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1 The famous Rev. Samuel Hopkins, D. D., an eminent Calvinist divine, published, soon after the commencement of the war, a dialogue concerning the slavery of the Africans, which lie dedicated to “The honorable Continental Congress,” and of which the following passage exhibits the drift and purpose:
God is so ordering it in his providence, that it seems absolutely necessary something should be speedily done with respect to the slaves among us, in order to our safety, and to prevent their turning against us in our present struggle, in order to get their liberty. Our oppressors have planned to gain the blacks, and induce them to take up arms against us, by promising them liberty on this condition; and this plan they are prosecuting to the utmost of their power, by which means they have persuaded numbers to join them. And, should we attempt to restrain them by force and severity, keeping a strict guard over them, and punishing them severely who shall be detected in attempting to join our opposers, this will only be making bad worse, and serve to render our inconsistence, oppression, and cruelty more criminal, perspicuous, and shocking, and bring down the righteous vengeance of Heaven on our heads. The only way pointed out to prevent this threatening evil is to set the blacks at liberty ourselves, by some public acts and laws, and then give them proper encouragement to labor, or take arms in the defense of tie American cause, as they shall choose. This would at once be doing them some degree of justice, and defeating our enemies in the scheme that they are prosecuting. ---Hopkins's Works, vol. II., p. 584.
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