Page images
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

where positively informed in the New Testament, or elsewhere, that the Apostles, in their ordinary verbal discourses, preached against the cruel heathen persecutions of themselves and other Christians, against offensive war, theatrical exhibitions, gladiatorial shows, human sacrifices, concubinage, heathen feasts, idol worship, the Olympic games, and a hundred other heathen abominations legalized and customarily prevalent in their times. But whoever supposes that they did not preach against all these abominations, or that they in any way winked at and approbated the practice of them, must, in my opinion, be entirely mistaken, because there is no probability that they were thus treacherous to the moral law which they had ratified, and because their fate proves they were not. Nor have we any more evidence or reason to believe that Christ and his apostles connived at and approbated the practice of slavery and its horrors, than that they connived at and approbated the practice of murder or the other heathen abominations here specified. As the perversions by means of which so many of our American Christians pacify their consciences were then unknown, no satisfactory reason can now be rendered why they should or might have been liable to do so.

From some statements in the New Testament it would seem that the preaching of Christ and his Apostles must have been ex. tensive indeed; see Matt. x. 17, xxviii. 19, 20; Luke ix. 2, 6; John xxi. 25; Acts i. 8, ix. 15, x. 42, xiii. 5, xvi. 10, xvii. 2, 17, xviii. 4, 25, xx. 20, 25-27; 1 Cor. xv. 10; 2 Cor. xi. 23, 28, &c. Thus we are informed in Acts xxviii. 30, 31, that Paul preached two years in one place at one time, yet we have scarcely any information in the New Testament, or in any other history, respecting the specific subjects of the voluminous public discourses of these great preachers. We have no specific information in the New Testament, or elsewhere, that they preached against slavery or any other criminal practice by its specific name. the same great Apostle has informed us, in Acts xx. 26, 27, that "he had not shunned to declare all the counsel of God,” that “he was pure from the blood of all men,” and as he, in Eph. vi. 20, 21, and other passages, requested the prayers of the brethren for special grace to preach the gospel boldly, which he could not have done without faithfully preaching against slavery or man-stealing, we may confidently conclude that he and all the other apostolic preachers did so.

6

But as

There is no probability that these devoted men neglected to preach anything they taught, or that they failed to preach against any crime condemned in their writings, not even slavery. Yet we are gravely informed by our pro-slavery preachers and their followers, that we have no authority from the New Testament to preach against slavery, and thereby disturb the domestic scriptural relation of master and slave, and that we ought silently to acquiesce in, and thus sanction the relation, just as Christ and his apostles must be supposed to have done. This is the kind of gospel extensively preached in this country at this time. It will be a matter of amusement if not of profit, to test the correctness of this mode of preaching by its consequences. For instance, as nothing is said in the New Testament about any public preaching of Christ and his apostles against murder, we have no authority from the volume, according to this reasoning, to preach against murder, the same being thus licensed by that book! In the same manner as nothing is said in that book about any public preaching of the apostles against arbitrary government, and despotic law, and practice, we are to infer from these negative premises that the same apostles connived at, acquiesced in, and approbated the bar. barities of Nero, Caligula, Domitian, and the other heathen monsters who persecuted and murdered them and their brethren! and that this supposed connivance and assent of the apostles is to be construed as a moral justification of those barbarities, and moral license to similar atrocities in all after time! On the same kind of premises we are also required to believe that John the Baptist and Christ both approbated the massacre of the infants by Herod, and that public massacres of all sorts are to be silently tolerated by Christians! So that Protestants have no authority from the scriptures, and therefore no moral right whatever, to complain of their persecutions by the Catholics, which they ought to approbate and not condemn; nor have the persecuted a right to complain of their persecutors under any circumstances! such persecutions being morally justified and sanctioned by the approving silence of Christ and his apostles !

Furthermore, as we have no account whatever of any public preaching by Christ and his Apostles against forgery, arson, piracy counterfeiting, and twenty other heinous ancient as well as modern crimes, we are to presume from this supposed approving silence and acquiescence of theirs, that the whole of those crimes are

[ocr errors]

morally approbated and licensed in the New Testament, by the special example of Christ and his Apostles, so that we have no moral right whatever to disturb others in the commission of them ! ! And lastly, as there is no account of any

such preaching of Christ and his Apostles against human slavery, nor against the moral crimes necessary to support and preserve the practice, we are to presume that the whole of these crimes are morally approbated and licensed in the New Testament, by the approving silence and connivance of Christ and his Apostles, and were thus morally justified by the same example at all times and places thereafter !! These few test specimens are abundantly sufficient to prove the falsity, absurdity, and futility of the nonsense that we have no authority in the New Testament, from the writings of Christ and his Apostles, for preaching and inveighing against the system of human slavery that exists in our land; on the contrary, it is just as easy to prove that we have this authority from the New as we have from the Old Testament, for the latter is entirely ratified and confirmed by the former, as we have seen, and whatever any part of both, or either of them, condemn and

oppose, or ratify and approve, we all are morally bound to ratify and approve, or condemn and oppose, as the case may be, and that by public preaching, as well as in all other just and righteous modes, see Rom. xv. 4; 2 Tim. iii. 16, 17, &c. Nobody doubts the truth of this great moral duty in any other case except slavery. Nor does anybody doubt in any other case, the special obligation of the Christian pulpit to practise this duty, since the Scriptures plainly teach the special obligation of that agency to enforce every Christian duty, and that with a degree of energy and perseverance pro. portioned to the public neglect of each duty, as is best shown by special precept and the examples of the Holy Prophets and Apostles, who literally discharged this duty. When therefore we know that both the Old and New Testament condemn and oppose slavery, with the same severity as they do the worst of other crimes, as has been clearly shown in these passages, we also know from the same Scriptures, that it is our moral duty to condemn and oppose it with equal severity ourselves.

CHAPTER XVI,

PRO-SLAVERY PERVERSIONS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT.

(Continued.) Examination of Matt. xx. 28, xxvi. 28; Acts xx. 28; Rom. vii. 14; I Cor. vi.

20, vii. 23; 1 Pet. i. 18, 19; 2 Pet. ii. 1, 3; Rev. v.9, &c. It has already been sufficiently explained, that the whole of these passages are typical or figurative descriptions of free and voluntary service, copied from their Levitical types or figures of the ancient Hebrew servitudes, and are so far from being indicative of involuntary or slavish service, that they figuratively describe a “ ransom,” or a “purchase," or a “redemption," each meaning substantially the same effect or thing, from the slavish service or slavery of sin, to the free and voluntary service of righteousness. Every reader of the Scriptures understands the passages in this sense without a dissenting opinion or doubt, notwithstanding the employment in the descriptions of the words “buy," "sell,"? "purchase” and “redeem,” &c. The types or figures from which these descriptions are taken, are the same ancient Hebrew sales, purchases, ransoms, and redemptions of the ancient Hebrew and other oriental servants, wives, children, wards, brethren, and other relations, so often mentioned in the Pentateuch and other parts of the Old Testament, as in Gen. xvii. 12, 13, &c.; Ex. xxi. 2, &c., xxx. 12—16 ; Lev. v. 6—19, XXV. 48, 49; Num. xxxi. 50; Deut. xvi. 12, &c.; Ruth iv. 10, &c.; transactions frequently alluded to for the purpose of illustration in other parts of the Old Testament, see Job. xxxiii. 21, xxxvi. 18; Ps. xlix. 7, 8, &c. We know that these ancient customary transactions were the types or figures from which the New Testament passages now under review were taken, not only because no other ancient types of the kind are to be found, and because all the formative descriptions in the New Testament of free and voluntary service are copied from the Levitical types, in the Old Testament, but also from direct allusions to these types in various other parts of the New Testament, see Gal. iv. 1-5, v. 1; Heb. ix. 9, X. 1,

jan

ERR A T A.

66

[ocr errors]

6

[ocr errors]

66

66

[ocr errors]

66

66

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

66

66

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

66

66

66

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]

Page 23, 13th line from top, for are,

read is. os 33, 26th

*** xxvi.

XXV. 35, 24th

661-37,

1-3, 7. 36, 34th

4 xi. 2, 24,

Xx. 14.

Xxxv. 30, 43, 1 xxiv. 35.
39th
66 and v. 21,

and Deut. v. 21. 42, 29th

Eph. ii. 15,

Eph. ii. 5. 45, 19th

" Jer. xxxiv. 8, 22, Jer. xxxiv, 8-22. 30th “ Deut. xv. 7, 11,

Deut. xv. 7-11. 47, 39th

66 xxxi. 20,

xxxi. 2-7. 53, 12th

66 Mr. Wield,

6 Mr. Weld. 54, 37th

“ xxvii. 13, 23,

66 xxvii. 13-23. 39th “ xxii. 29, 31,

xxii. 29–31. 55, 1st

66 Zech. yii. 9, 14,

Zech. vii. 9-14. 5th

6 Job iv. 17, 19, Job iv. 17-19. 28th

66 Lev. xxv. 8, 13, Lev. xxv. 8-13.
." Num. xxvi. 52, 56, “ Nu. xxvi. 52–56.
66 xiv. 1, 5,

xiv. 1-5.
18th
“ Matt. xv. 6, 9,

16 Matt. xv. 549. “ Mark vii. 5, 9,

Mark vii. 6-13. 27th 6 Gen. i. 26, 28,

Gen. i. 26-28. 66 Ps. viii. 6, 8,

Ps. viii. 6-8. 65, 10th

66 vi. 1, 4,

vi. 1-4. 69, 35th."

Eph. vi. 20, 21, Eph. vi. 19, 20. 72, 23rd

xxx. 12-16,

xxx. 11-16. 26th

« Job -xxxiii. 21, Job xxxiii. 24. 73, 21st

66 xxi. 27,

xxii. 21.
66 yüïi. 16, 20,

vii. 16, 20.
is
86, 35th

-6. Matt. v. 17, 19, Matt. v. 17-19. · 36th

« Rom. iii. 20, 21, 23, Rom. ii. 20, 21, 23.

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]
« PreviousContinue »