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ESSAY ON SLAVERY;
AS CONNECTED WITH THE MORAL AND PROVIDENTIAL
GOVERNMENT OF GOD;
AND AS AN ELEMENT OF
MISCELLANEOUS REFLECTIONS ON THE SUBJECT
BY THOMAS J. TAYLOR.
For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1851, by
THOMAS J. TAYLOR,
in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the Southern District of
In this age of improvement, and in a world abounding with great, greater, and greatest men, we feel no small degree of embarrassment at the thought of passing the ordeal of public scrutiny in the character of an author. Such an idea, in the commencement of those sections which form the first part of this work, was not entertained, no, not even dreamed of, either in our sleeping or waking hours. Circumstances, however, have somewhat strangely conspired to lead matters on to this end, and which are as follows:
Since the days of our youth we have been an unworthy member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. In the recent agitation of the abolition question, (which is one with which we sympathize, when restricted to proper limits,) the leaders of that movement, in its ultra form, together with those who follow in the wake, have seemed to feel and act as if they thought they had a special mission from God to denounce—not only as thieves and robbers, but as the synagogue of Şatan, and many other like grave charges — those churches, and the members of those churches which, as an evil, tolerate the relation as in agreement with the Scriptures. Having been thus personally, repeatedly assailed, both from the pulpit and the press, as also the Church with which we stand connected, in the acceptance of challenges loudly and frequently given, we volunteered the defence of our Church against the charge of pro-slaveryism. Our first number was published, and the second forwarded for publication, and as it was retained on hand some four weeks before the editor leaked out his purpose to rule me out, by this time we had written the greater part of what is embraced in the first part of this work.
Having thus made some progress in the investigation, we desired, for our own satisfaction, as we should have opportunity from other cares, to push our inquiries through the subject, and ascertain, so far as our capacity would bear us out in its examination, whether or not we were in error, in the views entertained relative to the strictly Scriptural position of the Church.
It thus being known to some, who desired the further publication of my manuscript; and to others, on whom the author obtruded some of his numbers for critical remarks as to doctrine, &c., and who thought it deserved a more permanent existence than an ephemeral appearance through the newspaper press, led to their preservation and arrangement in regular and consecutive order, till I bad passed through what I regarded the Bible view of the subject, and had made an application of its general teachings, principles, and spirit, on the subject of slavery, to the principles and spirit of the Methodist polity. This being done, other questions, naturally arising out of the subject, pressed themselves on my attention, and which have also been written out, under a conviction that they would be of some importance to the world.
In this way it has swelled up into the shape of a little volume, and, as such, is likely to come into public notice. How extensively, and whether for good or for ill, time must determine. Of one thing, however, we (to change our phraseology before we use up all the capital I's the printer may have) are deeply conscious,--that we have sought only the truth, from the first to the last, and through every intervening step in this investigation; in which we have condensed our thoughts in as small a compass as was practicable, in the examination of this subject in its connexion with God's moral and providential government of the world.