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ard, and their affections are misplaced. Thelr judgment is per
sed, and both iheir profession and their practice are at fault. An t. tire and thorough reformation is required, not so much in forms and ordinances, as in spirit and temper; not so much in the nature of their faith, as in its object; and less in the minute points of Christian knowledge, than in their entire conception of the Christian institution.
It is, then, the object of the present effort at reformation, if it be properly understood, (which it is not, even by many of its professed advocates,) to withdraw the religious community from unprofitable doctrinal discussions and controversies; and from those unhappy attachments to party names and party leaders, which have been the great obstacles to Christian union and religious progress; and to induce the adoption of the simple and original gospel, as the basis of faith and union; and the reception of Christ himself into the affections, as the essential means of grace, and the only just hope of salvation. It proposes to discard and abolish the creeds and formula and every thing else that tends to perpetuate the existence, or the remembrance of the feuds, and the follies of Protestantism; and to adopt alone those divine scriptures which reveal to us Christianity as it was in the beginning, and Christ as he was, is now and ever will be-the true object of Christian love, and the true bond of Christian union. That love which unites to Jesus, must also unite Christians to one another. If they are not thus united one to another, it is a clear evidence that they are not truly united to Christ. In the attempt, therefore, to reform religious so. ciety, it becomes the first and principal object to concentrate the attention of all upon him, and upon those simple facts, and truths, almost universally accredited, which are the only possible grounds of intercommunion, and which lead the soul in loving Christ, to love also his people and his teachings.
MORAL SOCIETIES, Having religious rites and secrets, “Sons of Temperance,” “Odd
Fellows" and “Free Masons.”—No. II. THE “Sons of Temperance” first demand our attention as submitted in our introductory remarks. Of these, as a fraternity, I know nothing but from their Constitution and Laws. From these sources alone I derive my information.
As to the title inscribed upon their banners, although curious to ascertain its origin, I have found no history or explanation in any SERIES. III.-Vol V.
thing recorded, either in their Constitution or By-Laws. From these we would conclude that they are rather sons OF ABSTINENCE than sonS OF TEMPERANCE. But their lexicography may differ from ours, and with them abstinence may mean taking a little, and temperance taking nothing at all.
But they are only the sons of Temperance--born of that granddam-and, therefore, heirs in common of her titles, honors, and estate, without any respect to their own personal virtues. And should this be the fact, the title or designation is unfortunate, unless it should follow in their particular case, that the Sons of Temperance are so in character as well as in blood. But sons do not always walk in the steps of those whose names they inherit; and if the Sons of Temperance should be, in truth, sons of total abstinence, they are, out of a proper respect for the Queen's English, in duty bound to select a more appropriate cognomen both for their mother and themselves.---Of the items that first claim our attention, the first is their membership; the terms of which are very judiciously placed in the Constitution, but not till after their officers are initially enumerated. Having only seen one edition of this Constitution, and that is titled “Constitution and By-Laws of Wellsburg Division, No. 37, of the Sons of Temperance of the State of Virginia, instituted February 18, 1847," I may probably not do an institution so large and respectable full justice in assigning to it so informal and vague a thing as this Magna Charta of the “Sons of Temperance.” If there be any other Constitution of more dignity and authority than that “printed by J. A. Metcalf, Wellsburg, 1847," I shall be thankful to any of the Sons of Temperance for a copy of it. Meantime, we must use such documents as are authentic with the association at this latitude, and from them form our estimate of its character and claims upon a Christian community:
"PREAMBLE. “We, whose names are annexed, desirous of forming a society to shield us from the evils of intemperance, afford mutual assistance in case of sickness, and elevate our characters as men—do pledge ourselves to be governed by the following Constitution and By. Laws:
CONSTITUTION. "ARTICLE 1.-Name-This association shall be known as the Wellsburg Division, No. 37, of the Sons of Temperance, of the State of Virginia.
“Art. 2.- Pledge-No brother shall make, buy, sell, or use, as a beverage, any spiritous or malt liquors, wine or cider.
“ART. 3.- Officers”—These are only initialized, and we do not understand them; and, therefore, cannot give them to our readers.
“ART. 4.-Duties of Officers"-Not knowing the Officers, we cani" not report their duties.
"ART. 5. Eligibility for Membership-Sect. 1. No person shall be initiated into the Division under eighteen years of age, nor for a less sum than two dollars.
“Sect. 2. No person shall be admitted into this Division who does not possess a good moral character, or who is in any way incapacitated from earning a livelihood, or who has no visible means of support.
"ART. 6.- Contributions and Benefits.--Sect. 1. The regular dues to this Division shall not be less than six and a quarter cents per week.
“Sect. 2. Every bona fime member who shall be qualified as required by the Constitution and By-laws of this Division, shall, in case of sickness or disability, be entitled to, and receive weekly, not less than three dollars; except it be shown that such sickness or disability be brought on by his own improper conduct.
“Sect. 3. No brother residing within five miles of the Division of which he is a member, shall be entitled to benefits for more than one week previous to his case being reported to such Division. No benefits shall be granted for a less time than one week. All arrears, either for dues or fines, shall in every case be deducted from the first payment.
“Sect. 4. In case of the death of a brother entitled to benefits, the sum of thirty dollars shall be appropriated as a funeral benefit. The W. P., in the absence of competent relations or friends, shall take charge of the funeral, and keep an account of the disbursements.
“Sect. 5. On the death of the wife of a brother, also beneficial, he shall be entitled to the sum of fifteen dollars as a funeral benefit.”
Such are the essential articles and sections of the whole institution having any claims upon society. All other articles and sections are about the ways and means of securing, dispensing, and enjoying these contributions and benefits. For this purpose they are to meet every Friday evening. For the election of officers and other business, there are four quarterly terms—the first of October, January, April, and July, for carrying into effect the object of the institution; there are no less than four standing committees,committee of finance, committee of ways and means, committee of investigation, and committee of claims. There are also special committees.
Such is a portion of the machinery of this institution. There are also various fines, forfeitures, and penalties by law established, vary. ing from 25 cents to 5 dollars.
OPENING OF MEETINGS AND RULES OF ORDER.
“Sect. 1. After the Division has been duly opened, by singing an ode, reading the Scriptures, or prayer," the business proceeds, &c.
From these extracts a general view of the genius, character and design of this institution may be gathered. There are but two things not revealed in the Constitution and By-Laws. These are its fraternal secrets and its "regalia.” And, of course, the uninitiated will a!ways be more curious on these points than on any other. But to me, on the present occasion, they are wholly uninteresting, and I shall institute no particular inquiry on these subjects.
The membership of this new institution first demands our attention. Females are constitutionally excluded, boys also; and persons over fifty are not very welcome. As they advance above fifty the price of admission rises. Over sixty, a special vote is requisite to admission at all.
In an economical and prudential point of view these are admirable regulations. Old ladies and boys cannot well keep secrets; and as young men must have visible ņeans of supporting themselves, in order to admission, it is proper to exclude old men, or to cause their admission ultimately to depend on their likelihood to become a charge on the funds of the institution. Again, this institution is worthy of all praise, from the amateurs of genteel castes in society; that it will receive not even young men, from eighteen to twenty, unless they are possessed of “a good moral character."
This is much better than the old fashioned Temperance Societies. They took in all sorts of persons, men, women and children; good character or bad. They stooped to conquer. They sought to raise and redeem the fallen; but these more genteelly take care of those who are already honorable and of good reputation. True, some will think that these are less humane; but, then, they are more temperate. They are all of good moral character; and in good circumstances, they are able to pay an initiation fee, purchase regalia and spend a portion of their income every week; and, besides this, to devote 52 evenings of the year to all the honors, pleasures and generous deeds due to themselves, their families and friends. And when any very noble deed, to their respectable brotherhood, is expedient, they have the means of raising extra donations, of conferring benefits, of paying all appropriate honors, to the dead as well as to the living. All this is achieved, too, on the noble pledge, as their centre of attraction, that "no brother shall make, buy, sell, ). use, as a beverage, any spiritous or malt liquors, wine or cider.” They will not, indeed, press a grape, nor squeeze an apple, for any use, at all, sacred or profane. Nor will they use any of them as a beverage, on any account whatever. This economy is admirable. It only costs the first year five dollars and a quarter, and after that
but three dollars and a quarter per annum, to award all the privileges of temperance and general respectability. I wonder not that so many applications were, last year, made for acts of incorporation, both in our own State and others, to secure to them the fortunes which they may make by a course of abstinence so elevated, disinterested and noble. If I were not ¿ Christian I would be a Son of Temperance, if not a Son of Abstinence. My reasons for this I must defer to another occasion. Meantime, I think, the Sons of Temperance are worthy of all thanks, from the State, for their noble efforts to raise up a genteel, honorable and thristy community; especially one that will need no charity, or mercy, from Church or State; that will always have something to impart to others, except that secret charm, by which all this honor, dignity and regalia are achieved.
MATHEWS C. H., Nov. 11, 1847. Dear brother Campbell-Our Baptist brethren, in all their historical records, of themselves, claim the Novatians as Baptists, and, through them, trace their origin (as they say) to the days of the Apostles. And they give historical extracts, concerning the Novatians, which state the truth, but not the whole truth. I ask your permission, therefore, to place before your numerous readers, the whole truth, in regard to those people, and show that none but the Disciples of Christ, who are now engaged in the present effort at reformation, can claim these ancient worthies.
Dr. Waddington says, that they were the first ecclesiastical reformers. Moshiem says, they “cannot be charged with having corrrupted the doctrines of Christianity, by their opinions; their crime was that by the unreasonable severity of their discipline, they gave occasion to the most deplorable divisions, and made an unhappy rent in the church.” The church, alluded to by the Doctor, is the Romish church, or corrupted Christianity. Mr. Robinson says, they would address a candidate, for admission among them, thus: “If you be a virtuous believer, and will accede to our confederacy against sin, you may be admitted among us by baptism, or if any Catholic has baptized you before, by rebaptism; but mark this, if you violate the contract by lapsing into idolatry or vice, we shall separate you from our community, and do what you will, we shall never readmit you.” They declare that they would never injure, neither the person nor character of those they excluded; but would never readmit them. This severity of discipline was their only error. And for this, when we consider the cimes in which they lived, there is great apology. In seasons favorable to Christianity, many would renounce idolatry and join the Christians; but when called upon to suffer for Christ's sake, they would go back to idolatry again. The Novatians looked upon all such as hypocrites, acting from