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The Sale of Joseph to the Ishmaelites.

The Sale of Joseph to the Ishmaelites.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Aug 28, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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THE SALE OF JOSEPH TO THE ISHMAELITES.BY ALEXADER WATSO, M.A.Excessive indeed must be the depravity and corruption of tike heart, cruel the disposition, unfeeling the soul, and ex-treme the avarice of man, when he can turn his mind anddirect his passion, for gain, to a systematic traffic in humanflesh, to satisfy his lust of lucre ! Before a man would vo-luntarilj part with his own liberty, and dispose of it toanother, he must be in a state most dreadfully calamitous,in point of intelligent faculty; reduced to the lowest ab- jection of mental capacity ; suffering the most pressing ihp-gency of starvation and want ; sunk into the very depth of miseiy and distress, without the most distant prospect of re-lief; deadened to the sensibility of natural feeling; and ren*dered incapable of estimating the difference between the en- joyment of freedom, and struggling under the heavy manaclesof slavery, and the disgraceful lash of the bcmdman's task-masten We connot conceive die existence cf such a man^VOL, I. z178 SALE OF JOSEPHwithout annexing to our conception of him^ so degrading anumbness of intellectual sensation, as fits him only to be abeast of burden, unworthy of associating with the specieswhose form he bears. either can we well figure such awretched and forlorn state of miserable necessity as to inr-duce maq to barter his personal freedom, as Esau did hisbirthright, for a temporary fillmg of his belly and clothingof his back, unless death was the only alternative left him.Of course, we have no rational foundation whereon to restthe diaboUcal structure, which, as a slaughter-house, for hu-man victims, has been erected by barbarity itself within the
very bosom and under the shelter, protection, fostering care»and particular encouragement of civilization, in the open andavowed practice of stealing, buying and selling mankind as somany beasts, by the most wanton and unprovoked theftuousand depredatory inroads among inofiensive and unarmedtribes, and stirring up, upon the same systematized principles,a general' kidnapping hostility, and warfare between poor ig-norant and illiterate savages, to gratify the insatiate rapacityof mercantile lust, and the very acme of avaricious. gseed; msif the trade of war, robbery, and human butchery,, forgiogthe manacles ot slavery^, and leading in the chains of unre-lenting bondage, one half of mankind, was^ by Providence,made an absolutely necessary requisite to promote the wel-fiire, prosperity, support, independence, and Christianizedstate of the other. It is not our design, as it would be alto-gether useless, to inquire when, firom what incident or cause,and in what manner this traffic originally i^ose, which, iaour own days, has beei^ carried into such an enormous ex.-tent as shocks humani^, and almost makes the..^barbaTiaiiinstruments of violence themselves revolt against the veryrecital ;* and yet, as to some Christian powers, it has required,along with* all the efforts of the British government, its ac-TO THE ISHMAELITES. 179tual pnreiiase, with a large pecuniary consideration, of theconsent of these powers, to abolish the inhuman and infisinoasnational spirit of oppression, robbery, oatrage, and murder.either are we disposed to take up the subject, as contro-versialists, upon the mere point of expediency or inexpedien-cy of the trade, as comparative of the slaves former and pre-sent state of existence, or whether any injury in that respecthas been done, and what estimate can be formed thereof, >bythe seizure and violent transportation of the unhappy objectsof commercial and trading cupidity, from their native <coun-try, fiieir families; their connexions, and their fiivourite placesof residence, to a land in which they are total strangers, se-parated like cattle, by purchasers, from, and deprived of hav-
ing even the consolatory comfort, if comfort can be drawnfrom mutual affliction, administered by the wife of the un-happy captive's bosom, or in his power to sooth or alleviateher, perhaps, still heavier weight of distress, when, as inte-rested motives may prescribe, they may be fuially forced froma last reciprocal farewell embrace, and, it may be too, tornfrom their wretched, helpless, and dependent children,whether these are left behind or now at market, draggedwith a cruel and violent insensibility from both, never to seeeach other more.All that we contend for is, 'diat the principle itself is de-monstrably unjust, in opposition to the dictates and laws of nature, and from which, the feelings of the human heart re-volt. While we admit of its ancient and continued estab-lishment, we do not concede hi &vour of the abhorrent prac-tice, either a right, by prescription or equity, to persist insuch a detestable deed of iniquity. The enlightened Britishnation has confirmed our sentiments, did they require con-firmation, by the abrogating of whatever gave countenance to,and for erer putting down a trade of cruelty which disgracedz2180 84U OF JOSEPHitfl statute book, put to shame its legislatofs» end loeded withobloquy its otherwise most respectable commercial body, whicfatin this case, was too long influenced by a mere lust of gain,and the Tilest motives of self-interest and lucre-greediness of dii^nosition, in place of that spirit of liberality, honesty, fidelity,generosity, independence, honourable feelings, and the mostnndoobted characteristic traits of benevolence and charity,which has spread its just fame over the civilized world, andrecorded it at last, in the hearts of the exceedingly injuredand most brutishly treated, but uiioJBfending natives of a con«linent, which a future period may, by the same divine gracewhich removed from Europe the mists of ignorance and the

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