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doctrines and ecclesiastical economy, they State in the American Confederacy, and must naturally exercise, on the one hand, while on this mission he preached in the the utmost watchfulness with respect to pulpits of no less than ten evangelical comeach other, and, on the other, employ all munions, including all the leading ones. the legitimate means in their power to aug- This brotherly feeling widely prevails ment their own numbers. The result of among the lạity also. In all parts of the such mutual provocation to good works is country they scruple not, when there is no eminently happy. There may, indeed, be service in their own places of Worship, to temporary cases of disagreeable collision attend others, though of another commuand unbrotherly jealousy, but ordinarily nion; and, indeed, in our cities and large these are of short duration. The best of towns, not a few Christians regularly atmen are, after all, but men. Hence even tend the lectures of pastors not of their own a devoted Gospel minister, after having communion, when these fall on different long had some particular neighbourhood all evenings from those of their own pastors. to himself, may dread the opening of a new Not only so, but as there is no bar to inplace of worship of a different communion tercommunion, except in the case of the in the vicinity of his own, lest some of his Baptists, whose views respecting baptism hearers should thereby be drawn away; in all but a few instances prevent it, and and such an apprehension may, for a time, in that of the small Scottish Covenanting excite some not very kind feelings in his churches, the members of one evangelical breast. But universal experience shows communion often join with those of anoththat such feelings are usually groundless, er in receiving the Lord's Supper in the and soon cease to be indulged by any but same church. In this respect, a very caththe most narrow-minded persons.
olic spirit happily prevails. The answer of Sometimes, too, a zealous, and in most the Rev. Mr. Johnes, pastor of the Prescases vain and ignorant preacher, will show byterian church in Morristown, New Jer. himself in a · neighbourhood where the sey, to General Washington, who, on one churches all belong to communions differ- occasion during the war of the Revolution, ent from his, and there, in his self-suffi- desired to receive the sacrament of the ciency, begin to denounce and attempt to Lord's Supper with Mr Johnes's congregaproselytize. Such men, however, soon tion, but stated that he was an Episcocreate disgust rather than any other feel- palian, is just what a thousand ministers ing; for with us most of those who join of the Gospel would make in like circumthis or that church, do so after examination stances : “Sir, it is not a Presbyterian or of its doctrines, government, and discipline, an Episcopalian table, but the Lord's table, and when once satisfied on these points, and you as well as every other Christian above all, after finding its services edify- are welcome to it.” ing, they are not disposed to allow them- Numerous occasions, moreover, bring all selves to be disturbed by every bigoted and evangelical Christians together. The Binoisy brawler that may seek to gain them ble, Temperance, Colonization, Sundayover to his creed and church, which, after school, and Tract Societies, not to menall, may not essentially differ from their tion such as are formed from time to time
for particular and perhaps local objects, Notwithstanding such cases, I hesitate Sabbath Observance, Education, and the not to affirm that, taking the evangelical like, all bring Christians of different dechurches in the mass, their intercourse, in nominations into better acquaintance with all parts of the country, manifests a remark- each other, and tend to promote mutual able degree of mutual respect and frater- respect and affection. nal affection. While earnest in maintain- Within the last few years Professor ing, alike from the pulpit and the press, Schmucker, already mentioned, has protheir own views of Truth and church or- posed a plan of union for all the evangelder, there is rarely anything like denunci-ical Protestant churches, which has met ation and unchurching other orthodox com- with much favour, so that a society has been munions, but every readiness, on the con- formed for promoting it. Dr. Schmucker, trary, to offer help when needed. Thus, who, I may remark, is much beloved among among all but the Episcopalians, whose Christians of all denominations, as well as peculiar views of ordination stand in the extensively known by his writings, does not way, there is a frequent exchanging of propose any amalgamation or fusion of the pulpits. I have known the pulpit of an ex- churches, but the adoption merely of cercellent Baptist minister in Philadelphia, tain fixed principles, upon which all the when he was laid aside by ill health, to be evangelical churches shall acknowledge supplied during two years by other minis- the ecclesiastical acts of each other, and ters, and by those of Pædobaptist churches maintain a fraternal intercommunion. for much of that time. During more than Another proposal of like tendency will, seven years the author of this work was I trust, ere long, be carried into effect. It engaged in benevolent efforts in America, is that there should be a yearly meeting of which led him repeatedly to visit every the friends of foreign missions, held in one
or other of the principal cities, for receiv- I ment, leave each to his own conclusions. ing summary statements from each of the It is delightful to see that in this way men missionary societies of its operations and of different sects can unite together for the
Such a meeting, if well conduct- prosecution of their projects for the ameed, might do much substantial good, both lioration of human society. When I thus by diffusing important information as to unite with persons of a different persuathe progress of the kingdom of Christ, and sion from myself, it affords me an augalso by promoting brotherly love among mented degree of pleasure; I rise into a Christians of different churches.
higher nature, into a purer air ; I feel that Taking all the professed Christians, fetters which before bound me are dissolvamounting, it has been seen, to more than ed, and I delight in that blessed liberty of 2,500,000, in our evangelical churches, I love which carries all other blessings with hesitate not to say that far more mutual it." respect and brotherly love prevail among Still, the question remains, Whence have them than would were they all coerced foreigners, while visiting the United States, into one denomination. The world has al- received the impression, which, by being ready seen what sort of union and brother- promulgated in their writings, has led me hood can be produced by all being brought to write this chapter. The answer is easy: into one immense Church, that admits of While such is the prevailing respect and no deviation from the decrees of its coun- regard for each other among the members cils and conclaves. There may, indeed, be of our evangelical churches, they all unite external agreement, yet beneath this appa- in opposing, on the one hand, the errors rent unanimity there may be internal di- of Rome, and, on the other, the heresy visions and heartburnings in abundance. that denies the proper divinity and atoneThere may be union against all who dare ment of Christ, together with those other to impugn her dogmas, but who can tell aberrations from the true Gospel which the almost infernal hatred with which her that heresy involves. Now, it is this reReligious Orders have been found to re- fusal to hold fellowship with errors of vital gard each other? Compared with this, all moment, it is this earnest contending for the temporary attritions, together with all saving truth, that leads tourists in the the controversies and exacerbations of feel- United States, whom chance or choice has ing that accompany them, that take place thrown into the society of persons opposed in our evangelical Protestant denomina- in their religious tenets to the evangelitions, are as nothing.
cal churches, to charge us with uncharitaCommon civility, on the contrary, con-bleness. Hinc illa lachrymæ. curs with Christian charity to make the en- We deny not that in some of the divislightened members of one denomination ions of Churches that have taken place respect and esteem those of another, and in the United States, men have at times to appreciate the beautiful sentiment re- permitted themselves to speak and write cently attributed by the chancellor of the with an acrimony unbecoming the Gosexchequer, in the British Parliament, to the pel, and, by so doing, may have made an late Mr. Wilberforce : “I experience,” said unfavourable impression on foreigners. that distinguished philanthropist, a feel. But such cases have been local and exing of triumph when I can get the better of ceptional rather than general and ordinathese little distinctions which keep Chris- ry, and never could justify any sweeping tians asunder. I would not that any one charge against the evangelical denominashould sacrifice his principles ; but, exerci- tions as a body. sing the Protestant right of private judg
BOOK VI I.
UNEVANGELICAL DENOMINATIONS IN AMERICA.
either renounce, or fail faithfully to exhib
it, the fundamental and saving truths of INTRODUCTORY REMARKS.
the Gospel. Here, however, let us not HAVING thus reviewed, as far as the be misunderstood. When we put Roman compass of our work will permit, the Evan- Catholics in the same category with Unigelical Churches or Denominations in the tarians, we would not for a moment be United States of America, we come now supposed as placing them on the same footto speak of those that are considered as ing. The former, doubtless, as a Church, unevangelical by Orthodox Protestants ; hold those doctrines on which true believand under this head we shall, for conve- ers in all ages have placed their hopes for nience' sake, range all those sects that eternal life, yet these have been so buried
amid the rubbish of multiplied human traditions and inventions, as to remain hid
CHAPTER 11, from the great mass of the people. Still,
THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH. as in their doctrinal formularies they have not denied “the Lord that bought them,”
MARYLAND, we have seen, was originalhowever much they may have multiplied ly a Roman Catholic colony, founded on other “saviours,” they must not be con- most liberal principles, under the auspifounded with those who have openly re
ces and through the exertions of Lord Baljected that “ sure foundation which is laid timore. And although Protestant Episcoin Zion." While, therefore, we must de-pacy was established in the colony under plore “ their holding the truth in unrigh- the reign of William and Mary, the laws teousness," and instead of presenting of England against Roman Catholics bethrough their numerous priesthood the ing at the same time rigorously enforced, simple and fundamental doctrines of the they continued, nevertheless, to form the Gospel, their supplanting these, in a great most numerous and influential body in the measure, by introducing “ another Gos- province down to the American Revolupel,” we would not say that an enlight- tion. Even to this day, though now but ened mind may not find in their church a small minority of the entire population, the way of life, obstructed though it be by not exceeding, in fact, 80,000, and inferior innumerable obstacles.
in point of numbers both to the Protestant Neither would we be thought to put the Episcopalians and Methodists, they have Unitarians on the same footing with the much influence, and are perhaps the wealthUniversalists. The moral influence of the iest communion in the state. preaching of the former, and their standing Except in Pennsylvania and Rhode Isla in society, make them far more valuable and, I am not aware that the Roman Caththan the latter as a component part of the olics anywhere enjoyed their fair share of general population. Nor would we put political rights at the commencement of the Jews, or even the more serious part the war of the Revolution, but now, I beof the Universalists, on the same level lieve, they are everywhere upon the same with “ Socialists,” “ Shakers,” and “Mor- footing with others, and enjoy all the pomons.”
litical privileges that our Constitution af.All that we mean by putting these vari- fords.** ous bodies in one category is, that they can none of them be associated with the reproach the Protestants of the United States with
* I have often heard Roman Catholics in Europe evangelical Protestant Churches — with intolerance; and in proof of this, they have chiefly churches whose religion is the Bible, the urged the burning by the populace of a convent at whole Bible, and nothing but the Bible - Charlestown, near Boston, in 1834. That, indeed, nor, indeed, do we suppose that, however selves can possibly urge as amounting to persecution;
is the only case, I believe, which even they themmuch they may dislike being all reviewed and as, in the notoriety that it has obtained, it has in one and the same section of this work, been sadly misrepresented, especially by the late they would any of them choose to be as- Bishop England, in his letters to the Propaganda sociated with the evangelical Protestant Society, I need make no apology for taking some
it. communions, or challenge for themselves
The convent in question, which was one of Ursuthat appellation.
line Sisters, and was founded in 1820, was rather a The doctrines and economy of the Ro- boarding-school for girls than anything else. The man Catholics being well known almost number of nuns varied from eight to ten, and that of everywhere, a very general account of the pupils from twenty to sixty. The buildings,
furthat Church may suffice, though it is by occasion of its being destroyed was as follows: One
niture, and grounds were ample and valuable. The far the most important of all the bodies of the nuns, a Miss Harrison, who taught music, that are to be noticed in this section of while suffering from temporary derangement caused our work. As the appearance, and the by excitement, left the establishment for a short spread of Unitarianism in “the land of the which soon spread through the adjacent borough of Pilgrims," on the other hand, has been mat- Charlestown, and then through Boston, which is ter of much surprise and curiosity in Eu- within two miles' distance. Strong suspicions having rope, as full an account of its rise, prog- been entertained for several years, on what foundaress, and present prospects in the United tion I know not, of highly improper conduct on the States will be given as our plan will per- flamed the minds of the populace, and led to a riot
part of some of the nuns, Miss Harrison's case inmit. Of the other bodies that find a place on the night of August 11th, 1834, ending in the enhere, we shall take such a notice, at least, tire destruction of the convent with all its furniture, as will enable the reader to form a correct the actors being for the most part young men and idea of their true character and present was condemned in the strongest terms by all respect-
boys from Charlestown and Boston. This outrage condition.
able people, and an able report was published a few days afterward, and subscribed by thirty-seven Boston Protestants, all of the highest moral respectability, in which the reputation of the convent was decidedly, and I dare say justly, vindicated. Some of the rioters were identified and punished, and a considerable portion of the public demanded that the
The acquisition of Louisiana, in 1803, The assertion has often been made by and of Florida in 1821, very considerably the opponents of the Roman Catholics in increased the Roman Catholic population the United States, that they never can be of the country. To this must be added an safe citizens of a republic, and that the immense immigration from Europe, main- predominance of their church would inly from Ireland and Germany, during the volve the overthrow of our political Conlast sixty, still more during the last twen- stitution. Such an opinion must rest, I ty-five years. At the beginning of 1844 should think, on the presumed hatred of they were estimated, by well-informed the priests to republican institutions, and Roman Catholics, at 1,300,000 souls in all the impossibility of counteracting the inTheir increase has been rapid since the fluence they possess over their people. Revolution, partly owing to the above- However this may be, many valuable citimentioned territorial acquisitions, partly zens and stern patriots in this country to conversions, but most of all to immigra- 'have belonged to the Roman Catholic tion. According to the Metropolitan Cath- Church, and it remains to be seen how far olic Almanac for 1844, published at Balti- it is possible for the Roman Catholic priests more, there were at that time in the United to obtain or exercise the same influence States,
over their followers here that they pos
sess in some European countries. One 21 Diocesses.
thing is certain : the Protestant population, 1 Apostolic Vicariate. 1 Archbishop, 17 bishops in service, and 8 bish and the clergy in particular, are not likely ops elect.
to be indifferent to their movements. The 634 Priests, of whom 520 are employed in the min- last few years have witnessed a great deal
istry, and 114 as professors of colleges, &c. of discussion in the United States on the 611 Churches, and 66 building. 461 Other stations for preaching, where churches doctrines and influence of Romanism, and
had yet to be built. In all, 1072 places for much distinguished talent and deep repreaching
search have been exhibited in the course 19 Ecclesiastical Seminaries.
of it.* Neither has this discussion been 261 Clerical students. 16 Literary institutions for young men, whereof confined to any particular denomination of 12 or 13 are incorporated colleges.
evangelical Protestants, but has extended 45 Female religious institutions (convents). almost to every pulpit in every branch of 48 Female academies.
that body. Never was there so general a The Roman Catholics have seven week
determination to give publicity to the opinly papers, of which one appears in Ger- ions they entertain of the character and man, and three monthly, and one annual tendency of the Roman Catholic religion ;
nor have its friends and abettors been siperiodical.
lent under these attacks. It is clear, from all this, that the Roman Catholic Church has gained a firm and ex
Much curiosity is felt in Europe as to tensive footing in the United States. The how far the increase of the Roman Cathobuilding of fifty church edifices in one
lics in the United States arises from pros
year is a large increase for a denomination be- elytism. . No doubt it may partly be aslieved to influence, more or less directly; migration of Roman Catholics, and of per
cribed to that, but much more to the im1,300,000 of the country's inhabitants. For such objects large sums are received from sons of Roman Catholic origin from Euthe Propaganda Society in France, and rope. As for proselytism, the Protestants the Leopold Society in Austria. It is be- probably gain as much as the Roman Cath
olics from that source.f lieved that nearly $135,000 were received in 1842 from these two sources.
The Roman Catholics of the United States have done much for the establish
ment of schools and other institutions of State of Massachusetts should indemnify the Roman learning; and among their priests and Catholics for the loss they had sustained. I regret higher clergy there is a considerable numthat, from various causes, no indemnification has to this day been made, mainly, I believe, because it was insisted that the state should rebuild the conventa demand opposed by many who would grant a full sometimes give aid to their friends in the Old World. pecuniary compensation, but have no idea that the For instance, large sums have lately been raised in state, as such, should give any apparent sanction to our chief cities to aid in building a magnificent caan establishment of that kind.
thedral at Ardah, in the centre of Ireland. It ought to be known, however, that the convent at * Among the ablest writers on this subject may Charlestown was not destroyed because it was a be reckoned the Rev. Drs. Brownlee and R.). BreckRoman Catholic institution. Indeed, I am satisfied, inridge, and the Rev. Messrs. Boardman and Berg. from what I heard at Boston a few weeks after its to these may be added the late Rev. Drs. John destruction, that had it been a Protestant one it Breckinridge and Nevins, men of distinguished piety would, under the same circumstances, have shared and learning, and whose memory is precious to many the saine fate. This forms no justification of the of the churches in America. "Among the Roman barbarous act, nor even a palliation of it; but it does Catholics, the late Bishop England and Bishop show that it was not owing to hostility to its occu- Hughes have been the most able disputants. pants because they were Roman Catholics.
+ Captain Marryat, in his work on the United * If the Roman Catholics in the United States States, asserts that the Roman Catholics are inreceive aid from their brethren in Europe, they also creasing rapidly in Obio, Indiana, Illinois, and other
ber of men of distinguished talents and
CHAPTER III. extensive erudition.
UNITARIANISM. A considerable proportion of the sums received from Europe is laid out in build
To understand the history of Unitarianing churches and cathedrals, several of ism in New-England, the reader must have which are costly and splendid edifices. a clear idea of the leading ecclesiastical That at Baltimore cost $300,000; those of usages of the Puritans, and of the principles Cincinnati and St. Louis cost much less, on which they were founded. yet are large and showy buildings.
The Puritans held that all men are by A visiter from Europe would, on enter- nature destitute of true piety; that they ing the Roman Catholic churches of the naturally grow up in the practice of sin ; United States, be struck with the few pico by a change in his habits of thought, feel
and that no one becomes religious except tures and other such ornaments that they exhibit. This may arise from time and ing; and conduct, which they ascribed to money being required for such things. The the special operation of the Holy Spirit as priests, too, dress like other citizens when its supernatural cause. They believed that not engaged in their official duties. Nor
the truly pious are ordinarily conscious of will it escape a stranger from any part of this change in the action of their own Roman Catholic Europe, that processions minds when it takes place, and are able to and religious services in the streets are describe it, though they may not then know hardly ever seen in the United States. that the change of which they are con
By the rapid multiplication of their scious is regeneration. In some cases, priests in the United States the Roman they admitted, the man is not aware of any Catholics have, no doubt, checked those change at the time of his conversion; yet conversions from their church to Protest- he will be conscious of exercises afterantism which were frequent in - former ward, such as no unregenerate man ever times. Bishop England, in one of his let- has, and he can describe them. Some ters to the Propaganda, stated, a few years may be regenerated in infancy, which it is ago, that “ the Church” had lost no fewer lawful for us to hope is the case with all than 50,000 of her legitimate children in who die before they are old enough to his diocess by such conversions, for want profit by the external means of grace. If of sheph to look after them.
any of them live to maturity they will not But whatever may be the fact in regard be able to remember the time of their to the increase of the Roman Catholics in change, but they will be conscious of senthe United States, or whatever may be the for sin
and other pious exercises, and can
sible love to God and holiness, penitence zeal and activity of the Protestants to prevent that increase, there is no well-inform- give an account of them. They believed, ed American who does not rejoice in the therefore, that every converted person perfect religious liberty which exists for who has arrived at the age of discretion, all; nor is there wanting a good degree of has a religious “ experience” which he can kindness and social intercourse among tell, and by hearing which other pious permen of all religious opinions ; while as to sons may judge of his piety. The evithe government, it fulfils the declaration of dence thus afforded, however, was to be the Carthaginian queen :
compared with his conduct in all the rela
tions of life, and if this also was “such as “ Tros Tyriusque mihi nullo discrimine agetur.”
becometh saints,” he was to be accounted
a pious man. parts of the Valley of the Mississippi, and states it as his opinion that theirs will, at no distant day of faithful persons,” that is, persons who
A church they held to be “ a company be the predominant religion in all that region. But his mere opinion, unsupported by authentic statistical have saving faith, regenerate persons, documents, is really of very little worth in such mat- agreeing and consenting “to meet conters. The gallant captain is at home on the seas, but stantly together in one congregation for when he attempts to describe the moral and religious the public worship of God and their mutual state of the American Confederation, he is evidently edification ; which real agreement and in a world of which he knows little or nothing. A man who could allow himself to be hoaxed as he was consent they do express by their constant when in this country-an author who could believe, practice in coming together for the worand gravely relate, that the excessive modesty of ship of God, and by their religious subjecthe young ladies there leads them to put pantaloons on the legs of their pianos-is hardly fit for the task tion,” that is, by subjecting themselves of carefully collecting and comparing facts, and de- voluntarily, from religious motives, “ to ducing from them fair conclusions.
the ordinances of God therein."*
To become a member of a church, according to these principles, a person must voluntarily apply for admission. But if the admission were open to all applicants, bad men would come in, who neither knew their duty, nor were willing to perform it.
* Cambridge Platform, 1648, chap. iv., sec. 4.