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A Cumberland Presbyterian newspaper.

We have recently printed in these columns several articles upon the newspaper press of the South and West, and have amused ourselves, if not our readers, by a little off-hand dissection of what may be properly termed the morbid anatomy of journalism. We have observed in these sheets almost incredible ignorance, and certain radical vices, which are more to be deplored than an innocent disregard of the rules of taste and of grammar. In the course of our researches, we are sorry to say that we have found the secular papers, in the cheap qualities of good nature, good sense and veracity, far in advance of those which are printed avowedly for the promotion of the Christian religion; and of all the sacred emissions which we have had the misfortune to notice, we think The St. Louis Observer to be the most curiously unenlightened and the most miraculously illiterate.

The Observer is the organ of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church--a considerable society, numbering many professors in Kentucky, Indiana and Missouri. It was this Cumberland Presbyterian Church which, when its treasurer died a defaulter, sold his negroes upon an execution, and then voted the money to the cause of missions! Upon this pious vendue The Tribune made a few comments which have not met with the approbation of The St. Louis Observer, we are sorry to say; which lave, in fact, excited the choler of that meek and lowly publication to a degree quite incompatible with coherence. [80] We find, indeed, in the rantipole observations of The Observer, no attempt at a denial, but an extenuation of the facts upon which our remarks were based. The “niggers” were sold: the church took the money: the church voted the cash to the missionary cause. We should have been glad of a plain refutation of the whole tale, and should unquestionably have been gratified in this regard, if the facts had not been too patent to be concealed by the utmost prodigality of falsehood ; if the Rev. Milton Bird, (O musical name!) who is the editor of The Observer, had not known that mendacity would only make matters worse, by giving the children of sin and unrighteousness an opportunity of showing to an uncharitable world, that some Cumberland Presbyterians to the solace of man-selling join the luxury of lying.

The Observer, leaving the matter of the man-vendue as it was, we are at liberty and leisure to luxuriate to fatness — if laughing will make one fat-upon the extraordinary literary performance of the Reverend Milton Bird, who is jealous of other birds, and declares, that our article was manufactured at the suggestion “of some buzzard about Evansville.” The actual expression of the Rev. M. B. is coarser than this, but as we only print a secular newspaper, we cannot afford to be as free in our speech as a Cumberland Presbyterian when he denounces what he calls “the intermeddling of ungodly men.”

The Reverend Bird, imprimis, remarks that this journal is “like an irritable hedge-hog rolled up the wrong way, and pierced by its own prickles.” Good [81] --metaphorically and zoologically good! It is then emphatically stated by the gentle Bird that “we deserve to be skinned with a hackle, and smeared with aqua-fortis.” Probably. And yet it would be painful. We are thankful, therefore, when The Observer of St. Louis — we were at first fearful that Brother Bird would be here immediately with the necessary implement and fluid — we are thankful, we say, when The Observer had the goodness to observe: “But we forbear!” Only he doesn't forbear. He immediately calls somebody in Evansville, Ind., “a pole-cat.” Also “a buzzard.” Likewise “a cynic.” And to conclude, “yellow-eyed.” “A cynical polecat” crossed upon “a yellow-eyed buzzard,” would produce a treasure indeed for a meandering menagerie.

The Reverend Milton Bird, after these trifling indulgences in epithet, grows “‘umble” after the manner of Mr. Uriah Heep; for, crooking the hinges of his knees, he expresses himself piously, as follows: “We trust in God to keep us humble, and give us a spirit of forbearance and kindness towards those who injure us.” We say “Amen!” The Rev. Bird has evidently a very high idea, if not of the goodness, at least of the omnipotence of the Creator. Meanwhile, the humility not having arrived, the Bird continues to be slightly abusive and boldly figurative in its song. We are told that The Indiana American and and The Tribune have “to the utmost of their bilious capacity, discharged the pent — up contents of their gorged livers.” Excellent again We are getting [82] stronger and stronger! All who do not see the propriety of supporting missions by selling “niggers,” are declared to be “violent, bitter, selfish, and in a morbid, unbalanced, disordered state of mind,” “pouring out slime, gall and vinegar” “But let us pray for our traducers and persecutors,” says The Observer, suddenly changing its tone, “that they may repent of their sin and find forgiveness, and escape the doom of all liars” (here the ferocity breaks out again), “who have their part in the lake that burneth with fire and brimstone.” We do not object to being made the theme of good men's prayers, but if the Reverend Milton Bird will be kind enough not to pray for us, and if he will mention our wish to the other members of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, we shall not only feel much obliged, but more comfortable.

The Reverend Milton Bird then proceeds to communicate to us the following information: “The Gospel wages no war on the external organism of society.” Ah, indeed! The Gospel wages no war then against crime in its manifold forms — no war against covetousness and greed — no war against the selfish policy of tyrants, whether crowned or mere whip-crackers and “nigger” --drivers — no war against brothels and gambling hells and grog-shops — no war against infidelity to marriage vows or the theft of woman's chastity — no war against that man who though eased in a legal panoply, treads under foot the widow and the orphan — no war against the world — no war against the flesh — only war against the [83] ridiculous unwillingness of sundry reprobate human beings to join the Cumberland Presbyterian Church! And the Rev. Milton Bird thinks that in this view of the duty of a church, he is sustained by the Apostle Paul! We know that it is a vain wish, but would. that we could see the Great Missionary to the Gentiles and the Reverend Milton Bird face to face for a few moments! We can fancy the Saint of St. Louis opening his pocket-testament and airing a little text from Ephesians, another small scrap from Romans, another small scrap from Colossians, a fourth bit from Timothy and a morsel from Peter: but no mortal mind can conceive the terror of the rebuke which. would cause the Reverend Milton Bird to howl with repentant anguish, and to re quest the favor of a small mountain to cover him.

The audacity of such men as he is, must be an apology for the introduction of such an illustration. Poor praters, they know not of what — coarse, unen-lightened gabblers of sublime teachings, very dear to the heart of humanity — polluting with the unsavory messes of social shame and sin the golden vessels of the altar — making the Father's house a house of merchandize and a, den of thieves — encouraging mockery, exciting skepticism and confirming unbelief --narrow, without pity, and zealous, without brains; there is nothing for it, but to leave them to the bitter laughter of the satirist and the unspeakable commiseration of the wise. Grace may indeed supply the deficiencies of the mere intellect, while the heart remains tender; but what grace can rescue him whose [84] heart grows hard as his head grows soft, and who increases in selfishness as he decreases in intelligence?

July 25, 1859.

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