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when he attributes to the personal ambition , his talents for administration, or his civil of Napoleon the peculiar motive and plan of achievements. Considering the immense the Italian campaigns. He was but the advantages which France reaped, and is still servant and tool of the Directory, who were reaping from the splendid abilities and ever urging him to renewed efforts in the unwearied industry of Bonaparte, how can path of conquest. It is a well-established an article on this question be considered at fact, that he was continually moderating, by all consistent with justice, which silently his counsels, the ambitious designs of that passes over this most important feature, power. His leading aim at this period was which ought in common fairness to be the to free the Italians from their German most prominent part of the argument? oppressors, and to encourage the growth of If the French nation were benefitted, both liberal institutions. The Directory continu-in the past, present, and probably, future, ally frustrated him in the scheme, by by him, could we, as Frenchmen, refrain from insisting upon too much French influence. Offering him our sincere and uncompromising
We should recommend our friend to admiration? Upon this ground we take our carefully read Scott's Life of Napoleon; it stand; as we conceive it to be the only one may induce him to change his opinions. that is consistent with the real question
“Walter” does faint justice to Napoleon's under discussion. military genius, but never once alludes to
J. B. O.
IS SLAVERY UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES JUSTIFIABLE ?
NEVER did we resume the discussion of and consequent rights of man, and the beneany question with more feelings of satisfac- / volent spirit of the New Testament. The tion than we do the present; and this satis- absurd figments of men's equality and natufaction arises not merely from the character ral rights have been so ably and thoroughly of the conclusion at which we feel sure most exposed by “Benjamin" and H. B., that we of our readers will arrive, but from the suc- need not offer a single word upon them; and cess of the means which have been employed with respect to the benevolent spirit of to lead to that conclusion. It is pleasing to Christianity, while we rejoice in it, we may find, after the violent execrations which have observe, that from a careful perusal of the been hurled at all-especially American- Pauline epistles, we are convinced that that slaveowners, that reason is likely to weaken spirit was designed to manifest itself in the hatred and “all uncharitableness," while it amelioration of all social evils, and not in the develops and defends truth.
immediate removal of any. It will be remembered that we opened this This branch of the subject we need not debate, not by maintaining that slavery pursue, but we must hasten to notice the under all circumstances was desirable, but adverse criticism of our opponents. Of that under some circumstances it was justi- G. F. we shall not have much to say. We fiable. In support of this position we, and were certainly astonished at the inconsisthe friends who followed us, sought to prove tency of his opening remarks, in which he that there was not necessarily any crime or tells us that he “had entertained the idea moral evil involved in supporting a system of slavery being so directly opposed to the of slavery; that the principle of slavery, teachings of Christianity . . . as to be void or forced labour-was found in the grada- of all support from any authority," and then tions of the natural world, in the institutions directly adds that he had, however, anticiof society, and the penalties inflicted by our pated a course of argument, not only entirely own laws. Against these arguments our new, but clearly supporting this monstrong opponents have urged the natural eqnality evil!” We need not be surprised at our
friend so ill-manneredly contradicting us | Elisha that, being unable to pay the debts of when he is found thus peremptorily contra- her deceased husband, the creditor threatened dicting himself! The rhapsodical strain in to take her two sons for bondmen (2 Kings which he subsequently indulges is certainly iv. 1). Will “ Onward,” after consulting worthy of his commencement, while the these passages, maintain that, “in the earnestness with which he calls for a war Jewish system of servitude the service was for “freeing the unhappy black” is amusing, voluntary on the part of the servant.” We though not in accordance with "the teach do him the honour to think he will not. ings of Christianity.” Our friend-or rather We need say very little on the verse which our foe—“Onward” next comes forward, our opponent brought forward to substantiate and presents a bold front as he draws our his now demolished position. He says, attention to the “Key to Uncle Tom's Cabin,” “The stealing and selling men were forbidwhich he kindly informs us has lately been den, as well as the holding of them after published by Mrs. Stowe. We beg to tell they had been stolen, as the following pas“Onward” that we examined the “Key" sage will show:-'He that stealeth a man several months ago, and that it was after and selleth him, or if he be found in his doing so that we pronounced the “ Cabin" hands, he shall surely be put to death.' an untruthful book-untruthful, because it Some of our American slaveholders have takes a number of the most extraordinary quite an honest horror of the practice of instances of cruelty amongst millions of men, man-stealing; but still the middle clause of grafts them on two or three individual cha- | the verse before quoted condemns them,-'Or racters, and then presents them as specimens if he be found in his hands . . . he shall of ordinary life in America! The dullest surely be put to death.'” Need we remind reader will at once perceive what distorted “Onward” that neither he nor ourselves and frightful pictures might be drawn of have any right to take any “middle clause any class amongst us, if a similar course of a verse" from its connexion, and that the were pursued. But it is against our Bible preceding part of this verse determines the references that “ Onward” directs his main sense of the clause in question. The crime force. He describes us as hiding “amongst here denounced is “stealing a man and selthe dark shadows of the Mosaic dispensa- ling him," or stealing him and holding him in tion," and there generously follows us to possession, not selling nor bolding him only. give us light. Let it be remembered that Equally unfortunate is “ Onward” in his our object in referring to the Scriptures was positive denial of the perpetuity of the serto prove that slavery existed at the time vitude of alien slaves amongst the Jews. when they were written, and that, seeing it Taking as his oracle a “Rev. J. Symington," was recognised as an existing social arrange- he sets at nought the opinion of all Bible ment by the law and the prophets, and was critics, and the evident meaning of the not condemned by our Lord or his apostles, divinely-given law of the Jubilee. The we had a right to conclude that there was opening declaration is, “ Ye shall hallow the no necessary moral sin connexed with it. fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout Now “Onward" commences by at once all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof; affirming that in the servitude referred to in it shall be a jubilee unto you, and ye shall the Bible, there was nothing of slavery or return every man unto his possession, involuntary labour. Against this bold and and ye shall return every man unto his bald assertion we will place a few opposing family” (Leviticus xxv. 10). Now, it is facts:-Joseph was sold by his brethren as worthy of notice that “ Onward,” in his quoa slave; Abraham had many slaves, some of tation of this verse, unscrupulously omits which were “bought with his money" (Gen. the clause that we have given in italics, and xvii. 12). Creditors had the right of seizing which evidently limits the freedom decreed the children of a debtor, and himself also, to the Hebrew people—the chosen inhabiand of selling them in payment of his debts | tants of the land! How could alien slaves (Matt. xviii. 25). The children were liable return to their possessions when they had to be sold for the debts of the parent even zone to return to; and how could they return after his death;we see this illustrated in to their families, when their families, if they the case of the widow who complained to had any, were with them in servitude? This
interpretation of the verse is plainly borne the year of jubilee."* While the Rev. Samuel out by the context, for after referring to the Green, in his “ Biblical and Theological sale and redemption of land, and the relief Dictionary," thus plainly speaks, “ Hebrew of the destitute, the divine Law-giver goes slaves continued in slavery only for a time, on to say, “ If thy brother that dwelleth by whereas other slaves among the Israelites, thee be waxen poor, and be sold unto thee, generally strangers who had been bought, or thou shalt not compel him to serve as a bond captives who had been taken in war, were servant, but as an hired servant, and as a perpetually subject to the will of their masters, sojourner he shall be with thee, and shall and at their disposal.” We have gone into serve thee unto the year of jubilee," and then this subject more fully than absolutely necesit is immediately added, " Eoth tliy bond sary, as we were anxious to protect our men, and thy bondmaids which thou shalt readers against a bold attempt to misinterhave, shall be of the heathen that are round pret scripture, and to expose the fallacious about you; and of them shall ye buy bond- arguments deduced therefrom. men and bondmaids. . . . . They shall be But we are challenged to go to the New your bondmen for ever.” We cannot but Testament, and this we willingly do. And remark on the torturous treatment to which what is the result? Simply this: that we Mr. Symington subjects this portion of find frequent allusion to the existence of scripture. It reminds us of the application slavery as a social institution, and an entire of the rack and wheel to criminals in olden absence of any prohibitory precepts against times for the purpose of drawing from them it, which would certainly not have been the confessions of the truth; and though these case had it been sinful in itself. We beattempts might sometimes be successful, we lieve, then, that “whatever be the magnitude feel sure that similar ones never will be when of the evil of slavery, it is a political, not a applied to the Word of God. That the pre- moral evil, and as such, we may as well sent attempt has proved futile, we think we expect to find arguments in the New Testahave already said enough to prove; but in ment against the Christian character of conclusion will fortify our position by a brief absolute monarchy or republicanism, as reference to the opinions of others. Dr. Kitto against slavery." + says, “ The mass of the servants mentioned With this conclusion, we may lay down in the scripture history were absolute and our pen, having, as we think, satisfactorily perpetual slaves."* The Rev. Thomas established the position which at the onset Hartwell Horne, in his celebrated “ Introduc- we took, that slavery under some circumtion to the Study of the Scriptures,” says, stances may be justifiable. “ Hebrew slaves," in distinction from alien
.X. slaves, “were to continue in slavery only to
* Pictorial Bible, Gen. xiv. 14. | * Vol. III.p.423. + Encyclopædia Metropolitana.
NEGATIVE REPLY. "I would not have a slave to till my ground, of slavery from the sameness of origin and To carry me, tu fan me while I sleep,
the natural equality of men, from the essenAnd tremble when I wake, for all the wealth That sinews bought and sold have ever earned.
1. tial difference between slavery and punishNo! dear as freedom is, and in my heart's ment, and from the incompatibility of slavery Just estimation prized above all price,
with the belligerent rights of nations,—that I had much rather be myself the slave
im. it is a moral wrong, and a social or political And wear the bonds, than fasten them on him.
Cowper." injustice. Objections having been made by “Slavery is so vile and miserable an cstate of our opponents to these positions, it is our man, and so directly opposite to the generous duty, on the present occasion, to examine temper and courage of our nation, that it is
S these objections, and by testing their validity hardly to be conceived that an Englishman, much less a gentleman, should plead for it."
to vindicate the right of the slave to an
John Locke. equality of social status, political liberty, and We have endeavoured to prove, in our moral freedom, with the most favoured deniprevious remarks, the unjustifiable character zen of this terrestrial sphere.
“While others fish with craft for great opinion, ! We are careful to bear in mind that our We with great truth catch mere simplicity."
present question is one of abstract principle, We seek not the applause of a party; we
entirely disconnected with every political or court not the notoriety of singularity; our social system actual or possible: it is, there desire is to speak forth the honest convic fore, not a question whether in this state or tions of our own mind with prudence and in that nation slavery may be justified; but care, regardless of who may approve or who whether one man can justly subject to slavery condemn, our reward being the satisfaction his fellow-man. In all abstract auestions nf arising from a sense of duty discharged. moral science, the danger of reasoning upon With such feelings, we can have no sympathy | | an implied understanding of some peculiar with those who declaim against an opponent state of society is always very great; and all instead of meeting his arguments; at the our opponents, without exception, have fallen same time, we consider all are equally en- | deeply into this error, suiting their arguments titled with ourselves to the prudent and to that particular social state which their careful expression of their thoughts; aye, own prejudice would lead them to form; they and to differ from us, too, as we differ from have, consequently, made the question they them; for
have discussed, is slavery justifiable in our “ 'Tis with our judgments as our watches; none form of Utopia? We desire their return to Are just alike, yet each believes his own."
the question really before us, while we in“ Benjamin" and H. B. speak of natural terrogate them upon their own principles. rights and personal equality as “that old Previously, however, as they were either unabsurdity," as "a theory which has now been able or unwilling to find a definition of abandoned by all just-thinkers," as "a rem- slavery expressed or implied in our former nant of the subtle cobwebs of the scholastic observations, we will, to meet their wishes, age.” We must understand them as speak- give them a formal statement of what we ing of those things we have designated suppose to be meant by that term. Slavery natural rights in pp. 25, 26, because they we consider to be the state of a man whose introduce these remarks to overthrow the faculties and powers, both in possession and arguments deduced from the universality exercise, are forcibly made the personal proand alienability of those natural rights. We perty of another man. are quite willing they should continue to Has A any power or right to exact from attach the same names to the same things; B the surrender of all his (i. e., B's) faculties and we particularly desire their attention to and powers? Can he deprive him of the the absurd position in which they have placed light of the sun, or of the air he breathesthemselves by neglecting the true import of of the use of his property or the fruits of his the terms they have themselves used, and labour? We put this question of right copying rather the inere words employed, respecting any one man and any other man instead of thoroughly understanding the possessing the common privileges of huthings signified by the authority from whom manity, without reference to any particular they copy. It is, then, according to our social state or political condition; and we worthy friends, “an old absurdity" for man hesitate not to affirm that no sane man will to have a right to the use of his faculties reply in the affirmative. But supposing it and powers ? That man has a right to the were admitted that A has this right over B, light of the sun and to the air he breathes this gives to all others tlie same right; thus, is "a theory which has long been abandoned what right A has over B, B has over C; and by all just thinkers;" and it is “a remnant so on to Z, who, again, has the same right of the subtle cobwebs of the scholastic age" over A. Thus, to admit or to prove that to claim for man a right to the use of his slavery is at all justifiable, is to admit or to property and the fruits of his labour! Such prove too much, even for our pro-slavery arguments are self-condemnatory; and it friends; for it proves that all men may be would be derogatory to the common sense of slaves to all men, which is a palpable abthe most unlettered wight to ask his disap- surdity. probation of such reasoning, or to solicit his We had intended a somewhat severe casdissent from such conclusions as they have tigation for our friend H. B., as a punishment made necessary.
| for the dogmatic arrogance with which he has tortured his little knowledge of logic, those which flow from natural right or from and less acquaintance with his mother justice; but, on examining all the questions tongue, on pp. 111 and 112; but a second which appear to put utility and justice in reading of his article has convinced us he is opposition to each other, it will be found that a young and inexperienced writer, and we that which is not just can never be useful, or therefore only impose upon him, as a task in become matter of utility. Besides, it is not logic, to expunge all the redundant expres- | less true that the word "utility," in its popusions and rhetorical language from his paper; | lar acceptation, recalls to the mind an idea difand, having thus obtained a logical skeleton, ferent from that of justice or of right. Now, he will find it a very profitable exercise to when usage and reason have attached to a test every proposition and argument by the term a determinate signification, it is danrules laid down in the leading articles of gerous to change this signification; for it is Vols. I. and II. of the British Controver- in vain that the word in its new sense is sialist, he will then be likely to know what once explained; the word remains, and the estimate others may form of his reasoning, new sense is forgotten. “We cannot reason and learn, may be for the first time, the true (says Bentham) with armed fanatics respectvalue of his own logic; for we are compelled ing natural right, when each understands it to affirm that it is a logic peculiar to himself, as he pleases, and applies it as he thinks and the first specimen of the kind with suitable to himself.” But from his own words which we have ever met.
the principle of utility is susceptible of as The reasoning of our opponents proceeds many contradictory interpretations and apupon the assumption that utility may justify plications. “ Utility (he says) has oftenslavery; i. e., that usefulness to an individual, times been wrongly applied: in a strict sense or to a number of individuals aggregated into it has lent its name to crime; but we ought a society, may render slavery expedient, and not to cast upon the principle the faults if expedient then of course justifiable (?) which are contrary to it, and which it alone Now, however much we may object to expe- can rectify.” How can this apology be applied diency, or demur to the propriety of calling to utility, and not to natural right? The that just wbich derives its validity only from principle of utility has this danger beyond its expediency, we will accord the honour of that of natural right, that it awakens in the substituting expediency for duty to these heart of man the hope of profit, and not the admirable moral philosophers, and, taking sense of duty. Now, the valuation of a profit one step nearer to the source of their errors, is arbitrary; it is the imagination which offer a few remarks upon their favourite decides ; but neither the errors nor the “utility,” the keystone by which the whole caprices of the imagination alter the abstract fabric of their utilitarianism is held together notion of duty. Actions cannot be more or in the semblance of a system, and compare it less just; but they can be more or less useful with the term “right."
or profitable. By inflicting injury upon our A celebrated writer, otherwise commend fellows we violate their rights. This is an able for the profundity, the justice, and the incontrovertible verity. But if we only judge novelty of his thoughts-Jeremy Bentham, this violation by its utility, we may deceive the parent of utilitarianism-has raised his ourselves in the calculation, and find that voice against the idea of right, and especially there is profit or utility in the violation. The against the idea of unalterable and impre- principle of utility is then, by consequence, scriptable natural right; he has pretended much more vague than that of natural right. that this notion is not proper—that it mis- | Correctly speaking, right is a principle, leads us, and that it is necessary to substi- utility is only a result. Right is a cause, tute for it that of utility, which appears to utility an effect. Were we to subject right to him more simple and more intelligible. But utility, our folly would be equally great as the principle of utility such as Bentham has of that man who would subject the eternal and presented appears to have the inconveniences immutable laws of mathematical science to of all vague locutions, besides its own par- the changing interests of each fleeting hour. ticular danger. No doubt, in defining pro- Without doubt, among masses of aggreperly the term “utility," it is impossible to gated individuals numbers of relations bededuce from it the same consequences as I come immutable, and by their immutability