104 LAW OF PASSIVE OBEDIENCE.
their bodies, which are God's ;" and therefore it is an
abominable sacrilege, that those bodies which are capable
of being the " temple of the Holy Ghost," should be
esteemed the mere chattels and private property of merce¬
nary planters and merchants, merely for the sake of a little
worldly gain !
But slaveholders may perhaps allege that believing mas¬
ters are mentioned as " faithful and beloved," in one of the
texts which I have cited, arid are also expressly accounted
as "partakers, of the benefit," (see 1 Tim. vi. 2,)so that,
from thence, they may perhaps infer, that slave keeping is
not inconsistent with their Christian profession.
But these expressions are included in that part of the
apostle's charge to Timothy, which relates merely to the
instruction of servants, so that there is no room to suppose,
that any reference was intended to the practice of the mas¬
ters by' way of justification.—The meaning therefore can
amount to no more than this, viz :. that as it is the duty of
servants to ". count their own masters"—even those that
are unbelievers—" worthy of all honor,* that the name of
God and his doctrine be not blasphemed," so the same rea¬
son obliges them, more especially, to count their believing
masters " worthy of all lawful honor," because of their
Christian profession, which renders them accepted of God.
For common charity obliges us, as Christians, to suppose
that all men, who believe and hold the same professions as
ourselves, are " faithful and beloved," as well as " par¬
takers of the benefit" of Christ's redemption, because be¬
lief is the true means of leading and disposing men to ac¬
quire such happiness ; and though many other necessary
Christian qualities may seem wanting in our believing
brethren, yet we must not presume to condemn them ; God
alone being their judge : and, for this reason also, Chris¬
tian servants must not condemn and despise their believing
masters, (though they know themselves equal in dignity as
brethren, and that it is, consequently, their masters duty to
* Apparently meaning, " all honor" which is not inconsistent
with their duty to God.