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METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH.
correct idea of its characteristic distinction. And
those who have witnessed the rise and progress
“15. What has been collected for the contin- proaches and oppositions, will be ready to admit,
has distinguished the Methodist ministry from
the beginning; and that this zeal, tempered with
tended and persevering plan of diffusing the
a success in the awakening and conversion of
tory, since the apostolic age. These are facts
dent has been their own personal devotion to the
? Answ. There shall be twelve conferences in terized all their preaching is, salvation by grace
the ignorance and irregularity of others, perbaps
there have been individuals among the Metho
dists who have disgraced themselves and their
brethren ; while the great majority of both
From minutes of 1835.
563134 83156 2194 636784
APPENDIX, No. II.
PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH IN THE UNITED STATES. Tue British colonies in America were princi-| of the original number, who were stationed # pally peopled by members of various sects, who | Long Island, in New York, were also nitum resorted to this new country, that they might pro- mended to use their exertions to erect a fourth is less their peculiar creeds and modes of worship that district. The first meeting of this prinutive unmolested by civil penalties or disabilities, such Synod took place on the third Tuesday of Serbia as their dissent from the established church ex- tember, 1717. posed them to in their native land. With this The Synod continued to be the chief judicatory sacred object, the Puritans chose New England, of the church until 1741. Its members were very the Quakers Pennsylvania, and the Roman Ca- diverse in their spiritual idiosyncrasy, and the tholics Maryland. Among the original settlers christian unity was sacrificed to their feelings were soine Presbyterians, but they were too niuch one portion, remarkable for fervid zeal, being scattered to form a single distinct congregation, charged by their brethren with enthusiasın, who and most of those in the New England colonies the allegation was retorted of coldness and furu.al lwecane connected with the congregational churches ity. The orthodox, or "old side,' as the birt there. It was not until prelacy gained an absolute were termed, wished to require the proofs of the ascendency in the father-land, in the reign of rough scholarship from candidates for the minis Charles Il., that the members of this denoinination try, whilst the others believed that the state of the were compelled to seek a refuge from the intoler country demanded an immediate supply of pics ance of the dominant party. When two thousand faithful men, of good capacity, whatever were the ministers were at once ejected from their churches deficiencies in theological or classical learning and livings, by the act of uniformity of 1662, a Whilst this contrariety of opinion was rina 2 multitude of the Presbyterians at once turned their the Synod for total dissensiun, the celevrated Mr. eves to the asylum of these distant and peaceful Whitefield arrived in America. The 'new side colonies. A large number settled in what are now wished to introduce this orator into their pupita, called the middle States, where full toleration was and to encourage his method of producing revivah allowed by the sects who pre-occupied the ground. of religion. The other party, viewing him as One church was also organized in the city of New heterodox in his principles, irregular in his annisYork, and one in Charleston. Neither the pre- try, and likely to cause injury by his mind cise period of the establishment of these churches, ardour, refused to countenance his preaching. A por iheir number, can be ascertained. It is pro- division of the Synod into two co-ordinate los buble, that the First Presbyterian Church in Phi- was the result; and the Synod of New Yorš, welphia is the oldest in ihe United States, and comprising the supporters of Mr. Whitefiel] va what the church of Snowhill, in Maryland, is nearly both sides of the Delaware, was opened in 1711 contemporary: it is certain that the form r had a This rupture quickened the religious entitpriser pastor in 1701. The first Presbytery was that of both parties, and to that event is owing the esis Philadelphia, which was constituted in 1704, or lishment of the College of New Jersey, which was 1705, comprehending not more than seven clergy- chartered through the exertions of the New Syria men, with their churches, in Pennsylvania and the in 1746, was opened at once in Newark, and removed adjacent colonies. By the year 1716, the number to the present buildings in Princeton in 1.3. of ministers attached to this Presbytery was in- That was, however, the last year of the separation creased, by ordination and immigration, to treble and the edifice may in charity be comparid to the the original number, and twenty-six congregations altar of Ed on the borders of Jordan, -to be re were represented in that body. They maintained garded, not as a monument of dissension, but a a friendly correspondence with the Congregational pledge of union in a common faith— That you and Independent churches of New England, from children may not say to our children in time in whom they differed only in their views of ecclesi- come, Ye have no part in the Lord.' astical government, and endeavoured to excite the In May, 1758, the rival powers inet at Phir sympathy of their British brethren in behalf of delphia, and re-united under the title of the Syd those parts of the country which were destitute of of New York and Philadelphia. At that case religious instruction.
there were seventy-eight ministers, and seven pre In September, 1716, it was determined to sub- byteries; the latter being those of Philade han divide the existing body into independent Presby- New York, New Brunswick, Suffolk, first and teries, which were to constitute a Synod, to meet second Newcastle, and Donnegal, to which were annually. A presbytery of six ministers was ac soon added those of Lewistown and Hanover; and cordingly direcied to meet in Philadelphia; another in the next year the two presbyteries of Newcastle of six, in Newcastle, Delaware; and a third of three were amalgamated.
PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH IN THE UNITED STATES. teries, and on account of the number of congre- , than two thirds of the presbyteries. The doctrines gations, and the great extent of country over which set forth in the constitution are those related ili they were scattered, it resolved in that year to di- the dictionary under the title Calvinists, which vide itself into four Synods: that of New York are, however, embraced with various shades of and New Jersey, embracing the presbyteries of distinction and explanation by the ministers and Duchess county, Suffolk, New York, and New other members of the Presbyterian church. The Brunswick: the Synod of Philadelphia, including controversies that have arisen on some points have the Presbyteries of Philadelphia, Lewistown, New- resulted, it is believed, mainly from a misundercastle, Baltimore, and Carlisle; the Synod of Vir- standing of the phrases employed by polemics on ginia,composed of Redstone, Hanover, Lexington, both sides, and do not imply any essential deparand Transylvania ; and the Synod of the Carolinas, ture from the great principles of the system, which comprehending the presbyteries of Abingdon, happens to be called by the name of an illustrivus Orange, and South Carolina. These Synods theologist. This confession is held to be of no aub were to send delegates to a General Assembly, to thority in itself, and is considered only as a complete be convened annually in Philadelphia.
digest of evangelical doctrine, as delivered in the The first Assembly met in Philadelphia, on the Holy Scriptures, which it pronounces to be the 21st of May, 1789, at which time there were under only rule of faith and obedience,' asserting, that its jurisdiction one hundred and eighty-eight minis-'the infallible rule of interpretation of Scripture is ters, and four hundred and nineteen churches. the Scripture itself, and that no church judicatoThe Rev. Dr. Witherspoon, of New Jersey, whose ry ought to pretend to make laws to bind the con signature is to the Declaration of Independence, science in virtue of their own authority. The preached the opening sermon, and the Rev. Dr. fundamental principle of the government is, that Rodgers, of New York, was elected to the office of all the congregations of members of the church Molerator, or President. Among the earliest constitute, collectively, one church; that a majority measures of the assembly was a resolution to pro- should always govern, and that, to attain this as secute the plans which had originated in the pri- nearly as possible, there should be the successive mary Synod, of sending preachers to the destitute representation of the people in the sessions, presparts of the States, especially to the frontiers, and byteries, synods, and assembly. The officers of to provide for the proper education of poor young the church consist first of the clergy, who are on men designed for the ministry. The correspon- an entire parity of rank, and are named indiscridence with other churches, substantially presbyte- minately Bishops, Pastors, Ministers, Presbyters, rian, was extended; and at this time it is main- and Elders, which titles are supposed to be synotained not only with various bodies of that descripnymous in the New Testament. The second tion in this country, but with some of the Protest-class of officers are Ruling Elders, composed of ant churches of Europe.
laymen, elected by the members of a church from In 1810 occurred the secession of the Cumber- their own number, as their representatives to serve land Presbytery, which now constitutes an inde- conjointly with the Minister in such parts of his pendent body, as is detailed under the proper spiritual duties, other than preaching, as they may head in the body of this dictionary.
be qualified to perform; and to be connected with It was mutually resolved by the General Synod him in the spiritual government of the churches of the Associate reformed Church, and the Gene- as in admitting, trying, and disciplining members ral Assembly, in the year 1821, to effect a union When elected, they are publicly ordained by the of the two churches ; as they were undistinguished minister, and with him compose the session. except by name and polity. The funds of the Deacons are the third grade, and are entrusted Synod were transferred to the treasury of the As- with the care of the members who stand in need sembly, and the theological seminaries of the two of temporal assistance, or are entirely dependent, churches were consolidated. The Synod com on account of age and infirmity, on the church prehended five presbyteries and thirty-two minis- for maintenance: these are chosen in the same iere, nineteen of whom were in favour of, and thir- manner as ruling elders, and in most churches are teen opposed to the union: but several of the latter the same individuals. It would seem, however, afterwards acceded, though some of the churches that this practice is a departure from the strict still exist under their old name and government. definition of the duties of Elders and Deacons,
In the article Presbyterians, an outline is given which are in the standards treated as distinct of of the arguments upon which the principles of fices, the former being designated as rulers in spithis form of ecclesiastical government is founded, ritual affairs, whilst to the latter is specially comwith some account of the judicatories of the na- mended the care of the poor, with a suggestion tional church of Scotland. The particwars of the that they should manage all the temporal concerns system are detailed, in the 'Form of Government of the church. Those Presbyterian congregations and Directory for the worship of God, which are therefore which have no deacons, can scarcely be appended to the Confession of Faith, Larger and said to adhere to the primitive model of their Shorter Catechisms, framed by the Westminster church. The secular business of churches is now, Assembly, in 1613-9, ratified by the General generally, in the hands of Trustees, who are not Assembly of the Church of Scotland in 1645, and required to be communicating members of the formally adopted by the Synod of Philadelphia, in church. The number of elders is to be deterinined 1729. In May, 1785, after the revolution, these by the wants of each church; their office is perstandards were revised, a portion of the rules petual, but the exercise of its functions may cease better adapted to the condition of the American when the officer becomes disabled from acting; and church, and some inconsiderable alterations made he is liable to deposition for misconduct or heresy. in the confession and catechisms. With these Officially they are equal in rank to ministers, all mowlifications, the book was adopted as the con- being alike presbyters; the only distinction being, stitution of the church, subject to farther alteration that some are considered more fitted for the duties by the Assenıbly, upon the suggestion of not less of preaching and administering the ordinances,
PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH IN THE UNITED STATES. A Presbytery is a body composed of several their first and especial attention. The General presbyters, viz. of all the ministers, and one ruling Assembly is thus among the videst missionary older from each church in a certain limit, over bodies in onr land. The Presbyterian church whom it keeps a general oversight. Its jurisdic- has had her missionaries among the pagans, and tion is that of an appellate judicatory to the ses among the destitute of our own citizens, before sions, and has original authority over them, as many of the valuable institutions of our day had they have over the churches. It has also the ex. existence. In 1834, about $114,687 were reported clusive power of examining and licensing candi- as collected for the cause of missions, and about dates for the ministry, ordaining ministers, au. 230 missionaries ministered to upwards of 500 ihorizing their transition from one church 10 congregations. another, and resolving questions of doctrine or The education of young men for the grapel discipline submitted to them. They are respon. ministry also claimed the early attention of the sible to the Synod, a convention of ministers and Assembly. In 1817, this business was committed elders, delegated from the presbyteries of a cer to a board of education, which at this ume bas tain district; it receives appeals from their deci. more than 64 candidates for the gospel ministry. sions, reviews their records, erects new presby. Nearly $50,000 were collected for this board in teries when necessary, and suggests to the Gene- the year ending 1835. ral Assembly such measures as are supposed to In 1810, the Assembly resolved to establish a require legislation.
Theological Seminary. At that time there were In the General Assembly, all the churches are four hundred congregations without a minisier. represented by delegates, both ministers and elders, The location was subsequently fixed at Princeton, called commissioners, appointed annually by the in New Jersey, and the institution was opened presbyteries. It is the final court of appeal and there in August, 1812. The average number reference, reviews the proceedings of the Synods, of students is about one hundred and thirty. and has a general superintendence of the concerns Twenty-three scholarships have been endowed of the church of which it is the organ. This body in the principal sum of $2500 each, for the sup meets annually at such place as it may have port of that number of students, who are unable adjourned to. In 1834 there were in connexion to pay for their education; and funds for three with the Assembly 2648 congregntions, 1914 professorships, of $25,000 each, are accumulating. bishops, with 236 licentiates, making 2150 preach. Another seminary was founded by the Assembly ers, and 247,964 communicants. In that year, in 1825, at Alleghenylown, near Pittsburgh, ia 5738 adults and 13,004 infants were baptized. Pennsylvania. There are several others which
This church has always considered missionary are supported and governed independently. by labours an object of importance. Before the various Synods. It should be mentioned that all General Assembly was formed, the Synods of the institutions connected with the Assembly, are New York and Philadelphia enjoined on all supported by voluntary contributions; and that, their churches to make collections for sending consequently, their efficiency and permanence the gospel to the destitute. When the Assembly are dependent, wholly, upon the annual continuwas formed in 1789, the missionary cause claimed ance of individual support.
APPENDIX, No. III.
THE METHODIST PROTESTANT CHURCH; COMPRISING THE
ASSOCIATED METHODIST CHURCHES.
By a distinguished Member of the Church. "The polity of the original Weslevan Methodist question have they been so equally divided. No Sncieties rested upon the principle, that their changes, however, have been effected. The episillustrious Founder had the right to ordain every copacy still maintains its prerogatives in their orithing, and to control every preacher and member ginal integrity. of his societies, in all matters of a prudential In 1824, memorials and petitions, from many character.
sections of the church, were presented to the As he himself states, he had the exclusive power General Conference, complaining of the govern"to appoint when, and where, and how, his socie- ment being so constituted and administered, as to ties should meet; and to remove those whose lives exclude the local preachers, and the lay-members showed that they had no desire to flee from the from every sort of participation in their own wrath to come.' And this power remained the government, as Methodists. Some of these petisame, whether the people meeting together, were tioners were satisfied with the plea of expediency; twelve hundred, or twelve thousand.''
but the most of them took the ground of right. He exercised a similar power over the preachers, All of them craved a representative form of govern
To appoint each of these, when, where, and how, ment. The conference replied, that they “knew to labour; and to tell any if I saw cause, 'I do not no such rights," nor did they comprehend any desire your help any longer.'”
such privileges." Most of the members of these Societies were From that time the controversy assumed a new members of the Church of England; some were character. It was viewed as itinerant power inembers of the dissenting churches. Mr. Wesley against church rights. Therefore, as soon as the was a minister of the Church of England, and as general conference had risen, a meeting of prosuch he died. With very few exceptions, his fessed reformers was held; some of the members preachers were laymen. He was their tutor and ot' which had been distinguished members of the governor. He was the patron of all the Metho- recent conference. The continuance of the periodidist pulpits in England and Ireland for life, the cal was resolved upon, " for the purpose of giving sole right of nomination being vested in him the Methodist community a suitable opportunity by the deeds of settlement. He was the patron to enter upon a calm and dispassionate examinaof the Methodist societies in America ; and is action of the subjects in dispute." In order to ascerknowledged by the Methodist Episcopal Church tain and increase the number of reformers, union as its founder. That he is the author of the societies were formed. These measures were the Episcopacy of that church, is questioned by some, causes of considerable persecution, and in some for the following reasons, as well as many others: places of excommunications. Secessions imme1. It was not until some years after the institution diately followed. The expelled and the secedents of Episcopacy,(1784,) that Mr. Wesley's authority united, temporarily, under the “General Rules" of wis alleged as its basis; but, without any men- John and Charles Wesley. tion of Mr. Wesley, the itinerant preachers de In November, 1827, a General Convention of clared in their first Minutes”—“We will form ministers and lay-delegates was held in the city of ourselves into an Episcopal Church, &c.” 2. Mr. Baltimore; a memorial to the general conference Wesley alleged no other authority in himself to to be held in 1828 was prepared, and a committer ordain ministers, but his right as a presbyter. 3. appointed to present it. This memorial asserted He solemnly forbade Mr. Asbury to assume the the right of the church to representation. But, title of bishop
instead of any concession, the conference denied The Conference by whom the Methodist Epis- the right altogether; and, on the high pretension copal Church was founded, was composed of of divine right, claimed for the itineracy the same itinerant preachers only, who assumed to them- exclusive and unamenable powers of making and selves the same powers which Mr. Wesley had administering moral discipline, which they had exercised over the societies; making their will from the beginning exercised. This was a deaththe only rule of the church.
blow to all hope on the part of the reformers; and, Some of the first symptoins indicative of dis- therefore, at a convention held in Baltimore, Nosatisfaction with the new economy, were evinced by vember, 1828, a provisional government, under these preachers themselves, who were soon made the form of Articles of Association, was adopted, to know the powers of the episcopacy. On no to continue for two years.