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nistered by them are a desecration; and that Episcopal ordination with the gown, bands, and liturgy, with other paraphernalia are essential. The minority deny these delusions. They as strenuously insist upon the badges and ceremonies as the portal of admission into the ministry among themselves, but impugn that Papist • blasphemy of the saints, which leaves all who are not prelatists to the uncovenanted mercies of God.'
Amid all their controversies, two characteristics are discernible. The general disbelief of their own Articles of Religion, with the entire rejection of the Homilies of their church ; and the universal absence of Christian discipline. These facts are openly acknowledged. Besides these defects, some of their papers are staunch adherer.ts of a spurious gospel, a mixture of truth and popish leaven. Many of their essays seem to repudiate only the bolder Popish apostacies from the faith; such as the worship of images, and the pontifical jurisdiction. In a variety of minor aspects, they coincide with Popery, so that we have seen in Jesuit papers published in Philadelphia and New York, the distinct avowal of approbation of the articles in the Episcopal papers, and the loudest exultation is proclaimed that their erring brethren,' are so near to them in opinion. They are also wheedled to advance but a few steps more, and then they will be found altogether' in the mother church of Rome.' In a work recently published at New York, entitled • Dictionary of the Church,' which is highly approved among them, claims are made, and dogmas asserted, which Cranmer, Hooper, Ridley, Latimer, Rogers, Philpot, and Taylor, with the Marian martyrs, would have discarded with equal vehemence as the Papal . mystery of iniquity and working of Satan.'
Upon the subject of slavery, their conventions have maintained a silence just as profound as if that national curse and stigma had never been known. By the catalogue of their ministers, it appears that Peter Williams, descended from African ancestors, officiates in a congregation of colored people in New York. Some time ago, the prelate of that diocess admonished him to abstain from participating in any measures which might be adopted for the abolition of slavery, and the amelioration of his degraded brethren, extraneous from his functions in the church. In the year 1838, there appeared in the Philadelphia newspapers a letter from Mr. Ducachet, an Episcopalian minister of that city. His philippic was in the genuine spirit of a slave-driver, and shows that his compeers are generally opposed to the abolition of slavery.
It may be remarked, however, that the catalogue of ministers affords no accurate criterion by which to judge of the numerical strength of the body. In many of the country congregations the attendance is very thin; and this circumstance combined with the
want of zeal, and the tendency of the Episcopalian system to substitute a formal routine for heartfelt emotion, necessarily circumscribes effort for the conversion of sinners, and when accompanied by the errors of baptismal regeneration, the absolution of all sins when a man is dying, and the alleged certainty of a joyful resurrection in which he is interred, whatever his course of life or state at death may have been—all these things testify that Episcopalianism is neither attractive to an enterprising Christian, por adapted by its own energies adequately to arouse sinners from the sleep of sin, and to rescue them from the danger of condemnation.
The increase of the Episcopal church in the United States has resulted partly from the number of emigrants from England and Ireland who avowedly belonged to our Establishment. From habit they unite with the forms to which they have been accustomed, whence it happens that American Episcopalianism assumes much of the same character as our own. Some of the more objectionable features of the English liturgy have been erased, and the connexion between the state and the hierarchy has been destroyed; but in their moral influence and spiritual aspects, the Episcopalians on both sides of the Atlantic are nearly identical. There is an equal destitution of Christian discipline, the same reliance upon liturgical forms, and a similar delusive substitution of priestly efficiency in administering the sacraments for the work of the Holy Spirit, and consequently the mutual want of that consecration of body, soul, and spirit to the Lord, which is required of all his servants.
One remarkable circumstance has occurred in America. In several cases it has happened that English Dissenting ministers have become Episcopalians. In the catalogue of Episcopal ministers published at New York, in the almanac for 1839, we perceive the following names. Robert Bolton, Eastchester, N. Y.; Thomas S. Brittan, Brooklyn, N. Y.; Calvin Colton, Thomas Jackson, Alexandria, D. C.; and James Sabine, Bethel, Vermont. Mr. Bolton resided at Henley, Oxfordshire; Mr. Brittan at Swansea; Mr. Jackson was a student at Rotherham ; Mr. Sabine, we think, was from Gosport; and Mr. Colton took some pains to make himself notorious, as a virulent opponent of Episcopacy when he resided in London. Messrs. Brittan and Colton each published a book to vilify their former connexions, and to justify their sudden change.
One public fact of which we have been assured by an Episcopalian who was present on the occasion, illustrates the moral and religious benefits of the prelatical system in America. A meeting was held not long since in New York by the Episcopal Domestic Missionary Society, and it was affirmed by one of the speakers, that there was a loud and urgent call for their strongest efforts in
the western states, to counteract the deleterious effects of Popery, which is so rapidly disseminating throughout that part of the country. Mr. Taylor, an Episcopal doctor in divinity of that city, declared in substance—that the alarm which he felt for the people of those states arose from the progress of the fanatics, especially the Presbyterians and Baptists, whom he dreaded much more than the Jesuits. He added, that he vastly preferred the Papists to the Protestant sects who dissented from them; and held the Romish religion and priesthood in a higher estimate than the preachers and people of other denominations.
IV. MISCELLANEOUS REMARKS. We have not introduced any notice of the Congregationalists, or the Baptists, or the minor sects. Not that they do not combine a very important portion of the American confederacy-for Congregationalism is the heart's blood of New England; but the disputations which occur in their churches are less extensive and lasting, on account of their restricted operation, and are confined to topics of theology. A survey of the Unitarian controversy and the other sectarian divisions in America, may be presented at some future period; but the length to which this article has extended precludes a more distinct notice; especially as our sole object was to unfold the origin and character of the wide spread dissensions, which now rend the larger Christian consociations.
We unfeignedly assent to the self-evident truths upon civil and religious liberty which are embodied in the standard authorities of the North American States. We most heartily respond to the cardinal axiom, that Christianity can more effectually exhibit its majestic sway and its benign influence upon mankind, when disconnected from all terrestial authority. We most gratefully exult in the accelerating progress of our
our transAtlantic brethren in national improvements, which will perpetuate their civil institutions and their Christian advancement. Nevertheless, we marvel when we behold them permitting an unhallowed power in their churches to embarrass and trample upon them. They loudly boast of having no priestly tyrants, no • İords over God's heritage, but their various religious periodicals which we have perused, display a totally different view of their condition.
The Methodist paper called Zion's Watchman, published in New York, compared with its virulent antagonist, the Christian Advocate, assures us, that some of the most oppressive characteristics of our own spiritual courts,'-excepting, of course, the power to imprison the persons and to plunder the property of delinquents, exist in all their odious reality in New York and Philadelphia. Even New England, the home of that liberty which the Puritan Pilgrims planted round Plymouth Rock, is not without some memorials of this evil.
The papers denominated the Presbyterian and the Observer, of Philadelphia, and the Religious Telegraph and the Watchman, issued in Richmond, with the Baltimore Magazine, conducted by Mr. Breckinridge, of Glasgow notoriety, all teach us, that the spirit and rules of the Inquisition have been well understood by many individuals who for several years past have disorganized and disgraced the Presbyterian churches, and inflicted deep stigma upon their name and organization.
Another fact is obvious from their joint and uniform testimony. Whatever may be the increase of magnificent edifices, and the prodigality with which the money dedicated to Christian uses is squandered in the decoration of religious houses and other analogous modes, the state of religion is far from being so healthy and vigorous as could be desired. From a retrospective survey of religious revivals in
years past, we have no doubt that great permanent good was achieved ; but the present obvious difference is discouraging ; and we perceive no prospect of amendment until the American churches are thoroughly
purified from the ungodliness and pollutions of slavery. Many of their boasted revivals have been like the morning cloud which passeth away. From late statistical accounts it appears, that the larger denominations do not expand either in numbers or usefulness. There is a vast array of ministers in their catalogues, but many of them are not engaged in the duties which appertain to their office; and the number of church members, as recorded in some of the reports before us, must either be inaccurately printed, or there is woeful negligence in attending on the house of prayer.
We have compared the tabular accounts of some of the churches of New York and Philadelphia with our own recoliections of their aspect and condition when we were in the midst of them, and we will state that which we have heard, and that
which we have seen. In the catalogues to which we refer, several congregations of those cities, of different sects, are represented as comprising five, ten, and even eleven hundred members in full communion. We have united in their devotions on occasions which were adapted to collect more persons than the ordinary attendance; but we are convinced, that the number of communicants alone, as put down in figures, would have doubled the auditory. On the regular opportunities of the Lord's day, exclusive of the children, we could not have counted more than two fifths of the prescribed number, including the adults who were not members. Even at the administration of the Lord's Supper, the majority of persons who are recorded as disciples were manifestly absent. It is, therefore, demonstrable, either that the numerical returns of the church are a fallacy, or that
such members, like the professors in Sardis,“ have a name that they live, and are dead.'
In the existing condition of large sections of American churches, the spirit of the world predominates among them. Lay officers are often chosen, without any consideration or reference to their piety, but solely on account of their wealth and political influence and elevation. Thus men are appointed to decide upon the qualifications of candidates for church membership, who are ignorant not only of the work of grace in their own hearts, but also of the doctrines and discipline of the gospel. Is it not absurd to suppose that such men will administer the affairs of the household of faith with purity and integrity, who are not acquainted with the laws and obligations of Christ's kingdom?
It is a startling fact, and enough to make both the ears of every one that heareth it to tingle,' that the churches are in the most abject vassalage under the tyrannic yoke of slavery. For that scandalous subserviency there is no extenuation. In their national character, for more than sixty years, they have proclaimed to the world, that freedom, with all its concomitant privileges, is the inalienable birthright of every human being. Yet they now imprison in their house of bondage two millions and a half of their native born citizens, and sell, and buy, and barter their countrymen, the children of their own households, and their fellow-Christians, with the same constant publicity as they exchange any article of merchandize.
In all this atrocious felony, the members of the American churches participate. Ministers and lay officers of the congregations of almost all denominations, engage in the slave-trade, with the same indifference to human weal and human woe, with the same contempt for God's word and the divine menaces, and with the same utter disregard of decorum, rectitude, and benevolence, as the pirate on the African coast, and the man-trader of Cuba and Brazil. Not only have they abrogated their own creeds of faith and rules of discipline, but they have perverted the word of God into a sanction of their kidnapping ; not only themselves breaking the commandments, but teaching men so, thus turning aside the right ways of the Lord, until the Moloch of slavery, to apply the Pope's blasphemous title, is exalted as · Vicar of Christ, and his Vicegerent in the church on earth;' issuing his mandates with godlike authority, and torturing in every practicable form, the Christian philanthropists who will not submit to his territic and excruciating sceptre.
To us it is certain, that little good for the world in a moral and religious aspect, can be anticipated from the Anglo-Americans until they abolish slavery. We shudder for the churches when we think of that direful wickedness being tolerated any longer within their jurisdiction. Whatever may be the political