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In the Classroom > African Americans Lessons > Ministers Owned Slaves

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From an article by Sewall published in a London newspaper, The Athenian Oracle, in 1704

…I take it to be contrary to the great Law of Nature, of doing unto all Men as we would they should do unto us; and which as our Saviour tells us (Mat. 7:12) Is the sum of the Law and the Prophets. For let us put the Case to ourselves, and consider what it would be for a Man to be stolen away from his Native Country, and hurried into perpetual Bondage; Or to have a Child snatched from his Embraces, and so used; and then see if this Trade and practice can be any way reconciled to this Rule [i.e., the “Golden Rule.”] And surely, they that have the Gospel and yet sin against the very Laws of Nature, shall have a severer punishment at the Day of Judgment than those poor silly Wretches that have only that dim Light to guide them. And perhaps those poor Wretches in Chains, when Death shall make them free, may rise up in Judgment and condemn those more cruel and unnatural Men that so unjustly deprive them of that Liberty which God and Nature had given them….

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