In George Whitefield’s article towards Southern Slaveholders, Whitefield expresses his terror towards the unhuman treatment of slaves by their Christian owners. Whitefield believes that as Christians, these slaveholders have the duty to care for their workers just as God calls upon them to do or else they will face the consequences for their sin. In this article, Whitefield’s purpose is to inform Christians of their sin in hope that they will change their treatment towards slaves. Whitefield article allows readers to view that his statements were meant to change the way slaves were treated by slave owners nonetheless he understands that buying slaves is sinful but legal. George goes on to compare the brutal treatment of slaves to the fair treatment of domestic animals by their owners. By making comparisons of the slaves to animals or groups of people from the bible, Whitefield’s purpose is to show Christians’ examples of God’s judgements for those mistreating their workers. Whitefield’s second main point of his article was the teaching of Christianity to slaves. He realized many of the slaveholders refused to educate their slaves in …show more content…
During this time period many of the colonist were not as focused on their religious duties as they had when beginning the colonies. Many Americans were in search for religious freedom leaving Britain, but as America progressed many lost devotion towards their religion. The colonists had their focus on goods, land and the ruling of their country. George Whitefield helped spark the movement of The Great Awakening by this article and by preaching thousands of sermons to save God’s calling. Whitefield explains the tragedies occurring in the colonies as Gods judgment towards their sin and their soon death if they are not saved. The fear of future disasters allowed colonist to pursue
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George Whitefield was an Anglican minster that came to the British colonies in the 1740s to spread Christianity on several evangelical tours. Whitefield had what is described as an enthusiastic approach to sharing Christianity that added a dramatic role to his sermons by focusing on an emotional connection to God in order to stir the hearts of those that were listening, Franklin gives an account of this in his autobiography. Whitefield was a well-known preacher in the colonies and at the time the Stono Rebellion happened in 1739, Whitefield was coming back to the British colonies to start another tour to spread Christianity. Although Whitefield was generally popular by the colonists, the higher officials in the church did not like him as much because of the new way he presented Christianity, through the use of enthusiasm. With a dislike for Whitefield, clergy members would shut their church’s doors to the influence of Whitefield’s enthusiasm and instead of preaching in the pulpits, he resulted to preaching in the streets and in fields, where ever a crowd would gather.
Infamously, the colonial period saw a widespread slave trading and the abuse of people of color by white Europeans traveling the world. Cleveland describes the use of white Jesus as a way for slave owners to cope with their cruelty and even justify seeing people of color as lesser than. One can infer from this point that seeing their God as white means they can interpret as white people as pure and divine and therefore, always in the right. With this justification and a mix of pride derived from the slaveholder hierarchy, Cleveland explains these types of people were able to easily forget Jesus’ disapproval of slave ownership and demands for slaves to be set
David Walker says, “whites have always been an unjust...set of beings, always seeking power and authority,” to call for slaves to revolt against their masters. Angelina Grimke builds upon Walker’s position, saying “the opposition of slavery has done its deadliest work in the hearts of our citizens,” to illustrate how slavery has caused nothing positive to the nation and is only diverting the country apart. The Northerners also had the interpretation of “holding slaves is morally wrong...upon precepts taught in the bible, and takes (the bible) as the standard of morality and religion” (Slavery and the Bible,1850) to further question the justification of holding slaves and how the morals of Christians in the North aided by the rise of the abolition movement during the Second Great Awakening. The morality of slavery was being questioned in the United States during the nineteenth century because of the denial of happiness and human rights among those under the rule of southern plantation owners. Reformers expressed their point of views, and many northerners began to join the abolition movement, however their attempts couldn’t influence the southerners and slavery continued on plantations in the southern
He claimed that Whitefield was “a dangerous man, and greatly injurious to the interest of the undefiled religion of Jesus Christ.” Henchman was threatened by Whitefield’s popularity (as were many traditional churches of the colonies) because colonists were finding the desire to free themselves from the intolerant ways of their original religious communities. The message many ministers were preaching during the Great Awakening was that you didn’t have to conform to a church’s narrow requirements to be a Christian. The belief that being a Christian didn’t have to mean acceptance by a stiff or intolerant church community spread like wildfire, and a new light burned in the hearts of many: the light of hope. People began realizing that they could form their own, more liberal churches—and they did!
As the whip lashed on yet another victim of slavery, a distinguished Christian man who attained a high standing in the church supported the scourging of the screaming slave by quoting verses from the Bible. Frederick Douglass spoke about his encounter with Christian slaveholders in antebellum America in his autobiography, The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave. Douglass gave all of the following generations an idea of how the slaves lived under several types of masters. In this narrative, Frederick Douglass communicated the hypocrisy of Christian slaveholders; he found Christian men were harsh to the slaves through their power and with their rationalization of their sins. Frederick Douglass observed that Christian
Douglass who grew up under the hand of many different Christian overseers and masters, shared that, “religious slaveholders [were] the worst.” When Douglass was abiding with Mr. Thomas Auld (Mr. Auld’s brother), He described him as a man, “incapable of managing his slaves either by force, fear, or fraud,” until his religious conversion. Mr. Thomas Auld was converted at a Methodist camp-meeting, and Douglass expressed, “I indulged in a faint hope that his conversion would lead him to emancipate his slaves, and that, if it did not do this, it would, at any rate, make him more kind and humane.” Douglass was let down in both respects, and he said, “If it had any effect on his character, it made him more cruel and hateful in all his ways… after his conversion, he found religious sanction and support for his slaveholding cruelty.” One of his master’s justifications involved reciting religious passages and quotes from the Bible while whipping his slaves.
Slavery: Effective on Slaves and Slaveholders In Frederick Douglass’s autobiography Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave, Douglass recounts his life in slavery to reveal to his readers the horrors of the American slave system. To effectively inform his readers of the corrupt system, he publicizes the slaveholders’ hypocritical practice of Christianity. Although he himself is a Christian, Douglass’s narrative is a scathing commentary on the ironic role of Christian religion in the Southern slaveholding culture. Throughout his book, the author expresses and exemplifies his perspective on religion by illustrating the falseness and hypocrisy of the Southern people. To start off, Frederick Douglass suggests that the Southern people’s religion is false and insincere.
Slaves were warned to obey their masters, “As to the Lord and not to men.” However, their masters were also held to this same standard. Masters were expected to treat their slaves well and even to treat them as brothers, as God is the master of all people, including
While in solitary confinement for nearly 8 days, reverend and social justice activist, Martin Luther King Jr., wrote his famous Letter from Birmingham Jail in response to the criticism he received for his non-violent protests. Several clergy who negatively critiqued King’s approach of seeking justice, wrote A Call for Unity, arguing that his protests were senseless and improper. Within the article, the clergymen provide nine different critiques that asserted how King’s protest are invalid, uneffective, and simply unintelligent in the fight for obtaining justice and equity for individuals of color. His letter has become one of the most profound pieces of literature of the 20th century, as King uses vivid examples and eloquent rhetorical devices to counter all nine arguments.
The idiosyncratic style Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave by Frederick Douglass depicts the discriminatory actions of postcolonial slave owners in the southern United States, which reflects their greed for unpaid labor on their plantations. He employs the metaphor of the book that their masters prohibited them from owning by law throughout the memoir to demonstrate the avarice that drives white slave owners to turn a darker-skinned, intelligent being into a machine for personal benefit for centuries after the colonization of America. Also, the irony further displays the power of greed by expressing the slaveholder’s uncivilized method of forcing another human out of civilization. Furthermore, his use of a paradox of the use of pure religious beliefs to justify a slaveholder’s inhumane treatment reveals their rapacious actions that contradict the teachings of the church.
Also, in the same chapter, Douglass’ expresses his feelings for Mr.Freeland stating, “I will give Mr.Freeland the credit for being the best master I ever had” (Douglass 49). Douglass’ states that Mr.Freeland was not religious but he was the best master he ever had. It is ironic that non-religious slaveholders treat their slaves better than religious slaveholders. Therefore, Douglass notes the irony of religious and non-religious slaveholders: religious slaveholders being more cruel than non-religious slaveholders. Douglass perceives how slaves are treated worse than animals.
Frederick Douglass’s narrative provides a first hand experience into the imbalance of power between a slave and a slaveholder and the negative effects it has on them both. Douglass proves that slavery destroys not only the slave, but the slaveholder as well by saying that this “poison of irresponsible power” has a dehumanizing effect on the slaveholder’s morals and beliefs (Douglass 40). This intense amount of power breaks the kindest heart and changes the slaveholder into a heartless demon (Douglass 40). Yet these are not the only ways that Douglass proves what ill effect slavery has on the slaveholder. Douglass also uses deep characterization, emotional appeal, and religion to present the negative effects of slavery.
Religion played an important role in each of the British colonies. Many Christian groups tried to enforce religious observance through the colony's government and the local town's rules. Some laws stated that everyone must attend a house of worship and pay taxes that helped fund the pay of ministers. Out of the thirteen colonies, only eight had official churches. In the colony, those who practice a different version of Christianity or a non- Christian faith were sometimes killed (www.facinghistory.org 1).
Throughout his narrative, Douglass’s descriptions of the white slaveholders expose the Christian hypocrisy found in the American slave system. Douglass first does so by exposing how the lesson taught by Christians to help those in need is contradicted by the experiences Douglass has especially with hunger. Douglass reflects on these experiences when he states that for the “first time during a space of more than seven years” feeling the effects of the “painful gnawing’s of hunger…” (54). This event shows the Christians’ lessons of selflessness and kindness is hypocritical as they treat their fellow humans as subhuman. The Christians at the time rely on scripture to make a case for slavery in America.
In the narrative “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave”, Frederick Douglass shows the religious irony in southern slaveholding culture. Douglass gives the reader personal accounts of how brutally some slaves were treated on the plantations. Douglass also contrast the differences between southern and northern slaveholding culture. In the appendix, Douglass argues that there a major differences between Christianity shown to us in the South and Christianity shown to us in the Bible. Douglass gives us personal insight to the life of a slave and their treatment.