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shall not enter into any discussion of the abstract Charleston, and affords an example well worthy propriety of educating slaves; our only purpose of extensive imitation. has been to refute the enormous lies of the abo- But to return, these necessary inferences from litionist, about slavery essentially involving the the true nature of property, together with the ex right to control the mental nature of the slave planation of the true subject of the property right even to the extent of reducing him to idiocy. It of slavery, afford a triumphant refutation of the is enough to refute all such stupid and wholesale larger portion of the evils, ou which the orators slander by showing that the right to control the of fanatical philanthropy are accustomed to diintellect of the slave does not belong to the re- late before the gaping crowds of their credulous lation in itself; but exists among those collateral and conscientious dupes. These views comrights of the master, which are produced and pletely explode all those abominable charges controlled entirely by circumstances; and is only which are thrust upon slavery as the necessary justifiable in exercise o an extent limited with and essential results of the relation, without perfect precision by the absolute necessity of which it would instantly perish. All the absurdpreserving the property rights of the master. ity which is vented upon slavery as investing the Whether the policy of keeping a servile class in master with unlimited control over every departentire ignorance, except under such a uecessity. ment of the nature of the slave, is only a proof is any more prudent than just, may be inferred that the ignorance of the slanderers is of a piece from the following sentiments of a celebrated with the fury of their fanaticism. When Fuller writer. Robert Hall says had exploded all the misconceptions of his antagonist, Wayland remarks with inimitable sim"Some have objected to the instruction of plicity that this was "a new view of domestic the lower classes from an apprehension that it slavery and pleased him incomparably better would lift them above their sphere, make them dissatisfied with their station in life, and by im- than any he had ever seen."* Perhaps a more pairing the habits of subordination, endanger the attentive review of the terms and definitions of tranquillity of the State; an objection devoid the "Moral Science" would result in giving him surely of all force and validity. It is not easy to a view of slavery still more in accordance with conceive in what manner instructing men in their the doctrines of the Bible, and far less sympaduties can prompt them to neglect those duties, thetic with the principles of infidelity. If slavery or how that enlargement of reason which enables them to comprehend the true ground of au- did actually give the master the right to do as he thority and the obligations to obedience, should chooses with his slave, it would be all that the indispose them to obey. The admirable mecha- most ultra follower of Garrison and Phillips ever nism of society, together with that subordination asserted it to be; but if it grant only the right to of rauks which is essential to its subsistence, is use the services of the slave in accordance with surely not an elaborate imposture which the ex- his nature as a man, together with a system of ercise of reason will detect and expose. The objection we have stated implies a reflection on collateral rights entirely produced and controlled the social order, equally impolitic, invidious, by circumstances, then the rights of both parties and unjust. Nothing in reality renders legitimate are guarded with a delicacy and precision of disgovernments so insecure as extreme ignorauce crimination, not easily surpassed. in the people. It is this which yields them an easy prey to seduction, makes them the victims of prejudices and false alarms, and so ferocious withal that their interference in a time of public commotion is more to be dreaded than the eruption of a volcano."*

It may be objected to the definition of slavery as a right to service, that it does not answer the purpose of a definition by distinguishing the thing defined from everything else of a similar kind, and that it actually makes every form of right to service to be actual slavery. But it is useless to contend about terms when things are identical; it is perfectly true that slavery is the very same in nature as a right to service obtained under contract, except in the ground on which the right is based; this constitutes the real difference between the slavery right to service and all other forms of such a right. Dr. Thornwell

*Hall's Works. Vol. 1, pp. 119-120. Quoted by Thornwell, pp. 49-50.

These remarks are specially true of the religious instruction of the colored population of the South; the proper inculcation of the duties made obligatory upon the slave by the New Testament enforced by the solemn sanctions of religion, will prove a better safe-guard to the South against the machinations of the abolitionists, than walls of granite and arsenals crowded with military says the distinction consists merely in the service, The erection of the church which formed in one case being performed in consequence of a the immediate occasion of the discourse of Pro-contract, and in the other, in consequence of a fessor Thornwell, is a testimony to the wisdom, command. This is perhaps not entirely precise; not less than to the piety of the people of an apprentice and a slave both serve in conse- ?


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*Fuller and Wayland, p. 234.
Thornwell's Sermon, p. 24.

quence of a command; but the right to issue this may appear, yet Dr. Thornwell is entirely right command is founded in one case upon contract, in the declaration, that— and in the other upon a positive right of the master. We would therefore prefer to say in comparing these two species of property right in service, that the nature of the claim in both cases is

"When the tumult shall have subsided and reason resumed her ascendancy, it will be found that the very principles upon which we have been accustomed to justify Southern slavery, are the principles of regulated liberty—that in defending this institution we have really been upholding the civil interests of mankind-resisting alike the social anarchy of communism and the political anarchy of licentiousness-that we have been supporting representative, republican govone hand, and the supremacy of a single will on ernment against the despotism of masses on the the other. It is not the narrow question of abolitionism or of slavery-not simply whether we shall emancipate our negroes or not; the real question is the relations of man to society-of States to the individual, and of the individual to States; a question as broad as the interests of the human race, The parties in this conflict are not merely abolitionists and slave-holders-they are atheists, socialists, communists, red republi

We have thus established the fact that the recans, jacobins, on the one side, and the friends of order and regulated freedom on the other. In one word, the world is the battle-ground-Christianity and Atheism the combatants; and the progress of humanity the stake."*

identical as a right to service; while the grounds on which the two are based, the degree of perfection in which they exist, and the perpetuity in which they continue are evidently different. The right to service under apprenticeship is not so perfect a property right as that of slavery, inasmuch as it does not admit of a transfer by sale, and does not involve so many collateral rights to protect the original claim. Moreover the right of the master is perpetual, but the obligation of the apprentice is necessarily limited by the duration of the contract upon which it is founded. Slavery is not so much a property claim itself, as it is the ground or relation upon which that right is founded.

lation between master and servant as affording a ground for the right of the one to the service of the other, is fully recognized by the Book of Revelation to be a morally lawful relation. It is also an unquestionable fact that Christianity This powerful sketching is as true in fact, as it is the enemy of all injustice and oppression, and is graphic in expression. We shall attempt to the friend of all just schemes for the promotion select the general principles which control the of human happiness. It is fully admitted that wide and agitated mass of modern reforms, exthe general tendencies of the gospel are to re-hibit the rules for their safe and just application duce all the anomalies of social life, to raise the to actual affairs, and thus display the consistency oppressed, to cheer the fallen, and lead the whole between the precepts of Christianity and its genof the unhappy race of Adam back to the en-eral tendencies upon the social welfare of manjoyment of the undisturbed felicities of Eden.


The grand mistake of the anti-slavery believers To the proposition that all men by nature are in the Bible, consists in the fatal supposition that free and equal, we do not hesitate to assent, when these general influences and tendencies of the it is properly defined; but it contains a fallacy of system necessarily brand the relation of sla- dangerous absurdity when not properly undervery as essentially opposed to moral law. On stood, and is easily susceptible of a most fearful the other hand infidelity has laughed it to scorn abuse. It does not mean that all are naturally because it would not yield to the correctness of its conclusions from the abstract maxims of free

equal in qualities of bodily or mental character; nor does it express the idea that men are actually born without the pale of law, or entitled by their birth to equal shares in the existing properties of society. It only asserts that men are abstractly

dom and equality. While those who are lovers of republicanism, as well as the ends of Christianity, can see the full consistency of the two apparently antagonist decisions in the deflection equal in point of right considered simply as creawhich the existence of society and the occur- tures; nor is this perhaps entirely precise, as it rence of sin has produced from the line of abstract would justify complaints against the equity of equalities; and also in the principle of common the Creator in granting advantages to one which sense that what is unjust in one set of circumstan- he refuses to another. The whole maxim has may be entirely just in another. Christianity reference to mau considered absolutely as a creamay be opposed to slavery considered without refture, without any reference to him as a memerence to circumstances, and may yet fully recog- ber of society, or a creature whose moral denize the justice of the relation when circumstan-linquencies have justly subjected him to the ces are brought into view; just as it opposes the deprivation of right. It means that all creadestruction of life considered simply by itself. tures have equal rights in their relations to and yet fully acquits it when done in necessary defence. In fact, paradoxical as the statement

*Thornwell's Sermon, pp. 12–14.

each other; or that each one has as just a Moreover civil government itself is an illustratitle to what is properly his own, as any other tion of the great truth that the abstract rights of has to what is his exclusively. When we say nature are not the rule by which all complaints that the maxim has reference to man simply as and dissatisfaction with existing affairs are to be a creature, and prior to any consideration of him measured with absolute and invariable certainty. as a member of society, we are not to be under As all men are free and equal, no one has any stood to mean that these maxims are only true inherent right to govern others; and society is with reference to an imaginary state of nature formed by the surrender of certain rights to the existing before the formation of society; for no governing powers, in order to secure the undissuch a state of things has ever occurred. We turbed enjoyment of those rights reserved by the mean that the proposition is true of each successive individual. Considered then as a member of generation in the sense in which it is true at all; society, the individual has no right to complain and this is in considering each generation, not as of injustice or oppression, unless the rights he existing in society, but as creatures in an absolute has reserved to himself are seized by the govsense. Men have certain rights as creatures; ernment, or otherwise wrested from his possesnor can they ever divest themselves of those sion; his right to complain is measured by the rights, because they can never be any the less rights he has reserved, and not by his rights in creatures than they are; and in this sense the the abstract. Yet the abstract rights of the indirights of man are inalienable. But men are also vidual have not been annihilated; they appermembers of society; society is necessarily formed tain to him as a creature, and as long as he is so by the delegation of certain rights and powers of these rights are inalienable; but they exist as the individual; and hence men have certain mod- simple abstractions entirely controlled by his poifications of their natural rights, growing out of sition as a member of society. Considering man their relations in society. as a member of society his rights are alienable; the right to life may be forfeited by crime, to happiness by ill-desert, to liberty by various sorts of causes. The reason of this consists in the fact that society is based upon a supposition of moral corruption in men, which makes the formation of safeguards against outrage and violence absolutely indispensable. Government is

Since the inequality of men consists simply in point of right, considered simply as creatures, it follows that no one has a right to control another, which the other does not equally possess over him; nor indeed has any one a right to more advantages of any sort in the enjoyment of the external gifts of nature. For instance, no one has any natural or inherent right to more land or more property a necessary evil growing out of the defective of any sort, than another. But now imagine character of man; and the only defence of that

any occurrence to disturb this balance of natural curtailment of natural right implied in the existequities; suppose that of two creatures, one has ence of civil laws, is to be found in the absolute accumulated by his industry more of the boun- necessity of the case. This necessity not only ties of nature than another; it would be an out- defends the interruption of abstract equity allurage upon justice to require him to yield up such ded to; but makes it absolutely just that the portions of the honest proceeds of his labor as curtailment of right should take place. Hence would suffice to restore the absolute equality of we perceive that in the confusion introduced by nature. Again let it be admitted that each man that great disturbing cause, by which civil govhas a perfect natural right to his own services, ernment was made necessary, that it may be aband the proceeds of his own labor; and suppose solutely just to disturb the equities of absolute that by any cause whatever, whether just or un- equality. This fact alone is enough to show that just, another becomes entitled to his services; it the deprivation of natural right involved in slawould be an outrage upon justice to apply the very may be absolutely just; that the absolute abstract truth that each man was entitled to his necessities of society may make such a curtailown services and thus nullify the right of the ment absolutely just and proper. If we consider creditor to the services of the person he has em- man as a creature without regard to any addiployed. These instances illustrate a truth of in- tional idea, it is absolutely wrong to deprive him finite importance in human society, and the value of any right however insignificant; but if we reof which is to be tested yet in the savage gard him as a guilty and fallen being, then the struggle of socialistic infidelity for the mastery deprivation of right may be a just and necessary of the world; and this is that circumstances es- thing. Hence slavery considered as a trespass sentially alter the abstract equities of a state of upon the rights of creatures is a wrong; considnature, and that a maxim abstractly just and true ered as a system prevailing among sinful creamay be made the instrument of outrageous vio-tures, it may be a just and necessary thing. It is lence and wrong, by a vicious and unchastened enough for the defence of the consistency of the application to actual affairs. gospel and the morality of slavery to prove that


it may be just and necessary; whether any partic-ponents of capital punishment is about the exular institution of slavery actually is just and istence of this necessity, and the admission of right, depends upon circumstances. If, there- the necessity settles the question. Thus war is fore, it is a possible thing that slavery may be an outrage upon our simplest ideas of morality; just and necessary in one case, although it may yet circumstances may not only make it proper, not in another, it is not inconsistent in the gospel to but absolutely imperative to wage war; the jeopapprove it in one case, and condemn it in another. ardy of interests high enough to overbalance the Besides, if there be such a thing as a lawful su calamities of war form the necessity that depersedure of abstract rights, by other more forci- mands the unfurling of the pennon. These are ble rights growing up under the laws of soci- instances of the distinction which has obtained ety, it is not inconsistent in the gospel to ap- in the equities of abstract justice, and forms the prove the abstract equality and justice of the basis for the consistency of the gospel in relarights of nature, and at the same time approve the tion to slavery and civil liberty; a distinction just and lawful supersedure of them. The ex- created by society as an organized form of huistence of civil government as an instance of man power and right, and founded upon a desuch a supersedure, is an irrefutable proof that rangement of moral relations by the existence of there is no inconsistency between the precepts sin; while the fact of such a conflict between and the tendencies of the gospel; that it may ap- positive and equitable right, proves the existence prove the rights of man and the theories of re- of some extraordinary cause deranging the genpublicanism, and yet under the operation of cir-eral moral system of this world, and thus testicumstances consistently approve the supersedure fies to the truth of the representations made in of natural right involved both in civil govern- the Bible concerning the existence and effects of ment and in slavery. Christianity may with sin. The grand fact which we learn from this perfect consistency give rules for the regulation general view, is that man may be justly deprived of slavery, considered as a part of a general of the abstract rights of nature.

system of means in managing a revolted world; To ascertain now whether this deprivation of and at the same time make war upon slavery by natural right can be made without the consent of gradually removing the causes which made it the individual, we have only to reflect that the necessary and proper. This is the policy by absolute necessities of society demands that the which it will gradually drive out all forins of social mutual relations of ruler and ruled should be conand civil evil; not by an instant and revolution-sidered as fixed and settled. Society could not ary destruction of them as crimes per se; but by exist for a day, if every individual who conceived gradually renovating the general causes which his rights to be violated by the acts of the legisrendered such violations of abstract justice, not lature, should refuse to obey and hoist the standmerely excusable, but just. ard of rebellion; the very existence of order would call for the suppression of this spirit of sedition. Hence it is that the law of inheritance protects the child in the enjoyment of the prop

The whole argument of the abolitionist, from the theory of freedom, is based upon the supposition, that the system of abstract equity has never been disturbed, and makes no sort of al-erty of the parent, to the exclusion of all others; lowance for the fact that there has been such a and hence all those rights and regulations which dislocation of moral sentiment by the anomalous extend from generation to generation, making state of things in the world, as allows of a con- those distinctions by which one man is born to flict between positive and equitable right. It is poverty and another to influence and wealth. forgotten too that necessity may make that to be That is a totally mistaken interpretation of the lawful, which otherwise would be wrong; a ne theory of freedom, which endangers this great cessity which justifies the existence of govern- fundamental law of society. Not that the stameut, the waging of defensive war, the taking of bility of existing order is to preclude proper atlife in self-defence, and a thousand other things tempts at just reform, or even forbids the right of a similar kind, in which stringency of circum- of the people to revolutionize their government stance completely reverses the claims of justice, when it becomes an instrument of tyranny inand actually converts a violation of law into a stead of a means of protection; the right of the requirement of justice. Thus the taking of hu- people to alter their government is a very differman life, considered apart from circumstances is ent thing from the right of individuals to create wrong; but in self-defence it is right; nothing seditious and insurrectionary disturbances; and but absolute necessity could justify it in society it is equally removed from the right of the masses or an individual: but the undoubted existence of to destroy all existing rights, to extinguish propthis necessity not only justifies, but demands it erty, trample upon the just rights of a minority the only contest between the advocates and op- and blend all the rights and privileges of a naSee Junius' Letters, vol. ii, p. 77. tion into one undistinguishable ruin. It is impos

sible to draw lines of fixed and definite distinc- | meant by the term free by nature, is that considtion between the use and abuse of this great right ered as a creature without reference to any relaof the people; but one thing is certain that gov- tion he sustains, no one has any inherent right ernment is an ordinance of God, the manage- to control him, which does not equally pertain ment of which is committed to the people and to him to exert over the other. But the socialist they are therefore responsible as a nation for the interprets this part of the maxim to mean utter proper use or abuse of their power. The athe- exemption from moral obligation to any law or istic idea that the people are absolute masters of authority, which the individual does not approve government and not merely agents and stewards as good, and voluntarily adınit to be valid; it of one who holds them accountable-would con- even denies the authority of God, unless men found all distinction between the right of revolu- choose to allow it, strips the crown from the tion and the despotism of the masses, and, by brows of Jehovah, and blasphemes him as a kind removing the idea of accountability, give perfect of elective president over a democratic universe. impunity to the impulses of the hungry million, By the term equal, is not meant an actual equality display the glittering treasure of wealth and of title to existing properties, so that the children power unguarded by any moral or physical res- of my neighbor are born with as equitable a traint, and leave society trembling upon a foun- title to my property as my own; equality of right dation shaken by the subterranean thunders of a may exist with the greatest amount of diversity volcano more terrific than the wildest rage of in the objects of possession; and the phrase Etna or Stromboli. Such a volcano is the kind- equal simply means that each one has as good a ling of the Socialistic philosophy; a philosophy right to what is actually his, as any other has to which is as great an outrage upon the sober sense what is his. Nor does the phrase by nature sigof a rational mind, as it is upon the moral sensi- nify that men are actually born with precisely bilities of any but a moral maniac. It springs equal rights; but that as creatures they have equalfrom an absurd and wicked interpretation of the ly commanding rights to what is properly their theory of freedom, whose absurdity and wicked- own. But the socialist interprets the phrase by ness strive for the palm of superiority. In truth, nature equal to mean that his children are justly there are two meanings to the phrase all men entitled to an equal division in the property of all are by nature free and equal, which are as wide as his neighbors, and that their just rights are tramthe poles apart. One regards man as a creature pled upon by those laws which cause the propwithout any regard to any relation he sustains; erty of a parent to descend to his children, to the the other considers him as a member of existing exclusion of all others. He has confounded the society: the one has reference to abstract right; abstract right of all to equal advantages in the the other to the new modifications of right grow-gifts of nature, with the positive right of proping up under the shadow of society. One is the erty growing out of the accumulations with which rule by which all just efforts at social reform are the industry of some or the heritage of others justified as right in principle; the other is the has invested them. The abstract right of man great practical law to check the outbursts of ex- as a creature, must always give way to the positravagance, and make efforts at reform just and tive right of man as a member of society, for the proper by regulating them by the existing rights very sufficient reason, that men are not living in of society as far as is possible. They are the a state of nature, but in a state of society; and centrifugal and centripetal forces of political phi- therefore their rights under positive law are not losophy. The errors of socialism and commu- only more multiplied in number, but more subnism spring from a confusion of these rules, aud stantial in reality, than their rights in the abstract. a violent substitution of the positive by the ab- The mistake of the modern abolitionist is prestract rights of man. In the maxim all are by cisely similar; he insists upon it that the negro nature free and equal, the term free does not mean is born to as equitable a title to his freedom as that man is actually born free from any obliga- the master who owns him; we acknowledge it tion to parental authority or the existing law of in one sense and deny it in another; we agree the land, unless he chooses to assume it. No that considered simply as a creature, his abstract rights are unabated, because he can never be any thing else than a creature; but considered as a member of society his abstract right of selfcontrol has been suspended by a peculiar operation of causes transferring the right to another, and the necessities of the case demand the continuance of this suspension to be applied to the descendants of the party concerned. The following rapid summary of the great principles

one will contend that each individual is entitled by virtue of his natural freedom to nullify the laws of the land; no matter how much he may dislike those laws, he must not rebel and endanger the tranquillity of the State; for the peace of society is of more importance than the mere abstract rights of any individual. All that is

*See Epistle to Romans, xiii: 1-2.

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