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NEW ENGLAND owes its ments were abolished. Some first settlement to religious retained a constitutional dispersecution. A number of tinction between christiansand people called Puritans, who others, with respect to their refused conformity to the eligibility to office ; but the church of England, labouring idea of supporting one denounder various oppressions, mination at the expense of quitted their native country others, or of raising any one in order to enjoy the free ex- sect of protestants to a legal ercise of their religion. These pre-eminence, was universally were the first settlers of New reprobated. England. But the noble prin- The following denominaciples of liberty ceased to tions of christians are more operate on their minds after or less numerous in the United they had got the power in their States; viz. Congregationalists, hands. In a few years they'. Presbyterians, Dutch Reformso far forgot their own suffer- ed Church, Episcopalians, ings as to press for uniformity Baptists, Quakers, Methodists, in religion, and to turn perse- Roman Catholics, German cutors in order to accomplish Lutherans, German Calvinists, it. These intemperate proceed- or Presbyterians, Moravians, ings were overruled for good. Tunkers, Mennonists, UniverAs the intolerance of England salists, Swedenborgeans, and peopled Massachusetts, so the Shakers. intolerance of that province The Congregationalists are made many emigrants from it, the most numerous denominaand gave rise to various dis- tion in New England, where tinct settlements, which in they have upwards of a thouthe course of years were form- sand congregations. Formerly ed into other provincial esta- their ecclesiastical proceedings blishments. *.-At present no were regulated in Massachureligious test is required as a setts by the Cambridge platqualification to any office or form of discipline, and in public trust under the United Connecticut by the Saybrook States.
platform of discipline; but It was one of the peculiari- since the revolution less reties of the forms of govern- gard has been paid to these ment in the United States, constitutions, and in many
inthat all religious establish- stances they are wholly dis
* Ramsay's History of the American Revolution,
used. Congregationalists are which they regulate all their generally agreed in this opi- ecclesiastical proceedings, and nion, that every church, or a confession of faith which particular congregation of embraces the Calvinistic docvisible saints, in gospel order, trines; all church-officers, and being furnished with a pastor, church-members, are required or bishop, and walking toge- to subscribe this confession. ther in truth and peace, has Hence they have preserved a received from the Lord Jesus singular uniformity in their full power and authority, religious sentiments, and have ecclesiastically within itself, conducted their ecclesiastical regularly to administer all the affairs with a great degree of ordinances of Christ, and is order and harmony. not under any other ecclesi The Presbyterian churches astical jurisdiction whatso- are governed by congregaever. Their churches, with tional, presbyterial, and synosome exceptions, disclaim the dical assemblies. These assemword independent, as applica- blies possess no civil jurisdicble to them, and claim sis- tion. Their power is wholly terly relation to each other. moral, or spiritual, and that The ministers of the congre- only ministerial and declarasational order are generally tive. The highest punishmentassociated for the purposes of to which their authori.y exlicensing candidates for the tends, is to exclude the conministry, and friendly inter- tumacious and impenitent course and improvement. from the congregation of beCongregationalists are divided lievers. in opinion respecting the doc The church session, whick trines of the gospel, and the is the congregational assembly proper subjects of its ordi- of judicatory, consists of the nances. Those differences oc- minister, or minister and elders casion but little altercation. of a particular congregation. They, in general, agree to This body is invested with the ditier, and live together in spiritual government of the harmony."
congregation, and have power Next to Congregationalists, to enquire into the knowledge Presbyterians are the most and christian conduci of all
denomination of its members; to call before christians in the United States. them offenders and witnesses They have a constitution, by of their own denomination;
thy Morse's Geography, vol. i. p. 270.
to admonish, suspend, or ex- A synod is a convention clude from the sacraments, of several presbyteries. The such as deserve these censures; synod have power to admit to concert measures for pro- and judge of appeals regularly moting the spiritual interests brought up from the presbyof the congregation ; and tu teries; to give their judgment appoint delegates to the higher on all references made to them judicatories of the church. of an ecclesiastical kind; cor
A presbytery consists of all rect and regulate the proceedthe - ministers, and one ruling ings of presbyteries; take efelder from each congregation fectual care that presbyteries within a certain district. Three observe the constitution of the ministers, and three elders, church, &c. constitutionally convened, are The highest judicatory of competent to do business. the Presbyterian Church, is This body have cognizance of styled “ The General Assemall things that regard the wel- bly of the Presbyterian Church fare of the particular churches in the United States of Amewithin their bounds, which are rica.” This grand assembly is not cognizable by the session: to consist of an equal delegaalso, they have a power of re- tion of bishops and elders ceiving and issuing appeals from each presbytery within from the sessions; of examin- their jurisdiction, by the title ing and licensing candidates of “Commissioners to the for the ministry; ordaining, General Assembly.” Fourteen settling, removing, or judging commissioners make a quomini-ters; resolving questions rum. The general assembly of doctrine or discipline ; con- constitute the bond of union, demning erroneous opinions, peace, correspondence, and that injure the purity or peace mutual confidence among all of the church; visiting parti- their churches ; and have cular churches, to enquire into power to receive and issue all their state, and redress the appeals and references, wbich evils that may have arisen in may regularly be brought hethem; uniting or dividing con- fore them from inferior judigregations, at the request of catories; to regulate and corthe people; and whatever else rect the proceedings of the pertains to the spiritual con- synods, &c. To the general cerns of the churches under assembly also belongs the their care.*
power of consulting, reason
Morse's Geography, vol. i. p. 271.
ing, and judging in controver- istic, and differ in nothing sies respecting doctrine and essentially from the Presbydiscipline; of reproving, warn- terians. I ing, or bearing testimomy The number of Friends' against error in doctrine, or meetings in the United States, in morality in practice, in any not including New York, are church, presbytery, or synod; two hundred and ninety-six. corresponding with foreign The number of individuals churches ; putting a stop to cannot be known : some meetschismatical contentions and ings are small, while others disputations; and, in general, are large. recommending and attempt- The denomination of Meing reformation of manners, thodists in the United States and promoting charity, truth, style themselves, “ The Uniand, holiness, in all churches; ted Societies of the Methodist and also erecting new synods.* Episcopal Church.” They
The Presbyterians are di- profess themselves to be a vided into five synods and company of men having the eighteen presbyteries. The form, and seeking the power number of Presbyterian con- of godliness, united in order gregations in America
to pray together, to receive in 1788 computed to be six the word of exhortation, and hundred and eighteen : there to watch over one another in were then two hundred and love; that they may help each twenty-six ministers.
other to work out their salSince the American re- vation.”ll volution, the Episcopalian From the minutes of the church in the United States Methodist episcopal church has been completely organiz- for the year 1800, it appears ed. The churches of that de- that the total amount of the nomination in each state have Methodists in the United their own bishop.
States, was, at that time, The Dutch reformed church- sixty-four thousand eight hunes in America are ancient and dred and ninety-four. Since respectable. They are Calvin- these minutes were published
* Morse, vol, i. p. 272. This account was given by the late Rev. Mr. Murray of Newbury-Port.
# Trumbull's Century Sermon. This account was given by Mr. Moses Brown of Providence. || See a particular account of the rise and progress of the Methodists, and the characiers of the principal leaders of that denomination, in Dr. Haweis' Charch History.
there bas been an addition to destitute of mankind, in the the south, to the amount of different regions of the earth, four thousand.
have been converted to chrisThe Moravians are a re- tianity. The missionaries gespectable body of Christians nerally support themselves by in the United States. Count the assiduous labour of their Zinzendorf, the leader of this hands, in their several arts and denomination, was a noble- occupations. Such is the chaman of high rank and educa- racteristic Moravian-missiontion; and he devoted his time ary zeal, that they have atand fortune to the promotion tempted to spread the gospel of his views of the christian in the distant East, the coast religion. He coinmonly de- of Coromandel, and the Nilivered two or three discourses cobar islands. They have also in a day, notwithstanding bis attempted to penetrate into extensive travels, and other Abyssinia, to carry the gosimportant avocations.* It has pel to Persia and Egypt, and been asserted, that the Mora- to ascend the mountains of vians have done and suffered Caucasus : and often have more in the way of foreign these indefatigable missionmissions, than any other de- aries earned the meed of nomination of christians at highest approbation, where present existing Animated their labours have been least with pious zeal for the con- successful. I version of the heathen, they The whole amount of com; have sent the gospel to the municants and adherents to four quarters of the earth. the Baptist churches in the They have been peculiarly United States, is computed to active in spreading the know- be two hundred and fifty-five ledge of christianity among thousand six hundred and the Indians in the United seventy.ś States, and in Canada.t By The whole amount of the the persevering zeal of their Roman Catholics in the Unitmissionaries, upwards of twen- ed States, is supposed to be ty-three thousand of the most fifty thousand.lt
* See a short sketch of Zinzendorf's character in the Historic Defence of
Experimental Religion, vol, ii. p. 149.
in North America.
# Haweis's Church History, vol. iii. p. 193. $ This account was taken by Mr. John Asplund, who visited the several
associations of Baptist churches for that purpose. # This account, and the number of Roman Catholics in Maryland,
were given by the Right Rev. Bishop Carrol,