Evangelism -













Wheaton's Blanchard on Social Reform
Excerpts from from Jonathan Blanchard, 
A Debate on Slavery,
Cincinnati, Wm. H. Moore, 1846

Blanchard pastored a Cincinnati church when he debated Rev. N. L. Rice for six days in the City of Cincinnati in October 1845. He later became the first President of Wheaton College. For more information on Blanchard, see order information at end of this page.


P 304 – "the Bible says, ‘the laborer is worthy of HIS HIRE,’ The daughter of Pharaoh did not dare compel a Hebrew servant to nurse Moses for her without promising her wages. This common, house-hold equity; this simple justice to the laboring poor, blazes on every on every page of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, yet he vaunts his eagerness to bring this discussion to the words of Holy Scripture, as if that blesses book contained no justice for men compelled to work without hire!"


p. 429 – "Robbery is forcibly taking a man’s earnings; theft is stealing them; and swindling is taking them by fraud. Neither of these is, strictly, ‘oppression’ – which is putting your hand through a man’s earnings, and taking out of the man himself the right to acquire; … And the Word of God is one blazing wall of fiery wrath against this oppression, from Genesis to Revelation. ‘Thou shalt not oppress the stranger, nor vex him.’ ‘ Woe unto him that useth his neighbor’s service without wages.; … ‘Do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with thy God.’"

Human rights

p. 43-44 – "There are three sorts of human rights. Political, social and Natural. Voting is a political right. … Abolitionists take their stand upon the New Testament doctrine of the natural equality of man. The one-bloodism of human kind: - and upon those great principles of human rights, drawn from the New Testament, and announced in the American Declaration of Independence, declaring that all men have natural and inalienable right to person, property and the pursuit of happiness. They only carry out the admitted truth that all are equal."

Social action

p. 411 – "Now if you wish to abolish slavery in Kentucky, what have you to do? Nothing, but to strike the chattel principle from the code, and then give the emancipated free access to the courts. Repealing the chattel principle turns the slaves into men, and giving them access to the courts, secures to them the rights of men. … The Mosaic law did not strike out the chattel principle, for it never was there. … no such thing as slavery did or could exist in Judea. Give the Jewish law of bond service to Kentucky, and the thousands who lie down slaves to-night, will rise in the morning free men. Establish he Hebrew code throughout the States, and there will not be a slave left to wet the soil with the tears, and the sweat of his unpaid labor, in the whole country."

Higher law

p. 468 – "saying that the rights of lave-owners still remained in them by the civil law is subjecting the Christian church to the heathen State. But if the law of Christ was superior to that civil law which gave them their slave-holding rights, then they ceased to be slave-holders when they joined the church."


p. 418 – "I stand in the Gospel of Christ, to plead for my clients, three millions of human beings, who cannot plead for themselves, and I beg, in the name of God, who pities them, and us all, that you will hear me with patience and candor.


p. 433 – "The first alteration which Christianity made in the polity of Judaism, was to abrogate this oppressive distinction of sexes; declaring that, while the husband is the head of the wife, yet in ‘Christ Jesus there is neither male nor female.’ The degrading serfdom of the woman to the man, was abolished. Christ declared the husband and wife to be ‘one flesh,’ and set the woman in the family, by the side of her husband … and not his menial dependent."


p. 11 – "there are right and wrong business relations. The relation of partners in a legitimate trade is a just and useful relation – founded on a right principle, that of the mutual dependence of men. … But there is also a false relation in business – such as that between smugglers, or that of the anti-social conspiracy, formed by men who are banded together to burn our cities, and, by general disorganization, to bring down society to their own level."


p. 292 – "I now call your attention to what I call the direct argument (and all my arguments are from the Bible, or are intended to be) to show that the relation of master and slave is a sinful relation. I have showed (I think) slave-holding to be ‘in itself sinful,’ which was the first part of the question. I wish therefore, to show that the relation, - not the practice, only, of slave-holding, but the relation of master and slave is sinful. I have duly advertised the audience of my one and a half hours’ speech in the Old Testament servitude and a speech of similar length on the New Testament view of slavery."

Social sin

p. 208, 210 – "But I argue further, that slave-holding is sin, because it is going with a multitude to do evil. ... Slave-holding is not a solitary, but a social sin. It requires conspiracy and combination to perpetuate it. …

The whole United States’ power is but the hand-vice into which the slave-holder screws his slave, and y which the slave ‘if held to service or labor,’ and the United State statute, a tether to bind the hands and feet of those whom the rapacity and violence of our ancestors have enslaved and placed in our power. Slave-holding, is therefore explicitly forbidden by God in the words: ‘Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil.’"

From Discovering An Evangelical Heritage by Donald W. Dayton, Harper and Row, 1976l

"These men are Jonathan Blanchard and Charles A. Blanchard, father and son, the first and second presidents of Wheaton. These two men held the office for over twenty and forty years, respectively. Together they guided Wheaton College through its first sixty-five years. ...Blanchard's position on reform can best be understood through an examination of the Cincinnati debate."

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