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Title: A History of American Christianity
Author: Bacon, Leonard Woolsey, 1830-1907
Language: English
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*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "A History of American Christianity" ***

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      Greek words in this text have been transliterated and placed
      between +marks+.

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      A list of corrections made is at the end of the text.

The American Church History Series

Consisting of a Series of Denominational Histories Published Under the
Auspices of the American Society of Church History

General Editors

RT. REV. H. C. POTTER, D. D., LL. D.
REV. E. J. WOLF, D. D.

Volume XIII

American Church History




New York
The Christian Literature Co.
Copyright, 1897, by
The Christian Literature Co.



     Purpose of the long concealment of America, 1. A medieval
     church in America, 2. Revival of the Catholic Church, 3,
     especially in Spain, 4, 5.

CHAP. II.--SPANISH CHRISTIANITY IN AMERICA                          6-15

     Vastness and swiftness of the Spanish conquests, 6. Conversion
     by the sword, 7. Rapid success and sudden downfall of missions
     in Florida, 9. The like story in New Mexico, 12, and in
     California, 14.

CHAP. III.--FRENCH CHRISTIANITY IN AMERICA                         16-29

     Magnificence of the French scheme of western empire, 16.
     Superior dignity of the French missions, 19. Swift expansion
     of them, 20. Collision with the English colonies, and triumph
     of France, 21. Sudden and complete failure of the French
     church, 23. Causes of failure: (1) Dependence on royal
     patronage, 24. (2) Implication in Indian feuds, 25. (3)
     Instability of Jesuit efforts, 26. (4) Scantiness of French
     population, 27. Political aspect of French missions, 28.
     Recent French Catholic immigration, 29.


     Controversies and parties in Europe, 31, and especially in
     England, 32. Disintegration of Christendom, 34. New experiment
     of church life, 35. Persecutions promote emigration, 36, 37.


     The Rev. Robert Hunt, chaplain to the Virginia colony, 38.
     Base quality of the emigration, 39. Assiduity in religious
     duties, 41. Rev. Richard Buck, chaplain, 42. Strict Puritan
     régime of Sir T. Dale and Rev. A. Whitaker, 43. Brightening
     prospects extinguished by massacre, 48. Dissolution of the
     Puritan "Virginia Company" by the king, 48. Puritan ministers
     silenced by the royal governor, Berkeley, 49. The governor's
     chaplain, Harrison, is converted to Puritan principles, 49.
     Visit of the Rev. Patrick Copland, 50. Degradation of church
     and clergy, 51. Commissary Blair attempts reform, 52.
     Huguenots and Scotch-Irish, 53.

CHAP. VI.--MARYLAND AND THE CAROLINAS                              54-67

     George Calvert, Lord Baltimore, 54; secures grant of Maryland,
     55. The second Lord Baltimore organizes a colony on the basis
     of religious liberty, 56. Success of the two Jesuit priests,
     57. Baltimore restrains the Jesuits, 58, and encourages the
     Puritans, 59. Attempt at an Anglican establishment, 61.
     Commissary Bray, 61. Tardy settlement of the Carolinas, 62. A
     mixed population, 63. Success of Quakerism, 65. American
     origin of English missionary societies, 66.


     Faint traces of religious life in the Dutch settlements, 69.
     Pastors Michaelius, Bogardus, and Megapolensis, 70. Religious
     liberty, diversity, and bigotry, 72. The Quakers persecuted,
     73. Low vitality of the Dutch colony, 75. Swedish colony on
     the Delaware, 76; subjugated by the Dutch, 77. The Dutch
     evicted by England, 78. The Dutch church languishes, 79.
     Attempts to establish Anglicanism, 79. The S. P. G., 80.

CHAP. VIII.--THE CHURCH IN NEW ENGLAND                            82-108

     Puritan and Separatist, 82. The Separatists of Scrooby, 83.
     Mutual animosity of the two parties, 84. Spirit of John
     Robinson, 85. The "social compact" of the Pilgrims, in state,
     87; and in church, 88. Feebleness of the Plymouth colony, 89.
     The Puritan colony at Salem, 90. Purpose of the colonists, 91.
     Their right to pick their own company, 92. Fellowship with the
     Pilgrims, 93. Constituting the Salem church, and ordination of
     its ministers, 95. Expulsion of schismatics, 97. Coming of the
     great Massachusetts colony bringing the charter, 98. The New
     England church polity, 99. Nationalism of the Puritans, 100.
     Dealings with Roger Williams, Mrs. Hutchinson, and the
     Quakers, 101. Diversities among the colonies, 102. Divergences
     of opinion and practice in the churches, 103. Variety of sects
     in Rhode Island, 106, with mutual good will, 107. Lapse of the
     Puritan church-state, 108.

CHAP. IX.--THE MIDDLE COLONIES AND GEORGIA                       109-126

     Dutch, Puritan, Scotch, and Quaker settlers in New Jersey,
     109. Quaker corporation and government, 110. Quaker reaction
     from Puritanism, 113. Extravagance and discipline, 114.
     Quakerism in continental Europe, 115. Penn's "Holy
     Experiment," 116. Philadelphia founded, 117. German sects,
     118. Keith's schism, and the mission of the "S. P. G.," 119.
     Lutheran and Reformed Germans, 120. Scotch-Irish, 121.
     Georgia, 122. Oglethorpe's charitable scheme, 123. The
     Salzburgers, the Moravians, and the Wesleys, 124. George
     Whitefield, 126.

CHAP. X.--THE EVE OF THE GREAT AWAKENING                         127-154

     Fall of the New England theocracy, 128. Dissent from the
     "Standing Order": Baptist, 130; Episcopalian, 131. In New
     York: the Dutch church, 134; the English, 135; the
     Presbyterian, 136. New Englanders moving west, 137. Quakers,
     Huguenots, and Palatines, 139. New Jersey: Frelinghuysen and
     the Tennents, 141. Pennsylvania: successes and failures of
     Quakerism, 143. The southern colonies: their established
     churches, 148; the mission of the Quakers, 149. The gospel
     among the Indians, 150. The church and slavery, 151.

CHAP. XI.--THE GREAT AWAKENING                                   155-180

     Jonathan Edwards at Northampton, 156. An Awakening, 157.
     Edwards's "Narrative" in America and England, 159. Revivals in
     New Jersey and Pennsylvania, 160. Apostolate of Whitefield,
     163. Schism of the Presbyterian Church, 166. Whitefield in New
     England, 168. Faults and excesses of the evangelists, 169.
     Good fruits of the revival, 173. Diffusion of Baptist
     principles, 173. National religious unity, 175. Attitude of
     the Episcopal Church, 177. Zeal for missions, 179.

CHAP. XII.--CLOSE OF THE COLONIAL ERA                            181-207

     Growth of the New England theology, 181. Watts's Psalms, 182.
     Warlike agitations, 184. The Scotch-Irish immigration, 186.
     The German immigration, 187. Spiritual destitution, 188.
     Zinzendorf, 189. Attempt at union among the Germans, 190.
     Alarm of the sects, 191. Mühlenberg and the Lutherans, 191.
     Zinzendorf and the Moravians, 192. Schlatter and the Reformed,
     195. Schism made permanent, 197. Wesleyan Methodism, 198.
     Francis Asbury, 200. Methodism gravitates southward and grows
     apace, 201. Opposition of the church to slavery, 203; and to
     intemperance, 205. Project to introduce bishops from England,
     resisted in the interest of liberty, 206.

CHAP. XIII.--RECONSTRUCTION                                      208-229

     Distraction and depression after the War of Independence, 208.
     Forlorn condition of the Episcopalians, 210. Their republican
     constitution, 211. Episcopal consecration secured in Scotland
     and in England, 212. Feebleness of American Catholicism, 214.
     Bishop Carroll, 215. "Trusteeism," 216. Methodism becomes a
     church, 217. Westward movement of Christianity, 219. Severance
     of church from state, 221. Doctrinal divisions; Calvinist and
     Arminian, 222. Unitarianism, 224. Universalism, 225. Some
     minor sects, 228.

CHAP. XIV.--THE SECOND AWAKENING                                 230-245

     Ebb-tide of spiritual life, 230. Depravity and revival at the
     West, 232. The first camp-meetings, 233. Good fruits, 237.
     Nervous epidemics, 239. The Cumberland Presbyterians, 241. The
     antisectarian sect of The Disciples, 242. Revival at the East,
     242. President Dwight, 243.

CHAP. XV.--ORGANIZED BENEFICENCE                                 246-260

     Missionary spirit of the revival, 246. Religious earnestness
     in the colleges, 247. Mills and his friends at Williamstown,
     248; and at Andover, 249. The Unitarian schism in
     Massachusetts, 249. New era of theological seminaries, 251.
     Founding of the A. B. C. F. M., 252; of the Baptist Missionary
     Convention, 253. Other missionary boards, 255. The American
     Bible Society, 256. Mills, and his work for the West and for
     Africa, 256. Other societies, 258. Glowing hopes of the
     church, 259.

CHAP. XVI.--CONFLICTS WITH PUBLIC WRONGS                         261-291

     Working of the voluntary system of church support, 261.
     Dueling, 263. Crime of the State of Georgia against the
     Cherokee nation, implicating the federal government, 264.
     Jeremiah Evarts and Theodore Frelinghuysen, 267. Unanimity of
     the church, North and South, against slavery, 268. The
     Missouri Compromise, 270. Antislavery activity of the church,
     at the East, 271; at the West, 273; at the South, 274.
     Difficulty of antislavery church discipline, 275. The southern
     apostasy, 277. Causes of the sudden revolution of sentiment,
     279. Defections at the North, and rise of a pro-slavery party,
     282. The Kansas-Nebraska Bill; solemn and unanimous protest of
     the clergy of New England and New York, 284. Primeval
     temperance legislation, 285. Prevalence of drunkenness, 286.
     Temperance reformation a religious movement, 286. Development
     of "the saloon," 288. The Washingtonian movement and its
     drawbacks, 289. The Prohibition period, 290.


     Dissensions in the Presbyterian Church, 292. Growing strength
     of the New England element, 293. Impeachments of heresy, 294.
     Benevolent societies, 295. Sudden excommunication of nearly
     one half of the church by the other half, 296. Heresy and
     schism among Unitarians: Emerson, 298; and Parker, 300.
     Disruption, on the slavery question, of the Methodists, 301;
     and of the Baptists, 303. Resuscitation of the Episcopal
     Church, 304. Bishop Hobart and a High-church party, 306. Rapid
     growth of this church, 308. Controversies in the Roman
     Catholic Church, 310. Contention against Protestant
     fanaticism, 312.

CHAP. XVIII.--THE GREAT IMMIGRATION                              315-339

     Expansion of territory and increase of population in the early
     part of the nineteenth century, 315. Great volume of
     immigration from 1840 on, 316. How drawn and how driven, 316.
     At first principally Irish, then German, then Scandinavian,
     318. The Catholic clergy overtasked, 320. Losses of the
     Catholic Church, 321. Liberalized tone of American
     Catholicism, 323. Planting the church in the West, 327.
     Sectarian competitions, 328. Protestant sects and Catholic
     orders, 329. Mormonism, 335. Millerism, 336. Spiritualism,

CHAP. XIX.--THE CIVIL WAR                                        340-350

     Material prosperity, 340. The Kansas Crusade, 341. The revival
     of 1857, 342. Deepening of the slavery conflict, 345. Threats
     of war, 347. Religious sincerity of both sides, 348. The
     church in war-time, 349.

CHAP. XX.--AFTER THE CIVIL WAR                                   351-373

     Reconstructions, 351. The Catholic Church, 352. The Episcopal
     Church, 352. Persistent divisions among Methodists, Baptists,
     and Presbyterians, 353. Healing of Presbyterian schisms, 355.
     Missions at the South, 355. Vast expansion of church
     activities, 357. Great religious and educational endowments,
     359. The enlisting of personal service: The Sunday-school,
     362. Chautauqua, 363. Y. M. C. A., 364. Y. W. C. A., 366. W.
     C. T. U., 367. Women's missionary boards, 367. Nursing orders
     and schools, 368. Y. P. S. C. E., and like associations, 368.
     "The Institutional Church," 369. The Salvation Army, 370. Loss
     of "the American Sabbath," 371.


     Unfolding of the Edwardean theology, 374. Horace Bushnell,
     375. The Mercersburg theology, 377. "Bodies of divinity," 378.
     Biblical science, 378. Princeton's new dogma, 380. Church
     history, 381. The American pulpit, 382. "Applied
     Christianity," 385. Liturgics, 386. Hymns, 387. Other
     liturgical studies, 388. Church music, 391. The Moravian
     liturgies, 394. Meager productiveness of the Catholic Church,
     394. The Americanizing of the Roman Church, 396.


     Growth of the nation and national union, 398. Parallel growth
     of the church, 399; and ecclesiastical division, 400. No
     predominant sect, 401. Schism acceptable to politicians, 402;
     and to some Christians, 403. Compensations of schism, 404.
     _Nisus_ toward manifest union, 405. Early efforts at
     fellowship among sects, 406. High-church protests against
     union, 407. The Evangelical Alliance, 408. Fellowship in
     non-sectarian associations, 409. Cooperation of leading sects
     in Maine, 410. Various unpromising projects of union: I. Union
     on sectarian basis, 411. II. Ecumenical sects, 412. III.
     Consolidation of sects, 413. The hope of manifested unity,
     416. Conclusion, 419.




The heroic discovery of America, at the close of the fifteenth century
after Christ, has compelled the generous and just admiration of the
world; but the grandeur of human enterprise and achievement in the
discovery of the western hemisphere has a less claim on our admiration
than that divine wisdom and controlling providence which, for reasons
now manifested, kept the secret hidden through so many millenniums, in
spite of continual chances of disclosure, until the fullness of time.

How near, to "speak as a fool," the plans of God came to being defeated
by human enterprise is illustrated by unquestioned facts. The fact of
medieval exploration, colonization, and even evangelization in North
America seems now to have emerged from the region of fanciful conjecture
into that of history. That for four centuries, ending with the
fifteenth, the church of Iceland maintained its bishops and other
missionaries and built its churches and monasteries on the frozen coast
of Greenland is abundantly proved by documents and monuments. Dim but
seemingly unmistakable traces are now discovered of enterprises, not
only of exploration and trade, but also of evangelization, reaching
along the mainland southward to the shores of New England. There are
vague indications that these beginnings of Christian civilization were
extinguished, as in so many later instances, by savage massacre. With
impressive coincidence, the latest vestige of this primeval American
Christianity fades out in the very year of the discovery of America by

By a prodigy of divine providence, the secret of the ages had been kept
from premature disclosure during the centuries in which, without knowing
it, the Old World was actually in communication with the New. That was
high strategy in the warfare for the advancement of the kingdom of God
in the earth. What possibilities, even yet only beginning to be
accomplished, were thus saved to both hemispheres! If the discovery of
America had been achieved four centuries or even a single century
earlier, the Christianity to be transplanted to the western world would
have been that of the church of Europe at its lowest stage of decadence.
The period closing with the fifteenth century was that of the dense
darkness that goes before the dawn. It was a period in which the
lingering life of the church was chiefly manifested in feverish
complaints of the widespread corruption and outcries for "reformation of
the church in head and members." The degeneracy of the clergy was
nowhere more manifest than in the monastic orders, that had been
originally established for the express purpose of reviving and purifying
the church. That ancient word was fulfilled, "Like people, like priest."
But it was especially in the person of the foremost official
representative of the religion of Jesus Christ that that religion was
most dishonored. The fifteenth century was the era of the infamous
popes. By another coincidence which arrests the attention of the reader
of history, that same year of the discovery by Columbus witnessed the
accession of the most infamous of the series, the Borgia, Alexander VI.,
to his short and shameful pontificate.

Let it not be thought, as some of us might be prone to think, that the
timeliness of the discovery of the western hemisphere, in its relation
to church history, is summed up in this, that it coincided with the
Protestant Reformation, so that the New World might be planted with a
Protestant Christianity. For a hundred years the colonization and
evangelization of America were, in the narrowest sense of that large
word, Catholic, not Protestant. But the Catholicism brought hither was
that of the sixteenth century, not of the fifteenth. It is a most
one-sided reading of the history of that illustrious age which fails to
recognize that the great Reformation was a reformation _of_ the church
as well as a reformation _from_ the church. It was in Spain itself, in
which the corruption of the church had been foulest, but from which all
symptoms of "heretical pravity" were purged away with the fiercest zeal
as fast as they appeared,--in Spain under the reign of Ferdinand and
Isabella the Catholic,--that the demand for a Catholic reformation made
itself earliest and most effectually felt. The highest ecclesiastical
dignitary of the realm, Ximenes, confessor to the queen, Archbishop of
Toledo, and cardinal, was himself the leader of reform. No changes in
the rest of Christendom were destined for many years to have so great
an influence on the course of evangelization in North America as those
which affected the church of Spain; and of these by far the most
important in their bearing on the early course of Christianity in
America were, first, the purifying and quickening of the miserably
decayed and corrupted mendicant orders,--ever the most effective arm in
the missionary service of the Latin Church,--and, a little later, the
founding of the Society of Jesus, with its immense potency for good and
for evil. At the same time the court of Rome, sobered in some measure,
by the perilous crisis that confronted it, from its long orgy of simony,
nepotism, and sensuality, began to find time and thought for spiritual
duties. The establishment of the "congregations" or administrative
boards, and especially of the _Congregatio de Propaganda Fide_, or board
of missions, dates chiefly from the sixteenth century. The revived
interest in theological study incident to the general spiritual
quickening gave the church, as the result of the labors of the Council
of Trent, a well-defined body of doctrine, which nevertheless was not so
narrowly defined as to preclude differences and debates among the
diverse sects of the clergy, by whose competitions and antagonisms the
progress of missions both in Christian and in heathen lands was destined
to be so seriously affected.

An incident of the Catholic Reformation of the sixteenth
century--inevitable incident, doubtless, in that age, but none the less
deplorable--was the engendering or intensifying of that cruel and
ferocious form of fanaticism which is defined as the combination of
religious emotion with the malignant passions. The tendency to
fanaticism is one of the perils attendant on the deep stirring of
religious feeling at any time; it was especially attendant on the
religious agitations of that period; but most of all it was in Spain,
where, of all the Catholic nations, corruption had gone deepest and
spiritual revival was most earnest and sincere, that the manifestations
of fanaticism were most shocking. Ferdinand and Isabella the Catholic
were distinguished alike by their piety and their part in the promotion
of civilization, and by the horrors of bloody cruelty perpetrated by
their authority and that of the church, at the instigation of the
sincere and devout reformer Ximenes. In the memorable year 1492 was
inaugurated the fiercest work of the Spanish Inquisition, concerning
which, speaking of her own part in it, the pious Isabella was able
afterward to say, "For the love of Christ and of his virgin mother I
have caused great misery, and have depopulated towns and districts,
provinces and kingdoms."

The earlier pages of American church history will not be intelligently
read unless it is well understood that the Christianity first to be
transplanted to the soil of the New World was the Christianity of
Spain--the Spain of Isabella and Ximenes, of Loyola and Francis Xavier
and St. Theresa, the Spain also of Torquemada and St. Peter Arbues and
the zealous and orthodox Duke of Alva.


[2:1] See the account of the Greenland church and its missions in
Professor O'Gorman's "History of the Roman Catholic Church in the United
States" (vol. ix. of the American Church History Series), pp. 3-12.



It is a striking fact that the earliest monuments of colonial and
ecclesiastical antiquity within the present domain of the United States,
after the early Spanish remains in Florida, are to be found in those
remotely interior and inaccessible highlands of New Mexico, which have
only now begun to be reached in the westward progress of migration.
Before the beginnings of permanent English colonization at Plymouth and
at Jamestown, before the French beginnings on the St. Lawrence, before
the close of the sixteenth century, there had been laid by Spanish
soldiers, adventurers, and missionaries, in those far recesses of the
continent, the foundations of Christian towns and churches, the stately
walls and towers of which still invite the admiration of the traveler.

The fact is not more impressive than it is instructive. It illustrates
the prodigious impetuosity of that tide of conquest which within so few
years from the discovery of the American continents not only swept over
the regions of South and Central America and the great plateau of
Mexico, but actually occupied with military posts, with extensive and
successful missions, and with a colonization which seemed to show every
sign of stability and future expansion, by far the greater part of the
present domain of the United States exclusive of Alaska--an
ecclesiastico-military empire stretching its vast diameter from the
southernmost cape of Florida across twenty-five parallels of latitude
and forty-five meridians of longitude to the Strait of Juan de Fuca. The
lessons taught by this amazingly swift extension of the empire and the
church, and its arrest and almost extinction, are legible on the surface
of the history. It is a strange, but not unparalleled, story of
attempted coöperation in the common service of God and Mammon and
Moloch--of endeavors after concord between Christ and Belial.

There is no reason to question the sincerity with which the rulers of
Spain believed themselves to be actuated by the highest motives of
Christian charity in their terrible and fatal American policy. "The
conversion of the Indians is the principal foundation of the
conquest--that which ought principally to be attended to." So wrote the
king in a correspondence in which a most cold-blooded authorization is
given for the enslaving of the Indians.[7:1] After the very first voyage
of Columbus every expedition of discovery or invasion was equipped with
its contingent of clergy--secular priests as chaplains to the Spaniards,
and friars of the regular orders for mission work among the Indians--at
cost of the royal treasury or as a charge upon the new conquests.

This subsidizing of the church was the least serious of the injuries
inflicted on the cause of the gospel by the piety of the Spanish
government. That such subsidizing is in the long run an injury is a
lesson illustrated not only in this case, but in many parallel cases in
the course of this history. A far more dreadful wrong was the
identifying of the religion of Jesus Christ with a system of war and
slavery, well-nigh the most atrocious in recorded history. For such a
policy the Spanish nation had just received a peculiar training. It is
one of the commonplaces of history to remark that the barbarian invaders
of the Roman empire were themselves vanquished by their own victims,
being converted by them to the Christian faith. In like manner the
Spanish nation, triumphing over its Moslem subjects in the expulsion of
the Moors, seemed in its American conquests to have been converted to
the worst of the tenets of Islam. The propagation of the gospel in the
western hemisphere, under the Spanish rule, illustrated in its public
and official aspects far more the principles of Mohammed than those of
Jesus. The triple alternative offered by the Saracen or the
Turk--conversion or tribute or the sword--was renewed with aggravations
by the Christian conquerors of America. In a form deliberately drawn up
and prescribed by the civil and ecclesiastical counselors at Madrid, the
invader of a new province was to summon the rulers and people to
acknowledge the church and the pope and the king of Spain; and in case
of refusal or delay to comply with this summons, the invader was to
notify them of the consequences in these terms: "If you refuse, by the
help of God we shall enter with force into your land, and shall make war
against you in all ways and manners that we can, and subject you to the
yoke and obedience of the church and of their Highnesses; we shall take
you and your wives and your children and make slaves of them, and sell
and dispose of them as their Highnesses may command; and we shall take
away your goods, and do you all the mischief and damage that we can, as
to vassals who do not obey and refuse to receive their lord; and we
protest that the deaths and losses that shall accrue from this are your
own fault."[8:1]

While the church was thus implicated in crimes against humanity which
history shudders to record, it is a grateful duty to remember that it
was from the church also and in the name of Christ that bold protests
and strenuous efforts were put forth in behalf of the oppressed and
wronged. Such names as Las Casas and Montesinos shine with a beautiful
luster in the darkness of that age; and the Dominican order, identified
on the other side of the sea with the fiercest cruelties of the Spanish
Inquisition, is honorable in American church history for its fearless
championship of liberty and justice.

The first entrance of Spanish Christianity upon the soil of the United
States was wholly characteristic. In quest of the Fountain of Youth,
Ponce de Leon sailed for the coast of Florida equipped with forces both
for the carnal and for the spiritual warfare. Besides his colonists and
his men-at-arms, he brought his secular priests as chaplains and his
monks as missionaries; and his instructions from the crown required him
to summon the natives, as in the famous "Requerimiento," to submit
themselves to the Catholic faith and to the king of Spain, under threat
of the sword and slavery. The invaders found a different temper in the
natives from what was encountered in Mexico and Peru, where the
populations were miserably subjugated, or in the islands, where they
were first enslaved and presently completely exterminated. The insolent
invasion was met, as it deserved, by effective volleys of arrows, and
its chivalrous leader was driven back to Cuba, to die there of his

It is needless to recount the successive failures of Spanish
civilization and Christianity to get foothold on the domain now
included in the United States. Not until more than forty years after the
attempt of Ponce de Leon did the expedition of the ferocious Menendez
effect a permanent establishment on the coast of Florida. In September,
1565, the foundations of the oldest city in the United States, St.
Augustine, were laid with solemn religious rites by the toil of the
first negro slaves; and the event was signalized by one of the most
horrible massacres in recorded history, the cold-blooded and perfidious
extermination, almost to the last man, woman, and child, of a colony of
French Protestants that had been planted a few months before at the
mouth of the St. John's River.

The colony thus inaugurated seemed to give every promise of permanent
success as a center of religious influence. The spiritual work was
naturally and wisely divided into the pastoral care of the Spanish
garrisons and settlements, which was taken in charge by "secular"
priests, and the mission work among the Indians, committed to friars of
those "regular" orders whose solid organization and independence of the
episcopal hierarchy, and whose keen emulation in enterprises of
self-denial, toil, and peril, have been so large an element of strength,
and sometimes of weakness, in the Roman system. In turn, the mission
field of the Floridas was occupied by the Dominicans, the Jesuits, and
the Franciscans. Before the end of seventy years from the founding of
St. Augustine the number of Christian Indians was reckoned at
twenty-five or thirty thousand, distributed among forty-four missions,
under the direction of thirty-five Franciscan missionaries, while the
city of St. Augustine was fully equipped with religious institutions and
organizations. Grave complaints are on record, which indicate that the
great number of the Indian converts was out of all proportion to their
meager advancement in Christian grace and knowledge; but with these
indications of shortcoming in the missionaries there are honorable
proofs of diligent devotion to duty in the creating of a literature of
instruction in the barbarous languages of the peninsula.

For one hundred and fifteen years Spain and the Spanish missionaries had
exclusive possession in Florida, and it was during this period that
these imposing results were achieved. In 1680 a settlement of Scotch
Presbyterians at Port Royal in South Carolina seemed like a menace to
the Spanish domination. It was wholly characteristic of the Spanish
colony to seize the sword at once and destroy its nearest Christian
neighbor. It took the sword, and perished by the sword. The war of races
and sects thus inaugurated went on, with intervals of quiet, until the
Treaty of Paris, in 1763, transferred Florida to the British crown. No
longer sustained by the terror of the Spanish arms and by subsidies from
the Spanish treasury, the whole fabric of Spanish civilization and
Christianization, at the end of a history of almost two centuries,
tumbled at once to complete ruin and extinction.

The story of the planting of Christian institutions in New Mexico runs
parallel with the early history of Florida. Omitting from this brief
summary the first discovery of these regions by fugitives from one of
the disastrous early attempts to effect a settlement on the Florida
coast, omitting (what we would fain narrate) the stories of heroic
adventure and apostolic zeal and martyrdom which antedate the permanent
occupation of the country, we note the arrival, in 1598, of a strong,
numerous, and splendidly equipped colony, and the founding of a
Christian city in the heart of the American continent. As usual in such
Spanish enterprises, the missionary work was undertaken by a body of
Franciscan friars. After the first months of hardship and
discouragement, the work of the Christian colony, and especially the
work of evangelization among the Indians, went forward at a marvelous
rate. Reinforcements both of priests and of soldiers were received from
Mexico; by the end of ten years baptisms were reported to the number of
eight thousand; the entire population of the province was reckoned as
being within the pale of the church; not less than sixty Franciscan
friars at once were engaged in the double service of pastors and
missionaries. The triumph of the gospel and of Spanish arms seemed
complete and permanent.

Fourscore years after the founding of the colony and mission the sudden
explosion of a conspiracy, which for a long time had been secretly
preparing, revealed the true value of the allegiance of the Indians to
the Spanish government and of their conversion to Christ. Confounding in
a common hatred the missionaries and the tyrannous conquerors, who had
been associated in a common policy, the Christian Indians turned upon
their rulers and their pastors alike with undiscriminating warfare. "In
a few weeks no Spaniard was in New Mexico north of El Paso. Christianity
and civilization were swept away at one blow." The successful rebels
bettered the instruction that they had received from their rejected
pastors. The measures of compulsion that had been used to stamp out
every vestige of the old religion were put into use against the new.

The cause of Catholic Christianity in New Mexico never recovered from
this stunning blow. After twenty years the Spanish power, taking
advantage of the anarchy and depopulation of the province, had
reoccupied its former posts by military force, the missionaries were
brought back under armed protection, the practice of the ancient
religion was suppressed by the strong hand, and efforts, too often
unsuccessful, were made to win back the apostate tribes to something
more than a sullen submission to the government and the religion of
their conquerors. The later history of Spanish Christianity in New
Mexico is a history of decline and decay, enlivened by the usual
contentions between the "regular" clergy and the episcopal government.
The white population increased, the Indian population dwindled. Religion
as set forth by an exotic clergy became an object of indifference when
it was not an object of hatred. In 1845 the Bishop of Durango, visiting
the province, found an Indian population of twenty thousand in a total
of eighty thousand. The clergy numbered only seventeen priests. Three
years later the province became part of the United States.

To complete the story of the planting of Spanish Christianity within the
present boundaries of the United States, it is necessary to depart from
the merely chronological order of American church history; for, although
the immense adventurousness of Spanish explorers by sea and land had,
early in the sixteenth century, made known to Christendom the coasts and
harbors of the Californias, the beginnings of settlement and missions on
that Pacific coast date from so late as 1769. At this period the method
of such work had become settled into a system. The organization was
threefold, including (1) the garrison town, (2) the Spanish settlement,
and (3) the mission, at which the Indian neophytes were gathered under
the tutelage and strict government of the convent of Franciscan friars.
The whole system was sustained by the authority and the lavish
subventions of the Spanish government, and herein lay its strength and,
as the event speedily proved, its fatal weakness. The inert and feeble
character of the Indians of that region offered little excuse for the
atrocious cruelties that had elsewhere marked the Spanish occupation;
but the paternal kindness of the stronger race was hardly less hurtful.
The natives were easily persuaded to become by thousands the dependents
and servants of the missions. Conversion went on apace. At the end of
sixty-five years from the founding of the missions their twenty-one
stations numbered a Christian native population of more than thirty
thousand, and were possessed of magnificent wealth, agricultural and
commercial. In that very year (1834) the long-intended purpose of the
government to release the Indians from their almost slavery under the
missions, and to distribute the vast property in severalty, was put in
force. In eight years the more than thirty thousand Catholic Indians had
dwindled to less than five thousand; the enormous estates of the
missions were dissipated; the converts lapsed into savagery and

Meanwhile the Spanish population had gone on slowly increasing. In the
year 1840, seventy years from the Spanish occupancy, it had risen to
nearly six thousand; but it was a population the spiritual character of
which gave little occasion of boasting to the Spanish church. Tardy and
feeble efforts had been instituted to provide it with an organized
parish ministry, when the supreme and exclusive control of that country
ceased from the hands that so long had held it. "The vineyard was taken
away, and given to other husbandmen." In the year 1848 California was
annexed to the United States.

This condensed story of Spanish Christianity within the present
boundaries of the United States is absurdly brief compared with the vast
extent of space, the three centuries of time, and what seemed at one
time the grandeur of results involved in it. But in truth it has
strangely little connection with the extant Christianity of our country.
It is almost as completely severed from historical relation with the
church of the present day as the missions of the Greenlanders in the
centuries before Columbus. If we distinguish justly between the
Christian work and its unchristian and almost satanic admixtures, we can
join without reserve both in the eulogy and in the lament with which the
Catholic historian sums up his review: "It was a glorious work, and the
recital of it impresses us by the vastness and success of the toil. Yet,
as we look around to-day, we can find nothing of it that remains. Names
of saints in melodious Spanish stand out from maps in all that section
where the Spanish monk trod, toiled, and died. A few thousand Christian
Indians, descendants of those they converted and civilized, still
survive in New Mexico and Arizona, and that is all."[15:1]


[7:1] Helps, "Spanish Conquest in America," vol. i., p. 234, American

[8:1] Helps, "Spanish Conquest in America," vol. i., p. 235; also p.
355, where the grotesquely horrible document is given in full.

In the practical prosecution of this scheme of evangelization, it was
found necessary to the due training of the Indians in the holy faith
that they should be enslaved, whether or no. It was on this religious
consideration, clearly laid down in a report of the king's chaplains,
that the atrocious system of _encomiendas_ was founded.

[15:1] "The Roman Catholic Church in the United States," by Professor
Thomas O'Gorman (vol. ix., American Church History Series), p. 112.



For a full century, from the discovery of the New World until the first
effective effort at occupation by any other European people, the Spanish
church and nation had held exclusive occupancy of the North American
continent. The Spanish enterprises of conquest and colonization had been
carried forward with enormous and unscrupulous energy, and alongside of
them and involved with them had been borne the Spanish chaplaincies and
missions, sustained from the same treasury, in some honorable instances
bravely protesting against the atrocities they were compelled to
witness, in other instances implicated in them and sharing the bloody
profits of them. But, unquestionable as was the martial prowess of the
Spanish soldier and adventurer, and the fearless devotion of the Spanish
missionary, there appears nothing like systematic planning in all these
immense operations. The tide of conquest flowed in capricious courses,
according as it was invited by hopes of gold or of a passage to China,
or of some phantom of a Fountain of Youth or a city of Quivira or a
Gilded Man; and it seemed in general to the missionary that he could not
do else than follow in the course of conquest.

It is wholly characteristic of the French people that its entering at
last upon enterprises of colonization and missions should be with large
forecasting of the future and with the methods of a grand strategy.

We can easily believe that the famous "Bull of Partition" of Pope
Alexander VI. was not one of the hindrances that so long delayed the
beginnings of a New France in the West. Incessant dynastic wars with
near neighbors, the final throes of the long struggle between the crown
and the great vassals, and finally the religious wars that culminated in
the awful slaughter of St. Bartholomew's, and ended at the close of the
century with the politic conversion and the coronation of Henry
IV.--these were among the causes that had held back the great nation
from distant undertakings. But thoughts of great things to be achieved
in the New World had never for long at a time been absent from the minds
of Frenchmen. The annual visits of the Breton fishing-fleets to the
banks of Newfoundland kept in mind such rights of discovery as were
alleged by France, and kept attention fixed in the direction of the
great gulf and river of St. Lawrence. Long before the middle of the
sixteenth century Jacques Cartier had explored the St. Lawrence beyond
the commanding position which he named Montreal, and a royal commission
had issued, under which he was to undertake an enterprise of "discovery,
settlement, and the conversion of the Indians." But it was not till the
year 1608 that the first permanent French settlement was effected. With
the _coup d'oeil_ of a general or the foresight of a prophet,
Champlain, the illustrious first founder of French empire in America, in
1608 fixed the starting-point of it at the natural fortress of Quebec.
How early the great project had begun to take shape in the leading minds
of the nation it may not be easy to determine. It was only after the
adventurous explorations of the French pioneers, traders, and
friars--men of like boundless enthusiasm and courage--had been crowned
by the achievement of La Salle, who first of men traversed the two great
waterways of the continent from the Gulf of St. Lawrence to the Gulf of
Mexico, that the amazing possibilities of it were fully revealed. But,
whosesoever scheme it was, a more magnificent project of empire, secular
and spiritual, has never entered into the heart of man. It seems to have
been native to the American soil, springing up in the hearts of the
French pioneer explorers themselves;[18:1] but by its grandeur, and at
the same time its unity, it was of a sort to delight the souls of Sully
and Richelieu and of their masters. Under thin and dubious claims by
right of discovery, through the immense energy and daring of her
explorers, the heroic zeal of her missionaries, and not so much by the
prowess of her soldiers as by her craft in diplomacy with savage tribes,
France was to assert and make good her title to the basin of the St.
Lawrence and the lakes, and the basin of the Mississippi and the Gulf of
Mexico. From the mouth of the St. Lawrence to the mouth of the
Mississippi, through the core of the continent, was to be drawn a cordon
of posts, military, commercial, and religious, with other outlying
stations at strategic points both eastward and westward. The only
external interference with this scheme that could be apprehended at its
inception was from the Spanish colonies, already decaying and shrinking
within their boundaries to the west and to the southeast, and from a
puny little English settlement started only a year before, with a
doubtful hold on life, on the bank of the James River. A dozen years
later a pitiably feeble company of Pilgrims shall make their landing at
Plymouth to try the not hopeful experiment of living in the wilderness,
and a settlement of Swedes in Delaware and of Hollanders on the Hudson
shall be added to the incongruous, unconcerted, mutually jealous
plantations that begin to take root along the Atlantic seaboard. Not
only grandeur and sagacity of conception, but success in achievement, is
illustrated by the comparative area occupied by the three great European
powers on the continent of North America at the end of a century and a
half from the founding of Quebec in 1608. Dividing the continent into
twenty-five equal parts, the French claimed and seemed to hold firmly in
possession twenty parts, the Spanish four parts, and the English one

The comparison between the Spanish and the French methods of
colonization and missions in America is at almost every point honorable
to the French. Instead of a greedy scramble after other men's property
in gold and silver, the business basis of the French enterprises was to
consist in a widely organized and laboriously prosecuted traffic in
furs. Instead of a series of desultory and savage campaigns of conquest,
the ferocity of which was aggravated by the show of zeal for the kingdom
of righteousness and peace, was a large-minded and far-sighted scheme of
empire, under which remote and hostile tribes were to be combined by
ties of mutual interest and common advantage. And the missions, instead
of following servilely in the track of bloody conquest to assume the
tutelage of subjugated and enslaved races, were to share with the
soldier and the trader the perilous adventures of exploration, and not
so much to be supported and defended as to be themselves the support and
protection of the settlements, through the influence of Christian love
and self-sacrifice over the savage heart. Such elements of moral
dignity, as well as of imperial grandeur, marked the plans for the
French occupation of North America.

To a wonderful extent those charged with this enterprise were worthy of
the task. Among the military and civil leaders of it, from Champlain to
Montcalm, were men that would have honored the best days of French
chivalry. The energy and daring of the French explorers, whether traders
or missionaries, have not been equaled in the pioneer work of other
races. And the annals of Christian martyrdom may be searched in vain for
more heroic examples of devotion to the work of the gospel than those
which adorn the history of the French missions in North America. What
magnificent results might not be expected from such an enterprise, in
the hands of such men, sustained by the resources of the most powerful
nation and national church in Christendom!

From the founding of Quebec, in 1608, the expansion of the French
enterprise was swift and vast. By the end of fifty years Quebec had been
equipped with hospital, nunnery, seminary for the education of priests,
all affluently endowed from the wealth of zealous courtiers, and served
in a noble spirit of self-devotion by the choicest men and women that
the French church could furnish; besides these institutions, the
admirable plan of a training colony, at which converted Indians should
be trained to civilized life, was realized at Sillery, in the
neighborhood. The sacred city of Montreal had been established as a base
for missions to the remoter west. Long in advance of the settlement at
Plymouth, French Christianity was actively and beneficently busy among
the savages of eastern Maine, among the so-called "neutral nations" by
the Niagara, among the fiercely hostile Iroquois of northern New York,
by Lake Huron and Lake Nipissing, and, with wonderful tokens of success,
by the Falls of St. Mary. "Thus did the religious zeal of the French
bear the cross to the banks of the St. Mary and the confines of Lake
Superior, and look wistfully toward the homes of the Sioux in the valley
of the Mississippi, five years before the New England Eliot had
addressed the tribe of Indians that dwelt within six miles of Boston

Thirty years more passed, bringing the story down to the memorable year
1688. The French posts, military, commercial, and religious, had been
pushed westward to the head of Lake Superior. The Mississippi had been
discovered and explored, and the colonies planted from Canada along its
banks and the banks of its tributaries had been met by the expeditions
proceeding direct from France through the Gulf of Mexico. The claims of
France in America included not only the vast domain of Canada, but a
half of Maine, a half of Vermont, more than a half of New York, the
entire valley of the Mississippi, and Texas as far as the Rio Bravo del
Norte.[21:2] And these claims were asserted by actual and almost
undisputed occupancy.

The seventy years that followed were years of "storm and stress" for the
French colonies and missions. The widening areas occupied by the French
and by the English settlers brought the rival establishments into nearer
neighborhood, into sharper competition, and into bloody collision.
Successive European wars--King William's War, Queen Anne's War (of the
Spanish succession), King George's War (of the Austrian
succession)--involved the dependencies of France and those of England in
the conflicts of their sovereigns. These were the years of terror along
the exposed northern frontier of English settlements in New England and
New York, when massacre and burning by bands of savages, under French
instigation and leadership, made the names of Haverhill and Deerfield
and Schenectady memorable in American history, and when, in desperate
campaigns against the Canadian strongholds, the colonists vainly sought
to protect themselves from the savages by attacking the centers from
which the murderous forays were directed. But each successive treaty of
peace between England and France confirmed and reconfirmed the French
claims to the main part of her American domain. The advances of French
missions and settlements continued southward and westward, in spite of
jealousy in European cabinets as the imposing magnitude of the plans of
French empire became more distinctly disclosed, and in spite of the
struggles of the English colonies both North and South. When, on the 4th
of July, 1754, Colonel George Washington surrendered Fort Necessity,
near the fork of the Ohio, to the French, "in the whole valley of the
Mississippi, to its headsprings in the Alleghanies, no standard floated
but that of France."[22:1]

There seemed little reason to doubt that the French empire in America,
which for a century and a half had gone on expanding and strengthening,
would continue to expand and strengthen for centuries to come. Sudden as
lightning, in August, 1756, the Seven Years' War broke out on the other
side of the globe. The treaty with which it ended, in February, 1763,
transferred to Great Britain, together with the Spanish territory of
Florida, all the French possessions in America, from the Arctic Ocean to
the Gulf of Mexico. "As a dream when one awaketh," the magnificent
vision of empire, spiritual and secular, which for so many generations
had occupied the imagination of French statesmen and churchmen, was
rudely and forever dispelled. Of the princely wealth, the brilliant
talents, the unsurpassed audacity of adventure, the unequaled heroism of
toil and martyrdom expended on the great project, how strangely meager
and evanescent the results! In the districts of Lower Canada there
remain, indeed, the institutions of a French Catholic population; and
the aspect of those districts, in which the pledge of full liberty to
the dominant church has been scrupulously fulfilled by the British
government, may reasonably be regarded as an indication of what France
would have done for the continent in general. But within the present
domain of the United States the entire results of a century and a half
of French Catholic colonization and evangelization may be summed up as
follows: In Maine, a thousand Catholic Indians still remain, to remind
one of the time when, as it is boldly claimed, the whole Indian
population of that province were either converted or under Jesuit
training.[23:1] In like manner, a scanty score of thousands of Catholic
Indians on various reservations in the remote West represent the time
when, at the end of the French domination, "all the North American
Indians were more or less extensively converted" to Catholic
Christianity, "all had the gospel preached to them."[23:2] The splendid
fruits of the missions among the Iroquois, from soil watered by the
blood of martyrs, were wasted to nothing in savage intertribal wars.
Among the Choctaws and Chickasaws of the South and Southwest, among whom
the gospel was by and by to win some of its fairest trophies, the French
missionaries achieved no great success.[23:3] The French colonies from
Canada, planted so prosperously along the Western rivers, dispersed,
leaving behind them some straggling families. The abundant later growth
of the Catholic Church in that region was to be from other seed and
stock. The region of Louisiana alone, destined a generation later to be
included within the boundaries of the great republic, retained
organized communities of French descent and language; but, living as
they were in utter unbelief and contempt of religion and morality, it
would be an unjust reproach on Catholicism to call them Catholic. The
work of the gospel had got to be begun from the foundation. Nevertheless
it is not to be doubted that remote memories or lingering traditions of
a better age survived to aid the work of those who by and by should
enter in to rebuild the waste places.[24:1]

There are not a few of us, wise after the event, who recognize a final
cause of this surprising and almost dramatic failure, in the manifest
intent of divine Providence that the field of the next great empire in
the world's history should not become the exclusive domain of an
old-world monarchy and hierarchy; but the immediate efficient causes of
it are not so obvious. This, however, may justly be said: some of the
seeming elements of strength in the French colonization proved to be
fatal elements of weakness.

1. The French colonies had the advantage of royal patronage,
endowment,[24:2] and protection, and of unity of counsel and direction.
They were all parts of one system, under one control. And their centers
of vitality, head and heart, were on the other side of the sea.
Subsisting upon the strength of the great monarchy, they must needs
share its fortunes, evil as well as good. When, after the reverses of
France in the Seven Years' War, it became necessary to accept hard terms
of peace, the superb framework of empire in the West fell to the
disposal of the victors. "America," said Pitt, "was conquered in

2. The business basis of the French colonies, being that of trade with
the Indians rather than a self-supporting agriculture, favored the swift
expansion of these colonies and their wide influence among the Indians.
Scattered companies of fur-traders would be found here and there,
wherever were favorable points for traffic, penetrating deeply into the
wilderness and establishing friendly business relations with the
savages. It has been observed that the Romanic races show an alacrity
for intermarriage with barbarous tribes that is not to be found in the
Teutonic. The result of such relations is ordinarily less the elevating
of the lower race than the dragging down of the higher; but it tends for
the time to give great advantage in maintaining a powerful political
influence over the barbarians. Thus it was that the French, few in
number, covered almost the breadth of the continent with their
formidable alliances; and these alliances were the offensive and
defensive armor in which they trusted, but they were also their peril.
Close alliance with one savage clan involved war with its enemies. It
was an early misfortune of the French settlers that their close friendly
relations with their Huron neighbors embattled against them the
fiercest, bravest, and ablest of the Indian tribes, the confederacy of
the Six Nations, which held, with full appreciation of its strategic
importance, the command of the exits southward from the valley of the
St. Lawrence. The fierce jealousy of the Iroquois toward the allies of
their hereditary antagonists, rather than any good will toward white
settlers of other races, made them an effectual check upon French
encroachments upon the slender line of English, Dutch, and Swedish
settlements that stretched southward from Maine along the Atlantic

3. In one aspect it was doubtless an advantage to the French missions in
America that the sharp sectarian competitions between the different
clerical orders resulted finally in the missions coming almost
exclusively under the control of the Jesuit society. This result insured
to the missions the highest ability in administration and direction,
ample resources of various sorts, and a force of missionaries whose
personal virtues have won for them unstinted eulogy even from unfriendly
sources--men the ardor of whose zeal was rigorously controlled by a more
than martial severity of religious discipline. But it would be uncandid
in us to refuse attention to those grave charges against the society
brought by Catholic authorities and Catholic orders, and so enforced as,
after long and acrimonious controversy, to result in the expulsion of
the society from almost every nation of Catholic Europe, in its being
stigmatized by Pope Benedict XIV., in 1741, as made up of "disobedient,
contumacious, captious, and reprobate persons," and at last in its being
suppressed and abolished by Pope Clement XIV., in 1773, as a nuisance to
Christendom. We need, indeed, to make allowance for the intense
animosity of sectarian strife among the various Catholic orders in which
the charges against the society were engendered and unrelentingly
prosecuted; but after all deductions it is not credible that the almost
universal odium in which it was held was provoked solely by its virtues.
Among the accusations against the society which seem most clearly
substantiated these two are likely to be concerned in that "brand of
ultimate failure which has invariably been stamped on all its most
promising schemes and efforts":[26:1] first, a disposition to compromise
the essential principles of Christianity by politic concessions to
heathenism, so that the successes of the Jesuit missions are magnified
by reports of alleged conversions that are conversions only in name and
outward form; second, a constantly besetting propensity to political
intrigue.[27:1] It is hardly to be doubted that both had their part in
the prodigious failure of the French Catholic missions and settlements
within the present boundaries of the United States.

4. The conditions which favored the swift and magnificent expansion of
the French occupation were unfavorable to the healthy natural growth of
permanent settlements. A post of soldiers, a group of cabins of trappers
and fur-traders, and a mission of nuns and celibate priests, all
together give small promise of rapid increase of population. It is
rather to the fact that the French settlements, except at the seaboard,
were constituted so largely of these elements, than to any alleged
sterility of the French stock, that the fatal weakness of the French
occupation is to be ascribed. The lack of French America was men. The
population of Canada in 1759, according to census, was about eighty-two
thousand;[27:2] that of New England in 1754 is estimated at four hundred
and twenty-five thousand. "The white population of five, or perhaps even
of six, of the American provinces was greater singly than that of all
Canada, and the aggregate in America exceeded that in Canada
fourteenfold."[27:3] The same sign of weakness is recognized at the
other extremity of the cordon of French settlements. The vast region of
Louisiana is estimated, at fifty years from its colonization, at one
tenth of the strength of the coeval province of Pennsylvania.[27:4]

Under these hopeless conditions the French colonies had not even the
alternative of keeping the peace. The state of war was forced by the
mother countries. There was no recourse for Canada except to her savage
allies, won for her through the influence of the missionaries.

It is justly claimed that in the mind of such early leaders as Champlain
the dominant motive of the French colonization was religious; but in the
cruel position into which the colony was forced it was almost inevitable
that the missions should become political. It was boasted in their
behalf that they had taught the Indians "to mingle Jesus Christ and
France together in their affections."[28:1] The cross and the lilies
were blazoned together as the sign of French dominion. The missionary
became frequently, and sometimes quite undisguisedly, a political agent.
It was from the missions that the horrible murderous forays upon
defenseless villages proceeded, which so often marked the frontier line
of New England and New York with fire and blood. It is one of the most
unhappy of the results of that savage warfare that in the minds of the
communities that suffered from it the Jesuit missionary came to be
looked upon as accessory to these abhorrent crimes. Deeply is it to be
lamented that men with such eminent claims on our admiration and
reverence should not be triumphantly clear of all suspicion of such
complicity. We gladly concede the claim[28:2] that the proof of the
complicity is not complete; we could welcome some clear evidence in
disproof of it--some sign of a bold and indignant protest against these
crimes; we could wish that the Jesuit historian had not boasted of these
atrocities as proceeding from the fine work of his brethren,[29:1] and
that the antecedents of the Jesuits as a body, and their declared
principles of "moral theology," were such as raise no presumption
against them even in unfriendly minds. But we must be content with
thankfully acknowledging that divine change which has made it impossible
longer to boast of or even justify such deeds, and which leaves no
ground among neighbor Christians of the present day for harboring mutual
suspicions which, to the Christian ministers of French and English
America of two hundred years ago and less, it was impossible to repress.

I have spoken of the complete extinction within the present domain of
the United States of the magnificent beginnings of the projected French
Catholic Church and empire. It is only in the most recent years, since
the Civil War, that the results of the work inaugurated in America by
Champlain begin to reappear in the field of the ecclesiastical history
of the United States. The immigration of Canadian French Catholics into
the northern tier of States has already grown to considerable volume,
and is still growing in numbers and in stability and strength, and adds
a new and interesting element to the many factors that go to make up the
American church.


[18:1] So Parkman.

[19:1] Bancroft's "United States," vol. iv., p. 267.

[21:1] Bancroft's "United States," vol. iii., p. 131.

[21:2] _Ibid._, p. 175.

[22:1] Bancroft, vol. iii., p. 121.

[23:1] Bishop O'Gorman, "The Roman Catholic Church in the United
States," p. 136.

[23:2] _Ibid._, pp. 191-193.

[23:3] _Ibid._, p. 211.

[24:1] See O'Gorman, chaps. ix.-xiv., xx.

[24:2] Mr. Bancroft, describing the "sad condition" of La Salle's colony
at Matagorda after the wreck of his richly laden store-ship, adds that
"even now this colony possessed, from the bounty of Louis XIV., more
than was contributed by all the English monarchs together for the twelve
English colonies on the Atlantic. Its number still exceeded that of the
colony of Smith in Virginia, or of those who embarked in the
'Mayflower'" (vol. iii., p. 171).

[26:1] Dr. R. F. Littledale, in "Encyclopædia Britannica," vol. xiii.,
pp. 649-652.

[27:1] Both these charges are solemnly affirmed by the pope in the bull
of suppression of the society (Dr. R. F. Littledale, in "Encyclopædia
Britannica," vol. xiii., p. 655).

[27:2] Bancroft, vol. iii., p. 320.

[27:3] _Ibid._, pp. 128, 129.

[27:4] The contrast is vigorously emphasized by Mr. Bancroft: "Such was
Louisiana more than a half-century after the first attempt at
colonization by La Salle. Its population may have been five thousand
whites and half that number of blacks. Louis XIV. had fostered it with
pride and liberal expenditures; an opulent merchant, famed for his
successful enterprise, assumed its direction; the Company of the
Mississippi, aided by boundless but transient credit, had made it the
foundation of their hopes; and, again, Fleury and Louis XV. had sought
to advance its fortunes. Priests and friars, dispersed through nations
from Biloxi to the Dahcotas, propitiated the favor of the savages; but
still the valley of the Mississippi was nearly a wilderness. All its
patrons--though among them it counted kings and ministers of state--had
not accomplished for it in half a century a tithe of the prosperity
which within the same period sprang naturally from the benevolence of
William Penn to the peaceful settlers on the Delaware" (vol. iii., p.

[28:1] "Encyclopædia Britannica," vol. xiii., p. 654.

[28:2] Bishop O'Gorman, pp. 137-142.

[29:1] Bancroft, vol. iii., pp. 187, 188.



We have briefly reviewed the history of two magnificent schemes of
secular and spiritual empire, which, conceived in the minds of great
statesmen and churchmen, sustained by the resources of the mightiest
kingdoms of that age, inaugurated by soldiers of admirable prowess,
explorers of unsurpassed boldness and persistence, and missionaries
whose heroic faith has canonized them in the veneration of Christendom,
have nevertheless come to naught.

We turn now to observe the beginnings, coinciding in time with those of
the French enterprise, of a series of disconnected plantations along the
Atlantic seaboard, established as if at haphazard, without plan or
mutual preconcert, of different languages and widely diverse Christian
creeds, depending on scanty private resources, unsustained by
governmental arms or treasuries, but destined, in a course of events
which no human foresight could have calculated, to come under the
plastic influence of a single European power, to be molded according to
the general type of English polity, and to become heir to English
traditions, literature, and language. These mutually alien and even
antagonistic communities were to be constrained, by forces superior to
human control, first into confederation and then into union, and to
occupy the breadth of the new continent as a solid and independent
nation. The history reads like a fulfillment of the apocalyptic imagery
of a rock hewn from the mountain without hands, moving on to fill the

Looking back after the event, we find it easy to trace the providential
preparations for this great result. There were few important events in
the course of the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries that did not
have to do with it; but the most obvious of these antecedents are to be
found in _controversies_ and _persecutions_.

The protest of northern Europe against the abuses and corruptions
prevailing in the Roman Church was articulated in the Augsburg
Confession. Over against it were framed the decrees of the Council of
Trent. Thus the lines were distinctly drawn and the warfare between
contending principles was joined. Those who fondly dreamed of a
permanently united and solid Protestantism to withstand its powerful
antagonist were destined to speedy and inevitable disappointment. There
have been many to deplore that so soon after the protest of Augsburg was
set forth as embodying the common belief of Protestants new parties
should have arisen protesting against the protest. The ordinance of the
Lord's Supper, instituted as a sacrament of universal Christian
fellowship, became (as so often before and since) the center of
contention and the badge of mutual alienation. It was on this point that
Zwingli and the Swiss parted from Luther and the Lutherans; on the same
point, in the next generation of Reformers, John Calvin, attempting to
mediate between the two contending parties, became the founder of still
a third party, strong not only in the lucid and logical doctrinal
statements in which it delighted, but also in the possession of a
definite scheme of republican church government which became as
distinctive of the Calvinistic or "Reformed" churches as their doctrine
of the Supper. It was at a later epoch still that those insoluble
questions which press most inexorably for consideration when theological
thought and study are most serious and earnest--the questions that
concern the divine sovereignty in its relation to human freedom and
responsibility--arose in the Catholic Church to divide Jesuit from
Dominican and Franciscan, and in the Reformed churches to divide the
Arminians from the disciples of Gomar and Turretin. All these divisions
among the European Christians of the seventeenth century were to have
their important bearing on the planting of the Christian church in

In view of the destined predominance of English influence in the
seaboard colonies of America, the history of the divisions of the
Christian people of England is of preëminent importance to the
beginnings of the American church. The curiously diverse elements that
entered into the English Reformation, and the violent vicissitudes that
marked the course of it, were all represented in the parties existing
among English Christians at the period of the planting of the colonies.

The political and dynastic character of the movements that detached the
English hierarchy from the Roman see had for one inevitable result to
leaven the English church as a lump with the leaven of Herod. That
considerable part of the clergy and people that moved to and fro,
without so much as the resistance of any very formidable _vis inertiæ_,
with the change of the monarch or of the monarch's caprice, might leave
the student of the history of those times in doubt as to whether they
belonged to the kingdom of heaven or to the kingdom of this world. But,
however severe the judgment that any may pass upon the character and
motives of Henry VIII. and of the councilors of Edward, there will
hardly be any seriously to question that the movements directed by these
men soon came to be infused with more serious and spiritual influences.
The Lollardy of Wycliffe and his fellows in the fourteenth century had
been severely repressed and driven into "occult conventicles," but had
not been extinguished; the Bible in English, many times retouched after
Wycliffe's days, and perfected by the refugees at Geneva from the Marian
persecutions, had become a common household book; and those exiles
themselves, returning from the various centers of fervid religious
thought and feeling in Holland and Germany and Switzerland, had brought
with them an augmented spiritual faith, as well as intensified and
sharply defined convictions on the questions of theology and church
order that were debated by the scholars of the Continent. It was
impossible that the diverse and antagonist elements thus assembled
should not work on one another with violent reactions. By the beginning
of the seventeenth century not less than four categories would suffice
to classify the people of England according to their religious
differences. First, there were those who still continued to adhere to
the Roman see. Secondly, those who, either from conviction or from
expediency or from indifference, were content with the state church of
England in the shape in which Elizabeth and her parliaments had left it;
this class naturally included the general multitude of Englishmen,
religious, irreligious, and non-religious. Thirdly, there were those
who, not refusing their adhesion to the national church as by law
established, nevertheless earnestly desired to see it more completely
purified from doctrinal errors and practical corruptions, and who
qualified their conformity to it accordingly. Fourthly, there were the
few who distinctly repudiated the national church as a false church,
coming out from her as from Babylon, determined upon "reformation
without tarrying for any." Finally, following upon these, more radical,
not to say more logical, than the rest, came a fifth party, the
followers of George Fox. Not one of these five parties but has valid
claims, both in its principles and in its membership, on the respect of
history; not one but can point to its saints and martyrs; not one but
was destined to play a quite separate and distinct and highly important
part in the planting of the church of Christ in America. They are
designated, for convenience' sake, as the Catholics, the Conformists,
the Puritans or Reformists, the Separatists (of whom were the Pilgrims),
and the Quakers.

Such a Christendom was it, so disorganized, divided, and subdivided into
parties and sects, which was to furnish the materials for the peopling
of the new continent with a Christian population. It would seem that the
same "somewhat not ourselves," which had defeated in succession the
plans of two mighty nations to subject the New World to a single
hierarchy, had also provided that no one form or organization of
Christianity should be exclusive or even dominant in the occupation of
the American soil. From one point of view the American colonies will
present a sorry aspect. Schism, mutual alienation, antagonism,
competition, are uncongenial to the spirit of the gospel, which seeks
"that they all may be one." And yet the history of the church has
demonstrated by many a sad example that this offense "must needs come."
No widely extended organization of church discipline in exclusive
occupation of any country has ever long avoided the intolerable
mischiefs attendant on spiritual despotism. It was a shock to the hopes
and the generous sentiments of those who had looked to see one undivided
body of a reformed church erected over against the medieval church,
from the corruptions of which they had revolted, when they saw
Protestantism go asunder into the several churches of the Lutheran and
the Reformed confessions; there are many even now to deplore it as a
disastrous set-back to the progress of the kingdom of Christ. But in the
calmness of our long retrospect it is easy for us to recognize that
whatever jurisdiction should have been established over an undivided
Protestant church would inevitably have proved itself, in no long time,
just such a yoke as neither the men of that time nor their fathers had
been able to bear. Fifteen centuries of church history have not been
wasted if thereby the Christian people have learned that the pursuit of
Christian unity through administrative or corporate or diplomatic union
is following the wrong road, and that the one Holy Catholic Church is
not the corporation of saints, but their communion.

The new experiment of church life that was initiated in the colonization
of America is still in progress. The new States were to be planted not
only with diverse companies from the Old World, but with all the
definitely organized sects by which the map of Christendom was at that
time variegated, to which should be added others of native origin.
Notwithstanding successive "booms" now of one and then of another, it
was soon to become obvious to all that no one of these mutually jealous
sects was to have any exclusive predominance, even over narrow precincts
of territory. The old-world state churches, which under the rule, _cujus
regio ejus religio_, had been supreme and exclusive each in its
jurisdiction, were to find themselves side by side and mingled through
the community on equal terms with those over whom in the old country
they had domineered as dissenters, or whom perhaps they had even
persecuted as heretics or as Antichrist. Thus placed, they were to be
trained by the discipline of divine Providence and by the grace of the
Holy Spirit from persecution to toleration, from toleration to mutual
respect, and to coöperation in matters of common concern in the
advancement of the kingdom of Christ. What further remains to be tried
is the question whether, if not the sects, then the Christian hearts in
each sect, can be brought to take the final step from mutual respect to
mutual love, "that we henceforth, speaking truth in love, may grow up in
all things into him, which is the head, even Christ; from whom all the
body fitly framed and knit together through that which every joint
supplieth, according to the working in due measure of each several part,
shall make the increase of the body unto the building up of itself in
love." Unless we must submit to those philosophers who forbid us to find
in history the evidences of final cause and providential design, we may
surely look upon this as a worthy possible solution of the mystery of
Providence in the planting of the church in America in almost its
ultimate stage of schism--that it is the purpose of its Head, out of the
mutual attrition of the sects, their disintegration and comminution, to
bring forth such a demonstration of the unity and liberty of the
children of God as the past ages of church history have failed to show.

That mutual intolerance of differences in religious belief which, in the
seventeenth century, was, throughout Christendom, coextensive with
religious earnestness had its important part to play in the colonization
of America. Of the persecutions and oppressions which gave direct
impulse to the earliest colonization of America, the most notable are
the following: (1) the persecution of the English Puritans in the reigns
of James I. and Charles I., ending with the outbreak of the civil war in
1642; (2) the persecution of the English Roman Catholics during the same
period; (3) the persecution of the English Quakers during the
twenty-five years of Charles II. (1660-85); (4) the persecution of the
French Huguenots after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes (1685); (5)
the disabilities suffered by the Presbyterians of the north of Ireland
after the English Revolution (1688); (6) the ferocious ravaging of the
region of the Rhenish Palatinate by the armies of Louis XIV. in the
early years of the seventeenth century; (7) the cruel expulsion of the
Protestants of the archiepiscopal duchy of Salzburg (1731).

Beyond dispute, the best and most potent elements in the settlement of
the seaboard colonies were the companies of earnestly religious people
who from time to time, under severe compulsion for conscience' sake,
came forth from the Old World as involuntary emigrants. Cruel wars and
persecutions accomplished a result in the advancement of the kingdom of
Christ which the authors of them never intended. But not these agencies
alone promoted the great work. Peace, prosperity, wealth, and the hope
of wealth had their part in it. The earliest successful enterprises of
colonization were indeed marked with the badge of Christianity, and
among their promoters were men whose language and deeds nobly evince the
Christian spirit; but the enterprises were impelled and directed by
commercial or patriotic considerations. The immense advantages that were
to accrue from them to the world through the wider propagation of the
gospel of Christ were not lost sight of in the projecting and organizing
of the expeditions, nor were provisions for church and ministry omitted;
but these were incidental, not primary.

This story of the divine preparations carried forward through
unconscious human agencies in different lands and ages for the founding
of the American church is a necessary preamble to our history. The scene
of the story is now to be shifted to the other side of the sea.



There is sufficient evidence that the three little vessels which on the
13th of May, 1607, were moored to the trees on the bank of the James
River brought to the soil of America the germ of a Christian church. We
may feel constrained to accept only at a large discount the pious
official professions of King James I., and critically to scrutinize many
of the statements of that brilliant and fascinating adventurer, Captain
John Smith, whether concerning his friends or concerning his enemies or
concerning himself. But the beauty and dignity of the Christian
character shine unmistakable in the life of the chaplain to the
expedition, the Rev. Robert Hunt, and all the more radiantly for the
dark and discouraging surroundings in which his ministry was to be

For the company which Captain Smith and that famous mariner, Captain
Bartholomew Gosnold, had by many months of labor and "many a forgotten
pound" of expense succeeded in recruiting for the enterprise was made up
of most unhopeful material for the founding of a Christian colony. Those
were the years of ignoble peace with which the reign of James began; and
the glittering hopes of gold might well attract some of the brave men
who had served by sea or land in the wars of Elizabeth. But the last
thirty years had furnished no instance of success, and many of
disastrous and sometimes tragical failure, in like attempts--the
enterprises of Humphrey Gilbert, of Raleigh, of John White, of Gosnold
himself, and of Popham and Gorges. Even brave men might hesitate to
volunteer for the forlorn hope of another experiment at colonizing.

The little squadron had hardly set sail when the unfitness of the
emigrants for their work began to discover itself. Lying weather-bound
within sight of home, "some few, little better than atheists, of the
greatest rank among them," were busying themselves with scandalous
imputations upon the chaplain, then lying dangerously ill in his berth.
All through the four months' passage by way of the Canaries and the West
India Islands discontents and dissensions prevailed. Wingfield, who had
been named president of the colony, had Smith in irons, and at the
island of Nevis had the gallows set up for his execution on a charge of
conspiracy, when milder counsels prevailed, and he was brought to
Virginia, where he was tried and acquitted and his adversary mulcted in

Arrived at the place of settlement, the colonists set about the work of
building their houses, but found that their total number of one hundred
and five was made up in the proportion of four carpenters to forty-eight
"gentlemen." Not inadequately provisioned for their work, they came
repeatedly almost to perishing through their sheer incapacity and
unthrift, and their needless quarrels with one another and with the
Indians. In five months one half of the company were dead. In January,
1608, eight months from the landing, when the second expedition arrived
with reinforcements and supplies, only thirty-eight were surviving out
of the one hundred and five, and of these the strongest were conspiring
to seize the pinnace and desert the settlement.

The newcomers were no better than the first. They were chiefly
"gentlemen" again, and goldsmiths, whose duty was to discover and refine
the quantities of gold that the stockholders in the enterprise were
resolved should be found in Virginia, whether it was there or not. The
ship took back on her return trip a full cargo of worthless dirt.

Reinforcements continued to arrive every few months, the quality of
which it might be unfair to judge simply from the disgusted complaints
of Captain Smith. He begs the Company to send but thirty honest laborers
and artisans, "rather than a thousand such as we have," and reports the
next ship-load as "fitter to breed a riot than to found a colony." The
wretched settlement became an object of derision to the wits of London,
and of sympathetic interest to serious minds. The Company, reorganized
under a new charter, was strengthened by the accession of some of the
foremost men in England, including four bishops, the Earl of
Southampton, and Sir Francis Bacon. Appeals were made to the Christian
public in behalf of an enterprise so full of promise of the furtherance
of the gospel. A fleet of nine ships was fitted out, carrying more than
five hundred emigrants, with ample supplies. Captain Smith, representing
what there was of civil authority in the colony, had a brief struggle
with their turbulence, and recognized them as of the same sort with the
former companies, for the most part "poor gentlemen, tradesmen,
serving-men, libertines, and such like, ten times more fit to spoil a
commonwealth than either begin one or help to maintain one." When only
part of this expedition had arrived, Captain Smith departed for England,
disabled by an accidental wound, leaving a settlement of nearly five
hundred men, abundantly provisioned. "It was not the will of God that
the new state should be formed of these materials."[41:1] In six months
the number of the colonists was reduced to sixty, and when relief
arrived it was reckoned that in ten days' longer delay they would have
perished to the last man. With one accord the wretched remnant of the
colony, together with the latest comers, deserted, without a tear of
regret, the scene of their misery. But their retreating vessels were met
and turned back from the mouth of the river by the approaching ships of
Lord de la Warr with emigrants and supplies. Such were the first three
unhappy and unhonored years of the first Christian colony on the soil of
the United States.

One almost shrinks from being assured that this worthless crew, through
all these years of suicidal crime and folly, had been assiduous in
religious duties. First under an awning made of an old sail, seated upon
logs, with a rail nailed to two trees for a pulpit, afterward in a poor
shanty of a church, "that could neither well defend wind nor rain," they
"had daily common prayer morning and evening, every Sunday two sermons,
and every three months the holy communion, till their minister died";
and after that "prayers daily, with an homily on Sundays, two or three
years, till more preachers came." The sturdy and terrible resolution of
Captain Smith, who in his marches through the wilderness was wont to
begin the day with prayer and psalm, and was not unequal to the duty,
when it was laid on him, of giving Christian exhortation as well as
righteous punishment, and the gentle Christian influence of the Rev.
Robert Hunt, were the salt that saved the colony from utterly perishing
of its vices. It was not many months before the frail body of the
chaplain sank under the hardships of pioneer life; he is commemorated by
his comrade, the captain, as "an honest, religious, and courageous
divine, during whose life our factions were oft qualified, our wants and
greatest extremities so comforted that they seemed easy in comparison of
what we endured after his memorable death." When, in 1609, in a nobler
spirit than that of mere commercial enterprise, the reorganized Company,
under the new charter, was preparing the great reinforcement of five
hundred to go out under Lord de la Warr as governor of the colony,
counsel was taken with Abbot, the Puritan Bishop of London, himself a
member of the Virginia Company, and Richard Buck was selected as a
worthy successor to Robert Hunt in the office of chaplain. Such he
proved himself. Sailing in advance of the governor, in the ship with Sir
Thomas Gates and Sir George Somers, and wrecked with them off the
Bermudas, he did not forget his duty in the "plenty, peace, and ease" of
that paradise. The ship's bell was rescued from the wreck to ring for
morning and evening prayer, and for the two sermons every Sunday. There
were births and funerals and a marriage in the shipwrecked company, and
at length, when their makeshift vessel was ready, they embarked for
their desired haven, there to find only the starving threescore
survivors of the colony. They gathered together, a pitiable remnant, in
the church, where Master Buck "made a zealous and sorrowful prayer"; and
at once, without losing a day, they embarked for a last departure from
Virginia, but were met at the mouth of the river by the tardy ships of
Lord de la Warr. The next morning, Sunday, June 10, 1610, Lord de la
Warr landed at the fort, where Gates had drawn up his forlorn platoon of
starving men to receive him. The governor fell on his knees in prayer,
then led the way to the church, and, after service and a sermon from
the chaplain, made an address, assuming command of the colony.

Armed, under the new charter, with adequate authority, the new governor
was not slow in putting on the state of a viceroy. Among his first cares
was to provide for the external dignity of worship. The church, a
building sixty feet by twenty-four, built long enough before to be now
in need of repairs, was put into good condition, and a brave sight it
was on Sundays to see the Governor, with the Privy Council and the
Lieutenant-General and the Admiral and the Vice-Admiral and the Master
of the Horse, together with the body-guard of fifty halberdiers in fair
red cloaks, commanded by Captain Edward Brewster, assembled for worship,
the governor seated in the choir in a green velvet chair, with a velvet
cushion on a table before him. Few things could have been better adapted
to convince the peculiar public of Jamestown that divine worship was
indeed a serious matter. There was something more than the parade of
government manifested by his lordship in the few months of his reign;
but the inauguration of strong and effective control over the lazy,
disorderly, and seditious crowd to be dealt with at Jamestown was
reserved for his successor, Sir Thomas Dale, who arrived in May, 1611,
in company with the Rev. Alexander Whitaker, the "apostle of Virginia."

It will not be possible for any to understand the relations of this
colony to the state of parties in England without distinctly recognizing
that the Puritans were not a party _against_ the Church of England, but
a party _in_ the Church of England. The Puritan party was the party of
reform, and was strong in a deep fervor of religious conviction widely
diffused among people and clergy, and extending to the highest places of
the nobility and the episcopate. The anti-Puritan party was the
conservative or reactionary party, strong in the _vis inertiæ_, and in
the king's pig-headed prejudices and his monstrous conceit of
theological ability and supremacy in the church; strong also in a
considerable adhesion and zealous coöperation from among his nominees,
the bishops. The religious division was also a political one, the
Puritans being known as the party of the people, their antagonists as
the court party. The struggle of the Puritans (as distinguished from the
inconsiderable number of the Separatists) was for the maintenance of
their rights within the church; the effort of their adversaries, with
the aid of the king's prerogative, was to drive or harry them out of the
church. It is not to be understood that the two parties were as yet
organized as such and distinctly bounded; but the two tendencies were
plainly recognized, and the sympathies of leading men in church or state
were no secret.

The Virginia Company was a Puritan corporation.[44:1] As such, its
meetings and debates were the object of popular interest and of the
royal jealousy. Among its corporators were the brothers Sandys, sons of
the Puritan Archbishop of York, one of whom held the manor of Scrooby.
Others of the corporation were William Brewster, of Scrooby, and his son
Edward. In the fleet of Sir Thomas Gates, May, 1609, were noted
Puritans, one of whom, Stephen Hopkins, "who had much knowledge in the
Scriptures and could reason well therein," was clerk to that "painful
preacher," but not strict conformist, Master Richard Buck. The intimate
and sometimes official relations of the Virginia Company not only with
leading representatives of the Puritan party, but with the Pilgrims of
Leyden, whom they would gladly have received into their own colony, are
matter of history and of record. It admits of proof that there was a
steady purpose in the Company, so far as it was not thwarted by the king
and the bishops of the court party, to hold their unruly and
ill-assorted colony under Puritan influences both of church and
government.[45:1] The fact throws light on the remoter as well as the
nearer history of Virginia. Especially it throws light on the memorable
administration of Sir Thomas Dale, which followed hard upon the
departure of Lord de la Warr and his body-guard in red cloaks.

The Company had picked their man with care--"a man of good conscience
and knowledge in divinity," and a soldier and disciplinarian proved in
the wars of the Low Countries--a very prototype of the great Cromwell.
He understood what manner of task he had undertaken, and executed it
without flinching. As a matter of course--it was the way in that
colony--there was a conspiracy against his authority. There was no
second conspiracy under him. Punishment was inflicted on the ringleaders
so swift, so terrible, as to paralyze all future sedition. He put in
force, in the name of the Company, a code of "Laws, Divine, Moral, and
Martial," to which no parallel can be found in the severest legislation
of New England. An invaluable service to the colony was the abolition of
that demoralizing socialism that had been enforced on the colonists, by
which all their labor was to be devoted to the common stock. He gave out
land in severalty, and the laborer enjoyed the fruits of his own
industry and thrift, or suffered the consequences of his laziness. The
culture of tobacco gave the colony a currency and a staple of export.

With Dale was associated as chaplain Alexander Whitaker, son of the
author of the Calvinistic Lambeth Articles, and brother of a Separatist
preacher of London. What was his position in relation to church parties
is shown by his letter to his cousin, the "arch-Puritan," William Gouge,
written after three years' residence in Virginia, urging that
nonconformist clergymen should come over to Virginia, where no question
would be raised on the subject of subscription or the surplice. What
manner of man and minister he was is proved by a noble record of
faithful work. He found a true workfellow in Dale. When this
statesmanlike and soldierly governor founded his new city of Henrico up
the river, and laid out across the stream the suburb of Hope-in-Faith,
defended by Fort Charity and Fort Patience, he built there in sight from
his official residence the parsonage of the "apostle of Virginia." The
course of Whitaker's ministry is described by himself in a letter to a
friend: "Every Sabbath day we preach in the forenoon and catechise in
the afternoon. Every Saturday, at night, I exercise in Sir Thomas Dale's
house." But he and his fellow-clergymen did not labor without aid, even
in word and doctrine. When Mr. John Rolfe was perplexed with questions
of duty touching his love for Pocahontas, it was to the old soldier,
Dale, that he brought his burden, seeking spiritual counsel. And it was
this "religious and valiant governor," as Whitaker calls him, this "man
of great knowledge in divinity, and of a good conscience in all things,"
that "labored long to ground the faith of Jesus Christ" in the Indian
maiden, and wrote concerning her, "Were it but for the gaining of this
one soul, I will think my time, toils, and present stay well spent."

The progress of the gospel in reclaiming the unhappy colony to
Christian civilization varies with the varying fortunes of contending
parties in England. Energetic efforts were made by the Company under
Sandys, the friend of Brewster, to send out worthy colonists; and the
delicate task of finding young women of good character to be shipped as
wives to the settlers was undertaken conscientiously and successfully.
Generous gifts of money and land were contributed (although little came
from them) for the endowment of schools and a college for the promotion
of Christ's work among the white people and the red. But the course of
events on both sides of the sea may be best illustrated by a narrative
of personal incidents.

In the year 1621, an East India Company's chaplain, the Rev. Patrick
Copland, who perhaps deserves the title of the first English missionary
in India, on his way back from India met, probably at the Canaries, with
ships bound for Virginia with emigrants. Learning from these something
of the needs of the plantation, he stirred up his fellow-passengers on
the "Royal James," and raised the sum of seventy pounds, which was paid
to the treasurer of the Virginia Company; and, being increased by other
gifts to one hundred and twenty-five pounds, was, in consultation with
Mr. Copland, appropriated for a free school to be called the "East India

The affairs of the colony were most promising. It was growing in
population and in wealth and in the institutions of a Christian
commonwealth. The territory was divided into parishes for the work of
church and clergy. The stupid obstinacy of the king, against the
remonstrances of the Company, perpetrated the crime of sending out a
hundred convicts into the young community, extorting from Captain Smith
the protest that this act "hath laid one of the finest countries of
America under the just scandal of being a mere hell upon earth." The
sweepings of the London and Bristol streets were exported for servants.
Of darker portent, though men perceived it not, was the landing of the
first cargo of negro slaves. But so grateful was the Company for the
general prosperity of the colony that it appointed a thanksgiving sermon
to be preached at Bow Church, April 17, 1622, by Mr. Copland, which was
printed under the title, "Virginia's God Be Thanked." In July, 1622, the
Company, proceeding to the execution of a long-cherished plan, chose Mr.
Copland rector of the college to be built at Henrico from the endowments
already provided, when news arrived of the massacre which, in March of
that year, swept away one half of the four thousand colonists. All such
enterprises were at once arrested.

In 1624 the long contest of the king and the court party against the
Virginia Company was ended by a violent exercise of the prerogative
dissolving the Company, but not until it had established free
representative government in the colony. The revocation of the charter
was one of the last acts of James's ignoble reign. In 1625 he died, and
Charles I. became king. In 1628 "the most hot-headed and hard-hearted of
prelates," William Laud, became Bishop of London, and in 1633 Archbishop
of Canterbury. But the Puritan principles of duty and liberty already
planted in Virginia were not destined to be eradicated.

From the year 1619, a settlement at Nansemond, near Norfolk, had
prospered, and had been in relations of trade with New England. In 1642
Philip Bennett, of Nansemond, visiting Boston in his coasting vessel,
bore with him a letter to the Boston church, signed by seventy-four
names, stating the needs of their great county, now without a pastor,
and offering a maintenance to three good ministers if they could be
found. A little later William Durand, of the same county, wrote for
himself and his neighbors to John Davenport, of New Haven, to whom some
of them had listened gladly in London (perhaps it was when he preached
the first annual sermon before the Virginia Company in 1621), speaking
of "a revival of piety" among them, and urging the request that had been
sent to the church in Boston. As result of this correspondence, three
eminently learned and faithful ministers of New England came to
Virginia, bringing letters of commendation from Governor Winthrop. But
they found that Virginia, now become a royal colony, had no welcome for
them. The newly arrived royal governor, Sir William Berkeley, a man
after Laud's own heart, forbade their preaching; but the Catholic
governor of Maryland sent them a free invitation, and one of them,
removing to Annapolis with some of the Virginia Puritans, so labored in
the gospel as to draw forth the public thanks of the legislative

The sequel of this story is a strange one. There must have been somewhat
in the character and bearing of these silenced and banished ministers
that touched the heart of Thomas Harrison, the governor's chaplain. He
made a confession of his insincere dealings toward them: that while he
had been showing them "a fair face" he had privately used his influence
to have them silenced. He himself began to preach in that earnest way of
righteousness, temperance, and judgment, which is fitted to make
governors tremble, until Berkeley cast him out as a Puritan, saying that
he did not wish so grave a chaplain; whereupon Harrison crossed the
river to Nansemond, became pastor of the church, and mightily built up
the cause which he had sought to destroy.

A few months later the Nansemond people had the opportunity of giving
succor and hospitality to a shipwrecked company of nine people, who had
been cast away, with loss of all their goods, in sailing from the
Bermudas to found a new settlement on one of the Bahamas. Among the
party was an aged and venerable man, that same Patrick Copland who
twenty-five years before had interested himself in the passing party of
emigrants. This was indeed entertaining an angel. Mr. Copland had long
been a nonconformist minister at the Bermudas, and he listened to the
complaints that were made to him of the persecution to which the people
were subjected by the malignant Berkeley. A free invitation was given to
the Nansemond church to go with their guests to the new settlement of
Eleuthera, in which freedom of conscience and non-interference of the
magistrate with the church were secured by charter.[50:1] Mr. Harrison
proceeded to Boston to take counsel of the churches over this
proposition. The people were advised by their Boston brethren to remain
in their lot until their case should become intolerable. Mr. Harrison
went on to London, where a number of things had happened since
Berkeley's appointment. The king had ceased to be; but an order from the
Council of State was sent to Berkeley, sharply reprimanding him for his
course, and directing him to restore Mr. Harrison to his parish. But Mr.
Harrison did not return. He fulfilled an honorable career as incumbent
of a London parish, as chaplain to Henry Cromwell, viceroy of Ireland,
and as a hunted and persecuted preacher in the evil days after the
Restoration. But the "poetic justice" with which this curious dramatic
episode should conclude is not reached until Berkeley is compelled to
surrender his jurisdiction to the Commonwealth, and Richard Bennett, one
of the banished Puritans of Nansemond, is chosen by the Assembly of
Burgesses to be governor in his stead.[51:1]

Of course this is a brief triumph. With the restoration of the Stuarts,
Berkeley comes back into power as royal governor, and for many years
afflicts the colony with his malignant Toryism. The last state is worse
than the first; for during the days of the Commonwealth old soldiers of
the king's army had come to Virginia in such numbers as to form an
appreciable and not wholly admirable element in the population.
Surrounded by such society, the governor was encouraged to indulge his
natural disposition to bigotry and tyranny. Under such a nursing father
the interests of the kingdom of Christ fared as might have been
expected. Rigorous measures were instituted for the suppression of
nonconformity, Quaker preachers were severely dealt with, and clergymen,
such as they were, were imposed upon the more or less reluctant
parishes. But though the governor held the right of presentation, the
vestry of each parish asserted and maintained the right of induction or
of refusing to induct. Without the consent of these representatives of
the people the candidate could secure for himself no more than the
people should from year to year consent to allow him. It was the only
protection of the people from absolute spiritual despotism. The power
might be used to repel a too faithful pastor, but if there was sometimes
a temptation to this, the occasion was far more frequent for putting the
people's reprobation upon the unfaithful and unfit. The colony, growing
in wealth and population, soon became infested with a rabble of
worthless and scandalous priests. In a report which has been often
quoted, Governor Berkeley, after giving account of the material
prosperity of the colony, sums up, under date of 1671, the results of
his fostering care over its spiritual interests in these words: "There
are forty-eight parishes, and the ministers well paid. The clergy by my
consent would be better if they would pray oftener and preach less. But
of all other commodities, so of this, the worst are sent us. But I thank
God there are no free schools nor printing, and I hope we shall not
have, these hundred years."

The scandal of the Virginia clergy went on from bad to worse. Whatever
could be done by the courage and earnestness of one man was done by Dr.
Blair, who arrived in 1689 with limited powers as commissary of the
Bishop of London, and for more than fifty years struggled against
adverse influences to recover the church from its degradation. He
succeeded in getting a charter for William and Mary College, but the
generous endowments of the institution were wasted, and the college
languished in doing the work of a grammar school. Something was
accomplished in the way of discipline, though the cane of Governor
Nicholson over the back of an insolent priest was doubtless more
effective than the commissary's admonitions. But discipline, while it
may do something toward abating scandals, cannot create life from the
dead; and the church established in Virginia had hardly more than a name
to live. Its best estate is described by Spotswood, the best of the
royal governors, when, looking on the outward appearance, he reported:
"This government is in perfect peace and tranquillity, under a due
obedience to the royal authority and a gentlemanly conformity to the
Church of England." The poor man was soon to find how uncertain is the
peace and tranquillity that is founded on "a gentlemanly conformity."
The most honorable page in his record is the story of his effort for
the education of Indian children. His honest attempt at reformation in
the church brought him into collision not only with the worthless among
the clergy, but also on the one hand with the parish vestries, and on
the other hand with Commissary Blair. But all along the "gentlemanly
conformity" was undisturbed. A parish of French Huguenots was early
established in Henrico County, and in 1713 a parish of German exiles on
the Rappahannock, and these were expressly excepted from the Act of
Uniformity. Aside from these, the chief departures from the enforced
uniformity of worship throughout the colony in the early years of the
eighteenth century were found in a few meetings of persecuted and
vilified Quakers and Baptists. The government and clergy had little
notion of the significance of a slender stream of Scotch-Irish
emigration which, as early as 1720, began to flow into the valley of the
Shenandoah. So cheap a defense against the perils that threatened from
the western frontier it would have been folly to discourage by odious
religious proscription. The reasonable anxiety of the clergy as to what
might come of this invasion of a sturdy and uncompromising Puritanism
struggled without permanent success against the obvious interest of the
commonwealth. The addition of this new and potent element to the
Christian population of the seaboard colonies was part of the
unrecognized preparation for the Great Awakening.


[41:1] Bancroft, vol. i., p. 138.

[44:1] See the interesting demonstration of this point in articles by E.
D. Neill in "Hours at Home," vol. vi., pp. 22, 201.

Mr. Neill's various publications on the colonial history of Virginia and
Maryland are of the highest value and authority. They include: "The
English Colonization of America During the Seventeenth Century";
"History of the Virginia Company"; "Virginia Vetusta"; "Virginia
Carolorum"; "Terra Mariæ; or, Threads of Maryland Colonial History";
"The Founders of Maryland"; "Life of Patrick Copland."

[45:1] It was customary for the Company, when a candidate was proposed
for a chaplaincy in the colony, to select a text for him and appoint a
Sunday and a church for a "trial sermon" from which they might judge of
his qualifications.

[50:1] The project of Eleuthera is entitled to honorable mention in the
history of religious liberty.

[51:1] For fuller details concerning the Puritan character of the
Virginia Company and of the early ministers of Virginia, see the
articles of E. D. Neill, above referred to, in "Hours at Home," vol. vi.



The chronological order would require us at this point to turn to the
Dutch settlements on the Hudson River; but the close relations of
Virginia with its neighbor colonies of Maryland and the Carolinas are a
reason for taking up the brief history of these settlements in advance
of their turn.

The occupation of Maryland dates from the year 1634. The period of bold
and half-desperate adventure in making plantations along the coast was
past. To men of sanguine temper and sufficient fortune and influence at
court, it was now a matter of very promising and not too risky
speculation. To George Calvert, Lord Baltimore, one of the most
interesting characters at the court of James I., the business had
peculiar fascination. He was in both the New England Company and the
Virginia Company, and after the charter of the latter was revoked he was
one of the Provisional Council for the government of Virginia. Nothing
daunted by the ill luck of these companies, he tried colonizing on his
account in 1620, in what was represented to him as the genial soil and
climate of Newfoundland. Sending good money after bad, he was glad to
get out of this venture at the end of nine years with a loss of thirty
thousand pounds. In 1629 he sent home his children, and with a lady and
servants and forty of his surviving colonists sailed for Jamestown,
where his reception at the hands of the council and of his old Oxford
fellow-student, Governor Pott, was not cordial. He could hardly have
expected that it would be. He was a recent convert to the Roman Catholic
Church, with a convert's zeal for proselyting, and he was of the court
party. Thus he was in antagonism to the Puritan colony both in politics
and in religion. A formidable disturbing element he and his company
would have been in the already unquiet community. The authorities of the
colony were equal to the emergency. In answer to his lordship's
announcement of his purpose "to plant and dwell," they gave him welcome
to do so on the same terms with themselves, and proceeded to tender him
the oath of supremacy, the taking of which was flatly against his Roman
principles. Baltimore suggested a mitigated form of the oath, which he
was willing to take; but the authorities "could not imagine that so much
latitude was left for them to decline from the prescribed form"; and his
lordship sailed back to England, leaving in Virginia, in token of his
intention to return, his servants and "his lady," who, by the way, was
not the lawful wife of this conscientious and religious gentleman.

Returned to London, he at once set in motion the powerful influences at
his command to secure a charter for a tract of land south of the James
River, and when this was defeated by the energetic opposition of the
friends of Virginia, he succeeded in securing a grant of land north and
east of the Potomac, with a charter bestowing on him and his heirs "the
most ample rights and privileges ever conferred by a sovereign of
England."[55:1] The protest of Virginia that it was an invasion of the
former grant to that colony was unavailing. The free-handed generosity
with which the Stuarts were in the habit of giving away what did not
belong to them rarely allowed itself to be embarrassed by the fear of
giving the same thing twice over to different parties.

The first Lord Baltimore died three months before the charter of
Maryland received the great seal, but his son Cecilius took up the
business with energy and great liberality of investment. The cost of
fitting out the first emigration was estimated at not less than forty
thousand pounds. The company consisted of "three hundred laboring men,
well provided in all things," headed by Leonard and George Calvert,
brothers of the lord proprietor, "with very near twenty other gentlemen
of very good fashion." Two earnest Jesuit priests were quietly added to
the expedition as it passed the Isle of Wight, but in general it was a
Protestant emigration under Catholic patronage. It was stipulated in the
charter that all liege subjects of the English king might freely
transport themselves and their families to Maryland. To discriminate
against any religious body in England would have been for the proprietor
to limit his hope of rapid colonization and revenue and to embroil
himself with political enemies at home. His own and his father's
intimate acquaintance with failure in the planting of Virginia and of
Newfoundland had taught him what not to do in such enterprises. If the
proprietor meant to succeed (and he _did_ mean to) he was shut up
without alternative to the policy of impartial non-interference with
religious differences among his colonists, and the promotion of mutual
forbearance among sects. Lord Baltimore may not have been a profound
political philosopher nor a prophet of the coming era of religious
liberty, but he was an adroit courtier, like his father before him, and
he was a man of practical good sense engaged in an enormous land
speculation in which his whole fortune was embarked, and he was not in
the least disposed to allow his religious predilections to interfere
with business. Nothing would have brought speedier ruin to his
enterprise than to have it suspected, as his enemies were always ready
to allege, that it was governed in the interest of the Roman Catholic
Church. Such a suspicion he took the most effective means of averting.
He kept his promises to his colonists in this matter in good faith, and
had his reward in the notable prosperity of his colony.[57:1]

The two priests of the first Maryland company began their work with
characteristic earnestness and diligence. Finding no immediate access to
the Indians, they gave the more constant attention to their own
countrymen, both Catholic and Protestant, and were soon able to give
thanks that by God's blessing on their labors almost all the Protestants
of that year's arrival had been converted, besides many others. In 1640
the first-fruits of their mission work among the savages were gathered
in; the chief of an Indian village on the Potomac nearly opposite Mount
Vernon, and his wife and child, were baptized with solemn pomp, in
which the governor and secretary of the colony took part.

The first start of the Maryland colony was of a sort to give promise of
feuds and border strifes with the neighbor colony of Virginia, and the
promise was abundantly fulfilled. The conflict over boundary questions
came to bloody collisions by land and sea. It is needless to say that
religious differences were at once drawn into the dispute. The vigorous
proselytism of the Jesuit fathers, the only Christian ministers in the
colony, under the patronage of the lord proprietor was of course
reported to London by the Virginians; and in December, 1641, the House
of Commons, then on the brink of open rupture with the king, presented a
remonstrance to Charles at Hampton Court, complaining that he had
permitted "another state, molded within this state, independent in
government, contrary in interest and affection, secretly corrupting the
ignorant or negligent professors of religion, and clearly uniting
themselves against such." Lord Baltimore, perceiving that his property
rights were coming into jeopardy, wrote to the too zealous priests,
warning them that they were under English law and were not to expect
from him "any more or other privileges, exemptions, or immunities for
their lands, persons, or goods than is allowed by his Majesty or
officers to like persons in England." He annulled the grants of land
made to the missionaries by certain Indian chiefs, which they affected
to hold as the property of their order, and confirmed for his colony the
law of mortmain. In his not unreasonable anxiety for the tenure of his
estate, he went further still; he had the Jesuits removed from the
charge of the missions, to be replaced by seculars, and only receded
from this severe measure when the Jesuit order acceded to his terms. The
pious and venerable Father White records in his journal that "occasion
of suffering has not been wanting from those from whom rather it was
proper to expect aid and protection, who, too intent upon their own
affairs, have not feared to violate the immunities of the church."[59:1]
But the zeal of the Calverts for religious liberty and equality was
manifested not only by curbing the Jesuits, but by encouraging their
most strenuous opponents. It was in the year 1643, when the strength of
Puritanism both in England and in New England was proved, that the
Calverts made overtures, although in vain, to secure an immigration from
Massachusetts. A few years later the opportunity occurred of
strengthening their own colony with an accession of Puritans, and at the
same time of weakening Virginia. The sturdy and prosperous Puritan
colony on the Nansemond River were driven by the churlish behavior of
Governor Berkeley to seek a more congenial residence, and were induced
to settle on the Severn at a place which they called Providence, but
which was destined, under the name of Annapolis, to become the capital
of the future State. It was manifestly not merely a coincidence that
Lord Baltimore appointed a Protestant governor, William Stone, and
commended to the Maryland Assembly, in 1649, the enacting of "an Act
concerning Religion," drawn upon the lines of the Ordinance of
Toleration adopted by the Puritan House of Commons at the height of its
authority, in 1647.[59:2] How potent was the influence of this
transplanted Nansemond church is largely shown in the eventful civil
history of the colony. When, in 1655, the lord proprietor's governor was
so imprudent as to set an armed force in the field, under the colors of
Lord Baltimore, in opposition to the parliamentary commissioners, it
was the planters of the Severn who marched under the flag of the
commonwealth of England, and put them to rout, and executed some of
their leaders for treason. When at last articles of agreement were
signed between the commissioners and Lord Baltimore, one of the
conditions exacted from his lordship was a pledge that he would never
consent to the repeal of the Act of Toleration adopted in 1649 under the
influence of the Puritan colony and its pastor, Thomas Harrison.

In the turbulence of the colony during and after the civil wars of
England, there becomes more and more manifest a growing spirit of
fanaticism, especially in the form of antipopery crusading. While
Jacobite intrigues or wars with France were in progress it was easy for
demagogues to cast upon the Catholics the suspicion of disloyalty and of
complicity with the public enemy. The numerical unimportance of the
Catholics of Maryland was insufficient to guard them from such
suspicions; for it had soon become obvious that the colony of the
Catholic lord was to be anything but a Catholic colony. The Jesuit
mission had languished; the progress of settlement, and what there had
been of religious life and teaching, had brought no strength to the
Catholic cause. In 1676 a Church of England minister, John Yeo, writes
to the Archbishop of Canterbury of the craving lack of ministers,
excepting among the Catholics and the Quakers, "not doubting but his
Grace may so prevail with Lord Baltimore that a maintenance for a
Protestant ministry may be established." The Bishop of London, echoing
this complaint, speaks of the "total want of ministers and divine
worship, except among those of the Romish belief, who, 'tis conjectured,
does not amount to one of a hundred of the people." To which his
lordship replies that all sects are tolerated and protected, but that
it would be impossible to induce the Assembly to consent to a law that
shall oblige any sect to maintain other ministers than its own. The
bishop's figures were doubtless at fault; but Lord Baltimore himself
writes that the nonconformists outnumber the Catholics and those of the
Church of England together about three to one, and that the churchmen
are much more numerous than the Catholics.

After the Revolution of 1688 it is not strange that a like movement was
set on foot in Maryland. The "beneficent despotism" of the Calverts,
notwithstanding every concession on their part, was ended for the time
by the efforts of an "Association for the Defense of the Protestant
Religion," and Maryland became a royal colony. Under the new régime it
was easier to inflict annoyances and disabilities on the petty minority
of the Roman Catholics than to confer the privileges of an established
church on the hardly more considerable minority of Episcopalians. The
Church of England became in name the official church of the colony, but
two parties so remotely unlike as the Catholics and the Quakers combined
successfully to defeat more serious encroachments on religious liberty.
The attempt to maintain the church of a small minority by taxes extorted
by a foreign government from the whole people had the same effect in
Maryland as in Ireland: it tended to make both church and government
odious. The efforts of Dr. Thomas Bray, commissary of the Bishop of
London, a man of true apostolic fervor, accomplished little in
withstanding the downward tendency of the provincial establishment. The
demoralized and undisciplined clergy resisted the attempt of the
provincial government to abate the scandal of their lives, and the
people resisted the attempt to introduce a bishop. The body thus set
before the people as the official representative of the religion of
Christ "was perhaps as contemptible an ecclesiastical organization as
history can show," having "all the vices of the Virginian church,
without one of its safeguards or redeeming qualities."[62:1] The most
hopeful sign in the morning sky of the eighteenth century was to be
found in the growth of the Society of Friends and the swelling of the
current of the Scotch-Irish immigration. And yet we shall have proof
that the life-work of Commissary Bray, although he went back discouraged
from his labors in Maryland and although this colony took little direct
benefit from his efforts in England, was destined to have great results
in the advancement of the kingdom of Christ in America; for he was the
founder of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign

The Carolinas, North and South, had been the scene of the earliest
attempts at Protestant colonization in America. The Huguenot enterprise
at Beaufort, on Port Royal harbor, was planted in 1562 under the
auspices of Coligny, and came to a speedy and unhappy end. The costly
and disastrous experiment of Sir Walter Raleigh was begun in 1584 on
Roanoke Island, and lasted not many months. But the actual occupation of
the region was late and slow. When, after the Restoration, Charles II.
took up the idea of paying his political debts with free and easy
cessions of American lands, Clarendon, Albemarle, and Shaftesbury were
among the first and luckiest in the scramble. When the representatives
of themselves and their partners arrived in Carolina in 1670, bringing
with them that pompous and preposterous anachronism, the "Fundamental
Constitutions," contrived by the combined wisdom of Shaftesbury and John
Locke to impose a feudal government upon an immense domain of
wilderness, they found the ground already occupied with a scanty and
curiously mixed population, which had taken on a simple form of polity
and was growing into a state. The region adjoining Virginia was peopled
by Puritans from the Nansemond country, vexed with the paltry
persecutions of Governor Berkeley, and later by fugitives from the
bloody revenge which he delighted to inflict on those who had been
involved in the righteous rebellion led by Nathaniel Bacon. These had
been joined by insolvent debtors not a few. Adventurers from New England
settled on the Cape Fear River for a lumber trade, and kept the various
plantations in communication with the rest of the world by their
coasting craft plying to Boston. Dissatisfied companies from Barbadoes
seeking a less torrid climate next arrived. Thus the region was settled
in the first instance at second hand from older colonies. To these came
settlers direct from England, such emigrants as the proprietors could
persuade to the undertaking, and such as were impelled by the evil state
of England in the last days of the Stuarts, or drawn by the promise of
religious liberty.

South Carolina, on the other hand, was settled direct from Europe, first
by cargoes of emigrants shipped on speculation by the great real-estate
"operators" who had at heart not only the creation of a gorgeous
aristocracy in the West, but also the realization of fat dividends on
their heavy ventures. Members of the dominant politico-religious party
in England were attracted to a country in which they were still to be
regarded before the law as of the "only true and orthodox" church; and
religious dissenters gladly accepted the offer of toleration and
freedom, even without the assurance of equality. One of the most notable
contributions to the new colony was a company of dissenters from
Somersetshire, led by Joseph Blake, brother to Cromwell's illustrious
admiral. Among these were some of the earliest American Baptists; and
there is clear evidence of connection between their arrival and the
coming, in 1684, of a Baptist church from the Massachusetts Colony,
under the pastorate of William Screven. This planting was destined to
have an important influence both on the religious and on the civil
history of the colony. Very early there came two ship-loads of Dutch
Calvinists from New York, dissatisfied with the domineering of their
English victors. But more important than the rest was that sudden
outflow of French Huguenots, representing not only religious fidelity
and devotion, but all those personal and social virtues that most
strengthen the foundations of a state, which set westward upon the
revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685. This, with the later influx
of the Scotch-Irish, profoundly marked the character of South Carolina.
The great names in her history are generally either French or Scotch.

It ought to have been plain to the proprietors, in their monstrous
conceit of political wisdom, that communities so constituted should have
been the last on which to impose the uniformity of an established
church. John Locke did see this, but was overruled. The Church of
England was established in name, but for long years had only this shadow
of existence. We need not, however, infer from the absence of organized
church and official clergy among the rude and turbulent pioneers of
North Carolina that the kingdom of God was not among them, even from the
beginning. But not until the year 1672 do we find manifestation of it
such as history can recognize. In that year came William Edmundson, "the
voice of one crying in the wilderness," bringing his testimony of the
light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world. The honest
man, who had not thought it reasonable in the Christians of
Massachusetts to be offended at one's sitting in the steeple-house with
his hat on, found it an evidence that "they had little or no religion"
when the rough woodsmen of Carolina beguiled the silent moments of the
Friends' devotions by smoking their pipes; and yet he declares that he
found them "a tender people." Converts were won to the society, and a
quarterly meeting was established. Within a few months followed George
Fox, uttering his deep convictions in a voice of singular persuasiveness
and power, that reached the hearts of both high and low. And he too
declared that he had found the people "generally tender and open," and
rejoiced to have made among them "a little entrance for truth." The
church of Christ had been begun. As yet there had been neither baptism
nor sacramental supper; these outward and visible signs were absent; but
inward and spiritual grace was there, and the thing signified is greater
than the sign. The influence diffused itself like leaven. Within a
decade the society was extended through both the Carolinas and became
the principal form of organized Christianity. It was reckoned in 1710 to
include one seventh of the population of North Carolina.[65:1]

The attempt of a foreign proprietary government to establish by law the
church of an inconsiderable and not preëminently respectable minority
had little effect except to exasperate and alienate the settlers. Down
to the end of the seventeenth century the official church in North
Carolina gave no sign of life. In South Carolina almost twenty years
passed before it was represented by a single clergyman. The first
manifestation of church life seems to have been in the meetings on the
banks of the Cooper and the Santee, in which the French refugees
worshiped their fathers' God with the psalms of Marot and Beza.

But with the eighteenth century begins a better era for the English
church in the Carolinas. The story of the founding and the work of the
Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, taken in
connection with its antecedents and its results, belongs to this
history, not only as showing the influence of European Christianity upon
America, but also as indicating the reaction of America upon Europe.

In an important sense the organization of religious societies which is
characteristic of modern Christendom is of American origin. The labors
of John Eliot among the Indians of New England stirred so deep an
interest in the hearts of English Christians that in 1649 an ordinance
was passed by the Long Parliament creating a corporation to be called
"The President and Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in New
England"; and a general collection made under Cromwell's direction
produced nearly twelve thousand pounds, from the income of which
missionaries were maintained among some of the Northern tribes of
Indians. With the downfall of the Commonwealth the corporation became
defunct; but through the influence of the saintly Richard Baxter, whose
tender interest in the work of Eliot is witnessed by a touching passage
in his writings, the charter was revived in 1662, with Robert Boyle for
president and patron. It was largely through his generosity that Eliot
was enabled to publish his Indian Bible. This society, "The New England
Company," as it is called, is still extant--the oldest of Protestant
missionary societies.[66:1]

It is to that Dr. Thomas Bray who returned in 1700 to England from his
thankless and discouraging work as commissary in Maryland of the Bishop
of London, that the Church of England owes a large debt of gratitude for
having taken away the reproach of her barrenness. Already his zeal had
laid the foundations on which was reared the Society for the Promotion
of Christian Knowledge. In 1701 he had the satisfaction of attending the
first meeting of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in
Foreign Parts, which for nearly three quarters of a century, sometimes
in the spirit of a narrow sectarianism, but not seldom in a more
excellent way, devoted its main strength to missions in the American
colonies. Its missionaries, men of a far different character from the
miserable incumbents of parishes in Maryland and Virginia, were among
the first preachers of the gospel in the Carolinas. Within the years
1702-40 there served under the commission of this society in North
Carolina nine missionaries, in South Carolina thirty-five.[67:1]

But the zeal of these good men was sorely encumbered with the armor of
Saul. Too much favorable legislation and patronizing from a foreign
proprietary government, too arrogant a tone of superiority on the part
of official friends, attempts to enforce conformity by imposing
disabilities on other sects--these were among the chief occasions of the
continual collision between the people and the colonial governments,
which culminated in the struggle for independence. By the time that
struggle began the established church in the Carolinas was ready to
vanish away.


[55:1] W. H. Browne, "Maryland" (in American Commonwealths), p. 18.

[57:1] This seems to be the whole explanation of the curious paradox
that the first experiment of religious liberty and equality before the
law among all Christian sects should have been made apparently under the
auspices of that denomination which alone at the present day continues
to maintain in theory that it is the duty of civil government to enforce
sound doctrine by pains and penalties. We would not grudge the amplest
recognition of Lord Baltimore's faith or magnanimity or political
wisdom; but we have failed to find evidence of his rising above the
plane of the smart real-estate speculator, willing to be all things to
all men, if so he might realize on his investments. Happily, he was
clear-sighted enough to perceive that his own interest was involved in
the liberty, contentment, and prosperity of his colonists.

Mr. E. D. Neill, who has excelled other writers in patient and exact
study of the original sources of this part of colonial history,
characterizes Cecilius, second Lord Baltimore, as "one whose whole life
was passed in self-aggrandizement, first deserting Father White, then
Charles I., and making friends of Puritans and republicans to secure the
rentals of the province of Maryland, and never contributing a penny for
a church or school-house" ("English Colonization of America," p. 258).

[59:1] Browne, pp. 54-57; Neill, _op. cit._, pp. 270-274.

[59:2] The act of Parliament provided full religious liberty for
dissenters from the established order, save only "so as nothing be done
by them to the disturbance of the peace of the kingdom."

[62:1] H. C. Lodge, "British Colonies in America," pp. 119-124, with
authorities cited. The severe characterization seems to be sustained by
the evidence.

[65:1] Tiffany, "Protestant Episcopal Church," p. 237.

[66:1] "Digest of S. P. G. Records," pp. 2, 3; "Encyclopædia
Britannica," vol. xvi., p. 514.

[67:1] "Digest of S. P. G. Records," pp. 849, 850.



When the Englishman Henry Hudson, in the Dutch East India Company's
ship, the "Half-moon," in September, 1609, sailed up "the River of
Mountains" as far as the site of Albany, looking for the northwest
passage to China, the English settlement at Jamestown was in the third
year of its half-perishing existence. More than thirteen years were yet
to pass before the Pilgrims from England by way of Holland should make
their landing on Plymouth Rock.

But we are not at liberty to assign so early a date to the Dutch
settlement of New York, and still less to the church. There was a prompt
reaching out, on the part of the immensely enterprising Dutch merchants,
after the lucrative trade in peltries; there was a plying to and fro of
trading-vessels, and there were trading-posts established on Manhattan
Island and at the head of navigation on the Hudson, or North River, and
on the South River, or Delaware. Not until the great Dutch West India
Company had secured its monopoly of trade and perfected its
organization, in 1623, was there a beginning of colonization. In that
year a company of Walloons, or French-speaking Hollanders, was planted
near Albany, and later arrivals were settled on the Delaware, on Long
Island, and on Manhattan. At length, in 1626, came Peter Minuit with an
ample commission from the all-powerful Company, who organized something
like a system of civil government comprehending all the settlements.
Evidences of prosperity and growing wealth began to multiply. But one is
impressed with the merely secular and commercial character of the
enterprise and with the tardy and feeble signs of religious life in the
colony. In 1626, when the settlement of Manhattan had grown to a village
of thirty houses and two hundred souls, there arrived two official
"sick-visitors," who undertook some of the public duties of a pastor. On
Sundays, in the loft over the horse-mill, they would read from the
Scriptures and the creeds. And two years later, in 1628, the village,
numbering now about two hundred and seventy souls, gave a grateful
welcome to Jonas Michaelius, minister of the gospel. He rejoiced to
gather no less than fifty communicants at the first celebration of the
Lord's Supper, and to organize them into a church according to the
Reformed discipline. The two elders were the governor and the Company's
storekeeper, men of honest report who had served in like functions in
churches of the fatherland. The records of this period are scanty; the
very fact of this beginning of a church and the presence of a minister
in the colony had faded out of history until restored by the recent
discovery of a letter of the forgotten Michaelius.[69:1]

The sagacious men in control of the Dutch West India Company were quick
to recognize that weakness in their enterprise which in the splendid
colonial attempt of the French proved ultimately to be fatal. Their
settlements were almost exclusively devoted to the lucrative trade with
the Indians and were not taking root in the soil. With all its
advantages, the Dutch colony could not compete with New England.[70:1]
To meet this difficulty an expedient was adopted which was not long in
beginning to plague the inventors. A vast tract of territory, with
feudal rights and privileges, was offered to any man settling a colony
of fifty persons. The disputes which soon arose between these powerful
vassals and the sovereign Company had for one effect the recall of Peter
Minuit from his position of governor. Never again was the unlucky colony
to have so competent and worthy a head as this discarded elder of the
church. Nevertheless the scheme was not altogether a failure.

In 1633 arrived a new pastor, Everard Bogardus, in the same ship with a
schoolmaster--the first in the colony--and the new governor, Van
Twiller. The governor was incompetent and corrupt, and the minister was
faithful and plain-spoken; what could result but conflict? During Van
Twiller's five years of mismanagement, nevertheless, the church emerged
from the mill-loft and was installed in a barn-like meeting-house of
wood. During the equally wretched administration of Kieft, the governor,
listening to the reproaches of a guest, who quoted the example of New
England, where the people were wont to build a fine church as soon as
they had houses for themselves, was incited to build a stone church
within the fort. There seems to have been little else that he did for
the kingdom of heaven. Pastor Bogardus is entitled to the respect of
later ages for the chronic quarrel that he kept up with the worthless
representatives of the Company. At length his righteous rebuke of an
atrociously wicked massacre of neighboring Indians perpetrated by Kieft
brought matters to a head. The two antagonists sailed in the same ship,
in 1647, to lay their dispute before the authorities in Holland, the
Company and the classis. The case went to a higher court. The ship was
cast away and both the parties were drowned.

Meanwhile the patroon Van Rensselaer, on his great manor near Albany,
showed some sense of his duty to the souls of the people whom he had
brought out into the wilderness. He built a church and put into the
pastoral charge over his subjects one who, under his travestied name of
Megapolensis, has obtained a good report as a faithful minister of Jesus
Christ. It was he who saved Father Jogues, the Jesuit missionary, from
imminent torture and death among the Mohawks, and befriended him, and
saw him safely off for Europe. This is one honorable instance, out of
not a few, of personal respect and kindness shown to members of the
Roman clergy and the Jesuit society by men who held these organizations
in the severest reprobation. To his Jesuit brother he was drawn by a
peculiarly strong bond of fellowship, for the two were fellow-laborers
in the gospel to the red men. For Domine Megapolensis is claimed[71:1]
the high honor of being the first Protestant missionary to the Indians.

In 1647, to the joy of all the colonists, arrived a new governor, Peter
Stuyvesant, not too late to save from utter ruin the colony that had
suffered everything short of ruin from the incompetency and wickedness
of Kieft. About the time that immigration into New England ceased with
the triumph of the Puritan party in England, there began to be a
distinct current of population setting toward the Hudson River colony.
The West India Company had been among the first of the speculators in
American lands to discover that a system of narrow monopoly is not the
best nurse for a colony; too late to save itself from ultimate
bankruptcy, it removed some of the barriers of trade, and at once
population began to flow in from other colonies, Virginia and New
England. Besides those who were attracted by the great business
advantages of the Dutch colony, there came some from Massachusetts,
driven thence by the policy of exclusiveness in religious opinion
deliberately adopted there. Ordinances were set forth assuring to
several such companies "liberty of conscience, according to the custom
and manner of Holland." Growing prosperously in numbers, the colony grew
in that cosmopolitan diversity of sects and races which went on
increasing with its years. As early as 1644 Father Jogues was told by
the governor that there were persons of eighteen different languages at
Manhattan, including Calvinists, Catholics, English Puritans, Lutherans,
Anabaptists (here called Mennonists), etc. No jealousy seems to have
arisen over this multiplication of sects until, in 1652, the Dutch
Lutherans, who had been attendants at the Dutch Reformed Church,
presented a respectful petition that they might be permitted to have
their own pastor and church. Denied by Governor Stuyvesant, the request
was presented to the Company and to the States-General. The two Reformed
pastors used the most strenuous endeavors through the classis of
Amsterdam to defeat the petition, under the fear that the concession of
this privilege would tend to the diminution of their congregation. This
resistance was successfully maintained until at last the petitioners
were able to obtain from the Roman Catholic Duke of York the religious
freedom which Dutch Calvinism had failed to give them.

Started thus in the wrong direction, it was easy for the colonial
government to go from bad to worse. At a time when the entire force of
Dutch clergy in the colony numbered only four, they were most
unapostolically zealous to prevent any good from being done by
"unauthorized conventicles and the preaching of unqualified persons,"
and procured the passing of an ordinance forbidding these under penalty
of fine and imprisonment. The mild remonstrances of the Company, which
was eager to get settlers without nice inquiries as to their religious
opinions, had little effect to restrain the enterprising orthodoxy of
Peter Stuyvesant. The activity of the Quakers among the Long Island
towns stirred him to new energy. Not only visiting missionaries, but
quiet dwellers at home, were subjected to severe and ignominious
punishments. The persecution was kept up until one of the banished
Friends, John Bowne, reached Amsterdam and laid the case before the
Company. This enlightened body promptly shortened the days of
tribulation by a letter to the superserviceable Stuyvesant, conceived in
a most commercial spirit. It suggested to him that it was doubtful
whether further persecution was expedient, unless it was desired to
check the growth of population, which at that stage of the enterprise
ought rather to be encouraged. No man, they said, ought to be molested
so long as he disturbed neither his neighbors nor the government. "This
maxim has always been the guide of the magistrates of this city, and the
consequence has been that from every land people have flocked to this
asylum. Tread thus in their steps, and we doubt not you will be

The stewardship of the interests of the kingdom of Christ in the New
Netherlands was about to be taken away from the Dutch West India
Company and the classis of Amsterdam. It will hardly be claimed by any
that the account of their stewardship was a glorious one. The supply of
ministers of the gospel had been tardy, inconstant, and scanty. At the
time when the Dutch ministers were most active in hindering the work of
others, there were only four of themselves in a vast territory with a
rapidly increasing population. The clearest sign of spiritual life in
the first generation of the colony is to be found in the righteous
quarrel of Domine Bogardus with the malignant Kieft, and the large
Christian brotherly kindness, the laborious mission work among the
Indians, and the long-sustained pastoral faithfulness of Domine

Doubtless there is a record in heaven of faithful living and serving of
many true disciples among this people, whose names are unknown on earth;
but in writing history it is only with earthly memorials that we have to
do. The records of the Dutch régime present few indications of such
religious activity on the part of the colonists as would show that they
regarded religion otherwise than as something to be imported from
Holland at the expense of the Company.

A studious and elegant writer, Mr. Douglas Campbell, has presented in
two ample and interesting volumes[74:1] the evidence in favor of his
thesis that the characteristic institutions established by the Puritans
in New England were derived, directly or indirectly, not from England,
but from Holland. One of the gravest answers to an argument which
contains so much to command respect is found in the history of the New
Netherlands. In the early records of no one of the American colonies is
there less manifestation of the Puritan characteristics than in the
records of the colony that was absolutely and exclusively under Dutch
control and made up chiefly of Dutch settlers. Nineteen years from the
beginning of the colony there was only one church in the whole extent of
it; at the end of thirty years there were only two churches. After ten
years of settlement the first schoolmaster arrived; and after thirty-six
years a Latin school was begun, for want of which up to that time young
men seeking a classical education had had to go to Boston for it. In no
colony does there appear less of local self-government or of central
representative government, less of civil liberty, or even of the
aspiration for it. The contrast between the character of this colony and
the heroic antecedents of the Dutch in Holland is astonishing and
inexplicable. The sordid government of a trading corporation doubtless
tended to depress the moral tone of the community, but this was an evil
common to many of the colonies. Ordinances, frequently renewed, for the
prevention of disorder and brawling on Sunday and for restricting the
sale of strong drinks, show how prevalent and obstinate were these
evils. In 1648 it is boldly asserted in the preamble to a new law that
one fourth of the houses in New Amsterdam were devoted to the sale of
strong drink. Not a hopeful beginning for a young commonwealth.

       *       *       *       *       *

Before bidding a willing good-bye to the Dutch régime of the New
Netherlands, it remains to tell the story of another colony, begun under
happy auspices, but so short-lived that its rise and fall are a mere
episode in the history of the Dutch colony.

As early as 1630, under the feudal concessions of the Dutch West India
Company, extensive tracts had been taken on the South River, or
Delaware, and, after purchase from the Indians, settled by a colony
under the conduct of the best of all the Dutch leaders, De Vries.
Quarrels with the Indians arose, and at the end of a twelvemonth the
colony was extinguished in blood. The land seemed to be left free for
other occupants.

Years before, the great Gustavus Adolphus had pondered and decided on an
enterprise of colonization in America.[76:1] The exigencies of the
Thirty Years' War delayed the execution of his plan, but after the fatal
day of Lützen the project resumed by the fit successor of Gustavus in
the government of Sweden, the Chancellor Oxenstiern. Peter Minuit, who
had been rejected from his place as the first governor of New Amsterdam,
tendered to the Swedes the aid of his experience and approved wisdom;
and in the end of the year 1637, against the protest of Governor Kieft,
the strong foundations of a Swedish Lutheran colony were laid on the
banks of the Delaware. A new purchase was made of the Indians (who had
as little scruple as the Stuart kings about disposing of the same land
twice over to different parties), including the lands from the mouth of
the bay to the falls near Trenton. A fort was built where now stands the
city of Wilmington, and under the protection of its walls Christian
worship was begun by the first pastor, Torkillus. Strong reinforcements
arrived in 1643, with the energetic Governor Printz and that man of
"unwearied zeal in always propagating the love of God," the Rev. John
Campanius, who through faith has obtained a good report by his brief
most laborious ministry both to his fellow-countrymen and to the
Delaware Indians.

The governor fixed his residence at Tinicum, now almost included within
the vast circumference of Philadelphia, and there, forty years before
the arrival of William Penn, Campanius preached the gospel of peace in
two languages, to the red men and to the white.

The question of the Swedish title, raised at the outset by the protest
of the Dutch governor, could not long be postponed. It was suddenly
precipitated on the arrival of Governor Rising, in 1654, by his capture
of Fort Casimir, which the Dutch had built for the practical assertion
of their claim. It seems a somewhat grotesque act of piety on the part
of the Swedes, when, having celebrated the festival of Trinity Sunday by
whipping their fellow-Christians out of the fort, they commemorated the
good work by naming it the Fort of the Holy Trinity. It was a fatal
victory. The next year came Governor Stuyvesant with an overpowering
force and demanded and received the surrender of the colony to the
Dutch. Honorable terms of surrender were conceded; among them, against
the protest, alas! of good Domine Megapolensis, was the stipulation of
religious liberty for the Lutherans.

It was the end of the Swedish colony, but not at once of the church. The
Swedish community of some seven hundred souls, cut off from
reinforcement and support from the fatherland, cherished its language
and traditions and the mold of doctrine in which it had been shaped;
after more than forty years the reviving interest of the mother church
was manifested by the sending out of missionaries to seek and succor the
daughter long absent and neglected in the wilderness. Two venerable
buildings, the Gloria Dei Church in the southern part of Philadelphia,
and the Old Swedes' Church at Wilmington, remain as monuments of the
honorable story. The Swedish language ceased to be spoken; the people
became undistinguishably absorbed in the swiftly multiplying population
about them.

       *       *       *       *       *

It was a short-lived triumph in which the Dutch colony reduced the
Swedish under its jurisdiction. It only prepared a larger domain for it
to surrender, in its turn, to superior force. With perfidy worthy of
the House of Stuart, the newly restored king of England, having granted
to his brother, the Duke of York, territory already plighted to others
and territory already occupied by a friendly power, stretching in all
from the Connecticut to the Delaware, covered his designs with friendly
demonstrations, and in a time of profound peace surprised the quiet town
of New Amsterdam with a hostile fleet and land force and a peremptory
demand for surrender. The only hindrance interposed was a few hours of
vain and angry bluster from Stuyvesant. The indifference of the Dutch
republic, which had from the beginning refused its colony any promise of
protection, and the sordid despotism of the Company, and the arrogant
contempt of popular rights manifested by its governors, seem to have
left no spark of patriotic loyalty alive in the population. With inert
indifference, if not even with satisfaction, the colony transferred its
allegiance to the British crown, henceforth sovereign from Maine to the
Carolinas. The rights of person and property, religious liberty, and
freedom of trade were stipulated in the capitulation.

The British government was happy in the character of Colonel Nicolls,
who came as commandant of the invading expedition and remained as
governor. Not only faithful to the terms of the surrender, but
considerate of the feelings and interests of the conquered province, he
gave the people small reason to regret the change of government. The
established Dutch church not only was not molested, but was continued in
full possession of its exceptional privileges. And it continued to
languish. At the time of the surrender the province contained "three
cities, thirty villages, and ten thousand inhabitants,"[78:1] and for
all these there were six ministers. The six soon dribbled away to
three, and for ten years these three continued without reinforcement.
This extreme feebleness of the clergy, the absence of any vigorous
church life among the laity, and the debilitating notion that the power
and the right to preach the gospel must be imported from Holland, put
the Dutch church at such a disadvantage as to invite aggression. Later
English governors showed no scruple in violating the spirit of the terms
of surrender and using their official power and influence to force the
establishment of the English church against the almost unanimous will of
the people. Property was unjustly taken and legal rights infringed to
this end, but the end was not attained. Colonel Morris, an earnest
Anglican, warned his friends against the folly of taking by force the
salaries of ministers chosen by the people and paying them over to "the
ministers of the church." "It may be a means of subsisting those
ministers, but they won't make many converts among a people who think
themselves very much injured." The pious efforts of Governor Fletcher,
the most zealous of these official propagandists, are even more severely
characterized in a dispatch of his successor, the Earl of Bellomont:
"The late governor, ... under the notion of a Church of England to be
put in opposition to the Dutch and French churches established here,
supported a few rascally English, who are a scandal to their nation and
the Protestant religion."[79:1] Evidently such support would have for
its main effect to make the pretended establishment odious to the
people. Colonel Morris sharply points out the impolicy as well as the
injustice of the course adopted, claiming that his church would have
been in a much better position without this political aid, and citing
the case of the Jerseys and Pennsylvania, where nothing of the kind had
been attempted, and where, nevertheless, "there are four times the
number of churchmen that there are in this province of New York; and
they are so, most of them, upon principle, whereas nine parts in ten of
ours will add no great credit to whatever church they are of."[80:1]

It need not be denied that government patronage, even when dispensed by
the dirty hands of such scurvy nursing fathers as Fletcher and Lord
Cornbury, may give strength of a certain sort to a religious
organization. Whatever could be done in the way of endowment or of
social preferment in behalf of the English church was done eagerly. But
happily this church had a better resource than royal governors in the
well-equipped and sustained, and generally well-chosen, army of
missionaries of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel. Not fewer
than fifty-eight of them were placed by the society in this single
province. And if among them there were those who seemed to "preach
Christ of envy and strife," as if the great aim of the preacher of the
gospel were to get a man out of one Christian sect into another, there
were others who showed a more Pauline and more Christian conception of
their work, taking their full share of the task of bringing the
knowledge of Christ to the unevangelized, whether white, red, or

The diversity of organization which was destined to characterize the
church in the province of New York was increased by the inflow of
population from New England. The settlement of Long Island was from the
beginning Puritan English. The Hudson Valley began early to be occupied
by New Englanders bringing with them their pastors. In 1696 Domine
Selyns, the only Dutch pastor in New York City, in his annual report
congratulates himself, "Our number is now full," meaning that there are
four Dutch ministers in the whole province of New York, and adds: "In
the country places here there are many English preachers, mostly from
New England. They were ordained there, having been in a large measure
supplied by the University of Cambridge [Mass.]." The same letter gives
the names of the three eminent French pastors ministering to the
communities of Huguenot refugees at New Rochelle and New York and
elsewhere in the neighborhood. The Scotch-Irish Presbyterians, more
important to the history of the opening century than any of the rest,
were yet to enter.

The spectacle of the ancient Dutch church thus dwindling, and seemingly
content to dwindle, to one of the least of the tribes, is not a cheerful
one, nor one easy to understand. But out of this little and dilapidated
Bethlehem was to come forth a leader. Domine Frelinghuysen, arriving in
America in 1720, was to begin a work of training for the ministry, which
would result, in 1784, in the establishment of the first American
professorship of theology;[81:1] and by the fervor of his preaching he
was to win the signal glory of bringing in the Great Awakening.


[69:1] Dr. E. T. Corwin, "History of the Reformed (Dutch) Church in
America" (in the American Church History Series), pp. 28-32.

[70:1] "The province, under the long years of Dutch supremacy, had
gathered only some seven thousand inhabitants, against the hundred and
twenty thousand of their New England neighbors" (Lodge, "English
Colonies," p. 297).

[71:1] See Corwin, p. 37; but compare the claim made in behalf of the
Puritan Whitaker, "apostle to the Indians" thirty years earlier
(Tiffany, "Protestant Episcopal Church," p. 18); compare also the work
of the Lutheran Campanius in New Sweden (Jacobs, "The Lutherans," p.

[74:1] "The Puritans in Holland, England, and America" (New York, 1892).

[76:1] The king's noble conceptions of what such a colony should be and
should accomplish are quoted in Bancroft, vol. ii., pp. 284, 285.

[78:1] Corwin, p. 54.

[79:1] Corwin, pp. 105, 121.

[80:1] Corwin, p. 105.

[80:2] "Digest of S. P. G. Records," pp. 57-79. That the sectarian
proselyting zeal manifested in some of the missionaries' reports made an
unfavorable impression on the society is indicated by the peremptory
terms of a resolution adopted in 1710: "That a stop be put to the
sending any more missionaries among Christians, except to such places
whose ministers are, or shall be, dead or removed" (_ibid._, p. 69). A
good resolution, but not well kept.

[81:1] Corwin, p. 207. Undue stress should not be laid upon this formal
fact. The early New England colleges were primarily and mainly
theological seminaries and training-schools for the ministry. Their
professors were all theological professors. It is stated in Dwight's
"Life of Edwards" that James Pierpont, of New Haven, Edwards's
father-in-law, who died in 1714, lectured to the students of Yale
College, as professor of moral philosophy.



The attitude of the Church of England Puritans toward the Separatists
from that church was the attitude of the earnest, patient, hopeful
reformer toiling for the removal of public abuses, toward the restless
"come-outer" who quits the conflict in despair of succeeding, and,
"without tarrying for any," sets up his little model of good order
outside. Such defection seemed to them not only of the nature of a
military desertion and a weakening of the right side, but also an
implied assertion of superior righteousness which provoked invidious
comparison and mutual irritation of feeling. The comparison must not be
pressed too far if we cite in illustration the feeling of the great mass
of earnest, practical antislavery men in the American conflict with
slavery toward the faction of "come-outer" abolitionists, who,
despairing of success within the church and the state, seceded from
both, thenceforth predicting failure for every practical enterprise of
reform on the part of their former workfellows, and at every defeat
chuckling, "I told you so."

If we should compare the English Separatist of the seventeenth century
with this American Separatist of the nineteenth, we should be in still
greater danger of misleading. Certainly there were those among the
Separatists from the Church of England who, in the violence of their
alienation and the bitterness of their sufferings, did not refrain from
sour and acrid censoriousness toward the men who were nearest them in
religious conviction and pursuing like ends by another course. One does
not read far in the history of New England without encountering
reformers of this extreme type. But not such were the company of true
worshipers who, at peril of liberty and life, were wont to assemble each
Lord's day in a room of the old manor-house of Scrooby, of which William
Brewster was lessee, for Christian fellowship and worship, and for
instruction in Christian truth and duty from the saintly lips of John
Robinson. The extreme radicals of their day, they seem to have been
divinely preserved from the besetting sins of radicalism--its
narrowness, its self-righteousness, its censoriousness and intolerance.
Those who read the copious records of the early New England colonization
are again and again surprised at finding that the impoverished little
company of Separatists at Leyden and Plymouth, who were so sharply
reprobated by their Puritan brethren of the Church of England for their
schismatic attitude, their over-righteousness and exclusiveness, do
really excel, in liberality and patient tolerance and catholic and
comprehensive love toward all good men, those who sat in judgment on
them. Something of this is due to the native nobleness of the men
themselves, of whom the world was not worthy; something of it to their
long discipline in the passive virtues under bitter persecution in their
native land and in exile in Holland and in the wilderness; much of it
certainly to the incomparably wise and Christ-like teaching of Robinson
both at Scrooby and at Leyden, and afterward through the tender and
faithful epistles with which he followed them across the sea; and all of
it to the grace of God working in their hearts and glorified in their
living and their dying.

It would be incompatible with the limits of this volume to recite in
detail the story of the Pilgrims; it has been told more amply and with
fuller repetition than almost any other chapter of human history, and is
never to be told or heard without awakening that thrill with which the
heartstrings respond to the sufferings and triumphs of Christ's blessed
martyrs and confessors. But, more dispassionately studied with reference
to its position and relations in ecclesiastical history, it cannot be
understood unless the sharp and sometimes exasperated antagonism is kept
in view that existed between the inconsiderable faction, as it was
esteemed, of the Separatists, and the great and growing Puritan party at
that time in disfavor with king and court and hierarchy, but soon to
become the dominant party not only in the Church of England, but in the
nation. It is not strange that the antagonism between the two parties
should be lost sight of. The two are identified in their theological
convictions, in their spiritual sympathies, and, for the most part, in
their judgment on questions concerning the externals of the church; and
presently their respective colonies, planted side by side, not without
mutual doubts and suspicions, are to grow together, leaving no visible
seam of juncture,

     Like kindred drops commingling into one.[84:1]

To the Puritan reformer within the Church of England, the act of the
Pilgrims at Scrooby in separating themselves from the general mass of
English Christians, mingled though that mass might be with a multitude
of unworthy was nothing less than the sin of schism. One effect of the
act was to reflect odium upon the whole party of Puritans, and involve
them in the suspicion of that sedition which was so unjustly, but with
such fatal success, imputed to the Separatists. It was a hard and
doubtful warfare that the Puritans were waging against spiritual
wickedness in high places; the defection of the Separatists doubly
weakened them in the conflict. It is not strange, however it may seem
so, that the animosity of Puritan toward Separatist was sometimes
acrimonious, nor that the public reproaches hurled at the unpopular
little party should have provoked recriminations upon the assailants as
being involved in the defilements and the plagues of Babylon, and should
have driven the Separatists into a narrower exclusiveness of separation,
cutting themselves off not only from communion with abuses and
corruptions in the Church of England, but even from fellowship with good
and holy men in the national church who did not find it a duty to

Nothing of this bitterness and narrowness is found in Robinson.
Strenuously as he maintained the right and duty of separation from the
Establishment, he was, especially in his later years, no less earnest in
condemning the "Separatists who carried their separation too far and had
gone beyond the true landmarks in matters of Christian doctrine or of
Christian fellowship."[85:1] His latest work, "found in his studie after
his decease," was "A Treatise of the Lawfulness of Hearing of the
Ministers in the Church of England."

The moderateness of Robinson's position, and the brotherly kindness of
his temper, could not save him and his people from the prevailing odium
that rested upon the Separatist. Many and grave were the sorrows through
which the Pilgrim church had to pass in its way from the little hamlet
of Scrooby to the bleak hill of Plymouth. They were in peril from the
persecutor at home and in peril in the attempt to escape; in peril from
greedy speculators and malignant politicians; in peril from the sea and
from cold and from starvation; in peril from the savages and from false
brethren privily sent among them to spy out their liberties; but an
added bitterness to all their tribulations lay in this, that, for the
course which they were constrained in conscience to pursue, they were
subject to the reprobation of those whom they most highly honored as
their brethren in the faith of Christ. Some of the most heartbreaking of
their trials arose directly from the unwillingness of English Puritans
to sustain, or even countenance, the Pilgrim colony.

In the year 1607, when the ships of the Virginia Company were about
landing their freight of emigrants and supplies at Jamestown, the first
and unsuccessful attempt of the Pilgrims was made to escape from their
native land to Holland. Before the end of 1608 the greater part of them,
in scattering parties, had effected the passage of the North Sea, and
the church was reunited in a land of religious freedom. With what a
blameless, diligent, and peaceful life they adorned the name of disciple
through all the twelve years of their sojourn, how honored and beloved
they were among the churches and in the University of Leyden, there are
abundant testimonies. The twelve years of seclusion in an alien land
among a people of strange language was not too long a discipline of
preparation for that work for which the Head of the church had set them
apart. This was the period of Robinson's activity as author. In erudite
studies, in grave debate with gainsayers at home and with fellow-exiles
in Holland, he was maturing in his own mind, and in the minds of the
church, those large and liberal yet definite views of church
organization and duty which were destined for coming ages so profoundly
to influence the American church in all its orders and divisions. "He
became a reformer of the Separation."[87:1]

We pass by the heroic and pathetic story of the consultations and
correspondences, the negotiations and disappointments, the embarkation
and voyage, and come to that memorable date, November 11 (= 21), 1620,
when, arrived off the shore of Cape Cod, the little company, without
charter or warrant of any kind from any government on earth, about to
land on a savage continent in quest of a home, gathered in the cabin of
the "Mayflower," and after a method quite in analogy with that in which,
sixteen years before, they had constituted the church at Scrooby,
entered into formal and solemn compact "in the presence of God and one
of another, covenanting and combining themselves together into a civil
body politic."

It is difficult, in reading the instrument then subscribed, to avoid the
conviction that the theory of the origin of the powers of civil
government in a social compact, which had long floated in literature
before it came to be distinctly articulated in the "Contrat Social" of
Jean Jacques Rousseau, was familiar to the minds of those by whom the
paper was drawn. Thoughtful men at the present day universally recognize
the fallacy of this plausible hypothesis, which once had such wide
currency and so serious an influence on the course of political history
in America. But whether or not they were affected by the theory, the
practical good sense of the men and their deference to the teachings of
the Bible secured them from the vicious and absurd consequences
deducible from it. Not all the names of the colonists were subscribed to
the compact,--a clear indication of the freedom of individual judgment
in that company,--but it was never for a moment held that the
dissentients were any the less bound by it. When worthless John
Billington, who had somehow got "shuffled into their company," was
sentenced for disrespect and disobedience to Captain Myles Standish "to
have his neck and heels tied together," it does not seem to have
occurred to him to plead that he had never entered into the social
compact; nor yet when the same wretched man, ten years later, was by a
jury convicted of willful murder, and sentenced to death and executed.
Logically, under the social-compact theory, it would have been competent
for those dissenting from this compact to enter into another, and set up
a competing civil government on the same ground; but what would have
been the practical value of this line of argument might have been
learned from Mr. Thomas Morton, of Furnivall's Inn, after he had been
haled out of his disorderly house at Merry Mount by Captain Standish,
and convented before the authorities at Plymouth.

The social-compact theory as applied to the church, implying that the
mutual duties of Christian disciples in society are derived solely from
mutual stipulations, is quite as transparently fallacious as when it is
applied to civil polity, and the consequences deducible from it are not
less absurd. But it cannot be claimed for the Plymouth men, and still
less for their spiritual successors, that they have wholly escaped the
evil consequences of their theory in its practical applications. The
notion that a church of Christ is a club, having no authority or
limitations but what it derives from club rules agreed on among the
members, would have been scouted by the Pilgrims; among those who now
claim to sit in their seats there are some who would hesitate to admit
it, and many who would frankly avow it with all its mischievous
implications. Planted in the soil of Plymouth, it spread at once through
New England, and has become widely rooted in distant and diverse
regions of the American church.[89:1]

The church of Plymouth, though deprived of its pastor, continued to be
rich in faith and in all spiritual gifts, and most of all in the
excellent gift of charity. The history of it year after year is a
beautiful illustration of brotherly kindness and mutual self-sacrifice
among themselves and of forgiving patience toward enemies. But the
colony, beginning in extreme feebleness and penury, never became either
strong or rich. One hundred and two souls embarked in the "Mayflower,"
of whom nearly one half were dead before the end of four months. At the
end of four years the number had increased to one hundred and eighty. At
the end of ten years the settlement numbered three hundred persons.

It could not have been with joy wholly unalloyed with misgivings that
this feeble folk learned of a powerful movement for planting a Puritan
colony close in the neighborhood. The movement had begun in the heart of
the national church, and represented everything that was best in that
institution. The Rev. John White, rector of Dorchester, followed across
the sea with pastoral solicitude the young men of his parish, who, in
the business of the fisheries, were wont to make long stay on the New
England coast, far from home and church. His thought was to establish a
settlement that should be a sort of depot of supplies for the fishing
fleets, and a temporary home attended with the comforts and safeguards
of Christian influence. The project was a costly failure; but it was
like the corn of wheat falling into the ground to die, and bringing
forth much fruit. A gentleman of energy and dignity, John Endicott,
pledged his personal service as leader of a new colony. In September,
1628, he landed with a pioneering party at Naumkeag, and having happily
composed some differences that arose with the earlier comers, they named
the place _Salem_, which is, by interpretation, "Peace." Already, with
the newcomers and the old, the well-provided settlement numbered more
than fifty persons, busy in preparation for further arrivals. Meanwhile
vigorous work was doing in England. The organization to sustain the
colony represented adequate capital and the highest quality of character
and influence. A royal charter, drawn with sagacious care to secure
every privilege the Puritan Company desired, was secured from the
fatuity of the reigning Stuart, erecting in the wilderness such a free
commonwealth as his poor little soul abhorred; and preparation was made
for sending out, in the spring of 1629, a noble fleet of six vessels,
carrying three hundred men and a hundred women and children, with
ample equipment of provisions, tools and arms, and live stock. The
Company had taken care that there should be "plentiful provision
of godly ministers." Three approved clergymen of the Church of
England--Higginson, Skelton, and Bright--had been chosen by the Company
to attend the expedition, besides whom one Ralph Smith, a Separatist
minister, had been permitted to take passage before the Company
"understood of his difference in judgment in some things" from the other
ministers. He was permitted to continue his journey, yet not without a
caution to the governor that unless he were found "conformable to the
government" he was not to be suffered to remain within the limits of its
jurisdiction. An incident of this departure rests on the sole authority
of Cotton Mather, and is best told in his own words:

     "When they came to the Land's End, Mr. Higginson, calling up
     his children and other passengers unto the stern of the ship
     to take their last sight of England, said, 'We will not say,
     as the Separatists were wont to say at their leaving of
     England, Farewell, Babylon! farewell, Rome! but we will say,
     Farewell, dear England! farewell, the church of God in
     England, and all the Christian friends there! We do not go to
     New England as Separatists from the Church of England, though
     we cannot but separate from the corruptions in it; but we go
     to practice the positive part of church reformation and
     propagate the gospel in America.'"

The story ought to be true, for the intrinsic likeliness of it; and it
is all the likelier for the fact that among the passengers, kindly and
even fraternally treated, and yet the object of grave misgivings, was
the honest Separatist minister, Ralph Smith.[91:1] The ideal of the new
colony could hardly have been better expressed than in these possibly
apocryphal words ascribed to Mr. Higginson. These were not fugitives
seeking asylum from persecution. Still less were they planning an asylum
for others. They were intent on the planting of a new commonwealth, in
which the church of Christ, not according to the imperfect and perverted
pattern of the English Establishment, but according to a fairer pattern,
that had been showed them in their mounts of vision, should be both free
and dominant. If this purpose of theirs was wrong; if they had no right
to deny themselves the comforts and delights of their native land, and
at vast cost of treasure to seclude themselves within a defined tract of
wilderness, for the accomplishment of an enterprise which they conceived
to be of the highest beneficence to mankind--then doubtless many of the
measures which they took in pursuance of this purpose must fall under
the same condemnation with the purpose itself. If there are minds so
constituted as to perceive no moral difference between banishing a man
from his native home, for opinion's sake, and declining, on account of
difference of opinion, to admit a man to partnership in a difficult and
hazardous enterprise organized on a distinctly exclusive basis, such
minds will be constrained to condemn the Puritan colonists from the
start and all along. Minds otherwise constituted will be able to
discriminate between the righteous following of a justifiable policy and
the lapses of the colonial governments from high and Christian motives
and righteous courses. Whether the policy of rigorous exclusiveness,
building up communities of picked material, homogeneous in race,
language, and religion, is on the whole less wise for the founders of a
new commonwealth than a sweepingly comprehensive policy, gathering in
people mutually alien in speech and creed and habits, is a fairly open
question for historical students. Much light might be thrown upon it by
the comparative history of Massachusetts and Rhode Island, of New
England and Pennsylvania. It is not a question that is answered at once
by the mere statement of it.

We do not need to be told that to the little Separatist settlement at
Plymouth, still in the first decade of its feeble existence, the
founding, within a day's journey, of this powerful colony, on
ecclesiastical principles distinctly antagonistic to their own, was a
momentous, even a formidable fact. Critical, nay, vital questions
emerged at once, which the subtlest churchcraft might have despaired of
answering. They were answered, solved, harmonized, by the spirit of
Christian love.

That great spiritual teacher, John Robinson, besides his more general
exhortations to brotherly kindness and charity, had spoken, in the
spirit of prophecy, some promises and assurances which came now to a
divine fulfillment. Pondering "sundry weighty and solid reasons" in
favor of removal from Holland, the pilgrims put on record that "their
pastor would often say that many of those who both wrote and preached
against them would practice as they did if they were in a place where
they might have liberty and live conformably." One of the most
affectionate of his disciples, Edward Winslow, wrote down some of the
precious and memorable words which the pastor, who was to see their face
no more, uttered through his tears as they were about to leave him.
"'There will be no difference,' he said, 'between the unconformable
ministers and you, when they come to the practice of the ordinances out
of the kingdom.' And so he advised us to close with the godly party of
the kingdom of England, and rather to study union than division, viz.,
how near we might possibly without sin close with them, rather than in
the least measure to affect division or separation from them."

The solitude of the little starving hamlet by the sea was favorable to
the springing and fructifying of this seed in the good and honest hearts
into which it had been cast. Before the great fleet of colonists, with
its three unconformable Church of England clergymen, had reached the
port of Salem the good seed had been planted anew in other hearts not
less honest and good. It fell on this wise. The pioneer party at Salem
who came with Endicott, "arriving there in an uncultivated desert, many
of them, for want of wholesome diet and convenient lodgings, were seized
with the scurvy and other distempers, which shortened many of their
days, and prevented many of the rest from performing any great matter of
labor that year for advancing the work of the plantation." Whereupon the
governor, hearing that at Plymouth lived a physician "that had some
skill that way," wrote thither for help, and at once the beloved
physician and deacon of the Plymouth church, Dr. Samuel Fuller,
hastened to their relief. On what themes the discourse revolved between
the Puritan governor just from England and the Separatist deacon already
for so many years an exile, and whither it tended, is manifested in a
letter written soon after by Governor Endicott, of Salem, to Governor
Bradford, of Plymouth, under date May 11 (= 21), 1629. The letter marks
an epoch in the history of American Christianity:

     "_To the worshipful and my right worthy friend, William
     Bradford, Esq., Governor of New Plymouth, these:_

     "RIGHT WORTHY SIR: It is a thing not usual that servants to
     one Master and of the same household should be strangers. I
     assure you I desire it not; nay, to speak more plainly, I
     cannot be so to you. God's people are marked with one and the
     same mark, and sealed with one and the same seal, and have,
     for the main, one and the same heart, guided by one and the
     same Spirit of truth; and where this is there can be no
     discord--nay, here must needs be sweet harmony. The same
     request with you I make unto the Lord, that we may as
     Christian brethren be united by a heavenly and unfeigned love,
     bending all our hearts and forces in furthering a work beyond
     our strength, with reverence and fear fastening our eyes
     always on him that only is able to direct and prosper all our

     "I acknowledge myself much bound to you for your kind love and
     care in sending Mr. Fuller among us, and I rejoice much that I
     am by him satisfied touching your judgments of the outward
     form of God's worship.[94:1] It is, as far as I can yet
     gather, no other than is warranted by the evidence of truth,
     and the same which I have professed and maintained ever since
     the Lord in mercy revealed himself to me, being very far
     different from the common report that hath been spread of you
     touching that particular. But God's children must not look for
     less here below, and it is the great mercy of God that he
     strengthens them to go through with it.

     "I shall not need at this time to be tedious unto you, for,
     God willing, I purpose to see your face shortly. In the
     meantime I humbly take my leave of you, committing you to the
     Lord's blessed protection, and rest

     "Your assured loving friend and servant,


"The positive part of church reformation," which Higginson and his
companions had come into the wilderness to practice, appeared in a new
light when studied under the new conditions. The question of separation
from the general fellowship of English Christians, which had lain
heavily on their consciences, was no longer a question; instead of it
arose the question of separation from their beloved and honored
fellow-Christians at Plymouth. The Act of Uniformity and the tyrannous
processes by which it was enforced no longer existed for them. They were
free to build the house of God simply according to the teaching of the
divine Word. What form will the structure take?

One of the first practical questions to emerge was the question by what
authority their ministry was to be exercised. On one point they seem to
have been quite clear. The episcopal ordination, which each of them had
received in England, whatever validity it may have had in English law,
gave them no authority in the church of God in Salem. Further, their
appointment from the Company in London, although it was a regular
commission from the constituted civil government of the colony, could
confer no office in the spiritual house. A day of solemn fasting was
held, by the governor's appointment, for the choice of pastor and
teacher, and after prayer the two recognized candidates for the two
offices, Skelton and Higginson, were called upon to give their views as
to a divine call to the ministry. "They acknowledged there was a twofold
calling: the one, an inward calling, when the Lord moved the heart of a
man to take that calling upon him, and fitted him with gifts for the
same; the second (the outward calling) was from the people, when a
company of believers are joined together in covenant to walk together in
all the ways of God." Thereupon the assembly proceeded to a written
ballot, and its choice fell upon Mr. Skelton and Mr. Higginson. It
remained for the ministers elect to be solemnly inducted into office,
which was done with prayer and the laying on of hands in benediction.

But presently there were searchings of heart over the anterior question
as to the constituency of the church. Were all the population of Salem
to be reckoned as of the church of Salem? and if not, who should
"discern between the righteous and the wicked"? The result of study of
this question, in the light of the New Testament, was this--that it was
"necessary for those who intended to be of the church solemnly to enter
into a covenant engagement one with another, in the presence of God, to
walk together before him according to his Word." Thirty persons were
chosen to be the first members of the church, who in a set form of words
made public vows of faithfulness to each other and to Christ. By the
church thus constituted the pastor and teacher, already installed in
office in the parish, were instituted as ministers of the church.[96:1]

Before the solemnities of that notable day were concluded, a belated
vessel that had been eagerly awaited landed on the beach at Salem the
"messengers of the church at Plymouth." They came into the assembly,
Governor Bradford at the head, and in the name of the Pilgrim church
declared their "approbation and concurrence," and greeted the new
church, the first-born in America, with "the right hand of fellowship."
A thoughtful and devoted student declares this day's proceedings to be
"the beginning of a distinctively American church history."[97:1]

The immediate sequel of this transaction is characteristic and
instructive. Two brothers, John and Samuel Browne, members of the
council of the colony, took grave offense at this departure from the
ways of the Church of England, and, joining to themselves others
like-minded, set up separate worship according to the Book of Common
Prayer. Being called to account before the governor for their schismatic
procedure, they took an aggressive tone and declared that the ministers,
"were Separatists, and would be Anabaptists." The two brothers were
illogical. The ministers had not departed from the Nationalist and
anti-Separatist principles enunciated by Higginson from the quarter-deck
of the "Talbot." What they had just done was to lay the foundations of a
national church for the commonwealth that was in building. And the two
brothers, trying to draw off a part of the people into their
schism-shop, were Separatists, although they were doubtless surprised to
discover it. There was not the slightest hesitation on the governor's
part as to the proper course to be pursued. "Finding those two brothers
to be of high spirits, and their speeches and practices tending to
mutiny and faction, the governor told them that New England was no place
for such as they, and therefore he sent them both back for England at
the return of the ships the same year."[98:1] Neither then nor
afterward was there any trace of doubt in the minds of the New England
settlers, in going three thousand miles away into the seclusion of the
wilderness, of their indefeasible moral right to pick their own company.
There was abundant opportunity for mistake and temptation to wrong-doing
in the exercise of this right, but the right itself is so nearly
self-evident as to need no argument.

While the civil and ecclesiastical foundations of the Salem community
are thus being laid, there is preparing on the other side of the sea
that great _coup d'état_ which is to create, almost in a day, a
practically independent American republic. Until this is accomplished
the colonial organization is according to a common pattern, a settlement
on a distant shore, equipped, sustained, and governed with authority all
but sovereign by a commercial company at the metropolis, within the
reach, and thus under the control, of the supreme power. Suppose, now,
that the shareholders in the commercial company take their charter
conferring all but sovereign authority, and transport themselves and it
across the sea to the heart of the settlement, there to admit other
planters, at their discretion, to the franchise of the Company, what
then? This was the question pondered and decided in those dark days of
English liberty, when the triumph of despotism, civil and spiritual,
over the rights of Englishmen seemed almost achieved. The old officers
of the Company resigned; their places were filled by Winthrop and Dudley
and others, who had undertaken to emigrate; and that memorable season of
1630 not less than seventeen ships, carrying about one thousand
passengers, sailed from English ports for Massachusetts Bay. It was the
beginning of the great Puritan exodus. Attempts were made by the king
and the archbishop to stay the flow of emigration, but with only
transient success. "At the end of ten years from Winthrop's arrival
about twenty-one thousand Englishmen, or four thousand families,
including the few hundreds who were here before him, had come over in
three hundred vessels, at a cost of two hundred thousand pounds
sterling."[99:1] What could not be done by despotism was accomplished by
the triumph of the people over the court. The meeting of the Long
Parliament in 1640 made it safe for Puritans to stay in England; and the
Puritans stayed. The current of migration was not only checked, but
turned backward. It is reckoned that within four generations from that
time more persons went to old England than originally came thence. The
beginnings of this return were of high importance. Among the home-going
companies were men who were destined to render eminent service in the
reconstruction of English society, both in the state and in the army,
and especially in the church. The example of the New England churches,
voluminously set forth in response to written inquiries from England,
had great influence in saving the mother country from suffering the
imposition of a Presbyterian hierarchy that threatened to be as
intolerant and as intolerable as the tyranny of Laud.

For the order of the New England churches crystallized rapidly into a
systematic and definite church polity, far removed from mere Separatism
even in the temperate form in which this had been illustrated by
Robinson and the Pilgrim church. The successive companies of emigrants
as they arrived, ship-load after ship-load, each with its minister or
college of ministers, followed with almost monotonous exactness the
method adopted in the organization of the church in Salem. A small
company of the best Christians entered into mutual covenant as a church
of Christ, and this number, growing by well-considered accessions, added
to itself from time to time other believers on the evidence and
confession of their faith in Christ. The ministers, all or nearly all of
whom had been clergymen in the orders of the Church of England, were of
one mind in declining to consider their episcopal ordination in England
as conferring on them any spiritual authority in a church newly gathered
in America. They found rather in the free choice of the brotherhood the
sign of a divine call to spiritual functions in the church, and were
inducted into office by the primitive form of the laying on of hands.

In many ways, but especially in the systematized relations of the
churches with one another and in their common relations with the civil
government, the settled Nationalism of the great Puritan migration was
illustrated. With the least possible constraint on the individual or on
the church, they were clear in their purpose that their young state
should have its established church.

Through what rude experiences the system and the men were tested has
been abundantly told and retold.[100:1] Roger Williams, learned,
eloquent, sincere, generous, a man after their own heart, was a very
malignant among Separatists, separating himself not only from the
English church, but from all who would not separate from it, and from
all who would not separate from these, and so on, until he could no
longer, for conscience' sake, hold fellowship with his wife in family
prayers. After long patience the colonial government deemed it necessary
to signify to him that if his conscience would not suffer him to keep
quiet, and refrain from stirring up sedition, and embroiling the colony
with the English government, he would have to seek freedom for that
sort of conscience outside of their jurisdiction; and they put him out
accordingly, to the great advantage of both parties and without loss of
mutual respect and love. A little later, a clever woman, Mrs. Ann
Hutchinson, with a vast conceit of her superior holiness and with the
ugly censoriousness which is a usual accompaniment of that grace,
demonstrated her genius for mixing a theological controversy with
personal jealousies and public anxieties, and involved the whole colony
of the Bay in an acrimonious quarrel, such as to give an unpleasant tone
of partisanship and ill temper to the proceedings in her case, whether
ecclesiastical or civil. She seems clearly to have been a willful and
persistent nuisance in the little community, and there were good reasons
for wanting to be rid of her, and right ways to that end. They took the
wrong way and tried her for heresy. In like manner, when the Quakers
came among them,--not of the mild, meek, inoffensive modern variety to
which we are accustomed, but of the fierce, aggressive early
type,--instead of proceeding against them for their overt offenses
against the state, disorderly behavior, public indecency, contempt of
court, sedition, they proceeded against them distinctly as Quakers, thus
putting themselves in the wrong and conceding to their adversaries that
crown of martyrdom for which their souls were hankering and to which
they were not fully entitled.

Of course, in maintaining the principle of Nationalism, the New England
Puritans did not decline the implications and corollaries of that
principle. It was only to a prophetic genius like the Separatist Roger
Williams that it was revealed that civil government had no concern to
enforce "the laws of the first table." But the historical student might
be puzzled to name any other church establishment under which less of
molestation was suffered by dissenters, or more of actual encouragement
given to rival sects, than under the New England theocracies. The
Nationalist principle was exclusive; the men who held it in New England
(subject though they were to the temptations of sectarian emulation and
fanatic zeal) were large-minded and generous men.

The general uniformity of church organization among the Puritan
plantations is the more remarkable in view of the notable independence
and originality of the leading men, who represented tendencies of
opinion as widely diverging as the quasi-Presbyterianism of John Eliot
and the doctrinaire democracy of John Wise. These variations of
ecclesiastico-political theory had much to do with the speedy diffusion
of the immigrant population. For larger freedom in building his ideal
New Jerusalem, the statesmanlike pastor, Thomas Hooker, led forth his
flock a second time into the great and terrible wilderness, and with his
associates devised what has been declared to be "the first example in
history of a written constitution--a distinct organic law constituting a
government and defining its powers."[102:1] The like motive determined
the choice company under John Davenport and Theophilus Eaton to refuse
all inducements and importunities to remain in Massachusetts, choosing
rather to build on no other man's foundations at New Haven.[102:2] At
the end of a hundred years from the settlement of Boston the shores and
river valleys of Massachusetts and Connecticut were planted with towns,
each self-governing as a pure democracy, each with its church and
educated minister and its system of common schools. The two colleges at
Cambridge and New Haven were busy with their appointed work of training
young men to the service of God "in church or civil state." And this
great and prosperous and intelligent population was, with inconsiderable
exceptions, the unmingled progeny of the four thousand English families
who, under stress of the tyranny of Charles Stuart and the persecution
of William Laud, had crossed the sea in the twelve years from 1628 to

The traditions of the fathers of New England had been piously cherished
down to this third and fourth generation. The model of an ideal state
that had been set up had, meanwhile, been more or less deformed,
especially in Massachusetts, by the interference of England; the
dominance of the established churches had been slightly infringed by the
growth here and there of dissenting churches, Baptist, Episcopalian, and
Quaker; but the framework both of church and of state was wonderfully
little decayed or impaired. The same simplicity in the outward order of
worship was maintained; the same form of high Calvinistic theology
continued to be cherished as a norm of sound preaching and as a vehicle
of instruction to children. All things continued as they had been; and
yet it would have been a most superficial observer who had failed to
detect signs of approaching change. The disproportions of the
Calvinistic system, exaggerated in the popular acceptation, as in the
favorite "Day of Doom" of Michael Wigglesworth, forced the effort after
practical readjustments. The magnifying of divine sovereignty in the
saving of men, to the obscuring of human responsibility, inevitably
mitigated the church's reprobation of respectable people who could
testify of no experience of conversion, and yet did not wish to
relinquish for themselves or their families their relation to the
church. Out of the conflict between two aspects of theological truth,
and the conflict between the Nationalist and the Separatist conceptions
of the church, and especially out of the mistaken policy of restricting
the civil franchise to church-members, came forth that device of the
"Half-way Covenant" which provided for a hereditary quasi-membership in
the church for worthy people whose lives were without scandal, and who,
not having been subjects of an experience of conscious conversion, were
felt to be not altogether to blame for the fact. From the same causes
came forth, and widely prevailed, the tenet of "Stoddardeanism," so
called as originating in the pastoral work, and, it is said, in the
personal experience, of Solomon Stoddard, the saintly minister of
Northampton from 1669 till 1729, when he was succeeded by his colleague
and grandson, Jonathan Edwards. It is the view that the Lord's Supper is
instituted as a means of regeneration as well as of sanctification, and
that those who are consciously "in a natural condition" ought not to be
repelled, but rather encouraged to come to it. From the same causes, by
natural sequence, came that so-called Arminianism[104:1] which, instead
of urging the immediate necessity and duty of conversion, was content
with commending a "diligent use of means," which might be the hopeful
antecedent of that divine grace.

These divergences from the straight lines of the primeval New England
Calvinism had already begun to be manifest during the lifetime of some
of the founders. Of not less grave import was the deflection from the
lofty moral standard of the fathers. A great New Englander, Horace
Bushnell, maintaining his thesis that great migrations are followed by a
tendency to barbarism, has cited in proof this part of New England
history.[105:1] As early as the second generation, the evil tendency
seemed so formidable as to lead to the calling, by the General Court of
Massachusetts, of the "Reforming Synod" of 1679. No one can say that the
heroic age of New England was past. History has no nobler record to
show, of courage and fortitude in both men and women, than that of New
England in the Indian wars. But the terrors of those days of
tribulation, the breaking up of communities, the decimation of the
population, the long absences of the young men on the bloody business of
the soldier, were not favorable for maturing the fruits of the Spirit.
Withal, the intrigues of British politicians, the threatened or actual
molestations of the civil governments of the colonies, and the
corrupting influences proceeding from every center of viceregal
authority, abetted the tendency to demoralization. By the end of the
first third of the eighteenth century, New England, politically,
ecclesiastically, theologically, and morally, had come into a state of
unstable equilibrium. An overturn is impending.

       *       *       *       *       *

The set and sturdy resolution of the founders of the four colonies of
the New England confederacy that the first planting of their territory
should be on rigorously exclusive principles, with a homogeneous and
mutually congenial population, under a firm discipline both civil and
ecclesiastical, finds an experimental justification in the history of
the neighbor colony of Rhode Island. No commonwealth can boast a nobler
and purer name for its founder than the name of Roger Williams. Rhode
Island, founded in generous reaction from the exclusiveness of
Massachusetts, embodied the principle of "soul-liberty" in its earliest
acts. The announcement that under its jurisdiction no man was to be
molested by the civil power for his religious belief was a broad
invitation to all who were uncomfortable under the neighboring
theocracies.[106:1] And the invitation was freely accepted. The
companions of Williams were reinforced by the friends of Mrs.
Hutchinson, some of them men of substance and weight of character. The
increasing number of persons inclined to Baptist views found in Rhode
Island a free and congenial atmosphere. Williams himself was not long in
coming to the Baptist position and passing beyond it. The Quakers found
Rhode Island a safe asylum from persecution, whether Puritan or Dutch.
More disorderly and mischievous characters, withal, quartered
themselves, unwelcome guests, on the young commonwealth, a thorn in its
side and a reproach to its principles. It became clear to Williams
before his death that the declaration of individual rights and
independence is not of itself a sufficient foundation for a state. The
heterogeneous population failed to settle into any stable polity. After
two generations the tyranny of Andros, so odious elsewhere in New
England, was actually welcome as putting an end to the liberty that had
been hardly better than anarchy.

The results of the manner of the first planting on the growth of the
church in Rhode Island were of a like sort. There is no room for
question that the material of a true church was there, in the person of
faithful and consecrated disciples of Christ, and therefore there must
have been gathering together in common worship and mutual edification.
But the sense of individual rights and responsibilities seems to have
overshadowed the love for the whole brotherhood of disciples. The
condition of the church illustrated the Separatism of Williams reduced
to the absurd. There was feeble organization of Christians in knots and
coteries. But sixty years passed before the building of the first house
of worship in Providence, and at the end of almost a century "there had
not existed in the whole colony more than eight or ten churches of any
denomination, and these were mostly in a very feeble and precarious

Meanwhile the inadequate compensations of a state of schism began to
show themselves. In the absence of any organized fellowship of the whole
there grew up, more than elsewhere, a mutual tolerance and even love
among the petty sects, the lesson of which was learned where it was most
needed. The churches of "the standing order" in Massachusetts not only
admired but imitated "the peace and love which societies of different
modes of worship entertained toward each other in Rhode Island." In
1718, not forty years from the time when Baptist churches ceased to be
_religio illicita_ in Massachusetts, three foremost pastors of Boston
assisted in the ordination of a minister to the Baptist church, at which
Cotton Mather preached the sermon, entitled "Good Men United." It
contained a frank confession of repentance for the persecutions of which
the Boston churches had been guilty.[107:2]

There is a double lesson to be learned from the history of these
neighbor colonies: first, that a rigorously exclusive selection of men
like-minded is the best seed for the first planting of a commonwealth in
the wilderness; secondly, that the exclusiveness that is justified in
the infancy of such a community cannot wisely, nor even righteously, nor
even possibly, be maintained in its adolescence and maturity. The
church-state of Massachusetts and New Haven was overthrown at the end of
the first generation by external interference. If it had continued a few
years longer it must have fallen of itself; but it lasted long enough to
be the mold in which the civilization of the young States should set and


[84:1] The mutual opposition of Puritan and Pilgrim is brought out with
emphasis in "The Genesis of the New England Churches," by L. Bacon,
especially chaps. v., vii., xviii.

[85:1] L. Bacon, "Genesis of New England Churches," p. 245.

[87:1] L. Bacon, "Genesis," p. 245.

[89:1] The writer takes leave to refer to two essays of his own, in
"Irenics and Polemics" (New York, Christian Literature Co., 1895), for a
fuller statement of this point.

[91:1] L. Bacon, "Genesis," p. 467.

[94:1] The phrase is used in a large sense, as comprehending the whole
subject of the nature and organization of the visible church (L. Bacon,
"Genesis," p. 456, note).

[96:1] L. Bacon, "Genesis," p. 475.

[97:1] L. Bacon, "Genesis," p. 477.

[98:1] Morton's Memorial, in Palfrey, vol. i., p. 298.

[99:1] Palfrey, vol. i., p. 584.

[100:1] As, for example, with great amplitude by Palfrey; and in more
condensed form by Dr. Williston Walker, "Congregationalists" (in
American Church History Series).

[102:1] L. Bacon, "Early Constitutional History of Connecticut."

[102:2] L. Bacon, "Thirteen Historical Discourses." The two mutually
independent republics at Hartford and New Haven represented opposite
tendencies. That at New Haven was after the highest type of theocracy;
the Connecticut colony inclined to the less rigorous model of Plymouth,
not exacting church-membership as a condition of voting. How important
this condition appeared to the mind of Davenport may be judged from his
exclamation when it ceased, at the union of New Haven with Connecticut.
He wrote to a friend, "In N. H. C. Christ's interest is miserably lost;"
and prepared to turn his back forever on the colony of which he was the

[104:1] The name, applied at first as a stigma to the liberalizing
school of New England theology, may easily mislead if taken either in
its earlier historic sense or in the sense which it was about to acquire
in the Wesleyan revival. The surprise of the eighteenth century New
England theologians at finding the word associated with intense fervor
of preaching and of religious experience is expressed in the saying,
"There is all the difference between a cold Arminian and a hot Arminian
that there is between a cold potato and a hot potato." For a lucid
account of the subject, see W. Walker, "History of the Congregational
Churches," chap. viii.

[105:1] Sermon on "Barbarism the First Danger."

[106:1] And yet, even in the Rhode Island communities, the arbitrary
right of exclusion, in the exercise of which Roger Williams had been
shut out from Massachusetts, was asserted and adopted. It was forbidden
to sell land to a newcomer, except by consent of prior settlers.

[107:1] Dr. J. G. Vose, "Congregationalism in Rhode Island," pp. 16, 53,

[107:2] _Ibid._, pp. 56, 57. "Good men, alas! have done such ill things
as these. New England also has in former times done something of this
aspect which would not now be so well approved; in which, if the
brethren in whose house we are now convened met with anything too
unbrotherly, they now with satisfaction hear us expressing our dislike
of everything which looked like persecution in the days that have passed
over us."



The bargainings and conveyancings, the confirmations and reclamations,
the setting up and overturning, which, after the conquest of the New
Netherlands, had the effect to detach the peninsula of New Jersey from
the jurisdiction of New York, and to divide it for a time into two
governments, belong to political history; but they had, of course, an
important influence on the planting of the church in that territory. One
result of them was a wide diversity of materials in the early growth of
the church.

Toward the end of the Dutch occupation, one lonely congregation had been
planted in that region which, at a later time, when the Dutch church in
America had awaked from its lethargy, was to become known as "the garden
of the Dutch church."[109:1]

After the extinction of the high theocracy of the New Haven Colony by
the merger of it in Connecticut, a whole church and town, headed by the
pastor, having secured such guaranty of their political liberty as the
unstable government of New Jersey was able to give, left the homes
endeared to them by thirty years of toil and thrift, and lifting the ark
of the covenant by the staves, set themselves down beside the Passaic,
calling their plantation the New-Ark, and reinstituted their fundamental
principle of restricting the franchise to members of the church. Thus
"with one heart they resolved to carry on their spiritual and town
affairs according to godly government." The Puritan migration, of which
this was the nucleus, had an influence on the legislation and the later
history of New Jersey out of all proportion to its numbers.

Twenty years later the ferocious persecution of the Scottish
Covenanters, which was incited by the fears or the bloody vindictiveness
of James II. after the futile insurrection of Monmouth, furnished a
motive for emigration to the best people in North Britain, which was
quickly seized and exploited by the operators in Jersey lands.
Assurances of religious liberty were freely given; men of influence were
encouraged to bring over large companies; and in 1686 the brother of the
martyred Duke of Argyle was made governor of East Jersey. The
considerable settlements of Scotchmen found congenial neighbors in the
New Englanders of Newark. A system of free schools, early established by
a law of the commonwealth, is naturally referred to their common

Meanwhile a series of events of the highest consequence to the future of
the American church had been in progress in the western half of the
province. Passing from hand to hand, the ownership and lordship of West
Jersey had become vested in a land company dominated by Quakers. For the
first time in the brief history of that sect, it was charged with the
responsibility of the organization and conduct of government. Hitherto
it had been publicly known by the fierce and defiant and often
outrageous protests of its representatives against existing governments
and dignities both in state and in church, such as exposed them to the
natural and reasonable suspicion of being wild and mischievous
anarchists. The opportunities and temptations that come to those in
power would be a test of the quality of the sect more severe than trial
by the cart-tail and the gibbet.

The Quakers bore the test nobly. Never did a commercial company show
itself so little mercenary; never was a sovereign more magnanimous and
unselfish. With the opening of the province to settlement, the
proprietors set forth a statement of their purposes: "We lay a
foundation for after ages to understand their liberty as men and
Christians, that they may not be brought into bondage but by their own
consent; for we put the power in the people." This was followed by a
code of "Concessions and Agreements" in forty-four articles, which were
at once a constitution of government and a binding compact with such as
should enter themselves as colonists on these terms. They left little to
be desired in securities for personal, political, and religious

At once population began to flow amain. In 1677 two hundred and thirty
Quakers came in one ship and founded the town of Burlington. By 1681
there had come fourteen hundred. Weekly, monthly, quarterly meetings
were established; houses of worship were built; and in August, 1681, the
Quaker hierarchy (if it may so be called without offense) was completed
by the establishment of the Burlington Yearly Meeting. The same year the
corporation, encouraged by its rapid success, increased its numbers and
its capital, bought out the proprietors of East Jersey, and appointed as
governor over the whole province the eminent Quaker theologian, Robert
Barclay. The Quaker régime continued, not always smoothly, till 1688,
when it was extinguished by James II. at the end of his perfidious
campaigns against American liberties.

       *       *       *       *       *

This enterprise of the Quaker purchase and settlement of New Jersey
brings upon the stage of American history the great apostle of Christian
colonization, William Penn. He came into relation to the New Jersey
business as arbiter of some differences that arose between the two
Friends who had bought West Jersey in partnership. He continued in
connection with it when the Quaker combination had extended itself by
purchase over the whole Jersey peninsula, and he was a trusted counselor
of the corporation, and the representative of its interests at court.
Thus there grew more and more distinct before his peculiarly adventurous
and enterprising mind the vision of the immense possibilities,
political, religious, and commercial, of American colonization. With
admirable business shrewdness combined with courtly tact, he canceled an
otherwise hopeless debt from the crown in consideration of the
concession to him of a domain of imperial wealth and dimensions, with
practically unlimited rights of jurisdiction. At once he put into
exercise the advantages and opportunities which were united in him so as
never before in the promoter of a like enterprise, and achieved a
success speedy and splendid beyond all precedent.

The providential preparations for this great enterprise--"the Holy
Experiment," as Penn delighted to call it--had been visibly in progress
in England for not more than the third part of a century. It was not the
less divine for being wholly logical and natural, that, just when the
Puritan Reformation culminated in the victory of the Commonwealth, the
Quaker Reformation should suddenly break forth. Puritanism was the last
expression of that appeal from the church to the Scriptures, from
existing traditions of Christianity to its authentic original documents,
which is the essence of Protestantism. In Puritanism, reverence for the
Scriptures is exaggerated to the point of superstition. The doctrine
that God of old had spoken by holy men was supplemented by the
pretension that God had long ago ceased so to speak and never would so
speak again. The claim that the Scriptures contain a sufficient guide to
moral duty and religious truth was exorbitantly stretched to include the
last details of church organization and worship, and the minute
direction of political and other secular affairs. In many a case the
Scriptures thus applied did highly ennoble the polity and legislation of
the Puritans.[113:1] In other cases, not a few, the Scriptures,
perverted from their true purpose and wrested by a vicious and conceited
exegesis, were brought into collision with the law written on the heart.
The Bible was used to contradict the moral sense. It was high time for
the Quaker protest, and it was inevitable that this protest should be
extravagant and violent.

In their bold reassertion of the doctrine of the Holy Spirit, that his
light "lighteth every man who cometh into the world," it is not strange
that the first Quakers should sometimes have lost sight of those
principles the enunciation of which gives such a character of sober
sanity to the apostolic teachings on this subject--that a divine
influence on the mind does not discharge one from the duty of
self-control, but that "the spirits of the prophets are subject to the
prophets"; that the divine inworking does not suspend nor supersede
man's volition and activity, but that it behooves man to "work, because
God worketh in him to will and to work." The lapse from these
characteristically Christian principles into the enthusiastic, fanatic,
or heathen conception of inspiration has been a perpetually recurring
incident in the history of the church in all ages, and especially in
times of deep and earnest spiritual feeling. But in the case of the
Quaker revival it was attended most conspicuously by its evil
consequences. Half-crazy or more than half-crazy adventurers and
hysterical women, taking up fantastical missions in the name of the
Lord, and never so happy as when they felt called of God to some
peculiarly outrageous course of behavior, associated themselves with
sincere and conscientious reformers, adding to the unpopularity of the
new opinions the odium justly due to their own misdemeanors. But the
prophet whose life and preaching had begun the Quaker Reformation was
not found wanting in the gifts which the case required. Like other great
religious founders, George Fox combined with profound religious
conviction a high degree of tact and common sense and the faculty of
organization. While the gospel of "the Light that lighteth every man"
was speeding with wonderful swiftness to the ends of the earth, there
was growing in the hands of the founder the framework of a discipline by
which the elements of disorder should be controlled.[114:1] The result
was a firmly articulated organization compacted by common faith and zeal
and mutual love, and by the external pressure of fierce persecution
extending throughout the British empire on both sides of the ocean.

Entering into continental Europe, the Quaker Reformation found itself
anticipated in the progress of religious history. The protests of the
Anabaptists against what they deemed the shortcomings of the Lutheran
Reformation had been attended with far wilder extravagances than those
of the early Quakers, and had been repressed with ruthless severity. But
the political and militant Anabaptists were succeeded by communities of
mild and inoffensive non-resistants, governing themselves by a narrow
and rigorous discipline, and differing from the order of Quakers mainly
at this point, that whereas the Quakers rejected all sacraments, these
insisted strenuously on their own views of Baptism and the Supper, and
added to them the ordinance of the Washing of Feet. These communities
were to be found throughout Protestant Europe, from the Alps to the
North Sea, but were best known in Holland and Lower Germany, where they
were called Mennonites, from the priest, Menno Simons, who, a hundred
years before George Fox, had enunciated the same principles of duty
founded on the strict interpretation of the Sermon on the Mount.

The combination of circumstances to promote the "Holy Experiment" of
William Penn is something prodigious. How he could be a petted favorite
at the shameful court of the last two Stuarts, while his brethren
throughout the realm were languishing under persecution, is a fact not
in itself honorable, but capable of being honorably explained; and both
the persecution and the court favor helped on his enterprise. The time
was opportune; the period of tragical uncertainty in colonization was
past; emigration had come to be a richly promising enterprise. For
leader of the enterprise what endowment was lacking in the elegantly
accomplished young courtier, holding as his own the richest domain that
could be carved out of a continent, who was at the same time brother, in
unaffected humility and unbounded generosity, in a great fraternity
bound together by principles of ascetic self-denial and devotion to the
kingdom of God?

Penn's address inviting colonists to his new domain announced the
outlines of his scheme. His great powers of jurisdiction were held by
him only to be transferred to the future inhabitants in a free and
righteous government. "I purpose," said he, conscious of the magnanimity
of the intention, "for the matters of liberty, I purpose that which is
extraordinary--to leave myself and successors no power of doing
mischief, that the will of one man may not hinder the good of a whole
country;" and added, in language which might have fallen from his
intimate friend, Algernon Sidney, but was fully expressive of his own
views, "It is the great end of government to support power in reverence
with the people, and to secure the people from the abuse of power; for
liberty without obedience is confusion, and obedience without liberty is
slavery."[116:1] With assurances of universal civil and religious
liberty in conformity with these principles, he offered land at forty
shillings for a hundred acres, subject to a small quit-rent.

Through the correspondence of the Friends' meetings, these proposals
could be brought to the attention of many thousands of people, sifted
and culled by persecution, the best stuff for a colony in all the United
Kingdom. The response was immediate. Within a year three ship-loads of
emigrants went out. The next year Penn himself went with a company of a
hundred, and stayed long enough to see the government organized by the
free act of the colonists on the principles which he had set forth, and
in that brief sojourn of two years to witness the beginnings of a
splendid prosperity. His city of Philadelphia consisted in August, 1683,
of three or four little cottages. Two years afterward it contained about
six hundred houses, and the schoolmaster and the printing-press had
begun their work.[117:1] The growth went on accelerating. In one year
seven thousand settlers are said to have arrived; before the end of the
century the colonists numbered more than twenty thousand, and
Philadelphia had become a thriving town.[117:2]

But Great Britain, although the chief source of population, was not the
only source. It had been part of the providential equipment of Penn for
his great work to endow him with the gift of tongues and bring him into
intimate relations with the many congregations of the broken and
persecuted sects kindred to his own on the continent of Europe. The
summer and autumn of 1678, four years before his coming to Pennsylvania,
had been spent by him, in company with George Fox, Robert Barclay, and
other eminent Friends, in a mission tour through Holland (where he
preached in his mother's own language) and Germany. The fruit of this
preaching and of previous missions appeared in an unexpected form. One
of the first important accessions to the colony was the company of
Mennonites led by Pastorius, the "Pennsylvania Pilgrim," who founded
Germantown, now a beautiful suburb of Philadelphia. Group after group of
picturesque devotees that had been driven into seclusion and
eccentricity by long and cruel persecution--the Tunkers, the
Schwenkfelders, the Amish--kept coming and bringing with them their
traditions, their customs, their sacred books, their timid and pathetic
disposition to hide by themselves, sometimes in quasi-monastic
communities like that at Ephrata, sometimes in actual hermitage, as in
the ravines of the Wissahickon. But the most important contribution of
this kind came from the suffering villages of the Rhenish Palatinate
ravaged with fire and sword by the French armies in 1688. So numerous
were the fugitives from the Palatinate that the name of Palatine came to
be applied in general to German refugees, from whatever region. This
migration of the German sects (to be distinguished from the later
migration from the established Lutheran and Reformed churches) furnished
the material for that curious "Pennsylvania Dutch" population which for
more than two centuries has lain encysted, so to speak, in the body
politic and ecclesiastic of Pennsylvania, speaking a barbarous jargon of
its own, and refusing to assimilate with the surrounding people.

It was the rough estimate of Dr. Franklin that colonial Pennsylvania was
made up of one third Quakers, one third Germans, and one third
miscellaneous. The largest item under this last head was the Welsh, most
of them Quakers, who had been invited by Penn with the promise of a
separate tract of forty thousand acres in which to maintain their own
language, government, and institutions. Happily, the natural and
patriotic longing of these immigrants for a New Wales on this side the
sea was not to be realized. The "Welsh Barony" became soon a mere
geographical tradition, and the whole strength of this fervid and
religious people enriched the commonwealth.[118:1]

Several notable beginnings of church history belong to the later part of
the period under consideration.

An interesting line of divergence from the current teachings of the
Friends was led, toward the end of the seventeenth century, by George
Keith, for thirty years a recognized preacher of the Society. One is
impressed, in a superficial glance at the story, with the reasonableness
and wisdom of some of Keith's positions, and with the intellectual vigor
of the man. But the discussion grew into an acrimonious controversy, and
the controversy deepened into a schism, which culminated in the
disowning of Keith by the Friends in America, and afterward by the
London Yearly Meeting, to which he had appealed. Dropped thus by his old
friends, he was taken up by the English Episcopalians and ordained by
the Bishop of London, and in 1702 returned to America as the first
missionary of the newly organized Society for the Propagation of the
Gospel in Foreign Parts. An active missionary campaign was begun and
sustained by the large resources of the Venerable Society until the
outbreak of the War of Independence. The movement had great advantages
for success. It was next of kin to the expiring Swedish Lutheran Church
in the three counties that became afterward the State of Delaware, and
heir to its venerable edifices and its good will; it was the official
and court church of the royal governors, and after the degenerate sons
of William Penn abandoned the simple worship, as well as the clean
living, in which their father delighted, it was the church promoted by
the proprietary interest; withal it proved itself, both then and
afterward, to hold a deposit of truth and of usages of worship
peculiarly adapted to supplement the defects of the Quaker system. It is
not easy to explain the ill success of the enterprise. In Philadelphia
it took strong root, and the building, in 1727, of Christ Church, which
survives to this day, a monument of architectural beauty as well as
historical interest, marks an important epoch in the progress of
Christianity in America. But in the rural districts the work languished.
Parishes, seemingly well equipped, fell into a "deplorable condition";
churches were closed and parishes dwindled away. About the year 1724
Governor Keith reported to the Bishop of London that outside the city
there were "twelve or thirteen little edifices, at times supplied by one
or other of the poor missionaries sent from the society." Nearly all
that had been gained by the Episcopal Church in Pennsylvania, where the
"Venerable Society" had maintained at times forty-seven missionaries and
twenty-four central stations, was wiped out by the Revolutionary

Another great beginning that comes within the field of vision in the
first four decades of the eighteenth century is the planting of the
great national churches of Germany. We have observed the migration of
the minor sects of Germany--so complete, in some cases, that the entire
sect was transplanted, leaving no representative in the fatherland. In
the mixed multitude of refugees from the Palatinate and other ravaged
provinces were many belonging both to the Lutheran and to the Reformed
churches, as well as some Catholics. But they were scattered as sheep
having no shepherd. The German Lutheran and Reformed immigration was
destined to attain by and by to enormous proportions; but so late was
the considerable expansion of it, and so tardy and inefficient the
attention given to this diaspora by the mother churches, that the
classical organization of the Reformed Church dates only from 1747, and
that of the Lutheran Church from 1760.[121:1] The beautiful career of
the Moravians began in Pennsylvania so late as 1734. In general it may
be said that the German-American church was affected only indirectly by
the Great Awakening.

But the greatest in its consequences, both religious and political, of
the great beginnings in the early part of the eighteenth century, was
the first flow of the swelling tide of the Scotch-Irish immigration.
Already, in 1669, an English Presbyterian, Matthew Hill, persuaded to
the work by Richard Baxter, was ministering to "many of the Reformed
religion" in Maryland; and in 1683 an appeal from them to the Irish
presbytery of Laggan had brought over to their aid that sturdy and
fearless man of God, Francis Makemie, whose successful defense in 1707,
when unlawfully imprisoned in New York by that unsavory defender of the
Anglican faith, Lord Cornbury, gave assurance of religious liberty to
his communion throughout the colonies. In 1705 he was moderator of the
first presbytery in America, numbering six ministers. At the end of
twelve years the number of ministers, including accessions from New
England, had grown to seventeen. But it was not until 1718 that this
migration began in earnest. As early as 1725 James Logan, the
Scotch-Irish-Quaker governor of Pennsylvania, speaking in the spirit of
prophecy, declares that "it looks as if Ireland were to send all her
inhabitants hither; if they continue to come they will make themselves
proprietors of the province." It was a broad-spread, rich alluvium
superimposed upon earlier strata of immigration, out of which was to
spring the sturdy growth of American Presbyterianism, as well as of
other Christian organizations. But by 1730 it was only the turbid and
feculent flood that was visible to most observers; the healthful and
fruitful growth was yet to come.[122:1]

The colony of Georgia makes its appearance among the thirteen British
colonies in America, in 1733, as one born out of due time. But no colony
of all the thirteen had a more distinctly Christian origin than this.
The foundations of other American commonwealths had been laid in faith
and hope, but the ruling motive of the founding of Georgia was charity,
and that is the greatest of these three. The spirit which dominated in
the measures taken for the beginning of the enterprise was embodied in
one of the most interesting personages of the dreary eighteenth
century--General James Oglethorpe. His eventful life covered the greater
part of the eighteenth century, but in some of the leading traits of his
character and incidents of his career he was rather a man of the
nineteenth. At the age of twenty-one he was already a veteran of the
army of Prince Eugene, having served with honorable distinction on the
staff of that great commander. Returning to England, in 1722 he entered
Parliament, and soon attained what in that age was the almost solitary
distinction of a social reformer. He procured the appointment of a
special committee to investigate the condition of the debtors' prisons;
and the shocking revelations that ensued led to a beginning of
reformation of the cruel and barbarous laws of England concerning
imprisonment for debt. But being of the higher type of reformers, he was
not content with such negative work. He cherished and elaborated a
scheme that should open a new career for those whose ill success in life
had subjected them to the pains and the ignominy due to criminals. It
was primarily for such as these that he projected the colony of Georgia.
But to a mind like his the victims of injustice in every land were
objects of practical sympathy. His colony should be an asylum for
sufferers from religious persecution from whatever quarter. The
enterprise was organized avowedly as a work of charity. The territory
was vested in trustees, who should receive no pay or emolument for their
services. Oglethorpe himself gave his unpaid labor as military and civil
head of the colony, declining to receive in return so much as a
settler's allotment of land. An appropriation of ten thousand pounds was
made by Parliament for the promotion of the work--the only government
subsidy ever granted to an American colony. With eager and unselfish
hopes of a noble service to be rendered to humanity, the generous
soldier embarked with a picked company of one hundred and twenty
emigrants, and on the 12th of February, 1733, landed at the foot of the
bluff on which now stands the city of Savannah. The attractions of the
genial climate and fertile soil, the liberal terms of invitation, and
the splendid schemes of profitable industry were diligently advertised,
and came to the knowledge of that noble young enthusiast, Zinzendorf,
count and Moravian bishop, whose estate of Herrnhut in Lusatia had
become an asylum for persecuted Christians; and missionary colonists of
that Moravian church of which every member was a missionary, and
companies of the exiled Salzburgers, the cruelty of whose sufferings
aroused the universal indignation of Protestant Europe, were mingled
with the unfortunates from English prisons in successive ship-loads of
emigrants. One such ship's company, among the earliest to be added to
the new colony, included some mighty factors in the future church
history of America and of the world. In February, 1736, a company of
three hundred colonists, with Oglethorpe at their head, landed at
Savannah. Among them was a reinforcement of twenty colonists for the
Moravian settlement, with Bishop David Nitschmann, and young Charles
Wesley, secretary to the governor, and his elder brother, John, now
thirty-three years old, eager for the work of evangelizing the heathen
Indians--an intensely narrow, ascetic, High-church ritualist and
sacramentarian. The voyage was a memorable one in history. Amid the
terrors of a perilous storm, Wesley, so liable to be lifted up with the
pride that apes humility, was humbled as he contrasted the agitations of
his own people with the cheerful faith and composure of his German
shipmates; and soon after the landing he was touched with the primitive
simplicity and beauty of the ordination service with which a pastor was
set over the Moravian settlement by Bishop Nitschmann. During the
twenty-two months of his service in Georgia, through the ascetic toils
and privations which he inflicted on himself and tried to inflict on
others, he seems as one whom the law has taken severely in hand to lead
him to Christ. It was after his return from America, among the
Moravians, first at London and afterward on a visit to Herrnhut, that he
was "taught the way of the Lord more perfectly."[125:1]

The three shipmates, the Wesleys and Bishop Nitschmann, did not remain
long together. Nitschmann soon returned to Germany to lead a new colony
of his brethren to Pennsylvania; Charles Wesley remained for four months
at Frederica, and then recrossed the ocean, weary of the hardness of the
people's hearts; and, except for the painful and humiliating discipline
which was preparing him to "take the whole world to be his parish," it
had been well for John Wesley if he had returned with his brother. Never
did a really great and good man act more like a fool than he did in his
Georgia mission. The priestly arrogance with which he attempted to
enforce his crotchets of churchmanship on a mixed community in the edge
of the wilderness culminated at last in his hurling the thunderbolts of
excommunication at a girl who had jilted him, followed by his slipping
away from the colony between two days, with an indictment for defamation
on record against him, and his returning to London to resign to the
Society for the Propagation of the Gospel his commission as missionary.
Just as he was landing, the ship was setting sail which bore to his
deserted field his old Oxford friend and associate in "the Methodist
Club," George Whitefield, then just beginning the career of meteoric
splendor which for thirty-two years dazzled the observers of both
hemispheres. He landed in Savannah in May, 1738. This was the first of
Whitefield's work in America. But it was not the beginning of the Great
Awakening. For many years there had been waiting and longing as of them
that watch for the morning. At Raritan and New Brunswick, in New Jersey,
and elsewhere, there had been prelusive gleams of dawn. And at
Northampton, in December, 1734, Jonathan Edwards had seen the sudden
daybreak and rejoiced with exceeding great joy.


[109:1] Corwin, pp. 58, 128.

[111:1] It is notable that the concessions offered already by Carteret
and Berkeley in 1664 contained an unlimited pledge of religious liberty,
"any law, statute, usage, or custom of the realm of England to the
contrary notwithstanding" (Mulford, "History of New Jersey," p. 134). A
half-century of experience in colonization had satisfied some minds that
the principle adopted by the Quakers for conscience' sake was also a
sound business principle.

[113:1] See the vindication of the act of the New Haven colonists in
adopting the laws of Moses as the statute-book of the colony, in the
"Thirteen Historical Discourses of L. Bacon," pp. 29-32. "The greatest
and boldest improvement which has been made in criminal jurisprudence by
any one act since the dark ages was that which was made by our fathers
when they determined 'that the judicial laws of God, as they were
delivered by Moses, and as they are a fence to the moral law, being
neither typical nor ceremonial nor having any reference to Canaan, shall
be accounted of moral equity, and generally bind all offenders and be a
rule to all the courts.'"

[114:1] For the dealing of Fox with the case of John Perrot, who had a
divine call to wear his hat in meeting, see the "History of the Society
of Friends," by the Messrs. Thomas, pp. 197-199 (American Church History
Series, vol. xii.).

[116:1] Quoted in Bancroft, vol. iii., p. 366.

[117:1] Bancroft, vol. ii., p. 392.

[117:2] H. C. Lodge, p. 213.

[118:1] For a fuller account of the sources of the population of
Pennsylvania, see "The Making of Pennsylvania," by Sydney George Fisher
(Philadelphia, 1896).

[120:1] Tiffany, "Protestant Episcopal Church," pp. 210-212, 220. In a
few instances the work suffered from the unfit character of the
missionaries. A more common fault was the vulgar proselyting spirit
which appears in the missionaries' reports ("Digest of S. P. G.
Records," pp. 12-79). A certain _naïf_ insularity sometimes betrays
itself in their incapacity to adapt themselves to their new-world
surroundings. Brave and zealous Mr. Barton in Cumberland County recites
a formidable list of sects into which the people are divided, and with
unconscious humor recounts his efforts to introduce one sect more
(_ibid._, p. 37). They could hardly understand that in crossing the
ocean they did not bring with them the prerogatives of a national
establishment, but were in a position of dissent from the existing
establishments. "It grieved them that Church of England men should be
stigmatized with the grim and horrid title of dissenters" ("The Making
of Pennsylvania," p. 192). One of the most pathetically amusing
instances of the misfit of the Englishman in America is that of the Rev.
Mr. Poyer at Jamaica, L. I. The meeting-house and glebe-lands that had
been provided by the people of that parish for the use of themselves and
their pastor were gotten, neither honorably nor lawfully, into the
possession of the missionary of the "S. P. G." and his scanty following,
and held by him in spite of law and justice for twenty-five years. At
last the owners of the property succeeded in evicting him by process of
law. The victim of this persecution reported plaintively to the society
his "great and almost continual contentions with the Independents in his
parish." The litigation had been over the salary settled for the
minister of that parish, and also over the glebe-lands. But "by a late
Tryal at Law he has lost them and the Church itself, of which his
congregation has had the possession for twenty-five years." The
grievance went to the heart of his congregation, who bewail "the
emperious behaviour of these our enemies, who stick not to call
themselves the Established Church and us Dissenters" ("Digest of S. P.
G. Records," p. 61; Corwin, "Dutch Church," pp. 104, 105, 126, 127).

[121:1] Dubbs, "Reformed Church," p. 281; Jacobs, "The Lutherans," p.

[122:1] R. E. Thompson, "The Presbyterian Churches," pp. 22-29; S. S.
Green, "The Scotch-Irish in America," paper before the American
Antiquarian Society, April, 1895. "The great bulk of the emigrants came
to this country at two distinct periods of time: the first from 1718 to
the middle of the century, the second from 1771 to 1773.... In
consequence of the famine of 1740 and 1741, it is stated that for
several years afterward 12,000 emigrants annually left Ulster for the
American plantations; while from 1771 to 1773 the whole emigration from
Ulster is estimated at 30,000, of whom 10,000 are weavers" (Green, p.
7). The companies that came to New England in 1718 were mainly absorbed
by the Congregationalism of that region (Thompson, p. 15). The church
founded in Boston by the Irish Presbyterians came in course of time to
have for its pastor the eminent William Ellery Channing (Green, p. 11).
Since the organization of the annual Scotch-Irish Congress in 1889, the
literature of this subject has become copious. (See "Bibliographical
Note" at the end of Mr. Green's pamphlet.)

[125:1] The beautiful story of the processional progress of the Salzburg
exiles across the continent of Europe is well told by Dr. Jacobs,
"History of the Lutherans," pp. 153-159, with a copious extract from
Bancroft, vol. iii., which shows that that learned author did not
distinguish the Salzburgers from the Moravians. The account of the
ship's company in the storm, in Dr. Jacobs's tenth chapter, is full of
interest. There is a pathetic probability in his suggestion that in the
hymn "Jesus, lover of my soul," we have Charles Wesley's reminiscence of
those scenes of peril and terror. For this episode in the church history
of Georgia as seen from different points of view, see American Church
History Series, vols, iv., v., vii., viii.



By the end of one hundred years from the settlement of Massachusetts
important changes had come upon the chain of colonies along the Atlantic
seaboard in America. In the older colonies the people had been born on
the soil at two or three generations' remove from the original
colonists, or belonged to a later stratum of migration superimposed upon
the first. The exhausting toil and privations of the pioneer had been
succeeded by a good measure of thrift and comfort. There were yet bloody
campaigns to be fought out against the ferocity and craft of savage
enemies wielded by the strategy of Christian neighbors; but the severest
stress of the Indian wars was passed. In different degrees and according
to curiously diverse types, the institutions of a Christian civilization
were becoming settled.

In the course of this hundred years the political organization of these
various colonies had been drawn into an approach to uniformity. In every
one of them, excepting Connecticut and Rhode Island, the royal or
proprietary government was represented by a governor and his staff,
appointed from England, and furnishing a point of contact which was in
every case and all the time a point of friction and irritation between
the colony and the mother country. The reckless laxity of the early
Stuart charters, which permitted the creation of practically independent
democratic republics with churches free from the English hierarchy, was
succeeded, under the House of Orange, by something that looked like a
statesmanlike care for the prerogatives of the crown and the privileges
of the English church. Throughout the colonies, at every viceregal
residence, it was understood that this church, even where it was not
established by law, was the favored official and court church. But
inasmuch as the royal governors were officially odious to the people,
and at the same time in many cases men of despicable personal character,
their influence did little more than create a little "sect of the
Herodians" within the range of their patronage. But though it gave no
real advantage to the preferred church, it was effective (as in
Massachusetts) in breaking down the exclusive pretensions of other

The Massachusetts theocracy, so called, fell with the revocation of the
charter by James II. It had stood for nearly fifty years--long enough to
accomplish the main end of that Nationalist principle which the
Puritans, notwithstanding their fraternizing with the Pilgrim
Separatists, had never let go. The organization of the church throughout
New England, excepting Rhode Island, had gone forward in even step with
the advance of population. Two rules had with these colonists the force
of axioms: first, that it was the duty of every town, as a Christian
community, to sustain the town church; secondly, that it was the duty of
every citizen of the town to contribute to this end according to his
ability. The breaking up of the town church by schisms and the shirking
of individual duty on the ground of dissent were alike discountenanced,
sometimes by severely intolerant measures. The ultimate collision of
these principles with the sturdy individualism that had been accepted
from the Separatists of Plymouth was inevitable. It came when the
"standing order" encountered the Baptist and the Quaker conscience. It
came again when the missionaries of the English established church, with
singular unconsciousness of the humor of the situation, pleaded the
sacred right of dissenting and the essential injustice of compelling
dissenters to support the parish church.[129:1] The protest may have
been illogical, but it was made effective by "arguments of weight,"
backed by all the force of the British government. The exclusiveness of
the New England theocracies, already relaxed in its application to other
sects, was thenceforth at an end. The severity of church establishment
in New England was so far mitigated as at last to put an actual premium
on dissent. Holding still that every citizen is bound to aid in
maintaining the institutions of public worship, it relieved any one of
his assessment for the support of the parish church upon his filing a
certificate that he was contributing to the support of another
congregation, thus providing that any disaffection to the church of the
town must be organized and active. It was the very euthanasia of
establishment. But the state-church and church-state did not cease to be
until they had accomplished that for New England which has never been
accomplished elsewhere in America--the dividing of the settled regions
into definite parishes, each with its church and its learned minister.
The democratic autonomy of each church was jealously guarded, and yet
they were all knit together by terms of loose confederation into a vital
system. The impracticable notion of a threefold ministry in each church,
consisting of pastor, teacher, and ruling elder, failed long before the
first generation had passed; but, with this exception, it may justly be
said that the noble ideal of the Puritan fathers of New England of a
Christian state in the New World, "wherein dwelleth righteousness," was,
at the end of a hundred years from their planting, realized with a
completeness not common to such prophetic dreams.

So solid and vital, at the point of time which we have assumed (1730),
seemed the cohesion of the "standing order" in New England, that only
two inconsiderable defections are visible to the historian.

The tendency toward Baptist principles early disclosed itself among the
colonists. The example of Roger Williams was followed by less notable
instances; the shameful intolerance with which some of these were
treated shows how formidable this tendency seemed to those in authority.
But a more startling defection appeared about the year 1650, when
President Dunster of Harvard College, a man most honorable and lovable,
signified his adoption of the Baptist tenets. The treatment of him was
ungenerous, and for a time the petty persecutions that followed served
rather to discredit the clergy than really to hinder the spread of
Baptist principles. In the year 1718 the Baptist church of Boston
received fraternal recognition from the foremost representatives of the
Congregational clergy of Boston, with a public confession of the wrong
that they had done.[130:1] It is surprising to find, after all this
agitation and sowing of "the seed of the church," that in all New
England outside of Rhode Island there are in 1730 only six Baptist
churches, including (an honorable item) two Indian churches on the
islands of Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket.[131:1]

The other departure from the "standing order" was at this date hardly
more extensive. The early planting of Episcopalian churches in Maine and
New Hampshire, with generous patronage and endowment, had languished and
died. In 1679 there was no Episcopal minister in all New England. In
1702 were begun the energetic and richly supported missions of the "S.
P. G." At the end of twenty-eight years there were in Rhode Island four
Episcopalian churches; in Massachusetts, three, two of them in the city
of Boston; in Connecticut, three.[131:2] But in the last-named colony an
incident had occurred, having apparently no intimate connection with the
"Venerable Society's" missions, but charged with weighty, and on the
whole beneficent, consequences for the future of the kingdom of Christ
in America.

The incident was strikingly parallel to that of seventy years before,
when the president of Harvard College announced his acceptance of
Baptist principles. The day after the Yale commencement in September,
1722, a modest and respectful paper was presented to the trustees of the
college, signed by Rector Timothy Cutler and Tutor Brown (who
constituted the entire faculty of the college) and by five pastors of
good standing in the Connecticut churches. Two other pastors of note
were named as assenting to the paper, although not subscribing it. It
seemed a formidable proportion of the Connecticut clergy. The purport of
the paper was to signify that the signers were doubtful of the
validity, or persuaded of the invalidity, of presbyterial as
distinguished from episcopal ordination. The matter was considered with
the gravity which it merited, and a month later, at the time of the
meeting of the colonial legislature, was made the subject of a public
discussion, presided over with great dignity and amenity by Governor
Gurdon Saltonstall, formerly pastor of the church in New London. The
result was that, of the seven pastors assenting to the paper of the two
college men, only two adhered to them; but one of these two was that
able and excellent Samuel Johnson, whose later career as president of
King's College in New York, as well as the career of his no less
distinguished son, is an ornament to American history both of church and

This secession, small in number, but weighty in character, was of course
a painful shock to the hitherto unbroken unity of the church and clergy
of Connecticut. But it was not quite like a thunderbolt from a clear
sky. It had been immediately preceded by not a little conference and
correspondence with Connecticut pastors on the one hand, and on the
other hand with representatives of the powerful and wealthy Propagation
Society, on the question of support to be received from England for
those who should secede. Its prior antecedents reached farther back into
history. The Baptist convictions of the president of Harvard in 1650
were not more clearly in line with the individualism of the Plymouth
Separatists than the scruples of the rector of Yale in 1722 were in line
with the Nationalism of Higginson and Winthrop. This sentiment,
especially strong in Connecticut, had given rise to much study as to the
best form of a colonial church constitution; and the results of this had
recently been embodied (in 1708) in the mildly classical system of the
Saybrook Platform. The filial love of the Puritan colonists toward the
mother church of England was by no means extinct in the third
generation. Alongside of the inevitable repugnance felt and manifested
toward the arrogance, insolence, and violence with which the claims of
the Episcopal Church were commended by royal governors and their
attachés and by some of the imported missionaries, there is ample
evidence of kindly and fraternal feeling, far beyond what might have
been expected, on the part of the New England clergy toward the
representatives of the Church of England. The first missionaries of the
"Venerable Society," Keith and Talbot, arriving in New England in 1702,
met with welcome from some of the ministers, who "both hospitably
entertained us in their houses and requested us to preach in their
congregations, which accordingly we did, and received great thanks both
from the ministers and people."[133:1] One of these hospitable pastors
was the Rev. Gurdon Saltonstall, of New London, who twenty years later,
as governor of the colony, presided at the debate which followed upon
the demission of Rector Cutler.

The immediate results of what had been expected to lead off a large
defection from the colonial clergy were numerically insignificant; but
very far from insignificant was the fact that in Connecticut a sincere
and spontaneous movement toward the Episcopal Church had arisen among
men honored and beloved, whose ecclesiastical views were not tainted
with self-seeking or servility or with an unpatriotic shame for their
colonial home and sympathy with its political enemies. Elsewhere in New
England, and largely in Connecticut also, the Episcopal Church in its
beginnings was handicapped with a dead-weight of supercilious and odious
Toryism. The example of a man like Johnson showed that one might become
an Episcopalian without ceasing to be a patriotic American and without
holding himself aloof from the fellowship of good men. The conference
in Yale College library, September 13, 1722, rather than the planting of
a system of exotic missions, marks the true epoch from which to date the
progress of a genuinely American Episcopal Church.[134:1]

Crossing the recently settled boundary line into New York, not yet risen
to rank with the foremost colonies, we find in 1730 a deepening of the
early character, which had marked that colony, of wide diversity among
the Christian people in point of race, language, doctrinal opinion, and
ecclesiastical connection.

The ancient Dutch church, rallying from its almost asphyxia, had begun
not only to receive new life, but, under the fervid spiritual influence
of Domine Frelinghuysen, to "have it more abundantly" and to become a
means of quickening to other communions. It was bearing fruit, but its
fruit had not seed within itself after its kind. It continued to suffer,
in common with some other imported church systems, from depending on a
transatlantic hierarchy for the succession of its ministry. The supply
of imported ministers continued to be miserably inadequate to the need.
In the first four decades of the century the number of its congregations
more than doubled, rising to a total of sixty-five in New York and New
Jersey; and for these sixty-five congregations there were nineteen
ministers, almost all of them from Europe. This body of churches, so
inadequately manned, was still further limited in its activities by the
continually contracting barrier of the Dutch language.

The English church, enjoying "the prestige of royal favor and princely
munificence," suffered also the drawbacks incidental to these
advantages--the odium attending the unjust and despotic measures
resorted to for its advancement, the vile character of royal officials,
who condoned their private vices by a more ostentatious zeal for their
official church, and the well-founded popular suspicion of its pervading
disloyalty to the interests and the liberties of the colonies in their
antagonism to the encroachments of the British government. It was
represented by one congregation in the city of New York, and perhaps a
dozen others throughout the colony.[135:1] It is to the honor of the
ministers of this church that it succeeded in so good a measure in
triumphing over its "advantages." The early pastors of Trinity Church
adorned their doctrine and their confession, and one such example as
that of the Rev. Thoroughgood Moor did much to redeem the character of
the church from the disgrace cast upon it by the lives of its patrons.
This faithful missionary had the signal honor of being imprisoned by the
dirty but zealous Lord Cornbury (own cousin to her Majesty the Queen,
and afterward Earl of Clarendon), of whom he had said, what everybody
knew, that he "deserved to be excommunicated"; and he had further
offended by refusing the communion to the lieutenant-governor, "upon the
account of some debauch and abominable swearing."[135:2] There was
surely some vigorous spiritual vitality in a religious body which could
survive the patronizing of a succession of such creatures as Cornbury
and his crew of extortioners and profligates.

A third element in the early Christianity of New York was the
Presbyterians. These were represented, at the opening of the eighteenth
century, by that forerunner of the Scotch-Irish immigration, Francis
Makemie. The arrest and imprisonment of Makemie in 1706, under the
authority of Lord Cornbury, for the offense of preaching the gospel
without a license from the government, his sturdy defense and his
acquittal, make an epoch in the history of religious liberty in America,
and a perceptible step in the direction of American political liberty
and independence.

The immense volume and strength of the Scotch-Irish immigration had
hardly begun to be perceptible in New York as early as 1730. The total
strength of the Presbyterian Church in 1705 was organized in
Philadelphia into a solitary presbytery containing six ministers. In
1717, the number having grown to seventeen, the one presbytery was
divided into four, which constituted a synod; and one of the four was
the presbytery of New York and New Jersey. But it was observed, at least
it might have been observed, that the growing Presbyterianism of this
northernmost region was recruited mainly from old England and from New
England--a fact on which were to depend important consequences in later
ecclesiastical history.

The chief increment of the presbytery of New York and New Jersey was in
three parts, each of them planted from New England. The churches founded
from New Haven Colony in the neighborhood of Newark and Elizabethtown,
and the churches founded by Connecticut settlers on Long Island when
this was included in the jurisdiction of Connecticut, easily and without
serious objection conformed their organization to the Presbyterian
order. The first wave of the perennial westward migration of the New
Englanders, as it flowed over the hills from the valley of the
Housatonic into the valley of the Hudson, was observed by Domine
Selyns, away back in 1696, to be attended by many preachers educated at
Harvard College.[137:1] But the churches which they founded grew into
the type, not of Cambridge nor of Saybrook, but of Westminster.

The facility with which the New England Christians, moving westward or
southwestward from their cold northeastern corner of the country, have
commonly consented to forego their cherished usages and traditions of
church order and accept those in use in their new homes, and especially
their readiness in conforming to the Presbyterian polity, has been a
subject of undue lamentation and regret to many who have lacked the
faculty of recognizing in it one of the highest honors of the New
England church. But whether approved or condemned, a fact so unusual in
church history, and especially in the history of the American church, is
entitled to some study. 1. It is to be explained in part, but not
altogether, by the high motive of a willingness to sacrifice personal
preferences, habits, and convictions of judgment, on matters not of
primary importance, to the greater general good of the community. 2. The
Presbyterian polity is the logical expression of that Nationalist
principle which was cherished by many of the Puritan fathers, which
contended at the birth of New England with the mere Independency of the
Pilgrims, and which found an imperfect embodiment in the platforms of
Cambridge and Saybrook. The New England fathers in general, before their
views suffered a sea-change in the course of their migrations, were
Episcopalians and Presbyterians rather than Congregationalists; and if,
in the course of this history, we shall find many in their later
generations conforming to a mitigated form of the Westminster polity, or
to a liberalized and Americanized Episcopal Church, instead of finding
this to be a degeneration, we shall do well to ask whether it is not
rather a reversion to type. 3. Those who grow up in a solidly united
Christian community are in a fair way to be trained in the simplicity of
the gospel, and not in any specialties of controversy with contending or
competing sects. Members of the parish churches of New England going
west had an advantage above most others, in that they could go simply as
representatives of the church of Christ, and not of a sect of the
church, or of one side of some controversy in which they had never had
occasion to interest themselves. 4. The principle of congregational
independency, not so much inculcated as acted on in New England, carries
with it the corollary that a congregation may be Presbyterian or
Episcopalian or Methodist, if it judges best, without thereby giving the
individual Christian any justification for secession or schism. 5. The
change, in the westward movement of Christian civilization, from the
congregational order to the classical, coincides with the change in the
frame of civil polity from town government to county government. In the
beginning the civil state in New England was framed after the model of
the church.[138:1] It is in accordance with the common course of church
history that when the people were transported from the midst of pure
democracies to the midst of representative republics their church
institutions should take on the character of the environment.

The other factors of the religious life of New York require only brief

There were considerable Quaker communities, especially on western Long
Island, in Flushing and its neighborhood. But before the year 1730 the
fervid and violent and wonderfully brief early enthusiasm of this
Society had long been waning, and the Society, winning no accessions and
suffering frequent losses in its membership, was lapsing into that
"middle age of Quakerism"[139:1] in which it made itself felt in the
life of the people through its almost passive, but yet effective,
protests against popular wrongs.

Inconsiderable in number, but of the noblest quality, was the
immigration of French Huguenots, which just before and just after the
revocation of the Edict of Nantes brought to New York and its
neighborhood a half-dozen congregations, accompanied by pastors whose
learning, piety, and devotion to the work of Christ were worthy of that
school of martyrdom in which they had been trained. They were not
numerous enough, nor compactly enough settled, to maintain their own
language in use, and soon became merged, some in the Dutch church and
some in the English. Some of their leading pastors accepted salaries
from the Propagation Society, tendered to them on condition of their
accepting the ordination and conforming to the ritual of the English
church. The French Reformed Church does not appear organically in the
later history of the colony, but the history of the State and of the
nation is never largely written without commemorating, by the record of
family names made illustrious in every department of honorable activity,
the rich contribution made to the American church and nation by the
cruel bigotry and the political fatuity of Louis XIV.[139:2]

The German element in the religious life of New York, at the period
under consideration, was of even less historical importance. The
political philanthropy of Queen Anne's government, with a distinct
understanding between the right hand and the left, took active measure
to promote the migration of Protestant refugees from all parts of
Germany to the English colonies in America. In the year 1709 a great
company of these unhappy exiles, commonly called "poor Palatines" from
the desolated region whence many of them had been driven out, were
dropped, helpless and friendless, in the wilderness of Schoharie County,
and found themselves there practically in a state of slavery through
their ignorance of the country and its language. There were few to care
for their souls. The Society for the Propagation of the Gospel was
promptly in the field, with its diligent missionaries and its ignoble
policy of doing the work of Christ and humanity with a shrewd eye to the
main chance of making proselytes to its party.[140:1] With a tardiness
which it is difficult not to speak of as characteristic, after the lapse
of twenty-one years the classis of Amsterdam recognized its
responsibility for this multitude of wandering sheep; and at last, in
1793, the German Reformed Church had so far emancipated itself from its
bondage to the old-country hierarchy as to assume, almost a century too
late, the cure of these poor souls. But this migration added little to
the religious life of the New York Colony, except a new element of
diversity to a people already sufficiently heterogeneous. The greater
part of these few thousands gladly found their way to the more
hospitable colony of Pennsylvania, leaving traces of themselves in
family names scattered here and there, and in certain local names, like
that of Palatine Bridge.

The general impression left on the mind by this survey of the Christian
people of New York in 1730 is of a mass of almost hopelessly
incongruous materials, out of which the brooding Spirit of God shall by
and by bring forth the unity of a new creation.

       *       *       *       *       *

The population of the two Jerseys continued to bear the character
impressed on it by the original colonization. West Jersey was
predominantly Quaker; East Jersey showed in its institutions of church
and school the marks made upon it by the mingling of Scotch and Yankee.
But there was one point at which influences had centered which were to
make New Jersey the seed-plot of a new growth of church life for the

The intolerable tyranny of Lord Cornbury in New York, at the beginning
of the century, had driven many of the Dutch Christians of that colony
across the Hudson. The languishing vine throve by transplanting. In the
congenial neighborhood of the Calvinists of Scotland and New England the
cluster of churches in the region of New Brunswick came to be known as
"the garden of the Dutch church." To this region, bearing a name
destined to great honor in American church history, came from Holland,
in 1720, Domine Theodore J. Frelinghuysen. The fervor and earnestness of
his preaching, unwonted in that age, wakened a religious feeling in his
own congregation, which overflowed the limits of a single parish and
became as one of the streams that make glad the city of God.

In the year 1718 there arrived at the port of Philadelphia an Irishman,
William Tennent, with his four sons, the eldest a boy of fifteen. He was
not a Scotch-Irishman, but an English-Irishman--a clergyman of the
established Protestant Episcopal Church of Ireland. He lost no time in
connecting himself with the Presbyterian synod of Philadelphia, and
after a few years of pastoral service in the colony of New York became
pastor of the Presbyterian church at Neshaminy, in Pennsylvania, twenty
miles north of Philadelphia. Here his zeal for Christian education moved
him to begin a school, which, called from the humble building in which
it was held, became famous in American Presbyterian history as the Log
College. Here were educated many men who became eminent in the ministry
of the gospel, and among them the four boys who had come with their
father from Ireland. Gilbert, the eldest and most distinguished of them,
came in 1727, from his temporary position as tutor in the Log College,
to be pastor to the Presbyterian church in New Brunswick, where
Frelinghuysen, in the face of opposition from his own brethren in the
ministry, had for seven years pursued his deeply spiritual and fruitful
work as pastor to the Dutch church. Whatever debate there may be over
the question of an official and tactual succession in the church, the
existence of a vital and spiritual succession, binding "the generations
each to each," need not be disputed by any. Sometimes, as here, the
succession is distinctly traceable. Gilbert Tennent was own son in the
ministry to Theodore Frelinghuysen as truly as Timothy to Paul, but he
became spiritual father to a great multitude.

       *       *       *       *       *

In the year 1730 the total population of Pennsylvania was estimated by
Governor Gordon at forty-nine thousand. In the less than fifty years
since the colony was settled it had outstripped all the older colonies,
and Philadelphia, its chief town, continued to be by far the most
important port for the landing of immigrants. The original Quaker
influence was still dominant in the colony, but the very large majority
of the population was German; and presently the Quakers were to find
their political supremacy departing, and were to acquiesce in the change
by abdicating political preferment.[143:1] The religious influence of
the Society of Friends continued to be potent and in many respects most
salutary. But the exceptional growth and prosperity of the colony was
attended with a vast "unearned increment" of wealth to the first
settlers, and the maxim, "Religio peperit divitias, et mater devorata
est a prole,"[143:2] received one of the most striking illustrations in
all history. So speedily the Society had entered on its Middle
Age;[143:3] the most violent of protests against formalism had begun to
congeal into a precise and sometimes frivolous system of formalities.
But the lasting impress made on the legislation of the colony by Penn
and his contemporaries is a monument of their wise and Christian
statesmanship. Up to their time the most humane penal codes in
Christendom were those of New England, founded on the Mosaic law. But
even in these, and still more in the application of them, there were
traces of that widely prevalent feeling that punishment is society's
bitter and malignant revenge on the criminal. The penal code and the
prison discipline of Pennsylvania became an object of admiring study for
social reformers the world over, and marked a long stage in the
advancement of the kingdom of God. The city of Philadelphia early took
the lead of American towns, not only in size, but in its public
charities and its cultivation of humane arts.

Notwithstanding these eminent honors, there is much in the later history
of the great commonwealth in which Quakerism held dominion for the
greater part of a century to reflect doubt on the fitness of that form
of Christianity for conducting the affairs, either civil or religious,
of a great community.

There is nothing in the personal duty of non-resistance of evil, as
inculcated in the New Testament, that conflicts with the functions of
the civil governor--even the function of bearing the sword as God's
minister. Rather, each of these is the complement and counterpart of the
other. Among the early colonial governors no man wielded the sword of
the ruler more effectively than the Quaker Archdale in the Carolinas. It
is when this law of personal duty is assumed as the principle of public
government that the order of society is inverted, and the function of
the magistrate is inevitably taken up by the individual, and the old
wilderness law of blood-revenge is reinstituted. The legislation of
William Penn involved no abdication of the power of the sword by the
civil governor. The enactment, however sparing, of capital laws conceded
by implication every point that is claimed by Christian moralists in
justification of war. But it is hardly to be doubted that the tendency
of Quaker politics so to conduct civil government as that it shall
"resist not evil" is responsible for some of the strange paradoxes in
the later history of Pennsylvania. The commonwealth was founded in good
faith on principles of mutual good will with the Indians and tender
regard for Indian rights, of religious liberty and interconfessional
amity, and of a permanent peace policy. Its history has been
characterized, beyond that of other States, by foul play toward the
Indians and protracted Indian wars, by acrimonious and sometimes bloody
sectarian conflicts, by obstinate insurrections against public
order,[144:1] and by cruel and exterminating war upon honest settlers,
founded on a mere open question of title to territory.[144:2]

The failure of Quakerism is even more conspicuous considered as a
church discipline. There is a charm as of apostolic simplicity and
beauty in its unassuming hierarchy of weekly, monthly, quarterly, and
yearly meetings, corresponding by epistles and by the visits of
traveling evangelists, which realizes the type of the primitive church
presented in "The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles." But it was never
able to outgrow, in the large and free field to which it was
transplanted, the defects incident to its origin in a protest and a
schism. It never learned to commend itself to men as a church for all
Christians, and never ceased to be, even in its own consciousness, a
coterie of specialists. Penn, to be sure, in his youthful overzeal, had
claimed exclusive and universal rights for Quakerism as "the alone good
way of life and salvation," all religions, faiths, and worships besides
being "in the darkness of apostasy."[145:1] But after the abatement of
that wonderful first fervor which within a lifetime carried "its line
into all the earth, and its words to the ends of the world," it was
impossible to hold it to this pitch. Claiming no divine right to all
men's allegiance, it felt no duty of opening the door to all men's
access. It was free to exclude from the meeting on arbitrary and even on
frivolous grounds. As zeal decayed, the energies of the Society were
mainly shown in protesting and excluding and expelling. God's husbandry
does not prosper when his servants are over-earnest in rooting up tares.
The course of the Society of Friends in the eighteenth century was
suicidal. It held a noble opportunity of acting as pastor to a great
commonwealth. It missed this great opportunity, for which it was perhaps
constitutionally disqualified, and devoted itself to edifying its own
members and guarding its own purity. So it was that, saving its soul, it
lost it. The vineyard must be taken away from it.

And there were no other husbandmen to take the vineyard. The petty
German sects, representing so large a part of the population, were
isolated by their language and habits. The Lutherans and the Reformed,
trained in established churches to the methods and responsibilities of
parish work, were not yet represented by any organization. The
Scotch-Irish Presbyterian immigration was pouring in at Philadelphia
like a flood, sometimes whole parishes at once, each bringing its own
pastor; and it left large traces of itself in the eastern counties of
Pennsylvania, while it rushed to the western frontier and poured itself
like a freshet southwesterly through the valleys of the Blue Ridge and
the Alleghanies. But the Presbyterian churches of eastern Pennsylvania,
even as reinforced from England and New England, were neither many nor
strong; the Baptists were feebler yet, although both these bodies were
giving signs of the strength they were both about to develop.[147:1]
The Episcopalians had one strong and rapidly growing church in
Philadelphia, and a few languishing missions in country towns sustained
by gifts from England. There were as yet no Methodists.

       *       *       *       *       *

Crossing the boundary line from Pennsylvania into Maryland--the line
destined to become famous in political history as Mason and Dixon's--we
come to the four Southern colonies, Maryland, Virginia, and the two
Carolinas. Georgia in 1730 has not yet begun to be. All these have
strongly marked characteristics in common, which determine in advance
the character of their religious history. They are not peculiar in being
slave colonies; there is no colony North or South in which slaves are
not held under sanction of law. Georgia, in its early years, is to have
the solitary honor of being an antislavery and prohibitionist colony.
But the four earlier Southern colonies are unlike their Northern
neighbors in this, that the institution of slavery dominates their whole
social life. The unit of the social organism is not the town, for there
are no towns; it is the plantation. In a population thus dispersed over
vast tracts of territory, schools and churches are maintained with
difficulty, or not maintained at all. Systems of primary and secondary
schools are impracticable, and, for want of these, institutions of
higher education either languish or are never begun. A consequent
tendency, which, happily, there were many influences to resist, was for
this townless population to settle down into the condition of those who,
in distinction from the early Christians, came to be called _pagani_, or
"men of the hamlets," and _Heiden_, or "men of the heath."

Another common characteristic of the four Southern colonies is that
upon them all was imposed by foreign power a church establishment not
acceptable to the people. In the Carolinas the attempted establishment
of the English church was an absolute failure. It was a church (with
slight exceptions) without parishes, without services, without clergy,
without people, but with certain pretensions in law which were
hindrances in the way of other Christian work, and which tended to make
itself generally odious. In the two older colonies the Established
Church was worse than a failure. It had endowments, parsonages, glebes,
salaries raised by public tax, and therefore it had a clergy--and _such_
a clergy! Transferring to America the most shameful faults of the
English Establishment, it gave the sacred offices of the Christian
ministry by "patronage" into the hands of debauched and corrupt
adventurers, whose character in general was below the not very lofty
standard of the people whom they pretended to serve in the name of Jesus
Christ. Both in Virginia and in Maryland the infliction of this rabble
of simonists as a burden upon the public treasury was a nuisance under
which the people grew more and more restive from year to year. There was
no spiritual discipline to which this _prêtraille_ was amenable.[148:1]
It was the constant effort of good citizens, in the legislature and in
the vestries, if not to starve out the vermin, at least to hold them in
some sort of subjection to the power of the purse. The struggle was one
of the antecedents of the War of Independence, and the vestries of the
Virginia parishes, with their combined ecclesiastical and civil
functions, became a training-school for some of the statesmen of the

In the general dereliction of churchly care for the people of the
Southern colonies, on the part of those who professed the main
responsibility for it, the duty was undertaken, in the face of legal
hindrances, by earnest Christians of various names, whom the established
clergy vainly affected to despise. The Baptists and the Presbyterians,
soon to be so powerfully prevalent throughout the South, were
represented by a few scattered congregations. But the church of the
people of the South at this period seems to have been the Quaker
meeting, and the ministry the occasional missionary who, bearing
credentials from some yearly meeting, followed in the pioneer footsteps
of George Fox, and went from one circle of Friends to another, through
those vast expanses of thinly settled territory, to revive and confirm
and edify. The early fervors of the Society were soon spent. Its work
was strangely unstable. The proved defects of it as a working system
were grave. The criticism of George Keith seems justified by the
event--its candle needed a candlestick. But no man can truly write the
history of the church of Christ in the United States without giving
honor to the body which for so long a time and over so vast an area bore
the name and testimony of Jesus almost alone; and no man can read the
journeys and labors of John Woolman, mystic and ascetic saint, without
recognizing that he and others like-minded were nothing less than true
apostles of the Lord Jesus.

       *       *       *       *       *

One impression made by this general survey of the colonies is that of
the absence of any sign of unity among the various Christian bodies in
occupation. One corner of the great domain, New England, was thickly
planted with homogeneous churches in mutual fellowship. One order of
Christians, the Quakers, had at least a framework of organization
conterminous with the country. In general there were only scattered
members of a Christian community, awaiting the inbreathing of some
quickening spiritual influence that should bring bone to its bone and
erect the whole into a living church.

Another and very gratifying impression from the story thus far is the
general fidelity of the Christian colonists in the work of the gospel
among the heathen Indians. There was none of the colonies that did not
make profession of a zealous purpose for the Christianizing of the
savages; and it is only just to say, in the face of much unjust and evil
talk, that there was none that did not give proof of its sincerity. In
Virginia, the Puritans Whitaker and Thomas Dale; in Maryland, the
earliest companies of Jesuit missionaries; Campanius among the Swedish
Lutherans; Megapolensis among the Dutchmen, and the Jesuit martyr Jogues
in the forests of New York; in New England, not only John Eliot and
Roger Williams and the Mayhews, but many a village pastor like Fitch of
Norwich and Pierson of Branford, were distinguished in the first
generation by their devotion to this duty.[150:1] The succession of
faithful missionaries has never failed from that day to this. The large
expectations of the churches are indicated by the erection of one of the
earliest buildings at Harvard College for the use of Indian students. At
William and Mary College not less than seventy Indian students at one
time are said to have been gathered for an advanced education. It was no
fault of the colonial churches that these earnest and persistent efforts
yielded small results. "We discover a strange uniformity of feature in
the successive failures.... Always, just when the project seemed most
hopeful, an indiscriminate massacre of missionaries and converts
together swept the enterprise out of existence. The experience of all
was the same."[151:1]

       *       *       *       *       *

It will be a matter of growing interest, as we proceed, to trace the
relation of the American church to negro slavery.

It is a curious fact, not without some later analogies, that the
introduction into the New World of this "direful spring of woes
unnumbered" was promoted, in the first instance, by the good Las Casas,
as the hopeful preventive of a worse evil. Touched by the spectacle of
whole tribes and nations of the Indians perishing under the cruel
servitude imposed upon them by the Spanish, it seemed to him a less
wrong to transfer the infliction of this injustice to shoulders more
able to bear it. But "man's inhumanity to man" needed no pretext of
philanthropy. From the landing of the Dutch ship at Jamestown in 1619,
with her small invoice of fourteen negroes, the dismal trade went on
increasing, in spite of humane protest and attempted prohibition. The
legislature of Massachusetts, which was the representative of the
church, set forth what it conceived to be the biblical ethics on the
subject. Recognizing that "lawful captives taken in just wars" may be
held in bondage, it declared among its earliest public acts, in 1641,
that, with this exception, no involuntary bond-slavery, villeinage, or
captivity should ever be in the colony; and in 1646 it took measures for
returning to Africa negroes who had been kidnapped by a slaver. It is
not strange that reflection on the golden rule should soon raise doubts
whether the precedents of the Book of Joshua had equal authority with
the law of Christ. In 1675 John Eliot, from the midst of his work among
the Indians, warned the governor against the sale of Indians taken in
war, on the ground that "the selling of souls is dangerous merchandise,"
and "with a bleeding and burning passion" remonstrated against "the
abject condition of the enslaved Africans." In 1700 that typical
Puritan, Judge Samuel Sewall, published his pamphlet on "The Selling of
Joseph," claiming for the negroes the rights of brethren, and predicting
that there would be "no progress in gospeling" until slavery should be
abolished. Those were serious days of antislavery agitation, when
Cotton Mather, in his "Essays to Do Good," spoke of the injustice of
slavery in terms such that his little book had to be expurgated by the
American Tract Society to accommodate it to the degenerate conscience of
a later day, and when the town of Boston in 1701 took measures "to put a
period to negroes being slaves." Such endeavors after universal justice
and freedom, on the part of the Christians of New England, thwarted by
the insatiable greed of British traders and politicians, were not to
cease until, with the first enlargement of independence, they should
bring forth judgment to victory.

The voice of New England was echoed from Pennsylvania. The Mennonites of
Germantown, in 1688, framed in quaint and touching language their
petition for the abolition of slavery, and the Quaker yearly meetings
responded one to another with unanimous protest. But the mischief grew
and grew. In the Northern colonies the growth was stunted by the
climate. Elsewhere the institution, beginning with the domestic service
of a few bondmen attached to their masters' families, took on a new type
of malignity as it expanded. In proportion as the servile population
increases to such numbers as to be formidable, laws of increasing
severity are directed to restraining or repressing it. The first
symptoms of insurrection are followed by horrors of bloody vengeance,
and "from that time forth the slave laws have but one quality--that of
ferocity engendered by fear."[153:1] It was not from the willful
inhumanity of the Southern colonies, but from their terrors, that those
slave codes came forth which for nearly two centuries were the shame of
America and the scandal of Christendom. It is a comfort to the heart of
humanity to reflect that the people were better than their laws; it was
only at the recurring periods of fear of insurrection that they were
worse. In ordinary times human sympathy and Christian principle softened
the rigors of the situation. The first practical fruits of the revival
of religion in the Southern colonies were seen in efforts of Christian
kindness toward the souls and bodies of the slaves.


[129:1] One is touched by the plaintive grief of the Rev. Mr. Muirson,
who has come from the established church of England to make proselytes
from the established churches of Connecticut. He writes to the "S. P.
G.," without a thought of casting any reflections upon his patrons: "It
would require more time than you would willingly bestow on these Lines,
to express how rigidly and severely they treat our People, by taking
their Estate by distress when they do not willingly pay to support their
Ministers" ("Digest of S. P. G. Records," p. 43). The pathos of the
situation is intensified when we bear in mind the relation of this
tender-hearted gentleman's own emoluments to the taxes extorted from the
Congregationalists in his New York parish.

[130:1] See above, p. 107.

[131:1] Newman, "Baptist Churches in the United States," pp. 197, 198,

[131:2] Tiffany, "Protestant Episcopal Church," chaps, iv., v.; C. F.
Adams, "Three Episodes in Massachusetts History," pp. 342, 621.

[133:1] "Digest of S. P. G.," p. 42.

[134:1] Tiffany, chap. v. For a full account of these beginnings in
Connecticut in their historical relations, see L. Bacon on "The
Episcopal Church in Connecticut" ("New Englander," vol. xxv., pp.

[135:1] There were on duty in New York in 1730, besides the minister of
Trinity Church, ten missionaries of the "S. P. G.," including several
employed specially among the Indians and the negroes. Fifteen years
later there were reported to the "Venerable Society" in New York and New
Jersey twenty-two churches ("Digest of S. P. G.," pp. 855, 856; Tiffany,
p. 178).

[135:2] "Digest of S. P. G.," p. 68 and note.

[137:1] Corwin, "Reformed (Dutch) Church," p. 115.

[138:1] "Mr. Hooker did often quote a saying out of Mr. Cartwright, that
no man fashioneth his house to his hangings, but his hangings to his
house. It is better that the commonwealth be fashioned to the setting
forth of God's house, which is his church, than to accommodate the
church frame to the civil state" (John Cotton, quoted by L. Bacon,
"Historical Discourses," p. 18).

[139:1] Thomas, "The Society of Friends," p. 239.

[139:2] Corwin, "Reformed (Dutch) Church," pp. 77, 78, 173.

[140:1] Illustrations of the sordid sectarianism of the "Venerable
Society's" operations are painfully frequent in the pages of the "digest
of the S. P. G." See especially on this particular case the action
respecting Messrs. Kocherthal, Ehlig, and Beyse (p. 61).

[143:1] S. G. Fisher, "The Making of Pennsylvania," p. 125; Thomas, "The
Society of Friends," p. 235.

[143:2] "Religion gave birth to wealth, and was devoured by her own
offspring." The aphorism is ascribed to Lord Falkland.

[143:3] Thomas, "The Society of Friends," p. 236.

[144:1] Fisher, "The Making of Pennsylvania," pp. 166-169, 174.

[144:2] It is not easy to define the peculiarity of Penn's Indian
policy. It is vulgarly referred to as if it consisted in just dealing,
especially in not taking their land except by fair purchase; and the
"Shackamaxon Treaty," of which nothing is known except by vague report
and tradition, is spoken of as some thing quite unprecedented in this
respect. The fact is that this measure of virtue was common to the
English colonists generally, and eminently to the New England colonists.
A good example of the ordinary cant of historical writers on this
subject is found in "The Making of Pennsylvania," p. 238. The writer
says of the Connecticut Puritans: "They occupied the land by squatter
sovereignty.... It seemed like a pleasant place; they wanted it. They
were the saints, and the saints, as we all know, shall inherit the
earth.... Having originally acquired their land simply by taking it, ...
they naturally grew up with rather liberal views as to their right to
any additional territory that pleased their fancy." No purchase by Penn
was made with more scrupulous regard to the rights of the Indians than
the purchases by which the settlers of Connecticut acquired title to
their lands; but I know of no New England precedent for the somewhat
Punic piece of sharp practice by which the metes and bounds of one of
the Pennsylvania purchases were laid down.

The long exemption of Pennsylvania from trouble with the Indians seems
to be due to the fact that an exceptionally mild, considerate, and
conscientious body of settlers was confronted with a tribe of savages
thoroughly subdued and cowed in recent conflicts with enemies both red
and white. It seems clear, also, that the exceptional ferocity of the
forty years of uninterrupted war with the Indians that ensued was due in
part to the long dereliction by the Quaker government of its duty of
protecting its citizens and punishing murder, robbery, and arson when
committed by its copper-colored subjects.

[145:1] Penn's "Truth Exalted" (quoted in "Encyclopædia Britannica,"
vol. xviii., p. 493).

[147:1] In 1741, after a decade of great activity and growth, the entire
clerical strength of the American Presbyterian Church, in its four
presbyteries, was forty-seven ministers (Thompson, "Presbyterian
Churches," p. 33).

[148:1] It is a subject of unceasing lament on the part of historians of
the American Episcopal Church that the mother church, all through the
colonial days, should have obstinately refused to the daughter the gift
of the episcopate. There is no denying the grave disadvantages thus
inflicted. But it admits of doubt whether such bishops, with such
conditions, as would have been conceded by the English church of the
eighteenth century, would, after all, have been so very precious a boon.
We shrink from the imputation upon the colonial church of Maryland and
Virginia which is implied in suggesting that it would have been
considerably improved by gaining the disciplinary purity of the English
church of the Georgian era. The long fight in Virginia, culminating in
Patrick Henry's speech in the Parsons' Case, so far Americanized the
Episcopal Church as to make sure that no unwelcome minister was ever to
be forced from outside on one of its parishes. After the Revolution it
became possible to set up the episcopate also on American principles.
Those who are burdened with regret over the long delay of the American
Protestant episcopate may find no small consolation in pondering the
question, what kind of an outfit of bishops, with canons attached, might
have been hoped for from Sir Robert Walpole or Lord Bute? On the whole,
at this point the American Episcopal Church is in the habit of pitying
itself too much. It has something to be thankful for.

[150:1] It is a curious exception, if it is indeed an exception, that
the one Christian colony that shows no record of early Indian missions
should be that of William Penn. Could this be due to the Quaker faith in
the sufficiency of "the Light that lighteneth every man that cometh into
the world"?

The type of theology and method of instruction used by some of the
earliest laborers in this field left something to be desired in point of
adaptedness to the savage mind. Without irreverence to the great name of
Jonathan Edwards, there is room for doubt whether he was just the man
for the Stockbridge Indians. In the case of the Rev. Abraham Pierson, of
Branford, in New Haven Colony, afterward founder of Newark, we have an
illustration both of his good intentions and of his methods, which were
not so good, in "_Some Helps for the Indians: Shewing them how to
Improve their Natural Reason, to Know the True God and the Christian
Religion_." This catechism is printed in the Indian language with an
English version interlined.

"_Q._ How do you prove that there is but one true God?

"_An._ Because the reason why singular things of the same kind are
multiplied is not to be found in the nature of God; for the reason why
such like things are multiplied is from the fruitfulness of their
causes: but God hath no cause of his being, but is of himself. Therefore
he is one." (And so on through _secondly_ and _thirdly_.)

_Per contra_, a sermon to the Stockbridge Indians by the most ponderous
of the metaphysical preachers of New England, Samuel Hopkins, is
beautifully simple and childlike. It is given in full in Park's "Life of
Hopkins," pp. 46-49.

[151:1] McConnell, "History of the American Episcopal Church," p. 7. The
statement calls for qualification in detail, but the general fact is

[153:1] H. C. Lodge, "English Colonies," p. 67 _et seq._



It was not wholly dark in American Christendom before the dawn of the
Great Awakening. The censoriousness which was the besetting sin of the
evangelists in that great religious movement, the rhetorical temptation
to glorify the revival by intensifying the contrast with the antecedent
condition, and the exaggerated _revivalism_ ever since so prevalent in
the American church,--the tendency to consider religion as consisting
mainly in scenes and periods of special fervor, and the intervals
between as so much void space and waste time,--all these have combined
to deepen the dark tints in which the former state is set before us in

The power of godliness was manifest in the earlier days by many
infallible signs, not excluding those "times of refreshing" in which the
simultaneous earnestness of many souls compels the general attention.
Even in Northampton, where the doctrine of the venerable Stoddard as to
the conditions of communion has been thought to be the low-water mark of
church vitality, not less than five such "harvest seasons" were within
recent memory. It was to this parish in a country town on the frontier
of civilization, but the most important in Massachusetts outside of
Boston, that there came, in the year 1727, to serve as colleague to his
aged grandfather, Pastor Stoddard, a young man whose wonderful
intellectual and spiritual gifts had from his childhood awakened the
pious hopes of all who had known him, and who was destined in his future
career to be recognized as the most illustrious of the saints and
doctors of the American church. The authentic facts of the boyhood of
Jonathan Edwards read like the myths that adorn the legendary Lives of
the Saints. As an undergraduate of Yale College, before the age of
seventeen, his reflections on the mysteries of God, and the universe,
and the human mind, were such as even yet command the attention and
respect of students of philosophy. He remained at New Haven two years
after graduation, for the further study of theology, and then spent
eight months in charge of the newly organized Presbyterian church in New
York.[156:1] After this he spent two years as tutor at Yale,--"one of
the pillar tutors, and the glory of the college,"--at the critical
period after the defection of Rector Cutler to the Church of
England.[156:2] From this position he was called in 1726, at the age of
twenty-three, to the church at Northampton. There he was ordained
February 15, 1727, and thither a few months later he brought his
"espousèd saint," Sarah Pierpont, consummate flower of Puritan
womanhood, thenceforth the companion not only of his pastoral cares and
sorrows, but of his seraphic contemplations of divine things.

The intensely earnest sermons, the holy life, and the loving prayers of
one of the greatest preachers in the history of the church were not long
in bearing abundant fruit. In a time of spiritual and moral depression,
when the world, the flesh, and the devil seemed to be gaining against
the gospel, sometime in the year 1733 signs began to be visible of
yielding to the power of God's Word. The frivolous or wanton frolics of
the youth began to be exchanged for meetings for religious conference.
The pastor was encouraged to renewed tenderness and solemnity in his
preaching. His themes were justification by faith, the awfulness of
God's justice, the excellency of Christ, the duty of pressing into the
kingdom of God. Presently a young woman, a leader in the village
gayeties, became "serious, giving evidence," even to the severe judgment
of Edwards, "of a heart truly broken and sanctified." A general
seriousness began to spread over the whole town. Hardly a single person,
old or young, but felt concerned about eternal things. According to
Edwards's "Narrative":

     "The work of God, as it was carried on, and the number of true
     saints multiplied, soon made a glorious alteration in the
     town, so that in the spring and summer, anno 1735, the town
     seemed to be full of the presence of God. It was never so full
     of love, nor so full of joy, and yet so full of distress, as
     it was then. There were remarkable tokens of God's presence in
     almost every house. It was a time of joy in families on the
     account of salvation's being brought unto them; parents
     rejoicing over their children as being new-born, and husbands
     over their wives, and wives over their husbands. The goings of
     God were then seen in his sanctuary. God's day was a delight,
     and his tabernacles were amiable. Our public assemblies were
     then beautiful; the congregation was alive in God's service,
     every one intent on the public worship, every hearer eager to
     drink in the words of the minister as they came from his
     mouth; the assembly in general were from time to time in tears
     while the Word was preached, some weeping with sorrow and
     distress, others with joy and love, others with pity and
     concern for the souls of their neighbors. Our public praises
     were then greatly enlivened; God was then served in our
     psalmody in some measure in the beauty of holiness."

The crucial test of the divineness of the work was given when the people
presented themselves before the Lord with a solemn act of thanksgiving
for his great goodness and his gracious presence in the town of
Northampton, with publicly recorded vows to renounce their evil ways and
put away their abominations from before his eyes. They solemnly promise
thenceforth, in all dealings with their neighbor, to be governed by the
rules of honesty, justice, and uprightness; not to overreach or defraud
him, nor anywise to injure him, whether willfully or through want of
care; to regard not only their own interest, but his; particularly, to
be faithful in the payment of just debts; in the case of past wrongs
against any, never to rest till they have made full reparation; to
refrain from evil speaking, and from everything that feeds a spirit of
bitterness; to do nothing in a spirit of revenge; not to be led by
private or partisan interest into any course hurtful to the interests of
Christ's kingdom; particularly, in public affairs, not to allow ambition
or partisanship to lead them counter to the interest of true religion.
Those who are young promise to allow themselves in no diversions that
would hinder a devout spirit, and to avoid everything that tends to
lasciviousness, and which will not be approved by the infinitely pure
and holy eye of God. Finally, they consecrate themselves watchfully to
perform the relative duties of parents and children, husbands and wives,
brothers and sisters, masters, mistresses, and servants.

So great a work as this could not be hid. The whole region of the
Connecticut Valley, in Massachusetts and Connecticut, and neighboring
regions felt the influence of it. The fame of it went abroad. A letter
of Edwards's in reply to inquiries from his friend, Dr. Colman, of
Boston, was forwarded to Dr. Watts and Dr. Guise, of London, and by them
published under the title of "Narrative of Surprising Conversions." A
copy of the little book was carried in his pocket for wayside reading on
a walk from London to Oxford by John Wesley, in the year 1738. Not yet
in the course of his work had he "seen it on this fashion," and he
writes in his journal: "Surely this is the Lord's doing, and it is
marvelous in our eyes."

Both in this narrative and in a later work on "The Distinguishing Marks
of a Work of the Spirit of God," one cannot but admire the divine gift
of a calm wisdom with which Edwards had been endowed as if for this
exigency. He is never dazzled by the incidents of the work, nor
distracted by them from the essence of it. His argument for the
divineness of the work is not founded on the unusual or extraordinary
character of it, nor on the impressive bodily effects sometimes
attending it, such as tears, groans, outcries, convulsions, or
faintings, nor on visions or ecstasies or "impressions." What he claims
is that the work may be divine, _notwithstanding_ the presence of these
incidents.[159:1] It was doubtless owing to the firm and judicious
guidance of such a pastor that the intense religious fervor of this
first awakening at Northampton was marked by so much of sobriety and
order. In later years, in other regions, and under the influence of
preachers not of greater earnestness, but of less wisdom and discretion,
there were habitual scenes of extravagant and senseless enthusiasm,
which make the closing pages of this chapter of church history painfully

It is not difficult to understand how one of the first places at a
distance to feel the kindling example of Northampton should be the
neighborhood of Newark. To this region, planted, as we have seen, with
so strong a stock from New England, from old England, and from Scotland,
came, in 1708, a youth of twenty years, Jonathan Dickinson, a native of
the historic little town of Hatfield, next neighbor to Northampton. He
was pastor at Elizabeth, but his influence and activity extended through
all that part of New Jersey, and he became easily the leader of the
rapidly growing communion of Presbyterian churches in that province, and
the opponent, in the interest of Christian liberty and sincerity, of
rigid terms of subscription, demanded by men of little faith. There is a
great career before him; but that which concerns the present topic is
his account of what took place "sometime in August, 1739 (the summer
before Mr. Whitefield came first into these parts), when there was a
remarkable revival at Newark.... This revival of religion was chiefly
observable among the younger people, till the following March, when the
whole town in general was brought under an uncommon concern about their
eternal interests, and the congregation appeared universally affected
under some sermons that were then preached to them."

Like scenes of spiritual quickening were witnessed that same season in
other parts of New Jersey; but special interest attaches to the report
from New Londonderry, Penn., where a Scotch-Irish community received as
its pastor, in the spring of 1740, Samuel Blair, a native of Ireland,
trained in the Log College of William Tennent. He describes the people,
at his first knowledge of them, as sunk in a religious torpor,
ignorance, and indifference. The first sign of vitality was observed in
March, 1740, during the pastor's absence, when, under an alarming sermon
from a neighbor minister:

     "There was a visible appearance of much soul-concern among
     the hearers; so that some burst out with an audible noise into
     bitter crying, a thing not known in these parts before.... The
     first sermon I preached after my return to them was from
     Matthew vi. 33: 'Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his
     righteousness.' After opening up and explaining the parts of
     the text, when in the improvement I came to press the
     injunction in the text upon the unconverted and ungodly, and
     offered this as one reason among others why they should now
     first of all seek the kingdom and righteousness of God, viz.,
     that they had neglected too long to do so already, this
     consideration seemed to come and cut like a sword upon several
     in the congregation; so that while I was speaking upon it they
     could no longer contain, but burst out in the most bitter
     mourning. I desired them as much as possible to restrain
     themselves from making any noise that would hinder themselves
     or others from hearing what was spoken; and often afterward I
     had occasion to repeat the same counsel. I still advised
     people to endeavor to moderate and bound their passions, but
     not so as to resist and stifle their convictions. The number
     of the awakened increased very fast. Frequently under sermons
     there were some newly convicted and brought into deep distress
     of soul about their perishing estate. Our Sabbath assemblies
     soon became vastly large, many people from almost all parts
     around inclining very much to come where there was such
     appearance of the divine power and presence. I think there was
     scarcely a sermon or lecture preached here through that whole
     summer but there were manifest evidences of impressions on the
     hearers, and many times the impressions were very great and
     general. Several would be overcome and fainting; others deeply
     sobbing, hardly able to contain; others crying in a most
     dolorous manner; many others more silently weeping, and a
     solemn concern appearing in the countenances of many others.
     And sometimes the soul-exercises of some (though comparatively
     but very few) would so far affect their bodies as to occasion
     some strange, unusual bodily motions. I had opportunities of
     speaking particularly with a great many of those who afforded
     such outward tokens of inward soul-concern in the time of
     public worship and hearing of the Word. Indeed, many came to
     me of themselves, in their distress, for private instruction
     and counsel; and I found, so far as I can remember, that with
     by far the greater part their apparent concern in public was
     not just a transient qualm of conscience or merely a floating
     commotion of the affections, but a rational, fixed conviction
     of their dangerous, perishing estate....

     "In some time many of the convinced and distressed afforded
     very hopeful, satisfying evidence that the Lord had brought
     them to true closure with Jesus Christ, and that their
     distresses and fears had been in a great measure removed in a
     right gospel way, by believing in the Son of God. Several of
     them had very remarkable and sweet deliverances this way. It
     was very agreeable to hear their accounts how that when they
     were in the deepest perplexity and darkness, distress and
     difficulty, seeking God as poor, condemned, hell-deserving
     sinners, the scene of recovering grace through a Redeemer has
     been opened to their understandings with a surprising beauty
     and glory, so that they were enabled to believe in Christ with
     joy unspeakable and full of glory."[162:1]

The experience of Gilbert Tennent at New Brunswick had no connection
with the first awakening at Northampton, but had important relations
with later events. He was the eldest of the four sons whom William
Tennent, the Episcopalian minister from Ireland, had brought with him to
America and educated at his Log College. In 1727 he became pastor of a
church at New Brunswick, where he was much impressed with what he saw of
the results of the work of the Rev. Theodore Frelinghuysen, who for
seven years had been pastor of a neighboring Dutch church. The example
and fraternal counsel of this good man made him sensible of the
fruitlessness of his own work, and moved him to more earnest prayers and
labors. Having been brought low with sickness, he prayed to God to grant
him one half-year more in which to "endeavor to promote his kingdom with
all my might at all adventures." Being raised up from sickness, he
devoted himself to earnest personal labors with individuals and to
renewed faithfulness in the pulpit, "which method was sealed by the Holy
Spirit in the conviction and conversion of a considerable number of
persons, at various times and in different places, in that part of the
country, as appeared by their acquaintance with experimental religion
and good conversation." This bit of pastoral history, in which is
nothing startling or prodigious, was at least five years previous to the
"Surprising Conversions" at Northampton. There must have been generally
throughout the country a preparedness for the Great Awakening.

       *       *       *       *       *

It was in that year (1735) in which the town of Northampton was all
ablaze with the glory of its first revival under Edwards that George
Whitefield, first among the members of Wesley's "Holy Club" at Oxford,
attained to that "sense of the divine love" from which he was wont to
date his conversion. In May, 1738, when the last reflections from the
Northampton revival had faded out from all around the horizon, the young
clergyman, whose first efforts as a preacher in pulpits of the Church of
England had astonished all hearers by the power of his eloquence,
arrived at Savannah, urged by the importunity of the Wesleys to take up
the work in Georgia in which they had so conspicuously failed. He
entered eagerly into the sanguine schemes for the advantage of the
young colony, and especially into the scheme for building and endowing
an orphan-house in just that corner of the earth where there was less
need of such an institution than anywhere else. After three months' stay
he started on his return to England to seek priest's orders for himself,
and funds for the orphans that might be expected sometime in Georgia. He
was successful in both his errands. He was ordained; he collected more
than one thousand pounds for the orphan-house; and being detained in the
kingdom by an embargo, he began that course of evangelistic preaching
which continued on either side of the ocean until his death, and which
is without a parallel in church history. His incomparable eloquence
thronged the parish churches, until the churches were closed against
him, and the Bishop of London warned the people against him in a
pastoral letter. Then he went out into the open fields, in the service,
as he said, of him "who had a mountain for his pulpit, and the heavens
for his sounding-board, and who, when his gospel was refused by the
Jews, sent his servants into the highways and hedges." Multitudes of
every rank thronged him; but especially the heathenized and embruted
colliers near Bristol listened to the unknown gospel, and their awakened
feelings were revealed to the preacher by his observing the white
gutters made by the tears that ran down their grimy faces. At last the
embargo was raised, and committing his work to Wesley, whom he had drawn
into field-preaching, he sailed in August, 1739, for Philadelphia, on
his way to Georgia. His fame had gone before him, and the desire to hear
him was universal. The churches would not contain the throngs. It was
long remembered how, on those summer evenings, he would take his stand
in the balcony of the old court-house in Market Street, and how every
syllable from his wonderful voice would be heard aboard the river-craft
moored at the foot of the street, four hundred feet away.

At New York the Episcopal church was closed against him, but the pastor
of the Presbyterian church, Mr. Pemberton, from Boston, made him
welcome, and the fields were free to him and his hearers. On the way to
New York and back, the tireless man preached at every town. At New
Brunswick he saw and heard with profound admiration Gilbert Tennent,
thenceforth his friend and yokefellow.

Seeing the solemn eagerness of the people everywhere to hear him, he
determined to make the journey to Savannah by land, and again he turned
the long journey into a campaign of preaching. Arriving at Savannah in
January, 1740, he laid the foundation of his orphan-house, "Bethesda,"
and in March was again on his way northward on a tour of preaching and
solicitation of funds. Touching at Charleston, where the bishop's
commissary, Dr. Garden, was at open controversy with him, he preached
five times and received seventy pounds for his charitable work. Landing
at New Castle on a Sunday morning, he preached morning and evening.
Monday morning he preached at Wilmington to a vast assemblage. Tuesday
evening he preached on Society Hill, in Philadelphia, "to about eight
thousand," and at the same place Wednesday morning and evening. Then
once more he made the tour to New York and back, preaching at every
halting-place. A contemporary newspaper contains the following item:

     "New Castle, May 15th. This evening Mr. Whitefield went on
     board his sloop here in order to sail for Georgia. On Sunday
     he preached twice in Philadelphia, and in the evening, when he
     preached his farewell sermon, it is supposed he had twenty
     thousand hearers. On Monday he preached at Darby and Chester;
     on Tuesday at Wilmington and Whiteclay Creek; on Wednesday,
     twice at Nottingham; on Thursday at Fog's Manor and New
     Castle. The congregations were much increased since his being
     here last. The presence of God was much seen in the
     assemblies, especially at Nottingham and Fog's Manor, where
     the people were under such deep soul-distress that their cries
     almost drowned his voice. He has collected in this and the
     neighboring provinces about four hundred and fifty pounds
     sterling for his orphans in Georgia."

Into the feeble but rapidly growing presbyteries and the one synod of
the American Presbyterian Church the revival had brought, not peace, but
a sword. The collision was inevitable between the fervor and
unrestrained zeal of the evangelists and the sense of order and decorum,
and of the importance of organization and method, into which men are
trained in the ministry of an established church. No man, even at this
day, can read the "standards" of the Presbyterian Church without seeing
that they have had to be strained to admit those "revival methods" which
ever since the days of Whitefield have prevailed in that body. The
conflict that arose was not unlike that which from the beginning of New
England history had subsisted between Separatist and Nationalist. In the
Presbyterian conflict, as so often in religious controversies,
disciplinary and doctrinal questions were complicated with a difference
of race. The "Old Side" was the Scotch and Irish party; the "New Side"
was the New England party, to which many of the old-country ministers
adhered. For successive years the mutual opposition had shown itself in
the synod; and in 1740, at the synod meeting at Philadelphia, soon after
the departure of Whitefield, the real gravamen of the controversy
appeared, in the implied and even express impeachment of the spiritual
character of the Old Side ministers. The impeachment had been implied in
the coming of the evangelists uninvited into other men's parishes, as
if these were mission ground. And now it was expressed in papers read
before the synod by Blair and Gilbert Tennent. The action of the synod
went so far toward sustaining the men of the New Side as to repeal the
rule restraining ministers from preaching outside of their own parishes,
and as to put on record a thanksgiving for the work of God in the land.
Through all the days of the synod's meeting, daily throngs on Society
Hill were addressed by the Tennents and other "hot gospelers" of the
revival, and churches and private houses were resounding with revival
hymns and exhortations. Already the preaching and printing of Gilbert
Tennent's "Nottingham Sermon" had made further fellowship between the
two parties for the time impossible. The sermon flagrantly illustrated
the worst characteristic of the revivalists--their censoriousness. It
was a violent invective on "The Danger of an Unconverted Ministry,"
which so favorable a critic as Dr. Alexander has characterized as "one
of the most severely abusive sermons which was ever penned." The answer
to it came in a form that might have been expected. At the opening of
the synod of 1741 a solemn protestation was presented containing an
indictment in seven grave counts against the men of the New Side, and
declaring them to "have at present no right to sit and vote as members
of this synod, and that if they should sit and vote, the doings of the
synod would be of no force or obligation." The protestation was adopted
by the synod by a bare majority of a small attendance. The presbytery of
New Brunswick found itself exscinded by this short and easy process of
discipline; the presbytery of New York joined with it in organizing a
new synod, and the schism was complete.

It is needless further to follow in detail the amazing career of
Whitefield, "posting o'er land and ocean without rest," and attended at
every movement by such storms of religious agitation as have been
already described. In August, 1740, he made his first visit to New
England. He met with a cordial welcome. At Boston all pulpits were
opened to him, and churches were thronged with eager and excited
hearers.[168:1] He preached on the common in the open air, and the
crowds were doubled. All the surrounding towns, and the coast eastward
to Maine, and the interior as far as Northampton, and the Connecticut
towns along the road to New York, were wonderfully aroused by the
preaching, which, according to the testimony of two nations and all
grades of society, must have been of unequaled power over the feelings.
Not only the clergy, including the few Church of England missionaries,
but the colleges and the magistrates delighted to honor him. Belcher,
the royal governor at Boston, fairly slobbered over him, with tears and
embraces and kisses; and the devout Governor Talcott, at New Haven, gave
God thanks, after listening to the great preacher, "for such refreshings
on the way to our rest." So he was sped on his way back to the South.

Relieved thus of the glamor of his presence, the New England people
began, some of them, to recognize in what an earthen vessel their
treasure had been borne. Already, in his earlier youth, when his vast
powers had been suddenly revealed to him and to the world, he had had
wise counsel from such men as Watts and Doddridge against some of his
perils. Watts warned him against his superstition of trusting to
"impressions" assumed to be divine; and Doddridge pronounced him "an
honest man, but weak, and a little intoxicated with popularity."[169:1]
But no human strength could stand against the adulation that everywhere
attended him. His vain conceit was continually betraying him into
indiscretions, which he was ever quick to expiate by humble
acknowledgment. At Northampton he was deeply impressed with the beauty
of holiness in Edwards and his wife; and he listened with deference to
the cautions of that wise counselor against his faith in "impressions"
and against his censorious judgments of other men as "unconverted"; but
it seemed to the pastor that his guest "liked him not so well for
opposing these things."

The faults of Whitefield were intensified to a hateful degree in some of
his associates and followers. Leaving Boston, he sent, to succeed to his
work, Gilbert Tennent, then glowing with the heat of his noted
Nottingham sermon on "An Unconverted Ministry." At once men's minds
began to be divided. On the one hand, so wise and sober a critic as
Thomas Prince, listening with severe attention, gave his strong and
unreserved approval to the preaching and demeanor of Tennent.[169:2] At
the other extreme, we have such testimony as this from Dr. Timothy
Cutler, the former rector of Yale College, now the Episcopalian minister
of Boston:

     "It would be an endless attempt to describe that scene of
     confusion and disturbance occasioned by him [Whitefield]: the
     division of families, neighborhoods, and towns, the
     contrariety of husbands and wives, the undutifulness of
     children and servants, the quarrels among teachers, the
     disorders of the night, the intermission of labor and
     business, the neglect of husbandry and of gathering the
     harvest.... In many conventicles and places of rendezvous
     there has been checkered work indeed, several preaching and
     several exhorting and praying at the same time, the rest
     crying or laughing, yelping, sprawling, fainting, and this
     revel maintained in some places many days and nights together
     without intermission; and then there were the blessed
     outpourings of the Spirit!... After him came one Tennent, a
     monster! impudent and noisy, and told them they were all
     damn'd, damn'd, damn'd; this charmed them, and in the most
     dreadful winter I ever saw people wallowed in the snow night
     and day for the benefit of his beastly brayings, and many
     ended their days under these fatigues. Both of them carried
     more money out of these parts than the poor could be thankful

This is in a tone of bitter sectarian railing. But, after all, the main
allegations in it are sustained by the ample evidence produced by Dr.
Charles Chauncy, pastor of the First Church in Boston, in his serious
and weighty volume of "Seasonable Thoughts on the State of Religion in
New England," published in 1743, as he sincerely says, "to serve the
interests of Christ's kingdom," and "faithfully pointing out the things
of a bad and dangerous tendency in the late and present religious
appearance in the land." Dr. Chauncy was doubtless included in the
sweeping denunciation of the Christian ministry in general as
"unconverted," "Pharisees," "hypocrites." And yet it does not appear in
historical evidence that Chauncy was not every whit as good a Christian
as Tennent or Whitefield.

The excesses of the revival went on from bad to worse. They culminated,
at last, in the frenzy of poor James Davenport, great-grandson of the
venerable founder of New Haven, who, under the control of "impressions"
and "impulses" and texts of Scripture "borne in upon his mind,"
abandoned his Long Island parish, a true _allotrio-episcopos_, to thrust
himself uninvited into the parishes of other ministers, denouncing the
pastor as "unconverted" and adjuring the people to desert both pastor
and church. Like some other self-appointed itinerants and exhorters of
the time, he seemed bent upon schism, as if this were the great end of
preaching. Being invited to New London to assist in organizing a
Separatist church, he "published the messages which he said he received
from the Spirit in dreams and otherwise, importing the great necessity
of mortification and contempt of the world; and made them believe that
they must put away from them everything that they delighted in, to avoid
the heinous sin of idolatry--that wigs, cloaks and breeches, hoods,
gowns, rings, jewels, and necklaces, must be all brought together into
one heap into his chamber, that they might by his solemn decree be
committed to the flames." On the Sabbath afternoon the pile was publicly
burned amid songs and shouts. In the pile were many favorite books of
devotion, including works of Flavel, Beveridge, Henry, and like
venerated names, and the sentence was announced with a loud voice, "that
the smoke of the torments of such of the authors of the above-said books
as died in the same belief as when they set them out was now ascending
in hell, in like manner as they saw the smoke of these books
arise."[171:1] The public fever and delirium was passing its crisis. A
little more than a year from this time, Davenport, who had been treated
by his brethren with much forbearance and had twice been released from
public process as _non compos mentis_, recovered his reason at the same
time with his bodily health, and published an unreserved and
affectionate acknowledgment of the wrong that he had done under the
influence of a spirit of delusion which he had mistaken for the Spirit
of truth. Those who had gone furthest with him in his excesses returned
to a more sober and brotherly mind, and soon no visible trace remained
of the wild storm of enthusiasm that had swept over New England, except
a few languishing schisms in country towns of Connecticut.

As in the middle colonies, the revival had brought division in New
England. But, after the New England fashion, it was division merely into
ways of thinking, not into sects. Central in the agitated scene is the
calm figure of Edwards, uniting the faith and zeal of an apostle with
the acuteness of a philosopher, and applying the exquisite powers of his
intellect to discriminate between a divine work and its human or Satanic
admixtures, and between true and spurious religious affections. He won
the blessing of the peacemaker. When half a generation had passed there
had not ceased, indeed, to be differences of opinion, but there was none
left to defend the wild extravagances which the very authors of them
lamented, and there was none to deny, in face of the rich and enduring
fruits of the revival, that the power of God had been present in it. In
the twenty years ending in 1760 the number of the New England churches
had been increased by one hundred and fifty.[172:1]

In the middle colonies there had been like progress. The Presbyterian
ministry had increased from forty-five to more than a hundred; and the
increase had been wholly on the "New Side." An early move of the
conservative party, to require a degree from a British or a New England
college as a condition of license to preach, was promptly recognized as
intended to exclude the fervid students from the Log College. It was met
by the organization of Princeton College, whose influence, more New
Englandish than New England, directed by a succession of illustrious
Yale graduates in full sympathy with the advanced theology of the
revival, was counted on to withstand the more cautious orthodoxy of
Yale. In this and other ways the Presbyterian schism fell out to the
furtherance of the gospel.

In Virginia the quickening was as when the wind breathed in the valley
of dry bones. The story of Samuel Morris and his unconscious mission,
although authentic fact, belongs with the very romance of
evangelism.[173:1] Whitefield and "One-eyed Robinson," and at last
Samuel Davies, came to his aid. The deadly exclusiveness of the inert
Virginia establishment was broken up, and the gospel had free course.
The Presbyterian Church, which had at first been looked on as an exotic
sect that might be tolerated out on the western frontier, after a brief
struggle with the Act of Uniformity maintained its right to live and
struck vigorous root in the soil. The effect of the Awakening was felt
in the establishment itself. Devereux Jarratt, a convert of the revival,
went to England for ordination, and returned to labor for the
resuscitation of the Episcopal Church in his native State. "To him, and
such as he, the first workings of the renewed energy of the church in
Virginia are to be traced."[173:2]

An even more important result of the Awakening was the swift and wide
extension of Baptist principles and churches. This was altogether
logical. The revival had come, not so much in the spirit and power of
Elijah, turning to each other the hearts of fathers and of children, as
in the spirit of Ezekiel, the preacher of individual responsibility and
duty. The temper of the revival was wholly congenial with the strong
individualism of the Baptist churches. The Separatist churches formed in
New England by the withdrawal of revival enthusiasts from the parish
churches in many instances became Baptist. Cases of individual
conversion to Baptist views were frequent, and the earnestness with
which the new opinion was held approved itself not only by debating and
proselyting, but by strenuous and useful evangelizing. Especially at the
South, from Virginia to Georgia, the new preachers, entering into the
labors of the annoyed and persecuted pioneers of their communion, won
multitudes of converts to the Christian faith, from the neglected
populations, both black and white, and gave to the Baptist churches a
lasting preëminence in numbers among the churches of the South.

Throughout the country the effect of this vigorous propagation of rival
sects openly, in the face of whatever there was of church establishment,
settled this point: that the law of American States, by whomsoever
administered, must sooner or later be the law of liberty and equality
among the various religious communions. In the southern colonies, the
empty shell of a church establishment had crumbled on contact with the
serious earnestness of the young congregations gathered by the
Presbyterian and Baptist evangelists. In New England, where
establishment was in the form of an attempt by the people of the
commonwealth to confirm the people of each town in the maintenance of
common worship according to their conscience and judgment, the "standing
order" had solid strength; but when it was attempted by public authority
to curb the liberty of a considerable minority conscientiously intent on
secession, the reins were ready to break. It soon came to be recognized
that the only preëminence the parish churches could permanently hold was
that of being "servants of all."

With equal and unlimited liberty, was to follow, as a prevailing
characteristic of American Christianity, a large diversity of
organization. Not only that men disagreeing in their convictions of
truth would be enrolled in different bodies, but that men holding the
same views, in the same statement of them, would feel free to go apart
from one another, and stay apart. There was not even to be any one
generally predominating organization from which minor ones should be
reckoned as dissenting. One after another the organizations which should
be tempted by some period of exceptional growth and prosperity to
pretend to a hegemony among the churches--Catholic, Episcopalian,
Presbyterian, Baptist, Methodist--would meet with some set-back as
inexorable as "the law of nature that prevents the trees from growing up
into the sky."

By a curious paradox, the same spiritual agitation which deepened the
divisions of the American church aroused in the colonies the
consciousness of a national religious unity. We have already seen that
in the period before the Awakening the sole organ of fellowship reaching
through the whole chain of the British colonies was the correspondence
of the Quaker meetings and missionaries. In the glow of the revival the
continent awoke to the consciousness of a common spiritual life. Ranging
the continent literally from Georgia to Maine, with all his weaknesses
and indiscretions, and with his incomparable eloquence, welcomed by
every sect, yet refusing an exclusive allegiance to any, Whitefield
exercised a true apostolate, bearing daily the care of all the churches,
and becoming a messenger of mutual fellowship not only between the ends
of the continent, but between the Christians of two hemispheres. Remote
churches exchanged offices of service. Tennent came from New Jersey to
labor in New England; Dickinson and Burr and Edwards were the gift of
the northern colonies to the college at Princeton. The quickened sense
of a common religious life and duty and destiny was no small part of the
preparation for the birth of the future nation.

Whether for good or for evil, the few years from 1740 to 1750 were
destined to impress upon the American church in its various orders, for
a hundred years to come, the character of _Methodism_.[176:1]

In New England, the idea, into which the first pastors had been trained
by their experience as parish ministers in the English established
church, of the parochial church holding correlative rights and duties
toward the community in all its families, succumbed at last, after a
hundred years of more or less conscious antagonism, to the incompatible
principle, adopted from the Separatists of Plymouth, of the church
formed according to elective affinity by the "social compact" of persons
of the age of discretion who could give account to themselves and to one
another of the conscious act and experience of conversion. This view,
subject to important mitigations or aggravations in actual
administration, held almost unquestioned dominance in the New England
churches until boldly challenged by Horace Bushnell, in his
"epoch-making" volume on "Christian Nurture" (1846), as a departure from
the orthodoxy of the fathers.

In the Presbyterian Church, revivalism as a principle of church life had
to contend with rules distinctly articulated in its constitutional
documents. So exclusively does the Westminster institute contemplate the
church as an established parish that its "Directory for Worship"
contains no provision for so abnormal an incident as the baptism of an
adult, and all baptized children growing up and not being of scandalous
life are to be welcomed to the Lord's Supper. It proves the immense
power of the Awakening, that this rigid and powerful organization, of a
people tenacious of its traditions to the point of obstinacy, should
have swung so completely free at this point, not only of its
long-settled usages, but of the distinct letter of its standards.

The Episcopal Church of the colonies was almost forced into an attitude
of opposition to the revival. The unspeakable folly of the English
bishops in denouncing and silencing the most effective preachers in the
national church had betrayed Whitefield into his most easily besetting
sin, that of censorious judgment, and his sweeping counter-denunciations
of the Episcopalian clergy in general as unconverted closed to him many
hearts and pulpits that at first had been hospitably open to him. Being
human, they came into open antagonism to him and to the revival. From
the protest against extravagance and disorder, it was a short and
perilously easy step to the rejection of religious fervor and
earnestness. The influence of the mother church of that dreary period
and the influence of the official rings around every royal governor were
all too potent in the same direction. The Propagation Society's
missionaries boasted, with reason, of large accessions of proselytes
alienated from other churches by their distaste for the methods of the
revival. The effect on the Episcopal Church itself was in some respects
unhappy. It "lowered a spiritual temperature already too low,"[177:1]
and weakened the moral influence of the church, and the value of its
testimony to important principles which there were few besides
efficiently to represent--the duty of the church not to disown or shut
out those of little faith, and the church's duty toward its children.
Never in the history of the church have the Lord's husbandmen shown a
fiercer zeal for rooting up tares, regardless of damage to the wheat,
than was shown by the preachers of the Awakening. Never was there a
wider application of the reproach against those who, instead of
preaching to men that they should be converted and become as little
children, preach to children that they must be converted and become like
grown folks.[178:1] The attitude of the Episcopal Church at that period
was not altogether admirable; but it is nothing to its dishonor that it
bore the reproach of being a friend of publicans and sinners, and
offered itself as a _refugium peccatorum_, thus holding many in some
sort of relation to the kingdom of Christ who would otherwise have
lapsed into sheer infidelity.

In all this the Episcopal Church was affected by the Awakening only by
way of reaction. But it owes a debt to the direct influence of the
Awakening which it has not always been careful to acknowledge. We have
already seen that the requickening of the asphyxiated church of Virginia
was part of the great revival, and this character remains impressed on
that church to this day. The best of those traits by which the American
Episcopal Church is distinguished from the Church of England, as, for
instance, the greater purity of the ministry and of the membership, are
family traits of the revival churches; the most venerated of its early
bishops, White and Griswold, bore the same family likeness; and the
"Evangelical party," for a time so influential in its counsels, was a
tardy and mild afterglow from the setting of the Great Awakening.[179:1]

An incident of the revival, failing which it would have lacked an
essential token of the presence of the Spirit of Christ, was the
kindling of zeal for communicating the gospel to the ignorant, the
neglected, and the heathen. Among the first-fruits of Whitefield's
preaching at the South was a practical movement among the planters for
the instruction of their slaves--devotees, most of them, of the most
abject fetich-worship of their native continent. Of the evangelists and
pastors most active in the revival, there were few, either North or
South, whose letters or journals do not report the drawing into the
churches of large numbers of negroes and Indians, whose daily lives
witnessed to the sincerity of their profession of repentance and
Christian faith. The Indian population of the southeastern corner of
Connecticut with such accord received the gospel at the hands of the
evangelists that heathenism seemed extinct among them.[179:2]

Among the first trophies of the revival at Norwich was a Mohegan boy
named Samson Occum. Wheelock, pastor at Lebanon, one of the most ardent
of the revival preachers, took him into his family as a student. This
was the beginning of that school for the training of Indian preachers
which, endowed in part with funds gathered by Occum in England, grew at
last into Dartmouth College. The choicest spiritual gifts at the
disposal of the church were freely spent on the missions. Whitefield
visited the school and the field, and sped Kirkland on his way to the
Oneidas. Edwards, leaving Northampton in sorrow of heart, gave his
incomparable powers to the work of the gospel among the Stockbridge
Indians until summoned thence to the presidency of Princeton College.
When Brainerd fainted under his burden, it was William Tennent who went
out into the wilderness to carry on the work of harvest. But the great
gift of the American church to the cause of missions was the gift of
David Brainerd himself. His life was the typical missionary's life--the
scattering of precious seed with tears, the heart-sickness of hope
deferred, at last the rejoicing of the harvest-home. His early death
enrolled him in the canon of the saints of modern Christendom. The story
of his life and death, written by Jonathan Edwards out of that fatherly
love with which he had tended the young man's latest days and hours, may
not have been an unmixed blessing to the church. The long-protracted
introspections, the cherished forebodings and misgivings, as if doubt
was to be cultivated as a Christian virtue, may not have been an
altogether wholesome example for general imitation. But think what the
story of that short life has wrought! To how many hearts it has been an
inspiration to self-sacrifice and devotion to the service of God in the
service of man, we cannot know. Along one line its influence can be
partly traced. The "Life of David Brainerd" made Henry Martyn a
missionary to the heathen. As spiritual father to Henry Martyn, Brainerd
may be reckoned, in no unimportant sense, to be the father of modern
missions to the heathen.


[156:1] Of how little relative importance was this charge may be judged
from the fact that a quarter-century later, when the famous Joseph
Bellamy was invited to it from his tiny parish of Bethlem, Conn., the
council called to advise in the case judged that the interests of
Bethlem were too important to be sacrificed to the demands of New York.

[156:2] See the altogether admirable monograph of Professor A. V. G.
Allen on "Jonathan Edwards," p. 23.

[159:1] Allen, "Jonathan Edwards," pp. 164-174.

[162:1] Joseph Tracy, "The Great Awakening," chap. ii. This work, of
acknowledged value and authority, is on the list of the Congregational
Board of Publication. It is much to be regretted that the Board does not
publish it as well as announce it. A new edition of it, under the hand
of a competent editor, with a good index, would be a useful service to

[168:1] The critical historian has the unusual satisfaction, at this
point, of finding a gauge by which to discount the large round numbers
given in Whitefield's journal. He speaks of preaching in the Old South
Church to six thousand persons. The now venerable building had at that
time a seating capacity of about twelve hundred. Making the largest
allowance for standing-room, we may estimate his actual audience at two
thousand. Whitefield was an honest man, but sixty-six per cent. is not
too large a discount to make from his figures; his estimates of
spiritual effect from his labor are liable to a similar deduction.

[169:1] Tracy, "Great Awakening," p. 51.

[169:2] _Ibid._, pp. 114-120.

[170:1] Letter of September 24, 1743, quoted in McConnell, "American
Episcopal Church," p. 142, note.

[171:1] Chauncy, "Seasonable Thoughts," pp. 220-223.

[172:1] Tracy, "Great Awakening," p. 389.

[173:1] See the autobiographical narrative in Tracy, p. 377.

[173:2] Tiffany, "Protestant Episcopal Church," p. 45.

[176:1] "The Great Awakening ... terminated the Puritan and inaugurated
the Pietist or Methodist age of American church history" (Thompson,
"Presbyterian Churches in the United States," p. 34). It is not
unnecessary to remark that the word "Methodist" is not used in the
narrow sense of "Wesleyan."

[177:1] Unpublished lectures of the Rev. W. G. Andrews on "The
Evangelical Revival of 1740 and American Episcopalians." It is much to
be hoped that these valuable studies of the critical period of American
church history may not long remain unpublished.

[178:1] This sharp antithesis is quoted at second hand from Charles
Kingsley. The stories of little children frightened into screaming, and
then dragged (at four years of age, says Jonathan Edwards) through the
agitating vicissitudes of a "revival experience," occupy some of the
most pathetic, not to say tragical, pages of the history of the

[179:1] McConnell, pp. 144-146; W. G. Andrews, Lecture III.

[179:2] Tracy, pp. 187-192.



The quickening of religious feeling, the deepening of religious
conviction, the clearing and defining of theological opinions, that were
incidental to the Great Awakening, were a preparation for more than
thirty years of intense political and warlike agitation. The churches
suffered from the long distraction of the public mind, and at the end of
it were faint and exhausted. But for the infusion of a "more abundant
life" which they had received, it would seem that they could hardly have
survived the stress of that stormy and revolutionary period.

The religious life of this period was manifested in part in the growth
of the New England theology. The great leader of this school of
theological inquiry, the elder Edwards, was born at the opening of the
eighteenth century. The oldest and most eminent of his disciples and
successors, Bellamy and Hopkins, were born respectively in 1719 and
1721, and entered into the work of the Awakening in the flush of their
earliest manhood. A long dynasty of acute and strenuous argumentators
has continued, through successive generations to the present day, this
distinctly American school of theological thought. This is not the
place for tracing the intricate history of their discussions,[182:1]
but the story of the Awakening could not be told without some mention of
this its attendant and sequel.

Not less notable than the new theology of the revival was the new
psalmody. In general it may be said that every flood-tide of spiritual
emotion in the church leaves its high-water mark in the form of "new
songs to the Lord" that remain after the tide of feeling has assuaged.
In this instance the new songs were not produced by the revival, but
only adopted by it. It is not easy for us at this day to conceive the
effect that must have been produced in the Christian communities of
America by the advent of Isaac Watts's marvelous poetic work, "The
Psalms of David Imitated in the Language of the New Testament."
Important religious results have more than once followed in the church
on the publication of religious poems--notably, in our own century, on
the publication of "The Christian Year." But no other instance of the
kind is comparable with the publication in America of Watts's Psalms.
When we remember how scanty were the resources of religious poetry in
American homes in the early eighteenth century, and especially how rude
and even grotesque the rhymes that served in the various churches as a
vehicle of worship, it seems that the coming of those melodious stanzas,
in which the meaning of one poet is largely interpreted by the
sympathetic insight of another poet, and the fervid devotion of the Old
Testament is informed with the life and transfigured in the language of
the New, must have been like a glow of sunlight breaking in upon a gray
and cloudy day. Few pages of biography can be found more vividly
illustrative of the times and the men than the page in which Samuel
Hopkins recites the story of the sufferings of his own somber and
ponderous mind under the rebuke of his college friend David Brainerd. He
walked his solitary room in tears, and (he says) "took up Watts's
version of the Psalms, and opened it at the Fifty-first Psalm, and read
the first, second, and third parts in long meter with strong affections,
and made it all my own language, and thought it was the language of my
heart to God." There was more than the experience of a great and simple
soul, there was the germ of a future system of theology, in the
penitential confession which the young student "made his own language,"
and in the exquisite lines which, under the figure of a frightened bird,
became the utterance of his first tremulous and faltering faith:

     Lord, should thy judgment grow severe,
     I am condemned, but thou art clear.

     Should sudden vengeance seize my breath,
     I must pronounce thee just in death;
     And if my soul were sent to hell,
     Thy righteous law approves it well.

     Yet save a trembling sinner, Lord,
     Whose hope, still hovering round thy word,
     Would light on some sweet promise there,
     Some sure support against despair.

The introduction of the new psalmody was not accomplished all at once,
nor without a struggle. But we gravely mistake if we look upon the
controversy that resulted in the adoption of Watts's Psalms as a mere
conflict between enlightened good taste and stubborn conservatism. The
action proposed was revolutionary. It involved the surrender of a
long-settled principle of Puritanism. At the present day the objection
to the use of "human composures" in public worship is unintelligible,
except to Scotchmen. In the later Puritan age such use was reckoned an
infringement on the entire and exclusive authority and sufficiency of
the Scriptures, and a constructive violation of the second commandment.
By the adoption of the new psalmody the Puritan and Presbyterian
churches, perhaps not consciously, but none the less actually, yielded
the major premiss of the only argument by which liturgical worship was
condemned on principle. Thereafter the question of the use of liturgical
forms became a mere question of expediency. It is remarkable that the
logical consequences of this important step have been so tardy and

       *       *       *       *       *

It was not in the common course of church history that the period under
consideration should be a period of vigorous internal activity and
development in the old settled churches of America. The deep, often
excessive, excitements of the Awakening had not only ceased, but had
been succeeded by intense agitations of another sort. Two successive
"French and Indian" wars kept the long frontier, at a time when there
was little besides frontier to the British colonies, in continual peril
of fire and scalping-knife.[184:1] The astonishingly sudden and complete
extinction of the French politico-religious empire in Canada and the
West made possible, and at no remote time inevitable, the separation of
the British colonies from the mother country and the contentions and
debates that led into the Revolutionary War began at once.

Another consequence of the prostrating of the French power in America
has been less noticed by historians, but the course of this narrative
will not be followed far without its becoming manifest as not less
momentous in its bearing on the future history of the church. The
extinction of the French-Catholic power in America made possible the
later plantation and large and free development of the Catholic Church
in the territory of the United States. After that event the Catholic
resident or citizen was no longer subject to the suspicion of being a
sympathizer with a hostile neighboring power, and the Jesuit missionary
was no longer liable to be regarded as a political intriguer and a
conspirator with savage assassins against the lives of innocent settlers
and their families. If there are those who, reading the earlier pages of
this volume, have mourned over the disappointment and annihilation of
two magnificent schemes of Catholic domination on the North American
continent as being among the painful mysteries of divine providence,
they may find compensation for these catastrophes in later advances of
Catholicism, which without these antecedents would seem to have been
hardly possible.

Although the spiritual development of the awakened American churches,
after the Awakening until the independence of the States was established
and acknowledged, was limited by these great hindrances, this period was
one of momentous influences from abroad upon American Christianity.

       *       *       *       *       *

The Scotch-Irish immigration kept gathering volume and force. The great
stream of immigrants entering at the port of Philadelphia and flowing
westward and southwestward was joined by a tributary stream entering at
Charleston. Not only the numbers of this people, occupying in force the
hill-country from Pennsylvania to Georgia, but still more its
extraordinary qualities and the discipline of its history, made it a
factor of prime importance in the events of the times just before and
just after the achievement of the national independence. For generations
it had been schooled to the apprehension and acceptance of an
elaborately articulated system of theology and church order as of divine
authority. Its prejudices and animosities were quite as potent as its
principles. Its fixed hereditary aversion to the English government and
the English church was the natural fruit of long memories and traditions
of outrages inflicted by both these; its influence was now about to be
powerfully manifested in the overthrow of the English power and its
feeble church establishments in the colonies. At the opening of the War
of Independence the Presbyterian Church, reunited since the schism of
1741, numbered one hundred and seventy ministers in seventeen
presbyteries; but its weight of influence was out of all proportion to
its numbers, and this entire force, not altogether at unity with itself
on ecclesiastical questions, was united as one man in the maintenance of
American rights.

The great German immigration begins to flow in earnest in this period.
Three successive tides of migration have set from Germany to America.
The first was the movement of the petty sects under the invitation and
patronage of William Penn, quartering themselves in the eastern parts of
Pennsylvania. The second was the transportation of "the Palatines,"
expatriated by stress of persecution and war, not from the Rhenish
Palatinate only, but from the archduchy of Salzburg and from other parts
of Germany and Switzerland, gathered up and removed to America, some of
them directly, some by way of England, as an act of political charity by
Queen Anne's government, with the idea of strengthening the colonies by
planting Protestant settlers for a safeguard against Spanish or French
aggressions. The third tide continues flowing, with variable volume, to
this day. It is the voluntary flow of companies of individual emigrants
seeking to better the fortunes of themselves or their families. But this
voluntary migration has been unhealthily and sometimes dishonestly
stimulated, from the beginning of it, by the selfish interests of those
concerned in the business of transportation or in the sale of land. It
seems to have been mainly the greed of shipping merchants, at first,
that spread abroad in the German states florid announcements of the
charms and riches of America, decoying multitudes of ignorant persons to
risk everything on these representations, and to mortgage themselves
into a term of slavery until they should have paid the cost of their
passage by their labor. This class of bondmen, called "redemptioners,"
made no inconsiderable part of the population of the middle colonies;
and it seems to have been a worthy part. The trade of "trepanning" the
unfortunates and transporting them and selling their term of service was
not by several degrees as bad as the African slave-trade; but it was of
the same sort, and the deadly horrors of its "middle passage" were
hardly less.

In one way and another the German immigration had grown by the middle of
the eighteenth century to great dimensions. In the year 1749 twelve
thousand Germans landed at the port of Philadelphia. In general they
were as sheep having no shepherd. Their deplorable religious condition
was owing less to poverty than to diversity of sects.[188:1] In many
places the number of sects rendered concerted action impossible, and the
people remained destitute of religious instruction.

The famine of the word was sorely felt. In 1733 three great Lutheran
congregations in Pennsylvania, numbering five hundred families each,
sent messengers with an imploring petition to their coreligionists at
London and Halle, representing their "state of the greatest
destitution." "Our own means" (they say) "are utterly insufficient to
effect the necessary relief, unless God in his mercy may send us help
from abroad. It is truly lamentable to think of the large numbers of the
rising generation who know not their right hand from their left; and,
unless help be promptly afforded, the danger is great that, in
consequence of the great lack of churches and schools, the most of them
will be led into the ways of destructive error."

This urgent appeal bore fruit like the apples of Sodom. It resulted in a
painful and pitiable correspondence with the chiefs of the mother
church, these haggling for months and years over stipulations of salary,
and refusing to send a minister until the salary should be pledged in
cash; and their correspondents pleading their poverty and need.[188:2]
The few and feeble churches of the Reformed confession were equally
needy and ill befriended.

It seems to us, as we read the story after the lapse of a hundred and
fifty years, as if the man expressly designed and equipped by the
providence of God for this exigency in the progress of his kingdom had
arrived when Zinzendorf, the Moravian, made his appearance at
Philadelphia, December 10, 1741. The American church, in all its
history, can point to no fairer representative of the charity that
"seeketh not her own" than this Saxon nobleman, who, for the true love
that he bore to Christ and all Christ's brethren, was willing to give up
his home, his ancestral estates, his fortune, his title of nobility, his
patrician family name, his office of bishop in the ancient Moravian
church, and even (last infirmity of zealous spirits) his interest in
promoting specially that order of consecrated men and women in the
church catholic which he had done and sacrificed so much to save from
extinction, and to which his "cares and toils were given." He hastened
first up the Lehigh Valley to spend Christmas at Bethlehem, where the
foundations had already been laid on which have been built up the
half-monastic institutions of charity and education and missions which
have done and are still doing so much to bless the world in both its
hemispheres. It was in commemoration of this Christmas visit of Bishop
Zinzendorf that the mother house of the Moravian communities in America
received its name of Bethlehem. Returning to Philadelphia, he took this
city as the base of his unselfish and unpartisan labors in behalf of the
great and multiplying population from his fatherland, which through its
sectarian divisions had become so helpless and spiritually needy.
Already for twenty years there had been a few scattering churches of
the Reformed confession, and for half that time a few Lutheran
congregations had been gathered or had gathered themselves. But both the
sects had been overcome by the paralysis resulting from habitual
dependence on paternal governments, and the two were borne asunder,
while every right motive was urging to coöperation and fellowship, by
the almost spent momentum of old controversies. In Philadelphia two
starveling congregations representing the two competing sects occupied
the same rude meeting-place each by itself on alternate Sundays. The
Lutherans made shift without a pastor, for the only Lutheran minister in
Pennsylvania lived at Lancaster, sixty miles away.

To the scattered, distracted, and demoralized flocks of his German
fellow-Christians in the middle colonies came Zinzendorf, knowing Jesus
Christ crucified, knowing no man according to the flesh; and at once
"the neglected congregations were made to feel the thrill of a strong
religious life." "Aglow with zeal for Christ, throwing all emphasis in
his teaching upon the one doctrine of redemption through the blood shed
on Calvary, all the social advantages and influence and wealth which his
position gave him were made subservient to the work of preaching Christ,
and him crucified, to the rich and the poor, the learned and the
ignorant."[190:1] The Lutherans of Philadelphia heard him gladly and
entreated him to preach to them regularly; to which he consented, but
not until he had assured himself that this would be acceptable to the
pastor of the Reformed congregation. But his mission was to the sheep
scattered abroad, of whom he reckoned (an extravagant overestimate) not
less than one hundred thousand of the Lutheran party in Pennsylvania
alone. Others, as he soon found, had been feeling, like himself, the
hurt of the daughter of Zion. A series of conferences was held from
month to month, in which men of the various German sects took counsel
together over the dissensions of their people, and over the question how
the ruinous effects of these dissensions could be avoided. The plan was,
not to attempt a merger of the sects, nor to alienate men from their
habitual affiliations, but to draw together in coöperation and common
worship the German Christians, of whatever sect, in a fellowship to be
called, in imitation of a Pauline phrase (Eph. ii. 22), "the
Congregation of God in the Spirit." The plan seemed so right and
reasonable and promising of beneficent results as to win general
approval. It was in a fair way to draw together the whole miserably
divided German population.[191:1]

At once the "drum ecclesiastic" beat to arms. In view of the impending
danger that their scattered fellow-countrymen might come into mutual
fellowship on the basis of their common faith in Christ, the Lutheran
leaders at Halle, who for years had been dawdling and haggling over the
imploring entreaties of the shepherdless Lutheran populations in
America, promptly reconsidered their _non possumus_, and found and sent
a man admirably qualified for the desired work, Henry Melchior
Mühlenberg, a man of eminent ability and judgment, of faith, devotion,
and untiring diligence, not illiberal, but a conscientious sectarian. An
earnest preacher of the gospel, he was also earnest that the gospel
should be preached according to the Lutheran formularies, to
congregations organized according to the Lutheran discipline. The easier
and less worthy part of the appointed task was soon achieved. The danger
that the religious factions that had divided Germany might be laid
aside in the New World was effectually dispelled. Six years later the
governor of Pennsylvania was still able to write, "The Germans imported
with them all the religious whimsies of their country, and, I believe,
have subdivided since their arrival here;" and he estimates their number
at three fifths of the population of the province. The more arduous and
noble work of organizing and compacting the Lutherans into their
separate congregations, and combining these by synodical assemblies, was
prosecuted with wisdom and energy, and at last, in spite of hindrances
and discouragements, with beneficent success. The American Lutheran
Church of to-day is the monument of the labors of Mühlenberg.

The brief remainder of Zinzendorf's work in America may be briefly told.
There is no doubt that, like many another eager and hopeful reformer, he
overestimated the strength and solidity of the support that was given to
his generous and beneficent plans. At the time of Mühlenberg's arrival
Zinzendorf was the elected and installed pastor of the Lutheran
congregation in Philadelphia. The conflict could not be a long one
between the man who claimed everything for his commission and his sect
and the man who was resolved to insist on nothing for himself.
Notwithstanding the strong love for him among the people, Zinzendorf was
easily displaced from his official station. When dispute arose about the
use of the empty carpenter's shop that stood them instead of a church,
he waived his own claims and at his own cost built a new house of
worship. But it was no part of his work to stay and persist in
maintaining a division. He retired from the field, leaving it in charge
of Mühlenberg, "being satisfied if only Christ were preached," and
returned to Europe, having achieved a truly honorable and most Christian
failure, more to be esteemed in the sight of God than many a splendid

But his brief sojourn in America was not without visible fruit. He left
behind him the Moravian church fully organized under the episcopate of
Bishop David Nitschmann, with communities or congregations begun at nine
different centers, and schools established in four places. An extensive
itinerancy had been set in operation under careful supervision, and,
most characteristic of all, a great beginning had been made of those
missions to the heathen Indians, in which the devoted and successful
labors of this little society of Christians have put to shame the whole
American church besides. Not all of this is to be ascribed to the
activity of Zinzendorf; but in all of it he was a sharer, and his share
was a heroic one. The two years' visit of Count Zinzendorf to America
forms a beautiful and quite singular episode in our church history.
Returning to his ancestral estates splendidly impoverished by his
free-handed beneficence, he passed many of the later years of his life
at Herrnhut, that radiating center from which the light of the gospel
was borne by the multitude of humble missionaries to every continent
under the whole heaven. The news that came to him from the "economies"
that he had planted in the forests of Pennsylvania was such as to fill
his generous soul with joy. In the communities of Nazareth and Bethlehem
was renewed the pentecostal consecration when no man called anything his
own. The prosperous farms and varied industries, in which no towns in
Pennsylvania could equal them, were carried on, not for private
interest, but for the church. After three years the community work was
not only self-supporting, but sustained about fifty missionaries in the
field, and was preparing to send aid to the missions of the mother
church in Germany. The Moravian settlements multiplied at distant
points, north and south. The educational establishments grew strong and
famous. But especially the Indian missions spread far and wide. The
story of these missions is one of the fairest and most radiant pages in
the history of the American church, and one of the bloodiest.
Zinzendorf, dying at London in May, 1756, was spared, we may hope, the
heartbreaking news of the massacre at Gnadenhütten the year before. But
from that time on, through the French wars, the Revolutionary War, the
War of 1812, and down to the infamy of Georgia and the United States in
1837, the innocent and Christlike Moravian missions have been exposed
from every side to the malignity of savage men both white and red. No
order of missionaries or missionary converts can show a nobler roll of
martyrs than the Moravians.[194:1]

The work of Mühlenberg for the Lutherans stimulated the Reformed
churches in Europe to a like work for their own scattered and pastorless
sheep. In both cases the fear that the work of the gospel might not be
done seemed a less effective incitement to activity than the fear that
it might be done by others. It was the Reformed Church of Holland,
rather than those of Germany, miserably broken down and discouraged by
ravaging wars, that assumed the main responsibility for this task. As
early as 1728 the Dutch synods had earnestly responded to the appeal of
their impoverished brethren on the Rhine in behalf of the sheep
scattered abroad. And in 1743, acting through the classis of Amsterdam,
they had made such progress toward beginning the preliminary
arrangements of the work as to send to the Presbyterian synod of
Philadelphia a proposal to combine into one the Presbyterian, or Scotch
Reformed, the Dutch Reformed, and the German Reformed churches in
America. It had already been proved impossible to draw together in
common activity and worship the different sects of the same German race
and language; the effort to unite in one organization peoples of
different language, but of substantially the same doctrine and polity,
was equally futile. It seemed as if minute sectarian division and
subdivision was to be forced upon American Christianity as a law of its
church life.

Diplomacies ended, the synods of Holland took up their work with real
munificence. Large funds were raised, sufficient to make every German
Reformed missionary in America a stipendiary of the classis of
Amsterdam; and if these subsidies were encumbered with severe conditions
of subordination to a foreign directory, and if they begot an enfeebling
sense of dependence, these were necessary incidents of the difficult
situation--_res dura et novitas regni_. The most important service which
the synods of Holland rendered to their American beneficiaries was to
find a man who should do for them just the work which Mühlenberg was
already doing with great energy for the Lutherans. The man was Michael
Schlatter. If in any respect he was inferior to Mühlenberg, it was not
in respect to diligent devotion to the business on which he had been
sent. It is much to the credit of both of them that, in organizing and
promoting their two sharply competing sects, they never failed of
fraternal personal relations. They worked together with one heart to
keep their people apart from each other. The Christian instinct, in a
community of German Christians, to gather in one congregation for common
worship was solemnly discouraged by the two apostles and the synods
which they organized. How could the two parties walk together when one
prayed _Vater unser_, and the other _unser Vater_? But the beauty of
Christian unity was illustrated in such incidents as this: Mr. Schlatter
and some of the Reformed Christians, being present at a Lutheran church
on a communion Sunday, listened to the preaching of the Lutheran
pastor, after which the Reformed minister made a communion address, and
then the congregation was dismissed, and the Reformed went off to a
school-house to receive the Lord's Supper.[196:1] Truly it was fragrant
like the ointment on the beard of Aaron!

Such was the diligence of Schlatter that the synod or coetus of the
Reformed Church was instituted in 1747, a year from his arrival. The
Lutheran synod dates from 1748, although Mühlenberg was on the ground
four years earlier than Schlatter. Thus the great work of dividing the
German population of America into two major sects was conscientiously
and effectually performed. Seventy years later, with large expenditure
of persuasion, authority, and money, it was found possible to heal in
some measure in the old country the very schism which good men had been
at such pains to perpetuate in the new.

High honor is due to the prophetic wisdom of these two leaders of
German-American Christianity, in that they clearly recognized in advance
that the English was destined to be the dominant language of North
America. Their strenuous though unsuccessful effort to promote a system
of public schools in Pennsylvania was defeated through their own ill
judgment and the ignorant prejudices of the immigrant people played upon
by politicians. But the mere attempt entitles them to lasting gratitude.
It is not unlikely that their divisive work of church organization may
have contributed indirectly to defeat the aspirations of their
fellow-Germans after the perpetuation of a Germany in America. The
combination of the mass of the German population in one solid church
organization would have been a formidable support to such aspirations.
The splitting of this mass in half, necessitating petty local schisms
with all their debilitating and demoralizing consequences, may have
helped secure the country from a serious political and social danger.

So, then, the German church in America at the close of the colonial era
exists, outside of the petty primeval sects, in three main divisions:
the Lutheran, the Reformed, and the Moravian. There is free opportunity
for Christians of this language to sort themselves according to their
elective affinities. That American ideal of edifying harmony is well
attained, according to which men of partial or one-sided views of truth
shall be associated exclusively in church relations with others of like
precious defects. Mühlenberg seems to have been sensible of the nature
of the division he was making in the body of Christ, when, after
severing successfully between the strict Lutherans in a certain
congregation and those of Moravian sympathies, he finds it "hard to
decide on which side of the controversy the greater justice lay. The
greater part of those on the Lutheran side, he feared, was composed of
unconverted men," while the Moravian party seemed open to the reproach
of enthusiasm. So he concluded that each sort of Christians would be
better off without the other. Time proved his diagnosis to be better
than his treatment. In the course of a generation the Lutheran body,
carefully weeded of pietistic admixtures, sank perilously deep in cold
rationalism, and the Moravian church was quite carried away for a time
on a flood of sentimentalism. What might have been the course of this
part of church history if Mühlenberg and Schlatter had shared more
deeply with Zinzendorf in the spirit of apostolic and catholic
Christianity, and if all three had conspired to draw together into one
the various temperaments and tendencies of the German Americans in the
unity of the Spirit with the bond of peace, may seem like an idle
historical conjecture, but the question is not without practical
interest to-day. Perhaps the Moravians would have been the better for
being ballasted with the weighty theologies and the conservative temper
of the state churches; it is very certain that these would have gained
by the infusion of something of that warmth of Christian love and zeal
that pervaded to a wonderful degree the whole Moravian fellowship. But
the hand and the foot were quite agreed that they had no need of each
other or of the heart.[198:1]

       *       *       *       *       *

By far the most momentous event of American church history in the
closing period of the colonial era was the planting of the Methodist
Episcopal Church. The Wesleyan revival was strangely tardy in reaching
this country, with which it had so many points of connection. It was in
America, in 1737, that John Wesley passed through the discipline of a
humiliating experience, by which his mind had been opened, and that he
had been brought into acquaintance with the Moravians, by whom he was to
be taught the way of the Lord more perfectly. It was John Wesley who
sent Whitefield to America, from whom, on his first return to England,
in 1738, he learned the practice of field-preaching. It was from America
that Edwards's "Narrative of Surprising Conversions" had come to Wesley,
which, being read by him on the walk from London to Oxford, opened to
his mind unknown possibilities of the swift advancement of the kingdom
of God. The beginning of the Wesleyan societies in England followed in
close connection upon the first Awakening in America. It went on with
growing momentum in England and Ireland for quarter of a century, until,
in 1765, it numbered thirty-nine circuits served by ninety-two
itinerant preachers; and its work was mainly among the classes from
which the emigration to the colonies was drawn. It is not easy to
explain how it came to pass that through all these twenty-five years
Wesleyan Methodism gave no sound or sign of life on that continent on
which it was destined (if one may speak of predestination in this
connection) to grow to its most magnificent proportions.

At last, in 1766, in a little group of Methodist families that had found
one another out among the recent comers in New York, Philip Embury, who
in his native Ireland long before had been a recognized local preacher,
was induced by the persuasions and reproaches of a pious woman to take
his not inconsiderable talent from the napkin in which he had kept it
hidden for six years, and preach in his own house to as many as could be
brought in to listen to him. The few that were there formed themselves
into a "class" and promised to attend at future meetings.

A more untoward time for the setting on foot of a religious enterprise
could hardly have been chosen. It was a time of prevailing languor in
the churches, in the reaction from the Great Awakening; it was also a
time of intense political agitation. The year before the Stamp Act had
been passed, and the whole chain of colonies, from New Hampshire to
Georgia, had been stirred up to resist the execution of it. This year
the Stamp Act had been repealed, but in such terms as to imply a new
menace and redouble the agitation. From this time forward to the
outbreak of war in 1775, and from that year on till the conclusion of
peace in 1783, the land was never at rest from turmoil. Through it all
the Methodist societies grew and multiplied. In 1767 Embury's house had
overflowed, and a sail-loft was hired for the growing congregation. In
1768 a lot on John Street was secured and a meeting-house was built. The
work had spread to Philadelphia, and, self-planted in Maryland under the
preaching of Robert Strawbridge, was propagating itself rapidly in that
peculiarly congenial soil. In 1769, in response to earnest entreaties
from America, two of Wesley's itinerant preachers, Boardman and Pilmoor,
arrived with his commission to organize an American itinerancy; and two
years later, in 1771, arrived Francis Asbury, who, by virtue of his
preëminent qualifications for organization, administration, and command,
soon became practically the director of the American work, a function to
which, in 1772, he was officially appointed by commission from Wesley.

Very great is the debt that American Christianity owes to Francis
Asbury. It may reasonably be doubted whether any one man, from the
founding of the church in America until now, has achieved so much in the
visible and traceable results of his work. It is very certain that
Wesley himself, with his despotic temper and his High-church and Tory
principles, could not have carried the Methodist movement in the New
World onward through the perils of its infancy on the way to so eminent
a success as that which was prepared by his vicegerent. Fully possessed
of the principles of that autocratic discipline ordained by Wesley, he
knew how to use it as not abusing it, being aware that such a discipline
can continue to subsist, in the long run, only by studying the temper of
the subjects of it, and making sure of obedience to orders by making
sure that the orders are agreeable, on the whole, to the subjects. More
than one polity theoretically aristocratic or monarchic in the
atmosphere of our republic has grown into a practically popular
government, simply through tact and good judgment in the administration
of it, without changing a syllable of its constitution. Very early in
the history of the Methodist Church it is easy to recognize the
aptitude with which Asbury naturalizes himself in the new climate.
Nominally he holds an absolute autocracy over the young organization.
Whatever the subject at issue, "on hearing every preacher for and
against, the right of determination was to rest with him."[201:1]
Questions of the utmost difficulty and of vital importance arose in the
first years of the American itinerancy. They could not have been decided
so wisely for the country and the universal church if Asbury, seeming to
govern the ministry and membership of the Society, had not studied to be
governed by them. In spite of the sturdy dictum of Wesley, "We are not
republicans, and do not intend to be," the salutary and necessary change
had already begun which was to accommodate his institutes in practice,
and eventually in form, to the habits and requirements of a free people.

The center of gravity of the Methodist Society, beginning at New York,
moved rapidly southward. Boston had been the metropolis of the
Congregationalist churches; New York, of the Episcopalians;
Philadelphia, of the Quakers and the Presbyterians; and Baltimore,
latest and southernmost of the large colonial cities, became, for a
time, the headquarters of Methodism. Accessions to the Society in that
region were more in number and stronger in wealth and social influence
than in more northern communities. It was at Baltimore that Asbury fixed
his residence--so far as a Methodist bishop, ranging the country with
incessant and untiring diligence, could be said to have a fixed

The record of the successive annual conferences of the Methodists gives
a gauge of their increase. At the first, in 1773, at Philadelphia, there
were reported 1160 members and 10 preachers, not one of these a native
of America.

At the second annual conference, in Philadelphia, there were reported
2073 members and 17 preachers.

The third annual conference sat at Philadelphia in 1775, simultaneously
with the Continental Congress. It was the beginning of the war. There
were reported 3148 members. Some of the foremost preachers had gone back
to England, unable to carry on their work without being compelled to
compromise their royalist principles. The preachers reporting were 19.
Of the membership nearly 2500 were south of Philadelphia--about eighty
per cent.

At the fourth annual conference, at Baltimore, in 1776, were reported
4921 members and 24 preachers.

At the fifth annual conference, in Harford County, Maryland, were
reported 6968 members and 36 preachers. This was in the thick of the
war. More of the leading preachers, sympathizing with the royal cause,
were going home to England. The Methodists as a body were subject to not
unreasonable suspicion of being disaffected to the cause of
independence. Their preachers were principally Englishmen with British
sympathies. The whole order was dominated and its property controlled by
an offensively outspoken Tory of the Dr. Johnson type.[202:1] It was
natural enough that in their public work they should be liable to
annoyance, mob violence, and military arrest. Even Asbury, a man of
proved American sympathies, found it necessary to retire for a time from
public activity.

In these circumstances, it is no wonder that at the conference of 1778,
at Leesburg, Va., at which five circuits in the most disturbed regions
were unrepresented, there was a decline in numbers. The members were
fewer by 873; the preachers fewer by 7.

But it is really wonderful that the next year (1779) were reported
extensive revivals in all parts not directly affected by the war, and an
increase of 2482 members and 49 preachers. The distribution of the
membership was very remarkable. At this time, and for many years after,
there was no organized Methodism in New England. New York, being
occupied by the invading army, sent no report. Of the total reported
membership of 8577, 140 are credited to New Jersey, 179 to Pennsylvania,
795 to Delaware, and 900 to Maryland. Nearly all the remainder, about
eighty per cent. of the whole, was included in Virginia and North
Carolina. With the exception of 319 persons, the entire reported
membership of the Methodist societies lived south of Mason and Dixon's
line. The fact throws an honorable light on some incidents of the early
history of this great order of preachers.

In the sixteen years from the meeting in Philip Embury's house to the
end of the War of Independence the membership of the Methodist societies
grew to about 12,000, served by about 70 itinerant preachers. It was a
very vital and active membership, including a large number of "local
preachers" and exhorters. The societies and classes were effectively
organized and officered for aggressive work; and they were planted, for
the most part, in the regions most destitute of Christian institutions.

       *       *       *       *       *

Parallel with the course of the gospel, we trace in every period the
course of those antichristian influences with which the gospel is in
conflict. The system of slavery must continue, through many sorrowful
years, to be in view from the line of our studies. We shall know it by
the unceasing protest made against it in the name of the Lord. The
arguments of John Woolman and Anthony Benezet were sustained by the
yearly meetings of the Friends. At Newport, the chief center of the
African slave-trade, the two Congregational pastors, Samuel Hopkins,
the theologian, and the erudite Ezra Stiles, afterward president of Yale
College, mutually opposed in theology and contrasted at every point of
natural character, were at one in boldly opposing the business by which
their parishioners had been enriched.[204:1] The deepening of the
conflict for political liberty pointed the application of the golden
rule in the case of the slaves. The antislavery literature of the period
includes a printed sermon that had been preached by the distinguished
Dr. Levi Hart "to the corporation of freemen" of his native town of
Farmington, Conn., at their autumnal town-meeting in 1774; and the poem
on "Slavery," published in 1775 by that fine character, Aaron
Cleveland,[204:2] of Norwich, hatter, poet, legislator, and minister of
the gospel. Among the Presbyterians of New Jersey, the father of Dr.
Ashbel Green took the extreme ground which was taken by Dr. Hopkins's
church in 1784, that no person holding a slave should be permitted to
remain in the communion of the church.[204:3] In 1774 the first society
in the world for the abolition of slavery was organized among the
Friends in Pennsylvania, to be followed by others, making a continuous
series of abolition societies from New England to Maryland and Virginia.
But the great antislavery society of the period in question was the
Methodist Society. Laboring through the War of Independence mainly in
the Southern States, it publicly declared, in the conference of 1780,
"that slavery is contrary to the laws of God, man, and nature, and
hurtful to society; contrary to the dictates of conscience and pure
religion, and doing that which we would not that others should do to us
and ours." The discipline of the body of itinerants was conducted
rigorously in accordance with this declaration.

It must not be supposed that the instances here cited represent
exceptions to the general course of opinion in the church of those
times. They are simply expressions of the universal judgment of those
whose attention had been seriously fixed upon the subject. There appears
no evidence of the existence of a contrary sentiment. The first
beginnings of a party in the church in opposition to the common judgment
of the Christian conscience on the subject of slavery are to be referred
to a comparatively very recent date.

Another of the great conflicts of the modern church was impending. But
it was only to prophetic minds in the middle of the eighteenth century
that it was visible in the greatness of its proportions. The vice of
drunkenness, which Isaiah had denounced in Samaria and Paul had
denounced at Ephesus, was growing insensibly, since the introduction of
distilled liquors as a common beverage, to a fatal prevalence. The
trustees of the charitable colony of Georgia, consciously laying the
foundations of many generations, endeavored to provide for the welfare
of the nascent State by forbidding at once the importation of negro
slaves and of spirituous liquors; but the salutary interdict was soon
nullified in the interest of the crops and of the trade with the
Indians. Dr. Hopkins "inculcated, at a very early day, the duty of
entire abstinence from intoxicating liquids as a beverage."[206:1] But,
as in the conflict with slavery, so in this conflict, the priority of
leadership belongs easily to Wesley and his itinerants. The conference
of 1783 declared against permitting the converts "to make spirituous
liquors, sell and drink them in drams," as "wrong in its nature and
consequences." To this course they were committed long in advance by the
"General Rules" set forth by the two Wesleys in May, 1743, for the
guidance of the "United Societies."[206:2]

An incident of the times immediately preceding the War of Independence
requires to be noted in this place, not as being of great importance in
itself, but as characteristic of the condition of the country and
prophetic of changes that were about to take place. During the decade
from 1760 to 1775 the national body of the Presbyterians--the now
reunited synod of New York and Philadelphia--and the General Association
of the Congregational pastors of Connecticut met together by their
representatives in annual convention to take counsel over a grave peril
that seemed to be impending. A petition had been urgently pressed, in
behalf of the American Episcopalians, for the establishment of bishops
in the colonies under the authority of the Church of England. The
reasons for this measure were obvious and weighty; and the protestations
of those who promoted it, that they sought no advantage before the law
over their fellow-Christians, were doubtless sincere. Nevertheless, the
fear that the bringing in of Church of England bishops would involve the
bringing in of many of those mischiefs of the English church
establishment which neither they nor their fathers had been able to bear
was a perfectly reasonable fear both to the Puritans of New England and
to the Presbyterians from Ireland. It was difficult for these, and it
would have been even more difficult for the new dignitaries, in colonial
days, to understand how bishops could be anything but lord bishops. The
fear of such results was not confined to ecclesiastics. The movement was
felt by the colonial statesmen to be dangerously akin to other British
encroachments on colonial rights. The Massachusetts Assembly instructed
its agent in London strenuously to oppose it. In Virginia, the
Episcopalian clergy themselves at first refused to concur in the
petition for bishops; and when at last the concurrence was voted, it was
in the face of a formal protest of four of the clergy, for which they
received a vote of thanks from the House of Burgesses.[207:1]

The alliance thus occasioned between the national synod of the
Presbyterian Church and the Congregationalist clergy of the little
colony of Connecticut seems like a disproportioned one. And so it was
indeed; for the Connecticut General Association was by far the larger
and stronger body of the two. By and by the disproportion was inverted,
and the alliance continued, with notable results.


[182:1] See G. P. Fisher, "History of Christian Doctrine," pp. 394-418;
also E. A. Park in the "Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia," vol. iii., pp.
1634-38. The New England theology is not so called as being confined to
New England. Its leading "improvements on Calvinism" were accepted by
Andrew Fuller and Robert Hall among the English Baptists, and by
Chalmers of the Presbyterians of Scotland.

[184:1] Of what sort was the life of a church and its pastor in those
days is illustrated in extracts from the journal of Samuel Hopkins, the
theologian, pastor at Great Barrington, given in the Memoir by Professor
Park, pp. 40-43. The Sabbath worship was disturbed by the arrival of
warlike news. The pastor and the families of his flock were driven from
their homes to take refuge in blockhouses crowded with fugitives. He was
gone nearly three months of fall and winter with a scouting party of a
hundred whites and nineteen Indians in the woods. He sent off the
fighting men of his town with sermon and benediction on an expedition to
Canada. During the second war he writes to his friend Bellamy (1754) of
a dreadful rumor that "good Mr. Edwards" had perished in a massacre at
Stockbridge. This rumor was false, but he adds: "On the Lord's day P.M.,
as I was reading the psalm, news came that Stockbridge was beset by an
army of Indians, and on fire, which broke up the assembly in an instant.
All were put into the utmost consternation--men, women, and children
crying, 'What shall we do?' Not a gun to defend us, not a fort to flee
to, and few guns and little ammunition in the place. Some ran one way
and some another; but the general course was to the southward,
especially for women and children. Women, children, and squaws presently
flocked in upon us from Stockbridge, half naked and frighted almost to
death; and fresh news came that the enemy were on the plains this side
Stockbridge, shooting and killing and scalping people as they fled. Some
presently came along bloody, with news that they saw persons killed and
scalped, which raised a consternation, tumult, and distress

[188:1] Jacobs, "The Lutherans," pp. 191, 234; Dubbs, "German Reformed
Church," p. 271.

[188:2] See extracts from the correspondence given by Dr. Jacobs, pp.
193-195. Dr. Jacobs's suggestion that three congregations of five
hundred families each might among them have raised the few hundreds a
year required seems reasonable, unless a large number of these were
families of redemptioners, that is, for the time, slaves.

[190:1] Jacobs, "The Lutherans," p. 196. The story of Zinzendorf, as
seen from different points of view, may be studied in the volumes of
Drs. Jacobs, Dubbs, and Hamilton (American Church History Series).

[191:1] Acrelius, quoted by Jacobs, p. 218, note.

[194:1] Jacobs, "The Lutherans," pp. 215-218; Hamilton, "The Moravians,"
chaps, iii.-viii., xi.

[196:1] Jacobs, "The Lutherans," p. 289.

[198:1] Jacobs, pp. 227, 309, sqq.; Hamilton, p. 457. No account of the
German-American churches is adequate which does not go back to the work
of Spener, the influence of which was felt through them all. The author
is compelled to content himself with inadequate work on many topics.

[201:1] Dr. J. M. Buckley, "The Methodists," p. 181.

[202:1] The attitude of Wesley toward the American cause is set forth
with judicial fairness by Dr. Buckley, pp. 158-168.

[204:1] A full account of Hopkins's long-sustained activity against both
slavery and the slave-trade is given in Park's "Memoir of Hopkins," pp.
114-157. His sermons on the subject began in 1770. His monumental
"Dialogue Concerning the Slavery of the Africans, with an Address to
Slave-holders," was published in 1776. For additional information as to
the antislavery attitude of the church at this period, and especially
that of Stiles, see review of "The Minister's Wooing," by L. Bacon ("New
Englander," vol. xviii., p. 145).

[204:2] I have not been able to find a copy of this poem, the character
of which, however, is well known. The son of Aaron Cleveland, William,
was a silversmith at Norwich, among whose grandsons may be named
President Grover Cleveland, and Aaron Cleveland Cox, later known as
Bishop Arthur Cleveland Coxe.

[204:3] Dr. A. Green's Life of his father, in "Monthly Christian

[206:1] Park, "Memoir of Hopkins," p. 112.

[206:2] Buckley, "The Methodists," Appendix, pp. 688, 689.

[207:1] See Tiffany, "Protestant Episcopal Church," pp. 267-278, where
the subject is treated fully and with characteristic fairness.



Seven years of war left the American people exhausted, impoverished,
disorganized, conscious of having come into possession of a national
existence, and stirred with anxious searchings of heart over the
question what new institutions should succeed to those overthrown in the
struggle for independence.

Like questions pervaded the commonwealth of American Christians through
all its divisions. The interconfessional divisions of the body
ecclesiastic were about to prove themselves a more effectual bar to
union than the political and territorial divisions of the body politic.
The religious divisions were nearly equal in number to the political.
Naming them in the order in which they had settled themselves on the
soil of the new nation, they were as follows: 1. The Protestant
Episcopalians; 2. The Reformed Dutch; 3. The Congregationalists; 4. The
Roman Catholics; 5. The Friends; 6. The Baptists; 7. The Presbyterians;
8. The Methodists; to which must be added three sects which up to this
time had almost exclusively to do with the German language and the
German immigrant population, to wit, 9. The German Reformed; 10. The
Lutherans; 11. The Moravians. Some of these, as the Congregationalists
and the Baptists, were of so simple and elastic a polity, so
self-adaptive to whatever new environment, as to require no effort to
adjust themselves. Others, as the Dutch and the Presbyterians, had
already organized themselves as independent of foreign spiritual
jurisdiction. Others still, as the German Reformed, the Moravians, and
the Quakers, were content to remain for years to come in a relation of
subordination to foreign centers of organization. But there were three
communions, of great prospective importance, which found it necessary to
address themselves to the task of reorganization to suit the changed
political conditions. These were the Episcopalians, the Catholics, and
the Methodists.

In one respect all the various orders of churches were alike. They had
all suffered from the waste and damage of war. Pastors and missionaries
had been driven from their cures, congregations had been scattered,
houses of worship had been desecrated or destroyed. The Episcopalian and
Methodist ministers were generally Tories, and their churches, and in
some instances their persons, were not spared by the patriots. The
Friends and the Moravians, principled against taking active part in
warfare, were exposed to aggressions from both sides. All other sects
were safely presumed to be in earnest sympathy with the cause of
independence, which many of their pastors actively served as chaplains
or as combatants, or in other ways; wherever the British troops held the
ground, their churches were the object of spite. Nor were these the
chief losses by the war. More grievous still were the death of the
strong men and the young men of the churches, the demoralization of camp
life, and, as the war advanced, the infection of the current fashions of
unbelief from the officers both of the French and of the British armies.
The prevalent diathesis of the American church in all its sects was one
of spiritual torpor, from which, however, it soon began to be aroused
as the grave exigencies of the situation disclosed themselves.

Perhaps no one of the Christian organizations of America came out of the
war in a more forlorn condition than the Episcopalians. This condition
was thus described by Bishop White, in an official charge to his clergy
at Philadelphia in 1832:

     "The congregations of our communion throughout the United
     States were approaching annihilation. Although within this
     city three Episcopal clergymen were resident and officiating,
     the churches over the rest of the State had become deprived of
     their clergy during the war, either by death or by departure
     for England. In the Eastern States, with two or three
     exceptions, there was a cessation of the exercises of the
     pulpit, owing to the necessary disuse of the prayers for the
     former civil rulers. In Maryland and Virginia, where the
     church had enjoyed civil establishments, on the ceasing of
     these, the incumbents of the parishes, almost without
     exception, ceased to officiate. Farther south the condition of
     the church was not better, to say the least."[210:1]

This extreme feebleness of Episcopalianism in the several States
conspired with the tendencies of the time in civil affairs to induce
upon the new organization a character not at all conformed to the ideal
of episcopal government. Instead of establishing as the unit of
organization the bishop in every principal town, governing his diocese
at the head of his clergy with some measure of authority, it was almost
a necessity of the time to constitute dioceses as big as kingdoms, and
then to take security against excess of power in the diocesan by
overslaughing his authority through exorbitant powers conferred upon a
periodical mixed synod, legislating for a whole continent, even in
matters confessedly variable and unessential. In the later evolution of
the system, this superior limitation of the bishop's powers is
supplemented from below by magnifying the authority of representative
bodies, diocesan and parochial, until the work of the bishop is reduced
as nearly as possible to the merely "ministerial" performance of certain
assigned functions according to prescribed directions. Concerning this
frame of government it is to be remarked: 1. That it was quite
consciously and confessedly devised for the government of a sect, with
the full and fraternal understanding that other "religious denominations
of Christians" (to use the favorite American euphemism) "were left at
full and equal liberty to model and organize their respective churches"
to suit themselves.[211:1] 2. That, judged according to its professed
purpose, it has proved itself a practically good and effective
government. 3. That it is in no proper sense of the word an episcopal
government, but rather a classical and synodical government, according
to the common type of the American church constitutions of the

The objections which only a few years before had withstood the
importation into the colonies of lord bishops, with the English common
and canon law at their backs, vanished entirely before the proposal for
the harmless functionaries provided for in the new constitution. John
Adams himself, a leader of the former opposition, now, as American
minister in London, did his best to secure for Bishops-elect White and
Provoost the coveted consecration from English bishops. The only
hindrance now to this long-desired boon was in the supercilious
dilatoriness of the English prelates and of the civil authorities to
whom they were subordinate. They were evidently in a sulky temper over
the overwhelming defeat of the British arms. If it had been in their
power to blockade effectively the channels of sacramental grace, there
is no sign that they would have consented to the American petition.
Happily there were other courses open. 1. There was the recourse to
presbyterial ordination, an expedient sanctioned, when necessary, by the
authority of "the judicious Hooker," and actually recommended, if the
case should require, by the Rev. William White, soon to be consecrated
as one of the first American bishops. 2. Already for more than a
half-century the Moravian episcopate had been present and most
apostolically active in America. 3. The Lutheran Episcopal churches of
Denmark and Sweden were fully competent and known to be not unwilling to
confer the episcopal succession on the American candidates. 4. There
were the Scotch nonjuring bishops, outlawed for political reasons from
communion with the English church, who were tending their "persecuted
remnant" of a flock in Scotland. Theirs was a not less valid succession
than those of their better-provided English brethren, and fully as
honorable a history. It was due to the separate initiative of the
Episcopalian ministers of Connecticut, and to the persistence of their
bishop-elect, Samuel Seabury, that the deadlock imposed by the
Englishmen was broken. Inheriting the Puritan spirit, which sought a
_jus divinum_ in all church questions, they were men of deeper
convictions and "higher" principles than their more southern brethren.
In advance of the plans for national organization, without conferring
with flesh and blood, they had met and acted, and their candidate for
consecration was in London urging his claims, before the ministers in
the Middle States had any knowledge of what was doing. After a year of
costly and vexatious delay in London, finding no progress made and no
hope of any, he proceeded to Aberdeen and was consecrated bishop
November 14, 1784. It was more than two years longer before the English
bishops succeeded in finding a way to do what their unrecognized Scotch
brethren had done with small demur. But they did find it. So long as the
Americans seemed dependent on English consecration they could not get
it. When at last it was made quite plain that they could and would do
without it if necessary, they were more than welcome to it. Dr. White
for Pennsylvania, and Dr. Provoost for New York, were consecrated by the
Archbishop of Canterbury at the chapel of Lambeth Palace, February 4,
1787. Dr. Griffith, elected for Virginia, failed to be present; in all
that great diocese there was not interest enough felt in the matter to
raise the money to pay his passage to England and back.

The American Episcopal Church was at last in a condition to live. Some
formidable dangers of division arising from the double derivation of the
episcopate were happily averted by the tact and statesmanship of Bishop
White, and liturgical changes incidental to the reconstitution of the
church were made, on the whole with cautious judgment and good taste,
and successfully introduced. But for many years the church lived only a
languishing life. Bishop Provoost of New York, after fourteen years of
service, demitted his functions in 1801, discouraged about the
continuance of the church. He "thought it would die out with the old
colonial families."[213:1] The large prosperity of this church dates
only from the second decade of this century. It is the more notable for
the brief time in which so much has been accomplished.

       *       *       *       *       *

The difficulties in the way of the organization of the Catholic Church
for the United States were not less serious, and were overcome with
equal success, but not without a prolonged struggle against opposition
from within. It is not easy for us, in view either of the antecedent or
of the subsequent history, to realize the extreme feebleness of American
Catholicism at the birth of our nation. According to an official
"Relation on the State of Religion in the United States," presented by
the prefect apostolic in 1785, the total number of Catholics in the
entire Union was 18,200, exclusive of an unascertainable number,
destitute of priests, in the Mississippi Valley. The entire number of
the clergy was twenty-four, most of them former members of the Society
of Jesuits, that had been suppressed in 1773 by the famous bull,
_Dominus ac Redemptor_, of Clement XIV. Sorely against their will, these
missionaries, hitherto subject only to the discipline of their own
society, were transformed into secular priests, under the jurisdiction
of the Vicar Apostolic of London. After the establishment of
independence, with the intense jealousy felt regarding British
influence, and by none more deeply and more reasonably felt than by the
Catholics, this jurisdiction was impracticable. The providentially fit
man for the emergency was found in the Rev. John Carroll, of an old
Maryland family distinguished alike for patriotism and for faithfulness
to Catholic principles. In June, 1784, he was made prefect apostolic
over the Catholic Church in the United States, and the dependence on
British jurisdiction was terminated.

When, however, it was proposed that this provisional arrangement should
be superseded by the appointment of a bishop, objections not unexpected
were encountered from among the clergy. Already we have had occasion to
note the jealousy of episcopal authority that is felt by the clergy of
the regular orders. The lately disbanded Jesuits, with characteristic
flexibility of self-adaptation to circumstances, had at once
reincorporated themselves under another name, thus to hold the not
inconsiderable estates of their order in the State of Maryland. But the
plans of these energetic men either to control the bishop or to prevent
his appointment were unsuccessful. In December, 1790, Bishop Carroll,
having been consecrated in England, arrived and entered upon his see of

Difficulties, through which there were not many precedents to guide him,
thickened about the path of the new prelate. It was well both for the
church and for the republic that he was a man not only versed in the
theology and polity of his church, but imbued with American principles
and feelings. The first conflict that vexed the church under his
administration, and which for fifty years continued to vex his
associates and successors, was a collision between the American
sentiment for local and individual liberty and self-government, and the
absolutist spiritual government of Rome. The Catholics of New York,
including those of the Spanish and French legations, had built a church
in Barclay Street, then on the northern outskirt of the city; and they
had the very natural and just feeling that they had a right to do what
they would with their own and with the building erected at their
charges. They proceeded accordingly to put in charge of it priests of
their own selection. But they had lost sight of the countervailing
principle that if they had a right to do as they would with their
building, the bishop, as representing the supreme authority in the
church, had a like right to do as he would with his clergy. The building
was theirs; but it was for the bishop to say what services should be
held in it, or whether there should be any services in it at all, in the
Roman Catholic communion. It is surprising how often this issue was
made, and how repeatedly and obstinately it was fought out in various
places, when the final result was so inevitable. The hierarchical power
prevailed, of course, but after much irritation between priesthood and
people, and "great loss of souls to the church."[216:1] American ideas
and methods were destined profoundly and beneficially to affect the
Roman Church in the United States, but not by the revolutionary process
of establishing "trusteeism," or the lay control of parishes. The
damaging results of such disputes to both parties and to their common
interest in the church put the two parties under heavy bonds to deal by
each other with mutual consideration. The tendency, as in some parallel
cases, is toward an absolute government administered on republican
principles, the authoritative command being given with cautious
consideration of the disposition of the subject. The rights of the laity
are sufficiently secured, first, by their holding the purse, and,
secondly, in a community in which the Roman is only one of many churches
held in like esteem and making like claims to divine authority, by their
holding in reserve the right of withdrawal.

Other and unwonted difficulties for the young church lay in the Babel
confusion of races and languages among its disciples, and in the lack of
public resources, which could be supplied no otherwise than by free
gift. Yet another difficulty was the scant supply of clergy; but events
which about this time began to spread desolation among the institutions
of Catholic Europe proved to be of inestimable benefit to the
ill-provided Catholics of America. Rome might almost have been content
to see the wasting and destruction in her ancient strongholds, for the
opportune reinforcement which it brought, at a critical time, to the
renascent church in the New World. More important than the priests of
various orders and divers languages, who came all equipped for mission
work among immigrants of different nationalities, was the arrival of the
Sulpitians of Paris, fleeing from the persecutions of the French
Revolution, ready for their special work of training for the parish
priesthood. The founding of their seminary in Baltimore in 1791, for the
training of a native clergy, was the best security that had yet been
given for the permanence of the Catholic revival. The American Catholic
Church was a small affair as yet, and for twenty years to come was to
continue so; but the framework was preparing of an organization
sufficient for the days of great things that were before it.

       *       *       *       *       *

The most revolutionary change suffered by any religious body in America,
in adjusting itself to the changed conditions after the War of
Independence, was that suffered by the latest arrived and most rapidly
growing of them all. We have seen the order of the Wesleyan preachers
coming so tardily across the ocean, and propagated with constantly
increasing momentum southward from the border of Maryland. Its
congregations were not a church; its preachers were not a clergy.
Instituted in England by a narrow, High-church clergyman of the
established church, its preachers were simply a company of lay
missionaries under the command of John Wesley; its adherents were
members of the Church of England, bound to special fidelity to their
duties as such in their several parish churches, but united in clubs and
classes for the mutual promotion of holy living in an unholy age; and
its chapels and other property, fruits of the self-denial of many poor,
were held under iron-bound title-deeds, subject to the control of John
Wesley and of the close corporation of preachers to whom he should demit

It seems hardly worthy of the immense practical sagacity of Wesley that
he should have thought to transplant this system unchanged into the
midst of circumstances so widely different as those which must surround
it in America. And yet even here, where the best work of his preachers
was to be done among populations not only churchless, but out of reach
of church or ministry of whatever name, in those Southern States in
which nine tenths of his penitents and converts were gained, his
preachers were warned against the sacrilege of ministering to the
craving converts the Christian ordinances of baptism and the holy
supper, and bidden to send them to their own churches--when they had
none. The wretched incumbents of the State parishes at the first sounds
of war had scampered from the field like hirelings whose own the sheep
are not, and the demand that the preachers of the word should also
minister the comfort of the Christian ordinances became too strong to be
resisted. The call of duty and necessity seemed to the preachers
gathered at a conference at Fluvanna in 1779 to be a call from God; and,
contrary to the strong objections of Wesley and Asbury, they chose from
the older of their own number a committee who "ordained themselves, and
proceeded to ordain and set apart other ministers for the same
purpose--that they might minister the holy ordinances to the church of
Christ."[218:1] The step was a bold one, and although it seemed to be
attended by happy spiritual results, it threatened to precipitate a
division of "the Society" into two factions. The progress of events, the
establishment and acknowledgment of American independence, and the
constant expansion of the Methodist work, brought its own solution of
the divisive questions.

It was an important day in the history of the American church, that
second day of September, 1784, when John Wesley, assisted by other
presbyters of the Church of England, laid his hands in benediction upon
the head of Dr. Thomas Coke, and committed to him the superintendency of
the Methodist work in America, as colleague with Francis Asbury. On the
arrival of Coke in America, the preachers were hastily summoned together
in conference at Baltimore, and there, in Christmas week of the same
year, Asbury was ordained successively as deacon, as elder, and as
superintendent. By the two bishops thus constituted were ordained elders
and deacons, and Methodism became a living church.

       *       *       *       *       *

The two decades from the close of the War of Independence include the
period of the lowest ebb-tide of vitality in the history of American
Christianity. The spirit of half-belief or unbelief that prevailed on
the other side of the sea, both in the church and out of it, was
manifest also here. Happily the tide of foreign immigration at this time
was stayed, and the church had opportunity to gather strength for the
immense task that was presently to be devolved upon it. But the westward
movement of our own population was now beginning to pour down the
western slope of the Alleghanies into the great Mississippi basin. It
was observed by the Methodist preachers that the members of their
societies who had, through fear, necessity, or choice, moved into the
back settlements and into new parts of the country, as soon as peace was
settled and the way was open solicited the preachers to come among them,
and so the work followed them to the west.[219:1] In the years
1791-1810 occurred the great movement of population from Virginia to
Kentucky and from Carolina to Tennessee. It was reckoned that one fourth
of the Baptists of Virginia had removed to Kentucky, and yet they hardly
leavened the lump of early frontier barbarism. The Presbyterian Church,
working in its favorite methods, devised campaigns of home missionary
enterprise in its presbyteries and synods, detailing pastors from their
parishes for temporary mission service in following the movement of the
Scotch-Irish migration into the hill-country in which it seemed to find
its congenial habitat, and from which its powerful influences were to
flow in all directions. The Congregationalists of New England in like
manner followed with Christian teaching and pastoral care their sons
moving westward to occupy the rich lands of western New York and of
Ohio. The General Association of the pastors of Connecticut, solicitous
that the work of missions to the frontier should be carried forward
without loss of power through division of forces, entered, in 1801, into
the compact with the General Assembly of the Presbyterians known as the
"Plan of Union," by which Christians of both polities might coöperate in
the founding of churches and in maintaining the work of the gospel.

In the year 1803 the most important political event since the adoption
of the Constitution, the purchase of Louisiana by President Jefferson,
opened to the American church a new and immense field for missionary
activity. This vast territory, stretching from the Mississippi westward
to the summits of the Rocky Mountains and nearly doubling the domain of
the United States, was the last remainder of the great projected French
Catholic empire that had fallen in 1763. Passed back and forth with the
vicissitudes of European politics between French and Spanish masters, it
had made small progress in either civilization or Christianity. But the
immense possibilities of it to the kingdoms of this world and to the
kingdom of heaven were obvious to every intelligent mind. Not many years
were to pass before it was to become an arena in which all the various
forces of American Christianity were to be found contending against all
the powers of darkness, not without dealing some mutual blows in the

       *       *       *       *       *

The review of this period must not close without adverting to two
important advances in public practical Christianity, in which (as often
in like cases) the earnest endeavors of some among the Christians have
been beholden for success to uncongenial reinforcements. As it is
written, "The earth helped the woman."

In the establishment of the American principle of the non-interference
of the state with religion, and the equality of all religious communions
before the law, much was due, no doubt, to the mutual jealousies of the
sects, no one or two of which were strong enough to maintain exceptional
pretensions over the rest combined. Much also is to be imputed to the
indifferentism and sometimes the anti-religious sentiment of an
important and numerous class of doctrinaire politicians of which
Jefferson may be taken as a type. So far as this work was a work of
intelligent conviction and religious faith, the chief honor of it must
be given to the Baptists. Other sects, notably the Presbyterians, had
been energetic and efficient in demanding their own liberties; the
Friends and the Baptists agreed in demanding liberty of conscience and
worship, and equality before the law, for all alike. But the active
labor in this cause was mainly done by the Baptists. It is to their
consistency and constancy in the warfare against the privileges of the
powerful "Standing Order" of New England, and of the moribund
establishments of the South, that we are chiefly indebted for the final
triumph, in this country, of that principle of the separation of church
from state which is one of the largest contributions of the New World to
civilization and to the church universal.

It is not surprising that a people so earnest as the Baptists showed
themselves in the promotion of religious liberty should be forward in
the condemnation of American slavery. We have already seen the vigor
with which the Methodists, having all their strength at the South,
levied a spiritual warfare against this great wrong. It was at the South
that the Baptists, in 1789, "_Resolved_, That slavery is a violent
deprivation of the rights of nature, and inconsistent with a republican
government, and we therefore recommend it to our brethren to make use of
every legal measure to extirpate this horrid evil from the land."[222:1]
At the North, Jonathan Edwards the Younger is conspicuous in the
unbroken succession of antislavery churchmen. His sermon on the
"Injustice and Impolicy of the Slave-trade," preached in 1791 before the
Connecticut Abolition Society, of which President Ezra Stiles was the
head, long continued to be reprinted and circulated, both at the North
and at the South, as the most effective argument not only against the
slave-trade, but against the whole system of slavery.

       *       *       *       *       *

It will not be intruding needlessly upon the difficult field of dogmatic
history if we note here the widely important diversities of Christian
teaching that belong to this which we may call the sub-Revolutionary

It is in contradiction to our modern association of ideas to read that
the prevailing type of doctrine among the early Baptists of New England
was Arminian.[222:2] The pronounced individualism of the Baptist
churches, and the emphasis which they place upon human responsibility,
might naturally have created a tendency in this direction; but a cause
not less obvious was their antagonism to the established
Congregationalism, with its sharply defined Calvinistic statements. The
public challenging of these statements made a favorite issue on which to
appeal to the people from their constituted teachers. But when the South
and Southwest opened itself as the field of a wonderfully rapid
expansion before the feet of the Baptist evangelists, the antagonism was
quite of another sort. Their collaborators and sharp competitors in the
great and noble work of planting the gospel and the church in old and
neglected fields at the South, and carrying them westward to the
continually advancing frontier of population, were to be found in the
multiplying army of the Methodist itinerants and local exhorters, whose
theology, enjoined upon them by their commission, was the Arminianism of
John Wesley. No explanation is apparent for the revulsion of the great
body of American Baptists into a Calvinism exaggerated to the point of
caricature, except the reaction of controversy with the Methodists. The
tendency of the two parties to opposite poles of dogma was all the
stronger for the fact that on both sides teachers and taught were alike
lacking in liberalizing education. The fact that two by far the most
numerous denominations of Christians in the United States were picketed
thus over against each other in the same regions, as widely differing
from each other in doctrine and organization as the Dominican order from
the Jesuit, and differing somewhat in the same way, is a fact that
invites our regret and disapproval, but at the same time compels us to
remember its compensating advantages.

       *       *       *       *       *

It is to this period that we trace the head-waters of several important
existing denominations.

At the close of the war the congregation of the "King's Chapel," the
oldest Episcopal church in New England, had been thinned and had lost
its rector in the general migration of leading Tory families to Nova
Scotia. At the restoration of peace it was served in the capacity of lay
reader by Mr. James Freeman, a young graduate of Harvard, who came soon
to be esteemed very highly in love both for his work's sake and for his
own. Being chosen pastor of the church, he was not many months in
finding that many things in the English Prayer-book were irreconcilable
with doubts and convictions concerning the Trinity and related
doctrines, which about this time were widely prevalent among theologians
both in the Church of England and outside of it. In June, 1785, it was
voted in the congregation, by a very large majority, to amend the order
of worship in accordance with these scruples. The changes were in a
direction in which not a few Episcopalians were disposed to move,[224:1]
and the congregation did not hesitate to apply for ordination for their
pastor, first to Bishop Seabury, and afterward, with better hope of
success, to Bishop Provoost. Failing here also, the congregation
proceeded to induct their elect pastor into his office without waiting
further upon bishops; and thus "the first Episcopal church in New
England became the first Unitarian church in America." It was not the
beginning of Unitarianism in America, for this had long been "in the
air." But it was the first distinct organization of it. How rapidly and
powerfully it spread within narrow geographical limits, and how widely
it has affected the course of religious history, must appear in later

       *       *       *       *       *

Close as might seem to be the kindred between Unitarianism and
Universalism, coeval as they are in their origin as organized sects,
they are curiously diverse in their origin. Each of them, at the present
day, holds the characteristic tenet of the other; in general, Unitarians
are Universalists, and Universalists are Unitarians.[225:1] But in the
beginning Unitarianism was a bold reactionary protest against leading
doctrines of the prevailing Calvinism of New England, notably against
the doctrines of the Trinity, of expiatory atonement, and of human
depravity; and it was still more a protest against the intolerant and
intolerable dogmatism of the sanhedrim of Jonathan Edwards's successors,
in their cock-sure expositions of the methods of the divine government
and the psychology of conversion. Universalism, on the other hand, in
its first setting forth in America, planted itself on the leading
"evangelical" doctrines, which its leaders had earnestly preached, and
made them the major premisses of its argument. Justification and
salvation, said John Murray, one of Whitefield's Calvinistic Methodist
preachers, are the lot of those for whom Christ died. But Christ died
for the elect, said his Calvinistic brethren. Nay, verily, said Murray
(in this following one of his colleagues, James Relly); what saith the
Scripture? "Christ died for _all_." It was the pinch of this argument
which brought New England theologians, beginning with Smalley and the
second Edwards, to the acceptance of the rectoral theory of the
atonement, and so prepared the way for much disputation among the
doctors of the next century.[225:2]

Mr. Murray arrived in America in 1770, and after much going to and fro
organized, in 1779, at Gloucester, Mass., the first congregation in
America on distinctly Universalist principles. But other men, along
other lines of thought, had been working their way to somewhat similar
conclusions. In 1785 Elhanan Winchester, a thoroughly Calvinistic
Baptist minister in Philadelphia, led forth his excommunicated brethren,
one hundred strong, and organized them into a "Society of Universal
Baptists," holding to the universal _restoration_ of mankind to holiness
and happiness. The two differing schools fraternized in a convention of
Universalist churches at Philadelphia in 1794, at which articles of
belief and a plan of organization were set forth, understood to be from
the pen of Dr. Benjamin Rush; and a resolution was adopted declaring the
holding of slaves to be "inconsistent with the union of the human race
in a common Saviour, and the obligations to mutual and universal love
which flow from that union."

It was along still another line of argument, proceeding from the assumed
"rectitude of human nature," that the Unitarians came, tardily and
hesitatingly, to the Universalist position. The long persistence of
definite boundary lines between two bodies so nearly alike in their
tenets is a subject worthy of study. The lines seem to be rather
historical and social than theological. The distinction between them has
been thus epigrammatically stated: that the Universalist holds that God
is too good to damn a man; the Unitarian holds that men are too good to
be damned.

No controversy in the history of the American church has been more
deeply marked by a sincere and serious earnestness, over and above the
competitive zeal and invidious acrimony that are an inevitable admixture
in such debates, than the controversy that was at once waged against the
two new sects claiming the title "Liberal." It was sincerely felt by
their antagonists that, while the one abandoned the foundation of the
Christian faith, the other destroyed the foundation of Christian
morality. In the early propaganda of each of them was much to deepen
this mistrust. When the standard of dissent is set up in any community,
and men are invited to it in the name of liberality, nothing can hinder
its becoming a rallying-point for all sorts of disaffected souls, not
only the liberal, but the loose. The story of the controversy belongs to
later chapters of this book. It is safe to say at this point that the
early orthodox fears have at least not been fully confirmed by the
sequel up to this date. It was one of the most strenuous of the early
disputants against the "liberal" opinions[227:1] who remarked in his
later years, concerning the Unitarian saints, that it seemed as if their
exclusive contemplation of Jesus Christ in his human character as the
example for our imitation had wrought in them an exceptional beauty and
Christlikeness of living. As for the Universalists, the record of their
fidelity, as a body, to the various interests of social morality is not
surpassed by that of any denomination. But in the earlier days the
conflict against the two sects called "liberal" was waged ruthlessly,
not as against defective or erroneous schemes of doctrine, but as
against distinctly antichristian heresies.

There is instruction to be gotten from studying, in comparison, the
course of these opinions in the established churches of Great Britain
and among the unestablished churches of America. Under the enforced
comprehensiveness or tolerance of a national church, it is easier for
strange doctrines to spread within the pale. Under the American plan of
the organization of Christianity by voluntary mutual association
according to elective affinity, with freedom to receive or exclude, the
flock within the fold may perhaps be kept safer from contamination; as
when the Presbyterian General Assembly in 1792, and again in 1794,
decided that Universalists be not admitted to the sealing ordinances of
the gospel;[228:1] but by this course the excluded opinion is compelled
to intrench itself both for defense and for attack in a sectarian
organization. It is a practically interesting question, the answer to
which is by no means self-evident, whether Universalist opinions would
have been less prevalent to-day in England and Scotland if they had been
excluded from the national churches and erected into a sect with its
partisan pulpits, presses, and propagandists; or whether they would have
more diffused in America if, instead of being dealt with by process of
excommunication or deposition, they had been dealt with simply by
argument. This is one of the many questions which history raises, but
which (happily for him) it does not fall within the function of the
historian to answer.

       *       *       *       *       *

To this period is to be referred the origin of some of the minor
American sects.

The "United Brethren in Christ" grew into a distinct organization about
the year 1800. It arose incidentally to the Methodist evangelism, in an
effort on the part of Philip William Otterbein, of the German Reformed
Church, and Martin Boehm, of the Mennonites, to provide for the
shepherdless German-speaking people by an adaptation of the Wesleyan
methods. Presently, in the natural progress of language, the English
work outgrew the German. It is now doing an extensive and useful work by
pulpit and press, chiefly in Pennsylvania and the States of that
latitude. The reasons for its continued existence separate from the
Methodist Church, which it closely resembles both in doctrine and in
polity, are more apparent to those within the organization than to
superficial observers from outside.

The organization just described arose from the unwillingness of the
German Reformed Church to meet the craving needs of the German people by
using the Wesleyan methods. From the unwillingness of the Methodist
Church to use the German language arose another organization, "the
Evangelical Association," sometimes known, from the name of its founder,
by the somewhat grotesque title of "the Albrights." This also is both
Methodist and Episcopal, a reduced copy of the great Wesleyan
institution, mainly devoted to labors among the Germans.

In 1792 was planted at Baltimore the first American congregation of that
organization of disciples of Emanuel Swedenborg which had been begun in
London nine years before and called by the appropriately fanciful name
of "the Church of the New Jerusalem."


[210:1] Quoted in Tiffany, p. 289, note. The extreme depression of the
Protestant Episcopal and (as will soon appear) of the Roman Catholic
Church, at this point of time, emphasizes all the more the great
advances made by both these communions from this time forward.

[211:1] Preface to the American "Book of Common Prayer," 1789.

[211:2] See the critical observations of Dr. McConnell, "History of the
American Episcopal Church," pp. 264-276. The polity of this church seems
to have suffered for want of a States' Rights and Strict Construction
party. The centrifugal force has been overbalanced by the centripetal.

[213:1] Tiffany, pp. 385-399.

[216:1] Bishop O'Gorman, pp. 269-323, 367, 399.

[218:1] Buckley, "The Methodists," pp. 182, 183.

[219:1] Jesse Lee, quoted by Dr. Buckley, p. 195.

[222:1] Newman, "The Baptists," p. 305.

[222:2] _Ibid._, p. 243.

[224:1] Tiffany, p. 347; McConnell, p. 249.

[225:1] Dr. Richard Eddy, "The Universalists," p. 429.

[225:2] _Ibid._, pp. 392-397. The sermons of Smalley were preached at
Wallingford, Conn., "by particular request, with special reference to
the Murrayan controversy."

[227:1] Leonard Bacon, of New Haven, in conversation.

[228:1] Eddy, p. 387.



The closing years of the eighteenth century show the lowest low-water
mark of the lowest ebb-tide of spiritual life in the history of the
American church. The demoralization of army life, the fury of political
factions, the catchpenny materialist morality of Franklin, the
philosophic deism of men like Jefferson, and the popular ribaldry of Tom
Paine, had wrought, together with other untoward influences, to bring
about a condition of things which to the eye of little faith seemed
almost desperate.

From the beginning of the reaction from the stormy excitements of the
Great Awakening, nothing had seemed to arouse the New England churches
from a lethargic dullness; so, at least, it seemed to those who recalled
those wonderful days of old, either in memory or by tradition. We have a
gauge of the general decline of the public morals, in the condition of
Yale College at the accession of President Dwight in 1795, as described
in the reminiscences of Lyman Beecher, then a sophomore.

     "Before he came, college was in a most ungodly state. The
     college church was almost extinct. Most of the students were
     skeptical, and rowdies were plenty. Wine and liquors were
     kept in many rooms; intemperance, profanity, gambling, and
     licentiousness were common. I hardly know how I escaped....
     That was the day of the infidelity of the Tom Paine school.
     Boys that dressed flax in the barn, as I used to, read Tom
     Paine and believed him; I read and fought him all the way.
     Never had any propensity to infidelity. But most of the class
     before me were infidels, and called each other Voltaire,
     Rousseau, D'Alembert, etc."[231:1]

In the Middle States the aspect was not more promising. Princeton
College had been closed for three years of the Revolutionary War. In
1782 there were only two among the students who professed themselves
Christians. The Presbyterian General Assembly, representing the
strongest religious force in that region, in 1798 described the then
existing condition of the country in these terms:

     "Formidable innovations and convulsions in Europe threaten
     destruction to morals and religion. Scenes of devastation and
     bloodshed unexampled in the history of modern nations have
     convulsed the world, and our country is threatened with
     similar calamities. We perceive with pain and fearful
     apprehension a general dereliction of religious principles and
     practice among our fellow-citizens, a visible and prevailing
     impiety and contempt for the laws and institutions of
     religion, and an abounding infidelity, which in many instances
     tends to atheism itself. The profligacy and corruption of the
     public morals have advanced with a progress proportionate to
     our declension in religion. Profaneness, pride, luxury,
     injustice, intemperance, lewdness, and every species of
     debauchery and loose indulgence greatly abound."

From the point of view of the Episcopalian of that day the prospect was
even more disheartening. It was at this time that Bishop Provoost of New
York laid down his functions, not expecting the church to continue much
longer; and Bishop Madison of Virginia shared the despairing conviction
of Chief-Justice Marshall that the church was too far gone ever to be
revived.[232:1] Over all this period the historian of the Lutheran
Church writes up the title "Deterioration."[232:2] Proposals were set on
foot looking toward the merger of these two languishing denominations.

Even the Methodists, the fervor of whose zeal and vitality of whose
organization had withstood what seemed severer tests, felt the benumbing
influence of this unhappy age. For three years ending in 1796 the total
membership diminished at the rate of about four thousand a year.

Many witnesses agree in describing the moral and religious condition of
the border States of Kentucky and Tennessee as peculiarly deplorable.
The autobiography of that famous pioneer preacher, Peter Cartwright,
gives a lively picture of Kentucky society in 1793 as he remembered it
in his old age:

     "Logan County, when my father moved into it, was called
     'Rogues' Harbor.' Here many refugees from all parts of the
     Union fled to escape punishment or justice; for although there
     was law, yet it could not be executed, and it was a desperate
     state of society. Murderers, horse-thieves, highway robbers,
     and counterfeiters fled there, until they combined and
     actually formed a majority. Those who favored a better state
     of morals were called 'Regulators.' But they encountered
     fierce opposition from the 'Rogues,' and a battle was fought
     with guns, pistols, dirks, knives, and clubs, in which the
     'Regulators' were defeated."[233:1]

The people that walked in this gross darkness beheld a great light. In
1796 a Presbyterian minister, James McGready, who for more than ten
years had done useful service in Pennsylvania and North Carolina,
assumed charge of several Presbyterian churches in that very Logan
County which we know through the reminiscences of Peter Cartwright. As
he went the round of his scattered congregations his preaching was felt
to have peculiar power "to arouse false professors, to awaken a dead
church, and warn sinners and lead them to seek the new spiritual life
which he himself had found." Three years later two brothers, William and
John McGee, one a Presbyterian minister and the other a Methodist, came
through the beautiful Cumberland country in Kentucky and Tennessee,
speaking, as if in the spirit and power of John the Baptist, to
multitudes that gathered from great distances to hear them. On one
occasion, in the woods of Logan County, in July, 1800, the gathered
families, many of whom came from far, tethered their teams and encamped
for several days for the unaccustomed privilege of common worship and
Christian preaching. This is believed to have been the first American
camp-meeting--an era worth remembering in our history. Not without
abundant New Testament antecedents, it naturalized itself at once on our
soil as a natural expedient for scattered frontier populations
unprovided with settled institutions. By a natural process of evolution,
adapting itself to other environments and uses, the backwoods
camp-meeting has grown into the "Chautauqua" assembly, which at so many
places besides the original center at Chautauqua Lake has grown into an
important and most characteristic institution of American civilization.

We are happy in having an account of some of these meetings from one who
was personally and sympathetically interested in them. For in the spring
of the next year Barton Warren Stone, a Presbyterian minister serving
his two congregations of Concord and Cane Ridge in Bourbon County, and
oppressed with a sense of the religious apathy prevailing about him,
made the long journey across the State of Kentucky to see for himself
the wonderful things of which he had heard, and afterward wrote his

     "There, on the edge of a prairie in Logan County, Kentucky,
     the multitudes came together and continued a number of days
     and nights encamped on the ground, during which time worship
     was carried on in some part of the encampment. The scene was
     new to me and passing strange. It baffled description. Many,
     very many, fell down as men slain in battle, and continued for
     hours together in an apparently breathless and motionless
     state, sometimes for a few moments reviving and exhibiting
     symptoms of life by a deep groan or piercing shriek, or by a
     prayer for mercy fervently uttered. After lying there for
     hours they obtained deliverance. The gloomy cloud that had
     covered their faces seemed gradually and visibly to disappear,
     and hope, in smiles, brightened into joy. They would rise,
     shouting deliverance, and then would address the surrounding
     multitude in language truly eloquent and impressive. With
     astonishment did I hear men, women, and children declaring the
     wonderful works of God and the glorious mysteries of the
     gospel. Their appeals were solemn, heart-penetrating, bold,
     and free. Under such circumstances many others would fall down
     into the same state from which the speakers had just been

     "Two or three of my particular acquaintances from a distance
     were struck down. I sat patiently by one of them, whom I knew
     to be a careless sinner, for hours, and observed with critical
     attention everything that passed, from the beginning to the
     end. I noticed the momentary revivings as from death, the
     humble confession of sins, the fervent prayer, and the
     ultimate deliverance; then the solemn thanks and praise to
     God, and affectionate exhortation to companions and to the
     people around to repent and come to Jesus. I was astonished at
     the knowledge of gospel truth displayed in the address. The
     effect was that several sank down into the same appearance of
     death. After attending to many such cases, my conviction was
     complete that it was a good work--the work of God; nor has my
     mind wavered since on the subject. Much did I see then, and
     much have I seen since, that I consider to be fanaticism; but
     this should not condemn the work. The devil has always tried
     to ape the works of God, to bring them into disrepute; but
     that cannot be a Satanic work which brings men to humble
     confession, to forsaking of sin, to prayer, fervent praise and
     thanksgiving, and a sincere and affectionate exhortation to
     sinners to repent and come to Jesus the Saviour."

Profoundly impressed by what he had seen and heard, Pastor Stone
returned to his double parish in Bourbon County and rehearsed the story
of it. "The congregation was affected with awful solemnity, and many
returned home weeping." This was in the early spring. Not many months
afterward there was a notable springing up of this seed.

     "A memorable meeting was held at Cane Ridge in August, 1801.
     The roads were crowded with wagons, carriages, horses, and
     footmen moving to the solemn camp. It was judged by military
     men on the ground that between twenty and thirty thousand
     persons were assembled. Four or five preachers spoke at the
     same time in different parts of the encampment without
     confusion. The Methodist and Baptist preachers aided in the
     work, and all appeared cordially united in it. They were of
     one mind and soul: the salvation of sinners was the one
     object. We all engaged in singing the same songs, all united
     in prayer, all preached the same things.... The numbers
     converted will be known only in eternity. Many things
     transpired in the meeting which were so much like miracles
     that they had the same effect as miracles on unbelievers. By
     them many were convinced that Jesus was the Christ and were
     persuaded to submit to him. This meeting continued six or
     seven days and nights, and would have continued longer, but
     food for the sustenance of such a multitude failed.

     "To this meeting many had come from Ohio and other distant
     parts. These returned home and diffused the same spirit in
     their respective neighborhoods. Similar results followed. So
     low had religion sunk, and such carelessness had universally
     prevailed, that I have thought that nothing common could have
     arrested and held the attention of the people."[236:1]

The sober and cautious tone of this narrative will already have
impressed the reader. These are not the words of a heated enthusiast, or
a man weakly credulous. We may hesitate to accept his judgment, but may
safely accept his testimony, amply corroborated as it is, to facts which
he has seen and heard.

But the crucial test of the work, the test prescribed by the Lord of the
church, is that it shall be known by its fruits. And this test it seems
to bear well. Dr. Archibald Alexander, had in high reverence in the
Presbyterian Church as a wise counselor in spiritual matters, made
scrupulous inquiry into the results of this revival, and received from
one of his correspondents, Dr. George A. Baxter, who made an early visit
to the scenes of the revival, the following testimony:

     "On my way I was informed by settlers on the road that the
     character of Kentucky travelers was entirely changed, and that
     they were as remarkable for sobriety as they had formerly been
     for dissoluteness and immorality. And indeed I found Kentucky
     to appearances the most moral place I had ever seen. A profane
     expression was hardly ever heard. A religious awe seemed to
     pervade the country. Upon the whole, I think the revival in
     Kentucky the most extraordinary that has ever visited the
     church of Christ; and, all things considered, it was
     peculiarly adapted to the circumstances of the country into
     which it came. Infidelity was triumphant and religion was on
     the point of expiring. Something extraordinary seemed
     necessary to arrest the attention of a giddy people who were
     ready to conclude that Christianity was a fable and futurity a
     delusion. This revival has done it. It has confounded
     infidelity and brought numbers beyond calculation under
     serious impressions."

A sermon preached in 1803 to the Presbyterian synod of Kentucky, by the
Rev. David Rice, has the value of testimony given in the presence of
other competent witnesses, and liable thus to be questioned or
contradicted. In it he says:

     "Neighborhoods noted for their vicious and profligate manners
     are now as much noted for their piety and good order.
     Drunkards, profane swearers, liars, quarrelsome persons, etc.,
     are remarkably reformed.... A number of families who had lived
     apparently without the fear of God, in folly and in vice,
     without any religious instruction or any proper government,
     are now reduced to order and are daily joining in the worship
     of God, reading his word, singing his praises, and offering up
     their supplications to a throne of grace. Parents who seemed
     formerly to have little or no regard for the salvation of
     their children are now anxiously concerned for their
     salvation, are pleading for them, and endeavoring to lead them
     to Christ and train them up in the way of piety and virtue."

That same year the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church, in its
annual review of the state of religion, adverted with emphasis to the
work in the Cumberland country, and cited remarkable instances of
conversion--malignant opposers of vital piety convinced and reconciled,
learned, active, and conspicuous infidels becoming signal monuments of
that grace which they once despised; and in conclusion declared with joy
that "the state and prospects of vital religion in our country are more
favorable and encouraging than at any period within the last forty

In order successfully to study the phenomena of this remarkable passage
in the history of the church, it is necessary to bear in mind the social
conditions that prevailed. A population _perfervido ingenio_, of a
temper peculiarly susceptible of intense excitement, transplanted into a
wild country, under little control either of conventionality or law,
deeply ingrained from many generations with the religious sentiment, but
broken loose from the control of it and living consciously in reckless
disregard of the law of God, is suddenly aroused to a sense of its
apostasy and wickedness. The people do not hear the word of God from
Sabbath to Sabbath, or even from evening to evening, and take it home
with them and ponder it amid the avocations of daily business; by the
conditions, they are sequestered for days together in the wilderness for
the exclusive contemplation of momentous truths pressed upon the mind
with incessant and impassioned iteration; and they remain together, an
agitated throng, not of men only, but of women and children. The student
of psychology recognizes at once that here are present in an unusual
combination the conditions not merely of the ready propagation of
influence by example and persuasion, but of those nervous, mental, or
spiritual infections which make so important a figure in the world's
history, civil, military, or religious. It is wholly in accord with
human nature that the physical manifestations attendant on religious
excitement in these circumstances should be of an intense and
extravagant sort.

And such indeed they were. Sudden outcries, hysteric weeping and
laughter, faintings, catalepsies, trances, were customary concomitants
of the revival preaching. Multitudes fell prostrate on the ground,
"spiritually slain," as it was said. Lest the helpless bodies should be
trampled on by the surging crowd, they were taken up and laid in rows on
the floor of the neighboring meeting-house. "Some lay quiet, unable to
move or speak. Some talked, but could not move. Some beat the floor with
their heels. Some, shrieking in agony, bounded about, it is said, like a
live fish out of water. Many lay down and rolled over and over for hours
at a time. Others rushed wildly over the stumps and benches, and then
plunged, shouting 'Lost! Lost!' into the forest."

As the revival went on and the camp-meeting grew to be a custom and an
institution, this nervous epidemic took on certain recognizable forms,
one of which was known as "the jerks." This malady "began in the head
and spread rapidly to the feet. The head would be thrown from side to
side so swiftly that the features would be blotted out and the hair made
to snap. When the body was affected the sufferer was hurled over
hindrances that came in his way, and finally dashed on the ground, to
bounce about like a ball." The eccentric Lorenzo Dow, whose freaks of
eloquence and humor are remembered by many now living, speaks from his
own observation on the subject:

     "I have passed a meeting-house where I observed the
     undergrowth had been cut for a camp-meeting, and from fifty to
     a hundred saplings were left breast-high on purpose for
     persons who were 'jerked' to hold on to. I observed where they
     had held on they had kicked up the earth as a horse stamping
     flies.... I believe it does not affect those naturalists who
     wish to get it to philosophize about it; and rarely those who
     are the most pious; but the lukewarm, lazy professor is
     subject to it. The wicked fear it and are subject to it; but
     the persecutors are more subject to it than any, and they have
     sometimes cursed and sworn and damned it while

There is nothing improbable in the claim that phenomena like these,
strange, weird, startling, "were so much like miracles that they had the
same effect as miracles on unbelievers." They helped break up the
apathetic torpor of the church and summon the multitudes into the
wilderness to hear the preaching of repentance and the remission of
sins. But they had some lamentable results. Those who, like many among
the Methodists,[241:1] found in them the direct work of the Holy Spirit,
were thereby started along the perilous incline toward enthusiasm and
fanaticism. Those, on the other hand, repelled by the grotesqueness and
extravagance of these manifestations, who were led to distrust or
condemn the good work with which they were associated, fell into a
graver error. This was the error into which, to its cost, the
Presbyterian Church was by and by drawn in dealing with questions that
emerged from these agitations. The revival gave rise to two new sects,
both of them marked by the fervor of spirit that characterized the time,
and both of them finding their principal habitat in the same western
region. The Cumberland Presbyterians, now grown to large numbers and
deserved influence and dignity in the fellowship of American sects,
separated themselves from the main body of Presbyterians by refusing to
accept, in face of the craving needs of the pastorless population all
about them, the arbitrary rule shutting the door of access to the
Presbyterian ministry to all candidates, how great soever their other
qualifications, who lacked a classical education. Separating on this
issue, they took the opportunity to amend the generally accepted
doctrinal statements of the Presbyterian churches by mitigating those
utterances which seemed to them, as they have seemed to many others, to
err in the direction of fatalism.

About the same time there was manifested in various quarters a generous
revolt against the existence and multiplication of mutually exclusive
sects in the Christian family, each limited by humanly devised
doctrinal articles and branded with partisan names. How these various
protesting elements came together on the sole basis of a common faith in
Christ and a common acceptance of the divine authority of the Bible;
how, not intending it, they came to be themselves a new sect; and how,
struggling in vain against the inexorable laws of language, they came to
be distinguished by names, as _Campbellite Baptist_, _Christ-ian_ (with
a long _i_), and (+kat' exochên+) Disciples, are points on which
interesting and instructive light is shed in the history by Dr. B. B.

       *       *       *       *       *

The great revival of the West and Southwest was not the only revival,
and not even the earliest revival, of that time of crisis. As early as
1792 the long inertia of the eastern churches began to be broken here
and there by signs of growing earnestness and attentiveness to spiritual
things. There was little of excited agitation. There was no preaching of
famous evangelists. There were no imposing convocations. Only in many
and many of those country towns in which, at that time, the main
strength of the population lay, the labors of faithful pastors began to
be rewarded with large ingatherings of penitent believers. The
languishing churches grew strong and hopeful, and the insolent
infidelity of the times was abashed. With such sober simplicity was the
work of the gospel carried forward, in the opening years of this
century, among the churches and pastors that had learned wisdom from the
mistakes made in the Great Awakening, that there are few striking
incidents for the historian. Hardly any man is to be pointed out as a
preëminent leader of the church at this period. If to any one, this
place of honor belongs to Timothy Dwight, grandson of Jonathan Edwards,
whose accession to the presidency of Yale College at the darkest hour
in its history marked the turning-point. We have already learned from
the reminiscences of Lyman Beecher how low the college had sunk in point
of religious character, when most of the class above him were openly
boastful of being infidels.[243:1] How the new president dealt with them
is well described by the same witness:

     "They thought the faculty were afraid of free discussion. But
     when they handed Dr. Dwight a list of subjects for class
     disputation, to their surprise, he selected this: 'Is the
     Bible the word of God?' and told them to do their best. He
     heard all they had to say, answered them, and there was an
     end. He preached incessantly for six months on the subject,
     and all infidelity skulked and hid its head. He elaborated his
     theological system in a series of forenoon sermons in the
     chapel; the afternoon discourses were practical. The original
     design of Yale College was to found a divinity school. To a
     mind appreciative, like mine, his preaching was a continual
     course of education and a continual feast. He was copious and
     polished in style, though disciplined and logical. There was a
     pith and power of doctrine there that has not been since
     surpassed, if equaled."[243:2]

It may be doubted whether to any man of his generation it was given to
exercise a wider and more beneficent influence over the American church
than that of President Dwight. His system of "Theology Explained and
Defended in a Series of Sermons," a theology meant to be preached and
made effective in convincing men and converting them to the service of
God, was so constructed as to be completed within the four years of the
college curriculum, so that every graduate should have heard the whole
of it. The influence of it has not been limited by the boundaries of our
country, nor has it expired with the century just completed since
President Dwight's accession.

At the East also, as well as at the West, the quickening of religious
thought and feeling had the common effect of alienating and disrupting.
Diverging tendencies, which had begun to disclose themselves in the
discussions between Edwards and Chauncy in their respective volumes of
"Thoughts" on the Great Awakening, became emphasized in the revival of
1800. That liberalism which had begun as a protest against a too
peremptory style of dogmatism was rapidly advancing toward a dogmatic
denial of points deemed by the opposite party to be essential. Dogmatic
differences were aggravated by differences of taste and temperament, and
everything was working toward the schism by which some sincere and
zealous souls should seek to do God service.

In one most important particular the revival of 1800 was happily
distinguished from the Great Awakening of 1740. It was not done and over
with at the end of a few years, and then followed by a long period of
reaction. It was the beginning of a long period of vigorous and
"abundant life," moving forward, not, indeed, with even and unvarying
flow, yet with continuous current, marked with those alternations of
exaltation and subsidence which seem, whether for evil or for good, to
have become a fixed characteristic of American church history.

The widespread revivals of the first decade of the nineteenth century
saved the church of Christ in America from its low estate and girded it
for stupendous tasks that were about to be devolved on it. In the glow
of this renewed fervor, the churches of New England successfully made
the difficult transition from establishment to self-support and to the
costly enterprises of aggressive evangelization into which, in company
with other churches to the South and West, they were about to enter. The
Christianity of the country was prepared and equipped to attend with
equal pace the prodigious rush of population across the breadth of the
Great Valley, and to give welcome to the invading host of immigrants
which before the end of a half century was to effect its entrance into
our territory at the rate of a thousand a day. It was to accommodate
itself to changing social conditions, as the once agricultural
population began to concentrate itself in factory villages and
commercial towns. It was to carry on systematic campaigns of warfare
against instituted social wrong, such as the drinking usages of society,
the savage code of dueling, the public sanction of slavery. And it was
to enter the "effectual door" which from the beginning of the century
opened wider and wider to admit the gospel and the church to every
nation under heaven.


[231:1] "Autobiography of Lyman Beecher," vol. i., p. 43. The same
charming volume contains abundant evidence that the spirit of true
religion was cherished in the homes of the people, while there were so
many public signs of apostasy.

[232:1] Tiffany, "Protestant Episcopal Church," pp. 388, 394, 395.

[232:2] Dr. Jacobs, chap. xix.

[233:1] "Autobiography of Peter Cartwright," quoted by Dorchester,
"Christianity in the United States," p. 348.

[236:1] See B. B. Tyler, "History of the Disciples," pp. 11-17; R. V.
Foster, "The Cumberland Presbyterians," pp. 260-263 (American Church
History Series, vols. xi., xii.).

[238:1] Tyler, "The Disciples"; Foster, "The Cumberland Presbyterians,"
_ubi supra_.

[240:1] Let me add an illustrative instance related to me by the
distinguished Methodist, Dr. David P. Durbin. Standing near the platform
from which he was to preach at a camp-meeting, he observed a powerfully
built young backwoodsman who was manifestly there with no better intent
than to disturb and break up the meeting. Presently it became evident
that the young man was conscious of some influence taking hold of him to
which he was resolved not to yield; he clutched with both hands a
hickory sapling next which he was standing, to hold himself steady, but
was whirled round and round, until the bark of the sapling peeled off
under his grasp. But, as in the cases referred to by Dow, the attack was
attended by no religious sentiment whatever.

On the manifestations in the Cumberland country, see McMasters, "United
States," vol. ii., pp. 581, 582, and the sources there cited. For some
judicious remarks on the general subject, see Buckley, "Methodism," pp.

[241:1] So Dr. Buckley, "Methodism," p. 217.

[242:1] American Church History Series, vol. xii.

[243:1] See above, pp. 230, 231.

[243:2] "Autobiography of Lyman Beecher," vol. i., pp. 43, 44.



When the Presbyterian General Assembly, in 1803, made a studious review
of the revivals which for several years had been in progress, especially
at the South and West, it included in its "Narrative" the following

     "The Assembly observe with great pleasure that the desire for
     spreading the gospel among the blacks and among the savage
     tribes on our borders has been rapidly increasing during the
     last year. The Assembly take notice of this circumstance with
     the more satisfaction, as it not only affords a pleasing
     presage of the spread of the gospel, but also furnishes
     agreeable evidence of the genuineness and the benign tendency
     of that spirit which God has been pleased to pour out upon his

In New England the like result had already, several years before,
followed upon the like antecedent. In the year 1798 the "Missionary
Society of Connecticut" was constituted, having for its object "to
Christianize the heathen in North America, and to support and promote
Christian knowledge in the new settlements within the United States";
and in August, 1800, its first missionary, David Bacon, engaged at a
salary of "one hundred and ten cents per day," set out for the
wilderness south and west of Lake Erie, "afoot and alone, with no more
luggage than he could carry on his person," to visit the wild tribes of
that region, "to explore their situation, and learn their feelings with
respect to Christianity, and, so far as he had opportunity, to teach
them its doctrines and duties." The name forms a link in the bright
succession from John Eliot to this day. But it must needs be that some
suffer as victims of the inexperience of those who are first to take
direction of an untried enterprise. The abandonment of its first
missionary by one of the first missionary societies, leaving him
helpless in the wilderness, was a brief lesson in the economy of
missions opportunely given at the outset of the American mission work,
and happily had no need to be repeated.[247:1]

David Bacon, like Henry Martyn, who at that same time, in far different
surroundings, was intent upon his plans of mission work in India, was
own son in the faith to David Brainerd. But they were elder sons in a
great family. The pathetic story of that heroic youth, as told by
Jonathan Edwards, was a classic at that time in almost every country
parsonage; but its influence was especially felt in the colleges, now no
longer, as a few years earlier, the seats of the scornful, but the homes
of serious and religious learning which they were meant to be by their

Of the advancement of Christian civilization in the first
quarter-century from the achievement of independence there is no more
distinguished monument than the increase, through those troubled and
impoverished years, of the institutions of secular and sacred learning.
The really successful and effective colleges that had survived from the
colonial period were hardly a half-dozen. Up to 1810 these had been
reinforced by as many more. By far the greater number of them were
founded by the New England Congregationalists, to whom this has ever
been a favorite field of activity. But special honor must be paid to the
wise and courageous and nobly successful enterprise of large-minded and
large-hearted men among the Baptists, who as early as 1764, boldly
breasting a current of unworthy prejudice in their own denomination,
began the work of Brown University at Providence, which, carried forward
by a notable succession of great educators, has been set in the front
rank of existing American institutions of learning. After the revivals
of 1800 these Christian colleges were not only attended by students
coming from zealous and fervid churches; they themselves became the foci
from which high and noble spiritual influences were radiated through the
land. It was in communities like these that the example of such lives as
that of Brainerd stirred up generous young minds to a chivalrous and
even ascetic delight in attempting great labors and enduring great
sacrifices as soldiers under the Captain of salvation.

It was at Williams College, then just planted in the Berkshire hills,
that a little coterie of students was formed which, for the grandeur of
the consequences that flowed from it, is worthy to be named in history
beside the Holy Club of Oxford in 1730, and the friends at Oriel College
in 1830. Samuel J. Mills came to Williams College in 1806 from the
parsonage of "Father Mills" of Torringford, concerning whom quaint
traditions and even memories still linger in the neighboring parishes of
Litchfield County, Connecticut. Around this young student gathered a
circle of men like-minded. The shade of a lonely haystack was their
oratory; the pledges by which they bound themselves to a life-work for
the kingdom of heaven remind one of the mutual vows of the earliest
friends of Loyola. Some of the youths went soon to the theological
seminary, and at once leavened that community with their own spirit.

The seminary--there was only one in all Protestant America. As early as
1791 the Sulpitian fathers had organized their seminary at Baltimore.
But it was not until 1808 that any institution for theological studies
was open to candidates for the Protestant ministry. Up to that time such
studies were made in the regular college curriculum, which was
distinctly theological in character; and it was common for the graduate
to spend an additional year at the college for special study under the
president or the one professor of divinity. But many country parsonages
that were tenanted by men of fame as writers and teachers were greatly
frequented by young men preparing themselves for the work of preaching.

The change to the modern method of education for the ministry was a
sudden one. It was precipitated by an event which has not even yet
ceased to be looked on by the losing party with honest lamentation and
with an unnecessary amount of sectarian acrimony. The divinity
professorship in Harvard College, founded in 1722[249:1] by Thomas
Hollis, of London, a Baptist friend of New England, was filled, after a
long struggle and an impassioned protest, by the election of Henry Ware,
an avowed and representative Unitarian. It was a distinct announcement
that the government of the college had taken sides in the impending
conflict, in opposition to the system of religious doctrine to the
maintenance of which the college had from its foundation been devoted.
The significance of the fact was not mistaken by either party. It meant
that the two tendencies which had been recognizable from long before
the Great Awakening were drawing asunder, and that thenceforth it must
be expected that the vast influence of the venerable college, in the
clergy and in society, would be given to the Liberal side. The dismay of
one party and the exultation of the other were alike well grounded. The
cry of the Orthodox was "To your tents, O Israel!" Lines of
ecclesiastical non-intercourse were drawn. Church was divided from
church, and family from family. When the forces and the losses on each
side came to be reckoned up, there was a double wonder: First, at the
narrow boundaries by which the Unitarian defection was circumscribed: "A
radius of thirty-five miles from Boston as a center would sweep almost
the whole field of its history and influence;"[250:1] and then at the
sweeping completeness of it within these bounds; as Mrs. H. B. Stowe
summed up the situation at Boston, "All the literary men of
Massachusetts were Unitarian; all the trustees and professors of Harvard
College were Unitarian; all the _élite_ of wealth and fashion crowded
Unitarian churches; the judges on the bench were Unitarian, giving
decisions by which the peculiar features of church organization so
carefully ordered by the Pilgrim Fathers had been nullified and all the
power had passed into the hands of the congregation."[250:2]

The schism, with its acrimonies and heartburnings, was doubtless in some
sense necessary. And it was attended with some beneficent consequences.
It gave rise to instructive and illuminating debate. And on the part of
the Orthodox it occasioned an outburst of earnest zeal which in a
wonderfully short time had more than repaired their loss in numbers, and
had started them on a career of wide beneficence, with a momentum that
has been increasing to this day. But it is not altogether useless to
put the question how much was lost to both parties and to the common
cause by the separation. It is not difficult to conceive that such
dogged polemics as Nathanael Emmons and Jedidiah Morse might have been
none the worse for being held in some sort of fellowship, rather than in
exasperated controversy, with such types of Christian sainthood as the
younger Ware and the younger Buckminster; and it is easy to imagine the
extreme culture and cool intellectual and spiritual temper of the
Unitarian pulpit in general as finding its advantage in not being cut
off from direct radiations from the fiery zeal of Lyman Beecher and
Edward Dorr Griffin. Is it quite sure that New England Congregationalism
would have been in all respects worse off if Channing and his friends
had continued to be recognized as the Liberal wing of its clergy? or
that the Unitarian ministers would not have been a great deal better off
if they had remained in connection with a strong and conservative right
wing, which might counterbalance the exorbitant leftward flights of
their more impatient and erratic spirits?

The seating of a pronounced Unitarian in the Hollis chair of theology at
Harvard took place in 1805. Three years later, in 1808, the doors of
Andover Seminary were opened to students. Thirty-six were present, and
the number went on increasing. The example was quickly followed. In 1810
the Dutch seminary was begun at New Brunswick, and in 1812 the
Presbyterian at Princeton. In 1816 Bangor Seminary (Congregationalist)
and Hartwick Seminary (Lutheran) were opened. In 1819 the Episcopalian
"General Seminary" followed, and the Baptist "Hamilton Seminary" in
1820. In 1821 Presbyterian seminaries were begun at Auburn, N. Y., and
Marysville, Tenn. In 1822 the Yale Divinity College was founded
(Congregationalist); in 1823 the Virginia (Episcopalian) seminary at
Alexandria; in 1824 the Union (Presbyterian) Seminary, also in Virginia,
and the Unitarian seminary at Cambridge; in 1825 the Baptist seminary at
Newton, Mass., and the German Reformed at York, Pa.; in 1826 the
Lutheran at Gettysburg; in 1827 the Baptist at Rock Spring, Ill. Thus,
within a period of twenty years, seventeen theological schools had come
into existence where none had been known before. It was a swift and
beneficent revolution, and the revolution has never gone backward. In
1880 were enumerated in the United States no less than one hundred and
forty-two seminaries, representing all sects, orders, and schools of
theological opinion, employing five hundred and twenty-nine resident

To Andover, in the very first years of its great history, came Mills and
others of the little Williams College circle; and at once their
infectious enthusiasm for the advancement of the kingdom of God was felt
throughout the institution. The eager zeal of these young men brooked no
delay. In June, 1810, the General Association of Massachusetts met at
the neighboring town of Bradford; there four of the students, Judson,
Nott, Newell, and Hall, presented themselves and their cause; and at
that meeting was constituted the American Board of Commissioners for
Foreign Missions. The little faith of the churches shrank from the
responsibility of sustaining missionaries in the field, and Judson was
sent to England to solicit the coöperation of the London Missionary
Society. This effort happily failing, the burden came back upon the
American churches and was not refused. At last, in February, 1812, the
first American missionaries to a foreign country, Messrs. Judson, Rice,
Newell, Nott, and Hall, with their wives, sailed, in two parties, for

And now befell an incident perplexing, embarrassing, and disheartening
to the supporters of the mission, but attended with results for the
promotion of the gospel to which their best wisdom never could have
attained. Adoniram Judson, a graduate of Brown University, having spent
the long months at sea in the diligent and devout study of the
Scriptures, arrived at Calcutta fully persuaded of the truth of Baptist
principles. His friend, Luther Rice, arriving by the other vessel, came
by and by to the same conclusion; and the two, with their wives, were
baptized by immersion in the Baptist church at Calcutta. The
announcement of this news in America was an irresistible appeal to the
already powerful and rapidly growing Baptist denomination to assume the
support of the two missionaries who now offered themselves to the
service of the Baptist churches. Rice returned to urge the appeal on
their immediate attention, while Judson remained to enter on that noble
apostolate for which his praise is in all the churches.

To the widespread Baptist fellowship this sudden, unmistakable, and
imperative providential summons to engage in the work of foreign
missions was (it is hardly too much to say) like life from the dead. The
sect had doubled its numbers in the decade just passed, and was
estimated to include two hundred thousand communicants, all "baptized
believers." But this multitude was without common organization, and,
while abundantly endowed with sectarian animosities, was singularly
lacking in a consciousness of common spiritual life. It was pervaded by
a deadly fatalism, which, under the guise of reverence for the will of
God, was openly pleaded as a reason for abstaining from effort and
self-denial in the promotion of the gospel. Withal it was widely
characterized not only by a lack of education in its ministry, but by a
violent and brutal opposition to a learned clergy, which was
particularly strange in a party the moiety of whose principles depends
on a point in Greek lexicology. It was to a party--we may not say a
body--deeply and widely affected by traits like these that the divine
call was to be presented and urged. The messenger was well fitted for
his work. To the zeal of a new convert to Baptist principles, and a
missionary fervor deepened by recent contact with idolatry in some of
its most repulsive forms, Luther Rice united a cultivated eloquence and
a personal persuasiveness. Of course his first address was to pastors
and congregations in the seaboard cities, unexcelled by any, of whatever
name, for intelligent and reasonable piety; and here his task was easy
and brief, for they were already of his mind. But the great mass of
ignorance and prejudice had also to be reckoned with. By a work in which
the influence of the divine Spirit was quite as manifest as in the
convulsive agitations of a camp-meeting, it was dealt with successfully.
Church history moved swiftly in those days. The news of the accession of
Judson and Rice was received in January, 1813. In May, 1814, the General
Missionary Convention of the Baptists was organized at Philadelphia,
thirty-three delegates being present, from eleven different States. The
Convention, which was to meet triennially, entered at once upon its
work. It became a vital center to the Baptist denomination. From it, at
its second meeting, proceeded effective measures for the promotion of
education in the ministry, and, under the conviction that "western as
well as eastern regions are given to the Son of God as an inheritance,"
large plans for home missions at the West.

Thus the great debt which the English Congregationalists had owed to the
Baptists for heroic leadership in the work of foreign missions was
repaid with generous usury by the Congregationalists to the Baptists of
America. From this time forward the American Baptists came more and more
to be felt as a salutary force in the religious life of the nation and
the world. But against what bitter and furious opposition on the part of
the ancient ignorance the new light had to struggle cannot easily be
conceived by those who have only heard of the "Hard-Shell Baptist" as a
curious fossil of a prehistoric period.[255:1]

The American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions continued for
twenty-seven years to be the common organ of foreign missionary
operations for the Congregationalists, the Presbyterians, and the Dutch
and German Reformed churches. In the year 1837 an official Presbyterian
Board of Missions was erected by the Old-School fragment of the
disrupted Presbyterian Church; and to this, when the two fragments were
reunited, in 1869, the contributions of the New-School side began to be
transferred. In 1858 the Dutch church, and in 1879 the German church,
instituted their separate mission operations. Thus the initiative of the
Andover students in 1810 resulted in the erection, not of one mission
board, timidly venturing to set five missionaries in the foreign field,
but of five boards, whose total annual resources are counted by millions
of dollars, whose evangelists, men and women, American and foreign-born,
are a great army, and whose churches, schools, colleges, theological
seminaries, hospitals, printing-presses, with the other equipments of a
Christian civilization, and the myriads of whose faithful Christian
converts, in every country under the whole heaven, have done more for
the true honor of our nation than all that it has achieved in diplomacy
and war.[255:2]

The Episcopalians entered on foreign mission work in 1819, and the
Methodists, tardily but at last with signal efficiency and success, in
1832. No considerable sect of American Christians at the present day is
unrepresented in the foreign field.

In order to complete the history of this organizing era in the church,
we must return to the humble but memorable figure of Samuel J. Mills. It
was his characteristic word to one of his fellows, as they stood ready
to leave the seclusion of the seminary for active service, "You and I,
brother, are little men, but before we die, our influence must be felt
on the other side of the world." No one claimed that he was other than a
"little man," except as he was filled and possessed with a great
thought, and that the thought that filled the mind of Christ--the
thought of the Coming Age and of the Reign of God on earth.[256:1] While
his five companions were sailing for the remotest East, Mills plunged
into the depth of the western wilderness, and between 1812 and 1815, in
two toilsome journeys, traversed the Great Valley as far as New Orleans,
deeply impressed everywhere with the famine of the word, and laboring,
in coöperation with local societies at the East, to provide for the
universal want by the sale or gift of Bibles and the organization of
Bible societies. After his second return he proposed the organization of
the American Bible Society, which was accomplished in 1816.

But already this nobly enterprising mind was intent on a new plan, of
most far-reaching importance, not original with himself, but, on the
contrary, long familiar to those who studied the extension of the church
and pondered the indications of God's providential purposes. The
earliest attempt in America toward the propagation of the gospel in
foreign lands would seem to have been the circular letter sent out by
the neighbor pastors, Samuel Hopkins and Ezra Stiles, in the year 1773,
from Newport, chief seat of the slave-trade, asking contributions for
the education of two colored men as missionaries to their native
continent of Africa. To many generous minds at once, in this era of
great Christian enterprises, the thought recurred of vast blessings to
be wrought for the Dark Continent by the agency of colored men
Christianized, civilized, and educated in America. Good men reverently
hoped to see in this triumphant solution of the mystery of divine
providence in permitting the curse of African slavery, through the cruel
greed of men, to be inflicted on the American republic. In 1816 Mills
successfully pressed upon the Presbyterian "Synod of New York and New
Jersey" a plan for educating Christian men of color for the work of the
gospel in their fatherland. That same year, in coöperation with an
earnest philanthropist, Dr. Robert Finley, of New Jersey, he aided in
the instituting of the American Colonization Society. In 1817 he sailed,
in company with a colleague, the Rev. Ebenezer Burgess, to explore the
coast of Africa in search of the best site for a colony. On the return
voyage he died, and his body was committed to the sea: a "little man,"
to whom were granted only five years of what men call "active life"; but
he had fulfilled his vow, and the ends of the earth had felt his
influence for the advancement of the kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The enterprise of African colonization, already dear to Christian hearts
for the hopes that it involved of the redemption of a lost continent,
of the elevation of an oppressed race in America, of the emancipation of
slaves and the abolition of slavery, received a new consecration as the
object of the dying labors and prayers of Mills. It was associated, in
the minds of good men, not only with plans for the conversion of the
heathen, and with the tide of antislavery sentiment now spreading and
deepening both at the South and at the North, but also with "Clarkson
societies" and other local organizations, in many different places, for
the moral and physical elevation of the free colored people from the
pitiable degradation in which they were commonly living in the larger
towns. Altogether the watchmen on the walls of Zion saw no fairer sign
of dawn, in that second decade of the nineteenth century, than the
hopeful lifting of the cloud from Africa, the brightening prospects of
the free negroes of the United States, and the growing hope of the
abolition of American slavery.[258:1]

Other societies, national in their scope and constituency, the origin of
which belongs in this organizing period, are the American Education
Society (1815), the American Sunday-school Union (1824), the American
Tract Society (1825), the Seamen's Friend Society (1826), and the
American Home Missionary Society (1826), in which last the
Congregationalists of New England coöperated with the Presbyterians on
the basis of a Plan of Union entered into between the General Assembly
and the General Association of Connecticut, the tendency of which was to
reinforce the Presbyterian Church with the numbers and the vigor of the
New England westward migration. Of course the establishment of these and
other societies for beneficent work outside of sectarian lines did not
hinder, but rather stimulated, sectarian organizations for the like
objects. The whole American church, in all its orders, was girding
itself for a work, at home and abroad, the immense grandeur of which no
man of that generation could possibly have foreseen.

The grandeur of this work was to consist not only in the results of it,
but in the resources of it. As never before, the sympathies, prayers,
and personal coöperation of all Christians, even the feeblest, were to
be combined and utilized for enterprises coextensive with the continent
and the world and taking hold on eternity. The possibilities of the new
era were dazzling to the prophetic imagination. A young minister then
standing on the threshold of a long career exulted in the peculiar and
excelling glory of the dawning day:

     "Surely, if it is the noblest attribute of our nature that
     spreads out the circle of our sympathies to include the whole
     family of man, and sends forth our affections to embrace the
     ages of a distant futurity, it must be regarded as a privilege
     no less exalted that our means of _doing_ good are limited by
     no remoteness of country or distance of duration, but we may
     operate, if we will, to assuage the miseries of another
     hemisphere, or to prevent the necessities of an unborn
     generation. The time has been when a man might weep over the
     wrongs of Africa, and he might look forward to weep over the
     hopelessness of her degradation, till his heart should bleed;
     and yet his tears would be all that he could give her. He
     might relieve the beggar at his door, but he could do nothing
     for a dying continent. He might provide for his children, but
     he could do nothing for the nations that were yet to be born
     to an inheritance of utter wretchedness. Then the privilege of
     engaging in schemes of magnificent benevolence belonged only
     to princes and to men of princely possessions; but now the
     progress of improvement has brought down this privilege to the
     reach of every individual. The institutions of our age are a
     republic of benevolence, and all may share in the unrestrained
     and equal democracy. This privilege is ours. We may stretch
     forth our hand, if we will, to enlighten the Hindu or to tame
     the savage of the wilderness. It is ours, if we will, to put
     forth our contributions and thus to operate not ineffectually
     for the relief and renovation of a continent over which one
     tide of misery has swept without ebb and without restraint for
     unremembered centuries. It is ours, if we will, to do
     something that shall tell on all the coming ages of a race
     which has been persecuted and enslaved, trodden down and
     despised, for a thousand generations. Our Father has made us
     the almoners of his love. He has raised us to partake, as it
     were, in the ubiquity of his own beneficence. Shall we be
     unworthy of the trust? God forbid!"[260:1]


[247:1] "Life of David Bacon," by his son (Boston, 1876).

[249:1] Compare the claim of priority for the Dutch church, p. 81,

[250:1] J. H. Allen, "The Unitarians," p. 194.

[250:2] "Autobiography of L. Beecher," p. 110.

[252:1] "Herzog-Schaff Encyclopedia," pp. 2328-2331.

[255:1] "The Baptists," by Dr. A. H. Newman, pp. 379-442.

[255:2] I have omitted from this list of results in the direct line from
the inception at Andover, in 1810, the American Missionary Association.
It owed its origin, in 1846, to the dissatisfaction felt by a
considerable number of the supporters of the American Board with the
attitude of that institution on some of the questions arising
incidentally to the antislavery discussion. Its foreign missions, never
extensive, were transferred to other hands, at the close of the Civil
War, that it might devote itself wholly to its great and successful work
among "the oppressed races" at home.

[256:1] It may be worth considering how far the course of religious and
theological thought would have been modified if the English New
Testament had used these phrases instead of _World to Come_ and _Kingdom
of God_.

[258:1] The colored Baptists of Richmond entered eagerly into the
Colonization project, and in 1822 their "African Missionary Society"
sent out its mission to the young colony of Liberia. One of their
missionaries was the Rev. Lott Cary, the dignity of whose character and
career was an encouragement of his people in their highest aspirations,
and a confirmation of the hopes of their friends (Newman, "The
Baptists," p. 402; Gurley, "Life of Ashmun," pp. 147-160).

[260:1] Leonard Bacon, "A Plea for Africa," in the Park Street Church,
Boston, July 4, 1824.



The transition from establishment to the voluntary system for the
support of churches was made not without some difficulty, but with
surprisingly little. In the South the established churches were
practically dead before the laws establishing them were repealed and the
endowments disposed of. In New York the Episcopalian churches were
indeed depressed and discouraged by the ceasing of State support and
official patronage; and inasmuch as these, with the subsidies of the "S.
P. G.," had been their main reliance, it was inevitable that they should
pass through a period of prostration until the appreciation of their
large endowments, and the progress of immigration and of conversion from
other sects, and especially the awakening of religious earnestness and
of sectarian ambition.

In New England the transition to the voluntary system was more gradual.
Not till 1818 in Connecticut, and in Massachusetts not till 1834, was
the last strand of connection severed between the churches of the
standing order and the state, and the churches left solely to their own
resources. The exaltation and divine inspiration that had come to these
churches with the revivals which from the end of the eighteenth century
were never for a long time intermitted, and the example of the
dissenting congregations, Baptist, Episcopalian, and Methodist,
successfully self-supported among them, made it easy for them,
notwithstanding the misgivings of many good men, not only to assume the
entire burden of their own expenses, but with this to undertake and
carry forward great and costly enterprises of charity reaching to the
bounds of the country and of the inhabited earth. It is idle to claim
that the American system is at no disadvantage in comparison with that
which elsewhere prevails almost throughout Christendom; but it may be
safely asserted that the danger that has been most emphasized as a
warning against the voluntary system has not attended this system in
America. The fear that a clergy supported by the free gifts of the
people would prove subservient and truckling to the hand by which it is
fed has been proved groundless. Of course there have been time-servers
in the American ministry, as in every other; but flagrant instances of
the abasement of a whole body of clergy before the power that holds the
purse and controls promotion are to be sought in the old countries
rather than the new. Even selfish motives would operate against this
temptation, since it has often been demonstrated that the people will
not sustain a ministry which it suspects of the vice of subserviency.
The annals of no established church can show such unsparing fidelity of
the ministry in rebuking the sins of people and of rulers in the name of
the Lord, as that which has been, on the whole, characteristic of the
Christian ministers of the United States.

Among the conflicts of the American church with public wrongs strongly
intrenched in law or social usage, two are of such magnitude and
protracted through so long a period as to demand special
consideration--the conflict with drunkenness and the conflict with
slavery. Some less conspicuous illustrations of the fidelity of the
church in the case of public and popular sins may be more briefly
referred to.

The death of Alexander Hamilton, in July, 1804, in a duel with Aaron
Burr, occasioned a wide and violent outburst of indignation against the
murderer, now a fugitive and outcast, for the dastardly malignity of the
details of his crime, and for the dignity and generosity as well as the
public worth of his victim. This was the sort of explosion of excited
public feeling which often loses itself in the air. It was a different
matter when the churches and ministers of Christ took up the affair in
the light of the law of God, and, dealing not with the circumstances but
with the essence of it, pressed it inexorably on the conscience of the
people. Some of the most memorable words in American literature were
uttered on this occasion, notwithstanding that there were few
congregations in which there were not sore consciences to be irritated
or political anxieties to be set quaking by them. The names of Eliphalet
Nott and John M. Mason were honorably conspicuous in this work. But one
unknown young man of thirty, in a corner of Long Island, uttered words
in his little country meeting-house that pricked the conscience of the
nation. The words of Lyman Beecher on this theme may well be quoted as
being a part of history, for the consequences that followed them.

     "Dueling is a great national sin. With the exception of a
     small section of the Union, the whole land is defiled with
     blood. From the lakes of the North to the plains of Georgia is
     heard the voice of lamentation and woe--the cries of the widow
     and fatherless. This work of desolation is performed often by
     men in office, by the appointed guardians of life and liberty.
     On the floor of Congress challenges have been threatened, if
     not given, and thus powder and ball have been introduced as
     the auxiliaries of deliberation and argument.... We are
     murderers--a nation of murderers--while we tolerate and reward
     the perpetrators of the crime."

Words such as these resounding from pulpit after pulpit, multiplied and
disseminated by means of the press, acted on by representative bodies of
churches, becoming embodied in anti-dueling societies, exorcised the
foul spirit from the land. The criminal folly of dueling did not,
indeed, at once and altogether cease. Instances of it continue to be
heard of to this day. But the conscience of the nation was instructed,
and a warning was served upon political parties to beware of proposing
for national honors men whose hands were defiled with blood.[264:1]

Another instance of the fidelity of the church in resistance to public
wrong was its action in the matter of the dealing of the State of
Georgia and the national government toward the Georgia Indians. This is
no place for the details of the shameful story of perfidy and
oppression. It is well told by Helen Hunt Jackson in the melancholy
pages of "A Century of Dishonor." The wrongs inflicted on the Cherokee
nation were deepened by every conceivable aggravation.

     "In the whole history of our government's dealings with the
     Indian tribes there is no record so black as the record of its
     perfidy to this nation. There will come a time in the remote
     future when to the student of American history it will seem
     well-nigh incredible. From the beginning of the century they
     had been steadily advancing in civilization. As far back as
     1800 they had begun the manufacture of cotton cloth, and in
     1820 there was scarcely a family in that part of the nation
     living east of the Mississippi but what understood the use of
     the card and spinning-wheel. Every family had its farm under
     cultivation. The territory was laid off into districts, with a
     council-house, a judge, and a marshal in each district. A
     national committee and council were the supreme authority in
     the nation. Schools were flourishing in all the villages.
     Printing-presses were at work.... They were enthusiastic in
     their efforts to establish and perfect their own system of
     jurisprudence. Missions of several sects were established in
     their country, and a large number of them had professed
     Christianity and were leading exemplary lives. There is no
     instance in all history of a race of people passing in so
     short a space of time from the barbarous stage to the
     agricultural and civilized."[265:1]

We do well to give authentic details of the condition of the Cherokee
nation in the early part of the century, for the advanced happy and
peaceful civilization of this people was one of the fairest fruits of
American Christianity working upon exceptionally noble race-qualities in
the recipients of it. An agent of the War Department in 1825 made
official report to the Department on the rare beauty of the Cherokee
country, secured to them by the most sacred pledges with which it was
possible for the national government to bind itself, and covered by the
inhabitants, through their industry and thrift, with flocks and herds,
with farms and villages; and goes on to speak of the Indians themselves:

     "The natives carry on considerable trade with the adjoining
     States; some of them export cotton in boats down the Tennessee
     to the Mississippi, and down that river to New Orleans. Apple
     and peach orchards are quite common, and gardens are
     cultivated and much attention paid to them. Butter and cheese
     are seen on Cherokee tables. There are many public roads in
     the nation, and houses of entertainment kept by natives.
     Numerous and flourishing villages are seen in every section of
     the country. Cotton and woolen cloths are manufactured;
     blankets of various dimensions, manufactured by Cherokee
     hands, are very common. Almost every family in the nation
     grows cotton for its own consumption. Industry and commercial
     enterprise are extending themselves in every part. Nearly all
     the merchants in the nation are native Cherokees. Agricultural
     pursuits engage the chief attention of the people. Different
     branches in mechanics are pursued. The population is rapidly
     increasing.... The Christian religion is the religion of the
     nation. Presbyterians, Methodists, Baptists, and Moravians are
     the most numerous sects. Some of the most influential
     characters are members of the church and live consistently
     with their professions. The whole nation is penetrated with
     gratitude for the aid it has received from the United States
     government and from different religious societies. Schools are
     increasing every year; learning is encouraged and rewarded;
     the young class acquire the English and those of mature age
     the Cherokee system of learning."[266:1]

This country, enriched by the toil and thrift of its owners, the State
of Georgia resolved not merely to subjugate to its jurisdiction, but to
steal from its rightful and lawful owners, driving them away as outlaws.
As a sure expedient for securing popular consent to the intended infamy,
the farms of the Cherokees were parceled out to be drawn for in a
lottery, and the lottery tickets distributed among the white voters.
Thus fortified, the brave State of Georgia went to all lengths of
outrage. "Missionaries were arrested and sent to prison for preaching to
Cherokees; Cherokees were sentenced to death by Georgia courts and hung
by Georgia executioners." But the great crime could not be achieved
without the connivance, and at last the active consent, of the national
government. Should this consent be given? Never in American history has
the issue been more squarely drawn between the kingdom of Satan and the
kingdom of Christ. American Christianity was most conspicuously
represented in this conflict by an eminent layman, Jeremiah Evarts,
whose fame for this public service, and not for this alone, will in the
lapse of time outshine even that of his illustrious son. In a series of
articles in the "National Intelligencer," under the signature of
"William Penn," he cited the sixteen treaties in which the nation had
pledged its faith to defend the Cherokees in the possession of their
lands, and set the whole case before the people as well as the
government. But his voice was not solitary. From press and pulpit and
from the platforms of public meetings all over the country came
petitions, remonstrances, and indignant protests, reinforcing the
pathetic entreaties of the Cherokees themselves to be protected from the
cruelty that threatened to tear them from their homes. In Congress the
honor of leadership among many faithful and able advocates of right and
justice was conceded to Theodore Frelinghuysen, then in the prime of a
great career of Christian service. By the majority of one vote the bill
for the removal of the Cherokees passed the United States Senate. The
gates of hell triumphed for a time with a fatal exultation. The authors
and abettors of the great crime were confirmed in their delusion that
threats of disunion and rebellion could be relied on to carry any
desired point. But the mills of God went on grinding. Thirty years
later, when in the battle of Missionary Ridge the chivalry of Georgia
went down before the army that represented justice and freedom and the
authority of national law, the vanquished and retreating soldiers of a
lost cause could not be accused of superstition if they remembered that
the scene of their humiliating defeat had received its name from the
martyrdom of Christian missionaries at the hands of their fathers.

       *       *       *       *       *

In earlier pages we have already traced the succession of bold protests
and organized labors on the part of church and clergy against the
institution of slavery.[268:1] If protest and argument against it seem
to be less frequent in the early years of the new century, it is only
because debate must needs languish when there is no antagonist. Slavery
had at that time no defenders in the church. No body of men in 1818 more
unmistakably represented the Christian citizenship of the whole country,
North, South, and West, outside of New England, than the General
Assembly of the then undivided Presbyterian Church. In that year the
Assembly set forth a full and unanimous expression of its sentiments on
the subject of slavery, addressed "to the churches and people under its
care." This monumental document is too long to be cited here in full.
The opening paragraphs of it exhibit the universally accepted sentiment
of American Christians of that time:

     "We consider the voluntary enslaving of one part of the human
     race by another as a gross violation of the most precious and
     sacred rights of human nature; as utterly inconsistent with
     the law of God, which requires us to love our neighbor as
     ourselves; and as totally irreconcilable with the spirit and
     principles of the gospel of Christ, which enjoin that 'all
     things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye
     even so to them.' Slavery creates a paradox in the moral
     system. It exhibits rational, accountable, and immortal beings
     in such circumstances as scarcely to leave them the power of
     moral action. It exhibits them as dependent on the will of
     others whether they shall receive religious instruction;
     whether they shall know and worship the true God; whether they
     shall enjoy the ordinances of the gospel; whether they shall
     perform the duties and cherish the endearments of husbands and
     wives, parents and children, neighbors and friends; whether
     they shall preserve their chastity and purity or regard the
     dictates of justice and humanity. Such are some of the
     consequences of slavery--consequences not imaginary, but which
     connect themselves with its very existence. The evils to which
     the slave is _always_ exposed often take place in fact, and in
     their worst degree and form; and where all of them do not take
     place, as we rejoice to say that in many instances, through
     the influence of the principles of humanity and religion on
     the minds of masters, they do not, still the slave is deprived
     of his natural right, degraded as a human being, and exposed
     to the danger of passing into the hands of a master who may
     inflict upon him all the hardships and injuries which
     inhumanity and avarice may suggest.

     "From this view of the consequences resulting from the
     practice into which Christian people have most inconsistently
     fallen of enslaving a portion of their _brethren_ of
     mankind,--for 'God hath made of one blood all nations of men
     to dwell on the face of the earth,'--it is manifestly the duty
     of all Christians who enjoy the light of the present day, when
     the inconsistency of slavery both with the dictates of
     humanity and religion has been demonstrated and is generally
     seen and acknowledged, to use their honest, earnest, and
     unwearied endeavors to correct the errors of former times, and
     as speedily as possible to efface this blot on our holy
     religion and to obtain the complete abolition of slavery
     throughout Christendom, and if possible throughout the world."

It was not strange that while sentiments like these prevailed without
contradiction in all parts of the country, while in State after State
emancipations were taking place and acts of abolition were passing, and
even in the States most deeply involved in slavery "a great, and the
most virtuous, part of the community abhorred slavery and wished its
extermination,"[270:1] there should seem to be little call for debate.
But that the antislavery spirit in the churches was not dead was
demonstrated with the first occasion.

In the spring of 1820, at the close of two years of agitating
discussion, the new State of Missouri was admitted to the Union as a
slave State, although with the stipulation that the remaining territory
of the United States north of the parallel of latitude bounding Missouri
on the south should be consecrated forever to freedom. The opposition to
this extension of slavery was taken up by American Christianity as its
own cause. It was the impending danger of such an extension that
prompted that powerful and unanimous declaration of the Presbyterian
General Assembly in 1818. The arguments against the Missouri bill,
whether in the debates of Congress or in countless memorials and
resolutions from public meetings both secular and religious, were
arguments from justice and duty and the law of Christ. These were met by
constitutional objections and considerations of expediency and
convenience, and by threats of disunion and civil war. The defense of
slavery on principle had not yet begun to be heard, even among

The successful extension of slavery beyond the Mississippi River was
disheartening to the friends of justice and humanity, but only for the
moment. Already, before the two years' conflict had been decided by "the
Missouri Compromise," a powerful series of articles by that great
religious leader, Jeremiah Evarts, in the "Panoplist" (Boston, 1820),
rallied the forces of the church to renew the battle. The decade that
opened with that defeat is distinguished as a period of sustained
antislavery activity on the part of the united Christian citizenship of
the nation in all quarters.[271:1] In New England the focus of
antislavery effort was perhaps the theological seminary at Andover.
There the leading question among the students in their "Society of
Inquiry concerning Missions" was the question, what could be done, and
especially what _they_ could do, for the uplifting of the colored
population of the country, both the enslaved and the free. Measures were
concerted there for the founding of "an African college where youth were
to be educated on a scale so liberal as to place them on a level with
other men";[271:2] and the plan was not forgotten or neglected by these
young men when from year to year they came into places of effective
influence. With eminent fitness the Fourth of July was taken as an
antislavery holiday, and into various towns within reach from Andover
their most effective speakers went forth to give antislavery addresses
on that day. Beginning with the Fourth of July, 1823, the annual
antislavery address at Park Street Church, Boston, before several united
churches of that city, continued for the rest of that decade at least
to be an occasion for earnest appeal and practical effort in behalf of
the oppressed. Neither was the work of the young men circumscribed by
narrow local boundaries. The report of their committee, in the year
1823, on "The Condition of the Black Population of the United States,"
could hardly be characterized as timid in its utterances on the moral
character of American slavery. A few lines will indicate the tone of it
in this respect:

     "Excepting only the horrible system of the West India Islands,
     we have never heard of slavery in any country, ancient or
     modern, pagan, Mohammedan, or Christian, so terrible in its
     character, so pernicious in its tendency, so remediless in its
     anticipated results, as the slavery which exists in these
     United States.... When we use the strong language which we
     feel ourselves compelled to use in relation to this subject,
     we do not mean to speak of animal suffering, but of an immense
     moral and political evil.... In regard to its influence on the
     white population the most lamentable proof of its
     deteriorating effects may be found in the fact that, excepting
     the pious, whose hearts are governed by the Christian law of
     reciprocity between man and man, and the wise, whose minds
     have looked far into the relations and tendencies of things,
     none can be found to lift their voices against a system so
     utterly repugnant to the feelings of unsophisticated
     humanity--a system which permits all the atrocities of the
     domestic slave trade--which permits the father to sell his
     children as he would his cattle--a system which consigns one
     half of the community to hopeless and utter degradation, and
     which threatens in its final catastrophe to bring down the
     same ruin on the master and the slave."[272:1]

The historical value of the paper from which these brief extracts are
given, as illustrating the attitude of the church at the time, is
enhanced by the use that was made of it. Published in the form of a
review article in a magazine of national circulation, the recognized
organ of the orthodox Congregationalists, it was republished in a
pamphlet for gratuitous distribution and extensively circulated in New
England by the agency of the Andover students. It was also republished
at Richmond, Va. Other laborers at the East in the same cause were
Joshua Leavitt, Bela B. Edwards, and Eli Smith, afterward illustrious as
a missionary,[273:1] and Ralph Randolph Gurley, secretary of the
Colonization Society, whose edition of the powerful and uncompromising
sermon of the younger Edwards on "The Injustice and Impolicy of the
Slave Trade and of the Slavery of the Africans" was published at Boston
for circulation at the South, in hopes of promoting the universal
abolition of slavery. The list might be indefinitely extended to include
the foremost names in the church in that period. There was no adverse

At the West an audacious movement of the slavery extension politicians,
flushed with their success in Missouri, to introduce slavery into
Illinois, Indiana, and even Ohio, was defeated largely by the aid of the
Baptist and Methodist clergy, many of whom had been southern men and had
experienced the evils of the system.[273:2] In Kentucky and Tennessee
the abolition movement was led more distinctively by the Presbyterians
and the Quakers. It was a bold effort to procure the manumission of
slaves and the repeal of the slave code in those States by the agreement
of the citizens. The character of the movement is indicated in the
constitution of the "Moral Religious Manumission Society of West
Tennessee," which declares that slavery "exceeds any other crime in
magnitude" and is "the greatest act of practical infidelity," and that
"the gospel of Christ, if believed, would remove personal slavery at
once by destroying the will in the tyrant to enslave."[274:1] A like
movement in North Carolina and in Maryland, at the same time, attained
to formidable dimensions. The state of sentiment in Virginia may be
judged from the fact that so late as December, 1831, in the memorable
debate in the legislature on a proposal for the abolition of slavery, a
leading speaker, denouncing slavery as "the most pernicious of all the
evils with which the body politic can be afflicted," could say,
undisputed, "_By none is this position denied_, if we except the erratic
John Randolph."[274:2] The conflict in Virginia at that critical time
was between Christian principle and wise statesmanship on the one hand,
and on the other hand selfish interest and ambition, and the prevailing
terror resulting from a recent servile insurrection. Up to this time
there appears no sign of any division in the church on this subject.
Neither was there any sectional division; the opponents of slavery,
whether at the North or at the South, were acting in the interest of the
common country, and particularly in the interest of the States that were
still afflicted with slavery. But a swift change was just impending.

We have already recognized the Methodist organization as the effective
pioneer of systematic abolitionism in America.[275:1] The Baptists, also
having their main strength in the southern States, were early and
emphatic in condemning the institutions by which they were
surrounded.[275:2] But all the sects found themselves embarrassed by
serious difficulties when it came to the practical application of the
principles and rules which they enunciated. The exacting of "immediate
emancipation" as a condition of fellowship in the ministry or communion
in the church, and the popular cries of "No fellowship with
slave-holders," and "Slave-holding always and every where a sin," were
found practically to conflict with frequent undeniable and stubborn
facts. The cases in which conscientious Christians found themselves, by
no fault of their own, invested by inhuman laws with an absolute
authority over helpless fellow-men, which it would not be right for them
suddenly to abdicate, were not few nor unimportant.[275:3] In dealing
with such cases several different courses were open to the church: (1)
To execute discipline rigorously according to the formula, on the
principle, Be rid of the tares at all hazards; never mind the wheat.
This course was naturally favored by some of the minor Presbyterian
sects, and was apt to be vigorously urged by zealous people living at a
distance and not well acquainted with details of fact. (2) To attempt to
provide for all cases by stated exceptions and saving clauses. This
course was entered on by the Methodist Church, but without success. (3)
Discouraged by the difficulties, to let go all discipline. This was the
point reached at last by most of the southern churches. (4) Clinging to
the formulas, "Immediate emancipation," "No communion with
slave-holders," so to "palter in a double sense" with the words as to
evade the meaning of them. According to this method, slave-holding did
not consist in the holding of slaves, but in holding them with evil
purpose and wrong treatment; a slave who was held for his own advantage,
receiving from his master "that which is just and equal," was said, in
this dialect, to be "morally emancipated." This was the usual expedient
of a large and respectable party of antislavery Christians at the North,
when their principle of "no communion with slave-holders" brought them
to the seeming necessity of excommunicating an unquestionably Christian
brother for doing an undeniable duty. (5) To lay down, broadly and
explicitly, the principles of Christian morality governing the subject,
leaving the application of them in individual cases to the individual
church or church-member. This was the course exemplified with admirable
wisdom and fidelity in the Presbyterian "deliverance" of 1818. (6) To
meet the postulate, laid down with so much assurance, as if an axiom,
that "slave-holding is always and everywhere a sin, to be immediately
repented of and forsaken," with a flat and square contradiction, as
being irreconcilable with facts and with the judgment of the Christian
Scriptures; and thus to condemn and oppose to the utmost the system of
slavery, without imputing the guilt of it to persons involved in it by
no fault of their own. This course commended itself to many lucid and
logical minds and honest consciences, including some of the most
consistent and effective opponents of slavery. (7) Still another course
must be mentioned, which, absurd as it seems, was actually pursued by a
few headlong reformers, who showed in various ways a singular alacrity
at playing into the hands of their adversaries. It consisted in
enunciating in the most violent and untenable form and the most
offensive language the proposition that all slave-holding is sin and
every slave-holder a criminal, and making the whole attack on slavery to
turn on this weak pivot and fail if this failed. The argument of this
sort of abolitionist was: If there can be found anywhere a good man
holding a bond-servant unselfishly, kindly, and for good reason
justifiably, then the system of American slavery is right.[277:1] It is
not strange that men in the southern churches, being offered such an
argument ready made to their hand, should promptly accept both the
premiss and the conclusion, and that so at last there should begin to be
a pro-slavery party in the American church.

The disastrous epoch of the beginning of what has been called "the
southern apostasy" from the universal moral sentiment of Christendom on
the subject of slavery may be dated at about the year 1833. A year
earlier began to be heard those vindications on political grounds of
what had just been declared in the legislature of Virginia to be by
common consent the most pernicious of political evils--vindications
which continued for thirty years to invite the wonder of the civilized
world. When (about 1833) a Presbyterian minister in Mississippi, the
Rev. James Smylie, made the "discovery," which "surprised himself," that
the system of American slavery was sanctioned and approved by the
Scriptures as good and righteous, he found that his brethren in the
Presbyterian ministry at the extreme South were not only surprised, but
shocked and offended, at the proposition.[278:1] And yet such was the
swift progress of this innovation that in surprisingly few years, we
might almost say months, it had become not only prevalent, but violently
and exclusively dominant in the church of the southern States, with the
partial exception of Kentucky and Tennessee. It would be difficult to
find a precedent in history for so sudden and sweeping a change of
sentiment on a leading doctrine of moral theology. Dissent from the
novel dogma was suppressed with more than inquisitorial rigor. It was
less perilous to hold Protestant opinions in Spain or Austria than to
hold, in Carolina or Alabama, the opinions which had but lately been
commended to universal acceptance by the unanimous voice of great
religious bodies, and proclaimed as undisputed principles by leading
statesmen. It became one of the accepted evidences of Christianity at
the South that infidelity failed to offer any justification for American
slavery equal to that derived from the Christian Scriptures. That
eminent leader among the Lutheran clergy, the Rev. Dr. Bachman, of
Charleston, referred "that unexampled unanimity of sentiment that now
exists in the whole South on the subject of slavery" to the confidence
felt by the religious public in the Bible defense of slavery as set
forth by clergymen and laymen in sermons and pamphlets and speeches in

The historian may not excuse himself from the task of inquiring into the
cause of this sudden and immense moral revolution. The explanation
offered by Dr. Bachman is the very thing that needs to be explained.
How came the Christian public throughout the slave-holding States, which
so short a time before had been unanimous in finding in the Bible the
condemnation of their slavery, to find all at once in the Bible the
divine sanction and defense of it as a wise, righteous, and permanent
institution? Doubtless there was mixture of influences in bringing about
the result. The immense advance in the market value of slaves consequent
on Whitney's invention of the cotton-gin had its unconscious effect on
the moral judgments of some. The furious vituperations of a very small
but noisy faction of antislavery men added something to the swift
current of public opinion. But demonstrably the chief cause of this
sudden change of religious opinion--one of the most remarkable in the
history of the church--was panic terror. In August, 1831, a servile
insurrection in Virginia, led by a crazy negro, Nat Turner by name, was
followed (as always in such cases) by bloody vengeance on the part of
the whites.

     "The Southampton insurrection, occurring at a time when the
     price of slaves was depressed in consequence of a depression
     in the price of cotton, gave occasion to a sudden development
     of opposition to slavery in the legislature of Virginia. A
     measure for the prospective abolition of the institution in
     that ancient commonwealth was proposed, earnestly debated,
     eloquently urged, and at last defeated, with a minority
     ominously large in its favor. Warned by so great a peril, and
     strengthened soon afterward by an increase in the market value
     of cotton and of slaves, the slave-holding interest in all the
     South was stimulated to new activity. Defenses of slavery more
     audacious than had been heard before began to be uttered by
     southern politicians at home and by southern representatives
     and senators in Congress. A panic seized upon the planters in
     some districts of the Southwest. Conspiracies and plans of
     insurrection were discovered. Negroes were tortured or
     terrified into confessions. Obnoxious white men were put to
     death without any legal trial and in defiance of those rules
     of evidence which are insisted on by southern laws. Thus a
     sudden and convincing terror was spread through the South.
     Every man was made to know that if he should become obnoxious
     to the guardians of the great southern 'institution' he was
     liable to be denounced and murdered. It was distinctly and
     imperatively demanded that nobody should be allowed to say
     anything anywhere against slavery. The movement of the
     societies which had then been recently formed at Boston and
     New York, with 'Immediate abolition' for their motto, was made
     use of to stimulate the terror and the fury of the South....
     The position of political parties and of candidates for the
     Presidency, just at that juncture, gave special advantage to
     the agitators--an advantage that was not neglected. Everything
     was done that practiced demagogues could contrive to stimulate
     the South into a frenzy and to put down at once and forever
     all opposition to slavery. The clergy and the religious bodies
     were summoned to the patriotic duty of committing themselves
     on the side of 'southern institutions.' Just then it was, if
     we mistake not, that their apostasy began. They dared not say
     that slavery as an institution in the State is essentially an
     organized injustice, and that, though the Scriptures rightly
     and wisely enjoin justice and the recognition of the slaves'
     brotherhood upon masters, and conscientious meekness upon
     slaves, the organized injustice of the institution ought to be
     abolished by the shortest process consistent with the public
     safety and the welfare of the enslaved. They dared not even
     keep silence under the plea that the institution is political
     and therefore not to be meddled with by religious bodies or
     religious persons. They yielded to the demand. They were
     carried along in the current of the popular frenzy; they
     joined in the clamor, 'Great is Diana of the Ephesians;' they
     denounced the fanaticism of abolition and permitted
     themselves to be understood as certifying, in the name of
     religion and of Christ, that the entire institution of slavery
     'as it exists' is chargeable with no injustice and is
     warranted by the word of God."[281:1]

There is no good reason to question the genuineness and sincerity of the
fears expressed by the slave-holding population as a justification of
their violent measures for the suppression of free speech in relation to
slavery; nor of their belief that the papers and prints actively
disseminated from the antislavery press in Boston were fitted, if not
distinctly intended, to kindle bloody insurrections. These terrors were
powerfully pleaded in the great debate in the Virginia legislature as an
argument for the abolition of slavery.[281:2] This failing, they became
throughout the South a constraining power for the suppression of free
speech, not only on the part of outsiders, but among the southern people
themselves. The régime thus introduced was, in the strictest sense of
the phrase, "a reign of terror." The universal lockjaw which thenceforth
forbade the utterance of what had so recently and suddenly ceased to be
the unanimous religious conviction of the southern church soon produced
an "unexampled unanimity" on the other side, broken only when some fiery
and indomitable abolitionist like Dr. Robert J. Breckinridge, of the
Presbyterian Church in Kentucky, delivered his soul with invectives
against the system of slavery and the new-fangled apologies that had
been devised to defend it, declaring it "utterly indefensible on every
correct human principle, and utterly abhorrent from every law of God,"
and exclaiming, "Out upon such folly! The man who cannot see that
involuntary domestic slavery, as it exists among us, is founded on the
principle of taking by force that which is another's has simply no
moral sense.... Hereditary slavery is without pretense, except in avowed
rapacity."[282:1] Of course the antislavery societies which, under
various names, had existed in the South by hundreds were suddenly
extinguished, and manumissions, which had been going on at the rate of
thousands in a year, almost entirely ceased.

The strange and swiftly spreading moral epidemic did not stop at State
boundary lines. At the North the main cause of defection was not,
indeed, directly operative. There was no danger there of servile
insurrection. But there was true sympathy for those who lived under the
shadow of such impending horrors, threatening alike the guilty and the
innocent. There was a deep passion of honest patriotism, now becoming
alarmed lest the threats of disunion proceeding from the terrified South
should prove a serious peril to the nation in whose prosperity the hopes
of the world seemed to be involved. There was a worthy solicitude lest
the bonds of intercourse between the churches of North and South should
be ruptured and so the integrity of the nation be the more imperiled.
Withal there was a spreading and deepening and most reasonable disgust
at the reckless ranting of a little knot of antislavery men having their
headquarters at Boston, who, exulting in their irresponsibility,
scattered loosely appeals to men's vindictive passions and filled the
unwilling air with clamors against church and ministry and Bible and law
and government, denounced as "pro-slavery" all who declined to accept
their measures or their persons, and, arrogating to themselves
exclusively the name of abolitionist, made that name, so long a title of
honor, to be universally odious.[282:2]

These various factors of public opinion were actively manipulated.
Political parties competed for the southern vote. Commercial houses
competed for southern business. Religious sects, parties, and societies
were emulous in conciliating southern adhesions or contributions and
averting schisms. The condition of success in any of these cases was
well understood to be concession, or at least silence, on the subject of
slavery. The pressure of motives, some of which were honorable and
generous, was everywhere, like the pressure of the atmosphere. It was
not strange that there should be defections from righteousness. Even the
enormous effrontery of the slave power in demanding for its own security
that the rule of tyrannous law and mob violence by which freedom of
speech and of the press had been extinguished at the South should be
extended over the so-called free States did not fail of finding citizens
of reputable standing so base as to give the demand their countenance,
their public advocacy, and even their personal assistance. As the
subject emerged from time to time in the religious community, the
questions arising were often confused and embarrassed by false issues
and illogical statements, and the state of opinion was continually
misrepresented through the incurable habit of the over-zealous in
denouncing as "pro-slavery" those who dissented from their favorite
formulas. But after all deductions, the historian who shall by and by
review this period with the advantage of a longer perspective will be
compelled to record not a few lamentable defections, both individual and
corporate, from the cause of freedom, justice, and humanity. And,
nevertheless, that later record will also show that while the southern
church had been terrified into "an unexampled unanimity" in renouncing
the principles which it had unanimously held, and while like causes had
wrought potently upon northern sentiment, it was the steadfast fidelity
of the Christian people that saved the nation from ruin. At the end of
thirty years from the time when the soil of Missouri was devoted to
slavery the "Kansas-Nebraska Bill" was proposed, which should open for
the extension of slavery the vast expanse of national territory which,
by the stipulation of the "Missouri Compromise," had been forever
consecrated to freedom. The issue of the extension of slavery was
presented to the people in its simplicity. The action of the clergy of
New England was prompt, spontaneous, emphatic, and practically
unanimous. Their memorial, with three thousand and fifty signatures,
protested against the bill, "in the name of Almighty God and in his
presence," as "a great moral wrong; as a breach of faith eminently
injurious to the moral principles of the community and subversive of all
confidence in national engagements; as a measure full of danger to the
peace and even the existence of our beloved Union, and exposing us to
the just judgments of the Almighty." In like manner the memorial of one
hundred and fifty-one clergymen of various denominations in New York
City and vicinity protested in like terms, "in the name of religion and
humanity," against the guilt of the extension of slavery. Perhaps there
has been no occasion on which the consenting voice of the entire church
has been so solemnly uttered on a question of public morality, and this
in the very region in which church and clergy had been most stormily
denounced by the little handful of abolitionists who gloried in the
name of infidel[285:1] as recreant to justice and humanity.

The protest of the church was of no avail to defeat the machination of
demagogues. The iniquitous measure was carried through. But this was not
the end; it was only the beginning of the end. Yet ten years, and
American slavery, through the mad folly of its advocates and the
steadfast fidelity of the great body of the earnestly religious people
of the land, was swept away by the tide of war.

       *       *       *       *       *

The long struggle of the American church against drunkenness as a social
and public evil begins at an early date. One of the thirteen colonies,
Georgia, had the prohibition of slavery and of the importation of
spirituous liquors incorporated by Oglethorpe in its early and
short-lived constitution. It would be interesting to discover, if we
could, to what extent the rigor of John Wesley's discipline against both
these mischiefs was due to his association with Oglethorpe in the
founding of that latest of the colonies. Both the imperious nature of
Wesley and the peculiar character of his fraternity as being originally
not a church, but a voluntary society within the church, predisposed to
a policy of arbitrary exclusiveness by hard and fast lines drawn
according to formula, which might not have been ventured on by one who
was consciously drawing up the conditions of communion in the church. In
the Puritan colonies the public morals in respect to temperance were
from the beginning guarded by salutary license laws devised to suppress
all dram-shops and tippling-houses, and to prevent, as far as law could
wisely undertake to prevent, all abusive and mischievous sales of
liquor. But these indications of a sound public sentiment did not
prevent the dismal fact of a wide prevalence of drunkenness as one of
the distinguishing characteristics of American society at the opening of
the nineteenth century. Two circumstances had combined to aggravate the
national vice. Seven years of army life, with its exhaustion and
exposure and military social usage, had initiated into dangerous
drinking habits many of the most justly influential leaders of society,
and the example of these had set the tone for all ranks. Besides this,
the increased importation and manufacture of distilled spirits had made
it easy and common to substitute these for the mild fermented liquors
which had been the ordinary drink of the people. Gradually and
unobserved the nation had settled down into a slough of drunkenness of
which it is difficult for us at this date to form a clear conception.
The words of Isaiah concerning the drunkards of Ephraim seem not too
strong to apply to the condition of American society, that "all tables
were full of vomit and filthiness." In the prevalence of intemperate
drinking habits the clergy had not escaped the general infection. "The
priest and the prophet had gone astray through strong drink." Individual
words of warning, among the earliest of which was the classical essay of
Dr. Benjamin Rush (1785), failed to arouse general attention. The new
century was well advanced before the stirring appeals of Ebenezer
Porter, Lyman Beecher, Heman Humphrey, and Jeremiah Evarts had awakened
in the church any effectual conviction of sin in the matter. The
appointment of a strong committee, in 1811, by the Presbyterian General
Assembly was promptly followed by like action by the clergy of
Massachusetts and Connecticut, leading to the formation of State
societies. But general concerted measures on a scale commensurate with
the evil to be overcome must be dated from the organization of the
"American Society for the Promotion of Temperance," in 1826. The first
aim of the reformers of that day was to break down those domineering
social usages which almost enforced the habit of drinking in ordinary
social intercourse. The achievement of this object was wonderfully swift
and complete. A young minister whose pastorate had begun at about the
same time with the organizing of the national temperance society was
able at the end of five years to bear this testimony in the presence of
those who were in a position to recognize any misstatement or

     "The wonderful change which the past five years have witnessed
     in the manners and habits of this people in regard to the use
     of ardent spirits--the new phenomenon of an intelligent people
     rising up, as it were, with one consent, without law, without
     any attempt at legislation, to put down by the mere force of
     public opinion, expressing itself in voluntary associations, a
     great social evil which no despot on earth could have put down
     among his subjects by any system of efforts--has excited
     admiration and roused to imitation not only in our sister
     country of Great Britain, but in the heart of continental

It is worthy of remark, for any possible instruction there may be in it,
that the first, greatest, and most permanent of the victories of the
temperance reformation, the breaking down of almost universal social
drinking usages, was accomplished while yet the work was a distinctively
religious one, "without law or attempt at legislation," and while the
efforts at suppression were directed at the use of ardent spirits. The
attempt to combine the friends of temperance on a basis of "teetotal"
abstinence, putting fermented as well as distilled liquors under the
ban, dates from as late as 1836.

But it soon appeared that the immense gain of banishing ardent spirits
from the family table and sideboard, the social entertainment, the
haying field, and the factory had not been attained without some
corresponding loss. Close upon the heels of the reform in the domestic
and social habits of the people there was spawned a monstrous brood of
obscure tippling-shops--a nuisance, at least in New England, till then
unknown. From the beginning wise and effective license laws had
interdicted all dram-shops; even the taverner might sell spirits only to
his transient guests, not to the people of the town. With the
suppression of social drinking there was effected, in spite of salutary
law to the contrary, a woeful change. The American "saloon" was, in an
important sense, the offspring of the American temperance reformation.
The fact justified the reformer in turning his attention to the law.
From that time onward the history of the temperance reformation has
included the history of multitudinous experiments in legislation, none
of which has been so conclusive as to satisfy all students of the
subject that any later law is, on the whole, more usefully effective
than the original statutes of the Puritan colonies.[288:1]

In 1840 the temperance reformation received a sudden forward impulse
from an unexpected source. One evening a group of six notoriously hard
drinkers, coming together greatly impressed from a sermon of that noted
evangelist, Elder Jacob Knapp, pledged themselves by mutual vows to
total abstinence; and from this beginning went forward that
extraordinary agitation known as "the Washingtonian movement." Up to
this time the aim of the reformers had been mainly directed to the
prevention of drunkenness by a change in social customs and personal
habits. Now there was suddenly opened a door of hope to the almost
despair of the drunkard himself. The lately reformed drunkards of
Baltimore set themselves to the reforming of other drunkards, and these
took up the work in their turn, and reformation was extended in a
geometrical progression till it covered the country. Everywhere meetings
were held, to be addressed by reformed drunkards, and new recruits from
the gutter were pushed forward to tell their experience to the admiring
public, and sent out on speaking tours. The people were stirred up as
never before on the subject of temperance. There was something very
Christian-like in the method of this propagation, and hopeful souls
looked forward to a temperance millennium as at hand. But fatal faults
in the work soon discovered themselves. Among the new evangelists were
not a few men of true penitence and humility, like John Hawkins, and one
man at least of incomparable eloquence as well as Christian earnestness,
John B. Gough. But the public were not long in finding that merely to
have wallowed in vice and to be able to tell ludicrous or pathetic
stories from one's experience was not of itself sufficient qualification
for the work of a public instructor in morals. The temperance platform
became infested with swaggering autobiographers, whose glory was in
their shame, and whose general influence was distinctly demoralizing.
The sudden influx of the tide of enthusiasm was followed by a disastrous
ebb. It was the estimate of Mr. Gough that out of six hundred thousand
reformed drunkards not less than four hundred and fifty thousand had
relapsed into vice. The same observer, the splendor of whose eloquence
was well mated with an unusual sobriety of judgment, is credited with
the statement that he knew of no case of stable reformation from
drunkenness that was not connected with a thorough spiritual renovation
and conversion.

Certainly good was accomplished by the transient whirlwind of the
"Washingtonian" excitement. But the evil that it did lived after it.
Already at the time of its breaking forth the temperance reformation had
entered upon that period of decadence in which its main interest was to
be concentrated upon law and politics. And here the vicious ethics of
the reformed-drunkard school became manifest. The drunkard, according to
his own account of himself (unless he was not only reformed, but
repentant), had been a victim of circumstances. Drunkenness, instead of
a base and beastly sin, was an infirmity incident to a high-strung and
generous temperament. The blame of it was to be laid, not upon the
drunkard, whose exquisitely susceptible organization was quite unable to
resist temptation coming in his way, but on those who put intoxicating
liquor where he could get at it, or on the State, whose duty it was to
put the article out of the reach of its citizens. The guilt of
drunkenness must rest, not on the unfortunate drunkard who happened to
be attacked by that disease, but on the sober and well-behaving citizen,
and especially the Christian citizen, who did not vote the correct

What may be called the Prohibition period of the temperance reformation
begins about 1850 and still continues. It is characterized by the
pursuit of a type of legislation of variable efficacy or inefficacy, the
essence of which is that the sale of intoxicating liquors shall be a
monopoly of the government.[290:1] Indications begin to appear that the
disproportionate devotion to measures of legislation and politics is
abating. Some of the most effective recent labor for the promotion of
temperance has been wrought independently of such resort. If the cycle
shall be completed, and the church come back to the methods by which its
first triumphs in this field were won, it will come back the wiser and
the stronger for its vicissitudes of experience through these threescore
years and ten.


[264:1] "An impression was made that never ceased. It started a series
of efforts that have affected the whole northern mind at least; and in
Jackson's time the matter came up in Congress, and a law was passed
disfranchising a duelist. And that was not the last of it; for when
Henry Clay was up for the Presidency the Democrats printed an edition of
forty thousand of that sermon and scattered them all over the North"
("Autobiography of Lyman Beecher," vol. i., pp. 153, 154; with foot-note
from Dr. L. Bacon: "That sermon has never ceased to be a power in the
politics of this country. More than anything else, it made the name of
brave old Andrew Jackson distasteful to the moral and religious feeling
of the people. It hung like a millstone on the neck of Henry Clay").

[265:1] "A Century of Dishonor," pp. 270, 271.

[266:1] "A Century of Dishonor," pp. 275, 276.

[268:1] See above, pp. 203-205, 222.

[270:1] Deliverance of General Assembly, 1818.

[271:1] The persistent attempt to represent this period as one of
prevailing apathy and inertia on the subject of slavery is a very
flagrant falsification of history. And yet by dint of sturdy reiteration
it has been forced into such currency as to impose itself even on so
careful a writer as Mr. Schouler, in his "History of the United States."
It is impossible to read this part of American church history
intelligently, unless the mind is disabused of this misrepresentation.

[271:2] "Christian Spectator" (monthly), New Haven, 1828, p. 4.

[272:1] "Christian Spectator," 1823, pp. 493, 494, 341; "The Earlier
Antislavery Days," by L. Bacon, in the "Christian Union," December 9 and
16, 1874, January 6 and 13, 1875. It is one of the "Curiosities of
Literature," though hardly one of its "Amenities," that certain phrases
carefully dissected from this paper (which was written by Mr. Bacon at
the age of twenty-one) should be pertinaciously used, in the face of
repeated exposures, to prove the author of it to be an apologist for

[273:1] "Christian Spectator," 1825-1828.

[273:2] Wilson, "Slave Power in America," vol. i., p. 164; "James G.
Birney and his Times," pp. 64, 65. This last-named book is an
interesting and valuable contribution of materials for history,
especially by its refutation of certain industriously propagated

[274:1] "Birney and his Times," chap. xii., on "Abolition in the South
before 1828." Much is to be learned on this neglected topic in American
history from the reports of the National Convention for the Abolition of
Slavery, meeting biennially, with some intermissions, at Philadelphia,
Baltimore, and Washington down to 1829. An incomplete file of these
reports is at the library of Brown University.

[274:2] Wilson, "The Slave Power," vol. i., chap. xiv.

[275:1] See above, pp. 204, 205.

[275:2] Newman, "The Baptists," pp. 288, 305. Let me make general
reference to the volumes of the American Church History Series by their
several indexes, s. v. Slavery.

[275:3] One instance for illustration is as good as ten thousand. It is
from the "Life of James G. Birney," a man of the highest integrity of
conscience: "Michael, the husband and father of the family legally owned
by Mr. Birney, and who had been brought up with him from boyhood, had
been unable to conquer his appetite for strong liquors, and needed the
constant watchful care of his master and friend. For some years the
probability was that if free he would become a confirmed drunkard and
beggar his family. The children were nearly grown, but had little mental
capacity. For years Michael had understood that his freedom would be
restored to him as soon as he could control his love of ardent spirits"
(pp. 108, 109).

[277:1] "If human beings could be justly held in bondage for one hour,
they could be for days and weeks and years, and so on indefinitely from
generation to generation" ("Life of W. L. Garrison," vol. i., p. 140).

[278:1] "New Englander," vol. xii., 1854, p. 639, article on "The
Southern Apostasy."

[278:2] _Ibid._, pp. 642-644.

[281:1] "New Englander," vol. xii., 1854, pp. 660, 661.

[281:2] Wilson, "The Slave Power," vol. i., pp. 190-207.

[282:1] "Biblical Repertory," Princeton, July, 1833, pp. 294, 295, 303.

[282:2] The true story of Mr. William Lloyd Garrison and his little
party has yet to be written faithfully and fully. As told by his family
and friends and by himself, it is a monstrous falsification of history.
One of the best sources of authentic material for this chapter of
history is "James G. Birney and his Times," by General William Birney,
pp. 269-331. I may also refer to my volume, "Irenics and Polemics" (New
York, the Christian Literature Co.), pp. 145-202. The sum of the story
is given thus, in the words of Charles Sumner: "An omnibus-load of
Boston abolitionists has done more harm to the antislavery cause than
all its enemies" ("Birney," p. 331).

[285:1] Birney, p. 321.

[287:1] Sermon of L. Bacon (MS.), New Haven, July 4, 1830.

[288:1] "Eastern and Western States of America," by J. S. Buckingham, M.
P., vol. i., pp. 408-413.

[290:1] By a curious anomaly in church polity, adhesion to this
particular device of legislation is made constitutionally a part of the
discipline of the Methodist Episcopal Church. In most other communions
liberty of judgment is permitted as to the form of legislation best
fitted to the end sought.



During the period from 1835 to 1845 the spirit of schism seemed to be in
the air. In this period no one of the larger organizations of churches
was free from agitating controversies, and some of the most important of
them were rent asunder by explosion.

At the time when the Presbyterian Church suffered its great schism, in
1837, it was the most influential religious body in the United States.
In 120 years its solitary presbytery had grown to 135 presbyteries,
including 2140 ministers serving 2865 churches and 220,557 communicants.
But these large figures are an inadequate measure of its influence. It
represented in its ministry and membership the two most masterful races
on the continent, the New England colonists and the Scotch-Irish
immigrants; and the tenacity with which it had adhered to the tradition
derived through both these lines, of admitting none but liberally
educated men to its ministry, had given it exceptional social standing
and control over men of intellectual strength and leadership. In the
four years beginning with 1831 the additions to its roll of communicants
"on examination" had numbered nearly one hundred thousand. But this
spiritual growth was chilled and stunted by the dissensions that arose.
The revivals ceased and the membership actually dwindled.

The contention had grown (a fact not without parallel in church
history) out of measures devised in the interest of coöperation and
union. In 1801, in the days of its comparative feebleness, the General
Assembly had proposed to the General Association of Connecticut a "Plan
of Union" according to which the communities of New England Christians
then beginning to move westward between the parallels that bound "the
New England zone," and bringing with them their accustomed
Congregational polity, might coöperate on terms of mutual concession
with Presbyterian churches in their neighborhood. The proposals had been
fraternally received and accepted, and under the terms of this compact
great accessions had been made to the strength of the Presbyterian
Church, of pastors and congregations marked with the intellectual
activity and religious enterprise of the New England churches, who,
while cordially conforming to the new methods of organization and
discipline, were not in the least penetrated with the traditionary
Scotch veneration for the Westminster standards. For nearly thirty years
the great reinforcements from New England and from men of the New
England way of thinking had been ungrudgingly bestowed and heartily
welcomed. But the great accessions which in the first four years of the
fourth decade of this century had increased the roll of the communicants
of the Presbyterian Church by more than fifty per cent. had come in
undue proportion from the New Englandized regions of western New York
and Ohio. It was inevitable that the jealousy of hereditary
Presbyterians, "whose were the fathers," should be aroused by the
perfectly reasonable fear lest the traditional ways of the church which
they felt to be in a peculiar sense _their_ church might be affected by
so large an element from without.

The grounds of explicit complaint against the party called "New School"
were principally twofold--doctrine and organization.

In the Presbyterian Church at this time were three pretty distinct types
of theological thought. First, there was the unmitigated Scotch
Calvinism; secondly, there was the modification of this system, which
became naturalized in the church after the Great Awakening, when
Jonathan Dickinson and Jonathan Edwards, from neighbor towns in
Massachusetts, came to be looked upon as the great Presbyterian
theologians; thirdly, there was the "consistent Calvinism," that had
been still further evolved by the patient labor of students in direct
succession from Edwards, and that was known under the name of
"Hopkinsianism." Just now the latest and not the least eminent in this
school, Dr. Nathaniel W. Taylor, of New Haven, was enunciating to large
and enthusiastic classes in Yale Divinity School new definitions and
forms of statement giving rise to much earnest debate. The alarm of
those to whom the very phrase "improvement in theology" was an
abomination expressed itself in futile indictments for heresy brought
against some of the most eminently godly and useful ministers in all the
church. Lyman Beecher, of Lane Seminary, Edward Beecher, J. M.
Sturtevant, and William Kirby, of Illinois College, and George Duffield,
of the presbytery of Carlisle, Pa., were annoyed by impeachments for
heresy, which all failed before reaching the court of last resort. But
repeated and persistent prosecutions of Albert Barnes, of Philadelphia,
were destined to more conspicuous failure, by reason of their coming up
year after year before the General Assembly, and also by reason of the
position of the accused as pastor of the mother church of the
denomination, the First Church of Philadelphia, which was the customary
meeting-place of the Assembly; withal by reason of the character of the
accused, the honor and love in which he was held for his faithful and
useful work as pastor, his world-wide fame as a devoted and believing
student of the Scriptures, and the Christlike gentleness and meekness
with which he endured the harassing of church trials continuing through
a period of seven years, and compelling him, under an irregular and
illegal sentence of the synod, to sit silent in his church for the space
of a year, as one suspended from the ministry.

The earliest leaders in national organization for the propagation of
Christianity at home and abroad were the Congregationalists of New
England and men like-minded with them. But the societies thus originated
were organized on broad and catholic principles, and invited the
coöperation of all Christians. They naturally became the organs of much
of the active beneficence of Presbyterian congregations, and the
Presbyterian clergy and laity were largely represented in the direction
of them. They were recognized and commended by the representative bodies
of the Presbyterian Church. As a point of high-church theory it was held
by the rigidly Presbyterian party that the work of the gospel in all its
departments and in all lands is the proper function of "the church as
such"--meaning practically that each sect ought to have its separate
propaganda. There was logical strength in this position as reached from
their premisses, and there were arguments of practical convenience to be
urged in favor of it. But the demand to sunder at once the bonds of
fellowship which united Christians of different names in the beneficent
work of the great national societies was not acceptable even to the
whole of the Old-School party. To the New Englanders it was intolerable.

There were other and less important grounds of difference that were
discussed between the parties. And in the background, behind them all,
was the slavery question. It seems to have been willingly _kept_ in the
background by the leaders of debate on both sides; but it was there. The
New-School synods and presbyteries of the North were firm in their
adherence to the antislavery principles of the church. On the other
hand, the Old-School party relied, in the _coup d'église_ that was in
preparation, on the support of "an almost solid South."[296:1]

It was an unpardonable offense of the New-School party that it had grown
to such formidable strength, intellectually, spiritually, and
numerically. The probability that the church might, with the continued
growth and influence of this party, become Americanized and so lose the
purity of its thoroughgoing Scotch traditions was very real, and to some
minds very dreadful. To these the very ark of God seemed in danger.
Arraignments for heresy in presbytery and synod resulted in failure; and
when these and other cases involving questions of orthodoxy or of the
policy of the church were brought into the supreme judicature of the
church, the solemn but unmistakable fact disclosed itself that even the
General Assembly could not be relied on for the support of measures
introduced by the Old-School leaders. In fact, every Assembly from 1831
to 1836, with a single exception, had shown a clear New-School majority.
The foundations were destroyed, and what should the righteous do?

History was about to repeat itself with unwonted preciseness of detail.
On the gathering of the Assembly of 1837 a careful count of noses
revealed what had been known only once before in seven years, and what
might never be again--a clear Old-School majority in the house. To the
pious mind the neglecting of such an opportunity would have been to
tempt Providence. Without notice, without complaint or charges or
specifications, without opportunity of defense, 4 synods, including 533
churches and more than 100,000 communicants, were excommunicated by a
majority vote. The victory of pure doctrine and strict church order,
though perhaps not exactly glorious, was triumphant and irreversible.
There was no more danger to the church from a possible New-School

When the four exscinded synods, three in western New York and one in
Ohio, together with a great following of sympathizing congregations in
all parts of the country, came together to reconstruct their shattered
polity, they were found to number about four ninths of the late
Presbyterian Church. For thirty years the American church was to present
to Christendom the strange spectacle of two great ecclesiastical bodies
claiming identically the same name, holding the same doctrinal
standards, observing the same ritual and governed by the same
discipline, and occupying the same great territory, and yet completely
dissevered from each other and at times in relations of sharp mutual

The theological debate which had split the Presbyterian Church from end
to end was quite as earnest and copious in New England. But owing to the
freer habit of theological inquiry and the looser texture of
organization among the Congregationalist churches, it made no organic
schism beyond the setting up of a new theological seminary in
Connecticut to offset what were deemed the "dangerous tendencies" of the
New Haven theology. After a few years the party lines had faded out and
the two seminaries were good neighbors.

The unlikeliest place in all American Christendom for a partisan
controversy and a schism would have seemed to be the Unitarian
denomination in and about Boston. Beginning with the refusal not only of
any imposed standard of belief, but of any statement of common opinions,
and with unlimited freedom of opinion in every direction, unless,
perhaps, in the direction of orthodoxy, it was not easy to see how a
splitting wedge could be started in it. But the infection of the time
was not to be resisted. Even Unitarianism must have its heresies and
heresiarchs to deal with. No sooner did the pressure of outside attack
abate than antagonisms began pretty sharply to declare themselves. In
1832 Mr. Ralph Waldo Emerson, pastor of the Second Church in Boston,
proposed to the church to abandon or radically change the observance of
the Lord's Supper. When the church demurred at this extraordinary demand
he resigned his office, firing off an elaborate argument against the
usage of the church by way of a parting salute. Without any formal
demission of the ministry, he retired to his literary seclusion at
Concord, from which he brought forth in books and lectures the oracular
utterances which caught more and more the ear of a wide public, and in
which, in casual-seeming parentheses and _obiter dicta_, Christianity
and all practical religion were condemned by sly innuendo and
half-respectful allusion by which he might "without sneering teach the
rest to sneer." In 1838 he was still so far recognized in the ministry
as to be invited to address the graduating class of the Harvard Divinity
School. The blank pantheism which he then enunciated called forth from
Professor Henry Ware, Jr., a sermon in the college chapel on the
personality of God, which he sent with a friendly note to Mr. Emerson.
The gay and Skimpolesque reply of the sage is an illustration of that
flippancy with which he chose to toy in a literary way with momentous
questions, and which was so exasperating to the earnest men of positive
religious convictions with whom he had been associated in the Christian

     "It strikes me very oddly that good and wise men at Cambridge
     should think of raising me into an object of criticism. I have
     always been, from my incapacity of methodical writing, 'a
     chartered libertine,' free to worship and free to rail, lucky
     when I could make myself understood, but never esteemed near
     enough to the institutions and mind of society to deserve the
     notice of masters of literature and religion.... I could not
     possibly give you one of the 'arguments' you so cruelly hint
     at on which any doctrine of mine stands, for I do not know
     what arguments mean in reference to any expression of thought.
     I delight in telling what I think, but if you ask me how I
     dare say so, or why it is so, I am the most helpless of mortal
     men. I do not even see that either of these questions admits
     of an answer. So that in the present droll posture of my
     affairs, when I see myself suddenly raised into the importance
     of a heretic, I am very uneasy when I advert to the supposed
     duties of such a personage who is to make good his thesis
     against all comers. I certainly shall do no such thing."

The issue was joined and the controversy began. Professor Andrews Norton
in a pamphlet denounced "the latest form of infidelity," and the Rev.
George Ripley replied in a volume, to which Professor Norton issued a
rejoinder. But there was not substance enough of religious dogma and
sentiment in the transcendentalist philosophers to give them any
permanent standing in the church. They went into various walks of
secular literature, and have powerfully influenced the course of
opinions; but they came to be no longer recognizable as a religious or
theological party.

Among the minor combatants in the conflict between the Unitarians and
the pantheists was a young man whose name was destined to become
conspicuous, not within the Unitarian fellowship, but on the outskirts
of it. Theodore Parker was a man of a different type from the men about
him of either party. The son of a mechanic, he fought his way through
difficulties to a liberal education, and was thirty years old before his
very great abilities attracted general attention. A greedy gormandizer
of books in many languages, he had little of the dainty scholarship so
much prized at the neighboring university. But the results of his vast
reading were stored in a quick and tenacious memory as ready rhetorical
material wherewith to convince or astonish. Paradox was a passion with
him, that was stimulated by complaints, and even by deprecations, to the
point of irreverence. He liked to "make people's flesh crawl." Even in
his advocacy of social and public reforms, which was strenuous and
sincere, he delighted so to urge his cause as to inflame prejudice and
opposition against it. With this temper it is not strange that when he
came to enunciate his departure from some of the accepted tenets of his
brethren, who were habitually reverent in their discipleship toward
Jesus Christ, he should do this in a way to offend and shock. The
immediate reaction of the Unitarian clergy from the statements of his
sermon, in 1841, on "The Transient and the Permanent in Christianity,"
in which the supernatural was boldly discarded from his belief, was so
general and so earnest as to give occasion to Channing's exclamation,
"Now we have a Unitarian orthodoxy!" Channing did not live to see the
characteristic tenets of the heresiarch to whom he hesitated to give the
name of Christian not only widely accepted in the Unitarian churches,
but some of them freely discussed as open questions among some orthodox

       *       *       *       *       *

Two very great events in this period of schism may be dispatched with a
brevity out of all proportion to their importance, on account of the
simplicity of motive and action by which they are characterized.

In the year 1844 the slavery agitation in the Methodist Episcopal Church
culminated, not in the rupture of the church, but in the
well-considered, deliberate division of it between North and South. The
history of the slavery question among the Methodists was a typical one.
From the beginning the Methodist Society had been committed by its
founder and his early successors to the strictest (not the strongest)
position on this question. Not only was the system of slavery denounced
as iniquitous, but the attempt was made to enforce the rigid rule that
persons involved under this system in the relation of master to slave
should be excluded from the ministry, if not from the communion. But the
enforcement of this rule was found to be not only difficult, but wrong,
and difficult simply because it was wrong. Then followed that illogical
confusion of ideas studiously fostered by zealots at either extreme: If
the slave-holder may be in some circumstances a faithful Christian
disciple, fulfilling in righteousness and love a Christian duty, then
slavery is right; if slavery is wrong, then every slave-holder is a
manstealer, and should be excommunicated as such without asking any
further questions. Two statements more palpably illogical were never put
forth for the darkening of counsel. But each extreme was eager to
sustain the unreason of the opposite extreme as the only alternative of
its own unreason, and so, what with contrary gusts from North and South,
they fell into a place where two seas met and ran the ship aground. The
attempts made from 1836 to 1840, by stretching to the utmost the
authority of the General Conference and the bishops, for the suppression
of "modern abolitionism" in the church (without saying what they meant
by the phrase) had their natural effect: the antislavery sentiment in
the church organized and uttered itself more vigorously and more
extravagantly than ever on the basis, "All slave-holding is sin; no
fellowship with slave-holders." In 1843 an antislavery secession took
place, which drew after it a following of six thousand, increased in a
few months to fifteen thousand. The paradoxical result of this movement
is not without many parallels in church history: After the drawing off
of fifteen thousand of the most zealous antislavery men in the church,
the antislavery party in the church was vastly stronger, even in
numbers, than it had been before. The General Conference of 1836 had
pronounced itself, without a dissenting vote, to be "decidedly opposed
to modern abolitionism." The General Conference of 1844, on the first
test vote on the question of excluding from the ministry one who had
become a slave-holder through marriage, revealed a majority of one
hundred and seventeen to fifty-six in favor of the most rigorous
antislavery discipline. The graver question upon the case of Bishop
Andrew, who was in the like condemnation, could not be decided
otherwise. The form of the Conference's action in this case was
studiously inoffensive. It imputed no wrong and proposed no censure,
but, simply on the ground that the circumstances would embarrass him in
the exercise of his office, declared it as "the sense of this General
Conference that he desist from the exercise of this office so long as
this impediment remains." The issue could not have been simpler and
clearer. The Conference was warned that the passage of the resolution
would be followed by the secession of the South. The debate was long,
earnest, and tender. At the end of it the resolution was passed, one
hundred and eleven to sixty-nine. At once notice was given of the
intended secession. Commissioners were appointed from both parties to
adjust the conditions of it, and in the next year (1845) was organized
the "Methodist Episcopal Church, South."

Under the fierce tyranny then dominant at the South the southern
Baptists might not fall behind their Methodist neighbors in zeal for
slavery. This time it was the South that forced the issue. The Alabama
Baptist Convention, without waiting for a concrete case, demanded of the
national missionary boards "the distinct, explicit avowal that
slave-holders are eligible and entitled equally with non-slave-holders
to all the privileges and immunities of their several unions." The
answer of the Foreign Mission Board was perfectly kind, but, on the main
point, perfectly unequivocal: "We can never be a party to any
arrangement which would imply approbation of slavery." The result had
been foreseen. The great denomination was divided between North and
South. The Southern Baptist Convention was organized in May, 1845, and
began its home and foreign missionary work without delay.

This dark chapter of our story is not without its brighter aspects. (1)
Amid the inevitable asperities attendant on such debate and division
there were many and beautiful manifestations of brotherly love between
the separated parties. (2) These strifes fell out to the furtherance of
the gospel. Emulations, indeed, are not among the works of the Spirit.
In the strenuous labors of the two divided denominations, greatly
exceeding what had gone before, it is plain that sometimes Christ was
preached of envy and strife. Nevertheless Christ was preached, with
great and salutary results; and therein do we rejoice, yea, and will

       *       *       *       *       *

Two important orders in the American church, which for a time had almost
faded out from our field of vision, come back, from about this epoch of
debate and division, into continually growing conspicuousness and
strength. Neither of them was implicated in that great debate involving
the fundamental principles of the kingdom of heaven,--the principles of
righteousness and love to men,--by which other parts of the church had
been agitated and sometimes divided. Whether to their discredit or to
their honor, it is part of history that neither the Protestant Episcopal
Church nor the Roman Catholic Church took any important part, either
corporately or through its representative men, in the agonizing struggle
of the American church to maintain justice and humanity in public law
and policy. But standing thus aloof from the great ethical questions
that agitated the conscience of the nation, they were both of them
disturbed by controversies internal or external, which demand mention at
least in this chapter.

The beginning of the resuscitation of the Protestant Episcopal Church
from the dead-and-alive condition in which it had so long been
languishing is dated from the year 1811.[304:1] This year was marked by
the accession to the episcopate of two eminent men, representing two
strongly divergent parties in that church--Bishop Griswold, of
Massachusetts, Evangelical, and Bishop Hobart, of New York,
High-churchman. A quorum of three bishops having been gotten together,
not without great difficulty, the two were consecrated in Trinity
Church, New York, May 29, 1811.

The time was opportune and the conjuncture of circumstances singularly
favorable. The stigma of Toryism, which had marked the church from long
before the War of Independence, was now more than erased. In New England
the Episcopal Church was of necessity committed to that political party
which favored the abolition of the privileges of the standing order; and
this was the anti-English party, which, under the lead of Jefferson, was
fast forcing the country into war with England. The Episcopalians were
now in a position to retort the charge of disloyalty under which they
had not unjustly suffered. At the same time their church lost nothing of
the social prestige incidental to its relation to the established Church
of England. Politicians of the Democratic party, including some men of
well-deserved credit and influence, naturally attached themselves to a
religious party having many points of congeniality.[305:1]

In another sense, also, the time was opportune for an advance of the
Episcopal Church. In the person of Bishop Hobart it had now a bold,
energetic, and able representative of principles hitherto not much in
favor in America--the thoroughgoing High-church principles of Archbishop
Laud. Before this time the Episcopal Church had had very little to
contribute by way of enriching the diversity of the American sects. It
was simply the feeblest of the communions bearing the common family
traits of the Great Awakening, with the not unimportant _differentia_ of
its settled ritual of worship and its traditions of order and decorum.
But when Bishop Hobart put the trumpet to his lips and prepared himself
to sound, the public heard a very different note, and no uncertain one.
The church (meaning his own fragment of the church) the one channel of
saving grace; the vehicles of that grace, the sacraments, valid only
when ministered by a priesthood with the right pedigree of ordination;
submission to the constituted authorities of the church absolutely
unlimited, except by clear divine requirements; abstinence from
prayer-meetings; firm opposition to revivals of religion; refusal of all
coöperation with Christians outside of his own sect in endeavors for the
general advancement of religion--such were some of the principles and
duties inculcated by this bishop of the new era as of binding
force.[306:1] The courage of this attitude was splendid and captivating.
It requires, even at the present time, not a little force of conviction
to sustain one in publicly enunciating such views; but at the time of
the accession of Hobart, when the Episcopal Church was just beginning to
lift up its head out of the dust of despair, it needed the heroism of a
martyr. It was not only the vast multitude of American Christians
outside of the Episcopal Church, comprising almost all the learning, the
evangelistic zeal, and the charitable activity and self-denial of the
American church of that time, that heard these unwonted pretensions with
indignation or with ridicule; in the Episcopal Church itself they were
disclaimed, scouted, and denounced with (if possible) greater
indignation still. But the new party had elements of growth for which
its adversaries did not sufficiently reckon. The experience of other
orders in the church confirms this principle: that steady persistence
and iteration in assuring any body of believers that they are in some
special sense the favorites of Heaven, and in assuring any body of
clergy that they are endued from on high with some special and
exceptional powers, will by and by make an impression on the mind. The
flattering assurance may be coyly waived aside; it may even be
indignantly repelled; but in the long run there will be a growing number
of the brethren who become convinced that there is something in it. It
was in harmony with human nature that the party of high pretensions to
distinguished privileges for the church and prerogatives for the
"priesthood" should in a few years become a formidable contestant for
the control of the denomination. The controversy between the two parties
rose to its height of exacerbation during the prevalence of that strange
epidemic of controversy which ran simultaneously through so many of the
great religious organizations of the country at once. No denomination
had it in a more malignant form than the Episcopalians. The war of
pamphlets and newspapers was fiercely waged, and the election of bishops
sometimes became a bitter party contest, with the unpleasant incidents
of such competitions. In the midst of the controversy at home the
publication of the Oxford Tracts added new asperity to it. A distressing
episode of the controversy was the arraignment of no less than four of
the twenty bishops on charges affecting their personal character. In the
morbid condition of the body ecclesiastic every such hurt festered. The
highest febrile temperature was reached when, at an ordination in 1843,
two of the leading presbyters in the diocese of New York rose in their
places, and, reading each one his solemn protest against the ordaining
of one of the candidates on the ground of his Romanizing opinions, left
the church.

The result of the long conflict was not immediately apparent. It was not
only that "high" opinions, even the highest of the Tractarian school,
were to be tolerated within the church, but that the High-church party
was to be the dominant party. The Episcopal Church was to stand before
the public as representing, not that which it held in common with the
other churches of the country, but that which was most distinctive. From
this time forth the "Evangelical" party continued relatively to decline,
down to the time, thirty years later, when it was represented in the
inconsiderable secession of the "Reformed Episcopal Church." The
combination of circumstances and influences by which this party
supremacy was brought about is an interesting study, for which, however,
there is no room in this brief compendium of history.

A more important fact is this: that in spite of these agitating internal
strifes, and even by reason of them, the growth of the denomination was
wonderfully rapid and strong. No fact in the external history of the
American church at this period is more imposing than this growth of the
Episcopal Church from nothing to a really commanding stature. It is easy
to enumerate minor influences tending to this result, some of which are
not of high spiritual dignity; but these must not be overestimated. The
nature of this growth, as well as the numerical amount of it, requires
to be considered. This strongly distinguished order in the American
church has been aggrandized, not, to any great degree, by immigration,
nor by conquest from the ranks of the irreligious, but by a continual
stream of accessions both to its laity and to its clergy from other
sects of the church. These accessions have of course been variable in
quality, but they have included many such as no denomination could
afford to lose, and such as any would be proud to receive. Without
judging of individual cases, it is natural and reasonable to explain so
considerable a current setting so steadily for two generations toward
the Episcopal Church as being attracted by the distinctive
characteristics of that church. Foremost among these we may reckon the
study of the dignity and beauty of public worship, and the tradition and
use of forms of devotion of singular excellence and value. A tendency to
revert to the ancient Calvinist doctrine of the sacraments has
prepossessed some in favor of that sect in which the old Calvinism is
still cherished. Some have rejoiced to find a door of access to the
communion of the church not beset with revivalist exactions of
examination and scrutiny of the sacred interior experiences of the soul.
Some have reacted from an excessive or inquisitive or arbitrary church
discipline, toward a default of discipline. Some, worthily weary of
sectarian division and of the "evangelical" doctrine that schism is the
normal condition of the church of Christ, have found real comfort in
taking refuge in a sect in which, closing their eyes, they can say,
"There are no schisms in the church; the church is one and undivided,
and we are it." These and other like considerations, mingled in varying
proportions, have been honorable motives impelling toward the Episcopal
denomination; and few that have felt the force of them have felt
constrained stubbornly to resist the gentle assurances offered by the
"apostolic succession" theory of a superior authority and prerogative
with which they had become invested. The numerous accessions to the
Episcopal Church from other communions have, of course, been in large
part reinforcements to the already dominant party.

In the Roman Catholic Church of the United States, during this stormy
period, there was by no means a perfect calm. The ineradicable feeling
of the American citizen--however recent his naturalization--that he has
a right to do what he will with his own, had kept asserting itself in
that plausible but untenable claim of the laity to manage the church
property acquired by their own contributions, which is known to Catholic
writers as "trusteeism." Through the whole breadth of the country, from
Buffalo to New Orleans, sharp conflicts over this question between
clergy and laity had continued to vex the peace of the church, and the
victory of the clergy had not been unvarying and complete. When, in
1837, Bishop John Hughes took the reins of spiritual power in New York,
he resolved to try conclusions with the trustees who attempted to
overrule his authority in his own cathedral. Sharply threatening to put
the church under interdict, if necessary, he brought the recalcitrants
to terms at last by a less formidable process. He appealed to the
congregation to withhold all further contributions from the trustees.
The appeal, for conscience' sake, to refrain from giving has always a
double hope of success. And the bishop succeeded in ousting the
trustees, at the serious risk of teaching the people a trick which has
since been found equally effective when applied on the opposite side of
a dispute between clergyman and congregation. In Philadelphia the long
struggle was not ended without the actual interdicting of the cathedral
of St. Mary's, April, 1831. In Buffalo, so late as 1847, even this
extreme measure, applied to the largest congregation in the newly
erected diocese, did not at once enforce submission.

The conflict with trusteeism was only one out of many conflicts which
gave abundant exercise to the administrative abilities of the American
bishops. The mutual jealousies of the various nationalities and races
among the laity, and of the various sects of the regular clergy,
menaced, and have not wholly ceased to menace, the harmony of the
church, if not its unity.

One disturbing element by which the Roman Catholic Church in some
European countries has been sorely vexed makes no considerable figure in
the corresponding history in America. There has never been here any
"Liberal Catholic" party. The fact stands in analogy with many like
facts. Visitors to America from the established churches of England or
Scotland or Germany have often been surprised to find the temper of the
old-country church so much broader and less rigid than that of the
daughter church in the new and free republic. The reason is less
recondite than might be supposed. In the old countries there are
retained in connection with the state-church, by constraint of law or of
powerful social or family influences, many whose adhesion to its
distinctive tenets and rules is slight and superficial. It is out of
such material that the liberal church party grows. In the migration it
is not that the liberal churchman becomes more strict, but that, being
released from outside pressure, he becomes less of a churchman. He
easily draws off from his hereditary communion and joins himself to some
other, or to none at all. This process of evaporation leaves behind it a
strong residuum in which all characteristic elements are held as in a
saturated solution.

A further security of the American Catholic Church against the growth of
any "Liberal Catholic" party like those of continental Europe is the
absolutist organization of the hierarchy under the personal government
of the pope. In these last few centuries great progress has been made by
the Roman see in extinguishing the ancient traditions of local or
national independence in the election of bishops. Nevertheless in
Catholic Europe important relics of this independence give an effective
check to the absolute power of Rome. In America no trace of this
historic independence has ever existed. The power of appointing and
removing bishops is held absolutely and exclusively by the pope and
exercised through the Congregation of the Propaganda. The power of
ordaining and assigning priests is held by the bishop, who also holds or
controls the title to the church property in his diocese. The security
against partisan division within the church is as complete as it can be
made without gravely increasing the risks of alienating additional
multitudes from the fellowship of the church.[312:1]

       *       *       *       *       *

During the whole of this dreary decade there were "fightings without" as
well as within for the Catholic Church in the United States. Its great
and sudden growth solely by immigration had made it distinctively a
church of foreigners, and chiefly of Irishmen. The conditions were
favorable for the development of a race prejudice aggravated by a
religious antipathy. It was a good time for the impostor, the fanatic,
and the demagogue to get in their work. In Boston, in 1834, the report
that a woman was detained against her will in the Ursuline convent at
Charlestown, near Boston, led to the burning of the building by a
drunken mob. The Titus Oates of the American no-popery panic, in 1836,
was an infamous woman named Maria Monk, whose monstrous stories of
secret horrors perpetrated in a convent in Montreal, in which she
claimed to have lived as a nun, were published by a respectable house
and had immense currency. A New York pastor of good standing, Dr.
Brownlee, made himself sponsor for her character and her stories; and
when these had been thoroughly exposed, by Protestant ministers and
laymen, for the shameless frauds that they were, there were plenty of
zealots to sustain her still. A "Protestant Society" was organized in
New York, and solicited the contributions of the benevolent and pious to
promote the dissemination of raw-head-and-bloody-bones literature on the
horrors of popery. The enterprise met with reprobation from sober-minded
Protestants, but it was not without its influence for mischief. The
presence of a great foreign vote, easily manipulated and cast in block,
was proving a copious source of political corruption. Large concessions
of privilege or of public property to Catholic institutions were
reasonably suspected to have been made in consideration of clerical
services in partisan politics.[313:1] The conditions provoked, we might
say necessitated, a political reform movement, which took the name and
character of "Native American." In Philadelphia, a city notorious at
that time for misgovernment and turbulence, an orderly "American"
meeting was attacked and broken up by an Irish mob. One act of violence
led to another, the excitement increasing from day to day; deadly shots
were exchanged in the streets, houses from which balls had been fired
into the crowd were set in flames, which spread to other houses,
churches were burned, and the whole city dominated by mobs that were
finally suppressed by the State militia. It was an appropriate climax
to the ten years of ecclesiastical and social turmoil.[314:1]


[296:1] Johnson, "The Southern Presbyterians," p. 359.

[297:1] For the close historical parallel to the exscinding acts of 1837
see page 167, above. A later parallel, it is claimed, is found in the
"virtually exscinding act" of the General Assembly of 1861, which was
the occasion of the secession of the Southern Presbyterians. The
historian of the Southern Presbyterians, who remarks with entire
complacency that the "victory" of 1837 was won "only by virtue of an
almost solid South," seems quite unconscious that this kind of victory
could have any force as a precedent or as an estoppel (Johnson, "The
Southern Presbyterians," pp. 335, 359). But it is natural, no doubt,
that exscinding acts should look different when examined from the muzzle
instead of from the breech.

[304:1] Tiffany, chap. xv.

[305:1] The intense antagonism of the New England Congregationalists to
Jefferson and his party as representing French infidelity and Jacobinism
admits of many striking illustrations. The sermon of Nathanael Emmons on
"Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin" is characterized by
Professor Park as "a curiosity in politico-homiletical literature." At
this distance it is not difficult to see that the course of this clergy
was far more honorable to its boldness and independence than to its
discretion and sense of fitness. Both its virtues and its faults had a
tendency to strengthen an opposing party.

[306:1] Hobart's sermon at the consecration of Right Rev. H. U.
Onderdonk, Philadelphia, 1827.

[312:1] For a fuller account of the dissensions in the Catholic Church,
consult, by index, Bishop O'Gorman's "History." On the modern
organization of the episcopate in complete dependence on the Holy See,
consult the learned article on "Episcopal Elections," by Dr. Peries, of
the Catholic University at Washington, in the "American Catholic
Quarterly Review" for January, 1896; also the remarks of Archbishop
Kenrick, of St. Louis, in his "_Concio in Concilio Vaticano Habenda at
non Habita_," in "An Inside View of the Vatican Council," by L. W.
Bacon, pp. 61, 121.

[313:1] A satirical view of these concessions, in the vast dimensions
which they had reached twenty-five years later in the city and county of
New York, was published in two articles, "Our Established Church," and
"The Unestablished Church," in "Putnam's Magazine" for July and
December, 1869. The articles were reissued in a pamphlet, "with an
explanatory and exculpatory preface, and sundry notices of the
contemporary press."

[314:1] A studiously careful account of the Philadelphia riots of 1844
is given in the "New Englander," vol. ii. (1844), pp. 470, 624.

This account of the schisms of the period is of course not complete. The
American Missionary Association, since distinguished for successful
labors chiefly among the freedmen, grew out of dissatisfaction felt by
men of advanced antislavery views with the position of the "American
Board" and the American Home Missionary Society on the slavery question.
The organization of it was matured in 1846. A very fruitful schism in
its results was that which, in 1835, planted a cutting from Lane
Seminary at Cincinnati, in the virgin soil at Oberlin, Ohio. The
beginning thus made with a class in theology has grown into a noble and
widely beneficent institution, the influence of which has extended to
the ends of the land and of the world.

The division of the Society of Friends into the two societies known as
Hicksite and Orthodox is of earlier date--1827-28.

No attempt is made in this volume to chronicle the interminable
splittings and reunitings of the Presbyterian sects of Scottish
extraction. A curious diagram, on page 146 of volume xi. of the present
series, illustrates the sort of task which such a chronicle involves.

An illustration of the way in which the extreme defenders of slavery and
the extreme abolitionists sustained each other in illogical statements
(see above, pp. 301, 302) is found in Dr. Thornwell's claim (identical
with Mr. Garrison's) that if slavery is wrong, then all slave-holders
ought to be excommunicated (vol. vi., p. 157, note). Dr. Thornwell may
not have been the "mental and moral giant" that he appears to his
admirers (see Professor Johnson in vol. xi., p. 355), but he was an
intelligent and able man, quite too clear-headed to be imposed upon by a
palpable "ambiguous middle," except for his excitement in the heat of a
desperate controversy with the moral sense of all Christendom.



At the taking of the first census of the United States, in 1790, the
country contained a population of about four millions in its territory
of less than one million of square miles.

Sixty years later, at the census of 1850, it contained a population of
more than twenty-three millions in its territory of about three millions
of square miles.

The vast expansion of territory to more than threefold the great
original domain of the United States had been made by honorable purchase
or less honorable conquest. It had not added largely to the population
of the nation; the new acquisitions were mainly of unoccupied land. The
increase of the population, down to about 1845, was chiefly the natural
increase of a hardy and prolific stock under conditions in the highest
degree favorable to such increase. Up to the year 1820 the recent
immigration had been inconsiderable. In the ten years 1820-29 the annual
arrival of immigrants was nine thousand. In the next decade, 1830-39,
the annual arrival was nearly thirty-five thousand, or a hundred a day.
For forty years the total immigration from all quarters was much less
than a half-million. In the course of the next three decades, from 1840
to 1869, there arrived in the United States from the various countries
of Europe five and a half millions of people. It was more than the
entire population of the country at the time of the first census;--

     A multitude like which the populous North
     Poured never from her frozen loins to pass
     Rhene or the Danaw, when her barbarous sons
     Came like a deluge on the South and spread
     Beneath Gibraltar to the Libyan sands.

Under the pressure of a less copious flood of incursion the greatest
empire in all history, strongest in arts and polity as well as arms, had
perished utterly. If Rome, with her population of one hundred and twenty
millions, her genius for war and government, and her long-compacted
civilization, succumbed under a less sudden rush of invasion, what hope
was there for the young American Republic, with its scanty population
and its new and untried institutions?[316:1]

An impressive providential combination of causes determined this great
historic movement of population at this time. It was effected by
attractions in front of the emigrant, reinforced by impulses from
behind. The conclusion of the peace of 1815 was followed by the
beginning of an era of great public works, one of the first of which was
the digging of the Erie Canal. This sort of enterprise makes an
immediate demand for large forces of unskilled laborers; and in both
hemispheres it has been observed to occasion movements of population out
of Catholic countries into Protestant countries. The westward current
of the indigenous population created a vacuum in the seaboard States,
and a demand for labor that was soon felt in the labor-markets of the
Old World. A liberal homestead policy on the part of the national
government, and naturalization laws that were more than liberal,
agencies for the encouragement of settlers organized by individual
States and by railroad corporations and other great landed proprietors,
and the eager competition of steamship companies drumming for steerage
passengers in all parts of Europe--all these coöperated with the growing
facility and cheapness of steam transportation to swell the current of
migration. The discovery of gold in California quickened the flow of it.

As if it had been the divine purpose not only to draw forth, but to
drive forth, the populations of the Old World to make their homes in the
New, there was added to all these causes conducive to migration the
Irish famine of 1846-47, and the futile revolutions of 1848, with the
tyrannical reactions which followed them. But the great stimulus to
migration was the success and prosperity that attended it. It was
"success that succeeded." The great emigration agent was the letter
written to his old home by the new settler, in multitudes of cases
inclosing funds to pay the passage of friends whom he had left behind

The great immigration that began about 1845 is distinguished from some
of the early colonizations in that it was in no sense a religious
movement. Very grave religious results were to issue from it; but they
were to be achieved through the unconscious coöperation of a multitude
of individuals each intent with singleness of vision on his own
individual ends. It is by such unconscious coöperation that the
directing mind and the overruling hand of God in history are most
signally illustrated.

In the first rush of this increased immigration by far the greatest
contributor of new population was Ireland. It not only surpassed any
other country in the number of its immigrants, but in the height of the
Irish exodus, in the decade 1840-50, it nearly equaled all other
countries of the world together. The incoming Irish millions were almost
solidly Roman Catholic. The measures taken by the British government for
many generations to attach the Irish people to the crown and convert
them to the English standard of Protestantism had had the result of
discharging upon our shores a people distinguished above all Christendom
besides for its ardent and unreserved devotion to the Roman Church, and
hardly less distinguished for its hatred to England.

After the first flood-tide the relative number of the Irish immigrants
began to decrease, and has kept on decreasing until now. Since the Civil
War the chief source of immigration has been Germany; and its
contributions to our population have greatly aggrandized the Lutheran
denomination, once so inconsiderable in numbers, until in many western
cities it is the foremost of the Protestant communions, and in Chicago
outnumbers the communicants of the Episcopalian, the Presbyterian, and
the Methodist churches combined.[318:1] The German immigration has
contributed its share, and probably more than its share, to our
non-religious and churchless population. Withal, in a proportion which
it is not easy to ascertain with precision, it added multitudinous
thousands to the sudden and enormous growth of the Roman Catholic
Church. But there is an instructive contrast between the German
immigrations, whether Catholic or Protestant, and the Irish immigration.
The Catholicism of the Irish, held from generation to generation in the
face of partisan and sometimes cruelly persecuting laws, was held with
the ardor, if not of personal conviction, at least of strong hereditary
animosity. To the Germans, their religious sect, whether Catholic,
Lutheran, or Reformed, is determined for them by political arrangement,
under the principle _cujus regio, ejus religio_. It is matter of course
that tenets thus acquired should be held by a tenure so far removed from
fanaticism as to seem to more zealous souls much like lukewarmness.
Accustomed to have the cost of religious institutions provided for in
the budget of public expenses, the wards of the Old World state-churches
find themselves here in strange surroundings, untrained in habits of
self-denial for religious objects. The danger is a grave and real one
that before they become acclimated to the new conditions a large
percentage will be lost, not only from their hereditary communion, but
from all Christian fellowship, and lapse into simple indifferentism and
godlessness. They have much to learn and something to teach. The
indigenous American churches are not likely to be docile learners at the
feet of alien teachers; but it would seem like the slighting of a
providential opportunity if the older sects should fail to recognize
that one of the greatest and by far the most rapidly growing of the
Protestant churches of America, the Lutheran, growing now with new
increments not only from the German, but also from the Scandinavian
nations, is among us in such force to teach us somewhat by its example
of the equable, systematic, and methodical ways of a state-church, as
well as to learn something from the irregular fervor of that revivalism
which its neighbors on every hand have inherited from the Great
Awakening. It would be the very extravagance of national self-conceit if
the older American churches should become possessed of the idea that
four millions of German Christians and one million of Scandinavians,
arriving here from 1860 to 1890, with their characteristic methods in
theology and usages of worship and habits of church organization and
administration, were here, in the providence of God, only to be
assimilated and not at all to assimilate.

       *       *       *       *       *

The vast growth of the Roman Catholic Church in America could not but
fill its clergy and adherents with wonder and honest pride. But it was
an occasion of immense labors and not a little anxiety. One effect of
the enormous immigration was inevitably to impose upon this church,
according to the popular apprehension, the character of a foreign
association, and, in the earlier periods of the influx, of an Irish
association. It was in like manner inevitable, from the fact that the
immigrant class are preponderantly poor and of low social rank, that it
should for two or three generations be looked upon as a church for the
illiterate and unskilled laboring class. An incident of the excessive
torrent rush of the immigration was that the Catholic Church became to a
disproportionate extent an urban institution, making no adequate
provision for the dispersed in agricultural regions.

Against these and other like disadvantages the hierarchy of the Catholic
Church have struggled heroically, with some measure of success. The
steadily rising character of the imported population in its successive
generations has aided them. If in the first generations the churches
were congregations of immigrants served by an imported clergy, the most
strenuous exertions were made for the founding of institutions that
should secure to future congregations born upon the soil the services of
an American-trained priesthood. One serious hindrance to the noble
advances that have nevertheless been made in this direction has been the
fanatical opposition levied against even the most beneficent enterprises
of the church by a bigoted Native-Americanism. It is not a hopeful
method of conciliating and naturalizing a foreign element in the
community to treat them with suspicion and hostility as alien enemies.
The shameful persecution which the mob was for a brief time permitted to
inflict on Catholic churches and schools and convents had for its chief
effect to confirm the foreigner in his adherence to his church and his
antipathy to Protestantism, and to provoke a twofold ferocity in return.
At a time when there was reason to apprehend a Know-nothing riot in New
York, in 1844, a plan was concerted and organized by "a large Irish
society with divisions throughout the city," by which, "in case a single
church was attacked, buildings should be fired in all quarters and the
great city should be involved in a general conflagration."[321:1]

The utmost that could have been hoped for by the devoted but inadequate
body of the Roman Catholic clergy in America, overwhelmed by an influx
of their people coming in upon them in increasing volume, numbering
millions per annum, was that they might be able to hold their own. But
this hope was very far from being attained. How great have been the
losses to the Roman communion through the transplantation of its members
across the sea is a question to which the most widely varying answers
have been given, and on which statistical exactness seems unattainable.
The various estimates, agreeing in nothing else, agree in representing
them as enormously great.[321:2] All good men will also agree that in
so far as these losses represent mere lapses into unbelief and
irreligion they are to be deplored. Happily there is good evidence of a
large salvage, gathered into other churches, from what so easily becomes
a shipwreck of faith with total loss.

It might seem surprising, in view of the many and diverse resources of
attractive influence which the Roman Church has at its command, that its
losses have not been to some larger extent compensated by conversions
from other sects. Instances of such conversion are by no means wanting;
but so far as a popular current toward Catholicism is concerned, the
attractions in that direction are outweighed by the disadvantages
already referred to. It has not been altogether a detriment to the
Catholic Church in America that the social status and personal
composition of its congregations, in its earlier years, have been such
that the transition into it from any of the Protestant churches could be
made only at the cost of a painful self-denial. The number of accessions
to it has been thereby lessened, but (leaving out the case of the
transition of politicians from considerations of expediency) the quality
of them has been severely sifted. Incomparably the most valuable
acquisition which the American Catholic Church has received has been the
company of devoted and gifted young men, deeply imbued with the
principles and sentiments of the High-church party in the Episcopal
Church, who have felt constrained in conscience and in logic to take the
step, which seems so short, from the highest level in the Anglican
Church into the Roman, and who, organized into the Order of the Paulist
Fathers, have exemplified in the Roman Church so many of the highest
qualities of Protestant preaching.

He is a bold man who will undertake to predict in detail the future of
the Roman Church in America. To say that it will be modified by its
surroundings is only to say what is true of it in all countries. To say
that it will be modified for the better is to say what is true of it in
all Protestant countries. Nowhere is the Roman Church so pure from
scandal and so effective for good as where it is closely surrounded and
jealously scrutinized by bodies of its fellow-Christians whom it is
permitted to recognize only as heretics. But when the influence of
surrounding heresy is seen to be an indispensable blessing to the
church, the heretic himself comes to be looked upon with a mitigated
horror. Not with the sacrifice of any principle, but through the
application of some of those provisions by which the Latin theology is
able to meet exigencies like this,--the allowance in favor of
"invincible ignorance" and prejudice, the distinction between the body
and "the soul of the church,"--the Roman Catholic, recognizing the
spirit of Christ in his Protestant fellow-Christian, is able to hold him
in spiritual if not formal communion, so that the Catholic Church may
prove itself not dissevered from the Church Catholic. In the common
duties of citizenship and of humanity, in the promotion of the interests
of morality, even in those religious matters that are of common concern
to all honest disciples of Jesus Christ, he is at one with his heretic
brethren. Without the change of a single item either of doctrine or of
discipline, the attitude and temper of the church, as compared with the
church of Spain or Italy or Mexico, is revolutionized. The change must
needs draw with it other changes, which may not come without some jar
and conflict between progressive and conservative, but which
nevertheless needs must come. Out of many indications of the spirit of
fellowship with all Christians now exemplified among American Catholics,
I quote one of the most recent and authoritative from an address of
Archbishop Ryan at the Catholic Congress in Chicago in 1893. Speaking on
Christian union, he said:

     "If there is any one thing more than another upon which people
     agree, it is respect and reverence for the person and the
     character of the Founder of Christianity. How the Protestant
     loves his Saviour! How the Protestant eye will sometimes grow
     dim when speaking of our Lord! In this great center of union
     is found the hope of human society, the only means of
     preserving Christian civilization, the only point upon which
     Catholic and Protestant may meet. As if foreseeing that this
     should be, Christ himself gave his example of fraternal
     charity, not to the orthodox Jew, but to the heretical
     Samaritan, showing that charity and love, while faith remains
     intact, can never be true unless no distinction is made
     between God's creatures."[325:1]

Herein is fellowship higher than that of symbols and sacraments. By so
far as it receives this spirit of love the American Catholic Church
enters into its place in that greater Catholic Church of which we all
make mention in the Apostles' Creed--"the Holy Universal Church, which
is the fellowship of holy souls."

       *       *       *       *       *

The effect of the Great Immigration on the body of the immigrant
population is not more interesting or more important than the effect of
it on the religious bodies already in occupation of the soil. The
impression made on them by what seemed an irruption of barbarians of
strange language or dialect, for the most part rude, unskilled, and
illiterate, shunning as profane the Christian churches of the land, and
bowing in unknown rites as devotees of a system known, and by no means
favorably known, only through polemic literature and history, and
through the gruesome traditions of Puritan and Presbyterian and
Huguenot, was an impression not far removed from horror; and this
impression was deepened as the enormous proportions of this invasion
disclosed themselves from year to year. The serious and not unreasonable
fear that these armies of aliens, handled as they manifestly were by a
generalship that was quick to seize and fortify in a conspicuous way the
strategic points of influence, especially in the new States, might
imperil or ruin the institutions and liberties of the young Republic,
was stimulated and exploited in the interest of enterprises of
evangelization that might counter-work the operations of the invading
church. The appeals of the Bible and tract societies, and of the
various home mission agencies of the different denominations, as well as
of the distinctively antipopery societies, were pointed with the alarm
lest "the great West" should fall under the domination of the papal
hierarchy. Naturally the delineations of the Roman system and of its
public and social results that were presented to the public for these
purposes were of no flattering character. Not history only, but
contemporary geography gave warnings of peril. Canada on one hand, and
Mexico and the rest of Spanish America on the other, were cited as
living examples of the fate which might befall the free United States.
The apocalyptic prophecies were copiously drawn upon for material of
war. By processes of exegesis which critical scholarship regards with a
smile or a shudder, the helpless pope was made to figure as the
Antichrist, the Man of Sin and Son of Perdition, the Scarlet Woman on
the Seven Hills, the Little Horn Speaking Blasphemies, the Beast, and
the Great Red Dragon. That moiety of Christendom which, sorely as its
history has been deformed by corruption and persecution, violently as it
seems to be contrasted with the simplicity of the primeval church, is
nevertheless the spiritual home of multitudes of Christ's well-approved
servants and disciples, was held up to gaze as being nothing but the
enemy of Christ and his cause. The appetite of the Protestant public for
scandals at the expense of their fellow-Christians was stimulated to a
morbid greediness and then overfed with willful and wicked fabrications.
The effect of this fanaticism on some honest but illogical minds was
what might have been looked for. Brought by and by into personal
acquaintance with Catholic ministers and institutions, and discovering
the fraud and injustice that had been perpetrated, they sprang by a
generous reaction into an attitude of sympathy for the Roman Catholic
system. A more favorable preparation of the way of conversion to Rome
could not be desired by the skillful propagandist. One recognizes a
retributive justice in the fact, when notable gains to the Catholic
Church are distinctly traced to the reaction of honest men from these
fraudulent polemics.[327:1]

The danger to the Republic, which was thus malignantly or ignorantly
exaggerated and distorted, was nevertheless real and grave. No sincerely
earnest and religious Protestant, nor even any well-informed patriotic
citizen, with the example of French and Spanish America before his eyes,
could look with tolerance upon the prospect of a possible Catholicizing
of the new States at the West; and the sight of the incessant tide of
immigration setting westward, the reports of large funds sent hither
from abroad to aid the propagation of the Roman Church, and the accounts
of costly and imposing ecclesiastical buildings rising at the most
important centers of population, roused the Christian patriotism of the
older States to the noblest enterprises of evangelization. There was no
wasting of energy in futile disputation. In all the Protestant
communions it was felt that the work called for was a simple, peaceful,
and positive one--to plant the soil of the West, at the first occupation
of it by settlers, with Christian institutions and influences. The
immensity of the task stimulated rather than dismayed the zeal of the
various churches. The work undertaken and accomplished in the twenty
years from 1840 to 1860 in providing the newly settled regions with
churches, pastors, colleges, and theological seminaries, with
Sunday-schools, and with Bibles and other religious books, was of a
magnitude which will never be defined by statistical figures. How great
it was, and at what cost it was effected in gifts of treasure and of
heroic lives of toil and self-denial, can only be a matter of vague
wonder and thanksgiving.

The work of planting the church in the West exhibits the voluntary
system at its best--and at its worst. A task so vast and so momentous
has never been imposed on the resources of any state establishment. It
is safe to say that no established church has ever existed, however
imperially endowed, that would have been equal to the undertaking of it.
With no imposing combination of forces, and no strategic concert of
action, the work was begun spontaneously and simultaneously, like some
of the operations of nature, by a multitude of different agencies, and
went forward uninterrupted to something as nearly like completeness as
could be in a work the exigencies of which continually widened beyond
all achievements. The planting of the church in the West is one of the
wonders of church history.

But this noble act of religious devotion was by no means a sacrifice
without blemish. The sacred zeal for advancing God's reign and
righteousness was mingled with many very human motives in the progress
of it. Conspicuous among these was the spirit of sectarian competition.
The worthy and apostolic love for kindred according to the flesh
separated from home and exposed to the privations and temptations of the
frontier, the honest anxiety to forestall the domination of a
dangerously powerful religious corporation propagating perverted views
of truth, even the desire to advance principles and forms of belief
deemed to be important, were infused with a spirit of partisanship as
little spiritual as the enthusiasm which animates the struggles and the
shouters at a foot-ball game. The devoted pioneer of the gospel on the
frontier, seeing his work endangered by that of a rival denomination,
writes to the central office of his sect; the board of missions makes
its appeal to the contributing churches; the churches respond with
subsidies; and the local rivalry in the mission field is pressed,
sometimes to a good result, on the principle that "competition is the
life of business." Thus the fragrance of the precious ointment of loving
sacrifice is perceptibly tainted, according to the warning of
Ecclesiastes or the Preacher. And yet it is not easy for good men, being
men, sternly to rebuke the spirit that seems to be effective in
promoting the good cause that they have at heart.

If the effect of these emulations on the contributing churches was
rather carnal than spiritual, the effect in the mission field was worse.
The effect was seen in the squandering of money and of priceless service
of good men and women, in the debilitating and demoralizing division and
subdivision of the Christian people, not of cities and large towns, but
of villages and hamlets and of thinly settled farming districts. By the
building of churches and other edifices for sectarian uses, schism was
established for coming time as a vested interest. The gifts and service
bestowed in this cause with a truly magnificent liberality would have
sufficed to establish the Christian faith and fellowship throughout the
new settlements in strength and dignity, in churches which, instead of
lingering as puny and dependent nurslings, would have grown apace to be
strong and healthy nursing mothers to newer churches yet.

There is an instructive contrast, not only between the working of the
voluntary system and that of the Old World establishments, but between
the methods of the Catholic Church and the Protestant no-method. Under
the control of a strong coördinating authority the competitions of the
various Catholic orders, however sharp, could never be allowed to run
into wasteful extravagance through cross-purposes. It is believed that
the Catholics have not erected many monuments of their own unthrift in
the shape of costly buildings begun, but left unfinished and abandoned.
A more common incident of their work has been the buying up of these
expensive failures, at a large reduction from their cost, and turning
them to useful service. And yet the principle of sectarian competition
is both recognized and utilized in the Roman system. The various
clerical sects, with their characteristic names, costumes, methods, and
doctrinal differences, have their recognized aptitudes for various sorts
of work, with which their names are strongly associated: the Dominican
for pulpit eloquence, the Capuchin for rough-and-ready street-preaching,
the Benedictine for literary work, the Sulpitian for the training of
priests, and the ubiquitous Jesuit for shifty general utility with a
specialty of school-keeping. These and a multitude of other orders, male
and female, have been effectively and usefully employed in the arduous
labor _Romanam condere gentem_. But it would seem that the superior
stability of the present enterprise of planting Catholicism in the
domain of the United States, as compared with former expensive failures,
was due in some part to the larger employment of a diocesan parish
clergy instead of a disproportionate reliance on the "regulars."

On the whole, notwithstanding its immense armies of immigrants and the
devoted labors of its priests, and notwithstanding its great expansion,
visible everywhere in conspicuous monuments of architecture, the
Catholic advance in America has not been, comparatively speaking,
successful. For one thing, the campaign was carried on too far from its
base of supplies. The subsidies from Lyons and Vienna, liberal as they
were, were no match for the home missionary zeal of the seaboard States
in following their own sons westward with church and gospel and pastor.
Even the conditions which made possible the superior management and
economy of resources, both material and personal, among the Catholics,
were attended with compensating drawbacks. With these advantages they
could not have the immense advantage of the popular initiative. In
Protestantism the people were the church, and the minister was chief
among the people only by virtue of being servant of all; the people were
incited to take up the work for their own and carry it on at their best
discretion; and they were free to make wasteful and disastrous blunders
and learn therefrom by experience. With far greater expenditure of
funds, they make no comparison with their brethren of the Roman
obedience in stately and sumptuous buildings at great centers of
commerce and travel. But they have covered the face of the land with
country meeting-houses, twice as many as there was any worthy use for,
in which faithful service is rendered to subdivided congregations by
underpaid ministers, enough in number, if they were wisely distributed,
for the evangelization of the whole continent; and each country
meeting-house is a mission station, and its congregation, men, women,
and children, are missionaries. Thus it has come about, in the language
of the earnest Catholic from the once Catholic city of New Orleans, that
"the nation, the government, the whole people, remain solidly
Protestant."[331:1] Great territories originally discovered by Catholic
explorers and planted in the name of the church by Catholic missionaries
and colonists, and more lately occupied by Catholic immigrants in what
seemed overwhelming numbers, are now the seat of free and powerful
commonwealths in which the Catholic Church is only one of the most
powerful and beneficent of the Christian sects, while the institutions
and influences which characterize their society are predominantly

In the westward propagation of Protestantism, as well as of Catholicism,
the distinctive attributes of the several sects or orders is strikingly

Foremost in the pioneer work of the church are easily to be recognized
the Methodists and the Baptists, one the most solidly organized of the
Protestant sects, the other the most uncompact and individualist; the
first by virtue of the supple military organization of its great corps
of itinerants, the other by the simplicity and popular apprehensibleness
of its distinctive tenets and arguments and the aggressive ardor with
which it inspires all its converts, and both by their facility in
recruiting their ministry from the rank and file of the church, without
excluding any by arbitrarily imposed conditions. The Presbyterians were
heavily cumbered for advance work by traditions and rules which they
were rigidly reluctant to yield or bend, even when the reason for the
rule was superseded by higher reasons. The argument for a learned
ministry is doubtless a weighty one; but it does not suffice to prove
that when college-bred men are not to be had it is better that the
people have no minister at all. There is virtue in the rule of
ministerial parity; but it should not be allowed to hinder the church
from employing in humbler spiritual functions men who fall below the
prescribed standard. This the church, in course of time, discovered, and
instituted a "minor order" of ministers, under the title of colporteurs.
But it was timidly and tardily done, and therefore ineffectively. The
Presbyterians lost their place in the skirmish-line; but that which had
been their hindrance in the advance work gave them great advantage in
settled communities, in which for many years they took precedence in
the building up of strong and intelligent congregations.

To the Congregationalists belongs an honor in the past which, in recent
generations, they have not been jealous to retain. Beyond any sect,
except the Moravians, they have cherished that charity which seeketh not
her own. The earliest leaders in the organization of schemes of national
beneficence in coöperation with others, they have sustained them with
unselfish liberality, without regard to returns of sectarian advantage.
The results of their labor are largely to be traced in the upbuilding of
other sects. Their specialty in evangelization has been that of the
religious educators of the nation. They have been preëminently the
builders of colleges and theological seminaries. To them, also, belongs
the leadership in religious journalism. Not only the journals of their
own sect and the undenominational journals, but also to a notable extent
the religious journals of other denominations, have depended for their
efficiency on men bred in the discipline of Congregationalism.

It is no just reproach to the Episcopalians that they were tardy in
entering the field of home missions. When we remember that it is only
since 1811 that they have emerged from numerical insignificance, we find
their contribution to the planting of the church in the new settlements
to be a highly honorable one. By a suicidal compact the guileless
Evangelical party agreed, in 1835, to take direction of the foreign
missions of the church, and leave the home field under the direction of
the aggressive High-church party. It surrendered its part in the future
of the church, and determined the type of Episcopalianism that was to be
planted in the West.[333:1] Entering thus late into the work, and that
with stinted resources, the Episcopal Church wholly missed the
apostolic glory of not building on other men's foundations. Coming with
the highest pretensions to exclusive authority, its work was very
largely a work of proselyting from other Christian sects. But this work
was prosperously carried on; and although not in itself a work of the
highest dignity, and although the methods of it often bore a painfully
schismatic character, there is little room for doubt that the results of
it have enriched and strengthened the common Christianity of America.
Its specialties in the planting work have been the setting of a worthy
example of dignity and simplicity in the conduct of divine worship, and
in general of efficiency in the administration of a parish, and, above
all, the successful handling of the immensely difficult duties imposed
upon Christian congregations in great cities, where the Episcopal Church
has its chief strength and its most effective work.

One must needs ascend to a certain altitude above the common level in
order to discern a substantial resultant unity of movement in the
strenuous rivalries and even antagonisms of the many sects of the one
church of Christ in America in that critical quarter-century from the
year 1835 to the outbreak of the Civil War, in which the work of the
church was suddenly expanded by the addition of a whole empire of
territory on the west, and the bringing in of a whole empire of alien
population from the east, and when no one of the Christian forces of the
nation could be spared from the field. The unity is very real, and is
visible enough, doubtless, from "the circle of the heavens." The sharers
in the toil and conflict and the near spectators are not well placed to
observe it. It will be for historians in some later century to study it
in a truer perspective.

       *       *       *       *       *

It is not only as falling within this period of immigration, but as
being largely dependent on its accessions from foreign lands, that the
growth of Mormonism is entitled to mention in this chapter. In its
origin Mormonism is distinctly American--a system of gross, palpable
imposture contrived by a disreputable adventurer, Joe Smith, with the
aid of three confederates, who afterward confessed the fraud and perjury
of which they had been guilty. It is a shame to human nature that the
silly lies put forth by this precious gang should have found believers.
But the solemn pretensions to divine revelation, mixed with elements
borrowed from the prevalent revivalism, and from the immediate adventism
which so easily captivates excitable imaginations, drew a number of
honest dupes into the train of the knavish leaders, and made possible
the pitiable history which followed. The chief recruiting-grounds for
the new religion were not in America, but in the manufacturing and
mining regions of Great Britain, and in some of the countries,
especially the Scandinavian countries, of continental Europe. The able
handling of an emigration fund, and the dexterous combination of appeals
to many passions and interests at once, have availed to draw together in
the State of Utah and neighboring regions a body of fanatics formidable
to the Republic, not by their number, for they count only about one
hundred and fifty thousand, but by the solidity with which they are
compacted into a political, economical, religious, and, at need,
military community, handled at will by unscrupulous chiefs. It is only
incidentally that the strange story of the Mormons, a story singularly
dramatic and sometimes tragic, is connected with the history of American

To this same period belongs the beginning of the immigration of the
Chinese, which, like that of the Mormons, becomes by and by important to
our subject as furnishing occasion for active and fruitful missionary

In the year 1843 culminated the panic agitation of Millerism. From the
year 1831 an honest Vermont farmer named William Miller had been urging
upon the public, in pamphlets and lectures, his views of the approaching
advent of Christ to judgment and the destruction of the world. He had
figured it out on the basis of prophecies in Daniel and the Revelation,
and the great event was set down for April 23, 1843. As the date drew
near the excitement of many became intense. Great meetings were held, in
the open air or in tents, of those who wished to be found waiting for
the Lord. Some nobly proved their sincerity by the surrender of their
property for the support of their poorer brethren until the end should
come. The awful day was awaited with glowing rapture of hope, or by some
with terror. When it dawned there was eager gazing upon the clouds of
heaven to descry the sign of the Son of man. And when the day had passed
without event there were various revulsions of feeling. The prophets set
themselves to going over their figures and fixing new dates; earnest
believers, sobered by the failure of their pious expectations, held
firmly to the substance of their faith and hope, while no longer
attempting to "know times and seasons, which the Father hath put within
his own power"; weak minds made shipwreck of faith; and scoffers cried
in derision, "Where is the promise of his coming?" A monument of this
honest delusion still exists in the not very considerable sect of
Adventists, with its subdivisions; but sympathizers with their general
scheme of prophetical interpretation are to be found among the most
earnest and faithful members of other churches.

Such has been the progress of Scriptural knowledge since the days when
Farmer Miller went to work with his arithmetic and slate upon the
strange symbols and enigmatic figures of the Old and New Testament
Apocalypses, that plain Christians everywhere have now the means of
knowing that the lines of calculation along which good people were led
into delusion a half-century ago started from utterly fallacious
premises. It is to the fidelity of critical scholars that we owe it that
hereafter, except among the ignorant and unintelligent, these two books,
now clearly understood, will not again be used to minister to the panic
of a Millerite craze, nor to furnish vituperative epithets for
antipopery agitators.

To this period also must be referred the rise of that system of
necromancy which, originating in America, has had great vogue in other
countries, and here in its native land has taken such form as really to
constitute a new cult. Making no mention of sporadic instances of what
in earlier generations would have been called (and properly enough) by
the name of witchcraft, we find the beginning of so-called
"spiritualism" in the "Rochester rappings," produced, to the wonder of
many witnesses, by "the Fox girls" in 1849. How the rappings and other
sensible phenomena were produced was a curious question, but not
important; the main question was, Did they convey communications from
the spirits of the dead, as the young women alleged, and as many persons
believed (so they thought) from demonstrative evidence? The mere
suggestion of the possibility of this of course awakened an inquisitive
and eager interest everywhere. It became the subject of universal
discussion and experiment in society. There was demand for other
"mediums" to satisfy curiosity or aid investigation; and the demand at
once produced a copious supply. The business of medium became a regular
profession, opening a career especially to enterprising women. They
began to draw together believers and doubters into "circles" and
"séances," and to organize permanent associations. At the end of ten
years the "Spiritual Register" for 1859, boasting great things,
estimated the actual spiritualists in America at 1,500,000, besides
4,000,000 more partly converted. The latest census gives the total
membership of their associations as 45,030. But this moderate figure
should not be taken as the measure of the influence of their leading
tenet. There are not a few honest Christians who are convinced that
communications do sometimes take place between the dead and the living;
there are a great multitude who are disposed, in a vague way, to think
there must be something in it. But there are few even of the earnest
devotees of the spiritualist cult who will deny that the whole business
is infested with fraud, whether of dishonest mediums or of lying
spirits. Of late years the general public has come into possession of
material for independent judgment on this point. An earnest
spiritualist, a man of wealth, named Seybert, dying, left to the
University of Pennsylvania a legacy of sixty thousand dollars, on
condition that the university should appoint a commission to investigate
the claims of spiritualism. A commission was appointed which left
nothing to be desired in point of ability, integrity, and impartiality.
Under the presidency of the renowned Professor Joseph Leidy, and with
the aid and advice of leading believers in spiritualism, they made a
long, patient, faithful investigation, the processes and results of
which are published in a most amusing little volume.[338:1] The gist of
their report may be briefly summed up. Every case of alleged
communication from the world of departed spirits that was investigated
by the commission (and they were guided in their selection of cases by
the advice of eminent and respectable believers in spiritualism) was
discovered and demonstrated to be a case of gross, willful attempted
fraud. The evidence is strong that the organized system of spiritualism
in America, with its associations and lyceums and annual camp-meetings,
and its itinerancy of mediums and trance speakers, is a system of mere
imposture. In the honest simplicity of many of its followers, and in the
wicked mendacity of its leaders, it seems to be on a par with the other
American contribution to the religions of the world, Mormonism.


[316:1] For condensed statistics of American immigration, see
"Encyclopædia Britannica," 9th ed., s. vv. "Emigration" and "United
States." For the facts concerning the Roman Empire one naturally has
recourse to Gibbon. From the indications there given we do not get the
impression that in the three centuries of the struggle of the empire
against the barbarians there was ever such a thirty years' flood of
invasion as the immigration into the United States from 1840 to 1869.
The entrance into the Roman Empire was indeed largely in the form of
armed invasion; but the most destructive influence of the barbarians was
when they were admitted as friends and naturalized as citizens. See
"Encyclopædia Britannica," vol. xx., pp. 779, 780.

[318:1] Jacobs, "The Lutherans," p. 446.

[321:1] Bishop O'Gorman, "The Roman Catholics," p. 375. The atrocity of
such a plot seems incredible. We should have classed it at once with the
Maria Monk story, and other fabulous horrors of Dr. Brownlee's
Protestant Society, but that we find it in the sober and dispassionate
pages of Bishop O'Gorman's History, which is derived from original
sources of information. If anything could have justified the animosity
of the "native Americans" (who, by the way, were widely suspected to be,
in large proportion, native Ulstermen) it would have been the finding of
evidence of such facts as this which Bishop O'Gorman has disclosed.

[321:2] The subject is reviewed in detail, from opposite points of view,
by Bishop O'Gorman, pp. 489-500, and by Dr. Daniel Dorchester,
"Christianity in the United States," pp. 618-621. One of the most recent
estimates is that presented to the Catholic Congress at Chicago, in
1893, in a remarkable speech by Mr. M. T. Elder, of New Orleans.
Speaking of "the losses sustained by the church in this country, placed
by a conservative estimate at twenty millions of people, he laid the
responsibility for this upon neglect of immigration and colonization,
i.e., neglect of the rural population. From this results a long train of
losses." He added: "When I see how largely Catholicity is represented
among our hoodlum element, I feel in no spread-eagle mood. When I note
how few Catholics are engaged in honestly tilling the honest soil, and
how many Catholics are engaged in the liquor traffic, I cannot talk
buncombe to anybody. When I reflect that out of the 70,000,000 of this
nation we number only 9,000,000, and that out of that 9,000,000 so large
a proportion is made up of poor factory hands, poor mill and shop and
mine and railroad employees, poor government clerks, I still fail to
find material for buncombe or spread-eagle or taffy-giving. And who can
look at our past history and feel proud of our present status?" He
advocated as a remedy for this present state of things a movement toward
colonization, with especial attention to extension of educational
advantages for rural Catholics, and instruction of urban Catholics in
the advantages of rural life. "For so long as the rural South, the
pastoral West, the agricultural East, the farming Middle States, remain
solidly Protestant, as they now are, so long will this nation, this
government, this whole people, remain solidly Protestant" ("The World's
Parliament of Religions," pp. 1414, 1415).

It is a fact not easy to be accounted for that the statistics of no
Christian communion in America are so defective, uncertain, and
generally unsatisfactory as those of the most solidly organized and
completely systematized of them all, the Roman Catholic Church.

[325:1] "Parliament of Religions," p. 1417. An obvious verbal misprint
is corrected in the quotation.

[327:1] Bishop O'Gorman, pp. 439, 440. James Parton, in the "Atlantic
Monthly," April and May, 1868. So lately as the year 1869 a long list of
volumes of this scandalous rubbish continued to be offered to the
public, under the indorsement of eminent names, by the "American and
Foreign Christian Union," until the society was driven by public
exposure into withdrawing them from sale. See "The Literature of the
Coming Controversy," in "Putnam's Magazine" for January, 1869.

[331:1] Speech of Mr. M. T. Elder, of New Orleans, in the Catholic
Congress at Chicago, 1893, quoted above, p. 322, _note_.

[333:1] Tiffany, "Protestant Episcopal Church," p. 459.

[335:1] Carroll, "Religious Forces of the United States," pp. 165-174;
Bishop Tuttle, in "Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia," pp. 1575-1581; Professor
John Fraser, in "Encyclopædia Britannica," vol. xvi., pp. 825-828;
Dorchester, "Christianity in the United States," pp. 538-646.

[338:1] "Report of the Seybert Commission," Philadelphia, Lippincott.



It has been observed that for nearly half a generation after the
reaction began from the fervid excitement of the Millerite agitation no
season of general revival was known in the American church.

These were years of immense material prosperity, "the golden age of our
history."[340:1] The wealth of the nation in that time far more than
doubled; its railroad mileage more than threefolded; population moved
westward with rapidity and volume beyond precedent. Between 1845 and
1860 there were admitted seven new States and four organized

Withal it was a time of continually deepening intensity of political
agitation. The patchwork of compromises and settlements contrived by
make-shift politicians like Clay and Douglas would not hold; they tore
out, and the rent was made worse. Part of the Compromise of 1850, which
was to be something altogether sempiternal, was a Fugitive Slave Law so
studiously base and wicked in its provisions as to stir the indignation
of just and generous men whenever it was enforced, and to instruct and
strengthen and consolidate an intelligent and conscientious opposition
to slavery as not a century of antislavery lecturing and pamphleteering
could have done. Four years later the sagacious Stephen Douglas
introduced into Congress his ingenious permanent pacification scheme for
taking the slavery question "out of politics" by perfidiously repealing
the act under which the western Territories had for the third part of a
century been pledged to freedom, and leaving the question of freedom or
slavery to be decided by the first settlers upon the soil. It was
understood on both sides that the effect of this measure would be to
turn over the soil of Kansas to slavery; and for a moment there was a
calm that did almost seem like peace. But the providential man for the
emergency, Eli Thayer, boldly accepted the challenge under all the
disadvantageous conditions, and appealed to the friends of freedom and
righteousness to stand by him in "the Kansas Crusade." The appeal was to
the same Christian sentiment which had just uttered its vain protest,
through the almost unanimous voice of the ministers of the gospel,
against the opening of the Territories to the possibility of slavery. It
was taken up in the solemn spirit of religious duty. None who were
present are likely to forget the scene when the emigrants from New Haven
assembled in the North Church to be sped on their way with prayer and
benediction; how the vast multitude were thrilled by the noble eloquence
of Beecher, and how money came out of pocket when it was proposed to
equip the colonists with arms for self-defense against the ferocity of
"border ruffians." There were scenes like this in many a church and
country prayer-meeting, where Christian hearts did not forget to pray
"for them in bonds, as bound with them." There took place such a
religious emigration as America had not known since the days of the
first colonists. They went forth singing the words of Whittier:

     We cross the prairies as of old
       Our fathers crossed the sea,
     To make the West, as they the East,
       The empire of the free.

Those were choice companies; it was said that in some of their
settlements every third man was a college graduate. Thus it was that,
not all at once, but after desperate tribulations, Kansas was saved for
freedom. It was the turning-point in the "irrepressible conflict." The
beam of the scales, which politicians had for forty years been trying to
hold level, dipped in favor of liberty and justice, and it was hopeless
thenceforth to restore the balance.[342:1]

Neither of the two characteristics of this time, the abounding material
prosperity or the turbid political agitation, was favorable to that
fixed attention to spiritual themes which promotes the revival of
religion. But the conditions were about to be suddenly changed.

Suddenly, in the fall of 1857, came a business revulsion. Hard times
followed. Men had leisure for thought and prayer, and anxieties that
they were fain to cast upon God, seeking help and direction. The happy
thought occurred to a good man, Jeremiah Lanphier, in the employ of the
old North Dutch Church in New York, to open a room in the "consistory
building" in Fulton Street as an oratory for the common prayer of so
many business men as might be disposed to gather there in the hour from
twelve to one o'clock, "with one accord to make their common
supplications." The invitation was responded to at first by hardly more
than "two or three." The number grew. The room overflowed. A second room
was opened, and then a third, in the same building, till all its walls
resounded with prayer and song. The example was followed until at one
time, in the spring of 1858, no fewer than twenty "daily union
prayer-meetings" were sustained in different parts of the city. Besides
these, there was preaching at unwonted times and places. Burton's
Theater, on Chambers Street, in the thick of the business houses, was
thronged with eager listeners to the rudimental truths of personal
religion, expounded and applied by great preachers. Everywhere the
cardinal topics of practical religious duty, repentance and Christian
faith, were themes of social conversation. All churches and ministers
were full of activity and hope. "They that feared the Lord spake often
one with another."

What was true of New York was true, in its measure, of every city,
village, and hamlet in the land. It was the Lord's doing, marvelous in
men's eyes. There was no human leadership or concert of action in
bringing it about. It came. Not only were there no notable evangelists
traveling the country; even the pastors of churches did little more than
enter zealously into their happy duty in things made ready to their
hand. Elsewhere, as at New York, the work began with the spontaneous
gathering of private Christians, stirred by an unseen influence. Two
circumstances tended to promote the diffusion of the revival. The Young
Men's Christian Association, then a recent but rapidly spreading
institution, furnished a natural center in each considerable town for
mutual consultation and mutual incitement among young men of various
sects. For this was another trait of the revival, that it went forward
as a tide movement of the whole church, in disregard of the
dividing-lines of sect. I know not what Christian communion, if any, was
unaffected by it. The other favorable circumstance was the business
interest taken in the revival by the secular press. Up to this time the
church had been little accustomed to look for coöperation to the
newspaper, unless it was the religious weekly. But at this time that was
fulfilled which was spoken of the prophet, that "holiness to the Lord"
should be written upon the trains of commerce and upon all secular
things. The sensation head-lines in enterprising journals proclaimed
"Revival News," and smart reporters were detailed to the prayer-meeting
or the sermon, as having greater popular interest, for the time, than
the criminal trial or the political debate. Such papers as the "Tribune"
and the "Herald," laying on men's breakfast-tables and counting-room
desks the latest pungent word from the noon prayer-meeting or the
evening sermon, did the work of many tract societies.

As the immediate result of the revival of 1857-58 it has been estimated
that one million of members were added to the fellowship of the
churches. But the ulterior result was greater. This revival was the
introduction to a new era of the nation's spiritual life. It was the
training-school for a force of lay evangelists for future work, eminent
among whom is the name of Dwight Moody. And, like the Great Awakening of
1740, it was the providential preparation of the American church for an
immediately impending peril the gravity of which there were none at the
time far-sighted enough to predict. Looking backward, it is instructive
for us to raise the question how the church would have passed through
the decade of the sixties without the spiritual reinforcement that came
to it amid the pentecostal scenes of 1857 and 1858.

And yet there were those among the old men who were ready to weep as
they compared the building of the Lord's house with what they had known
in their younger days: no sustained enforcement on the mind and
conscience of alarming and heart-searching doctrines; no "protracted
meetings" in which from day to day the warnings and invitations of the
gospel were set forth before the hesitating mind; in the converts no
severe and thorough "law-work," from the agonizing throes of which the
soul was with no brief travail born to newness of life; but the free
invitation, the ready and glad acceptance, the prompt enrollment on the
Lord's side. Did not these things betoken a superficial piety, springing
up like seed in the thin soil of rocky places? It was a question for
later years to answer, and perhaps we have not the whole of the answer
yet. Certainly the work was not as in the days of Edwards and Brainerd,
nor as in the days of Nettleton and Finney; was it not, perhaps, more
like the work in the days of Barnabas and Paul and Peter?

       *       *       *       *       *

It does not appear that the spiritual quickening of 1857 had any effect
in allaying the sharp controversy between northern and southern
Christians on the subject of slavery. Perhaps it may have deepened and
intensified it. The "southern apostasy," from principles universally
accepted in 1818, had become complete and (so far as any utterance was
permitted to reach the public) unanimous. The southern Methodists and
the southern Baptists had, a dozen years before, relieved themselves
from liability to rebuke, whether express or implied, from their
northern brethren for complicity with the crimes involved in slavery, by
seceding from fellowship. Into the councils of the Episcopalians and the
Catholics this great question of public morality was never allowed to
enter. The Presbyterians were divided into two bodies, each having its
northern and its southern presbyteries; and the course of events in
these two bodies may be taken as an indication of the drift of opinion
and feeling. The Old-School body, having a strong southern element,
remained silent, notwithstanding the open nullification of its
declaration of 1818 by the presbytery of Harmony, S. C., resolving that
"the existence of slavery is not opposed to the will of God," and the
synod of Virginia declaring that "the General Assembly had no right to
declare that relation sinful which Christ and his apostles teach to be
consistent with the most unquestionable piety." The New-School body,
patient and considerate toward its southern presbyteries, did not fail,
nevertheless, to reassert the principles of righteousness, and in 1850
it declared slave-holding to be _prima facie_ a subject of the
discipline of the church. In 1853 it called upon its southern
presbyteries to report what had been done in the case. One of them
replied defiantly that its ministers and church-members were
slave-holders by choice and on principle. When the General Assembly
condemned this utterance, the entire southern part of the church seceded
and set up a separate jurisdiction.[346:1]

There seems no reason to doubt the entire sincerity with which the
southern church, in all its sects, had consecrated itself with religious
devotion to the maintenance of that horrible and inhuman form of slavery
which had drawn upon itself the condemnation of the civilized world. The
earnest antislavery convictions which had characterized it only
twenty-five years before, violently suppressed from utterance, seem to
have perished by suffocation. The common sentiment of southern
Christianity was expressed in that serious declaration of the Southern
Presbyterian Church, during the war, of its "deep conviction of the
divine appointment of domestic servitude," and of the "peculiar mission
of the southern church to conserve the institution of slavery."[346:2]

At the North, on the other hand, with larger liberty, there was wider
diversity of opinion. In general, the effect of continued discussion, of
larger knowledge of facts, and of the enforcement on the common
conscience, by the course of public events, of a sense of responsibility
and duty in the matter, had been to make more intelligent, sober, and
discriminating, and therefore more strong and steadfast, the resolution
to keep clear of all complicity with slavery. There were few to assume
the defense of that odious system, though there were some. There were
many to object to scores of objectionable things in the conduct of
abolitionists. And there were a very great number of honest,
conscientious men who were appalled as they looked forward to the boldly
threatened consequences of even the mildest action in opposition to
slavery--the rending of the church, the ruin of the country, the horrors
of civil war, and its uncertain event, issuing perhaps in the wider
extension and firmer establishment of slavery itself. It was an immense
power that the bold, resolute, rule-or-ruin supporters of the divine
right of slavery held over the Christian public of the whole country, so
long as they could keep these threats suspended in the air. It seemed to
hold in the balance against a simple demand to execute righteousness
toward a poor, oppressed, and helpless race, immense interests of
patriotism, of humanity, of the kingdom of God itself. Presently the
time came when these threats could no longer be kept aloft. The
compliance demanded was clearly, decisively refused. The threats must
either be executed or must fall to the ground amid general derision. But
the moment that the threat was put in execution its power as a threat
had ceased. With the first stroke against the life of the nation all
great and noble motives, instead of being balanced against each other,
were drawing together in the same direction. It ought not to have been
a surprise to the religious leaders of disunion, ecclesiastical and
political, to find that those who had most anxiously deprecated the
attack upon the government should be among the most earnest and resolute
to repel the attack when made.

No man can read the history of the American church in the Civil War
intelligently who does not apprehend, however great the effort, that the
Christian people of the South did really and sincerely believe
themselves to be commissioned by the providence of God to "conserve the
institution of slavery" as an institution of "divine appointment."
Strange as the conviction seems, it is sure that the conviction of
conscience in the southern army that it was right in waging war against
the government of the country was as clear as the conviction, on the
other side, of the duty of defending the government. The southern
regiments, like the northern, were sent forth with prayer and
benediction, and their camps, as well as those of their adversaries,
were often the seats of earnest religious life.[348:1]

At the South the entire able-bodied population was soon called into
military service, so that almost the whole church was in the army. At
the North the churches at home hardly seemed diminished by the myriads
sent to the field. It was amazing to see the charities and missions of
the churches sustained with almost undiminished supplies, while the
great enterprises of the Sanitary and Christian Commissions were set on
foot and magnificently carried forward, for the physical, social, and
spiritual good of the soldiers. Never was the gift of giving so
abundantly bestowed on the church as in these stormy times. There was a
feverish eagerness of life in all ways; if there was a too eager haste
to make money among those that could be spared for business, there was a
generous readiness in bestowing it. The little faith that expected to
cancel and retrench, especially in foreign missions, in which it took
sometimes three dollars in the collection to put one dollar into the
work, was rebuked by the rising of the church to the height of the

One religious lesson that was learned as never before, on both sides of
the conflict, was the lesson of Christian fellowship as against the
prevailing folly of sectarian divisions, emulations, and jealousies.
There were great drawings in this direction in the early days of the
war, when men of the most unlike antecedents and associations gathered
on the same platform, intent on the same work, and mutual aversions and
partisan antagonisms melted away in the fervent heat of a common
religious patriotism. But the lesson which was commended at home was
enforced in the camp and the regiment by constraint of circumstances.
The army chaplain, however one-sided he might have been in his parish,
had to be on all sides with his kindly sympathy as soon as he joined his
regiment. He learned in a right apostolic sense to become all things to
all men, and, returning home, he did not forget the lesson. The delight
of a fellowship truly catholic in the one work of Christ, once tasted,
was not easily foregone. Already the current, perplexed with eddies, had
begun to set in the direction of Christian unity. How much the common
labors of Christian men and women and Christian ministers of every
different name, through the five years of bloody strife, contributed to
swell and speed the current, no one can measure.

According to a well-known law of the kingdom of heaven, the intense
experiences of the war, both in the army and out of it, left no man just
as he was before. To "them that were exercised thereby" they brought
great promotion in the service of the King. The cases are not few nor
inconspicuous of men coming forth from the temptations and the
discipline of the military service every way stronger and better
Christians than they entered it. The whole church gained higher
conceptions of the joy and glory of self-sacrifice, and deeper and more
vivid insight into the significance of vicarious suffering and death.
The war was a rude school of theology, but it taught some things well.
The church had need of all that it could learn, in preparation for the
tasks and trials that were before it.

There were those, on the other hand, who emerged from the military
service depraved and brutalized; and those who, in the rush of business
incidental to the war, were not trained to self-sacrifice and duty, but
habituated to the seeking of selfish interests in the midst of the
public peril and affliction. We delight in the evidences that these
cases were a small proportion of the whole. But even a small percentage
of so many hundreds of thousands mounts up to a formidable total. The
early years of the peace were so marked by crimes of violence that a
frequent heading in the daily newspapers was "The Carnival of Crime."
Prosperity, or the semblance of it, came in like a sudden flood.
Immigration of an improved character poured into the country in greater
volume than ever. Multitudes made haste to be rich, and fell into
temptations and snares. The perilous era of enormous fortunes began.


[340:1] E. B. Andrews, "History of the United States," vol. ii., p. 66.

[342:1] Read "The Kansas Crusade," by Eli Thayer, Harpers, New York,
1889. It is lively reading, and indispensable to a full understanding of
this part of the national history.

[346:1] Thompson, "The Presbyterians," p. 135.

[346:2] "Narrative of the State of Religion" of the Southern General
Assembly of 1864.

[348:1] For interesting illustrations of this, see Alexander, "The
Methodists, South," pp. 71-75. The history of the religious life of the
northern army is superabundant and everywhere accessible.



When the five years of rending and tearing had passed, in which slavery
was dispossessed of its hold upon the nation, there was much to be done
in reconstructing and readjusting the religious institutions of the

Throughout the seceding States buildings and endowments for religious
uses had suffered in the general waste and destruction of property.
Colleges and seminaries, in many instances, had seen their entire
resources swept away through investment in the hopeless promises of the
defeated government. Churches, boards, and like associations were widely
disorganized through the vicissitudes of military occupation and the
protracted absence or the death of men of experience and capacity.

The effect of the war upon denominational organizations had been
various. There was no sect of all the church the members and ministers
of which had not felt the sweep of the currents of popular opinion all
about them. But the course of events in each denomination was in some
measure illustrative of the character of its polity.

In the Roman Catholic Church the antagonisms of the conflict were as
keenly felt as anywhere. Archbishop Hughes of New York, who, with Henry
Ward Beecher and Bishop McIlvaine of Ohio, accepted a political mission
from President Lincoln, was not more distinctly a Union man than Bishop
Lynch of Charleston was a secessionist. But the firm texture of the
hierarchical organization, held steadily in place by a central authority
outside of the national boundaries, prevented any organic rupture. The
Catholic Church in America was eminently fortunate at one point: the
famous bull _Quanta Cura_, with its appended "Syllabus" of damnable
errors, in which almost all the essential characteristics of the
institutions of the American Republic are anathematized, was fulminated
in 1864, when people in the United States had little time to think of
ecclesiastical events taking place at such a distance. If this
extraordinary document had been first published in a time of peace, and
freely discussed in the newspapers of the time, it could hardly have
failed to inflict the most serious embarrassment on the interests of
Catholicism in America. Even now it keeps the Catholic clergy in a
constantly explanatory attitude to show that the Syllabus does not
really mean what to the ordinary reader it unmistakably seems to mean;
and the work of explanation is made the more necessary and the more
difficult by the decree of papal infallibility, which followed the
Syllabus after a few years.

Simply on the ground of a _de facto_ political independence, the
southern dioceses of the Protestant Episcopal Church, following the
principles and precedents of 1789, organized themselves into a "Church
in the Confederate States." One of the southern bishops, Polk, of
Louisiana, accepted a commission of major-general in the Confederate
army, and relieved his brethren of any disciplinary questions that might
have arisen in consequence by dying on the field from a cannon-shot.
With admirable tact and good temper, the "Church in the United States"
managed to ignore the existence of any secession; and when the alleged
_de facto_ independence ceased, the seceding bishops and their dioceses
dropped quietly back into place without leaving a trace of the secession
upon the record.

The southern organizations of the Methodists and Baptists were of twenty
years' standing at the close of the war in 1865. The war had abolished
the original cause of these divisions, but it had substituted others
quite as serious. The exasperations of the war, and the still more
acrimonious exasperations of the period of the political reconstruction
and of the organization of northern missions at the South, gendered
strifes that still delay the reintegration which is so visibly future of
both of these divided denominations.

At the beginning of the war one of the most important of the
denominations that still retained large northern and southern
memberships in the same fellowship was the Old-School Presbyterian
Church; and no national sect had made larger concessions to avert a
breach of unity. When the General Assembly met at Philadelphia in May,
1861, amid the intense excitements of the opening war, it was still the
hope of the habitual leaders and managers of the Assembly to avert a
division by holding back that body from any expression of sentiment on
the question on which the minds of Christians were stirred at that time
with a profound and most religious fervor. But the Assembly took the
matter out of the hands of its leaders, and by a great majority, in the
words of a solemn and temperate resolution drawn by the venerable and
conservative Dr. Gardiner Spring, declared its loyalty to the government
and constitution of the country. With expressions of horror at the
sacrilege of taking the church into the domain of politics, southern
presbyteries one after another renounced the jurisdiction of the General
Assembly that could be guilty of so shocking a profanation, and, uniting
in a General Assembly of their own, proceeded with great promptitude to
make equally emphatic deliverances on the opposite side of the same
political question.[354:1] But nice logical consistency and accurate
working within the lines of a church theory were more than could
reasonably be expected of a people in so pitiable a plight. The
difference on the subject of the right function of the church continued
to be held as the ground for continuing the separation from the General
Assembly after the alleged ground in political geography had ceased to
be valid; the working motive for it was more obvious in the unfraternal
and almost wantonly exasperating course of the national General Assembly
during the war; but the best justification for it is to be found in the
effective and useful working of the Southern Presbyterian Church.
Considering the impoverishment and desolation of the southern country,
the record of useful and self-denying work accomplished by this body,
not only at home, but in foreign fields, is, from its beginning, an
immensely honorable one.

Another occasion of reconstruction was the strong disposition of the
liberated negroes to withdraw themselves from the tutelage of the
churches in which they had been held, in the days of slavery, in a
lower-caste relation. The eager entrance of the northern churches upon
mission work among the blacks, to which access had long been barred by
atrocious laws and by the savage fury of mobs, tended to promote this
change. The multiplication and growth of organized negro denominations
is a characteristic of the period after the war. There is reason to hope
that the change may by and by, with the advance of education and moral
training among this people, inure to their spiritual advantage. There is
equal reason to fear that at present, in many cases, it works to their
serious detriment.

The effect of the war was not exclusively divisive. In two instances,
at least, it had the effect of healing old schisms. The southern
secession from the New-School Presbyterian Church, which had come away
in 1858 on the slavery issue, found itself in 1861 side by side with the
southern secession from the Old School, and in full agreement with it in
morals and politics. The two bodies were not long in finding that the
doctrinal differences which a quarter-century before had seemed so
insuperable were, after all, no serious hindrance to their coming

Even after the war was over, its healing power was felt, this time at
the North. There was a honeycomb for Samson in the carcass of the
monster. The two great Presbyterian sects at the North had found a
common comfort in their relief from the perpetual festering irritation
of the slavery question; they had softened toward each other in the glow
of a religious patriotism; they had forgotten old antagonisms in common
labors; and new issues had obscured the tenuous doctrinal disputes that
had agitated the continent in 1837. Both parties grew tired and ashamed
of the long and sometimes ill-natured quarrel. With such a disposition
on both sides, terms of agreement could not fail in time to be found.
For substance, the basis of reunion was this: that the New-School church
should yield the point of organization, and the Old-School church should
yield the point of doctrine; the New-School men should sustain the
Old-School boards, and the Old-School men should tolerate the New-School
heresies. The consolidation of the two sects into one powerful
organization was consummated at Pittsburg, November 12, 1869, with every
demonstration of joy and devout thanksgiving.

One important denomination, the Congregationalists, had had the
distinguished advantage, through all these turbulent years, of having no
southern membership. Out of all proportion to its numerical strength was
the part which it took in those missions to the neglected populations
of the southern country into which the various denominations, both of
the South and of the North, entered with generous emulation while yet
the war was still waging. Always leaders in advanced education, they not
only, acting through the American Missionary Association, provided for
primary and secondary schools for the negroes, but promoted the
foundation of institutions of higher, and even of the highest, grade at
Hampton, at Atlanta, at Tuskegee, at New Orleans, at Nashville, and at
Washington. Many noble lives have been consecrated to this most
Christlike work of lifting up the depressed. None will grudge a word of
exceptional eulogy to the memory of that splendid character, General
Samuel C. Armstrong, son of one of the early missionaries to the
Sandwich Islands, who poured his inspiring soul into the building up of
the "Normal Institute" at Hampton, Va., thus not only rearing a visible
monument of his labor in the enduring buildings of that great and useful
institution, but also establishing his memory, for as long as human
gratitude can endure, in the hearts of hundreds of young men and young
women, negro and Indian, whose lives are the better and nobler for their
having known him as their teacher.

It cannot be justly claimed for the Congregationalists of the present
day that they have lost nothing of that corporate unselfishness, seeking
no sectarian aggrandizement, but only God's reign and righteousness,
which had been the glory of their fathers. The studious efforts that
have been made to cultivate among them a sectarian spirit, as if this
were one of the Christian virtues, have not been fruitless. Nevertheless
it may be seen that their work of education at the South has been
conducted in no narrow spirit. The extending of their sect over new
territory has been a most trivial and unimportant result of their
widespread and efficient work. A far greater result has been the
promotion among the colored people of a better education, a higher
standard of morality, and an enlightened piety, through the influence of
the graduates of these institutions, not only as pastors and as
teachers, but in all sorts of trades and professions and as mothers of

This work of the Congregationalists is entitled to mention, not as
exceptional, but only as eminent among like enterprises, in which few of
the leading sects have failed to be represented. Extravagant
expectations were at first entertained of immediate results in bringing
the long-depressed race up to the common plane of civilization. But it
cannot be said that reasonable and intelligent expectations have been
disappointed. Experience has taught much as to the best conduct of such
missions. The gift of a fund of a million dollars by the late John F.
Slater, of Norwich, has through wise management conduced to this end. It
has encouraged in the foremost institutions the combination of training
to skilled productive labor with education in literature and science.

The inauguration of these systems of religious education at the South
was the most conspicuously important of the immediate sequels of the
Civil War. But this time was a time of great expansion of the activities
of the church in all directions. The influx of immigration, temporarily
checked by the hard times of 1857 and by the five years of war, came in
again in such floods as never before.[357:1] The foreign immigration is
always attended by a westward movement of the already settled
population. The field of home missions became greater and more exacting
than ever. The zeal of the church, educated during the war to higher
ideas of self-sacrifice, rose to the occasion. The average yearly
receipts of the various Protestant home missionary societies, which in
the decade 1850-59 had been $808,000, rose in the next decade to more
than $2,000,000, in the next to nearly $3,000,000, and for the seven
years 1881-87 to $4,000,000.[358:1]

In the perils of abounding wealth by which the church after the war was
beset, it was divine fatherly kindness that opened before it new and
enlarged facilities of service to the kingdom of heaven among foreign
nations. From the first feeble beginnings of foreign missions from
America in India and in the Sandwich Islands, they had been attended by
the manifest favor of God. When the convulsion of the Civil War came on,
with prostrations of business houses, and enormous burdens of public
obligation, and private beneficence drawn down, as it seemed, to its
"bottom dollar" for new calls of patriotism and charity, and especially
when the dollar in a man's pocket shrank to a half or a third of its
value in the world's currency, it seemed as if the work of foreign
missions would have to be turned over to Christians in lands less
burdened with accumulated disadvantages. But here again the grandeur of
the burden gave an inspiration of strength to the burden-bearer. From
1840 to 1849 the average yearly receipts of the various foreign
missionary societies of the Protestant churches of the country had been
a little more than a half-million. In the decade 1850-59 they had risen
to $850,000; for the years of distress, 1860-69, they exceeded
$1,300,000; for the eleven years 1870-80 the annual receipts in this
behalf were $2,200,000; and in the seven years 1881-87 they were

We have seen how, only forty years before the return of peace, in the
days of a humble equality in moderate estates, ardent souls exulted
together in the inauguration of the era of democracy in beneficence,
when every humblest giver might, through association and organization,
have part in magnificent enterprises of Christian charity such as had
theretofore been possible "only to princes or to men of princely
possessions."[359:2] But with the return of civil peace we began to
recognize that among ourselves was growing up a class of "men of
princely possessions"--a class such as the American Republic never
before had known.[359:3] Among those whose fortunes were reckoned by
many millions or many tens of millions were men of sordid nature, whose
wealth, ignobly won, was selfishly hoarded, and to whose names, as to
that of the late Jay Gould, there is attached in the mind of the people
a distinct note of infamy. But this was not in general the character of
the American millionaire. There were those of nobler strain who felt a
responsibility commensurate with the great power conferred by great
riches, and held their wealth as in trust for mankind. Through the
fidelity of men of this sort it has come to pass that the era of great
fortunes in America has become conspicuous in the history of the whole
world as the era of magnificent donations to benevolent ends. Within a
few months of each other, from the little State of Connecticut, came the
fund of a million given by John F. Slater in his lifetime for the
benefit of the freedmen, the gift of a like sum for the like purpose
from Daniel Hand, and the legacy of a million and a half for foreign
missions from Deacon Otis of New London. Great gifts like these were
frequently directed to objects which could not easily have been attained
by the painful process of accumulating small donations. It was a period
not only of splendid gifts to existing institutions, but of foundations
for new universities, libraries, hospitals, and other institutions of
the highest public service, foundations without parallel in human
history for large munificence. To this period belong the beginnings of
the Johns Hopkins University and Hospital at Baltimore, the University
of Chicago, the Clarke University at Worcester, the Vanderbilt
University at Nashville, the Leland Stanford, Jr., University of
California, the Peabody and Enoch Pratt Libraries at Baltimore, the
Lenox Library at New York, the great endowed libraries of Chicago, the
Drexel Institute at Philadelphia, and the Armour Institute at Chicago.
These are some of the names that most readily occur of foundations due
mainly to individual liberality, set down at the risk of omitting others
with equal claim for mention. Not all of these are to be referred to a
religious spirit in the founders, but none of them can fail of a
Christian influence and result. They prepare a foothold for such a
forward stride of Christian civilization as our continent has never
before known.

The sum of these gifts of millions, added to the great aggregates of
contribution to the national missionary boards and societies, falls far
short of the total contributions expended in cities, towns, and villages
for the building of churches and the maintenance of the countless
charities that cluster around them. The era following the war was
preëminently a "building era." Every one knows that religious devotion
is only one of the mingled motives that work together in such an
enterprise as the building of a church; but, after all deductions, the
voluntary gifts of Christian people for Christ's sake in the promotion
of such works, when added to the grand totals already referred to, would
make an amount that would overtax the ordinary imagination to conceive.

And yet it is not certain that this period of immense gifts of money is
really a period of increased liberality in the church from the time,
thirty or forty years before, when a millionaire was a rarity to be
pointed out on the streets, and the possession of a hundred thousand
dollars gave one a place among "The Rich Men of New York." In 1850 the
total wealth of the United States was reported in the census as seven
billions of dollars. In 1870, after twenty years, it had more than
fourfolded, rising to thirty billions. Ten years later, according to the
census, it had sixfolded, rising to forty-three billions.[361:1] From
the point of view of One "sitting over against the treasury" it is not
likely that any subsequent period has equaled in its gifts that early
day when in New England the people "were wont to build a fine church as
soon as they had houses for themselves,"[361:2] and when the messengers
went from cabin to cabin to gather the gifts of "the college corn."

       *       *       *       *       *

The greatest addition to the forces of the church in the period since
the war has come from deploying into the field hitherto unused
resources of personal service. The methods under which the personal
activity of private Christians has formerly been organized for service
have increased and multiplied, and old agencies have taken on new forms.

The earliest and to this day the most extensive of the organizations for
utilizing the non-professional ministry in systematic religious labors
is the Sunday-school. The considerable development of this
instrumentality begins to be recognized after the Second Awakening in
the early years of the present century. The prevailing characteristic of
the American Sunday-school as distinguished from its British congener is
that it is commonly a part of the equipment of the local church for the
instruction of its own children, and incidentally one of the most
important resources for its attractive work toward those that are
without. But it is also recognized as one of the most flexible and
adaptable "arms of the service" for aggressive work, whether in great
cities or on the frontier. It was about the year 1825 that this work
began to be organized on a national scale. But it is since the war that
it has sprung into vastly greater efficiency. The agreement upon uniform
courses of biblical study, to be followed simultaneously by many
millions of pupils over the entire continent, has given a unity and
coherence before unknown to the Sunday-school system; and it has
resulted in extraordinary enterprise and activity on the part of
competent editors and publishers to provide apparatus for the thorough
study of the text, which bids fair in time to take away the reproach of
the term "Sunday-schoolish" as applied to superficial, ignorant, or
merely sentimental expositions of the Scriptures. The work of the
"Sunday-school Times," in bringing within the reach of teachers all over
the land the fruits of the world's best scholarship, is a signal fact
in history--the most conspicuous of a series of like facts. The
tendency, slow, of course, and partial, but powerful, is toward serious,
faithful study and teaching, in which "the mind of the Spirit" is sought
in the sacred text, with strenuous efforts of the teachable mind, with
all the aids that can be brought from whatever quarter. The
Sunday-school system, coextensive with Protestant Christianity in
America, and often the forerunner of church and ministry, and, to a less
extent and under more scrupulous control of clergy, adopted into the
Catholic Church, has become one of the distinctive features of American

An outgrowth of the Sunday-school system, which, under the conduct of a
man of genius for organization, Dr. John H. Vincent, now a bishop of the
Methodist Church, has expanded to magnificent dimensions, is that which
is suggested by the name "Chautauqua." Beginning in the summer of 1874
with a fortnight's meeting in a grove beside Chautauqua Lake for the
study of the methods of Sunday-school teaching, it led to the questions,
how to connect the Sunday-school more intimately with other departments
of the church and with other agencies in society; how to control in the
interest of religious culture the forces, social, commercial,
industrial, and educational, which, for good or evil, are affecting the
Sunday-school pupils every day of the week. Striking root at other
centers of assembly, east, west, and south, and combining its summer
lectures with an organized system of home studies extending through the
year, subject to written examinations, "Chautauqua," by the
comprehensive scope of its studies and by the great multitude of its
students, is entitled to be called, in no ignoble sense of the word, a
university.[363:1] A weighty and unimpeachable testimony to the power
and influence of the institution has been the recent organization of a
Catholic Chautauqua, under the conduct of leading scholars and
ecclesiastics of the Roman Church.

       *       *       *       *       *

Another organization of the unpaid service of private Christians is the
Young Men's Christian Association. Beginning in London in 1844, it had
so far demonstrated its usefulness in 1851 as to attract favorable
attention from visitors to the first of the World's Fairs. In the end of
that year the Association in Boston was formed, and this was rapidly
followed by others in the principal cities. It met a growing exigency in
American society. In the organization of commerce and manufacture in
larger establishments than formerly, the apprenticeship system had
necessarily lapsed, and nothing had taken its place. Of old, young men
put to the learning of any business were "articled" or "indentured" as
apprentices to the head of the concern, who was placed _in loco
parentis_, being invested both with the authority and with the
responsibility of a father. Often the apprentices were received into the
house of the master as their home, and according to legend and romance
it was in order for the industrious and virtuous apprentice to marry the
old man's daughter and succeed to the business. After the employees of a
store came to be numbered by scores and the employees of a factory by
hundreds, the word "apprentice" became obsolete in the American
language. The employee was only a "hand," and there was danger that
employers would forget that he was also a heart and a soul. This was the
exigency that the Young Men's Christian Association came to supply. Men
of conscience among employers and corporations recognized their
opportunity and their duty. The new societies did not lack encouragement
and financial aid from those to whom the character of the young men was
not only a matter of Christian concern, but also a matter of business
interest. In every considerable town the Association organized itself,
and the work of equipment, and soon of building, went on apace. In 1887
the Association buildings in the United States and Canada were valued at
three and a half millions. In 1896 there were in North America 1429
Associations, with about a quarter of a million of members, employing
1251 paid officers, and holding buildings and other real estate to the
amount of nearly $20,000,000.

The work has not been without its vicissitudes. The wonderful revival of
1857, preëminently a laymen's movement, in many instances found its
nidus in the rooms of the Associations; and their work was expanded and
invigorated as a result of the revival. In 1861 came on the war. It
broke up for the time the continental confederacy of Associations. Many
of the local Associations were dissolved by the enlistment of their
members. But out of the inspiring exigencies of the time grew up in the
heart of the Associations the organization and work of the Christian
Commission, coöperating with the Sanitary Commission for the bodily and
spiritual comfort of the armies in the field. The two organizations
expended upward of eleven millions of dollars, the free gift of the
people at home. After the war the survivors of those who had enlisted
from the Associations came back to their home duties, in most cases,
better men for all good service in consequence of their experience of
military discipline.

       *       *       *       *       *

A natural sequel to the organization and success of the Young Men's
Christian Association is the institution of the Young Women's Christian
Association, having like objects and methods in its proper sphere. This
institution, too, owes the reason of its existence to changed social
conditions. The plausible arguments of some earnest reformers in favor
of opening careers of independent self-support to women, and the
unquestionable and pathetic instances by which these arguments are
enforced, are liable to some most serious and weighty offsets. Doubtless
many and many a case of hardship has been relieved by the general
introduction of this reform. But the result has been the gathering in
large towns of populations of unmarried, self-supporting young women,
severed from home duties and influences, and, out of business hours,
under no effective restraints of rule. There is a rush from the country
into the city of applicants for employment, and wages sink to less than
a living rate. We are confronted with an artificial and perilous
condition for the church to deal with, especially in the largest cities.
And of the various instrumentalities to this end, the Young Women's
Christian Association is one of the most effective.

       *       *       *       *       *

The development of organized activity among women has been a conspicuous
characteristic of this period. From the beginning of our churches the
charitable sewing-circle or "Dorcas Society" has been known as a center
both of prayer and of labor. But in this period the organization of
women for charitable service has been on a continental scale.

In 1874, in an outburst of zeal, "women's crusades" were undertaken,
especially in some western towns, in which bands of singing and praying
women went in person to tippling-houses and even worse resorts, to
assail them, visibly and audibly, with these spiritual weapons. The
crusades, so long as they were a novelty, were not without result.
Spectacular prayers, offered with one eye on the heavens and the other
eye watching the impressions made on the human auditor, are not in vain;
they have their reward. But the really important result of the
"crusades" was the organization of the "Women's Christian Temperance
Union," which has extended in all directions to the utmost bounds of the
country, and has accomplished work of undoubted value, while attempting
other work the value of which is open to debate.

The separate organization of women for the support and management of
missions began on an extensive scale, in 1868, with the Women's Board of
Missions, instituted in alliance with the American Board of
Commissioners for Foreign Missions of the Congregationalist churches.
The example at once commended itself to the imitation of all, so that
all the principal mission boards of the Protestant churches are in
alliance with actively working women's boards.

The training acquired in these and other organizations by many women of
exceptional taste and talent for the conduct of large affairs has tended
still further to widen the field of their activity. The ends of the
earth, as well as the dark places nearer home, have felt the salutary
results of it.[367:1]

In this brief and most incomplete sketch of the origin of one of the
distinguishing features of contemporary Christianity--the application of
the systematized activity of private Christians--no mention has been
made of the corps of "colporteurs," or book-peddlers, employed by
religious publication societies, nor of the vastly useful work of
laymen employed as city missionaries, nor of the houses and orders of
sisters wholly devoted to pious and charitable work. Such work, though
the ceremony of ordination may have been omitted, is rather clerical or
professional than laical. It is on this account the better suited to the
genius of the Catholic Church, whose ages of experience in the conduct
of such organizations, and whose fine examples of economy and efficiency
in the use of them, have put all American Christendom under obligation.
Among Protestant sects the Lutherans, the Episcopalians, and the
Methodists have (after the Moravians) shown themselves readiest to
profit by the example. But a far more widely beneficent service than
that of all the nursing "orders" together, both Catholic and Protestant,
and one not less Christian, while it is characteristically American in
its method, is that of the annually increasing army of faithful women
professionally educated to the work of nursing, at a hundred hospitals,
and fulfilling their vocation individually and on business principles.
The education of nurses is a sequel of the war and one of the beneficent
fruits of it.

       *       *       *       *       *

Not the least important item in the organization of lay activity is the
marvelously rapid growth of the "Young People's Society of Christian
Endeavor." In February, 1881, a pastor in Portland, Me., the Rev.
Francis E. Clark, organized into an association within his church a
number of young people pledged to certain rules of regular attendance
and participation in the association meetings and of coöperation in
useful service. There seems to have been no particular originality in
the plan, but through some felicity in arrangement and opportuneness in
the time it caught like a forest fire, and in an amazingly short time
ran through the country and around the world. One wise precaution was
taken in the basis of the organization: it was provided that it should
not interfere with any member's fidelity to his church or his sect, but
rather promote it. Doubtless jealousy of its influence was thus in some
measure forestalled and averted. But in the rapid spread of the Society
those who were on guard for the interests of the several sects
recognized a danger in too free affiliations outside of sectarian lines,
and soon there were instituted, in like forms of rule, "Epworth Leagues"
for Methodists, "Westminster Leagues" for Presbyterians, "Luther
Leagues" for Lutherans, "St. Andrew's Brotherhoods" for Episcopalians,
"The Baptist Young People's Union," and yet others for yet other sects.
According to the latest reports, the total pledged membership of this
order of associated young disciples, in these various ramifications, is
about 4,500,000[369:1]--this in the United States alone. Of the
Christian Endeavor Societies still adhering to the old name and
constitution, there are in all the world 47,009, of which 11,119 are
"Junior Endeavor Societies." The total membership is 2,820,540.[369:2]

Contemporary currents of theological thought, setting away from the
excessive individualism which has characterized the churches of the
Great Awakening, confirm the tendency of the Christian life toward a
vigorous and even absorbing external activity. The duty of the church to
human society is made a part of the required curriculum of study in
preparation for the ministry, in fully equipped theological seminaries.
If ever it has been a just reproach of the church that its frequenters
were so absorbed in the saving of their own souls that they forgot the
multitude about them, that reproach is fast passing away. "The
Institutional Church," as the clumsy phrase goes, cares for soul and
body, for family and municipal and national life. Its saving sacraments
are neither two nor seven, but seventy times seven. They include the
bath-tub as well as the font; the coffee-house and cook-shop as well as
the Holy Supper; the gymnasium as well as the prayer-meeting. The
"college settlement" plants colonies of the best life of the church in
regions which men of little faith are tempted to speak of as
"God-forsaken." The Salvation Army, with its noisy and eccentric ways,
and its effective discipline, and its most Christian principle of
setting every rescued man at work to aid in the rescue of others, is
welcomed by all orders of the church, and honored according to the
measure of its usefulness, and even of its faithful effort to be useful.

       *       *       *       *       *

It is not to be supposed that this immense, unprecedented growth of
outward activity can have been gained without some corresponding loss.
The time is not long gone by, when the sustained contemplation of the
deep things of the cross, and the lofty things in the divine nature, and
the subtile and elusive facts concerning the human constitution and
character and the working of the human will, were eminently
characteristic of the religious life of the American church. In the
times when that life was stirred to its most strenuous activity, it was
marked by the vicissitude of prolonged passions of painful sensibility
at the consciousness of sin, and ecstasies of delight in the
contemplation of the infinity of God and the glory of the Saviour and
his salvation. Every one who is conversant with the religious biography
of the generations before our own, knows of the still hours and days set
apart for the severe inward scrutiny of motives and "frames" and the
grounds of one's hope. However truly the church of to-day may judge
that the piety of their fathers was disproportioned and morbidly
introspective and unduly concerned about one's own salvation, it is none
the less true that the reaction from its excesses is violent, and is
providing for itself a new reaction. "The contemplative orders," whether
among Catholics or Protestants, do not find the soil and climate of
America congenial. And yet there is a mission-field here for the mystic
and the quietist; and when the stir-about activity of our generation
suffers their calm voices to be heard, there are not a few to give ear.

       *       *       *       *       *

An event of great historical importance, which cannot be determined to a
precise date, but which belongs more to this period than to any other,
is the loss of the Scotch and Puritan Sabbath, or, as many like to call
it, the American Sabbath. The law of the Westminster divines on this
subject, it may be affirmed without fear of contradiction from any
quarter, does not coincide in its language with the law of God as
expressed either in the Old Testament or in the New. The Westminster
rule requires, as if with a "Thus saith the Lord," that on the first day
of the week, instead of the seventh, men shall desist not only from
labor but from recreation, and "spend the whole time in the public and
private exercises of God's worship, except so much as is to be taken up
in the works of necessity and mercy."[371:1] This interpretation and
expansion of the Fourth Commandment has never attained to more than a
sectarian and provincial authority; but the overmastering Puritan
influence, both of Virginia and of New England, combined with the
Scotch-Irish influence, made it for a long time dominant in America.
Even those who quite declined to admit the divine authority of the
glosses upon the commandment felt constrained to "submit to the
ordinances of man for the Lord's sake." But it was inevitable that with
the vast increase of the travel and sojourn of American Christians in
other lands of Christendom, and the multitudinous immigration into
America from other lands than Great Britain, the tradition from the
Westminster elders should come to be openly disputed within the church,
and should be disregarded even when not denied. It was not only
inevitable; it was a Christian duty distinctly enjoined by apostolic
authority.[372:1] The five years of war, during which Christians of
various lands and creeds intermingled as never before, and the Sunday
laws were dumb "_inter arma_" not only in the field but among the home
churches, did perhaps even more to break the force of the tradition, and
to lead in a perilous and demoralizing reaction. Some reaction was
inevitable. The church must needs suffer the evil consequence of
overstraining the law of God. From the Sunday of ascetic self-denial--"a
day for a man to afflict his soul"--there was a ready rush into utter
recklessness of the law and privilege of rest. In the church there was
wrought sore damage to weak consciences; men acted, not from intelligent
conviction, but from lack of conviction, and allowing themselves in
self-indulgences of the rightfulness of which they were dubious, they
"condemned themselves in that which they allowed." The consequence in
civil society was alike disastrous. Early legislation had not steered
clear of the error of attempting to enforce Sabbath-keeping as a
religious duty by civil penalties; and some relics of that mistake
remained, and still remain, on some of the statute-books. The just
protest against this wrong was, of course, undiscriminating, tending to
defeat the righteous and most salutary laws that aimed simply to secure
for the citizen the privilege of a weekly day of rest and to secure the
holiday thus ordained by law from being perverted into a nuisance. The
social change which is still in progress along these lines no wise
Christian patriot can contemplate with complacency. It threatens, when
complete, to deprive us of that universal quiet Sabbath rest which has
been one of the glories of American social life, and an important
element in its economic prosperity, and to give in place of it, to some,
no assurance of a Sabbath rest at all, to others, a Sabbath of revelry
and debauch.


[354:1] Thompson, "The Presbyterians," chap. xiii.; Johnson, "The
Southern Presbyterians," chap. v.

[357:1] The immigration is thus given by decades, with an illustrative
diagram, by Dr. Dorchester, "Christianity in the United States," p. 759:

     1825-35         330,737
     1835-45         707,770
     1845-55       2,944,833
     1855-65       1,578,483
     1865-75       3,234,090
     1875-85       4,061,278

[358:1] _Ibid._, p. 714. We have quoted in round numbers. The figures do
not include the large sums expended annually in the colportage work of
Bible and tract societies, in Sunday school missions, and in the
building of churches and parsonages. In the accounts of the last-named
most effective enterprise the small amounts received and appropriated to
aid in building would represent manifold more gathered and expended by
the pioneer churches on the ground.

[359:1] Dorchester, _op. cit._, p. 709.

[359:2] Above, pp. 259, 260.

[359:3] A pamphlet published at the office of the New York "Sun," away
back in the early thirties, was formerly in my possession, which
undertook to give, under the title "The Rich Men of New York," the name
of every person in that city who was worth more than one hundred
thousand dollars--and it was not a large pamphlet, either. As nearly as
I remember, there were less than a half-dozen names credited with more
than a million, and one solitary name, that of John Jacob Astor, was
reported as good for the enormous and almost incredible sum of ten

[361:1] Dorchester, "Christianity in the United States," p. 715.

[361:2] See above, p. 70.

[363:1] Bishop Vincent, in "Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia," p. 441. The
number of students in the "Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle"
already in 1891 exceeded twenty-five thousand.

[367:1] Among the titles omitted from this list are the various
"Lend-a-Hand Clubs," and "10 × 1 = 10 Clubs," and circles of "King's
Daughters," and like coteries, that have been inspired by the tales and
the "four mottoes" of Edward Everett Hale.

[369:1] Dr. H. K. Carroll, in "The Independent," April 1, 1897.

[369:2] "Congregationalist Handbook for 1897," p. 35.

[371:1] Westminster Shorter Catechism, Ans. 60. The commentaries on the
Catechism, which are many, like Gemara upon Mishna, build wider and
higher the "fence around the law," in a fashion truly rabbinic.

[372:1] Colossians, ii. 16.



The rapid review of three crowded centuries, which is all that the
narrowly prescribed limits of this volume have permitted, has
necessarily been mainly restricted to external facts. But looking back
over the course of visible events, it is not impossible for acute minds
devoted to such study to trace the stream of thought and sentiment that
is sometimes hidden from direct view by the overgrowth which itself has

We have seen a profound spiritual change, renewing the face of the land
and leaving its indelible impress on successive generations, springing
from the profoundest contemplations of God and his work of salvation
through Jesus Christ, and then bringing back into thoughtful and
teachable minds new questions to be solved and new discoveries of truth
to be pondered. The one school of theological opinion and inquiry that
can be described as characteristically American is the theology of the
Great Awakening. The disciples of this school, in all its divergent
branches, agree in looking back to the first Jonathan Edwards as the
founder of it. Through its generations it has shown a striking sequence
and continuity of intellectual and spiritual life, each generation
answering questions put to it by its predecessor, while propounding new
questions to the generation following. After the classical writings of
its first founders, the most widely influential production of this
school is the "Theology Explained and Defended in a Series of Sermons"
of President Dwight. This had the advantage over some other systems of
having been preached, and thus proved to be preachable. The "series of
sermons" was that delivered to successive generations of college
students at Yale at a time of prevailing skepticism, when every
statement of the college pulpit was liable to sharp and not too friendly
scrutiny; and it was preached with the fixed purpose of convincing and
converting the young men who heard it. The audience, the occasion, and
the man--a fervid Christian, and a born poet and orator--combined to
produce a work of wide and enduring influence. The dynasty of the
Edwardeans is continued down to the middle of the nineteenth century,
and later, through different lines, ending in Emmons of Franklin, Taylor
of New Haven, and Finney of Oberlin, and is represented among the living
by the venerable Edwards A. Park, of Andover, who adds to that power of
sustained speculative thinking in a straight line which is
characteristic of the whole school, a wide learning in the whole field
of theological literature, which had not been usual among his
predecessors. It is a prevailing trait of this theology, born of the
great revival, that it has constantly held before itself not only the
question, What is truth? but also the question, How shall it be
preached? It has never ceased to be a revival theology.

A bold and open breach of traditionary assumptions and habits of
reasoning was made by Horace Bushnell. This was a theologian of a
different type from his New England predecessors. He was of a temper
little disposed to accept either methods or results as a local
tradition, and inclined rather to prefer that which had been "hammered
out on his own anvil." And yet, while very free in manifesting his small
respect for the "logicking" by syllogistic processes which had been the
pride of the theological chair and even the pulpit in America, and while
declining the use of current phraseologies even for the expression of
current ideas, he held himself loyally subject to the canon of the
Scriptures as his rule of faith, and deferential to the voice of the
church catholic as uttered in the concord of testimony of holy men in
all ages. Endowed with a poet's power of intuition, uplifted by a fervid
piety, uttering himself in a literary style singularly rich and
melodious, it is not strange that such a man should have made large
contributions to the theological thought of his own and later times. In
natural theology, his discourses on "The Moral Uses of Dark Things"
(1869), and his longest continuous work, on "Nature and the
Supernatural" (1858), even though read rather as prose-poems than as
arguments, sound distinctly new notes in the treatment of their theme.
In "God in Christ" (1849), "Christ in Theology" (1851), "The Vicarious
Sacrifice" (1866), and "Forgiveness and Law" (1874), and in a notable
article in the "New Englander" for November, 1854, entitled "The
Christian Trinity a Practical Truth," the great topics of the Christian
system were dealt with all the more effectively, in the minds of
thoughtful readers in this and other lands, for cries of alarm and
newspaper and pulpit impeachments of heresy that were sent forth. But
that work of his which most nearly made as well as marked an epoch in
American church history was the treatise of "Christian Nurture" (1847).
This, with the protracted controversy that followed upon the publication
of it, was a powerful influence in lifting the American church out of
the rut of mere individualism that had been wearing deeper and deeper
from the days of the Great Awakening.

Another wholesome and edifying debate was occasioned by the publications
that went forth from the college and theological seminary of the German
Reformed Church, situated at Mercersburg in Pennsylvania. At this
institution was effected a fruitful union of American and German
theology; the result was to commend to the general attention aspects of
truth, philosophical, theological, and historical, not previously
current among American Protestants. The book of Dr. John Williamson
Nevin, entitled "The Mystical Presence: A Vindication of the Reformed or
Calvinistic Doctrine of the Holy Eucharist," revealed to the vast
multitude of churches and ministers that gloried in the name of
Calvinist the fact that on the most distinctive article of Calvinism
they were not Calvinists at all, but Zwinglians. The enunciation of the
standard doctrine of the various Presbyterian churches excited among
themselves a clamor of "Heresy!" and the doctrine of Calvin was put upon
trial before the Calvinists. The outcome of a discussion that extended
itself far beyond the boundaries of the comparatively small and
uninfluential German Reformed Church was to elevate the point of view
and broaden the horizon of American students of the constitution and
history of the church. Later generations of such students owe no light
obligation to the fidelity and courage of Dr. Nevin, as well as to the
erudition and immense productive diligence of his associate, Dr. Philip

It is incidental to the prevailing method of instruction in theology by
a course of prelections in which the teacher reads to his class in
detail his own original _summa theologiæ_, that the American press has
been prolific of ponderous volumes of systematic divinity. Among the
more notable of these systems are those of Leonard Woods (in five
volumes) and of Enoch Pond; of the two Drs. Hodge, father and son; of
Robert J. Breckinridge and James H. Thornwell and Robert L. Dabney; and
the "Systematic Theology" of a much younger man, Dr. Augustus H. Strong,
of Rochester Seminary, which has won for itself very unusual and wide
respect. Exceptional for ability, as well as for its originality of
conception, is "The Republic of God: An Institute of Theology," by
Elisha Mulford, a disciple of Maurice and of the realist philosophy, the
thought of whose whole life is contained in this and his kindred work on
"The Nation."

       *       *       *       *       *

How great is the debt which the church owes to its heretics is
frequently illustrated in the progress of Christianity in America. If it
had not been for the Unitarian defection in New England, and for the
attacks from Germany upon the historicity of the gospels, the
theologians of America might to this day have been engrossed in
"threshing old straw" in endless debates on "fixed fate, free will,
foreknowledge absolute." The exigencies of controversy forced the study
of the original documents of the church. From his entrance upon his
professorship at Andover, in 1810, the eager enthusiasm of Moses Stuart
made him the father of exegetical science not only for America, but for
all the English-speaking countries. His not less eminent pupil and
associate, Edward Robinson, later of the Union Seminary, New York,
created out of nothing the study of biblical geography. Associating with
himself the most accomplished living Arabist, Eli Smith, of the American
mission at Beirût, he made those "Biblical Researches in Palestine"
which have been the foundation on which all later explorers have built.
Another American missionary, Dr. W. M. Thomson, has given the most
valuable popular exposition of the same subject in his volumes on "The
Land and the Book." With the exception of Dr. Henry Clay Trumbull in his
determination of the site of Kadesh-barnea, the American successors to
Robinson in the original exploration of the Bible lands have made few
additions to our knowledge. But in the department of biblical archæology
the work of Drs. Ward, Peters, and Hilprecht in the mounds of Babylonia,
and of Mr. Bliss in Palestine, has added not a little to the credit of
the American church against the heavy balance which we owe to the
scholarship of Europe.

Monumental works in lexicography have been produced by Dr. Thayer, of
Cambridge, on New Testament Greek; by Professor Francis Brown, of New
York, in conjunction with Canon Driver, of Oxford, on the languages of
the Old Testament; and by Dr. Sophocles, of Cambridge, on the Byzantine

In the work of the textual criticism of the Scriptures, notwithstanding
its remoteness from the manuscript sources of study, America has
furnished two names that are held in honor throughout the learned world:
among the recent dead, Ezra Abbot, of Cambridge, universally beloved and
lamented; and among the living, Caspar René Gregory, successor to the
labors and the fame of Tischendorf. A third name is that of the late Dr.
Isaac H. Hall, the successful collator of Syriac New Testament

In those studies of the higher criticism which at the present day are
absorbing so much of the attention of biblical scholars, and the
progress of which is watched with reasonable anxiety for their bearing
on that dogma of the absolute inerrancy of the canonical Scriptures
which has so commonly been postulated as the foundation of Protestant
systems of revealed theology, the American church has taken eager
interest. An eminent, and in some respects the foremost, place among the
leaders in America of these investigations into the substructure, if not
of the Christian faith, at least of the work of the system-builders, is
held by Professor W. H. Green, of Princeton, whose painstaking essays in
the higher criticism have done much to stimulate the studies of younger
men who have come out at conclusions different from his own. The works
of Professors Briggs, of Union Seminary, and Henry P. Smith, of Lane
Seminary, have had the invaluable advantage of being commended to public
attention by ecclesiastical processes and debates. The two volumes of
Professor Bacon, of Yale, have been recognized by the foremost scholars
of Great Britain and Germany as containing original contributions toward
the solution of the problem of Pentateuchal analysis. The intricate
critical questions presented by the Book of Judges have been handled
with supreme ability by Professor Moore, of Andover, in his commentary
on that book. A desideratum in biblical literature has been well
supplied by Professor Bissell, of Hartford, in a work on the Old
Testament Apocrypha. But the _magnum opus_ of American biblical
scholarship, associating with itself the best learning and ability of
other nations, is the publication, under the direction of Professor
Haupt, of Baltimore, of a critical text of the entire Scriptures in the
original languages, with new translations and notes, for the use of

The undeniably grave theological difficulties occasioned by the results
of critical study have given rise to a novel dogma concerning the
Scriptures, which, if it may justly be claimed as a product of the
Princeton Seminary, would seem to discredit the modest boast of the
venerated Dr. Charles Hodge, that "Princeton has never originated a new
idea." It consists in the hypothesis of an "original autograph" of the
Scriptures, the precise contents of which are now undiscoverable, but
which differed from any existing text in being absolutely free from
error of any kind. The hypothesis has no small advantage in this, that
if it is not susceptible of proof, it is equally secure from refutation.
If not practically useful, it is at least novel, and on this ground
entitled to mention in recounting the contributions of the American
church to theology at a really perilous point in the progress of
biblical study.

       *       *       *       *       *

The field of church history, aside from local and sectarian histories,
was late in being invaded by American theologians. For many generations
the theology of America was distinctly unhistorical, speculative, and
provincial. But a change in this respect was inevitably sure to come.
The strong propensity of the national mind toward historical studies is
illustrated by the large proportion of historical works among the
masterpieces of our literature, whether in prose or in verse. It would
seem as if our conscious poverty in historical monuments and traditions
had engendered an eager hunger for history. No travelers in ancient
lands are such enthusiasts in seeking the monuments of remote ages as
those whose homes are in regions not two generations removed from the
prehistoric wilderness. It was certain that as soon as theology should
begin to be taught to American students in its relation to the history
of the kingdom of Christ, the charm of this method would be keenly felt.

We may assume the date of 1853 as an epoch from which to date this new
era of theological study. It was in that year that the gifted, learned,
and inspiring teacher, Henry Boynton Smith, was transferred from the
chair of history in Union Theological Seminary, New York, to the chair
of systematic theology. Through his premature and most lamented death
the church has failed of receiving that system of doctrine which had
been hoped for at his hands. But the historic spirit which characterized
him has ever since been characteristic of that seminary. It is
illustrative of the changed tone of theologizing that after the death of
Professor Smith, in the reorganization of the faculty of that important
institution, it was manned in the three chief departments, exegetical,
dogmatic, and practical, by men whose eminent distinction was in the
line of church history. The names of Hitchcock, Schaff, and Shedd cannot
be mentioned without bringing to mind some of the most valuable gifts
that America has made to the literature of the universal church. If to
these we add the names of George Park Fisher, of Yale, and Bishop Hurst,
and Alexander V. G. Allen, of Cambridge, author of "The Continuity of
Christian Thought," and Henry Charles Lea, of Philadelphia, we have
already vindicated for American scholarship a high place in this
department of Christian literature.

       *       *       *       *       *

In practical theology the productiveness of the American church in the
matter of _sermons_ has been so copious that even for the briefest
mention some narrow rule of exclusion must be followed. There is no
doubt that in a multitude of cases the noblest utterances of the
American pulpit, being unwritten, have never come into literature, but
have survived for a time as a glowing memory, and then a fading
tradition. The statement applies to many of the most famous revival
preachers; and in consequence of a prevalent prejudice against the
writing of sermons, it applies especially to the great Methodist and
Baptist preachers, whose representation on the shelves of libraries is
most disproportionate to their influence on the course of the kingdom
of Christ. Of other sermons,--and good sermons,--printed and published,
many have had an influence almost as restricted and as evanescent as the
utterances of the pulpit improvisator. If we confine ourselves to those
sermons that have survived their generation or won attention beyond the
limits of local interest or of sectarian fellowship, the list will not
be unmanageably long.

In the early years of the nineteenth century the Unitarian pulpits of
Boston were adorned with every literary grace known to the rhetoric of
that period. The luster of Channing's fame has outshone and outlasted
that of his associates; and yet these were stars of hardly less
magnitude. The two Wares, father and son, the younger Buckminster, whose
singular power as a preacher was known not only to wondering hearers,
but to readers on both sides of the ocean, Gannett and Dewey--these were
among them; and, in the next generation, Henry W. Bellows, Thomas Starr
King, and James Freeman Clarke. No body of clergy of like size was ever
so resplendent with talents and accomplishments. The names alone of
those who left the Unitarian pulpit for a literary or political
career--Sparks, Everett, Bancroft, Emerson, Ripley, Palfrey, Upham,
among them--are a constellation by themselves.

To the merely literary critic those earnest preachers, such as Lyman and
Edward Beecher, Griffin, Sereno Dwight, Wayland, and Kirk, who felt
called of God to withstand, in Boston, this splendid array of not less
earnest men, were clearly inferior to their antagonists. But they were

A few years later, the preëminent American writer of sermons to be read
and pondered in every part of the world was Horace Bushnell; as the
great popular preacher, whose words, caught burning from his lips,
rolled around the world in a perpetual stream, was Henry Ward Beecher.
Widely different from either of these, and yet in an honorable sense
successor to the fame of both, was Phillips Brooks, of all American
preachers most widely beloved and honored in all parts of the church.

Of living preachers whose sermons have already attained a place of honor
in libraries at home and abroad, the name of Bishop F. D. Huntington
stands among the foremost; and those who have been charmed by the
brilliant rhetoric and instructed from the copious learning of his
college classmate, Dr. Richard S. Storrs, must feel it a wrong done to
our national literature that these gifts should be chiefly known to the
reading public only by occasional discourses and by two valuable studies
in religious history instead of by volumes of sermons. Perhaps no
American pulpits have to-day a wider hearing beyond the sea than two
that stand within hearing distance of each other on New Haven Green,
occupied by Theodore T. Munger and Newman Smyth. The pulpit of Plymouth
Church, Brooklyn, has not ceased, since the accession of Lyman Abbott,
to wield a wide and weighty influence,--less wide, but in some respects
more weighty, than in the days of his famous predecessor,--by reason of
a well-deserved reputation for biblical learning and insight, and for
candor and wisdom in applying Scriptural principles to the solution of
current questions.

The early American theology was, as we have seen, a rhetorical and not a
merely scholastic theology--a theology to be preached.[384:1] In like
manner, the American pulpit in those days was distinctly theological,
like a professor's chair. One who studies with care the pulpit of
to-day, in those volumes that seem to command the widest and most
enduring attention, will find that it is to a large extent apologetic,
addressing itself to the abating of doubts and objections to the
Christian system, or, recognizing the existing doubts, urging the
religious duties that are nevertheless incumbent on the doubting mind.
It has ceased to assume the substantial soundness of the hearer in the
main principles of orthodox opinion, and regards him as one to be held
to the church by attraction, persuasion, or argument. The result of this
attitude of the preacher is to make the pulpit studiously, and even
eagerly, attractive and interesting. This virtue has its corresponding
fault. The American preacher of to-day is little in danger of being
dull; his peril lies at the other extreme. His temptation is rather to
the feebleness of extravagant statement, and to an overstrained and
theatric rhetoric such as some persons find so attractive in the
discourses of Dr. Talmage, and others find repulsive and intolerable.

A direction in which the literature of practical theology in America is
sure to expand itself in the immediate future is indicated in the title
of a recent work of that versatile and useful writer, Dr. Washington
Gladden, "Applied Christianity." The salutary conviction that political
economy cannot be relied on by itself to adjust all the intricate
relations of men under modern conditions of life, that the ethical
questions that arise are not going to solve themselves automatically by
the law of demand and supply, that the gospel and the church and the
Spirit of Christ have somewhat to do in the matter, has been settling
itself deeply into the minds of Christian believers. The impression that
the questions between labor and capital, between sordid poverty and
overgrown wealth, were old-world questions, of which we of the New World
are relieved, is effectually dispelled. Thus far there is not much of
history to be written under this head, but somewhat of prophecy. It is
now understood, and felt in the conscience, that these questions are for
every Christian to consider, and for those undertaking the cure of souls
to make the subject of their faithful, laborious professional study. The
founding of professorships of social ethics in the theological
seminaries must lead to important and speedy results in the efficiency
of churches and pastors in dealing with this difficult class of
problems.[386:1] But whatever advances shall be made in the future, no
small part of the impulse toward them will be recognized as coming from,
or rather through, the inspiring and most Christian humanitarian
writings and the personal influence and example of Edward Everett Hale.

       *       *       *       *       *

In one noble department of religious literature, the liturgical, the
record of the American church is meager. The reaction among the early
colonists and many of the later settlers against forms of worship
imposed by political authority was violent. Seeking for a logical basis,
it planted itself on the assumption that no form (unless an improvised
form) is permitted in public worship, except such as are sanctioned by
express word of Scripture. In their sturdy resolution to throw off and
break up the yoke, which neither they nor their fathers had been able to
bear, of ordinances and traditions complicated with not a little of
debilitating superstition, the extreme Puritans of England and Scotland
rejected the whole system of holy days in the Christian year, including
the authentic anniversaries of Passover and Pentecost, and discontinued
the use of religious ceremonies at marriages and funerals.[386:2] The
only liturgical compositions that have come down to us from the first
generations are the various attempts, in various degrees of harshness
and rudeness, at the versification of psalms and other Scriptures for
singing. The emancipation of the church from its bondage to an
artificial dogma came, as we have already seen, with the Great Awakening
and the introduction of Watts's "Psalms of David, Imitated in the
Language of the New Testament."[387:1] After the Revolution, at the
request of the General Association of Connecticut and the General
Assembly of the Presbyterian Church, Timothy Dwight completed the work
of Watts by versifying a few omitted psalms,[387:2] and added a brief
selection of hymns, chiefly in the grave and solemn Scriptural style of
Watts and Doddridge. Then followed, in successive tides, from England,
the copious hymnody of the Methodist revival, both Calvinist and
Wesleyan, of the Evangelical revival, and now at last of the Oxford
revival, with its affluence of translations from the ancient hymnists,
as well as of original hymns. It is doubtless owing to this abundant
intermittent inflow from England that the production of American hymns
has been so scanty. Only a few writers, among them Thomas Hastings and
Ray Palmer, have written each a considerable number of hymns that have
taken root in the common use of the church. Not a few names besides are
associated each with some one or two or three lyrics that have won an
enduring place in the affections of Christian worshipers. The "gospel
hymns" which have flowed from many pens in increasing volume since the
revival of 1857 have proved their great usefulness, especially in
connection with the ministry of Messrs. Moody and Sankey; but they are,
even the best of them, short-lived. After their season the church seems
not unwilling to let them die.

Soon after the mid-point of the nineteenth century, began a serious
study of the subject of the conduct of public worship, which continues
to this day, with good promise of sometime reaching useful and stable
results. In 1855 was published "Eutaxia, or the Presbyterian Liturgies:
Historical Sketches. By a Minister of the Presbyterian Church." The
author, Charles W. Baird, was a man peculiarly fitted to render the
church important service, such as indeed he did render in this volume,
and in the field of Huguenot history which he divided with his brother,
Henry M. Baird. How great the loss to historical theology through his
protracted feebleness of body and his death may be conjectured, not
measured. This brief volume awakened an interest in the subject of it in
America, and in Scotland, and among the nonconformists of England. To
American Presbyterians in general it was something like a surprise to be
reminded that the sisterhood of the "Reformed" sects were committed by
their earliest and best traditions in favor of liturgic uses in public
worship. At about the same time the fruitful discussions of the
Mercersburg controversy were in progress in the German Reformed Church.
"Mercersburg found fault with the common style of extemporaneous public
prayer, and advocated a revival of the liturgical church service of the
Reformation period, but so modified and reproduced as to be adapted to
the existing wants of Protestant congregations."[388:1] Each of these
discussions was followed by a proposed book of worship. In 1857 was
published by Mr. Baird "A Book of Public Prayer, Compiled from the
Authorized Formularies of Worship of the Presbyterian Church, as
Prepared by the Reformers, Calvin, Knox, Bucer, and others"; and in 1858
was set forth by a committee of the German Reformed Church "A Liturgy,
or Order of Christian Worship." In 1855 St. Peter's Presbyterian Church
of Rochester published its "Church-book," prepared by Mr. L. W. Bacon,
then acting as pastor, which was principally notable for introducing the
use of the Psalms in parallelisms for responsive reading--a use which at
once found acceptance in many churches, and has become general in all
parts of the country. Sporadic experiments followed in various
individual congregations, looking toward greater variety or greater
dignity or greater musical attractiveness in the services of public
worship, or toward more active participation therein on the part of the
people. But these experiments, conducted without concert or mutual
counsel, often without serious study of the subject, and with a feebly
esthetic purpose, were representative of individual notions, and had in
them no promise of stability or of fruit after their kind. Only, by the
increasing number of them, they have given proof of an unrest on this
subject which at last is beginning to embody itself in organization and
concerted study and enterprise. A fifty years of mere tentative groping
is likely to be followed by another fifty years of substantial progress.

The influence of the Protestant Episcopal Church upon this growing
tendency has been sometimes favorable, sometimes unfavorable, but always
important. To begin with, it has held up before the whole church an
example of prescribed forms for divine worship, on the whole, the best
in all history. On the other hand, it has drawn to itself those in
other sects whose tastes and tendencies would make them leaders in the
study of liturgics, and thus while reinforcing itself has hindered the
general advance of improvement in the methods of worship. Withal, its
influence has tended to narrow the discussion to the consideration of a
single provincial and sectarian tradition, as if the usage of a part of
the Christians of the southern end of one of the islands of the British
archipelago had a sort of binding authority over the whole western
continent. But again, on the other hand, the broadening of its own views
to the extent of developing distinctly diverse ways of thinking among
its clergy and people has enlarged the field of study once more, and
tended to interest the church generally in the practical, historical,
and theological aspects of the subject. The somewhat timid ventures of
"Broad" and "Evangelical" men in one direction, and the fearless
breaking of bounds in the other direction by those of "Ritualist"
sympathies, have done much to liberate this important communion from
slavish uniformity and indolent traditionalism; and within a few years
that has been accomplished which only a few years earlier would have
been deemed impossible--the considerable alteration and improvement of
the Book of Common Prayer.

It is safe to prognosticate, from the course of the history up to this
point, that the subject of the conduct of worship will become more and
more seriously a subject of study in the American church in all its
divisions; that the discussions thereon arising will be attended with
strong antagonisms of sentiment; that mutual antagonisms within the
several sects will be compensated by affiliations of men like-minded
across sectarian lines; and that thus, as many times before, particular
controversies will tend to general union and fellowship.

One topic under this title of Liturgics requires special mention--the
use of music in the church. It was not till the early part of the
eighteenth century that music began to be cultivated as an art in
America.[391:1] Up to that time "the service of song in the house of the
Lord" had consisted, in most worshiping assemblies on this continent, in
the singing of rude literal versifications of the Psalms and other
Scriptures to some eight or ten old tunes handed down by tradition, and
variously sung in various congregations, as modified by local practice.
The coming in of "singing by rule" was nearly coincident with the
introduction of Watts's psalms and hymns, and was attended with like
agitations. The singing-school for winter evenings became an almost
universal social institution; and there actually grew up an American
school of composition, quaint, rude, and ungrammatical, which had great
vogue toward the end of the last century, and is even now remembered by
some with admiration and regret. It was devoted mainly to psalmody tunes
of an elaborate sort, in which the first half-stanza would be sung in
plain counterpoint, after which the voices would chase each other about
in a lively imitative movement, coming out together triumphantly at the
close. They abounded in forbidden progressions and empty chords, but
were often characterized by fervor of feeling and by strong melodies. A
few of them, as "Lenox" and "Northfield," still linger in use; and the
productions of this school in general, which amount to a considerable
volume, are entitled to respectful remembrance as the first untutored
utterance of music in America. The use of them became a passionate
delight to our grandparents; and the traditions are fresh and vivid of
the great choirs filling the church galleries on three sides, and
tossing the theme about from part to part.

The use of these rudely artificial tunes involved a gravely important
change in the course of public worship. In congregations that accepted
them the singing necessarily became an exclusive privilege of the choir.
To a lamentable extent, where there was neither the irregular and
spontaneous ejaculation of the Methodist nor the rubrical response of
the Episcopalian, the people came to be shut out from audible
participation in the acts of public worship.

A movement of musical reform in the direction of greater simplicity and
dignity began early in this century, when Lowell Mason in Boston and
Thomas Hastings in New York began their multitudinous publications of
psalmody. Between them not less than seventy volumes of music were
published in a period of half as many years. Their immense and
successful fecundity was imitated with less success by others, until the
land was swamped with an annual flood of church-music books. A thin
diluvial stratum remains to us from that time in tunes, chiefly from the
pen of Dr. Mason, that have taken permanent place as American chorals.
Such pieces as "Boylston," "Hebron," "Rockingham," "Missionary Hymn,"
and the adaptations of Gregorian melodies, "Olmutz" and "Hamburg," are
not likely to be displaced from their hold on the American church by
more skilled and exquisite compositions of later schools. But the
fertile labors of the church musicians of this period were affected by
the market demand for new material for the singing-school, the large
church choir, and the musical convention. The music thus introduced into
the churches consisted not so much of hymn-tunes and anthems as of
"sacred glees."[392:1]

Before the middle of the century the Episcopal Church had arrived at a
point at which it was much looked to to set the fashions in such matters
as church music and architecture. Its influence at this time was very
bad. It was largely responsible for the fashion, still widely prevalent,
of substituting for the church choir a quartet of professional solo
singers, and for the degradation of church music into the dainty,
languishing, and sensuous style which such "artists" do most affect. The
period of "The Grace Church Collection," "Greatorex's Collection," and
the sheet-music compositions of George William Warren and John R. Thomas
was the lowest tide of American church music.

A healthy reaction from this vicious condition began about 1855, with
the introduction of hymn-and-tune books and the revival of
congregational singing. From that time the progressive improvement of
the public taste may be traced in the character of the books that have
succeeded one another in the churches, until the admirable compositions
of the modern English school of psalmody tend to predominate above those
of inferior quality. It is the mark of a transitional period that both
in church music and in church architecture we seem to depend much on
compositions and designs derived from older countries. The future of
religious art in America is sufficiently well assured to leave no cause
for hurry or anxiety.

       *       *       *       *       *

In glancing back over this chapter, it will be strange if some are not
impressed, and unfavorably impressed, with a disproportion in the names
cited as representative, which are taken chiefly from some two or three
sects. This may justly be referred in part, no doubt, to the author's
point of view and to the "personal equation"; but it is more largely due
to the fact that in the specialization of the various sects the work of
theological literature and science has been distinctively the lot of the
Congregationalists and the Presbyterians, and preëminently of the
former.[394:1] It is matter of congratulation that the inequality among
the denominations in this respect is in a fair way to be outgrown.

Special mention must be made of the peculiarly valuable contribution to
the liturgical literature of America that is made by the oldest of our
episcopal churches, the Moravian. This venerable organization is rich
not only in the possession of a heroic martyr history, but in the
inheritance of liturgic forms and usages of unsurpassed beauty and
dignity. Before the other churches had emerged from a half-barbarous
state in respect to church music, this art was successfully cultivated
in the Moravian communities and missions. In past times these have had
comparatively few points of contact and influence with the rest of the
church; but when the elements of a common order of divine worship shall
by and by begin to grow into form, it is hardly possible that the
Moravian traditions will not enter into it as an important factor.

A combination of conditions which in the case of other bodies in the
church has been an effective discouragement to literary production has
applied with especial force to the Roman Catholic Church in America.
First, its energies and resources, great as they are, have been
engrossed by absolutely prodigious burdens of practical labor; and
secondly, its necessary literary material has been furnished to it from
across the sea, ready to its hand, or needing only the light labor of
translation. But these two conditions are not enough, of themselves, to
account for the very meager contribution of the Catholic Church to the
common religious and theological literature of American Christendom.
Neither is the fact explained by the general low average of culture
among the Catholic population; for literary production does not
ordinarily proceed from the man of average culture, but from men of
superior culture, such as this church possesses in no small number, and
places in positions of undisturbed "learned leisure" that would seem in
the highest degree promotive of intellectual work. But the comparative
statistics of the Catholic and the Protestant countries and universities
of Germany seem to prove conclusively that the spirit and discipline of
the Roman Church are unfavorable to literary productiveness in those
large fields of intellectual activity that are common and free alike to
the scholars of all Christendom. It remains to be seen whether the
stimulating atmosphere and the free and equal competitions of the New
World will not show their invigorating effect in the larger activity of
Catholic scholars, and their liberation from within the narrow lines of
polemic and defensive literature. The republic of Christian letters has
already shown itself prompt to welcome accessions from this quarter. The
signs are favorable. Notwithstanding severe criticisms of their methods
proceeding from the Catholic press, or rather in consequence of such
criticisms, the Catholic institutions of higher learning are rising in
character and in public respect; and the honorable enterprise of
establishing at Washington an American Catholic university, on the
upbuilding of which shall be concentrated the entire intellectual
strength and culture of this church, promises an invigorating influence
that shall extend through that whole system of educational institutions
which the church has set on foot at immense cost, and not with wholly
satisfactory results.

Recent events in the Catholic Church in America tend to reassure all
minds on an important point on which not bigots and alarmists only, but
liberal-minded citizens apostolically willing to "look not only on their
own things but also on the things of others," have found reasonable
ground for anxiety. The American Catholic Church, while characterized in
all its ranks, in respect of loyal devotion to the pope, by a high type
of ultramontane orthodoxy, is to be administered on patriotic American
principles. The brief term of service of Monsignor Satolli as papal
legate clothed with plenipotentiary authority from the Roman see stamped
out the scheme called from its promoter "Cahenslyism," which would have
divided the American Catholic Church into permanent alien communities,
conserving each its foreign language and organized under its separate
hierarchy. The organization of parishes to be administered in other
languages than English is suffered only as a temporary necessity. The
deadly warfare against the American common-school system has abated. And
the anti-American denunciations contained in the bull and syllabus of
December 8, 1864, are openly renounced as lacking the note of

Of course, as in all large communities of vigorous vitality, there will
be mutually antagonist parties in this body; but it is hardly to be
doubted that with the growth and acclimatization of the Catholic Church
in America that party will eventually predominate which is most in
sympathy with the ruling ideas of the country and the age.


[377:1] For fuller accounts of "the Mercersburg theology," with
references to the literature of the subject, see Dubbs, "The Reformed
Church, German" (American Church History Series, vol. viii.), pp. 219,
220, 389-378; also, Professor E. V. Gerhart in "Schaff-Herzog
Encyclopedia," pp. 1473-1475.

[384:1] See above, p. 375.

[386:1] The program of Yale Divinity School for 1896-97 announces among
the "required studies in senior year" lectures "on some important
problems of American life, such as Socialism, Communism, and Anarchism;
Races in the United States; Immigration; the Modern City; the Wage
System; the Relations of Employer and Employed; Social Classes; the
Causes, Prevention, and Punishment of Crime; and University

[386:2] Williston Walker, "The Congregationalists," pp. 245, 246.

[387:1] See above, pp. 182-184.

[387:2] The only relic of this work that survives in common use is the
immortal lyric, "I love thy kingdom, Lord," founded on a motif in the
one hundred and thirty-seventh psalm. This, with Doddridge's hymn, "My
God, and is thy table spread?" continued for a long time to be the most
important church hymn and eucharistic hymn in the English language. We
should not perhaps have looked for the gift of them to two
Congregationalist ministers, one in New England and the other in old
England. There is no such illustration of the spiritual unity of "the
holy catholic church, the fellowship of the holy," as is presented in a
modern hymn-book.

[388:1] Professor Gerhart, in "Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia," p. 1475.

[391:1] "Massachusetts Historical Collections," second series, vol. iv.,
p. 301; quoted in the "New Englander," vol. xiii., p. 467 (August,

[392:1] This was the criticism of the late Rev. Mr. Havergal, of
Worcester Cathedral, to whom Dr. Mason had sent copies of some of his
books. The incident was freely told by Dr. Mason himself.

[394:1] For many generations the religious and theological literature of
the country proceeded almost exclusively, at first or second hand, from
New England. The Presbyterian historian, Professor Robert Ellis
Thompson, remarks that "until after the division of 1837 American
Presbyterianism made no important addition to the literature of
theology" ("The Presbyterians," p. 143). The like observation is true
down to a much more recent date of the Protestant Episcopal Church.
Noble progress has been made in both these denominations in reversing
this record.

[396:1] So (for example) Bishop O'Gorman, "The Roman Catholics," p. 434.
And yet, at the time, the bull with its appendix was certainly looked
upon as "an act of infallibility." See, in "La Bulle _Quanta Cura_ et la
Civilisation Moderne, par l'Abbé Pélage" (Paris, 1865), the utterances
of all the French bishops. The language of Bishop Plantier of Poitiers
seems decisive: "The Vicar of Jesus Christ, doctor and pastor charged
with the teaching and ruling of the entire church, addressed to the
bishops, and through them to all the Christian universe, instructions,
the object of which is to settle the mind and enlighten the conscience
on sundry points of Christian doctrine and morals" (pp. 103, 104). See
also pp. 445, 450. This brings it within the Vatican Council's
definition of an infallible utterance. But we are bound to bear in mind
that not only is the infallible authority of this manifesto against
"progress, liberalism, and modern civilization" disclaimed, but the
meaning of it, which seems unmistakably clear, is disputed. "The
syllabus," says Bishop O'Gorman, "is technical and legal in its
language, ... and needs to be interpreted to the lay reader by the
ecclesiastical lawyer" (p. 435).

A seriously important desideratum in theological literature is some
authoritative canon of the infallible utterances of the Roman see. It is
difficult to fix on any one of them the infallible authority of which is
not open to dispute within the church itself; while the liability of
them to misinterpretation (as in the case of the _Quanta Cura_ and
_Syllabus_) brings in still another element of vagueness and



The three centuries of history which we have passed under rapid review
comprise a series of political events of the highest importance to
mankind. We have seen, from our side-point of view, the planting, along
the western coast of the Atlantic Ocean, without mutual concert or
common direction, of many independent germs of civilization. So many of
these as survived the perils of infancy we have seen growing to a lusty
youth, and becoming drawn each to each by ties of common interest and
mutual fellowship. Releasing themselves from colonial dependence on a
transatlantic power, we find these several communities, now grown to be
States, becoming conscious, through common perils, victories, and hopes,
of national unity and life, and ordaining institutes of national
government binding upon all. The strong vitality of the new nation is
proved by its assimilating to itself an immense mass of immigrants from
all parts of Europe, and by expanding itself without essential change
over the area of a continent. It triumphs again and again, and at last
in a struggle that shakes the world, over passions and interests that
threaten schism in the body politic, and gives good reason to its
friends to boast the solid unity of the republic as the strongest
existing fact in the political world. The very great aggrandizement of
the nation has been an affair of the last sixty years; but already it
has recorded itself throughout the vast expanse of the continent in
monuments of architecture and engineering worthy of the national

The ecclesiastical history which has been recounted in this volume,
covering the same territory and the same period of time, runs with equal
pace in many respects parallel with the political history, but in one
important respect with a wide divergence. As with civilization so with
Christianity: the germs of it, derived from different regions of
Christendom, were planted without concert of purpose, and often with
distinct cross-purposes, in different seed-plots along the Atlantic
seaboard. Varying in polity, in forms of dogmatic statement, and even in
language, the diverse growths were made, through wonders of spiritual
influence and through external stress of trial, to feel their unity in
the one faith. The course of a common experience tended to establish a
predominant type of religious life the influence of which has been
everywhere felt, even when it has not been consented to. The vital
strength of the American church, as of the American nation, has been
subjected to the test of the importation of enormous masses of more or
less uncongenial population, and has shown an amazing power of digestion
and assimilation. Its resources have been taxed by the providential
imposition of burdens of duty and responsibility such, in magnitude and
weight, as never since the early preaching of the gospel have pressed
upon any single generation of the church. Within the space of a single
lifetime, at an expenditure of toil and treasure which it is idle to
attempt to compute, the wide and desolate wilderness, as fast as
civilization has invaded it, has been occupied by the church with
churches, schools, colleges, and seminaries of theology, with pastors,
evangelists, and teachers, and, in one way or another, has been
constrained to confess itself Christian. The continent which so short a
time ago had been compassionately looked upon from across the sea as
missionary ground has become a principal base of supplies, and
recruiting-ground for men and women, for missionary operations in
ancient lands of heathenism and of a decayed Christianity.

So much for the parallel. The divergence is not less impressive. In
contrast with the solid political unity into which the various and
incongruous elements have settled themselves, the unity of the Christian
church is manifested by oneness neither of jurisdiction nor of
confederation, nor even by diplomatic recognition and correspondence.
Out of the total population of the United States, amounting, according
to the census of 1890, to 62,622,000 souls, the 57,000,000 accounted as
Christians, including 20,000,000 communicant church-members, are
gathered into 165,297 congregations, assembling in 142,000 church
edifices containing 43,000,000 sittings, and valued (together with other
church property) at $670,000,000; and are served in the ministry of the
gospel by more than 111,000 ministers.[400:1] But this great force is
divided among 143 mutually independent sects, larger and smaller. Among
these sects is recognized no controlling and coördinating authority;
neither is there any common leadership; neither is there any system of
mutual counsel and concert. The mutual relations of the sects are
sometimes those of respect and good will, sometimes of sharp competition
and jealousy, sometimes of eager and conscientious hostility. All have
one and the same unselfish and religious aim--to honor God in serving
their fellow-men; and each one, in honestly seeking this supreme aim, is
affected by its corporate interests, sympathies, and antipathies.

This situation is too characteristic of America, and too distinctly
connected with the whole course of the antecedent history, not to be
brought out with emphasis in this concluding chapter. In other lands the
church is maintained, through the power of the civil government, under
the exclusive control of a single organization, in which the element of
popular influence may be wholly wanting, or may be present (as in many
of the "Reformed" polities) in no small measure. In others yet, through
government influence and favor, a strong predominance is given to one
organized communion, under the shadow of which dissentient minorities
are tolerated and protected. Under the absolute freedom and equality of
the American system there is not so much as a predominance of any one of
the sects. No one of them is so strong and numerous but that it is
outnumbered and outweighed by the aggregate of the two next to it. At
present, in consequence of the rush of immigration, the Roman Catholic
Church is largely in advance of any single denomination besides, but is
inferior in numerical strength and popular influence to the Methodists
and Baptists combined--if they _were_ combined.

And there is no doubt that this comminution of the church is frankly
accepted, for reasons assigned, not only as an inevitable drawback to
the blessings of religious freedom, but as a good thing in itself. A
weighty sentence of James Madison undoubtedly expresses the prevailing
sentiment among Americans who contemplate the subject merely from the
political side: "In a free government the security for civil rights must
be the same as that for religious rights. It consists, in the one case,
in the multiplicity of interests, and, in the other, in the multiplicity
of sects. The degree of security in both cases will depend on the number
of interests and sects."[402:1] And no student of history can deny that
there is much to justify the jealousy with which the lovers of civil
liberty watch the climbing of any sect, no matter how purely spiritual
its constitution, toward a position of command in popular influence. The
influence of the leaders of such a sect may be nothing more than the
legitimate and well-deserved influence of men of superior wisdom and
virtue; but when reinforced by the weight of official religious
character, and backed by a majority, or even a formidable minority, of
voters organized in a religious communion, the feeling is sure to gain
ground that such power is too great to be trusted to the hands even of
the best of men. Whatever sectarian advantage such a body may achieve in
the state by preponderance of number will be more than offset by the
public suspicion and the watchful jealousy of rival sects; and the
weakening of it by division, or the subordination of it by the
overgrowth of a rival, is sure to be regarded with general complacency.

It is not altogether a pleasing object of contemplation--the citizen and
the statesman looking with contentment on the schism of the church as
averting a danger to the state. It is hardly more gratifying when we
find ministers of the church themselves accepting the condition of
schism as being, on the whole, a very good condition for the church of
Christ, if not, indeed, the best possible. It is quite unreservedly
argued that the principle, "Competition is the life of business," is
applicable to spiritual as well as secular concerns; and the
"emulations" reprobated by the Apostle Paul as "works of the flesh" are
frankly appealed to for promoting the works of the spirit. This debasing
of the motive of church work is naturally attended by a debasement of
the means employed. The competitive church resorts to strange business
devices to secure its needed revenue. "He that giveth" is induced to
give, not "with simplicity," but with a view to incidental advantages,
and a distinct understanding is maintained between the right hand and
the left. The extent and variety of this influence on church life in
America afford no occasion for pride, but the mention of them could not
rightly be omitted. It remains for the future to decide whether they
must needs continue as an inevitable attendant on the voluntary system.

Sectarian divisions tend strongly to perpetuate themselves. The starting
of schism is easy and quick; the healing of it is a matter of long
diplomatic negotiations. In a very short time the division of the
church, with its necessary relations to property and to the employment
of officials, becomes a vested interest. Provision for large expenditure
unnecessary, or even detrimental, to the general interests of the
kingdom of Christ, which had been instituted in the first place at heavy
cost to the many, is not to be discontinued without more serious loss to
influential individuals. Those who would set themselves about the
healing of a schism must reckon upon personal and property interests to
be conciliated.

This least amiable characteristic of the growth of the Christian church
in America is not without its compensations. The very fact of the
existence, in presence of one another, of these multitudinous rival
sects, all equal before the law, tends in the long run, under the
influence of the Holy Spirit of peace, to a large and comprehensive
fellowship.[404:1] The widely prevalent acceptance of existing
conditions as probably permanent, even if not quite normal, softens the
mutual reproaches of rival parties. The presumption is of course
implied, if not asserted, in the existence of any Christian sect, that
it is holding the absolute right and truth, or at least more nearly that
than other sects; and the inference, to a religious mind, is that the
right and true must, in the long run, prevail. But it is only with a
high act of faith, and not as a matter of reasonable probability, that
any sect in America can venture to indulge itself in the expectation of
a supremacy, or even a predominance, in American Christendom. The
strongest in numbers, in influence, in prestige, however tempted to
assert for itself exclusive or superior rights, is compelled to look
about itself and find itself overwhelmingly outnumbered and outdone by a
divided communion--and yet a communion--of those whom Christ "is not
ashamed to call his brethren"; and just in proportion as it has the
spirit of Christ, it is constrained in its heart to treat them as
brethren and to feel toward them as brethren. Its protest against what
it regards as their errors and defects is nowise weakened by the most
unreserved manifestations of respect and good will as toward
fellow-Christians. Thus it comes to pass that the observant traveler
from other countries, seeking the distinctive traits of American social
life, "notes a kindlier feeling between all denominations, Roman
Catholics included, a greater readiness to work together for common
charitable aims, than between Catholics and Protestants in France or
Germany, or between Anglicans and nonconformists in England."[405:1]

       *       *       *       *       *

There are many indications, in the recent history of the American
church, pointing forward toward some higher manifestation of the true
unity of the church than is to be found in occasional, or even habitual,
expressions of mutual good will passing to and fro among sharply
competing and often antagonist sects. Instead of easy-going and playful
felicitations on the multitude of sects as contributing to the total
effectiveness of the church, such as used to be common enough on
"anniversary" platforms, we hear, in one form and another, the
acknowledgment that the divided and subdivided state of American
Christendom is not right, but wrong. Whose is the wrong need not be
decided; certainly it does not wholly belong to the men of this
generation or of this country; we are heirs of the schisms of other
lands and ages, and have added to them schisms of our own making. The
matter begins to be taken soberly and seriously. The tender entreaty of
the Apostle Paul not to suffer ourselves to be split up into
sects[405:2] begins to get a hearing in the conscience. The _nisus_
toward a more manifest union among Christian believers has long been
growing more and more distinctly visible, and is at the present day one
of the most conspicuous signs of the times.

Already in the early history we have observed a tendency toward the
healing, in America, of differences imported from over sea. Such was the
commingling of Separatist and Puritan in New England; the temporary
alliance of Congregationalist and Presbyterian to avert the imposition
of a state hierarchy; the combination of Quaker and Roman Catholic to
defeat a project of religious oppression in Maryland; the drawing
together of Lutheran and Reformed Germans for common worship, under the
saintly influence of the Moravian Zinzendorf; and the "Plan of Union" by
which New Englander and Scotch-Irishman were to labor in common for the
evangelization of the new settlements.[406:1] These were sporadic
instances of a tendency that was by and by to become happily epidemic. A
more important instance of the same tendency was the organization of
societies for charitable work which should unite the gifts and personal
labors of the Christians of the whole continent. The chief period of
these organizations extended from 1810, the date of the beginning of the
American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, to 1826, when the
American Home Missionary Society was founded.[406:2] The "catholic
basis" on which they were established was dictated partly by the
conscious weakness of the several sects as they drew near to
undertakings formidable even to their united forces, and partly by the
glow of fraternal affection, and the sense of a common spiritual life
pervading the nation, with which the church had come forth from the
fervors of "the second awakening."[406:3] The societies, representing
the common faith and charity of the whole church as distinguished from
the peculiarities of the several sects, drew to themselves the affection
and devotion of Christian hearts to a degree which, to those who highly
valued these distinctions, seemed to endanger important interests. And,
indeed, the situation was anomalous, in which the sectarian divisions of
the Christian people were represented in the churches, and their
catholic unity in charitable societies. It would have seemed more
Pauline, not to say more Christian, to have had voluntary societies for
the sectarian work, and kept the churches for Christian communion. It is
no wonder that High-church champions, on one side and another, soon
began to shout to their adherents, "To your tents, O Israel!" Bishop
Hobart played not in vain upon his pastoral pipe to whistle back his
sheep from straying outside of his pinfold, exhorting them, "in their
endeavors for the general advancement of religion, to use only the
instrumentality of their own church."[407:1] And a jealousy of the
growing influence of a wide fellowship, in charitable labors, with
Christians of other names, led to the enunciation of a like doctrine by
High-church Presbyterians,[407:2] and contributed to the convulsive and
passionate rending of the Presbyterian Church, in 1837, into nearly
equal fragments. So effective has been the centrifugal force that of
the extensive system of societies which from the year 1810 onward first
organized works of national beneficence by enlisting the coöperation of
"all evangelical Christians," the American Bible Society alone continues
to represent any general and important combination from among the
different denominations.

For all the waning of interest in the "catholic basis" societies, the
sacred discontent of the Christian people with sectarian division
continued to demand expression. How early the aspiration for an
ecumenical council of evangelical Christendom became articulate, it may
not be easy to discover[408:1] In the year 1846 the aspiration was in
some measure realized in the first meeting of the Evangelical Alliance
at London. No more mistakes were made in this meeting than perhaps were
necessarily incident to a first experiment in untried work. Almost of
course the good people began with the question, What good men shall we
keep out? for it is a curious fact, in the long and interesting history
of efforts after Christian union, that they commonly take the form of
efforts so to combine many Christians as to exclude certain others. In
this instance, beginning with the plan of including none but Protestant
Christians, they proceeded at once to frame a platform that should bar
out that "great number of the best and holiest men in England who are
found among the Quakers," thus making up, "designedly and with their
eyes open, a schismatic unity--a unity composed of one part of God's
elect, to the exclusion of another; and this in a grand effort after the
very unity of the body of Christ."[409:1] But in spite of this and other
like mistakes, or rather because of them (for it is through its mistakes
that the church is to learn the right way), the early and unsuccessful
beginnings of the Evangelical Alliance marked a stage in the slow
progress toward a "manifestation of the sons of God" by their love
toward each other and toward the common Lord.

It is in large part the eager appetency for some manifestation of
interconfessional fellowship that has hastened the acceptance of such
organizations as the Young Men's Christian Association and the Young
People's Society of Christian Endeavor; just as, on the other hand, it
is the conscientious fear, on the part of watchful guardians of
sectarian interests, that habitual fellowship across the boundary lines
of denominations may weaken the allegiance to the sect, which has
induced the many attempts at substituting associations constituted on a
narrower basis. But the form of organization which most comprehensively
illustrates the unity of the church is that "Charity Organization" which
has grown to be a necessity to the social life of cities and
considerable towns, furnishing a central office of mutual correspondence
and coördination to all churches and societies and persons engaged in
the Christian work of relieving poverty and distress. This central
bureau of charitable coöperation is not the less a center of catholic
fellowship for the fact that it does not shut its door against societies
not distinctively Christian, like Masonic fraternities, nor even against
societies distinctively non-Christian, like Hebrew synagogues and
"societies of ethical culture." We are coming to discover that the
essence of Christian fellowship does not consist in keeping people out.
Neither, so long as the apostolic rubric of Christian worship[410:1]
remains unaltered, is it to be denied that the fellowship thus provided
for is a fellowship in one of the sacraments of Christian service.

A notable advance in true catholicity of communion is reported from
among the churches and scattered missions in Maine. Hitherto, in the
various movements of Christian union, it was common to attempt to disarm
the suspicions of zealous sectarians by urgent disclaimers of any intent
or tendency to infringe on the rights or interests of the several sects,
or impair their claim to a paramount allegiance from their adherents.
The Christians of Maine, facing tasks of evangelization more than
sufficient to occupy all their resources even when well economized and
squandering nothing on needless divisions and competitions, have
attained to the high grace of saying that sectarian interests must and
shall be sacrificed when the paramount interests of the kingdom of
Christ require it.[410:2] When this attainment is reached by other
souls, and many other, the conspicuous shame and scandal of American
Christianity will begin to be abated.

Meanwhile the signs of a craving for larger fellowship continue to be
multiplied. Quite independently of practical results achieved, the mere
fact of efforts and experiments is a hopeful fact, even when these are
made in directions in which the past experience of the church has
written up "No Thoroughfare."

I. No one need question the sincerity or the fraternal spirit with which
some important denominations have each proposed the reuniting of
Christians on the simple condition that all others should accept the
distinctive tenet for which each of these denominations has contended
against others. The present pope, holding the personal respect and
confidence of the Christian world to a higher degree than any one of his
predecessors since the Reformation (to name no earlier date), has
earnestly besought the return of all believers to a common fellowship by
their acceptance of the authority and supremacy of the Roman see. With
equal cordiality the bishops of the Protestant Episcopal Church have
signified their longing for restored fellowship with their brethren on
the acceptance by these of prelatical episcopacy. And the Baptists,
whose constant readiness at fraternization in everything else is
emphasized by their conscientious refraining from the sacramental sign
of communion, are not less earnest in their desire for the unification
of Christendom by the general acceptance of that tenet concerning
baptism, the widespread rejection of which debars them, reluctant, from
unrestricted fellowship with the general company of faithful men. But
while we welcome every such manifestation of a longing for union among
Christians, and honor the aspiration that it might be brought about in
one or another of these ways, in forecasting the probabilities of the
case, we recognize the extreme unlikeliness that the very formulas which
for ages have been the occasions of mutual contention and separation
shall become the basis of general agreement and lasting concord.

II. Another indication of the craving for a larger fellowship is found
in the efforts made for large sectarian councils, representing closely
kindred denominations in more than one country. The imposing ubiquity of
the Roman Church, so impressively sustaining its claim to the title
_Catholic_, may have had some influence to provoke other denominations
to show what could be done in emulation of this sort of greatness. It
were wiser not to invite comparison at this point. No other Christian
organization, or close fellowship of organizations, can approach that
which has its seat at Rome, in the world-wideness of its presence, or
demand with so bold a challenge,

     Quæ regio in terris non nostri plena laboris?

The representative assembly of any other body of Christians, however
widely ramified, must seem insignificant when contrasted with the real
ecumenicity of the Vatican Council. But it has not been useless for the
larger sects of Protestantism to arrange their international assemblies,
if it were for nothing more than this, that such widening of the circle
of practical fellowship may have the effect to disclose to each sect a
larger Christendom outside to which their fellowship must sooner or
later be made to reach.

The first of these international sectarian councils was that commonly
spoken of as "the Pan-Anglican Synod," of Protestant Episcopal bishops
gathered at Lambeth by invitation of the Archbishop of Canterbury in
1867 and thrice since. The example was bettered by the Presbyterians,
who in 1876 organized for permanence their "Pam-Presbyterian Alliance,"
or "Alliance of the Reformed Churches throughout the world holding
the Presbyterian System." The first of the triennial general councils
of this Alliance was held at Edinburgh in 1877, "representing more
than forty-nine separate churches scattered through twenty-five
different countries, and consisting of more than twenty thousand
congregations."[413:1] The second council was held at Philadelphia, and
the third at Belfast. The idea was promptly seized by the Methodists. At
the instance of the General Conference of the United States, a
Pam-Methodist Council was held in London in 1881,--"the first Ecumenical
Methodist Conference,"--consisting of four hundred delegates,
representing twenty-eight branches of Methodism, ten in the eastern
hemisphere and eighteen in the western, including six millions of
communicants and about twenty millions of people.[413:2] Ten years
later, in 1891, a second "Methodist Ecumenical Conference" was held at

Interesting and useful as this international organization of sects is
capable of being made, it would be a mistake to look upon it as marking
a stage in the progress toward a manifest general unity of the church.
The tendency of it is, on the whole, in the opposite direction.

III. If the organization of "ecumenical" sects has little tendency
toward the visible communion of saints in the American church, not much
more is to be hoped from measures for the partial consolidation of
sects, such as are often projected and sometimes realized. The healing
of the great thirty years' schism of the Presbyterian Church, in 1869,
was so vast a gain in ecclesiastical economy, and in the abatement of a
long-reeking public scandal and of a multitude of local frictions and
irritations, that none need wonder at the awakening of ardent desires
that the ten Presbyterian bodies still surviving might "find room for
all within one fold"[413:3] in a national or continental Presbyterian
Church. The seventeen Methodist bodies, separated by no differences of
polity or of doctrine that seem important to anybody but themselves, if
consolidated into one, would constitute a truly imposing body, numbering
nearly five millions of communicants and more than fifteen millions of
people; and if this should absorb the Protestant Episcopal Church (an
event the possibility of which has often been contemplated with
complacency), with its half-million of communicants and its elements of
influence far beyond the proportion of its numbers, the result would be
an approximation to some good men's ideal of a national church, with its
army of ministers coördinated by a college of bishops, and its _plebs
adunata sacerdoti_. Consultations are even now in progress looking
toward the closer fellowship of the Congregationalists and the
Disciples. The easy and elastic terms of internal association in each of
these denominations make it the less difficult to adjust terms of mutual
coöperation and union. Suppose that the various Baptist organizations
were to discover that under their like congregational government there
were ways in which, without compromising or weakening in the slightest
their protest against practices which they reprobate in the matter of
baptism, they could, for certain defined purposes, enter into the same
combination, the result would be a body of nearly five millions of
communicants, not the less strong for being lightly harnessed and for
comprehending wide diversities of opinion and temperament. In all this
we have supposed to be realized nothing more than friends of Christian
union have at one time or another urged as practicable and desirable. By
these few and, it would seem, not incongruous combinations there would
be four powerful ecclesiastical corporations,--one Catholic and three
Protestant,--which, out of the twenty millions of church communicants in
the United States, would include more than seventeen and one half

The pondering of these possibilities is pertinent to this closing
chapter on account of the fact that, as we near the end of the
nineteenth century, one of the most distinctly visible tendencies is the
tendency toward the abatement of sectarian division in the church. It is
not for us simply to note the converging lines of tendency, without some
attempt to compute the point toward which they converge. There is grave
reason to doubt whether this line of the consolidation or confederation
of sects, followed never so far, would reach the desired result.

If the one hundred and forty-three sects enumerated in the eleventh
census of the United States[415:2] should by successful negotiation be
reduced to four, distinguished each from the others by strongly marked
diversities of organization and of theological statement, and united to
each other only by community of the one faith in Jesus Christ, doubtless
it would involve some important gains. It would make it possible to be
rid of the friction and sometimes the clash of much useless and
expensive machinery, and to extinguish many local schisms that had been
engendered by the zeal of some central sectarian propaganda. Would it
tend to mitigate the intensity of sectarian competition, or would it
tend rather to aggravate it? Is one's pride in his sect, his zeal for
the propagation of it, his jealousy of any influence that tends to
impair its greatness or hinder its progress, likely to be reduced, or is
it rather likely to be exalted, by the consciousness that the sect is a
very great sect, standing alone for important principles? Whatever
there is at present of asperity in the emulous labors of the competing
denominations, would it not be manifold exasperated if the competition
were restricted to four great corporations or confederations? If the
intestine conflict of the church of Christ in America should even be
narrowed down (as many have devoutly wished) to two contestants,--the
Catholic Church with its diversity of orders and rites, on the one hand,
and Protestantism with its various denominations solidly confederated,
on the other,--should we be nearer to the longed-for achievement of
Christian union? or should we find sectarian animosities thereby raised
to the highest power, and the church, discovering that it was on the
wrong track for the desired terminus, compelled to reverse and back in
order to be switched upon the right one?

Questions like these, put to be considered, not to be answered, raise in
the mind the misgiving that we have been seeking in diplomatic
negotiations between high contracting parties that which diplomacy can
do only a little toward accomplishing. The great aim is to be sought in
humbler ways. It is more hopeful to begin at the lower end. Not in great
towns and centers of ecclesiastical influence, but in villages and
country districts, the deadly effects of comminuted fracture in the
church are most deeply felt. It is directly to the people of such
communities, not through the medium of persons or committees that
represent national sectarian interests, that the new commandment is to
be preached, which yet is no new commandment, but the old commandment
which they have had from the beginning. It cannot always be that sincere
Christian believers, living together in a neighborhood in which the
ruinous effects of division are plain to every eye, shall continue to
misapprehend or disregard some of the tenderest and most unmistakable
counsels of their Lord and his apostles, or imagine the authority of
them to be canceled by the authority of any sect or party of Christians.
The double fallacy, first, that it is a Christian's prime duty to look
out for his own soul, and, secondly, that the soul's best health is to
be secured by sequestering it from contact with dissentient opinions,
and indulging its tastes and preferences wherein they differ from those
of its neighbor, must sometime be found out and exposed. The discovery
will be made that there is nothing in the most cherished sermons and
sacraments and prayers that is comparable in value, as a means of grace,
with the giving up of all these for God's reign and righteousness--that
he who will save his soul shall lose it, and he who will lose his soul
for Christ and his gospel shall save it to life eternal. These centuries
of church history, beginning with convulsive disruptions of the church
in Europe, with persecutions and religious wars, present before us the
importation into the New World of the religious divisions and
subdivisions of the Old, and the further division of these beyond any
precedent in history. It begins to look as if in this "strange work" God
had been grinding up material for a nobler manifestation of the unity of
his people. The sky of the declining century is red with promise.
Hitherto, not the decay of religious earnestness only, but the revival
of it, has brought into the church, not peace, but division. When next
some divine breathing of spiritual influence shall be wafted over the
land, can any man forbid the hope that from village to village the
members of the disintegrated and enfeebled church of Christ may be
gathered together "with one accord in one place" not for the transient
fervors of the revival only, but for permanent fellowship in work and
worship? A few examples of this would spread their influence through the
American church "until the whole was leavened."

The record of important events in the annals of American Christianity
may well end with that wholly unprecedented gathering at Chicago in
connection with the magnificent celebration of the four hundredth
anniversary of the discovery of America by Columbus--I mean, of course,
the Parliament of Religions. In a land which bears among the nations the
reproach of being wholly absorbed in devotion to material interests, and
in which the church, unsupported and barely recognized by the state, and
unregulated by any secular authority, scatters itself into what seem to
be hopelessly discordant fragments, a bold enterprise was undertaken in
the name of American Christianity, such as the church in no other land
of Christendom would have had the power or the courage to venture on.
With large hospitality, representatives of all the religions of the
world were invited to visit Chicago, free of cost, as guests of the
Parliament. For seventeen days the Christianity of America, and of
Christendom, and of Christian missions in heathen lands, sat
confronted--no, not confronted, but side by side on the same
platform--with the non-Christian religions represented by their priests,
prelates, and teachers. Of all the diversities of Christian opinion and
organization in America nothing important was unrepresented, from the
authoritative dogmatic system and the solid organization of the Catholic
Church (present in the person of its highest official dignitaries) to
the broadest liberalism and the most unrestrained individualism. There
were those who stood aloof and prophesied that nothing could come of
such an assemblage but a hopeless jangle of discordant opinions. The
forebodings were disappointed. The diverse opinions were there, and were
uttered with entire unreserve. But the jangle of discord was not there.
It was seen and felt that the American church, in the presence of the
unchristian and antichristian powers, and in presence of those solemn
questions of the needs of humanity that overtask the ingenuity and the
resources of us all combined, was "builded as a city that is at unity
with itself." That body which, by its strength of organization, and by
the binding force of its antecedents, might have seemed to some most
hopelessly isolated from the common sympathies of the assembly, like all
the rest was faithful in the assertion of its claims, and, on the other
hand, was surpassed by none in the manifestation of fraternal respect
toward fellow-Christians of other folds. Since those seventeen wonderful
September days of 1893, the idea that has so long prevailed with
multitudes of minds, that the only Christian union to be hoped for in
America must be a union to the exclusion of the Roman Catholic Church
and in antagonism to it, ought to be reckoned an idea obsolete and

       *       *       *       *       *

The theme prescribed for this volume gives no opportunity for such a
conclusion as the literary artist delights in--a climax of achievement
and consummation, or the catastrophe of a decline and fall. We have
marked the sudden divulging to the world of the long-kept secret of
divine Providence; the unveiling of the hidden continent; the progress
of discovery, of conquest, of colonization; the planting of the church;
the rush of immigration; the occupation of the continent with Christian
institutions by a strange diversity of sects; the great providential
preparations as for some "divine event" still hidden behind the curtain
that is about to rise on the new century,--and here the story breaks off
half told.

       *       *       *       *       *

To so many of his readers as shall have followed him to this last page
of the volume, the author would speak a parting word. He does not
deprecate the criticisms that will certainly be pronounced upon his
work by those competent to judge both of the subject and of the style of
it. He would rather acknowledge them in advance. No one of his critics
can possibly have so keen a sense as the author himself of his
incompetency, and of the inadequacy of his work, to the greatness of the
subject. To one reproach, however, he cannot acknowledge himself justly
liable: he is not self-appointed to a task beyond his powers and
attainments, but has undertaken it at the instance of eminent men to
whose judgment he was bound to defer. But he cannot believe that even
his shortcomings and failures will be wholly fruitless. If they shall
provoke some really competent scholar to make a book worthy of so great
and inspiring a theme, the present author will be well content.


[400:1] These statistical figures are taken from the authoritative work
of Dr. H. K. Carroll, "The Religious Forces of the United States"
(American Church History Series, vol. i.). The volume gives no estimate
of the annual expenditure for the maintenance of religious institutions.
If we assume the small figure of $500 as the average annual expenditure
in connection with each house of worship, it makes an aggregate of
$82,648,500 for parochial expenses. The annual contributions to
Protestant foreign and home missions amount to $7,000,000. (See above,
pp. 358, 359.) The amounts annually contributed as free gifts for
Christian schools and colleges and hospitals and other charitable
objects can at present be only conjectured.

[402:1] The "Federalist," No. 51.

[404:1] "This habit of respecting one another's rights cherishes a
feeling of mutual respect and courtesy. If on the one hand the spirit of
independence fosters individualism, on the other it favors good
fellowship. All sects are equal before the law.... Hence one great cause
of jealousy and distrust is removed; and though at times sectarian zeal
may lead to rivalries and controversies unfavorable to unity, on the
other hand the independence and equality of the churches favor their
voluntary coöperation; and in no country is the practical union of
Christians more beautifully or more beneficially exemplified than in the
United States. With the exception of the Roman Catholics, Christians of
all communions are accustomed to work together in the spirit of mutual
concession and confidence, in educational, missionary, and philanthropic
measures for the general good. The motto of the state holds of the
church also, _E pluribus unum_. As a rule, a bigoted church or a fierce
sectarian is despised" (Dr. J. P. Thompson, in "Church and State in the
United States," pp. 98, 99). See, to the like purport, the judicious
remarks of Mr. Bryce, "American Commonwealth," vol. ii., pp. 568, 664.

[405:1] Bryce, "American Commonwealth," vol. ii., p. 568.

[405:2] 1 Cor. i. 10.

[406:1] See above, pp. 61, 95, 190, 206, 220, 258.

[406:2] See above, pp. 252-259.

[406:3] Among the New England Congregationalists the zeal for union went
so far as to favor combination with other sects even in the work of
training candidates for the ministry. Among the "honorary
vice-presidents" of their "American Education Society" was Bishop
Griswold, of the Eastern Diocese of the Protestant Episcopal Church.

[407:1] Sermon at consecration of Bishop H. U. Onderdonk, 1827.

[407:2] Minutes of the Convention of Delegates met to consult on
Missions in the City of Cincinnati, A.D. 1831. The position of the
bishop was more logical than that of the convention, forasmuch as he
held, by a powerful effort of faith, that "his own" church is the church
of the United States, in an exclusive sense; while the divines at
Cincinnati earnestly repudiate such exclusive pretensions for their
church, and hold to a plurality of sectarian churches on the same
territory, each one of which is divinely invested with the prerogatives
and duties of "the church of Christ." A _usus loquendi_ which seems to
be hopelessly imbedded in the English language applies the word "church"
to each one of the several sects into which the church is divided. It is
this corruption of language which leads to the canonization of schism as
a divine ordinance.

[408:1] The first proposal for such an assembly seems to be contained in
an article by L. Bacon in the "New Englander" for April, 1844. "Why
might there not be, ere long, some general conference in which the
various evangelical bodies of this country and Great Britain and of the
continent of Europe should be in some way represented, and in which the
great cause of reformed and spiritual Christianity throughout the world
should be made the subject of detailed and deliberate consideration,
with prayer and praise? That would be an 'ecumenical council' such as
never yet assembled since the apostles parted from each other at
Jerusalem--a council not for legislation and division, but for union and
communion and for the extension of the saving knowledge of Christ" (pp.
253, 254).

[409:1] See the pungent strictures of Horace Bushnell on "The
Evangelical Alliance," in the "New Englander" for January, 1847, p. 109.

[410:1] James i. 27: "Pure and unpolluted worship, in the eye of God,
consists in visiting widows and orphans in their tribulation, and
keeping one's self spotless from the world."

[410:2] An agreement has been made, in this State, among five leading
denominations, to avoid competing enterprises in sparsely settled
communities. An interdenominational committee sees to the carrying out
of this policy. At a recent mutual conference unanimous satisfaction was
expressed in the six years' operation of the plan.

[413:1] "Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia," vol. i., p. 63.

[413:2] Buckley, "The Methodists," p. 552.

[413:3] Thompson, "The Presbyterians," p. 308.

[415:1] If the Lutherans of America were to be united with the
Presbyterians, it would be no more than was accomplished fourscore years
ago in Prussia. In that case, out of 20,618,307 communicants, there
would be included in the four combinations, 18,768,859.

[415:2] Dr. Carroll, "Religious Forces," p. xv.


Abbot, Ezra, 379.

Abbot, George, Archbishop, 42.

Abbott, Lyman, 384.

Abolitionists, 82, 282, 284.

Adams, Charles Francis, 131.

Adventists, 336.

Albany, 69.

Albrights, 229.

Alexander, Dr. Gross, 348.

Alexander VI., pope, 3, 17.

Allen, Professor A. V. G., 156, 159, 382.

Allen, Professor J. H., 250.

Alliance, Evangelical, 408.

  providential concealment of, 1;
  medieval church in, 2;
  Spanish conquests and missions in, 6-15;
  French occupation and missions, 16-29;
  English colonies in, 38-67, 82-126;
  Dutch and Swedes in, 68-81;
  churches of New England, 88;
  Quaker colonization, 109-117;
  other colonists, 120-124;
  diverse sects, 127-139;
  Great Awakening, 157-180;
  Presbyterians, 186;
  Reformed, 187;
  Lutheran, 188;
  Moravian, 189;
  Methodist, 198;
  severance of colonies from England and of church from state, 221;
  Second Awakening, 233;
  organized beneficence, 246;
  conflicts of the church, 261;
  dissension and schism, 292;
  immigration, 315;
  the church in the Civil War, 340;
  reconstruction and expansion of the church, 351;
  theology and literature, 374;
  political union and ecclesiastical division, 398;
  tendencies toward unity, 405.

American Bible Society, 256, 408.

American Board of Missions, 252-255.

American Missionary Association, 255, 314.

Andover Theological Seminary, 251, 271.

Andrew, Bishop, 302.

Andrews, E. B., 340.

Andrews, W. G., 177, 179.

Anglican Church established in American colonies, 51, 61, 64, 65.

Antipopery agitation, 312, 325.

Antislavery. See Slavery.

"Apostasy, the southern," 277, 346.

"Applied Christianity," 385.

Apprenticeship obsolete, 364.

Arminianism, 104, 222.

Armstrong, General S. C., 356.

Asbury, Bishop Francis, 200.

Awakening, the Great, 53, 81, 126, 141, 157, 181.

Awakening, the Second, 233, 242.

Bachman, John, 278.

Bacon, B. W., 380.

Bacon, David, 246.

Bacon, Francis, 40.

Bacon, Leonard, 84, 94, 102, 113, 134, 227, 260, 272, 278, 287, 408.

Bacon, Nathaniel, 63.

Baird, Charles W. and Henry M., 388.

Baltimore, first Lord, 54;
  second Lord, 56.

Bancroft, George, 19, 21, 22, 24, 27, 29, 41, 116, 117, 383.

Baptist Young People's Union, 369.

  in Virginia, 53;
  in Carolina, 64;
  in Rhode Island, 106;
  in Massachusetts, 130;
  in Pennsylvania, 146;
  in the South, 149;
  services to religious liberty, 221;
  antislavery, 222;
  become Calvinists, 223;
  found Brown University, 248;
  undertake foreign missions, 253;
  divide on slavery, 303;
  pioneer work, 332;
  plan of Christian union, 411.

Barclay, Robert, 112, 117.

Barnes, Albert, 294.

Baxter, George A., 237.

Baxter, Richard, 66, 121.

Beecher, Edward, 294, 383.

Beecher, Henry Ward, 341, 351, 384.

Beecher, Lyman, 230, 243, 251, 263, 286, 294, 383.

Belcher, Governor, 168.

Bellamy, Joseph, 156, 181.

Bellomont, Lord, 79.

Bellows, Henry W., 383.

Benezet, Anthony, 203.

Bennett, Philip, 48.

Bennett, Richard, 50.

Berkeley, Governor Sir William, 49, 50, 51, 63.

Bethlehem, Pa., 189.

Biblical science, 378.

Birney, James G., 273, 274, 275, 283.

Bishops, Anglican, consecrated, 213, 304.

Bishops, Catholic, consecrated, 215.

Bishops, colonial, not wanted, 206.

Bishops, Methodist, consecrated, 219.

Bishops, Moravian, 124, 193.

Bissell, Edwin C., 380.

Blair, Commissary, 52.

Blair, Samuel, 160, 167.

Blake, Joseph, 63.

Boehm, Martin, 228.

Bogardus, Everard, 70.

Boyle, Robert, 66.

Bradford, Governor William, 94, 97.

Brainerd, David, 180, 183, 247.

Bray, Thomas, 61, 62, 66.

Breckinridge, Robert J., 281, 378.

Brewster, Edward, 43, 44.

Brewster, William, 44, 83.

Briggs, Charles A., 380.

Brooks, Phillips, 384.

Brown, Francis, 379.

Brown, Tutor, 131.

Browne, J. and S., at Salem, 97.

Browne, W. H., 55, 59.

Bryce, James, 404, 405.

Buck, Richard, 42, 44.

Buckley, James M., 201, 202, 218, 219, 240, 241.

Buckminster, 251, 383.

Bushnell, Horace, 105, 176, 375, 383, 409.

Cahenslyism, 392.

Calvert, Cecilius, 56.

Calvert, George, 54, 55.

Calvert, Leonard and George, 56, 59.

  in New England, 103, 225;
  among Baptists, 223;
  in the Presbyterian Church, 294.

Campanius, John, 76, 150.

Campbell, Douglas, 74.

Campbellites, 242.

Camp-meetings, 233.

Canada, 18-29.

Cane Ridge revival, 235.

Carolinas colonized, 62.

Carroll, Bishop John, 214.

Carroll, Dr. H. K., 335, 369.

Cartier, Jacques, 17.

Cartwright, Peter, 232.

Catholic Church, Roman:
  Revived and reformed in sixteenth century, 4.
  Spanish missions a failure, 10-14.
  French missions, their wide extension and final collapse, 17-29.
  Persecuted in England, 36.
  In Maryland, 56.
  Way prepared for, 185.
  Organized for United States, 215.
  Conflict with "trusteeism," 216, 310;
  with fanaticism, 312.
  Gain and loss by immigration, 318-322.
  Modified in America, 323-396.
  Methods of propagation, 330.
  Its literature, 394.
  Its relation to the Church Catholic, 324, 416, 418.

Cavaliers in Virginia, 51.

Champlain, 17, 20, 28.

Channing, William Ellery, 251, 301, 383.

Charity Organization, 409.

Charles II. of England, 51, 62, 78.

  of Massachusetts, 90;
    transferred to America, 98.

Charter of the Virginia Company:
  revoked, 48.

Chauncy, Charles, 170.

Chautauqua, 233, 363.

Cherokee nation, 265.

Chickasaws and Choctaws, 23.

Chinese immigration, 336.

Church polity in New England, 88, 95, 99, 102.

Clark, Francis E., 368.

Clarke, James Freeman, 383.

  of Virginia, 52;
  of Maryland, 61.

Cleveland, Aaron, 204.

College settlement, 370.

Colleges, 48, 52, 102, 160, 172, 173, 176, 231, 247, 271.

Colonization in Africa, 257.

  in New England, 99;
  in New Jersey, 109;
  moving west, 137;
  coöperate with Presbyterians, 220;
  college-builders, 333;
  work at the South, 355.

Conservatism of American churches, 311.

Copland, Patrick, 47, 48, 50.

Cornbury, Lord, 80, 121, 135, 141.

Corwin, E. T., 69, 71, 78, 80, 121, 139.

Covenanters in New Jersey, 110.

Cumberland Presbyterians, 241.

Cutler, Timothy, 131, 156, 169.

Dabney, Robert L., 378.

Dale, Sir Thomas, 43, 45.

Davenport, James, 170.

Davenport, John, 49, 102.

Davies, Samuel, 173.

Deerfield, 21.

De la Warr, Lord, 41, 43.

Dewey, Orville, 383.

Dickinson, Jonathan, 160, 294.

Disciples, 242, 414.

Divisions of Christendom, 31.

Dominicans, 9, 10, 32.

Dorchester, Daniel, 322, 335, 357, 358, 359, 361.

Douglas, Stephen A., 341.

Dow, Lorenzo, 240.

Drunkenness prevalent, 286.

Dubbs, Joseph H., 121.

Dudley, Governor, 98.

Dueling, 263.

Duffield, George, 294.

Dunster, President, 130.

Durand, William, 49.

Durbin, David P., 240.

Dutch church, 68, 78, 109, 134.

Dutch in Carolina, 64.

"Dutch, Pennsylvania," 118.

Dwight, Timothy, 230, 242, 375, 387.

Eaton, Theophilus, 102.

Eddy, Richard, 225, 228.

Edmundson, William, 64.

Edwards, Jonathan, 156, 169, 172, 179, 247, 294.

Edwards, Jonathan, the younger, 222, 225, 273.

Elder, M. T., 322, 331.

Eleuthera colony, 50.

Eliot, John, 66, 102, 150, 152.

Embury, Philip, 199.

Emerson, Ralph Waldo, 298, 383.

Emmons, Nathanael, 251, 305, 375.

Endicott, John, 90, 93, 94.

England, religious parties in, 33, 43.

Episcopal Church:
  in Virginia, 38-53;
  in Maryland, 60;
  in Carolina, 64-67, 148;
  in New York, 78-80, 135;
  in Pennsylvania, 119;
  in Georgia, 124;
  in New England, 128, 129, 131-134;
  hostile to revivals, 177, 306;
  extreme depression, 210;
  consecration of bishops, 212;
  resuscitation, 304;
  violent controversy, 306;
  rapid growth, 308;
  specialties of, in evangelization, 334;
  reconstruction after Civil War, 352;
  Pan-Anglican Synod, 412.

Epworth League, 369.

Establishment of religion:
  in Virginia, 45, 51-53;
  in Maryland, 61;
  in the Carolinas, 64, 65, 148;
  in New York, 78-80;
  in New England, 91, 97, 100, 102, 128, 129.
    Disestablishment, 174, 221.

Evangelical Association, 229.

Evangelization at the South, 356.

Evangelization at the West, 327.

Evarts, Jeremiah, 267, 271, 286.

Exscinding Acts, 167, 297, 353.

Fanaticism of Spanish church, 4, 8.

Fanaticism, antipopery, 60, 61, 312.

Finney, Charles G., 375.

Fisher, George Park, 182, 382.

Fisher, Sidney George, 118, 120, 143-145.

Fitch, John, 150.

Fletcher, Governor, 79, 80.

Florida, 9, 10, 22.

Foster, R. V., 236, 238.

Fox, George, 34, 65, 114, 117, 149.

Franciscans, 10, 11, 12, 32.

Franklin, Benjamin, 118.

Fraser, John, 335.

Frelinghuysen, Domine, 81, 134, 141, 142, 163.

Frelinghuysen, Senator, 267.

French missions:
  projected, 17;
  extinguished, 185, 220.

Fuller, Dr. and Deacon, 94.

Gates, Sir Thomas, 42.

Georgia, 122, 205, 264, 285.

German exiles, 53, 139.

German immigration, 117, 120, 187, 318.

Gladden, Washington, 385.

Gosnold, Bartholomew, 38.

Gough, John B., 289.

Great fortunes and great gifts, 359.

Greatorex's collection, 393.

Green, Ashbel, 204.

Green, S. S., 122.

Green, W. H., 380.

Gregory, Caspar René, 379.

Griffin, Edward Dorr, 251, 383.

Griswold, Alexander V., 304.

Gurley, R. R., 273.

Hale, Edward Everett, 367, 386.

Half-way Covenant, 104.

Hall, Isaac H., 379.

Hamilton, J. Taylor, 190, 198.

Hampton Institute, 356.

Hand, Daniel, 360.

Hard times in 1857, 342.

Harrison, Thomas, 49, 50, 60.

Hart, Levi, 204.

Hastings, Thomas, 387, 392.

Haupt, Bible-work, 380.

Haverhill, Mass., 21.

Hawkins, John, 289.

Helps, Arthur, 7, 8.

Higginson, Francis, 90.

High-church party:
  in Episcopal Church, 306, 308, 323, 407;
  in Presbyterian Church, 295, 407.

Hill, Matthew, 121.

Hilprecht, Dr., 379.

Historical theology, 381.

Hitchcock, Roswell D., 382.

Hobart, John Henry, 304, 407.

Hodge, Charles, 378, 381.

  colony from, in New York, 68;
  not the source of New England institutions, 74;
  Pilgrims in, 86;
  mission from, to Germans, 194.

Hooker, Thomas, 102, 138.

Hopkins, Samuel, 151, 181, 183, 184, 204, 205.

Hopkins, Stephen, 44.

Hopkinsianism, 294.

Hudson, Henry, 68.

Hughes, John, 310, 351.

Huguenots, 37, 53, 62, 64, 65, 81, 139.

Humphrey, Heman, 286.

Hunt, Robert, 38, 41.

Huntington, Frederic D., 384.

Hurst, John F., 382.

Hutchinson, Ann, 101, 106.

Hymn-writers, 387.

  evangelization of, 46, 47, 57, 71, 74, 76, 150, 151, 179, 246;
  Indian churches, 131.

Induction refused to unworthy parsons, 51.

Immigration, 315, 317, 357.

Infidelity, 219, 230.

Institutional Church, 369.

Intemperance, 75, 205, 285.

International sectarian councils, 412.

Ireland, 318.

Iroquois, 20, 23, 25.

Jackson, Helen Hunt, 264.

Jacobs, Henry E., 71, 121, 188, 190, 196, 198.

James I. of England, 36, 38, 44, 47, 48, 90.

James II. of England, 110, 112.

Jamestown, 30-45.

Jarratt, Devereux, 173.

Jefferson, Thomas, 221, 230, 305.

Jerks, the, 239, 240.

Jesuits, 4, 10, 26, 28, 29, 32, 56, 57, 58, 71, 150, 214.

Jogues, Father, 71, 150.

Johnson, President Samuel, 132.

Johnson, Thomas Cary, 297, 314, _note_, 354.

Journalism, 333, 344.

Judson, Adoniram, 253.

Kansas-Nebraska Bill, 284, 341.

Kansas Crusade, 341.

Keith, George, 119, 133, 149.

Keith, Governor, 120.

Kieft, Governor, 70, 71.

King, Thomas Starr, 383.

King's Chapel, Boston, 224.

Kirby, William, 294.

Kirk, Edward Norris, 383.

Knapp, Jacob, 288.

Lanphier, Jeremiah, 342.

La Salle, 18.

Las Casas, 9, 152.

Laud, William, 48.

Lea, Henry Charles, 382.

Leon, Ponce de, 9.

Leyden, 45, 83, 86.

Liberty, religious:
  in Eleuthera, 50;
  in Maryland, 56, 59;
  in Carolina, 63;
  in New York, 72;
  in New Jersey, 111;
  in Pennsylvania, 116;
  in Georgia, 123;
  defended by Makemie, 136;
  favored by sectarian division, 174;
  promoted by Baptists, 221.

Literature of American church, 374-395.

Littledale, R. F., 26, 27, 28.

Liturgies, 386, 394.

Locke, John, 62, 64.

Lodge, H. C., 62, 70, 117, 153.

Log College, 142, 160, 162, 172.

Logan County, Kentucky, 232, 234.

Louisiana, 23, 27, 220.

Lutherans, 72, 120, 146, 188, 190, 232.

Luther League, 369.

Madison, James, Bishop, 232.

Madison, James, President, 402.

Maine, 20, 21, 23, 410.

Makemie, Francis, 121, 136.

Maria Monk, 312.

Marshall, John, 232.

Maryland, 49, 54-62.

Mason, John M., 263.

Mason, Lowell, 392.

Massacres, 2, 10, 11, 12, 48, 71, 76, 151, 194.

Mather, Cotton, 107, 153.

Mayhews, the, 150.

McConnell, S. D., 151, 170, 179, 211, 224.

McGee brothers, 233.

McGready, James, 233.

McIlvaine, C. P., 351.

McMasters, John Bach, 240.

Megapolensis, Domine, 71, 77, 150.

Menendez, 10.

Mennonites, 72, 117, 153.

Mercersburg theology, 377, 388.

  tardy arrival in America, 198;
  spreads southward, 201;
  rapid growth, 202;
  against slavery and intemperance, 205;
  receives bishops, 219;
  divided by the slavery agitation, 301;
  in pioneer work, 332;
  at the South, 353;
  Ecumenical Conference, 413;
  consolidation of Methodist sects, 414.

Michaelius, Jonas, 69.

Millerism, 336.

Mills, Samuel J., 248, 256.

Minuit, Peter, 69, 70, 76.

Missionary societies, 62, 252, 253, 255, 257, 258, 367.

Missions, American:
  to Indians, 179, 246, 265;
  to the West, 220, 327;
  to the South, 355.

Missions, foreign, 252, 255, 257, 358.

Missions to America:
  Icelandic, 2;
  Spanish, 6-16;
  French, 17-29;
  of the S. P. G., 62, 66, 67, 80, 126, 131, 133, 135, 140, 177;
  of the church of Holland, 195.

Missionary Ridge, 268.

Mississippi, the, 18, 21, 256.

Missouri Compromise, 270, 271, 284.

  antipopery, 321;
  pro-slavery, 283.

Montesinos, 9.

Montreal, 17, 20.

Moody, Dwight L., 344, 388.

Moor, Thoroughgood, 135.

Moore, George Foot, 380.

Moravians: in Georgia, 124;
  in Pennsylvania, 189, 193;
  missions to Indians, 194;
  their liturgies, 394.

Mormonism, 335.

Morris, Colonel, 79.

Morris, Samuel, 173.

Morse, Jedidiah, 251.

Morton, Thomas, 88.

Mühlenberg, Henry M., 191-198.

Mulford, Elisha, 378.

Munger, Theodore T., 384.

Murray, John, 225.

Music, church, 391, 394.

Nansemond church, 48, 49, 59.

Nationalism of the Puritans, 100, 101, 128, 132, 137, 176.

Native American party, 313, 321.

Neill, E. D., 44, 51, 59.

Neshaminy, 142.

Nevin, John W., 377.

Newark, 110, 160.

New Brunswick, 162.

New England Company, 66.

New England theology, 181, 374.

New Englanders moving west, 80, 137.

New Haven theology, 294, 298.

New Jersey, 109-112.

New Jerusalem Church, 229.

New Londonderry, 160.

Newman, A. H., 131, 255, 275.

New Mexico, 6, 11.

New-School Presbyterians, 294, 346, 355.

New-Side Presbyterians, 166.

New York, 68-81;
  diversity of sects, 134.

Nicholson, Governor, 52.

Nicolls, Governor, 78.

Nitschmann, David, 124, 193.

Northampton, 104, 155-159.

Norton, Andrews, 299.

Nott, Eliphalet, 263.

Nursing orders and schools, 368.

Oberlin College, 314.

Occum, Samson, 179.

Oglethorpe, James, 123.

O'Gorman, Bishop, 2, 15, 23, 24, 28, 216, 312, 321, 396.

Old-School Presbyterians, 295, 345, 353.

Old-Side Presbyterians, 166.

Orders in Roman Church, 330.

Ordination in New England, 96, 100.

Otis, Deacon, 360.

Otterbein, Philip William, 228.

Paine, Thomas, 230.

Palatines, 37, 53, 118, 140, 187.

Palfrey, John G., 98, 99, 100, 383.

Palmer, Ray, 387.

Pam-Methodist Conference, 413.

Pam-Presbyterian Alliance, 412.

Pan-Anglican Synod, 412.

Park, Edwards A., 151, 182, 184, 204, 305, 375.

Parker, Theodore, 300.

Parkman, Francis, 18.

Parliament of Religions, 418.

Pastorius, 117.

Penn, William, 112, 115, 143.

Persecutions, 36, 51, 107, 110, 130.

Pierpont, James, 81.

Pierpont, Sarah, 156.

Pierson, Abraham, 109, 150.

Pilgrims, 45, 83, 84, 86, 88, 93.

Plan of Union, 220, 258, 293.

Pocahontas, 46.

Pond, Enoch, 378.

Population of United States:
  in 1790, 315;
  in 1850, _ibid._

Porter, Ebenezer, 286.

Pott, Governor, 55.

  in Scotland and Ireland, 37, 110;
  in America, 110, 121;
  in New York, 136;
  schism among, 166;
  rapid growth, 186;
  alliance with Congregationalists, 206;
  earnestly antislavery, 268;
  dissensions among, 292;
  the great schism, 296;
  characteristics as a sect, 332;
  new schisms and reunions, 346, 353, 355;
  liturgical movement, 388;
  early unproductiveness in theology and literature, 394;
  international alliance, 412.

Princeton College, 173, 175.

Princeton Seminary, 251, 380.

Prohibitory legislation, 290.

Protestant sects and Catholic orders, 330-334.

Protestantism in Europe divided, 31-34.

Provoost, Bishop, 212, 213, 232.

Psalmody, 182, 387, 391-393.

Pulpit, the American, 382.

Puritan jurisprudence, 113;
  sabbatarian extravagance provokes reaction, 371.

  not Separatists, 43;
  in Virginia, 44-50;
  in Maryland, 59;
  antagonize the Separatists, 82;
  settle at Salem, 90;
  fraternize with the Pilgrims, 94;
  church order, 96;
  the great Puritan exodus bringing the charter, 98;
  intend an established church, 100;
  exclude factious dissenters, 101;
  divergences of opinion, 103;
  in New Jersey, 109;
  Puritan church establishments fail, 108, 128, 174;
  Nationalist principle succumbs to Separatist, 176.

  a reaction from Puritanism, 113;
  its enthusiasm, 114;
  its discipline, 114;
  anticipated in continental Europe, 115;
  Keith's schism, 119;
  Quaker jurisprudence, 143;
  failure in civil government, 144;
  and in pastoral work, 145;
  its sole and faithful witness at the South, 149;
  the only organized church fellowship uniting the colonies, 150;
  Hicksite schism, 314.

  persecuted in England, 36;
  in Virginia, 51, 53;
  missions in Carolina, 64;
  persecuted in New York, 73;
  and in Massachusetts, 101;
  dominant in New Jersey, 110;
  and in Pennsylvania, 116;
  excluded from Evangelical Alliance, 408.

_Quanta Cura_, bull, with Syllabus, 352, 396.

Quebec, 17, 20.

Raleigh, Sir Walter, 39, 62.

Redemptioners, 187.

Reformation in Spain, 4.

Reformed Church, German:
  begins too late the care of German immigrants, 140;
  long unorganized, 146;
  persists in separation from other German Christians, 195.

Reformed-drunkard ethics, 290.

Reformed Dutch Church:
  tardy birth in New York, 69;
  and languishing life, 74, 78;
  revival under Frelinghuysen, 81, 134, 141, 163.

Relly, James, 225.

_Requerimiento_ of the Spanish, 9.

Restoration of the Stuarts, 51.

Revival of 1857, 342.

Revival of Roman Catholic Church, 214.

Rhode Island, 92, 106, 107.

Rice, David, 237.

Rice, Luther, 253.

Ripley, George, 299.

Rising, Governor, 77.

Robinson, Edward, 378.

Robinson, John, 83, 85, 86, 92.

Robinson, "One-eyed," 173.

Rolfe, John, 46.

Roman Catholic. See Catholic.

Rousseau, Jean Jacques, 87.

Rush, Benjamin, 226, 286.

Ryan, Archbishop, 324.

Sabbath observance, 371.

St. Andrew's Brotherhood, 369.

St. Augustine, 10.

St. Lawrence, the, 17.

Salem, 90, 96.

Saloons, tippling, 285, 288.

Saltonstall, Gurdon, 132, 133.

Salvation Army, 370.

Salzburgers, 37, 124, 125.

Sandys, Archbishop, and his sons, 44, 47.

Satolli, Monsignor, 396.

Saybrook Platform, 132, 137.

Schaff, Philip, 377, 382.

Schenectady, 21.

  in Presbyterian Church, 167, 241, 297, 346, 353;
  among Congregationalists, 249;
  among Unitarians, 298;
  in Methodist Church, 302, 303;
  among Baptists, 303;
  among Quakers, 314;
  healed, 355;
  compensations of, 107, 304, 354, 404.

Schlatter, Michael, 195.

  for Virginia, 47, 48, 52;
  in New York, 70, 75;
  in New England, 103;
  in New Jersey, 110;
  in Pennsylvania, 196.

  in Virginia, 47;
  in Carolina, 64;
  in Maryland, 121;
  in Pennsylvania, 122;
  in New York, 136;
  in the Alleghanies, 146;
  in the Awakening, 160;
  principles and prejudices of, 186.

Screven, William, 64.

Scrooby, 44, 83.

Seabury, Samuel, 212.

  European imported, 31-34;
  in New York, 72, 134, 140;
  in Rhode Island, 106;
  in New Jersey, 109;
  the German, 117, 120;
  multiply against established churches, 174;
  enfeebling effect of, 188;
  reconstruct themselves, 208;
  competition of, 328;
  characteristics of, 332;
  multitude of, 400;
  mischiefs of, 403.

Seminaries, theological, 249.

Separatists, 33, 44;
  at Scrooby, Leyden, and Plymouth, 81-95;
  in Rhode Island, 107;
  their principle prevails, 176.

Sewall, Samuel, 152.

Seybert commission, 338.

Shaftesbury, Lord, 62.

Shedd, W. J. G., 382.

Sisterhoods, 368.

Slater educational fund, 357, 360.

  of Indians, 8, 9, 152;
  of negroes, in Florida, 10;
  in Virginia, 48;
  in all colonies, 147;
  condemned in Massachusetts, 152;
    and in Pennsylvania, 153;
    increased cruelty of, 153.
  Kindness to slaves, 154, 179, 246, 271.
  Constant and unanimous protest of the church against slavery, 203-205,
      222, 268-277.
  Beginning of a pro-slavery party in the church, 277;
    propagated by terror, 279-282.
  Pro-slavery reaction at the North, 282.
  Unanimous protests against extension of slavery, 284.
  Slavery question in Presbyterian Church, 296;
    in Methodist Church, 301;
    in Baptist Convention, 303.
  Failure of compromises, 340.
  The Kansas Crusade, 341.
  Apostasy of the southern church complete, 346.
  Diversity of feeling among northern Christians, 347.
  Slavery extinguished, 285, 351.

Smalley, John, 225.

Smith, Eli, 273, 378;
  Henry Boynton, 381;
  Henry Preserved, 380;
  John, 38-42, 47;
  Ralph, 90.

Smylie, James, 277.

Smyth, Newman, 384.

Social science in seminaries, 369, 386.

Societies, charitable, 252-259, 295, 407.

Society P. C. K., 67.

Society P. G. in Foreign Parts, 62, 67;
  missions in Carolina, 67;
  in New York, 80, 120, _note_, 135, 140;
  in Pennsylvania, 119;
  in New England, 131-133.

Society P. G. in New England, 66.

Sophocles, E. A., 379.

Southampton insurrection, 279.

  Reformation in, 3;
  conquests and missions of, 7.

Spiritualism, 337-339.

Spotswood, Governor, 52.

Spring, Gardiner, 353.

Standish, Myles, 88.

Stiles, Ezra, 204, 222.

Stoddard, Solomon, 104, 155.

Stone, Barton W., 234.

Storrs, Richard S., 384.

Stowe, Mrs. H. B., 250.

Strawbridge, Robert, 200.

Strong, Augustus H., 378.

Stuart, Moses, 378.

Sturtevant, J. M., 294.

Stuyvesant, Peter, 71, 73, 77.

Sumner, Charles, 283.

Sunday observance, 371.

Sunday-schools, 258, 362.

Swedenborgians, 229.

Swedes, 75-77.

Syllabus of errors condemned by the pope, 352, 396.

  "Reforming," 105;
  Presbyterian, 136;
  disrupted, 167;
  excision of, 297;
  of Virginia, 346.

Talcott, Governor, 168.

Talmage, Thomas De Witt, 385.

Taylor, Nathaniel W., 294, 375.

  efforts for, 75, 205, 206;
  the Reformation, 285-291;
  early legislation, 75, 288;
  "Washingtonian movement," 288;
  Prohibitionism, 290.

Tennent, Gilbert, 142, 162, 165, 167, 169.

Tennent, William, 141, 160.

Tennent, William, Jr., 180.

Thayer, Eli, 341, 342.

Thayer, Joseph H., 379.

Theological instruction, 81, 217, 249.

Theological seminaries, 249, 251, 252.

Theology, New England, 181, 243, 294, 355.

Theology, systems of, 375, 378.

Thomas, Allen C. and Richard H., 114, 139, 143.

Thomas, John R., 393.

Thompson, Joseph P., 404.

Thompson, Robert Ellis, 122, 147, 176, 346, 394.

Thomson, William M., 379.

Thornwell, James H., 314, _note_, 378.

Tiffany, Charles C., 65, 71, 120, 131, 134, 173, 207, 210, 213, 224,

Torkillus, Pastor, 76.

Tracy, Joseph, 162, 169, 172, 179.

Trumbull, Henry Clay, 362, 379.

"Trusteeism," 215, 310.

Tuttle, Daniel S., 335.

Tyler, B. B., 236, 238, 242.

Union, Christian:
  tendencies and attempts, 107, 191, 194, 206, 220, 349, 405, 406.

Unitarianism, 224, 249, 383.

United Brethren, 228.

Unity, real, in the church, 175, 324, 325, 334, 419;
  manifestation of it yet future, 36, 417, 419.

Universalism, 225-228.

Van Twiller, Governor, 70.

Vermont, 21.

Vincent, John H., 363.

Virginia, 38-53, 55, 173.

Virginia Company, 40, 44, 48, 54.

Voluntary system, 244, 261, 328.

Vose, James G., 107.

Walker, Williston, 100, 104, 386.

Walloons, 69.

  between France and England, 21, 184;
  the Seven Years', 22, 24;
  Revolutionary, 202, 209;
  the Civil, 348, 365;
  produces schisms and healings, 353, 355.

Ward, William Hayes, 379.

Ware, Henry, 249, 383.

Ware, Henry, Jr., 251, 299, 383.

Warren, George William, 393.

Washingtonianism, 288.

Watts, Isaac, 158, 168, 182, 387, 391.

Wayland, Francis, 383.

Welsh immigrants, 118.

Wesley, Charles, 124, 125.

Wesley, John, 124, 159, 198, 200, 202, 217, 285.

Westminster League, 369.

Westminster Sabbath law, 371.

Westward progress of church, 219, 327, 358.

Wheelock, Eleazar, 179.

Whitaker, Alexander, 43, 46, 150.

White, Father, 57, 59.

White, John, 89.

White, Bishop William, 210, 212, 213.

Whitefield, George, 126, 163, 168, 173, 175, 177.

Wigglesworth, Michael, 103.

William and Mary, College of, 52.

Williams, Roger, 100, 106, 150.

Williams College, 248.

Wilson, Henry, 273, 274, 281.

Winchester, Elhanan, 226.

Wingfield, Governor, 39.

Winthrop, John, 49, 98.

Wise, John, 102.

Women's C. T. Union, 367.

Women's Crusade, 366.

Women's mission boards, 367.

Woods, Leonard, 378.

Woolman, John, 150, 203.

Ximenes, Cardinal, 3.

Yale College, 230, 243.

Yeo, John, 60.

Young Men's Christian Association, 343, 364, 409.

Young People's Society of Christian Endeavor, 368, 409.

Young Women's Christian Association, 366.

Zinzendorf, 124, 189, 190, 192.

       *       *       *       *       *

The following corrections have been made to the text:

     page 32--people of England is of preëminent[original has
     preeminent] importance

     page 59--feared to violate the immunities of the
     church."[ending quotation mark is missing in original]

     page 188--sent messengers with an imploring petition to their
     coreligionists[original has correligionists] at London and

     page 296--It was an unpardonable offense[original has offence]

     page 335-immediate adventism[original has hyphen between words]

     page 353--gendered strifes that still delay the
     reintegration[original has redintegration]

     page 427--_Requerimiento_[original has Requirimiento] of the
     Spanish, 9.

     Footnote 377-1--(American Church History Series,[original has
     quotation mark] vol. viii.)--also, pp. 219, 220, 389-378--this
     typographical error has not been corrected

Variations in hyphenation are preserved as in the original. Examples
include the following:

     Christ-like     Christlike
     make-shift      makeshift

The following words use an oe ligature in the original:


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