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CP The following pages were handed the publisher some weeks ago,-absence from town prevented their immediate publication. Though confided to the publisher's discretion, it is believed their being made public will be satisfactory to the reader.
A number of publications have recently been sent to this place, and to other places at the South, by some of the Abolition Associations at the North, for the purpose of distribution. One of these papers was placed in my hands by a person to whom it was directed—and though it has since been returned to the quarter from whence it came, yet I deem it not improper to make a few remarks upon the subject to which it related; especially as all those with whom I am associated in life, have in this subject an important interest. It seems somewhat extraor. dinary, that any set of rational men, in this enlightened age, should be so regardless of the ordinary courtesies of life, as to desire to interrupt the harmony and quiet of an unoffending people, who are legally pur. nsing their own business, within their own limits, without any disposi. tion to interfere with the organization of society in any other section of country but their own. There certainly seems very little in the con. duct of the Abolition Societies at the North, to recommend them to the favorable regard of the inhabitants of this quarter. They seem to speak and to act, as though they imagined, that an entire revolution in the state of society here, would be a matter of but little consequence,
if such an event could be brought about through their instrumentality. They speak of slavery as a system of iniquity, at variance with the revealed will of God, and a continued violation of his moral law-they denounce it as a practical denial of the declaration, that God made of one blood, all the inhabitants of the world, and as a disregard of the rules prescribed for the intercourse of men with one another. In utter disregard of the principle that the regulation of slavery belongs exclu. sively to those amongst whom it exists, these officious intermeddlers take upon themselves to pronounce it an evil of serious magnitude, and then assume to themselves a right to remove it, either with, or without the consent of those whose interests are to be affected by their proceed. ings; and they pursue their object in violation of the ordinary maxims of moderation or prudence.
Whatever may be the circumstances connected with slavery—that it is neither a violation of the moral law, nor at variance with the reveal. ed will of God, appears ta ma capable of demonstration ; and in support
of this opinion I take the liberty of submitting the following remarks. I will, on all hands, no doubt be agreed, that the Bible alone contains the revealed will of God—that we are to look in that Holy Book for the moral law. I will therefore take the liberty of enquiring how far slavery receives the sanction of this high authority; for beyond the support it receives from this, it would be needless to attempt to vindicate or defend it.
In an enquiry into the origin of slavery, I should not be inclined to go farther back in the history of the world, than to the interesting period when, on the subsiding of the waters of the Deluge, the Ark of Noah rested upon the mountains of Ararat. From that time, the moral characters of those who had been miraculously preserved from the general destruction of the human race, began gradually to be developed, and a foundation was thus laid for the diversified orders of society, which the subsequent peopling of the world has presented.
At an eventful period in the life of Noah, some years after the flood, we find that Patriarch, who had long been a preacher of righteousness, uttering in the language of prophetic inspiration, the following predic. tion in relation to the future condition of his family : 66 Cursed be Canaan, a servant of servants shall he be to his brethren—and he said Blessed be the Lord God of Shem, and Canaan shall be his servant. God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.” By this prophetical denunciation the inheritance of Canaan was servilude_" a servant of servants shall he be"—to the most degraded species of servitude was he subjected. The blessing of God, and the blessings of freedom were pronounced upon Shem and Japheth, and to each of them Canaan was inevitably doomed to be a servant. Here, then, when there was but a single family upon earth, the inheritance of slavery was entailed upon one branch of it. And though “God made of one blood all the nations of the earth,” or though, rather, all nations proceeded from one family, yet it is clearly and undeniably evident, that from this period God did not direct that one condition should be the portion of all. For the blessings of freedom were secured beyond the possibility of change to two branches of the family--the condition of slavery was unalterably the portion of another. That the prediction of Noain was uttered under the influence of the spirit of inspiration that it looked to the dispersion and subsequent circumstances of his family, is not, as far as I know, questioned by any one-his language was that of prophesya prophesy which was certainly to be fulfilled, and which has been thus far demonstrably accomplished. Whatever difficulties there may be in this portion of scripture, the prophesy or prediction, with regard to the different conditions of the three branches of Noah's family, is
clear and explicit. From Noah's family the world has been peopledfrom the branch of it whose inheritance was slavery, were devended the nations the Israelites were commanded to destroy, and the African
The general state and condition of the descendants of Canaan, being foretold by the spirit of inspiration, when there was but a single family upon earth, and when there could be no error as to whom the prediction applied, could not have been changed or altered : the pro. phesy must have been fulfilled, and the aspect of the world at the present day bears testimony to its truth : and however the condition of those who were thus doomed to servitude may be meliorated by the mild discipline and brotherly love which the Gospel is intended to in. troduce, there is no absolute certainty that to the prediction itself, with all its consequences, there is any limitation.
Many years after the prophesy of Noah, and when the children of men had greatly increased in numbers and wickedness, it pleased God, in the exercise of his sovereign will, to call Abraham from “ his associates in idolatry,” that he might make of him “a great nation," and that 6 in him all the families of the earth should be blessed." And he was pleased to make a covenant with Abraham, and to ratify it by a singular and sealing ordinance, which he and his posterity must “observe as a pledge and mark of their being the worshippers and servants of Jehovah." In giving directions in relation to the administration of this ordinance, a distinction was made by the Almighty himself, between the descendants of the favored branches of Noah's family who were the ancestors of Abraham, and those of the branch doomed to servi. tude by the prophesy before noticed. The distinction is that made between the children of Abraham, born in his house, and those bought with money who were not of his seed.” All the male children of Abraham's family, born in his house, or bought with his money, says the 13th verse of the 17th chapter of Genesis, must needs be circum. cised, and the covenant was to be in their flesh, “ for an everlasting covenant :” and in conformity with this direction, we are informed in the 24th and 27th verses of the same chapter, that in the same day Abraham was circumcised and his son Ishmael, and all the men of his house, born in the house, “and bought with money of the stranger." The command given by God himself to Abraham on this subject, and the obedience rendered to it evidence clearly that it was then customary, as it had no doubt been long before, for servants to be purchased with money—they were then bought and sold as they are at this day. When the Almighty called Abraham to become the father of the faithful, and the head of his Church, he would have required him to relinquish his controul over the servants he had purchased, if his owning or possessing them as properly, had been contrary to the divine will,