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Virginia and North Carolina." They wrote, tours, at no small personal hazard from the accordingly, to the General Assembly of dangers of war. Measures were taken in the Church of Scotland, asking for minis- 1788 for forming the General Assembly, ters to preach in these colonies, and for which was organized in 1789, and at its assistance in establishing a seminary for very first meeting much attention was paid the education of suitable young men for to the subject of missions. the ministry. A letter was also addressed “It is believed,” says one of the most to the deputies of the Synods of North and distinguished living ministers of the PresSouth Holland, in which they expressed byterian Church, “that at this time (1789) their willingness to unite with the Calvin- there was not in the United States another istic Dutch churches in promoting the religious denomination, besides the Presbycommon interests of religion.
terian, that prosecuted any domestic misAt the first meeting of the Synod of New- sionary enterprise, except that then, as York in 1745, the circumstances of the since, the Methodists sent forth their cirpeople of Virginia were brought before cuit-preachers in all directions."* them, and the opinion unanimously ex- In the year 1800, the Rev. Mr. Chapman pressed that Mr. Robinson* was the proper was appointed a missionary in the western person to visit that colony. He visited it part of the State of New-York, and to his accordingly, and on that, as well as on a labours we must so far ascribe the great former visit, was the instrument of doing diffusion of Presbyterianism in that impormuch good. He was followed by the tant section of the country. In 1802, the Rev. Samuel Davies, formerly mentioned. General Assembly appointed a “standing
In 1758, the two synods were merged committee,” to aitend to the greatly-inin the one Synod of New-York and Phila- creased interests of the missionary cause delphia, and from that time domestic mis- a measure which led to a farther extension sions began to receive considerable atten- of the work. A correspondence was comtion, and collections for that object were menced with all the known missionary soordered to be made in the churches. In cieties of Europe. The committee gave 1767, or 1768, the synod had an overture, much of its attention to the coloured popuor proposal, sent from the Presbytery of lation, a class among whom the late John New-York," that there should be an annu- Holt Rice, D.D., one of the most distin-al collection in every congregation ; that guished ministers that the Presbyterian every presbytery should appoint a treasu- Church in the United States has ever posrer to receive and transmit the funds thus sessed, laboured as a missionary during obtained ; that the synod should appoint a seven years. general treasurer, to whom all these pres- In 1816, the General Assembly enlarged: byterial collections should be sent; and the powers of the standing committee, and that every year a full account of the re- gave it the title of “the Board of Missions,
" ceipts and disbursements should be printed acting under the authority of the General and sent down to the churches." This Assembly.” Many missionaries went forth was the germe of the present Board of Mis- under its auspices, to labour among the sions. In the same year petitions for destitute Presbyterian congregations that
supplies” were received from twenty-one were continually forming in the Southern places in Virginia, North Carolina, and and Western States. Meanwhile, many Georgia.
local societies, under the direction of synCollections were thenceforward made in ods, presbyteries, and other bodies, had the churches. In 1772, it was ordered that sprung up, and were separately prosecuting. a part of these moneys should be appropri- the same objects to a considerable extent. ated to the purchase and distribution of use- The General Assembly again took up the ful religious books, and to the promotion subject of missions in 1828, and farther enof the Gospel among the Indians. Two larged the powers of the Board, fully auyears afterward, it was seriously contem- thorizing it to establish missions, not only plated to send missionaries to Africa ; but in destitute parts of the United States, but on the war of the Revolution breaking out among the heathen abroad. Such, howin the following year, the project fell to the ever, was the demand for labourers at ground. Even during the war there was a home, especially in the Western States considerable demand for ministers from and Territories, that nothing of importance destitute congregations, and to meet this could be done for foreign lands. It was many faithful ministers made missionary found, besides, that home and foreign mis
sions could not well be united under one * This Mr. Robinson was a remarkable man. His manners were plain, his eloquence simple, animated, board, so that in the course of a few years and attractive." He had but one eye, and was from the latter were committed to the charge of that circumstance called "one-eyed Robinson.” The another board, appointed for that purpose Rev. Dr. Alexander, professor in the Theological by the Assembly. Of its operations we Seminary at Princeton, New Jersey, says, that it was shall have occasion to speak elsewhere. no uncommon thing for people to go twenty, thirty, and even forty miles, to hear him preach a single History of the Missions of the Presbyterian
Church,” by the Rev. Ashbel Green, D.D.
The cause of domestic missions in the members of the Board, and to it is comPresbyterian Church now went on with mitted the whole subject of missions. But fresh vigour, and the synodical and press the better to expedite the business intrustbyterial societies becoming either merged ed to it, the Home and Foreign departin the Assembly's board, or affiliated with ments are directed, respectively, by two it, the whole assumed a more consolidated committees, each consisting of four clerform and greater consistency. From 1828 gymen and four laymen, under the presito 1843, the missionaries increased from dency of the bishop of the diocess in which 31 to 296. The Report for the latter year the committee resides, and both commitpresents a summary of 296 missionaries tees are ex officio members of the Board. employed ; 900 Sunday-schools, attended It is only since 1835 that the home misby at least 30,000 scholars, connected with sions of the society have been prosecuted the churches under their care ; 4800 mem- with much vigour, but every year now bers added to the churches, of whom 3600 bears witness to the increasing interest upon examination of their faith, and 1200 felt by the Episcopal churches of the Uniupon letters of recommendation from other ted States in the work of building up churches; the receipts were about 35,000 churches in the new settlements, and othdollars, and the expenditures exceeded er places where none of that communion 31,000. The average expense of each mis- had before existed. sionary is 130 dollars. The Board pursues During the year ending 21st June, 1843, the wise course of simply helping congre- the Board had employed ninety-four misgations that as yet are unable to maintain sionaries, and that they did not labour pastors, by granting them so much on their without effecting much good, is apparent undertaking to make up the deficiency: even from the imperfect statements of the
Such is a brief notice of the operations Report. The number of communicants in of the Home Missions of the General As-84 out of the 180 places to which the missembly of that branch of the Presbyterian sionaries had extended their labours was Church commonly called the Old School, 2190; and that of the children under cateto distinguish it from another branch call- chetical instruction was 2014. The income ed the New School. The Board has been for the home missions, collected throughinstrumental, under God, in giving a per- out the thirty diocesses into which the counmanent existence to some hundreds of try is divided, was $38,835. From 1822 to churches. The divine blessing has been 1841, 186 stations had been adopted as fields remarkably vouchsafed to its efforts. Its of special, permanent, and, as far as practiaffairs are managed with great wisdom cable, regular labour. During the same peand energy, and the Church is much in- riod eighty church edifices had been erectdebted to the Rev. Ashbel Green, D.D., ed in those stations, and the number of for the deep interest which, during a long these once aided, but no longer requiring life, he has felt in this cause, and for the assistance, was forty-four. devotedness with which he has laboured From this it will be seen that this socito promote it. Nor can it fail to be a great ety has not laboured in vain, but that it, consolation to him, in his declining days, likewise, is an instrument by which churchto see his love and zeal for this enterprise es that have long been favoured with the crowned with abundant success.
Gospel, and highly prize it, are enabled to assist others, until they, too, have grown up into a vigorous independence of foreign
aid. Freely ye have received; freely CHAPTER IX.
give ;" this admonition and command HOME MISSIONS OF THE EPISCOPAL, BAPTIST, basis of the whole Voluntary System.
should never be forgotten. It is the true
We shall only add, that the missionaries A SOCIETY was formed in the Protestant employed by the Board of the Episcopal Episcopal Church of the United States, Church are chiefly confined to the Western for the promotion of Home and Foreign States and Territories. Missions, in the year 1822. During the The American Baptist Home Missionary first thirteen years of its existence, that is, Society was instituted in 1832, and has up to 1835, it had employed fifty-nine la- been eminently useful since in building up bourers in its home missions, occupying churches of that denomination, both in the stations in various parts of the Union, but West and in many of the Atlantic States, chiefly in the West. The society was re- where the assistance of such an instituorganized in 1835, and, as now constituted, tion was required, as well as in establishis under the direction of a Board of thirty ing Sunday-schools and Bible-classes. Its members, appointed by the General Con- great field of labour, however, like that of vention of the Church. The bishops, to all the other Societies and Boards for dogether with such persons as had become mestic missions, has been the “ Valley of patrons of the society previously to the the Mississippi.” It has numerous branchmeeting of the Convention in 1829, are es and auxiliaries in all parts of the United
AND REFORMED DUTCH CHURCHES.
States; and during the year ending in May, Ordinarily, as often as once in the fort1843, had ninety-three agents and mis- night, a circuit-preacher conducts a regusionaries in its own immediate service, and lar service at each of these preaching pla275 in that of its auxiliaries, making a total ces, whether it be a church, schoolroom, of 368, all of whom were ministers of the or a dwelling-house. In the largest towns Gospel, and believed to be faithful and ca- and villages such services are held on the pable labourers. They preached statedly Sabbath, and on a week-day or evening at 762 stations, and had travelled 175,035 in other places, and thus the Gospel is miles! They reported 4920 conversions carried into thousands of remote spots, in and baptisms, the organization of fifty which it never would be preached upon churches, and the ordination of twenty- the plan of having a permanent clergy, three ministers. By their instrumentality planted in particular districts and parishes. 6520 persons had been induced to join the It was a remark, I believe, of the celetemperance societies; 11,742 young per- brated Dr. Witherspoon, that “he needed sons had been gathered into Sunday-schools no other evidence that the Rev. John Wesand Bible-classes, taught by about 1500 ley was a great man, than what the system teachers. The receipts of the parent soci- of itinerating - preaching presented to his ety and its auxiliaries amounted to $40,583. mind, and of which that wonderful man
In addition to what the regular Baptists was the author.” The observation was a are doing for home missions, it ought to just one. It is a system of vast importance be stated that the Free-Will Baptists have in every point of view; but that from which a Home Missionary Society, which em- we are at present to contemplate it is, its ploys some six or eight men.
filling up a void which must else remain The General Synod of the Reformed empty. Of its other advantages we shall Dutch Church has a Board of Domestic have to speak in another place. Missions, which is now prosecuting, with But, capable as the system is of being zeal and wisdom, the work of gathering made to send its ramifications into almost together new congregations, and fostering every corner of the country, and to carry them during their infancy, wherever it can the glad tidings of salvation into the most find openings for so doing. For several remote and secluded settlements, as well years past it has been extending its oper- as to the more accessible and populous ations, and during that ending in June, towns and neighbourhoods, many places 1843, it aided forty-seven new or feeble were found, particularly in the South and churches and two stations. Five of these West, so situated as to be beyond the were in the Western States, and in these reach of adequate supply from itinerant lafive missionaries were occupied in preach- bourers; a fact which led to the formation ing the Gospel. The receipts for that pe- of the Missionary Society of the Methodist riod amounted to $5127.
Episcopal Church in 1819. If the truth is to be carried into every This society, like that of the Protestant hamlet and neighbourhood of the United Episcopal Church, was formed for the States, it can only be by all denominations double object of promoting missions at of evangelical Christians taking part in the home and abroad. Reserving the latter enterprise ; and it is delightful to trace the for future notice, I turn at present to the proofs of this conviction being widely and former. According to the twenty-fourth deeply felt. All are actually engaged in annual report, being that for 1843, I find the good work, and send forth and support that it employed 210 missionaries within missionaries in some portion or other of the limits of the United States, exclusive the country.
of those labouring among the Indians, whether within or immediately beyond
those limits. The churches enjoying the CHAPTER X.
services of these missionaries comprised HOME MISSIONS OF THE METHODIST EPISCOPAL had flourishing Bible-classes and Sunday
above 30,000 members, and many of them
schools. The report also states, that It has been said, with truth, that the among the members of the Society's misMethodist Church is in its very struc- sionary churches, there were not fewer ture emphatically missionary, and it is an than 13,320 coloured people. inexpressible blessing that it is so, as the Perhaps of all the fields cultivated by United States strikingly prove. The whole this society, the two most interesting, and, country is embraced by one General Con- in some respects, most important, are ference ; it is again subdivided into thirty- those presented by the slaves in the extwo Annual Conferences, each including treme Southern States, and by the German a large extent of country, and divided into emigrants found in great numbers in our districts. Each district comprehends sev- chief cities. The missions among the foreral circuits, and within each circuit there mer were commenced in 1828,* and origiare from five or six to above twenty preach
* I speak here of missions technically so called, ing places.
for, in their ordinary labours, the Methodists, from K
nated in a proposal made by the Hon. It has a mission, also, at St. Louis, on the Charles C. Pinckney, a distinguished Chris- Upper Mississippi
. The churches gathered tian layman of the Episcopal Church in by the Society's missionaries from among South Carolina, and which has been car- the Germans in those places had no fewer ried into effect with much success, the than 1366 members in 1813, and of these slaveholders themselves, in many places, more than 200 had been Roman Catholics. if not all, being pleased to have the mis- Yet this work had commenced only a few sionaries preach the Gospel to their people. years before. Twenty missionaries were
The following paragraph from the report engaged in it, and several of these were of 1841 will give the reader some idea of men of considerable talent and learning, as the hazardous nature of this work : “In well as zeal. One of them, the Rev. Mr. the Southern and Southwestern Conferen- Nast, at Cincinnati, conducts a religious ces, it will be seen, under the head of do- paper with a circulation of above 1500 mestic missions, that, with commendable copies, and which seems to be doing good. zeal and devotion, our missionaries are The Society has a mission, likewise, still labouring in the service of the slaves among the Germans, reckoned at 30,000 upon the rice-fields, sugar and cotton plant- at least, in the city of New York. The ations, multitudes of whom, though des- income of this excellent and efficient socitined to toil and bondage during their earth- ety, for the year ending April 20th, 1843, ly pilgrimage, have by their instrumental amounted to 109,452 dollars, and its exity been brought to enjoy the liberty of the penditure, including both its foreign and Gospel, and are happily rejoicing in the domestic missions, was 145,035. blessings of God's salvation. In no por- Here I close these brief notices of the tion of our work are our missionaries call- home missions of the chief evangelical ed to endure greater privations, or make churches in the United States. They will greater sacrifices of health and life, than give the reader some idea of the mode in in these missions among the slaves, many which new and feeble congregations are of which are located in sections of the aided by the older and stronger until able Southern country which are proverbially to maintain the institutions of religion sickly, and under the fatal influence of a themselves. The societies which we have climate which few white men are capable passed under review in these four chapof enduring, even for a single year. And ters supported, in all, nearly 1900 ministers yet, notwithstanding so many valuable mis- of the Gospel, in the year 1843, in new, sionaries have fallen martyrs to their toils and, as yet, feeble churches and flocks. in these missions, year after year there are Year after year many of these cease to refound others to take their places, who fall quire assistance, and then others are taken likewise in their work,'ceasing at once to up in their turn. Be it remembered, that work and to live.' Nor have our superin- the work has been systematically prosecutendents any difficulty in finding missiona- ted for no long course of time. Twenty ries ready to fill up the ranks which death years ago, in fact, the most powerful and has thinned in these sections of the work, extensive of these societies did not exist; for the love of Christ, and the love of the others were but commencing their operasouls of these poor Africans in bonds, con- tions. It is an enterprise with respect to strain our brethren in the itinerant work which the churches have as yet but parof the Southern conferences to exclaim, tially developed their energies and resour• Here are we, send us!' The Lord be ces; still, they have accomplished enough praised for the zeal and success of our to demonstrate how much may be done by brethren in this self-denying and self-sac- the voluntary principle towards the calling rificing work."
into existence of churches and congregaNot less interesting are the Society's tions in the settlements rapidly forming, missions among the Germans resident in whether in the new or the old states. the chief towns and cities of the Valley of the Mississippi. Beginning at Pittsburgh and Alleghany Town, on the right bank of the Alleghany, opposite Pittsburgh, it has
CHAPTER XI. missionaries among these foreigners in many of the chief towns on the Ohio, such THE VOLUNTARY PRINCIPLE DEVELOPED.-INas Wheeling, Marietta, Portsmouth, Maysville, Cincinnati, Lawrenceburg, New Albany, &c., as well as in towns remote from We have seen how the voluntary printhe river, such as Dayton and Chillicothe. ciple operates in America in relation to
the building of churches, and also the supthe first, have had much to do with the slaves in the port of ministers of the Gospel in the new South, as well as with the free negroes of the North. settlements forming every year, more or In fact, no other body of Christians, perhaps, has done so much good to the unfortunate children of less, in all quarters. We now come to Africa in the United States as the followers of John consider its influence on education. HunWesley.
dreds of ministers, it will be perceived, are
FLUENCE OF THE VOLUNTARY PRINCIPLE ON
required to meet the demands of the rap-, being taught, in every school district, by a
so widely throughout the United States, It may well be imagined that emigrants and that no less effective legal provision to the New World, who fled from the Old has been made at length for the support with the hope of enjoying that religious of common schools in New York, Pennfreedom which they so much desired, sylvania, and in Ohio, than in the Newwould not be indifferent to the education England States, and to a considerable exof their children. Especially might we tent, also, in New Jersey and Delaware, expect to find that the Protestant colo-while in all the others it has led to the nists, who had forsaken all for this boon, adoption of measures for the education of would not fail to make early provision for the children of the poor, and to the creathe instruction of their children, in order tion of school funds, which, taken together that they might be able to read that Book with other means, promise one day to be which is the “religion of Protestants.” available for the education of all classes. And such we find to have been the fact. The white population of the United States Scarcely had the Puritans been settled half amounted in 1840 to 14,189,218, of which a dozen years in the colony of Massachu- number it was ascertained that 549,693 persetts before they began to make provision sons, above twenty years of age, could for public primary schools, to be supported neither read nor write. A large proporby a tax assessed upon all the inhabitants.* tion of these must have been foreignersAnd such provision was actually made, not Irish, Germans, Swiss, and French-as is only in Massachusetts, but in every New- evident from 13,041 of
them being found in England colony. And such provision ex- the six New-England States, where educaists to this day in all the six New-England tion is nearly as universal as can well be States. Schools are maintained in every imagined. That a native of either sex, in school district, during the whole or part of short, above the age of twenty, may be every year, by law.
found in Connecticut or Massachusetts With the exception of the State of Con- who cannot read, is not denied ; but that necticut, where all the public schools are there should be 526 such persons in the maintained upon the interest of a large former of these states, and 4448 in the latschool fund, primary instruction is provi- ter, cannot be believed by any one who ded for by an annual assessment-a school knows the condition of the people there.
The greater number were not native AmerThe small colony of Plymouth, as soon as it was icans, and of those that remained the main some measure settled, set about providing schools jority were idiots. for the children, and this was several years before the colony of Massachusetts Bay was planted.
By the census of 1840, it appears that
free schools nor printing, and I hope we shall not have will be seen that education in America de-
country originated and susing's Laws of Virginia, Appendix.
Itained at first, as in most of the states it