Another Sign of the Times
The Young Men's Christian Association struck last night upon one of the rocks among which its rash young pilots have been cruising for the last six months. Nearly two hundred of its most active and efficient members withdrew last night, not from any decline of interest in the objects for which the Association was organized, but because of the wide departure from those objects which, in their judgment, have marked its recent action. A glance at the names of the seceders, which we publish in another column, will show that they comprise some of the ablest and most useful of the members of the Association.
Our readers are aware that the subject of slavery has been the disturbing element in this matter. Some members of the Association who were very active and zealous in the late political campaign, insisted upon carrying the discussions to which it gave rise into the meetings of this order. Stimulated by a portion of the press, both secular and religious, they persisted in requiring from the Association declarations of opinion, as well as discussions, upon the subject of slavery. The inevitable result of this movement was to divert attention from the practical purposes for which the Association was formed, introduce strife and dissension into its meetings, and convert it substantially into a political club. The party who favored such action obtained the ascendancy and accomplished their purpose. The result, which might easily have been foreseen, has been the withdrawal of those who do not consider it the province of an association of young men, formed for purposes of practical improvement and of mutual religious advantage, to enter actively into the political and partisan conflicts of the day.