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preachers, as it regards our high claim to representation. I tell you brethren, if you mean to support the principles of representation, you must have a conscience of your own, and act up to it.
Christian Intelligencer, vol. ii. December 5, 1829, p. 121.
A writer in opposition to representation, it seems has im. plicated our motives. But why should we have any other motives than those which we profess? We have always declared, as we still declare, that our object is representation, and we do not conceal the consequences, viz: that we wish others to have it as well as ourselves. Certainly if it were in our power, we would convince and persuade every member and minister of the old side to adopt our theory, and reduce it to practice. Our motives cannot be question. ed, unless our professions of regard for representation are supposed to be hypocritical. And surely those who have suffered themselves to be excluded, and those who have voluntarily withdrawn, have given no proofs of insincerity. We believe that those who are leaving no means unessayed to destroy representation, by destroying us, are very sincere. They would divide us in Jacob, and scatter us in Israel, and leave no two of us together. We therefore oppose motive to motive, and intention to intention. They hate representation, we love it. They oppose it, and we support it. They are sincere ; so are we. Our saying and doing are as consistent as theirs; why then question our motives?
But although our motives may be impeached, motives or intentions alone will not ensure our success; nor can we succeed by adopting the means of our opponents. As the friends of representation, we must act so as to gain and secure the confidence of all. Let the question be asked me upon an individual case, what was your motive for acting so or so? My answer would be, to get or keep the confidence of the friends of liberty. As, for instance, when your friends were turned out of the church, why did you withdraw ? Because, if I had not, I must have lost the confidence of all parties. Now what was the motive of those who turned my friends out of the church? I believe it was in part, at least, to bring about a loss of confidence, which would certainly
have been effected if none of the friends of representation had withdrawn and associated with them. The result would have been inevitable; and this loss of confidence would have led to universal despair of the cause.
Who would ever have dared again to brave itinerant power, in the cause of representation, after being thus taught by example, that they might be suffered to fall alone? We are told that many friends of representation still remain in the church, who think that they can render the cause more service in the church than out of it. I question not their sincerity; but who has confidence in them? It is matter of much surprise to me, to find how little account is made of confidence. A friend of Mr. O'Kelly has, it seems, told the secret, that a breach of confidence among the party, led to all their calamities. It matters not by what process confidence among a new party is made to fail
, the consequences will be ruin. ous to it; for confidence is their only bond; if this fails all fails. When my friends were expelled, the crisis had come, -I must either go with them, or undo all that I ever had done in the cause of representation, and disqualify myself forever to render it any service. Necessity was laid upon me, and I consulted not with flesh and blood. The dilemma was not to be avoided. The question must have been asked, why did you not go with the men who were excluded for publishing your'writings? How could I answer? Would it have sufficed to say, I can do more good to the cause by staying where I am! Why, I knew and always did know, that a man can do no good to any cause, when he has lost the confidence of its friends.
Let the opponents of representation question our motives as much as they please; but an impartial and candid public will judge us by our works: they will look for the evidence of our sincerity in our consistency, in our courage, and in our constancy. Behold the rock on which many of the travelling preachers have been wrecked! Behold how they misled others ! They are still the friends of liberal principles, and yet they are destined almost daily to shock the public confidence in their own professions. The decree of the power under which they act, is, that the excommunicants and their friends must be put down, in order to put down representation; and they lend the hand. Alas ! for these men! can they find what they seek,-consolation in the belief that they are thus rendering a more essential service to the cause I can only say that I could not. He
who has the confidence of two adverse parties to secure, has a most difficult part to act. It will be well if he do not realize the maxim of "between two stools.” I say then to those motive questioners, my motive is to seek and find the confidence of all the true friends of representation. If others shall be successful in an opposite course, it will be well for them. I am fully persuaded I cannot. I have no secret motives, but speak and spare not, whether men will hear or forbear; and wish with all my heart, that doctrine which I do all I can to make universal, may become so among preachers and people.
The part which some preachers have acted, who were once volunteers in the cause of representation, has staggered many minds exceedingly. I plead the apology of these old friends thus: They did not foresee; they have been led on by degrees, until it has come to this point, that they must go forward, or retrace their steps; and even now they do not feel, what a shock they are giving to public feeling. The power under which they act is as unrelenting as death. Woe to the man who goes not to all its lengths! Many are the painful struggles which those have escaped, who, when the circumstances made the call, ventured all for representation. Truly I envy not my dear old friends, when they turn their backs upon me, and shut their pulpits against me. I should deem it the greatest calamity of my life, if, under the impulse of any party feeling, I should be obliged to do the like to any of them.
O, ye friends of representation, fear not to risk your all for the cause! We rejoice that it fell not to our lot to be expelled, that we might prove to you and to the world, that no shame nor fear could prevent us from stepping forth voluntarily, to bear a part of that immense weight of church reproach which was to devolve upon our expelled friends. We have thus at once challenged confidence, and given an example of it. Our greatest fear now is, that those who remain behind are destined to lose confidence in themselves : their prudence will be so often put to the test, and dictate to them not to speak and to act, that it will be very apt to take on the habit of timidity, and of fear itself. When the fear to act becomes habitual, the power to act is gone, and with it all self-confidence. It is a distressing anticipation, that
any of our old co-workers in the cause of liberty, should become the subjects of the fear of man, which bringeth a
Christian Intelligencer, vol. ii. January 5, 1830, page 129.
Thoughts on the Moral and Intellectual states of the Sup
porters of the Principle of Representution.
“Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?” The opposers of representation fail not to include ambition among the bad qualities of its supporters; but they cannot conceive of their ambition as having any thing great or good in its nature, or its tendency. It is ambition of the worst kind, and of the worst consequences. No pictures of depravity can well be drawn in baser colors, than those in which some of our former friends have painted us, and that in letters written to ourselves alone. The vilest and most ignoble ambition must indeed degrade any heart and mind, by habitual contact. For ambition, under fication, we aim not to be the advocates. But it is customary with writers to use this word, for the want of a better, perhaps, in reference to lawful or laudable purposes. So a man is considered as ambitious of success, in a good enterprise. The opposers of representation attempt to defeat its friends, and they are ambitious of success.
They feel that they will be ashamed, if they do not succeed. If they do succeed, they must of course presume that the shame will be the lot of their opponents. How then can the friends of representation repress a similar feeling, or kind of ambition. The opposers of representar tion wage a war of extermination. They hold up the friends of the principle as too bad to live, and as obnoxious to final perdition. Death and destruction are the burden of their daily predictions. They have turned the eyes of the whole world upon us.
We have to become a by-word, and a reproach, and an object of hissing. Can we know all this, and feel no ambition ? And if ambitious of success under such circumstances, must our ambition be wholly ignoble and debasing? Look you, great and good sirs ! what if these ambitious men aspire to conquer you? If they can conceive such an idea, must they not be greater than kings among beggars ? Our patriots began by claiming their rights as free men ; but they soon found a reward set upon their heads. Did the nations look upon them as scape-gallows ? Not so, they became spectators of the
conflict. See how the circumstances combined. Americans contending for their rights, and for their lives, contended as in the presence of all Europe, whose good will was to be secured by their courage. If they were ambitious, could they well avoid becoming so? And would they have found allies if they had been less so? We deny not the charge of ambition now. We know not, it may be, how ambitious we are. Our opponents have compelled us to contend for fame; they have made success essential, not only to our liberty, but to our being; and coupled their defeat to our success. Great is the prize they have set before us.
Can we win it and not be great ? The little and the paltry objects they accused us of being influenced by in the beginning, if they had any existence, must have given place to considerations of the greatest magnitude. We are preached against. Are we thus beaten? Who is to judge? Those who hear both sides. If they judge that we out-preach our opponents, the victory is ours. How can we hope to out-preach them, if we cultivate nothing great- in our hearts or our minds ? The true state of the case is this : To say nothing upon the subject of represen. tation, in the abstract, we shall not insult the feelings of any American by attempting to prove to him that an ate tachment to it is consistent with the greatest attainments in goodness. To say nothing in praise of our own virtue, every true and sincere friend and supporter of the cause of representation, who has been a Methodist, if he has genius, if he has generous qualities of heart, must have them
called forth in the present crisis. If there be traitors to the cause among us, if men who do not understand or value their rights, or those who are indeed altogether selfish, and can see nothing beyond their poor, little selves, they must disappear; but all that is excitable by greatness, whether in the heart or mind, may be expected to display itself. We can have no motive to undervalue our opponents, on the supposition that we are ambitious; for the greater they are, the greater will be the glory of our success.