Sayfadaki görseller
PDF
ePub

236; JOHN HENRY LIVINGSTON, Dutch Reformed Article, page 205; WILLIAM OTTERBEIN, United Brethren Article, page 560; JOHN M. MASON, Associate Reformed Article, page 24; FINIS EWING, Cumberland Presbyterian Article, page 499; JACOB ALBRIGHT, Evangelical Article, page 275; DAVID MARKS, Freewill Baptist Article, page 74; DAVID MILLARD, Christian Article, page 164; ELIAS HICKS, Hicksite Quaker Article, page 290: ALEXANDER CAMPBELL, Disciples Article, page 223; WILLIAM MILLER, Advent Article, page 37; RICHARD ALLEN, African Methodist Article, page 396; CHRISTOPHER BUSH, African Methodist Article, page 399; POPE PIUS IX., Roman Catholic Article, page 131; and JoHN WINEBRENNER, Article on the Church of God, page 170.

Again, this second edition is much superior to the first,—

III. Because the articles are somewhat better arranged, and a very useful and convenient ANALYTICAL INDEX, and Synoptical View of each article, prefixed to the work.

By means of this Index and Synopsis, any leading and distinguishing point in the History, Faith or Practice of any and all the denominations, may be easily traced and ascertained. This, of course, will be, for many persons and purposes, of great utility and advantage.

The reader will likewise find a very interesting INTRODUCTION, in which short accounts are given, of various associations and sects, some of which have become extinct, others scattered in different places throughout the country, without any regular organization, and others limited to certain particular places. The publisher, therefore, claims for this work, the merit of a full and complete "History of all the Religious Denominations, which have been, and which now are in the United States of North America."

Besides all this, he may add, it is now offered to the public at greatly reduced prices-such prices as will put it in the reach of all classes of readers.

The regular retail price of the common edition, in plain leather or cloth binding, is $1.75 per copy; little over half the price of the first edition.

The retail price of the portrait edition, in extra gilt (leather or cloth) binding, is $2.50, and the embossed super-extra gilt, $3.00 per copy.

These are the uniform, regular and established retail prices, at which agents and booksellers throughout the United States are required to sell. Those who deviate from these prices, either way, the present editor and publisher is not disposed to deal with at all. Hence, let all persons who engage in the sale of this work, take notice that they are rigidly restricted to these fixed and uniform prices.

In fine, we hesitate not to assert, that this work will be found to give more general, accurate and satisfactory information, touching the Rise and Progress, Faith and Practice, Localities and Statistics, of the several denominations in the United States, than any other work now extant. This fact has been freely acknowledged by the American Press, and other eminent men, as may be seen from the Recommendations and opinions of the Press on the few last pages of this work. Vide pages 599,

and 600.

J. WINEBRENNER

HARRISBURG, JAN. 20th, 1848.

!

INTRODUCTION.

THE Editor of this work deems it appropriate, by way of introduction, to notice some sects that formerly existed in the United States, and, also, to give a passing notice of others still in existence, whose history is not embraced in the history of the denominations given in the body of the work. These notices are designedly brief.

In 1691, GEORGE KEITH, an eminent preacher of the Society of Friends, or Quakers, for many years, who had written and published treatises in defence of their religious principles. seceded from them, and a number of Quakers joined him. However, in a few years afterwards, the major part of those who had separated themselves, returned again to the Society." This seceding party were styled KEITHIANS. They practised baptism and the Lord's Supper. They were also called Quaker Baptists, because they immersed and retained the language, dress and manner of the Quakers.

|

ning with finding fault, proposing and urging new regulations in the society, in respect to the discipline of it, and complaining, "There was too great a slackness therein." Upon his friends not readily joining with him and his proposals, in the manner he expected, he became still more captious, and more disposed to seek matters of reproach and offence against divers in the Society, and to make the worst of them; charging some of his friends, who were generally esteemed and approved ministers, with preaching false doctrines; and, it is said, even in points contrary to what he himself had formerly held and declared in his writings, in defiance of the Quakers, and their cardinal principles. He denied, in particular, the sufficiency to salvation of the Holy Spirit, without the aid of the gospel; and with a fanaticism which struck at the root of the Proprietary power of William Penn, he declared it unlawful for Quakers to engage in the administration of government, and more especially of the penal law. To his brethren he was captious and supercilious; treating their remonstrances with contumely, and assailing their persons and church with indecorous epithets.

Keith was, says Proud, a man of quick, natural parts, and considerable literary abilities; acute in argument, and very ready and able in logical disputations, and nice distinctions on theological subjects; but said to be of a brittle temper and overbearing disposition of mind; not sufficiently tempered and qualified with that Christian moderation and charity, which give command over the human passions, the distinguishing characteristic of true Christianity; of which he himself not only made high professions, but also in his younger years, as appears by his writings, had a good understanding. This great confidence in his own superior abilities, seems to have been one, if not the chief, introductory cause of the unhappy dispute with the Friends. When men set too high a value on themselves, and others will not own up to their price, then they are discontented. He is said to have had too much life in argument and disputation on religious points of controversy, and sometimes to have exhibited an unbecoming vanity on victory, thereby obtained over his opponents, even prior to the schism between him and his friends. For, having, some time before, been on a visit to New England, he is represented as having indulged his natural propensity in this way, among the preachers and inhabitants there, in a very extravagant manner; which disposition of mind, from that time forward, appeared to have so far got the ascendency over him, that, on his return, he began to exhibit the same, even among his friends, begin

His conduct induced the society to expel him, although he and his adherents claimed to be the true church, and the others were the apostates. Having been expelled and disowned by the Quakers, Heith became a violent enemy, took orders in England, whither he went, in the established church, and returned to America as missionary. He officiated in his new functions for about twelve months; and, having given the Quakers all the trouble in his power, he returned again to England, by way of Virginia. In England he wrote against the Quakers. But, it is said, that on his death-bed he said, "I wish I had died when 1 was a Quaker; for then I am sure it would have been well with my soul.

|

* Proud's Pa. 1. p. 363-377.

The NEW BORN, was a sect that originated in Oley township, Philadelphia, (now Berks county, Pa.,) in the early part of the last century. This sect had one Mathias Bowman for some years as leader. He was a native of Lamsheim, Palatinate Germany; having heard of the shepherdless few of his faith in this country, he embarked for America in 1719. The peculiar tenets of Bowman and his friends, can only be gathered from detached fragments gleaned some years ago, from letters and other manuscripts still extant, the Hallische Nachrichten, Colonial Records of Pennsylvania, and Chromica Ephratensis. Bowman, it appears, was honest and sin

cere: not solicitous to accumulate wealth; but | All the teachers in the world, not freed from that could not be said of all his followers, sin, and not in an impeccable state, are false among whom were PETER KUEHLWEIT, YOT- teachers, be they devout or not. In the kingLER, and others-these loved the things of the dom of Christ, none but Christ prevails. He world inordinately. They professed sinless that has not him is none of his; and where perfection-boasted that they were sent of God he is, there man is set free from sin." to confound others. They, in their zeal to proselyte, even annoyed the retired Sieben Tueger, at Ephrata, by intruding themselves upon their notice, in their hermitage. Their disputations were also frequently heard in the market places of Philadelphia, among the quiet Friends. A cotemporary, the venerable JOHN PETER MILLER, says, that Bowman proposed to the sceptic Philadelphians to prove to them that his doctrines were divine, by walking across the Delaware river on the water. Bowman died in 1727; but traces of the existence of NEW BORN are found twenty or more years after his death. In the Hallische Nachrichten, p. 226, June 10, 1747, the Rev. Dr. Muhlenberg says: "I started from New Hanover, and eight miles from here, called to see an old person of the so-called NEW BORN, who had married a widow some twenty years ago; with her he had five children. The old man says he was NEW BORN in the Palatinate. The evidences, however, of his having been NEW BORN are simply these: according to his own often repeated declaration, he had seceded from the Reformed Church-denounced the sacraments-had refused to take the oath of fealty to the then reigning election, that he and others were imprisoned-and, according to his opinion, had thus suffered on account of Christ

and the truth.

"He will not listen to reasonable counselhe rejects all revealed truth-he will not suffer to be taught he is obstinately selfish-a man of turbulent passions. After he had arrived in this country, he united with the so-called NEW BORN. They feign having received the NEW BIRTH through mediate inspiration, apparitions, dreams, and the like. One thus regenerated, fancies himself to be like God and Christ himself, and can henceforth sin no more! Hence the NEW BORN use not the word of God as a means of salvation. They scoff at the holy sacraments."

+6

In a letter dated Oley Township, May 14, 1718, written by Maria De Turk, to her relatives in Germany, she says: Menschen ruehmen sich Christen, und wissen nicht wasz die Neugeburt ist. Die Neugeburt ist der neue Stein das Niemand weisz was er ist, als der ihn bekommt;" i. e. Men boast of being Christians, and do not know what the New birth is. The New birth is that New Stone that none kneweth but he that receiveth it. In the con clusion of her letter, she says: "Teachers and hearers-none of them are Christians; for they are sinners; but Christ came to destroy sin. He that is not absolved from sin; for him Christ has not appeared in this world.

The WILKINSONIANS were followers of a certain Jemima Wilkinson, extensively known, by reputation, as a religious fanatic, in the western part of New York. Her house, in Yates county, New York, is still occupied by a few persons, the sole remnant of her followers. Jemima was born in Rhode Island in 1753, and educated a Quaker. In October, 1776, on recovering from a fit of sickness, during which she had fallen into a syncope, so that she was apparently dead. She announced that she had been raised from the dead, and had received a divine commission as a religious teacher. Having made some proselytes, she removed them to Yates County, New York, and settled between Seneca Lake and Crooked Lake, about eighteen miles from Geneva, at Bluff Point, and called her village New Jerusalem, where she lived for many years, in very elegant style. It is said she inculcated poverty, but was careful to be the owner of lands, purchased in the name of her companion, Rachel Miller. She professed to be able to work miracles, and offered to demonstrate it by walking on the water in imitation of Christ: accordingly a frame was constructed for the purpose on the banks of the Seneca Lake, at Rapelyea's ferry, ten miles south of Dresden. At the appointed time. having approached within a few hundred yards of the lake shore, she alighted from her carriage, the road being strewed by her fol lowers, with white handkerchiefs. She walked to the platform, and having announced her intention of walking across the lake on water, she addressed the multitude, inquiring whether or not they had faith that she could pass over, or if otherwise, she could not; and on receiving an affirmative answer, returned to her carriage, declaring as they believed in her power, it was unnecessary to display it.

When she preached, she stood in the door of her bed-chamber, wearing a waistcoat, a stock, and a white silk cravat. Her religious tenets were a singular medley. She declared she had an immediate revelation for all she delivered, and had attained to a state of absoInte perfection. She pretended to foretell future events, to discern the secrets of the heart, and to have the power of healing diseases. She asserted that those who refused to believe these exalted things of her, rejected the counsel of God against themselves. She actually professed to be Christ in his second appearing.* She assumed the title of the

*Colonial Records, III. 349.

Thayendanegea, or Joseph Brant, once met with her, and very adroitly discomfitted her, as she professed to be Christ in his second appearing. Brant tested her by speaking in different Indian languages, none of which she understood. He then disclosed her imposture,

universal friend of mankind; hence her followers distinguish themselves by the name of FRIENDS. She died in 1819, at the age of fifty-six years.

SEPARATISTS; several communities of these have settled in various parts of the United States. This sect, if such it may be called, originated in Germany, in the early part of the last century. It is maintained that the Brownists of England gave cause to the rise of the Separatists of Germany. The principal communities of the Separatists in this country, are the following:-The Harmony Society, The Zoarites, and German Ebenezer Society.

The founder of the Harmony Society, was GEORGE RAPP born Oct. 28, 1757, in the town of Iptinger Oberant Maulbronn, in the kingdom of Wurtemberg, Europe. Rapp was a Lutheran. At the age of twenty-five he withdrew from that church, and commenced speaking his religious sentiments to a few friends in his private dwelling, but never ceased contributing to the church and state that which the law required. He soon had a number of adherents, and as they increased, persecutions waxed strong against them." To avoid being persecuted, they concluded to seek an asylum in the United States. Rapp, in company with three friends, came to America, in 1803, and purchased lands in Butler Co., Pa. In 1804, and 1805, about one hundred and twenty-five families followed. In the latter year, an association was organized conformably to that of the first church at Jerusalem, mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles, chap. iv. 34, 35. In 1815, they sold their property in Butler county, and located in Posey county, Indiana. Here they remained only two years, when they removed to Beaver Co. Pa., where they built up a third town, their present locality, called Economy, a name characteristic of the people themselves. Agriculture, manufactures, and commerce, give employment to all-branches of industry in which they excel. First of all, the wants of the members are supplied, then the surplus of their products are sold.

66

"A written contract, or articles of association, contain the basis of membership, which every one signs upon admission, after first undergoing a probation of one year, during which period the applicant has ample time and opportunity to examine and decide, whether the conditions are such as he thinks he can comply with, and whether the internal and external advantages he appears to enjoy, are such as to outweigh the advantages of his prior position. The neophyte, in surrendering his property to this community, does not even reserve his own person. He becomes the property of the whole, as well as any thing

simply by declaring that Jesus Christ must, of course, understand all languages, one as well as the other.Stone's Life of Sagoye watha, p. 121.

Ehrenfried's Handicorterbuch, Article Separatisten.

else; hence all singleness ceases to exist. It is dissclved into one great body, of which one lives for all, and all for one." They number about four thousand souls.

Their venerable founder and spiritual guide, GEORGE RAPP, died, August 7th, 1847. Immediately after his death, the Society appointed a board of elders of nine members, seven of which attend to the interior concerns, and R. L. Baker, and Jacob Henrici, to the exterior. Jacob Henrici, aided by others, attends to the Spiritual department. A vote of six of the nine elders is binding. They can remove any one of the nine, and fill all vacancies.

The ZOARITES, risiding in Tuscarawas, are also a secession from the Lutheran Church. They came to this country from Germany, about thirty years ago. This society is under the government of a patriarch, and chooses its own officers. They number at present about four hundred. They were at first poor, purchased their lands on credit, which they have long since paid for, and added a thousand acres more to their first possessions. They are tenants in common; each seeks to advance his own interest by promoting that of the whole community.

THE GERMAN EBENEZER SOCIETY, located six or seven miles east of Buffalo, N. Y., came to America about five years ago. They are Prussian Lutheran dissenters. They number about eight hundred souls. Their spiritual wants are in charge of pastor Graban, who, it is said, rules them with an iron rod. Their property is held in common. Religion, says one who lately visited them, seems to be the governing and inspiring element in this community; each day's labor is preceded by a season of devotional exercises in their several families, and after the close of labor at night, they assemble by neighborhoods. and spend an hour in prayer and praise. The afternoon of Wednesday and Saturday, is devoted to religious improvement. The Sabbath is strictly observed by an omission of all secular business, and by various religious exercises, both in their families and public assemblies. Thus far all has been characterized by perfect peace and harmony.

There are several other small bodies or communities of Dissenters or Separatists, of which a mere passing notice can be given in this connexion. These are the Lutherans of Saxony, Norway, Sweden, &c., under the guidance of the Rev. Stephan, who settled in Missouri, and some in Wisconsin, attached to the famous Krause.

RATIONALISTS.-Of these, congregations are to be found in Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York, and Buffalo. They publish a periodical, devoted to the promulgation of their peculiar sentiments. Die Fackel, i.e., The Torch, edited by a certain Ludwig, is published in New York, and has, it is said, an extensive circulation, principally, however, among immigrant Germans.

COMEOUTERS.-There are to be found a considerable number of persons in the northern, and principally in the eastern States, who have recently seceded from various religious denominations, to whom the name COMEOUTERS is applied. This is, however, no distinctive name assumed by themselves, as they do not intend to organize a sect. They maintain, as their creed, that every one should hold such opinions on religious subjects, as he pleases, without being amenable to his fellow.

They hold, consequently, a diversity of opinion on some points. In the main, they agree, by common consent, that Jesus Christ was a divinely inspired teacher, and his religion, a revelation of eternal truth. They regard Jesus as the only authorized expositor of his own religion, and believe that to apply in practice its principles as promulgated by him, and exemplified in his life, is all that is essential to constitute a Christian, according to the testimony of Jesus, Matt. vii. 24-Whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man which built his house upon a rock, &c." Hence they believe, that to make it essential to Christianity to assent to all the opinions expressed by certain men, good men though they were, who wrote either before or after his time, involves a denial of Christ. They believe that according to his teachings, true religion consists in purity of heart, holiness of life, and not opinions; that Christianity, as it existed in the mind of Christ, is a life rather than belief.

They also agree in opinion, that he only is a Christian, who has the spirit of Christ; that all such as these are members of his church, and that it is composed of none others; therefore, that membership in the Christian church is not, and cannot, in the nature of things, be determined by human authority. Hence they deem all attempts to render the church identical with any outward organization, as utterly futile, not warranted by Christ himself, and incompatible with its spiritual character. Having no organized society, they have no stations of authority or superiority, which they believe to be inconsistent with the Christian idea, Matt. xxiii. 18," But be not called Rabbi: for one is your master, even Christ, and all ye are brethren." Matt. xx, 25, 26, "Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you.”

They discard outward ordinances as having no place in spiritual religion, the design of which is to purify the heart. and the extent of whose influence is to be estimated by its legitimate effects in producing a life of practical righteousness, and not by any mere arbitrary sign, which cannot be regarded as a certain indication of the degree of spiritual life, and must consequently be inefficient and unneces sary. Their views of worship correspond, as they believe, with the spiritual nature of the

religion they profess. They believe that true Christian worship is independent of time and place; that it has no connection with forms, ceremonies, and external arrangements, any further than these are exponents of a divine life; that it is spontaneous; in short, they regard the terms Christian worship and Christian obedience, as synonymous, believing that he gives the highest and only conclusive evidence of worshipping the Creator, who exhibits in his life the most perfect obedience to his will. These views, they consider in perfect harmony with the teachings of Jesus, particularly in his memorable conversation with the woman of Samaria. They also agree that the religion of Christ asserts the equality of all men before God; that it confers upon no man, or class of men, a monopoly of heaven's favors; neither does it give to a portion of his children any means of knowing his will not common to the race.

They believe the laws of the son are so plain that they may be easily comprehended by all who sincerely seek to know them, without the intervention of any human teacher or expounder. Hence they regard no teaching as authoritative but that of the Spirit of God. They believe that every one whose soul is imbued with a knowledge of the truth, is qualified to be its minister, and it becomes his duty and his pleasure, by his every word and action, to preach it to the world. It follows, then, that as Christ prepares and appoints his own ministers, and as they receive their commission only from him, they are accountable to him alone for their exercise, and not to any human authority whatsoever. They therefore reject all human ordinations, appointments, or control, or any designation by man of an order of men to preach the gospel, as invasions on his rightful prerogative.

Against slavery and war, they come out fearlessly. They assert as one of the principal reasons for leaving the churches with which they had been connected, that those bodies gave their sanction to these anti-Christian practices. Many of them believe it sinful to sanction punishments or penalties for crime.

They hold meetings in various places, on the Lord's day, which they conduct in accordance with their views of Christian freedom and equality. They meet professedly to promote each other's spiritual welfare. To this end, a free interchange of sentiments on religious subjects is encouraged, without any restraint or formality. They have no prescribed exercises, but every one is left at liberty to utter his thoughts as he may feel inclinedeven those who differ from them in opinion, are not only at liberty, but are invited, to give expression to their thoughts. This they believe to be the only true mode of holding religious meetings, consistent with the genius of their religion. They refer to the primitive Christians' meetings to support them in their practices.

« ÖncekiDevam »