‘I did publish such a statement,’ replied Judge Rush
; ‘and I am ready to abide by it; for in all cases, I consider the divine law above the human.’
drew from his pocket a small Bible, which he had brought into court for the express purpose, and read in loud distinct tones the following verses: ‘Thou shalt not deliver unto his master the servant which is escaped from his master unto thee: He shall dwell with thee, even among you, in that place which he shall choose, in one of thy gates, where it liketh him best: thou shalt not oppress him.’
Deut. 23: 15, 16.
The slaveholder smiled; supposing this appeal to old Hebrew law would be considered as little applicable to modern times, as the command to stone a man to death for picking up sticks on the Sabbath.
But when the judge asked for the book, read the sentence for himself, seemed impressed by it, and adjourned the decision of the case, he walked out of the court-house muttering, ‘I believe in my soul the old fool will
let him off on that ground.’
And sure enough, the slave was discharged.
's quickness in slipping through loop-holes, and dodging round corners, rendered him exceedingly troublesome and provoking to slaveholders.
He often kept cases pending in court three or four years, till the claimants were completely wearied out, and ready to settle on any terms.