From ABCCLIO's American History website SEARCH RESULTSJonathan Edwards Jr.: "The Injustice and Impolicy of the Slave Trade" (1791)In this 1791 sermon, Reverend Jonathan Edwards Jr. argues against the slave trade. He says slavery isinconsistent with the principles of Christianity and hopes that his ideas will take hold across the nation, especially inthe South.MATTHEW VII. 12.THEREFORE ALL THINGS WHATSOEVER YOU WOULD, THAT MEN SHOULD DO TO YOU, DO YE EVEN SO TOTHEM; FOR THIS IS THE LAW AND THE PROPHETS.This precept of our divine Lord hath always been admired as most excellent; and doubtless with the greatest reason.Yet it needs some explanation. It is not surely to be understood in the most unlimited sense, implying that because a prince expects andwishes for obedience from his subjects, he is obliged to obey them: that because parents wish their children to submit to their government,therefore they are to submit to the government of their children: or that because some men wish that others would concur and assist themto the gratification of their unlawful desires therefore they also are to gratify the unlawful desires of others. But whatever we are conscious,that we should, in an exchange of circumstances, wish, and are persuaded that we might reasonably wish, that others would do to us; thatwe are bound to do to them. This is the general rule given us in the text; and a very extensive rule it is, reaching to the whole of our conduct:and is particularly useful to direct our conduct toward inferiors, and those whom we have in our power. I have therefore thought it a properfoundation for the discourse, which by the Society for the promotion of Freedom, and for the Relief of Persons unlawfully holden inBondage , I have the honour to be appointed to deliver, on the present occasion.This divine maxim is most properly applicable to the slavetrade, and to the slavery of the Africans. Let us then make the application.Should we be willing, that the Africans or any other nation should purchase us, our wives and children, transport us into Africa and there sellus into perpetual and absolute slavery? Should we be willing, that they by large bribes and offers of a gainful traffic should entice ourneighbours to kidnap and sell us to them, and that they should hold in perpetual and cruel bondage, not only ourselves, but our posteritythrough all generations? Yet why is it not as right for them to treat us in this manner, as it is for us to treat them in the same manner? Theircolour indeed is different from our's. But does this give us a right to enslave them? The nations from Germany to Guinea have complexionsof every shade from the fairest white, to a jetty black: and if a black complexion subject a nation or an individual to slavery; where shallslavery begin? or where shall it end?