“The Higher Law,” in its Application to the Fugitive Slave Bill. A Sermon on the Duties Men Owe to God and to Governments.
Sermon in support of the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 by Rev. John C. Lord, leading conservative Presbyterian theologian, delivered at the Central Presbyterian Church in Buffalo, New York. Though opposed to slavery, Lord feared dissolution of the Union and urged compromise on the issue of the capture and return of fugitive slaves who were held legally in bondage. Lord’s sermon, which engendered at least three published responses, stirred some controversy:
“The right of revolution is a civil right, which can be properly exercised only, by a decided majority, under circumstances of aggravated oppression and upon a reasonable assurance of success. It is not for the Church, as such, to determine when a just ground for revolution exists, it belongs to the body of the people in their civil capacity. ... The plea of sympathy with the colored race, in view of their degraded condition, however, suitable such sympathy may be, and demanded by Him who hath made of one blood all nations and races, to dwell together on the face of the earth, will never avail to justify an agitation which is useless to them and ruinous to us.” (pp9 and 15)
Description: “The Higher Law,” in its Application to the Fugitive Slave Bill. A Sermon on the Duties Men Owe to God and to Governments.
New York: Published by Order of the “Union Safety Committee.” 1851. 16 pages. 9 x 5¾ inches. Removed; without wrappers (as issued?). Old stab holes, soft vertical center fold; faint foxing; Very Good.