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addressed to the Cardinal Archbishop of Toledo; and another still more comprehensive, by Urban VIII., dated the 22d of April, 1636, to the collector Jurius of the Apostolic chamber in Portugal, most severely castigating by name those who presumed to subject either East or West Indians to slavery, to sell, buy, exchange, or give them away, to separate them from their wives and children, despoil them of their goods and property, to bring or transmit them to other places, or by any means to deprive them of liberty, or retain them in slavery ; also most severely castigating those who should presume or dare to afford council, aid, favor or assistance, under any pretext, or borrowed color, to those doing the aforesaid ; or should preach or teach that it is lawful, or should otherwise presume or dare to co-operate, by any possible means, with the aforesaid. *
* Wherefore, we, desiring to divert this disgrace from the whole confines of Christianity, having summoned several of our venerable brothers, their Eminences the Cardinals, of the H. R. Church, to our council, and, having maturely deliberated on the whole matter, pursuing the footsteps of our predecessors, admonished by our apostolical authority, and urgently invoke in the Lord, all Christians, of whatever condition, that none henceforth dare to subject to slavery, unjustly persecute, or despoil of their goods, Indians, negroes, or other classes of men, or be accessories to others, or furnish them aid or assistance in so doing; and on no account henceforth to exercise that inhuman traffic by which negroes are reduced to slavery, as if they were not men, but automata or chattels, and are sold in defiance of all the laws of justice and humanity, and devoted to severe and intolerable labors. We further reprobate, by our apostolical authority, all the above-described offences as utterly unworthy of the Christian name; and by the same authority we rigidly prohibit and interdict all and every individual, whether ecclesiastical or laical, from presuming to defend that commerce in negro slaves under pretence or borrowed color, or to teach or publish in any manner, publicly or privately, things contrary to the admonitions which we have given in these letters.
" And, finally, that these, our letters, may be rendered more apparent to all, and that no person may allege any ignorance
thereof, we decree and order that it shall be published according
“Given at Rome, at the Palace of Santa Maria Major, under
“ Countersigned by Cardinal A. Lambruschini."
“Not only does the Christian religion, but nature herself cry out against the State of slavery.”
The Abbe Raynal says
“He who supports slavery is the enemy of the human race.
From the proceedings of a Massachusetts Anti-slavery
“Henry Kemp, a Roman Catholic, came forward to defend the
Thus manfully do men of pure hearts and noble minds, whether in Church or State, and without regard to sect or party, lift up their voices against the wicked and pernicious institution of human slavery. Thus they speak, and thus
they are obliged to speak, if they speak at all ; it is only the voice of Nature, Justice, Truth, and Love, that issues from them. The divine principle in man prompts him to speak and strike for Freedom ; the diabolical principle within him prompts him to speak and strike for slavery.
From those churches which are now—as all churches ought to be, and will be, ere the world becomes Christianized—thoroughly imbued with the principles of freedom, we do not, as already intimated, deem it particularly necessary to bring forward new arguments in opposition to slavery. If, however, the reader would be pleased to hear from the churches to which we chiefly allude-and, by the bye, he might hear from them with much profit to himself -We respectfully refer him to Henry Ward Beecher, George B. Cheever, Joseph P. Thompson, Theodore Parker, E. I. Chapin, and H. W. Bellows, of the North, and to M. D. Conway, John G. Fee, James S. Davis, Daniel Wilson, and W. E. Lincoln, of the South. All these reverend gentlemen, ministers of different denominations, feel it their duty to preach against slavery, and, to their honor be it said, they do preach against it with unabated zeal and success. Our earnest prayer is, that Heaven may enable them, their cotemporaries and successors, to preach against it with such energy and effect, as will cause it to disappear forever from the soil of our Republic.
Every person who has read the Bible, and who has a proper understanding of its leading moral precepts, feels, in his own conscience, that it is the only original and complete anti-slavery text-book. In a crude state of societyin a barbarous age—when men were in a manner destitute of wholesome laws, either human or divine, it is possible that a mild form of slavery may have been tolerated, and even regulated, as an institution clothed with the importance of temporary recognition ; but the Deity never approved it, and, for the very reason that it is impossible for him to do wrong, he never will, never can approve it. The worst system of servitude of which we have any account in the Bible—and, by the way, it furnishes no account of anything so bad as slavery (the evil-one and his hot home alone excepted)—was far less rigorous and atrocious than that now established in the Southern States of this Confederacy. Even that system, however, the worst, which seems to have been practiced to a considerable extent by those venerable old fogies, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, was one of the monstrous inventions of Satan that God "winked” at ; and, to the mind of the biblical scholar, nothing can be more evident than that He determined of old, that it should, in due time, be abolished. To say that the Bible sanctions slavery is to say that the sun loves darkness ; to say that one man was created to domineer over another is to call in question the justice, mercy, and goodness of God.
We will now listen to a limited number of the
“Proclaim liberty throughout all the land, unto all the inhabitants thereof."
“Let the oppressed go free.”
“ Thou shalt not respect the person of the poor, nor honor the person of the nighty; but in righteousness shalt thou judge thy neighbor."
“The wages of him that is hired shall not abide with thee all night until the morning."
" Envy thou not the oppressor, and choose none of his ways."
"Do justice to the afflicted and needy; rid them out of the hand of the wicked.”
“ Execute judgment and justice; take away your exactions from my people, saith the Lord God.”
“Therefore thus saith the Lord ; ye have not hearkened unto me, in proclaiming liberty, every one to his brother, and every man to his neighbor : behold, I proclaim a liberty for you, saith the Lord, to the sword, to the pestilence, and to the famine ; and I will make you to be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth."