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Now all this I deny, and venture to inquire how all this was learned by the writer. Has he ever attended one of the public meetings of the Sons, and heard for himself whether they appeal to reason, to principle, to the heart, to the conscience? Had he previous to writing the communication referred to, ever read a defence of the institution? And if not, and I am strongly inclined to the opinion that he had not-then how can he undertake to make so grave a charge, in such unqualified terms? I assert, (and I claim to know, that the friends and advocates of this institution do appeal to principle, to the understanding, to the heart, &c.; and let Elder B. or any one else, attend their public meetings, and hear without prejudice, all that is said, and he will be able then, and not till then, to determine. Many of the most pious and talented ministers of the gospel, and great numbers of the laity, have united with this insti. tution; they know all about it, (and for two dollars Elder. B. may know too,) ought not inodesty and prudence to dictate to. thuse who do not know, some little hesitation before they denounce in such wholesale terms this institution?
But again, Elder B. says, “The Christian benevolence speaketh on this wise: 'As we have opportunity, let us do good to all men, especially to them who are of the household of faith:' but this artificial benevolence” (meaning the benevolence of the Sons of Tem. perance) "says, 'especially to our self-formed confraternily-faith or no faith.” Now I repeat again, that either the writer does, or does not know, what he is speaking about; and one who reads his production would be led to suppose he knew, because he marks the following words as a quotation: “Especially to our self-formed confraternity-faith or no faith;" thus leading his readers to think that it is an exact quotation from some of the authorized books or productions of the Sons of Temperance. Now I assert that no such sentence or sentiment can be found in any authorized work or production of the Sons of Temperance. If the institution were: guilty of teaching and requiring its members, as charged by Elder B., to neglect their Christian duties, then indeed ought it to meet with the decided and unqualified condemnation and opposition of every Christian. But so far from this being true, every Son of Temperance will tell you that the very reverse is true.
It is distinctly announced to every man who proposes to unite with the institution, that with his religious and political sentiments and obligations the institution has nothing to do; that he is, so far as they are concerned, left where he was before he united-if he. felt himself bound by his religious views before he entered into the institution to do good to all men, especially to them of the household of faith, he is at the fullest liberty to feel so, and to act so, still;. --and any Son of Temperance who gave as an excuse for neglecting any of his duties as a Son of Temperance, that he was at the time in the discharge of his duty as a Christian, would offer an. excuse which would at once acquit him of all blame, and commend: him to his brethren of the Order. Now if what I' have stated be true, and I'am prepared to sustain it, if questioned, by at least two. hundred thousand witnesses, you and all your readers will see how improper it is in Elder B.. to make such a charge as he has made..
Elder B. states one objection which he seems to think fatal to the institution, if no other existed—“that is, its business meetings are held in secret-a feature this, utterly inconsistent with the genius, with the spirit and letter of the religion of Christ, and a strongly Popish trait of character.” Is there not an old saying, something to this effect, that they who live in glass houses ought not to throw stones'? Is it not a little remarkable that the writer did not recollect a certain ministers' conference, sormed of the ministers of the Rappahannock Association, which, in the constitution adopted and published by them, requires that at each meeting of the conference one private meeting shall be held, into which the members of the conference alone have the right to enter-true, the object for which this private meeting is to be held is a good one, to wit: to talk over and freely to criticise the sermons and productions of each other. And so say the Sons of Temperance. The object, they say, for which they hold their meetings secret is to attend to the discipline and business of the Order, which concerns the members of the Order only: the public meetings, which are frequently held, are for the benefit of all. And of this ministers' conference the said Elder B. is a member. Wonder he had not thought of all this when he wrote the following sentence—“But see there goes a preacher, (with his white collar and other regalia,) to officiate as chaplain, and lend his aid in these secret proceedings! I wonder he does not think of of that expression of our Lord, 'He that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest that they are wrought in God." With sentiments of high regard,
A. S. BROADDUS. Lest I should appear to do any thing in this case through partiality, I insert the communication of A. S. Broaddus, Esq., the nephew of our friend A. Broaddus, and a member of the Baptist church. There is, indeed, no argument in the above communications bearing upon any issue between myself and these fraternities; therefore, I have nothing to refute in them; and so the matter ends. A. C.
NEW ORLEANS, November 20th, '48. Dear brolher Campbell—I have been reading several communications in the Harbinger on the subject of Moral Societies, which do not, in my opinion, take all the ground that ought to be occupied by the opponents of such societies; and I think that you are not entire. ly understood as to what should be the practice of Christians, which I think would be made plain by the answers to a few questions as to what should be the practice of Christians in certain cases, viz.What would be the Christian's duty if he were requested to sell bis corn to a man for the purpose of distilling? What would be his duty if he were engaged in selling liquors by the wholesale, and excused himself on the ground that he was not selling to his neighbors? What would be his duty if he were selling by the gallon to those who take it home to drink? And what would be his duty if he were selling by the glass? Is it Christian conduct to retail
liquor? I should be much pleased to have your views on all of the above questions; for there are members of the Christian church who act as if they thought it not wrong to do any one or all of the above. Yours in Christian bonds,
SAML. M. M-LEAN. In response to these four very serious and important questions, I would say to the first,—that since God has made the grape and filled it with wine unfermented, I could not myself conscientiously grow corn, which God has filled with bread, either to distill myself or to sell to any one who would seek to convert it to alcohol for the purpose of either creating or pampering a taste for strong and inebriating liquors. A wholesale or retail sale of ardent spirits, either to my next neighbor or to my farthest neighbor, is one and the same so far as moral results and bearings are considered. But, alas for him or for his heirs, who makes a living, or a fortune, or a part of nne, by furnishing the means of destruction to the soul, body, and estate of his fellow-man! When a druggist or a merchant sells ardent spirits as a medicine, if indeed they may be ever regarded as a medicine, the case is very different in morals, and ought to be in religion. But he that sells without any other object than to make money by the operation, must have a very weak head or a very stout heart if he does not condemn himself. Any one who knowingly sells liquor by the gallon or the glass to those who he knows are to do themselves an injury by it, either at home or abroad, needs to be converted and taught the way of the Lord more perfectly. Your fourth case is a very unequivocal one; and of all men in the world I know no one less to be envied nor more to be pitied than he, and no one whose standing in the church is more doubtful, or whose doom is more to be deprecated, than his. From all such Christians may the Lord deliver us all!
A. C. MILLEDGEVILLE, GA., November 29, 1848. Dear brother Campbell—I have been an attentive reader of the Harbinger for a few years past, and do glorify God for the good done by so excellent a periodical, conducted in so masterly a manner. Were all the papers and pamphlets emanating from the instructions you gave through your Christian Baptist conducted as is the Millennial Harbinger, they would contain more of Christ and less of the world. How much more of that simplicity is desirable which knows naught but Christ and him crucified. How does the vain philosophy and wisdom of the earth dwindle into insignificance before the allabsorbing truths and beautiful simplicity of the glorious gospel of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! With what power did its plain and unadorned truths fall upon the ears of hearers in olden time: then it was accompanied with the Spirit of the living God to the salvation of three and five thousand in one day: and not until the yield
ing up of this simplicity by learned Doctors of ancient days in order to accommodate it to the wishes of the Literati of the Pagan world, who despised its simplicity: not until the “truth as it is in Jesus” was adulterated into a mere philosophy, did the Spirit o the Most High cease to attend its ministrations. Whenever the truth is proclaimed without the “wisdom of words” or “the enticing words of man's wisdom,” the cross of Christ must be triumphant, the faith of be. lievers standing not in the "wisdom of man,” but in "the power of God.” But it is to be feared that there are too many who go about “to establish their own righteousness:" who are "vain babblers” and "disputers of this world,” who love argument more than Christ. O! that we could rid ourselves of self, of all vain imaginings, and think only of our Master's business!
Then, indeed, would grace be given unto us and favor from on high, through the which we would be enabled to lay all the cares, trials, and perplexities of earth at the feet of Sesus, walking by faith and not by sight. 0! for a vital Christianity,a living faith in the churches! Would not then our souls glow with holy fervor, and our religion be in our hearts instead of in our heads. Would we think then so much of Masonry and Odd Fellowship as to leave our Mas. ter's business to attend to their duties? I am a Mason and an Odd Fellow, and know that both institutions are good so far as this world is concerned, if their members act up to their precepts. Neither can any speak advisedly without being members of them, unless they plead that we should be separate, and separate ourselves from sinners. But O! their utter insignificance when compared with the religion of Jesus! True, both inculcate sublime precepts, particularly Masonry. But it is a borrowed light—"the moon's pale beams in presence of the sun.” It all comes from that blessed book wbich enlightens the world and calls the nations out of darkness to the marvellous light of the gospel: for if men wish to establish any thing truly sublime, they must fall back upon the source from which alone it can emanate, to get the idea, though they may couch it in different words. One thing I know, it is not good to do any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak. That either society or any thing else can be an anxiliary of Christianity cannot be for a moment entertained.
Let us cling, then, to the table of our blessed Lord, praying him to forgive our sins of omission and commission. Let us continually offer up our hearts to him in prayer, and praises, and adoration: so shall we be guided by a light more glorious than the pale and warmthless reflections of the institutions of men. And as divine light is radiated upon us, o may we reflect it in such a manner that we may aid in "drawing all men” after him. For however ancient and honorable may be these societies, they cannot give to us the invaluable consolations of religion in the days when adversity tries us—in the days when sorrow takes hold of us as the tempest doth the smallest twig of the forest. O! may we be so deeply rooted and grounded in the faith, that, after the storms and clouds have past, we may possess that serenity of soul which will enable us to look even into the dark caverns of the tomb and see no terror there! God grant that we may co devote our time and energies in our short
sojourning here in that narrow way to the opening of that strait gate, that we may enter reconciled through grace into the presence of our Father!-Yours truly,
H. J. OSBORNE. I am of opinion that this is enough on the subject; and with it I am willing to close the present essay, if not the discussion itself.But in this I shall be governed by the course of the defenders of these new forms of moral associations.
The real issue is not met by any of our correspondents, and, if alluded to, is rather indirectly than directly and formally assailed. I have not ‘attacked' any one of the three institutions, as is sought to be shown by some that assume to defend them. I simply affirm that no Christian man is under any sort of obligation to join any of them; nay, that he cannot, as a Christian, become a member of any one of them without dishonoring the church of Jesus Christ, or himself, & the founder of it; and that his connexion with them as such in any act of Christian worship, is a departure from both the doctrine and practice of the first Christians. But if our brother Williams is not yet satisfied, our pages are open to him; and so long as he is able to make a show of defence in the name of a Son of Temperance, we shall respond to him.
A. C. P. S. I thank brother Osborne for his excellent letter, and will be glad to hear from him again on any subject which may interest him and our readers.
DISCIPLINE-No. XII. How shall discipline be administered? This question may refer to the mode of discharging every duty embraced under the very comprehensive term which we have taken as the caption of our essay; and in this wide sense it ought, perhaps, to be responded to: but, in the present number, we shall confine ourself to the more limited signification of the term, and respond only so far as the question respects the method of procedure in cases of Christian morality. Such cases may be divided into two classes:- 1st. Such as are between individuals entitled to all the privileges, respects, and immunities vouchsafed to citizens of Messiah's kingdom, by the laws and regulations delivered in the divine code. 2d. Such as are against the church only, as the acting representative of King Messiah. These we shall designate as private and public.
1. The first of these classes comprehends all offences merely personal, or those cases where the social rights or Christian respects