Obrázky stránek


-New York Daily Press-American Weekly Journals—

Southern Rebellion Press-Pro-Southern Correspondents-

New Gospel of Peace-Loyal Publication Society .........438—458

Appendix ......


* Errors and oversights in the press I hope will be found only few;
but one has occurred at page 86, which I will thank the reader to
correct. On the line ninth from the bottom, insert "not" before the
words “in a slave state.” Connecticut was the State. The Church
assembling in the Tabernacle, Jersey City, N.J., adhered, by reso-
lution, to the response from New York.






A LETTER, expressing generous and enlightened sympathy with the descendants of Puritan and Nonconformist ancestors, was received and read at a meeting of the Committee of the Congregational Union of England and Wales, in the summer of 1862. The occasion of the letter was the proposed celebration of the Bicentenary of St. Bartholomew, 1662, when two thousand clergymen submitted to ejection from their livings and prospect of preferment in the Church of England, rather than constrain or wound their conscience by obedience to the dictates of royal or prelatic policy in things belonging to God. The letter was written by the Rev. J. P. Thompson, D.D., Minister of Broadway Tabernacle, New York, under the appointment of an assembly of Congregational ministers in the United States. The expediency and, form of a reply were considered at a meeting of the Committee, and the care of preparing a draft for adoption, at a more public


assembly, was devolved on the writer of these pages. The condition of America, the past intercourse sustained between Congregationalists in England and the United States, and a desire to advance the cause of American bondmen, suggested the line of thought which it was too confidently anticipated the assembly would unanimously approve. The discussion then produced led to action in another form, which renders worthy of a record what had been proposed. It was affirmed that the Congregational Union has ever regarded their brethren of the Congregational churches in America as their lineal and collateral kindred, representing the same fathers and teachers, of early Puritanic and Nonconformist lineage, who testified and suffered as witnesses to the sovereign and revealed will of their Lord and Redeemer, and the inviolate and sacred rights of conscience, and who, by their sacrifices, virtues, and labours, on both sides of the Atlantic, for the truth and sufficiency of God's word, have maintained and extended the life and purity of evangelical churches; and in remembrance of such prolonged ecclesiastical affinity, the assurances of cordial sympathy and

.congratulation, conveyed by the letter of the Rev. Dr. Thompson, were hailed with grateful satisfaction; and it was proposed to approve of the replies returned by the Committee, and remit to that body all further correspondence arising from this communication.

“ The cordial assurance was avowed, that Congregational brethren in America have preserved their churches from the polluting and contaminating fellowship of the slavedealer and the slaveholder; in the belief that slavery is the summing and concentration of all social evils, and the stronghold in which the principle of tyrannical power reigns triumphant: with this assurance the assemblies of this Union had repeatedly addressed, in the freedom of Christian confidence, their American brethren in behalf of brethren in bondage, pleading that they should employ their influence in their own country for the entire abolition of slavery, in resistance to the aggressive policy of rulers and representatives, chosen and imposed by the influence of a slaveholding oligarchy, and the gains of commercial intercourse. It was hoped the assembly would adhere to



their former importunities, and again emphatically renew them for the speedy and effectual liberation of all who are held in slavery throughout America.

" It was sought to pledge the assembly, without entering into the occasion or question of the war now raging, to express its unfeigned compassion for the people who suffer, and its sympathy with the Christian brethren who long for the immediate cessation of this fratricidal conflict; to commend in fervent prayer to God, as Ruler among the nations, the cause of the poor and oppressed, and entreat Him to bring to a speedy termination the unnatural hostilities by which the principle of popular government is covered with reproach, the work of righteousness and peace is resisted, and our common Christianity is dishonoured and impeded."

About the time when the Congregational Union held its autumnal meeting, the British organization of the Evangelical Alliance was convened under the presidency of the late Sir Culling Eardley, Bart. When this association was first inaugurated, the question of American slave-holding, as affecting membership, was warmly discussed ; leading to the exclusion of all who held slaves. The committee of the Paris branch now interposed a plea against sympathy with any organization in the slaveholding States which should approve of slavery. The action taken in the Alliance in September, 1862, did not satisfy the French correspondents, and led to private remonstrances. Disappointment, in some quarters, induced a movement for the formation of a Committee of Correspondence on American Affairs," consisting of earnest friends of emancipation among Christians of all evangelical denominations. Some information was thus diffused, and the sympathies of many were ascertained. Friends of America and of the slave were stimulated to action, who did not wish to confine their co-operation to religious designations; and hence arose “the Emancipation Society” of London, willing to work with "the Anti-Slavery Society," or

any other kindred organization, and "the Union and Emancipation Society of Manchester.” These societies proceeded in right earnest to raise funds, and with efficiency to pursue their benevolent object. They prepared and published lectures, tracts, and documents, fitted to impart kuowledge. They convened meetings in large halls, in chapels, school and lecture rooms, in the metropolis and in the provinces; and invited some of the most distinguished and well qualified advocates of freedom to lend their assistance by writing and by lectures in all parts of the country. One of the members, holding relation to both societies, having occasion to visit Paris, and enjoying the friendship of highly honoured Protestant pastors in that city, availed himself of repeated intercourse with the enlightened and earnest friends of universal liberty in that metropolis, to suggest a reconsideration of the claims of the champions of emancipation in the United States. He was most cordially sustained by Frederick Monod, G. Monod, George Fisch, Grandpierre, Eug. Bersier, De Pressense, Pulsford, and Rognon, all of them pastors and honoured Christians. Ultimately they issued a letter for the signature of ministerial brethren throughout France, which was signed by more than seven hundred and fifty Protestant pastors; and, through the hands of their correspondent, it was laid before the committees of the two "Emancipation" societies and published in several newspapers. The document deserves a place in the records of anti-slavery agitation. It was entitled



“Paris, February 12, 1863. “ IIonoured and beloved Brethren in the Lord,-It is the glory of England to have given to the world the example of abolishing first the slave trade, and then slavery.

« PředchozíPokračovat »