« PrejšnjaNaprej »
tent, that, within twenty-five years from and other virtues made them increase in the first settlement of New-England, ves- wealth, and transformed their hills and sels of 400 tons were constructed there. valleys into a delightful land. Their comSeveral kinds of manufactures, even, be- merce soon showed itself in all seas; their gan to take root in the colonies.
manufactures gradually gained ground, It is calculated that 21,200 emigrants notwithstanding the obstacles created by had arrived in New-England alone before the jealousy of England, and, with the inthe Long Parliament met. “One hundred crease of their population, they overspread and ninety-eight ships had borne them a large extent of the space included in across the Atlantic, and the whole cost their charters. of the plantations had been 1,000,000 of Many, indeed, affect to sneer at the dollars; a great expenditure and a great founders of New England; but the sneers emigration for that age; yet, in 1832, more of ignorance and prejudice cannot detract than 50,000 persons arrived at the single from their real merits. Not that we would port of Quebec in one summer, bringing claim the praise of absolute wisdom for with them a capital exceeding 3,000,000 all that was done by the “New-England of dollars."*
Fathers.” Some of their penal laws were A great change, in this respect, took unreasonably and unjustly severe, some place during the next twenty years, em
were frivolous; some were even ridicubracing the period of the civil war, and lous.* Some of their usages were dictathe Protectorate of Oliver Cromwell and ted by false views of propriety. Nor can his son.
Not only were there few arri- it be denied that they were intolerant to vals of emigrants during that interval, but those who differed from them in religion ; some fiery spirits in the colonies returned that they persecuted Quakers and Baptists, to the mother-country, eager to take part in and abhorred Roman Catholics. But all the contest waging there. This, indeed, this grew out of the erroneous views which some of the leading men in New-England they, in common with almost all the world were earnestly pressed to do by letters at that time, entertained on the rights of from both houses of Parliament, but they human conscience and the duties of civil were unwilling to abandon the duties of the government, in cases where those rights posts they occupied in the New World. are concerned. We shall see, likewise, Upon the whole, from 1640 to 1660 the that they committed some most serious population of New-England rather dimin- mistakes, resulting from the same erroneised than augmented.
ous views, in the civil establishments of But while such, during the early years religion adopted in most of the colonies. of their existence, was the temporal pros- Notwithstanding all this, they will be found perity of these colonies, not less was their to have been far in advance of other naspiritual. In 1647, New-England had for- tions of their day. ty-three churches united in one commu- With respect to their treatment of the nion; in 1650, the number of churches was native tribes, they were led into measures fifty-eight, that of communicants 7750 ; which appear harsh and unjust by the fact and in 1674, there were more than eighty of their laws being modelled upon those of English churches of Christ, composed of the Jews. Such, for example, was their known pious and faithful professors only, making slaves of those Indians whom they dispersed through the wilderness. Of these, made prisoners in war. There were cases, twelve or thirteen were in Plymouth col- | also, of individual wrong done to the Inony, forty-seven in Massachusetts and the dians. Yet never, I believe, since the province of New Hampshire, nineteen in world began, have colonies from civilized Connecticut, three in Long Island, and nations been planted among barbarous one in Martha's Vineyard.f Well might tribes with so little injustice being perpe one of her pious historians say, “It con- trated upon the whole. The land, in alcerneth New-England always to remem- most all cases where tribes remained to ber that she is a religious plantation, and dispose of it, was taken only on indemninot a plantation of trade. The profession fication being given, as they fully recogof purity of doctrine, worship, and disci- nised the right of the natives to the soil. pline, is written upon her forehead.”I The only exceptions, and these were but
The New-England colonists may have been “the poorest of the people of God in * A great deal of misrepresentation and falsehood the whole world,” and they settled in a has been published by ignorant and prejudiced perrugged country, the poorest, in fact, in sons at the expense of the New-England Puritans. natural resources of all the United States' ed" the Blue Laws of Connecticut” have appeared in
For example, pretended specimens of what are callterritories ; nevertheless, their industry the journals of certain European travellers, and have
been received by credulous transatlantic readers as * Bancroft's History of the United States, vol. i., persectly authentic. Yet the greater part of these
so-called “ laws" are the sheerest fabrications ever Prince's Christian History. Emerson's History palmed upon the world, as is shown by Professor of the First Church.
Kingsley in a note appended to his Centennial Dis# Prince, in his Christian History, p. 66.
course, delivered at New-Haven a few years ago.
few, were the cases in which the hazards living for God and promoting his kingdom of war put them in possession of some in the world. They felt that Christianity Indian territory. Nor were they indiffer- was the greatest boon that mankind can ent to the spiritual interests of those poor possess; a blessing which they were bound people. We shall yet see that for these to do their utmost to secure to their posthey did far more than was done by any terity. In going to a new continent they other colonies on the whole American con- were influenced by a double hope, the entinent, and I shall explain why they did largement of Christ's kingdom by the connot do more.
version of heathen tribes, and the foundLet us now, in conclusion, contemplate ing of an empire for their own children, for a moment the great features that mark in which His religion should gloriously the religious character of the founders of prevail. Their eyes seemed to catch some New-England, leaving our remarks on their glimpses of Messiah's universal reign, religious economy to be introduced at an- when“ all nations shall be blessed in him, other place.
and call him blessed." First, then, theirs was a religion that Fourth. Their religion prompted to great made much of the BIBLE ; I should rather examples of self-denial. Filled with the say, that to them the Bible was every- idea of an empire in which true religion thing. They not only drew their religious might live and flourish, and satisfied from principles from it, but according to it, in a what they had seen of the Old World that great degree, they fashioned their civil the Truth was in bondage there, they sighlaws. They were disposed to refer every-ed for a land in which they might serve thing "to the Law and to the Testimony” God according to his blessed Word. To And although they did not always interpret secure such a privilege to themselves and the Scriptures aright, yet no people ever their children, they were willing to go into revered them more, or studied them more a wilderness, and to toil and die. This was carefully. With them the famous motto something worth making sacrifices for, and of Chillingworth had a real meaning and much did they sacrifice to obtain it. Though application : THE BIBLE IS THE RELIGION OF poor in comparison with many others, still ProtesTANTS.
they belonged to good families, and might Second. The religion of the founders of have lived very comfortably in England; New-England was friendly to the diffusion but they preferred exile and hardship, in of knowledge, and set a high value on the hope of securing spiritual advantages learning. Many of their pastors, especial- to themselves and their posterity. ly, were men of great attainments. Not a Fifth. There was a noble patriotism in few of them had been educated at the Uni- their religion. Some of them had long versities of Oxford and Cambridge, in Eng- been exiled from England; others had land, and some, had brought with them a found their mother-country a very unkindEuropean reputation. John Cotton, John ly home, and yet England was still dear to Wilson, Thomas Hooker, Dunster, and them. With them it was not “ Farewell, Chauncey, which last two were Presidents Babylon! farewell, Rome!" but,
• Fareof the University at Cambridge, Thomas well, dear England !"* Though contempThatcher, Samuel Whiting, John Sherman, tuously treated by James I. and Charles I., John Elliot, and several more of the early yet they spoke of being desirous of " enministers, were men of great learning. All larging his majesty's dominions.” The were well instructed in theology, and thor- Plymouth settlers did not wish to remain oughly versed in Hebrew, as well as in in Holland, because “their posterity would Greek and Latin. Some, too, such as in a few generations become Dutch, and Sherman, of Watertown, were fine mathe- lose their interest in the English nation ; matical scholars. They were the friends they being desirous to enlarge his majesand correspondents of Baxter, and Howe, ty's dominions, and to live under their natand Selden, and Milton, and other lumina- ural prince." And much as they had sufries among the Puritans of England. Their fered from the prelacy of the Established regard for useful learning they amply pro- Church, unnatural stepmother as she had ved, by the establishment of schools and been to them, nothing could extinguish the academies for all the youth of the colonies, love that they felt for her, and for the many as well as for their own children. Only eight dear children of God whom she retained years after the first settlement of Massa- in her communion. chusetts colony, they founded, at a great Sixth, and last. Their religion was faexpense for men in their circumstances, vourable to liberty of conscience. Not the University of Harvard, at Cambridge, that they were all sufficiently enlightened near Boston, an institution at which, for a to bring their laws and institutions into period of more than sixty years, the most perfect accordance with that principle at distinguished men of New-England receiv- the outset ; but even then they were, in ed their academical education.
this respect, in advance of the age in which Third. Their religion was eminently fitted to enlarge men's views of the duty of * See Mather's Magnalia, b. iii., c. i., s. 12.
they lived, and the spirit of that religion | elegance of manners. Nor has time yet which had made them and their fathers, in effaced this original diversity. On the conEngland, the defenders of the rights of the trary, it has been increased and confirmed people, and their tribunes, as it were, by the continuance of slavery in the South, against the domination of the throne and which never prevailed much at any time the altar, caused them, at last, to admit the in the North, but has immensely influenced claims of conscience in their full extent. the tone of feeling and the customs of the
The Fathers of New-England were no Southern States. mean men, whether we look to themselves If the New-England colonies are chargeor to those with whom they were associ- able with having allowed their feelings to ated in England—the Lightfoots, the Gales, become alienated from a throne from the Seldens, the Miltons, the Bunyans, the which they had often been contemptuBaxters, the Bates, the Howes, the Char- ously spurned, with equal truth might nocks, the Flavels, and others of scarcely those of the South be accused of going to inferior standing among the two thousand the opposite extreme, in their attachment who had laboured in the pulpits of the Es- to a line of monarchs alike undeserving of tablished Church, but whom the Restora- their love, and incapable of appreciating tion cast out.
their generous loyalty. Such were the men who founded the We might carry the contrast still farther. New-England colonies, and their spirit still If New-England was the favourite asylum of survives, in a good measure, in their de- the Puritan Roundhead, the South became, scendants after six generations. With the in its turn, the retreat of the “ Cavalier," exception of a few thousands of recently- upon the joint subversion of the altar and arrived Irish and Germans in Boston, and the throne in his native land. And if the reother towns on the seaboard, and of the ligion of the one was strict, serious, in the descendants of those of the Huguenots regard of its enemies unfriendly to innocent who settled in New-England, that country amusements, and even morose, the other is wholly occupied by the progeny of the was the religion of the court, and of fashEnglish Puritans who first colonized it. ionable life, and did not require so uncomBut these are not the whole of their de- promising a resistance “to the lust of the scendants in. America ; for besides the Aesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of 2,234,202 souls forming the population of life.” the six New-England States in 1840, it is Not that from this parallelism, which is supposed that an equal, if not a still greater necessarily general, the reader is to infer number, have emigrated to New York, the that the Northern colonies had exclusive northern parts of Ohio, Indiana, and Illi- claims to be considered as possessing a nois, and into all parts of Michigan and truly religious character. All that is meant Wisconsin, carrying with them, in a large is to give a general idea of the different measure, the spirit and the institutions of aspects which religion bore in the one and their glorious ancestors. Descendants of the other. the Puritans are also to be found scattered Virginia was the first in point of date, as. over all parts of the United States, and we have already stated, of all the colonies. many of them prove a great blessing to Among its neighbours in the South it the neighbo hoods in which they reside. was what Massachusetts was in the North
How wonderful, then, was the mission —the mother, in some sense, of the rest, of the founders of New-England ! How and the dominant colony. Not that the gloriously accomplished! How rich in its others were planted chiefly from it, but beresults !
cause, from the prominence of its position, the amount of its population, and their intelligence and wealth, it acquired
from the first a preponderating influence CHAPTER V.
which it retains as a state to this day.
The records of Virginia furnish indubitaRELIGIOUS CHARACTER OF THE
ble evidence that it was meant to be a Christian colony. The charter enjoined
that the mode of worship should conform Widely different in character, I have al- to that of the Established Church of Engready remarked, were the early colonists land. In 1619, for the first time, Virginia of the Southern from those of the Northern had a Legislature chosen by the people ; States. If New-England may be regarded and by an act of that body, the Episcopal as colonized by the Anglo-Saxon race, Church was, properly speaking, establishwith its simpler manners, its equal insti- ed. In the following year the number of tutions, and its love of liberty, the South boroughs erected into parishes was eleven, may be said to have been colonized by and the number of pastors five, the populamen very much Norman in blood, aristo- tion at the time being considerably under cractic in feeling and spirit, and pretend- 3000. In 1621-22, it was enacted that the ing to superior dignity of demeanour and clergy should receive from their parishion:
ers 1500 pounds of tobacco and sixteen at the instance of their treasurer, Sir Edbarrels of corn each as their yearly salary, win Sandys, the Company granted 10,000 estimated to be worth, in all, £200. Every acres to be laid off for the new “ Univermale colonist of the age of sixteen or up- sity of Henrico;" the original design being ward was required to pay ten pounds of at the same time extended, by its being retobacco and one bushel of corn.
solved that the institution should be for the The Company under whose auspices Vir- education of the English as well as the ginia was colonized seems to have been Indians. Much interest was felt throughinfluenced by a sincere desire to make the out England in the success of this underplantation a means of propagating the taking. The Bishop of London gave £1000 knowledge of the Gospel among the Indi- towards its accomplishment, and an anonans. A few years after the first settlement ymous contributor £500 exclusively for was made, in the body of their instructions the education of the Indian youth. It had they particularly urged upon the governor warm friends in Virginia also. The minand Assembly "the using of all probable ister of Henrico, the Rev. Mr. Bargave, means of bringing over the natives to a gave his library, and the inhabitants of the love of civilization, and to the love of God place subscribed £1500 to build a hosteland his true religion.” They recommend ry for the entertainment of strangers and ed the colonists to hire the natives as la- visiters.* Preparatory to the college or bourers, with the view of familiarizing them university, it was proposed that a school to civilized life, and thus to bring them should be established at St. Charles's City, gradually to the knowledge of Christianity, to be called the East India School, from that they might be employed as instru- the first donation towards its endowment ments “in the general conversion of their having been contributed by the master and countrymen, so much desired." It was crew of an East Indiaman on its return to likewise recommended “that each town, England. borough, and hundred should procure, by But the whole project received its death
just means, a certain number of Indian blow by the frightful massacre perpetrated children, to be brought up in the first ele- by the Indians on the 22d of March, 1622, ments of literature; that the most toward- when, in one hour, 347 men, women, and ly of these should be fitted for the college, children were slaughtered, without distincin building of which they purposed to pro- tion of sex or age, and at a tiine, too, when ceed as soon as any profit arose from the the Indians professed perfect friendship, estate appropriated to that use; and they For four years, nevertheless, they had earnestly required their earnest help and been maturing their plan, had enlisted thirfurtherance in that pious and important ty tribes in a plot to extirpate the English, work, not doubting the particular blessing and might have succeeded in doing so but of God upon the colony, and being assured for the fidelity of a converted Indian named of the love of all good men upon that ac- Chanco. The minds of the colonists were
still farther estranged from the idea of Even the first charter assigns as one of providing a college for the Indian youth by the reasons for the grant, that the contem- the long and disastrous war that followed. plated undertaking was "a work which At a much later date a college for the edmay, by the providence of Almighty God, ucation of the colonial youth was estabhereafter tend to the glory of His Divine lished at Williamsburg, which was for a Majesty, in the propagating of the Chris- long time the capital of the colony.† tian religion to such people as yet live in
# Holmes's Annals, p. 173. darkness and miserable ignorance of the
† This was the College of William and Mary, estrue knowledge and worship of God.”+ tablished in 1693, and, in the order of time, the sec
The Company seem early to have felt ond that was founded in the colonies. It'owed its the importance of promoting education in existence, under God, to the great and long-continthe colony. Probably at their solicita.
ued exertions of the Rev. Dr. Blair. It ought to be
mentioned, that in the former part of the last centution, the king issued letters to the bishops ry a number of Indian youths were educated at it. throughout England, directing collections The celebrated Robert Boyle presented it with a to be made for building a college in Vir- sum of money to be applied to the education of the ginia. The object was at first stated to be Indian tribes. At first, efforts were made to procure the training up and educating infidel (hea- war by some victorious tribe; but during the admin
for this purpose children who had been taken in then) children in the true knowledge of istration of Sir Alexander Spottswood, which comGod."I Nearly £1500 had already been menced in 1710, that plan was relinquished for a far collected, and Henrico had been selected better. The governor went in person to the tribes as the best situation for the building, when, to the school, and had the gratification of seeing
in the interior to engage them to send their children
some arrive from a distance of four hundred miles in * Burk's “ History of Virginia,” p. 225, 226. compliance with his request. He also, at his own
+ 1 Charter.-1. Hazzard's State Papers, 51. This expense, established and supported a preparatory work of the late Mr. H. contains all the charters school on the frontiers, at which Indian lads might
granted by the sovereigns of England for promoting be prepared for the college without being too far recolonization in America.
moved from their parents.—See Beverly's “ History Stith's “History of Virginia," p. 162, 163. of Virginia."
In proportion as the population began worship was at one time required under to spread along the large and beautiful severe penalties ; nay, even the sacramentstreams that flow from the Alleghany al services of the Church were rendered Mountains into the Chesapeake Bay, more obligatory by law. Dissenters, Quakers, parishes were legally constituted, so that and Roman Catholics were prohibited in 1722 there were fifty-four, some very from settling in the province. People of large, others of moderate extent, in the every name entering the colony, without twenty-nine counties of the colony. Their having been Christians in the countries size depended much on the number of they came from, were condemned to slatitheable inhabitants within a certain dis- very. Shocking barbarity! the reader will trict. Each parish had a convenient justly exclaim; yet these very laws prove church built of stone, brick, or wood, and how deep and strong, though turbid and many of the larger ones had also chapels dark, ran the tide of religious feeling among of ease, so that the places of public wor- the people. As has been justly remarked, ship were not less than seventy in all. To “ If they were not wise Christians, they each parish church there was a parsonage were at least strenuous religionists." attached, and likewise, in almost all cases, I have said enough to show that, in the a glebe of 250 acres and a small stock of colonization of Virginia, religion was far cattle. But not more than about half, from being considered as a matter of no probably, of these established churches importance; its influence, on the contrary, were provided with ministers ; in the rest was deemed essential to national as well the services were conducted by lay read- as individual prosperity and happiness. ers, or occasionally by neighbouring cler- Maryland, we have seen, though origigymen. When the war of the Revolution nally a part of Virginia, was planted by commenced there were ninety-five parish- Lord Baltimore, as a refuge for persecues, and at least a hundred clergymen of ted Roman Catholics. When the first of the Established Church.
its colonists landed in 1634, under the guiWe shall yet have occasion to speak of dance of Leonard Calvert, son of that nothe Church establishment in Virginia, and bleman, on an island in the Potomac, they its influence upon the interests of reli- took possession of the province “for their gion, as well as of the character of the Saviour,” as well as for “their lord the clergy there during the colonial period. I king.” They planted their colony on the cannot, however, forbear saying, that al- broad basis of toleration for all Christian though the greater number of the estab-sects, and in this noble spirit the governlished ministers seem, at that epoch, to ment was conducted for fifty years. Think have been very poorly qualified for their what we may of their creed, and very dif-great work, others were an ornament to ferent as was this policy from what Ro-their calling. I may mention as belong-manism elsewhere might have led us to ing to early times the names of the Rev. expect, we cannot refuse to Lord BaltiRobert Hunt and the Rev. Alexander Whit- more's colony the praise of having estabaker. The former of these accompanied lished the first government in inodern the first settlers, preached the first Eng- times, in which entire toleration was lish sermon ever heard on the American granted to all denominations of Chriscontinent, and by his calm and judicious tians; this too, at a time when the Newcounsels, his exemplary conduct, and his England Puritans could hardly bear with faithful ministrations, rendered most im- one another, much less with “papists ;" portant services to the infant colony. The when the zealots of Virginia held both latter was justly styled “ the Apostle of “papists” and “Dissenters” in nearly equal Virginia.” At a later period, we find, abhorrence; and when, in fact, toleration among other worthies, the Rev. James was not considered in any part of the ProtBlair, whose indefatigable exertions in the estant world to be due to Roman Catholics.. cause of religion and education rank him After being thus avowed at the outset, tolamong the greatest benefactors of Ameri-eration was renewed in 1649, when, by the
Nor were there laymen wanting death of Charles I., the government in among those who had the cause of God at England was about to pass into the hands heart. Mo an Morgan, in particular, was of the extreme opponents of the Roman greatly blessed in his endeavours to sus- Catholics, “And whereas the enforcing tain the spirit of piety, by founding church- of the conscience in matters of religion,” es and otherwise, more especially in the such is the language of their statute, northern part of the Great Valley. In la- " hath frequently fallen out to be of danter times Virginia has produced many illus- gerous consequence in those commontrious men, not only in the Episcopal, but wealths where it has been practised, and.. in almost every other denomination of for the more quiet and peaceable governChristians.
ment of this province, and the better to In point of intolerance, the Legislature of preserve mutual love and amity among the Virginia equalled, if it did not exceed, that inhabitants, no person within this province. of Massachusetts. Attendance at parish professing to believe in Jesus Christ shall