ELDER GILBERT BEEBE: – The time is at hand when the line is to be drawn in this country, between the “Church & State” party, and those who will not subscribe to their views. Having failed in prevailing upon Congress to favor them by law, they adopt the next best means in their power, to coerce the people into their measures. In S____, N. J., the salary of the Presbyterian minister is raised by an annual subscription. A short time since, the subscription paper was presented to two merchants of the village, who declined contributing any thing – they were also guilty of vending Spiritous Liquors. In consequence, the members of the church had a meeting, at which is was resolved that they would not deal with, or in any way patronise those two merchants. A Miller in the vicinity, owns a Distillery in which Spirits is manufactured, and they also resolved not to patronise his Mill, but carry all their grain to a neighboring one.
That every individual has a perfect right to give his patronage to whom he pleases, I will not deny, but for the members of the church to conspire together to compel others to support their dogmas, or deprive them of an honest living, is the height of persecution that they are capable of adopting under the present laws of our country, and manifests a spirit that would call into existence an Inquisition; most assuredly it is not a christian spirit. We are told that, that which is of the earth is earthly; and they are using all the earthly means in their power to convert the world, and that they are permitted to exercise an extensive power, cannot be denied. The press cannot be prevailed upon to publish any thing hostile to their sentiments. The literary institutions are all subject to their control. They furnish the books containing their sentiments, to be used in all schools – they are possessed of immense wealth, which is continually increasing, that is exercising an extensive influence. At a late meeting of the Am. Board for Foreign Missions they report “the receipts of the board during the past year, have exceeded those of the preceeding year by $15,270 65, cts. and have amounted to $145,844.77 which added to the balance in the treasury at the commencement of the year, gave $152,522.41, of funds at the disposal of the Committee during the year.” And in addition they received from other societies $17,920, making “the total disbursement s of the Society $167,826.27.” A pretty decent sum to be placed in the hands of a “prudential committee.” in one year. This makes a grand total of $677.564.42 furnished by nine Societies to be disposed of by a few committee men in one short year.
October 3d, 1833.
Signs of the Times
Volume 1, No. 24
October 25, 1833