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quire, whether the property which the high-wayman wrests from the traveller, costs him less than what is acquired by some other branch of industry. It is even worse; it is to consider the greater part of the human race as a productive machine, whose value is estimated according to its capacity of producing a larger portion of wealth than it absorbs. But, after having shown the improper admissions which constitute the basis of the question, it is still proper to demonstrate, that the labour which one man can obtain from a great number of others, by lacerating them with a scourge, costs him more, than what might be obtained by the payment of equitable wages.
We might demonstrate, that the masters themselves would find their interest promoted by the abolition of slavery; but in a national view, which is the one our author has taken, it is much more important. He proves, that the system of slavery, creates, distributes, and accumulates a much smaller quantity of wealth than
system, by which the labours of society can be executed. In fact, in a slaveholding country, the masters being restrained from labour, both by shame and aversion, their physical force, and even their moral and intellectual powers are lost, as far as the production or preservation of wealth is concerned. On the other hand, the idleness to which they are condemned, gives birth to a passion for sports, or whatever may break the monotony of existence: the delights of the table, dissipated company, games of chance, and all the vices by which the wealth derived from the labour of others is rapidly dissipated. The population consists of masters and slaves; for the intermediate class necessarily disappears-but the slaves
neither possess nor can acquire any thing;* they are depressed to the lowest point of human degradation. Three causes concur to degrade them; the first is, the care taken by the masters to render them as stupid as possible, in order to secure their own safety; the second is, the labours to which they are subjected, which leave no time for reflection; and the third is, the absence of every inducement to cultivate and enlighten their own understandings. The slave is responsible for the employment of his brute physical force, and for that only; when the master has obtained the product of that force, he has nothing more to demand.
Destitute of intelligence, the slave, with a given amount of labour, produces the least possible effect; destitute of interest in the wealth which he creates, with a given amount of consumption, he destroys the greatest possible quanti for he has no motive to economise. In a country therefore, where the labourers are slaves, there exists, for the production of wealth, nothing but the physical organs of a servile class, destitute of every principle of intelligence and activity, and stimulated solely by the action of the lash—now, corporal punishments may very well produce certain movements of the
*This may be predicated of pure and unmitigated slavery; a state to which the servile class, in some of our republican states, probably approach more nearly than any other of the present time. In most of the sugar islands, the slaves are commonly expected to procure their own supplies of food and clothing, from the profits of their holyday labours, hence the right of property is partially allowed them. This part of the West India system, however oppressive in practice, is, in theory at least, a mitigation of slavery, and approximation to freedom.
body, but can never create the
energy their houses; but these tradesmen imwhich springs from choice; and if it mediately disappear, when the works could even produce exertion, a force, for which they were called, are comhowever energetic, without address, pleted. To keep them in order, or to intelligence and moral motive, would repair them, it is neces ary to wait unbe of little avail, in the production, til, at the end of some years, a new and still less in the preservation of building again brings in the tradesmen wealth.
from the north. It thus happens, that We know little of the history of in few of their houses are in good repair; dustry among the ancients; it merely and a table may sometimes be seen, appears, that it flourished only where sumptuously furnished and covered the slaves, yet few in number, were as with plate, in a chamber where half of sociated with others in their labour, the glass has been wanting for a numinstead of being charged exclusively ber of years.* It thus becomes neceswith it-it was thus with agriculture; sary in a slave country, for the masters it flourished under the hands of the to derive from strangers a part of their consuls; but as the number of slaves food, and the whole of their manufacincreased in Italy, the fertility of the tures; that they should pay a higher soil declined, and the country was at price for all services requiring intellilength reduced to a pastoral state. We gence, and yet derive from the soil but can better judge of the effect on the half the revenue, which might be obdistribution of wealth, produced by tained from one where there were no slavery in the colonies. Agriculture | slaves; for that revenue depends upon is almost the only branch of industry the relation between the value of prowhich exists there; but it is exercised ducts and the cost of production. without care, and without intelligence Hence, nearly all the masters and -exhausting crops succeed without in
owners of land are deeply indebted, terruption, and without repose; the and live in continual distress. t Acslaves, excited by no interest, perform, cording to a report, presented to the according to the accounts of travellers, House of Commons by the Assembly in a given time, a much smaller quan of Jamaica, the planters there are neartity of work than the free labourers in
ly all burdened with debts, and one France are accustomed to effect.*
fourth of the sugar plantations, have, Hence the provisions derived from the labour of slaves are necessarily dearer. The deterioration of the soil, wherever * Rochefoucauld's Travels in the slavery is established, is a notorious United States. fact in the colonies and in the southern
† This account of the condition of
masters, would appear, in some parts parts of the United States. The trade
of the southern states, grossly incorof the carpenter, joiner or mason, is rect; as a large part of the cotton above the capacity of the slaves; the planters are well known to abound in inhabitants of the southern states, are
wealth. This, however, is the result
of temporary and adventitious circumobliged to obtain, at great expense, stances. The description, given above, tradesmen from the north, to construct is applicable to slave-holding commu
nities, wherever the effects of the sys
tem have had time for their complete * Robins' Travels in Louisiana. and permanent development.
within a few years, been sold by pub fore directed toward the establishment lic authority.*
of a despotism in a single ruler; and In searching into the influence of this despotism, when established, is exslavery, on the increase of the divers ercised with a rapacity, cruelty, stukinds of population, M. Compte dwells pidity, and brutality, which place the particularly on the principle, that as masters within the power of the slaves. the population can increase only with Two important truths result from the augmentation of revenue, and that the facts, which have been collected, to as each master requires for his support, enable us to judge of the influence of the revenue created by five or by ten slavery on the independence of nations. slaves, the number of the masters can
The first is, that those who reduce only be increased by an increase, on the others to slavery, or, who become the side of the slaves, five or ten times as possessors of slaves, place themselves, great. But as the servile population,
by this act, between two fires: they are far from increasing in a state of sla
exposed to the danger of massacre very, rapidly decline, the growth of from the slaves whom they hold, or to the white population in the colonies,
the domination of a foreign power. supposes and requires a still greater The second is, that whenever a coaliaugmentation of the slave trade, and tion is formed between the domestic of all the crimes which spring from it.
and foreign enemies, the masters are The author resumes in these terms,
left without the means of resistance. the influence of domestic slavery, on
But it is time to finish this long exthe spirit and nature of government;
tract; and yet, seven other books rein a state, where one part of the popu
main to be analyzed: of these, perhaps lation is held as property by the other,
none are more worthy of our attention we find, that a great portion of the
than that which treats of the recipromagisterial class, are naturally dis
cal influence of slavery upon religion, posed, by the depressed state of their and of religion upon slavery. But we finances, and their aversion to labour, cannot by our extracts, supply the to usurp the power and to seize the place of the work which we have anawealth created by the other; we find lyzed. We only wish to inspire a disthe part of the population who can live position to examine the original work, only by their own labour, but with by showing the limited extent of the whom industry is prevented or de
researches into the effects of slavery, graded by the presence of slavery, are
which had preceded it; the importance equally disposed to enter into conspira of its history, in that of the human cies, for the depression or destruction race, the light which it sheds on the of the masters; finally, we perceive, || rapid decay of the great nations of anthat despotism, even that which is the tiquity, and the miseries which may be most oppressive, which weakens or an expected to overtake the moderns, nihilates the power of the masters, is a
where this devouring leprosy is perbenefit to the slaves. The efforts of mitted to continue. No person will the mass of the population, are there read M. Compte’s book, on slavery,
without seeing a new light thrown * The report is dated February 25,
over the subject. Certainly, before we 1825. East and West India sugar. had opened it, we were far from sup
posing ourselves indifferent to the sufferings of our brethren in bonds, or cold in our sentiments on the subject of slavery; yet the reading of this book, has been to us like a revelation of every thing which this absurd system contains, that is, atrocious, ruinous, and calculated to destroy whatever can give importance to nations, and value to life. Such is the impression which we have received from it, and we ardently desire, that others may be similarly impressed; for we repeat the declaration, so far is slavery from being a calamity peculiar to times that are past, that it is a present and menacing evil, and it prevails among nations who are destined to multiply with extreme rapidity, and who are already masters of the finest portion of the habitable globe. It was,' probably, never more important to the destiny of the human race, to present, in its proper light, the necessary character of slavery; and to dry up this copious source of misery, stupidity and crimes, in those countries which are opening to civilization.
applied as many proper names to designate their descendants. It was indeed the name of an ancestor of Abraham, six generations back, (Gen. ii. 16.) but if it meant, as applied to the patriarchs, a descent from that ancestor, it ought to have been applied to all who descended from him. It is, however, not applied to any before Abram; and not to him, until after, at the call of God, he went out by faith, not knowing where he went.” It properly signifies a passenger, a pilgrim, and is applied to the patriarchs, (Gen. xiv. 13.) who professed that they were strangers and pilgrims, (Gen. xvii. 8. xxiii. 4. xxxvii. 1. xlvii. 9.)
The apostle, in the epistle to the Hebrews, (xi. 8—16.) teaches us to consider their confession, as a religious confession; as the evidence of their faith in God; and as the reason 6 God was not ashamed to be called their God.” Now the term Hebrew signifying passenger, pilgrim, (what they professed themselves to be,) is applied, as far as I have been able to find, to none but those who were in visible covenant with God. It is applied, not to all the natural descendants of the patriarchs—not to Ishmael, not to the sons of Keturah, not to the family of Esau—but to the holy line and their families, and those associated with them as the visible people of God. “ God was not ashamed,” says the apostle, “to be called their God." Now the term under which God declared himself unto Pharaoh was, “ the God of the Hebrews,” “ the Lord God of the Hebrews.” It is used again and again, (Ex. iii. 18. v. 3. vii. 16. ix. 1. 13. x. 3.) He calls himself the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the pilgrims by name and confession, of whom “ God was not ashamed to be called their God,” (Heb. xi. 16.) and he calls the Hebrews his people, my people, my first born, &c. These expressions evidently mean covenant relation. As to creation and preservation, God was equally the God of all people. As to real personal piety, Israel gave little evidence of it at that time. But they were circumcised, (Exod. xii. 45–48. Joshua v. 5.) and owned as God's visible people. In this sense, God was the God of all who were joined to the Lord, and had taken hold of his cove
SCRIPTURE RESEARCHES ON SLAVERY.
(Continued from page 235.) The supposition that the term Hebrew, used in the statute, (Ex. xxi. 2.) is to be taken in the sense of race, or natural descent, and was designed to apply to native Israelites only, exclusive of those who from other races might be joined to the Lord, and take hold of his covenant, has led some to confine this statute to native Israelites. This supposition is, I think, a mistake. It is authorized neither by the original import of the word “
Hebrew," as applied to the patriarchs and families its use at the time this statute was given-the other words used in the references to this statute—nor to the reasons on which it is founded.
The word Hebrew was not the proper name of any of the patriarchs, and
nant. I see not, then, that we are authorized, either from the original import of the word, or its use at the time this statute was given, to take it as meaning native Israelite, and not God's covenant people generally.
A comparison of the places, in which this statute is referred to, will confirm this remark. In Levit. xxv. 39–42, the word brother is used: and that all who were in covenant with God were brethren, none, we suppose, will deny. Deut. xv. 12—15, uses the word Hebrew. Jer. xxxiv. 8-22, refers directly to the first giving of this statute, at Mount Sinai, and uses the word Hebrew, as originally used in the statute; but as the word Jew was then chiefly used, to designate God's people, the prophet explains the word Hebrew, as meaning the same as Jew. (8). He also uses the word brother and neighbour, in the account he there gives, of the entire abolition of the practice of holding their brethren as bondmen, God's approbation of the abolition, and his judgments on them for returning to the practice.
We have, in Neh. v. 1-10, another reference to this law, in which the term Jew and brothers are used. Now, that the term Jew was used, to designate, not barely natural descent, (for that would confine it to the tribe of Judah, and it is seldom, if ever, used in that restricted sense,) but God's visible people, is beyond dispute. When Haman wished to destroy the Jews, he described them by their religious peculiarities, (Esther iii. 8,) and when the plot was defeated, many people of the land became Jews. (viii. 17.)
Cyrus permitted the people of the God of Heaven, to return and set up his worship, (Ezra i. 4,) among those who went up, assisted in building the city and the temple, received possessions, and joined in the national covenant, were many, not of the race of Israel. Ezra ii. 45–60, viii. 15—20. Neh. iii. 2–6, xx. 28, 29. All, however, were called Jews and brethren. Neh. i. 2, iv. 1, 2, v. 1-8, xx. 28, 29. That the terms Hebrew, seed of Abraham, Israel, children of Israel, Jew, &c. are at times used in the sense of race, we readily admit; but when those terms are used in the laws and statutes, given to all God's visible people, they
must be used in such a sense as to include all that people. That the proselyte was to keep the passover, (Ex. xii. 48,)—the feast of unleavened bread, (Ex. xiii. 8,)—to redeem his first born (Ex. xiii. 14, 15.)—to offer his basket of first fruits, and confess "a Syrian ready to perish was my Father,” &c. (Deut. xxvi. 5.) with a multitude of things that implied his adoption among Israel; and that in the sense of the law he was a Hebrew, an Israelite, a Jew, is past all doubt. He was one of the circumcision and a debtor to do the whole law. (Gal. v. 3.) To suppose that the law would recognise him as a Hebrew, an Israelite, a Jew, and exact of him the whole burden of its services; but strip him of the title for the purpose of depriving him of the accompanying privileges, is really, to me, a most unaccountable mode of interpreting God's law.
If more proof were needful, we have it in the reasons on which the law is founded-their covenant relation to God. “ For they are my servants whom I brought forth out of Egypt; they shall not be sold for bond-men”66 For unto me the children of Israel are servants.” (Levit. xxv. 43—55.) This reason embraced all, who were circumcised and took hold of God's covenant. That was the token of the covenant; and while they obeyed the law, they were, by the token God appointed, the servants and people of God. Gen. xvii. Ex. xix. 5, 6, Levit. xxvi. 12, 13.
The New Testament phraseology agrees with this. It uses the term Jew and circumcision as synonymous, and as embracing all who are sensibly in covenant with God. • Is he the God of the Jews only, and not of the Gentiles also?” Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and the uncircumcision through faith, (Rom. iii. 29, 30.) 66 Christ crucified, is to the Jews a stumbling-block, and to the Greeks foolishness; but unto them which are called both Jews and Greeks,” &c. (1 Cor. i. 23, 24.) “ They heard that the Gentiles had received the word of God-and when Peter was come to Jerusalem, they of the circumcision contended with him, saying, thou wentest in to men uncircumcised, and didst eat with them.” (Acts xi. 1--3.) “When they saw that the gospel of the uncir