Images de page
PDF
ePub

witness;* and who are the very people to whom alono belongs the disgrace of having attempted to cleave asunder, by the opening-wodge of their Sunday Mail maneuvre, the integrity of our political government; and, after all their pretended fears of Popery, to bring it themselves under the control of a religious despotism.

These are they, who, by the TRICK of a general and ambiguous title, and a studied phraseology calculated impress the reader with an idea of universal agreement and authority, and of their being actually identified with the success of true religion and the preservation of civil liberty in the United States, would impose themselves thereby upon the community at home and abroad, and thus seek to gain for those slanders and mis. representations which are the natural fruit of sectarian bigotry and intolerance, the homage and credit which are due to truth alone. But it is proper that their tricks should be exposed, and that they who thus presume authoritatively to decide upon the character, doctrine, and destiny of people who are quite as learned, intelligent, and respectable as they, and fourt times as numerous, should be unmasked and exhibited in their own proper character, as among the most bigoted, grasping, and intolerant of all the sectaries of oor land,

* Tue eruelties practised by this party when in power, are not a wbit behind the tortures of the Spanish Inquisition, and are disgraceful to humanity, not to say religion. It is the bistory of this party which proves its true spirit and character. Doubtles there are now, and have always been, excellent and yodly men among them. My remarks do rint apply to these, but only to such as are truly and essentially the party. To be the party is one thing; to be of the party is another. A British poet thus speaks of the party when in power:

"Those errant saints, whom all men grant,
To be the true church militant;
Such as do build their faith upon
The holy text of pike and gun;
Decide all controversies by
Infallible artillery;
And prove their doctrine orthodox
By apostolic blows and knocks;
Call fire and sword and desolation
A goodly, thorough reformation,
Which always must be carried on,

And still be doing-never done.” † The principal denominatio is have been thus estimated as to number, from goud authorityBaptisis,

492,496 Catholies,

400,000 Christians,

150,000 Episcopalians,

300,000 Disciples of Christ,

200,000 Methodists,

736,549

Congregationalists,
Presbyterians,

2,279,015

160,000 355,084

515,084

VOL TI-NS

36*

To show the true sectarian purposes of this pamphlet, so cunningly and deceitfully entitled “Our Country, its capabilities, ils perils, and its hope," I make a few brief extracts from the “appeals” it presents from the West, addressed to the Society:

"From Rev. A. Kent, Galena, III.-Letters and pledges to individuals, and to your Society have failed of the desired effect; and the result of the whole is, that this large district between the Mississippi and Rock rivers is one wide wasle so far as Presbyterian and Congregational ministers are concerned, if we except two or three on the southern margin of the field, and one at Galena. There are large settlements on Wisconsin, Grant, Platte, and Fever rivers, tributaries of the Mis. sissippi; and then there is the Pecatonica, tributary to Rock river, 200 miles long, and will ere long be navigable within 30 miles of Galena, and watering some of the finest mineral and agricultural country in the world; and all this wide field is destitute of Presbyterian and Congre. tional preaching, with the exceptions before made.”

"From Kentucky-The wants of our churches have aroused our moneyed men, and I am now prepared to offer $500 a-year each, 10 two missionaries. We have had the money for some months, but cannot get the men

We have a wide and most promising field. As many ás ohree or four churches could be formed at once if we had the men. In Southern Kentucky are some 12 or 15 counties, and not a Presbyte. rian minister."

" From Missouri.—As far as our means go, the youth of this place are under religious training. Had we teachers to keep up a Sabbath school or two in every village or neighborhood, another generation might be rescued from the ruin which impends over this. But you mavjudge for yourselves that it must be a great distance from one Sabbath school or Bible class to another, (which are under the patronage of the A. H.M. S..) from the fact that there are about fifty counties in this state in which no Presbyteriun minister resides."

“My field of labor is too wide. There is not a Presbyterian preucher within fifty miles of me, and but very few of any denomination except Camphellites. The country all around is pretty well seitled. The Lord has a great work to be done here. Unless we he sustained by your Society, we must abandon the field. The salvation of thousands of immortal souls in Missouri depends upon the prosperity of the American Home Missionary Sooiety." "A large and needy field in Indiana. The field which I

is large, and many parts of it very destitute of the regular means of grace. The bounds of our presbytery are very much extended, and include the south end of the state of Indiana, reaching from the mouth of the Wabash, up the Ohio two hundred miles. On the latter river, scattered along down to the Wabash, are a number of villages, and from the Wabash to New Albany there is but one Presbyterian minister residing. The population of these villages is increasing, and in most, if not in all of them are Presbyterians living destitute of preaching. We have 8 ministers in this presbytery; yet in 9 of the 21 counties which it includes, there is no minister of our denomination living or

occupy

preaching, except myself. The region is, indeed, but poorly supplied with preaching of any denomination. Yet in all these counties are some of our people anxious to have the bread of life dispensed to them. Indeed, there is a general interest manifested to have Presbyterian preaching, especially in the villages. May I not say this is a moral wilderness? Yet it is increasing in population, and is destined one day to become a very important part of the state. We want, in the bounds of our presbytery alone, from 10 to 15 more well-qualified ministers; and then we should also have to look to your Society for aid."

There are no appeals to the Society from any other parly mentioned, and we have the pronoun in the possessive case here often enough, in all conscience, to show the exclusiveness of the claim preferred by Presbyterianism to the broad and fertile regions of the West.

Upon reading this pamphlet, so full of these most urgent appeals from she West, and such gloorny descriptions of the destitution of this region in regard to the gospel, gospel ministers, and gospel institutions; and its imminent perils from the aforesaid Catholics, Campbelliles, &c. &c. one would think that it was about to be wholly swallowed up by a flood of heresy, and that the only salvation would be in the ark which the American Home Missionary Society so kindly furnishes. - And when we read further the glowing accounts here given of the happy consequences which will result when the West, converted by its missionaries, and increased in population and power, shall bring not only the East, but the whole world under the influence of truth and righteousness, one is almost ready to set forth as a volunteer in so good a cause. But when I come to know who they are who make these representations, and arrogate to themselves, and to the world, so much benefit and advantage from the prevalence of their gospel, and the building up of their Zion; I cannot but smile at their assurance. Presbyterianism convert the world! Presbyterianism produce such unity of faith, feeling, and influence,--such oneness among all who believe that the Saviour's prayer will be answered, and the whole world receive him as the Messiah! How shallow a conceit! Presby. terianism has been long enough in the world already to show what she can do for the world. Has she promoted Christian union? No. On the contrary, she has been one of its greatest hindrances. She has been ever characterized by an exclusive and sectarian spirit, seeking her own aggrandizement, and laboring for the exaltation of her peculiar Zion. Christian union, indeed! She has divided and sub-divided and given birth to more sects than any other party whatever. And will she convert the nations? No. God does not intend Presbyterian ism to convert the world. This is a point at least as certain as any of the decrees of Westminster. How large a part of the world has sho converted in 200 years? How many,converts is she making now per

annum? How many unsprinkled adults of sound mind and unbiassed jadgment are converted and added to her churches? But few indeed. It is not over such as these she triumphs. She finds it to be an easier victory over the unconscious and unresisting infaat in its mother's arms, and sets her seal upon it, to claim it by pre-emption right. Yes, it is thus she recruits her forces. Natural generation is the great pillar of Presbyterianism, and she does well for herself to promote the cause of HOMB missions, and to send forth her missionaries to the teeming and prolifie regions of the West, to supply the destitute with her gospel institutions; but especially with infant sprinkling, and the holy ordinance of matrimony. Let Presbyterians stick to the first commandmens, far more important to them as a party than the Decalogue, and sincrease, multiply, and replenish the earth;" for in this alone is their salvation.

It would seem, then, that these Presbyterians denounce Campbellism as a “pirate bark,”, because they themselves claim for their own craft the exclusive right to the freedom of the seas; that they fear its object is to form one great body, in the shade of which no other can possibly exist, because this is just what they wish to do themselves; that they regard it as "the great curse of the West,” because it is the great obstacle to their ambitious designs; and, withal, that they take the liberty to misrepresent and denounce it, and class it with the grossest delusions, simply because they are of their fathers who in the days of Cromwell inflicted death by the most cruel tortures upon those whose religious sentiments differed from their own; an employment in which they would no doubt be happy to engage once more, if their power were equal to their wishes.

After this exposure of the tricks of this society, truth requires that their decoy flag, the title-page of this pamphlet, should be changed to read as follows: "Our Country; its capabilities; its gullibilities; its perils from heresy, and its hope in Presbyterianism; being a plea for the early establishment of Presbyterian Institutions in the destituie portions of the United States. Published by the Executive Committee of the Presbyterian Home Missionary Society. This being done, the reader of the pamphlet will know in what sense to understand the various phrases, "Evangelical Religion;" "The Gospel;” “The only true religion," &c. expressions which he might otherwise by mistake suppose to mean the gospel and religion of Jesus Christ; and he will also know in what light to regard denunciations, of which it is far more honorable to be the object than the author.

R. R. The followihg extract from the pamphlet commented on in the preceding article, is not without interest: --

R. R.

POPULATION, PRESENT ANI) PROSPECTIVE, OF THE UNITED STATES. The census for 1840 gives the total resident population of the United States at 18,062.566. Every year adds five hundred thousand more; su that already the number is nuore lba seventeen millions and a half.

14hat the population may becoma Admitting, as may be safely done, that the agricultural facilities and the salubrity of climate in this country are equal to those of any portion of the globe, of equal extent, and what is hinder the population fro'n becoming as dense here as in any other country?

Should it ever equat ibat of Europe, (viz. 110 to each square mile) the population would be 220 millions.

If it should be a dense as the population of Hindoostan, (50 per square mile,) the popu. lation would be 100 millions.

If it should be as dense as that of China, (150 per square mile,) the population would be 300 millions

Now when it is considered that the present civilization and Christianity of this country are vastly more favorable to the preservation of life than the degradation and supersti. tions of the Hindoos und Chinese, and that our civil institutions are at least as favorable to the increase and preservation of human beings as those of Europe, we may safely take the average density of population of the countries above mentioned, as data hy wbich to estimat our own. This average is 103 3 to the square mile-giving as the prospective population of our country, 207 millions.

A European writer who has bren extensively quotrd, advanceg the bold proposition that the natural resources of the American continent, if fully developed, would afford sustenance for 3,600 millions of inhabitants, or four times the present population of the globe. He also regards as probable that the actual population will not fall short of 2.000 millions The proportion of this number which should be assigned to the United States, would be two fifteenths, or 286,666,666. The writer alluded to goes on 10 say

“And what is more surprising, there is every probability that this prodigious population will be in existence within three or four ceniuries. The imagination is lost in contem. plating a state of things which will make so great and rapid a change in the condition of i he world. We almost fancy it is a dream; and yet the resull is based on principles quite as erstain as those which govern the conduol of men in their ordinary pursuils.Nearly all social improvemenis spring from the reciprocal influenee of large and son. denseil numbers, and affiused intelligence. What then will be the state of society general. ly in America iwo centuries hence, when a thousand or two thousand millions of civilized men are crowded in a space comparatively so narrow, and speaking only two lapguages, as will doulitless he the case? History shows that wealth, power, science literature, all follow in the train of numbers, general intelligence, and freedom. The same causes which transferred the sceptre of civilization and the weight of her influence from the banks of the Euphrates and the Nile 10 Western Europe, isiust in the course of no long period carry them frons the latter to the plains of the Mississippi and the Amazon."

What the population probably will become. The President of the United States estimates that the population doubles every twenty-three years Statistical tables show that since the year 1790, the rate of iucrease has never been less than 33 per cent. every len years, wbile ile average rate bas been more than 34 per cent.

Biit is it likely that this rate will he sustained? There are certainly many things that sanction such an expectation: for example, the favorable circumstances of the terri tory to be occupied, the homogeneousness of the people who llave tbe present possession of it, and the rapidity of foreign immigration. The condition of wen is constantly re. criving improvements from science, the aris, and the diffusion of better principles of education and government. These causes will not only promote the increase of our lative population, but will bring incalculable numbers from the Old World to our ebores, and the physical and intellectual power thus imported will exert itself to better advantage in developing tre mirans of subsistence, than it can do under the burdens of Ewropean society and government.

Taking the rate of increase of population af onethird every ten years, (i e. doubling in 30 years,) and we shall have, in round numbers, the following results:4. D. 1840, the population was

17.000.000 1. D. 1850, it will be

22.600.000 A D. 1860,

30,--00.000 A D 1870,

40,200,000 A D. 1880,

53,700.000 A. D. 1890,

71.600 000 A D. 1900,

95.500.000 A. D. 1910,

127 C40,000 A. D. 1920,

169.800.000 A D. 1920,

205,400.000 A D. 1940,

275,200.000

« PrécédentContinuer »