over them make them to howl, saith the Lord; and my name continually every day is blasphemed. Therefore my people shall know my name; therefore they shall know in that day that I am he that doth speak: behold, it is I. -Isa. lii. 3-6.

6 Thy substance and thy treasures will I give to the spoil without price, and that for all thy sins, even in all thy borders. And I will make thee to pass with thine enemies into a land which thou knowest not: for a fire is kindled in mine anger, which shall burn upon you.Jer. xv. 13, 14.

7 Now, thou son of man, take up a lamentation for Tyrus. Javan, Tubal, and Meshech, they were thy merchants: they traded the persons of men and vessels of brass in thy market. Thy rowers have brought thee into great waters: the east wind hath broken thee in the midst of the seas. Thy riches, and thy fairs, thy mer. chandise, thy mariners, and thy pilots, thy caulkers, and the occupiers of thy mer. chandise, and all thy men of war, that are in thee, and in all thy company which is in the midst of thee, shall fall into the midst of the seas in the day of thy ruin. The suburbs shall shake at the sound of the cry of thy pilots. And all that handle the Dar, the mariners, and all the pilots of the sea, shall come down from their ships, they shall stand upon the land; and shall cause their voice to be heard against thee, and shall cry bitterly, and shall cast up dust upon their heads, they shall wallow theinselves in the ashes: and they shall make themselves utterly bald for thee, and gird them with sackcloth, and they shall weep for thee with bitterness of heart and bitter wailing. And in their wailing they shall take up a lamentation for thee, and lament over thee, saying, What city is like Tyrus, like the destroyed in the midst of the sea? When thy wares went forth out of the seas, thou filledst many people; thou didst enrich the kings of the earth with the multitude of thy riches and of thy merchandise. In the time when thou shalt be broken by the seas in the depths of the waters, thy merchandise and all thy company in the midst of thee shall fall. All the inhabitants of the isles shall be astonished at thee, and their kings shall be sore afraid, they shall be troubled in their countenance. The merchants among the

people shall hiss at thee; thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt be any more.-Êze. xxvii. 2, 13, 26–36.

8 And they have cast lots for my people ; and have given a boy for a harlot, and sold a girl for wine, that they might drink. Yea, and what have ye to do with me, 0 Tyre, and Zidon, and all the coasts of Palestine? will ye render me a recompense ? and if ye recompense me, swiftly and speedily will I return your recompense upon your own head ; Because ye have taken my silver and my gold, and have carried into your temples my goodly pleasant things. The children also of Judah and the children of Jerusalem have ye sold unto the Grecians, that ye might remove them far from their border. Behold I will raise them out of the place whither ye have sold them, and will return your recompense upon your own head : and I will sell your sons and your daughters into the hand of the children of Judah, and they shall sell them to the Šabeans, to a people far off: for the Lord hath spoken it.-Joel iii. 3—8.

9 Thus saith the Lord; For three transgressions of Israel, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof: because they sold the righteous for silver, and the poor for a pair of shoes; that pant after the dust of the earth on the head of the poor, and turn aside the way of the meek; and a man and his father will go in unto the same maid, to profane my holy name.- Amos ii. 6, 7.

10 In the day that thou stoodest on the other side, in the day that the strangers car. ried away captive his forces, and foreigners entered into his gates, and cast lots upon Jerusalem, even thou wast as one of them.-Oba. 11.

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