Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB
[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

The United Secession and Relief Churches united in May 1847, and from this date the congregations belong to the United Presbyterian Church. 1847. Blantyre ; Bradford ; Newington, Edin- 1851. Zion Chapel, Newcastle. burgh.

1852. New City Road, Glasgow ; Canon 1848. Bridge of Allan ; Renfield Street, Glas

Street, Glasgow; Gorbals, Glasgow; Gourock; Innerleithen.

gow. 1849. Embleton ; Kilham; Coupland Street, 1853. High Bridge, Newcastle.

Manchester. (Selkirk (3d); Sutton. 1854. Caledonian Road, Glasgow ; Grange1850. Chatton ; Richmond Street, Edinburgh;

mouth.

[The list which follows is added by the Editors, to show the progress of the Church from 1854, when Dr Mackelvie ceased to write, to the close of 1871.) 1855. Bristol ; Derby Road, Liverpool ; Clare- 1863. Bishop Auckland; Mount Pleasant, mont Street, Mitchell Church, Mary

Durham ; Towlaw; Crook; Strathill, Pollock Street, and St Rollox,

ford, London ; Claughton, BirkenGlasgow; Jarrow; Burray (Ork.

head; Cabrach; Fraserburgh;Dublin; ney); Lismore.

Nelson Street, Aberdeen; Morning1856. Berkeley Street, Blackfriars, and Spring

side, Edinburgh; Baillieston; Lansburn, Glasgow.

downe, Kent Road, Parliamentary 1857. Ardrossan; Blackhill, Langside Road,

Road (received), Partick East, Glasgow.

Springbank, Barrack Street, and 1858. Knox's Church, Montrose ; West Hartle

Frederick Street (formerly Taylor pool; Kilmalcolm ; Dalbeattie;

Street), Glasgow. Stomoway ; St Paul's, Birkenhead. 1864. Prince's Road, Liverpool; Smethwick, (This year the Irish Presbytery was

Birmingham; Portsoy; Millport; added to the Synod, including the

Uddingstone. congregations of Belfast, Loanends, 1865. Birmingham ; Burra Isles, Shetland ; St Knockloughorm, Boveedy, Craig

Andrews Square, Greenock; Leeds; more, Ballyfreenis, Killaig, and

Leicester ; Motherwell ; Willington Cullybackey.)

Quay ; Derby. 1859. Egremont, Liverpool; Highbury, Lon. 1866. Ibrox, Glasgow; Barrow-in-Furness; don; Ollaberry, Shetland; Buckie.

Langbank ; Rochdale ; Allan Park, 1860. Kilcreggan; Kim; Mary's Chapel, and Portsburgh, Edinburgh.

1867. Queen's Park, Glasgow ; Portadown, Ire1861. Dean Street, and Henderson Church,

land. Edinburgh ; Burton-on-Trent ; Clap 1868. Hammersmith, London ; Mount Street, ham, and Westbourne Grove, Lon.

Blackburn; Kirkmuirhill. don; Woolwich; Everton, Liverpool; 1869. Dennistoun, Glasgow ; Pendleton, ManYork Place, Perth ; Portknockie and

chester; Bow, London; GlengarFindochty; Portree.

nock ; Gateside; Innellan. 1862. Aldershot; Renfrew; Silverhill, Hastings; 1870. Forrest Hill, and New Barnet, London ; Butterburn, Dundee ; Middles.

Dollar; Holy Island.
borough; Sixtowns, Ireland; Wolver. 1871. Wemyss Bay; Brighton; Canongate,
hampton; Cumberland St., Glasgow;

Edinburgh.
Holm, Kilmarnock.

Stirling;

In reviewing the preceding list of names and dates, it will be observed that. 4 congregations are specified as having seceded from the Established Church in 1733, and that blanks are left opposite the three succeeding years, to intimate that during that period there were no fresh accessions. This representation of the then existing state of things needs explanation. The 4 congregations specified, were then virtually, but not actually, in a state of Secession. Their ministers had formed themselves in that year into a Presbytery. But it was not till 1737 that these

brethren proceeded to organise congregations, or receive existing ones into communion with them. From that date, accordingly, we begin to trace the progress of the Secession Church, by increase of congregations, notwithstanding that 4 have been enumerated as existing previously.

During the ten years that elapsed from the period specified till the Breach, that is, from 1737 to 1746 inclusive, 45 congregations were in connection with the Presbytery, including the 4 belonging to the original founders, making upon an average 43 annually. Of these 45 congregations, 8 were at that time vacant, and 6 had only 3 ministers among them, each pair constituting one charge, with separate places of worship, in which they assembled on alternate Sabbaths, or otherwise as agreed upon.

At the Breach, in 1747, the 45 congregations, or more correctly, the majorities of their members, who retained the properties previously belonging to the whole, divided thus : Abernethy, Alloa, Burntisland, Ceres, Comrie, Craigmaillen, Dennyloanhead, Dumbarrow, Dunse, Elgin, Holm of Balfron, Kilmaurs, Kinclaven, Kinkell, Leslie, Lockerbie, Mearns, Midholm, Milnathort, Montrose, Morebattle Muckart, Newcastle, Sanquhar, Urr, and Wigtown, adhered to the General Associate (Antiburgher) Synod ; Bridge of Teith, Burnshields, Cambusnethan, Cumbernauld, Dalkeith, Dundee, Dunfermline, Edinburgh, Falkirk, Glasgow, Greenock, Haddington, Jedburgh, Kirkcaldy, Perth, Stirling, Stitchel, Stow, and West Linton, adhered to the Associate (Burgher) Synod. This specification shows that at its formation, the former of these Synods consisted of 26 congregations, and the latter of 19 congregations. The 26 Antiburgher congregations had 22 ministers, and the 19 Burgher congregations had 12.

During the ten years which succeeded the Breach, that is, from 1747 to 1756 inclusive, 36 congregations originated in connection with the General Associate (Antiburgher), and 15 with the Associate (Burgher), Synod, making together 51, and giving an average of 5 annually.

The fact that 51 congregations came into existence in connection with the Secession Church during the ten years which succeeded the Breach, while there were only 45 during the ten years which preceded it, seems to indicate a higher rate of increase over the Church as a whole, during that period. But this is partly in appearance only, for only 20 of the 51 were actual additions to the Church; the remaining 31 were halves, or other portions of previous wholes—an increase by division, not by addition. Of the 20 added, 13 were in connection with the General Associate (Antiburgher), and 7 in connection with the Associate (Burgher), Synod. The aggregate 20 in ten years, gives an average of 2 annually, which is less than half the average annual rate at which the Church was progressing before the Breach. But these numbers are not certain criteria by which to form a judgment in the case, for most of the 31 congregations resulting immediately from the division would have certainly been formed before long, independently of the Breach. They were hurried into existence by that event, but they were not the mere effect of it. Still, the growth of the Church was retarded for a time by the Breach, for at the same rate at which it had been previously proceeding, there should have been 45 entire congregations, in addition to 31 portions, or 76 in all; whereas there were only 51, or a coming short by 25 of the ten years' previous increase.

During the third decade of the Secession Church, that is, from 1757 to 1766 inclusive, 25 congregations were added to the General Associate (Antiburgher), and 18 in connection with the Associate (Burgher), Synod, giving an annual average of 2} to the one, and nearly 2 to the other. The addition to both branches during this period was 43, giving an average of 41 annually, indicating that the Secession Church as a whole, had recovered the shock it sustained by its division in 1747, though its increase was only that of an arithmetical, and not, as might have been expected, that of a geometrical progression.

During the fourth decade of the Secession Church, that is, from 1767 to 1776 inclusive, 12 congregations were formed in connection with the General Associate (Antiburgher), and 18 in connection with the Associate (Burgher), Synod, giving an annual average of 1 and a fraction to the one and nearly 2 to the other, showing that the increase continued in favour of the latter, instead as heretofore in favour of the former. The aggregate increase upon both branches during this decade was 30, giving an average of 3 only, so that the annual average of the whole had decreased by 1.1 from the annual average of the immediately preceding period. But it is to be remembered that the Relief had now come into competition with the Secession Church, and that at the point of time to which we are now brought, that Church had been six years in existence. We shall trace its progress at a subsequent stage of our inquiries. We have adverted at present to the fact of its having come into operation as a cause increasing dissent; merely to account for the slower progress of the Secession during this, than during the preceding period, when increasing at the same rate as at its beginning. Taking the three Churches together, we will find that dissent was progressing in Scotland at the period referred to at a rate as great as at any previous portion of its history.

During the fifth decade of the Secession Church, that is, from 1777 to 1786 inclusive, 15 congregations were formed in connection with the General Associate (Antiburgher), and 21 in connection with the Associate (Burgher), Synod, giving an annual average of 1} to the one, and 2 and a small fraction to the other, showing that the increase continued in favour of the latter. The aggregate addition to both branches of the Church during this period was 36, giving an average of 3 annually, being an increase of 6 upon the whole, and an annual average of 1 over that of the ten preceding years..

During the sixth decade of the Secession Church, that is, from 1787 to 1796 inclusive, 17 congregations were formed in connection with the General Associate (Antiburgher), and 29 in connection with the Associate (Burgher), Synod, giving an annual average increase of rather more than it to the one, and rather less than 3 to the other. The aggregate addition to both branches during this period was 46, giving an average of 43 annually, which proves that the Secession again, notwithstanding the rivalship of the Relief Church, was advancing at the same rate as during the first ten years of its existence.

During the seventh decade of the Secession Church, that is, from 1797 to 1806 inclusive, 14 congregations were formed in connection with the General Associate (Antiburgher), and 28 in connection with the Associate (Burgher), Synod, giving an average annual increase of 11 to the one, and nearly 3 to the other. The aggregate addition to both branches during this period was 42, giving an average of little more than 4 annually, and showing a slight decrease from the rate of progress during the decade immediately preceding. This slightly lessened progress at this time is accounted for by the fact that it was the time when both branches of the Church were agitated by the controversy respecting the Magistrate's power in matters of religion, and the descending obligation of the National Covenants upon posterity, and which led to division in both. It is also further accounted for by the fact, that it was the time when the brothers Haldane and others, known then as “ The Tabernacle Men,” were producing considerable excitement in the country, and thereby diverting public attention from every other religious denomination to their own, and sharing with them the converts from Established to Dissenting principles. These circumstances considered, there is reason for surprise that the Secession Church advanced at the rate it then did, and the fact shows that it had now taken a very strong hold on the country, and could not be easily affected either by internal divisions, or outward rivalry.

During the eighth decade of the Secession Church, that is, from 1807 to 1816 inclusive, 4 congregations were formed in connection with the General Associate (Antiburgher), and 20 in connection with the Associate (Burgher), Synod. As three years more will bring us down to the time when the two Synods merged into one, we shall add them here, and start from the Union in 1820, in our next enumeration by decades. During the thirteen years, then, which succeeded the seventh decade of the Secession, 6 congregations were formed in connection with the General Associate (Antiburgher), and 26 in connection with the Associate (Burgher), Synod, giving an annual average of little more than } to the one, and a little more than 24 to the other. The aggregate addition to both branches during this period was 32, giving an average of nearly 2} annually. This is little more than half the rate of progress at which the Church had been advancing during several preceding periods of its history. But it is to be remembered, that the question of Union had been pending for a portion of this period, and was decided by consummation at the end of it, and that while negotiations with this object in view were proceeding, neither party was caring to take very active steps for its increase, inasmuch as such a course would have been liable to misconstruction.

n merged, a This agere the same pe been a

In summing up the preceding statements referring to the increase of the Church by the addition of congregations, we find that 83 years had elapsed from the time the Associate Presbytery began to respond to the wishes of the people for supply of sermon by preachers in their connection, till the two Synods, which had been formed out of it, were again merged, and that 325 congregations started in that time in connection with both branches. This aggregate, however, does not include the congregations which had been formed during the same period in Ireland, in connection with the Secession Church, nor those which had been added to the Original General Associate (Antiburgher), and Original Associate (Burgher), Synods, after their formation. The annual average progress was within a small fraction of 4, being a diminution by rather more than half a congregation from the rate of progress during the first and some other decades of the Church's existence. If, however, the Irish and Original Secession congregations be added, the annual rate of increase will be found greater upon the whole period in question, than upon any of the particular portions composing it. What the actual increase was will appear in some of our subsequent summations.

If we reckon from the Breach, in 1747, to the union of the two great branches of the Secession, in 1820, we find that seventy-three years elapsed, and that 125 congregations had been formed in that time in connection with the General Associate (Antiburgher), and 155 in connection with the Associate (Burgher), Synod, giving an annual average increase of nearly 1} to the one, and nearly 2} to the other; the average having been in favour of the former during the first half of the period, and in favour of the latter during the second.

Of the 325 congregations, which had come into existence as above described, 283 united in 1820. What became of the remainder will be shown when we come to account for the deductions which fall to be made from the aggregate acquired in the course of progress. Meanwhile it is proper to state that, of the 283 uniting at the date specified, 129 had been in connection with the General Associate (Antiburgher), and 154 in connection with the Associate (Burgher), Synod.

During the first decade of the UNITED SECESSION CHURCH, that is, from 1820 to 1829 inclusive, 51 congregations were formed in connection with it, giving an annual average increase of 5, being at the rate of half a congregation more than the Church had attained either in its entire or divided state.

During the second decade of the United Secession Church, that is, from 1830 to 1839 inclusive, 55 congregations were formed in connection with it, giving an annual average increase of 5), being at the rate of half a congregation more than during the immediately preceding period, and 1 more than was ever added in any one year of the Church's existence, either in its entire or divided condition. The period thus marked and limited, then, was the period when the Secession Church reached its maximum of increase by addition of congregations. It was a period of intense excitement, arising both from political and ecclesiastical movements in the country -a period which might have been supposed to be unfavourable to its progress. In the next section it will be seen that it was a period in which the Relief Church grew as rapidly, in proportion to its original extent, as the Secession. The two Churches together increased to the extent of 79 congregations during this period, which is nearly an annual average increase of 8. It was this circumstance that created so much alarm at the time in the Established Church, and led to the movement which has issued in a way so disastrous to its position and prospects.

During the seven and one-third years which followed the second decade of the United Secession Church, and which preceded its union with that of the Relief, 22 congregations were added in connection with it, giving an average annual increase of 3, being a diminution of nearly one-half from the period immediately preceding. But this is readily accounted for by the facts—first, that negotiations for the union of the churches named were pending all this time, and neither party cared to take active steps for its increase in such circumstances. And, secondly, the Disruption took place during this period, and all denominations were led by it to pause in their efforts for church extension, till it became apparent how the separating party was disposed to act towards them.

It thus appears that the Secession Church increased to the extent of 45 congregations, whilst entire; to the extent of 280, whilst divided; and to the extent of 128 in its state of reunion-making in all 453—not reckoning in that number certain classes of congregations before specified. It is a remarkable circumstance that the Secession Church, during the twenty-seven years of its existence as the United Associate Synod, had as many congregations added to it, save 4, as the Relief Church had during the whole eighty-six years of its separate existence, and 23 more than it had acquired in its divided state during the twenty-seven years, or corresponding period, which preceded the union. That union, then, must have given a considerable impulse to it, and must ever be regarded as the most auspicious event in its history. One hundred years precisely had elapsed from the time that the Associate Presbytery took steps for its self-extension, till the two Synods, which were formed out of it, re-united. We find 41 was the annual average increase upon the

« ZurückWeiter »