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Norton Strange Townshend Anti-Slavery Lecture Notes, c. 1845

“The subject necessarily one of interest…” Norton Strange Townshend Anti-Slavery Lecture Notes, c. 1845. Norton Strange Townshend Family Papers, Box 12, Folder 2.

1. The subject necessarily one of deep interest whichever side be right—

2. This at least certain[:] that every one ought to examine & attack what appears to be the evil—

Design to answer this question What have we at the North to do with Slavery?—

1. My first answer is that our common humanity gives us something to do with it.

Sympathy with our fellow man is God’s law of love written on man’s heart.

To weep with those that weep &c &c is natural.

God’s design in thus constituting us was to secure to every member of the human family a friend & brother.

His sympathy knows no limit short of the whole human race–Howard–Greeks and Poles

In fact every member of the human family when in affliction has a just claim on our sympathy & aid

Upwards of 2,000,000 of slaves.

Only necessary to prove that they are members &c and in affliction.

1st prop. undoubted by all but brutes.

2. 1. rob us = we want redress. They are daily robbed.

2. insult us & our families. They are hourly insulted beyond the power of language to express.

3. Trample on our rights. Theirs are all trampled on.

4. Does not our happiness depend on intellectual exercise and anticipation of future?

1. The slave’s intellect carefully repressed & he reduced to level with soulless laboring brute.

2. Slaves future–only heartsickening expectation of future threats and torments.

personal & family insults & dreary unrequited toil

The slaves then are & must be indescribably wretched.

They have then a claim on our sympathy & aid–and unless we respond to that claim God’s blighting curse will deservedly rest on our callous hearts

2. My second answer to the question[,] What have we at the North to do with slavery? is we have to do with it as Christians.

What relations do Christians sustain to other men

1. Gods almoners to carry bread of life to perishing world.

2. In other words the light of truth to those that sit in darkness.

3. Again they are soldiers commanded to wage an uncompromising war with every form of moral evil. By the warfare of the Christians[,] the strong holds of Satan are to be torn down & the kingdom of the Redeemer established. (The idea that Christians have nothing to do but wear sober face)

The Christians campaign extends over the wide world–wherever the way of salvation is unknown or God dishonored by sin[,] there you Christians have something to do be it in China or the South Sea islands. Missionaries don’t overstep their commission.

Slavery as it exists in the south the stranglehold of Satan it is his Head quarters. Its power to ruin the souls of both slaves and masters equally terrific.

From the slaves it keeps the strongest motives to virtue & sets before him the strongest incentives to vice. They have only a partial gospel & from many the word of God is entirely kept–Law of South Carolina

& the Master removed from ordinary restraints that prevent the practice of vice & furnished with every faculty & provocation for the indulgence of his vicious passions is morally as much the victim of the system as the slave & even more for while it brutalizes the slave it both brutalizes and demoralizes the master.

This system too brings foulest displeasure on God by shamelessly violating every principle of Christian law.