John Wesley's "Thoughts Upon Slavery"

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The slave trade that existed in Africa after the end of the eighth century was started by Muslim merchants who came seeking for slaves to distribute in the Mediterranean basin and around the Indian Ocean. This was the official beginning of mass slave trading that continued for centuries until the abolishment of slave trading in the early 19th century. If you were to ask John Wesley, though, the slave trade should have never even taken place. In his pamphlet “Thoughts Upon Slavery”, published in 1774, Wesley writes a plea to the humanity of individuals to abolish the distribution of slaves. His plea is designed to cause self-reflection of the actions and events that happen in the kidnapping and selling of slaves with a focus on faith in a deity of power, or an almighty God. Wesley writes with a lot of emotion and power which comes from his background as a leader of a Methodist group. In the selection Wesley begins by focusing his attention to the sea captains who operate the actual slave trade itself. Although there are many ships that run the slave trade route, the number of captains compared to the ratio of slave owners is quite small. Because this article is very harsh and blunt, and perhaps even offensive, to whom it is targeting, by temporarily drawing his attention away from the average population who supports slavery he is able to draw the audience in to read his call to justice. Only at the end of the article does Wesley expand his audience to include all of the colonists in America that use slavery and help them realize just how relevant the slavery topic is to them. Using religion and the personal beliefs of a man is an interesting way to try and address the topic of slavery. When I read the source I felt most moved when he paraphrases scripture in talking about God’s judgment, “He shall have judgment without mercy, that showed no mercy.” This
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