Slike strani
PDF
ePub

ing which, after allowing a reasonable time, I regular Sabbath services at the usual hours. they are resold to other persons. But if After announcing their intention by public all the required conditions be fulfilled, they advertisement, they proceed to organize a become absolutely the purchaser's, and church, that is, a body of believers, accordmay be bequeathed or sold like any other ing to the rules of the communion to which property.

they belong. If Presbyterians, the PresInstead of being sold in fee-simple, the bytery appoints a committee to organize pews are sometimes merely rented from the church according to the Book of Disyear to year. This prevails more in large cipline, by the appointment and consecratowns and villages than in cities, and in tion to office of ruling elders, after which such cases the churches must be built sole- it falls under the care of the Presbytery. ly by “subscription,” as it is called, that A pastor is next called and regularly inis, by sums contributed for that special ob- ducted. Meanwhile, the congregation may ject. Should these prove, in the first in- be supposed to be increasing, until strong stance, insufficient, a second, and perhaps enough to exchange their temporary for a a third subscription follows, after a longer permanent place of worship. In this way or shorter interval,

new swarms are every year leaving the The seats in some churches, even of our old hives, if I may so speak, in our large largest cities, are free to all. Such is the cities, and new church edifices are rising case with all the Quaker, and most of the in various localities where the population Methodist meeting-houses ; these are oc- is extending. cupied on what is called the “ free-seat” The church edifices in the chief towns plan, and have the advantage of being at- and cities are, generally speaking, large tended with less restraint, especially by and substantial buildings, especially in the strangers or persons who may not have the more densely-settled districts. Those in means to pay for seats. But there are the suburbs are often smaller, and not exdisadvantages also in this plan. Families pected to be more than temporary, as they who regularly attend, and who may bear give place to larger and better structures the expense of the church, have no certain in a few years. In the cities and larger place where all may sit together, and in towns, whether on the Atlantic slope or case of being delayed a little longer than in the Valley of the Mississippi, they are, usual, may find difficult to get seats at in nine cases out of ten, built of brick; a all. The Methodist churches, according- few are of stone ; and in the New England ly, are coming more and more into the cities and towns of second and third rate other plan in our large cities. Where they size, they are often built of wood. have not done so, and also in the Quaker As for the cost of church edifices, it is meeting-houses, the males occupy one half difficult to speak precisely where the counof the house, the females the other; a rule, try is so extensive. In the suburbs of our however, observed more constantly in the large cities on the seaboard, from Portlatter than in the former body. Church land, in Maine, to New Orleans, some may edifices, or meeting-houses, on the free- not have cost more than from 5000 to 10,000 seat plan, must, of course, be built by sub-dollars ; but in the older and more denselyscription alone.

peopled parts of those cities, they generally A more common practice in forming cost 20,000 dollars and upward. Some have new congregations, and erecting church cost 60,000 or 80,000, and yet are comparaedifices, is this : The families who engage tively plain, though very chaste and subin the undertaking first obtain some place stantial buildings. A few have cost above for temporary service—the lecture-room 100,000,* without including such as Trinity attached to some other church, a court-Church at New-York, belonging to the Epishouse, a schoolroom, or some other such copalians, or the Roman Catholic Cathedral building*_and there they commence their at Baltimore, for these very elegant and ex

* In Philadelphia there is a building called the pensive buildings have cost at least 300,000, Academy, built for Mr. Whitfield's meetings, the if not more.t There may have been, in upper part of which is now divided into two rooms, each capable of containing 400 or 500 people, and States assemble--are allowed to be used as places both constantly used as places of Worship, one per- of worship on the Sabbath in a case of exigency. manently by the Methodists. The other has been * The church in which the late eloquent Dr. Ma. occupied temporarily by colonies, which have grown son was last settled as a minister in New York, cost, into churches, and then gone off to houses which I believe, rather more than 100,000 dollars. It was they have built for themselves. In this way that one an excellent, large, tasteful, substantial, brick buildroom, as I have often been told, has been the birth ing. Yet it, and some others in the lower parts of place, as it were, of more than twenty different the city, whence business is driving the people to churches. It is rented to those who wish to occupy the upper part, have been torn down, and their sites it by the corporation, to which it belongs. In the are covered with shops and counting-rooms. The lower story there are schools held throughout the congregations have mainly emigrated to about a mile week.

and a half, or two miles northward. So matters go The chapel of the University of New-York is used in our London. for the same purpose; and the Court-houses through- + Trinity Church is not yet finished. It is a reout all the land, and even some of the State-houses-markably fine specimen of Gothic architecture. I that is, those in which the Legislatures of the several have not heard what the cost will be, but, including

TLEMENTS.

some cases, a useless expenditure of mon- of 16,000 souls, has fifteen churches ; Newey on interior decorations, but in general, Haven, for about 14,000 souls, has thirteen, the churches, even in our largest cities, many of which are of large size ; Poughare neat and rather plain buildings exter- keepsie, on the Hudson, has 9000 inhabinally, but exceedingly comfortable within. tants and twelve churches ; Troy had, in

The village churches of New-England 1840, a population of 25,000 souls, and fifare, for the most part, constructed of wood; teen churches, and several of those very that is, of beams framed together and cov- large. Newark, in New Jersey, has about ered with boards ; and being almost univer- 20,000 inhabitants and seventeen churches; sally painted white and surmounted with Rochester 22,000 inhabitants and twentysteeples, they have a beautiful appearance. two churchers. The church-going bell every Sabbath sends On this head the reader is referred to forth its notes far and wide amid the hills the works of Drs. Reed and Matheson, and and dales of that interesting country. In to that of Dr. Lang, as containing much acother parts of the Atlantic States, though curate information with respect to church often of wood, like those of New England, accommodation in the United States. they are still oftener of brick or stone, or of unpainted frames and boards, which is especially the case in the South. Any one may be satisfied, by careful in

CHAPTER IV. quiry, that even our cities and large towns, How CHURCHES ARE BUILT IN THE NEW SETas respects churches, may well bear a comparison with the best supplied in any part of Europe. Boston, for instance, in 1840, But it is in the building of places of worhad fifty-eight churches, many of which ship in the new settlements of the Western could accommodate from 1000 to 1500 per- States, and in the villages that are springsons, and that for a population of about ing up in the more recently-peopled parts 88,000 souls. New-York had that year of those bordering on the Atlantic, that 159 churches for about 310,000 inhabitants; we see the most remarkable development namely, forty-one Presbyterian, of all of the voluntary principle. Let me illusshades; fourteen Reformed Dutch ; twen- trate by a particular case what is daily ty-seven Episcopal ; eighteen Methodist; occurring in both these divisions of the eighteen Baptist; eight Roman Catholic; country. nine African (Methodist, Episcopal, Bap- Let us suppose a settlement commentist, and Presbyterian); five Friends' meet- ced in the forest, in the northern part of ing-houses ; three Lutheran ; three Mora- Indiana, and that in the course of three or vian; three synagogues (there are now four years a considerable number of emifive or six); two Unitarian; three Univer- grants have established themselves within salist; four Welsh and smaller denomina- a mile or two of each other, in the woods. tions; and two Mariners' churches. This Each clears away by degrees a part of the is from a published statement which may surrounding forest

, and fences in his new be depended upon as rather within the fields, in the midst of which the deadened truth. The church accommodation of the trees still stand very thickly. By little Protestant population is in much higher and little the country shows signs of occuproportion to their numbers than that of pation by civilized man. the Roman Catholics to theirs, partly ow- In the centre of the settlement a little ing, no doubt, to the liturgical services of village begins to form around a tavern and the latter requiring less church accommo- a blacksmith's shop. A carpenter places dation than the “ sermon preaching” of himself there as at a convenient centre. the former.

So do the tailor, the shoemaker, the wagPhiladelphia is better supplied with on-maker, and the hatter. Nor is the son churches than New-York. Those of all the of Æsculapius wanting; perhaps he is most leading denominations there have greatly of all needed; and it will be well if two or increased during the last few years. The three of his brethren do not soon join him. Methodists, I learn from one of their best. The merchant, of course,.opens his magainformed ministers, have, in the course of zine there. And if there be any prospect the last fifteen years, built in the city and of the rising village, though the deadened suburbs above twenty churches, most of trees stand quite in the vicinity of the which are capacious buildings; and the streets, becoming the seat of justice for a Episcopalians and Presbyterians have in- new county, there will soon be half a creased the number of theirs nearly in the dozen young expounders of the law to insame proportion. But our second and third crease the population, and offer their serrate cities and large towns are far better vices to those who have suffered or comsupplied than either of these two places. mitted some injustice. Salem, in Massachusetts, for a population Things will hardly have reached this the value of the ground, I should think it cannot be point before some one amid this heteroless than 300,000 dollars, and may amount to 500,000. I geneous population, come from different

[ocr errors]

;

points of the older states, intermixed with a like kind is taking place every year, in wanderers from Europe-Irish, Scotch, or hundreds of instances, throughout all the German-proposes that they should think states. Settlers of one denomination are of having a church, or, at least, some place sometimes sufficiently numerous in one of worship. It is ten chances to one if place to build a church for themselves at there be not one or more pious women, or the outset, but in most cases they hold their some pious man with his family, who sigh first meetings for worship in schoolrooms for the privileges of the sanctuary, as once or private houses. enjoyed by them in the distant East. What The rapid increase of the population in is to be done? Some one proposes that some of the new villages and towns of the they should build a good large school. West, when favourably situated for trade, house, which may serve also for holding re- is astonishing, and strikes one particularly ligious meetings, and this is scarcely soon- in its early stages. Thus, when in the er proposed than accomplished. Though State of Alabama in February, 1831, I vispossibly made of mere logs and very plain, ited the town of Montgomery in company it will answer the purpose for a few years with a worthy Baptist minister, in the Being intended for the meetings of all de- course of an extensive tour through the nominations of Christians, and open to all Western States in behalf of one of our preachers who may be passing, word is benevolent societies. It was then hardly sent to the nearest in the neighbourhood. more than a large village. On the night Ere long some Baptist preacher, in pass- of the second of the two days we spent in ing, preaches in the evening, and is follow- it, we preached in a large schoolhouse, ed by a Presbyterian and a Methodist. which, if I remember rightly, was the only By-and-by the last of these arranges his place for holding religious meetings existcircuit labours so as to preach there once ing there at the time. We had a good in a fortnight, and the minister of some congregation, though a circus was held Presbyterian congregation, ten or fifteen hard by. Just three years after, when remiles off, agrees to come and preach once peating the same tour, I spent a Sabbath a month.

and one or two days more at the same Meanwhile, from the increase of the in- spot, but under amazingly different circumhabitants, the congregations, on the Sab- stances. In the morning I preached in a bath particularly, become too large for the Presbyterian church built of frames and schoolhouse. A church is then built of covered with boards, and every way comframed beams and boards, forming no mean fortable, to at least 600 persons. The ornament to the village, and capable of church, which reckoned 100 members, had accommodating some 200 or 300 people. got a young man as pastor, to whom they Erected for the public good, it is used by gave a yearly stipend of $1000. At night all the sects in the place, and by others I preached in a Baptist church, built of besides. For were a Swedenborgian min- brick, but not quite finished, which could ister to come and have notice given that hold 300 persons at least. Besides these, he would preach, he might be sure of find there were one Methodist Episcopal and ing a congregation, though, as the sect is one Protestant Methodist church, each, in small in America, and by many hardly so so far as I can recollect, as large as the much as heard of, he might not have a Baptist church. Then there was an Epissingle hearer that assents to his views. copal church, not less in size, though probBut it will not be long before the Presby- ably with a smaller congregation, than the terians, Methodists, or Baptists feel that Baptist church. And, withal, there was a they must have a minister on whose ser- Roman Catholic church, though not a large vices they can count with more certainty, one, I believe. All this after an interval and hence a church, also, for themselves. of only three years! Eventful years they And at last the house, which was a joint- had been. A revival of religion, which stock affair at first, falls into the hands of took place during one of them, had brought some one of the denominations and is many souls to the knowledge of salvation. abandoned by the others, who have mostly This was, it is true, an extraordinary provided each one for itself. Or it may case, yet something very similar in kind, remain for the occasional service of some although not in degree, is going on at a passing Roman Catholic priest, or Uni- great many points in the West. I know versalist preacher. *

not what reverses the town of MontgomSuch is the process continually going ery may have since undergone, but what I on in the West, and, indeed, something of have stated occurred, I know, between the

* In some places in the Southwestern States, the years 1831 and 1834. primitive and temporary churches built for all de- On the Genesee River, a few miles above nominations, in the new villages or settlenients, are its entrance into Lake Ontario, in the State called « Republican churches;" that is, churches of New York, stands a town, incorporated for the accommodation of the public rather than for any one sect. Large schoolhouses, also, erected for

as a city, called Rochester. The place is the double purpose of teaching and preaching, are famous for the vast quantity of flour made called Republican meeting-houses.

at its mills. Twenty-five years ago, it

a

ence.

could show but a few houses scattered here the trustees, where there are such. Where and there, where now there is a well-built the seats are free, as is the case with very and flourishing city, containing, when I inany churches of all denominations in the was there about two years ago, 22,000 in- interior of the country, the minister's salhabitants, and twenty-two churches, many ary is raised by yearly subscription. In the of which were large and fine buildings, Methodist Episcopal churches, with few capable of accommodating congregations exceptions, the ministers are supported by of from 1000 to 1200 persons each. Among collections among the members, quarterly these churches there were two for Ger- public collections, &c. Sometimes, also, mans, and another, I learned, was soon to recourse is partially had to subscriptions, be erected for French and Swiss.

especially where there are stationed" or Churches and church property of every non-itinerating ministers. description are held, in the United States, Among the Protestant denominations, by trustees chosen by the congregation to the amount of the pastor's salary is deterwhich they belong. The laws of almost mined, in most cases, by the churches every state provide for this. These trus- themselves. In the Methodist churches, tees, who may be two, three, or more in the amount is fixed by the General Confer-number, are authorized to act for the con

In ordinary cases, he receives so gregation, to whom they report, from time much for himself, a like sum for his wife, to time, the state of the common funds. and so much for each of his children, acThey are charged, in most cases, with the cording to their ages, with certain perquicollection of the pastor's salary, as well sites besides, such as a family dwellingas with the general collection and outlay house, a horse, &c., making up altogether of money for the congregation. Without a cornfortable maintenance for himself and their consent the church edifice cannot be his household. The collections of each given to any other than the ordinary reli- "circuit" are expected, generally speaking, gious services of the sanctuary.

to suffice for the salaries of the ministers In some cases, several, if not all of the who occupy them, any deficiency being churches in a city, belonging to a particu- made up from funds which the Conference lar communion, are held by a common may have in hand for meeting such continboard of trustees. All the Methodist Epis- gencies. The clergy of all evangelical. copal churches of New-York are so held. denominations, with two exceptions, reOne corporation has the proprietorship of ceive fixed salaries from their people, and four of the Reformed Dutch churches in are expected to devote themselves to their that city, and another holds Trinity Church, proper vocation, and to "live by the altar.” and perhaps some others belonging to the The exceptions are a part of the ministers. Protestant Episcopal denomination. In all of the Baptist Church, and all the Quaker denominations, according to general prac- preachers. These support themselves by tice, each particular church and congrega- their labour, or from other sources, and tion has its own trustees, and manages its preach on the Sabbath. own “temporal” affairs, being such as re- The Baptists agree with the Methodists. late to the church edifice, the ground on in not considering a college education, or which it stands, and any other property or an acquaintance with the Greek, Latin, and stocks belonging to it; and it is only on Hebrew tongues, or the natural and moral questions of right to property that the Civil sciences, indispensable for a preacher of Courts, or even the State Legislatures, or the Gospel ; hence by far the greater Congress itself, can ever meddle with the number of them have had only an English affairs of the churches.

education, together with such theological knowledge, derived from English sources,

as has qualified them, in the opinion of the CHAPTER V.

authorities in their churches, for underta

king to preach the Gospel. In both these THE VOLUNTARY PRINCIPLE DEVELOPED. - HOW

denominations, however, there are not a

few truly learned men, who have passed UNDER this head we find different meas- through the curriculum of some college, ures adopted by different churches, and in and have diligently added to the acquiredifferent parts of the country.

ments of their preparatory course. The Universally where the seats and pews regular itinerating ministers of the Methoare the property of individuals or families, dist churches receive salaries, and devote and generally where they are rented by the themselves wholly to their ministerial callyear, the salaries of the pastors, and some- ing; whereas very many of the Baptist times all the incidental expenses, are raised ministers, as has been already stated, esby a certain yearly, half-yearly, or quarterly pecially in the Southern and Western, and rate upon each pew. The proportion for io a certain extent in the Middle States, each pew is fixed by the trustees, or by the receive no salaries at all, or none of any elders, or by a committee appointed for consequence, so that they must support that special purpose, but in most cases by themselves in some other way.

THE SALARIES OF THE PASTORS ARE RAISED.

The preachers among the Friends, who,, he receives a good many presents. His as the reader is probably aware, may be marriage fees are of some amount. In women as well as men, receive no regular other parts of the country, and especially salaries; but those of them who, under the in the West, the clergy are not so weir belief that they have a call from the Spirit provided for. The practice in New-England to give themselves wholly to the work, of giving them presents, whether casually travel through the country, visiting the or regularly, and at some set time, does not Friends”“ meetings," and preaching in other prevail elsewhere to the same degree. places, generally, nay, always, if their own The salaries of the clergy in the largest means are not abundant, receive consider- and wealthiest churches of the principal able presents.

cities are handsome, though generally no It is not easy to give any very satisfac- more than adequate.* Fifteen hundred tory answer to the question, Whether the dollars, 1800, 2000, 2500, are the sums comministers of the Gospel are well supported monly given, and, in a few cases, 3000, in the United States? Using that phrase 3500, and even 4000. The Presbyterian in the sense which many attach to it, I Church in New Orleans, I believe, gives should say, in giving a general reply to the its pastor 5000, and the highest of all is that question, that they are not. That is to of one of the bishops in the Episcopal say, few, if any, of them receive salaries Church, which, I have been told, is 6000.1 that would enable them to live in the style Some churches have permanent funds, in which the wealthiest of their parishion- which go far towards the pastor's support. ers live. Their incomes are not equal to The corporation of the collegiate churches those of the greater number of lawyers of the Reformed Dutch Church in New-and physicians, though these are men of no York, four in number at present, has better education or higher talents than enough from this source to pay the salagreat numbers of the clergy possess. None ries of the four pastors. The corporation: of the ministers of the Gospel in the United of Trinity Church (Episcopal) possesses: States derive such revenues from their offi- vast funds, the income from which has encial stations as many of the parochial cler- abled the trustees to contribute largely, gy of England have, to say nothing of the towards the building of churches in the higher dignitaries of the Church in that State of New York. Three of the Prescountry. There are few, if any, of them byterian churches in Newark, New-Jersey, who, with economy, can do more than live which is nine miles from New York, and upon their salaries ; to grow rich upon contains 20,000 inhabitants, have permathem is out of the question.*

nent funds sufficient for the support of their Yet, on the other hand, the greater num- public services. ber of the salaried ministers in the United But, generally speaking, a permanent States are able, with economy, to live com- fund is found to be ratherinjurious than benfortably and respectably. This holds true eficial to the churches in the United States. especially as respects the pastors of the If out of debt, that is, if they owe nothing Atlantic, and even of the older parts of the for their church edifices, lecture-rooms, Western States. In New-England, if we vestry-rooms, &c., they need no endowexcept Boston, the salaries of the Congre- ment; the hearts of the people will do the gational, Episcopal, and Baptist pastors rest. I speak of the churches in the oldare, in the largest towns, such as Provi- er parts of the country. The measures dence, Portland, Salem, Hartford, New- we take for the support of churches in the Haven, &c., from 800 to 1200 dollars; in new settlements, and which are weak as the villages and country churches they vary yet, I shall show hereafter. from 300 or 400 to 700 or 800, besides It often happens that ministers are not which the minister sometimes has a “parsonage” and “glebe,” that is, à house and * The clergy are expected to be examples of hos. a few acres of land, and, in addition to all, pitality and benevolence. They entertain a great

deal of company at their houses. Nothing is more * The statements made by foreigners, in writing common than for ministers of the Gospel, when about the United States, are sometimes sufficiently visiting any place, whether in town or country, to ludicrous. For instance, M. Beaumont, in his “Ma- stay with their brethren; and no men among us give rie, ou Esclavage aux Etats-Unis," accounts for the so inuch, in proportion to their means, to all the regreat number of churches there by the great number ligious and philanthropic enterprises, as our pastors of ministers of the Gospel. He says that the minis- of every denomination. try is not only very honourable, but very lucrative + I refer to the Bishop of New York, who, if he also; that most of the preachers make a fortune in a has to pay for a suffragan to take his place as pastor few years, and then retire from the ministry, which of a church, or co-pastor with others in two or three is the cause of there being sọ few old men in the pul- churches, as well as bear his travelling expenses pits of that country. Anything more absurd on such when visiting his diocese--as I doubt not 'is the à subject I cannot imagine. But I will do M. Beau- case—will not have more than is necessary to súpmont the justice to say, that I do not blame him so port a large family in so expensive a city as New much as the stupid creatures who gave him such in York. formation. The gay Frenchman probably did not As for New Orleans, it is the most expensive city set his foot in more than half a dozen churches when for supporting a family in the whole Union, and 5000 in Ainerica, and of these not one, it is likely, was dollars there would in that respect be not more than Protestant.

half the sum in Philadelphia.

« PrejšnjaNaprej »