DEAR SIR: – As but a small part of the people of this country know to what extent the popular party are carrying their measures and as the press generally dare not make it known; I think you would render the people great service by publishing the following.
That the time is near at hand when the witnesses are to be slain, and the truth of the Gospel will not be heard, I am more and more convinced from every days observation – Satan is certainly making rapid strides by means of the various schemes invented and carried on under the name of religion, amongst the most dangerous to our civil and religious liberty, is the Am. Sunday School Union; its plan is so artfully drawn, as to have brought in many of the Baptist Br’n. who I believe are the Lord’s chosen ones, & have been made acquainted with christian experience. Let us examine the effects likely to be produced by this institution. The 1st Art. of the Constitution, explains the object to be obtained, viz: “To strengthen the hands of the friends of religious instruction on the Lord’s day.” In their late report they say, “The first grand principle of our Association is union” and “it is known among the members, are Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, Episcopalians and others,” and our fellow citizens are looking to Sunday Schools as the great instrument of diffusing, universally, the healthful influence of religion and morality. To fulfil this just expectation, we must secure, to a much greater extent, the distinct and sensible occurrence and co-operation, as well as the direct and powerful influence, not only of the Church and her ministry, but of the community at large; (an open avowed union of church and the world) and to this end the principles of our association and the objects we propose to accomplish by it, must be well understood.” the N. Y. Evangelist, of Dec. 11Th 1830 says, “the main object of Sunday School instruction at the present day is, or ought to be the conversion of the scholars. They (the teachers) have it in their power to mould these infant minds as they please” and they report 760,000 scholars under their instruction. In their second Report 1826, they say “these institutions may terminate in an organized system of mutual co-operation, between ministers & private christians, so that every church shall be a disciplined army, where every one knows his place and duty. In ten years, or certainly twenty, the political power of our country would be in the hands of men whose characters have been formed under the influence of Sunday Schools” and “the experience of the civilized world demonstrates that the character of the man is built upon principles instilled into the minds of children, 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 seemed necessary. They have chosen to do this rather than tamely issue sentiments, which in their consciences they believe to be false or inconsistent with the purity of divine truth.” For an instance take the preface of one of these publications and see how far they are honest. “You must not expect to find in it any thing about Tom Thumb, or Jack the Giant Killer; such stories are false and foolish too” – then follows a volume of instruction for the youthful reader, respecting the character of “Billy and Betsey Goodchild, Mrs. Lovegood Mr. Benevolence,” &c. &c., all of which is “false” if not “foolish too.” But perhaps they will say these are “pious” lies, fabricated and promulgated for the promotion of God’s cause!! – as they see no objection to any means, provided it produces, in their view, a good end – even money being won at a Horse Race, if applied to make the winner a member of the Bible Society. Report 1827 three years from its commencement, the Society issued 3,741,341 publications and they say “in preparing works for the press, the utmost liberty is used with regard to whatever is published by them in changing even the ideas.” Thus you observe they not only write fictitious books, but mutilate such as have been published and change the ideas, and prepare them expressly to “force out of circulation” all such as they do not approve and to force upon “schools of a different description” books which they have mutilated, still sanctioned by the name of the original authors. Now Sir, are not the times alarming to every friend of freedom? When we are told that “all the political power in the country within ten or twenty years shall be in the hands of persons whose characters have been formed in Sunday Schools? Formed under the direction of those who can “force out of circulation that of which they do not approve,” and force into use such as they have mutilated, and adopted to their ends. – It is also a well known fact that they are possessing themselves of all the literary institutions of the Country – none are qualified for Presidents of Colleges, Professors or Teachers, but such as are of the Orthodox faith. They prepare the books to be used in all the Schools, they mould the minds of the children to their views, so that when they arrive to manhood and are called upon to act, they will act in perfect unison with the principles instilled by means of these books and teachers. Doct. Ely, Sec’y to the General Assembly, has long since declared that “two thirds of all the Colleges, Theological Seminaries and other Academic Institution in this Country are under the instruction and control of Presbyterians. The congregational churches of New England and the Presbyterian church together, have the charge of more than three fourths of all these fountains of literary influence.” Dr. Barton has asserted “When all our Colleges are under our control, it will establish our sentiments and influence, so that we can manage the civil government as we please.” Five years ago Dr. Ely said they then had the power, if united, to govern every Election in the U. States; the Presbyterians alone could bring half a million voters to the Polls. Rev. Mr. Wisner says, “The principle which they had adopted must be extended, and carried into all the business and relations of life and that above all they must be carried to the POLLS, until such only as feared God and respected the cause of the church were in possession of our public offices.” The Rochester Observer says, “There is no nutrality, no armistic, no yielding, Onward, victory or death is the watch word.” It is not very surprising that they should be confident of ultimate success, when we take into view, in addition to all their other means, the immense wealth (which is power) at their command. Six of the Societies, whose object is tending to the same end, have, by their reports, obtained in the course of the last year rising Four Hundred Thousand Dollars, as follows, viz: –
|American Bible Society||$84,935.48|
|American Tract Society||62,443.50|
|American Home Mission Society||68,621.17|
|American Education Society||52,185.53|
|Presbyterian Bible Society||24,014.56|
|American Sunday School Union Society||127,399.55|
Notwithstanding their enormous receipts, the Sunday School Union say, “it is obvious our good work must be prosecuted with very feeble and crippled steps.” From the testimony produced by themselves it is very evident that a “Christian party in politics” will soon be organised so as to attempt to “manage the civil government as they please.” With an eye to this object the N. Y. Observer says, “Pray with one accord for the conversion of Presidents, and all who bear rule; then indeed may we hope that they will rule in the fear of God and be a terror to all evil doers*.” We already have Temperance “Almanacs,” and “Christian Almanacs,” and as soon as the party’ think they can proceed, we may expect to see at our Polls, Tickets headed “Temperance Tickets” and “Christian Tickets,” and those only supported by them, who will further their views.
Sept. 9, 1833.
* Who are the “Evil doers” here alluded to, but such as oppose their schemes? For the answer we need only to look at the abuse heaped upon the Hon. R. M. Johnson, by them through their presses.
Signs of the Times
Volume 1, No. 22
September 25, 1833