John Adger was a Southern Presbyterian pastor and close associate of Thornwell. Interestingly enough, Adger was distinct from his Southern Presbyterian friends in that he defended Calvin’s doctrine of the Lord’s Supper. This has gotten him a little attention lately, alongside John Williamson Nevin. In preparing a paper for my ethics class, I came across an interesting quote by Adger in regards to slavery. I do not intend to make any sort of moral judgment on the issue right now, but I was struck by the way Adger presented the relationship between slave and master. I wasn’t quite expecting it. Here’s the quote:
They belong to us. We also belong to them. They are divided out among us and mingled up with us, and we with them in a thousand ways. They live with us, eating from the same store-houses, drinking from the same fountains, dwelling in the same enclosures, forming parts of the same families. Our mothers confide us, when infants, to their arms, and sometimes to the very milk of their breasts. Their children [grow up with us] and then, either they stand weeping by our bedside, or we drop a tributary tear by theirs… There they are– behold them. See them all around you, in these streets, in all these dwellings; a race distinct from us, brought into God’s mysterious providence from a foreign land, and placed under our care, and made members of our households. They fill the humblest places in our state and society; they serve us, they give us their strength, yet they are not more truly ours than we are truly theirs.
~ quoted from James O. Farmer The Metaphysical Confederacy pg. 210