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The Churches And Slavery: For The Signal Of Liberty

The Churches And Slavery: For The Signal Of Liberty image
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J'n. FosTEii : - I perceive f rom a note ; in tho paper of lust weck that my communieation rehuing to one or Uvo positions taken by Br. Hammond in his address, has boen received, but so badly v ritten you could not pubïish it. This w a good rcason, the labor of rewriting belongs to me. I v.-ill try once nv-ro and if you raniiol read Avhat I wvïic. you sliftll j be bhmelcss -in not pubiihing it. I will ti-y to imprnve in the art, sayjng niucfi ík few wnrds. i)i-. Haminond uks tiiis questioii : "Whois retíponaible for this legal abomination?" In answor to this question He saya jjr.s, "It is not the church," "Slavcry exista by iW. That aw, the church can makc nor uimake. She is not organixed for purposes of legislation ortoexercisc a super-, visory care over the state.."' Sce Signal of. Tune 24, first page. Nuw I haveistíp posed that 4hc dmrch contained a vast majority of uil the persons professing cliristianity in this country : that these persons were, or were designed to be "the salt of the earth," "the Iight of the world," in so much that they "cannot be hiel." I had supposed, moreovcr, that whatever there is in the world (including the U.S.) that is right, just, true, pure,lovcly and of good report, is to bc crechted to chrislianity through the medium of tha churcJi, the chosen clmrch of God's Mercy, to guilty man. I have supposed that blessings werc to bc givcn and salvation pon red out, in answer to the askiflg af the chitrcli, and that it was the privilege of the church to work, through the appointcd mcans, tho entire overthow of, (at least,) all systems of oppression. - The heathen are givcn to Chriet for ari inheritance and the uttermost paris of the earth for a posyession. ri'he servants oí the church, of whicli Cln-istis the hcad, wero to "preach the gospel to evcry creature."Bui is the church responsiblef .Let facts spcak. We will iake sevcral of the 3istinct parts or branches of the church .uid fust, the Methodist E. Church, is ;omposed of 1,200,000 members ; to the Mrtire population as about 1 to 27. 7 Bishops and more than 8,000 (said to mnnber 10,000)preachers. This branch of the church holdsthc doctrine that ilavfirtf is nol sinful. Sec debates on the floor of Lhe last General Conference. Ilence thoy practico slavcholding. They have one Bishop who holdsslavcs according io discipline. They bave 200 Traveiing Preachcrs who hold 1GO0 slavcs : abotif 1000 Local Preachers holding 10,000 slaves; and about 2Ö.000 members, who hold 207,763 slaves. [Sec published Minutes. of n Convention of Episcopal Methodists held at Hallowell, Maine.] It is a notorious fact, that these Methodisls hold slaves by the same tenure that oiher men hold them, and treal them the same. Yts, they robT whip, erop, brand, shoot, and hunt their slavei witii dogs, like other men. They do more ÏBan thi.;. They stcal lahi es- prosüluic daughtera - deiile wivcs- separate fumi lies- and perpétrate all the long li=t o crimes which go to make up the bla-k catalogue of the "sum of all viüainics.'' They shroud the minds of their victinu in the midnight darkness of hcathenism Ibrbidding them to read the liiblc, as oth er slaveholders do, and superadd to al this the liorrid blosphemy, that the Bibl and its autlior sanclion the clmttel pfii ciple. (I pledge'myself to yrovc to an, intelligent congregation, that all I hav said abovo of tho lM. E. Church is truc or ir. case of failure to take it back in a .iUli-. n miinnsr ns Í have Said it. )Now thesameistrueof the Old Schco] Presbytcrian. They have slaveholderi in their chu relies. Ministers whom thej delight to honor hold slaves, Elders holt slaves, and private rnembers too. Anc like the Methodisis, they prnctice thes( things, (ihat is. many of themdo,) anc aud they all leuoto il. Likewise they clain God andhisBiblé as their defender.They denounce Abolitionistsand cherisl slavery nlike. At their last meeting th O. S. Assembly resolved to take no ac tion on the subject of Slavery. Th New School Presbyterinn?, aro in m opinión no hetter. They retain th. wedgo of Gold. They toillnol condemi Slar'cnj. Tiiey do retain the foul oppressor in their midsl, nnd delight to hon or liim. They havo dono what the could lo ut down nntislavery action ir tho lower judicatorics. Note ti} cac o Graham and Ihe Cincinnati Synod.So I might mcntion tho Frolestant Episcopnl, Protestant Methodist, Baptist, oíd organization, olí of thcm stand (as Churches) witli their foot on tho neck ol the poor slave, with the Bible in their hand, with which to subdue thoir victim, and rcpel thoso who would succor him. Now in view of theso facís what becomes of Br. Ilammond's íirst position ? Itis not truc lhat the Church a not responsible for the chnracter of the civil law. Are not legislative enactments the embodiments of public sentiment ? And does not public sentiment receive its moral tone from iho prcvailing Chrisianiiy 1 [s not Christianity made what it is by the Ufe and conduct of its professors ? And again, is not thn Church composed of these samo professors ? Is Uien, his position correct ?Br. M. says, socondly, ït is not the ?Iergy. What, does ho mean by "tliat is a class llicy are not bacUwnrd on ihe lubjeet ? " I must confess t do not ünlei-ötand Br. II. What do fac!s say.- Was the ML K. (JunlVrenco of '44 for.vrd, whon they bid a boiinty on slaveloldinj-, by saving to Andrews; yon may ivork or not as you choose, yo;i shall be paid tho priucelysnlary of a BfSÍ&ji', out if :lie ('iuircb 1 Was he O. S. Assomy of Ministers firward last May, wheïi within bearing pf tbe wad of iro, 'liat is burne on cacli Southern bréele, liiey J said, we wil do nolhing? Is any good object forwaflted by doing nothtrtg 1 Or did tbe N. S. Ministerp forwardlhe good work bv lÜefr conversión to tho Ifioloch of Slaver;, In Ji roe! ing a body ur.dcr tbeir control to restore a man they had deposed for teacbing tÖi Stucenj was a Bible instttution? Tfie clrgy of that branch of tbe Church nro forward api nyt backward on the subject ! But it is this class fault-fnuüiig tliat isliatod. Condemn individual?, not class-e. Hark, my I Brotber, it is classes that is doing tbo ihfschief 1 Wiiy condemn the Whigs as n cías?, or the Locofucos, or the class of Sluve-holdcrs and of Sinners ? Can yon condenin individuals without condemning classes 1 You have conclemnod eacbstave of which iho tub is composed. - Morcover you hcrc show ihat tho foundation principie, the very botlom is corrupt, and you havo condemned i7, and so wc must "lot cvcry tub stand on its own bottom." Brethreh, bo consistent. The truc antislavery doctrine is, "Dony ihyself and take thy cross:" your inHncncc is bul small on the side of human rights v.hile you fellowöhip slaveholders asChristians. VVliy not act upon sterling principie. - I do insist upon it that you had bel te i not pretend to hato Sluvery, while you fellowship slaveholding.