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ped.' He ought to have added, that when Mr. Clement had made the foregoing declaration, professing to do it as the authorized organ of Mr. Albro, a delegate" (the Hon. Joseph Locke)“ observed, that if Mr. Clement was authorized to make the declaration he had made, which there was no reason to doubt, as Mr. Albro was present, and did not intimate the contrary; and if Mr. Albro was sincere (and we were bound to believe he was) he presumed it was satisfactory to all the council; and immediately made a motion to that effect, which was unanimously adopted; and the council immediately proceeded to the meetinghouse. So far was this inquiry from being premature, and before the other business had been transacted, as Mr. Albro alleges.
“Mr. Albro says, “ he did exchange once with Mr. Whitman of Billerica, and that was all he intended, and more than he promised.' Here then he, by implication, admits that he promised something, and he certainly can do no less, for to every moral and legal intent, (the gentleman ought to know, for he is a lawyer as well as a clergyman,) he was as perfectly bound, by the declarations and assurances of Mr. Clement as though he had made them himself. What then did he promise ; why, to give satisfaction to all the members of the council. In other words, as every body present understood it, that he would exchange with the unitarian clergymen, especially Mr. Allen and Mr. Whitman. He says the two last mentioned gentlemen'took the same ground,' and undoubtedly entertained similar expectations. And yet he says he intended only to exchange with Mr. Whitman. This looks to me very much like concealment, or something worse.
“I am, Dear Sir, very respectfully, your friend, “Rev. B. WHITMAN.
Joseph LOCKE.” Perhaps you will ask what circumstances could have impressed this transaction so deeply on the mind of this writer. If I may be allowed the Yankee privilege of guessing, I should guess he suspected the minister's honesty, and made his suspicions a subject of conversation on his return from the ordination.
I now present you with a letter from the Committee of the liberal Society. “ Rev. Bernard Whitman,
Chelmsford, March 25, 1831. " Dear Sir,—A Review of your Letters to Professor Stuart has reached us. Appended to the Review is a letter from Mr. Albro, which is written with some ability, and, to those unacquainted with facts partially stated, and with facts not stated, must appear plausible. Like an ingenious and practised attorney, he understands the management of a bad cause. The undersigned, though they are averse to controversy and have in time past endured much to avoid it, feel it to be proper and expedient to do away any wrong impressions which that extraordinary communication has made on the public mind. It is matter of serious regret that there is occasion to arrest the attention of the public a single moment for such a purpose. For the society, in whose behalf we act, has been, from the first, pacific and conciliatory, as appears from the memorial now in your possession. And it is and has been the prevailing opinion of the society and often expressed, that there was no wish to control Mr. Albro's opinions or preaching, and that, had he continued to preach as he did the first year after his ordination, and to advocate ministerial intercourse with bis neighbours, as he did during that period, and as was reasonably expected, they would have continued to patronize and support him. But when he adopted the exclusive system in regard to exchanges, and dogmatically advanced doctrines and urged sentiments of doubtful disputation,' they were constrained to declare themselves dissatisfied, and to form themselves into a separate society; and as there was no trust deed system to abridge their rights and perplex their movements, they not only supported preaching, but gained fair and rightful possession of the house of worship. It is not intended at present to make a formal and full reply to Mr. Albro's letter, but it carries with it such palpable misstatements, that it calls for more severe animadversion than the committee feel willing to publish. It may be expected that the liberal part of the orduining council will correct the misstatements, there made, of its doings; and in reference to other parts of it you are authorized to publish the following:
“1. The Rev. Mr. Whitman was not the last unitarian preacher in the place, as stated in the letter; but he was one of the first, and supplied about six months. How far this is a specimen of the author's correctness in other statements the public will judge.
“2. Mr. Albro could not expect to be questioned on his theological sentiments or ministerial intercourse, since, as he expressly says, he was not employed as a candidate. But when he had received a call to settle, several persons conversed with him, and there was a general understanding that he cherished liberal feelings, and he was distinctly told that, should he adopt the exclusive system, a number would leave bim. He often declared himself an advocate for such free intercourse after his ordination, and the impression was cherished by the liberal part of the society for more than a year. But it was at length found that he deceived the people and practised concealment.
"3. When the proposal was inade, at a Parish meeting, to give Mr. Albro a call to settle, it was quite unexpected and even surprising to a large portion of the meeting. The measure was thought premature. This may appear from the fact, that there were but six votes given to invite him to become their ininister. And he must have known, from many circumstances, that there was a imarked opposition against the course pursued ; and there are many who to this day are unable to account for his settling, in such a state of things.
« 4. In regard to the proportion of unitarians and universalists, and their motives in acting, reference ought to be had to a higher tribunal. It is however worthy of remark, that, after all we have seen and still see, in the periodicals of the day, the orthodox and universalists in this region readily coalesce, sympathize, and coöperate in secular affairs, and seem to have a good understanding with each other with respect to some of our religious concerns.
“5. The reply Mr. Albro made to a temperate and respectful memorial addressed to him, disclosed such a state of feeling and such an ungracious spirit, that it precluded all hopes of accommodation, and occasioned, more than any other circumstance, the deliberate purpose of forming a separate society.
“6. It ought to be understood that the liberal part of the ordaining council appeared to have no desire to control the opinions or course of the candidate. They seemed perfectly willing he should pursue the course he should judge best.' They wished him to declare, on that interesting occasion, what course he then judged best, that they might act understandingly, and that there might be no deception or concealment, to which he seemed inclined. The extract from Dr. Church's letter gives the opinion of an individual, and such management and collision may have often occurred in councils he has attended. In the present case we have the opinions of two clergymen and a layman, which are of a very different import. “So much for the pledge.'
57. The covenant adopted by those who were afterwards gathered into a church state was comprehensive and liberal. The five ministers, invited to gather and organize a church, saw fit to make some alterations in the covenant, to which they reluctantly assented. And being afterwards dissatisfied with the alterations imposed, set them aside, and again adopted the first form, which continued in use till after Mr. Albro's ordination.
“8. It is not easy to conceive, if a majority of the society were universalists, as it is more than intimated in the letter, how a vote could be obtained to deny them the meeting-house. The truth is, no such application was ever made after Mr. Albro came to the place. And it may here be added, that it is matter of grateful reflection, that the affairs of the society have been conducted in peace and harmony, that the manner of gaining possession of the meeting-house was on their part fair and honorable, and that public worship has been attended and maintained with exemplary order and constancy. The favorite weapon' of slander and misrepresentation, of which Mr. Albro speaks, and of which his letter seems not to be wholly destitute, has been worn and blunted in the service of his Reverend friends, and could not be wielded with equal adroitness by liberal Christians, who are taught to rely on the force and progress of truth and on the justness of their cause.
“9. There are other things in the letter which an enlightened and impartial public would disapprove and censure, but the committee subjoin only one further remark. It is this, we see in the letter less of the gentleman and of the Christian than we should have expected, and the suggestions thrown out in regard to the Doctrines of the Cross, Sabbath Schools, Bible Classes, &c., are known to the public of this village to be uncandid and incorrect. “ With sentiments of respect, we are your obedient servants,
WILLIAM ADAMS, ) Committee of the
CHARLES BENT, ) tional Society. “ Chelmsford, March 25, 1831.”.
Mr. Albro finishes his letter with the following sentence - "You are authorized to say, that three members of Mr. Allen's church have been refused letters to mine.” In answer to this statement, I have received a letter from the Rev. Mr. Allen, from which I present you the following extract. “It is a little remarkable that Mr. Albro should notice as a fault my refusal to furnish three members of my church with letters of dismission and recommendation, two only of which ever applied for them, and they not until after irregular conduct, and the most palpable violation of covenant engagements with this church, so that, instead of commendation, they deserved discipline and censure. Besides, he well knew that such letters were not properly respected by the overbearing and exclusive party to which he seems pledged, notwithstanding the many fair promises and great show of catholicism, which he boastingly made to me soon after his ordination. It is well known that such letters have often been treated with contempt, and Mr. Albro probably regrets that he has not an opportunity of furnishing his employers and his party with another example of the kind. In one of the instances to which he alludes, I expressly assured the person, applying for a recommendation, that it would be granted, provided he would bring me a certificate from Mr. Albro that such recommendation would be arcepted. The person himself supposed it would not, and returned no more to the ark whence he had departed. I ask then the use or the propriety of giving letters to orthodox churches, who stamp them under their feet and turn again and rend you.
“ As a proof that I do not judge uncharitably, I will now relate to you the case of one of those three, to which I suppose Mr. Albro refers, although she never applied to me for a letter. She is now between seventy and eighty years of age, and in her dotage. She joined this church in 1781 during the ministry of the Rev. Mr. Bridge, who was reputed orthodox in his time. She sat under Dr. Packard's ministry while he remained pastor of this church; to whom she still remains exceedingly attached. Living in the borders of Lowell, and within half a mile of Dr. Packard's meeting-house, Mr. Albro called
on her, and charged her not to attend Dr. Packard's meeting, as she says, and told her, that if she did not remove her connexions with my church and join his, she could not be saved. These are her words. She told him that she was old, and should not have an opportunity of attending communion many times any where, and that she had always been satified with me and with Dr. Packard. And what, think you, was the result? This aged woman, with one foot in the grave, was overcome (a noble conquest truly) by Mr. Albro's eloquence; and a few sabbaths since was propounded to his church, as though she had never made a profession, though she had been fifty years a church member, and as if she had just emerged from a state of heathenism. If such things are approved, what measures ought to be condemned ? ” Comments are unnecessary. Letters, pp. 108 — 112. Review, pp. 57 — 78.
III. ECCLESIASTICAL TRIBUNALS.
You have contradicted several of my statements under this section. Only two of your attacks are deserving of the least notice..
1. Brookfield. I made several assertions in relation to the orthodox proceedings in Brookfield. You have denied the truth of several of them, and brought some charges against the unitarians of that town. I will now defend my positions, and refute your statements with satisfactory evidence.
First. You have accused me of saying several things in relation to this case, which I never uttered. You assert, that I charged the orthodox seceders with carrying off the Bible, plate, and records. I made no such charge. You assert that I attributed the dismission of the Rev. Mr. Stone to his introduction of a new and more orthodox creed. No such idea entered my mind, or has ever been published in my Letters. You assert, that I represented Mr. Stone as dismissed from the church. I gave no such representation. I challenge you or any other man to find either of these statements in my Letters. Letters, p. 51. Review, pp. 31–78.
Secondly. I asserted, “ that the creed or covenant was originally so liberal, that Christians of different religious opinions could honestly give their assent to its requisitions." Your answer to this statement is contained in the following sentence. “The original covenant of this church was trinitarian and orthodox." I will give you the covenant to which I alluded, and leave it for our readers to decide if my assertion is not literally true.
“ March 11th, 1801. Rev. Mr. Stone was admitted a member of the church in the second precinct in Brookfield, and, on the 12th of April following, the church met and chose a committee to consider what regulations be proper to be adopted for admission to the church, and on the 19th of the same month the church adopted the following creed, viz. :