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This little pamphlet is surprisingly easy to read because the author is a great preacher and you can visualize him in his pulpit stirring his congregation to action. I have read a great many sermons of this era and few have the movement and insight of this one. If I could go back in time even I would sit in church to hear this.
The preacher gives us a history lesson going from the beginning to his time. He clearly shows how the church for worldly reasons supported the "peculiar institution" and dragged the scriptures into the fray as shield and weapon. My favorite is found on page 27: "[The churches at the beginning of the Republic fought hard to bar slave-holders from communion in the Church.] But the cotton-gin changed all this. New light shone through its cylinders upon the theory of politics, and thenceforth a slaveholding oligarchy is the synonyme for the American Republic. It shone upon philanthropy, and thenceforth the negro [sic] is systematically reasoned down from humanity into the brotherhood of brutes. It shone upon the Bible, and thenceforth the gospels of Jesus fade before the epistle to Philemon, which is accounted the pith of the New Testament!" [emphasis mine]. Indeed both sides of the slavery question threw Philemon at their opponents when the refuters tried to use the words of Jesus or the apostles or the Old Testament to support their side. As Henry Ward Beecher said, "Men used it as a club."
This little booklet seems rather high priced, but, if you like to hold in your hands what you are reading, the e-book on the internet will not be as rewarding tactically. I recommend this work wholeheartedly to anyone interested in this time of our history.