Deity has yet explained himself, he has in no instance enjoined upon man the observance of any principle as his duty, which he may be compelled, in the order of his providence, to violate.
It is equally false in fact, for it is not true that we are absolutely compelled to be slaveholders.
If government be, as it undoubtedly is, the agent of the people, and the people choose, they are certainly competent by this agent to free themselves from this institution.
True, the immense cost of such an enterprise would be the least in the catalogue of evils resulting from it; for the total ruin of the African race in this country may be put down among the rest.
But what of all this?
Nothing can justify an enlightened and civilized people in committing sin. No; not even the sacrifice of life itself.
Withal, if the civil society refuse to make so costly a sacrifice to avoid sin, there is nothing that can compel any individual citizen to remain a slaveholder.
He can live in the community, as some do, without even hiring or owning a slave; or he can remove to one of the so-called free States.
We should give no countenance, therefore, to any such mere attempts to apologize
for domestic slavery.
The conduct of bad men may sometimes find apologists.
The conduct of good men always admits of defence
. Hence, with many others, I have often been