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[53] and that it is determined to charge upon its opposite interest the infliction of all those evils which necessarily attend its own operation, ‘the primeval curse of Omnipotence upon slavery.’

We have already felt in too many instances the extreme difficulty of cherishing in one common course of national legislation the opposite interests of republican equality and feudal aristocracy and servitude. The truth is, we have undertaken a moral impossibility. These interests are from their nature irreconcilable. The one is based upon the pure principles of rational liberty; the other, under the name of freedom, revives the ancient European system of barons and villains, nobles and serfs. Indeed, the state of society which existed among our Anglo-Saxon ancestors was far more tolerable than that of many portions of our republican confederacy. For the Anglo—Saxon slaves had it in their power to purchase their freedom; and the laws of the realm recognized their liberation and placed them under legal protection.1

To counteract the dangers resulting from a state of society so utterly at variance with the great Declaration of American freedom should be the earnest endeavor of every patriotic statesman. Nothing

1 The, diffusion of Christianity in Great Britain was moreover followed by a general manumission; for it would seem that the priests and missionaries of religion in that early and benighted age were more faithful in the performance of their duties than those of the present. ‘The holy fathers, monks, and friars,’ says Sir T. Smith, ‘had in their confessions, and specially in their extreme and deadly sickness, convinced the laity how dangerous a thing it was for one Christian to hold another in bondage; so that temporal men, by reason of the terror in their consciences, were glad to manumit all their villains.’—Hist. Commonwealth, Blackstone, p. 52.

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