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[16] grossly offensive error of Mr. Jefferson has been more or less diffused through the whole of these text-books. It has been among the first of speculations upon abstract truth presented to the minds of the American people. It has been studiously inculcated from professors' chairs in colleges and universities in the Northern States, while Southern literary institutions have been for the most part silent. The pulpits of the South have also lent their aid, and in some instances have been zealous and active in propagating this error.

As early as 1780, the Methodists declared, in a general convention of preachers, that “slavery is contrary to the laws of God, man, and nature, and hurtful to society; contrary to the dictates of conscience and pure religion; doing that which we would not that others should do to us and ours; and that we pass our disapprobation upon all our friends who keep slaves, and advise their freedom.” This doctrine was reasserted after the organization of the Church in 1784, and, with short intervals of time, and unimportant variations of phraseology, the essential features of this doctrine have been adhered to until the present time, by this most numerous body of professing Christians in this country. At an early day, Bishop Coke, of the M. E. Church, openly advocated this doctrine in the pulpits of the country, until

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