Chapter 1 b

Presbyterian Nature of Puritan Settlers in America

Reference is made to these familiar historical events to correct the impression that the Puritans were generally Congregationalists. Everybody knows, indeed, that such was not the fact, yet from our peculiar associations with the term, it is commonly taken for granted, that all who, as Puritans, emigrated to this country to avoid the persecutions which they suffered at home, were Congregationalists. The truth, however, is that, as the great majority of Puritans in England were Presbyterian, so no inconsiderable proportion of those who came to America, preferred the Presbyterian form of church government.1 The question will naturally be asked, If this be so, how came Congregationalism to be generally established in New England? The answer is that the first settlers were Congregationalists. They belonged to that division of the Puritans, which, de parting farthest from the established church, first felt the necessity of setting up for themselves. In coming to this country, they came with the determination to carry out their principles, and thus the mold into which the additional settlers were cast, as they successively arrived, was fixed at the beginning. Again, the masterminds among the early Puritans in this country, by whom their civil and ecclesiastical polity was determined, were principally Congregation alists. And, thirdly, as the Puritan Presbyterians were willing, for the sake of the great ends of peace and union, to unite with the Episcopalians in a modified form of Episcopacy, so for the same important objects, they were willing to unite with the Independents in New England, in a modified form of Congregationalism. Such was the intimate union between Church and State, established in the New England provinces, that it was hardly possible that different ecclesiastical organizations could exist without producing con fusion and difficulty. This union between Presbyterians anti Con gregationalists was, doubtless, the more readily effected, inasmuch as with the exception of the first colony from Holland, the emigrants had not enjoyed any separate ecclesiastical organization at home. They were almost all members of the established church. The ministers were, with rare exceptions, benefited clergymen of the Church of England, who had been suspended for want of conform ity, generally, in relation to matters of ceremony. Whatever, therefore, might have been their individual preferences, they had not become wedded by habit to any particular system.

It might be confidently inferred from the opinions of the English Puritans, as stated above, and from the circumstances which led to their emigration, during the reigns of James I and Charles I, that many of them would bring with them a preference for Pres byterianism. It is estimated that about 21,200 emigrants arrived in New England before 1640. Cotton Mather tells us that previous to that same year 4,000 Pres byterians had arrived. In another place, when speaking of the union effected between the Congregationalists and Presbyterians in London, about the year 1690, he says the same union and on the same terms had subsisted between these two denominations in New England, for “many decades of years,” that is, almost from the very first settlement of the country. This mixed character of the people seems also to be recognized in the address of Increase Mather to King William. He begged him to consider that, “in New England they differ from other plantations; they are called Congregational and Presbyterian, so that such a governor will not suit with the people of New England, as may be very proper for other English plantations.” Of the 2,000 Presbyterian minis ters cast out of the Church of England, by the act of uniformity in 1662, a considerable number, it is said, found a refuge in New England. The colony of Connecticut, in writing at an early period to the lords of trade and plantations, tells them, “The people here are Congregationalists, large Congregationalists, and moderate Presbyterians, the two former being the most numerous.” This form of expression evidently implies that the latter class bore a large proportion to the former. The principal friends and patrons of this colony in England were Presbyterians; particularly Lord Say, an original patentee of the colony, to whom they often express their obligations, and to whose influence, and to that of the Earl of Manchester, another leader of the Presbyterian party, they were in a great measure indebted for the restoration of their charter. Trumbull, speaking of the Assembly which drew up the Saybrook Platform, says, “Though the council were unanimous in passing the platform of discipline, yet they were not all of one opinion. Some were for high consociational government, and in their sentiments nearly Presbyterians; others were much more moderate and rather verging on Independency.” The result of their labors proves that the former class had greatly the ascendency.

The influence of Presbyterian principles in New England is, how ever, much more satisfactorily proved by the nature of the ecclesias tical systems which were there adopted, than by any statements of iso lated facts. These systems were evidently the result of compromise between two parties, and they show that the Presbyterian was much stronger than the Independent element. The two leading points of difference between Presbyterianism and Congregationalism, particularly as the latter exists at present, relate to the mode of government within the congregation, whether it should be by elders or the brotherhood, and to the authority of Synods. As to both these points the early discipline of the New England churches approached much nearer to Presbyterianism than it does at present. Elders, indeed, were a regular part of the organization of the churches of the In dependents, even when totally disconnected with Presbyterians. A tendency, however, soon manifested itself on the part of the brethren to dispense with their services, and take the keys into their own hands. Mr. Wilson, one of the first ministers of Boston, lamented, on his deathbed, as among the sins of the people, opposition to elders, and “the making light of, and not subjecting to the author ity of Synods, without which the churches cannot long subsist.” The venerable Eliot entertained the same opinions. “There were specially two things, which he was loath to see, and yet feared he saw, falling in the churches of New England; one was a thorough establishment of ruling elders in our churches,” and the other “a frequent repetition of needful Synods.” In the Cambridge Plat form, which was drawn up in 1648, it is said, “The ruling elder’s office is distinct from the office of pastor and teacher.” He is “to join with the pastor and teacher in those acts of spiritual rule, which are distinct from the ministry of the word and sacraments committed to them,” &c. In a subsequent Synod, it was agreed (1) “The power of church government belongs only to the elders of the Church”; (2) “There are certain cases, wherein the elders in their management of their church government, are to take the concur rence of the fraternity,” namely, in elections, and admissions, and censures; (3) “The elders of the church are to have a negative on the votes of the brethren,” &c.

As to Synods, the Cambridge Platform denies to them in Sec. IV, Ch. 16, the right to perform any act of “church authority or juris diction;” but adds in Sec. V, “The Synod’s directions and determi nations, so far as consonant to the word of God, are to be received with reverence and submission, not only for their agreement there with (which is the principal ground thereof, and without which they bind not at all), but also secondarily, for the power whereby they are made, as being an ordinance of God appointed thereunto in his word.” This is very near the Presbyterian doctrine, which teaches that the decisions of Synods are binding on those voluntarily connected with them, when made in reference to things within their jurisdiction, and not contrary to the word of God, or any constitutional stipulations. The subsequent Assembly which met at Cam bridge, carried the power of Synods fully up to the Presbyterian doctrine, if not beyond it. The second proposition on this subject, determined in that body, is in these words: “Synods duly composed of messengers chosen by them, whom they are to represent, and proceeding with a due regard to the will of God in his word, are to be reverenced as determining the mind of the Spirit concerning things necessary to be received and practiced, in order to the edifi cation of the churches therein represented.” The third proposition is, “Synods being of apostolic example, recommended as a neces sary ordinance, it is but reasonable that their judgment be acknow ledged as decisive, [in or of] the affairs for which they are ordained; and to deny them the power of such judgment is to render a necessary ordinance of none effect.” Here it is evident that the Presbyterial element in those churches predominated.

May it not without offense be asked, whether it would not have been better, in conformity with this doctrine, to allow the church to govern itself, instead of referring so much power to the civil magistrate, as was done by the great and pious men who founded Massachusetts? Their memory deserves to be held in perpetual veneration, and their errors should be treated as the errors of a parent. Filial piety, however, permits us to learn wisdom from the mistakes of our fathers. Those excellent men ought not to be quoted, as is so often done in our days, as the advocates of the independence of each sepa rate congregation. They had suffered so much from the tyranny of ecclesiastical rulers at home, that they went to the extreme of denying to church courts, armed with nothing but moral and spiritual censures, their legitimate authority. But feeling the necessity for some authority superior to that of a single congregation over itself, they devolved it upon the magistrate. The Cambridge Platform, which denies the binding force of the decisions of a Synod, declares that not only idolatry and blasphemy, but heresy and open contempt of the word preached, “are to be restrained and punished by the civil authority.” And further, “If any church, one or more, shall grow schismatical, rending itself from the communion of other churches, or shall walk incorrigibly and obstinately in any corrupt way of their own, contrary to the rule of the word; in such case the magistrate is to put forth his coercive power, as the matter shall re quire.” The very same rules, enforced by mere ecclesiastical cen sures, which the Presbyterian Synod were so much reproached for making, and which led to the schism of 1741, were made in Connecticut by the legislature and enforced by civil penalties. The controversy, therefore, between the fathers of the New England churches, and those of the American Presbyterians, would be not as to the necessity of a general authority in the Church, but as to where it should be lodged.

The churches of Connecticut appear to have had, from the beginning, more of a Presbyterian influence among them than those of Massachusetts. Hooker, the patriarch of Connecticut, said with great earnestness shortly before his death, “We must settle the consociation of churches, or else we are undone.” He also, it appears, laid peculiar stress on the importance of ruling elders. The Saybrook Platform, accordingly, comes much nearer to the Presbyterian model than that of Cambridge. The former declares, (1) “That the elder or elders of a particular church, with the consent of the brethren of the same, have power, and ought to exercise church discipline according to the rule of God’s word, in relation to all scandals that fall out within the same,” &c.; (2) “That the churches which are neighboring to each other, shall consociate for mutual affording to each other such assistance as may be requisite, on all occasions ecclesiastical,” &c.; (3) “That all cases of scandal, that shall fall out within any one of the aforesaid consociations, shall be brought to a council of elders, and also messengers of the churches within the said circuit, i.e., the churches of one consocia tion, if they see cause to send messengers when there shall be need of a council for the determination of them.” Art. 5 declares, “That when any case is orderly brought before any council of the churches, it shall be heard and determined, which (unless orderly removed from thence) shall be a final issue; and all parties therein concerned shall sit down and be determined thereby.” “If any pastor or church doth obstinately refuse a due attendance and conformity to the determination of the council,” after due patience, “they are to be reported guilty of a scandalous contempt, and dealt with as the rule of God’s word in such case doth provide, and the sentence of non‑communion shall be declared against such pastor and church.” In giving, therefore, the exercise of discipline to the pastors and elders, and in making the determinations of councils definitive and binding, on pain of non‑communion, the Saybrook Platform, unanimously approved by the Assembly which prepared it in 1708, and adopted by the legislature as the discipline of the churches established by law, comes very little short of Presbyterian ism. It is very evident, as this Platform was a compromise be tween two parties, being less than the one, and more than the other wished to see adopted, that one party must have been thorough Pres byterians. That they were, moreover, the stronger of the two, is evident from the Platform approaching so much nearer to their system, than to that of the Independents.

It is, therefore, a most unfounded assumption that the Puritans were all Congregationalists, or that the emigrants from England or the New England colonies, who joined our church, as a matter of course, were disaffected to our form of government.

Though New England was the home of the Puritans, they did not confine themselves to that region of country. With the adven turous spirit which has always been one of their leading characteristics, they extended, at an early period, their settlements in various directions. Long Island, from its proximity to Connecticut, was soon occupied by emigrants from the older colonies, and by settlers direct from England. The Dutch having occupied the western end of the island, these English settlements were principally towards the central and eastern portions. Before the commence ment of the last century, several churches had been organized, whose ministers, in many instances, were from England.

Smith, in his History of New York, written in 1756, gives the following account of the inhabitants of Long Island, at that period. In King’s county, opposite New York, “the inhabitants are all Dutch.” In Queen’s county “the inhabitants are divided into Dutch and English, Presbyterians, Episcopalians, and Quakers.” Suffolk county, “except one small Episcopal congregation, consists entirely of English Presbyterians.”

The Puritans do not appear to have made much impression upon New York before the early part of the last century, but in East Jersey their settlements were numerous and important. In 1664, a company from the western part of Long Island purchased a tract of land and laid out the town of Elizabethtown. There were, however, but four houses in the place, when Philip Carteret, in 1665, arrived as governor of the province, from England, bringing with him about thirty settlers. The first colony, therefore, must have been small. Much about the same time, Woodbridge, Middletown, and Shrewsbury were settled, in a good degree by emigrants from Long Island and Connecticut. Newark was settled in 1667 or 1668, by about thirty families principally from Brand ford in Connecticut. As the New England Puritans were some of them Congregationalists and some Presbyterians, it is not easy to ascertain to which class the emigrants to East Jersey belonged. It is probable that some preferred the one form of church disci pline, and some the other. Those who settled at Newark were Presbyterians. The Rev. Abraham Pierson was, it is believed, episcopally ordained in England, whence he emigrated to this coun try with a number of followers. After several previous attempts at settlement, they fixed themselves at Brandford, in Connecticut. Being dissatisfied, however, with the union between the colonies of New Haven and Connecticut, they removed to Newark. After continuing the pastor of the church there for about twenty years, Mr. Pierson was succeeded by his son, who was subsequently ap pointed the first president of Yale College. “These two minis ters, tradition relates, were moderate Presbyterians, but the son more especially. He had imbibed moderate Presbyterianism from his father, and when at Cambridge College, he had received strong prejudices against Plymothean independency; and after his father’s death he was for introducing more rigid Presbyterianism into New ark.” It appears, from the narrative just quoted, that this attempt of the younger Pierson was sustained by some Scotch members of the congregation, and opposed by others recently from Connecticut, who were in favor of the Saybrook Platform. It is probable that this difficulty led to Mr. Pierson’s removal. In 1715, the church of Newark appears in connection with the Pres bytery of Philadelphia.

The Puritans were not very successful in their attempts to form settlements upon the Delaware. In 1640, the colony of New Haven made a large purchase on both sides of that river and sent out about fifty families to make a settlement. As this country, however, was covered by a previous claim of the Dutch, the trading establishments of the New Haven colony were broken up by the Hollanders, and the people scattered. In 1669, application was made by New Haven to the commissioners of the united colonies to make plantations on the Delaware, but the proposal was declined; and it was left to the New Haven merchants to dispose of the land which they had purchased, or to plant it as they should see cause. Some permanent settlements, however, at a subsequent period, were made upon the Jersey side of the Delaware. Fairfield, for example, was settled about 1690, by a number of persons from the town of the same name in Connecticut. This fact is ascertained from the law creating the township of Fairfield, passed in 1697. Cape May was also a Puritan settlement, of which their records contain indubitable evidence.

In the southern colonies, there are here and there traces of Puritan settlements, but not sufficient either in number or extent, to exert much influence on the character of the rising population. Maryland was at first a Catholic colony, but being settled upon the principles of general toleration, the number of Protestants soon greatly exceeded that of the Romanists. Lord Baltimore “invited the Puritans of Massachusetts to emigrate to Maryland, offering them land, and privileges, and ‘free liberty to religion’; but Gibbons, to whom he had forwarded a commission, was ‘so wholly in the New England discipline,’ that he would not advance the wishes of the Irish peer; and the people, who subsequently refused Jamaica and Ireland, were not now tempted to desert the Bay of Massachusetts for the Chesapeake.” The Protestant population which so soon gained the ascendency in Maryland, were no doubt of various religious sentiments. It would seem, however, that the Episcopalians predominated, either in number or influence, since, when the bishop of London sent over his commissary in 1692, the provincial assembly divided the colony into thirty parishes, sixteen of which were supplied with ministers and pro vided with livings.

Virginia was so completely an Episcopal province, and the laws against all non‑conformists were so severe, that we can expect but few traces of the Puritans in her early history. Unity of worship was there preserved, with few exceptions, for a century after the settlement of Jamestown. There were, however, some Puritan families in the colony from the beginning, and others arrived at a later period, and there were also a few settlers from Massachusetts. As early, however, as 1633, severe laws were made for the sup pression of Dissenters, who had begun to appear in the colony. In 1643, it was ordered, “that no minister should preach or teach publicly or privately, except in conformity to the constitu tions of the Church of England, and non‑conformists were banished from the colony.” A Congregational church had been gathered by the labors of ministers from New England, and increased in 1648 to the number of one hundred and eighteen persons; but the governor, who had already banished its elder, now enjoined on Mr. Harrison its pastor to depart from the country. During the time of Cromwell, a spirit of greater moderation prevailed, but, on the restoration of Charles II, the assembly revived all the laws against separatists. Strict conformity was demanded, and everyone was required to contribute to the support of the established church. The whole liturgy was to be read, and no non‑conformists might teach either in public or private, on pain of banishment. In 1663 these laws were made still more severe. Attendance on the meet ings of non‑conformists was punished by severe fines, and the rich were obliged to pay the forfeitures of their poorer brethren. Ship masters were punished if they brought dissenters into the colony. The separatists against whom these laws seem to have been mainly directed, were Quakers and Baptists. It was not until after the commencement of the eighteenth century, that other denominations than the Episcopal obtained permanent footing in Virginia, pro tected by the English toleration act. The Presbyterian church in the Atlantic portion of the State was, in a great measure, built up by those who had been previously Episcopalians, and in the por tion beyond the mountains, by the Scotch-Irish emigrants from Pennsylvania.

Under the name of Carolina, Charles II granted to the Earl of Clarendon and his associates, the district of country between Vir ginia and Florida, and from the Atlantic to the Pacific. When the first emigrants sent out by the proprietors arrived, they found a small colony of New England men already established on the south side of the Cape Fear river. This colony, however, did not prosper, and although it received some accessions from New Eng land, the people were soon nearly absorbed in the colonies established by emigrants from Barbados and the Bermudas. The earliest settlers of this part of Carolina were principally refugees from Virginia, men who endeavored to escape from the oppres sive laws of that province against all non‑conformists. They were probably mostly Quakers; at least the earliest religious teachers and meetings were in connection with their society. As Puritans, when sufficiently numerous, were seldom long without the regular ministrations of the Gospel, the fact that there was no stated min ister in North Carolina before 1704, and no church until 1705, proves that their influence was very small.

South Carolina was settled about 1670, under the direction of the proprietors. The first colony came from England with the governor, “William Sayle, who was probably a Presbyterian”; the people, however, it is presumed were principally Episcopalians. The country was rapidly filled up with settlers from various quar ters, but no mention is made of the Puritans as among the early colonists, except that a church organized in Dorchester, Massachu setts removed in 1696 and settled on the Ashley river. Rev. John Cotton, from Plymouth, son of the celebrated John Cotton of Boston, removed to Charleston in 1698, and gathered a church there. At an earlier period, 1683, Blake, brother of the famous admiral, brought over from Somersetshire a company of dissenters who settled in Charleston. To what denomination they belonged is not mentioned. The predominant influence in South Carolina, either from the number of its adherents, or from their influence, was with the church of England, which in 1703 was established by law. I have thus endeavored to trace the influence of the Puri tans, beyond the limits of New England, in the early settlement of our country. It appears they were predominant on Long Island, numerous in East Jersey, few and scattered on the Delaware, and dotted at certain distant intervals along the southern coast.

The Dutch come next under consideration, for although they have been so numerous as to form by themselves, a distinct eccle siastical organization, yet being Calvinists and Presbyterians, they have in many parts of the country entered largely into the mate rials of which our church is composed. It was by the Dutch that the Hudson, the Connecticut, and probably the Delaware rivers were discovered. In 1613, they erected a few huts upon Manhat tan Island, and in 1623 a more permanent establishment was there effected. They built a fort on the Delaware, and another on the Connecticut, laying claim to all the intervening country. In 1629 and 1630, they purchased the land on both sides of the Dela ware, and commenced a settlement near Lewistown. In 1638, the Swedes arrived and purchased the land from the mouth of the Delaware to Trenton, and established themselves on Christiana Creek. Several successive bodies of emigrants having arrived from Sweden, they extended their settlements as far as where Philadelphia now stands.

The few English families, emigrants from New England, who had been allured thither by the climate or the facilities for traffic with the Indians, were either driven away or submitted to the Swedes. The Dutch viewed these colonists as intruders, and in order to maintain their claim to the soil established themselves, in 1651, at New Castle. The Swedes, in 1654, attacked and reduced that settlement, but were themselves in the following year con quered by the Dutch, who became complete masters of the Dela ware. In the meantime, the Dutch settlements were rapidly extended along the Hudson, as high as Albany and the western end of Long Island. In New Jersey they had settlements in Bergen, around Newark, on the banks of the Raritan, near Shrewsbury, and were mixed with other settlers in various parts of the eastern sec tion of the State. When the Dutch possessions were conquered by the English, in 1664, the number of inhabitants was probably not far from 10,000. The Dutch were also among the early settlers of Maryland. And in 1671, almost immediately after the settlement of Charleston, South Carolina, two ships arrived there with Dutch emigrants from New York, who were subsequently followed by others of their countrymen from Holland.

The German emigrants, though never forming a distinct government, as was the case, not only with the Dutch, but even with the Swedes, were far more numerous than either, and have exerted a powerful influence on the character of our country. Gov. Hunter of New York brought over with him, in 1730, 3,000 German emigrants, who had fled to England to escape the persecu tion which they suffered in their own country. They also formed a settlement to the west of Albany, on the German Flats. Their emigration to Pennsylvania commenced as early as 1682 or 1683, when Germantown was settled by them. In subsequent years they came in such numbers, that it was estimated in 1772, that one third of the population of the province, which was then between 200,000 and 300,000, consisted of them and their descendants. In the year 1749, 12,000 German emigrants arrived, and for several years nearly the same number arrived annually. From Pennsylvania they extended themselves into Virginia and Maryland. Their settlements in Carolina were also extensive. In 1709, up wards of six hundred Germans arrived and settled Newbern, and were probably Swiss Germans, from the name which they gave their new home. Between 1730 and 1750, says Dr. Ramsay, South Carolina received large accessions from Switzerland, Holland, and Germany; Orangeburg, Congaree, and Wateree, receiving a large portion of the German emigrants. Numbers of Palatines arrived every year. In 1764, five or six hundred were sent over from London, and had a separate township of land assigned to them. And a few years later three hundred families, who had previously settled in Maine, removed and joined their countrymen who had fixed themselves in the southwestern part of Carolina. Other settlements were made at an earlier period in Georgia.

The Welsh, from their numbers, deserve particular notice. The principal settlement of them at an early period was upon the left bank of the Schuylkill, in Pennsylvania. They there occupied three townships, and in a few years their numbers so increased that they obtained three additional townships.

The persecutions to which the French Protestants were exposed during the reign of Louis XIV, consummated by the revocation of the edict of Nantes in 1685, drove hundreds of thousands of those unhappy people from their native country. They found a home in the various cities of Holland, Germany, and England, and large numbers of them came to this country. They were so numerous in Boston as to have a church by themselves in 1686. In New York, when yet under the dominion of the Dutch, they formed so large a portion of the population, that the laws were sometimes promulgated in their language as well as in that of the Hollanders. In Richmond county, they and the Dutch made up almost the entire population, and they were settled also in consider­able numbers in the counties of Westchester and Ulster. Scat tered emigrants fixed themselves, in greater or less numbers, in the provinces of Pennsylvania and Maryland, but their principal loca tion was in the Southern States. In 1690, King William sent “a large body” of them to Virginia, where lands were assigned them on the James river; others removed to Carolina and settled on the Santee. In 1699, and the following years, six hundred more are mentioned as settling in Virginia. Soon after the settlement of Carolina, Charles II sent two ships with about two hundred French Protestants, to introduce the culture of the productions of the South of Europe. From 1485 onward, the number of French emigrants to Carolina was very considerable; “fugitives from Languedoc on the Mediterranean, from Rochelle, and Saintonge, and Bordeaux, the provinces on the Bay of Biscay, from St. Quentin, Poitiers, and the beautiful valley of Tour, from St. Lo and Dieppe, men who had the virtues of the English Puritans without their bigotry, came to the country, to which the tolerant benevolence (?) of Shaftesbury had invited the believers of every creed.” This emigration continued far into the succeeding century. In 1752 it is stated upwards of sixteen hundred foreign Protestants arrived in South Caro lina. In 1764 two hundred and twelve arrived from France. The descendants of these numerous French Protestants have become merged almost entirely in the Episcopal and Presbyterian churches.

“The history of American colonization is the history of the crimes of Europe.” The Scotch Presbyterians had not escaped their portion of the persecutions, which all opposers of Prelacy, in Great Britain, experienced during the reigns of James II and Charles I. It was not, however, until the restoration of Charles II that the measure of their wrongs and sorrows was rendered full. James had been educated a Calvinist and Presbyterian, and when leaving Scotland to ascend the vacant throne of Elizabeth, he assured his countrymen of his love for their church, and of his determination to support it. He had, however, hardly crossed the Tweed before he began to manifest his aversion to a form of church discipline which he regarded as essentially republican. The submissive demeanor of the English bishops, and their high doctrine as to the power of kings, confirmed a conversion which had already taken place. The Scottish presbyters were accustomed to urge him to repent of his sins; the English bishops, on their knees, assured him he spoke by the immediate assistance of God. It is not wonderful, therefore, that James adopted the cause of the latter, and made it his own. He knew enough, however, of the people whom he had left, or had sufficient respect for their opinions, to in duce him to proceed with some degree of caution in his attempts to bring the ecclesiastical polity of Scotland into harmony with that of England. His more unhappy son determined to effect at once, and by authority, what his arbitrary but timid father was content to accomplish gradually, and with some appearance of cooperation by the church. He first ordered a book of canons to be published and enforced, on his own authority, altering essentially the constitution of the church; and then a liturgy, copied in a great measure from that of England, but altered by Laud, so as to bring it into nearer conformity with the Roman missal. This he ordered should be used by all ministers on pain of suspension. It was resisted in all parts of the kingdom, and by all classes of the people, from political as well as religious motives. It was not merely a form of prayer, but an absolute despotism, which the people opposed. If the king, without the concurrence of the nation or the church, could introduce the English liturgy, why not the Roman mass? These arbitrary measures excited an opposition which “preserved the liberties and overthrew the monarchy of England.”2

Unjust as was the conduct of this unfortunate monarch, it appears mild and honorable when compared with that of his son. Charles II, at the time of his father’s death, was a friendless fugitive. The Scotch offered to receive him as their king, on condition that he should pledge himself by oath to regard and preserve their Presbyterian form of church government. To this he assented. When he arrived in the kingdom he subscribed the covenant; and again at his coronation, under circumstances of much more than usual solemnity, he swore to preserve it inviolate. The Scotch, accordingly, armed in his defense; but, divided among themselves, and led by a general very unfit to cope with Cromwell, they were soon defeated, and Charles was again driven to the continent. When he returned in 1660, be voluntarily renewed his promise to the Scotch, by whom his restoration had been greatly promoted, not to interfere with the liberty of their church. No sooner, however, was he firmly seated on his throne, than all these oaths and promises were forgotten. Presbyterianism was at once abolished, and Episcopacy established, not such as it was under James I, when bishops were little more than standing moderators of the Presbyteries, but invested by the arbitrary mandate of the king, with the fulness of prelatical power. An act was passed making it penal even to speak publicly or privately against the king’s supremacy, or the government of the church by archbishops and bishops. A court of high commission, of which all the pre lates were members, was erected and armed with inquisitorial powers. Multitudes of learned and pious ministers were ejected from their parishes, and ignorant and ungodly men, for the most part, introduced in their stead. Yet the people were forced, under severe penalties, to attend the ministrations of these unworthy men. All ejected ministers were prohibited preaching or praying except in their own families; and preaching or praying in the fields was made punishable with death. Anyone, though the nearest relative, who should shelter, aid, or in any way minister to the wants of those denounced, was held liable to the same penalty as the person assisted. All landholders were required to give bond that their families and dependents should abstain from attending any conventicle. To enforce these wicked laws, torture was freely used to extort evidence or confession; families were reduced to ruin by exorbitant fines; the prisons were filled with victims of oppression; multitudes were banished and sold as slaves; women and even children were tortured or murdered for refusing to take an oath they could not understand; soldiers were quartered upon the defenseless inhabitants and allowed free license; men were hunted like wild beasts, and shot or gibbeted along the high ways. Modern history hardly affords a parallel to the cruelty and oppression under which Scotland groaned for nearly thirty years. And what was all this for? It was to support Episcopacy. It was done for the bishops, and, in a great measure, by them. They were the instigators and supporters of these cruel laws, and of the still more cruel execution of them.3 Is it any wonder, then, that the Scotch abhorred Episcopacy? It was in their experience identified with despotism, superstition, and irreligion. Their love of Presbyterianism was one with their love of liberty and religion. As the Parliament of Scotland was never a fair representation of the people, the General Assembly, of their church became their great organ for resisting oppression and withstanding the encroachments of their sovereigns. The conflict therefore which in England was so long kept up between the crown and the House of Commons, was in Scotland sustained between the crown and the church. This was one reason why the Scotch became so attached to Presbyterianism; this too, was the reason why the Stuarts hated it, and determined at all hazards to introduce prelacy as an ally to despotism.4

Considering the long‑continued persecution of the Scotch Pres byterians just referred to, the wonder is that they did not univer sally forsake their country. The hope of regaining liberty at home, however, never entirely deserted them; and in their darkest hours there were occasional glimpses of better things to come, which led them to abandon the designs of emigration which they had formed. A company of thirty noblemen and gentlemen had contracted for a large tract of land in Carolina, as an asylum for their persecuted countrymen, when the hope of the success of the English patriots, engaged in the plot for which Russell and Sydney suffered, led them to relinquish their purpose. Still, though the emigration was not so great as might under such sufferings have been expected, it was very considerable.

What portion of the 4,000 Presbyterians who, according to Mather, came to New England before 1640, were from Scotland or Ireland, his account does not enable the reader to determine. At a later period, a hundred families from Ireland settled London derry in New Hampshire. They brought with them the Rev. James McGregore as their pastor, “who remained with them until his death, and his memory is still precious among them. He was a wise, faithful and affectionate guide to them both in civil and religious concerns.” In 1729, a church was organized in Boston, composed of Scotch and Irish, which continued Presbyterian until 1786. The Rev. Mr. Moorhead was their first pastor, “an honest, faithful, and laborious minister.” Other emigrants settled at Pelham and Palmer. There was a church also at Hampton.

At what time the Scotch and Irish began to emigrate to New York, it is not easy to ascertain. Smith says the inhabitants of the city in 1708 were “Dutch Calvinists, upon the plan of the church of Holland, French refugees on the Geneva model, a few English Episcopalians, and a still smaller number of English and Irish Presbyterians.” Having increased in numbers, they “called Mr. Anderson, a Scotch minister, to the pastoral charge of their congregation: and Dr. John Nicolls, Patrick McKnight, Gilbert Livingston, and Thomas Smith, purchased a piece of ground and founded a church.” (p. 209.) That the members of that con gregation were principally Scotch may be inferred from the follow ing facts. Of the four gentlemen who were the original purchasers of the ground for the erection of the church, Dr. Nicolls was a native of Scotland; he had the principal and almost exclu sive control of the pecuniary affairs of the church, and is spoken of by Mr. Pemberton “as one of its principal founders, and its greatest benefactor.” Mr. Patrick McKnight was from the North of Ireland; Mr. Gilbert Livingston was Scotch by birth or imme diate descent; Mr. Thomas Smith’s origin is not known. The Rev. Mr. Anderson, their first pastor, settled in 1717, was a Scotch minister ordained by the Presbytery of Irvine. In 1720, a peti tion was presented to the president of the council for an act of incorporation, and would probably have been granted, but for the active opposition of the vestry of Trinity Church, as the council to whom the president referred the application, reported in its favor. This application was made by “Mr. Anderson, Presbyterian minister, and Patrick McKnight, John Nicolls, Joseph Leddel, John Blake, and Thomas Inglis, in behalf of themselves, and the rest of the Presbyterian congregation in the city of New York.”5 The petition states that the applicants had purchased a piece of ground and erected a convenient house for the worship of God, “after the manner of the Presbyterian church of North Britain.” It further details the inconvenient way in which they were obliged to vest the title to their property in certain individuals, to be held by them until the congregation should be incorporated “as one body politic in fact and in name, for carrying on their said pious intentions, and the free use and exercise of their said religion in its true doc trine, discipline and worship, according to the rules and method of the established church of North Britain.” They therefore pray the president, “by letters patent under the great seal of this province, to incorporate them by the name of the ministers, elders, and deacons of the Presbyterian church in the city of New York.”

The account which was published of their long and fruitless efforts to obtain an act of incorporation, is entitled “Case of the Scotch Presbyterians,” &c. There can, therefore, be no doubt as to the origin and early character of this congregation. A portion of the people being dissatisfied with Mr. Anderson’s strictness as a Presbyterian, were, by the trustees of Yale College, erected into a separate congregation. This interference gave great umbrage to the Presbytery of Long Island, and much is said in reference to it in our early records. This new congregation did not long continue. Most of its members, it is believed, returned to the old church.

At a subsequent period, about 1756, when the majority of people determined, with permission of the Synod, to introduce the use of Watts’ hymns, a portion of the Scotch members withdrew, and formed the church of which the Rev. John Mason became the pastor.

Holmes mentions the arrival of between four and five hundred emigrants from Scotland at New York, in 1737. The county of Ulster, in 1757, was inhabited by “Dutch, French, English, Scotch, and Irish, but the first and last the most numerous.” The north side of Orange county, Smith states, was inhabited by Scotch, Irish, and English Presbyterians, and he mentions a settlement of Scotch-Irish in Albany county.

The Quakers having made extensive settlements in West Jersey, became desirous of extending their influence through the eastern portion of the State. This induced Wm. Penn and eleven other members of the Society of Friends, in 1682, to purchase East Jersey from the devisees of Sir George Carteret. In order to avoid exciting the jealousy of other denominations, these new proprietors connected with themselves twelve associates, many of whom were natives of Scotland, “from which country the greatest emigration was expected.” To induce the Scotch to emigrate, a favorable account of the province was circulated among them, and the assu rance given that they should enjoy that religious liberty which was denied them in their own country. “‘It is judged the interest of the government,’ said George Scot of Pitlochie, apparently with the sanction of men in power, ‘to suppress Presbyterian principles altogether: the whole force of the law of this kingdom is leveled at the effectual bearing them down. The rigorous putting these laws in execution, has, in a great part, ruined many of those who, not withstanding hereof, find themselves in conscience obliged to retain these principles. A retreat where, by law, a toleration is allowed, doth at present offer itself in America, and is nowhere else to be found in his majesty’s dominions.’ This is the era at which East New Jersey, till now chiefly colonized from New England, became the asylum of Scottish Presbyterians.’” “Is it strange,” asks the author just quoted [Bancroft], “that many Scottish Presbyterians of virtue, education, and courage, blending a love of popular liberty with religious enthusiasm, came to East New Jersey in such numbers, as to give to the rising commonwealth a character which a century and a half has not effaced?” “The more wealthy of the Scotch emigrants were noted for bringing with them a great number of servants, and, in some instances, for transporting whole families of poor laborers, whom they established on their lands.” In a letter from the deputy-governor, dated Elizabethtown, 1st month 2, 1684, it is said, “the Scots, and William Dockwras people, coming now and settling, advance the province more than it hath advanced these ten years.”

It is evident from these and similar testimonies which might be collected, that the emigrants from Scotland to East Jersey were numerous and influential. In some places they united with the Dutch and Puritan settlers in the formation of churches; in others they were sufficiently numerous to organize congregations by them selves. The church in Freehold, one of the largest in the State, was formed chiefly by them. It was organized about 1692. Their first pastor was the Rev. John Boyd, from Scotland, who died, as appears from his tombstone, in 1708. Subsequently the Rev. Wil liam Tennent became their minister, and continued with them forty-four years.

It was, however, to Pennsylvania that the largest emigrations of the Scotch and Irish, particularly of the latter, though at a somewhat later period, took place. Early in the last century they began to arrive in large numbers. Near 6,000 Irish are reported as having come in 1729, and before the middle of the century, near 12,000 arrived annually for several years. Speaking of a later period, Proud says, “They have flowed in of late years from the north of Ireland in very large numbers.” Cumberland county, he says, is settled by them, and they abound through the whole province. From Pennsylvania they spread themselves into Virginia., and thence into North Carolina. A thousand families arrived in that State from the northern colonies in the single year 1764. Their descendants occupy the western portion of the State, with a dense and homogeneous population, distinguished by the strict morals and rigid principles of their ancestors. In 1749, five or six hundred Scotch settled near Fayetteville; there was a second importation in 1754, and “there was an annual importa tion, from that time, of those hardy and industrious people.”

A considerable number of Scotch also settled in Maryland. Col. Ninian Beall, a native of Fifeshire, having become implicated in the troubles arising out of the conflict with Episcopacy, fled first to Barbados, and thence removed to Maryland, where he made an extensive purchase of land, covering much of the present site of Washington and Georgetown. He sent home to urge his friends and neighbors to join him in his exile, and had influence enough to induce about two hundred to come over. They arrived about 1690, bringing with them their pastor, the Rev. Nathaniel Taylor, and formed the church and congregation of Upper Marlborough.

As early as 1684, a small colony of persecuted Scotch, under Lord Cardross, settled in South Carolina, and a colony of Irish under Ferguson. In 1737, it is said, “multitudes of laborers and husbandmen” from Ireland embarked for Carolina. In 1764, besides foreign Protestants, several persons from England and Scotland, and great multitudes from Ireland, settled in that State. Within three years before 1773, 1,600 emigrants from the North of Ireland, settled in Carolina. Dr. Ramsay says, “Of all other countries, none has furnished the province so many inhabitants as Ireland. Scarcely a ship sailed from any of its ports for Charleston that was not crowded with men, women, and children.” These were almost entirely Presbyterians. There was no Catholic place of worship in Charleston before 1791. In another place the same author says, “The Scotch and Dutch were the most useful emigrants… To the former South Carolina is indebted for much of its early literature. A great proportion of its physicians, clergy men, lawyers and schoolmasters were from North Britain.” Edisto Island was settled by emigrants from Scotland and Wales. The inhabitants were either Presbyterians or Episcopalians; the former were the more numerous. The time of the organization of the Presbyterian church there is not known. But in 1705, Henry Brown obtained a grant for three hundred acres of land, which in 1717 he conveyed to certain persons in “trust for the benefit of a Presbyterian clergyman in Edisto Island.” In 1732, another donation was made for the benefit of a minister “who owns the Holy Scriptures as his only rule of faith and practice, and who, agree ably to the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, shall own the Westminster Confession of Faith, with the Larger and Shorter Catechisms as a test of his orthodoxy, and that before the church session for the time being, before his settlement there as the rightful minister of the aforesaid church or congregation.” (Vol. II, p. 558.) The Scotch and Irish were also among the early settlers of Georgia.

From this slight and imperfect view of the several classes of people by whom our country was settled, it is evident that a broad foundation for the Presbyterian Church was laid from the beginning. The English Puritans were all Calvinists and many of them Presbyterians. The Dutch were Calvinists and Presbyterians; a moiety, at least, of the Germans were of the same class. All the French Protestants were Calvinists and Presbyterians, and so, of course, were the Scotch and Irish. Of the several classes, the Dutch and Germans formed distinct ecclesiastical organizations, and subsist as such to the present time. In a multitude of cases, however, their descendants mingled with the descendants of other Presbyterians, and have entered largely into the materials of which our church is composed. The same remark applies to the descendants of the French Protestants, who have generally joined either the Episcopal or Presbyterian Church. The early influence of the New England Puritans was, as has been seen, nearly confined to Long Island and East Jersey. Of those who settled in Jersey, a portion were, no doubt, inclined to Congregationalism; others of them were Presby terians. All the ministers, according to Mr. Andrews, were of the latter class. The strict Presbyterian emigrants, Scotch, Irish, Dutch and French, laid the foundation of our church in New York, East Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia., and the Carolinas, through which provinces, as has been shown, they were early extended in very great numbers.

This review accounts for the rapid increase of the Presbyterian Church in this country. In about a century and a quarter, it has risen from two or three ministers to between two and three thou­sand. This is no matter of surprise, when it is seen that so large a portion of the emigrants were Presbyterians. As they merged their diversities of national character into that of American citizens, so the Scotch, Irish, French, English, Dutch, and German Presbyterians became united in thousands of instances in the American Presbyterian Church. Having the same views of civil government, our population, so diversified as to its origin, forms a harmonious civil society, and agreeing in opinion on the government of the Church, the various classes above specified formed a religious society, in which the difference of their origin was as little regarded as it was in the State.

The review given above of the settlement of the country shows also that nothing but a sectional vanity little less than insane, could lead to the assertion that Congregationalism was the basis of Presbyterianism in this country, and that the Presbyterian Church never would have had an existence, except in name, had not the Congregationalists come among us from New England. The number of Puritans who settled in New England was about 21,000. If it be admitted that three fourths of these were Congregationalists (which is a large admission), it gives between fifteen and sixteen thousand. The Presbyterian emigrants who came to this country by the middle of the last century were be tween one and two hundred thousand. Those from Ireland alone, imperfect as are the records of emigration, could not have been less than 50,000, and probably were far more numerous. Yet the whole Presbyterian Church owes its existence to the mere overflowings of New England! It would be much nearer the truth to say that Presbyterians have been the basis of several denomi nations. Half the population of the country would now be Pres byterian, had the descendants of Presbyterians, in all cases, ad hered to the faith of their fathers.

It is to be remembered that the emigration of New England men westward did not take place, to any great extent, until after the Revolutionary War, that is, until nearly three fourths of a century after the Presbyterian Church was founded and widely extended. At that time, western New York, Ohio, and the still more remote West, was a wilderness. Leaving that region out of view, what would be, even now, the influence of New England men in the Presbyterian Church? Yet it is very common to hear those who formed a mere handful of the original materials of the Church, speaking of all others as foreigners and intruders. Such representations would be offensive from their injustice, were it not for their absurdity. Suppose the few (and they were comparatively very few) Congregationalists of East Jersey had refused to associate with their Dutch and Scotch Presbyterian neighbors, what great difference would it have made? Must the thousands of Presbyterians already in the country, and the still more numerous thou sands annually arriving, have ceased to exist? Are those few Congregationalists the fathers of us all? The truth is, it was not until a much later period that the great influx of Congregationalists into our church took place, though they are now disposed to regard the descendants of its founders as holding their places in the church of their fathers only by sufferance.

Sectional jealousies are beginning to threaten the safety of our country. They surely ought not to be brought into the Church. They cannot be avoided, however, if arrogant and injurious as­sumptions on either side are allowed. The above remarks are made with the view of suppressing such prejudices. This can be effected in no other way than by preventing unjust and irritating claims. Justice is the only stable foundation of peace. It is the peculiar characteristic of America that it is the asylum of all nations. The blood of the Huguenots, of the Puritans, of the Dutch, of the Germans, of the Scotch, and of the Irish, here flows in one com mon stream. A man, therefore, must fight against himself who could contend for any one of these classes against all others.

  1. Neal admits (Vol. II, p. 468) that, “in the reigns of Queen Elizabeth and King James I, the Puritans were for the most part Presbyterians.” He adds, however, that “from the time that Arminianism prevailed in the church, and the whole body of Calvinists came to be distinguished by the name of doctrinal Puritans, both parties seemed to united in a moderate Episcopacy.” There is no doubt much ground for the latter remark. When the erroneous doctrines, the popish ceremonies, the exceeding tyranny of the high-church party under Charles I, had driven almost the whole of the better part of the church, as well as of the nation, into the ranks of the Puritans, there were among them many who were sincerely attached to Episcopacy, and who desired nothing more than the correction of the abuses of that system. With these, the Presbyterian Puritans were generally disposed to make common cause, and to settle the Church on the plan of what was called “primitive Episcopacy,” according to which the bishop was little more than the presiding officer of a Presbytery, an episcopus præses, and not episcopus princeps, having the sole power of ordination and discipline. This is perfectly consistent with their decided preference for their own plan of government, and it accounts for the statement so often made by historians that the parliament had at first no design to overturn the hierarchy, and that the majority of the Westminster Assembly, at first, were favorable to moderate Episcopacy. This may be very true, when they had to answer the question, What church discipline is best suited to the present state of England, so nearly equally divided between Episcopalians and Presbyterians? But when called to answer the question, Which system is the best and most agreeable to Scripture? their answer was very different. The early and decisive votes in the House of Commons against the continuance of Episcopacy, the zeal with which parliament, the Assembly, and the majority of the people, declared in favor of Presbyterianism, when all hope of an accommodation with the Episcopal party was at an end, shows clearly what their opinions and preferences were. 

  2. Hallam, Vol. III, p. 427. This result might doubtless have been accomplished in some other way; for it is hardly to be supposed that Englishmen could have been reduced to a state of bondage by such monarchs as the Stuarts. Still, in the providence of God, it was the struggle of the Scotch for the liberty of their church, which was the means of preserving the liberties of England. Charles had succeeded in governing the latter kingdom for twelve years without a parliament. When the Scotch formed their national covenant, that is, a voluntary agreement to sustain each other in resisting the arbitrary measures of the king, and prepared to oppose force by force, Charles found it absolutely necessary to summon a parliament. The Scotch being in arms in the North, the friends of liberty in the House of Commons were emboldened in their opposition to the court, and entered on that course which soon ended in the overthrow of the monarchy and of the established church. The Scotch have been greatly, and, to a certain extent, justly blamed, because, instead of being satisfied with securing the liberty of their own church, they insisted on the overthrow of that of England. It should be remembered, however, that intolerance was the epidemic of the age. The Episcopalians enforced the prayer book, the Presbyterians the covenant, the Independents the engagement. The last, being more of a political character than either of the others, was, so far, the least objectionable. It was, however, both in de sign and in fact, what Neal calls it, “a severe test for the Presbyterians.” Besides, the rigid doctrine of the exclusive divine right of Presbyterianism, and an intolerant opposition to Prelacy, did not prevail among the Scotch until they were driven, by persecution, into extreme opinions. When they found Episcopacy, in their own bitter experience, associated with despotism and superstition, and, in their firm belief, with irreligion and popery, it is not wonderful that they regarded it as a bitter root which could bear nothing good. Their best apology is that which they themselves urged at the time. They considered it essential to the liberty of their church and country that the power of the bishops should be destroyed in England. The persecutions which they had already endured, and their just apprehensions of still greater evils, sprang from the principles and conduct of the English prelates. How well founded this opinion was, the atrocities consequent on the restoration of Charles II and the re‑establishment of Episcopacy, abundantly proved. 

  3. “The enormities of this detestable government,” says Hallam, “are far too numerous, even in species, to be enumerated in this slight sketch; and of course, most instances of cruelty have not been recorded. The privy coun cil was accustomed to extort confessions by torture; that grim divan of bishops, lawyers, and peers, sucking the groans of each undaunted enthusiast, in hopes that some imperfect avowal might lead to the sacrifice of other vic tims, or at least warrant the execution of the present.” Again, “It was very possible that Episcopacy might be of apostolical institution; but for this institution houses had been burned and fields laid waste, and the gospel been preached in the wilderness, and its ministers had been shot in their prayers, and husbands had been murdered before their wives, and virgins had been defiled, and many had died by the executioner, and by massacre, and in im prisonment, and in exile and slavery, and women had been tied to stakes on the sea‑shore till the tide rose to overflow them, and some had been tortured and mutilated; it was a religion of the boots and the thumb‑screw, which a good man must be very cool‑blooded indeed if he did not hate and reject from the hands which offered it. For, after all, it is much more certain that the Supreme Being abhors cruelty and persecution, than that he has set up bishops to have a superiority over Presbyters.” (Const. Hist. Vol. III, pp. 435, 442.) The wonderful subserviency and degradation of the Scottish parliament during this period must strike all readers with astonishment. This fact is partially explained, and the disgrace in some measure palliated, by the peculiarity of its constitution. The controlling power was virtually in the hands of the bishops, who were the creatures, and, of course, the servants of the crown. The lords of the articles were originally a committee chosen by the parliament for the preparation of business. But Charles I, without any authority from parliament, had the matter so arranged, that “the bishops chose eight peers, the peers eight bishops; and these appointed sixteen com missioners of shires and boroughs. Thus the whole power was devolved upon the bishops, the slaves and sycophants of the crown. The parliament itself met only on two days, the first and last of their pretended session, the one time to choose the lords of articles, the other to ratify what they proposed.” (Hallam, Vol. III, p. 428.) This arrangement was renewed after the restoration of Charles II. 

  4. The first Confession of Faith prepared by Knox and his associates asserted explicitly the right and duty of the people to resist the tyranny of their rulers. This was the result of the Reformation being carried on by the people. In England it was carried on by the government. Hence the marked difference between the principles of the two churches as to the liberty of the subject and the power of kings. The General Assembly of 1649 declared, (1st) “That as magistrates and their power are ordained of God, so are they in the exercise thereof, not too walk after their own will, but according to the law of equity and righteousness. … A boundless and unlimited power is to be acknowledged in no king or magistrate”; (2nd) “That there is a mutual obligation betwixt the king and his people. As both are tied to God, so each of them is tied the one to the another, for the performance of mutual and reciprocal duties”; (3rd) “That arbitrary government and unlimited power are the fountains of all the corruptions in the Church and State.” Compare these sentiments with the declarations and oaths issued and enforced by the Scot tish bishops. They were the principal authors of the arbitrary laws above referred to. They all voted for the famous assertory act of 1669, which de clared the king’s supremacy in all ecclesiastical matters, in virtue of which the ordering and disposal of the eternal government and polity of the church belonged to him as an inherent right of the crown; and that his orders re specting all ecclesiastical persons and matters are to be obeyed, any law, act, or custom to the contrary notwithstanding. (Cook, Vol. III, p. 314.) They eagerly supported an act imposing an oath (at first designed only for office- bearers in the church and state, but which came to be almost universally enforced) “which no man who had not made up his mind for slavery, could swear.” It declared the king to be supreme governor over all persons and in all causes, civil and ecclesiastical; that it was unlawful to consult or deter mine upon any subject relating to church or state without his express per mission, or to form associations for redressing grievances, or take up arms against the King, or to attempt any alteration in the political or ecclesiastical constitution of the kingdom, &c. (Ibid. p. 368.) This reference to the arbitrary principles and atrocious cruelties of the Scottish bishops is not made with the ungenerous design of casting odium on Episcopacy. The odium belongs to the men and to their principles, and not to Episcopacy. Those prelates were introduced by the king, in opposition to the wishes of the people. They owed everything to the prerogative. They could stand only so long as the power of the king should prevail over the will of the nation. It is no wonder, therefore, that they magnified that power. Had the case been re versed, had Episcopacy been abolished and Presbyterianism introduced by des potic authority, we might have seen Presbyterians the advocates of preroga tive, and bishops the asserters of liberty. As it was, however, prelacy and despotism in Scotland were inseparable; neither could live without the other—so they died a common death. 

  5. This is one of the churches which is most frequently and confidently claimed as originally Congregational in its composition and character. The above statement shows that this was not the fact. It was originally a strict Presbyterian church, having elders and deacons from the beginning, as the above application was made, March 4, 1719-20. It was not until after Mr. Pemberton’s settlement that elders were laid aside. In the records of the trustees of that church, commencing with the year 1740, there is an account of the congregation from the beginning, in which mention is made of “the elders, deacons, and session-room”; and in the account of the difficulty with Mr. Pemberton, it is said, “At present, by reason of the death of some, and the removal of others, we have not one lay elder or deacon.” Of course they had these officers before. Again, the trustees enter a protest against Mr. Pemberton’s claim to sit with them and take part in the temporal affairs of the church, in which they say, “the power in this church and congregation may be considered under the usual similitude of three keys, the key of doctrinal instruction, the key of discipline and government, and the key of the cash. The first, they say, belongs to the minister, the second to the minister and elders, “either alone or with the deacons, which we do not determine”; and the third to the trustees. … The difficulties in this church were of very long continuance, and arose from various sources. A part of the people were dissatisfied with Dr. Nicolls’ management of the pecuniary affairs, and complained to the Synod on the subject; and a committee was sent, in 1727, to endeavor to arrange this matter. It was then agreed that the property should be vested in certain ministers in Edinburgh, to be held by them for the benefit of the Presbyterian congregation in New York. Another source of trouble was the difference of opinion about psalmody, and another related to discipline and government. As far as this last point is concerned, instead of a few Scotchmen entering a Congregational church and trying to make it Presbyterian, as has been represented, the reverse happens to be the case; Congregationalists entered a Presbyterian church and then were unwilling to submit to its rules. How far this is analogous with the case of our church at large, remains to be seen.