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would not agree to establish Prelacy; and the Episcopalians would never consent to establish Presbyterianism. Besides, there are several other denominations of Christians represented in the School Union, who would effectually guard against any legislative enactment in favour of any one sect. The Managers of the School Union requested that such privileges of a body corporate might be granted to them, as would enable them in that capacity to hold the property entrusted to them, and publish such books as meet the approbation of the “ Episcoplians, Methodists, Baptists, Presbyterians, the Associate Reformed, Lutherans, Congregationalists, German Reformed, Reformed Dutch, Friends, Moravians, Roman Catholics, and we believe others,"* who are united in the Association. Their petition was rejected. Does not this savour of irreligious proscription of a large portion of our fellow citizens, because they are Christian in opinion and practice? Societies for the encouragement of agriculture, the arts and sciences, money, lending, bridge-building, and coal-heaving, can obtain chartered privileges with little difficulty; and what is it but a spirit of anti-christian persecution which denies to a body of men associated for the publication of good books, and the aid of Sabbath Schools, the advantages which are readily accorded to their fellow-citizens engaged in other pursuits? Is the Sunday School Union more dangerous to the liberties of the community than a system of interminable lotteries?
Surely, there must have been some strange influence concerned in opposing the School Union at Harrisburgh; and I should feel ashamed, indeed, were my sermon justly chargeable with any thing which could militate against that grand Nursery of youthful piety in our country:
Circumstances have given my Discourse such notoriety as it would not have obtained in the ordinary course of things. I shall detail some of them.
The Rev. W. T. Brantly, in the Columbian Star of June 23d, 1827, a Religious News-Paper, published the following article.
“GENERAL JACKSON AND THE BAPTIST PREACHER. “In the year 1815, it seems, six militia men were executed within the military jurisdiction of the General, for an alleged mutiny at Fort Jackson. In his vindication, he says, that one Harris a Baptist Preacher, was at the head of the mutineers, and leaves it for the public to judge whether - This professed ambassador of Christ did not well deserve death for the crimes of robbery and arson and this outrageous mutiny." Now we do not intend to call either the justice or the expediency of the transaction into question, nor are we at all concerned with it as a matter affecting the politics of the General. But as Baptists we feel indignant that he should have found it requisite to his own exculpation, to assign us that Mr. Harris, and that too upon the mere oscillation of memory.
Before he undertook to class this ambassador of Christ,' as he sneeringly calls him, with any respectable body of Christians, he should have had better evidence of the pretended case."
The Philadelphian, another Religious News-Paper, on the 29th of June last, copied the foregoing article from the Star. In the establish
* Memorial of the American Sunday School Union.
ment and patronage of the Philadelphian I had made some exertions, and felt unwilling that it should do injury to what I deemed a good cause. On the 30th of June, therefore, I addressed to the Editor of the Philadelphian the following Note, which was published on the 6th of July.
“GENERAL JACKSON AND THE BAPTIST PREACHER AGAIN. Mr. Editor-Your extract from the Columbian Star, inserted in the last Philadelphian, would lead a stranger to General Jackson to suppose, that he would speak sneeringly of the ambassadors of Christ, the ministers of the gospel. Permit me to assure you that General Jackson is a friend and supporter of Christianity, and that no man treats those who may lawfully claim to be ministers of Christ with more respect. This is true of every denomination of Christian ministers: but if he abhorred the conduct of a “ professed ambassador of Christ,” who proved himself anfit to live in civil society by committing such crimes as the Divine Lawgiver of Israel punished with death, who will blame him?
The Editor of the Columbian Star feels indignant that General Jackson should have classed Mr. Harris with the Baptists. What if he did say " that one Harris a Baptist preacher was at the head of the mutineers?” This does not impeach the respectable denomination of Baptists. They do not receive to their fellowship every preacher who advocates immersion: and yet every such person inight with propriety be called a Baptist preacher. I once heard in the vicinity of General Jackson's residence a Baptist preacher who was a Socinian, and which is rather remarkable for a Socinian, a downright blockhead; but because this man held the peculiarities of the Baptists on the subject of Baptism, it did not follow that he was associated with the great body of Baptists in the United States.
66 There were a few years ago hundreds of Baptists in the western country, so essentially unsound in the fundamental doctrines of Christianity, that the Baptists in the Northern and Middle States would not, I am sure, have admitted them into their communion. There are Presbyterian preachers, as well as Baptist preachers, who are not owned by any extensive denomination of Christians: there are even deposed Presbyterian preachers; and there may be deposed Baptist preachers, of whom any good man may speak with disrespect, without sneering al the gospel ministry.
** That Mr. Harris was, or was not a Baptist, I do not affirm; but of this I am confident, that General Jackson had reason to think him a Baptist preacher, and a pretended ambassador of Christ. The real ministers of the Gospel of Christ he reverences and esteems; and when opportunity presents in the most serious and respectful manner waits on their ministrations.
EZRA STILES ELY." Philadelphia, June 30th, 1827.
On the 4th of July I preached the foregoing Discourse; and on the 20th and 27th of July it appeared in the Philadelphian. My Note above copied, no doubt, was considered as a commentary on my sermon; for without it, I certainly should not have been accused, as I have been in many Administration News-Papers, with prostituting the pulpit for
the basest of purposes. The Discourse itself does not name any candidate for a public office; and now I may be permitted to say that if His Excellency, John Quincy Adams, is known and believed to sustain a better moral and religious character than General Andrew Jackson, then my Discourse on the 4th of July, decidedly favours the present incumbent of the Presidential office more than the HERO OF NewORLEANS.
On the 7th of February, 1828, while the bill to incorporate the Trus. tees of the School Union was pending in the Senate at Harrisburg, a • SHOW BILL was laid on the desks of the members, of which the following is a copy: viz.
"SUNDAY SCHOOL UNION,
UNION OF CHURCH AND STATE. "Your Board have felt desirous therefore not only of furnishing their own schools with suitable books; but of introducing such books into schools of a different description, and of rendering them so abundant as to force out of circulation those which tend to mislead the mind.”—“They have not been backward therefore to assume the high responsibility of revising and altering the books they have published wherever alterations scemed necessary.”
Sunday S. Union 2d Report, page V. “While the Committee feel the immense responsibility which they assume, in becoming DICTATORS TO THE CONSCIENCES of thousands of immortal beings, on the great and all important subject, of the welfare of their souls; while they dread the consequences of uttering FORGERIES, or giving their sanction to misrepresentations of the glorious truth of the gospel, they are not backward to become the responsible arbiters in these high points, rather than tamcly issue sentiments which in their consciences THEY BELIEVE to be false or inconsistent with the purity of divine truth, in preparing works for the press, the utmost liberty is used with regard to whatever is republished by them.” Catal. A. S. S. U. 1826.
"These institutions may terminate in an organized system of mutual co-operation between ministers and private christians, so that every church shall be a disciplined army, where every one knows his place, and where every one has a place and a duty in the grand onset against sin."
“IN TEN YEARS, OR CERTAINLY IN TWENTY, THE POLITICAL POWER OF OUR COUNTRY WOULD BE IN THE HANDS OF MEN WHOSE CHARACTERS HAVE BEEN FORMED UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF SABBATH SCHOOLS.” p. 93, Appendix to 20 An. Rep. S. S. U. 1826.
“The annual report of the Managers was then read by the Rev. Dr. Ely, of the Third Presbyterian Church, by whom it was written.”' Page XVII. Report of 1827.
Extracts from a Sermon delivered by the Rev. Dr. Ely, July, 1827. Sce Reformer Page 135. Vol. 8th.
"Our rulers, like any other members of the community, who are under law to God as rational beings, and under law to Christ, since they have the light of Divine Revelation, ought to search the Scriptures, assent to the truth, profess faith to Christ, keep the Sabbath holy to God, pray in private and in the domestic circle, attend to the public ministry of the word, ve baPtized, and CELENRATE THE Lord's SUPPER."
"In other words our Presidents, Secretaries of the Government, Senators, and other Representatives in Congress, Governors of States, Judges, State Legislators, Justices of the Peace, and City Magistrates, are just as much bound as any other persons in the United States, to be ORTHODOX IN THEIR FAITH.”.
“I propose, Fellow Citizens, a new sort of Union, or, if you please, a Christian party in Politics, which I am exceedingly desirous all good men in our country
should join; not by subscribing a Constitution and the formation of a new Society, but by adopting, avowing, and determining to act upon truly religious principles in all civil matters.”
“The Presbyterians alone could bring HALF A MILLION OF ELECTORS into the field.”
“The electors of these five classes of true Christians, united in the sole requisition of apparent friendship to Christianity in every Candidate for office
whom they will support, COULD GOVERN EVERY PUBLIC ELECTION IN OUR COUNTRY, without infringing in the least upon the Charter of our civil liberties.”
"It will be objected that my plan of a truly Christian party in Politics will make Typocrites. We are not answerable for their hypocrisy, if it does.”
"I am free to avow, that other things being equal, I would prefer for my Chicf Magistrate, and Judge, and Ruler, a SOUND PRESBYTERIAN.
"Suffer my Christian Fellow-Citizens, a word of Exhortation: Let us all be Christian Politicians.”
“Let us be ou conscientiously religious at the POLLS, as in the pulpit, or House of Worship.”
"The whole number of scholars in Philadelphia, is not less than 12,000, and probably exceed that number. The estimate for this State, in connexion with the Union, is 480 schools, 4459 teachers, and 34,261 scholars.” page viii. 3d report S. 8. Union.
The Union has issued this ycar 1,616,796 publications, “which added to those issued by the society in the two preceding years, make a grand total of 3,741,849." 3d Report, p. 1.
On the subject of this extraordinary document, and in favour of the desired act of Incorporation, Mr. Duncan, a Senator from this city, who faithfully represented the great body of his constituents, and who with Peter Hay, Esq. one of the Senators from the county of Philadelphia, voted in such a manner as to deserve the thanks of all the friends of the Sunday School Union throughout our country, made the following remarks, which are extracted from “ The Harrisburgh Chronicle.”
A number of benevolent individuals, Mr. Duncan said, had associated together, and established the Sunday School Union. Their object was general diffusion of education and the spreal of knowledge. It was the duty of representatives in a christian community to encourage the establishment of institutionis, having for their object the dissemination of religious information, and in addition to this, they could not possess a higher claim to the character of republicans, than by laying a sure and broad foundation for the perpetuity of the government in the intelligence of the country. For thcsc reasons lie was in favor of incorporating the American Sunday School Union. lie confessed that he might have taken a wrong view of it; but he could not persuade himself that any of the dangers apprehended would be rcalized. It seemed to him altogether illusory that any religious tyranny would grow out of this incorporation. Such an objection to it had been urged in the remonstrances, and this morning a letter headed Union of Church and State had been thrown on the desks of the members, intending to operate something like a scare crow upon this subject; it reminded him of the placards exhibited on the clays of election, and all that was wanting to make it perfect was to have a likeness of poor Dr. Ely placed at the top in the shape of a Pope.
The only objection, and the one pertinaciously urged, against the society is, that it has been laboring to establish a union of church and state. If that objection were removed, there was no doubt but a grant of the powers contained in this act would be permitted. Now Mr. D. said all history proved that it never entered into the plans of those wlio mcditatcd a union of church and stats, to commence thcir labors by enlightening the ignorant. The ignorance of die many, acted upon
by the knowledge of the few, was the engine with which the few had erected a tyranny over the consciences of the many. This was not to be accomplished by the diffusion of knowledge: no set of men would be guilty of such an act of folly, as to attempt it: the means would mar the end. And if, on the present occasion, he should satisfy the members that there was no sectarianism to be promoted by the passage of this bill, he trusted that the great obstacle would be removed.
In order to determine how far they ought to extend encouragement to religious institutions, they must look to the constitution. That instrument had thrown a barrier around the rights of conscience. It is declared in Art. 9, $3 of the consti. tution "that no man can, of right, be compelled to attend, erect or support any place of public worship, or to maintain any ministry against his consent; that no human authority can in any case whatever, control or interfere with the rights of conscience; and that no preference shall ever be given, by law, to any religious establishments or modes of worship.” This injunction, Mr. D. said, prohibited a preference, by law, of any one mode of religious worship over another, but it is also implied that the necessary aids should be afforded to all modes of worship. And this idea was supported by the provision of Art. 7, $3 of the constitution.“The rights, privileges, immunities and estates of religious societies and corporate bodies shall remain, as if the constitution of the state had not been altered or amended.” Indeed there could be no doubt, but that in this christian community, where the legislature stood as the guardian of the public morals, that every facility should be given to promote the labors of religious societies. This, then, being the fact, the only enquiry was, were the prövisions of this bill at variance with the constitution? He asked members to compare the bill with the constitution. So long as they avoided ecclesiastical encroachment, they were under an obligation to encourage and give effect to every institution that would be likely to operate bene. ficially on the morals of the country. Did they ever deny to a church, no matter what might be its peculiar doctrines, the facilities of an act of incorporation to enable the trustees to manage its secular concerns? And when they had incorporated one, they would have violated the constitution if they had not made provision for incorporating all. He asked, after the thousands of churches that had been incorporated, what good ground there could be for alarm, when application for incorporating a religious society was made? He believed that there never had been before so much alarm on account of an incorporation, as was witnessed in the present instance. Had they not incorporated a theological seminary? The general assembly of the Presbyterian church, which comprehended all the churches of that most numerous denomination of Christians in the United States, whose object was to propagate their own peculiar religious tenets, had also been incorporated. He asked whether they were not every day farther from ecclesiastical tyrannyThe Presbyterian churches, and bible societies, and missionary societies, spread over the country, contained in their history sufficient evidence that they had not intermeddled with the political relations of the country, nor grasped at civil power.
If there was no danger then from an incorporated Presbyterian church, so pow. erful in numbers: from a bible society having power to hold real estate of $10,000 income a year; if, in New York, a society having a revenue of under its control, no bad effects had been produced, what danger could arise from the present incorporation, whose simple object was the instruction of youthWhen the members of this society belong to different sects, all united for the common object of instructing youth, and that object unquestionably for the good of society, why should fears of ecclesiastical tyranny be excited? Why was the phantom of ecclesiastical tyranny conjured up in this instance, when others had been allowed to pass without objection? In order to convey the produce of the country to market they had incorporated companies, by whom turnpike roads had been constructed; and when individuals came before them, asking for the same facilities to improve the avenues to the minds of the youth of the country, why should they be refused? For his own part, Mr. D. said, he could not imagine how this institution could exercise any more dangerous influence than other societies, possessing an equal amount of capital.
Mr. Duncan returned to the letter to which he had before slightly alluded. He did not know from wbom it came, but it comprehended the principal objections