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is more proper to the poor in their sufferings than to the rich in their sufferings, he speaks to his purpose indeed, but the assertion is what every Christian must reject. So when he says,
" this is more peculiarly fit to be proposed to persons in a low condition, he imposes on his reader; for the greatest persons may be in a low
; condition as well as the meanest: he ought to have said, not in, but of a low condition; and then the assertion would have been fairly to his purpose, but false in itself; for the example of Christ is fit for persons of all conditions, and equally fit for kings, subjects, and slaves, when they suffer wrongfully. For with respect to slaves themselves, when they are kindly used by their masters, and treated with equity and humanity, and suffer nothing by ill usage whilst they do their duty, so long the example of Christ's sufferings is not peculiarly fit for their condition ; and when they do suffer wrongfully, the example belongs to them not as slaves, but as Christians suffering for righteousess' sake.
As to what his lordship says of his having in his answer to Dr. Atterbury explained the example of Christ in a proper manner, I never said he had not; nor do I now say it. But this I have said, and this I still say, that not content to explain it properly and justly, he was carried in the heat of his opposition to a great extreme, and could not leave the cause when he had made, as he says, a proper answer, but would go on till he came to the very contrary (to use his own words) to what had been objected to him. And because it had been said that the example of Christ (as his lordship represents his adversary's words, which I have not before me) belongs more to subjects than to slaves, therefore his lordship would not leave the argument until he had affirmed, “ that the example of Christ is much more peculiarly fit to be urged to slaves than to subjects.” And this, I think, was being carried into a very great extreme.
I do not pretend here to consider the argument of his lordship's learned adversary, or the reasons given by him for the support of his opinion: I take the whole on the bishop's own representation of the case, and find enough to justify what I said, that he was carried into great extremes through opposition.
I presume I have said enough to justify the fairness of my quotation; but his lordship has more complaints, and is very angry with me for saying that his assertion will make the ears of a Christian tingle. To do justice therefore to myself against his lordship's violent recrimination, I will go on to show that his assertion is as bad as those words of mine represent it to be, and that he has neither Scripture nor reason to support him in it.
And, first, I will show the reader what the assertion amounts to, by giving his lordship’s explication of the terms of his proposition. By slaves then he means slaves properly so called ;* that is, such as are bought in the market, or taken captive.t By subjects, he means such as have civil rights and properties, and are not bound by the mere will of their kings; as slaves are, who are bought and sold in the market. I suppose I need not refer to any particular passages to prove this to be his sense of the word subject.
The proposition which his lordship had to answer was, according to his own account,f this. The example of Christ is more peculiarly fit to be recommended to subjects, considered as such, than to slaves.” He undertakes to maintain the very contrary to be true : the proposition then which he affirms is this : “ that the example of our Lord is much more peculiarly fit to be urged to slaves (considered as such) than to subjects considered as such :" that is, the example of our Lord is much more fit for such as are bought and sold in markets, than for such as have civil rights and properties. This assertion is very shocking to a Christian, as being highly dishonorable to our blessed Saviour. And one of the bishop's reasons for this assertion, namely, “that the New Testament-represents the humiliation and low estate of Christ—by the condition of slaves ;” that is, of such slaves as are bought and sold in the market, is equally bad, equally dishonorable to our blessed Saviour, as will soon appear.
But to take his reasons for his assertion in their order, as they are now set forth in his answer. The first is, “ that St. slaves."*
+ Ibid. p. 54. 59.
* Answer to Dr. Atterbury, p. 55. 59. | Page 64.
Peter expressly proposes the example of our blessed Lord to
To which I answer, that this may be true, and yet nothing to his lordship's purpose : for it is one thing expressly to propose the example of Christ to slaves, and another to propose it as much more peculiarly fit for slaves than for subjects. Should a physician expressly prescribe the Jesuits' bark for a servant who has an ague, would his lordship infer that Jesuits' bark is much more peculiarly fit for a servant’s ague than for a master's ? I think he would not; and therefore what he says
of the example as proposed by St. Peter comes not near his point.
Besides, St. Peter does not speak of slaves peculiarly in his lordship's sense of the word, but of domestics of all sorts ; he calls them not doūlai, but oikétat; not slaves, but domestics ; though he had just before used the word doūdos, declaring Christians of all ranks to be doūdo. Ocoữ, servants of God; and he calls the masters, not κύριοι, but δεσπόται, that is οικοδεσπόται, masters of families. If his lordship had consulted only Stephens' Thesaurus, he would have found that oixérai are not peculiarly slaves, but according to Hesychius, oi karà tòvolkov πάντες; according to Suitlas, ου μόνον οι θεράποντες, αλλά και πάντες οι κατά την οικίαν : not only servants, but all that belong to the family: that an old grammarian quoted by Eustat, says, οικέτας υocatos fuisse non solum τους κατ’ αγρούς υπουργούς, not only slaves tied to hard labor in the country, sed etiam rojs év airiais élevépovs, but also the freemen belonging to the family. And under the word oikeùs he would have seen this account of the word from Eustat. oικέται, οι κατά την οικίαν διατρίβοντες, kĝv elev édeúdepoi : such as belong to the family though they are free.
1. He that considers this account of the word, will, I believe, see sufficient reason why the example proposed by St. Peter ought not to be confined to slaves properly so called. And had St. Peter used the word doūlos, I shall show that even that word could not reasonably have been confined to such slaves. For ought then that appears to the contrary, St. Peter did not peculiarly speak to slaves in the sense in which his lordship understands the word.
2. But suppose he did speak to such slaves ; yet it is certain that he does not propose the example of Christ to them as peculiarly fit for them considered as slaves. He thus exhorts them; servants, be subject to your masters with all fear, not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward. At verse 19. he gives them a reason why they should so do; but this reason is general, and not peculiarly fit for slaves. His words are : For this is thank-worthy, (ei ris) if any man (not, if any slave) for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully :' and that it is suffering wrongfully while they do well, and not merely as slaves, that is the acceptable thing to God, the next verse shows. And when he comes, at verse 21. to propose the example of Christ, the reasons he gives why the example of Christ should be followed, are such as affect all men equally, and have nothing in them peculiar to slaves : • for even hereunto are ye called :' that is, to suffer patiently, when it shall be your lot, in well-doing, which is a reason to all Christians; for St. Paul, speaking, not to slaves, but to the servants of Jesus Christ at Philippi with the bishops and deacons, tells them, unto you it is given on the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake:' i.. 29. St. Peter goes on : because Christ also suffered for us.' If this be a good reason for imitating his example, it is good to all; for Christ suffered not for slaves peculiarly, but for all the sons of men ; and in like mayner the argument goes on on general topics to the end of the chapter; and the last verse shows how St. Peter applied the example, and under what character he considered those to whom he applied it; for thus he speaks to them, . for ye were as sheep going astray, but now are returned unto the shepherd and bishop of your souls.' Now then ye who were gone astray, &c. were not peculiarly slaves, but include the Christians of all sorts, whether subjects or slaves. But if his lordship’s reason be good, St. Peter's argument must stand thus : “ this is thank-worthy, if a man (that is, a slave) for conscience toward God endure grief: for what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye (slaves) take it patiently; but if, when ye do well and suffer for it, ye (slaves) take it patiently, this is acceptable to God; for even hereunto were ye (slaves peculiarly) called, because
Christ also suffered for us ;' (slaves peculiarly,) verse 21. Who his ownself bare our sins in his own body on the tree; that we (slaves) being dead to sin, should live unto righteousness : by whose stripes ye (slaves) were healed :' verse 24. ‘for ye (slaves peculiarly) were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the shepherd and bishop of your souls.' So that if the example of Christ be peculiarly here applied to slaves, it must be because he is peculiarly bishop of the souls of slaves.
Thus you see what extravagant absurdities follow from supposing St. Peter to recommend the example of Christ as peculiarly fit for slaves.
3. In the following chapter, St. Peter, after considering the duty of wives to their husbands, and of husbands to wives, at verse 8. speaks to all sorts of Christians in general : 'finally be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another-not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing; but contrariwise blessing :'verse 9. In the following verses he proposes to them the advantages that such gentle behavior will yield even in this life; and at verse 14, tells them, but and if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye :' and at the 18th verse he proposes to all the example of Christ, • for Christ also hath once suffered, the just for the unjust.' At chap. iv. verse 1. he again makes a general application of the example to all Christians : « forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind.' Now he that proposed the example of Christ's sufferings to all sorts of Christians in this manner, could not possibly propose it as much more peculiarly fit for slaves than for subjects.
His lordship’s second reason for his assertion is in these words, “that in mentioning and handling the duty of subjects, considered as civil subjects, neither he (St. Peter) nor any other Apostle ever once proposes the example of Christ's passive submission and non-resistance.".
Allowing this to be true, yet I cannot see what his lordship gets by it: if the example of Christ was not proposed to subjects as such, will it follow that it is much more peculiarly fit for slaves than for subjects ? If it is not peculiarly fit for subjects, must it needs therefore be peculiarly fit for slaves ? So
Page 13. Answer to a Calumny.