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rael to serve with rigor. All their service, wherein they made them serve, was with rigor, T^oa tna^-ns "itix tsrVaris. Any such oppressive rule was forbidden; it was a crushing oppression, from which God had delivered them, and they were defended, by special edict, from ever exercising the same upon others. It only needs to repeat, in this connection, the benevolent command in the nineteenth chapter of Leviticus: "If a stranger sojourn with thee in your land, ye shall not oppress him, but the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born amongst you, and thou shalt love him as thyself, for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt," and to connect with this the statute in Lev.xxiv.: "Ye shall have one manner of law, as well for the stranger, as for one of your own country," and we shall feel it to be impossible that, in one and the same breath of divine legislation, an oppressive treatment, forbidden for the Hebrews, was permitted and appointed for the strangers. If it had been plainly said, Ye shall not oppress the children of the Hebrews, but ye may oppress the children of strangers, what must have been thought, what would have been said, of such legislation, so contradictory in itself, and so glaringly inconsistent with previous legislation in regard to the same classes? Yet this is the very inconsistency, and contradiction, and moral obliquity, implied and involved in the assertion of those who contend that the forbidding of a rigorous treatment of the Hebrew servants, licenses and authorizes, and was intended so to do, an oppressive treatment of the heathen servants, even as slaves. Never was a more monstrous argument instituted, subversive of the very first ideas of the Divine benevolence and justice taught in the Mosaic books themselves, as well as in all the other Scriptures. The argument could hardly have been proposed, had it not been for the use of the word bondmen in our English version, in the 46th verse of this chapter, where there is no such word, nor anything answering to it, in the original Hebrew. And even in the margin our translators have put the more literal and truthful rendering, so that a careful English reader may see that there is no such word as bondmen in the text

The Jubilee Statute, the great crowning statute of universal personal liberty, was passed for all the inhabitants of the land, and no statute of limitation or exception was, at any time, afterwards added; but only statutes were added specifying the manner of treatment up to the time of release. But if there is nothing in the great Jubilee Statute itself that limits it, expressly and undeniably, then it must be interpreted in accordance with the humane and free spirit of other Hebrew legislation on the same subject. It should be our desire not to give to despotism, but freedom, the benefit of any doubt. Were it not for a desire to interpret the statute as against universal freedom, and were it not for the careless assumption that slavery existed among the Hebrews, it could never have been so interpreted. Men have looked through the glass of modern slavery, and the history of ancient, to find the same system among the Hebrews. But, in reality, there is found a set of laws and causes to prevent and render it impossible, and at length to break it up, all over the world. The system of Hebrew Common Law would, by itself, have put an end to slavery everywhere. The Hebrew laws elevated and dignified free labor, and converted slavelabor into free. Slavery could not be utterly abolished in any other way than by a system of such laws. A people must be trained for freedom. The heathen slaves could not be admitted to dwell among the Hebrews, except in such subjection, preparatory to complete emancipation. The subjection itself was a voluntary apprenticeship, and not involuntary servitude; and by reason of the privileges secured, and the instruction enjoined by law, it was a constant preparation for entire emancipation, a constant elevation of character; and then, every fifty years, the safety of complete emancipation was demonstrated. The Jubilee Statute cannot be understood in any other light. But when the veil of prejudice is taken away, it is especially by the tenor of the Hebrew laws in regard to slavery, that the beauty and glory of the Hebrew legislation, its justice, wisdom, and beneficence, become more apparent than ever. The law of heathen servitude until the Jubilee, was a naturalization law of fifty years' duration. It was a fifty years' probation of those who had previously been idolaters and slaves, for freedom. It was a contrivance to drain heathenism of its feculence. The heathen slaves were in no condition to be admitted at once to the privileges of freedom and of citizenship among the Hebrews. They needed to be under restraint, law, and service. They were put under such a system as made them familiar with all the religious privileges and observances which God had bestowed and ordered, a system that admitted them to instruction and kindness, and prepared them to pass into integral elements of the nation. It was a system of emancipation and of moral transfiguration, going on through ages, the taking up of an element of foreign ignorance, depravity, and misery, and converting it into an element of native comfort, knowledge, and piety. And the Statute of the Jubilee, the statute of liberty to all the inhabitants of the land every fifty years, was the climax of all the beneficent statutes, by which the sting was extracted from slavery, the fang drawn; and by this statute, in conjunction with all the rest, the Hebrew republic was to hold to the world the glory of an example of freedom and equality, in marvellous and delightful contrast with the system of horrible oppression, cruelty, and bondage, everywhere else prevailing. The distinction between the tenure and the treatment of Hebrew servants and foreign, was not arbitrary. It grew naturally out of God's whole revealed and providential system, as well as being in conformity with the necessity of the case. But if there had been no necessity, it was only in keeping with the favor of God towards his own chosen people, that the servants from among the heathen should be held for a period seven times longer than the servants from among the Hebrews, and in a less exalted and more general service than their own. A Hebrew servant was free every seventh year; a heathen servant, every fiftieth. It would have been a strange thing, a solecism, if there had not been some such distinction. Yet the distinction itself was voluntary; that is, it was at any heathen servant's option to make a contract for the whole period to the next Jubilee, or not. If, rather than make such a contract, he chose to return to the heathen country, he was at perfect liberty to go; and if he staid, and could find any master to take him as a hired servant, and not as a servant of all work, till the Jubilee, there was no law against that; he was at liberty to hire himself out on the best terms, and to the best master, that he could find. So much is indisputable, and so much is absolutely and entirely inconsistent with slavery. General Argument from the After-History. The argument and evidence from the after-history of the Jews, in regard to the unlimited application of the law of Jubilee to the strangers as well as native Hebrews, is nearly as demonstrative and irresistible as that from the statute itself. It is clear that if the heathen had been given and appointed of Jehovah to be taken as perpetual slaves by the Hebrews, a race of slaves must have been constituted, who would have increased, in the course of a few centuries, to the number of hundreds of thousands. But that no such race was ever in existence, is equally clear, not the least trace of them being found in the sacred records. Had there been such a race in the time of Jeremiah, the Jewish masters would not have been so eager to convert their Hebrew servants into slaves; that conspiracy against the law indicates that they had, at that time, very few heathen servants. Indeed, by the natural process of the law of Jubilee, in connection with other statutes, each generation of heathen servants, instead of being perpetuated and increased, passed into free and integral elements of the Hebrew State; so that, after the lapse of no very long period, the supply of heathen servants must have been greatly diminished, and almost the only prevailing form of service must have been the six years' period, as appointed in the twenty-first chapter of Exodus. If the Hebrew families and masters could, by law, have held as many heathen as they chose for slaves, and the chil

dren, born of such slaves, followed the condition of their parents, then, nothing could have prevented such a set of men as were ready to undertake and carry through a revolution from freedom to slavery in respect to their own countrymen, from buying and breeding heathen slaves without limit, especially if God's law for the land had absolutely given and bequeathed the heathen to them for that express purpose. This would have been such an establishment of slavery by the Divine law as would have rendered inevitable and permanent the most diabolical and venal licentiousness and cruelty that ever, in any systematic shape, has cursed the earth. But by the law of the land, after an appointed time, the strangers and sojourners, and children of strangers from among the heathen, all became denizens, citizens, proselytes, and could claim the privileges of Hebrews. By the time one season of Jubilee had been run through, they would " enter into the congregation of the Lord;" and thus slavery was effectually and forever prevented, both by law and the practical working of the institutions of society. Hence the grasping avarice of the Jews, turned at length against their own native servants, and hence their daring and cruel attempt to change, by violence, those fundamental and far-reaching statutes of freedom and a free polity, appointed for them by Jehovah. To those who have not examined the subject, it seems strange that not the sin of idolatry, but the sin of slavery, the violation of the law of freedom, should have been marked of God, among the catalogue of Jewish crimes, as the one decisive act of wickedness that filled up the measure of their iniquities, and brought down the wrath of God upon them without remedy or repeal. But the wonder ceases, when the nature of the crime is taken into consideration. Being a crime concocted and determined by all the princes, priests, and people, together with the king, it was really making the whole nation a nation of men-stealers; and man-stealing was a crime appointed in the law of God to the punishment of death; so that the adopting of it by the government and the people, was an enshrining of the iniquity in public and

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