LAW OF PASSIVE OBEDIENCE.
The illegality of slavery among Christians is a point
which I have long laboured to demonstrate, as being de¬
structive of morality, and consequently dangerous both to
body and soul. There are nevertheless some particu¬
lar texts in the New Testament, which, in the opinion of
several well meaning and disinterested persons, seem to
afford some proof of the toleration of slavery among the
primitive Christians ; and, from thence, they are induced
to conceive, that Christianity doth not oblige its professors
to renounce the practice of slaveholding.
A learned and reverend correspondent of mine seems to
have adopted this notion, and has signified his opinion
nearly to the same effect, in a private letter to me on this
subject, to which I have not yet ventured to send him a
reply, though it is a considerable time since I received his
letter ; but, to say the truth, the question in which I had
never before apprehended any difficulty, was rendered very
serious and important, upon iriv hands, by my friend's de¬
claration ; and 1 thought myself bound to give it the strict¬
est examination, because I conceived (as I do still) that
the honour of the Holy Scriptures, which of all other
things, I have most at heart, was concerned in the deter.
mination of the point in question ; and yet I know, that
my friend is full as zealous for the honour of the Scriptures
as myself, and much more learned in them, being very
eminent in that most essential branch of knowledge.