restricted access Cherry Street Meeting, Philadelphia, November 4, 1849
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56 Cherry Street Meeting, 1849 Truth should be enlarged and strengthened. Much had been said to-day of the tremendous power of the Church and the Government in obstructing anti-slavery work;2 and yet, as was said of old, “wine is strong and woman is strong, but truth is stronger than all,” so would she now say. The Constitution is strong, and the Church is strong, but the Truth is stronger than both, it is omnipotent, and it will triumph yet. Many now are glorying in the Church, and exulting in her strength, her majesty, and her fair proportions, and they proudly say of her, as some did to Jesus of the temple, Master, see what goodly stones and what buildings are here! But there is a Jesus now, there is a well beloved Son of God in the present, who says to the self-deluded admirers, “I tell you there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down!” Mrs. M. went on to enumerate the successive points gained in the anti-slavery contest, emancipation at home in numerous cases, full emancipation in the British West India islands, prejudices vanquished, the eyes of so many morally blind opened, so extensive an interest awakened in behalf of the slave, so many colored men now to be found among our most eloquent and welcome speakers, and as editors, colored men admitted to the bar and to the medical profession, and to posts which no woman as yet was allowed to fill. She spoke with much respect and interest of the Louisville Examiner, and several other journals in the slaveholding States, of the hope she felt of the coming Convention in Kentucky, &c., &c.3 PD “Fifteenth Annual Meeting of the American Anti-Slavery Society,” Liberator, May 18, 1849 1. Mr. Haydock of Hudson, who identified himself as an “ex-wood sawyer,” stated he had voted for slaveholders before but now had come to consider “every man . . . whatever his condition or his color, as my brother, and I will vote no more for his oppressor” (Liberator, May 18, 1849). 2. Abolitionists Parker Pillsbury (1809–98), Wendell Phillips (1811–84), and Frederick Douglass had all condemned the church’s toleration of slavery; Phillips and Douglass also criticized U.S. politicians and laws (Liberator, May 18, 1849). 3. The abolitionist paper Examiner was published between 1847 and 1849. At its convention to amend its constitution in October 1849, Kentucky voted resoundingly to retain slavery (James A. Ramage and Andrea S. Watkins, Kentucky Rising: Democracy, Slavery, and Culture from the Early Republic to the Civil War [Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2011], 296). Cherry Street Meeting, Philadelphia, November 4, 1849 What are the abuses and what are the proper uses of the Bible, and of this day of the week? This question is of some importance for us to seek to answer aright lest we should fall into the popular error that prevails upon this subject. Mingling as we do in religious Society generally, adopting some of its forms, and some of its theories, we have need to be upon our guard lest we fall into the superstition and error and before we are aware, become bigoted in our opinions and denunciatory in our conduct. We know well that in Christendom generally it is assumed Figure 4. Stenographic report of Mott’s November 4, 1849, sermon. (Courtesy of the Friends Historical Library, Swarthmore College) 58 Cherry Street Meeting, 1849 that the Bible is the word of God, while we from the earliest date of our religious Society have declared and believe we have been sustained by Scripture testimony in the view that the word of God is a quickening spirit or as beautifully expressed in what are called the apocryphal writings, “Thine incorruptible spirit Oh Lord filleth all things. Therefore chasteneth thou them by a little and little that offend, and warnest them by putting them in remembrance wherein they have offended that leaving their wickedness, they may return unto thee O Lord.” A portion of this blessed, this divine and all pervading spirit of which there is an acknowledgment to a greater or less extent, every where is found wherever man is found, darkened to be sure and clouded by very many circumstances. This divine and holy spirit which is a quickening spirit and has ever been believed to be by this Society the word of God and the only word of God; that it has been through the operation...


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