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Orange Scott on Social Reform

"They make merchandize of the souls and bodies of men ... -
 how can we co-operate with them in the great work of reforming the world? ... till the country is reformed."
Grounds of Secession,
Rev. O. Scott, 
New York: L. C. Matlack, 1851, p. 8-9

Excerpts from Discovering An Evangelical Heritage, Donald W. Dayton, Harper & Row, 1976

     "Another characteristic of the Wesleyans was specificity in their attacks on social evil. Scott insisted that 'in opposing sin, the power of the Gospel must be brought to bear upon particular evils. Generalizing will not answer. We must particularize.' And Scott believed in starting at home by attacking 'popular sins and sins of the Church.'
     "The Wesleyans did not center their attack on the south. Scott insisted that 'all northern Christians, who neglect to lift up the warning voice and refuse to take sides with God's suffering poor, are scarcely less guilty. ...
     "Orange Scott unfortunately met an early death in 1847. ... He regretted he had not given himself more fully to the oppressed and fought for a reordering of society on their behalf. In his own words, 'I should have gone into the work of impressing on the wealthy classes, their duty to the millions enduring poverty and toil. I feel deeply for that class, and would do my share in carrying forward a practical plan of reform, according to my means. The condition of the masses is wretched indeed, and a great change should be effected in the state of society. It might be done if a few strong men would take hold or it in the pulpit and elsewhere.'" (p. 77-80)

Orange Scott was a founder of the Wesleyan Methodist Church in 1840.

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