Christianity, the South, and Slavery

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HokieAirman

Puritan Board Freshman
This post was moved from the Church History Forum "Advances in Religion" thread. On it, TimV advocated that R.L. Dabney defended racial slavery. I was attempting to counter that Dabney defended Biblical Slavery, but offered practical reasons slavery was practiced in Virginia and the South. As a disclaimer, I do NOT advocate racial slavery, slavery via kidnapping, or any form of slavery, although I haven't found anything in scripture that forbids the enslavement of foreigners captured in times of war (this might be a situational law, applicable only to the state of Israel during their conquests), and voluntary slavery. Here;s the quote from TimV

"I love Dabney, but his defense of racial slavery show a huge cultural blind
spot.

So, I'd offer the abolition of racial slavery, and any other kind that lasts
more than the Biblical limit of 6 years for non-voluntary servitude. And
yes, some would say it's not theological, but social, and they may be
right. To me, it's theonomistic, but hey, somebody had to get the ball
rolling, and I'm sure I'm not the only one that's been thinking about
Ruben's question."

I replied:

...I must defend Dabney as I see it. I read "A Defense of Virginia and the South" by Dabney. I don't think he was so much defending racial slavery and the particular way it was done in America as he was defending Virginia and making known her efforts to abolish the practice as far back as the 1600s. That and pointing out the fact that the Bible says nothing condemning the practice, only that it instructs on a master/slave relationship.

You make a good point about the 7 years and Year of Jubilee. Dabney also points out that the way slavery was carried out in America was wrong (i.e., kidnapping), but that the South did the most righteous thing in their situation. Buying and Christianizing the Africans (and even American Indians, etc) which were sold on Southern shores, treating them equitably, teaching them to read the Bible, etc. This describes slavery in the vast majority of the South from my studies. Cruel masters were outcasts of society.

It was not until the North began to undermine and intrude upon Southern States rights and the abolitionists began to try to incite slave uprisings and massacres that the deep South began to make more and more un-Biblical and evil laws regarding slavery.

Dabney was not a racist or anything of the sort. He defended what the scriptures had to say on slavery of any kind and explained how the South (particulary Virginia) tried their best in their circumstances to fit the Biblical mold. I could go on and on.

I will not defend slavery as it occurred in America. It involved kidnapping and a very brutal transport overseas, driven by the sugar and rum industry. At least two commandments were broken here. However, I have not been able to find anything in scripture which condemns slavery as a practice. If slavery is a reality, slave owners should treat their slaves equitably, teach them how to survive in society, Christianize them, then, when they can be productive members of society, they ought to be released and offered payment if they are to continue on working for the former owner. I believe this was the purpose of the Israelites taking slaves...to 'Christianize' their pagan captives.

I hope this is the right forum, as I couldn't decide where it would be appropriate. I think it would be interesting to not only debate Dabney here, but also views of other early theologians, what the Bible says on the practice of slavery, and whether or not the South did the right thing by buying slaves for the South instead of allowing them to go to nearly certain death in the West Indies, etc, etc, etc, etc....

Oh, and I know this can be a volatile topic, so - well, we're all grown-ups here:judge:
 

TimV

Puritanboard Botanist
I claim that the very great Dabney had a huge cultural blind spot, that he wouldn't have held if he was more inclined to theonomy, at least of the lower case t variety. Here's a quote.

that the tyrant section, as it gave to its victims, the white men of the South, more and more causes of just resentment, would find more and more violent inducements to bribe the negroes, with additional privileges and gifts, to assist them in their domination: that this miserable career must result in one of two things, either a war of races, in which the whites or the blacks would be, one or the other, exterminated; or amalgamation. But while we believe that “God made of one blood all nations of men to dwell under the whole heavens,” we know that the African has become, according to a well-known law of natural history, by the manifold influences of the ages, a different, fixed species of the race, separated from the white man by traits bodily, mental and moral, almost as rigid and permanent as those of genus. Hence the offspring of an amalgamation must be a hybrid race. . .incapable of the career of civilization and glory as an independent race. And this apparently is the destiny which our conquerors have in view. If indeed they can mix the blood of the heroes of Manassas with this vile stream from the fens of Africa, then they will never again have occasion to tremble before the righteous resistance of Virginia freemen; but will have a race supple and vile enough to fill that position of political subjection, which they desire to fix on the South.
 

DMcFadden

Puritanboard Commissioner
"I, for one, make no professions of special love for those who are, even now, attempting against me and mine the most loathsome outrages . . . . to teach and rule over white people, and make (a black man) a co-equal member with myself in West Hanover Presbytery, to sit in judgment on the affairs of white churches . . . I oppose........(blacks are) a subservient race . . . made to follow and not to lead..." Robert Lewis Dabney: A Southern Presbyterian Life (American Reformed Biographies) by Sean Michael Lucas (pgs. 145-46).
 
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Blueridge Believer

Puritan Board Professor
While castigating Dabney and others of that era let us not forget that "slavery" was in the north as well. At the time of the war four states in the union were slave states (Deleware, Maryland, Kentucky and Missouri) and a fifth was added during the middle of the war (West Virginia 1863) as a slave state. Stop laying this baby on the doorstep of the south. We in the south will confess our sins--you in the north should do the same. :2cents:
BTW, we're all slaves now.
 

kalawine

Puritan Board Junior
OK... I'm looking to be stoned for this... but I'm recommending a book by John W. Robbins. Even though I am personally against slavery, I used to think that I couldn't prove from the Bible that it was wrong. Robbins does a masterful job in this booklet BOOK REVIEW: SLAVERY AND CHRISTIANITY, BY JOHN ROBBINS « The Domain for Truth (this link leads to a review of the booklet) of exposing slavery as being out of God's will. He uses the book of Philemon to do this. Here is a link to the booklet: Trinity Foundation Also, please check out what I believe to be his last writing before his death: Trinity Foundation: Explaining God, man, Bible, salvation, philosophy, theology. It pertains to the Civil War and how many modern Reformed leaders and believers are (wrongly) relating their Christianity to the Confederacy.

From Philemon Chapter One:

8Therefore, although in Christ I could be bold and order you to do what you ought to do, 9yet I appeal to you on the basis of love. I then, as Paul—an old man and now also a prisoner of Christ Jesus— 10I appeal to you for my son Onesimus,[a] who became my son while I was in chains. 11Formerly he was useless to you, but now he has become useful both to you and to me.

12I am sending him—who is my very heart—back to you. 13I would have liked to keep him with me so that he could take your place in helping me while I am in chains for the gospel. 14But I did not want to do anything without your consent, so that any favor you do will be spontaneous and not forced. 15Perhaps the reason he was separated from you for a little while was that you might have him back for good— 16no longer as a slave, but better than a slave, as a dear brother. He is very dear to me but even dearer to you, both as a man and as a brother in the Lord.
 

TimV

Puritanboard Botanist
We're talking about unBiblical slavery. I.e. slavery that lasts more than 6 years if it's involuntary.
 

kalawine

Puritan Board Junior
We're talking about unBiblical slavery. I.e. slavery that lasts more than 6 years if it's involuntary.

I would suppose from the passage in Philemon that Paul saw slavery as an ungodly practice, at least between Christians in the Church. So, you believe that it is OK for Christians today to have slaves as long as it doesn't last longer than six years, involuntarily?
 

TimV

Puritanboard Botanist
I would suppose from the passage in Philemon that Paul saw slavery as an ungodly practice, at least between Christians in the Church. So, you believe that it is OK for Christians today to have slaves as long as it doesn't last longer than six years, involuntarily?

Just another thing I'm missing today. I have really no idea of what you're saying, brother. Paul told Philemon to go back to slavery. He also told people to get out of slavery if they could. He also knew Biblical law, that teaches that any slavery that isn't voluntary that lasts more than 6 years is sin.

I really don't know how I can make this clearer. Involuntary slavery that last more than 6 years is sin, according to God's law. At least to a theonomist. Perhaps someone here has a better idea.

I love Dabney, but he had a cultural blind spot. He's one of my heroes, but when he said

But while we believe that “God made of one blood all nations of men to dwell under the whole heavens,” we know that the African has become, according to a well-known law of natural history, by the manifold influences of the ages, a different, fixed species of the race, separated from the white man by traits bodily, mental and moral, almost as rigid and permanent as those of genus.

he is spreading false doctrine, at least to a theonomist, even of the lower case t variety. Slavery, if it is for just reason and lasts no more than 6 years, is allowable under Biblical law. But being born in "the fens of Africa" isn't punishable.

I'm willing to try to make it clearer, but I'll have to have a detailed objection to respond to!

Sorry again in advance if I've missed something. I thought it obvious that statements like

If indeed they can mix the blood of the heroes of Manassas with this vile stream from the fens of Africa, then they will never again have occasion to tremble before the righteous resistance of Virginia freemen; but will have a race supple and vile enough to fill that position of political subjection, which they desire to fix on the South.

were obviously wrong, especially to a Calvinist, who believes that as many as received Him...... who were not born of ...blood.... means that there is no "moral" benefit to have been born a member of a certain race.
 

kalawine

Puritan Board Junior
I would suppose from the passage in Philemon that Paul saw slavery as an ungodly practice, at least between Christians in the Church. So, you believe that it is OK for Christians today to have slaves as long as it doesn't last longer than six years, involuntarily?

Just another thing I'm missing today. I have really no idea of what you're saying, brother. Paul told Philemon to go back to slavery. He also told people to get out of slavery if they could. He also knew Biblical law, that teaches that any slavery that isn't voluntary that lasts more than 6 years is sin.

I really don't know how I can make this clearer. Involuntary slavery that last more than 6 years is sin, according to God's law. At least to a theonomist. Perhaps someone here has a better idea.

I love Dabney, but he had a cultural blind spot. He's one of my heroes, but when he said

But while we believe that “God made of one blood all nations of men to dwell under the whole heavens,” we know that the African has become, according to a well-known law of natural history, by the manifold influences of the ages, a different, fixed species of the race, separated from the white man by traits bodily, mental and moral, almost as rigid and permanent as those of genus.

he is spreading false doctrine, at least to a theonomist, even of the lower case t variety. Slavery, if it is for just reason and lasts no more than 6 years, is allowable under Biblical law. But being born in "the fens of Africa" isn't punishable.

I'm willing to try to make it clearer, but I'll have to have a detailed objection to respond to!

Sorry again in advance if I've missed something. I thought it obvious that statements like

If indeed they can mix the blood of the heroes of Manassas with this vile stream from the fens of Africa, then they will never again have occasion to tremble before the righteous resistance of Virginia freemen; but will have a race supple and vile enough to fill that position of political subjection, which they desire to fix on the South.

were obviously wrong, especially to a Calvinist, who believes that as many as received Him...... who were not born of ...blood.... means that there is no "moral" benefit to have been born a member of a certain race.

I'm afraid that you misunderstand me. Forgive me if I struck a nerve. I am by no means trying to justify Dabney's statements. I'm no theonomist nor do I claim to be educated on theonomy. I'm also not a non-theonomist. Maybe we can just be thankful that the Lord, in his soverienty, has abolished legal slavery in most of the "civilized" world. Still, it does seem to me that, even in a world where slavery was acceptable Paul was telling the slave owner to set the slave free.
 

TimV

Puritanboard Botanist
Still, it does seem to me that, even in a world where slavery was acceptable Paul was telling the slave owner to set the slave free.

I am a theonomist, and when I read Philemon, I don't get the sense the Paul was telling his owner to set him free. The sense I get is that Paul expands existing law telling the owner how to treat his slave.
 

kalawine

Puritan Board Junior
Still, it does seem to me that, even in a world where slavery was acceptable Paul was telling the slave owner to set the slave free.

I am a theonomist, and when I read Philemon, I don't get the sense the Paul was telling his owner to set him free. The sense I get is that Paul expands existing law telling the owner how to treat his slave.

So (I repeat my question) do you believe that it is OK for Christians today to have slaves as long as it doesn't last longer than six years, involuntarily? (That is, in places where slavery is legal)
 

Backwoods Presbyterian

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Also worth noting that Slavery in the New World was Kidnapping.

Another thing is that new research done shows that almost as many Southern Europeans and Eastern Europeans were sold/stolen into slavery around the same time the cross-Atlantic African trade was going on.


And one more thing. Those wanting to slam the South need to read about my good buddy John Girardeau...
 

kalawine

Puritan Board Junior
Also worth noting that Slavery in the New World was Kidnapping.

Another thing is that new research done shows that almost as many Southern Europeans and Eastern Europeans were sold/stolen into slavery around the same time the cross-Atlantic African trade was going on.


And one more thing. Those wanting to slam the South need to read about my good buddy John Girardeau...

I can appreciate your defense of the South. I live in the very city where "Mississippi Burning" happened. I will not defend Mississippi for her sins. But I do get weary of the media and some people from the rest of the country acting as though we are the worst sinners ever. Man is totally depraved... everywhere.
 

TimV

Puritanboard Botanist
So (I repeat my question) do you believe that it is OK for Christians today to have slaves as long as it doesn't last longer than six years, involuntarily? (That is, in places where slavery is legal)

For sure. And I'm sure you know there are a bunch of other laws one would have to follow to make it fair, merciful and just.
 

TimV

Puritanboard Botanist
Also worth noting that Slavery in the New World was Kidnapping.

Exceedingly important observation. And it leads to the question of restitution.
 

kalawine

Puritan Board Junior
So (I repeat my question) do you believe that it is OK for Christians today to have slaves as long as it doesn't last longer than six years, involuntarily? (That is, in places where slavery is legal)

For sure. And I'm sure you know there are a bunch of other laws one would have to follow to make it fair, merciful and just.

I'm still undecided on Theonomy but if you're going to do something; do it right. I love your consistancy.
 

Mushroom

Puritan Board Doctor
I am only an uneducated layman, so please take what I have to say with that in mind, but I have a certain difficulty with the idea of slavery as practiced outside of God's law for national Israel. We can say that yes, regulation for slavery is provided for in the New Testament, but the practice itself seems contrary to a christian ethic. I have known people of a variety of stations in life in my experience, especially having lived in third world countries. I have been close to both lowly Thai water buffalo herders and Thai royalty, Taiwanese stone cutters and retired Mandarin Nationalist Generals, Filipino trike taxi drivers and members of Marcos' family, Mexican illegal immigrants and American investment bankers, factory workers and lawyers, and I can say that I found no great difference among them in ethics, intellect, or even ability, except that perhaps those most would consider more lowly tended to be more compassionate. Those who were what we might think of a higher station were not often blessed by a greater wisdom any more than advantageous circumstances. They received those benefits not so much due to a higher worth, but from a higher birth. And those observations have left me unable to find justification for using those whose stations are beneath mine for my own undue profit.

When I have had employees, I have found it troubling to pay them anything less than a liveable wage, although most of my more successful competitors seem to have no qualms about that. I can't seem to justify enriching myself while I know that those in my employ are living in want or destitution. I have never been rich by American standards, but it weighs heavily upon me that I live far better than many no less worthy folks I have known ever did. Why do I deserve better than the Thai gardner I knew as a child, who taught me a foreign language and many things about nature and life in the tropics, but who never lived in anything better than a tin shack? I am no less a sinner. I have met many who thought that the advantages of genealogy, circumstances, or intellect gave them rights above those not so blessed, more blatantly among the unregenerate, but still among christians, and even among those of the reformed faith.

Perhaps my perspective is flawed, but from it the idea that owning a person as property, and benefitting from their labor and productivity while they themselves endure life without freedom of self-determination, seems inconscionable to me. Who among men is worthy of that sort of lordship over another? It appears inherently unchristian. Am I wrong? I can't imagine any set of circumstances that would justify it.
 

HokieAirman

Puritan Board Freshman
I am only an uneducated layman, so please take what I have to say with that in mind, but I have a certain difficulty with the idea of slavery as practiced outside of God's law for national Israel. We can say that yes, regulation for slavery is provided for in the New Testament, but the practice itself seems contrary to a christian ethic. I have known people of a variety of stations in life in my experience, especially having lived in third world countries. I have been close to both lowly Thai water buffalo herders and Thai royalty, Taiwanese stone cutters and retired Mandarin Nationalist Generals, Filipino trike taxi drivers and members of Marcos' family, Mexican illegal immigrants and American investment bankers, factory workers and lawyers, and I can say that I found no great difference among them in ethics, intellect, or even ability, except that perhaps those most would consider more lowly tended to be more compassionate. Those who were what we might think of a higher station were not often blessed by a greater wisdom any more than advantageous circumstances. They received those benefits not so much due to a higher worth, but from a higher birth. And those observations have left me unable to find justification for using those whose stations are beneath mine for my own undue profit.

When I have had employees, I have found it troubling to pay them anything less than a liveable wage, although most of my more successful competitors seem to have no qualms about that. I can't seem to justify enriching myself while I know that those in my employ are living in want or destitution. I have never been rich by American standards, but it weighs heavily upon me that I live far better than many no less worthy folks I have known ever did. Why do I deserve better than the Thai gardner I knew as a child, who taught me a foreign language and many things about nature and life in the tropics, but who never lived in anything better than a tin shack? I am no less a sinner. I have met many who thought that the advantages of genealogy, circumstances, or intellect gave them rights above those not so blessed, more blatantly among the unregenerate, but still among christians, and even among those of the reformed faith.

Perhaps my perspective is flawed, but from it the idea that owning a person as property, and benefitting from their labor and productivity while they themselves endure life without freedom of self-determination, seems inconscionable to me. Who among men is worthy of that sort of lordship over another? It appears inherently unchristian. Am I wrong? I can't imagine any set of circumstances that would justify it.

Hi Brad,

No one is any less a sinner than anyone else; we are all in need of a saviour; none deserves any of God's graces or blessings at all, much less more than someone else.

That said, God, in His providence chooses some to occupy 'greater' (in man's eyes) and more influential status than others; king vs peasant. I'm certainly no expert on this subject and have really only read one of Dabney's books; the one I mentioned in my opening post. However, this is how I see the slavery issue. I believe God uses it in His providence, and He used it in early America also, even though, by Biblical definition, it was wrong (to play the blame game, it was mainly opposing tribes who did the kidnapping, traded with New England merchants for rum, then the slaves were sold to the Southerners; then the Southerners were accosted as being 'devils' for owning the slaves that were sold to them by the accusers. Dabney defends why many Southerners bought slaves rather than boycotted the practice).

In my personal opinion, believing in God's judgment and blessings both, God caused the practice of slavery to continue in the New World in order that certain elect Africans, etc could partake in the fruits of Salvation. I also believe that God judged America (all of us, North and South) for the practice of slavery among many other things. African slavery may very well have been a judgment on pagan African tribes as well. I'm not one to claim to know God's mind, but He does set out patterns in scripture, and to a certain extent, I think we can draw conclusions and know when He's judging us.

'Tis unfortunate that emancipation did not occur outside of the terrible bloodshed of that war.
 

HokieAirman

Puritan Board Freshman
TimV,

I believe you have me on Dabney. I do not recall those sorts of things being said in "Defense of Virginia", but assuming they occurred elsewhere, you are correct in your original statement. It is interesting that Dabney would have been influenced by Darwin...when did Darwin develop his theories? I tend to give little attention to ideas that do not interest me (darwinism).

By the way, is Dabney referring to black soldiers on the North or the South when he states

"If indeed they can mix the blood of the heroes of Manassas with this vile stream from
the fens of Africa, then they will never again have occasion to tremble before the
righteous resistance of Virginia freemen; but will have a race supple and vile enough
to fill that position of political subjection, which they desire to fix on the South."?

Was he aware that slaves and freedmen alike fought integrated on the Southern side? I reckon this shows that no human can ever be held too high, lest we fall into fallacy.

Great input everyone!
 

Thomas2007

Puritan Board Sophomore
'Tis unfortunate that emancipation did not occur outside of the terrible bloodshed of that war.

Emancipation didn't occur within the terrible bloodshed of that war. The abolished institution of private slavery was simply exchanged for public slavery. The legal situation following the 14th Amendment is much worse than it was prior where the slave could be made free.

From my analysis slavery seems to be a godly institution that the Lord has used historically to correct certain peoples and even races. Everyone seems to forget that Israel was in slavery to Egypt and He had a great purpose for it. They were held in bondage for four hundred years, twice as long as the Constitution has been around, a document which recognizes the denizen status of the slave.

In the end private slavery is far superior to public slavery.
 

Grymir

Puritan Board Graduate
Ummm, I have a question. I lifted this quote from the other thread. I looked at the bottom of it and it's from a secondary source.

Quote:
that the tyrant section, as it gave to its victims, the white men of the South, more and more causes of just resentment, would find more and more violent inducements to bribe the negroes, with additional privileges and gifts, to assist them in their domination: that this miserable career must result in one of two things, either a war of races, in which the whites or the blacks would be, one or the other, exterminated; or amalgamation. But while we believe that “God made of one blood all nations of men to dwell under the whole heavens,” we know that the African has become, according to a well-known law of natural history, by the manifold influences of the ages, a different, fixed species of the race, separated from the white man by traits bodily, mental and moral, almost as rigid and permanent as those of genus. Hence the offspring of an amalgamation must be a hybrid race. . .incapable of the career of civilization and glory as an independent race. And this apparently is the destiny which our conquerors have in view. If indeed they can mix the blood of the heroes of Manassas with this vile stream from the fens of Africa, then they will never again have occasion to tremble before the righteous resistance of Virginia freemen; but will have a race supple and vile enough to fill that position of political subjection, which they desire to fix on the South.

Ernest Trice Thompson, Presbyterians in the South, Volume Two: 1861-1890 (Richmond, Va.: JohnKnox Press, 1973), 200.


Is he quoting Dabney? Since this 'quote' is fueling this thread, I was wondering what book of Dabney's it came from. I want to do a little digging.
 

Herald

Administrator
Staff member
While castigating Dabney and others of that era let us not forget that "slavery" was in the north as well. At the time of the war four states in the union were slave states (Deleware, Maryland, Kentucky and Missouri) and a fifth was added during the middle of the war (West Virginia 1863) as a slave state. Stop laying this baby on the doorstep of the south. We in the south will confess our sins--you in the north should do the same. :2cents:
BTW, we're all slaves now.

Brother James, it's not a north-south issue, nor should it be. Dabney deserves to be judged based on what he believed. End of story. To attempt to use him to defend the south or impugn the north is disingenuous In my humble opinion. God could care less what side of the Mason-Dixon line we live on. And to tell the truth it's a minority of Americans who care about it either. As Christians we should take care of who are heros are.
 

Blueridge Believer

Puritan Board Professor
We're talking about unBiblical slavery. I.e. slavery that lasts more than 6 years if it's involuntary.

Pagans may be slaves for all of their life time; the 6 year is only for fellow covenant members.

Cheers,



Lev 25:44 Both thy bondmen, and thy bondmaids, which thou shalt have, shall be of the heathen that are round about you; of them shall ye buy bondmen and bondmaids.
Lev 25:45 Moreover of the children of the strangers that do sojourn among you, of them shall ye buy, and of their families that are with you, which they begat in your land: and they shall be your possession.
Lev 25:46 And ye shall take them as an inheritance for your children after you, to inherit them for a possession; they shall be your bondmen for ever: but over your brethren the children of Israel, ye shall not rule one over another with rigour.
 

Blueridge Believer

Puritan Board Professor
While castigating Dabney and others of that era let us not forget that "slavery" was in the north as well. At the time of the war four states in the union were slave states (Deleware, Maryland, Kentucky and Missouri) and a fifth was added during the middle of the war (West Virginia 1863) as a slave state. Stop laying this baby on the doorstep of the south. We in the south will confess our sins--you in the north should do the same. :2cents:
BTW, we're all slaves now.

Brother James, it's not a north-south issue, nor should it be. Dabney deserves to be judged based on what he believed. End of story. To attempt to use him to defend the south or impugn the north is disingenuous In my humble opinion. God could care less what side of the Mason-Dixon line we live on. And to tell the truth it's a minority of Americans who care about it either. As Christians we should take care of who are heros are.

Fair enough brother Bill. However, I fnd it odd that it was OK for the union to have slaves and then use slavery as an excuse to invade the south while keeping slaves themselves. That said, we are citizens of Heaven and people of the book. We must endeavor to live for Christ and hold the rest at arms length.
 

NaphtaliPress

Administrator
Staff member
ETT is an important history; by a liberal sadly but still an important set and covers a lot of ground in three volumes. The endnote refers to Johnson's Life and Letters of Dabney, p. 396 and Defence of Virginia, p 332.

Ummm, I have a question. I lifted this quote from the other thread. I looked at the bottom of it and it's from a secondary source.

Quote:
that the tyrant section, as it gave to its victims, the white men of the South, more and more causes of just resentment, would find more and more violent inducements to bribe the negroes, with additional privileges and gifts, to assist them in their domination: that this miserable career must result in one of two things, either a war of races, in which the whites or the blacks would be, one or the other, exterminated; or amalgamation. But while we believe that “God made of one blood all nations of men to dwell under the whole heavens,” we know that the African has become, according to a well-known law of natural history, by the manifold influences of the ages, a different, fixed species of the race, separated from the white man by traits bodily, mental and moral, almost as rigid and permanent as those of genus. Hence the offspring of an amalgamation must be a hybrid race. . .incapable of the career of civilization and glory as an independent race. And this apparently is the destiny which our conquerors have in view. If indeed they can mix the blood of the heroes of Manassas with this vile stream from the fens of Africa, then they will never again have occasion to tremble before the righteous resistance of Virginia freemen; but will have a race supple and vile enough to fill that position of political subjection, which they desire to fix on the South.

Ernest Trice Thompson, Presbyterians in the South, Volume Two: 1861-1890 (Richmond, Va.: JohnKnox Press, 1973), 200.


Is he quoting Dabney? Since this 'quote' is fueling this thread, I was wondering what book of Dabney's it came from. I want to do a little digging.
 

TimV

Puritanboard Botanist
Was he aware that slaves and freedmen alike fought integrated on the Southern side? I reckon this shows that no human can ever be held too high, lest we fall into fallacy.

Dabney was for a time a staff officer of Stonewall Jackson, so he knew the composition of the army.

By the way, is Dabney referring to black soldiers on the North or the South when he states

"If indeed they can mix the blood of the heroes of Manassas with this vile stream from
the fens of Africa, then they will never again have occasion to tremble before the
righteous resistance of Virginia freemen; but will have a race supple and vile enough
to fill that position of political subjection, which they desire to fix on the South."?

He is not referring to Black soldiers. He is referring to laws which would lead to Blacks and Whites being able to marry and have children, which he thought would destroy the morals of the White race.
 

Simply_Nikki

Puritan Board Junior
We're talking about unBiblical slavery. I.e. slavery that lasts more than 6 years if it's involuntary.

Pagans may be slaves for all of their life time; the 6 year is only for fellow covenant members.

Cheers,



Lev 25:44 Both thy bondmen, and thy bondmaids, which thou shalt have, shall be of the heathen that are round about you; of them shall ye buy bondmen and bondmaids.
Lev 25:45 Moreover of the children of the strangers that do sojourn among you, of them shall ye buy, and of their families that are with you, which they begat in your land: and they shall be your possession.
Lev 25:46 And ye shall take them as an inheritance for your children after you, to inherit them for a possession; they shall be your bondmen for ever: but over your brethren the children of Israel, ye shall not rule one over another with rigour.

A few questions (since I just do not like talking about theology in the abstract but in its application as well).

So, if the pagan converted to Christianity under the enslavement of their Christian master they'd have to be set free, since they'd no longer be pagans, correct?

Also, if slavery was still legal today, could we say, go capture some of the unreached tribes in Latin America and Brazil enslave them until they convert? Why or why not?

Lastly, is it safe to say that when there is a law that makes it a crime for Christians to follow God's law, aren't we able to disobey the man made law that contradicts God's law? For instance abortion is "legal" in this country but it goes against God's law, therefore Christians should disregard the legality of abortion and still consider it "illegal" (for lack of a better term) in God's law. Therefore Christians should not get abortions. Can this logic extend to the godly institution of slavery? (Slavery is illegal in this country, but it prohibits one of the godly institutions set up by God, therefore we should be able to disregard man's law and follow God's law) Why or why not?

Sorry if my questions seem naive, but they are honest questions.
 
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