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the result corresponded with such excel. | other good men of that day, present most lent intentions. It were unfair, however, interesting details in proof of this, Amerto expect much in this way, considering ica has seen more extensive, but never the circumstances of the colonists, settling more unequivocal, works of grace, or more in a remote wilderness, amid fierce and indubitable operations of the Spirit. cruel savages, and exposed to all the fa- Nor were the aboriginal heathen around tigues and sicknesses incident to such a the colonies forgotten in those days. Elsettlement, and to the anxieties and diffi- liot and others laboured with great succulties attending the organization of their cess among the Indians in the vicinity of governments, collisions with the mother- Boston. Several thousand souls were concountry, and participation in all that coun- verted. The Bible was translated into try's wars.
their tongue. Nor was it in MassachuThe colonial era' may, for the sake of setts alone that men cared for the souls of convenience, be divided into four periods. the “Salvages," as they were called. In The first of these, extending from the ear-Virginia, an Indian princess, Pocahontas, liest settlement of Virginia in 1607 to 1660, received the Gospel, was baptized, and bewas one in which religion greatly flour- came a consistent member of a Christian ished, notwithstanding the trials incident Church. Another convert, Chanco, was to settlements amid the forests, and the the instrument, under God, of saving the troubles attending the establishment of the colony from entire extirpation. colonial governments. Peace with the The commencement of the colonization Aborigines suffered few interruptions, the of America was certainly auspicious for only wars worth mentioning being that the cause of true religion. with the Pequods in Connecticut, in 1637; The second period is one of sixty years, that between the Dutch and the Algon- from 1660 to 1720. quins, in 1643; and those that broke out in This might be called the brazen age of the Virginia in 1622 and 1644, which were at colonies. Almost all of them experienced once the first and the last, and by far the times of trouble. Massachusetts suffered most disastrous of that period. But these in 1675 from a most disastrous war with wars were soon over, and a few years suf- "King Philip,” the chief of the Pokanokets, ficed to repair whatever loss they occa- and with other tribes which afterward sioned to the colonists.
joined in a general endeavour to expel or This was the period in which those ex- exterminate the colonists. Violent discellent men who either came over with putes arose with the government of Engthe first colonies, or soon afterward joined land respecting the rights of the colony, them, laboured long, and very successfully, and to these were added internal dissenfor the salvation of souls. Among these sions about witchcraft, and other exciting were Wilson, and Cotton, and Shepard, subjects, chiefly of a local nature. In Virand Mather (Richard), and Philips, and ginia, in 1675-76, there were a serious InHigginson, and Skelton, in the colony of dian war and a “Grand Rebellion,” which Massachusetts Bay; Brewster_in Plym- threatened ruin to the colony. And in the outh ; Hooker in Connecticut; Davenport Carolinas a desolating war with the Tusin New Haven; and Hunt and Whitaker in caroras broke out in 1711-12. Virginia. Several of the contemporary Besides these greater causes of trouble magistrates, also, were distinguished for and excitement, there were others which their piety and zeal; such as the governors it is not necessary to indicate. The influWinthrop of Massachusetts, Bradford and ence of growing prosperity may, however, Winslow of Plymouth, Haynes of Con- be mentioned. The colonies had now ta. necticut, and Eaton of New-Haven. To ken permanent root. They might be shathese we must add Roger Williams, who ken, but could not be eradicated or overwas pastor, and, for a time, governor in thrown by the rude blasts of misfortune. Providence.
Their wealth was increasing; their comThis was the golden Age of the colonial merce was already considerable, and atcycle. God poured out his Spirit in many tracted many youth to the seas. Every places. Precious seasons were enjoyed by war which England had with France or the churches in Boston, in Salem, in Plym- Spain agitated her colonies also. outh, in Hartford, and in New Haven. Nor These causes concurring with the disaswere the labours of faithful men in Virginia trous consequences of the union of Church without a rich blessing. Days of fasting and State already described, led to a great and prayer were frequently and faithfully decline of vital Christianity, and although observed. God was entreated to dwell partial revivals took place, the all-pervaamong the people. Religion was felt to be ding piety that characterized the first genthe most important of blessings, both for eration suffered a great diminution. The the individual man and for the State. Re- light of holiness grew faint and dim, and vivals were highly prized, and earnestly morality, in general, degenerated in a like sought; nor were they sought in vain. degree. The Fathers had gone to the The journals of Governor Winthrop, and tomb, and were succeeded, upon the whole, by inferior men. The second Governor | important, though painful lessons, were Winthrop, it is true, showed himself, in the learned, in regard to the economy of the administration of the united colonies of Spirit, which have not been wholly forgotConnecticut, to be a great and good man, ten to this day. and a father alike to the Church and the This was the period in which Edwards State. Among the ministers, too, there and Prince, Frelinghuysen, Dickinson, Finwas a considerable number of distinguished ley, and the Tennents, laboured in the men; but their labours were not equally Northern and the Middle States; Davies, blessed with those of the Fathers. Among and others of kindred spirit, in Virginia; the best known were the Mathers, Increase the Wesleys for a while in Georgia ; while and Cotton, father and son, the latter more Whitfield, like the angel symbolized in the distinguished for the extent and variety of Apocalypse as flying through the heavens, his acquirements than for soundness of having the everlasting Gospel to preach to judgment;* Norton and others in Massa- the nations, traversed colony after colony chusetts ; Pierpont in Connecticut; Dr. in his repeated visits to the New World, Blair, who for a long time was the Bishop and was made an instrument of blessing to of London's commissary in Virginia ; Dr. multitudes. Bray, who held the same office in Maryland, The fourth and concluding period of the two persons to whom the Episcopal Church Colonial Era comprehends the twenty-five in those colonies was much indebted for years from 1750 to 1775, and was one of its prosperity:
great public agitation. In the early part The faithful pastors in New-England re- of it the colonies aided England with all ceived an accession to their number, in the their might in another war with France, early part of this period, by the arrival from ending in the conquest of the Canadas, England of some of the two thousand min- which were secured to the conquerors by isters who were ejected there for non-con- the treaty of Paris in 1763. In the latter formity,soon after the accession of Charles part of it men's minds became universally II.
engrossed with the disputes between the The third period, comprehending the thir- colonies and the mother-country, and when ty years from 1720 to 1750, was distinguish- all prospect of having these brought to ed by extensive revivals of religion, and an amicable settlement seemed desperate, this, notwithstanding the agitation produced preparation began to be made for that in the colonies, by the share they had in dreadful alternative-war. Such a state of the war between France and England to- things could not fail to have an untoward wards the close of that period, and other influence on religion. Yet most of those unfavourable circumstances besides. The distinguished men whom I have spoken of Great Awakening, as it has been called, as labouring in the latter part of the immeinfused a new life into the churches, more diately preceding period, were spared to especially in New England, in certain parts continue their work in the beginning of of New-York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, this. Whitfield renewed from time to time and some other colonies, and its effects his angel visits, and the Spirit was not were visible long afterward in many places. grieved quite away from the churches by It is true that fanatical teachers did much the commotions of the people. Still, no mischief in several quarters by associating such glorious scenes were beheld during themselves with the work of God, and in this period as had been witnessed in the troducing their own unwarrantable meas- last ; on the contrary, that declension in ures, so as to rob it, in the end, of much of spiritual life, and spiritual effort, which war the glorious character that distinguished it ever occasions, was now everywhere visiat first. Yet it cannot be denied that it ble, even before hostilities had actually was a great blessing to the churches. Some commenced. * Cotton Mather's acquirements were really pro- review which the limits of this work per
Such is the very cursory and imperfect digious, considering the age and the circumstances in which he lived. His publications amounted to no mit us to take of the religious vicissitudes fewer than 382, several of which, such as his “Mag: of the United States during their colonial nalia, or the Ecclesiastical History of New-England,” days. That period of 168 years was, commixture of credulity, pedantry, and bad taste, that'he paratively speaking, one of decline, and was not appreciated as he deserved. The part which even deadness, in the greater part of Prothe took in the affair of the witches, though greatly estant Europe; indeed, the latter part may misrepresented by some writers, did him vast injury. be regarded as having been so universally. He was singularly given to believe all sorts of mar. Yet, during the same period, I feel very vellous stories.
† For a full and able account of this great work of certain that a minute examination of the grace, as well as of other revivals of religion, of un- history of the American Protestant churchusual power and extent in America, see a work pub- es would show that in no other part of lished at Boston in 1842, entitled the “Great Awa. Christendom, in proportion to the populakening,” by the Rev. Joseph Tracy. It is by far tion, was there a greater amount of true the fullest account of the early revivals in America that has yet appeared, and being derived from au- knowledge of the Gospel, and of practical thentic sources, is worthy of entire credence. godliness, among both ministers and their
filocks. No doubt there were long intervals with our fathers, and the Word of his promof coldness, or, rather, of deadness, as to ise wherein he had caused them to trust. spiritual things, during which both pastors And though our unworthiness and our unand people became too much engrossed profitableness had been great, he did not with the cares of life." But, blessed be cast us away from his sight, but deigned God, he did not abandon us forever. Though to hear us when we called upon him in the he visited our transgressions with a rod, dark and gloomy hour, and saved us with and chastised us for our sins, yet he re- a great salvation. And this he did “bemembered the covenant which he made Icause his mercy endureth forever.”
BOOK II I.
THE NATIONAL ERA.
EFFECTS OF THE REVOLUTION UPON RELIGION.
1775 to 1800, the first eight, spent in hos-
so. The effects of war on the churches of -CHANGES TO WHICH IT NECESSARILY GAVE all communions were extensively and va
riously disastrous. To say nothing of the From the Colonial we now proceed to distraction of the mind from the subject of the National period in the history of the salvation, its more palpable influences were United States.
seen and felt everywhere. Young men The first twenty-five years of the national were called away from the seclusion and existence of the States were fraught with protection of the parental roof, and from evil to the cause of religion. First came the vicinity of the oracle of God, to the dethe war of the Revolution, which literally moralizing atmosphere of a camp; congreengrossed all men's minds. The popula- gations were sometimes entirely broken tion of the counti at its commencement up; churches were burned, or converted scarcely, if at all, exceeded 3,500,000 ; and into barracks or hospitals, by one or other for a people so few and so scattered, divided of the belligerant armies, often by both into thirteen colonies, quite independent, at successively; in more than one instance the outset, of each other, having no national pastors were murdered; the usual ministreasury, no central government or power, terial intercourse was interrupted; efforts nothing, in short, to unite them but one for the dissemination of the Gospel were, common feeling of patriotism, it was a gi- in a great measure, suspended ; colleges gantic undertaking. The war was followed and other seminaries of learning were by a long period of prostration. Connex- closed for want of students and professors; ion with England having been dissolved, the and the public morals in various respects, colonies had to assume the form of states, and in almost all possible ways, deteriotheir governments had to be reorganized, rated. Christianity is å religion of peace, and a general, or federal government, insti- and the tempest of war never fails to blast tuted. The infant nation, now severed and scatter the leaves of the Tree which from the mother-country, had to begin an was planted for the healing of the nations. existence of its own, at the cost of years A single passage from a letter, written of anxiety and agitation. Dangers threat- by a distinguished and most excellent Gerened it on every side, and scarcely had the man clergyman,* will give the reader some General Government been organized, and idea of the state of things during that war. the states learned to know their places a It was written not long after its commencelittle in the federal economy, when the ment. The perusal of it cannot fail to imFrench Revolution burst forth like a volca- press the mind of every Christian with the no, and threatened to sweep the United duty of praying that the peace which now States into its fiery stream. In the end it so happily reigns among the nations may led them to declare war against France for evermore continue : their national honour, or, rather, for their Throughout the whole country great national existence. That war was happily preparations are making for the war, and brought to an end by Napoleon, on his be- almost every person is under arms. The coming First Consul, and thus was the infant country allowed to enjoy a little longer * The Rev. Dr. Helmuth, formerly pastor in Phil. repose, as far as depended on foreign na- adelphia. The letter from which the extract given
in the text is taken is found in the “Hallische Nachtions.
richten,”p. 1307-8, and quoted by Professor SchmuckUnfavourable to the promotion of religion er in his « Retrospect of Lutheranism in the United as were the whole twenty-five years from States.”
ardour manifested in these melancholy cir-, ed at about 250 at most; the churches at cumstances is indescribable. If a hundred about 300.* In 1788, the Presbyterians had men are required, many more immediately exactly 177 ministers, and 417 congregaoffer, and are dissatisfied when they are tions.f As the Lutherans had eleven minnot accepted. I know of no similar case isters in 1748, and forty churches three in history. Neighbourhoods, concerning years after, the former could hardly have which it would have been expected that exceeded twenty-five, and the iatter sixty, years would be requisite to induce them at the commencement of the Revolution voluntarily to take up arms, became strong- judging by the statistics of the directoly inclined for war as soon as the battle of ry for worship (Kirchenagende), published Lexington was known. Quakers and Men- in 1786. The German Reformed churchnonists take part in the military exercises, es were not more numerous. The Dutch and in great numbers renounce their former Reformed churches had thirty ministers religious principles. The hoarse din of and eighty-two congregations in 1784.9 In war is hourly heard in our streets. The 1776, the Associate Church had thirteen present disturbances inflict no small injury ministers, and perhaps twenty churches. on religion. Everybody is constantly on The Moravians had probably twelve minthe alert, anxious, like the ancient Athe- isters and six or eight churches. The Newnians, to hear the news, and, amid the mass England Congregationalists could not, at of news, the hearts of men are, alas! closed the commencement of the Revolution, have against the good word of God. The Lord had above 700 churches and 575 pastors. is chastising the people, but they do not The Baptists, in 1784, had 424 ministers, feel it. Those who appear to be distant and 471 churches or congregations | The from danger are unconcerned; and those Methodists, at the time of the Revolution, whom calamity has overtaken are enraged, did not exist as a body distinct from the and meditating vengeance. In the Ameri- Established Episcopal Church, and had no can army there are many clergymen, who ordained ministers. As for the Roman serve both as chaplains and as officers. I Catholics, according to Bishop England's myself know two, one of whom is a colonel, estimate, their priests did not exceed twen. and the other a captain. The whole county-six in number when the war of the try is in perfect enthusiasm for liberty: Revolution commenced, but their congreThe whole population, from New-England gations were at least twice as numerous. I to Georgia, is of one mind, and determined These statements, though far from preto risk life and all things in defence of cise, are from the best sources, and suffice liberty. The few who think differently to give a tolerably correct view of the numare not permitted to utter their sentiments. bers of the clergy and churches at the comIn Philadelphia the English and German mencement of the national existence of students are formed into military com- the country, and for the first ten years afpanies, wear uniforms, and are exercised ter the breaking out of hostilities with Englike regular troops. Would to God that land. men would become as zealous and unani- From the best estimate I can make, it mous in asserting their spiritual liberty as seems very certain that in 1775 the total they are in vindicating their political free number of ministers of the Gospel in the dom.”
United States did not exceed 1441, nor the It required some time for the churches congregations 1940. Indeed, I am convinto recover from the demoralizing effects ced that this is rather too large an estiof a war which had drawn the whole na-mate. ** The population of the thirteen tion into its circle, and lasted for eight long years. But the times immediately follow- * The number of the clergy and churches in the ing the Revolution were, as I have remark- Episcopal Church, given in the text, has been estied, far from being favourable to the re- mated from various historical sketches and docususcitation of true religion, and to the restoration of the churches, even to the con- United States,” by Dr. Hodge, part ii., p. 504.
+ “History of the Presbyterian Church in the dition, unsatisfactory as it was, in which # Dr. Schmucker's “Retrospect of Lutheranism they stood previously to the contest. in the United States." Through God's blessing, however, they Church in another part of this work.
♡ See the Historical sketch of the Reformed Dutch not only shared in the returning tranquilli- Il View of the Baptist churches in America, given ty of the country, but from that time to in the “ American Quarterly Register," vols. xii. and this, with some short periods of interrup- xiv. tion, have steadily grown with its growth
Letter from Bishop England, of Charleston, to and strengthened with its strength.
the Central Council of the Society for the Propaga
tion of the Faith, at Lyons, published in the “ Annales It is not easy to ascertain what was the de la Propagation de la Foi,” for the month of May, exact number of ministers and churches in 1838, vol. x. the United States when these became sey- ** The most exact approximation which I make ered from England, but the following esti
is as follows: mate cannot be very wide of the truth.
Episcopalians The Episcopal clergymen may be reckon- Baptists
colonies at that epoch did not exceed | I apprehend, in Europe, with respect to the 3,500,000, of whom about 500,000 were dissolution of the union of Church and slaves.
State in the United States. First, many If we assume the number of ministers to seem to think that it was a natural and inhave been 1441, and the population 3,500,000 .evitable result of the separation of the colin 1775, then we have one minister of the onies from the mother-country, and of the Gospel, on an average, for every 2429 independent position which they had assouls, which, I apprehend, is not far from sumed. But that union connected the esthe exact truth.
tablished churches of America, not with At that epoch there was no bishop in the mother-country, but with the colonial either the Protestant Episcopal or Roman governments; so that, when the colonies Catholic Church. There were at that time became states, the alliance that had subnine colleges and two medical schools, but sisted between them and certain churchno schools of law or theology.
es was not necessarily affected. These The changes that took place in the gen- churches, in fact, remained, as before, part eral and local government of the thirteen and parcel of the states, and upon these original colonies, on their achieving their they continued to be as dependant as ever. independence, have been already noticed. They never had any ties with England, Religion, as well as every other interest, beyond falling incidentally, as did the colshared in the change of relations that en-onies themselves, under the operation of sued. Henceforth it was with Congress and English laws. the State Legislatures, or, rather, with the Again, many imagine that the union of National and State Governments, that the Church and State in America was dissolvchurches had to do, so far as they had any ed by an act of Congress ; that is, by an: political relations to sustain at all. act of the General Government. But this
It will be my object in this book to point was not the case. An article of the Conout the changes that took place in the re-stitution, it is true, restrains Congress from lations of the churches to the civil power, establishing any particular religion; but and to show their actual position with re- this restriction is not in the original draught gard to it at the present moment. This I of the Constitution; it forms one of certain will try to do with all the brevity consist- amendments adopted soon after, and runs ent with a lucid treatment of the subject. as follows: “Congress shall make no laws We have now to see by what means that respecting an establishment of religion, or union of Church and State, which con- prohibiting the free exercise thereof." That nected the Congregational Church in the is to say, the General Government shall North and the Episcopal Church in the not make any law for the support of any Middle and South, with the civil govern- particular church, or of all the churches. ment, was dissolved; what were the re- But neither this, nor any other article in sults of that dissolution; and what the po- the Constitution of the United States, prosition in which the churches now stand to hibits individual states from making such the civil power, whether as represented laws. The Constitution simply declares by the General Government or the indi- what shall be the powers of the General vidual States.
Government, leaving to the State governments such powers as it does not give to the General Government. This, in refer-.
ence to the subject in hand, is manifest CHAPTER II.
from the fact that “the establishment of
religion,” as we shall presently see, surTHE DISSOLUTION OF THE UNION OF CHURCH vived for many years, in some states, their
AND STATE NOT EFFECTED BY THE GENERAL adhesion to the Constitution of the United GOVERNMENT, NOR DID IT TAKE PLACE IM- States.
Lastly, many persons in Europe seem More than one erroneous idea prevails, to be under the impression that the union
of Church and State was annihilated at
the Revolution, or, at all events, ceased. Congregationalists*
upon the organization of the State governPresbyterians Lutherans
ments being completed. This, however, German Reformed.
was not so in all cases. The connexion Reformed Dutch
between the civil power in all the states Associate .
in which Episcopacy had been established Moravians
in the colonial period was dissolved, very Roman Catholics
soon after the Revolution, by acts of their 1441
respective Legislatures. But the Congre* The number of Congregational ministers in New-Eng- gational Church in New-England continland (and there were few or none in other parts of the ued to be united with the State, and to be country) was estimated by Dr. Stiles to be, in 1760, 530 ; in the fifteen years which followed they probably increased supported by it, long after the Revolution. to 575, as given in the text.
Indeed, it was not until 1833 that the last
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