How far does this testimony fall short of establishing the testimony of Weston On their defence, the accused party virtually admits that the provisions of grace, the blood of Christ, the love of God and the quickening operation of the Holy Ghost are all ineffectual, and that without the leaders and tickets it is impossible that the cause of God should prosper at Jamaica. According to this notion, the God of heaven is charged with imperfection, either a want of know ledge and wisdom to understand the condition of the people at Jamaica, or a failure to provide in the economy of redemption such indispensable things as leaders and tickets.
From the first document submitted by the committee they prove that charges of the same nature of those preferred by Weston have been made from time to time during the last nine or ten years. Now Weston certainly cannot be the scape-goat for all these reports, as his connection with that station, we believe, commenced in 1840, and for eight years previous to 1840, according to their own showing, they knew that their missionaries were charged with the same things; and a circular was prepared and circulated among the members of the craft to silence all misgivings on the subject. These often repeated reports have been constantly winked at by the committee because “They came through the intervention, in most instances, of third parties.” To entitle charges to the consideration of the committee they must come from the implicated parties themselves.
If charges brought against the missionaries by a third party are not valid in the estimation of the committee, the missionaries have nothing to apprehend; for all possible means of disclosure is then cut oft except it come either through themselves or their deluded dupes. Any other channel would involve a third party.
Another reason for winking at the charges which have been frequently reiterated and widely circulated for nine or ten years, is that such charges have been general! Those who have made those charges have specified no particular church. Hence because the charges have been preferred against all the missionaries in Jamaica generally, they have been disregarded. Mr. W.’s charges are also general, but being publicly challenged in regard to them, he has now made them specific, and in answer to Mr. Hoskin he comes out with names and churches. By so doing, that impediment to a fair investigation is removed. Well, what now; does the committee come up to the work? No: they only make public a circular previously written to be read only by a limited number of the friends of that mission, and, as far as that document affects the subject at all, it goes to confirm the statements of Weston, and show the readiness of the committee to countenance the abominable wickedness and villainy of their hire ling swindlers. “In no case,” says the committee, “has a definite charge been made, but it has been investigated, and the committee have been seeking evidence from all quarters on the general questions these charges involve.” If, according to this statement, charges have been investigated, such investigation must have resulted in the conviction of the accused party, as from their own showing they have elicited facts sufficiently heinous and in quantum sufficit to establish every charge preferred by Weston and the manner in which they have been seeking evidence from all quarters may be duly estimated by the manner in which Weston is treated for daring to disclose the facts in the case; and Weston asserts that he was forewarned of the obloquy that would be heaped on him if he made the disclosure, and for some time shrunk from the duty from that consideration. And now that he has surmounted his fears and dared in this matter to be honest, how is his testimony regarded by this seeking committee? Why just as he had been forewarned that it would be regarded: every possible means is taken to invalidate his testimony, and to make him, if possible, believe that his own eyes and ears have borne him false testimony.
The grand secret of the unparalleled success the missionaries have realized in convert making is also in an incidental way leaked out the great zeal of the missionaries in the abolition cause in Jamaica, together with the predilection of the blacks in favor of immersion, and not the outpouring of the Spirit as at Pentecost, has produced their harvest; and hence Mr. Gourney says “they (the missionaries) are now reaping their reward,” &c. And Mr. Weston testifies that instead of preaching Christ to the people, or requiring of their converts a declaration of what God had done for them, they only require them to answer certain interrogatories, or that their leaders should answer for them; and that the grand confession of their faith consisted in saying, as they were taught to say, “Me feel good since de leader set me off,” and this, together with the prompt payment of their ticket money, was enough to entitle them to baptism. There was more truth than poetry in the admission of Mr. Hume, that the English Missionaries could not do without such helps as leaders, tickets. &c.
To silence all fears as to the purity of the Jamaica Missionaries, the committee claims that twenty-seven out of thirty of our missionaries repel the charges and assert the innocence of themselves, while the other three admit the justice of the charges; and the admission or testimony of the latter is also strongly corroborated by the testimony of others who are not our missionaries, and by the existence of facts admit ted, which they have alleged to exist, and which Mr. Hume considers indispensably connected with the success of the English Missionaries. Should a banditti of thirty men stand indicted for robbery, and on trial before any jury of our country, and twenty-seven of the thirty plead not guilty, and three of the number turn states’ evidence, admit the whole truth, and their evidence before the court and jury be corroborated by the testimony of numerous disinterested witnesses, would any such jury dare to acquit the whole band because a majority of them refused to admit the fact? Such is the real weight of the testimony pro and con in regard to the accused missionaries.
Having copied in our columns the charges as preferred against the Jamaica Missionaries, and the defence of them by themselves and their pliant committee, together with brother West’s very pertinent notes upon the defence, we shall dismiss the further consideration of the subject for the present, and inquire what evidence can, be produced to show that the missionaries of any other humanly devised establishment are less corrupt than those at Jamaica The institution of leaders and the traffic in tickets are no more unscriptual than the missionary society is, and until corrupt fountains can be made to send forth pure waters, and corrupt and poisonous trees can produce healthy and pure fruit, these institutions must abound with corruption and iniquity.
New Vernon, N.Y.
Dec. 15. 1842
Elder Gilbert Beebe
Editorials Volume 2
Pages 103 – 106