All our readers must be aware that we, as far as this paper is concerned, have ever stood aloof from the exciting subject of the abolition of slavery. Our reasons for avoiding it was, and still is, that we view the subject as belonging to the political, not the religious discussion of our country; and it is our wish to render unto Caesar the things which be Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s.
That slavery existed in the apostolic age is very clear; and it is equally certain that neither Christ nor his apostles ever attempted to correct or change it by ecclesiastical dictation. We therefore conclude that whatever is to be done, either in continuing slavery or in it abolition, should not be done by the church, as such. The ministers of Christ will find an example worthy of imitation, in the exhortations of Paul, to masters and servants. See Col. 3:22-25, 6:1-2; 1 Tim. 6:1-5; Titus 2:9-10. From such examples, we are safe ion exhorting the servant to be faithful to his master, and masters to be kind to their servants. Whatever may be our political sentiments or private opinions on the relation of master and servant, as Christian ministers and Christian churches we are to follow apostolic example.
As a political subject, we would not be understood as advocating either side of the question; as we have, and still do decline meddling with it. Our paper is neither designed to advocate slavery, nor abolition; but rather to afford a medium of correspondence for all who love and obey our Lord Jesus Christ, whether they be bond or free, in regard to their persons.
Whatever may be the merits or demerits of the doctrine of abolition as a political subject, we fully agree with brother Trott, that in identifying it with the New School religious operations of the day, and making it a test of Christian fellowship in their churches, gives to the subject in that form, a place among the horns. If we contemplate this horn as rooted in the heads of the New School anti-Christian beast, and its point pushing with might and main into the legislative halls of State and National government, it will appear more likely to effect a connection of church state power than any of the other nine.
Our object in writing this short article is, to assure our patrons that we have no disposition to open our columns for discussing the abolition question. We therefore hope the subject may not be again mentioned through our columns.
Elder Gilbert Beebe,
May 15, 1839