understandings; and hence, cheerfully submitting to their providential condition as from the Lord
, they obeyed their masters “in singleness of heart as unto Christ
They submitted, as any other good man submits, with consent as well as assent to his providential condition, and goes forth to the duties of that condition with a cheerful heart.
Their condition was therefore changed from that of subjection
to one of submission
, and for as long a time as God might be pleased to continue it. Did they, by reason of such submission, cease to be slaves?
Certainly not. They were slaves when in a state of subjection
. They were not the less so when, from the high Christian motives commanded by the apostle, their condition was changed to one of submission
. Be this, however, as it may, the following case is decisive of the whole question.
The ancient Jew, who gave
himself into slavery, was not the less a slave because he did it voluntarily; and the Mosaic law provided that such should be held and treated as slaves in perpetuity.
See Exodus XXI. 5, 6 : “And if the servant shall plainly say, I love my master, my wife, and my children: I will not go out free;
then his master shall bring him unto the judges: he shall also bring him unto the door, or to the door-post; and his master shall bore his ear through with an awl; and he shall serve him for