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hundred years ago, they were still among So much for the points of resemblance
special services are visible in both. Capu-
dered traditionary routine; but even thus,
they have been at vast advantage over * See Professor Diman's article, “Religion in Amer. ica, 1776—1876,” in the North American Review, Jan others who had nothing but the negation of uary, 1876.
a tradition to follow, by which the medium
of common worship is committed to the off- ject-first, to instruct the reader on the afhand dictation of an individual, whose sov- fairs of the sect; secondly, to prevent his ereign authority in the matter is limited only ever hearing of anything else; consequently by the right of the congregation to quarrel their newspapers are not of much importwith him. It is both a proof and a promise ance. Their missions to the heathen began of increased intellectual and spiritual vitality tardily and developed slowly; though some in the Episcopal Church, that its more en- noble work of late, in this field, has taken terprising clergy are no longer content with away this reproach. But in pastors well the mere grind of the old routine, but are trained and equipped for the successful opstudying the meaning and principles of it, eration of a parish church, they are very with the intention of applying them--to the rich. vast disgust of their conservative brethren. It will be remarked that all the characBut meanwhile it is curious to observe how, teristic qualities and methods of this body by general consent, that whole study of the are of the sort that tell incidentally on its Methods of Worship is left to this one Or- own advancement. And when we add to der, none of the others having so much as a this a certain notion of exclusive divine professor of Liturgik in any of their Theo- right, which is not seriously believed in the logical Seminaries.
denomination to such an extent as to burIt is especially in the department of relig- den any one with a grave sense of responsiious esthetics that this leadership of the bility, but only enough to deaden any scruEpiscopalians is manifest. It is they, work- ples of good taste against vigorous proselyting from English models, who set the ing, it is easy to see that here must be a architectural fashions for all the rest; so most prosperous sect. All these elements that Methodist, Puritan and Presbyterian are favored by the fact that for the time bechurches are built with chancel-apses which ing it is “the fashion.” The result is that they do not know what to do with, and for many years the draft from other denomwhich task the ingenuity of the joiner to inations towards this once decaying and alfill up with a big bulk of a pulpit and with most perishing body is strong and constant, sofas and chairs and other cabinet-work and the return current almost nil. It is they, too, that have drawn the churches If we had spoken further of that consoliof the country after them in the cultivation dated organization which brings the power of fancy solo singing; and any one who will of the whole denomination to the support rummage the precious piles of rubbish that of every part, we should have completed the have been published for church quartets contrast between the Episcopalians and the during the last thirty years, will be im- Congregationalists. For the special work pressed with the proportion of it that is of this latter sect, its peculiar function in prepared primarily for the use of the the great vital growth of American Chris“P. E. C.,” and borrowed by all the rest. tianity, has been of a sort ministering vastly Now, at last, under the influence of transat- to the common good, but not especially to lantic example, they are started in a way of its own corporate advantage. musical reform, in which pray Heaven their If one were to seek a Scriptural motto example may be not less effective than in the for the history of the American Congregacorruption that has
tionalists, it should be this: “Go, teach." Having an evident leadership in such im- How gravely deficient they have been in portant matters, the American Episcopali- some things, we shall frankly show. But ans are content, in other things, to be sol. as educators to the American people they lowers. They have no theologians and no have a record the splendor of which has distinctive theology. They have one famous beer veiled only by their own carelessand excellent preacher. They have no emi- ness to write their names upon their own nent scholars or authors. They never have achievements. They have been the Collegehad a first-class college. Their religious builders of the country, not only in New newspapers are made up with a double ob- England, but at the West and South. The
founding of Princeton is due to them, as cated classes in their own original States, much as the founding of Yale pr Western has been almost explicitly resigned to the Reserve; and since the opening of the Methodists and the Baptists. The CongreSouth, they have established there no less gationalists, knowing and confessing that than eight chartered colleges, giving the there must needs be other preachers than highest education which the people are college-bred men, have stubbornly refused capable of receiving. To an extent out of to provide or recognize such, in their own all proportion to their numbers, they have organization. They have delighted in whatfurnished the great religious books and ever good work has been wrought by Methsermons of the country. The religious odist preachers; and contributed newspapers of the country, having general largely to set on foot an army of evangelical circulation and influence, have commonly book-peddlers; but the world might perish been founded and conducted by Congrega- before they would bring down their staudard tionalists. It would be interesting, although of ministerial dignity by ordaining men it would take too long, to illustrate these with less than seven years' scholastic trainstatements by particulars. In Foreign ing or its equivalent, or before they would Missions, too, they were the first in time compromise their dogma of “ministerial and have ever been among the foremost in parity” by ordaining inferior men to infelabors and successes.
And in all the com- rior work. It is needless to remark that all binations for common Christian labor for the characteristic traits of the Congregathe general good, the Congregationalists tionalists have been of the contrary sort have been eager to make large gifts and from those that tend to the wide propagation sacrifices, and content with a small share of the sect. in the results. There has been that sort of Both these bodies, then, (whatever may evangelic chivalry among them which seem- be the half-serious, half-jocose pretensions ed to take all the more delight in works of sometimes put forth for the Protestant Epischarity and missions that were to minister copalians,) do, by restricting themselves to to the common advancement of the king- certain lines of labor, certain ways of dom of heaven but not to their prosperity. organization, certain uses of worship, that So far have they been from the vulgar spirit are confessedly not the whole of Christian of proselytism, that they have ungrudgingly service, plainly announce themselves as begiven away their own sons, for the upbuild- ing not churches, but merely Orders in the ing of other orders. Not incongruously, Church. But any Christian man, whose this habit of wide outlook has been associ. interest and allegiance are attached to the ated with a disposition to broadcasting whole brotherhood of believers, is interested, rather than hand-culture; and Congrega- on such an occasion as these two meetings, tionalists have been distinguished more in to study the tendencies of two such importpreaching, and in revival preaching, than ant factors of American Christianity. in the thorough organization and conduct of We think it will be observed, in comparparish work. But their preaching (speak- ing the reports of the two meetings, that ing generally) and their church-institutions both the bodies show a marked tendency to have tended commonly to attract and help broaden, both in sentiment and in methods. persons of a certain grade of culture, and They do not cease to be sects, and to chersome of their writers have frankly accepted ish their sectarian traditions; but they show, it as the mission of this order of Christians each of them, a disposition to do a whole to maintain a certain high standard of work rather than a partial one; and thus religious thought and practice to which broadening, they tend to abandon some of believers generally were not to be expected their old negations and come nearer each to attain. They have done noble work in other's positions. Home Missions, but the great rough pio- In the “ Church Congress” of the Protneering work at the West, and even, to estant Episcopalians, for instance, and still some extent, the reaching of the less edu- more in some other manifestations of the
same body, may be remarked the progress But the most signal and honorable illustra-
One more tendency, manifest, not only in Another former characteristic of the the “Church Congress,” but in other reEpiscopal Church was its aversion to any cent Episcopalian meetings and documents, dealing on the part of the pulpit with ques- deserves mention to the honor of that tions of political duty and morality. Dur- sect. We mean its growth in courtesy toing the long conflict of the American Church wards fellow-Christians. It is a matter to with the drinking usages of society, and its which too much importance ought not be still fiercer conflict with slavery, hardly a attached. Quite a needless amount of anfinger's weight of help came from the Epis- noyance used to be felt by Christian folk copalian clergy. It was their chosen duty generally, at the incivility and bad taste of rather to sit by and rebuke their brethren their Episcopalian brethren; and no suffiof other communions for indecorum and cient allowance was made for the circumexcitement over these political questions, stances and temptations by which this sort while offering a secure and quiet harbor of of talk was stimulated. It ought to be rerepose to those whose consciences had been membered, in excuse for it, that this habit of too rudely rasped by "political preaching." language grew up at a period when the deIt shows a great and noble advance of the nomination was just emerging from exwhole denomination, on this line, to read of treme moral and numerical weakness, and the debates—or rather the essays, for debate was apprehensive about its position. At was not encouraged-in the “Church Con- such a time, a certain amount of bumptious gress," on Spiritual Forces in Civilization, self-assertion and innocent swagger about its and the Influence of the Pulpit on Modern grand relations in foreign parts, ought not Thought and Life, with eulogies on the to be reckoned to it as an unpardonable sin. agency of the Church in the abolition of Nothing is so good for this sort of thing as a slavery, and rebukes of the government's generous allowance of substantial prosperity dealing with the Indians, and digs-yes, and genuine self-respect. And just in procourageous and unmistakable digs--at some portion as the Episcopal church has risen to of the most respectable people in New York its present assured place among the very for voting for the Honorable Mr. Morrissey. foremost of the minor sects of America, and
grown in the sense of power and responsi- such instrumentalities may require in other bility, it has put away these childish things, circumstances, they are absolutely safe from and learned to speak more with the dignity abuse in a system so jealous for freedom as of a grown man and the courtesy of a gen- this. tleman. It would be an unworthy piece of But that the Congregationalists are not ill-nature to remember against it the petty departing from their grandest traditions follies of its hobbledeboy-days.
was made nobly manifest in the warınest To turn now to the “ National Congrega- debate of the Council,
,-on a resolution comtional Council,” one of the first things that mending the secular State Universities, as strikes the reader of the reports is that well as the religious Colleges of the denomiwhile the explicitly anti-revivalist Episco- nation itself, to the confidence of the churchpal church is admitting into its system all The personnel of the debate showed to the agencies of revivals, the Congregation- what extent this sect is fulfilling its ancient alists, whose system of forty years ago was mission as the great educating sect of the stigmatized by zealous young Mr. Coxe, not nation, by the fact that together with the without a measure of justice, as “ revival- heads of so many high-class denominaism,” are now turning, we will not say upon tional colleges, there were present also so the opposite tack, but upon a thoughtful many of the heads of State Colleges. And middle course. The “epoch-making” book that it holds this conceded position from the of Dr. Bushnell on “ Christian Nurture and general confidence not only in its power and Subjects Adjacent Thereto," was the begin- culture, but also in its unselfish magnaning of this change; and the remarkable nimity, was clear from the high tone of the and large-minded sermon of Dr. Zachary discussion. It is doubtful whether there is Eddy on “ The Rain and the Dew,” heard another such body in the world that would with patience and acceptance by the De- deliberately have entertained an argument troit Council, marks the accomplishment for laying aside its chief corporate glory of it.
and defense out of regard for its “responsiThe natural result of this change of view bility, as a denomination for the state of the is an increased attention to the conduct of people as a whole.". the parish on the part of the whole denomi- It is from the position of one owing alnation. Twenty years ago, the time of a legiance to the whole church in America, National Council would have been largely
We beg to suggest a line of policy by which the inoccupied with questions of general public terests sought in the denominational colleges night bo concern, matters of political morality, dis- completely reconciled with the high duty towards the
State and people involved in the encouragement and cussions of the forms of doctrine, and meth- improvement of the State Universities. ods of preaching for the widest and most policy of maintaining, near these Universities, Coleffective diffusion of the Gospel. Now, a
lege Halls under distinct and specific religious con
trol. If in the State of Michigan (for example) very large part of the discussions is devoted Olivet College should leave behind it in the country to the methods of parish organization and its preparatory department, and move down to Ann culture. And the very existence of the Arbor, with a corps of only three or four teachers, National Council as a periodical meeting with a small library for home use, and special facili
** there to maintain a dormitory and a Commons Hall, illustrates the growing corporate feeling of ties for pursuing the studies of the University, it the denomination, and a disposition to bring would add to itself all the splendid advantages of the to bear the common influence of the whole University without abating one jot of its high re
ligious influence, but rather widening it without for the support of the individual churches. making it less deep and strong ; and it would greatly But it is amusing to see how tremulously enrich the University in the elements of spiritual and
How admirably & College, under the denomination treads in unwonted direc- intellectual life.
strict personal and religious direction, might adjust tions, as if there were danger for it from a
itself to most advantageous relations with the Unicentralized authority, from ministers doing versity, may be studied in the relation of College to a general or supervisory work, or from University at Oxford or Cambridge. Such a College thorough parish organization and well order- planted alongside of the Sheffield Scientific School at
New Haven, would repay a comparatively trifling exed methods of worship. Whatever caution penditure with immense beneficial results.
It is the