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Stone Collection: Volume 40 - Item 13
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Alfred H. Stone Collection
Volume: 40

13. Ichabod S. Spencer, Fugitive Slave Law. The Religious Duty of Obedience to Law: A Sermon, Preached in the Second Presbyterian Church in Brooklyn, Nov. 24, 1850 (New York: M. W. Dodd, 1850). (31 p.)

Sermon in which the preacher makes a distinction between religious duties and secular duties, the latter being the basis for cooperating with the enforcement of the fugitive slave law. The Rev. Spencer warns the congregation about the danger of confusing personal values with civil law. “It is a most marvellous [sic] thing,” he declares, “what a number of clergymen north of Mason and Dixon’s line, have, all of a sudden, become such great Constitutional lawyers! Never before was anything like it! It is a modern miracle!” (emphasis in original). The text for the sermon is Titus 3:1. “Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready for every good work.”