“That it is inexpedient and unjustifiable for any preacher to permit coloured persons to give testimony against white persons in any State where they are denied that privilege by law.”
Against this iniquitous resolution the official members of two of the coloured Methodist Episcopal Churches in Baltimore immediately remonstrated and petitioned. The following powerful and pathetic passages are from their address:—
“The adoption of such a resolution by our highest ecclesiastical judicatory,—a judicatory composed of the most experienced and the wisest brethren in the Church, the choice selection of twenty-eight Annual Conferences,—has inflicted, we fear, an irreparable injury upon eighty thousand souls for whom Christ died,—souls who, by this act of your body, have been stripped of the dignity of Christians, degraded in the scale of humanity, and treated as criminals, for no other reason than the colour of their skin! Your resolution has, in our humble opinion, virtually declared that a mere physical peculiarity, the handiwork of our all-wise and benevolent Creator, is prima facie evidence of incompetency to tell the truth, or is an unerring indication of unworthiness to bear testimony against a fellow-being whose skin is denominated white. * * *
“Brethren, out of the abundance of the heart we have spoken. Our grievance is before you! If you have any regard for the salvation of the eighty thousand immortal souls committed to your care,—if you would not thrust beyond the pale of the Church twenty-five thousand souls in this city, who have felt determined never to leave the Church that has nourished and brought them up,—if you regard us as children of one Common Father, and can upon reflection sympathize with us as members of the body of Christ,—if you would not incur the fearful, the tremendous responsibility of offending not only one, but many thousands of his ’little ones,’—we conjure you to wipe from your journal the odious resolution which is ruining our people.”
This address was presented to one of the Secretaries, a delegate of the Baltimore Conference, and subsequently given by him to the Bishops. How many of the members of Conference saw it, is unknown. One thing is certain, it was never read to the Conference.
A Sabbath at Baltimore (continued)—A Coloured Congregation—The Thought of seeing Washington abandoned—Departure from Baltimore —Coloured Ladies in the Luggage-Van—American Railways—Chesapeak Bay—Susquehannah—State of Delaware, and Abolition of Slavery —Philadelphia—Albert Barnes—Stephen Girard’s Extraordinary Will.