“Q. What directions shall we give for the promotion of the spiritual welfare of the colored people?
“A. We conjure all our ministers and preachers, by the love of God and the salvation of souls, and do require them, by all the authority that is invested in us, to leave nothing undone for the spiritual benefit and salvation of them, within their respective circuits or districts; and for this purpose to embrace every opportunity of inquiring into the state of their souls, and to unite in society those who appear to have a real desire of fleeing from the wrath to come, to meet such a class, and to exercise the whole Methodist Discipline among them.”
“Q. What can be done in order to instruct poor children, white and black to read?
“A. Let us labor, as the heart of one man, to establish Sunday schools, in or near the place of public worship. Let persons be appointed by the bishop, elders, deacons, or preachers, to teach gratis all that will attend or have the capacity to learn, from six o’clock in the morning till ten, and from two o’clock in the afternoon till six, where it does not interfere with public worship. The council shall compile a proper school book to teach them learning and piety.”—Rev. Charles Elliott’s History of the Great Secession front the Methodist Episcopal Church, etc., p. 35.
The Assembly recommended:
“2. The instruction of Negroes, the poor and those who are destitute of the means of grace in various parts of this extensive country; whoever contemplates the situation of this numerous class of persons in the United States, their gross ignorance of the plainest principles of religion, their immorality and profaneness, their vices and dissoluteness of manners, must be filled with anxiety for their present welfare, and above all for their future and eternal happiness.
“3. The purchasing and disposing of Bibles and also of books and short essays on the great principles of religion and morality, calculated to impress the minds of those to whom they are given with a sense of their duty both to God and man, and consequently of such a nature as to arrest the attention, interest the curiosity and touch the feelings of those to whom they are given.”—Act and Proceedings of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. in the Year 1800, Philadelphia.
AN ACT OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH IN 1801
“The Assembly resumed the consideration of the communication from the Trustees of the General Assembly and having gone through the same, thereupon resolved,