"They believe in one supreme God, and, in some sense at least, in Christ as a Savior. They have also a remnant of Sabianism, or the religion of the ancient fire-worshippers. They bow in adoration before the rising sun, and kiss his first rays when they strike on a wall or other object near them; and they will not blow out a candle with their breath, or spit in the fire, lest they should defile that sacred element.
"Circumcision and the passover, or a sacrificial festival allied to the passover in time and circumstance, seem also to identify them with the Jews; and, altogether, they certainly present a most singular chapter in the history of man.
"That they are really the worshippers of the devil can only be true, if at all, in a modified sense, though it is true that they pay him so much deference as to refuse to speak of him disrespectfully, (perhaps for fear of his vengeance;) and, instead of pronouncing his name, they call him the 'lord of the evening,' or 'prince of darkness;' also, Sheik Maazen, or Exalted Chief. Some of them say that Satan was a fallen angel, with whom God was angry; but he will at some future day be restored to favor, and there is no reason why they should treat him with disrespect.
"The Christians of Mesopotamia report that the Yezidees make votive offerings to the devil, by throwing money and jewels into a certain deep pit in the mountains of Sinjar, where a large portion of them reside; and it is said that when that district, which has long been independent, was subjugated by the Turks, the pacha compelled the Yezidee priest to disclose the place, and then plundered it of a large treasure, the offerings of centuries. The Yezidees here call themselves Daseni, probably from the ancient name of the district, Dasen, which was a Christian bishopric in early times. Their chief place of concourse, the religious temple of the Yezidees, is said to have once been a Christian church or convent. The late Mr. Rich speaks of the Yezidees as 'lively, brave, hospitable, and good-humored,' and adds that, 'under the British government, much might be made of them.'
"The precise number of the Yezidees it is difficult to estimate, so little is known of them; but it is probable that we must reckon them by tens of thousands, instead of the larger computations which have been made by some travellers, who have received their information merely from report. Still they are sufficiently numerous to form an important object of attention to the Christian church; and I trust, as we learn more about them, sympathy, prayer, and effort, will be enlisted in their behalf. It will be a scene of no ordinary interest when the voice of prayer and praise to God shall ascend from hearts now devoted to the service of the prince of darkness, 'the worshippers of the devil'! May that day be hastened on!"
GREEK OR RUSSIAN CHURCH.
The Greek church separated from the Latin or Romish church about A. D. 1054. It is under the jurisdiction of the patriarchs or bishops of Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem. The Greek or Russian church is very extensive. Its jurisdiction embraces more territory than that of the Roman see. The population of this church is estimated at about forty millions.
The following are some of the chief tenets held by the Greek or Russian church:—They disown the authority of the pope, and deny that the church of Rome is the true catholic church. They do not baptize their children till they are three, four, five, six, ten, nay, sometimes eighteen years of age: baptism is performed by trine immersion. They insist that the sacrament of the Lord's supper ought to be administered in both kinds, and they give the sacrament to children immediately after baptism. They grant no indulgences, nor do they lay any claim to the character of infallibility, like the church of Rome. They deny that there is any such place as purgatory; notwithstanding, they pray for the dead, that God would have mercy on them at the general judgment. They practise the invocation of saints; though, they say, they do not invoke them as deities, but as intercessors with God. They exclude confirmation, extreme unction, and matrimony out of the seven sacraments. They deny auricular confession to be a divine precept, and say it is only a positive injunction of the church. They pay no religious homage to the eucharist. They administer the communion in both kinds to the laity, both in sickness and in health, though they have never applied themselves to their confessors, because they are persuaded that a lively faith is all which is requisite for the worthy receiving of the Lord's supper. They maintain that the Holy Ghost proceeds only from the Father, and not from the Son. They believe in predestination. They admit of no images in relief or embossed work, but use paintings and sculptures in copper or silver. They approve of the marriage of priests, provided they enter into that state before their admission into holy orders. They condemn all fourth marriages. They observe a number of holy days, and keep four fasts in the year more solemn than the rest, of which the fast in Lent, before Easter, is the chief. They believe the doctrine of consubstantiation, or the union of the body of Christ with the sacramental bread.
The Russians adhere to the doctrine and ceremonies of the Greek church, though they are now independent of the patriarch of Constantinople. The church service is contained in twenty-four volumes, folio, in the Sclavonian language, which is not well understood by the common people.
A new sect, professing to be an association of Christians to promote the revival and spread of primitive Christianity, has recently sprung up at Bradford, in England. Its originators, or founders, are a Mr. Barker and a Mr. Trother, who have recently been expelled from the ministry of the New Connection of Methodists, by the annual assembly or conference of the members of that body, for some difference of opinion on doctrinal points between them and the conference.
By this term we are to understand those who believe that there are three distinct, persons in the Godhead, the FATHER, SON, and HOLY SPIRIT, the same in substance, equal in power and dignity, and that these three are one. Hence it is said they believe in a triune God. (See Deut. 6:4. 2 Kings 19:15. Ps. 19:1; 83:18; 139:7. Isa. 6:3, 9; 9:6; 11:3; 14:5, 23, 25. Jer. 17:10; 23:6. Ezek. 8:1, 3. Matt. 3:16, 17; 9:6; 18:20; 23:19. Luke 1:76; 24:25. John 1:1; 2:1; 5:19, 23; 10:30; 16:10, 15. Acts 5:4; 28:23, 25. Rom. 1:5; 9:5; 14:12, 19. 1 Cor. 2:10; 8:6. 2 Cor. 13:14. Phil. 2:5, 6, 7, &c.; 3:21. Heb. 1:3, 6, 10, 11, 12; 9:14; 13:8. 1 John 5:7, 20. Rev. 1:4, 5, 6, 8; 3:14; 5:13, &c.) The Unitarians believe that there is but one person in the Godhead, and that this person is the Father; and they insist that the Trinitarian distinction of persons is contradictory and absurd.
The unity of God is a doctrine which both parties consider the foundation of all true religion.
Although the doctrine of the Trinity is ostensibly the main subject of dispute between Trinitarians and Unitarians, yet it is in reality respecting the character of Christ. Those who believe in his proper deity very easily dispose of all the other difficulties in the Trinitarian system; while anti-Trinitarians find more fault with this doctrine than any other in the Trinitarian creed; and the grand obstacle to their reception of the Trinitarian faith is removed, when they can admit that Jesus Christ is God, as well as man; so that the burden of labor, on both sides, is either to prove or disprove the proper deity of the Son of God.
In proof of this doctrine, the Trinitarians urge many declarations of the Scripture, which, in their opinion, admit of no consistent explanation upon the Unitarian scheme; they there find that offices are assigned to Christ, and to the Holy Spirit, which none but God can perform; particularly the creation of the world, and the grand decisions of the day of judgment. As they read the Scriptures, the attributes of omnipotence, omniscience, omnipresence, unchangeableness, and eternity, are ascribed to Jesus Christ; and they infer that a being to whom all these perfections are ascribed must be truly God, coequal and coeternal with the Father.
The Unitarians, on the other hand, contend that some of these passages are interpolations, and that the others are either mistranslated or misunderstood. The passage in John, in particular, respecting the three that bear record, &c., has been set aside by such high authority, that they consider it unfair to introduce it in the controversy.
The excellent and learned Stillingfleet, in the preface to his Vindication of the Doctrine of the Trinity, says, "Since both sides yield that the matter they dispute about is above their reach, the wisest course they can take is, to assert and defend what is revealed, and not to be peremptory and quarrelsome about that which is acknowledged to be above our comprehension; I mean as to the manner how the three persons partake of the divine nature."
The Millenarians are those who believe that Christ will reign personally on earth for a thousand years; and their name, taken from the Latin mille, a thousand, has a direct allusion to the duration of the spiritual empire.
The doctrine of the millennium, or a future paradisaical state of the earth, it is said, is not of Christian, but of Jewish origin. The tradition is attributed to Elijah, which fixes the duration of the world, in its present imperfect condition, to six thousand years, and announces the approach of a Sabbath of a thousand years of universal peace and plenty, to be ushered in by the glorious advent of the Messiah. This idea may be traced in the Epistle of Barnabas, and in the opinions of Papias, who knew of no written testimony in its behalf. It was adopted by the author of the Revelation, by Justin Martyr, by Irenaeus, and by a long succession of the fathers. As the theory is animating and consolatory, when it is divested of cabalistic numbers and allegorical decorations, it will no doubt always retain a number of adherents.
However the Millenarians may differ among themselves respecting the nature of this great event, it is agreed, on all hands, that such a revolution will be effected in the latter days, by which vice and its attendant misery shall be banished from the earth; thus completely forgetting all those dissensions and animosities by which the religious world hath been agitated, and terminating the grand drama of Providence with universal felicity. We are not unmindful of the prophetic language of Isaiah, (49:22, 23,) together with a sublime passage from the book of the Revelation, (11:15,) with which the canon of Scripture concludes—"Thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I will lift up mine hand to the Gentiles, and set up my standard to the people. And kings shall be thy nursing fathers, and their queens thy nursing mothers, [they shall become good themselves, and be the protectors of religion and liberty,] and thou shalt know that I am the Lord, for they shall not be ashamed that wait for me. And the seventh angel sounded, and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever." (See Matt 13:29, 30; 27:32. Luke 17:29, 30. Acts 3:21. Heb. 1:12. Phil. 3:9, 11. 2 Pet. 3:13. Rev. 20:1-6, and chaps. 21, 22. Apoc. chap. 21. Ezek. chap. 36.)
WHITEFIELD CALVINISTIC METHODISTS.
The Tabernacle or Lady Huntingdon Connection, formed by Whitefield, is so called from the name given to several places of worship, in London, Bristol, &c. In some of the chapels in this Connection, the service of the church of England is read; in others, the worship is conducted much in the same way as among the Congregationalists; while, in all, the system of supply is more or less kept up, consisting in the employment, for a month or six weeks, of ministers from different parts of the country, who either take the whole duty, or assist the resident minister. Some of the congregations consist of several thousand hearers; and, by the blessing of God on the rousing and faithful sermons which are usually delivered to them, very extensive good is effected in the way of conversion. Most of the ministers now employed as supplies in this Connection are of the Congregational order, to which, of late years, there appears to be a gradual approximation; and it is not improbable that ere long both bodies will coalesce. The number of chapels belonging to this body, at the present time, is about sixty, in all of which the liturgy of the church of England is read, and most of her forms scrupulously kept up. The ministers, who used formerly to supply at different chapels in the course of the year, are now become more stationary, and have assumed more of the pastoral character. They have a respectable college at Cheshunt, in Hertfordshire.
The Calvinistic Methodists in Wales are very numerous.—See Biographical Sketches of Whitefield, Wesley, and Lady Huntingdon.
Those who refused to take the oaths to government, and who were, in consequence, under certain incapacities, and liable to certain severe penalties. The members of the Episcopal church of Scotland have long been denominated Nonjurors; but perhaps they are now called so improperly, as the ground of their difference from the established church is more on account of ecclesiastical than political principles.
Those who refuse to join the established church. Nonconformists in England may be considered of three sorts:—1. Such as absent themselves from divine worship in the established church through total irreligion, and attend the service of no other persuasion.—2. Such as absent themselves on the plea of conscience; as, Presbyterians, Independents, Baptists, &c.—3. Internal Nonconformists, or unprincipled clergymen, who applaud and propagate doctrines quite inconsistent with several of those articles they promised on oath to defend. The word is generally used in reference to those ministers who were ejected from their livings by the Act of Uniformity, in 1662. The number of these was about two thousand. However some affect to treat these men with indifference, and suppose that their consciences were more tender than they need be, it must be remembered that they were men of as extensive learning, great abilities, and pious conduct, as ever appeared.
This denomination, among themselves, are generally called simply Christians. This they do merely to denote their character as the followers of Christ; but, when applied to them collectively, it necessarily becomes the name of a denomination. They are sometimes, by their opposers, called Christ-ians; but this pronunciation of the word they universally reject as very improper.
The Christians began to associate and to form a distinct people about the beginning of the nineteenth century, so that they may be said to have existed but about forty years. They seem to have sprung up almost simultaneously in different and remote parts of the country, without any interchange of sentiments, concert of action, or even knowledge of each other's views or movements, till after a public stand had been taken in several parts of the country.
The first branch arose in Virginia and North Carolina, and consisted of seceders from the Methodists. At first, there were about one thousand communicants.
The northern branch of this denomination sprung up in New England. It commenced by the formation of several new churches, under the administration of a few ministers who had separated themselves from the Baptists, who were soon joined by several other ministers, and nearly whole churches, from the same denomination.
The western branch arose in Kentucky, and was composed of seceders from the Presbyterians. Some of their ministers were men of strong and well-cultivated minds, who urged forward the reform they had undertaken, till they have spread over most of the Western States.
In all these different sections, their leading purpose, at first, appears to have been, not so much to establish any peculiar or distinctive doctrine, as to assert for individuals and churches more liberty and independence in relation to matters of faith and practice; to shake off the authority of human creeds, and the shackles of prescribed modes and forms; to make the Bible their only guide, claiming for every man the right to judge for himself what is its doctrine, and what are its requirements; and in practice to follow more strictly the simplicity of the apostles and primitive Christians.
This class of believers recognize no individual as a leader or founder, and no man claims this high eminence, although several persons were instrumental in giving rise and progress to the society. They point all to Christ as the Leader and Founder, and professedly labor to bring all to the first principles of original, apostolic Christianity.
Seceding, as the first ministers did, from different denominations, they necessarily brought with them some of the peculiarities of faith and usage in which they had been educated. But the two prominent sentiments that led them out, both kept them together, by rendering them tolerant toward each other, and gradually brought them to be very similar both in faith and practice. These two sentiments were, that the Scriptures only should be consulted as a rule of faith and duty, and that all Christians should enjoy universal toleration. Hence scarcely any churches have written creeds, although nearly all record their principles of action. Very few are Trinitarians, though nearly all believe in the preexistence and proper Sonship of Christ. Perhaps not any believe in or practise sprinkling, but almost all practise immersion; from which circumstance many, though very improperly, call them Christian Baptists.
Perfect uniformity does not exist among all the members of this community, although the approximation to it is far greater than many have supposed it ever could be without a written creed. But there are several important points in which they generally agree fully; and these are regarded as sufficient to secure Christian character, Christian fellowship, and concert of action. Some of these points are the following:—That the Scriptures, including the Old and New Testament, were given by inspiration of God, and are sufficient to teach what men should believe, and what they should practise. That every man has a right to study the Scriptures, and to exercise his own judgment with regard to their true import and meaning. That there is one God, perfect and infinite. That Jesus Christ is the Son of God in the highest possible sense, and that salvation is found in him alone. That all men have sinned and come short of the glory of God, therefore are polluted and guilty. That no transgressor can find pardon but by repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. That the Holy Spirit reproves all sinners, and comforts all Christians. That whoever has sinned has also a way of salvation set before him. That pardon and eternal salvation are found alone through regeneration. That none are proper subjects of church membership, or the ordinances except the regenerated. That God calls men to the ministry, and no others are his true ministers. That perseverance to the end is the only condition on our part that can secure our eternal happiness. That revivals of religion are of the first importance, and should be labored for continually. That every believer should be immersed, and become a public member of some visible church. That every church should continue to observe the Lord's supper. That there will be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and of the unjust; and that, at the day of judgment, the righteous and the wicked will be separated, and pass, the righteous into everlasting life, and the wicked into eternal damnation.
On all the above points, there is but very little difference of opinion or practice throughout the whole body.
Candidates for baptism and church membership are required to give the reason of their hope, by a relation of their Christian experience; and persons coming from other churches are expected to furnish satisfactory testimonials of their Christian character.
Their communions are always open and free for all Christians of every denomination; but no unconverted or immoral person is invited to the Lord's table.
Each church is so far independent as to have a right to transact all its internal affairs without foreign interference. Every church makes choice of its own minister, agrees on its own principles of action, and administers its own discipline, as they understand the New Testament; but the imposition of hands is invariably administered by ordained ministers.
The connection between the several churches, and between the ministers, is kept up by means of associations called conferences, each of which is generally composed of the ministers and churches within a certain district. These hold annual sessions, at which the ministers meet in person, and the churches by delegates. The churches and ministers are generally thus associated; but, if any choose not to do so, the fraternal bonds are not thereby impaired.
Very few of their ministers are thoroughly educated men; but they are generally well acquainted with the Bible, and many of them good sermonizers and powerful preachers. All the important means by which pure Christianity may be advanced are fast gaining favor both in the ministry and the churches.
Within the last few years, there has been a very rapid spread, and great increase; while all has been settling upon a firm and consistent basis. While many are engaged calling sinners to repentance, the churches are set in order, and thus mightily the word of God grows and prevails.
This school of theology, which has become famous both in England and abroad, had its origin at Oxford, about A. D. 1838. Some distinguished members of the university thought that the church of England was in an alarming position, and that irreligious principles and false doctrines had been admitted into the measures of the government of the country on a large scale. To check the progress of these supposed errors and mischievous practices, they published a series of "Tracts for the Times," on such subjects as the constitution of the church; the authority of its ministers; refutations of the errors of Romanism, and how to oppose it, &c. &c.
The Puseyites strenuously assert the apostolical succession; in other words, that the clergy derive their power from the apostles, through episcopal ordination.
In regard to church polity, they maintain that the church is an empire and government of its own,—a government appointed by God,—and that its laws, as they are to be found in the Book of Common Prayer, ought to be implicitly obeyed. They deprecate the neglect of the daily service, the desecration of festivals, and the scanty administration of the eucharist.
With respect to sacraments, the Puseyites hold that they are not subjects of discussion, or for speculation; but "high, mysterious, awful Christian privileges—to be felt, reverenced, embraced, realized, acted."
With respect to church authority, they hold that human tradition has no place in revelation; that no individuals, since the apostles, can be regarded as expositors of the will of Christ; that the unanimous witness of Christendom, as to the teaching of the apostles, is the only and the fully-sufficient guaranty of the whole revealed faith, and that we do possess historically such a guaranty in the remains of the primitive church.
The Puseyites inculcate the necessity of dispensing religious truth with caution and reverence, not throwing it promiscuously before minds ill suited to receive it.
A characteristic feature of the Oxford school of theology, is its opposition to what is called the "popular religionism of the day." The masters of the school grieve that men are sent from the seat of their education with the belief that they are to think, not read; judge, rather than learn; and look to their own minds for truth, rather than to some permanent external standard.
At the head of this school are Dr. Pusey, Regius professor of Hebrew, and canon of Christ Church, Rev. J. Keble, professor of poetry, Rev. J. H. Newman, Rev. J. Williams, and Rev. W. Sewall, professor of moral philosophy.
FREE COMMUNION BAPTISTS.
This denomination of Christians dissent from the regular Baptists on the point that immersion is a prerequisite to the privileges of a church relation, and permit Christians of all denominations, in regular church standing, to partake with them at the Lord's table.
The Rev. Robert Hall, of England, one of the most learned and eloquent Baptist ministers of the age, was an unflinching opposer of the practice of "close communion," which he denounced as "unchristian and unnatural." In a tract written in defence of his views on this subject, he remarks, "It is too much to expect an enlightened public will be eager to enroll themselves among the members of a sect which displays much of the intolerance of Popery, without any portion of its splendor, and prescribes, as the pledge of conversion, the renunciation of the whole Christian world."
In reference to the mode of baptism, Mr. Hall says, "I would not myself baptize in any other way than by immersion, because I look upon immersion as the ancient mode; that it best represents the meaning of the original term employed, and the substantial import of this institution; and because I should think it right to guard against the spirit of innovation, which, in positive rites, is always dangerous and progressive; but I should not think myself authorized to rebaptize any one who has been sprinkled in adult age."
This class of Baptists are found chiefly in the western and northern parts of the state of New York. They number between forty and fifty churches and ministers.
TRANSCENDENT and TRANSCENDENTAL are technical terms in philosophy. According to their etymology, (from transcendere,) they signify that which goes beyond a certain limit; in philosophy, that which goes beyond, or transcends, the circle of experience, or of what is perceptible by the senses. Properly speaking, all philosophy is in this sense transcendental, because all philosophical investigations rise above the sensual, even if they start from that which is perceptible by the senses. But philosophical inquiries are to be distinguished according as they proceed from experience, or from principles and ideas not derived from that source. The latter sort are called, in a narrower sense, pure, or transcendental. The school of Kant makes a still further distinction: it gives the name of transcendental to that which does not, indeed, originate from experience, but yet is connected with it, because it contains the grounds of the possibility of experience; but the term transcendent it applies to that which cannot be connected with experience, but transcends the limit of possible experience and of philosophizing.
As applied in this country, especially when used as a term of reproach, Transcendentalism would designate a system which builds on feeling, rather than on reason, and relies more on the imagination than on the judgment. In the main, however, the Transcendentalists are persons who hold that man has the power to perceive intuitively truths which transcend the reach of the senses; but they divide, some taking the unction of Sentimentalism, and others of Mysticism.
AUGSBURG CONFESSION OF FAITH.
The first Protestant Confession was that presented, in 1530, to the diet of Augsburg, by the suggestion and under the direction of John, elector of Saxony. This wise and prudent prince, with the view of having the principal grounds on which the Protestants had separated from the Romish communion distinctly submitted to that assembly, intrusted the duty of preparing a summary of them to the divines of Wittemberg. Nor was that task a difficult one; for the Reformed doctrines had already been digested into seventeen articles, which had been proposed at the conferences both at Sultzbach and Smalcald, as the confession of faith to be adopted by the Protestant confederates. These, accordingly, were delivered to the elector by Luther, and served as the basis of the celebrated Augsburg Confession, written "by the elegant and accurate pen of Melancthon"—a work which has been admired by many even of its enemies, for its perspicuity, piety, and erudition. It contains twenty-eight chapters, the leading topics of which are, the true and essential divinity of Christ; his substitution and vicarious sacrifice; original sin; human inability; the necessity, freedom, and efficacy of divine grace; consubstantiation; and particularly justification by faith, to establish the truth and importance of which was one of its chief objects. The last seven articles condemn and confute the Popish tenets of communion in one kind, clerical celibacy, private masses, auricular confession, legendary traditions, monastic vows, and the exorbitant power of the church. This Confession is silent on the doctrine of predestination. This is the universal standard of orthodox doctrine among those who profess to be Lutherans, in which no authoritative alteration has ever been made.
The chief point of separation between the Armenians on the one side, and the Greeks and the Papists on the other, is, that, while the latter believe in two natures and one person of Christ, the former believe that the humanity and divinity of Christ were so united as to form but one nature; and hence they are called Monophysites, signifying single nature.
Another point on which they are charged with heresy by the Papists is, that they adhere to the notion that the Spirit proceeds from the Father only; and in this the Greeks join them, though the Papists say that he proceeds from the Father and the Son. In other respects, the Greeks and Armenians have very nearly the same religious opinions, though they differ somewhat in their forms and modes of worship. For instance, the Greeks make the sign of the cross with three fingers, in token of their belief in the doctrine of the Trinity, while the Armenians use two fingers, and the Jacobites, one.
The Armenians hold to seven sacraments, like the Latins although baptism, confirmation, and extreme unction, are all performed at the same time; and the forms of prayer for confirmation and extreme unction are perfectly intermingled, which leads one to suppose that, in fact, the latter sacrament does not exist among them, except in name, and that this they have borrowed from the Papists.
Infants are baptized both by triple immersion and pouring water three times upon the head; the former being done, as their books assert, in reference to Christ's having been three days in the grave, and probably suggested by the phrase buried with him in baptism.
The latter ceremony they derive from the tradition that, when Christ was baptized, he stood in the midst of Jordan, and John poured water from his hand three times upon his head. In all their pictures of this scene, such is the representation of the mode of our Savior's baptism. Converted Jews, or Mahometans, though adults, are baptized in the same manner.
The Armenians acknowledge sprinkling as a lawful mode of baptism; for they receive from other churches those that have merely been sprinkled, without rebaptizing them.
They believe firmly in transubstantiation, and worship the consecrated elements as God.
Unleavened bread is used in the sacrament, and the broken pieces of bread are dipped in undiluted wine, and thus given to the people.
The latter, however, do not handle it, but receive it into their mouths from the hands of the priest. They suppose it has in itself a sanctifying and saving power. The Greeks, in this sacrament, use leavened bread, and wine mixed with water.
The Armenians discard the Popish doctrine of purgatory but yet, most inconsistently, they pray for the dead.
They hold to confession of sins to the priests, who impose penances and grant absolution, though without money, and they give no indulgences.
They pray through the mediation of the virgin Mary, and other saints. The belief that Mary was always a virgin, is a point of very high importance with them; and they consider the thought of her having given birth to children after the birth of Christ, as in the highest degree derogatory to her character, and impious.
They regard baptism and regeneration as the same thing and have no conception of any spiritual change; and they know little of any other terms of salvation than penance, the Lord's supper, fasting, and good works in general.
The Armenians are strictly Trinitarians in their views, holding firmly to the supreme divinity of Christ, and the doctrine of atonement for sin; though their views on the latter subject, as well as in regard to faith and repentance, are somewhat obscure. They say that Christ died to atone for original sin, and that actual sin is to be washed away by penances,—which, in their view, is repentance. Penances are prescribed by the priests, and sometimes consist in an offering of money to the church, a pilgrimage, or more commonly in repeating certain prayers, or reading the whole book of Psalms a specified number of times. Faith in Christ seems to mean but little more than believing in the mystery of transubstantiation.—See Coleman's Christian Antiquities.
This sect forms a party in England, which seceded from the Wesleyans in 1817. They differ from the Wesleyans chiefly in church government, by admitting lay representation. They are said to increase rapidly. Their present number is about seventy thousand.
An heretical sect in the early church, which derives its name from Novatian, an heresiarch of the third century, who was ordained a priest of the church of Rome, and afterwards got himself clandestinely consecrated bishop of Rome, by three weak men, upon whom he had imposed, and one of whom afterwards did penance for his concern in the business. He was never acknowledged bishop of Rome, but was condemned and excommunicated. He still, however taught his doctrine, and became the head of the party that bore his name. He denied, in opposition to the opinion of the church, that those who had been guilty of idolatry could be again received by the church.
The branch of the Christian church known by this name is so called from Nestorius, a patriarch of Constantinople, who was born in Germanica, a city of Syria, in the latter part of the fourth century. He was educated and baptized at Antioch, and, soon after his baptism, withdrew to a monastery in the vicinity of that city. His great reputation for eloquence, and the regularity of his life, induced the emperor Theodosius to select him for the see of Constantinople; and he was consecrated bishop of that church A. D. 429. He became a violent persecutor of heretics; but, because he favored the doctrine of his friend Anastasius, that "the virgin Mary cannot with propriety be called the mother of God," he was anathematized by Cyril, bishop of Alexandria, who, in his turn, was anathematized by Nestorius. In the council of Ephesus, A. D. 431, (the third General Council of the church,) at which Cyril presided, and at which Nestorius was not present, he was judged and condemned without being heard, and deprived of his see. He then retired to his monastery, in Antioch, and was afterwards banished to Petra, in Arabia, and thence to Oasis, in Egypt, where he died, about A. D. 435 or 439.
The decision of the council of Ephesus caused many difficulties in the church; and the friends of Nestorius carried his doctrines through all the Oriental provinces, and established numerous congregations, professing an invincible opposition to the decrees of the Ephesian council. Nestorianism spread rapidly over the East, and was embraced by a large number of the oriental bishops. Barsumas, bishop of Nisibis, labored with great zeal and activity to procure for the Nestorians a solid and permanent footing in Persia; and his success was so remarkable that his fame extended throughout the East. He established a school at Nisibis, which became very famous, and from which issued those Nestorian doctors who, in that and the following centuries, spread abroad their tenets through Egypt, Syria, Arabia, India, Tartary, and China.
The Nestorian church is Episcopal in its government, like all the other Oriental churches. Its doctrines, also, are, in general, the same with those of those churches, and they receive and repeat, in their public worship, the Nicene creed. Their distinguishing doctrines appear to be, their believing that Mary was not the mother of Jesus Christ, as God, but only as man, and that there are, consequently, two persons, as well as two natures, in the Son of God. This notion was looked upon in the earlier ages of the church as a most momentous error; but it has in later times been considered more as an error of words than of doctrine; and that the error of Nestorius was in the words he employed to express his meaning, rather than in the doctrine itself. While the Nestorians believe that Christ had two natures and two persons, they say "that these natures and persons are so closely and intimately united that they have but one aspect." "Now, the word barsopa, by which they express this aspect, is precisely of the same signification with the Greek word προσωπον, which signifies a person; and hence it is evident that they attached to the word aspect the same idea that we attach to the word person, and that they understood, by the word person, precisely what we understand by the term nature."
The Nestorians, of all the Christian churches of the East, have been the most careful and successful in avoiding a multitude of superstitious opinions and practices, which have infected the Romish and many Eastern churches.
Our readers are referred to an interesting volume recently published by Asahel Grant, M. D., in which is contained strong evidence that the Nestorians and the "Lost Tribes" are one people.
A term first given to the Nonjurors, who refused to acknowledge William III. as their lawful king, and who had very proud notions of church power; but it is now commonly used in a more extensive signification, and is applied to all those who, though far from being Nonjurors, yet form high conceptions of the authority and jurisdiction of the church.
ANCIENT AMERICAN COVENANT OR CONFESSION OF FAITH.
Copy of the first Covenant, or Confession of Faith, of the First Church in Salem, Massachusetts.
The first ordination to the pastoral office, and the first complete organization and erection of a Protestant church, in North America, took place in that town, in the year 1629.
The First Covenant, Or Confession Of Faith, Of The First Church In Salem.
"We covenant with our Lord, and one with another, and we do bind ourselves, in the presence of God, to walk together in all his ways, according as he is pleased to reveal himself unto us in his blessed word of truth; and do explicitly, in the name and fear of God, profess and protest to walk as followeth, through the power and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ:—
"We avouch the Lord to be our God, and ourselves to be his people, in the truth and simplicity of our spirits.
"We give ourselves to the Lord Jesus Christ, and the word of his grace, for the teaching, ruling, and sanctifying of us in matters of worship and conversation, resolving to cleave unto him alone for life and glory, and to reject all contrary ways, canons, and constitutions of men, in his worship.
"We promise to walk with our brethren, with all watchfulness and tenderness, avoiding jealousies and suspicions, backbitings, censurings, provokings, secret risings of spirit against them; but, in all offences, to follow the rule of our Lord Jesus, and to bear and forbear, give and forgive, as he hath taught us.
"In public or private, we will willingly do nothing to the offence of the church, but will be willing to take advice for ourselves and ours, as occasion shall be presented.
"We will not, in the congregation, be forward, either to show our own gifts and parts in speaking or scrupling, or there discover the weakness or failings of our brethren; but attend an orderly call thereunto, knowing how much the Lord may be dishonored, and his gospel, and the profession of it, slighted by our distempers and weaknesses in public.
"We bind ourselves to study the advancement of the gospel in all truth and peace, both in regard to those that are within or without; no way slighting our sister churches, but using their counsel, as need shall be; not laying a stumbling-block before any, no, not the Indians, whose good we desire to promote; and so to converse, as we may avoid the very appearance of evil.
"We do hereby promise to carry ourselves in all lawful obedience to those that are over us, in church or commonwealth, knowing how well pleasing it will be to the Lord, that they should have encouragement in their places, by our not grieving their spirits through our irregularities.
"We resolve to approve ourselves to the Lord in our particular callings, shunning idleness, as the bane of any state; nor will we deal hardly or oppressingly with any, wherein we are the Lord's stewards.
"Promising, also, unto our best ability, to teach our children and servants the knowledge of God, and of his will, that they may serve him also; and all this, not by any strength of our own, but by the Lord Christ, whose blood we desire may sprinkle this our covenant, made in his name"
"The above is a covenant," says a learned divine, "to which all good Christians, of every denomination, to the end of time, will be able to subscribe their names,—written in a style of touching simplicity, which has seldom been equalled, and containing sentiments which are felt to be eloquent by every amiable and pious heart,—and should form the bond to unite the whole church on earth, as they will unite the church of the redeemed in heaven. This Covenant might well be adopted by all Congregational and Protestant churches; and it will forever constitute the glory, perpetuate the fame, and render precious the memory, of FRANCIS HIGGINSON, the first minister of Salem."(12)
STATISTICS OF CHURCHES.
The following table, from the Baptist Register of 1842, exhibits the statistics of the Regular or Associated Baptists in a perspicuous light:—
Churches, Ministers, &c.
States. Churches. Ministers. Baptized. Members. Maine 261 181 2249 26490 New Hampshire 104 77 1042 9557 Vermont 134 94 784 10950 Massachusetts 209 179 2355 25092 Rhode Island 32 25 348 5196 Connecticut 98 92 559 11266 New York 814 697 7533 82200 New Jersey(13) 55 53 961 6716 Pennsylvania 252 181 2370 20983 Delaware 9 8 326 Maryland 27 18 661 1710 Virginia 477 238 3086 57390 North Carolina 448 193 1543 26169 South Carolina 367 192 1434 34092 Georgia 651 276 1043 44022 Alabama 503 250 908 25084 Mississippi 150 64 615 6050 Louisiana(14) 15 9 288 Arkansas 43 21 105 798 Tennessee 666 444 938 30879 Kentucky 627 300 5842 47325 Ohio 502 284 3594 22333 Indiana 437 229 1794 18198 Illinois 351 250 1227 11408 Missouri 282 161 817 11010 Michigan 130 82 668 6276 Iowa 14 9 10 382 Wisconsin 15 9 58 385 British Provinces 225 125 4414 37127 Total 7898 4741 46958 573702
PUBLICATIONS.—QUARTERLY: Christian Review, Boston, Mass.—MONTHLY: Missionary Magazine, Boston, Mass.; Sabbath School Treasury, Boston, Mass.; Mother's Monthly Journal, Utica, N. Y.; Sabbath School Gleaner, Philadelphia, Pa.; Baptist Memorial, N. Y.; Michigan Christian Herald, Detroit, Mich.—SEMI-MONTHLY: The Register, Montreal, Ca.; Baptist Library, Lexington, N. Y.—WEEKLY: Zion's Advocate, Portland, Me.; N. H. Baptist Register, Concord, N. H.; Vermont Telegraph, Brandon, Vt.; Vermont Baptist Journal, Middlebury, Vt.; Christian Watchman, Boston, Mass.; Christian Reflector, Boston, Mass.; Christian Secretary, Hartford, Ct.; N. Y. Baptist Register, Utica, N. Y.; Baptist Advocate, New York, N. Y.; Baptist Record, Philadelphia, Pa.; Religious Herald, Richmond, Va.; The Truth, Morristown, Pa.; Christian Index, Penfield, Ga.; Banner and Pioneer, Louisville, Ky.; Cross and Journal, Columbus, Ohio; Christian Messenger, Halifax, N. S.
This denomination of Baptists have in their connection nine hundred and eighty-one churches, six hundred and forty-seven ordained ministers, one hundred and seventy-two licensed preachers, forty-seven thousand two hundred and seventeen communicants, eighty-seven quarterly and fourteen yearly meetings. Of this number of members, thirty-five thousand two hundred and eighty-seven reside in New England and New York. They are most numerous in Maine and New Hampshire.
PUBLICATIONS, &c.—There are two periodicals published by this denomination at Dover, N. H.: the Morning Star, a weekly paper, and the Sabbath School Repository, published monthly; also the Christian Soldier, Providence, R. I., once in two weeks.
The Free-Will Baptists have several benevolent institutions in Maine, and flourishing seminaries of learning at Parsonsfield, Me., Strafford, N. H., Smithfield, R. I., and at Clinton and Varysburgh, N. Y.
These people do not believe in the doctrine of election and reprobation, as taught by Calvin, and invite to the Lord's table all evangelical Christians in good standing in their churches.
This people have in the United States about forty-eight churches, thirty-four elders, twenty licentiates, and five thousand communicants. They reside principally in Rhode Island and New York; but have a few churches in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, &c. They are divided into three associations, and meet by delegation annually in general conference. Their government, however, is Independent. They have a general Missionary Society, a Society for the Promotion of Christianity among the Jews, a Tract and an Education Society. Their principal institution of learning is at DE RUYTER, N. Y., and is in a flourishing state, having several teachers, and about two hundred scholars. They are close communionists.
This denomination of Christians are found in almost every state in the Union, and in Canada. In 1841, there were in America forty-one conferences, five hundred and ninety-one churches, five hundred and ninety-three ordained preachers, one hundred and eighty-nine unordained preachers, and about thirty thousand church members.
PUBLICATIONS.—This connection has three religious periodicals, viz. The Christian Palladium, Union Mills, N. Y.; Christian Journal, Exeter, N. H.; and the Christian Messenger, Jacksonville, Illinois.
So late as the year 1700, eighty years after the landing of the Pilgrims, there were, in all the New England States then settled, but one Episcopal church, no Methodist church, and, with the exception of Rhode Island, not more than half a dozen Baptist churches. At that time, however, there were one hundred and twenty Congregational churches, composed of emigrants from Europe and their descendants, and thirty others composed of converted Indians. The great mass of the descendants of the early settlers of New England are Congregationalists, maintaining, substantially, the same views of church order and religious faith which their venerated ancestry sacrificed home, and country, and life, to maintain and perpetuate.
The present number of Congregational churches in New England is about fifteen hundred; and in the Middle and Western States there are about fourteen hundred and fifty; although the mode of church government adopted by some of them is, in some degree, modified by the "Plan of Union" with Presbyterians. These churches contain, as nearly as can be ascertained, about one hundred and ninety-four thousand communicants.
Recently, symptoms of dissatisfaction with the "Plan of Union" have extensively developed themselves, particularly in New York, Ohio, Missouri, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Iowa; and the probability now is, that a pure Congregational mode of church government will soon be generally adopted by the descendants of New-England Congregationalists, who are scattered over the great West.
These Congregational churches are more particularly denominated Orthodox than any other churches in the United States, and adhere to the doctrines of Calvin or Hopkins.
PUBLICATIONS.—The Orthodox Congregationalists publish a great number of periodicals, the principal of which are the Boston Recorder, the New England Puritan, Boston, Mass.; the Christian Mirror, Portland, Me.; the Congregational Journal, Concord, N. H.; the Vermont Chronicle, Windsor, Vt.; the Congregational Observer, Hartford, Ct.; and several in the Western States, which are sustained partly by Congregationalists and partly by Presbyterians.
Disciples Of Christ.
The largest number of this denomination is found in the region of country around where its doctrines were first propagated. There are, however, societies of this class of Christians in other parts of the country, some adopting, and others rejecting, its views on baptism. The total number in the United States is about one hundred and fifty thousand.
PUBLICATIONS. The Disciples of Christ publish a periodical, the Millennial Harbinger, at Bethany, Va., (edited by CAMPBELL, the founder of the sect,) and another, the Evangelist, at Carthage, Ohio.
We have already given, in the historical account of the Episcopal Church, in this Country, a few brief notices of its condition; and we now present the following additional statistics.
List Of Bishops.
It being the essential principle of Episcopacy, that legitimate church authority is not originated by voluntary associations of men, but is of Divine origin, derived from Christ, and transmitted through an unbroken succession of Bishops, who trace their appointment to Him, we here give a list of the names of persons who constitute such succession.
ORDER OF EPISCOPAL SUCCESSION. A. D.
JESUS CHRIST. 44. St. Peter and St. Paul at Rome. 66. Linus. 81. Anacletus. 91. Clement. 102. Euarestus. 111. Alexander. 121. Sixtus I. 130. Telesphorus. 141. Hyginus. 144. Pius. 159. Anicetus. 168. Soter. 176. Eleutherius. 193. Victor. 201. Zephyrinus. 218. Callistus. 224. Urbanus. 232. Pontianus. 238. Anterus. 238. Fabianus. 252. Cornelius. 254. Lucius. 255. Stephanus. 258. Sixtus II. 265. Dionysius. 270. Felix I. 275. Eutychianus 283. Caius. 296. Marcellinus. 304. Marcellus. 309. Eusebius. 311. Miltiades. 314. Sylvester. 336. Marcus. 337. Julius. 352. Liberius. 356. Felix II. 366. Damasus. 385. Siricius. 398. Anastasius I. 402. Innocent. 417. Zosimus. 419. Boniface I. 423. Celestine. 434. Sixtus III. 443. Leo (the Great.) 464. Hilary. 468. Simplicius. 483. Felix III. 492. Gelasius. 496. Anastasius II. 498. Symmachus 514. Hormisdas. 524. John I. 526. Felix IV. 530. Boniface II. 532. John II. 535. Agapetus. 537. Silverius. 540. Virgilius. 555. Pelagius I. 560. John III. 574. Benedictus. 578. Pelagius II. 596. Gregory (the Great.) 596. Augustine, Missionary Bishop to England. 611. Laurentius. 619. Melitus. 624. Justus. 628. Honorius. 656. Adeodatus. 668. Theodore. 692. Brithwald. 731. Tatwyn, or Cadwyn. 735. Egbright. 736. Nothelmus. 742. Cuthbert. 759. Bregwin. 762. Lambert. 793. Atheland. 806. Wulfred. 830. Theologild. 830. Syred. 831. Ceolnoth. 871. Athelredus. 889. Plegmund. 915. Athelme. 924. Wolfhelme. 934. Odo Severus. 957. Elfin. 958. Brithelme. 959. Dunstan. 988. Ethelgarus. 989. Siricius. 994. Alfricus. 1006. AElfeagus. 1013. Livingus, or Elstan. 1020. Agelnoth. 1038. Eadsius, or Eadsinus. 1050. Robert Gemiticensis. 1052. Stigand. 1070. Lanfranc. 1093. Anselme. 1114. Rodolph, or Raphe. 1122. William Corbel, or Corbois. 1138. Theobald. 1162. Thomas a Becket. 1173. Richard. 1184. Baldwin. 1191. Reginald Fitz Joceline. 1193. Hubert Walter. 1207. Stephen Langton. 1229. Richard Weatherhead. 1235. Edmund. 1244. Boniface III. 1272. Robert Kilwarby. 1278. John Peckam. 1294. Robert Winchelsey. 1313. Walter Raynolds. 1327. Simon Mepham. 1333. John Stratford. 1349. Thomas Bradwardin. 1349. Simon Islippe. 1366. Simon Langham. 1368. William Wittlesey. 1375. Simon Sudbury. 1381. William Courtney. 1396. Thomas Arundel. 1414. Henry Chichley. 1443. John Stafford. 1452. John Kemp. 1454. Thomas Bourchier. 1486. John Morton. 1501. Henry Deane. 1504. William Warham. 1521. John Longland. 1533. THOMAS CRANMER.(15) 1536. Robert Parfew. 1537. John Hodgskins. 1559. Matthew Parker. 1559. Edmund Grindal. 1577. John Whitgift. 1597. Richard Bancroft. 1609. George Abbott. 1617. George Monteigne 1621. William Laud. 1634. Matthew Wren. 1660. Gilbert Sheldon. 1674. Henry Compton. 1677. William Sancroft. 1685. Jonathan Trelawney. 1715. John Potter. 1737. Thomas Herring. 1749. Frederick Cornwallis. 1775. John Moore. 1793. Charles Manners Sutton. 1813. William Howley, (now living.) 1775. John Moore. 1787. WILLIAM WHITE. 1811. Alexander V. Griswold.
LIST OF BISHOPS OF THE CHURCH IN THE UNITED STATES.
Those with an asterisk (*) are deceased.
*1784. Samuel Seabury, D. D., Connecticut, died, 1796. *1787. William White, D. D., Pennsylvania, died, 1836. *1787. Samuel Provoost, D. D., New York, died, 1815. *1790. James Madison, D. D., Virginia, died, 1812. *1792. Thomas John Claggett, D. D., Maryland, died, 1816. *1795. Robert Smith, D. D., South Carolina, died, 1801. *1797. Edward Bass, D. D., Massachusetts, died, 1803. *1797. Abraham Jarvis, D. D., Connecticut, died, 1813. *1801. Benjamin Moore, D. D., New York, died, 1816. *1804. Samuel Parker, D. D., Massachusetts, died, 1804. *1811. John Henry Hobart, D. D., New York, died, 1830. 1811. Alexander Viets Griswold, D. D., Massachusetts. *1812. Theodore Dehon, D. D., South Carolina, died, 1817. *1814. Richard Channing Moore, D. D., Virginia, died, 1841. *1814. James Kemp, D. D., Maryland, died, 1827. *1815. John Croes, D. D., Now Jersey, died, 1832. *1818. Nathaniel Bowen, D. D., South Carolina, died, 1839. 1819. Philander Chase, D. D., Illinois. 1819. Thomas Church Brownell, D. D., LL. D., Connecticut. *1823. John Stark Ravenscroft, D. D., North Carolina, died, 1830. 1827. Henry Ustick Onderdonk, D. D., Pennsylvania. 1829. William Meade, D. D., Virginia. *1830. William Murray Stone, D. D., Maryland, died, 1838. 1830. Benjamin Tredwell Onderdonk, D. D., New York. 1831. Levi Silliman Ives, D. D., LL. D., North Carolina. 1832. John Henry Hopkins, D. D., Vermont. 1832. Benjamin Bosworth Smith, D. D., Kentucky. 1832. Charles Pettit McIlvaine, D. D., Ohio. 1832. George Washington Doane, D. D., LL. D., New Jersey. 1834. James Hervey Otey, D. D., Tennessee. 1835. Jackson Kemper, D. D., Missionary Bishop, for Wisconsin Iowa, and the Indian territory North of Lat. 36-1/2 deg.. 1836. Samuel Allen McCoskry, D. D., Michigan. 1838. Leonidas Polk, D. D., Louisiana. 1839. William Heathcote De Lancey, D. D., Western New York. 1840. Christopher Edwards Gadsden, D. D., South Carolina. 1840. William Rollinson Whittingham, D. D., Maryland. 1841. Stephen Elliott, jun., D. D., Georgia. 1841. Alfred Lee, D. D., Delaware.
The following table contains the statistics of this church in the United States:—
States. Dioceses. Bishops. Clergy. Maine 1 7 New Hampshire 1 10 Vermont 1 1 24 Massachusetts 1 1 49 Rhode Island 1 20 Connecticut 1 1 92 New York 1 1 196 Western New York 1 1 101 New Jersey 1 1 42 Pennsylvania 1 1 107 Delaware 1 1 10 Maryland 1 1 81 Virginia 1 1 94 North Carolina 1 1 30 South Carolina 1 1 47 Georgia 1 1 16 Louisiana, Alabama 1 1 18 Mississippi, 1 1 23 Tennessee, Arkansas Kentucky 1 1 21 Ohio 1 1 58 Illinois 1 1 9 Michigan 1 1 19 Indiana, Missouri, 1 1 44 Iowa, Wisconsin Florida 1 4 Totals 30 20 1114
The Dioceses of Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island, are under the charge of the same Bishop. Indiana and Missouri are under the charge of the Missionary Bishop for Wisconsin, Iowa, and the Indian territory North of Lat. 36-1/2 deg.. Alabama is under the charge of the Bishop of Louisiana. Mississippi and Arkansas are under the charge of the Bishop of Tennessee.
In the British American Provinces and Islands, there are six dioceses, containing six Bishops, and 454 other clergymen.
There are numerous local Societies for religious purposes, in every Diocese.
PERIODICAL PUBLICATIONS.—WEEKLY: The Churchman, New York; Gospel Messenger, Utica; Gospel Messenger and Southern Episcopal Register, Charleston, S. C.; Episcopal Recorder, Philadelphia; Southern Churchman, Alexandria, D. C.; Christian Witness, Boston; Western Episcopal Observer, Cincinnati, Ohio; Banner of the Cross, Philadelphia; Practical Christian and Church Chronicle, New Haven, Ct.—MONTHLY: Journal of Christian Education, New York; Children's Magazine, New York; Spirit of Missions, New York; Church Record, Flushing, N. Y.
The Friends are found in most of the states in the Union, and some in the British Provinces. They are most numerous in Pennsylvania, a state first settled by them, under their worthy head and father, in this country, WILLIAM PENN, in 1682.
In England and Ireland, they number about fifty thousand; and in America, about two hundred thousand, and are divided into four hundred and fifty congregations. About half are Orthodox, and the other half Hicksites, or followers of ELIAS HICKS, who died at Jericho, N. Y. in 1830, aged 76.
The number of Jews in the United States is estimated at about four thousand. They have synagogues in Newport, R. I., the cities of New York, Philadelphia, Charleston, S. C., and in other parts of the country. Their mode of worship is exceedingly interesting. With regard to the number of this people in the world, Blackwood's Magazine says:—
"The statistics of the Jewish population are among the most singular circumstances of this most singular of all people. Under all their calamities and dispersions, they seem to have remained at nearly the same amount as in the days of David and Solomon—never much more in prosperity, never much less after ages of suffering. Nothing like this has occurred in the history of any other race; Europe in general having doubled its population within the last hundred years, and England nearly tripled hers within the last half century; the proportion of America being still more rapid, and the world crowding in a constantly-increasing ratio. Yet the Jews seem to stand still in this vast and general movement. The population of Judea, in its most palmy days, probably did not exceed, if it reached, four millions. The numbers who entered Palestine from the wilderness, were evidently not much more than three; and their census, according to the German statists, who are generally considered to be exact, is now nearly the same as that of the people under Moses—about three millions."
On the above, Judge Noah, of New York, a learned Jew, remarks:—
"We apprehend there is some error in the above statistics, and that the number of Jews throughout the world may be estimated at nearer six millions than three. There are more than a million in Poland and Russia; in all Asia, there are full two millions; half a million in Austria; in the Barbary States and Africa, a million; in all Europe, two millions and a half. We do not think, during the most splendid periods of Jewish history, that they ever exceeded four millions; but then their colonies and countries held tributary in Europe and Asia, amounted to many millions more. For example, at one period all Spain paid tribute to King Solomon; and all Spain and Portugal, at this day, are descendants of the Jews and Moors; and there are many thousands of Jews, in both those countries, now adhering in secret to the ancient faith of their fathers, while outwardly professing the Catholic religion. All the familiar Spanish and Portuguese names—Lopez, Mendez, Carvalho, Fonseca, Rodrigues, Peirara, Azavedo, Montefiores, &c. &c.—are of Jewish origin. Their numbers, therefore, will never be accurately known until the restoration, when thousands who, from convenience and pride, and some from apprehension, conceal their religion, will be most eager to avow it when their nation takes rank among the governments of the earth."
The government of the Lutherans is somewhat singular. Where it is established by law, the supreme head of the state is also supreme head of the church. They have bishops, but no diocesan episcopacy, except in Denmark and Sweden. These are called superintendents in Germany, and presidents in the United States. There is but one archbishop, and he is the primate of Sweden.
They have in the United States about one thousand churches, four hundred ministers, seventy thousand communing members, and about one hundred and forty thousand which do not commune.
EDUCATION, &c.—They have a college, located at Gettysburg, Pa., and several academies in different parts of the country; also four theological seminaries, located at Gettysburg, Pa.; Columbus, Ohio; Lexington, S. C.; Hartwich, N. Y., a fifth is contemplated in Indiana. Their different education societies support about eighty beneficiaries, preparing for the ministry, at an expense of one hundred dollars each, annually. The Lutheran Observer is published weekly, at Baltimore.
The Lutherans are one of the most numerous sects of Christians in the world. The whole number in Europe is estimated at twenty-seven millions, embracing seventeen reigning sovereigns. This estimate, of course, includes the Moravians.
This infant church is rapidly increasing, especially in the middle States. Its population in the United States exceeds one hundred and fifty thousand.
This class of Christians have twenty-one annual conferences in as many states; nearly four hundred travelling, and a large number of unstationed ministers. They have a general conference, which meets once in four years, consisting of two delegates from every thousand communicants, one a minister, the other a layman: this is their legislative body. The number of communicants is about sixty-five thousand.
PUBLICATIONS. The Protestant Methodists support four religious papers:—the Olive Branch, Boston, Mass.; the New York Luminary, New York, the Methodist Protestant, Baltimore, Md., and the Western Recorder, Zanesville, Ohio.
The population of all denominations of Methodists in the United States exceeds three millions.
PUBLICATIONS.—The Christian Advocate and Journal, New York city; Zion's Herald and Wesleyan Journal, Boston, Mass.; Northern Advocate, Auburn, N. Y.; Christian Repository, Philadelphia, Pa.; Richmond Christian Advocate, Richmond, Va.; Southern Christian Advocate, Charleston, S. C.; South-Western Christian Advocate, Nashville, Tenn.; Pittsburg Christian Advocate, Pittsburg, Pa.; Western Christian Advocate, and the Christian Apologist, a German paper, Cincinnati, Ohio.
There is also published by this denomination, the Methodist Quarterly Review, New York city; Ladies' Repository, (monthly,) Cincinnati, Ohio; Guide to Christian Perfection, (monthly,) Boston, Mass., Sunday School Advocate, (semi-monthly,) New York city; Sabbath School Messenger, (semi-monthly,) Boston, Mass. The Methodists have ten colleges, and thirty academies.
In the Methodist church in Canada, are two weekly newspapers viz., Christian Guardian, Toronto, U. C.; The Wesleyan, Montreal, L. C.
From the "Minutes of the Annual Conferences of the Methodist Episcopal Church, for the Year 1840," we copy the following table:—
Conferences, Ministers, &c.
Conferences. Whites. Colored. Indians. Total Com. Trav. Prs. Troy 24,488 78 24,566 144 New England 22,319 235 22,554 157 New 20,084 20,084 151 Hampshire Pittsburg 35,276 474 35,750 136 Maine 22,359 22,359 145 Black River 15,908 27 15,935 96 Erie 17,860 50 17,910 107 Oneida 22,909 65 22,974 142 Michigan 11,308 12 87 11,407 74 Rock River 6,519 21 45 6,585 75 Genesee 27,931 50 27,981 162 North Ohio 23,594 91 213 23,898 95 Ohio 53,621 662 54,283 168 Illinois 24,607 80 24,687 103 Missouri 12,386 1,224 382 13,992 66 Kentucky 30,679 6,321 37,000 114 Tennessee 21,675 4,405 26,080 95 Indiana 52,208 407 52,615 156 Memphis 12,497 1,995 14,492 69 Arkansas 4,228 725 1,524 6,479 41 Holston 25,902 2,420 28,322 68 Mississippi 8,433 4,178 67 12,678 81 North 15,983 4,480 20,463 61 Carolina Texas 1,623 230 1,853 19 Alabama 19,491 5,821 25,312 87 South 26,945 30,481 57,426 102 Carolina Virginia 21,841 3,086 24,927 94 Georgia 28,868 9,989 38,857 127 Baltimore 42,789 13,904 56,693 182 Philadelphia 35,094 8,778 43,872 128 New Jersey 22,733 542 23,275 108 New York 36,284 405 36,689 215 Liberia 922 922 19 Mission Total, 1840 748,442 102,158 2,318 852,918 3,587 Total, 1842 796,495 107,251 2,617 906,363 3,846
The Protestant faith was introduced into Scotland about 1527; and about 1592 Andrew Melville effected the introduction of the Presbyterian form of church polity. This form, through much persecution, and even bloodshed, has been maintained ever since. Its creed is Calvinistic. This church has nearly a thousand ministers, and about one million five hundred thousand church members. It is the established religion of Scotland, sustained by law. There are also several bodies of dissenting Presbyterians in Scotland.
Presbyterianism was first introduced into England by those Christians who returned from Frankfort, after the death of Queen Mary. For a time, it flourished, but at length lapsed into Socinianism. There are, however, a few churches in England still pure, which are in fellowship with the Scotch Presbyterians.
This denomination began its organized existence in America about the year 1700, and is the offspring of the church of Scotland. Its first ministers were Rev. Francis McKemie, and the Rev. John Hampton, who labored in Virginia.
The first church of this order was organized in Philadelphia, 1703, the first presbytery, 1704, and the first synod in 1716. Since that time, they have steadily increased, and their number in 1840 was ninety-six presbyteries, twelve hundred and thirty-two ministers, eighteen hundred and twenty-three churches, and one hundred and fifty-two thousand four hundred and fifty-one communicants.
The Presbyterians are found chiefly in the Middle, Western, and Southern States. The number of people attached to this form of church government in the United States, is supposed to exceed two millions.
EDUCATION.—Within the bounds of the church there are thirteen theological seminaries, three of which are under the care of the General Assembly. They have a board of education, which has about four hundred young men in training for the ministry.
The Calvinistic publications announce their sentiments.
In 1837, a division arose in the Presbyterian church, into Old and New Schools, in consequence of variant views of doctrine and discipline. The friends of the New School were exscinded, or cut off, from the old church, but still claim to be the General Assembly of the Presbyterian church. Unfortunately, the difficulty is not settled; we cannot, therefore, give the strength of the parties.
Other Presbyterian Communities.
The Associate Presbyterians have about one hundred ministers, one hundred and ninety congregations, and twenty thousand communicants. They are principally found south and west of the Hudson River.
The Reformed Presbyterians, or Covenanters, are located principally in Ohio. They have about thirty ministers, fifty congregations, and four thousand communicants.
The Associate Reformed have about one hundred and twenty-five ministers, more than two hundred congregations, and about fifteen thousand communicants. They are located principally in Pennsylvania.
Reformed Dutch Church.
This church comprises one general synod, and two particular synods; one at New York, and another at Albany. The two synods comprise eighteen classes, about two hundred ministers, two hundred churches, twenty-seven thousand communicants, and a population of about one hundred and thirty thousand. This denomination of Christians is found almost entirely in the first settlements in the states of New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.
The Christian Intelligencer, published at New York, advocates the principles of this church.
This denomination is spread over every section of the United States and the British Provinces. They form, it is stated, more than three fourths of the population of the Canadas. They are also found in large numbers in the Provinces of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. In this Union, they are most numerous in the Middle States; but in consequence of the great influx of this people into North America, and their frequent change of location, it is utterly impossible to state their numbers, in each state, with any degree of accuracy. Their number in the United States is variously stated from five hundred thousand to one million five hundred thousand. Their number, probably, is not less than eight hundred thousand, nor more than one million two hundred thousand. The population of Canada, in 1840, was at least one million.
The first Roman Catholics that came to this country were from England, under Lord Baltimore, a Catholic nobleman, in 1634. They settled the state of Maryland; and, much to their honor, while some of the Protestant provinces were persecuting all those who differed from them on religious subjects, the Catholic Marylanders protected all sects that were moral and civil in their deportment.
We copy from the "Metropolitan Catholic Almanac and Laity's Directory for 1841" the following statistical table:—
STATISTICS OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN THE UNITED STATES
Diocese. Churches Clergymen Clergymen Eccl. Clerical and in the otherwise Inst. Students. Chapels. Ministry. employed. Baltimore 68 38 31 4 52 Richmond 7 6 1 0 0 Philadelphia 91 57 2 1 22 New York 64 65 1 1 14 Boston 30 31 0 0 0 Detroit 25 17 1 0 0 Cincinnati 38 34 2 1 Vincennes 27 25 5 1 9 Du Buque 5 8 0 0 0 St Louis 56 50 23 2 30 Bardstown 40 26 25 1 Nashville 1 6 0 1 2 New Orleans 38 39 11 1 9 Natchez 1 2 Mobile 7 12 7 Charleston 14 20 0 4 6 Total 512 436 109 17 144
Diocese. Literary Young Men Female Female Pupils in Inst. for in Religious Academ. Female young Men. College. Inst. Academ. Baltimore 5 633 5 9 530 Richmond 0 0 0 3 100 Philadelphia 2 60 0 1 30 New York 1 0 2 120 Boston 1 60 1 1 Detroit 1 1 1 Cincinnati 1 2 2 70 Vincennes 1 50 1 1 50 Du Buque 1 0 1 St Louis 3 320 10 10 640 Bardstown 3 300 3 10 528 Nashville 1 0 0 0 New Orleans 1 100 4 4 526 Natchez 0 0 Mobile 2 70 2 2 60 Charleston 1 2 2 128 Total 24 1593 31 49 2782
The sacred college of cardinals has fifty-seven members. The total number is seventy.
There are twelve patriarchs in the Christian world. The archbishops and bishops amount to six hundred and seventy-one. The vicars apostolic in different countries are fifty-seven in number, besides whom there are thirty-eight coadjutor-bishops, making the grand total of the Catholic episcopacy amount to seven hundred and sixty-six bishops.
CATHOLIC PERIODICALS.—The United States Catholic Miscellany, published weekly in Charleston, S. C.; the Catholic Telegraph, published weekly in Cincinnati, Ohio; the Catholic Herald, published weekly in Philadelphia; the Catholic Advocate, published weekly in Bardstown, Ky.; Der Wahrheit's Freund, (German paper,) published weekly in Cincinnati, Ohio; the New York Catholic Register, published weekly in the city of New York; Ordo divini Officii recitandi, Missaeque celebrandae, juxta Rubricas Breviarii ac Missalis Romani, published annually in Baltimore; the Young Catholic's Magazine, enlarged series, published on the first of each month, in New York.
At the time of the reformation, 1517, papal power, or the power of the pope of Rome, had acquired so great a spiritual dominion over the minds and consciences of men, that all Europe submitted to it with implicit obedience. At the present day, the Roman Catholic religion prevails, more or less, in every country in Christendom. Its population is stated to exceed eighty millions. It is the established religion of Austria, France, Portugal, and Spain, and of thirteen other states in Europe.
Popes of Rome.(16) A. D.
33. St. Peter, martyred. 66. St. Linus, martyred. 67. St. Clement, abdicated. 77. St. Cletus, martyred. 83. St. Anaclitus. 96. St. Evaristus, coadjutor to the former, martyred. 108. St. Alexander I., martyred. 117. St. Sixtus I., martyred. 127. Telesphorus, martyred. 138. Hygenus, martyred. The first called pope. 142. Pius I., martyred. 150. Anicetus, martyred. 162. Soter. 171. Eleutherius, martyred. 185. Victor I., martyred. 197. Zephyrinus, martyred. 217. Calixtus I., martyred. 222. Urban I., martyred. 230. Pontianus, martyred. 235. Anterus, martyred. 236. Fabian, martyred. 236. Novatianus, antipope. 250. Cornelius, beheaded. 252. Lucius I., martyred. 254. Stephen I., martyred. 257. Sixtus II., coadjutor to the former, martyred. 259. Dionysius. 269. Felix I. 274. Eutychianus. 283. Caius. 295. Marcellinus, martyred. 304. Marcellus I., martyred. 310. Eusebius, martyred. 310. Melchiades, coadjutor to the former. 314. Sylvester. 336. Marcus. 337. Julius I. 352. Liberius, banished. 356. Felix II., antipope. 358. Liberius, again, abdicated. 358. Felix became legal pope but was killed by Liberius. 359. Liberius, again. 366. Damasius. 385. Siricius. 399. Anastasius. 401. Innocent I. 417. Zosimus. 418. Boniface I. 422. Celestinus I. 432. Sixtus III. 440. Leo I., the Great. 461. Hilary. 468. Simplicius. 483. Felix III. 492. Gelasius. 496. Anastasius II. 498. Symmachus. 514. Hormisdas. 523. John I., died in prison at Ravenna. 526. Felix IV. 530. Boniface II. 533. John II. 535. Agapetus. 536. Sylvester; he was made prisoner by the antipope Vigilius, who enjoyed the papacy. 538. Vigilius, banished, and restored. 555. Pelagius I. 560. John III. 574. Benedict I. 578. Pelagius II. 590. Gregory the Great. 604. Sabiamus. 606. Boniface III. 608. Boniface IV. 615. Deusdedit. 618. Boniface V. 624. Honorius I. 640. Severinus. 640. John IV. 642. Theodorus. 649. Martin I., starved to death. 654, Eugenius I. 657. Vitalianus. 672. Adeodatus. 676. Donus. 679. Agatho. 682. Leo II. 684. Benedict II. 685. John V. 686. Conon. 686. Theodore and Pascan, antipopes. 687. Sergius. 701. John VI. 705. John VII. 708. Sisinnius. 708. Constantine. 715. Gregory II. 731. Gregory III. 741. Zacharias. 752. Stephen II., governed only four days. 752. Stephen III. 757. Paul I. 768. Stephen IV. 792. Adrian I. 795. Leo III. 816. Stephen V. 817. Paschal I. 824. Eugenius II. 827. Valentinus. 828. Gregory IV. 844. Sergius II. 847. Leo IV. 855. Benedict III. 858. Nicholas I. 867. Adrian II. 872. John VIII. 882. Martin II. 883. Adrian III. 885. Stephen VI. 891. Formosus. 896. Boniface VI. 897. Romanus, antipope. 897. Stephen VII. 898. Theodorus II., governed twenty-two days. 898. John IX. 900. Benedict IV. 904. Leo V., killed by Christiphilus. 905. Sergius III. 913. Anastasius III. 914. Laudo. 915. John X., was stifled. 928. Leo VI. 929. Stephen VIII. 931. John XI. 936. Leo VII. 939. Stephen IX. 943. Martin III. 946. Agapetus II. 956. John XII. 963. Leo VIII., turned out. 964. Benedict V., banished. 964. Leo VIII. 965. Benedict V., again. 965. John XIII. 972. Benedict VI. 974. Domus. 975. Benedict VII. 975. Boniface VII. 984. John XIV. 985. John XV., died before consecration. 986. John XVI. 996. Gregory V. 999. Silvester II. 1003. John XVI. 1004. John XVII. 1009. Sergius VI. 1012. Benedict VIII. 1024. John XVIII. 1033. Benedict IX., deposed. 1045. Gregory VI. 1046. Clement II. 1047. Benedict IX., again, abdicated. 1048. Damasius II. 1049. Leo IX. 1055. Victor II. 1057. Stephen X. 1058. Nicholas II. 1061. Alexander II. 1073. Gregory VII. 1086. Victor III., poisoned 1088. Urban II. 1099. Paschal II. 1118. Gelasius II. 1119. Calixtus II. 1124. Honorius II. 1130. Innocent II. 1143. Caelestine II. 1144. Lucius II. 1145. Eugenius III. 1153. Anastasius IV., a short time. 1154. Adrian IV., choked by a fly as he was drinking. 1159. Alexander III. 1181. Lucius III. 1185. Urban III. 1187. Gregory VIII. 1187. Clement III. 1191. Caelestine III. 1198. Innocent III. 1216. Honorius III. 1227. Gregory IX. 1241. Caelestine IV. 1243. Innocent IV. 1254. Alexander IV. 1261. Urban IV. 1265. Clement IV. 1271. Gregory X. 1276. Innocent V. 1276. Adrian V. 1276. Vicedominus, died the next day. 1276. John XIX., killed by the fall of his chamber at Viterbium. 1277. Nicholas III. 1281. Martin IV. 1285. Honorius IV. 1288. Nicholas IV. 1294. Caelestine V. 1294. Boniface VIII. 1303. Benedict XI. 1305. Clement V. 1316. John XX. 1334. Benedict XII. 1342. Clement VI. 1352. Innocent VI. 1362. Urban V. 1370. Gregory XI. 1378. Urban VI. 1389. Boniface IX. 1404. Innocent VII. 1406. Gregory XII., deposed. 1409. Alexander V. 1410. John XXI. 1417. Martin V. 1431. Eugenius IV. 1455. Calixtus III. 1458. Pius II. 1464. Paul II. 1476. Sixtus IV. 1484. Innocent VIII. 1492. Alexander VI. 1503. Pius III. 1503. Julius II. 1513. Leo X. 1522. Adrian VI. 1523. Clement VII. 1534. Paul III. 1550. Julius III. 1555. Marcellus II. 1555. Paul IV. 1559. Pius IV. 1566. Pius V. 1572. Gregory XIII. 1585. Sixtus V. 1590. Urban VII. 1590. Gregory XIV. 1591. Innocent IX. 1592. Clement VIII. 1605. Leo XI. 1605. Paul V. 1621. Gregory XV. 1623. Urban VIII. 1644. Innocent X. 1655. Alexander VII. 1667. Clement IX. 1670. Clement X. 1676. Innocent XI. 1689. Alexander VIII. 1691. Innocent XII. 1700. Clement XI. 1721. Innocent XIII. 1724. Benedict XIII. 1730. Clement XII. 1740. Benedict XIV. 1758. Clement XIII. 1769. Clement XIV., poisoned. 1775. Pius VI., February 14. 1800. Cardinal Chiaramonte. elected at Venice, as Pius VII., March 13. 1823. Annibal della Genga, Leo XII., Sept. 28. 1831. Cardinal Mauro Capellari, as Gregory XVI., Feb. 2.
The title of pope was originally given to all bishops. It was first adopted by Hygenus, A. D. 138; and Pope Boniface III. procured Phocas, emperor of the East, to confine it to the prelates of Rome, 606. By the connivance of Phocas, also, the pope's supremacy over the Christian church was established. The custom of kissing the pope's toe was introduced in 708. The first sovereign act of the popes of Rome was by Adrian I., who caused money to be coined with his name, 780. Servius II. was the first pope who changed his name, on his election, in 844. The first pope who kept an army was Leo IX., 1054. Gregory VII. obliged Henry IV., emperor of Germany, to stand three days, in the depth of winter, barefooted, at his castle gate, to implore his pardon 1077. The pope's authority was firmly fixed in England 1079. Appeals from English tribunals to the pope were introduced 1154. Henry II. of England held the stirrup for Pope Alexander III. to mount his horse, 1161, and also for Becket, 1170. "When Louis, king of France, and Henry II. of England, met Pope Alexander III. at the castle of Torci, on the Loire, they both dismounted to receive him, and, holding each of them one of the reins of his bridle, walked on foot by his side, and conducted him in that submissive manner into the castle." Pope Adrian IV. was the only Englishman that ever obtained the tiara. His arrogance was such, that he obliged Frederick I. to prostrate himself before him, kiss his foot, hold his stirrup, and lead the white palfrey on which he rode. Celestine III. kicked the emperor Henry VI.'s crown off his head while kneeling, to show his prerogative of making and unmaking kings, 1191. The pope collected the tenths of the whole kingdom of England, 1226. Appeals to Rome from England were abolished 1533. The words "Lord Pope" were struck out of all English books 1541. The papal authority declined about 1600. Kissing the pope's toe, and other ceremonies, were abolished by Clement XIV., 1773. The pope became destitute of all political influence in Europe, 1787. Pius VI. was burnt in effigy at Paris, 1791. He made submission to the French republic, 1796, was expelled from Rome, and deposed, February 22, 1798, and died at Valence, August 19, 1799. Pius VII. was elected in exile, March 13, 1800; he crowned Napoleon, December 2, 1804; was dethroned May 13, 1809; remained a prisoner at Fontainebleau till Napoleon's overthrow; and was restored May 24, 1814.
Believers in the doctrines of Swedenborg are found in all the states in the Union. In Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, and Ohio, are eight ordaining ministers, ten priests and teaching ministers, fifteen licentiates, and between thirty and forty societies. There are between two and three hundred towns or places in the United States where the doctrines of the New Jerusalem church are received by some portion of the people.