rendering to their bondmen “that which is just and equal
,” and upon servants to “be subject to their masters with all fear, not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward.
For this is thank-worthy, if a man, for conscience toward God, endure grief, suffering wrongfully
Was this treating them as beings whose wills were absorbed in the humanity of the master, who therefore was the only accountable person for all their conduct!
Nothing could be more alien from truth, and significant of falsehood!
No: obedience is never applied, except as a figurative term, and especially by the apostles, to any but rational and accountable beings.
And with such inspired requisitions before us--“obedience from the one, and Justice from the other
” --it is grossly absurd to affirm that the relation of master and slave regards the slave as a brute, and not as an accountable man. “The blind passivity of a corpse, or the mechanical obedience of a tool,” which Channing
regard as constituting the essential idea of slavery, seems never to have entered the minds of the apostles.
They considered slavery as a social and political economy, in which relations involving reciprocal rights and duties subsisted, between moral, intelligent, and responsible beings, between whom, as between men in other relations, religion held the scales of justice.