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But why did not the apostles preach against the legal relation of slavery, and seek its overthrow in the state? This question is often argued as if the apostles were in the same condition with the clergy of Southern churches, members of republican institutions, law-makers, and possessed of all republican powers to agitate for the repeal of unjust laws.

Contrary to all this, a little reading of the New Testament will show us that the apostles were almost in the condition of outlaws, under a severe and despotic government, whose spirit and laws they reprobated as unchristian, and to which they submitted, just as they exhorted the slave to submit, as to a necessary evil.

Hear the apostle Paul thus enumerating the political privileges incident to the ministry of Christ. Some false teachers had risen in the church at Corinth, and controverted his teachings, asserting that they had greater pretensions to authority in the Christian ministry than he. St. Paul, defending his apostolic position, thus speaks: “Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft. Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day have I been in the deep; in journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren: in weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.”

What enumeration of the hardships of an American slave can more than equal the hardships of the great apostle to the Gentiles? He had nothing to do with laws except to suffer their penalties. They were made and kept in operation without asking him, and the slave did not suffer any more from them than he did.

It would appear that the clergymen of the South, when they imitate the example of Paul, in letting entirely alone the civil relation of the slave, have left wholly out of their account how different is the position of an American clergyman, in a republican government, where he himself helps make and sustain the laws, from the condition of the apostle, under a heathen despotism, with whose laws he could have nothing to do.

It is very proper for an outlawed slave to address to other outlawed slaves exhortations to submit to a government which neither he nor they have any power to alter.

We read, in sermons which clergymen at the South have addressed to slaves, exhortations to submission, and patience, and humility, in their enslaved condition, which would be exceedingly proper in the mouth of an apostle, where he and the slaves were alike fellow-sufferers under a despotism whose laws they could not alter, but which assume quite another character when addressed to the slave by the very men who make the laws that enslave them.

If a man has been waylaid and robbed of all his property, it would be very becoming and proper for his clergyman to endeavor to reconcile him to his condition, as, in some sense, a dispensation of Providence; but if the man who robs him should come to him, and address to him the same exhortations, he certainly will think that that is quite another phase of the matter.

A clergyman of high rank in the church, in a sermon to the negroes, thus addresses them:

Almighty God hath been pleased to make you slaves here, and to give you nothing but labor and poverty in this world, which you are obliged to submit to, as i............
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