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[304]

II. the duties of masters to slaves, as social beings.

They are entitled to the restraints, the protection, and the encouragement, which a prudent administration of a system of good laws is calculated to afford. A part of this is secured to them by the civil government; but a large part is left to the discretion and fidelity of the master. The civil government assumes that the pecuniary interest of the master and the duty which he owes his slaves coincide so perfectly, that the performance of certain duties may with propriety be left to him. He is the patriarch of his whole house. His family is his empire, subordinate, it is true, to the civil government, but still an empire. He commands the time and labor of his children and his slaves — the one for a definite period in life, the other for an indefinite period. He gives law to the one and to the other. So long as he does not violate the constitution and laws of the political commonwealth of which he is himself a subject, his authority is absolute. All the rights of his children and his servants appeal to him. He is responsible to the civil government not to violate its provisions, and he is responsible to God for the faithful performance of his duties to his children and his servants; for the sin of omitting to do

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