Free press. (Halifax, N.C.) 1824-1830, July 18, 1828, Image 1
rrioc j'o. 204. Tarborough, Edgecombe County, JV. C. Friday, July 18, 1828. Foi. IF". JVo. 48. THE "FREE PRESS," Z?y Geo. Io-ward, I? published weekly, (every Friday,) at riM H0 1.1. A R R nrr VIUV f nr. CO ; i -S j--- V 1 "Illin ois.) if paid within one month after Sub scribers commence receiving their papers T:o Dollars I? Fifty Cents, if paid within six months and Three Dollars at the expi ration of the year. Subscribers at liberty to discontinue at any time on paying arrears. ytvj Subscribers residing at a distance must invariably pay in advance, or give a respon se reference in this vicinity. No subscrip tion discontinued unless a notification to that effect is given. Letters addressed to the Editor must be pit paid. TO THE MEMBERS OF THE Methodist Episcopal ChurcL It is known to many of you, that a contest in the Methodist Episcopal Church, has been carried on for several years, the one side called Reformers, or Radicals, insisting that the Church Government should be so far modified as to admit of a representation, in the councils of the church, from that part of its members hitherto not represented, consisting of the loc;l preachers and lay members of said church; and the other side insisting with much vehemence," against the right as well as the expedi ency of such a measure. It is also inowa to you, that in furtherance of the views of the Reformers, and as a means to effect them, Union Societies have teen established in different sections of' this vast Republic, and two in this! State, one in Granville county, Tar Ri-j ver Circuit, and one in Halifax county,; Roanoke Circuit. It must he also' known to many of you, that for estab-j lishing these Union Societies the mem-: bers of the church have been expelled,' first in the state of Tennessee, then in Tar River Circuit, and then in 13alti-! more. A degree of alarm has subsisted,; and docs still subsist anions Reformers : generally, that while their opponents are lopping off their brethren almost daily all around them, they would be making! calculations altogether futile, for one; moment to expect, that the arm oi pow er will be stayed in their favor. In submitting, therefore, to your consider ation the following documents, the Roa noke Union Society presumes upon your indulgence, in expressing a hope that you will give them a candid exami nation, and judge, whether under pre sent circumstances they have commit ted wrong. On the 4th day of April, 1S2S, at a Union meeting assembled at Bradford's Meeting-house, Roanoke Circuit, the Society being informed, that the Rev. Wji. Compton was appointed to take charge of Roanoke Circuit, and being acquainted with his views of the contest now existing from the part taken by him, in an adjoining Circuit, in expelling several members there, for the solitary fact, that they had become members of a Union Society the Roanoke Union So ciety entered into the following resolu tions, and ordered a copy of them to be furnished their minister, requesting im reply: "Resolved, That the expulsion of Lewel len Jones and others, in the Tar River Cir cuit, in the year 1826, jor joining the Union Society thereand more particularly, the part borne in that unfortunate transaction, by the Rev. YVm. Compton, now appointed a minister in this Circuit-meets with the decided disapprobation of this Society. "Resolved, That individually, we appre hend a similar course is intended to be pur sued towards ourselves; it being a sound maxim, that what has been done, m all pro babilitv will be repeated. Resolved, therefore, That before we can receive as a messenger of peace the said Uv. Wm. Compton, we must be assured, .u" i :n Mvnrto renair the wrong he has committed, by using his best efforts to restore to the Metnoaisi " " the said Lewellcn Jones, and othcis that were expelled for the same cause. To which resolutions th fnllnivj reply was received: c "To the Members of the Roanoke Union Sonety. "Dear Brethren From the friendly and re spectful treatment I received from the Re orders, on my first round on the Circuit, I had flattered myself, that however we might differ in our sentiments on church govern ment, that nothing unpleasant would occur between you and me through the year. But, from a communication received from you, I am apprehensive that I shall be disappoint ed. For be ye well assured, that I am not conscious of having done wrong in the part that I acted in Quarterly Conference, in re ference to Lewellcn Jones arid others. As to the Reformers in this Circuit, I had in dulged a hope that they would not interfere 'vith me or my concerns, but were willing that I should think for myself, and that thev would cast their influence with mine into the same common scale of truth, and do what they could to help forward the interest of the Redeemer's kingdom. While 1 had con cluded within myself, that if they continued to conduct themselves as they had clone, since I came into the circuit, so far as I had knowledge of iheit proceedings, that I should leave them as my predecessors had done be fore me. You seem to have resolved not to receive me as a "messenger of peace," un less I give the "assurance" you have de manded this I shall not do, and of coarse I am rejected. But I should like to know by whom, not in the aggregate, but by name. For I cannot consistently darken the door or eat the breadof any .man, into whose house I am not received a ''messenger of peace:" and if it be by a majority of the representative department of any Class, that I am thus re jected, I should take it as an instance of can dor and honesty to be advertised of the fact, that 1 may shape my course accordingly. I have no hesitation in saying that I am on the old side, where I mean to continue, unless my mind should very materially change, or the majority should say that there shall be a change in the government of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Nor have I any idea that any of the Reforming brethren in this Circuit will change their ground, for the same reason that I shall not change mine. "Wherefore then, permit me to ask, is the necessity of our agitating this subject, when we know that both the one and the other are fixed in their purpose? Have we time hang ing so heavily on our hands, that we must necessarily pass it off in a way which is oft en the means of harrowing up the feelings of brethren? Would we not act more wisely to "agree to disagree," and let this subject be more still in our frequent conversations with each other? Surely, my brethren, we must admit that there has been too much asperity on both sides already, and that it is high time for us to deplore the languishing state of Zion in this Circuit. Time is flying with the rapidity of light, and souls more precious a thousand fold, than the gold of Ophir, are peopling the eternal world by myriads. And should we not then, instead of catching at shadows, nerve the strong arm of faith, and take of the things of God and eternity, and show them toadying world? Let this be the burden of our concern, and the object of our contention, and then may we hope to see the waste places of our belo ved Zion restored. And finally, let it be for the man of sin, but not for the man of God, (and more especially the minister of Jesus Christ,) to say, that the man who docs not sec exactly as he sees, is not a "messenger of peace. Reject me if you think proper, brethren, and with me the Gospel of Christ; but take care that in so doing you do not "re- From this passage it is very plain that the author of the letter wishes it to be infer red, that he is the aggrieved party in this affair, and is endeavoring to turn the scales and make himsclt a persecuted being, to whom the right of private judgment is de nied and he writes with as much assurance as if the fact were so. In the name of good ness, who would suppose, from perusing the passage referred to, that W. Compton had ever in nis lite censured, mucn more pun ished, and that severely too,) a brother for the same thing he affects to plead for? Who could suppose that with so much charity on his lips, he had ever raised his hand against an inoffensive man? Yet it is so this iden tical W. Compton, (unless be believe the eastern tale of the dervise killing the king, and leaving his own body add taking up his abode in that of his majesty and that this is only W. Compton in appearance, and the soul in the body is quite another existence,) within less than two years, in one day's jour ney of Bradford's Chapel, had exerted all his influence, (and boasted in the accomplish ment of his object,) not only to censure, but to Dunish Jones and several others, for at tempting practically to exercise the very principle he so affectedly rants about. Such is the fact Surely this is "something new." iJc? tllc counsel of God against yourselves." VV ith these remarks I conclude, by taking the liberty of subscribing myself, dear bre thren, yours in the kingdom and patience of Jesu; VVM. COMPTON. "May the 5th, 1828." On the 6th of June, 1828, the follow ing Report was handed in by the Com mittee of Correspondence, and concur red in by the Society:. "Your committee'think they will not he deemed, by this Society, to take any thing on themselves, but what as a com mitted of correspondence they ought to do, if they endeavor to exhibit to the Society, its situation as a Society in re gard to the perils of its members, and to justify the course of the Society in the adoption ol the resolutions aforesaid in doing which it becomes nroner to ex amine the circumstances under which they were adopted. "Recent information from B-iTiimnro: giving details of occurrences there, in which the Rev. Mr. Hanson acted so notable a part, had placed the matter be yond the reach of a reasonable doubt, thai it had become the decided determi nation of the rulers in our church, to ex pel from its membership all such, as had the hardihood, in their estimation, to question their justice or their infallibili ty. It was, in other words, declared an offence, and for its commission the par ty was expelled, it in the exercise of a risht, guaranteed to us all by. our fun damental laws, any member should de clare, in his opinion, a minister of the Gospel had committed wronsr: an of- tence oi so trivial a nature, as not to be ftneable, if committed towards. the high est officer recognized by these United Slates. It was also a fact, beyond the reach of denial, that one Lewellcn Jones, in 1 ar Kivcr Circuit, had been but late ly expelled for becoming a member of a Union society it was also a fact equal ly notorious, that in the transaction the Rev. Wm. Comjiton had taken a deci sive and active part in behalf of irre sponsible power. "When this Society was informed, that the said Rev. Wm. Compton was appointed to take charge of this Circuit, it could but occur to the Societv. so an- parcntly that it was impossible but it should notice it, that its own member ship stood on a foundation somewhat precarious with a minister who had avowed his determination not tribe neu tral; who had compared Reformers to "thieves and tories;" who charged them with designs to overturn whatever he considered lovely or venerable in our church; who had boldly and with com placency declared, that Reformers might be expelled, though tney were guilty of no immoral net; who had avowed it to be both "just and generous to ransack the conversations of men at great distan ces and fix whatever was exceptionable in them on the accused person, however innocent he might be of their thoughts or ignorant of their expressions it is conceived by your committee, that the Society was urged, both by a sense of sympathy to the injured and safety to it self, to adopt the resolutions. "The Society feeling, as it-ought to have done, the weight of its responsibi lity, was bound by every consideration that ought to influence if, to ascertain in direct terms, whether its fears were rea sonable or groundless; thinking if they wgre the latter, no candid, no religious man could or would, for one moment, refuse to make reparation for an injury committed by him. If the former, how is it possible that it could receive, as a brother, as a minister, as a "messenger of peace,'' the man who, of all others, had made himself so conspicuous in com mitting havoc among its brethren? It is not in nature to do so. "Your committee are of opinion, that the apprehensions of the Society were reasonable, and that the answer of the said Rev. Wm. Compton to the resolu tions of this Societv, has reduced to cer tainty that they were so. The letter de clares the writer had come to the con clusion to leave the Reformers here as he found them; but at the same time gives Us to understand that he had done so, from the very friendly treatment he had received from them; and even this small boon is taxed with the condition of their demeaning themselves in the same way, as far as his knowledge of their conduct extended. Your commit tee, while they express the satisfaction of knowing, that the very friendly con duct of the Reformers, had disarmed a belligerent, are at the same time of opi nion', that the difficulty of obtaining a Court, to answer his purpose, in the manner prescribed by the Book of Dis cipline, might, very possibly, have been an inducement in the formation of the said determination. The answer to your resolution further declares, and that too in a manner that we cannot hesitate to believe the truth of the declaration," that as respects the conduct of the Rev. Wm." Compton in the affair of Lewellen Jones, he feels no degree of compunction. Your committee, therefore, cannot hesi tate to think, that in regard to each one of your Society, his abilities would be exerted and his power lent to place us where the said Lewellen Jones is out of the pale of the church. But our brother Compton affects to believe, that your resolutions are predi cated on the circumstance of his being anti reformation that his belief is but affectation becomes apparent from the fact, that it must be known to himy that no such resolution was adopted in regard to the Rev. Mr. Carson, the Rev. Mr. Bain, the Rev. Mr. Doub, or the Rev. Mr. Hooks, all known to be in princi ple against reform; and from the fact, that the resolutions themselves do not even so much as imply such a construction. "The resolutions say, in the first place, that the Society disapproves the expulsion of Lewellen Jones, and that disapprobation is founded on the cir cumstance of Lewellen Jones being a Reformer and being expelled therefor. In the second place, the Society disap prove the part taken, in regard to Jones, by the Rev. Wm. Compton. In the third place, the Rev. Wm. Compton be ing appointed to take charge of this Cir cuit, the Society says it is apprehensive a similar course is intended to be pur sued in regard to each member and in consequence of all these circumstances united, it resolves, that before it can re ceive as a "messenger of peace, the said Rev. Wm. Compton, it must be as sured that he will repair the wrong he has committed, by using his best efforts to restore to the church the said Lewel len Jones." Your committee beg leave to call the attention of the Society to the fact, that the Rev. Wm. Compton takes no notice whatever, in his very mild and friendly letter, of the second resolution, the one most interesting to this Society. Our brother seems to reproach us with a waste of time, and that too in a man ner calculated to harrow the feelings of brethren in one respect your resolu tions were a waste of time, since on him they seem to be of no effect. From the tenor of his letter your just fears seem to be regarded in the same light as a crowned head would the remonstrances of his subjects, when he was determined to disregard them. "The world is not centred, however, in one man your committee are of opi nion, that the cause for which this So ciety is contending, 3nd in furtherance of which the resolutions were passed, seems to them, at least, to be of that im portance, that a few days, or weeks, or years, may be very profitably devoted to it, without deserving the reproach of a waste of time. Since, however, it is almost criminal in the view of the Rev.