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asserts, (pp. 67, 68) thè tetuphotai spoken of by the Apostle Paul, (1 Tim. vi. 4:) that they are “ proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, perverse disputings,” &c.: that they are the very characters of whom the Apostle emphatically says to the true Christian, “ from such withdraw thyself.” Let it be remembered that these tetuphotai are not merely a few strangers, prowling about among our churches, seeking whom they may devour, but that some, aye many of our people, our elders, and even of the ministers of this Synod are themselves become zealous tetuphotai; they maintain the fundamental principles of "the Abolition movement:" yea more, that they have been laboring for years, and are now laboring to convert the whole Synod into a body of tetuphotai ; and with such success that an entire Presbytery, one of the largest among us, is, (if we may coin a suitable word,) completely tetuphotized: and what is most lamentable of all, some two or three Presbyteries in our connection have actually had the audacity to memo ralize the General Assembly in favor of tetuphotism! In this unhappy, dangerous, and critical state of affairs, the Synod of Cincinnati assembles, “to order whatever pertains to the spiritual welfare of the churches under their care;"_to “take such order with respect to the Presbyteries, Sessions, and people under their care as may
**** promote the edification of the church; and to propose to the General Assembly, for their adoption, such measures as may be of common advantage to the whole church."
What course, now, is proposed by the President of Miami University? (to use his own favorite circumlocution for ego.) This self-constituted champion of orthodoxy, who once volunteered to prosecute a brother in the ministry, charged with a heresy perhaps less dangerous than Abolitionism,--what remedial measures does he propose to this Synod for their adoption ?What new excision act does he concoct? What well devised and deep laid scheme to prevent the multiplication of these terrible tetuphotai? Does he advocate immediate obedience to the apostolic injunction to withdraw from, or eject, these “men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth”? Does he implore
this court of Jesus Christ to rush, like Aaron, between the living and the dead, that the plague may be stayed ?-Alas! how are the mighty fallen!—He folds his arms, and declares, that, according to the Constitution, the subject does not fall within the jurisdiction of ecclesiastical courts!
But has he not spoken out boldly in defence of “the scriptural relation of master and slave”? Yes when left in a lean minority of four"; but, were the wish of that minority "the governing purpose” of the majority, the Synod would indefinitely postpone, without discussion, any paper alluding in any way to the subject of slavery. We dislike to judge our brethren; but verily it requires all the charity we are master of, to believe them sincere in their desperate charges against anti-slavery men, measures, and principles, while they constantly assert that Presbyteries, Synods, and General Assemblies have no business with this whole matter.
On the contrary hypothesis, that slave-holding is sinful; that it has polluted the Church for centuries; and that it has so far perverted the morals, even of the ministry, that Doctors of Divinity, and Presidents of Colleges, instead of rebuking, actually defend it from the Bible;—it were idle for us to prove that ecclesiastical courts have a right to give it their attention. Besides, what a reflection upon the good sense of the Synod of Cincinnati, and many other Synods, does the Doctor's argument involve! For years past we have discussed the slavery question; and have by repeated resolutions and memorials to the General Assembly, decided that it does fall within our province to debate and act in regard to slavery, whether in the abstract or concrete. We trust the future action of our ecclesiastical bodies will demonstrate that American Oxfordism in regard to slavery, is as disreputable among us, as is English Oxfordism upon theology generally.
62. But again, I (Dr. J.) object to this course: because the discussion will most likely degenerate into a mere debate, dispute, or hot controversy.
Is it reasonable to expect that slavery, abolitionism, and colonization will be discussed here with that coolness and soul-subdued temper which their importance demands, and christian courtesy requires? Does
IN DEFENCE OF AMERICAN SLAVERY;
Delivered September 19th and 20th, and Published December 1848 :
WITH AN OUTLINE OF
THE BIBLE ARGUMENT AGAINST SLAVERY.
“Out upon such folly! The man who cannot see that involuntary domestic slavery, as it
ROBERT J. BRECKINRIDGE.