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torically of men; and hence the immense value of the Bible, even considered as a non-religious compilation. The relation of human history to human morality is obvious; they act on, and explain each other vitally. And there is nothing in which the insufficiency of reason, as a guide to itself, is more signally demonstrated, than in the fact, that none of the Grecian, the Roman, or the Alexandrian philosophers ever arrived at any satisfactory theory to account for the human race. By declaring, therefore, to them, that “God made of one blood all the nations of men, Christianity first brought home to the conscience of the generous and thoughtful Roman, that the slave that acted as his ante ambulans was really his brother, and therefore that the 135 slaves he had recently sold to go to Nicomedia were his brothers and sisters. Here was a blow indeed struck, as all the aims of Heaven are, at the power of thought, the seat and remedy of all evil; and thus by preaching the brotherhood of man, Christianity prepared the way for the universal emancipation of the slave.
2. The gospel of Jesus Christ also taught that all men sustained the same relation to the Author of the universe. It was the received doctrine of all the schools, that the gods loved the virtuous and the brave, the intellectual and the successful; but that the masses of the ignorant and the poor, and particularly the slave, were too insignificant to deserve the attention of the gods. These men believed that heroes, poets, and priests, might be God-descended; but it never occurred to them that the slave, too, was the child of God. When, therefore, the slave and his master were both conning St. Luke's genealogy, and found that all individual existence tracked its course up to God the Father of all, both were surprised. The master was alarmed, for the book was a grand demagogy that taught this doctrine ; but the slave was delighted, and his veins flushed with warmer blood, as he felt the divine affiliation for the first time kindling in his soul. But that discovery changed the aspects of the universe to both. The slave ceased to despair, and began to thirst afresh for freedom ; and the master ceased to regard his slave as his chattel; for if he, too, had sprung from the Creator, He would avenge his wrongs, and record his sorrows. Here was another great step towards the annihilation of slavery. The former blow was at the head—this stunned the heart. The windows of the soul were opened, and light now came in apace upon the slavehouse.
3. Christianity taught that sin had equally affected all men. One of the standing topics in all those celebrated schools of philosophy that admitted the consideration of moral questions was, What was the real cause that there was such an uniform proneness to vice, and why the life of virtue was so difficult and uncongenial to men? Wonderful and laudable efforts were made to settle that great and dark problem ; but till the doctrines of Christianity burst upon the empire, there was no reply. But this system, by its short and sinewy arrow, 'all have sinned and come short of the glory of God,' went home to the soul, and explained many questions at once. That something in man ever perversely biassed to the selfish and the imperfect, which the Cyrenaics and the Platonics considered merely an accident and a calamity, the
teachings of the evangelists proved to be voluntary and culpable evil. The inference was irresistible-If this be the secret of all evil, that man is a sinner, I as man must be responsible for my every action; and if all men be thus responsible and evil, what a mockery is the figured toga and the magnificent sandal, for I can be no better than my slave, who feeds my hogs and cleans my mule!' Thus the reader perceives how if Christianity refrained to proclaim an external jubilee for the slaves, it went about their redemption none the less urgently. It drove the wheel of thought faster, and every revolution it made brought the slave-master's view to some new and galling aspect of the radical injustice of man-traffic. It is thus ever with all the noble work of our evangelism. “Not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Christianity sows the seed in the heart, whence it works outwardly into real freedom and progressive goodness, and thus prepares men for all. The world, on the contrary, begins in the outward revolution, leaves the cave of demons unmastered, and is ever, Ixion-like, recommencing its vain and operose schemes of civilization that have uniformly failed.
4. Not less organic was the assault made on slavery when Christianity preached the world-renewing theme, that Christ died for all men. The notion of the incarnation of divine natures was no novelty, either in the East or the West. “The gods are come down to us in the likeness of men,' was not an idle exclamation of those Lycaonian mountaineers who dwelt among the shadows of Mount Taurus, but the exponent of a world-wide belief. But the love of God in Christ, and that revealed to a world of blameful and truth-hating men, was indeed a new doctrine. With the ire of the deities all men were familiar ; divine love, however, was not in all their thoughts. Here was, at last, a theme, of all themes the most inscrutable, come to men. The love of God not only shown to Regulus, the man of fidelity; or to Leonidas the valiant; or to Cicero the eloquent; or to Pindar, who had charmed nations with his odes ; or to Praxitiles, who had beaten out semi-divine forms from stone, all but warm with life, in honour of virtue; or to Cornelia, the prescient and loving matron; but also to the slave that was chained to Cicero's villa, or that wiped Leonidas' armour, or that carried Cornelia's satchel. Herein was Love that abolished the fictions of colour and geography, of wealth and human fame, and fell like Colossus crushing the heart of the slave-master with a new consciousness of his injustice to his captives. If he saw the miracle, or believed the holy itinerants who spread the story of the Nazarene, how could he help shuddering to think that he, who had loved his slaves unto death, would deal out sore retribution to him that robbed them of everything by keeping them in bondage? And supposing the slave-master became a believer, how was it possible for him to consent to the infamous doctrine of Aristotle, and to treat his equal in genealogy and prospect as he did his goats, or the horse that drew his chariots ? Nay, how was it possible for him to pray, “ Thy kingdom come,' and not labour incessantly to add his slaves to the Christian fold? Thus slavery was shorn of its terrors, preparatory to its final abolition.
5. By the Divine arrangement that all men are equal in their Church
relations, the gospel struck another vital blow at the slave-master. All the institutions of the world recognised the artificial distinctions of men; but Christianity that combined with everything truly noble and pure, recognised only the relative grades of life that rested on a solid basis, and enforced them with far higher sanctions; but meanwhile claimed the sovereign right of dealing with its own subjects in its own way. Rich masters and potent rulers, beautiful women and veteran sages, were subject to the same discipline as the reclaimed prostitute, the converted barbarian, and the believing slave. Here was the touchstone, but there was no quailing on the part of the Church, and compromise of its conditions of fellowship was impossible. Ye are all one in Christ Jesus. Ye were darkness, and are now light in the Lord. Ye had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy, were the simple rules that quelled the heavings of pride, and left no alternative to the slave-master but to receive, perhaps, his branded and mutilated
a “brother beloved,' or himself to abandon the Church. Mammon had found a match at last. •How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation ?' was the blazing beacon before him; and between it or obedience to the faith there was no choice. The slavemaster exulted in the liberty indeed he had recently acquired, and looked with grateful ecstasy on the missionary that brought the glad tidings, in his eyes more beautiful than Apollo as he had been wont to appear in his glittering arms to his pagan imagination ; and how was it possible for one whose heart thus beamed with lustrous joy, not to sympathize with that Christian brother who had obtained like precious faith, though he still wore the servile anklet for some Grecian rhetorician, or for some amorous votary of the Cyprian worship? Wondrous policy was this to bring in array against the law-begirt and time-worn merchandise in human souls. How impotent were thunder and famine, drought or earthquake, in comparison with the power which the meek and quiet spirit of Christianity employed to subvert a system, which if assailed by mere philanthropic oratory would have appealed at once to the legions of the Cæsars, or to the usages of the fasti.
6. Although other parts of the Christian system might be easily shown to have carried on the indirect warfare against slavery, we will only trouble the reader with an additional suggestion on this topic, which is found in the fact, that the gospel required universal liberty of its individual disciples for its diffusion. The Founder of the Church had made it the duty and the spiritual interest of every disciple to propagate his religion. Many hallowed and noble motives of renewed humanity prompted the believer to this course of action. His sense of justice and gratitude to the Divine Author of his hopes, and his newly awakened benevolence and human sympathies, did not permit him to conceal the treasure he had found, Dangers only armed his courage, and his embittered life lent sad experience to his zeal. But suppose this believer to have been a slave, gifted, as many are, with those natural aptitudes for the service of truth, which can never be fully acquired, how, even if his master were a believer, could he have devoted himself to the mission for which his heart beat? And if the slave of a hostile master, the case would have been worse, for it might have happened to him as Tertullian records another case, where a slave extremely vicious became converted; and when his owner perceived the marvellous improvement in his conduct, was delighted at first, but on being informed of his having become a Christian, immediately sent him to the house of correction. Or if a church should have, from his manifest fitness, chosen a slave for its minister or deacon, how, while his evidence was not admitted in a court of law, and he could neither possess nor disburse property, was it possible for him to discharge these offices and continue a captive? Thus on all sides did Christianity wound the slave-master, and drive him to the virtue of manumitting his bondmen.
From the preceding remarks, it is not difficult to ascertain the relation of Christianity to the slavery that is extant among nominal Christians in our own days. True piety, according to the models of Jesus, is incompatible with slave-dealing. One of these antagonists must quit the field. Either the Christianity of the slave-states must become extinct, or the slave-mart must be closed. We do not speak of the strife as doubtful, for we are more certain of the doom of slavery than of the destiny of the republic. We make here no reference to the great spirit of democracy that has gone forth upon the world, nor to the policy of nations, nor to the doctrines of political economy, the truth in any of which would in time destroy American slavery. We have confined ourselves to the moral hostility that is to be found in all the arrangements of Christian faith and practice-to even the mildest form of slavery, which American is not. If we were disposed to add to this article, it would be to draw the attention of the reader to other magnificent means that Christianity employed on this occasion (and indeed on all) to free at least her own children. Nor was this wisdom greater than the benevolence of this policy to the slaves themselves. Any other course adopted, the slaves would have received the external freedom before they had become · free indeed,' and might have shared the sad lot of our own poor bondmen, who received the outward boon before they had intelligence sufficient to appropriate that for which English Christians so nobly laboured, to their own advantage.
R. S. B.
John žierling and Thomas Carlyle.
The notoriety attaching to the name of John Sterling, affords a singular instance of a reputation extremely disproportionate to the qualities and deeds of him who has obtained it; and is owing entirely to the eminence of his biographers-Archdeacon Hare and Thomas Carlyle, both his elect friends—and to the opposed points of view from which they have regarded his character. Archdeacon Hare, in editing • Sterling's Literary Remains,' prefaced them with a brief memoir, in which the religious aspect of his life was chiefly prominent, and its errors and failures marked and deplored. To Mr. Carlyle this proved vexation indeed,—even seemed misrepresentation and untruth, -and was provocative first of anger, and then of a determination himself to draw Sterling's portrait, and to tell the world his life-story as he read it. So poor Sterling's memory has become a controversy, the interest of which is not in Sterling, but in the questions started by his differing biographers. It is not wonderful that this should occasion only pain to those who knew and loved him best ; nor that his brother-in-law and affectionate friend, Professor Maurice, should refuse, as it is said, to read either of the biographies.
Of Sterling himself let the kindliest words be spoken; let condemnations be gentle, as they will be on the part of all whose religious opinions are convictions, not traditions, and whose enjoyment of the serene light of faith has been reached through the gloom and storm of unsolicited doubt. Yet in Sterling's beliefs and works there is little that is of much significance, or that has an interest for the general world. In the two volumes of his “Remains,' Archdeacon Hare's Memoir was the chiefly noticeable thing; and in the new life by Mr. Carlyle, all the interest belongs to Mr. Carlyle himself. The purpose of this paper, however, demands that there be a brief sketch of Sterling, and then there is something to be said of what Mr. Carlyle has set down concerning him.
At a kind of dilapidated baronial residence in the Isle of Bute, having a small farm attached to it, and called Kaimes Castle, John Sterling was born, on the 20th of July, 1806. His father, Captain Edward Sterling, was then on half-pay, and trying his hand at farming. His mother was of a refined female nature, tremulously sensitive,' says Mr. Carlyle, and strong chiefly on the side of the affections, and the graceful insights and activities dependent on these.' From her, John Sterling derived the delicate aroma of his nature. His stronger qualities, and especially his restless impetuosity, came to him from his father, a man of great energy and stormy rapidity of character. Captain Sterling, after leaving the army, had an arena to seek, in which the powers he was conscious of possessing might have free play. Farming in Bute did not offer it; so he removed his familyin which was a son Antony, also, older than John-to Llanblethian, a pleasant village in Glamorganshire. John was at that time four years old; and under the influence of the quiet beauty and rural life of Llanblethian, with some interference of a country schoolmaster also, here, for the next five years, the young spirit unfolded. Captain Sterling, meanwhile, had opened a correspondence with the Times, and had gained such notice as encouraged the hope that he had at last found his sphere as a public writer. At the Peace, in 1814, hoping to get to be a foreign correspondent of the great journal, he removed his family to Paris ; a new school for John, then in his eighth year, and old enough to enjoy vigorously the new and strange world around him. Next year, Napoleon landed from Elba, and the Sterling family fied home again ; and took up their abode in London-never afterwards to be quitted as a residence. Yet were several changes of locality made,