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and orders of spirilual nature take in man! How coveted an abode is the human heart! It is for man that the loftiest heights of heaven are moved and the deepest caverns of hell. It is for him that there is war in heaven, and fierce encounters between angelic hosts. It is upon him that ministering angels wait, and for him that malig. nant spirits spread their snares. To obtain possession and entire control of man, seems, indeed, to be the great ultimate aim of the mighty efforts of the innumerable hosts which people the vast domain of the invisible universe. Allied, as man is, to the material system, it would appear as though the spiritual world sought, through him, to acquire new dominion over matter, and, in his final glorification or degradation, to present to the view of all created intelligences the mightiest achievement of spiritual power.
We may not, then, speak irreverently of man, nor think lightly of that humanity of which God himself condescended to become a partaker, that by his quickening Spirit he might animate the sleep. ing dust of mortality, and, ciothing it in the imperishable beauty of spiritual organization, transport it in triumph to the skies. It is this humanity which admits of being thus renovated, transformed, and glorified, or, under the baleful influence of malign and fallen spirits, of being dragged down the dark steep of eternal ruin, and converted into a cage for every unclean and hateful bird. How necessary, then, that man should appreciate his position, and realize that he is thus placed in the midst of the most active spiritual agencies, and between those immeasurable extremes, the one or the other of which must become his eternal destiny! And how important that he should hear the knock and listen to the voice of the Amen; the true and faithful Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God, and open to him the entrance of the heart, that he may enjoy that elevating and ennobling fellowship to which be is so earnestly invited!
SLAVERY AND THE FUGITIVE SLAVE LAW-No. III.
BEFORE presuming to dogmatize on the attitude in which the apostles of Christ place themselves before us on the subject of servitude, or slavery, we must be informed of the nature, character, and extent of slavery, as then existing in the countries and communities in which they planted churches. We shall, then, in the first place, state a few facts, which will enable us more satisfactorily to under.
stand what they have written, for our admonition, on this very interesting theme. We are, happily, in possession of all necessary information on the subject of Grecian and Roman slavery, and will select a few well-established facts for the edification of those who may not be in possession of the same means.
But one German writer has written largely on the subject, whose work we have not seen. But from innumerable references to Grecian authorities which are available, we have abundant information as to its extent in Greece, before and during the age in which Chris. tianity was there introduced. From these sources we shall make a few selections.
From the time of Hesiod and Homer, of Plato and Aristotle, down to the Christian era, all writers of all classes-poets, philosophers and historians-more or less allude to it, comment upon it, and develop its character and extent. In Crete, say Plato and Aristotle, Minos enacted that “all freemen should be equal, and that they should be served by slaves." In Sicyon, Corinth and Argos, the same policy early obtained. Slaves “ were there doomed to rigid and irredeemable slavery.” In the Odyssey, Homer presents Penelope's house-keeper ordering twenty slaves, at one and the same time, to execute the following order, “Go quickly, some of you, sweep the house and sprinkle it, and let the crimson carpets be spread on the seats; let others rub well the tables with sponges, and wash carefully the bowls and cups. Some of you go instantly to the fountain for water."* Virginia, Georgia, South Carolina, Louisiana, have not yet, in their civilization, surpassed the elegance and style of ancient Greece, nor assumed a more aristocratic authority over negro slavery than that which the old democracies wielded over, not Africans, but over as beautiful females as ever walked on Grecian ground, of whom Penelope had no less than fifty to wait upon her own person. Such was the style in which lived the lady of Ulysses, mother of Telemachus, Queen of Ithica a thousand years before Christ.
The Ionian colonies, on the coast of Asia Minor, were a great slave market as early as we know any thing about them, and were celebrated for the admirable qualities of their slaves. Aristotle says that the Island of Aegina contained 470,000 slaves. Timæus asserts that Corinth had 460,000 slaves, before Athens had obtained possession of Greece. Under the iron reign of Lycurgus, the Lacedemonians had innumerable elaves. They outnumbered the freemen. The cruelty of the Lacedemonians to their slaves, was proverbial.
* Odyssey 20, 1. 149.
They wore dog-skin bonnets and sheep-skin vests, and were for, bidden to learn any liberal art, or to perform any act worthy of their masters.” The Spartan youthful freemen occasionally armed themselves with daggers, and out by night into the roads, to kill all that they could find. It is said 2,000 were destroyed at one massacre. It is alledged that, at one time, the actual number of the Helots was about 400,000.
Reitemeier, in his history of slavery in Greece, makes the number 800,000. Freemen were in the ratio of 27 to 100 slaves. Free born citizens, reduced to poverty, might serve for wages in Athens, and recover their cast if possible; but the title to slaves was as strong as the title to lands, and gave the masters absolute dominion over them.
“ In the Grecian cities and states, there were three ways in which slavery was propagated: 1. Those deeply involved in debt were forced to yield themselves slaves to such as were able to maintain them. 2. Vast numbers were reduced to slavery by the chances of war-by which the vanquished became wholly the slaves of their conquerors. 3. By the perfidiousness of those who traded in slaves. Persons of ingenuous birth and education were kidnapped and sold for slaves.” Plato and Diogenes were sold for slaves. The Thes. salians were notorious for this species of villainy. We might add, that free persons were sometimes sold, for slaves, by public author. ity. The father of Bion, the philosopher, together with his whole family, were sold for an offence against the laws of the customhouse.
In all countries, slaves were bought and sold like other commodities. The Thracians are particularly remarkable for purchasing slaves for salt.” The Chians were the first who gave money for slaves. Homer's heroes are often said to have bartered their cap. tives for provisions.
In Athens, the laws were very rigid. It was enacted that “no person, a slave by birth, should be made free of the city.” “No slave, or woman other than free born, shall study or practice physic.” “He shall be looked on as illegitimate, whose mother is not free.” “ No slave shall caress a free born youth; he who does so, shall receive publicly fifty stripes.” “ All emancipated slaves shall pay certain services ard due homage to their masters who gave them liberty, choosing them only for their patrons, and not be wanting in the performance of those duties to which they are under obligation by law.”
“ The Greeks kept their slaves at a great distance, not condescending to converse familiarly with them, instilling into their
minds a mean opinion of themselves, debasing their natures, and extinguishing in them, as far as possible, all feelings of generosity and manliness, by an illiberal education, and accustoming them to blows and stripes, which they thought would be very disagreeable to high born souls."
It would be an offence against good taste-almost an outrage against our humanity—to detail the horrible cruelties inflicted upon slaves under Grecian and Lacedemonian despotism. “ Slaves were often branded by a hot iron on the forehead, and ink poured into the furrows. They were examined by scourging or upon the rack. The tongue of a tatler was cut out.”
The Samians, when they emancipated many slaves, and admitted them to any office in the State, were branded with the infamous name of literati. Among the Thracians, Scythians, and Britons, the stigma was accounted a mark of honor. To prevent running away, they were also stigmatized with a brand. When convicted of theft, they were bound to a wheel and unmercifully beaten with whips. Other punishments we cannot name.
They were at times very valuable, notwithstanding this rude and cruel treatment. Lysias and his brother, who were proscribed by the Thirty Tyrants for their riches, had only sixty slaves each. Demosthenes says of himself, that he was left rich, possessing only fifty-two slaves. Nicias had one thousand slaves employed in the mines. He was the richest slave-holder in Athens. Slaves were not to learn the use of arms, to wear them, or to serve in the wars,
Despite of slavery, there were some noble specimens of human nature found among them. Yes, as some one has said, in the form of slaves " there were noblemen toiling on the farms of Laconica, chained to the oars of the fleets, or delving into the mines of Laurion.' It was Æsop, Alcman, Epictetus, Terence, who were slaves, while many a brainless demagogue was haranguing in the forum, or squandering the hard earned produce of the poor slave, in the house of some fair Milesian.
Notwithstanding all this, neither Socrates nor his pupil Xenophon, not even Plato in his Republic, though once a slave himself, raises an objection to slavery. He speaks highly, too, of the fidelity of some slaves to their masters and to their master's children; yet, on the other hand, he says there is nothing in the soul of a slave a safe foundation for trustworthiness; verifying the saying of Homer, that “in the day when Jupiter makes slaves of men, he deprives them of half their reason." With Aristotle he agrees, " that in the treatment of slaves, to preserve the proper medium between
severity on the one hard, and indulgence on the other is very difficult.”
Strange to add, that the Grecian Republics amidst this iron handed slavery were pleading for democracy and free government. “While Demosthenes was uttering his words of fire to a few thousands free Athenians, stimulating them to rise up against the aggressions of the Northen Tyrant, as he called Philip; there were in their midst 400,000 human beings whose life and liberty were at the mercy of a most despotic democracy.” So that it became a saying, even in those days, that “those men most jealous of their own liberties, were most willing to take it from others.”
I have not yet told half my tale of woes, attendant on Slavery in the Cities and States in which christianity was planted. But those desirous of the whole story may consult the works in the margin, from which I have drawn a few facts.*
Such then, was the state of things in the provinces of the Roman Empire, when christianity made its appearance. Such was Corinth, the capital of Achaia ; such were Ephesus of lonia; the Island of Crete, where Paul placed Timothy; Thessalonica and Phillippi of Macedonia; Calosse, Laodicea, and Hierapolis of Phrygia Minor; and in every place where Paul or Peter names servants in their epistles. And such essentially were the communities, and such the servants out of which he and his associates made their converts, and builded their churches. And, certainly, such were the masters and the servants to whom he gave instructions, and tendered exhortations on their reciprocal duties in that new relation into which he and his associates had instrumentally inducted them.
The great question, then, on the subject now pressing itself upon our attention is ;-what instructions did the apostles give, what precepts did they tender to such masters and servants as we have described, who had been introduced to the churches planted by their labors? We hope to be excused if we should not attempt to prove that Peter and Paul were Philanthropists, that they were Divinely inspired and furnished for their work. We shall, therefore, hear all that they have said first to the masters, and then to the slaves.
“And you masters, (kurioi, lords,) do justice to your servants, (douloi, slaves,) as they do justice to you, moderating threatening; knowing also that your master (kurios, Lord) is in heaven, neither
* Potter's Greek Antiquities, Mitford's Greece, vol. 1, 179, vol. 7, 191. Blane's Enquiry into Slavery amongst the Romans, Edinburg, 1833. Dunlap's History of Roman Literature, and Gibbon's History Decline and Fall, chap. 44. SERIES IV. .VOL. 1.