199. the Presbyterians and the war.
Correspondence between the Synod of New York and New Jersey and the Secretary of State.
Extract from the minutes of the Synod of New York and New Jersey.
The Rev. Messrs. James P. Wilson, D. D.
, William Adams, D. D.
, William W. Newell, D. D.
, and Hon. William Pennington
and Hon. Edward A. Lambert
, Elders, were appointed a committee to prepare a minute in relation to the present condition of the country.
The committee appointed to prepare a minute in relation to the present condition of our country, reported the following preamble and resolutions, which were adopted unanimously:
, the people of these United States
, after the achievement of their independence, established a government based on constitutional liberty, giving to all just and equal rights; and
, a portion of the people of these United States
have taken up arms against the lawful Government, seized upon its property, and are endeavoring to overthrow it — a government in which are centred our dearest hopes and interests pertaining to civil liberty and the advancement of civilization throughout the world; and
, the Presbyterian Church in the United States
has ever shown herself, in all her history, the advocate of civil liberty and freedom — that freedom, the defence of which drove our fathers from the Old World, and for the security of which, in this land, they prayed and fought and bled, ever lifting their voice and hands against anarchy and tyranny and oppression in every form; and believing that the present solemn crisis in our national affairs calls upon us as patriots and Christians to lay upon the altar of our country our influence, our property, and our lives; therefore,
, That we pledge to the Government
our individual support and confidence, and will use all lawful means and efforts in our power to aid it in maintaining its authority and in putting down this rebellion, in its very nature so utterly causeless and unjust.
, That we commend the President
of the United States
, his constitutional advisers, the American Congress, the Commander-in-Chief
and soldiers of the army and navy, to the God of our fathers, humbly praying that He will impart to them wisdom and unity in counsels, and fidelity and courage in action, that the cause intrusted to their hands may be brought to a speedy and successful issue.
, That while we do not feel called upon to add any thing to the repeated testimonials of our church on the subject of slavery, nor to offer any advice to the Government
on the subject, still, fully believing that it lies at the foundation of all our present national troubles, we recommend to all our people to pray more earnestly than ever for its removal, and that the time may speedily come when God, by his providence, shall, in his own good time and way, bring it to an end, that nothing may be left of it but the painful record of its past existence.
, That we recommend to all our people to humble themselves, and take a low place before God, in view of all our social and political sins, and each one remember and lament his own personal complicity with them all.