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natural born citizen of the United States is religiously and morally bound to support it.
How, then, can any enlightened American citizen, native or naturalized, be held guiltless by the Judge of all, of perjury or of rebellion, while endeavoring to prevent a fellow-citizen of another State, from recovering one “held to his service by the laws" of his own State, under the sanction of the Constitution of the United States, which he is most solemnly bound to sustain ?
The second question is, What is the law of the United States on the subject? for I am bound, as well as every other citizen of the United States, to obey all the constitutional laws of this nation, according to the true interpretation and intent thereof.
The law of Congress passed in 1793, and that passed in 1851, obviously agree in the following items: 1. It is declared to be a criminal offence to resist the due execution of the law; to “know. ingly and wilfully obstruct or hinder the claimant in the arrest of the fugitive; to rescue such fugitive from the claimant when arrested; to harbor or conceal such person after notice that he or she is a fugitive from labor.”
And here let me emphatically note, that the construction which certain lecturers frequently put upon this law, very much resemble the interpretations put upon the Bible by sectarian preachers and commentators.
It is taught and believed in most of the free States, by many opposed to this law, that it inhibits, on civil pains and penalties, any citizen of a free State from showing any act of sympathy or kindness to a runaway slave; such as feeding, clothing, lodging him, or give ing him any directions, suspecting or knowing him to be a runaway; and thus virtually forbids the charities due to suffering humanity. I do not so interpret or understand the law, and neither so understands it any one whose calm and deliberate judgment I respect. The law, as I read it, only says, “Thou shalt not harbor or conceal such fugitive, so as to prevent the discovery and arrest of such person, after notice or knowledge of the fact that such person is a fugitive from service or labor aforesaid.” The “notice and knowledge of the fact" is neither rumor nor suspicion, but legal notice and knowledge. And as stated by some of those who enacted this law, “ This deprives no one of the privilege of extending charities to the fugitive. You may feed, clothe, and lodge him, provided you do not harbor or conceal him, so as to prevent discovery and arrest, after notice or knowledge that he is a fugitive.'” And this I learn to be “the construction put upon a similar provision in the old law, by the highest judicial
tribunal in the land.” “The only difference between the old law of ninety-three, and the new law of fifty-one, in respect to obstruct. ing its execution, is to be found in the amount of the penalty, and not in the principle involved.” So says a Senator of the United States. The law of '93, as well as the law of '51, provides that "the penalty may be recovered by and for the benefit of such claimant by action of debt, in any proper court to try the same; serving, moreover, to the person claiming such labor or service, his right of action for, or on account of, the said injuries or either of them." · I cannot, from all that I have heard or read on the whole premises, see any valid reason or cause for resisting the present law, any more than for resisting that law " passed by the patriots and sages who framed our glorious constitution," and cordially approved by the “Father of his country,” A. D. 1793. Besides, this law is but an amendment of that of '93, and neither a rescinding nor an abrogation of it. That law still remains in force; and should the late amendment be rescinded, we simply fall back under the law of '93, which is morally and religiously, to all intents and purposes, the same with the recent act of Congress. Such are my views, after a candid consideration of all that I have read and heard from both sides, in the present discussion and excitement.
Such being my convictions, I cannot but remonstrate with those who profess, with me, to love the authority of the great King, to submit ourselves to "the Powers that are ordained by God," and that, too, with our own consent and by our own suffrage. As Christians, we are not called to create discords, to excite wars and tumults at home or abroad. By what warrant from our King can our brethren at the North, or at the South, kindle the flames of dis. union or civil war, on such premises, or for such objects, as are now before the people? Every principle of Christianity, every law of God, is at war with such a spirit and with such proceedings. I am sorry to see ministers of the gospel of the Protestant denomination -especially those of the Baptists at the North--in the late move, ments at Boston, so outraging their own profession as ministers of peace, and every Christian principle, by condescending to come down from their sacred desks into the streets, to inflame a tumultu, ous mob, and to inspire an unlawful assembly to resist the government of our own, as well as that of our Lord's, creation and ordination. This union with political demagogues, most of whom have their own aggrandizement and elevation incomparably more at heart and in their eye, than the emancipation or elevation of their alledged down-trodden brethren at the South, is most revolting. SERIES IV.-VOL. I.
The most humiliating spectacle in my horizon is that of Northern, Central, and Southern disunionists, under pretence of patriotism, religion, and humanity, conspiring to pull down and annihilate the fairest fabric of social prosperity, of national greatness, glory, and happiness, ever reared on earth by the hand of man; and that, too, under the benignant providence, direction, and blessing of the Lord Messiah-the present reigning monarch of earth and heaven; by whom all the kings of earth do reign, and all the governors thereof decree justice.
Nothing of human incongruities and inconsistencies is, to my vision, more unseemly, more repugnant to good sense, good taste, and good morals, than to see Christian ministers and avowed Infidels, standing side by side, on the same stage, sowing the seeds of disunion, insubordination, and insurrection, among the people.
Every word in the Bible reprobates such a course of action, and inhibits such connections and co-operations to pull down and destroy any form of government-Pagan, Papal, or Mohammedan; and, still more, a government and institutions which have blessed the past and the present with the largest benefits ever enjoyed by man, and which are yet pregnant with brighter hopes and richer promises to human kind, than God in his providence and philanthropy has ever yet vouchsafed to fallen man.
No one regrets, more than I, the existence of slavery in the United States, nor the means which are employed to break it down. It is not enough to remonstrate against it, by showing a better way, but we must chide and denounce our less fortunate brethren, who happened to be born and brought up in the midst of it, and under laws which, were they ever so unanimous, they could not annul. They should not be held up to public scorn, and treated as man-stealers and robbers, because they are not able, nor, under present circumstances, willing, to encounter all the responsibilities consequent upon an indiscriminate and universal emancipation of those providentially placed under their care and protection, and in which no free State seems willing to co-operate, so far as to permit them to locate and settle amongst them, or to send back to Africa the descendents of those whom their fathers imported, we know not on what condition, nor by what authority, and for whom, in most cases, they received a full remuneration.
Still, there are as pure and disinterested brethren at the North as I know any where at the South, who conscientiously think it their duty, according to their standard of Christian morality, to plead the cause of universal emancipation, and to declaim incessantly against slavery, as if it were the sum total of all evils, and no one could make them think otherwise. Some of them have become men of one idea, and it has grown so luxuriantly as to choke all other ideas that ever entered their heads or their hearts.
But although no prophet, and having no ambition to be accounted a prophet, I have long felt a growing conviction, now amounting to a moral assurance, that both the theory and practice of American abolitionists is based upon a grand delusion—a radical mistake of human nature, as developed in these United States, which will ultimate in their mortification and defeat.
Interference between a man and his wife, in any misunderstanding between them, it is said by them of old time, is certain to termi. nate in the concentration of their indignation, not of their gratitude or affection, upon that too officious neighbor. Experience, there. fore, has decreed and enacted- let them alone; let them settle their own affairs and adjust their own troubles amongst themselves. Experience, too, has demonstrated that this is the true philosophy. So in this case. Let the South manage its own institutions, and the North theirs until they are invited to assist them with their counsels. Let the Southern family settle its own affairs, and let the Northern family settle its own affairs, and let them, in matters common to both, unite to aid and comfort one another.
There was, to my certain knowledge, before an abolition society was formed in New England, (more than twenty-five years ago) much more likelihood that the South would adopt some system of colonization, or find some approved outlet for the constantly accumulating evils growing out of the system, than there ever has been since. And exactly in the inverse ratio of Northern interference, has that disposition diminished. Right or wrong, politic or impolitic, this is a law of human nature as it now is, and long has been. Should any one attempt to melt an iceberg by kindling a fire under it, however plausible to himself his theory might be, his experience will prove that the iceberg will extinguish his fire long before the iceberg is dissolved by it. Let him wait for the balmy breath of spring and the genial rays of a vernal sun, and, in the meantime, keep his own hearth warm, and be sociable with his less comforta. ble neighbors. Invite them to see how he lives at home, and let them learn from his well-directed industry and economy how to emulate him in personal and social enjoyment.
to 1000 To conclude for the present, as a philosopher and a Christian I would say to the North, let the South have their slaves, and throw no impediment in the way. Let them, on the present compromise, fill up their own territory, or emancipate them, as they please; and rather sympathize with them than upbraid them on account of misfortunes which they have inherited, rather than superinduced upon themselves and their children.
CHRISTIAN KNOCKINGS-No. III. Behold, I stand at the door and knock: if any man hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to him and sup with him, and he with me.
The AmEx, the faithful and true WITNESS, the Beginning of the creation of God.-Rev. iii. 14, 20.
It is frequently the case, that the intelligent contemplate popular delusions in contemptuous silence. Being themselves able to dis. cern the frightful features of imposture throngh the thin veil of pretended philanthropy, by which it is usually attempted to conceal them, they suppose that the deception must be equally visible to others, and that it would be quite unnecessary to undertake its exposure.
This, however, is a most unfortunate mistake. It is itself one of those delusions to which the intelligent alone are liable, and a skilful device by which Satan lulls the proper guardians of truth into a supine indifference, while he leads away the unthinking and unresisting multitude, unconscious of their chains. There is, in fact, no imposture so base, as to be undeserving of notice; no fraud so palpable, as not to require exposure. Whatever a man can have the audacity to offer, a man may have the credulity to receive. Whatever a human mind can fabricate, a human mind may sanction. There has never been, in the history of the world, a falsehood too evident for belief; a theory too absurd to find adherents, or a deception too gross to be palmed upon mankind.
Take, for instance, the idolatries and superstitions of the world; or, if it be objected that these occur chiefly in an uncivilized and degraded condition of society, take amongst the most enlightened and Christian people on the earth, any of those notorious and wild delu. sions which, in defiance of the light of truth, the influence of refine. ment, and the power of religion, have penetrated through all ranks and conditions of men, and overleaped all the barriers of common sense and reason. Look, for example, at the case of Mormonism, where, in the midst of the intelligent population of the States of