We pass to the consideration of the Bible Society. We are aware, brethren, that this institution presents itself to the mind of the Christian as supported by the most plausible pretext. The idea of giving the Bible, without note or comment, to those who are unable to procure it for themselves, is in itself considered, calculated to meet the approbation of all who know the importance of the sacred Scriptures. But under this auspicious guise, we see reared in the case of the American Bible Society, an institution as foreign from anything which the gospel of Christ calls for, as are the kingdoms of this world from the kingdom of Christ. We see a combination formed, in which are united the man of the world, the vaunting professor, and the humble follower of Jesus; the leading characters in politics, the dignitaries in church, and from them some of every grade, down to the poor servant girl, who can snatch from her hard-earned wages fifty cents a year for the privilege of being a member. We see united in this combination all parties in politics, and all sects in religion; and the distinctive differences of the one, and the sectarian barriers of the other, in part thrown aside to form the union. At the head of this vast body we see placed a few leading characters, who have in their hands the management of its enormous printing establishment, and its immense funds; and the control of its powerful influence, extended by means of agents and auxiliaries to every part of the United States. We behold its anniversary meetings converted into a great religious parade, and forming a theatre for the orator who is ambitious of preferment, either in pulpit, in the legislative hall, or at the bar, to display his eloquence, and elicit the cheers of the grave assemblage. Now, brethren, to justify our opposition to the Bible Society, it is not necessary for us to say that any of its members have manifested a disposition to employ its power for the subversion of our liberties. It is enough for us to say,
lst, That such a monstrous combination, concentrating so much power in the hands of a few individuals, could never be necessary for supplying the destitute with Bibles. Individual printing establishments would readily be extended so as to supply Bibles to any amount, and in any language that might be called for, and at as cheap a rate as they have ever been sold by the Bible Society.
2nd, That the humble followers of Jesus could accomplish their benevolent wishes for supplying the needy with Bibles, with more effect, and more to their satisfaction, by managing the purchase and distribution of them for themselves; and such will never seek popular applause by having their liberality trumpeted abroad through the medium of the Bible Society.
3rd, That the Bible Society, whether we consider it in its monied foundation for membership and directorship, in its hoarding up of funds, in its blending together all distinctions between the church and the world, or in its concentration of power, is an institution never contemplated by the Lord Jesus as connected with his kingdom; therefore not a command concerning it is given in the decree published, nor a sketch of it drawn in the pattern showed.
4th, That its vast combination of worldly power and influence lodged in the hands of a few renders it a dangerous engine against the liberties, both civil and religious, of our country, should it come under control of those disposed so to employ it. The above remarks apply with equal force to the other great national institutions, as the American Tract Society, and Sunday School Union, &c., &c.