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Methodist Episcopal Church And Slavery.--The Church As It W...

Methodist Episcopal Church And Slavery.--The Church As It W... image
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Ia 1780, which was four years before thia church was organized in this country the conference bore the following testimo ny against slavery. "The Conference acknowledges that slavery is contrary to the laws of God MAN, AND NATURE, AND HURTFUL TO SOCIE ty ; CONTRARY TO THE DICTATES OF CONSCiENCE AND PURE RELl GION; and doing what we wculd not that others should do unto us; and they pass their disapprobation upon all our friends who hold siavcs and advÏ9e their freedom." In 1784, when this church was fully organized, it had the following amongothcr rulea. 'No pereon, holding slaves, ehall in future, bo adir.ittcd into the Society, or to thfe Lord'8 supper, lili he previously comply with these rules concerningelavery." "Those who buy, sell or give them away, unless on purpose to free them, shall be expelled immediately." The rules with which the members of this society were to comply would give emancipatioa to every slavr. wiihin five years except in thosc States wheie the laws forbid cmancipation. In 1785 this church beid the following language. "We do hold in the deepest abhorrence the practice of slavery, and shall not cease to seek its djestbüction, by all wise and prudent raeaus." "The preachers and other members of our society, are requested to consider the eubject of negro slavery with deep attention; and that they. impart to the General Conference through the medium of the Yearly Couferences or otherwise, any important thoughis upon the subject, that the Conference may have full light, in order to taks further steps towards eradicating this enormous evil from that part of the church of God with which they are connecled. The Annual Conferences are diTectedtodraw up addresses for the gradual emancipation of the slaves, to the legislatures of those states in which no general laws have been passed for that pur pose. These addresses shall urge, in the most respectful, but pointed manner, the necessity of a law for the gradual emana pation of slaves. Proper commiltees shall be appointed by the Annual Conferences, out of the most respectable of our friends, for theconducting of the business; and the presiding eider?, elders, deacons, and traving preaches, shall procure as proper signatures as possible to the addresses, and give all the assistance in their power, in every respect to aid the committee, and to further this bleseed undertaking. Let this be continued from year to year, til! the de8ired end bo accornplished." From the above it appcars that this church was once nearly right on the subject of slavery. Wesley, who was the founder of this church, under God, published the following among other things touching the great wrong of slavery, - "Man-stealers! the worst of thieve9, in comparison of whom, nighway robbers and house-breakers are innocent; and men-buyers are exactlyon a level with menstealers." Again, he says - "O, whatever it costs, put a stop to this cry before it be too late; instantly at any prico, were t lo half of your goods, deliver Ihyself from blood guiltiness! Thyhands, (by bed, thy furniture, thy house, 1 thy lands, are at present stained with gj blood. Surely it s enough, accumulato no more guill; spilt no inore the blood of the innocent. Do not hire another to 6hed blood; do not pay him for doitig it. - " Wheiher you are a Christian or oo shew tjyourselfa man! Be not more sa vage than a lion or a bear." Dr. Adam Clarke was a member of the Methodist E. Church. He was one of its brightest ornamenls, and wrote the most learncd commentary that is exlant. Wuh regard to slavery he saya, "ín heathen countries, slavery was, in eome sort, excusable; among Christians it is an cnormity and a crime, for which perdition has scarcely an adequate state of punishment. I here register my testimony against the unprincipled, inhuman, anii-Chr6tian and diabolical slave trade, with all ts authors, promoter3, abettors, and sacrüegious gains, as well as against the great devil, the father of it and them." Here is the position of thu Methodist Episcopal Church as it was in the days of ils humility and deep áevotion to ihe cause of God. Had this church continued its inflexible oppositiun to slavery, there ia no doubt but what it would have done much towards preventing the increase, and present triumph of the institution in the church and in the State, Bat sho has fearfully departed from her puritv, and now appears as tho apologist and defender of slavery. The M. E. Church, as it g, will be the subject of remark in our next. 07The following communication from our old friend, H. Cummings, is worth a careful perusal. In his comments upon President Tyler's Message, he arrivés at the true source of national weallh, viz: industry and economy." Wo have long since believed that if the nation, instead of spending time, and enormous sums of money iolegislating about banks, and anti Lanke, specie circulare uud cub-traacu ries, would turn its attention to sober industry, and establish a regular system of compensated labor through the entire South as there is in the North (which i& the only real source of wealth) the nation wouid enjoy unexampled prosperity and peace. But while in one half of the nation there are 250,000 slaveholders determined to live in affiuenco on the hard earnings of the poor slave compelled to labor by the blood extorting whip, they can reasouably expectnothing but embar rassment, &. bankruptcy among ihemselves and a constant source of draw back and drain to the North. Let the nation pause and reflect, and sho can but see her disease and her remedy, and in eobcr earnest, lel her apply hereelf to the work and abolish slavery, and act upon the healthful rinciples of ' ixdu&tky and LC0N0MY''and n a few years we shall stand unrivalled n the history of fame, among the nations of the earth. jïom the Eraancipator and Free Amerieao. Tïae Presídenos Message. President Tyler, in his message on the currency and iiuaucee, speaks of the im)ortance of a sound and uniform currency as a medium of exchange, to facilítate tho extensive commercial and business transactions of the country. But he does not consider a sound and uniform currency a remedy for the great evils and embarrassments with whicti our country has been, and still is afflicted. - rhis is evident trom the following passage which concluües his general remarks on the currency. "I niust be permitted to add, that no scheme of governmenlal policy, unaided )y individual exertions, can be available br ameliorating the present condilion of hings. Commercial modes of exchange and a good currency are but the necessary means of commerce and intercourse, not he direct productivo sources of weallh. - Weallh can only be accumulated by the earnings of industry and the savings of Vugality; and nothing can be more illudged than to look to facilities in borrow ng, or to a redundant circulation, for the lower of discharging pecuniary obligaions. The country is full of resources, and the people are full of energy and the great and permanent remedy for present embarrassmenls, must be sought in indusry, economy, the observance of good aith, and the favorable influence ot time." The above extract contains four argumenls showing that a healthy currency can never "amelioiule the condition of hings,"1. He enys, that "noscheme of governmental policy, unaided by individual exeríions can be availablc for amelioraling the present condilion of things." 2. As the evils ariae from the want o: "individual exertion" to produce wealth he says, "Commercial modes of exchango and n good currency aro but the necessary means of eommerce and intercourse;' but they are 'jut th direct proc'uuiví sources of wealth,"and, therefure, are nol t e great remedy. "Nothing," he says, ucan be more illjudged than to look to iacilities in borrowing, or to a redundant circulation, for the power of discharging pecuniary obligations." It must arise from the production of wealth. To borrow of A.lopay B vvill never free a man irom debt. As the grcat evil does not lie in the derangenient of the currency, but back of this, eo the regulation of the currency will not furnish the antidote ; it must be eought and applied where the evil exists. Ilencehe says, 4. "The great and permanent remedy for present embarrassments must besoughl in industry and economy," which ai e the only true sources of wóalth; and as "the country is full of resources and the people full of energy," and as "wealth can only be accumulated by the earmngs of industry, and the eavings of frugality," by applying our 'Mndustry and energy" to bring out tbose "resources," and our "frugality" in "economizing," "by the observance of good faith, and the favorable influence oí time," we can produce an amount of wealth which will provo to be "a great and permanent remedy for present embarrassments," as well as a security againet their recurrence in future. The President'? views are unquestiona. bly sound, and they imply that the great evil or "embarrassments" of the country lie in a want of industry, energy and economy in producing wealth, and the absence of "good fitith" in the commercial and bu siness transactions of the country. If so, I would nsk, in frhat part of the nation does the great cause of our evils exisl? It is certainly uot chargeable upon the North, for our wealth and prosperity are securec by the operations of our free iabcr system, which is full of energy, industry, econom)r, enlerprisc, machinery, and best of all, vages to stimulato and cali the whole into exercise. 'j'i.o wcuitL. the gieai una r-'tpiuiiy in- creasing prosperity of the free, vhen com pared with the elavo States, is proverbial even in the South as well as in ihe North. But the cause may be traced directly to the South. There they depend on the slave labor system for support, which has neither energy, industry, econoroy, enterprise, machinery, or wages to produce wealth. Add to these disadvantages the fact that their consumera are two-fold as numerous in proportion to their number of producerB, as what they are in the free States, and you will readily perceive the reason for our embarrassments. The slave labor system cannot support itself; henee their poverty, their restless desire lo control the legislative and diplomatic powerB of our government, lo make their impoverishing slave labor system keep up in prosperity with our free labor sysiem; henee the immense losses of the North in the South, the frequent changes in the policy of our government, and derangements and embarrassments that have aways always followed in their train. It is for the want of these "individual exertions" in the soutii, their "observance f good fuith" in paying their own la)orei'B3 and their northern creditors; their wants of "industry to earn, and frugality to save," which are the great cause oftheir poverty and consequent embarnusments, hat have spread their inñuence over the whole land. Had President Ty!er, then, recommended theabolition ofslavery, and the introduction of the free labor sy6tem ali over the country, and set the example y emancipating his own 6lavce, he would jave carried out the great principies he aiil down in his message, conferred a lasing bleesing on his country, embalmed his memory in the gratitude aud aifections of i nalion of freemen, and secured to liimself honors that would have brightened and glowed on the paes of our nation'ti tistory, with a splendor unsurpassed even )V the glories that have encircled the life and name of Washington, the father of our countrv's indeDendence.II. CUMMINGS. Boston, Dec. 1841. Another Süccessful Forgery is men ioiied in the Journal of Commerce. On rriday last the clerk of Messrs. C. & E. W. Thwing, brokers in Wall street, preented their check at the Mechaniek Bankng Associalion for $1000, for which he receivcd the money, and paid it over to a man who had just requesled him to present t. The check proved to be a forgery - the brger having dared to resort to this stratagern to accomplish his object. Ar. Y. American. The demócrata of Nantucket instructed heir cnndidate3 forihe Legislature ifeleced to go for abolition measures.