xt72fq9q2k10 https://nyx.uky.edu/dips/xt72fq9q2k10/data/mets.xml Van Meter, Benjamin F. (Benjamin Franklin), 1834- 1913  books b92-144-29441735 English Printed by the Bradley & Gilbert Co., : Louisville, Ky. : Contact the Special Collections Research Center for information regarding rights and use of this collection. Slavery United States. Capital. Labor movement United States. Socialism. Dead issue and the live one  / by B.F. Van Meter, Sr. text Dead issue and the live one  / by B.F. Van Meter, Sr. 1913 2002 true xt72fq9q2k10 section xt72fq9q2k10 



DEAD



ISSUE



AND THE



LIVE



ONE



COYRI GHTED,
      BY



B. F. VAN



METER,



LEXINGTON, KENTUCKY










      Printed by
THE BRADLEY  GILBERT CO.
      INCORPORATED
    Louisville, Kentucky
       1 9 1 3



A



SR.

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"We should gather inspiration from this world in which we live,
And discern among its beauties all the meaning God would give.
What though men of deepest learning, versed in sciences and art
Do proclaim a new religion in which Jesus has no part
Human nature, striving, longing, yearning, feeling after God,
Finds its only path of safety where those ancient feet have trod."

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                        PREFACE.
    It would be an all-sufficient reason for writing this book, to
draw the attention of the rising generation and of those who may
follow to the Truth; and thus counteract the erroneous, false, and
harmful impressions which are continually being made by school
teachers and others upon the rising generation. The twaddle and
silly sentiment which is thus used as argument against the institu-
tion of slavery could as well, or better, be used to oppose the
slaughter of beasts or animals, birds and fishes, for the sustenance
of man, and the burdensome labor imposed upon horses and all
domestic animals. God, the Almighty and infinitely wise Creator of
all things, has given man no more authority or right in His Holy
word and Testament for these last named things than he has to pos-
sess and use slaves; and His infinite wisdom is as well displayed in
His provision for the institution of slavery as for food and raiment
or the institution of marriage and all the provisions which He made
for the use and benefit of the human beings which He created as
the crowning act of His creation of this world, that they should have
dominion and control over it and all that is on it and in it. We
are confident that we find abundant testimony in God's Word as
contained in the Old and New Testaments to convince all who ac-
cept this book as inspired and true, that "Bible Slavery" was as
Divinely instituted as any of the other institutions and precepts set
forth in that holy and inspired Word, and besides this and in con-
nection with it, furnish a subject of sufficient magnitude and im-
portance to enlist the most serious and earnest thought, even of
the greatest living Statesmen, and all who have an earnest desire for
the welfare of mankind.
    NOTE-I am indebted to a pamphlet published from two or
three lectures delivered by Rev. Stuart Robinson, D. D., of Louis-
ville, Ky., while sojourning in Canada in 1862-3, and there perhaps
more from necessity than choice while the abominable old unpleas-
antness was raging furiously in this country. He was one of the
most learned and distinguished divines then living. I have drawn
on this pamphlet freely for scripture testimony which he had al-
ready collected in proof of the sentiments and views which I enter-
tain and have expressed in this book.

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               A DEAD ISSUE.


    We may say that the dead have an inalienable right to a cor-
rect epitaph; Justice and Truth demand this, and we believe that
no one at this late day will deny that African slavery as it existed
in America fifty years ago is a dead issue and therefore entitled to
a true and correct history as much for the benefit of future genera-
tions as in justice to the slave-owners who will soon have all gone
the way of this subject proposed for discussion.
    To begin with, I do not propose to discuss this subject with
any person who is not willing to admit that the Bible as contained in
the Old and New Testament is the inspired Word of God and there-
fore true, wise, and righteous; then whatever in regard to this sub-
ject can be made to accord with the inspired Word of God should be
accepted as true and correct, whether it accords with the prejudice
passions, and predilections of the reader or not.
    "Uncle Tom's Cabin" and all such writings have long since
served their purpose and should pass to their reward and receive
their just deserts, while history should be just, true, frank and
honest. To make anything to stand the test and storms of time a
firm foundation is needed and "How firm a foundation for saints of
the Lord" can be found by searching in God's Holy Word; then let
us find what is the "thus saith the Lord" in regard to this subject
and abide by that, whatever it may be. To do this, if need be, we
can go back to the days of Noah, soon after he came out of the Ark
and learn what this prophet of God said in Genesis. First, let us
see what is said of Noah in the 6: 9, 10. "Noah was a just man, and
perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God. And Noah
begat three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth." Then further on (9:22)
"And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father,
and told his two brothers without." And then the 24th verse:
"And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son
had done unto him. And he said of Canaan, 'a servant of servants
shall he be unto his brethren.'" 26th: "And he said, 'Blessed be
the Lord God of Shem, and Canaan shall be his servant.'" 27th
verse: "God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents
of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant."
    Now, here in the prophesy of Noah, we see that it was the pur-
pose of God revealed at the very origin of the present race of men



7

 


that one portion of the race should be doomed to servitude; and that
portion, as we shall see further on, are from those of heathenish de-
gradation and devil-worship.
    What is claimed from Noah's prophesy is that this purpose of
God revealed at the very origin of the present human race furnishes
a clue to the interpretation of the subsequent revelations of His will
both in His Word and in the history of His providence as revealed
in His Holy Word. And then in Genesis 12: 16 we find these
words: "And he (Pharoah) entreated Abram well for her (Sarah's)
sake, and he (Abram) had sheep and oxen, and he-asses, and men-
servants, and maid-servants, and she-asses, and camels." So this
Abraham, a large slave-owner, was chosen by Jehovah for the earth-
ly head of his Church, and God made a covenant with this slave-
owner. In the 20: 14, "Abimeleck took sheep and oxen, and men-
servants, and women-servants and gave them unto Abraham." We
find in the 14: 14: "And when Abraham heard that his brother
was taken captive he armed his trained servants born in his own
house, three hundred and eighteen, and pursued them unto Dan."
Then again read in the 24: 34, 35: "And he said, I am Abraham's
servant, and the Lord hath blessed my master greatly and he has
become great, and He hath given him flocks and herds and silver
and gold, and men-servants, and maid-servants, and camels, and
asses." And if you will read all of this chapter you can but be
convinced, if you are not already, that Abraham, this greatly favor-
ed man of God, was a large slave-owner. It is just as true of Job,
as we see from Job 1: 15, 16, 17. "And the Sabeans fell upon them
and took them away; yea they have slain the servants with the edge
of the sword and I only am escaped alone to tell thee" While he
was yet speaking there came also another and said, "the fire of God is
fallen from Heaven and hath burned up the sheep and servants and
consumed them, and I only am escaped alone to tell thee." While yet
speaking there came another also, and said, "The Chaldeans made
out three bands and fell upon the camels and have carried them away,
yea, and slain the servants with the edge of his sword, and I only
am escaped alone to tell thee." And then when Job was in the depths
of his afflictions, see the 31: 13: "If I did despise the cause of my
man-servant or maid-servant when they contended with me." With-
out producing any further testimony there can be no more doubt of
Job's having been an extensive slave-owner than there is of Abra-
ham; and after Job's affliction when he returned again to prosperity
and affluence he owned more slaves than he had owned before, as
see 42: 10. "And the Lord turned the captivity of Job when he



8

 


prayed for his friends; also the Lord gave Job twice as much as he
had before."
    But to return to Abraham, when the fullness of time has come
and by the Divine legation of Moses, this family of Abraham is to
be organized fully as a visible Church and also as a Nation, to whom
has been assigned in the Abrahamic Covenant, the Land of Canaan
as an inheritance; another Covenant of redemption with its sacra-
mental seal as the former. The Passover ordinance is entered into
with a Church composed of masters with their slaves in the land of
Egypt as, see Ex. 12: 43, 44, 45. That such were the constituent
elements of the Church at this time is mainfest from the terms of
the law.-"This is the ordinance of the passover; There shall no
stranger eat thereof, a foreigner and a hired servant shall not eat
thereof, but everp man's servant that is bought for monep, when
thou hast circumcised him, then shall he eat thereof." This Holy
ordinance is given to the Church as a Church through its recog-
nized leaders, the elders.
    Thus we find that the relation of master and slave was sanc-
tioned in the Church of God as such, and not merely as a civil
institution, even before the law given by Moses; and this is certainly
very strong testimony to begin with against all theories of the sin-
fulness of slavery. When the Church of God, prepared with great
solemnity by a council of its elders, stood before Mount Sinai to
hear directly the very voice of her Lord and heard utter the great
Covenant of the law, two of the precepts of the law recognized the
propriety of the relation of master and slave within the Church
itself. In the fourth commandment masters are required to see to it
that their slaves shall keep holy the Sabbath as well as themselves
and children. In the tenth commandment, forbidding even unlaw-
ful desires of another's property, slaves are enumerated among the
representative articles of property which men shall not covet, thus,
"Nor his man-servant, nor his maid-servant, nor his ox, nor his ass,
nor anything that is thy neighbor's," here recognizing slaves as
legitimately the property of the master, as much so as his money or
any of his possessions; and these ten commandments were written
by the finger of Almighty God upon tables of stone and given as a
foundation for the Mosaic Law. Who dare say to the Almighty,
"Why, or what, doest Thou" If it seems that unnecessary care
has been taken to establish this conclusion we have only to reflect on
the important bearing it must have on the interpretation of the civil
code of Moses and its no less important bearing upon the interpre-
tation of the New Testament teaching concerning slavery.



9

 


    Moses found perpetual slavery already established among the
Hebrews, just as certainly as the Statesmen who framed the Con-
stitution of Virginia and South Carolina after the American Revolu-
tion found slavery already established among the people of those
States, and it is scarcely conceivable how language could more ex-
plicitly set forth the idea of permanent servitude as a part of the
social system in the Hebrew Commonwealth, and remember these
were God's chosen people. "Both thy bondmen and bondmaids
shall be of the heathen-of them shall ye buy bondmen and bond-
maids, and they shall be your possession, and ye shall take them
as an inheritance for your children after you to inherit them for
a possession."
    Now, if you will compare the old slave codes of the former slave
States of this Union you will find that the fundamental principles
of the two are almost identical. But in some material points the
slave code of the American Southern States were more restrictive
of the principles of slavery and the power of the master than the
Mosaic code, the Roman code of Justinian, which develops the law
of slavery as it existed at the time that Christ was on earth and of
the apostles, and after that time.
    The Mosaic code protected the slave as a person just as the
codes of all the Southern States did. The wilful murder of a slave
under both the ancient and the modern codes was punished just as
any other murder (See Lev. 24: 17.) "He that killeth any man shall
surely be put to death," and (See Ex. 21: 20)  "If he (the slave)
die under his hand he (the master) shall be punished."
    In order to protect the slave from cruel usage the Mosaic law
provided that in case of more than ordinary punishment, amounting
to cruelty, as the loss of an eye or a tooth from a blow of the mas-
ter, the slave should go free. In the American as in the Justinian
code it was provided in such case the slave should be taken from the
cruel master and sold to one more merciful, and cruelty to a slave
in America was an indictable offense.
    But to return again to the Mosaic law, the holding of slaves
under the civil law was not deemed inconsistent with the highest
of obligations of religion, and the holiness symbolized in the ritual
law is manifest from the fact that when thirty-two thousand captive
slaves were taken with other spoils from Midian (See Num. 31: 28)
Moses, by special command of Jehovah, took three hundred and
fifty-two of the "persons" and turned them over to Eliezer the
High Priest, as the Lord's Tribute; and then the further fact
that the Priests were assumed to be slave-holders, as appears from
Lev. 22: 10, 11, where it is said of the Priest's portion of the sacri-



10

 


ficial victim, "No stranger shall eat of the holy thing, a sojourner
of the priest, or an hired servant shall not eat of the holy things
but if the priest bup anp soul with his money he shall eat of it,
and he that is born in his house they shall eat of this meat."
    We have now briefly, but we think very conclusively, traced the
existence of slavery under the Abrahamic Covenant, the Mosaic
laws, and by Divine prophesy even before Abraham and the
Mosaic constitution and laws, and then by God's command ("Get,
ye your slaves from among the heathen"). And by a little search
into Roman and Grecian history we are easily convinced that at the
time of Jesus Christ's personal ministry upon the earth, slavery ex-
isted throughout the civilized world. Classical scholars compute
the number of slaves in the Roman Empire alone, at that time, at
sixty millions. The historian, Gibbon, after describing the condition
and character of slavery in the Empire, speaks thus of their number
(see "Gibbon Decline and Fall," Vol. 1, page 53), "After weighing
with attention every circumstance which could influence the balance
it seems probable that there existed in the time of the Emperor
Claudius about one hundred and twenty millions of persons. The
slaves were at least equal in number to the free inhabitants of Rome
and besides these the Grecians held about the same proportion of
slaves." We should bear in mind that quite a large majority of
these slaves were of the degraded barbarian, which was in accord
with the decrees of God; but a comparative few were Jews which
had been captives in war and held as slaves contrary to the law of
God.
    We find then when Christ's ministry on earth began He found
slavery an institution fixed and established, as much so as that of
marriage-husband and wife. He did modify the latter by a restric-
tion to one wife at any one time, and a prohibition of divorce; but
made no change in regard to the institution of slavery, simply en-
joining the duties of the slave to the master and of the master to the
slave as such. Now, all believers in the Messiahship of Christ
must admit that He did denounce sin and wickedness wherever and
whenever He found it during His sojourn upon the earth. A case
of slavery came before Him in one of the first of His recorded mir-
acles. (See Matt. 8: 6, and Luke 7: 2.) A Roman Centurion appeals
to Him to save the life of a highly valued slave. (Luke calls him
Doulos.) Jesus healed the slave and pronounced the master a hero
of faith beyond and yet met with in Israel. What an excellent op-
portunity this would have been for our Lord and Master to rebuke
the master and denounce slavery if it had been obnoxious to his
views and principles; on the contrary slavery is left throughout the



11

 


New Testament just as it was found in the Old Testament. Our
Lord manifestly uses the language of a slave-holding people and
alludes to the existence of such a relation as master and slave as a
fact familiar to His hearers. Particularly in His parables does He
borrow for the illustration of Divine Truth, as a thing perfectly
familiar to the people, the doings and sayings of masters and slaves.
For instance, the parable of the talents (Matt. 25: 14-30) in which
some of the peculiar features of Roman slavery are distinctly
brought out. And others might be sighted, yet in no one of them
does He utter a word of condemnation or disapproval of slavery
as it then existed throughout the civilized world. And African
slavery as it existed for hundreds of years before 1860, in the South-
ern States of America, was in accord with the Roman system; and
whenever different it was in favor of the slave as to amelioration
and kindness and as to his elevation in the scale of civilization and
religion. But it was said by the fanatical Abolition philanthropists,
for years before, and during and after that cruel, bloodp, and utterlp
unnecessarp Civil War, that though Jesus Christ pronounced no
specific rebuke of the relation of master and slave yet He uttered
the great law of Love, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all
thy heart, etc., etc., and thy neighbor as thyself." It is curious
enough how people with a Bible at hand could quote this as an ori-
ginal saying of Jesus and intended as a "higher law" to supersede
the ancient ethical law of the Church as revealed in the Old Testa-
ment by Moses, or rather by Jehovah through Moses, and when it
had been thrice repeated by Moses (See Deut. 6: 5, 10, 12,-30: 6).
More than this, Jesus expressly tells them that the law and the
Prophets teach this great truth, and this great law of God was
promulgated first by Jehovah through Moses, his vicegerent, to
God's own chosen people, a slave-owning people. And anyone who
has ever owned slaves can know and realize that there is nothing
at all incompatible in a slave-owner's complying with this law any
more than one who never owned a slave. If he is a loyal citizen
of a Kingdom he can love his King as a King, his slave as his slave,
and his neighbor as himself by the grace of God in his soul.
    This Dead Issue having been briefly discussed, but we hope
clearly and distinctly set forth from the time that Noah left the Ark,
through the Abrahamic, Mosaic, and the Jewish periods of God's
people and the Church and the civilized world, we come now to
the time of the reorganization of the Jewish Church as a Church of
all nations through Christ's Apostles under the dispensation of the
Holy Spirit. Beyond question or doubt wherever the Apostles
went throughout the Roman Empire preaching the Gospel and



12

 


planting Christian churches they found slavery existing by the
Roman laws, as has been already alluded to. And into this New
Testament Church, just as into the Abrahamic and Mosaic Church,
slave-holders and their slaves were admitted as its constituent ele-
ments; and this continued the same throughout the Southern States
of this Union when I was a lad, and my father and my mother and
my grandmother and the older brothers and sisters of the family
were members of the same old Winchester, Ky., Church with the
old carriage driver, Riddle, who had his place in the gallery with
scores of other slaves, and after the sacramental elements had been
dispensed on the lower floor they were taken without fail to the
gallery to be received in the same manner by the faithful Christian
slaves.
    In 1st Timothy, 6: 1, 2, we find these words: "Let as many
servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all
honor, that the name of God and His doctrine be not blasphemed
and they that have believing masters let them not despise them be-
cause they are brethren, but rather do them service, because they
are faithful and beloved partakers of the benefit. These things
teach and exhort." In 1st Cor. 7: 20, 21: "Let every man abide in
the same calling wherein he was called. Art thou called being a
slave Care not for it; but if thou mayest be made free use it
rather." Now, all this inspired testimony above quoted is from
Paul, the Apostle of Christ, more especially than the other eleven
as a minister to the Gentiles which included the heathen. Again,
take the entire epistle of Paul to Philemon, which is only one chap-
ter containing twenty-five verses, and nearly all of it about a run-
away slave named Onesimus whom Paul had captured and by the
power of the Holy Spirit made a Christian man. See how he ad-
dresses this slave-owner: "Paul, a prisoner of Jesus Christ, unto
Philemon, our dearly beloved and fellow laborer." And the entire
epistle goes to show that the master as well as the slave was num-
bered among Paul's converts and furthermore it is plain that Paul
would have liked right well to have retained Onesimus as a body-
servant, but knew he had no right to him and therefore sent him
home to his master as a bearer of this epistle; and in the 10th and
11th verses he says, "I beseech thee, for my son Onesimus whom I
have begotten (converted) in my bonds, which in time past was
to thee unprofitable (when he ran away), but now profitable to thee
and to me." And this entire epistle fails to show the least antipathy
on the part of this inspired Apostle to the institution of slavery; on
the contrary, in' his pastoral epistles instructing young ministers in
their duties, he enjoins upon them specifically to teach slaves to



13

 



be faithful and obedient to their masters. Thus in the instruction
to Titus (See 2: 8-10): "Exhort slaves to be obedient to their own
masters and to please them well in all things, that they may adorn
the doctrine of God our Savior." See how very similar this is to
the admonition given by inspiration to husbands and wives: "Hus-
bands, love your wives, etc."; and "wives, be obedient to your own
husbands, etc." (as see 1st Peter 3: 1-7); and in other parts of the
Bible, both Old and New Testament, we find the relation of hus-
band and wife referred to and the institution of marriage in a very
strikingly similar manner to that of the institution of slavery.
    Paul, in the Epistle addressed to the "Saints which are at
Ephesus, and the faithful in Christ Jesus," after specific directions
to husbands and wives, parents and children, precisely in the same
manner addresses specific directions to masters and slaves without
one word to distinguish this last named relation as ethically less
proper than either of the others.
    So we see that we must seek elsewhere than in the Word of
God, as contained in the Old and New Testament, for a just cause
for the abolition of this institution of slavery. You may search the
Scriptures from the first chapter of Genesis to the last line of Reve-
lation, and by no fair and candid interpretation can you find any more
condemnation of this institution of slavery than you can find of
the institution of marriage and the family relation, or, any other
of God's ordained or authorized institutions.
    The Queen cf Sheba owned at least one slave in her day which
I doubt if Solomon in all his glory had money enough to buy -the
man riding in the chariot whom Philip was sent by Divine guidance
to talk to on the subject of religion, and who was converted and
baptized and sent on his way rejoicing. She had more need of that
man than she had for gold or silver. There is no doubt but he was
reliable, faithful, discrete, and in every respect trustworthy, and
possessed extraordinary capacity. Then how could she spare him
But besides all this she loved him as her choicest slave and he
loved her as his own dear mistress. Now this is something that
the person who has never owned a slave knows nothing and has
no just conception of, and never can have.
    An occurrence took place when I was quite a young man and
soon after I was married. My father had died and left me executor
of his estate, which comprised with other property some thirty or
forty slaves of all ages and both sexes. But after my older brothers
and sister had received the older and more experienced and com-
petent servants for their portions-leaving not one who was com-
petent to cut and fit clothing for the servants and such like things,



14

 



so that my wife was compelled to cut and fit clothing until she
raised quite severe bumps and painful knots on her wrist and thumb
from severe labor with the shears. By inquiring around the neigh-
borhood I found and hired a young woman named Rachael, who be-
longed to a young lady who was quite an intimate friend of my
wife. Rachel proved to be an excellent cutter and fitter, and trust-
worthy and valuable servant for any branch of housekeeping. My
wife's father had given her two girls, one about seventeen and the
other fourteen years old, and her uncle had made her a bridal pres-
ent of a girl about fourteen years of age, and my father's estate
contained a full supply of "green," gawky servants, but not one
competent to fill the place of Rachael. Not long after I had hired
this woman, my wife and I went over to visit her parents, when, of
course, she displayed the bumps on her wrist and thumb and told
of what a relief I had given her by hiring Rachael and what a treas-
ure she was. When we started to return home her father went to
his secretary drawer and brought out a roll of bills amounting to
1500 and said to me, "Take this and buy Amelia the best girl you
can find to fill the place of the one you have hired. If this is not
sufficient add a few hundred to it, but I think this should get a good
one." My first thought was to try to buy Rachael, although I had
very little hope of success. I lost very little time in seeing Miss
Mag (her mistress). She was not quite of sufficient age to give
a legal title to the girl, but I knew no title could be had without her
consent; so as affably and tenderly as I could I broached my subject
and finally let her know that I was really anxious to buy Rachael,
when she very promptly replied, "Rachael is not for sale." "Oh,"
I said, "I knew you did not care to sell her, but I thought possibly
if I promised to take good care of her as you can, you might consent
to part with her, and I will give you 1500 for her." Then the tears of
indignation began to show in her eyes, she turned and looked me full
in the face, and replied: "You have not money enough to buy her.
I would not sell her for money." Then I found that I had carried
that matter as far as it would bear, so I said, "Well if I owned her
I suppose I would talk just like you do," and quickly turned the
conversation to something more pleasant.
    It is plainly seen from God's Word that it is His will that His
people, those who know and worship Him, should enslave and own
those who know not God and are living in heathenish degradation
and barbarism as the African negroes were when they were brought
to America and sold as slaves. They were running naked or with
only breech-clouts on and living on the spontaneous production of
the earth and, for an occasional extra meal, eating each other. But



15

 


snakes alnd lizards and wild fruits were their principal diet and they
were utterly ignorant of God, their Creator, and living only a few
degrees above the brute. It appears that any person who is not
unreasonably prejudiced against slavery would realize at once that
it was a great blessing to the negro to be brought from the jungles
of Africa, and their degradation and devil-worship, to civilization
and Christian influence in accordance with God's plan, to teach
them the practical truth of Scripture which says, "By the sweat of
thy face shalt thou eat thy bread."
    It is plain to be seen that the command of God to "Get ye your
slaves from among the heathen" referred to that class of human
beings who were in such a low state of degradation that they re-
quired a process of elevation to capacitate them to comprehend the
truth of God as their Creator and the Creator of all things, and on
up to the Messiahship of Christ. There are many nations and
people such as the Chinese, Coreqns, and many tribes in, India
(and less than 100 years ago the Japanese), who are classed as
heathen, but all of these had more or less some just conception of
the immortality of the soul and a future life, and there is very little
doubt that all of these as well as the American Indian descended
from Japheth, and some of them a combination of Shem and Japheth.
There is no doubt but the African negro descended from. Ham. And
there is very little doubt that the Esquimo descended from a combi-
nation of Ham and Japheth and are originally from the lowest grade
of humanity. And from these, by God's command, the slaves were
to be taken.
    This was a plan of infinite wisdom to put these human beings
through a practical process of uplifting and elevation which would
result in their capacity to comprehend the truths of God's word
and their final civilization in the most practical, if not the only
practical way for any considerable success, and the former African
slaves of America are a convincing proof of this statement.
    Whenever man undertakes to make improvement on God's
plan about anything, if he would only take a second sober thought
he should know that he is certain to make a botch of it, if he does
not do more and make a disaster. He will make a great blunder if
he does not commit a crime. One of Satan's successful strategies,
ever since he prevailed on our first mother, Eve, to disregard God's
law and undertake to improve upon His plans, has been to allure
mankind to try to fix up something better than God's way; and of
course it has always been and always will be not only a failure but
a crime, and nearly certainly a disaster. Our Lord and Master
illustrated this Satanic strategy as He only could do, by his parable



116

 


of the tares, as (See Matt. 13: 25): "But while men slept an enemy
came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way." In
30th verse: "Let them grow together until the harvest." The devil
never sowed tares in any political field which did more damage and
inflicted a greater curse upon the human race than he did in regard
to slavery. He planted a heavy crop in Scotland and England and
Wales and in the Northern and Western States of this Union, while
the Southern States who owned the slaves slept and basked in their
imagined security, knowing that they had purchased their stock of
slaves from English and Dutch and New England slave vessels.
King George I, and Queen Ann, and perhaps other crowned heads,
sanctioned and fostered this traffic in slaves and made profit in this
commercial deal and the older Northern States had done the same
thing. The laws of all the slave-holding States and the fundamental
laws of the Union (the Constitution of the United States) all
recognized and protected this property-right in slaves as thoroughly
as it did land titles, or money, or any kind of personalty.
    The slaves as a mass, and with rare exceptions, were loyal to
their owners. Large numbers of them had descended for many
generations with the same family. The great, great grandfather,
or even further back than that, of the present owner, had purchased
the slaves, ancestors of some Dutch or English or other slave-trad-
ing vessel, with perhaps no clothing on except a breech-clout, and
their language of the most crude and unsatisfactory kind, while
their mental and moral condition was only a few degrees above the
brute creation. They had been brought from the jungles of Africa
where they had subsisted on fish and lizards and the spontaneous
production of that land. They had certain