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CHRISTIAN MORALITY IMPRACTICABLE IN FREE SO
CIETY_BUT THE NATURAL MORALITY OF SLAVE SOCIETY.
It is strange that theories, self-evidently true so soon as suggested, remain undiscovered for centuries. What more evident, obvious, and axiomatic, than that equals must from necessity be rivals, antagonists, competitors, and enemies. Self-preservation, the first law of human and animal nature, makes this selfish course of action essential to preserve existence. It is almost equally obvious, that in the natural, social, or family state, unselfishness, or the preference of others' good and happiness, is the dictate of nature and policy. Nature impels the father and husband to self-abnegation and selfdenial to promote the happiness of wife and children, because his reflected enjoyments will be a thousand times greater than any direct pleasure he can derive by stinting or maltreating them. Their misery and their complaints do much more to render him wretched than what he has denied them can compensate for. Wife and children, too, see and feel that in denying themselves and promoting the happiness of the head of the family, they pursue true policy, and are most sensibly selfish when they seem most unselfish. Especially, however, is it true with slaves and masters, that to “do as they would be done by” is mutually beneficial. Good treatment and proper discipline renders the slave happier, healthier, more valuable, grateful, and contented. Obedience, industry and loyalty on the part of the slave, increases the master's ability and disposition to protect and take care of him. The interests of all the members of a natural family, slaves included, are identical. Selfishness finds no place, because nature, common feelings and selfinterest dictate to all that it is their true interest “ to love their neighbor as themselves," and “to do as they would be done by,”—at least, within the precincts of the family. To throw off into the world wife, children, and slaves, would injure, not benefit them. To neglect to punish children or slaves when they deserved it, would not be to do as we would be done by. Such punishment is generally the highest reach of self-abnegation and selfcontrol. 'Tis easy and agreeable to be indulgent and remiss—hard to exact and enforce duty. Severe disciplinarians are the best officers, teachers, parents, and masters, and most revered and loved by their subordinates. They sacrifice their time and their feelings to duty, and for the ultimate good of others. Easy, lax, indulgent men are generally selfish and sensual, and justly forfeit the respect and affection of those whom they neglect to punish, because to do so would disturb their Epicurean repose. Christian morality is neither difficult nor unnatural where dependent, family, and slave relations exist, and Christian morality was preached and only intended for such.
The whole moralé of free society is, “ Every man, woman and child for himself and herself.” Slavery in every form must be abolished. Wives must have distinct, separate, and therefore antagonistic and conflicting interests from their husbands, and children must as soon as possible be remitted to the rights of manhood. Is it not passing strange, wonderful, that such men as Channing and Wayland did not see that their world of universal liberty was a world of universal selfishness, discord, competition, rivalry, and war of the wits. Hobbes did see it, and supposing there was no other world, said “a state of nature was a state of war." But the family, including slaves, which the Abolitionists would destroy, has been almost universal, and is therefore natural. Christian morality is the natural morality in slave society, and slave society is the only natural society. Such society as that of the early Patriarchs of Judea, under Moses and Joshua, and as that of the South, would never beget a sceptic, a Hobbes, a Wayland, nor a Channing. In such society it is natural for men to love one another. The ordinary relations of men are not competitive and antagonistic as in free society; and selfishness is not general, but exceptionable. Duty to self is the
first of duties : free society makes it the only duty. Man is not naturally selfish or bad, for he is naturally social. Free society dissociates him, and makes him bad and selfish from necessity.
It is said in Scripture, that it is harder for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven than for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle. We are no theologian; but do know from history and observation that wealthy men who are sincere and devout Christians in free society, feel at a loss what to do with their wealth, so as not to make it an instrument of oppression and wrong. Capital and skill are powers exercised almost always to oppress labor. If you endow colleges, you rear up cunning, voracious exploitators to devour the poor. If you give it to tradesmen or land owners, 'tis still an additional instrument, always employed to oppress laborers. If you give it to the really needy, you too often encourage idleness, and increase the burdens of the working poor who support every body. We cannot possibly see but one safe way to invest wealth, and that is to buy slaves with it, whose conduct you can control, and be sure that your charity is not misapplied, and mischievous.
Is there any other safe way of investing wealth, or bestowing charity? We regret that delicacy restrains us from putting the question to a celebrated wealthy philanthropist of the North, who is candid, bold, experienced, and an Abolitionist to boot.
SLAVERY-ITS EFFECTS ON THE FREE.
Beaten at every other quarter, we learn that a distinguished writer at the North, is about to be put forward by the Abolitionists, to prove that the influence of slavery is deleterious on the whites who own no slaves.
Now, at first view it elevates those whites; for it makes them not the bottom of society, as at the North-not the menials, the hired day laborer, the work scavengers and scullions—but privileged citizens, like Greek and Roman citizens, with a numerous class far beneath them. In slave society, one white man does not lord it over another; for all are equal in privilege, if not in wealth; and the poorest would not become a menial-hold your horse, and then extend his hand or his hat for a gratuity, were you to proffer him the wealth of the Indies. The menial, the exposed and laborious, and the disgraceful occupations, are all filled by slaves. But filled they must be by some one, and in free society, half of its members are employed in occupations that are not considered or treated as respectable. Our slaves till the land, do the coarse and hard labor on our roads and canals, sweep our