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Minutes of the State Convention of Colored Citizens, Held at Albany, on the 18th, 19th, and 20th of August, 1840, for the purpose of considering their political condition.

1840 State Convention in Albany NY.compressed.29.pdf

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simplest forms of religious communion. We have often been driven from a quiet and peaceable enjoyment of those rights with which the death of a common Saviour invested us, in common with the rest of our fellow creatures of the human family.

Of necessity, then, have we been often forced to form religious societies of our own. Throughout the State, we have upwards of forty independent religious congregations, of the Presbyterian, Episcopal Methodist, and Baptist denomination; each with a temple erected to the worship of the Almighty ; most with settled pastors under a regular yearly stipend; in connection with which there are about 6000 communicants, who, with the respective congregations in attendance with them, average in the aggregate not less than 15,000 of our people who statedly are under the influence of religion, in connection with our own churches, besides those in attendance elsewhere.

The amount of energy and intellect brought out by these various projects, may be justly regarded as bespeaking much for the virtue and character of a disfranchised and oppressed people. Aside from this, a large body of our people are in partial communion with the various Christian communities through the State. From these sources, streams of religious influence and blessings are in continual flow, refreshing and invigorating our entire body.

An undue and disproportionate development of powers, produces unnatural effects. A continual enlargement of certain capacities, to the entire neglect of others of equal, or it may be, of importance, produces deformity. In order to develops symmetry of either form or character, a full, general, healthy, and vigorous exercise of all the powers, is absolutely necessary. In bringing forth the character of a people, this is clear and manifest. The history of the serfs, under the feudal system, the character of the same class in Russia, and the prominent traits of the disfranchised class in all communities at the present day, and especially the condition of enslaved men throughout the universe, give strong verity to the sentiment herein expressed. Human nature is complex in its formation. In proportion as the various powers of man are harmoniously educed, so is the nobleness and vastness of its capacity manifested. Free scope, and ample verge given for the exercise of the physical and mental powers, to the detriment of the moral, an hideousness of character is evinced. And so if the moral alone is cultivated, to the neglect of the mental and physical ; the character is not symmetrical.

In a community, man sustains various relations, and possess powers adapted to them--which, if not permitted a natural and legitimate exercise, are turned upon himself and follows with augmented and fearful capacity for evil, from the fact of having been diverted from a natural channel. It is thus with the possession or non-possession of the franchise in any state of society. Man is a creature of law-- his natute adapted to government and its various functions. He

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