Jonas Hartzel.

A defense of the Bible against the charges of modern infidelity; consisting of the speeches of Elder Jonas Hartzel, made during a debate conducted by him and Mr. Joseph Barker, in July 1853 online

. (page 21 of 26)
Online LibraryJonas HartzelA defense of the Bible against the charges of modern infidelity; consisting of the speeches of Elder Jonas Hartzel, made during a debate conducted by him and Mr. Joseph Barker, in July 1853 → online text (page 21 of 26)
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their improvements to pass. Christianity took a different course.
It talked little, but did a great deal of work ; it was humble
and modest in its pretensions, but vast and glorious in its per-
formances. It did not make confusion by foolishly shaking die
branches of the tree of evil, but it secretly sti^ck at the root, and
the trunk and the branches came down to the ground togethw."


Tell Mr. Pillsbury, who applauded in his letter to
the ''Bugle," the speeches of Mr. Barker in the
Bible Convention, as superior to the Bible itself, that
I would rather be the author of the extract just read
from Mr. Barker, than of all he said in the Bible
Convention. This extract sets forth the genius of
the Gospel — the divine philosophy o| Christianity,
Well and truly might an Apostle say — ''The*
weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty,




through God, to the pulling down of strong holds."
Jetsus Christ laid the ftmndatioii deep and broad for
the uprooting of every system of oppre8si<m. In hia
early instructions to his Apostles, he gave all the
moral principles by which they sb^M govern them^
selves, m regulating the afiltirs of his ^kingdom^^*
promising them fbrther aid when he should harvek^
them. " I will ^ve you a mout^ and wisdom whicb
all your adversaries shall not be Able to gainsay, bof
resist." In this was tiie secret of tiidr sucoesB.

ICow let me have your concentrated attention to
the last precept in Ghrist^d sermon <m the Moont :
^^Therefore all things whatsoevelr ye woold that men.
should do to you, do yi^even bo to them." Chriflt
gav^ this law of moral tight to his disciples '-''■-aiul,
to the well instructed in the kingdom of God, it ia all
infallible rule. It never errs, when implied ^l^ tiiose
^hoile desires, tastes and affections have been purified'
and chastened ; but to apply it to the igiionmtifllave*.
holder, drunkard and gambler, as hia ataodard .of
moral obligation, is mos^ prepostwoss. . Id this law
&uiid in any slaveholding canon t Light and darfe-
ness cannot dwell together.

When Chris's Disciples indulged in fedings of
rival irreatnes^, he corrected tiiem^ tmd cast out the
demon of worldlj^ domination, as may be seen "bom
Matthew, 20th chapter. The moiher of Zebedee'a
children, desirous that her €k)ns should occupy the
most honorable positions in Christ'^ kingdom, be-
sought the Lord in their behalf. When the ten heard

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it ihey were moved with indignation; '^But Jesus
called them unto him^ and said, ye know that the
Frinoea of the Gentiles exi^rcisQ dominion over them,
and tiiej ihat are great exercise authority upon th^n.
But it eball not he so «iiM>Bg yen, hut whogoeyer will
he great among yon, let him he your minister; and
whosoeyer will he dtdef among you, let him he your
servant." All the worid has heen, and yet is mis*^
taken upon the suhject of true, genuine greatness.
We see the wco'king^ of this error. It makes of (me
man a wholesale murderer; of another a despot; of
another a alayebokto. . Whi^t hitter i^it has growii
upon Aat aecursed tre^l The great may exercise
aiithority — ^the strong imy oppr^s the weak — " But
^vrtuosbever will be great nmopg yoi^, let him he your
minii^;er ; and whosoever will he chief ainong you,
let him he yoor s^i*vant," wa6 a new reyelatioQ, aQd.
as offintivQ as it was Bot^i.

liaskoow, oaa a man. he a ^m^^-^Imean an
ivOdUgimi iJhridUm^-'-'BsA at the same time a slave*
holdeor ( Th^e tenm are not convertible. They are
incompatible with each oth^. Genuine Ohrlstianity
is a r^rersing of things; Among the Gentiles the
great were served; among the Christians the great
wereix>«6rve. In. the parable of the good Samaritan,
Jesus struck another Mow at the root of this entire
system of selfishness. He there taught his £)llow-
ers, that their benevolent regards were not to be con-
fined to a sameness of country or religion. As
Christ taught the Aposfles, so the Aposties taught

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the churches. Under the influence of a more exalted
benevolence than Judaism, Peter commands the
members of the church to " honor all men." Slave-
holders live in open violation of this command, and
ev^ kindred precept. Whatl honor a n^ro?
Yes, ^* howor aU tnen.^^ Let us next hear the Apos-
tles, for we must go to their teachings, as the earliest
ministers and instructors of those duties enjoined
upon Christians. I will call your attention to Ist Cor-
inthians, 7th chapter, beginning with the 21st verse:

"Art thou called being a servant ? care not for it: but
if thou mayest be made free, use it rath^. For he
that is called in the Lord, being a servant, is the
Lord's freeman: likewise also he that is called, being
free, is Christ'^ servant. Ye are bought with a price ;
be not ye servants of men. Brethren, let every man
whereiti he is called, therein abide within God." In
all my interpretations of the Scriptures, my jSrst
question is, what gave rise to the subject ? So now,
what called this forth ? We gather from the first
verse of the chapter, which we have quoted, that the
church had propounded some questions to the Apostle
with reference to marriage, circumcision, and slavery.
This understood, we proceed:

"And the woman which hath a husband that
believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her,
let her not leave him. For the unbelieving husband
is sanctified by (to) the wife, and the unbelieving
wife is sanctified by (to) the husband." Eeligious
difierences did not efiect the legality of the relation;

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nor y^ tbe legitinwi^y of tMr offiipring, "But if
the unbelieving depart, let him depart, A brother
or sist^ is not under bonds^e in su^ <?asei^: bu$
God hath called us to peace.' •

Then i» i^e^ud to ciff5u^l(?i^io». "Ift ftftjr ijaaii
called being circunadiBed ? let hii^ upt be^pgiQ uncir-
cumcised. Is any called in uncircuHicision? let
him not be circumcised," Thei^® was ftie liteii^l
circumcision, and the literal ^ncircumcisipn. Let
not the Jew disclaim being a Jew accordiijig to the
flesh, nor tiie Gentile being a Gentile acccadii^g to
the flesh. For now, "Circumcision is nothing, aud
uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the
commandments of God." Theiji. the Apostles enjoins,
" Let every man abide in the stpi^ calling wWeii^
he was called."

Then comes tl^ statute bearing upon slavery.
What the precise fonn of the question was^ we are
not infolded. Twenty-first verse : " Art thou call-
ed, being a servant? caps not for it; but if thou
mayest be made free, use it rather." Yours is ^ ha?d
lot : "care not for it." Be patient; bear Uie injtiries
with becoming submission. We use the same form
of expression to those in hard allotmentd. "But if
thou mayest be made free, use it rather." The desire
for freedom^ was a la\dul aspiration ; and no Chris-
tian master could refuse to grant his slave a justifia-
ble desire and be guiltless, if duties are redjprocal.
In Christ, the slave and the freeman stand upon
equality. Christ does not disregard the one nor

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esteem the other on account 6f these polittcal differ-
ences. This was to comfort. It was the best the
nature of the c^e would admit. Again : ' '23d rerse,
the Apostte says: **TeaW bought with a price; be
not ye the s^rvatnts of men." Mr. Barker says, Paul
never' forbade slatery. Let the asi Mr. Barkdr the
meaning of this last sentence, " Be not ye the servants
of men.'" Is it not used in a prohihUory sense, and
in the imperative mood? Paid, then, did com-
mand free Christians not to surrender their freedom
and become slaves, f6r the following reason : *' Ye are
bought with a price, be ye not the servants of mto."
For the same reason he says in the 6th chapter,
*' Flee fornication." " For ye are bought with a
price ; therefore glorify God in your body, and in
your spirit, which are God's." This was forbidding
it with a strength of feature worthy of himsdf, end
worthy of the cause.

The next passage to which we invite attention will
be found in Ist Timothy, chapter 6 : 1,2.

*^ Let as many servants as are under the yoke
count their own masters worthy of all honor, that
the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed.
And they that have believing masters, let them not
despise them, because they are brethren ; but rather
do them service, because they are fatthfiil and be-
loved partakers of the ben^t." "Hiere are evidently
two orders of "masters" in this passive. One, in
the first verse, and the other in the second. Tlie
first unbelieving, the second believing. The "serv-

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ftnts" ci these '^mftBters" atood in these relations.
The one was under l^e ^' yoke," the others were not
under the "yoke." The first are required to give
thdr " masters" " honor" — to count them worthy of
^^ all honor." Now, on what ground does the Apostle
claim " honor" for the masters in the first verse ? He
does not base it on the wiHrthiness of the '^ master,"
but commands it, " that the name of God be not
Uasphemed." Surely a Christian master would not
Maspheme the name of God, if his "servants" should
fail to " honor" him ; but it is presumable that a
heathen "master" would "Uaspheme" "the name
of God," and quarrel with the religious profession
of his slave. Christians are required to walk in
wisdom towards them that are without — to pursue
such a course towards unbelievOTS as to win them to
Christ ; . as is farther shown in the 1st Epistle of
Feter, 3d chapter, Ist verse.

" Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own
husbands ; that if any obey not the word, they also
may without the word be won by the conversation of
the wives."

Who does not know, that when a man becomes a
Christian by profession that there is an enlargement
of expectation with reference to his future behavior ?
Both saints and sinners have an indisputable right
to claim something as the fruit of their profession.
This, on the part of many, is an unintended com-
plim^it to Christianity. It would be in perfect
harmony with the genius and spirit of Christianity

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for a slave to suffer for the sake of his " unbelieving
master,^' and it would also be the most certain way
of securing to himself better treatment, and perhaps
freedom. 'Hiose who have "believing masters^ are
to do them " service, becattse they are fiiithM and be-
loved partakers of the benefit.'* Such motives to
fidelity could never have been urged in case the old
relation had continued ; but the character of the
"master'' ("faithful and beloved,'') and the motives
to obedience presented to the "servant," imply ttiat
both ^* master" and " servant" were Christians. I
have examined the word ^^partaher.*^ It means,
according to Webster, a participator, a reciprocator.
It does not make the ** servant," but the "master," a
"partaker of the benefit." " Partaker^^ means no-
thing more nor less tiian a participatQr - K>Be who has
or takes a part in common with others. To talk of
a Roman slave, as such, being a " partaker" with his
"master" in the "benefit" of his toil would have
be^i the superlative of nonsense, and could not have
been urged as a motive to fidelity. Suppose you
try it in the case of an American slave. Say to
him, be " faithful ;" you are a " partaker" — ^you
expect to eat of the com for which you toil. Yes,
80 will my master's mule. He and I have an equal
interest. We shall eat of it through the winter, that
we may be able to raise another cw)p for* our
" master." Can we suppose an Apostle would have
been guilty of such a piece of mockery ?
We will next invite your attention to Colossians,

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4th chapter, 1st verse. ^'Masters, give unto. your
servants that which is just and equal j knowiug that
ye also have a master in Heaven."

If this lanfflVigff means anything, it goes to show
that /CS^istians could not h(^ their slaves as thej
had iforaaarly held tiiem - that the j^rpperty relation
wa^ done away ; and with that the profitableness to
the I'maater*" I wish particularly to call attention
to ^he lai)gj?ag^jQf,this statute. . ^Masters give to
your demmfs ths^, which is jvst, anpl eqiudJ^ Here
arQ two wcHrds utterly incompatible with the idea o^
slaveiy. l^ere can be no such ^ing as justice ^nd
equity between a proprietor a,nd his pwperty^ To
co]?amadid a maurtogive goods and chattels, thait
whicb is " JBBt f^nd equ^/' would indeed ^ea new and
a staran^ ki^d. of .parlance. Had thQ language been,
^^ render.untp your ^aves 4;hat wb^b is merc^j^," thai;
would biaye beei^ in harpiony with properly relatjojasj^
whereas, the other is at utter variance with every
thing of the ki»d, faa^ consequently herp th^ proper^
relation could not have exists, Did the Bomsga
slav)e law require jusUe^ and equality from master
to .slave? Tbie was moire 0um food, raiment, and
medicjne, It:W0uld require righteous comppusation
for services acQOidii^ to the atandard^. of appreeia-
ticm, and reiq)eotfi2l treatment in all religious and
social relations^ as defined by Christiaiiity. Can we
demand such treatment ipf a m^ji to his jaiorse? To
talk of equality between a man and his ox, is to talk
without meaning. ^' Partakers of the henefit.^^ Slave-
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CHABotes OF MbDKEN mtwELtrr. 267

holders never were «^;, partakers of tbe benefit,'* but
receivers of the ''^hmefiV^ TIm9^ was nothing reel-
procaJ between 1^ Roman/* master" and his slave.
liet these specified duties be required of professing
Christian slaveholders in these United States^ and
slavery will soon coqae to an end, at least so far fis
the chiircl) is concerned.. That such was the ten-
dency of Christian principle and gractice, and woidd
be again if these were, allowed to control tliQ parties,
we can have no doubt. If proof of this is r^miired
it will be found in '^ CihristiaJiity Trimnphant," by
Joseph Barker, pages 110, 111 :

« Thrmiehout the wiiole of those l)eH«i^leTit cffwtsi idiich have
eooedin the abotitit^ of ^ig Mcutsed wstem, ve befa^d HOtking
bttt tlie influence of tii&TeligkHi of Jems dhrirt. Wefind no «oekty
of unbelieTerg passing resolutions sgfthiet the slave-trade Mid
«lav«7, or sending forth <*t^ir adri^s to thehr Mends, backed by
powerful reasons^ to keep theniselipes dear ftom ^e gains of «p-

Sression, and to employ their influence in' seeking the abolitioff of
le erU. From first to lust the i^lorions ^d god4ikeiMshfeyement
is the work of the religion of Christ. They were Christians that
fost pleaded against it m theit social circles ; they were Christians
that firrt resolved a||^ns| it In their 8<deran meetings ; th^ Were
Christians that first formed the anti-slavery society; they" were
ChrisUan legislators that first lifted up their veifces gainst the
evil system in. the high places of power; they w.ere Christians
that went across the seas, and endured tlie hardships of persecution,
to teach the oppressed and injured i^ves Hie religion of Jesus
Christ ; they were Christians which sent up from idmost every
town and vnlage in the country their petitions for the liberty of the
slares to our Houses of fkrliAmenl ; and it was the influ^cd of
Christian principle that at last prevailed to set the afflicted and
injured multitudes free. Ohyes, Clarkson was a Christian, and
8harpe was a Christian, and Wilberforce was a Christian ; and the
men that are still watching over the interests of the liberated slaves
are Christians ; and those noble men and women also are Christians
that are lifting up their voices against slavery in America. Chris-
tianity is the friend of liberty in all its lovely forms, nor will it
cease to war witii ^>preaiioai and slavery, until their last remains
shall perish from the face of the earth. The Gk)spel was sent to

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make a world free, nor will H cease iti operations till the blessed
work is done. The rxA of oppression shall be broken ; the lash
wUch was osfd lor the lortare of humanity duUl be east awaj- ;
the chains and manacles of the slave shall be dissolred, and there
^all not be left a slare ilmmgh ril the dwellings of mankind.
The Qospel alkali continue its opmtions till libei^ of soal, and
libertj oi Kmb, shall be the p<»tion of eveiy child of man."

I win now read a short extract from Gibbon. Sore-
ly he cannot be suspected of &yoring the Christian
religion ; tor he was an infidel, and sought by every
opportunity to throw disgrace upon Christianiiy.
The extract I read is from vol. 4, page 269 :

, "Whaterer restraints ckT. age, or forms, or numbers, had been
^nrmerl^ introchioed to* <^eak tbe abuse of manumissions, and ike
too rapid increase of vile and indigent Romans, he (Justinian)
finaUy abolished ; and the spirit of his laws promoted the extinc-
tito Of domealie senritude. Yet the eastern prorinces were filled »
in tke time of Jusitiman, with multitodes ei slaves, either bom or
pteurchased lor l&e use of thek masters ; and the price, frooa ten to
aerentj pieces of ^lidy^was determined by their age, their strength,
and their education. But the hardships of this dependent atate
were continttallj diminished by the influenoe of goyemment and
rdigion ; and toe pride of a subject was no longer ^ated by his
absolute doiainion oter the life ana happiness of m» bondsman/'

By consulting Qibbon more extensively you will
discover that the Bomans had placed an injunction
upon manumission. Ohristianity having begun its
work the country was rapidly filling up with persons
of servile birth, raised first to the distinction of fireed-
men, and finally to the honor of citizenship. And
hence the restraints and ched^s imposed upon manu-
missions. These laws, intended to dieck manu-
mission, Justinian abolished. He again opened the
door to the Christian "master," to let the slave go
"free.'' In this favorable opening for manumission,
it had gone on so rapidly that it was done away in

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the western provinces, and through the combined
influence of government and rdigian. The Christian
was now the prevailing religion, that acted upon tiie
government and the government upon slavery; and
our historian says the ^^ subject had no longer tiie
abs(dute d<Hninion over tiie life and hi^piness <^his
bondsman." lUs was A. D. 553. Justinian, a pro-
fessed Christian, was at this time Emp^x>r; a weak
man we admit, in some respects, but a j»ro£es8ing
Christian. He did a good work in r^oooving these
checks y intended by the Boman Senate to prevent the
too rapid manumission of slaves. Now in view of
these positive iaets, and of the extract last read from
Mr. Barker, what shall we say of professing Chris-
tians who appeal to the New Testament, or of un-
believers who calumniate the Christian scriptures as
a pro-slavery document, that they may make slavery
the occasion of throwing discredit upon them t Is it
true that a pro-slavery system made anti-slavery men
and promoted tiie extinction of slavery ?

Who have been the successful advocates of the
abolition of slavery from the first to the present
century! Did the heathen philosophers and mor-
alists advocate Ate cause of the oj^ressed? Nay ;
in the f^es when they flourished, slavery was uni-
versal, and more than half of mankind were slaves.
While the world was in this deplorable condition we
see a few Jews rising out of obscurity, and silently,
and unobtrusively setting on foot a system that has
made successful war upon this monster of wickedness

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for eighteen ceijtiil'ics. And who has caixied on the
war ? Who Jirsi moved in the matt^, ancj. who are
now deing tha work of redeeming man from bondage ?
That fBueh has b^en effeeted in our own and in other
lands will not be questioned; and.whs^ haa been
eflfedied, has been .doneiby Ae sai»e instrumentality.
I ask e^diB) through wjiose agency has this been
accomplished 4 I answer in the wordii: of Joseph
Barker, ''tiwrani^ Ghristi^tti influwce ^#and iwi."
I aak, then j whether these facts do no^ olear Chris-
tianify from the pret^^ions of prp-sla.vei'y professors
i and ^^Anti -slavery infidels? I ask again, must
Ohrifitianity be uprooted in order to do anything
effectually against the syst^n of Ameri(^m slavery
in that portion of ow country where it yet exists ?
Let the dmrch pracitice the Christianity of the New
Testament and she will soon throw off this disgrace;
and until she does carry out Christianity both in
principle and in practice, it is wrong ^ it is unjust^ it
is wicked to hojd Christianity responsible. Would
it be thought just or honorable to charge upon our
civil code all the theftq and murders committed by
pretended American citizens? He is only a true-
American, who is one inwardly as well as in outward
pretension. I i^^peal to that discriminating test of
the Great Teacher of our religion: "The tree is
known by its fruits."

But one will ask, has not the auti-slavery cause
been espoused by men called infidels for the last ten
years? I answer tw. That is the nominal cause,

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not the real one. Other questions have been raised —
other qtiestions have taken precedence in that portion
of tlie Anti-slavery movement. "Hie question with
this portion is, the ^•fehurch," the "Bibte," the
*' Christian ministry,^' the "TJnited States Consti-
tution," etc. The effect 0! all this dragging in of
irrelevant questions up6n the 6,n€i-8lavery society
has been a separation in that sdcietj'^. ^Hre Anaerican
anti-slavery ffociieiy does notjiow <^ccupy the position
it (tnce occupied. The separation will widen. Our
friend and others have done as the-French Atheists
did. What was thfe cry of Jfeobe^pierre and! his con-
federates f Liberty! Liberty!. Liberty! Wbatt^Tc
do^ is in* order to gain liberty. . Wh^t deprives the
people of their liberty f The "church." The
"church" must be removed. Th6 church is the
"bulwark" of despotism. And the Bible is the
bulwark of the church. Hence they go to work to
remove ihe Bible. Let us cast the Bible awajf^; it
is the cause of all this mischief. The Bible wafr pro-
scribed. And, my dear friends, what horrible d«*
pravity developed itself. Tie rage was against the
Bible. The Bibles were gathered togettier, flirown
into a pile, and burned by the public hangman Jn the
city of Paris. And when all this wris done, what
was the result? Did France enjoy liberty f No.
Instead of liberty, the most crushing despotism the
world has ever witnessed I A most horrible system !
So now. Our friends have espoused some of the
great popular questions of the age, just as infidels

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haTe tlwAjB done. I saw this ten years ago, when
some eastern agents travelled through onr state. I
then had charge of a pnlpit at Warren. They could
get no house save the coiurt-house in which to hold
a meeting. Apidication was made for oar meeting-
house. We repUed, go in — a privil^e our folks
always grant — ^we will attend and hear, with the
liberty of reply if thou^t prc^r. But tiie meeting
was a scene <^ confusion. We heard th^n in a
series of addresses. We did not publicly say that
they w^re infidds. But I dedared, as my ccmyic-
tion was, to some oi my i)6rsonal fiiends that they
were, lliese were inrophetic words. Although they
said many good things against slav^ ; but tiie pre-
cedence they gave to other questicms made tiiem
hmUngen of a moyement for abolishing the ^^ Bible"
— the putting down c^ the "church" and "ministry."
Yes, they were the f(»rerunners of my friend Mr.

But we must not pass by Moses. He, too, is en-
titled to respect on this great question. I am not
obliged to defend the morality of the law ; but will
say, you have seen the fruits of this, and of the Pagan
morality, in contrast, and can judge for yourselves
which is best. Jesus Christ <Ud not refer his dis-
ciples to Moses to learn their moral relations and
duties. He did, however, treat Moses with the
greatest respect — ^with that respect due from one
great legislator to another. He did acknowledge his
authority as the Lawgiver of Israel.

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Online LibraryJonas HartzelA defense of the Bible against the charges of modern infidelity; consisting of the speeches of Elder Jonas Hartzel, made during a debate conducted by him and Mr. Joseph Barker, in July 1853 → online text (page 21 of 26)