Imágenes de páginas

It has pleased GOD, the Father of all men, to cover fome men with white skins, and others with black skins : but as there is neither merit nor demerit in complexion, the white man (notwithstanding the barbarity of custom and prejudice) can have no right, by vira tue of his colour, to enflave and tyrannize over a black man; nor has a fair man any right to defpise, abuse, and insult a brown man. Nor do I believe that a tall man, by virtue of his ftature, has any legal right to trample a dwarf under his foot. For, whether a man is wise or foolish, white or black, fair or brown, tall or short, and I might add rich or poor (for it is no more a man's choice to be pour, than it is to be a fool,

[ocr errors][merged small]

or a dwarf; or black, or tawney,) fuch he is by: GOD's appointment; and, abstractedly. considered, is neither : a subject for pride, nor an object of contempt. Now if amongst men, the differences: of their powers of the mind, and of their complexion, Itature, and accidents of fortune, do not give to any one man a right to abuse or insult


other man: on account of these differences ; for the same reason, a man can have no natural right to abuse and torment a beast, merely because a beast has not the 'mental powers of a man, For such as the man is, he is but as GOD made him; and the very fame is true of the beast. Neither of them can lay claim to any in?


trinsic Merit; for being such as they are ; for before they were created, it was impossible, that either of them could deserve; and at their creation, their shapes; perfections, or defects were invariably fixed, and their bounds set which they cannot pass. And being such, neither more nor less than GOD made them, there is no more demerit in a beast's being a beast, than there is merit in a man's being a man; that is, there is neither merit nor demerit in either of them.

A Brute is an animal no less sensible of pain than a Man. He has similar nerves and organs of sensation; and his cries and

groans, in case of violent impressions upon


[ocr errors]

his body, though he cannot utter his complaints by speech or human voice, are as strong indications to us of his fenfibility of pain, as the cries and groans of a buman being, whose language we do not understand. Now as pain is what we are all averse to, our own fenfibility of pain should teach us to. commiserate it in others, to alleviate it if possible, but never wantonly or unmeritedly to inflict it. As the differences amongst men in the above particulars are no barts to their feelings, so neither does the difference of the Shape of a brute from that of a man exempt the brute from feeling; at least, we have no ground to fuppose it. But shape or figure is as much the appointment of


[ocr errors][merged small]

GOD, as complexion or ftatüre. And if the difference of com plexion or ftature does not convey to one man a right to defpise and abufe another man, the difference of shape between a man and a brute, cannot give to a man any right to abuse and torment a brute. For he that made man and man to differ in complexion or ftature, made man and brute to differ in shape or figure. And in this cafe likewise there is neither merit nor demerit ; every creature, whether man or brute, bearing that shape which the supreme Wisdom judged most expedient to answer the end for which the creature was ordained.


« AnteriorContinuar »