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(Ir) Religion Herald, – World, – Cross, –"Hands off,” &c. Baptist Repository.

The communications of Brethren Trott, and Reis, in reference to the false and slanderous article published in the Herald, and eagerly copied into the Repository, World, Cross &c., under the above significant heads, – we conclude are superseded by the following denial of Elder Healey, and the reluctant recantation of the Herald.

From the Religious Herald.

Black Rock Convention. – In conversation with Brother Healey, during our recent visit to Baltimore, concerning the Black Rock Address, he remarked that he had written to the Editor of the Signs of the Times to have his name taken off. We supposed he alluded to the address; it appears from the following note that it was only to take his name off as agent for the Signs of the Times. We wish our good brother had been more explicit – as the case now stands he will probably be claimed by both parties. As this address disclaims fellowship with all the supporters of benevolent institutions, comprising three-fourths of the Baptists of the United States, it is certainly a matter of importance to decide this point at once.”

“Elder John Healey never wished to be understood as having written to Eld. G. Beebe to take off his name from the Black Rock Address! The letter (for only one was written,) requested Brother Beebe to take off his name from the Signs of the Times, as agent for the paper: it was only in conversation with Brother B., he told him that he could not go with him in the eleventh article in the Signs of the Times relative to Bible Societies, &c.”

“Brother Healey request that those Editors who copied our previous remarks will also insert this explanation.”


Thus our readers may see how soon the calmuny and false representation which has been started by the Herald and so industriously circulated through other kindred channels evaporates into thin air, when for a moment exposed to the searching rays of TRUTH. As the darkness that broods over the earth by night, flies before the rising dawn of day, so flies these mists of falsehood, at the bold advance of truth.

It must be, not a little mortifying to these skilful archers who have been shooting sorely at the Black Rock Address, to find their arrows with redoubled velocity, returning to their own bosoms, and themselves falling into the very pit which they have digged for these who can only delight in the old paths of Zion.

For it will be seen that the whole volley leveled at the Black Rock Meeting – dwindles down to – what? Black Rock Imposition!! Hands Off!! “Hands off from what? And pray what is the Imposition, that the Old school Baptist at Black Rock have been guilty of? Why Elder J. Healey, on account of old age, infirmity &c., (as his Letter will show,) has written to Elder Gilbert Beebe to take off his name! from what? Not the Black Rock Address, but from the list of Agents for the Signs of the Times. Now candid reader; where is the imposition. WE have in a former number, acknowledged the receipt of this Letter, and we did immediately upon its receipt, drop his name as our Agent for Baltimore, and in his stead appointed our worthy Brother J.B. Preston, agreeably to the recommendation given by Elder Healey.

Mr. Sands and his condjutors offer no apology for having wantonly slandered the Brethren of the Black Rock Meeting. No, this could not be expected from those who have removed so far from the neighborhood of candor, (not to say religion) but as might have been expected, they have endeavored to shift the blame off on to Eld. Healey, and attempt to pacify his mind by calling him their Good Brother.

We supposed he alluded to the Address.” Then this is all a mere supposition!! and yet published as a fact obtained from the very mouth of Elder Healey, during a personal interview. If Mr. Sands had been an honest man, would he not have published this as a supposition? – Would any honest man, would any Christian publish in the most positive terms that the Brethren who met at Black Rock were a set if Imposters – or, (to use his own words, amounting to the same thing in substance) “Black Rock Imposition,” upon a mere unfounded supposition? We think not. Again, being convicted of so gross a departure from truth, if he were as ready to confess his faults, as he is to slander the Old School Baptist, wold he not say, “I have wronged these people by charging them with imposition, and even forgery, and now I wish to make all the satisfaction in my power.” 

But not a word of this appears, his only justification, is embraced in this short sentence “We supposed he alluded to the Address.” But with what ingenuity this sogacious Editor attempts to shift off, the wrong upon Brother Healey. “We wish our good Brother had been more explicit.” But what cold Mr. S. want more explicit, he tacitly acknowledges that Bro. Healey did not authorize him to say what he has said.

Only observe the difference. In his first article Mr. Sands says, “His (Elder Healey’s) name had been appended to the Black Rock Address,” evidently implying that it was done without his knowledge or consent. Second, “He informed us, that he attended the meeting under the impression that the object was only designed to present an exhibition of doctrinal views,” implying that he had been decoyed by designing men, when Bro. Healey himself with others had called the said meeting.

Third. “He also states that he declared to the Brethren present, that he could not join them in their Anti-Mission Crusade, because he was then and always had been friendly to Missionary operations.”

This part of the bitter roel, Mr. Sands has eaten up. Passing also his having written to the Editor of the “Signs of the Times,” which statement is also contradicted – we notice.

Fourth, “And he further authorized us to publish to the world, that he did not wish to be considered as belonging to that party – that he could not countenance or support the Anti-Mission views contained in that Address. He also begs the favor of the Editors of the Baptist Periodicals to notice that he renounces all connextion with this body.” 

And now this same Mr. Sands, Editor of the Religious (so called) Herald, wishes that “our good Brother had been more explicit.” Very strange, Mr. Sands!! We of the Old School would call the above very explicit language, and in our former remarks we observed that we very much doubted whether Elder H. was the author of them, for we did, and do still believe him to be a man of truth, and it would give us pleasure if we could, say the same of the Editor of the “Religious Herald,” but this alas! we cannot – for Elder Healey either did, or did not make the above statements to you. If he did, you could certainly wish nothing more explicit, you could not have been at loss to gather from such statements, which side of the Black Rock Address our venerable Brother was on. Nor are we easy to believe in that case Brother Healey, would have wrote to you the above note – saying that he never wished to be so understood.

But if he has never authorized you to publish to the world the above statements, nor to beg (in his name) of all other Editors to publish them, you must be guilty of two sins. WE leave it to your conscience to give them a name, nothing doubting that if it be not seared with an hot iron, it will ring like thunder in your ears; slander and falsehood!!

One word concerning Mount Zion church &c., you said in your first publication, that his church was opposed to Blackrockism, this we will not deny, as this is an ism, that we have never learned; but you add, she “did not send messengers to the convention, (meaning as we presume the B.R. Meeting.) Let it be observed that this was not a meeting of delegates from churches – although some few of the Brethren perhaps were appointed by the churches to which they belonged. But the circular of Elder Healey and others, calling the meeting, simply invited “All Ministering Brethren distinguished by the name of Old School Baptists, in the U.S. to attend; hence if Mt. Zion church had been of the denomination invited, she would have had no occasion to appoint delegates. Mr. Joseph Metttam, with several other members did attend, and some, if not all of them acted in consert with the meeting – and Bro. Mettam, did in our presence voluntarily sign his name to the Address.

We are authorised by Brother Edmund J. Reis, Pastor of the Ebenezer Baptist church to say that the statement in the Religious Herald, as far as it related to that church is false.

Mr. Sands, expresses some concerns, lest Bro. Healey, should be claimed by both parties* and seems to urge the necessity of an immediate decision, and lest he should not fall on the side with Mr. S. he holds forth the all-enticing bait viz: the multitude &c. But not being satisfied with this he gave another wanton misrepresentation of the Black Rock Address viz: that the Address disclaims fellowship with all the supporters of Benevolent Institutions, comprising three fourths of the Baptist in the United States.”

We challenge Mr. Sands to prove his statement. We will send him an extra paper containing the Address in question, in which if he can produce words to the above amount, he will perhaps do himself at least some credit.

And in the mean time, for the use of such of our readers as have not read the Black Rock Address. We give the following extract, that they by comparing it with Mr. Sands assertions may be the better prepared to judge how much weight should be allowed the testimony of such a man.

[Extract from the Black Rock Address.]

Now Brethren, addressing ourselves to you who profess to be, in principle Particular Baptists, of the “Old School,” but who are practising such tings as you have learned only from a New School it is for you to say – not us, whether we can longer walk in union with you. We regret and so do you, to see br’n. professing the same faith, severing apart. But if you will compel us either to sanction the traditions and inventions of men, as of religious obligation, or to separate from you, the sin lieth at your door. If you meet us in churches to attend only to the order of Christ’s house as laid down by himself; and in associations, upon the ancient principles of Baptist Associations, i.e., as an associating of the churches for keeping up a brotherly correspondence one with another, that they may strengthen each other in the good ways of the Lord; instead of turning the associations into a kind of legislative body, formed for the purpose of contriving plans to help along the work of Christ, and for imposing those contrivances as burdens upon the churches, by resolutions &c., as is the manner of some, we can still go on with you in peace and fellowship.

Thus Brethren, our appeal is before you. – Treat it with contempt if you can despise the cause for which we contend, i.e., conformity to the word of God. But indulge us, we beseech you, so far at least, as at our request to sit down and carefully count the cost on both sides; and see whether this shunning reproach by conforming to mens notions will not in the end be a much more expensive course, than to meet reproach at once, by honoring Jesus as your only King, choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasure of sin for a season. And rebellion, you know, is as the sin of witch-craft.

* Brother Healey is of age, he is a free man, he lives under a free government – he will act we trust from principle, otherwise the Old school have no claim on him. We have no splendid toys to allure him, nor do we boast of numbers.

Elder Gilbert Beebe

Signs of the Times
Volume 2, No. 7
March 5, 1834