« AnteriorContinuar »
TO SECURE THE
CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES.
CINCINNATI, JAN 31, AND FEB. 1, 1872.
WITH AN ACCOUNT OF
THE ORIGIN AND PROGRESS OF THE MOVEMENT.
The Hon. WM. STRONG, United States Supreme Court
VICE-PRESIDENTS : *
His Excellency, JAMES M. HARVEY, Governor of The Rev. F. MERRICK, D. D., LL. D., President Kansas.
of the Ohio University, Delaware, Ohio. His Excellency, SETA PADELFORD, Governor of The Rev. JOSEPH CUMMINGS, D. D., LL. D., PreRhode Island,
sident of the Wesleyan University, Middletown, The Hon. J. W. MCCLURG, ex-Governor of Mis- Conn. souri.
The Rev. A. D. Mayo, D. D., Cincinnati. The Hon. W. H. CUMBACK, Lieutenant Governor The Rev. T. A. MORRIS, D. D., Bishop of the M. of Indiana.
E. Church, Springfield, Ohio. The Hon. WM. MURRAY, Supreme Court of New The Rev. J. H. McILVAINE, D. D., Newark, N.J. York.
Prof. O. N. STODDARD, LL. D., Wooster UniverThe Hon. M. B. HAGANS, Superior Court of Cin- sity, Ohio. cinnati.
The Rev. M. SIMPSON, D. D., Bishop of the FELIX R. BRUNOT, Esq., Board of Indian Com- Methodist Episcopal Church. missioners, Pittsburg, Pa.
The Rev. J. BLANCHARD, D. D., President of John ALEXANDER, Esq., Philadelphia, Pa. Wheaton College, Ill. CHARLES G. NAZRO, Esq., Boston, Mass.
John S. HART, LL. D., Princeton College, N. J. Thos. W. BICKNELL, Esq., Commissioner Public The Right Rev. John B. KER FOOT, D. D., Bishop Schools, Rhode Island.
of the Diocese of Pittsburg. JAMES W. TAYLOR, Esq., Newburgh, New York. The Right Rev. F. D. HUNTINGTON, D. D., Bishop
Prof. TAYLER LEWIS, LL.D., Union College, of the Diocese of Central New York. New York.
The Rev. T. L. CUYLER, D. D., Brooklyn. EDWARD S. TOBEY, Esq., Boston.
The Rev. LEVI Scott, D. D., Bishop of the M. RUSSELL STURGI8, jr., Esq., Boston.
E. Church, Delaware. The Right Rev. MANTON EASTBURN, D. D., Bishop Prof. JULIUS H. SEELYE, D. D., Amherst College, of the Diocese of Massachusetts.
Mass. The Right Rev. G. T. BEDELL, D. D., Assistant The Right Rev. CHARLES P. MCILVAINE, D. D., Bishop of the Diocese of Ohio.
LL. D., D. C. L., Bishop of the Diocese of 'Ohio. The Right Rev. G. D. CUMMINS, D. D., Assistant The Rev. A. A. MINER, D. D., President of Tuft's Bishop of the Diocese of Kentucky.
College, Mass. The Rev. C. 8. FINNEY, D. D., formerly Presi- The Rev. JONATHAN EDWARDS, D. D., Peoria, Ill. dent of Oberlin College, Oberlin, 0.
The Rev. D. MCALLISTER, 410 West Forty-third street, New York.
CORRESPONDING SECRETARY :
SAMUEL AGNEW, Esq., 1126 Arch Street, Philadelphia.
Philadelphia, Pa., WILLIAM NEELY, New York.
WALTER T. MILLER, JOHN ALEXANDER,
JAS. WIGGINS, JAS. S. MARTIN,
HENRY O'NEILL, The Rev. S. O. WYLIE, D.D.,
Geo. SILVER, ROBERT TAYLOR,
JAMES SPENCE, WM. McKNIGHT,
HUGH CARLISLE, Thos. WALKER,
The Rev. Wm. S. Owens, Indiana, Penna. Thos. BROWN,
D. CHESTNUT, Esq., Pittsburg. HENRY HARRISON, New York.
HENRY MARTIN, Esq., Cincinnati. ROBERT B. MAXWELL,
* The name of Governor WASHBURN, of Massachusetts, was included by the Convention in the list of Vice Presidents, as appears in the Proceedings. In view of the statement which is published on pages 70-71 of this report, it is thought proper to omit it in this connection.
TO SECURE THE
CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES.
[HELD IN CINCINNATI Jan. 31 & FEB. 1, 1872.]
With an account of the Origin and Progress of the Movement.
AUG 22 1927
ORIGIN AND PROGRESS OF THE MOVEMENT
TO SECURE THE RELIGIOUS AMENDMENT OF THE CON
STITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES.
BY T. P. STEVENSON,
That there is no acknowledgment of God or of the Christian religion in the Constitution of the United States, has been deplored by many devout and thoughtful men ever since that otherwise admirable political instrument was framed. In the early part of the present century the eminent Dr. John M. Mason, of New York, employed these words : " One would imagine that no occasion of making a pointed and public acknowledgment of the divine benignity could have presented itself so obviously as the framing an instrument of government which, in the nature of things, must be closely allied to our happiness or our ruin; and yet that very Constitution which the singular goodness of God enabled us to establish, does not so much as recognize his being."
In the admirable treatise on “The Oath,” by the Rev. D. X. JUNKIN, D. D., published in 1845, the writer says: “ The oath of the President of the United States could as well be taken by a pagan or a Mohammedan as by the Chief Magistrate of a Christian people: it excludes the name of the Supreme Being. Indeed it is negatively atheistical, for no God is appealed to at all. In framing many of our public formularies, greater care seems to have been taken to adapt them to the prejudices of the infidel few than to the consciences of the Christian millions. In these things the minority in our country, bas bitherto managed to govern the majority. * * We look on the designed omission of it the name of God in the oath] as an attempt to exclude from civil affairs him who is the Governor among the nations." These views have been intelligently and publicly maintained by a portion of the American people at all times since the adoption of the Constitution. The contrast, in this respect, between the Constitution of the nation and the Constitutions of nearly all the States did not escape observation, and it was remembered that, before the national Constitution, no similar instrument of government had been framed by any portion of the American people without an explicit acknowledgment of Almighty God and the Christian religion.
No public or united effort however was made to secure an amendment which should suitably express the religious sentiment of the nation until the year 1863. The civil war in which the nation was then engaged was almost universally felt to be an expression of the Divine displeasure against the nation. The public conscience was prepared to welcome any measure which proposed in a suitable and becoming way to give honor to the God whom we had offended