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The Bible and the Church (1850).


Address at the New England Antislavery Convention at the Melodeon, Boston, May 28-30, 1850. A clergyman by the name of Corliss having expressed his fears that some of the advocates of the slaves were lacking in a due appreciation of the Bible, and were therefore tending toward infidelity, Mr. Phillips rose and said:--

I wish to say one word in regard to the remarks which have been addressed to us, in order that the Antislavery enterprise may stand aright before this audience. It might be judged from the tone of the last speaker, that the Abolitionists see an enemy and an obstacle in the Bible. He has been entreating us to have greater regard for the Bible. He has been endeavoring to impress upon us reverence for that book. You might draw the inference that we needed such entreaties.

Now, in behalf of the Abolitionists, let me say, we have nothing to do with the Bible in regard to its merits or its faults, except in one point: does it sustain or rebuke slavery? If any speaker wanders beyond that, he speaks on his own responsibility; he speaks that for which this society is not amenable. Perhaps it may be impossible for him to avoid expressing his private opinion of the Bible as to other points, in the course of illustrating some Antislavery topic. Yet you are to take them as illustrations. And when my friend Foster introduced

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