If the meaning of the word “we” be so expanded as to include with ourselves our ancestors, and especially our ancestral legislators, I agree. I admit that those who made, and modified, and administered, the old poor-law, were responsible for producing an appalling amount of demoralization, which it will take more than one generation to remove.

It is not denied that slavery was tolerated among the ancient people of God. Abraham had servants in his family who were “bought with his money,” Gen. xvii: 13. “Abimeleck took sheep and oxen and men servants and maid servants and gave them unto Abraham.” Moses, finding this institution among the Hebrews and all surrounding nations, did not abolish it. He enacted laws directing how slaves were to be treated, on what conditions they were to be liberated, under what circumstances they might and might not be sold; he recognizes the distinction between slaves and hired servants, (Deut. xv: 18); he speaks of the way by which these bondmen might be procured; as by war, by purchase, by the right of creditorship, by the sentence of a judge, by birth; but not by seizing on those who were free, an offense punished by death.

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