Punishments can only be salutary as a means of moral discipline in the measure in which they produce shame and mortification.
But one who has no self-respect can have no shame.
The effect of punishment in such a case is lost only so far as it may help to brutalize him. A desire to secure the favor and preserve the confidence of those upon whom we are dependent is the highest guaranty for faithfulness.
But he only who respects himself will value the respect and confidence of others.
And it is difficult for any man to retain his self-respect when he knows that no one respects him. It is not impossible to be done; but only men of great moral firmness and conscious integrity succeed in doing it. We have no right to expect it from slaves.
They universally concede the superior intelligence of the whites.
And for one of these, accustomed from early childhood to hear himself disparaged in company, and degraded by harsh epithets for his stupidity and disobedience by those whom he thinks to be superior in every thing, to grow up with the necessary self-respect, is not to be expected.
It would be singular, indeed, even if one who had been better brought up should be able to retain his self-respect under this kind of treatment.
And without self-respect, punishment can have no moral effect.
Why then should we thus sin against God?