Bible Sanctions Slavery
Slavery has been an issue, a debate, and a force in American Society for many years. Addressing this touchy subject is one that is most difficult, but necessary. Although slavery has laced many chapters of biblical mention, The American Slavery System has not upheld those writings to their full extent. In comparing the writings of Richard Furman- Exposition of the Views of the Baptists Relative to the Coloured Population in the United States to that of Angelina Grimke- Appeal to the Christian Women of the South, many refutes will come to pass and some clarity on the subject of slavery in America will be in place.
The arguments and evidence brought forth by each writer, and the obvious winner in this debate shall be evident. The broader subject taking place in American society over the issue of slavery Pre-Civil War is a subject Grimke Beginning with the writings of Richard Furman, he argues the fact that master to slave relationships existed in The New Testament. Furman also argues had the holding of slaves been a moral evil, The Apostles who feared their God, and willingly laid down their lives for any cause of their God, were convinced He (their God) would not have tolerated slavery in the
Christian Church. Furman also refutes Grimke’s Appeal concerning the nature in which slaves were kept, stating a slave becomes a part of his master’s family, (the whole, forming under him a little community) and the care of ordering it and providing for its welfare, devolves him. Lastly, Furman argues if the holding of slaves is lawful, or according to the scriptural rule, can be considered as requiring no more of the master, in respect of justice than what he, if a slave, could consistently wish to be done to himself, while the master to slave relationship should still e continued. Furman has very little solid evidence backing his claims. Furman refers to The New Testament, stating claims of the countries possessed and governed by the Romans being full of slaves.
Furman makes light of the relationships between masters and slaves during this biblical record, stating the fact that although they were slaves, they were converted to Christianity and they appeared to have enjoyed equal privileges while maintaining the master to slave mentality. In reading, all other accounts of assumed evidence would only be considered a list of ways to ustify, but more strongly persuade the addressed readers by Richard Furman. Furman feels in proving the subject of slavery justifiable by scriptural authority, its morality is also proved; for the Divine Law never sanctions immoral actions. As far as the violent nature in which slaves were kept, Furman portrays all slaves as a class of poverty stricken violent people, who if were not detained and provided for by The American Slavery System, would destroy the respectable communities they were sold into. Furman states the Christian golden rule, of doing to others, s we would they should do to us, has been urged as an unanswerable argument against holding slaves.
But this rule is not to be urged against that order of things, which the Divine government has established; nor do our desires become a standard to us, under this rule, unless they have a due regard to justice, propriety and the general good. All things mentioned as an account of evidence follow a rebuttal, in attempt to justify the action take on southern slaves in The American Slavery System. Angelina Grimke touches base with many of the claims Furman argues, refuting the logic f his writing in her Appeal to the Christian Women of the South. Grimke’s argument backing the fact that it is sinful to keep those in bondage that came down through inheritance should be overthrown. Grimke ultimately agrees with the fact that the Bible sanctions slavery, and that it is the highest authority. Grimke also states how great of an absurdity it is to suppose a man can be legally born a slave under our free Republican Government, than under that of the petty despotisms of Africa. Lastly, Grimke argues all excuses and palliations of this slave system shall e removed, as its justification only supports that of a public opinion, as for those who are an advocate of the slave trade as it stood.
Grimke states we must come back to the doctrine of our for fathers who declared to the world, “This self evident truth that all men are created equal, and they have certain undeniable rights among which are, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. ” Although absolute slavery exists in the Bible it was brought upon those slaves to reduce the wages of punishment. As told in Deut xx, 14, captives taken in war were reduced to slavery instead of being killed. It as not been proven that their children suffered bondage. Also in Lev. xxv, 44, bondmen and bond maids could be bought from heathen around them. These were left by fathers to their children after them. In reading Leviticus it does not appear that these servant’s children were ever reduced to servitude. If this Republican Government is so, we have no right to enslave an African then surely we have no right to enslave an American. No matter how fair the claims may be through wills and deed-titles, no master nor mistress can rightfully reduce those born into slavery to involuntary bondage and hold them as slaves.
Southern slaves were not held captive in war neither were they bought from the heathen. Southern slaves in The American Slavery System were not protected as the Hebrew and the heathen servants were by law in the Bible. These nine laws list the protection and rules that were to be followed: • • Thou shall not rule over him with rigor, but shall fear thy God. If thou buy a Hebrew servant, six years shall he serve, and in the seventh year he shall go out free for nothing. Ex. xxi, 2. • If he comes in by himself, he shall go out by himself; if he were married, then his wife shall go out with him.
If his master has given him a wife and she have borne him sons and daughters, the wife and her children shall be his master’s, and he shall go out by himself. If the servant shall plainly say, I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free; then his master shall bring him unto the Judges, and he shall bring • • him to the door, or unto the door-post, and his master shall bore his car through with an awl, and he shall serve him forever. Ex. xxi, 5-6. If a man smite the eye of his servant, or the eye of his maid, that it perish, he shall let him go free for his eye’s sake.
And if he smite out his man servant’s tooth or his maid servant’s tooth he shall let him go free for his tooth’s sake. Ex. xxi, 26, 27. On the Sabbath rest was secured to servants by the fourth commandment. Ex. xx, 10. Servants were permitted to unite with their masters three times in every year in celebrating the Passover, the feast of Pentecost, and the feast of Tabernacles; every male throughout the land was to appear before the Lord at Jerusalem with a gift; here the bond and the free stood on common ground. Deut. xvi.
If a man smite his servant or his maid with a rod, and he die under his hand, he shall be surely punished. Notwithstanding, if he continue a day or two, he shall not be punished, for he is his money. Ex. xxi, 20, 21. • • • • Of these laws, if biblical mention is to play a part in the justification to The American Slavery System, many laws have been broken, omitted, or simply ignored. In establishing how Furman and Grimke counter one another, it is best said that Grimke simply agrees to disagree. As previously stated, Grimke argues the fact that the Bible sanctions slavery, and that the Bible s the highest authority. In arguing this fact, she counters Furman by explaining slavery’s role according to scriptural rule in its entirety, leaving very little to nil to ponder.
Grimke’s refute to The American Slavery System is supported by six different ways by which in biblical times, Hebrews became legal slaves, none of which apply directly to The American Slavery System. The on way the American Slavery System adhered to any biblical terms is through the fathers of the American Christian land often selling their daughters. This was done in America, not s Jewish parents did to be the wives and daughters-in-laws of the man who buys them, but to be the slaves of irresponsible masters. Slaves in The American Slavery System were captured from their homeland in Africa and relocated to America, being sold to slave masters, which clearly refutes biblical terms from the first step taken. This is similar to how Joseph son of Jacob was sold into slavery by his brothers in the book of Genesis. The book of Deut. xxiv, 7 states; and again, “If a man be found stealing any of his brethren of the children of Israel, and ake merchandise of him, or sell him; then that thief shall die, and thou shall put away evil from among you.
” In reading to this point, the mounds of clear evidence dispensed by Angelina Grimke strongly out weigh the efforts of Richard Furman. In this, Grimke is most definitely more convincing. Grimke’s appeal simply opens one’s eyes to the slavery situation, bringing awareness, and an end result should be resolution. Again, Furman lists many reasons of persuasion, with very little if any biblical reference to back his claims. Being that both Furman nd Grimke believe the word (The Bible), all accounts in Grimke’s appeal should be taken into consideration. Slavery has been an issue, a debate, and a force in American Society for many years. Although slavery has laced many chapters of biblical mention, The American Slavery System has not upheld those writings to their full extent. Pre-Civil War, slavery was illegal and unconstitutional.
Furman does not reflect on this immediate subject at all, rather he attempts to justify the behavior using the church as his shield. Grimke on the other hand lists all things rue and evident about slavery in biblical times, long before Pre-Civil War. She also makes note of our for fathers who declared to the world, “This self evident truth that all men are created equal, and they have certain undeniable rights among which are, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. ” Arguing the very essence of the Republican Government, Grimke questioned the actions of The American Slavery System, for it is clearly a self evident truth that all men every where and of every color are born equal, and have an inalienable right to liberty.