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tioned for—the admission of lay represent- first preacher, George Fox, visited several atives and of the local preachers to the of the Southern provinces, and announced government of the church. They have his message, as he himself relates, to a also ceased to have bishops, all ordination willing people.” But the proselytes to among them being now confined to the im- his peaceful doctrines, especially if they position of hands by presbyters. Their attempted to propagate them, encountered General Conference meets once in four violent persecution almost everywhere, and years, like that from which they seceded. although they were from the first protected
This body has one general and twenty-in Rhode Island, and did at length obtain two yearly conferences, 1200 travelling toleration in the South, they never made and local preachers, 60,000 communicants, much progress until, through the influence and 500 places of worship. Its General and exertions of William Penn, they obConference has instituted a Board of Do- tained an asylum, first in New-Jersey, and mestic and Foreign Missions, as also a afterward in Pennsylvania, towards the Book Concern, which has its headquar- close of that century, ters in Baltimore. There are four reli- They are now supposed to have about gious newspapers, also, published under its 500 congregations in the United States, and auspices. Its churches are to be found in are chiefly settled in the southeastern part all parts of the country, but particularly of Pennsylvania, in New-Jersey, Newin the Middle, Northern, and Western York, Rhode Island, Maryland, and VirginStates.
ia, though some may be found in all the CALVINISTIC METHODISTS-a small Welsh States. In Philadelphia alone they have communion, consisting of twenty churches six or eight large congregations or meetand as many pastors. They are an evan- ings.” gelical and zealous body, and as it is only It is far from easy to make out what a few years since the greater part of them were the doctrines really held by George came to America, they still use the Welsh Fox, and some of the other early Friends, language in their public worship and in or Quakers, as they are more commonly their families. Though found in several called. They spoke so much about the states, they are most numerous, I believe, “light within," "and the “ Christ in the in New-York.*
heart,” and so little about the proper divinity of Jesus Chr the inspiration and
divine authority of the Scriptures, &c., CHAPTER XVI.
that good men of that day much doubted
how far they held the saving truths of the THE FRIENDS, OR QUAKERS.
Gospel. But the subsequent writings of This religious community first appeared Penn, Barclay, and others, to whom may in England towards the middle of the sev- be added many excellent authors of the enteenth century, and had an early share present day, make it certain that a decided in the colonization of the United States. majority of well-informed Friends have We have seen that its reputed founder and been sound in “ the faith that saves.
But within the last fifteen years a deplo* The number of national churches among the rable schism has taken place. Doctrines Welsh emigrants and their descendants in the Uni- of the most dangerous character, imbodyted States is far greater than is commonly supposed, ing, in fact, a kind of fanatical deism, havme while this work has been going through the press, ing been widely disseminated
by the preachby the Rev. Jonathan J. Jones, pastor of a Welsh ing and writings of the late Elias Hicks, of Presbyterian church in the city of New-York, I Long Island, New-York, who was one of learn that there are, besides the Calvinistic Metho- their ministers, they separated into two dist churches mentioned above, no less than 38 Con; quite distinct bodies, each maintaining
that Episcopal, and 3 Wesleyan Methodist. The statis- it held the doctrines of the original Quatics of twenty of these churches show about 2640 kers. * One party is called the Orthodox, communicants, 8050 members of congregations, and the other the Hicksites, from the name of from 630 to 1030 dollars contributed annually to their leader, or, rather, founder. Their relspread the knowledge of the Gospel. With the exception of the Calvinistic Methodists and the Pres ative numbers are not exactly known, but byterians, the Welsh churches are included in the the Orthodox are supposed to be fully three estimate which is made of the denominations whose name they bear. For instance, the Welsh Baptists * The highest law court in New-Jersey decided a come in under the head of the Regular Baptists; the few years ago, in a suit respecting property held by Welsh Congregationalists are included in the state- one of the “Quarterly Meetings” in that state, that the ment which I have made respecting the Congrega- so-called Orthodox Quakers are the true successors tional body. Of the names of forty-one of the pas- of the founders of the denomination; in other words, tors of the churches mentioned in the statement hold the true doctrines of the people called Friends. furnished by Mr. Jones, seven are Jones, seven are This decision was formed after a long and very Williams, three are Powells, three are Evans; and thorough investigation of the subject, conducted by among the others we find those of Griffiths, Roberts, a master in chancery, who was employed during Lewis, Morris, Edwards, Richards, Powell, Davis, several months in taking the testimony of distinMorgan, Owen, Philips, Jenkins, and others which guished Friends as to what were the doctrines of the are purely Welsh.
fifths of the whole, or to have 300 congre. I to no great extent, to bring the Indian tribes. gations.
to the knowledge of the Gospel. The peculiarities of the Friends, in re- The characteristic traits of this peacespect to plainness of dress, refusing to un- loving people are the same in the United cover the head as a mark of respect to States as in England and elsewhere-frutheir fellow-men, whatever be their station, gality, simplicity of manners, strictness of rank, or office, the use of the singular thou morals, care for the poor of their society, and thee instead of the plural you in all ca- and abhorrence of oppression in every ses where custom has sanctioned the su-. form. This may be emphatically said of perseding of the former by the latter, their the Orthodox. Of the Hicksites, who, in refusing to take an oath, and to bear arms, my opinion, have departed fundamentally are too well known to require remark. from the Gospel, it is to be feared that a far
They have no “hireling ministry," and less favourable account will yet have to be think it wrong to educate men for that of- given. The substantial orthodoxy of Willfice, maintaining that those only should be iam Penn, and many others of the same suffered to preach who are moved from time school, has produced good fruits, which to time by the Spirit to deliver a message never can be looked for from the delusions from God. All remain perfectly silent at of Elias Hicks. their meetings, unless some one feels thus So far from rapidly increasing in Amermoved to speak for the edification of those ica, I rather think that the Friends are present, or to pray. In almost every con- stationary, if not positively declining, in gregation there are members who, from point of numbers. The too frequent negbeing often moved to speak, are called lect of the religious education of their “preachers,” and they may be of either children, together with the rejection of the sex. Some, too, think that the Spirit outward administration of Baptism and the moves them to travel about for the purpose Lord's Supper, must ever prevent them, in of visiting and preaching. But these, be my opinion, from enjoying great or confore receiving authority to proceed on such tinued prosperity as a church. missions, must first be approved by the Monthly and Quarterly Meetings to which they belong. Though they have no sala
CHAPTER XVII. ries, provision is made, when required, for the support of them and their families by presents from richer Friends. The super- We have now completed our notices of vision of the churches is vested in the the various evangelical churches or denommonthly meetings, composed of all the inations in the United States; and to assist congregations within a convenient distance the reader in taking a general view of the from each other; the Quarterly Meetings, whole, we shall place them before his eye which comprise all within a larger circle; at once in a tabular form. In doing this, and the Yearly Meetings, including all with we shall first arrange them in the order in in one or more of the States, and of which, which we have already passed them under we believe, there are eight.
our review, that of their successive apThe Friends have a Tract Society, a pearance in America. We shall then reBible Society, and some Sunday-schools. arrange them under various heads, such as They have made some attempts, also, but Episcopal, Congregational, &c. I. EPISCOPAL, Protestant Episcopalians
1,200 1,176 100,000 800,000 Moravians
1,203 103,000 812,000 II. CONGREGATIONAL. Orthodox Churches
. 1,500 1,350 180,000 1,000,000 IH. BAPTIST. Regular Baptists
4,036* 637,477 Free-Will Baptists.
61,372 Seventh Day Baptists
704,926 4,000,000 IV. PRESBYTERIAN,
Regular Presbyterians-Old and New Schools 3,584 2,672 279,782
29,322 Associate Synod
15,000 Associate Reformed
26,000 ?4,500,000 Reformed Presbyterians .
146,303 German Reformed
550 267 200 300 94
4,406 681,897 4,500,000 * See remarks in chapter iv. of this book for the grounds on which the ordained ministers in the Regular Baptist com-
munion are estimated at 4036.
Churches or other places of worship. 25,109*
Methodists ..... 30,029
Population. V. METHODIST.
3,988 T. M.+ Methodist Episcopal Church
27,730 L. M.I
500 T. M.
60,000 300,000 Welsh Calvinistic Methodists
250 T. M.
112 T. M. Evangelical Association
200 L. M.
14,000 40,000 Total.
4,870 T. M.
1,195,025 5,052,500 MENNONISTS
ORTHODOX QUAKERS By uniting the Congregationalists with at which the Gospel is preached, in most the Presbyterians, which, as they are in all cases once a week at least, and in others important respects the same, is perfectly once a fortnight, seldom less often, these proper, we reduce the evangelical denomi- will be found to amount to 49,424. And nations in the United States to four great even to these there ought to be added a families, and, thus arranged, they present part, at least, of the Campbellite, Mennonthe follow ng summary :
ist, and Winebrennarian places of worship,
and those of some of the smaller Methodist Episcopalians 1,223 1,203 103,000 812,000 sects, before we can arrive at a full enuPresbyterians 8,466 5,756 861,897 5,500,000 Baptists.... 9,706 4,853 704,926 4,000,000
meration of all the churches and other 4,870* 1,195,025 5,052,500 places in which salvation by a crucified
49,424 16,682 2,864,848 15,364,000 Saviour is proclaimed to sinners. This synopsis suggests a few observa- 3. The summary gives 16,682 as the tions.
number of ministers who devote them1. We have left out the Campbellites, selves entirely to the work. Adding the both because we have no correct informa- 8980 Methodist local preachers, we have tion as to their statistics, and because 25,662 as the number of actual preachers though some of them are, no doubt, sound of the Gospel. Even this is exclusive of on all essential points, yet, not knowing those of the omitted denominations, and of how many, we cannot place them with en- the licentiates in the Baptist and Presbytire confidence among the evangelical de- terian churches, who cannot well be estinominations. Neither have we included mated at less than 1300, and who may the Mennonists, the German United Breth- fairly. be set against the deduction to be ren, the Winebrennarians, the Orthodox made on account of ordained ministers Friends, nor some of the smaller seces-employed as professors and missionaries. sions from the Methodist Episcopal Church. But taking the above 16,682 as the number, Had all these been included, the number all things considered, of ministers that are of churches, ministers, and members, to evangelical on all the saving doctrines of gether with the amount of the general the Gospel, and divide the population of population under the moral influence of the United States, which, in the beginning the churches included in this category, of the year 1844, was about 18,500,000, by would have been much greater.
this number, the result will be one such 2. It is impossible to state the number minister for less than 1110 souls. Now, of churches or congregations, properly so although figures cannot express moral incalled. Those of the Ěpiscopalians, Pres- fluences, such calculations are neverthebyterians, and Baptists, taken together, less not without their use. A country amount to 19,395. "But those belonging to which has an evangelical preacher on an the different Methodist communions it is average for every 1110 souls, may be impossible to ascertain, no return of them considered as pretty well supplied, if they having been made. There can be no doubt be well distributed and faithful. A perfect that, of the places of worship which I have distribution is, indeed, altogether imposgiven on President Durbin's authority, sible with a population rapidly diffusing itmore than 10,000 are churches properly so self over immense, half-cultivated regions, called. This, then, would make the entire yet much is done to obviate the disadvannumber of the churches of the evangelical tages of such a state of things. The aid denominations,without counting the Campbellites, Mennonists, &c., exceed 29,000 ; probable number of places, including churches,
* I am indebted for the above estimate of the and supposing these to contain upon an schoolhouses, and private houses, in which the average 500 people each, they would ac- Methodist itinerant and local ministers preach, to my commodate more than 14,500,000 of the friend President Durbin. It has been made with 18,500,000 of inhabitants. But if we take the truth. President Durbin has a wide and accuin all the places, whether churches or not, rate acquaintance with the country, as well as with
the entire economy of the church to which he belongs.. + Travelling ministers.
† Travelling ministers. I Local ministers.
NUMBER OF EVANGELICAL SECTS.
rendered by the Methodist local preachers bers, and sometimes in compact bodies, must be regarded as an important auxiliary from different parts of the Old World, noto the more regular ministry. The gen- thing was more natural than the desire of eral faithfulness of this ministry has al- establishing for themselves and their posready been fully discussed.
terity the same religious formularies and 4. The members in full communion with modes of worship, church government, and the churches enumerated exceed 2,864,848 discipline which they had cherished in the in number. Now, although it be very cer- lands that had given them birth, and persetain that all these do not live up to their cation for their adherence to which had led, profession, yet as they belong for the most in many instances, to their having emigrapart to churches that endeavour to main- ted. Hence we find, in the United States, tain discipline, we may fairly presume that counterparts not only to the Episcopalian, they comprehend at least as large a pro-Congregational, Baptist, and Methodist portion of consistent Christians as any churches of England, and to the Presbyteequal number of professors in other parts rian churches of Scotland, Ireland, and of Christendom.
Wales, but likewise to the Dutch and Ger5. The last column of the summary as- man Reformed churches, the German Lusumes 15,364,000 of the whole population theran Church, the Moravians, Mennonists, as more or less under the influence of the &c. Indeed, there is scarcely an evangelievangelical denominations. Accuracy in cal communion in America which is not the such a calculation is hardly to be expect- mere extension by immigration of a simied, but I have taken the best data I could lar body in Europe. The exceptions hardfind, and doubt not that the estimate I have ly can be reckoned such, for they consist for made is not much wide of the truth. In the most part of separations from the larcluding all the denominations that claim to ger bodies, not because of differences with be evangelical, this estimate would exceed regard to essential doctrines and forms of 15,500,000
church government, but on points of such inferior consequence that they can scarce
ly be regarded as new sects at all. CHAPTER XVIII.
In fact, if we take all the evangelical communions that have fallen under review,
and contemplate the confessedly fundaMuch has been said in Europe about the mental doctrines maintained by each, it is multiplicity of sects in the United States, surprising to observe how nearly they are and many seem of opinion that the reli- agreed. It may, we believe, be demongious liberty enjoyed there has led to the al- strated that among the evangelical commost indefinite creation of different reli- munions in the United States, numerous gious communions. This requires a little as they are, there is as much real harmony examination.
of doctrine, if not of church economy, as No doubt absolute religious liberty will could be found in the evangelical churches ever be attended with a considerable sub- of the first three centuries. division of the religious world into sects. Indeed, as we before remarked, by groupMen will ever differ in their
views respect- ing the former in families, according to ing doctrine and church order, and it is to their great distinctive features, we at once be expected that such differences will re- reduce them to four, or at most five. Thus sult in the formation of distinct ecclesias- the Presbyterians, commonly so called, of tical communions. In the absence of re- the Old and New Schools, the Congregaligious liberty matters may be much other- tionalists, the Dutch and German Reformwise, but how far for the better a little con- ed, the Scotch Secession churches,* and, sideration will show. People in that case we may add, the Lutherans and Cumbermay be constrained to acquiesce, ostensi- land Presbyterians, form but one great bly at least, in one certain ecclesiastical Presbyterian family, composed of elder and organization, and in certain modes of faith younger members, all of them essentially and worship sanctioned and established by Presbyterian in church polity, and very law. But such acquiescence, it is well nearly coinciding, at bottom, in their doc. known, instead of being real and cordial, is trinal views. Between several of these often merely external and constrained ; communions there subsists a most intimate and if so, its worthlessness is certain and fraternal intercourse, and the ministers of palpable.
one find no difficulty in entering the service But as respects the evangelical commu- of another without being re-ordained. nions in the United States, it must have Again, between the different evangelical struck the reader that this multiplicity has Baptist sects there is no really essential or mainly arisen, not so much from the abuse of religious liberty by the indulgence of a * An effort is now making, which promises to be capricious and sectarian spirit, as from the successful, to unite all the Scottish Secession church
es in one body. This coalescence of churches holdvarious quarters from which the country ing similar doctrines and maintaining similar orgahas been colonized. Coming in large num-nizations may be expected to occur often.
important difference; and the same may and directs their movements, all is systebe sạid of the Methodists. Indeed, the matic order where the uninitiated sees noevangelical Christians of the United States thing but confusion. Momentary collisexhibit a most remarkable coincidence of ions, it is true, may sometimes happenviews on all important points. On all doc- there may be jostling and irritation occatrines necessary to salvation-the sum of sionally-yet they all fulfil their appointed which is “repentance towards God,” and parts and discharge their appropriate du*faith towards our Lord Jesus Christ"—ties. So is it with the “sacramental host there is really no diversity of opinion at all. of God's elect." Of this I may now give a most decisive No doubt this multiplication of sects is proof.
attended with serious evils, especially in the I have already spoken of the American new and thinly-peopled settlements. It oftSunday-school Union. Among the lay- en renders the churches small and feeble. men who compose its Board of Directors, But this is an evil that diminishes with the are to be found members of all the main increase of the population. With a zealous branches of the evangelical Protestant and capable ministry the truth gains ground, Church — Episcopalians, Congregational- the people are gathered into churches, conists, Baptists, Presbyterians, Lutherans, gregations increase in numbers and consistDutch and German Reformed, Methodists, ency, and though weak ones are occasionQuakers, and Moravians. It publishes a ally dissolved, the persons who composed great many books for Sunday-school libra- them either going into other evangelical ries every year, none, of course, being ad- churches, or emigrating to other parts of mitted the contents of which are likely to the country, such as maintain their ground give offence to any member of the Board, become only the stronger; and it often hapor repugnant to the peculiarities of any of pens, particularly in the rural districts, that the religious bodies represented at it. In the number of sects diminishes while the the summer of 1841 the Rev. Dr. Hodge, a population increases. professor in the Princeton theological sem- Great, however, as may be the disadvaninary, was requested by its committee of tages resulting from this multiplicity of publications to write a book exhibiting the different communions, were they all regreat doctrines of the Gospel as held by all duced to one or two, we apprehend still evangelical Christians. This he did to the worse evils would follow. Diversity on entire satisfaction, not only of the Board, non-essential points among the churches but I believe I may say of all evangelical and ministers of a neighbourhood often Christians throughout the land that have gives opportunity to those who reside in it read his work. It is appropriately entitled to attend the services and ministrations “ The Way of Life ;" the subjects are the which each finds most edifying, instead of Scriptures; sin; justification; faith; repent- being reduced to the sad alternative of ance; profession of religion; and holy liv- either joining in forms of worship which ing; under which several heads the funda- they conscientiously disapprove, and of mental doctrines of the Gospel are present- listening to a minister whom they find uned in an able and yet most simple and famil- edifying, or of abstaining from public woriar manner. It is a work, in short, which ship altogether. Rather than this, it is surenone can read without surprise and delightly far better to bear the expense of having at observing the vast extent and fulness
of two or three churches in a community, for the system of Truth, in which all evangel- which, looking only at the mere amount ical communions are agreed.
of population, one might suffice. These communions, as they exist in the United States, ought to be viewed as branches of one great body, even the entire visible Church of Christ in this land.
CHAPTER XIX. Whatever may have been the circumstances out of which they arose, they are but ALLEGED WANT OF HARMONY AMONG THE EVANconstituent parts of one great whole-divisions of one vast army—though each It has been often and widely stated in brigade, and even each regiment, may have Europe, on the authority of a certain class its own banner, and its own part of the field of visitants from the old World who have to occupy. And although to the inexperi- published their Travels, Tours, &c., that enced eye such an army as it moves on there is much unseemly strife among our ward against the enemy may have a con- various religious denominations. Here, I fused appearance, the different divisions of hesitate not to say, there has been much infantry being arranged separately, the ar- gross misrepresentation. No doubt our tillery interspersed, and the cavalry some- evangelical churches feel the influence of times in the front, sometimes in the rear, mutual emulation. Placed on the same and sometimes between the columns, yet great field, coming into contact with each all are in their proper places; and to the other at many points, and all deeply and mind of him who assigns them their places, conscientiously attached to their peculiar
GELICAL CHRISTIANS OF THE UNITED STATES.