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of Church and State, in any country where people, so many of whom were republican it has once existed, cannot be dissolved in sentiment, and hostile for the time to without some attendant inconvenience. If the mother-country; and the Episcopal such has been the nature of the connexion Church could not fail to suffer from the that the Church has been wholly depend- sympathy shown by many of its clergy for ant on the State for its support, for the those who were considered the country's keeping of its places of worship in repair, enemies. This was, no doubt, counterthe maintenance of its pastors, and the in- acted so far by there being in the minority cidental expenses of public worship, very of the clergy such stanch republicans and serious embarrassments must inevitably avowed partisans of the colonies as the attend a sudden dissolution of such a union. Rev. Dr. Madison, afterward bishop of the Such was unquestionably the case in some state, Drs. Griffith and Bracken, Messrs. Buof the States of America. In others, again, chanan, Jarratt, and others ;* while as rein which the connexion had been one of gards the laity, no men in all the colonies no long duration, had never been very entered more warmly into the Revolution close, and had not been carried out to a than did the Episcopalians of Virginia.f great extent, that result was attended with In the third place, Virginia was the imlittle and not very lasting evil.

mediate theatre of no small part of the Nowhere were the ill consequences war, and was repeatedly overrun by the of the disestablishment of the Church armies of both sides. Now, without atfelt more seriously than in Virginia, and tributing too much to wantonness, though this may be ascribed to several causes. much, no doubt, was owing to that, it may The worthless character of many of the readily be supposed that the Episcopal clergymen sent over from England had Churches, the best in the colony, would bred in many places, from the very first, be sure to be used as barracks, storegreat indifference to the Church and its houses, hospitals, &c., thus losing at once services. The people had become tired of their sacred character, and suffering much compulsory payments for the support of a in their furnishings. Partly, indeed, from form of worship which they had ceased to accident, partly, it is believed, from design, love or respect. Thus many became in- not a few were destroyed by fire and other different to religious worship of every kind, causes. and others went off to the dissenters”. In the fourth place, so engrossed were the Presbyterians, Baptists, &c., when all men's minds with the war, that the there were churches of these denomina- time was very unfavourable for doing tions in their neighbourhoods. However good. Many of the ministers who redeplorable it might be that the venerable mained in the province found great diffiedifices in which their fathers had worship-culty in collecting the people together, ped should be almost deserted from such a or obtaining for themselves the means of cause, it was nevertheless inevitable. Not subsistence. Some betook themselves to that this representation applies to every teaching schools, but even to that the parish; in many cases, the faithful and times were unfavourable. Many mere consistent lives of the pastors kept their boys shouldered the musket and went to flocks, under God, in a state of prosperity. the war, returning no more to their homes

In the second place, a large majority, until hostilities had ceased, if death did some say rather more than two thirds of not prevent them from returning at all. the Episcopal clergy* in Virginia were op- Bearing these things in mind, the state posed to the Revolution, and most of these of the Episcopal Churchest in Virginia returned to England. Nor are they to be

* In one instance, an Episcopal clergyman of Virblamed without mercy for so doing. Many ginia, the Rev. Mr. Muhlenburg, relinquished his of them, it must be remembered, were Eng- charge, accepted a commission as colonel in the lishmen by birth, and England was the land American army, raised a regiment among his own parof all their early associations. They had from the service at its close with the rank of a brig

ishioners, served through the whole war, and retired never suffered oppression, but had ever been adier-general. The last sermon that he ever preachof the party in favour with the monarch. ed to his people before he left for the camp, was deThus nothing could be more natural than livered in military dress.- Thatcher's Military Jourthat even good men among them should be mal,” p. 152. The Rev. Mr. Thurston, of Frederic Tories. Others there were, doubtless, who nel in the service of the country.

County, in the same state, also bore arms as a colosaw that the independence of the country + Such as General Washington, Patrick Henry would be likely so to alter the state of (of whom we have spoken in the last chapter), Richthings as to make it impossible for them ard Henry Lee, the mover of the Declaration of Indeto continue their delinquencies with impu- of the signers, George Mason, Edmund Pendleton,

pendence, his brother, Francis Lightfoot Lee, one nity, which they had enjoyed when respon- Peter Lyons, Paul Carrington, William Fleming, sible only to a bishop 3000 miles off. But William Grayson, with the families of the Nelsons, this loyalty to the British crown was not Meades, Mercers, Harrisons, Randolphs, and hunlikely to find much forbearance among a Dr. Hawks's History of the Episcopal Church in Vir

dreds of other names deservedly dear to Virginia.* Dr. Hawks's “ History of the Episcopal Church ginia," p. 137. in Virginia,” p. 136.

| Not that the damage done by the war to other H

may be supposed to have been deplorable being arrested in 1776, been continued unenough on the return of peace, and that til 1783. But in the gloomy years that they little needed the aggravation of be- followed the Revolution, the Episcopal ing thrown for their support entirely upon Church continued prostrate, and felt the their own members, when these were im- loss of her establishment most severely. poverished by the length of the war, and Then did it seem as if nothing short of rendered by it incapable of doing much her utter ruin would satisfy the resentfor the Church, however well disposed to ment of her enemies. She had, indeed, make sacrifices in her cause. But an ex- in the day of her power, been exclusive, tract from the distinguished author to whom domineering, and persecuting; her own I have so often had occasion to refer, will sins had brought upon her this severe visgive a clearer idea of the state of things itation. From her case, as well as from than I can :

all past experience, persecuting churches “On the 19th of April, 1783, precisely should learn that a Church that oppresses, eight years after the first effusion of blood will one day be herself oppressed, and at Lexington, peace was proclaimed to most likely by those on whose neck she the American army by order of the com- had placed her foot. mander-in-chief. Time was now afforded But let us turn to a brighter page. “The to men to direct their attention to the Lord, after he hath afflicted, delighteth to permanent establishment of such institu- heal. So it was with the Episcopal Church tions, civil and religious, as might com- in Virginia. He had some good thing in port with their desires or views of duty. reserve for her, and had been preparing Much was to be done ; and rejoicing with her for it by the discipline of His rod. thankfulness, as now we may, in the pres- She gradually emerged from her difficulent prosperity of the Church in Virginia, ties. Her people learned by degrees to it is well to look back on its condition as trust in themselves, or, rather, in Ğod, and it emerged from the Revolution, and by began to look to their own exertions ratha contemplation of the difficulties which er than to a tobacco-tax for the support of stood in the way of its resuscitation, be their churches and pastors. Faithful minmoved to the exercise of gratitude. When isters multiplied ; an excellent bishop was the colonies first resorted to arms, Virgin- elected and consecrated; benevolent sociia in her sixty-one counties, contained nine-eties began to spring up; a theological ty-five parishes, 104 churches and chapels, school was planted within her borders, and ninety-one clergymen. When the where many youths of talent and piety have contest was over, she came out of the war been trained under excellent professors to with a large number of her churches de- preach the unsearchable riches of Christ.. stroyed or injured irreparably, with twen- And although the ministers and parishes ty-three of her ninety-five parishes extinct are not now so numerous as we have staor forsaken, and of the remaining seventy-ted them to have been at the commence' two, thirty-four were destitute of ministe- ment of the war of the Revolution, yet rial services; while of her ninety-one cler- their number is considerable, and constantgymen, twenty-eight only remained, who ly increasing. There are ninety-five minhad lived through the storm, and these, isters, and

than one hundred with eight others who came into the state churches. But, above all, I do not think it soon after the struggle terminated, sup- possible to find a body of ministers of equal plied thirty-six of the parishes. Of these number, in any denomination, who, in point twenty-eight, fifteen only had been enabled of theological education, prudent zeal, simto continue in the churches which they ple and effective eloquence, general usesupplied prior to the commencement of fulness, and the esteem in which they hostilities; and thirteen had been driven are held by the people, can be regarded as from their cures by violence or want, to superior to the Episcopal clergy of the seek safety or comfort in some one of the present day in Virginia.* What a change! many vacant parishes, where they might How wonderfully has all been overruled hope to find, for a time at least, exemption by God for good! Instead of perpetual from the extremity of suffering."* This is a dark enough picture, but it

* This eulogy will not be thought extravagant by must be borne in mind that the evils it rep- I have had the privilege, as well as the happiness, of

any one that has had opportunities of knowing them. resents were almost wholly owing to the making the acquaintance of many of them, and have Revolutionary war and its consequences, known many more by character through sources wor: and could not have been much alleviated thy of entire confidence. The late excellent Bishop had the Church Establishment, instead of Moore was beloved by all who knew him. The pres

ent bishop, Dr. Meade, enjoys the confidence and denominations was inconsiderable. The Presbyte-esteem both of Christians and the world, in a higher rians probably suffered more in their church edifices, degree than perhaps any other minister of the Gosfrom being far more obnoxious to the resentment of pel in America. The assistant bishop, Dr. Johns, the enemy, as the English were considered to be at is a distinguished and excellent man. The professthe time.

ors in the diocesan Theological Seminary, the Rev. * Dr. Hawks's “History of the Episcopal Church Drs. Lippitt and Sparrow, are widely known and in Virginia," p. 153, 154.

I highly esteemed by all who know them.


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wrangling with their parishioners and the out ministers. At no period of its establishlaw officers about the taxes on tobacco ment by the State was the Episcopal levied for their support, as was formerly Church of Maryland so prosperous as duthe case, they are supported in a way ring some years back. Not that in all hereafter to be detailed; I do not say ex- cases the clergy are supported as they travagantly or abundantly, but in general ought to be, or as they were during the comfortably, by the contributions of their union of Church and State ; but in point of congregations. And instead of being dis- talents and sound learning, combined with liked, to use no harsher term, I have rea- piety and other ministerial gifts, they are son to believe that they are universally immeasurably superior to their predecesrespected, and even beloved, by the mem- sors before the Revolution. bers of other churches.

In North and South Carolina, and in In Maryland as well as Virginia, though New-York, though the disestablishment in a much less degree, the dissolution of of the Episcopal Church produced, as in the union of Church and State produced other cases, a kind of syncope for a time, serious embarrassments and long-contin- from this it ere long recovered, and its ued difficulty. In none of the colonies prosperity is now incomparably greater had the established clergy received such than it ever was when it was supported by an ample maintenance as in Maryland. the state. In the State of New York it Their stipends were in many cases most may be said to have entered on its present liberal and ample for those days, so that career of extraordinary prosperity with to throw them at once on the voluntary the election and consecration of the late support of their parishioners was a haz- Rev. Dr. John Henry Hobart, as bishop of ardous step, and for the time led to many the diocese, previous to which its churches cases of hardship. When the Revolution and ministers were few in number combroke out, there were twenty parishes on pared with the present time. Seldom has the eastern shore of the province, and a Church owed more to the energy and twenty-four on the western; in all, forty- perseverance of one man. four. Each of these had an incumbent, But in no part of the United States was “though not always of the purest charac- the proposal to disestablish the Church reter,"* and at the close of the war in 1783, ceived with more serious apprehension there were about eighteen or twenty re- than in New-England. The language in maining.t But if this diminution were which the celebrated Dr. Dwight, president owing at all to the dissolution of the union of Yale College, and author of a very valuof Church and State, it was so in but a able system of theology, as well as other small degree. The fact is, that about two distinguished men of that state, deprecated thirds of the established clergy were op- the measure, is still extant in pamphlets posed to the war from its commencement, and in journals, and these have often been and refused to take the oath of allegiance quoted in England by the friends, in oppoto the new government, so that the great- sition to the opponents, of the Church Eser part of them left the country. On the tablishment there. But it ought to be return of peace, the Episcopal Church grad- known that not a single surviver at this ually recovered from its depression, and day, of all who once wrote against the ever since it has made pretty steady prog- separation of Church and State in Connecress, and been decidedly prosperous. The ticut, has not long since seen that he was late Dr. Clagget was appointed its first bish- mistaken, and has not now found to be a op in 1792, its Convention was organized, blessing what he once regarded as a caand canons established, by which proper lamity. And had not Dr. Dwight died discipline was secured. The clergy were just as the change came into operation, no for a long time less numerous than before doubt he, too, would have changed his the Revolution ; not so much, however, for opinion.* Twenty-seven years have now want of the means of supporting them, as elapsed since that time, and although I for want of suitable men. Some minis- have been much in Connecticut during the ters did, indeed, leave their parishes, and last fifteen years, know many of the clergy, the state itself, just after the war of the and have conversed much with them on Revolution, and even so late as 1822, for the subject, out of the 200 or 300 once eswant of support; but this was either be- tablished ministers of that state, I am not fore the churches had been sufficiently trained to the work of raising a mainte

* The author has often conversed on this subject nance for their ministers, or it arose from with the Rev. Lyman Beecher, D.D., who, when the the churches being really too weak for the change took place, was pastor of a church in Con

necticut, but is now professor in a theological semiburden. Maryland had fifty Episcopal cler-nary at Cincinnati, Ohio. Dr. Beecher was as much gymen in 1827; this number had risen to opposed to the dissolution as Dr. Dwight was, and seventy-two in 1838, and a considerable both preached and wrote against it. But with charproportion of the churches were still with-acteristic candour, he hesitates not now to confess aware of there being more than one Con-pressed by writers on public and political gregational minister in the state who would law on the question, How far any governlike to see the union of Church and State ment has a right to interfere in religious restored in it. Indeed, the exception re- matters; but that such a right exists to a ferred to is probably the only one in the certain extent, is admitted by all of them. United States, among the Protestant min- Nor can it be otherwise so long as religion isters at least. Any others are most likely shall be thought necessary to the well-being foreigners, who have not yet entered large- of society, and to the stability of governly into the spirit of our institutions and our ment itself. It is essential to the interests people. On no point, I am confident, are of men, even in this world, that they should the evangelical clergy of the United States, be neither ignorant of, nor indifferent to, of all churches, more fully agreed than in the existence, attributes, and providence holding that a union of Church and State of one Almighty God, the Ruler of the would prove one of the greatest calamities universe; and, above all, a people that bethat could be inflicted on us, whatever it lieve in Christianity can never consent that may prove in other countries. This is the the government they live under should be very language I have heard a thousand indifferent to its promotion, since public as times from our best and ablest men when well as private virtue is connected indisspeaking on the subject.

that his apprehensions were quite unfounded. Few * Dr. Hawks's “ History of the Episcopal Church men rank higher in the United States than Dr. in Maryland."

† Ibid., p. 301. Beecher, whether as a preacher or as a writer.

solubly with a proper knowledge of its naIn Massachusetts, which was the last of ture and its claims, and as the everlasting the states to abolish the union of the Church happiness of men depend upon its cordial and the Civil Power, the change was reception. adopted from a conviction of the evils, on On this subject it may be interesting to the one side, resulting from the union in know the opinions of one of the most disthat state, and of the advantages, on the tinguished jurists in the United States, Mr. other side, that would accrue from its dis- Justice Story, one of the judges of the Susolution : a conviction that led all the evan- preme Court : gelical denominations to combine for its “ The real difficulty lies in ascertaining overthrow. In fine, after twelve years the limits to which government may rightexperience of the change, I apprehend not fully go in fostering and encouraging relia single person of influence in all their gion. Three cases may easily be supposed. ranks will be found to regret it.

One, where a government affords aid to a And now, throughout the whole of the particular religion, leaving all persons free United States, Truth stands on its own im- to adopt any other; another, where it cremutable vantage ground. So far as the ates an ecclesiastical establishment for the Civil Power is concerned, there is not the propagation of the doctrines of a particular slightest interference with the rights of sect of that religion, leaving a like freedom conscience or with the religious worship to all others; and a third, where it creates of any one. Religious liberty, fettered by such an establishment, and excludes all no state enactment, is as perfect as it can persons not belonging to it, either wholly be. Nor is any sect or denomination of or in part, from any participation in the Christians favoured more than another. public honours, trusts, emoluments, priviAll depend, under God, for their support on leges, and immunities of the State. For the willing hearts and active hands of their instance, a government may simply declare friends, while the civil government, re- that the Christian religion shall be the relieved from the ten thousand difficulties and ligion of the State, and shall be aided and embarrassments which a union of Church encouraged in all the varieties of sects beand State would involve, has only to mete longing to it; or it may declare that the out justice with even scales to all the citi- Catholic or Protestant religion shall be the zens, whatever may be their religious opin- religion of the State, leaving every man to ions and preferences.

the free enjoyment of his own religious
opinions ; or it may establish the doctrines

of a particular sect, as of Episcopalians, as

the religion of the State, with a like freeWHETHER THE GENERAL GOVERNMENT OF THEdom; or it may establish the doctrines of a UNITED STATES HAS THE POWER TO PRO- particular sect, as exclusively the religion

of the State, tolerating others to a limited It seems to be inferred by some that be- extent, or excluding all not belonging to it cause the Constitution declares that “Con- from all public honours, trusts, emolugress shall make no law respecting an es- ments, privileges, and immunities. tablishment of religion, or prohibiting the

“Now there will probably be found few free exercise thereof,"

;?* the General Gov- persons in this, or any other Christian ernment can do nothing whatever to pro- country, who would deliberately contend mote religion. This is certainly a mistake. that it was unreasonable or unjust to fosA great variety of opinions has been ex- ter and encourage the Christian religion

generally as a matter of sound policy, as * First of the Amendments to the Constitution. well as of revealed truth. In fact, every

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American colony, from its foundation down, worship of God, and of public instructions to the Revolution, with the exception of in piety, religion, and morality, therefore, Rhode Island (if, indeed, that state be an to promote their happiness, and to secure exception), did openly, by the whole course the good order and preservation of their of its laws and institutions, support and government, the people of this commonsustain, in some form, the Christian reli- wealth have a right to invest their Legislagion, and almost invariably gave a pecu- ture with power to authorize and require, liar sanction to some of its fundamental and the Legislature shall from time to doctrines. And this has continued to be time authorize and require the several the case in some states down to the pres- towns, parishes, &c., &c., to make suitable ent period, without the slightest suspicion provision, at their own expense, for the that it was against the principles of public institution of the public worship of God, law or Republican liberty. * Indeed, in a and for the support and maintenance of republic, there would seem to be a pecu- public Protestant teachers of piety, religion, liar propriety in viewing the Christian re- and morality, in all cases where such proligion as the great basis on which it must vision shall not be made voluntarily. Afrest for its support and permanence, if it terward there follow provisions prohibitbe, what it has ever been deemed by its ing any superiority of one sect over antruest friends to be, the religion of liberty. other, and securing to all citizens the free Montesquieu has remarked, that the Chris- exercise of religion. tian religion is a stranger to mere despotic Probably, at the time of the adoption power. The mildness so frequently rec- of the Constitution, and of the amendment ommended in the Gospel is incompatible to it now under consideration, the general, with the despotic rage with which a prince if not the universal, sentiment in America punishes his subjects, and exercises him- was, that Christianity ought to receive enself in cruelty.f He has gone even far- couragement from the State, so far as was ther, and affirmed, that the Protestant re- not incompatible with the private rights of ligion is far more congenial with the spirit conscience and the freedom of religious of political freedom than the Catholic. worship. An attempt to level all religions, • When,' says he, 'the Christian religion, and to make it a matter of state policy to two centuries ago, became unhappily divi- hold all in utter indifference, would have ded into Catholic and Protestant, the peo- created universal disapprobation, if not ple of the North (of Europe) embraced the universal indignation. Protestant, and those of the South still ad- “ It yet remains a problem to be solved hered to the Catholic. The reason is plain. in human affairs, whether any free governThe people of the North have, and ever will ment can be permanent where the public have, a spirit of liberty and independence worship of God, and the support of religion, which the people of the South have not; constitute no part of the policy or duty of and, therefore, a religion which has no the State in any assignable shape. The visible head is more agreeable to the inde- future experience of Christendom, and pendency of climate than that which has chiefly of the American States, must set

I Without stopping to inquire wheth- tle this problem, as yet new in the history er this remark be well founded, it is cer- of the world, abundant as it has been in tainly true that the parent country has act- experiments in the theory of government. ed upon it with a severe and vigilant zeal ; " But the duty of supporting religion, and in most of the colonies the same rigid and especially the Christian religion, is jealousy has been maintained almost down very different from the right to force the to our own times. Massachusetts, while consciences of other men, or to punish she has promulgated, in her Bill of Rights, them for worshipping God in the manner the importance and necessity of the public which they believe their accountability to support of religion, and the worship of Him requires. It has been truly said, that God, has authorized the Legislature to re- ' religion, or the duty we owe to our Creaquire it only for Protestantism. The lan- tor, and the manner of discharging it, can guage of that Bill of Rights is remarkable be dictated only by reason and conviction, for its pointed affirmation of the duty of not by force or violence. Mr. Locke government to support Christianity, and himself, who did not doubt the right of the reasons for it. ' As,' says the third government to interfere in matters of reliarticle, the happiness of a people, and the gion, and especially to encourage Christigood order and preservation of civil gov- anity, at the same time has expressed his ernment, essentially depend upon piety, opinion of the right of private judgment, religion, and morality, and as these can- and liberty of conscience, in a manner benot be generally diffused through the com- coming his character as a sincere friend munity but by the institution of the public of civil and religious liberty: 'No man, * Kent's " Commentaries," sect. xxxiv., p. 35–37.

or society of men,' says he, have any auRawle “On the Constitution," chap. 2., p. 121, 122. thority to impose their opinions or inter

† Montesquieu, “ Spirit of Laws,” b. xxiv., c. iii. * Virginia Bill of Rights. I Tucker's Blackstone's | Ibid., chap. v.

Commentaries, Appendix, p. 296.




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