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American churches the bulwarks of American slavery / by James G. Birney. Birney, James Gillespie, 1792-1857. 400dpi TIFF G4 page images University of Kentucky, Electronic Information Access & Management Center Lexington, Kentucky 2002 b92-184-30604758 Electronic reproduction. 2002. (Beyond the shelf, serving historic Kentuckiana through virtual access (IMLS LG-03-02-0012-02) ; These pages may be freely searched and displayed. Permission must be received for subsequent distribution in print or electronically. American churches the bulwarks of American slavery / by James G. Birney. Birney, James Gillespie, 1792-1857. P. Pillsbury, Concord, N.H. : 1885. 48 p. ; 19 cm. Coleman This is a reprint of the 3rd edition, which was published in 1842. Microfilm. Atlanta, Ga. : SOLINET, 1994. 1 microfilm reel ; 35 mm. (SOLINET/ASERL Cooperative Microfilming Project (NEH PS-20317) ; SOL MN04378.01 KUK) Printing Master B92-184. IMLS This electronic text file was created by Optical Character Recognition (OCR). No corrections have been made to the OCR-ed text and no editing has been done to the content of the original document. Encoding has been done through an automated process using the recommendations for Level 1 of the TEI in Libraries Guidelines. Digital page images are linked to the text file. Slavery United States Controversial literature 1842. Slavery and the church. THE AMERICAN CHURCHES TH A rLWARKS OF AMERICAN 13Y JAMES SLAVERY. G-. BIRNEY. THIRD AMERICAN EDITION. REVISED BY THE AUTHOR. (ourlarb, ah. "'m. PUBLISHED BY PARK'ER PILLSBURY. I 885. This page in the original text is blank. INTRODUCTION. BY PARKER PILLSBURY. The following work is reproduced without apology. It is needed as authentic anti-slavery history, and as showing beyond all dispute who were most zealous defenders of American slavery, and the most virulent opponents of the active abolitionists. The author, Hon. James G. Birney, the only truly anti- slavery man ever nominated for the presidency while slavery lasted, was a native of Kentucky, and connected both by birth and marriage with many of its first families. His ed- ucation completed, he spent fifteen years in Huntsville, Ala- bama, a successful lawyer, and for a time solicitor-general, besides beingf tendered a seat on the bench of the supreme court. He was appointed by the legislature to nominate, at his sole discretion, the faculty of the State University. Return- ing to Kentucky, he was called to the Professorship of Polit- ical Economy, Rhetoric, and Belles-Lettres in Centre Collegye at Danville in that state. And those who knew him testified that " his character and Christian influence were quite equal to his public standing." But public and private virtues, intellectual eminence, and the hi(ghest lay official positions in the Presbyterian church, were all lost in becoming a repentant slaveholder and an active, earnest abolitionist. About the comnmencement of the wondrous career of Will- iamn Lloyd Garrison and the establishment by him of The Liberator in Boston, Mr. Theodore D. Weld, one of our most eloquent and powerful anti-slavery lecturers and writers, en- countered Mr. Birney while yet a slaveholder, and held some searching discussions with him and his minister, also a slave- holder, on the right of one man to hold absolute property in his fellow-man. The; argument began with the minister in the absence of Birney, who welcomed Weld to the parson- age till he should return. He came in a few days, and 4 then the minister invited him and another lawyer to meet Weld at dinner at his house. Here, also, the rigrht of property in man problem was in order. But to the stunning surprise of the minister, he learned that Birney was already fully convinced, intellect- ually, that only the right of the kidnapper could be urged for holding such property ; and that kidnapped human chattels could never be owned, or held as lawful possessions, though sanctified by transfer and conveyance through a thousand generations The discussion continued, earnest and more earnest, all day and evening, even the minister's wife leaning to the Birney side; tea was had and drank; and at a late hour Mr. Birney invited Weld to dinner next day with him, and to come to his office in the morning. And he went in the morningf and found his host in profound meditation, sitting alone in the inner office, and readv to confess that he had slept only little the past night, but that he was fully assrired of his duty, and that his slaves must have their freedom, then numbering, as Mr. Weld now thinks, forty-two. Mr. Birney had for some years been giving much thought to the African-colonization system. He had even accepted an agency in that iniquitous and slavery devised and slavery cherished enterprise, his field of operations including five of the large slaveholding states. But he soon found himself laboring in the interest of a movement adapted and intended to perpetuate the very curse he himself deplored, and was working, as he supposed, to destroy. So, having already liberated his slaves, and generously provided for their well-being and well-doing so far as he wvag able, he espoused the cause of "immediate and uncon- ditional emancipatioDn," and by purse, pen, and voice com- mencedits proclaination. Driven fromhis native state for his anti-slavery fidelity, lie crossed over into Ohio and estab- lished an anti-slavery newspaper. But he was repeatedly mobbed, his press, types, paper, and other office property being( taken out and sunk in the Ohio river, the city authori- ties in large numbers evidently sanctioning, as did many of 5 the church officials actually sanctify by their presence and approval, the shameful outrages. A well filled pamphlet now before me, printed at the time and on the spot, fully war- rants all these statements. The following is a specimen of the handbills that placard- cd the bulletin boards and walls: "A Fugitiveefro in _7ustice." 100 Dollars Reward! The above sum will be paid for the delivery of one James G. i3irney, a fugitive from justice, now abidingo in the city of Cincinnati. Said Birney, ill ail his associations and feel- ings, is black, although his external appearance is -white. Tile above reward will be paid, and no questions asked, by Old Kentucky. This was posted on a Sunday mnorning. The next day the Cincinnati Whzig said, editorially,- "Public Sentiment. We are informed on indisputable authority that a large number of boarders have left the Franklin House in this city; have left it on account of the re- ception of Mr. Birney, Editor of the Philanthropist as a boarder. There is no doubt an overwhelming majority in the city are opposed to the wild schemes of the abolitionists." The proceedings of some of the "anti-abolition meetings as they were named, showed that they were disgraceful as well as unlawful assemblies, though called and conducted by the authorities and best citizens. One committee, appointed to draft resolutions, contained thirteen men who were memi- bers of Episcopal, Methodist Episcopal.Wesleyan Methodist, Swedenborgian, and Unitarian churches. So was Mr. Birney reTarded and rewarded by his fellow-citizens and fellow- Christians, only for liberating and providing for his slaves, and then becoming a faithfuil abolitionist! Only that and nothing more ! He had experience enough with the churches and clergy to fully warrant the title of his little book, as all who read it will believe without more argtlument. Whoever would see more on the subject, on the whole matter of Slavery and Anti-Slavery as existingc in the coun- try forty years ago, are respectfully referred to Acts of the A n/i-Slavery Apostles, by Parker Pillsbury, to be had of him at Concord, N. H., price one dollar and fifty cents, Publisher's Notice. This work is reproduced by Parker Pillsbury, Concord, N. H.: price, single copy, 15 cents; 2 copies, 25 cents; 10 copies, 1 dollar. Also, for sale, "Acts of the Anti-Slavery Apostles," by Parker Pills- bury: price, postage paid, one dollar and fifty cents. AMERICAN SLAVERY. THE extent to which most of the churches in America are involved in the guilt of supporting the slave system is known to but few in this countrY. So far from being even suspected by the great mass of the religious commu- nity here, it would not be believed but on the most indis- putable evidence. Evidence of this character it is proposed now to present-applying to the Methodist Episcopal, the Baptist, the Presbyterian, and the Protestant Episcopal churches. It is done with a single view to make the British Christian public acquainted withl the rehi state of the case-in order that it may in the most intelligent arid effective manner exert the influence it possesses vith the American churches to persuade them to purify themselves from a sin that has greatly debased them, and that threat- ens in the end wholly to destroy them. The following inemorcandcla will assist English readers in more readily apprehending the force and scope of the evidence. I. Of the twenty-six American states, thirteen are slave states. Of the latter, Maryland, Virginia, Kentucky, Missouri, and Tennessee (in part), are slavxe-selling states; the states south of them are slave-buying and slave-con- suming states. II. Between the slave-selling, and slave-buying states the slave-trade is carried on extensively and systemati- cally. The slave-trader, on completing his purchases for a single adventure, brings the gang together at a conven- ient point; confines the men in double rows to a large chain running between the rows, by means of smaller lat- eral chains tightly riveted around the wrists of the slaves, England-where this pamphlet was first published. 8 and connected with the principal chain. They are in this way driven along the highways (the small boys, the women, aned girls following), without any release from their chains till they arrive at the ultimate place of sale, Here they occupy barracoons, till they are disposed of, one by one, or in lots, to those who will give most for them. III. Ministers and office-bearers, and members of churches are slaveholders-buying and selling slaves (not as the regular slave-trader), but as their convenience or interest may from time to time require. As a general rule, the itinerant preachers in the Methodist church are not permitted to hold slaves-but there are frequent exceptions to the rule, especially of late. IV. There are in the United States, about 2,487,113 slaves, and 386.069 free people of color. Of the slaves, 80,000 are members of the Methodist church; 80,000 of the Baptist; and about 40,000 of the other churches. These church members have no exemption from being sold by their owners as other slaves are. Instances are not rare of slaveholding members of churches selling slaves who are members of the same church with them- selves. And members of churches have followed the business of slave-auctioneers. V. In most of the slave states the master is not per- mitted formally to emancipate, unless the emancipated person be removed from the state (which makes the formal act unnecessary), or, unless bya special act of the legislature. If, however, he disregard the law, and per- mit the slave to go at liberty and " do" for himself, the law-on the theory that every slave ought to have a mas- ter to see to him-directs him to be sold for the benefit of the state. Instances of this, however, must be very rare. The people are better than their laws-for the writer, during a residence of more than thirty years in the slave states, never knew an instance of such a sale, nor has he ever heard of one that was fully proved to have taken place. VI. There is no law in any of the slave states forbid- ding the slaveholder to remove his slaves to a free state; nor against his giving the slaves themselves a " pass" for that purpose. The laws of some of the free states present obstructions to the settlement of colored persons within 9 their limits-but these obstructions are not insurmount- able, and if the validity of the laws should be tried in the tribunals, it would be found they are unconstitutional. ViI. In the slave states a slave cannot be a witness in any case, civil or criminal, in vhich a white is a party. Neither can a free colored person, except in Louisiana. Ohio. Indiana, and Illinois (free states), mialake colored persons incompetent as witnesses in any case in which a white is a party. In Ohio, a white person can prove his own ("book") account, not exceeding a certain sum, by his own oath or affirmation. A colored person cannot, as against a white. In Ohio the laws regard all wN-ho are mulattoes, or above the grade of mulattoes, as white. VIII. There is no law in the slave states forbidding, the several church authorities making slavelholding an offence, for which those guilty of it might be excluded from membership. The Society of Friends exists in the slave states-it ex- cludes slaveholders. The United Brethren exist as a church in Maryland and Virginia, slave states. Their Annual Conference for these two states (in which are thirty preachers) met in February . The following is an extract from its minutes:- "No charge is preferred against any (preachers) except Frank- lin Echard and Moses Michael. "dIt appeared in evidence that Moses Michael was the owner of a female slave, which is contrary to the discipline of our church. Conference therefore resolved, that unless brother Alichael manumit or set free such slave in six months, he no longer be considered a member of our church." IX. 'When ecclesiastical councils excuse themselves from acting for the removal of slavery from their respec- tive communions bv saving, they cannot legislate for the abolition of slavery; that slavery is a civil or politiccl in- stitution ; that it "' belongs to Coesar," and not to the church to put anl end to it,-they shun the point at issue. To the church member who is a debauchee, a drunkard, a seducer, a murderer, theyr find no difficulty in saillng,- "We cannot indeed proceed against your person, or yoAur property-this belongs to Ctesar, to the tribuitnals of the country, to the legislattcre; but we call suspend or 10 wholly cut you off from the communion of the church, with a view to your repentance and its purification." If a white member should by force or intimidation, day after day, deprive another white member of his property, the authorities of the churches would expel him from their body, should he refuse to malie restitution or reparation, although it could not be enforced except through the tribunals, over which they have no control. There is, then, notbing to prevent these authorities from saying to the slave-holder, " Cease being a slaveholder and remain. in the church, or continue a slaveholder and go out of it. You heave your choice." X. The slave states make it penal to teach the slaves to read. So also some of them to teach thefree colored peopIle to, read. Thus a free colored parent may suffer the penalty for teaching his own children to read even the Scriptures. None of the slave-holding churches, or re- ligious bodies, so far as is known, have, at any time, remonstrated with the legislatures against this iniquitous legislation, or petitioned for its repeal or modification. Nor have they reproved or questioned such of their mem- bers, as, being also members of the legislatures, sanctioned such legislation by their votes. XI. There is no systematic instruction of the slave- members of churches, either orally or in any other way. XII. Uniting with a church makes no change in the condition of slaves at home. They are thrown back just as before, among their old associates, and subjected to their corrupting influences. XIII. But little pains are taken to secure their attend- ance at public worship on Sundays. XIV. The " house-servants " are rarely present at f amily worship ; the "field-hands," never. XV. It is only one here and there who seems to have any intelligent views of the nature of Christianity, or of a future life. XVI. In the AMethodist, Baptist, Presbyterian, and Episcopal churches, the colored people, during service, sit in a particular part of the house, now generally known as the negro pew. They are not permitted to sit in any other, nor to hire or purchase pews as other people, nor would they be permitted to sit, even if invited, in the pews of white persons. 'TIis applies to all colored persons, :111 whether members or not, and even to licensed ministers of their respective connections. The "negro pew" is almost as rigidly kept up in the free states as in the slave. XVII. In some of the older slave states, as Virginia and South Carolina, churches, in their corporate character, hold slaves, who are generally hired otut for the support of the minister. rfhe following is taken from the Charleston Courier of February 12th, 1835. FIELD NEG RO ES, bp Thomas Gadsden. On Tuesday, the 17th instant, will be sold, at the north of the Exchange; at ten o'clock, a prime gang of ten N EGQROES, accustomed to the culture of cotton and provisions, belonging to the INDEPEN- DENT CHURCH, in Ch(ist's Ch/itrch Par ish. . . Fe4. 6. XVIII. Nor are instances wanting in which negroes are bequeathed for the benefit of the Indians, as the fol- lowing Chancery notice, taken from a Savannah (Geo.) paper will show. "' Brigan Superior C(turi. Between John J. Maxwell arid others, Executors of Ann Pray, comrplainants, and IN Mary Sleigh and others, Devisees and Legatees, under EQUITY. the will of Ann Prav, defendants. 5 "A Bill having been filed for the distribution of the estate of the Testatrix, Ann Pray, and it appearing that among other ]lga- cies in her will, is the following. viz., a legacy of one fourth of certain ne-ro slaves to the American Board of Commissioners for Domestic [Foreign it probably should have been] Missions, for the purpose of sending the gospel to the heathen, and partictilarly to the Indians of this continent. It is on motion of the solicitors of the complainants ordered, that aill persons claiming the said legacy; do appear and answer the bill of the complainants, within four months from this day. And it is ordered that this (order be published in a public Gazette of the city of Sav-annah. and in one of the Gazettes of Philadelphia. once a month for flour months. - Extract from the minuel t s, Dec. 2nd, 1832. "JOHN SMITH, C. S. C. B. c."-(The bequest was not taccepted.) INFLUENCES UNDER WHICH THE AMERICAN CHURCHES HAVE BEEN BROUGHT. Charleston (City) Gazette.-" We protesta,-aint the assumption -the unwarrantable assunmption-that slavery is ultimately to be extirpated from the Southern states. Ultimate abolitionists are enemies of the South. the same in kind, and only less in degree, than ininiediate, abolitionists.'' [Vashington (City) Telegraph.-'' As a man, a Christian, and a citizen, we believe that slavery is right; that the condition of the slaveholding states is the best existing organization of civil society. " 12 Chancellor Harper, of South Carolina.- ,,It is the order of nature. and of GOD, that the being of superior faculties and knowl- edge, and therefore of superior power, should control and dispose of those who are inferior. It is as much in the order of nature that men should enslave each other, as that other animals should prey upon each other." Columebia (S. C.) Telescope -" Let us declare, through the pub- lic jourinals of our country, that the question of slavery is not, and shall not be open to discussion; that the system is deep-rooted amiong us, and must remain forever; that the very moment any private individual attempts to lecture upon its evils and immoral- ity, and the necessity of putting means in operation to secure us from them, in the same moment his tongue shall be cut out and cast upon a dunghill." Augusta (Geo.) Chronicle.-" He [Amos Dresser] should have been hung up as high as Haman, to rot upon the gibbet, until the wind whistled through his bones. The cry of the whole South should be death, INSTANT DEATH, to the abolitionist, wherever he is caught." [Amos Dresser, now a missionary in Jamaica, was a theological student at Lane Seminary, near Cincinnati. In the vacation (August, 1835) he undertook to sell Bibles in the state of Tennessee, with a view to raise means further to continue his studies. Whilst there, he fell under suspicion of being an abolitionist, was arrested by the Vigilance Committee, whilst attending a religious meeting in the neighborhood of Nashville, the capital of the state, and after an afternoon and evening's inquisition condemned to receive twenty lashes on his naked body. The sentence was executed on him, between eleven and twelve o'clock on Saturday night, in the presence of most of the committee, and of an infuriated and blaspheming mob. The Vigilance Committee (an unlawful association) consisted of sixty persons. Of these, twenty-seven were members of churches; one, a religious teacher, another, the elder, who but a few days before, in the Presbyterian church, handed Mr. Dresser the bread and wine at the communion of the Lord's Supper.] In the latter part of the summer of 1835, the slave- holders generally became alarmed at the progress of the abolitionists. Meetings were held throughout the South to excite all classes of people to the requisite degree of exasperation against them. At one of these meetings, held at Clinton, Mississippi, it was 13 Resolved,- "That slavery through the South and West is not felt as an evil, moral or political. but it is recognized in reference to the actual, and not to any Utopian condition of our slaves, as a bless- ing, both to master and slave." Resolved,- ", That it is our decided opinion, that any individual who dares to circulate, with a view to effectuate the designs of the abolition- ists, tiny of the incendiary tracts or newspapers now in a course of transmission to this country, is justly worthy, in the sight of God and man, of immediate death; and we doubt not that such would be the punishment of any such offender in any part of the state of Mississippi where he may be found." Resolved,- " That we recommend to the citizens of Mississippi, to encour- age the cause of the American Colonization Society, so long as in good faith it concentrates its energies alone on the removal of the free people of color out of the United States." Resolved,- "I That the clergy of the state of Mississippi be hereby recom- mended at once to take a stand upon this subject, and that their further silence in relation thereto, at this crisis, will, in our opin- ion, be subject to serious censure." At Clharleston, South Carolina, the post-office was forced, the Anti-Slavery publications, which were there for distribution or fu Gher transmission to masters, taken out and made a bonfire of in the street, by a mob of several thousand people. A public meeting was appointed to be held a few days afterward to complete, in the same spirit in which they were commenced, preparations for excluding Anti-Slavery publications from circulation, and for ferreting out per- sons suspected of favoring the doctrines of the abolition- ists, 'that they might be subjected to lynch law. At this assembly the Charleston Courier informs us,- " The Clergy of all denominations attended in a body, lending their sanction to the proceedings, anid adding by their presence to the impressive character of the scene." It was there resolved,- " That the thanks of this meeting are due to the Reverend gentle- men of the clergy in this city, who have so promptly and so effectu- ally responded to public sentiment, by suspending their schools in which thefree coloredpopuldtion were taught; and that this meeting 14 deem it a patriotic action, worthy of all praise, and proper to be imitated by otl er teachers of similar schools throughout the state." The alarm of the Virginia slaveholders was not less- nor were the clergy in the city of Richmond, the capital, less prompt than the clergy in Charleston to respond to "public sentiment." Accordingly, on the 29th of July, they assembled together, and Resolved, unanimously,- "That we earnestly deprecate the unwarrantable and highly improper interference of the people of any other state with the domestic relations of master and slave. "-That the example of our Lord Jesus Christ and his apostles, in not interfering with the question of slavery, but uniformly recognizing the relations of master and servant, and giving full and affectionate instruction to both, is worthy of the imitation of all ministers of the gospel. "That we will not patronize nor receive any pamphlet or news- paper of the Anti-Slavery Societies, and that we will discounte- nance the circulation of all such papers in the community. " That the suspicions which have prevailed to a considerable extent against ministers of the gospel and professors of religion in the state of Vitrinia, as identified with abolitionists, are wholly unnerited-believing as we do, from extensive acquaintance with our churches and brethren, that thev are unanimous in opposing the pernicious schemes of abolitionists." THE METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH. 700,000 MA-embers. In 1780, four years before the Episcopal Mlethodist Church was regularly organized in the United States, the conference bore the following testimony against slavery " The conference acknowledges that slavery is contrary to the laws of God, man, and nature, and hurtful to society; contrary to the dictates of conscience and true religion, and doing what we would not others should do unto us." In 1784, when the church was fully organized, rules were adopted, prescribing the times at which members, who were already slaveholders, should emancipate their slaves. These rules were succeeded by the following: "Every person concerned, who will not comply with these rules, shall have liberty quietly to withdraw from our society within the twelve months following the, notice being given him as aforesaid; otherwise the assistants shall exclude him the society. -4No person holding slaves shall in future be admitted into society, or to the Lord's Supper, till he previously comply with these rules concerning slavery. 15 "Those who buy, sell, or give [slaves] away, unless on purpose to free them, shall be expelled immediately." In 1785 the following language was held:- "t We do hold in the deepest abhorrence the practice of slavery, and shall not cease to seek its destrulction by all wise and prudent means." In 1801:- "M We declare that we are more than ever convinced of the great evil of African slavery, which still exists in these United States." "s Every member of the society who sells a slave shall, imme- diately after full proof, be excluded from the society, c." "The Annual Conferences are directed to draw up addresses for the (radual emancipation of the slaves to the legislature." "Proper committees shall be appointed by the Annual Conferences, out of the most respectable of our friends, for the conducting of the business ; and tre presiding elders, deacons, and travelling preachers, shall procure as many proper signatures as possible to the addresses, and give all the assistance in their power, in every respect to aid the committees, and to further the blessed under- taking. Let this be continued from year to year until the desired end be accomplished." In 1836 the General Conference met in May, in Cin- cinnati, a town of 46,000 inhabitants, and the metropolis of the free state of Ohio. An anti-slavery, society had been formed there a year or two before. A meeting of the society was appointed for the evening of the 10th of May, to which the abolitionists attending the Conference as delegates were invited. Of those who attended, two of them made remarks suitable to the occasion. On the 12th of May, iRev. S. G. Roszell presented in the confer- ence the following preamble and resolutions " Whereas great excitement has pervaded this country on the subject of modern abolitionism, which is reported to have been increased in this city recently by the unjustifiable conduct of two members of the General Conference in lecturing upon, and in favor of that agitating topic;-and whereas, such a course on the part of any of its members is calculated to bring upon this body the suspicion and distrust of the community, and misrepre- sent its sentiments in regard to the point at issue ;-and whereas, in this aspect of the case, a due regard for its own character, as well as a just concern for the interests of the church confided to its care, demand a full, decided, and unequivocal expression of the view's of the General Conference in the premises." Therefore, The Rev. Mr. Lovejoy, who was afterwards slain by the mob in defend- ing his press at Alton, Illinois, was present at the meeting. He was on his way from St. Louis, where he then resided, to Pittsburg, to attend the Gen- eral Assembly of the Presbyterian Church. 16 1. Resolved,- "By the delegates of the Annual Conference in General Con- ference assemnbled, that they disapprove in the most unqualified sense, the conduct of the two members of the General Conference who are reported to have lectured in this city recently, upon, and in favor of, modern abolitionism." 2. Resolved,- "By the delegates of the Annual Conferences in General Con- ference assembled,-that they are decidedly opposed to modern abolitionism, and wholly disclaim any right, wish, or intention to interfere in the civil and political relation between master and slave as it exists in the slave-holding states of this Union." The preamble and resolutions were adopted,-the first resolution bv 122 to 11, the last by 1'20 to 14. An address was received from the Methodist Wesleyan Conference in England in wvhich the anti-Christian char- acter of slavery, and the duty of the Methodist church was plainly, yet tenderly and affectionately, presented for its consideration. The Conference refused to publish it. In the Pastoral Address to the churches are these passages: ",It cannot be unknown to you that the question of slavery in the United States, by the constitutional comp-act which binds us together as a nation, is left to be regulated by the several state legislatures themselves, arid thereby is put beyond the con trol of the general government as well as that of all ecclesiastical bodies, it being manifest that in the slave-holdin g states themselves the entire responsibility of its existence or non-existence rests with those state legislatures. . . . . . . These facts, which are only mentioned here as a reason for the friendly admonition which we wish to give you, constrain us as your pastors who are called to watch over your souls as they must give account, to exhort you to abstain from, all abolition movements and associa- tions, and to refrain from patronizing any of their publications," c. . . "From every view of the subject which we have been able to take, and from the most calm and dispassionate survey of the whole ground, we have come to the conclusion that the only safe, scriptural, and prud nt way for us, both as ministers and peo- ple, to take, is, wholly to refrain from this agitating subject," c. The temper exhibited by the general conference was warmly sympathized in by many of the local conferences, not only in the slave states but in the free. The Ohio Annual Conference had a short time before Resolved,- "1. That we deeply regret the proceedings of the abolitionists 17 and Anti-Slavery Societies in the free states, and the consequent excitement produced thereby in the slave states; that we, as a Conference, disclaim all connection and cooperation with or be- lief in the same; and that we hereby recommend to our junior preachers, local brethren, and private members within our bounds to abstain from any connection with them, or participa- tion of their acts in the premises whatever." Resolved,- "2. That those brethren and citizens of the North who resist the abolition movements with firmness and moderation, are the true friends to the church, to the slaves of the South, and to the constitution of our common country," c. The New York Annual Conference met in June, 1836, and Resolved,- "61. That this conference fully concur in the advice of the late General Conference, as expressed in their Pastoral Address." Resolved,- " 2. That we disapprove of the members of this conference pat- ronizing or in any way giving countenance to a paper called 'Zion's Watchman,' because in our opinion it tends to disturb the peace and harmony of the body by sowing dissensions in the church." Resolved,- "8. That although we could not condemn any man or with- hold our suffrages from him on account of his opinions merely, in reference to the subject of abolitionism, yet we are decidedly of the opinion that none ought to be elected to the office of a deacon or elder in our church, unless lie give a pledge to the conference that he will refrain fromn agitating the church with discus- sions on this subject, and the more especially as the one promises 'reverently to obey them to whom the charge and government over him is committed, following with a glad mind and will, their godly admonitions:' and the other with equal solemnity, promises to ' maintain and set forward as much as lieth in him, quietness, peace, and love among aill Christian people, and es- pecially among them that are, or shall be committed to his charge.' In 1838 the same Conference, Resolved,- "As the sense of this conference, that any of its members or probationers, who shall patronize Zion's Watchman, either by writing in commendation of its character, by circulating it, re- commending it to our people, or procuring subscribers, or by col- lecting or remitting monies, shall be deemed guilty of indiscre- tion, and dealt with accordingly." ,Zion's Watchman is a newspaper devoted to the anti-slavery cause and the religious interests of the Methodist Episcopal church. it is edited by the Rev. La Roy Sunderland, 18 The preachers-judging by the vote on the anti-aboli- tion resolutions-were expected of course to conform to the advice in the pastoral address. The New York Con- ference, the most influential, set the example of exacting a pledge from the candidates for orders that they would not agitate the subject of slavery in their congregations. The officictl newspapers of the connection would, of course, be silent. Therefore, as a measure for wholly excluding the slavery question from the church, it was of the last importance that Zion's Watchman, an unofficial paper, and earnest in the anti-slavery cause, should be prevented from circulating among the members. Having seen in what spirit the conferences of the free states were willing to act, we will now see what was the temper of the conferences in the slave states. They were not under the same necessity as the free state conferen- ces, of guarding against agitation by candidates for orders -for in the slave states they are comparatively few, and being brought up under the influences of slavery, are con- sidered sousd on that subject. The point of most inter- est to the slaveholding professors of religion was to steel their own consciences. The Baltimore Conference resolved: "That in all cases of administration under the general rule in reference to buying and [or] selling men, women, and children, c., it be, and hereby is recommended to all committees, as the sense and opinion of this conference, that the said rule be taken, construed, and understood, so as not to make the guilt or inno- cence of the accused to depend upon the simple fact of purchase or sale of any such slave or slaves, but upon the attendant circumstances of cruelty. injustice, or inhumanity on the one hand, or those of kind purposes or good intentions, on the other, under which the transactions shall have been perpetrated; and farther, it is recommended that in all such cases the charge be brought for immorality, and the circumstances adduced as speci- fications under that chlarge." THE GEORGIA ANNUAL CONFERENCE. Resolved cnanimously that: 4 Whereas, there is a clause in the discipline of our church, which states that we are as much as ever convinced of the great evil of slavery; and whereas the said clause has been perverted by some, aind used in such a manner as to produce the impression that the Methodist Episcopal church believed slavery to be a moral evil. " 19 Therefore, Resolved,- ", That it is the sense of the Georgia Annual Conference that slavery, as it exists in the United States, is not a moral evil." Resolved,- " That we view slavery as a civil and domestic institution, and one with which, as ministers of Christ, we have nothing to do, further than to ameliorate the condition of the slave by endeav- oring to impart to him and his master the benign influences of the religion of Christ, and aiding both on their way to Heaven." On the motion it was resolved unanimously,- ";That the Georgia Annual Conference regard with feelings of profound respect and approbation, the dignified course pursued by our several superintendents or bishops in suppressing the at- tempts that have been made by various individuals to get up and protract an excitement in the churches and country on the subject of abolitionism. Resolved, further,- "That thev shall have our cordial and zealous support in sus- taining them in the ground they have taken." SOUTH CAROLINA CONFERENCE. The Rev. W. Martin introduced resolutions similar to those of the Georgia conference. The Rev. Wy. Capers, D. D., after expressing his con- viction that " the sentiment of the resolutions was univer- sally held, not only by the ministers of that conference, but of the whole South; " and after stating that the only true doctrine was, "it belongs to Caesar, and not to the church," offered the following as a substitute: "Whereas, we hold that the subject of slavery in these United States is not one proper for the action of the church, but is exclu- sively appropriate to the civil authorities," Therefore, Resolved,- "That this conference will tnot intermeddle with it, farther than to express our regret that it has ever been introduced in any form into any one of the judicatures of the church. "Brother Martin accepted the substitute. "Brother Betts asked whether the substitute was intended as implying that slavery, as it exists among us was not a moral evil He understood it as equivalent to such a declaration. " Brother Capers explained that his intention was to convey that sentiment fully and unequivocally; and that he had chosen the form of the substitute for the purpose, not only of reproving some wrong doings at the North, but with reference also to the general conference. If slavery were a moral evil (that is sinful), the church would be bound to take cognizance of it; but our affir- 20 mation is that it is not a matter for her jurisdiction, but is exclu- sively appropriate to the civil government, and of course not sin- ful. "The substitute was then unanimously adopted." SENTIMENTS OF NON-SLAVEHOLDING METHODIST MINISTERS. Rev. N. Bangs, D. D., of New York: " It appears evident that however much the apostles miglht have deprecated SLAVERY as it then existed throughout the Rto- man empire, he did not feel it his duty, as an ambassador of Christ, to disturb those relations which subsisted between master and servants, by denouncing slavery as such a mortal sin that they could not be servants of Christ in such a relation." Rev. E. D. Simms, Professor in Randolph Macon Col- lege, a Methodist institution: " These extracts from HOLY WRIT UNEQUIVOCALLY ASSERT THE RIGHT OF PROPERTY IN SLAVES, together with the usual incidents of that right; such as the power of acquisition and disposition in various ways, according to municipal regulations. The right to buy and sell, and to transmit to children by way of inheritance, is clearly stated. The only restriction on the subject is in refer- ence to the market in which slaves or bondsmen were to be pur- chased. " Upon the whole, then, whether we consult the Jewish polity, instituted by God himself, or the uniform opinion and practice of mankind in all a-es of the world, or the injunctions of the New Testament and the Moral Law, we arc brought to the conclusion that slavery is not immoral. "Having established the point that the first African slaves were legally brought into bondage, the right to detain their chil- dren in bondage follows as an indispensable consequence. "Thus we see that the slavery which exists in America, was -founded in right." The Rev. Wilbur Fisk, D. D., late President of the [Methodist] Wesleyan University in Connecticut: " The relation of master and slave may, and does, in many cases, exist under such circumstances, as free the master from the just charge and guilt of immorality. 1 Cor. vii. 20-23. "This text seems mainly to enjoin and sanction the fitting con- tinuance of their present social relations: the. freeman was to re- main free, and the slave, unless emancipation should offer, was to remain a slave. "1 The general rule of Christianity not onlypermits, but in sup- posable circumstances, enjoins a continuance of the master's authority. " The New Testament enjoins obedience upon the slave as an obligation due to a present rightful authority." 21 Rev. Elijah Hedding, D. D., one of the six Methodist bishops: " The right to hold a slave is founded on this rule, ' Therefore, all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.'-Ch. Ad. and Journal, Oct. 20, 1807. SENTIMENTS OF SLAVEHOLDING METHO- DIST MINISTERS. The Rev. William Winans, of Mississippi, in the Gene- ral Conference, in 1836: " He was not born in a slave state-he was a Pennsylvanian by birth. He had been brought up to believe a slaveholder as great a villain as a horse-thief; but he had gone to the South, and long residence there had changed his views; he had become a slave- holder on principle." ... . "Though a slaveholder him- self, no abolitionist felt more sympathy for the slave than he did; none had rejoiced more in the hope of a coming period, when the )rint of a slave's foot would not be seen on the soil." . . . " It was important to the interests of slaves, and in view of the ques- tion of slavery, that there be Christians who were slaveholders. Christian ministers should be slaveholders, and diffused through- out the South. Yes, sir, Presbyterians, Baptists, Methodists, should be slaveholders. Yes, he repeated it boldly, there should be members, and deacons, and ELDERS, and BISHOPS, too, who were slaveholders." The Rev. J. Early, of Virginia, on the same occasion: " SIR: We have no energy. But if a majority of this conference have no energy, not enough of it to protect their own honor from insult and degradation, be it known, that there are in the confer- ence those who hAve, AND WHO OUGHT TO BE BY THEMSELVES. It is full time for you, sir, to speak out, to testify that you have some regard for yourselves-to say that you have some regard for your honor. Submit to this, sir ! If we submit to this, we are prepared to submit to anything." The Rev. J. H. Thornwell, at a public meeting held in South Carolina, supported the following resolutions: " That slavery, as it exists in the South, is no evil, and is con- sistent with the principles of revealed religion ; and that all oppo- sition to it arises from a misguided and fiendish fanaticism, which we are bound to resist in the very threshold. " That all interference with this subject by fanatics is a viola- tion of our civil and social rights, is unchristian and inhuman, leading necessarily to anarchy and bloodshed; and that the insti- gators are murderers and assassins. "That any interference with this subject, on the part of con- gress, must lead to a dissolution of the Union." 22 The- Rev. George W. Langhorne, of North Carolina, thus writes to the editor of Zion's Watchman, under date, June 25th, 1836. ',I, sir, would as soon be found in the ranks of a banditti, as, numbered with Arthur Tappan and his wanton coadjutors. Nothing is more appalling to my feelings as a man, contrary to my principles as a Christian, and repugnant to my soul as a minister, than the insidious proceedings of such men. "It you have not resigned your credentials as a minister of the Methodist Episcopal church, I really think that, as an honest man, you should now do it. In your ordination vows you solemnly promised to be obedient to those who have rule over you; and since they [the General Conference] have spoken, and that dis- tinctly, too, on this subject, and disapprobate your conduct, I con- ceive you are bound to submit to their authority or leave the church.A" The Rev. J. C. Postell, in July, 1836, delivered an address at a public meeting at Orangeburgh Court-house, S. C., in which he maintains; 1. That slavery is a judi- cial visitation. 2. That it is not a moral evil. 3. That it is supported by the Bible. He thus argues his second point: "It is not a moral evil. The fact that slavery is of Divine appointment would be proof enough, with the Christian, that it could not be a moral evil. But when we view the hordes of savage marauders and human cannibals enslaved to lust and passion, and abandoned to idolatry and ignorance, to revolutionize them from such a state, and enslave them where they may have the gospel, and the privileges of Christians, so far from being a moral evil, it is a merciful visitation. If slavery was either the invention of man or a moral evil, it is logical to conclude, the power to create has the power to destroy. Why, then, has it ixisted And why does it now exist amidst all the power of legislation in state and church, and the clamor of abolitionists It is the Lord's DOINGS, AND MARVELLOUS IN OUR EYES, and had it not been done for the best, God alone, who is able, long since would have overruled it. IT IS BY DIVINE APPOINTMENT." On that occasion the same Rev. gentleman read a letter which he had addressed to the editor of Zion's Watch- man, of which the following are extracts: "To La iRoy Sunderland, c. "Did you calculate to misrepresent the Methodist Discipline, and say it supported abolitionism, when the General Conference, in their late resolutions, denounced it as a libel on truth2 ' Oh full of all subtlety, thou child of the devil !' all liars, saith the sacred volume, shall have their part in the lake of fire and brimstone. "1 I can only give one reason why you have not been indicted for a libel. The law says, 'The greater the truth, the greater the 23 libel;' and as your paper has no such ingredient, it is construed but a small matter. But if you desire to educate the slaves. I will tell you how to raise the money without editing Zion's Watch- man; you and old Arthur Tappan come out to the South this winter, and they will raise one hundred thousand dollars for you. New Orleans itself will be pledged for it. Desiring no further acquaintance with you, and never expecting to see you but once in time or eternity, that is at judgment, I subscribe myself, the friend of the Bible, and the opposer of abolitionists. "J. C. POSTELL, "1Orangeburgh, July 21st, 1836." THE GENERAL CONFERENCE FOR 1840, HELD ITS SESSION IN MAY, IN BALTIMORE. The Rev. Silas Comfort appealed from a decision of the Missouri conference, of which h- was a memnber. That conference had convicted him of "mal-administration,"' in admitting the testimony of a colored person in the trial of a white member of the church. The General Conference reversed the decision of the Missouri conference. The Southern delegates insisted on something being done to counteract the injurious influence which the reversal would have on the Methodist church in the slave states. The Rev. Dr. A. J. Few, of Georgia, proposed the following: Resolved, " That it is inexpedient and unjustifiable for any preacher to permit colored persons to give testimony against white persons, in any state where they are denied that privilege by law." This was carried, but it was at variance with the deci- sion in Comfort's case. The Conference saw the absurdity of their position, and that something must be done to shift it. To this end, it was thought best to attempt getting rid of the whole subject. A motion was made to reconsider the decision in Comfort's case, with a view, if it should be carried, to another, not to entertain hi.s aq1ppeat_. Should this latter prevail, a motion was then to follow, to reconsider Dr. Few's resolution. If this should be carried, by another motion it could be laid on the table and kept there. In this way the whole matter might be excluded. The motion to reconsider the reversal in Comfort's case was carried. So was the motion, not to entertain his 24 appeal. But the motion to reconsider Dr. Few's resolu- tion failed. Pending the debate on it, one of the Southern delegates, Rev. William A. Smith, of Virginia, [the same who, in the General Conference of 1836, publicly wished the Rev. Orange Scott, a leading abolitionist, also of the General Conference, "in heaven;"] becoming alarmed, lest the resolution should be reconsidered and consigned to the table, offered the following compromise as a sub- stitute: Resolved,- " That the resolution offered by A. J. Few, and adopted on Monday, the 18th instant, relating to the testimony of persons of color, be reconsidered and amended so as to read as follows, viz.: 'That it is inexpedient and uniuslifiable for any preacher among us to admit of persons of color to give testimony on the trial of white persons in any slaveholding state where they are denied that privilege in trials at law. Provided, that when an annual confer- ence in any such state or territory shall judge it expedient to admit of the introduction of such testimony within its bounds, it shall be allowed so to do."' However, the Southern delegates being unanimous (with the single exception of the Rev. mover), and hav- ing the aid of some of the most devoted of the pro-slavery Northern delegates, the substitute was lost by an even vote. The efforts made to " harmonize" the slaveholding and the non-slaveholding delegates, had thus far failed. It was not, however, abandoned. With that view, Bishop Soule, acting as the representative of the other bishops, introduced three resolutions. We have not been able to procure a copy of them. In Zion's Watchman, we find them substantially stated thus: 1. " The action of the General Conference in the Comfort case was not intended to express or imply that it was either expedient or justifiable to admit the testimony of colored persons in states where such testimony is rejected by the civil authorities. 2. "1 It was not intended, by the adoption of Dr. Few's resolu- tion, to prohibit the admission of it when the civil authorities or usage authorizes its admission. 3. "1 Expresses the undiminished regard of the General Confer- ence for the colored population." Immediately on the passage of Dr. Few's resolution, the " official members (forty-six in number) of the Sharp 25 Street and Asbury Colored Methodist Episcopal Church in Baltimore," protested and petitioned against it. The following passages are in their address ",The adoption of such a resolution by our highest ecclesiasti- cal judicatory, a judicatory composed of the most experienceod and wisest brethren in the church, the choice selection of twenty- eight annual conferences, has inflicted, we fear, an irreparable in- jury upon eighty thousand souls for whom Christ died-souls, who by this act of your body, have been stript of the dignity of Chris- tians, degraded in the scale of humanity, and treated as criminals for no other reason than the color of their skin ! Your resolution has, in our humble opinion, virtuallJ declared that a mere physi- cal peculiarity, the handy work of our all-wise and benevolent Creator, is primafacie evidence of incompetency to tell the truth, or is an unerring indication of unworthiness to bear testimony against a fellow-being whose skin is denominated white. "Brethren, out of the abundance of the heart we have spoken. Our grievance is before you ! If you have any regard for the sal- vation of the eighty thousand immortal souls committed to your care; if you would not thrust beyond the pale of the church, twenty-five hundred souls in this city, who have felt determined never to leave the church that has nourished and brought them up; if you regard us as children of one common Father, and can, upon reflection, sympathize with us as members of the body of Christ-if you would not incur the fearful, the tremendous re- sponsibility of offending not onlv one, but many thousands of his 'little ones; ' we conjure you to wipe from your journal, the odious resolution which is ruining our people." "A Colored Baltimorean," writing to the editor of Zion's Watchman, says: "The address was presented to one of the secretaries, a delegate of the Baltimore conference, and subsequently given by him to the bishops. How many of the members of the conference saw it, I know not. One thing is certain, it uwas not read to the con- ference." SENTIMENTS EXPRESSED DURING THE DEBATES. Rev. W. Capers, D. D., of Charleston, S. Carolina, "Valued the quotations which had been made from the early disciplines and minutes; there was no kind of property that he valued so high as the works which contained them ; they were the monuments of that primitive Methodism. which he loved. He then read from the minutes of 1780, '84, and '85, and at- tempted to show from the smallness of the church, and the little connexion that it had with slavery in 1780, that it adopted the language which was precisely consistent with its circumstances, and just such language as he would adopt under similar circum- 26 stances; but in 1784 and '85, when the church had extended fur- ther, and became more entangled with slavery, there was a cor- responding faltering in the language of the church against it. But in 1800 the church fell into a great error on this subject-an error which he had no doubt those who were so unfortunate as to fall into, very deeply deplored. The conference authorized ad- dresses to the legislatures, and memorials to be circulated by all our ministers, and instructed them to continue those measures from year to year, till slaverv was abolished. He had no doubt that the men engaged in this work were sincere and pious, but they soon perceived that it was a great error, and abandoned it. He thanked the brother from Canada (Rev. Egerton lyer- son), for the strong sympathy he had expressed for Southern in- StitUtiOns. . N Notwithstandinig the representations that a part of the discipline was a dead letter in the South, yet he assured them that they received the whole of it-they were under the whole of it-acknowledged it all,-but, said he, you must take heed what discipline yeu make for us now ; if the chapter on slavery had not long been in the dbicipline, you could not put it there now. I repeat, therefore, you must beware what laws vou make for us ! You may easily adopt such measures as will efflect- ually hedge up our way, and make us slaves. We cannot be made slaves; beware, therefore, I say, what discipline you give us! Be CAUTIOUS what burthens you impose upon us! We know what our work is,-it is to preach and pray for the slaves." Rev. Mr. Crowder of Virginia: - In its civil aspect, neither the general government, or any other government, ecclesiastical or civil, either directly or indi- rectly, has a right to touch slavery." In its ecclesiastical aspect, "4 we are bound by the twenty-third article of our religion to sub- mit to the civil regulations of the state under which we live." In its moral aspect, " Slavery was not only countenanced, permitted, and regulated by the Bible, but it was positively instituted by GOD HIMSELF-he had in so miany words ENJOINED it." The Rev. Joshua Soule, D. D., of Ohio (one of the bishops), in advocating the reconsideration of the de- cision in Comfort's case, said: - It will be recollected by brethren that the Missouri confer- ence fixed no censure--not a particle of censure upon the charac- ter of Silas Comfort ; the law, therefore, would not justify an appeal to this body. If that unfortunate word 'mal-administtra- tion,' had not been used in connection with the case, it would never have found its way here." -I do not express merely my own opinion in this case; it is the united opinion of your super- intendents (bishops), and it is by their request that I address you on this occasion." Rev. Mr. Peck, of New York, who moved the recon- sideration of Dr. Few's resolution: " That resolution, said he, was introduced under peculiar cir- 27 cumstances, during considerable excitement, and he went for it as a peace-offering to the South, without sufficiently reflecting upon the precise import of its phraseology; but after a little de- liberation, he was sorry, and he had been sorry but once, and that was all the time; he was convinced that, if that resolution remnain upon the journal, it would be disastrous to the whole North- ern church." Rev. Dr. A. J. Few of Georgia, the mover of the origi- nal resolution: "d Look at it ! What do you, declare to us in taking this course Why, simply as much as to say, I we cannot sustain you in the condition which you cannot avoid! ' We cannot sus- tain you in the necessary conditions of slaveholding; one of its nec- essary conditions being the rejection of negro testimony. If it is not sinful to hold slaves under all circumstances, it is not sinful to hold them in the only condition, and under the only circum- stances, which they can be held. The rejection of negro testi- mony is one of the necessary circumstances under which slave- holding can exist; indeed, it is utterly impossible for it to exist without it; therefore it is not sinful to hold slaves in the condi- tion and under the circumstances which they are held at the South, inasmuch as they can be held under no other circumi- stances. . . If you believe that slaveholding is necessarily sinful, come out with the abolitionists and honestly say so. If you believe that slaveholding is necessarily sinful, you believe we are necessarily sinners: and, if so, come out and honestly de- clare it, and let us leave you. . . We want to know distinctly, precisely, and honestly the position which you take. We cannot be tampered with by you any longer. WVe have had enough of it. We are tired of your sickly sympathies. . . If you are not opposed to the principles which it involves, unite with us, like honest teen, and go home and boldly meet the consequences. We say again, you are responsible for this state of things, for it is you who have driven us to the alarming point where we find our- selves. . . You have made that resolution absolutely necessary to the quiet of the South ! But you now revoke that resolution . And you pass the Rubicon ! Let me not be misunderstood. I say you pass the Rubicon ! If you revoke, you revoke the prin- ciple which that resolution involves, and you array the whole South against you. and we must separate! . . If you accede to the principles which it involves, arising from the necessity of the case, stick by it, ' though the heavens perish ! ' But if you per- sist on reconsideration, I ask in what light will your course be regarded in the South What will be the conclusion there, in reference to it Whv, that you cannot sustain us as long as we nold slaves ! It will declare in the face of the sun, ' we cannot sustain you, gentlemen, while you retain your slaves ! ' Your opposition to the resolution is based upon your opposition to slavery; you cannot, therefore, maintain your consistency, unless you come out with the abolitionists, and condemn us at once and forever; or else refuse to reconsider." 28 The Rev. William Winans of Mississippi (the same who was a delegate to the general conference in 1836); " 1-e was never more deeply impressed with the solemnity of his situation-the act of this afternoon will determine the fate of our beloved Zion ! . . Will you meet us half way Have you the magnanimity to consent to a compromise I pledge myself, in behalf of every Southern man, that if you will affirm the de- cision in the case of Silas Comfort, we will give up the resolu- tion; but if you refuse to affirm, and wrest from us that resolu- tion, you stab us to the vitals ! . . Repeal that resolution, and you pass the Rubicon ! Dear as union is, sir, there are interests tat stake in this question which are dearer than union! Do not regard us as threatening! . . . But what will become of our beloved Methodism The interests of Methodism throughout the whole South are at stake! We can, however, endure to see the houses of God forsaken, and our wide-extended and beautiful fields, which we have long been cultivating, laid waste and turned into a moral wilderness. But what is to become of the poor slave I entreat of you to pause! You effectually shut out the consolations and hopes of the gospel from hundreds and thousands of poor slaves. . I call heaven to record against you this day, that if you repeal that resolution, you seal the dam- nation of thousands of souls! I beseech you as upon my knees not to do it." The Rev. Mr. Collins, of , "Ad nonished the conference, that the moment they rescinded that resolution, they passed the Rubicon. The fate of the con- nexion was sealed." The Rev. William A. Smith, of Virginia, "Agreed with the brother from Mississippi, that there were in- terests involved in this question dearer than UNION itself, how- ever dear that nmight be. Southerners are not prepared to commit their interests, much less their consciences, to the holy keeping of Northern men. Conscience was involved in this matter, and they could not be coerced." Rev. Nathan Bangs, D. D., of New York: "W We were on a snag, and he believed he could help us off. He perceived a way to get out of the difficulty, and proceeded to read three resolutions, one of which went to affirm the decision of the Missouri conference in the Comfort case. He concluded with a Proposition to refer the whole case to a committee, to see if something could not be done to hcaxrmonize the conference." Rev. P. P. Sanford, of- - "1rethren spoke as though there were no interests involved in this question but Southern and Western, but he could assure breth- ren of their entire mistake. The North and East were as deeply Concerned in the issue of this question as the West and South. He was surprised at the course of Dr. Bangs, who, when the 29 Missouri case was pending, retired without the bar, and thus dodged the question; and when Dr. Few's resolution was passed, he sat still in his chair, and refused to do his duty, but now he comes forward with a series of resolutions entirely inconsistent with all the facts in the case, with the very benevolent intention to enlighten us on the subject ! ! But what does he saby Why, he declares that he believes that this conference ought to affirmn the decision of the Missouri conference in the case of Silas Comfort! And what was that decision Why, that it is mnal- administration to admit the testimony of a colored man in the trial of a white man ! So that Comfort was condemned, as ap- pears from the journals of that conference, solely for admitting the testimony of a colored man ! And Dr. Bangs is the man who declares upon this floor, that that decision oL(rht to be affired by this conference! ! He was perfectly astounded! Brethren talk of compromise! Is there any compromise in this " Bishop Soule spoke in favor of the compromise resolu- tions of the Rev. Mr. Smith: " It wais in view of the vast butjeoparded interests of our beloved Zion: with a view to promote the union of our extended ecclesi- astical confederation, that he ventured to speak on the present occasion. He would lay one hand upon the North and East, and the other upon the South, and constrain them to harmonize. He had listened to the speeches of brethren, and he perceived that the waters were troubled, but he was not alarmed; our ship is not wrecked, and he had no doubt but that we should bring her safe through. He had listened to the intimations of the possible necessity of adopting this measure, but brethren had approached so near together that they only appeared to differ as to the modus operandi of doing the thing which all seemed to agree should be done. He could not, therefore, believe that breth- ren were in earnest in intimating the probability of a division [of the church] on so triflinq an occasion. He had heard the appeals from brethren of the South with unmingled sympathy, because he was acquainted with the South ; he was familiar with the difficulties which brethren from that region struggled with. We are in danger of forgettinz that men born in the South are much better qualified to judge of the bearing which particular measures will have upon that region than those, of the North can be. He thanked the brother from Georgia (Dr. Few) for his kind allusion to him, and regretted that he was understood to take ground against the Dr., for he agreed with him entirely. . . The brethren from the South came forward with all that frankness which characterizes Southern men-I say, with all that frankness which characterizes Southern men, for this is a distinouisbing trait in their character-and propose a conciliatory plan, which he thought could not fail to harmonize the great manjority; I say, the gtreat majority, for I despair of giving satisfaction to aill. . . He could not possibly seean objectionable feature in, or any favorable effect that would be likely to result from, adopting them, either 30 in the North or South. Does any one think that they may be disastrously used in the North, in favor of modern abolitionism I neither see it nor fear it. Permit me to say to the members of this General Conference who are connected with the abolition movements, that the brethren at the South are better judges, cir- cumstanced as they are, than you can possibly be, in regard to every thing connected with slavery . .... . Surveying the whole ground of this unfortunate affair, and where is the man who dare come to the conclusion that sufficient reasons have been developed in this controversy for dividing the body of Christ." THE BAPTIST CHURCH. (500,000 Members.) In 18345, the Charleston Baptist Association addressed a memorial to the legislature of South Carolina, which contains the following: "The undersigned would further represent, that the said asso- ciation does not consider that the holy scriptures have made the fact of slavery a question of morals at all. The Divine Author of our holy religion, in particular, found slavery a part of the existing institutions of society; with which, if not sinful, it was not his design to intermeddle, but to leave them entirely to the control of men. Adopting this, therefore, as one of the allowed arrangements of society, he made it the province of his religion only to prescribe the reciprocal duties of the relation. The ques- tion, it is believed, is purely one of political economy. It amounts, in effect, to this: Whether the operatives of a country shall be bought and sold, and themselves become property, as in this state; or whether they shalt be hirelings, and their labor only become property, as in son e other states. In other words, whether an employer may buy the whole time of laborers at once, of those who have a right to dispose of it, with a permanent relation of protection and care over them, or, whether he shall be restricted to buy it in certain portions only, subject to their control, and with no such perrmanent relation of care and protection. The, right of nasters to dispose of the time of their slaves has been dis- tinctly recognized by the Creator of all things, who is surely at liberty to vest the right of property over any object in whonmso- ever He pleases. That the lawful possessor should retain this right at will, is no more against the laws of society and good morals, than that he should retain the personal endowments with which his Creator has blessed him, or the money and lands inher- ited from his ancestors, or acquired by his industry. And neither society nor individuals have any more authority to demand a relinquishment without an equivalent, in the one case than in the other. " As it is a question purely of political economy, and one which in this country is reserved to the cognizance of the state govern- ments severally, it is further believed that the state of South Car- olina alone has the right to regulate the existence and condition 31 of slavery within her territorial limits; and we should resist to the utmost every invasion of this right, come from what quarter and under whatever pretence it may." In 1835, the following query, referring to slaves, was presented to the Savannah River Baptist Association of Ministers: "W Whether, in case of involuntary separation of such a charac- ter as to preclude all prospect of future intercourse, the parties ought to be allowed to marry again ' Answer,- " That such separation among persons situated as our slaves are, is civilly a separation by death, and they believe that, in the sight of God, it would be so viewed. To forbid second marriages in such cases would be to expose the parties, not only to stronger hardships gand strong temptations, but to church censure, for act- ing in obedience to their masters, who cannot be expected to ac- quiesce in a regulation at variance with justice to the slaves, and to the spirit of that command which regulates marriage among Ch ristians. The slaves are not free agents, and a dissolution by death is not more entirely without their donsent, and beyond their control, than 'by such separation." Sept., 1835. The ministers and messengers of the Gos- lien Association, assembled at Free Union, Virginia, state: " The most of Us have been born and brought up in the midst of this population. Very many of us, too, have been ushered into life under inauspicious circumstances, having no patrimo- nies to boast, and inheriting little else from our parents but an existence and a name. We have, however, through the bless- ing of God, by a persevering course of industry and rigid eeon- omy, acquired a competent support for ourselves and families; and as a reward for our laborious exertion we received such 7prop- erty [slaves] as was guaranteed to us not only by the laws of our individual states, but by those of the United States. In consid- eration whereof we unanimously adopt the following resolutions :" 1. Resolved,- "That we consider our right and title to this property altogeth- er legal and bona fide, and that it is a breach of the faith, pledged in the federal constitution, for our Northern brethren to try, either directly or indirectly. to lessen the value of this property or im- pair our title thereto." 2. Resolved,- " That we view the torch of the incendiary and the dagger of the midnight assassin loosely concealed. under the specious garb of humanity and religion falsely so called." 3. Resolved,- " That we consider there is something radically wrong in the logic of those would-be philanthropists at the North, who lay it 32 down as one of their main propositions that they must do what is right, regardless of consequences, inasmuch as they will not venture to come this side of the Potomac to teach and lecture publicly, where (they say) this crying evil exists." SENTIMENTS OF INDIVIDUAL BAPTISTS. The late Rev. Lucius Bolles, D. D., of Massachusetts, Cor. Sec. Ain. Bap. Board for Foreign Missions: (1834) "d There is a pleaising degree of union among the multi- plying thousands of Baptists throughout the land. . . . Our Southern brethren are generally, both ministers and people, slaveholders." Rev. R. Furman, D. D., of South Carolina. " The right of holding slaves is clearly established in the Holy Scriptures, both by precept and example."-Expos iion of the views of the Baptists, addressed to the Governor of S. Carolina, 1833." Dr. Furman died not long afterward. His legal repre- sentatives thus advertise his property for sale: "' Notice. ",On the first Monday of February next, will be put up at pub- lic auction, before the court house, thefollowing property, belong- ing to the estate of the late Rev. Dr. FURMAN, viZ.: "A plantation or tract of land on and in the Wataree Swamp. A tract of the first quality of fine land, on the waters of Black River. A lot of land in the town of Camden. A LIBRARY of a miscellaneous character, CHIEFLY THEOLOGICAL. 27 NEGROES, Some of them very prime. Two mules, one horse, and an old wagon. " THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH. (350,000 Members.) In 1793, the General Assembly, not very long after it was organized, adopted the "judgment" of the New York and Philadelphia Synods, in favor of "universal liberty." In 1794 it adopted the following as a note to the eighth commandment, as expressing the doctrine of the church on slaveholding: "1 Tim. i. 10. The law is made for MAN-STEALERS. This crime among the Jews exposed the perpetrators of it to capital punishment; Exodus xxi. 15; and the apostle here classes them with sinners of the first rank. The word he uses, in its original import, comprehends all who are concerned in bringing any of the human race into slavery, or in retaining them in it. Hominum fures, qui servos vel liberos abducunt, retinent, vendunt, vel emunt. Stealers of men are all those who bring off slaves or freemen, and KEEP, SELL, or BUY THEM. To steal a freeman, says Grotius, is the highest kind of theft. In other instances, we only steal bu- 33 man property, but when we steal, or retain men in slavery, we seize those who, in common with ourselves, are constituted by the original grant lords of the earth." But the church contented itself with recording its doc- trine. No rules of discipline were enforced. The slave- holders remained in the chlurch, adding, slave to slave, unmolested; not only unmolested, but bearing the offices of the church.. In 1816 the General Assembly, while it called slavery "a mournful evil," directed the ERASURE of the note to the eighth commandment. In 1818, it adopted an " EXPRESSION OF VIEWS,"2 in which slavery is called "a gross violation of the mnost precious and sacred rights of human nature," but instead of requiring the instant abandonment of this "violation of ricg7hts," the Assembly exhorts the violators " to continue and increase their exertions to effect a total abolition of slavery, Vith no greater delay than a regard to the public welfare de- mands;" and recommends that if a "' Christian professor shall sell a slave who is also in communion witlh our church,," without the consent of the slave, the seller should be " suspended till lie should repent and make repariation." The reality of slavery in the Presbyterian church, since 1S18, may be known fromn the following testimonies: The Rev. James Smylie, A. M., of the Amite Presby- tery, Mississippi, in a pamphlet published by him a short time ago in favor of American slavery, says: "If slavery be a sin, and advertising and apprehending slaves, with a view to restore them to their masters, is a direct violation of the Divine law, and if the buying, selling, or holding a slave FOR THE SAKE OF GAIN, iS a heinous sin and scandal, tlhen, verily, THREE-FOURTHS OF ALL THE EPISCOPALIANS, IETHODIsrs, BAPTISTS, and PRESBYTrERIANS in ELEVEN STATES OF THE UNION, are of the devil. They ' hold,' if they do not bUy and sell slaves, and, with few exceptions, they hesitate not to ' appre- hend and restore' runaway slaves, when in their power." In 1834 the Synod of Kentucky appointed a committee of twelve to report on the condition, c., of the slaves. This passage occurs in the report: " Brutal stripes and all the various kinds of personal indignities are not the only species of cruelty Which slavery licenses The law does not recognise the family relations of the slave, and extends to him no protection in the enjoyment of doryiestic endearments. The members of a slave family may be forcibly separated so that they shall never inore meet until the final judgment. And cupidity 34 often induces the masters to practise what the law allows. Broth- ers and sisters, parents and children, husbands and wives are torn asunder, and permitted to see each other no more. These acts are dailya occurring in the midst of us. The shrieks and the agony, often witnessed on such occasions, proclaim with a trumpet- tongue the iniquity and cruelty of our system. The cries of these sufferers go up to the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth. There is not a neighborhood where these heart-rending scenes are not dis- played. There is not a village or road that does not behold the sad procession of manacled outcasts, whose chains and mournful countenances tell that they are exiled by force from all that their hearts hold dear. Our church, years ago, raised its voice of sol- emn warning against this flagrant violation of every principle of mercy, justice, and humanity. Yet we blush to afnnounce to you and to the world that this warning has been often disregarded, even by those who hold to our communion. C(ases have occurred in our own denomination where professors of the r eligion of mercy have torn the mother from her children, and sent her into a mer- ciless and returnless exile. Yet acts of discipline have rarely [neverl followed such conduct." In 1835, Mr. Stewart, of Illinois, a ruling elder, in a speech urging the General Assembly of which he was a members to act on the subject of slavery, bears this testi- mony to the existing state of things in the Presbyterian church: "1 I hope this Assembly are prepared to come out fully and de- clare their sentiments, that slaveholding is a most flagrant and heinous SIN. Let us'not pass it by in this indirect way, while so many thousands and tens of thousands of our fellow-creatures are writhing under the lash, often inflicted too, by ministers and elders of the Presbyterian church. . . . " In this church, a man may take a free-born child, force it away from its parents, to whom God gave it in charge, saying, ' Bring it up for me,' and sell it as a beast or hold it in perpetual bondage, and not only escape corporeal punishment, but really be esteemed an excellent Christian. Nay, even ministers of the gos- pel, and Doctors of Divinity, may encage in this unholy traffic, and yet sustain their high and holy calling. . "Elders, ministers, and Doctors of Divinity are, with both hands, engaged in the practice." The speech from which the above is. extracted, was made in support of various memorials and petitions from members of the Presbyterian church, asking that the General Assembly might proceed to carry out its princi- ples as they were avowed in 1794 and in 1818. Nothing was done this session, further than to refer all such me- morials and petitions to a committee (a majority of whom 35 were known to be opposed to the prayer of the memorial- ists), to report at the next session in 1.836. At the meeting of the Assembly in 1836, the first thing that was done, to conciliate the excited slaveholders, was to elect one of them to be Jioderator. The majority of the committee appointed in 1835, of which the Rev. Samuel Miller, D. D., and theological professor, was chairman, did accordingly report at the session of 1836, as follows: "That after the most mature deliberation, which they have been able to bestow on the interesting and important question re- ferred to them, they would most respectfully recommend to the General Assembly, the adoption of the following preamble and resolution: "Whereas, the subject of slavery is inseparably connected with the laws of many of the states in this Union, with which it is by no means proper for an ecclesiastical judicature to interfere, and involves many considerations in regard to which great diversity of opinion and intensity of feeling, are known to exist in the churches represented in this Assembly: And whereas, there is great reason to believe, that any action on the'part of this Assem- bly in reference to this subject, would tend to distract and divide our churches, and would probably, in no wise promote the benefit of those whose welfare is immediately contemplated in the memo- rials in question," Therefore, Resolved,- 1. " That it is not expedient for the Assembly to take any fur- ther order in relation to this subject. 2. " That as the quotes which have been expunged from our pub- lic formularies, and which some of the memorials referred to the committee request to have restored, were introduced irregularly- never had the sanction of the church-and therefore, never pos- sessed any authority-the General Assembly has no power, nor would they think it expedient to assign them a place in the au- thoiized standards of the church." The minority of the committee, the Reverend Messrs. Dickey and Beman, reported the following resolutions: Resolved,- 1. " That the buying, selling, or holding a human being as property, is in the sight of God a heinous sin, and ought to subject the doer of it to the censures of the church. 2. ", That it is the duty of every one, and especially of every Christian, who may be involved in this sin, to free himself from its entanglement without delay. 3. "i That it is the duty of every one, especially of every Chris- tian, in the meekness and firmness of the gospel, to plead the cause 36 of the poor and needy by testifying against the principle and prac- tice of slaveholding; and to use his best endeavors to deliver the church of God from the evil; and to bring about the emancipa- tion of the slaves in these United States, and throughout the world." The slaveholding delegates to the number of forty- eight, met apart, and Resolved,- "1 That if the General Assembly shall undertake to exercise au- thority on the subject of slavery, so as to make it an immorality, or shall in any way declare that Christians are criminal in hold- ing slaves, that a declaration shall be presented by the Southern delegation, declining their jurisdiction in the case, and our deter- mination not to submit to such decision." At an adjourned meeting they adopted the following preamble and resolution, to be presented in the Assembly, as a substitute for those of Dr. Miller: "Whereas the subject of slavery is inseparably connected with the laws of many of the states of this Union, in which it exists under the sanction of said laws, and of the Constitution of the United States; and whereas, slavery is recognized in both the Old and New Testaments as an existing relation, and is not con- demned by the authority of God: therefore, Resolved,-The Gen- eral Assembly have no authority to assume or exercise jurisdic- tion in regard to the existence of slavery." The whole subject was finally disposed of by the adop- tion of the following preamble and resolution "Inasmuch as the Constitution of the Presbyterian church, in its preliminary and fundamental principles, declares that no church judicatories ought to pretend to make laws to bind the conscience in virtue of their own authority; and as the urgency of the business of the Assembly, and the shortness of the time during which they can continue in session, render it impossible to deliberate arid decide judiciously on the subject of slavery in its relation to the church : therefore, Resolved,-That this whole subject be indefinitely postponed." A large number of memorials and petitions went up to the General Assembly of 1837. They were referred to a committee of which the Rev. Dr. Witherspoon, a slave- holder of South Carolina-the same who was moderator the year before-was chairman. After detaining them till nearly the usual time for the final adjournment of the Assembly, he reported that "the committee had had a number of papers submitted to them from various Synods, churches, and individuals, men and women, on the subject of slavery: and the committee had unanimously agreed (with the exception of a single member) to direct that 37 they be returned to the house, and that he should move to lay the whole subject on the table," which was ac- cordingly done by a vote of 97 to 28. In 1.838 the Presbyterian church separated on doctrinal differences. Instead of one General Assembly, there are now two, known as the "Old School" and the "Newv School." In the convention, which was held by the Old School preparatory to separation, it was Resolved,- " That in the judgment of this convention, it is of the greatest consequence to the best interests of our church that the subject of slavery shall not be agitated or discussed in the sessions of the ensuing General Assembly, and if any motion shall be made, or resolution offered touching the same, this Convention is of opin- ion that the members of Convention in that body ought to unite in disposing of it, as far as may be possible, without debate." Since the separation the course of the Old School has been regulated by the spirit of this resolution. It has done nothing on the subject. Petitions and memorials against slavery were presented in the New School Assembly at its first session in 1838, and referred to a committee which reported "that the applicants, for reasons satisfactory to themselves, have withdrawn their papers." The committee wvas discharged. In 1839 it referred the whole subject to the Presbyte- ries. to do what they might deem advisable. In 1840 a large number of memorials and petitions against slavery were sent in, and referred to the usual committee. The committee reported a resolution, re- ferring to what had been done last year, declaring it inexpedient for the Assembly to do an ythting further on the subject. Several attempts were made by the abolition members of the Assembly to obtain a decided expression of its views, but they proved ineffectual, and the whole subject was indeftnitely postponed. Why, it may be asked, especially by those who at the time the separation took place flattered themselves that the New School would show itself really opposed to slavery,-Why has such a result been brought about The answer is plain: The New School Assembly is more solicitous to have the favor of the few slaveholders who are members, than to have the blessings of the poor who are perishing in their grasp; more earnest to equal the Old School in numbers than to outstrip it in righteousness. 38 SENTIMENTS OF PRESBYTERIES AND SYNODS. Although many of the influential Presbyterian ministers in the free states, especially in the cities and large towns, have shown themselves ready to second the slaveholding ministers and laymen in their opposition to abolitionism, from some cause it has happened that the free state Pres- byteries and Synods have not committed themselves directly on the question. They have attempted to stay the progress of abolitionism by resolutions bearing on it indirectly,-but well understood by those who were to act under them as intended to exclude, as far as was safe, the question of abolition from the churches. The following resolutions were passed by Presbyteries and Synods in slave states: HOPEWELL PRESBYTERY, SOUTH CAROLINA. 1. " Slavery has existed in the church of God from the time of Abraham to this day. Members of the church of God have held slaves bought with their money, and born in their houses; and this relation is not only recognized, but its duties are defined clearly, both in the Old and New Testaments. 2. "Emancipation is not mentioned among the duties of the master to his slave, while obedience, 'even to the froward' master, is enjoined upon the slave. 3. "' No instance can be produced of an otherwise orderly Chris- tian being REPROVED, much less EXCOMMUNICATED from the church, for the single act of holding domestic slaves, from the days of Abraham down to the date of the modern abolitionist." HARMONY PRESBYTERY OF SOUTH CAROLINA. " Whereas, Sundry persons in Scotland and England, and others in the North, East, and West of our country, have denounced sla- very as obnoxious to the laws of God, some of whom have pre- sented before the genei al assembly of our church and the congress of the nation memorials and petitions, with the avowed object of bringing into disgrace slaveholders, and abolishing the relation of master and slave; and whereas, from the said proceedings, and the statements, reasonings, and circumstances connected there- with, it is most manifest that those persons 'know not what they say, nor whereof they affirm,' and with this ignorance discover a spirit of self-righteousness and exclusive sanctity," c.;- Therefore, 1. Resolved, "That as the kingdom of our Lord is not of this world, His church, as such, has no right to abolish, alter, or effect any insti- tution or ordinance of men, political or civil," c. 39 2. Resolved:-" That slavery has existed from the days of those good old slaveholders and patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, (who are now in the kingdom of heaven) to the time when the Apostle Paul sent a runaway home to his master, Philemon, and wrote a Christian and fraternal letter to this slaveholder, which we find still stands in the canon of the Scriptures-and that slavery has existed ever since the days of the Apostle, and does now exist." 8. Resolved :-", That as the relative duties of master and slave are taught in the Scriptures, in the same manneras those of parent and child, and husband and wife, the existence of slavery itself is not opposed to the will of God; and whosoever has a conscience too tender to recogr.ize this relation as lawful, is ' righteous over much,' is. wise above whatis written,' and has submitted his neck -to the yoke of men, sacrificed his Christian liberty of conscience, and leaves the infallible word of God for the fancies and doctrines of men." CHARLESTON 'UNION PRESBYTERY. "It is a principle which meets the views of this body, that slav- ery, as it exists among us, is a political institution with which ec- clesiastical judicatories have not the smallest right to interfere; and in relation to which any such interference, especially at the present momentous crisis, would be morally wrong, and fraught with the most dangerous and pernicious consequences. The senti- ments which we maintain, in common with Christians at the South of every denomination, are sentiments which so fully approve them- selves to our consciences, are so identified with our solemn convic- tions of duty, that we should maintain them under any circum- stances." Resolved,- " That in the opinion of this Presbytery, the holding of slaves, so far from being a SIN in the sight of God, is no where condemned in his holy word-that it is in accordance with the example, or consistent with the precepts of patriarchs, apostles, and prophets, and that it is compatible with the most fraternal regard to the best good of those servants whom God may have committed to our charge; and that, therefore, they who assume the contrary posi- tion, and lay it down as a fundamental principle in morals and re- ligion, that all slaveholding is wrong, proceed upon false prin- ciples." SYNOD OF SOUTH CAROLINA AND GEORGIA. Resolved, unanimously,-[Dec., 1834]. ", That in the opinion of this synod, abolition societies, and the principles on which they are founded in the United States, are inconsistent with the interests of the slaves, the rights of the holders, and the great principles of our political institution." SYNOD OF VIRGINIA. The committee to whom were referred the resolutions, c., have according to order, had the same under consideration-and re- 40 spectfully report that in their judgment the following resolutions are necessary and proper to be adopted by the Synod at the pres- ent time: Whereas, the publications and proceedings of certain organ- ized associations, commonly called anti-slavery, or abolition soci- eties, which have arisen in some parts of our land, have grbatly disturbed and are still greatly. disturbing the peace of the church and of the country; and the Synod of Virginia deem it a solemn duty which they owe to themselves and to the community to de- clare their sentiments upon the subject; therefore, Resolved, unanimously,- "1 That we consider the dogma fiercely promulgated by said asse- ciations-that slaverv as it exists in our slaveholding states is necessarily sinful, and ought to be immediately abolished, and the conclusions which naturally follow from that dogma, as di- rectly and palpably contrary to the plainest principles of com- mon sense and common humanity, and to the clearest authority of the word of God." The above are all of the Old School. The following is from a slavebolding New School church, in Petersburg, Virginia (16th Nov., 1838): "W Whereas, the General Assembly did, in the year 1818, pass a law which contains provisions for slaves, irreconcilable with our civil institutions, and solemnly declaring slavery to be sin against God-a law at once offensive and insulting to the whole Southern community," 1. Resolved,- That, as slaveholders, we cannot consent longer to remain in connection with any church where there exists a statute confer- ring the right upon slaves to arraign their masters before the judicatory of the church-and that toofor the act of selling them without their consent first had and obtained." 2. Resolved,- " That as the Great Head of the church has recognized the re- lation of master and slave, we conscientiously believe that slavery is not a sin against God as declared by the General Assembly." 3. Resolved,- "That there is no tyranny more oppressive than that which is sometimes sanctioned by the operation of ecclesiastical law." SENTIMENTS OF PRESBYTERIAN MINISTERS. The Rev. Gardiner Spring, D. D., of New York: At the anniversary of the American Colonization Soci- ety at the city of Washington, in 1839, this gentleman appeared on the platform as one of the speakers, with Mr. 41 Henry D. Wise (M. C.), of Virginia, a slaveholder and professed duelist. The latter had said in his speech, the best way to meet the abolitionists was with "'Dupont's best " [gunpowder] and cold steel. The Sun, one of the New York city journals, tells us-the Rev. Doctor spvoke with sympathy of the sentiments of the South as evinced in the speech of Mr. Wise. Since this, Dr. S. has preached a series of sermons to bis congregation on slavery in its scriptural relations. These sermons have been printed, and are looked on by the pro-slavery party as highly serviceable to their cause. The Rev. Joel Parker, D. D., President of the Presby- terian Theological Seminary, Newv York: " Abolitionism might be pronounced a sin as well as slavery." This was said, according to the American papers, at the last session of the (N. S.) General Assembly, in support- ing the proposition of a slaveholder, that "1 all action on the subject of slavery, should be declared by that body beyond its relations and functions." The Rev. Dr. P., at the beginning of the anti-slavery movement in the United States, was an abolitionist. He was sent to New Orleans, being thought eminently fitted as a Christian minister, to contend against the prevailing iniquities of that slavelholding city. He had not been there longt, before he became a colonizationist. He hap- pened to be at Alton, Illinois, at the time the mob spirit was beginning to show its bloody intents toward the Rev. Air. Lovejoy. His injurious remarks in public against the abolitionists were thought to have contributed to ex- cite the mob to the fatal issue which took place. He afterwards returned to New York; was elected pastor of the Tabernacle church, of which Mr. Lewis Tappan was a member; resisted the formation by that gentleman of an anti-slavery society among the members of the church; prosecuted Mr. T. before the church session, on various charges, with a view of ejecting him from the clhurclh, and has, generally, since his return to New York, distinguish- ed himself by bitterness of spirit and language against the anti-slavery cause. Since all which, he has been made a ID. D. and President of the (N. S.) Theological Seminary in New York. The Rev. Samuel H. Cox, D. D., of the city of Brook- 42 lyn, moved the indefinite postponement of the slavery question at the last (N. S.) General Assembly. On the motion being carried he exultingly said, "O Our Vesuvius is safely capped for three years "-the Assembly not meeting again till 1843. Dr. Cox was at one time an abolitionist. The Rev. William S. Plummer, D. D., of Richmond: [This gentleman is the leader of the Old School party. He was absent from Richmond at the time the clergy in that city purged themselves in a body, from the charge of being favorably disposed to abolition. [See page 14.] On his return, he lost no time in communicating to the "Chairman of the Committee of Correspondence," his agreement with his clerical brethen. The passages quot- ed occur in his letter to the chairman.] "' I have carefully watched this matter from its earliest exist- ence, and everything I have seen or heard of its character, both from its patrons and its enemies, has confirmed me, beyond repent- ance, in the belief, that, let the character of Abolitionists be what it may, in the sight of the Judge of all the earth this is the most meddlesome, impudent, reckless, fierce, and wicked excitement I ever saw. "4 If Abolitionists will set the country in a blaze, it is but fair that they should receive the first warming at the fire. a " Let it be proclaimed throughout the nation that every move- ment made by the fanatics (so far as it hag any effect in the South) does but rivet every fetter of the bondsman-diminish the proba- bility of anything being successfully undertaken for making him either fit for freedom or likely to obtain it. We have the author- ity of Montesquicu, Burke. and Coleridge, three eminent masters of the science of human nature, that of all men slaveholders are the most jealous of their liberties. One of Pennsylvania's most gifted sons has lately pronounced the South the cradle of liberty. ", Lastly-Abolitionists are like infidels, wholly unaddicted to martyrdom for opinion's sake. Let them understand that they will be caught [lynched] if they come among us, and they will take good heed to keep out of our way. There is not one man among them who has any more idea of shedding his blood in this cause than he has of making war on the Grand Turk." Rev. Thomas S. Witherspoon, of Alabama, writing to the editor of the Emancipator: "I draw my warrant from the scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to hold the slave in bondage. The principle of hold- ing the heathen in bondage is recognized by God.. . . When the tardy process of the law is too long in redressing our griev- ances, we of the South have adopted the summary remedy of 43 Judge Lynch; and really, I think it- one of the most wholesome and salutary remedies for the malady of Northern fanaticism that can be applied, and no doubt my worthy friend, the editor of the Emancipator and Human Rights. would feel the better of its enforcement, provided he had a Southern administrator. I go to the Bible for my warrant in all moral matters. . . Let your emissaries dare venture to cross the Potomac, and I cannot promise you that their fate will be less than Haman's. Then beware how you goad an insulted, but magnanimous people to deeds of desperation." Rev. Robert N. Anderson, of Virginia: ";To the Sessions of the Presbyterian Congregations within the bounds of the West Hanover Presbytery:" "At the approaching stated meeting of our Presbytery, I design to offer a preamble and string of resolutions on the subject of the use of wine in the Lord's Supper; and also a preamble and string of resolutions on the subject of the-treasonable and abominably wicked interference of the Northern and Eastern fanatics, with our political and civil rights, our property, and our domestic concerns. You are aware that our clergy, whether with or without reason, are more suspected by the public, than the clergy of other denominations. Now, dear Christian beeth- rcn, I humbly express it its my earnest wish, that you quit your- selves like men. If there be any stray goat of a minister among you, tainted with the blood-hound principles of abolitionism, let him be ferreted out, silenced, excommunicated, and left to the public to dispose of him in other respects. "Your affectionate brother in the Lord, RO1BERT N. ANDERSON." THE PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH. The number of members in this church is not known. It is, however, small when compared with the number in any of the churches that have been mentioned. Its con- gregations are mostly in the cities and towns, and they generally consist of persons in the wealthier classes of society. This, together with the smallness of its numbers and the authority of the bishops, has prevented it from being much agitated with the anti-slavery question. Its leading ministers, so far as they concern themselves at all about the slavery question, are in favor of the American colonization scheme. Their influence is, therefore, de- cidedly adverse to emancipation. The prevailing temper of the Protestant Episcopal church is thus testified of by John Jay, Esq., of the city of New York, himself an Episcopalian, in a pamphlet entitled, " Thoughts on the duty of the Episcopal church in relation to Slavery :" 44 "Alas! for the expectation that she would conform to the spirit of her ancient mother! She has not merely remained a mute and careless spectator of this great conflict of truth and justice with hypocrisy and cruelty, but her very priests and deacons may be seen ministering at the altar of slavery, offering their talents and influence at its unholy shrine, and openly repeating the awful blasphemy, that the precepts of our Saviour sanction the system of Amesican slavery. Her Northern (free State) clergy, with rare exceptions, whatever they may feel upon this subject, rebuke it neither in public nor in private; and her periodicals, far from advancing the progress of abolition, at times oppose our societies, inmpliedly defendingslavery, as not incompatible with Christianity. and occasionally withholding information useful to the cause of freedom. " Although apparently desirous of keeping clear of all connection with the anti-slavery movement, the Episco- palians leave not failed when a suitable opportunity pre- sented itself to throw their influence against it. The Rev. Peter Williams, rector of St. Philip's church, New York, a colored gentlemen, was one of the executive committee of the American Anti-Slavery Society, in 1834, when the abolitionists were exposed in their persons and property to the fiercest onsets of pro-slavery mobs. The Bishop of the diocese (Rev. Benjamin F. Onderdonk, D. D.) required of Ir. WAilliams to relinquish his place in the committee, to which requisition Mr. WY. thought it his duty to conform. Bishop Bowen, of Charleston, South Carolina, not long after the meetinog in that city, in which the "reverend gentlemen of the clergy," had so handsonmely and unani- mously "responded to public sentiment," volunteered in an address to the Convention of his diocese, a denuncia- tion of the '"malignant philanthropy of abolition," and contrasted "the savageism and outlawry consequent on abolition,' with "domestic servitude under the benign influence of Christian principles and Christian institu- tions ! "-principles and institutions which denied Sunday School instruction to-free colored children, and which, at the very time of the Address, tolerated the offer in the C1arleston Courier of ffty dollars Jor the HEAD of a fugi- tive slaive-principles and institutions whiclh led Mr. Pres- ton to declare in his place as a Senator of the United States, " Let an abolitionist come within the borders of South Carolina-if we can catch him we will hang him." 45 In 1836, a clergyman in North Carolina, of the name of Freeman, preached in the presence of his bishop (Rev. Levi S. Ives, D. D, a native of a free state), two sermons on the rights and duties of slaveholderg. In these he essayed to justify from the Bible the slavery both of white men and negroes, and insisted that " without a new revelation from heaven no man was authorized to pro- nounce slavery wrong." The sermons were printed in a pamphlet, prefaced with a letter to Mr. Freeman from the bishop of North Carolina, declaring that lhe had "listened with most unfeigned pleasure" to his discourses, and advised their publication as being " urgently called for at the present time." "The Protestant Episcopal Society for, the advance- ment of Christianity in South Carolina"' thought it expe- dient, and in all likelihood with Bishop Bowen's approba- tion, to republish Mr. Freeman's pamphlet as a religious tract !" The Churchman is edited by a Doctor of Divinity, late an instructor in a theological seminary, and enjoys the especial patronage of the Bishop of New York, and was recently officially recommended by him to the favor of the convention. The editor has frequently assailed the abo- litionists in his columns in bitter and contemptuous terms. He has even volunteered to defend the most cruel and iniquitous enactment of the slave code. In reference to the legal prohibition of teaching the colored population to read, the editor says: " All the knowledge which is necessary to salvation, all the knowledge of our duty toward God, and our duty toward our neighbor, may be communicated by oral instruction, and there- fore a law of the land interdicting other means of instruction does not trench upon the law of God." A certain congregation in the diocese of New York is said to hold its cemetery by a tenure whiclh forbids the interment of any colored person; so that if an Episcopal colored clergyman happen to die in that parish, he would be indebted to others than his Episcopal brethren for a grave ! There are instances of regularly ordained ministers, rectors of parishes, men fiaving as valid a commission to preach the gospel as any other presbyters in the Episcopal church, who are virtually denied.a seat in her Ecclesias- 46 tical councils, solely because they are men of color. The rector of a colored church in Philadelphia, is excluded by an express canon of the Diocesan Convention. " THE GENBRAL THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY OF THE PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH IN THE UNITED STATES," is in the city of New York. It is called the General Seminary, because it is under the superintendence of the whole church ; the board of trustees being composed of the Bishops, ex-o 'cio, and upwards of one hundred clerical and lay gentlemen, representing the different states and territories of the Union. It was intended, of course, for the theological education of the Protestant Episcopal ministry. Alexander Crummel, a colored young gentleman of New York, made application to become a " candidate for holy orders" in the church, and was duly admitted as such. In due time Mr. Crummel received from the Bishop of the diocese the usual circular in such cases, in which he was told "unless you belong to the General Theological Seminary, as it is my wish that all the candi- dates of this diocese should, when not prevented by una- voidable circumstances, you will be governed," co The section in the statutes of the seminary regulating admission is plain and imperative:-" Every person pro- ducing to thefaculty satisfactory evidence of his having beet admitted a candidate for holy orders," c., "shall be received as a student of the seminary." It does not appear from the only account we have at hand, of this matter, that Mr. Crummel made application to the faculty. It is, however, to be presumed lie did, and that the faculty put him off by referring him to the board of trustees. To the board, then, he made his application, of which an account is given in the following EXTRACT FROM THE MINUTES: Tuesday, June 25th, 1839. "A communication from Mr. Crummel, asking admission to the Seminary as a student, was read, and on motion referred to a Committee consisting of the following gentlemen, appointed by the chair: Right Rev. Bishop Doane, Rev. Drs. Milnor, Taylor, and Smith, Messrs. D. B. Ogden, Newton, and Johnson." June 26th, 1839. "The Right Rev. Bishop Doane, chairman of the committee on the petition of Mr. Crummel, asked to be relieved from further service on that committee, which request was granted. 47 "The Right Rev. Bishop Onderdonk, of Pennsylvania, was on motion appointed chairman of the committee, to fill the vacancy thus occasioned." June 271h, 1839. "The committee on the petition of Mr. Crum-inel, submitted the following: ";The committee to whom was referred the petition of Air. Clrumm.Al, respectfully report, that having deliber atelu considered the said petition, they are of opinion that it ought not to be granted, and they accordingly recommend to the Board of Trus- tees the following resolution: Resolved, That the prayer of the petitioner be not granted. "The Rev. Dr. Hawks, moved that the resolution recom- mended in the report be adopted." Mr. Huntington moved,- "1 That the whole subject be recommitted, with instructions to the committee to report, thatthe matters embraced in the petition of Mr. Crunmmel are, accordinz to Section 1, of C(hap. VII. of the Statutes, referrible to the facultv rather than this board." [This motion was lost, through fear, we are constrained to believe, lest the faculty would not, if compelled to act, refuse to Mr. Crummel a right that was so obviously his.] Whereupon the question upon accepting the report and adopting the resolution recommended, was taken up and decided in the affirniative. "The Right Rev. Bishop Doane gave notice, that he should, on the morrow, ask leave to present to the board, and to enter upon the minutes -a pr otest against the decision. Friday, June 28th. "The Right Rev. Bishop Doane, who had yesterday given no- tice of his intention to aslk leave to enter a protest, c., changed hiS intention as to the manner of presenting the subject, and asked leave to state to the board his reasons, with a view to the entering of the same on the minutes, for dissenting from the vote of the majority on the report of the committee, to whom, was re- ferred the petition of Mr. Crummel. Leave wvas not granted." During these proceedings, attempts were made by the Bishop of New York to prevail on Mr. Crummel to with- draw his application for admission, by assuring him "the members of the faculty were willing to impart to him [private] instruction in their respective departments ; and that more evil than benefit would result both to the church and himself, by a formal application in his behalf for admission into the seminary." Dr. Hawks is the liistorian of the Episcopal church iN the Uiiited States. If it be true, as we have seen stated in an American newspaper, that this gentleman is himself of mixed blood-and his conmplexion a little favors the statement-it proves that the admixture does not deteriorate the intellectual powers; for in the oratory of the pulpit, and as a writer, DiP. Ii. stands, de- servedly, among the distinguished men of America. 48 The reader will not have failed to notice with wLi. care every allusion to the cause of refusing Mr. Crumn; admission is excluded from the minutes, and to feel thL the very fact that the cause does not appear in th- minutes-leaving it to be inferred, that it was for somc- thing too base to be recorded there-is an act of injustice to hin that admits of no excuse. "An Episcopalian " of New York, jealous for the honor of his church, published in one of the journals of that city, a full account of these proceedings. The Bishop of New York made a short reply to but one of his state- mernts (an immaterial one), and concluded by saying, that in the discharge of his duties and responsibilities, he should not certainly be swayed by any appeal that might be made to popular feelina. POSTSCRIPT. We would have the reader bear in mind, that the fore- going presents but one side of the anti-slavery cause in the several churches whose proceedings have been consid- ered ; and that in them all, there are abolitionists earn- estly laboring to purify them from the defilements of slavery; and that they have strong encouragement to proceed, not only in view of what they had already effected toward that end, but in the steady increase of their numbers, and in other omens of success. We wish him also to bear in mind, that the churcnes which have been brought before him are not the only American churches which are guilty in giving their coun- tenance and support to slavery. Of others we have said nothing, simply because, to examine their cases, would be to make this work too long for the object we have in view-and because enough has been said to show substan- tially the state of the slavery question in America, so far as the CHURCH in that country is connected with it. Lastly.-XXTe take pleasure in assuring him that there are considerable portions of the Methodist, Baptist, and Presbyterian churches, as well as the entire of some of the smaller religious bodies in America, that maintain a com- mendable testimony against slavery and its abominations. Mr. Crunminel became a member of the Theological department of Yale College, a Congregational institution, where we wish we could say he was there treated in a manner that would have been the most agreeable to him, as well as most honorable to the distinguished professor whose lectures he attended; but we cannot.