LAW OF RETRIBUTION.
be attributed to a future time, which in the following chap¬
ter (the 28th) is expressly declared to have been in the
fourth year of Zedekiah.
Can any injury, except that of taking away a man's life,
exceed that of taking away a man's liberty, whohns never
offended us! Can any robbery or injustice whatsoever be
more atrocious than that of wearing out our poor brethren
in a hard involuntary service, without wages or reward !
thereby continually robbing them of the fruit of their la-
bors ! Have I not shown, by unquestionable examples
from Scripture, that this is a crying sin, and that the Al¬
mighty hath denounced wo (Jer. xvii. 13,) against all such
offenders ? Do we not profess to serve the same God who
so severely punished the Jews for this very crime ? And
is there any just ground to hope, that God, who spared not
his own peculiar people, will, nevertheless, excuse the in¬
habitants of Great Britain and her colonies, when they are
wilfully guilty of the same offence !
The whole tenor of the Scriptures teaches us, that
slavery was ever detestable in the sight of God, insomuch
that it has generally been denounced (and, of course, in¬
flicted) as the punishment of the most abandoned sinners ;
of which I have already given a great variety of instances.
An J have not we just reason to dread the severe ven¬
geance of Almighty God, when it is notorious, that the
tyranny exercised in the British colonies is infinitely more
unmerciful than than that which was formerly exercised
by the Chaldeans, insomuch that the state of the Jews in
their captivity might be esteemed rather as freedom than
bondage, when compared with the deplorable servitude of
the wretched negro slaves, as well as of the white servants,
in our Colonies ?
What must be the consequence of such abominable wick¬
By as much as we exceed the Assyrians and Babyloni¬
ans in religious knowledge, by so much more severely may
we expect the hand of God upon us for our monstrous
abuse of such advantages !