« PreviousContinue »
in the mass, they are much superior to the emigrants from the British islands, but they Irish in point of frugality and sobriety. are chiefly to be found among the lowest Many of the Germans have of late years class of them. brought with them considerable sums of Thus, as I remarked before, while the money, and though a good many are Ro- emigration from Europe to the United man Catholics, yet the majority are Prot- States brings us no inconsiderable number estants. A large proportion of them now of worthy people, it introduces also a large come from the kingdoms of Wurtemberg amount of ignorance, poverty, and vice. and Bavaria, and from the Duchy of Baden; Besides this, it is difficult to supply with whereas, in former times, they came chief- religious institutions, and it takes long to ly from the eastern and northern parts of Americanise, if I may use the expression, Germany.
in feeling, conduct, and language, those Now, although, no doubt, the mortality multitudes from the Continent of Europe among these emigrants from Europe, caus- who cannot understand or speak English. ed by exposure, anxiety, fatigue, and dis- Many of the Germans, in particular, in coneases incident to a strange climate, is far sequence of the impossibility of finding a greater than among native Americans, yet sufficient number of fit men to preach in the yearly accession of so many people, German, were at one time sadly destitute of ignorant in a degree of the nature of our the means of grace in their dispersion over institutions, about half of them unable to the country: But within the last fifteen speak English, and nearly half of them, also, years a brighter prospect has opened upon Roman Catholics, must impose a heavy that part of our population, as I shall have responsibility, and a great amount of la- to show in its place. bour upon the churches in order to provide I have not charged upon the ordinary them with the means of grace. Everything emigration to the shores of America the possible must be done for the adults among great amount of crime in the United States, them, but hope can be entertained chiefly which may be traced to the escape
thither for the young. These grow up speaking of criminals from Europe ; for these canthe language and breathing the spirit of not, with propriety, be regarded as constitheir adopted country, and thus the process ) tuting a part of that emigration. Neverof assimilation goes steadily on. In a theless, it is the case that much of the thousand ways the emigrants who are, as crime committed in America, from that of it were, cast upon our shores, are brought the honourable merchant who scruples not into contact with a better religious influ- to defraud the custom-house, if he can, ence than that to which many of them down to the outrages of the man who dishave been accustomed in the Old World. turbs the streets with his riots, is the work Every year some of them are gathered of foreigners. into our churches, while, as I have said, It may be said, I am sure, with the stricttheir children grow up Americans in their est truth, that in no country is a foreigner feelings and habits. All this is especially who deserves well treated with more retrue of the emigrants who, meaning to spect and kindness than in America; in no make the country their home, strive to country will he find less difference beidentify themselves with it. There are tween the native and the adopted citizen ; others, however, and particularly those in no country do men become more readily who, having come to make their fortunes assimilated in principle and feeling to the as merchants and traders, calculate upon great body of the people, or more fully rereturning to Europe, that never become alize the fact that they form a constituent American in feeling and spirit. From such part of the nation. no aid is to be expected in the benevolent I have now finished the notice which I efforts made by Christians to promote good intended to take of some of the obstacles objects among us.
which the voluntary system has had to enI have been struck with the fact that, counter in the United States. I might mengenerally speaking, our religious societies tion others were it necessary; but I have receive their most
steady support from our said enough to show that it is a mistake to Anglo-American citizens. The emigrants suppose that it has had an open field and from the British realm, English, Welsh, an easy course there. I am far from sayScotch, and Irish, rank next in the interest | ing that if the experiment were to be made they take in our benevolent enterprises, in an old country, where the population is and in readiness to contribute to their sup- established and almost stationary–where port. The Germans rank next, the Swiss it is homogeneous and indigenous—there next, and the French last. There is most would not be other obstacles to encounter, infidelity among the French, yet it prevails greater, perhaps, than those to be found also, to a considerable degree, among the among us, and in some respects peculiar Swiss and Germans, among the better-in- to America. I only wish these difficulformed classes of whom it is, alas! too oft-ties not to be lost sight of as we advance en to be found. There is no want of infi- in this work, and that they should be apdelity and indifference to religion among preciated at their just value when we
come to speak of subjects upon which they | a better comprehension of the grand subbear.
ject of this work. Upon the direct considSuch are some of the topics which I eration of that subject we are now ready thought it of consequence to treat before- to enter. hand, that the reader might be prepared for
Β Ο Ο ΚΙ Ι.
THE COLONIAL ERA.
NISTS. FOUNDERS OF NEW-ENGLAND.
tion of the art of printing by an obscure RELIGIOUS CHARACTER OF THE EARLY COLO- facilities for the diffusion of knowledge
German, two years later, gave immense
among all classes of people. The discovI HAVE already remarked, that if we would ery of America by a Genoese adventurer, understand the civil and political institu- towards the close of the same century tions of the United States of America, we (A.D. 1492), produced a revolution in the must trace them from their earliest origin commerce of the world. A poor monk in in Anglo-Saxon times, through their vari- Germany, preaching (A.D. 1517) against ous developments in succeeding ages, until indulgences, emancipated whole nations they reached their present condition in our from the domination of Rome. And the own days.
fortuitous arrival of a young French lawIn like manner, if we would thoroughly yer who had embraced the Faith of the understand the religious condition and Reformation at an inconsiderable city in economy of the United States, we must Switzerland, situated on the banks of the begin with an attentive survey of the char- Rhone, followed by his settling there, and acter of the early colonists, and of the organizing its ecclesiastical and civil insticauses which brought them to America. tutions, was connected, in the mysterious
Besides, as has been well observed,* a providence of Him who knows the end striking analogy may be traced between from the beginning, and who employs all natural bodies and bodies politic. Both re-events to advance His mighty purposes, tain in manhood and old age more or less with the establishment of free institutions of the characteristic traits of their infancy in England, their diffusion in America, and and youth. All nations bear some marks their triumph in other lands. of their origin, the circumstances amid The way had long been preparing for the which they were born, and which favoured Reformation in England by the opinions their early development, and left an im- avowed by Wicliffe and his followers, and pression that stamps their whole future by the resistance of the government to the existence.
claims and encroachments of the ecclesiWe begin our inquiry, therefore, into the astical authorities. The light, too, which religious history and condition of the Uni- had begun to appear in Germany, cast its ted States, by portraying, as briefly as rays across the North Sea, and men were possible, the religious character of the first ere long to be found in Britain secretly colonists, who may be regarded as the cherishing the doctrines maintained by Lufounders of that commonwealth. In doing ther. At length an energetic, but corrupt this, we shall follow neither the chronolo- and tyrannical prince, after having been gical nor the geographical order, but shall rewarded for writing against Luther, by first speak of the colonists of New-England; receiving from the pope the title of “ Denext, of those of the South; and, finally, of fender of the Faith,” thought fit to revenge those of the Middle States. This gives us the refusal of a divorce from his first wife the advantage at once of grouping and of by abolishing the papal supremacy in his contrast.
kingdom, and transferring the headship of How wonderful are the events that some- the Church, as well as of the State, to himtimes flow from causes apparently the most self. But Henry VIII. desired to have no inadequate, and even insignificant! The reformation either in the doctrines or the conquest of Constantinople by the Turks, worship of the Church ; and in his last in 1453, seemed to be only one of the ordi- years he revoked the general permission nary events of war, and yet it led to the which he had granted for the reading of the revival of letters among the higher classes Scriptures, being all that he had ever done of society throughout Europe. The inven- in favour of the Reformation among the * See M. de Tocqueville,“ Démocratie en Amé- nobles and merchants. A tyrant at once
people, and confined that privilege to the rique,” Première Partie, tome i., chap. i.
Also Lang's “ Religion and Education in America,” chap. in spiritual and temporal matters, he puni., page 11.
ished every deviation from the ancient usages of the Church, and every act of the Word of God-of human over divine non-compliance with his own arbitrary authority; and though then but a small miordinances.
nority, even thus early there was evidently The reign of Edward VI. (1547-1553) a growing attachment to their doctrines in forms a most important era in the histo- the popular mind. * ry of England. Partly through the influ- During the bloody reign of Edward VI.'s ence of the writings of Calvin, which had successor, Mary, that is, from 1553 to 1558, been circulated to a considerable extent in both parties of Protestants were exposed that country; partly through that of his to danger, but especially the Puritans. public instructions, which had been fre- Thousands fled to the Continent, and found quented at Geneva by many young English refuge chiefly in Frankfort-on-the-Maine, students of divinity; but still more by the Emden, Wesel, Basel, Marburg, Strasburg, lectures of those two eminent Continental and Geneva. At Frankfort the dispute bedivines, Peter Martyr and Martin Bucer, tween the two parties was renewed with who had been invited to England, and made great keenness; even Calvin in vain atprofessors of theology at Oxford and Cam- tempted to allay it. In the end, most of bridge, many persons had been prepared the Puritans left that city and retired to for that reformation in the Church which Geneva, where they found the doctrine, then actually took place under the auspi- worship, and discipline of the Church to acces of Cranmer, and was carried to the cord with their sentiments. While resilength, in all essential points, at which it ding there, they adopted for their own use is now established by law. Hooper, and a liturgy upon the plan suggested by the many other excellent men, were appointed great Genevese reformer, and there also to the most influential offices in the Church, they translated the Bible into English.f and much progress was made in resuscita- Persecution, meanwhile, prevailed in Engting true piety among both the clergy and land. Cranmer, to whom the queen in the people.
her early years had owed her life, Hooper, But the Protestants of England soon be- Rogers, and other distinguished servants came divided into two parties. One, head- of Christ, şuffered death. Many of the ed by Cranmer, then Archbishop of Can- clergy again submitted to the Roman See. terbury, consisted of such as
On the death of Queen Mary, many of posed to great changes in the discipline the exiled Puritans returired, with their and government of the Church, and wished hatred to the ceremonies and vestments to retain, to a certain degree, the ancient inflamed by associating them with the cruforms and ceremonies, hoping thereby to elties freshly committed at home, and by conciliate the people to the Protestant faith. what they had seen of the simple worship To all the forms of the Romish Church the of the Reformed Churches abroad. But other party bore an implacable hatred, and they struggled in vain to effect any subinsisted upon the rejection of even a cere- stantial change. Elizabeth, who succeedmony or a vestment that was not clearly ed her sister Mary in 1558, would hear of enjoined by the Word of God. Wishing to no modifications of any importance in docsee the Church purified from every human trine, discipline, or worship, so that in all invention, they were therefore called Puri- points the Church was almost identically tans, a name given in reproach, but by the same as it had been under Edward VI. which, in course of time, they were not While Elizabeth desired to conciliate the averse to being distinguished. With them Romanists, the Puritans denounced all conthe Bible was the sole standard, alike for cessions to them, even in things indifferent. doctrines and for ceremonies, and with it * The Puritans have been often and severely they would allow no decision of the hierar- blamed for what some have been pleased to call their chy, or ordinance of the king, or law of Par- obstinacy in regard to things comparatively indifferliament, to interfere. On that great found
But it has been well remarked by President ation they planted their feet, and were en- Quincy, in his Centennial Address at Boston, that
“the wisdom of zeal for any object is not to be couraged in so doing by Bucer, Peter Mar- measured by the particular nature of that object, but tyr, and Calvin himself.* The Church-| by the nature of the principle, which the circumstanmen, as their opponents were called, de- ces of the times, or of society, have identified with sired, on the other hand, to differ as little
+ This version was first published in 1560. So as possible from the ancient forms, and highly was it esteemed, particularly on account of readily adopted things indifferent; but the its notes, that it passed through thirty editions. To Puritans could never sever themselves too both the translation and notes King James had a widely from every usage of the Romish special dislike, alleging that the latter were full of Church. For them the surplice and the Court, “ he professed that he could never yet see a
* traitorous conceits.” In the conference at Hampton square cap were things of importance, for Bible well translated in English, but worst of all his they were the livery of superstition, and majesty thought the Geneva to be.” This version tokens of the triumph of prescription over
was the one chiefly used by the first emigrants to
New-England, for that of King James, published in Strype's Memorials, vol. ii., chap. xxviii. Hal. 1611, had not then passed into general use.lam's Constitutional History of England, vol. i., p. Strype's Annals. Barlow's Sum and Substance of the 140.
Conference at Hampton Court.
Though by profession a Protestant, she But the principles which, for a time, he was much attached to many of the distin- had boldly advocated, were destined to surguishing doctrines and practices of the pa- vive his abandonment of them in England, pacy, and she bore a special hatred to the as well as to flourish in a far-distant rePuritans, not only because of their differ- gion, at that time almost unknown. ing so much from her in their religious From that time forward the Puritans beviews, but also because of the sentiments came permanently divided into two bodies they hesitated not to avow on the subject -the Nonconformists, constituting a large of civil liberty. The oppression of the majority of the body, and the Separatists. government was driving them, in fact, to The former saw evils in the Established scrutinize the nature and limits of civil Church, and refused to comply with them, and ecclesiastical authority, and to quęs- but, at the same time, acknowledged its tion the right of carrying it to the extent merits, and desired its reform; the latter to which the queen and the bishops were denounced it as an idolatrous institution, determined to push it. The popular voice false to Truth and to Christianity, and, as was becoming decidedly opposed to a rig- such, fit only to be destroyed. Eventually orous exaction of conformity with the roy- the two parties became bitterly opposed al ordinances respecting the ceremonies. to each other; the former reproached the Parliament itself became imbued with the latter with precipitancy; the latter retorted same spirit, and showed an evident dis- the charge of a base want of courage. position to befriend the Puritans, whose The accession of King James gave new cause began to be associated with that of hopes to the Puritans, but these were soon civil and religious liberty. The bishops, completely disappointed. That monarch, however, and most of the other dignified though brought up in Presbyterian princiclergy, supported the views of the queen. ples in Scotland, no sooner crossed the Whitgift, in particular, who was 'made border than he became an admirer of the Archbishop of Canterbury in 1583, vigor- prelacy, and, although a professed Calvinously enforced conformity. The Court of ist, allowed himself to become the easy High Commission compelled many of the tool of the latitudinarian sycophants who best ministers of the Established Church surrounded him. Having deceived the Puto relinquish their benefices, and to hold ritans, he soon learned to hate both them private meetings for worship as they best and their doctrines. His pedantry having could, very inferior and worthless men be- sought a conference with their leaders at ing generally put into their places. Hampton Court, scenes took place there
Still, the suppression of the Puritans was which were as amusing for their display found a vain attempt. During Elizabeth's of the dialectics of the monarch as they long reign their numbers steadily increas- were unsatisfactory to the Puritans in their ed.
The services they rendered to the results. “I will have none of that liberty country may be estimated by the verdict as to ceremonies; I will have one docof an historian who has been justly char-trine, one discipline, one religion in subged with lying in wait, through the whole stance and in ceremony. Never speak course of his history, for an opportunity of more on that point, how far you are bound throwing discredit upon the cause of both to obey."* And verily it was a point on religion and liberty, and who bore to the which such a monarch as James 1. did not Puritans a special dislike. Mr. Hume says, wish to hear anything said. The confer“ The precious spark. of liberty had been ence lasted three days. The king would kindled and was preserved by the Puritans bear no contradiction. He spoke much, alone."*
and was greatly applauded by his flatterAs a body, the Puritans studiously avoid-ers. The aged Whitgift said, “ Your majed separation from the Established Church. esty speaks by the special assistance of What they desired was reform, not schism. God's Spirit.” And Bishop Bancroft exBut towards the middle of Elizabeth's reign, claimed, on his knees, that his heart melta party arose among them that went to ed for joy “because God had given Engan extreme in their opposition to the land such a king as, since Christ's time, “ Churchmen," and refused to hold com- has not been.”+ munion with a Church whose ceremonies The Parliament was becoming more and and government they condemned. These more favourable to the doctrines of the Pu-. were the Independents, or Brownists, as ritans; but the hierarchy maintained its they were long improperly called, from own views, and was subservient to the the name of one who was a leading person among them for a time, but who afterward of the Puritans with little ceremony. “I will make
* In the second day's conference his majesty spoke left them and ended his days in the Estab- them conform, or I will harry them out of the land, lished Church. The congregation which or else worse.” “Only burn them, that's all." Brown had gathered, after sharing his ex- Barlow's Sum and Substance of the Conference at ile, was broken up and utterly dispersed. Hampton Court, p. 71, 83.
+ Barlow's Sum and Substance of the Conference
at Hampton Court, p. 93, 94. Lingard, ix., p. 32. * Hune's History of England, vol. iü., p. 76. Neal's History of the Puritans, iii., p. 45.
wishes of the monarch. Conformity was
CHAPTER II. rigidly enforced by Whitgift's successor, Bancroft. In 1604, three hundred Puritan RELIGIOUS CHARACTER OF THE FOUNDERS or
NEW-ENGLAND.-PLYMOUTH COLONY. ministers are said to have been silenced, imprisoned, or exiled. But nothing could The arrival of Mr. Robinson's flock in check the growth of their principles. The Holland was destined to be the beginning Puritan clergy and the people became ar- only of their wanderings. “They knew rayed against the Established Church and that they were pilgrims, and looked not the King. The latter triumphed during much on those things, but lifted up their that reign, but very different was to be the eyes to heaven their dearest country, and issue in the following. So hateful to the quieted their spirits."* • They saw many court were the people called Brownists, goodly and fortified cities, strongly walled Separatists, or Independents, that efforts and guarded with troops and armed men. were made, with great success, to root Also, they heard a strange and uncouth them out of the country. Some remains language, and beheld the different manof them, however, outlived for years the ners and customs of the people, with persecutions by which they were assault- strange fashions and attires; all so far ed.
differing from that of their plain country In the latter years of Elizabeth, a scat- villages, wherein they were bred and born, tered flock of these Separatists began to and had so long lived, as it seemed they be formed in some towns and villages of were come into a new world. But those Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire, and the ad- were not the things they much looked on, jacent borders of Yorkshire, under the pas- or that long took up their thoughts; for toral care of John Robinson, a man who they had other work in hand,” and “ has left behind him a name admitted, even before long poverty. coming on them like by his bitterest enemies, to be without re- an armed man, with whom they must proach. This little church was watched buckle and encounter, and from whom and beset day and night by the agents of they could not fly. But they were armed the court, and could with difficulty find op- with faith and patience against him and all portunities of meeting in safety. They his encounters; though they were somemet here or there, as they best could, on times foiled, yet by God's assistance they the Sabbath, and thus strove to keep alive prevailed and got the victory." the spirit of piety which united them. On their removal to Leyden, as they had They had become "enlightened in the no opportunity of pursuing the agricultuWord of God," and were led to see, not ral life they had led in England, they were only that “the beggarly ceremonies were compelled to learn such trades as they monuments of idolatry,” but also “ that could best earn a livelihood by for themthe lordly power of the prelates ought not selves and their families. Brewster, a to be submitted to.” Such being their sen- man of some distinction, who had been timents, no efforts, of course, would be chosen their ruling elder, became a printspared to make their lives miserable, and, er. Bradford, afterward their governor if possible, to extirpate them.
in America, and their historian, acquired. At last, seeing no prospect of peace in the art of dying silk. All had to learn their native land, they resolved to pass some handicraft or other. But, notwithover to Holland, a country which, after standing these difficulties, after two or having successfully struggled for its own three years of embarrassment and toil, independence and for the maintenance of they “at length came to raise a compethe Protestant faith, now presented an tent and comfortable living, and continued asylum for persons of all nations when many years in a comfortable condition, enpersecuted on account of their religion. joying much sweet and delightful society, After many difficulties and delays, a pain- and spiritual comfort together in the ways fully interesting account of which may be of God, under the able ministry and prufound in their annals, they reached Am-dent government of Mr. John Robinson sterdam in 1608. There they found many and Mr. William Brewster, who was an asof their brethren who had left England for sistant unto him in the place of an elder, the same cause with themselves. The unto which he was now called and chosen oldest part of these exiled Independents by the church ; so that they grew in knowlwas the church under the pastoral care of edge, and other gifts and graces of the SpirFrancis Johnson. It had emigrated from it of God; and lived together in peace, and London about the year 1592. There was love, and holiness. And many came unto also a fresh accession composed of a Mr. them from divers parts of England, so as Smith's people. Risk of collision with they grew a great congregation.”+ As for these induced Mr. Robinson and his flock to retire to Leyden, and there they estab
* See Governor Bradford's History of Plymouth
Colony. lished themselves.
+ Governor Bradford's History of New England. It has been calculated from data to be found in other histories of that colony, that so much had Mr.