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for though a partial compensation for their loss was granted to the West Indian slave-owners, they were forced to give up their slaves notoriously against their will.

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It is true that the Old Testament distinctly recognizes Slavery as a Hebrew institution. It is also true that the New Testament speaks of Slavery in several passages, and does not condemn it. But before we draw the conclusion that Slavery is a divine institution established by God for all time, we must consider what was the object of God's dealings with Man recorded in the Bible. If it was to put human society at once in a state of perfection, without further effort, political, social or intellectual, on the part of Man, the inference is irresistible that every institution enjoined in the Bible is part of a perfect scheme, and that every institution mentioned in the Bible without condemnation will be lawful to the end of time. But if the object was to implant in man's heart a principle, viz. the love of God and Man, which should move him to work (God also working in him) for the improvement of his own state and that of his fellows, and for the transforming of his and their life into the image of their Maker; in this case, it will by no means follow that any social institution recognized in Scripture for the time being, or mentioned by it without condemnation, is forever good or lawful in the sight of God. And that this, not the other, was the real object is matter of hourly experience; for man labors till now to improve his state and that of his fellows; and his conscience, which is the voice of God, tells him that he does well. y

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* S AMERICAN SLAVERY 2 7 * { To say that the Bible has nothing to do with politics or ..) science, is a bad way of escaping from a difficulty of our own s creating. The Bible has much to do with politics and sci

ence, and with everything that enters, as all parts of our social and intellectual state do enter, into the moral life of man. But it does not suddenly reveal political and scientific truth without calling for any effort on the part of man himself to attain them; because such a revelation, instead of promoting, would have defeated the end for which, as the voice of our free moral nature assures us, the world was made. It implants in man the principle which leads him to good action of every kind. The love of God and Man, moving to disinterested efforts for the good of the community, is the source of all political improvement, at least of all that is real and lasting. And the same affection moves the high and selfdevoted labors which have led to the discovery of scientifie

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ka * and philosophic truth. And thus in its onward progress hu§ S v man nature is by the very condition of that progress changed o g into the likeness of its Maker. Why God should choose J. “ sgradual improvement rather than immediate perfection, this Jo is not the place to inquire. That He does so, appears from

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o the history not only of the moral, but of the physical world. ** The Bible recognizes Progress. The New Testament says of the Old Testament that Moses gave the Jews certain things for the hardness of their hearts; not, of course, for their wickedness, to which God would not bend His law, but for their rude and uncivilized state. And not merely for their rudeness and want of civilization, but for the primitive narrowness of the circle of their affections; for it is only in the course of history, and with the increasing range of man's social vision, that his affection extends from the primeval family to the tribe, from the tribe to the nation, and from the nation to mankind. And as to the New Testament itself, it breathes in every page boundless hope for the future, together with the charity which is the source of social effort, and with



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the faith which carries each man beyond the sensual objects of his own short life. And it closes with that splendid vision of the consummation of all Christian effort in the perfect reign of God on earth, from which folly attempts to cast, like an astrologer, the horoscope of nations; but which is in truth the last voice of Christianity, as it passes from the hands of the Apostles and commits itself to the dark and dangerous tide of human affairs, breaking forth in the assurance of final victory.

The true spiritual life of the world commenced in the Chosen People. He who denies this would seem to deny, not a theory of Inspiration, but a great and manifest fact of history. But the spiritual life commenced under an earthly mould of national life similar in all respects, political, social, and literary, to those of other races. The Jewish nation, in short, was a nation, not a miracle. Had it been a miracle, it might have shown forth the power of God, like the stars in heaven, but it would have been nothing to the rest of mankind, nor could its spiritual life have helped to awaken theirs.”

This commencement of the spiritual life was marked by the appearance (1.) of a Cosmogony which, unlike those of heathen nations, gave a true account of the origin of the world and of Man, and a true account of the relations between Man and his Creator; (2) of a series of histories written on a moral and religious principle, and still unrivalled among historical writings for the steadiness with which this, the true key to history, is kept in view; (3.) of a body of religious literature, in the shape of hymns, reflections, preachings, apologues, which, though not Christian, and therefore not to be indiscriminately used by Christians, was wholly unapproached among the heathen ; (4.) of a Code of Laws the beneficence of which is equally unapproached by any code, and least of all by any Oriental code, not produced under the influence of Christianity.

* See the author's work on Rational Religion, p. 50.

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This code of laws takes the rude institutions of a primitive
nation, including Slavery, as they stand, not changing society
by miracle, which, as has been said before, seems to have
been no part of the purposes of God. But while it takes
these institutions as they stand, it does not perpetuate them,
but reforms them, mitigates them, and lays on them restric-
tions tending to their gradual abolition. Much less does it
introduce any barbarous institution or custom for the first
To show that this principle is not invented for the case of
Slavery, we will try to verify it in some other cases first. It
will be the more worth while to do this, because if the prin-
ciple be sound, it may help to relieve the distress caused by
doubts as to the morality of the Old Testament on other
points as well as on the question now in issue. It may do
this at a less expense than that of supposing the existence of
two different Moralities, one for God, the other for Man, and
thus making Man worship what to his mind must be an
immoral God.
... In times before the reign of Law, justice was done on the
murderer by the nearest kinsman of the murdered as Avenger
of Blood. Such justice was a degree better than no justice;
and a custom which assigned the sacred duty of revenge to a
particular person, instead of leaving it to any chance hand,
was the first step towards the appointment of a regular magis-
trate. This institution seems to have been universal among
primitive tribes. A relic of it lingered in the law of this
country till the reign of George III., when Wager of Battle
having been demanded in a case of murder by the nearest of
kin against the murderer, as a common-law right, the demand
was with difficulty evaded.
The law of Moses, accordingly, recognizes the Avenger of
Blood (Numb. xxxv., &c.).
But the custom was liable to great abuses, which were apt

to make it a step backwards instead of forwards in morality

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