The Christian Slave





In a publication of L. F. Tasistro--Random Shots and Southern Breezes--

is a description of a slave auction at New Orleans, at which the

auctioneer recommended the woman on the stand as "A GOOD CHRISTIAN!" It

was not uncommon to see advertisements of slaves for sale, in which they

were described as pious or as members of the church. In one

advertisement a slave was noted as "a Baptist preacher."



A CHRISTIAN! going, gone!

Who bids for God's own image? for his grace,

Which that poor victim of the market-place

Hath in her suffering won?



My God! can such things be?

Hast Thou not said that whatsoe'er is done

Unto Thy weakest and Thy humblest one

Is even done to Thee?



In that sad victim, then,

Child of Thy pitying love, I see Thee stand;

Once more the jest-word of a mocking band,

Bound, sold, and scourged again!



A Christian up for sale!

Wet with her blood your whips, o'ertask her frame,

Make her life loathsome with your wrong and shame,

Her patience shall not fail!



A heathen hand might deal

Back on your heads the gathered wrong of years:

But her low, broken prayer and nightly tears,

Ye neither heed nor feel.



Con well thy lesson o'er,

Thou prudent teacher, tell the toiling slave

No dangerous tale of Him who came to save

The outcast and the poor.



But wisely shut the ray

Of God's free Gospel from her simple heart,

And to her darkened mind alone impart

One stern command, Obey! [3]



So shalt thou deftly raise

The market price of human flesh; and while

On thee, their pampered guest, the planters smile,

Thy church shall praise.



Grave, reverend men shall tell

From Northern pulpits how thy work was blest,

While in that vile South Sodom first and best,

Thy poor disciples sell.



Oh, shame! the Moslem thrall,

Who, with his master, to the Prophet kneels,

While turning to the sacred Kebla feels

His fetters break and fall.



Cheers for the turbaned Bey

Of robber-peopled Tunis! he hath torn

The dark slave-dungeons open, and hath borne

Their inmates into day:



But our poor slave in vain

Turns to the Christian shrine his aching eyes;

Its rites will only swell his market price,

And rivet on his chain.



God of all right! how long

Shall priestly robbers at Thine altar stand,

Lifting in prayer to Thee, the bloody hand

And haughty brow of wrong?

1843





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