Document Item Type Metadata
We take no pleasure in alluding to the follies and moral delinquencies of our fellow men, and more especially when those delinquencies are exhibited in the clerical profession; for every thing of this kind is directly calculated to undermine confidence in the ministry, and lead lo a latent, if not openly avowed skepticism. If we may not look for purity of motive and integrity of conduct, at the holy altar, where in the wide world shall we seek it.
Our readers will bear witness that we have seldom seized upon the gross moral defections, which have been but too common in the clerical ranks for some years past, and blazoned them to the world. As a general thing we regard it unwise. A constant detail of iniquity—a familiarity with crime, is not conducive to the moral purity of any community, much less when it is a detail of “spiritual wickedness in high places.” These delinquencies may all be found in the ranks of those opposed to us as a religions denomination; still they are calculated to degrade the ministerial office, and will of necessity excite distrust in our own ministry, to a greater or less degree. And just so far as this distrust prevails, will their usefulness be impaired.
But when mere pretenders to spirituality, under the ministerial garb, go entirely out of their way to assail their belters—to vilify and traduce those whose moral character and standing would be a pattern for them to copy, it is well to remind them of their own frail condition and standing—to hold the mirror up to their view, at least so far as to remind them of the excellent admonition—’Physician, heal thyself.’
These and similar considerations must be our apology for admitting the following note of “Inquirer.” It is proper for us to say that it comes from one whom we know, and knowing, in whom we have confidence. If Mr. Welton of Sourhold, is identical with the one of our correspondent, he needs to blush for his course, and is a very suitable person to indite such an article as “Homo,” and preface such a work as Mr. Benson’s.
We speak plainly, because the circumstances are aggravating. If we are doing Mr. Welton the least injustice, we shall be prompt in rectifying it, when satisfied thereof. But he has stepped entirely out of the path of his duty to vent his feelings against Universalism and Universalists, and must abide the consequences.
Br. Price—In reading an article in your last paper, headed “Homo alias Rev. A. Welton,” I am led to inquire whether this is the same reverend gentleman that figured so conspicuously at different times in Poughkeepsie during the last 10 or 15 years. Is this the man that came there from the South with great pretensions to wealth and family connections, being related to no less a personage than the immortal Washington himself, &c. &c? By these and such like representations, the good people of that place were induced to build for him a church and parsonage, and thus he commenced operations in swelling style! But his race was short. His adherents, one after another, dropped off from him, and before a long time he was left almost “alone in his glory.” In consequence of alledged improprieties, the members of the society felt constrained, much lo their mortification, to call an ecclesiastical council to pass upon several trifling charges. The result was, he left the congregation, and left Poughkeepsie. Where he went to I know not.
The next we hear from him, he is in Albany; remains there a short lime, then leaves, much the same success having attended his labors, as at Poughkeepsie.
Again I lose track of him for a season; but “in the course of human events,” this man comes back to Poughkeepsie, and on entering, published his card, boasting that he had come among them once more, with the intention to live down the bad impressions of the people of that beautiful village! By great efforts a subscription was set in motion, and after much exertion another church erected; and also a dwelling. In this new edifice meetings were kept up by him for a time, but not long. And to make short of a long story, the reverend gentleman left the town—his society having become divided—part uniting with the former society, another portion formed themselves into a Congregational Society, and the remainder are scattered to the four winds. The church was sold by execution to satisfy the claims of the builders; and if I am correctly informed, the dwelling shared much the same fate.
It is but just lo add, that in dividing and scattering the society, he was much indebted to the labors of the renowned Jedediah Burchard!
From Poughkeepsie this man was next heard from in New Jersey. He was remarkably fond of a good horse ; and it has been said, with how much truth I know not, that he is quite at home when traveling in company with those jovial souls that are fond of the “good creature,” especially if he thinks himself incog.
Inquirer, “‘Homo,’ Again,” Universalist Union 7, no. 32 (June 25, 1842): 505.