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"The Prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream, and he that hath my word let hiin
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Publie opinion is now regarded as the great instrument of moral and social reform. Its power in a Government like ours, cannot be questioned, but we may doubt whether its use is beneficial to the community. The public opinion of modern times, is the opinion of a few, diffused, with great effort, through the multitude; it is manufactured with reference to a specific result; and in most cases can hardly be distinguished from highly excited party feeling. This method of reform, with its varied means of agitation, has been introduced into the Church, and Christians have felt themselves constrained to employ it, almost to the rending of the Church. Where it is employed, as a necessary consequence, the Scriptures are in a great measure neglected, and the power and purity of the Church are impaired. The object of the following Essay is not alone to shew what the Scriptures teach respecting the relation of Master and Slave, in opposition to Abolitionism, but also to recal the attention of Christians to the only effective means of reform--the word of God. This is the lamp to our feet, and the light to our path; it is also our sword, and spear, and shield; our panoply of war. A departure from it injures ourselves and prevents our duing good to others.
It may be proper to add-that the substance of this argument was a Speech in the Synod of Cincinnati, (New School) at its late meeting.
The time, when the relation of master and slave, began to prevail in the world, is unknown. From the cúrse pronounced against Canaan, it seems to have been familiar to Noah; and hence, many infer its existence before the flood. Job alludes to the slave (in the Hebrew-eved) as belonging to a class, well known; and by a nice, and appropriate distinction, discriminates between him, and the hireling-sawkeer.) Job vii.-2_“ As a servant,--eved, --earnestly desireth the shadow, and as a hireling looketh for the reward of his works.” The hireling, according to the custom, (which was afterwards a law to the Jews--Deut. xxiv. 14, 15,) is represented as earnestly desiring his wages; whilst the slave, receiving no wages, desired only the hour of rest."
In the time of Abraham, and before the death of Shem, slavery prevailed in Egypt, Canaan and Arabia, and probably among all the nations of the earth.-From the history of the sale and purchase of Joseph; the readiness with which the idea of selling him, was suggested to his brethren, on seeing the Ishmaelitish merchants; their prompt purchase; their carrying him