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[241] appetite which is fed, that leads the mere “readers and cipherers” of the land to turn aside from those valuable productions so appropriate to their real wants, and delight themselves in tragic stories of murder, arson, and rape, from the perusal of which they rise with passions inflamed to crusade against the morals of society. Christianity sternly rebukes the abuses complained of; and equally condemns that perversion of genius which employs those abuses to corrupt the public taste and the public morals. As far as Christianity prevails, the civil law which requires humanity in the exercise of domestic authority, no less in the case of the slave than in the case of the child or the apprentice, is sanctioned, and, in cases demanding it, is duly enforced by public opinion and sentiment. In all communities in which Christianity is the presiding influence, African slavery must, therefore, be a mild form of domestic servitude. It even contributes in a measure to a knowledge of letters. Many servants are raised by their associations with civilized life to a desire to read the word of God. The domestic relation often supplies them with the means of gratifying this desire. Many pious slaves read the word of God as a part of their family worship; and instances are not wanting of those of whom it may be said, they “are mighty in the Scriptures.” Such are the tendencies

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