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Slavery Ordained of God   By: (1796-1883)

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Rev. Fred. A. Ross, D.D.

"The powers that be are ordained of God." Romans xiii. 1.



The book I give to the public, is not made up of isolated articles. It is one harmonious demonstration that slavery is part of the government ordained in certain conditions of fallen mankind. I present the subject in the form of speeches, actually delivered, and letters written just as published. I adopt this method to make a readable book.

I give it to the North and South to maintain harmony among Christians, and to secure the integrity of the union of this great people.

This harmony and union can be preserved only by the view presented in this volume, i.e. that slavery is of God , and to continue for the good of the slave, the good of the master, the good of the whole American family, until another and better destiny may be unfolded.

The one great idea , which I submit to North and South, is expressed in the speech, first in order, delivered in the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church, Buffalo, May 27, 1853. I therein say:

"Let us then, North and South, bring our minds to comprehend two ideas , and submit to their irresistible power. Let the Northern philanthropist learn from the Bible that the relation of master and slave is not sin per se . Let him learn that God says nowhere it is sin. Let him learn that sin is the transgression of the law; and where there is no law there is no sin, and that the Golden Rule may exist in the relations of slavery. Let him learn that slavery is simply an evil in certain circumstances . Let him learn that equality is only the highest form of social life; that subjection to authority, even slavery , may, in given conditions , be for a time better than freedom to the slave of any complexion. Let him learn that slavery , like all evils , has its corresponding and greater good ; that the Southern slave, though degraded compared with his master, is elevated and ennobled compared with his brethren in Africa . Let the Northern man learn these things, and be wise to cultivate the spirit that will harmonize with his brethren of the South, who are lovers of liberty as truly as himself: And let the Southern Christian nay, the Southern man of every grade comprehend that God never intended the relation of master and slave to be perpetual . Let him give up the theory of Voltaire, that the negro is of a different species. Let him yield the semi infidelity of Agassiz, that God created different races of the same species in swarms, like bees for Asia, Europe, America, Africa, and the islands of the sea. Let him believe that slavery, although not a sin, is a degraded condition, the evil, the curse on the South, yet having blessings in its time to the South and to the Union. Let him know that slavery is to pass away in the fulness of Providence. Let the South believe this, and prepare to obey the hand that moves their destiny."

All which comes after, in the speech delivered in New York, 1856, and in the letters, is just the expansion of this one controlling thought, which must be understood, believed, and acted out North and South.

The Author.

Written in Cleveland, Ohio, May 28, 1857.


Speech Before the General Assembly at Buffalo Speech Before the General Assembly at New York Letter to Rev. A. Blackburn What Is the Foundation of Moral Obligation?

Letters to Rev. A. Barnes:

I. Results of the slavery agitation Declaration of Independence The way men are made infidels Testimonies of General Assemblies II. Government over man a divine institute III. Man stealing IV. The Golden Rule

Speech Delivered at Buffalo, Before the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church.

To understand the following speech, the reader will be pleased to learn if he don't know already that the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church, before its division in 1838, and since, both Old School and New School, has been, for forty years and more, bearing testimony, after a fashion, against the system of slavery; that is to say, affirming, in one breath, that slave holding is a "blot on our holy religion," &c... Continue reading book >>

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