THE New School must excuse us for so long neglecting to notice their grand jollifications which came off at the city of Brotherly Love, during their anniversary week in April; as we have been, much of the time, from home; and when at our post, a crowd of more important matters having occupied our attention.
In defence of some of their favorite institutions, if not the kings of the earth, some who doubtless would be kings, stood up; and their great men were assembled; on the subject of Tracts. Mr. Samuel White (who has boxed the compass of pretensions to religious sentiments, been twice baptized, because he had, professed to find out that his first baptism was prior to his hope for salvation, and we have great reason to fear his second was quite too early, having once professed to be an Old School Baptist, but now an apostate to the faith) bore record that a certain tract, very appropriately called, “Making light of Christ,” had been the means of converting a sailor into a New School Baptist. The Secretary of the Ladies’ Tract Society at Scotch Plains, stated that another tract had done wonders at that place. Eld. J. S. Baker of Norfalk, Va,. stated that a Catholic had been converted to New Schoolism, by a tract which her little sister found, &c. Mr. Babcock, pastor of Spruce Street Church, Philadelphia, furnished another case; also J. M. Challis. All appeared perfectly well satisfied with the operation of this part of their machinery. On the motion to accept the report of the Board of Foreign Missions, S. II. Cone showed how much their English brethren excelled them in the amount of their contributions to Foreign Missions; and asserted that they do ten times as much as the American Society does. He says, moreover, “We must raise at least one hundred thousand dollars in the next twelve months; we must do it, or be disgraced in the eyes of the christian community. We must do it, or break the hearts of our missionary brethren.” (Poor, tender hearts; likely to break for want of one hundred thousand dollars) “We must do it for the glory of God, and the salvation of souls.”
But can Mr. Cone tell us whether the souls to be saved by one hundred thousand dollars, will not be redeemed with such corruptible things as silver and gold? He very feelingly (of course) adverted to the sacrifices of A. Judson, whose heart is to be broken, if the money is not forthcoming; and to the self-denying Mrs. Judson, who wore a shawl away to ]3urmah, said to have cost from nine to eleven hundred dollars. He says he is a practical man; and for nearly twenty-five years has been working in Boards. (we do not understand him to mean those on which he used to play, when a knight of the theatre) We presume he means Boards of managers, &c. He says, “In my pulpit, I endeavor to preach Christ at home; and with my subscription-book, to preach him abroad.” He boasts of collecting his thousand dollars a year for the Foreign Missions; but how much of it he gives from his own twenty-five hundred dollars salary, or how often his church has to raise nine thousand dollars over his salary, to pay off his extravagant debts, he does not say. He says he means to carry his little subscription-book, as long as he lives; and when he dies, to leave it as an heirloom to his successor.
Mr. Webb, of New Brunswick, N. J., had wonderfuls also to tell; and seconded in due form the motion of Mr. Cone. Dr. Bolles, their Corresponding Secretary, made a long speech, in which he informed pastors of churches, that instead of diminishing their own salaries, if they would press their people to give for the institutions, it would be a means of increasing their own pay. This is no doubt one of the grand secrets of New Schoolism.
Professor Sears offered a resolution, viz: That God’s providential care, &c., ought to increase their faith.
So Fletcher said he was reminded of the injunction, “Have faith in God.” “Though,” says he, “we profess to have faith in God, and to consecrate our all to him, we are acting upon false principles. Our pride bids us to seek for worldly aggrandizement; and this induces a spirit of covetousness.”
Hearing so much truth from such a notorious arminian, reminds us of the circumstance of a dumb animal’s once speaking in a man’s voice, and rebuking a certain Foreign Missionary.
Mr. Bennett, the general mendicant for the Society, said: “One indication of Providence’s demanding more faith is, present feeling.” They all seemed to feel very clever, and all agreed that more faith, or a different kind, was necessary.
Mr. Dodge (the hickory-pole man) said, sometimes his heart was too full to speak; and sometimes too empty; and inquired of the gentleman in the chair, “What is faith?”
As he said at that time his heart was full, we do not doubt he was enabled to squeeze out a few tears, as he is wont to do at times.
Dr. Welch, of Albany, felt a deep interest in the business, and considers the mission, and some other humanly contrived institutions, as a string of pearls, radiant in heaven’s own brilliancy; but the richest, brightest, and most priceless, was the mission enterprise; he said it was the wing of the angel. Mr. W. had thought, up to that day, that he had been doing something for the mission enterprise; he had spread out this cause at the monthly concert, and had preached about it; but it gave him pleasure to confess his mistake. He had carried no subscription-book, but he was now resolved, never again to wear a coat without a subscription-book in his pocket. He had read that a mighty angel is coming down from heaven with a great chain, to bind the old serpent; and he exhorted his brethren to help him weld one of its strongest links. Where he had borrowed the idea, that the angel’s chain was a broken one, or that it needed welding, he has not informed us; but we guess old Sambo would laugh, to think of being bound by a chain welded by B. T. Welch, D. D., & Co.
On the whole, the President of the Board felt peculiar delight. He had never attended a meeting of the Board, so full of promise - (Cone, Welch, and others, having promised to carry subscription-books.)
The committee on the Monthly Concert, reported a bill, authorizing a circular to be sent to every pastor of a Baptist Church in the county, urging the importance of sustaining the Monthly Concert; and calling their attention more fully to the missionary hobby. Professor Chase moved to accept the report; and hoped the brethren would not only carry a subscription-book for missions, but one also for the Missionary Magazine Mr. Babcock thought maps, as well as magazines, would be useful in extorting money from the ladies. Mr. Lincoln was glad when this committee was called for, and seconded the motion.
Mr. Summers, of New York, said the question before them demanded the entire approbation of all their powers, mental and moral. He was convinced, that in order to obtain funds, they must send out agents. Let this be done, he said, and they would not be obliged to ask whether they should send out more missionaries. Mr. Cone reminded them of their former resolution, (at Richmond) to raise one hundred thousand dollars during that year; but that, he said, was found on the book of resolutions, and not on the book of acts.
Mr. Dodge was glad that Cone had more than anticipated him; and we suppose he cried a little more. He concluded that if the people could be enlightened, they would pour in their contributions, and beg the society to take them. Well, may be so. Mr. Dodge, we presume, is enlightened; and Mr. Cone, and Summers, Welch, Chase, Babcock, and all the clan. How much have these gentlemen poured in?
Mr. Lincoln was gratified to see such a spirit; (we presume he must be a discerner of spirits, or he would not have seen it) he hoped it would be cherished, notwithstanding Cone’s motion for welding a chain to bind it.
Time, and more especially patience, would fail us to speak of Bolles, Colgate, Crane, Dunbar, and Adams; all of whom seemed willing to have an interest in the blessed prospected collecting, under various pretenses, several hundred thousand dollars from the people, and placing it in their own hands.
We close this article with thanksgiving to God, that there are a few names left among the people of his saints, whose garments are not defiled with these abominations.
ALEXANDRIA, D. C.,
Elder Gilbert Beebe
Editorials Volume 1
Pages 521 – 525