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to the rules and practice of the Presbyte- , that settled in America.* He was sucrian Church. The upshot was, that the ceeded by John and Sarnuel Megapolensis, course pursued by the Cumberland Pres- the latter of whom was one of the combytery was condemned, and this sentence missioners appointed by General Stuyvehaving been confirmed by the General As- sant to settle the terms on which the colony sembly of the whole Presbyterian Church, was surrendered to the English in 1664. before which it had been brought by ap- The colony having been planted and peal, the censured Presbytery withdrew maintained by the Dutch West India Comfrom that body, and constituted itself an pany, to it the colonists applied from time independent church in 1810, which has to time for ministers, as new churches ever since been called the Cumberland were formed or the older ones became Presbyterian Church.
vacant; and the seat of the company being Its doctrines occupy a sort of middle at Amsterdam, the directors naturally apground between Calvinism and Arminian- plied to the Classis of that city to choose ism. It holds that the atonement was and ordain the persons that were to be made for all mankind; it rejects the doc- sent out. Hence that Classis and the trine of eternal reprobation; holds a mod- Synod of North Holland, with which it ified view of election ; and maintains the was connected, came, by the tacit consent perseverance of the saints; but on the of the other classes and synods of the other points is essentially Calvinistic. Dutch National Church, as well as by the
In its ecclesiastical polity it is Presby- submission of the churches in the colonies, terian ; the Session, Presbytery, Synod, to have an influence over the latter, which, and General Assembly are all constituted in the course of time, proved a source of in the manner described at length in our no little trouble to the parties concerned.f notice of the Presbyterian Church. It dif- To such an extent was it carried that the fers, however, in one point, from all other colonial churches were not thought entitled Presbyterian churches, by having adopted to take a single step towards the regulathe itinerating system of the Methodists. tion of their own affairs. By that system of circuits and stations, How far the West India Company aided its ministers have been able to reach al- the congregations that were gradually most all parts of the Valley of the Missis- formed in its American colonies is not sippi, that being the great scene of their now known, but it is supposed to have labours. But their church is not confined done something for their support. Some to the Western States and Territories of of its governors were decided friends and the American Union-it reaches into Tex. members of the church, and certain it is as, where it has a number of churches. that those congregations in New NetherThe General Assembly has under its su- lands were considered as branches of the perintendence twelve synods, forty-five Established Church of Holland. presbyteries, about 550 churches, and The English took possession of the colthe same number of ministers, and about ony in 1664, and guarantied to the inhabi70,000 communicants. Several religious tants all their religious rights. Nothing newspapers are published under its auspi- of any consequence to the churches took
For the education of its youth, it has place for about thirty years, for there being one flourishing college at Princeton, in but few English in the colony, they were Kentucky, and has lately opened another attended by nearly the whole population. in the State of Ohio. Among its preach- But in 1693, on Colonel Samuel Fletcher ers there are several men of highly re- becoming governor, he succeeded, as we spectable talents and acquirements. have elsewhere noticed, by artifice and
perseverance, in having the Episcopal Church established in the city of New
York and four of the principal counties of CHAPTER X.
the province ; so that from that time all
classes were taxed for the support of SMALLER PRESBYTERIAN CHURCHES: REFORM
* This excellent man left the colony to return to We have elsewhere stated that the coun- Holland in 1647, and is supposed have been lost try embracing what are now the States of at sea in the same vessel with Governor Kieft.
+ The Classis of Amsterdam and the Synod of New-York, New Jersey, Delaware, and North Holland retain to this day the charge of the Pennsylvania, was at one time claimed by churches in the colonies in the East Indies, and other the Dutch in right of discovery. A trading parts of the world, belonging to the kingdom of the
. post was established by them in 1614, at
| It would seem that it was a considerable time the spot now occupied by the city of New- before any church edifice of respectable appearance York, but it was not until 1624 that any was erected in New Amsterdam, as New-York was families from Holland settled there. Å then called; for De Vries, in the account of his voyfew years after, the Rev. Everardus Bo- age to New Netherlands, relates that he remarked to gardus was sent over to preach to the the English should pass there, and see only a mean
Governor Kieft in 1641, “ that it was a shame that colonists, and was the first Dutch pastor barn in which we performed our worship.”
ED DUTCH CHURCH.
Episcopacy, though its partisans formed The prosperity of the Dutch Church, but a small minority of the colonists. particularly in the city of New York, was
But the inconvenience of having no ec- retarded by another cause, namely, the clesiastical authority in America higher long-continued opposition to preaching in than a Consistory could not fail to be felt English. The Dutch tongue having been by the Reformed Dutch Church, and ac- gradually disappearing ever since the concordingly, in 1738, some of its ministers quest of the colony in 1664, many of the proposed having an association of the youth had grown up almost in utter igno-clergy, called a cætus, but which was to rance of it, and had gone off to the Epishave no power either to ordain pastors or copal and Presbyterian churches, especialto determine ecclesiastical disputes. In- ly the former, for the latter had as yet but nocent as well as inadequate as was this a merely tolerated and feeble existence. measure, the concurrence of the Classis of At length the Rev. Dr. Laidlie, a Scotch Amsterdam could not be obtained till 1746 minister, was invited from Holland, and or 1747. But it was soon found that no commenced preaching in English in 1764, thing short of having a regular classis of from which time Dutch fell still more raptheir own could meet the wants of the idly into disuse. The last Dutch sermon churches. Not only was there the heavy was preached in the collegiate churches in expense and delay attending getting minis- the city of New York in 1804, though in ters from Holland, or sending young men some of the churches in the country it was thither to be educated, but, worse than all, used some years longer. But it is now the churches had no power of choosing quite abandoned in the pulpit throughout ministers likely to suit them. Urged by the United States. such considerations, the cætus resolved in The Revolutionary war, also, proved dis1754 to propose a change of its constitution astrous to the Dutch Church, particularly to that of a regular classis, and a plan to that in the city of New-York. One of the effect was transmitted to the congregations church-edifices there was used as a hospifor their approval. But the project was tal, another as a cavalry riding-school, opposed by a powerful party, mainly forin- during the occupation of the place by a ed of those who had been sent over from British force from 1776 to 1783. But with Holland, and called the Conferentie. Amid the return of peace, prosperity returned to the distraction and confusion caused by this as well as other evangelical commuthis opposition of parties, religion made nions, and it has been steadily advancing little progress, and many influential fami- ever since. In all the States it had only lies left the Dutch Church, and joined the eighty-two congregations and thirty minisEpiscopal.
ters in 1784 ; but the former have now All difficulties were at length adjusted risen to 267, and the latter to 259. The through the prudent mediation of the late communicants are 29,322.* Rev. John H. Livingston, D.D.,* then a A college was founded by the Reformed young man. Having gone to Holland for Dutch at New-Brunswick, in New Jersey, the prosecution of his studies, in 1766, the in 1770, which, after various vicissitudes, Synod of Holland and Classis of Amster- has now been open for many years, and is. dam were led by his representations to de- firmly established and flourishing. It is
ise a plan, which, after Mr. Livingston's called Rutger's College. Connected with return to America in 1770, was submitted it there is a theological seminary, with to a meeting held in New York in October, three able professors, and between thirty 1771, and attended by nearly all the minis- and forty students. ters, and by lay delegates from nearly all The Dutch Church is doing much for the congregations. After a full discussion, Sunday-schools, home missions, and the having been unanimously adopted, it was education of young men for the ministry. carried into effect the following year. The It has a society, also, for foreign missions, whole Church was divided into five classes, auxiliary to the American Board of Comthree in the Province of New Jersey, and missioners for Foreign Missions, and now two in that of New-York; and a delega- maintaining some six or eight missionaries tion of two ministers and two elders from with their wives at two or three stations each classis constituted the General Synod, in Borneo. which was to meet once a year.
The church is at present organized in a
general synod, two particular synods, and * Few men have ever lived in America who have nineteen classes. Its standards are those been more useful or respected than Dr. John H. Liv- of the Reformed Church of Holland, viz., ingston. For many years he was a pastor in New. the Belgic Confession, the Heidelberg CatYork city; but the latter part of his life was spent in echism, the Canons of the Synod of Dort, he was professor of theology in the seminary of the &c. Its doctrines are in all respects purely Reformed Dutch Church. He died in the year 1825, Calvinistic. From the first it has been revered by all of every denomination who knew him. He has left an abiding impression of his character # The number of families reported as belonging to upon the church of which he was so distinguished this denomination in 1843 was 21,569 ; and the num
ber of individuals under its instruction was 96,302.
SMALLER PRESBYTERIAN CHURCHES:
favoured with an able, learned, and godly of these brethren were crowned with sucministry. In its earlier days the labours cess; several congregations were soon orof such men as the Rev. Theodorus J. ganized, and a presbytery formed in the Frelinghuysen, Drs. Laidlie and Westerlo, eastern part of Pennsylvania ; and as othand others of like character, were greatly er ministers were sent over from Scotland blessed. In our own times many of its from time to time, there were about eight ministers stand in the first rank among our or ten in all before the breaking out of the distinguished American divines, and many Revolution. But in 1782, the presbytery of its congregations have enjoyed very was reduced to the original number of two precious religious revivals. For the edifi- ministers, in consequence of one or two cation of the people, one of the most in- being deposed, and others joining several structive and best-conducted religious pa- ministers of the Reformed Presbyterian pers, called the Christian Intelligencer, is Church, or Covenanters, in forming the published weekly in the city of New York. Associate Reformed Church.
Notwithstanding these untoward circumstances, the two ministers, with the congre
gations adhering to them, persevered, and CHAPTER XI.
their numbers being speedily recruited from
THE AS- Scotland, such, at last, was their success SOCIATE CHURCH-THE ASSOCIATE REFORMED in training young men among themselves, CHURCH—AND THE REFORMED PRESBYTERI- that in 1801 they had four presbyteries,
which that year, by a delegation from their These are often called the “ Scottish ranks, formed the Associate Synod of Secession churches.” They were origi
North AMERICA, a body which meets annally established by immigrants from Scot- nually. The presbyteries have now been land and Ireland, and are mainly composed, quadrupled, I believe, and extend over the to this day, of Scotch and Irish immigrants
Middle, Southern, and Western States. Acand their descendants. The first and last cording to the most recent statement which of the three were, in their origin, branches I have seen, this denomination has more of similar churches in Scotland, and out of than one hundred ministers, upward of an unsuccessful attempt made in America two hundred churches, most of which are to unite them sprang the second.
small, and about 15,000 communicants. For In the year 1733, as is well known, the a long time the energies of this church, Rev. Messrs. Ebenezer Erskine, Alexan- like those of many others, were directed to der Moncrieff
, William Wilson, and James the building up of churches in the West Fisher, by a protest addressed to the Com- and South. Of late years it has turned its mission of the General Assembly of the attention to the foreign field, and has sent Church of Scotland, seceded from the pre- two missionaries to the island of Trinidad. vailing party in the judicatories of that able professors and some 20 or 25 students,
They have a theological school, with two church. The ground of this separation in connexion with Jefferson College, situawas not a disagreement with the doctrines, ted at Canonsburg, in the western part of order, or discipline of that church, but dis- Pennsylvania, eighteen miles from Pittssatisfaction with what the dissenters considered to be an inadequate maintenance burgh. For their organ they publish a valof those doctrines, and enforcing of that uable monthly journal called the “ Reliorder and discipline. These seceders, joinsociate Church are thoroughly Calvinistic ;
gious Monitor." The doctrines of the Ased afterward by many others, organized its polity completely Presbyterian. It has the Associate* Presbytery, and soon became a numerous and important branch of the enjoyed the labours of many able ministers. kingdom of Christ in Scotland.
This small denomination, like some othSeventeen years after this secession a ers, have been at strife among themselves, number of persons, chiefly Scotch immi- which has led to a separation. The largrants, sent a petition from Pennsylvania ed ministers are fifteen in number, and the
ger party ejected the smaller. The ejectto the Associate (Antiburghert) Synod in Scotland, praying that ministers might be members of their churches are estimated sent from that body to break unto them at about two thousand. It is not known the bread of life. Two ministers were ac. doctrinal views, and the smaller party have
that there exists any difference in their cordingly sent over in 1753 or 1754, with power to form churches, ordain elders, there are now two Associate Synods of
retained their original organization; so that and constitute a presbytery. The labours
North America, as well as two General * They took this name from the circumstance of Assemblies of the Presbyterian Church in their congregations not lying near each other, and the United States of America. therefore forming an association of churches rather Associate REFORMED CHURCH.—This body, than a territorial presbytery.
The Secession became divided into Burghers as we have seen, owes its existence to an and Antiburghers, by a controversy on the lawful attempt made in 1782 to unite in one body ness of what was called the Burgess oath.
the few Associate and Reformed Presbyte
rian churches then to be found in the Uni- | ans in Scotland who refused to accede to ted States. But as the success of the at the Erastian settlement of religion at the tempt was only partial, the coalition being Revolution of 1688, and still maintain a refused by certain members of both church- practical dissent from both Church and es, both survive to this day, and thus a proj- State on account of existing evils. ect for merging two denominations in one, They are distinguished from other Presresulted in the creation of a third.
byterians chiefly by their rigid adherence The Associate Reformed Church has to the whole doctrines of the Westminster rapidly increased. Starting with a small Confession of Faith, Catechisms, Larger number of ministers and churches in 1782, and Shorter; to the Scotch Covenantsit has now no fewer than 20 presbyteries maintaining that the obligations of the “Naand 4 synods; the one in the State of New- tional Covenant” and “Solemn League" York is the largest. It has a theological extend to all represented in the taking of seminary at Newburgh in the same state, them, though removed to this or any other with three professors, and some fifteen or part of the world, in so far as these covetwenty students. The Western Synod has nants bind to duties not peculiar to the a seminary at Alleghany-town, near Pitts- Church in the British Isles, but are of uniburgh, with one professor and about twenty versal application. They also contend students.
that nations enjoying the light of Divine The doctrines of this church are Cal- revelation are bound to frame their govvinistic, and its polity Presbyterian; points ernment according to it; and where the on which it hardly at all differs from the As- Bible is known they refuse to swear allesociate and Reformed Presbyterian synods. giance to any system of civil government All three maintain a state of strict isola- which does not acknowledge the Lord Jetion from other communions, and in their sus Christ as King, and recognise the Bichurch psalmody confine themselves ex- ble as the supreme law of the land. clusively to Rouse's version of the Psalms As early as 1752 some Reformed Presof the Bible. They also strenuously con- byterian congregations had been formed in tinue the custom of having fast and thanks- North America; but, owing to the defecgiving days to precede and follow the ad- tion of some of the ministers, the distance ministration of the sacrament of the Lord's of the congregations from each other, and Supper; and in the administration of that the troubles connected with the Revoluiordinance, the communicants sit around a tion, the church did not assume a regular table.
organization until, in 1798, the Reformed The churches of the Associate Reformed | Presbytery of the United States of North are more than 300, their ministers 165, and America was constituted, in the city of their communicants 26,000. About twenty Philadelphia. years ago, part of this communion joined It may be supposed that the descendants the Presbyterian Church, but the greater of the followers of “ Cargill, Renwick, and part preferred maintaining their independ- Cameron,” who had suffered so much in ent position. They have a considerable the cause of civil and religious liberty, and number of able ministers. The late Dr. who had voluntarily resigned the privilege John M. Mason was for the greater part of of citizenship in the land of their nativity, his life one of their most distinguished rather than acknowledge the corrupt sysmembers, but he joined, a few years before tem established at the Revolution to be his death, the Presbyterian Church. The God's ordinance of civil government, would Christian Magazine, a monthly periodical, examine carefully the Constitution of their is published under the auspices of the As- adopted country. They did so, and found sociate Reformed.
(as they believed) evils so great incorpoEach synod has a Domestic Missionary rated in that instrument as rendered it Society, the object of which is to aid small necessary for them to refuse allegiance to congregations and plant new ones in des- the whole system. “In this remarkable titute places, especially in the Western instrument,” say they, “there is contained frontier states.
no acknowledgment of the being or auIn regard to foreign missions, the Asso- thority of God. There is no acknowledgciate Reformed Church acts in concert ment of the Christian religion, or professwith the Presbyterian Board of the Gener- ed submission to the kingdom of Messiah. al Assembly, and contributes to the sup- It gives support to the enemies of the Report of the missionaries sent out by that deemer, and admits to its honours and Board. The monthly concert of prayer is emoluments Jews, Mohammedans, Deists, observed in their churches generally, and and Atheists. It establishes that system of collections taken at each meeting to aid robbery by which men are held in slavery, the cause of missions.
despoiled of liberty, property, and proREFORMED PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH.-Re- tection. It violates the principles of repformed Presbyterians (or, as they are resentation, by bestowing upon the domessometimes called, Covenanters) are the tic tyrant, who holds hundreds of his feldescendants of the persecuted Presbyteri- I low-creatures in bondage, an influence in
making laws for freemen proportioned to Theological Seminary in Alleghany Town, the number of his own slaves. This Con- Pennsylvania, has been revived. It has stitution is, notwithstanding its numerous two professors, Rev. James R. Willson, excellences, in many instances inconsist- D.D., and Rev. Thomas Sproull; fourent, oppressive, and impious."* Their op- teen students were in attendance last sesposition to the Constitution, however, has sion; a considerable library for the Semibeen the opposition of reason and piety. nary has been collected, and the Synod proThe weapons of their warfare are argu- poses to establish a mission in 1844, in the ments and prayers. They consider them- West Indies, making St. Thomas the censelves bound to live peaceably with men, tre of operation. There are thirty-three to advanee the good of society, conform ministers, five licentiates, fifty organized to its order in everything consistent with congregations, with numerous small sorighteousness, and submit to every burden cieties, and nearly 6000 communicants. which God, in his providence, calls them to With this Synod the Reformed Presbytebear. During the late war with Great rian Synods in Scotland and Ireland mainBritain, no portion of the citizens were tain fraternal intercourse. more forward in defence of the country On the other hand, the New Synod has than Reformed Presbyterians.
now twenty-four ordained ministers, five In 1807 they published a doctrinal Tes- licentiates, eight students in theology, fortimony, containing a brief statement of the ty-four organized churches, and 4500 comprinciples which they hold, and a testimo-municants. It has five presbyteries, and ny against opposing errors, with special sustains, in connexion with the Board of reference to the evils existing in the na- Foreign Missions of the Old School Gentional Constitution, and the constitutions eral Assembly of the Presbyterian Church, of the churches around them. They con- two missionaries in India. Besides suptinued united in the maintenance of this porting these two missionaries, the Board testimony, neither holding communion of Missions of this Synod sustains a school with other churches, nor offices in the containing twenty-eight children, in conState, nor voting at elections for civil of- nexion with their Indian mission. They ficers, nor admitting any slaveholder to have been active, also, in prosecuting the their communion till about 1830, when, work of domestic missions, and, thus, of their number being considerably increa building up churches in the West and other several ministers began to entertain opin- parts of the country. The receipts of their ions different from those which were for- Board of Missions average about $2800 merly held by the body on several points annually. relating to doctrine, order, and discipline. The entire body of the Reformed PresThese men were led to modify their views byterians in the United States embraces, on the subject of acknowledging the goy- therefore, fifty-seven ordained ministers, ernment of the country, and avowing alle- ten licentiates, about twenty students of giance to it. This introduced what has theology, ninety-four organized congregabeen called the New Light controversy, tions, and 10,500 communicants. which has since agitated all departments This small body has not been deficient of the Presbyterian family, and resulted in men distinguished for ministerial gifts in a division of the Synod, and the organi- and extensive learning. The late Alexzation of a rival synod in the Reformed ander MʻLeod, D.D., ranked in his day with Presbyterian Church, which still maintains Mason, Griffin, Dwight, and other giants a separate existence. At present, howev- of the land. er, they are endeavouring to form a union with the Associate Presbyterian Church, and their efforts promise success, as the articles of union are nearly concluded.
CHAPTER XII. This controversy greatly distressed the
SMALLÈR PRESBYTERIAN CHURCHES: THE LUchurch, and so weakened the old Synod that she has not been able to establish any foreign mission. The members of the The first Lutherans that emigrated to church generally retained their attach- America came from Holland, and settled ment to the subordinate standards, and, in at New-York about the year 1626, that is, consequence, many congregations were two years after the regular settlement of left without pastors. The Theological New Netherlands by the Dutch. But they Seminary for a time suspended its opera- were few in number, and as long as the tions, so that labourers for a foreign field Dutch held the country, they worshipped could not be obtained; but home missions, in private houses only. But on the colespecially in the West, have been prose-ony being transferred to the English, in cuted with considerable zeal. A more 1664, they obtained leave to open a place prosperous season has returned.
The of public worship, and had for their first
minister Jacob Fabricius, who arrived in * Historical Testimony, page 152.