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[478] and especially against allowing them pulpit hospitality. In New York, the American Bible Society publicly disclaimed any connection with them, and sought credit for its refusal to accept the offer of funds1 to place Bibles in the hands of the Southern slaves, or to recommend local societies to do so.2 In Philadelphia, the Baptist General Tract Society exacted a pledge of3 its agents not to intermeddle in any way with the slavery question. At Pittsburg, the Presbyterian General Assembly referred numerous petitions on slavery to4 a committee four-fifths of whom were Southerners; and, after an animated debate over their report, assigned the whole matter to a select committee to report at the next Assembly. In a bold speech against delay, frequently interrupted by calls to order, Elder Stewart, from Illinois, declared the church the patron of slavery and responsible for its cruelties, and added: ‘Slavery cannot be sustained by the Bible, and if it could, the Bible could not be sustained.’ So thought not the Synod of Virginia, whose report on abolition pronounced the dogma that5 slavery was sinful, ‘contrary . . . to the clearest authority of the word of God.’6

Looking over the whole field, Mr. Garrison found the religious press, without regard to denomination, ‘filled7 with apologies for sin and sinners of the worst class,’ though all of ‘the preeminently corrupt and servile’ at

1 Lib. 5.189.

2 The offer of $5000 to that end, made by the American A. S. Society in 1834 (Lib. 6.27), was renewed at the annual meeting in 1835, on motion of Elizur Wright, Jr. (2d Ann. Report Am. A. S. Society, p. 29).

3 Lib. 5.189.

4 Lib. 5.93, 102, 103.

5 Lib. 5.181.

6 A Northern Orthodox clergyman, the Rev. Hubbard Winslow, of Boston, a colonizationist, went a step further, preaching that the laws of the land must be obeyed even if God's commandments were violated (Lib. 5.103). So the Massachusetts Attorney-General Austin, prosecuting at the time the Rev. Geo. B. Cheever to conviction, asked the jury: ‘Can there be a safer mode of determining what is right or wrong than. Is it lawful?’ On this Mr. Garrison commented (Lib. 5.107): ‘Now, I care not what the law allows me to do, or what it forbids my doing. If I violate it, I will submit to the penalty, unresistingly, in imitation of Christ, and his apostles, and the holy martyrs. But to learn my duty, I will not consult any other statute-book than the Bible; and whatsoever requirement of man I believe is opposed to the spirit of the gospel, I will at all hazards disobey.’

7 Lib. 5.154.

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