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ances, are considered as traitors to the cause of reform ; but though I do not view them in so unfavorable a point of light, yet I cannot put a favorable construction upon their movements. Their "trumpet gives an uncertain sound.” They perplex and paralize the minds of their friends, and strengthen the hands of their opponents. These good friends of the cause of reform it seems, are terribly afraid lest "we should run wild;" and to prevent this, when a practical crisis approaches, they are found in the opposition ranks, or declare themselves neuters. I have said a thousand times over, and I repeat it again; our object is not to make or to destroy laws or rules of government, but to render the principles of legislation mutual and common to all who are subject to legislative control. Who does not remember Mr. Asbury's point and severity when the subject of local or lay-membership in the conferences was touched upon.
He 'manifested a feeling of indignity at the idea of men coming into conference, to regulate the concerns of travelling preachers, in which they could have no participation. So far all was well. Had he gone one step further, and involve ed the maxim, “it is a bad rule which will not work both ways,” he would have come out right. But no sooner did the conferences begin to make rules to regulate the concerns of local preachers and the members of the church, than the point and edge of his feelings became blunted. I instance Mr. Asbury, because it is well known that he gave the key note. Let this principle go fully into operation, and it is plain, that we must have three legislative bodies, each legisJating their own separate concerns. The only remedy is in the significant and well chosen word Mutual—in the give and take plan-in all voting together whether the question relates to one or to all. Take away the mutual action, and all is wild uproar and confusion, or the death-like stillness of despotism; for without this action in the social system, it can only vibrate from anarchy to oppression.
It is amusing to see how ingenious some of our anti-reformers are in finding out parallels between our government and the government of the United States; suppose they try their skill in looking for parallels between the patriots of "76, and some of our professed reformers, would they not be equally puzzled as if they should attempt to find out the points of agreement between one who steers by the pole star, and one who is guided in his course by a meteor ? 1, says one, should be for a lay-representation, if it were prac
ticable. And I, says another, should have no objection to the local preachers being represented, if I thought the General Conference would grant it. Is not this giving up the cause? If brethren doubt it, let them look at the consequences. Suppose a new set of legislators, like the king who knew not Joseph, should arise to oppress our Israel to bind heavy burdens and grievous to borne upon us, what could these brethren say? Would they say as they now say, we should have no objection to a representative govern. ment if it were practicable ? Surely this is giving up a cause for lost. Old patriots used not to speak thus, but when their country's rights were invaded, would talk about dying in the last ditch. Ah! brethren when you tell us that you give up the cause of representation as impracticable, you wound, you kill us in the house of our friends. Your fears, I trust, and not as some suppose, your treachery, have betrayed you into this ; but in the name of common sense, and of a common cause, why proclaim your fears? Do you not perceive that you put words into the mouths of our opponents; that you plead their cause ? Let any case be ad. mitted as impracticable, and who will be blamed for not attempting it? We know that lay-representation is practicable in other churches; and the United brethren have proved it to be practicable for the members to elect delegates from among their travelling and local preachers to their General Conference without destroying their itinerancy. And he must be a sceptic indeed who can doubt that they derive benefit, as well as security from representation. Under this polity, the Protestant Episcopal church is fast rising into consequence; and the Lutheran, and German Reformed churches increase, and are united.
Would not our friends do well, to reserve their apprehensions of "running wild," at least in part, for others as well as ourselves ? Little as they suspect it, "old side” men may innovate; but when they attempt any thing in this way, they do it systematically--the plan is first made out by the aid of two or three confidential men; then it goes the rounds; partizans are secured, and noses are counted; and if by the ensuing General Conference the majority is gained, all is ripe and ready for adoption by a final vote. I think it highly probable, if not certain, that changes are now in contemplation, but what these changes are, we shall not be permitted to know before the time. My conjectures and suspicions are, that mutual rights will make no part of them. It is not unlikely that these matters may get wind; but whether or not, I confidently predict, that any plan which does not secure the right of suffrage will fail in the great and essential point of securing the union of the body. The time is fast approaching when churchmen will lose all confidence in those who legislate their rights away, or legislate without regard to them. Suppose for instance, that instead of the present assent of all the annual conferences, two-thirds should be substituted ; and that presiding elders should be converted into chairmen, &c., with a station, &c., will not the language of the discipline still be in effect to the members “stand by thyself, come not nigh unto us, for we are holier than thou.”
I again entreat the friends of the principle of representation, to be true to their purpose. A united body of travelling and local preachers and members, who will not be moved away from their steadfastness in this great and glorious cause, must gather strength and increase in numbers. If from no other cause, from this one alone, viz. nine parts out of ten of those on the opposite side, are really laboring under a mental deception; they suppose that rights can be gained or secured without representation, but experience must tend to dissipate this illusion. In the heat of controversy it may happen, that men cannot reflect; but changes present men and things in different points of light. Some of those who have been the most fierce in their opposition, may be expected to lose the balance of their prejudices, and be turned fairly round. One fact must be apparent to us all : it is this, that almost all the opposition we have had to encounter has been personal. This of itself determines the course we ought to pursue. Our principles cannot be refuted; but time will be required to live down the prejudices which have been propagated against our dispositions and intentions. As soon as it is perceived that goodness is on our side, the truth of our cause will be evident; for a doubt of the former, is the veil which hides the latter from public view.
I flatter myself that the essays of “Bartimeus,” will have their influence upon those travelling preachers who may chance to read them. A few more such champions for our cause must force hot-heads to pause. Those of our friends who have been four years true and steady to the cause, must feel indescribable complacency in reading this most masterly vindication of the part they have acted. Such are the sweet rewards of consistency and constancy in a good cause. Had we abandoned the principle, these essays or addresses could not have existed, the object and the excitement would have been wanting; and genius itself cannot write without these. Every day's experience and observation produces fresh conviction in my mind, that not only our future union, but also our prosperity, depends upon a hearty admission, by all parties among us, of the principle of representation. No language can describe my emotions when I hear brethren talk of giving up the rights of any party among us, to carry a point or to gain an accommodation. It is a basis for universal confidence which we want. Where else shall we find it, if we give up the right of suffrage? If there could be any remaining doubts at this day, of the unequivocal nature and tendency of equal suffrage, they might be all solved by a reference to the conduct of all the despots of the earth, whose whole history is little else than a detail of their endeavors to prevent or destroy this sacred right. Free voters may indeed err as it regards their own true interests; for like hierarchists they are fallible ; but their interests naturally countervail their errors, whereas, the interests of absolute rulers are all embarked on the other side.
From the beginning, I took the ground on which I could challenge the confidence of all my brethren; and on this ground I still stand. I have nothing to conceal, nothing to fear, nothing to barter, or to modify. All that I aim at, all that I ask, is for all. Extending my confidence to all, have I not a right to expect in return, what I give? What room is here for jealousy or suspicion ? Let not those who deprive me of my right of suffrage blame me for not feeling confidence towards them, as they themselves put it out of my power to do so. O, why will they be so unreasonable, so unjust as to demand that which they refuse to give. We have, my brethren a plain course to pursue; a plain answer to give to all men. Let us leave to those who take it upon themselves to make laws for others without their consent, to begin their work in the dark. In secret we have nothing to say-our address should be, "is thy heart right as my heart is with thy heart?—then give me thy hand.” Only let us persevere in maintaining the broad principle of representation, and we must finally secure the approbation of heaven and earth. I am aware brethren, that I have been accused of ambition--of aspiring at the distinction of a leader in this business; it is true, that as a matter of necessity I must
have my name among the first in the order of time, but in every thing else I hope, you will all more than emulate me. In perseverance, in prudence, in zeal, let us all strive to be, at least, equals.-We shall really do God service-our brethren, our countrymen, and our children shall rise up and call us blessėd. O how my heart mourns over those who have let another man take their crown! And should any more among us desert the cause, we can only regret that they should count themselves unworthy of our confidence, and the confidence of the lovers of the true principles of religious liberty.
NICHOLAS SNETHEN. Linganore, Oct. 12, 1825.
November, 1825. A letter is published from the Union Society of Bedford county, Tennessee, stating that the presiding elder publicly read out the names of fourteen official members, some of whom were local preachers. The number of local preachers expelled, cut off, or censured, are nine or ten, besides exhorters. When these trials are ended, (they say) if the common members will not abandon the 'Union Society,' these also will be turned out. An appeal was taken to the annual conference. In February, 1826, letters were published, stating that all the local preachers who had taken appeals to the annual conference were restored, and the presiding elder censured, &c.
Mutual Rights, vol. ii. February, 1826, p. 154, p. 171.
A Discourse on the Supremacy. "And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, all power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye, therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.”—Mat. xxviii. 18, 19, 20.
It is a fact, that the commission which our Lord gave to his apostles, before his resurrection, differed in several respects from the one which he gave afterwards. Is it upon this fact, that certain writers have predicated an intermediate dispensation between the law and the gospel ? The following are the terms of the first mission. "These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not; but go rather to the lost sheep of