it, for that law which destroys his personality makes void its own claims upon him as a moral agent; and the power to punish ceases with the accountability of the criminal. He may suffer and die under the penalties of the law, but he suffers as a man, he perishes as a man, and not as a thing. To the last moments of his existence the rights of a moral agent are his; they go with him to the grave; they constitute the ground of his accountability at the bar of infinite justice,—--rights fixed, eternal, inseparable; attributes of all rational intelligence in time and eternity; the same in essence, and differing in degree only, with those of the highest moral being, of God himself. Slavery alone lays its grasp upon the right of personal ownership, that foundation right, the removal of which uncreates the man; a right which God himself could not take away without absolving the being thus deprived of all moral accountability; and so far as that being is concerned, making sin and holiness, crime and virtue, words without significance, and the promises and sanctions of revelation, dreams. Hence, the crowning horror of slavery, that which lifts it above all other iniquities, is not that it usurps the prerogatives of Deity, but that it attempts that which even He who has said, ‘All souls are mine,’ cannot do, without breaking up the foundations of His moral government. Slavery is, in fact, a struggle with the Almighty for dominion over His rational creatures. It is leagued with the powers of darkness, in wresting man from his Maker. It is blasphemy lifting brazen brow and violent hand to heaven, attempting
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
The conflict with slavery
Zzz Missing head
A chapter of history.
Thomas Carlyle on the slave question.
The Anti-slavery Convention of 1833 .
Reform and politics
Peculiar institutions of Massachusetts .
The inner life.
Dora Greenwell .
The Society of Friends
John Woolman 's Journal.
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