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NARRATIVE OF THE VISIT
A M E RICAN CHURCHES,
CONGREGATIONAL UNION OF ENGLAND AND
ANDREW REED, D. D. AND JAMES MATHESON, D. D.
THOMAS GEORGE, JR. 162 NASSAU STREET.
DEDICATION AND PREFACE.
strengthened by its exercise; and it was proposed THE CHURCHES
to seek the higher profit and pleasure which might arise from personal intercourse. In this spirit, a
Deputation was appointed to make a fraternal visit ENGLAND AND AMERICA,
to the churches of that 'and; to assure them of our
Christian esteem and affection; and to bear home THIS NARRATIVE
again the responses of kindness and confidence.
The churches of America have shown their eagerIS RESPECTFULLY DEDICATED,
ness to participate in this communion; not only by WITH THE EARNEST DESIRE THAT IT MAY PROMOTE the temper in which they received the Deputation, THEIR MUTUAL AFFECTION,
but equally by the celerity with which they deter
mined to send their delegates in return; while the AND THEIR UNITED DEVOTEDNESS
efforts which we have already made have certainly
disposed us the more fully to renew and perpetuate WORLD'S SALVATION,
the delightful intercourse.
One should have thought, that such a movement on the part of churches in different regions of the
globe, could have been viewed only with unmixed DEPUTATION.
satisfaction and jo. Yet the Deputation, on returning, have concern, if not surprise, to find that,
in some quarters, and in the name of religion, their PREFACE.
mission has been open to misrepresentation, and
their motives to miscc..struction. They trust, howIt must be admitted that enough has been recently ever, when it is found that their mission was as written on America, unless it were better written, catholic as the religion they profess; that they had or occupied some new field of discourse. The exe- no political or party purposes to accomplish; that cation of the following volumes must be left with the their embassy was one of fraternal and Christian judgment of the public; but the authors may claim charity-to express love and to invite love-nothing the advantage of having occupied new ground. more and nothing less-that justice will be done to
Notwithstanding the numerous communications a service which, apart from the manner of its execumade by travellers within these few years, relative tion, demands only the approbation of the generous to this interesting country, the ample folds of Na- and the good. Whatever may be the ultimate conture and Religion remained almost unexplored and clusion of those who have indulged in hasty, and unreported. Happily, these subjects are in keeping perhaps prejudiced objection, their judgment is fixed with each other, since to illustrate one is to assist -unalterably fixed. They have reason to regard the conception of the other; and happily, too, they it as one of the noblest acts to which the church, in were most in accordance with the taste of the wri- recent times, has given herself; they are confident ters, as well as in the very spirit and design of their that, if rightly sustained, the consequences will be mission. Religion, indeed, must be considered as most felicitous; and they must regard it, in itself, the great subject of inquiry; and if nature and out- as among the most cheering signs of the times, if, ward circumstance, in the form of narrative, are indeed, the union of the church is to anticipate the associated
with it, it is from a desire of commending conversion of the world. to the memory and heart, with greater facility and It was no part of the engagement, that the visit power, the things that are “invisible,” by " the of the Deputation should issue in an extended and things which do appear.".
published report. But they have been ready, with The Congregational Union was formed in the such ability and opportunity as they might comyear 1831. It had been several times contemplated; mand, to obey urgent request; and the more so, as and at length arose, partly from the growing exi- the interest which the mission has created in their gencies of ihe times, and partly from the improved minds, disposes them to contribute to the utmost to spirit in the churches. It was felt that, in pleading render its effects extensively and permanently benewith unwavering resolution for the principle of in- ficial. They have felt that this part of their underdependence, under difficult circumstances, we were taking is attended with delicacy and difficuisy liable to adopt a limited view of its inport; and Every statement is likely to be seen through the that it was desirable, on every account, to convey medium of opposite habits and partialities; and on the acknowledged strength and efficiency of our in- that account alone, while it gives pleasure to one dividual churches to those churches in an associated party, it may give offence to the other. All offence, capacity. The attempt has been successful beyond indeed, might have been easily avoided, by avoidthe expectations of many; and it is earnestly to be ing discrimination; but to write without discrimihoped, that, since the sign of our religion is Union, nation would be to write without profit. They and the spirit of it Love, its success will be com- have confidence in the manliness of the American plete.
character to believe, that candid remark, when One of the best and earliest effects of this union meant for improvement, will be candidly received; was, to express sympathy to kindred fellowships, and if comparison and discrimination should somewithout restriction from national bias or geogra- times reveal defects on our own part, they cannot phical boundaries. An affectionate correspondence think that it must necessarily give offence. They was soon opened between it and the Presbyterian have sought to fulfil their commission in forgetfuland Congregational bodies of the United States, ness of prejudice on the one hand, and partiality on which afforded much gratification. Affection was the other; and they will
not suppose that, on this ac587
count, they will be deemed worthy of blame or sus-/ work to the public, without a distinct and grateful picion. It were ungenerous of them not to do justice acknowledgment of the manifold kindnesses exto America; but it were unnatural of them to depre-pressed to them during their residence in the United ciate England for the purpose of exalting America. ! States. Especially they desire to assure those friends They are truly sensible that their mission is one of who so readily made them a home in their own fapure charity; they would deeply regret that it milies, when they were so entirely separated from should not be consummated in this spirit; and their endeared connections, that they do and must should it seem to be otherwise, in any instance, they retain a deep and indelible sense of their affectioncrave of the reader to supply the charitable con- ate and self-denymg attentions. struction which may be wanting in the writer. On the whole, as the fruits, at the time, were un
The circumstances of time, of distance, and of questionably good, may it not be hoped that they the Deputies having, during the visit, kept separate shall abide and improve with years ?' And by such notes, made it requisite, in preparing the following intercourse, maintained on Christian principles, volumes, that there should be a division of labor. why may we not expect that the churches of the It will be seen that the report on Canada and Penn- two countries shall become one; the people become sylvania, and the arrangements of the Statistical ONE; ard their efforts to benefit the world one; till Tables in the appendix, rested with Mr. Matheson; all nations shall be blessed, even as England and for the remaining portions, the other member of America are blessed? And England and America the Deputation is responsible.
the more blessed, for the common deed of righteous They cannot allow themselves to commit this ness and love?
London, April 28. 1835.
served in silence. Every thing was raised from its MY DEAR FRIEND-I remember when called to ordinary staie of being, and was full of power. separate from you, that I promised to supply you The calm earnestness of the captain; the awakenwith a narrative of our visit to the Western world. ed and promp attention of the sailor; the subI originally meant to do this by a succession of let- dued anxiety of the passenger; the straining and ters, transmitted from date to date, as I might groaning of the vessel; the roaring and batiling of change the place of observation, or find opportunity the waters as they resisted our impetuous course; to copy and forward my impressions. Such, how were full of sublimity. At such a time, the snapever, was the pressure and continuity of my en
ping of a cord or the starting of a plank might gagements, as to make this quite impracticable. All have brought not merely disaster, but death. But that I could do was to take hasty notes, 10 defend the ocean, what shall be said of it? When it rose me from the treachery of the memory; in the hope
in all its mightiness, and shut up our view, which that I might afterward give them such form and was before illimitable, to a small span in the heacorrectness as might render them intelligible and vens; when it stood around our little bark in unacceptable to you. I now propose to fulfil this duty; broken mountains, as once it did around the Egypand I have the persuasion that, under the circumtians, threatening to ingulf us in an instant and for stances, you will receive it as a real, though a late, ception of nature and of Omnipotence. In crossing
ever; then I had an advanced and unutterable conredemption of my promise.
On the morning succeeding the very solemn and our channels, and in running along our coasts, I affecting valedictory service at Zion chapel, I left had thought I knew what the sea was; but I was town for Liverpool. On arriving at that place, I then satisfied I had never
seen it before. was sought out by my esteemed friend Mr. Bulley, did not see the icebergs nor the sea-serpents. We
I will not trouble you further with sights. We and kindly urged to make his house my home. Here I was joined by Mr. Matheson, who was to be were told that we saw some whales; but I should the companion of my travels. Every thing had fear to avouch it. Indeed, we were now beginning been arranged by our friend for our departure ; and to look for the land, as decidedly the most interesting we had only to realize and confirm those arrange- came on, and made us in turn fearful of the object
object. But while searching for it, calm and fog ments previously to our sailing. The Europe, in which vessel we had engaged our hard to bear so near to our baven. Every wish was
of our anxious search. This pause to our hopes was passage, was announced to sail on the 16th; but we had hope that as the tide would not serve till two now directed to the pilot-boats; and when at length o'clock, and as the wind was not promising in the one was discovered, like the wing of a bird through opening of the day, that we might pass our Sabbath the
opening mists, there was universal joy. in quietude. With this doubtful hope we partici
We felt as if, on getting the pilot on board, we pated in the morning worship at Dr. Rafiles's, and should make a decided movement towards our port. had an especial place in the prayers of the church But the breeze was still faint, and the fog heavy. and congregation. At the close of the service the Fogs, it is understood, prevail very much at this word was— The wind serves--all on board imme- season of the year for many days; and they arise diately.” We obeyed the summons; parted with from the sudden return of hot weather, which disour friends; joined our vessel; and committed our
solves the ice, and produces immense evaporation. selves to the ocean and to God.
We moved slowly through the Narrows into the has been so often described, that it is needless to In the morning we quitted our vessel for a steamThe passage is now so regularly made, and it expanding bay, and dropped anchor in the evening
off Staten Island, and about six miles from the city. offer particulars. Our packet is considered one of the finest on the line; it is fitted up in the most boat. The mists were still heavy, and veiled every handsome style; it has a table not inferior to our the view of the bay, which is admitted to be exceed
thing from sight; we lost, therefore, for the present, best inns; it is indeed a floating hotel. Our company, 100, composed as it was of all professions and ingly good. Thís
, with a new world before us, was pursuits, was respectable and agreeable; they were
but a slight disappointment. About' ten o'clock I rather disposed to respect than to depreciate us on sprang on the landing at New-York, and realized the ground of our ministerial character; we parted
of a country, which had long dwelt as with many of them with much regret, and after a picture of interest and of hope in my imaginaward in our travels met with some of them with
tion. sincere pleasure. Indeed, every thing was accept
We made the best of our way to Bunker's hotel. able and pleasant, with the exception of close air
, Our first inquiry was for single-bedded rooms, as coffin-like cabins, restless but confined motion, and we understood that to be the only matter of doubt. the sea-sickness. These deductions, unhappily, They were readily obtained; and a black servant belong to a sea life; and though the allowance was commissioned to conduct us to them. After made for them may be various with various per- dressing, our first concern was, to use our retiresons, I think it is uniformly considerable; for I have ment in acknowledging the Hand which had conalways observed that both the sailor and the passen- ducted us safely over the great Atlantic; and in ger equally admit, that the quick voyage is the good committing ourselves to its renewed guidance, now voyage.
that we were strangers in a strange land. You know my admiration for the ocean; I had Before we retired to our rooms, we had expressed one opportunity of seeing, it in its majesty. We a wish for some refreshment; and I expected, on were in a smart gale of wind for a day and a half. coming down, to see a little breakfast-lable set for Unwell as I was I could not forego thé unobstruct- us. Nothing of this sort was, however, visible. ed enjoyment of the scene. I got on deck, and secured I went into the bar-room, and looked at the papers, mycelf as well as I could by the cordage, and ob- still waiting for a summons to tho anticipated re