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con NECTICUT. Each congregational church in this state is a separate jurisdiction, and claims authority to chuse its own minister, to exercise government, and enjoy gospel ordinances within itseii. The churches, however, are not independent of each other; they are associated for mutual benefit and convenience. The associations have power to license candidates for the ministry, to consult for the general welfare, and to recommend measures to be adopted by the churches; but have no authority to enforce them. When disputes arise in churches, councils are called by the parties to settle them; but their power is only advisory. There are eleven associations in the state, and they meet twice in a year. These are all combined in one general association, formed in 1709, consisting of delegates from the general associations, which meet annually. All religions which are consistent with the peace of society are tolerated in Connecticut, and a spirit of liberality and catholicism is increasing.” There are in this state one hundred and seventy-eight
congregational pastors, and about ninety churches. There are twenty Episcopalian ministers, sixteeh pluralities, and seventeen vacancies, comprising in the whole fifty-two congregations. The Baptists have twenty-five ministers, and several vacancies. The pastors have formed themselves into two associations, by the name of “The Stonington Association,” and “The Danbury Association.”f Those who embrace Hopkinsian sentiments are numerous among the Congregationalists. There was formerly a society of Sandemanians at New Haven, but they are now
reduced to a very small num
* Morse's Geography, vol. i. p. 454.
; The Right Rev. Bishop Seabury, who was consecrated by the Scotch bishops, at Aberdeen, 1784. See Skinner's History of Scotland. § Evangelical Magazine.
gious profession and worship, without discrimination or preference within this state, for all mankind ; provided the liberty of conscience hereby granted shall not be so construed as to excuse acts of licentiousness, or justify practices inconsistent with the peace and safety of the state. The various religious denominations in this state, are the following : English Presbyterians, Dutch Reformed, Baptists, Episcopalians, Quakers, or Friends, German Lutherans, Moravians, Methodists, Roman Catholics, Jews,
Shakers, and a few of the fol
lowers of Jemima Wilkinson.
The synods of the Presbyterian churches in New York and Philadelphia, during their session at Philadelphia in May, 1788, resolved themselves into four synods; those of New York, Philadelphia, Virginia, and Carolina. These synods are to meet annually in their
respective states, whence they take their names; and once a year, by their commissioners, in general council at Philadelphia. There are a number of Presbyterian churches, commonly called Seceders, who have a separate ecclesiastical jurisdiction. These, as well as the other Presbyterians, and the Dutch reformed churches, hold the Calvinistic doctrines, without any essential difference. The Dutch reformed churches in this state are divided into five classes; three in New York, and two in New Jersey. From their first planting in New York and New Jersey, they have, under the direction of the classes of Amsterdam, been formed exactly upon the plan of the established church of Holland, as far as that is ecclesiastical. There is a strict.correspondence between the Dutch reformed synod of New York and New Jersey, and the synod of North Holland and the classes of Amsterdam. The acts of their synods are mutually exchanged every year, and mutual advice is given and received in disputes respecting' doctrinal points and church discipline. The episcopal churches hold the same principles, have the same mode of worship and church government, and are in every other respect constituted on the same plan with the church of the same denomination in England.” The Methodist though small in this state, has greatly increased in the southern states since the revolution. They have estimated their number at thirty-seven thousand eight hundred. But their numbers are so various in different places at different times, that it would be a matter of no small difficulty to find out their exact amount. Their churches are supplied by their preachers in rotation. The ministers of every denomination in the state are supported by... the voluntary contributions of the people, raised generally by subscription, or by a tax on the pews, except the Dutch churches in New York, Albany, Schenectady, and Kingston ; which have, except the two last, large estates confirmed by a charter. The episcopal church also in New York possesses a very large estate in and near the city. The interest of the Shakers in this state is now fast declining.f
In the autumn of 1796, a number of ministers in the city of New York, being informed of the exertions which were then, and had for some time been making in Great Britain, to spread the knowledge of the gospel among the heathen, became impressed with the duty of making a similar attempt in America. For this purpose, a general meeting of clerical brethren in the vicinity, and private christians in the city, of different denominations, took place the above mentioned year. At this meeting a handsome collection was made, and the gentlemen, present agreed to form themselves into a society for sending the gospel to the frontiersettlements,and among the Indian tribes in the United States. This is styled “The New York Missionary Society.”t
We are informed that the missionary principle has penetrated to the distant parts of the state, and produced another society on the same plan, by the style of the “New York Northern Missionary Society.” Their design is to establish an evangelical mis
* Drs. White and Provost, the former elected for Philadelphia, the latter for New York, were both consecrated by the English bishops. See Skin
ser's History of Scotland.
t Morse's American Geography, pp. 267–270.
sion among the northern and western savages.” New Jersey. There are in this state about fifty Presbyterian congregations, subject to the care of three presbyteries; viz. those of New York, New Brunswick, and Philadelphia. A part of the charge of New York and Philadelphia presbyteries lies in New Jersey, and part in their own respective states. To supply these congregations, there are at present about twenty-five ministers.-There are upwards of forty congregations of Friends, commonly called Quakers, who are, in general, sober, plain, industrious, good citizens.—There are thirty associated congregations of Baptists in New Jersey, which maintain Calvinistic doctrines. —The Episcopalian interest consists of twenty-five congregations.—There are in this state two classes belonging to the Dutch reformed synod of New York and New Jersey. The classes of Hakkensak, to which belong thirteen congre. gations; and the classes of New Brunswick, to which belong fifteen congregations.—
The Moravians have a flourishing settlement at Hope, in Sussex county. This settlement was begun in 1771, and now consists of upwards of a thousand souls. The Methodist interest is small in this state. 'The Swedes have a church in Gloucester county; and there are three congregations of Seventh-Day Baptists.--All these religious denominations live together in peace and harmony, and are allowed by the constitution of the state to worship God agreeably to the dictates of their own consciences; and are not compelled to attend or support any worship contrary to their own faith and judgment. All protestantinhabitants of peaceable beha: viour are eligible to the civil offices of the state.f PEN NS YLVANIA. The inhabitants of this state are of different religious denominations, but the Quakers are the most numerous. It was from William Penn, a celebrated Quaker, that this place received its name. Civil and religious liberty in their utmost latitude was laid down by this great man as the only
* From intelligence received February 2, 1800, we are informed, that the Tev. Mr. Bushnell lately returned from a mission to the western countries
of the state of New York.
Magazine, February, 1801.
* Morse's American Geography, pp.
- - He spent the last year in those countries, and in many places his labours were crowned virt
success. See Evangelical
foundation of all his institutions. Christians of all denominations might not only live unmolested, but have a share in the government of the colony." During the late war some of this denomination thought it their duty to take up arms in defence of their country. This laid the foundation of a secession from their brethren; and they now form a separate congregation in Philadelphia, by the name of resisting, or fighting Quakers. In 1796, the Friends, or Quakers, had five places of public worship in Philadelphia; Presbyterians and Seceders six; the Episcopalians three; the Roman Catholics three; the German Lutherans two ; the German Calvinists, Swedish Lutherans, Moravians, Methodists, Baptists, Universal Baptists,t Jews, Universalists, and Africans, had each one place for public worship. The Friends and Episcopalians compose about one third of the inhabitants of this state. There are in Pennsylvania sixteen congregations of English Baptists. Their doctrine, worship, and discipline, are
similar to those of the New England Baptists.f The freedom and toleration of the government has produced a great variety of sects among the German inhabitants of Pennsylvania. The Lutherans compose a great proportion of the German citizens of the state. Many of their churches are large and splendid. The German Presbyterians are the next to them in numbers. Their churches are likewise large, and furnished in many places with organs. The clergy belonging to these churches have moderate salaries, but they are punctually and justly paid. The German Lutherans and Presbyterians live in great harmony with each other, insomuch that they often preach in each other's churches; and in some instances' unite in building a church, in which they both worship at different times. The harmony between two denominations once so much opposed to each other, is owing to the relaxation of the Presbyterians in some of the peculiar doctrines of Calvinism. They are called Presbyterians, because most of them object to being desig
f There is a church of Universal Baptists in Philadelphia, who embrace the sentinuents of the late Mr. Winchester.