100 LAW OF PASSIVE OBEDIENCE.
These things teach and exhort. If any man teach other¬
wise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words
of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is ac¬
cording to godliness, he is proud, knowing nothing, but
doting about questions, and strifes of words, whereof cometh
envy, strife, railings, evil-surmisings, perverse disputings of
men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing
that gain is godliness. From such withdraw thyself. But
godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought
nothing into this world, and it is certain ,we can carry no¬
thing out. And having food and raiment, let us be there.
with content." 1 Tim. vi. 1—8. And again he insists on
the same doctrine : " Exhort servants," says he, " to be
obedient unto their own masters, and to please them well
in all things, not answering again, not purloining, but
showing all good fidelity ; that they may adorn the doc¬
trine of God our Saviour in all things." Titus ii. 9, 10.
These texts are amply sufficient to prove the truth of
my learned friend's assertion, so far as it relates to the
duty of the slaves themselves, but this absolute submission
required of Christian servants, by no means implies the
legality ofslaveholding on the part of their masters, which
he seems to apprehend.
The slave violates no precepts of the gospel by his ab¬
ject condition, provided that the same is involuntary (for if
he can be made free, he is expressly commanded by the
apostle to use it rather.) But how the master who en¬
forces that involuntary servitude, can be said to act con¬
sistently with the Christian profession, is a question of a
very different nature, which I propose to examine with all
possible care and impartiality, being no otherwise interest¬
ed in it than as a Christian who esteems both masters and
slaves as brethren, and consequently, while he pities the
unhappy temporal condition of the latter, is extremely anx¬
ious for the eternal welfare of the former.
I have already admitted, that Christianity doth not re¬
lease slaves " from the obligation they were under accord¬
ing to the custom and law of the countries where it was
propagated," agreeable to my learned friend's assertion, in