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8. QUAKERS. - The special denominational crisis of the Quakers in the first half of the nineteenth century was the schism, which, starting in 1827, divided five out of the eight Yearly Meetings, and gathered into an independent body about a third of the membership as then existing. The occasion of the disruption was the rationalizing teaching which had been spreading for some years under the instruction of an energetic preacher, Elias Hicks. His scheme of doctrine as put by himself has a somewhat misty outline. Its general tendency, however, is sufficiently manifest. Exaggerating a feature of original Quakerism, Hicks and his fol. lowers — “Liberal Quakers” or “Progressive Friends" - made so much of the inner light, or their moral and spiritual intuitions, as to disparage notably both written revelation and the objective work of Christ; indeed, their more radical statements came to the very verge of ignoring the historical element in Christianity.
The best type of the old Quaker evangelist, with his roving and testifying habit, was represented up to the middle of the century by Stephen Grellet. Descended from the French nobility, he bore the impress of his antecedents. One of the most readable of Quaker histories thus describes him : “ He had the excitable temperament and the courtly manners of his country and his order. It was his excitable temperament which made him see visions and hear voices in his youth, these softened into impressions ' in his later years, and though clothed in drab every one saw that he was born to live in kings' houses. All who heard him speak felt it; and it is impossible to read his Journal - so full of the imagery of the East, and so tinged with his own elevated piety — without knowing that the man who was master of such language must have captivated many. Then what a great heart he had ; and what a pleasant
receiving instructions from the superintendents rather than for the deci. sion of church questions. We believe that it can be very safely affirmed that nowhere as in this country does the Lutheran Church have the opportunity to shape its church polity in accordance with its principles. The temporary scheme in Germany of regarding the rulers as bishops may have been necessary under the circumstances; but it certainly caused great embarrassments, and often led to a denial of Lutheran principles, and even to their flagrant violation.” (H. E. Jacobs, History of the Erangel. ical Lutheran Church in the United States.)
. old face, beaming upon the whole world in tender love. Take him all in all, the world has seldom seen such a man; and, since the days of George Fox, there had risen no greater Quaker.” 1
9. ROMAN CATHOLICS. — The annexation of Louisiana and Florida in the early part of the nineteenth century added a considerable body to the Roman Catholic Church in the United States. But the increase from this source was moderate compared with that which resulted from the arrival of great swarms of immigrants. After 1845 each year brought an accession of more thousands than the whole communion numbered at the beginning of the century. Of the three hundred thousand immigrants, or more, who on the average were received annually between the former date and 1890, it has been estimated that about three fifths were Roman Catholics. The officiary shows also in a striking manner the immigrant character of the Church. In the list of nearly one hundred bishops who died before the year 1888 about three fourths were foreign born.
1 John Cunningham, International History of the Quakers.
According to the census of 1890 the number of Roman Catholics in this country was about six and a quarter millions, excluding those below nine years of age. From these figures it is manifest that great losses must have befallen that Church, the whole number of its communicants in the present scarcely exceeding the number of Roman Catholic immigrants in the last fifty years. Various representatives have acknowledged the magnitude of the loss, some of them not hesitating to say that the number of communicants would be double what it is had it not been for defections.
In the earlier decades of the century much of the loss, aside from the influence of the unwonted relations in which the immigrants were placed, was due to the paucity of churches and priests, and to the inability of many of the priests to speak the English language. An occasion of indifference and defection less creditable to the communion was afforded by the character of some of the clergy. A Roman Catholic historian says: “Not a few of the first priests were unworthy of their holy calling, - selfish and insubordinate men. Some of them became apostates; others caused schisms, scandals, and unhappy dissensions." 2
Some of the causes of loss were largely obviated with the advance of the century. A vast growth of ecclesiastical appliances took place. Home enterprise was supplemented by aid from abroad. The Lyons Propaganda in France, founded in 1822, and the Leopold Society in Austria, founded in 1829, made liberal contributions. The former alone gave to the cause of Romanism in the United States, in the years 1822-1850, 8,977,056 francs. “ The amount received from the Leopold Society and all other similar sources has been estimated as high as one quarter of a million of dollars in some years.” i By 1850 the number of dioceses had become twenty-seven and that of priests one thousand three hundred and three. At the centennial of Bishop Carroll's consecration, in 1889, Archbishop Ryan reported : “ There are thirteen archbishops, and seventy-one bishops, eight thousand priests, ten thousand and five hundred churches and chapels, twenty-seven seminaries exclusively devoted to the training of candidates for the sacred ministry; there are six hundred and fifty colleges and academies for the higher education of both sexes, thirty-one hundred parish schools; there are five hundred and twenty hospitals and orphan asylums.” The growth of religious orders, whose services are largely employed in charitable and educational work, has been on a corresponding scale. The few orders introduced under the patronage of Bishop Carroll have increased to scores. Sadlier's Catholic Almanac for 1887 gives the names of one hundred and twelve, seventy-seven of which are orders of sisters and nuns. Some of these doubtless have a very small enrollment.
1 See R. H. Clarke, lives of the Deceased Bishops of the Catholic Church in the United States.
2 J. O'Kane Murray, Popular History of the Catholic Church in America, 3d edit., pp. 581, 582.
The large number of institutions reckoned as colleges — upwards of a hundred if we include those for women - does not import that a very high percentage of Roman Catholics are candidates for a liberal education. Most of these institutions have preparatory departments, and the aggregate number of their students looking to the degree of A. B. is only a few thousands. The curriculum too in many of them is none too ample. To meet the confessed lack in the higher range of learning, a university has been started at Washington, the corner-stone of the divinity building having been laid in 1888. A papal brief of the next year indicated an intent at headquarters to guard the new institution from being unduly Americanized, and to secure its close relation with the Vatican. “We desire," says the Pope, “ and first of all in the field of philosophy and theology, the plan of studies or programme of subjects to be followed in your university to be submitted for recognition to this apostolic see, in order that they may be approved and that the teaching in every branch of knowledge may be so arranged that your clerics and laymen equally may have an opportunity to satisfy the noble desire of knowledge by adequate instruction. But amongst these courses we wish that there be established a school of pontifical and ecclesiastical law, which knowledge, especially in these times, we know to be of great importance.” 1 The chancellorship of the university was adjudged in the same brief to the Archbishop of Baltimore and his successors.
1 Dorchester, History of Christianity in the United States, p. 558.