Page images
PDF
EPUB

Presbyterian Church in that city, on the 1st No- | Bible classes. A few children have made a public vember, 1833. Rev. Jacob Helffeinstein has been profession of religion, some of them being seven preaching subsequently as stated supply.

or eight years old. In all cases, individuals apThe Second Free Church has admitied 426 mem- plying for admission to the church, attend a meeting bers; 145 males and 281 females; of whom 302 of the session, and are examined faith!ully with were added on profession, and 104 on certificate. respect to the hope they entertain of having subThe adult baptisms have been 106. Nine young Initted to Christ. In some of the free churches, it men belonging to this church are studying for the is the practice to propound (or, as the term is with ministry. Two members of this church, one male you, propose) such persons as give evidence of piety, and one female, are engaged in the foreign mis- one month previous to their admission to the church. sionary service.

With all this care, a few cases of discipline have The Third Free Church has admitted 344 mem- occurred, but in a majority of them, the subjects of bers; 115 males and 229 females; of whom 203 discipline have been those received by letter from were added on profession, and 141 on certificate. other churches in the same communion, or of other Twelve are studying for the ministry, and two are denominations. in the foreign missionary service.

A statement with regard to a single male Bible The Fourth Free Church has admitted 64 mem- class, in one of the churches, will give you an idea bers ; 22 males and 42 females; of whom 26 were of the method adopted in all these churches, to give added on profession, and 38 on certificate. Three biblical instruction to youth of boih sexes in sepaare studying for the ministry, and one is preparing rate classes. Two or three young men, who wers for the missionary service.

loitering about near the church, were invited to It is believed that more than half the persons come in and take seats apart, to see if they would who are hopefully converted in these congrega- like biblical instruction. After the morning sertions, unite with other churches, owing to various vice they agreed to become scholars. Each was circumstances. A large portion of those who have desired to bring a new scholar in the afternoon here made profession of religion, have not been They did so, and others were invited to take seats previously baptized, which faci, while it shows that with them. The adoption of a rule, that no prothey have been brought up in families destitute of fessor of religion should be admitted without bringpiety, evinces the importance of free churches, ing a non-professor to the class, was the means of where the poor and neglected may have greater op- many impenitent persons being brought under inportunity to hear the gospel preached. This fact struction. The class met an hour and a half before shows also the happy results attending the personal the morning and evening services on the Lord's efforts made by the members of these churches, in day, in the body of the church. A suitable library inviting and encouraging the impenitent to attend was established, and the teacher lent the scholars church and Bible classes. New circles of religious such books as in his judgment were adapted to influence are thus formed, and the gospel, in living their circumstances, giving the impenitent Baxter's epist.es, is carried to hundreds of families, which Call, &c. &c., and biographies of devoted missionotherwise might have continued to live as heathens aries, &c., to the young converts. One of the schoin a Christian land. The "aggressive movements” lars acted as librarian. The scholars were encouof these churches among the population of this raged to purchase Polyglott Bibles of the librarian, city, have thus been attended with most happy ef- and to pay for them by small instalments, if unable fects. Sinners have been plucked as fire-brands to pay for them at once. The Gospel of Mathew out of the burning, and made to rejoice in God was taken up in portions of about half a chapler their Saviour.

for a lesson, according to the subjects. The teachSabbath schools and Bible classes have been, ers in the other departments of the Sabbath school, from the beginning, objects of prime concern with members of the church generally, and especially the Free Churches. The districts near them have the young converts, were actively engaged in perfrequently been explored, and invitations given to suading inactive professors, and the impenitent, the poor, and those who neglected the house of wherever they met them, to unite with this class. God, to attend church, and send their children to Within twelve months, twenty-five of the young the Sabbath school. The teachers in these schools men in the class became teachers in the Sabbath have uniformly been professors of religion, for it schools, three began studying with a view to the is thought improper to entrust the souls of the young ministry, twenty-seven were hopefully converted, to the guidance of teachers, who themselves have and thirty-seven in all united with the church. not been taught by the Spirit of God. It is said, I The principal objects with the teacher, were the know, that impenitent teachers have sometimes immediate conversion of sinners, and inculcating been converted while acting as Sabbath school upon professors of religion their duty to be coteachers. True; but it is not known how many workers with God in converting the world; and scholars have been made infidels by receiving reli- the Lord greatly blessed the agency employed. gious instruction from “blind leaders of the blind.” A Bible class for females, taught by another elder A single fact shows what intelligent children think of the church, occupied the lecture-room, and in of this matter. A little girl, noi ten years old, said iwo years eighty-five were hopefully converted in to her teacher, “I am afraid you will never lead this class. The number in this class varied from me to heaven."-"Why not ?" asked the teacher. fifty to eighty. It was a great advantage to have

Because," said the child, "you do not appear to them in a separate room, free from noise, so that know the way yourself." While some were in their minds need not be diverted, but kept solemnly structing, others were visiting, and persuading pa- fixed upon the instructions. The impenitent were rents and youth to avail themselves of the means brought into the class mainly by the Christians that of grace provided for them. The people of color belonged to it. They were always urged to do have not been overlooked, nor have they been thrust this, and to pray for their conversion, especially away into a few seats in the galleries, but especial during the hours of instruction. The great aim efforts have been made to instruct them, and pro- of the teacher was the conversion of the scholar vide good seats for them, so that they might feel the first time she attended, and his main hope was that Christians imitate their heavenly Father, in during the first three Sabbaths they came. After a some degree at least, in not being respecters of per- scholar had joined the class, the teacher took down sons. A large proportion of the accessions to the her residence, visited her as soon as practicable, churches have been from the Sabbath schools and ' and held personal conversation with her about the

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

salvation of her soul. In view of what God has procured, it would be no difficult thing for the memeffected by this agency, there appears to have been bers of the Free Churches to organize many new most success with the scholars who did not live churches every year. As it is, one new church has with professors of religion. This arose probably been organized every year since the system was from iwo causes; 1. Their not being gospel-hard-commenced in this city. More than enough are ened; and, 2. From their not having some luke-added to them from the world annually to compose warm professor near them, over whom to stumble. a large church. In fact, could the right kind of

It is the usual practice in these churches, on Sab- ministers be procured, each of the Free Churches bath evenings, to invite those who are resolved on could easily colonize and build up a new church immediate submission to God, or are willing to be every year, and these again adopt the same system. conversed or prayed with respecting their souls' We think a church cannot act efficiently when it is salvation, to come forward and take seats in front composed of more than 200 or 300 members, alof the pulpit, or to meet the minister and elders in though we are too unwilling to urge off our brethe leciure-room, immediately after the dismission thren that they may commence other enterprises for of the congregation. And the church, on such oc- the Lord Jesus. It is a great mistake to suppose it casions, are invited to stay and pray for the in- requires wealth or large numbers to maintain pubfluences of the Holy Spirit, and to offer the prayer lic worship, for in a city like this, a few young of faith for the immediate conversion of sinners. Christians, who can raise 1,000 or 1,500 dollars to The results have been cheering, and many sinners begin with, hire a hall, and procure a preacher, can have, on these solemn occasions, been “led quite to support public worship without difficulty, and make Christ.”

it instrumental of great good. God, in his holy proThe ministers of these Free Churches have mo- vidence, will, if they are prayerful, self-denying, derate salaries, the church edifices are plainly built, and efficient, give them converts in the course of and all the expenses attending public worship are the year, whose contributions, added to their own, on an economical scale. No one is admitted to the and the public collections, will enable them to mainchurches, on profession or by letter, who will not tain, respectably, preaching and the accompanying pledge himself or herself to abstain wholly from means of grace. And such churches might be built ihe manufacture, sale, or use of ardent spirit. The up in every city, and in many villages. Why should use of tobacco, also, can be said scarcely to exist in they not be extended throughout Christendom? these churches. It is inculcated on the members to And it may well engage the prayerful consideration practise temperance in eating, and plainness in of Christians, if such churches are not more in acdress and furniture. When it is considered that cordance with the spirit of the gospel than those the cost of the tobacco used in this country is esti- that have been organized by the Presbyterian and mated to be more than the expense of supporting Congregational denominations usually. We see the ministers of every denomination, and that a what wonderful success our Methodist brethren wo is perishing for want of the gospel, it surely have had by alluring to their houses of worship the behooves Christians not to indulge in any habit or middling classes of society; "firing low,” as their luxury, at the expense of the souls of their fellow- great leader, Wesley, enjoined it upon them. That

eminent man well understood the philosophy of the The minister of the First Free Church gave subject, and knew that moral influence ascends in public notice to the people of his former charge, society, and especially in a republic. How greally that he would not unite in marriage any member is this principle overlooked by many who essay to of his church with an unbeliever; and the sinful- enlighten the world ?—Let us not be ashamed to ness of such unhallowed marriages is inculcated copy from the Methodists, or from any denominaby all the ministers of these churches. They be- tion, measures and modes of preaching that are lieve they were expressly forbidden under the Old blessed by the Holy Spirit; especially ministers and Testament dispensation, and also in the New Tes- others would do well not to refuse to copy the extament. They cannot, then, but put the question to ample of Jesus Christ, who certainly well undertheir people, with solemnity, “Shouldst thou love stood in what way to influence, most effectnally, them ihat hate the Lord ?"

human society. Collections are taken at every service; and on An extraordinary impulse is given to young communion Sabbaths, (the first in every month) the Christians, when responsibilities like those dechurch members deposite in the boxes the sums scribed are assumed in the fear of the Lord; and they severally agree to pay statedly, for the support they then feel that it is both duty and a pleasure of public worship. The deficiency is made up an- to bestow the money intrusted to them in building nually by a subscription among those members of up the Redeemer's kingdom. Clerks in stores have the church who possess the means of contributing. subscribed 100 dollars per annum, and young merBesides these, collections are frequently made for chants double or treble that amount; while others, special objects of Christian benevolence. The con- without large means, have cheerfully given from gregations are chiefly composed of people in mo- 500 to 1,000 dollars a year for the support of public derate circumstances, and of strangers. Although worship; and this, too, while they did not neglect some persons of property belong to these churches, more public calls to give money for the conversion and others of this description, after being hopefully of the world. The members of these churches converted in them, have united with other churches, have been pressed to relinquish their ownership of still the principal efforts are made to bring in the the property committed to them by the great Head neglected, the poor, the emigrant, and those who, in of the church, and to hold it as stewards, to be laid the arrangements in the old churches, have been out (the whole of it) in building up his kingdom, almost entirely overlooked.

and converting the world. And some of them, it Do not understand me as asserting that all the is confidently believed, aim to act upon this obvious members of these churches are active, prayerful, principle of the gospel. and consistent. It is not so. There are not a few, Free churches, on similar principles, have been it is to be feared, who sit idly by while a world is organized in many other places since the comperishing; who, after having solemnly pledged mencement of the system in this city, and generally themselves to live for Christ, do little or nothing to attended, as there is reason to believe, with the build up his kingdom, and regenerate the world. smiles of Divine Providence. Why should it be Great must be the condemnation of such professors! otherwise? Free seats attract the poor, and those

It is easy to see that, could suitable ministers bel who are unable or unwilling to purchase or hire

men.

pews; sitting promiscuously in the house of God | pertinent to the subject. Should you or others see abates the pride of the rich; and it is well that men fit to introduce the system into London, it cannot, I should feel humble before each other, at least in the think, but be attended with such happy success, as sanctuary of the Almighty. And the system of la- to evince that it is a system in favor with God and bor adopted is calculated to bring into personal ac- man. In conclusion, allow me to remark, that there tivity every member of the church.

are two peculiarities in the history of our churches I have said that a new church might be organized that specially need reformation : 1. Expending so in this city every year, out of each of the Free much of the Lord's money in enriching and embelchurches, provided suitable ministers could be obtain lishing houses of public worship; and, 2. Neglected. Great difficulty and delay arise on this account; ing, the great body of the community, adults and for it requires preachers of peculiar talents to be children. These things can be and should be resuccessful in Free churches. They must be "scribes medied. When I have seen in some of our churches well instructed”—Christians of much religious ex- a communion service of massive plate, splendid perience-of a revival spirit--sound theologians, chandeliers, and costly architecture and furniture, ready extemporaneous speakers-not afraid of “new I have been reminded of the anecdote of Oliver measures," nor disposed to substitnte expediency Cromwell on visiting York Minster. In one of the for duty; and in all respects thorough-going Chris- apartments the Protector noticed twelve niches, in tian reformers. Such ministers will not have sleepy which were the statues of the twelve apostles in congregations, nor will the members of their solid silver. “What have you there?" inquired churches be at ease in Zion, or so conform to the Cromwell. On being told, he exclaimed, “Tako world that it is difficult to distinguish them from them down, coin them, and let them go about doing those who have no hope in Christ. We bless God good.” Is it not true, that the mere interest of the that measures are in rapid progress to educate young capital at present invested in superfluous architecministers, who will have the courage to preach the ture and furniture in churches, is greater than the whole gospel

, and take a strong hold of the blessed whole annual contribution of the Protestant churches work of converting the world to God. May the in Christendom for the spread of the gospel? It may Lord Jesus Christ hasten the day when our young not be practicable to take down and coin all these men, on being converted, will, in the spirit of the useless investments, and send the proceeds about youthful Paul, desire above all things to be heralds doing good, but the present generation will be guilty of salvation; and when Christian merchants, me- before God, if they do not take heed not to run into chanics, farmers, and others, will “buy, and sell, such excess of folly, in lavishing upon embellishand get gain,” not to consume it upon their lusts, but ment funds that should be expended in multiplying to fill the treasury of the Lord !

churches, and winning souls to Christ. I have thus, dear sir, given you the history of the With high respect, I remain, dear sir, Free Churches in this city to the present time, and

Yours, in the bonds of the Gospel, have ventured to offer such suggestions as seemed

LEWIS TAPPAN,

STATISTICAL RETURNS TAKEN BY THE DEPUTATION IN THE COURSE OF.

THEIR JOURNEYS.

[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors]

5
1
1
2
4

4,000 1,300 1,500 150

700 400 260 1,700

700 1,200 150

[blocks in formation]

NEW-YORK... Presbyterians and Scotch Church...

32 Reformed Dutch..

14 Episcopalians

23 Baptists..:

20 Episcopal Methodists..

11 Oiher Methodists ... Friends ..... German Lutherans... Moravians .....

1 E. Congregationalists.. Catholics Unitarians Universalists Jews

PHILADELPHIA.. 200,000 Presbyterians

24 Episcopalians

11 Episcopal Methodists.. 10 Reformed Dutch.....

2 Reform'd Presbyterians

2 Quakers ...

10 Lutherans ...

4 German Reformed. Universalists ..

2 Unitarians .. Christian Baptists.. Jews' Synagogues.

2 Moravians

1 Roman Catholics. Miscellaneous..

11 BALTIMORE. 100,000 Catholics...

6 Methodists..

8 Presbyterians

5 Baptists....

4 Unitarians. Episcopalians Reformed Church...

1 Assoc. Reformed Quakers ..

BOSTON Congregationalists

3 Baptists. Unitarians

13 Episcopalians

WASHINGTON, 20,000 Presbyterians

4 Episcopalians

2 Methodists.

7 Baptists...

4 Cacholics. Unitarians Quakers.

1 Germans...

1 GEORGETOWN.. 7,500 Differ't Denominations

6 ALEXANDRIA. 7,000 Presbyterians

2 Episcopalians.

2 Methodists

2 Baptists... Catholics.. Quakers

1 Col. Methodists..

700

NEWBURGH.....

Differ't Denominations
10,354 MORRISTOWN..
3,800 Differ't Denominations
3,922 NEWARK.....
4,839 Presbyterians
5,172 Africans..
2,500 Episcopalians

Baptists.
500 Methodists.
100 Catholics

150 German Reformed. 40,000 Dutch Reformed...

Scotch Presbyterians.. 8,000

Universalists...
Unitarians..
Christians

BUFFALO.
Presbyterians
Free ditto..
Baptists
Episcopalians
Methodists.
Reformed Methodists.
Germans
Catholics
Universalists.
Unitarians.
Lutherans

DUNKIRK.
Presbyterians
Methodists...

SANDUSKY..
Episcopal Methodists..
Presbyterians

COLUMBUS.
Presbyterians
Methodists
Episcopalians
Catholics

Shakers
500

CINCINNATI
Presbyterians
Methodists.
Baptists.
Episcopalians
Unitarians

Catholics 1,500 625 German Lutheran 12,000 500 Swedes. 3,000 1,900 Campbellite Baptists.

300 150 Jews' Synagogue. 2,000 1,600 _MARIETTĂ. 250 50 Presbyterians 50

Baptists 200

Episcopalians

Methodists. 2,800 ZANESVILLE

Presbyterians 700 370 Baptists

700 300 Episcopalians 1,200 600 Catholics 400 120 Methodists 800

LEXINGTON. 400

Presbyterian . 200) Baptists....

[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors]

3,000

1 1 1 1 1

[blocks in formation]

STATISTICAL RETURNS TAKEN BY THE DEPUTATION IN THE COURSE OF

THEIR JOURNEYS.-CONTINUED.

[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

2,000

[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

1

1

7,000

[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

LEXINGTON, continued. Methodists. Reformed Methodists.. African Church Episcopalians

STAUNTON
Presbyterians
Methodists ..
Episcopalians
CHARLOTTESVILLE
Presbyterians
Baptists.
Methodists
Episcopalians. .

ÞETERSBURGH..
Presbyterians
Methodists.
Baptists. ...
Episcopalians
Colored..

RICHMOND
Presbyterians
Episcopalians
Baptists (many colorid)
Methodists.
Mission Chap. Presb...
Catholics...
Quakers and Jews...
Unitarians.

FREDERICSBURG. Presbyterians Episcopalians Baptists.. Methodists. Campbellites

ALBANY. Presbyterians. Dutch Reformed.. Methodists. Baptists.... Covenanters. Reform’d Presbyterians Episcopalians. Catholics Reformed Lutherans.. Universalists ... African Church Primitive Methodists.. Quakers

TROY.. Presbyterians Episcopalians Methodists Baptists ... Caiholics. Unitarians

3
2

4,000

UTICA, continued.. 1,000 400 Universalists.. 100

Baptists. . 1,000

NORTHAMPTON. 4,800 500 100 Congregat. Orthodox..

Unitarians.. 5001 225 Episcopalians 600 300 WEST HAMPTON 200

Congregationalists ....

Separatists 350 100 WHITESBOROUGH 1,200

Presbyterians . 250 Baptists

Methodists...

SCHENECTADY. 7,000 600 300 Presbyterians .. 600 300 Dutch Reformed. 400 100 Methodists...

250 60 Baptists. 1,000 800 Episcopalians

Reformid Presbyterians 800 500 Catholics 600 CONCORD.

4,000 2,000 Congregationalists 1,000 800 Methodists. 200

Baptists 350

Unitarians 100 LOWELL.

13,000 150

Congregationalists.

Baptists 400 220 Methodists. 400 200 Episcopalians 500 300 Unitarians 300 100 | Universalists. 110

Catholics

Free-will Baptists. 3,800 1,650 Christians 1,200 500 NEW-HAVEN. 10,000 2,100 500 Congregationalists.

800 350 Episcopalians 200

Baptists. 300

Methodists. 800 200 Roman Catholics 2,500

Universalists.. 300

HARTFORD. 500 Congregationalists.. 200 Baptists..: 100

Episcopalians 50

Methodists...

Roman Catholics. 3,000 1,500 Africans.... 1,200 300 Universalists 1,600 900 DERBY....

2,500 1,000 400 Presbyterians 2,000 10 District Schools, in 200

which the Minister 350 100 preaches. 200 SACO..

4,000 Congregationalists 2,300 1,000 Baptists.... 1,000 Episcopalians

Methodists.. 300 50 Unitarians . 1,000 few. Free-will Baptists. 2,000 ERIE...

1,500 1,000 Presbyterians

2,500 1,000 1,800 700

800 300 500 700 100 5001 1,000

300 68 150

[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

1

[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]
« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »