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ligion come into popular hands, her power would be diminished. She consequently determined to maintain the Episcopal form. James, therefore, had some reason for his oft-repeated aphorism, “No bishop, no king;' and South still more for his intimation that the prelatic form of government is the only one in the church which is in harmony with monarchy. Archbishop Secker, in his Letter to Walpole, contends that there is “a kindred connection between Episcopacy in the church and monarchy in the state.” Dr. Chandler,” in his Appeal in behalf of the Church of England in America, pleads that “Episcopacy and monarchy are in their frame and construction best suited to each other, that Episcopacy can never thrive in a republican government, nor republican principles in an Episcopal church,-and that as they are mutually adapted to each other, so they are mutually introductive of each other.” Hence he concludes, that “It is not to be wondered at if civil rulers have always considered Episcopacy as the surest friend of monarchy.’ So we believe. We certainly do not wonder at it. To us it is as clear as the sun in the heavens, that a church constituted on the Calvinistic model can never sustain the prerogatives of kingly power to the extent to which a prelatic church can and does. But we think it is to be wondered at, that this Episcopacy, which was so favorable to monarchy BEFORE the Revolution, should be held up by its friends, AFTER that event, as wholly republican in its character and influence " ' Our conviction, then, on this subject is well founded—is confirmed by the whole history of the past. The action of the English church,
* Of Elizabethtown, New Jersey. The Appeal was published in New York in 1767—some eight years before the Revolution.
from the day that Arminianism gained the ascendency in the places of power onward, forces it upon us. “For more than a hundred and fifty years she continued to be the servile handmaid of monarchy, the steady enemy of popular liberty. The divine right of kings, and the duty of passively obeying all their commands, were her favorite tenets. She held them firmly through times of oppression, persecution, and licentiousness; while law was trampled down ; while judgment was perverted ; while the people were eaten as though they were bread. Once, and but once—for a moment, and but for a moment—when her own dignity and property were touched, she forgot to practice the submission which she had taught.” We may add here the memorable fact, stated by John Adams in his Letter to Dr. Morse,” that the conviction, deep in non-prelatic, republican bosoms, and produced by what they saw, that Episcopacy and monarchy are in sympathy with, and are introductive of each other, formed one great reason for the Revolutionary war. And it was the same feeling, deepened by the events of that war, which made it impossible for Episcopalians to obtain a general organization in this land of freedom until they admitted the anomalous element of lay representation into their legislative conventions ; and, even with this admission, rendered Episcopacy for a long time an object of suspicion in the minds of many. The positions taken by Calvinists and Arminians in all the great struggles for civil liberty, develop the bearing of each system on the subject under consideration. Geneva received the doctrines of the Reformation from Farell and others. They began by proclaiming the truth—by insisting on the rights of conscience—on freedom of opinion in all matters of religion. The result was a revolution in favor of civil liberty. With the downfall of despotism in the church, came the overthrow of tyranny in the state. The blow which struck the one, in striking it struck also the other. The Pope and the Prince fell together. Calvin followed, and completed what others had begun. He circumscribed the power of the civil magistrate in matters of religion still more than Farell had done, and maintained that the church ought to be free and independent of the state —ought to govern herself. Under his influence, Geneva became the great focus of reform in church and state, the place of the brightest illumination then on the face of the earth. It was there that the exiles, whom the intolerance of Mary had driven from England, found a home, —found what they valued more, “a church without a bishop, a state without a king.” It was there, according to Villers, that they “became intoxicated with republicanism,’ and carried back with them, on their return from exile, those great principles of liberty, which annoyed Elizabeth, resisted James, and brought Charles to the death of a traitor. In Geneva, Calvinism won religious and civil liberty for the people. For Scotland it accomplished a similar work. When John Knox, the disciple of Calvin, commenced his labors there, the people were exceedingly ignorant and superstitious, and were crushed to the very earth by despotism in the church and in the state. He began to preach—to make known to them their rights—to instruct them in their duties. Nothwithstanding the opposition of the government, his teaching found a lodgment in the heart. The principles proclaimed by him, and embraced by the people, emancipated them at once from all dependence on works for acceptance
* Published in Morse's Annals of the American Revolution.
with God, and thus tore up the deep foundations of spiritual despotism. Learning to think for themselves in religion, they soon began to exer. cise the same liberty in reference to political matters. The establishment of the doctrine and discipline of Geneva in Scotland, was thus the beginning of civil liberty there. Knox lived to see the accomplishment of his long cherished desire. But soon after that bright morning star of the Reformation in Scotland had melted away into the light of heaven, a dark cloud began to gather over that land. A man of no principle, and at heart a despot, ascended the throne of Great Britain. The freedom of the church was in his way. Refusing herself to meddle with civil affairs, she was not willing that the state should interfere in her spiritual concerns. The crafty ty. rant saw clearly enough that such liberty in the church would be inimical to despotism in the state-that while the jurisdiction of the one was distinct from that of the other, he could never be master of both; he saw that while the theology and pol. ity of Calvinism remained unimpair. ed, his power could never become absolute. James therefore deter. mined to corrupt the one and over: throw the other. The light had been kindled up in the hearts of the people by the faithful preaching of the Gospel, by fair and manly argument, and by the pure lives of those who embraced the truth. To put it out, and to introduce another faith and another system of ecclesiastical government, the tyrant employed cunning and falsehood, corruption and persecution, Ehglish gold and English power. In this infamous attempt to crush the spirit of freedom, Arminianism sided with James and with Charles, and helped to Po" the crushing foot of a corrupt spirit. ual hierarchy on the neck of Sok land's sons and daughters, and to keep it there until the nation rose." the spirit of Knox, and banding"
gether in a solemn covenant with God, cast off the hated thing, stamped the idol into the dust, and scattered it to the four winds of heaven.”
We pass to the south of the Tweed. The act of supremacy which severed the English nation from all connection with the Roman see, made no provision for the right of private judgment in matters of religion. It simply removed power from the hands of one despot to those of another, transferred “the full cup of Roman sorceries” from the Tiber to the Thames. Scarcely a drop was spilt by the way. Henry became pope, and set his foot on freedom of opinion as really as Leo had ever done. He prescribed what the ministry was to preach and what the people were to believe, and exerted all the powers of the throne to reduce the English mind down to the dead level of an unbroken uniformity in all matters of religion, even in rites and ceremonies of man's devising. But Calvinism was in the land, and could endure no such tyranny ; and the contest began. The religion of principle is faithful in little things. The Puritans took the position that no form or ceremony in religion is binding on men, except it is enjoined by the word of God. Here they planted themselves. They claimed the right of private jugdment—would admit no voucher in religion but the Bible—would conform to the established church no farther than that church conformed to the word of the inspired Record. On this point
the contest continued from one year to another, and from one reign to another. One party was in favor of monarchy in the state and Episcopacy in the church ; the other was in heart opposed to both. The former began to command and to persecute; the latter, to reason and to suffer. Despotism entered into conflict with the spirit of freedom. The battle was long and bloody. It was fought, not for a single generation, not for a single land. The destiny of the human race was to be affected by its issues. For ‘then,” as the eloquent eulogist of Milton" justly observes, “were first proclaimed those mighty principles which have since worked their way into the depths of the American forests, which have roused Greece from the slavery and degradation of two thousand years, and which, from one end of Europe to the other, have kindled an unquenchable fire in the hearts of the oppressed, and loosed the knees of the oppressors with a strange and unwonted fear.” But to the Puritans, the unbending Calvinists of those days, to whom, Hume says, the English people owe the whole freedom of their constitution, there stand opposed in that conflict, according to the same historian, “the court party, the hierarchy, and the Arminians.” Here again, therefore, we find Calvinism on the side of civil liberty, and Arminianism opposed to it. We open another seal in the apocalypse of history. The Puritans, failing to accomplish their object in England, fled from the fires of persecution to the wilds of America. The church in the wilderness was clothed with the sun. Her light and her freedom were greatly increased. Her Calvinism developed itself more fully than it had ever before been permitted to do in the outward forms which it assumed. The men in whose souls it was burning were men of God, exiles for the sake of religion, men of whom the world was not worthy. Their worship was simple, because it was that of the heart. They invoked no saints, kept no festivals, used no liturgy, bowed at no altar, kissed no book. They acknowledged no guide but the Bible, admitted no earthly sovereignty but that of the people. The great principles of their faith were deeply imbedded in their hearts, and in the hearts of their children. A little one soon became a thousand. These grew, multiplied, and filled the land. In a century and a half they became a nation. The despotism that had driven their fathers to these shores, now stretched its arm across the Atlantic to oppress them by unjust exactions. But the religion which would not permit the Puritan in England to conform to a foolish ceremony in the church, would not allow him in America to pay an unjust assessment to the state. The right to exact a penny, implied the right to take a thousand pounds. Resistance began on principle. The sword was drawn, but the scabbard was not thrown away. The people were in arms, but they were not yet free. They had not as yet even declared themselves independent of the British throne. Were they ready for that movement? Doubt hung like a morning cloud over the minds of many. Congress was in session. What before had been whispered in the ear, or mooted only in private circles, was now the subject of solemn legislation. The independence of the country had been moved, had been referred to a committee, and that committee reported in favor of the measure. The adoption of that report was before the house. The hour had come, the issues of which were to reach far into the future, and to be felt around this globe. The contest for freedom had commenced,—blood had been poured out in the sacred cause:-Warren and Montgomery
* With what spirit this was done, may be seen in the following affecting incident. When Mrs. Welch-in person solicited of James permission for her husband to return to Scotland, whence he had been banished by that tyrant for resisting his infamous attempts to establish Episcopac there, the king told her he would grant it if she would persuade her husband to submit to the bishops. “Please your Majesty,’ replied the heroic daughter of John Knox, iii. up her apron and extending it towards the king as if in the act of receiving her husband's severed and falling head, * I'd rather kep his head there.'
* T. B. Macaulay.
had nobly laid down their lives in its defense. Was the house ready for their baptism to this cause The instrument of the nation's independence lay before them. Would they put their names to it? Doubts and forebodings were whispered through that hall of legislation. Some hesitated and wavered. For a while the liberty and the slavery of the nation appeared to hang in even scale. In that assembly there sat a father in Israel, one of Caledonia's noblest sons, whose head was white with the frosts of nearly threescore winters. When he saw the house wavering and irresolute, he rose from his seal, and cast around on that assembly a look of inexpressible interest and of unconquerable determination; while on his visage the hue of age was lost in the flush of a burning patriotism that fired his cheek. ‘There is,” said he, “a tide in the affairs of men—a nick of time. We perceive it now before us. To hesitate is to consent to our own slavery. That noble instrument on your table, which insures immortality to its author, should be subscribed this very morning by every pen in the house. He that will not respond to its accents, and strain every nerve to carry into effect its provisions, is unworthy the name of a freeman, For my own part, of property I have some, of reputation, more. That reputation is staked, that property is pledged, on the issue of this contest. And although these gray hairs must soon descend into the sepulchre, I would infinitely rather they should descend thither by the hands of the public executioner, than to desert, at this crisis, the sacred cause of my country.” He ceased. Other hearts began to burn, and other tongues to speak in the tones of the same determined patriotism. The die was cast. That instrument was signed by each one, and there before God they pledged to each other in its defense “their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor.” But who was that “old man eloquent?” A minister of the Gospel; one in whose veins ran the blood of Knox,-one in whose soul there burned the same fire of religion and of liberty, the same feelings of devotion to God and to the interests of men—John Witherspoon. Independence was declared ; but in whose hearts did it find a response 2 By whom was it echoed from mountain and valley P What pulpits sanctioned it, and commended the sacred cause to God in prayer The ensign of freedom was lifted high; but who gathered around it? Who periled life in that contest ? Who sacrificed everything for the liberty of their country P History tells us who they were. Their blood, which crimsoned a thousand hills—their bones, which lie scattered from Quebec to the southern Gulf, tell us what they did. They were Calvinists, or men brought up under the influence of Calvinism, in a vast majority of cases. Many of the brave and noble leaders in that memorable struggle, were office-bearers in Congregational and Presbyterian churches. It is well known, however, that the country was divided in opinion and action, in reference to that contest for civil liberty. Many adhered in allegiance to the British throne. The Episcopalians at the north generally did this. There were some noble exceptions, particularly in Virginia, men whose names will live and be revered while freedom exists on our soil. But as a denomination, they espoused the British cause. In New England they were royalists almost to a man. Had this been the prevalent faith in this country at that time, never would its independence have been asserted and maintained. In the other branch of the Arminian family there was the same want of sympathy with this movement for civil liberty. As Wesley determined never to be a republican himself, he took good care never to make
others such. He threw the whole weight of his extensive influence, therefore, against this cause. It is a painful fact, that at the very time, when our fathers were pouring out their blood like water in the struggle for freedom, this founder of Methodism was denouncing them in England as rebels, was writing and preaching against them as such, was exerting all his energies to defeat their object, and to fasten upon them and upon their children the galling yoke of British oppression. The ministers of that persuasion generally followed his example. Those whom he had sent over to this country left it and returned to England on the commencement of hostilities. Some of those born here spoke publicly against the war, and had to flee for their lives; while others, in some of the states, refused to take the oath of allegiance, and were imprisoned. Their people, though few in number, generally followed their example, and took sides with the British, and against the cause of freedom. Here again we find Calvinism, with scarcely an exception, contending for civil liberty, and Arminianism as generally opposed to it. We have now tested each system again and again by its fruits, and with the same result in each case. Calvinism lighted up the sacred fire of freedom in Switzerland, in Scotland, in England, and in America. Arminianism sought to put out that fire in Scotland, in England, and in America. The Covenanters in Scotland and the Puritans in England contended unto death for the right of private judgment, the liberty wherewith Christ hath made his people free. Calvinists were the first to sever the church from the control of the civil power, the first to contend for freedom of opinion in all matters of religion, the first to leave the conscience free. But Arminianism opposed all these movements, passed its acts of uniformity, and enforced