: Henry B. Bascom
by Henry B. Bascom, The Methodist Church Property Case Classic Reprint Books available in PDF, EPUB, Mobi Format. Download The Methodist Church Property Case Classic Reprint books
, Excerpt from The Methodist Church Property Case I now come to the particular controversy in this case. It is one in relation to which the excitement at this time and in this country is great. It grew out of the existence of slavery. Very early the Methodists, both on the subject of temperance and of slavery, took a ground, the highest and most exclusive and one of the rules of the United Societies (which are the particular, and private, and domestic organiza tions of Churches composing the denomination) was, that no person should belong to them who bought men and women with the view of reducing them to slavery. As we suppose, that originally had reference to the slave-trade as a matter of commerce which was then carried on. But very soon it was evident that this Society viewed it in a larger aspect, and in one of the earlier conferences a rule of a very extreme character was adopted. It was at a conference which began at Baltimore in Decem ber, 1784, which is known as the Christmas Conference. They adopted a rule quite exclusive on the subject of slavery, not merely as to the buying and selling of men and women, but in the most severe form and manner, compelling the manumis sion of slaves. That threatened to become so destructive to the Society, in its attempts to penetrate the Southern and Western parts of the country, which were considered the most open fields for the operation of the Methodist principles, that at the first meeting of the conference afterwards, the very next year, the rule was suspended, and in the next book of discipline it was omitted. From time to time rules were adopted in this Church, sometimes of a more stringent, and sometimes of a more lax character, on the subject of holding slaves. The Church, North and South, always considered slavery an evil that is, that it would have been better if no such thing had ever existed. They, however, treated it, as one of the evils among them, and conformed their religious discipline on the subject to the laws of the various States so that it was declared that no person should hold any office in the Church who did not manumit his slaves, when the laws of his State permitted it. If the State did not permit it, the holding of slaves was not to be a subject of official or personal reproach. They provided also that their preachers should teach the members of their Churches to instruct their slaves; showing that they took the practical view of this as a thing to be dealt with as existing, and which it was not in the power of any man, or body of men, clerical or lay, by their wishes to destroy. About the Publisher Forgotten Books publishes hundreds of thousands of rare and classic books. Find more at www.forgottenbooks.com This book is a reproduction of an important historical work. Forgotten Books uses state-of-the-art technology to digitally reconstruct the work, preserving the original format whilst repairing imperfections present in the aged copy. In rare cases, an imperfection in the original, such as a blemish or missing page, may be replicated in our edition. We do, however, repair the vast majority of imperfections successfully; any imperfections that remain are intentionally left to preserve the state of such historical works.