Slike strani
PDF
ePub

THE JEWS.

some others, they show a strong leaning

CHAPTER VIII. towards Romanism. They allow marriage, but make much account of celibacy;

RAPPISTS, SHAKERS, MORMONS, ETC. in Baptism they hold that the immersion The Rappists are a small body of German should be repeated thrice, and observe the Protestants, who came to the United States seventh day as their Sabbath. Their from Wurtemburg, about the year 1803, church order is like that of the Regular under their pastor, a Mr. George Rapp, Baptists, except that every brother is al who has recently deceased. They settled lowed to speak, and the most fluent is at a place called Economy, on the Ohio, generally, chosen the regular minister. about fifteen miles below Pittsburgh. From Most of the men in this communion wear Economy part of them, headed by Mr. their beards long, and dress in long coats, Rapp, went to the Wabash River, in Indi. or tunics, reaching to their heels, and bound ana, and on its banks formed a new settleat the waist with a girdle. They are but ment, called Harmony, but this they aftera small body, having some churches, but ward sold to the well-known Robert Owen, in many places meet in private houses. and returned to Economy, in Pennsylvania. Some of them appear to possess piety. Their distinguishing principle is an entire Their ministers are supposed to be about " community of goods," upon what they equal in number to their churches, and the suppose to have been the example of the aggregate amount of their members may primitive Christians. The whole scheme, be about 3000 or 4000.

however, of this small community, for it comprises but à few hundred members, seems mainly of a worldly and merely

economical character, though they keep CHAPTER VII.

up the form of religious observances and services.

The Shakers are a fanatical sect of EngWHATEVER may have been the early lish origin. About 1747, James Wardley, legislation of the Anglo-American colonies originally a Quaker, imagining that he had in regard to the descendants of Abraham, supernatural dreams and revelations, foundit is certain that the Jew now finds an asy- ed a sect which, from the bodily agitations lum, and the full enjoyment of his civil practised in some parts of their religious rights, in all parts of the United States. services, were called Shakers, or Shaking Yet I know not how it has happened, un-Quakers ; it is not, however, to be suppoless it be owing to the distance of our sed for a moment that they are connected country from Europe, and its presenting with the respectable people called Qualess

scope for the petty traffic which forms kers or Friends. Ann Lee, or, rather, Mrs. their chief employment in the Old World, Standley, for she had married a man of that it has been only at a comparatively that name, the daughter of a blacksmith in recent period that any considerable num- Manchester, England, adopted Wardley's ber of Jews have found their way to our views and the bodily exercises of his folshores. So much have they increased, lowers. From the accounts we have of her however, among us during the last ten she must have become a thorough adept years, that it is now computed that there aring the nine years which she spent in are no fewer than 50,000 in the United convulsions, fastings, &c.; for she is said States. They have about fifty synagogues, to have clinched her fists in the course of and the same number of Rabbies. Five or her fits so as to make the blood pass through six synagogues are now to be found in the pores of her skin, and wasted away so New-York, instead of one, as a few years that at last she had to be fed like an infant. ago. There is one in which the service About 1770 she discovered the wickedness is conducted in English, at Charleston, in of marriage, and began “testifying against South Carolina, and no doubt in other it.” She called herself " Ann the Word," cities also. A few instances of conver- meaning that the Word dwelt in her. And sion to Christianity have taken place, but to this day her followers say that the man only a few, the attention of Christians, we who was called Jesus, and the woman who may truly say, not having been sufficiently was called Ann, are verily the two first pilturned to that object. This may have been lars of the Church, the two anointed ones.” from the fewness of the Jews, until of late In other words, they hold that, as the first years, causing them to be overlooked, or Adạnı was accompanied by a woman, so from the want of suitable persons to devote must be the second Adam. themselves to the work. We are pleased In May, 1774, Ann Lee, otherwise Mrs. to see that some interest has begun to be Standley, together with three elders, and taken in this subject during the last year others of the sect, emigrated to America, or two.

and two years after formed a settlement at Niskayuna, a few miles from Albany, in the State of New-York. From that, as from a centre, they put forth shoots, until at length there are now about fifteen Shaker / "Notebook," while in the United States nosettlements, or villages, in different parts body thinks it worth while to bestow much of the United States, comprising some 6000 thought upon them. So long as they reor 8000 souls. Their doctrines are a strange spect the persons, rights, and property of mixture of the crudest errors with some others, the government suffers them to gratfew Gospel truths, but it would be a sad ify their fancies undisturbed. Accordingmisnomer to call them Christian. They ly, they remain a small and quite obscure call themselves the Millennial Church. community, that must in time utterly disThey hold that the millennium has begun, appear instead of growing into something and ihat they are the only true church, and like importance, which would be the probhave all the apostolic gifts. They insist able result if they were persecuted. Were that Baptism and the Lord's Supper ceased the Shakers to appear in some European with the apostolic age; that the wicked countries, a very different, and, in my opinwill be punished for a definite period only, ion, a far less prudent course would be folexcept such as apostatize from them, and lowed. Accustomed to meddle with evethese will be punished forever; that the rything, even with conscience itself, their judgment has already commenced; that governments would probably interfere, unChrist will not again appear in the world, der the plea of saving the children from except in the persons of his followers, that being brought up in such delusion. But is, the Shakers; that marriage is sinful, we prefer letting them alone, under the and that “they that have wives should be conviction that, all things considered, it is as though they had none,” even now, and better to do so, and with the hope that the that thus alone purity and holiness, and light that surrounds them, and with which the consequent beatitude of the heaven- they must come into contact in their interly state, can be attained ; that sin com- course with the world, will, in God's own mitted against God is committed against time, reach their minds. To interfere with them, and can be pardoned only for Christ's those parental ties, and that consequent sake through them. Such are some of responsibility which God himself has estheir absurd tenets. The discipline of tablished, must always be a difficult and their churches rests for the most part with dangerous task even for the best and wi“their elders," who follow the instructions sest of governments.* left by “Mother Ann Lee.” In their religious worship, they range themselves at * A book of a character somewhat remarkable has intervals in rows, and then spring upward titled, "A MOLY, SACRED, AND DIVINE ROLL AND

lately been

published by these deluded people. It is ena few inches; sometimes, however, they BOOK, FROM THE LORD GOD OF HEAVEN, TO become so excited in this exercise as to THE INHABITANTS OF THE Earth; REVEALED IN throw off their upper garments, and jump the United Society at New-LEBANON, Counas if they would touch the ceiling-all, as

TY OF COLUMBIA, STATE OF New-YORK, UNITED they say, to express their joy in the Lord. in mortal clay. Published at Canterbury, N. H., 1843."

STATES OF AMERICA. Read and understand all After this they sit down and listen a while

The history of this strange production is as fol. to their preachers, and then, when tired of lows: A certain Philemon Stewart asserts that a hearing, resume their dancing freaks. boly angel from the Lord came to him in the morn

They maintain the doctrine of a commu- ing of the 4th of May, 1842, at New-Lebanon, and nion of goods. The men and women live Holy Mount, bowing himself seven times as he ap

commanded him to appear before the Lord on the apart. The children of proselytes are in- proached. He obeyed the heavenly, messenger, and stantly separated, by the boys being sent met a mighty angel on the summit of the hill or into the male apartment, and the girls into mount, who read to him six hours every day from the female. Of course it is only from

such the Roll which he had in his hand, in order that he,

Philemon Stewart, might write down the sacred recruits that a community of this kind can revelation. keep up its numbers.

The contents of this volume are various. First, The Shakers have the reputation, in gen- there is a PROCLAMATION of the Almighty to all that eral, of being honest and industrious, but I dwell on the earth, announcing that he was going to have had no means of ascertaining what is Jesus Christ. Next comes a proclamation from

make a great revelation through his holy angel, who their interior life and conduct may be, be- God to his holy angel. Then follows a proclamation yond this, that no small number of their of the angel himself. After this, we have the intromembers have left them in disgust, and are duction to the Sacred Roll by the holy angel, gir. far from speaking well of them. The read- written), on the 2d of February, 1843, at twelve

en also at New-Lebanon (after the volume had been er will perceive their insignificance in point o'clock, M. Then comes the “Sacred Volume and of numbers, yet, to believe some European Sealed Roll, opened and read by the mighty angel,” travellers, there is cause to fear that the consisting of 33 chapters, each of which is divided United States may one day be overrun

into verses, after the manner of the Scriptures. with this ignorant and deluded sect. But tents in a short space is impossible. I will only say,

To give anything like an adequate idea of its conthe absurd importance which such writers that it proposes to give an account of the character would fain attach to the Shakers is easily of God; the creation of man; of his fall through the accounted for; their eccentricities afford temptation of the serpent (irrational or animal proa topic sufficiently marvellous and amusing Christ; of the departures from the Gospel; of the

pensities); of God's dealing with mankind; of Jesus to fill a chapter or two in a “ Diary” or second advent, or the Christ in the female (Mother

ye

The

The Mormons, or Latter Day Saints, as now called, took care, of course, that neithey call themselves. The annals of mod- ther of them, nor any one else, should ern times furnish few more remarkable see the plates, the part of the room he examples of cunning in the leaders, and occupied having been partitioned off from delusion in their dupes, than is presented where they sat by a blanket. After three by what is called Mormonism. An ig- years spent in concocting this new revnorant but ambitious person of the name elation, the book at last was completed, of Joseph Smith, Jun., then residing in the and published as a 12mo volume of 588 western part of the State of New York, pages, at Palmyra, in the State of Newpretends that an angel appeared to him in York. It is commonly called the Mor1827, and told him where he should find mon's Bible, but more properly The Book a stone box, containing certain golden of Mormon, and is divided into fifteen plates, with a revelation from heaven in- books or parts, each purporting to be writscribed on them. Four years after this, the ten by the author whose name it bears. plates having, of course, been found as de- These profess to give the history of about scribed, the impostor set about the writing a thousand years from the time of Zedekiout of this revelation, and pretended, with ah, king of Judah, to A.D. 420. The whole the aid of a pair of stone spectacles, found work claims to be an abridgment by one also in the box, to read it off to a man Moroni, the last of the Nephites, of the of the name of Harris, and afterward to seed of Israel, from the records of his one called Cowdery, these acting as his people. Not to trouble the reader with deamanuenses. prophet,” as he is tails respecting this most absurd of all pre

tended revelations from heaven, we need Ann Lee); of the way by which holiness may be at, only say that it undertakes “to trace the desires, and living as brothers and sisters, instead of history of the Aborigines of the American husband and wife ; of the terrible judgments which continent, in all their apostacies, pilgrimmen will encounter if they do not obey this revela ages, trials, adventures, and wars from the tion, etc., etc.

As it is important that this book should be known time of their leaving Jerusalem, in the to all mankind, it is enjoined by the mighty angel reign of Zedekiah, under one Lehi, down that every minister of the Gospel should have a copy, to their final disaster, near the Hill of Caas soon as he can procure one, in the sacred pulpit, morah, in the State of New York, where that people may see it. All boards of missions are Smith found his golden plates. In that commanded to have it translated into foreign lan- final contest, according to the Prophet Moguages. ciety” for gratuitous distribution. Copies have been roni, about 230,000 were slain in battle, sent, in the name of the Lord, to the principal book- and he alone escaped to tell the tale." sellers, and a modest request is made that they But the Book of Mormon, which they do would publish and circulate the work, and some di- not consider so much in the light of a subrections respecting the manner of doing so are giv- stitute for the Holy Scriptures as of a sup

We learn, furthermore, from a letter dated the 18th plement to them, does not contain all Joof December, 1843, addressed to the Messrs. Harper, seph Smith's revelations ; a 12mo volume, that the committee or agents of the Society have re- of about 250 pages, called The Book of Covsolved upon a pretty wide and thorough dissemination of the 500 copies which they had, agreeably to

enants and Revelations, and filled with the the divine command, printed for general distribution. silliest things imaginable, of all sorts, has We do not feel it our province," say they,“ to judge been added to it by way of another suppleof the work and designs of the Almighty in this mat- ment. Thoroughly to comprehend the ter; but we feel ourselves under the most solemn ob- whole system, however, one must read Mr. revealed to us by the inspiration of his holy angel, Parley P. Pratt's “Voice of Warning," for with that degree of evidence which we cannot doubt he is an oracle among the Mormons, and We have, therefore, made arrangements to forward also the newspaper which they publish four copies to each of the governments of Europe and as an organ for the dissemination of their Asia, part of which are already on the way to Eu

doctrines. rope; four to the chief magistrate of these United

We may add, that, aided by States, and two to the executive of each state, and his wonderful spectacles, Smith is maalso to the different boards of foreign missions. king a new translation of the Bible, al

“We are aware that the manner in which the though quite unacquainted with Hebrew book was revealed and written, in the name of in- and Greek! spiration from the Almighty, is not according to the generally-received opinions and present sense and

The publication of his own Bible, in ideas of mankind, but we solemnly testify that this 1830, may be considered as the startingwork was not directed nor dictated by any mortal point of the sect. For some years he power or wisdom.”

made but few converts, but having remoThe whole is a strange mixture, in which entire ved to Kirtland, Ohio, he was there joined passages, as well as verses, of the Scriptures are mingled up with the speculations, often both impious by Sidney Rigdon, formerly a heterodox and absurd, of the professed author.

Baptist preacher, who had been preparing

the way for Mormonism by propagating * In fact, on page 161, it is expressly ordained that the certain doctrines of his own, and being a book must be “bound in yellow paper, with red backs, edges also yellow; and it is my command, saith the Lord,

* Turner's “Mormonism in all Ages," published that if any person or persons shall add aught to this book, he or they shall not prosper in time, nor find rest in eter” at New York, and to be had of Wiley and Putnam, nity."

booksellers, London.

[ocr errors]

en.*

much better-informed man than Smith, it the frequenters of our remaining groggeries is chiefly under his plastic hand that the and rum-holes. religious economy of the sect has been As for our Deists, including unbelievers formed. From Ohio they began to re- in Christianity of all classes, there is a move, in 1834, to Jackson county, in Mis- considerable number, especially in Newsouri, where they were to have their York, and some of our other large cities "Mount Zion,” the capital and centre of and towns. A very large proportion of their great empire. The people of Mis- them are foreigners. The infidelity of the souri, a few years after, compelled them present times, however, in the United to leave it; upon which they went to Illi- States is remarkably distinguished from nois, and there they are now building the what was to be found there fifty years city of Nauvoo, on the left bank of the ago, when that of France, after having difMississippi, and thither their disciples have fused itself in the plausible speculations of been flocking ever since, until their num- a host of popular writers, wherever the bers amount to several thousands. Smith French language was known, became at and Rigdon are still their chief prophets. length associated with the great RevoluFor a while, they had many to sympathize tion of that country, and obtaining credit with them on account of the severity with for all that was good in a work which it which they had been supposed to be treat only corrupted and marred, became fashed in Missouri, but so much has lately ionable in America as well as Europe, come to light in proof of the inordinate am- among the professed admirers of liberty, bition, and vile character and conduct of in what are called the highest classes of their leaders, who want to found a kind of society. At the head of these, in the Uniempire in the West, that their speedy an- ted States, stood Mr. Jefferson, who was nihilation as a sect seems now inevitable. President from 1801 to 1809, and who in One dupe after another is leaving them, conversation, and by his writings, did more and exposing the abominations of the fra- than any other man that ever lived among ternity and its chiefs. Smith and some us to propagate irreligion in the most inothers seem now marked out as objects on fluential part of the community. In the which the laws of the land must soon in same cause, and about the same period, flict summary justice. Their leaders are laboured Mr. Thomas Paine, and, at a later evidently atrocious impostors, who have date, Mr. Thomas Cooper, who endeavourdeceived a great many weak-minded per- ed to train to infidelity by sophistical reasons, by holding out to them promises of soning, and still more, by contemptible great temporal advantage. “ Joe Smith,” sarcasms and sneers, the youth whom it as he is commonly called, will soon find was his duty to teach better things. that America is not another Arabia, nor Now, however, it is much otherwise. he another Mohammed; and his hope of When men dislike evangelical truth, they founding a vast empire in the Western take refuge in something which, under the hemisphere must soon vanish away. name of Christianity, makes a less demand

To conclude, the Mormons are a body on their conscience and their conduct. of ignorant creatures, collected from al- Open infidelity, meanwhile, has descended most all parts of the United States, and to the lower ranks. It now burrows in also from Great Britain." A full exposi- the narrow streets, and lanes, and purlieus tion of the wickedness of their leaders has of our large cities and towns, where it finds lately been made by John C. Bennet, for- its proper aliment—the ignorant and the merly a major-general in the “ Legion of vicious to mislead and to destroy. Nauvoo,” and an important man among Owenism, Socialism, and Fourrierism, them.

are of foreign origin. The first two are from England, and are but economical or

political schemes, in which infidelity seeks CHAPTER IX.

to imbody and sustain itself. Fourrierism

is also an economical scheme. It is not ATHEISTS, DEISTS, SOCIALISTS, FOURRIERISTS,

necessarily allied to infidelity, but as it

has not long been known in the United These sects can hardly be placed with States, I am not informed of its character propriety among religious denominations

there. of any description, the most they pretend to being a code of morals, such as it is. Frances Wright, from England, endeavour,

Robert Owen, from Scotland, and Miss The avowed Atheists are, happily, few in ed some years ago to form the first infidel number, and are chiefly to be found among community upon

the social principle adopt* It is a singular fact that so large a proportion of ed by the Shakers and the Mormons; failthem are from Great Britain. But it is not difficult ing in which, they set about endeavouring to account for it. Smith and the other leaders know to bring over the labouring classes of Newlow and ignorant character, who may be readily York, and other great cities, to certain tempted, by the prospect of bettering their fortunes agrarian schemes. But after much labour to take part in such an enterprise.

in travelling, lecturing, and forming socie

ETC.

LOGICAL OPINION IN AMERICA.

[ocr errors]

ties for the circulation of infidel tracts and of states that differ so much in their oribooks, their efforts have proved almost ginal inhabitants, could ever bring them fruitless. Their lectures at first attracted all to complete religious uniformity ? Let crowds both of Americans and foreigners, us but look at the number of different reliwho attended them from curiosity, but be- gious bodies_different, I mean, in their fore long their audiences consisted chiefly origin-to be found in these and the other of foreigners, and such is the state of states of the Union. (1.) The New-Engthings at present.* That there is a con- land Congregational churches, formed by siderable amount of infidelity in America immigrant Puritans, and, down to the epoch is not denied, but it cannot be compared of our Revolution, sympathizing strongly to the vast amount of true religion, much with all the changes of opinion among the less with the much vaster amount of re- English dissenters. (2.) The Presbyterian spect for religion, and religious belief, Church in its larger and smaller branches, which so largely pervades the moral at- very much of Scotch and Irish origin, and mosphere of the country. Of the truly still aiming at an imitation of the Church great men of the nation, very few are in- of Scotland as its pattern. (3.) The Episfidels.

copal Church, an offshoot from the Church of England, dreading and almost scorning

to borrow ideas from any quarter save its CHAPTER X.

mother-church. (4.) The Dutch Reformed

Church, which long received its ministers. GENERAL REMARKS ON THE STATE OF THEO- from Holland, and still glories in the Hei

delberg Catechism and the decrees of the HAVING concluded these notices of the Synod of Dort. (5.) The Lutherans, the various denominations - evangelical and

Reformed, and other German churches, non-evangelical - in the United States, I

who preserve their old nationality, both would now make a few remarks on the by being still organized as distinct compast history and present state of theologi; of ministers and people from their original

munions, and by the constant emigration cal opinion in that country. Fully and philosophically treated, this could not fail to see all these fused and amalgamated in

fatherland. Now, why should we expect to interest sincere inquirers after truth in the United States more than in Europe ? all countries, but it would require not a

2. Mark, too, that none of their ministers chapter, but a volume, and would hardly be consistent with the nature of this work. can extend any such direct influence over We must leave such a discussion to an- make the exercise of brotherly love pass

other churches than their own, as might other time, and, probably, to other hands, into close intimacy and final amalgamaand shall now merely touch on a few gen- tion. Each of them has its own colleges eral topics. I. Let us first mark some of the causes

and theological seminaries; each its own and influences to which this diversity of and some of them may almost be said to

weekly, monthly, or quarterly periodicals; religious doctrines may be traced. The chief of these are,

have an independent religious literature, 1. Difference of origin and ancestry: sible agents. All this is counterbalanced

edited and published by their own responThis we have already noticed, hut must refer to it again.

only by many ministers of different denomHad the whole territory of the United entific education at the same institutions,

inations receiving their classical and sciStates been originally settled by one class of men, holding the same system of reli- preparatory to their more strictly profes

sional studies. gious opinions, more uniformity of doc

3. The freedom allowed in the United trine might reasonably have been looked States to all sorts of inquiry and discussion for. But what philosophical inquirer, know. necessarily leads to a diversity of opinion, ing the different origins of New-England, which is seen not only in there being differPennsylvania, Virginia, and New-York, ent denominations, but different opinions

, would expect that the mere federal union

also in the same denomination. Perhaps

there is not a single ecclesiastical conven* At one time it was feared that vast numbers of the labouring classes in New York, as well as in tion in which there are not two parties at Philadelphia and other cities, would be carried away least, whose different views lead someby the plausible but vile discourses of Miss Frances times to discussions keenly maintained, Wright. But facts soon proved that those fears were groundless. Even in the acme of her popular: yet turning generally upon points which, ity, a friend of mine who was present at one of her however interesting, are confessedly not lectures told me that she was hissed no less than of fundamental importance. On what may two or three times for making the assertion, and re- be called vital or essential points there is peating it, that Washington was an infidel! There little disputation, just because there is much are few people in the United States who would not harmony in all the evangelical commuconsider it a dishonour done to the name of that great and good man, whom humanity claims as her nions. Nor could it be well otherwise, seeown, to call him an infidel.

ing that in doctrine and practice they all

« PrejšnjaNaprej »