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were given is, while the relation providentially continues, by an act of providential government, tolerated as a measure of moral discipline, in civil, social, and religious society, and practice accordingly, what is to be done with us? Why, True Wesleyanism will not receive us to her altars, but unceremoniously hand us over to the devil, because we refuse to surrender the right of private judgment, and by consequence the right of conscience, to her holy care and keeping, and receive on this subject the law at her mouth.
And thus, in their zeal to liberate the bodies of two millions from the chains of civil bondage, they would enslave the minds of eighteen millions in the chains of intolerant bigotry-a bondage not only nine times worse, in point of numbers, but immeasurably worse with regard to principle. For slavery, with all its wrongs, allows, and to some extent labours and hopes for, the salvation of its subjects. But this fell principle damns you here, and both soul and body forever hereafter in hell. May we not rejoice that God is judge, and not these sectarian bigots !
In view of all that precedes, we think we are entitled to the following conclusions: That there are two classes of truths which bear upon the slavery relation.
First. The doctrine of essential right, or eternal rectitude, in the sense of unbending law, with which the principle of slavery cannot be reconciled. Now the laws of Methodism on the subject of slavery, which prohibit those who buy or sell men, women, and children, with an intention to enslave them, from a place in her communion, and declare slavery to be “a great evil,” are the fair and true exponents of this first class of truths. For they proceed upon the principle that slavery is an essential moral wrong, and, as such, all who voluntarily connect themselves with, or aid and abet the system, are guilty of that wrong, and therefore cannot have a place in her communion.
Second. The second class of truths are, “ That it is required according to what a man hath, and not according to what he hath not,” &c., &c. Now this class of truths has respect to the providential circumstances of our existence,-circumstances in which we are unavoidably connected with evils we did not create, and cannot control, and which disqualify us for, or otherwise prevent our carrying out, the principles of essential right, or the original laws of nature.
Now the laws of Methodism, which allow and tolerate the Christian character of a man in the relation, when in the providential circumstances of his existence he is unavoidably connected with it, are the fair and true exponents of this last class of truths. And thus, so far as her position in this particular matter is concerned, she is essentially "the Church of the living God; the pillar and ground of the truth,"—the support and defence of the truth of both covenants on this question. There is no getting away from this conclusion. You may as well undertake to unsettle the stabilities of the eternal throne.
REFLECTIONS ON DIFFERENT SUBJECTS CONNECTED WITH
THOUGHTS ON TRUE WESLEYANISM.
Now if the doctrine of these pages be true, in agreement with the principles, spirit, and teaching of the Holy Scriptures, and confirmed by the voice of reason, in what light are we to regard those new measures, recently introduced and adopted by men professing a great zeal for the glory of God, as well as a burning love for their fellow-men, who organize Churches, making the relation, under all circumstances, a bar to Christian fellowship; can we, in the utmost stretch of charity, recognize them as being regularly in the order of scriptural, rational, and providential duty ? We think not. Mark! the question is not, Have they not the right to do so ? this may be granted; but the question is, Are they, in view of all the providential circumstances connected with the case, sustained by the authority of Scripture and the voice of reason, in such a movement ? We repeat, for the reasons already assigned in these pages, we think not. True, we did once, in our haste, admit that “ even True Wesleyanism might be a child of Providence," but on our sober second thoughts we beg leave thus publicly to take that back. That Providence may take True
Wesleyanism under its keeping, as it does other spurious and monstrous births, (it being the child of wellmeant error,) and use it as far as possible for good, is not denied; for it is the special sphere and glory of Providence, to“ bring good out of evil.” Hence saith the apostle, “I will provoke you to jealousy by them that are no people, and by a foolish nation will I anger you.” Rom. x, 19. So Providence may make use of the paucity and foolishness of True Wesleyanism, to provoke the world to think and act on this subject. Further, with our present light on this subject, we cannot admit. We are compelled, by the paramount authority of Scripture and reason, to set it down as an illegitimate offspring; or, to make the very best of it, all things considered will admit, an abortion --come too soon; in which they differ from other sinners generally; they won't come when they are called. True Wesleyanism has come without being called, only so far as an uneasy, restless, factious disposition, instigated by a spirit of well-meant error, and it may be headed by his “honour" of Pandemonium, who through them would make havoc of the Church of God, by opening a hopeful door to the disaffected and aspiring in the ministry and laity, and drawing off a few weak-minded men, women, and children, with some of youthful ardent temperament, who cannot rationally be supposed to be well enough read in the Scriptures to understand this subject in all its phases and relations; and therefore, being imposed upon by superficial, specious first appearances, “ leap before they look," or, in other words, act before they think. These together constitute their elements of
When we look at this subject in all its phases, that,
upon the whole, they ever have done any good, may be honestly doubted. That they have excited some feelings of pity for the poor slave, is freely admitted ; but too generally it amounts to sympathy for those we have never seen, and hatred to those with whom we had lived without one jar of discord in the fellowship of the gospel, until a difference of opinion on this subject severed us. Now, if we have read and understood our Bible correctly, it is only necessary to multiply these achievements on a magnificent scale, to banish every vestige of pure religion from the earth, and leave it to the undisturbed possession of the prince of darkness. But again.
That some souls may have been converted, and believers strengthened and built up in the faith of the gospel, is not denied. And all this consistently with the principles of God's moral and providential government; He acknowledging and honouring his truth for its own sake, without regard to, or the approbation of, the instrumentality using it; as may be distinctly learned from the language of Christ: “Many will say unto me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name cast out devils ? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you; depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” So that, on the principles here laid down by our blessed Lord, the fruit we may claim is not always conclusive of the correctness of our position. And moreover, it is at least possible, not to say likely, that the other organizations previously in the field would have done all this, and a great deal more, but for the manner in which public confidence has been confused and confounded, not to say in many instances entirely de