History, 1838–1856, volume B-1 [1 September 1834–2 November 1838]

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction
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knowing that your master also is in heaven; neither is there respect <​April 9. Joseph’s Letter on Abolitionism Continued.​> of person with him. Eph 6:5, 6, 7, 8, 9.
Here is a lesson which might be proffitable for all to learn, and the principle upon which the church was anciently [HC 2:439] governed, is so plainly set forth that an eye of truth might see and understand. Here certainly are represented the master and servant; and so far from instructions to the servant to leave his master, he is commanded to be in obedience, as unto the Lord, the master in turn is required to treat them with kindness before God understanding, at the same time that he is to give an account. The hand of fellowship is not withdrawn from him in consequence of having servants.
The same writer, in his first epistle to Timothy, the sixth chapter, and the five first verses; says:— “Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worth<​y​> of all honor that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed. And they that have beleiving masters, let them not despise them, because they are brethren: but rather do them service, because they are faithful and beloved, partakers of the benefit. These things teach and exhort. If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to Godliness; he is proud knowing nothing but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is Godliness; from such withdraw thyself.” This is so perfectly plain, that I see no need of comment. The Scripture stands for itself, and I beleive that these men were better qualified to teach the will of God, than all the abolitionists in the world.
Before closing this communication, I beg leave to drop a word to the travelling elders. You know, brethren, that great responsibility rests upon you, and that you are accountable to God for all you teach the world. In my opinion you will do well to search the book of Covenants, in which you will see the beleif of the Church, concerning masters and servants. All men are to be taught to repent; but we have no right to interfere with slaves contrary to the mind and will of their masters. In fact it would be much better and more prudent, not to preach at all to slaves, until after their masters are converted; and then teach the master to use them with kindness, remembering that they are accountable to God, and that Servants are bound to serve their masters, with singleness of heart,without murmuring. I do most sincerely hope, that no one who is authorized from this church to preach the Gospel, will so far depart from the scripture as to be found stirring up strife and sedition against our brethren of the South. Having spoken frankly and [p. 732]
knowing that your master also is in heaven; neither is there respect April 9. Joseph’s Letter on Abolitionism Continued. of person with him. Eph 6:5, 6, 7, 8, 9.
Here is a lesson which might be proffitable for all to learn, and the principle upon which the church was anciently [HC 2:439] governed, is so plainly set forth that an eye of truth might see and understand. Here certainly are represented the master and servant; and so far from instructions to the servant to leave his master, he is commanded to be in obedience, as unto the Lord, the master in turn is required to treat them with kindness before God understanding, at the same time that he is to give an account. The hand of fellowship is not withdrawn from him in consequence of having servants.
The same writer, in his first epistle to Timothy, the sixth chapter, and the five first verses; says:— “Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honor that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed. And they that have beleiving masters, let them not despise them, because they are brethren: but rather do them service, because they are faithful and beloved, partakers of the benefit. These things teach and exhort. If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to Godliness; he is proud knowing nothing but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is Godliness; from such withdraw thyself.” This is so perfectly plain, that I see no need of comment. The Scripture stands for itself, and I beleive that these men were better qualified to teach the will of God, than all the abolitionists in the world.
Before closing this communication, I beg leave to drop a word to the travelling elders. You know, brethren, that great responsibility rests upon you, and that you are accountable to God for all you teach the world. In my opinion you will do well to search the book of Covenants, in which you will see the beleif of the Church, concerning masters and servants. All men are to be taught to repent; but we have no right to interfere with slaves contrary to the mind and will of their masters. In fact it would be much better and more prudent, not to preach at all to slaves, until after their masters are converted; and then teach the master to use them with kindness, remembering that they are accountable to God, and that Servants are bound to serve their masters, with singleness of heart,without murmuring. I do most sincerely hope, that no one who is authorized from this church to preach the Gospel, will so far depart from the scripture as to be found stirring up strife and sedition against our brethren of the South. Having spoken frankly and [p. 732]
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