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ed the whole slength ảnd breadth” of the different subjects on which I have written; yet, it is a source of comfort to me, to be assured that, I have nevertheless cast so much light on each subject as to enable him who "runs,” to both “read and understand.” How the following work may be received, I pretend not to predict. My first wish concerning it is, that it may do good to any: my second desire, that it may assist, what it has ever been my earnest wish to promote, the cause of truth and righteousness. And that you, Reverend Sir, may long continue, by you zeal, and talents, and lofty erudition, to sustain the honors, and to pro. mote the vital good of the Christian cause in general, and that of Metlio. dismin particular, in these United States, is the sincere desire and fer-> vent prayer of,

Reverend and dear Sir,
Your most obliged,
And obedient servant,

WILLIAM G. BROWNLOW.

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PREFACE.

That a book must not appear without a Preface, is one among the many established customs of the world: therefore, I willingly 'submit to this customary ceremony. I am aware that SOLOmon has said, that, in “making many books there is no end," that is to say, of the weariness of the flesh, both to the writer and reader; yet, notwithstanding this, and even the great number of books which have been written, and the still increasing spread of the book mania, I must be permitted to furnish the world's library with an additional volume.

2. That the American people are on the eve of an eventful period, cannot be doubted, I think, by any one who can discern the signs of the times.” If ever a crisis did exist in the affairs of this Nation, since its independence was first achieved, which called upon the people to watch with sleepless vigilance over their liberties, that crisis may be dated in the year of our Lord ONE THOUSAND EIGHT HUNDRED AND THIRTY-FOUR. For I boldly say, that there never was the time known, since the dark days of the revolution, when the liberties of our country were so much endangered, as at the present. The good people of the United States, having had full evidence of the excellency of their present Constitution, which guarantees civil and religious liberties to every class of our citizens, justly abhor the idea of giving to any one of the denominations of christians, that exists among us, a preference above the rest. The'r

right of worshipping God according to the dictates of conscience, is a right that is wisely guaranteed and secured to every individual within the confines of this great commonwealth, by our excellent constitution. It recognizes no sect-it restrains and punishes persecution, when it assumes to itself the semblance of violence:--but it cannot cast out the demons of prejudice and misrepresentation. Under our Constitutio.., the dignified preacher of every persuasion pursues the course which conscience points out to him, in edifying his flock, without the fear of molestation, or with no other interruption than that which occasionally arises from the attempts of underling clerical scavengers to cast the mud of misrepresentation in his way. That the American people should be jealous of their rights, in this particular, is by no means a matter of astonishment. That incipient efforts have been made, and are

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still making, to grasp at political power and pre-eminence, and that

many ambitious hearts still palpitate from a strong desire to become the "favored few," in order that they may enjoy the fruits of political superiority, cannot be denied. It is a truth too wellknown, to require proof, that, Christianity never did flourish, and it never will flourish under an arbitrary form of government, especially where the Church is wedded to the State by means of A RELIGIOUS ESTABLISHMENT. In all such cases, (and there have been many,) as the history of the Church and of the world will prove, Christianity has become a poor, miserable, forlorn, degraded superstition, but little better than Paganism itself. In looking over the history of past times, we see religious incendiaries the most dangerous and formidable characters on record-fanning the flames of dissention--bursting the bands of national alliance; drenching communities in blood; and hurling devastation and ruin amongst unoffending and devoted victims. In these two words-Civil and RELIGIOUS-are contained all the relations which man hold with man, and man with his God. And knowing, as we do, that both civil and religious society are prone to slum-" ber over their rights, and suffer them to be taken away, we cannot insist too strongly nor yet too frequently, upon the necessity of watchfulness on this momentous subject. Therefore, if real danger is to be apprehended from the movements of any one sect, it is but proper and right, that the alarm should be sounded in season, that the ambitious aspirants for civil power, may be frustrated in their unhallowed, diabolical, and unlawful designs, and be held up to the reproach and indignation of every lover of freedom. That the Presbyterian, Hopkinsian, and Congregational Calvinists, have designs of this nature, can no longer be doubted by the most superficial observer of passing events. When, however, I name Presbyterians, Hopkinsians, or Congrogationalists, in the following pages, in referrence to any great scheme, or political designs, I use the names as synonymous. For really, when the Congregational ministers come to the south or west, they frequently become pastors of Presbyterian churches; so that, for all important purposes, they are essentially Presbyterians. Indeed, Presbyterians, Hopkinsians, Congregationalists, Dutch Reformed, Associate Reformed, and Scotch Presbyteri. ans, are radically and strictly one in doctrines, in ordination, and to a great extent, in church discipline likewise. And I do not thus allude to these people, with a view to sound an unnecessary alarm in this land, where I think it hardly probable, however much it may be desired or sought after, for any one sect to gain such a predominant influence as to oppress or violently per

secute another. In the event of such a catastrophe however, I for one, should be unwilling to trust myself in the hands of any such predominant sect, as history abundantly confirms the truth of the remark, that give men the power, and they will soon persuade themselves that it is "doing God service" to persecute their neighbors, even for difference in religious belief. There is indeed no bigotry so intolerable as religious bigotry, nor any hatred so unrelenting as religious hatred. Let the melancholy history of the church confirm the truth of this remark. On this account the venerable patriots of the Revolution, who founded this republic, instructed from the pages of history, excluded, by the constitution which binds us together, and which is the supreme law of the land, the possibility, so long as that instrument shall be held sacred, of any sectarian preference or religious establishment. The whole frame of our civil society, therefore must be altered, and an entire new order of things established before intolerance can be introduced into our civil code, or religious persecution become legalized. This, however, can be effected upon Dr. Ely's plan, which I exhibit in the following pages. At present, therefore, we ask not for toleration, becalise there is no power to tolerate; nor do we fear persecution, for there is no power to persecute. No, verily, if there be a spot in the wide world where liberty, both civil and religious, are enjoyed, it is in America! If there be any one portion of the whole earth, where the human mind, unfettered by tyrannical infuence, may rise to the summit of moral and intellectual grandeur, it is North America! Yes, the tree of liberty has been planted in America-watered, enriched, and pruned by salutary laws; it has extended its branches north and south over the western hemisphere, to the great annoyance of tyrants; they have overhung the Atlantic; and are now rapidly spreading themselves all over Europe. The despot of France lets fall the sceptre from his palsied grasp, and hides himself in what he may consider the last retreat, or strongest hold of European oppression. The Belgians and Poles having caught the spirit, have burst their bands, and hurled the tyrants from thrones of fancied security; and I fondly hope the time will come, and is fast approaching, when all the nations of the earth will bask be. neath its genial influence; and when the withering breath of the hireling slave or minion of power will no longer nip the buds of liberty. I fondly hope the time will soon come, when it may be said of every nation, as it is justly said of ours, "this is the land of the free and the home of the brave.” And in the meantime,

may the goddess of liberty never take a final flight from Amer. ica!

3. It has been said by the excellent Bishop Horne, that, "in times when erroneous and noxious tenets are diffused, all men should embrace some opportunity to bear their testimony against them.” It will be allowed by every dispassionate observer, that if "erroneous and noxious tenets" were ever diffused among men in any age, they are eminently so at the present, And let those who are accustomed to rail out against controversy and doctrinal discussions, but consider this, that, had it not been for controversy, Romish Priests would now be feeding us with Latin masses and a wafer god! In the controversies of the last eight years, I have felt a deep interest, and with their results in most instances, I have been greatly delighted. Perhaps this is owing to the fact, that'I always believed Methodism to be the most consistent and most scripturalsystem in the world.and having imbibed these sentiments in very early life, I was always glad when its enemies were defeated and its excellencies brought to view. I have occasionally heard respectable members of even the Methodist Church say, that there was too much of controversy in our country, and that it was high time these wars were brought to an end. I must confess, however, that my views of this subject are quite different; for it is very evident that the prophets of old, and Christ and his apostles were always, in some way or other, combatting the errors of their day. So also of the Fathers, as they are called--they were men of war. But how was it with the Church of Rome when there were none to controvert her dogmas? How was it with the Church of England before the days of John Wesley? ' And how was it in the New England States before Methodism found its way there? Were not the shepherds in each case living at their ease in ceiled houses, while the true temple of God was lying in ruins? Were they not living on the fat of the land and on the fleece, instead of caring for the flock? Were they not lording it over God's heritage!—and were they not making the people "hewers of wood and drawers of water” for them? At a protracted meeting in New England, in 1832, it was remarked by a Calvinistic minister, “Brethren, we must have a revival! Time was when our ministers could live without revivals. Their salary was sure whether they had revivals in their congregations or not; but it is not so now!" This gentleman alluded to the Blue laws of Massachusetts and Connecticut, which laws made ample provisions for the wants of this order of clergymen!

4. In the following pages I have brought to view the nature,

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