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9 > Page 9 of American churches the bulwarks of American slavery / by James G. Birney.

9 their limits-but these obstructions are not insurmount- able, and if the validity of the laws should be tried in the tribunals, it would be found they are unconstitutional. ViI. In the slave states a slave cannot be a witness in any case, civil or criminal, in vhich a white is a party. Neither can a free colored person, except in Louisiana. Ohio. Indiana, and Illinois (free states), mialake colored persons incompetent as witnesses in any case in which a white is a party. In Ohio, a white person can prove his own ("book") account, not exceeding a certain sum, by his own oath or affirmation. A colored person cannot, as against a white. In Ohio the laws regard all wN-ho are mulattoes, or above the grade of mulattoes, as white. VIII. There is no law in the slave states forbidding, the several church authorities making slavelholding an offence, for which those guilty of it might be excluded from membership. The Society of Friends exists in the slave states-it ex- cludes slaveholders. The United Brethren exist as a church in Maryland and Virginia, slave states. Their Annual Conference for these two states (in which are thirty preachers) met in February [1840]. The following is an extract from its minutes:- "No charge is preferred against any (preachers) except Frank- lin Echard and Moses Michael. "dIt appeared in evidence that Moses Michael was the owner of a female slave, which is contrary to the discipline of our church. Conference therefore resolved, that unless brother Alichael manumit or set free such slave in six months, he no longer be considered a member of our church." IX. 'When ecclesiastical councils excuse themselves from acting for the removal of slavery from their respec- tive communions bv saving, they cannot legislate for the abolition of slavery; that slavery is a civil or politiccl in- stitution ; that it "' belongs to Coesar," and not to the church to put anl end to it,-they shun the point at issue. To the church member who is a debauchee, a drunkard, a seducer, a murderer, theyr find no difficulty in saillng,- "We cannot indeed proceed against your person, or yoAur property-this belongs to Ctesar, to the tribuitnals of the country, to the legislattcre; but we call suspend or