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Minutes of the Fifth Annual Convention for the Improvement of the Free People of Colour in the United States; Held by Adjournments, in the Wesley Church, Philadelphia; from the first to the fifth of June, inclusive; 1835.
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the horizon of everlasting justice. We will first appeal to the Christian churches to take the lead in establishing the principles of supreme love to God, and universal love to man. We will do all in our power to aid her in forming a moral structure against which "the gates of hell cannot prevail."
We plead for the extension of those principles on which our government was formed, that it in turn may become purified from those iniquitous inconsistencies into which she has fallen by her aberration from first principles ; that the laws of our country may cease to conflict with the spirit of that sacred instrument, the Declaration of American Independence. We believe in a pure, unmixed republicanism, as a form of government best suited to the condition of man, by its promoting equality, virtue, and happiness to all within its jurisdiction. We love our country, and pray for the perpetuation of its government, that it may yet stand illustrious before the nations of the earth, both for the purity of its precepts, and the mildness and equableness of its laws.
We shall advocate the cause of peace, believing that whatever tends to the destruction of human life, is at variance with the precepts of the Gospel, and at enmity with the well being of individuals as well as of society. We shall endeavour to promote education, with sound morality, not that we shall become "learned and mighty," but "great and good." We shall advocate temperance in all things, and total abstinence from all alcoholic liquors. We shall advocate a system of economy, not only because luxury is injurious to individuals, but because its practice exercises an influence on society, which in its very nature is sinful. We shall advocate universal liberty, as the inalienable right of every individual born in the world, and a right which cannot be taken away by government itself, without an unjust exercise of power. We shall exhibit our sympathy for our suffering brethren, by petitioning congress to procure the immediate abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia, and her territories. We shall endeavour to strengthen public sentiment against slavery, so long as a slave treads the soil of these United States. We shall aim at the extinction of mental thraldom; an evil much more dangerous, and exceeding the former, both in extent and power. We shall persuade our brethren from using the products of slave labour, both as a moral and Christian duty, and as a means by which the slave system may be successfully abrogated,
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