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mental, and intellectual slavery, war, intemperance, and every social wrong, and degrading vice, together with the midnight darkness which Church and Priest have so long used as a shroud over the minds of the people, shutting out the hlessed light and suushine of Heaven. And as we emerge from this chaos, and a new order of things takes place, we find ourselves, each one, becoming the teinplo of the living God, and that the humblest and frailest are not shut out from his Divine inspiration, but that all Bhall hear the heaven-born whisper of immortal truth, telling them of the glories of the invisible world.
Grateful for the success that has attended our past efforts, and for the words of encouragement which greet us, we hope to be found faithful to the light we have, assured that a greater shall be yet revealed. It is our earnest desire that your meeting may be a pleasant and profitable occasion, and advance the cause of religious progress and social development.
Signed by direction, and on behalf of the Meeting of the Friends of Human Progress, held in North Collins, Erie Co., N. Y.
Mart Smith Tatloe.
FROM M. B. GODDARD.
So. Reading, Vt., May 20th, 1858.
Dear Progressive Friends :—It is pleasing, while the minions of Sectarianism are raising a hue and cry over their recent proselytes throughout the land, to chronicle the fact that the advocates of Free Thought in all the great human interests are not dismayed or inactive.
As a Vermonter, I feel somewhat proud in sending you this Call. Though the liberal element is nowhere in the country stronger than in Vermont, this is the first united attempt towards combining all the liberal, progressive and reformatory elements in a grand co-operative movement and general understanding. Our scattered population has operated to put oft' this till we were fully ripe for it. Like many of the signers of this Call, I have been familiar with your movement almost since its commencement,—from newspaper accounts and the printed Proceedings of your Yearly Meetings. I was charmed from the first with your free platform, and have watched your progress and history with a great deal of interest; and do rejoice most sincerely in your prosperity. Auspicious omens also cheer on the cause of Progress and Reform among the freedomloving sons of the Green Mountains. Having so long heard your yearly voice, I could not lorbear—though a stranger—sending you this Call, as an evidence that you have sympathizers and co-laborers here, and bidding you God-speed in the great work of the emancipation and elevation of Humanity. Truly yours,
M. E. Goddard.
CALL TO THE FRIENDS OF HUMAN PEOGRESS.
The disenthralment of humanity from all such influences as fetter its natural and vital growth is too evidently the condition of all Progress, and, therefore, the duty of Philanthropy, to need enforcement in this Call. The history of the past is beautiful only at the points where it records the encroachments of human freedom on the natural limitations or artificial tyrannies imposed upon thought and action. And the future is hopeful only in such proportion as it points towards a wise and well
frounded emancipation of the race from the spiritual despotisms that, on the one and, now control thought, and the civil and social disabilities that, on the other, restrain action., into that free and pure life which both are yet destined to attain. Every Philanthropist, therefore, welcomes the increasingly manifest tendencies of the present age to challenge the institutions that claim control over humanity, and to insist that those claims shall be appealed to the tribual of demonstrable facts and rigid induction, rat her than to "the traditions of the elders."
The signers of this Call desire to aid in carrying up this appeal. They believe the time has come when the friends of Free Thought in Vermont will And it both pleasant and profitable to take counsel together, and have a mutual interchange of sentiment on the great topics of Keform. That there would be entire harmony of doctrine and symbol among us, is not to be expected, bnt it is believed that in purpose, we should "seo eye to eye," and it is purposes, not creeds, that vitalize and Harmonize effort.
With these convictions, we, whose names are appended to this Call, do most cordially and earnestly invite all Philanthropists and Reformers in and out of the State, to meet in FREE CONVENTION, at Eutland, Vt., on the 25th, 26th and 27th of Juno next, to discuss the various topics of Reform that are now engaging the attention and effort of Progressive minds.
By a reference to the names appended to this Call, it will be evident that it is not the project of any special branch or division of Reformers—having some Shibboleth of its own to be mouthed with provincial accent—but the unanimous movement of those who hail from every section of the great Army of Reform, and who have no watchword but Humanity. The catholicity of spirit and purpose, which will characterize the proposed meeting, are thus sufficiently guaranteed, and the assurance well-grounded that every theme will be frankly and fairly treated at the hands of the Convention, and thus the interests of the largest philanthropy secured.
Come then, friends of Free Thought. Come one, come all. Men of all religious creeds, and men of no creed, shall find equal welcome. And woman too, let her come, both to adorn by her presence, and strengthen by her thought, and give depth and earnestness to the action of this gathering in behalf of Humanity. Let her vindicate, by her own eloquence and zeal, the social position she is so nobly and rapidly winning for herself. The only common ground on which we seek to meet, is that of fearless discussion, and the only pledge we make is to bring a rational investigation to the solution of every problem involving the social or religious duty and destiny of the race. In this faith we hail all as brethren and co-laborers.
[Signed by more than 150 persons, from more than forty different towns in Vermont.]
FROM A MEETING OF PROGRESSIVE FRIENDS.
Wayne, Ashtabula County, Ohio, April 25th, 1858.
Dear Brothers And Sisters :—It is thus the friends in Wayne and vicinity would greet you. Though scattered throughout the land at remote distances from each other, we yet feel drawn to you by the magnetic bonds of a common sympathy. If any thing were wanting to complete the circuit of unitary feeling, the trials incident to our position as Progressive Friends would abundautly supply that want.
At these times, when religion and creed are accepted as synonymous terms, and when man is robbed of every right in the name of Democracy, 'twould be strange indeed if the still small voice of God in the soul were not regarded as a symptom of madness—the Higher Law as a rhetorical flourish—the Golden Rule as a "glittering generality," and the names of those who endeavor to give vitality to these by living true lives, as fit only to be "cast out as evil."
As in days long past, those who labored as pioneers in the work of human advancement were regarded as dreamers or enthusiasts, or as "turning the world upside down," so must we bear the reproach and jeers of those who cannot see from our stand-point. But the orthodoxy of today was the heresy of a past age; may this cheer us as the "pillar of cloud by day and of fire by night," through a pilgrimage otherwise made dreary by the lifeless forms and decaying systems strewn along our pathway.
Mutual effort in a common cause, in its very nature, tends to awaken sentiments of fraternal regard; how deep and strong then must that friendship be, when the work in which we are engaged is prompted by Humanity, guided by Reason, Justice and Truth, warmed by Love, cheered by Hope and blessed by Religion!
In view of the Past, the Present and the Future, with the deepest faith in God, and man, we would say:
First, resolve to do the right—
Sternly, calmly, hold our place—
- Give the world to understand,
Persevere! persevere I"
Signed on behalf of the Meeting of Progressive Friends held in Wayne, Ohio, May 2d, 1858.
John Brown, Jr., Clerk.
FROM CHARLES K. WHIPPLE.
Boston, May 24th, 1858.
Being unable to indulge myself in the gratification of attending your meeting, I send instead a word of encouragement and counsel.
During the past winter and spring, a contagious disease has spread its ravages far and wide over the country. The priesthood of the popular American religion have succeeded in producing "a revival" of it, and thus have been extending superstition and obstructing the progress of Christianity; exalting creeds and forms, the profession of religion, and discouraging those works of reform which are its substance; teaching the fear of God, instead of that perfect love of Him which casts out fear, being incompatible with it; persuading the people, by the pretence that they are God's special ambassadors, to receive their teachings in opposition to that reason which He has Himself placed in the breast of every man, for his guidance; and directing men's interests and aspirations towards a future life by such means and in such a manner, and with such instructions, as to make them neglect the most obvious duties of the present, and to fortify, rather than remove, the chief vices and evils of the world in which we now live.
After having witnessed, through the six months which have just passed, the success of the clergy in building up the popular religion, and in enlarging the sects which unite in maintaining its superstitious observances, it is refreshing to turn to an Association which has juster ideas, both of the faith and the works which constitute Christianity; which seeks to carry out in actual life the Divine truths which Jesus of Nazareth taught; to show that religion is, as Paul declared it to be, '' a reasonable service ;" to teach Christianity without Judaism; to direct men to the loving, universal Father, instead of to a local, limited, partial, passionate Jehovah; to persuade them to come fearlessly to that Father, as children should, without mediator or atonement, even though they may hitherto have been "prodigal sons;" and, in regard to future duty, to show them that help to the poorest, weakest, "least" of their brethren, is at once the best service and the best worship of that universal Father.
Be-loved friends, you well know that faith, without works, is dead; that if you really hold and teach the great truths above mentioned, they' will bring forth fruit in your lives; and that jnst now, (after the elaborate cultivation which superstition and Pharisaism have received from the late "revival " of the popular religion,) is the true day of judgment as to the comparative practical merits of these opposing systems; as to the excellence and abundance of the "fruits" which they respectively bring forth. I call upon you to give "testimony" upon this point with your lives as well as your lips. At the commencement of your year, you publish, in speech and print, a protest against those great popular sins which churclilings and worldlings unite in practising and defending. I call upon you to follow up this protest by energetic action, through the coming year, action far more vigorous and persistent than yon have ever yet used, against that wicked and pernicious system, that corrupter of religion, morals and manners, that "sum of all villanies," American slavery.
Never since the commencement of this nation has the Slave Power shown itself so daring, profligate, insatiable and insolent as at present. The State is its instrument, its tool, not shrinking from its meanest and dirtiest work; the Church is its bulwark and defence; the great associations which call themselves "religious" (whereof the American Tract Society is now most prominent) give their strength, more or less openly, to its support; and the recent "revival" has fortified the pro-slavery element in the Church, and in these, its daughters, and has also brought a great auxiliary force, of men and money, to strengthen them. Never was the need so urgent for those who love right and hate tyranny to show themselves; to fling abroad their banner and raise their gathering cry; to be as conspicuous, as active, and as aggressive for freedom, as Buchanan and Taney, Hallock and South-side Adams are for slavery. The struggle which is now going on around us, and the momentous import of which we fail to realize, (perhaps because it is so near us,) is destined to accomplish no less for the welfare of mankind than those which Luther formerly led in the religious, aud Hancock and Adams in the political world. This generation is now called upon to finish the work which those great men, in their respective spheres, left half done ; and every one of us may now have the honor, and reap the advantage, of helping forward some department of this vast enterprise, and hastening the day when LIBERTY, civil and religions, shall be proclaimed through this whole land, to every one of the inhabitants thereof.
I call upon you, beloved friends, if you he indeed "Progressive Friends," to recognize the truth that you may work most efficiently in this department by strengthening the hands, extending the influence and joining in the labors, of the American Anti-Slavery Society. Put your money into their treasury, assist the movements of their agents, take, read and circulate their papers, make vigorous efforts to increase the circulation of their official organ, the "Anti-slavery Standard," join your voices to their cry—" No more Union, in Church or State, with slaveholders !"—_ and agitate unceasingly, first, until no slave shall be obliged to run further North than Pennsylvania to find a land of freedom, and next, until no human being, in any part of our continent, shall need to fear the enforcement, or to hear the utterance, of the impious claim, that another human being owns him. In love and trust, your friend,
Charles K. Whipple.
FROM WILLIAM LLOYD GARRISON.
Boston, May 28, 1858.
The recollection of what I saw, what I heard, what I enjoyed at your last annual meeting, makes my heart throb with such pleasurable emotions, that I know not how to be absent from your approaching anniversary. But circumstances constrain me to remain at home, and I can only send you all, my loving remembrances and fervent benediction.
As a matter of friendly accommodation, I have consented to act as a substitute for my friend, Theodore Parker, in Music Hall, on Sunday next —not to fill his place, of course, for who but himself can do that? but to make it convenient for him to be with you. Of his rare culture, his scholarly proficiency, his mental force, his liberal mind, his philanthropic and progressive spirit, and his massive brain, (in which a whole Alexandrian library of knowledge appears to be stored, not for mere ornament or selfish accumulation, but for constant use and circulation,) I need say I nothing. He is too widely known in Christendom to need an introduction
in any part of it. He has been with you before, and you will deem it a high privilege to have him with you again.
I take it for granted that the noble testimonies borne at your last gathering will be substantially reiterated this year, with whatever emphasis and enlargement the times may seem to require. But let us remember that we live in deeds, not in words. Let us be careful to lay down no principle to violate it ourselves, or to wink at its violation in others. Moral consistency of action is, alas! very difficult to be found, and not very easy to attain; yet it remains eternally true, that we cannot serve God and Mammon, nor embrace Christ and Belial, at the same time. Wherever duty points the way, there let us walk unfalteringly, nor dread the lions that may threaten to devour us. Let our song be, "God is our refuge and strength; a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea."
Wm. Lloyd Garrison.
FROM SAMUEL MAY, JR.
General Agent of the Massachusetts Ami-Slavery Society.
Leicester, Mass., May 23, 1858.
Your invitation to attend the Sixth Yearly Meeting of the Progressive Friends of Pennsylvania has reached me. I thank you for it, and assure you that its acceptance would afford me one of the highest pleasures I know, —one, however, that circumstances compel me to forego, and to content myself with awaiting the report of the good works you shall do, and the noble words you shall speak, for humanity, and so for God. I have not forgotten, nor shall I soon forget, the beautiful August Sunday which I spent two years ago at Longwood meeting-house. The spot, and the human faces and souls which made it appear so hopeful and so bright, are fresh in my memory.
At my distance I watch your meeting, your association, and your doings,