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extra judicial proceedings against Bishop Andrew, which resulted, on Saturday last, in the virtual suspension of him from his office as Superintendent, must produce a state of things in the South which renders a continuance of the jurisdiction of this General Conference over these Conferences inconsistent with the success of the ministry in the slaveholding States.
This document was referred to a committee of nine, consisting of Robert Paine, Glezen Fillmore, Peter Akers, Nathan Bangs, Thomas Crowder, Thomas B. Sargeant, William Winans, Leonidas L. Hamline, and James Porter. It shows distinctly that the movements by Southern members, which looked to a division of the Church, were not based upon any one act, but upon the difficulties in which some attempts to make the antislavery doctrines of the Church practical had involved our Southern people, and it ought to be admitted that these difficulties were formidable, not alone because they were against a growing sentiment in the South that slavery was right, but because the purpose to protect it was profonnd and pervading in the Southern mind. We at the North had attempted in various ways to show that we were not insensible to the embarrassinents which antislavery agitation brought upon our brethren there. But the day had come when high conservatism must give place to fundamental right, and however carefully and tenderly the assertion of this right had been adjusted to these embarrassments, they were felt by the men who must go back and labor there as by no others. To some men it appeared then, as it would to many more now, that it was the duty of our brethren boldly and calmly to confront these difficulties, and not only submit to the decision of the General Conference, but calmly and firinly defend the action of the Church. But we could not take the dimensions of the resistance to antislavery measures. We were sure that the action in the case of Bishop Andrew, was not "extra judicial” as alleged, nor in any sense judicial, but we could not tell what results the action taken, as interpreted by the South, would produce. The majority proposed to wait and see; but the minority indicated positive convictions that the recoil would be irresistible and destructive. They therefore addressed themselves immediately to what they deemed their absorbing question of self-protection. The first formal proposition came from Dr. Capers June 3d. In six carefully drawn resolutions it proposed, by the consent of the Annual Conferences, to erect
two General Conferences, one South, the other North, with distinct jurisdictions, but one Church. These resolutions were respectfully referred to a very able committee, consisting of W. Capers, W. Winans, T. Crowder, J. Porter, G. Fillmore, P. Akers, L. L. Hamline, J. Davis, and P. P. Sanford. After two days' deliberation Dr. Capers returned these resolutions stating that the committee could not agree on a report which they judged would be acceptable to the Conference.”
The next measure was a resolution, offered on the fifth day of June, by J. B. M'Ferrin, of Tennessee, and T. Spicer, of Troy. The exact wording of this famous resolution, as it was presented, amended, and passed, is not shown by the Journal. As it stands, (p. 111,) it reads,
Resolved, that the Committee appointed to take into consideration the communication of the delegates from the Southern Conferences be instructed, provided they cannot in their judgment devise a plan for an amicable adjustment of the difficulties now existing in the Church on the subject of slavery, to devise, if possible, a constitutional plan for a mutual and friendly division of the Church.
But the resolution as presented proposed to obtain, upon the contingency named, the direct authority of the General Conference for the division of the Church. The writer of this article promptly and energetically protested against its passage, insisting that we were sent to conserve the Church, not to divide or destroy it. If division occurred, it must be entirely at the responsibility of those who effected it. If the South should assume this responsibility he would treat them kindly as to joint and separate interests; but never on any account should the Methodist Episcopal Church indorse or become responsible for the division. A spirited debate sprang up, which was terminated as follows: “Mr. Hamline rose, and being too weak to speak loud, walked from his seat in the side to the central aisle, and said, 'I cannot go out with such instructions.' Being urged to go, he said, 'I will not go out with instructions from this Conference to devise a plan to divide the Church.' “Then will Brother Hamline go if the instructions be so " changed as simply to read, if the South should separate, to make provision in such a contingency to meet the emergency with Christian kindness and the strictest equity?' Mr. Ham'ine said, 'I will go out with such instructions.'
Life aud Letters of L. L. Hamline, D. D., pp. 165, 166.
The writer distinctly recollects that Mr. Hamline put his suggestions into words, instructing the Committee “ to inquire whether there be any constitutional method of dividing the funds of the Church.” The suggestion was accepted by Mr. M'Ferrin, and after failure of a motion by T. Crowder to strike out the word “constitutional,” the resolution as amended at Mr. Hamline's suggestion, and by consent of the mover, was adopted. But by some mistake it went into the journal with the words “division of the Church,” instead of the words adopted by the Conference. It must be presumed that the words orally suggested were not put into the slip of paper containing the resolution, and the Secretary failed to catch them. But the only legal importance this famous resolution ever had was due to this mistake. Mr. Hamline went into committee under the instructions actually passed, and not those which appear in the Journal, drawing up the substance of the famous report of the Committee of Nine, “ carefully guarding every word, as separate' and separation,' instead of divide' and • division,' and providing the submission of the restrictive rule to the Annual Conferences as in his judgment a constitutional method of dividing the funds of the Church.?!
Of course, the Journal as approved is official; but the moral value of the true history, given above, is in the clear evidence it furnishes that the General Conference did not intend to originate or sanction the division.
“The protest of the minority was presented on the sixth day of June. The most important points of this document have been already considered. The only remark necessary here is, that it distinctly indicated the conviction that a separation was inevitable. The argument was adjusted to this idea, and hence its moral effect was not to avert the disaster, but to aid in producing it. The official reply was opposite in all respects. They could not be alike. Their difference was much more a reason for sorrow than for surprise or reproach. But both could not be right. If the General Conference was wrong, then slavery was right, not only in a Bishop, but in every body else, and might now be restored without injustice to the fue slaved. Providence has settled the question between us
ART. II.-POLITICS AND THE PULPIT.
National Sermons. Sermons, Speeches, and Letters on Slavery and its War: from
the passage of the Fugitive Slave Bill to the Election of President Grant. By GILBERT HAVEN. Boston: Lee & Shepard. 1869,
It is one of the favorable signs of the times that evangelical sermons, in periodical or book forın, find such a wide circulation in our country. It betokens not only an elevation and refinement of literary taste, and an increasing interest in religious truth, but also that the pulpit is steadily advancing in influence over cultivated minds. To the question why the Methodist Episcopal Church has not a share in this species of literature, proportional to the number and talent of its ministry, we may give several answers. In the first place, that ministry have been trained to aim at immediate results. Their pulpit preparations, therefore, having reference chiefly to this very desirable end, have been of a synoptical and fragmentary character, suited only to extemporanevus preaching. Again, through fear of sermon reading in the pulpit, elaborate sermon writing has not been encouraged by our denominational fathers. Our peculiar Church polity, favoring the repetition of the best pulpit productions, the preacher has been inclined to withhold these from the press till he should be laid aside from the active duties of the sacred office. But in old age the eye is too dim to decipher the hieroglyphics of the youthful pen in its eager haste to keep pace with the rushing stream of thought. The literary executors order the manuscripts to be sold to the papermaker. Thus many of our most gitted preachers pass away, leaving, as their only literary monument, a thanksgiving or fast-day sermon in the perishable form of a pamphlet, or the still more ephemeral newspaper.
Mr. Haven has very wisely become his own literary executor, and, by causing some of his best pulpit utterances to crystalize into the solid forin of a beautifully executed volume, has contributed to supply what was lacking in the literature of his own Church; and he has become the historical representative, to all coming generations, of the work that the American ministry wrought in the long, dark, and bloody struggle of the State with oppression and rebellion. This volume is the only
monument in book form of the large share which the loyal pulpit contributed to the redemption of the Republic. It is exceedingly appropriate that this memorial should belong to that branch of the Church which, in the words of the martyred President, contributed more soldiers to the army, and more nurses to the hospitals, than any other.” He might have added, " and more words of cheer from her preachers in the darkest hours of the nation.” We hail with pleasure this volume of National Sermons on account of their historic value. The future historian will see in them the steady growth of the national conscience on the question of slavery through the most important period of that baneful institution. These Sermons are historical pictures, not drawn by the pencil of a professed historical painter, but photographs imprinted by the events themselves upon a highly susceptible Christian soul. Before he was an editor in the sanctum he was an editor in the pulpit, showing “the very age and body of the time, his form and pressure.
Philosophical history, which discloses the secret causes of great events, delights also to present the process by which these causes wronght out their effects. These Sermons reveal, in the experiences of a single mind, the process by which the mighty moral forces of Christianity slowly upheaved the foundations of a hoary iniquity. They will be witnesses to future generations that to Jesus Christ belongs the victory over American slavery, and not to a Christless Rationalism. The weapons of this warfare were chiefly not carnal, but spiritual—even the word of the Lord, the sword of the Spirit. And when at last carnal weapons were employed to decide the great moral debate, and cannon-balls took the place of words, the loyal pulpit steadily upheld the cause of freedom. The wonder of future generations will be at the strength of that irresistible tide-wave of popular feeling which lifted up and carried along on its bosom legislatures, congresses, cabinets, armies, and the President himself, through years of disaster and despair. That wonder will cease only when the sermons preached through all the loyal States shall be read by the historian, and the religious character of the conflict shall be discovered, of which the Spirit of God, through the agency of the pulpit, was the very creator and life. The millions of freedmen now emerging from the dark prison-house of enforced ignorance