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with equal readiness purchase a white one for the same purpose, could he do it with equal impunity, and no more disgrace."
At a meeting of the General Committee of the Baptists of Virginia, in 1789, the following resolution was offered by Eld. John Leland, and adopted :
" Resclved, That slavery is a violent deprivation of the rights of nature, and inconsistent with republican government, and therefore we recommend it to our brethren to make use of every measure to extirpate this horrid evil from the land ; and pray Almighty God that our honorable legislature may have it in their power to proclaim the great jubilee, consistent with the principles of good policy."
John Wesley, the celebrated founder of Methodism, says :
“ Men buyers are exactly on a level with men stealers."
Again, he says :“ American Slavery is the vilest that ever saw the sun ; it constitutes the sum of all villanies."
The learned Dr. Adam Clarke, author of a voluminous commentary on the Scriptures, says :
“Slave-dealers, whether those who carry on the traffic in human flesh and blood; or those who steal a person in order to sell him into bondage ; or those who buy such stolen men or women, no matter of what color, or what country; or the nations who legalize or connive at such traffic; all these are men-stealers, and God classes them with the most flagitious of mortals."
One of the rules laid down in the Methodist Discipline, as amended in 1784, was as follows :
“Every member of our Society who has slaves in his possession, shall, within twelve months after notice given to him by the assistant, legally execute and record an instrument, whereby he emancipates and sets free every slave in his possession.”
Another rule was in these words :
“No person holding slaves shall in future be admitted into Society, or to the Lord's Supper, till he previously complies with these rules concerning slavery.”
The answer to the question—"What shall be done with those who buy or sell slaves, or give them away"_is couched in the following language :
“ They are immediately to be expelled, unless they buy them on purpose to free them.”
In 1785, the voice of this church was heard as follows: “We do hold in the deepest abhorrence the practice of slavery, and shall not cease to seek its destruction, by all wise and prudent means."
In 1797, the Discipline contained the following wholesome paragraph :
“The preachers and other members of our Society are requested to consider the subject of negro slavery, with deep attention, and that they impart to the General Conference, through the medium of the Yearly Conferences, or otherwise, any important thoughts on the subject, that the Conference may have full light, in order to take further steps towards eradicating this enormous evil from that part of the Church of God with which they are connected. The Annual Conferences are directed to draw 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 purpose. These addresses shall urge, in the most respectsul but pointed manner, the necessity of a law
for the gradual emancipation of slaves. Proper committees shall be appointed by the Annual Conferences, out of the most respectable of our friends, for conducting the business; and presiding elders, elders, deacons, and traveling 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 forward the blessed undertaking. Let this be continued from year to year, till the desired end be accomplished.”
It has been only about twenty years since Pope Gregory XVI. immortalized himself by issuing the famous Bull against slavery, from which the following is an extract :
"Placed as we are on the Supreme seat of the apostles, and acting, though by no merits of our own, as the vicegerent of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who, through his great mercy, condescended to make himself man, and to die for the redemption of the world, we regard as a duty devolving on our pastoral functions, that we endeavor to turn aside our faithful flocks entirely from the inhuman traffic in negroes, or any other human beings whatever. * * * In progress of time, as the clouds of heathen superstition became gradually dispersed, circumstances reached that point, that during several centuries there were no slaves allowed amongst the great majority of the Christian nations; but with grief we are compelled to add, that there afterwards arose, even among the faithful, a race of men, who, basely blinded by the appetite and desire of sordid lucre, did not hesitate to reduce, in remote regions of the earth, Indians, negroes, and other wretched beings, to the misery of slavery ; or, finding the trade established and augmented, to assist the shameful crime of others. Nor did many of the most glorious of the Roman Pontiffs omit severely to reprove their conduct, as injurious to their souls' health, and disgraceful to the Christian name. Among these may be especially quoted the bull of Paul III., which bears the date of the 29th of May, 1537,
addressed to the Cardinal Archbishop of Toledo; and another still more comprehensive, by Urban VIII., dated the 22d of April, 1636, to the collector Jurius of the Apostolic chamber in Portugal, most severely castigating by name those who presumed to subject either East or West Indians to slavery, to sell, buy, exchange, or give them away, to separate them from their wives and children, despoil them of their goods and property, to bring or transmit them to other places, or by any means to deprive them of liberty, or retain them in slavery ; also most severely castigating those who should presume or dare to afford council, aid, favor or assistance, under any pretext, or borrowed color, to those doing the aforesaid ; or should preach or teach that it is lawful, or should otherwise presume or dare to co-operate, by any possible means, with the aforesaid. * * * Wherefore, we, desiring to divert this disgrace from the whole confines of Christianity, having summoned several of our venerable brothers, their Eminences the Cardinals, of the H. R. Church, to our council, and, having maturely deliberated on the whole matter, pursuing the footsteps of our predecessors, admonished by our apostolical authority, and urgently invoke in the Lord, all Christians, of whatever condition, that none henceforth dare to subject to slavery, unjustly persecute, or despoil of their goods, Indians, negroes, or other classes of men, or be accessories to others, or furnish them aid or assistance in so doing; and on no account henceforth to exercise that inhuman traffic by which negroes are reduced to slavery, as if they were not men, but automata or chattels, and are sold in defiance of all the laws of justice and humanity, and devoted to severe and intolerable labors. We further reprobate, by our apostolical authority, all the above-described offences as utterly unworthy of the Christian name; and by the same authority we rigidly prohibit and interdict all and every individual, whether ecclesiastical or laical, from presuming to defend that commerce in negro slaves under pretence or borrowed color, or to teach or publish in any manner, publicly or privately, things contrary to the admonitions which we have given in these letters.
" And, finally, that these, our letters, may be rendered more apparent to all, and that no person may allege any ignorance thereof, we decree and order that it shall be published according to custom, and copies thereof be properly affixed to the gates of St. Peter and of the Apostolic Chancel, every and in like manner to the General Court of Mount Citatorio, and in the field of the Campus Florae, and also through the city, by one of our heralds, according to aforesaid custom.
“Given at Rome, at the Palace of Santa Maria Major, under the seal of the fisherman, on the 3d day of December, 1837, and in the ninth year of our pontificate.
“Countersigned by Cardinal A. Lambruschini.”
We have already quoted the language of Pope Leo X., who says :
“Not only does the Christian religion, but nature herself cry out against the State of slavery."
The Abbe Raynal says :“He who supports slavery is the enemy of the human race. He divides it into two societies of legal assassins, the oppressors and the oppressed. I shall not be afraid to cite to the tribunal of reason and justice those governments which tolerate this cruelty, or which even are not ashamed to make it the basis of their power."
From the proceedings of a Massachusetts Anti-slavery Convention in 1855, we make the following extract :
"Henry Kemp, a Roman Catholic, came forward to defend the Romish Church in reply to Mr. Foster. He claimed that the Catholic Church is thoroughly anti-slavery—as thoroughly as even his friend Foster.”
Thus manfully do men of pure hearts and noble minds, whether in Church or State, and without regard to sect or party, lift up their voices against the wicked and pernicious institution of human slavery. Thus they speak, and thus