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The jews are not numerous in the United States. W ERM ON T. The inhabitants of this state have adopted the prin-s ciple of religious liberty in its fullest extent. Some of them are Episcopalians, others are Congregationalists, others are of the Presbyterian, and others are of the Baptist persuasion ; and some are Quakers. All of them find their need of the assistance of each other in the common concerns and business of life, and all of them are persuaded that the government has nothing to do with their particular and distinguishing tenets. It is not barely toleration, but equality, that the people aim at. Toleration implies either a power or right in one party to bear with the other; and seems to suppose that the governing party are in possession of the truth, and that all the others are full of errors. The body of the people in this commonwealth carry their ideas of religious liberty much farther than this: that no party shall have any power to make laws or forms to oblige another; that each denomination shall enjoy equal liberty, without any legal distinction or preeminence whatever."
The inhabitants of this state are allowed to worship God in the way which is most agreeable to their consciences. The churches in New Hampshire are principally for Congregationalists; some for Presbyterians and Baptists; and three for Episcopalians. Ministers contract with their parishes for their support. No parish is obliged to have a minister; but if they make a contract with one, they are obliged to fulfil it. Liberty is ever given to any individuals of a parish to change their denomination ; and in that case, they are liberated from their parish contract.
There is a small society of Sandemanians, and another of Universalists, in Portsmouth.*
DISTRICT OF MA IN E.
The prevailing religious denominations are Congregationalists and Baptists; there are some Quakers, a few Methodists, Episcopalians, and Roman Catholics. In 1794. there were forty ministers of the Congregational denomination in this district, and eleven vacant churches of the same denomination. There were at that period a considerable number of Baptist preachers, who were chiefly itinerant, two Presbyterian ministers, one Episcopalian, and a Roman Catholic missionary, at Passamaquaddy. Besides these there were a hundred new towns and plantations, in which no churches of any denomination were formed, many of which, especially in the lower countries, have, for a number of years past, received religious instruction from missionaries sent among them by the society for propagating the gospel. * MASSA CHUSETTS. The religion of this commonwealth is established by its excellent constitution on a most liberal and tolerant plan. All persons, of whatever religious profession or sentiments, may worship God agreeably to the dictates of their own consciences, unmolested, provided they do not disturb the public peace. The legislature is empowered to require of the several towns, parishes, &c., to provide, at their own expense, for the public worship of God, and to require the attendance of the subject to the same. The people have liberty to chuse their own ministers, and to contract with them for their support.” • . The body of churches in
* Williams's History of Vermont. * Morse's Geography, vol. i. p. 390,
Universalists - - - - - - 4 Unitarians - - - - - - - 1 Roman Catholics - - - - - 1.
Methodists" - - - - - - - 1
Total - 639 A variety of religious opinions prevail among the Congregationalists, a large number of whom are Calvinists and Hopkinsians. There are also Arminians, Unitarians, Chauncean and Murrean Universalists, &c.4 A new sectary, by the name of Dorrel, has lately appeared in Leyden, in this commonwealth, and made a number of proselytes. The Rev. John Taylor, of Deerfield, some time ago made Dorrel a visit, and obtained from him an account of his leading sentiments, which he wrote down and read over to him, retaining nothing but what Dorrel assented to as written. The following are some of his leading sentiments:–Jesus Christ is, as to substance, a spirit, and is God. He took a body, died, and never rose from the dead. None of the human race will ever rise from their graves. The resurrection spoken of in scripture is only one from sin to spiritual life, which colsists in perfect obedience to
* This society has lately been formed
God. Written revelation is a type of the substance of the true revelation which God makes to those whom he raises
from spiritual death. The sub
stance is God revealed in the soul. Those who have it are perfect, are incapable of sinning, and have nothing to do with the bible. The eternal life purchased by Christ, was an eternal succession of natural generation. Heaven is light, and hell is darkness. God has no wrath. There is no opposition between God and the devil, , who have equal power in their respective worlds of light and darkness. Those who are raised are free from all civil laws, are not bound by the marriage coversant; and the perfect have a right to promiscuous intercourse. Neither prayer nor any other worship is necessary. There is no law but that of nature. There is no future judgment, nor any knowledge in the future state
of what is done in this world.
God has no fore-thought, no knowledge of what passes in the dark world, which is hell, nor any knowledge of what has taken place, or will take place in this world. Neither God nor the devil has any
in Lynn by the Rev. Jesse Lee, the power to control man. There are two kinds of perfection; that of the head, and that of the members. The leader is perfect as the head ; but none of his followers can be so, in this sense, so long as the leader continues. All the covenants which God has heretofore entered into with man are at an end, and a new covenant made with the leader, Dorrel, in which he has all power to direct, and all the blessings of which must be looked for through him. Neither Moses nor Christ wrought any miracles. I (says Dorrel) stand the same as Jesus Christ in all respects. My disciples stand in the same relation to me, as the disciples of Christ did to him. I am to be worshipped in the same manner as Christ was to be worshipped; as God united to human flesh.” In 1799, a number of ministers and people, convened in Boston, May 28, formed a society in order to spread the knowledge of the gospel of Christ among the heathens, and in those remote parts of the country, in which the inhabitants do not enjoy the benefit of a christian ministry, and christian ordinances. This society is styled “The Massachusetts Missionary Society.” The Rev. Dr. Emmons, of
first Methodist preacher who was appointed to travel in New England.
: There is also a variety of sentiments among the Congrega-
tenanced, and enjoying all the honours and offices of government. Many of the Quakers and Baptists flocked to this new settlement; and there never was an instance of persecution for conscience-sake countenanced by the governors of this state.t o
There are a variety of religious sects in Rhode Island; but the Baptists are the most numerous of any denomination in this state. In 1784 they had thirty congregations. These, as well as the other Baptists in New England, are chiefly upon the Calvinistic plan as to doctrine, and Independents with regard to church government. There are, however, some Arminian Baptists. Others, who observe
the jewish sabbath, are called,
Sabbatarians, or Seventh-day Baptists. There are others who are called Separate Baptists, The other religious denominations in Rhode Island are Congregationalists, Friends,
- * Massachusetts Spy, 1798. 1 Belknap's History of New Hampshire, vol, i. p. 39.
or Quakers, Episcopalians, Moravians, and Jews, who have a synagogue in this state. Beside these, there is a considerable number of the people, who can be reduced to no particular denomination.” There were also a few persons in Rhode Island who adhered to Jemima Wilkinson, who was born in Cumberland. It is said by those who were intimately acquainted with her, that in October, 1776, she asserted that she was taken sick, and actually died, and that her soul went to heaven, where it still continues. Soon after her body was re-animated with the spirit and power of Christ, upon which she set up as a public teacher; and declared she had an immediate revelation for all she delivered, and was arrived to a state of absolute perfection. It is also said she pretended to foretel future events, to discern the secrets of the heart, and to have the power of healing diseases: and if any person who had made application to her was not healed, she attributed it to his want of faith. She asserted
that those who refused to believe these exalted things concerning her, will be in the state of the unbelieving jews, who rejected the counsel of God against themselves; and she told her hearers that was the eleventh hour, and the last call of mercy that ever should be granted them: for she heard an enquiry in heaven, saying, “Who will goand preach to a dying world?" or words to that import; and she said she answered, “Here am I–send me;” and that she left the realms of light and glory, and the company of the heavenly host, who are continually praising and worshipping God, in order to descend upon earth, and pass through many sufferings and trials for the happiness of mankind. She assumed the title of the universal friend of mankind: hence her followers distinguished themselves by the name of Friends.t
Jemima Wilkinson went to Geneva, in the Gennesee country; and her followers have fallen off, so as not to keep up any meetings in this State.
* Morse's Geography.
t The duke of Rochefoucalt, in his travels in the united states of Ame. rica, in 1796 and 1797, met with Jemima Wilkinson in the state of New York. He describes her to be a beautiful, but artful woman. She, however,
experienced a ver
unfavourable reception for herself and her doctrines,
both in Philadelphia and New York; though in the latter country she made