The Book of Religions
Views, Creeds, Sentiments, or Opinions,
Of All The
Principal Religious Sects In The World
All Christian Denominations
Europe and America
To Which Are Added
Church and Missionary Statistics
By John Hayward
Author of "New England Gazetteer"
Albert Colby And Company.
20 Washington Street.
Preface. Index. Lutherans, Or, The Evangelical Lutheran Church. Calvinists. Hopkinsians. Arians. Socinians. Humanitarians. Sectarians. Church Government. Presbyterians. Cumberland Presbyterians. Episcopalians. Historical Notice Of The Church In The United States. Articles Of Religion. Cambridge And Saybrook Platforms. Moravians, Or United Brethren. Tunkers. Mennonites, Or Harmless Christians. Disciples Of Christ; Sometimes Called Campbellites, or Reformers. Friends, or Quakers. Shakers, Or The United Society Of Believers. Reformation. Reformed Churches. Reformed Dutch Church. Reformed German Church. Restorationists. Universalists. Roman Catholics. Bereans. Materialists. Arminians. Methodists, Or The Methodist Episcopal Church. Methodists, Or The Methodist Protestant Church. Protestants. Sabellians. Sandemanians. Antinomians. Pelagians. Pre-Adamites. Predestinarians. Orthodox Creeds. Andover Orthodox Creed. New Haven Orthodox Creed. Swedenborgians, Or, The New Jerusalem Church. Fighting Quakers. Harmonists. Dorrelites. Osgoodites. Rogerenes. Whippers. Wilkinsonians. Aquarians. Baxterians. Miller's Views on the Second Coming of Christ. Come-Outers. Jumpers. Baptists. Anabaptists. Free-Will Baptists. Seventh-Day Baptists, Or Sabbatarians, Six-Principle Baptists. Quaker Baptists, Or Keithians. Pedobaptists. Anti-Pedobaptists. Unitarians. Brownists. Puritans. Bourignonists. Jews. Indian Religions. Deists. Atheists. Pantheists. Mahometans. Simonians. Pagans. Satanians. Abelians, or Abelonians. Supralapsarians. Dancers. Epicureans. Skeptics. Wickliffites. Diggers. Zuinglians. Seekers. Wilhelminians. Non-Resistants. Southcotters. Family Of Love. Hutchinsonians. Mormonites, Or The Church Of The Latter-Day Saints. Daleites. Emancipators. Perfectionists. Waldenses. Allenites. Johnsonians. Donatists. Se-Baptists. Re-Anointers. Tao-Se, or Taou-Tsze. Quietists. Knipperdolings. Mendaeans, Mendaites, Mendai Ijahi, Or Disciples Of St. John, That Is, The Baptist. Muggletonians. Yezidees, Or Worshippers Of The Devil. Greek or Russian Church. Primitive Christians. Trinitarians. Millenarians. Whitefield Calvinistic Methodists. Nonjurors. Nonconformists. Christian Connection. Puseyites. Free Communion Baptists. Transcendentalists. Augsburg Confession Of Faith. Armenians. Primitive Methodists. Novatians. Nestorians. High-Churchmen. Ancient American Covenant Or Confession Of Faith. Statistics Of Churches. Baptists. Free-Will Baptists. Seventh-Day Baptists. Christian Connection. Calvinistic Congregationalists. Disciples Of Christ. Episcopalians. Friends. Jews. Lutherans. Protestant Methodists. Methodists. Presbyterians. Other Presbyterian Communities. Reformed Dutch Church. Roman Catholics. Swedenborgians. Unitarians. Universalists. Missionary Statistics. First Protestant Missions. Moravian Missions. London Missionary Society. American Board Of Foreign Missions. Presbyterian Board Of Foreign Missions. English Baptist Missionary Society. American Baptist Board Of Foreign Missions. Free-Will Baptists. Episcopal Missions. Society For Propagating The Gospel Among The Indians And Others. Wesleyan Or English Methodist Missionary Society. Missions Of The Methodist Episcopal Church. Seventh-Day Baptist Missionary Society. French Protestant Missionary Society. Netherlands Missionary Society. Scottish Missionary Society. German Missionary Society. Church Of Scotland Missions. Rhenish Missionary Society. Missions Of The Roman Catholic Church. Jews' Missionary Society. Indians. Biographical Sketches of the Fathers of the Reformation, Founders of Sects, and of other Distinguished Individuals Mentioned in this Volume. John Wickliffe. Jerome of Prague. John Huss. John OEcolampadius. Martin Luther. Ulriucus Zuinglius. Martin Bucer. Philip Melancthon. Peter Martyr. Henry Bullinger. John Knox. John Calvin. Jerome Zanchius. Theodore Beza. Leo X. Justin. Arius. Athanasius. Moses Maimonides. John Agricola. Michael Servetus. Simonis Menno. Francis Xavier. Faustus Socinus. Robert Brown. James Arminius. Francis Higginson. Richard Baxter. George Fox. William Penn. Benedict Spinoza. Ann Lee. John Glass. George Keith. Nicholas Louis, Count Zinzendorf. William Courtney. Richard Hooker. Charles Chauncey. Roger Williams. John Clarke. Ann Hutchinson. Michael Molinos. John Wesley. George Whitefield. Selina Huntingdon. Robert Sandeman. Samuel Hopkins. Jonathan Mayhew. Samuel Seabury. Richard Clarke. Joseph Priestly. James Purves. John Jebb. John Gaspar Christian Lavater. John Tillotson. Isaac Newton. Charles V. Francis Bacon. Matthew Hale. Princess Elizabeth. Robert Boyle. John Locke. Joseph Addison. Isaac Watts. Philip Doddridge. John Murray. Elhanan Winchester. Saint Genevieve. Gilbert Burnet. Theological Schools. Footnotes
A few years since, the Editor of the following pages published a volume of "Religious Creeds and Statistics;" and, as the work, although quite limited, met with general approbation, he has been induced to publish another of the same nature, but on a much larger plan, trusting that it will prove more useful, and more worthy of public favor.
His design has been, to exhibit to his readers, with the utmost impartiality and perspicuity, and as briefly as their nature will permit, the views, creeds, sentiments, or opinions, of all the religious sects or denominations in the world, so far as utility seemed to require such an exhibition; but more especially to give the rise, progress, and peculiarities, of all the principal schemes or systems of religion which exist in the United States at the present day.
The work is intended to serve as a manual for those who are desirous of acquiring, with as little trouble as possible, a correct knowledge of the tenets or systems of religious faith, presented for the consideration of mankind;—to enable them, almost at a glance, to compare one creed or system with another, and each with the holy Scriptures;—to settle the minds of those who have formed no definite opinions on religious subjects;—and to lead us all, by contrasting the sacred truths and sublime beauties of Christianity with the absurd notions of pagan idolaters, of skeptics, and of infidels, to set a just value on the doctrines of HIM WHO SPAKE AS NEVER MAN SPAKE.
To accomplish this design, the Editor has obtained, from the most intelligent and candid among the living defenders of each denomination, full and explicit statements of their religious sentiments—such as they believe and teach. He is indebted to the friends of some new sects or parties in philosophy and religion, for an account of their respective views and opinions. With regard to anterior sects, he has noticed, from the best authorities, as large a number as is thought necessary for the comparison of ancient with modern creeds.
The Church and Missionary Statistics are believed to be as accurate as can be constructed from materials which annually undergo greater or less changes.
The Biographical Sketches are derived from the most authentic sources. While they convey useful knowledge in regard to the fathers and defenders of the various systems of religious faith, they may also stimulate our readers to the practice of those Christian virtues and graces which adorned the lives of many of them, and render their names immortal.
A few only of the works from which valuable aid has been received, can be mentioned:—Mosheim and McLaine's Ecclesiastical History; Gregory and Ruter's Church History; Encyclopaedia Americana; Brown's Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge; Adams's View of Religions, and History of the Jews; Benedict's History of all Religions; Evans's Sketches; Buck's and Henderson's Theological Dictionaries; Eliot's, Allen's, and Blake's Biographical Dictionaries; Davenport; Watson; Grant's Nestorians, Coleman's Christian Antiquities; Ratio Disciplinae; Haydn's Dictionary of Dates, &c.
To clergymen and laymen of all denominations, who have assisted the Editor in presenting their various views with clearness and fairness; to the secretaries of the several missionary boards; to editors of religious journals, and to other persons who have kindly furnished documents for the Statistics and Biographical Sketches, he tenders acknowledgments of unfeigned gratitude.
While the Editor assures the public that the whole has been prepared with much diligence and care, and with an entire freedom from sectarian zeal or party bias, he cannot but indulge the hope that his "Book of Religions" will prove acceptable and beneficial to the community, as imbodying a great variety of facts on a subject of deep concern, worthy of the exercise of our highest faculties, and requiring our most charitable conclusions.
Abelians, or Abelonians, 243
Addison, Joseph, 417
Agricola, John, 370
American Missions, 336
Ancient American Covenant, 308
Andover Orthodox Creed, 138
Apostles' Creed, 102
Arminius, James, 373
Assembly's Catechism, 141
Athanasian Creed, 102
Augsburg Confession, 302
Bacon, Francis, 407
Baptists, 182, 311, 340 Quaker, 193
Baptist Missions, English, 339
Baxter, Richard, 376
Beza, Theodore, 366
Bible Chronology, 175
Biographical Sketches, 350
Bishops, Episcopal, 314
Boyle, Robert, 412
Brown, Robert, 373
Bucer, Martin, 360
Bullinger, Henry, 363
Burnet, Gilbert, 429
Calvin, John, 365
Calvinists, 11, 313
Cambridge Platform, 48
Charles V., 405
Chauncey, Charles, 385
Christian Connection, 295, 313
Christianity, Progress of, 432
Chronology, Bible, 175
Church Government, 20
Church Statistics, 311
Clarke, John, 387
Clarke, Richard, 399
Congregationalists, 20, 313
Courtney, William, 384
Creed, Andover, 138 Apostles', 102 Athanasian, 102 Augsburg, 302 New Haven, 142 Nicene, 105 Orthodox, 132
Cumberland Presbyterians, 25
Disciples of Christ, 58, 314
Disciples of St John, 284
Dissenters. See Puritans.
Doddridge, Philip, 420
Dutch Reformed Church, 88
Elizabeth, Princess, 411
English Baptist Missions, 339
—— Methodist Missions, 343
Episcopalians, 26, 314, 341
Family of Love, 259
Fighting Quakers, 162
Fox, George, 377
Free Communion Baptists, 300
Free-Will Baptists, 190, 312, 341
French Missions, 346
Friends, or Quakers, 64, 319
Genevieve, 162, 428
German Missions, 346
German Reformed Church, 90
Glass, John, 383
Government, Church, 20
Greek Church, 288
Hale, Matthew, 408
Harmless Christians, 57
Hicksites, 74, 319
High Churchmen, 308
Higginson, Francis, 310, 374
Hooker, Richard, 385
Hopkins, Samuel, 397
Huntingdon, Lady Selina, 395
Huss, John, 354
Hutchinson, Ann, 389
Indian Missions, 342 Religions, 210 Statistics, 347
Jebb, John, 401
Jerome of Prague, 352
Jews, 202, 319, 347
Justin Martyr, 368
Keith, George, 383
Knox, John, 363
Latter-Day Saints, 260
Lavater, John G. C., 402
Lee, Ann, 381
Leo X., 367
Locke, John 415
London Missionary Society, 335
Luther, Martin, 355
Lutherans, 9, 320
Maimonides, Moses, 203, 370
Martyr, Peter, 362
Mayhew, Jonathan, 398
Melancthon, Philip, 361
Menno, Simonis, 372
Methodists, Episcopal, 117, 321 Protestant, 123, 321 Methodists, Primitive, 305 Methodists' Missions, 344 Views of Perfection, 274
Miller's Views on the Second Coming of Christ, 170
Missionary Statistics, 333
Missions, American Foreign, 336
Missions, Indian, 342
Molinos, Michael, 389
Moravians, 49, 333
Murray, John, 423
Necessarians. See Materialists.
Netherland Missions, 346
New Haven Orthodox Creed, 142
New Jerusalem Church, 150
Newton, Isaac, 403
Nicene Creed, 105
Oberlin Views of Sanctification, 278
OEcolampadius, John, 355
Orthodox Creeds, 132
Penn, William, 378
Popes of Rome, 326
Presbyterians, 22, 322 Cumberland, 25
Presbyterian Missions, 338
Priestley, Joseph, 400
Primitive Christians, 290 Methodists, 305
Princess Elizabeth, 411
Progress of Christianity, 432
Protestant Methodists, 123, 321 Missions, 333
Purves, James, 401
Quakers, or Friends, 64
Quaker Baptists, 193
Ranters. See Seekers.
Reformed Churches, 88
Reformed Dutch Church, 88, 324 German Church, 90
Rhenish Missions, 347
Roman Catholics, 102, 324, 347
Russian Church, 288
Sanctification, Views on, 278
Sandeman, Robert, 396
Saybrook Platform, 48
Seabury, Samuel, 33, 398
Schools, Theological, 432
Scottish Missions, 346, 347
Servetus, Michael, 371
Seventh-Day Baptists, 191, 312, 345
Six-Principle Baptists, 192
Socinius, Faustus, 372
Spinoza, Benedict, 380
Statistics of Churches, 311 of Missions, 333
Succession of Bishops, 315
Swedenborgians, 150, 330
Taylor's (Dr.) Views, 142
Theological Schools, 432
Tillotson, John, 402
Tunkers, or Tumblers, 55
Unitarians, 196, 331
United Brethren, 49
United Society of Believers, 75
Universalists, 95, 331
Watts, Isaac, 418
Wesley, John, 390
Wesleyan Missions, 343
Westminster Catechism, 141
Whitefield, George, 393
Whitefield Methodists, 293
Wickliffe, John, 350
Williams, Roger, 386
Winchester, Elhanan, 425
Worshippers of the Devil, 285
Xavier, Francis, 161, 372
Yezidees, or Worshippers of the Devil, 285
Zanchius, Jerome, 366
Zinzendorf, Count, 383
Zuinglius, Ulricus, 359
LUTHERANS, OR, THE EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH.
This denomination adheres to the opinions of Martin Luther, the celebrated reformer.
The Lutherans, of all Protestants, are those who differ least from the Romish church, as they affirm that the body and blood of Christ are materially present in the sacrament of the Lord's supper, though in an incomprehensible manner: this they term consubstantiation. They likewise represent some rites and institutions, as the use of images in churches, the vestments of the clergy, the private confession of sins, the use of wafers in the administration of the Lord's supper, the form of exorcism in the celebration of baptism, and other ceremonies of the like nature, as tolerable, and some of them useful. The Lutherans maintain, with regard to the divine decrees, that they respect the salvation or misery of men in consequence of a previous knowledge of their sentiments and characters, and not as founded on the mere will of God. See Augsburg Confession of Faith.
Towards the close of the last century, the Lutherans began to entertain a greater liberality of sentiment than they had before adopted, though in many places they persevered longer in despotic principles than other Protestant churches. Their public teachers now enjoy an unbounded liberty of dissenting from the decisions of those symbols of creeds which were once deemed almost infallible rules of faith and practice, and of declaring their dissent in the manner they judge most expedient.
The capital articles which Luther maintained are as follow:—
1. That the holy Scriptures are the only source whence we are to draw our religious sentiments, whether they relate to faith or practice. (See 2 Tim. 3:15-17. Prov. 1:9. Isa. 8:20. Luke 1:4. John 5:39; 20:31. 1 Cor 4:6, &c.)
2. That justification is the effect of faith, exclusive of good works, and that faith ought to produce good works, purely in obedience to God, and not in order to our justification. (See Gal. 2:21.)
3. That no man is able to make satisfaction for his sins. (See Luke 17:10.)
In consequence of these leading articles, Luther rejected tradition, purgatory, penance, auricular confession, masses, invocation of saints, monastic vows, and other doctrines of the church of Rome.
The external affairs of the Lutheran church are directed by three judicatories, viz., a vestry of the congregation, a district or special conference, and a general synod. The synod is composed of ministers, and an equal number of laymen, chosen as deputies by the vestries of their respective congregations. From this synod there is no appeal.
The ministerium is composed of ministers only, and regulates the internal or spiritual concerns of the church, such as examining, licensing, and ordaining ministers, judging in controversies about doctrine, &c. The synod and ministerium meet annually.
Confession and absolution, in a very simple form, are practised by the American Lutherans; also confirmation, by which baptismal vows are ratified, and the subjects become communicants. Their liturgies are simple and impressive, and the clergy are permitted to use extempore prayer. See Statistics of Churches.
This denomination of Christians, of the Congregational order, are chiefly descendants of the English Puritans, who founded most of the early settlements in New England. They derive their name from John Calvin, an eminent reformer.
The Calvinists are divided into three parties,—High, Strict, and Moderate. The High Calvinists favor the Hopkinsian system. The Moderate Calvinists embrace the leading features of Calvin's doctrine, but object to some parts, particularly to his views of the doctrines of predestination, and the extent of the design of Christ's death. While they hold to the election of grace, they do not believe that God has reprobated any of his creatures. They believe that the atonement is, in its nature, general, but in its application, particular; and that free salvation is to be preached to sinners indiscriminately. The doctrines of the Strict Calvinists are those of Calvin himself, as established at the synod of Dort, A. D. 1618, and are as follow, viz.:—
1. They maintain that God hath chosen a certain number of the fallen race of Adam in Christ, before the foundation of the world, unto eternal glory, according to his immutable purpose, and of his free grace and love, without the least foresight of faith, good works, or any conditions performed by the creature; and that the rest of mankind he was pleased to pass by, and ordain to dishonor and wrath, for their sins, to the praise of his vindictive justice. (See Prov. 16:4. Rom. 9: from ver. 11 to end of chap.; 8:30. Eph. 1:4. Acts 13:48.)
2. They maintain that, though the death of Christ be a most perfect sacrifice, and satisfaction for sins, of infinite value, abundantly sufficient to expiate the sins of the whole world,—and though, on this ground, the gospel is to be preached to all mankind indiscriminately, yet it was the will of God that Christ, by the blood of the cross, should efficaciously redeem all those, and those only, who were from eternity elected to salvation, and given to him by the Father. (See Ps. 33:11. John 6:37; 10:11; 17:9.)
3. They maintain that mankind are totally depraved, in consequence of the fall of the first man, who being their public head, his sin involved the corruption of all his posterity, and which corruption extends over the whole soul, and renders it unable to turn to God, or to do any thing truly good, and exposes it to his righteous displeasure, both in this world and that which is to come. (See Gen. 8:21. Ps. 14:2, 3. Rom. 3:10, 11, 12, &c.; 4:14; 5:19. Gal. 3:10. 2 Cor. 3:6, 7.)
4. They maintain that all whom God hath predestinated unto life, he is pleased, in his appointed time, effectually to call, by his word and Spirit, out of that state of sin and death, in which they are by nature, to grace and salvation by Jesus Christ. (See Eph. 1:19; 2:1, 5. Phil. 2:13. Rom. 3:27. I Cor. 1:31, Titus 3:5.)
5. Lastly, they maintain that those whom God has effectually called, and sanctified by his Spirit, shall never finally fall from a state of grace. They admit that true believers may fall partially, and would fall totally and finally, but for the mercy and faithfulness of God, who keepeth the feet of his saints; also, that he who bestoweth the grace of perseverance, bestoweth it by means of reading and hearing the word, meditation, exhortations, threatenings, and promises; but that none of these things imply the possibility of a believer's falling from a state of justification. (See Isa. 53:4, 5, 6; 54:10. Jer. 32:38, 40. Rom. 8:38, 39. John 4:14; 6:39; 10:28; 11:26. James 1:17. 1 Pet. 2:25.) See Orthodox Creeds, and Hopkinsians.
This denomination of Christians derives its name from Samuel Hopkins, D. D., formerly pastor of the first Congregational church in Newport, R. I.
The following is a summary of the distinguishing tenets of the Hopkinsians, together with a few of the reasons they bring forward in support of their sentiments:—
"1. That all true virtue, or real holiness, consists in disinterested benevolence. The object of benevolence is universal being, including God and all intelligent creatures. It wishes and seeks the good of every individual, so far as is consistent with the greatest good of the whole, which is comprised in the glory of God and the perfection and happiness of his kingdom. The law of God is the standard of all moral rectitude or holiness. This is reduced into love to God, and our neighbor as ourselves; and universal good-will comprehends all the love to God, our neighbor, and ourselves, required in the divine law, and, therefore, must be the whole of holy obedience. Let any serious person think what are the particular branches of true piety; when he has viewed each one by itself, he will find that disinterested friendly affection is its distinguishing characteristic. For instance, all the holiness in pious fear, which distinguishes it from the fear of the wicked, consists in love. Again, holy gratitude is nothing but good-will to God and our neighbor,—in which we ourselves are included,—and correspondent affection, excited by a view of the good-will and kindness of God. Universal good-will also implies the whole of the duty we owe to our neighbor; for justice, truth, and faithfulness, are comprised in universal benevolence; so are temperance and chastity. For an undue indulgence of our appetites and passions is contrary to benevolence, as tending to hurt ourselves or others, and so, opposite to the general good, and the divine command, in which all the crime of such indulgence consists. In short, all virtue is nothing but benevolence acted out in its proper nature and perfection; or love to God and our neighbor, made perfect in all its genuine exercises and expressions.
"2. That all sin consists in selfishness. By this is meant an interested, selfish affection, by which a person sets himself up as supreme, and the only object of regard; and nothing is good or lovely in his view, unless suited to promote his own private interest. This self-love is, in its whole nature, and every degree of it, enmity against God; it is not subject to the law of God, and is the only affection that can oppose it. It is the foundation of all spiritual blindness, and, therefore, the source of all the open idolatry in the heathen world, and false religion under the light of the gospel: all this is agreeable to that self-love which opposes God's true character. Under the influence of this principle, men depart from truth, it being itself the greatest practical lie in nature, as it sets up that which is comparatively nothing above universal existence. Self-love is the source of all profaneness and impiety in the world, and of all pride and ambition among men, which is nothing but selfishness, acted out in this particular way. This is the foundation of all covetousness and sensuality, as it blinds people's eyes, contracts their hearts, and sinks them down, so that they look upon earthly enjoyments as the greatest good. This is the source of all falsehood, injustice, and oppression, as it excites mankind by undue methods to invade the property of others. Self-love produces all the violent passions—envy, wrath, clamor, and evil speaking; and every thing contrary to the divine law is briefly comprehended in this fruitful source of all iniquity—self-love.
"3. That there are no promises of regenerating grace made to the doings of the unregenerate. For, as far as men act from self-love, they act from a bad end; for those who have no true love to God, really do no duty when they attend on the externals of religion. And as the unregenerate act from a selfish principle, they do nothing which is commanded; their impenitent doings are wholly opposed to repentance and conversion, therefore not implied in the command to repent, &c.: so far from this, they are altogether disobedient to the command. Hence it appears that there are no promises of salvation to the doings of the unregenerate.
"4. That the impotency of sinners, with respect to believing in Christ, is not natural, but moral; for it is a plain dictate of common sense, that natural impossibility excludes all blame. But an unwilling mind is universally considered as a crime, and not as an excuse, and is the very thing wherein our wickedness consists. That the impotence of the sinner is owing to a disaffection of heart, is evident from the promises of the gospel. When any object of good is proposed and promised to us upon asking, it clearly evinces that there can be no impotence in us, with respect to obtaining it, besides the disapprobation of the will; and that inability which consists in disinclination, never renders any thing improperly the subject of precept or command.
"5. That, in order to faith in Christ, a sinner must approve, in his heart, of the divine conduct, even though God should cast him off forever; which, however, never implies love of misery, nor hatred of happiness. For if the law is good, death is due to those who have broken it. The Judge of all the earth cannot but do right. It would bring everlasting reproach upon his government to spare us, considered merely as in ourselves. When this is felt in our hearts, and not till then, we shall be prepared to look to the free grace of God, through the redemption which is in Christ, and to exercise faith in his blood, 'who is set forth to be a propitiation to declare God's righteousness, that he might be just, and yet be the justifier of him who believeth in Jesus.'
"6. That the infinitely wise and holy God has exerted his omnipotent power in such a manner as he purposed should be followed with the existence and entrance of moral evil into the system. For it must be admitted on all hands, that God has a perfect knowledge, foresight, and view of all possible existences and events. If that system and scene of operation, in which moral evil should never have existed, were actually preferred in the divine mind, certainly the Deity is infinitely disappointed in the issue of his own operations. Nothing can be more dishonorable to God than to imagine that the system which is actually formed by the divine hand, and which was made for his pleasure and glory, is yet not the fruit of wise contrivance and design.
"7. That the introduction of sin is, upon the whole, for the general good. For the wisdom and power of the Deity are displayed in carrying on designs of the greatest good; and the existence of moral evil has, undoubtedly, occasioned a more full, perfect, and glorious discovery of the infinite perfections of the divine nature, than could otherwise have been made to the view of creatures. If the extensive manifestations of the pure and holy nature of God, and his infinite aversion to sin, and all his inherent perfections, in their genuine fruits and effects, is either itself the greatest good, or necessarily contains it, it must necessarily follow that the introduction of sin is for the greatest good.
"8. That repentance is before faith in Christ. By this is not intended, that repentance is before a speculative belief of the being and perfections of God, and of the person and character of Christ; but only that true repentance is previous to a saving faith in Christ, in which the believer is united to Christ, and entitled to the benefits of his mediation and atonement. That repentance is before faith in this sense, appears from several considerations. 1. As repentance and faith respect different objects, so they are distinct exercises of the heart; and therefore one not only may, but must, be prior to the other. 2. There may be genuine repentance of sin without faith in Christ, but there cannot be true faith in Christ without repentance of sin; and since repentance is necessary in order to faith in Christ, it must necessarily be prior to faith in Christ. 3. John the Baptist, Christ, and his apostles, taught that repentance is before faith. John cried, 'Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand;' intimating that true repentance was necessary in order to embrace the gospel of the kingdom. Christ commanded, 'Repent ye, and believe the gospel.' And Paul preached 'repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.'
"9. That, though men became sinners by Adam, according to a divine constitution, yet they have, and are accountable for, no sins but personal; for, 1. Adam's act, in eating the forbidden fruit, was not the act of his posterity; therefore they did not sin at the same time he did. 2. The sinfulness of that act could not be transferred to them afterwards, because the sinfulness of an act can no more be transferred from one person to another than an act itself. 3. Therefore Adam's act, in eating the forbidden fruit, was not the cause but only the occasion, of his posterity's being sinners. God was pleased to make a constitution, that, if Adam remained holy through his state of trial, his posterity should, in consequence, be holy also; but if he sinned, his posterity should, in consequence, be sinners likewise. Adam sinned, and now God brings his posterity into the world sinners. By Adam's sin we are become sinners, not for it; his sin being only the occasion, not the cause, of our committing sins.
"10. That, though believers are justified through Christ's righteousness, yet his righteousness is not transferred to them. For, 1. Personal righteousness can no more be transferred from one person to another, than personal sin. 2. If Christ's personal righteousness were transferred to believers, they would be as perfectly holy as Christ, and so stand in no need of forgiveness. 3. But believers are not conscious of having Christ's personal righteousness, but feel and bewail much indwelling sin and corruption. 4. The Scripture represents believers as receiving only the benefits of Christ's righteousness in justification, or their being pardoned and accepted for Christ's righteousness' sake; and this is the proper Scripture notion of imputation. Jonathan's righteousness was imputed to Mephibosheth when David showed kindness to him for his father Jonathan's sake."
The Hopkinsians warmly contend for the doctrine of the divine decrees, that of particular election, total depravity, the special influences of the Spirit of God in regeneration, justification by faith alone, the final perseverance of the saints, and the consistency between entire freedom and absolute dependence, and, therefore, claim it as their just due, since the world will make distinctions, to be called HOPKINSIAN CALVINISTS.
The statistics of this denomination are included with those of the Calvinists, near the close of this volume.
The followers of Arius, a presbyter of the church of Alexandria, about A. D. 315, who held that the Son of God was totally and essentially distinct from the Father; that he was the first and noblest of those beings whom God had created, the instrument by whose subordinate operation he formed the universe, and, therefore, inferior to the Father, both in nature and dignity; also, that the Holy Ghost was not God, but created by the power of the Son. The Arians owned that the Son was the Word, but denied that Word to have been eternal. They held that Christ had nothing of man in him but the flesh, to which the Word was joined, which was the same as the soul in us.
In modern times, the term Arian is indiscriminately applied to those who consider Jesus simply subordinate to the Father. Some of them believe Christ to have been the creator of the world; but they all maintain that he existed previously to his incarnation, though, in his preexistent state, they assign him different degrees of dignity.
(See Matt. 4:10; 19:17; 27:46. Mark 5:7; 13:32 John 4:23; 14:28; 20:17. Acts 4:24. 1 Cor. 1:4; 11:3; 15:24. Eph. 1:17; 4:6. Phil. 1:3, 4, &c.)
A sect so called from Faustus Socinus, who died in Poland, in 1604. There were two who bore the name of Socinus,—uncle and nephew,—and both disseminated the same doctrine; but it is the nephew who is generally considered as the founder of this sect. They maintain that Jesus Christ was a mere man, who had no existence before he was conceived by the Virgin Mary; that the Holy Ghost is no distinct person; but that the Father is truly and properly God. They own that the name of God is given, in the holy Scriptures, to Jesus Christ, but contend that it is only a deputed title, which, however, invests him with a great authority over all created beings. They deny the doctrines of satisfaction and imputed righteousness, and say that Christ only preached the truth to mankind, set before them, in himself, an example of heroic virtue, and sealed his doctrines with his blood. Original sin, and absolute predestination, they esteem scholastic chimeras. Some of them likewise maintain the sleep of the soul, which, they say, becomes insensible at death, and is raised again, with the body, at the resurrection, when the good shall be established in the possession of eternal felicity, while the wicked shall be consigned to a fire that will not torment them eternally, but for a certain duration, proportioned to their demerits. (See Acts 2:22; 17:31. 1 Tim. 2:5.)
The Humanitarians believe in the simple humanity of Christ, or that he was nothing more than a mere man, born according to the usual course of nature, and who lived and died according to the ordinary circumstances of mankind.
This term is used among Christians to denote those who form separate communions, and do not associate with one another in religious worship and ceremonies. Thus we call Papists, Lutherans, Calvinists, different sects, not so much on account of their differences in opinion, as because they have established to themselves different fraternities, to which, in what regards public worship, they confine themselves; the several denominations above mentioned having no intercommunity with one another in sacred matters. High, Strict, and Moderate Calvinists, High Church and Low Church, we call only parties, because they have not formed separate communions. Great and known differences in opinion, when followed by no external breach in the society, are not considered constituting distinct sects, though their differences in opinion may give rise to mutual aversion.
The Jewish, Christian, Mahometan, and Pagan world is divided into an almost innumerable variety of sects, each claiming to themselves the title of orthodox, and each charging their opponents with heresy.
Where perfect religious liberty prevails, as in the United States, and where emigrants from all quarters of the globe resort in great numbers, it is not surprising that most of the Christian sects in foreign countries, with some of native origin, should be found in this part of the American continent.
There are three modes of church government, viz., the Episcopalian, from the Latin word episcopus, signifying bishop; the Presbyterian, from the Greek word presbuteros, signifying senior, elder, or presbyter; and the Congregational or Independent mode. Under one of these forms, or by a mixture of their several peculiarities, every church in the Christian world is governed. The Episcopal form is the most extensive, as it embraces the Catholic, Greek, English, Methodist, and Moravian churches.
Episcopalians have three orders in the ministry, viz., bishops, priests, and deacons; they all have liturgies, longer or shorter, which they either statedly or occasionally use. All Episcopalians believe in the existence and the necessity of an apostolic succession of bishops, by whom alone regular and valid ordinations can be performed.
The Presbyterians believe that the authority of their ministers to preach the gospel and to administer the sacraments is derived from the Holy Ghost, by the imposition of the hands of the presbytery. They affirm, however, that there is no order in the church, as established by Christ and his apostles, superior to that of presbyters; that all ministers, being ambassadors of Christ, are equal by their commission; that presbyter and bishop, though different words, are of the same import; and that prelacy was gradually established upon the primitive practice of making the moderator, or speaker of the presbytery, a permanent officer.
The Congregationalists, or Independents, are so called from their maintaining that each congregation of Christians, which meets in one house for public worship, is a complete church, has sufficient power to act and perform every thing relating to religious government within itself, and is in no respect subject or accountable to other churches.
Independents, or Congregationalists, generally ordain their ministers by a council of ministers called for the purpose: but still they hold that the essence of ordination lies in the voluntary choice and call of the people, and that public ordination is no other than a declaration of that call.
The first settlers of New England were driven away from Old England, in pursuit of religious liberty. They were required to conform to the established Protestant Episcopal church, in all her articles of belief, and modes of worship and discipline: their consciences forbade such conformity: their ministers were displaced: their property was tithed for the support of an ecclesiastical prelacy, which they renounced; and the only relief which they could find, was in abandoning their country for the new world.
Most of the first settlers of New England were Congregationalists; and established the government of individuals by the male communicating members of the churches to which they belonged, and of congregations by sister congregations, met by representation in ecclesiastical councils. A part of the ministers and people of Connecticut, at a very early period of her history, were Presbyterians in their principles of church government. Being intermixed, however, with Congregational brethren, instead of establishing presbyteries in due form, they united with their fellow-Christians in adopting, in 1708, the Saybrook Platform, according to which the churches and pastors are consociated, so as virtually to be under Presbyterian government, under another name.
The first Presbyterian churches duly organized in the United States, were the first Presbyterian church in Philadelphia, and the church at Snow Hill, in Maryland.
The first presbytery in the United States was formed about 1794, by the voluntary association of several ministers, who had received Presbyterian orders in Europe, and who agreed to govern themselves agreeably to the Westminster Confession of Faith, Form of Government, Book of Discipline, and Directory for Worship. (See Andover Orthodox Creed.)
The reason why the Presbyterians first settled in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and New Jersey, was undoubtedly this—that in these places they found toleration, and equal religious rights, while the Episcopacy was established by law in Virginia, Congregationalism in New England, and the Reformed Dutch church, with Episcopacy, in New York.
The doctrines of the Presbyterian church are Calvinistic; and the only fundamental principle which distinguishes it from other Protestant churches is this—that God has authorized the government of his church by presbyters, or elders, who are chosen by the people, and ordained to office by predecessors in office, in virtue of the commission which Christ gave his apostles as ministers in the kingdom of God; and that, among all presbyters, there is an official parity, whatever disparity may exist in their talents or official employments.
All the different congregations, under the care of the general assembly, are considered as the one Presbyterian church in the United States, meeting, for the sake of convenience and edification, in their several places of worship. Each particular congregation of baptized people, associated for godly living, and the worship of Almighty God, may become a Presbyterian church, by electing one or more elders, agreeably to the form prescribed in the book styled the Constitution of the Presbyterian Church, and having them ordained and installed as their session.
They judge that to presbyteries the Lord Jesus has committed the spiritual government of each particular congregation, and not to the whole body of the communicants; and on this point they are distinguished from Independents and Congregationalists. If all were governors, they should not be able to distinguish the overseers or bishops from all the male and female communicants; nor could they apply the command, "Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves; for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account." (Heb. 13:17.) If all are rulers in the church who are communicants, they are at a loss for the meaning of the exhortation, "We beseech you, brethren, to know them that labor among you, _and are over you in the _ Lord_, and admonish you; and to esteem them very highly in love for their work's sake."
If an aggrieved brother should tell the story of his wrongs to each individual communicant, he would not thereby tell it to the church judicially, so that cognizance could be taken of the affair. It is to the church, acting by her proper organs, and to her overseers, met as a judicatory, that he must bring his charge, if he would have discipline exercised in such a way as God empowered his church to exercise it.
The general assembly is the highest judicatory in the Presbyterian church, and is constituted by an equal number of teaching and ruling elders, elected by each presbytery annually, and specially commissioned to deliberate, vote, and determine, in all matters which may come before that body. Each presbytery may send one bishop and one ruling elder to the assembly: each presbytery, having more than twelve ministers, may send two ministers and two ruling elders, and so, in the same proportion, for every twelve ministerial members.
Every Presbyterian church elects its own pastor; but, to secure the whole church against insufficient, erroneous, or immoral men, it is provided that no church shall prosecute any call, without first obtaining leave from the presbytery under whose care that church may be; and that no licentiate, or bishop, shall receive any call, but through the hands of his own presbytery.
Any member of the Presbyterian church may be the subject of its discipline; and every member, if he judges himself injured by any portion of the church, may, by appeal, or complaint, carry his cause up from the church session to the presbytery, from the presbytery to the synod, and from the synod to the general assembly, so as to obtain the decision of the whole church, met by representation in this high judicatory.
Evangelical ministers of the gospel, of all denominations, are permitted, on the invitation of a pastor, or of the session of a vacant church, to preach in their pulpits; and any person known properly, or made known to a pastor or session, as a communicant in good, regular standing, in any truly Christian denomination of people, is, in most of their churches, affectionately invited to occasional communion. They wish to have Christian fellowship with all the redeemed of the Lord, who have been renewed by his Spirit; but, in ecclesiastical government and discipline, they ask and expect the cooeperation of none but Presbyterians. See Statistics.
In the year 1800, a very great revival of religion took place within the bounds of the synod of Kentucky, in consequence of which, a greater number of new congregations were formed than it was possible to supply with regularly-educated ministers. To remedy this evil, it was resolved to license men to preach who were apt to teach, and sound in the faith, though they had not gone through any course of classical study. This took place at the Transylvania presbyter; but, as many of its members were dissatisfied with the proposed innovation, an appeal was made to the synod, which appointed a commission to examine into the circumstances of the case, the result of whose report was, a prohibition of the labors of uneducated ministers, which led the opposite party to form themselves into an independent presbytery, which took its name from the district of Cumberland, in which it was constituted.
As to the doctrinal views, they occupy a kind of middle ground between Calvinists and Arminians. They reject the doctrine of eternal reprobation, and hold the universality of redemption, and that the Spirit of God operates on the world, or as coextensively as Christ has made the atonement, in such a manner as to leave all men inexcusable.
The Cumberland Presbyterians have about 550 churches and ministers, and about 70,000 members. They have a college at Cumberland, Ky.
That form of Church polity, in which the ministry is divided into the three orders of Bishops, Priests, and Deacons, each having powers and duties, distinct from the others, the Bishops being superior to the Priests and Deacons, and the immediate source of all their authority, is called EPISCOPACY, and those who adhere to this polity, are called EPISCOPALIANS.
It is believed, by Episcopalians, that the Savior, when upon earth, established a Church, or Society, of which He was the Ruler and Head, and with which He promised to be, till the end of the world. They believe, that, during the forty days in which He remained upon earth, after His resurrection, "speaking" to His disciples "of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God," He gave them such directions for the government and management of this Society, or Church, as were necessary; which directions, they implicitly followed: and that, from their subsequent practice, these directions of the Savior, whatever they may have been, are to be ascertained.
"That it was the design of our blessed Redeemer to continue a ministry in the Church, after His ascension, is a truth, for which we ask no better proof, than that furnished by the narratives of the Evangelists, and the practice of the Apostles. If, then, a ministry, divinely authorized, was to exist, it is equally evident, that it would assume some definite form. It would consist, either of a single grade of office, in which every person ordained would have an equal share in its functions and prerogatives; or, of two, three, or more grades, distinguished from each other by degrees of authority and peculiarities of duty." There must, also, exist, somewhere, the power of transmitting the ministry, by ordination. Among those, who suppose there is but one grade of office, this power is lodged in every minister. By Episcopalians, the power is confined to the highest order of the ministry,—the Bishops. It is evident, that the Savior could not have established both these different modes; and therefore both cannot possibly be correct. "To suppose, that He, who is the Fountain of all wisdom, could have been the Author of such inevitable disorder,—a kind of disorder which must ever keep the axe at the root of that unity for which He prayed,—is not only an absurdity, but an opinion equally repudiated by all parties." "It is manifest," therefore, "that whatever may prove itself to be THE form of ministry, established and authorized by Jesus Christ, every other must be altogether void of such authority, and based simply on human appointment."
That this Church, or Society, might endure, it must be provided with a well-arranged organization, or form of government, and consist of officers and members. No society can exist, without this; and the powers and duties of the officers should be well defined, and so adjusted, as to promote, in the best manner, the permanent good of the society. That this Society might endure forever, some provision must be made for the renewal of its officers, so that, when any were taken away, by death, their places might be supplied with suitable successors. That the Savior made all necessary provision for these purposes, there can be no doubt; and that the organization which He directed His Apostles to establish, was Episcopal, is easily susceptible of proof.
Throughout the Bible, different orders in the ministry are recognized or referred to. Under the Jewish dispensation, (which, be it remembered, was established by God Himself,) there were the three orders of High Priest, Priests, and Levites. When the Savior was upon earth, He was the visible head of the Church,—the "Bishop and Shepherd of our souls,"—and the Apostles and seventy Disciples were the other two orders. After his ascension, the Apostles became the visible heads of the Church, the lower orders being Bishops, (called also Priests or Presbyters, and Elders,) and Deacons. When the Apostles were called hence, their successors did not assume the name or title of Apostle, but took that of Bishop, which thenceforth was applied exclusively to the highest order of the ministry, the other two orders being the Presbyters (Priests or Elders) and Deacons. Thus it has continued to the present day.
It is worthy of remark, that "early writers have been careful to record the ecclesiastical genealogy or succession of the Bishops, in several of the principal Churches. Thus, we have catalogues of the Bishops of Jerusalem, Antioch, Rome, &c.; though it does not appear that the Presbyters and Deacons of those Churches were honored with any similar notice." In like manner, catalogues of temporal Rulers are preserved, when the names of officers subordinate to them are suffered to pass into oblivion. It is easy to trace back the line of Bishops, by name, from our own day, up to the Apostles themselves.
There is no ancient writer on ecclesiastical matters, who does not speak of the division of the ministry into different and distinct Orders, and of certain individuals as Bishops of particular Churches; or who mentions, as existing at the same time, and in the same Churches, any other persons by the same name of Bishops.
But, it is to be observed, that it is not only necessary that a Church should preserve the true Order in the Ministry, but also that it retain the true faith. For a true faith and true Order are both necessary to constitute a Church. All the heretical sects of the ancient Church had the Apostolic Ministry; but, when they departed from the true faith, they were excluded from the communion of the Church. "The Arians, the Donatists, the Novatians, &c. &c., were all Episcopal in their Ministry, and in this respect differed in nothing from the Orthodox Catholic Church. Their grand error lay in the want of that union of Order and Faith, which are essential to the being of a Church."
An external commission, conveyed by Episcopal consecration or ordination, is considered necessary to constitute a lawful ministry; and it is therefore declared, by the Church, that "no man shall be accounted or taken to be a lawful Bishop, Priest, or Deacon, in this Church, or suffered to execute any of said functions," unless he has "had Episcopal consecration or ordination;" and the power of ordaining, or setting apart to the ministry, and of laying on hands upon others, is vested in the Bishops.
The ministry is of Divine appointment, and consists of three orders, only,—Bishop, Priest, and Deacon. The government is of human regulation, and may be modified as circumstances require. Other officers may be appointed, and the manner in which ministers are invested with their jurisdiction may be varied. To use the language of the Episcopal Church in the United States, in the Preface to her Book of Common Prayer, "It is a most invaluable part of that blessed liberty, wherewith Christ hath made us free, that, in His worship, different forms and usages may, without offence, be allowed, provided the substance of the faith be kept entire; and that, in every Church, what cannot be clearly determined to belong to Doctrine, must be referred to Discipline; and therefore, by common consent and authority, may be altered, abridged, enlarged, amended, or otherwise disposed of, as may seem most convenient for the edification of the people, 'according to the various exigencies of times and occasions.' ... The particular Forms of Divine Worship, and the Rites and Ceremonies appointed to be used therein, being things in their own nature indifferent and alterable, and so acknowledged, it is but reasonable, that, upon weighty and important considerations, according to the various exigencies of times and occasions, such changes and alterations should be made therein, as to those, who are in places of authority should, from time to time, seem either necessary or expedient."
In the Church of England, there are Archbishops, Deans, and various other officers and titles of office; but these are of local authority, and do not interfere with the three Divinely-appointed orders. To use the language of Hooker, "I may securely, therefore, conclude, that there are, at this day, in the Church of England, no other than the same degrees of ecclesiastical orders, namely, Bishops, Priests, and Deacons, which had their beginning from Christ and His blessed Apostles themselves. As for Deans, Prebendaries, Parsons, Vicars, Curates, Archdeacons, and such like names, being not found in the Scriptures, we have been thereby, through some men's errors, thought to allow ecclesiastical degrees not known nor ever heard of in the better ages of former times. All these are in truth but titles of office," admitted "as the state of the Church doth need, degrees of order still remaining the same as they were from the beginning."
Two hundred years ago, Hooker gave the following challenge, which has never yet been accepted:—"We require you to find but one Church upon the face of the whole earth that hath not been ordered by Episcopal regiment since the time that the blessed Apostles were here conversant." And though, says Bishop Doane, departures from it, since the time of which he spoke, have been but too frequent and too great, "Episcopal regiment" is still maintained as Christ's ordinance, for the perpetuation and government of his Church, and is received as such by eleven twelfths of the whole Christian world. For a period of fifteen hundred years after the Apostolic age, ordination by Presbyters was totally unknown, except in a few crooked cases, where the attempt was made, and followed by instant condemnation from the Church, and the declaration that they were utterly null and void. There was no ministry in existence, before the era of the Reformation, but that which had come down direct from the Apostles, that is, the Episcopal. This is admitted by nearly all the opponents of Episcopacy.
The Episcopal Church in the United States, agrees with that of England, in doctrine, discipline, and worship, with some few unessential variations. Their Ritual, or Form of Worship, is the same, except that some few parts have been omitted for the sake of shortening the service, or for other reasons. Changes became necessary in the prayers for Rulers, in consequence of the independence of the United States.
The different Episcopal parishes in each of the United States, (except in some of the newly-settled parts of the Country, where two or more States are united for this purpose,) are connected by a Constitution, which provides for a convention of the clergy and lay delegates from each parish in the State or Diocese. This Convention is held annually, and regulates the local concerns of its own Diocese, the Bishop of which, is the President of the Convention. The Conventions of the different Dioceses elect Deputies to a General Convention, which is held once in three years. Each Diocese may elect four Clergymen and four Laymen, as delegates, who, when assembled in General Convention, form what is called the "House of Clerical and Lay Deputies," each Order from a Diocese having one vote, and the concurrence of both being necessary to every act of the Convention. The Bishops form a separate House, with a right to originate measures for the concurrence of the House of Clerical and Lay Deputies, each House having a negative upon the other, as in the Congress of the United States. The whole Church is governed by Canons, framed by the General Convention. These Canons regulate the mode of elections of Bishops, declare the age and qualifications necessary for obtaining the orders of Deacon or Priest, the studies to be previously pursued, the examinations which each candidate is to undergo, and all other matters of permanent legislation. Deacon's orders cannot be conferred on any person under the age of twenty-one, nor those of Priest before that of twenty-four. A Bishop must be at least thirty years of age. Prejudices have prevailed against the Episcopal Church, and probably still exist in the minds of some persons, from an impression, that Episcopacy is not congenial with a republican form of government, and the civil institutions of our Country. But, that this is an erroneous opinion, will be evident, to any one who will carefully and impartially examine the subject. It will he seen, from what has been stated above, that its Constitution is founded on the representative principle, and is strikingly analogous to the form of government of the United States. "In the permanent official stations of the Bishops and Clergy in her legislative bodies, our own Church," says Bishop Hobart, "resembles all other religious communities, whose clergy also are permanent legislators. But, in some respects, she is more conformed than they are to the organization of our civil governments. Of these, it is a characteristic, that legislative power is divided between two branches. And it is a peculiar character of our own Church, that her legislative power is thus divided. Again, a single responsible Executive characterizes our civil constitutions. The same feature marks our own Church, in the single Episcopal Executive in each Diocese, chosen, in the first instance, by the Clergy and representatives of the Laity. Nor are these the only points in which the Bishop of our Church may feel pleasure in asserting the free and republican constitution of our government; for, in our ecclesiastical judicatories, the representatives of the laity possess strict coordinate authority,—the power of voting as a separate body, and of annulling, by a majority of votes, the acts of the Bishops and Clergy."
The doctrines of the Episcopal Church are contained in the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion, subjoined to this notice. See Book of Homilies, the Canons of the Church, Archbishop Potter's Discourse on Church Government, Hooker's Ecclesiastical Polity, Daubeny's Guide to the Church, Burton's Early English Church, the Church Dictionaries of Rev. Dr Hook and Rev. Mr. Staunton, Bishop Onderdonk's Episcopacy Examined and Reexamined, and other similar works.
Historical Notice Of The Church In The United States.
Though the greater proportion of the early emigrants to this Country were opposed to the form of religious worship established in the Mother Country, some of them were devoted adherents of that establishment, and Episcopal churches existed, of course, in several of the Colonies, at an early period, although, from the opposition made to them by the other emigrants, and from other causes, the number was not so considerable as might have been expected under different circumstances. At the commencement of the Revolutionary War, there were not more than eighty parochial clergymen North and East of Maryland; and these, with the exception of those in the towns of Boston and Newport, and the cities of New York and Philadelphia, derived the principal part of their support from England, through the "Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts," an old and venerable Institution, yet in existence, and still zealously engaged in spreading the Gospel to the utmost parts of the earth. In Maryland and Virginia, the members of the Church were much more numerous, than in the other parts of the Country, and the clergy were supported by a legal establishment.
The distance of this from the Mother Country, and the consequent separation of the members of the Church from their parent stock, which rendered them dependent for the ministry upon emigrations from England, or obliged them to send candidates to that Country, for Holy Orders, operated as a serious obstacle to the increase of the Church here. All the clergy of this Country were attached to the diocese of the Bishop of London, who thus became the only bond of union between them; but his authority could not be effectually exerted, at such a distance, in those cases where it was most needed; and, for these and other reasons, several efforts were made by the clergy to obtain an American Episcopate. But the jealousy with which such a measure was regarded by other denominations, and the great opposition with which it consequently met, prevented the accomplishment of the design. When, however, the tie, which had thus bound the members of the Church together in one communion, had been severed, by the independence of the United States, it was necessary that some new bond of union should be adopted; and renewed efforts were made to procure an Episcopate.
The clergy of the Church in Connecticut, at a meeting held in March, 1783, elected the Rev. Samuel Seabury, D. D., their Bishop, and sent him to England, with an application to the Archbishop of Canterbury for his consecration to that holy office. The English Bishops were unable to consecrate him, till an Act of Parliament, authorizing them so to do, could be passed; and he then made application to the Bishops of the Church in Scotland, who readily assented to the request, and he was consecrated by them, in Aberdeen, on the 14th of November, 1784. The Prelates, who were thus the instruments of first communicating the Episcopate to this Country, were, the Right Reverend Robert Kilgour, D. D., Bishop of Aberdeen, the Right Reverend Arthur Petrie, D. D., Bishop of Ross and Moray, and the Right Reverend John Skinner, D. D., Coadjutor Bishop of Aberdeen. Bishop Seabury returned to this Country, immediately after his consecration, and commenced his Episcopal duties without delay.
A few clergymen of New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, having held a meeting at Brunswick, N. J., on the 13th and 14th of May, 1784, for the purpose of consulting in what way to renew a Society for the support of widows and children of deceased clergymen, determined to procure a larger meeting on the 5th of the ensuing October, not only for the purpose of completing the object for which they had then assembled, but also to confer and agree on some general principles of a union of the Church throughout the States. At this latter meeting, a plan of ecclesiastical union was agreed upon, with great unanimity; and a recommendation to the several States, to send delegates to a general meeting, at Philadelphia, in September, 1785, was adopted.
At the meeting, in Philadelphia, in September and October, 1785, there were present, deputies from seven of the thirteen States. This Convention framed an Ecclesiastical Constitution, recommended sundry alterations in the Book of Common Prayer, to adapt it to the local circumstances of the Country, now severed from the parent State, and also took some measures towards procuring the Episcopate from England. An Address was forwarded to the English Bishops, through his Excellency John Adams, then Minister to England, and afterwards President of the United States who zealously used his influence to promote the views of the Convention.
Another Convention was held in Philadelphia, in June, 1786, at which, a Letter was read, from the Archbishops and Bishops of England, in answer to the Address forwarded from the preceding Convention; and another Address to the same Right Reverend Prelates, was adopted, to accompany the Ecclesiastical Constitution now finally agreed upon. This Convention then adjourned, to meet again whenever answers should be received from England. The next meeting was held at Wilmington, in Delaware, in October, 1786, at which, Letters from the English Prelates were read, and also an Act of Parliament, authorizing the consecration of Bishops for foreign places. Sundry further amendments and modifications of the Ecclesiastical Constitution, and Book of Common Prayer, were agreed upon, another Address to the English Prelates was adopted, and testimonials signed for three clergymen, who had been elected Bishops by their respective Dioceses. Two of these clergymen proceeded to England, in the course of the next month; and, after some further delays, all difficulties were finally removed, and the Rev. William White, D. D., of Philadelphia, and the Rev. Samuel Provoost, D. D., of New York, having been elected to the Bishoprics of Pennsylvania and New York, were consecrated to their high and holy office, on the fourth of February, A. D. 1787, in the chapel of the Archiepiscopal palace at Lambeth, by the Most Reverend John Moore, D. D., Archbishop of Canterbury, assisted by the Most Reverend William Markham, D. D., Archbishop of York, the Right Reverend Charles Moss, D. D., Bishop of Bath and Wells, and the Right Reverend Charles Hinchliff, D. D., Bishop of Peterborough. The newly-consecrated Bishops returned to America, April 7, 1787, and soon after, began the exercise of their Episcopal functions in their respective dioceses.
Of these three original Bishops of the Church, Bishop Seabury discharged his Episcopal duties between nine and ten years, and died, February 25, 1796. Bishop White continued to be as a patriarch of the Church for many years, his life having been prolonged to the age of 88, and the discharge of his Episcopal functions having continued forty-nine years. He died, July 17, 1836. Bishop Provoost died, September 6, 1815, in the twenty-ninth year of his Episcopate.
The first triennial Convention of the Church was held in July and August, 1789, and the sessions of this body continue to be regularly held every three years. Rev. James Madison, D. D., was consecrated Bishop of Virginia, by the Archbishop of Canterbury, September 19, 1790, and died March 6, 1812. Rev. Thomas John Claggett, D. D., of Maryland, was the first Bishop consecrated in the United States, having been elevated to that holy Order by the Right Reverend Bishops Provoost, Seabury, White, and Madison, in New York, September 17, 1792; since which time, thirty-three Bishops have been consecrated, making the whole number, thirty-eight, of whom twenty are now living. For the succession of Bishops, from the first establishment of the Church, to the present day, see Statistics.
The last General Convention was held in New York, in October, 1841, at which time, there were present, twenty-one Bishops, and 79 clerical and 57 lay members. The Bishops reported the consecration of 93 churches, the ordination of 355 clergymen, and the confirmation of 14,767 persons, in the years 1838 to 1841. The whole number of clergymen, at the present time, (1842,) is 1114. Other facts of interest, in relation to the Church in this Country, will be found among the Statistics of this volume; and for more full information, the reader is referred to "Swords's Pocket Almanack, Churchman's Register, and Ecclesiastical Calendar," a valuable little manual, published annually, and to the "Churchman's Almanack," also published annually; and for historical notices, reference may be made to Bishop White's "Memoirs of the Protestant Episcopal Church," Journals of the General, and State Conventions, Hawks's Ecclesiastical History of different States, and other similar works.
Articles Of Religion.
As established by the Bishops, the Clergy, and Laity of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America, in Convention, on the twelfth Day of September, in the Year of our Lord, one thousand eight hundred and one.
"ARTICLE I. Of Faith in the Holy Trinity.—There is but one living and true God, everlasting, without body, parts, or passions; of infinite power, wisdom, and goodness; the Maker and Preserver of all things, both visible and invisible. And in unity of this Godhead there be three persons, of one substance, power, and eternity; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.
"ART. II. Of the Word, or Son of God, which was made very Man.—The Son, which is the Word of the Father, begotten from everlasting of the Father, the very and eternal God, of one substance with the Father, took man's nature in the womb of the blessed Virgin, of her substance: so that two whole and perfect natures, that is to say, the Godhead and Manhood, were joined together in one person, never to be divided; whereof is one Christ, very God, and very Man; who truly suffered, was crucified, dead, and buried, to reconcile His Father to us, and to be a sacrifice, not only for original guilt, but also for actual sins of men.
"ART. III. Of the going down of Christ into Hell.—As Christ died for us, and was buried, so also is it to be believed, that He went down into hell.
"ART. IV. Of the Resurrection of Christ.—Christ did truly rise again from death, and took again His body, with flesh, bones, and all things appertaining to the perfection of man's nature, wherewith He ascended into heaven, and there sitteth, until He return to judge all men at the last day.
"ART. V. Of the Holy Ghost.—The Holy Ghost, proceeding from the Father and the Son, is of one substance, majesty, and glory, with the Father and the Son, very and eternal God.
"ART. VI. _Of the Sufficiency of the Holy Scriptures for _ Salvation._—Holy Scripture containeth all things necessary to salvation; so that whatsoever is not read therein, nor may be proved thereby, is not to be required of any man, that it should be believed as an article of the faith, or be thought requisite or necessary to salvation. In the name of the Holy Scripture we do understand those Canonical Books of the Old and New Testament, of whose authority was never any doubt in the Church.
"Of the Names and Number of the Canonical Books.—Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numeri, Deuteronomium, Joshue, Judges, Ruth, The First Book of Samuel, The Second Book of Samuel, The First Book of Kings, The Second Book of Kings, The First Book of Chronicles, The Second Book of Chronicles, The First Book of Esdras, The Second Book of Esdras, The Book of Hester, The Book of Job, The Psalms, The Proverbs, Ecclesiastes or Preacher, Cantica or Songs of Solomon, Four Prophets the greater, Twelve Prophets the less.
"And the other Books (as Hierome saith) the Church doth read for example of life, and instruction of manners, but yet doth it not apply them to establish any doctrine; such are these following:
"The Third Book of Esdras, The Fourth Book of Esdras, The Book of Tobias, The Book of Judith, The Rest of the Book of Hester, The Book of Wisdom, Jesus the Son of Sirach, Baruch the Prophet, The Song of the Three Children, The Story of Susanna, Of Bel and the Dragon, The Prayer of Manasses, The First Book of Maccabees, The Second Book of Maccabees.
"All the Books of the New Testament, as they are commonly received, we do receive, and account them Canonical.
"ART. VII. Of the Old Testament.—The Old Testament is not contrary to the New; for both in the Old and New Testament, everlasting life is offered to mankind by Christ, who is the only Mediator between God and man, being both God and Man. Wherefore they are not to be heard, which feign, that the old fathers did look only for transitory promises Although the law given from God by Moses, as touching ceremonies and rites, do not bind Christian men, nor the civil precepts thereof ought of necessity to be received in any commonwealth; yet, notwithstanding, no Christian man whatsoever is free from the obedience of the commandments which are called Moral.
"ART. VIII. Of the Creeds.—The Nicene Creed, and that which is commonly called the Apostles' Creed, ought thoroughly to be received and believed; for they may be proved by most certain warrants of Holy Scripture.
"ART. IX. Of Original or Birth-Sin.—Original sin standeth not in the following of Adam, (as the Pelagians do vainly talk,) but it is the fault and corruption of the nature of every man, that naturally is engendered of the offspring of Adam, whereby man is very far gone from original righteousness, and is, of his own nature, inclined to evil, so that the flesh lusteth always contrary to the Spirit; and therefore, in every person born into this world, it deserveth God's wrath and damnation. And this infection of nature doth remain, yea, in them that are regenerated; whereby the lust of the flesh, called in Greek, Phronema sarkos, which some do expound the wisdom, some sensuality, some the affection, some the desire, of the flesh, is not subject to the law of God. And although there is no condemnation for them that believe and are baptized, yet the Apostle doth confess, that concupiscence and lust hath of itself the nature of sin.
"ART. X. Of Free Will.—The condition of man, after the fall of Adam, is such, that he cannot turn and prepare himself, by his own natural strength and good works, to faith, and calling upon God; wherefore we have no power to do good works pleasant and acceptable to God, without the grace of God by Christ preventing us, that we may have a good will, and working with us, when we have that good will.
"ART. XI. Of the Justification of Man.—We are accounted righteous before God, only for the merit of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ by faith, and not for our own works or deservings. Wherefore, that we are justified by faith only, is a most wholesome doctrine, and very full of comfort, as more largely is expressed in the Homily of Justification.
"ART. XII. Of Good Works.—Albeit that good works, which are the fruits of faith, and follow after justification, cannot put away our sins, and endure the severity of God's judgment; yet are they pleasing and acceptable to God in Christ, and do spring out, necessarily, of a true and lively faith, insomuch that by them a lively faith may be as evidently known, as a tree discerned by the fruit.
"ART. XIII. Of Works before Justification.—Works done before the grace of Christ, and the inspiration of his Spirit, are not pleasant to God, forasmuch as they spring not of faith in Jesus Christ, neither do they make men meet to receive grace, or (as the school authors say) deserve grace of congruity; yea, rather, for that they are not done as God hath willed and commanded them to be done, we doubt not but they have the nature of sin.
"ART. XIV. Of Works of Supererogation.—Voluntary works, besides over and above God's commandments, which they call works of supererogation, cannot be taught without arrogancy and impiety; for by them men do declare, that they do not only render unto God as much as they are bound to do, but that they do more for His sake than of bounden duty is required; whereas Christ saith plainly, When ye have done all that are commanded to you, say, We are unprofitable servants.
"ART. XV. Of Christ alone without Sin.—Christ, in the truth of our nature, was made like unto us in all things, sin only except, from which He was clearly void, both in His flesh and in His spirit. He came to be a Lamb without spot, who, by sacrifice of Himself once made, should take away the sins of the world; and sin (as Saint John saith) was not in Him. But all we the rest (although baptized and born again in Christ) yet offend in many things; and if we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
"ART. XVI. Of Sin after Baptism.—Not every deadly sin willingly committed after baptism, is sin against the Holy Ghost, and unpardonable. Wherefore the grant of repentance is not to be denied to such as fall into sin after baptism. After we have received the Holy Ghost, we may depart from grace given, and fall into sin, and by the grace of God (we may) arise again, and amend our lives. And therefore they are to be condemned, which say, they can no more sin as long as they live here, or deny the place of forgiveness to such as truly repent.
"ART. XVII. Of Predestination and Election.—Predestination to life is the everlasting purpose of God, whereby (before the foundations of the world were laid) He hath constantly decreed, by His counsel, secret to us, to deliver from curse and damnation those whom He hath chosen in Christ out of mankind, and to bring them by Christ to everlasting salvation, as vessels made to honor. Wherefore they, which be endued with so excellent a benefit of God, be called according to God's purpose by His Spirit working in due season: they, through grace, obey the calling: they be justified freely: they be made sons of God by adoption: they be made like the image of His only begotten Son Jesus Christ, they walk religiously in good works; and at length, by God's mercy, they attain to everlasting felicity.
"As the godly consideration of predestination, and our election in Christ, is full of sweet, pleasant, and unspeakable comfort to godly persons, and such as feel in themselves the working of the Spirit of Christ, mortifying the works of the flesh and their earthly members, and drawing up their mind to high and heavenly things, as well because it doth greatly establish and confirm their faith of eternal salvation, to be enjoyed through Christ, as because it doth fervently kindle their love towards God; so, for curious and carnal persons, lacking the Spirit of Christ, to have continually before their eyes the sentence of God's predestination, is a most dangerous downfall, whereby the devil doth thrust them either into desperation, or into wretchlessness of most unclean living, no less perilous than desperation.
"Furthermore, we must receive God's promises in such wise as they be generally set forth to us in Holy Scripture and, in our doings, that will of God is to be followed, which we have expressly declared unto us in the Word of God.
"ART. XVIII. Of obtaining eternal Salvation only by the Name of Christ.—They also are to be had accursed, that presume to say, That every man shall be saved by the law or sect which he professeth, so that he be diligent to frame his life according to that law, and the light of nature. For Holy Scripture doth set out unto us only the Name of Jesus Christ, whereby men must be saved.
"ART. XIX. Of the Church.—The visible Church of Christ is a congregation of faithful men, in the which the pure Word of God is preached, and the sacraments be duly ministered according to Christ's ordinance, in all those things that of necessity are requisite to the same.
"As the Church of Hierusalem, Alexandria, and Antioch, have erred, so also the Church of Rome hath erred, not only in their living and manner of ceremonies, but also in matters of faith.
"ART. XX. Of the Authority of the Church.—The Church hath power to decree rites or ceremonies, and authority in controversies of faith; and yet it is not lawful for the Church to ordain any thing that is contrary to God's Word written; neither may it so expound one place of Scripture, that it be repugnant to another. Wherefore, although the Church be a witness and a keeper of Holy Writ, yet, as it ought not to decree any thing against the same, so besides the same ought it not to enforce any thing to be believed for necessity of salvation.
"ART. XXI. Of the Authority of General Councils.(1)
"ART. XXII. Of Purgatory.—The Romish doctrine concerning purgatory, pardons, worshipping, and adoration, as well of images as of reliques, and also invocation of saints, is a fond thing vainly invented, and grounded upon no warranty of Scripture, but rather repugnant to the Word of God.
"ART. XXIII. Of Ministering in the Congregation.—It is not lawful for any man to take upon him the office of public preaching, or ministering the sacraments in the Congregation, before he be lawfully called, and sent to execute the same. And those we ought to judge lawfully called and sent, which be chosen and called to this work by men who have public authority given unto them in the Congregation, to call and send ministers into the Lord's vineyard.
"ART. XXIV. Of Speaking in the Congregation in such a Tongue as the People understandeth.—It is a thing plainly repugnant to the Word of God, and the custom of the primitive Church, to have public prayer in the Church, or to minister the sacraments, in a tongue not understanded of the people.
"ART. XXV. Of the Sacraments.—Sacraments ordained of Christ, be not only badges or tokens of Christian men's profession; but rather they be certain sure witnesses, and effectual signs of grace, and God's good will toward us, by the which He doth work invisibly in us, and doth not only quicken, but also strengthen and confirm our faith in Him.
"There are two Sacraments ordained of Christ our Lord in the Gospel, that is to say, Baptism, and the Supper of the Lord.
"Those five commonly called sacraments, that is to say, Confirmation, Penance, Orders, Matrimony, and Extreme Unction, are not to be counted for Sacraments of the Gospel, being such as have grown, partly of the corrupt fallowing of the Apostles, partly are states of life allowed by the Scriptures; but yet have not like nature of Sacraments with Baptism and the Lord's Supper, for that they have not any visible sign or ceremony ordained of God.
"The Sacraments were not ordained of Christ to be gazed upon, or to be carried about, but that we should duly use them. And in such only as worthily receive the same, they have a wholesome effect or operation; but they that receive them unworthily purchase to themselves damnation, as Saint Paul saith.
"ART. XXVI. Of the Unworthiness of the Ministers, which hinders not the Effect of the Sacraments.—Although in the visible Church, the evil be ever mingled with the good, and sometime the evil have chief authority in the ministration of the Word and Sacraments; yet, forasmuch as they do not the same in their own name, but in Christ's, and do minister by his commission and authority, we may use their ministry, both in hearing the Word of God, and in receiving the Sacraments. Neither is the effect of Christ's ordinance taken away by their wickedness, nor the grace of God's gifts diminished from such as, by faith, and rightly, do receive the Sacraments ministered unto them, which be effectual, because of Christ's institution and promise, although they be ministered by evil men.
"Nevertheless, it appertaineth to the discipline of the Church, that inquiry be made of evil ministers, and that they be accused by those that have knowledge of their offences; and finally, being found guilty, by just judgment, be deposed.
"ART. XXVII. Of Baptism.—Baptism is not only a sign of profession, and mark of difference, whereby Christian men are discerned from others that be not christened; but it is also a sign of regeneration, or new birth, whereby, as by an instrument, they that receive Baptism rightly are grafted into the Church: the promises of the forgiveness of sin, and of our adoption to be the sons of God by the Holy Ghost, are visibly signed and sealed: faith is confirmed, and grace increased by virtue of prayer unto God. The Baptism of young children is in any wise to be retained in the Church, as most agreeable with the institution of Christ.