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ENGAGED IN THE DISSEMINATION OF THESE PRINCIPLES,
AS FALSE TEACHERS.
BY SIMON CLOUGH, D. D. LL.D.
Pastor of the Christian Society, Fall River, Mass.
W. Mitchell, Printer, 205, Bowery.
A SOCIETY, of a very extraordinary character, was organized in the month of December last, in the city of Philadelphia, known and designated by the name of the “ National Anti-Slavery Society.” The Society has published and sent forth to the world a “Declaration of Sentiments,” including the “Designs and Measures” of the Society, and the objects they propose to accomplish. According to this Declaration, the following sentiments, principles, and measures, are distinctly avowed :
“We maintain, that in view of the civil and religious privileges of this nation, the guilt of its oppression is unequalled by any other on the face of the earth;—and, therefore, that it is bound to repent instantly, to undo the heavy burden, to break every yoke, and to let the oppressed go free.
* We further maintain, that every man has a right to his own body, to the products of his own labour, to the protection of law, and to the common advantages of society. It is piracy to buy or steal an African, and subject him to servitude. Surely the sin is as great to enslave an American as an African. That every American citizen, who retains a single human being in involuntary bondage, is, according to the Scripture, a man-stealer; that the slaves ought to be instantly set free, and brought under the protection of law; that all those laws which
are now in force, admitting the right of slavery, are, therefore, before God, utterly null and void; being an audacious usurpation of the Divine prerogative, a daring infringement on the law of nature, a base overthrow of the very foundations of the social compact, a complete extinction of all the social relations, endearments, and obligations of mankind, and a presumptuous transgression of the holy commandments; and that, therefore, they ought to be instantly abrogated.
“We further affirm, that all persons of colour, who possess the necessary qualifications which are demanded of others, ought to be admitted forthwith to the enjoyment of the same privileges, and the exercise of the same prerogatives, as others; and that the paths of preferment, of wealth, and of intelligence, should be opened as widely to them as to persons of a white complexion.
“We maintain that no compensation should be given to the planters emancipating their slaves. We regard as delusive, cruel, and dangerous, any scheme of expatriation, which pretends to aid, either directly or indirectly, in the emancipation of the slaves, or to be a substitute for the immediate and total abolition of slavery. This relation to slavery is criminal and full of danger; it must be broken up.
“ We shall organize Anti-Slavery Societies, if possible, in every city, town, and village of our land. We shalí send forth agents to lift up the voice of remonstrance, of warning, of entreaty, and rebuke. We shall circulate unsparingly and extensively, anti-slavery tracts and periodicals. "We shall enlist the pulpit and the press in the cause of the suffering and the dumb. We shall aim at a purification of the churches from all participation in the guilt of slavery. We shall encourage the labour of freemen over that of slaves, by giving a preference to their productions, and we shall spare no exertions nor means to bring the whole to a speedy repentance.
“These are our views and principles—these our designs and measures. With entire confidence in the
over-ruling justice of God, we plant ourselves upon the truths of divine revelation, as upon the everlasting rock.”
Such are the principles and designs of the Society, as set forth in the words of their own “Declaration,” which was subscribed by the members of the National Convention, and under their express sanction published to the world.
This Society has been organized under the special and particular direction of clergymen, who have been the active and efficient members of the Society since its organization: they have been the principal agents and orators who have addressed assemblies in the different sections of our country on this excitable topic. Having lain a train of powder in various directions through our widely-extended country, they propose to elicit a spark from heaven, and kindle one general conflagration through this widely-spreading Republic. Hence their constant appeals to Heaven, to God, and to the Bible, in support of their principles, and in justification of their measures. They use the most fiery and excitable language, and endeavour to bring all the moving and quickening influences of Christianity to operate upon the minds of the community, for the purpose of enlisting them in the cause of abolition.
It is not our intention, at this time, to go into a general discussion of the question of slavery, as it exists in this country, to either justify it, or to propose any remedy for it. We propose merely to show, that the doctrine, principles, and measures of the Anti-Slavery Society, as set forth in their “ Declaration,” are wholly inconsistent with the doctrine and teachings of the Bible on this subject, and that no Minister of the Gospel can consistently become a member of that Society, or advocate its measures. I wish here to be distinctly understood. The question at issue is not whether we shall continuo the African slave trade, or whether we shall enslave the free coloured population of our country; the question is simply concerning those who are now held in a state of