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vants to take care of themselves, and providing their outfit to Liberia, was not a criminal, though he was still their master, and as such, responsible for their good government. The question, in each individual instance, is, Whence did this man oblain his power over these his fellow men ; and to what ends is he employing it? On the answer to this question will depend the propriety of allowing his claims to be considered as a servant of Christ. If he makes it a business to breed slaves for market,-if he treats rational and immortal beings only as if they were cattle,-pay, if he does not see carefully, not only that their physical wants are supplied, but that they are restrained from vice, and properly instructed, especially in the things of their everlasting peace; and if, after due admonition, he will not repent of his iniquity, then treat him as a heathen man and a publican.

2. Ought the mere buying of a slave to exclude the buyer from christian communion ? Not the mere act of buying. The question is, To what end, and with what views, was the purchase made? A friend of ours in the District of Columbia, once bought a negro woman with a family of children. “Away with him!' cry the abolitionists, Excommunicate him!' But, “good friends, sweet friends, let us not stir you up to such a sudden rage ;"—take your fingers from your ears, and hear the story. That woman and her children were for sale, and, by the operation of the internal (or, as the word is sometimes spelled, not incorrectly, infernal, slave-trade, were about to be transported to the extreme south.

There are philanthropists who would have stood by to witness the transaction, and would have eased their burthened minds, by letting off a volley of execrations. But, our friend has taken no degrees in their college. Though not worth a dollar beyond his daily earnings, he bought the whole lot, borrowed the money on his own responsibility, with the endorsement of a friend, and, if we mistake not, owes for it, and pays seven per cent. interest for it, to this day. Those slaves are now free, not in Liberia, but in America ; and their benefactor, a standing mark for the obloquy of anti-colonization abolitionists, toils on in the great cause of suffering humanity, burthened with the debt of that purchase. When any of those who have arrayed themselves as his enemies, shall have been guilty of a similar imprudence, we will give them credit for being warm-hearted as well as hot-headed. But to the question, Shall this man, for buying slaves, be excluded from the communion of the saints ? Often may we commune with him in christian ordinances here ; and be it ours to sit down with him at the “ marriage-supper of the Lamb.”

Take another case. Suppose some wealthy individual undertakes to demonstrate, by a public experiment, the practicability and good economy of converting slaves into free laborers. He pur

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chases a tract of land in Florida, where no State government can forbid philanthropy to exert itself, but the laws and liberties of the Union are his protection. Next, he goes into the slave-markets of Virginia, and buys fifty or a hundred slaves. These he transports to his new plantation ; as their legal master, invested with all the powers of government over them, he establishes such regulations as be deems necessary to their order, their industry, their improvement, and sets them at work, intending to make them, as fast as they will indemnity him for the expense of the undertaking, the free proprietors of the soil on which they labor. Shall such a man be excommunicated for buying slaves ? We earnestly wish that some of the gentlemen who are expending thousands of dollars in a conscientious, (we dare say,) but still most unprofitable crusade against African colonization, might be induced to divert a part of that expenditure to buy slaves for such an experiment.

These cases are stated for the sake of showing that the crime does not consist in the act of buying, but in the purposes and views with which the purchase is made. The man, who, born free and among the free, makes himself a slave-holder for the sake of gain ; (shame to New England that there are so many such,) the man who buys his fellow men, as he would buy oxen, simply with a view to his own interest, that he may have them to sell again if he can sell them at a bargain, or that he may enrich himself by their reluctant toil, and when he has done with them, leave them to “heirs he knows not who ;"—the man who buys slaves with any other design than to do them all the good he can, is most manifestly an oflender against the law of love, and ought to be dealt with as such by all the churches. He is not only guilty of wrong towards the individuals whom he purchases, but he gives the full support of his example to the entire system of slavery, and voluntarily makes himself a partaker in all the sins which that system, by its natural tendency, diffuses through society.

3. What ought the slaveholder to do? What ought he to do in regard to his own slaves ? Obviously, he ought to do for them just what, on a careful consideration of their character and all their circumstances, he sees will be most for their good: we do not speak here of the public good, because their good and the public good are, in reference to this question, inseparable. Let him consider not only their actual condition, but their liabilities. Be it that their master is kind and attentive to all their wants; be it that they are well governed, and supplied with religious instruction ; be it even that they are contented with their present lot, and are un

willing to change places with the free blacks around them; all Intent this weighs but little in the scale against their liabilities. They

are liable, as chattels, to be attached and sold for their master's de

debts ; and, whatever commercial revolution, whatever accident, in

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volves him in pecuniary embarrassment, is likely to bring on them a distress compared with which bankruptcy and poverty are nothing, So on the death of their master, when his estate comes to be settled and divided, they are liable to the same fate; all their connections may be sundered; and, torn from all that is home to them, they may be consigned to a condition the more terrible for the former alleviations of their lot. What then does a wise regard for their welfare,—what does imperative justice towards them, demand of the master ? Ought he not, if possible, and as soon as possible, to secure them against such contingencies? Against such contingencies they cannot be secured, as the laws now are, but by being made free. Does he ask, How can I make them free? We answer, You can educate them for liberty; and, as fast as they become at all competent to take care of themselves, you can put them in the way of earning a passage to Africa, or let them choose their own course to whatever country will open its doors to receive them.

But, what ought the slave-holder to do in regard to the system of slavery? First of all, he ought, on every fit occasion, to bear his testiinony against it, and against the legislation which creates and supports it. He ought to declare himself fearlessly the enemy of slavery, and the friend of whatever will mitigate the curse, or promote its peaceful abolition. Where such an evil pervades society, offending the heavens with its atrocity, and cursing the very soil with its afflictive influences, if any individual has a right to be silent, that individual is not the slave-holder. His silence respecting such an evil, is approbation; his neutrality is partisanship. The timidity which seals his lips, makes him, in fact, an abettor and supporter of all those laws, the mere digest of which is enough to make the brow of an American crimson with shame. If all those men in the southern States, who are, in conscience and in judgment, dissatisfied with slavery, who are convinced that it must be abolished, and desire to see that consummation peacefully accomplished, would but speak out like freemen, there would soon be in those States such a demonstration of public opinion, as would make the advocates of slavery cower and hide their heads for shame.

Yet, in order that the slave-holder's testimony against slavery may be complete and effectual, his example must accord with it. If, on his own plantation, he perpetuates the system just as he received it from his predecessors; if his slaves, born, living, dying, in the lowest condition to which humanity can be degraded, transmit that condition unmitigated to their children; if he does not set himself in earnest, and like a working man, to the work of elevating and blessing those whose destiny is committed to his hands, -no matter what opinions he may express hostile to the system,the testimony of his example is recorded for slavery, slavery as it

is, slavery forever. The man who emancipates his slaves, and places them where they will be free indeed, whether in Liberia, or in Hayti, whether in the British West Indies, or on the prairies of Illinois, bears a testimony against slavery, which the consciences of his neighbors cannot resist, and which he may think of with pleasure on his dying bed.

ART. VIII.-WEBSTER'S EDITION OF THE ENGLISH BIBLE.
The Holy Bible, containing the Old and Nero Testaments in the common version.

With amendments of the language. By Noah WEBSTER, LL. D. New-Ha

ven, 1833.

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This is not, as some have frightened themselves by supposing, or have tried to frighten others by asserting, a new translation of the bible. A new translation, to take the place of that in common use, can hardly be pronounced to be of any great importance to the interests of religion: the general fidelity, accuracy, and felicity of the common version, are abundantly certified by the testimony of the ablest and most judicious scholars. The laying aside of the received version, and the adoption of a new one, however perfect, would certainly be attended with some disadvantayes ;-the many affecting associations connected with the phraseology of the scriptures, as the very phraseology in which we and our fathers before us have been accustomed to read the holy book, would be broken up; and the ear of the aged, or of the sick and dying, listening to catch the remembered tones, and the sacredly familiar expressions of the word of God, would be perplexed and pained with novelties of diction,—as the eye of the exile returning to his home, is suffused at the sight of the improvenients that have swept away many a familiar object,-he looks for the old oak under which he gathered acorns, and he finds a catalpa, with its shower of fragrant blossoms ;-he looks for the old steep-roofed house, and the honeysuckle that shaded the nursery window, and he finds a modem structure, costly and beautiful, but wanting the wealth of old associations. The introduction of a new translation into general use, among the churches of different denominations, or even of any one denomination, would be impracticable. It is certainly no small advantage to religion, that in all the Protestant churches of the English language, there is but one received version of the scriptures. In this respect, the version has a value which can belong to no other. It was made after the successive efforts of Tindal and Coverdale, of the exiles at Geneva, and of Archbishop Parker and his assistants, had prepared the way for a translation which should combine all their results. It was made before any considerable sect had arisen in England or in Scotland, separating from the established church, yet not before the two kingdoms were

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united under one monarch. Had it been made under queen Elizabeth, Scotland would have adhered to the Geneva bible. Had it been made a few years later, its fate would have been to be honored by prelatists and rejected by puritans, as part and parcel of the prayer-book. Even at that time, while the “ Bishop's Bible” was read in the churches by authority, the “Geneva Bible," of which twenty editions were published in twenty years, was generally used by those who read the scriptures in their own houses. Even at that juncture, then, the most favorable in English history, the new version could not have gone into universal use, had not its value been too manifest to be disputed.

A carefully revised edition of this received version, is what Dr. Webster has given to the public, in the work before us. His “ amendments of the language" may be reduced, with some exceptions, to three classes.

1. He has corrected acknowledged errors in grammar. When the translation was made, the grammar of our language had not been studied and reduced to rules and principles, as it has been since. Such errors are, therefore, to be expected, and may be rectified without any imputation on the translators.

2. In the place of words now entirely obsolete, or so changed in their signification as to be obscure to unlearned readers, he has inserted words more clearly expressive of the sense of the translators. Some changes of this kind were made long before our day. Moe,' long ago, gave way to more,' and 'sith' to ' since ;' 'throughly' is now generally printed thoroughly,' at least in American editions ; why, then, should words of the saine class be retained? The fact seems to be, that many of these words were, at least, partially obsolete when our version was completed.

3. Dr. Webster has substituted for such words and phrases as offend delicacy, others equally expressive of the sense of the original, but more suited to the existing state of the language. Words in Shakspeare, which gave no offense in the Euphuistic court of Elizabeth, cannot now be spoken in mixed company. Why? Not merely because the knights and maids of honor, that surrounded the virgin queen, had so much less politeness and refinement than modern ladies and gentlemen ; but, to some extent, because words which were then refined enough, have since grown coarse by becoming vulgar. In the same way, expressions used by our translators may have been proper enough two hundred and thirty years ago, though now they cannot well be pronounced in a promiscuous assembly.

Other changes there are, but without attempting to speak of them particularly, we may safely say, from a short experience, that those who make use of this edition, for reading in the family, while they will be rarely conscious of any change in the diction, will find that they read with an increased interest, and with a livelier and more distinct perception of God's oracles.

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