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demanded the release of Gentiles as well as Jews. It was the year of universal remission,* and as it was thus the symbol of the Gospel dispensation—as Christ, in preaching the acceptable year of the Lord, preached to Gentiles and Jews; so the symbolic perfection of the Jubilee required that all the inhabitants of the land, whether Jew or Gentile, bond or free, should be embraced in “the shadow of good things to come,' not less than in the “ very image of the things.” It, however, it should be thought that the expression, "and ye shall take them as an inheritance for your children after you,” (v. 46,) meant more than “forever,” it may be replied, first, that grammatically they stand in opposition. And, secondly, that it is equivalent to the expression, “the stock of the stranger’s family,” (v. 47,) which clearly did not hold possession, beyond the year of Jubilee. (v. 54.)
* The Septuagint translates both 527 (Jubilee,) and (Liberty,) by ipcois remission, i. e. of debts, servants, sins, &c. Both terms seemed consecrated to so high a service, that they never fell to common uses. This is particularly true of 14.77. It is only employed by four authors, and two of these use it only once each. It is impossible to mistake its sacred and exalted asscr'ations. In Ex. xxx, 23, it is applied, not inadvertently, to the free flowing “myrrh of the holy annointing oil.” Its use by Ex. xlvi, 17, reflects in a strong light the miserable character of the law of release ; while Jer. xxxiv, 8, 15, 17, brings before the mind the solemn nature of this law of universal liberation. But it is in the figurative application of words, that their true glory shines outward by this test, 177 stands apart, and in the vocabulary of freedom, is without a peer, or a rival.' Isaiah (1xi, 1,) selects it as the only fit word to set forth that glorious liberty "where with Christ shall make his people free.” The Scripture dialect of freedom has many silver-tongued daughters, but none whose voice is as pleasant as the voice of this one. Its notes have sounded through the centuries, and in that prayer, wbich shall only cease when the kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of God and of his Christ, this echo is heard, Matt. vi, 12—"forgire (apes) us,” &c. We do not feel at liberty to restrict this gracious word to the narrow compass of the Hebrew servant; we believe that its sound proclaimed liberty to the Gentile servant too. On the studded buckler, which Jehovah held over the liberties of his people, this was the thickest boss. And while it was intended first to defend the Jew, its protecting shadow also fell upon the Gentile, and for us to rule out the heathen slave from the blessings of this word, would be to reënact that bigotry of the Jews, which gave the Gentiles no portion in the Messiah-the great Liberator of the human family.
These, then, are the points of resemblance and difference between Jewish and Gentile servants. The regular period of service for a Hebrew slave was six years; for Gentile slaves, till the Jubilee. The Hebrew might sell himself and family, under exceptional circumstances, into bondage, for the long period, but not as a menial-with little choice as to toil or price; there was no such restraint imposed on heathen. But both classes became free in the Jubilee. Both classes were protected against violence, (Ex. xxi, 20,) both were emancipated, if maimed in the least member of their body. (Ex. xxi, 26–27.) If born in the house, or bought for the long term, (Gen. xvii, 12; Ex. xii, 43, 44,) the heathen became a citizen and church member, with all the franchises of a Hebrew. He could marry into his master's family and become an heir. (1 Chr. ii, 31.) In many particulars lis circumstances and hopes were superior to those of the hireling or sojourner. (Gen. xvii, 12; Ex. xii, 43–48.) What circumcision effected for the males, marriage or adoption did for the females. (Ex. xxi, 7-11.) The whole tendency of the system, as it operated on heathen bondmen, was to make them Jews and freemen. In our sense of the word, a slave could not be found in all Canaan, and if he fled within its consecrated limits, he not only became an honest freeman, but an honored guest, and cherubic words flashing defiance and death towards his pursuers, were his body guard. A slave-pen could not pollute the redeemed soil, and if such a monster as a slave dealer ever came near its hallowed precincts, it was to gaze into the sacred enclosure, as Satan lighting on “Niphate's top,” glared into Eden.*
We are aware that some men's philanthropy leads them to denounce the very relation of master and servant, and to reject the Bible because it presumes so far to acknowledge this rela
* Deut. xxiii, 15, (16,) a which is rendered, "deliver,” does not give the right shade of meaning, it is too strong, and weakens the force of the law. The idea is that the fugitive shall not be held in durance, for recaption by his master. That durance, and not delivery, is the meaning of this statute, is evident, no less from the 16, (17,) verse than from other passages, where a stands in similar connections; 1 Sam, xxiii, 7-20; Job xvi, 11.
tion as to regulate it. But it seems to us that the system of Hebrew servitude-aimed, as it was, against poverty, crime, and heathenism, and holding sacred the three cardinal rights of all men, right of property, right of marriage, and right of worshipnot only bears marks of divine supervision, but furnishes proofs, neither few nor weak, of even the inspiration of the Bible. The institution was reformatory, ameliorating, and civilizing. What we try to secure by inany laws, and with but partial success, Hebrew servitude did simply and efficiently. Hebrew servitude put a poor man in bonds and honorable work ; we put him in the poor-house and dishonorable ease. Hebrew servitude made the debtor an apprentice to honest toil; we put him in jail to do nothing and perhaps become a felon. Hebrew servitnde made the thief a useful member of society, by giving him work; we send him to the State's Prison, or a penal colony. And as for making safe citizens out of ignorant foreigners and degraded heathen, we doubt whether we have anything as good as Hebrew apprenticeship. As a naturalization process, it was immeasurably better than the Roman mode of recruiting the state; or even the English system of fortifying decaying royalty and nobility. Hebrew servitude was a divine plan to convert the pestilent, and virulent, and feculent înasses into profitable members of society. It apprenticed the houest poor to honorable industry. It bound the criminal to remunerative and reformatory labor. It trained the heathen to virtue, freedom, and religion. The system of Hebrew servitude was like the periodic overflow of the Nile. What the Nile did for the agriculture of Egypt, that Hebrew servitude did for the commonwealth of Israel. In the river's annual rise, many proprie. tary marks were submerged, and temporarily obliterated; but when its waters again sought their accustomed channels, one by one the former landmarks rose to view, and gave back to each freeholder, not only his old patrimonial limits, but an increase of corn and wine—each worn out, and feeble acre smiling with a double yield. Like these turbid waters of the Nile, so the bitter waters of Hebrew servitude gradually stole over the lower strata of society, submerging for a season many cherished rights; but when at length the scepter of the Jubilee was stretched over its proud waves, the tide of power fell at once to its decreed level; and domestic, civil, and religious rights budded and blossomed with a new vigor, and a double increase. And where the dark waters of crime or misfortune rolled the deepest, there rose the noblest franchises. Once again, the poor bad ceased from the land, debts had died, and crimes were expiated. Heathen and proselytes ceased to be “aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world; and became fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God.” If Egypt saw a god in her river, and hailed his divine presence in the flow of its victorious waves, much more should we see a God in Hebrew servitude, and hear his voice in the silver notes of the Jubilee. When we look upon a water lily, we forget the slime and darkness out of which the divine chemist has elaborated its fragrance and purity; so when we look at the results of Hebrew servitude, we forget the servile processes by which the Jew and the pagan were blessed and sanctified; for we feel that the divine end always sanctifies, if it does not explain, the divine means. But for this very reason, in matters of so high regard, as disfranchising our fellow men, we should shrink from attempting God's method, without God's sanction; lest in sacrilegiously presuming to guide the divine chariot, we should set the world ablaze, and put man's double curse-American slavery—in the place of God's double blessing-Hebrew servitude.
[The conductors of the New Englander are quite willing that the learned author of the foregoing Article should express his views in all freedoin, but they feel obliged to say that one point which he makes is doubtful. We refer to the view which he defends that foreign slaves were by the laws of Moses manumitted at the time of Jubilee. The point requiring attention in regard to foreign slaves is whether the passage in Levit. xxv, 45, 46, is so to be interpreted as to allow the application of the law of Jubilee to this description of persons. In that passage it is said of bond-men who are not Hebrews, "ye shall take them as an inheritance for your children after yon, to inherit them for a possession ; they shall be your bondmen forever.” Now it may be very true, as our contributor affirms, that the words “ forever” in themselves determine nothing; but the words “ for your children after you to inherit them for a possession ” are not so easily disposed of. What if the bondmen had been bought two or three years before the Jubilee: how could these words have been applicable to them? Is there not a marked distinction between the tenure of such bond-men and of Hebrew servants whose time of service expired by specific limitations in the law. If authority may be appealed to, we add that all the writers whom we have had leisure to consult, as Josephus Winer in his Realwörterbuch, Knobel in his recent commentary on Exodus and Leviticus, Mielziner in a work just published at Copenhagen on Hebrew servitude, and especially Saalschütz in his Mosäisches Recht, regard the foreign bond-men as held by a tenure to which the law assigns no limit.
There is, however, a question which can fairly be asked, to which unhappily our scanty knowledge of Hebrew law and usage furnishes no certain answer. It is this: whether the foreigner or his posterity on a change of religion froin idolatry to Judaism would not be ultimately absorbed in the Hebrew commonwealth? Would the status through generations in this case be that of foreigners, or was there a naturalization going on, of which we have no record ? The analogies of other states of antiquity; the mild spirit of the law towards co-religionists; the fact that in the Exodus there must have been many foreigners included who seem to have been part and parcel of the people; (Comp. Numbers xi, 4;) the fact that foreign slaves sometimes married danghters of the family,