A. Woodward.

A Review of Uncle Tom's Cabin or, An Essay on Slavery online

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sufficiency of coarse food and coarse clothing, to keep soul and body
together through a protracted and miserable existence; the condition
of many of them being worse than that of a majority of Southern
slaves. Most of operatives who live on their daily wages, do nothing
more than earn their victuals and clothes, and slaves are generally as
well clothed, and better fed than they are. It is clear to my mind,
that a majority of slaves are better compensated for their labor, than
the poorer class of people, North or South. I base this conclusion on
the fact, that neither the one, nor the other, receive any thing more
than their victuals and clothes, and the slave is better fed, and
better clothed than the poor white man. This is neither a far-fetched
conclusion, nor yet an exaggeration. It is literally true. I repeat,
that the slaves of the South are generally better provided for, than
the generality of the tenantry, North or South. Hence, the slave is
better paid for his labor than the white man, under these
circumstances, slaves are also exempt from those corroding cares,
perplexities and anxieties, which embitter the lives of the poorer
class of white people. He has but to finish his task, and eat and
sleep; the cares of the family devolve on master and mistress. The
storms of adversity, the losses and crosses incident to all families,
pass over his humble hut. The poor white man has bread and meat
to-day, but God only knows from whence it will come to-morrow. Not so
with the slave, he knows well from whence his bread and meat is to
come "for the morrow." Master is bound to make provision for him, and
he feels no concern about the matter. "He takes no thought for the
morrow." Well, but says one, the white man has liberty, poor as he may
be. He can work to-day, and forbear to-morrow, if it suits his ease,
convenience, or inclination. Very true, and the misfortune is, that he
too often works to-day, and gets drunk to-morrow; or, otherwise,
squanders away his time foolishly. Indigence and ignorance subject men
to oppression in all countries, and under all circumstances, it
matters not whether you call them slaves or freemen. There is
oppression and injustice everywhere. It originates in the supreme
selfishness of our natures - our self-love. It was the original design
of Christianity to eradicate this principle from the human heart.
"Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." "Whatsoever ye would that
men should do to you, do ye even so to them." This is the language of
the author of our religion. The great apostle had direct reference to
the selfishness of our hearts when he said, "the love of money is the
root of all evil." While selfishness is the dominant principle of our
hearts, we can neither love God, nor yet our neighbor. The Holy spirit
can never enter our hearts, while this principle reigns supreme
within. He has been trying to expel the monster from the hearts of the
human family, for nearly two thousand years; but as yet he has
accomplished his object but partially. He pleads for entrance, but too
often pleads in vain. We must relinquish our self-love, before we can
love God supremely, and our neighbor as ourselves.

Selfishness, self-love, or the love of money, as the apostle terms it,
stands in the way of all that is noble, generous, and just, in our
intercourse with our fellow creatures. It is "the root of all evil,"
all injustice, all oppression, all unrighteousness, all that mars our
peace and happiness in this world, all tumults, all strife, all
contention, all war, all blood-shed, all hatred, all misery in time,
and all our woes to all eternity.

There are times when my heart sickens within me. I feel, I know that
there is oppression and wrong in our world, and that millions of my
fellow creatures are interested in perpetuating those wrongs. I know
that wherever the human foot has trodden the soil, that _might
triumphs over right_, that the strong oppress the weak, that the poor
and dependent too often become the servants of the rich; that the man
of quick discernment, too often overreaches and takes advantage of his
simple, less gifted, and unsuspecting neighbor. That the master, the
land-lord, those who are endowed with superior knowledge, those who
are in possession of wealth, power, and influence, too often become
oppressive, tyrannical and cruel to their inferiors, servants and
dependants. I know that these evil exist, and that many believe that
they would sustain damage by any attempt to mitigate, or remove them.
Self-love, self-interest, the love of money, the love of ease, the
love of wealth, splendor, and power, stand in the way of any
reformation. Their prejudices, too, that have grown with their growth,
and ripened with their years, must be removed. They moreover imagine
that not only their self-interests, but their honor, their ease and
convenience, their all - all that they hold dear in the world, will be
endangered by any attempt to eradicate the evils alluded to. Will
they, under these circumstances, listen to the calls of suffering
humanity, the voice of reason, the laws of Divine revelation, and the
stern dictates of conscience? Can we expect it, when so many interests
are involved, when so many prejudices must be broken down, and old
institutions rooted up, and a new order of things introduced? Can
moral obligation, a sense of duty, the dictates of conscience,
overcome that instinctive passion of the human soul, the love of gain?
Oh! the love of money, that mighty leveller of power, the golden
serpent that beguiles us to transgress the laws of God, to disregard
the rights of man, and to burst asunder the common ties of humanity,
which were designed in the wisdom and beneficence of the adorable
Creator to bind us all together - the world, every member of the human
family of all nations, kindred, and tongues, high and low, rich and
poor, bond and free, into one common brotherhood. Will men ever
reflect, that we are all brothers, descendants of the same earthly
parent, children of the same heavenly father, having common interests,
alike the subjects of joy and sorrow; that the author of our existence
is no respecter of persons; and, finally, that we must all stand
before a just and righteous Judge, and give an account of the deeds
done in the body, "whether they be good or evil." These are solemn
thoughts, and we look in vain for a correction of the evils under
which the world groans, unless the minds of men can be disentangled
from worldly pursuits, and can be impressed with their responsibility
to the Author of their existence, and the obligation to each other.
Here all our hopes must center, and to this end must all our efforts
tend, if our object is the regeneration of the human race. Men must
understand their true interests, their relations and obligations to
each other, and their accountability to God, before they will "cease
to do evil and learn to do well." If either the writer or the reader,
expects to do anything in behalf of suffering humanity, he must never
lose sight of the corruption of our natures, and the great fountain of
error and misconception, self-love, as the source of all that mars the
peace and happiness of the human family. And what is of paramount
importance, we must bear in mind, that without Divine aid, we write in
vain, we read in vain, that God alone can accomplish the great work,
and that we are but instruments in his hands. We must then, with
unwearied patience and diligence, do our duty, and leave the event to
him who has all power in heaven and earth.




CHAPTER XIII.


The memorable words of our Saviour, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God,
with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind; and
thy neighbor as thyself," comprise the whole duty of man. God requires
nothing more of any man. He that loves God will yield a ready and
cheerful obedience to all his commands; and he that loves his
neighbor, cannot, under any circumstances, or in any condition of
life, do his neighbor injustice or wrong. I have shown in the
preceding Chapter, that all oppression, all injustice, that all the
evils and calamities which befal the human family, originate in, or
are perpetuated by our self-love. Selfishness, self-interest, or
otherwise self-aggrandizement, is the mainspring of all our actions if
we are devoid of love to God and man. This innate principle of our
hearts, the love of money, the love of ease, wealth, power and fame,
must be overcome before we can love God and our neighbor; or otherwise
discharge those duties incumbent on us as Christians, good citizens,
and philanthropists. While self-love or selfishness is the dominant
principle in our hearts, we can be neither humane, just, nor generous
in our intercourse with our fellow creatures. It is impossible. Under
these circumstances we must and will invade their rights; provided
that our interests are enhanced thereby. I have said that this innate
principle of cupidity must be overcome before we can love God or our
neighbor. The question present itself, how? By what means or agency?
The gospel of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ was promulgated for
this special purpose. By what agency? Through the pervading influence
of the Holy Ghost shed abroad in our hearts, purifying our corrupt
natures. To whom was this gospel committed? The church of Christ. We
look then to the church of Christ for its promulgation, and an
application of its principles. But some branches of the church are so
corrupt that we can no longer look to them as the depositories of
truth, righteousness and justice. Our Saviour sowed good seed, and the
devil sowed tares; and the tares have grown and multiplied until they
have nearly superseded the product of the good seed. But the
difficulty does not stop here, for we find, at this time, multitudes
who have crept into every branch of Christ's church, who give
incontestible evidence that they are under the influence of the worst
passions and propensities of the human heart. Who are devoid of every
principle of the Christian religion. What is their object? What are
the motives of such persons when they attach themselves to the
different branches of Christ's church? Search your hearts ye whited
sepulchers, and tell me what was your leading object when you became
church members? Tell me, was it to serve God? No, for ye continue to
serve the devil with more alacrity than formerly. Shall I hold you up,
naked and deformed as ye are, or shall I forbear? The truth must be
told, be the consequence what it may. It was not your intention when
ye entered the pale of the church, to place yourselves in such a
position as would enable you more effectually to serve either the
Author of your existence, or the father of lies. You made a profession
of religion in order to serve yourselves. You designed nothing more
nor less than to make a profession of religion subserve your business,
profession or avocation; or else, give you character and notoriety in
the world. Here now is the principle of self-love, selfishness,
self-aggrandizement, prompting men to attach themselves to the
different branches of Christ's church.

The politician contemplated, no doubt, that by becoming a church
member he would secure the suffrages and the influence of a large
portion of the members of that church to which he attached himself.
The merchant by the same manoeuvre, expected to sell more goods; and
the physician was aware that it would afford him an excellent
opportunity to _brother and sister_ himself into a better practice.
The lawyer expected to get large fees from avaricious and contentious
church litigants. For church members will engage in lawsuits, the
authority of John Wesley, and the still higher authority of St. Paul
to the contrary, notwithstanding. The mechanic too, must have the
patronage and influence of the church. Neighbor B., over the way, is a
regular church member in good standing; and I must become one too, in
order to compete with him in business. Dear me, says the farmer to his
beloved spouse, don't you see that we are raising a large and
promising family of children; and we must make them respectable. How,
my dear, says the good lady; by dressing our daughters in silks, and
our sons in broadcloth? No, no, says the close-fisted farmer, there is
a cheaper and readier way to accomplish it; though I have no objection
to seeing the children decently clothed. Have you not observed that
all the respectable families in this neighborhood are Methodist,
Presbyterians, or Baptists, (as the case may be,) and in order to
become respectable, we too must go and join the church. These are the
corrupt, the impure, the abominable motives, which too often lead men
to attach themselves to churches; and these are the considerations
which are too often presented to non-professors by ministers, as well
as private members. I regret to say it - I blush while I record it: I
have frequently seen professors of religion approach non-professors
with all the sanctimoniousness which they could possibly assume, and
abruptly address them in the following words: "Come, my friend, you
must be religious; you must get religion and join the church." The
poor sinner objected - difficulties interposed - he could not, at least
at the present time; begs leave to be excused until a more convenient
season. "Well, but - come my friend, you may find it greatly to your
advantage. We are numerous, we are respectable, we are influential, we
can aid you in your business, and elevate your character in society."
This is no fancy sketch, I have seen it with my own eyes, and heard it
with my own ears, a thousand times; and I beg those who honor this
work with a perusal, to reflect for one moment, and I think that they
can call to mind similar circumstances. I am loathe to wound the
feelings of any one, but a practice so well calculated to corrupt the
church of Christ, so contrary to the spirit of Christianity, must and
shall be exposed. It is thus that men are frequently drawn into
churches, by appeals to the worst passions and propensities that
characterize the human heart. By appeals to their cupidity! their love
of fame! their love of power! By touching the mainspring or the root
of all evil - love of money! What can be expected of those on whom such
unhallowed means are brought to bear? They were begotten by
unrighteousness, "conceived in sin, and brought forth in iniquity." No
wonder churches are corrupt.

It behoves us to inquire in what, this ungodly procedure, on the part
of professors of the Christian religion, originates. It originates in
an undue desire on the part of ministers and church members to
strengthen their party. It is the same spirit that actuated the
Pharisees of old, when our Saviour told them, "ye compass sea and land
to make a proselyte;" and what then, after they had succeeded, why he
is then "seven-fold more a child of hell than yourselves." No wonder,
nothing else can be expected, when people are induced to attach
themselves to churches from such impure motives. I never yet saw such
extra efforts made to get some poor, indigent, ignorant, insignificant
individual into a church. But if the man has wealth or influence we
generally find all hands at the bellows.

There are a class of religionists in the world, and there are more or
less of them among all denominations of Christians, who are never
easy, never satisfied, never content, unless they are cramming their
own peculiar notions down other people's throats. Their object is not
to change men's hearts, but to change their opinions. They take up the
New Testament and read Christ's sermon on the Mount; but they find
nothing in it to answer their purpose. It is but an ordinary
production in their estimation. They pass on through Matthew, Mark,
Luke and John. How stale, how dull, how uninteresting these gospels,
they are led to exclaim. They see but little beauty in the God-like
teaching; or the inimitable example of Christ. His last agonies, his
death on the cross is insufficient to move their callous hearts. But
on they pass through the Acts of the Apostles, and the Epistle to the
Romans; but, oh! stop, they have found it at last? Reader, what do you
suppose that they have found? What were they in search of? Why some
text of Scripture which seem to support their own peculiar notions on
the subject of Baptism, Election, Predestination, the Final
Perseverance of the saints, &c. The zeal of such persons to propagate
their opinions is not more remarkable than the confident, dogmatic
manner in which they express them. It is remarkable that professors of
religion who are most ignorant and depraved, those who have embraced
the grossest errors, are the most confident, arrogant and intolerant
in their efforts to force their opinions on others. It may be set down
as a maxim, that where there is most ignorance and error - that those
whose creeds contain the least truth, are under all circumstances the
most forward to engage in controversy with others.

Truth is quiet - error is noisy and boisterous; truth is meek - error is
proud and self-sufficient; truth is modest - error is bold and forward;
truth is diffident - error is confident and assuming; truth is resigned
to the will of God - error is self-willed. To arrive at the truth is
not the design of such persons. It is not their eternal interests, nor
those of their fellow creatures that stimulate them to effort. They
read the Scriptures, not as honest inquirers after truth, but with a
view of finding something that will give support to some preconceived
opinion, doctrine, creed or ceremony. That will give support to some
abstruse doctrine, form or ceremony, which has no direct reference,
whatever, to their eternal interests, nor to their duty and
obligations to their Creator, nor yet to their fellow creatures. Their
motives and intentions are dishonest, their professions insincere and
hypocritical, and it is not in the power of their bigoted and corrupt
minds to comprehend, "whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things
are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure,
whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report."




CONTENTS.


INTRODUCTION. - SECTION I.

Abolition editors. Their statements false,

Letter writers travel South - Misrepresentations,

Northern men mislead by abolition papers, and Uncle Tom's Cabin,

Sectional hatred is engendered thereby, and the Union endangered.
Slavery agitation has retarded emancipation, riveted the chains of
slavery, and inflicted injury on masters and servants,

The revolutionary designs and tendencies of abolitionism,

The Union based on the slavery compromise,

Those who invade the rights of the South, are guilty of not only a
civil, but also of a moral trespass. The primitive church was
subordinate to the civil authorities. Language of Christ and his
Apostles,

Contrast between Christ and his Apostles, and the apostles of modern
reform,


SECTION II.

Is universal emancipation safe or practicable? What would be the
consequences?

Idleness, vagrancy and crime, the fruits of emancipation,

There is not a free negro in the limits of the United States,

Universal prejudice against the African race. The African no where
allowed the ordinary privileges of the white man,

Free negroes of Baltimore - their appeal to the people of the United
States. Judge Blackford. Dr. Miller,

Slavery agitation of foreign origin. Slavery not extinct in the
British dominions. The English poor,

White slavery and negro slavery,

The condition of African slaves in the United States better than the
mass of European laborers. Slavery exists in every part of the British
dominions,

British Asiatic Journal. Dr. Bowering. Duke of Wellington. Sir Robert
Peel and the London Times,

Madame Stowe has caricatured, slandered and misrepresented her
country, to please the English people. She is invited to England.

Reflections. The wreck of nations. Cardinal virtues. Bigotry and
fanaticism. Advice to ladies,


SECTION III.

Declaration of an English nobleman. Destruction of the government of
the United States, by the Sovereigns of Europe. Their allies, aiders
and abettors in the United States. Uncle Tom's Cabin. Mrs. Stowe in
England,

_Isms and Schisms. Tomism_ in England and America,

England a nation of murderers, thieves, and robbers. Their hypocrisy,

Mrs. Stowe in England. Their object in fanning the flame of discord
among us,

John Bull. Mrs. Stowe and her coadjutors. Graham's Magazine,


SECTION IV.

Popularity of Uncle Tom's Cabin in England and America. Its designs,
tendencies, injustice, falsehood, &c.

The Bible. Cupidity and hypocrisy,

The "inward man." Self deception,

Mrs. Stowe's object in writing her book,

Its reception. The conclusion of the whole matter. Yankee ingenuity.
Hypocrisy,

"Gain is godliness," and their pretended godliness is all for gain.
English emissaries and abolition editors. Motives that prompt the
abolition party to action. Sympathy for the African race a mere
pretense, or affectation of superior sanctity,

Every man is conscious that he ought to be a Christian, therefore
every man wishes to be esteemed such. Affected piety. Bible
Christianity,

England's inconsistency. John Bull a bigoted, meddlesome old
hypocrite. "Charity begins at home." Treatment of free negroes North,
by abolitionists,


SECTION V.

Harsh epithets applied to Southern slaveholders by abolitionists,

The Sacred Record. God alone was competent to decide what was best for
masters and servants, individuals and nations. Every departure from
the Sacred Oracles is practical infidelity,

The Bible alone is a safe and sure guide. Nothing can mitigate the
evils of slavery, but a rigid observance of its precepts on the part
of masters and servants,

The African derives no benefit from emancipation if he remain among
us. Mrs. Stowe would have us substitute greater evils for lesser - "out
of the frying pan into the fire." She has told a wondrous story,

Uncle Tom's Cabin. Free negroes' tales. Negro novels, village gossip,
busy-bodies, idlers, loafers and liars,

Slavery is not an evil under all circumstances. It would have proved a
blessing to the slaves, if masters and servants had complied with the
requisitions of the Bible. None so much to blame as abolitionists. The
condition of an individual may be such, that he is fit for nothing but
a slave,

The evil consists in the incompetence of the individual, and not in
that condition or station in life, to which his incompetency subjects
him. Hence, the evils of slavery have their origin in its abuses,

The African in his native state. Negroes transported to the United
States. Slavery in Africa. Captives taken in war. Cruelty of negro
overseers. Ignorant men hard masters. African masters,

One portion of the African race are slaves to another - the larger
portion slaves. American and African slavery,

The slaves of the South have superior religions advantages. Southern
clergy,


SECTION VI.

Is it the duty of American slaveholders to liberate their slaves? The
consequences of universal emancipation,

Crime committed by free negroes. Negro convicts, North. Prison system.
Pauper expenditures. Crime among free negroes, North and South,
contrasted,

The religious condition of the African race, North and South,
contrasted. Why is it, that the free blacks, North, derive so little
benefit from the Christian ministry?

The argument mainly relied on, to prove the sinfulness of American
slavery. Every institution subject to abuse,

White and black concubines. Illegitimate children,


CHAPTER I.

Which side of the question are you on, Sir?

Ultraists North and South. Writers who disseminate erroneous views.
Uncle Tom's Cabin a work of that class,

The Author of our existence made us to differ mentally and physically,

We all look through different glasses, some view objects through a
microscope - exaggeration is their _forte_. Their minds were cast in a
fictitious mould,

It is a dire calamity that this class of writers have taken hold of
the subject of slavery,

Slavery an evil - but what shall we do with it? Sympathy for the
African race, the object of Mrs. Stowe's book - right and proper, if
properly directed, but blindfold sympathy not likely to result in any
good,

Slaves of the South proper objects of sympathy - so are their masters.
Uncle Tom's Cabin, a gross misrepresentation,

Is it right for Mrs. Stowe to present slaveholders, _en masse_, to the
whole civilized world, as a set of hell-deserving barbarians?


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Online LibraryA. WoodwardA Review of Uncle Tom's Cabin or, An Essay on Slavery → online text (page 13 of 14)