FROM an article copied into the Cross and Journal, we extract the following paragraph, quoted by the writer of the article from an address delivered at Worcester, by “Rev.” C. C. Mason:
“The religion of the times demands the existence of such organizations, to teach its professors the great duties they owe to God and to one another. If religion were this hour baptized with the spirit that breathes throughout every branch of the order of the Sons of Temperance, the world would not now witness the horrors of a solitary war. It would then be invested with the spirit of a nobler charity.”
If the religion of the times demands the organization of Temperance Societies, with all their kindred institutions of human invention, it is because it differs from the religion of Jesus Christ. That system of religion which the Holy Ghost teaches in the scriptures, and by his operation upon the hearts of God’s elect, makes no such demand; but without the aid of humanly devised organizations of any kind whatever – without pledges oral or written, without denouncing any of God’s creatures which he has given as blessings, as a curse, the religion of God our Savior teaches us (its happy recipients) that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously and godly in this present world. We do not, we cannot, we will not dispute that the religion of the times requires to go on crutches, as it is a sorry and lame concern. Based on free-will, boasting of free agency and voluntary humility, it unquestionably requires all the props, stays, screws and bolsters that human ingenuity can invent to keep it alive. But the religion which is from heaven, instead of deriving life and sustenance from its possessors, imparts life, light and liberty to all such as are, by grace, made experimentally acquainted with its power.
If the religion of the times were the religion which exists only among the regenerated heirs of glory, its possessors could never need human devices or organizations to teach them either their relation or duties to their God or to their neighbors.
This Rev. sinner admits that the spirit breathed throughout every branch of the order of the Sons of Temperance is not the spirit of religion. Religion, in his view, would be so greatly improved by being buried into the spirit of this worldly institution, as to restore peace and tranquility, lasting and uninterrupted, to the conflicting nations of the earth. It would then be invested with a noble charity; that is, a charity of a different kind from that with which the christian religion is invested. Compared with the charity of these mushroom societies, the charity of the religion of Christ is regarded as ignoble, defective and inefficient.
New Vernon, N.Y.,
March 15, 1847
Elder Gilbert Beebe
Editorials Volume 2
Pages 762 – 763