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A Man of Character


By Angela Wittman

Excerpt from American Covenanters and Abolitionism

Alexander McLeod (1773 - 1833) was a man of character who took a strong stand against the inhumane slavery of fellow human beings. Covenanter.org has this brief biography of Alexander McLeod, who was clearly a conservative theologian and a man of respectability. He was no liberal wolf in sheep's clothing seeking to lead folks astray with unbiblical anti-slavery propaganda.

“Born in the Isle of Mull, Scotland, June 12, 1774. His father was a distinguished minister of the Church of Scotland. He came to America, by way of Liverpool, England, in the spring of 1792. Soon after his arrival in New York, he moved up the Hudson to Albany, then to Schenectady, New York. At the establishment of Union College, he became a student and graduated with honour in 1798. He joined the Covenanter Church in Princetown, New York, under the eminent James McKinney. He studied theology under his direction, and was licensed by the Reformed Presbytery, at Coldenham, New York, June 24, 1799. In the fall of 1800, he was called to the pastorate of Coldenham and New York, but he declined because there were slave-holders among those who signed the call. The matter was brought before Presbytery, which court enacted, without a dissenting voice, that "no slave-holder should be allowed the communion of the Church." During 1830, he travelled to Europe for his health, and returned much improved. Whilst absent, he was elected Professor of Theology, which position he occupied until his death. He died at his New York residence, February 17, 1833. “

Negro Slavery Unjustifiable Here is an excerpt from the introduction of his work Negro Slavery Unjustifiable, published in 1802, which can be read in its entirety at Covenanter.org:

“THE Author of this Discourse had a call presented to him, in November, 1800, to take the pastoral charge of a congregation in the county of Orange, in the State of New-York. He perceived among the subscribers the names of some whom he knew to be holders of slaves, He doubted the consistency of enslaving the Negroes with the Christian system, and was unwilling to enter into a full ecclesiastic communion with those who continued the practice.  
“He hesitated to accept the call; but took an early opportunity of writing to the Elders of the Church, and of intimating to the Presbytery his sentiments respecting slavery. The Reformed Presbytery has judicially condemned the practice, and warned their connections against it. This produced an additional evidence of the force of Christian principle, It triumphed over self-interest; and, in several parts of the United States, have men sacrificed, on the altar of Religion, the property which the civil law gave them in their fellow men, There is not a slave-holder now in the communion of the Reformed Presbytery.  
“A sense of duty determined the author to commit this Discourse to the press. In the publication of it he has particularly in view the instruction and establishment of those inhabitants of Orange who have placed themselves under his pastoral care. Through them he addresses all into whose hands the Discourse may come. “
May the good Lord bless the memory of this noble man with giving us many spiritual descendants. Amen.

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